Tag: "AM radio"
By Walter Sabo
NEW YORK — It is hard to overstate how much I love radio and believe in its future. This article suggests a necessary, urgent corrective action that must be taken to give AM talk radio a viable future.
First, my credentials for making this case: Starting in 1990, I launched a large number of major market FM talk stations such as “New Jersey 101.5,” KLSX-FM in Los Angeles and “Real Radio 104” in Orlando. Simultaneously I consulted WOR, WIOD, WRKO, WISN and many others. For eight years, from pre-launch, I was the on-site consultant that built out all Sirius Satellite radio channels, music and talk. Prior to that I was the VP/GM of the ABC Radio Networks. EVP in charge of the NBC FM stations where adult contemporary was created and perfected. History shows that most successful media companies are product-driven. The wrong product results in failure.
Sabo: AM Radio – Stop the Doomsday Machine! Consultant Walter Sabo writes today that he strongly believes in the future of radio. But, he says, if all you put on your talk radio station is political talk, then you “wallow in a 1 share or are rushing toward a 1 share. Or worse…Admission is the key. First, admit that it’s not working. It’s not working. I am puzzled by companies that would clean house if a music station hit a 1 share, but fail to take action with talk stations that have a 1 share – or worse.” Read more from Walter Sabo here.
John Williams Says Goodbye to WCCO-AM, Minneapolis. Back in January, WGN, Chicago announced that it was bringing talk show host John Williams back to the station on a full-time basis – hosting the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show – and at the same time, Williams announced he’d be leaving CBS RADIO’s WCCO and relocate from the Twin Cities back to Chicago. On Friday (6/2), Williams hosted his last program on WCCO. Since then, he’d been hosting both shows from Minneapolis. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that WCCO is not ready to announce its new PM drive host. Station operations manager Lindsey Peterson tells the paper that Jordana Green and Mike Max will host on an interim basis but that the station is close to signing a permanent replacement.
New Format Receives Praise at 20th Annual TALKERS Convention in NYC. The 20th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention took place Friday (6/2) in the Chelsea district of Manhattan and it fulfilled its promise to continue its tradition of being a power-packed, valuable, one-day experience for its attendees. More than 55 industry leaders from the ranks of ownership, management, programming, sales, technology and talent comprised a roster of speakers addressing the most pertinent issues facing talk professionals in 2017. These included the complexities of news/talk programming in the era of Trump, capitalizing on podcasting at the local level, opportunities for talent in the current environment, selling radio outside the ratings, achieving an effective multi-platform balance, operating a professional broadcasting career in the perplexing age of increased consolidation against a backdrop of looming bankruptcy, engaging millennials, applying the latest technology and much more. The major annual TALKERS awards were presented at the event. (See details in yesterday’s story lower on this page.) This year’s convention launched a new approach that scrapped the old, long-form panel format in favor of short solo presentations, fireside chat interviews and the new “one-on-one” dialogue approach. Discussing the new style, TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey says, “We created a new, fast-paced approach to the conference and it worked very well – feedback has been extremely positive!” The entire convention was video recorded and will be featured here on Talkers.com shortly. Stay tuned for more story and photo coverage in the days ahead. Meanwhile, below are some more photos from the event.
Norm Pattiz (l) and Dan Mason (r) point to their headshots peeking through the portholes in the theater doors on W. 26th Street at Talkers 2017: A New Era.
Talkers 2017 was attended by a large number of young broadcasters and college radio students. Hofstra University’s WRHU operations manager John T. Mullen (l) and Hillsdale College’s WRFH general manager Scot Bertram (r) participate in a one-on-one discussion, “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?” Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.
SiriusXM Satellite Radio host and advisor Karen Hunter served as a “one-on-one” session facilitator at Talkers 2017. Photo by Don Hurley.
iHeartMedia programming executive Grace Blazer (l) and WPHT, Philadelphia host Dom Giordano (r) discuss the nuts and bolts of today’s industry. Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.
SiriusXM VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab addresses convention. Photo by Don Hurley.
Talent agent Heather Cohen (l) and Fox News star Brian Kilmeade (r) tackle the future direction of talk media. Photo by Matthew B. Harrison
WMAL host Larry O’ Connor delivering welcoming remarks. Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.
David Bernstein (l) and Dr. Asa (r) discussing ratings and revenue. Photo by Don Hurley.
Jim Bohannon paying tribute to Dr. Joy Browne, Alan Colmes and Tom Marr. Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.
