Save $$!! GLBC Registration Discount Deadline Extended through Friday, February 24!

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Don’t miss out on your chance to save some money on registration to this outstanding event. You will leave the conference reinvigorated and also learn concrete information you can use in your job today.

Register Here 

Speaker Highlights include:

SBE’s Ennes Broadcast Engineering Workshop: this all-day program will feature multiple topics and speakers that provide television and radio engineers with the latest information in broadcast and media technology.

Opening General Session featuring Phil Gwoke from BridgeWorks. Phil will speak on When Generations Connect: Communicating Across Generational Divides.

Network Security for Radio with Brian Lindemann, Broadcast Electronics.

Contagious Selling: How to Sell Profitably in a Media Fragmented World with high energy sales trainer David Rich, Rich Ideas.

Sound Advice with Les Rose, Professor of Practice, Broadcast and Digital Journalism, Syracuse University S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication. We are thrilled to have Les at GLBC for FOUR sessions on using video, sound and lighting to enhance your reporting.

#Branding –in a Social Media Age with Kevin Robinson, Robinson Media.
Facebook – Snapchat – Twitter – Instagram… Where should you AND your BRAND be?

To see the full schedule go HERE.




Engineering Spotlight: Gary Langley (Interlochen Public Radio)

Nominate an engineer you know!  Email Dan Kelley at [email protected].

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Gary Langley

Gary Langley is Chief Broadcast Engineer at Interlochen Public Radio (WIAA/WICA/WICV/WLMN/WHBP/WIAB/W234BU).

He joined Interlochen Public Radio on September 9, 2016 after four years at WPBN/WTOM/WGTU/WGTQ.

Q: Please share with us a brief engineering resume:
Gary:  
I signed up for the US Marines in 1992, on an open contract. This means they could have put me anywhere, doing anything. Fortunately for me, I scored very high in math and electronics, and was given a billet as a ground radio repairman. I spent one year in school at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twenty-Nine Palms California and attended classes at Marine Corps Communications Electronics School where I graduated second in my class. I then spent three years at the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport California where I maintained our radio network for operations and our search and rescue radio network.

After leaving the service with an honorable discharge in December of 1996, I applied and was hired on as a Supervising Engineer for WEYI-TV (Saginaw) in January of 1997. I spent three years there learning and digging into everything I could get my hands on. I even went back to college and picked up an associates in computer networking because I could see it’s potential in broadcasting and wanted to get ahead of the curve.

Since then, I’ve worked for KUSA in Denver Colorado where I maintained 14 remote receive sites and microwave links, communications from the Professional sporting area’s including Coors Field, the Pepsi Center and Mile High Stadium. I was also the EIC for a weekly Monday night program called Broncos Tonight where we interviewed the coach and a few players live at a small bar called Jacksons Hole.

I moved back to Michigan in 2001 after my father took ill, taking a job as an assistant chief engineer for WGTU/WGTQ-TV when it was owned by Tom Scanlan. During this time Tom decided to move operations for our sister station WBKP-TV from Calumet Michigan to Marquette Michigan. Jay Zachirios and I moved the station during a 74 hour span while maintaining on air continuity. It remains to be the longest stretch of work I have experienced since the US Marine Corps, but when it was done it was a proud moment for everyone involved. We even had sales reps helping to haul concrete blocks to the roof while we installed new 3.5 meter patriot dishes. It remains one of my greatest accomplishments.

In 2007 I missed a step on a ladder while coming off the roof after sweeping snow out of those same satellite dishes, and crushed many discs in my lower spine. After surgery and a few shiny new implants, I was told by my doctors that I should be happy that I could walk, though the constant pain kept me away from working for many years. I officially resigned from WBKP as their Chief Engineer soon after. It wasn’t until I took another fall from my front steps years later that shifted my new titanium hardware by about an eighth of an inch, and broke my back higher up, that my leg pains subsided and I began to actively seek employment again.

In January 2013 I hired on as a broadcast engineer for WPBN/WTOM who had also acquired WGTU/WGTQ. After a year there of ironing out many of the issues that were repeat offenders which took us off the air, I was promoted to Assistant Chief Engineer.

This past summer I was told about an open position at Interlochen Center for the Arts, as a Chief Engineer for their public radio department. My company had been bought out by Sinclair broadcasting and there was nothing on the horizon there as far as moving up the ladder. Ultimately, I applied and was hired on at IPR in September 2016.

