If You Have Political Advertising Questions……We Have Answers!

David Oxenford

David Oxenford, Wilkinson Barker and Knauer, LLP is the MAB Washington Attorney and answers your Legal Hotline Questions.

David and Bobby Baker, Gary Schonman and Sima Nilsson of the FCC Office of Political Programming held a terrific Political Advertising Webinar for MAB members on November 18. MAB Members may access it in the members only section of the MAB Website. It’s really worth watching and could save you from getting a fine.

In a hurry? Need a broadcasting legal question answered on the spot? Call our MAB Legal Helpline and ask your specific questions of David Oxenford directly. David is quick to get back to you and the service is free to MAB Members. Even if you have a corporate attorney, you can call David first then you’ll sound really smart when you talk to the corporate attorney.

The MAB Washington Legal Hotline is a member service available to all MAB Full Members in good standing. Call the MAB Office to get your password to the Members only section where you will find David’s contact information or call the MAB Office to get connected with David.

WEMU’s Lisa Barry Passes

Lisa Barry

The MAB is saddened to announce the passing of WEMU-FM (Ypsilanti) All Things Considered local host Lisa Barry.  Barry died this past Tuesday night (11/30) due to complications from a heart condition.

A graduate of Olivet College, she got her start as a morning newscast sidekick on Lansing’s WVIC-FM. Barry later joined the morning show at WCLS-FM (now WYCD) in Detroit. She has since worked for numerous Detroit stations including WXYT-AM (where she served as news director), WNIC-FM and WJR-AM, sharing airtime with personalities ranging from legendary Detroit TV anchor Bill Bonds to Oakland County executive L. Brooks Patterson.

In announcing Barry’s passing, WEMU General Manager Molly Motherwell said, “Lisa was a seasoned journalist and award-winning broadcaster with a rich and rewarding career but she was so much more than that to us at WEMU. Lisa was the heartbeat of WEMU. Her positive attitude and vibrant personality were her trademark and were well known to all who had the good fortune to cross paths with her.”

Visitation and Service Information:

Visitation – Friday 12/3 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.
O’Brien-Sullivan Funeral Home
41555 Grand River Ave
Novi, MI 48375

Funeral  – Saturday 12/4 at 1:00 p.m.
Meadowbrook Congregational Church
21355 Meadowbrook Road
Novi, MI 48375

Traffic Director Spotlight: Jacquie Marx (Carroll Broadcasting/Tawas City)

Jacquie Marx is the Traffic Specialist for Carroll Broadcasting in Tawas City

MAB: If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?
Jacquie: Pay off all my bills, then travel

MAB: If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
Jacquie: Speak and write Korean

MAB: What is your favorite comfort food?
Jacquie: Cinnamon Rolls

MAB: If you could be an animal, what would you be?
Jacquie: A dolphin

MAB: If you could visit any time in history, where would you go?
Jacquie: 1500’s as royalty in early Asian dynasties

MAB: Do you have any tips or tricks you’d like to share with other traffic directors?
Jacquie: Work quickly but accurately. Surround yourself in calmness in the chaos.

If you would like to participate in our Traffic Director Spotlight, please fill out the survey here-

Michigan Radio Announces First Community Engagement Reporter

Jamie Simmons

Michigan Radio has announced the hiring of Jamie Simmons as the station’s first Community Engagement Reporter.

As the Community Engagement Reporter, Jamie’s reporting will supplement Michigan Radio’s coverage in Detroit, and specifically various neighborhoods across the city. The Community Engagement Reporter will work with the station’s Community Reporting Engagement Council to better understand and address residents’ goals and help Michigan Radio produce outstanding journalism that gives community members the information they need to make decisions and advocate for what’s important to their community.

Prior to her new role at Michigan Radio, Jamie Simmons served as the Engagement Director at the Michigan Climate Action Network. Her role included developing partnerships with community leaders in highly impacted communities within the environmental justice movement grounded in social and racial equality.

Her work experience also includes positions specializing in voter education outreach and social justice informed organizing at Michigan Student Power Network, and as a Justice Dialogue Facilitator at UM-School of Social Work Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Jamie earned her Master of Social Work degree at University of Michigan specializing in Community Organizing, and received her Bachelor of Arts at Michigan State University concentrating on Criminal Justice: Restorative Justice.

She will begin working at Michigan Radio on Monday, December 6, 2021.

Where Does Your Radio Station’s Data Live?

Seth Resler

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

From time to time, I encounter radio stations who are doing a good job of capturing listener data, but are not storing all of that data in a single central location. Instead, they have some contacts stored in their email database, some in their text message database, some in their contesting platform, some in their mobile app, etc. When the data is spread out over multiple locations, it is difficult for the radio station to put together a digital campaign that effectively targets listeners.

When setting up your radio station’s digital strategy, there are several key questions to consider:

  1. What data do we want to collect from listeners?
  2. Where are we going to store that data?
  3. How are we going to get the data there?

Let’s take a closer look at each of these:

1. The What
First, you need to decide what data you will collect. This may include basic contact information, including name, email address, phone number and social media handles. You may also collect demographic information, such as age and gender.

