WEYI-TV Owner Armstrong Williams Donating Atmospheric Water Units to Flint

Armstrong Williams

Howard Stirk Holdings (HSH), licensee WEYI-TV (Flint) and its owner Armstrong Williams has announced a partnership with RussKap Holdings to place atmospheric water units in Flint, Michigan. HSH will be donating many units to the City as part of its new partnership.

HSH has worked as a leader in bringing new technologies to assist the people in Flint, Michigan during the water crisis and has been invaluable in its progress. Two years ago they placed a pilot atmospheric water machine with Bishop Jones in the R.L. Jones Community Outreach Center. HSH has been instrumental in bringing to light the crisis facing the people and ensuring it received the proper attention it deserved.

Now, after successful completion of a pilot program at the Hasselbring Senior Center, run by Beverly Lewis, HSH owner Armstrong Williams announced a partnership with RussKap to place their Tiffany water model units across the City to provide the cleanest and best water to the people of Flint. The impact seen has been immediate and will only continue to grow.

RussKap CEO Ed Russo said that WEYI, which HSH owns, has been at the forefront of trying to help the people of Flint. He remarked that much of the efforts have only been possible because of Williams and HSH. Yehuda Kaploun, President of RussKap, said that before the end of this month Bishop Jones’ Center will be receiving Tiffany models similar to what the Senior Center currently uses.

Armstrong Williams, owner of HSH and WEYI (NBC 25) remarked, “This partnership will help give the people of Flint access to the best water in the world. The Tiffany makes clean, healthy water from the air without any pipes. It is a tribute to Mayor Neely who has worked tirelessly to find creative solutions for the water crisis, and NBC 25 is proud to assist in this endeavor.”

Former WNEM News Anchor Passes

Allison Payne

The MAB has learned that former WNEM-TV (Saginaw) News Anchor Allison Payne passed away September 1 at age 57.

Payne began in television news as an intern at WNWO-TV (Toledo).  Within months was promoted to main anchor of the station’s late evening newscast. Payne later moved to WNEM-TV as the co-anchor of the 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts. At age 25, she moved to Chicago to work at WGN-TV. Payne spent 21 years at WGN.

“Allison Payne was a one-of-a-kind talent who quickly became one of Chicago’s Very Own. We are grateful for the many contributions she made to WGN-TV and to Chicago. Talented and much admired, she will be greatly missed,” said Paul Rennie, Vice President General Manager, WGN-TV.

Payne covered stories around the world, conducting interviews with former President Barack Obama and Rev. Jesse Jackson. Payne was active in mentoring students and formed a foundation for young people looking to enter the journalism field.

Payne was born in Richmond, Virginia, but her parents moved to Detroit when she was 5. She returned to Detroit in 2011 after a series of unfortunate health events.

NAB Cancels October Vegas Show Due to COVID Concerns

On September 15, The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) announced that the 2021 NAB Show scheduled to be held in Las Vegas from October 9–13, 2021 has been cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns. The convention had already instituted a vaccine mandate for the convention, but had seen major exhibitors pull out in recent days. Select content from the show will be offered virtually.

The 2022 NAB Show is scheduled to take place from April 23-27, 2022 in Las Vegas.

In a memo to attendees, Chris Brown, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Global Connections and Events at the National Association of Broadcasters wrote:

For more than a year we have worked tirelessly to bring our industry together safely in Las Vegas at NAB Show. Unfortunately, the pandemic and surge of the Delta variant has presented unexpected and insurmountable challenges for our global community.

As we have always kept the best interest and safety of the industry as our priority, it has become apparent in the face of these challenges that we can no longer effectively host NAB Show or our co-located events, the Radio Show and Sales and Management Television Exchange, in person.

NAB Show is the premiere destination for the media and entertainment industry and we will not move forward with a show that delivers anything less than the excellence our community has come to expect and deserves from us.

While we are disappointed that we will not be together again in person next month, we look forward to converging at the 2022 NAB Show, April 23-27, 2022, to reignite our passion for our business and focus on a bright future ahead.

