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Monday, October 26, 2020

| October 26, 2020

Monday Memo: Listeners’ Mindset, Advertisers’ Message. Notwithstanding the president’s hope that “pandemic fatigue” will buoy his message that “we’ve turned the corner,” survey data presented at the NAB/New York virtual convention – now underway and available on-demand – describes how Americans really feel, and how our advertisers can relate. In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke’s conference notes, and specific tips for improving results from endorsement spots. Read it here.

Pending Business: A Secret of Success. Sales and marketing pro Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications Corp, writes in his column today, “Every dominant business understands how important it is to set a standard, stick to it, improve it, own it and infuse it into the culture of the organization. Does your radio station strive to set industry-leading sales standards? You don’t need the highest-rated radio station to set a standard for sales performance and service. You don’t need the highest rates, or the most revenue. You need commitment, and the relentless pursuit of setting and improving standard-setting performance.” Read more here.

Nexstar Media Group’s Operational Realignment Ups Sean Compton to President, Networks. On Thursday (10/22), Nexstar Media Group announced a combination of its two primary subsidiaries – Nexstar Digital LLC and Nexstar Broadcasting into a new subsidiary called Nexstar Inc. In this new alignment, Karen Brophy becomes president, digital; Timothy Busch is now president, broadcasting; and Sean Compton rises from executive vice president to president, networks in which he’ll oversee WGN America, Antenna TV, and WGN Radio. All three will answer to Nexstar Media Group president, COO and CFO Thomas Carter. He says, “The operational realignment we are announcing today will accelerate Nexstar’s growth by leveraging our leading local content and positioning the company to become an even more nimble and competitive organization, thereby creating new value for shareholders… We completed the highly accretive acquisition of Tribune Media a year ago and quickly and efficiently integrated their assets, resulting in first year operating synergies exceeding $185 million. At the same time, we converted the Tribune enterprise to Nexstar’s operating, sales and other protocols and successfully and cost-effectively launched ‘News Nation’ on WGN America. As a result, we are leveraging our industry leading scale, diversified business model and solid operating execution to deliver record 2020 financial results as we dynamically manage the business to offset the impacts of the pandemic, reduce leverage and return capital to shareholders through quarterly cash dividends and share repurchases. Our decision to reorganize the business’ operating structure at this time reflects our view that there remains tremendous upside to be realized by maximizing the value of our assets, content and strong consumer engagement with our digital properties.”

iHeartMedia Birmingham Launches ‘BIN 92.7.’ The Birmingham, Alabama market joins the growing number of iHeartMedia markets airing the BIN: Black Information Network format as the company unveils “BIN 92.7” on FM translator WW224CK, Vestavia Hills. The company says “BIN 92.7” will broadcast 24/7 national and local news focused on serving the Black community and providing an information window for those outside the community to help foster communication, accountability and a deeper understanding. The station will feature top national on-air anchors and correspondents including award-winning broadcaster Ed Gordon and renowned journalist Roland Martin. Black Information Network president Tony Coles says, “BIN’s goal has always been to be the most trusted source for news in the Black community, and part of that strategy is, of course, to be available on both broadcast and digital stations across America. We’re thrilled to bring BIN, a full-time news service by and for the Black community, to Birmingham and provide listeners there with both the national and local news that impacts their lives.”

TALKERS News Notes. The FCC issues a Public Notice announcing the Access to Capital Working Group of its Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment and the FCC’s Media Bureau will co-host a virtual symposium titled “Path to Media Ownership and Sustainability” on November 6, 2020 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm ET.  The symposium will examine access to capital for small and diverse broadcasters.  The event will be convened virtually via WebEx and will be available to the public streaming via the Internet at www.fcc.gov/live. It will feature broadcasters and lenders discussing how to obtain financing for broadcast station transactions in today’s challenging financial circumstances, as well as experts discussing the history of the previous broadcast tax certificate policy and the potential for a new tax certificate policy to increase broadcast ownership diversity.  The symposium will also include presentations from Nielsen Global Media on ratings measurements for multi-ethnic broadcast stations, and a discussion of how small and diverse broadcasters can attract increased advertising revenue.  Finally, congressional staff members will provide updates on pending legislation intended to increase diverse media ownership…..Talk media personality Tom Donahue announces he has returned to Tom Donahue Reports to produce his program as a podcast in which he’ll no longer conform to a formatted show, thereby allowing him “greater versatility and creativity in producing audio content.” He continues to stream his show on Talk Stream Live. Also, Donahue is launching a commentaries service in the form of capsules made available to stations as one- or two-minute episodes. “America’s First News with Matt Ray” recently added the reports to his show twice weekly…..Pictured below is Salem Radio Network syndicated talk radio personality Sebastian Gorka (center) with SRN V.P./news & talk programming Tom Tradup (left) and Breitbart Washington political editor Matt Boyle (right) at a celebration of Gorka’s birthday in Alexandria, Virginia. Among the guests were: Salem executives David Santrella and Phil Boyce; former White House press secretary (and Newsmax TV personality) Sean Spicer; WMAL-FM, Washington talk host Larry O’Connor; and KABC, Los Angeles radio and political commentator Joseph DiGenova.

