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Monday, January 10, 2022

| January 10, 2022

Pending Business: The Early Renewal Seagull. In today’s column, radio sales pro Steve Lapa begs talk radio sellers not to fall into the “seagull” sales strategy where the seller “flies” in, drops a package, but never properly follows through. He admits that it can happen to the best sellers as they try and test the waters on an early renewal. “Despite all the work in that sales meeting, you stepped into the pothole of sales meeting facts that have no real benefit to your advertiser. Important facts to you could be nothing but white noise to the advertiser.” He offers a four-point plan for better communication with your client. Read it here.

WTKS-FM, Orlando’s ‘Monsters in the Morning’ Interviews Bob Saget Days Before His Death. In what was one of his last interviews before his unexpected death yesterday (1/9) at age 65, Bob Saget chatted with Russ Rollins and his “Monsters in the Morning” cast on January 6. Rollins says, “Bob would be a guest on our show and stay for several days. He told me we made him feel so comfortable he wanted to be a cast member. One of the sweetest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.” During the interview, Saget spoke – and joked – about the importance of comedy and laughter in all our lives. “You can make people laugh and it might not be their cup of tea, but you’re doing something great for people. That’s why I’m doing it. We all have the same joke, which is that laughter is the best medicine – no – it’s actually Percocet. Everybody has a version of that. Well, the other one is when they say, you know, if you could just make one person laugh, you’re a really crappy comic.” Hear the interview here.

Flag Family Media Names Bridgette Readel Farm Director. Agronomist Bridgette Readel joins Flag Family Media as farm director for its broadcast team. Readel has been an agronomist for the past two decades, serving clients and providers with crop performance solutions. In her role with Flag Family Media, she’ll deliver on-air updates and reports on Fargo news/talk outlets WZFG, WDAY and KTGO. In addition, her reports will be heard on Scott Hennen’s statewide “What’s On Your Mind” late morning program. Readel says, “Although I graduated from college as a high school ag teacher, I now find myself teaching adults the nature of production agriculture and truly enjoy sharing the bright and positive message of ag in North Dakota. I am thrilled to join the team at WDAY and ‘The Flag’ and share the exciting moments and news from today’s ag landscape. There are so many positive opportunities in agriculture, and I look forward to bringing those experiences home to our listeners.” Flag Family Media president and managing partner Steve Hallstrom says, “We couldn’t imagine a better way to usher in the new year than to add a seasoned professional and gifted communicator like Bridgette. A great farm director will enable us to serve our region in this important and diverse industry. The ag sector has become a fascinating world of autonomous machinery and precision technology, and Bridgette will be a huge piece of our leading-edge ag coverage.”

Marty Bender Named Growth Consultant for ‘BOB & TOM Show.’ Radio programming pro Marty Bender is taking on a new role with the “BOB & TOM Show” in which he’ll serve as a consulting member of its affiliate services team and growth partner to the nationally syndicated program and its affiliates. Bender will serve as a content/strategy partner to every affiliate of the program, helping them optimize and monetize the show in their local markets through creative, high-impact strategies that drive listenership and advertising dollars. Bender previously served as executive producer of the BOB & TOM Show and will also assist in creating new content for the program, with an emphasis on growing the video content side. Program chief operating officer John Kesler says, “Listeners consume more hours of content in countless ways, and now more than ever, they want to control when they consume it. 2022 is just the beginning of a huge change in how radio will evolve to meet listener demands. In addition to already being well-staffed and well-positioned for this evolution, we are thrilled to offer Marty Bender as a content and strategy partner to each and every one of our 100+ affiliates. As far as I know, no other syndicated radio show has ever made this service available to their affiliate stations.”

TALKERS News Notes. The Dallas cluster of Cumulus Media stations – including news/talk WBAP and KLIF, as well as sports talk KTCK-AM/FM “The Ticket” – raised a grand total of $1,767,990 for DFW Metroplex charities during 2021. Cumulus Dallas supported signature community events with other groups to help raise additional millions in charitable donations. WBAP’s “Christmas is Caring Radiothon” drove over $212,000 in donations benefiting the Denton State Supported Living Center serving people with special needs, and The Ticket’s “Drop Your Pants 8” event raised $108,000 in Bob Sturm’s annual effort to raises resources for the Cornerstone Clothes Closet, which helps clothe and provide showers to the homeless…..Netflix, Audacy’s Pineapple Street Studios and Hyperobject Industries unveils “The Last Movie Ever Made: The Don’t Look Up Podcast,” a six-part oral history of the making of Don’t Look Up, Adam McKay’s Netflix disaster comedy. On the podcast, listeners will hear how the cast and crew – including Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep, Rob Morgan, Cate Blanchett, Tyler Perry, Timothee Chalamet, Himesh Patel, Ariana Grande, and many more – stayed sane and safe while making a movie as the country was in chaos. The first two episodes dropped on January 7 and new episodes will drop on Fridays through February 4…..WNYC announces that Janae Pierre is the new host of the daily news podcast “Consider This.” Jointly produced by WNYC and NPR, “Consider This” is a first-of-its-kind podcast that brings listeners a mix of the biggest local and national stories based on the listener’s location. WNYC editor-in-chief Audrey Cooper comments, “We’re thrilled to have Janae at the helm of ‘Consider This,’ the first podcast to blend local and national news stories. Throughout her career, she’s shown a unique talent for the kind of locally rooted but universally applicable reporting that makes up so much of what we do at WNYC. We’re excited to see how she and the team shape ‘Consider This’ for the future.” Pierre joins from WBHM, Birmingham, where she hosts “All Things Considered” and does general assignment reporting.

