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By Holland Cooke
Status quo: The Noise
Because the Trump story is SUCH great copy, the media soundtrack has become noisier than ever.
- Yes, The Noise was already blaring before The Donald ran, often fueled by contempt for President Obama. Because the opinion industry has commercial inventory to fill, attention is currency. “Believe us, not them!” Even on the rare slow news day, shows begin with a Fox News Alert. Even between situations, Wolf is in The Situation Room. Clicks, baby.
- I’m complicit! From a memo to hosts I coach: “Donald Trump is the best thing that ever happened to talk radio. There are spontaneous statements at Executive Order photo ops, Alternative Facts, SNL, botched calls with friendly foreign leaders, Ivanka Inc., the Russia flap. Twitter! Wiretapping? Expect a-story-a-day, and assume NO topic burnout at this time. As ‘the Trump channel,’ we can enjoy tune-in from giddy supporters AND appalled or scoffing resisters.”
By Holland Cooke
Positioning as fringe always seemed dubious, while station reps were touting radio as the #1 reach medium. So take the win. It’s a face-saving opportunity to tell listeners (and advertisers) things are good now. There’s a psychological component to recession, and historically, we’re overdue for one.
In my December newsletter, I offered a format forecast for talk radio. If you missed the download TALKERS offered then, help yourself at HollandCooke.com. No login or email required. On the home page, scroll down to “Voices Radio Will Miss in 2017.” As we prepare to witness history this week, an update…
Cooke: Listeners Expect to Be Heard. Media consultant Holland Cooke presents another in his series of TALKERS TV videos – this one titled, “Listeners Expect to Be Heard.” Cooke states, “Donald Trump conveyed ‘I hear you’ to voters who already expected to be heard, by virtue of social media. Yet the talk format – radio’s most interactive – often offers monologue to listeners now accustomed to dialogue.” Cooke says he has advice for programmers and talk hosts interested in being positioned at the center of conversation “that extends Time Spent Listening, and makes you sound popular to advertisers.” View the video in the Talkers TV box in the upper right side of this page.
Crabtree: Radio’s Social and Digital Dilemma. Atlanta-based talk show host and writer Bryan Crabtree advocates for an aggressive use of social and digital media for radio talk hosts in a piece published today in TALKERS magazine. Crabtree hosts a daily show heard on “biz1190” and “AM920 The Answer” in Atlanta and he says, “Talk radio is no longer just a three-hour, on-air production. Our shows must continue ‘24/7’ via Twitter, Facebook, Soundcloud, iTunes, YouTube and other digital platforms. For me, it created pure anxiety in knowing that all of these platforms were available for free because the manpower required to utilize them was daunting. I knew there had to be some way to expedite and automate this process.” Read more about how Crabtree is using social and digital media here.
TALKERS’ Harrison on CNN’s ‘Anderson Cooper 360.’ TALKERS magazine publisher and editor Michael Harrison is pictured above on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” last night discussing the potential for Courtside Entertainment nationally syndicated talk host Laura Ingraham to be named Press Secretary in the Trump Administration. Harrison said talk hosts are perfect for press secretary roles because they are able to articulate sometimes complex political issues to the press and public so well. He also noted that if President-Elect Donald Trump gets Ingraham for the Press Secretary post, he’s showing his skills in the “art of the deal” since she’s probably earning far more now than the Press Secretary position pays!
Sports KDKT, Bismarck Announces New Role for TJ Meyer; Alex Gratys Climbs Aboard. At DSN Radio’s Bismarck sports talk outlet KDKT, programming and on-air staffer TJ Meyer (left) is promoted to the station manager position. Meyer joined KDKT earlier this year after serving as the official voice of the Chicago Cougars hockey team and the DePaul Blue Demons, as well as handling duties at Matrix Broadcasting’s suburban Chicago signals. Joining the company is Alex Gratys (right), who becomes production manager. Meyer and Gratys worked together producing sports talk programming for ChicagoLandSportsRadio.com.
Odds & Sods. Memphis native Jeffrey Wright returns home to join the programming department at Entercom’s sports talk WFMS-FM “92.9FM ESPN.” Having most recently served the Yahoo/Rivals network covering Old Miss in Oxford, Mississippi, Wright’s duties at WFMS will include serving as executive producer of the Geoff Calkins show from 9:00 am to 11:00 am, as a contributor to the 929 Line at 929espn.com, as well as handling talk host duties at the station. Wright takes over the Calkins show producing duties from John Martin who is now partnered up with Jason Smith on the midday “Jason & John Show.”….. The National Association of Media Brokers is jumping into the fray over the FCC’s recent refusal to update its media cross-ownership rules. NAMB – a group of professionals representing buyers and sellers of radio and television stations and related businesses – is responding to the recent news that the National Association of Broadcasters and the News Media Alliance (formerly the Newspaper Association of America), each has filed suit against the FCC regarding its quadrennial media ownership rules review which maintained the prohibition against the common ownership of broadcast media and daily newspapers in the same market. NAMB vice president Eddie Esserman comments, “To agree with the FCC’s decision about cross-ownership, you would have to believe there is not enough media in the marketplace. I don’t know anyone who believes that.”…..The “Intelligent Medicine” with Dr. Ronald Hoffman podcast hits the 3 million download mark, according to Media Management Group EVP/business development Alan Eisenson. He says, “We are very proud of this major accomplishment and the rate at which Dr. Hoffman’s podcast and other digital assets have grown.”
Trump Victory Aftermath/Transition, U.S.-Russia Relations, Battle Against Islamic State, the State of ObamaCare, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/15). The aftermath of the Donald Trump victory over Hillary Clinton and the transition of the Trump Administration; speculation about the potential relations between Vladimir Putin and the U.S. after Trump’s inauguration; the fight to take Mosul from Islamic State; the future of the Affordable Care Act under the Trump Administration; and NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Dunkle and Nadel Upped at TTWN. Two promotions are taking place at Total Traffic & Weather Network. VP of affiliate sales Jack Dunkle rises to SVP of affiliate sales, in which he’ll report to Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott. In this newly expanded role, he’ll manage TTWN’s radio, television and digital product sales and distribution. At the same time, vice president of affiliate sales and compliance Roger Nadel is promoted to SVP of affiliate operations. He’ll also report to Julie Talbott.
Rare Talk Show Opportunity in Milwaukee. WTMJ, Milwaukee is building a dynamic midday talk show. E.W. Scripps’ WTMJ Radio is looking for an engaging LOCAL host or team to connect Milwaukee and Wisconsin with the issues, news and stories of the day. The host or team must LIVE the multi-platform audio experience and lead its 12:00 to 3:00 pm daily show with timely, relevant and entertaining talk. The opportunity is now. The show will begin in January as Charlie Sykes retires, with longtime WTMJ host Jeff Wagner moving into Sykes’ time slot. WTMJ is not limiting this opportunity to political-only shows, but to the next generation of talkers who can inform and entertain on whatever the big story happens to be that day. E.W. Scripps Radio is “Famous for Localism.” Apply at Scripps.com under the “Careers” tab and send materials along with your ratings track record to Eric Brooks, director of programming & news at: Eric.Brooks@WTMJ.com. EEO.
Cool Sales Opportunity. Entercom is seeking a director of sales for news/talk WBT-AM/FM and hot AC WLNK-FM in Charlotte, North Carolina. The right candidate must possess a strong desire to win, must lead by example, and have a track record of revenue success. The director of sales must have a strong background in running successful stations. Candidate must be an exceptional sales trainer, be a creative thinker, and be able to recruit and hire the best in the business. Primary responsibilities: Oversee all aspects of the sales operation; Implementation and compliance with CRM tools; Set rates through yield management tools; Meet or exceed all revenue goals; Work as a coach, leader and problem solver; and understand the digital space and present a specific plan for its growth. Please submit your cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or mail to: Human Resources, WBT/WLNK, Entercom Charlotte, One Julian Price Place, Charlotte, NC 28208. EOE.
The Yappy Tour Rolls On. The coast-to-coast book tour of Bernadette Duncan rolled back into New England this past week as the author of Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers (AuthorHouse/Talkers Books, 2016) stopped by Saga Communications’ WHMP-AM/FM, Northampton, Massachusetts (the station that launched the radio career of Rachel Maddow) where she appeared on the live-and-local, mid-morning show of noted civil rights and criminal defense attorney Bill Newman. The book recounts Duncan’s 26-year career as a producer of radio talk shows working with such big-name talents as Larry King, Sally Jessy Raphael, Lou Dobbs, Tom Snyder, Gil Gross, Charles Osgood and many more during modern talk radio’s pre- and post-9/11 “golden era.” Plus, she tells stories about behind-the-scenes encounters with hundreds of guests from the worlds of show business, politics, media, business and literature. Duncan (r) is pictured with host Bill Newman (l). Her national “Yappy Tour” will roll on through the remainder of the year. She has already appeared on more than 30 local and syndicated programs. Hosts and shows interested in booking Bernadette Duncan can do so by calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.
By Bryan Crabtree
Talk Show Host
There is a plethora of competing distractions to our audience and they are lost in a sea of confusing noise.
Our audience has changed, but have we?
Listeners will follow and respond to who or what they ‘believe’ is real. I was shocked to see so many lifelong broadcast conservatives double-down on their ‘#nevertrump’ hysteria. I’m convinced that, for many, it wasn’t their personal conviction. It was the vanity of needing to be accurate on their predictions of Trump’s demise. The result was the destruction of years of earned credibility with their followers.
By Holland Cooke
BLOCK ISLAND — Social media tools can be extremely valuable to broadcasters who don’t just use them to…broadcast. At the recent NAB/RAB Radio Show in Nashville, Cumulus/Westwood One VP/social Lori Lewis crystallized the opportunity: “The essence of social media is reminding people that they matter.”
For Gordon Deal, host of the nationally-syndicated “This Morning – America’s First News,” it’s a useful feedback loop: “I’m not above getting an occasional kick in the pants from a listener if he or she feels a story sounded too biased.” And he is as flattered that someone would take the time to speak up as they seem to be when he acknowledges them: “Even the angriest and most biased of listeners sometimes just want to be heard. 99% of the time, a polite Tweet back that acknowledges their feelings is all they’re looking for.”
Cooke: The Value of Social Media to Broadcasters. Media consultant Holland Cooke writes today about how broadcasters are applying their use of social media to their on-air work. Several radio pros Cooke spoke with say that listeners like the ability to connect “personally” with them via social media. He notes that at the recent NAB/RAB Radio Show in Nashville, Cumulus/Westwood One’s Lori Lewis said it reminds people “that they matter.” Most of the broadcasters say they learn from their P1s about what kind of show content might interest those P1s that they themselves would never have thought of. And still others use social media to continue “the show” even after it goes off the radio. Read Cooke’s entire report here.
Video of Recent Industry Memorial Tribute to Dr. Joy Browne Posted to TalkersTV. A group of industry figures recently gathered in New York City to present “A Celebration of Joy” memorial tribute to talk radio legend Dr. Joy Browne, who died unexpectedly on August 27. It took place Tuesday, October 4 at the Helen Mills Theater in the Chelsea district of Manhattan and featured a roster of speakers who eulogized and shared stories about their memories of the famed radio psychologist. The program was co-hosted by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Salem Radio Network syndicated star Mike Gallagher. Speakers included (in alphabetical order): Ted Anderson of Genesis Communications Network; David Bernstein of TalkersRadio; Pierre Bouvard of Cumulus Media/Westwood One; Tracy Cramer of the Alzheimer’s Association of America; Bernadette Duncan of Talkers Books; Joan Hamburg of WABC, New York; and Doug Stephan of Stephan Multimedia. To view the video please click here or on the TalkersTV box at the top of the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale/Miami Dynamo Joyce Kaufman Joins Michael Harrison on this Week’s ‘Up Close and Far Out.’ She is one of the most politically provocative news/talkers in the industry and a longtime mainstay of South Florida local radio. Joyce Kaufman – who hosts 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daily show on Alpha Media’s WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale – has been outspoken for decades about the full spectrum of conservative issues – from Second Amendment rights to abortion to illegal immigration and much more. She is a true regional mover and shaker – and no stranger to controversy. In a candid conversation on this week’s installment of the PodcastOne international hit series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” Kaufman discusses dealing with the intense negative blowback that accompanies her broadcasting career path and the impact it has had on her life raising children as a single mother. Harrison and Kaufman further delve into the impact social media has on radio hosts as well as society in general. They also discuss the shocking changes we are witnessing in the style of public political discourse marking the current presidential election. Kaufman says, “The genie is out of the bottle, there’s no going back.” To listen to this fascinating conversation that even includes a look at the role local radio plays in providing vital service to the public during hurricanes, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.
CLARIFICATION. For our readers who saw Monday’s story regarding the Facebook post by E.W. Scripps Milwaukee VP/GM Tom Langmyer, TALKERS magazine would like to clarify. Our story gave the impression that Langmyer wrote that talk show hosts should not offer opinions about political candidates via social media. What Langmyer did say (and Tom’s Facebook friends who read the piece are aware) was that reporters and anchors, i.e. journalists, should read their company’s policy on social media use because he’s seeing so many of his reporter colleagues opining about candidates – something they are, in many cases, not allowed to do on their day jobs or via other avenues. As for talk show hosts, Langmyer says of course they can have opinions about candidates – that’s part of their job. His problem with some talk hosts is their use of “F-bomb laden posts about how much they hate a candidate.” He goes on to say that he believes the policy should be, if you wouldn’t say it on the air, don’t write it on social media. Langmyer says his disappointment stems from having worked with and trained some of the people who are doing these things and he feels frustration that his training didn’t get through to some of them.
Odds & Sods. Des Moines-based talk host Simon Conway is doing triple duty today. This morning he filled in on iHeartMedia’s WFLF, Orlando. That’s in addition to his regular morning show on the company’s WMT, Cedar Rapids and his afternoon drive show on WHO, Des Moines…..ABC Radio vice president Steve Jones is pictured here accepting the Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence in Radio from the RTDNA. During his acceptance speech he stated, “It’s an honor for ABC News Radio to be recognized by our peers for the excellence of our work. We are deeply appreciative of the support we receive every day under James Goldston’s leadership and from all of our ABC colleagues, particularly those here tonight.”…..“Free Talk Live” with hosts Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is added to new affiliate stations KWAM, Memphis; WXME, Monticello, Maine; and WMXF, Waynesville, North Carolina…..Westwood One enters into a partnership with Jerry Springer, whose “Tales, Tunes & Tomfoolery” weekly podcast joins Westwood One’s Podcast & On-Demand platform via audioBoom. Westwood One is providing exclusive ad sales representation for the show. The show is streamed live every Tuesday night and emanates from Ludlow, Kentucky’s Folk School Coffee Parlor and promoted as “an easygoing and intimate conversation between three friends — Springer, Jene Galvin, and Megan Hils – who provide a mix of comedy, liberal political talk, and contemporary roots music.”
Presidential Race/Sunday’s Debate, Syria Civil War/Russian Military Involvement, Hurricane Matthew Aftermath, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 Woes, MLB Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/10). The presidential campaign, the Trump hot-mic tape, and Sunday evening’s debate; the ongoing Syrian civil conflict and growing criticism of Russia’s military involvement in the war; the effects of Hurricane Matthew plaguing the Carolinas; Samsung’s decision to stop producing the Galaxy Note 7 in the wake of continuing safety issues; the Major League Baseball playoffs; and the weekend’s NFL games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
By Holland Cooke
NASHVILLE – 2,272 of us came to Music City, up from the 2,170 attendees at 2015’s Radio Show in Atlanta, the biggest crowd since the RAB partnered-into NAB’s event in 2010.
If you missed them, here are:
Below: My notes from sessions I attended on Thursday. And first things first. Want some money?
By Holland Cooke
BLOCK ISLAND, RI — On yesterday’s webinar, Edison Research VP Tom Webster surmised, “It’s safe at this point to call podcasting ‘mainstream media.’”
It’s always puzzled me how talk radio demonizes that term, while sales reps have been telling prospects that their stations ARE mainstream. What advertiser wants to utilize FRINGE media?
Admittedly, when I started attending podcasting conventions a dozen years ago, the medium did seem, shall we say, unconventional. Not any more, according to data culled from the ongoing Edison/Triton “Infinite Dial” research series, and Edison’s “Share of Ear”™ studies, which Webster presented.
By Holland Cooke
LAS VEGAS — Visualize the sprawling exhibit hall here, acres and acres of hardware and software. There’s an entire pavilion of drones! And you can’t find a content-related conversation here that doesn’t involve digital content and social media. So one Tuesday session I attended was conspicuous…
How Local Broadcasters Engage and Win in the Digital Age
In three words? “Local, Local, Local.”
Katz Media Group EVP Strategy, Analytics & Research Stacey Lynn Schulman recalled visionary digital financier John Doerr’s mantra “SoLoMo:” Social — Local – Mobile.
By Mark Kaye
Cox Media Group
Talk Show Host
It’s an understandable question. It’s also the absolute wrong question. What we should always ask when experimenting with new technology is, “Okay, how does this work for me?”
Each social media platform that gains popularity has its own unique characteristics that we, as broadcasters, can and SHOULD take advantage of. But, most of us don’t. We only see one part of the huge impact that social media has on our lives and careers. And, unfortunately, it’s the part of social media that impacts our lives and careers the least.
Westwood One’s Michael Savage and Mark Levin Playing Roles in GOP Primary. The primary battle between GOP frontrunner Donald Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz is getting heated and two Westwood One-syndicated talk show hosts recently played a role in the tensions. First, Trump appeared on Tuesday’s “Savage Nation” program with Michael Savage during which Savage expressed his hope that Trump would skip Thursday’s Fox News Channel-produced debate. Trump later announced that he would, indeed, skip the debate. As for Cruz, he appeared on the networks’ Mark Levin program to announce he’s challenging Trump to a one-on-one debate that would not include a moderator. Cruz included the no-moderator stipulation because of Trump’s issues with Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly.
Chad Benson Scores Hal Linden Interview After News of Abe Vigoda’s Death. Tuesday’s news of the passing of beloved actor Abe Vigoda brought many talk hosts to talk of the late actor’s work in The Godfather and in the iconic TV series “Barney Miller.” But Radio America-syndicated talk personality Chad Benson scored an interview with Hal Linden, who played the title character on the television cop comedy and was a friend of Vigoda’s. Benson and Linden reminisced about how Vigoda was constantly refuting reports of his demise after People magazine published a mistaken report of his death in 1982. You can hear Benson’s interview with Vigoda here.
The Presidential Race, Planned Parenthood Videos Case Twist, Oscars Boycott, Low Oil Prices/Financial Markets Activity, and Eastern Blizzard Aftermath Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/26). Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s refusal to take part in tomorrow’s GOP debate, the aftermath of the Iowa Democratic Town Hall, and the activities of the candidates for president; the controversy over the indictment of two involved in videotaping Planned Parenthood representatives discussing human tissue sales; the ongoing debate over the boycott of the Academy Awards by some black film industry people due to a lack of black nominees; languishing oil prices and the reactions by the world’s financial markets; and the effects of the blizzard that hit much of the East Coast over the weekend were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Kaye: Social Media – You’re Doing it Wrong. Jacksonville-based talk show host Mark Kaye writes, in a piece published in TALKERS today, that too many talk show hosts are only getting a little benefit out of what social media has to offer. Kaye says, “Most of us look at Facebook and Snapchat and Periscope and Instagram as new and exciting ways to tell people what we do, what we think, and what we know. Instead, as talk show hosts, we should be using those same platforms to ask our audiences, ‘Hey, what do you do? What do you think? What do you know?’” Kaye says today’s audiences don’t use the phone to answer these questions the way they used to. “They use Snapchat, and Periscope, and Instagram, and Facebook Messenger. The phone has simply become a mini-access point to their favorite social media application. They use it for one-way, non-verbal communication. They use it to tweet, text, record video (and audio!) and briefly promote their own thoughts and opinions.” Read more from Mark Kaye here.
