Speaker line-up announced for Next-Gen TV Summit

With the first group of U.S. stations now “on-air” with ATSC 3.0 and with Spectrum Repack planning well underway, local station General Managers and Engineering personnel need to know how the upcoming transition to Next-Generation ATSC 3.0 TV transmission will affect their advertising offerings and engineering plans. Broadcaster Associations throughout the Midwest are pooling resources to present this event targeted to local stations who need to get ready for the transition to Internet Protocol-enabled broadcast TV.

Location: Marriott Columbus Northwest in Columbus, Ohio. Hotel sleeping room rate = $143/night. Click here to register now!

Wednesday, June 27

3:00 p.m.
“Start at the Beginning with ATSC 3.0: An Overview of
Television’s Next Big Leap”
— Rich Chernock, Triveni Digital (Past Chair, ATSC Technology Group 3)
— Skip Pizzi, Vice President, Technology Education & Outreach,
National Association of Broadcasters

5:15 p.m.
Bus transportation begins to evening reception in Hilliard, OH (10-minute bus ride) at the Early Television Museum, sponsored by LG Electronics. Bus service back to the hotel continues until 7:30 p.m..

Thursday, June 28

8:30 a.m.
Welcome

8:35 a.m.
Cleveland Test Station Update: Starting Place for ATSC 3.0 Broadcasts
— Lynn Claudy, Sr. VP of Technology, National Association of Broadcasters

“Deployment Details: An ATSC 3.0 Plan for General Managers and Engineers”
Panel Discussion
• Moderator Myra Moore, Digital Tech Consulting
• Joseph Seccia, GatesAir
• Jeff Andrew, Osborn Engineering
• Greg Martin, Rohde & Schwarz USA, Inc.
• Lisa Hobbs, Ericsson Media Solutions

“Building New Revenue with NextGen TV and SFN Deployment”
— Jerald Fritz, Executive VP, OneMedia

“Monetizing ATSC 3.0 with Personalized Advertising and Viewership Data from Next-Gen TV”
Panel Discussion
• Moderator Glen Dickson, TVNewsCheck.com
• Marc Hand, Public Media Venture Group
• Brad Seitter, TVB
• Jason Patton, Verance

12 p.m.
Luncheon

“Better Television: First Market Phoenix, Arizona”
— Ray Thurber, Vice President of Engineering, The E.W. Scripps Company

“Alert & Aware with AWARN Emergency Alerting”
— John Lawson, AWARN Alliance

“The Consumer’s Appetite for New Technology”
— Stephen Baker, NPD Group

“All Eyes on the Viewer & the Evolution of Television”
— Tim Hanlon, The Vertere Group

4:15 p.m.
Conclusions & Dismissal




Humblebrags: The Key to Getting Shared and Retweeted

Seth Resler

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

When it comes to social media, there are lots of data points that we can measure: likes, comments, clicks, shares, retweets, etc. There’s a tendency to lump all of these stats together under the heading of “engagement,” and say, “more engagement is good.” But this oversimplifies the role of social media in our radio stations’ digital strategies.

Key Social Media Stat #1: Incoming Traffic
When it comes to social media, the single most important statistic to track won’t be found in your Facebook or Twitter dashboards; it’s found in your Google Analytics: How many unique visitors came to your website from each social network?

Why is this the most important stat? Because once people are on your website, only then can you encourage them to take an action — such as sign up for the email list or stream the station — that will impact your bottom line. Don’t get me wrong; it’s great if people like, favorite, comment or reply to your posts, but that’s not going to bring more revenue in, so it’s not the top priority.

How do you use social media to drive traffic back to your website? You create original content, such as blogposts or photos, and share them on social media. It’s fine to also share other people’s content on social media, but if your station is only sharing other people’s content, your digital strategy will not bear much fruit in the long run. (Here’s a guide to finding the right mix of station content and other people’s content to share.)

In other words, the key to driving traffic back to your site is to publish Facebook posts and tweets with links back to your compelling content.

Key Social Media Stat #2: Shares & Retweets
But what really moves the needle is when other people or organizations pass the link to your content on their followers. We want them to share your post on Facebook or retweet your tweet. This is what we mean when we say something goes “viral.” In other words, the next important data point to look at when it comes to social media is shares and retweets — not likes, comments or favorites.

(Note that Instagram does not provide an equivalent way to share or retweet a posting. In fact, Instagram is not a particularly good channel for driving traffic back to your website, which is why I think it deserves less attention in your station’s overall digital strategy.)

So, how do you get people to share or retweet your station’s posts?

It’s all in the writing.

