MAB, MPSC & FCC News/Information

Join us for the Michigan ACM/NATOA Joint Luncheon on Wednesday, March 8, 2017.
At the end of the day, we will have a joint meeting with Michigan ACM & NATOA members. All events take place at The Lansing Center: 333 E. Michigan Avenue Lansing, MI  48933

Attendance including lunch and admission to the Trade Show is $40 before early bird deadline of 2/19, then it goes to $50, and then $55 for onsite registrations. Sign up through the Great Lakes Broadcasters Conference and Expo online. This rate is for members only. All members have been contacted via email. If you wish to become an ACM member please visit the Membership page.

Itinerary for Wednesday, March 8, 2017:
7- 10 a.m. Registration Opens

10-11am Inventory & Member Tracking Management
Developed by NewTV, Isaac was created to help you easily manage the everyday operations of your community media station. With Isaac you can coordinate users, make reservations, track equipment, and schedule projects and classes with ease. Isaac takes the place of your current asset management system and allows you to do so much more. Isaac’s robust reporting capabilities can be accessed from anywhere by using your phone, tablet, or desktop computer allowing you the freedom you need in your busy day-to-day operations.

11:30-12:30 pm How Community Media and Local News Work Together
In this session, you’ll learn some tips and tricks on growing local partnerships from the ground up! Kiran Sood Patel from The Rapidian in Grand Rapids will talk about how the organization has partnered with dozens of nonprofits to create meaningful content and trained individual community journalists through sessions across the city. And Tom Norton from WKTV Journal will talk about how the current transition process from a news website to the new WKTV Story Lab and how every community media center should launch an online site that works across platforms to tell the stories within the community.

12:30 – 2 p.m. Main Luncheon & Michigan Student Broadcast Awards

2:30-3:30pm Volunteer Recruitment Strategies
This round table discussion will go over best practices on how to recruit more volunteer, ways to think outside the box when looking for volunteers and much more. The session will be moderated by Beth Romeo.

3:30-4p.m.  Exhibit Hall Refreshment Break

4-5p.m. MI-ACM & NATOA Joint Meeting

***speakers subject to change

For the full schedule and other info go here:

Speaker Bios:
Tom Norton is Executive Director of WKTV Community Media and Television.  WKTV is one of the oldest and largest community media facilities in the United States serving the communities of Wyoming and Kentwood in the West Michigan area.  Prior to being at WKTV, Tom worked in television sports in Los Angeles and regionally for ESPN.  Since returning to Michigan, Tom has initiated WKTV’s Digital Cinema program and a community based news online service called WKTV Journal which focuses on the stories of the community.  Recently, WKTV Journal has expanded from being on line only to a television magazine format which encouraged community content creators to focus on the visual elements of the story they are trying to tell in addition to the written word.

Kiran Sood Patel is Managing Editor of The Rapidian, the online community journalism platform serving Grand Rapids. The Rapidian is a part of the nonprofit Grand Rapids Community Media Center, which includes WYCE 88.1 fm, GRTV, Wealthy Theatre and an education department. The Community Media Center’s mission is to build community through media. Kiran has been a print and online reporter in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and in Illinois. She graduated from Northwestern University with a Masters in Journalism at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelors in Journalism. Kiran is passionate about writing, reading, diversity, engaging in communities and photography. She is originally from the suburbs of Chicago.

Michael Sperling has lead the development of Isaac in partnership with Newton TV. He has a degree in Photojournalism from the Rochester Institute of Technology and worked in the newspaper industry including stops at the Times Herald Record in Middletown, NY, The Muskegon Chronicle in Muskegon MI and the Eagle Tribune Publishing Company in North Andover, MA prior to founding Sperling Interactive in 2008. His firm Sperling Interactive, located in Salem Massachusetts works in the digital marketing web design and development.

News on the State Level: 

February 1, 2017
MPSC issues annual video services competition report

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) today issued its annualreport on the status of competition for video services in Michigan.  The report is required by the Uniform Video Services Local Franchise Act (Public Act 480 of 2006), which gives the MPSC the responsibility to handle cable inquiries and complaints.

Highlights of the report include:

·         Governor Snyder signed Senate Bill 1087 on Jan. 3, which created a permanent funding solution for the MPSC to resume handling video/cable complaints.

·         Providers have reported a continued increase in competitors entering their franchise areas. Prior to the act, providers reported having one competitor in 76 franchise areas, two competitors in 58 franchise areas, and three competitors in three franchise areas. At the end of 2016, providers reported having one competitor in 599 franchise areas, two competitors in 199 franchise areas and three competitors in five franchise areas.

·         In 2016, Michigan had a total of 38 video/cable providers, compared to 43 in 2015.

·         There are 2,045 franchise agreements in Michigan, an increase of six from 2015.

·         During 2016, a total of 2,172,891 video/cable customers were reported for Michigan, a decrease of 178,080 customers compared to the number reported in 2015.

·         The MPSC received 393 video/cable customer complaints and inquiries from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2016. The most frequent complaint categories were: billing charges, cable line issues, equipment service problem and other issues.

·         Twenty-five of the 38 video/cable providers reported investing over $120 million in the Michigan video/cable market during 2016 and over $3.1 billion since the act took effect.

·         Video/cable providers reported creating 240 new jobs in Michigan during 2016.

The MPSC made three recommendations to the Michigan legislature: extending the due date of the MPSC’s annual report to March 1 from Feb. 1 to provide survey respondents more time to provide information to the MPSC; requiring providers to provide certain contact information to the MPSC; and requiring a provider to notify the MPSC if it changes its name, goes out of business, or merges with another company.

The entire report is available on the MPSC’s website.

For more information on filing a video/cable complaint, see the MPSC’s Consumer Tips sheets on the subject.

For more information about the MPSC, please visit or sign up for one of its listservs to keep up to date on MPSC matters.


News on the National Level: One of the first items on FCC Chair Ajit Pai’s agenda appears to be taking the FCC’s responsibility to expand broadband deployment to question local franchising.
He is calling for a Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee.  Here’s text from his statement this morning about the mission of the BDAC:

“Issues the Committee will tackle include further reforms to the FCC’s pole attachment rules; identifying unreasonable regulatory barriers to broadband deployment; ways to encourage local governments to adopt deployment-friendly policies; and other reforms within the scope of the Commission’s authority.

“In particular, one of the Committee’s first tasks will be drafting a model code covering local franchising,    zoning, permitting, and rights-of-way regulations.  Many localities may not currently have or be able to develop policies conducive to deployment.  With a model code approved by the FCC, any city could build  a better regulatory environment for deployment, and any provider would have a better case for installing infrastructure.”

Information about the committee is located at

National ACM  will be working with our local government partners to put forward candidates that will protect and promote PEG on the committee and ACM will put forward at least one nominee for our communities.


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