Pending Business: The Early Renewal Seagull. In today’s column, radio sales pro Steve Lapa begs talk radio sellers not to fall into the “seagull” sales strategy where the seller “flies” in, drops a package, but never properly follows through. He admits that it can happen to the best sellers as they try and test the waters on an early renewal. “Despite all the work in that sales meeting, you stepped into the pothole of sales meeting facts that have no real benefit to your advertiser. Important facts to you could be nothing but white noise to the advertiser.” He offers a four-point plan for better communication with your client. Read it here.
WTKS-FM, Orlando’s ‘Monsters in the Morning’ Interviews Bob Saget Days Before His Death. In what was one of his last interviews before his unexpected death yesterday (1/9) at age 65, Bob Saget chatted with Russ Rollins and his “Monsters in the Morning” cast on January 6. Rollins says, “Bob would be a guest on our show and stay for several days. He told me we made him feel so comfortable he wanted to be a cast member. One of the sweetest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.” During the interview, Saget spoke – and joked – about the importance of comedy and laughter in all our lives. “You can make people laugh and it might not be their cup of tea, but you’re doing something great for people. That’s why I’m doing it. We all have the same joke, which is that laughter is the best medicine – no – it’s actually Percocet. Everybody has a version of that. Well, the other one is when they say, you know, if you could just make one person laugh, you’re a really crappy comic.” Hear the interview here.
Flag Family Media Names Bridgette Readel Farm Director. Agronomist Bridgette Readel joins Flag Family Media as farm director for its broadcast team. Readel has been an agronomist for the past two decades, serving clients and providers with crop performance solutions. In her role with Flag Family Media, she’ll deliver on-air updates and reports on Fargo news/talk outlets WZFG, WDAY and KTGO. In addition, her reports will be heard on Scott Hennen’s statewide “What’s On Your Mind” late morning program. Readel says, “Although I graduated from college as a high school ag teacher, I now find myself teaching adults the nature of production agriculture and truly enjoy sharing the bright and positive message of ag in North Dakota. I am thrilled to join the team at WDAY and ‘The Flag’ and share the exciting moments and news from today’s ag landscape. There are so many positive opportunities in agriculture, and I look forward to bringing those experiences home to our listeners.” Flag Family Media president and managing partner Steve Hallstrom says, “We couldn’t imagine a better way to usher in the new year than to add a seasoned professional and gifted communicator like Bridgette. A great farm director will enable us to serve our region in this important and diverse industry. The ag sector has become a fascinating world of autonomous machinery and precision technology, and Bridgette will be a huge piece of our leading-edge ag coverage.”
Marty Bender Named Growth Consultant for ‘BOB & TOM Show.’ Radio programming pro Marty Bender is taking on a new role with the “BOB & TOM Show” in which he’ll serve as a consulting member of its affiliate services team and growth partner to the nationally syndicated program and its affiliates. Bender will serve as a content/strategy partner to every affiliate of the program, helping them optimize and monetize the show in their local markets through creative, high-impact strategies that drive listenership and advertising dollars. Bender previously served as executive producer of the BOB & TOM Show and will also assist in creating new content for the program, with an emphasis on growing the video content side. Program chief operating officer John Kesler says, “Listeners consume more hours of content in countless ways, and now more than ever, they want to control when they consume it. 2022 is just the beginning of a huge change in how radio will evolve to meet listener demands. In addition to already being well-staffed and well-positioned for this evolution, we are thrilled to offer Marty Bender as a content and strategy partner to each and every one of our 100+ affiliates. As far as I know, no other syndicated radio show has ever made this service available to their affiliate stations.”
