Monday Memo: Their Voice, Their Words. Competing with less-cluttered digital audio options, AM/FM radio needs to obsess on commercial Quality Control. In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke details a technique that’s landing accounts and producing results. Read it here.
Impeachment Inquiry, Ukraine Controversy, U.S.-Syria Policy/Turkish Assault, 2020 Presidential Election, Shepard Smith Leaves FOX News, Fort Worth Cop Kills Black Woman, and U.S.-China Relations/Hong Kong Protests Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Democrats’ impeachment inquiry against President Trump; the controversy over Trump’s call with Volodymyr Zelensky and the Bidens’ activities in the region’s oil industry, as well as the arrests of associates of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani; the Trump Administration’s policy in Northeastern Syria and Turkey’s assault on the Kurdish region; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020; the surprise exit of FOX News Channel news anchor Shepard Smith from the news organization; the slaying of a black woman shot through the window of her home by a Fort Worth police officer, and U.S.-China relations and the ongoing Hong Kong protests were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Kamla Exits KILT-AM, Houston for Expanded Role at SiriusXM. The Houston Chronicle’s David Barron reports that KILT-AM, Houston sports talk personality Rick Kamla is leaving the station to take on added duties at SiriusXM, where he’s been hosting a fantasy sports program. SiriusXM is broadening Kamla’s duties to include work on its NBA Radio channel. Kamla had only been with KILT-AM for a little more than two months after having served with Entercom’s Atlanta sports talker WZGC “92.9 FM The Game.” He was partnered on KILT with Clint Stoerner in afternoon drive. Kamla was part of KILT’s July host re-alignment that included the non-renewal of Rich Lord’s contract and his former PM drive partner Sean Pendergast’s move to AM drive alongside Seth Payne.
Salem Radio Network Announces 2020 Presidential and Vice-Presidential Debate Broadcasts. In cooperation with the Commission on Presidential Debates, Salem Radio Network’s 24/7 news services SRN News and TOWNHALL News will provide live broadcast coverage of the 2020 Presidential and Vice Presidential debates scheduled for next fall. SRN White House correspondent Greg Clugston will provide analysis and SRN talk hosts, including Hugh Hewitt, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Dr. Sebastian Gorka, and Larry Elder, will offer opinions and analysis. So far, four debates have been scheduled: Presidential Debates on September 9 at the University of Notre Dame; October 15 at the University of Michigan; and October 22 at Belmont University in Nashville; plus, one Vice Presidential debate will on October 7 at the University of Utah.
Goldstein Promoted at Hubbard Radio. Digital sales pro Steve Goldstein is promoted from senior director, digital sales strategy, to his new position, SVP digital sales strategy and general manager 2060 Digital for the company. Hubbard Radio EVP/chief financial officer Dave Bestler says that Goldstein was most recently splitting duties between Hubbard Radio Washington DC and a corporate role developing digital sales strategies in all of the Hubbard Radio markets. Now, Goldstein will focus exclusively on the corporate role of growing digital sales with station-owned digital assets and 2060 Digital in all Hubbard Radio markets. The company says, “During the past five years 2060 Digital has become an important revenue growth strategy for Hubbard Radio, both in Hubbard radio markets, and recently in non-radio markets with the introduction of 2060 Digital’s Shift division in Columbus, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Detroit, Nashville and Birmingham. Goldstein says, “I am honored and excited to take the helm of a business that I am so passionate about. Hubbard’s overall digital platforms and 2060 Digital have already seen tremendous success. To lead and grow a team that has provided proven results for our clients and our company is thrilling and humbling. I am looking forward to partnering with 2060 Digital ops head Andy Shepherd, his talented team, and our Hubbard Radio market leaders and sellers, all of whom are making a difference for our clients.” As a result of this move, 2060 Digital president James Bryant will focus on growing 2060 Digital’s Shift division in expanding markets.
Hugh Hewitt Is Guest on Harrison Podcast. Legal scholar, journalist, and Salem Radio Network syndicated TALKERS Heavy Hundred talk radio star Hugh Hewitt guests on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” In addition to being one of the most important radio talk show hosts in America and a prolific best-selling author, Hewitt is a professor of constitutional law at Chapman University Law School in California. Harrison and Hewitt engage in an in-depth conversation about the 2020 presidential election, the Ukraine/impeachment issue, US-China relations, the US Constitution, and the complex legacy and personality of Richard Nixon. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.
