Month: April 2014

Those Beloved Underwriting Rules…

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 There was a song in the early 80’s with the line “it goes on and on and on and on….” The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) recently levied fines for an underwriting announcement that seemed to go ‘on and on and on’ about a roofing company. It stated that they offered “Custom metal roofing, siding, hardware, trim, insulation, trusses and perma felt paper”.

Same for a gardening center mentioning they provide “bulk and bag mulch, peat moss, potting soil, bulk top soil, and decorative borders…pick-up and delivery”. They do offer all those services, that’s a fact, but the FCC said, “excessively detailed menus of multiple product/service offerings by underwriters exceed the type of information that would enable listeners to identify supporters of non-commercial programming”.
You can mention multiple non-promotional products and services, just don’t go on and on and on and on….about them.
Although the Federal Communication Commission didn’t say how many was too much, we would suggest no more than three. If you have more than three, you might consider:
• Rotating acknowledgement featuring different items.
• Using a female voice that might deal with more female items
• Using a male voice that might deal more with the “bulk mulch and “decorative borders, potting soil and bag mulch”, top soil, lawn mowers”.
Now I could go on and on and on and on…but you can find out more here. Click Here

Randy Pierce
Director of Underwriting
Positive Alternative Radio





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Who has ever heard the stigma, “HR works for the companies, and the companies only care about their company, so HR only cares about their company?”
Ok, that may be a little on the extreme, but let’s look at it this way …Who wakes up in the morning and gets all excited about needing to talk with HR or any other corporate representative?
Now I know that approximately zero people are going to believe me if I spend the next few minutes proclaiming to you that the stigma is wrong, that management and HR are here for you, because the company cares for you, and you should just take my word for it. Why? Well, because relationships don’t work that way. You can’t just declare that you care for someone and then be invisible when things go wrong and they need your help. That goes against the basic definition of the word “care”.
Over the last year, we have made the conscious decision to live the definition of “care” when it comes to our team members. How does that make us any different from every other company out there? The key is in the word “live”. There is a big difference between proclaiming and living. We are dedicating ourselves to proving our statements and the only way to prove your dedication is to be consistent to your word.
We all know that life isn’t perfect. No matter how much you plan ahead, something can always pop up and surprise you. I don’t know about you, but if life just threw me a curve ball, the last thing I would want to hear from someone is “policy this” or “policy that”. So what will we do when that inevitable moment arises when the “policy this” or “policy that” stands in the way?
Even if policy dictates “this is or isn’t allowed” or “only this or that can be done” there are ways we can assist our team members in finding solutions. How? Maybe there is a different benefit provided that, although it may not help with their primary concern, it may be able to assist with the effects it has on the other aspects of life. Maybe there is an outside organization with which we have a relationship and they can provide the assistance that the team member needs.
There is an endless number of ways to show team members that we care and I know we continue to grasp the challenge with both hands. I know that we take every opportunity on every day to dedicate our resources in a way that proves management and HR are here for you and the company cares for you.
Debra Bourne
Director of HR & Accounting Services

Where is my radio signal?

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I wanted to take this opportunity to address a few questions that our teams and listeners have concerning radio reception. It’s the age old problem that we hear all the time – “I can’t pick up the radio station.” There are a number of different reasons that this happens and I hope that I can help others to learn some of those reasons and how we can fix those issues.

Each of our radio stations has a studio where our staff operates. However, in most cases, we are broadcasting from a radio tower in a different location. The tower location, transmitter licensed power and signal direction was chosen because of engineering restrictions placed on our radio stations by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Question: Why do I hear other radio stations instead of your radio station on some days?

Answer: One plausible reason is an effect called tropospheric ducting. This is a weather event often caused by cold & warm fronts in your area. These temporary events will cause radio stations from other parts of the United States to be refracted off the tropospheric layer of the atmosphere and into your community. So, instead of hearing your normal radio station, you will hear a radio station on the same frequency from a different area (even the other side of the country). The interference usually goes away within a few hours time but could re-occur in the surrounding days as well.

Fix: This cannot be fixed or alleviated. The only option is to wait for the weather event to finish.

Question: Why can’t my town have a better radio signal?

Answer: This is a quite complex question and one that we often get asked. I mentioned above that the FCC regulates the transmitter site location, power and in which direction you broadcast. This makes our radio stations part of a big puzzle alongside all the other radio stations in the country. Moving a transmitter site, increasing power or changing direction in which you broadcast is like shifting that puzzle around. Any of those changes require that we will not interfere with another radio station that is on our transmitter frequency or near our frequency. The FCC will not allow us to apply for any change that will interfere with another radio station.

