Midwest Communications Appoints New VP/Market Managers for Lansing, Kalamazoo

(l-r) Mark Jaycox, Kurt Luchs

Midwest Communications (MWC) has announced the arrival of new VP/Market Managers for two of company’s Michigan clusters.

Mark Jaycox has been named Vice President/Market Manager of MWC’s four stations in Lansing.  Before joining Midwest, Jaycox was General Manager at Adams Outdoor in Lansing and has served as a VP/GM at Salem Communications.

Kurt Luchs has been named Vice President/Market Manager of the company’s five stations in Kalamazoo.  Previously, he was GM at NRG’s stations in Omaha and Wausau-Stevens Point, Wisconsin.

Michael Klein continues as Vice President/Market Manager of the company’s three stations in Battle Creek and Coldwater.

Midwest President/CEO Duke Wright said he is pleased these veteran broadcasters have joined his family-owned company “to share their talents in service to our listeners and advertisers. Southwest and South Central Michigan are important markets for our company.”




Breaking: WWTV Transmitter Building Catches Fire

Heritage Broadcasting’s WWTV (Cadillac) was off-air today due to a fire that broke out late Thursday night (August 30) at the station’s transmitter site in Tustin.  At press time, fire crews were still on scene and there was no known cause for the blaze.

The transmitter building was built in 1961 and once housed station’s studios for decades, following a previous fire that destroyed the station’s studio and transmitter facilities.

The station moved into current studios in Cadillac early in 2017.

The MAB has already heard from one area engineer who has offered assistance, adding “there are many of us engineers in the area that are able and willing to lend a hand.”

For the latest, visit the 9&10news website here or the station’s Facebook page here.  The MAB extends its best wishes to Kevin Dunaway and the 9&10news staff.




WGVU Presents ‘Cool Teacher Contest’

WGVU Public Media (Grand Rapids) is once again holding its “Cool Teacher Contest” for the 2018-19 academic year.  The station has hosted the contest for more than 20 years; and the contest highlights dedicated, creative and resourceful teachers in the station’s coverage area who work hard each day to have a positive impact in the lives of their students and within their communities.

The station learns about the “Cool Teachers” through the nominations from students.  Winning entries qualify for a class party with the station.

For more information, visit the station’s website here.




Programming Advice from Warren Buffett

Gary Berkowitz

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: Gary Berkowitz
Berkowitz Broadcast Consulting

Well, kind of. I recently read an interview with “The Oracle of Omaha,” arguably one of the savviest investors of all time, Warren Buffett. While reading through his interview, it occurred to me that many of his points could easily be applied to radio, so here’s my drill down on what he said about investing and how it applies to radio programming.

When Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett makes investing decisions, he focuses on one thing only: the facts. He says your opinions and emotions aren’t likely to help you.

WB: “Being contrarian has no special virtue over being a trend follower,” Buffett says. Instead, the Oracle of Omaha suggests taking a pragmatic approach to investing decisions. First, gather all your facts. Next, learn how to dissect them to find the pertinent information you need to make your decision. For Buffett, that means looking for the pieces that are “important and knowable.”

Radio Translation: If you know me, you know that I always say “I would much rather argue the facts than the opinions.” When making programming decisions, gather up the right information and facts. Example: Your GM comes in and says, “Everybody I know hates a song we’re playing.” Opinion, yes. Fact: If the music test says it’s great, play it. Or: “A listener called to say we play the same song over and over.” Chances are, when you look it up, the facts say you’re not, but that listener most likely just does not like that song.

WB: “If something’s important but unknowable, forget it,” he says. “I mean, it may be important whether somebody’s going to drop a nuclear weapon tomorrow, but it’s unknowable.”

Radio Translation: You don’t know what is going to happen in your market or station. Always be the best you can be today and be prepared for market changes, but do not act on them until necessary. 99% of the time, these things do not happen.

WB: Whether or not you choose to invest in something should be based on your research, not on your reaction to what other people are doing and saying. As Buffett puts it, “what others are doing means nothing. Concentrate on the facts, not how you’re feeling.”

Radio Translation: Forget about “what you hear” in the market. More often than not, it’s gossip that is not accurate.

WB: “Don’t watch the market closely,” he told CNBC amid wild fluctuations. “If they’re trying to buy and sell stocks and worry when they go down a little bit … and think they should maybe sell them when they go up, they’re not going to have very good results.”

Radio Translation: Worry about your station, not your competitor. More often (almost always) listeners are not sitting around with a “scorecard” on you and other stations. They don’t compare.

