Tag: "New Normal"

Has Pandemic-Related Listening Peaked?

| June 30, 2020

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES — Radio’s roughly mid-March through June COVID-19 coverage has at least one thing in common with the novel virus itself: More questions are raised about each than we have answers.

In a matter of just several months, the number of Americans who have perished owing to the widespread coronavirus is rapidly hurtling toward 130,000. It is absolutely numbing that some medical experts are now upwardly revising USA fatalities to a quarter of a million by the end of the year, as each new day sets a record for reported cases..

The nation’s unemployment rate has soared to double-digits – those filing for claims continues at a staggering rate. The economy has taken a substantial hit, and millions of Americans continue to institute self-imposed quarantine practices.

Heretofore seldom-used expressions in our country such as “stay-in-place” and “flattening the curve” are recited daily, as have “returning back to normal,” and  adjusting to life in the “new normal.”

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April 2020 PPM Analysis: A Sweep Unlike Any Other

| June 3, 2020

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES — Reflective of the unique nature of what has become the “new normal” owing to coronavirus’ spread, the April 2020 ratings period had more than its share of significant twists and turns.

With COVID-19 dominating all media outlets and kitchen-table conversations across the country, this very well might have been the most anticipated sweep since electronic measurement became radio ratings currency.

It differed from the highly-precarious annual “Holiday” ratings period on a number of fairly clear-cut levels, not the least of which is the divergence between pleasant family memories contrasted against newfound angst regarding a deadly virus.

Past has definitely been prologue that stations playing all-Christmas music in a “Holiday” sweep will display sizeable upticks in that period and, in virtually 100% of the time, chalk up (by far) their best stat of the ratings calendar. It’s not uncommon for all-Christmas music stations to double or triple their 6+-stats as dozens of such outlets touch double-digits (6+), and we’ve even witnessed the shattering of the 20-share level (6+).

There is a fixed time for the programming strategy – usually a week or two before Thanksgiving and running through Christmas Day. The outcome can be accurately predicted as much as nine months in advance.

Absolutely gaudy figures we are accustomed to seeing from music-intensive stations entrenched in playing holiday hits did not surface – for the most part – from spoken-word stations in April 2020.

One barometer though of a significant station shift in the electronic-measurement age is a sweep-to-sweep fluctuation in excess of one full-share.

To put things in the most vivid perspective: There were nearly four times as many of these swings (April 2020, 6+) as were registered one year ago (April 2019).

Open for debate is when the coronavirus should have been taken seriously. It’s worth remembering that the sitting POTUS was impeached by Congress in December 2019 and acquitted by the Senate on February 5, 2020. A fatality reported by Washington State officials later that month (2/29) was initially thought to be the earliest U.S. coronavirus-related death (although it’s now believed that at least two others died from the illness several weeks earlier).

Given that the final date of the April 2020 sweep was April 22, the just-concluded ratings period would mirror roughly two months of COVID-19 coverage.

There’s no contemporary history of what radio ratings look like when – in a matter of weeks – the country suffers flu-related deaths by the tens of thousands. Prognosticating ratings results was, therefore, uncharted (morbid) territory.

Playing all-Christmas music works in every market – virtually every time. It doesn’t matter if it’s a blue state or red state; a warm weather climate or a cold weather region. Appetite exists for that programming at that time of the year and it can’t be found on any broadcast or cable television network. Completely unknown was the level of desire for pandemic news on radio.

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Pending Business: Yogi Got It

| June 1, 2020

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp
President

 

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Yogi Berra said it best, “It’s so crowded, nobody goes there anymore.”

What did Yogi know decades before the world stopped?

As we make the gradual return to re-opening, we see a new normal environment, where we may never again sit elbow to elbow in a crowded restaurant, concert, sporting event, movie theatre, or even religious service. Essential service retailers from Costco to Home Depot feature marked floors with social distancing markers, directional arrows, and limited number of in-store shoppers. The new age pandemic impacted retail environment is emerging.

