Eagle Radio Group Purchased By Armada

Armada Media Partners, based in Fond du Lac, WI is pleased to announce the purchase of the Eagle Radio Group Radio Stations based in Marquette and Escanaba, MI. Eagle Radio operates stations 94.9 “The Bay” WUPZ-FM, 96.7 “Yooper Country” WUPG-FM, 100.3 “The Point” WUPT-FM and 107.3 “The Eagle” WUPF-FM.

Armada Media Partners also owns and operates Bay Cities Radio – a 5 station group based in the Marinette/Menominee market and Radio Results Network – a 5 station group based in Escanaba with offices in Marquette and Manistique.

“We are excited to be able to expand our coverage even further into the Central U.P. market as the premier media company in Upper Michigan. Eagle Radio has a great group of stations and we look forward to building upon their hard work over the last several years,” says General Manager Jesse Huff. “This now gives us 14 radio stations in the Central U.P. that are each committed to great local radio and serving as a resource for the communities in which we serve. We now have even more resources and opportunities to offer our listeners and advertisers.”

Huff will lead the operations in both Escanaba and Marquette for Armada Media and all Eagle Radio employees will continue in their current roles.

Chris Bernier, President and CEO of Armada Media Partners said, “We truly enjoy doing business in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It is home to a lot of great communities, each with unique strengths and all with a sense of pride. This is a great opportunity to grow our company in this region.”

In addition to the stations in Upper Michigan and Wisconsin, Armada and affiliated companies also operates radio stations in South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas and Colorado. Eagle Radio Group will continue to own and operate its radio stations in Newberry, Sault Ste. Marie, The Straits and Gaylord.

WXYZ-TV Debuts Gun Violence Documentary Online

BeyondBullet_400WXYZ-TV (Detroit) journalists are exploring the staggering impact of gun violence in a digital short film documentary, Beyond the Bullet: The Cost of Gun Violence in Detroit. The special presentation on WXYZ.com goes beyond the headlines to explore the lasting impact of shootings on victims, taxpayers, and society.

“At WXYZ, we’re digging deeper to create unique digital content that provides background and context for the issues that impact our local community and communities across the country,” said Mike Murri, WXYZ/WMYD Vice-President and General Manager.

WXYZ-TV 7 Action News reporter Aaron Baskerville, producer Lisa Gass and photojournalist John Sartin created the documentary. It debuted on WXYZ.com and the station’s apps, on Wednesday, April 27. Some of the stories told in the program will later appear as part of WXYZ-TV newscasts in May.

“By tackling this project as a digital documentary, we’re able to take viewers far beyond what they see in a newscast,” said Dave Manney, WXYZ/WMYD news director. “It’s a powerful look at what happens after the cameras and police go away and the lasting impact of gun violence.”

The special includes interviews with gunshot victims, including a 9-year-old girl who was hit by a random bullet and may never walk again. Baskerville also speaks with a grieving mother whose son was shot and killed over a cell phone. Documentary viewers will hear from Detroit Police Chief James Craig and U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade about the cost of gun crimes.

The documentary goes inside for a rare look in the Detroit Police Department gun vault where police keep a collection of long guns and hand guns seized in homicide investigations.

“We have a team of journalists capable of turning stories very quickly,” said Seth Myers, WXYZ digital director. “Providing these long form opportunities gives them more time and space and lets them shine a brighter light on the issues our community faces every day.”

WLNS News Crew Helps Clean Up Lansing

(L-R) WLNS' Emily Wahls, Sheri Jones and Chivon Kloepfer

(L-R) WLNS’ Emily Wahls, Sheri Jones and Chivon Kloepfer

On May 6, members of the WLNS-TV (Lansing) news staff helped Habitat for Humanity’s “Rock The Block” day in Lansing.

WLNS anchors Sheri Jones and Chivon Kloepfer, along with meteorologist Emily Wahls, joined other companies and organizations and offered a days worth of sweat to help clean up, paint, and repair homes and yards in Lansing’s Old Town area.

