Sales vs Customer Service. Longtime radio sales professional Kathy Carr, president of the Howie Carr Radio Network, writes today in an exclusive piece for TALKERS magazine that in radio’s halcyon days of the 1990s, a salesperson could make a good living filling agency avails. “Those were the days of sitting in front of that huge desktop computer and typing out a schedule in Tapscan to make the cost per point. But was that really sales or was it mere customer service?” Carr says real salespeople will always be able to find a job and reveals five questions she asks a prospective seller to determine if they are really a salesperson. Read it here.
Salem Media Group To Boost Power. In a promotion that takes effect at the beginning of next year, Salem Media Group senior vice president Allen Power will be elevated to president/broadcast media. Chief executive officer David Santrella comments, “Allen Power and I have worked and collaborated closely for 18 of my 21 years with Salem. His keen operational experience, combined with his strong hand of leadership, provides a perfect combination to build a better future for the broadcast division.” Power notes, “My years with Salem have been the most rewarding of my career. Our dual focus on doing well – while doing good – provides a culture unique in media. I’m grateful for the leadership of our founders, Edward Atsinger and Stuart Epperson, and to Dave Santrella for the opportunity to play this role as our company continues to grow as a multimedia platform.” In other SMG news, senior vice president of operations Linnae Young is upped to executive vice president of operations & revenue development. “Linnae has been my go-to person every time we’ve had an opportunity to sell multiple marketing elements from several divisions to new clients,” Santrela states. “Her work in our industry on Salem’s behalf with many clients made this an easy decision for me. Linnae brings out the very best from those she works with; I look forward to seeing her touch across the entire division.” Meanwhile, Salem’s Chicago general manager/regional vice president Jeff Reisman is upped to senior vice president/operations, where he will oversee the company’s stations in eastern markets. According to Santrella, “Allen [Power] and I have worked closely with Jeff for many years. His track record in Chicago speaks for itself. He was the first building block to what is now our digital marketing agency, Salem Surround. These three promotions [of Power, Young, and Reisman] are all from within our Salem team, which is further proof that Salem appreciates/believes in our employees and rewards hard work and success.”
Remembering Lowry Mays. The founder and chief executive officer of what is now iHeartRadio, Lowry Mays, died yesterday (Monday, 9/12) at the age of 87. Mays co-founded San Antonio Broadcasting Company with Red McCombs 50 years ago (1972). They purchased their first radio station, San Antonio’s KEEZ-FM; three years later (1975), they bought a second San Antonio outlet (currently iHeartMedia news/talk) WOAI. The company became Clear Channel Communications then iHeartRadio. Born in Harris County Texas on July 24, 1935, Mays graduated with a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering from Texas A&M University in 1957 and enlisted in the United States Air Force. Upon his discharge, Mays earned an MBA from Harvard University and became an investment banker. Mays continued his affiliation with Texas A&M by serving two non-consecutive terms (1985 -1991 and 2001- 2007) on the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents, including as chair from 2003 – 2005. In 2002, the school renamed its business school after Mays. Texas A&M University System chancellor John Sharp comments, “A really big tree fell in the Aggie forest. We will never forget what he did for Aggieland.” Texas A&M’s school of business was endowed by Mays in 1996 with a $15 million gift and was renamed the Lowry Mays College & Graduate School of Business. The university renamed the school once more in 2002 to Mays Business School. In 2017, the Mays Family Foundation gifted an additional $25 million, the largest single commitment in the business school’s history. Both gifts were part of an overall lifetime giving of $47 million. A 1999 Texas Business Hall of Fame inductee, Mays served as chair of the United Way of San Antonio and was a member of the associates board at Harvard Business School. In 2003, Mays testified before the Senate that the deregulation of the telecommunications industry had not hurt the public. In an interview that same year with Fortune Magazine, however, he remarked, “We’re not in the business of providing news and information. We’re not in the business of providing well-researched music. We’re simply in the business of selling our customers products.” Mays was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2004, but suffered a stroke the following year. He stepped down as Clear Channel’s chief executive officer and was succeeded by his son, Mark.
