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Pending Business: Not So Fast. Sales and marketing pro Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications Corp, writes in today’s column, “I’m finding more and more mistakes slowing down the sales flow, sending the wrong message to the right people. Proposals, emails, price points, and schedules sent out with errors telegraph an unintentional ‘we don’t check our work’ message. Blame the working-from-home adjustment.” But, Lapa says, sponsors and prospects don’t care why it’s wrong. So, he offers some tips for catching mistakes before it’s too late. Read it here.
The Presidential Election/Senate & House Races, COVID -19 Stats & Projections, Deadly Quebec City Stabbings, and Sean Connery Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Tomorrow’s presidential election, as well as the races for U.S. Senate and U.S. House seats and which party will control each house; the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and abroad and warnings from Dr. Tony Fauci that the country is not positioned well going into the winter months; the sword slaying of two and wounding of three others in Quebec City on Saturday, and the death of legendary actor Sean Connery at the age of 90 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Monday Memo: Copy Worth Copying. What makes a marketing message powerful? “Less than you think,” according to consultant Holland Cooke, whose column this week includes some familiar examples. Read it here.
Tapping Into Talk Radio. WPHT, Philadelphia mid-morning talk legend Dom Giordano (right) made an appearance on FOX News Channel early last evening (11/1) sharing his ground-level view of the presidential sprint for every last minute vote in Pennsylvania with host Tucker Carlson (left). Giordano described his take on the visible passion and enthusiasm being displayed by Trump loyalists across the key battleground state during the final weekend before Election Day.
iHeartMedia’s BIN: Black Information Network Launches on WWRL, New York Today. The BIN: Black Information Network format – a “24/7 comprehensive national audio news service dedicated to providing an objective, accurate and trusted source of continual news coverage with a Black voice and perspective” – is launching today on WWRL, New York. Back on September 10, iHeartMedia announced it is entering into an LMA with NJ Broadcasting LLC to operate the station and has also entered into an Asset Purchase Agreement. iHeartMedia says the station kicks off this morning with a series of important speeches in Black history, including those from Barack and Michelle Obama, Al Sharpton, Maya Angelou, and Malcom X, leading up to the official 12:00 noon ET launch. At sunset, the Empire State Building will illuminate its world-famous tower lights and turn red, white, and green in celebration of BIN: Black Information Network’s official launch on WWRL. For election day, renowned journalist and BIN commentator Roland Martin will anchor live news coverage beginning at 7:00 pm ET and provide updates as the polls close and election tallies are reported nationwide. Martin says, “The 2020 Election is one of the most consequential we’ve seen in American history, and Black voters will play a crucial role. Our goal at #RolandMartinUnfiltered is to provide unparalleled coverage of not only the presidential and U.S. Senate races, but the many local races that impact our people. From top scholars to civil rights lawyers to health and economic experts and politically minded celebrities, there will be no other place – digital, cable or broadcast – that will match the plans we have for our collaboration with BIN on election night.”
TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk radio host Todd Starnes will provide election night analysis on the USA Radio Network and American Family Radio, and is also providing local election coverage for a number of his affiliate stations. On a related note, Starnes Media Group appoints Tim Van Horn morning show co-host on its KWAM, Memphis “The Mighty 990.” Van Horn, who exits iHeartMedia’s crosstown WREC to join KWAM, will work alongside incumbent morning personality Grace Baker and Kenny Bosak. Van Horn spent 15 years in the market as a meteorologist for WMC-TV…..Nielsen’s board of directors announce that it has agreed to sell its Global Connect business to Advent International for $2.7 billion. Nielsen CEO David Kenny says, “The sale of this business to Advent will deliver substantial value sooner than was anticipated through the planned spin-off and creates certainty for all stakeholders. The proceeds from the sale will allow Nielsen to significantly reduce debt, which will provide greater financial flexibility to execute our growth strategy and expand our role in the global media marketplace. At the same time, we are excited about this opportunity for Nielsen Global Connect and believe that moving forward as a private company will better position the business to accelerate its transformation and strengthen its market-leading position.” The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021…..Pictured below is Salem Radio Network talk host Mike Gallagher among the thousands gathered outside Raymond James Stadium in Tampa for Donald Trump’s rally last Thursday (10/29). Gallagher says, “I don’t understand how President Trump does it. It’s 90 degrees and he and Melania were onstage in direct sun for hours. It nearly killed me, and I’m younger!”
