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Streaming Has Saved Talk Radio

| September 20, 2022

By Kathy Carr
Howie Carr Radio Network
President

 

BOSTON — Recently, I was signing up a new affiliate for “The Grace Curley Show” and one section of the agreement dealt with “territory,” meaning the area covered by the station’s terrestrial signal.

The template for this agreement was created just eight years ago, in 2014, but it now seems so archaic. With all the ways you can listen in 2022, what does it matter how strong the signal is and what exactly is “exclusive territory?” Because there is no exclusive territory now.

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Monday, September 19, 2022

| September 19, 2022

Monday Memo: Can News Save Talk? Twenty years ago, at the TALKERS magazine conference in New York, Michael Harrison declared that “talk saved AM radio and it will save FM.” In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke asks, “Now, can news save FM from talk?” Read it here.

 

Pending Business: Keep it Simple. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column that great leaders are successful because they keep the mission simple. But while the mission may be simple – audio advertising’s mission is to sell goods and services – executing the mission is not always so easy. He offers four tips for keeping the mission simple and staying focused. Read it here.

 

FAIR’s Hold Their Feet to the Fire Radio Row 2022 Takes Place This Week. This Wednesday and Thursday (9/21-22) nationally syndicated and local talk radio hosts will broadcast live from Washington, D.C. at the Federation for American Immigration Reform’s 15th annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row. FAIR says the two-day event focuses on the “failed immigration policies of the BidenHarris administration and the SchumerPelosi-led Congress, holding them both accountable.” FAIR executive director Bob Dane comments, “The Biden-Harris administration has not only taken a torch to every aspect of U.S. immigration policy and law, with disastrous results, they are blatantly lying to the American public. Just this week, Vice President Harris claimed on national television that our borders are secure. Sadly, the ideologically driven mainstream news outlets refuse to report the extent of the damage the Biden-Harris administration has wrought on the American public. The American public knows it is being lied to, and the purpose of ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ is to make sure that the American people have the information they need to hold the administration and Congress accountable for their reckless and politically driven policies by blanketing the nation’s radio airwaves.”

WCBS-AM, New York News Director Tim Scheld Named Chair of RTDNA. At the final day of the RTDNA22 convention in Indianapolis on Friday (9/16), Tim Scheld, (left) news director at Audacy’s all-news WCBS-AM, New York, was installed as chair of the Radio Television Digital News Association. He’ll serve in the role for a year. Scheld succeeds outgoing chair Allison McGinley, (right) news director at WKMG-TV, Orlando, for the final year of her three-year leadership cycle. Sheryl Worsley, vice president of podcasting, KSL Podcasts, is named chair-elect and begins a three-year leadership cycle. Scheld states, “I am here to tell you that RTDNA has your back. We pledge to be a strong and tireless advocate for fact-based, responsible journalism. And we will fight like none other to protect your rights to report those truths.” Of McGinley, Scheld says, “Over the last year, you have led with strength and vision, always ready with support and passion, pushing RTDNA forward. You carefully and thoughtfully navigated every challenge that came your way with grace and helped others in leadership do the same. We thank you for guiding our board and our association. We thank you for your time and talent. And we look forward to your work with the foundation.”

iHeartMedia Announces Second NextUp Podcast Initiative. The second annual NextUp Initiative from iHeartMedia opens the application process today and runs through September 30. The NextUp Initiative is designed to “empower creators of all backgrounds by giving them the tools to succeed in the podcast industry, from developing and marketing a podcast to using industry-leading software.” The NextUp program will span six months beginning January and will include a monthly stipend. Creators will exit the program with at least three finished episodes and a polished pitch for their podcast. NextUp is led by industry veterans and iHeartPodcast executive producers Anna Hossnieh and Joelle Smith, and iHeartPodcast production manager Yesenia Medellin. “The program will mentor the selected NextUp fellows, elevating the voices of new, historically underrepresented storytellers, and provide an incredible opportunity for the next generation of podcast creators to be heard.” The company says that applicants selected will have the opportunity to work with and learn from some of iHeart’s top creators and executives with the goal of creating content focused on their own unique perspectives and stories. The inaugural NextUp initiative produced a full slate of shows from all eight of its NextUp fellows, covering a range of important topics from the working class to Native American identity. Find out more and apply here.

