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Monday Memo: Happy NEWS Year?

| December 20, 2021

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Or is “happy” now unproductive? If Brett Baier hasn’t also fled FOX News by the time you read this, he must be feeling lonely there. He and Chris Wallace reportedly protested to management over Tucker Carlson’s “false flag” take on the deadly January 6 insurrection that many fear was dress rehearsal. Shep’ Smith was already long-gone – to anchor the hip, handsomely-produced 7:00 pm CNBC news hour – after being so-at-odds for-so-long with what FOX News entertainment shows were shoveling.

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Monday, November 22, 2021

| November 22, 2021

Monday Memo: The Pandemic Dividend. As our lives were upended, advertising rose to the occasion, relating to – and offering solutions for – challenges imposed by the shutdown, and enduring change in The New Normal. In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke demonstrates ten (10) successful copy points worth emulating when you craft commercial copy for station or podcast advertisers. Read it here.

Pending Business: Be Thankful.  Sales pro Steve Lapa writes, with some COVID-consciousness, this the time of year we pause and give thanks. For many of us, food, family, friends and maybe football will dominate Thanksgiving Day. To all the heroes and their families who protect our health, safety and freedom let’s all start this holiday with a collective, “Thank you.”  As our post-pandemic lives recover, off we go to the shopping races on line or on location. The numbers crunchers will be ready with the results of the first U.S. post-pandemic recovery Black Friday. How does that impact those of us in radio?  Read about it here.

Phoenix Bumps Up Hatch To Sr. VP/MM. Ten-year vice president of programming for Bonneville Phoenix, Ryan Hatch, is elevated to senior vice president and Phoenix market manager. He succeeds Scott Sutherland, who was recently promoted to executive vice president, regional media operations, where he oversees Bonneville properties in San Francisco, Seattle, Phoenix, Denver, and Sacramento. Bonneville Phoenix market manager since 2009, Sutherland states, “I am incredibly proud and excited to see Ryan in his new role as senior vice president and market manager. I have no doubt that under his leadership, Bonneville Phoenix will soar to new heights.” Hatch comments, “I’m humbled, honored, and thrilled for the opportunity to lead the most talented team in local media in a city that my family loves and calls home. I look forward to continuing to serve our dynamic and growing community, our advertisers, team broadcast partners and audiences.” Hatch has been with Bonneville the past fifteen years, including a stint as operations manager of its Seattle facilities. The three-station Bonneville Phoenix cluster consists of news/talk KTAR-FM “News 92.3,” sports talk KMVP “Arizona Sports 98.7,” and sports talk KTAR-AM “620 AM ESPN Phoenix.”

Dunaway To Exit WTIC-AM. After nearly 30 years at news/talk WTIC-AM “1080 News Talk,”  Ray Dunaway announced this morning (Monday, 11/22) that he is retiring from the Audacy Hartford station and will air his final show Christmas Eve (12/24). Beginning (Monday) January 3 (2022), Brian Shactman, who joined Dunaway the past year, will host WTIC-AM mornings along with Aaron Kupec (news); Bob Cox (weather); Mark Christopher (traffic); and Matt Sirois (sports). Audacy Hartford senior vice president and market manager Stephanie Perl remarks, “We want to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to Ray Dunaway, who has dedicated almost 30 years of his career to WTIC-AM. Ray is known as the morning man, and his iconic personality is synonymous with our station. In addition, he had a significant impact over these past 29 years with Audacy and the larger Connecticut community. Ray is a true broadcaster and we will miss him greatly. We wish him all the best in his retirement.” Audacy Hartford operations manager Steve Salhany notes, “It goes without saying that Ray has been an important part of WTIC-AM, and more importantly, our community. While I am sure he’s going to enjoy sleeping in, he will be greatly missed.” Dunaway adds, “It’s been a long, wonderful run, but having hosted morning shows since 1980, the time has come to sleep in – at least I hope I can. I want to thank [those who listened] since 1992 at WTIC-AM. You are truly wonderful people, as [is] the staff at Audacy. I can honestly say these friends are the best I’ve ever worked with.” Prior to arriving at WTIC-AM in May 1992, Dunaway worked at Kansas City’s KMBZ-FM.