Bloomberg Media Chief Mayers Is Retiring. Having joined the company in 2001 as Bloomberg Radio’s station manager, Bloomberg Media global head of radio and television Al Mayers is retiring from the company. Announcing the news in a staff memo, Bloomberg Media chief executive officer M. Scott Havens and Bloomberg editor-in-chief John Micklethwait write, “Al has been a tireless leader at Bloomberg for over two decades, first in radio and now in his wider broadcast role. During COVID, it often seemed as if Al was single-handedly keeping us on the air. His retirement is a prompt for us to redesign the editorial side of Bloomberg Media – both in line with that philosophy and the broader changes in journalism and the media world. The lines between audio, video, print and live events have become ever harder to distinguish, especially as our audience decides when they want to watch, read or listen to our content. We need a unified approach not just to fit this world, but also to reflect the fact that Bloomberg Media is now an integrated global business, which surged almost 50% last year and has just realized another 24% increase in the first six months of 2022. So after Al leaves this month, David Merritt will become head of a new position, Bloomberg Media Editorial. [He] will oversee the editorial side of all of our media platforms – the website, all our audio and video, including BTV, radio, Quicktake, podcasts, events and our magazines. We are forever grateful for what Al has done for this company and wish him all the best in his next chapter on Cape Cod.” Mayers previously was general manager of Bloomberg Radio, overseeing the station’s programming, syndication and business operations. Michael Bloomberg named Mayers chief of Bloomberg’s global TV division in 2015.
Omnipresent air talent/media executive Nick Cannon will host next month’s (10/19) Marconi Radio Awards dinner during the NAB Show in New York. The ceremony returns in-person after a (COVID-caused) two-year hiatus. NAB executive vice president/industry affairs April Carty-Sipp comments, “NAB is excited to be joined by the talented Nick Cannon to honor the on-air voices and local stations that have shined brightest over the past year. We look forward to welcoming the broadcast community to this crowd-pleasing and lively celebration of the best in radio.” Ryan Seacrest will be presented with the NAB “Distinguished Service Award”; Paul and Fred Jacobs will receive the “National Radio Award.” Established in 1989 and named after inventor/Nobel Prize winner Guglielmo Marconi, the NAB Marconi Radio Awards are given to radio stations and outstanding on-air personalities to recognize excellence in radio. Nominees for “News/Talk Station of the Year” include: KNX, Los Angeles; KRMG, Tulsa; KTMY, Minneapolis; WKXW, Trenton (New Jersey); and WLW, Cincinnati. “Sports (Talk) Station of the Year” nominees include: KNBR, San Francisco; WBZ-FM, Boston; WIP, Philadelphia; WMFS, Memphis; and WXYT-FM, Detroit. Finalists for this year’s awards in all categories can be found here.
TALKERS News Notes. “Game Time With Boomer Esiason,” the syndicated TV interview show done by Audacy New York sports talk WFAN’s morning co-host, now has a podcast version. Introduced via Audacy’s 2400 Sports podcast studio, the standalone product will feature material not included in the broadcast version. Esiason remarks, “I’m really excited about the opportunity to expand our in-depth conversations with some of the biggest stars in sports through the launch of this new podcast. This show will enable us to dig deeper into what makes these icons tick and will deliver can’t-miss content for listeners across the country.” … Co-host of the podcast “For Colored Nerds,” Brittany Luse, succeeds Sam Sanders as host of NPR’s “It’s Been A Minute.” Vice president of programming & new content development Yolanda Sangweni notes, “Brittany is one of the most exciting and essential voices in pop culture podcasting. She brings deep curiosity, empathy, and joy to the mic and to her storytelling. We are beyond thrilled to be re-imagining ‘It’s Been A Minute’ with Brittany at the helm.” Luse states, “I’ve spent the entirety of my eight-year hosting career helping audiences to connect the dots between culture and current events. I look forward to continuing and expanding that work at my new home.” Formerly host of podcasts “The Nod” and “Sampler,” Luse will begin her new duties next month (10/7). … Following four months of being interim local host for New Hampshire Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” Julia Furukawa has the job permanently. New Hampshire Public Radio president/chief executive officer Jim Schachter notes, “In Julia, we have a serious journalist in the ‘All Things Considered’ anchor chair. [She] connects with listeners across a broad, diverse spectrum; loves exploring New Hampshire; and understands that reporting the news is both a joy and a responsibility. Everyone at our studios knows she’s fun to be around, and now ‘ATC’ users can hear that.” Furukawa adds, “I came to NHPR [two years ago] thinking I’d mostly be behind the scenes, not behind the microphone. The team here has given me the chance to grow into a role I’ve always dreamt of being in; I couldn’t be more grateful and excited for what’s to come.” … Best known for her many reports from the front lines of world events, NPR international correspondent Anne Garrels has died at the age of 71. When Garrels arrived at NPR in 1988, she already had ten years of experience in television news at ABC, where she was bureau chief in both Moscow and Central America. Her NPR backdrops included the Soviet Union, Tiananmen Square, Bosnia, Chechnya, the Middle East, Iraq and Afghanistan. … VSiN launches three-hour (7:00 pm – 10:00 pm) weeknight sports betting content on iHeartMedia Providence news/talk WHJJ “News Radio 920.” In addition, Brent Musburger’s “Action Updates” will air twice a day. Meanwhile in Kansas City, Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710 AM” is airing short-form VSiN-produced betting features throughout the weekend. VSiN’s betting analysts will breakdown betting lines for the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, the AFC West and other big games on that week’s slate. Elsewhere, Salem Media Group Honolulu sports talk KGU & K236CR “Hawaii Sports Radio Network AM 760 & 95.1 FM” airs VSiN’s “Final Countdown with Stormy Buonantony & Matt Brown” at 11:00 am. … For the second year in a row – and fifth time overall – Syndicated Solutions’ “RMWorldTravel with Robert & Mary Carey and Rudy Maxa” earns the SATW Foundation’s Lowell Thomas Award in the “Travel Audio – Radio” category. The hosts comment, “Week after week, [our team] helps us create the most diverse and engaging network radio program. Collectively, we love the world of travel and all that it encompasses; we’re truly thankful to the wonderful sponsors who are aligned with us. We look forward to continuing to keep engaging, enticing, entertaining and empowering travelers to go explore the world. When that happens, it has such a positive impact on travelers, the travel industry and our society in general. The powerful megaphone we have to successfully impact travel is a blessing that we don’t take for granted.” The program is heard on 495 affiliates.