New Orleans Talk Radio Pioneer Keith Rush Dead at 89. WWL-TV, New Orleans reports that Keith Rush, a conservative talk radio icon who worked in the market for 60 years, died last Thursday (10/22) at age 89. According to WWL-TV, Rush was best known for his talk radio program on WSMB-AM that aired during the 1970s and 1980s. Local politician Lawrence E. Chehardy is quoted in the piece saying of Rush’s program, “It was a great forum because you could go on and discuss the issues with him and take phone calls from listeners. It was a way for elected officials to be able to converse with their constituents, long before the days of social media.” Rush began his radio career in the mid 1950s as a disc jockey. He transitioned to talk in the 1970s.

The Presidential Election/‘60 Minutes’ Interviews, Early/Mail-In Voting, COVID-19 Stats & Projections/Pence Office Outbreak, Hunter Biden Emails Case, Social Media ‘Censorship,’ Amy Coney Barrett Confirmation, California Power Outages and Wildfire Threats Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The November 3 presidential election and Sunday night’s appearances by Donald Trump and Joe Biden on “60 Minutes”; reports of record numbers of early and mail-in votes; the rising number of positive cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and around the world and projections for the fall/winter seasons, as well as the outbreak among the staff of Vice President Mike Pence; the leaked emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop; allegations by conservatives that Twitter and Facebook are censoring their political messages; the confirmation vote on Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett; and the power outages in California as high winds threaten more wildfires were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Phoenix, Entercom promotes Chris Hernandez to operations manager for the cluster. In this role, Hernandez will lead operations efforts for classic hits KOOL-FM, country KMLE-FM, and CHR KALV-FM “LIVE 101.5.” At the same time, the company ups Daniel Valentine to music director for “LIVE 101.5.” Entercom Phoenix SVP and market manager Dave Pugh says, “Chris Hernandez has consistently shown amazing drive that leads to substantial results and I’m confident in his ability to take our collection of stations to higher levels. Daniel Valentine has proven his extensive music expertise over the years and I’m looking forward to watching his career grow as he leads LIVE’s music operations. Both are veterans in our company, and I’m honored to elevate two hard working individuals.”…..The programming lineup for iHeartMedia’s “HBCU Homecoming Celebration on iHeartRadio” is taking place on November 12. It will include Angela Yee, co-host of the morning show “The Breakfast Club,” and special guests exploring female entrepreneurship and the art of brand building as the modern-day self-CEO as part of the iHeartRadio Beautiful Possibilities presented by Ulta Beauty.  During the discussion, the panel participants will share their personal stories of success and explore how they rise above challenges to define their careers. The panel aims to uplift, inspire and pave the way for the next generation of Black women leaders and will be followed by a performance by singer and songwriter H.E.R. “Breakfast Club” co-host DJ Envy will emcee the iHeartRadio HBCU Homecoming Party on the Yard, presented by McDonald’s. The virtual event will include celebrity guest and McDonald’s owner/operator interviews, legendary HBCU Homecoming highlights, and several special surprise moments. The event will culminate with a performance from global superstar Khalid across all iHeartMedia hip hop and R&B stations…..Legendary Chicago jock Ron Britain, a.k.a. Ron Magel, has died in his hometown of Louisville at the age of 86. Chicago media writer Robert Feder writes about the career of the man who was known as King B on the radio. During his more than 50 year radio career, Britain worked at some 21 stations but achieved the peak of his fame at former CHR outlet WCFL-AM which he joined in 1965.

Monday Memo: Do You Copy?

| November 4, 2019

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — If you were the advertiser, how would you feel about being #5 in a 6-spot stopset?  It’s a problem that now seems baked-into radio’s business model.  And “commercial-free” imaging which offers temporary relief from those dreaded spots only makes it worse.  Even saying it glass-half-full (“30 Minute Non-Stop Rock Block”) still implies that a pile of pitches yonder will make-up for lost time.