Odds & Sods. After almost 25 years at KCSJ, Pueblo, Colorado, sports director Tony Wright exits as iHeartMedia eliminates the sports director position. Wright tells the Pueblo Chieftain that it was a business decision and he plans to continue working in sports radio elsewhere…..ESPN Radio’s Jalen Rose and David Jacoby are getting a TV show that highlights the best segments from their daily radio program. “Jalen & Jacoby” will debut on ESPN2 at 2:00 am ET on Thursday (1/28). An audio version of the program launched as a podcast in 2011. The “Jalen & Jacoby” radio show airs from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET…..Daytona Beach-based Digital Sound & Video announces Greg Fadick joins the company as a producer. The company says Fadick is a seasoned imaging pro who’s worked for both radio stations and production companies. Fadick has imaged at WAAF, Boston; WIOD/WFLC/WHQT, Miami; Brown Bag Productions (Premiere Networks), and Download HDFX, among others.
NAB Producing Podcast Series Serving Broadcasters on ‘Timely and Relevant Issues.’ The new, bi-weekly podcast focused on public policy issues, new technologies and proven business strategies for radio broadcasters debuts from National Association of Broadcasters. NAB says “The NAB Podcast will feature new segments released every other Tuesday. Each episode is 15 minutes long and is available publicly for two weeks. At the end of that time, episodes will be archived for NAB members-only access at nab.org/podcasts. Each podcast is dedicated to covering timely and relevant issues impacting America’s radio broadcasters. NAB chairman and CEO Gordon Smith adds, “It is our hope that ‘The NAB Podcast’ will serve as a resource for broadcast professionals to help them navigate an increasingly complicated radio landscape. The new podcast is an innovative way to reach our members and a broader audience with vital information on important issues affecting broadcasters.”
‘Washington Watch with Tony Perkins’ to Air on USA Radio Networks. Another afternoon program is added to the roster at USA Radio Networks as it announces “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” begins airing on the network on June 8 live from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council and a former member of the Louisiana legislature. Perkins also serves as the president of the Council for National Policy an umbrella organization for dozens of conservative organizations that address fiscal, social, and foreign policy issues. He says about joining USA Radio Networks, “I’m excited to join the USA Radio Networks at such a critical time for our nation. ‘Washington Watch’ is uniquely positioned in the heart of our nation’s capital to provide daily interviews from Capitol Hill with political and conservative leaders. Radio has only become more important to our mission to keep God-fearing Americans informed and equipped to respond to the policy and cultural challenges of our day. We are excited to partner with USA Radio Networks as we advance faith, family and freedom across America.” Tim Maranville is chief content officer at Cross Platform Media Group, parent company to USA Radio Networks. He says, “Tony Perkins has been a prominent voice in Washington for years with the Family Research Council. The important issues he brings will now be available for discussion and debate in the open market through USA Radio Networks.”
Dan Le Batard Show to Simulcast on Fusion. According to TVNewser, ESPN Radio’s “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” will begin being simulcast on May 19 at 4:00 pm ET. Fusion – a multi-platform, joint endeavor from Disney-ABC Television and Univision – debuted in the fall of 2013 and targets millennial consumers. Fusion’s chief programming officer Wade Beckett is quoted by TVNewser saying, “Dan and Stugotz are an extremely engaging pair, and we are thrilled that they are bringing their unique flare to Fusion daily line-up. Dan’s smart-yet-irreverent take on sports and the stories making headlines perfectly aligns with Fusion’s desire to present this young, diverse generation with an array of dynamic voices that have an authentic point of view and, at the end of the day, are just are fun to watch.”
RTDNA Reports on Social Media and Mobile Strategies for Radio News Operations. The third edition of a series of reports from Hofstra University professor emeritus Bob Papper – whose data comes from the annual survey of radio and television news directors – investigates newsrooms’ use of social media and mobile applications. Among the questions answered by the approximately 150 news directors who responded to the survey include: What’s the most important new thing you started doing with social media in 2014? Almost 49% of radio news directors reported doing something new in social media in 2014. In underscoring the importance of developing mobile apps for news consumers, Papper points out that 55% of news directors mentioned apps compared to the next most popular answer – streaming, at 11%. The RTDNA will be releasing new reports every two weeks through July. See the whole report here.
Nielsen Audio Releases First Round of April 2015 PPM Data. The first of four rounds of April 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 April 2015 survey period covered March 26 through April 22. You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here. Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.
Michael Harrison Engages in Stimulating Conversations with Rebecca Costa and Buzz Aldrin on New Podcast. TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison presents a “double header” on this week’s installment of the international hit podcast “Up Close and Far Out” as he interviews two provocative thinkers on the connection between human evolution and the species’ chances of survival. The podcast opens with Harrison in conversation with a personality he describes as “one of the most intelligent voices in talk radio today,” sociobiologist Rebecca Costa. Costa, a renowned author, speaker and consultant, hosts radio’s weekly “Costa Report” – a national weekend talk show syndicated by GCN, in which she interviews thought leaders with an eye on the future from a wide spectrum of fields and disciplines. Costa, author of the worldwide best-seller, The Watchman’s Rattle (Vanguard, 2010), says the human brain needs to evolve if it has a chance of coping with the increasingly complex nature of society and its technological/information-generating systems. She calls for humanity rising above the traits it shares with lower animals (“the lower instruments of our genetic inheritance”) to be able to enter an age of cooperation and enlightenment, vital to its survival, by tapping into the evolutionary advantages offered by the brain’s frontal cortex. In part-two of the podcast, Harrison engages legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin in a discussion about the Apollo moonwalker’s new book, Mission to Mars (National Geographic, 2015) in which he encourages humanity to begin planning its future as being more than a “one-planet species” – an evolutionary step he believes necessary for humanity’s long-term survival. To listen to Rebecca Costa and Buzz Aldrin on “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” please click here or click on the special player box in the right hand column of every page of Talkers.com. Archived interviews currently available for download at www.upcloseandfarout.com in the “Up Close and Far Out” series include Sean Hannity, Mike Francesa, Dr. Joy Browne, Linda Ronstadt, Joe Sciacca, Christopher Ruddy, Norm Pattiz, Alan Colmes, and Steve Weisman.
Salem Media Group to Unveil ‘AM 1250 The Answer’ in Pittsburgh. The station acquired from Disney – WDDZ, Pittsburgh – becomes the latest Salem-owned AM news/talk to assume the brand “The Answer.” In addition to airing the Salem Radio Network lineup of talk hosts, local news/talk personality Rose Tennent – formerly with partner Jim Quinn on crosstown WPGB-FM – is signed on for a local morning show that will air from 8:00 am to 10:00 am. The rest of the schedule is: Bill Bennett, 6:00 am to 8:00 am; Mike Gallagher, 10:00 am to 12:00 noon; Dennis Prager, 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm; Michael Medved, 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm; Westwood One’s Mark Levin, 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm; and Hugh Hewitt, 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight. Salem general manager Tom Lemmon comments, “Pittsburgh deserves a news/talk station that reflects the conservative, hard-working heart and soul of its people. We’re thrilled to have an opportunity to provide an intelligent, sensible, conservative voice to the market. We want to be a station that tackles solid local and national issues with an intelligent opinion committed to truth and integrity.
WYD Media and Focus 360 Announce Partnership. Saying that this agreement “significantly extends the reach of Focus 360‘s sales efforts and its ability to provide top-shelf service to agencies,” Focus 360 and WYD Media Ad Sales announce a new partnership. The deal provides for WYD to provide enhanced ad sales representation for Focus 360. Focus 360 CEO Phil Brown explains, “This is a tremendous opportunity for us to extend our sales efforts. WYD’s resources and sales talent will enable us to increase our presence at key agencies, thereby boosting revenue and enabling us to do an even better job at servicing our partners.” Brown says Focus 360 will continue to work directly with certain agencies where the company has long-standing relationships. Focus 360 also will continue to build its Jelli programmatic advertising platform.
Odds & Sods. There’s a new all-comedy station as Austin Radio Network flips its Gospel-formatted KLGO, Austin and re-brands it “Comedy 1260 AM.”…..The Georgia Association of Broadcasters kicked off its second annual Radio Talent Institute at Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia, as the opening Institute this summer from the National Radio Talent System. The GAB sponsors the Institute, now in its second year, with further support from Cox Media Group. Twenty-five students from Georgia schools with a “desire and passion for broadcasting” were accepted into the program. Opening day speakers included Cumulus Media CEO Lew Dickey, Cox Media VP Scott Smith, and Cox EVP Kim Guthrie, to name a few. Numerous other radio pros are speaking and teaching courses.
CFRA, Toronto News Anchor Lauren Davis Dies Suddenly at 24. Condolences are pouring in to the family, friends and co-workers of Lauren Davis, who died unexpectedly at age 24 over the weekend. Davis was a news anchor on CFRA, Toronto. She’s the daughter of longtime CHFI, Toronto personality Erin Davis. Lauren Davis’ husband Phil Shirakawa also works at CFRA as a producer. Lauren Davis was on maternity leave after giving birth to her son Colin last fall. Bell Media regional vice president Richard Gray issued the following statement, “Lauren’s sudden passing was a shock to our CFRA and Bell Media staff here in Ottawa. We are deeply saddened by the loss of Lauren, who had just become a mom in the last year. We also want to extend our deepest sympathies to Lauren’s husband, Phil Shirakawa, who is a producer with us here at CFRA. Lauren will be deeply missed by her family and the many colleagues here who knew her so well.”
Talkers New York 2015 Nearing Maximum Capacity. Based on the diminishing number of registrations still open and the rate at which they are being filled, Talkers New York 2015 – the 18th annual installment of the talk media’s longest-running and most important national convention — will be sold out sometime this week. According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “We are gratified by the strong response this event is receiving and we clearly do not like to turn folks away – however, we must abide by New York City’s building codes, not to mention be sensitive to the comfort and safety of our attendees.” Casey continues, “There will be no registrations sold after 5:00 pm EDT this Friday May 15, IF NOT SOONER. Friday at 5:00 pm Eastern will be the absolute cut off point… but we cannot guarantee that we won’t run out of room earlier.” The event will be located at the historic India House Club dramatically situated at One Hanover Square in the heart of Manhattan’s financial district. It is an all-day event – 8:45 am to 6:15 pm. Registrations, priced at $299 per person and only open to professionals currently or recently employed in media-related industries, include all sessions, presentations, exhibits and breakfast/lunch/refreshment/and social networking activities. The heavyweight, non-stop agenda will include approximately 65 speakers and 500 attendees will be the allowed limit. Registrations can only be taken over the phone and paid for by credit card. They are not refundable or transferable. For registration, sponsorship and hotel information, please call 413-565-5413. To see the latest agenda, please click here.
EWTN Launches Programming on Cleveland Affiliate. Catholic broadcaster EWTN Global Catholic Radio Network debuts its programming on WCCR, Cleveland “AM 1260 The Rock.” The Cleveland station, which launched on Monday, May 11, becomes EWTN Radio’s 300th affiliate in the United States. St. Peter The Rock Media acquired the former WWMK from Radio Disney Group, LLC. EWTN Radio general manager Dave Vacheresse says, “We are grateful to all the folks at St. Peter The Rock Media who have worked so hard to make this station a reality! EWTN Radio is the beneficiary of incredible partnerships like this all over the U.S. and around the world. These partnerships, combined with the cooperation and blessings of bishops across the U.S., has led to a growth rate of nearly 250% in the last five years – from 120 stations to over 400 and growing!”
Michelle Obama ‘Racism’ Commencement, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Baltimore Freddie Gray Death Aftermath, Obama Trade Bill Issue, Arctic Drilling Approved, NATO Expels Alleged Russian Spies, Clinton Email Suit Reopened, and Deflategate Sanctions Announced Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/11). Criticism of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “racism” commencement address at Tuskegee University; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the legal and political aftermath of the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore; the controversial trade bill being pushed by President Obama; the approval by the Obama Administration to allow oil drilling in the Arctic; the expelling from Brussels of alleged Russian spies by NATO; the lawsuit seeking to force Hillary Clinton to turn over private emails is reopened by a judge; and the NFL issues a fine for the Patriots and four-game suspension for Tom Brady in the “deflategate” case were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.
Maine Association of Broadcasters convention coverage by consultant Holland Cooke
PORTLAND, ME — There are more of them than there are of us. For now, we (75 million Baby Boomers) sign checks on the front, and many of them (83 million so-called Millennials) sign them on the back. But that’s changing soon, literally. 63% of young adults cite “care for parents in old age” among their chief concerns, according to research in a Nielsen presentation at this past weekend’s Maine Association of Broadcasters conference.
Those born 1982-2000 – alternatively referred to as “Generation Y” – are 26% of the USA population, and I’ve never heard them described better than the way Nielsen Client Service Executive Madison Zinsenheim, herself a Millennial, did:
Westwood One’s Jim Bohannon Celebrates 30 Years of National Shows. Legendary broadcaster Jim Bohannon is celebrating the 30th anniversary of BOTH of his Westwood One shows — “America in the Morning” on September 17, 2014 and “The Jim Bohannon Show” on September 22, 2014. Bohannon is heard on more than 500 affiliates nationwide. He says, “It’s hard to believe that ‘America in the Morning’ is 30! We’ve covered so many stories in that time, from the Challenger disaster to 9/11, from Bergdahl to Benghazi, from Harry Reid to Prince Harry, and I’d like to think the best is yet to come. It’s been an honor and pleasure to help so many people start their busy days.” Westwood One EVP, news and talk Bart Tessler comments, “Congratulations to our radio Hall of Famer, who consistently plays at the top of his game. Jim’s friends and colleagues at Westwood One salute him as we continue to enjoy listening to his wit and wisdom.”
Jesse Kage Joins CBS RADIO’s WHFS, Tampa. More recently with Clear Channel’s rock WXTB, Tampa, air personality Jesse Kage joins CBS RADIO’s crosstown sports talker WHFS “Sports Radio 98.7 The Fan” to co-host the morning show with Kirk McEwen. The new Kirk & Kage show debuts today, according to program director John O’Connell. Also featured on the show are Roxanne Wilder and Special Ed. The station says, “Kirk and Kage promises to be a unique blend of sports, lifestyle, personality and fun.” O’Connell adds, “I am very excited to welcome Jesse Kage to 98.7 the Fan. The station has always had an energy and edge that you find in a rock station, so in many ways Jesse will feel right at home. The pairing of Jesse with Kirk McEwen puts two outstanding radio personalities together that will excite and engage listeners. ‘The Kirk and Kage Morning Show’ will not only be a destination for sports fans but anyone craving a balance of sports, fun and entertainment.”
‘Business Rockstars’ Joins BizTalkRadio Network Lineup. Joining the BizTalkRadio network is the nationally syndicated “Business Rockstars” program hosted by Ken Rutkowski. The program will air daily from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET. “Business Rockstars co-founder Steve Lehman says, “Jeff Weber is a bright guy who understands that political radio is tired, the entrepreneur is the new rockstar. ‘Business Rockstars’ is the fastest growing talk show in the US, and the only national entrepreneurial radio show that teaches listeners how start, grow, and fund a business. Entrepreneurship is red-hot, advertiser-friendly and attracts a younger audience to radio. Ken Rutkowski is brilliant, and Business Rockstars is simply…good business!”
Wittmayer Named Cumulus San Francisco Market Manager. The new vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s San Francisco station group is Justin Wittmayer who joins from Clear Channel’s Miami cluster where he was VP of sales. Wittmayer also worked for Clear Channel in the Bay Area as GSM and market manager for that company’s San Jose stations. Cumulus SVP Gary Pizzati says, “Our business in San Francisco is very complex. The assortment of formats, which now include Nash FM, coupled with three major sports teams requires a leader who understands how to maximize revenue and cash flow from each. Justin not only understands what it takes to drive revenue, he knows how to run a business. His years of experience in the Bay Area will serve us well with the relationships he’s established in the ad community and with recruiting top talent. We are thrilled to welcome Justin to the Cumulus family – now at the helm of our San Francisco operations.”
Giessinger Named GSM for CC Minneapolis. Taking the role of GSM for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s Minneapolis station group is Grant Giessinger. He joins the company from CBS RADIO’s Minneapolis cluster. He’s worked for Clear Channel in the past, having served as sales manager and VP/GM for the company’s North Dakota stations.
BIA/Kelsey Study Indicates Social Media an Important Means of Promotion for Small and Medium Businesses. The study from BIA/Kelsey is called Local Commerce Monitor and the full findings of the study will be presented to clients attending the firm’s LEADING IN LOCAL: SMB Digital Marketing conference taking place September 22-24, in New Orleans. What’s relevant to radio is the growing importance of marketing via social media to small- and medium-size businesses. The study surveyed 546 local businesses and determined that almost 75% report using social media to market their businesses with those businesses using 21.4% of their marketing budgets on social media. As suspected, Facebook is the dominant form of social media, with 55.1% of SMBs reporting they have a Facebook page for their business. LinkedIn came in second at 31%. But other social media that are being used for marketing by SMBs include Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.
KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh Continues Spaghetti Breakfast Tradition. This Friday CBS RADIO news/talker KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh holds the 31st “NewsRadio 1020 KDKA Spaghetti Breakfast” at the Heinz Hall Garden Plaza in downtown Pittsburgh from 5:00 am to 9:00 am. As always, the public is invited to the free event and take in the live broadcast of the “KDKA Morning News” with Larry Richert and John Shumway. Historically, the promotion attracts thousands of Pittsburghers on their way to work with KDKA personalities and local dignitaries serving piping-hot plates of penne pasta, sausage, bread and all the fixings. Richert comments, “This is a one of a kind event and I love that KDKA started it with John Cigna and that it continues with John and me.” The event benefits the Little Sisters of the Poor, a charity Cigna supported. The charity will collect monetary and canned food donations on site.
Entercom Adds Sports Talker ‘ESPN Upstate’ to Greenville Brands. In the Greenville, South Carolina market, Entercom is taking the WORD-AM and WYRD-AM signals and pairing them with Spartanburg, South Carolina translator W246BU and the HD-3 channel of WFBC and creating the new sports talk brand “ESPN Upstate.” The station will carry the full ESPN Radio lineup except for the afternoon drive daypart which is being hosted by local personality Greg McKinney. According to the station, McKinney “has done play-by-play for Greenville High School and national high school powerhouses Byrnes and Dorman High Schools. He served on the football and basketball broadcast teams for Wofford College. McKinney was inducted into the Wofford College Hall of Fame as recognition for his contributions to their play-by-play broadcasts. He currently anchors ‘College Football Today,’ on ‘93.3 The Planet,’ prior to each Clemson football game. Vice president and market manager Steve Sinicropi comments, “ESPN is the biggest name in sports and adding the most powerful brand in sports makes our dominant cluster of radio stations even stronger. This past year we have had tremendous success in the sports arena with Clemson football play-by-play, Greg McKinney anchoring our ‘College Football Today’ pregame show, and Carolina Panthers football with our ‘Carolina Kick Off’ pre-game show hosted by The Rise Guys. Adding ESPN is another major step as Entercom Upstate becomes THE place for sports radio in the market.”
