Via Michigan State Police Contact: Ms. Lori Dougovito, MSP Public Affairs, 517-284-3223
The Michigan State Police (MSP) is changing the criteria for issuing an AMBER Alert in Michigan, the emergency response system that disseminates information about a missing child.
Effective, January 1, 2017, AMBER Alerts will only be issued for cases of child abductions, involving victims under the age of 18, but all AMBER Alerts will receive a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA). A vehicle license plate number is no longer required for a WEA.
Previously, in addition to abducted children, AMBER Alerts were authorized for missing children with severe mental or physical disabilities who wandered away and were unable to care for themselves.
“Any time a child goes missing, it’s an urgent situation and we should all pay attention; however, in the case of child abductions the urgency is even greater,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP. “By tightening the standards for issuing an AMBER Alert we will ensure these alerts are utilized in only the most dire of circumstances to get credible, useful information out to the public in order to bring abducted children home safely.”
Missing child cases that don’t meet the revised AMBER Alert criteria will be eligible for a new notification called an Endangered Missing Advisory, for which there is no age restriction. The Endangered Missing Advisory is a notice sent to broadcast and print media in the geographic area of the incident, but unlike an AMBER Alert, this advisory does not utilize the Emergency Alert System to interrupt broadcasting and it will not be sent to mobile devices as a WEA.
Michigan’s AMBER Alert is a partnership among the MSP, Michigan Association of Broadcasters, Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, Michigan Sheriff’s Association and Michigan Department of Transportation.
On December 12, longtime WLNS-TV news anchor Jane Aldrich was honored by the Lansing City Council in a surprise presentation during the council’s regular meeting.
According to a post by Aldrich on Facebook, she was asked to drop by the meeting by WLNS News Director Jam Sardar under the guise of delivering an extra battery to a photojournalist who was already on site.
The Lansing City Council proclaimed Monday, December 12 “Jane Aldrich Day” in Lansing.
Aldrich announced her retirement in October and will leave the station in Mid-January. Here’s a short video and retrospective from WLNS-TV Photographer Dan Ray:
Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism announced (12/15) that Michigan Radio is a winner of a prestigious 2017 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for the documentary, Not Safe to Drink.
The Not Safe To Drink documentary traced the story of the Flint water crisis, and how the water in Flint became unsafe to drink. The documentary first aired on Michigan Radio in December, 2015. Not Safe to Drink was reported and produced by Lindsey Smith and edited by Sarah Hulett, with reporting help from Michigan Radio‘s Steve Carmody, Rebecca Williams and Mark Brush.
Michigan Radio was one of four public broadcasting duPont-Columbia award winners nationwide, which also included the PBS programs Frontline and Nova, and NPR/Colorado Public Radio for their joint exposé on the Army’s mistreatment of disabled veterans.
“Now more than ever, reliable news and information are critical to our society,” said Bill Wheatley, the chairman of this year’s awards jury. “In their 75th year, the duPont Awards continue to recognize the vital contributions to public knowledge made by free, fair and probing journalists.”
Since the founding in 1942, the duPont Awards have honored accurate and fair reporting about important issues that are powerfully told. In 2017, the duPont-Columbia Awards will celebrate their 75th anniversary with special events featuring distinguished past winners and award-winning reporting in the public service, including Ira Glass, of This American Life and past winner of four duPonts, and a tribute to the late Gwen Ifill, PBS news anchor.
The duPont Awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday, January 25, 2017, at Columbia University, co-hosted by Lester Holt, anchor of NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt and Dateline, and Jane Pauley, host of CBS News Sunday Morning.
Be it just a one sheet with your latest sales promotion or a full color brochure, if you haven’t met with a person, why would you ever leave your company’s literature behind? Worse, most sales people will enter this hit and run as a “sales call.” It’s not.
Selling is Personal
The sales process is personal. You can’t phone it in or email it in. You have to get in front of the person you want to tell your story to. And if after you’re finished, if the person would like some more information, you can give them one of your brochures.
I remember the time I returned from a sales call with one of my radio reps. When I entered the building, my receptionist said there had been a copier salesman who wanted to see me stop in. She said, “I told him you were out of the building.” Then she said “he left you his literature.”
I looked at this very expensive full color brochure on copiers and sadly tossed it into the trash can; the “circular file.”
What a waste of money I thought. Only the previous week, we had just signed a new long-term lease on a copier and we were now out of the market for several years.
I wonder how many calls like the one he made on me would be written down on his sales call sheet. That’s not selling.
