Tag Archives: Issue 140

The Leadership Lie

Tim Moore

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: Tim Moore,
Managing Partner
Audience Development Group

Tim Moore will be speaking at the Great Lakes Media Show, NEXT WEEK (March 5-6, 2019) in Lansing.  For more information and to register, click here.

Campaigns have been lost because field leaders demurred. Some Radio companies suffocate because a few managers insist on running around issuing insensate commands, spewing forth edicts. Financial stress may lead to added “systems” everywhere; manuals, rules and a handful of people at the top charged with inventing new ones.

“What I want is someone who’ll do exactly what I tell them to,” said a guy recently dismissed from a northwest regional corporate group. Another recently overheard at a conference admitted, “I need someone who will work for less.” Still others infer they really only want a department head that will follow the bread crumbs, show up on time and doesn’t give them any grief. So we ask, if this is what a company really wants, how do we explain the true stars of a company who don’t abide by these invectives?

How come the people who rise through promotions that include expense accounts and privileges are lured away by other broadcast companies, only to be written up in the trades, and who may ultimately have attendants and a catered lunch?

What a great leader really wants is an “artist” in their role; someone who can change everything and make dreams reality for his or her teammates. What leaders really want is a difference-maker. Failing that, of course they’ll settle for an inexpensive drone. So many people in and outside media have been conditioned to be a replaceable part in a large machine. They’ve been taught to care-but not that much-about their job, your listeners or your Ad clients. Often, they’ve been repeatedly messaged to “just fit in.”

At the top of the pyramid for Radio’s corporate model are those leaders who knowingly or not, possess high scores on the ADG Temperament Traits index. Expressiveness: the effort to go beyond boiler plate communication (written or verbal) to articulate a goal and the method for reaching it. Balanced Dominance: those who’ve read military history know General Patton was an all-out “driver,” never unsure about a battle objective. But history documents Admiral Nimitz, (less celebrated because he never sought celebration) was even more effective in his leadership style. Empathy: never to be confused with “sympathy,” the leader practicing empathy understands differences among people, flexing just enough to exploit their strengths while minimizing their shortfalls. Intuition: it may seem natural, even comfortable to live the life of the worker-bee but in fact it’s relatively recent in our culture and is totally manmade, yet so predictable that when we see someone off that grid we view them as an outlier!

Over the last decade in Broadcasting among other fields, it has become increasingly clear those staff members, talent or sales people, who reject the worst of a tired and stale routine are far more likely to succeed! We’ve been trained to believe mediocre obedience is something in-born; genetic in most who seek a career in or outside media. But science points out the trait of “implied obedience” doesn’t even show up or take root until after several years of schooling.

If you’re compelled to break out of a traditional worn out pattern of leadership, stop acting the part. You get what you focus on and you are what your results say you are. So if you decide to take the high ground through brave and artistic leadership, the rising tide of esprit de corps is a certainty…and so are the results.

Tim Moore is Managing Partner of Audience Development Group, based in Grand Rapids, MI and Naples, FL.  Moore thrives on innovating, and the road not taken. At 29, he became Vice President for the TM Companies (Dallas), and shortly thereafter, was awarded executive VP stripes, overseeing both TM Productions and TM Programming for Roy Disney’s parent ownership, Shamrock Broadcasting.

From there Moore began buying radio stations at age 33. Building formats from the ground-up, each station became ratings and revenue success stories. In the mid 90’s he formally established Audience Development Group with colleague Alan Mason, resurrecting a name he and Jon Coleman had intended for a research company, while colleagues at TM.

With consolidation, Audience Development Group’s business plan calling for a “Mayo Clinic” cluster-approach with expertise in multiple formats resulted in a highly successful national reputation, strategically positioned to provide cluster guidance for multiple formats in markets of all sizes.

In 2004, Moore’s book The Motivator, a collection of leadership essays was widely read and endorsed by the Radio Advertising Bureau. He also authors the firm’s weekly E-Column Midweek Motivator, distributed to thousands of media readers each week.

Tim lives in Naples, Florida, travels coast to coast, and has addressed the NAB, RAB, Canadian Broadcasters, Conclave and countless state associations. He holds a degree in Broadcast and Cinematic Arts from CMU, and is a U.S. Navy veteran.

