The Robinson Report: In Your Words

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.

KevinRobBy: Kevin Robinson
Robinson Media

Passion is a funny and fleeting thing; and, at times, void of common sense.

Colleague and Radio Genius Fred Jacobs recently reflected on radio as a career.

Job satisfaction and Careercast’s list of the 10 Worst Jobs in 2017.

Read Fred’s take on why the survey missed the mark – HERE.

Read the original Careercast’s article – HERE.

It jogged my memory – from a Robinson Report – written nearly 10 years ago.

Clearly, passion is – at times – viewed as a blind liability.

But – gauging by the passionate responses of a decade ago – radio clearly brings a load of satisfaction.

The response was – well, YOU read those responses:

“As a 25-year veteran (and survivor) of radio, the number one reason has always been our unique ability to reach out and make a difference in our community, through fundraisers, service projects, and local involvement in so many aspects.” -Alan Clepper – KOFM (Still there!):

“Lunch with Warren Zevon – getting mail from Chris Isaak – relating LOCALLY, even when tracking.” -Sybil McGuire – WRVA (Now 105.9 Sunny FM):

“Radio is ubiquitous – give me a disaster of some kind that takes out electricity and leaves us with batteries. Radio wins.” -Rich Strong – KTNI-FM/KONN-FM (Now Anchor – USA Networks):

“In this day and age, message (content) is the new “local”, and distribution (on various platforms) is crucial. Radio is a very important part of the delivery puzzle.” -Haz Montana – Univision Radio (Still there!):

“We all sound alike. In my baby years in the business, even in small town stations there always seemed to be at least one person that stood out due to their passion for on air work. We recently hired a local guy to do mornings for one of our stations. Although he has never been in this business, he approaches each air shift with joy and enthusiasm.” -Ken Hollingsworth – WBKN/WMJU (Still there!).

“Radio is the one career where you can actually affect the lives (in a positive manner) of the community you live in.” -Tom Sheldon – KSTR (Now at KMOZ).

“Local is the most powerful word in our radio stations and in our mission statement. We can still touch people every day with meaningful content. Our business is not run by management – it’s run by the talent that responds to the listener.” -John A. Wharff, III – Jawco, Inc. (Still there!).

“The chance to be a public servant. It’s the phone calls where a listener says that my being on the air is a friendly connection.” -Mandee Montana – KKUS 104.1 FM (Now Mix 93.1).

“Radio gives you the ability and opportunity to MAKE a difference in the lives of your listeners and communities. Only local radio can raise money, food, and clothing for listeners that lost their homes to a fire.” -Rich Summers – Citadel Broadcasting (Now Townsquare Media).

“Radio is still a business of creativity that can reward someone with writing and performing skills.” -Randy Raley – Great Plains Broadcasting (Now CBS Radio).

“No matter the format, the reason you must desire a career in radio is the chance everyday to keep someone company.” -Susie Martin – WATZ-WRGZ (Still there – semi-retired!).

“To be one of the approximately 30,000 on-air people in this industry, speaking to 300 MILLION, is quite an honor.” -Jay Philpott – WARH (Now Cumulus – Atlanta – but headed NORTH).

“Radio is still a career to embrace because no other medium replicate radio’s localism (and) our ability to achieve an intimate, on-to-one connection in an increasingly disconnected society.” -John Spencer – LaSalle County Broadcasting (Still there!).

“They can’t ship your job overseas, at least while interviewing interesting people and develop a savvy and informed ear.” -Todd Berryman – 92.3 WTTS (Still there!).

“An outlet for creativity unlike no other – and Chicks, Man! (plus, I never have to buy another t-shirt!)” -Ron Ron – Regent Broadcasting(Now Sirius/XM).

Your passion – from a 2017 perspective?

We’ll compile a list of new fulfilling, passion lines here in a few weeks. Send yours – about WHY you still love the business – to [email protected].

Beat the drum and shout it from the top of the Internet!

