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A Social Networking Site For Radio

Welcome to the all new Airchecker experience. A social networking site for radio. We are powered by the people of radio and those who have a great passion to have conversations about radio. As the voice of the Canadian radio industry since 2009. Airchecker has gained a loyal army of followers who say we are the best source for radio. 1000s of radio lovers power your radio news each week via Airchecker. read more >

Airchecker Is Social Radio.

Taking radio news into a social networking format.

Proud to be the worlds first. Airchecker is the modern day radio newsie.

Your tool box for radio is Airchecker. A one-stop shop for all things related to radio. We dedicate ourselves in helping you find news you can use.

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How Radio Should Use Twitter

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To love Twitter is to understand Twitter. For most, it takes quite some time for the light to finally turn on. Each social platform is unique, and Twitter is one of the most confounding of them all. It’s radio’s red-headed stepchild.

Instant gratification from social platforms like Facebook and Instagram have spoiled us. With little effort, friends and family validate our posts with likes and comments. When they do, our brain gets a pleasurable hit of dopamine. It feels good! It’s the same feeling air personalities have when the phones light up with callers.

But, Twitter is a different social media animal. Facebook and Instagram’s algorithms withhold and re-prioritize content. Twitter, however, is a linear, realtime experience.

How Twitter is Different

Social Media experts have plenty of advice about how to behave on each platform. They’ll tell you how often to post to avoid being annoying. Some preach the benefit of building a massive account online under your brand name. But that general advice doesn’t apply to Twitter. It’s unique.

On most social platforms, we originate content and start conversations. But Twitter is as much about engaging in existing topics as starting them. Don’t be the person that walks into a cocktail party and changes the subject! You won’t be invited to the next party. Be topical. Listen. Join the conversation.

So how often should you tweet? How should you manage your account? When is the best time to tweet? Let’s examine what some of the world’s top radio stations are doing.

Sign Up for Free Webinar to Use Twitter Like a Boss

How Top Radio Stations Use Twitter

One of the fastest ways to learn best practices in social media is following others in your industry. You’ll discover what to do…and what not to do.

Here are some radio stations that are doing Twitter well:

@NPR

NPR gets how to use Twitter. They have almost twice as many followers as their nearest radio competitor. Their 6.9 million followers is partly due to their large national platform, of course. But that’s not all.

NPR publishes a wealth of updated, timely, quality content.

But study their tweets. They’re masters in participating in conversations to guide their audience in new directions.

NPR leads the way with consistency, quality and community engagement. Since their first tweet in April, 2007, NPR has learned to be part of a conversation. And, they keep a finger on the pulse of their audience.

Here’s something that will surprise you. NPR tweets an average of 119 times per day! 119! That’s almost 5 times per hour, or once every 12 minutes. Why so many? Because NPR understands that the average shelf life of a tweet is about 10 minutes. Even those fans that follow you aren’t scrolling back to check out your prior tweets.

As a result, NPR is on a whopping 63,597 Twitter lists!*

@BBCR1

BBC’s Radio 1 signed on to Twitter for the first time in June, 2007. With 2.8M followers and counting, BBC Radio 1 is one of the most followed music radio stations in the world.

 

 

The station has multiple accounts, which allows them to focus each content stream. For example, they have a “Now Playing” account (@BBCR1MusicBot) that displays the song on the air now.

 

The station’s social media team manages each stream. This helps them maintain consistency in the brand.

The main BBC Radio 1 account tweets an average of 27 times a day and is being tracked on 7,253 Twitter lists.*

@HOT97

This may surprise you. New York’s Hot 97 is the only local radio station on the “Twitter Top 100 Most Followers” for radio stations list.

 

 

902,000 people follow the hip hop station on Twitter and the station tweets an average of 56 times per day.*

Much of their content features video. Also interesting: Many tweets direct followers to their air personality’s Twitter streams. And those personalities have large audiences as well. @Rosenbergradio (Peter Rosenberg) has 331,000 followers.

Sign Up for Free Webinar to Use Twitter Like a Boss

Using Twitter on Your Local Station

What can we learn from these big radio brands for local radio? Several things.

NPR, BBC Radio 1 and Hot 97 teach us that Twitter is a global audience, even if you are a local station.

For one thing, your brand has no boundaries. You can reach your local market and extend the conversation beyond your station’s signal.

Also notice that every tweet from the three brands includes a photo or video. If you want your message to stand out in the stream, you have to get attention.

They also prove that it takes more time and effort than you think to reach your audience.

Don’t Be Intimidated

A co-worker once conducted an experiment in a radio station meeting. He asked everyone jot down what they did over the long Thanksgiving weekend. He gave them one minute, then went around the room asking people to read their answer out loud.

When all 25 people had shared their answer, he made his point. Every person in the room created a piece of content from start to finish, in under a minute. And each message was fewer than 140 characters!

Yes, managing social media takes time, but you can do it. If you are the person assigned to manage Twitter, engage and interact! And be great at it.

Join conversations and start new, topical ones. Twitter is a linear, real-time experience for radio stations and listeners.

In fact, Twitter is very much like radio in that respect. When a segment is over, it’s over. If you weren’t listening, you missed it. You won’t hear it again.

If you’re an air personality trying to build a Twitter audience, start a new habit. Each time you turn on the mic, follow it with a tweet. If you find that you have nothing tweet-worthy, there’s a content problem!

