House Holds Hearing on Modernizing EAS

On May 20, Representative Greg Walden, (R-OR), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee (and a former broadcaster), led a hearing on modernizing America’s emergency alert system.

“As we move forward, we want to make sure that our first responder community, and the citizens they serve and protect, have access to the latest technologies. And, we want to make sure that it is an evolving force, not something that is simply locked in place,” said Walden.

Broadcasters made their case for the importance of advanced emergency alerts via the new next gen ATSC 3.0 standard and the necessity for the FCC to approve NAB’s request, along with noncommercial broadcasters and tech companies, to roll out the new standard on a voluntary basis.

Sam Matheny, Chief Technology Officer for the National Association of Broadcasters told lawmakers: “All NAB members, the thousands of free, local radio and television broadcasters in your hometowns, take seriously their role as the most trusted source of news and emergency updates. Whether it’s preparing listeners and viewers for the coming storm, directing them to needed supplies and shelter during the disaster, or helping towns and cities rebuild in the aftermath, local stations are part of the communities they serve. And, local radio and TV stations are sometimes the only available communication mediums in an emergency when cell phones and wireless networks fail. In fact, a new poll was released by Morning Consult, reaffirming that broadcasters are the number one medium that the American People turn to in times of emergency, by a factor of nearly four to one.”

“This unique combination of trust and reliability is why, in addition to our ongoing, comprehensive news coverage of emergencies, broadcasters form the backbone of the Emergency Alert System (EAS). EAS connects over-the-air broadcast radio, television and cable systems to communicate critical safety information to the public during sudden, unpredictable or unforeseen events. These capabilities can be enhanced by a station’s voluntary upgrade to Next Gen TV, which will enable significant life-saving advances in emergency communications. One need look no further than the recent and tragic fire in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, or the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy to appreciate the vital role of a reliable communications infrastructure during a time of crisis. ”

 




Busy Times for Broadcasters and the MAB

Debbie-Kenyon-2014_500

Debbie Kenyon

By: Debbie Kenyon, MAB Chairman and Senior VP/Market Manager, CBS Radio Detroit

This has been quite a year legislatively. There are attacks on FOIA, claims of “Fake News,” Performance Royalty, National Ad Tax and the Spectrum Auction. The National Association of Broadcasters has done a terrific job keeping these issues at bay and we thank them.

Did you know that the NAB is the first to admit that they depend on strong state associations like the MAB to help with the grassroots lobbying efforts? A lawmaker trusts the NAB completely, but always wants to know, “What do my local broadcasters think about this?” Enter the MAB.

The MAB is well known among the Michigan Congressional Delegation. MAB schedules individual meetings during the Call on Congress in DC, as well as in-district Congressional meetings to discuss issues identified by the NAB. Because of these meetings and the overall lobbying efforts, many of our Congressional delegation have signed the Radio Freedom Act and three have signed a letter urging Congress to continue to treat advertising as an essential business expense.

The MAB board will continue to meet one of our core missions of advocacy. We need your help to do so. In order to speak with authority for the state, we need your station to be a member of the MAB and air the Public Education Messages (PEP). Though we do not lobby with the PEP funds, it helps fund our other missions, including continuing education and training, Legal Helpline, P1 Sales, and Broadcast Compliance Service, just to name a few. To date 98% of TV stations and 76% of all radio stations in the state are members of the MAB. Lets try to make that membership 100% of all Michigan radio and television stations.

In its 68 years of existence, the MAB is one of the most respected state broadcast associations in the nation and is a model for other states. President Karole White has been at the helm of MAB for just a little less than half of that time. Along with her excellent staff she has helped the MAB board build a strong organization with ever stronger advocacy efforts and member services.

It has been my honor to serve as Chairman this year and I look forward to seeing all of you at the MAB summer Advocacy Conference and Annual Meeting August 22-23 at Crystal Mountain Resort, Thompsonville.




Associate Member Highlight: Capitol Communication Systems, Inc.


Capitol Communication Systems, Inc. (CCS)
is one of MAB’s exclusive Associate Member, list offering broadcasters great products, with excellence service, and they support the broadcasting industry. Please consider an MAB Associate Member before you make your next purchase. Check out the list here.

CCS, Inc., a local and veteran-owned company since 1982, offers KonicaMinolta MFP’s, Lanier MFP’s, and Muratec Fax equipment. Providing copy, print, scan, fax, and document imaging solutions.  And, just announced, CCS is a Kyocera dealer too!

CCS’ product line enables our customers to increase efficiency by providing document production solutions and services in an ever-changing market. CCS Inc., is located in Lansing, Michigan.