Audie Cornish Joins CNN. After 16 years with NPR, Audie Cornish is joining CNN and its new subscription streaming service CNN+. Cornish was most recently co-host of NPR’s “All Things Considered.” In her new role with CNN, she will serve as an anchor and correspondent for CNN+. She’ll host a weekly CNN+ show and contribute to CNN+’s slate of live programming. She will also host a new podcast for CNN Audio and will appear on CNN covering national, political and breaking news. She says, “I am very excited to join CNN and the CNN+ team. There are fresh stories to be told and new ways to tell them. CNN has a dynamic system of reporters and storytelling channels. I am thrilled to be a part of it.” Cornish will be based at CNN’s Washington, DC bureau and begins her new position in February.

COVID-19, January 6, U.S.-Russia Relations, Economy/Supply Chain, Midterm Elections, NYC Apartment Fire, and Bob Saget Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The soaring rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and abroad, the Omicron variant, vaccine mandates, and school policies; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack; the U.S. and Russia to meet over the tense Ukraine situation; the state of the U.S. economy and the ongoing supply chain woes; the challenges Democrats face in maintaining control of Congress in this year’s midterm elections; the deadly apartment fire in the Bronx that killed at least 19; and TV star and comic Bob Saget dies unexpectedly at 65 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pending Business: The Early Renewal Seagull

| January 10, 2022

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp
President

 

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Don’t do it! Whatever you do, don’t sell like a seagull.

During the course of the past year, especially during pandemic impacted inventory cycles, every kind of sales approach you can imagine was and still is in play. The most creative techniques seem to be coming from inventory challenged businesses, like real estate. The real estate sales world has spawned reality-style TV shows that are now featured on Netflix. Do we really pay to watch a show about sellers?

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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

| November 30, 2021

WWO: Edison’s Q3 2021 Share of Ear Study Five-Year Report Card. This week’s CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One Audio Active Group blog highlights some of the key findings from Edison Research’s Share of Ear study for the third quarter of 2021. Among the findings are that Pandora’s free, ad-supported service has lost half its audience over the last five years while Spotify’s similar service has stagnated. Regarding podcasting, the report indicates that “over the last several years, podcast reach and audience shares have exploded. In the last two years, podcast daily reach among persons 18-34 is up 43% and daily reach among persons 25-54 is up an eye popping 51%.” Interestingly, the study suggests that marketers and agencies overestimate the shares of Pandora and Spotify and underestimate the share of AM/FM radio due in large part to their own biases. “In August 2021, Advertiser Perceptions, the gold standard measurement firm of advertiser and agency sentiment, asked 300 media decision makers at brand and media agencies to estimate the audience shares of Pandora, Spotify, and AM/FM radio. Agencies and advertisers estimated that Pandora has a 20% share of listening. This is seven times larger than Pandora’s actual 3% audience share in Edison’s ‘Share of Ear.’ Marketers and media agencies estimate that Spotify has a 25% share of audience. That is over twelve times larger than Spotify’s actual 2% audience share. Among media agencies and brands, the perceived audience share of AM/FM radio is 28%, far smaller than the 45% share of Spotify and Pandora combined. In reality, AM/FM radio’s actual share (40%) far exceeds the 28% perception.” The report cites marketing professor Mark Ritson, who says, “There is increasing global evidence that marketers are basing their media choices on their own behavior or that stoked by the digitally obsessed marketing media, rather than actual audience data.” Edison’s latest Share of Ear data concludes that “AM/FM radio has a massive share of time spent among ad-supported platforms (75%). Podcast shares (11%) now exceed the combined share of Pandora and Spotify (10%).” See the blog here.

Sam Mayes Ousted from Tyler Media’s ‘107.7 The Franchise’ After Anti-Native American Phone Conversation. According to a report by Mediaite, KRXO-FM, Oklahoma City “107.7 The Franchise” sports talk personality Sam Mayes has been fired by Tyler Media after a five-year-old off-air phone conversation between he and another staffer was leaked. In the conversation, Mayes and Tyler Media promotions director and air personality Cara Rice discuss Native Americans’ move to get the Washington NFL franchise to drop the “Redskins” moniker and both use racist tropes. Rice was also fired. Mayes explains his part in the conversation in a tweet and admits to using poor judgement in an effort to get along and not make waves. He says, “I was legitimately curious what sparked the desire for change. My co-worker then responded with distasteful, racially charged comments that I not only did not dispute but made light of…the remarks that came next made me very uncomfortable. This recording is the perfect example of that all too often scenario that was sent to local media outlets with the intent to destroy my career. Maybe it worked. At the end of the day, that’s up to you, my followers.” He adds, “As a person of color, I know all too well how damaging hate speech can be. I also know once we know better, we can do better,” Mayes, whose career with KRXO lasted eight years, says the recording was obtained illegally.

