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Board Blog: Planning the NSEMC – How you can help shape it


At most schools, this is a very busy time of year. The same is true for CBI. CBI is now accepting entries for the National Student Production Awards and entry is free with your membership. Non-members pay $65 per entry category. If you are not already a member, you can join now for only $125 per year. In addition to free entries in the awards, you receive discounts on services from Broadcasters General Store and Communication Technologies, networking opportunities, answers to your questions through phone interactions with board members, and discounted convention registration.

Will Robedee, CBI Executive Director

Will Robedee, CBI Executive Director

Speaking of the convention, CBI is busy planning for the 2016 National Student Media Electronic Media Convention which will be in Philadelphia this year, October 20-22 at the Sonesta Hotel. CBI is also taking session proposals. Sessions are all member generated.

How can you contribute? Do you do something well? Perhaps a fundraiser, remote broadcasts, interviews, or teach leadership? Share your success, but be sure to try to find another outlet to do the presentation with you. Why? When you bring more points of view to the presentation, the presentation is almost always more interesting for those in attendance and often you learn in the process as well.

Do you have former students working in the market? Would they be willing to speak for 50 minutes to current students about what it takes to get a job or how to succeed in media? What about professional contacts in the market?

Students often comment about how much value they thought they received from roundtable sessions as most are led by peers. Roundtables have included News Radio and Podcasting, Coverage of DII and DII Sports, Concert Planning, Covering News in a Small Town, Team Building at Small Radio Stations, Promotion and Community Service, Radio Station Managers, Sports for Radio, The Benefits of Converging College Media Outlets, Radio Production, Program Directors, Sports Directors Roundtable, Music Directors Roundtable, Radio News Roundtable, Low-Power FM Roundtable, Promoting the TV Station Roundtable, TV Sports Directors and Managers from D-II and D-III Schools Roundtable, Town/Gown Radio and TV News Director Roundtable, TV/Video Advisers Roundtable, Promotions Roundtable and many more. They happen because you make them happen. CBI needs you to propose your idea. It could be one of the above or a new one.

Roundtables do not need to be moderated by experts on the topic. The job of the moderator is to get the conversation started and to keep the conversation on topic and prevent someone from monopolizing the roundtable.

It takes a lot of work to bring all of these sessions (over 100), to the convention and we do it every year with your help. We also receive more session proposals that we accept, so make sure your session proposal is compelling and will want to make people attend your session. In your session proposal be sure to tell the attendees what they will learn (takeaways).

Session proposals can come from students, advisers, faculty/staff, media professionals, etc. Remember your session proposal should include more than one school and be diverse in other ways as well if possible. Since most sessions are 50 minutes long, this can be difficult, because CBI limits most session to three people, but do your best to be inclusive. CBI does accept proposals for double sessions (one hour and 50 minutes) where it may make sense to have more than three speakers.

CBI wants to make this the best convention yet and maintain our extremely high session approval rating and you can make that happen, have something to add to your resume, and gain additional experience with public speaking.





By | April 20th, 2016|Board Blogs|Comments Off on Board Blog: Planning the NSEMC – How you can help shape it

Board Blog: Presentations aren’t the only way to do more for CBI


If you didn’t know yet, session proposal submissions for the fall CBI convention in Philadelphia are open now. Obviously, presenting at the convention is an excellent way to share information, let people know what’s been working at your school and more.

Jessica Clary, CBI IT Content Director

Jessica Clary, CBI IT Content Director

But what about those of us who feel more comfortable, in the great radio tradition, of being a little more behind-the-scenes? There are plenty of ways to get involved with CBI if session presentations aren’t for you. (I know, they’re not for me either.)

At the convention, an alternative to presenting a session are roundtable sessions. These are, as the name implies, more a time for discussion among attendees, focused on a topic, instead of a standard presentation. It’s a great way to develop an idea and get input. Previous successful roundtables have been done on developing a station code of ethics, audio for video, leadership topics and more — so there is plenty of ground to cover. Students are also welcome, and encouraged, to submit and moderate student-only roundtables, too.

