By Holland Cooke
- Philadelphia radio maven Jerry Lee invested good research money learning that two-voice commercials produce better results that single-voice spots.
- And music stations’ remaining local morning shows tend to be multi-voice.
- If you’re a local host at a Rush Limbaugh station, and you reckon that his lengthy monologues entitle you to drone on, run the numbers and compare his Time Spent Listening to yours. Keep it moving.
- Whether you’re an ask-the-expert show or a political talker, one-caller-after-another make you sound popular and authoritative, and certainly habit-forming.
- Podcasters: Because simply acquiring your work asks so much of the listener, this matters most to you.
By Kevin Casey
BOCA RATON, Fla. — Newsmax TV, a service of the influential Newsmax Media multi-platform news organization, has shown notable growth in the first half of 2020 in terms of audience increase and programming development in the highly competitive OTT arena.
OTT stands for “over-the-top,” the term used for the delivery of film and TV content via the internet, without requiring users to subscribe to a traditional cable or satellite provider. Some OTT channels require a pay subscription (such as Netflix) and others (such as Newsmax TV) are free.
KXNO, Des Moines Cutbacks Reversed; PD and Hosts Rehired. According to a report by WHO-TV, Des Moines, after some serious blowback from listeners about the firing of six programming staffers from sports talk KXNO as part of a company-wide downsizing, iHeartMedia Des Moines market manager Joel McCrea sought from corporate and was granted permission to bring them back to their positions. Program director Andrew Downs; “The Morning Rush” personalities Travis Justice, Heather Burnside, and Sean Roberts; and “Sports Fanatics” hosts Chris Williams and Ross Peterson will return to their jobs. The story says in addition to the re-hiring, KXNO will be simulcast on (currently alternative) KDXA-FM at 106.3 FM beginning next week.
Newsmax TV Reports Increasing Viewership. According to recently released Comscore data, Newsmax TV shot past Bloomberg Television in total household reach, household coverage area rating, and average audience for the week of December 9, 2019. It also topped C-SPAN in household coverage area rating for the same week. Comscore’s data indicates that for the week of December 9, 2019, Newsmax TV had a total reach of 2.64 million households compared to 1.63 million for Bloomberg Television. Comscore reports Newsmax had 1.03 million weekly viewers as of August 26, 2019. By the broadcast week of December 9, 2019 Newsmax TV’s household reach had increased to 2.65 million households, reflecting both an increase in distribution of 21% and a disproportionate increase in reach. Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy states, “This is a major milestone for us. Our content is resonating with Americans across the nation who are hungry for a fresh alternative to FOX News, CNN, MSNBC, and other news channels.” Ruddy adds that the network will make major lineup changes, announcing new programs in the coming weeks and months.
NOW POSTED: New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The vibrant 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 magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, WONK-FM, Washington, DC. The new episode titled “The Weight of History in an A.D.D. World!” looks back at this past week of January 13-17, 2020 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Thom Hartmann, talk show host, WYD Media; Michael Riedel, talk show host, WOR, New York; Graham Mack, program director, FIX Radio, London, UK; Trevor Smith, radio presenter, Aloha Media Productions, Byron Bay, Australia; and Richard Neer, talk show host, WFAN, New York. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on WONK-FM, Washington, DC on Friday evenings between 6:00-7:00 pm. It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KFNX, Phoenix; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; the Virginia Talk Radio Network and Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA as well as appearing on the iHeart Radio App. To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.
Kilcoyne Exits KFNS, St. Louis. Sports media pro Martin Kilcoyne has left his on-air role with Randy Markel’s sports talk KFNS-AM, St. Louis co-hosting the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show with Frank Cusumano. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Dan Caesar reports that Kilcoyne, who also works as sports director at KTVI-TV, says his television duties have expanded. He adds that the time spent producing podcasts with St. Louis Cardinals television announcer Dan McLaughlin played a role in his decision. Prior to rejoining KFNS, Kilcoyne did a five-year stint with CH Holdings’ crosstown news/talk KTRS, St. Louis as a general issues host.