When you do get in front of a person the words you use matter. David Letterman once asked long-time White House reporter Helen Thomas who she liked in the upcoming election and she replied “I don’t like any of them.”
David was really asking who she thought would be elected president but Helen thought she was being asked who she personally liked.
In Atlantic City, the program director on my music radio station asked if he could ask one question on our survey being sent out by the sales department to our listeners. The question seemed straightforward: “What’s your favorite song?” The program director of this music station was hoping that listeners would give him songs he might consider programming on our beautiful music station. The sales department was seeking qualitative future purchasing information from our listeners.
What my program director got back was a list of songs that could never be programmed on the same radio station, let alone our beautiful music station. The problem was the question didn’t ask what songs you would like hear on our station, but merely what your favorite song was. Taken out of context, the songs people wrote down were quite diverse.
What Are You Really Selling?
If you’re in radio sales and you think you’re selling advertising, you might be wrong.
What do lawyers, doctors and accountants sell? Legal advice, medical care and financial expertise? And how do you know if it’s any good? Most of us can’t answer that question. But what we can tell you is if we feel comfortable in the presence of one of these people. We can sense if the relationship feels good if our questions are answered honestly, our phone calls or emails are returned quickly and if we leave with a feeling that we are valued.
Radio sales are a professional service that is built on relationships.
People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.
And you will never build a relationship with anyone by leaving your literature.
Reprinted by permission.
Dick Taylor has been “Radio Guy” all his life and is currently a professor of broadcasting at the School of Journalism & Broadcasting at Western Kentucky University (WKU) in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Dick shares his thoughts on radio and media frequenty at https://dicktaylorblog.com.
The CommLawBlog reports that most radio stations located in large markets, which have been defined by the Commission in this instance, to be the Nielsen Top-50 radio markets, will need to make sure that they have their online public files completely uploaded by December 24, 2016.
Back on June 24, 2016, full-power radio stations in the Nielsen Top-50 radio markets with 5 or more full-time employees in their employment unit (as that term is defined in the FCC’s EEO rules) were required to begin uploading virtually all public file documents to a Commission-hosted database on a going-forward basis. The exception to that rule was that stations were allowed to continue maintaining correspondence from the public in a paper file.
Now the second half of the requirement is about to kick in, as stations must upload public file documents which pre-date June 24, 2016 and that process must be completed by December 24. Exceptions to this requirement are the political file, which needs to be uploaded on a going-forward basis only and, again correspondence from the public.
Smaller Markets Take Note:
The blog reminds other stations that Beginning March 1, 2018, the online radio requirements will apply to full-power radio stations located outside the top-50 markets and small stations in all markets.
Unlike the first group of stations, there will not be a phase-in period, but rather almost all public file documents, including documents from earlier in the license term and going-forward documents, will be required to be posted online by March 1, 2018. Exceptions are that the political file needs be uploaded on a going-forward basis only and political file documents from prior to March 1, 2018 may be retained in a paper file for the remainder of their retention period. Additionally, letters from the public need not be uploaded but must be retained in paper format.
On December 15, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced that he intends to leave the agency on January 20, 2017. Wheeler has been head of the Commission for more than three years.
He issued the following statement:
“Serving as FCC chairman during this period of historic technological change has been the greatest honor of my professional life. I am deeply grateful to the president for giving me this opportunity. I am especially thankful to the talented commission staff for their service and sacrifice during my tenure. Their achievements have contributed to a thriving communications sector, where robust investment and world-leading innovation continue to drive our economy and meaningful improvements in the lives of the American people. It has been a privilege to work with my fellow commissioners to help protect consumers, strengthen public safety and cybersecurity and ensure fast, fair and open networks for all Americans.”
On December 8 and 9, CBS Radio’s WYCD-FM (Detroit) held its 16th Annual “99.5 WYCD Country Cares for St. Jude Kids Radiothon,” raising $551,272!
The radiothon was held at Art Van Furniture in Warren.
Several donations were dedicated to WYCD ‘s Linda Lee, who was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in late summer. Lee called in during the radiothon, urging listeners to pledge $20 per month to St. Jude.
MacDonald Broadcasting’s WKCQ-FM (Saginaw) is helping area families in need celebrate Christmas this year with “98 KCQ Dreamakers.” WKCQ’s Jim Kramer and the Q Morning Crew are airing stories of ten Saginaw families, once each day, and asking listeners to call in and help those families in need with donation of a specific gift or gift card.
The families that were chosen were researched and submitted by non-profit, church and service organizations in Saginaw, Bay, Midland, Genesee County and the Thumb Area.
Co-sponsoring the Dreamakers project is Wildfire Credit Union.
