Entercom Launches Podcast Hosted by WXYT’s Mike Valenti

Mike Valenti

Entercom has announced the launch of the “Always Aggravated” podcast hosted by WXYT-FM (Detroit) sports broadcaster Mike Valenti. New podcasts will be posted weekly to Radio.com. The podcast is a chance for fans to go behind the scenes with Valenti and his cast of characters from his daily afternoon show airing weekdays from 2-6 p.m. ET on 97.1 The Ticket. The program will be filled with special guests, including talent from the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, college sports, music and more.

“Mike is an extraordinary talent who is loved by Detroit sports fans,” said Entercom Detroit Senior VP/Market Manager Debbie Kenyon. “This podcast will be an extension of his show, giving fans access to an unfiltered Mike Valenti.”

“This podcast is something that I have wanted to do for a very long time,” said Valenti. “It gives us the chance to go beyond what we are able to discuss in our daily show. Nothing is off limits and I am very excited about the opportunity to appeal to listeners around the country.”




FCC to Kick Off Quadrennial Broadcast Regulations Review in December

On December 12, the FCC will officially launch its latest ‘quadrennial’ review of broadcast ownership rules. The review is a  congressional mandate.

In his monthly blog post, the FCC Chairman Ajit Pai wrote: “On the media front, we’ll be kicking off a review of our media ownership rules — a review we’re required by statute to conduct every four years. The 2018 Quadrennial Review, as it’s called, will begin with a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking which seeks public input on the relevant rules, such as the Local Radio Ownership Rule, as well as several diversity-related proposals.”

The rules up for review are the local radio ownership rules, local TV ownership limits and the dual-network rule.




NAB Requests Ownership Expansion in December FCC Vote

According to a report in Inside Radio, the next FCC open meeting on December 12 is scheduled to bring its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to a vote seeking public recommendations on a variety of rules, including local radio ownership.

The National Association of Broadcasters requested that companies be allowed to own as many as 10 AM or FM stations in the biggest markets. The NAB advocated for allowing a company to own up to ten stations in the largest markets, with no limits on how many of those stations are FMs or AMs.




NABEF Accepting Applications for 2019 Technology Apprenticeship Program


The NAB Education Foundation (NABEF)
is accepting applications for the 2019 Technology Apprenticeship Program (TAP). TAP provides graduating college seniors with the connections and experience to start successful careers in media technology.

Over the course of six months, participants attend NAB Show in Las Vegas; complete a paid, two-month apprenticeship at a radio or television station; become Certified Broadcast Technologists through the Society of Broadcast Engineers; and produce a live webcast from NAB headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The program is open to college and technical school seniors with a background or interest in the technical side of broadcasting. Relevant areas of study include electrical engineering, information technology, telecommunications or radio and television transmission.

Applications are being accepted through January 31, 2019.

More information about TAP is available here.




WJR’s Tom O’Brien to Retire

Tom O’Brien

Cumulus Media has announced that Vice President/Market Manager Tom O’Brien will retire at year-end after a brilliant 40-year career as a Detroit radio fixture. O’Brien joined WJR-AM( Detroit) in 2004 as Director of Sales and was promoted to Vice President/Market Manager for Cumulus’ three-station cluster in 2011.

“Working with the team at WJR, The Great Voice of the Great Lakes, and Cumulus Detroit has been a privilege. Thank you to my first boss Tony Salvadore, my last boss Dave Milner, and all the team members and clients in between for a really enjoyable career,” O’Brien said.

Prior to joining the Cumulus Radio Station Group, Tom was General Sales Manager and Station Manager at WWJ-AM (Detroit) for 14 years, and also held positions as local Account Executive and Regional Manager for Interep.

“We thank Tom for his significant contributions to radio, to Cumulus, and to the Detroit community and wish him all the best in his retirement,” said Dave Milner, Cumulus Media Executive Vice President for Operations.

 




WSGW Collects Food For Families

Above: Food collected at the November 17 Eddy Band Christmas Concert at the Temple Theatre.

Newsradio 790 WSGW-AM (Saginaw) has concluded its annual Food For Families Campaign. The station worked with 20 sponsor locations to collect food over four weeks this fall to benefit the Salvation Army Chapters in Saginaw, Bay and Midland Counties. The final event in the campaign was November 17 at the Eddy Band Christmas Concert held at the Temple Theater in Riverfront Saginaw. Many of those attending the concert brought food donations and filled a dozen grocery carts that night alone.

The Food For Families Campaign was started by the station 23 years ago. WSGW Operations Manager and Program Director Dave Maurer says in addition to the tons of food collected over the years, employees of William Kibbe and Associates have taken up collections each year just before Christmas and have given the Food For Families Campaign a total of $80,000 to benefit the Salvation Army.

The MAB would also like to congratulate Dave Maurer, who just celebrated 40 years with WSGW!




The Importance of Assessing the Safety and Security of Broadcast Stations and Their Personnel

David Oxenford - Color

David Oxenford

By: David Oxenford, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP,

A topic not much discussed among broadcasters, but one that should be paramount in the future planning of all broadcast companies, is insuring the security of their stations and the safety of their employees. This is an issue on which all broadcasters should be focusing. Last month, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association for the second time featured a panel at one of its conventions dealing with this topic. While many might think that security issues won’t arise at their stations, in fact it can be an issue at any station in any market. Listening to the stories told by the participants on these panels, and in later discussions with audience members at the two WBA conferences where the panel has now been featured, and judging from news reports, the topic is clearly one that all broadcasters should be considering. Video of the panel held last month is available here.