The more challenging task is collecting psychographic data — information about your listeners interests, activities, and opinions. You can collect this data by asking for it directly through registration forms and surveys. You can also collect psychographic data indirectly by tracking your listeners’ online behavior. For example, if a listener clicks on a link to the concert calendar in an email, you can tag them as a “concert goer.”

2. The Where
Once you have decided what data you are going to collect, you need to figure out where you’re going to store that information so you can use it later. Although your station may have several different digital tools that are capable of collecting data — including online form builders and contest creators — you want a single central hub that houses all of your data.

In other industries, that central hub is usually a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool like Salesforce or Zoho. For most radio stations, a CRM is overkill — at least on the programming side of the building. (The sales team should certainly consider using a CRM to manage clients and leads.)

Instead of using a CRM, radio stations can often get away with using an ESP (Email Service Provider) such as Mailchimp or Constant Contact, or a contesting platform like Second Street or Aptivada. When it comes to selecting your central data hub, there is no one correct answer for every radio station and radio company. The advantage of the contesting platforms is that they were built specifically for radio stations; the advantage of the ESPs is that it is very easy to hire people who have experience with them. At the end of the day, you will need to figure out which tool works best for your radio station’s workflow.

3. The How
While there is no single right answer, there is a wrong answer: decentralizing your database. What are you going to use your database for? To send out targeted email campaigns? To activate listeners on social media? To retarget listeners with online ads? If your database is fragmented across multiple platforms, these types of campaigns will be very difficult to execute.

While the platform you are using as your central data hub may have tools for capturing data, you may want to include other digital tools in the mix as well. For example, here at Jacobs Media, we use Formstack to build the forms that capture data, but we use Mailchimp to house our central database.

How are you going to pass the data you capture in your online forms, your mobile app and your text message platform to your central hub? Ideally, your digital tools come with native API integration for passing this data. If not, there may be tools like Zapier that will allow you to connect them to one another. Here are some tips on getting your digital tools to talk to one another.

Collecting all the right data in a single spot is not an easy task. It requires careful research and planning. But data collection is the key to staying competitive in today’s advertising world, so it’s worth the investment.

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.

Legendary Former CKLW Music Director Dies

Rosalie Trombley

A woman credited with launching the music careers of many rock bands as the music director for CKLW-AM (Windsor-Detroit) (aka The Big 8) has passed away. Rosalie Trombley, a pioneer in Canadian radio died peacefully Tuesday (11/23) at the age of 82, according to reports from the station.

Trombley started her career as a switchboard operator at the radio station in 1963 but quickly made a name for herself by discovering hit songs by talented artists. By 1968, she was CKLW’s music librarian. In that job she was responsible for reading the trades and researching to see what the station might want to play. She was so adept at it, she was almost immediately promoted to her boss’ job as music director.

“Rosalie was an icon, a trailblazer and our friend,” Bob Seger said in a statement. “Through her hard work and incredible instincts, she achieved a rare level of influence and power in music. When she got behind your record, other stations would follow suit. She was literally a gatekeeper to national success and we were so fortunate to have her support, especially on many of our early records. She was an integral part of our journey and we are eternally grateful. We will miss her.”

According to CKLW, she was credited for also launching the careers of The Guess Who, Gordon Lightfoot, Paul Anka, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Bob Seger, Alice Cooper and many more.

Seger even immortalized Trombley in his 1973 song “Rosalie,” which include lyrics “She’s got the power, the teen queen Rosalie,” and “She’s everybody’s favorite record girl.”

No cause of death was released, but Trombley had been ailing and out of the public eye for some time.  A private memorial service has taken place. A public remembrance event to give all her fans and those of the Big 8, is being planned for a future date.

In June of 2011 she was honored at a huge gala in Windsor.  It was all captured on video by Art Vuolo, Jr. who shares a 42-minute edit of the original 105-minute video:

WION and Local Communities Team Together for Annual “Treasures for Troops” Project

Boxes packed and loaded for shipping!

Now in its 8th year, WION (Ionia) Radio’s “Treasures for Troops” collected items on behalf of Blue Star Mothers Chapter #188 of Ionia, Montcalm and Kent Counties and was a success!

WION’s broadcast week was November 15th through 19th with broadcasts and call-ins from the Village Market of Muir, Young Chevrolet-Buick-GMC of Ionia and the Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce. The station reports that listeners had been inquiring-about and buying things for this drive since early Autumn.

Boxes are packed with donations collected in this yearly event, and include letters, cards and notes from Saranac, Ionia, Lowell students, Ionia area residents and others. Each box also contains three “staple” items of Peanut Butter, Chunky soup and some beef jerky, along with a variety of items from the needs list published locally each year.

The Ionia Moose Lodge once again hosted the storage, sorting and boxing of donations, which were then prepared for mailing from the Saranac Post Office.

This year, 186 boxes were mailed to active military members deployed far from home. The boxes will be a surprise to most recipients, however some addresses were provided to the Blue Star Mothers by families and friends of the deployed.