TALKERS News Notes. The Dallas cluster of Cumulus Media stations – including news/talk WBAP and KLIF, as well as sports talk KTCK-AM/FM “The Ticket” – raised a grand total of $1,767,990 for DFW Metroplex charities during 2021. Cumulus Dallas supported signature community events with other groups to help raise additional millions in charitable donations. WBAP’s “Christmas is Caring Radiothon” drove over $212,000 in donations benefiting the Denton State Supported Living Center serving people with special needs, and The Ticket’s “Drop Your Pants 8” event raised $108,000 in Bob Sturm’s annual effort to raises resources for the Cornerstone Clothes Closet, which helps clothe and provide showers to the homeless…..Netflix, Audacy’s Pineapple Street Studios and Hyperobject Industries unveils “The Last Movie Ever Made: The Don’t Look Up Podcast,” a six-part oral history of the making of Don’t Look Up, Adam McKay’s Netflix disaster comedy. On the podcast, listeners will hear how the cast and crew – including Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep, Rob Morgan, Cate Blanchett, Tyler Perry, Timothee Chalamet, Himesh Patel, Ariana Grande, and many more – stayed sane and safe while making a movie as the country was in chaos. The first two episodes dropped on January 7 and new episodes will drop on Fridays through February 4…..WNYC announces that Janae Pierre is the new host of the daily news podcast “Consider This.” Jointly produced by WNYC and NPR, “Consider This” is a first-of-its-kind podcast that brings listeners a mix of the biggest local and national stories based on the listener’s location. WNYC editor-in-chief Audrey Cooper comments, “We’re thrilled to have Janae at the helm of ‘Consider This,’ the first podcast to blend local and national news stories. Throughout her career, she’s shown a unique talent for the kind of locally rooted but universally applicable reporting that makes up so much of what we do at WNYC. We’re excited to see how she and the team shape ‘Consider This’ for the future.” Pierre joins from WBHM, Birmingham, where she hosts “All Things Considered” and does general assignment reporting.
Audie Cornish Joins CNN. After 16 years with NPR, Audie Cornish is joining CNN and its new subscription streaming service CNN+. Cornish was most recently co-host of NPR’s “All Things Considered.” In her new role with CNN, she will serve as an anchor and correspondent for CNN+. She’ll host a weekly CNN+ show and contribute to CNN+’s slate of live programming. She will also host a new podcast for CNN Audio and will appear on CNN covering national, political and breaking news. She says, “I am very excited to join CNN and the CNN+ team. There are fresh stories to be told and new ways to tell them. CNN has a dynamic system of reporters and storytelling channels. I am thrilled to be a part of it.” Cornish will be based at CNN’s Washington, DC bureau and begins her new position in February.
COVID-19, January 6, U.S.-Russia Relations, Economy/Supply Chain, Midterm Elections, NYC Apartment Fire, and Bob Saget Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The soaring rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and abroad, the Omicron variant, vaccine mandates, and school policies; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack; the U.S. and Russia to meet over the tense Ukraine situation; the state of the U.S. economy and the ongoing supply chain woes; the challenges Democrats face in maintaining control of Congress in this year’s midterm elections; the deadly apartment fire in the Bronx that killed at least 19; and TV star and comic Bob Saget dies unexpectedly at 65 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the 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. This new episode titled, “Health, Wealth and Stealth,” looks back at this past week of 12/6 – 12/10. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Mandy Connell, talk show host, KOA, Denver; Dr. Daliah Wachs, talk show host, Genesis Communications Network / physician; Paul Vandenburgh, talk show host / owner, Talk 1300, Albany, NY; Scott Hennen, talk show host / owner, WZFG, Fargo; and Steve Weisman, professor of law, Bentley University, Boston / founder, Scamicide.com. The show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; KTLK-FM, St. Louis; WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; SuperTalk 99.7 WTN, Nashville; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY; WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, DE; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA; WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WSAR-AM/FM, Fall River, MA; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; KQEN, Roseburg, OR; the Virginia Talk Radio Network; CRN Digital Talk Radio Network; the iHeart Podcast Network; Pioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.