Kevin Robinson is a record-setting and award-winning programmer. His brands consistently perform in the Top 3 of the target – often times as the list leader. In his 35 years of radio, he’s successfully programmed or consulted nearly every English language radio brand. Known largely as a trusted talent coach, he’s the only personality mentor who’s coached three different morning shows on three different stations in the same major market to the #1 position. His efforts have been recognized by Radio & Records, NAB’s Marconi, Radio Ink, and has coached CMA, ACM and Marconi winning talent. Kevin was a featured speaker at the 2017 Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference (GLBC) in Lansing.  He lives in St. Louis with his wife of 30 years, Monica. Reach Kevin at (314) 882-2148 or [email protected].

WRIF Introduces “iPhone Stickers”

Detroit’s WRIF-FM (“The Riff”) is the first radio station to take advantage of Apple’s new iOS stickers, with the release of the Dave & Chuck WRIF iPhone sticker pack, provided by jacapps, a Detroit-based application developer.

As a result of Apple’s introduction of custom stickers to iPhone messages, WRIF listeners may begin to enjoy a selection of clever, whimsical images in their text messages. Listeners may download the Dave & Chuck WRIF sticker pack from a special section of the AppStore. Once installed, they can drag and drop the “stickers” into their text conversations. You can see how it works in this video:

“WRIF has always been on the leading edge of technology,” notes Beasley Detroit Market Manager Mac Edwards. “The Riff was the first radio station in Detroit to stream online, and it currently has the largest digital footprint of any radio station in the Midwest. So, when Dave & Chuck said they wanted their huge fan base to be able to use
this technology to share images, catch phrases, and memes, we were proud to make their wishes come true! “

“We are committed to pioneering new methods of engagement between our audience and our brands,” adds Beasley Media Group Digital EVP Steve Meyers. “This is a fun example of that commitment!”

“We were happy to be involved in the creation of customized iPhone stickers for Beasley,” says jacapps COO Bob Kernen. “The Dave and Chuck Show is a phenomenon here in Detroit, and these stickers are going to be incredibly popular. It’s another jacapps ‘first’ and we’re excited that Beasley Media Group led the way.”

Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs comments, “As someone who was personally involved with the original WRIF sticker craze back in the ‘70s, these virtual stickers are a wonderful evolution. And they’re a great example of how traditional radio broadcasters can make optimal use of the digital tool kit. It’s Bumper Stickers 2.0!”

Jackson Radio Works Receives Chamber Award

Jamie McKibben

Jamie McKibbin

On March 23, Jackson Radio Works (WKHM-AM/FM, WIBM-AM) was the recipient of an appreciation award from the Brooklyn-Irish Hills Chamber of Commerce, honoring the company for 20 years of service (“hyper local content that matters”) to the community.

WKHM-FM is licensed to Brooklyn.  Accepting the award was  General ManagerJamie McKibbin, who tells the MAB that the staff at Jackson Radio Works is pretty excited about the honor.

HOMTV Internship Application Summer 2017 Deadline April 1st

HOMTVFor 35 years, HOMTV has been equipping interns with tools for success. Dozens go through their internship program every year and hundreds have found successful jobs in the television and communications industry as a result. If you know of anyone who you think would benefit from practical, hands-on experience in television reporting, production (studio & creative), or social media & promotion, please direct them to for more information and to submit the online application here:

The application deadline for HOMTV’s Internship Program for the Summer 2017 semester is April 1, 2017.

HOMTV will begin reviewing applications and sending out interview invitations the week of April 3rd.

More information from HOMTV:

Sometimes landing a great job in the television industry can seem impossible. You need experience to get the job, but you need a job to get experience. How can you win? The answer is an internship at HOMTV. We provide the opportunity to gain practical, hands-on
experience in a comfortable, nurturing environment. We teach all aspects of basic television production, as well as online promotion through various social media platforms, so you don’t have to have any experience to start. There are three tracks to choose from:

The Reporting track is for those wishing to explore an “on-camera” career in television.  Reporting interns will produce weekly news stories, deliver live reports and conduct live interviews.

PRODUCTION (Creative & Studio)
The Production track is for those who are looking for more of a “behind-the-camera” experience. Interns in this track will shoot and edit elements for various programs (including news), produce short promotional spots and public service announcements and direct live
television productions.