The transition from TV to radio was a welcome surprise. I often say it was like coming home after years away. Currently IPR is setup with an Axia Audio over IP system, which basically makes your entire system the most flexible router you’ve ever worked on. Most of our transmitters are made by Nautel and have many of the remote monitoring capabilities built right into them. I absolutely love what I do and count myself fortunate to be working for such a great organization.

Q:  How did you get started in broadcast engineering?
Gary:  When I PCS’d (permanent change of station) from the USMC. I began looking for a job right away. While I spent sometime as a bouncer for a large nightclub in Genesee County, I knew there was something more out there for me. I saw an ad in the Bay City Times for a broadcast engineer at WEYI, and applied. I got the job and worked for Garth Simms, who took me under his wing and taught me some good habits, and had the patience to endure my mishaps. I’ll forever be thankful that Garth took a chance on me for that position.

Q: Tell us something about yourself that very few people know:
Gary:
Very few people know that I have a passion for writing, and laughing. I learned at a young age that if people were laughing, they weren’t fighting. Three years ago I began performing standup comedy all across Michigan with a great local group of comedians from Falling Down Stairs Productions. I have to admit, their name struck me as ironic, being that falling down stairs is exactly what got me back on my feet again. I’ve performed with them for many fundraising events and recently took an improv class with many of those same comedians which was put on by our only local improv troupe, Good On Paper Improv.

Q: Best advice you have ever received?
Gary:  The best advice I ever received was from my old chief engineer Jay Zacharius. He told me quite frankly, “One ‘oh sh!t’ wipes out ten ‘adda boys,'” Which turns out, is a mathematical formula for success in broadcast engineering.




Are You Doing the Same Thing the Same Old Way? Break Out!

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Debbie Kenyon

By: Debbie Kenyon, MAB Chairman and Senior VP/Market Manager, CBS Radio Detroit

Break out of the old mold!  Be sure you register for the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference and Expo (GLBC) March 7-8 in Lansing.

As I mentioned in the personal email I sent last week, few of us get to attend national conferences anymore.  GLBC is a moderately priced local event with a national reputation drawing some of the top speakers from around the nation on subjects of importance to our industry. You also get to see new equipment and speak with suppliers one on one.

“Reframe Your Perspective” with new, first time speakers at GLBC. Pick up new tips on doing business better. The broadcasting business has changed. Have you changed your approach? Albert Einstein said “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Attend GLBC and pick up some new ideas that you can put to work right away at your station.

The two-day conference offers special tracts for the different positions at your stations, Engineering, Sales, Production, Journalism and more. The keynote speaker is Phll Gwoke from BridgeWorks. Phil will discuss the challenges of and offer answers to managing a multi-generational work force and how to entice millennials to enter the broadcasting industry and then how to manage them once they join your team. Smart Broadcasters want to know the latest in business techniques!

Be in the know by attending GLBC.  Send your staff…and don’t forget to stay for the Legislative Reception.  Lawmakers want to meet you.

Plan to register your staff today.  Early Bird rate has been extended through this Friday, February 24.

Even if your company can’t pay for your registration, pay the moderate registration fee on your own. It may be the best personal investment you make in your career.

Have questions contact the MAB at 800.968.7622.

More information visit http://bit.ly/GLBConference




Come Celebrate Your Win at the Broadcast Excellence Awards!

bea2016_700We received a record number of Broadcast Excellence Award entries this year and stations and networks that have won awards have been notified.  Make plans now to attend this prestigious awards ceremony and celebrate your station and co-workers. This ceremony is your chance to meet and mingle with professional broadcasters statewide and show off your hard work from 2016!

Awards Ceremony
Wednesday March 8, 2017 | The Lansing Center | Lansing, MI
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.  Prior to the Awards Ceremony, you’re invited to join the MAB for the Legislative Reception/Walk Around Dinner from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.  (This will be the only meal before Broadcast Excellence Awards; light refreshments will be served at the awards ceremony). 

Pre-registration is required to attend the BEA ceremony, which is only $35 for MAB station members. Register HERE.  Broadcast Excellence Award winners have been notified by email on the number of complimentary tickets each station will receive for the awards ceremony, which varies by number of awards won.




MABF GLBC Career Fair – Is Your Company Signed Up?

MABF0112_300It’s time for the MAB Foundation’s most popular and highly attended career fair and we want YOU to be a part of the action!

You’re going to be at GLBC anyway, right?

