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Monday Memo: Humans’ Hubris. With “data now undeniable” about two super-human threats, media continue sending mixed messages instead of what consultant Holland Cooke calls “survival information.” And in this week’s column, he blames corporate cost cuts for confusion broadcasters are causing, and suggests how stations can “earn a reputation, get quoted, drive clicks, and sell sponsorships.” Read it here.
Pending Business: Inspect What You Expect. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says that to “inspect what you expect” is “still one of the foundations of sales, sales management, and beyond. How about in your personal sales work? Do you inspect what you expect of yourself?” In today’s column, Lapa shares a quick study guide in how the “better-change-more” system works. Read it here.
Round Three of November PPMs Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s November 2021 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s November 2021 sweep covered October 14 – November 10. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Rating Takeaways from this group of markets. In Portland, Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM soars to the #2 rank after climbing 1.6 share for a 7.1 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) finish while iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk KEX is flat at a 3.1 share but falls to the #16 rank. Radio One’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte is up six-tenths for a 4.5 share finish and climbs to the #8 rank. iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFBK-AM/FM, Sacramento continues in the #1 rank after tacking on five-tenths for a 9.1 share finish. In Salt Lake City, Bonneville’s news/talk KSL-AM/FM remains in the #1 spot even though it shed 2.4 shares for a 7.5 share finish while iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk KNRS-AM/FM added four-tenths for a 7.2 share good for the #2 rank. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets (as well as the first two rounds) here.
Amy Crossman to Lead ESPN Cleveland. Sales and management pro Amy Crossman is promoted to market manager for Good Karma Brands’ ESPN Cleveland, taking over for Sam Pines who rises to SVP within the organization. Crossman most recently served as director of sales & marketing. In this new role, Crossman will oversee all content, marketing, and sales strategy for ESPN Cleveland and The Land on Demand. She says, “I appreciate the trust Sam Pines and the Good Karma Brands’ leadership team has put in me to lead and continue to grow a legacy brand. ESPN Cleveland has a passionate fanbase, loyal advertising partners and a dedicated team that we will continue to build in 2021 and beyond.” Pines says, “Amy embodies Good Karm Brands’ core values and takes a marketing first approach for our fans, advertising partners and teammates. She directly impacted our growth during a difficult and unique two years. I am excited for the future of ESPN Cleveland and our continued growth with Amy as Market Manager.”
Third Annual Podcast Super Listener Study Results to Be Revealed. On December 15, the results of the third annual Super Listeners study will be revealed during a webinar from Edison Research, iHeartMedia and Ad Results Media. The press release states that “Super Listeners” listen to five or more hours of podcasts weekly and are the people most likely to hear podcasting ads, and to have an opinion about them. Attendees will get an exclusive look at those who spend the most time listening to podcasts, their attitudes towards podcast advertising, and how they view podcasting in the greater media landscape. This year’s in-depth analysis of podcast super listeners further explores the perceptions of podcast advertising with specific insights on how super listeners feel about the number of ads in podcasts and the length of ad breaks; attitudes about host-read ads versus pre-recorded ads versus sponsorships; how podcast advertising affects intent to purchase and other brand fit measures; and ad-skipping behavior. You can register for the webinar here.
NuVoodoo: Omicron Raises Concern About COVID. According to the results of a recent NuVoodoo Media Services Quick Turn Study on Americans’ initial perceptions of the new Omicron variant of COVID-19, among people 18-64, 65% report being at least partially vaccinated for COVID-19, with nearly 1 in 5 who also report having had a booster shot. Of those surveyed who are either undecided, intend to get jabbed but haven’t yet done so, or who have no plans to get the shot, more than one-third of the study sample are still not vaccinated. Geographically, NuVoodoo found that respondents from the U.S. Midwest and South lag the rest of the country in total levels of inoculation but lead with better than 1 in 5 who do not intend to get vaccinated. NuVoodoo president Carolyn Gilbert comments, “The massive Omicron media coverage over the past few days has led to an overall increase in concern about COVID. It’s one-in-four in our sample overall, but increased concern among the vaccinated (29%) nearly doubles the concern among those who have not received their shot (17%). It may not seem intuitive based on the regional breakouts shown earlier, but increased concern since news of Omicron broke is most pronounced in the less-vaccinated South (28%), eclipsing concerns even in the highly vaccinated Northeastern U.S. (25%).” You can see more here.
