Krol Communication’s WRSR-FM Wins Gold ADDY Award

(L-R) WRSR GM Bill Bailey and PD Jeremy Fenech with AAF Award.

The American Advertising Federation (AAF) of Greater Flint has awarded Krol Communication’s WRSR-FM (Flint) its Gold ADDY award for a commercial produced in-house.  The station won the award in the category of Film, Video, & Sound > Audio/Radio Advertising > – Audio/Radio Advertising / Local > – Single Spot more than :30 seconds for “Mug Shotz Bar & Grill (Italian Day).

WRSR staff credits for the spot go to WRSR PD/Air Talent Jeremy Fenech (Writer/Producer/Announcer/Character Voices); Jim Bosh of sister station WHMI-FM (Howell) (Character Voice); former station Senior Account Manager Nicole Randt (Character Voice); WRSR Morning Air Talent Johnny Burke (Character Voice); and WRSR GM Bill Bailey (Character Voice).

The award was announced in February with trophies delivered to winners last week. Listen to the award-winning spot here:

Latitude Media Launches MyMichiganPodcasts.com

Latitude Media, parent company of Mt. Pleasant-based radio stations WCZY-FM/WMMI-AM/FM (My1043 & Buck 92.3) has announced the addition of a new way to broadcast to its listeners and local businesses alike with the advent of MyMichiganPodcasts.com!

“The premise of developing this platform is to get our listeners, from all over the world, to be able to be in tune with our local area, regardless of where they are geographically” says Shawn Powers, Operations Manager at Latitude Media. “The content we are currently providing is Local Sports that you can’t get anywhere else. Lifestyle driven content with “In the life of Shawn,” local non-profit organizations, their events & fundraising info with “Mid Michigan Matters” and our new feature “Bob Around Town” where Latitude Media owner/operator, Bob Peters, talks with locals about interesting stories.

As this platform continues to be developed we are also encouraging local business owners to get in on this innovative technology by giving them the opportunity to share their stories and insight to their businesses with our audience.

The platform can be downloaded to both Android and iPhones.

For further information, contact Bob Peters/Owner of Latitude Media at (989) 772-9664 or via email [email protected]. For additional information visit www.my1043.net or www.Buck92.com. Social Media: www.Facebook.com/my1043 and www.Facebook.com/Buck923Radio.


NextGen TV Service Evoca Partners with Heritage Broadcasting in Northern Michigan

Evoca, a new NextGen television service has announced the service will launch in Traverse City, Michigan this May. In partnership with Heritage Broadcasting. area residents will also have access to the regional sports network MISportsNow Plus.  Heritage owns WWTV/WWUP-TV in Cadillac.

For $25 per month plus a receiver and no contract, Evoca subscribers will have access to 60+ channels, including live news, sports, and weather, and some of the most popular video-on-demand programming. Evoca’s channel lineup will also include MISportsNow Plus, allowing fans to watch on-demand high school and college teams throughout the season.

“Heritage Broadcasting and 9&10 News along with Evoca TV have an aligned vision of providing information, entertainment, and news within the local marketplace,” said Pete Iacobelli, CEO of Heritage Broadcasting. “We, as an organization strive to have as many opportunities to inform, educate and entertain our viewers. We view this exciting partnership as a way to control our own distribution and not solely rely on partners that may or may not want to distribute our local content. In today’s world, providing local news, sports and entertainment across multiple platforms including streaming is a key business strategy that we are proud to be partnering with Evoca. Evoca provides an attractive and affordable option for the residents of northern Michigan.”

Evoca uses a blend of ATSC 3.0/1.0 broadcast signals and over-the-top broadband to deliver its lineup.

“We are proud to partner with Heritage Broadcasting to bring in-demand local content, including MISportsNow Plus, to consumers at an affordable price,” said Todd Achilles, president and CEO of Evoca. “Our partnership will allow Evoca to continue expanding its reach to deliver content that matters to the communities we serve.”

