Senate Overturns Donor Disclosure Rule

Last week, the U.S. Senate passed legislation regarding a recent Treasury Department decision which limits donor disclosure requirements for nonprofit organizations.

This past summer, the Treasury Department altered a rule which required all names and address of donors of $5,000 or more to be made available on certain tax forms. The newly passed resolution seeks to reverse this decision.

This move comes as similar legislation currently sits before the Michigan House, SB 1176, which would create a “Personal Privacy Protection Act,” that further protects the identities of members of non-profits and other donor information currently already protected from public disclosure.

Digital Gifts for the Radio Broadcaster Who Has Everything

Seth Resler

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

Looking for a last-minute stocking-stuffer for your Secret Santa? Here are some gift ideas for every colleague in your radio station. Best of all, they’re free!

For DJs

For the Program Director

For the Digital Team

For the Promotions Director

For the Sales Team

For Management

I hope you find these tips useful. Happy holidays!

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.

Krol Communications Adds Rich Renko and Mark Libke to WHMI Sales Team

Rich Renko

Krol Communications Inc. announced the hiring of Rich Renko as General Sales Manager and Mark Libke as Local Sales Manager for WHMI-FM on December 14.

Rich is a more than 35-year veteran of Radio/Television in the Detroit market, where he most recently was the GSM for 97.1 The Ticket WXYT-AM/FM .

Mark Libke

Mark joins the station from Jackson Radio Works, where he served  as  the Director of Sales.  He previously was a long -time Sales Manager for TBC Sports/Spartan Sports Network.

“This Sales Management team is poised for even greater success than WHMI has already achieved. They will be replacing our 20-year veteran General Sales Manager, Debbie Platt, who is retiring at the end of the year.  Debbie has built a great sales organization and we look forward to growing our valued client relationships in and around Livingston County,” said Krol Communications President Rod Krol.

Podcaster Sued for Copyright Infringement for Using Music without Permission – Remember ASCAP, BMI and SESAC Licenses Don’t Cover All the Rights Needed for Podcasting

David Oxenford - Color

David Oxenford

By: David Oxenford, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP,

It was news recently when a company that promotes poker was sued by one of the major record labels and publishing companies for the use of music in podcasts without permission. As we have written before (see, for instance, our articles here and here), the use of music in podcasts requires a license from the copyright holder of both the musical composition and the recorded performance of the music (usually, for popular music, a publishing company and a record label). In this case, one of the first we’ve seen against a podcaster for infringement of a copyright holder’s music rights (though we have heard of other situations where cease and desist letters were sent to podcasters, or where demand letters from copyright holders resulted in negotiated settlements), Universal Music alleges that the podcast company used its music and refused to negotiate a license despite repeated attempts by the music company to get the podcaster to do so. Thus, the lawsuit was filed.

As we have pointed out before, a broadcaster or other media company that has performance licenses from ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and even GMR does not get the right to podcast music – nor do the SoundExchange royalty payments cover podcasts. These organizations all collect for the public performance of music. While podcasts may require a performance license (see our article here about how Alexa and other smart speakers are making the need for such licenses more apparent as more and more podcast listening is occurring through streaming rather than downloads), they also require rights to reproduction and distribution of the copyrighted songs and the right to make derivative works – all rights given to copyright owners under the Copyright Act. These rights are not covered by the public performance licenses which only give the rights to make performances to the public. What is the difference between these rights?

The public performance right is simply that – the right to perform a copyrighted work to the public (those beyond your circle of family and friends). Making a copy of a copyrighted work is a different right, as is the distribution of that recording. Both are triggered when the podcast is downloaded onto a phone or other digital device – the manner in which podcasts were initially made available to the public. As we have written before (see, for instance, here and here), by convention (and now by the provisions of the Music Modernization Act), making available music for on-demand streaming (where a listener can choose a particular song, or a set of songs that will play in the same order all the time) has come to be considered to involve the rights of reproduction and distribution (the “mechanical royalties” covered by the MMA – see our articles here and here on the MMA).

The right to make a derivative work is another right of the copyright holder (see my article here on derivative works). A copyright owner must give his or her permission before their work is modified in some way. While that can involve the changing of lyrics to a song, it can also involve associating that song in some permanent way with other content. In the video world, that is referred to as a synch right – where the audio is “synched” to the video creating a single audiovisual work. Synch rights are not specifically defined by the Copyright Act. They have traditionally referred to audiovisual productions, but the same concept is at play in the creation of a podcast, where the music is synched to other audio content to create the podcast. In the Universal Music complaint against the podcaster, Universal complains that the podcaster violated not just the public performance rights of the copyright holders, but also their rights to authorize the reproduction, distribution, and the derivative works made from their copyrighted material.

