Tag: "Steve Saslow"

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

| July 9, 2013

gallup logoLatest Gallup News Poll Puts Radio at Back of the Pack.  The just-released Gallup poll of Americans’ news consumption habits provides good news for television but not such good news for radio and print.  According to the study, among persons 30 to 49 years old, 50% named television as their preferred news medium, 28% said the internet was their first choice; 7% said radio and 6% said print.  Among the 18 to 29 demographic, radio fell behind print at just 3%.  While this study will be interpreted by some as another nail in the coffin for radio news, the reality is it’s not as cut-and-dried as that.  First, even radio practitioners would be hard pressed to expect radio to be considered a primary news source across a broad spectrum of the population in this day and age.  It’s hardly surprising that television and the internet are first and second, respectively.  It’s the very reason that forward-thinking radio news operations are moving into the digital world.  Most radio news people would admit that they are focused on serving people during their commute – something that television cannot do although is something that the internet is becoming better at doing as it gains access to moving vehicles.  Other factors to be considered are more nebulous.  In major markets with heritage radio news operations radio probably enjoys a better place in the minds of news consumers.  Survey the top 10 media markets only and radio may fare a bit better on a percentage basis.  Also, as part of a morning radio show (in just about any format), the news segment may not even be thought of by the listener as a “news program” yet it remains an indispensable part of most radio morning shows.

touchvision logoAnd Speaking of News.  Longtime radio programmer and media creative officer Lee Abrams is preparing to debut his new video news service called TouchVision.  Abrams, along with co-founders Steve Saslow and Brandon Davis are calling the new service “the revolutionary way to reach America’s new mainstream on all devices with a complete re-imagination of news and information.”  The live, 24/7 channel will differ from most news platforms in that it will feature no anchors.  Content airs simultaneously online, on TV, on phones and tablets.  TouchVision says, “The story is the star.”  TouchVision also states the programming is “a partnership with broadcasters on a DMA-exclusive basis using their digital assets.”  The programming clock indicates time for local news, weather and sports in addition to the unique programming elements and world and national news coverage.  You can check out TouchVision’s site here.

cookehollandAudience Research: The Dunkin’ Donuts Method.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke reports from his summer tour of client stations across America.  He writes that programmers can learn a lot from eavesdropping on conversations at donut shops and lunch counters.  He predicts, “You’ll note a disconnect between what you hear, and lots of what talk radio is trying to force-feed ‘em.  Example: While cable and radio pundits are shocked…SHOCKED…by revelations about beyond-Patriot Act NSA surveillance, coffee gulpers shrug that they’ve suspected it all along.  I’ve overheard parents say they’re using the story as an opportunity to wag a finger in their kids’ faces about what they disclose online.”  Read Holland Cooke’s entire piece here.

proctorjerryMEDIA BROKER SPOTLIGHT:  Jerry Proctor of The Proctor Group, Inc.  In this week’s installment of Media Broker Spotlight, Sandi Bergman of RadioTVDeals.com interviews media broker Jerry Proctor of The Proctor Group, Inc.  Proctor brings years of experience to the broker business and describes the deal scene as follows: “Television is undergoing a consolidation revolution such as occurred in the radio business a few years ago.  Consequently, television station prices are returning to pre-recession levels and the consolidations continue with prices still climbing.  Radio is still suffering some of the lingering effects of the recession.  Station prices are recovering but that part of the broadcast industry is being held back due to the lack of available financing.  That’s one of the reasons you see so many LMA opportunities….many with purchase options attached.  The larger and dominant companies in radio are primarily trading among themselves with some small amount of consolidations continuing.  That leaves the lower tier of stations more available to smaller operators.  Many owners in this tier of stations are now retiring and want to sell.  I view NOW as being an excellent time to acquire those stations….if the buyer can find the financing to buy.  Unfortunately, a buyer today MUST have more than two nickels to rub together if they’re going to boot-strap a station purchase!”  To read the entire installment of Media Broker Spotlight, please click here.