8 Different Revenue Streams Provided by Podcasts

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

There’s no doubt, podcasting’s hot right now. Conan O’Brien has a new podcast! Maria Shriver has a new podcast! Ron Burgundy has a podcast, and he’s not even a real person! It feels like everybody has a podcast and soon, everybody will have a podcast network, too. Hubbard invested in PodcastOne while Entercom put money into Cadence13. iHeartRadio bought How Stuff Works for $50 million and Spotify, not to be outdone, bought Gimlet for a rumored $230 million.

With so many radio companies looking to put cash in to podcasting, it’s a good time to look at how a radio company can get money back out of podcasting. There are a number of different revenue channels at the moment, but they’re not all equal. And their relative importance may shift over time.

Let’s take a look:

1. Advertising / Sponsorship
The vast majority of money revenue generated in the podcasting space right now is made through advertisements. While podcast ads differ in format from radio ads, the concept is basically the same: interrupt audio that people do want to hear with promotional messages that they probably don’t. That’s why Seth Godin calls this traditional method of advertising “interruption marketing.”

While the advertising model is working at the moment, I have reservations about it in the long run. For starters, I can fast-forward through ads with my podcatcher — that’s fancy lingo for a “podcast listening app” — in a way that I can’t with my radio.

Moreover, for a podcast to see serious advertising dollars, it needs to get enough downloads. Some say the magic number is 5,000 downloads per episode, while other advertisers insist on 50,000. Only a small percentage of the 600,000+ podcasts in existence hit these numbers.

There’s also a question of whether programmatic ads will eventually become the norm in podcasts and what effect that will have on CPMs. I suspect that it will, and that this will drive CPMs down, meaning that a podcast will soon need more listeners or more ads — or both! — to generate the same amount of revenue.

The advertising model might work better for radio companies with large enough footprints to launch national podcasts, such as iHeartRadio, NPR or Westwood One. For smaller, regional broadcasters, alternative revenue models may make more sense.

2. Subscriptions
Podcasters can put some of their content behind a paywall. There are various different ways to do this. Some podcasters make their recent episodes available for free but require a subscription to access their back catalog. Others offer ad-free versions of their podcast with a paid subscription. And others offer bonus content to paying customers. There is no one-size-fits-all model for podcast subscriptions, and in a world where everybody from Netflix to Audible to The New York Times is charging a small monthly fee, there are legitimate questions about how many subscriptions the average consumer is willing to pay for.

3. Intellectual Property
Writing Guide for StudentsIncreasingly, podcasts are getting turned into properties for other mediums. 2 Dope Queens, StartUp, Lore, Dirty John, Homecoming, Serial, Crimetown, Atlanta Monster and more have all spawned television shows. At CES this year, a panelist in one podcasting session predicted that in the coming years, we will see a quarter of all television shows and movies being developed out of podcasts. (I guess there’s a limit to how many times you can relaunch the Spider-man and Batman franchises.) As a result, this panelist predicted a boom in scripted podcasts, with the hope that the hits would find a profit in the licensing of intellectual property rights.

It’s not just TV, though. Grammar Girl‘s Mignon Fogarty has parlayed her hit podcast into a podcast network which in turn produced a number of books.

4. Events
Increasingly, podcasters are touring behind their shows. My Favorite Murder, Pod Save America and Smodcast are just a few of the shows that generate revenue from ticket sales. Of course, not all podcasts lend themselves to live events. It’s hard to see how a podcast in the mold of This American Life-style storytelling journalism could be recorded in front of an audience; it simply requires a level of research, storyboarding and pre- and post-production that isn’t compatible with a live studio audience.

Moreover, as anybody who’s ever produced a radio station concert knows, events are hard work and take a lot of time. This is not a revenue option for the faint of heart.

5. Merchandise
While t-shirts, hats and keychains might make some ancillary cash, it’s hard to see how this becomes a major stream of revenue for most podcasters.

6. Content Marketing
Many podcasters are actually podcasters second; they use podcasting a means of promoting their primary good or service. For example, a lawyer might produce a legal podcast as a means of attracting new clients.

More and more, you are starting to see movies and television shows come with an accompanying podcast as a way to further engage with fans. I love NBC’s The Good Place, which has led me to listen to the accompanying podcast hosted by recurring guest star Marc Evan Jackson. This is solid content marketing.