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Monday, March 30, 2020

| March 30, 2020

Monday Memo: Smart Advertisers Relate. While many radio sales reps are in pandemic panic mode, smart sellers are helping nimble advertisers do what radio does best: tell a lot of people something useful quickly.  In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke lists commercial copy points he’s hearing.  See them here.

Growing Coronavirus U.S. Death Toll, Trump Extends Social Distancing Through April, Criticism of Trump Administration, Financial Markets Activity, Celebs with COVID-19, Lawmakers’ Stock Trades Controversy, and Presidential Race Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The rising U.S. death toll from COVID-19; President Trump extends the nation’s social distancing policy through April 30; criticism of the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus epidemic; the pandemic’s effect on the world’s financial markets; celebrities who’ve tested positive for COVID-19; the investigation into U.S. lawmakers who sold stocks ahead of the global sell-off; and the November presidential election were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pending Business: The Vice President’s Lead List. Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes in today’s Pending Business column that smart salespeople should take a cue from Vice President Mike Pence’s Presidential Task Force press conference last week in which he named the three biggest companies hiring – today.  Read Lapa’s tips for smart marketing in a new normal environment here.

Forever Media Cuts Staff at News/Talk WDEL, Wilmington and Elsewhere. The Wilmington News Journal reports that Forever Media has taken the drastic step of laying off “more than 10 people” from its radio properties as the result of a revenue hit from the coronavirus pandemic.  Included in the layoffs are WDEL talk personalities Allan Loudell and Robin Bryson.  Forever Media closed on its $18.5 million purchase of Delmarva Broadcasting’s 10-station radio portfolio last May.  Bryson is quoted telling the News Journal that the mandated closure of non-essential businesses hit business hard.  “That’s a good portion of who our advertisers are.  So, you know they’re not open, they can’t afford to advertise so they cancel their contracts and then we don’t have any commercials to run and we’re not getting any revenue.”

WGAN-AM, Portland Drops Morning Drive Co-Host Ken Altshuler. In Portland, Maine, Saga Communications drops morning drive co-host Ken Altshuler – the left-leaning half of the show – as part of a restructuring move.  Altshuler has been co-host of the morning show since 2002.  The change leaves conservative Matthew Gagnon hosting solo.  Altshuler tells the Portland Press Herald that over the past few months, the station has been moving to a single-host format in other dayparts.  Altshuler says he plans to continue in the media, either with another radio station or with a blog and podcast.  Sixty-seven-year-old Altshuler is a family law attorney who practices in Portland.

Ramsey’s ‘Message of Hope’ Becomes Regular Podcast. The Ramsey Solutions organization announces that a new podcast from the Ramsey Network called, “A Message of Hope” is launching.  The Ramsey Network says, “There’s a lot of fear and uncertainty in our country right now.  Let’s change that. Ramsey Network hosts Dave Ramsey, Ken Coleman, and Rachel Cruze share practical money and career advice through the ‘Message of Hope’ series.  This brand-new podcast also features episodes from Chris Hogan, Christy Wright, Anthony O’Neal, and Dr. John Deloney to encourage you in every area of life.”

‘Ark Midnight with John B. Wells’ Partners with Talk Media Network. The weekly, three-hour radio show “Ark Midnight with John B. Wells” is partnering with Talk Media Network for marketing and affiliate relations.  Talk Media Network CEO Josh Leng says, “John B. Wells is an expert in weaving stories, news, and interviews together with an artful thread and his instantly recognizable voice.  ‘Ark Midnight’ is a destination nighttime show.”  Wells comments, “It’s great to be working with Talk Media Network.  They understand the program and have added new affiliate stations before we could even make this announcement.”  The show recently was added to the program schedule at WNTW-AM Richmond and KLKS-FM in Brainerd, Minnesota and soon joins KYAH-AM in Delta, Utah and WIOS-AM, Tawas City, Michigan.

