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Dare to be Crap-Free

| December 16, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
Owner

SHAKER HEIGHTS — “In this multi-tasking radio world, who in the station should be responsible for online content?”  That’s a question I got from a smart guy I used to work with.  It’s a great question.

You need only two particularly strong people with this plan I’m going to give you.  You may be surprised about who they are.

Set it Up

Who should handle your online content?  Here are the staffing requirements for this focused plan:

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What You Look Like to Us

| November 18, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
Owner

SHAKER HEIGHTS — Those of us in digital media know that our world will continue to change drastically, over and over again.  We also know that we will be bigger and better three years … five years … 10 years from now.  Plus, we hear how radio compares itself to online listening choices, and we see how you use your digital platforms.

And here’s what we think.

We Have Transmitter Envy

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Monday, November 18, 2013

| November 18, 2013

milhaventornadocoverageTornado Damage Reported Via Multi-Media on McGraw Milhaven Show.  The series of tornadoes that swept across the Midwest on Sunday left serious damage in New Minden, Illinois – about an hour East of St. Louis.  The photo you see here is from the video component of KTRS, St. Louis morning host McGraw Milhaven’s online platform.  Since the spring, Milhaven has been partnering with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s StlToday.com site to present his program in a video format.  Today, he used that medium to his advantage as reporter Michael Golde was able to report back to the studio via Skype and show viewers scenes from the storm-damaged town and converse with Milhaven and news anchor Kelly Jackson.  In posting the video on YouTube, Milhaven comments, “KTRS Radio in St Louis is the only radio station in the country to show live video of storm-damaged areas of Ill. to listeners on laptops, desktops and smartphones as well as the radio.”

wrcnlogoJVC Media to Flip Rock WRCN, Long Island to News/Talk After Christmas.  Longtime rocker WRCN, Riverhead, New York has stopped playing “everything that rocks” and has gone Christmas music through the holidays.  But after Christmas, the station will emerge as a news/talk outlet dubbed “LI News Radio 103.9.”  JVC Media president and CEO John Caracciolo explains the company’s thinking in a statement: “WRCN has a long history and heritage on Long Island – many of us have grown up with the station and it has become an intricate part of our lives.  But as our lives change so does our soundtrack.  What we listened to growing up is not necessarily what we listen to now and what was important to us as teenagers maybe doesn’t seem so important anymore.  That’s why we made the decision to change WRCN and develop and program a radio station that fits the needs of Long Island…Long Islanders are starving for local news and information.  Why should we have to wait 22 minutes to hear about the world when all we really want is Islip to Southampton?  What’s the traffic like on the 347 merge or Sunrise Highway in Oakdale?  This station will not only serve as your information source but it will be your sounding board for issues that influence your life, your community and your business.”  Talent that has been announced to be part of the new format includes Premiere Networks nationally syndicated star Sean Hannity and Cumulus Media Networks personality Mark Levin as well as local hosts Ernie Fasio, Vic Fusco, John Gomez, Kevin Law, Steve Levy, Frank McKay, and Jay Oliver.

thomaslindaLinda Thomas to Exit KIRO-FM, Seattle.  Morning news anchor and reporter Linda Thomas announces she will be leaving Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle at the end of the year for a new opportunity that, as she says, “doesn’t involve being at work by 2:00 am.”  In a blog post at the company’s Mynorthwest.com, she writes, “My Bonneville Seattle bosses understand and support my decision too, even though they don’t want me to leave.  That’s what family members do.  I’ll always be grateful for them, and for you.”  Thomas first worked at KIRO in 1988 as an overnight editor and became morning drive anchor in 1993.  She left the station to work as a freelancer but returned to KIRO-FM as morning anchor in 2010.  She adds, “KIRO’s news, talk and online teams are the best in the business.  It’s been an honor to work alongside amazing talent.  I’ve learned a lot from all my co-workers.  They encourage me, challenge me, and make me laugh on a daily basis. I really do love them.”