It’s a commitment, for sure. But anything worthwhile is. And there are tools that can make this easier. For example, use Hootsuite to schedule tweets in advance. You could write and schedule tweets the day before during the show prep meeting.

Integrate Twitter as part of your Radio Station storyline.

Conclusion

Your influence on Twitter will grow when radio stations devote time and attention to managing the stream.

Join conversations. Tweet often. Be thoughtful. Engage and respond. Use multiple accounts.

Don’t get hung up on likes, retweets and comment. Over time, they will come, but you have to be consistent.

Work smarter, not harder. Use the tools and talent that you have in front of you.

*Source: TwitterCounter.com

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Even Its Creator Can’t Kill MP3

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Even Its Creator Can’t Kill MP3

The MP3 is dead, we’re to believe. That’s because the technology’s inventor, the Fraunhofer Institute, has ended licensing of the patented technologies needed for the encoding and decoding of MP3 files.

Reality, of course, it a little more complicated. As Fraunhofer itself clarified in a blog post this past week, the licensing program ended because the last patent expired April 23, not because they somehow pulled the plug on MP3 altogether. That’s the thing with patents, they have a defined lifespan, after which they expire. Then anyone is free to implement the technology described in the patent, without owing royalties to the original patent holder.

The MP3 isn’t quite dead, its owner just doesn’t really own it anymore.

Dead Like Betamax?

Still, I keep reading the headline that “MP3 is dead.” But what exactly would it mean for MP3 to be dead? Would all of our MP3 players suddenly cease to work? Would our smartphones start choking on that Fleetwood Mac CD you ripped in 2005? Would iTunes refuse to play that Radiohead bootleg you downloaded a decade ago?

While declarations like “the MP3 is dead” seem familiar to other cries of obsolescence like, “vinyl is dead,” “cassettes are dead,” or “the CD is dead,” the MP3 is not a physical format like a record, tape or disc. A physical media format begins its decline when manufacturers quit making the media itself, and goes on life support when playback equipment is no longer made. We can consider it dead when finding working players becomes difficult to near impossible, and so nearly entirely impractical to use at all.

Of course, rumors of the death of the three physical formats I just cited are exaggerated, since you can still buy new media and playback devices. A Betamax videocassette is much closer to dead, even if you might still scout the occasional working VCR on eBay or at a thrift store.

But as a file format, rather than a physical format, at what point is MP3 dead? Already, as its creators note, the format has been surpassed in quality by AAC files, which give better fidelity in the same file size. Moreover, as most people’s digital storage capacity and internet bandwidth have increased, we’re seeing the rise of uncompressed audio formats, like ALAC and FLAC. As well, high resolution, better-than-CD-quality files are growing in popularity.

Yet, if you find a 15 year-old MP3 file on an old hard drive you’ll still have no problem listening to it on your smartphone or computer. It will sound as good (or bad) as it did when it was first encoded.

You Can’t Kill MP3

So, really, MP3 will probably never die, at least not in the way Betamax will. The technology to encode and decode MP3 files is out there, and much of it is now free of any licensing constraints. Programmers and engineers can continue to include it in software and hardware forever, if they see fit.

I don’t make this argument as an MP3 fanboy. While it was a truly revolutionary technology that came at the precisely right time when home internet because just fast enough to transfer music files, and computers became just fast enough to decode a file like an MP3 in real-time, it is imperfect and has been superseded in terms of fidelity. As I’ve written before, I wish internet radio stations would move away from MP3 to formats that sound better, even over slow connections. Many do offer AAC streams alongside their MP3 streams, but still too many only offer MP3.

Why Would You Want MP3 Dead, Anyway?

I’m not necessarily arguing that internet radio or record labels abandon MP3 wholesale. There are still players and other devices that don’t support newer formats, and I’m not a fan of forced obsolescence. Offering an MP3 option for an internet radio stream or song download costs very little extra, especially when compared to offering an album or movie in multiple physical formats.

Why would you want MP3 dead, anyway? I get tired of tech media triumphalism, always looking for wins and fails, ready to declare some media, format, platform or device dead, only then doing a 180 when some trend-spotter realizes the kids these days are listening to records and their iPhones.

The nice thing about digital technologies is that they don’t necessarily have to die in the same way as Betamax or laserdisc. Just take for example old home computers, like the Apple II or Commodore 64. They haven’t been manufactured in nearly a generation. But because the stuff of a computer is really software, emulators exist which let experimenters and enthusiasts run a virtual home computer on their Windows PC or Mac. In fact, thanks to the hard work of volunteer programmers and software archivists, at the Internet Archive you can even run software from dozens of vintage home computers and video game consoles right in your browser.

Long Live MP3, Though I May Not Choose It Any More

The MP3 is not dead, and probably will never die in any meaningful way. That said, if I’m ripping a CD today, I’m going to choose AAC if I need to optimize for storage. If I’m ripping it so I don’t have to use the physical media, then I’ll choose FLAC or ALAC, because they’ll be bit-perfect identical copies of that original CD. I won’t choose MP3 because today it’s too much of a compromise.

The great thing about an uncompressed FLAC or ALAC file is that, should I need an MP3 of it somewhere down the line, I can easily make one. But if all I have is an MP3, there’s no restoring the data and quality that was lost. Like a photocopy of a painting you threw away, there’s no restoring the original.

