Category: Analysis

September 2014 PPM Analysis: News

| October 13, 2014

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERs
Managing Editor

kinosianLOS ANGELES —News facilities that rank in the top 20 in any PPM market (6+, September 2014) comprise the following TALKERS scoreboards.

In addition to that particular ratings caveat, there is another parameter: Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for stations that subscribe to its services. Owing to that reason, ratings stats in this analysis are limited to stations that pay Nielsen Audio for its data.

Additionally, our agreement with Nielsen Audio limits us to share only (total week) 6+ numbers – no other demos or specific day-parts.

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September 2014 PPM Analysis:
MLB Flagships

| October 6, 2014

By Mike Kinosian,
TALKERS
Managing Editor

 

1280px-Major_League_Baseball.svgkinosianLOS ANGELES — Post-season baseball is not only underway, it has already provided several highly entertaining games.

Nonetheless, the fourth in a series of overviews for Major League Baseball flagship stations appears below.

Compared to the June, July, August, and most recent (September) ratings analyses of MLB’s English-language flagships, September stats reflect the best average market rank (#13.38) and highest typical 6+ share (3.81).

Some flagship facilities appear in multiple markets, but we are only listing one PPM market – the team’s recognized “home” metro.

In cases where a team has two flagships, both stations are shown.

Over and above its main flagship, some teams have an emergency alternative, used in isolated cases to resolve programming conflicts; those backup facilities however do not appear here.

The lone non-PPM market within Major League Baseball is Toronto. Consequently, there is no available Nielsen Audio PPM ratings information for CJCL, the key station of the American League East division (Toronto) Blue Jays.

Dickey Broadcasting Company-owned WCNN is one of the Atlanta Braves’ flagships. WCNN is not a Nielsen Audio subscriber and therefore cannot be included in print.

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Get Real, Real Quickly

| September 29, 2014

Maine Association of Broadcasters convention coverage by consultant Holland Cooke

 

cookewriterPORTLAND, ME — There are more of them than there are of us.  For now, we (75 million Baby Boomers) sign checks on the front, and many of them (83 million so-called Millennials) sign them on the back.  But that’s changing soon, literally.  63% of young adults cite “care for parents in old age” among their chief concerns, according to research in a Nielsen presentation at this past weekend’s Maine Association of Broadcasters conference.

Those born 1982-2000 – alternatively referred to as “Generation Y” – are 26% of the USA population, and I’ve never heard them described better than the way Nielsen Client Service Executive Madison Zinsenheim, herself a Millennial, did:

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Notes & Quotes from Indy

| September 12, 2014

NAB/RAB Radio Show and RAIN Summit coverage by consultant Holland Cooke

 

cookewriterINDIANAPOLIS – We’re radio people.  We think aloud.  So gathering this many of us in one place is bound to produce plenty of sound bites.  If you missed reports I filed earlier this week, here are my notes from:

*  Tuesday: http://www.radioinfo.com/2014/09/10/radio-roundup-indy/

*  Wednesday: http://www.talkers.com/2014/09/11/the-golden-age-of-audio-consumption/

The Radio Show wraps today.  So if you couldn’t be here – or if you could, and were attending different sessions concurrent to those I hit – here’s more of what I heard that you also might find instructive.

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‘The Golden Age of Audio Consumption’

| September 11, 2014

NAB/RAB Radio Show & RAIN Summit coverage by consultant Holland Cooke

 

cookewriterINDIANAPOLIS — An advertiser on one of my client stations recently asked, “Aren’t you guys worried about SiriusXM?”  With Pandora and iTunes and satellite radio and podcasting now competing for attention and ad dollars, it’s not hard for AM/FM radio to feel surrounded.  Yet, “despite a constantly changing audio landscape, broadcast radio controls more than half of the more than four hours a day that Americans spend with all sources of audio,” according to Edison Research.

You may have read about Edison’s recently-fielded “Share of Ear” study, billed as first-ever measurement of all audio consumption.  Topline numbers initially released:

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August 2014 PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships

| September 10, 2014

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor

kinosianMLB - 300LOS ANGELES —This is our third in a series of overviews for Major League Baseball flagship stations; we will chart the progress of these outlets all the way through the World Series.

Of the June, July, and August ratings analyses of MLB’s English-language flagships, August stats indicate the best average market rank (#13.70) and highest typical 6+ share (3.74).

Some flagship facilities appear in multiple markets, but we are only listing one PPM market – the team’s recognized “home” metro.

In cases where a team has two flagships, both stations are shown.

Over and above its main flagship, some teams have an emergency alternative, used in isolated cases to resolve programming conflicts; those backup facilities however do not appear here.

The lone non-PPM market within Major League Baseball is Toronto. Consequently, there is no available Nielsen Audio PPM ratings information for CJCL, the key station of the American League East division (Toronto) Blue Jays.

Dickey Broadcasting Company-owned WCNN is one of the Atlanta Braves’ flagships. WCNN is not a Nielsen Audio subscriber.

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July 2014 PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships

| August 25, 2014

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor

 

kinosianMLB - 300LOS ANGELES — This time last month, we introduced our overview of Major League Baseball flagship stations. We continue with how these stations did in July and will chart through progress all the way through the World Series.

The following scoreboards are for MLB’s English-language flagships only.

Some flagship facilities appear in multiple markets, but here it is only listed in one PPM market – the team’s “home” metro.

In cases where a team has two flagships, both stations are shown.

Some MLB teams have a main flagship and an emergency alternative. The latter is used only in isolated cases to resolve a programming conflict; those backup facilities do not appear here.