rameyhalKCBS, San Francisco’s Hal Ramey Returns to Work After Lengthy Vocal Problem.  Sports anchor Hal Ramey returned to work at KCBS, San Francisco on July 1 after almost four months off the air due to a nodule on his vocal cords.  The Walnut Creek Patch reports that back in February, Ramey noticed his voice was getting a little hoarse.  Doctors advised him to give it a little rest but it just got worse.  He was told to rest it completely – no talking at all – but after a while it only shrank 60% and doctors decided to operate.  The non-cancerous growth was removed on May 9 and Ramey was able to return to work seven weeks later.

durginbobOdds & Sods.  WHP, Harrisburg afternoon drive host Bob Durgin will retire from his position there on August 2 after a 24-year career at the station.  Clear Channel is beginning a search to replace Durgin…..CBS Radio’s KNX, Los Angeles announces the next in its “On Your Corner” series in which the all-news outlet will spotlight San Pedro and the Palos Verdes Peninsula on Friday, July 19 with a day of live broadcasts from 5:00 am to 7:00 pm.  The station says it will focus on key issues and happenings in San Pedro and the Port of Los Angeles, along with the peninsula communities of Palos Verdes, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills and Rolling Hills Estates.  Civic leaders and other guests will be featured during the special broadcast to give Southern Californians insight into the unique attributes, history and future development in the area.

radioshow2013‘Radio and the Connected Car’ Super Session Scheduled for 2013 Radio Show.  The National Association of Broadcasters and the Radio Advertising Bureau announce the 2013 Radio Show in Orlando will feature a Super Session titled, “Radio and the Connected Car” taking place on Thursday, September 19 at 9:15 am.  The NAB and RAB say the panel will feature “leading strategists, analysts and researchers discussing developments in the connected car, what consumers want and where the technology is headed.  This session will reveal data from surveys, focus groups and consumer clinics along with sneak peeks at what car makers and their suppliers have in store for the dashboard of the future.  Participants will offer specific recommendations on what radio can do now to maintain its prominence in the automobile for years to come.”  Participants will include: Roger C. Lanctot, associate director, Global Automotive Practice at Strategy Analytics; and Fred Jacobs, president of Jacobs Media.  Bill Rose, senior vice president, marketing at Arbitron, will provide introductory remarks.

harrisbroadcast logoCharlie Vogt Appointed CEO of Harris Broadcast.  Charlie Vogt comes to Harris Broadcast from his most recent position as president and CEO of GENBAND where he led a companyvogtcharlie transformation that encompassed six acquisitions, including Tekelec SSG, NextPoint Networks and Nortel’s VoIP Business.  Harris Broadcast, recently acquired by The Gores Group, defines itself as “a global supplier of networking, routing and software solutions that create, manage, transmit, distribute and monetize multimedia content.”  Vogt succeeds Harris Morris, who was appointed president of Harris Broadcast when it was a subsidiary of Harris Corporation in 2010, led the company through its divestiture process and guided the transition period to The Gores Group ownership, including the completion of fiscal year 2013.  Harris Broadcast chairman and board member of Dish Network, Carl Vogel, states, “Charlie’s proven track record of taking companies with powerful and promising technology to the next level uniquely positions him to lead this business.  His decision to join Harris Broadcast as president and CEO likewise reflects the promise and potential behind the company’s market-leading technology, marquee customers and exceptional employees.  Charlie will bring to Harris Broadcast vision, leadership, creativity and operational discipline as well as an entrepreneurial and customer-first culture.”  Vogt says of his new position, “I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about joining Harris Broadcast, especially at a time when broadcasters, cable networks and multi-channel content distributors are experiencing so much change – from the impact of on-demand to content delivery on multiple screens and the digital transition to video and audio over IP.  I have spent my professional career building businesses, fostering an entrepreneurial culture and introducing disruptive technologies that transform business models.  I look forward to leading the Harris Broadcast team to accelerate innovation in areas that will enable the company to experience market-leading growth.”

