HAILEY, IDAHO — Jeff Haley is president and chief executive officer of Marketron, the, Hailey, Idaho-headquartered company that is the media industry’s leading provider of business software solutions and services. Prior to joining Marketron almost a year ago, Haley served as the president and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB). Prior to that he served as senior vice president for Time Warner Global Marketing where he was responsible for creating marketing programs for some of the largest advertisers in the U.S. Haley worked extensively in advertising sales and marketing at Time Inc. and Children’s Television Workshop (CTW). He is on the board of directors for the Ad Council and a member of the Arbitron Radio advisory council. He also serves as co-chair of the Radio Creative Fund (RCF), the governing body of the Radio-Mercury Awards. Haley holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of the Holy Cross and attended Boston University’s School of Management. The TALKERS interview with Jeff Haley was conducted by Michael Harrison.
TALKERS: What led you to leave the RAB and join Marketron? Erica Farber – then a recently signed-up VP of the RAB – has publically stated that she was surprised by your announcement to leave (which led to her ascending to your position). What happened to spark the decision?
JH: At the RAB, my goal was to reenergize the radio advertising business, taking advantage of all that radio does best. The time I spent there was the perfect preparation for this role – which focuses on providing stations the support they need to be as successful as possible in a new, much more competitive environment.
Sandi Bergman, whom Michael Harrison describes as being “a dynamic rising star among today’s crop of media brokers,” is president/CEO of RadioTVDeals.com – an innovative website dedicated to bringing media outlet buyers and sellers together – and MyMediaBroker.com, a leading edge New Mexico-based national media brokerage firm. An experienced radio station owner/operator in her own right, Bergman served as president/CEO of Bergman Broadcasting Company, Inc, licensee of KSEL-AM and KSEL-FM, Portales, NM and RICKochet Communications, Inc., licensee of KSMX FM, Clovis, NM, from 1994-2002. In 1997, Bergman was recognized by the Small Business Administration as a finalist for “Small Business Person of the Year.” She is actively involved in the National Association of Media Brokers (NAMB). The following Talkers Interview was conducted by Michael Harrison.
SANDI BERGMAN: “You can sell a sports package for $200 with 40 spots ROS or a $300 package with 60, and give them two spots in all the games.” That was the sum total of education I received on the topic of “how to sell radio advertising” when I was handed the keys to KSEL AM & FM in Portales, NM. Fortunately, I am a quick learner!
Barring a small panic attack the night before we closed (I realized I didn’t even know how to operate the Marti unit), I was able to make it to the closing table, all for the love of radio.
However, getting into the business to begin with was “tricky”, to say the least.
There was no “sugar daddy” involved to help us get started. With seller financing, my dad did agree to allow us to mortgage his home in order to come up with the down payment. No capital was available to pay the first month’s expenses so I approached many of the existing advertisers to ask them to pre-pay the first month. Surprisingly, no one turned me down. That meant we had to practically double up on sales the following month to stay ahead in the game. Not an easy feat. We did it, and we lived to tell the story! Within a year we were able to secure an SBA loan to purchase a dark 100kW stick and put it on the air (KSMX-FM). It turned into a winner for us.
Ed Schultz is one of the most-listened-to progressive radio talk show hosts on the air in America today and a burgeoning presence in the cable news/talk television scene. His daily radio show syndicated by Dial Global Radio Networks –– now in its eighth year –– broadcasts live weekdays from New York City 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET on more than 100 affiliates across the country. In addition, he hosts a prime time 10:00 pm ET weekday cable television program (Monday through Thursday) on MSNBC. The Talkers Interview with Ed Schultz was conducted by Michael Harrison.
TALKERS: On behalf of all of us at TALKERS who’ve been watching your career for years, all the way back to Fargo, congratulations on all the multi-media success that you’ve been having. How’s life going for you these days?
