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Monday Memo: Play the Hits

| August 9, 2021

By Holland Cooke


BLOCK ISLAND, RI — By the time you read this, it could be moot. If the last year-and-a-half has taught us anything, it’s that anything could happen, at any time, and disrupt the life routine of which we want our work to be the soundtrack.

So – barring the unforeseen – four topics are of extreme relevance:

Pandemic 2.0

Only last week we achieved the vaccination goal the president was hoping for by a July 4 that could have been Independence Day from the virus. Lesson learned: Deniers invited this variant, and it’s a bugger. Watch Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, and wherever else went-red overnight.

Mask sales were up 20% last week; and, thankfully, holdouts are now lining-up for the jab. Tell them where and when. New York was the first city to require vaccination credentials for entry to certain retail spaces. It won’t be the last. School? No-school? Issue #1 for parents. Be known for knowing the New Rules, and you’ll earn what the ratings people call “occasions of listening.”

Seventeen months ago here, I offered that “NOTHING – repeat, NOTHING — is more top-of-mind right now, and this story is closer to the beginning than the end.” Back to the future: Amid returned refrigerator trucks and other grim harbingers — and with some FOX News hosts choosing their words more carefully lately — another prediction you can hold me to: We’re near the end of the argument. Data is undeniable. And soreheads’ face-saving pivot will be FDA Final Approval for vaccines previously dissed as “experimental.”


Got one? During my weekly commute to DC, I step-around two sidewalk tents in two blocks, two blocks from the White House. Two years ago, this was a Los Angeles and San Francisco dateline, now it’s everywhere. The Eviction Moratorium situation is unresolved and local.

Real estate is also germane to those of us blessed with less-tenuous circumstances. Low interest rates and an overheated market – a bubble, some reckon – has made the American dream of home ownership a high-stakes game. I’m impressed by radio ads I hear for Realtors offering to be the buyer’s agent. And Home Improvement is hotter than ever.

And here’s another lead for sales: Office furniture liquidation stores. 2020 left many companies downsizing their office footprint, or closing offices entirely. So there’s lots of inventory, much of it in good-as-new condition, available at half what you’d pay new retail. Shop there if you’re outfitting a home studio or office.


In last week’s column, I suggested asking callers “How are YOU feeling inflation?” Since then, hosts who did tell me that the phone exploded. Short-term? Long-term? Stay tuned. Tell stories.


Don’t let summertime slip-away. Crowded airports and full flights reflect pent-up demand after the 2020 summer of stay-cation. But many remain wary. So tell listeners what’s-up nearby.

Holland Cooke is the author of the E-book “Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers, Without Buying Clicks,” available from Talkers books (click the banner on this page). He is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet.  And HC hosts “The Big Picture” TV show Friday nights at 7ET on RT America.  Follow him on Twitter @HollandCooke

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Category: Advice