WMAL-FM, Washington Raised $393,622 During Fisher House Radiothon. Washington, DC news/talk station WMAL-FM raised $393,622 to benefit the Fisher House Foundation during last week’s two-day WMAL Operation Fisher House Radiothon, topping last year’s amount by $25,000. Cumulus Media says WMAL’s listeners have donated nearly $8 million dollars over the last 19 years to support the efforts of the Fisher House Foundation, which provides housing to families of injured military members who are undergoing treatment. Group homes at Bethesda, Walter Reed, the VA, Dover AFB, and more than 60 locations across the country provide a comfortable place for loved ones to live while remaining close to their injured family members. Fisher House Foundation chairman and CEO Ken Fisher says, “WMAL’s partnership over the last 19 years has been incredible. Their generous audience has given nearly $8 million, having a tremendous impact on military and veteran families. We are forever grateful.” WMAL program director and Cumulus VP/news/talk Bill Hess says, “The stories are compelling and inspiring, and the response from our WMAL listeners demonstrates the strong relationship between our talent and listeners. It’s the perfect start to the holiday season.”
Podtrac Ranks PodcastOne Among Top Podcast Publishers. According to a ranking by Podtrac, LiveOne’s PodcastOne is named to the list of Top Podcast Publishers. PodcastOne notes that Podtrac “provides the podcast industry’s only ranking of top publishers based on unique audience counts.” PodcastOne enters the listings ranked #12 as one of only two independent podcasting publishers in the Top 15. PodcastOne says its ranking “comes on the heels of the successes and strengths of tentpole podcasts ‘Off The Vine with Kaitlyn Bristowe,’ ‘The Jordan Harbinger Show,’ ‘LADYGANG’ and ‘The Adam Carolla Show,’ as well as acquisitions of top performing programs such as ‘Baby Mamas No Drama,’ ‘True Crime All the Time Unsolved,’ and ‘This Is MONSTERS,’ which all saw significant audience growth since joining PodcastOne.” PodcastOne president Kit Gray says, “Being recognized by Podtrac with inclusion on the Top Publishers list is a testament to the hard work of the PodcastOne team both behind the mic and behind the scenes. We’re on track to post even bigger numbers in 2022 with a goal in mind to crack the Top 10 list.”
BBC’s Dylan Haskins Named to New York Festivals Radio Awards Advisory Board. The New York Festivals Radio Awards announces that BBC’s Dylan Haskins is appointed to the NYF Radio Awards Advisory Board. Haskins serves as commissioning executive for podcasts for BBC Sounds & BBC Radio 5 Live. He’s the 14th member of the prestigious New York Festivals Radio Awards Advisory Board, a brain trust of executives comprised of some of the radio industry’s most respected content creators and broadcast leaders from around the globe. These thought-leaders generously provide NYF’s Radio Awards with ongoing knowledge of emerging trends, critical industry insights, and a global perspective. Haskins says, “It’s a great honor to be asked to join the Advisory Board of the New York Festivals Radio Awards and to have the opportunity to help shape and advise the awards during such an exciting period of evolution in audio creativity, innovation, investment and audience habits. As a commissioner for a public service broadcaster, it’s also a time of challenge and competition from new commercial players but, in my experience, this is leading us all to be more ambitious, to go bigger on what makes us distinctive and to experiment and collaborate more where there are shared aims. All of this means radio and podcasts have never been better and a competition like the New York Festivals helps recognize this.” 2022 will be the 12th year New York Festivals has partnered with the annual NAB Show. This strategic partnership provides all attendees to the April 26, 2022, Storyteller’s Gala access to the multi-day NAB event. NAB is the ultimate marketplace for people passionate about media, entertainment, and technology. All Entries in the 2022 competition will be judged online by NYF’s Radio Awards Grand Jury of 200-plus producers, directors, writers, and other creative media professionals from around the globe. Award-winning entries will be showcased on the Radio Awards winners gallery. You can see the 2021 winner’s gallery here. Meanwhile, the deadline to enter the 2022 Radio Awards competition is February 9, 2022. See information about the competition and enter here.
TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that former longtime WGN, Chicago personality Nick Digilio is launching two new podcasts. In mid-January, the twice-weekly show “The Nick D Podcast” will debut. It will be a roundup of entertainment and pop culture, including reviews of movies, music, TV and books. His first guest will be Rich “Svengoolie” Koz. Digilio will then launch, “That Show Hasn’t Been Funny In Years: An SNL Podcast,” obviously focusing on the history of “Saturday Night Live” over its 47-year run. Both podcasts are produced by the Radio Misfits Podcast Network…..Red Apple Media is rolling out a national syndication initiative for its personalities heard on WABC, New York. The company has produced a series of video promos for the hosts and you can see them here……Westwood One is presenting play-by-play of one of college football’s oldest and most-storied rivalries, the Army–Navy game, presented by USAA and taking place tomorrow (12/11) at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey at 2:00 pm ET. The game is being called by John Sadak and Ross Tucker with Tina Cervasio handling sideline reporting duties and Jason Horowitz hosting the pregame, halftime, and postgame shows…..Audacy announces the launch of “Tapped Out,” a new MMA and boxing-focused show on BetQL Network. The show is co-hosted by Brendan Tobin, morning show host on WAXY, Miami “790 AM The Ticket” and Sean Levine, host on KCSP, Kansas City “610 Sports Radio.” The show airs Saturdays from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET…..SiriusXM and Pandora are teaming up with Audible to create “Chapter and Verse,” a new programming series that will blend conversations with some of the world’s top authors and the music and artists that inspire them. Listeners will hear directly from authors Nicholas Sparks, Wendy Walker, and Jonathan Maberry as they talk about their latest literary project and the unique, essential role that music plays in their work. Pandora VP of original digital content programming Bill Crandall says, “This new series brings our listeners more of what they love the most – great music and the personal, one-of-a-kind stories from some of the best storytellers around. We’re looking forward to hearing from some of the most popular writers and sharing their journeys and voices with our audiences.”
COVID-19 Variants, Vaccines, Mandates & Politics Top News/Talk Story for Week of December 6-10. The COVID-19 Omicron variant, vaccine mandates and the politics surrounding the pandemic combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the supply chain backup, the labor shortage, inflation, and President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Bill, followed by the January 6 investigation and Donald Trump’s influence on GOP at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.
Talk Show Host Michael Berry is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. KTRH, Houston/independently syndicated radio talk show host Michael Berry is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Berry is heard live twice daily on Houston’s talk radio powerhouse KTRH. The first show airs between 8:00 am and 11:00 am and then he comes back between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm. But, wait, that’s not all. An additional 25 formidable stations carry one or the other or both of these shows on an independent network that has grown out of his recognition as a break-out talent with a growing following of fans. This network stretches from upstate New York to Portland to Louisiana to Pensacola to Baton Rouge, Nashville, New Orleans, New Mexico and Alabama, with eight stations in Texas. Berry, the son of a maintenance worker for a chemical plant, is an attorney with two law degrees and an interesting history in politics. He began his often-controversial talk radio career in 2005 while still Mayor Pro Tem of the City of Houston. He’s married to the former Secretary of State of Texas, who is from India (and also a lawyer). They are parents of two adopted sons from Ethiopia – now teenagers. TALKERS research places him at number 15 on its most-listened-to radio talk show hosts list with a weekly audience of some 5 million people. He’s also ranked number 9 on the 2021 TALKERS Heavy Hundred list of the 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America. Harrison and Berry engage in a fascinating conversation about a number of topics including the impact of the COVID era on the psyche of American workers, the application of the phrase “politics makes strange bedfellows” to today’s news/talk discussion, the differences between live radio and podcasting, Berry’s evolution from “yeller” to storyteller, and the syndrome of conservative talk show hosts often being unjustly accused of being proponents of racism and hate. Don’t miss this! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.