This is all a long way of saying that podcasters need to get permission for the use of music in their productions. Many podcasters have commissioned original works where they license from local artists the recordings of music written and performed by those artists. Some online services have recently begun to develop, licensing music for podcasts for set fees. But, thus far, most of that music is not major label releases, but instead independent music. Right now, for major label releases, you need to get permission directly from the copyright holders to use their music. The bottom line – don’t use music in podcasts without getting permission.

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.

Thomas Robert Kinney: 1961-2018

Thomas Kinney

The MAB was sad to learn that on December 1, WKAR Public Media Telecommunications Engineer Tom Kinney passed away at age 57.  Kinney was a 25-year veteran of the station.

Kinney graduated from East Lansing High School in 1979 and proudly served seven years in the U.S. Navy as an Interior Communications Electrician from 1982 to 1989.

In a Facebook post, the station notes that “Tom was a dedicated employee with passion for his work and a good friend to so many.”

Tom is survived by his wife, Kristin; stepchildren, Ted and Emma McGinn; father, John “Jack;” and siblings, Kathy Lorenz, Kevin (Patty), Tim (Debbie), Nancy (Mark) Twichell, Jane (Patrick) Huber, and John. Tom was preceded in death by his mother, Jill (2018).

Kinney’s life will be celebrated with a Memorial Mass at St. John Catholic Church and Student Center, 327 MAC, East Lansing, on Monday, January 14 at 1:30 pm.

WTCM Takes Honors In Red Kettle Challenge

Left: Team Z93. Right: Team WTCM

Midwestern Broadcasting’s WTCM-FM and WJZQ-FM (Traverse City) held some friendly competition on December 14.  WTCM’s Mike & Christal in the Morning, along with Joel Franck, have challenged Ron & Rehmer of sister station WJZQ (Z93) to see which radio station can raise the most money for the Salvation Army.

Who took home the bragging rights?  WTCM!  Z93 raised $407.74 during the 2-hour event. WTCM raised a whopping $2199.86!  Between the two stations, $2,607.60 was donated to the Salvation Army, providing 2600 Meals or Heat for 32 families/homes for a month or 86 days of camp for kids!

EAS Alerts On Repeat?

This past week, InsideRadio reported that Emergency Alert System warnings would become a lot harder to miss under a bill advancing in Congress. It would allow the government to put the alert on repeat while a threat remains pending.

This proposal, along with other EAS rule changes, came about following the erroneous missile alert in Hawaii earlier this year.  Under the proposed Reliable Emergency Alert Distribution Improvement Act or “READI Act” (S.3238), the Federal Communications Commission would be given six months after the bill’s passage to determine how to implement the EAS repeats.

The bill stated that it would apply to any messages that have been issued by the President or administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Other proposals in the READI Act include elimination of the option that currently allows the public to opt-out of receiving certain federal EAS messages on their mobile devices. It would also establish a reporting system for false alerts like the one that occurred in Hawaii earlier this year so that the FCC can track when they occur and examine their causes.

The NAB, in a statement supporting the proposal, said the support  any move that would improve the timeliness, accuracy and availability of emergency alerts when disaster strikes and that “Local radio and TV broadcasters play a vital role as ‘first informers’ in keeping communities safe, and we understand the importance of relevant and up-to-date information when lives are at risk.”

Read the complete InsideRadio article here.

Meet Your MAB Board Member of the Week: Chris Monk

Chris Monk

Chris Monk began his career in January 1979 after graduating from Southern Illinois University with a degree in Broadcast Management.  On January 1, 1979, he headed west for his first job in radio.

He began his career in Reno, Nevada (Lotus Communications).  For the better part of twenty years he worked various West Coast markets.  Las Vegas, Nev. (Western Cities Broadcasting), Sacramento, Calif. (Nationwide Communications), and Tucson, Ariz.(Journal Broadcast Group) before he returning to Traverse City/Petoskey to work with Palmer Pyle to manage Northern Star Broadcasting.

For ten years Northern Star Broadcasting grew from nine stations “below to bridge” to a total of twenty-one stations serving the additional markets of Iron Mountain, Marquette and Sault Ste. Marie.

In 2007, he joined Citadel Broadcasting to manage their stations in Saginaw and Flint.  He left for five years to do consulting work and manage stations in Fort Wayne, Ind., for Adams Radio Group.  In January 2017, he returned to Saginaw to re-join Cumulus as a Regional Vice President overseeing their stations in Saginaw, Flint and Ann Arbor.

In addition to radio, his other passion is teaching.  He has been an adjunct professor at Northwood University in Midland since 2010.

When not in one of his markets or the classroom, you’ll find him at home in Horton Bay (Boyne City) with his wife, Georganna. They live on 12 acres overlooking beautiful Lake Charlevoix


Saginaw Station Cluster Exceeds Goal To Help Homeless

(L-R) Radiothon Coordinator Bill Hobson and Rescue Ministries CEO Dan Streeter showing off the grand total!

