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By Howard B. Price
ABC Television Network
Director, Business Continuity
“It’s YOUR fault, you know. YOUR fault a huge, powerful storm system hundreds of miles wide had the temerity to jog just 50 miles farther east, turning a forecast blizzard for many into a whimpering flurry.”
“Oh, and it’s YOUR fault, too – you emergency managers and business continuity pros – YOUR fault government and businesses took decisions that inconvenienced many and cost untold dollars in lost revenue or extra expense.”
Yeah, well – speaking as both a broadcaster and a certified emergency planning professional – to that I say simply and with strong resolve: “Good for us.”
Radio Goes into Emergency Mode in Oklahoma City. The EF5 tornado that moved through the Oklahoma City area on Monday reportedly has taken at least 24 lives, including 9 children trapped in an elementary school in the suburb of Moore. But officials are saying the death toll could have been worse had it not been for the local radio stations that went into action warning residents about the storm almost 30 minutes before the tornado touched down. As the twister approached and cell service began to overload, local radio outlets remained on air. Reports to TALKERS indicate most stations went into wall-to-wall storm mode using either audio from a news/talk outlet or by using audio from a local TV station. Radio’s role has just begun as many of those who are seeking information about emergency services will rely on radio. Numerous broadcasting companies are already organizing relief efforts for those affected by the tornado. As storms moved across the Plains states on Sunday, Pottawatomie County Sheriff Mike Booth was cited in an Associated Press story crediting local TV and radio stations’ wall-to-wall broadcasts covering the storms for keeping the death toll low.
KNTH, Houston’s Sam Malone Goes Multi-Platform. Morning drive host Sam Malone, heard daily on Salem Communication’s news/talk KNTH, Houston “AM 1070 The Answer,” is now broadcasting his program in multi-media fashion, making it available to fans in a video format. Malone partnered with Houston-based tech company Phonoscope to develop the web-based video component. As you can see in the photo here, Malone’s set is able to deliver some of the aspects of a television broadcast that news/talk audiences can use: a news crawl, the ability to identify guests/callers via chyron, a backdrop for photos/video, and other promotional messages. For example, today (5/21) he’s able to constantly provide the toll-free number to donate to victims of the Oklahoma tornado. From a sales perspective, the format obviously allows for still photos and video in commercial spots.
Play Ball: Fun with Flagships. Baseball season is well underway and the recent April 2013 PPM data from Arbitron gives TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian the opportunity to delve into the numbers and get a glimpse of where the flagship stations for most of the Major League Baseball teams stand at this point. As Kinosian notes, baseball is a very important programming element for many stations, “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.” Baseball has a reputation of being a cume-builder and baseball fans certainly know where their team can be heard on the radio. Check out Mike Kinosian’s analysis of the nation’s baseball radio broadcast flagship stations here.
Five Secrets to Hiring Excellent Digital Sellers. “Made you look!” teases Sabo Media chairman and TALKERS magazine columnist Walter Sabo. The truth is that finding effective digital media sellers is exceedingly difficult and anyone who’s tried to hire digital sales pros knows this. Walter Sabo writes that the reason is digital buyers don’t know how to buy digital advertising. Who’s fault is that? According to Sabo, the rules for return on investment for a digital ad do not exist – or at least there’s no industry-wide agreement on how to measure ROI. Read more about this vexing problem that is hampering the sale of digital ads here.
NAB Announces Ginny Morris to Receive National Radio Award. The National Association of Broadcasters announces that Ginny Hubbard Morris, chair of Hubbard Radio LLC, will receive the National Radio Award during the Radio Show Luncheon on Friday, September 20 at 2013 Radio Show in Orlando. NAB EVP of radio John David states, “Ginny Morris is highly regarded for her leadership and success. It is a tremendous honor to recognize Ginny for her continuous dedication to radio and for her many accomplishments and contributions to the business.” The NAB notes that Morris has more than 30 years of broadcast industry, business and general management experience. As chair of Hubbard Radio LLC, Morris is responsible for managing the strategic direction for Hubbard’s 21 radio stations throughout Chicago, Washington D.C., Minneapolis/St. Paul, St. Louis and Cincinnati. As part of the company’s growth strategy, in 2011, Morris led Hubbard’s acquisition of 17 radio stations from Bonneville International Corporation, strengthening Hubbard’s national reach and significantly expanding its industry footprint. Morris originally joined her family’s broadcasting business in 1982 and worked her way to management positions before becoming president and general manager of KSTP-FM and KSTP-AM in 1995.
Odds & Sods. Cumulus Media sports talk WNKT, Columbia, South Carolina “107.5 The Game” re-ups with IMG College on a new four-year deal to serve as the flagship for University of South Carolina Gamecocks play-by-play. The package includes football, men’s and women’s basketball and baseball…..Sports USA announces the first five games of its 2013 NFL broadcast schedule. The season will kick off with the Cincinnati Bengals at the Chicago Bears on September 8. Sports USA president Bob Moore says, “We are thrilled with the first part of our schedule. These matchups are second to none. Additionally, Sports USA will be the only Sunday afternoon NFL broadcasts to feature a sideline reporter at every game in order to offer insights and quicker access to injury reports.”…..Cumulus Media’s WPRO and 99.7 FM in Providence announce a series of summer radio shows hosted by New England area tradesmen Dean Marsico and Derek Stearns – both nationally known for their TV shows “Rock Solid” and “Indoors Out” on the DIY Network and their appearances on the PBS Series “Victory Garden.” The duo will host a monthly program, the first episode airing on Sunday, May 26.
Oklahoma Tornado, IRS Targets Conservatives, Benghazi Investigation, and DOJ Investigates Fox News Channel Journalists Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/20). The devastation from the EF4 tornado that ripped through the Oklahoma City area yesterday; the allegations of the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS; the ongoing investigation into how the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was handled; and the Department of Justice’s investigation of Fox News Channel journalists were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.
Rhythm & Shmooze. Las Vegas based-nationally syndicated medical talker Dr. Daliah Wachs of KDWN, SiriusXM Satellite Radio and GCN is known to occasionally get up on the stage during musical performances, grab the mic, and belt out a tune. True to form, she is pictured here doing exactly that at her son Stone‘s recent Bar Mitzvah. Wachs (l) is singing Def Leppard‘s “Pour Some Sugar on Me” with the band Vegas Underground. Wonder if they do the Electric Slide.