Tag: "Mike Agovino"

Sunday, June 7, 2015

| June 7, 2015

Mike Agovino“Back to the Future” Moments for PodcastOne’s Agovino. As part of his “weird-new” role as PodcastOne executive vice chair, Mike Agovino is discovering more “differences” in the podcast marketplace than “commonalities” to challenges encountered the last ten years by digital music and broadcast streaming entities. “It is much less about the science of advertising and it is much more about the art of advertising,” he remarks to Mark Ramsey Media president Mark Ramsey in a 30-minute, one-on-one interview during this past week’s hivio 2015 conference. Having spent ten years inside Triton Digital as its chief operating officer, Agovino recounts that the company had “an ad platform, a content delivery network, and it built apps for people. With hundreds of brand names across the canvass, there is a very scientific approach to connecting the right ad to the right person at the right time to create some kind of results,” he declares. “It is so much ‘science’ that, if you live in it long enough, you lose your feel for the ‘art.'” Approximately 27 years ago, self-described Howard Stern “freak” Agovino was living in New York and faithfully listened to the fabled morning man every day. When it was time for the former president of Katz Radio and ex-chief operating officer of Clear Channel Radio Sales to lease a new car, he drove 15 miles out of his way to the Long Island dealership for which Stern regularly voiced a paid endorsement. “That was me saying ‘thank-you’ to Howard,” Agovino emphasizes. “It was not me necessarily wanting” to give that particular establishment the business but “it was me giving appreciation to Howard for all the laughs.” Stern’s “influence” over Agovino to sign the car lease was considerable and as he hastens to add, that meant he had to drive that extra 30-mile (roundtrip) distance “forPodcastOne every service visit” for a three-year period. “It is love for a show,” Agovino insists. “That was not part of my last ten years but it is very much part of what we do at PodcastOne, so it is “back to the future.’ It is digital media, but it is one-to-one and back to the art form of what made me fall in love with radio advertising.” When Agovino gets together with his former Katz co-workers, he points out there is considerable laughter. “We enjoy what we went through back then and we talk about how much fun the business was. More times than not, when you get in a discussion with someone you have known for 25 – 30 years in the audio business, the closer you get to the present moment in the discussion, the less fun you will be having. That sucks for all of us and it is unfortunate.” He has, however, rediscovered the ‘art’ piece of the business and Agovino did not realize how much he missed it. What he has found to become important on the podcast side is that, “It is almost less about targeting a listener and more about making sure you have a great match of product to host. When you try to apply the science of audio impressions to what is happening right now in podcasting, none of the numbers work. They do not make any sense because … there are no rules. We might say to someone who is the right match with the right host we won’t let anyone else in because the credibility of this voice speaking about your brand will last as long as we can continue to make the acquisition of customers in that model an efficient thing for you.” PodcastOne is looking at having its hosts talk about an advertiser a minimum of two minutes throughout the course of an hour without, as Agovino explains, “doing it more than ten seconds at any point – and there is no copy. It has to start from a place of authenticity. The host has to ‘buy-into’ the product or you move onto the next host because it is not going to work for the long haul.” One of the “most traumatic” days in Agovino’s radio sales career occurred when his rep firm lost WMAL, Washington, D.C. but picked up cross-town WTOP the same day. For years, he had been proudly touting WMAL as “the voice of news” in the nation’s capital. “If you approach this with deep sincerity,” he remarks, “it is difficult” to suddenly knock on doors, talking up what had been the competition. “Traditional” ratings metrics, Agovino opines, will not matter that much in this space, although he concedes, “They will happen” and they are “easy enough to produce.” Much more important will be “attribution metrics and convergent metrics. There are many ways to analyze how a particular show produces results within a specific category.” The most recent stats Agovino has seen indicate there are 21.3 million hours of podcasting listening a day. “It is hard to know how big the universe is and how big a piece of that universe you have,” he mentions. A different economic model exists in podcasting since, as Agovino explains, “For the most part, the hosts are taking risks with you and they hivio 2015are not getting guaranteed seven-figure annual checks: We are in this together.” He suggests, “If you have a talent who has influence and impact on a ‘tribe,’ figure out a way to [do a podcast], but you cannot do what you did with streaming. You cannot move it over to digital and expect it to work. This is an infinite dial with niches and sub-niches. Expansion of shows will be tremendous. Things that we are doing and bringing up are ‘kid-in-a-candy store’ stuff for me.”