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Columbus, Ohio alternative rock outlet “CD 102.5” leaves the airwaves and will broadcast only via stream. That news comes from the station after it was unable to negotiate a deal with WWCD-FM owner Southeastern Ohio Broadcasting System. The station posts to its website: “Things are getting weird around here, and they’re about to get weirder. 2020 has been one of the most challenging years in recent history, and CD102.5 has faced its share of challenges. Recently, we were unable to reach an agreement with the owner of the FCC License, and at 12:01 am on November 1, CD102.5 will leave the FM airwaves. Make no mistake: we plan to move forward and continue broadcasting in the digital realm. For decades, CD101 was a favorite radio station to many. When the license that allowed us to broadcast was sold, we moved our frequency to 102.5. Together, for 30 years, CD101 and CD1025 have been synonymous with the Columbus music scene and alternative music. With the connectivity of the internet in cars and homes, with smart phones and smart devices, the digital world is the future. As we move exclusively to the digital realm, we will have more freedom to play the music that YOU want to hear—to promote local artists, to engage with the community, and to do all of the things that we’ve always done—but better! We will continue to support the arts community and nonprofits in Columbus. ‘CD1025 For The Kids’ will continue to help local charities, and add to the over $1,000,000 that it has donated over the years. So, join us as we help curate all the same great music you have loved, and will love, for decades to come. Follow us to hear bands that would otherwise not get the chance to be heard or to find your new favorite band from Columbus, from around the country, and from around the world.”
By Mike Kinosian
CHICAGO — It is a completely reasonable leap for the average non-broadcaster to assume the June 30th debut of iHeartMedia’s Black Information Network (BIN) was an instantaneous response to George Floyd’s one-month earlier murder (5/25), and/or the rapid rise of the “Black Lives Matter” movement.
Clearly though, those deeply rooted in the industry are acutely aware that a full 24/7 all-news entity is a highly thorough, meticulous proposition that hardly springs up overnight.
Monday Memo: Noise Fatigue = News Renaissance? With one new nightly network newscast launched, and another debuting this month, consultant Holland Cooke – himself a cable host – welcomes new play-it-straight players to the TV news menu. Read Cooke’s post-holiday Tuesday edition of the Monday Memo here.
Presidential Race/Polls/Vote-By-Mail Debate, School Openings/College Outbreaks, COVID-19 Stats & Projections/Vaccine, Portland Protests, and California Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The November presidential election, the most recent polls, and the debate over voting by mail; the opening of schools across the country and the outbreaks of COVID-19 cases at numerous college campuses across the country; the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, projections for future cases, and the progress on a vaccine; the ongoing violent clashes between protesters and police in Portland; and the California wildfires were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Pending Business: 19 Years Ago This Friday. Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes today about his memory of the terror attacks on the U.S. 19 years ago this Friday. Read it here.
WGN, Chicago Makes Surprise Programming Changes. The departure of Roe Conn from the afternoon drive slot on Nexstar Media Group’s news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago was not entirely unexpected – it has been rumored that the station was considering moving on when Conn’s contract ends in December – but the timing of Friday’s announcement was a bit surprising. Conn is gone from his show, effective immediately, as is longtime WGN overnight personality Nick Digilio. Effective September 28, Steve Bertrand will host the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm “Chicago’s Afternoon News” program and Chicago radio legend John Records Landecker joins to host the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm program. Anna Davlantes’ early afternoon program expands to 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. In a press release, Bertrand says of the new show, “I am thrilled to get a chance to help create a show that will be equal parts informative and entertaining. With any luck, we’ll end the day a little smarter and have a good time getting there.” WGN Radio general manager Mary Boyle adds, “The importance of local news and information being shared by someone who is trusted by our audience is paramount during these challenging times. Steve Bertrand has always been committed to reporting the news in a fair and thoughtful way. This afternoon news-oriented program led by Steve is a welcome addition to our WGN Radio weekday lineup.”
Report: Tony Bruno Show with Harry Mayes Off SiriusXM and SportsMap Radio Network. According to a story in Crossing Broad, the “Tony Bruno Show with Harry Mayes” has been taken off of SiriusXM’s Dan Patrick channel as well as the Houston-based SportsMap Radio Network in the aftermath of Bruno’s recent comments about NBA players boycotting games and about LeBron James in particular. Deadspin wrote a very critical story about Bruno’s segment on the NBA and paraphrased Bruno in its headline that read, “NBA Players Can’t Read.” Bruno was critical of Deadspin’s twisting of his words in a piece published by Barrett Sports Media. Bruno can be heard saying, “Most of these guys can’t even read, for God’s sake.” BSM writes, “In context, it is clear that Bruno was being flippant and not as malicious as Deadspin portrays.” The Bruno and Mayes program has been removed from the website program schedules at both SiriusXM and SportsMap Radio Network.