Also at the convention, CBI needs volunteers to help with escorting groups to local media tours, session introductions, the awards presentation, the on-site cybercast, collecting session feedback and other smaller opportunities. If you’re looking to pitch in, but can’t necessarily commit to a huge amount of time, consider some of these opportunities. If you’re interested, let us know!

I decided to get more involved in CBI when I felt like schools like mine needed better representation. I’m a small satellite location (about 2,000 students) and I advise the online-only radio station, as well as the student online news site and quarterly print magazine. I’m the only full-time staff for student media, and I wanted CBI to consider the concerns many one-person-shops like mine could have, especially with so many conventions and organizations each vying for my time, my students and my department’s money. If you’re concerned CBI isn’t representing your concerns, the best way to change that is to get involved yourself. Nobody can specifically represent your unique needs in this group than you can.

That said, I’m looking forward to elections this year, and I’m so glad so many people have thrown their metaphorical hats into the ring.

P.S. Entries are open online for the 2016 CBI National Student Production Awards! Please take some time over the next month with your students to select and enter their outstanding work.

By | April 6th, 2016|Board Blogs|Comments Off on Board Blog: Presentations aren’t the only way to do more for CBI

Board Blog: Spreading Sunshine


Lisa Marshall, CBI Treasurer

Lisa Marshall, CBI Treasurer

WMCO at Muskingum University celebrated Sunshine Week the week of March 13. Planning events with our fellow Orbit Media TV and newspaper groups, along with our chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), we were able to not only celebrate the freedom of information within our local government, but also open our doors to the community.

WelcomeWe hosted an Open House Tuesday, March 15. Student leaders felt it was important to not only expect transparency from those we work with as media organizations, but return that same respect to our campus and community.

Administrators, faculty, staff, students, and local businesses received invitations to attend the Open House. Additionally, we spread the word via the air and social media inviting the public to attend.

NewsroomAttendees first stopped by our WMCO music library, air, and production studios. Guests could see behind the scenes of a radio show, watch our daily 30-minute newscast, and record liners led by our promotions director.

The tour continued into the Orbit Media newsroom where guests saw the process of assembling our weekly paper, The Black & Magenta, and learned about radio underwriting.


The media tour concluded with a stop at the Orbit TV control room and studio to learn about producing, chroma key, and directing.

Additional Orbit Media Sunshine Week events included Q&A with our local fire and police chiefs about working with law enforcement, and hosting a local sports alumnus speaker through SPJ’s “Slice ’n’ Dice” program. Students brought their best audio and print samples of sports broadcasts and reporting to receive constructive criticism in a group environment.

By | March 23rd, 2016|Board Blogs|Comments Off on Board Blog: Spreading Sunshine

Board Blog: Start collecting your best work now!


So you’ve been saving your best stuff all year—right?

Warren Kozireski, CBI Immediate Past President

Warren Kozireski, CBI Immediate Past President

In fewer than two months, the deadline to submit your entries in the 15th annual CBI National Student Production Awards arrives. If your operation is like the one I advise, the awards deadline is a last-minute scramble to remember what we thought was good dating back to last summer, find it (a challenge in itself) and download it into the awards submission system.

Don’t let that be you.

Before final papers, final projects and final exams eat into the minimal amount of sleep time you already get, spend a few minutes now to decide and collect all of your elite material.

April is a fine month to submit your award nominations.

That way you don’t forget at the last minute about that great PSA or DJ shift or news/sports report that will generate you the even-greater resume line of “National Finalist for Best in Category in the CBI National Student Production Awards.”

If you’re new to CBI, click on the Awards link on the website to listen/watch last year’s winners (or the last several years) to hear/see what you’re up against.

Picture yourself now standing at the front of the hotel ballroom in Philadelphia. The Awards MC calls out your station as a national finalist. You walk forward in front of hundreds to accept your award with the wonderfully designed CBI logo.

That will look fantastic on your Facebook page and mom will be so proud.