Richard LaemerPublic Relations Maven Defines “GMOOT.” After working as public relations director at the Columbia Business School, Richard Laermer founded RLM PR in 1991. He was among the participants at Los Angeles’ hivio 2015 seminar who maintains the audio world is in a state of flux. “Many brands underestimate their audience,” Laermer notes to Mark Ramsey Media president Mark Ramsey in a one-on-one interview. “There is no sense of teasing-out the information about that brand, starting with something small; building upon it; and getting people excited about it.” Referring to Google as the “ultimate PR player, author-media trainer-blogger Laermer states, “They have built upon one message, which is the democratization of everything – even their missteps have always been messaged as the democratization of ‘X,’ ‘Y,’ or ‘Z.’ I respect that a great deal.” One major problem with brands is that everything is short-lived. “In the PR and advertising world, we refer to it as ‘GMOOT,'” Laermer points out of the “Get Me One Of Those” acronym. People who stand behind things “get ahead much faster,” he states. “That seems like common sense but as Aristotle said, ‘There is nothing common about common sense.’ Every single person we interact with – regardless of age – is looking for something to talk about and something to report. If we are consistent, we have the ability to give them that.” It is Laermer’s contention that “public figures” such as on-air personalities and podcasters need to convey what they stand for, “what they believe in, and what they are certain about” because,RLM PR Logo “These are things that people actually care about. People do want to know what a ‘personality’ thinks about ‘the issues.’ In the land of the tease, you want to be certain that people will come back for more.” Advising that, “It cannot be about the technology,” Laermer states, “It has to be about who are you and what you are putting out there.” Featuring 11 Ramsey-conducted interviews and five presentations, the two-day hivio 2015 conference was held Thursday (6/4) and Friday (6/5) at Hollywood comedy club The Improv.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

| March 17, 2015

courtsidelogoMike Agovino Named to New Executive Vice Chairman Role at Courtside Entertainment/PodcastOne.  After Triton Digital was acquired by private equity firm Vector Capitol late last week, Triton co-founder and COO Mike Agovino leaves that company to join Norm Pattiz’s Courtside Entertainment and PodcastOne to serve in the newly created post executive vice chairman.  A press statement from Courtside says that Agovino will “work withagovinomike chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz, president Kit Gray and COO Greg Batusic across all divisions of PodcastOne and Courtside Entertainment, contributing his extensive experience in new media technology, audience analysis and development, and revenue growth for the continued expansion of the groundbreaking podcast network.”  Pattiz states, “Mike has been a pioneer in the audio industry and brings a unique global perspective of the digital audio business to PodcastOne.  He shares our vision that on-demand premium content is a key driver in the future of audio, and I look forward to working with him as we continue to build audience and revenue, while creating new opportunities across this powerful and growing platform.”  Agovino’s career began at Katz Media where he spent 18 years rising to become president of Katz Radio before launching Katz Interactive and later Clear Channel Radio Sales as president/COO.  He departed Katz to become co-COO of Interep Radio Sales, leaving several years later to start Triton.

klac logo 15The LA Dodgers and iHeartMedia Re-Brand Sports Talker KLAC, Los Angeles.  Big changes come to sports talker KLAC, Los Angeles as now-co-owners iHeartMedia and the Los Angeles Dodgers re-brand the station to reflect this new relationship.  The new brand is “AM 570 LA Sports” and it comes with some programming changes.  (Oh yes, it also includes the Dodgers’ spiffy new 2015 slogan, “We Love LA!”)  The programming lineup is as follows: Dan Patrick from 6:00 am to 9:00 am; the newly created “LA Today with Bill Reiter and Leann Tweeden” from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon; Jay Mohr from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm; “The Petros and Money Show” with Petros Papadakis and Matt “Money” Smith from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm; plus another new addition, “Dodger Talk featuring David Vassegh and Kevin Kennedy,” which will air immediately following Dodgers baseball games or at 7:00 pm Monday through Friday.  That show will air year round starting with Spring Training and throughout the regular season.

starlingmarkMark Starling New AM Host/News Director at WWNC, Asheville.  From his most recent gig as afternoon drive anchor at Cox Media Group’s WDBO, Orlando “News 96.5FM,” Mark Starling heads North to Asheville, North Carolina to serve as the morning host and news/director at iHeartMedia’s wwnc logoWWNC “News Radio 570.”  Starling says if his new challenge, “Making the jump to the Asheville market is exactly the kind of move I have been after for several reasons. Not only is it the chance to get back to doing mornings, but the chance to really create a hyper-local morning show concentrating on the news and information the community is really looking for.  It’s an adventure I can’t wait to get started on.”  Starling starts March 25.