wrightmichelleMichelle Wright Let Go from All-News WYAY, Atlanta.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho tips us that morning drive co-anchor Michelle Wright has been let go from Cumulus Media’s all-news WYAY, Atlanta “All-News 106.7.”  Andy Rose remains in AM drive solo.  The speculation is that the recent hiring of Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson to host a talk show in middays and the acquisition of Atlanta Braves baseball required some cuts in other areas of the station and Wright was the unfortunate victim.  She was one of the original staffers when Cumulus decided to turn WYAY into an all-news station in May of 2012.  She had previously worked at Atlanta-based CNN Radio before joining Cumulus.

pittmanbobCEOs Make the Grade.  Clear Channel’s Bob Pittman and EmmisJeff Smulyan were both the subjects of feature stories in newspapers over the weekend – Pittman in The New York Times and Smulyan in thesmulyanjeff Indianapolis Star.  In a Q&A titled, the Value of Dissent, Pittman says he encouraged dissenters in his organization because they serve a valuable purpose.  “I want us to listen to these dissenters because they may intend to tell you why we can’t do something, but if you listen hard, what they’re really telling you is what you must do to get something done.  It gets you out of your framework of the conventions of what you can and can’t do.”  Read that piece here.  Jeff Smulyan tells the Star in his Q&A that the best piece of advice he’s received has to do with employer-employee relationships, “Attract the best people, treat them well, and let them do their job.  If you want people to go through walls for you, you have to go through more walls for them.”  Read that story here.

millerchrisThe View of Radio from the Digital World’s Perspective.  Noted radio digital consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller writes, “Those of us in digital media know that our world will continue to change drastically, over and over again.  We also know that we will be bigger and better three years…five years…10 years from now.  Plus, we hear how radio compares itself to online listening choices, and we see how you use your digital platforms.  And here’s what we think.”  In a new column posted today (11/18) Miller goes on to state that digital-only people still have “transmitter envy” and that even though more and more people and media are moving online, the stick is still a formidable asset.  Regardless, he points out that many digital-only professionals think that over-the-air radio companies are “crazy” for cutting talent, still selling 60-second commercials, and not being cognizant of just how much entertainment is changing.  He clearly explains what digital pros see as radio’s “dangerous assumption.”  He observes, “I look at a lot of different radio social media, websites, database emails and texting programs, and it’s clear you’re making some dangerous assumptions.  Digital content doesn’t work like you think it should.  It doesn’t work like you wish it did.  It works like it works.  We see you on Facebook and Twitter talking about almost anything…except what people really love about you.  Your websites are a mish-mosh of broad-based content, but if you look at your web stats, there are fewer than half-a-dozen features at your site that, combined, get the lion’s share of your page views.  There is nothing special or exclusive about the emails you send your listeners, and your open rates prove it.  Radio people know a lot about how people use radio.  Meanwhile, you are using all these other media as if knowing how they work doesn’t matter.  One key thing we’re doing to drive our online success is to track everything we can to see what really makes a difference.  We don’t have the luxury of having opinions about what should work.  Either the clicks are there, or they aren’t.  What we do either works, or it doesn’t.  If it doesn’t, you dig in, diagnose the problem, and adjust.”  To read Chris Miller’s entire column, please click here.

rhodesrandiPremiere Reverses Course; Keeps Randi Rhodes on Syndication Menu. There are no reports indicating just what happened between Randi Rhodes and syndicator Premiere Networks but the latter is confirming the widely reported news that Rhodes will continue to be syndicated by Premiere, at least through 2014.  Premiere SVP of affiliate relationspremierenetworks logo Peter Tripi emailed affiliates, “In a happy turn of events, we are pleased to announce that Premiere Networks will continue to produce and distribute the Randi Rhodes show.  In an industry of constant change, it’s a pleasure to provide good news about a talk talent we think so highly of.  We apologize for any inconvenience the previous announcement caused, but look forward to a very successful 2014 with the Randi Rhodes show.”  Several weeks ago, Rhodes began telling her audience she was foreseeing the end of her program and later Premiere notified affiliates the relationship would be ending.