By | March 9th, 2016|Board Blogs|Comments Off on Board Blog: Start collecting your best work now!

Board Blog: Welcome Student Rep Evan Boyd


It’s been roughly two months since taking over the Station Manager position at WSUM. And I’ll be honest – it still feels kind of weird. But taking the challenge of running a college radio station not only is educational and a good thing to put on my resume, but I can’t think of a better way to enjoy my college career.

Evan Boyd, CBI Student Representative

Evan Boyd, CBI Student Representative

I actually started out in radio before even coming to UW-Madison. I joined my high school radio station, WLTL in LaGrange, Illinois, and soon radio became a big passion of mine (and I’m not even a communications major). I became the Chief Engineer for two years, helped rebuild the entire on-air and production studio, and helped us win the “Best High School Station in the Nation” award.

When I came to UW-Madison, I knew I wanted to do radio, and I knew that WSUM had a great program. But I did not expect to become the head guy three years later. When I was elected Station Manager, I had the credentials, but I did not expect, well, this. And, to be honest, I like this better.

So what is “this?” It is the idea that awards can mean one thing, but what is most important is setting an identity for your radio station. We are WSUM – we have a 16-student executive staff, each of us with different talents, but all for a passion for radio. We represent a student organization of over 200 members, each with different loves for music, talk, sports, etc. Together, we serve Madison as an alternative radio media outlet and a student organization to provide goods to the community.

As the Station Manager, I have to represent our identity as best as I can. I have done this by hiring the executive staff, working with the community, and getting to know the DJs so they find WSUM a fun place to be. And by doing this effectively, we have established ourselves as a strong team, as a place that the Madison community wants to work with, as a student org that sounds educational and entertaining to the student body. And for me, I have learned to become an effective DJ, a strong communicator, and I’ve met some of my closest friends here.

This weekend, we will be going to the Wisconsin Broadcaster’s Association Conference to talk about radio and interact with other radio/TV stations in Wisconsin. There is an award ceremony at the end, but that is not what I am most excited about anymore. Two years ago, it would have been. Now, I am most excited about sharing our story and helping others reach the goal of quality media for their students and community.

I would love to hear your story about your college radio station, and what being on your staff means to you. My email is Thank you very much for reading this, and I look forward to hearing from you.

By | February 24th, 2016|Board Blogs|Comments Off on Board Blog: Welcome Student Rep Evan Boyd

Board Blog: College radio is a vital part of students’ college lives

2016-boardblog-blogheaderEarlier this week, WPTS-FM aired a special program memorializing a former Music Director who recently passed away at the age of 27. A group of fellow WPTS alums hosted a two-hour show filled with memories of Jeff and music that he loved. Dozens more listened to the show over the air or online. It is no accident that, for many of his friends, mourning Jeff centered around WPTS.

Greg Weston, CBI President

Greg Weston, CBI President

While we often focus on the value college radio brings to the community, these tragic circumstances serve as a reminder of the vital, but often overlooked, role college radio serves in the lives of its members.

While it’s almost cliché to say, college radio stations really do tend to provide a welcoming environment for students who don’t fit in elsewhere. In fact, many college radio stations are hothouses of inclusion, bringing together an incredible variety of people.

This is borne out by looking at Jeff and the friends who paid tribute to him on Monday. Jeff was a quiet, sweet kid who struggled with disabilities; he spent most of his college career in a wheelchair. The memorial broadcast was spearheaded by his closest friend at WPTS, a long-haired, heavily tattooed guitarist who just moved with his metal band to LA. He was assisted by the quirky daughter of two Pentecostal music ministers, a budding poet, and a precocious geologist who is not yet 30 but is already teaching University classes. Where else but a college radio station would that unlikely group form?

As diversity, retention and connectedness become priorities throughout academe, college radio stations can provide all three, allowing students to form bonds with an eclectic group of colleagues and offering an easy way for alumni to remain linked to their institution.

In an era of budget cuts, highlighting these benefits can help keep college radio off the chopping block.