Allegretto to Lead Cumulus in Fort Walton Beach. Sales and management pro Ashley Allegretto rises from her regional sales manager, digital position with Cumulus Media’s Fort Walton Beach and Pensacola markets to vice president and market manager for the Fort Walton Beach station group that includes news/talk WFTW-AM “NewsTalk 1260” and four music-formatted stations. Cumulus regional VP Pete De Simone says, “We are thrilled to promote Ashley Allegretto to lead this cluster. Her passion for this community and her understanding of how to use our brands and our digital assets to help clients grow their businesses make her an effective leader.” Allegretto adds, “Over the past 13 years I have seen firsthand the positive impact that our radio stations can have for local businesses and organizations in our community. I am eager to build on our past accomplishments and lead this group into our next round of success.”
TALKERS News Notes. Ocala, Florida morning show hosts Larry “The Giant” Whitler and Robin MacBlane are leaving their posts at Generations Broadcasting Corporation’s news/talk WOCA-AM/W242CA after today’s program. They have been doing mornings at WOCA since 2002. They’d previously worked together hosting a children’s show on WTMC – a signal that went dark in 2004. The Ocala Star Banner reports that the two will continue to work together collaborating on children’s books and music…..Entercom all-news KYW, Philadelphia is inviting listeners to its “Executive Briefing” event, presented by Independence Blue Cross, Thursday, January 23 at 7:45 am. KYW says this invite-only event “offers listeners the opportunity to listen to and take part in an in-depth discussion about the biggest issues facing the Philadelphia area and the nation in 2020.” KYW Newsradio afternoon drive host Ian Bush will moderate the discussion that includes station anchors and reporters: Pat Loeb, city hall bureau chief; Mike DeNardo, education reporter; Cherri Gregg, community affairs reporter; Jim Melwert, KYW suburban bureau chief; and Kristen Johanson, crime and justice reporter. Guests will have the opportunity to ask the panel questions during the final 20 minutes of the event. Breakfast will be served courtesy of Harvest Seasonal Grill and Wine Bar prior to the start of the event. Listeners interested in attending the event can register online…..Beasley Media Group announces Chris Ornelas is named general counsel for the company, effective February 1. Ornelas was most recently with the National Association of Broadcasters as chief operating and strategy officer in which he was responsible for overseeing the operations of and providing strategic guidance to NAB’s advocacy teams in addressing the legal and regulatory issues facing broadcasters today…..Lemonada Media announces a new podcast called “Mouthpeace with Michael and Pele Bennett,” hosted and executive produced Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Michael Bennett and his wife Pele. Lemonada, whose programs are distributed and repped by Westwood One, says “the series explores personal and provocative topics ranging from love, sex, parenting, the NFL, and politics.” The first episode drops on January 31…..Entercom is being honored at the Project Voice Awards with the “Samsung Bixby Capsule of the Year” for its RADIO.COM integration. The awards honor global best-in-class achievement across the emerging voice and AI realm and took place at the organization’s annual conference in Chattanooga, Tennessee on January 15. Entercom VP of corporate business development David Rosenbloom says, “We’re honored to be recognized among industry leaders by Project Voice. This award is a testament to our ongoing commitment to innovating in voice and to enhancing the consumer experience. With Bixby, we were able to expand the reach of RADIO.COM to millions of listeners and engage with them whenever and wherever they are with an optimized presence.”
Cox Media Group Gets Deadline Extension to Sell Ohio Newspapers. Due to a ruling by a three-judge panel at the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, Cox Media Group must divest of its Ohio newspapers to avoid said newspapers having to reduce publication to three days per week. Even though the company had been operating a radio station and newspaper in the southwestern Ohio region since 1935, the Court revived the rule prohibiting operating both. The FCC appealed the three-judge ruling to the entire Third Circuit Court of Appeals, but the appeal was denied. Now, CMG has until March 16 to complete a sale to a party that can publish the Dayton Daily News seven days per week. Cox Media Group CEO Kim Guthrie says, “We applaud the decision by the FCC and are grateful for the extension. News does not conveniently schedule itself three days a week and we felt a reduced print schedule would negatively and severely impact the newspapers, our employees and the communities we serve. CMG and Apollo have been pushing for this outcome because we feel that maintaining a daily publication schedule is the absolute best way to continue to produce the solid and timely journalism that our readers deserve.”
