Pay TV Market Shrinking, But TV Homes Increasing

Nielsen is reporting that the number of TV homes has expanded to 119.6 million for the 2017-2018 season. For the 2016-2017 season, Nielsen said there were 118.4 million TV homes.  However, as TV households continue to expand, the number of homes with pay TV continues to decline. The number of pay TV subscriptions in the U.S. has fallen from 104.1 million in 2010 to 98.7 in 2016. Two-thirds of the decline came in the four years between 2013 and 2016.

The source of content for these new television homes is coming from two primary sources. The first, and perhaps biggest, group is streaming video to their TVs. Over the past three years, the penetration of enabled smart TVs has almost doubled, from 14% to 27%.~ At the same time, the number of homes using a streaming media player has increased from 18% to 29%.

The second source of content for these new television homes is good old antenna television. Between Q1 2015 and Q1 2017, the number of homes watching television with an antenna increased from 12.5 million to 15.2 million. However, almost all the increase in antenna homes came from homes that also have broadband. In those homes, it is likely people use both broadcast television and streaming services on the big screen.

Senate Passes ‘Sandy Act’ Making Radio, TV ‘First Responders’

INSIDERADIO reports that on its first day back to work after Hurricane Irma struck Florida, the Senate quickly approved the bill (S. 102) designating radio and TV as “first responders” during natural disasters. The bill saw several years of holdups, but ultimately, back-to-back hurricanes seemed to have convinced Congress to pass the Securing Access to Networks in Disasters Act—otherwise known as the SANDy Act.

The House earlier approved the bill, only to see it become hung up in the Senate once again. But that changed with a quick vote on Monday when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) asked for unanimous consent to the legislation without any floor debate. The bill now heads to the White House where it only needs President Trump’s signature to become law.

While many local officials turn to broadcasters during emergencies, there have been situations where things have become more contentious and, by passing a federal law, supporters say the SANDy bill would simply put into place guarantees already adopted in several states.

The bill’s passage drew positive reviews at the Federal Communications Commission. “We know that weather-related emergencies and other disasters can occur anywhere at any time, and this legislation comes not a moment too soon,” commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement, adding, “Among other things, it promises to help speed restoration of essential communications in times of disaster.”

The legislation has the backing of the National Association of Broadcasters, which says recognizing radio and TV’s first-informer role will keep local radio and TV stations on-air during times of emergencies. According to a recent NAB-commissioned survey, 57% of Americans turn to local radio and TV stations for updates during an emergency. That’s four-times more than text messaging, email or cable news channels. The online survey, conducted in March by Morning Consult, included a sample of 2,251 adults aged 18 and older.


How to Use Twitter to Engage with Influencers in Your Radio Market

Seth Resler

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

Radio stations often think about using social media as a tool to reach listeners, but it’s also a great way to reach other leaders in your market who can in turn reach your listeners. We call these people “influencers” — the folks who have a large following of their own that overlaps with your station’s fanbase. They can help your radio station amplify its message and reach more people.

I’ve written about engaging with influencers before, especially as part of the launch of a new radio morning show. But I want to take a closer look at how you can use Twitter in particular to engage with these leaders in your community. While Facebook is a fantastic tool for engaging with your station’s audience at large, I find Twitter to be more effective with influencers.

Here’s a step-by-step process for doing so:

1. Identify key topic areas for your radio station.
Make a list of all the subjects that your listeners are interested in. This will vary based on your target demographic — Alternative music fans might like craft beer while Hot AC listeners may care about parenting — but here are some possibilities to jumpstart your thinking:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Beer
  • Cars
  • Football
  • Hockey
  • Movies
  • Parenting
  • Pets
  • Restaurants
  • Science Fiction
  • Superheroes
  • Television
  • Video Games
  • Wine

2. Brainstorm a list of related influencers in your market.
Now that you’ve got a list of hot topics, it’s time to make a list of the people and organizations in your market who have a following related to those topics. Are there local automotive bloggers, parenting magazines, or restaurant associations? Here’s another list of possibilities to get you thinking:

  • Bands
  • Bloggers
  • Breweries
  • Chefs
  • Colleges and universities
  • Concert venues
  • Festivals and events
  • Magazines and newspapers
  • Reporters and columnists
  • Television personalities
  • Theaters and performing art spaces
  • Trade organizations