More information is available on the station’s website here.
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
Your radio station has a website — but why? What is the website for? How does it fit into your radio station’s overall strategy? What do you want listeners to do when they come to your website?
It’s important for radio broadcasters to step back and think about these questions. If the best answers you can come up with are, “because everybody has a website,” or “because listeners expect it,” or “because branding,” then it’s time to sit down and articulate some better responses.
What do you want listeners to do when they come to your website? Ultimately, you want listeners to do something that impacts the station’s bottom line when they visit. With that in mind, here are some possible goals for your radio station’s website:
1. Stream the Station
You probably want listeners to, y’know…listen. After all, when they stream the station through your website, that counts towards your Nielsen ratings and your ratings directly impact the bottom line.
2. Sign Up for the Email List
We no longer live in a world where advertisers just want to reach a lot of consumers; now, they want to reach the right consumers. Digital outlets like Facebook and Google have a ton of data that allow advertisers to target people precisely. To stay competitive, radio stations need to be gathering data on their listeners as well (and not just relying on the data they get from Nielsen).
Data gathering starts by capturing email addresses. Sometimes you’ll be able to capture other information at the same time, sometimes you’ll have to re-engage with listeners later to capture more data. But once you’ve got a listener’s email address, your station is in a position to go back for more later. So one of the key goals of your website should be encouraging people to sign up for your radio station’s email list.
3. Enter a Contest
Contests are a great way to capture listeners’ data and build your station’s email list. Contests can also be used to encourage listeners to create online content (photos, videos, etc.) that can be used to share on social media and attract more visitors to your station’s website. Getting contest entries should be a key goal of your radio station’s website.
4. Click on an Ad
If your radio station generates revenue by getting listeners to click on (or view) ads, then this should be one of the stated goals of your website.
5. Buy Tickets to a Station Event
Many radio stations generate revenue through events — both by selling tickets and sponsorships. The more people that attend the event, the more revenue the station can make. So ticket sales is a key goal of the station’s website.
6. Buy Station Merchandise
If your radio station generates revenue by selling t-shirts, hats, or lunch boxes, this should be one of the explicit goals of the website.
7. Download the Station’s Mobile App
If you have a mobile app that allows you to drive listening (and ratings) or generate revenue directly from the app, then the number of downloads can impact the station’s bottom line. Use your website to encourage mobile app downloads.
8. Request Advertising Information
Many radio stations overlook the fact that their website can generate sales leads. But if an email or a phone call from a potential client comes in via the website, it can be worth tens of thousands of dollars. One of the goals of your radio station’s website should be to generate leads for the sales team.
A few notes on your station’s website goals:
A Website Can Have Multiple Goals…
There’s no rule that says your website can only have one goal. There may be multiple things that you would like listeners to do when they come to the website.
…But, Some Goals Are Worth More Than Others
All of your website’s goals should ultimately impact the station’s bottom line, but that doesn’t mean they’ll impact it equally. When you sell a concert ticket, the station may make $40 profit, while an advertising lead may generate $5,000 profit. Know the goals, but also know their value.
Just Because You Can Measure Something, That Doesn’t Mean It’s a Goal
Notice what’s not on the list of goals for your radio station’s website: Facebook likes, retweets, pageviews, email open rates, etc. These are all good stats to track, and they can help inform your decisions as you try to increase your website goal conversions, but that doesn’t mean they are important in and of themselves. They are a means to an end, not the end. Limit your explicit goals to the things that directly impact the station’s bottom line and don’t get distracted by other data points.
Everybody Should Agree on the Website’s Goals
In every radio station that I’ve ever worked in, there has been tension between the programming department and the sales department. That’s because the two departments have different goals: one is focused on ratings, the other on revenue. Most of the time, those two goals go hand in hand, but sometimes they don’t and that’s when issues arise.
Don’t make the same mistake with your digital strategy. Everybody — from the DJs to the digital team to the Program Director to the General Manager — should agree on what the goals of the radio station’s website are. If two people are looking at the same data and drawing different conclusions, you’re setting your station up for internal strife.
Review the Analytics Regularly
It’s not enough to define the goals of your website; you also want to sit down regularly and see how well you’re achieving those goals. I encourage radio stations to conduct a weekly website meetings to do this.
If your station hasn’t taken the time to explicitly define the goals of its website, get the appropriate personnel together and do this. Once you’ve decided what they are, type them up and post them where everybody can see them. You’re digital strategy will go farther if everybody is on the same page.
For more assistance on digital or social media, contact MAB Member Services at [email protected] or 1-800-968-7622.