Category: Analysis

NAB Show: ‘Broadcasting knits us together’

| April 21, 2016

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterLAS VEGAS — FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler recalled his boyhood, listening to his transistor radio, on his bike, humming newspapers onto lawns along his route.  And he says we still have his ear at work: “I keep the radio on in my office all day long.”

“I’m an NPR guy,” Wheeler smiled; telling us he also has SiriusXM in-car, for “72, The Broadway Channel.  I love Broadway music!”  And – segueing to the topic of AM radio – he added, “If an AM station were to go all-Broadway, I’d listen to that too”

“Technology changes.”

“The question,” the Chief Commish shrugged, “ is whether those managing technology will change with it.”  Meantime, he reports – and several of my clients confirm – that the FCC is briskly turning around AM stations’ translator applications: “Since we opened the window, we have processed over 500 ‘new stations.”

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NAB Show: Radio Uniquely Advantaged in Digital Age

| April 20, 2016

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterLAS VEGAS — Visualize the sprawling exhibit hall here, acres and acres of hardware and software.  There’s an entire pavilion of drones!  And you can’t find a content-related conversation here that doesn’t involve digital content and social media.  So one Tuesday session I attended was conspicuous…

How Local Broadcasters Engage and Win in the Digital Age

In three words?  “Local, Local, Local.”

Katz Media Group EVP Strategy, Analytics & Research Stacey Lynn Schulman recalled visionary digital financier John Doerr’s mantra “SoLoMo:”   Social — Local – Mobile.

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NAB Show: ‘Unleashed’

| April 19, 2016

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterLAS VEGAS — Strictly speaking, the National Association of Broadcasters’ mission is to represent the interests of AM/FM/TV licensees before regulators.  But transmitter distribution is just part of what’s on the agenda here this week, at a convention with the mantra “Unleashed” and conference subtitles “Content is King: Storytelling Across Platforms” and “Expand Your Vision.”

Walking-the-walk, NAB is live-streaming video “of select conference sessions as well as interviews with leading industry experts and vendors,” at BroadcastBeat.com

“Broadcasting is still the only way into every home in the USA.”

Ben Sherwood, president, Disney/ABC Television Group, keynoting the NAB Show Opening Session.

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Analysis: RAIN Summit West 2016

| April 18, 2016

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterLAS VEGAS — Although the National Association of Broadcasters’ convention ramps up today, several hundred radio attendees arrived here Saturday, to be in place for the RAIN Summit West 9:00 am Sunday start.

“Sometimes ideas need a little time to ripen, sometimes decades.”

RAIN kicked off with a keynote by Hubbard Radio chair & CEO Ginny Morris, who recounted how her broadcast-pioneering grandfather and father had been notoriously early adopters.  In 1948, theirs was “the first TV station between New York and Los Angeles.”

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February 2016 PPM Analysis:
Talk (Part Two)

| April 4, 2016

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

kinosian (2)LOS ANGELES — To help ascertain how all-news (Thursday, 3/31) and commercial talk (Friday, 4/1) properties are faring in this bizarre presidential election year, we posted two thorough ratings overviews of those formats last week.

We conclude our three-part series with a category that has more than its share of caveats.

Every station on the following breakouts is a noncommercial, public facility that tends to broadcast a great deal of talk programming.

Upfront, we acknowledge that, given the nature of their “public radio” status, some outlets here combine talk with music programming, such as classical, jazz, and/or bluegrass.

Furthermore, public and/or noncommercial stations that have a greater lean to one specific music format such as classical, jazz, triple A, urban AC, or contemporary Christian are not part of this analysis.

“Public/talk” facilities that rank in the top 20 (6+, February 2016) comprise the following scoreboards.

Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for stations that subscribe to its services; owing to that reason, ratings stats in this exclusive TALKERS analysis are limited to outlets that pay Nielsen Audio for its data.

All-news stations in February 2016 typically place seventh/eighth (#7.72) with an average share of 4.85 (6+).

Commercial talkers generally finish tenth/eleventh (#10.75) with a 3.81 (6+).

Comparable averages for “public/talk” are the weakest of the three categories at #11.78 and 3.12 (6+).

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February 2016 PPM Analysis: Talk

| April 1, 2016

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

kinosian (2)LOS ANGELES “Hillary.”

“Trump.”

“Bernie.”

“Cruz.”

Today’s talk radio programmer will cheerfully put his or her own personal political preferences aside for the chance to relish blockbuster ratings potential that these polarizing presidential candidates (add “Kasich” as well) are capable of generating.

There is, however, a multi-million dollar question: Is this occasionally contentious; sometimes childish; often times entertaining; and very seldom boring race for the White House actually translating into big numbers for our nation’s talk radio properties?

The only way to ascertain that is to tear into the numbers of PPM-market talk outlets.

Facilities that rank in the top 20 (6+, February 2016) comprise the following talk scoreboards.

Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for stations that subscribe to its services; owing to that reason, ratings stats in this exclusive TALKERS analysis are limited to outlets that pay Nielsen Audio for its data.

In order to keep our February 2016 talk radio overview as meaningful as possible, commercial and public outlets have been separated.

Batting leadoff is a look at commercial talk properties; public stations with a strong talk component will be addressed separately.