Fix: If there is a community that is having troubles with signal reception, please document those issues for station management and engineering team members. Engineering studies can be conducted to determine if any changes can be made to the radio station to allow for better reception.

Question: Why does one radio signal have coverage over 10 miles while another one has 50 miles?

Answer: The FCC grants certain classifications for radio stations. These classifications determine how far the station can be heard. Full-power radio stations can have a listening radius of 25-75 miles dependent on the classification of the radio station. FM translators are licensed to individual communities and are classified to broadcast to a small area such as a 5-10 mile radius.

Fix: Engineering studies can also be conducted to determine if any changes can be made to the radio station to allow for better reception. Please document those issues with station management and engineering team members for further examination.

Question: Why can’t you apply for a new frequency & station in my area?

Answer: The FCC occasionally conducts auctions for individuals and groups to apply for new radio stations. The last auction for non-commercial, FM radio stations was in 2007. You cannot apply for a new non-commercial, FM radio station outside of that window and there are no new auctions at this

Fix: Without an FCC auction, the only real option is to acquire or move an existing radio signal into that area. Please document those issues with station management and engineering team members for

Question: Why can I hear you on my car radio but not inside my home?

Answer: There are many factors as to why this occurs but they all relate to signal reception. The more signal you have, the less static you will receive when listening to the radio station. You will have more signal outside your house or business because the radio signal weakens as it travels through walls. Also, clock radios and small handheld radios have more discrete antennas that will not receive as much signal as a large antenna on your car would. Furthermore, car manufacturers are now placing smaller antennas on cars or using antennas built into the back window of your car which don’t receive as much

Fix: There a few different options out there for radio reception inside your house or business. One option is online web streaming with your PC, mobile device or Internet radio. A desktop Internet radio will receive the radio station through your home/business Internet connection. A second option for better FM reception in your home is to purchase an FM antenna that will interface with your home radio. This will give you a better chance at receiving the station than the small antennas that are located on clock or handheld radios.


David Hodges, Director of Engineering

Positive Alternative Radio


FCC Spring Cleaning

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spring cleaning

It looks like winter is finally behind us so it’s time for some Spring-cleaning.

First off, let’s make sure we’re meeting all of our EEO obligations. Why? Late last year, the FCC issued two separate fines of $20,000 to two different broadcast companies for EEO violations. Specifically, they “had not regularly sent information about job openings to community organizations that asked to be notified about such openings”. Not only that but the FCC wasn’t too happy the stations did not discover this problem, as they should have, through the mandated self-assessment every station employing 5 or more full-time employees is required to do.

In other words, if I asked you now, “what are you doing to meet EEO requirements?” you should not only be able to tell me what you’re doing but how effective those actions are in getting a diverse employment pool. You should also have an EEO report posted to your website for others to review.

Let this current enforcement of EEO policies be a reminder to all of us that the FCC is taking this matter very seriously and so should you!

Another item of Spring-cleaning involves political ads. Your state may be having some primaries soon. Please note we do not have to take any political ads for local/state offices. While we may have to take political spots for federal office, it is our company policy to put a disclaimer behind the ad (which we cannot charge for) that states that we are required by the FCC to run this ad free and do not endorse the candidate, etc.

Please take a moment to do your Spring-cleaning to maintain your station’s legal status.


~Dan Franks

Relational Content

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When scrolling through Facebook’s news feed there is never a shortage of “empty” content.  From the latest shoes of a particular brand to the “why we’re so great” post from brands we could care less about…

What people crave is content!  Rich content that grabs their attention and stirs a desire to share with others! Just so happens we (as a brand) want the same things!

When we share content with our audience that creates an experience, we are adding value. Social media has the potential to go beyond simply trying to “shout” our name louder than that of everyone else; we have the potential to touch lives!

Statistically users on Facebook interact with brands they “like” far less than any of us would like to admit.   According to Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science, “0.5% of Facebook fans engage with the brand they are fans of.”   With numbers like that, the question arises “what’s the point?”  The point is to cross over from just being a brand to becoming a friend.   This shouldn’t come as a shock, but people don’t turn to Facebook for commercials or to be sold.  Facebook is meant to be a place for entertainment, catching up, and to interact with friends.

As a matter of fact, I don’t think I’ve ever had a conversation when someone has told me they just bought something off of Facebook.  However, I’ve heard plenty about what they saw on Facebook, or that “I’ve got to check this out”!

When we forget that Facebook isn’t supposed to be a selling platform, we begin to lose our audiences attention.