iHeartMedia Faces Unionization of Podcast Network. After a majority of iHeartPodcast Network staffers signed union cards to organize with the Writers Guild of America, East, the Guild is calling on iHeartMedia to voluntarily recognize the union. According to a press release from the WGAE, “The approximately 125-member iHeartPodcast Network Bargaining Committee includes producers, editors, researchers, writers, and hosts based in Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York CIty. The iHeartPodcast Network includes hit series like ‘Stuff You Should Know,’ ‘Fake Doctors, Real Friends,’ ‘The Ron Burgundy Podcast,’ ‘Disgraceland,’ ‘Chelsea Handler: Life will be the Death of Me,’ ‘Noble Blood’ and ‘Committed,’ among many others.” In its “Why We’re Organizing” letter to iHM management, the organizing committee writes, in part: “We, the podcast producers, editors, researchers, writers, and hosts of iHeartMedia, are thrilled to announce that we are unionizing with the Writers Guild of America, East. Months of discussion with our colleagues have clarified some things: First, we love the community we have created at iHeart. We work shoulder to shoulder with some of the most creative minds in the business, who have come to feel more like family. We are devoted and passionate storytellers who take pride in our ability to provide our listeners with entertaining, thought-provoking audio content and, most importantly, companionship. However, during difficult times, we are reminded that while the iHeart Digital Audio Group prides itself on its relative autonomy and ability to adapt to the shifting needs of the marketplace—much like a start-up—we work under the capacity constraints of a legacy broadcast conglomerate. Essentially, we have been encouraged to embrace the dynamism of start-up culture without any of the associated benefits. Throughout the unprecedented challenges of the last two years, we managed to seamlessly transition to remote work; our adaptability helped the company not just sustain but thrive during a period of economic uncertainty and social unrest. During team calls, town halls, and official email communications from leadership, we are frequently reminded of the financial gains that we helped make possible. Bob Pittman, CEO and chairman of iHeartMedia, reported during last month’s quarterly earnings call that Digital Audio revenue increased by 77 % compared to 2020. Our division’s significant growth was “driven primarily by continuing increases in demand for digital advertising and the continued growth of podcasting,” where revenue is up 184 % compared to 2020. Unfortunately, those gains have not reached the creators working round-the-clock to keep our audience of more than 30 million monthly listeners actively engaged. With hundreds of shows across all categories and genres, many of us are doing the work of multiple employees, and the huge volume of content we are responsible for is not met with equitable compensation. Furthermore, we lack transparency in workplace decision making, meaningful initiatives toward diversity and inclusion, fairness in managerial relationships, and clarity in divisions of labor. While we are proud to be an essential part of iHeartMedia’s success over the past few years, we are keenly aware of significant internal pay disparities between similarly positioned individuals within the company. And across the board, iHeartMedia’s overall compensation and benefits standards are wholly insufficient when compared to the greater podcast and scripted audio market. Due to these working conditions, the creators of iHeart’s podcasts have banded together in order to help determine the best path forward so that iHeart can remain competitive, retain existing talent, and attract new voices to the network, all while creating a more equitable, transparent, and democratic workplace.” Staffers are seeking: Appropriate compensation and benefits, accountability mechanisms regarding diversity and inclusion efforts, manageable workloads and appropriate staffing for shows, clear paths for advancement and standardized job descriptions, and job security. There’s been no official word from iHeartMedia yet.