Nine To Be Inducted Into The Massachusetts Broadcasters Association HOF. Among those to be honored are Eric Jackson from Boston public radio news/talk WGBH; former Boston Red Sox television play-by-play announcer Sean McDonough, most recently doing a select number of games on the Red Sox Radio Network; and one-time Boston Celtics Broadcasting president Gerald Walsh, who helped create Boston sports talk (and Red Sox radio flagship) WEEI. Massachusetts Broadcasters Association chair/Beasley Media Group Boston vice president and market manager Mary Menna remarks, “The Massachusetts Broadcasters Association is thrilled to be able to gather in person to celebrate these individuals’ lifelong achievements and contributions to our broadcasting community and to welcome them into the Hall of Fame.” Other inductees include Mike Baxendale and John O’Brien (“Bax & O’Brien”), who partnered together for over twenty years in Springfield on WAQY “Rock 102”; Laura Carlo, who did mornings for more than 25 years on Boston classical WCRB; Nancy Quill, a 38-year veteran on Boston adult contemporary WMJX “Magic 106.7”; WCVB-TV, Boston journalist Jorge Quiroga; and broadcast executive Paul Kelley, the recipient of the 2022 “Pioneer Award.” Hall of Fame committee chair Peter Brown explains that award is given “to an individual who has distinguished himself/herself over decades for lasting contributions made to the broadcast industry and through a leadership role in his or her particular craft. The award was established to recognize individuals who do not appear on-air, but their role helped influence and inspire the Massachusetts broadcast community to reach a pinnacle of excellence.” The Hall of Fame ceremony will be held next Thursday (9/22) at the Boston Marriott Quincy Hotel.
Urban One Second Quarter Net Revenue Rises 10.4%. Reporting financial data for the second quarter of 2022, Urban One – parent company of Radio One – reveals net revenue of $118.8 million, an increase of 10.4 percent over the same period in 2021. Consolidated net income for Q2 of 2022 was $15.8 million, a decline of 14.4% from the same period in 2021. Urban One reports financial data for six separate segments including Radio Advertising ($44.5 million, up 4.5%), Digital Advertising ($17.8 million, up 19.1%), and Event Revenue ($1.1 million, up 2.3%). Urban One CEO and president Alfred Liggins III says, “We had a strong finish to Q2, driven by continued robust growth in digital and cable television advertising, both of which were up double digits. Our spot radio business outperformed the markets in which we operate by 230 Bps, and I was pleased with our overall 10.4% revenue growth, as a result of which we were able to post adjusted EBITDA growth of 6.1% y-o-y. Like other media businesses, we have experienced a slow-down in Q3, particularly in core radio which is currently pacing down low-to-mid single-digits. Given our diversified mix of assets, I still anticipate consolidated net revenues to grow in Q3, and we remain well positioned for political advertising later in the year. We will continue to be disciplined with capital allocation decisions and our cash position remains strong. We finished the quarter with net leverage below 4.0x, in line with our goal to continue to reduce leverage over time.”
Round Two of July PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s July 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s July 2022 sweep covered June 23 – July 20. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Washington, DC, Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP-FM adds six-tenths for a 7.4 share (weekly, 6+ AHQ share) finish but still falls back to the #8 rank, while Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM is flat at a 4.1 share and recedes to the #8 rank. Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM remains in first place in Seattle even after dropping six-tenths for a 6.7 share finish, while Lotus Communications’ crosstown all-news KNWN-AM/FM dips two-tenths to finish with a 3.1 share but stays locked in the #14 spot. In Minneapolis-St. Paul, Audacy’s news/talk WCCO adds three-tenths for a 4.4 share finish that boosts it to the #10 rank. Across town, Hubbard’s talk KTMY-FM falls two-tenths for a 3.3 share finish but stays ranked #13, while iHeartMedia’s news/talk KTLK-AM adds three-tenths to wrap with a 3.2 share good for the #14 rank. Hearst Television’s news/talk WBAL-AM leaps to the #10 rank after a 1.1 share increase gives it a 3.4 share finish as WCBM Maryland’s news/talk WCBM-AM sheds half a share for a 2.0 share finish good for the #15 rank. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as yesterday’s round one) here.
