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Monday, June 22, 2020

| June 22, 2020

Monday Memo: ‘Mainstream Media’ Redefined.  “For several decades,” consultant Holland Cooke reckons, “the term has been weaponized, first by scrappy fringe voices railing against legacy networks and newspapers; more recently by FOX News Channel and Rush Limbaugh,” which Cooke finds “ironic, since ratings qualify them as ‘mainstream.’” Now, as Spotify pays former “Fear Factor” host and MMA commentator Joe Rogan a reported hundred million dollars to distribute his podcast, The New York Times pronounces him “the new Mainstream Media.” And after a bystander’s smartphone captured the George Floyd killing, Cooke asks, “Are not We The People now ‘Mainstream Media?’”  In special segment on his TV show, Cooke and TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison discuss how the publisher/consumer balance of power has shifted, even during the pandemic. To view the segment, please click here. To read Holland Cooke’s entire column, please click here.

Pending Business: Creative Always Counts. Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes in today’s column that “when it comes to selling a personality live read, audience size often takes a back seat. The power of personality reads is based on the trust the audience has in your on-air talent. The trust between them is real because your on-air talent earns that trust with every show. Until you see it at work for your advertisers, you will never truly understand the sell.” Read his entire column here.

NRG Media Names Allyson Hillman Market Manager for Waterloo, Iowa. Radio management pro Allyson Hillman is named market manager for NRG Media’s Waterloo, Iowa cluster that includes news/talk KXEL-AM, rock KFMW-FM, classic hits KOKZ-FM, and classic country KPTY-AM/FM. NRG Media president and CEO Mary Quass says, “We are thrilled to have Allyson join NRG. She brings extensive experience in management and sales to the market. She understands the importance of NRG’s mission to provide great local radio. We are confident with Allyson’s belief that success comes from a positive culture and strength development that she will continue to develop innovative strategies for the market while providing great local radio.”

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2020 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk. The weekly, 6+ AQH shares for news/talk stations in our panel are largely coming back down after skyrocketing during the April 2020 PPM survey. Comparing April to May, 65% of news/talk stations regressed while just 24% of news/talk stations improved. Gainers were led by Cumulus Media’s KMBZ-FM, Kansas City (+1.4, 6.8 share) and iHeartMedia’s WKRC, Cincinnati (+0.8, 4.3 share). A year-over-year comparison shows 65% of stations improve while 24% of news/talk stations decline. Stations improving most since May of 2019 include Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta (+4.8, 11.1 share), Cumulus Media’s WMAL-AM/FM, Washington (+4.1, 9.3 share) and iHeartMedia’s WTVN, Columbus (+4.0, 9.0 share). During the May 2020 survey, six news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets. See the complete report here.

Pittsburgh Play-By-Play Talent Charged with DUI. Radio play-by-play personality Bill Hillgrove has been charged with DUI in Murrysville, Pennsylvania after driving his car through a grocery store’s plate-glass windows. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Hillgrove – the announcer for Pittsburgh Steelers and University of Pittsburgh Panthers football games – went into the store to fill a prescription after hitting the building and drove home in his damaged car. Authorities found him there and arrested him after he failed a preliminary breath test.

Trump Tulsa Rally, NY Prosecutor Fired, Bolton Book, Re-Opening of America/COVID-19 Stats, Police Defunding Debate, Presidential Race, and Deadly UK Stabbing Attack Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Saturday’s Trump campaign rally at Tulsa’s BOK Center; Southern District of New York prosecutor Geoffrey Berman is fired by President Trump; the controversy over the tell-all book by former national security adviser John Bolton; states across the country continue re-opening their economies and the COVID-19 statistics and projections; the debate over protestors’ defund the police demands; the presidential race; and the stabbing in England that took the lives of three and is being investigated as a terrorist attack were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Larry Elder Premieres New Film UNCLE TOM: An Oral History of the American Black Conservative. Pictured above is Salem Radio Network talk host Larry Elder (at center, waving) acknowledging a standing ovation at the Dallas premiere of his new documentary film, UNCLE TOM: An Oral History of the American Black Conservative. Elder is executive producer of the film that explores the personal journeys of black conservatives. Attendees at the premiere included former U.S. Congressman Allen West, 2012 presidential candidate Herman Cain, and media personalities, ministers and civil rights activists. SRN V.P. news & talk Tom Tradup says the film is “a groundbreaking documentary that examines self-empowerment and individualism of black conservatives in a compelling, eye-opening perspective.” Elder will talk about the film on FOX News Channel this evening (6/22) when he’s interviewed on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