The key station for the American League East division Blue Jays (CJCL) is, of course, located in Toronto, the only non-PPM market within Major League Baseball. Consequently, there is no available Nielsen Audio PPM ratings information for CJCL.

One of the Atlanta Braves’ flagships is Dickey Broadcasting Company-owned WCNN. WCNN is not a Nielsen Audio subscriber and therefore cannot be included in print.

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June 2014 PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships

| July 24, 2014

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor

 

kinosianMLB Logo2LOS ANGELES If for no other reason than owing to its adherence to an ambitious 162-game regular season commitment, the role – and potential ratings upside – of any MLB flagship is the most extensive of the four major sports.

Typical MLB game length is three hours during a season that extends from April through September. That, of course, does not count pre-season exhibition contests and any possible post-season play.

Factor in pre-game and post-game shows, as well as a variety of sales-driven programming features, and it becomes crystal- clear how a MLB flagship can wind up devoting a sizeable chunk of its programming day and year to its hometown franchise.

By and large, when they are not airing baseball play-by-play (or related offerings) MLB flagships carry spoken-word programming. There are, however, a few exceptions.

For that and several other reasons, doing an MLB flagship overview has its challenges.

The end result though is well worth it and, therefore, an in-depth analysis appears below.

There is, however, more than the usual fine print.

For openers, the following scoreboards are for English-language flagships only.

For these purposes, a flagship is only listed in one PPM market – the team’s “home” metro. In the case of the American League’s Oakland A’s, we are going with San Jose, rather than San Francisco (which we are using for the National League’s Giants).

In cases where a team has two flagships, both stations are shown.

Some MLB teams have a main flagship and an emergency alternative. The latter is used only in isolated cases to resolve a programming conflict; those backup facilities do not appear here.

The flagship for the American League’s Blue Jays (CJCL) is, of course, located in Toronto, the only non-PPM market. Consequently, there is no available ratings information for CJCL.

One of the Atlanta Braves’ flagships is Dickey Broadcasting Company-owned WCNN. That station is not a Nielsen Audio subscriber and therefore cannot be included in print.

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Pandora Chickened Out!

| June 19, 2014

New Jersey Broadcasters Association convention coverage by consultant Holland Cooke

 

cookewriterATLANTIC CITY – Stroll the iconic Boardwalk here, and you feel like you’ve stepped-back in time, the good ol’ summertime.

Also timeless: the radio mojo upstairs at Caesars, where the New Jersey Broadcasters Association convention wrapped Wednesday.  Because this state has only one commercial TV station – New York City’s channel 9, re-licensed to Secaucus to save its license years ago – this was, de facto, a radio show.  I attend lots of these state conventions, and each year this is a real good one.

Applause to affable NJ Broadcasters’ president/CEO Paul Rotella, who rounded-up some 300, an impressive headcount for a state meeting, in a state this size, with station travel budgets still tight.  And these attendees WERE…local…very “of” this unique state.  Proof: side-by-side on Radio Row: TWO stations on 1450AM, licensed-to, and sounding-very-much-like, their communities, in different parts of The Garden State.

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NAB Show: Day Three

| April 10, 2014

NAB Show convention coverage by consultant Holland Cooke

 

cookewriterLAS VEGAS — Did I say 93,000+?  The final attendance figure for the National Association of Broadcasters’ annual convention is…?  Cue that Jerry Lewis Telethon-style tympani roll.  98,015!  And the vibe here has been bustling and upbeat.

ICYMI:

And here’s what I gleaned from the most radio-pertinent sessions I attended on Wednesday.

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NAB Show: Day Two

| April 9, 2014

NAB Show convention coverage by consultant Holland Cooke

 

cookehollandLAS VEGAS – Applause to 2014 Crystal Award winning stations, who were honored at Tuesday’s Radio Luncheon, after-which came one helluva moment, Steve Harvey’s NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame acceptance speech.

It began every bit as hilarious as you’d expect, then turned suddenly, stunningly, emotional, the kind of from-the-heart moment that defines great big characters.  He tearfully applauded the Crystal winners, declaring that “radio is about the community, about the people.  Every radio station can play the same songs.  [The Crystal winners] are doing radio the way radio should be done.”

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NAB Show: Sound Bites from Sin City

| April 8, 2014

NAB Show convention coverage by consultant Holland Cooke

 

cookewriterLAS VEGAS — 94,000-plus attendees and 1,700 reporters have come here from 159 countries, to peruse the wares of 1,550 exhibitors in a 35-football-field size exhibit hall.

The April NAB Show isn’t a radio convention, and the recurring theme radio people hear here is that stations can’t only be “in the radio business” anymore.  Although NAB’s mission remains advocating for its member licensees, there are lots of people here who don’t work at stations.  Conference themes such as “Where Content Comes to Life” and “Channel Opportunity” focus convention-goers on the reality that transmitter delivery is now merely part of broadcasters’ repertoire.  And that the credibility and habitual use transmitters have earned is a big advantage competing with new-tech interlopers for audience and advertiser attention.

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Radio: Playing Catch-Up to Our On-Demand Culture

| April 7, 2014

RAIN Summit West coverage by media consultant Holland Cooke 

 

cookewriterLAS VEGAS — When I joined Netflix, TV listings instantly became less interesting.  And less interesting yet when I installed the Roku box.  If you have Apple TV, you can relate.  Ditto Google Chrome.

Radio remains a vital first informer when the fit hits the shan.  We do live real-time real well.  But AM/FM broadcasters are late to address the convenience use behavior listeners demonstrate via DVR use and “House of Cards” binge-watching.  Meanwhile, advertising dollars are flowing, not leaking, to the digital platform.