No National EAS Test in 2022

According to FEMA, there will be no EAS or IPAWS test for broadcasters in 2022. This was announced at the NAB last week. According to a report appearing in Inside Radio, FEMA Deputy Assistant Administrator Antwane Johnson stated:

“It will not happen this year.  We are planning to do that in the early part of ’23.” The announcement took place at last week’s NAB Show. Johnson said FEMA is working to develop a new survey system that would allow the government to better monitor the results of the national test of the Wireless Alert System (WEA), which is expected to be tested alongside EAS in the coming year.

The survey would poll the public about whether they heard or saw the alerts. The information would then be shared with broadcasters and the wireless industry. “We can use that information to improve our alert and warning capabilities for the nation,” said Johnson.

For a more detailed discussion of FEMA’s approach go to the article in Inside Radio by clicking HERE.

More FCC Broadcast Applications Moving to LMS – Including Requests for STAs

David Oxenford

By: David Oxenford,
Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP

The FCC this week released a Public Notice (that we mentioned in our update on regulatory dates for May) announcing that, on May 17, many new applications and other filings will be migrating to the FCC’s newer LMS filing platform.  These include many of the documents that had been, until recently, filed in the FCC’s old CDBS platform.  These applications had, since CDBS was closed for new filings, been submitted through emails to the FCC (see our articles here and here).

Most notably, the new LMS filings will include requests for Special Temporary Authority – and future requests for extensions of STAs.  The FCC notes that for STAs that had originally been filed in CDBS, rather than filing an extension request for such STAs, applicants should initially file for a new STA in LMS and indicate in an exhibit that the request is for an extension of an existing STA that was filed in CDBS (or by email in the interim processing period).  The full list of applications that will, as of May 17, be filed in LMS is as follows:

  • FM Engineering Special Temporary Authorizations (STAs)
  • Request for Silent STA
  • Extension of STA – Silent
  • Extension of STA – Engineering
  • Suspension of Operations Notification
  • Resumption of Operations
  • AM/FM Digital Notification
  • Modulation Dependent Carrier Level (MDCL) Notification
  • Change of Primary Station Notification
  • Tolling Notification
  • Reduced Power Notification
  • Withdraw Pending Applications

The Public Notice also provides instructions on filing extensions, tolling requests and requests to withdraw pending applications – where the new LMS filings need to begin by accessing the submitted application in LMS that is being affected by one of these actions (e.g., an applicant requesting tolling of an FM construction permit will first need to find the submitted construction permit application in LMS and then will be given the option to request tolling of that permit).  Other details of the filing process are noted in the Public Notice, so be sure to review it before filing any of these applications after the May 17 effective date.

This continues the migration of broadcast applications to LMS.  With these changes, most broadcast applications will have moved to the new system with the principal exception of technical applications dealing with AM stations, which still must be emailed to FCC staff.  Be alert for these new filing requirements and watch as the FCC makes further changes to its filing procedures in the future.

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. 

Governor Whitmer Signs Legislation Expanding Open Meetings Act

Governor Gretchen Whitmer

On May 2, Governor Whitmer signed House Bill 4705, which expands the Open Meetings Act to require certain state public bodies to create and maintain audio recordings of their meetings, expanding transparency and accountability. This brings the total of bipartisan bills signed to 811.

“Transparency and accessibility are critical to ensuring people trust their state government,” said Governor Whitmer. “Expanding the Open Meetings Act to require audio recordings of public meetings will help Michiganders have more confidence in their public bodies. I will work with anyone to boost accountability by instituting robust standards of transparency consistently across levels and chambers of our government.”

House Bill 4705 expands the Open Meetings Act to require public meetings of state licensing boards, state commission panels and state rule-making boards to record meetings to allow for the capture of sound, such as an audio-only recording, a video recording with sound and picture or a broadcast that is capable of being recorded.

House Bill 4705 was sponsored by Rep. Luke Meerman (R-Coopersville).