Compared to similar results with an all-news panel, our talk radio station base is lower by one full-share (3.81 to 4.85, February 2016, 6+) and typically finishes three rankers behind its all-news counterpart (#10.75 to #7.72, February 2016, 6+).

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February 2016 PPM Analysis: News

| March 31, 2016

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

kinosian (2)LOS ANGELES A news item posted yesterday (TALKERS, Wednesday, 3/30) indicated that Hubbard Broadcasting-owned news outlet WTOP, Washington (D.C.) reigns as the country’s leading biller for 2015.

Further data from BIA/Kelsey notes that three other all-news facilities placed in the top ten: WCBS-AM, New York at #5; Chicago sibling WBBM-AM (#6); and co-owned WINS, New York at #9.

As a follow-up, and especially in light of the exceptionally intriguing, highly-charged presidential contest, we present a thorough overview to see how news stations performed in PPM-markets in the most recent (February 2016) ratings period.

Facilities that rank in the top 20 in a PPM market (6+, February 2016) comprise the following news scoreboards.

Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for stations that subscribe to its services; owing to that reason, ratings stats in this exclusive TALKERS analysis are limited to outlets that pay Nielsen Audio for its data.

An asterisk (*) designates stations that are “news” most of the day and “talk” the remaining hours.

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Narcissism and Talk Radio

| March 25, 2016

By Renee Kohanski, MD
TALKERS
Contributor

 

kohanskiwriterNORWICH, CT — What a narcissist!  How many times have we heard this of late?  With the fury of the elections upon us and certainly with the richness of material to draw upon, the subject of narcissistic personality is as much a part of daily conversation in the talk radio business as is corporate debt.  That being said, the autistic spectrum disorders we are all blessed and cursed with are varying degrees of narcissism.

Or are we?

Let me take you into the world of pathological narcissism, “healthy narcissism” and contrast it to high self-esteem.  You may consider where you are in this range and where is the figure upon whom you are commenting?  In a society that has become consumed with the need for exhibitionistic/voyeuristic self-expression and self-validation it may be hard to remember a spectrum exists.  For you, maybe a spectrum doesn’t exist.  Life is simply black and white and what I am saying makes no sense at all.

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2016 Infinite Dial

| March 11, 2016

Smartphones drive ‘mainstreaming + mass-adoption of’ Internet audio; in-home AM/FM has ‘hardware concerns.’

TALKERS’ analysis of Edison Research/Triton Digital “Infinite Dial 2016” study

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterBLOCK ISLAND, RI — Issued perennially since 1998, it’s “the longest-running survey of digital media consumer behavior,” tracking mobile, Internet radio, podcasting, and social media.

Edison VP/strategy & marketing Tom Webster and Triton president/market development John Rosso walked a well-attended webinar though a slide deck which you can download – free and in its entirety – here.  And if you work in AM/FM radio, you should.

In January and February, they surveyed 2,001 Persons 12+, “as representative of the USA population as possible.”  Grab the arm rest:

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CES 2016 Wrap Up

| January 8, 2016

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterLAS VEGAS — Like guns, wireless phones now outnumber people in the USA. 70+% are smartphones.

Ask any professional photographer, “What’s the best camera?” He or she will tell you “the one you have with you!” And this past year the worldwide population of photographers surpassed 4 billion, because of smartphones.

  • It’s yet another reason smart radio people are podcasting, and using social media to invite click-to-listen. That everything-thing-we-used-to-call-a-phone is already in the user’s hand.
  • And having that camera in YOUR hand enables you to make the station’s website more about your market and your listeners, who will share interesting shots you post there, and in social media (especially if they’re shots of them).

Cameras – without a phone built-in – are still big at CES, because even the high-quality cameras in smartphones have shutterbugs stepping-up to more-fully-featured cameras (without a phone built-in). Some of the cameras getting lots of ooohs and ahhhs at CES were airborne…

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CES 2016: Disrupt, or Be Disrupted

| January 7, 2016

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterLAS VEGAS — “Our industry is literally changing the world,” Consumer Technology Association CEO Gary Shapiro proclaimed in his opening keynote, forecasting his to be a $287 billion industry in USA alone in 2016.

“We champion The Sharing Economy,” he declared, noting how his organization helped make Uber and Lyft available in Las Vegas. Almost every time I jump in a cab in New York or Washington, an irked driver is railing against Uber; and, when I ask, admits that fellow drivers are defecting. Disrupt or be disrupted.

“Sharing is green” Shapiro reckons, because “now anyone can be an entrepreneur, by offering unused resources.” Like Airbnb, some of whose members say the extra income “has allowed them to stay in their homes.” And he cited 3D-printing accomplishments: a broken tool cloned aboard the International Space Station, prosthetic limbs, and rapid prototyping for inventors. Other innovations he boasted of include “a smartphone app they’re using in Rwanda that can diagnose HIV in 15 minutes.”

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CES 2016: Home and Health

| January 6, 2016

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterLAS VEGAS — Many of 20,000+ new tech products on display here relate to two key radio listening venues. Yesterday’s column described a car less-futuristic than you might think, and a dashboard many broadcasters find intimidating.  ICYMI, click here.

Keys are now obsolete.