That doesn’t mean I don’t listen to the archive of MP3s I still own. Buying music on MP3 made sense fifteen years ago, and those files don’t sound terrible at all, even if a CD copy (or high-res version) likely would sound better. I hate being on the audiophile treadmill of rebuying music every time a new version or format comes out. I’d rather enjoy those old MP3s than anxiously shop around trying to upgrade.

Got lots of MP3s? Relax, don’t worry. They’ll be dead long after you are.

 

Here’s Why You Can Thank One Canadian For The Invention Of AM Radio

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By Global News

The invention of AM Radio changed the landscape of media, music and communication. The world was able to broadcast sound waves that contained more than just beeps and boops, thanks to a Canadian inventor.

To celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, Global News is taking a look at the invention of AM radio and its underappreciated inventor, Reginald Fessenden.

If the name does not strike you as familiar, it’s because Fessenden didn’t receive the accolades enjoyed by other great inventors of his time. Although his name did not stand the test of time, his invention became a game-changer for communication, and even a passion for many Canadians.

“I’d wanted to be on the radio from the moment my grandmother gave me a transistor radio for my first birthday. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do,” veteran Canadian radio broadcaster Alan Cross told Global News.

“To do this job correctly, you have to embrace it as a lifestyle, something that you do 24/7.”

RELATED: Thank You Canada’: History launches series for Canada’s 150th birthday

As of 2015, there are 704 radio stations across Canada, 124 of them using the same AM technology that Fessenden created. His invention inspired generations of kids to pursue a career in radio broadcasting.

“During the daily 28-mile drive from where we lived to school in Princeton, the car radio would pick up CFUN and CKLG. And to a seven- or eight-year-old, Red Robinson, Roy Hennessy, Rick Honey, Tom Lucus and Daryl Bee were larger-than-life entities,” said longtime Canadian sports broadcaster Kelly Moore.

“The minute they’d crack the mic, my little world was filled with all kinds of visuals. It was magic. And it was what I always dreamed of becoming.”

Radio is now forced to compete with television and the Internet for audience attention. Though radio might be more primitive than other mediums, radio announcers argue that the connection that radio makes with its listeners is unparalleled.

“I’ve always felt the most important part of my job was connecting with the listeners, one-on-one,” said Country 104 host Leigh Robert.

“Being their friend over the airwaves, sharing stories, experiences and losses. That personal connection has always been very important to me.”

READ MORE: Global News, Corus Radio nominated for 11 RTDNA Network Awards

“It is a chance to communicate to a large audience, share ideas and opinions, hear and feel emotion. It is a companion when you are driving, working in the kitchen, going for a walk. You can’t do that with TV. Or a newspaper, if there are any still publishing,” Moore said.

Fessenden never got the acclaim or instant riches that he deserved for broadcasting the first piece of voice and music through the air. Although he had the patents for the technology, he ended up in a legal battle with the company that supported his work. This led to a large cash settlement 30 years after his first successful broadcast.

He may not have been recognized for his work during his lifetime, but Canadians are still thankful for his life-changing invention 100 years later.

“Thank you for giving me a medium that is as versatile as it is,” said Robert. “The strength of radio is how we can connect with everyone on an emotional level every single day. That is power.”

“You were the first radio announcer and first DJ. My parents would like a word with you about their son who decided to get into radio instead of being a teacher,” joked Cross.

“Knowing a Canadian invented such a vital mechanism of our lifestyle and culture that enabled our ability to communicate… there are very few inventions over the past 150 years that have played a larger part in our daily lives,” said Moore. “I would simply say thank you — because from a purely selfish point of view, radio has been my everything.”

Read more Canada 150 coverage.

In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, the History channel has unveiled a slate of digital shorts titled Thank You, Canada, reflecting our nation’s historical successes and milestones. They’ll be rolling out from now until Canada Day (July 1).

History and Global News are Corus Entertainment properties.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Matt Cundill: Episode 48: Broadway Bill Lee – Coast To Coast, Post To Post

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Broadway Bill Lee is one of the reasons I fell in love with radio. In the late 80’s I would watch Vuolo Video airchecks and Bill stood out amongst the crowd. Fast forward to the digital era and Bill is still entertaining people on multiple social media platforms with his unique song intros that make him one of a kind. His afternoon show on the legendary WCBS-FM is top rated because of the hard work he puts into the show, and the great programming team at the station. Yes, it’s a trip down memory lane at times, but if you want to work for 5 decades in radio, you had better be able to rebrand yourself. (We talk about that)

Blog link bit.ly/2rDtiY6
iPhone – itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/episo…00385623390&mt=2
Android – play.google.com/music/m/D45p24fpt…Sound_Off_Podcast

The podcast is brought to you by Promosuite and their new cloud based paperless studio. We wanted to have Rocco from Promosuite on the show to talk about his time with Bill Lee at Hot 97, but alas… he had laryngitis. Visit the website – it will make him feel better. www.promosuite.com/soundoff

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0405

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Welcome to the latest edition of the Stuph File Program.

For a program list of the items included and all their accompanying links in this one hour show, you can find the information on my website in the Stuph File Program section, or just follow this link to #0405.



To download the podcast, right click here and select “Save Link As”

Featured in this episode:

Click logo for iTunes podcast subscription If you have any comments or suggestions, or items for the mailbag, feel free to click on the “Comments” link below to add your thoughts.

