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Monday, April 4, 2022

| April 4, 2022

Larry Elder Exits Salem Radio Network Talk Show. Longtime Salem Radio Network personality Larry Elder exits his role as host of his eponymous nationally syndicated talk program, effective immediately. Salem Media Group says that Elder has decided to move on from the Salem Radio Network after a six-year run hosting the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET program and that it expects to announce a replacement for Elder in this slot very soon. Salem SVP of spoken word Phil Boyce says, “Larry is an icon as a radio talk show host and is a powerful voice as a leading black conservative, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors. I hope there will be future opportunities for us to work together.” Boyce adds that this was “completely, 100% Larry’s decision.” Salem continues to be a major platform for Elder’s documentaries like Uncle Tom, released two years ago, and will be providing a platform for the sequel, Uncle Tom 2, coming out in a few months. SalemNow.Com will be hosting that movie, as it did in the past. During Elder’s three-month hiatus to run for governor California in the recall election of Gavin Newsom, Orlando-based personality Carl Jackson hosted Elder’s program. Jackson will resume hosting the show for the foreseeable future. Jackson says, “It was an honor for me to sit in Larry’s chair last summer for a few months, and it will be another honor to continue his tradition on the radio now.”

 

Monday Memo: Good News. Consultant Holland Cooke reckons that “pandemic/inflation/Ukraine-weary listeners NEED some” and, in his view, “many syndicated shows earn news/talk radio a reputation for negativity” which local content can balance, “something listeners will appreciate, and advertisers will notice.” In this week’s column, HC links to video examples that illustrate. Read more here.

 

Pending Business: The Talk Radio Metaverse. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa asks you to imagine a political debate game in the metaverse in which “players pick political parties, moderators, topics, questions, debaters, venue and media coverage.” Now imagine this town hall debate in the metaverse will include advertisers and sponsors. He says, “The gaming wizards are a new generation more comfortable with commercial integration and the flexibility of working towards content that is profitable at all levels. There is a lot to be learned here. If you can open your thinking to the future, you could be in for a fun and energetic exchange in your next sales meeting.” Read more here.

 

Andrea Darlas to Host Arts & Entertainment Podcast for WLS-AM, Chicago. Chicago media personality Andrea Darlas is hosting a new podcast for Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM called “Show and Tell with Andrea Darlas.” The weekly local arts and entertainment podcast will showcase the hottest cultural experiences in the Chicago area, including new plays, musicals, museum exhibits and more. Darlas is currently senior director of constituent engagement for the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, based at the Illini Center in Chicago. She was a news anchor and reporter at WGN Radio for more than 22 years and a news reporter and weekend break/features reporter for WGN-TV for 10 years. She currently is a regular contributor to WGN-AM, WLS-AM, WCPT-AM, WCIU-TV, and the nationally syndicated home improvement TV show “House Smarts,” as well as other radio and TV shows/programs across Chicago. Cumulus Media says this new podcast will present “Chicago arts and entertainment news and information at its best, curated by one of the most trusted and well-known media figures in Chicagoland. Each week, listeners get a backstage pass to every experience and show Darlas covers, with insights and information typically reserved for arts and entertainment insiders. Darlas will interview actors and actresses, curators and docents, organizers and artists, producers, directors, stars – and everyone in between. Darlas comments, “I am so excited to bring my love for theatre, musicals, museums, arts and culture – and all things Chicago – to the legendary Big 89! I want the WLS listeners to have their very own immersive ‘backstage pass’ to the arts and entertainment community – in the greatest city in the world!”

 

 

Bill O’Reilly Appears at Live Event for Affiliate WLS-AM, Chicago. Nationally syndicated talk radio personality Bill O’Reilly – whose program “The Bill O’Reilly Update” is syndicated by Key Networks – appeared at the Genesee Theatre in suburban Waukegan, Illinois on March 31 for a live Q&A event produced by affiliate WLS-AM, Chicago. Pictured above at the event are (from l-r): Dennis Green, COO, Key Networks; Jeff Hill, director of sales, Cumulus Media Chicago; O’Reilly; Marv Nyren, vice president/market manager, Cumulus Chicago;  Stephanie Tichenor, program director, WLS-AM; and Bruce St. James, morning host, WLS-AM.

