Category Archives: October 2018

Opposition Campaign to Redistricting Measures Finally Takes to the Airwaves

With over two weeks left before the November general election, opponents of the redistricting Proposal 18-2 put out the first radio ad in opposition to the measure. The ad calls Proposal 2 a “complicated confusing mess” that “will cost you an insane amount of money.”

Proposal 2 would create a citizen’s commission to draw district lines for the Legislature and the Congress. The one minute ad was released to go statewide on radio stations.

A recent analysis from the Senate Fiscal Agency (SFA) estimated the cost for the commission to complete its tasks at $4 million. The proposal also says the commissioners will be paid at least 25 percent of the governor’s salary, which the SFA estimated to be slightly less than $40,000. The proposal also requires that once a districting map is completed the commission expires.

FCC Seeks Comments on Reimbursable Repacking Expenses for LPTV, TV Translators, and FM Radio

David Oxenford - Color
David Oxenford

By: David Oxenford, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP

On October 22, the FCC released a Public Notice asking for comments on a “Catalog of Expenses” that would be reimbursed to licensees of LPTV and TV translator stations, as well as FM broadcasters, who are impacted by the repacking of the TV spectrum following the TV incentive auction. We wrote here about the FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking looking to establish rules for that reimbursement process (note that reply comments in that proceeding are due October 26). What this Notice does is put out for review the FCC’s best guess as to what it would cost to accomplish certain tasks caused by the repacking – whether it would be for replacement equipment or necessary professional services. The Catalog sets out an expected price range. If a licensee’s costs fall outside the estimated price range, before any reimbursement could be made, additional documentation and justification would be required.

Thus, these estimates are important to ease the reimbursement process. Any licensees who are likely to have to rely on this reimbursement should review the estimates and comment if they think that the FCC has missed the mark. Comments are due by November 21, with replies due December 6.

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 MAB membership.

10 Tactics Diary Markets Can Steal From PPM Markets

Gary Berkowitz

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: Gary Berkowitz
Berkowitz Broadcast Consulting

There are many lessons diary markets can learn from PPM markets, which measure actual listening versus perceived (diary) listening. With that in mind, please consider these key points that, if implemented properly, could be the key to higher ratings this fall.

Music in the morning counts. There are only a handful of personalities who can do content that is better than an extra song. For many years, we believed that “bits” in the morning were more important than music. PPM has quickly taught us this is not the case. If you are a music station, make sure you are playing at least eight to 10 songs an hour in the morning.

8 a.m. – 4 p.m. is the “sweet spot” for adult-driven stations. In PPM markets, if you do not get the major share of listening here, you will not get it at all. This means your morning show should be winding down non-music elements by 8 a.m. as you get into a more music mode. Many ACs (in PPM markets) have dropped the 8 a.m. information package.

TSL is all about adding “occasions of listening.” Sure, song to song is important, but not nearly as critical as increasing occasions of listening. This has always been the case (in diary markets), but we see it’s more so in PPM markets. How do you increase occasions? Read the next few points.

Tactical contesting is back, and not surprisingly, cash is king! In most PPM markets, cash is proving to be a very strong tactic for increasing occasions. If it works with PPM, why wouldn’t it in diary-based markets? How much moves the meter? Call me and I’ll share the answer with you.

Commercial-free hours work. Again, it’s a great way to increase the occasions of listening.

No surprise here: too much DJ banter is a tuneout. Yes, DJs are important. They need to be warm, friendly, and inviting, but on a music station, listeners are coming for the music, so keep the DJs tight and to the point. Your jocks need to be “companions” to your listeners.

When the music starts, keep it going with very little interruption. ID and image, yes, but do it quickly, and always let the listener know the music is not stopping.

There is substantial tuneout when spots come on. In addition, PPM is teaching us that listeners appear to have a “second sense” for when we are about to stop for spots. I refer to it as the “Pavlov’s dog theory.” When they hear the jock doing a typical back-sell and station or sales promo, they know you are about to stop the music, and tuneout comes even quicker.

Get back to the music as soon as possible. Once the stopset is over, get back to the music quickly.

Listener availability is not always there 7 p.m. – midnight. Many PPM-market ACs are struggling with this, as they were used to huge night numbers in diary. PPM is showing us that AC listeners don’t listen from 7-12 in the evening. Take advantage of that in diary markets.

In conclusion: Yes, there are differences between PPM and diary measurement, but there is a lot to be learned from a system that measures actual listening and behavior. PPM is clearly illustrating that listeners want a music-heavy radio station that does not interrupt too much. When it comes to non-music elements, use moderation. Jocks, yes, but keep them tight and moving. Contesting, yes, but make sure you are offering something that interests listeners. Information, yes, but keep it short and to the point.