Major donations for postage were received from Reurink Roofing & Siding Sales of Ionia and Herbruck’s of Ionia, with many individual monetary donations from WION listeners, advertisers and the public in Ionia and Kent Counties. This year, Lowell High School Radio WRWW-92.3FM and Lowell Schools contributed over a full S.U.V. load of donations to the cause, for which WION and the Blue Star Mothers are grateful. Special thanks goes to the Lakewood United Methodist Church Youth Group of Lake Odessa who held a special drive for the project and donated multiple large boxes to Treasures for Troops!

Jim Carlyle, WION’s Manager and Mid-morning co-host said, “While thanking everyone who gave their time, money, items, or in any way contributed would be impossible, WRWW-LP and Lowell Area Schools, The Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce, Ionia Moose Lodge, Young Automotive of Ionia, Ionia Public Schools, Saranac Area Schools and event organizer, WION Radio of Ionia and Lowell want those who helped in any way to know we’re grateful and very honored to be part of such generous communities in West Central Michigan. Thanks to donors and volunteers, 186 members of our Military know that people in our area support and care for them…while they’re far away from home”

Gray Television Closes on Meredith Stations

As anticipated, Gray Television closed on its previously announced acquisition of Meredith Corporation’s Local Media Group (“Meredith”) and its 17 television stations in 12 local markets for $16.99 per share in cash, or $2.8 billion in total enterprise value. Gray’s portfolio of television stations now serve 113 local markets reaching approximately 36 percent of U.S. television households.

In Michigan, Gray picks up Meredith’s WNEM-TV (Saginaw) after selling WJRT-TV (Flint) to Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group, LLC. That deal closed in September. Gray’s other Michigan stations include WILX-TV (Lansing) and WLUC-TV (Marquette).

With estimated combined historical basis net revenue exceeding $3.2 billion on a blended 2020/2021 basis, Gray is now the nation’s second largest television broadcaster in terms of revenues. In addition, with a new, larger portfolio including 79 markets with the top-rated television station and 101 markets with the first and/or second highest rated television station, Gray retains its position as the largest owner of top-rated local television stations and digital assets in the United States.

“Gray is a far stronger company today with the exciting and transformative addition of Meredith’s excellent television stations and its fine employees,” said Gray’s Executive Chairman and CEO Hilton H. Howell. “We are grateful to the numerous professionals at Gray, Meredith and their advisers who dedicated themselves over the past year to the successful completion of this transaction.”

The FCC approved the Gray acquisition on November 12, clearing the way for the December 1 closing.

WHTS’ Jackie Green Crowned Mrs. America 2022

Jackie Green

WHTS-FM (Grand Rapids) morning show co-host Jackie Blankenship (known on-air as Jackie Green) has been crowned Mrs. America 2022.  She won the Mrs. America Pageant in Las Vegas the weekend of November 20-21.  Blankenship’s road to the crown was somewhat complicated, telling WZZM-TV, “I actually was first runner up, I was second place. But the woman who did win had some health issues and had to step down,” she said. “So, they said ‘hey, you’re now the winner.’ They give you this whole spiel at a pageant, where if a winner can’t fulfill their duties, then first runner up will take over. They say that, but who ever thinks that’s gonna happen?”

Blankenship was born in Lansing and grew up in Portage. After high school, she accepted a scholarship for cross country and track at Ferris State University where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in applied speech communication and met her husband Jim. Green previously worked as a reporter for WXMI-TV for two years and spent four years as midday host on WGRD-FM.  She joined WHTS as afternoon host in 2016.  In 2019, the station teamed her up with Rachel Gray to form the The Gray and Green Show.

Blankenship told WZZM that she will compete next in the Mrs. World Pageant 2022, which will also be held in Las Vegas.

Longtime WDIV Anchor Steve Garagiola Announces Retirement

Steve Garagiola

Longtime WDIV anchor and reporter Steve Garagiola has announced his retirement after 27 years with the station. Garagiola made the news public in a Facebook post on Wednesday (12/1) and here’s what he had to say:

Those of you who know me well, know that I am not one for long emotional goodbyes. So, I have waited until now to post this. My hope is to avoid the question, “Hey, whatever happened to Steve?” I am retiring. My final day on the air at Local-4 is this coming Sunday (12/5).

For the past 27 years, Local-4 has been my TV family where I have had the pleasure of working with many of the most talented, honest, and dedicated people in this industry. I will miss that, and miss regular contact with all of those good people. I’ll have to surrender my key card for the back door… but hope I will always be welcome to visit.

A St. Louis native, Garagiola grew up in New York and has lived in the Detroit region most of his life. He started out at Lansing’s WILX-TV in 1977 and joined WDIV in 1995 as a sports reporter. His career took a major turn soon after, while in Atlanta covering the 1996 Summer Olympics he found himself reporting hard news when a bomb exploded in the city’s Centennial Park. Upon his return home, he officially switched to news reporting.

He’s also an author and cook. He published “The I Only Need One Cookbook — Cookbook” in 2015.