 

Midday Shows Flip at WMVP-AM, Chicago. Windy City media writer Robert Feder reports that sports talk WMVP-AM “ESPN 1000” is flipping its midday programs, effective today. The Good Karma Brands station is moving “Carmen & Jurko” – Carmen DeFalco and John “Jurko” Jurkovic to the 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm slot and the station will air Mike Greenberg’s ESPN Radio program “Greeny” from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon. WMVP program director Danny Zederman says, “We are very excited for the future and the new station lineup.”

 

Russia-Ukraine War, Hunter Biden Investigation, COVID-19, Gas Prices/Inflation, January 6 Committee, Deadly Sacramento Shooting, Jackson Confirmation Vote, and the Grammys Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and accusations of war crimes against Vladimir Putin’s military; the Department of Justice’s ongoing investigation into Hunter Biden’s international business ventures; relaxing mandates across the U.S. and concerns about new sub-variants sparking a new wave of cases; the still-high price of gas at the pump and the high cost of consumer retail goods; the January 6 committee’s recent testimony from Jared Kushner; the shooting in Sacramento that left six dead and 12 wounded and precipitated calls for gun control from President Joe Biden; this week’s confirmation vote for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson; and Sunday evening’s Grammy Awards ceremony were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday Memo: Good News

| April 4, 2022

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Too often, we — news/talk radio – are the bearer of bad news.

  • Listeners (and advertisers) were already stressed.
  • The pandemic knocked the entire world off-balance.
  • Pain-at-the-pump? Everyone feels inflation everywhere.
  • Much of what we CAN afford remains snarled in supply chain snafus.
  • And polls demonstrate that Americans are pained over war in Ukraine.

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Monday, March 28, 2022

| March 28, 2022

Monday Memo: Is Your Show the Dog? Or the Tail? “Spoiler Alert: Both!” consultant Holland Cooke reckons. As radio faces new audio competitors, HC follows up last week’s column “Weekend Warriors: Renegotiate” by outlining tactics that make ask-the-expert hosts sound popular and preeminent and leverage on-air shows to the digital on-demand platform listeners and advertisers increasingly favor. Read more here.

 

Pending Business: Marketing Madness. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column about the innovation that’s taken place in the static advertising realm – bus shelters and taxi tops, for example. He says that talk radio also has the ability to create innovative marketing opportunities for clients within its own technological parameters. In fact, it’s crucial to competing. “Developing and presenting unique, cutting-edge sales and marketing solutions is a relationship builder that can cement a long-term bond,” he says. Read more here.

 

Beasley Media Group Names Kevin Rich VP of Operations. Radio executive Kevin Rich joins Beasley Media Group as vice president of operations, effective April 18, 2022. Rich was most recently market president and chief revenue and content officer at Townsquare Media’s Albany operations in which he was responsible for overseeing and managing the market with a focus on generating revenue across the company’s media and entertainment platforms. In his new role with Beasley, Rich will work closely with company president Bruce Beasley, chief operating officer Brian Beasley and vice president of operations Brad Beasley in overseeing the day-to-day business of the company’s 62 radio stations and multiple platforms. Company CEO Caroline Beasley says, “It’s an absolute privilege to welcome Kevin into our Beasley Media Group family. His credentials and leadership skills are the perfect fit with our organization. We look forward to Kevin sharing his outstanding strategic skill set, especially on the digital side of the business, with our teams across the organization.” Rich comments, “I am thrilled to join the Beasley Media family at a pivotal moment in the company’s growth. This is an exciting time for our industry, and I am honored to be joining such a talented team as we continue to deliver the very best content, provide comprehensive solutions to advertisers, and strengthen our market presence in the communities we serve.”

 

Detroit News Radio Pro Ken Rogulski Joins WHMI-FM, Howell as News Director. Radio news pro Ken Rogulski is named news director and morning drive news anchor at Krol Communications’ full-service/classic hits WHMI-FM, Howell, Michigan. Rogulski has held down a number of assignments at WJR-AM, Detroit for almost two decades including newscaster, street reporter, fill-in talk show host for the late Frank Beckmann, and performing his live annual broadcast from the policy conference on Mackinac Island. He is recipient of numerous awards from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, The Associated Press and The Society of Professional Journalists as well as having been a correspondent for ABC News and Westwood One News. Rogulski will lead the news staff that includes Jessica Mathews, Mike Kruzman, and Tom Tolen.