3. Start a shared spreadsheet.
Okay, let’s get organized. Enter this list into a spreadsheet — preferably a shared file such as a GoogleDoc so that multiple staff members can access it. Add columns for all of the information you want to collect about these influencers, including:

  • Organization
  • Category (I like to quickly sort my influencer by the topic areas from step one, such as ‘Food’ or ‘Music’ or ‘Sports.’)
  • Website URL
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Job Title
  • Email Address
  • City (in case you want to target influencers by geography)
  • Contact Page URL (some websites ask you to fill out a contact form instead of providing an email address)
  • Facebook Page URL
  • Twitter URL
  • Instagram URL
  • YouTube Channel URL

You may want to install an extension for your web browser that allows you to quickly open multiple links. For example, I use the Bulk URL Opener extension on my Chrome browser. When I want to open the Twitter page of every ‘Sports’ influencer on my list, I sort it by category, select and copy the Twitter URLs, click the Bulk URL Opener button, and paste the URLs in. Boom! I have each influencer’s Twitter page open in a different browser tab.

4. Divide your influencers into Twitter lists.
Create a Twitter list for each category of influencers. To do this, first follow the influencer by clicking the ‘Follow’ button. Then, click the three small dots next to the ‘Follow’ button and select “Add or remove from lists” from the dropdown menu. You can add the influencer to an existing Twitter list or create a new one.

5. Follow these lists in a social media management app.
I recommend using a social media management app like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck. These make it much easier to use social networks — especially Twitter.

I use Hootsuite to manage my social media. I create a tab for “Twitter Lists” and on that tab, I create a stream (column) for each of my lists. This allows me to quickly and easily scan the stream and see what all of my influencers are tweeting about.

For example, I am launching a new podcast about Detroit this fall. To get ready for that, I am following Detroit influencers on Twitter and dividing them into lists. Here is what those Twitter lists look like in Hootsuite:




6. Retweet the best tweets from these influencers.

On a daily basis, spend a few minutes perusing the lists in your social media management app. Look for the best tweets from your influencers and retweet them. These influencers will notice that you shared their tweets and it will build goodwill with them.

The advantage of dividing your influencers into lists by category is that this allows you to make sure that you are tweeting about the right topics in the right ratios. You don’t want to go overboard on ‘Science Fiction,’ or ignore ‘Sports.’ Having the lists in different columns can help you avoid these issues.

7. Use #FollowFriday to give your influencers a shoutout.
Follow Friday is a popular meme on Twitter. Every Friday, Twitter users show appreciation for other Twitter users by listing them in a tweet with the hashtag ‘#FollowFriday’ or ‘#FF.’ It’s a nice way to give a shoutout to others. Acknowledge your influencers with this hashtag and they’ll appreciate it.

8. Share your influencers’ content and tag them in the tweets.
If your influencers create content, such as columns, blogposts, videos or podcast episodes, share a link to that content over Twitter. Be sure to tag the influencer in your tweet by including their Twitter handle so they notice.

At Jacobs Media, I frequently share posts from Alan Cross’ wonderful blog, A Journal of Musical Things! When I do, I always include ‘@alancross‘ in the tweet because I want him to know that we’re giving him some love.

9. Share your radio station’s content and tag the relevant influencers in the tweets.
When sharing your radio station’s website content on Twitter, include the Twitter handle of the appropriate influencers in the tweet. Be careful not to tag influencers who aren’t relevant. When sharing your blogpost about last night’s Cage the Elephant show, you should tag the concert venue but not the quarterback of the college football team. Hopefully, they will retweet the station, passing your content along to their followers and increasing your website traffic.

When it comes to social media, don’t think of it as just a way to reach listeners. It’s also a great tool for connecting with other leaders in the community — especially on Twitter.

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.