Among (literally) acres of smart-home products:

  • The Schlage Sense Smart deadbolt lets you tell Siri to unlock your door.
  • Fenotek’s “Hi” is a video doorbell – HD of course – with a motion sensor and alarm.  So you can greet and admit visitors from anywhere in the world, on your smartphone.  It’s one of a bunch of “virtual butlers” on display here. Some let you sign-for-deliveries remotely.
  • Products like these deepen users’ bond with smartphones, where smart broadcasters are also publishing.

Once inside the house, you’ve entered “The Internet of Things,” meaning devices-talking-to-each-other.  The number of things-connected-to-the-internet exceeded the-number-of-people-on-the-planet back in 2008; and by 2024, more than 50% of Internet traffic to homes will be from appliances and devices.

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CES 2016: Radio vs Robots

| January 5, 2016

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterLAS VEGAS — Robots are all-over-the-place here…but don’t picture humanoids walking around. Most sit still, waiting to help, like ATMs or supermarket self-checkout or movie theater ticket kiosks we’re accustomed to.

Seen the TV commercials for Amazon’s Echo? Ask Alexa…anything. News, sports, weather, or other radio staples; including music you’d like her to play…anything at all. She’ll read you an audiobook, or look-up information you need; so you’ll be spending lots of time with her.

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Nielsen Audio Client Conference Wrap-Up

| December 7, 2015

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterNATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Last week’s two-day Nielsen Audio Client Conference was time well-invested.  ICYMI, you can read my notes from the Thursday morning sessions here and the Thursday afternoon sessions here.  And here’s what was on Friday’s agenda:

Talking Politics with Stephanie Miller

This is one daffy gal, and I speak from amused experience, having occupied the on-screen box next to her several times on MSNBC.  She’s quick and witty and her energy is contagious.

Interviewed on-stage by Edison Research president Larry Rosin, she swatted back when he asked about the “liberal mainstream media” so many radio talkers deride.  “The media is so scared of being called ‘liberal’ that they go in the opposite direction!  Could you imagine Hillary getting away with one iota of what Donald Trump has?”

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More from the Nielsen Audio Client Conference

| December 4, 2015

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterNATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Tell someone you’re going to a two-day conference on audience measurement, and you’ll see how inconspicuously she can yawn with her mouth closed.  But what happened before lunch on day one was, alone, worth the trip.  ICYMI, find yesterday’s report here.

Here are my notes from Thursday afternoon sessions:

“The smartphone is universal, understand that.”

Nielsen VP measurement innovation Dr. Ed Cohen — with University of Florida Professor of Telecommunication Dr. Sylvia Chan-Olmsted — presented “The Class of 2015: Four Years in the Lives of Digital Natives.”

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Nielsen Audio Client Conference

| December 3, 2015

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterNATIONAL HARBOR, MD — What used to be called Arbitron’s “Consultant Fly-In” had evolved into the annual “Client Conference,” and was always a high-ROI experience.  It took a year off after Nielsen acquired Arbitron in 2013.  So I wasn’t surprised by the big turnout for this year’s meeting — another warm, collegial gathering of enthused people with genuine passion for what Nielsen Audio’s Jon Miller calls “the listener experience.”

“Cassettes were supposed to kill radio.”

Cox Media Group/Atlanta Tony Kidd VP/programming reckons “it’s a fight and it isn’t over.  We fought in the past to overcome all these challenges.  We are always at war, just get used to it.”

So, Nielsen’s Jon Miller asks, “How do we keep radio a critical part of everyone’s media life?”  From his “Ratings Year in Review” presentation:

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State of American Podcasting

| November 19, 2015

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterBLOCK ISLAND, RI — AM/FM broadcasters enjoy inherent advantages, are confronting formidable challenges, and should be further along exploiting obvious opportunities.

  • This year, radio hit an all-time high: Nielsen says 245 million in the USA (P12+) listen each week.
  • And word got around, as that news reverberated throughout the business press nicely. We winced when Forbes’ otherwise flattering write-up was titled, “Radio: The All-But-Forgotten Medium With The Biggest Reach.”  Often we sound too defensive, with well-intentioned messages like “Radio still matters.”
  • Meanwhile, AM/FM’s most habitual users are becoming less-prominent economically. By 2017 Generation Y will out-spend Baby Boomers.  USA 20-somethings already spend $1.2 trillion.
  • Broadcasters aren’t up-to-speed on digital, the new media where this new audience talks to each other (and recommends things to each other). I hear too many promos announcing THAT-the-station-has-an-app, and too few about WHY-to-use-it.

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‘C.T.A.’ in Santa’s Sleigh

| November 12, 2015

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterNEW YORK — Elves are running the tech conveyor belt full blast, according to the just-released and always-anticipated Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns Study, from what used to be called the Consumer Electronics Association.   

Now – as technology is transforming our lives – CEA is renaming itself the Consumer Technology Association.  president and CEO Gary Shapiro notes the impact of non-gadget-makers like Google, Uber, and Expedia.  “We’ve gone beyond ‘consumer electronics,’” he declares, though his research numbers demonstrate increasing demand for devices:  

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Radio Talent: Do What Cable Is Doing

| November 11, 2015

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterNEW YORK — I should clarify.  I don’t mean do what cable news channels are doing — contrived political arguments.  That’s being done to death there, and has become an unfortunate “Talk Radio” caricature.  When there’s a-war-on…the-war-on…The War on Christmas – and there’s feigned outrage about under-decorated cardboard coffee cups — you know they’re running out of things to talk about.