Stay tuned for details regarding virtual options for accessing select 2021 NAB Show content through.

How to Host a Virtual Podcast Launch Party

Seth Resler

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

When it comes time for launching a new podcast, or to launch a new season of a podcast, do it with style. Sure, you could just drop the first episodes and send out a press release, but why not step up your game and host a launch party? You can use this event to invite key members of the press, VIP audience members, or both.

This is where the virtual platforms that we have all become accustomed to during the pandemic can come in handy. I’ve developed an affinity for the Remo platform, which we used for our CES Virtual Tour in January. In particular, I like the fact that Remo has two modes: Presentation Mode, which is the typical webinar-with-a-text-chatbox mode, and Conversation Mode, which allows attendees to mix and mingle in a virtual ballroom. I have found that attendees really enjoy this latter mode, and by using it, virtual events can rise above the typical fare that results in Zoom fatigue.

Here’s how you could use this event platform to host your podcast launch party:

1. Set up a virtual event in Remo.
Once you have a Remo account, setting up the event itself if very simple; all you need is a date, time, event title and description. You can go back and fill in all the other details later. For example, if you secure a sponsor for your launch party, you can give them a virtual booth at your event. If this is the first virtual event you are hosting, I strongly recommend that you also set up a practice event to familiarize yourself with the software.

If you want to integrate Remo with your other tools, you can do so using Zapier. Zapier is a service that enables two programs to talk to each other. For example, you can use Eventbrite to handle the registration for your event, and then have Zapier pass the email addresses of the attendees to Remo. This is also useful if you want to add the registrants to a list in an email service provider like Mailchimp, paste them into Google spreadsheet so your team can see the guestlist or add them to a Google calendar item.

For the launch party, we’ll want to make a short presentation, then let the guests mingle in Conversation Mode. Fortunately, there’s not much we need to do for the Conversation Mode portion of the event, we just need to focus on creating content for the presentation…

2. Record a short interview with the podcast host(s).
I recommend pre-recording the presentation for the launch party, as this limits the number of things that can go wrong. It also makes the execution of your event simple, since you’ll only need to play the video in presentation mode.

The video itself should feature a short interview with the podcast host(s) and/or producer(s) that gives an exclusive look behind the scenes. You may want to intercut this with snippets of the podcast. To do this, use an audiogram tool like Headliner to turn your audio snippets into video snippets. You can also dress up your video with imaging production elements.

If you want to take questions from the audience, schedule this as a live segment after the pre-recorded interview. Just remember to have everyone wear the same clothes for the live Q&A that they did during the interview.

3. Create an Electronic Press Kit.
Every podcast launch should include the creation of an EPK, or “Electronic Press Kit.” The basic concept of an EPK is simple: If a journalist wants to cover your podcast launch, make it as easy as possible for them by putting everything they might need in one place. This includes not only a press release, but photos, key links, bios of key players, audio and video snippets and more. You can find a full list of elements to include in your EPK here.

4. Invite people.
Invite people to your event. If this includes members of the press, include the press release and a link to your EPK. If this includes VIP audience members, craft an invitation that makes it clear that they are receiving this exclusive invite to thank them for being a loyal fan.

5. Host the event.
Believe it or not, this is the easy part — particularly if you’ve pre-recorded the presentation. Let people mingle in Conversation Mode for 20 minutes, switch to Presentation Mode and play the recorded interview, go live for audience Q&A if you want, then return to Conversation Mode and let your guests talk to each other while you work the virtual room.

6. Follow up with an email campaign.
Follow up your event with emails to everyone who registered. You may want to craft different verbiage for people depending on whether or not they attended. Once again, send the press release and a link to the EPK to journalists, and a link to the podcast and any bonus materials to VIP audience members.

A virtual event can take your podcast (or podcast season) launch to the next level. It will enable you to turn your audience into a thriving community and build excitement for your show.

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

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.