COVID-19 Omicron Variant, CNN Fires Chris Cuomo, SCOTUS Abortion Arguments, Michigan School Shooting Case, January 6 Investigation, Chinese Military Aggression, Russia-Ukraine Concerns, and Bob Dole Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the new Omicron variant; CNN fires Chris Cuomo as it investigates his role in protecting his brother, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo; the Supreme Court’s hearing of arguments in the challenge to Mississippi’s 2018 restrictive abortion law; the twists and turns in the deadly Michigan school shooting; the House investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack and witnesses pleading “the Fifth”; China’s ongoing military build-up and aggression toward Taiwan; the concern over reports of Russian troops amassing at the Ukraine border; and former U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Bob Dole dies at 98 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
By Holland Cooke
BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Sightseeing in Washington? If you’ll be visiting stately memorials to Thomas Jefferson or FDR or Martin Luther King Jr. – or if you’ll be strolling the cherry blossoms in April – wear your galoshes. Nearby the rising Potomac Tidal Basin, The New York Times reports that in the archives beneath the National Museum of American History “floodwaters are intruding into collection rooms” where the Smithsonian is storing The Star Spangled Banner, Muhammad Ali’s boxing gloves, the scripts from M*A*S*H, and other priceless pieces of the puzzle that is us.
Dave Ramsey is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Multi-media talk radio giant Dave Ramsey is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Based near Nashville, he’s been on the air for almost three decades dispensing advice about personal finance, faith, and grass-roots politics to an ever-growing audience that goes deep into the human psyche in dealing with debt, ambition, ethics, balance and leadership. Ramsey is ranked #2 on the 2021 TALKERS Heavy Hundred list of the 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America and he certainly practices what he preaches. Starting out with a small, money-oriented local radio show in Tennessee, he built his firm on the principles he espouses into a multi-million-dollar media operation known today as Ramsey Solutions employing over 1,000 people. The firm engages in filmmaking, book publishing, podcasting, live presentations and the radio syndication of a growing number of unique personalities. Ramsey Solutions has just released a ground-breaking full-length documentary film titled, Borrowed Future: How Student Loans are Killing the American Dream. Michael Harrison says, “It is one of the most important commentaries about our economy and culture to come out in years. Student loan debt is a major crisis smothering a generation. It is a disgrace.” Ramsey has also written and published a new book titled, Baby Steps Millionaires: How Ordinary People Built Extraordinary Wealth – and How You Can Too (Ramsey Press, 2021). Harrison and Ramsey discuss the student debt crisis, his plans for Ramsey Solutions going forward, and the current wave of inflation gripping the nation. Not to be missed! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.
Quick: Program a Talk Station Like a Music Station – Sort of. Consultant Jon Quick says that just as a music programmer has a music playlist, so should a talk programmer have a topics playlist. “The topics playlist will appeal to your target audience. The list will continue to change and evolve every day. Too often we play topics that the host alone is interested in. Consider audience first. Does it matter to them? If so, go for it. Then, as in the case of a music programmer, judge the topic. Decide how often you ‘rotate’ it. There are those rare occasions where one topic might take up the whole show or the entire day if, for example, a major industry decides to leave the area, leaving hundreds jobless.” Read his column here.
Tom Tanguay to Retire from KIRO-FM, Seattle. Afternoon drive co-host Tom Tanguay announces he’s retiring from Bonneville news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle, after the December 1 program. Tanguay made the announcement yesterday (11/22) and posted the following to its website. “Tom’s last show will be on Wednesday, December 1, having spent 27 years doing everything from news desk reporting to reviewing movies, all culminating in his co-hosting talk radio gig alongside John Curley on the ‘Tom & Curley Show.’ ‘This is the greatest job,’ he said on Monday’s edition of the show. ‘I just realized, at the age of 67 I’ve got other things I still want to do — there are just fascinating things in the world. I’ve worked in radio for 30 years and been on talk shows for the last decade, and now I want to try other things. I want to travel, I want to read, I want to study and all these kinds of things.” KIRO-FM management says it will announce its plans for the afternoon drive daypart soon.
