Energy & Commerce Committee Democratic Roster Released

U.S. House Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) announced the full Democratic rosters for the six subcommittees in the 116th Congress, including the six subcommittee chairs and the full Committee Vice Chair, who were elected by the Democrats on the Committee. The six subcommittees and their chairs are:

  • Subcommittee on Communications and Technology – Rep. Mike Doyle (PA)
  • Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce – Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL)
  • Subcommittee on Energy – Rep. Bobby Rush (IL)
  • Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change – Rep. Paul Tonko (NY)
  • Subcommittee on Health –  Rep. Anna Eshoo (CA)
  • Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations – Rep. Diana DeGette (CO)

The appointments will now need to be approved by the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee and the Democratic Caucus.  Committee Democrats also elected Yvette Clarke (NY) as Vice Chair of the full Committee.

Fred Jacobs Inducted to Radio Hall of Fame

Fred Jacobs

On November 15, Jacobs Media Strategies Founder/President Fred Jacobs was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame at ceremonies in New York City. His inclusion recognizes his contributions to radio broadcasting over more than three decades. Fred is the first radio consultant to ever be inducted.

The MAB thanks Jackson Radio Works’ Bruce and Sue Goldsen and MAPB Chair Gary Reid for representing the MAB at the induction ceremony.

Watch Fred’s acceptance speech, with an introduction by his brother and the Vice President of Jacobs Media Strategies, Paul Jacobs:

Write Digital Instructions to Help With Radio Station Staff Turnover

Seth Resler

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

I tell people that you’re not really in the radio industry until you’ve been fired at least once. We work in an industry with a lot of turnover, and that means we can lose a lot of time to learning curves as new people step in to take over the duties of previous employees.

It’s not just staffing changes that can cause disruptions. If a member of your team gets sick or injured, you may need somebody to step in and fill their role for a bit. To minimize the digital disruption in these situations, it’s helpful to write instructions and save them in a place where multiple people have access to them.

I am a big proponent of writing out clear step-by-step instructions, complete with annotated screenshots, for every digital task you can’t live without. Here are some of the things you will want to have instructions for:

  • How to send an email blast
  • How to send a text message blast
  • How to publish a blogpost
  • How to update the website’s concert calendar
  • How to set up a contest on the website
  • How to publish a podcast episode
  • How to back up the website
  • How to restore a backup of the website
  • How to publish a video to the station’s YouTube channel
  • How to set up online ticket sales for a station event
  • How to post an advertisement on the website

These instructions are useful not only to people who have to take over a role, but also to the same person who may have performed the task in the past. Because I do it so infrequently, I often have to go back and figure out what I did the previous year. If you’re responsible for an infrequent task, such as setting up ticket sales for an annual station concert, it can be incredibly valuable to go back and read instructions — even if you’re the one who wrote them!

If you don’t already have instructions for your most important digital tasks, start writing them today. The next time you have a staff position turnover, you’ll be glad that you did.

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.

Pillsbury Advisory: A Sexual Harassment Sea Change for Employers?

Pillsbury recently released an Advisory on dealing with sexual harassment claims. 

“Sexual harassment within the workplace is not a new issue. In both Europe and the United States, the law has provided protection for employees against harassment for many years. A TUC/Everyday Sexism Report in 2016 conducted a survey of women in the UK workplace and found that over half (52 percent of those surveyed) had experienced some form of sexual harassment in the workplace but that four out of five of these women did not report that sexual harassment to their employer, and nearly 50 percent did nothing at all, not even confiding in a family member or friend or other third party.” begins the advisory, authored by Paula M. Weber and Caron Gosling.

“Just over a year later, it has become clear that the landscape has changed. Recent events would appear to indicate that those on the receiving end of sexual harassment are perhaps now more inclined to speak out, and not just using internal complaints procedures, but also by involving the media, in high-profile cases, and by posting on social media platforms.”

It goes on to outline “Actions to Take if Faced with and Internal Complaint,” “Actions to Take if Faced with Complaints or Allegations Made via the Media, including Social Media,” “Actions to Take if Faced with Complaints or Allegations Made via the Media, including Social Media” and more.

You can find the full Advisory here:

The Power of the Human Voice


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

I recently saw the latest Star Wars movie “The Last Jedi.” It was powerful in many ways, not the least of which was because it was the final film for actress Carrie Fisher, who was excellent.

In film, the way to connect with the theater goer is with close-ups of the faces of the actors. It’s powerful and we respond, as human beings, to another person’s face.

