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Monday, March 28, 2022

| March 28, 2022

Monday Memo: Is Your Show the Dog? Or the Tail? “Spoiler Alert: Both!” consultant Holland Cooke reckons. As radio faces new audio competitors, HC follows up last week’s column “Weekend Warriors: Renegotiate” by outlining tactics that make ask-the-expert hosts sound popular and preeminent and leverage on-air shows to the digital on-demand platform listeners and advertisers increasingly favor. Read more here.

 

Pending Business: Marketing Madness. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column about the innovation that’s taken place in the static advertising realm – bus shelters and taxi tops, for example. He says that talk radio also has the ability to create innovative marketing opportunities for clients within its own technological parameters. In fact, it’s crucial to competing. “Developing and presenting unique, cutting-edge sales and marketing solutions is a relationship builder that can cement a long-term bond,” he says. Read more here.

 

Beasley Media Group Names Kevin Rich VP of Operations. Radio executive Kevin Rich joins Beasley Media Group as vice president of operations, effective April 18, 2022. Rich was most recently market president and chief revenue and content officer at Townsquare Media’s Albany operations in which he was responsible for overseeing and managing the market with a focus on generating revenue across the company’s media and entertainment platforms. In his new role with Beasley, Rich will work closely with company president Bruce Beasley, chief operating officer Brian Beasley and vice president of operations Brad Beasley in overseeing the day-to-day business of the company’s 62 radio stations and multiple platforms. Company CEO Caroline Beasley says, “It’s an absolute privilege to welcome Kevin into our Beasley Media Group family. His credentials and leadership skills are the perfect fit with our organization. We look forward to Kevin sharing his outstanding strategic skill set, especially on the digital side of the business, with our teams across the organization.” Rich comments, “I am thrilled to join the Beasley Media family at a pivotal moment in the company’s growth. This is an exciting time for our industry, and I am honored to be joining such a talented team as we continue to deliver the very best content, provide comprehensive solutions to advertisers, and strengthen our market presence in the communities we serve.”

 

Detroit News Radio Pro Ken Rogulski Joins WHMI-FM, Howell as News Director. Radio news pro Ken Rogulski is named news director and morning drive news anchor at Krol Communications’ full-service/classic hits WHMI-FM, Howell, Michigan. Rogulski has held down a number of assignments at WJR-AM, Detroit for almost two decades including newscaster, street reporter, fill-in talk show host for the late Frank Beckmann, and performing his live annual broadcast from the policy conference on Mackinac Island. He is recipient of numerous awards from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, The Associated Press and The Society of Professional Journalists as well as having been a correspondent for ABC News and Westwood One News. Rogulski will lead the news staff that includes Jessica Mathews, Mike Kruzman, and Tom Tolen.

 

WLW, Cincinnati Celebrates 100 Years. The iHeartMedia station that was once a 500,000-watt signal dubbed “The Nation’s Station” celebrated its 100th birthday on March 23. WLW, Cincinnati is one of a number of heritage stations that launched in 1922. iHeartMedia’s WGY, Albany also celebrated its 100th this year. “Radio’s Best Friend” Art Vuolo has two WLW videos that TALKERS readers may find interesting. The first is from a WLW Radio reunion produced in March of 2020 by Vuolo and current Nexstar Media executive Sean Compton. The second is a tour of the station’s transmitter with Randy Michaels produced on December 9, 1985.

 

WWL, New Orleans to Commemorate 100th Year of Broadcasting. As NOLA.com reports, New Orleans news/talk WWL-AM is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its first broadcast on March 31, 1922. WWL was the first station to serve the lower Mississippi River valley. The NOLA piece notes that “WWL was an outgrowth of physics experiments and wireless radio classes offered at Loyola University as early as 1907. On March 31, 1922, WWL’s first broadcast from Loyola’s Marquette Hall consisted of an on-air fundraising appeal from Father Edward Cummings, S.J., Loyola University’s president, followed by someone playing a few songs on an upright piano.” Loyola operated the station until 1989 when it sold the station and its sister WLMG-FM to Keymarket Communications.

