Tag Archives: Issue 18

Northern Star Broadcasting Stations Sold

NSlogoBlack Diamond Broadcast Holdings, LLC has entered into an agreement to acquire eight radio stations from Northern Michigan based Northern Star Broadcasting.

The eight station transaction includes multiple signals in the Traverse City-Petoskey Nielsen rated radio market. The stations include 1240 WCBY-AM Cheboygan, 105.1 WGFM-FM Cheboygan, 97.7 WCHY-FM Cheboygan, 98.1 WGFN-FM Glen Arbor, 102.9 WMKC-FM Indian River, 106.3 WOEZ-FM Onaway, 95.5 WQEZ-FM Glen Arbor, and 100.7 FM (translator) W264CF St. Ignace.

Black Diamond, owned by long-time broadcast executives and life-long Michigan residents, Mike Chires and Norm McKee, currently own WUPS-FM Harrison and WTWS-FM Houghton Lake, both purchased in 2015.

Northern Star Broadcasting’s President Del Reynolds says of the deal, “These radio stations are huge technical facilities reaching from Cadillac to Canada and Traverse City to Alpena. I believe that Black Diamond is the radio group to continue the tradition of being committed local broadcasters and will be honorable trustees of these FCC licenses. Our staff and our clients are the best in the country and we know that they are in good hands with Black Diamond. They have shown with their previous acquisition of WUPS and WTWS that they know how to serve the local community and we are at ease knowing these groups will continue to grow and thrive with them as we transition into what is next for us.”

Black Diamond Partner and CEO Mike Chires stated, “Del and Mary have done a tremendous job of building powerhouse stations that serve their communities extremely well. They have strong relationships with their clients, and the respect of broadcasters throughout the industry, especially in Michigan, which is the ultimate compliment. We look forward to continuing the legacy and the relationships they’ve built with their clients and communities these great stations serve.”

Norm McKee, Black Diamond Partner and COO/CFO added, “The Northern Star properties permit us to establish a group of ten radio stations serving all of central and northern Michigan with quality broadcasting, sports, and community coverage. We can now serve listeners and clients from the Zilwaukee bridge to north of the Mackinac bridge, and from Ludington to Oscoda (Bridge to Bridge, Coast to Coast).”

In addition to the stations acquired by Black Diamond, Northern Star has sold WCKC-FM in Cadillac to Up North Radio, LLC, owned by Jennifer Theodore, who also owns WCDY-FM in Cadillac.

Transfer of the licenses for the radio stations is subject to approval by the Federal Communications Commission, which is anticipated to occur early this fall.

Editorial: Podcast Listenership Is Growing Because of Google

Seth Resler
Seth Resler

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

As we’ve noted, the results of Techsurvey12 show that podcast consumption is rising. This year, 28% of respondents reported that they had listened to a podcast or on-demand audio in the past month, up from 21% the year before. (Watch Fred Jacobs’ webinar on Key Takeaways from Techsurvey12 here.)

Blubrry, one of the major podcast hosting services, has released new data, based on its clients, showing how podcasts are being consumed. They found that approximately two-thirds of all podcast consumption is happening on Apple iOS devices. This echoes similar findings from rival podcast hosting service Libsyn.
Reslar-Client-By-Platform-2

65.9% of podcast listening comes from the Apple ecosphere

This isn’t surprising. Apple devices come with a pre-installed Podcasts app. Until Google debuted a podcast directory in Google Play Music earlier this year, Android devices did not. Even now, Apple gives podcasts their own dedicated app — this was separated out from iTunes with iOS 6 in 2012 — while Android does not. As a result, Blubrry found that Apple’s Podcasts app produces far and away the highest percentage of podcast listening on mobile apps (20%):
Reslar-Stats-Blog-Post-_Mobile-Applications

Apple’s Podcasts App accounts for 20.2% of all podcast
listening on mobile apps

However, podcast consumption on Android devices is increasing, which may account for a large part of the overall increase in podcast consumption. Blubrry notes:

“While global listener volume is continuing to increase across all platforms, it is very apparent to our month-to-month and year-to-year data that Android is making significant gains in the global podcast ecosphere. For the first time in many years, we are seeing a significant increase in Android consumption…”

(Blubrry has been actively seeking to increase podcast listening on Android devices by developing a way to make it just as easy to subscribe to a podcast on your Android phone as it is to subscribe on an iPhone.)

Many people, myself included, have believed that a truly significant increase in podcast listening would be driven not just by compelling programs such as Serial(though they certainly help), but by Google’s embrace of the podcasting medium. Blubrry’s research suggests that this may finally be starting to happen.

To make a long story short: Now would be an excellent time for your station to start podcasting.

Recently, I hosted a webinar titled, “How to Launch a Podcast: An Introduction for Radio Station.”  Watch webinar recording here.

If you are already producing a podcast, be sure to submit it to Google Play Music’s podcast directory.

PODCAST-MOVEMENT-43-PNG-e1443537146912-150x150I also recommend sending a member of your station’s staff to the Podcast Movement conference in Chicago this July. This is the largest gathering of podcasters in North America with over 2,000 attendees expected this year.I will moderate a panel discussion with on-air personality Tom Leykis, talent coach and author Valerie Geller, Rob Greenlee (Head of Content at Spreaker), and Doug Berman (executive producer of NPR’s Car Talk and Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!). My session is called, “Podcast Makeover: A Live Critique Session with Broadcasting Legends.”

We have arranged a special discount to the conference for Jacobs Media clients.  Please email me for details.

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of the above article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

Editorial: What Drives Your Radio Station?