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Research (in)Digest

| March 24, 2014

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterBLOCK ISLAND, RI — Like listeners dizzied by more-more-more media choices, we, inside-the-box, are bombarded by a torrent of data about our own changing media landscape.

Recently here, I summarized a real useful Edison Research/Triton Digital study: “The Infinite Dial 2014.”

ICYMI:  http://www.talkers.com/2014/03/06/the-infinite-dial-2014/

And here’s the short version of more recently-released research that relates to your work, and some recommendations accordingly:

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The Infinite Dial 2014

| March 6, 2014

Holland Cooke
TALKERS Contributor
Media Consultant

 

cookewriterBLOCK ISLAND, R.I. — It was like telling the punch line at the beginning of the joke, when Edison Research VP/Strategy & Marketing Tom Webster began a well-attended webinar: “It’s hard to overstate the impact of the smartphone on the American consumer.”

“The Infinite Dial 2014” is #22 in an ongoing series researching consumer adoption of digital media.  As Webster and Mike Agovino — COO of Triton Digital, which sponsored the study – narrated their presentation, they had plenty of good news for radio broadcasters.  But the undeniable headline was that those who merely feed audio to transmitters aren’t fishing where the fish are swimming to.

Among data presented, based on a just-released survey of 2023 Americans P12+: 

61% of Americans – an estimated 160 million — now own a smartphone.  That’s 500% growth in 5 years.  Eight-in-ten P18-34.

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2014 CES: Innovate or…

| January 9, 2014

Holland Cooke
TALKERS Contributor
Media Consultant

 

cookewriterLAS VEGAS — The consumer electronics industry was a conspicuous bright spot throughout The Great Recession, and CEA is forecasting a record high 2014 USA sales of of $208 billion, “driven by product categories that didn’t even exist in a meaningful way a few years ago,” CEO Gary Shapiro observes.  “This year we will see $6 billion in sales of new categories such as 3D printers, wireless health and UltraHD.  To give you context – $6 billion is larger than the entire U.S. machine tool industry.”

Because radio was the original electronic thing, broadcasters are, arguably, in the same business; although the two industries’ interests sometimes diverge.  Broadcasting is legacy media, while CEA champions innovation. “It is too important to be choked by laws written long ago,” Shapiro preaches-out, praising disruptors like Aereo and Dish Network’s The Hopper (pronounced “HAW-puh”), both-of-which broadcasters are up-and-arms over.  Another touchy issue? 

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Yahoo! and “WOW!” and a Parking Space in Spain!

| January 8, 2014

Holland Cooke
TALKERS Contributor
Media Consultant

 

cookewriterLAS VEGAS — This neon desert oasis hosts 20,000 conventions a year, and this one’s the biggest.  150,000 of us jam 2 million square feet of Exhibit Hall at the sprawling Las Vegas Convention Center.

But there’s lots more happening at CES than gadgets.  Among what Consumer Electronics Association CEO Gary Shapiro calls “all aspects of the tech ecosystem:”

*  CEA unveiled an initiative to help returning service men and women find tech jobs.  Hit USTechVets.org

*  Also thank this bunch for helping to change the rules of flying, so you can now use your iPad or smartphone takeoff-to-landing.  BUT Shapiro urges that airlines use “common sense” about allowing phone calls up there.  Imagine sitting between two loud-talkers?

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Vegas Two-Fer: Tuesday Update

| January 7, 2014

Holland Cooke
TALKERS Contributor
Media Consultant

 

cookewriterLAS VEGAS — It’s interesting to see which radio people are here for CES and who’s here for NMX; and REAL impressive seeing some familiar faces at both.  

The Consumer Electronics Association has asked that news media here NOT call this event the “Consumer Electronics Show.”  They prefer “International CES,” reflecting its global draw, and because the ways digital technology is changing everyday life go way beyond gadgets.  I tried, with mixed emotions, since “CES” is lingo to “real people” listeners.  I felt less-guilty reverting when I heard CBS News lapse.

NMX is short for “New Media Expo,” formerly Blogworld, which also pulls an impressively international crowd of bloggers and podcasters.  If you missed my notes from NMX Saturday/Sunday sessions: http://www.talkers.com/2014/01/06/2014-nmx-lots-about-branding-not-a-word-about-benghazi/

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2014 NMX: Lots About Branding, Not a Word About Benghazi

| January 6, 2014

Holland Cooke
TALKERS Contributor
Media Consultant

 

cookewriterLAS VEGAS — Historically, broadcasters and podcasters have been dismissive of each other.  If you make your living talking on transmitters you might regard webcasters as a shadow medium, minor league hobbyists talking topics of insufficient appeal to warrant AM/FM distribution.

Conversely, some internet self-publishers regard AM radio’s snap-crackle-pop and any transmitter’s geographical and audio-only limitations – and radio’s homogenized programming – as old school (though they sure do envy broadcasters’ advertising sales).

That thing-in-your-pocket-we-used-to-call-a-phone is the hardware; and the burgeoning, enthused community that populates this particular convention is the software.  As continuously as that hardware evolves, so does the software, and this event.  A dozen years ago, in hard-copy TALKERS magazine, I reported from “The Podcast and Portable Media Expo,” then the “Blogworld” it morphed into before re-branding as “New Media Expo” (“NMX”).

 

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CEOs Mouth Off and Word-of-Mouth Mojo

| December 13, 2013

Nielsen Client Conference Day 2 coverage by Talkers contributor and media consultant Holland Cooke

 

cookewriterBALTIMORE — The Nielsen Audio Client Conference & Jacobs Media Summit wrapped Thursday, but not before sustained applause for four group heads who decried what’s become radio business-as-usual: too many commercials, and too little programming diversity and innovation.  Their unvarnished comments echoed a surprisingly candid CEO roundtable at the recent NAB/RAB Radio Show.