Tribune Moves DiCaro to Radio Operations. In a move reported by Chicagoland Radio and Media, Julie DiCaro moves from her community manager role at the Chicago Tribune’s ChicagoNow site to a new post two floors up at Tribune Tower to WGN Radio where she’s now handling social media for news/talk WGN, online project WGN.fm and new sports talker WGWG “The Game 87.7.” She will also oversee writing sports blogs for the stations and have an on-air role at WGWG. DiCaro is an attorney who gave up practicing criminal and family law to pursue her passion of writing about sports. She founded the Chicago Cubs-intensive blog A League of Her Own as well as the network of female blog writers titled Aerys Sports Network.
CFRB, Toronto Talk Host John Tory to Run for Mayor. Add former CFRB “The Live Drive” talk host John Tory to the growing list of people challenging colorful and embattled Mayor Rob Ford for the Toronto mayoral seat. Tory has been host of “The Live Drive” since the fall of 2009. He was president and CEO of Rogers Communications from 1995 to 1999 (he is still a member of the Rogers board of directors) and has worked in the offices of notable Canadian politicians including former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. Tory is resigning from his show to run for office and program director Mike Bendixen is quoted in a story on the “Newstalk 1010” website saying, “We would love John to stick around but…the station supports him in his endeavours in running for political office.” As for the station’s treatment of him, Bendixen adds, “We’re gonna be just as hard on him as we would be on Rob Ford, as we would be with David Soknacki and Karen Stintz and Olivia Chow and whoever else decides to run.”
Sokol to Host Late Morning Show on WAKR, Akron. Another local program is added to the schedule at Rubber City Radio news/talker WAKR, Akron as news anchor and reporter Jasen Sokol begins hosting a two-hour show airing at 10:00 am today (2/24). Sokol became part of the station’s news department after working at Kent State-owned WKSU, Kent while attending as a Walton D. Clarke Graduate Fellow. Vice president of information media for Rubber City Ed Esposito comments, “We are proud to present the next generation of talent from Northeast Ohio. Jasen is a true pro, with experience during his college career. He’s smart, asks the questions that need to be asked but most importantly has the northeast Ohio sensibility and sensitivity WAKR listeners have come to expect.”
Clear Channel Promotes Clay Hunnicutt to EVP and GM of National Programming Platforms. This is a bump up from his most recent post as EVP of programming for the company’s largest markets. According to a statement, in this new post, Hunnicutt will “work with [president of National Programming Platforms Tom] Poleman to oversee all aspects of the National Programming Platforms team, which develops and manages Clear Channel’s national programming all on-air and digital content across the company’s radio stations and websites. He will work closely with Clear Channel’s senior and executive vice presidents of programming to emphasize the connection between Clear Channel’s 850 local radio stations and the National Programming Platforms assets, such as live events like the iHeartRadio Music Festival, iHeartRadio Ultimate Pool Party, iHeartRadio Country Festival and iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour, while also leveraging groups like the brand management in-house format team. He will manage a team of programmers focused on sales integration with station programming , as well as the programming operations center and the Premium Choice network to ensure all content is executed and seamlessly integrated for Clear Channel’s national programming and advertising initiatives. Hunnicutt will also continue as the company-wide brand manager for Clear Channel’s country stations.” Poleman comments, “Clay has an unmatched connection with our local markets and knows how to link our national capabilities to our local assets. He has a great understanding of the day-to-day programming of our local radio stations and what it takes to drive ratings and revenue. His expertise will ensure our national platforms are of benefit to all of our radio stations nationwide, which gives us a huge competitive advantage.”
Executive Changes at Nielsen. Two executive moves at Nielsen are announced as chief financial officer Brian West is upped to chief operating officer and Jamere Jackson joins the company as CFO from his most recent post with General Electric. The changes are effective March 10. West takes over for Mitchell Habib who “moves to the next phase of his career, after a transition period.” Nielsen CEO Mitch Barns says, “Our company has never been in a better place, due in large measure to Brian’s vision, leadership, and execution over the last seven years. Brian is a trusted colleague and an exceptional business partner, with a proven track record of value creation. As a key member of our leadership team, he has played an integral role in defining our growth strategy, allocating capital and delivering value to our shareholders. His deep understanding of Nielsen’s people, operations, and clients well positions him to drive value in his new role as COO.”
Odds & Sods. The end is near for “Piers Morgan Tonight” on CNN. The New York Times columnist David Carr reports that the date of the final program is not certain but that the continued poor ratings are the reason. Morgan tells Carr, “It’s been a painful period and lately we have taken a bath in the ratings…Look, I am a British guy debating American cultural issues, including guns, which has been very polarizing, and there is no doubt that there are many in the audience who are tired of me banging on about it.” He says the show has “run its course and [CNN president Jeff Zucker] and I have been talking for some time about different ways of using me.”…..Chisholm Trail Broadcasting’s KZLS – recently flipped to talk radio as “1640 The Eagle” – adds Ernest Istook’s syndicated talk show to the program schedule. Istook represented the 5th Congressional District in Oklahoma for 14 years before leaving congress and pursuing other interests including broadcasting. He says he intends to add more outlets for his program as it grows…..At Cumulus Media’s sports talk KFNZ, Salt Lake City, program director and air personality Tim Montemayor moves from the afternoon drive show where he was co-hosting with Kyle Gunther to the morning drive daypart…..Howard Stern show personality Robin Quivers was honored for Outstanding Literary Work by the NAACP at its “Image Awards” on Saturday, February 22. Quivers recently published The Vegucation of Robin: How Real Food Saved My Life (Avery 2013).
SCBA Blog Introduces Auto Focus Report. The latest blog from the Southern California Broadcasters Association and president Thom Callahan has been published and in this edition, Callahan introduces what it calls “an ambitious SCBA initiative to help regional auto dealer associations reach more customers more profitably by simply using more radio.” Callahan comments, “The auto industry in Southern California and the nation, is facing a challenging year ahead with record new model introductions as well as a looming factory incentive battle among most manufacturers. This spells trouble for dealer profitability and makes the need to re-evaluate traditional radio/TV spending levels as an immediate focus.” The SCBA Auto Focus Report will be “a detailed look at dealer association ad spending levels for radio and TV and compare those budgets to actual sales by dealership. Using verified Polk Auto Data to document sales by dealership, the SCBA Auto Focus Report will create custom solutions and recommendations for each participating dealer association.” Callahan adds, “Rather than just waving a ‘radio is great’ flag, we are approaching this project from a business point of view. We have a compelling story to tell about cost of sales, profitability, and bringing substantive value to radio’s relationship with the auto industry.”
iHeartRadio to Be Featured on Samsung Gear 2. In the very near future when you’re doing your best Dick Tracy impersonation, your cool, new wrist device will allow you to hear your favorite music and talk programming as Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio is being featured on the new Samsung Gear 2 (pictured here). The wrist-worn Gear 2 is a new device that keeps Samsung phone users connected with their phones and allows them to receive “Quick Glance notifications, such as texts, emails and phone calls, all on your wrist.” Now, users will be able to control their iHeartRadio app operations from their wrist, as well. The industry is calling this new device a “wearable” for obvious reasons. CC president of digital Brian Lakamp says, “iHeartRadio is dedicated to providing even more access to the music, news and entertainment that our listeners love. Wearables are an emerging access point for music fans, and Clear Channel continues to make iHeartRadio available everywhere our users are listening. The sleek design and interface of the Samsung Gear 2 lends itself well to the iHeartRadio user experience and we believe it will be popular among our listeners.”
National Religious Broadcasters Conference Underway. In Nashville, the National Religious Broadcasters Association conference is taking place and one of the companies with a presence is Salem Radio Networks. Pictured here is SRN VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (left) presenting and SRN clock to Israeli minister of tourism Dr. Uzi Landau (right). Tradup reports that Landau spoke about reporting truthfully on world events and warned of Iran’s atomic weapons program. The conference is billed as an event that networks thousands of Christian communicators, from program producers to authors, pastors to engineers, directors to vendors presenting outstanding internationally known speakers and musicians and giving attendees the opportunity to attend numerous educational sessions on radio, TV, film, church media, internet and leadership, and receive helpful industry training. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is keynoting a two-hour session today (2/24).
By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
SHAKER HEIGHTS — Those of us in digital media know that our world will continue to change drastically, over and over again. We also know that we will be bigger and better three years … five years … 10 years from now. Plus, we hear how radio compares itself to online listening choices, and we see how you use your digital platforms.
And here’s what we think.
We Have Transmitter Envy
By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
SHAKER HEIGHTS – When it comes to social media, you’re either building your brand, or spinning your wheels. Here are a few tools you can use to evaluate the job your station is doing on Facebook, even if you hardly ever go on social media yourself!
Who’s on, First?
You work to talk with your target, whether it’s on the air, on site at an event, or online. Who is your target? Are you getting those people to hang around with you on Facebook? Here’s how to tell. Click thusly: Your station page > View Insights > People. You’ll need to be an administrator for your page, or doing this with someone who is.
Here, you’ll see a graph that fits surprisingly well with your ratings info! Among your fans, it shows your balance of women to men, and then breaks that down into the age cells we know and love … 18-24, 25-34, 35-44, and so forth.
Leading Radio Newsman Questions Whether Monopoly-Like AP’s Advertising Plan Steps on Broadcasters’ Toes. Saying that he understands that news is an expensive product to produce, WTOP, Washington vice president of news and programming Jim Farley admits to taking umbrage at hearing about the Associated Press’ plans to begin selling ads on stories found on its mobile apps and hosted websites by reading about it in the trades. “They used to communicate with stations and treat us as partners. Now they seem to take broadcasters for granted. CNN is developing a website that could be a future competitor, but for now, AP is a monopoly just like Nielsen.” Farley’s comments come after learning about AP’s plans to market its content via a story in AdAge. The piece reports that a move to sponsored content evolves as just “2% of total revenue comes from advertising, including mobile banner ads and units across a handful of websites populated with AP content. Another 13% comes from services the AP offers media outlets. And 85% comes from licensing content to subscribers such as TV stations, newspapers and websites, where the AP is not hopeful about expanding income.” In the AdAge story, AP SVP of digital strategy and products Jim Kennedy states, “Licensing our content is a flat-to-declining business around the world. It will only grow about 1% a year, so it’s incumbent upon us to find new revenue sources.” Read the entire AdAge piece here.
Clear Channel Brings Tim Spengler Aboard As President of Content Marketing and Revenue Strategy. Clear Channel Media and Entertainment adds to the ranks of its executives working on marketing the company’s products across multiple platforms as former Magna Global CEO Tim Spengler joins the company in the newly created position of president of content marketing and revenue strategy. The company says in a statement, “In this new role, Spengler will use CCM+E’s array of multiplatform assets to develop new and innovative media and advertising opportunities in unison with CCM+E national programming platforms, national sales, marketing and partnership platform and local sales. He will build additional value for CCM+E marketing partners by creatively utilizing all of the company’s media and entertainment assets – delivering enhanced ROI’s with unique solutions. In addition, Spengler will focus on advertiser and industry trends to drive new ad products and deployment of CCM+E revenue resources.” Spengler comes to Clear Channel with almost two decades of experience in marketing at the corporate level having served as a senior executive for the Interpublic Group and most recently as chief executive officer of Magna Global.
Mets to Air on WOR, New York in 2014. Major League Baseball’s World Series begins this week and while neither the New York Mets nor the New York Yankees have been involved in post-season play, they are making off-the-field news. According to a report in Newsday, beginning in 2014, Clear Channel-owned talk outlet WOR, New York will become the Mets’ new flagship. For the past 26 years, games of the National League East team have been heard on CBS Radio‘s WFAN, but that will not be an option next year, as the Yankees will segue to WFAN from sibling news facility WCBS-AM. Market speculation is that at least one other NYC station – ESPN Radio‘s WEPN – was involved in obtaining radio rights to Mets games. Regarding talent in the Mets broadcast booth, Howie Rose seems to be secure, although it is uncertain if Josh Lewin will continue in his on-air role with the team next season.
‘Redskins’ Ads Won’t Air on CBS Radio’s WJFK, Washington. If you’re a football fan you’re aware the Oneida Nation has been running an advertising and PR campaign designed to garner public support for a name change for the NFL’s Washington Redskins – a name the native American nation calls a “racial slur.” But after apparently signing a deal to have spots air on both sports talk WJFK-FM and hip hop WPGC, CBS Radio is telling the tribe that ads won’t air. An email from CBS Washington SVP Steve Swenson to the Oneida Nation explained the change. “The issue has been heavily debated on WJFK where we can provide a good balance of discussion, opinions and context to the issue through our programming. Our audience has reacted positively to that presentation, and we will continue to approach the situation keeping in-line with our audiences’ expectations.” NBC Washington reports a representative of the Oneida Nation calls the cancellation “unfortunate and un-American.” Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has said publicly that the team’s name will never change.
Proven Ways to Evaluate Your Facebook Page Today. When it comes to social media, you’re either building your brand, or spinning your wheels. Noted digital radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller offers a few valuable tools you can use to evaluate the job your station is doing on Facebook, even if you hardly ever go on social media yourself! In a new column posted today (10/21), Miller offers guidance as to determining whether the people you are attracting to your Facebook page are the same people in your target radio audience. (Often times, they are not!) He also helps you evaluate what sort of posts are the most effective, in addition to determining the most advantageous times to post, plus more. To read Chris Miller’s entire piece, please click here.
KIDD, Monterey Hold Open Auditions for Sport Talk Show. Buckley Broadcasting sports talker KIDD, Monterey, California recently held public auditions for a daily afternoon sports talk show on the station. According to a report in the Monterey Herald, program manager Bernie Moody says, “What we’re looking for today is somebody who is really into sports — a person who not only is very knowledgeable about sports, but also a person with the ability to convey that on the air. A lot of us can sit and talk sports all day long, but you have to be able to do it on the air, in the studio, when nobody else is there, and talk to people as if they are there.” The paper says six men participated in the audition which took place at the Northridge Mall in Salinas. (Pictured here is candidate Eric Pangillnan at the mic with KIDD operations director Kevin Kahl looking on). The winning candidate gets to host the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm show. Interested parties may apply to Kevin Kahl at firstname.lastname@example.org. Photo: Monterey Herald.
‘Trapper John’ and the Critic. Actor Elliott Gould (left) is pictured here with Salem Radio Network talk show host Michael Medved (right) as the two appeared at a series of fundraisers over the weekend for the Olympia Film Society in Olympia, Washington. The proceeds from the event are destined for digital conversion of the society’s projectors. Gould is famous for –among many roles – his portrayal of “Trapper John” in the 1970 Robert Altman classic M*A*S*H. Medved, as many are aware, has spent a major portion of his career as a film reviewer in addition to his work as a news/talk radio personality.
Odds & Sods. Morris Communications’ KFQD, Anchorage wins six Alaska Broadcasters Association Awards including: Best Radio Show for afternoon talk personality Dave Stieren; Best News Program for morning drive “Newsday AM”; Best News Coverage for reporter Kathy Phillips’ live updates on a local 4-plex fire; Best Station Imaging for producer Toben Shelby; Best Sports Play-by-Play for Alaska Aces Hockey voice Josh Bogorod; and Most Uniquely Alaskan Program for “The Big Alaska Show” with Steve Stripling and Mike Ford…..Tom Elliott, the producer of the Peter Schiff show and former Laura Ingraham producer, has launched a company called Grabien.com that provides edited news clips to news outlets and producers…..Radio One announces that Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent Hughes succeeds the late E. Steven Collins as host of WRNB, Philadelphia’s “Philly Speaks” public affairs program. The show airs Sundays from 8:00 am to 9:00 am on WRNB, “Old School 100.3.”
Fisher House Provides Veterans Day Kits for Stations. The Fisher House is offering a powerful resource for stations to help recognize Veterans Day on Monday, November 11. The Fisher House Veterans Day programming tool kit includes Veterans Day-themed PSAs in 15-, 30- and 60-second lengths plus a 30-minute public affairs show and a list of guests who are available to discuss their military experience and how they were helped by Fisher House. Fisher House chairman Ken Fisher says, “Veterans Day is among the most sacred of American holidays. It takes on added meaning in a time when we are defended by an all-volunteer military that is engaged in hostilities overseas. More than two million Americans have served in combat zones since 2001. It’s only right that we take a day to acknowledge their service along with all of our military veterans.” Programmers can download materials at: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/aol15lkltu42boz/qGKkveBTQz
Jeff Katz and Gold Medalist Aly Raisman. Boston-based media personality Jeff Katz – who is a columnist for the Boston Herald and a commentator for Boston Herald Radio – poses for a photo with Olympic gold medal winner Aly Raisman. The two met at a recent special event hosted by Christians and Jews United for Israel. Katz tells TALKERS he advised Raisman that she should consider using elements of his floor exercise which he said “involve two pillows, a blanket, remote control, ‘The Walking Dead’ on Netflix and a bowl of something crunchy at the next Olympiad. She politely declined. Oh and apparently Olympic gold medals are NOT filled with chocolate.”
Georgia Radio Hall of Fame Inducts 11. The Georgia Radio Hall of Fame held its 7th Annual Induction Awards Ceremony on Saturday, October 19 during which the Class of 2013 was honored. This year’s group included (clockwise from top left): The Tiger Twins: Tom & Paul Collins (Krimsier), WQXI, Atlanta; Steve Goss, WABE, Atlanta; Charlie Hill, WVMG, Cochran; Kaedy Kiley, WRVR, Atlanta; Mark Summers, WSLT, Augusta; Mike Roberts, WQMJ, Macon; Bill Rice, WLET, Toccoa; Nelle Reagan, WRGA, Rome; and Kelly McCoy, WSB-FM, Atanta. The previously announced inductees into the Legacy category included: Palmira Braswell (WBML-Macon), George Crumbley (WSB-Atlanta), Jimmy Dunaway (WSB-Atlanta), Al Evans, Jr. (WVLD-Valdosta), John Holliman (WSB-Atlanta), Don Kordecki (WKRW-Cartersville), Royal Marshall (WCNN-Atlanta), Leonard Postero (WRFC-Athens), and Annie Lee Small (WYTH-Madison). Legendary WERD DJ James “Alley Pat” Patrick was honored as the recipient of the 2013 Founders and Directors Award. The Elmo Ellis Spirit Award recognized James Woodruff, Jr. of WRBL in Columbus.
A social media arrow in your quiver would help open doors to more potential interactive clients
By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
SHAKER HEIGHTS — Good radio salespeople I’ve worked with pride themselves on being smart, helpful marketers, not just spot-schleppers.
So here’s an opportunity for our interactive sellers. We offer some great digital marketing tools to our clients, such as hyper-targeted streaming spots, eye-catching interactive ads on our sites, insertions in database emails, and sponsorships of texting programs. But what about the hottest digital marketing tool today, social media?
This is where I need to play the sound effect of crickets chirping.