Impeachment Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 13-17. Not surprisingly, the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump were the most talked about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the presidential race and the Democratic debate from Des Moines. Coming in at #3 was the Iran crisis and U.S. foreign policy, followed by the U.S.-China trade war and the economy at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio this week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Omaha hot AC KQKQ “Sweet 98.5,” NRG Media launches an all-female morning show with current morning host Nikki Oswald and afternoon drive time personality Laura Blenkush. The company says it will be the only all-female duo morning show in Omaha. KQKQ program director Jay Michaels says, “Taking two of our highly talented personalities, and pairing them together for an all-female morning show is the obvious move when targeting women.” Oswald was most recently partnered with Matt Tompkins, who recently moved over to NRG’s classic hits KOOO “THE NEW 101.9 The KEG” to host the morning show…..Two nationally syndicated programs land on Cumulus Media stations in South Carolina. First, the Premiere Networks-syndicated “The Breakfast Club” with Charlamagne Tha God, Angela Yee, and DJ Envy is the new morning show at hip hop WDAI-FM, Myrtle Beach. Programmer and air personality Mike “BigMMike” Bell says, “We are excited to bring ‘The Breakfast Club’ to The Grand Strand. As Myrtle Beach’s source for hip hop and R&B, what better way to enter a new era than with the “World’s Most Dangerous Morning Show?” Second, the Compass Media Networks-distributed “DeDe in the Morning” show with DeDe McGuire, Lady Jade, Rudy Rush, and comedian Michael Shawn assumes the morning drive daypart at Cumulus’ hip hop WYNN, Florence. Bell, who also programs WYNN and handles afternoon drive, says, “We are excited to bring a fresh morning show to Florence. As the market leader, it was important that we went with a brand that can be trusted to deliver great entertainment our listeners will love. DeDe is a seasoned vet and I’ve been a fan of her work for years.”
Monday Memo: Podcast Best Practices. Google “podcast tips” and you’ll find plenty, most for newbies (“State your name and the name of your podcast at the beginning”). Since you’re a pro, this week’s column by consultant Holland Cooke is Advanced Placement stuff. Read it here.
Impeachment Testimony, 2020 Presidential Race, Hong Kong Elections, Navy Secretary Fired, Mr. Rogers Movie, and AMAs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The week’s impeachment testimony; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and former Republican-turned-Democrat Michael Bloomberg’s entrance into the race; the Hong Kong elections that saw pro-democracy candidates win in local races; Navy Secretary Richard Spencer forced out of his post over the Edward Gallagher case; the A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood film; and Sunday evening’s American Music Awards were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
WIP, Philadelphia Morning Star Angelo Cataldi Signs Contract Extension. Morning drive sports talk host Angelo Cataldi signs a multiyear contract extension with Entercom’s WIP-FM, Philadelphia. He’ll continue to lead the “Angelo and the Morning Team” program with co-hosts Al Morganti, Keith Jones, and Rhea Hughes. The former Philadelphia Inquirer Eagles beat writer began hosting the morning show on WIP in 1990. He comments, “It’s an honor to continue my time at WIP as I move past my 30-year anniversary at the best sports station in America. All I can do is express my appreciation to Entercom and to all of my colleagues at WIP. But most of all I want to thank the listeners who have been so loyal to me and to everyone at the morning show. I can’t believe I get to do a job I love in the city whose passion for sports is incomparable. Now let’s win another championship.”
