Second program spawned on TalkersRadio in past 15 months to be picked up by terrestrial syndicator
By Kevin Casey
SPRINGFIELD, MA — For the second time in its first 15 months of operation, TalkersRadio – the experimental talk radio platform launched in September, 2013 by TALKERS magazine – has spawned a program that has been picked up by terrestrial radio.
The first TalkersRadio program to be acquired by terrestrial radio was “The Brent & Meg Show” hosted by the husband/wife team of Brent Seltzer and Meg McDonald.
Now, “American Family Farmer,” hosted by highly-accomplished talk show host Doug Stephan, will launch in January 2015 on two terrestrial syndication platforms — Washington, DC-based Radio America and Minneapolis-based Genesis Communications Network (GCN) – and be available for general radio affiliation.
According to Stephan, the show is specifically geared to stations located in small- to medium-sized rural markets with signals covering locally-owned and -operated family farms. Although the program is a spoken word presentation it would fit any number of music-formatted outlets as well as talk because it is only an hour per week and can run any time deemed convenient and appropriate for the station.
Stephan’s reputation as a major player in syndicated news/talk radio has been forged by longevity, the ability to change-with-the-times and consistent success. His national general issues morning program, “Good Day,” is the second longest running weekday syndicated show in talk radio having launched in October of 1988 (Rush Limbaugh debuted, a handful of months earlier, in August of 1988). In addition, Stephan’s program “The Talk Radio Countdown Show” is one of the longest-running and most successful weekend programs in news/talk radio.
“American Family Farmer” is an information and advocacy forum targeted specifically to the beleaguered sector of the American agriculture industry that is comprised of small independent operators. What makes Stephan qualified to host such a specifically-targeted program? The answer: In addition to being a dedicated lifelong radio broadcaster, he is also a dedicated lifelong family farmer!
Walks the walk
Stephan is the owner/operator of several dairy farms in the Boston suburb of Framingham, Massachusetts under the umbrella of Eastleigh Farm. Stephan tells TALKERS, “I have been around cows all my life. I spent all my free time around the animals as a young boy, sort of an island of solitude for me growing up. I went to the farm when I was afraid to be home, or anywhere else. I have kept an alliance with cows over the years on several farms that I have owned — raising heifers and milker replacements for various farms and dealers in Massachusetts.” Stephan continues, “I have become more involved on a wider scale, to the point now where I have several hundred Jersey dairy cows, which provide us with the raw milk we sell, along with cheeses, ice cream and various other diary-related products that have meaning to those in the locavore movement [people who choose to eat food locally grown and raised].”
A different side of Doug
On “American Family Farmer,” Stephan takes a position quite different from the affable generalist that is heard hosting his traditional news/talk programs. He is a tell-it-like-it is advocate of the political and economic interests of the farmers his new program is designed to serve. He explains, “The family farmers in America, of which I am one, have a tenuous relationship with Big Government and Big Ag. It is obvious to most that the many problems we are trying to solve have come about as a result of too much government meddling in the affairs of the American family farm. We are aggressively addressing these problems with solution-based discussions each week. We are dedicated to becoming the voice for these hard-working people who play such an important role in the economic and nutritional well-being of our nation and are basically being stepped on by the combined forces of Big Government in cahoots with Big Business.”
Tremendous market interest
According to TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein, “During the five months or so that this amazing program has been on our experimental platform, we have received a non-stop parade of inquiries from small market and rural stations around the country asking if it is available in syndication. We have had to turn them away, explaining that it is just an experimental program still in development and that we do not have an infrastructure set up to be able to offer it in syndication. It seems that this show would be a wonderful venue for a wide variety of advertisers that are specifically interested in reaching the people who buy equipment, feed, and other products that support the effort of running a small farm. It is also a sure-fire, powerful one-hour per week place to park local advertisers seeking this audience as well. The time has come for us to serve this show up to the greater radio world.”
TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison adds, “Giving birth to an ‘out-of-the-box’ program like ‘American Family Farmer’ has been exactly what we designed TalkersRadio to do. We are so pleased that this important show has graduated from ‘experimental’ status and has been picked up for distribution by two solid syndicators — Radio America and GCN.”
The program’s producers emphasize that this show is being marketed and produced as a completely separate entity than the other Doug Stephan properties.
“American Family Farmer with Doug Stephan” is now available by barter on a market-exclusive basis. Interested stations should contact Bob K. Telephone: 774-643-6450. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What’s next for TalkersRadio?
TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “The graduation of ‘American Family Farmer’ and ‘The Brent & Meg Show’ to solid terrestrial platforms within the first 15 months of TalkersRadio’s existence is extremely gratifying – especially considering that both programs were conceived as ‘out of the box’ concepts and never would have had the chance to develop into such special properties if it were not for this experimental platform. According to Harrison, TalkersRadio will go on a one month “hiatus” for technical updates and improvements and come back in early January, 2015 with a new roster of programs headlined by “Healed Planet with Alan Colmes” and “The Lionel Show” hosted by Lionel. Harrison says, “Healed Planet” – which deals with the leading edge of the human consciousness movement – shows a side of Alan Colmes’ wide realm of interests and journalistic skills that most people have not yet had a chance to experience. It’s a truly great radio show in the bud and I am enthusiastic about its potential for development. “The Lionel Show” presents the legendary and iconoclastic broadcaster – Lionel – in an unbridled format totally geared to his verbal genius. Although what he says neither breaks the rules of taste nor the bounds of legitimate clear thinking, I don’t think there has been a tightly-wound terrestrial operation out there with the courage to put him on the air and let him run free without tinkering with the brilliant product that just oozes from his fertile mind… at least not up until now. I suspect that is about to change and the industry will catch up this year with and gain the benefits of what the ‘real’ Lionel has to offer.” TalkersRadio is powered by Boston-based Backbone Networks. Readers interested in learning more about TalkersRadio should contact Michael Harrison at email@example.com.