Saga Communications CEO Ed Christian Passes. The company announces that its founder, chairman, president and CEO Ed Christian passed away on Friday (8/19) after a short illness. Warren Lada, a member of Saga Communications’ board of directors and former COO, has been appointed by the board to serve as the Interim CEO. “The Board is confident that Warren’s vast experience in the broadcast industry as a sales representative, sales manager, general manager, vice president of operations and ultimately as COO of the company will fill the void that Ed leaves as the company prepares for the next chapter in ‘Saga’s ongoing adventure.’” Saga says that Christian founded the company in 1986 and has fostered its growth to owning 79 FM radio stations, 35 AM radio stations and 80 translator stations in 27 markets. Under his leadership the company became a publicly traded company in 1992 and continues to be traded under the ticker symbol “SGA” on the Nasdaq stock exchange. The company adds, “The broadcast industry has lost a pioneer and giant. Saga expresses its heartfelt condolences to the Christian family and Ed’s friends and colleagues. Ed will be missed but not forgotten. He is and was a true radio broadcaster that never lost sight of his ‘true north’ in an industry he loved.”
Monday Memo: “Stay Safe.” “Because these are NOT normal times,” consultant Holland Cooke follows-up last week’s column about leveraging the news half of the news/talk format, with specific imaging copy points. Read it here.
Pending Business: This Is Urgent. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column Apple’s announcement it will soon sell approved advertisers space on the “Today” page of the App Store is a super-sized version of radio’s call-to-action ads. He says copywriting 101 and radio sales 101 intersect at the call-to-action and he offers six points to prove its efficacy. Read it here.
KWAM Celebrates 75 Years of Service to Memphis. News/talk radio station KWAM-AM, Memphis “The Mighty 990” – owned by Starnes Media led by talk media industry personality and best-selling author Todd Starnes – threw a bash to celebrate its 75 years of service to the Memphis market. Pictured above at right are some of the 300 people who attended the event.
FBI Raid/Documents Investigation, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, The Economy, Russia-Ukraine War, CDC/COVID/Monkey Pox, and Extreme Weather Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The aftermath of the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago and the documents investigation; the November midterm elections and speculation about the nominees for the 2024 presidential race; inflation, the financial markets and the Inflation Reduction Act; a car bomb kills Darya Dugina, the daughter of Alexander Dugin, the “spiritual guide” to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; the CDC’s announced overhaul, the rate of COVID cases and the concerns over Monkey Pox; and the nationwide drought & the Texas floods were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.