I’m saying do what you see on basic cable channels and so-called “Over The Top” (OTT) TV such as Netflix.  And as I listened to Sony Pictures Television chairman Steve Mosko, the little voice in my kept whispering “podcasting.”

Mosko calls himself “a studio guy” whose independent shop has 35 shows on 18 different networks, “the largest programming provider to OTT services.” He was interviewed by author and veteran journalist Bill Carter (SiriusXM’s “The Bill Carter Interview”) at NAB Show/New York* this week.

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October 2015 PPM Analysis:
MLB Flagships

| November 2, 2015

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS


kinosian (2)MLB Logo2LOS ANGELES — In case you missed it from Sunday night (spoiler alert!): The Kansas City Royals bested the New York Mets in five games to capture the 2015 World Series.

You deserve a raucous home plate reception worthy of a series-ending walk-off homer if – in April – you correctly predicted that the “Elite Eight” competing for this year’s Fall Classic would be the Astros, Blue Jays, Rangers, Cardinals, Cubs, Dodgers, and the aforementioned Mets and Royals.

That walk-off HR is a grand slam, by the way, if you also prognosticated bonus information of the Yankees and Pirates making it to post-season as wildcard entries, only to be eliminated in “play-in” games (by the Astros and Cubs, respectively).

So, notwithstanding we know who won it all, the scenario is set for this exclusive TALKERS October overview of MLB flagships.

The October 2015 rating period covered September 13 – October 7.

Ratings data cited here is Monday-Sunday, 6:00 am – 12:00 midnight and is not limited to a specific day-part.

Listed is each team’s primary, 162-game English-language flagship; however, that station must be a Nielsen Audio subscriber.

Key outlets of the two New York City franchises (Mets and Yankees) are found in three PPM-rated markets (New York, Long Island, and Middlesex).

Los Angeles Angels’ flagship KLAA is listed in Los Angeles and Riverside.

Key stations of the San Francisco Giants (KNBR) and Oakland A’s (KGMZ) appear in the San Francisco and San Jose reports.

In these instances, radio homes for the Mets (WOR) and Yankees (WFAN) have New York City ratings info only; Los Angeles ratings stats are used for the Angels’ key station (KLAA); and data for flagships of the two Bay Area teams comes strictly from the San Francisco report.

Thus, in all cases (not just the ones noted above), each team is shown with one flagship in just one PPM-market.

PPM information for the flagship of the Toronto Blue Jays (sports CJCL) was unavailable for this overview.

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FAQ: PD?

| October 22, 2015

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterBLOCK ISLAND, RI — A client (station group owner) asks: “What does it take to be a great PD for 2015 to 2020?”

1972: I was a DJ and Budd Clain was my PD at WSPR, Springfield, MA, a stand-alone AM.  His wife told me that, one Saturday afternoon, he dozed-off on the living room sofa.  She tip-toed-in and turned off the radio…and he woke up.

Fast-forward to present day: Post-consolidation scale dictates that general managers become market managers.  And GSM to DOS was logical, especially with NTR and digital.  But the biggest casualty of the way consolidation re-packed middle management was when program directors disappeared.  Stations are now “managed” rather than “programmed,” because:

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September 2015 PPM Analysis:
MLB Flagships

| October 8, 2015

By Mike Kinosian,
Managing Editor
TALKERS

kinosian (2)MLB Logo2

LOS ANGELES — You deserve a raucous home plate reception worthy of a series-ending walk-off homer if – in April – you correctly predicted that the elite eight competing for this year’s Fall Classic would be the Astros, Blue Jays, Rangers, Royals, Cardinals, Cubs, Dodgers, and Mets.

That walk-off HR is a grand slam, by the way, if you also prognosticated bonus information of the Yankees and Pirates making it to post-season as wildcard entries, only to be eliminated in “play-in” games (by the Astros and Cubs, respectively).

The scenario is set and this exclusive TALKERS overview of MLB flagships encompasses the September 2015 ratings period, which covered August 13 – September 9.

Ratings data cited here is Monday-Sunday, 6:00 am – 12:00 midnight and is not limited to a specific day-part.

Listed is each team’s primary, 162-game English-language flagship; however, that station must be a Nielsen Audio subscriber that appears in print.

Key outlets of the two New York City franchises (Mets and Yankees) are found in three PPM-rated markets (New York, Long Island, and Middlesex).

Los Angeles Angels’ flagship KLAA is listed in Los Angeles and Riverside.

Key stations of the San Francisco Giants (KNBR) and Oakland A’s (KGMZ) appear in the San Francisco and San Jose ratings reports.

In these instances, flagships for the Mets (WOR) and Yankees (WFAN) have New York City ratings info only; Los Angeles ratings stats are used for the Angels’ key station (KLAA); and data for flagships of the two Bay Area teams comes strictly from the San Francisco report.

Thus, in all cases (not just the ones noted above), each team is shown with one flagship in just one PPM-market.

PPM information for Toronto Blue Jays flagship (sports) CJCL was unavailable for this overview.