The project helps residents get their home redone, but in return those residents are encouraged to help others in their neighborhood.

House Passes Public Threat Alert System

capitol3The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a public threat alert system in an effort to “lessen the scale of future tragedies.”

House Bill 5442 passed 106-2 and would require the Department of State Police to establish and maintain a public threat alert system plan to activate as called for under departmental policies. The plan would be designed to rapidly distribute information to radio and television stations in the state and send text messages to wireless communication devices. The bill states that the public threat alert system plan shall be activated only in accordance with the policies created by the Michigan State Police. HB 5442 contains no mandates for broadcasters.

NAB Thanks Congress For Opposing Performance Royalty With Ad

NAB_thanksThe National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) is running an ad in Capitol Hill newsletters and publications thanking more than 250 members of the U.S. House and Senate for co-sponsoring the Local Radio Freedom Act, which opposes any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charges on local broadcast radio stations. The resolution, which was introduced in Congress in February 2015, has 230 co-sponsors in the House and 26 in the Senate.

Blarney Stone Broadcasting Holds Town Hall On Underage Drinking/RX Drug Abuse

WQONBlarney Stone Broadcasting (Grayling) joined forces with local leaders and law enforcement officials in hosting a town hall meeting to address the perils of underage drinking and substance abuse.

On May 13, the company’s WQON-FM committed its entire Northern Focus show to the Underage Drinking/RX Drug Abuse Town Hall Meeting at its Grayling studios. In partnership with Up North Prevention and Crawford County Partnership for Substance Abuse Awareness (CPSAA), WQON’s Dave Sherbert moderated the panel during his Friday morning talk show. The panel included Crawford County Prosecutor Everette (Trey) Ayers, Assistant Prosecutor Brendan Curran, Michigan State Police Trooper Grant Guzikowski, insurance representative Paul Hartman, substance abuse counselor Doug Pryor and guests who shared their personal testimonials.

With the program airing during the school day, the target audience was the parents of teens.  The program will be made available to students via a podcast at a later date.

Lynda Rutkowski, Designated Youth Tobacco Use Representative/Prevention Specialist for Up North Prevention said that their goal was to “heighten awareness of the underage drinking and prescription drug problems in the community, what’s currently happening, systems in place to curtail the problem, and words of wisdom for our youth and their parents.”

Sheryl Coyne, President of Blarney Stone Broadcasting, said her radio network is proud to serve as host of such an important event designed to raise awareness of a growing problem in today’s society.

“We believe in the young people in our listening community, and if we can arm them with the right information about alcohol and various illegal and prescription drugs then we’re confident they can make smarter and better decisions,” Coyne said. “We’re in the communications business, and we take that seriously. We believe passionately that to bring this important issue into focus is the best use of our airwaves.”

Related:  Read the Radio Ink interview here with Sheryl Coyne regarding the Town Hall Meeting and the company’s community service efforts.

MAB Community Partner Spotlight: Department of Health & Human Services

MDHHSThe Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is a Community Partner with the MAB.  In May, the agency is celebrating Foster Care Month to show appreciation for the foster families who provide loving homes.

Approximately 13,000 Michigan children need loving foster homes while the state works to reunite them safely with their parents or find adoptive homes.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in May is highlighting the crucial role that foster families provide in protecting children who were abused or neglected. Gov. Rick Snyder proclaimed May as Foster Care Month.

Michigan has close to 6,000 licensed foster homes, plus 2,800 children live in unlicensed relative homes.

“Our foster parents have great patience, compassion and skill,” said Steve Yager, executive director of the MDHHS Children’s Services Agency. “These selfless individuals keep children safe and care for their needs during difficult times while we work to find them permanent homes – either through reunification with their families if that’s safe or finding adoptive parents. Every day I appreciate what foster families do to support children in need, but it’s fitting that we have a month to recognize their efforts.”