BCAB Excellence Winners

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For the rest of the winners visit Airchecker Twittwer @Airchecker

VANCOUVER: Program Director, Sportsnet 650

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Date: May 8, 2017

Location: Vancouver, BC, CA, V5Z 4J6

Every day, we strive to build a brilliant digital future for Canadians. We work as one team, with one goal –serve our customers better.

 

Imagine working in an exciting and fun environment where the whole team combines their interests and talents to create the most engaging Sports Talk Radio in Canada.  Rogers Media Inc. is seeking a Program Director to manage its Vancouver sports radio station, Sportsnet 650. Reporting to the Program Director, Sportsnet 590 The FAN, this individual will play an integral role in building Vancouver’s newest all-sports radio station. If you Live, Eat and Breathe everything sports, we want to meet you.

 

Responsibilities:

 

  • Monitor and Evaluate programming selected for the station.
  • Management, motivation and recruitment of the Sportsnet 650 programming department.
  • Coordinating with TV production, news and promotions departments to accomplish the sound of the station in accordance with the station format.
  • Directly responsible for announcers and their on-air presentation, coaching and development; as well as the production department.
  • Working collaboratively with all Sportsnet platforms, including TV, and the digital product including all websites and social media platforms.
  • Work in conjunction with the Promotions Director and Sales Department with respect to promotions, contests and advertising.
  • Evaluate programming available from distributors, syndicators, and independent producers to recommend acquisitions for broadcast.
  • Manage budgets for the programming department.
  • Ensure station complies with CRTC regulations.

 

Qualifications:

 

  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in programming management or comparable experience in a major market.
  • Advanced knowledge of Sports.
  • Minimum 5 years of experience in the Sports/Talk format.
  • Experience building programming and promotions strategies.
  • Possess creative and innovative problem solving skills.
  • Knowledge of CRTC content regulations.
  • Excellent organizational skills and detail oriented, as well as ability to multitask.
  • Highly proficient in using the Selector Music scheduling system and familiarity with Scott Studios preferred.
  • Required computer skills include Outlook, Excel and Word.
  • Excellent writing, communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Experience on-air would be an asset.

Shift: Day

Length of Contract: Not Applicable (Regular Position)

Work Location: 2440 Ash St (094), Vancouver, BC

Travel Requirements: Up to 10%

Posting Category/Function: Broadcasting & Programming

Requisition ID: 100537

 

WHY ROGERS?

 

As a proud Canadian company, we’re dedicated to making things easier for our customers. We’ve been embracing and leading change for over 50-years, and we’ll continue to seek out new opportunities to bring our customers simple solutions for today and tomorrow.

 

At Rogers, we recognize that success is determined by the strength and diversity of our people. We work together because we want to win together, and these five shared values guide and define our work:

 

  1. Simplify and innovate
  2. Take ownership of the what and the how
  3. Equip people to succeed
  4. Execute with discipline and pride
  5. Talk straight, build trust, and over deliver

 

Why Rogers? Because we believe the best is yet to come.

 

We recognize the business value in creating a workplace where each team member has the tools to reach their full potential. At Rogers, we value the insights and innovation that diverse teams bring to work. We work with our candidates with disabilities throughout the recruitment process to ensure that they have what they need to be at their best. Please reach out to our recruiters and hiring managers to begin a conversation about how we can ensure that you deliver your best work. You can also reach out to our team at RogersRecruiting@rci.rogers.com to begin a conversation about your individual accessibility needs throughout the hiring process.

jobs.rogers.com/job/Vancouver-Program-Director%2C-Sportsnet-650-BC-V5Z-4J6/405872900/

 

BCAB Excellence Awards Nominees

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Excellence

For more than 50 years, the BCAB has been recognizing the “Best in Province” for radio and television commercials, station imaging, community service and news reporting. Awards are presented to both large and small/medium market stations. Read about this year’s judges.

2016 Excellence Award Nominees*

Best Commercial Creative (Radio) Large Market

Bell Media Radio Vancouver – Dead Frog Brewery
Corus Radio Vancouver – Star Rentals Campaign
Newcap Radio Vancouver – Recycled Commercials

Best Commercial Creative (Radio)  Small/Medium Market

Power 104/Q1031 – Master Glass-Doug
Power 104/Q1031 – Beaver Rubbing 101
Rogers Radio BC – Vita Dental

Best Commercial Creative (TV)  Large Market

CTV Vancouver – Waves Coffee
Global BC, Corus Entertainment – BCAA
Global BC, Corus Entertainment – Bard On The Beach

Best Commercial Creative (TV)   Small/Medium Market

CKPG TV – Action Motors
CTV Vancouver Island – Kool FM – “Bobbleheads”
CTV Vancouver Island – City of Port Alberni – “I Get It” Campaign

Best Station Imaging (Radio) Large Market

JACK 969 Vancouver – Greg Attitude
World Famous CFOX – Irreverent IDs
Z95.3 Vancouver – Hello It’s Me, Adele

Best Station Imaging (Radio) Small/Medium Market

K96.3 Kelowna’s Classic Rock – Momma Let ’em Play
Q1031 – Q’s Heathens Halloween
Rogers Radio BC – The Ocean – Ocean St. Pedi Day
The Vista Ideas Group – Vista – No No No No No

