Second Window for AM Stations to Seek New FM Translators to Open January 25-31

David Oxenford - Color

David Oxenford

By: David Oxenford, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP,

On December 4, the FCC released the Public Notice setting out the instructions for the final window for AM stations to get exclusive access to FM translator stations. This window, to be open in late January, is primarily for Class A and B AM stations that were not permitted to file in this summer’s window when Class C and D AM stations could file for new FM translators. But any AM licensee who did not file in this summer’s window, and who also did not acquire a translator last year during the period when AM licensees could acquire existing FM translators and move them up to 250 miles to rebroadcast their AM station, can also participate.

The final window will be open from January 25 through January 31. As in this summer’s window, mutually exclusive applications filed during that window will be resolved by an auction if they cannot be resolved by settlements or engineering solutions. Resolving mutually exclusive applications can be done only by filing settlements or technical amendments that comply with the minor change rules – meaning that the amendments can only amend to different sites on the same channel, or on channels three up and three down from that initially specified, or a channel precluded from use by the initially proposed channel because of Intermediate Frequency interference. Applicants cannot amend to any vacant channel that may be available in their area. In this summer’s window, most applicants were able to avoid mutual exclusivity with other applicants – but not all (as witnessed by the mutually exclusive groups that had until last week to settle their differences through dismissals for no more than out-of-pocket expenses or by engineering amendments – see our article here).

Like in this summer’s window, this Public Notice is complicated, as the FCC is treating these applications as those filed in preparation for an auction (see our post on the instructions for the summer window here). Applicants need to read this notice very carefully to avoid traps – traps which include having conversations with mutually exclusive applicants outside a future settlement window when engineering solutions to resolve conflicts between applications filed in the window will be allowed. There actually is a rule against “prohibited communications” outside of the settlement window – meaning that once an application is on file, mutually exclusive applicants can’t talk to each other about their applications except during these designated settlement windows.

As part of the Public Notice, the FCC also announced a filing freeze on any technical changes to existing translators so as to freeze the database that applicants will use to prepare their applications. The freeze will be in effect from January 18 through January 31.

In short, read these instructions carefully, and go over them with your attorney and engineer to make sure that you don’t inadvertently overlook some requirement that would result in your missing this last opportunity reserved for AM licensees to get a new FM translator.

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.

WXYZ-TV’s Stephen Clark Announces Retirement

Stephen Clark

WXYZ-TV (Detroit) anchor Stephen Clark has announced that he will retire at the end of February. Clark has been a 7 Action News anchor and multi-platform journalist for 16 years.

“Stephen has been a valued member of the 7 Action News team and has made a tremendous impact on our station and the Detroit community,” said Mike Murri, WXYZ and WMYD vice president and general manager. “In addition to reporting and anchoring our news each night, Stephen has been an integral part of all our signature events, including the North American International Auto Show, Detroit Grand Prix, Woodward Dream Cruise and the Campus Martius tree lighting. We wish Stephen the very best as he begins this exciting new chapter of his life. We will most certainly miss him here at Channel 7.”

Clark’s career in broadcast journalism spans more than four decades, including anchoring at KCNC in Denver, KGTV in San Diego and WCBS in New York. He has covered events around the world, including the conflict in Bosnia, the Los Angeles riots and the California wildfires. He was a correspondent for CBS at the time of the 9/11 attack, and covered every aspect of the event.

Clark is known to WXYZ viewers for his devotion to his family and his passion for country music. He created the Scarlet’s Smile Foundation that is working to help find a cure for spinal muscular atrophy, the disease that affects his young granddaughter Scarlet. The organization is currently involved in raising money to build a playground in Oakland County for kids of all abilities and disabilities. He is also an accomplished musician who is dedicated to writing and performing country music.

“I’m looking forward to having time to spend with my family, playtime with Scarlet, dinners with my wife Larenne, and a beer on the golf course with my dad – just two old retired guys,” said Clark. “I’ll miss my coworkers, but mostly I’ll miss the viewers. For my 16 years at WXYZ, they are the reason I’ve come in every night. We’ve shared the victories of our community, and mourned the losses, together.”

WXYZ and WMYD will celebrate Clark’s career and his many contributions to broadcasting in the coming months.

