Category Archives: April 2019

Is Your Station Overdue for an Inspection? Limited Spots Still Available for 2019 ABIPs

Do you think the FCC no longer does routine inspections? Guess again.

With both radio and television public files online, it makes it easier than ever for the FCC to inspect.  You need to be certain your public file contains everything it should.  A physical ABIP inspection checks technical as well as public file requirements, and more.

The MAB has a limited number of openings in left for the 2019 Alternative Broadcast Inspection Program (ABIP)  season. Our inspector, Mark Croom with Riverfront Communications LLC, has been doing inspections for South Dakota (as well as  five other states) since 2016 and comes to us with strong recommendations from the South Dakota Broadcasters Association.

Scheduling your station’s ABIP is like having a preventative check-up from the doctor. Once you sign-up and pay for your inspection, you will receive a letter of intent giving your station a 150-day grace period preventing the FCC from conducting a routine inspection.

Once you pass an inspection, you will receive a three-year exemption keeping the FCC inspector from performing a routine inspection at your station.  More importantly, it’s like an insurance policy. Our inspector takes great care to review your public file and make suggestions on how you may improve it.  Members have said an ABIP is like a private Public File Tutorial.

Call Ann Walters at the MAB office 1-800-968-7622 or email Ann at [email protected] to book your ABIP.  This moderately priced MAB service is one of our most popular offerings.  Call and get signed up today!!!

How Micro-Content Can Boost Your Radio Station’s Digital Engagement

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 now, we’ve been talking about how radio stations can use a Content Marketing strategy to drive listeners back to their websites. The overall strategy is fairly simple: Create compelling content (blogposts, videos, podcasts, etc.) for your website, then share that content on social networks so people click through and come back to your station’s site.

If the strategy sounds familiar to radio programmers, it should: it’s the same basic principle that’s involved in running a radio station. First, put compelling content (music, DJs, a morning show) on your airwaves, then promote that content on billboards by the highway so people tune in to your radio station.

The challenge, however, is that in the digital version of this strategy, radio stations are at the mercy of the social networks they are sharing their content on. When Facebook tweaks its algorithm, it can have a big impact on the amount of traffic that a station can drive back to its website. Moreover, the social networks are working at cross-purposes to the radio stations: Facebook wants to keep people on Facebook, while stations want to steer people somewhere else.

One way to combat these issues is to use “micro-content.” Micro-Content is smaller bits of content used to engage people and encourage them to check out larger content. A familiar example of micro-content is the tried-and-true radio morning show promo. The morning show promo might sound like this:

Station Voiceover: If you missed Johnny Fever this morning, here’s what you missed…

Johnny Fever: …and then the priest says, “That’s not a duck!”

Les Nessman, Venus Flytrap: AHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Station Voiceover: Johnny Fever. Mornings on WKRP!

The promo takes a short, entertaining clip of the morning show and repurposes it as a short piece of content that the station airs throughout the day. This same tactic can be deployed as part of your radio station’s digital strategy. The only difference is that you’re sharing the micro-content on social media, not just on your airwaves.

For example, here’s an audiogram — a soundbite turned into a video with a static image and a soundwave — from a recent episode of my podcast:

This is, of course, just a morning show promo in video form, which makes it ideal for sharing on social media. (Note that the video is a square to make it ideal for mobile devices.) If you’re looking, it’s easy to find lots of opportunities to carve radio shows up into micro-content: benchmark features, interview clips, concert calendars, contest winners, etc. As you prep your next radio show, look for ways that you can repurpose small pieces of the show as micro-content that can be shared on social media.

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

Meet Your Foundation Board Member of the Week: Rebecca Falk

Rebecca Falk

Rebecca Falk was born and raised in metro Detroit.  She started her radio career in high school as an intern for 98.7 WLLZ and remained an intern at the station throughout college.  She was hired full-time in the promotions department at WLLZ after graduating from Eastern Michigan University with a degree in Telecommunications and Marketing.