“The status quo is like a shark.  If you’re not swimming, you’re not breathing.”

NRG Media CEO Mary Quass and fellow panelists run mid-size companies, and all described the opportunities they seize being more nimble than bigger companies’ “paralysis” and “short-term thinking.”  Connoisseur Media CEO Jeff Warshaw reckons that “This is the most opportune time for entrepreneurs in radio that I have seen in a long, long time.”

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Life After Arbitron: Day One

| December 12, 2013

Holland Cooke
Talkers/RadioInfo Contributor
Media Consultant

cookenielsenconference 200BALTIMORE — When you hear Kenny G Christmas music wafting through a Maryland hotel lobby, you must be at the annual Arbitron Client Conference.  But this year, a new “Nielsen Audio” logo welcomed curious attendees.  And in just the first few hours, the logic behind this change became apparent.

The recent TALKERS Los Angeles conference (10/10/13) began with Sean Hannity voicing a concern echoed by other on-air talent: “Radio” content we’re creating is no longer just transmitter-based.  Yet talent is evaluated, and advertising is priced, based upon consumption of transmitter-delivered work.

“You have to have a multi-platform strategy, and you need to tailor your content for each device.”

Nielsen Audio SVP of radio station services Gary Meo was among presenters detailing how consumers and technology and demographics are re-defining our medium, and how his company’s beyond-radio scope is aggregating consumption data beyond Arbitron’s AM/FM focus.  “The smartphone is clearly the device of choice for Millennials.” Another speaker told us that, the night before, in Washington, NPR had sold – yep, sold – 300 tickets to the taping of a podcast.

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CES Unveiled: Peek into Santa’s Sleigh

| November 13, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

NEW YORK – Even before Manhattan could dust off its cheery Christmas decorations, it got a dusting of snow Tuesday.  A fitting backdrop for the Consumer Electronics Association’s annual Holiday Sales and End-of Year Trend Analysis, a perennial forecast that, year-after-year, reckons whassup at The North Pole.

This research is released each November at the CES Unveiled press event that previews January’s massive, mind-boggling Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which I cover for TALKERS and RadioInfo.

Again this year, we’re giving gadgets.

As in 2012, expect the #1 electronic gift for adults to be tablet computers, 21% more of ‘em than last Christmas.  For kids, smartphones.

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Peek Inside: NAB Futures 2013

| November 7, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

LAGUNA BEACH, CA — You’re more familiar with the National Association of Broadcasters’ other conventions.  Its April show in Las Vegas attracts 90,000+ from around the world.  And The Radio Show, co-produced with the Radio Advertising Bureau, recently wrapped in Orlando.

You may have attended either or both.  But odds are you’ve not been to – or even heard of – the annual NAB Futures conference…until now.  Futures is an invitation-only event for TV and radio CEO types, and attendance is limited to 65.  And, as its name implies, this is a think tank about how broadcasters can embrace and exploit the “disruption” that has changed how consumers consume media.

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Radio Show Wrap-Up

| September 23, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

ORLANDO – It sure WAS worth the trip, for both reasons.

  • The NAB/RAB Radio Show passed the convention agenda litmus test: agonizing choices among concurrent sessions.  And…
  • The crowd, which was up from last year, and fairly chipper…NOT the funereal 2009 vibe.  And, after all, isn’t the principal value in any convention the convening?  Make new contacts, tag-up with old amigos, swap ideas?  2013: Mission accomplished.

If you couldn’t be with us in Orlando – or even if you could, because those concurrent sessions posed tough choices – you can peruse Talkers.com and Radio-Info.com, for my day-by-day notes, and other Talkers/RadioInfo reports.  “It’s Team Coverage you can count on!”

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Radio Show: Radio Is Better and Needs to Be…Better!

| September 19, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

ORLANDO – Any NAB/RAB Radio Show attendees who had a little too much fun Wednesday night snoozed through a Thursday morning Leadership Breakfast everyone in radio needed to hear.

Each year, you could hear a pin drop when Wells Fargo Securities Managing Director Marci Ryvicker grades the radio industry.  Last year, she gave us a B.  This year, we get a B+, based on publically traded groups’ stock evaluations.  

Other factoids and forecasts she shared:

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Radio Show: Show Me the Money

| September 19, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

ORLANDO — The NAB/RAB Radio Show is underway, and I couldn’t help thinking, “It takes money to make money,” as I drove onto the posh Rosen Shingle Creek grounds Tuesday, past a sign announcing it’ll be $16 a day to park.  Imagine my relief when, on the way out, the attendant said it’d be half-price for Radio Show attendees…and then yesterday, when she told me “no charge!”

“If you’re in Radio, you’re in Sales.” 

That’s been a durable RAB mantra since before The Great Recession.  So it’s no coincidence that the vibe here is so not-2009, and that every session I’m attending addresses revenue opportunities.

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RAIN Summit: “It’s Complicated”

| September 18, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

ORLANDO — The NAB/RAB Radio Show kicks off today; but several hundred attendees got here a day early to spend yesterday talking about non-AM/FM “radio,” at Kurt Hanson’s RAIN (Radio And Internet News) Summit.

Even just a few years ago, streaming was a novelty, an adjunct to on-air programming.  Not now.

