Starting Small on Media Regulation Modernization – Rule Requiring Hard Copy of FCC Rules Repealed

David Oxenford - Color

David Oxenford

By: David Oxenford, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP,

One of the first proposals in Chairman Pai’s initiative for the modernization of media regulation (see our post here from when the Chairman announced the initiative) was to repeal an FCC rule that many did not even know was a rule – one requiring that broadcasters who have secondary licenses maintain a paper copy of the FCC rules (surprisingly, the rule did not apply to licensees without secondary licenses for things such as boosters and translators). We wrote about the proposal to abolish this rule here. Not even waiting for the Commission meeting tomorrow at which this proposal was to be considered, the FCC issued its Report and Order February 20, repealing the rule. The Commission notes that station operators have a general obligation to be familiar with the rules that apply to their service, but there is no need to mandate a hard copy of the rules when rules can be accessed from other sources, in more current versions, electronically.

This is but one small step in removing unnecessary FCC regulation – but it is one in the right direction. We look forward to more such actions on more substantive topics in the coming months.

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.


Comment Dates set on FCC Contract Filings
In an effort to modernize the rules applied to broadcasters, the FCC initiated another proceeding seeking comment on whether and how to update the requirement that licensees file paper copies of certain contracts and other documents with the agency within 30 days of their execution.  As a result of the publication of the notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register, comments are due on March 19 and reply comments are due on April 2.


WZZM-TV Women Share the Criticism They Get About Their Looks

This week, Tegna’s WZZM-TV (Grand Rapids) is focusing on a key issue affecting women and young girls in America — body image. This series is called “Seeing You.”

Women are often judged for their looks, and for those in the public eye, this scrutiny can be even harsher. Some of the women from WZZM talked about the criticism they face on a daily basis from viewers.

“They wrote in to tell me that I should smile less,” said Meredith Terhaar (Weekend News Anchor and Multimedia Journalist). “That was hurtful to me because my smile is one of my favorite things about myself. It’s something that we present to each other, and I see a smile as something warm and welcoming and kind.”

Kamady Rudd (Journalist/Reporter) described one comment she got from a viewer. “I dressed inappropriate, he said he knows how I got that job and just insinuated all these really terrible things,” she said. “It had nothing to do with my work. My dress was not too tight, it was not too short, it was not inappropriate at all. But I immediately was ashamed.”

“She went on for a while paragraph saying that she hated my eyelashes,” said Val Lego (Health Reporter/Weekend Anchor). “And that I didn’t learn how to put mascara on, and she was going to stop watching.”

Val, Kamady and Meredith also shared their hopes for how these kind of criticisms should stop.

“I was raised with the rule: if you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all,” said Meredith. “I think our world would be a better place if people took that to heart.”

“What I do wish is that it was more important what I said than what I looked like,” said Val.

“Don’t be like ‘I’m sorry you feel that way,'” said Kamady. “Because I’m not sorry you feel that way. That’s one of the biggest things I think goes right along with that whole body image thing where it’s like trying to please someone else, instead of making sure you’re taken care of first.”

WZZM has partnered with Grand Rapids Christian Radio station WCSG as part of the Seeing You project.

Longtime Detroit media personality Cliff Russell dies at 61

Detroit radio host and community activist Cliff Russell has died at the age of 61.

Russell had worked in the Detroit media for more than 35 years in several roles including news reporter, anchor, talk-show host, columnist, political analyst and more. Russell worked at WWJ in the mid-1980s until 1994 when he was appointed press secretary by former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer.  For several years, Cliff Russell hosted “American Black Journal” on Detroit Public Television.

He has won several state, local and national awards during his time on Detroit radio and TV.

Since 2016, Russell had been the voice of the Detroit Mercy men’s basketball team and hosted his self-titled show on WFDF-AM Radio.

A graduate of Wayne State University, he also was a lecturer there, had worked as a columnist for the Detroit Free Press and was the first African-American Senior Director of Communications in Major League Baseball when he started in the role in 2002.