The Foster Care Navigator program, which partners with MDHHS in recruiting and retaining foster families, is featuring some of the many outstanding foster parents and kinship caregivers all month on its website at fcnp.org.

Yager said May is also a good time to recognize adoptive families, employees of state and private agencies, the courts and community, and faith-based organizations for the support they provide to children in foster care and to their biological and foster families.

Anyone who is considering becoming a foster parent can call Foster Care Navigator at 855-MICHKIDS. Navigators are experienced foster care parents who can answer questions and guide prospective foster parents on their journey. Learn more at www.michigan.gov/hopeforahome or by texting MDHHS FOSTER to 64468 to receive updates about fostering.

Broadcasters who wish to learn more or would like to arrange an interview can contact Bob Wheaton at (517) 241-2112.

A Facebook Lesson in Audience Retention

JohnLund_200By: John C. Lund
The Lund Consultants, Inc.

The most recent quarterly conference for Facebook revealed their version of Radio’s time spent listening: 50 minutes a day, up from 40 minutes in 2014. That’s still less than Radio’s 13+ hours a week (2015) or TV’s 36 hours a week. TV’s numbers are up a bit, while Radio’s have dropped over five hours a week since 2007.

Facebook’s gains have come despite growth at other social media platforms, and spokesperson Jessie Baker told the New York Times, “The time people spend on our site is a good measure of whether we’re delivering value to them. The better we do at providing what people most want to see, the more likely they are to return … and spend time.”

And, there is Radio’s big challenge: boosting our perceived value to listeners.

> We still have younger demos coming for music exploration, but we as a medium are not doing well at engaging them and locking them in for more time.
> We need to provide truly beneficial reasons to tune in more often each day, with real benefits and not merely features.
> Remember the big contests of yesteryear? They still work at building buy-in and boosting TSL.
> Invite the listeners back from one day to the next. Give them reasons with offerings within your programming and special show promotions.
> Use social media to drive “return” listening to Radio. Your station’s followers are there, just waiting to be engaged. Use social media for reaction and continued involvement. It can be as simple as a “Type it on Facebook and hear it on the Radio” behavior pattern.

People can get music anywhere, but the “mortar between the musical bricks” is what makes for a strong wall.

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of the above article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

Change Your Value or Change The Audience: The Choice is Yours

Jim MathisBy: Jim Mathis, IPCS, CSP, MDiv
J&L Mathis Group, Inc.

“Obstacles are necessary for success because in selling, as in all careers of importance, victory comes only after many struggles and countless defeats.” -Og Mandino

Alexander the Great
I heard a story about Alexander III of Macedon many years ago that Dr. James Kennedy told. Alexander was one of the most famous generals and rulers in the history of Western Civilization, earning him the name, “Alexander the Great.”

During his short life (33 years), he rose to power and conquered territory from Europe and North Africa to the borders of India. Military schools still teach some of his tactics used in battles.

One evening after a fierce battle, he was walking around the army encampment when he found a soldier sleeping on duty. The Macedonian King awoke the lad and told him the
penalty for this was death.

The boy was scared and crying. The commander paused for a moment and seemed to take pity on the lad who was sniffling and whining before him. You could hear a pin drop.

“What is your name, boy?” Alexander asked.  “A, A, A, Alexander, sir.” The boy said meekly…. “What is your name, I said!” Alexander said louder. “Alexander,” the boy said with a little more volume. “WHAT IS YOUR NAME!!!???” Alexander the Great shouted with anger.
“ALEXANDER, SIR!” The boy said with his eyes closed screaming.
Alexander the Great commanded, “Then change your name, or change your conduct!”

The king didn’t want anyone bearing his name to be known as a slacker in his army.

Like the young man, you are at a crossroads in sales. You have to make a choice between two opposing forces. You need to change the value that people see in what you sell, OR change the audience you sell to. It doesn’t get simpler than that.