herskovitzalIt’s Pop-Up Time.  No, not the kind of pop-up we associate with websites – pop-up ads – but those retail stores that “pop up” in vacant storefronts during the holiday shopping season.  Sales maven and H&H Communications president Al Herskovitz writes about getting these seasonal businesses advertising on your station this year.  He notes that many of these retailers are big name brands that choose to expand their physical space during this time of year and they include Vera Bradley, Louis Vuitton and the National Football League.  Read Al Herskovitz’s entire column here.

abcnewskennedyABC News Radio Offers Kennedy Assassination Programming.  As the nation marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, ABC News Radio is offering a two-hour special broadcast, “Three Shots Rang Out: An ABC News Special – The JFK Assassination 50 Years Later,” anchored by ABC News’ Diane Sawyer.  It’s an audio-only program that will be heard by ABC News Radio affiliates.  In addition, a special expanded show will be available via download at Audible.com as part of a new digital audio relationship between ABC News Radio and Audible.  The Audible.com version of this program will include an additional 40 minutes of historical audio available exclusively to Audible listeners.

ruthronRon Ruth Passes.  Former 19-year Radio Advertising Bureau executive vice president of stations Ron Ruth died early Saturday (11/16) in Florida of a heart attack.  The 75-year-old Ruth had been struggling with health issues the past two months.  CBS Radio president and chief executive officer Dan Mason was among those quickly noting their sympathies regarding Ruth’s passing. “I just spoke with him at the Radio Show this past September in Orlando,” Mason writes on Facebook. “He was so up and happy – I am sad tonight.”  Also on that social media platform, Tom Birch notes, “Ron lived life to its fullest and was a joy and inspiration to everyone who had the opportunity to know him.  Ron was the midwife to Birch Research.  He opened doors for me, encouraged me and guided me.  I am deeply honored to have worked for Ron at WQAM, Miami in the 1970s, and to have remained friends with him for the next three decades.” According to former RKO General eastern vice president Perry Ury, “Ron Ruth was a friend and our house skeptic at RKO.”  Former Tele Media Broadcasting vice president and chief operating officer Ira Rosenblatt adds, “We’ve lost a friend and true broadcaster.”  Doing afternoon drive in Boston early in his radio career, Ruth roomed with two other on-air talents who went on to stardom – George Carlin and Jack Burns of Burns & (Avery) Schreiber.  He held sales manager positions for Unistar Radio Networks, as well as at the local level in markets such as New York (WOR-FM), Chicago (WNUS), Washington, DC (WGMS), and Buffalo (WYSL).  Ruth left Unistar to join the RAB in 1992.  Most recently, he was consulting the Radio Advertising Bureau.

wmalbonginoA Man of His Word.  The man having his head shaved live on the air on Cumulus Media’s WMAL, Washington, DC is former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino.  Not too long ago, Bongino said on the WMAL airwaves that he would shave his head if President Obama apologized for the gaffes in the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.  And since the president did offer an apology of sorts, Bongino agreed to honor his statement live on the air and did so on Friday, November 15.