“While the expansion of Michigan’s Open Meetings Act is a step in the right direction, the state still has room to improve when it comes to transparency.” said MAB President Sam Klemet. “We are looking forward to meeting with lawmakers next week during MAB’s annual Capitol Day to talk about the importance and need of an open and transparent government so Michiganders have the information necessary to make the best decisions for their families.”

WRIF Named “Best Local Radio Station” by Free Press Readers

Beasley Media Group’s WRIF-FM (Detroit) has been named “Best Local Radio Station” by The Detroit Free Press as part of the “Best of the Best Detroit 2021” Awards. More than 93,000 votes for WRIF were cast by readers of the publication, which presented the award to PD/midday host Jade Springart at the Best of the Best Detroit Gala on April 28.

WRIF Program Director and Midday Host Jade Springart was on hand at the event to accept the award on behalf of 101 WRIF. Following the announcement of the winners, The Detroit Free Press published a celebratory “Best of the Best” section in the Sunday edition of the paper on May 1.

“While WRIF’s rich history in Detroit spans over 50 years, it continues putting the listener first allowing it to remain one of America’s leading rock brands today,” said Beasley Media Group Detroit Director Of Programming and Vice President of National Content Scott Jameson. “Congratulations to Program Director Jade Springart, Marketing Director Ken Wasilewski, and the entire WRIF team. We’re honored to be recognized by USA Today and The Detroit Free Press as one of the Motor City’s Best of the Best.

Free Webinar: Jacobs Media to Present the Techsurvey 2022 Results

Jacobs Media Strategies will present the results of its 18th annual Techsurvey with a free webinar this Tuesday, May 10 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern.  Techsurvey is the radio broadcasting industry’s largest survey, with this year’s 18th annual study seeing participation from 474 radio stations, producing nearly 31,000 surveys from core radio listeners.

Jacobs writes, “This year’s study is a great look at the current environment, closely examining the pandemic’s short- and long-term impact on everything – radio listening, acquisition of gadgets like smart speakers and mobile phones and overall changes in lifestyle, locations and media usage habits.”

The webinar will also continue to delve deeply into the online habits of radio audiences, including:

  • Are we approaching “normal?” Last year’s Techsurvey showed radio very much impacted by COVID. This year’s data is revealing and actionable for all radio stations.
  • How is radio competing against Spotify, SiriusXM and other competitors? New questions this year, broken out by our 14 formats, tell us how each is doing in the new competitive media environment.
  • How, why and when is radio being used vs. digital streaming platforms? Programmers will gain new insights from new questions in TS2022.
  • Where is the audience and which devices are they using to listen to their favorite radio stations? TS2022 will reveal radio’s changing core strengths, and its ability to meet listeners where they are as behaviors continue to shift.

Techsurvey 2022 is presented in partnership with All Access.

If you have any questions about the webinar, please contact call at (248) 353-9030 or [email protected].

Register for the webinar here.

Southwest Michigan Journalism Collaborative To Examine Community’s Mental Health Challenges and Solutions

In an effort to enhance the news landscape and promote diversity and inclusion of voices among journalists and news sources in Southwest Michigan, a group of 12 news media outlets and organizations have formed the Southwest Michigan Journalism Collaborative (SWMJC).

The media and community partners of the SWMJC include:

    • Community Voices
    • Encore Magazine
    • Kalamazoo Community Foundation
    • MLive/Kalamazoo Gazette
    • New/Nueva Opinion
    • NowKalamazoo
    • Public Media Network
    • Southwest Michigan Second Wave
    • Watershed Voice
    • WMU School of Communication
    • WMU Student Media Group
    • WMUK Public Radio 102.1 FM

The collaborative began assembling in 2019 to determine how, in today’s landscape of shrinking news organizations and staffs, local media leaders could work together to tell the most critical stories in our community.

Since the first meeting in 2019, members of the collaborative have published joint reporting on solutions to homelessness and a back-to-school series examining how to address barriers to academic success for families and students whose primary language is Spanish.