“If someone likes you, they’ll buy what you’re selling, whether or not they need it.” -Gene Simmons

Either people see value in you, or your product and services, or they don’t. Whenever I hear someone use the “lack” word in sales and revenues, it all goes back to a lack of value on the buyer’s part. I sell only to people who see value in what I am selling… and so do you.

Why did the Toyota Scion go out of production recently? Lack of value among enough buyers to keep it on the market. Why did Encyclopedia Britannica quit publishing? Lack of value among readers and buyers. Why did my local Sports Authority go out of
business? Lack of value among sports enthusiasts.

But Toyota makes one of the most popular cars in existence… the Camry. Wikipedia and Google are staying in business among readers looking for information. Dick’s Sporting Goods is still in business. The reason is these companies present a value in purchasing and usage that the first group lost, or let go of.

“In the early 19th century, they tried selling soap as healthy. No one bought it. They tried selling it as sexy, and everyone bought it.” -Rose George

If your sales are sagging, first look at the value people see in what you sell. Do they choose someone else who is cheaper? Do they choose another seller who costs more and delivers more? Do they choose another company who meets their actual needs better?

If you can’t change your value, maybe you should change the audience or customers you sell to. Maybe your base market has “dried out.” Maybe your “buffalo have roamed to another greener pasture.” Maybe the industry has shut down. The past eight years have been tough on several industries: coal, oil, healthcare, banking… and the list goes on.

“I would sell 2 million records; a million went to teenagers and a million went to the adults. So, when The Beatles became so popular, I lost a million to the teenagers, but I was still selling a million to the adults.” -Bobby Vinton

Like Bobby Vinton, Johnny Cash learned to find the right audience and sold to it. Cash realized from fan mail that he was a hit with men in prison, so he recorded albums live from prisons and they sold millions of copies and reshaped his image in the music business.

Vinton realized his audience was no longer the teenagers, but that made him focus on adults. He laughs all the way to the bank… and back again!

Heraclitus said over 2,500 years ago, “There is nothing permanent but change!” When I cannot work with industries that have been crippled by economic conditions, government regulations or shifts in the market, I alter the focus to other groups who need the same message of Reinvention. Everyone can reinvent and should every few years. If you don’t need to now, just wait… Your time is coming!

“Nobody has really grasped yet the great wealth that can be made selling data over the Web. There are 100 million potential customers out there.” -Michael J. Saylor

In sales, your challenge is to either identify a value people see readily and will buy like candy bars at the checkout lane, or identify an audience who will want the value you sell.

For instance, I am always meeting corporate leaders who are trying to sell the same products in the same way to the Millennial Generation. They haven’t come to grips that this generation values and buys differently from the previous generations they sold to so easily. Some people have figured it out, while others are still struggling with changing their business models.

“I know people said I wasn’t selling out in America, but that was entirely untrue. We sold out all over the world, and every night I looked out into the fans… that you’re talking about, the tears, the honesty, the inability to not be completely overjoyed because they
felt accepted.” -Lady Gaga

Notice that Lady Gaga identified values that her audiences were seeking: personal honesty and the lack of personal acceptance.  Why do you think Bernie Sanders, Justin Trudeau, and Donald Trump are resonating in a political world that was all but turned off of politics just a few years ago? What values or audiences have they tapped into that has put them on the front pages of papers around the world? People have felt that their everyday needs were being met by these candidates’ messages, so they flocked to them in large numbers.

What can you do to improve your value (message) and experience that reaches people uniquely? John Sculley said, “As a brand marketer, I’m a big believer in ‘branding the customer experience,’ not just selling the service.” Is the experience you deliver on a
consistent basis a value that people will get excited about (and pay more for)?

What can you change in your focus to reach people who aren’t being reached adequately? Charles Kelley said, “I feel like fans who like old Southern rock and country, and more lyric-driven songs in general, have come to country radio. I think that’s why you see country radio growing and albums selling: People are craving a little more of the singer/songwriter stuff going on in country.”