By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
SHAKER HEIGHTS — There’s more to being a good jock than listening to yourself talk. There’s more to being a good sales manager than just knowing a lot of clients. And, there’s more to having mad social networking skills than being passionate about posting a ton of stuff!
Alan Peterson asked me a good question. This is the Radio World Alan Peterson in Washington, DC, not the news-talk guy in California. He was getting ready to speak to a college radio conference, and asked me about social media skills. “So what is it that differentiates ‘mad’ skills from ‘casual’ skills, or just plain competency?” He suggested it might involve video shooting and editing, coding, HTML, or actual IT knowledge.
Those are all useful skills, but there’s more to it than that. If you want to be at the top of your social media game, here are the different levels you have to go through.
TRN Issues Response to Reports of Financial Problems at the Company. TALKERS magazine has received a press release from Talk Radio Network and CEO Mark Masters in response to reports of financial problems at the company. Below is the full press statement as received from TRN at 2:30 pm ET on 9/9:
ARE YOU DIAL GLOBAL’S (WESTWOOD ONE’S) NEXT VICTIM?
The truth about the proposed merger between Dial Global/Westwood One and Cumulus is a dark one for our industry. Dial Global/Westwood One’s market power in programming and sales representation, combined with Cumulus Network’s programming and distribution power in the top 100 U.S. markets, will have a devastating effect on most every area of the radio industry. Our previous experience with Dial Global/Westwood consists of improper, illegal, and/or unethical conduct that is set forth in the second amended complaint http://www.trn1.com/uploads/files/SecondAmendedComplaint.pdf in our pending antitrust action against Dial Global/Westwood One and others. If this merger is allowed to occur, the results of our previous experiences with Dial Global/Westwood One will be magnified tenfold to radio stations and content producers, which will be at the mercy of the newly empowered Dial (Westwood One)/Cumulus and the leverage that can be brought to bear by this new behemoth.
If this merger is allowed to occur, the culture of corruption at Dial/Westwood, as described in our second amended complaint, and other filings, will surely infect and spread within the new behemoth entity and victimize the rest of the industry, resulting in a super monopoly.
Sadly, the actions described in the second amended complaint are forcing the TRN companies to cut back to the basic operating essentials pending resolution of the multiple issues raised in their legal actions against Dial Global/Westwood One. We had hoped that the change in management at Dial Global/Westwood One would bring about a new paradigm focused on correcting the prior harms in a manner which would be helpful to our companies and the industry as a whole. Sadly, recent events have shown that the opposite is true and that the behaviors that gave rise to the lawsuits against Dial/Westwood One are endemic throughout the Dial/Westwood One monopoly. The ruthless and unethical behaviors that have continued through multiple executive teams at Dial/Westwood are breathtaking in their scope and arrogance.
We encourage the rest of our industry to stand together, and with us, now. We have been in business for 20 years, and have had excellent relationships with the other companies in our industry during that time. But this is a horse of a different color. Please contact the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition (email@example.com) and the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 307-2040), your state’s Attorney General, and your local member of Congress about the dangers of this proposed merger and its threat to your First Amendment rights, business and products. As for us, we will continue to pursue Dial Global/Westwood One in federal court and other appropriate forums, for monopoly and other improper behaviors, expose the behaviors described in the second amended complaint, and achieve ultimate victory from the tragedy that Dial Global/Westwood One have imposed upon our companies and others within the industry.
DIAL/WESTWOOD ONE SCORES INITIAL VICTORY WITH ARNN
The actions described in the second amended complaint with respect to America’s Radio News Network (“ARNN”), and additional actions which will be the subject of future filings, have now succeeded on an interim basis with respect to ARNN. Specifically, ARNN has been forced to suspend its broadcast operations, effective at the close of its broadcast day on Friday, September 6, 2013, pending the successful outcome of its actions against Dial Global/Westwood. ARNN has arranged for appropriate feeds to be provided to its affiliates for a reasonable period of time to enable them to secure alternate programming.
AS TO RUMORS OF OTHER ONGOING OPERATIONS
All of the TRN companies have been severely damaged by the Dial Global/Westwood One conduct addressed above and also addressed in the various legal actions which the TRN companies have brought, or will bring, against Dial Global/Westwood. That conduct has forced all of these companies to make wrenching internal decisions and to take painful internal actions. As Dial Global/Westwood One has been collecting our advertising revenues, but refusing to pay them over to us or to account for them, these companies have now been forced to reduce as many operating costs as possible. However, the current rumors of an alleged shutdown of broadcasting operations for non-ARNN programming are unfounded. Broadcasts of the other programs are continuing without interruption.
CALL TO ACTION!
If Dial/Westwood can do this to us, they certainly can do this to you – so you need to join together, and with us, in opposing this dangerous merger, with as much force as you can muster, so that you can have a future that is not controlled by a monopoly http://www.trn1.com/uploads/files/SecondAmendedComplaint.pdf
Don Wade Passes at 72. Longtime WLS, Chicago morning personality Don Wade – who hosted the program with his beloved wife Roma – died on Friday at the couple’s Florida home. It was almost a year ago that Wade suffered a seizure and was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. He underwent an operation but never returned to the air at WLS. Roma Wade posted the following statement on the WLS website (in part): “Last Friday morning, my hero, my best friend, my soulmate left this mortal coil behind and entered the realm of spirit while wrapped in my loving arms. God blessed us with almost an entire year since Don’s surgery to embrace life, love, family, and adventure, all while knowing that his time on this beautiful earth was drawing to a close. What a gift! What a joy to be entrusted with my magnificent man’s care for that precious time.” Wade began his work at WLS in 1985 with Roma by his side, remaining with the station as it transitioned to talk in 1989 and moving to AM drive. Current Salem Radio Network VP, news & talk programming Tom Tradup was VP and GM of the station and charged with flipping it to talk including firing some of the most beloved DJs in Chicago history. He says Wade stayed with the newly formatted station, “Don’s infectious good humor, intelligent grasp of the issues, and his uncanny ability to connect one-on-one with men and women throughout Chicagoland convinced me he had to stay. He and Roma (in those days they kept their marriage a secret) were the very first ‘hires’ I made at the new WLS Talkradio 890. Over the years, Don’s popularity—and our ratings and revenue—soared as he and Roma woke up countless hundreds of thousands of Chicagoans.” Chicago media writer Robert Feder has more on Wade’s passing here.
Mad Social Networking Skills. Noted digital radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller tackles the question, “So what is it that differentiates ‘mad’ social networking skills from ‘casual’ skills, or just plain competency?” Does it involve video shooting and editing, coding, HTML, or actual IT knowledge? In a new column posted today (9/9) Miller writes, “There’s more to being a good jock than listening to yourself talk. There’s more to being a good sales manager than just knowing a lot of clients. And, there’s more to having ‘mad’ social networking skills than being passionate about posting a ton of stuff!” He goes through five levels to which truly effective social networking skills must rise to be truly effective. They are: 1) Know your target; 2) Know how to talk and listen to your target; 3) Learn how to write well and with style; 4) Understand what fits and doesn’t fit in terms of actual content; and 5) Actively remain engaged to know if your message is reaching the target. To read Chris Miller’s entire column, please click here.
Clear Channel Launched Update App for iHeartRadio Talk. The beta version of iHeartRadio Talk was released in July was done with what president of digital Brian Lakamp admits is “very limited mobile functionality.” But now the company is offering new updates for iOS and Android apps to allow users to access more talk content. Clear Channel Media and Entertainment states, “The updated apps will feature a directory for talk that now allows users the ability to browse and select from hundreds of programs. For the first time ever, segments from ‘The View’ and ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ will be available to coincide with ABC‘s new season.” CC believes that iHeartRadio Talk is “the first audio platform offering on-demand, listener-created talk content alongside popular news, celebrity and entertainment audiosodes…The service is trending to be a more popular feature for men than women, though iHeartRadio’s demographic has traditionally skewed more female, allowing the digital service to attract a burgeoning audience.”
Boomer Esiason Debuts on Boston’s ‘Sports Hub.’ The ever-busy Boomer Esiason – co-host of the ‘Boomer & Carton’ morning drive show on CBS Radio’s WFAN, New York, sports TV personality and color man for WestwoodOne’s Monday Night Football broadcasts – is debuting on CBS O&O WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” today. For the past couple of years, Esiason made a Monday morning appearance on crosstown WEEI, Boston with John Dennis and Gerry Callahan. The segment was recorded before Esiason went on the air on WFAN. Now, Esiason continues reaching Boston sports fans with his expertise with WBZ-FM’s Toucher & Rich.
Sean Salisbury Teams with John Harris for Midday Show on Yahoo! Sports Radio. Former NFL quarterback and sports talk media pro Sean Salisbury becomes part of the Yahoo! Sports Radio network lineup as co-host of “The War Room” with John Harris airing from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET daily. Yahoo! Sports Radio CEO David Gow states, “Sean is a big-time addition to our lineup. He does his homework, he is insightful and he is not afraid to voice his opinions. And the combination of Harris and Salisbury provides some of the strongest football coverage in sports – we are delighted to announce his addition at the start of the NFL season.” Salisbury adds, “I am excited to join Yahoo! Sports Radio and to work with John Harris. I really look forward to working with the entire team there and creating great shows. During his media career, Salisbury has worked for ESPN and CBS Radio. He is currently on the Dallas Cowboys pre-game show for Fox Sports TV in Dallas.
Executive Changes and Promotions at SiriusXM. An internal memo from SiriusXM president and content officer Scott Greenstein informs staff of some new management changes and congratulates those who’ve been promoted. First, Jeremy Coleman, head of talk and entertainment for much of the past 10 years is named senior vice president, Howard Stern channels. Greenstein notes that Coleman “worked closely on the initial development of the channels before Howard’s official launch on SiriusXM in 2006, and is now excited to move over to work with Howard and his team on further growth.” Also, Tim Sabean is named senior vice president, entertainment and comedy. He’ll oversee the comedy channels, as well as a variety of other key entertainment assets including: Opie & Anthony, Piolín Radio, Jason Ellis, Ron & Fez, Covino & Rich, and Dino Costa, as well as the Radio Sex channel. Dave Gorab is promoted to vice president and general manager, talk programming. Greenstein says Gorab has been instrumental in building the news and political talk channels and will expand his oversight to include politics, news, women’s, family, health, educational, religious and specialty talk programming.
Cumulus Sports Talk “105 FM The Ticket” in Minneapolis Adds Local Talk with Help from Tom Barnard. The Twin Cities sports talk tri-mulcast of WGVX (105.1), WGVZ (105.7), and 105.3 FM – up ‘til now relying on content from CBS Sports Radio Network – is adding a local PM drive program beginning today featuring Mike Morris (left) and Bob Sansevere (right) from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Tom Barnard – morning institution who’s heard on the company’s rock KQRS – will also be heard on the station as the third hour of Barnard’s podcast will be aired from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm on the sports station. The Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Neal Justin reports Barnard is bringing former WCCO personality Don Shelby aboard his three-hour podcast as his sidekick and he’ll also be part of the third hour sports talk segment. KQRS operations manager Scott Jameson tells the paper, “We’ve got two well-performing rock stations and it’s smart to leverage those brands to help our baby brother grow up.”
Veteran Journalist Mike Murillo Joins WTOP, Washington. Mike Murillo becomes part of the WTOP, Washington staff as an anchor and reporter beginning today (9/9). Most recently, Murillo worked at Merlin Media’s WWIQ, Philadelphia as anchor/reporter, studio technician and web and social media manager. Prior to his stint in Philly, Murillo was a reporter at “FM News 101.9” in New York. Murillo says, “Like many in this business, for years I have admired WTOP from afar. I am truly excited to now become a member of this amazing news team.” WTOP program director Laurie Cantillo adds, “Mike does it all. Not only is he a seasoned anchor and street reporter, he’s a skilled web designer and broadcast technician. We’re excited to have him join WTOP’s team of broadcast and digital journalists.”
Odds & Sods. CBS Radio freelance reporter Donna Francavilla tells TALKERS magazine she is returning to TV for the first time in 15 years. Though she will continue her freelance for CBS Radio, Francavilla has accepted a temporary, part-time on-air position at WBMA-TV, Birmingham, Alabama. She recently won first, second and third place national communication awards from the National Federation of Press Women, serves as an Edward R. Murrow judge, freelances occasionally for Oprah’s OWN Network, and established a consulting company called Frankly Speaking Communications, LLC…..Cox Media Group’s news/talk WHIO-AM/FM, Dayton is the local affiliate for Cleveland Browns football.
Boston Herald Radio Launches August 5 at 6:00 am ET. The concept of the full-blown, digital-age “media station” predicted and described for the past decade by Michael Harrison and other radio industry visionaries will be taking a giant leap toward coming to fruition at 6:00 am ET on August 5. The Boston Herald newspaper is unveiling its ambitious new initiative “Boston Herald Radio” – a Boston-centric news/talk/sports radio station that will begin its life as a venue for four live three-hour shows running weekdays from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. These programs include:
– 9:00 am to 12:00 noon – “Morning Meeting with Jaclyn Cashman and Hillary Chabot” (Cashman is a former Springfield, MA TV anchor/reporter and multimedia consultant and Chabot is the chief political reporter with the Boston Herald.)
– 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm – “Sports Town with Jon Meterparel and Jen Royle” (Meterparel is a former WEEI personality and current Boston College play-by-play announcer and Royle is an Emmy-award winning Major League Baseball reporter, TV/radio host.)
This will be the first news/sports/talk radio platform in the Boston market backed up by a full multimedia newsroom under the brand of a major newspaper and one of a handful of such operations beginning to pop up around the country. News reports will be provided throughout the broadcast day by Boston Herald editors and reporters. Feature elements will include Boston Herald music, TV, movie reviews, political and business reports, style and food segments as well as live reports from staff reporters who travel with all four major teams and provide extensive high school sports coverage. The stream will be managed by Backbone Networks (the same company working on the forthcoming mid-August launch of TalkersRadio) and carried by Tune In as well its home base on the Boston Herald website and its mobile news and sports apps. The shows will be streamed from a studio adjacent to the Boston Herald newsroom. The studio team includes executive producer Tom Shattuck (formerly of WRKO and WTKK) and two part-time producers (Shattuck pictured at right, is here with Backbone Networks VP of engineering development George Capalbo, at left). Boston Herald editor-in-chief Joe Sciacca tells TALKERS, “Consumers want news and information that is mobile, and they want to be active participants connecting and collaborating on the issues of the day, not passive receptors being lectured to. That is our mission in print, online, in video presentations and now Boston Herald Radio.” Sciacca adds, “I see myself not as a newspaper editor but as the leader of a news organization that creates high-quality, original content for use across platforms — whether it is print, web or broadcast.” According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, who was writing and speaking about the potential of newspaper websites providing radio broadcasters with powerful platforms to operate on the internet as long as 10 years ago, “This amazing development in Boston marks the tipping point in the evolution of the digital-age news and entertainment platform. The brilliant and obvious idea of newspapers and radio stations rubbing their two sticks together (literally and figuratively) will send sparks flying that will potentially proliferate into a 21st century ‘media station’ wildfire. By ‘media station’ I mean an online platform that has the cultural stationality of a radio station, a television station, a newspaper and a magazine combined – all in one location – fueled and synergized by the combined resources of each.” Harrison maintains that the internet alone is not a practical platform. He says, “By itself, the internet has no form, no definition and no prestige, similarly neither do the so called ‘airwaves’ of 20th century audio and video media. The key is to build prestigious, well-defined platforms that will sail across the internet — the way ships, yachts and ocean liners sail the seas and the way glorious theaters give Broadway its pizzazz or great stadiums separate the big leagues from sandlot baseball. If an actor, dancer or musician is performing ‘on Broadway,’ that could mean they are doing their act on the stage of the Winter Garden or on the sidewalk in front of the Winter Garden. It is the same thing with the internet. Prestigious, well-resourced platforms give you a place to put the key to monetization: a box office!” Walter Sabo, CEO of the New York City-based consultancy firm Sabo Media (whose clients have included SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Parade magazine and numerous leading radio firms and talent), says, “When Jeff Katz or Michael Graham are on the air doing their shows in a studio right next to the Boston Herald newsroom, they will be one door away from an-in house news gathering and processing operation that employs hundreds of journalists. This is a brilliant move!” Sabo adds that his firm has been developing a new division for the past several months that will specialize in advising newspapers in executing this kind of move, stating, “I have been hearing from a number of publications – dailies and weeklies – that are very interested in pursuing these exciting new opportunities, but they realize that they not only need people with on-air broadcast experience, but people who have broadcasting management insight as well. The Boston Herald was smart to hire Tom Shattuck.” Summing up the synergy aspect of his new media station, Boston Herald editor-in-chief Sciacca tells TALKERS, “Our multimedia reporters are producing award-winning video reports every day, producing broadcast-quality segments with compelling interviews and streaming content. Is this a TV newsroom? An online newsroom? A radio station? A newspaper? It’s today’s Boston Herald.” He continues, “The power of Boston Herald Radio when it comes to breaking news will be incredible. Listeners can be confident they will be not only engaged and entertained by our talk shows, but will be insiders on breaking news in real time.” Boston Herald publisher and president Patrick J. Purcell (pictured at left with Joe Sciacca, right, in the Boston Herald newsroom) says, “Internet radio is exploding and it makes sense that the Herald rounds out our multimedia platform with talk radio programming. It’s perfect synergy. Boston Herald Radio will be fast-paced, uncensored, entertaining, completely interactive and, most important, very respectful to our listeners. We have a terrific team of seasoned hosts who are smart, respected and extremely versatile. They live in our communities and fully understand and appreciate the complexities of issues folks care about.”
Memo to Newspapers on the Verge of Launching Radio Stations on Their Websites: Do it Correctly! Noted radio consultant Walter Sabo is no stranger to working in the intersection between print media and talk radio. In a new advice column posted today (7/29), he offers several key points from a list of essential ingredients that are required for talk-oriented media stations based on publication websites to achieve success and longevity. He advises newspaper executives to hire experienced radio executives to lead the station as well as seasoned, accomplished talk hosts to execute it. He suggests protecting and growing the brand by taking advantage of the traffic already on the website and creating programming that delivers topics in which newspaper readers are already interested. Most of all, understand that talk show hosts are like newspaper columnists – more so than reporters. Listeners realize this and do not expect the spoken word of opinion to mimic the printed word of editorial fact and objectivity. To read Walter Sabo’s entire piece, please click here.
Another Report of a Cumulus Split from Limbaugh and Hannity. We’ve heard these rumors before about Cumulus Media dropping Premiere Networks’ Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and the latest comes from Politico. The mag reports that inside sources say Cumulus is not satisfied with the results of negotiations to reduce the cost of airing the Limbaugh and Hannity programs on their 40-some news/talk stations that carry them. Both contracts reportedly are up at the end of this year. As most industry insiders are aware, there are cash considerations as well as inventory that airs outside the actual programs associated with carrying Limbaugh and Hannity and that, presumably, is what the bone of contention is. Politico does report that a Cumulus spokesperson said the company does not comment on negotiations with talent under contract. Cumulus holds its Q2 conference call tomorrow morning but don’t hold your breath waiting for Lew Dickey to comment on the Limbaugh/Hannity issue. The tone of the Politico piece makes it sound as though this is about the politics of Limbaugh and Hannity and whether the “Sandra Fluke case” is still haunting the sales efforts. If that were the case, negotiations over the cost of the programs would be irrelevant. Ultimately, the Dickeys’ decision will likely be based upon whether they make enough money off of Limbaugh and Hannity to justify the cost while considering what the company could do with personalities such as Michael Savage, Mark Levin and Mike Huckabee to cover the time slots now held by Limbaugh and Hannity.