While the panel was premised on protecting journalists who often are the highest profile “faces” of a TV station, from the discussion it was clear that the need for security planning is one that applies not just to TV stations with news operations, but even to radio stations and other media outlets that can, for one reason or another, be targeted by someone with a grudge against the outlet or one of its personalities. We have seen high profile incidents like the shooting of the Roanoke TV journalists or the employees of an Annapolis newspaper, and we have seen just in the last few weeks pipe bombs sent to news organizations and threats against cable TV hosts. But, as discussed at the WBA panel, there have been many less publicized incidents. Two of the panelists discussed their experiences, one a shooting at a small community-run radio station and the second an intruder making threats and smashing station property in broad daylight at a small market TV station. These incidents, beyond simply raising questions of employee safety, raise both practical and legal issues for all broadcasters.

As discussed in last month’s panel, the practical issues can be as simple as the question of how to conduct operations when your station has become a crime scene. The manager of the Wisconsin community radio station where a night-time intruder shot the on-air DJ discussed not only the security review that the incident prompted, but also the operational issues that resulted from the incident. While police investigated the incident, station employees could not get into their building to operate the station. This highlighted the need for disaster and emergency planning for all stations, not just because of incidents like this, but for any eventuality (e.g. flood or chemical spill) that could make a studio inaccessible. How does a station deal with the lack of access to their main studio? Can they keep operating if that happens? Have they made plans for such an event?

On these panels, law enforcement officials emphasized the need for planning and staff training sessions so that employees know what to do if a threat arises. Many businesses already undertake this kind of training, and local law enforcement authorities are often willing to help conduct the sessions. In the small market TV incident discussed on the panel, a stranger started banging on the front door of a TV station and then retreated to the front lawn of the station using a crucifix he had stolen from a local church to start attacking the sign identifying the station. In the video show during the discussion, a station employee can be seen running out to confront the attacker. Questions were raised as to whether the better and safer approach might have been to shelter in the studio building until law enforcement authorities trained in dealing with such situations arrived on the scene, especially without knowing what other weapons the individual might have had. Would your employees have known what to do in such a situation?

The discussion looked at other instances where stations should be assessing the safety of their employees. While technology has made it possible for station employees, by themselves, to broadcast from all sorts of remote locations, should they do so? Should the station be thinking about security before sending an employee to do a broadcast from a news scene or any other remote location – especially if the employee is going on their own?

Planning for these situations is important, and as I said in my remarks, there are already lawyers thinking about potential liability for stations that don’t do enough to keep their employees safe. Stations should be thinking about how to ensure a safe workplace, and taking active measures to reduce risks. Some companies have already started to review social media accounts of their stations and their on-air employees to try to identify threats early – as some online remarks may be indicative of real potential threats to station personnel. The FCC has eliminated the requirement that stations have a manned main studio accessible by the public during all business hours. While some stations feel that they need to maintain an accessible main studio to show their connection to their communities, others have decided that security is more important. Stations should make educated decisions about such matters, assessing the security implications of their choices.

These are not easy decisions, and there are no clear answers as to what stations need to do to keep their employees safe on the job, while still interacting with the community to provide the localism on which broadcasting thrives. In today’s world, journalists and broadcast companies are often vilified by public figures and even by private individuals who do not, for one reason or another, like what is being broadcast. Because of the attention they get, stations need to be thinking about these issues, and planning for the security issues that may come their way. We will be writing more about these questions in future articles, but start thinking about these issues now.

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.




WLUC, WDBC, WYKX Team Up For Annual Can-a-thon


WLUC-TV (Marquette) teamed up with WDBC-AM/WYKX-FM (Escanaba) for their annual Can-a-thon drive.
  Collections took place at four locations in the Gladstone and Escanaba areas.

While officials don’t have any final numbers at this point they are saying that thanks to the generosity of area residents and the efforts of dozens of volunteers, it appears that the effort could result in a record year.

WLUC has held the Can-a-thon annually since 1982.

“There is a ton of people that are actually donating. It speaks testaments to the folks that are in this community who are really coming forward to help these folks,” said KIX Country 104.7’s Mike Canull.

Volunteers collected donations at four locations throughout the coverage area from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday. Those locations are Elmer’s County Market, Sav-Mor IGA and Walmart in Escanaba and Pat’s Foods in Gladstone.

Craig Woerpel is with WDBC and KIX Country 104.7 and said that despite the cold weather, everyone loves lending a hand.

“It is cold. It is damp. But those guys, they’re out there collecting foods, having a good time talking with people. Handing out pop to those that donate and just having a good time. It feels good to be able to help people.”




Future Broadcasters Engage with Professionals at #BCBC18

The MAB Foundation hosted its annual Broadcasting Career Builder Conference at Lansing Community College’s West Campus on November 16. More than 160 high school and college students participated this year! Over 65 professionals were on hand to engage the future broadcasters with session presentations, sharing their expertise as speed-networking mentors and hosting career fair booths.

Students were able to learn and network during sessions and the future of the broadcasting industry looks bright with these students making their way into the professional field. A big thanks to all of the sponsors, contributors, speakers and everyone who participated to make this event such a wonderful success!

Click here to see more pictures from this year’s event and
mark your calendars for #BCBC19 on November 8. 




WDVD’s Blaine Fowler Morning Show Hosts Radiothon For Detroit Dog Rescue


On November 16, WDVD-FM (Detroit) and its Blaine Fowler Morning Show hosted a 13-hour radiothon to raise money for Detroit Dog Rescue, a no-kill shelter and adoption center for abandoned, abused or orphaned dogs.  The event was held on the Orchard Mall in West Bloomfield Township from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

An online auction offered extravagances such as Taylor Swift VIP concert memorabilia, a Detroit Lion Barry Sanders autographed football, a Mitch Albom autographed book collection and a performance by Blaine Fowler’s band BFE for a listener party.

The WDVD team and listeners raised over $63,000 for Detroit Dog Rescue!