Category Archives: August 2017

FCC Watch: Two Michigan Stations Surrender Licenses

Here’s the latest Michigan-related FCC broadcast filings.

August 29:  Marion R. Williams was granted a license to cover changes for WSMK-FM (Buchanan).  The station relocated its transmitter site, changed HAAT and ERP.

August 28:  Educational Media Foundation filed an application to cover minor changes for FM Translator W296CG (Detroit).  The translator rebroadcasts the HD2 channel of WMXD-FM (Detroit).

August 24:  The application to assign the license of FM Translator W299CB (Manistee) from Resort Radio to Smile FM was approved.  The translator rebroadcasts Smile FM’s WSMZ (Crystal Valley).

August 24:  Baraga Broadcasting, Inc. filed an application to modify a construction permit for WGZR-FM (Alpena).  The station is moving to a new transmitter site and increasing ERP.

August 21:  Roy E. Henderson has surrendered the license (for cancellation) of WMTE-AM (Manistee).  See letter here.  The station has had a license renewal pending since 2012.

August 18:  West Central Michigan Media Ministries was granted a license to cover a minor change application for WGCP-FM (Cadillac).  The station changed transmitter site, ERP and HAAT.

August 17:  West Michigan Community Help Network was granted a license to cover for a new Low Power FM station, WMMT-LP (Muskegon).

August 15:  The Board of Trustees, Michigan State University were granted a construction permit for an auxiliary antenna for WKAR-FM (East Lansing).  The proposed auxiliary operation is to operate at 16.3kw at 140.9 meters HAAT on the existing WKAR-FM tower.

August 14:  Educational Media Foundation was granted a license to cover changes for FM Translator W262BD (Dimondale).  The translator increased its ERP.  The translator rebroadcasts WWSJ-AM (St. Johns).

August 9:   Underwood V Radio, Inc. was granted a license to cover for a new Low Power FM station, WFCB-LP (Ferndale).

August 7: Radioactive, LLC has surrendered the license (for cancellation) of WRAX-FM (Lake Isabella).  See letter here.  The station has had a license renewal pending since 2012.

Mark Thomas Appointed Alpha Media Market Manager

Mark Thomas

Alpha Media has announced that Mark Thomas will join the company as Market Manager in Saginaw.  The company owns WSGW-AM/FM, WTLZ-FM, WGER-FM, and WCEN-FM.

Thomas has over 30 years of industry experience, including working for iHeart Media in Riverside, CA., and serving as a Market Manager and Regional Vice President with Regent  Communications/Townsquare Media in Flint, MI., Evansville, IN., and Grand Rapids, MI.

Alpha Media EVP of the Midwest Region, George Pelletier commented on the announcement, “Mark has great experience as a local market manager. He brings an exceptional understanding of local programming, sales and community broadcasting to the Alpha team in Saginaw. We are happy to welcome Mark ‘home’ to Michigan.”

“I am thrilled to join Alpha Media and return home to Michigan. I look forward to helping the cluster grow with its great staff and stations,” remarked Thomas.

EMU’s ‘All E Show’ Returns to WTKA

WTKA-AM (Ann Arbor) will once again air Eastern Michigan University’s All E Show this season.  The program is a weekly 30-minute football coaches’ show hosted by EMU Associate Athletic Director Greg Steiner.

With the season underway, the program debuted August 23.

Cumulus Media, which owns WTKA, will also air air EMU cross-promotions and marketing on its other stations in the cluster, including WWWW-FM and WQKL-FM.   The company and university announced a partnership in 2016.

Game broadcasts for football and men’s and women’s basketball air on EMU’s own WEMU-FM (Ypsilanti).

Hilary Golston Joins WJBK-TV

Hilary Golston

Detroit native Hilary Golston will be joining WJBK-TV (Detroit) as  a reporter beginning September 5.

Most recently, Golston was a reporter, anchor and multimedia journalist for WKYC Cleveland. Previously, she was a weekend evening anchor at WVTM Birmingham, Ala.

Golston began her career at WFRV-TV in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

“I come from a family committed to Detroit and the magic that we know is here. I can’t say how awesome it is to be back where I grew up and to be a part of telling the stories that matter and going to bat for the community of my birth,” said Golston in a press release.

A graduate of George Washington University, Golston holds a degree in political science.

Beasley Detroit Market Manager Mac Edwards Named Company’s Market Manager of the Year

Mac Edwards

At ceremonies on August 25, Beasley Media Group has announced its 2017 Operating Achievement Awards Winners.  The celebration honors the achievements and contributions made by individual employees and radio stations of the company over the preceding twelve months. Each year, the Operating Achievement Awards are presented to deserving candidates in several categories.

Taking home “Market Manager of the Year” honors was Detroit Market Manager Mac Edwards.  

“Our annual Achievement Awards dinner and ceremony celebrates the outstanding contributions made by our incredible employees and stations who give their “Beasley Best” on a daily basis,” said CEO Caroline Beasley.  “I am so very proud and honored to have them in our radio family.”