The Lost Art of Air Checking

Gary Berkowitz

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: Gary Berkowitz
Berkowitz Broadcast Consulting

If you are a regular reader of my newsletters and MAB columns, there’s one thing you know for sure, I believe in being “Brilliant with the Basics.” One of the most basic (and important) jobs a PD can do is critique talent. But with today’s busy PD schedules, this often gets ignored. So now that you’ve been reminded, set up an aircheck session today. To
help, here’s a rundown of important areas to review:


  1. Trying too hard to be funny. There is a difference between “fun” and “funny.” Being fun is important and much easier to do.
  2. Not enough time checks. Too much time in-between time checks.
  3. Not enough benefit driven re-cycle mentions to “listen at work.” Use the morning show to get them into listening during the most important daypart, at work.
  4. Being an “Island” from the rest of the station. Not promoting what will happen later in the day on the station.
  5. Laughing at everything said. Laughing when it is not funny.  Nervous laughter (especially with sidekicks).
  6. Bits that go too long. In focus groups, most listeners “zone out” after about 20 seconds (unless it is really good).
  7. If you’re still doing news. Stories that have no interest whatsoever to the target listener. Use of words like “officials” and “authorities.”
  8. No promotion of what is coming up next. No appointment setting.
  9. Weather teases that give away the forecast.
  10. Talk for talk sake. Music is still a very important reason that people listen in the morning.
  11. Failing to sound warm and friendly.
  12. Weak or old fashioned benchmarks. Drop the weakest one.
  13. Too much reliance on pop culture, show business, entertainment “blocks.” Most AC listeners rate this very low in importance.
  14. Companionship. Are you good companions for your listeners?


  1. Jocks who sound stiff/formal and un-natural.
  2. Not promoting the stations unique benefits enough.
  3. “SAYING” liners versus “SELLING” them.
  4. Not promoting tomorrow’s morning show.
  5. Sounding bored and un-interested.
  6. Failing to realize that you are their workday companion.
  7. Use of DJ Crutches such as:
    • Good Afternoon
    • Good Evening
    • With You
    • Thanks for listening “Everybody”
    • On a (day of week)
    • “Everybody”
    • Hump Day (if your jocks use this PLEASE eliminate)
    • Saying goodbye at the end of the shift

Gary Berkowitz is President of Detroit based Berkowitz Broadcast Consulting, specializing in ratings improvement for AC radio stations.

WDIV Hosts “Help 4 Hurricane Relief” Telethon

(L-R) Local 4 Reporter Hank Winchester, WDIV Vice President and General Manager Marla Drutz, Jon Witz/ABE Foundation

In response to the widespread devastation caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Graham Media’s WDIV-TV (Detroit),  Art Van Furniture and the American Red Cross Michigan Region joined forces to air an all-day telethon “Help 4 Hurricane Relief, ” on September 12.

A total of $430,267 was raised, not counting additional donations that may have come through the station’s website.

Hosted at the downtown Detroit studios of WDIV-Local 4, with an additional phone bank at the Warren location of Art Van Furniture, the telethon featured firsthand accounts of Harvey’s impact on the nation’s fourth largest metropolitan area. WDIV-Local 4 reporter Nick Monacelli and a station crew have been reporting from the devastation in Houston for sister station KPRC since soon after Harvey began to flood neighborhoods.

WDIV Vice President and General Manager Marla Drutz had this to say after the telethon“Local TV has a profound impact on its community and we witnessed that again today. It took a lot of hard work and resources to plan and execute this initiative, but we knew it was it was important and desperately needed. There is nothing better than watching great people do great things and I saw that firsthand today.”

Money collected will be donated to the American Red Cross relief efforts for hurricane devastation in Texas and Florida.

In addition to the efforts of WDIV, shortly after Hurricane Harvey, Graham Media’s parent company, Graham Holdings, made a $100,000 contribution that was split between the Houston area Red Cross and the Houston Food Bank to help heal those communities.

Jorma Duran Joins WLNS-TV

Jorma Duran

WLNS-TV (Lansing) has made an addition to its news team.  Jorma Duran has joined the station as a news anchor.  Duran previously served as News Director/Anchor as KREX-TV in Grand Junction, Colo.

Both WLNS and KREX are owned by Nexstar Media Group.  Prior to KREX, Duran worked as a reporter for The Weather Channel, based in Chicago; reporter/anchor for WBBH-TV in Fort Myers and as reporter for KOAA-TV, Colorado Springs, CO.

Duran is a graduate of Arizona State University.

Glenn Haege: 1947-2017

Glenn Haege

Glenn Haege, America’s Master Handyman® and host of The Handyman Show with Glenn Haege on Detroit radio for 34 years, passed away September 11, 2017 after a short battle with cancer. Haege was 70.