When radio was born, people could not see faces, and the connection radio listeners would make would be with people’s voices.

Radio People’s Memories

I belong to a bunch of radio groups on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. One of the things these groups have in common is a desire to have things be the way they used to be, like they were when they were growing up. (Spoiler Alert: Ain’t gonna happen)

The other thing that they share, is that the memories everyone has that are the most vivid about radio, are about the people’s voices they listened to.

What made their favorite radio station(s) so loved, were the personalities.

What Makes a Voice Attractive?

In the early days of radio, microphones and everything they were connected up to, to transmit the human voice, were by today’s standards, pretty crude. Men with deep, strong, resonating voices were preferred for traveling through the ether.

As technology improved, other voices entered.

Listeners would now find themselves attracted to people who sounded more like they sounded. Research shows that the reason apparently is because it makes us feel like we’re part of a certain social group.

“The voice is an amazingly flexible tool that we use to construct our identity,” says Dr. Molly Babel, a linguistics professor at the University of British Columbia.

Is a Pleasing Voice More Attractive than a Pleasing Face?

When we hear an appealing voice, our feelings of attraction are heightened. Attractive voices cause us to perceive those individuals with more pleasing personalities.

So, while the real emotion in movies is transmitted via close-ups of the face, on the radio it is the human voice.

So, which is more dominate? A face or a voice?

Turns out, researchers tell us, that “the effects of vocal attractiveness can actually be stronger than the effects of physical attractiveness when each dimension appears alone” (Zuckerman et al., 1991).

Alexa, Siri, Cortana

I’m sure the power of the human voice was not lost on Amazon, Apple or Microsoft as they developed their AI digital voice assistants.

My fiancé Susan gifted me an Echo Dot for Christmas. (I already have been using Siri on my iPhone.) The ease with which it sets up and you begin using it, is remarkable. It quickly becomes a member of the family.

When going to bed our first evening with Alexa in our home, Sue said “Alexa, Good Night.” And Alexa responded with “Good Night, Sweet Dreams.”

Sue came into the bed room walking a cloud beaming how real, how sweet, how comforting it made her feel.

And I knew exactly what she meant.

Anyone who has one of the devices will too.

Radio Voices

The power of the personalities on your airwaves are critical to your station’s future success in 2018. How do their voices make your listeners feel?

It can happen in many different ways.

Let me offer a couple of examples: It can be via stationality like the JACK format, (done very well in Nashville) or it can be like the voices and style cultivated by NPR.

It just doesn’t happen by accident.

It takes planning and continuous execution of the plan.

The Battle for Attention

In the end, every form of media is battling for attention.

And to paraphrase the lesson taught in “The Last Jedi,” radio needs to stop trying to defeat what it hates about the competition and save what it loves about radio.

Reprinted by permission.

Dick Taylor has been “Radio Guy” all his life and is a former professor of broadcasting at the School of Journalism & Broadcasting at Western Kentucky University (WKU) in Bowling Green, Kentucky and he’s currently seeking his next adventure.  Dick shares his thoughts on radio and media frequently at

Michigan Radio & Television Stations Air 2018 State of the State

On January 23, 32 radio stations and 27 television stations across Michigan aired Governor Rick Snyder’s final State of the State address to the citizens of the state.  The broadcast was a combined effort of the MAB, WCMU Public Media (which supplied the satellite uplink), WKAR Public Media (which supplied technical assistance as well as streaming video and audio), The Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters and the Michigan Public Radio Network.

The broadcast was coordinated by MAB’s Dan Kelley.  Special thanks to CMU’s Ken Kolbe, Shawn Hoskey and Darel Vanderhoof.; WKAR’s Julie Sochay, Gary Blievernicht and Brant Wells.

This year’s broadcast was a challenge due to the construction around the Capitol, but sufficient pre-planning allowed a smooth setup and broadcast.

WXYZ and WMYD Donate Money for Books

(l-r) Mike Murri, WXYZ/WMYD VP/GM; Diane Renaud, Exec. Director, St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center; Becky Brickner and Eli Scripps, Scripps Family members

E.W.. Scripps Company’s WXYZ-TV and WMYD-TV (Detroit)
celebrated National Reading Day by delivering a check for $10,000 to the St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center in Detroit. The money was donated by The Scripps Howard Foundation, as part of its national “If You Give a Child a Book …” literacy campaign. The money will be used to purchase books for children at the Center. The Center provides educational programs for at-risk children through after school and summer programs.