Wendy Bell Off Air at Entercom’s KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh. According to a piece at Patch.com, afternoon drive talk host Wendy Bell is off the air of Entercom’s news/talk KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh. The move came after Bell said on the air that park rangers should shoot people who are vandalizing monuments to historical figures. Entercom Pittsburgh SVP Michael Spacciapolli said in a statement: “Entercom is the home to thousands of voices representing Americans of all races, ethnicities, gender identity, sexual orientation, beliefs and ability. We take very seriously our responsibility to provide a platform for our communities to engage in diverse and meaningful dialogue, debate and the right to freedom of speech, we do not condone the incitement of violence on any of our platforms. Members of our community have recently brought to our attention comments made by Wendy Bell that do not align with Entercom’s values. Wendy has been taken off air until further notice. Entercom Pittsburgh remains steadfast in our commitment to inclusive conversations that engage everyone in Pittsburgh while excluding any form of violence.”
Sterling: My Cousin Brucie Problem. Talk show host Walter M. Sterling (pictured at left) writes today about his Cousin Brucie “problem.” Sterling hosts the hour immediately following radio legend Cousin Bruce Morrow’s new Saturday evening program on WABC, New York. His “problem” is figuring out how to keep as much of Cousin Brucie’s audience as he can. Read more here.
Premiere Networks Puts Black Information Network into Syndication. The newly launched BIN: Black Information Network, billed by iHeartMedia as “the first and only 24/7 national all news audio service dedicated exclusively to providing an objective, accurate and trusted source of news coverage with a Black voice and perspective,” is being made available to stations nationwide via Premiere Networks. “Black Information Network News” features :60 newscasts at the top and bottom of the hour, as well as breaking news, from experienced and award-winning Black journalists, including Vanessa Tyler, Mike Stevens, Madelyne Woods, Morgyn Wood, Mike “Devin” Dunston, Tanita Myers, and Julius White. “Black Information Network News” launched on September 7 on nearly 20 stations across the country, including WVON-AM, Chicago; KMAZ-FM, Houston; KMOJ-FM, Minneapolis; and more. Midway Broadcasting chair and CEO Melody Spann Cooper says, “WVON is pleased to add the Black Information Network as our national news source. WVON’s 24-hour Black talk format is an important and impactful voice in the Chicago market and BIN is the perfect complement to keep our vibrant local community aware of what’s happening across the country. What happens in Black America matters. Telling our story matters. BIN’s timing is perfect!”
KNX, Los Angeles Celebrating 100 Years of Service. Beginning today (9/8), Entercom begins celebrating 100 years of KNX 1070 News Radio “Southern California’s only 24-hour news and traffic station” with the airing of “KNX: a Century of Covering Southern California,” a “history-rich, eight-part on-air series to commemorate its centennial anniversary and pay tribute to former employees who helped grow KNX 1070 News Radio into one of the nation’s premiere all-news brands.” On Thursday (9/10 – the station’s official anniversary) KNX will reimage itself for the day using memorable jingles, sounders and sound bites from the previous 100 years. The radio station launched on September 10, 1920 when Fred Christian started 6ADZ for the customers of his Electric Supply Company to listen to. Twenty months later in May 1922, the electric supply company was issued the call sign, KNX. Current KNX brand manager Ken Charles says, “KNX is a historic brand and I’m in awe of being a part of its illustrious history. This station is a local pillar, here before the Hollywood Sign, the Santa Monica Pier and the Rose Bowl. Just as iconic as any of our local treasures, KNX is a consistent part of the fabric of Southern California, serving as a breaking news resource for our communities, first responders and the nation.”