The Social Media & Promotion track focuses on branding and promoting events and information using traditional marketing techniques and social media. Interns will create promotional
campaigns, produce short promotional spots and public service announcements, create and manage content for social media platforms and assist with public relations as well as event

In addition, interns in all tracks will learn professional techniques for operating cameras, using editing software, lighting, audio mixing and utilizing social media platforms. For decades, HOMTV has been equipping interns with tools for success. Dozens go through our internship program every year and hundreds have found successful jobs in the television industry as a result. You could be next!

Mark Your Calendar Now for Advocacy Conference

Crystal_700The MAB just wrapped up the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference (GLBC) a few weeks back and now we’re gearing up for our next big event: the annual MAB Advocacy Conference and Annual Meeting, to be held at Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville, August 22-23.

CrystalMountain2_300While speakers are still being lined up for this event, the awards ceremony is not to be missed as we induct broadcasters into the Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame and present the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The 2-day conference will be a great chance to catch up with fellow broadcasters from around the state and discuss the legislative and regulatory issues facing today’s broadcasters, all at the beautiful Crystal Mountain Resort. If you were with us at Crystal Mountain in 2008, you’ll remember!

Mark your calendar now and plan to attend. More details, plus highlights from last year’s conference here.

Screens, Screens! Everywhere, Screens!


Duane Alverson

By:  Duane Alverson, President
MacDonald Broadcasting Company (Saginaw & Lansing)

We have never had so many choices! Just look at how many different screens you can watch March Madness on this year. And most of them are not sitting in your living room in front of your favorite chair.

The proliferation of media choices in the last 10 years is amazing. Growing up, I remember three choices when it came to broadcast television: NBC, CBS and ABC. Yes, I’m dating myself; but, it wasn’t that long ago. Today there are so many choices that one has a hard time staying connected with them all. This is especially true when you include all the new choices now found on digital platforms.

So, it’s no wonder why advertisers are confused and frustrated as to where to invest their hard earned marketing dollars.

But wait. Instead of wrestling over all the choices, we suggest another approach—an approach that works no matter where your audience is seeing or hearing it.

Get the Message?

No matter if it’s on the big screen, the handheld screen, or on no screen at all, a great message makes any advertising platform successful. By the same token, no advertising platform succeeds without a great message. In fact, the research proves it.

Roy H. Williams, author of the Wizard of Ads, points out just how important a great message is in generating results with your advertising investments, no matter what medium you select. It serves as a great reminder about what’s really important when it comes to advertising your business.

Great advertising messages need to be about your customers — not about your business! Far too often, advertising messages are all about you and your product/service…all about what you think is great. But truly great advertising messages are all about your customers:

  • What problems they have, how you understand them, and how you can solve them.
  • Their hopes and aspirations, and how your product allows them to achieve them.
  • Why people feel great about doing business with your company.
  • Why they drive by all the players in your category to do business with you.

Walk in their Shoes to Sell them Shoes

I remember first learning this some 30 years ago when I first came into this business. The saying went like this: “If you’re going to sell what Jim Jones buys, you better learn to sell through Jim Jones’s eyes.”

The right message resonates, regardless of medium. And the best messages play on the small screen and big screen alike. To take just one example I saw watching college basketball last weekend, the Capital One commercial with Sir Charles eating his snack out of his backwards hoodie played well on every screen. Large and small. I know…I saw it on both!

Message received? Only if it’s a good one!

Duane Alverson currently serves as President of MacDonald Broadcasting Company. Duane has been with MacDonald Broadcasting Company for 32 years serving in various sales leadership positions. He served as Chairman of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters in 2012 and as President of the Michigan Jaycees in 1981-82. Duane resides in Saginaw, Michigan. 

Lansing Lugnuts to Townsquare Media

(L-R) Mascot "Big Lug" and Jesse Goldberg-Strassler.

(L-R) Lansing Lugnuts mascot “Big Lug” and Jesse Goldberg-Strassler.

By:  Jesse Goldberg-Strassler

The Lansing Lugnuts, Class A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, and Townsquare Media have announced an exclusive partnership, with WVFN-AM (The Game 730 AM) serving as the new flagship home for Lugnuts baseball.