WB: Though it’s tempting to sell when the market begins to drop, giving in to your fear is not a sound strategy. “You cannot possibly succeed that way, you’ve got to do the opposite. It’s when you’re not scared you probably want to sell, and when you are scared, you probably want to buy.” Even when the market it tumultuous, it’s helpful to tune out other investors and concentrate on what you know.

Radio Translation: Research and facts can and will guide you in a tumultuous market, and most of them (markets) are tumultuous today. Use your research like a pilot uses radar. My son, Michael, is a Captain with Spirit Airlines. I once asked him what happens when he is in the clouds and can’t see a foot in front of himself. His reply: “In bad weather, a pilot trusts and uses his instruments.” In radio, we should treat our research like “instruments”. Trust it and let it guide us properly.

Gary Berkowitz is President of Detroit based Berkowitz Broadcast Consulting, specializing in ratings improvement for AC radio stations. www.garyberk.com




WWTV/WWUP’s Michelle Dunaway To Bike from Cadillac to Grand Rapids for Benefit

Michelle Dunaway

WWTV/WWUP-TV (Cadillac) News Anchor Michelle Dunaway is once again raising money for the Ronald McDonald House of Western Michigan, this time biking from Cadillac to Grand Rapids.  The ride is scheduled to take place Thursday, September 6, beginning with a kickoff event at 5:45 a.m. at Cadillac Rotary Pavilion.

The “Red Ride for Families” seeks to increase awareness of the RMHWM and give back to an organization that helps northern and western Michigan families when they need it most.

Last year, Dunaway walked 40+ miles from Traverse City to Cadillac to raise funds for the Ronald McDonald House.

Dunway’s cycling journey this year will include stops in Reed City (Reed City Depot), Big Rapids (Swede Hill Park) and Cedar Springs Cedar Springs Brewing Company).  It’s expected that Dunaway will arrive at the Ronald McDonald House in Grand Rapids between 4 and 5 p.m.

Viewers are encouraged to make a donation here.




WKHM-FM Welcomes New Morning Show Co-Host

(l-R) Scott Clow and new co-host Jenny Lewis

Jackson Radio Work’s WKHM-FM  has announced a new addition to the “K Crew”: Jenny Lewis of Jackson.

She joins Scott Clow on-air from 6 -10 a.m. weekday mornings on K-105.3. She is a graduate of Northwest High School,
attended Liberty University and resides in Jackson with her husband and two daughters.

Lewis says of her new gig, “When you listen to the show, I want you to feel like we are old friends, simply hanging out in your living room laughing together.”




Where is Your Radio Station’s Website Traffic Coming From?

Seth Resler

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

Radio programmers should regularly review their website stats to gauge their performance. I encourage broadcasters to do this as part of a weekly web meeting. One of the most important source of stats to review is your Google Analytics data. Among other things, it will show you where people who visit your website are coming from.

Website traffic sources will be broadly grouped into these categories:

    • Direct Traffic: People who are typing your website’s URL directly into their browser. This is a bigger source of traffic for radio stations than companies in other industries because listeners hear the URL over the station’s airwaves so often. Radio stations that use a Content Marketing strategy to grow their website traffic will probably see direct traffic shrink as a percentage as other sources grow.
    • Organic Search: If people type something into a search engine like Google and your website comes back as a result, that is called an “organic search result.” When visitors come to your website after clicking one of these organic search results, Google labels the traffic as “Organic Search.” As you optimize your website for search engines and publish more content, you should see the amount of traffic from Organic Search increase. You may see a few pieces of content on your website that regularly produce organic search traffic. For example, this post by morning show personality Sheri Lynch regularly produces Organic Search traffic on our website.
    • Paid Search: Organic Search traffic is different than Paid Search traffic. If you are paying to advertise your website in search engines (such as through Google AdWords), you may get traffic when people click on one of these paid advertisements. Most radio stations don’t run paid search ad campaigns on a regular basis.
    • Social Media: People who come to your website through a link on a social network like Facebook or Twitter are lumped under the “Social Media” heading. You’ll want to drill down and see which networks are providing the most traffic. In all likelihood, Facebook will be the biggest source of traffic by far, but you may be surprised to see Twitter outperform Instagram. Are LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest, or other social networks a significant source of website traffic for your station?
    • Referral: People who come to your website through a link on another website, such as a blog or news site, are called “Referral Traffic.” If your station has a link on a highly trafficked website — for example, if the local newspaper publishes an article about your station and includes a link to your website — than you may see a significant source of referral traffic.
    • Email: If you capture the email addresses of website visitors and regularly send out email campaigns that drive people back to your site, email may be a significant source of traffic.