Tony Bruno to Reunite with Harry Mayes on SiriusXM. Sports talk pro Tony Bruno – via SiriusXM and JAKIB Media Partners – is returning to a daily sports talk radio show after five years away from the format.  He’s being joined on the new “Tony Bruno Show” by former WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “The Fanatic” partner Harry Mayes.  The show launches on SiriusXM’s Dan Patrick Radio channel on April 6.  Bruno says, “I want to thank all of my fans who have followed and supported me through the years.  I am grateful to everyone who has encouraged me to return and who still wants to hear my daily fun approach to sports and current affairs, which has been my forte’ for over four decades in broadcasting.  I can’t think of a better platform than SiriusXM and reuniting with my former ESPN colleague on the Dan Patrick Radio channel, and I am thrilled to be able to return to the airwaves with my good friend and co-host Harry Mayes.  There is no doubt that we will provide an exciting, fun, sports talk radio program that joins a sea of great content on SiriusXM.”

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s February 2020 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk-formatted stations. Fifty-three percent of the news/talk stations on our panel were up (weekly, 6+ AQH share) over the January 2020 survey with just 27% seeing a ratings decline. Leaders in the improved column include Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta (+1.4) and iHeartMedia’s WISN, Milwaukee (+1.0). Comparing February 2019 to February 2020, WSB-AM/WSBB-FM is again the leader, posting an increase of 4.4 shares. iHeartMedia’s WTVN, Columbus adds 2.7 shares year-over-year, and Entercom’s KFTK-FM St. Louis is up 2.1 shares. Just two news/talk stations ranked #1 in their markets in February – CMG’s WSB, Atlanta (11.4 share) and iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento (8.4 share). However, five news/talk outlets ranked #2 in their respective markets.  Find out which ones, here.

TALKERS News Notes. The KSTE, Sacramento-based “Armstrong & Getty Show” starring Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty adds new affiliate WGOW-FM, Chattanooga, starting today (3/30).  Earlier this year, the program was added to other Cumulus Media talk stations including KABC-AM, Los Angeles and KSFO, San Francisco…..The nationally syndicated “Free Talk Live” program – led by show founders Ian Freeman and Mark Edge – adds new affiliate stations: KGGF-AM, Coffeyville, Kansas; WTSN-AM/FM, Dover, New Hampshire; WNTW-AM/FM, Richmond; WAIM-AM, Anderson, South Carolina; and WCSI-AM/FM, Columbus, Indiana to put its total affiliate roster at 209 stations…..ESPN’s “Paul Finebaum Show” makes its return to the cable TV SEC Network with an audio-only format at 3:00 pm ET.  Although Finebaum has been doing the show for ESPN Radio for the past two weeks, it has not aired on the SEC Network.  Finebaum comments, “Despite all of us adjusting to this new normal and distancing ourselves from each other, we’re probably more connected right now than we’ve been in a long time.  I’m really proud of the conversations and discussions we’ve had on the show, especially over these past few weeks, and look forward to returning to television and continuing to support and uplift one another during such an uncertain time.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Last night’s “FOX Presents the iHeart Living Room Concert for America” event aired on FOX Television as artists including host Elton John and guests Alicia Keys, Backstreet Boys, Billie Eilish, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes, Dave Grohl, H.E.R., Mariah Carey, Sam Smith,Tim McGraw and more performed from their own homes.  The program was also aired live on iHeartMedia radio stations and the iHeartRadio app.  Pictured below is Tim McGraw (upper left) singing “Something Like That” while three of his band members accompany him from their homes.  The event encouraged viewers and listeners to support charities Feeding America and First Responders Children’s Foundation.

Leave It To Leykis To Blow It Up

| March 19, 2013

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief

mcmahonfieldmarshallLOS ANGELES — Master marketer Vince McMahon continues to build a vast “Sports Entertainment” empire largely owing to his uncanny knack of giving the “universe” of WWE fans the product they crave, a philosophy congruous with that of Massachusetts-born entrepreneur Marshall Field, who stressed that his Chicago-based department stores should, “Give the lady what she wants.”