Best Station Imaging (TV) Large Market

CTV Vancouver – CTV Breaking News – Crime
Global BC – We are Why
Global BC – Newseum

Best Station Imaging (TV)  Small/Medium Market

CKPG TV – CKPG News – Local Matters
Global Okanagan – Team Dwesla

Community Service Award (Radio)  Large Market

CKNW News Talk 980 – Feed Me Friday
RED FM – RED FM Radiothons – Our Listeners’ Generosity
Roundhouse Radio 98.3 Vancouver – Impact

Community Service Award (Radio)  Small/Medium Market

106.1 EZ Rock – Bell Media – Miracle on Mackenzie
91.5 EZ Rock – Bell Media – Great Canadian Turkey Drive
CFAX 1070 – Miracle on Broad Street

Excellence in News Reporting (Radio)

CKNW News Talk 980 – St. Paul’s Hospital – Fentanyl Crisis
NEWS 1130 – Langley Condo Fire

Excellence in News Reporting (TV)

CFJC – The Changing Face of the RCMP
CTV Vancouver Island – West Shore Mountie Killed
Global BC – Gang Life

*Winners will be announced at the 70th annual conference in Osoyoos.

Excellence Award winners for 2015

(Presented at the 2016 conference)

Radio

Bell Media Best Commercial Creative (large market) – Bell Media Radio Vancouver – Steamworks – Holiday Mashup
Power104-Q1031 Best Commercial Creative (small/medium market) – Power 104/Q1031, Dakoda’s – Burrito Dance
RoundHouseRadioVancouver Best Station Imaging (large market) – Roundhouse Radio 98.3 Vancouver, Listeners Promo
100.3 The Q Best Station Imaging (small/medium market) – 100.3 The Q, The Q’s Payroll – Typewriter
RoundHouseRadioVancouver Community Service Award (large market) – Roundhouse Radio 98.3 Vancouver, Greater Vancouver Food Bank
102.9 thedriveandB104 Community Service Award (small/medium market) – B104/102.9 The Drive, Miracle on Baker Street
News 1130 Excellence in News Reporting – NEWS 1130, Port Metro Vancouver Fire

TV

CTV Best Commercial Creative (large market) – CTV Vancouver, Waves
CTV Best Commercial Creative (small/medium market) – CTV Vancouver Island, Luxe Home Interiors – Explore Inside
Global BC Best Station Imaging (large market) – Global BC, Bringing Sports to Life
CTV Best Station Imaging (small/medium market) – CTV Vancouver Island, CTV News Vancouver Island 5pm News Promo
CTV Community Service Award (large market) – CTV Vancouver, Hope Starts Here
Global-Okanagan Community Service Award (small/medium market) – Global Okanagan (CHBC), Your Okanagan Foodbank Calendar
Global BC Excellence in News Reporting – Global BC, Tofino Tragedy

Individual Awards

  • Performer of Tomorrow – Sonia Beeksma
  • Performer of the Year – Erin Davis
  • Broadcaster of the Year – Rick Arnish
  • Friend of the Industry – Hon. Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

Toronto Councillor Says Telecoms Should Unlock FM Radio On Android Smartphones

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Toronto councillor Mary Fragedakis has presented a motion calling on telecom companies to active the FM radio chip found inside Android smartphones.

Fragedakis, who represents Ward 29, Toronto-Danforth, told CBC News that with FM radio, alerts can be sent out to notify citizens of emergencies like blackouts or natural disasters.

She said that while she understands the financial reasons behind keeping FM radio locked, she asks that companies consider the broader picture.

“Obviously, there is a lot of money to be made in data usage, but this issue is more about the safety of the public,” Fragedakis said.

In the event the motion from the city of Toronto doesn’t pan out, Fragedakis said the motion also asks the federal government to get involved. “There is a secondary recommendation to ask the government of Canada to take steps necessary so that these FM chips are activated and to launch an education campaign to make Canadians aware of how to use FM radio capacity on their smartphones,” she told CBC News.

The service is already widely available in the United States, with major providers like Sprint, AT&T and T-mobile having “turned on” the FM chip in their phones.

However, FM radio is not available there on Apple devices.

In April, the CRTC mandated that all carriers must offer a system that alerts Canadians of emergencies through LTE networks.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Source: CBC News

ESPN Ending ‘Mike & Mike’ Radio Show After 17 Years

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The Associated Press

NEW YORK — ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike” are going their separate ways.

The network announced Tuesday that Mike Greenberg would be leaving the longtime morning radio show he co-hosts with Mike Golic to host a new morning TV show on ESPN TV that will premier Jan. 1. Golic will stay in the morning radio spot and will be joined by a new partner in the network’s NFL host Trey Wingo. The radio show will be simulcast on television.

Greenberg and Golic have been teamed since 2000. The show will end later this year.

Greenberg says his “run with Golic has been an incredible experience,” but he’s looking forward to a new challenge.

The network also says Golic and Wingo have multiyear extensions to stay with ESPN.

3 Programming Rules That Make No Sense

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Program Directors are notorious for establishing rules for their air staff. Programmers love to make programming rules. It makes things easier to manage, but they can suck the life out of the sound of a radio station.

Things like:

  • Talk into the stop set only. Never out of the stop set.
  • Always promote what is coming up after the commercials.
  • And on and on…

Having been a PD for more than 25 years, I understand how these rules come about. It’s easier and faster to lay down rigid guidelines than navigate the nuances of effective entertainment. It’s an end to a means. Lay down the law and the station will sound better.