By | February 10th, 2016|Board Blogs|Comments Off on Board Blog: College radio is a vital part of students’ college lives

Board Blog: We Learn by Doing


Mark Maben, CBI Development Director

Mark Maben, CBI Development Director

In his blog post of January 6th of this year, author, entrepreneur, and brilliant marketer Seth Godin touched on the importance of being involved in activities like student electronic media. He wrote about how college seniors across the country are kicking their post-college job searches into high gear right now, and his post validates how giving 100% to something you are passionate about while in school pays real dividends when it comes time to land a job or pursue your dreams after graduation.

You can read Seth’s full entire entry here. This is the part of post that reminded me of why college radio, TV, and other electronic media are such vital experiences for students:

The thing is, whether you’re a newly graduating senior (in hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt) or a middle-aged, experienced knowledge worker looking for a new job, what the best gigs want to know is:

  • Can you show me a history of generous, talented, extraordinary side projects?
  • Have you ever been so passionate about your work that you’ve gone in through the side door?
  • Are you an expert at something that actually generates value?
  • Have you connected with leaders in the field in moments when you weren’t actually looking for a job?
  • Does your reputation speak for itself?
  • Where online can I see the trail of magic you regularly create?

None of these things are particularly difficult to learn, if you are willing to be not very good at them before you’re good at them.

Student electronic media offers the opportunity for a student to be not very good at something until s/he becomes good at it. At my campus radio station, student staff members are held to professional standards, but they are also given the room to make mistakes, fail, try again, improve, and through this they usually get really good. This is true at campus media outlets nationwide. Those of us who advise, mentor, and/or teach regularly see students who “go in through the side door,” and network even when not looking for a job because they simply wish to learn, create, and master something they love to do.

CBI member media outlets are truly special places. We encourage learning by doing and experimentation. We build confidence and reputations in young adults. We allow students to learn from mistakes. We create spaces in which magic can be created and shared. It is very different than what is traditionally taught in a classroom, but it is precisely the kind of learning so many students need for 21st century careers. And I am deeply grateful that CBI is there to support all of us, students and advisers alike.



By | January 27th, 2016|Board Blogs|Comments Off on Board Blog: We Learn by Doing

Board Blog: Get to Know Vice President Dave Asplund


Hi Everyone

Dave Asplund, CBI Vice President

Dave Asplund, CBI Vice President

My name is Dave Asplund and I work at one of the three PBS Stations in New Mexico. We work on the scenic and pleasant campus of Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) in Portales, N.M. KENW PBS New Mexico, the PBS station I work at, is a hands on teaching television station. I work in Master Control quality checking and preparing programming on the 3 KENW TV channels, make sure the equipment is working like it should, and log the information required by the FCC.

I am a graduate of ENMU with a bachelor’s degree in Communications with the emphasis in Broadcast Production and a minor in Fine Arts. I also have a trade certificate in TV and Video Production from the Academy of Radio & TV Broadcasting that use to be in Mesa, Ariz. What both schools gave me was training in working both in the analog and digital arena.

Student Media is the outlet for growing Journalists, documentary makers, DJs, and other students to get hands on training for Broadcasting. While at ENMU I worked my way up to Station Manager for Houndwaves, the Student Radio station, and senior producer for News 3 New Mexico, the daily news program run by students and reported by students. As a graduate and professional I look at as my turn to share what I have learned.

As the new VP, I am finding my way the same way a freshman at college looks at the new school. I am here to share the pearls of wisdom I have come across and talk about what it takes for a smooth TV or other student media operation. I look forward to anybodies questions, and to talk about some the aspects of the TV side of broadcasting that may not come up in the classroom.

Have fun and keep it real folks,


By | January 13th, 2016|Board Blogs|Comments Off on Board Blog: Get to Know Vice President Dave Asplund

Board Blog: Why Join CBI?