Talk Host Wayne Allyn Root Weds Cindy Parker. Nationally syndicated USA Radio Network talk host Wayne Allyn Root married Cindy Parker in Las Vegas last week. Root tells TALKERS magazine that a number of the 200 guests present included Republican politicians and political leaders. He adds that the highlight of the evening was when former FOX News and CNN host Rita Cosby read a personal letter to the newlyweds from former President Donald J. Trump. The new Mrs. Wayne Root is on the board of many Nevada Republican organizations, including the Nevada Republican Club. Root says, “So this is REALLY a conservative talk radio wedding! Without her choosing me for a political speech, or our mutual support for President Donald Trump, or talk radio host Jerry Doyle’s memorial, or my creative talk show segment starring beautiful women for Trump…this never would have happened!”

KVOI, Tucson Adds ‘The Erick Erickson Show.’ The nationally syndicated “Erick Erickson Show” joins the program lineup at Bustos Media’s KVOI-AM, Tucson on Sunday evenings. Station operations manager Ray Ingegneri comments, “Erick knows what he believes and is willing to challenge friend and foe alike. In an increasingly homogenized political landscape, Erick’s approach is a breath of fresh air and we’re glad to have him.” Stations interested in “The Erick Erickson Show” or “The Erick Erickson Christmas Show” can contact Andrew Kalb at andrew@andrewkalb.com or 917-217-4050.

Cumulus Media Presenting at Two Investor Conferences. There are two investors conferences this week in which Cumulus Media president and CEO Mary G. Berner and EVP/CFO Frank Lopez-Balboa will participate. Tomorrow (12/1), the 5th Annual Virtual Wells Fargo TMT Summit happens and the two will present during the Fireside Chat at 10:40 am ET. On Thursday (12/2), Bank of America Securities 2021 Leveraged Finance Conference takes place and Cumulus will present at 7:30 am ET. It will be livestreamed and available on-demand within 24 hours. Management will also be hosting one-on-one investor meetings during both conferences.

Broadcasters Foundation of America Asks for Help on Giving Tuesday. Today is Giving Tuesday, the international day of giving, and the Broadcasters Foundation of America asks that you think of them on this day of philanthropy. For over 70 years, the Broadcasters Foundation has provided medical aid and disaster relief to broadcasters and their families across the United States. This year, the Foundation will give away more than $1.8 million in monthly and emergency grants. Your gift will help them reach every broadcaster in need. One broadcaster says, “We would be lost without the generosity of the Broadcasters Foundation of America. Because of your support, chronic illness has not taken everything from me. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!” On behalf of everyone at the Broadcasters Foundation of America, thank you and have a safe and happy holiday season. Donate here.

COVID-19 Omicron Variant, Financial Markets, Supply Chain/Inflation, China’s Military Aggression, January 6 Investigation, Chris Cuomo Investigation, SCOTUS Abortion Case, Jussie Smollett Trial, and Ghislaine Maxwell Trial Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/29). The Omicron coronavirus variant and concerns about its ability to evade vaccines; the news of the new coronavirus variant hits the world’s financial markets as Dow futures sink again; the effects of the global supply chain problems and soaring retail prices and fuel costs; the U.S.’s response to China’s military aggression toward Taiwan; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack; CNN’s probe into personality Chris Cuomo’s connection to Andrew Cuomo’s alleged sexual improprieties; the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments over Mississippi’s anti-abortion policy that could affect Roe v Wade; the trial of actor Jussie Smollett who is accused of staging an assault on himself; and the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, accused of assisting Jeffrey Epstein in procuring underaged girls for sex were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pending Business: Who Cares?

| October 11, 2021

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp
President

 

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Those could be the two harshest words in sales.

Think about this scenario. You have prequalified the advertiser. You spend hours developing a proposal loaded with your best sales points. Every #1 position you can muster is so baked into your pitch you can recite the numbers in your sleep. If your station is not in the business of ratings, you find another #1 strategy. Your talent bios show a spectrum of photos that range from influential guests to family photos that warm the coldest hearts. Confidently, you hit the send button, looking for the feedback that leads to winning the business you’ve worked hard to develop. But wait! You’ve missed one of the single most important steps in this process. Before you hit the send button, has your proposal passed the “Who Cares?” test when it comes to all these perceived salient points? Have you considered what is truly RELEVANT to this advertiser?

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Pending Business: Checking In

| August 30, 2021

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp
President

 

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — This one may be more for the sales managers.

Your station gets a sales lead. Based on the system you have in place a quick conversation with the assigned seller is followed by a hand-off. The seller begins the sales process and at some point will come back with feedback. The sales process continues and barring any difficult negotiation, that new advertiser may never hear from a manager again, unless the seller requests it. Most likely not.

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