7. Branded Podcasts
Because podcasts can be such an effective content marketing tool, some podcasters are producing podcasts for companies or other paying clients. McAfee’s Hackable, Tinder’s DTR, and Inside Trader Joe’s are examples of branded podcasts. I believe that for many radio companies, producing branded podcasts for local businesses may eventually prove to be a more reliable revenue stream than trying to consistently produce a parade of hit podcasts.

8. Individual Listener Donations
A number of podcasters make money by appealing directly to their listeners. Patreon, a service that allows podcasters and other artists to accept donations from fans, is a commonly used tool for this. In the radio industry, the closest thing we have to this is the pledge drives held by public radio stations.

9. Technology and Other Services
A number of people in the podcasting space provide services for other podcasters. Panoply, the podcasting network that spawned from Slate.com, decided to pivot away from producing content last year and transform itself into a tech company by offering a hosting platform for other enterprise podcasters. In the long run, this move may prove lucrative, as it is much easier to scale technology solutions than it is to scale hit content. Meanwhile, there’s an entire Facebook group full of podcast editors offering up their services to new podcasters. We’re also seeing podcast studios that can be rented by the hour, such as Podcast Detroit’s recording spaces or PRX’s Podcast Garage outside of Boston. For some radio companies, revenue dollars may be found in supporting podcasters, not becoming podcasters.

Most of us have spent so long working in an industry that generates revenue by selling ads that it’s tempting to focus on advertising as the only way to make money from podcasts. But it’s not the only way, and whether it’s the best way may have a lot to do with the nature of your company. The revenue models that make sense for larger broadcasters may be different than the models for smaller companies. Broadcasters that specialize in talk-based formats may have different opportunities than companies which rely heavily on music. And we all might benefit from a broader mix of streams than we rely on with our radio stations. Podcasting is still a new medium. Question any assumptions you may be carrying with you.

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

MI History Magazine Recounts WKAR-TV’s Earliest Days

By: Scott Pohl, WKAR Public Media

Credit: MSU archives

It’s been 65 years since WKAR-TV (East Lansing) went on the air as Michigan’s first non-commercial, or as it was known at the time, educational, television station.  The January-February issue of Michigan History magazine includes a story about WKAR-TV’s earliest days.

Writer Larry Stone tells WKAR’s Scott Pohl via Skype that he worked at the station in the early 1960’s. The facilities were located in steel Quonset huts originally used to house student veterans. Listen to the interview here:

LARRY STONE: It was really a challenge for a number of reasons. They were round, they did not have a flat roof, and because of the roof we were very limited in what we could do as far as lighting was concerned. The floors were uneven as far as camera moves. That was before zoom lenses were prevalent and we had to dolly and truck cameras all over the place.

They were hot in the summer and cold in the winter, a really major problem when it was raining. They were tin roofs. If it was raining the rain would make a lot of noise, and thunderstorms of course was out of the question in order to record anything or produce anything because of the shape of the huts themselves.

Credit: MSU archives

SCOTT POHL: The station was initially called WMSB-TV. Some have said that stood for Watch Michigan State Broadcasting. Is that how you remember it?

STONE: That’s how I remember it. The announcer was Charlie Castle, and he did come on the air every day and did station breaks. All the station breaks were done live, and he’d say “watch Michigan State broadcasting, WMSB.”

POHL: In researching this story, did you learn anything you hadn’t known before about WKAR-TV?

STONE: A couple of things that I learned was WKAR was only the second ETV station on the air in the country, and the other thing that really stood out was the fine arts programming that we did with Dr. Don Pash. It received national attention, as did a special that we did for NET, National Educational Television, called “The Genetic Revolution.” It was a really early thing on genetics and how important they would be.

POHL: Today, WKAR-TV has a 24-7 kids channel, but your story reflects how important children’s programming has been for a long time on WKAR-TV.

STONE: We had in-school broadcasts for classes. I think there were over 60,000 students that participated in that all over central Michigan. There were a number of other shows that we produced locally that were very popular. One of them was “Land of Play” that was on and live every morning most mornings with Helen Shaw. Another popular thing was “Culver’s Club House,” which was a kids program where there was a peanut gallery, and kids would come in and they had quite a large membership of that too. I think there were over 6,000 kids that watched “Culver’s Club House” all the time. That was Jim Culver, another local person in the Lansing area.