Monday, November 4, 2013

| November 4, 2013

wor710It’s Official: WOR, New York Is New Home of the Mets.  What had been reported several weeks ago as a sure bet is being confirmed as MLB’s New York Mets and Clear Channel Media and Entertainment agree to “the launch of a five-year, landmark multimedia marketing partnership.”  The centerpiece of the deal is CC’s news/talk WOR, New York will serve as the flagship station for Mets play-by-play and pre- and post-game shows.  Clear Channel is mets logotouting its multi-platform assets in addition to the over-the-air play-by-play.  It will provide custom promotion opportunities across all its NYC radio stations including WHTZ, WKTU, WLTW, WAXQ, and WWPR.  Also, in addition to promotion on the stations, each station website and iHeartRadio, Clear Channel’s industry-leading, all-in-one digital service, will promote the Mets and Mets-related programming; Clear Channel Outdoor’s strategically located media inventory will also market the Mets and WOR relationship throughout the New York Metropolitan Area; the Mets and Clear Channel Media and Entertainment will work together to enhance in-game entertainment at Citi Field and jointly explore the production and promotion of top name concerts, festivals and large-scale entertainment events at Citi Field; and the Mets and Clear Channel Communities, the charitable arm of Clear Channel, will also jointly develop a number of outreach and grass roots programs to meet the needs of the communities they serve.  Mets COO Jeff Wilpon states, “This breakthrough partnership provides us with the ability to serve our loyal fans and attract a new generation of fans through Clear Channel’s massive reach and ability to target key demographics across the New York market.  Our agreement delivers more promotion of the club to a broader audience than this franchise ever has had before with additional opportunities to advance our efforts to make Citi Field one of the leading sports and entertainment destinations in the country.”

pattizglanville‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ Star Brandi Glanville Joins PodcastOne.  Norm Pattiz-founded PodcastOne signs Brandi Glanville, star of TV’s “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” to produce a new weekly podcast called “Brandi Glanville Unfiltered.”  On Glanville’s maiden program on Tuesday, November 5, she’ll welcome actress Jennifer Gimenez and television personality Dr. Will Kirby as her first guests.  The company says that in addition to interviewing star guests on the one-hour show, Glanville dishes about pop culture, fashion and celebrity gossip.  She comments, “It’s great being the one who gets to ask the questions.  We’re making the show entertaining, informative, fun and as spontaneous as possible, so you never know what someone is going to say next.”  Courtside Entertainment and PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz adds, “Brandi is a natural, in every sense of the word.  No thought goes unspoken and what you hear is who she is.  She was born for this medium. We’re glad to have her at PodcastOne.”

millerchrisGetting Results for Your Station from Facebook Ads.  Digital consultant Chris Miller admits he was not a fan of Facebook ads when they debuted but now he says the Facebook ad platform has improved to the point where he can “use them to drive specific, direct response for clients who want to sell more cars, houses, wine, books and downloads.”  Miller says that for a station event or remote, this is a very affordable way to zero in on whom you’re trying to reach.  “Facebook will let you target your message pretty precisely, too.  You can choose who you want to see your message by age, gender, zip code, and a host of other criteria.  You can also choose exactly when and for how long your message will be posted, too.  I keep this time period pretty short and pretty immediate, too.  If I were promoting an on-air contest or on-site promotion, I would promote it for a day and a half or two days leading up to it.”  For more advice on using Facebook ads, see Chris Miller’s entire piece here.

kuhnerjeffWRKO, Boston Celebrates One-Year Anniversary of Jeff Kuhner AM Show.  It’s been a year since Entercom’s WRKO, Boston installed Jeff Kuhner as host of the morning drive program and the station is celebrating the anniversary with a listener party at the Pearl Street Café in suburban Saugus, Massachusetts on Wednesday evening.  Kuhner is a columnist at The Washington Times, where his column appears every Friday and WRKO says his column is consistently one of the most read and popular in The Times’ commentary section.  He is also the president of the Edmund Burke Institute, a Washington think tank.  On his one-year anniversary, Kuhner says, “The people of Boston have welcomed me with open arms.  Well, except for Deval, Menino and the rest of the liberal establishment.  But, let that go.”