Contact information:

Steve Martin, Account Manager
Capitol Communication Systems, Inc.
(517) 694-3900
[email protected]
http://www.capcomsys.com




WRCJ and WKAR Join Forces for Classical Listeners


Partnership will bring DSO concerts to capital area listeners, MSU concerts to southeast Michigan.

Thanks to a new partnership between radio stations WKAR-FM in East Lansing and WRCJ-FM in Detroit, classical music lovers in the capital region will be able to hear Detroit Symphony Orchestra concerts live, and listeners in Detroit will be able to tune in concert performances from Michigan State University’s College of Music.

“WKAR is thrilled about this new partnership between Michigan State University and WRCJ,” said WKAR Radio Station Manager Peter Whorf. “MSU College of Music performances represent some of the finest music making by renowned faculty and gifted student artists. And, of course, having live broadcasts of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra will now bring world-class performances to thousands in the Capital Region.”

Detroit Symphony Orchestra Live debuted on 90.5 FM WKAR on April 21. The new monthly broadcast presented live concert performances of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra from historic, acoustically acclaimed Orchestra Hall. The debut broadcast was hosted by WKAR’s Peter Whorf and WRCJ’s Dave Wagner.

Broadcasts go on hiatus after June 2, and return in the fall for a new season.

“We love to connect Michigan’s classical and jazz performers with wider audiences,” said WRCJ Station Manager Dave Devereaux. “This collaboration is in tune with that mission and brings new musical experiences to our listeners.”

Also, MSU in Concert will reach WRCJ listeners across Detroit and southeast Michigan and WKAR listeners in the capital region.

MSU in Concert is a new weekly hour of recorded concert performances featuring faculty artists, student ensembles, and guests from around the world, captured in performance at Cook Recital Hall, Fairchild Theatre and Wharton Center Cobb Great Hall on the MSU campus. WKAR’s Peter Whorf is the host.

“The College of Music is pleased to join in partnership with WRCJ and WKAR to provide excellence in classical and jazz programming,” said James Forger, dean of MSU College of Music at Michigan State University. “With our internationally acclaimed artist faculty and more than 500 talented and diverse students — 50% of whom come from Michigan, 30% from 36 states, and 20% from 24 nations — we are delighted to share the power of music with a wider audience!”

MSU in Concert airs 3 PM Fridays and Sundays on 90.5 WKAR East Lansing and at 9 AM Saturdays on 90.9 FM WRCJ Detroit.

Also new for WRCJ listeners will be the WKAR original, What’s New in Classical, featuring new classical releases hosted weekly by WKAR’s Peter Whorf. The program airs at 9 AM Sundays on WRCJ.

Detroit Symphony Orchestra Live, MSU in Concert and What’s New in Classical can also be heard at each station’s live audio stream at the scheduled times, at wkar.org and wrcjfm.org

WRCJ 90.9 FM, “Classical Days, Jazzy Nights,” is a listener-supported service of Detroit Public Television and Detroit Classical and Jazz Educational Radio LLC, and is heard worldwide on wrcjfm.org.

WKAR 90.5 FM is a service of WKAR Public Media, a division of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences at Michigan State University. WKAR is funded in large part by community viewer and listener contributions with additional support from Michigan State University and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

 




Beasley Names Heidi Raphael As Communications VP

Heidi Raphael

Beasley Media Group has appointed Heidi Raphael as VP/Corporate Communications.

Raphael most recently served as Senior VP/Corporate Communications at Greater Media, where she spent 20 years working in several capacities, including as Marketing Director of WRIF-FM, Group Marketing Director of Greater Media Detroit and New Business Development Director of WMGC-FM in the Motor City.

She was promoted to Director of Corporate Communications in 2006. Raphael was subsequently elevated to the positions of VP in February 2008 and Senior VP in March 2016.

“I am very excited to have the opportunity to work at Beasley Media Group,” said Raphael. “The Beasley family has an amazing and well-respected reputation in the radio industry. I look forward to working with the incredible management team and people within the organization.”

“We are thrilled to have Heidi join the Beasley Media family,” said CEO Caroline Beasley. “Her vast experience and knowledge of the radio industry, combined with Heidi’s outstanding reputation, make her the perfect fit for our company as we continue to expand our footprint across many platforms within the organization and the industry.”

Heidi has been a leading voice in national radio and media issues. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Library of American Broadcasting. In addition, the radio veteran is a past elected member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the national Alliance for Women in Media (AWM), both based in Washington, D.C. She is also a past official spokesperson of the national Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio Group.




WZZM-TV Wins Eclipse Award for Best Documentary

WZZM-TV (Grand Rapids) has won an Eclipse Award for its September 2016 documentary “New Heights: Restoring a City.”  The special took viewers inside Muskegon Heights and the city’s efforts to rebuild.