Reprinted by permission

NATAS Holds 2019 Silver/Gold Circle ® Ceremonies

Photo credit: NATAS

At ceremonies held February 24 at the MotorCity Casino Hotel, the Michigan Chapter of the The National Academy of Television Arts and Science (NATAS) held its induction ceremonies for its 2019 Silver Circle Awards.

The Silver Circle honors media professionals who began their careers in television at least 25 years ago, either in a performing, creative, technical or administrative role within the industry or in an area related to television such as TV journalism education, advertising, promotion and public relations. They must also have made a significant contribution to the Michigan Chapter television for at least part of their 25-year career.

The Gold Circle honors media professionals who began their careers in television at least 50 years ago, either in a performing, creative, technical or administrative role within the industry or in an area related to television such as TV journalism education, advertising, promotion and public relations. They must also have made a significant contribution to the television for at least part of their 50-year career.

2019 Silver Circle Inductees

Catherine Behrendt
Community and Program Director
WZZM-TV (Grand Rapids)

Joel Boykin
Videographer
Pulsebeat.TV (Detroit)

Tom Brocklehurst
Photographer
WJRT-TV (Flint)

Ro Coppola
Executive Producer/Special Projects
WDIV-TV (Detroit)

Randy Henry
Director
WDIV-TV (Detroit)

Lila Lazarus
Founder/CEO
Lila Productions (Orchard Lake)

2019 Gold Circle Inductee

Bill Harris, Anchor
WEYI-TV (Saginaw)

WJR Raises More Than $1M For Salvation Army

Last week, Cumulus Media’s WJR-AM (Detroit) held the Annual Bed and Bread Club Radiothon to benefit the Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division.  And, this year the event raised a record $1,501,751!

This year, the Radiothon  was a 24-hour event, beginning at 8 p.m. on February 21 and all day long on Friday, February 22.  In addition to regular WJR personalities, every year longtime Detroit radio veteran Dick Purtan comes out of retirement to participate in the broadcast, this year with two 2-hour shifts on Friday.

“At WJR, we’ve seen the impact of our listener’s donations and how they are helping so many right here in our community,” said Steve Finateri, market manager of News/Talk 760 WJR. “Our entire team of producers, radio hosts and behind-the-scenes staff are proud to partner with The Salvation Army for the ninth consecutive year.”

Dick Purtan

In a Facebook post, Purtan wrote, “Congratulations to everyone who participated in the 32nd Annual Salvation Army Radiothon yesterday! Together, we raised $1,501,751 for the Bed & Bread Program – money that will go right to the streets to feed and shelter almost 4000 Metro-Detroiters each and every day of the year!  From the bottom of my heart… Thank you!”

Annually, the Bed & Bread program serves 18,720 gallons of soup; 102,000 loaves of bread; 143,000 pounds of deli meat; 182,000 hot dogs; and 520,000 pieces of fruit and snacks. The Salvation Army’s Bed & Bread trucks travel 180 miles, making 57 stops every day of the year within the city of Detroit.

WLUC-TV Announces Winner of First Carl V. Pellonpaa Lifetime Achievement Award

WLUC-TV (Negaunee-Marquette) has announced the first recipient of the Carl V. Pellonpaa Lifetime Achievement Award.   The station established the award in honor of the late Carl Pellonpaa.  Pellonpaa was an iconic television personality in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and for 53 years the host of WLUC’s “Finland Calling” (or “Suomi Kutsuu”). The show was a Sunday morning staple from 1962 to 2015.  Pellonpaa began his career as an announcer for WJPD-AM (Ishpeming) and later signed a minor league contract with the Boston Braves. However, he was injured in a hunting accident, ending his baseball aspirations.

Carl V. Pellonpaa

The award will be given annually to one individual in recognition of their service to the Upper Peninsula over the course of a lifetime. It will honor their distinction in various business, volunteer, government, academic, artistic and social fields. The award will acknowledge significant contributions to the advancement and development of Upper Michigan.

This year’s recipient was Don Ryan, selected due to his dedication to area businesses and the community. Ryan’s experience includes working in radio and television, including WJPD-AM, WDJM-AM (Marquette) as well as WLUC-TV, where he served a variety of positions, rising to Operations Manager and Station Manager.

In 1975, Ryan was appointed District Representative for Congressman Phil Ruppe, which involved representing the Congressman at various activities, events and constituent meetings throughout the Upper Peninsula. His other government experience included serving for 12 years on the Ishpeming Board of Education and on the Marquette City Commission, from 2008 to 2014.