WTZI Launches in Tawas City

Carroll Broadcasting announced its newest FM addition to an already impressive lineup of stations broadcasting from the shores of Lake Huron in beautiful Tawas City.

WTZM 106.1 FM “The Point” is the new call sign and moniker for the recent 25,000 Watt acquisition and is currently broadcasting the best mix of today’s Hot AC music featuring artists like Ed Sheeran, Demi Lovato, Train, Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, and others in a Top 40 mix of today’s hit music. The station’s primary broadcast area reaches approximately a 40 mile radius, 60 miles in the fringe and can be heard in West Branch, Mio, Harrisville, Port Austin, Bad Axe, Gladwin and Standish.

“We are proud to launch this new station to serve our community with local information, weather and today’s hit music,” said John Carroll, owner of WTZM along with his legacy stations WIOS AM 1480, WKJC FM 104.7, WQLB FM 103.3 and WKJZ FM 94.9 said,

“We also wanted to bring a station to market with less talk and more music. When listening to ‘The Point,’ that’s exactly what you a get. ‘The Point’ is a maximum-music, less talk station! ”

“The Point” 106.1 identification gives a nod to the fact that WTZM is located very near Tawas Point on Lake Huron.

Carroll Broadcasting is a family-owned business that has been serving the Tawas Bay region since 1968, first with the legacy AM station WIOS built in 1958. Carroll Broadcasting has since built a whole family of FM stations appealing the broad range of tastes and needs of northeast Michigan.

With the addition of WTZM 106.1 FM, John Carroll said, “We look forward to serving our community for many years to come and invite everyone to tune in and give it a listen.”

Online live streaming of the station, as well as a new web-site is slated to begin soon.



What’s Next? Media Show Keynote Discussion Will Turn Eyes Toward Future

How will broadcasters adapt in the age of debated net neutrality, voice-based technologies, NextGenTV, autonomous cars, and the Digital Dashboard? Where are the best places for broadcasters to deploy financial and human resources in the years to come?

Three of the nation’s top broadcasting professionals will team up for an interactive panel discussion to prognosticate about the future of the industry and kickoff a day of dynamic breakout sessions at the  2018 Great Lakes Media Show.

Moderated by Jacobs Media’s Fred Jacobs, the Beasley Media Group’s Caroline Beasley and Patrick Communications’ Larry Patrick will discuss how innovations in technology will continue to transform every aspect of the broadcast industry over the next five years and beyond.

Register now to attend the 2018 Great Lakes Media Show and experience this important keynote discussion, “Innovating Into the Future, ” and many other great learning opportunities.

The Great Lakes Media Show, previously known at the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference & Expo (GLBC), is Michigan’s premier broadcast industry event. This successful, and expanding, convention connects talented and influential broadcasters, media company managers, journalists, sales executives, engineering professionals and state-of-the-art exhibits for invaluable networking and educational opportunities.

The 2018 Great Lakes Media Show will take place March 6 and 7 at the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing. Learn more and register to participate at

  • Caroline Beasley was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. on January 1, 2017, previously serving as interim Chief Executive,  Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Secretary and other directing roles since she joined the Company in 1983. She currently serves as the Joint Board Chair of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Board of Directors and is a past Chairman of the NAB Radio Board. In addition, Ms. Beasley is a member of the BMI Board of Directors and the Broadcasters Foundation of America Board of Directors. In 2017, she was honored by Radio Ink magazine as “Radio Executive of the Year” and named one of the “40 Most Powerful People in Radio” in 2011, 2012, 2016 and 2017. In addition, she has been recognized in the magazine’s “Most Influential Women in Radio” listing on an annual basis since 2003.
  • Larry Patrick is Managing Partner of Patrick Communications, a Maryland-based media investment banking and brokerage firm with over $7.5 billion worth of deals to its credit.  The firm has sold more than 600 radio stations and 160 television stations. He also owns Legend Communications, a group of 22 small-market radio stations in Wyoming, as well as an interest in 14 major market television stations. Mr. Patrick has served as Chairman of the Board of ION Media Networks, a public company and operator of 60-full-power television stations across the country.  He also is a former Senior Vice President of the NAB.  He is on the boards of numerous other companies and charitable institutions.
  • Fred Jacobs is President of Michigan’s Bingham Farms-based Jacobs Media Strategies and  has emerged over the past two decades as one of radio’s leading visionaries. He founded Jacobs Media in 1983, when he had the notion that Album Rock could be fragmented by the creation of the Classic Rock format. Today, Classic Rock stands out as the most successful radio format in the last 20 years. Prior to launching the company, Mr. Jacobs spent the majority of his time designing and managing research projects as the Director of Research for the Radio and Publishing divisions for Frank N. Magid Associates, a leading research and consulting firm. Later, he became Director of Radio Research for the ABC-FM Owned and Operated Radio Stations. From there, he gravitated to the station side, becoming program director for legendary WRIF-FM in Detroit.