Sam Moser Named Chief Revenue Officer and EVP of National Sales for Newsmax TV. Former FOX News advertising sales executive Sam R. Moser joins Newsmax TV as chief revenue officer and EVP of national sales. During his career, Moser has also served with MTV, the Comedy Channel, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, and the Game Show Network. Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy says, “Sam has a stellar reputation for building, developing, and directing highly successful sales teams for major cable networks – both established and start-up. He’s a consummate sales professional and has amassed an impressive track record of increasing billings significantly from existing advertisers as well as new business development.” Moser says, “Newsmax has quickly become the most-talked-about cable news network in the United States. I’m excited to be part of the cream of the crop Chris is assembling and help further accelerate the growth of this exciting, must-watch news outlet.” Newsmax TV says it has cable agreements with all major MVPD outlets, including DirecTV, Dish, Xfinity, Spectrum, Fios, U-verse, Altice (Optimum and Suddenlink), and Cox, among many others. The network expects to reach close 80 million MVPD homes in 2020.
TALKERS News Notes. Corpus Christi morning drive personality Jim Lago announces he’s retiring from iHeartMedia’s news/talk KKTX-AM after his December 6 program. Lago suffered a mild stroke in April but later returned to his show. He’s been a Corpus Christi air personality for more than 30 years…..In Kansas City, Ron “Show” Hughley exits the midday show at Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports.” His former partner Josh Vernier and producer Stephen Serda remain hosting the program that’s been renamed “Mid-Days” on the station’s website…..WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive talk host Simon Conway is doing double duty this week. In addition to his WHO program (also heard on iHeartMedia’s WMT-AM, Cedar Rapids), he’s sitting in for Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo on his nationally syndicated show today through Wednesday (11/25-27)…..AdLarge Media announces that it has renewed its deal with The Weather Channel Radio Network and will continue serving as radio ad sales rep for TWC. AdLarge co-founder and co-CEO Gary Schonfeld says, “The Weather Channel television and radio network is a marquee brand trusted by radio stations and advertisers. With this extended partnership, our team can continue providing AdLarge advertisers with access to listeners of top-rated radio stations across the country. We are delighted to continue our relationship with the network.”…..WBUR, Boston appoints Margaret Low CEO and general manager. Low was most recently with The Atlantic where she was the president of AtlanticLIVE. Prior to serving with The Atlantic, she was SVP of news for NPR and a former senior producer for “All Things Considered.” During her five years at The Atlantic, Low oversaw the live events division, which produces more than 100 events a year across the country and around the world.
WNDB’s Marc Bernier Interviews Senator Tom Cotton. Pictured above is WNDB, Daytona Beach afternoon drive talk show host Marc Bernier interviewing U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) before a live audience at the Miami BookFair International live on C-SPAN about his book Sacred Duty: A Soldier’s Tour at Arlington National Cemetery (2019, William Morrow). This is the 15th consecutive year that Bernier’s “BookMarc” radio and TV show has broadcast from the Miami BookFair International.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro John DeSantis is leaving All Pro Broadcasting’s hot AC KHTI, Riverside-San Bernardino “Hot 103.9” on December 15 after 23 years with the station. He’s also worked on-air at the station in mornings, afternoons, and evenings. Station VP and general manager Kimberly Martinez says, “John will forever remain a part of All Pro Broadcasting’s history. He was a very important part of our X103.9 programming. When we flipped formats in December 2015 he continued on as our program director. John has been a dedicated employee and an important part of the All Pro Broadcasting family, we wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.”…..On Friday, November 15, iHeartMedia’s rock WDVE celebrated its 50th Anniversary with by an alumni party at Cefelo’s – a local Pittsburgh venue. The party brought together the station’s former sales and support staff, along with top on-air personalities, including Randy Baumann, Val Porter, Michele Michaels, and Russ Rose as well as former air personalities Scott Paulsen, Jimmy Roach, Steve Hansen, Marsy, Terry Caywood, Herschel, Sean McDowell, Eddie Crowe, Kenny Gibbs, Cris Winter, Joe Fenn, and Jesse Scott. In addition, program director John Moschitta was joined by former program directors from throughout the decades – which included Gene Romano, Dave Lange, Garrett Hart, and special guest attendee Alan Shaw.