Monday Memo: Welcome to the Spring Book. Consultant Holland Cooke offers some tips for radio stations in this week’s Monday Memo as the Nielsen Audio spring survey begins on Thursday (3/28). Cooke reminds programmers that the most important listeners are your P1s because research shows that less than 25% of a station’s cume contributes more than 50% of its Average Quarter Hours. The most efficient way to boost AQH share is to get more listening out of your P1s and he offers some ideas on how to do that. Read it here.
Mike Francesa Hits Twitter in Response to NY Post Piece; Post’s Marchand Fires Back. Last week, TALKERS magazine alerted you to the New York Post story by Andrew Marchand alleging that Entercom’s WFAN, New York had been negotiating with sports personality Adam Schein to take over Mike Francesa’s afternoon drive slot on the station. Over the weekend, Francesa took to Twitter to correct the “outrageous misinformation” and “outright lies” being spread about his status at the station. Francesa reiterates he’s working without a contract right now, that Entercom has a long-term offer for him (he hasn’t signed it yet), and that he’s okay with adding a person to the show (in fact, it was his idea). Francesa doesn’t mention Schein in his tweet but Marchand writes in his column that Francesa “essentially confirmed” last week’s story and asserts that Francesa knows his show needs help to avoid losing the now-tight ratings battle with crosstown WEPN-FM’s Michael Kay show. Marchand speculates WFAN overnight host John Jastremski might be considered as a co-host.
Bill O’Reilly Returns to Radio with 15-Minute Program. Titled, “The O’Reilly Update,” the new 15-minute radio program hosted by former, longtime FOX News Channel star Bill O’Reilly will launch on April 29. The program is being syndicated by Key Networks for daily delivery at 11:30 am ET with all advertising included – no additional barter units – and two minutes of local avails in the feature. In the press release, O’Reilly states, “More than ever before, Americans need accurate information and honest news analysis in order to make intelligent decisions. It is all about protecting yourself and your family. The daily ‘O’Reilly Update’ will arm you with facts and provide opinion based on those facts. Can’t wait to get started.” O’Reilly hosted the nationally syndicated program “The Radio Factor” from 2002-2009. Key Networks chief revenue officer Dennis Green comments, “On the Mount Rushmore of spoken-word talent you must include Bill O’Reilly. It’s an honor to bring Bill back to radio to deliver appointment listening and revenue opportunities for affiliate stations in a unique format.”
Hugh Hewitt Named New Head of Richard Nixon Foundation. Nationally syndicated talk show host Hugh Hewitt is returning to his roots at The Richard Nixon Foundation as he’ll become president and CEO of the organization on July 1. Hewitt will continue to host his Salem Radio Network program, make appearances on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” and write op-eds for the Washington Post. He’ll split his time between Washington and Yorba Linda, California, the site of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum. Forty years ago, Nixon hired Hewitt as a researcher. Nixon Foundation chairman Dr. James H. Cavanaugh says, “The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum recently underwent a complete renovation, and the new, interactive museum galleries enjoy increased attendance and positive reviews. Hugh will lead the Nixon Foundation in its exciting next phase of growth, expanding its presence through national programming with an emphasis on articulating the Nixon legacy of pragmatic realism in domestic and foreign affairs.” Hewitt says, “Richard Nixon was a grand strategist and master diplomat, and his vision is exactly what is needed today as America faces challenges and opportunities with China, North Korea, Russia, throughout the Middle East and elsewhere. The world needs to be reminded of President Nixon’s lasting foreign policies, the strategic methods by which he assessed conflict and disagreement, and how he crafted strategies for resolution — building a more peaceful world.”
Noted Media Figure Rick Ungar Launches Independently Syndicated Progressive Talk Radio Show. “The Rick Ungar Show” launched on March 4, 2019, airing in the 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm ET time slot, on the following stations: WCPT 820 AM, Chicago; KKSF 910 AM, San Francisco; KTNF 950 AM, Minneapolis; KABQ 1350 AM, Albuquerque; and KTRC, 1260 AM/103.7 GM, Santa Fe. According to Ungar, while the program airs on a charter lineup of progressive stations, The Rick Ungar Show seeks to bring a more open minded, fair approach to the progressive radio landscape by continuing in the tradition of “Rational Radio” established during his years in partnership with Michael Steele on the Sirius XM Satellite Radio program, “Steele & Ungar.” Ungar tells TALKERS, “While my ideology certainly leans to the left, I have never been one who seeks to talk for the left. My role is to convey the facts – even when they may not favor the left point of view – along with my opinions on those facts. It is then up to the audience to decide where they stand based on the facts presented. I never care if you agree with me or not. But when you are hanging out with your friends over the weekend and the talk turns to politics, I want my listeners to be the smartest, best informed, people in the room.” The new show is reportedly experiencing call-ins from Trump supporters who are not calling to yell at the host but rather to rationally discuss the issues put on the table. Ungar continues, “The plans are to be the first nationally syndicated program to be carried by conservative stations in a long time looking to provide their listeners with a view from the other side-presented in a way that is fair, open and welcoming to all viewpoints on the political spectrum.” Rick came to the world of political talk radio from the entertainment industry where he was a writer and producer. He also served many years as the president of the Marvel Character Group. He additionally serves as the editor-in-chief of www.TheDailyCentrist.com, an on-line news and opinion site dedicated to publishing rational arguments on the issues of the day from all sides of the political spectrum. To get in touch with Ungar please email email@example.com. Meet Rick Ungar at Talkers 2019: Telling the Story in New York on Friday June 7.