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Cooke: Radio Show Wrap-Up

| October 2, 2015

Cash, Cars, and (one) Commish’
NAB/RAB Radio show coverage by consultant Holland Cooke

 

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

cookewriterATLANTA — Even after night-before conventioneering, a big crowd was lined up when the doors opened before 7:30 for Thursday’s Advertiser Breakfast session, featuring decision makers for radio’s biggest advertiser, The Home Depot.  RAB president/CEO Erica Farber interviewed affable VP/integrated media Michael Hibbinson, and agency hands Diane Fannon from The Richards Group and Ed Gorman of Carat USA. all of whom are bullish on radio.

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Cooke: 2015 Radio Show Report

| October 1, 2015

“Radio is in a position to grow profoundly in years to come.”
NAB/RAB Radio show coverage by consultant Holland Cooke

 

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

cookewriterATLANTA — That statement, from Entercom’s David Field, underlines this year’s Radio Show theme, “Bold Ideas: Turn it UP.”  Field was among oh-so-quotable CEOs at Wednesday’s opening session…

“Pillsbury’s Financing the Future of Radio”

That’s Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, the Washington law firm.  But make no mistake, this session packed a well-catered ballroom with dough boys.

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RAIN Summit Atlanta

| September 30, 2015

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterATLANTA — At 6:00 am Tuesday here, it was raining cats and dogs.  By 6:00 pm, RAIN Summit attendees heard how cats and dogs embody the difference between on-air radio and online radio.  Radio And Internet News publisher Kurt Hanson – a lifelong cat person who recently adopted a dog – explained, in pet terms, how the medias’ business models differ:

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August 2015 PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships

| September 14, 2015

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

kinosian (2) MLB Logo2LOS ANGELES — This exclusive TALKERS overview of MLB flagships encompasses the August 2015 ratings period.

Survey dates for that sweep were July 16 – August 12. It is also imperative to note that – rather than limited to a specific day-part – ratings data cited here is Monday-Sunday, 6:00 am – 12:00 midnight.

Listed is each team’s primary, 162-game English-language flagship; however, that station must be a Nielsen Audio subscriber that appears in print.

Key outlets of the two New York City franchises (Mets and Yankees) are found in three PPM-rated markets (New York, Long Island, and Middlesex).

Flagship of the Los Angeles Angels (KLAA) is listed in Los Angeles and Riverside.

Key stations of the San Francisco Bay Area franchises (Giants on KNBR, and Oakland A’s on KGMZ) appear in the San Francisco and San Jose ratings reports.

In these instances, flagships for the Mets (WOR) and Yankees (WFAN) have New York City ratings info only.

Los Angeles ratings stats are used for the Angels’ key station (KLAA).

Data for flagships of the two Bay Area teams comes strictly from the San Francisco report.

Thus, in all cases (not just the ones noted above), each team is shown with one flagship in just one PPM-market.

Now, the exception to the fine print: Toronto is MLB’s only non-PPM market; consequently, CJCL – the key station for the American League East’s Toronto Blue Jays – has no ratings information of any type anywhere in this analysis.

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July 2015 PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships

| August 17, 2015

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

kinosianLOS ANGELES — The second installment of our overview of MLB flagships encompasses the July 2015 sweep. It is important to note that the survey dates for that ratings period were June 18 – July 15.  

Rather than showing multiple stations, we are listing each team’s primary, 162-game English-language flagship; that station, though, must be a Nielsen Audio subscriber that appears in print.
MLB Logo2Key outlets of the two New York City franchises (Mets and Yankees) are found in three PPM-rated markets (New York, Long Island, and Middlesex); Angels’ flagship KLAA is listed in Los Angeles and Riverside; and key stations of the San Francisco and Oakland franchises (Giants and A’s) appear in the San Francisco and San Jose ratings reports.

In these instances, flagships for the Mets and Yankees have New York City ratings info only; only Los Angeles ratings stats are used for the Angels’ key station; and flagships for the two Bay Area teams have San Francisco ratings info only.

Thus, each team is shown with one flagship in just one PPM-market.

There always seems to be one exception to the fine print. In this case, it applies to CJCL – the key station for the American League East’s Toronto Blue Jays. Toronto is MLB’s only non-PPM market; consequently, no CJCL ratings information of any type is shown anywhere in this analysis.

The final day of the July ratings sweep was July 15: Let’s see how the flagships performed roughly two weeks before MLB’s July 31 trading deadline.

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Analysis: Podcast Movement Conference

| August 4, 2015

By Richard Davies
Co-Host
How Do We Fix It?

 

daviesrichardwriterFORT WORTH, TX — Chances are you’ve never been to an industry show like this one.

Over 1,000 attendees paid $500 each, plus hotel and airfare, for an earnest and, at times, joyous lovefest.  Think Woodstock minus the sex, mud and rock ‘n’ roll.  This conference was a pep rally, support group, and two-day college course on the do’s and don’ts of digital audio.

“Podcasters enjoy being together.  They want to learn from the best in the industry,” says Jared Easley, co-founder of Podcast Movement.

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June 2015 PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships

| July 21, 2015

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

kinosian (3)MLB Logo2LOS ANGELES Now that the 2015 All Star Game is in the books, the “unofficial” start of the second-half of the baseball season is underway and we interpret that as our subtle cue to begin listing the performance of MLB’s radio flagships.

Among changes instituted in the 2015 baseball season are ways to speed up games, which typically take three hours during a season that extends from April through September.