espnvfoundationESPN Radio Begins Annual ‘Don’t Give Up ESPYS V Foundation Auction.’  ESPN Radio announces it is presenting the “9th Annual Don’t Give Up ESPYS V Foundation Auction” going on now through July 17.  The online and on-air public auction features hundreds of items and experiences for bid to raise money and awareness for The V Foundation for Cancer Research. The event has raised more than $5.7 million over the first eight years of the fundraiser. A majority of the nearly 200 experiences and items in the auction will be available online via www.espnradio.com or ebay.com (now through July 17) while a total of 18 fan “experiences” will be auctioned live on air across ESPN Radio’s national shows on July 17 from 6:00 am to 12:00 noon ET.  Listeners can call 1-800-4JimmyV or log onto www.jimmyv.org to both donate and bid on items and experiences in the radio-thon, with the highest bidder at 59 minutes past each hour winning the experience.

Asiana Air S.F. Crash Landing, Egypt Turmoil, ObamaCare Criticism, Immigration Reform/Amnesty, and Eliot Spitzer Comptroller Candidacy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/8).  The crash landing of an Asiana Airlines jet at the San Francisco airport; the violence and turmoil in Egypt after a military-forced change of regimes in the Middle Eastern state; ongoing concerns over the implementation of the Affordable Care Act; legislation addressing illegal immigration and a proposal for amnesty for illegals already here; and former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer’s plans to run for comptroller of New York City.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

| February 2, 2012

Overnight: The Underexploited Daypart.  Consultant Walter Sabo suggests more talk radio operators should take advantage of the overnight daypart – the one it wins by default.  Citing a Media Audit report indicating talk radio has the largest overnight audience, Sabo contends that – contrary to conventional wisdom – there is money to be made there and other opportunities on which to capitalize.  Read his exclusive TALKERS article here.

 

Can Radio Afford to be Rated Accurately?  That’s really the question that should be asked as Arbitron loses accreditation for five PPM markets.  The Media Rating Council is informing Arbitron, Inc. that accreditation for the Portable People Meter in five markets – Cleveland; Portland, Oregon; Riverside-San Bernardino; Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo; and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater – is being withdrawn.  The MRC says its board of directors “reached this decision upon consideration of a recommendation from an MRC audit committee based on its review of the 2011 Arbitron PPM service audit results, which showed certain issues related to internal controls of the service and declines in service performance metrics.”  Arbitron EVP, service innovation and chief research officer Gregg Lindner says, “Consistent with our long-standing priorities, we will work to retain accreditation where we have it, to regain accreditation where it was withdrawn and to achieve accreditation in our remaining PPM markets.  As always, we will continue our work with the MRC in order to address their concerns.”  Arbitron says it intends to have all 48 PPM markets undergo MRC audits this year.  Currently, nine markets remain accredited: Atlanta, Cincinnati, Houston (DMA), Kansas City, Milwaukee-Racine, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and St. Louis.  Although details remain vague, TALKERS suspects the problem faced by Arbitron in getting PPM off and running comes down to sample size – a two-fold challenge at this point.  First: To get enough radio listeners to participate in the program and follow it diligently while busy and distracted; second, to expend the money required to have enough units and participants per market needed to achieve statistical accuracy – an investment that ultimately falls on the back of the financially strapped radio business.

CBS Radio Alters WINS, New York Top-of-the Hour Slogan.  Some observers will call it a win for Merlin Media CEO Randy Michaels who challenged CBS Radio’s use of the “New York’s One and Only News Station” for all-news WINS.  After a back-and-forth of letters from lawyers regarding station slogans and positioning statements in which CBS Radio first asked Merlin to stop using a permutation of its “Give us 22 minutes and we’ll give you the world” slogan, it seems both sides may be moving forward with the business of doing news.  That’s probably best since we’re assuming neither desire to spend more on lawyers than necessary.  TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman says each side could have made a case.  Weisman says CBS could reasonably argue that Merlin was infringing upon its trademark and Merlin could make a good argument that CBS’ use of the “one and only” phrase regarding its all-news radio product violated the Lanham Act (false advertising) in light of WEMP-FM’s existence.