The special won “Best Documentary” at the award ceremonies, May 18, in Grand Rapids.  The awards are presented by WKTV (Wyoming-Kentwood) Community Access Channel 25/26, honor content creators for Excellence in Craft in the disciplines of film, television, video, acting, sound, music and writing.

To watch the documentary, click here.




WSGW’s Ann Williams Named President of Michigan AP Media Editors

Ann Williams

Alpha Media, Saginaw has announced that WSGW News Director, Ann Williams was named President of Michigan Associated Press Media Editors (APME). She was installed at the APME banquet in Lansing on April 30. Williams has served on the APME board for the past seven years.

In addition to Williams’ honor, WSGW News received three 1st place awards at the banquet for Best Sportscast, Best Digital Presence, and Best Use of Photography.

Alpha Media, Saginaw Operations Manager and WSGW Program Director, Dave Maurer commented on the announcement, “We are so proud of Ann. She has done an outstanding job with her great attention to detail and her mentoring skills in our news department and now she will share her talents on a statewide basis in this top leadership position.”




9 Ways to Promote Your Radio Station’s Mobile App

Seth Resler

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

Smartphones are everywhere. In our latest Techsurvey, 87% of radio listeners report having a smartphone. 41% admit to being addicted to them. So, it’s imperative that your radio station have an app to make itself available to listeners on their mobile phones.

But, it’s not just enough to have an app — you also need to promote it. One of the biggest mistakes we see radio stations make with their mobile apps is that they fail to promote them enough. Here are some ways your radio station can get word out about your station’s app:

1. Use the Proper Keywords
Think of the Apple and Android app stores as big search engines. When people go there, the first thing they usually do is search for an app. To make it easy for your listeners to find yours, you’ll want to do a few things.

For starters, give people exactly what they are looking for: Name the app after your radio station as you most commonly say it on the air, and use the station’s logo for the icon image. Apple allows you to include several keywords when you submit your app. You may want to include your station’s call letters (if they are not part of the station name), the station’s city, the name of any high-profile shows or on-air talent, or the music format. Android does not allow you to submit keywords, so make sure that you work all of these terms into the description of the app. Apple offers tips on submitting apps, and Google gives advice as well.

2. Ask Listeners to Review Your App
People often check the reviews for an app before downloading it to their phone, so encourage your listeners to leave positive reviews. You can do this by sending a Push Notification to people who have download the app asking to leave a review.

3. Live On-Air Mentions
You’ve got airwaves, so use ’em. Your DJs should encourage people to download the app. While generic mentions of the app will work, calls to action that involve specific content can be more effective. For example, your afternoon jock might say, “If you missed Sam and Diane’s interview with Miley Cyrus this morning, you can listen to it in the WKRP app.”

4. On-Air Production Elements
Sweepers and bumpers are a great place to promote your station’s mobile app. Another option is to create a series of recorded promos with each one focusing on a different feature of the app. If you have particular features on the air that have corresponding sections in the app, you may want to mention this in the production elements for that on-air feature. For example: “This is the WKRP Concert Calendar. For a complete list of upcoming shows, download our app.” Or, “This is the Local Music Show on WKRP. For a list of songs from tonight’s show, download our app.”

5. Email Blasts
Send a link to the app to your email list. If you have an automated drip campaign set up, use the very first email, sent as soon as people register for your email list, to encourage people to download the app.

6. Social Media
Social media posts with a link to the app, especially on Facebook and Twitter, can be an effective way to drive app downloads. While you can simply post a link to the app store, you may want to consider using a “deep link.” A deep link directs people to a specific piece of content within the app, such as the Miley Cyrus interview. If the person clicking on the link already has the app installed, the app will open and they will be taken directly to that content. If they don’t have the app installed yet, they will be directed to the app store and be asked to install the app.

7. At Events
When your street team is out at events, they should actively encourage people to download the station’s app: “Want to spin the prize wheel for a beer koozie? Download the WKRP and will give you a shot.”

If your on-air talent is on stage introducing a band at a concert, they should encourage people to download the app: “I’m DJ No Name, and if you want to hear the interview I did with this band earlier today, download the WKRP app.”

8. Signage
The phrase “Download our app” should appear on your station van, your banner-on-a-roll, and the backs of your bumper stickers. You can also print it on ticket stubs and wristbands.