Independent Broadcasters Association Momentum Growing. The movement to create the Independent Broadcasters Association (IBA) is continuing to grow and is approaching its stated goal of 3,000 member stations. The IBA announces that an additional 600 outlets have joined during the past week. The movement was launched by Adams Radio Group CEO Ron Stone when he reached out to 4,000 radio stations gauging their interest in the association. Stone says, “The momentum we are seeing is incredible. We are now up to 424 owners and operators and 2,395 stations. It takes time to build any organization as we all know. To see this kind of growth every week it screams volumes of how much independents need the help this association can deliver. We are going to hit our goal for sure… and very few independents will shy away once the organization is formed and they realize the benefits. It would not surprise me to ultimately have most of the 7,000 independents participating. Our future is in our own hands and we have to make the right choices now.” Stone says benefits of membership in the organization could include: Group Employee Benefits – better coverage and lower prices, and potentially add additional benefits for our employees; Revenue Generation – An unwired network & digital platform supported by a national sales team to monetize for us; Digital Services Group – This would enable continuity across independent stations giving us the opportunity to accomplish double digit digital revenue through Web, Mobile, Alexa, & Streaming; Shared Resources – A system that allows sharing of that talent in non-competitive situations and reduces our dependence on national syndication that requires cash, barter and sometimes both; and Proprietary Systems and Services – Under the umbrella of a member owned association, we can create proprietary systems that we control and eliminate some of the costly monthly per station fees for traffic, accounting, CRM, Yield Management, even automation and music scheduling. Interested stations can visit the IBA website here.

QGoLive RV Radio Road Trip Seeks Affiliate Stations. The RV pictured above is the vehicle QGoLive’s James Copeland is using to tour the country visiting radio stations offering demos of the QGoLive software that enables studio-quality audio from anywhere on any smartphone or computer. AdLarge Media is serving as affiliate sales rep for the service and it notes that QGoLive is already serving more than 100 stations around the country and recently added affiliates such as Cenla Broadcasting of Alexandria, Louisiana; Jam Media; and classic hits WATH-AM and CHR WXTQ-FM, Athens, Ohio. AdLarge’s Jessica Sherman says, “Our QGoLive team are experts in remote broadcasting software. James is on the road to get the word out and to help all operators, large and small, equip their entire team and contributors with remote capabilities. The pandemic has taught us all that radio needs easy solutions for broadcasting from home that sounds great. QGoLive delivers just that, but we can be so much more as broadcasters open up to our new reality”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On Saturday, June 27, Global Citizen and the European Commission will present “Global Goal: Unite for Our Future – The Concert” hosted by Dwayne Johnson and featuring performances by Shakira, Coldplay, Usher, Jennifer Hudson, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber and Quavo, J Balvin, Chloe x Halle, Yemi Alade, and Christine and the Queens. The concert will air on 150 iHeartMedia radio stations as well as on the iHeartRadio app. The purpose of the event is to “combat the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on marginalized communities and to call on world leaders to make COVID-19 tests, therapeutics and vaccines available for everyone, everywhere.”…..Bonneville’s classic rock KUFX, San Jose “98.5 KFOX” officially announces its new morning show “San Jose’s Great Radio Experiment” featuring Joey V, Chris Jackson, and Karina Farias. Station director of programming operations Brian Figula says, “Congratulations to Chris Jackson, celebrating 30 years of rock radio excellence on KFOX.  Joey, Chris and Karina’s unique chemistry has already resonated with rock fans all over the South Bay.”…..Reach Media nationally syndicated radio host D.L. Hughley is in quarantine in Nashville after passing out on stage during a performance. While being treated, Hughley was tested for COVID-19 and the result was positive. Hughley said via social media that he was asymptomatic….. Beasley Media Group Detroit radio personalities Mason and Angie Star (WDMK “105.9 KISS-FM), Gello (WMGC “105.1 The Bounce”) and Randi Myles from “The Detroit Praise Network” are hosting a Zoom conference call with community leaders to discuss ways to bridge the gap between residents and the police department to create “Solutions Not Slogans.” The event will take place on Thursday (6/25) at 7:00 pm and will feature Detroit Police Chief James Craig, Washtenaw Sheriff Jerry Clayton, Detroit City Councilwoman Mary Shiefield, Inkster Mayor Patrick Wimberly, and Southfield Police Chief Elvin Barren.