After six years at WLLZ, Rebecca decided to learn another side of the business and worked in the marketing department at the Palace of Auburn Hills.  After a year at the Palace, Rebecca returned to radio at WKQI, a Hot AC format at the time.  Rebecca was named the Marketing Director and after two years, Rebecca was a key component of flipping the station from a Hot AC to the Top 40 station that we know today, Channel 955.

Rebecca remained at Channel 955 as the Marketing Director and was named the Cluster Marketing Director for Clear Channel (iHeart Radio) in 2004.  In 2008, Rebecca added Assistant Program Director to her title at 100.3 WNIC.  She was with the company for ten years.

In 2009, Rebecca left WKQI to join CBS Radio as a Marketing Director, and in an odd turn of events, launched the CBS Top 40 station on what was once WLLZ and is now WDZH/98.7 AMP Radio.   In 2014, Rebecca added the sports station, WXYT/97.1 The Ticket to her responsibilities and in 2015 was named as the CBS Radio Detroit, Group Marketing Director.

In her role at CBS, Rebecca has launched the “AMP Live” concert series that consists of three successful concerts each year, created “Gown Town” a program that collects lightly used prom, bridesmaid and cocktail dresses and then gives them away at no charge to girls who can’t afford a prom dress of their own.  She is actively involved in 97.1 The Ticket’s “Student Heart Check” program that offers cardiac checks to high school students involved in sports.

Rebecca is proud to be part of the 97.1 The Ticket staff who received both a Service To America Award and a Marconi Award in 2016.  Currently, Rebecca is a part of a CBS team that has developed and is currently implementing “MusicTown,” Detroit’s newest venue, which will include broadcast and recording studios, as well as two performance spaces and has the goal to re energize music in the city of Detroit, as well as offer free music education to students throughout the city.

LSSU Launches Cannabis Business Degree Program


Editor’s note:  The MAB wants to inform its members of advertising opportunities that may occur in the future.  At the present time, the advertising of cannabis products by broadcasting licensees is prohibited by Federal law.  For more information, read David Oxenford’s post here.

After successfully launching a Cannabis chemistry program, Lake Superior State University continues to define innovative programming by launching a baccalaureate of science in cannabis business. The cannabis business degree provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to obtain meaningful employment in the booming cannabis industry. Through the foresight of LSSU Lukenda School of Business faculty leadership recognizing the demand for qualified candidates in this multibillion dollar industry, the cannabis business program was designed for future managers, supervisors and business developers within a commercial enterprise.

LSSU is preparing the next generation for jobs, many of which are in the brand new legal cannabis industry. 62% of the general public support full legalization, and according to an article from February in The Boston Globe, all 2020 presidential candidates also support legalization. Ten states have legalized cannabis for adult use, while an additional 33 have legalized medicinal cannabis for adults. Plus, let’s not forget our neighbors to the north, as Canada legalized cannabis in 2018. This has created the need for qualified candidates in product development, marketing, consulting and lobbying, as well as individuals familiar with the overarching laws and policies in accounting, banking and real estate in cannabis and hemp businesses.

In the U.S., the cannabis market is set to create more than 500,000 jobs by 2022, outpacing healthcare and technology sectors. Estimates in Michigan alone predict legal cannabis spending could surpass $1.3 billion in 2022 and employ almost 28,000 people. In Canada, they are estimating at least 1,700 open positions in the cannabis industry and that the industry could create as many 125,000 jobs in the next few years. With the legalization of cannabis in both Canada and Michigan, there is a growing need for business leaders who have a firm understanding of the laws and policies inherent in this industry. With these changing tides, LSSU is strategically positioning itself to the forefront of this emerging market, preparing the next generation of cannabis scientists and business leaders.

“Preparing students for tomorrow is our goal, and with a projected annual growth rate of over 28%, and sales reaching $47 billion in the next decade, LSSU Cannabis Business graduates will have the skills and knowledge to take the lead in this emerging industry.” – Ralf Wilhelms, Lukenda School of Business Professor

The foundation of this innovative program cultivates a hybrid of business management courses with the principles of cannabis-specific business functions and operations. This transforms a traditional business degree into a cannabusiness degree, fast tracking graduates for a wide range of careers both in and adjacent to, this progressive new industry.