Jamie Lynn Gilbert, CBI Secretary

Jamie Lynn Gilbert, CBI Secretary

On December 1, I began my seventh year on CBI’s board of directors. While my official title is secretary, what I really am is the organization’s membership coordinator. As part of that role, I take questions from media outlets across the country about what CBI does and why they should join our illustrious organization. In this board blog, I thought I would share some of my reasons for joining CBI.

Discounted National Student Electronic Media registration

As a practical person, I always start with the financial incentive to join CBI. Each October, CBI hosts the National Student Electronic Media Convention and brings students, adviser/managers and industry professionals together to talk about audio, video and multimedia programming, promotions and operations. I know it is expensive to send folks to conventions, but it is such an incredibly informative and empowering experience that it really is worth it. Our post-convention surveys show that nearly everyone who attends CBI’s annual convention would recommend it to others. While the convention is open to non-members, members save $60-$70 per person in convention registration. If your media outlets plans on sending more than two people it is actually cheaper to purchase a $125 annual media membership first and then take advantage of the discounted convention registration. (Shameless plug: The next National Student Electronic Media Convention will be Oct. 20-22, 2016 at the Philadelphia Sonesta Hotel.)

Free entry into the National Student Production Awards

If you are not interested in joining CBI for its great convention programming, another financial reason for membership is free entry into its National Student Production Awards. The awards are highly competitive, with more than 800 entries received in 24 categories in 2015. Each media outlet can submit two entries per category, but non-members pay a $65 fee per entry. As with convention registration, any media outlet planning to submit at least two entries saves money by first purchasing a media membership. While not every media outlet will be able to attend the National Student Electronic Media Convention every year, all of them should consider submitting at least one or two entries to the National Student Production Awards. (Shameless plug: The deadline for 2016 award entries will be in early May.)

Ask questions on the CBI listserv

If promises of trips to Philadelphia and fancy awards do not sway you, another compelling reason to join CBI is for its robust email listserv. I strongly encourage all CBI media members to join the general CBI listserv to ask questions and connect with students and adviser/managers across the world. From technical specifications to underwriting language to social media policies, the CBI listserv is a treasure trove of information for new and veteran members of student electronic media. Students are also encouraged to join the listserv, ask questions and make comments. Learn how to sign up at Even if you set up an email filter and only occasionally browse through responses, you are bound to find something worthwhile.

Be part of a student media community

While saving money and connecting with fellow radio and video folk are excellent justifications to join CBI, the best reason is to be part of a student media community. In June 2015, CBI updated its mission statement to read, “CBI is a member-driven organization serving students and advisers of college and high school electronic media outlets. Through events, programs and a network of expertise, we provide our members with educational and professional opportunities and facilitate advocacy.” CBI is a member-driven organization. Those who serve CBI on its board of directors, on awards and programming committees and in various other ways all represent a member media outlet. We each joined CBI originally to be part of that greater community (or maybe save money on convention registration) and contribute to the higher cause that is student radio and video operations. We joined to ask and answer questions of our student media peers. We joined to help fight for reasonable webcasting rates. We joined to provide our fellow members with educational and professional opportunities and to help facilitate advocacy. We joined to not be alone in our individual student media bubble, but to be part of something greater.

Join us?

CBI media memberships are for radio, video and multimedia outlets run by students at middle school, high school, community colleges and colleges across the United States and world. If you have any questions – or what to join CBI or renew a lapsed membership – you can contact me at

By | December 31st, 2015|Board Blogs|Comments Off on Board Blog: Why Join CBI?

Board Blog: SoundExchange Deadlines


Will Robedee, CBI Executive Director

Will Robedee, CBI Executive Director

SoundExchange (SX) webcasting fees are due by February 1, 2016.  The fees for 2016-2020 are the result of negotiations by CBI and SoundExchange and they have not changed.  The minimum annual (January 1 – December 31) fee is $500.  Chances are you will not owe any additional fees.  Only stations with large audiences (an average of ~200+ concurrent listeners 24/7) will need to concern themselves with additional fees.


