Category Archives: October 2016

Scholarship Winner Highlight: Heather Irvine

Heather Irvine at the Boston Marathon, 2016.

Your contributions to the MABF help students to realize their dreams! Here, one recent scholarship winner shares her experiences and goals for the future. Learn more about the MABF Scholarship program here and help to support these scholarship programs by donating here.

Heather Irvine is the proud recipient of the MAB Foundation Broadcasting Scholarship and is continuing her educational journey at Eastern Michigan University. Read on to learn more about Heather and why she loves broadcasting…

Current school and expected year of graduation:
Eastern Michigan University – April 2017

Name of scholarship you received and year it was received:
MAB Foundation – Broadcasting Scholarship in Spring 2016

What made you want to pursue broadcasting as a career?
I’ve been a lifetime listener and a fan of National Public Radio and want to be a part of their legacy and purpose.

What is your favorite class you have taken in school so far and why?
If I have to name one class I believe it would be Advanced Television Production. I had some truly talented classmates that I learned a lot from while learning key elements in creating a production. It is an absolute team effort. We were able to use green screen technology and made some fun little films. It was very rewarding.

How has the MAB Foundation helped you in your educational journey?
This November (next month) I will be able to join my classmates for the New York Venture excursion. I will earn two credits while exploring New York, seeing live and recorded productions and taking part in other relevant activities. I told myself that if I earned the MAB scholarship I would use it for this incredible learning experience. I would otherwise not have been able to afford it. What a wonderful way to cap off my education!

More about Heather:

I want to work for NPR (or one of the many programs that can be found on NPR such as This American Life, The Moth, Snap Judgement or Wait. . Wait. . Don’t Tell Me). There hasn’t been a single semester that I wasn’t going to school AND training for a marathon or other running event – until this semester. I’m having to concentrate all of my time and funds into paying for credits at this point. I miss my fall marathon, I really feel my training makes me a better student. Although I still run, I’ve exchanged my marathon time for working with my peers on film projects (the Ypsi 24-Hour Film Competition, among others).

I am trying to surround myself with those that are better than me. I am a very hard worker and have a lot of life experience but being around these young people is inspiring. I must continue to work with them as long as they will have me.

Stage 2 Forward Auction Ends; Stage 3 Announced

fcc-logo_dark-blueThe Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that Stage 2 of the forward spectrum auction closed after only one round of bidding. This round generated bids of $22 billion, well short of the target of $56.5 billion for 114 MHZ.

The FCC said on its auction website: “Bidding in the forward auction has concluded for Stage 2 without meeting the final stage rule and without meeting the conditions to trigger an extended round. The incentive auction will continue with Stage 3 at a lower clearing target.”

On October 25, the FCC announced that the third stage of the reverse portion of the FCC’s broadcast incentive auction will begin November 1 at a 108 MHz clearing target.  According to Broadcasting and Cable, “the less spectrum the FCC reclaims, the fewer TV stations will get the big paydays many were hoping for. The FCC has 11 different spectrum targets. If the forward auction bidders don’t cover the stage 3 price, the next target is 84 MHz, which some see as the potential equilibrium point between broadcasters’ asks and forward bidders’ offers.”

Detroit Free Press Columnist, Former Radio Sports Talker Drew Sharp Dies At 56

The Detroit Free Press has reported that columnist and former radio sports talk host drewsharp_300Drew Sharp passed away October 21 at age 56.

Sharp was a graduate of the University of Michigan in 1982 and joined the Free Press the following year.

He Initially covered high school, college and professional beats.  Sharp was promoted to a full-time columnist in January 1999.

Sharp was a host at WDFN-AM (The Fan) in Detroit in 2009 and 2010, and later was a sports host at (then) all-sports WMGC-FM in Detroit.

He is survived by his wife.  A public memorial service begins at 11 a.m. Thursday (10/27) in Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, 5631 N. Adams Rd. in Bloomfield Hills. A half-hour visitation precedes the service.

Memorial tributes can be made to Almost Home Animal Rescue League and Haven, a Southfield nonprofit, via credit card here or by mail to Post Office. Box 250602, West Bloomfield, MI 48325.

Is your Station the next “Station of the Year?”

bea_700The Broadcast Excellence Awards
Wednesday, March 8, 2017!