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Monday Memo: Improving Results from Endorsement Spots

| January 28, 2019

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — The news/talk stations I work with make big money doing what talk radio does best: cutting through mental clutter, with live endorsement spots delivered by familiar local on-air personalities.

And as you read in my Monday Memo three weeks ago, this technique can help sell podcast sponsorships.  ICYMI: https://www.talkers.com/2019/01/07/monday-memo-podcast-ads-work/

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Monday, December 19, 2016

| December 19, 2016

Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano to Host Late Mornings at WLS-AM, Chicago.  A little more than a week after the Jonathon Brandmeier show was cancelled, Cumulus Media announces that it is bringing well-known Windy City broadcasters Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano aboard to host the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program on WLS-AM.  The husband-and-wife team most recently worked on radio at Tribune’s crosstown WGN,sirottmurciano handling the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show.  Cumulus Chicago VP/market manager Peter Bowen states, “Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano are deeply rooted in Chicago and are well known to the community. With their addition, WLS is more local and more relevant to Chicago listeners and advertisers.”  At the same time, the station announces its new program lineup starting in January: Big John and Ray, 6:00 am to 10:00 am; Sirott and Murciano, 10:00 am to 12:00 noon; Rush Limbaugh, 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm; Steve Dahl, 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm; Mark Levin, 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  The host of the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm show is still to-be-announced.

cookehollandAircheck D.I.Y.  Media consultant Holland Cooke writes today that, due to numerous changes in the radio business, talk radio personalities don’t huddle for aircheck meetings with program directors like they used to. Because of this, talk hosts are often missing a valuable tool for improvement.  If you’re a young programmer with some talk talent to coach, or a music PD who isn’t used to coaching talk talent, Cooke offers this handy primer on airchecking talk radio personalities.   Read more here.

wainwrightmarkWainwright: Make it Part of the Show.  WSYR, Syracuse morning show host Mark Wainwright tells TALKERS magazine that after viewing a recent Talkers TV video from consultant Holland Cooke titled, “Making Money with Endorsement Spots,” he felt compelled to share some of his experiences and strategies for endorsement spots.  Wainwright says his overarching belief about the effectiveness of live endorsements is that they must become part of the show in order to achieve their maximum effect.  Read more here.

WMAL, Washington’s Larry O’Connor Joins The Weekly Standard.  In a memo to the staff, The Weekly Standard editor-in-chief Steve Hayes announces that WMAL, Washington oconnorlarrypersonality Larry O’ Connor is joining the organization as online editor. Hayes calls O’Connor’s arrival at TWS “part of an aggressive expansion of the TWS online presence.”  Hayes goes on to say, “As you might expect, Larry has a very good ear for the kinds of issues that resonate with grassroots conservatives and we’re eager for his input as we continue to improve and expand the digital side of the magazine.”  His previous work in digital media includes time at Hotair.com and Independent Journal Review.  Earlier this fall, it was announced that O’Connor is leaving the “Mornings on the Mall” AM drive show to take over the afternoon drive daypart (3:00 pm to 6:00 pm).

WTMJ, Milwaukee’s Charlie Sykes Pens NYT Op-Ed Piece ‘Where the Right Went Wrong.’  Longtimesykescharlie Milwaukee conservative talk personality Charlie Sykes is stepping down from his role as a talk show host on E.W. Scripps’ WTMJ at the end of this month.  It’s no secret in the industry that Sykes – along with other Wisconsin talk radio hosts – has been a vocal opponent of President-Elect Donald Trump.  In an opinion piece published in The New York Times over the weekend, Sykes lays out why he believes Trump won the election, how the conservative media helped him win and, as the title implies, where he thinks the conservative movement has gone wrong.  Read it here.

John Ziegler Ends Syndicated Sunday Night Radio Talk Show.  Conservative media personality John Ziegler announces he’s ending the live Sunday night broadcasts of his talk show, originally called the “John & Leah zieglerjohnShow” that featured co-host Leah Brandon for most of its run (though he hopes to continue it as a podcast).  Ziegler, a strong opponent of President-Elect Donald Trump, gives shared credit for his decision to shutter the show to Trump’s ascension to the Oval Office, some bad business moves for which he accepts the blame, and the state of the talk radio business.  Ziegler also writes for Mediaite and he lays out his decision for leaving AM/FM radio in a piece in the publication here.