Salem’s WGTK-FM, Greenville, South Carolina Hosts Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. Pictured above is WGTK-FM, Greenville, South Carolina “94.5 The Answer” morning drive personality Joey Hudson broadcasting during the station’s “Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.” Salem says the event – which drew 600 officers who received Chick Fil A breakfast biscuits as well as bags containing gift certificates and other special items – was a prime example of local talk radio being involved in the community. Hudson adds, “We were honored to have South Carolina Lt. Governor Pamela Evette and Greenville police chief Howie Thompson join our live broadcast. While some on the political left advocate defunding the police, our goal is defending the police and showing them our appreciation 24/7.”

TALKERS News Notes. Media company Barstool Sports, Inc. announced new initiatives at its 2023 upfront presentation that took place on September 14 at Webster Hall in New York City. Presented by CEO Erika Ayers Nardini, the company is announcing seven new shows, five new live events and a new NIL marketplace for college athletes and creators “to further solidify the company’s creativity, influence and impact on Millennial and Gen Z audiences.” Nardini and founder Dave Portnoy said the company plans to further expand its reach among the hard-to-reach 18-34-year-old demographic and “its unmatched influence to move products for brands.” They reported that in the past six years Barstool revenue grew 3650%; this year alone its workforce grew by 42%. They underscored how Barstool leverages its audience on every social platform to deliver high-ROI brand partnerships, which include 27 billion video views across its content. They also shared that 58% of listeners have purchased a product after hearing it advertised on a Barstool podcast, according to a recent audience survey…..Beginning Sunday, September 25, WNYC Studios’ “The United States of Anxiety” expands from a local New York City radio program and podcast into a nationally syndicated live radio show available to public radio stations. As part of this expansion, the show will now go by “Notes from America with Kai Wright,” a new name that reflects its national presence, inviting a broader audience to engage together in its popular call-in format. WNYC says the show will “continue its commitment to facing the unfinished business of our history and its grip on our future – but with a fresh focus on finding solutions. Each week, Wright will convene intimate conversations about race, power, democracy and the most urgent issues of our time — putting them in historical and cultural contexts, while simultaneously providing a space for listeners to share how these issues impact their lives on a personal level.”

The November Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Trump Legal Issues, Trump Ohio Rally, Inflation/Financial Markets Activity, Hunter Biden Investigation, Russia-Ukraine War, Queen Elizabeth Funeral, and Hurricane Fiona Ravages Puerto Rico Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The November midterm elections and speculation about the nominees for the 2024 presidential race; the legal issues facing former President Donald Trump; the Ohio Trump rally supporting U.S. Senate candidate J.D. Vance; inflation, the financial markets activity, and the Fed’s expected hiking of interest rates; Republican senators’ request for a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden; Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; the funeral procession for Queen Elizabeth II; and Hurricane Fiona’s battering of Puerto Rico were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pending Business: Keep It Simple

| September 19, 2022

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp
President

 

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — The thing about great leaders is their ability to keep the mission simple.

I once asked a Super Bowl champion coach how he coached temperamental wide receivers earning millions of guaranteed dollars each season. His answer was elegantly simple. I tell them, “You get paid to just catch the ball.” Sounds simple, right? Except when two opponents are coming for you at Mach 4 speed, trained to deliver that bone crushing collision to make you regret even thinking “just catch the ball.” The mission is simple yet executing the mission, not so easy. And so it was with the legendary Lowry Mays, founder of Clear Channel Communications, now iHeartMedia.

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Monday Memo: Can News Save Talk?

| September 19, 2022

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Twenty years ago, at the TALKERS conference in New York, publisher Michael Harrison declared that “talk saved AM radio and it will save FM.”

Now, can news save FM from talk?

The biggest blade in the Swiss Army Knife?

Non-music stations give listeners plenty of reasons to tune-in.

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Friday, September 16, 2022

| September 16, 2022

NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour, weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS, is now posted. This new episode titled “Turbulence” looks back at this past week of 9/12 to 9/16. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Holland Cooke, media consultant; Lynn Woolley, talk show host, KJCE, Austin; Dom Giordano, talk show host, WPHT, Philadelphia; and Graham Mack, broadcaster/journalist, London. The show airs weekends (Friday evenings to Sunday nights) on almost 100 broadcast signals and networks across the U.S. and U.K as well as having developed a significant international following as a podcast. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