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.

Just as MLB implemented tweaks, several modifications are in effect since our previous series of baseball flagship scoreboards.

Here then are the disclaimers to the unique set of challenges of doing a MLB flagship overview.

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

In addition to their main flagship, some MLB teams have a secondary outlet and/or an emergency alternative. Rather than showing multiple stations, we are going with each team’s primary, 162-game flagship.

Key outlets of the two New York franchises (Mets and Yankees) appear in three PPM-rated markets (New York, Long Island, and Middlesex); the Angels’ flagship is listed in Los Angeles and Riverside; and key stations of the San Francisco and Oakland franchises (Giants and A’s) appear in San Francisco and San Jose.

In these instances, flagships for the Mets and Yankees have New York City ratings info only; Riverside ratings stats (only) are used for the Angels’ key station; and flagships for the two Bay Area teams have San Francisco ratings info only.

Thus, each team is shown with one flagship in one (only) PPM market.

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

With the fine print concluded, it is time to throw out the first pitch and play ball.

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2015 Moms & Media

| May 8, 2015

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterBLOCK ISLAND, RI — Just in time for Mother’s Day, Edison Research VP Melissa DeCesare (“a mom of two daughters”) walked us through her firm’s 2015 “Moms & Media” study, the latest installment in an “Infinite Dial” series that’s been ongoing since 1998, sponsored by Triton Media.

And make no mistake: Sourced data makes the case that Mom is who smart stations will engage, on every platform possible:

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Your Phone IS Spying On You, Your FCC Still Loves You, Your Podcast Audience Awaits

| April 16, 2015

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

cookewriterLAS VEGAS — Here are my notes from a real productive Wednesday at the NAB Show and New Media Expo (NMX).  And ICYMI:

http://www.talkers.com/2015/04/14/lurking-las-vegas-day-2/

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NAB/NMX: At Conventions, We Convene

| April 15, 2015

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterLAS VEGAS — Two words if you ever attend the National Association of Broadcasters’ April NAB Show: “comfortable shoes.”

The sprawling Las Vegas Convention Center exhibit hall is tech city.  The crowd is three-deep around booths demonstrating drones that TV stations await FAA permission to use for newsgathering.  Audio gear now caters to two constituencies: broadcasters and podcasters; and it’s getting smaller, smarter, and more-user-friendly.  It is now easier and less expensive to produce audio than back when reel and cart machines and rack monsters were on display here.

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Lurking Las Vegas - Day 2

Lurking Las Vegas – Day 2

| April 14, 2015

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

cookewriterLAS VEGAS — Not one…not two…but THREE conventions, each of ‘em alone worth the trip to Vegas (twist my arm).

If you missed Monday’s column, here are my notes from Sunday’s productive RAIN Summit West:
http://www.talkers.com/2015/04/13/rain-summit-west-are-you-on-the-phone/

Today, Monday highlights from the NAB Show and NMX.

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RAIN Summit West: Are You On the Phone?

| April 13, 2015

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

cookewriterLAS VEGAS — April?  Here?  I’d come to Vegas just to shake off the relentless winter that brutalized us back home in New England.  But there’s zero pool time with THREE conventions underway: one about broadcasting, one about podcasting, one about streaming.  That one was yesterday, and funsters surrounding me had already set the stage.

While big radio’s chess kings are swapping stations over at the gaudy Wynn, your frugal consultant is surrounded by Corona-tall-toters at The Flamingo, a working class oasis where every…single…one of the people Sean Hannity calls “great Americans” is also toting an iPhone.  Whether it’s live or on-demand, your work needs to be on that thing.

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February 2015 PPM Analysis: News

| April 3, 2015

By Mike Kinosian,
Managing Editor
TALKERS

kinosianLOS ANGELES When we tracked the progress of all-news stations in January, we discovered something exceptionally impressive: Not one facility on that panel regressed (6+) from “Holiday” 2014.

Surely, that group could not repeat that feat January – February, but the following recaps how they fared.

News facilities that rank in the top 20 in a PPM market (6+, February 2015) comprise the following scoreboards.

Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for stations that subscribe to its services. Owing to that reason, ratings stats in this TALKERS analysis are limited to stations that pay Nielsen Audio for its data.

An asterisk (*) designates genuine news-talk hybrids – stations whose broadcast day is approximately 50% news and 50% talk.

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Gifford: Radiodays Europe 2015 — Day Three

| March 18, 2015

Special to TALKERS magazine

By Larry Gifford
Consultant/Talent Coach

giffordlarrywriterMILAN — Milan, Italy may seem distant and irrelevant as you sit behind your desk in New York, Columbus, Atlanta, Houston, Santé Fe, Bakersfield, or wherever you are.  But, the messages being delivered at Radiodays Europe 2015 could not be any closer to home or more relevant.

“What I find fascinating here is there is a lot of conversations about the future.” iHeartMedia’s VP of Talent Development Dennis Clark said.  “I’m really thrilled with people engaged into the ‘what’s next?’ instead of more congratulatory and celebratory, you know the pat-on-the-back sort of radio conventions that we’ve seen in the past.”