  • Smartphones have replaced alarm clocks, watches, cameras, calculators, appointment books, TV Guide, GPS…shall I continue?  There is an app for that.  Heck, iPhone obsoleted its predecessor iPod, and (imagine someone awakening from a 10-year coma hearing this?) we now get our music from our phones.  So, without even confronting data about mushrooming streaming audio consumption, broadcasters are undeniably in be-there-or-be-square territory.
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What We All Can Learn from the A-Rod Brand: It’s All About Your Performance

| August 12, 2013

By Dr. John Tantillo
Brand Talk’s “Go Brand Yourself”
WVOX Radio, New Rochelle
Host

tantillodrarodNEW YORK — Just look at what happened to Alex Rodriguez (A-Rod) on Friday night when his brand was rolled out to his New York market.

With all the commotion surrounding the A-Rod brand concerning his PED use, you would think that when he came to the plate, there would have been an overwhelming outcry of dis-satisfaction concerning this high negative profile brand!  But no. Despite what many would have predicted, the jury was split, and it was only when A-Rod failed to perform that he was jeered by the NYC-based crowd.  Simply put from a branding perspective: it was not his supposed “cheating” that caused a negative crowd reaction.  It was his performance (or lack of it) that wounded the brand, for at least one game.

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What’s Up with MSNBC These Days?

| August 7, 2013

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
West Coast Bureau Chief/Managing Editor

MSNBC kinosianNEW YORK — These days, the election year of 2012, which highlighted the reelection of President Barack Obama, probably seems like eons ago to management of progressive-leaning MSNBC. Just one year ago, MSNBC was ahead of CNN and it often times proved to be a worthy competitor to conservative Fox News Channel, cable’s perpetual leader. Primetime erosion at MSNBC however is pegged as high as -16%. It would seem that an outlet whose positioning statements have included “The Place For Politics” and “Lean Forward” would be thriving with a Democrat in the White House for a second term (although sometimes these things work in reverse), but the numbers don’t seem to be there – at least not when indexed against 2012. Naturally, MSNBC’s detractors are quick to cite recent ratings woes, although the news cycle in recent months has included a wide mix of stories ranging from the aftermath of April’s Boston bombings, the George Zimmerman trial, and rather extensive coverage of a “royal birth” in London – George Alexander Louis to duke of Cambridge William Louis and his wife, Catherine. Read More

The Program Director’s Job in Five Years

| August 2, 2013

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
CEO 

 

sabowalterwriterNEW YORK — Television stations have program directors.  What do most of them program?  Nothing.  A network affiliate airs network shows, syndication packages and movie packages—usually bought by corporate.  There may be a local morning show but it is probably under the auspices of the news department.  When you receive a TV station program director’s business card it reveals the future of the radio programmers job: “Program and Research Director.”

There will be variations:

Program and Promotion Director

Program and Marketing Director

Program and Public Relations Director

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‘The Future of Radio in the Car?’ Too Late

| June 26, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

NEW YORK — Because radio depends SO much on in-car use, you’re probably intrigued by various reports from the Consumer Electronics Association’s Connected Car Conference.  Maybe you’re even feeling info-overload about the techy mobile future.

Here’s the bottom line, from four-and-a-half-hours of thoughtful discussion, research, and prognostication by automotive, electronics, and media thinkers:  Whatever the dashboard is about to morph into matters less to AM/FM radio than what’s already happened.

It happened several years ago, when I bought that cord at the Apple Store.  Plug one end into what we used to call “the cigarette lighter,” plug the other end into iPhone, and whatever’s on the phone comes out the speakers.  Still-to-come hardware and software evolution will merely help drivers sift.

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Consumer Electronics Update: What’s Hot, What’s Not

| June 25, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

NEW YORK — This whole industry pretty-much sat-out the recession, and it continues to grow.   Updated Consumer Electronics Association projections peg the 2013 USA market at nearly $210 billion.  But business would be down without smartphones and tablets.

Big TVs are big too…but only because prices are still plummeting.  New features like 3D aren’t a factor.   And “the idea of watching ‘TV’ is changing,” according to CEA analysts, who connect the dots between tablet sales up and TV sales leveling off.  Say “TV” and young people think iPad.

What else is hot?  Headphones!  Now almost a-billion-dollar-a-year category, “consistent with the broader theme of mobility,” CEA experts observe.  We want what we want, where and when and on what device we want it.

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Talk Hosts are Wise to Add Writing to their Communication Toolbox

| May 31, 2013

By Lisa Wexler
WFAS-AM, Westchester, NY
Talk Show Host

wexlerlisaWESTCHESTER, NY — “Honey, you’re famous,” my husband Bill called upstairs to me on Saturday morning. Really, why so? “Rick the shoe man says he read your op-ed in the Connecticut Post and he agrees with you. He wants me to tell you that. He thinks you are right, told me to thank you for writing it.”  Made my day. I haven’t seen Rick the shoe man in about three years. He doesn’t live or work within my radio range. Unless he takes the trouble to find me on iHeartRadio or on-line, I don’t reach this man. Not unless I make the effort to write as well as speak.

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Play Ball: Fun with Flagships

| May 21, 2013

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief

MLB Logo2LOS ANGELES — When considering there are more than one month’s worth of spring training contests; a grueling 162-game April through September regular-season schedule; and hopefully – the post season, no professional sport requires as demanding of a commitment for a flagship as does Major League Baseball.

Sandwich a typical three-hour game between pre-game and post-game programming and a station can devote approximately 20% of its 24-hour broadcast day to being a MLB flagship.