TateBy:  Michael Tate, Sales Director
NRS Media, Chatsworth, Australia
[email protected]

Every business is reliant on sales be it manufacturing, importing, distributing, service oriented, a global multinational, or the corner grocery store. As challenging as some particular technical occupations may be, even with years of training and knowledge, selling is equally demanding.

While an advertising salesperson could probably never do the task of a content or music director, it is most likely they couldn’t do the job of a salesperson either.

Without salespeople, those people don’t actually have a job.

Every business is a person-to-person business; regardless of what that business sells.

Companies don’t buy advertising campaigns, and ratings numbers don’t sell ads – although they may help the buying and selling process. Always remember buying and selling is an emotional process; it is only people that do the buying and the selling. When advertising revenue weakens, every area of the media company suffers – quotas aren’t met, investors lose faith, finances are cut, people are fired, and top talent looks elsewhere.

Sales are the lifeblood of every commercial advertising enterprise – period.

When advertising orders abound and everybody is working to schedule commercials, produce great creative, achieve strong results for clients, and ultimately keep advertisers satisfied, while dealing with the daily challenges and problems, often the others (those not selling) don’t really value the contribution of the salesperson. Sometimes you may even hear people gripe about salespeople.

However, as soon as the revenue slows down for even a short time, the company begins to suffer the effect. Everyone becomes intensely sensitive of the need for salespeople and winning revenues in order to provide for the company.

The sales department is the locomotive that drives every media company (on the face of the earth) – and if you as a sales person are first-class at it, you’ll succeed.

Be proud of your standing as a sales person. Inherently it means you are unique, courageous, creative, and special. You are the driving force of the advertising industry and without you, we don’t eat.

Sell without regret.

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of the above article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

Traffic Director Spotlight: Lynne Peck

LynnePeck_300Lynne Peck
Northern Star Broadcasting, Cheboygan

Lynne Peck is Traffic Director for Northern Star Broadcasting’s WQEZ-FM, WCKC-FM & WGFN-FM, based in Cheboygan, MI.  Lynne has been in traffic for 18 years, originally starting out in television.

Q1: Favorite comfort food?
Lynne:  Chocolate in any form except cake.

Q2: Which Superhero would you be?
Lynne:   Anyone who can fly.

Q3: When I’m not working, I’d rather be…
Lynne:  Traveling or walking a beach.

Q4: If I had the chance, I’d really like to have lunch with…
Lynne:  My grandparents. I would like to hear more firsthand accounts of our family history.

Q5: What’s the best advice you have ever received?
Lynne:  
“This too shall pass” and “How important will this be in 5 days, 5 weeks, 5 years?” Both of those help me to keep difficult things in perspective.

Q6: Tell us something about yourself that very few people know.
Lynne:
I backpacked throughout Europe by myself for a month when I was 20-years-old.

Must Read: A Broadcaster’s Guide to the U.S. Department of Labor’s New Overtime Exemption Requirements

By:  Julia E. Judish, Scott R. Flick, and Jessica Nyman
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP

On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor published final regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) that more than doubled the minimum salary level necessary to be exempt from the Act’s overtime rules. While the changes affect all businesses subject to the FLSA, broadcasters in particular may feel the impact of the changes given the staffing models used by many TV and radio stations. The new requirements will go into effect on December 1, 2016, and broadcasters need to take steps to adapt to, and minimize the impact of, those changes prior to that deadline.

Download the eight-page guide (PDF) here.

FCC To Demo New Online Public File June 13

On June 13, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission will conduct a public/online demonstration of the expanded Online Public Inspection File (OPIF), which will replace the current Broadcast Public Inspection File (BPIF) process. The FCC will exhibit the interface that will be used by broadcast television and radio stations, cable systems, satellite television, and radio systems to file documents in the online public file database. The demonstration will inform users of the design, layout, and content of the OPIF site, discuss how to upload information and files, and present the new Application Program Interface (API) functionalities.

For more information, click here.

 

FCC Moves to Drop Two Public File Rules

fcc-logo_dark-blueAccording to a report in TVNewsCheck, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed to eliminate two public file inspection rules. The rules currently mandate that:

• Commercial television and radio broadcast stations to retain, and make available to the public, copies of correspondence from viewers and listeners; and
• Cable operators to maintain and allow public inspection of the location of a cable system’s principal headend.

The commission says removing these requirements will allow broadcasters and cable operators to make their entire public inspection file available online and permit them to stop maintaining local public files. The agency maintains that modernizing the filing process will make it easier for consumers to access information about their broadcast services without having to travel to the station’s main studio and reduce the cost of broadcaster compliance.

FCC Proposes FY 2016 Regulatory Fee Schedule

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released proposed fiscal year 2016 regulatory fee schedule. The agency is looking to collect the $384,012,497 with $133.97 million coming from radio and television stations. The new schedule adds a class for radio broadcasters who serve 3,000,001-6,000,000 people, and sets fees on a standardized incremental increase scale as the population served by the licensees increases. The fees range from $690 for a Class C AM in areas serving under 25,000 in population to $17,175 for FM Classes B, C, C0, C1, and C2 for stations serving over 6 million in population.

See the full proposed schedule here.

Committee Approves Bills, Opening Legislative, Governor Records

capitol3A package of bills creating the Legislative Open Records Act (LORA) and extending FOIA provisions to the Governor’s office was unanimously approved by the House Oversight and Ethics Committee.

There were a couple key changes. Lawmakers added language empowering the administrator of the Legislative Council to recommend disciplinary action to the Speaker of the House or the majority leader of the Senate if the administrator determines that the House or Senate charged an excessive fee or failed to disclose the information on a timely basis. The bills now go to the full House Chamber for a vote.