giffordlarryLarry Gifford: Radiodays Europe – Day Two.  Consultant and talent coach Larry Gifford is in Milan, Italy attending the Radiodays Europe 2015 conference and files this special report to TALKERS magazine.  On day two, Gifford covered, among other things, a keynote speech by iHeartMedia/Premiereduranelviseuro15 Networks morning show star Elvis Duran (pictured here).  The “Z100”-based morning personality says over the years he’s come to appreciate his work even more than when he was young.  That’s based in part on his believing that he’s not bigger than the show.  He says he’s also found new joy in helping people – especially listeners – tell their stories.  Also included in this report is a “psychoanalysis” of radio and Australian personality Mel Greig’s thoughts about her infamous prank call to a London hospital that resulted in a nurse committing suicide.  Read Gifford’s full report here.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases First Round of February 2015 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of February 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The February 2015 survey period covered January 29 through February 25.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS magazine and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

fisherkageTVposterFisher and Kage Launch New Program on Digital Platform.  Tampa Bay radio pros Chris Fisher and Jesse Kage are launching a videocast to stream live Monday through Thursday from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm ET via their “Fisher and Kage” app and www.fisherandkage.com.  The duo says the “uncensored show” will also be available on-demand and will stream from a brand new studio at Jannus Live in downtown St. Petersburg.  They’ve named “Special” Ed Grubbe as executive producer.  Fisher hosted mornings at WSUN, Tampa “97X” from 2001-2011 and worked at WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone” before exiting in 2013.  Jesse Kage worked at “97X” from 2004 to 2007 before moving to WXTB, Tampa “98Rock” where he worked afternoons until last year.

Odds & Sods.  On-air changes take place at Dot Com Plus-owned sports talk WNSP, Mobile “Sports Radio 105.5 FM” as Chip Ramsey is replaced in the AM drive chair by PM drive co-host Mark Heim.  Afternoon co-host Randy Kennedy recently assumed programming responsibilities from Ramsey…..SiriusXM announces the debut of an all-new channel curated and presented by multi-media star Andy Cohen.  The host of “Watch What Happens Live” on Bravo will also host a weekly radio show in addition to producing the new Radio Andy channel.

carrRush15Meeting of Mega-Mouths.  The Palm Beaches in sunny Florida have become one of the talk radio capitals of the nation as evidenced by the chance meeting the other evening of syndicated stars Rush Limbaugh and Howie Carr at a local PB eatery.  Carr and his dynamic wife Kathy Carr were on the scene taking a brief break from the frozen, snowy tundra that has gripped New England this winter.  The Carrs will be two of approximately 65 speakers who will be addressing a sold-out, packed house at the forthcoming Talkers New York 2015 on Friday, June 12.

2016 Presidential Prospects, Hillary Clinton Email Probe, Ferguson Cops Shootings, Iran Nukes/GOP Letter, Fate of Netanyahu, Battle Against ISIS, Russia Flexes Military Muscle, 49er Borland Retires at 24, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/16).  The potential candidates for president in 2016 and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s visit to New Hampshire last weekend; the ongoing controversy over Hillary Clinton’s use of private email for State Department business; the case of the two officers shot in Ferguson; the negotiations with Iran over its nuclear policy and the GOP letter to the Iranian government; the Israeli elections and the fate of Benjamin Netanyahu; the continuing battle against ISIS; Russia’s ramping up of military activity and Vladimir Putin’s talk of nuclear readiness; the early retirement of 49ers linebacker Chris Borland at age 24 due to concerns about brain injury; and the field for the NCAA men’s basketball tourney were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

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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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

| May 30, 2012

Tom Finneran to Exit WRKO, Boston; Todd Feinburg Takes Over AM Drive.  Former Massachusetts Speaker of the House and AM drive host at Entercom’s WRKO, Boston for the past five years, Tom Finneran, will leave the station after his program on Thursday, May 31.  In a statement, Finneran says, “Over the past several days, Jason Wolfe and I have been talking about various plans and opportunities which lie ahead for me and for the station.  Those opportunities are of interest to me, but are not compatible with the hours I keep and the effort I make to prepare for, and to execute, a well-informed show every morning.  I try to learn from history and from our listeners, who in sharing some of their own histories, have been great teachers.  I thank them and WRKO for a fast and fun five years.”  Program director Jason Wolfe announces that Finneran’s co-host for the past few years – Todd Feinburg – will take over as sole host of the morning show on WRKO beginning Friday, June 1.  Whether or not a co-host is eventually added to the AM drive show remains to be seen.  The Boston Herald’s Jessica Heslam reports former WFXT-TV, Boston anchor Kim Carrigan – who has sat in on the AM drive show several times since exiting her TV gig – is offering no comment on the rumor she will become Feinburg’s co-host.  She tells the Herald, “It’s no secret that I’ve filled in a few times and that’s been a ton of fun, but outside of that I don’t have any comment at this point.”