The Social Media Trick You Don’t Know You Know. Although the term “call to action” has a slightly different application in broadcasting than it does in social media, it is increasingly growing in importance as a concept to managing content in the digital arena. In a new column posted today (7/29), noted digital radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller says that radio broadcasters can apply “call to action” concepts with which they are very familiar from their broadcasting experience to social media with merely a few tweaks and turns of a phrase. To read Miller’s entire column, please click here.
Entercom Splits KJCE-AM/FM, Austin Simulcast; New Lineup for KJCE-AM. The FM side of Entercom’s KJCE, Austin becomes an urban AC outlet as the new “96 R&B” featuring Premiere Networks’ Steve Harvey in morning drive. KJCE-AM remains news/talk as “News Radio 1370” with some additions to the lineup, returning Talk Radio Network’s “America’s Morning News.” Entercom Austin vice president and market manager Alan Kirshbom states, “By bringing back ‘America’s Morning News’ from 5:00 am to 8:00 am and moving Courtside Entertainment’s Laura Ingraham to live programming from 8:00 am to 11:00 am, KJCE once again proves it is Austin’s and Texas’ Talk Station.” The station is also bringing back Dial Global’s Dennis Miller to air from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm followed by Dave Ramsey and Premiere Networks’ Sean Hannity.
Radio One’s All-News KROI, Houston Partner with KHOU-TV for Weather. Radio One all-news “News 92 FM” announces a partnership with CBS TV O&O “KHOU 11” for the latter to provide weather for KROI. Radio One regional vice president Doug Abernethy states, “Why compete with the best when you can team up with the best? KHOU 11 has built a stellar reputation as a local weather leader in Houston and we are thrilled to welcome KHOU 11 and their outstanding meteorologists to join our 24-hour ‘News 92 FM’ team to provide our audience the best, most accurate, up-to-the-minute weather coverage.”
Syndicated Bill Michaels Sports Talk Program Adds Madison. Based at Entercom sports talk WSSP, Milwaukee, the statewide syndicated Bill Michaels program announces it will add Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s WOZN-AM, Madison “The Zone” beginning August 8. The midday sports talk show airs live from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and is in its second year of syndication. “We’re delighted to welcome another Mid-West Family Broadcasting station to the Bill Michaels Sports Network,” says Michael Keck, vice president and market manager for Entercom Wisconsin. “Bill’s enthusiasm and talent is contagious and that’s a big reason we continue to grow.” Michaels comments, “This is a dream come true. I feel like I’m now able to reach all Wisconsin sports fans. I’m anxious to connect with the strong sports fan base that is represented in Mad-town.”
‘The Black Sphere’ Radio Show Gaining Traction. The Kevin Jackson-hosted “Black Sphere Radio Show” announces it adds WEZO, Augusta, Georgia to its list of affiliate stations. Earlier this year the program added Salem Communications’ WGUL and WLSS in the Tampa-St. Petersburg and Sarasota markets. Program senior producer Mickey White says, “Kevin is gaining in popularity and we will be adding markets and new sponsors in the very near future. Kevin’s blend of entertainment with politics is getting lots of attention. We are in talks with stations across the country, including some large market stations in Nevada, Colorado and California and we expect to make a lot of big announcements in the near future.”
Man Arrested After Threatening WGAC, Augusta’s Austin Rhodes. A 25-year old Augusta, Georgia man was taken into custody last week and held on $2,600 bond after allegedly threatening WGAC, Augusta talk show host Austin Rhodes with bodily harm. After Darnell Tyray Chambers made what Rhodes considered a threatening statement about him on Facebook, he reported the threat as per Beasley Broadcast Group company policy. According to the Columbia County News-Times, police arrested Chambers on charges of making terroristic threats and acts.
KFI, Los Angeles Celebrates 20 Years of Bill Handel. Clear Channel news/talk giant KFI, Los Angeles is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Bill Handel as the morning drive talk personality on the station. Handel began hosting the program in July of 1993 but the station says it will officially celebrate the anniversary with an extravaganza for listeners in November but on Friday, July 26, Rich Marotta, Michelle Kube, Mike Nolan, Neil Saavedra and Gary Hoffmann reminisced about their favorite Handel moments during the 5:00 am hour of the program. To say that Handel is important to the station’s success would be an understatement. Handel is consistently one of the highest-rated daily talk radio programs in the country in terms of cume.
Talk Radio Stations Answer Call for Live Radio After Zimmerman Verdict. The number of talk radio stations that rose to the occasion after the George Zimmerman verdict late Saturday night and the following day was, according to TALKERS sources around the country, surprisingly large considering the time (especially in the East) that the verdict was announced. Certainly there were many stations caught unaware at that late hour but even many of those that were not able to bring local talent in for a live program were prepared enough to air network coverage of the news. Several TALKERS sources report hearing local talent take to the air in the Pacific Time Zone and put callers on the air to discuss the case.
SiriusXM’s Joe Madison Races to Cover Zimmerman Verdict; Broadcast Response to Case. High-profile talk media personality Joe Madison lived up to his moniker “The Black Eagle” late Saturday night after the Sanford, Florida jury reached its verdict and found George Zimmerman not guilty of the charges against him in the death of Trayvon Martin. Minutes after the verdict was announced, Madison went to the SiriusXM Washington, DC broadcast facility to do a live broadcast that aired from 11:00 pm Saturday evening to 1:00 am Sunday morning on the satcaster’s “Urban View Channel.” Madison opened up the lines to callers to, as he said, “give people a platform to react and share their feelings.” SiriusXM reports, “It was a powerful show. Major figures joined the show by telephone – among them Rev. Jesse Jackson; Ben Jealous, president/CEO, NAACP; Marc Morial, president National Urban League; attorney Daryl Parks, co-attorney for the family of Trayvon Martin; and Roslyn Brock, chairwoman of the NAACP. ‘Urban View’ then went into a special schedule all day Sunday, serving as a sounding board for listener response. The channel aired live shows taking calls from around the country throughout the day.”
Media Coverage of Zimmerman Verdict Analyzed and Criticized. In the immediate aftermath of the George Zimmerman verdict, the news/talk radio industry is analyzing media coverage of the case – especially from cable news/talk outlets and what some talk radio practitioners tend to call the “left-leaning mainstream media.” In a somewhat high-profile incident, former temporary Associated Press staffer Cristina Silva, who had left the news organization before the incident, according to the AP, Tweeted: “So we can all kill teenagers now? Just checking.” Salem Radio Networks VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup tells TALKERS magazine that after learning about this he, as a member of the TV Digital News Directors Association, as well as an AP subscriber, contacted AP executive editor Kathleen Carroll. She informed Tradup that Silva was “a temp who no longer works for us.” Breitbart.com reports Silva worked for the AP for the past three years with her last byline being July 9 of this year. Tradup has more to say about the coverage he witnessed and the radio broadcasts he heard to those he saw on cable TV. He writes, “Radio (gasp) simply covered the verdict. ABC, SRN, CBS, local stations…all pretty much the same model: No scary theme music, no weird camera angles, and no need to manufacture emotions or distort what happened. Just the facts…Not on cable. Kate Bolduan and Chis Cuomo on, of course, a special edition of CNN’s “New Day” program, reporting on the verdict with agonized scowls on their faces…presenting video of ‘major cities’ all over America where protesters marched after the verdict had been announced. An objective viewing of the ‘protests’ revealed turnout to be literally dozens of people. Cuomo physically wrung his hands as he opined that people nationwide are ‘disturbed’ by the verdict. Kate Bolduan sat stoically next to him, nodding and grimacing over the jury’s verdict on this travesty of a ‘news’ program. On MSNBC, Melissa Harris-Perry suggested that ‘all over America, African-American parents are hugging their children tighter’…implying that they are trembling in their homes as a result of the Sanford, Florida jury action. What unsubstantiated baloney. How insulting to African-Americans. How insulting to our entire legal system. The state of broadcast journalism in America has always been pretty low, an occasional Edward R. Murrow notwithstanding. But the deifying of Trayvon Martin by CNN and other cable myna birds simply to generate ratings makes me happy to instead operate in radio news…where actual facts still matter. Our TV counterparts have served up disgraceful bias and doctored opinions disguised as ‘news coverage.’”
Sports Talkers Outshine News/Talkers in 2013 NAB Marconi Award Personality Honors Finalists. The National Association of Broadcasters announces the finalists for the 2013 NAB Marconi Awards honoring personalities and radio stations for excellence. The winners will be announced at the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando on September 18. This year, in the major market and syndicated categories, news/talk personalities are noticeably absent while sports talk talent is prominent. Fox Sports Radio/Premiere Networks’ Petros & Money are finalists in the syndicated category and in the major market category, WFAN, New York’s Boomer & Carton and KTCK, Dallas’ “The Musers” (George Dunham and Craig Miller) are finalists. Clear Channel news/talk KFI, Los Angeles is up for Legendary Station, as is Entercom’s sports talk WEEI, Boston and CBS Radio all-newsers KYW, Philadelphia and WBBM, Chicago. News/talk and sports are dominant in the Large Market Station of the Year category with CBS Radio’s WCCO, Minneapolis; Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM, Providence; Entercom’s WWL-AM, New Orleans; and CBS Radio’s WXYT-FM, Detroit all in contention. View all of the finalists here.
Jorge Sedano to Exit WQAM, Miami to Join ESPN. The Florida SunSentinel reports that WQAM, Miami program director and afternoon drive personality Jorge Sedano will leave the station he’s been with for 11 months to take a multi-platform position with sports giant ESPN. The specifics of his new position with ESPN are unclear but he is expected to start there in the fall. Sedano is a fixture in sports media in South Florida and has also worked at Lincoln Financial Media’s WAXY. He took over the program director position at WQAM after four months away from radio in the market during which he pursued TV opportunities. He replaced Lee Feldman who exited the WQAM PD post for opportunities outside the radio business. Sedano also hosted the pre- and post-game shows for Miami Heat games on the Sun Sports telecasts. Obviously, this opens up a great sports talk radio opportunity in South Florida.
Merlin Media’s WWIQ, Philadelphia Replaces Lionel with Don Imus in AM Drive. New York-based media personality Lionel – seen by New Yorkers both in the early morning and during evening news casts on WPIX-TV – was piped in alongside former morning host Al Gardner when Merlin turned the station into a talk-formatted outlet after purchasing it from Family Stations, Inc. Gardner exited the station in March of this year and Lionel remained in AM drive. In addition to his work with WPIX-TV, Lionel also operates the successful internet venture lionelmedia.com.
Feeding the Endlessly Hungry Mouth: Coming Up with Content for Your Social Media Outreach. Content gathering is a massive headache for a lot of social media experts. It can take over two hours a day to do it effectively. Considering the fact that in radio there are a lot fewer full-time social media folks and a lot more people have added some social media duties to their already long job descriptions, it is even tougher to be consistently interesting, funny or helpful. In a new column posted today by noted digital radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller, he suggests several types of content. These include 1) using a lot of photos (they are more convenient and often more effective than videos); 2) posting in-depth articles (all you need is to click to them); 3) posing questions about hot-button stories (talk radio is more adept at this than music radio); and 4) employing the services of Google Alert to help gather material. To read Chris Miller’s entire piece, please click here.
Bob Kernen to Serve as VP/COO for jacAPPS. Jabobs Media’s jacAPPS division – developer of mobile applications – announces internet veteran Bob Kernen will join the company as vice president and chief operating officer. The company reports that “this move marks a major step in the growth of the company, ranked by Crain’s Detroit Business as the number #2 mobile application developer in Southeast Michigan, and the industry leader in the Business-to-Business category.” President Paul Jacobs says, “Since its inception in 2008, jacAPPS has been on a consistent, upward trajectory. As our company nears its fifth anniversary, we needed a visionary with the right blend of media and web experience – and Bob’s the guy.” Kernen has served as VP/product development and data for Sharecare, creating a digital database, mobile applications, and a comprehensive back-end data system. Prior to that, he was the co-founder of GrokMusic, oversaw digital product development for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, developed emerging media platforms for A&E Television Networks, and helped develop the digital strategies for Hearst’s Women.com and Microsoft’s Web TV Networks.
Jeff Katz Subs in Morning Drive at WRNO, New Orleans. Former “TALK 1200” Boston (WXKS-AM) morning man Jeff Katz sets his alarm clock pretty early tomorrow morning — if only for a day – as he’ll fill in on Clear Channel’s news/talk WRNO-FM, New Orleans. Katz provides a thrice-daily commentary heard on WCAP, Lowell-Boston and has recently been heard filling in for Compass Media Networks nationally syndicated host Todd Schnitt and New England Talk Network regional host Michael Graham.
Dial Global’s Conrad Trautmann Given ‘Engineer of the Year’ Honor. Dial Global announces chief technology officer Conrad Trautmann has been named “Chapter Engineer of the Year” by the Society of Broadcast Engineers’ Chapter 15 (SBE 15), which serves the New York City metro area. Trautmann is the first recipient of this new award, which recognizes the efforts of a specific individual who best furthers the goals and objectives of their SBE Chapter and provides an outstanding example of local/regional leadership and ethics. SBE 15 chapter chairman Jeff Smith states, “We are thrilled to honor Conrad with our first ‘Chapter Engineer of the Year’ award. Within Conrad’s 30-plus years of service to SBE 15, he was instrumental in reestablishing the chapter in the 1980s after declining membership and financial troubles caused the Chapter to cease operations. Conrad is recognized for implementing a model that has made SBE 15 the largest and most financially stable SBE local chapter in the country.” Trautmann oversees the company’s broadcast engineering, program distribution, back-office IT, and software development. He is a nationally recognized and respected leader in the broadcast engineering field, with prior senior engineering positions at Dial Global, Westwood One, Metro Networks, Cox Radio, and Chancellor Media.
He Was Born in a Crossfire Hurricane. All-news KROI, Houston’s Mike Barajas show off his conducting and Mick Jagger moves as he leads the Houston Symphony Orchestra in a rendition of the Rolling Stones’ classic “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.” The “News 92 FM” afternoon anchor received a little help from Symphony conductor Brent Havens as he assisted the performance of the works of the Rolling Stones at Jesse H. Jones Hall. Photo by Robert Land Productions.
By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
SHAKER HEIGHTS — “What’s the return on investment?” That’s one of the questions that’s regularly asked by businesses of all types, while trying to make sense of their place in social media. The more honest statement I hear is, “I know I need to be doing more with social media, but I don’t know what I should do.”
I see social media and content marketing make the needle move for businesses, but there’s one thing you have to do before you’ll see results with it: do it correctly.
The first step in doing it correctly is to come up with a plan. So, here are four steps to your new, effective social media strategy, especially designed for radio stations.
SHAKER HEIGHTS – There are some questions I hear pretty regularly. They’re good questions. Here are some of them, answered.
Q. How many social media followers should I have?
A. I don’t know, and I don’t care.
What matters is who they are and what you do with them! Social media is your frequent flyer program. This is where you take your big fans and turn them into customers for life who give you the lion’s share of their media consumption. So, you want to attract your heavy listeners, bring them backstage with you. More big fans is better than fewer. A lot of casual cumers is a waste of your time. Read More
The State of Radio Advertising and Sales. See it now on TalkersTV! It was one of the most important panels at the recent Talkers New York 2013 convention (6/6) receiving coverage in numerous newspapers and blogs across the country and sparking a major industry buzz. Moderated by RAB CEO /president Erica Farber (pictured at left), the panel of heavy hitters includes Jana Cosgrove, president, CBS Radio Sales/Entercom Radio Sales; Jerry Crowley, VP/GM, Salem‘s WNYM, New York; Dan Metter, SVP, sales, Premiere Networks; John Murphy, EVP, sales, Dial Global; and Jeff Smulyan, CEO, Emmis Broadcasting. The discussion tackles a variety of key issues affecting the industry including comments about the resilience of advertising on the Rush Limbaugh show in the aftermath of the campaign to influence a sponsor boycott of the program (and news/talk radio in general) resulting from the Sandra Fluke incident. See the entire panel discussion by clicking the TalkersTV box on the top of the column on the right side of this page.
Nathan Daschle Joins Clear Channel as EVP of Political Strategy. Political strategist, attorney and Ruck.us founder Nathan Daschle is recruited by Clear Channel to take the newly created position executive vice president for political strategy. The company states that Daschle “will develop and oversee a Washington, D.C.-based team that will focus on working with political and issue advertisers and advertising agencies to develop custom strategies and campaigns that leverage the unique reach and power of Clear Channel Media and Entertainment. He will lead efforts to fully utilize Clear Channel’s unmatched national reach and local activation through its radio, digital, mobile and outdoor assets, as well as its event capabilities, to provide political and issue advertisers targeted, effective, affordable and powerful ways to deliver their messages.” Daschle reports directly to CEO John Hogan who says, “Having Nathan Daschle on board sends a clear message that we intend to seriously invest in this arena and to continue to provide more and better options for political and issue advertisers through our multiplatform offerings. His extensive political background makes him the perfect person to grow the Clear Channel political strategy team as well as lead our ‘class of one’ offerings to political and issue advertisers.” About joining Clear Channel, Daschle comments, “Political and issue advertising, marketing and events is a $7-billion business, and I’m looking forward to making Clear Channel front-and-center with politically focused advertisers and agencies. The future of effective campaign advertising lies in the smart integration of traditional and digital media, and no company does this better than Clear Channel Media and Entertainment. Clear Channel is reinventing the way organizations – and campaigns – communicate with their audiences, and I look forward to building a strong, bipartisan team at Clear Channel that will effectively market its extraordinary assets.”
Clear Channel Flips Sports Talk KJR’s FM Signal to Hot AC. Clear Channel sports talk outlet KJR-AM, Seattle enjoyed an FM simulcast for the past year and half on sister signal KNBQ at 102.9 but the simulcast ended on Friday as the company made KNBQ a hot AC branded “The New 102.9 NOW.” Sports talk remains on KJR-AM.
Beasley Broadcasting Goes FM Sports in Fort Myers. Beginning Thursday, June 20, Beasley Broadcasting’s rock WJBX, Fort Myers “99X” flips to a simulcast of the company’s AM sports talk station WWCN as “99.3 ESPN.” The company is directing rock fans to its other rock outlet WRXK “96 K-Rock.”