KGB-AM Sends Warriors Home With $1.4 Million. As a result of its annual 12-hour “Give-A-Thon” broadcast, iHeartMedia San Diego news/talk KGB-AM helped raise $1,455,741 for the Warrior Foundation Freedom Station to reunite injured service members with their families during the holidays. iHeartMedia San Diego president and market manager Melissa Forrest comments, “We are honored to have participated in the Warrior Foundation Freedom Station ‘Give-A-Thon’ which supports our deserving military men and women. It’s amazing to see this level of generosity; this is a true testament to our San Diego listeners. Thank you to everyone who made this year’s ‘Give-A-Thon’ a huge success.” Warrior Foundation Freedom Station founder and chief executive officer Sandy Lehmkuhler adds, “We are forever grateful to our wonderful media partners and donors for giving back to our nation’s service members during this special time of year. By shining a spotlight on our warriors and their brave struggles with the visible and invisible wounds of war, [iHeartMedia San Diego] rallied the support of thousands of people to fly our heroes home for the holidays. It’s a gift our troops will remember forever.” In 2004, Lehmkuhler contacted “760 AM” (when it was KFMB-AM) to ask its listeners to donate shaving razors for holiday gift bags being given to warriors in recovery at Balboa Naval Hospital. It then grew into an annual fundraising effort that reunites families during the holidays, and helps warriors face the challenges of recovery, rehabilitation and transition from military service to civilian life. KGB-AM’s syndicated morning show – Armstrong & Getty – promoted the “Give-A-Thon” for an entire week, as did KGB-AM’s similarly-formatted cluster-mate KOGO “News Radio 600.”

Not Just For Audio Anymore. Regular Fox News Channel talking head Ethan Bearman (right) spars with FNC hosts by representing a differing point-of-view. Formerly a host on California news/talk outlets KABC, Los Angeles; KGO, San Francisco; and KSCO, Santa Cruz, the frequent TALKERS’ “Heavy Hundred” entry secured his law degree and passed the California Bar. Bearman now practices media law and – with wife Amy (left) – hosts the “Law Junkie Show” podcast, which adds a video component.

TuneIn Handles Live Audio Streaming Portion of C-SPAN Now App. Under a new partnership, the deal with C-SPAN makes four news-oriented apps using TuneIn for audio streaming, including the CNN, MSNBC, and CNBC apps. TuneIn chief executive officer Richard Stern comments, “C-SPAN serves a valuable role in bringing an unvarnished look at government proceedings to the general public. TuneIn is excited to be partnering with C-SPAN to provide live and on-demand access to C-SPAN Now users via our live radio streaming technology. All around the world, TuneIn is helping broadcasters and content creators bring their content to new audiences through digital distribution. This unique partnership showcases how TuneIn can both serve as a platform and value-add for media companies.” C-SPAN vice president of digital media Richard Weinstein adds, “C-SPAN Now was designed from the ground up to bring C-SPAN’s mission [of] delivering an unfiltered, high-quality viewing and listening experience of our government’s proceedings to another digital platform and to new audiences. From day one, TuneIn has helped C-SPAN bring compelling American political news to a new generation of digital listeners.”

TALKERS News Notes. Over $365,000 was raised this past Tuesday (11/16) in Audacy Minneapolis news/talk WCCO’s 19th annual “Union Gospel Mission Hunger Radiothon.” The 13-hour event (6:00 am – 7:00 pm) will help to provide over 186,000 meals and care to those in need. WCCO “News Radio 830” brand manager Brad Lane comments, “I couldn’t be prouder of everyone’s hard work on this event. This is yet another great example of how live and local radio can truly help change lives. We’re so grateful that WCCO can partner with Union Gospel Mission and impact the community in such an amazing and rewarding [way].” WCCO hosts spoke with current and past Union Gospel Mission clients, as well as staff members and the charity’s leaders. This year’s $365,000+ brings WCCO’s overall UGM Hunger Radiothon fundraising total to over $3.6 million … For the 12th year in a row, “The Steve Harvey Morning Show” and Premiere Networks will give away thousands of turkeys as part of the “Steve Harvey Morning Show Annual Turkey Give.” Nearly 9,000 turkeys will be provided to affiliates of Harvey’s morning radio show to help those less fortunate celebrate Thanksgiving. Giveaways will take place today (Monday, 11/22) and tomorrow (Tuesday, 11/23) in affiliate markets across the country. Nearly 100,000 turkeys have been given away since 2009 when “The Turkey Give” was first launched. Harvey states, “It’s an honor and a privilege for all of us here to help those in need.” … For the past nine years, comedian Jerry Seinfeld has hosted/directed “Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee.” In Boston, Buzz Knight Media president Buzz Knight debuts “Takin A Walk,” a podcast in which the consultant records results of his walks with celebrities. “The joy of this project,” he notes, “is that there are no boundaries to the type of guests we can book. We’re excited about this project along with future content creation opportunities.” Forthcoming is a walk-and-talk with historian Doris Kearns Goodwin … Newsmax re-signs Benny Johnson to a multi-year deal and plans to expand his weekend show, “Benny Reports.” Newsmax executive vice president of programming Elliot Jacobson says, “‘Benny Reports’ is a provocative and highly engaging show. Benny’s incisive and humorous commentaries have developed a strong following of Newsmax viewers. We are enthusiastic to grow our relationship with Benny and to expand ‘Benny Reports’ to a full hour show.” … What started as a fun on-air wager last Thursday (11/18) between WAJI “Majic 95.1,” Ft. Wayne (Indiana) on-air hosts Andy Beckman and Kat Walburn turned into “The Andy in the Morning Underwear Run.” Beckman lost the bet and – owing to terms of the agreement – had to do a city run in his underwear this past Saturday (11/20) at Ft. Wayne’s minor league baseball stadium, Parkview Field. The stunt on the Sarkes Tarzian-owned/Mike McVay-consulted adult contemporary outlet wasn’t done strictly for laughs as it benefitted Erin’s House for Grieving Children. Beckman notes, “The goal was to raise awareness and funds for every single Erin’s House family this holiday season.” For nearly 30 years, Erin’s House for Grieving Children has provided a safe, nurturing, and comfortable environment for children to process their grief. They learn how to express their emotions, share their feelings, and reinvest back into their lives.