Broadcast Compliance Services to Shut Down

The MAB has learned that Broadcast Compliance Services (BCS) will be shutting their doors soon.  BCS has been used by broadcasters nationwide to promote job openings and help with EEO outreach efforts.  BCS was a service offered by the MAB, but was dropped early this year as usage of BCS declined dramatically over the years as members continue to adopt their own station tracking systems and the large group owners have developed their own proprietary systems just for their company.

The MAB remains committed to assisting member stations with their EEO compliance.  The MAB’s Washington Legal Hotline with David Oxenford is available to all members when they have EEO compliance questions.  Call the MAB for the members-only hotline number. In his Broadcast Law Blog, Oxenford recently wrote about the current round of FCC EEO audits and what stations should expect to provide to the FCC regarding their EEO efforts.

Former users of BCS should reach out to Robin Cooper if they have any questions regarding accessing any information regarding their previous use of the service.  Robin can be reached at (301) 998-6136.

Michigan Radio Receives Grant to Expand Criminal Justice Reporting

Michigan Radio has received a grant from the Public Welfare Foundation to expand the station’s criminal justice reporting. This will allow the station to do more reporting surrounding youth and adult criminal justice issues in Michigan.

The public often does not have insight into how the criminal justice system operates or how public dollars are spent on law enforcement, courts, prisons and other services. Michigan Radio will assign a full-time reporter to produce ongoing news coverage that will help contribute to the public dialogue on this important issue across the state.

The coverage will look at criminal justice from all sides, with a particular focus on how individuals and communities are impacted by the criminal justice system and how various facets of the system work well or don’t. We plan to look at areas including surveillance, sentencing, cash bail, plea deals and more.

“This new beat will allow Michigan Radio to better serve communities that are highly policed, heavily surveilled, and have the most interaction with criminal courts, prisons, and the parole system. It will also allow us the time and space to help people recognize the systemic and historical contexts that led us here,” noted Sarah Hulett, director of enterprise and longform journalism at Michigan Radio. “We want people to understand how these policies and systems work and don’t work, and for whom.”

In addition to the on-air reports, Michigan Radio will host town hall meetings and other events to help engage the public in discussions on criminal justice issues in their community and crime related issues that need more attention.

“Public Welfare Foundation is honored to support Michigan Radio in its mission to uncover facts, share stories and create connections,” said Esther Franco-Payne, Vice President of Programs. “We believe that Michigan Radio’s coverage of local criminal justice issues will both help educate listeners and increase critical conversations about how we can advance justice that’s actually just.”

Michigan Radio expects the first of these reports to begin airing Fall 2021.

For over seventy years, Public Welfare Foundation has supported efforts to advance justice and opportunity for people in need. Today, the Foundation’s efforts focus on catalyzing a transformative approach to justice that is community-led, restorative, and racially just through investments in criminal justice and youth justice reforms in targeted jurisdictions, including Michigan. These efforts honor the Foundation’s core values of racial equality, economic well-being, and fundamental fairness for all.

Nexstar Media Charitable Foundation and WLNS-TV Donate $5,000 to Izzo Legacy Foundation

The Nexstar Media Charitable Foundation announced September 16 that it will donate $5,000 to the Izzo Legacy Foundation in Lansing, Michigan, on behalf of its WLNS-TV (Lansing).

Created and developed by the family of legendary Michigan State University college basketball coach Tom Izzo, including his wife, Lupe, and their daughter Raquel, The Izzo Legacy Foundation’s mission is to bring people together in the community for the common purpose of helping others. Launched in 2019, the organization is based on three pillars of success, including community involvement, charitable giving and personal wellness, and raises money that is distributed to various charitable organizations in Lansing and the mid-Michigan region. The Foundation’s primary fund-raising event is an annual 5K run/walk/roll, designed for participants of all ages and all abilities.