Triton Digital Names John Rosso President of Market Development.  The former president of the Citadel Media Networks – a company he exited with the change of ownership as Cumulus acquired it – now takes the newly created post to lead Triton’s digital audio platforms in the sales and marketing realm.  Triton Digital chief operating officer Mike Agovino states, “John’s combination of broadcast and digital experience makes him a great choice for this important new position at Triton.  The explosive growth in listening to internet audio is attracting major attention from both local and national advertisers.  John and the rest of the Triton team are completely focused on fostering this medium by helping marketers and audio publishers come together to engage audiences.”  On his new challenge, Rosso says, “Audio is among the fastest-growing media today, and Triton is innovating at the center of it all, with both publishers and advertisers.  This marketplace is still young and I look forward to facilitating this connection to accelerate the growth and success.”

WHBO, Tampa and Tom Krasniqi Part Ways.  Afternoon drive sports talk host Tom Krasniqi and Genesis Communications WHBO, Tampa-St. Petersburg are unable to come to terms on a new contract.  WHBO has not announced a permanent replacement for host of its “Prime Time” PM drive show.

Bruce Williams Announces Plans for “Made in America Broadcast Network.”  The talk radio pioneer says he has nothing against international commerce but “as a small network can offer this service by accepting advertising only from American companies producing jobs and products.”  Bruce Williams – who is currently streaming and podcasting his program via The American Entrepreneur on taeradio.com – says he wants to offer radio programs that are supported by advertising from companies whose products are at least 90% made in America with American labor and American materials because he wants to keep jobs in America.  “The network knows many people interested in buying American products and they will be an excellent resource.  Made in America Broadcast Network believes this is the first company to offer this service.”

Car Talk: The Musical Debuts in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  You know you’ve made it when they produce a musical production based on you.  NPR’s “Car Talk,” hosted by actual Cambridge, Massachusetts mechanics Tom and Ray Magliozzi, is the inspiration for the play with book, lyrics and direction by Wesley Savick and original music by Michael Wartofsky.  The play will run this summer produced by the Underground Railway Theater at Central Square in Cambridge “just a stone’s throw away from the Good News Garage in Cambridge, Massachusetts (our fair city).”  The production will feature voice-overs from the Magliozzi brothers.  Here’s the plot as reported by BroadwayWorld.com: “Our hero – the overweight, always-late invertebrate Rusty Fenders – has racked up as many miles as his ‘93 KIA. Attempting to salvage happiness from the junkyard of his life, he collides with his ruthless boss Beaulah Gasket, his unrequited office romance Sheila, and the red-hot fantasy car Miata C. LaChassis.  Can the Wizard of Cahs put the brakes on Rusty’s musical wipe-out?”

WBZ, Boston Talk Host Lovell Dyett Passes Away at 77.  The TV and radio broadcaster and community activist died after a long illness.  Lovell Dyett began his talk radio career at WBZ in December of 1971 with an eponymous Sunday call-in program that dealt with the issues of the day.  As noted on CBS Radio Boston’s website, “For nearly 40 years, Dyett covered topics and issues that affected people of all walks of life, discussing topics that were often times contentious, like busing and the desegregation of Boston’s schools, and sometimes uncomfortable, such as interviews with former members of the Ku Klux Klan.  Dyett was a major player in many organizations including the Workshop on Cable Television for Minority Municipal Officials, serving as chief media consultant of the Congressional Black Caucus, as board member of the Roxbury YMCA, Roxbury Chapter of University Without Walls, Boston Chapter of the Urban League, and was also a long standing member of the NAACP.”

Syria Massacre, 2012 Presidential Race, Memorial Day Remembrances, Euro Zone Jitters and Iran Nukes Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/29).  Global outrage over the latest massacre of civilians in Syria; the 2012 presidential campaign; tributes to fallen U.S. military personnel; concern over the unstable euro zone economy and its repercussions; and the Iranian nuclear weapons program were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

“Gas We Can Gill-er Up” Draws Bargain Hunting Motorists.  WLAC, Nashville-based Radio America syndicated talk show host Steve Gill (l) is pictured here with listener Jill (r) who took advantage of the show’s promotion with the Daily’s Shell chain to offer gas at $1.84 per gallon to the first 150 listeners to get in line at 7:00 am yesterday (5/29).  Gill tells TALKERS that the $1.84 per gallon price was the national average on January 20, 2009 – the day President Obama was sworn into office.