Socially Acceptable Humblebragging
A “humblebrag” is the act of trying “to get away with bragging about yourself by couching it in a phony show of humility.” Here are some examples:


Retweeting or sharing a post is essentially a socially acceptable way to humblebrag. If I were to tweet, “Seth Resler is soooooo awesome!” I would appear conceited. But if I were to retweet John Doe saying, “Seth Resler is the coolest guy on the planet!” it would be socially acceptable; it’s perceived as me offering thanks for the compliment rather than bragging about myself.

If you want people to reshare/retweet your posts, the key is to say something complimentary about them that they would be reluctant to say about themselves. Then tag them in the post and include a link back to your website:

  • “We raved about the fantastic donuts at @DetroitCoffee on our show this morning! Here’s the recording: [LINK]”
  • “@StLouisLocalBand has a killer new album out this week! We reviewed it here: [LINK]”
  • “The party was off the chain at @AtlantaNightclub last night! We’ve got photos here: [LINK]”

Two important details to pay attention to:

  • The verbs you use in your social media posts have a big impact. It’s much stronger to “rave” about something thanit is to “mention” it. Passionate verbs increase the chances that your posts will be shared. It’s helpful to brainstorm a list of powerful verbs to use when posting on social media.
  • When looking for people or organizations to tag in your social media posts, pay attention to the number of followers that they have. If somebody who only has 100 followers retweets your station, it’s not going to drive a lot of traffic back to your website, whereas somebody with 100,000 followers probably will.

There’s an art to writing social media posts that get shared. Take the time to craft well-written posts, and you should see a noticeable impact on your station’s website traffic.

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.




Bob Seger Boulevard? WCSX Says ‘Yes’

Beasley Media Group’s WCSX-FM (Detroit), in support of a petition to have Bob Seger Boulevard approved by the Ann Arbor Michigan School Board, programmed 24 hours of Bob Seger music this past Saturday, June 2.

WCSX-FM’s Big Jim’s House Morning Show challenged WCSX-FM Program Director Jerry Tarrants that they could get more than 9,470 likes on the brand new “Make Bob Seger Boulevard” Facebook page. Within only a few days, Bob Seger fans from all over the world made their voices known with likes for the page going well over the 9,470 likes needed! As a result, listeners were able to enjoy 24 hours of Seger on the station.

“I should have known that Bob Seger fans would rise to the occasion,” said Program Director Jerry Tarrants. “It will be fun. The incredible response will help to support our efforts in naming a street sign after this Rock legend. It is something that everyone in the Detroit area and around the world wants to see happen!”

The effort was started in early May when the station announced that it, the City of Ann Arbor and the Ann Arbor School Board were teaming up to have a street named in honor of Detroit Classic Rock legend Bob Seger in front of his Alma Mater in Ann Arbor, Michigan.




WBET Raises $104k for United Way

Swick Broadcasting’s WBET-FM (Sturgis) has announced that it recently raised $104,330 for the United Way of St. Joseph County, during an 18-hour radio marathon that featured local officials and community business leaders as guest DJs.  The Radiothon was held on May 24.

“We are so proud of our local St. Joseph County listeners for their generosity in supporting the United Way,” stated Steve Swick, Chief Executive Officer of Swick Broadcasting and Local Radio Networks. “Local radio is the heart of the community, and everybody wants the thrill of being a DJ. Our local dignitaries had lots of fun on-air during this special charity drive, and our listeners clearly loved it and responded with their kind donations.”




Holy Family Radio Acquires Vicksburg Signal

On June 1, an application was filed with the FCC to assign the license of non-commercial station WVAV-FM from Vineyard Academy to Holy Family Radio.  The station serves the Vicksburg/Kalamazoo area.

The station is being donated.  Holy Family Radio has been programming the station.

Holy Family Radio, based in Grand Rapids, owns WVHF-AM, Licensed to Kentwood and WSPB-FM, Bedford.

WVAV-FM operates on 91.5 mHz with 20kw ERP.  The assignment is subject to FCC approval.




Michigan Broadcaster to Receive $16k in Energy Rebate from Power Company

Buying a New Transmitter? Substantial Energy Rebates Available Through MAB!

You may be able to get a refund from your energy company if the new equipment that you plan to purchase or have purchased within a year saves energy. Knowing that many of you will need to purchase a new transmitter as part of the repack, and the equipment will most likely be more energy efficient than the ones that you have, MAB is filing with local energy companies to create a special category for broadcasters to receive cash back.

You already pay into this account as a surcharge on your electric energy bill, everyone does. Electric Energy companies are required to place the money into a special account and use it to provide refunds and incentives for energy conservation. These incentives will help the energy companies to reach their declared energy reduction plans. You pay into the energy fund on your bill, so why not try to get a little back?

Example: One MAB member radio station will see a one-time rebate from Consumers Energy in the $16,000+ range by replacing its transmitter with a more energy-efficient unit.

Here’s how it typically works: Your power provider will measure usage with your present equipment and then once the new equipment is operational, will do another measurement. The power savings are then calculated and a one-tme rebate is set up for energy savings.