 

WLW, Cincinnati Celebrates 100 Years. The iHeartMedia station that was once a 500,000-watt signal dubbed “The Nation’s Station” celebrated its 100th birthday on March 23. WLW, Cincinnati is one of a number of heritage stations that launched in 1922. iHeartMedia’s WGY, Albany also celebrated its 100th this year. “Radio’s Best Friend” Art Vuolo has two WLW videos that TALKERS readers may find interesting. The first is from a WLW Radio reunion produced in March of 2020 by Vuolo and current Nexstar Media executive Sean Compton. The second is a tour of the station’s transmitter with Randy Michaels produced on December 9, 1985.

 

WWL, New Orleans to Commemorate 100th Year of Broadcasting. As NOLA.com reports, New Orleans news/talk WWL-AM is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its first broadcast on March 31, 1922. WWL was the first station to serve the lower Mississippi River valley. The NOLA piece notes that “WWL was an outgrowth of physics experiments and wireless radio classes offered at Loyola University as early as 1907. On March 31, 1922, WWL’s first broadcast from Loyola’s Marquette Hall consisted of an on-air fundraising appeal from Father Edward Cummings, S.J., Loyola University’s president, followed by someone playing a few songs on an upright piano.” Loyola operated the station until 1989 when it sold the station and its sister WLMG-FM to Keymarket Communications.

 

TALKERS News Notes. A partnership between iHeartMedia and Collab Inc will result in the creation of Curativity, LLC, a new podcast studio publishing creator-centric shows with Collab’s top talent, as well as the debut a new slate of family shows. The Curativity kids slate will kick off with three shows featuring popular kids Collab talent Mr. Jim, including a new weekly series, “Spyology Squad,” set to launch April 4. In addition, the kids’ programs, “Kids Animal Stories,” and “Kids Short Stories,” will join the slate…..Milwaukee Board of School Directors-owned triple A WYMS-FM, Milwaukee “88Nine Radio Milwaukee” expands its flagship “Community Stories” program into a full-length weekly podcast called, “Uniquely Milwaukee.” The podcast launch is part of Radio Milwaukee’s 15th birthday celebration this year, growing a program that has been a part of its mission-driven offerings since 2007. The first episode of “Uniquely Milwaukee” centers on bodegas in the city. Station director of content Nate Imig says, “‘Community Stories’ are a beloved part of Radio Milwaukee. By expanding this content into a weekly thematic podcast, ‘Uniquely Milwaukee’ will greatly increase the amount of stories we’re able to share with listeners.”

 

Ukraine Song Getting Airplay, Garnering Downloads. A song penned by Streamline Publishing chairman and CEO Eric Rhoads is getting airplay on radio stations in the U.S. and has also been one of the most downloaded songs the past couple of weeks. Rhoads, whose company publishes radio trades Radio Ink and RBR-TVBR, says he decided “we needed a ‘we are the world’ kind of anthem. I wrote a title called, ‘Tears for Ukraine,’ and some lyrics. I then went to Billy Craig, he co-wrote with me and produced it.” You can hear the song here.

 

Russia-Ukraine War, Biden at NATO, COVID-19, Gas Prices/Inflation, Brown Confirmation Hearings, Ginni Thomas and January 6, Midterms and Trump & the GOP, and the Oscars Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; President Joe Biden calls for Vladimir Putin to be removed from power at NATO conference; concerns about the Omicron BA.2 variant that’s rampant in the U.K. and parts of Asia; Americans’ frustration over high gas prices and the high cost of consumer retail goods; the aftermath of the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Katanji Jackson Brown; the January 6 committee’s investigation and texts between Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife Ginni and Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows in which she appears to urge him to overturn the 2020 election results; the battle for control of congress in November’s midterm elections and speculation about Donald Trump’s potential 2024 run; and Sunday night’s Oscars telecast were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to research from TALKERS magazine.

Pending Business: Marketing Madness

| March 28, 2022

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp
President

 

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Have you noticed the marketing driving the madness this March? The marketing machine seems to be present everywhere — especially the sports book marketing. It’s reinventing how marketers use some old school media.

Last time we noticed, our friends in the bus shelter business simply painted bus bench backs or posted large signage in the bus shelters. This static advertising supported branding, location-based ads, and in the case of the old school bus bench, catchy phrase, logo or headshot and phone number.

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Monday, February 21, 2022

| February 21, 2022

Monday Memo: BOOM! Political battle lines are drawn, and every day’s news gives both sides fresh fodder to bludgeon the other. “But to what end?” consultant Holland Cooke asks. In this week’s column, he makes the case that “predictability works against Time Spent Listening,” and recommends “how to better exploit headlines we too often squander as arguments.” Read more here.