Kansas City Website Raises Issues Regarding Radio Ratings and the Law. By now you’ve probably heard about the reportedly independent website www.listenlonger.com operating in Kansas City that had been seeking out PPM holders in an effort to save its “favorite Kansas City radio station through education about the ratings system.” The site reports it has been in contact with Arbitron – in fact the ratings company sent a cease and desist letter to the operators and they’ve tweaked their strategy but are not shutting down the site. Now the site operators say they will no longer ask to be contacted by PPM holders but will continue to keep the site going and it appears the operation is not violating any laws. For its part, Arbitron has sent a letter to Kansas City subscribers to assure them the May 2013 PPM data has not been tainted that reads, in part: “During the May report period, a third-party website encouraged Kansas City radio listeners to support an unnamed local station, posted general information about ratings methodology and ratings data, and solicited information on PPM panelists. We want to assure subscribers that the website is not affiliated or endorsed by Arbitron and that Arbitron has taken substantial steps to ensure the integrity of the Kansas City PPM panel and all Arbitron audience estimates for the market…Arbitron monitors social media sites daily, interacts with panelists on a regular basis, and has confidential processes in place to help identify panelists who may have disclosed their participation. We have also taken special measures in light of the Kansas City website to protect the integrity of in-tab panelists included in the recently-released May 2013 Kansas City data.” After being contacted by Arbitron, the following (an excerpt) was posted on the site: “Arbitron has demanded we provide the name of anyone who contacted us regarding this issue, and the names of anyone to whom we passed that information along. ListenLonger.com would like to use this update as written notice to Arbitron that no one has ever contacted us saying they had a PPM except a reporter who posed as a PPM holder in an attempt to surreptitiously gather information…In short, please whatever you do, don’t tell us if you have a PPM. Really. We don’t want to know.” The site operators are fans of an Entercom station in the market as they encourage people to sign up for the “Get My Perks” program Entercom employs and although the site operators say Wilks Broadcasting had questioned the integrity of the May 2013 PPM data as a result, Arbitron ensures subscribers the data was not affected.
“How Many Social Media Followers Should I Have?” That question is one of the more commonly asked of digital radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller. In a column posted today (6/17) Miller answers that question, as well as some of the most frequently asked, including: “We’re on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest. What other hot new sites should we be on?” “How often should we post? I’m not sure we’re posting enough.” “I have many times more listeners than followers. Why should I waste time with social media?” “I can sell ads on my own air and on my website. There’s no way to monetize Facebook and Twitter. I don’t want to get too involved in it for that reason.” Check out Chris Miller’s answers to these questions and concerns by clicking here.
SABO SEZ: It Would be Good for Radio if Arbitron Ratings Were More Openly Available to the Industry and the Public. In an article posted today (6/17) media consultant and TALKERS columnist Walter Sabo compares how TV ratings are an open book while radio ratings are secretive and inaccessible — a difference that he thinks significantly works to the disadvantage of radio as both a business and an institution. To read Walter Sabo’s column, click here.
Clear Channel Moves John Hogan to New York City. Most of the company’s high-level executives are already stationed in the Big Apple and not the company’s legal headquarters in San Antonio. Now, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment CEO John Hogan is moving to New York as well. In a filing with the SEC, the company notes that Hogan is also getting a pay increase to make his base salary $1,125,000 in addition to moving expenses and a housing allowance for the next year and a half.
WRKO, Boston’s Howie Carr Schedules Weekly Remotes for Whitey Bulger Trial. Entercom Boston talk show host Howie Carr – heard daily in PM drive on WRKO – has reported on the activities of New England mobsters for most of his career. He’s written several books about Boston gangland characters, including James Whitey Bulger titled The Brothers Bulger: How They Terrorized and Corrupted Boston for a Quarter Century, and now as Bulger goes to trial in a South Boston courthouse, Carr will do a weekly live remote from The Barking Crab restaurant and pub next door to the courthouse.
Magna Global Releases International Ad Revenue Forecasts for the Rest of ’13 and for 2014; United States Radio to Be Flat. Looking at the really big picture first, Magna Global predicts global ad spending to be up 3% in 2013 and rise to 6.1% in 2014. That said, in the United States, those figures are up just 0.4% for ’13 due to the missing Olympics and political ad spending that occurs in even-numbered years. For 2014 the figure is expected to rise. As for radio, Magna Global predicts 2013 will be flat but for those radio companies also selling digital, there is a ton of opportunity as that category is expected to rise 11.5% and is boosted by the mobile aspect of the category, predicted to go up 61.7%.
Odds & Sods. WMAL, Washington “Mornings on the Mall” co-host Larry O’Connor (and Breitbart.tv editor-in-chief) is sitting in for Cumulus Media Networks’ nationally syndicated Geraldo Rivera this week…..Dave Graveline’s “Into Tomorrow” nationally syndicated program is taking two lucky listeners to this year’s IFA Consumer Electronics and Appliance Show in Berlin Germany in celebration of the program’s 10th anniversary covering the event. Graveline is providing airfare, four nights lodging and other perks to the two winners…..Talk media personality Ernest Istook is filling in for KTOK, Oklahoma City’s Lee Matthews in afternoon drive four days this week.
By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
SHAKER HEIGHTS — There’s something that makes Facebook different from all other social media sites, and I’m going to tell you how you can use it to your advantage.
Facebook has a vested interest in showing you the best content. They’re also clearly suspicious about what most businesses and brands are posting, because they limit us from the start, showing our posts to 10-15% of our followers.
Most brands don’t do a very good job in social media. They’re stuck in an old model of pumping out marketing messages, and that’s what they do on Facebook. You, as an individual, didn’t get on social media to be advertised to! Neither did your followers. When you cut and paste your promo liners to Facebook, or try and write to your followers like you talk to your listeners, you’re confirming Mark Zuckerberg’s view that it’s in his interest to block your fans from reading your hype. Your promos cut down on his users’ time-spent-engaging.
So here’s the secret. Turn your promotion into content.
By Holland Cooke
Twitter invites more voices into your on-air and digital conversation; even more so than Facebook.
When someone posts something on your Facebook Wall, all of their Friends and your Followers and Friends see it, and can easily chime-in. When THEY do, all of THEIR Friends see it, and can Comment or Like or Share. Thus the metaphor “going viral.”
Twitter takes Social Media to the next level, by enabling you to attract the attention of others who follow neither you NOR the-person-to-whom-you’re-Tweeting.
Glenn Beck’s Plans for TheBlaze Require More Funding; Media Pioneer Seeks $40 Million. Techcruch tips us that in an SEC filing, Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze is seeking $40 million in funding to take the company to the next level. According to the filing, TheBlaze has already raised $1.5 million as it is offering equity in the company through New York-based broker Hypatia Capital Advisors, LLC. Beck’s online venture began in 2010 and subscriptions to TheBlaze have reportedly been bringing in a steady flow of cash but the organization has made no secret of its desire to get broader distribution for the video content via cable TV. Currently, TheBlaze is carried by Dish Network. On the subject of Glenn Beck’s entrepreneurism, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison recently stated the following strong words about the high-profile talk show host in a media interview, “Most people, particularly talk media consumers, view Glenn Beck through the lens of politics and judge him solely on their reaction to his often-times provocative views and ideology. Those of us behind the scenes, however, see a much larger and more complex individual whose importance to broadcasting extends way beyond the boundaries of his public persona and programs. The work that Glenn Beck has tirelessly accomplished in building an audience, developing a brand, utilizing the many emerging 21st century vehicles of communication, and then inventing and perfecting amazingly bold and innovative delivery systems for distribution and business models for monetization will stand as a historic starting point for a new chapter in ‘popular’ media. Future generations of broadcasters will look back at Beck the way today’s automakers look at Henry Ford.” And there’s more Beck news below…
Glenn Beck and SiriusXM Strike Deal for Beck Channel. SiriusXM and Glenn Beck announce in a joint press release that the satcaster will debut a new channel dedicated to Beck’s TheBlaze content called, “TheBlaze Radio Network” that will appear only on the SiriusXM Internet Radio service. This comes as part of the deal that has Beck’s “TheBlaze Radio News” providing hourly news updates on SiriusXM’s conservative talk Patriot channel. “TheBlaze Radio Network” will feature not only Beck’s radio program but the other shows featured on TheBlaze including Doc Thompson, Jay Severin, and Pat Grey & Stu Burguiere. Beck states, “TheBlaze is successfully becoming a true multi-platform news, information and opinion network. We are excited to further our long relationship with SiriusXM with the launch of ‘TheBlaze Radio Network,’ and feel that SiriusXM Patriot is the perfect home for our news updates which will prove that the truth has no agenda.” SiriusXM SVP of talk and entertainment programming Jeremy Coleman says, “As ‘TheBlaze’ brand and SiriusXM continue to grow, SiriusXM is pleased to expand our relationship with Glenn Beck with the creation of ‘TheBlaze Radio News’ and the addition of ‘TheBlaze Radio Network’ to our lineup.”
SOCIAL MEDIA POSTING: When and How Often? Radio digital consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller answers two of the most asked questions he receives from radio broadcasters regarding their social media initiatives: “When are the best times to post?” and “How often should we post?” In a concise article posted today (3/25) he writes, “Now, neither of them is as important as making sure you have the right content for your fans. That’s the big thing. But let’s assume you’re good to go, content-wise. When you post and how often you post will be different depending on the platform you’re talking about. Keep in mind that getting seen only by your fans is not enough. When they start re-tweeting, sharing, commenting, favorite-ing and liking what you show them, that’s when more and more people will see what you posted.” To read Chris Miller’s entire article, click here.
Talkers New York 2013 to Exhibit the Latest in Practical Radio Broadcast Tech Equipment. Gone are the days when the only person in a radio station concerned with microphones, mixing boards, frequency extenders and the various pieces of gear that go into actually making and delivering programs was the chief engineer. Today, with single station chief engineers becoming an endangered species and the advent of remote broadcasting and proliferation of entrepreneurial internet startups, radio programmers and managers are finding themselves increasingly responsible for selecting and purchasing the equipment it takes to run a radio operation. This is true for major market heritage stations as well as desktop-studio podcasters. Two of the most important and respected companies in this arena will be at Talkers New York 2013 displaying and explaining a variety of practical (meaning basic and reasonably priced) equipment that “everyone in radio today needs to know about” – Comrex Corporation and Broadcasters General Store. According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “We are constantly being asked by radio broadcasters from GMs to PDs to talent to people wanting to launch home media stations how to go about developing or upgrading production and delivery setups for today’s extremely flexible and highly opportune environment. I can think of no two companies in the business today that provide the answers to these questions better and more completely than Comrex and BGS. Their presence, patient and friendly level of service adds a vital dimension to the conference.” In addition, one of the radio industry’s most respected technical experts, Tom Ray, president of Tom Ray Broadcast Consulting and TALKERS technical editor, will be speaking at the conference and available to give attendees practical advice throughout the day. Talkers New York 2013 takes place Thursday, June 6 and is on track to being an early sellout. Because of space limitations, registration is only open to working members of the media and can only be taken via telephone at 413-565-5413. Stay tuned to Talkers.com for more agenda details about speakers, panels, presentations and award recipients coming in the immediate days ahead.
Twitter as a Broadcaster’s Tool: Use it Wisely. Radio consultant Holland Cooke writes that “Twitter invites more voices into your on-air and digital conversation; even more so than Facebook.” In this primer and reminder for practicing broadcasters using social media, Cooke delivers some information that will help you optimize this technology. Read his piece here.
WDBZ, Cincinnati Talk Host Lincoln Ware Celebrates 40 Years in Radio. Cincinnati talk host Lincoln Ware – who was recognized as one of the 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America by TALKERS (#36 this year!) – is celebrating his 40th anniversary in radio this year. In a nice write-up in the Cincinnati Herald, the story notes that Ware began his radio career on WCIN in 1973 after returning from a tour of duty with the U.S. Marines. After five years of spinning records, Ware transitioned his program to talk. Over the years, he worked at local stations WPBF, WLW, and WHKK. He came to WDBZ in 2000 and has been there ever since. Check out the full story here.
KGMZ, San Francisco Adds Josh Reddick to A’s Coverage. The Entercom sports talk station announces 2012 Gold Glove winner and A’s outfielder Josh Reddick will become part of the station’s Oakland A’s coverage, appearing weekly on “The Wheelhouse” with John Lund and Greg Papa Tuesdays at 12:30 pm PT. Reddick joins A’s GM Billy Beane and manager Bob Melvin as A’s personnel adding to 95.7 The Game’s coverage of the team. Program director Jason Barrett states, “We wanted to strengthen our A’s coverage for 2013 and few players are more productive at the plate and entertaining on and off the field than Josh Reddick. Whether he’s talking about his beard, an important series against an AL West opponent, or his passion for pie and the WWE, Josh will captivate the audience.”
Odds & Sods. WGAU, Athens, Georgia-based Martha Zoller is sitting in for WSB-AM/FM, Atlanta’s Erick Erickson on the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm show this afternoon. Both stations are owned by Cox Media Group…..Nicole Sandler is filling in for Premiere Networks’ Randi Rhodes on her nationally syndicated talk program all this week…..SiriusXM talk hosts Ron & Fez had Ronnie Spector on their program on Friday to promote the service’s new “Girl’s Room” channel featuring all girl groups, Spector’s new one-woman show “Beyond the Beehive” and her takes on the Phil Spector movie starring Al Pacino – which she said she will not watch…..Gay marriage will be a huge news/talk radio topic this week as the Supreme Court hears arguments in two cases: challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8. Salem Radio Network tells TALKERS magazine its U.S. House correspondent Wally Hindes will be among a select few broadcast journalists credentialed to be inside the U.S. Supreme Court tomorrow.
KRLA, Los Angeles Hosts Get Range Practice. In the photo here are KRLA, Los Angeles “AM 870 The Answer” personalities (from l-r) Ben Shapiro, Phillip Naman and Brian Whitman. Naman hosts the Saturday “The Firing Line” program on the stations and Shapiro and Whitman are co-hosts on “The Morning Answer” with Heidi Harris. CRN Digital Talk’s Jennifer Horn (who also co-hosts with Doug Stephan on his “Good Day” program) was sitting in for Harris today and snapped this photo of the boys showing off their targets from a weekend outing with Naman. It was Whitman’s first time at the range – not bad for a beginner!
By Walter Sabo
NEW YORK — In our strategic advisory work to CEOs we are constantly asked to deep dive into the future of media. This column will always focus on future trends and products that will lead media to goal achievement.
Radio economics becomes TV economics
The radio station of the near future will look like…a TV Station. Until 1970, most TV stations, even in the smallest towns had live on-air studios. Some of them had three full live studios. They produced, in house, local shows for many hours a day: a kid’s show, entertainment shows, cooking, dance shows. Right now at KPIX-TV in San Francisco there are three beautiful studios, one with studio audience seating and a separate entrance for the audience. Only one, the news studio, is in use.
Rick Roberts Joins Envision Radio Networks’ ‘America Weekend.’ Longtime San Diego news/talk personality Rick Roberts becomes part of the talent at Envision Radio Networks’ weekend talk radio programming “America Weekend.” The six hours of live news/talk radio airs from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays and Roberts will host the Saturday 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm portion of the program. Most recently at KFMB, San Diego, Roberts’ career has also taken him to such legendary stations as KOA, Denver; KCMO, Kansas City; KRLD, Dallas; and KOGO, San Diego. Roberts states, “I’m extremely pleased to be a part of ‘America Weekend’ and I look forward to bringing 19 years of major market talk radio experience to radio stations across America. The next great step in talk radio begins right here every weekend.” Envision describes “America Weekend” as “the new ratings-friendly programming alternative to low-rated brokered shows and “Best Of” programs.” Executive producer Kipper McGee says of Roberts, “Breakthrough programming needs breakthrough talent. ‘America Weekend’ will provide the perfect showcase for Rick’s versatility and considerable talents, and we are thrilled to have him on the team.” Roberts joins radio pros Paul Harris and Turi Ryder as hosts of the program.
The Conclave Adds Sports Component. Dubbed “Game Day,” the Conclave announces a new aspect of the radio gathering at this July’s 38th Annual Learning Conference by presenting a day exclusively devoted to sports broadcasting. “Game Day” will be held on Friday, July 19, at the Doubletree Park Place Hotel in Minneapolis, site of the 2013 Learning Conference. Conclave executive director Bob Shannon states, “Our line up starts with Bruce Gilbert, senior vice president of sports operations for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment. Bruce built ‘The Ticket’ in Dallas, was recruited by ESPN to create their national radio brand, and has just joined Clear Channel. Clearly, he is one of our nation’s sports programming experts.” The day will conclude with a reception at the Minnesota Twins flagship station, Northern Lights’ new adult contemporary KTWN, which is just a short walk across the street from Target Field in downtown Minneapolis followed by a ballgame between the Twins and the Cleveland Indians.
Phil Hendrie Accelerates Podcast and Social Media Initiatives with LEG Digital and Launchpad Digital Media Partnerships. Media personality Phil Hendrie – nationally syndicated on radio via Talk Radio Network – recently entered into partnerships with creative agency LEG Digital and Launchpad Digital Media for his strategic efforts in digital content and social marketing platforms. Launchpad is representing LEG Digital for advertising sales. LEG Digital reports that to date, results have shown that in the last four months, Hendrie’s Twitter followers are up 28%, his Facebook audience is up 667% and his daily podcast monthly downloads are up 500%. The company also launched the weekly “Phil Hendrie’s Mmm-Hmm, The Bobbie Dooley Podcast” on its podcast network, TheSideShowNetwork.com, Hendrie’s own PhilHendrieShow.com, iTunes and Launchpad’s PodcastOne.com. The first Dooley podcast garnered more than 15,000 downloads in three days. LEG Digital managing partner Darrin McAfee states, “I’ve been a huge fan of Phil’s for the last 15 years. Knowing and enjoying the magnitude of his talent, it’s obvious to me that he’s well on his way to the next plateau of his career.”
Arbitron Issues Social Media Guidelines for Dealing with Respondents. Calling this a list of “Dos and Don’ts,” Arbitron notifies broadcasters of the potential pitfalls that can cause ratings trouble if the company’s rules are violated using the ubiquitous social media. Arbitron states up front: “Ratings data can be among the most valuable tools broadcasters have for programming and sales. It’s important to protect the integrity of your station’s ratings by following Arbitron’s guide to using social media. While these platforms create more personalized communication with listeners, social media can also lead to rating bias or rating distortion if not managed properly.” Some of the “Dos” include: Notify Arbitron if a respondent reaches out to the station via social media (or any other means); remind station staff that social media comments are subject to the same guidelines as on-air comments; contact Arbitron for a confidential pre-review if you are unsure about comments you wish to post; contact Arbitron if your staff sees posted comments directed to an Arbitron respondent; and contact Arbitron if the station learns the identity of an Arbitron respondent (by any means). The “Don’ts” are pretty obvious to broadcasters who’ve been aware of Arbitron’s rules prior to the advent of social media but bear repeating: Don’t attempt to learn the identity of Arbitron respondents. The station may be delisted, even if the attempt doesn’t succeed; don’t address comments to panelists or diarykeepers; don’t discuss ratings (even ratings success) on social networking sites. Doing so may prompt respondents to disclose their participation; don’t post comments encouraging listeners to participate as panelists or diarykeepers; don’t offer anything of value to self-identified panelists or diarykeepers.
Saga Communications Reports 2012 Q4 Net Operating Revenue Up 10.3%. For the whole of 2012, Saga reports its net operating revenue was up 4% on earnings of $130.3 million compared to $125.3 million for all of 2011. Free cash flow increased 9.5% to $25.1 million for the year of 2012. Station operating expense decreased approximately 1.0% to $90.3 million (station operating expense includes depreciation and amortization attributable to the stations). Net income for the period was $17.9 million ($3.16 per fully diluted share) compared to net income of $12.6 million ($2.23 per fully diluted share) for the same period last year.