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Gifford: Radiodays Europe — Day Two

| March 17, 2015

Special to TALKERS magazine

By Larry Gifford
Consultant/Talent Coach

 

giffordlarrywriterMILAN — iHeartMedia syndicated morning host Elvis Duran addressed 1,200 delegates at Radiodays Europe Monday (3/16) telling his story of success.  Ahead of taking the stage, Duran shared with TALKERS magazine how his definition of success has evolved.

“What was important to me as snot-nosed kid is not important anymore.  Now, success to me is just being happy and really wanting to wake up and go to work.  You know, maybe 10 years ago I didn’t want to wake up and go to work because I was usually hung over or whatever.  Now, I actually enjoy going in.  To me that’s a successful day: just wanting to do what you do.”

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January 2015 PPM Analysis:
Talk (Part Two of Two)

| March 5, 2015

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

kinosianLOS ANGELES — Yesterday’s analysis (Wednesday, 3/4) of the ratings performance by talk outlets in the January 2015 ratings period dealt with commercial stations – many of which are heritage, institutional properties with ultra-familiar call letters.

As a “part two” follow-up, we turn the attention to noncommercial/public signals in the same sweep.

A huge caveat, however, needs to be stated regarding the stations that appear below. This is not simply a laundry list of public stations. Noncommercial/public outlets with a fulltime music-intensive format such as classical, adult alternative, contemporary Christian, or urban contemporary (as examples) are not highlighted here.

Stations comprising this base lean toward spoken-word programming (specifically talk and news – locally originated and/or from NPR). Some might play music as well – from alternative to bluegrass to classical and practically anything else in between. “Variety” or another such label could be affixed to these stations, but we are choosing to group them under “talk” (since that is their primary thrust) with an added “noncommercial/public” designation.

As far as ratings criteria is concerned, it is the same for the overviews posted earlier this week for news, sports, and commercial talkers: Noncommercial/public outlets that rank in the top 20 in a PPM market (6+, January 2015) are included.

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.

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Cooke: Analysis of Infinite Dial 2015

| March 5, 2015

Most Now Stream, Podcasting Mainstreams, YouTube is Music Radio, Facebook tops Social

 

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

cookewriterBLOCK ISLAND, RI — Just-released results of the Edison Research/Triton Digital “Infinite Dial 2015”  — the 23rd research survey in the series – are must-reading for anyone, in any format, in radio.  And “anyone” includes sales.

See the entire slide deck at http://www.edisonresearch.com/the-infinite-dial-2015/

Among highlights from this January/February survey of 2002 Persons 12+ presented by Edison’s Tom Webster and Triton’s John Rosso:

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January 2015 PPM Analysis:
Talk (Part One of Two)

| March 4, 2015

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

kinosianLOS ANGELES This past Monday (3/1) and Tuesday (3/2), we presented overviews of the truly astonishing January 2015 PPM ratings performances turned in by news and sports outlets.

Those extraordinary stats notwithstanding (especially with all-news), we have quite possibly saved the best for last in analyzing the most omnipresent genre under the spoken-word umbrella, talk stations.

For several reasons, we have separated “talk” into two groups – commercial, and non-commercial/public.

The January 2015 ratings overview of commercial talkers appears today, while the companion piece for non-commercial/public talk stations will be posted tomorrow.

Either way you slice it though, it was a strong sweep for both groups and the numbers will confirm that as being the height of understatement.

Spoiler Alert: Our “commercial” talk category consists of nearly the combined total of the sports and news samples from Monday and Tuesday, yet all but three stations in the commercial talk group show sweep-to-sweep growth (6+).

Same parameters apply in the following charts as with the news and sports overviews. Specifically, commercial talk outlets that rank in the top 20 in a PPM market (6+, January 2015) are included.

Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for stations that subscribe to its services.

Owing to that reason, ratings stats in this TALKERS analysis are limited to stations that pay Nielsen Audio for its data.

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January 2015 PPM Analysis: Sports

| March 3, 2015

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

kinosianLOS ANGELES As a follow-up to yesterday’s analysis depicting the phenomenal performance of all-news stations in the January 2015 ratings period (Monday, 3/2), we stay in the spoken-word arena to focus on how sports outlets fare in that same sweep.

Considering there are nearly three times as many qualifying all-sports stations as news stations in our sample, it would be close to impossible to match what the news facilities did. Nonetheless, all-sports facilities rack up some impressive stats of their own.

Fine print is fairly simple as far as the following scoreboards are concerned. The same parameters apply as they did with the news overview, in that, all-sports outlets that rank in the top 20 in a PPM market (6+, January 2015) are included.

Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for stations that subscribe to its services.

Owing to that reason, ratings stats in this TALKERS analysis are limited to stations that pay Nielsen Audio for its data.

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January 2015 PPM Analysis: News

| March 2, 2015

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
Talkers

kinosianLOS ANGELES Historically horrible winter weather conditions and the cessation of all-Christmas music are most likely contributing factors to the truly stunning January 2015 performance of all-news outlets.

For the most part, optimum ratings tracking of a radio format requires a sample base of at least 20 stations. Especially given that news is a uniquely major-market format, its universe of viable entries consequently hovers at that roughly 20-station level.

Although not coming anywhere close to possessing the massive volume of talk outlets, the feat all-news stations accomplished in the most recent sweep is nonetheless exceptionally impressive: Not one news station on the panel of properties we tracked regressed (6+) from “Holiday” 2014 to January 2015.