Dolan Appointed To Libsyn Board. Joining the board of directors of Libsyn (Liberated Syndication) is the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s former president/chief operating officer, Patrick Dolan. Libsyn chief executive officer Bradley Tirpak notes, “[Patrick Dolan] brings decades of digital media experience at for-profit companies, as well as the most important trade organization, the IAB. He has [long been] a supporter of both Libsyn’s business and the podcasting sector overall. As a board member, I know Patrick will contribute significantly to Libsyn’s growth and help position the company to be a go-to-destination for podcasters for all of their needs.” Dolan adds, “I am honored to join Libsyn’s board. As the first podcast hosting company, Libsyn has long been an innovator in the podcast industry; it is an exciting time in the company’s history. I hope to be able to support Libsyn’s platform strategy and development of new value-added services for podcasters.” A former director of business operations at Doubleclick, Dolan most recently has been an executive-in-residence for Progress Partners.

VICE World News Seeks Archival Conservative News/Talk Radio Airchecks for Forthcoming Documentary. The TV arm of VICE World News is producing a four-part documentary series on the history of talk radio, from the 1980s through present day. This series utilizes a combination of original footage with archival materials. The production is currently seeking archival recordings of conservative talk radio programs, particularly from 1989 – 1995, including material that is on tape and not digitized. If you have any archival audio recordings that meet this description, please contact archival producer Elijah Stevens at elijah.stevens@vice.com.

 

 

FOX News Audio Has Talk Show Producer Opening. The FOX News Audio division of Fox News is looking for a creative talk show producer to be part of a growing national radio show and podcast. The talk show producer – based in New York City – will develop and execute ideas, provide strong story selection, book guests, and grow the show, its social media platforms, and website. See more information about this position and apply here.

FOX News Audio Seeks Podcast Producer. There’s an opening for a podcast producer at FOX News Audio. This New York City-based position’s responsibility will be to develop ideas, pitch stories, and work with FOX News Channel talent in crafting daily and weekly podcasts. They will direct bookings, edit shows for broadcast, and work with production teams to create high-quality products every day.  In addition to their production duties, they will also lead creative on social media posts and website write-ups to promote the products. Find out more and apply here.

FOX News Media Has Radio Reporter Opening. The Washington, DC bureau of FOX News is seeking an experienced, full-time reporter. The successful candidate will cover a wide range of political, government, and Congressional stories for FOX News Audio (FOX News Headlines 24/7 and FOX News Terrestrial Radio). You possess strong journalism skills and thrive in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment. Most importantly, you have great editorial judgement and the ability to break important news stories. Find out more about this position and apply here.

Monday, November 8, 2021

| November 8, 2021

Monday Memo: Ask the CVS Question. “Supply chain” is something CNBC talks about all day and our listeners and advertisers suffer every day. “To be useful and relatable and relevant and SOUND LOCAL,” consultant Holland Cooke recommends asking “the question the CVS clerk asks when you bring what you’re buying to the counter.” In this week’s column: “How to have listeners quoting you to each other.” Read it here.

 

Pending Business: Hit ‘Em Where They Ain’t. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says the best way for radio to compete with digital ad platforms like Google is to serve clients in a way that the digital guys can’t. He offers some suggestions for radio sales pros to consider when e-commerce and online advertising are growing at exponential rates. Read it here.