 

Pending Business: Five Basics for Better Sales. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column about what he calls five sales basics that all sellers should remember. “Chances are your time in front of your advertisers is limited. Although your goals may be clearly mapped out, the sales process has changed, and in-person calls are more limited. Email, links and web-based pitches are a critical component of the current sales environment. You may be a sales wizard, but in this COVID-adjusted world what happens before and right after you hit the send button is more important than ever.” Read his column here.

 

Talk Hosts on the Agenda at CPAC 2022. The American Conservative Union’s four-day CPAC 2022 takes place in Orlando this week from Thursday through Sunday and will feature a number of high-profile talk radio hosts on panels and in presentations. WMAL-FM, Washington morning host Larry O’Connor and Salem Radio Network’s Charlie Kirk will appear on the panel “War: A Tribute to Andrew Breitbart,” WREC-AM, Memphis morning host Ben Ferguson will interview former HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson. Premiere Networks personality Glenn Beck keynotes Friday’s Ronald Reagan Dinner. Westwood One syndicated host Mark Levin hosts “A Conversation with Mark Levin and Julie Strauss Levin.” Starnes Media Group syndicated host Todd Starnes and SRN’s Sebastian Gorka appear on the panel “Fire Fauci”; KTTH, Seattle host Jason Rantz appears on the “Government is Dangerous to Your Health” panel; and SRN’s Larry Elder sits on the “Biden’s Breadline” panel.

 

Report: SXM Media Top Podcast Publisher by Reach. According to data from Edison Research’s Podcast Consumer Tracking Report for the fourth quarter of 2021, SiriusXM Media is the top podcast publisher by reach. Edison says, “This ranker measures reach as a percentage of the weekly podcasting audience. Rankings are compiled by measuring the total unduplicated reach of all the shows represented by a given network.” Rounding out the top five are: 2) Spotify, 3) iHeartRadio, 4) NPR, and 5) The New York Times.  Edison Research SVP Tom Webster says, “We are pleased to be able to introduce the podcast industry’s first all-inclusive ranker of producers. We’ve tracked this space for 10 quarters with thousands of listeners, and the data we see has been incredibly stable over that period of time.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WGN-AM morning drive host Bob Sirott is serving as the host of a series to air on the regional Marquee Sports Network featuring him interviewing Chicago Cubs legends Ernie Banks, Glenn Beckert, Randy Hundley, Ron Santo and others. The conversations were videotaped in 2010 and 2011, but never aired. Sirott says, “It’s a special thrill to anchor what will be a permanent record of these Wrigley favorites for generations of Cubs fans to enjoy.”…..Writer and musician Dessa continues her exploration of human behavior, instincts, and culture in season two of her podcast, “Deeply Human.” The podcast is a collaboration between BBC World Service, iHeartMedia and American Public Media that investigates our tendencies to create social hierarchies and to use intoxicants; Dessa speaks to experts on monogamy, accents, and the dark forces at play in the way we perceive and pursue beauty. In season two, she speaks to psychologists, animal behaviorists, mathematicians, historians, and one legendary DJ.

 

Ukraine Tensions, COVID-19, Inflation/Oil Prices, Arbery Hate Crime Trial, Winter Weather, British Royalty, and the Beijing Olympics Among Top News/Talk stories Over the Weekend. The ongoing diplomatic tensions between Russia and the West over the former’s military buildup at the Ukraine border; the falling COVID-19 cases in the U.S., battles over mandates, and the Canadian truckers’ Ottawa protests; soaring consumer retail and gasoline prices; the federal hate crime trial of Travis and Gregory McMichael and William Bryan in the death of Ahmaud Arbery; the bitter cold affecting much of the northern U.S. this week; Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, her contracting COVID-19, and the fallout from Prince Andrew’s settlement with alleged Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking victim Virginia Guiffre; and the Beijing Winter Olympics were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday Memo: BOOM!

| February 21, 2022

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — CNN reports: “Special counsel Durham alleges Clinton campaign lawyer used data to raise suspicions about Trump.” Righties light-up Twitter with “BOOM!”

Maggie Haberman’s forthcoming book says White House staff “periodically discovered wads of printed paper clogging a toilet,” which they believed the president was responsible for. Lefties light-up Twitter with “BOOM!”

Many days, these gotchas become radio talkers’ snark du jour.

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