Odds & Sods.  News/talk WOWO, Fort Wayne – with the help of two local co-sponsors – helped raise $343,808 for Community Harvest Food Bank and Super Shot during its recent two-day radiothon.  Program director Ryanwowopennypitch16 Wrecker says, “The generosity was overwhelming this year.”  The Penny Pitch Radiothon raised $171,094 but Brigadoon Fitness and King of Carts matched that to double the total raised.  Community Harvest Food Bank’s Hope for Heroes program focuses on providing groceries at no cost to veterans and military families in need.  Super Shot helps provide vaccinations for low-income, uninsured, under-insured and Medicaid eligible people.  The WOWO staff is pictured at right around the phone bank…..The Salem Media Group Minneapolis cluster – news/talk WWTC “AM 1280 The Patriot,” Christian talk KKMS “AM 980 The Mission,” business talk KYCR “Business Radio 1440,” talk KDIZ “Wellness Radio 1570,” and stream theFishTwinCities.com are presenting a “Crisis & Security Summit” on Thursday, January 26.  It’s a free, informational event that will feature experts discussing topics such as IT security, personal safety, community preparedness, and child protection.  Salem Minneapolis GM Nic Anderson comments, “In this day and age, we must plan ahead, be informed, and ensure personal and community safety from all angles.  We at Salem feel a sense of duty to our local churches and schools.”

Trump Cabinet Nominations, Today’s Electoral College Vote, Allegations of Russian Hacking, ‘Fake News’ Controversy, China Nabs U.S. Submersible Drone, Rogue One Opening Weekend, Cold Snap, and NFL Action Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The transitioning of the Trump Administration and President-Elect Donald Trump’s nominees for cabinet posts; today’s electoral college vote and the numerous pleas from celebrities to not vote for Trump; the allegations that Russia is responsible for hacking the DNC’s servers in order to influence the election; the hot topic of “fake news” and its role in politics; China’s intercepting of a U.S. drone submarine and tensions between China and the U.S. over China’s military build-up in the South China Sea; the opening weekend of the new Star Wars film Rogue One; the bitter cold weather affecting parts of the country; and National Football League action were some of the top stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

| November 1, 2016

cookehollandCooke on Talkers TV: Make Money with Endorsement Spots.  Consultant Holland Cooke presents this brief-yet-insightful video underlining some of the key aspects of – and reasons for – well-done endorsement spots for local advertisers.  Cooke notes that especially “if your competition is robotic and you’re doing solid, local radio, you have the advantage.”  He adds, “YES YOU CAN become ‘indispensable’ to your station, even with all the changes radio has gone through, and with more coming.”  He reiterates advice from Katz Media Group EVP of strategy Stacy Lynn Schulman, who says, “Broadcast advertising that is ‘localized’ stands out because the velocity and variety of digital interactions today have multiplied our level of distraction and numbed us to the constant barrage of retargeted, ‘personalized’ digital ads.”  Watch the video on Talkers TV in the upper right-hand of this page.

Keith Larson Exits WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte.  Ahead of Entercom’s taking over the Greater Media news/talk duo (along with hot AC WLNK and sports WFNZ in a spin-off deal from Beasley Broadcast Group‘s acquisition of Greater Media’s radio stations), 14-year WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte talk host Keith Larson is let go from the station.  The Charlotte Observerlarsonkeith reports that Larson and news director Jim Barroll – with the station for 31 years – left after their shifts yesterday (10/31).  Larson, who hosted the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show, told the Observer, “There have been ups and downs but it’s been absolutely fabulous at WBT.  I would have done another 14.  I’m very blessed that I’ve always had other interests and other investments.  It’s a drag but life goes on.”  Larson tells the paper he will expand his Larson Advertising and Media Associates business, is a minority partner in a Zen Massage franchise and also hopes to continue writing his Charlotte Observer column.  Read the Observer piece here.

Matt Hanlon to Head New Charlotte Cluster for Entercom.  Former Citadel Midwest regional manager Matt Hanlon is named the new vice president and market manager for Entercom’s Charlotte stations.  The company notes that while at Citadel, Hanlon “launched a sports network and a news network creating newhanlonmatt revenue in Michigan and maximized both ratings and sales across local, regional, national and non-spot.  Hanlon began his career in broadcasting as a media buyer for Backer & Spielvogel, vice president of stations at Katz Media Group and vice president, director of sales at AM/FM.”  Entercom COO Weezie Kramer says, “We are super excited to welcome Matt to Entercom and to the Charlotte team.  Matt has terrific experience in news, talk, sports, syndication, working with big personalities and making a difference in the community – all of which make him a great fit for Charlotte and these iconic brands.”  As noted above, the new Entercom Charlotte cluster includes news/talk WBT-AM/FM, sports talk WFNZ and hot AC WLNK.