Simon & GarfunkelThose taking heed of Messrs. McMahon and Field will – as Paul Simon & Art Garfunkel intoned in 1970 – “Keep the Customer Satisfied” (the “B” side of “Bridge over Troubled Water”).

Not only is the same applicable to an intensely entertaining and astute talk radio personality, it is his program’s cornerstone mantra.

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

| January 5, 2012

Compass Media Networks to Open New Marketing Division; Continues Relationship with Dial Global.  In a major, two-pronged announcement Compass Media Networks announces it is launching a national ad sales firm called Compass Media Marketing – an advertising representation firm for the audio industry.  CEO and founder Peter Kosann built Compass Media Networks three years ago as a programming and distribution company.  He says they now see a similar opportunity for a sales rep firm “leveraging on our brand, relationships, and expertise.”  Kosann continues, “We are extremely excited to build a focused advertising sales organization that can work hand-and-glove with program suppliers to help them maximize their advertising sales by, in turn, super-serving the advertiser.”  Kosann says they will announce a full roster of programs and networks shortly and they have signed an agreement with Dial Global under which Dial Global will provide Compass Media Marketing with support systems and marketing services.  At the same time, Compass enters into a long-term relationship with Dial Global to continue representing the company’s programming – including entertainment-talk shows “Free Beer & Hot Wings,” the Lars Larson show, Norman Goldman and Schnitt Show plus services and short-form reports as well as Compass’ sports play-by-play that includes college basketball, college football, NFL Doubleheaders and Compass’ presentation of the Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders Radio Networks.  Kosann says, “Dial Global has done a tremendous job for us and we are extremely appreciative of their hard work and support.”

Tom Leykis to Begin Internet Talk Show in April.  Radio personality Tom Leykis is being paid by CBS Radio not to do a talk show since the company blew up hot talk KLSX-FM, Los Angeles in February of 2009.  Now, with that agreement to end in April, Leykis tells the Orange County Register’s Gary Lycan he’s set to debut his new talk program on April 2.  But, as Leykis tells Lycan, it seems unlikely he will appear on any terrestrial stations – the show will be available only through digital means.  He says, “I’ve had my tires kicked over the last few months and I am having a hard time getting excited about joining in on the non-stop ‘Obamacare’ or all-politics talk formats that currently exist.”  TALKERS readers know Leykis has not been idle during his talk show exile.  He’s told TALKERS TV and New Media Seminar attendees about his New Normal venture that’s currently distributing music and other talk via the internet.  New Normal will be the company that owns and operates his new talk program as well.  Leykis says, “There will be a 24/7 stream devoted to the show.  We will do it live for anywhere from 2 to 5 hours every weekday, followed by continuous replays until the next show.  Apps such as TuneIn, Windows Media Player, Winamp, WunderRadio, even iTunes will receive the show.  PCs, Macs, iPads and all Android tablets, all smartphones and WiFi enabled vehicles.  All you need to listen will be found at www.blowmeuptom.com.”

Analysis: Holland Cooke on Social Media Research, Radio and the Auto, and Multi-Platform Use.  McVay/Cook & Associates news/talk specialist Holland Cooke reports to TALKERS from the recent Arbitron Client Conference on several topics: He cites recent research into effective ways radio stations can use social media – and pitfalls to avoid; plus how one of the most important demographics – women running households with children – use Facebook and other social media.  He reports significant data on media use in the automobile and explains how multi-platform media usage is a boon for those who do it right.  Cooke distills the info-packed Abritron event in this easy-to-read piece here.