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Talking in the UK: Perspectives from an American Talk Show Host Working in London

| May 20, 2013

By Charlie Wolf

wolfcharlietalksportLONDON — Working in London, England, as an American talk show host has its challenges.  For instance, for the first two-three years of my six year stint as a host on commercial national talk station, TalkSPORT, (Talk Radio UK) doing a political/news-based show – it was the audience’s view that I was not allowed an opinion at all, either as a host and especially as a “Yank.”

bbcFor years on the BBC – where there is “speech radio” (drama, news, news analysis – and done very well) there had been very little interactive talk, and even then the host – though he would occasionally explore or challenge a point – was mostly a moderator not an instigator or opinion former.  Talk shows on the BBC, now more opinionated than they used to be, are very much in the mould of “on the one hand there is …. But on the other hand…. what do you think?”  British radio – due to over-regulation, a fairness doctrine, dominant licence funded BBC, a lack of competition, and a “scared-of-one’s-own-shadow” attitude to regulators – will never have a thriving talk radio market as in the US.  There is not the space for talent to truly develop in talk commercially.

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Country Music Radio and News/Talk Radio : “Universal Donor” Formats

| May 8, 2013

By Jeff McKay
Talkers
Special Features Correspondent

mckayjeffNEW YORK – Two different radio formats: One plays music by artists such as Johnny Cash, Carrie Underwood and Florida-Georgia Line.  The other has voices such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Stephanie Miller.  Ironically, both the country music format that does not talk politics and the news/talk format that plays no music each have something in common – they cater largely to the same audience! 

albrightjayeWhen it comes to country music listeners and news/talk radio listeners, especially those who lean conservative, similarities between listeners really depend on their age.  Jaye Albright, a consulting partner for Albright & O’Malley & Brenner/RadioIQ, Inc. interestingly calls both “universal donor” formats.

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Controversy Proves the Power of Radio

| April 23, 2013

By Walter Sabo
Chairman
Sabo Media

NEW YORK: Let’s review a show that promotes:

  Co-habitation without the benefit of marriage; Sexual stereotypes — girls throw themselves at football players just for a kiss.

•  Racial stereotypes. For example, it promotes the need for more black friends in order to be appealing.

  The discussion of condoms.

•  Living together and sex with strangers.

Then, it promotes even more living together and sex with strangers and the humor of meeting a possible mass murderer.

That show commands the highest spot rates of any comedy show this year.  It is on Fox.

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Boston Bombing: How Radio Can Help…
Or Hurt.

| April 16, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

BOSTON — Prediction: The Boston perpetrator(s)’ capture will be crowdsourced.

Today, you will be photographed, possibly hundreds of times.  Cameras are everywhere now.  They’re in banks and stores.  They’re robo-toll-takers, and toll-evader witnesses; and red-light cameras and automated radar traps have become a controversial new municipal revenue stream.  Riding mass transit?  Smile.  Since 9/11, that’s been The New Normal…on a normal day.

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Eye on the Future: Radio Economics Becoming like TV Economics and other Things to Consider

| March 18, 2013

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
Chairman
NEW YORK — In our strategic advisory work to CEOs we are constantly asked to deep dive into the future of media. This column will always focus on future trends and products that will lead media to goal achievement.

Radio economics becomes TV economics

The radio station of the near future will look like…a TV Station. Until 1970, most TV stations, even in the smallest towns had live on-air studios. Some of them had three full live studios. They produced, in house, local shows for many hours a day: a kid’s show, entertainment shows, cooking, dance shows.  Right now at KPIX-TV in San Francisco there are three beautiful studios, one with studio audience seating and a separate entrance for the audience. Only one, the news studio, is in use.

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Are You Doing Both Kinds of “Radio?”

| January 21, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Based on how people now consume audio content, “radio” sorts into two piles:

1. There’s programming that’s valuable because it’s live:

2. Traffic reports are radio’s MOST-perishable information. Save listeners unpleasant surprises and they’ll love ya.

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Big 2013 Consumer Electronics Show: Big Implications for Radio

| January 11, 2013

By Holland Cooke
News/Talk/Sports Consultant

LAS VEGAS — Remember how iPod changed the way we collect and consume music? Decades earlier, Walkman had already rendered songs portable and empowered the listener-as-DJ. Then Apple obsoleted its own game-changer. As lines snaked around the block, again, for 2012′s iPhone 5 debut, sales of iPod and other mp3 players were plummeting 22%. We now tote our tunes on smartphones…which have also disrupted cameras, GPS, etc., etc., etc.

And again this week, 150,000 attendees here oooh’d-and-ahhh’d at 20,000 new products, many seeking to obsolete last year’s 20,000 shiny objects. That alone makes this a useful trek for radio folk. The CES conversation about what’s-new/what’s-next is a real pump-up compared to the “What’s left?” that haunts too much of radio’s shop talk.

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Sports Offers Social Success Templates

| January 8, 2013

By Holland Cooke
News/Talk/Sports Consultant

LAS VEGAS–Broadcasters scrambling to understand and exploit the unprecedented power of social media can benefit from success templates in the sports world.  A keynoter at the New Media Expo (the re-branded Blogworld conference) shared experiences and guidelines.

With nearly 1.3 million Twitter followers of her own, Amy Jo Martin knows whereof she speaks.  After three years managing social media for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns, she founded Digital Royalty, Inc., whose clients include Shaquille O’Neal, the Chicago White Sox, and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).  She is the author of the New York Times best-seller “Renegades Write the Rules: How the Digital Royalty Use Social Media to Innovate.”

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November News Nuggets

| December 20, 2012

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief

LOS ANGELES — Given the extraordinary nature of what has been happening of late, it is highly appropriate to follow up our recent massive talk radio overview with a similar piece on all-news operations.

There is however one obvious difference: Talk can claim tonnage honors, whereas news is one of radio’s most sparsely-represented formats.