Other honorees were:

WBAV-FM Station of the Year/ Charlotte, NC
Robin Colfax-Herrschaft Director of Sales (DOS) of the Year/ Charlotte, NC
Jeff Anderson Program Director of the Year/ (WBAV/WPEG-Charlotte, NC
Steve Wright Engineer of the Year/Tampa, FL
Brenda Yelton Business Manager of the Year/ Charlotte, NC
Stefan Anderson Digital Content Professional of the Year/Tampa, FL
Jenna Land Digital Sales Professional of the Year/Charlotte, NC

The presentations were made during a special dinner that took place at Beasley Media Group’s annual Management Meeting on Friday, August 25th at the Ritz Carlton Beach Resort in Naples, Florida.


Detroit Stations Team Up for Operation Backpack

During the week of August 21, WJBK-TV, WNIC-FM, and WKQI-FM teamed up with Kroger Food Stores to collect new backpacks and school supplies for children in need in the Detroit community.  WJKB-TV’s Sherry Margolis along with Jay Towers from both WJBK and WNIC-FM and Mojo from WKQI’s Mojo in the Morning assisted with the Operation Backpack effort.

With the support of Kroger, viewers and listeners were encouraged to visit a local Kroger store to purchase and donate a $7 school supply kit and drop it into the bin at the front of stores.

In addition, the three media outlets promoted a “Fill-the-School Bus” effort on August 25, each broadcasting live from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The event took place at a Kroger located in Royal Oak.

All supplies collected went to to Volunteers of America Michigan to be distributed to local children in need.

WKHM-FM & Baker College to Host Community Job Fair

Jackson Radio Works’ WKHM-FM (Jackson)(K-105.3) has teamed up with Baker College to host a job fair on September 12.

Employers and businesses in a variety of industries will be on hand to accept resumes, share information about jobs available and services they provide to those looking for a job or career change. This event is open to the public.

Thr job fair is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the Baker College Campus in Jackson.  As of this writing, the station has 29 participating vendors.

WEMU’s Linda Yohn Wins National Jazz Presenter Of The Year Award

Linda Yohn

This category is for a jazz broadcaster with exceptional presentation and communications skills for an outstanding individual who hosts or produces a jazz program. It’s the first time Yohn has won this particular award; she has been named National Jazz Programmer 5 separate times since 2008. Yohn, who is celebrating her 30th anniversary with WEMU this year, is retiring in December.

“I can’t think of a better honor for Linda during this significant anniversary year,” said WEMU’s General Manager, Molly Motherwell. “Not only is it a fitting tribute to her outstanding skills as a jazz presenter but it also shows the impact she has made here at WEMU, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary as a jazz broadcaster. WEMU is one of the top rated jazz/news stations in public broadcasting and that is due largely to Linda’s tireless acquisition and promotion of all things jazz. We’re so proud of her and what she’s accomplished, which now includes this award.”

“There is no one who works harder or who has meant more to the jazz and music community in our region,” said Walter Kraft, VP of Communications for EMU. “Linda Yohn is one of a kind, and her work has benefited WEMU, Eastern Michigan University, and our entire community. Congratulations to Linda on another great honor.”
JazzWeek was founded in August 2001 after trade publication The Gavin Report ceased publishing a jazz radio chart, and has published weekly jazz radio airplay charts since that time.

Are You Ready for the National EAS Test?

This originally appeared on the SBE-EAS Listserve.

To help broadcasters better prepare for the September 27, 2017 National Periodic Test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS), here is a list of issues that occurred during the 2016 national test that EAS participants might want to check:

1. Check that Text-to-Speech, if audio file is not available, is
enabled for CAP messages on EAS equipment.

a) Although optional in the FCC rules, TTS really should be mandatory.  If the NPT audio file can’t be retrieved, without TTS enabled, a “silent” message will be broadcast. TTS may sound ugly, but it is better than silence.
b). This varies by EAS manufacturer and sometimes in an obscure part of the configuration.

2. Listen to on-air EAS equipment audio output levels, don’t just rely on equipment logs. EAS audio must replace the program audio completely.

a) All program audio channels – right, left, 5.1 surround, secondary audio program, etc.
b) Don’t duck the program audio under the EAS audio – replace the program audio with EAS.
c) EAS audio loudness should be similar to normal program audio levels – not substantially louder or quieter.
d) Verify audio clock rate is configured consistently on EAS and
transmission chain equipment.

3. Check middleware programming and downstream connections (mostly television and cable systems). View the on-air video output of the EAS equipment, don’t just rely on equipment logs.

a) Middleware includes control systems, switching systems, RF systems and distribution elements.
b) The entire EAS message from first EAS header data burst until after the last EOM data burst is included.
c) Video crawl must display at least one complete crawl, even if the audio message is shorter or longer. The crawl should be readable and understandable – not extremely fast or slow.