Cool Job Opportunity. Townsquare Media has an incredible opportunity for the position of Brand Manager and morning show host for a news/talk station. You must have a proven track record in programming a news/talk station. In addition to a strong ratings background, candidates should be digitally savvy and demonstrate a deep, rich understanding of interactive branding, including social media, loyalty programs, content creation, e-commerce, streaming platforms, mobile and texting. In addition, you should feel comfortable being on-air in the news/talk format and understand what it means to be the local voice in your community. You are able to keep a morning show entertaining and energetic while delivering relevant and interesting information to your audience. Candidates need to possess outstanding verbal and written skills as well as being highly organized and driven. As Brand Manager, you must also be willing to do any job within the station. Teamwork is a must as you will be working in unison with the digital, sales, promotion and engineering staff. It is essential that you have a strong working knowledge of digital audio systems and online media platforms, and be prepared to develop production and schedule all on-air content. In addition to the above, you will work to build the identity of the station within the community. As you can tell, this isn’t your typical 9-5 job. But don’t worry, we work hard and we have fun doing it! If you’re a fun, dynamic, creative and proven winner, send all of your materials, including references, to Chuck Armstrong at email@example.com. Townsquare Media is an equal opportunity employer.
The Broadcasters Foundation of America Announces Stanley S. Hubbard to Receive Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award. The chairman of Hubbard Broadcasting, Inc. will be the recipient of this year’s “Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award.” The Award will be presented to Stanley Hubbard during the BFoA Breakfast on April 10, at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, in conjunction with the National Association of Broadcasters Show. The BFoA notes that “Hubbard Broadcasting has stayed on the industry’s cutting edge, pioneering innovations in radio, television and satellite broadcasting. The company owns 13 television and 17 radio stations, F&F Productions REELZCHANNEL – TV About Movies, and is the controlling shareholder of Ovation TV.” The Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award honors an individual in broadcasting whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship. It salutes its namesake Lowry Mays and is underwritten by The Clear Channel Foundation and Wiley Rein, LLP. The Broadcasters Foundation has provided millions of dollars in aid to colleagues who lost their livelihood through a catastrophic event, debilitating disease, or unforeseen tragedy that left them unable to work or support themselves. Individual membership is only $150 a year. Donations also can be made to the Guardian Fund, and corporate contributions are accepted through the Angel Initiative.
DC Sequester Battle, Ryan Budget Plan, ‘Killing Jews is Worship’ Ad Controversy, Obama Approval Rating Down, Papal Conclave, and ‘Fat Lesbians’ Study Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/12). The effects of and debate in Washington over the sequester; Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal; the controversial San Francisco bus ad campaign featuring quotes from militant Muslims; the Washington Post’s latest poll showing President Obama’s approval ratings sinking; the conclave in the Vatican; and NIH-funded study on the cause of obesity in lesbians were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.
By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
SHAKER HEIGHTS — Get ready for the whining, because Facebook is about to make some changes.
On Thursday, the social media giant announced a new format for their news feed, which Mark Zuckerberg referred to as “the best personalized newspaper in the world.” The big change? Pictures are going to get even bigger. That’s a bigger change than it sounds like. The headline Facebook puts on it is, “Goodbye, clutter.”
This is good news for radio stations and other brands that are doing a good job using social media as loyalty content marketing. It will be easier for your fans and their friends to see what you post and enjoy it! Let me offer 5 quick guidelines to help you make the most of your Facebook posts, especially once the new news feed kicks in for everyone.
By Chris Miller
SHAKER HEIGHTS — So, what the heck is social media really worth? What sort of return on investment are we talking about here?
Some days, it seems that everyone is liking, sharing, commenting, retweeting, favorite-ing and pinning. On one hand, it’s easy to wonder if it’s worth it to have a social media presence. On the other hand, it’s also easy to wonder if we’re missing out if we don’t actively pursue having a social presence.
What this stuff is worth is also a question that digital media and social media pros wrestle with. Most brands that have staked out a social space are working on either creating a direct response of some sort, or brand awareness. All other strategic goals being equal, I’ve had much more success using social media for direct response than for brand awareness, although the latter can be done.
Dial Global Restructures Credit Status; Pays Down $15 Million of Existing Term Loan. The industry has been watching the state of Dial Global’s debt situation and now the company announces that it, its lenders and certain of its stockholders have agreed to recapitalize the company’s existing credit facilities, other obligations and equity interests. CEO Spencer Brown states, “The new agreements with our lenders represent a significant step forward for the company. Once these transactions close, we will have delivered our balance sheet and decreased cash interest expense. The agreements will provide us with greater flexibility to actively manage and grow our business. We look forward to closing these transactions in April and focusing on serving our clients.” As part of the recapitalization, the company has entered into an Amended and Restated Credit Agreement, by and among the Company, General Electric Capital Corporation, as administrative agent and collateral agent, and the lenders party thereto which provides for a $15 million paydown of the company’s existing term loan and revolving credit commitments. That agreement matures on October 21, 2016. The company is also entering into a Priority Second Lien Credit Agreement among the company, the administrative agent, the syndication agent and the lender party for an additional $31.5 million through a term loan facility to the company, with a maturity date of July 21, 2017. As part of this Dial Global agrees to issue it penny warrants to purchase 7.5% of the company’s common stock exercisable immediately following the consummation of the recapitalization. Regarding the existing Second Lien Credit Agreement, dated as of October 21, 2011, lenders agreed to restructure their existing approximately $93 million in second lien obligations by amending and restating that agreement to provide for a $30 million term loan that matures five years after the expected closing of the recapitalization and exchanging approximately $63 million in remaining obligations under the existing Second Lien Credit Agreement for a new series of preferred stock of the Company. Under various subscription and exchange agreements between the company and the holders of the company’s PIK Notes and Series A Preferred Stock, such holders have agreed, subject to the satisfaction of certain specified conditions, to exchange their PIK Notes and Series A Preferred Stock for equity securities of the company and have further agreed to make an additional equity infusion of $16.5 million.
Cumulus Media’s News/Talk KKOB, Albuquerque and Talk Host Jim Villanucci Part Ways. When talk radio personality Jim Villanucci’s contract came up at Cumulus Media’s KKOB, Albuquerque the company chose not to renew it. Villanucci tells TALKERS magazine that he’d been reaching out to Cumulus for the past several months about a contract renewal but the company didn’t appear interested in talking so he exited after last Thursday’s program. Cumulus AM stations program director Pat Frisch is sitting in the PM drive slot for now as he seeks out a replacement. Villanucci’s program was a big ratings-getter for the station for many years. It will be hard to replace the kind of steady performance he’s achieved at KKOB-AM. Villanucci tells TALKERS, “I leave KKOB after 14 years looking forward to my next opportunity. I have had so many wonderful years working with some of the finest broadcasters in the business in a market that’s been very good to me. I wish the good people of Albuquerque and the folks at KKOB the very best. I would especially like to thank my former GM Milt McConnell, and wish my friend and PD Pat Frisch good luck going forward. ” Villanucci has been an annual face on the TALKERS Heavy Hundred for years due to his consistent performance and ability to branch out beyond the often-predictable news/talk topics heard on so many stations in the format.
Dan Sileo Exits WQAM, Miami. The statement from sports talk host Dan Sileo is brief and indicates the two sides were not seeing eye-to-eye on programming philosophy, “Our differences revolve around content issues and we wish each other the best. As for me and my style of sports talk, I will never change.” Sileo joined Beasley Broadcasting’s WQAM, Miami for the PM drive show after a successful stint at Clear Channel’s WDAE, Tampa. He then moved to middays.
L.A. Daily News Ranks Top Sports Talk Personalities Heard in Market. To TALKERS editors, the thing that stands out about this list is that there are enough sports talk radio hosts – both local and nationally syndicated – to put together a ranking for the Los Angeles market. But there are and KSPN’s Steve Mason and John Ireland tied for #1 this year with KLAC, Los Angeles’ Petros Papadakis coming in at #3 (there is no #2 since Mason and Ireland tied for #1). Papadakis’ partner Matt “Money” Smith ranked #5 this year. The paper also ranked the top nationally syndicated sports talk hosts heard in the L.A. market and the top three were: 1) Dan Patrick of DIRECTV/Fox Sports Radio; 2) Petros Papadakis and Matt “Money” Smith of Fox Sports Radio; and 3) Jay Mohr also of Fox Sports Radio Network. Nice compliment for Jay Mohr since he’s only been in the gig since the beginning of the year. And speaking of Jay Mohr…
Comedian, Actor and Sports Nut Jay Mohr Focuses on Fox Sports Radio Gig. To show how serious he is about his new full-time gig as midday sports talk host on the Fox Sports Radio Network, Jay Mohr tells TALKERS magazine, “Honestly, I have turned off the sitcom and movie noise to concentrate on the radio show; those other doors are closed right now. I cannot be on the phone trying to figure out how I am going to leave a studio at ‘this time’ to be on a movie set at ‘that time.’” In this profile piece, TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian talks with Mohr about his radio influences, love of sports, comedy road work and how he got into the sports talk game by subbing for Jim Rome, and finally to his first full-time sports talk job. He says of the fill-in work, “I thought if I could keep doing this, one day I might be able to do it for a living. I listened to Jim for many years and he really changed sports talk radio. He made it fun again. My job is to reset the dial a little and bring everybody back to the fun part of it.” Read the entire story here.
Rising Talk Radio Star Says Host Endorsements Should Be Interesting (and a Whole Lot More). He also says the goal of advertising on radio should be results – a simple concept often overlooked by sales and programming departments in their rush to sell the ads, give the client what they want and then get the spots on and off the air as quickly as possible. Michael Berry is one of news/talk radio’s most dynamic and promising rising stars. His mid-morning program is heard on KTRH, Houston as well as seven other respected talkers around the country. Today (3/4) in an exclusive TALKERS piece he makes a number of powerful points about the marketing and delivery of advertising within the news/talk radio medium making the point that although host endorsements are an important technique to get the sponsor’s message across, the real trick is to do it in a way that also gets them results while proving to be a tune-in, and not a tune-out factor. Berry (who will be speaking at Talkers New York 2013 on June 6) advises when it comes to writing and delivering commercial spots: 1) lose the copy points; 2) less is more; 3) trust the value of the endorsement (and don’t overload with justification); 4) be conversational throughout, building to the call to action; and 5) resist gimmicks and games. To read this important article or pass it along to someone in your station or company who will benefit by it, click here.
Talk Radio Pro Chuck Morse Joins IRN/USA Radio Network. Boston-based talk personality Chuck Morse begins a daily, two-hour talk show (airing from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET) via the IRN/USA Radio Network. Morse says of his new enterprise, “I am honored to work at the network founded by economist Larry Bates and award-winning talk pioneer, the late Marlon Maddoux. I look forward to working with talk host Chuck Bates who carries on the tradition of excellence at IRN/USA. With a national audience, I hope to follow in the footsteps of my mentor, the late Jerry Williams, who developed an intense bond with his callers and audience.”
Baldwin/McCullough Radio Show Co-Host and Actor Tops Fundraiser Effort on Celebrity Apprentice All Stars Show. Stephen Baldwin, actor and co-host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show “Baldwin/McCullough” (co-hosted by talk radio personality and XtreMedia CEO Kevin McCullough), and his team raised more than $600,000 for the American Red Cross during last night’s season premiere of NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice All Stars.” That sum set a new record for the most ever raised in a season kick-off episode. Baldwin is competing for the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Foundation named in honor of his mother.
Welcome to the Concept of Core-Casting. It is a simple and elegant idea that puts one of the most effective radio broadcasting uses of social media into perspective and focus. Noted digital radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller writes today (3/4) about how social media provides radio programmers and talent with a pipeline to communicate directly with their most ardent listeners and fans. Miller writes, “There are companies outside radio who are learning how to use social media to leverage the power of their most valuable customers. One day, some smart radio group is going to figure out that social media is not just more broadcasting in a different medium. Neither is it just a matter of getting likes, shares and comments. While most mass marketing involves some form of trolling for cume, this is different. This is like the sales department taking its 10 biggest clients on a cruise. It’s core-casting.” To read Chris Miller’s entire piece, click here.
Bubba the Love Sponge Talks Suicidal Man ‘Off the Ledge.’ After an agitated and despondent man who had barricaded himself inside a Tampa-area business and was threatening to kill himself called the Bubba the Love Sponge program on Friday, Bubba (Todd Clem) was able to calm the man enough that he put his weapon down and was taken into custody by local police. The man, identified as Corey, locked himself inside The Car Store, a business owned by Bubba’s friends Todd and Shellie Herndon. The man is a family friend of the Herndons. Bubba says, “I’m just glad The Herndons are safe, no deputies were harmed and this gentleman can get the help he needs.”
Harry Teinowitz Exits ‘ESPN 1000’ Chicago. Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder reports ESPN O&O WMVP “ESPN 1000” is going with a two-man PM drive show featuring Carmen DeFalco and John Jurkovic as the station has cut ties with Harry Teinowitz after 12 years. Feder reports a memo to the staff read, in part, “At 6:00 pm this evening Harry Teinowitz signed off air for the last time at ESPN Chicago. Throughout the many years that Harry has been with us, he has served in many different roles and has helped to establish the ESPN brand in Chicago. Harry’s contributions will be felt for years to come in every department at ESPN Chicago. We wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.” Afternoon drive on sports talk radio is, by many industry executives, considered to be more important than AM drive. Feder reports the most recent PPM data show crosstown rival WSCR leads the market in the Men 25-54 demo with a 7.2 share compared to WMVP’s 3.4 share.
Radio Broadcasters Still Learning About IP Codecs. Last week’s TALKERS article by technical editor Tom Ray about the proper use and application of IP codecs raised several questions from readers indicating there is still a lot to be learned about this emerging technology that promises to be the next step beyond ISDN in remote audio delivery. Today (3/4), the industry’s leading technical wizard addresses some of those issues — namely 1) the most important thing to have in place to use IP codecs effectively; 2) how to integrate service between brands of the device made by different manufacturers and get them to “talk” to each other; and 3) how to go about purchasing and testing an IP codec. To read Tom Ray’s informative article or pass it along to the person at your station or company who manages technical issues and equipment, click here.
Odds & Sods. Sports talk personality Adam Schein joins SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Radio. Beginning March 11, Schein will host “Schein on Sports” live from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm ET on the Mad Dog Radio Channel. He had “The SiriusXM Blitz” alongside 2002 NFL MVP Rich Gannon on the NFL channel…..TVNewser reports former “Good Morning America” senior executive producer Jim Murphy will serve as executive producer for CNN’s new morning show that will be co-hosted by Chris Cuomo. It had been rumored that Erin Burnett would be moved to mornings alongside Cuomo but reports indicate that many not be the case…..In other TV news, the New York Daily News reports Matt Lauer is on the hot seat since “Today” has fallen behind “Good Morning America” and the local “Good Day New York” on Fox5 in New York City. The story indicated morale on the set is low and conflicting reports about whether a new executive producer will join the show are adding to the problems. Several sources are indicating Matt Lauer may not be long for the program.
By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
SHAKER HEIGHTS — It may not cost you a dime when your radio station is Tweeting and Facebooking and YouTubing. However, I’ll bet social media is a major ongoing project for some people at your station. It’s probably costing you plenty of hours from your programming or promotions department. Seems to me you’d want return on that investment.
Is there a possible return on investment from your social media efforts? Maybe not the way you’re doing it right now. The way to change that is to think of it as “The New PR.”
WEEI Goes to Bat for Battling Kids. During the last week of August, Entercom’s New England sports brand WEEI completed its 11th annual Jimmy Fund radio-thon to benefit the Dana Farber Cancer Institute raising more than $3.4 million. TALKERS managing editor/West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian recently had a long chat with WEEI vice president of programming Jason Wolfe about the history of the fundraiser and WEEI’s connection to the charity. Read his piece here.
Atlanta Sports Talk Hosts “Two Live Stews” Off LFM’s WQXI “790/The Zone.” Doug and Ryan Stewart have been taken off the midday show at Lincoln Financial Media’s sports talker WQXI, Atlanta “790/The Zone.” According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho, the two are taking their ouster well with Doug Stewart telling him, “It’s incredible what we’ve done there over 11 years. I want to thank the fans who supported us. This isn’t the last you’ve heard from us.” The Stewarts are under contract through the end of the year and, although Ho reports their agent is trying to get them an early release from their deal that would allow them to work in the market sooner, they have a non-compete that would probably keep them off Atlanta radio until July of 2013. With that in mind, any speculation they could end up on CBS Radio’s new sports talk FM due to debut in October would be complicated by their contract situation.
Chicago Public Media Taps the Tribune’s and WGN’s Rick Kogan for Fill-In Gig. While Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ searches for a full-time replacement for PM drive talk host Steve Edwards (who’s exiting the organization to become deputy director of the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago), Chicago Tribune columnist and WGN’s “The Sunday Papers” host Rick Kogan will host the program until a permanent replacement is found. Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder reports Kogan will give up the WGN gig while sitting in at WBEZ, telling him, “I’m flattered by this fascinating creative challenge. And I welcome the change in lifestyle. After all these years, it’ll be nice for a while not to have to get up at 4:30 in the morning every Sunday.”
Please Stop Copying. That’s the plea from Sabo Media chairman Walter Sabo in his most recent column for TALKERS. Sabo writes that too many talk show hosts are encouraged to take a page from some other very successful talk show host when what they should really be doing is using their own life experiences and feelings to express their own world view in an entertaining way. Interestingly, Sabo notes that many of the country’s “heritage” radio stations will sound funny to a non-native. “You’ve had the experience of listening to a legendary station for the first time and being shocked that it sounded horrible. Yes, it sounded horrible to you because you didn’t grow up in that city with that station. That’s not your station. The truly great stations are endemic to their cities. They copy no other station. Instead, they have created a mirror of the interest needs and tastes of their listeners.” Read Walter Sabo’s entire piece here.
Curtis Sliwa and Ron Kuby Reunited on Radio After Kuby Assaulted on the Streets. No, the arch-conservative and leftist duo that ruled the airwaves on WABC, New York for 10 years is not back together for a new radio show. But activist attorney Ron Kuby and conservative talk host Curtis Sliwa, who hosts the morning show on Salem Communications’ WNYM “970 The Answer,” did speak together on Sliwa’s program after Kuby was bloodied in an assault last week. Kuby went on Sliwa’s program to explain how he got into a fight with two young people who were shouting anti-gay epithets. The story made the New York Daily News and Sliwa even wove the incident into a live read for a Long Island dentist whom he said he would recommend to Kuby in case he needed any dental work after the beating. He did not.
Social Media: Your Frequent Flier Program. Radio programmer and digital entrepreneur Chris Miller says, when it comes to social media for radio stations, the people you reach are not your “friends,” they’re your “frequent fliers,” and you need to treat them as such to use social media more effectively. Miller says research indicates there are three primary reasons people follow brands on social media: 1) to get the advantage of insider information; 2) to get special deals and offers; and 3) to learn more about things you do that they like or are interested in. Learn what Miller says you can do to satisfy those interests. Read his piece here.