Jason Bailey Exits Sun Broadcast Group. Media exec Jason Bailey is leaving his role as president of Gen Media Partners’ Sun Broadcast Group to “move on from the network he founded in order to focus his attention on his company Reatro Ventures, the developer of affiliate research software, ARC.” Reatro is co-owned by former Sun COO Julio Aponte who will also be taking a more active role in the start-up venture. Warren Friedland, the managing partner of Gen Media Partners, will be filling the role of president for Sun. Bailey says, “Today is bittersweet for me. I’m excited to join Julio and our team at Reatro to focus on the amazing software and app development projects we have on our plate. I’m also incredibly sad to leave my baby (Sun) for the very last time. It has been the honor of a lifetime to work with the great men and women at Sun these last 12 years. They are my family and will always be in my heart. I am certain that under the leadership of Warren along with new COO, Danno Wolkoff, Sun will continue to shine bright for years to come.”
iHeartMedia Re-Brands WNIO, Youngstown as ‘The Gambler.’ Youngstown, Ohio sports talk outlet WNIO re-brands from “The Sports Animal” to “1390 The Gambler,” effective immediately. iHeartMedia says, “‘The Gambler’ will focus on sports talk with a concentration on gambling, including top-of-the-hour wagering updates from VSiN and will feature programming from the BetR Network, including “My Guys in the Desert,” hosted by sportscaster Brent Musberger. The station will also broadcast programming from FOX Sports Radio, including “The Clay Travis Show,” “The Dan Patrick Show,” “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” and “The Lombardi Line,” hosted by former Cleveland Browns general manager, Mike Lombardi. iHM Youngstown market president Keith Kennedy says, “‘The Gambler’ is the future of sports radio. We are thrilled to bring this hot new format to The Valley and assist the Youngstown community with navigating the ever-growing world of sports wagering.”
WGAU, Athens’ Tim Bryant Honored with Enshrinement in Georgia Radio Hall of Fame. Radio news and on-air pro Tim Bryant – currently morning show host and news director for Cox Media Group’s WGAU, Athens – has been honored as a Georgia Radio Hall of Fame Career Achievement Inductee for his more than 30-year career in radio. Bryant is one of seven radio icons to have receive this top honor, which recognizes and celebrates individuals who have had a lasting impact on Georgia radio. The virtual ceremony was held on Friday (9/4). Cox Athens station director Kelsey Gresham says, “The name Tim Bryant is synonymous with WGAU and Athens, as his has been a steady and trusted voice on Athens’ radio station of record for a quarter of its more than 80-year history. Tim’s work goes well beyond the airwaves, as he is an integral part of the fabric of the Classic City. He is extremely involved in the community, often hosting forums and debates between political candidates, covering major local events and giving back as a volunteer to various community efforts as often as he can. We are so proud and honored to have him as part of the CMG team.”
Music Radio News and Career Moves. This year’s 2020 iHeartRadio Music Awards were handed out via an on-air and social media special over the Labor Day weekend on iHeartRadio stations nationwide, and the iHeartRadio App, the all-in-one digital music, podcast, on demand and live-streaming radio service. Some of the winners included: Lizzo for “Song of the Year”; Billie Eilish for “Female Artist of the Year”; Jonas Brothers for “Best Duo/Group of the Year”; and Taylor Swift for “Album of the Year.”…..Beasley Media Group brings Delaware Valley radio personality Jessie Jordan to hot AC WJBR-FM, Wilmington “MIX 99.5” as co-host of “The Mix Morning Show with Johnny B and Jessie Jordan.” Jordan has worked on air at WIOQ-FM and WBEB-FM in Philadelphia prior to joining WJBR-FM this past summer. Station program director Eric Johnson says, “We are thrilled to have Jessie join Johnny B weekday mornings. She certainly added sparkle and feel good fun to this summer’s weekend programming. Now we get to start our day with her sunshine each morning!”…..Nick Cannon announces he’s returning to the helm of his Skyview Networks-syndicated radio program after taking time away for a period of reflection, dialogue, and study with some of America’s most notable Jewish community leaders and representatives. Skyview says, “During his hiatus, Nick worked to deepen his understanding of the issues long troubling the Black and Jewish communities and pledged from this point forward to be a leading voice and advocate for positive change, greater understanding. and unity.” Skyview president and COO Steve Jones says, “We are so appreciative of Nick Cannon’s affiliates for their commitment to Nick during his period of reflection. We recognize that he is an incredible entertainer with a powerful voice that will continue to command the interest and attention of radio listeners during this volatile time in America.”…..Connoisseur Media welcomes Janine Johns back into the company fold as general sales manager for its five-station cluster on Long Island that includes: hot AC WALK-FM, adult contemporary WKJY “K-JOY 98.3,” classic hits WBZO “103.1 MAX FM,” rock WWSK “94.3 THE SHARK,” and oldies WHLI-AM. She’s been serving as senior account manager for Altice since 2015.