Russell is survived by his wife Charisa, six children, two stepsons, seven grandchildren and three brothers.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

WKAR Takes Home National Awards

Via Imani Farmer, WKAR.ORG:

(l-r) Robin Pizzo, WKAR director of education; Susi Elkins, WKAR director of broadcasting and general manager; and Julie Sochay, WKAR content and community engagement manager all honored to accept two awards at the 2017 NETA conference on January 23.  Photo credit: WKAR.

WKAR Public Media from Michigan State University received  two awards at the 2018 National Education Telecommunications Association (NETA) Conference on January 23 in Washington, DC.

The honors included a promotion award for the special event WKAR Family Launch Open House and a production award for the performance of BackStage Pass: Toronzo Cannon.

The 2017 NETA awards were presented to 30 projects from 20 public television stations at the annual NETA Conference in Washington, DC. The competition honors member stations’ finest work in community engagement, promotion, instructional media, and content production.

“It was an honor representing our amazing WKAR team at the NETA awards ceremony,” said Julie Sochay, WKAR content and community engagement manager. “The opportunity for the station to be highlighted in this way, and in front of so many stations and organizations from around the country, is important as we continue to grow our reach.”

The promotion award for WKAR Family Launch Open House is a testament to all the hard work and effort of WKAR Family. An initiative which brings together the resources of PBS KIDS and Michigan State University to provide free programming, technology and learning tools to kids, as well as dedicate resources to researching early childhood development.

“Receiving an award for our PBS KIDS 24/7 Channel and WKAR Family launch event is especially important as it brings awareness to the growing educational needs within our local community and beyond,” said Sochay.

The production award won for BackStage Pass: Toronzo Cannon performance helps bridge WKAR’s own original showcase with bluesman Cannon to provide outstanding and award winning entertainment.

“We filmed it at Blues Fest in Old Town, Lansing,” said Nicole Zaremba, BackStage Pass producer. “Cannon was amazing, a Chicago staple as Blues goes. It was an honor to host him on the show and highlight his musicianship and learn about his inspiration towards and behind his music.”

In this award winning BackStage Pass video, contemporary bluesman Toronzo Cannon from Chicago performs the title track from his album, “John the Conquer Root,” “Ti Ni Nee Ni Nu,” and more.

You can watch Toronzo Cannon’s performance and other BackStage Pass episodes at In addition, families and parents can enjoy more WKAR Family segments at

WKAR was very pleased to receive both awards at the 2017 NETA Conference and looks forward to continue providing award winning content.

The Bannister Effect

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.


Chris Lytle

By: Chris Lytle, Content Developer

I was talking with a sales manager last week and I mentioned “The Bannister Effect.” When that was met by silence, I backtracked and asked him if he know what “The Bannister Effect” is.

When I was a little boy, I had a book called The 100 Greatest Sports Heroes. One of my favorites stories was about the British miler Roger Bannister—he broke the barrier—the 4-minute mile barrier.

For nine years the world record in the mile stood at 4:01.4. Some speculate that the “conventional wisdom of the day” maintained that a man would die if he put out any more effort. Bannister’s own memoir blames the disruption in training brought about by WWII as the major culprit.

Once Roger Bannister broke the 4-minute mile on May 6, 1954, it only took another month and a half for John Landry to break the 4-minute mile barrier and Roger Bannister’s record.

By the end of 1957, 16 runners had broken the 4-minute mile.

“The Bannister Effect” is the phenomenon of one person showing others that it can be done and, thus, prompting others to believe and achieve.

I market a product called Instant Sales Training. Each week, I create a short audio “knowledge bite” that sales managers can download and send to their salespeople ahead of the sales meeting. I also create some discussion questions so the manager can hold an engaging sales meeting.

I suggest that the managers assign the content three to five days before the sales meeting. That way, a salesperson or two might have implemented an idea with a customer or prospect and have a story to share about it.

A salesperson with a success can share it and the others can see that it can be done. “If she can get results with this idea, so can I,” they reason.

Michael Bosworth and Ben Zoldan encourage this kind of sharing and story telling in What Great Salespeople Do.