Your station should participate in this career and networking fair because it attracts students statewide that will offer your company different views, ideas and opinions! By attending this event, you’ll be able to prove that your station is seeking out a diverse group of new staff and interns throughout the state, which is great for your EEO File!

DATE & LOCATION
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
During the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference & EXPO (GLBC)
The Lansing Center, Lansing MI
2:00 – 3:30 p.m.

This event attracts hundreds of students and young professionals eager to meet with YOU and continue their career journey in the broadcast and media industries.

Please join us! Click here for complete vendor details.

Reserve your booth here: ONLINE REGISTRATION

Each booth is $275 and includes a co-sponsorship of the event. As a co-sponsor, you will be helping to offset the cost of the fair. As a participant, you will help to promote the event to your students, listeners and viewers by sharing event information prior to the day of the event. You can do this by airing your own PSAs, if you have a station, or by adding your involvement into any press promotion. Your assistance in promoting this career fair is vital to the success of the event. For stations, keep track of everything you air for your EEO records and send the MABF a copy of your affidavits.




CBS Sells No Full-Powered Stations in Auction

With the quiet period lifted, broadcast groups from around the country are slowly announcing their profits (or not) from the recently completed FCC Reverse Spectrum Auction.

We covered a few broadcast groups in our last newsletter here.  As of this writing, only one Michigan full-power station announcing that it will go off the air as a result of the auction.

Last week, CBS announced that it did not sell any full-powered television stations.  COO Joe Ianniello told securities analysts and investors “As the auction continued to drop rapidly in value, it just didn’t make sense for us to participate because we make so much more money by broadcasting in the highest standards possible. So, that’s our bread and butter.”

In Detroit, CBS owns WWJ-TV and WKBD-TV.




On Point Visits WDET

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On Point host Tom Ashbrook at WDET.

On February 17, WDET-FM (Detroit) hosted NPR and WBUR Public Radio’s On Point  program, as host Tom Ashbrook broadcast 2-hour program live from WDET’s Midtown Detroit studios.

The program airs on 290 stations nationwide.

During the broadcast, host Tom Ashbrook spoke with a number of guests from in and around Detroit, including local politicians, activists and business leaders about how the city is doing.  Those guests included Kim Trent, a writer and former journalist from Detroit who sits on the Wayne State University Board of Governors, state Sen. Bert Johnson (D-Highland Park), former state Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville (R-Monroe), and Shinola CEO Tom Lewand.

In addition, Stephen Henderson, host of WDET’s Detroit Today and Created Equal, participated in a discussion about the week’s news and the state of national politics.

A podcast and video feed of the broadcast is available here.




$32,500 for St. Jude’s at WYTZ/Benton Harbor!

Y975_700Last week, Midwest Family Broadcasting’s WYTZ-FM (975YCountry Benton Harbor) raised $32,500 in its annual Country Cares Radiothon for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The two-day radiothon wrapped up on Friday Night (2/17) with a brand new record, and  station staff thanked all of its partners in hope who contributed money to help.

The station supplemented it on-air fundraising with Facebook Live video.




Here’s What Your Radio Station Should Put in Its Website Sidebars

Seth Resler

Seth Resler

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

Over the last several weeks, I’ve been explaining how we rebuilt the Jacobs Media website last year to take advantage of the same Content Marketing strategy that we recommend to our clients. In less than a year, it has — among other things — enabled us to grow our email list by nearly 500%. This strategy can produce similar results for your radio station.

You may want to go back and read some of the past columns if you have not already:

How we set goals for our digital strategy.
Why we’re using a Content Management System for our website.
How we’re going to connect our website to all the other tools in our digital strategy.
How we decided what pages to put on our website.

The Sidebar: Desktop vs. Mobile
The sidebar is an extremely important component of the desktop version of your radio station’s website. It become less important on the mobile version of your site because if you’re using a mobile-responsive website, it will probably get pushed farther down the page to collapse the site into a single column for smartphones.

Here’s what the sidebar looks like on the desktop version of our site:
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For comparison, here’s what the same page looks like on a smartphone. As you can see, the sidebar gets pushed to the bottom of the page, and a visitor has to scroll all the way to the bottom to see it (which they are less likely to do):
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What Goes In The Sidebar

Before we started building the website, we first laid out our digital goals. For Jacobs Media, we decided the most important goals of our website were (1) to explain to potential clients what we do, and (2) to build our email list. Your radio station’s website may have several goals, including getting people to stream the station, sign up for the email list, enter a contest, etc.