The Lansing Center
Lansing, MI

This awards ceremony, hosted by the MAB, gives stations a chance to come together to celebrate what we all love about broadcasting-sharing stories that help our local communities. Gather your Community Involvement, Newscast, Sportscast, Investigative Stories entries and more, and get ready to celebrate your station and mingle with others at this most anticipated yearly event!

The 2016 Broadcast Excellence Awards are quickly approaching. The due date for all entries is January 13, 2017. Production and broadcast for all entries must have occurred between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016. Look for category information to be sent to your station soon.

Entry Fees
MAB or MAPB Member: $45 per entry
Non-Members: $90 per entry

For questions, contact Alisha Clack at 517.484.7444 or email us at [email protected].

Stay tuned for more information on the 2016 Broadcast Excellence Awards!

Changes at Midwest/Kalamazoo

Jay Morris
Jay Morris

AllAccess reports that longtime Midwest Communications Kalamazoo Brand Manager Jay Morris has left the company for a marketing manager position outside of radio.  Morris’ last day with the company was October 21.

Morris programmed WKZO-AM, WZOX-FM and WQLR-AM for the company and served as co-host of WKZO’s morning show.

Morning show co-host Jim McKinney will continue hosting solo and will take over as Brand Manager of WQLR and Assistant Program Director for WKZO.   Anthony Pollreisz will begin anchoring the news on WKZO’s morning show.

Steve Mills, the Kalamazoo cluster’s Director of Operations and Programming will add Brand Manager duties for WZOX and WKZO.  Mills joined the company in early August of this year.

From Television News to the ATF reports that WXYZ-TV (Detroit) reporter Ronnie Dahl has joined the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as its spokesperson working out of the Detroit office.

October 14 was Dahl’s last day at WXYZ-TV, where she’s worked since February 2013.  Dahl has also worked at WJBK-TV (Detroit), WUPW-TV (Toledo, OH) and WSYM-TV (Lansing). adds that Dahl wrote on her Facebook page: “I will be working out of the Detroit field office, so I will still be around!  Just helping Detroit in a different way.”

Register NOW for Chris Lytle’s Next Broadcast Sales Webinar!


How to “Talk Advertising” With Your Prospects and Customers Now

When:  Wednesday, November 16, 2016 at 1 p.m. EST

Grab your “seat” and bring your whole sales team. Invite your copywriters and production people, too.

Register HERE

Chris Lytle

Here’s why this program is important:  Everybody has an opinion about advertising. But, people who sell broadcast advertising need a philosophy of advertising.

Not just an opinion.

Face it.  Most of your salespeople don’t have degrees in advertising or marketing.

That’s troublesome.

This Webinar bridges that learning gap quickly. It’s a fast-paced, highly-detailed session.

Here are a few of the takeaways:

  • Why salespeople need to “talk advertising” and not just rates and ratings.
  • Two of the best advertising “zingers” to share right away.
  • What you say when a client says, “Nobody mentioned my ad.”
  • How to get consumers to mention their ads.
  • Five uplifting concepts to share with your customers.
  • What you need to learn from these seven “old school” advertising masters.

Chris Lytle is a best-selling author and well-travelled professional speaker.

His promise to you is a bold one: His programs contain more usable information per minute than any other learning event.

Save the date. Let him prove it.

More Lawsuits for Unauthorized Use of Photos – Even on Social Media Sites

David Oxenford - ColorBy: David Oxenford, Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP

In recent weeks, we have continued to see copyright lawsuits against broadcasters filed by photographers who allege that their photos have been used without permission. This spate of lawsuits has not been confined to filings against broadcast companies – even the Donald Trump campaign has reportedly been sued recently for his son’s tweet of a picture of a bowl of Skittles in his now-famous tweet comparing Syrian refugees to the candy treats. We have written about this issue before (see for instance our posts here and here), but what makes these issues worth writing about again is that several of the recent suits involve not just the unauthorized use of a photograph on a station’s website, but the use of photos in social media posts including tweets on Twitter and posts on Facebook. Is this really an issue?