While the inaugural race in 2019 raised more than $250,000, the 2020 event had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. “The Izzo Legacy is honored to accept this generous $5,000 donation from WLNS-TV and its affiliates,” said Lupe Izzo, one of the organization’s founders and a member of the Board. “It is community leaders like WLNS-TV that help the Izzo Legacy meet our goal of bringing people in our community together through charitable endeavors for the common purpose of helping others. The Izzo Legacy’s next community event will be the second annual Izzo 5K Run/Walk/Roll on Saturday, October 9th!”

Commenting on the donation, Marci Daniels, Vice President and General Manager of WLNS-TV said, “The Izzo Legacy helps support a vast array of local non-profits that provide critical services to members of our community in need. We are excited to partner with the Izzo Legacy to promote the Izzo Run Walk Roll on October 9th . Not only will this be a fun event for all levels of ability, but it will raise funds that will make a positive impact where it is needed most locally. Giving back to the communities served by Nexstar across the country is core to the company’s mission, and we are proud to make this donation on behalf of WLNSTV, Nexstar Media Group, and all of Nexstar’s 13,000 employees.”

The Nexstar Media Charitable Foundation’s mission is to contribute to and work with public charities and non-profit organizations to improve the communities in which Nexstar Media and its subsidiaries do business. The foundation was originally established in 1958 and it makes donations of approximately $350,000 annually.

Broadcast Regulation Update

David Oxenford

By: David Oxenford,
Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP

Here are some of the regulatory developments of significance to broadcasters from the last week (9/4-10), with links to where you can go to find more information as to how these actions may affect your operations.

  • The FCC opened the window for Fiscal Year 2021 regulatory fees which must be paid no later than 11:59 pm, Eastern Daylight Time on September 24, 2021 – a 25% penalty will be attached to late payments (Public Notice). The Media Bureau released a guide to computing the fees due for broadcast stations (Media Bureau Fee Filing Guide).  A separate notice on payment procedures was also released by the FCC (Payment Procedures Public Notice).  Licensees that want to seek a waiver, deferral, or reduction of their regulatory fees based on financial hardship from the pandemic should review yet another public notice setting out the procedures for such requests.  These requests, which are to be submitted by September 24, must include financial documentation demonstrating the hardship of a timely payment.  (Public Notice on Fee Waivers)
  • The FCC reminded broadcasters of their obligations to file biennial ownership reports this year. The window to file these reports opens on October 1 and closes on December 1 (Public Notice).  To help broadcasters prepare for filing their biennial ownership reports, the FCC will present an online information session on October 5, 2021 at 2:00 PM EDT, which will include the opportunity for questions from online attendees.  The session is designed to help both novice and experienced filers.  It will be streamed live from the FCC’s web page at fcc.gov/live and the FCC’s YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/user/fccdotgovvideo (where it will also be available for later viewing).
  • The FCC is seeking comment on the accessibility to children with disabilities of children’s educational and informational television programming.  Specifically, the agency wants to gather information on the extent to which short-form programming and regularly scheduled weekly programming aired on multicast streams is closed captioned and/or audio described, including on multicast channels like PBS KIDS. Comments are due October 7, and reply comments are due November 8.  (Public Notice)
  • The Incentive Auction Task Force reminded phase 0-5 repacked full power and Class A TV stations that they must submit all remaining invoices for reimbursement from the TV Broadcaster Relocation Fund by October 8, 2021. The deadlines to submit all remaining invoices and initiate interim close-out procedures for phase 6-10 repacked stations is March 22, 2022, and the deadline is September 5, 2022 for all eligible MVPDs, FM stations, and LPTV/translator stations that intend to seek reimbursement.  (Public Notice)
  • The FCC released the tentative agenda for its September public open meeting to be held on September 30 (Agenda). The agenda includes the proposed adoption of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comments on standardized questions to be asked of foreign entities seeking to acquire interests in US communications facilities, including interests in broadcast stations, which require approval of the FCC or other government agencies (Factsheet and Draft Notice of Proposed Rulemaking)
  • A Low Power FM station entered into a consent decree for violating the FCC’s underwriting rules. LPFM stations are all licensed as noncommercial educational broadcasters and cannot run commercials.  The consent decree includes a $17,500 fine and requires that the licensee adopt a compliance plan to prevent future violations. The station was also granted a short-term, four-year license renewal instead of the normal eight-year renewal.  This action began with a complaint from a commercial station which argued that the LPFM station routinely aired commercial advertisements and had failed to air educational content.  The Media Bureau rejected the educational content argument, noting that the FCC has long recognized that licensees are entitled to broad discretion in the scheduling, selection, and presentation of programming; but found that many of the underwriting announcements were too promotional leading to the fine and other penalties. (Consent Decree)
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. 