Talk radio mavericks Tom Leykis (l) and Michael Berry (r) talk about the new digital era. Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.
More Talkers 2017 coverage and photos coming tomorrow.
George Noory and Premiere Networks Extend Relationship. The host of Premiere Networks’ “Coast to Coast AM” signs an exclusive, long-term agreement to continue hosting the overnight radio show. George Noory assumed hosting duties on the program back in 2003. He says, “I’m excited to carry the torch for years to come. I want to thank the incredible team at Premiere and my amazing show staff, who have been with me since this remarkable journey started.” Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott comments, “I’m continually amazed by the dedication and passion George has for ‘Coast to Coast AM’ and his audience. George is the driving force behind the show’s continued success and we’re proud to extend our partnership.”
KXTG, Portland Unveils New Late Morning Show with Justin Myers and DeVon Pouncey. A day after announcing the addition of Dino Costa to the lineup as afternoon drive host, Alpha Media Portland unveils its new late morning show co-hosted by former afternoon co-host Justin Myers and former Pacific University basketball star DeVon Pouncey. Myers – who worked at KIRO-AM, Seattle prior to joining KXTG, Portland – was partnered with Noah “Chop” Homsley for “The Irregular Guys” afternoon show back in February. With the demise of that show, Homsley stays on as Dino Costa’s executive producer and as APD for the station. Alpha Media Portland operations manager Bruce Collins says, “Alpha Media has shown once again that it believes in being live and local and is committed to winning across the country.”
Sacramento River Cats Using Skyview’s AdView Software to Manage Game Broadcast Inventory. The San Francisco Giants AAA affiliate Sacramento River Cats are using Skyview Networks’ AdView Inventory Management software for its play-by-play broadcasts. Under the terms of a multi-year deal, the club will take advantage of the inventory management system’s web-based application. Skyview says, “The value in AdView lies in the absolute control it provides for scheduling advertisers, which is tailored to manage and monetize the unpredictable game interruptions of play-by-play sports. With the capability to manage their broadcast, the River Cats benefit from scheduling flexibility and faster affidavit turnaround to sponsors.” Skyview says its AdView system was developed specifically for sports franchises to make inventory accessible and easier to manage in-house. Clients have access to advertiser contracts, logs and reports from any internet-enabled device. Built to manage all forms of inventory, it tracks broadcast, print, signage and digital. This provides the traffic manager and front office a panoramic view into the inventory sellout and revenue in one consolidated system. For more information on Skyview Networks and its full package of broadcast solutions, visit skyviewnetworks.com.
Hall Talk 2017. Radio sales maven Al Herskovitz writes today about his chats in the halls with fellow sales pros at the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era conference in New York City. Not surprisingly, one of the hot topics was the growth of on-demand talk programs and how to best monetize them. Read Herskovitz’s column here.
TALKERS News Notes. Thursday, Salem Radio Network’s 24/7 SRN News service is providing live coverage of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee testimony from former FBI Director James Comey. SRN News says it will provide longform, live, gavel-to-gavel coverage starting at 10:00 am ET, anchored by SRN News Senate correspondent Linda Kenyon. Additionally, SRN White House correspondent Greg Clugston will provide live updates and perspective from the White House during the hearings…..CRN Digital Talk Radio welcomes former “Magnum, P.I.” star and his wife back to the network to host “The Lounge with Larry and Nancy Manetti.” The one-hour show premieres today (6/6) on the network’s CRN 1 channel…..Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington was honored over the weekend with 19 Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association awards, including for Outstanding News Operation and the award for Best Website for WTOP.com. WTOP director of news and programming Mike McMearty says, “We were truly humbled this year. From multimedia, to editorial and sports, to so much more, these awards are a tribute to the hard work of our staff. We take great pleasure in serving our listeners, our readers, and our community.”…..Sports USA announces the first couple of weeks of NFL Sunday doubleheaders it will be offering to affiliate stations. It will begin the 2017 season presenting the Bears vs Falcons game on September 10. SportsUSA says it will announce the season’s games several weeks ahead of each Sunday’s offerings…..When the Los Angeles Chargers kick off their season, Matt “Money” Smith will partner with Nick Hardwick for radio play-by-play duties on the team’s new flagship station, iHeartMedia’s KFI, Los Angeles. Smith replaces Josh Lewin…..SiriusXM is launching the Tracy Anderson show on its Stars channel. The fitness pioneer and wellness expert will host her limited-run show beginning on June 19.