Premiere Networks Talk Hosts Front and Center at CPAC 2022. Pictured above (from l-r) at last weekend’s CPAC 2022 conference in Dallas are Premiere Networks talk radio hosts Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and Jesse Kelly. Hannity’s address to the attendees covered election integrity, the upcoming midterm elections, the importance of conservative principles and more. Shortly before former President Donald Trump closed out the convention with his keynote address, Glenn Beck took to the stage with a presentation titled, “American History: What You Don’t Know,” and Jesse Kelly entertained the crowd with a satirical skit in which he posed as a news anchor covering the latest headlines at a faux network.
‘ESPN Chicago’ to Present Inaugural ‘Football Fest.’ Sports talk outlet WMVP, Chicago “ESPN 1000” is presenting its first-ever “ESPN Chicago Football Fest” that will bring together the station’s personalities and special guests ESPN senior NFL Insider Adam Schefter and ESPN Fantasy Football expert Field Yates at the Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana on Saturday, August 20. Local personalities Tom Waddle, Marc Silverman, David Kaplan, Carmen DeFalco, Peggy Kusinski, Dionne Miller, Jonathan Hood, Chris Bleck, Adam Abdalla, and Jeff Meller will be at the event. Danny Zederman is content director for the Good Karma Brands station. He says, “Football Fest will be an amazing opportunity for ‘ESPN 1000’ fans to connect with our content team to kick off the 2022-2023 football season. Peggy and Dionne will be broadcasting live from the event, giving fans a front row seat to one of the station’s newest duos.”
Comscore Q2 2022 Net Revenue Up 4.3%. The second quarter financial report from digital media firm Comscore states net revenue for the period was $91.4 million, an increase of 4.3% over Q2 of 2021. The company reduced its net loss from Q2 2021 to Q2 2022 from $18.5 million to $5.1 million. Comscore CEO Jon Carpenter states, “I was honored to step into the CEO role in July and remain excited about the opportunity ahead for Comscore. This is a critical time for the industry, and we are committed and focused on delivering innovative products and solutions that our customers want and driving the growth and profitability our shareholders expect. The quarter highlights the momentum in our business, particularly in Cross Platform Solutions, which includes our growing local and national television businesses. While there is still work to be done, I am excited and energized about the opportunity ahead.”
TALKERS News Notes. Urban radio personality Angela Yee is leaving the WWPR, New York-based morning show “The Breakfast Club” after 12 years to launch her own midday program titled, “Way Up with Angela Yee” that will be syndicated via Premiere Networks. It will launch this fall and debut on more than 30 iHeartMedia stations. The company says the show “will feature the iconic personality in a fast-paced, listener interactive show, as she connects directly with listeners on the kinds of hot and timely topics in which she’s garnered trust over her decades on air – from relationships to Hip-Hop and R&B, headline news topics, and overall culture, both in and out of the music industry.”…..Audacy-owned podcast company C13Originals is partnering with Team Downey and Wink Pictures for “The Sunshine Place,” an investigative documentary podcast series examining Synanon, a former California-based experimental drug rehab facility and community that morphed into a dangerous and violent cult, led by its messianic founder Charles E. Diedrich. Cadence13 chief content officer Chris Corcoran states, “This is a story we were immediately drawn to and wanted to tell. It’s an honor to be able to tell incredible stories like this with such a great team in Susan, Robert, Emily, and Josh in collaboration with our brilliant C13Orginals creative team.”…..American Public Media Group announces that Barry Gisser is the organization’s new senior vice president and chief financial officer, succeeding Morris Goodwin who after eight years significantly increased the value of APMG’s endowment and led its investment strategy. Gisser’s first day at APMG will be September 6.
FBI Raids Mar-a-Lago/NYC Deposition, Primaries/2024 Race, The Economy, Biden Health & Climate Bill, China’s Taiwan Threats, Russia-Ukraine War, and Serena Williams Announces Retirement Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/9). The FBI’s raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago offices and his scheduled deposition by New York AG Letitia James; Tuesday’s primary races for the November midterms and speculation about the nominees for the 2024 presidential race; the high rate of inflation and concerns about a recession; the Inflation Reduction Act that affects health care, taxes, and climate incentives; China’s ramped-up military exercises around Taiwan; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine; and tennis great Serena Williams announces her plans to retire from the sport were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.