Throughout the curriculum, classes such as Cannabis Business Policy and Cannabis Economics prepare graduates to face unique issues related to state, federal, provincial and international laws. These are evaluated and analyzed in order to plan, develop and operate cannabis businesses within legal constraints. These courses, along with the common business core courses, provide graduates with the knowledge, training, and practical experience required to become successful in this burgeoning market.

“Our core mission is to equip graduates with knowledge and practical skills for meaningful employment in Michigan and across the nation,” says LSSU President Rodney Hanley. “Our cannabis business graduates will become the next generation of leaders in this rapidly evolving industry.”

Lake Superior State University has a solid track record for training graduates who have gone on to enjoy successful careers. 94% of LSSU business grads, and nearly 100% of chemistry grads, find gainful employment in public and private-sector jobs or admission into graduate school within one year of graduation.

To learn more about this new program, visit LSSU.edu/cannabisbusiness

 

Mike Scott Joins WKCQ

Mike Scott

AllAccess reports that MacDonald Broadcasting’s WKCQ-FM (Saginaw) has hired Michigan broadcasting veteran Mike Scott for weekend air duties beginning May 4.  Scott will handle the on-air weekend 3-7 p.m. airshift.

Scott was APD/MD and Midday host at WYCD-FM (Detroit) for 12 years, PD and PMD host at WRSR-FM (Flint), PD/PMD at WLMI-FM (Lansing) and has worked in other markets including Chicago, Cincinnati and Fort Wayne.

Scott continues his current position as national air personality for syndicator Local Radio Networks.

Entercom Detroit Cleans Up For Earth Day


On April 22, staff at Entercom Communications Detroit banded together to clean up the wetlands across the street from the offices and road side near their offices on 11 Mile Road in Southfield, which houses WWJ-AM, WYCD-FM, WOMC-FM, WDZH-FM and WXYT-AM/FM.

30 volunteers worked the Earth Day 2019 event and filled more than a dozen bags full of trash, including a gift shop Mylar balloon on a stick that said ‘Merry Christmas,’ a cell phone, a fully inflated beach ball and numerous pizza boxes.

The station reports that staff volunteers, who ranged from on-air hosts to sales people and promotions staff, program directors and digital producers were hot, their arms scratched and their sneakers muddy. But no one complained. Spirits were high.

Across the company’s more than 200 radio stations, staff cleaned up parks, planted trees, worked at urban farms, picked up cigarette butts, scoured beaches and more. At more than 50 Earth Day events, Entercom engaged more than 3,000 volunteers.

CEO David Field got his hands dirty, too, joining the team in Philly.

Field Tweeted that he was “excited to be joining over 3,000 members of the Entercom team today working on Earth Day volunteer projects in all of our markets. Proud of our team and our longstanding commitment to the environment and making a meaningful difference to the planet & our communities.”

WLNS-TV Collects Electronic Junk for Earth Day 2019

Earth Day 2019 took place April 22; and Nexstar Broadcasting’s WLNS-TV (Lansing) honored the day by helping viewers discard unwanted electronic equipment and devices through recycling outside the station’s studios.

With the help of 1-800-Got-Junk, WLNS-TV viewers filled five truckloads of electronics, all destined for recycling.  The collection drive ran from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and those who dropped off old electronics were traded with a 6″ Blue Spruce Tree seedling to plant, courtest of The Frandor Shopping Center.

Personalities at WLHT (Grand Rapids) and WTLZ (Saginaw) Win AWMF Gracie Awards

The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation (AWMF) has announced the Radio and Interactive Media winners of the 44th annual Gracie Awards, to be presented at a dinner on May 21 in Beverly Hills for national radio and a luncheon in New York on June 26 for local and student winners.  Two Michigan broadcasters will be honored:

Connie Kellie, Morning Drive host at Townsquare Media’s WLHT-FM (Grand Rapids).  Kellie wins for Host – Morning Drive – Small/Medium Market – Local.
Yvonne Daniels, Afternoon Drive host at Alpha Media’s WTLZ-FM (Saginaw).  Daniels wins for Host Non-Morning Drive (Music DJ/Personality) Small/Medium Market – Local.
AWMF Executive Director Becky Brooks said, “Our leadership is proud to honor the best of the best who embody the spirit and intention of the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation’s Gracie Awards.”