Kelley identified a group of people who have migrated from one musical medium to another to receive value. If you listen to mainstream country music today, it isn’t what it used to be. It sounds more like a blend of Southern Rock and “Rockabilly” music from
the 1990s.

Let’s make this interactive! Here are several quotes from people who succeeded in displaying the right value to the right audience. Read each quote and tell me if it is based on changing the value, or changing the audience. You will see that the results were successful once they identified the change each person needed to make.

• “I’m not good at selling laptops. I’m good at selling ideas.” -Nicholas Negroponte
• “I love to meet my fans, and after every show I usually hang out for a few hours, talking to my fans, signing autographs, and selling T-shirts.” -Tommy Chong
• “We’re in the business of selling pleasure. We don’t sell handbags or haute couture. We sell dreams.” -Alain Wertheimer
• “Art is making something out of nothing and selling it.” -Frank Zappa

Permission is granted to reprint this article provided the following paragraph is included in full: Jim Mathis, IPCS, CSP, MDiv. is The Reinvention PRO™, an International Platform Certified Speaker, Certified Speaking Professional and best-selling author of Reinvention Made Easy: Change Your Strategy, Change Your Results. To subscribe to his free professional development newsletter, please send an email to: [email protected] with the word SUBSCRIBE in the subject. An electronic copy will be sent out to you every month. For more information on how Jim and his programs can benefit your organization or group, please call 888-688-0220, or visit his web site: www.jimmathis.com. © 2016

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of the above article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

FCC Announces June 24 Effective Date for Radio Online Public Inspection File; New System For TV

David Oxenford - ColorBy: David Oxenford, Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP

On May 13, the FCC issued a Public Notice that the obligation will begin on June 24 to start uploading documents to the online public file for radio stations in the Top 50 markets. For Top 50 market commercial radio stations that are part of employment units with 5 or more full-time employees, the June 24 date will mark the start of their obligation to upload materials to the online public file. New public file documents (including political file documents) created on or after that date are to be placed in the online public file. These stations will have 6 months from the effective date (until December 24, 2016) to upload to the online public file existing documents that are already in their paper public file. This would include documents like EEO Public Inspection File Reports and Quarterly Issues Programs Lists. Pre-effective date political file documents need not be uploaded. Letters from the public also do not need to be uploaded (see our article here about the FCC’s proposal to entirely do away with the requirement that letters be kept). We wrote more extensively about the obligations for the radio online public inspection file here.

TV, too, needs to pay attention to this notice. The Public Notice announces that the online public file will be moving to a new database. Effective on June 24, TV licensees will need to use this new database too – what the FCC calls the “OPIF” (for expanded online public inspection file) as opposed to the old “BPIF” (“broadcast public inspection file”). The FCC suggests that the new OPIF database will allow for easier uploads – including the ability to upload a single document into multiple stations’ files at the same time. It will also have a more user-friendly interface, and will work better with other online systems like Dropbox and Box. This database moves these files off the FCC server and onto a cloud-based storage system. Stations can already try out the new system here.

The FCC is planning a webinar on the online public file on a date to be announced in the near future.

The FCC also reminded TV stations to make sure that Joint Sales Agreements are uploaded into their public file by both the broker and the licensee. A recent GAO study suggested that many TV stations had failed to upload Joint Sales Agreements as required by the rules. The FCC warning indicates that the failure to upload these documents could lead to fines, and notes that stations need to report any late filings on their next license renewal application.

The effective date also applies to cable systems with 1,000 or more subscribers, DBS providers, as well as SDARS licensees (i.e. Sirius XM).

With the upcoming election, these files will no doubt be subject to scrutiny. So be ready to comply with this new obligation by next month’s effective date.

The MAB is planning a Webex meeting with David Oxenford on this topic.  Details to be announced soon.