News facilities that rank in the top 20 in a PPM market (6+, January 2015) comprise the following scoreboards.

Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for stations that subscribe to its services. Owing to that reason, ratings stats in this TALKERS analysis are limited to stations that pay Nielsen Audio for its data.

An asterisk (*) designates genuine news-talk hybrids – stations whose broadcast day is approximately 50% news and 50% talk.

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Sound Bites from CES 2015

| January 9, 2015

TALKERS Consumer Electronics Show coverage by radio consultant Holland Cooke

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterLAS VEGAS — As the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show wraps-up today, 450 entrepreneurs have their fingers crossed, after pitching ABC-TV’s “Shark Tank” in an open casting call yesterday.

Wide-angle shot: The innovation mojo here is damn refreshing, especially for broadcasters, whose industry is mature, yet so well positioned for the future.

Close-up shot: Handiest accessory I saw for radio talkers and podcasters: Wear your gear like a gun slinger with Techslinger.  Pack your iPad, smartphone, microphone, and other go-kit gear in this double shoulder holster, designed by a defense contractor.  See photos and diagrams on the CES page at HollandCooke.com

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CES 2015: Is Your Station Merely ‘the Linear Feed?’

| January 8, 2015

TALKERS Consumer Electronics Show coverage by radio consultant Holland Cooke

 

cookewriterLAS VEGAS — These are scary times for TV stations and cable companies.  Radio take note.

You might already have a Slingbox.  I do and I love it.  I can watch whatever’s on my TV or DVR back home, anywhere, on my computer, iPad or iPhone.  DVR is timeshifting, Slingbox is place-shifting.  It’s not a service with a recurring fee.  It’s a small box.

New here this week?  Sling TV, in-cahoots-with Dish Network.  It’s an internet TV service, and it includes ESPN, TBS, TNT, CNN, and other networks.  $20 per month, no contract, cancel any time.  This is just the newest streaming video system, so-called “Over the top TV.”  The biggest one is Roku, which I also have; an inexpensive box or dongle with no recurring fee.  Others are Google Chromecast, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV.

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CES 2015: The Connected Car Accelerates

| January 7, 2015

TALKERS Consumer Electronics Show coverage by radio consultant Holland Cooke

 

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterLAS VEGAS — Don’t shoot the messenger, OK?

The last several years’ conversation about radio’s position in the new-tech dashboard remains largely academic.  As new non-AM/FM audio competitors appear there – and drivers’ attention is shared with so many non-audio apps now factory-installed – draconian radio cutbacks continue to dilute the localism that would continue to make stations unique among competitors.

This has been a long time coming.  Over a decade ago, we were plugging-in iPods.  Ford’s ground-breaking Sync system is now in 10 million cars in the USA, and lets you take the apps you use on your phone and iPad on the road.  In catch-up mode here at CES, General Motors is showing off their souped-up OnStar system.

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2015 International CES: Innovation and Re-Invention

| January 6, 2015

Talkers coverage of the Consumer Electronics Show 

 

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterLAS VEGAS — Radio take note: Some of what’s-new here is…what’s-old.  Big signs all around the Convention Center boast, “When people think instant, they think Polaroid,” a brand that’s leveraging its 50-year product position for the selfie era.  Its smartphone-size Zip Mobile printer prints without ink.  The color is embedded in the paper.  And new-tech has updated old-fashioned pinball machines, with WWE and other now-popular themes.

Today, Ford’s CEO will keynote, and I’ll give you his connected car update in tomorrow’s TALKERS.  CBS CEO Les Moonves will also keynote.

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2015 International CES: What Next?

| January 5, 2015

TALKERS Consumer Electronics Show Coverage

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterLAS VEGAS — Major recent news stories demonstrate how profoundly technology impacts our lives.

More pictures and video are now shot with smartphones than cameras.

When Eric Garner’s take-down for selling untaxed cigarettes turned fatal, bystander video turned an already painful national conversation about race even more-painful.

When video of North Korea’s hack attack against Sony Pictures spooked movie theaters, “The Interview” was released on YouTube.

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What Listeners Will Find Under the Tree

| November 12, 2014

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterNEW YORK — Even before Thanksgiving, we know what will be in Santa’s sleigh, if just-released Consumer Electronics Association research nails it as well as in recent years.  The outlook is good generally, according to CEA chief economist & director of research Dr. Shawn DuBravac, who observes that “consumer credit is accelerating, and lower gas prices will help.”  He predicts 2.5% growth over last year’s holiday spending, consistent with other improved economic indicators.

His forecast came Tuesday at CES Unveiled/New York, the perennial press event previewing January’s massive, mind-boggling Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas.  Not surprisingly, tech gifts will be big again this year, with 63% of USA adults surveyed planning to buy accordingly.

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October 2014 PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships

| November 4, 2014

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor

 

kinosianLOS ANGELES —When the San Francisco Giants defeated the Kansas City Royals last week, the Madison Bumgarner-led team earned its third world championship in the last five years.

In the conclusion of a five-part series, we will detail how the English-language flagships of those two teams – and others throughout MLB – fared during the baseball season. Moreover, two new breakouts are included to enhance this analysis.

First though – the necessary fine print: Some flagship facilities appear in multiple markets, but we are only listing one PPM market per team – the one in its recognized “home” metro.

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

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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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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