If you are just getting started with putting your radio/webcast operations on-line, please see our primer. Likewise, the primer will provide you with the information you need if you have been webcasting copyrighted music and have not been paying SoundExchange. If you need help, contact CBI.

Recordkeeping and Reporting

For 2016 – 2020, you may still choose to use the reporting proxy by paying an additional $100 in most situations.  For 2011-2015, stations were eligible for the proxy if their average concurrent listener levels were below ~75 listeners (55,000 monthly Aggregate Tuning Hours (“ATH”)).  For 2016 stations may have up to ~100 average concurrent listeners (80,000 monthly ATH).

If you exceed the 80,000 ATH in any month, but do not exceed roughly 200+ average concurrent listeners (159,140 ATH) you will need to start submitting reporting samples.  This is a log of the songs you play with artist, song, album, label and spins data.  If you exceed 159,140 ATH, you will need to submit “census” (24/7/365) reports.  If you fall into to either of these you will not need to report ATH or ATP (Actual Total Performances).  The only exception to the lack of ATH data reporting requirement is if the station exceeds the 159,140 “cap” at least once in two consecutive years.

Potential Issue ISRC

In May of 2014 the Copyright Office issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) which would require webcasters to submit ISRCs in reports of use.  The ISRC is supposedly a unique identifier embedded in each digital sound recording.   Not all identifiers are unique because the database is flawed and it is up to the end master recorder to input the identifier into the recorded meta data.  Further, the ability to pull that data from recordings is not common in most student station work flows and many stations are not fully automated and many still use analog recordings.  CBI and many of its members filed comments in the proceeding on this and other issues important to them.  We suspect we will know the outcome of that proceeding at or nearly the same time this month.  Perhaps in just a few days.  If the ISRC requirement and other proposed requirements are enacted, we will report it on the blog and on the website. Note that if these changes are enacted, they will have an immediate impact on stations which choose to use the reporting proxy.  For that reason alone, I would suggest that if you decide to pay before the decision is announced and you are eligible for the proxy, you opt to use it and pay the fee.

Paying the Fee(s) and Reporting Options

Paying the fee can, as normal, be accomplished by completing the SoundExchange form.  This form also allows you to select the reporting proxy and pay the associated $100 fee, if you are eligible.  New for 2016, is an option to pay on-line (finally).  SoundExchange has established a payment and reporting portal. I had to contact SX to have them change the email address associated with the station account.

I found the portal to be a bit clunky.  To pay your 2016 fees, you will need to setup up your account and users in the Update your users section. Then you will need to click on manage your accounts.  Then you will need to click on 2016, your station call letters, and then click on Noncommercial Educational Webcaster Service.

A part of the payment process requires you to certify that the station/service will comply with the regulations.  When I tested the site, the certification page included a requirement to certify that the station agreed to the wrong part of the regulations (37 CFR 380 subpart B and not 37 CFR 380 subpart C).  Subpart B is for non-student webcasters.

I contacted SX about this issue and they are working to update the site to address this problem. As such, I cannot report on how the process works from that point forward. I will report updates via the CBI email list.

Some additional notes concerning the portal. If you are changing your status in any way, such as opting to use the proxy when you previously have not, you will need to contact SX in order to update the information. You cannot make that change in the portal. If you are just getting started with SX, you will need to use the form linked above before you can start using the portal.

Also note that in the past, if your station exceeded 159,140 ATH, it would have been advantageous to use another option for paying and reporting in that the costs for listeners would have been less, but the reporting requirements more burdensome. We do not, as of this writing, know if that will be true moving forward. We should know the answer to that question by the end of the month. Again, CBI will keep you updated through its email list and website.


UPDATE:  The certification requirement has been changed to reflect the correct section of the regulations AND to correct other language which was found to be incorrect.  For your reference only, I will not be choose to pay until I know the outcome of the rate setting proceeding which I think may include amendments to the recordkeeping/reporting regulations.  My station would like to report data, but not if the requirements are impossible to meet.

By | December 9th, 2015|Board Blogs|Comments Off on Board Blog: SoundExchange Deadlines