“We are paying tribute to a broadcast legend, Carl Pellonpaa, with this award,” said Rhoades. “Carl was all about serving the Upper Peninsula, and everything he did throughout his career was to achieve that goal. Our intention is to remember him every year by recognizing an individual who has similarly dedicated a lifetime of service to Upper Michigan.”

Mike Talik Named WMYD-TV Local Sales Manager

Mike Talik

Mike Talik has been named local sales manager of E.W. Scripps’ WMYD-TV (Detroit).  Talik joined WXYZ/WMYD-TV  as a digital strategist in April 2016. He was promoted to digital sales manager in March 2017.

“Mike has done a tremendous job leading our digital success and I’m excited to have him bring that success and expertise to our local media team at WMYD,” said Tony Lamerato, WXYZ and WMYD director of sales.

“I look forward to building on the success WMYD has achieved over the past few years,” said Talik. “The station is well-positioned with a terrific and highly motivated group of account executives, forward-thinking leadership and a dedicated support team. The landscape of local media is shifting, giving consumers new ways to gather their news, information and entertainment. I am excited that Scripps and WMYD/WXYZ are at the forefront of reaching our audience and delivering advertising solutions on all platforms including on-air, online, social, OTT and streaming audio.”

Before joining WXYZ and WMYD, Talik worked at MLive Media Group as an account executive from 2012-2016. Talik graduated from Michigan State University. He will begin his new job on March 11.

WTVB’S Ken Delaney Raises $12,000 for Heating Assistance

Left: WTVB’s Ken Delaney on the air live from the walk.

A record amount of money was raised in the 22nd Annual (and final) “Walk Across Branch County,” hosted by WTVB-AM (Coldwater) Morning Host Ken Delaney. The walk, held February 21, collected almost $4,000 locally during the 17 mile walk.  Combined with a two for one match from the Consumers Energy Foundation, almost $12,000 will be donated to Community Action of South Central Michigan for emergency heating assistance in Branch County.

The station aired Delaney’s walk live, which included stops to pick up donations from various businesses and organizations around Coldwater.

This year over 20 volunteers representing the Coldwater Noon Rotary, Early Bird Exchange Club, Coldwater Township Sunrise Rotary, Tibbits Opera Foundation, Branch County Sheriff’s Department and others joined Delaney to walk the one mile stretch from the Four Corners Park downtown to the McDonald’s restaurant in Coldwater, escorted by the Coldwater Police and Fire Departments.

WTVB is owned by Midwest Communications.

Reserve Your 2019 ABIP Inspection Now

Scheduling has begun for the Alternative Broadcast Inspection Program (ABIP).  The MAB conducts these alternative inspections regionally from April to October.

Every broadcaster wants to be in full compliance with FCC rules, but finding out that you are not in compliance by receiving an FCC fine, can be a costly learning experience. The Michigan Association of Broadcasters’ Alternative Broadcast Inspection Program (ABIP) is a unique partnership between the MAB and FCC under which stations that pass their inspection will receive a three-year exemption from routine FCC inspections.

SAVE Money!
Stations that have successfully completed the program are exempt from routine FCC inspections and possible fines for a three-year period.

SAVE Staff Time
Now that the public inspection file is online, it is easier than ever for the FCC to inspect it without prior notice. It is not uncommon for the FCC to spend a day or more at a station. That would involve significant time from several key staff members. MAB’s inspections are set ahead of time and by appointment. They are learning experiences, without the risk of a fine.

SAVE Worry
A station’s successful participation in the ABIP is evidence of the licensee’s positive attitude toward regulatory compliance. The inspector also provides feedback to management that station personnel are performing important duties in an adequate manner.

The inspector uses inspection criteria that have been set by the FCC and are uniformly used in the many ABIP programs administered by State Broadcast Associations throughout the U.S.

If you have questions or would like to schedule your 2019 Alternative Inspection, contact Ann Walters at 517-484-7444 or [email protected].

SOS Benson: No-Reason Absentee Begins for May Election

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced that Michigan voters will not have to provide a reason to get an absentee ballot to vote starting in May 2019 election and all upcoming elections. This comes as a result of the ballot proposal that approved changes to the Michigan Constitution.

Absentee ballot applications for the May 7 election were released last week and are available at www.michigan.gov/vote.