Audacy Unveils Sports Betting Intensive ‘95.7 The Fan’ in Rochester. Rochester sports talk outlet WROC-AM adds FM translator W239BF to its broadcast and Audacy adjusts the programming to go sports betting intensive as “95.7 The Fan.” The station is using programming from the BetQL Network, CBS Sports Radio and keeps the local Buffalo Bills program “One Bills Live” in early afternoons as well as “The Sports Bar with Danger and Battaglia” (hosted by Mike Danger and Gene Battaglia) in PM drive. The station also continues to air as simulcasts of sister station WCMF’s flagship play-by-play coverage of the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. Audacy Rochester SVP and market manager Sue Munn says, “In line with our company’s expansive position as leaders in sports audio, we’re delighted to enhance our sports content offering through the launch of ‘The Fan Rochester.’ Powered by widely recognizable BetQL and CBS Sports Radio programming, this station will give our local listeners more premier content from some of our brightest talent.”
KFI, Los Angeles Announces Record-Breaking 11th Annual Pastathon. Some of the staff of iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI are pictured above at a remote broadcast for this year’s 11th annual KFI Pastathon that raised a record-breaking $933,502 and 115,324 pounds of pasta and sauce to benefit Caterina’s Club, the local charity that provides more than 25,000 nutritious meals every week to children in need in Southern California. With the help of listeners, local businesses and the continued partnership with Barilla, this year’s event set a new fundraising record. Since 2010, KFI listeners have raised more than $4.5 million and over 700,000 pounds of pasta and sauce for children in need in the community. KFI program director Robin Bertolucci comments, “The KFI PastaThon is a full-station effort, and the biggest heroes are our listeners and partners. Every year, we reach new highs and that means more meals to feed more kids in Southern California. On behalf of the entire KFI team we thank the community for the remarkable generosity.”
Fargo’s ‘What’s on Your Mind?’ Radio Show Visits FOX Square in NYC. Pictured above are listeners to the “What’s on Your Mind?” show that airs on North Dakota stations KFYR, Bismarck; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga; and KLTC, Dickinson as they watch show host Scott Hennen (right) and FOX News Radio star Jimmy Failla (left) do a weather hit with FOX News’ Janice Dean (center). The group also was able to meet “FOX & Friends” co-star and FOX News Radio personality Brian Kilmeade and see the remnants of the now-famous burned Christmas tree.
Podcast Download Fall 2021: Big Three Expand Their Share. The just-released Fall 2021 edition of the Cumulus Media and Signal Hill Insights Podcast Download report focuses on how consumers access podcasts, what they want from a listening app, and attitudes and usage of the “big three” podcast publishers: Apple Podcasts, YouTube, and Spotify. As part of the study, Advertiser Perceptions surveyed 300 media agencies and marketers and found: 71% say they have discussed the potential of advertising in podcasts; An all-time high of 53% are likely to consider advertising in the next six months, up from 46% last year and 18% in 2015; Another all-time high of 44% indicate they are likely to actually advertise in podcasts in the next six months, up from 37% last year and 10% in 2015; and 45% report they are currently advertising in podcasts, an increase of three times from 2015 and a nine-point growth over 2020. In another aspect of the report, MARU/Matchbox conducted an in-depth study of 600 weekly podcast listeners in October 2021. In the MARU study, weekly podcast listeners were provided a list of podcast listening platforms and asked how often they listened to each. Since 2019, frequent Spotify use jumped from 30% to 36%. With podcasts showcased right in their app, Spotify has helped lure more music streamers into podcasting. Versus two years ago, YouTube is stable (33% to 34%) while Apple Podcasts dropped (from 38% to 27%). Frequent use of Google’s apps (Google Play/Google Podcasts) dropped from 19% in 2019 to 16% in 2021. See more about the study here.
TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk radio host Mike Gallagher used the torching of the FOX News Christmas tree in Midtown Manhattan to spur his Salem Radio Network listeners to action for the network’s annual Angel Tree campaign that helps children of prisoners through the non-profit Prison Fellowship. Gallagher told his listeners, “Let’s show everyone that there’s more good than evil in America.” As a result, yesterday (12/8) more than 1,000 children of prisoners were sponsored and will be blessed with personalized Christmas gifts plus a note from their incarcerated mom or dad. Gallagher added, “We proved that a positive message can overcome any negative news when we all pull together.”…..The Carey Brothers are ending their media efforts after 35 years. Morris and James Carey announce they will wrap their radio program after the December 25 edition and the final “Tip of the Day” feature will air nationally on December 31. The Carey Brothers did their first radio show on January 2, 1987 at KCBS-AM, San Francisco. The program went national in 1992 and at its peak aired on more than 300 affiliate stations.