“We are excited to bring Lugnuts baseball to our listeners,” said Zoe Burdine-Fly, Townsquare Media Regional Vice President – Michigan. “This is a collaboration between two companies that are committed to serving the Lansing community, both now and for many years to come.”

“Baseball provides the soundtrack of summer,” said Lansing Lugnuts General Manager Nick Grueser. “It made only too much sense for fans to hear the crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd at Cooley Law School Stadium on Lansing’s top sports station. We are excited to partner with Zoe and such a tremendous radio family of stations in Mid Michigan.”

In addition to The Game 730 AM, the Lugnuts will also welcome in personalities throughout the season from Townsquare Media’s Classic Rock 94.9 WMMQ, 1240 WJIM-AM, 97.5 NOW FM, 99.1 WFMK, and 100.7 WITL.

Jesse Goldberg-Strassler returns for his ninth season as the Lugnuts’ lead play-by-play broadcaster, the longest tenured voice in team history. The Greenbelt, Md. native joined the Lugnuts in 2009 after previous stints with the Brockton Rox, Montgomery Biscuits and Windy City ThunderBolts. In 2013, he was voted Midwest League Broadcaster of the Year by his peers.

Outside of Lansing, fans will be able to tune in for coverage of Lugnuts baseball via the TuneIn Radio app and The

For more information, call (517) 485-4500 or go to

Voters Could Ban Warrantless Searches Of Electronic Data

capitol3Under a House Joint Resolution C (HJR C), introduced by State Representative Jim Runestad (R-44), Michigan voters would get a chance to say whether the state’s Constitution should be amended to protect “electronic data and electronic communications” from warrantless searches. The constitution already states “the person, houses, papers, and possessions of every person shall be secure from unreasonable searches and seizures.” Cell phone call logs, text messages and computer files, along with other electronic data would be added to that list under the resolution.

According to a report in Gongwer, Runestad stated that “I think there is a crying need for this because some law enforcement agencies have interpreted the constitution to not include electronic communications. New technology exposes people’s private lives in unexpected ways and his amendment would give citizens the certainty of privacy protection.”

HJR C has been referred to the House Committee on Judiciary.

NAB Wants Changes to the FCC’s Repack Plan

NABAccording to a report in Broadcasting & Cable, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has petitioned the FCC to reconsider its “flawed” framework and timeline for repacking TV stations after the incentive auction, saying not to do so will hurt broadcasters and their viewers.

The auction’s official ending date is scheduled for the end of March and a final “Closing and Channel Reassignment Public Notice,” announcing who won what, is expected to be released mid-April. From that point, broadcasters remaining on the air have 39 months to move to new channels. The FCC has said a deadline is needed so that the spectrum forward auction bidders, paying almost $20 billion, can be freed up.

In a filing with the FCC March 17, NAB says the agency made mistakes in setting up the auction, including making it overly complicated and not letting stations that had dropped out back in, and created a framework for repacking that does not sufficiently take into account the “unprecedented logistical and operational challenges” both for the commission and industry.

NAB to Present “Awareness in Reporting” Event


Join the Conversation About Reporting on Race

NAB-NABEFWhen: 12:30pm ET 4/12/17
Where: Livestream or in-person in Washington, D.C.

Local radio and TV broadcasters are part of the communities they serve. During times of unrest, they capture and reflect the voices and feelings of those around them. As first informers, trusted reporters, investigators and public servants, local reporters put themselves on the front lines to report up-to-the-minute information. Join an important conversation as broadcasters unveil a new toolkit to assist newsrooms in reporting on race.

View the livestream to hear from those who have been on the front lines.

  • Learn how news directors decide to cover crisis situations.
  • Listen to reporters talk about their experiences reporting breaking news.
  • Understand how social media has changed crisis reporting.
  • Hear about guidelines and recommendations developed by the broadcast industry to assist the corporate offices, news directors, reporters and videographers covering racially sensitive stories.

Click here to view the agenda and list of panelists.

Join the conversation at #AwarenessInReporting.

Register to watch here