iHeartMedia, Audacy, Emmis, and SiriusXM Sued by Group of Investors Over Petroleum Investment Losses. A group of more than 30 individuals and Trustees are suing iHeartMedia, Audacy, Emmis, and SiriusXM claiming that the companies aired the “Smart Oil and Gas” radio show hosted by Mark Allan Plummer despite his being sanctioned numerous times by FINRA, the Texas Securities Commissioner, and the Securities and Exchange Commission. The plaintiffs lost all of their investments and are suing to be made whole by the media companies. The complaint alleges that the media companies broadcast Plummer’s program even though “the Texas State Securities Board and the SEC” labeled Plummer “a securities fraud ‘recidivist’ who has been investigated and/or sanctioned by FINRA, the SEC, and state securities boards for operating fraudulent oil and gas investment schemes since at least 2012.” It adds that “the Radio Stations’ choice to willingly or recklessly ignore publicly available history and private communications from concerned investors in order to permit a recidivist like Plummer to host his radio show is startling.” The complaint lists 10 such sanctions over a nine-year period. The complaint goes on to say, “Plummer’s success in soliciting monies from investors for his fraudulent scheme is directly attributable to Defendants’ recklessness, as described below, and the material aid Defendants provided to Plummer and his entities. Defendants served as the primary means for Plummer and his entities to solicit investors and create a public persona of a trusted adviser. Accordingly, the Radio Stations’ choices come with the unsurprising consequences of providing a gateway for so many individuals to lose their money. And the Radio Stations should be liable for the millions of dollars of harm caused by their misconduct.” The Plaintiffs are seeking actual and consequential damages, treble damages, exemplary damages, attorneys fees and more.
Good Karma Brands Produces 10th Annual Wisconsin Sports Awards. Media company Good Karma Brands – owner of news/talk WTMJ-AM, Milwaukee; talk WGKB-AM “101.7 The Truth”; sports talk WAUK-AM “ESPN Milwaukee”; and WTLX-FM “ESPN Madison” is presenting the “10th Annual Wisconsin Sports Awards: History Made,” a televised event hosted by “ESPN Milwaukee” morning show host and national ESPN reporter, Jen Lada. The program recognizes high school, collegiate, and professional athletes across the state of Wisconsin and includes “captivating storytelling, interviews, and more from local talent, including Bob Uecker, voice of the Milwaukee Brewers; Dave Koehn and Ben Brust, play-by-play and color analyst for the Milwaukee Bucks; and more during the month of December.” The program will air four times across the state beginning on December 11 on WISC-TV, Madison. It will also air on WTMJ-TV, Milwaukee on December 18, on WKBT-TV, La Crosse on December 19; and on WBAY-TV, Green Bay on December 16. Good Karma says the show will feature interviews with the 2021 NBA champs the Milwaukee Bucks and Milwaukee Brewers’ 2020 National League Rookie of the Year Devin Williams. It will also highlight athletes who have greatly impacted the community in unique ways with the Community Involved Athlete of the Year presented by JOCKEY and the Broken Bat Brewery Inspirational Athlete of the Year. The televised event will recognize the Cousins Subs Wisconsin Sports Awards scholarship winners.
Celebrating Thanksgiving with the Troops. Pictured above is Salem Radio Network News White House correspondent Greg Clugston Fort Bragg, North Carolina covering an early Thanksgiving celebration with the troops stationed there. Clugston traveled aboard Air Force One with President Joe Biden and the First Lady as they donned blue aprons with the presidential seal and served mashed potatoes and stuffing in the buffet line. Fort Bragg is home to the Army’s 18th Airborne Corps and the Army’s Special Operations Command.
January 6 Investigation/Subpoenas, Inflation/Gas Prices, Flash Mob Thefts, Biden Nominates Powell, COVID-19, Carlson-Rittenhouse Interview, Ahmaud Arbery Case, and Waukesha Parade Tragedy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/22). The investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack and new subpoenas issued for testimony from former Donald Trump advisor Roger Stone and media personality Alex Jones; the high retail prices facing Americans, record high gas prices and President Joe Biden’s promise to release oil from the nation’s strategic reserves; the rash of flash mob smash-and-grab thefts in the Bay Area; Biden nominates Fed Chair Jerome Powell for another term; the rising rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and Europe and pushback against mask and vaccine mandates; FOX News Channel’s Tucker Carlson interviews Kyle Rittenhouse; the jury gets the case in the trial of three men charged with killing Ahmaud Arbery; and the aftermath of the deadly vehicular assault on a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
By Holland Cooke
BLOCK ISLAND, RI — 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. For instance…
“New movies, every week, only on Netflix.”
NFLX stock nearly doubled in two years.
By Holland Cooke
BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Just reading about Gene Valicenti’s routine may exhaust you. In his 30th year on NBC10 Providence, he co-anchors the 6:00 pm weeknight TV newscast that sometimes beats the other stations combined. And in his 10th year on WPRO radio, his morning drive ratings hit #1 6+.
Begging-the-question: WHEN do you sleep? Gene chuckles “I take a nice nap during the day, and get to bed by 9.” And like many working remotely during the shutdown, he says “doing the show from home has been a blessing. More sleep, a later wake-up, and a more alert host!”