But many times, it prevents the station from sounding great. From being special. That’s because entertainment isn’t black and white, but many shades of grey.

Let’s examine these programming examples and the goal behind three of them.

3 Programming Rules That Make No Sense

Of course, there are dozens of ridiculous rules PD’s make, but here are three that drive me crazy:

Talk Over Song Intros, Not Fades

The goal is to establish forward momentum and keep the station’s moving. PD’s often cite research (especially the dial technology music tests) that prove when personalities talk on the fade of a just-played song, audience interest declines.

But if they establish the next song first, interest remains consistent. So the rule is put in place. And it’s for a good reason. Because it’s true that listeners tune out if the talent destroys forward momentum. 

But it’s really the technique, not the fact that they are literally talking for a second or two over the fade of the song. Great air personalities link format elements so that they connect, without sacrificing pace, energy or momentum. Talent should be trained to edit their breaks so they’re not wasting any words, and managing the music flow behind the talk over to keep the pace moving.

Want to see how it’s done? Watch these videos. This is becoming a lost art. Especially since voice-tracking has become routine, these techniques have not been taught or maintained.

Open Breaks With Station Position Every Time

It’s important to brand your station and imprint your message on the minds of your audience. And it’s also true that listener attention is highest at the end of a song they’re enjoying. So it makes sense that if a listener is tuned in now, they’re enjoying the song. Otherwise, they would have tuned out.

Therefore, an easy rule is to require each break to begin with our branding message.

The real goal, though, should be to effectively communicate the station position, how the audience should use it and communicate brand values frequently in a variety of creative ways so that the audience hears it, understands it and believes it.

When air personalities deliver the same lines every time they turn on the microphone, the audience become numb to the message. They stop hearing it. Even worse, they subtly start to tune-out as we condition them with the mindless repetition.

Deliver brand values through meaningful communication. That takes time, preparation, coaching and creativity.

Sure, it’s easier to issue a rule, even if the rule results in robotic delivery of the same line over and over until the audience is immune to it.

One Thought Per Break

The audience isn’t paying much attention. They are easily distracted and often get confused. That’s true. Many (most) personalities have poor discipline, preparation and have not constructed their breaks so they’re easy to understand. That’s also true.

So, in the interest of being clear, concise and direct, PD’s put in a rule that results in shallow, one-dimensional entertainment. Talent is restricted and leaves out a lot of relevant topics. The proper approach is to coach talent to navigate breaks so thoughts naturally flow from one element to the next without dramatically shifting gears at random.

This too, is an art. It is achieved through changing vocal intonations, production effects, word economy and creative preparation so the topics flow together naturally.

Side note: talent needs to grow into learning how to do this effectively. Don’t just turn them loose.

Conclusion

I could go on and on. Rules can make a station sound less bad, but rarely make it sound great. Rules don’t make them extraordinary. 

There are dozens of rules intended to improve the listening experience, but result in limiting the value personality adds to the station. And personality is the distinct advantage we have over new and competitive music delivery technologies.

What are your favorite programming rules? Add them in the comments.

The Stuph File Program – Episode #0404

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Welcome to the latest edition of the Stuph File Program.

For a program list of the items included and all their accompanying links in this one hour show, you can find the information on my website in the Stuph File Program section, or just follow this link to #0404.



To download the podcast, right click here and select “Save Link As”

Featured in this episode:

Click logo for iTunes podcast subscription If you have any comments or suggestions, or items for the mailbag, feel free to click on the “Comments” link below to add your thoughts.

Ann S. Utterback: Make Every – On Air Day Your Best

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Make Every – On Air Day Your Beast

By Ann S. Utterback, Ph.D

There’s a common adage in theater circles that you’re only as good as your last performance. This applies to broadcasters and voiceover professionals as well. Let me explain….

I often tell broadcasting students that each show should always be the best one they ever voiced. I know that’s a high bar, but I’ve had more than one news director say to me, “I saw that student’s audition tape and didn’t like it. I’m not interested in looking at them again.” As unfair as that is, the harsh reality is that news directors get hundreds of audition tapes for every opening. Anything that’s an eliminating factor is used to thin the pile.

What about your daily anchoring or reporting? For ratings you always want to be at your best, but there’s a career advancement issue here as well.  There was a time when if you were in a small market you were safe because larger markets might not have a way to watch you every day. But boy is that over! One Google search, and they’ve got you auditioning for them on the evening news wherever they are. One night of low energy might ruin your chance for the market jump you dream of.

And for voiceover people, it’s even worse. An ad you voiced may be played hundreds of times in lots of cities. One day of breathing issues can keep ad agencies from calling.

And in a voiceover audition you might be told you’re not good enough for a particular assignment. Or you’ll get that stock rejection, “The client’s decided to go in another direction.”

One VO friend who voices audio books said she was once told to her face that her performance in the first few minutes of a book was “flat,” and it must be re-voiced. Ouch! That’s a blow to anyone’s confidence.