Google Analytics can show you your website traffic sources as a percentage in a pie graph, but these can shift over time. If your overall website traffic is increasing, the percentage of one traffic source might go down simply because another source is growing at a faster rate. So it’s a good idea to look at the raw visitor numbers, not just the percentages.

If you haven’t looked at your Google Analytics data in a while, take a peek and see how people are getting to your radio station’s website.

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.




Midwestern Broadcasting Takes WCCW-AM to Oldies

Midwestern Broadcasting’s WCCW-AM (Traverse City) has flipped from a full-time sports format to oldies, as “AM 13.”  The switch happened this past Monday, August 20.

The music format ranges from the Beach Boys to Motown, and includes elements ranging from memorable commercials from bygone local establishments, to legendary shows from national personalities like Wolfman Jack, to fun morning “Do you remember….” contests.

“We want to transport listeners, via this AM 1310 radio time warp, to 1960’s Traverse City,” says Chris Warren, GM of Radio Centre – downtown Traverse City. “We’ve noticed that as Traverse City evolves, people really love to reminisce about Traverse City’s ‘Good Old Days’, and AM 1310 will be an enjoyable way to do that.”

Listening for a half hour to the station’s stream at the MAB’s Lansing office, your editors heard music from Elvis Presley, the Dave Clark Five, Smokey Robinson, Gladys Knight, Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, the Angels, Chuck Berry, B.J. Thomas, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Looking Glass and others.

Brian Hale, who has been PD/Morning host on the station for many years, continues in his role.

For more information or to listen, check out the station’s website here.




Senate Passes Resolution in Support of the First Amendment

Last week, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution (S. Res. 607) by unanimous consent affirming that the media “is not the enemy of the people.”

The resolution, cosponsored by Democratic Senators Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York, declares the Senate’s support for a free press and the First Amendment protections afforded to journalists.

The resolution text was released the same day 350 newspapers ran editorials designed to push back on President Trump’s criticisms of the media.




WKHM Spends Summer Supporting Jackson Charities

It has been a giving summer for Jackson Radio Works.  On July 19, K-105.3 (WKHM-FM) and NewsTalk 970AM/101.5FM (WKHM-AM) hosted their annual “old fashioned” radio charity auction live on-air during the morning show, 7 – 10 a.m.  Seventy auction items were donated by area businesses, which were then auctioned off live on the air by on-air talents Jared Hammond a.k.a. J-Rod, Greg O’Connor, Jason Smith, and special guest Jeff Kinstle of the Relay for Life in Jackson.

“Our goal was to raise more than we did last year, and I’m so excited to announce that we did just that. We more than doubled it and raised over $7,600 thanks to the businesses that donated and the individuals that placed such generous bids on these amazing items. It couldn’t happen without them,” said Ashley Smith, Promotions Director for the radio stations.

Proceeds are to be split between these three causes: Relay for Life of Jackson County, JDRF One Walk-Jackson, and holiday baskets for the Salvation Army.  The JDRF One Walk Jackson wrote on their Facebook page: “Our hearts are full with joy for all that K-105.3 and NewsTalk 970 / 101.5 have done for the Jackson walk over the years…. We are honored to be among the Jackson charities chosen to share the $7,600 raised yesterday!”

They were not the only ones to comment. The Salvation Army of Jackson, MI posted: “What an honor it is to be a non-profit
recipient of K-105.3’s Charity Auction… A portion of that will help buy healthy food items for thousands of individuals this
Christmas!”

Less than one month after the charity auction, K-105.3 partnered with title sponsor Community Choice Credit Union for a backpack giveaway event. The credit union helped K-105.3 provide the backpacks themselves, and co-sponsors helped cover the cost of standard school supplies like paper, folders, pencils, glue sticks,
crayons and more.

500 backpacks were filled with these school supplies and handed out to families August 13th at Community Choice Credit Union. K-105.3 and CCCU staff members were on hand to direct traffic and hand out backpacks in the 4 drive-through lanes at the credit union, all while doing a remote radio broadcast.

All 500 backpacks were given out in under an hour. Bridget Simone, local branch manager, remarked, “At Community Choice Credit Union we have a ‘Give Big Culture;’ supporting education and giving back to our communities is so important to us, and part of who we are. The team members look forward to the backpack giveaway every year, it is an awesome day!”