FCC Investigating Political Ad Rate Complaint at Entercom Buffalo. The Buffalo News reports that the Federal Communications Commission investigating whether a politician in the 2018 congressional race got the lowest unit charge as required by law. Entercom was sent a letter of inquiry for documentation on paid election advertising on news/talk WBEN-AM, sports talk WGR-AM, and five other Buffalo market stations. Entercom admitted that it had not posted the required information from the 2018 campaigns until just this January but said it was the result of an internal error. It also told the paper it is working with the FCC on the matter and doesn’t plan further public comment. The FCC is requesting information about paid candidate ads and non-candidate issue ads that aired on all of Entercom’s Buffalo stations by April 4.
TALKERS News Notes. High-profile psychologist and best-selling author Dr. Jordan B. Peterson joins the Westwood One Podcast Network with his new, eponymous podcast launching this week. Peterson is joined by his daughter and co-host Mikhaila Peterson as the two break down the dichotomy of life and explain how individuals and culture are shaped by values, music, religion, and beyond…..Washington, DC AM signal WSPZ is being sold bySalem Communications Holding Corporation to Immaculate Heart Media for $750,000. The 1260 AM signal has been simulcasting Salem’s Christian teaching format heard on WAVA-FM, Washington…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that sales pro Peter Bowen is exiting his role at Entercom’s sports talk WSCR, Chicago as director of sports sales after 10 months in the position. Bowen wrote in an email to colleagues, “It was an honor and a pleasure to work with everyone over the past 10 months. It was great to reunite with so many familiar faces and friends…and it was awesome to meet so many new people.” Bowen had previously served in the market as Cumulus Media’s vice president and market manager…..Talk show host Bill Carroll – the Canadian who hosted a midday show on iHeartMedia’s KFI, Los Angeles for a number of years – is expanding the reach of his Bell Media program. He’s currently based at news/talk CFRA, Ottawa and his 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm program will now be syndicated across a number of Bell-owned news/talk stations every Friday afternoon…..Wisconsin radio personality Gary Douglas is retiring from the business and his current post with NRG Media as operations manager for the Fort Atkinson/Whitewater cluster and morning host for news/talk WFAW-AM. Douglas’ 46-year career has included stops at WIBA-AM, Madison and WDUZ-AM, Green Bay. He’ll continue his role as play-by-play voice for University of Wisconsin-Whitewater sports broadcasts.
Tennessee’s Stonecom Radio Unveils New Facility. Pictured above are two images from Stonecom Radio of its new, 10,000-plus square foot facility (left) in Cookeville, Tennessee that’s home to news/talk WUCT-AM/W231DG, country WKXD, rock WBXE, and AC WLQK. At right is a news studio. Stonecom unveiled the new building with a ceremony attended by state and local dignitaries. Tennessee Association of Broadcasters executive director Whit Adamson was in attendance and stated, “Stonecom is led by a true team of broadcasters who are proud to serve the entire region they touch with their signal of each of the respective stations in the cluster.”
Mueller Report Delivered/Trump Claims Victory, Islamic State Victory, Border Wall Issue, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, Brexit Redux, Us Film, NBA Action and NCAA Tournament Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Special prosecutor Robert Mueller delivers his report on the Trump-Russia investigation to the attorney general’s office and President Trump claims victory; U.S. troops’ taking of the last territory in Syria held by ISIS; the issue of the border wall and reports of another migrant caravan forming in Central America; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; Prime Minister Theresa May’s last chance at getting her EU exit deal through Parliament; the box office success of Jordan Peele’s horror film Us; and the NBA and NCAA tournament action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. South Florida hot AC WMIA-FM announces the new “Mack in the Morning with Letty B” program will debut on April 1. The show stars Miami on-air pro Mack, Los Angeles native co-host Letty B and producer Nick Pena. Station PD Joey Brooks says, “I am excited to announce Mack, Letty B and Nick as 939 MIA’s morning team. Not only is this group entertaining, but they are committed to the South Florida community. Individually, each of them brings a unique perspective to the show and I am confident that they will quickly earn listener loyalty.”…..On-air personality Kenny Walker re-ups with WMXJ-FM, Miami “102.7 The Beach” to continue hosting the morning show on the classic hits outlet. Walker says, “The energy of this station stood out to me when I joined in 2016 and I am honored to continue being a part of our listeners’ daily routines. I look forward to continue building our station’s brand and connecting with Miami-Ft. Lauderdale.”…..The world famous KROQ, Los Angeles us announcing the 11th annual “Kevin & Bean’s April Foolishness” event hosted by morning show duo Kevin and Bean. The station says this special anniversary celebrates the prestigious legacy of April Foolishness that blends hysterical stars with the most talented up-and-coming names in all of comedy. Special guests will include: Adam Ray, Felipe Esparza, Greg Fitzsimmons, Eddie Ifft, Jamie Lee, and Ray Romano. The event will also feature “The Kevin & Bean Rap Battle” with beatboxer Joshua from “Drop the Mic.”…..Nationally syndicated urban morning radio star DeDe McGuire was in Milwaukee over the weekend appearing at “The Gathering” presented by affiliate station WJMR “Jammin’ 98.3.” She’s pictured below (center) with listeners at the 17th annual event that gives fans the opportunity to shop with local vendors, watch music, network, and meet their favorite Jammin’ 98.3 hosts. “DeDe in the Morning” is syndicated by Compass Media Networks.