Bad Ads vs. Good Ads


Duane Alverson

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:  Duane Alverson, President
MacDonald Broadcasting Company (Saginaw & Lansing)

What’s the most important ingredient to the success of your advertising recipe?

Is it the platform you choose (i.e., television, radio, newspaper, billboards, print media, direct mail, digital or social media)? Or is it the amount of money you invest?

A few years back, I might have sided with one (or even both) of these arguments, because both are important elements to advertising success.

However, the more time I spend with Roy H. Williams and Sensory Logic, the more I am convinced that there is an ingredient far more critical than either medium or budget.

Advertising’s Not-So-Secret Sauce

Study after study have returned a perhaps surprising revelation: that messaging is truly the most important factor determining the success or failure of a marketing/advertising campaign.

In other words, what you say — along with how you say it — is crucial to winning the ad wars, no matter whether you advertise on television, the Internet or via direct mail…and regardless of the size of budget on the line.

Whether you’re attacking the market with a long-term branding campaign or short-term sales event, messaging is going to play a key role in the effectiveness of either approach.

Fine. But How?

So, what are the keys to crafting effective advertising messaging?

We at MacDonald Broadcasting have been fortunate to work with a third-party company by the name of Sensory Logic in hopes of improving the advertising messages of our clients.

We truly believe we can generate even more success for our advertisers by learning how to craft more effective radio commercials. Sensory Logic studies what works and what doesn’t every day, and they have shared their discoveries with us.

First and foremost, they tell us, “When writing a radio spot, being on-emotion is even more important than being on-message.” In other words, if you’re more focused on selling your product than appealing to the emotions of the listener, you’ve likely lost them.

Here are some other key points to keep in mind:

  • Know who you’re talking to, and create a “sense of membership” for them.
  • Keep your message close to home by reflecting the audience’s values.
  • Build a distinct, memorable personality for your brand.
  • Tell a compelling story that paints a mental picture.
  • Never lead with price. Always establish value before mentioning price.
  • Vary the pace and tone of your story, and avoid “bald spots.”
  • Sell hope…and a “branded solution.”

And don’t forget these two cardinal rules:

  • Always hook your audience in the first three seconds.
  • Try to use more than one voice, as only a small portion of single-voice radio spots are engaging to the listener.
Duane Alverson currently serves as President of MacDonald Broadcasting Company. Duane has been with MacDonald Broadcasting Company for 32 years serving in various sales leadership positions. He served as Chairman of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters in 2012 and as President of the Michigan Jaycees in 1981-82. Duane resides in Saginaw, Michigan.
Reprinted with permission. 

Quizbusters Finale Tapes This Friday

Photo credit: WKAR

WKAR Public Media has announced that the final series installment of the long-running “Quizbusters” game show will be recorded this Friday, December 8, before a live studio audience at WKAR Studio A in East Lansing.

This final edition of the show will feature QuizBusters division champions meeting up in the series finale Grand Championship game!

After the show, the station will host a series wrap party to celebrate the success of the show and its host, Matt Ottinger. Light refreshments will be served and there will be special guest tributes.

More than 60 teams from across the Michigan Capital Region are competing in this final season. Students on the top team in each division win $5,000 tuition scholarships to Michigan State University. The Grand Champion team receives five one-year textbook scholarships.

WKAR and Ottinger announced this past summer that this would be the final season for the show.

“I have been humbled by the outpouring of support and words of kindness from viewers and, especially, my former contestants,” said Ottinger, in a July statement. “While we have fun playing the game in the studio, we don’t always see the greater impact in the community and the memories we are creating for the students.”

