Category: Features

KID-AM Owner Explains Morning Show’s Departure

| April 23, 2020

Editor’s Note: This piece follows up on TALKERS’ April 20 report on the exit of KID-AM, Idaho Falls morning team Neal Larson and Julie Mason.  In it, station owner Richard Mecham explains what happened leading up to their resignations. He presents the email he sent to the duo. 

By Richard Mecham
President
Rich Broadcasting

 

SALT LAKE CITY — I spent a lot of time monitoring KID-AM the week of April 13 from my office in Salt Lake City.  While listening to the station I heard the following comments:

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Talk Radio Rises to Coronavirus Challenge

| March 9, 2020

By Michael Harrison
TALKERS
Publisher

 

JUPITER, Fla. — This past weekend seems to have marked a tipping point in America regarding public anxiety over COVID-19, still commonly referred to as the coronavirus.  Fears and near-panic have infiltrated the beleaguered heath care systems of our communities, the stock market, and a number of inter-connected industries and public events.  Add to that, discourse about the problem in our politically oriented media have included the “weaponization” of issues per the troubling practice of each side tending to seek victory at the expense of truth.

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Radio’s Reach Extends to Day 1

| March 9, 2020

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor

 

LOS ANGELES — Several history of radio-related queries are virtually guaranteed to induce spirited disputes.

As an example, even if the greatest authorities on the subject were to be asked, you probably wouldn’t get a straightforward consensus on which station began the wall-to-wall Christmas music programming strategy.

Bigger picture: Where was the actual birthplace of American radio and exactly when should we celebrate its birthday?

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Shock & Awe(mus)

| December 30, 2019

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor

Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in TALKERS magazine in July of 2011.

NEW YORK — Picture the warm-and-fuzzy wakeup talent who oversees and nurtures a friendly environment.  That standard blueprint for eliciting a feel-good attitude has worked ratings wonders for years and is a cherished cornerstone for some of America’s top-tier heritage stations.

Now imagine pretty much the exact opposite with what some would insist is a cynical, bitter-sounding, often-mumbling personality who berates nearly everyone in his path (his bosses, co-workers, advertisers, guests and listeners are never exempt) and you have a reasonably good feel for “Imus in the Morning.”

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Open Houses Honoring Heroes

| November 18, 2019

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor

 

LOS ANGELES — Apropos of the holidays, what follows is a truly feel-good story whose roots are traced to a New York real estate developer – but no – not that one.

When Zack Fisher tried to enlist in the Marines during the second World War, he was rejected, owing to a knee injury; consequently, Fisher received a 4-F classification.

As retirement age approached, he helped save the Intrepid from the scrapheap by turning the aircraft carrier that survived five kamikaze attacks and one torpedo strike into a Hudson River-berthed Sea, Air, & Space Museum.

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Getting Schooled on College Radio

| October 21, 2019

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS 
Managing Editor

 

HEMPSTEAD, NY — One would be extremely hard-pressed to find anyone uttering anything even approaching a negative concerning the often life-changing genuine privilege of working at a college/university radio station.

Whether or not a person with such a campus involvement goes on to pursue a broadcasting career, having that invaluable experience as a resume line item will forever evoke highly fond memories of exemplary personal achievements.

There is, however, one highly significant proviso about this rosy scenario: All college/university stations aren’t precisely the same and the (soon-to-be) 2020 version hardly resembles its (say) 1990s counterpart.

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Country Countdown King(sley)

| October 17, 2019

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS 
Managing Editor

 

LOS ANGELES — If a host’s classiness, intensity, unwavering determination, expertise, will-to-win and downright decency could be factored into a weekend program’s ratings, Bob Kingsley’s four-hour, “Country Top 40” would have easily reflected its title with 40-shares.

Even without such unrealistic weighting, the Southern California native and CMA’s multiple-time “National Broadcast Personality of the Year” consistently posted some of country radio’s most bloated weekend numbers.

In an environment where personal relationships rule, the affable Kingsley flourished with Texas-sized grace.

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Sounds of Another Boss Named Bruce

| April 5, 2019

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor

 

LOS ANGELES –Ferocious competitiveness perpetually permeates our industry.

Cogitate though on some astonishingly classy, truly quality individuals who define(d) and epitomize(d) their organizations.

For openers, it is virtually unthinkable any level-headed person in our medium would conceive of offering less-than-flattering utterances about Emmis honcho Jeff Smulyan.

The same could be said about Regent president/chief executive officer Bill Stakelin and Jerry Lee, the former owner of Philadelphia adult contemporary powerhouse WBEB.

Remember though to include Bruce Reese’s name in that exclusive, exemplary honor roll.

Moreover, the former president/chief executive officer of Bonneville shared something else in common with the aforementioned heavyweight triumvirate, as Reese was bestowed the NAB’s National Radio Award at the NAB’s 2008 Radio Show in Austin. “I haven’t put in nearly as much time and ‘great’ [as those guys], but I’m honored to be on the list,” Reese remarked in his customary humility during an in-depth interview he granted when I was special features editor of Inside Radio.

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Remembering Some African American Talk Show Pioneers

| February 4, 2019

By Donna L. Halper
Lesley University
Associate Professor of Media Studies

 

CAMBRIDGE, Mass — If you ask the average person to name a current black talk radio host, there are many to choose from.  But that wasn’t always the case.  In fact, until the 1960s, African-American talkers found it nearly impossible to get on the air.  Since it’s Black History Month, it’s a good time to remember a few of the pioneering black announcers who overcame the obstacles and carved out a niche for themselves.

But first, a little context.  During the 1920s, radio’s formative decade, there were no call-in talk shows, nor did anyone expect them.  For one thing, putting callers on the air would have been technologically challenging.  For another, about 60% of Americans still didn’t have their own phone.  But because radio was new, most people were happy to just “listen in.”  When they wanted to contact a station, they generally sent postcards (if they wanted to praise an announcer or a program, there were special “applause cards” for that purpose); wealthier members of the audience phoned the station or sent telegrams.

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Our American Stories: A Fresh New Dimension for the Conservative News/Talk Radio Menu

| January 29, 2019

By Michael Harrison
TALKERS magazine
Publisher

 

JUPITER, Fla — Longtime radio innovator, Salem Radio Network VP/content Lee Habeeb longed to create something new and different for radio listeners – a show that would tell stories about American life.  They would be stories about our nation’s past and present including sports, the arts, business, innovation, science and everything in-between.  It would be a show that would tell the story of America to Americans.

“This is a great country precisely because it is a good country,” Habeeb tells TALKERS. “The American people are longing for programming that’s positive, beautiful and good to lift their spirits, and tell the story of the country we all love – because the schools and colleges sure as heck aren’t doing it. And radio will attract a whole bunch of new listeners if we do it right.”

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