Okay, so what can you do to avoid being rejected because of a bad day? The harsh answer is, don’t have bad days! The purpose of my blog posts is to give you the skills to avoid bad days as well as tools to help you push your way through them if they do occur. You may not have time to read up on everything, so here’s a list of posts to explore to find these skills:

Improve Your Breathing

Keep Your Energy Up

Avoid a Flat Delivery

Improve Your Sleep

Keep Your Rate Correct

Sound Conversational

Project Your Voice Well

Make the Best of a Cold

You’ll find many more tips by clicking the fifth edition of BROADCAST VOICE HANDBOOK is chock full of vocal exercises and information.  Download it instantly from this page.

onlinevoicecoaching.com

 

Around The Dial: Tarzan Dan Freeman | Corey Tremere C103

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From our friends on Twitter. Check us out @Airchecker

Rob Farina Talks 1M Apps, Radio & iHeartRadio

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FYI MUSIC – By David Farrell

FYI caught up with Rob Farina in the over-sized lobby at the Sheraton downtown in Toronto during CMW. As ever, the radio executive is pumped. And why not, he’s surrounded by broadcasters, musicians and music biz brass and it seems as if they all want to talk to him.

Farina’s twin passions are broadcasting and renovating mid-century houses. In that order.

His ascendancy in his chosen profession has the trajectory of a hot stock, give or take a couple of missteps along the way.

He knows it but isn’t saying so because it hasn’t been announced when we talk, but his hiring at Bell Media, first as a consultant for the club house-sized iHeartRadio project, has been formalized and he’s now heading a file titled Content, Strategy and iHeartRadio and that includes overseeing the company’s successful Orbyt Media syndication-arm that covers the gamut of entertainment and news interests.

Over the years he’s worked for CHUM, Rogers, Astral, CTV and found the time to have his own (now mothballed) side-bar consultancy firm, Black Box Entertainment.

Farina’s focus today is all about iHeartRadio Canada and all of its tentacles.

The first thing he tells me he wants to be made absolutely clear is that the iHeartRadio platform is open to the competition.

Initially launched a little over a year ago with Bell Media’s top radio brands, plus a hundred or so music streaming channels, Farina proudly reports that the app has now been downloaded by a million listeners in its first seven months of availability. It’s a significant number, and he’s not afraid to crow about it.

But to the competition: “I think there has been this notion in the industry that the choices were either (competitor) Radioplayer Canada or iHeartRadio and I want to make it abundantly clear that we have no problem with radio stations being on both.

“As a radio station owner, I would think you would want to be available to be heard wherever possible. If anything, iHeartRadio is a different proposition.”

Key amongst the differences is that Bell Media’s iHeartRadio has been quick to broaden its scope so it can now run across a staggeringly large 120 platforms embracing mobile, home, automotive and wearables.

It means one can stream using Chromecast, DirecTV, Echo, Nexus, Xbox, Apple CarPlay, most of the proprietary big car company in-dash systems, Bose, Pebble, Android Wear, Samsung Gear 2 and Apple Watch.

Make no mistake, the tech development needed to connect across these very different proprietary delivery systems is no milk run and cost a bundle in developer man-hour dollars.

Farina says “we’re excited about 2.0,” which is how he refers to the first release of the iHeartRadio app, “and we’re excited about the fact that other broadcasters are coming on board.”

Farina is excited about much of what is on his plate now. He’s made a career playing the nice guy who’s connected, loves to mentor talent, talks radio with almost evangelical fervour and in a word, he’s a doer— not a follower.

Strategies and challenges for him are like energy drinks for marathon runners.

“So we’re excited about 2.O, but we’re just getting started. Shortly we can announce another 300 radio stations coming on board, including some of the marquee American terrestrial brands and formats that don’t really exist in Canada. We aim to deliver a diverse offering in the market.”

Some of the 300 stations are now on Radioplayer Canada, meaning he has already started to over-ride the false assumption that it’s one or the other.

He adds the fact that the current 100 digital channels are to be doubled, “which will allow consumers to pick their music to mirror their mood or activity. If you are having a dinner party you can call up a number of options to fit the event and create the vibe you want to soundtrack your room with.”

And then, of course, there are the events.

“Our first this year is FirstWest in Calgary on July 8 so, yes, we are an event promoter now.”

The first iHeartRadio FirstWest fest is taking place at Shaw Millennium Park in Stampede City. Scheduled performers include Fifth Harmony, Hedley, Iggy Azalea, Massari, Midland, Noah Cyrus, Ruth B, Scott Helman, and Virginia to Vegas.

iHeart has also presented festival-like concerts in Toronto and Montreal, and re-branded the massively successful MuchMusic Video Awards, now billed as the iHeartRadio MMVAs.

And then there’s Bat Out Of Hell, a co-venture between Bell Media and Michael Cohl’s Iconic Entertainment Studios.

The theatrical adaptation had its soft opening in Manchester UK, immediately earning rave reviews that extended the run from two to five weeks before its official launch at the 2400-seat London Coliseum on June 5.

The advance hype all but guarantees a sell-out for the 56 performances, with London papers including The Daily Mail extolling almost hyperbolic enthusiasm in singular fashion for the three-hour show.

The musical has its North American opening at Ed Mirvish Theatre on October 14 and runs through December 3.

Farina says that with the Bat deal “the show now becomes part of the asset chest at Bell Media and offers a great example of our go-forward as content creators. Our mandate is to create events that are truly special for the fans and we’re billboarding them as ‘money can’t buy’ opportunities. Our music events provide an opportunity for the fans to see a great number of their favourite acts in a festival atmosphere.”