 

TALKERS News Notes. A partnership between iHeartMedia and Collab Inc will result in the creation of Curativity, LLC, a new podcast studio publishing creator-centric shows with Collab’s top talent, as well as the debut a new slate of family shows. The Curativity kids slate will kick off with three shows featuring popular kids Collab talent Mr. Jim, including a new weekly series, “Spyology Squad,” set to launch April 4. In addition, the kids’ programs, “Kids Animal Stories,” and “Kids Short Stories,” will join the slate…..Milwaukee Board of School Directors-owned triple A WYMS-FM, Milwaukee “88Nine Radio Milwaukee” expands its flagship “Community Stories” program into a full-length weekly podcast called, “Uniquely Milwaukee.” The podcast launch is part of Radio Milwaukee’s 15th birthday celebration this year, growing a program that has been a part of its mission-driven offerings since 2007. The first episode of “Uniquely Milwaukee” centers on bodegas in the city. Station director of content Nate Imig says, “‘Community Stories’ are a beloved part of Radio Milwaukee. By expanding this content into a weekly thematic podcast, ‘Uniquely Milwaukee’ will greatly increase the amount of stories we’re able to share with listeners.”

 

Ukraine Song Getting Airplay, Garnering Downloads. A song penned by Streamline Publishing chairman and CEO Eric Rhoads is getting airplay on radio stations in the U.S. and has also been one of the most downloaded songs the past couple of weeks. Rhoads, whose company publishes radio trades Radio Ink and RBR-TVBR, says he decided “we needed a ‘we are the world’ kind of anthem. I wrote a title called, ‘Tears for Ukraine,’ and some lyrics. I then went to Billy Craig, he co-wrote with me and produced it.” You can hear the song here.

 

Russia-Ukraine War, Biden at NATO, COVID-19, Gas Prices/Inflation, Brown Confirmation Hearings, Ginni Thomas and January 6, Midterms and Trump & the GOP, and the Oscars Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; President Joe Biden calls for Vladimir Putin to be removed from power at NATO conference; concerns about the Omicron BA.2 variant that’s rampant in the U.K. and parts of Asia; Americans’ frustration over high gas prices and the high cost of consumer retail goods; the aftermath of the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Katanji Jackson Brown; the January 6 committee’s investigation and texts between Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife Ginni and Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows in which she appears to urge him to overturn the 2020 election results; the battle for control of congress in November’s midterm elections and speculation about Donald Trump’s potential 2024 run; and Sunday night’s Oscars telecast were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday Memo: Is Your Show the Dog? Or the Tail?

| March 28, 2022

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Lots of response to last week’s “Weekend Warriors, Renegotiate.” SOME stations were horrified by what I’m telling their brokered ask-the-expert hosts. SMART stations already offer the win-win template I outlined. ICYMI: https://www.talkers.com/2022/03/21/monday-memo-weekend-warriors-renegotiate/

 FMs are scrambling. AMs? Ugh.

As if AM wasn’t already suffering listener demographics, technical interference, caricature programming, and too little local content, now comes the proposal to make Daylight Saving Time permanent. From November through February – when local sunrise would come between 8:00 am and 9:00 am – later pattern and power change times would cripple full-time stations. Daytimers would be utterly screwed if smart ones with translators hadn’t already rebranded as FMs (as have so many full-time AMs).

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Monday Memo: But Wait, There’s More!

| February 7, 2022

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — I worked with the late great Larry King four times, and I can sum-up how he got those he was interviewing to say something they didn’t say in other interviews along the PR tour by quoting his RT America show promo: “I never learned anything while I was talking.”

So thanks for compliments and to those who shared my column here last week: “Talk Radio 101: LISTEN.”

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Monday, January 31, 2022

| January 31, 2022

Monday Memo: Talk Radio 101 – LISTEN. “Streaming has music radio on its heels, because,” in consultant Holland Cooke’s view, “The Sentence Never Spoken is ‘Alexa, please play six commercials.’” Yet Cooke warns that “talkers should avoid taking false comfort that we’re less vulnerable to digital competitors, because people are using social media to talk to each other without us.” In this week’s column, HC details techniques to engage callers. Read it here.

 

Pending Business: It’s a Matter of Trust. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says that it’s not unusual for news/talk radio sellers to unwittingly overlook the importance of the trust and credibility that their station’s hosts have engendered with their listeners. Too often, this important quality that’s not easy to match is left out of proposals for one reason or another. Read his column here.