Talk Host Jon-David Wells Puts Show on Hold to Serve Texas Guard Duty. Talk radio host Jon-David Wells – whose program “The Wells Report” is syndicated nationally via USA Radio Network – is donning his Texas State Guard uniform and his combat boots as he becomes First Sergeant John D. Wells of the Texas State Guard. Wells has been activated by the Texas Military Department to take part in a multi-month deployment and to do so, Wells is putting his radio program on temporary hiatus. Wells will be updating his fans through his website, thewellsreport.net with newsletters, blogs and occasional videos. “The Wells Report” originated on September 11, 2001, when Wells turned his light-hearted lifestyle/pop culture talk show into a daily, three-hour examination of the day’s news with analysis for facts, commentary and debate.

Westwood One and ‘The BOB & TOM Show’ Sign New, Three-Year Deal. The nationally syndicated “BOB & TOM Show” and CUMULUS MEDIA’s Westwood One announce they’ve inked a new, three-year agreement to continue their relationship. The program is heard on more than 100 affiliates across the U.S. Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “‘The BOB & TOM Show’ was one of the first shows to make it big in multiple markets back when satellite distribution was new, and that legacy continues today with top ratings and revenues in our affiliated markets. Tom [Griswold] and the cast are both consistently amazing and amazingly consistent. We look forward to another three years with this incredible team.” Griswold says, “Our relationship with Westwood One makes this business fun. We can spend our time and resources making people laugh…Westwood handles everything else. Thrilled to be ‘hitched’ for three more years.”

Audacy Names Palak Forbes SVP, Digital Business Operations. Media executive Palak Forbes joins Audacy as SVP, digital business operations. She’ll report to chief digital officer J.D. Crowley and will “provide commercial and operational leadership for the company’s podcast business, while working across Audacy’s entire digital portfolio and with key strategic partners to enable continued strong growth in Audacy’s digital and podcast businesses.” Forbes was most recently head of business development and operations at The New York Times. Crowley says, “As we make consistent strides to evolve and enhance our digital and podcast businesses, Palak is a perfect choice to lead our day-to-day efforts to provide a world-class experience for our customers, creators and consumers. Her deep experience launching and scaling innovative new businesses, and expertise managing strategic relationships with companies across the media and technology sectors will enable us to continue delivering robust growth.” Forbes states, “Digital audio is in a really exciting phase where we have evolving audio formats and listening experiences as well as new ways of life emerging from the pandemic. Audacy has brought together a portfolio of innovative brands to meet the needs of the modern listener, content creators, and advertisers alike. I’m so excited to operationalize our strategy across the digital portfolio. It’s an honor to join the leading creator of original and premium audio during this time of growth and transformation.”

Longtime WDRC, Hartford Host Brad Davis Passes. The radio station’s website posts notice that former longtime morning drive personality Brad Davis died at the Connecticut Veteran’s Home in Rocky Hill on November 2 at the age of 87. The cause of death was not revealed but he had been in declining health recently. Davis worked in radio and television beginning in 1956. He began his 43-year stint as WDRC-AM morning host in 1977 when it was still a music outlet. He eased the program into a talk show over a number of years. He was inducted into the Connecticut Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2015.

Biden Infrastructure Bill, COVID-19/Aaron Rodgers Flap, Supply Chain/Inflation/Gas Prices, COP26, China Military Aggression, and Deadly Astroworld Concert Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. President Joe Biden gets his Infrastructure Bill through the House; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., vaccines for kids, mask & vaccine mandates, and the Aaron Rodgers COVID flap; the supply chain breakdown, the soaring cost of retail goods, and the record high price of gasoline; last week’s COP26 climate summit in Glasgow; concerns over China’s military aggression toward Taiwan and its military build-up; and the deaths of eight concertgoers and the wounding of hundreds of others at the Astroworld festival in Houston were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday Memo: Ask the CVS Question

| November 8, 2021

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — “Supply chain” is something CNBC talks about all day and your listeners and advertisers suffer every day.

To be useful and relatable and relevant and SOUND LOCAL – and to have listeners quoting you to each other – ask the question the CVS clerk asks when you bring what you’re buying to the counter: “Did you find everything you’re looking for?”

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Monday Memo: Speaking of Vaccine Mandates

| October 18, 2021

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — While the USA remains an embarrassing hot spot in the worldwide COVID pandemic – and until we can come up with something else to argue about – new evidence demonstrates the importance of choosing our words carefully.

In a recent CNBC interview, pollster Frank Luntz shared recommendations based on fresh research:

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