Rob “T-Man” Tepper Named Fox Sports Radio Evening Co-Host.  Longtime Seattle radio personality Rob “T-Man” Tepper begins co-hosting Fox Sports Radio Network’s 10:00 pm to 1:00 am ET “Fox Sports Tonight” program alongside former baseball great Rob Dibble on January 9.  Tepper says, “Being on the air in more than 200 cities across the country on ‘Fox Sports Tonight’ is very exciting.  I’m hoping my crazy personality can add to what Rob Dibble is starting to build.  I can’t wait to get started.”  Tepper hosted the AM drive show on CHR KUBE-FM, Seattle for 14 years.  Recently he’s been doing fill-in work at Fox Sports Radio.

Clear Channel Houston Tweaks AM Talk Lineups; Matt Patrick Adds More Air Time.  Beginning Monday, January 9, talk host Michael Berry will be heard exclusively on KTRH, Houston while KTRH morning co-host Matt Patrick will also do a show on sister crosstown talker KPRC.  Berry keeps his 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm show on KTRH but drops his 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm KPRC show and instead will host the 8:00 am to 11:00 am show on KTRH.  He replaces Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck who moves over to KPRC in the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot.  Meanwhile, “KTRH Morning News” co-host Matt Patrick adds the KPRC 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm show to his duties.  To make room for Beck on KPRC, Dave Garfield moves his show to the 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm slot which knocks Outlaw Dave to the 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm time slot.  Whew!

Entercom’s WGR, Buffalo Grabs Bills Play-by-Play.  The NFL’s Buffalo Bills have been heard on Cumulus Media’s classic rock WGRF-FM and active rock WDGE-FM for the past several years.  After Cumulus exited the negotiating table Entercom swooped in and is nabbing Bills play-by-play for sports WGR as well as the Rochester market’s sports WROC and classic rock WCMF-FM.  Entercom Buffalo VP/GM Greg Ried says, “With our 24/7 WGR 550 AM Sports station, partnering with the Bills and adding them to our lineup complements our other programming, enhances the experience for loyal fans and attracts new listeners.  Big-time sports on a big-time sports station is what listeners expect and the Bills certainly help provide all of that.”

Former KTAR, Phoenix Host and Wife Found Dead in Apparent Double Suicide.  Bill Heywood and his wife Susan were found dead in a motel room in Scottsdale, Arizona yesterday (1/4) in what authorities say is a double suicide.  A note was found in the room and although police are not stating the specific content of the note, it points to suicide.  KTAR is reporting that longtime market personality Pat McMahon saw Heywood at a recent holiday party and learned of Susan’s illness which he said was more serious than he had previously realized.  Reports in local media indicate the couple had been dealing with financial problems as well.  Heywood hosted the morning show on KTAR and crosstown KFYI for many years.

Bubba the Love Sponge Re-Signs with Cox to Remain on Terrestrial Radio.  After pursuing other options – including talking to Clear Channel, the company that fired him in 2005 – Bubba the Love Sponge inks a three-year deal to stick with Cox Media Group’s WHPT-FM, Tampa Bay – “The Bone” – as his home base.  The show is regionally syndicated to stations in Fort Myers, Florida and Charleston, South Carolina.  In a statement, Bubba says, “After weighing my options and much consideration, I am happy to return to The Bone.  Cox believed in me when no one else did and I am excited to return the love.  I have a great relationship with local management and The Bone will remain my home in Tampa Bay.”

Cumulus Media Names Two to Affiliate Sales Positions.  Cumulus Media announces Marcella Turk is the new VP of affiliate sales in the Dallas offices where she’ll manage affiliate sales for the entertainment products and the company’s 24/7 formats.  In New York, Nick DeGregorio is appointed affiliate sales director where he’ll be in charge of affiliations for production libraries as well as special projects.  Both Turk and DeGregorio most recently worked at Westwood One/Dial Global.

Santorum Surge and Bachman Suspends, Obama Administration Defense Strategy, L.A. Arson Case and Iran Military Threats Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/4).  The surge of GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum and the suspension of Michele Bachmann’s campaign, the Obama Administration’s soon-to-be announced new U.S. defense strategy, the bizarre Los Angeles arson case and Iran’s continued military saber-rattling were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

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