Gary Berkowitz is President of Detroit based Berkowitz Broadcast Consulting, specializing in ratings improvement for AC radio stations.

How to Use RSS Feeds to Keep Up on Radio Industry News

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 am a big fan of using RSS feeds to pull news from all of your favorite websites into a single place where it’s easy to skim. In the past, I have written about how radio DJs can use RSS feeds to build their own custom show prep service. Other folks in the radio industry can also use the same technique to keep up on what’s happening in their profession.

I like to think of RSS feeds as pipes for information. If a website has an RSS feed — and most news sites and blogs do; some offer several feeds — then you can subscribe to it and import that information into another location. The most common place to import this information is into an RSS reader. An RSS reader allows you to subscribe to multiple RSS feeds where you can easily scan the imported information to find the stuff you want to read. It’s like a build-your-own newspaper!

There are a number of RSS readers out there. I use Feedly. In my Feedly account, I have subscribed to the RSS feeds of numerous websites and organized them into different folders. For example, I have a folder for radio industry websites like Radio Ink, Radio World, and All Access. I have a folder for online marketing websites like Social Media Examiner, the Content Marketing Institute, and Hubspot. Different types of radio employees will obviously want to keep up on different sources; what interests an engineer might not interest a promotions director. But, of course, everybody will want to subscribe to the Jacobs Media blog. Here’s the RSS feed:

I also include RSS feeds from Google Alerts in my RSS Reader.

A peak at my Feedly RSS reader account.

Every morning, I take a few minutes to open up my RSS reader and scan through the day’s news. I also have my RSS reader’s mobile app installed on my phone so I can keep up with what’s going on when I’m standing in line at Starbucks or I’m stuck in the waiting room at my dentist’s office.|

In addition to making it easy to keep up with the latest news, my RSS reader also makes it easy for me to find stories to share on social media. If you’re required to post to your station’s social media accounts frequently, combining an RSS reader with a social media management tool — I use Hootsuite’s Hootlet — can make your job a lot easier. (Here’s more information on the type of information on the type of content you’ll want to share.)

RSS feeds are a great way to pull information from multiple sources into a single location, and they can help you stay informed.

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

MAPB/APTS/MAB Join forces at Emergency Managers Conference

On October 22, 23 and 24, the MAPB attended the International Association of Emergency Managers Conference in Grand Rapids to talk to emergency managers about the advantages of datacasting to supplement a program called “FirstNet,” which is currently being rolled out nationwide by AT&T.

FirstNet is a program that gives priority traffic to First Responders on the AT&T cellular network.  Despite this priority traffic, cellular sites still suffer from congestion during times of high use as well as failures during natural disasters. In conjunction with APTS (America’s Public Television Stations) and Spectrarep, public television stations in Michigan can use a portion of their assigned bandwidth to deliver high speed data, including video, images, files and other communication to First Responders in the field.

MAPB member stations have pledged to devote bandwidth to this datacasting effort.  Michigan’s public television stations cover nearly all of the state, including rural areas not served with adequate cellular coverage.  Also Michigan’s public television stations have hardened facilities with backup power and can stay on the air when cellular service is lost.

In Grand Rapids, MAB/MAPB’s Karole White and Dan Kelley manned the booth along with Gary Reid of WKAR/MSU, Michael Walenta, formerly of WGVU Public Media, and Al Catalano, representing APTS.  All five talked to members of the emergency management community and displayed video demonstrations of the technology in the exhibit hall.

The group was happy to meet with emergency managers, especially those from Michigan, to discuss the value of a strong cooperative relationship between emergency mangers and their local broadcasters.

This will be an on-going effort.  For more information, visit

WOMC Raises $114K for Beaumont Hospital

(L-R) WOMC’s JoAnne Purtan and Stephen Clark

On September 27, Entercom’s WOMC-FM aired a 13-hour radiothon to benefit  Beaumont Children’s Hospital.   The broadcast took place from the South Tower Concourse of the hospital and was anchored by WOMC personalities Stephen Clark, JoAnne Purtan, Jim Johnson and Beau Daniels.  They were joined by special guests and other station airstaff.

More than 500 donors contributed to the radiothon, which raised money for children’s programs.  44 listeners became Miracle Makers by pledging a $20 on-going monthly donation.

Some of the initiatives that will benefit from the funding include a student robot that will allow a patient to virtually attend school classes while in the hospital, the NoBLE anti-bullying campaign, Beau plush bears given to children in Beaumont hospitals and music and pet therapies.