9. Podcasts
If your radio station produces podcasts, this offers a nice opportunity to get some extra bang out of your promotional buck. While iOS devices come with a Podcasts app pre-installed, Android devices do not. This makes it more difficult for Android users to listen to a podcast and, as a result, the overwhelming majority of podcast listening happens on Apple devices. When you promote your station’s podcasts on the air, chances are most Android users won’t know how to listen to them. But if you’ve included the podcasts in your app, you can make it easy. Just say, “Want to listen to our podcast? Download our app!” Ta-da! With a single line, you’ve promoted both your app and your podcast.

Mobile App Strategy Webinar
jacappsWant to learn more? We’re partnering with our sister company, jācapps, to host a special webinar, “Mobile 101: What Every Radio Station Should Know About Mobile App Strategy.”
Register here.

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.




Radio’s Best Feature

dicktaylor

Dick Taylor

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:  Dick Taylor,  CRMC/CDMC
Dick Taylor Blog
https://dicktaylorblog.com/

The one constant in life is change.

What makes our world different than the world we grew up in is the rate of change in technology.

Adoption rates for technology over time, according to the U.S. Census, shows us that it took about 45 years for 25% of Americans to adopt electricity, 35 years for 25% of Americans to adopt the wired telephone, about 32 years for 25% of Americans to adopt radio, 25 years for TV, 15 years for personal computers, 12 years for mobile phones, eight years for the Internet, and about about five years for 25% of Americans to adopt smartphones.

Nearly nine in ten Americans today are on the Internet and 77% of Americans now own a smartphone, according to Pew Research.

K.I.S.S.

Most people who have any sales training at all know all about “KISS.” Some say it means “Keep It Simple Stupid” and others will tell you it means “Keep it Short & Simple.”

But either way the message is the same: “keep things simple.”

“You have to work hard to get your thinking clean and make it simple.”
Steve Jobs

Quite possibly our biggest challenge in the 21st Century is to keep up with the rate of accelerating change.

The More Things Change, the More They Are the Same

I’m sure you’ve heard this phrase uttered more than once in your lifetime. Every generation has thought that the rate of change was beyond their ability to cope. A couple of centuries ago Henry David Thoreau told his contemporaries to “Simplify, simplify, simplify.”

Technology – especially information technology, the basis of our social networks – is speeding up exponentially. The famous Moore’s Law predicted this for computer chip development.

Exponential growth rate is an evolutionary process.

In his book “The Singularity Is Near” Raymond Kurzweil showed how civilizations advance through building on the ideas and innovations of previous generations, a positive feedback loop of advancement.

Each new generation is able to improve upon the innovations of the past with increasing speed.

Kurzweil wrote in 2001 that every decade our overall rate of progress was doubling, “We won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st Century – it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today’s rate).”

Only 17 years into the 21st Century and it feels like Kurzweil nailed it with his prediction.

It Still Takes 9 Months to Make a Baby

While it’s true so much of our world is uncontrollably speeding up, we are still human beings and we still pretty much move at the same pace biologically as we always have. Technology doesn’t transform our human nature.

Our need for love, touch, companionship and community will always be part of our humanity no matter what technology brings.

Radio Reaches 93% of Adult Americans Every Week

The latest Nielsen Audio research reports “radio leads all other platforms when it comes to weekly reach (93%) among adult consumers – and with new insights available to compare radio to other platforms on a regular basis, it’s clear that radio is an integral part of media consumption for millions of Americans.”

Great radio makes a human connection, engages its community and is a companion.

Radio’s best feature in a world of complex technology is that it’s simple to use.

It’s that simplicity, I believe, that makes it the #1 media favorite.

Reprinted by permission.

Dick Taylor has been “Radio Guy” all his life and is currently a professor of broadcasting at the School of Journalism & Broadcasting at Western Kentucky University (WKU) in Bowling Green, Kentucky.  Dick shares his thoughts on radio and media frequently at https://dicktaylorblog.com.  




Report Recommends FOIA Review

The State of Michigan Law Revision Commission is considering a report that recommends Legislative review of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The report does not include any recommended changes to the law, but, suggests the Legislature consider new definitions in the act based on recent court rulings. Among the language reviewed in the report, the law does not include as public bodies, committees formed by local governments, nor does it include elected local officials. The report notes that the law does not include electronic documents as “writing.” The report recommends the Legislature consider other forms of storage, such as flash drives, as legitimate ways to return records.

The law also appears to use “granted” and “fulfilled” interchangeably, though the Court of Appeals ruled last year that they are not synonymous and that an agency must actually produce the requested records in the time allowed, not merely approve the FOIA request. If an agency does not comply and a court finds there was bad faith, the law provides for fines between $2,500 and $7,500.  However, that does not indicate what an “occurrence” means and how that determines how many times a fine can be imposed. The board also declined to issue an opinion on whether the Legislature should create an entity to monitor access to records, but says the Legislature should review the issue.