The rebate can be usually estimated in advance of these measurements with equipment manufacturer efficiency data.

Call the MAB at 1-800-YOUR-MAB and we will set you up with our Energy Consultant Don Johns, EnStar Energy. Don is an expert on all things energy and he can help you traverse the paperwork to see if you qualify. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.




WDIV’s Rhonda Walker Receives Prestigious NABJ Community Service Award

Rhonda Walker

On June 5, The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) announced the selection of Rhonda Walker, morning show anchor at WDIV-TV Local 4, as the recipient of the 2018 Angelo B. Henderson Community Service Award.

The award recognizes a journalist who has had a positive impact on the community outside the normal realm of journalism and was named in honor of the late Angelo B. Henderson, who as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal won a Pulitzer Prize and later became a highly respected minister, community activist and radio talk show host.

Walker is one of the top television journalists in the Detroit market. She has a burning desire to give back to the community through events and other volunteer work, logging over 100 appearances each year.

Whether it be emceeing events or spearheading initiatives around fitness, Rhonda has proven to be an inspiration in the community. She is also making a difference in the community through the Rhonda Walker Foundation which she started 15 years ago. It is dedicated to empowering inner-city teen girls by developing their confidence, morals and character, allowing them to take their rightful place as future leaders. Walker works closely with the participants during the five year “Girls into Women” program.

“I was blessed to get my first job in television 20 years ago in Detroit, the city where I was born. It was an honor, a privilege and tremendous blessing and I quickly felt a calling from God to use His blessing upon my life to bless others,” said Walker. “As journalists, we are keenly aware of the needs of our community and rather than just report on those needs, I wanted to hold myself accountable for doing something to make a difference. Four years into my career, I founded the Rhonda Walker Foundation and our core five-year “Girls into Women” program to empower inner city teen girls.”

Walker also said the program has produced results. “I am extremely proud that now in our 15th year, we have graduated 12 classes of seniors out of our award winning and comprehensive college prep, career, personal development and mentoring program. We have a 100% high school graduation rate among our teens that complete our program. They are all students in the Detroit Public Schools Community District and 100% enroll in a 4 year college or university and 95% of our girls graduate from college as well. I am deeply proud of our outcomes and the impact the program has on the lives of under privileged kids in Detroit.”

NABJ President Sarah Glover applauds Walker for her commitment to underprivileged girls in Detroit. “To produce such life changing and amazing results for our young girls makes Rhonda an excellent choice to receive this award named in honor of a man who also dedicated his life to making a difference in Detroit. It is also fitting that NABJ is presenting this award to Walker during our convention and career fair which is returning to Detroit after 26 years. It is also noteworthy that Angelo B. Henderson served as president of the Detroit chapter back in 1992.”

NABJ Region II Director Vickie Thomas nominated Walker and said, “Rhonda serves as a shining example of a journalist who uses her status in the community to effectuate change. She epitomizes the spirit of NABJ’s Angelo B. Henderson Community Service Award. She is the perfect choice to receive this honor.”

Walker says receiving this award is special and personal, “To be recognized by NABJ for my service to the Detroit community is a tremendous and humbling honor and I am extremely grateful. Learning that this award is named after a man I truly looked up to professionally as a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and successful radio host is truly special. But I also looked up to him personally, his energy, his ever present infectious smile and incredible willingness to help others is a bar that can never be reached. It is hard to find the words to truly express how much an award in Angelo B. Henderson’s name means to me. It is truly one of the highest honors I could ever receive, thank you so very much.”

Walker will be honored at NABJ’s 2018 Salute to Excellence Awards ceremony on Saturday, August 4 during the NABJ Convention and Career Fair at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center.

NABJ Convention registration and Salute to Excellence Awards tickets can be purchased here.

For more information on the Foundation, and to learn how you can help positively affect the life of an inner city teen girl, please visit the RWF’s website, rhondawalkerfoundation.org.




Another Birthday, Another Bash for B93


On June 2, iHeartMedia’s WBCT-FM (Grand Rapids) held its annual “Birthday Bash” concert before a sell-out crowd at Fifth Third Ballpark.

The annual concert this year featured a number of country artists, including Rascal Flatts, Gary Allan, Morgan Evans, Devin Dawson and Tyler Rich.  All 7500 seats at the ballpark were sold.

This is the first year for the event to be held at the ballpark.  Tim Feagan, Regional Market President at iHeartMedia said, “After evaluating the changing concert landscape and reviewing facilities and infrastructure, B-93.7 has decided to move its Birthday Bash celebration to the Fifth Third Ballpark.  The new facility for the Birthday Bash will provide better sightlines, concession choices, facilities and seating for all attendees.”