So what is the goal of the sidebar? Things that directly accomplish one of our website’s goals.

The first item in the sidebar on our website is a link to the About Us page. The reason we have given this top spot in the sidebar to this link is because it accomplishes the first goal of our website; it explains to potential clients who we are and what we do.
Jacobs-3The second item in our sidebar asks people for their email address, which accomplishes our second digital goal. Sometimes, all you have to do to get people to give you their email address is ask. However, it is important to explain to them exactly what they will get in return. Notice how we clearly indicate what we will be sending them (Fred’s blog) and how often they can expect to receive emails from us. In fact, we give people a choice — they can receive the blog daily or weekly.
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Every other item in the sidebar — Research Results, Guide & Tools, and Webinar Recordings — links to a piece of content that is only accessible if you fill out a form giving us your email address. (If you’re on a smartphone, we’ll only ask for your email address before allowing you to access the content; if you’re on a desktop, you will need to fill out a longer form.)
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What to Leave Out of the Sidebar

Once people come to our website, we want them to do certain things, such as sign up for our email list. To maximize the number of people who do this, we remove all of the other options. Take note of what we do not include in our sidebar:

  1. Our Latest Blogposts: The point of the blog is to create content that attracts people to the site from somewhere else, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, or an email. Once people are on the site, we don’t want to send them to another blogpost. Instead, we want to send them to a page with a form so we can capture their contact info. This way, we can email them new blogposts on a regular basis, encouraging them to return to the site multiple times. If we send them to another blogpost and then they leave without giving us their email address, there’s an increased risk that they will be a one-time visitor. But if we capture their email address, we increase the chances of turning them into a repeat visitor.
  2. Our Latest Social Media Posts: Many sites put a “Latest Tweets” or “Latest Facebook Posts” widget in their sidebar. This wastes valuable real estate in the sidebar, and can drive down the number of goal conversions your website produces. You want to drive people from social media to your website, where they can accomplish one of your digital goals. Once they’re on your website, you don’t want to send them back to a social network without accomplishing one of your goals. Don’t put a social media widget in your sidebar.

What Should Your Radio Station Put in the Sidebar?
The short answer is this: Feature items that directly encourage visitors to accomplish one of your digital goals in the sidebar. Leave out anything that does not directly lead to the completion of one of your digital goals. As you can see, this is why it’s so important to know the goals of your station’s website.

Let’s assume that the goals of your website are to get visitors to:

  1. Stream the station.
  2. Join the email club.
  3. Enter a contest.

You may decide to skip your first goal in the sidebar if you’ve already put your “Stream Live” button in the top right corner of your website header. Instead, you’l start with the second goal: Use a box that asks people to sign up for your station’s email club. Be sure to tell them what you’ll be emailing them and how often they can expect to receive emails. In short, what’s in it for them?

Beneath that, you can include a generic link to the Contests page. Even better, include a link to each of the contests that are currently running; this decreases the number of clicks the visitor needs to make before giving you their email address.

What else? If these are your station’s only three digital goals, then nothing. Quit while you’re ahead. If you have additional digital goals, such as encouraging visitors to click on an advertisement, then add that to the sidebar. But don’t fill the sidebar with extra stuff just to fill space. You’ll increase your website’s goal conversion rate by providing less options, not more.

Your website’s sidebar is a powerful part of your radio station’s overall digital strategy. Be sure to think carefully about how you use it.

For more assistance on digital or social media, contact MAB Member Services at [email protected] or 1-800-968-7622.




WYCD’s Roberts Named One of America’s Best

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Tim Roberts

Tim Roberts, Program Director of CBS Radio’s WYCD-FM (Detroit) has been named one of the 30 Best Program Directors In Country Radio in a new list, released February 13 by RadioInk.

Roberts was ranked at #4!

RadioInk notes that “A successful Country PD has to execute the format flawlessly in markets where there is typically more than one station competing for country fans. A successful Country PD has to have an ear for the music, and be willing to take chances on a new song or new artist. A successful Country PD has to nurture relationships with label executives in Nashville who now have more outlets than ever to get their music to the masses. And a successful Country PD must serve the local community, which is one of the hallmarks, along with strong ratings, of a consistently successful Country radio station. And over the past year, every one of the PDs on this list has succeeded at all of those things.”

The magazine notes that Roberts has been in radio for 39 years, 11 of those at WYCD.