7 Action News anchor Carolyn Clifford reads to children at the St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center

The campaign is a partnership of the Foundation, the employees of The E.W. Scripps Company and members of the Scripps family. “If You Give a Child a Book …” has distributed more than 100,000 books to children across the country.

“It’s an honor to work for a company that puts such a high value on giving back to the community,” said Mike Murri, WXYZ and WMYD vice president and general manager. “We are thrilled to be able to advance the great work that is being done at the St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center through the generosity of the Scripps family.”

Employees of WXYZ and WMYD generously pledged money to purchase books for the St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center as part of the campaign. A member of the Scripps family matched the employee contributions and presented a donation of $14,106 to the Center. In November, more than 5,600 books were purchased with those funds for children in the community.

New “Blue Alert” EAS Warning Order Published in the Federal Register

David Oxenford - Color

David Oxenford

By: David Oxenford, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP,

As we wrote here, the FCC recently adopted a new Blue Alert code to be added to the warning codes in the EAS system. This code is to be used for warnings about imminent danger to law enforcement authorities. The FCC’s Order (available in full here) has now been published in the Federal Register, making the rule changes effective. However, the FCC has provided one year for new equipment or upgrades to existing equipment to be rolled out, meaning that broadcasters will need to implement these new EAS codes and be prepared to use them by January 18, 2019. Start your preparations to implement these new codes now.

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.

Shuldiner Named New Audio Division Chief At FCC

Al Shuldiner

The Federal Communications Commission has announced the appointment Albert Shuldiner as Chief of the Media Bureau’s Audio Division. The Audio Division of the Media Bureau licenses commercial and noncommercial educational AM, FM, FM Translator, and FM Booster radio services, and the noncommercial educational Low Power FM radio service. The division provides legal analysis of broadcast, technical, and engineering radio filings and recommends appropriate disposition of applications, requests for waivers, and other pleadings.

“Al’s breadth of experience in the radio industry will enable him to hit the ground running as he takes over as Audio Division Chief,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “His extensive knowledge of the radio business as well as FCC regulatory issues makes him extremely qualified to assume this position.”

To ensure a smooth transition, current Audio Division Chief Peter Doyle will, on a temporary basis, assume a new part-time role as Senior Advisor in the Division. Mr. Shuldiner brings decades of legal experience to the FCC, including positions at DTS, Inc., Ibiquity Digital Corporation, and Vinson & Elkins, LLP. He received a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University.

How a Content Calendar Can Improve Your Radio Station’s Blog

Seth Resler

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

When I was the Music Director at 107.7 The End in Seattle, I spent every minute of my workday trying to achieve the right mix of on-air content. Like most radio stations, we had expensive software that enabled me to a balance of new and old, hard and soft, fast and slow. The goal was to create an on-air product that appealed to a wide swath of listeners.

The goal of your radio station’s website is the same. But do you invest as much energy into getting the mix of content right?

Just like the music scheduling software you use for your on-air content, it’s helpful to have a tool to get the right mix of online content. Fortunately, it’s not going to cost you anything.

The Weekly Web Meeting and the Content Calendar

Radio stations should carve out time with the appropriate staff members for a weekly meeting to plan out the upcoming week’s blogposts. Spend the first half of the meeting on old business: review your website, social media, and email analytics, much like you would review callout research in a music meeting.

Next, turn to new business: The analytics you just reviewed can help you decide what new blogposts to write. In place of music scheduling software, use a spreadsheet to schedule the week’s blogposts. I recommend posting this spreadsheet as a shareable document in the cloud — as a Google Spreadsheet, for example — so everybody can log in at any time and see the latest version. This way, you don’t have to email back and forth about every blogpost.

Download a Content Calendar Template

In your weekly web meeting, decide what topics you want to cover in the blog during the upcoming week. For example:

  • What events are happening in town?
  • What concerts are coming up?
  • What new albums will be released?
  • What holidays are around the corner?

More Blogpost Ideas

Once you’ve decided what blogposts to write, assign the posts to your staff members with the appropriate due dates.

Encourage your staff to check the Content Calendar regularly throughout the week. This way, not only will your blog writers will know what’s due when, but your on-air staff will know when there’s new blogposts that they can talk about on the air.

In short, it’s time that your radio station put the same amount of careful planning into your online content as you do your on-air content. A Content Calendar can help you do that.

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.