Haege, a Detroit radio icon, started his broadcast career on WXYT-AM 1270 in 1983 and for the past 11 years he was heard weekends on NewsTalk 760 WJR-AM. His radio show was also nationally syndicated in 135 radio markets. It is estimated that he had answered more than 85,000 home improvement questions during his time on the air.

For 22 years he was also a Detroit News columnist writing a weekly feature on home improvement. He authored 11 books on the subject.

Haege was inducted into the Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2011.

“Glenn was a consummate radio professional who really cared a great deal about his audience” said Rob David, the Executive Producer of the Handyman Show. “He had a special way of treating every caller with respect. Each caller was made to feel that their question was the most important one and that Glenn was answering it for the first time.”

A Warren, Michigan native, Haege attended Northern Michigan University and then worked for the Sherwin Williams Paint Company and for ACO Hardware prior to launching his award-winning radio career.

“He loved meeting his listeners and readers. He always had time to speak to them wherever he was … in a restaurant, a hardware store or at various broadcasts that he did in both Metro Detroit and around the country,” David added. “Weekends on the radio won’t be the same without him. He will be greatly missed.”

He is survived by his mother, Marion; sister, Sharon; brother, Robert; wife, Barbara; their children Eric and Heather; and six grandchildren.

Public Visitation
Sunday, September 17, from 12:00 PM – 08:00 PM
E. J. Mandziuk & Son Funeral Home
3801 18 Mile Road
Sterling Heights, MI, 48314
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donation be made to:
Capuchin Soup Kitchen, Salvation Army or Habitat for Humanity
Memorial service will be private.

Linda Lee Marconi Award Winner

Linda Lee

The late Linda Lee, who was recipient of the MAB’s Legacy Award on August, was honored again at the 2017 National Association of Broadcasters’ (NAB) Marconi Radio Awards, held last week during the NAB Radio Show in Austin, Texas.

Lee was honored  as a Large Market Personality of the Year for her work at WYCD-FM (Detroit). A complete list of 2017 Marconi winners is available here.

Established in 1989 and named after inventor and Nobel Prize winner Guglielmo Marconi, the NAB Marconi Radio Awards are given to radio stations and outstanding on-air personalities to recognize excellence in radio.

WLUC-TV (Marquette) Upgrades Facility

Gray Television’s WLUC-TV (Marquette)
has announced that it has upgraded its present facilities, including a new set, monitors, rundown systems and a new control room.

“There has been a lot of change in the last 60 years here. This is the most significant. This is the biggest conversion,” said Rick Rhoades, WLUC-TV General Manager.  “As most people know, this is an upgrade that we needed for the last 5 to 7 years, but the push came from corporate,” said Rhoades.

The upgrades, once completed, required hours of staff training. “They started with training on the switcher board, training on the overdrive system and they have been learning and building how the show is to come together for a while,” said Chad Grueneberg, the on-air operations manager.  Staff would have to produce and run through not only a live newscast each day, but a rehearsal to practice using the new system.

“We’ve always done some moving around, we do a lot more moving around now so we have been really practicing the different angles the different possibilities or where we can go,” said Vicki Crystal, a morning anchor.

Black Diamond’s WGFN-FM Adds Omelette & Coates For Mornings

Black Diamond Broadcasting
has announced that Steve “Omelette” Normandin and Rick Coates have joined WGFM/WCHY-FM
“The Bear” (Traverse City)
as morning show hosts.

Normandin (Omelette) told All Access “We are excited about the vision of Black Diamond Broadcasting and feel that our Morning Show is a perfect fit.   Our show focus will be: timely, topical, local and mixed with humor, shenanigans and of course great classic rock and roll. I am grateful that Rick Coates has agreed to join me as the show’s producer and co-host. Rick has a long history of promoting Northern Michigan through his writing and other projects. We both plan to continue to be active in various facets of the community.”

Black Diamond co-owner Norm McKee said, “We’re excited to have Omelette & Coates join the team.  Their energy, passion and commitment to the people and communities of Northern Michigan set them apart from other shows. The fact that these two share the intimate details of their personal lives, combined with their comedic chemistry and their A-list celebrity contacts give them a unique connection with the listeners.”