Each PPM market has at least one talk outlet within in its top 20 (6+, November 2012), compared to news accomplishing the same feat in only 15 of the 48 electronically measured metros for a conversion rate of just over 30%.

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Four-Month News/Talk Radio PPM Overview

| December 18, 2012

TALKERS Presents Massive Four Month News/Talk Radio PPM Overview.  As a follow up to yesterday’s (12/17) analysis by Mike Kinosian about how the non-stop, dramatic events of the past six weeks have presented radio, in general, and news/talk radio, specifically, with the challenge and opportunity to process an enormous amount of compelling material, TALKERS presents a PPM overview of some 140 stations leading up to and including this period.  Reflecting on the format’s extremely dramatic November (2012) survey, where more than seven of 10 stations in our large sample were either up or steady (6+), compared to their October stats.  Stations qualified to appear in this multi-faceted recap by ranking within the top 20 (6+) in any of Arbitron’s 48 PPM-measured markets (November 2012).  Since only subscribing stations are printed by Arbitron in their monthly reports, those are the ones we can consider here. Talk has the distinction of being the lone format to have at least one station in the top 20 of all 48 PPM markets. Each talk station’s 6+-performance over the last four (4) PPM monthlies is shown below. Following the November survey period, Orlando’s WDBO-AM (##) transitioned from talk to sports.

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Talk Radio’s Noteworthy November/December Stretch

| December 17, 2012

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief

LOS ANGELES — In just an approximately six-week period, Americans have:

• Relished our freedom by participating in our democracy’s fundamental building block – the electoral process – which this year happened to include another historic presidential election

•  Helplessly watched parts of our country’s northeast region savagely pounded by the storm of a lifetime

•  Attempted to aid our neighbors regroup from “Sandy,” while simultaneously starting the annual tradition of gathering families to give thanks; anxiously began the official start of the holiday season; and heard (many adult contemporary) stations maintain their ritual of playing continuous Christmas favorites

•  Been shocked, horrified, and in a state of speechless disbelief as deranged gunmen ended the lives of defenseless victims in a Portland shopping mall and a Connecticut school

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I Read the News Today, Oh Boy.

| December 15, 2012

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Even as Americans were still processing the Oregon mall shootings came unthinkable new violence in Connecticut.

As the story unfolded, it was uncanny to witness how-far-ahead Twitter was, compared to all the news apps on my iPhone.  Not hearsay, but fact-checked posts, first from Connecticut-based media who were first on-site; then from stations and newspapers from neighboring states.  By 6:30 pm ET, letter-networks’ anchors were in-place for evening newscasts this gripping story dominated.

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Arbitron Client Conference: Format Facts and Forecasts

| December 10, 2012

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

ANNAPOLIS — Now THIS is worth a meeting.  If your station is an Arbitron subscriber, you should download, devour, and discuss the just-released “Radio Today 2012,” an uncanny mash-up of Scarborough consumer profiles and Arbitron audience data.  What you will read about people-who-listen-to your format really fleshes-out the folks you want as heavy listeners, and will send you in specific directions to seem relevant and relatable and habit-forming to ‘em.

And that’s all I’m allowed to say!  Because this information is THAT valuable!  Read the legal hear-ye-hear-ye at arbitron.com, and you’ll understand that I’m not being coy.  But I can share some useful headlines from the Executive Summary Arbitron has released, which follow.

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Arbitron Client Conference Day Two: Scary Talk About In-Car, Straight Talk About Sports, Plain Talk About Politics

| December 7, 2012

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

ANNAPOLIS — Recently, one auto maker announced that it will no longer factory-install AM radios.  In this case, it’s because the high-end car’s high-tech composite body material would interfere with reception.  Still, the specter of AM’s fade was jarring, particularly to those in news/talk/sports radio, now actively migrating to FM, but still predominantly AM formats.

Again this week, another such harbinger, this one a whack-on-the-side-of-the-head to FM broadcasters too…

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Arbitron Client Conference: Day 1

| December 6, 2012

Time Spent Listening about…Time Spent Listening

by Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

ANNAPOLIS — If the wistful Kenny G. Christmas music wafting through the hotel is nearly-drowned-out by the sound of 250 people typing, it can only be…Arbitron’s Client Conference.

This is an annual Who’s Who of radio Programming, and everyone here admits to the nerdy curiosity necessary to digest a two-day meeting about audience measurement.  I do a half-dozen media conventions a year, and I always extract more “take-home pay” from this one than any other.

Here are my notes from day one.  More here tomorrow, and more Monday.

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Where Radio Fits: Radio’s Strengths
in the Media Landscape

| September 26, 2012

by Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

DALLAS — This was the best session I attended at the NAB/RAB Radio Show.  A summary is available for free download on Arbitron’s client website.  This document is a powerful selling tool, and real instructive to programmers and on-air talent…especially on-air talent that sells (and smart on-air talent does).

The presenter was Arbitron senior VP/marketing Bill Rose: “Radio provides opportunities to reach consumers when advertising is relevant to what they are doing.”

The sample for this study is “the buying demographic of 25-54, because that’s where the money is,” per conventional wisdom.  Data Bill presented was from USA Touchpoints, a national sample that captures media usage, shopping behavior, emotional mindset, via smartphone app, every half hour, from 10-day panelists.

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Sports Talk Radio Scoreboard

| September 14, 2012

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS magazine
Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief

LOS ANGELES — Ratings results of 40 sports outlets appear in this RadioInfo overview.

In order for a station to qualify, it needed to rank within the top 20 (6+) in any of Arbitron’s 48 PPM-measured markets in the most recent (August 2012) monthly report.