apontejulioSun Broadcast Group Promotes Julio Aponte.  Hispanic marketing pro Julio Aponte joined Sun Broadcast Group, Inc. earlier this year as director of Hispanic sales.  Now, the company announces he’s being promoted to senior vice president of Hispanic initiatives.  SBG says he’ll be in charge of researching, developingsunbroadcastgrouplogo and launching new programming and affiliate partnerships exclusive to Sun Latino, its Spanish Language division.  He will also oversee sales strategies as well as develop new measurement and accountability initiatives that will be implemented across the network.  SBG CEO Jason Bailey says, “When we welcomed Julio to the Sun family earlier this year, I knew he would quickly become an important member of our executive team.  In the short time that he’s been with us, he has been instrumental in helping us create Sun Latino, the #1 Spanish language network for news and information.  Julio represents all the good that we believe this industry to be.  He is so well liked and respected by everyone here in our family, and more impressively, by all those who have ever had the opportunity to work with him.”  Sun Latino provides sales and promotional services for CNN en Español, Fox Deportes and customized, local weather forecasts with AccuWeather en Español.  It is also home to MusiMundo, an all music network and InfoMundo, a national business and information network.

wckg logoWCKG, Elmhurst, Illinois to Be Purchased by GM Matt DuBiel.  The suburban Chicago AM signal is owned by Joseph Gentile Inc. and is currently airing a slate of largely syndicated talk programming including Mancow, DirecTV/Fox Sports Radio’s Dan Patrick, GCN-distributed Alex Jones, and independently syndicated “Free Talk Live” with Ian Freeman and Mark Edge.  General manager Matt Dubiel and Arthur DuBiel will pay $290,000 cash for the property.  In addition to operating WCKG, DuBiel is also marketing the Q101.com website that features several alternative, rock and classic rock music streams under the brand of now defunct alternative Chicago station WKQX.

ramseydaveOdds & Sods.  Connoisseur Media flips WCHR-AM, Trenton, New Jersey from religion to news/talk featuring Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck and independently syndicated talk star Dave Ramsey…..Colonial Radio Group’s sports WVTT-FM, Olean, New York “SportsRadio 93.9” names Joel McGuirk – who goes by the moniker “The Mouth” – the afternoon host of “The Cage with the Mouth.”…..At Entercom’s Portland, Oregon cluster, KMTT flips from a local music and triple A format to sports talk with programming from CBS Sports Radio.  The station is being branded “Sports 910.”

sileodanWMEN, West Palm Beach Host Dan Sileo Apologizes for Bounty Tweet.  “640 Sports” midday personality Dan Sileo was so incensed at Saturday night’s drubbing of his alma mater (University of Miami) at the hands of Florida State that he offered a $1,000 reward to any player who “takes out” Seminoles running back Devonta Freeman.  According to CBSSports.com, Sileo Tweeted, “in 6 weeks…I will PAY A $1,000 BUCKS to ANY @hurricanesports PLAYER to TAKES THIS KID OUT #MHFREEMAN.”  Sileo has since removed the Tweets and apologized, saying he didn’t mean to offer a bounty in subsequent Tweets.

katzboltonTalk Radio Diplomacy.  Former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton (left) is pictured here with Boston-based media personality Jeff Katz (who serves as a columnist for The Boston Herald and commentator for Boston Herald Radio).  Katz was a featured speaker at a special Christians & Jews United For Israel event where John Bolton appeared as the keynote speaker.

Proven Ways to Evaluate your Facebook Page Today

| October 21, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
Owner

facebooklogoSHAKER HEIGHTS  – When it comes to social media, you’re either building your brand, or spinning your wheels.  Here are a few tools you can use to evaluate the job your station is doing on Facebook, even if you hardly ever go on social media yourself!

Who’s on, First?

You work to talk with your target, whether it’s on the air, on site at an event, or online.  Who is your target?  Are you getting those people to hang around with you on Facebook?  Here’s how to tell.  Click thusly: Your station page > View Insights > People.  You’ll need to be an administrator for your page, or doing this with someone who is.

Here, you’ll see a graph that fits surprisingly well with your ratings info!  Among your fans, it shows your balance of women to men, and then breaks that down into the age cells we know and love … 18-24, 25-34, 35-44, and so forth.

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