Radio Pros Lee Abrams and Steve Saslow Plan Reinvention of TV News.  Radio programming legend Lee Abrams and marketing and network radio pro Steve Saslow are teaming up with attorney Brandon Davis to form THINK TeleVisual Network, Inc.  In a statement, the trio say they will “elevate the television news playbook into the digital age with a radical reinvention of the way news and information is produced and delivered.”  THINK states its programming will be “designed to present one unified televisual news experience across every device category.   It represents a profound rewriting of the news/information blueprint where a completely new style of presentation will merge with the magic of 21st century technology and modern American culture.”  Lee Abrams says, “News and information is what is steering our 21st century America, the equivalent of what rock ‘n roll was forty years ago.  THINK will merge this passion for information, knowledge and insight with the revolution in technology to create an interactive multi-media experience that will redefine how people are informed and enlightened.”  Initially funded by the three principals, the venture is currently going through another round of fundraising in collaboration with the Boston-based investment firm Kaufman & Company.

Clear Channel’s KFBK Celebrates 90 Years of Serving Sacramento.  News/Talk KFBK-AM/FM, Sacramento is celebrating 90 years on the air serving the people of the region.  As part of the commemoration, the station is unveiling an online museum “that will showcase and honor the station’s rich and storied history.  The museum will include audio clips, photos and videos that will transport listeners back in time to relive KFBK’s evolution.”  Other events throughout the day include Premiere Networks superstar  Rush Limbaugh joining KFBK morning news anchors Amy Lewis and Ed Crane live at 8:00 am where Limbaugh will reminisce about his time at KFBK.  At 11:00 am, station staff will open a time capsule left by a past generation of KFBK employees and longtime KFBK talk host Tom Sullivan – now syndicated by Fox News Radio but still heard on the station – joining Kitty O’Neal during the KFBK Afternoon News to commemorate the occasion.  VP/market manager Jeff Holden states, “The celebration today is recognition and confirmation that the commitment of the employees – past, present and future – is exactly what Sacramentans, at each point in time over the past 90 years, have so welcomingly accepted into their lives.  I couldn’t be more proud to be part of such an illustrious and valuable asset to the region and a part of the team that is making history.”

Clear Channel Quad Cities AM Duo Moves to News/Talk WOC; Piped to WMT, Cedar Rapids.  Morning show hosts Mark Manuel and Steve Ketelaar have been hosting the morning drive show on Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s oldies KUUL-FM, East Moline, Illinois for the past four years.  Beginning February 20, the duo moves across the hall to handle the morning show on the cluster’s news/talk WOC, Davenport and will be simulcast at CC’s Cedar Rapids news/talker WMT.  They’ll replace WOC program director Dan Kennedy as morning host.  Kennedy stays in his PD post and will remain on the program as news anchor.  Kirk Marske will produce the WOC morning show.  According to the Quad City Times, WMT will provide its own news anchor during news cutaways. Clear Channel Davenport operations manager Jim O’Hara tells the paper, “A big thing with us over the past year with Clear Channel in general has been making the best use of our strongest people, our strongest programs.  As I’ve thought about that over the last several months, it dawned on me that WOC is one radio station that needs more help, more people.”

Florida Primary Aftermath, Facebook IPO and Earnings Report, U.S. Afghanistan Combat Withdrawl Plan, and Syrian Violence Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/1).  The aftermath of Mitt Romney’s victory in the Florida primary, the announcement of a pending Facebook IPO and its first public earnings report, plans for an end to the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan and ongoing violence in Syria were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.