When we lose their attention, we lose….period.

Nurturing friendships, sharing a laugh, giving content to share, adds value, and gives us the opportunity to connect on a deeper level and establish a relationship.

This may sound like a bunch of “fluff” but it endears our brand, and also gives us permission later on to ask for a donation, or promote an event.   Think of the “soft sell”.

So, cultivating the relationship equals branding!

We must always give our audience a reason to keep us in the conversation and it doesn’t always have to be about us!

Be Blessed!


Nathan Gist

PAR Director of Social Media Engagement
PER Production/Imaging Director
PER Afternoon Drive Host

It Matters

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it matters

I’ll never forget the morning that Sam shared his testimony with me. I had just finished leading worship at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Parkersburg, WV when I noticed him walking towards the stage. I could tell by the intent look on his face that Sam had something he wanted to say to me. I was thinking “Did I say something Biblically incorrect? Did I get some lyrics wrong? Was my singing that bad?”
Sam introduced himself, thanked me for singing and for sharing my testimony. As he did he made mention that he really enjoys listening to Walk-fm. I was sure to let him know how much I appreciated the fact that he had heard of our radio station. We began to have a good conversation about ministry, the church, and Walk-fm. That’s when Sam’s demeanor totally changed. He began to speak about his marriage but was immediately cut off by the lump in his throat. He tried to get the words out but couldn’t. He was just too emotional. So here I am in front of this grown man I had just met and he is weeping. I struggled to find words of comfort but could only come up with “It’s ok. Whatever it is its ok.” After he collected himself and regained his composure I could finally understand what he was saying.
Sam had been married for 47 years to his wife, Kathy, but for the past 5 years they struggled with even being with each other. They argued constantly. They had financial issues. They even slept in separate bedrooms. Keep in mind that I had never met this guy, but here we stood having a conversation you would most likely hear in a counselors’ office…….or a courtroom. As I was thinking this very thought Sam floored me with his next statement. He said “I’m sorry to be telling you all of this, but I feel like I know you”. He said “I listen to Walk-fm every day, and every morning I hear your voice. Every day I listen to the songs you play and they speak to my situation”. I was taken back. This man from Parkersburg listens to our station every morning and God is using it to speak life and hope into his life. But nothing could’ve prepared me for what he said next. “Jeremy”, he said “I am so thankful for what you do because my God used your station to heal our marriage”. Sam explained how one morning he heard “Restore” followed by “Waiting forTomorrow” and in that moment made up his mind that God can be in control of his finances. He told me of how he decided then that God can have authority over his life. Even in his marriage.
That day as I was driving home from Parkersburg I kept praising God for working in spite of me. I had a lot of time to think about how God had used Walk-fm to restore a marriage and to rebuild a person’s heart. I also started to think about the details.
You know when we think of radio we usually think of “On-Air” stuff. Now we know that’s not all there is to it, but what if we didn’t strive to do our best in the small things. What if contracts hadn’t been prepared properly? What if someone didn’t keep up w budgets? What if we didn’t give it all we have to make sure our
stations stay on the air and a part of the community? If one little bolt falls out of my car’s engine it could stop the entire car from performing.
You see every little detail is important so in all you do give it your best. When you ask yourself “is what I’m doing important” remember that there may be a “Sam” out there listening.
Do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you. Because It All Matters.

Jeremy Wolfe

Walk FM
General Manager

A Piece of the Puzzle

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Have you ever done a puzzle with a friend or family member? The other day my 4 year old son was very excited to put together a puzzle of his dear friend Dora the Explorer. He took his time and placed every piece exactly where it should go BUT to his dismay when we got down to the last piece it was nowhere to be found. So instead of a Dora Masterpiece, he had half of Dora’s face and it just wasn’t the same. Putting together a successful radio station is a lot like that Dora puzzle. You can have great programming, great social media and great production but if you are missing a great website you are missing a big piece.

Let’s be honest, radio stations are known for poorly built websites. Why? Many stations believe that only their on-air product matters. They think, “Who cares about the website?” Should your on-air product be excellent? Absolutely but so should your website. Your website is your opportunity to capture your listener. It’s your time to tell her why you do what you do! It’s a time for her to meet someone through a video sharing how their life has been changed through your station. It’s a time where you can take her from listener to much more. Don’t squander that opportunity with poor graphics and hard to find information. Your website is a big piece of the radio puzzle. It serves you and your listeners well to not forget about that puzzle piece. After all, your station is not a masterpiece if they can only make out half of the picture.


Colleen Larkins

Assistant Manager

Spirit FM