The current season began October 7 and continues through the airing of this Grand Championship Series in Spring 2018.

WDVD Raises Over $95K in ‘Cares For Kids’ Radiothon

Cumulus Media’s WDVD-FM (Detroit) held its 11th annual ‘WDVD Cares for Kids’ Radiothon last Friday (12/1) at Beaumont Children’s Hospital in Royal Oak, raising more than $95,000 for sick and injured kids in Southeastern Michigan.

“It’s both an emotional and fulfilling day,” said WDVD morning host Blaine Fowler.  “We meet so many families throughout the day that have benefited from what this Radiothon does. Through unthinkable injury or disease, these people have shown the courage, dedication, and resilience to overcome just about anything. I’m a firm believer that tough times don’t last, and that tough people do. With the help of our listeners and the generosity of our community, we are pleased to empower these inspiring families to survive and succeed.”

Donation opportunities continue through this Friday, December 8. More information is on the station’s website here.

WCUP, WGLI, WLUC Team Up for Canathon

Photo credit: WLUC-TV

Eagle Radio’s WCUP-FM and WGLI-FM (L’Anse/Hancock) partnered with WLUC-TV (Marquette) in the Western UP for the station’s annual Canathon fundraiser.

“We have been doing this, it seems like forever, it is one of the great things we can partner up with our people up in Marquette. We couldn’t ask for a better promotion that actually reaches out and touches people,” said Ed Janisse, Eagle Radio general manager.

The Canathon is a community-wide effort.

“We’ve done a lot of promoting it. We want more people to bring cans in. The more the better. The more the merrier. I think they responded pretty positively. The more we promoted the more people brought in, so it shows that they are paying attention and that they are interested in helping out the community,” said Emilie Jacques. a Calumet-Laurium-Keweenaw high school senior.

More than two tons of food were gathered from east Houghton and Keweenaw counties. It was delivered directly to CLK Council of Churches Food Pantry located at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Calumet.

“It is always great to give back to the community. The Campioni’s, every chance they get they are working towards giving back to the community,” said Chelly Bykkonen, assistant manager at Pat’s Foods Calumet.


WKHM raises over $10,000 for local Toys for Tots


Mallory Sullivan (L) and Scott Clow (R) of the K-105.3 Morning Show with Walmart staff.


Mark Libke (L) and Greg O’Connor (R) of WKHM Radio load up purchased toys.



Jackson Radio Work’s WKHM-FM (K-105.3) and WKHM-AM (NewsTalk 970AM/101.5FM) hosted their annual joint toy drive to benefit the local chapter of Toys for Tots from 6 – 10 a.m. on Friday, December 1.

Toys for Tots is an organization run by the U.S. Marine Corps which distributes toys to families who cannot afford them for the holiday season.

The Toy Drive took place at a local Jackson Walmart. Scott Clow & Mallory Sullivan broadcast the K-105.3 Morning Show live on location at Walmart, just outside the entrance, braving the cold to accept drive-up and walk-up donations from listeners.

Also broadcasting live was Greg O’Connor of NewsTalk 970AM/101.5FM hosting his daily local news show “AM Jackson” from inside Walmart.

Donors had the option to bring new toys, check/cash, or shop inside for toys to donate and receive 10 percent off their purchase. By 9:45 a.m., the station reached the goal of $10,000, surpassing last year’s amount of $8,000 raised.

Two Men and a Truck filled a moving truck with all the toys donated and purchased Friday morning and delivered them to Toys for Tots headquarters at the Salvation Army. All donations will be distributed to families in Jackson.

Jessica Tyler Joins WDRQ-FM

Jessica Tyler

Jessica Tyler has joined Cumulus Media’s WDRQ-FM (Detroit) as Assistant Program Director, Music Director and Midday Air Talent.  Tyler was most recently at WQNU-FM in Louisville, KY.

“I’ve known Jessica a long time and the special bond she creates with listeners on and off the air, the friendships she develops with the artists, songwriters and managers plus the relationships she has with the record community in Nashville, are second to none,” said Robby Bridges, Cumulus/Detroit Director of FM Programming.

“That’s because of her deep love and passion for the country music format. I’m really excited for her to join Team NASH here in Detroit and to work with me to continue to grow our brand.”