They write, “Sales reps can learn a lot from each other’s stories as well. Firefighters have long understood the value of such peer-to-peer story sharing. Every night, in firehouses across the country, firefighters take part in a tradition where they share stories about their day. It’s more than just a social ritual; it’s a means by which firefighters learn from one another’s successes and failures and build institutional memory within their departments. The goal: to make sure every single member of the firehouse has the same level of situational knowledge. With lives at stake, the 87/13 rule simply is not an option in the firefighting profession.

“Sales managers can foster similar peer-to-peer learning by encouraging reps to share stories (including dumb ass selling moments) with each other. One of our clients actually replaced his weekly sales meeting with what he calls “The Monday Morning Campfire.” Instead of focusing on forecasts and pipelines, he goes around the horn and has each of his team members share a story about a recent selling experience. The young reps learn from the old reps, the old reps learn from the young reps, and because the lessons come through storytelling, they’re much more likely to be remembered and taken to heart than anything learned from a sales manual. Since our client implemented the campfire meetings, attendance is up, morale is up, and his salespeople are more engaged. The meetings also promote a culture of story and reinforce the way he wants his sellers to communicate with buyers.”

I call mine “the honors class in selling” sales meeting. It’s peer-to-peer experience sharing and story telling. You’ve got to come to it with an opinion and be willing to share an experience.

Someone always has to go first. Roger Bannister lead the way in breaking the 4-minute mile. Today high school students have run sub four minute miles and the world record is 3:43. 17 seconds lower than Bannister’s barrier buster.

Who on your sales team is showing that it can be done?

My new book is a compilation of 23 of my weekly sales meeting scripts. Need some meeting ideas? Check it out here.

Reprinted by permission

St. Clair Community College Files to Transfer WSGR-FM

As reported by the MAB last December, WSGR-FM, St. Clair County Community College’s student radio station for 43 years, will become a part of the St. Clair County Regional Educational Service Agency (RESA). The college took the station off the air in December, citing rising costs and declining student interest.

An assignment application for the process was filed on February 20 with the FCC.  According to an exhibit in the application, there is no purchase agreement nor will there be an exchange of funds.

In a December Facebook post, Kevin Miller, RESA superintendent and a former radio broadcaster, is excited about the possibilities. “We wanted to keep the license active, because once it goes back to the FCC, it isn’t coming back,” he said.

Dr. Deborah Snyder, president of the community college, said the college is happy the radio station is getting a chance at a new life. “WSGR has been a part of SC4 and the community for a long time,” she said. “We are pleased RESA is able to continue that history to the benefit of a new generation of students.”

Miller said RESA will assess the future of the station over the next few months. He said everything is on the table, including its programming, staffing and equipment needs. “At this point we want to do our due diligence about how to put together a station that adds value to our students’ digital media experience and also fills a public need,” Miller said.

WSGR’s call letters stood for “Student Government Radio” when it debuted on campus in the 1970s. It most recently broadcast music of many styles.

Miller said the radio station will be set up in a studio used by Digital Media students at the Technical Education Center on the RESA campus.

Miller couldn’t put a timeline on when the station will resume broadcasting. “The school year is already half over,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do, but we’d certainly like to have the station on the air for our students in the fall.”


Sinclair to Move WWMT-TV and WXMI-TV to Trust

The proposed combination of Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Media has taken another step.  On February 21, applications were filed with the FCC indicating the divestiture of up to 23 broadcast television properties by Sinclair.

In Michigan, applications for the divestiture were filed for both WWMT-TV (Kalamazoo) and WXMI-TV (Grand Rapids).  WWMT has been owned by Sinclair since 2012.  WXMI-TV is currently owned by Tribune.

According to an article in Broadcasting & Cable,  Sinclair also plans to divest of Tribune’s WGN-TV, Chicago, WPIX-TV New York and KSWB-TV San Diego to come under the FCC’s 39% ownership cap.

However, Variety reports that  Sinclair intends to remain close to the stations through a shared services agreement.

The stations have been designated for placement in what will be called the Sinclair Divestiture Trust, and the trustee is RAFAMEDIA LLC, led by veteran media broker Richard A. Foreman.