WDET To Offer Free Airtime to Non-Profits Through Kyle’s Challenge

WDET-FM (Detroit) and The Kyle John Foundation are awarding $25,000 in promotional support to five, youth-focused nonprofits.

Five organizations will receive $5,000 of free airtime on WDET.  One non-profit (Soar Detroit) was already chosen by the Kyle John Foundation, but listeners of the station have been invited to vote to choose the remaining organizations.

Soar Detroit will kick off the Kyle’s Challenge on-air awareness campaign on the station on June 25.

Gary Cone and Aimée Cowher, founders of The Kyle John Foundation believe in the impact of WDET and the collective ability to make a real difference. They have made a very generous gift to WDET as a challenge to get listeners involved in a Community Impact Campaign that can improve the lives of thousands of young people in Southeast Michigan.

For more information on the project, click here.




Dealing with a Local Political Candidate Who Appears in a Spot Advertisement for a Commercial Business

David Oxenford - Color

David Oxenford

By: David Oxenford, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP,

With election season upon us again, I’ve had one question that has come up repeatedly in the last few weeks about local candidates – usually running for state or municipal offices – who appear in advertisements for local businesses that they own or manage. Often times, these individuals will routinely appear in a business’ ads outside of election season, and the candidate simply wants to continue to appear on their businesses’ ads during the election as well. We wrote about this question in an article published two years ago, and since the question has been coming up again, it is worth revisiting the subject. What is a station to do when a local advertiser decides to run for office?

While we have many times written about what happens when a broadcast station’s on-air employee runs for office (see, for instance, our articles here, here and here), we have addressed the question less often about the advertiser who is also a candidate. If a candidate’s recognizable voice or, for TV, image appears on a broadcast station in a way that is not negative (e.g. it is not in an ad attacking that candidate), outside of an exempt program (in other words, outside of a news or news interview program which, as we wrote here, is a very broad category of programming exempt from the equal time rules) that appearance is a “use” by the political candidate. “Uses” can arise well outside the political sphere, so Arnold Schwarzenegger movies were pulled from TV when he was running for office, as were any re-runs of The Apprentice and The Celebrity Apprentice featuring Donald Trump. An appearance by a candidate in a commercial for his or her local business is a “use” which needs to be included in a station’s political file (providing all the information about the sponsor, schedule and price of the ad that you would for any pure political buy). But that does not necessarily mean that a station needs to pull the ad from the air.

As a commercial for a business is usually a paid spot, where the station is receiving money to air the ad (and not an unpaid one like the appearance in an entertainment program where the station does not get paid to air its comedy program or movie in which a candidate appears), a “use” arising in a paid commercial gives rise to equal opportunities for other opposing candidates to buy time on the station. The station will not usually be required to provide free time to opposing candidates (but watch for candidate appearances in PSAs, as that might give rise to free time for opposing candidates). If the station has plenty of commercial inventory and does not mind selling spots to the opposing candidate for the lowest unit rates that apply during the political windows (45 days before a primary and 60 days before a general election) to spots purchased by a candidate’s authorized campaign committee (the opposing candidate gets lowest unit rate for a spot run in connection with his or her campaign, even if the commercial business bought the spot featuring their employee-candidate at regular commercial rates), a station may decide to continue to air the business spots with the candidate’s appearance. But if inventory is tight, or the station is not selling political ads to candidates in a particular state or local race, the station may want to tell the business that the candidate can’t appear in the business’ spots once the candidate becomes legally qualified, as the running of those spots with the candidates would require the station to provide equal time to the opposing candidates.

Note that the “no censorship” provision of the Communications Act and the lowest unit rate provisions likely do not apply to the business spots even though they contain the voice or image of a candidate. That is because these spots are not uses by the candidate or the candidate’s authorized campaign committee which are covered by the rules providing for lowest unit rates and the “no censorship” provisions of the law. As the commercial spots are not by the candidate or his or her political committee, but instead they are commercials by a business that happen to be “uses,” normal commercial rates can be applied.

Note, also, that business spots that advertise a business in which the candidate’s name appears, but where the candidate him or herself do not appear by voice or picture, do not trigger any equal opportunity issues. It is the recognizable voice or picture of the candidate that triggers the equal opportunity and public file issues. For those of us here in the DC area, we are accustomed to seeing ads for the local Volvo dealer even during election season, even though that dealership is named after a politician currently serving in Congress.

As in all areas of political broadcasting, any analysis of the implications of any on-air appearance of a candidate can be a very nuanced matter, and small changes in the facts can result in big changes in the legal conclusions that apply. So if these situations arise, consult with the station’s legal counsel before making any decision as to how to treat these kinds of ads. This article is just meant to note that there may be options for dealing with the candidate-advertiser if he or she wants to stay on their business’ spots during an election period, depending on the station’s circumstances. For more general information about the rules that apply to political broadcasting, see our Guide to Political Broadcasting, here.

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.