4. Satellite program syndicators and satellite fed stations should understand which one is responsible for EAS as part of the program transmission chain.

a) NPR squawk and Premiere Networks supply national EAS
(PEP) on a distinct audio feed separate from normal programming. The EAS source channel may be connected to one of the EAS equipment audio input channels. The 2017 NPT will not be transmitted by NPR squawk or Premiere Networks; however, a real EAN could be.
b) Program syndicators should inform their affiliates if their satellite feed is pre-EAS (without EAS data bursts) or post-EAS (may include EAS data bursts).
c) Satellite affiliates with local EAS equipment should ask for a pre-EAS satellite source (without EAS data bursts)
d) Translator stations and hub-feed satellite stations without local EAS equipment must have a post-EAS (including EAS data bursts) source.

5. Not new, but still an issue. Check the system time on equipment, both EAS and automation systems.

FEMA: 2016 IPAWS EAS National Test Report
FCC: Report: September 28, 2016 Nationwide EAS Test


Submit Your Radio Station’s Podcast to These 6 Directories

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

I spent this week surrounded by thousands of podcasters at the Podcast Movement conference in Anaheim. This year, Jacobs Media hosted a day full of sessions geared towards radio broadcasters: “Broadcasters Meet Podcasters.” It was great to see so many of our brethren show interest in the medium; two years ago I complained that hardly any radio broadcasters were present at the conference.

For radio stations looking to launch their first podcast, I’ve put together a guide. And if you’re still trying to come up with a concept for a show, here are some ideas.

But if you’ve recorded your first episode, you’re now ready to upload the audio file to a hosting company and submit your to directories around the web to ensure that listeners can find it.

Here’s how it works:

Hosts and Directories
You create create your episode as an MP3 audio file. Just as the files for your website live on a hosting platform like GoDaddy, your audio files will live on a podcast hosting platform like AudioBoom, Art19, Blubrry, Libsyn, Omny Studio, Spreaker, etc. (I don’t recommend SoundCloud.) Of course, people don’t go to GoDaddy to access your website files; they use a browser like Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. By the same token, people don’t go to your hosting company to access your audio file; they use an app like Apple Podcasts, iTunes, PocketCasts, Overcast, etc. How do you get your audio file from your host into the thse apps? Through directories.

Your Podcast’s RSS Feed
When you first set up your podcast hosting company, you will be provided with an RSS feed. Think of this feed as a pipe. When you upload a new audio file to your host, it will be pushed down the pipe. Now you need to hook your pipe up to the directories so it goes to the right places.

When submitting your RSS feed to the different directories, it’s best to already have at least one audio file uploaded to your hosting service. Because it can take several days for a directory to approve the submission of your RSS feed, I recommend creating a short (less than 60 seconds) teaser instead of sing your first episode.

Once the feed has been approved by all of the directories, then you can publish your first episode and it will appear everywhere almost immediately. Using a teaser for the RSS submissions makes it much easier to coordinate the timing of your marketing efforts around the first episode of your podcast.

There are more podcast directories than just those listed below, but here are the major ones that you will want to submit to:

1. iTunes
Approximately two thirds of all podcast listening happens on iOS devices. This is primarily because Apple began shipping iPhones with a pre-installed Podcasts app with the introduction of iOS8 in 2014. If you only submit your podcast to one directory, it should be iTunes.

Here are instructions.

2. Google Play Music
According to this year’s Techsurvey13, 28% of North Americans have listened to a podcast in the last month, while 48% have never listened to a podcast. Many of us in the podcasting space believe that podcast listening will see a huge jump when Google fully embraces the medium and starts shipping Android phones with a pre-installed podcasts app like Apple does. Unfortunately, there’s no telling when that may happen.

There was a glimmer of hope last year when Google incorporated podcasts into their Google Play Music app. While this app isn’t responsible for anywhere near the amount of listening as the Apple Podcasts app, you’ll want your podcast in it just in case Google suddenly decides to embrace podcasting.

Submit your podcast here.

3. Stitcher
When the Stitcher mobile app was acquired by Scripps in 2016, it was the second largest source of podcast listening behind Apple — though it was a very very very distant second. Take a few minutes to submit your RSS feed to the Stitcher directory.

Get more info here.

4. TuneIn
TuneIn’s bread and butter is streaming radio, not podcasts. But it’s the default app for the audio on the Amazon Echo, so if your listeners say “Alexa, play the WKRP podcast,” you’ll increase the chances of it being found if you’ve submitted your RSS feed to the TuneIn directory.

Submit your podcast here.

5. iHeartRadio
iHeartMedia got serious about podcasting when they hired Chris Peterson, a smart guy with experience at The Blaze, TuneIn, and in terrestrial radio. Chris, who was on our Executive Roundtable panel at this year’s Podcast Movement conference, is leading an effort to turn iHeartRadio into a directory that provides podcasters with analytics.

Submit your podcast here.

6. Spotify
Spotify has quietly been making moves that suggest it wants to become a player in the podcasting space. At the moment, submission to the Spotify directory doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get into the app, but it’s worth a try. Plus, you’ll want to be there if and when they do fully embrace podcasting.

Ask Spotify to consider your podcast here.

Also: Post a Direct Link to Your RSS Feed
It’s also wise to include a direct link to your podcast’s RSS feed on your website. This allows experienced podcast listeners to manually subscribe in the podcast app of their choice or in any other manner they choose.

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