Katz Radio Group President and AWMF Chair of the Board of Directors Christine Travaglini added, “In the more than four decades since the inception of the Gracie Awards, what stands out in 2019 is bravery. The courage of storytellers to share poignant, relevant and compelling content. This will be a year of true celebration.”

A complete list of winners is available here.

Six Michigan Broadcasters Win Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards

The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) has announced the winners of the 2019 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards honoring outstanding achievement in broadcast and digital journalism, technical expertise and adherence to RTDNA’s Code of Ethics. A record 4,600 entries were submitted nationwide for this year’s competition. From this group, more than 720 regional winners were selected for breaking news, continuing coverage, investigative reporting, Overall Excellence and more.

“Public trust in journalism is threatened by a lack of understanding about the reporting process,” said RTDNA Chairman Jerry Walsh. “The Edward R. Murrow Awards are an opportunity for our industry to showcase what well trained, ethical local journalists are doing to better our communities on behalf of the public. We invite viewers and readers to learn more about the reporting process behind each of these stories, and to know this same process is happening every single day in preparation for every single newscast.”

Michigan was grouped with Illinois, Indiana and Ohio in Region 7.  Receiving recognition were the following Michigan broadcasters:

Small Market Radio

Category: Feature Reporting
Winning Entry: Put That in Your Pipe and Smoke It: Up Pipe Maker Among World’s Best
Interlochen Public Radio (Interlochen)

Category: News Series
Winning Entry: Making the Grade in Michigan 2018
WKAR-AM/FM (East Lansing)

Large Market Radio

Category:  Continuing Coverage
Winning Entry: Larry Nassar Case
Michigan Radio (Ann Arbor)

Category: Excellence in Sound
Winning Entry: Mornings in Michigan: The Early Birder Gets the Warblers, Chickadees, and Orioles
Michigan Radio (Ann Arbor)

Category: Feature Reporting
Winning Entry: Mariachi Group Brings Women to the Front of the Stage
Michigan Radio (Ann Arbor)

Category: Hard News
Winning Entry: Protesters Heading Home After Journey to Detention Center Housing Juvenile Migrants
Michigan Radio (Ann Arbor)

Category: Investigative Reporting
Winning Entry: Romulus Blames High Lead Levels on One Vacant Home That’s Not Vacant
Michigan Radio (Ann Arbor)

Small Market Television

Category: Excellence in Innovation
Winning Entry: Marijuana Series
WLNS-TV (Lansing)

Category: Feature Reporting
Winning Entry: A Simple Act of Kindness
WJRT-TV (Flint)

Category: Hard News
Winning Entry: Born in to Crisis: Part 3
WJRT-TV (Flint)

Large Market Television

Category: Excellence in Social Media
Winning Entry: Social Media
WDIV-TV (Detroit)

Category: Excellence in Sound
Winning Entry: Criss-Cross Crash
WDIV-TV (Detroit)

This year’s winners were judged in 14 regions and represent 309 local radio and TV newsrooms. These winners will move on to the national round of judging, which also includes digital and network news organizations as well as student awards. The national awards will be presented at RTDNA’s Edward R. Murrow Awards Gala at Gotham Hall in New York on Oct. 14, 2019.

See the complete list of regional winners here.

Microgrid Bill Introduced in the House

Legislation allowing critical facilities like hospitals, police stations, emergency response centers and water treatment plants to operate their own microgrids to receive power during outages and emergencies was introduced in the House. HB 4477 would allow critical facilities to disconnect from the main electric grid and use electricity generated through alternative sources, like solar, during outages and emergencies.

The bill was introduced by Representative Steven Johnson (R-72).