ES: Well, it’s pretty intense, Michael, and it’s been a long run. We start our ninth year in January and we’re awfully excited about the fact that we were able to go through one of the toughest economic times in the history of the country. I have all the same team members –– nobody lost their benefits, nobody lost their wages. And we have survived and I’m very proud of that because it’s all about the business model. When we started back in 2004, Twitter wasn’t around. Facebook wasn’t around. I think the internet interaction presence wasn’t anywhere near what it is today. Podcasting wasn’t around. So there’s been so many changes since we started and I’m very proud of the fact that we’ve been able to do all the things we need to do to make sure our sponsors get the kind of response they’re looking for. And that really is the name of the game. At the end of the day, we’re selling a commercial. At the end of the day we have to put a product out there that people are going to be proud of and also desirable to be a part of. Obviously, I never would have gotten the opportunity on MSNBC had I not done a syndicated radio show. It’s tough doing three hours of radio a day, then of course doing the television show at 10:00 at night Eastern Time. You know, Michael, it’s proven that you can do it. It’s a funny instinct that’s inside us as broadcasters that you don’t give up; you can’t give up. You accept every challenge you can and you make the most of it. It’s been a great ride. I wouldn’t change a thing.
TALKERS: Let’s go back a bit for those who are new to Ed Schultz. You weren’t always a “liberal,” were you?
Dial Global talk star receives 2011 Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Talk Radio by a Woman
Stephanie Miller is the 2011 recipient of the TALKERS “Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Talk Radio by a Woman” also referred to as the “Woman of the Year” award in the talk radio industry. Her successful morning show, produced by Ron Hartenbaum’s WYD Media Management and syndicated by Dial Global Networks, has been on the air nationally since 2004 and stands as one of the relative handful of examples that prove “progressive” or liberal talk radio, when properly executed on both content and business levels, can survive and actually thrive.
Her show is a high-energy, meticulously produced ensemble program that covers everything from politics to celebrity gossip in which Miller presides over a cast of comedic characters punctuated by co-hosts, impressionist Jim Ward and producer Chris Lavoie, and outstanding regulars highlighted by stand up comics John Fugelsang and Hal Sparks, among others.
Miller’s on-air radio career dates back to the late 1980s with positions on major music FMs in New York and Chicago. Her history as a major league talker began in 1993 when she began a successful stint at KFI, Los Angeles where she hosted a highly rated nighttime program. She also worked at Los Angeles stations KABC and KTZN during the 1990s as well as performing as host of several television projects. She even did some film and TV acting.
Fox News personality Brian Kilmeade co-hosts the Fox News Channel morning show “Fox & Friends” and hosts his daily radio talk show, “Kilmeade & Friends,” on the Fox News Radio network. Kilmeade’s media experience prior to joining Fox News includes anchor/reporter positions in local TV news, sports reporting at the local and network level, co-host of the “Jim Brown Show” on the XTRA-AM sports radio network, sideline reporter for the MSG Network plus authorship of two books: The Games Do Count: America’s Best And Brightest On The Power Of Sports (It Books 2005), and It’s How You Play the Game: The Powerful Sports Moments That Taught Lasting Values to America’s Finest (It Books 2007). The TALKERS Interview was conducted by Michael Harrison.
TALKERS: You spent most of your early broadcasting career in sports. How would you describe the differences and similarities in sports broadcasting and news broadcasting?
BK: I have found sports and news to be similar for many reasons: First, they both require research and passion. Like news, it’s not enough to say Fred Wilpon should be forced to sell the Mets because the callers have a habit of asking, well…Why? And then, you gotta know what to say…Not enough to say, “John McCain is a hothead who didn’t have the composure to serve in the oval office”–– your audience needs to know you have facts to back up your opinion.
Unlike sports, I really sense the news and this talk network serves the core of people’s lives. Where sports is really the escape portion of their lives. People may cry and cheer when their team wins or their favorite player is traded. In reality, jobs, taxes, war and elections have a direct impact on how our audience lives rather than what jersey they choose to wear on Sundays. There is just much more on the line. As much as I love interviewing Bill Parcells and Phil Jackson –– the newsmakers I get on this show oftentimes affect world history –– fight wars, or fight against them.