Beasley Names New Market Managers for Detroit and Fayetteville.  Replacing Steve Chessare as vice president and market manager for its newly acquired Detroit station group is Mac “Edwards” (McTindal), and moving up to fill Edwards’ role at the Fayetteville, North Carolina cluster is Erika Beasley.  Edwards takes over the cluster just acquired from the Greater Media deal.  It includes rock WRIF, rhythmic oldies WMGC “105.1 Theedwardsmac Bounce,” and classic rock WCSX.  Beasley EVP/COO Brian Beasley comments, “After 25 years of dedicated service to Beasley’s Fayetteville market, Mac will bring his wealth of experience to our new beasleyerikaDetroit cluster.  Mac has worked with Beasley in positions from program director to air personality to operations manager and he has served as Fayetteville’s award-winning market manager since 2007.  We’re moving forward on our path to success in Detroit as Mac takes the helm of these iconic stations.”  Erika Beasley has been serving the company as general sales manager of WQYK, Tampa since January 2015.  She states, “With Fayetteville’s established, veteran market manager Mac Edwards as my predecessor, I know I will have huge shoes to fill!  I am absolutely prepared for this new challenge and welcome this new level of responsibility.  My sincere appreciation goes to the entire executive management team for showing abiding faith in my leadership abilities.  I am excited about my opportunity in Fayetteville and am anxious to get to work with my new team!”

harrisonupclosefaroutsmallWPHT, Philadelphia Host Dom Giordano Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  One of the longest-running and most highly respected major market local news/talkers in America, Dom Giordano of CBS O&O WPHT, Philadelphia, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michaelgiordanodom Harrison.”  Giordano, a moderate conservative with libertarian leanings, objectively discusses the impact that the election of 2016 (with its disruptive Donald Trump factor) has had on most of the industry’s news/talkers.  Harrison says, “This conversation is a fitting way for this media-based series to wrap up the 2016 pre-election era.  Dom Giordano is one of those rare players in today’s talk media who seeks truth (at least as he earnestly sees it) – even if it comes at the expense of victory.  We need more of that kind of thinking on all ends of the political spectrum in America.  It’ll make better radio, not to mention a better country.”  To listen to this podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

nielsen-logoNielsen: News/Talk Benefitting from Election Cycle.  The news/talk format is seeing the expected spike in PPM ratings that happens every four years as the result of the presidential election, according to Nielsen Audio.  The company’s PPM surveys over the past year indicate that, as a format, news/talk has risen from a 9.1 share in October of 2015 to a 9.9 share this October (persons 6+).  In terms of the 25-54 demo, the format is up a full share from a 6.3 in October of 2015 to this October’s 7.3 share.  Interestingly, comparing the last presidential election cycle – October 2012 – to this October, the numbers are lower for 6+ and 25-54 (10.4 share to 9.9, and 7.8 share to 7.3, respectively) the 18-34 share is up from a 4.1 to a 4.3.  See the Nielsen report here.

The Presidential Contest, U.S. House and Senate Races, FBI’s Hillary Emails Investigation, CNN Drops Donna Brazile, Peter Thiel National Press Club Speech, Battle for Mosul, Russian Military in Syria, the World Series, and the Weekend’s NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/31).  The presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump; the down-ticket races for U.S. House and Senate seats; FBI Director James Comey’s announcement the FBI is again investigating Hillary Clinton’s private server emails; CNN cuts ties with Donna Brazile after a Wikileaks-hacked email indicates she tipped the Clinton campaign off about a debate question; tech billionaire Peter Thiel’s National Press Club speech and support of Donald Trump; the battle against Islamic State for Mosul; Russian’s military ramp-up and involvement in Syria’s civil war; the Cubs-Indians World Series; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Now That You’re in Sales…

| November 2, 2012

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Oh! You’re on-air? Not in sales? As Cher’s character hollered in Moonstruck, “SNAP OUT OF IT!”

Now more than ever – with 2013 budgets in umpteenth re-draft – tough decisions are being made, in meetings you’re not invited to. Possibly in meetings your boss is not invited to. So, as local talent, are you merely what bean-counters call an “expense?” Or when they read your name on The List of Endangered Employees, does it spell “revenue?”

Local DJ? That’s dang-near an oxymoron now. Talk show? That’s something from a syndicator, right? Not if you are responsible for what the sales department calls “local direct retail.” Translation: do-re-mi that’s not stepped-on by an agency; ads that tell shopkeepers’ stories, and bring cars into their parking lots.

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