Trump Travel Ban, London Terror Attacks Aftermath, Looming Comey Testimony/Russian Hacking Investigation, NSA Contractor Arrested, Paris Climate Accord Exit, Bill Cosby Trial, ‘Pink Slime’ Trial, Orlando Workplace Slayings, MLB Action, and NBA-NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/5). President Donald Trump’s tweets about the courts’ and the DOJ’s treatment of his travel ban; Britain’s releases about those responsible for the London terror attacks and speculation about the attack’s effects on Thursday’s general elections; Thursday’s senate testimony from former FBI Director James Comey and the Russian election hacking issue; National Security Administration contractor Reality Leigh Winner is arrested for leaking classified information to the press; President Trump’s decision to take the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord; the sexual assault trial of Bill Cosby begins; Beef Products Inc.’s defamation suit against ABC News over its ‘pink slime’ report; the killing of five awning company employees by an ex-staffer in Orlando; MLB action; and NBA and NHL finals action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Air personality Jimmy Phillips joins LM Communications’ Lexington, Kentucky hot AC WCDA “Your 106.3” to co-host the “Mandy in the Morning” show with Mandy Williamson. Phillips will also serve as assistant program director. Previously, Phillips and Williamson worked together at Magic Broadcasting II’s WILN, Panama City, Florida…..At the iHeartRadio station group in Sioux City, Iowa, general manager and market president Kelli Erickson exits…..SiriusXM is bringing celebrity DJs in to host Friday programs on its new Beatles channel. Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder will host the first guest DJ session on Friday, June 9 at 5:00 pm ET. Don Henley will guest on June 23, Ron Howard on July 14, and Billy Joel July 28.
By Mike Kinosian
LOS ANGELES — There’s simply nothing groundbreaking about naysayers writing an obituary for AM radio.
This facet of the medium was supposed to be killed years ago by television and FM, or most recently by satellite radio, the internet, or time in general.
Many who claim AM radio has already passed away also choose to believe that all of terrestrial radio is a ghost or soon will be, but that’s another story entirely.
It would be ridiculous to the point of one existing in extreme denial and/or total lunacy to foolishly proclaim AM radio has never been in better shape, but at the same time, despite its plethora of detractors – the AM band is not in the morgue just yet, either.
An AM radio-geared item that appeared in yesterday’s TALKERS (Wednesday, 12/7) struck a nerve.
Quoting from the TALKERS story, “The Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council is presenting what it calls 12 imperatives to the Trump Administration that ‘address the persistent challenges in closing the digital divide, and advancing multicultural commercial ownership opportunities to create voices and participation in the telecommunications industry.’ Of those 12 imperatives, #12 is ‘Create a Glide Path for the Short-Term Survival and Long-Term Humane Decommissioning of the AM Band in a Manner that Preserves Minority Ownership.’ It states, in part, that the FCC’s future policies ‘should facilitate the preservation of AM radio’s program services when the AM band disappears.’”
A link was provided that included the 12 imperatives and two lines, in particular, jumped out (just as the last five words above did): “AM listenership is on a steep decline, and AM radio stations are feeling the brunt of it. Realistically, AM may disappear in 30 years or less.”
That could very well be the case, although we might note that roughly 30 years ago, AM Stereo was being called the only salvation for AM operators. There are some rare exceptions (see below) but music on AM radio generally did not make it, whereas spoken-word on that band continues to be viable in many markets as we head into 2017.
As far as the revenue side is concerned, according to BIA/Kelsey, four of radio’s top ten 2015 billing properties were AM stations. They are CBS Radio New York all-news WCBS-AM (#5, $45 million); co-owned, similarly-formatted WBBM-AM, Chicago (#6, $43.8 million); all-news New York sibling WINS (#9, $39.5 million); and iHeartMedia talker KFI, Los Angeles (#10, $37.8 million).
It is true the aforementioned stations are from the top three markets, but at the same time, AM stations do in fact comprise 40% of the top ten list of the country’s highest billers.
Extremely curious to see the true temperature of AM radio, we isolated stations that finished in the top 15 in all 48 Nielsen Audio PPM-markets KFI (November 2016, 6+).
Results appear below and it’s a pretty healthy list, with the lone hard-and-fast rule being only Nielsen Audio subscribers are allowed to be in print.
It should also be noted that some of these AM stations have an FM partner, but in all cases, the primary Nielsen Audio ratings listing is the AM.