Listed is each station’s 6+ performance over the last six (6) PPM monthlies.

One or two stations that would historically satisfy the (6+) top 20 ranking requirement are missing.  Such omissions most likely stem from a March 2012 de-listing issue Arbitron has with non-subscribing stations.  Exclusion of those stations is beyond our control.

There have been cases though where de-listed stations have returned as subscribers.  In the months in which the station was de-listed, its 6+ share is shown as “###.”

The audio channel for a low-power television outlet is indicated as “LP.”

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iPad Creates New Income Opportunity for News Writers

| June 19, 2012

Holland Cooke reports to TALKERS from Blogworld/New York

By Holland Cooke
MCVAY/COOK & ASSOCIATES
News/Talk Specialist

NEW YORK – “Internet attention span?”  That’s dang near an oxymoron, we’ve learned, via piles of research, and by observing our own behavior.  Thus the tips we’ve heard about writing short, keyword-rich sentences and paragraphs.  Keep the eye moving, for just…another…sentence.

It’s familiar lore to radio talent, especially with PPM demonstrating how on-air programming needs to be relevant, one…moment…at…a…time.  Heck, Twitter trains us to keep it down to 140 characters!  A useful discipline – quite applicable to writing anything for radio.

But, as iPod and iPhone have, stable mate iPad is, once again, demonstrating how facile new devices change the way we consume information/entertainment content – and how we interact.

For several years, Michael Harrison has urged radio talk hosts to migrate to what he terms the “media station,” and these new devices are, in radio parlance, “receivers.”

Clearly observable trend: Longer-form internet content is gaining in popularity for two reasons:

1. iPad – and Kindle/Nook/other tablet devices – make longer text content easier to consume than on small smartphone screens, or less-portable desktop computers, or even less-instant-on notebooks and netbooks.

2. “Internet advertising” for consumer products is becoming the next oxymoron.  As a society, we’ve become banner-blind; and we can set our browsers to block ads.  That controversial Facebook IPO exposed its vulnerability as an ad medium.

Accordingly, co-founder of the crowd sourcing market place for professional writers Contently.com, Shane Snow, told Blogworld attendees that brands are shifting from online advertising to sharable content of interest to their customers; and they’re spending to create “really good, high-quality content,” done by freelancers he called “real journalists.”

Example: Pepsi.com.  Think “the kind of stories you’d see in the BACK of magazines.”

Snow’s company feeds this beast, with the banner atop its web site proclaiming: “Contently empowers professional journalists and bloggers to build careers doing what they love.”

Radio news people — now such an endangered species — might investigate www.Contently.com/network and other similar opportunities online.

As Contently’s Manifesto trumpets: “Quality is king.  Freelance is the future.  Anyone can be a publisher.”

 

News/Talk consultant Holland Cooke covers conventions for Talkers.  See/hear/read more atwww.HollandCooke.com; and follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke.

Suddenly, Your Blackberry is a Radio

| January 27, 2012

By Holland Cooke
MCVAY/COOK & ASSOCIATES
News/Talk Specialist

LAS VEGAS –– They hadn’t even cut the ribbon to open CES2012 when the biggest radio story broke.  Research In Motion admitted to something Apple won’t: There’s a sleeper chip in phones already in use –– RIM’s Blackberry Curve 9360 and 9380.  Just download an app, and you activate the FM receiver you didn’t know you were walking around with.

Why this is big:

• Suddenly, there are millions of new radios.  Researchers presenting at CES told us that half of all Americans now tote a smartphone.

• Radio is back in the pocket, for the first time since the 1960s.

• You can hear local stations’ over-the-air signals, which don’t consume your wireless data ration the way streaming does.

• Blackberry’s move should nudge Apple to respond.

Why this is a win-win-win-win-win:

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A lesson from the NJ101.5 case

| July 22, 2011

By Matthew B. Harrison
Senior Partner
Harrison Strategies

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. –– When choosing to use non-original materials as a portion of programming, it is important to make sure that such usage falls squarely within the accepted affirmative defense of fair use.

A New Jersey federal appeals court recently reinstated a copyright and defamation lawsuit against New Jersey talk radio station, New Jersey 101.5 (WKXW-FM) and its former PM drive team “Carton & Rossi.” Craig Carton currently co-hosts the WFAN, New York morning drive show “Boomer & Carton.” Ray Rossi hosts an evening show on New Jersey 101.5.

The case was simple. New Jersey Monthly (NJM) hired a photographer to take a photo of Carton & Rossi to accompany an article to be published. An unknown employee of WKXW-FM then scanned in the image from NJM and posted it to the WKXW-FM website, among others. The image, as scanned and posted, cut off reference to NJM’s story title, and eliminated the gutter credit identifying the photographer. The station invited visitors to alter the image and submit resulting versions. In all, the station posted 26 of these submissions. At no time did the station or the hosts ask the photographer for permission, and as a result –– the photographer sued.

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Are Talk Radio Hosts Libel Proof?

| April 1, 2011

By Steven J.J. Weisman
Legal Editor

BOSTON –– The recent dismissal in California of soccer star, celebrity David Beckham’s libel lawsuit against In Touch magazine has brought attention to the nuances of American libel law.  Beckham sued the magazine for an article that asserted that Beckham cheated on his wife with a prostitute in New York in 2007.  Beckham provided affidavits to the court that indicated that on two specific instances stated in the In Touch article, he was not at the hotel she claimed.  In one instance he was visiting his father in England.

But Judge Manuel Real was unmoved by Beckham’s arguments because to Judge Real, it was irrelevant whether or not the story was true or not.  The only issue was whether or not the magazine had printed the story maliciously.

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