Matt Burgoyne Will Bring ‘Magical’ Perspective to #MABshow

Matt Burgoyne

Rumple Co-founder and “Defender of Simplicity” Matt Burgoyne will bring his “magical” touch to the  2018 Great Lakes Media Show.

The Great Lakes Media Show, formerly the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference & Expo (GLBC) will take place March 6 and 7 at the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing. Register to attend by February 23 to take advantage of discounted rates.

Burgoyne has a passion for training sales managers to know and understand how to get more out of their team and individuals, how to inspire, lead and coach.  He understands that media sales attracts a unique group of people. Managing and succeeding in this industry takes a relentless, mind-numbing commitment to fundamentals and a few magical activities that create success.

He will present 2 Weekly Meetings & 3 Magical Questions and proclaims, “There is a magical formula to helping your team and salespeople achieve more. It can help you consistently hit goals and revenue budgets.”

This breakout session will offer specific and real instruction on how to move from attempting to manage the past and focus on coaching for the future,  giving the blue print for successful weekly meetings that create consistent and proven success.

Learn more about him and other dynamic speakers lined up for the event at 

WYTZ Raises Big Money for St. Jude

(l-r) WYTZ’s Lindsay Kay Zvonar and Paul Layendecker, on-air during the Radiothon.

On February 15 and 16, Midwest Family Broadcasting’s WYTZ-FM (Benton Harbor) held its 12th annual 97.5 Y Country “St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Country Cares Radiothon,” and so far, with additional post-event donations, it’s raised at least $38,000.

For 12 years, Y Country staff have held the fundraiser, asking people to donate to St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Morning host Matt Malone told sister-station WSJM that this was an excellent year.

“The outpouring of support was absolutely incredible,” Malone said. “The fact that we had all of our Y Country family show up was amazing.”

Malone says hearing the stories of cancer survivors is always emotional for each host on the radio-thon. He proved his dedication to the charity on Monday by getting a St. Jude tattoo. That was in response to a bet he made with listeners this year, saying he’d get inked for St. Jude if the Radiothon raised at least $10,000 on its first day.



The Robinson Report: The Black Mirror

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.

Kevin Robinson

By: Kevin Robinson
Robinson Media

“I am not the only person who uses his computer mainly for the purpose of diddling with his computer.” –Dave Berry

The Black Mirror is a dark series – found on Netflix – which explores the danger of techno-paranoia and all things “computer.”

Spring 1989.

As a large market content creator in Phoenix, hours of the day where dedicated to generating research, program management, event scheduling and media staffing.

Utilizing an IBM 236 with 10 meg hard drive (!!), all critical issues – solved.

Research reports – employee memos – program management.

All behind the CRT.

Late one day, the boss stuck his head in my office and said…

“…You can’t create greatness staring at a computer screen…”

It was as right 29 years ago – as it is today.

Before Windows – before Internet – before iPhone.

We can all learn from those words – today.

Daily, we bunker down – waiting for the next big thing.

When – we need to be creating – the next big thing.

The tools we use remain simply another tool, not a content creator.

Intoxication our technology generates allow us to miss early great opportunities.

Why not – just one day a month, migrate away from our Black Mirror(s).

Free your mind from the noise of our business.

Justin Bieber (talent – discovered on You Tube) launched Carly Rae Jepson’s career – with a Tweet.

Model Kate Upton – discovered on You Tube – doing The Dougie at a Clippers game.

Comedian Bo Burnhan – practiced in his bedroom before posting his funny at age 16 – on social media.

The Olympians we’re watching – thousands of hours creating GREAT – before they make it to our screen.

So – go.



Create your next – big thing.

Kevin Robinson will be speaking again this year at the Great Lakes Media Show (GLMS) March 6-7 here in Lansing.  For details, click here.

Kevin Robinson is a record-setting and award-winning programmer. His brands consistently perform in the Top Three 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 he has coached CMA, ACM and Marconi winning talent.  He lives in St. Louis with his wife of 30 years, Monica. Reach Kevin at (314) 882-2148 or [email protected].