Adriana Rizzo Named SVP of Consumer Marketing for Audacy. Marketing pro Adriana Rizzo joins Audacy as SVP of consumer marketing, effective January 31. In this role, Rizzo will lead the company’s audience growth initiatives across brand strategy, creative, messaging, media planning and attribution, while also managing the company’s Alchemy function, focused on the strategic integration of exclusive content and programming to Audacy’s over 200 million listeners. Audacy chief marketing officer Paul Suchman says, “We’re thrilled to have Adriana join our growing team. Her hire underscores our commitment to world-class marketing and our vision to become the audio platform of choice for consumers. The timing of Adriana’s hire is well aligned with our deep investments in technology and our future-proofed digital platform. Adriana will be a key partner to our business lines and to our marketing leads across broadcast, digital, sports betting and podcasting.” Rizzo was most recently with Discovery and launched streaming service Discovery+. She’s also served with ESPN. She comments, “I’m very excited to be joining Audacy at such an important and strategic time for the company and the industry. I look forward to working closely with this talented team and helping Audacy achieve new heights.”

After YouTube Snub, Heidi Harris Launches Vimeo Show. Twenty-four-year veteran Las Vegas-based radio talk show host Heidi Harris, currently heard at “97.1 FM Talk St. Louis” (KFTK-FM), is another conservative commentator recently banned from YouTube because of political content that the mega-platform says doesn’t meet its standards. In response, she has launched a new channel on Vimeo which will feature her daily “Headlines with Heidi” program. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison served as her first guest. Harris and Harrison discussed the current Big Tech censorship controversy as well as a number of “behind-the-scenes” talk media issues. To see the program, please click here.

2022 iHeartRadio Podcast Awards Take Place Virtually on Thursday. A number of celebrities will make guest appearances on this Thursday’s 2022 iHeartRadio Podcast Awards. The program was originally to take place live at the iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles but will now happen virtually at 9:00 pm ET on February 3 streaming on iHeartRadio’s YouTube channel and Facebook page as well as broadcast across select iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide. iHeartMedia says stars appearing include: Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and Will Arnett, Martha Stewart, Matt Rogers and Bowen Yang, Paris Hilton, Shonda Rhimes, Will Ferrell, Wilmer Valderrama, and many more. While winners from most categories will be decided by a panel of industry leaders and creatives, the Podcast of the Year award is decided by social voting on Twitter. The nominees for Podcast of the Year are: “Code Switch,” “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend,” “Crime Junkie,” “Louder Than a Riot,” “Office Ladies,” “SmartLess,” “Stuff You Should Know,” “The Daily,” “The Midnight Miracle” and “You’re Wrong About.”

Round Four of Holiday PPM Ratings Released. The fourth and final round of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s Holiday 2021 sweep covered December 9 – January 5. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. Due to holiday listening habits influenced by Christmas music, spoken-word stations often lose share during this period, but not all stations saw losses this time around. In Indianapolis, Emmis Communications’ news/talk WIBC-FM adds seven-tenths for an 8.8 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) but remains ranked #3 in the market. Cumulus Media’s WWTN-FM, Nashville “SuperTalk 99.7” is up eight-tenths for a 6.1 share finish and climbs from the #8 rank to #3. In Providence, Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM rises nine-tenths to a 6.7 share but is still ranked #5 in the market. iHeartMedia’s WJNO, West Palm Beach adds a half share for a 2.3 share finish good for the #11 rank. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as the first three rounds) here.

Ukraine Tensions/Sanctions, COVID-19, U.S.-China Relations/Olympics, Midterm Elections/Trump & the GOP, Spotify’s COVID Issue, Supreme Court Opening, North Korea Missile Test, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories over the Weekend. Russia’s military build-up at the Ukraine border and the West’s threatened sanctions if Russia invades; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and abroad, and mask & vaccine mandates; the Biden Administration’s relations with China and the Beijing Winter Olympics; the battle for control of Congress in the November midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence on the GOP; Spotify deals with artists pulling their music in response to what they term medical misinformation being spread on the “Joe Rogan Experience”; the controversy over President Joe Biden’s promise to nominate a Black woman to fill retiring Justice Stephen Breyer’s Supreme Court seat; North Korea tests a new missile causing concern over its military ambitions; and the Cincinnati Bengals will face the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl after Sunday’s games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Program a Talk Station Like a Music Station – Sort of

| November 23, 2021

By Jon Quick
Jon Q Consulting
President/Founder

 

CARMEL, Ind. — Just as a music programmer has a music playlist, smart programmers, producers and hosts will 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.

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