He adds that these spectacle events are the prelude “building momentum as we prepare to launch our subscription services.”

These services will, presumably, become the 2.1 and 2.2 versions of the iHeartRadio app experience, and Farina likes to talk about events as ‘experiences’, perhaps borrowing his parlance from the concert promoter vernacular.

The subscription editions of the iHeartRadio experience are expected to have their introduction at the end of the year “and at the latest at the top of 2018,” he advises.

The services are dubbed iHeartRadio Plus and the iHeartRadio All Access.

The Plus edition will cost $5 monthly that enables one to download any 50 songs you want, swap them in and out to a limit of 50, with interactivity offered in allowing listeners to rewind a song on the radio at any given point in its broadcast. Wanna repeat Ed Sheeran’s “Shape Of You” for an entire day? This plan’s for you!

The All Access model will be competitively priced with competitors and offers unlimited streaming, similar to offerings from Google Play and Spotify.

Both are ad-free models. He explains: “We feel that when you operate a streaming platform you have this one dimension. It’s a fantastic dimension, but it’s one dimension. Understand that music is such a personal experience and we feel that we have an ability to curate, to drive a conversation with our audience and offer much more by having events that are unique and add value to subscribers.”

Put another way, capture an audience and provide a menu of enticements to keep them coming back for more. In the vernacular of the tech world it’s called a ‘walled garden’ that has been brilliantly employed by Apple and to a lesser extent Samsung, and is a big part of the thinking behind subscription packages on offer from Bell and Rogers to capture audiences with cable, on-demand, mobile and data demands.

But what about radio today? I ask. Isn’t it guilty of failing to be adventurous, a bit stale with too many duplicated formats and all a bit top-down?

Farina takes a deep breath, pausing before responding to such a loaded question.

“I will tell you that our survival is going to be closely linked to our ability (as broadcasters) to meet the audience’s needs.

“I will tell you that the rise of streaming, the rise of podcasting, all of these other elements that are nipping at the number of minutes that the audience engages with radio is really pushing radio to reinvent what it does, and take tips on how we can be better from the growth of these (competing) services.

Implied but not said is the fact that today’s audience and tomorrow’s adherents live online. The real estate and the terrestrial broadcast towers that for over a half-century built branded radio call letters into huge money generators are slowly but surely becoming the 2.0 editions of radio. Like broadsheets and network television, audiences are migrating online and leaving old world media in some future graveyard and for archivists to curate in libraries and museums.

But Farina isn’t taking my question lying down.

“I believe that radio has done a lot right over the past 10 years as digital media has unfolded. I believe we’ve actually been doing a great deal to change and especially so on the talent side.

“The way our (radio) talent works now is vastly different than it was 10 years back. They used to have to be good on the air. Now they have to be good everywhere, all the time: social media, live appearances. Getting out there in front of an audience is now probably more important than it ever has been.”

I respond back: But it seems to me that DJs are now less visible on the street than ever before.

“Well, that’s a challenge,” he responds, “and it’s one we can address as we are doing all these events because we have a reason to have our personalities in a place where they can be viewed really well.

“These events are party atmospheres that are attracting fans. We are able to create these communal environments.”

Then there are the socials: “Social media isn’t one thing today, it’s many things and we need to have our talent communicate on these onlins portals better than well.

“I remember when I was at Astral hiring (social media marketing company) Jumpwire Media. I hired them to do social media training across four markets and I can tell you that it completely changed the way personalities thought of their business.

“And it also taught them the tools to communicate on these platforms and connect with the audience. It was tough for some of them with 20, 30 years in and at the end it transformed them as personalities. It was about connecting the dots and reaching out beyond the microphone.

I interject again: There are huge landmines where the wrong comment can boomerang into a catastrophe…

“Absolutely! That always exists, and it is a bigger challenge now because the weight of the words can linger. It used to be the message would evaporate shortly after being put out there. Now they persist and maybe in an earlier time people were more inclined to shrug off comments. Maybe in an earlier time people had a better sense of humour.

“Now we must be sensitive to race and gender. We’ve seen how politicians have come to be haunted by things that they said decades ago based on the world we knew then and now found those same words coming back to bite them in the arse.”

He pauses, before adding further thought to the discussion.

“All that said, I think there are changes being made at radio. There’s an evolution, some subtle and some overt, and I don’t want to paint my radio brethren as a team sitting on its hands because we all have our challenges.

“We have revenue challenges, we have challenges keeping resources intact and when you are at a large company you have to manage (fiscal) quarter by quarter.

“We talk a lot about technology as broadcasters but what about the creative people needed to fuel the technology? Without them, well it’s like having a cupboard full of pots and pans and an empty fridge.

“What will drive the tech shift is having the creative who can engage with audiences, drive content.

“It’s a conversation that we’ve been having for a long time but it’s really about a core issue—what made us successful?

“What’s our service to a community—and how do we get back to serving the community in a new way?

“Youth is a big factor too in how radio is adapting today. The climate, the challenges are actually helpful to change. To use an old adage, necessity is the mother of invention. That said, I believe these are exciting times to be in radio.”

Farina is fortunate that he is in the driver’s seat with a company that has not only mandated core changes to its structure but has taken leadership in bringing its core assets as a media company and having a well-defined vision of how to transfers our strengths and assets and build on them in a digital universe.