Monday Memo: V, L, W. Music programmers know that, “by the time WE are sick of a song, it’s just becoming a hit.” With coronavirus pandemic “number one with a bullet,” consultant Holland Cooke urges radio to heed Dr. Fauci’s plea “not to take our foot off the gas” with mitigation advice. Read his column here.
Push to Re-Open Economy, U.S. Covid-19 Cases and Projections, November Election/Mail-in Voting, China Restricts Coronavirus Research, Financial Markets Activity/Oil Glut, and Celebs with Covid-19 Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Reports that President Trump wants to re-open the economy by May 1; the tally of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the U.S. and the experts’ projections for peak infections; the November presidential race and the debate over voting by mail; the call to investigate China’s early handling of the epidemic and the CCP’s restriction on any investigation into the coronavirus origins; the world’s financial markets activity and the global oil glut; British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves the hospital and other celebs with Covid-19 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Pending Business: Mother’s Day. Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, says, “Mother’s Day is around the corner. You think I’m kidding, right? Raise the Mother’s Day flag, now? In the middle of all this coronavirus pandemic?” Yes. Lapa writes in this week’s column, “Mother’s Day will be different this year, for sure. Maybe there will be no dinner reservations at that favorite restaurant, or (in-person) relatives gathering with Mom. We know the current restrictions, no matter where you live. Some may change, maybe not, but what about Mom? Through thick and thin, near and far, we always honor Mom.” Read Steve’s column here.
Guardian Angels Founder and WABC Host Curtis Sliwa and Fellow Angels Assist Homeless. Pictured above in a still from a YouTube video filmed yesterday (4/12), is Guardian Angels founder and WABC, New York midday host Curtis Sliwa helping Martha, a homeless woman who lives in Penn Station. Sliwa says Martha and other emotionally disturbed persons “are everywhere.” He says Martha is “dramatically disturbed to the point where she can only now speak in gibberish. I remember her four years ago when you could have a somewhat normal conversation with her. Living in Penn Station has aged her dramatically and caused her to move into the ‘Twilight Zone.’ Her legs were infected and in need or medical attention. None of it would be provided by the city or state that acts normally as if these fellow citizens of ours don’t even exist. I helped her clean her own legs with the alcohol solution and then nourished her ravished body. At the rate that Martha is deteriorating she will soon be in a pine box buried in Potters Field ‘Heart Island.’ She is someone’s daughter, she has a family, but her mind is so damaged that it is impossible to recover that information from her. On this Easter Sunday we should all look at her and ask ourselves how in the richest country in the world with such enormous resources in a city that is the economic engine for the whole world that we allow Martha to wallow in her feces and urine and act as if she doesn’t exist. Shame on all of us. Where is the humanity? It was bad before the way we would ignore these fallen people, but now the spread of coronavirus gives us a chance to close our eyes and run away. We, the Guardian Angels, will not forsake the forgotten.”
Alex Jones Warned by FDA. According to KTXS-TV, Abilene, Texas, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning to talk show host Alex Jones to stop claiming that products hawked on his website – including toothpaste and mouthwash – prevent Covid-19. The story also indicates Jones was sent a cease-and-desist letter from New York Attorney General Letitia James back on March 12 to stop promoting the products. The FDA says that Jones’ claims about the products promotes illegal and unapproved drugs that can carry financial penalties. The FDA notice isn’t legally binding, but the agency can sue if Jones doesn’t acquiesce.
Christopher Tarr Joins Magnum Media as Group Director of Engineering. After serving for the past 16-plus years with Entercom in Southeastern Wisconsin, Christopher Tarr takes on the group director of engineering role with Magnum Media. The company operates 16 radio stations and three LPTV stations in Southern Wisconsin. Tarr says, “I made lifelong friends at Entercom and am so proud of all we accomplished with the Milwaukee and Madison facilities. It was very hard to leave, but I couldn’t be happier Dave [Magnum] selected me for this newly created GDE position. We’ve known each other 15 years. We’re kindred spirits, sharing a love and passion for radio. We both started out as deejays in our mid-teens in our hometowns. His sons, Reid and Ty, literally have radio in their blood. Reid’s wife, Chelsey, is transitioning from being a 4th grade public school teacher over to the stations. I smile every time I meet yet another staff member that’s been with Magnum since the 90s. So, with this family-owned business, radio is a lifestyle. It’s my lifestyle, too, so this is a perfect match.”
WTOP-FM, Washington Produces Covid-19 Updates for Crosstown Stations. The “2020 Radio Together Campaign” from Hubbard Radio involves all-news WTOP-FM producing a :60 second feature for DC market music stations including United Media-operated Regional Mexican WBHQ-AM “La Mera Mera 1050 AM” as well as Howard University’s urban contemporary WHUR 96.3, Entercom’s sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan,” hip hop WPGC, and classic hits WIAD “94.7 The Drive.” The feature is delivered to the stations four times per day. WTOP news and programming director Julia Ziegler comments, “We are incredibly excited to partner with each of these amazing radio stations in bringing our community together during the coronavirus crisis. Now more than ever, the importance of working together and continuing to bring news, information, and entertainment to listeners is crucial.”