On the Road in Oklahoma City. Nationally syndicated talk superstar Dave Ramsey is on the road again visiting affiliate stations and producing live shows that draw thousands. He’s pictured here at the Crossings Community Church in Oklahoma City. With his brand new, intimate “Living a Legacy Live Event,” Ramsey speaks about how to win with money, strengthen marriages and lead your children with confidence. For this appearance, author Jon Acuff joined Ramsey on stage. Local affiliate KOKC realized the direct benefits of the live show for its audience and the station. KOKC’s Rob Adair states, “Anytime Dave Ramsey comes to Oklahoma City for an event with our radio station, everyone wins — our clients, our listeners, our station. Our ‘Living a Legacy’ was filled to the roof with listeners. Dave delivers again…but over-delivering is just his style.”
Harvey Nagler and Walter Sabo Join Growing Lineup of Stellar Speakers at Forthcoming TALKERS Los Angeles Event. Two more industry leaders have joined the roster of speakers at the forthcoming TALKERS New Media Seminar scheduled for Thursday, October 11 between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm in association with the Los Angeles Press Club at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood. CBS Radio News VP Harvey Nagler will be joining the panel, “Spoken Word Radio: The Big Picture” along with Phil Boyce, VP/director, spoken word format, Salem Communications; Ron Hartenbaum, CEO, WYD Media Management, LLC; Kraig Kitchin, CEO, Sound Mind, LLC; and Mike McVay, senior VP programming, Cumulus Media. The session will be moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison. In addition, Sabo Media chairman Walter Sabo will be presenting a special address titled “Interactivity and Video: The Key to Your Business Future.” Based upon registrations already booked, the event is projected to be sold out by the end of this week or very early the next. Full up-to-the-minute agenda details will be posted here at Talkers.com tomorrow – but to assure registration, attendees are advised to sign up now. Because it is open only to working media, there is no online registration — only by telephone. For registration and sponsorship information call 413-565-5413.
Stephanie Miller’s Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour Continues; Featured in Special Documentary on Current TV. The very successful “Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour” that comedienne and nationally syndicated talk show host Stephanie Miller has headed for the past 18 months or so was featured in a documentary on Friday, September 14 on Current TV. The program featured an “(almost) uncensored inside look into how it all began with never before seen footage from behind the scenes and exclusive inside commentary from Stephanie and co-stars John Fugelsang, Hal Sparks, and Aisha Tyler.” And the tour continues with stops at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre on September 29 and New York City’s Beacon Theatre on October 27.
The Adventures of Gas Can Man Hit Ft. Myers Market. Sun Broadcasting’s WFSX, Estero, Florida (“92.5 Fox News”) used the traveling political character Gas Can Man to offer some of its listeners gas at the January, 2009 price of $1.84 per gallon last Thursday. Gas Can Man is traveling the country in a gas can costume to associate high gas prices with the presidency of Barack Obama. WFSX and morning drive host Drew Steele arranged a deal with a local gas station to offer gas at the low price to the first 150 lucky drivers to line up at 7:30 am that morning. Steele stated prior to the promotion, “High gas prices have been one of the main topics of concern that our listeners have expressed in the last few months and we are going to do something about it for one morning for 150 of our neighbors. While Washington argues about billions and trillions of dollars they need to remember that the $60 or so many people are now paying to fill up their tanks is about double what it was just a few years ago — and that extra $30 or more each week is REAL money that has a serious impact on our families and our economy.”
Cross-Promotion. WJRW, Grand Rapids, Michigan talk show host and news director Dave Jaconette appears on this electronic billboard promoting the local appearance of “Blue Man Group” coming to the area this week as part of Broadway Grand Rapids’ Fall 2012 lineup.
Odds ‘n’ Sods. SiriusXM sports talk host Dino Costa is profiled in the October edition of Men’s Journal in a piece called: Dino Costa: The Angriest Man on the Airwaves. Costa (pictured below in a photo by Kareem Black) is part of the satcaster’s Mad Dog Radio channel and is quoted in the piece saying, “To do the kind of show I demand of myself is an all-consuming undertaking. Every time I take to the air, what happened yesterday is old news. There isn’t enough of that in radio today. The worst thing you can be in radio is predictable, and 99% of radio is predictable.”…..LAF-ing CLIFF Media of Fort Wayne, Indiana, parent company of “Speed Talk” and RadioSpeedTalk.com, announces the departure of co-owner and “Speed Talk” co-host and executive producer Pete LaFaucia. “Speed Talk” was a weekly one-hour racing show that at its height had 10 radio affiliates nationally. The show’s creators have decided to split due to creative differences. LAF-ing CLIFF Media will dissolve with Cliff Tanner retaining “Speed Talk,” RadioSpeedTalk.com, and its affiliates reforming under the name Cliff Dawg Media…..The Martone family is moving the studios of news/talk WOCA-AM/FM, Ocala, Florida to the Paddock Mall. The station will overlook the food court and have a 12-foot glass wall that will allow mall patrons to see the main studio.
Talk Radio: The Next Generation. XtreMedia president and nationally syndicated talk host Kevin McCullough holds his newborn baby son Jonathan Stephen McCullough weighing in at 8 lbs, 5 oz. McCullough reports that both Jonathan and mom are doing well!
By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio — Lots of radio folks still don’t see the value in social media, and the way that most radio stations are Facebooking and Twittering, I don’t blame them.
The people who sign up to follow your radio station’s Facebook page tend to be your biggest fans. It makes sense that only someone who really cares about what you do would add you to their news feed, right? Now that you have all those folks in one place, what are you going to do with them?
Here on the digital side of things, we’ve studied why people sign up to follow brands on social media. Here are the big reasons:
- To get the advantage of insider information
- To get special deals and offers
- To learn more about things you do that they like or are interested in
Clear Channel Denver Announces Three New Talk Programs. Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s three Denver-market spoken-word outlets are adding new live and local programming this month. At KOA, a new evening sports talk show will debut at 7:00 pm on July 9 called, “PrimeTime Sports with Andy Lindahl.” Lindahl has been an anchor and sports reporter with KOA since 1999 and is co-host of the station’s “Bronco’s GameDay” and “Broncos PrimeTime” as well as serving as a sideline reporter for Broncos and University of Colorado football. At KHOW, the station is announcing a permanent show for the afternoon drive daypart featuring progressive David Sirota and conservative Michael Brown called, “The Rundown with Sirota & Brown.” Sirota is an author and syndicated columnist who had served as host of the cluster’s progressive talk outlet KKZN. Brown – former Undersecretary of Homeland Security under George W. Bush – had hosted an evening program on KOA. Sirota and Brown take over the slot held by Dan Caplis and Craig Silverman who hosted the show for the past eight years. Finally, at progressive talker AM 760 Colorado’s Progressive Talk (KKZN), KCNC-TV, Denver reporter Gloria Neal takes over the morning drive show from 7:00 am to 10:00 am on July 16. Neal served as a news anchor at KOA in the past.
Lionel Hosts Early Morning Show at WPIX-TV, New York. Commentator, talk host and podcast innovator Lionel of LionelMedia.com adds to his duties at Tribune’s WPIX-TV where he does commentary for the 5:00 pm and 10:00 pm news as he begins hosting the station’s early morning news program from 4:00 am to 6:00 am beginning today (7/2). The expanded role for the uniquely talented Lionel allows him to bring his one-of-a-kind perspective on the issues to New York viewers in a broadened format that programmers at WPIX believe will be an effective lead-in to its morning news programming. As reported by FishbowlNY, a memo from WPIX-TV news director Bill Carey indicates the program will be conversational in style and allow Lionel’s natural delivery to lead the program’s direction. Lionel also presents several short form commentaries daily on Merlin Media‘s FM properties in New York, Chicago and Philadelphia.
Fourth of July Holiday Week a Bonanza for Fill-In Hosts. This year the Fourth of July holiday falls on Wednesday and that mid-week holiday means more hosts take some or even all of the week off, leading to a whole bunch of programming time to fill and plenty of work for fill-in hosts. Talk host and former Arizona Congressman J.D. Hayworth counts himself among the busy talk hosts working this week. He begins the week sitting in on the morning drive show at Cumulus Media’s KSFO, San Francisco today and tomorrow. On Wednesday, he’ll be the guest host on Cumulus Media Networks’ Mike Huckabee show and, later that night, he’ll be heard on CBS Radio’s WPHT, Philadelphia from 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight. On Thursday and Friday, Hayworth will host the “Morning Rush” program simulcast on WRDU-FM, Raleigh and WPTI-FM, Greensboro, North Carolina. And on Saturday, he’ll sit in hosting the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm program at WLS, Chicago.
Former St. Louis Talk Host Gets Life for 2005 Murder. Leonardo Drisdel once hosted “The Human Factor” talk show at WGNU, St. Louis. In 2005, he confessed to his wife that after a drug binge with a local woman named Cassandra Kovack, he beat her to death claiming that a voice ordered him to kill her. Drisdel was sentenced to life in prison on Friday, June 29.
Going for the Gold! Six-time Olympic gold medalist Amy Van Dyken (c) joins KOZN, Omaha’s “Unsportsmanlike Conduct” co-hosts Mike’l Severe (l) and Kevin Kugler (r) on their program as it broadcast live from the U.S. Olympic swim trials in Omaha. Van Dyken is co-host with Rob Dibble on Fox Sports Radio Network’s “Fox Sports Tonight.”
Howard Stern’s Debut on “America’s Got Talent” Gets Mixed Ratings Results. Although billed as a “judge,” iconic talk radio star Howard Stern’s debut on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” was one of the most-judged elements on the program. The show’s season opener was one of Monday’s top shows with a 3.6 average rating in the 18-49 demo but that number was down from the program’s debut episode last season when it scored 4.3 average rating. TVbytheNumbers reports the program faced stiffer competition this year. Ratings for reality talent and music competition programs are down pretty much across the board this season and Stern’s effect on “America’s Got Talent” will be hard to judge. The TV industry is dealing with softer ratings in prime time for almost all programming this season. Meanwhile, TALKERS editorial board members report noticing that it seemed strange seeing Stern in the role of prime time TV “celebrity team player,” as opposed to being the focal point of his own edgy show. Those expecting anything approaching “The Howard Stern Show” came away disappointed — including media watchdog groups.
Cumulus to Move Atlanta All-Newser Closer to the City. Cumulus Media’s WYAY-FM, Gainesville, Georgia – soon to be the company’s new all-news outlet in the Atlanta market – will move from 106.7 to 106.5 and take Sandy Springs as its city of license if the FCC grants approval for the changes. The move would put the new station’s tower much closer to the downtown area. Currently, WYAY-FM’s class C signal emanates from a tower location about halfway between Atlanta and Athens to the east.
Social Media Ad Spending to Near $10 Billion by 2016. That’s from BIA/Kelsey’s U.S. Local Media Forecast and it predicts that ad spending on social media will climb from the 2011 level of $3.8 billion spent to $9.8 billion in 2016. The local segment of that revenue will go from 2011’s $840 million to $3.1 billion in 2016. BIA/Kelsey’s Jed Williams states, “Better performance, coupled with richer formats and creative elements, like video, will be the principal social ad market growth drivers. Social advertising’s local business penetration will steadily increase as SMBs’ understanding of social media deepens, and as the networks continually improve the ease of onboarding and campaign management. Facebook opening its Ads API to more partners, including those that work with SMBs, and Twitter’s self-serve platform will help to ‘democratize’ social ads, which will ultimately lead to more local growth.”
Emmis Stock Continues to Be Traded on the NASDAQ. Emmis’ listing on the NASDAQ was in jeopardy after falling under the $1 threshold late last year earning a de-listing notice from NASDAQ. But Emmis stock rose above the $1 mark in late April and even hit $1.63 on May 2. Emmis stated its case to a NASDAQ panel and the company was just informed it will continue to be traded on the board.
ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt Agrees to New Multi-Year Deal. Twelve-year ESPN personality Scott Van Pelt agrees to a new multi-year extension with ESPN to remain a SportsCenter anchor and host his eponymous daily sports talk radio program. Van Pelt joined ESPN in 2001 as its lead professional golf reporter. He says he’s thrilled how his career at ESPN has turned out. “I’ve always been a guy who was kind of on the wave wherever it took me. And somehow it took me to where it did and I’m thankful. I’m happy to stay in this boat, on this wave, until they’re done with me. . .None of this was even thinkable but here we are. It’s baffling to me.” The details of the new contract are not being disclosed.
WQAM, Miami Seals Contract Extension with University of Miami. The Beasley Broadcasting sports talk station agrees with Hurricane Sports Properties to a five-year contract extension to keep football and men’s basketball games on WQAM. The financial terms of the deal were not released. The deal also calls for a certain number of baseball games to air as well as the weekly coaches’ shows with Joe Zagacki. WQAM vice president and general manager Joe Bell states, “UM sports have been a huge part of WQAM for over a decade and we’re excited to continue that relationship. Our listeners have come to expect the best from WQAM and it doesn’t get any better than Hurricane sports.”
ESPN Radio Unveils New App for iPhone, iPad and iTouch. The sports entertainment giant announces it is releasing a new ESPN Radio app touting it as its “single, most definitive ESPN Radio app optimized for iPhone, iPod touch and – for the first time – iPad. The app, sponsored by Lowe’s, creates a seamless, personalized sports listening experience both live and on demand and includes a new feature that allows fans to build their own sports stations. Additionally, fans now have the option to rewind live audio streams, including ESPN Deportes Radio.” ESPN digital and print media vice president Marc Horine says, “With this update, fans now have complete control over their listening experience as the app provides the functionality to customize specifically by sports, teams and athletes they care most about.”
Euro Zone Tensions, Financial Markets Activity, 2012 Presidential Race, Obama Gay Marriage Stance, and Trayvon Martin Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/15). The possibility of Greece’s exit from the EU; the European effect on world financial markets; the 2012 presidential race; President Obama’s stance on gay marriage; and new information about George Zimmerman’s injuries in the Trayvon Martin case were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.
Social Media: Handle with Care. Using social media such as Twitter and Facebook to promote one’s radio program, the station brand or to interact with P1s is what most talk radio practitioners are expected to do these days. After all, used properly, most digital experts agree the explosive nature of social media can reach people –– including potential new listeners –– in a way other media can’t. But are there damaging aspects to social media? Is there a potential downside? Does the ability to have a “personal” conversation with a big-time media personality (whether local or national) damage the mystique of being a larger-than-life commentator? Does it provide an ease of access that has a downside that’s not being considered? Is the propensity of tweets to get nasty a looming pitfall for opinionated and sensitive talk hosts in a way that taking calls on the air is not? Does the revealing nature of social media put too much inadvertent control over the program’s and station’s image in the hands of staff –– hosts or others –– who wouldn’t ordinarily be authorized to execute that image promotion? TALKERS magazine managing editor Kevin Casey and special features correspondent Mike Kinosian speak with talk media industry practitioners about these questions and more here.
Mark Plotkin Exits WTOP, Washington; Media Reports Suggest Plotkin’s Temper Flare-Ups to Blame. Mark Plotkin has been a commentator and political analyst at Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington for the past decade but the station confirms to the Washington Post that he is no longer working there. The Post story goes on to paint a picture of a passionate, extremely knowledgeable broadcaster whose numerous “shouting matches” with fellow employees may have been his downfall. For his part, Plotkin tells the Post, “We just parted ways. Things happened along the way and this was an appropriate time to move on. All I have is good feeling for WTOP.”
Jeff Cameron Lands at Horizon Broadcasting in Tallahassee. After exiting Clear Channel’s sports talk WNLS, Tallahassee just last week, Jeff Cameron goes across town where he’ll work as a consultant for Horizon Broadcasting’s adult hits WBYW-FM, Panama City until starting his own sports talk show on the company’s sports talker WTSM-FM, Tallahassee (licensed to Woodville, Florida) on August 1. The release from Horizon doesn’t say so but we’re assuming Cameron’ sitting out a non-compete on the sports talk work until August. Horizon’s North Florida regional manager Barry Kaye says, “For over thirteen years, Jeff has been a radio icon in Tallahassee. Even beyond that, Jeff Cameron represents the voice of Seminole fans from coast to coast. We look forward to welcoming Jeff’s large fan base to our operation.”
Chris Duel Gone from Sports KZDC, San Antonio. Numerous reports indicate Chris Duel has left Border Media Partners’ sports talker KZDC – The Zone ESPN 1250 where he co-hosted the PM drive show with Jason Minnix. There’s no official word from Border Media but Duel’s name has been removed from the station’s website. Duel is a San Antonio broadcast veteran having worked at Clear Channel’s WOAI and Border Media’s KTSA as well.
Mitt Romney-Newt Gingrich Battle the Top News/Talk Story for the Week of January 23-27. According to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine, the battle between GOP presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week landing atop the Talkers TenTM weekly chart. Coming in at #2 this week was the 2012 presidential race – including all of the attendant issues and criticisms of the Obama Administration. At #3 was President Obama’s State of the Union Address followed by the spat between President Obama and Arizona Governor Jan Brewer at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is published every Friday at Talkers.com. To see the entire chart, click here.
TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup. Sports USA Radio’s Joe Morgan Program adds: KTCK, Dallas; WTDY, Madison; WIBZ, Eau Claire, Wisconsin; KNEB, Scottsbluff, Nebraska; and WHOP, Hopkinsville, Kentucky…..GCN’s Dr. Daliah Wachs is added to KCAA, Loma Linda, California…..“America’s Health Care Advocate” with Cary Hall picks up WKYX-AM/FM, Paducah, Kentucky…..Thom Hartmann’s radio program is added to four public radio stations: KSOW-LPFM, Cottage Grove, Oregon; KDKO-FM, Lake Andes, South Dakota; WHAV, Ward Hill, Massachusetts; and WACC-LPFM, Enfield, Connecticut…..Clear Channel brings 14 college stations aboard its iHeartRadio application: WASU-FM, Boone, North Carolina; WCNI-FM, New London, Connecticut; WFRD-FM, Hanover, New Hampshire; WDUB-FM, Granville, Ohio; Radio DePaul; WERS-FM, Boston; WFCF-FM, St. Augustine; KGRG-FM, Auburn, Washington; WICB-FM, Ithaca; Rice Radio; WSOU-FM, South Orange, New Jersey; KZSU, Stanford, California; Temple University’s WHIP; WCWS-FM, Wooster, Ohio.
Since this story was published on the morning of Friday, January 27, KTRS, St. Louis talk host JC Corcoran has responded with illuminating details that add even more to the fascinating subject of social media use by talk broadcasters. Read his letter here.
By Kevin Casey
and Mike Kinosian
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. –– Using social media such as Twitter and Facebook to promote one’s radio program, the station brand or to interact with P1s is what most talk radio practitioners are expected to do these days. After all, used properly, most digital experts agree the explosive nature of social media can reach people –– including potential new listeners –– in a way other media can’t. But are there damaging aspects to social media? Is there a potential downside?
Consider the cases of KTRS, St. Louis talk show host JC Corcoran and Current TV (and former MSNBC and ESPN) personality Keith Olbermann.
Corcoran is a very successful, longtime St. Louis radio personality. Last fall he got into a back-and-forth argument via Twitter with a listener –– complete with salty language –– about his prediction the Cardinals would re-sign slugger Albert Pujols. Management at KTRS suspended Corcoran briefly for how he handled the exchange. The theory being that although the FCC’s jurisdiction is limited to only what goes out over the airwaves, a host’s general public image is the concern of station ownership regardless of the venue upon which it is conveyed –– licensed or unlicensed.