WCSX to Officially Unveil Bob Seger Boulevard

Beasley Media Group’s WCSX-FM (Detroit) and the City of Allen Park will officially unveil Bob Seger Boulevard at 6:00 p.m. on Friday October 19, 2018.

A stage will be set up at Allen Park City Hall (located at 15915 Southfield Road in Allen Park, Michigan) from 4 p.m.-6 p.m. Festivities will include a special performance by a Bob Seger tribute band as well as a video screen featuring fans & celebrities congratulating the rock legend!

The Big Jim’s House Morning Show has been on a six-month mission to honor the Detroit Rock legend and native with a street named after him.


Jacobs Media’s Techsurvey 2019 Launches in January

Stations can sign up now for what may be the largest survey about technology ever conducted for radio.

Jacobs Media has announced that registration is open for radio stations to participate in Techsurvey 2019. Last year’s survey broke ground once again in the annual series that began in 2005. Overall, more than 560 radio stations across North America, representing a diverse group of broadcasting companies, contributed more than 64,000 respondents to radio’s largest web survey devoted to media and technology.

Fourteen different formats were represented, helping programmers and managers focus their efforts and resources on what is truly important for their listeners. Techsurvey 2019 will provide even more insights as Jacobs Media tracks media usage and tech trends.
According to Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs, “The data from early this year in Techsurvey 2018 was revealing, providing broadcasters with a unique look at their audiences. The continued growth of digital platforms, the emotional triggers that make broadcast radio unique across different generations, podcasting and smart speakers were all areas that provided great guidance to help the industry better understand the shifting media landscape. Techsurvey 2019 will be even bigger and better.”

This year’s study will launch in early January. Stations have until December 21st to sign up:

Techsurvey 2019 will again feature trending so broadcasters can track the changes that occur with audience usage and habits from year-to-year, as well as deeper dives into the following areas:

  • Further examination of how generations impact behaviors and media choices
  • Smart speakers, the voice revolution, and how radio broadcasters can take advantage of this opportunity
  • An even more detailed look at the state of podcasting – who’s participating, how they’re used, and what types of podcasts they prefer
  • Social media growth – specifically, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat – and how stations can best participate in this space
  • Use of Internet radio, from station streams to Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Apple Music and others
  • The explosive impact of video games – who’s playing them and how radio broadcasters can take advantage of this trend
  • How listeners connect with stations utilizing streams, websites, social media, podcasts, etc.
  • Connected cars (and future autonomous cars), and their impact on media consumption and driving
  • How smart mobility will change the way consumers go from Point A to Point B – and why it matters to radio
  • The continued growth of mobile phones, tablets, and apps
  • Trending on smartwatches, a platform showing signs of growth
  • The cord-cutting mindset and customization of entertainment
  • The changing world of new music discovery

The public release of Techsurvey 2019 will premiere at the Worldwide Radio Summit in Burbank, CA, on March 28th, 2019.

Stations can participate in two different ways:

  1. No fee – This allows participation in the results webinar, along with receiving national data
  2. A small fee based on market size – Stakeholder stations receive all the national data, participation in the webinar, as well as an in-depth look at their unique audience, their format’s audience, including their station’s “Media Usage Pyramid” and “Brand Platform Pyramid.

Broadcasters can sign up online at and/or contact Lisa Riker at Jacobs Media for more information: 248-353-9030 or l[email protected].

WJRT-TV Celebrates 60 Years

On October 12, WJRT-TV (Flint) celebrated 60 years of service to the Flint/Saginaw/Bay City market.  The station signed on in 1958, after a prolonged fight between four applicants for the channel.  The Goodwill Stations, then owners of WJR-AM (Detroit) was the winning applicant.

The station has been an ABC affiliate since day one, and was owned by the network at one point in its history.  The station is currently owned by Gray Television.

See a video retrospect on the station’s history here.

Detroit Morning Icon Mike Clark Passes at 63

The MAB is sad to report the passing of longtime WRIF-FM (Detroit) morning co-host Mike Clark.  

He died at his home in Bloomfield Township. The cause of death was not noted in a post published this past Tuesday, October 16, on Clark’s official Facebook page.

“Drew and Mike” ran from 1991 to 2013 on WRIF-FM and was one of the market’s top morning radio program thanks to the duo’s edgy, locally flavored humor. Clark reunited with Drew Lane in 2016 for a daily podcast,

In a story published in the Detroit Free Press, it was noted that Clark was a former emergency medical technician working for Michigan Consolidated Gas “when he made his first inroads on Detroit radio, enlisted by a friend at WRIF for spots with then-morning jock Ken Calvert.”  Clark started full-time in radio at age 37.

WRIF has set up a Mike Clark tribute page on their website with some audio and video clips of the “Drew and Mike” show here.