New Jersey Child Psychologist Sues Bill Spadea and Townsquare Media for Defamation and More. In a civil suit filed in New Jersey Superior Court, psychologist Steven Tobias is suing WKXW-FM,Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” morning drive talk host Bill Spadea, the station, and Townsquare Media for defamation, business disparagement, and more. In the complaint Tobias says that he’d appeared on “New Jersey 101.5” numerous times over the years as an expert guest and, when the pandemic began, he appeared a number of times to offer advice on how to assist children struggling with wearing masks as well as with returning to school after remote learning. Tobias says he agreed to appear on Spadea’s program on September 21, 2021 after Spadea’s producer assured him he would not be pressured into taking a stand on whether children should wear masks and that his appearance would not be politicized. Tobias claims that after his appearance, Spadea launched a “vicious attack on him personally and professionally.” He says Spadea called him a “crackpot” and said Tobias “should literally be indicted for child abuse,” and more. Tobias says the attacks have damaged his reputation and his business, the Center for Child and Family Development. Tobias is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, and more. Bill Spadea did not immediately respond to TALKERS’ request for comment on the lawsuit.

Dave Ramsey Presents Building Wealth Events to Sellout Crowds in Phoenix. Pictured above on stage at Central Christian Church in Mesa, Arizona is Ramsey SolutionsDave Ramsey presenting his Building Wealth live event before a sold-out audience. Ramsey Solutions says that retirement is the number one long-term savings goal among Americans, but according to the latest edition of The State of Personal Finance study by Ramsey Solutions, inflation and the cost of living are the two biggest factors impacting people’s savings plans. The report also found that nearly 60% of respondents said they worry about their general finances daily, and about half have lost sleep in the last three months due to financial worries. Partnering with local affiliate KTAR-FM, Ramsey Solutions produced the event on September 12 and 13. Each night included presentations from Ramsey, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Cruze and other Ramsey Personalities, including Dr. John Delony, Ken Coleman and George Kamel. Dave Ramsey states, “The reality is, you work too hard to feel this broke. In hard economic times and in good economic times, you have to prepare for your financial future. From my 30 years on the radio, I’ve seen over and over that real millionaires follow a proven plan for their money. This event will show you it’s possible for you too.”

Michael Biondo Promoted at iHeartMedia. The company promotes Michael Biondo to the position president of business development and strategic partnerships, effective immediately. He has been serving the company as EVP, strategic business operations of the iHeartMedia Networks Group. In his new role, Biondo will “oversee the evolution of iHeartMedia’s partnerships and deals with key companies across iHeartMedia’s field of view – from tech startups to established automotive companies, from the entertainment industry to international distribution.” iHeartMedia Digital Group CEO Conal Byrne states, “Mike has had a long, varied career at iHeartMedia, and has gained experience and wisdom across a diverse set of priorities, vendors and partners. With Mike in this new role, our company will be even better prepared to approach the market in a thoughtful, streamlined, strategic manner every day, and in every conversation.”

FOX News Media Names Jennifer Griffin Chief National Security Correspondent. Journalist Jennifer Griffin inks a new, multi-year deal with FOX News Media to serve as FOX News Channel’s chief national security correspondent. FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott says, “Jennifer is one of the industry’s premier journalists and has proven to be an indispensable asset on a consequential beat with unrivaled experience spanning more than three decades in multiple war zones. We are extremely proud that she will continue her incredible career at FOX News Media.” Griffin adds, “It has been an honor to provide viewers with trusted reporting from the Pentagon and across the world on issues that are paramount to all of us – the security and safety of our fellow citizens and allies. I am looking forward to continuing to inform the FOX News audience alongside the best journalists in the business.”

Colleen Grant Upped to Metro President for iHeartMedia Detroit. Management and sales pro Colleen Grant is named metro president for iHeartMedia Detroit. Grant has been serving the cluster as SVP of sales. The Detroit market is home to WDFN-AM “BIN Black Information Network” and five music brands. iHeartMedia division president Tom McConnell comments, “Colleen has been instrumental to the success in Detroit. She has created a culture of high performance, accountability and respect and is the perfect choice to lead the Detroit market.” Grant also served as the region vice president of automotive for iHeartMedia’s Detroit Region, and as co-host of iHeartMedia Detroit’s public service program, “Light Up the D.” She says, “This is a childhood dream come true for me. Having a father who was the general manager of television stations, I’d always wanted to oversee stations as he did. I saw the care for people it required, the creativity necessary to generate growth, and his commitment to the community. These are the things I plan to bring to this opportunity, and I couldn’t be more excited to do it.”

Politics and Elections Tie for Top News/Talk Story This Week. The combination of politics and the last of the primary elections before the November midterms was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the state of the U.S. economy tied with the averted rail strike, followed by former President Donald Trump’s legal issues at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.