COVID-19 Omicron Variant/Rising Case Numbers/Mandate Repeal, Russia Threatens Ukraine, Biden’s Summit for Democracy, Evergrande Defaults, Violent Crime Spike, January 6 Investigation, Social Media/Instagram Testimony, and Ghislaine Maxwell Trial Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/8). The Omicron coronavirus variant, the rising case numbers in numerous U.S. states, and the Senate’s passing a repeal of Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate; Russia’s continuing military build-up at the Ukraine border; Russia and China criticize Joe Biden’s virtual Summit for Democracy taking place today and tomorrow; Chinese real estate giant Evergrande defaults causing concern of global investors; the violent crime spike in numerous American cities; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack and Donald Trump loyalists’ refusal to cooperate; Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri testifies at a Senate hearing on social media and teen safety; and the prosecution rests its case in the trial of Jeffrey Epstein confidant Ghislaine Maxwell were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
By Jon Quick
That means radio is alive and well.
Radio has been doomed for over 70 years, ever since the emergence of television. In fact, it was falsely documented in this 1949 issue of Look magazine.
Monday Memo: Dissuading the Dug-In. “Argument seems to have displaced baseball as our national pastime. Polls tell us that many Republicans think Donald Trump was re-elected. Almost 60 years later, conspiracy theorists still mutter about who was lurking on the grassy knoll. And as we marked 20 years since 9/11, deniers still tell us the twin towers crashes were as fake as the moon landing,” consultant Holland Cooke writes in today’s column. As the unvaccinated remain undaunted and COVID numbers surge, he debriefs a sociologist who explains why facts fizzle, but stories can be more convincing. Read it here.
Pending Business: Asking Questions. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications Corp, writes in today’s column, “One of the most important skills to master in your selling life is the art and science of asking questions. The thing about asking questions during your sales calls is the process is more complicated than advertised. Yet, when mastered, the right questions will dictate the next steps to closing your deals.” Read his column here.
WABC Unveils ‘Studio 77’ Video Platform. Pictured above at 77 WABC’s new “Studio 77” during the station’s two-day tribute to the 9/11 victims, first responders, and families are (from l-r): former NYC police commissioner Bernie Kerik, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Red Apple Media chairman and CEO John Catsimatidis, and former New York Governor George Pataki. “Studio 77” is WABC’s new state-of-the-art audio and video facility that offers high-quality video news and entertainment to 77 WABC listeners. “Studio 77” content is streamed at wabcradio.com and via the mobile app and is designed to accommodate live in-studio audience experiences. Catsimaditis says, “When we decided to get into radio, we decided to go big! We bought a 50,000 watt clear channel signal with WABC, and that is just the beginning. We have the big-name talent and the right management to lead our team forward. We’re giving our listeners what they want across all audio, video, and digital channels.”
Round Three of August 2021 PPM Ratings Released. The third of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s August 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 August 2021 sweep covered July 22 – August 18. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets. Alpha Media news/talk KXL-FM, Portland remains ranked #4 in the market after dropping three-tenths for a 5.2 share ( weekly, 6+ AQH share). Radio One’s Charlotte news/talk WBT-AM/FM sheds two-tenths to finish with a 3.8 share good for the #10 rank. iHeartMedia’s WOAI-AM, San Antonio gains seven-tenths for a 5.2 share finish and jumps from the #10 rank to #5. In Sacramento, iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFBK remains ranked #1 after posting another 8.7 share. Audacy’s KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh adds a half share to finish the survey with a 5.4 share and rises from #6 to #5. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as the two previous rounds) here.