Art Vuolo Remembers 9-11 with Documentary on Radio’s Reaction

Michigan-based “Radio’s Best Friend” Art Vuolo, Jr. has put together an extended 20th anniversary video of the awful attack on America, that as Art describes it, is “the only such special that shows how RADIO reacted on that terrible day. It’s a totally different perspective. It’s been aired on hundreds of radio stations across the country over the past 19 years, including WABC and WOR in New York.”

The video was originally produced in 2002 as a mini-documentary.  For the 20th anniversary of this event, he’s extended from a run time of 12:56 to 19:53…about 20 minutes.

Art notes that the video hold up well as an audio-presentation and has given permission for stations to air it if they wish at no fee, just that proper credit be given. It’s produced by Vuolo, who is solely responsible for its content with assistance from the radio stations and various individuals listed in the closing credits. If you experience any problem, contact Art at 248-926-1234 or 248-935-6446 cell number or [email protected].

Thank you for sharing Art….watch below:

Michele Aenlle-Hayes Joins WDIV-TV As National Sales Manager

Michele Aenlle-Hayes

Graham Media Group’s WDIV-TV (Detroit) has announced today that Michele Aenlle-Hayes has been named the new National Sales Manager for the station.  Aenlle-Hayes most recently was a Sales Executive for LocaliQ, part of the USA Today Network.

In her new role, Aenlle-Hayes will work with national clients on ad schedules for broadcast and digital, building value and delivering on key metrics. She will also handle all the political business for the station.

“Michele has successfully achieved revenue goals at every level in traditional broadcast and digital categories, from local ad insertion to national campaigns,” said Vice President and General Sales Manager Gary Macko. “She has a deep understanding of multi-tiered marketing and cross-platform advertising approaches designed to deliver high impact results.”

“We are all looking forward to Michele coming here to Local 4/ClickOnDetroit and having an immediate impact on all of our existing clients, local and national, as well as future clients in both the broadcast and digital space,” Macko added. “She brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in both areas. She has a can-do attitude and will do a great job here at the station.”

Since 2018, Aenlle-Hayes held the position of Sales Executive at LocaliQ. In 2020, she was promoted to the Diamond-Elite Sales Professional team, representing the top 5% of LocaliQ sales organization across the country. And she was recently recognized as a valued beta test leader during the Gannett-Snapchat SMB merger earlier this year.

“I was born and raised in the Detroit area and growing up, WDIV was always on in our house,” said Aenlle-Hayes. “I am excited to be part of a group that I have always valued and admired. I look forward to helping both our local and national partners strengthen our business by being bold and thinking outside the traditional way of doing business.”

Aenlle-Hayes is returning to the NBC family where she previously spent four years of her career with the NBC Owned and Operated Television Stations. She has a strong history of partnering to develop optimal client solutions across our NBC suite of products, emphasizing our digital products.

As a member of the Detroit media community, Aenlle-Hayes has been actively involved in the Adcraft of Detroit Club and Detroit Economic Club. And she has been part of the Women Forward Leadership group at the USA Today Network.

A Michigan native and proud graduate of Michigan State University, Aenlle-Hayes has a bachelor’s degree in advertising with a specialization in public relations. She also has a master’s degree in management from Walsh College.

She and her husband Brandon live in Clarkston with their 6-year-old daughter Giana and 1-year-old son Bennett. Aenlle-Hayes began her new role September 9.