TALKERS and The Epoch Times Co-Presented “Talk Media Forum on US-China Relations” Video Available on TALKERS TV. The video of the recent panel discussion, “Talk Media Forum on US-China Relations” that took place in New York City on October 1, is now available for viewing on TALKERS TV. The information-packed co-presentation of TALKERS and The Epoch Times included radio talk show hosts Hugh Hewitt of Salem Radio Network, John Batchelor of WABC, New York, and Tom Sullivan of Talk Media Network, as well as a group of experts on the present state of China and its increasingly strained relationship with the United States that included Nan Su of NTDTV, Joshua Philipp of The Epoch Times and Dr. Dana Cheng of The Epoch Times. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison served as moderator. The conversation focused on the US-China trade war, Hong Kong protests, China’s human rights abuses, Huawei and the worldwide battle for 5G dominance, the North Korea nuclear threat, China’s ongoing intellectual property theft, China’s military buildup, and the long term goals and methods of the Chinese Communist Party, plus more. See the video of the event here.
EPOCH TIMES to Meet Heightened Talk Media Interest in US-China Relations by Granting Free Access to TALKERS Readers. The Epoch Times – founded in 2000 by Chinese Americans seeking freedom from the Communist regime and one of the most reliable sources in the world for information about China – has responded to heightened interest in US-China relations by making its website free to TALKERS readers. To sign up for this free courtesy service to talk show hosts and their producers, please click here.
PPM Analysis: Hot AC. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s September 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on hot AC. Just 40% of hot AC stations on our panel were up – weekly, 6+ AQH share – from the August to September surveys, led by Capital Broadcasting’s KBZN, Salt Lake City (+1.0). Comparing year-over-year, just as many hot AC stations were up as were down. Gainers from September 2018 to September 2019 include: Alpha Media’s KEZR, San Jose (+2.4), Cox Media Group’s KSMG, San Antonio (+1.8), and Entercom’s WOMX, Orlando (+1.5). Two hot AC stations ranked #1 in their markets in September – Hubbard Radio’s KSTP-FM, Minneapolis and WRMF, West Palm Beach. See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.
WAY-FM Reports ‘Explosive’ Digital Growth. Christian broadcaster WAY-FM reports it has experienced explosive digital growth in 2019 with the launch of the new WAYNATION.COM website and Podcast Network, and an aggressive shift towards digital content ministry. WAY-FM operates more than 20 Christian music radio stations around the nation in markets like Nashville, Dallas, Portland, and Denver. Parent company WAY Media announces that, in the first six months of 2019, its total digital audience surpassed 750,000 persons and the WAY Nation Podcast Network has earned nearly 3 million downloads in the past 12 months. It adds that these numbers nearly equal the size of WAY-FM’s total radio listenership.
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Allentown market, Cumulus Media’s country WCTO “CAT Country 96” the new “CAT Morning Crew with Sam and Hannah” – hosted by Sam Malone and Hannah Byrom. Byrom joins Cumulus Allentown-Bethlehem from Entercom New York’s WNSH-FM “Country 94.7” where she was weekend personality. Prior to that, she was morning show co-host for Beasley Media Group’s WKLB, Boston “Country 102.5.” At the same time, the station is adding WWYY-FM, Belvidere, New Jersery as a simulcast of WCTO. The station had been alternative as “Spin Radio” in a simulcast with translator W234AX, Allentown at 94.7 FM. Cumulus Allentown-Bethlehem OM Jerry Padden says, “This is a very exciting day for all of us! Though Hannah has worked on some great stations across the country, she is a Jersey girl. Sam was born and bred here in the Lehigh Valley, so doing mornings in their hometowns is a dream come true for both Sam and Hannah.”…..Cumulus Media debuts adult contemporary KQFC, Boise “Magic 97.9.” The signal flips from country and Cumulus brings Lisa Adams aboard as program director. It’s a return to Boise for Adams, who previously served as OM/PD for Townsquare Media’s Boise stations. Most recently, she’s been program director for Hubbard Radio’s country KNUC, Seattle. The “Magic 97.9” air personality lineup so far features Adams in Mornings, Bret Connors in afternoons and Mike Kasper as morning news anchor. News in the morning, with more announcements to follow. Adams says, “I’m incredibly excited and blessed to start my new radio chapter back in a town I love and missed so much!”…..Cox Media Group adds Caitlin “CJ” Johnson as afternoon drive personality at country KKBQ, Houston, effective November 11. She takes over for Cactus Jack, who retired in August. Johnson was most recently afternoon drive host at CMG’s CHR WAPE-FM, Jacksonville…..Entercom announces the continued expansion of the RADIO.COM original station CHANNEL Q. The company says, “To celebrate its one-year anniversary and National Coming Out Day, the premiere LGBTQ+ Talk Radio Network will be available in a total of 32 markets nationwide, including four new markets in Baltimore, Buffalo, Cleveland and St. Louis.”