Lynne Hayes-Freeland Leaving Daily Talk Show at KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh talk host and radio journalist Lynne Hayes-Freeland is leaving her daily 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm talk show after her November 12, program. She’s been hosting the early afternoon daypart since January of 2019. Hayes-Freeland will remain with KDKA-AM in various other capacities, including a weekly, one-hour appearance with late morning host Marty Griffin, a weekly column on kdkaradio.com, becoming a bigger part of KDKA’s social media presence, and continuing her monthly hosting duties on “Minority Health Matters,” a program KDKA does in cooperation with Gateway Medical Society, a Pittsburgh-based organization dedicated to combatting racial disparities in health care. Audacy Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “Lynne’s career in the Pittsburgh media needs no comment from me. Simply said, she is an icon in the city and a pillar of the community. We have been fortunate to have her be such a large part of KDKA the past three years and are more than thrilled she will continue on the radio station as she transitions to this next phase of her life.”
WDAY, Fargo Unveils New ‘Bonnie and Friends’ Morning Show. Fargo news/talk outlet WDAY Radio announces its new morning drive show that debuts on Thursday (9/16) will be hosted by longtime market media personality Bonnie Amistadi and will be co-hosted by Flag Family Media president Steve Hallstrom. The “Bonnie & Friends” show will air from 5:00 am to 8:30 am. Amistadi says, “I love that feeling of being there early in the morning for my radio listeners. Many of them have become friends and whether they are starting their day, heading to bed, or somewhere in between, I enjoy being the one who delivers their news, weather, and sports. And plenty of laughs too!” Hallstrom comments, “We are thrilled to announce this new program. ‘Bonnie & Friends’ completes a re-engineering of the broadcast day on WDAY Radio, and we’re proud to now have a full lineup of live, local shows between 5:00 am and 6:30 pm each weekday. We’re thankful to the Marcil family and Forum Communications for their partnership in helping us shape a robust lineup that pours massive resources into local news and weather content.”
TALKERS News Notes. Tomorrow’s California recall election of Governor Gavin Newsom will be covered by Salem Radio Network News starting at 6:00 pm ET. SRN News is distributing non-stop coverage from Los Angeles, anchored by KRLA “The Answer” host Jennifer Horn and KRLA news anchor Larry Marino until 12:00 midnight ET. SRN News is also providing one-minute Special Reports each hour at :40-past the hour…..Media Staffing Network founder and CEO Laurie Kahn is delivering another IBA ‘members only’ webinar titled ‘Talent Acquisition Tips to Attract a Higher Quality of Job Seeker’ tomorrow (9/14) at 4:00 pm ET. In this webinar, Kahn will detail what it takes to compete to hire top talent. In addition, she’ll demonstrate how to create a job profile that attracts top talent, including updating of company websites and using social media to get the word out…..Newsweek announces the official launch of a new podcast called, “The Daily Break,” hosted by editor-at-large Naveed Jamali, former FBI double agent, Navy intelligence officer and author of How to Catch a Russian Spy. The show is inspired by Jamali’s work in national security and will bring his unique experience in intelligence-focused analysis to trending news stories across the political spectrum…..The GCN nationally syndicated “Dr. Daliah Wachs” program is being added to the program schedule at KGUM-AM, Guam.
9/11 Anniversary, Afghanistan, COVID-19, Newsom Recall Election, Biden Tax Hikes, January 6 Investigation/September Rally, and Western Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The remembrance of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001; the criticism of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban’s swift takeover of the country; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the controversy over mask & vaccine mandates; the recall election of California Governor Gavin Newsom and talk host Larry Elder’s chances of taking over; the battle over Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion spending plan that includes new taxes; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack & the looming Justice for J6 rally; and the ongoing western wildfires were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.