TALKERS News Notes. All-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago managing editor Julie Mann is presenting a webinar titled, “Radio and Digital Media During a Pandemic,” as part of the 2020 Publicity Club of Chicago Luncheon Series on Wednesday (4/15). Mann will address issues including: What are journalists looking for in a news cycle that is almost exclusively about coronavirus? What are the best ways to tell your story when your visuals are limited? How has radio and digital media responded to the pandemic?…..Beasley Broadcast Group Inc. will hold its Annual Meeting of Stockholders on Tuesday, May 26 at 12:00 noon ET. Although the company plans to hold the meeting at its headquarters in Naples, Florida, it says the coronavirus pandemic may cause the meeting to be held virtually. Issues to be voted upon include: The election of nine nominees for directors; and an advisory vote to approve named executive officer compensation…..Entercom’s RADIO.COM Sports Digital Network is presenting “You Better You Bet – Countdown to the Draft,” a nightly, two-hour digital and broadcast show dedicated to coverage of the 2020 NFL Draft. It airs this week, as well as April 20 to 22 and April 27. The show is co-hosted by Nick Kostos and Ross Tucker and will welcome national RADIO.COM sports insiders and local team guests for team-by-team analysis, nightly discussions, opinions and stories around the league. Guests will include RADIO.COM sports insiders Jason La Canfora, Brian Baldinger, Michael Lombardi, and Mark Herzlich…..Reality TV star Kate Chastain (Bravo’s “Below Deck”) is joining SiriusXM to host “Unapologetically Kate Chastain” on Andy Cohen’s Radio Andy channel beginning tomorrow (4/14). She says, “I like to consider myself a recreational sociologist, which is quite liberating because it means I’m not judging people, I’m basically a scientist-ish. I look forward to voicing my thoughts with Radio Andy listeners nationwide!”…..iHeartRadio unveils a new episode of the podcast “Committed,” titled, “In Spirit and in Cardboard.” It’s hosted by Jo Piazza and tells three stories of love and commitment in the age of Covid-19: how a Maine doctor moves out of his house to protect his wife, toddler, and unborn child from the virus; how a local cardboard factory steps up to make cardboard cutouts of the120 guests who won’t be at a young couple’s wedding; and how one couple got married on the Nintendo video game Animal Crossing.
INTRIGUING INFORMATION FOR TALK SHOW HOSTS: The Epoch Times Drops Bold Video Documentary Investigating the Origins of Covid-19 and Its Connection to the Chinese Communist Party. Covid-19, which originated from China, has rampaged through the world and caused more than 80,000 deaths, infecting at least 1.4 million. However, the true number of deaths and infections is most likely unknown due to the alleged underreporting of cases from mainland China. In a startling video documentary presented by The Epoch Times and NTD (New Tang Dynasty TV), investigative reporter Joshua Philipp takes an in-depth look at the progression of the pandemic from January to April and leads viewers on a journey of discovery to bring the truth behind the matter to light. From the Huanan Seafood Market in Hubei Province to the scandals at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, from long-running experiments on viruses to military takeovers, suspicious activities arise from every corner. Through vigorous investigations and the piecing together of hidden information, the documentary attempts to unearth a more complete understanding of the situation surrounding the rise of this pandemic. Suspicions uncovered from official reports and publicly available information also sprouted more questions, leading to surprising findings and inquiries. To view the entire video documentary, please click here. To book Joshua Philipp for interviews call Victoria Jones at the DC Radio Company at 202-227-7067.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. A surprise move on Friday (4/10) by iHeartMedia has the “The Kane Show” gone from its home base at WIHT-FM, Washington and the Premiere Networks. There’s been no official comment from iHeartMedia or Premiere. Airing in morning drive at WIHT now is “Your Morning Show” with Intern John, Riley Couture, and Radio Rose. Affiliate stations received notice of the change late Friday…..Entravision Communications re-brands two of its English-language radio stations in the Brownsville-McAllen-Harlingen, Texas market. KFRQ is now “Q94.5 FM All Rock All the Time,” and KVLY is “107.9 RGV-FM More Hits More Variety.” KFRQ features James Echavarria, a.k.a. “Rock-n-Roll James,” daily from 6:00 am to 12:00 noon. Afternoons (3:00 pm to 7:00 pm) is hosted by San Benito, a.k.a. Charlie Corona. KVLY features “Roxy in the Morning” weekdays from 6:00 am to 12:00 noon. Entravision VP of audio Nestor Rocha states, “We are seeing that the communities in the greater Rio Grande Valley are diversifying their taste in music genres. To better suit what our audiences are most interested in listening to, we have enhanced our two radio formats to better connect with our listeners, and in turn, our advertisers with their customers. We continue to be dedicated to providing top-quality, entertaining programming that resonates with our local communities.”