Alpha Media’s five stations in Saginaw, Michigan raised $46,242 for homeless shelters during a 12-hour Radiothon on December 19, exceeding their goal of $45,000.

Dan Streeter, CEO for Rescue Ministries of Mid Michigan, said the money will provide 1,541 nights of shelter and care for homeless individuals. The average cost of providing housing, food and care is $30 a day at Good Samaritan Rescue Mission in Bay City and City Rescue Mission in Saginaw.

On the night preceding the Radiothon the two shelters housed 263 people including men, women and children, far exceeding their average 180 person daily count.

Santa was even recruited to answer telephones!

Alpha Saginaw Operations Manager Dave Maurer recalled one emotional moment in the final hour when the stations were making strong appeals to exceed the goal when a volunteer in the phone room was moved to tears when a single listener contributed $1,500 after the caller heard accounts on the air from residents currently staying at the shelters and from those who had moved on and turned their lives around.

In the 13 years the Saginaw cluster has been doing the Radiothons, more than a half million dollars have been raised to house the homeless.

Homelessness is a year-round problem and the Saginaw cluster also does a two week long Summer Match campaign to raise money for the Rescue Missions.

The stations include WSGW-AM&FM, 94.5 the Moose, Mix 106.3 and KISS 107.1FM.

Sellers: Stop Using Rankers and Start Doing This …

Paul Weyland

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:  Paul Weyland
President, Paul Weyland Communication Strategies

Paul Weyland will be speaking at the Great Lakes Media Show, March 5-6, 2019 in Lansing.  For more information and to register, click here.

Having just returned from another week in the field, I’m surprised again at how few tools radio account executives are really using when pitching local direct clients.

The last thing clients need to see is your ratings, rankers, complicated rate cards, descriptions of your format or program, or information about how powerful your station is. If they ask for that stuff, you can always provide it for them. But what the client is really looking for are specific ideas that will help make the cash register ring.

In other words, the client is looking for evidence that your plan for their success is better than their own plan. That being said, here are a few things you can say about radio/broadcast media that, combined with a killer creative idea and a calculation of return on advertising investment, might sway a buyer into using you to tell their story. If you like these ideas, add them to your pitch.

Why Radio?

King for a Day with a Putter: How many times have we seen great golfers play a brilliant long game, hitting the ball hundreds of yards to land close to or on the green … and then completely blow it when they try to putt it in? Yes, putting is truly the great “equalizer” in golf. Yes, putting really does help level the playing field in golf. In spot advertising, time is the putting green.

The biggest account in a category on your station intimidates smaller local competitors with massive buys. But remember this: the largest advertiser on your station can only run 60 seconds or less. And your smallest account can also run 60-second commercials.

The biggest account can run only two commercials per hour (or whatever number your programmer decides is the maximum), and a smaller account could also run an equal number of commercials per hour — for a day. Or two. Or three.

So in broadcast, at least for a while, for a daypart or for a program, the smaller advertiser can sound as big as the biggest player.

Online Reputation Management: For clients who insist on spending lots of money on the Internet, a companion radio campaign is one of the best strategies for online reputation management.

Yes, they say “word of mouth” is the best form of advertising. And radio is literally the best word-of-mouth medium. Help your clients control bad word of mouth by selling them a positive radio campaign, an insurance policy against bad word of mouth.

People become familiar with companies they hear about all the time on the radio. In fact, many of those listeners become customers of that advertiser. So if they see a bad online review or a negative comment, they’re more likely to write that comment off to just one or a couple of bad experiences, without writing off the advertiser.

The Last Word: A radio ad is frequently the very last thing a consumer hears before leaving the car and making a buying decision. I know from personal experience that on more than one occasion, while out running errands, I have heard radio ads that absolutely influenced my purchasing decision. More than once, I chose a different restaurant. One time I actually turned around on the way to a specific store and chose a different place to buy a piece of furniture, based entirely on one radio spot. You (or a potential client) might have had a similar experience.

Who’s in Charge of Writing Your Story?: When building a case (your pitch) to local decision-makers, always throw this in. “The question becomes, are you going to write your own story, or are you going to let a few naysayers and your competitors write your story for you?”

Clients should be using radio to sell their stories to your universe of consumers. Tell compelling stories about why your audience should contact your client. Make the stories about the consumers, not about the client. Identifying and solving consumer problems is the objective of the commercial. One subject per commercial, then rotate commercials.

Now get up and go out there and sell something!

This article originally appeared in RadioInk Magazine.

Paul Weyland helps broadcast stations sell more longterm local direct business. Reach him at or call 512.236.1222.