In September 2021, the SWMJC received a $100,000 grant from the Solutions Journalism Network to launch the Mental Wellness Project. SJN is an organization focused on facilitating and encouraging the practice of solutions journalism through rigorous reporting on responses to social problems. The collaborative also was awarded a $27,500 from the Kalamazoo Community Foundation to support the work.

The Mental Wellness Project is the first SWMJC project that will have reporting and involvement from all collaborative partners and will examine the limited access to mental health services due to societal stigma, shortage of mental health professionals—especially mental health professionals who are culturally competent— and the availability and affordability of high-quality services to meet the gap in access.

“This mental health project is a big step forward for the Collaborative,” said Mickey Ciokajlo, director of local news for MLive, which includes the Kalamazoo Gazette. “It gives us a focus area to turn our attention to as we learn to work more closely with each other covering important issues in the community.”

As a solutions journalism effort, the reporting in the SWMJC’s Mental Wellness Project will provide stories and information that help people understand problems and challenges and that show potential ways to respond. The Mental Wellness Project will pay special attention to the crisis brought on by social isolation and loneliness related to COVID-19.

Stories that are part of the project are published by collaborative partners on their own media platforms as well as on the SWMJC website at swmichjournalism.org.

“The ongoing pandemic has increased mental health care needs, while simultaneously restricting access,” said Kathy Jennings, managing editor of Second Wave Media of Southwest Michigan. “The severity of the current mental health situation has gone largely uncovered in our market.”

In addition, the collaborative has hosted three editorial advisory meetings, meeting community members and mental health care providers who helping to provide collaborative members with an accurate picture of what is and isn’t working in regards to mental health access and treatment in our community.

To guide the work and execution of the funded project, SWMJC recently welcomed Melinda Clynes as project manager and editor. Clynes has worked as a freelance writer and marketing consultant for 30 years.

“I’m really thrilled to take on this role with Southwest Michigan Journalism Collaborative and its Mental Wellness Project,” Clynes said. “It’s a privilege to work with the smart, engaged journalists and leaders who are part of the collaborative and to meet community members who can share their concerns with us. With these two components at play, we have an amazing opportunity to elevate the discussion about how to improve access to mental health services to build healthier, happier communities.”

The grant from Solutions Journalism Network is the first major funding the collaborative has been awarded.


Michigan Broadcasters at NAB Show 2022!

WLEN’S Julie Koehn at the mic as part of the NAB Show Small Market Radio Forum

By: Sam Klemet, President & CEO
Michigan Association of Broadcasters

The bright lights of Las Vegas were dimmed by COVID, but this week’s NAB Show injected renewed energy and life not only in Sin City, but also the broadcast industry.

The four days of connecting, idea sharing and celebrating was a vivid reminder about the strength and importance of the industry.

Michigan Broadcasters were present throughout the show. Those like Julie Koehn of WLEN hosted a conversation on small market radio and what can be done to ensure its viability moving forward.

Michigan Radio’s Dustin Dwyer presenting a tour of “Minutes” with NAB Show attendees.

Michigan Radio was on the show floor displaying their innovative Minutes tool to help cover public meetings for dozens of cities and counties across the state. The database of rough, automated transcripts of meetings is updated every day.

“I heard this thing was going to be big, but the scale and depth of what’s offered is way beyond what I was expecting. I’m grateful for the PILOT innovation challenge, because it allowed us to get our idea in front of far more people than we could have in any other way,” said Dustin Dwyer, Michigan Radio. “And beyond that, it was just great to see all the amazing things people are working on in this industry. Coming from a mid-sized station, it expanded my view of the possible and left me feeling even more ambitious and excited about what we might be able to achieve.”

And students and educators from Michigan State University were able to tour the show and sit in on information sessions including by Lester Holt, Nick Cannon and NAB Leadership.

If there are questions about the future of the industry, they were answered quickly and loudly in Las Vegas and the answers were, there is a lot of momentum for local TV and radio and the industry is making an impact every day and shaping the way we live, work and play.