It certainly is a concern, especially for commercial businesses. As we have written before, just because someone posts a picture on the Internet, even on a social media or photo sharing site, does not give others the right to exploit that photo, especially on a digital site of a commercial business. Posting on a social media site may give the social media site owner the right to exploit posted content consistent with their terms of use, but the person who created the content does not give up their underlying copyright in any creative work to third parties. The Skittles suit represents an instance of a photographer using copyright law to enforce these rights, apparently as he did not agree with the political sentiment expressed by the tweet in which the photo was used. But not too long ago, there was significant publicity about a lawsuit, now reportedly settled, about a New Jersey newspaper suing a cable news network because one of its personalities used a well-known 9-11 photo from the paper as the profile picture on that personality’s Facebook page – without first securing permission. But, isn’t that what these social media sites are for – sharing content?

Yes – content can be shared, but it is usually content to which the person sharing it owns the rights (e.g. vacation photos) or arguably material that is used with some degree of commentary or criticism where a fair use defense is possible (see our post here on fair use). Generally, merely posting a link to another site (which may pull in a picture used on that other site as part of the display of the link) has been seen as permissible, but note that in Europe that may be changing especially on sites that post links to other’s sites as part of a business venture, such as a search site. Even here in the US, there have been cases where there has been a problem because one site posted too much of the content from another site in connection with the posting of the link to that site, as if you post all of the important points of someone else’s article on your site, it may eliminate the need for the viewer to click on the link to go to the other site where the content creator can get credit (with advertisers or others) for the viewer’s visit to their site. Given these sensitivities, it is clear that taking a picture and posting it on a business social media feed without permission is likely to raise the hackles of a copyright owner who discovers it – as it uses their creative work for no compensation whatsoever.

So what do you do? Take your own photos and use them on your sites and in your social media is one easy answer – and many broadcasters, including radio broadcasters, have tasked their employees with taking photos of station and community events that can build up a library of images for the station to use. Plus, there are many stock photo services where, for a reasonable monthly subscription fee, you can get the rights to a whole catalog of photographs to use on your business sites. A few dollars now to subscribe to one of these services can save lots of headache (and even more dollars) later on.

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 membership.

MAB Board Profile: Stephen A. Marks

View More: News Briefs is pleased to bring you profiles of your MAB Board of Directors.

This week’s profile is Stephen A. Marks.   Stephen is 100% shareholder, President/CEO of Thunder Bay Broadcasting Corporation, which owns WBKB-TV (Alpena); Lake Superior Community Broadcasting, which operates WBUP-TV (Ishpeming/Marquette) and WBKP-TV (Calumet); Houghton Community Broadcasting, which operates WOLV-FM, WHKB-FM, and WCCY-AM (Houghton); and Iron River Community Broadcasting Corporation, which operates WFER-AM and WIKB-FM (Iron River).  He also owns a number of other television and radio stations throughout the country.

Stephen started his broadcasting career at the age of 17 as a copy writer at WINX Radio in Rockville, Maryland. While there, he was able to learn enough to pass the FCC 3rd class with number 9 endorsement license test. His early career was spent in radio holding positions from marketing to management. That included working with Mutual Broadcasting Systems (MBS) in Affiliate Programming and Syndication, after graduating in 1973 from American University in Washington D.C. In 1983 he acquired 51% of Thunder Bay Broadcasting Corporation in Alpena.

Stephen has been on the MAB Board since 2013.  Prior to that, he was deeply involved with the MAB Foundation, serving on its board from 2008 through 2013, remaining an honorary board member today.  In addition, the Stephen A. Marks Foundation funds two student scholarships at the President’s Endowment Level in the MABF Founders Club.

Traffic Director Spotlight: Sarah Rousseau (Houghton Community Broadcasting, Houghton)

Nominate a Traffic Director you know!  Email Denise Weston at [email protected].

sarah-houghton_275Sarah Rousseau is Traffic Director at Houghton Community Broadcasting in Houghton, including stations WOLV-FM, WHKB-FM and WCCY-AM.

Sarah has been in traffic for over 5 years.

Q1: What is your favorite comfort food?
Sarah: Grilled cheese and tomato soup..

Q2: Which Superhero would you be, and why?
Sarah:  Storm from X-men. Who wouldn’t want to control the weather?

Q3: When I’m not working, I’d rather be …
Sarah:  Spending time with my family.

Q4: If I had the chance, I’d really like to have lunch with…
Sarah: Michelle Obama.

Q5: What’s the best advice you have ever received?
Don’t try to multitask. You do everything slower and then end up with several unfinished tasks instead of one completed one.

Q6: Tell us something about yourself that very few people know.
I love to sing, but not in front of people.