Monday Memo: ‘Mainstream Media’ Redefined

| June 22, 2020

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — For several decades, the term “Mainstream Media” has been weaponized, first by scrappy fringe voices railing against legacy networks and newspapers; more recently by FOX News Channel and Rush Limbaugh…ironic, since ratings qualify them as “mainstream.” But never has the obsolescence of the term been more painfully obvious than lately, especially during the George Floyd episode.

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Wading Across the Widening Mainstream

| June 23, 2017

By Michael Harrison
TALKERS
Publisher

 

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Despite the massive free publicity generated by Megyn Kelly’s recent Sunday night interview with Alex Jones on NBC, network heads were disappointed – even stunned – by the show’s lousy ratings.  It was soundly beaten by a rerun of “60 Minutes,” which was, in turn, trounced by a rerun of “America’s Funniest Home Videos.”

No surprises here.  And don’t pin the blame on Kelly.  She’s the total package – brains, beauty and… balls!   But she isn’t operating on the same playing field that made Barbara Walters a household name in her day.

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Friday, June 23, 2017

| June 23, 2017

WCBS-AM to Celebrate ‘A Night of New York Stories.’ All-news WCBS-AM, New York “Newsradio 880AM” is presenting an event at the PlayStation Theater in Times Square titled, “Celebrating 50 Years of News: A Night of New York Stories,” on August 8.  It will be hosted by the station’s Wayne Cabot and Alex Silverman and will celebrate the station’s 50th anniversary by bringing together some of New York’s most notable names in news, politics, sports and entertainment.  The evening will close with a special interview and song performance by legendary singer Tony BennettCBS RADIO New York SVP and market manager Marc Rayfield says, “‘Newsradio 880’ is a trusted New York City news outlet with a rich history and legacy of delivering up-to-the-minute news.  We are proud to be a part of the fabric of New York and will continue to tell the stories of the people, places and happenings from all around this great city.  This special night is a chance to gather with listeners, station personalities and prominent figures to celebrate what the station has meant for the past 50 years and will continue to mean well into the future.”  Additional station personalities taking part include: Craig Allen, Joe Connolly, Pat Farnack, Brad Heller, Tom Kaminski, Paul Murnane, Steve Scott and Michael Wallace.  Among the special guests sharing their New York stories on stage will be Jeff Fager and Lesley Stahl (60 Minutes), former New York Giants co-captain George Martin, “Late Show with David Letterman” bandleader Paul Shaffer, and former New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine.

Capitol Broadcasting Renews ‘The Sports Shop with Reese & Kmac.’ WDNC, Raleigh-Durham “The Buzz” extends its deal with morning drive personalities Erroll Reese and Kevin McClendon for the duo to continue to host “The Sports Shop with Reese & Kmac” for another year.  Reese and Kmac call their show “urban sports radio” and the station says it is one of the few sports radio morning shows in the country co-hosted by two African-Americans.  Capitol Broadcasting sports radio operations manager/program director Dennis Glasgow comments, “We’re very pleased to give a local voice to all our morning sports radio listeners in Raleigh-Durham, but it’s clear that this diverse show we’ve assembled is giving the listener something different, entertaining and just plain fun every day with Reese and Kmac on Buzz Sports Radio.”

TALKERS News Notes. The host of the radio legal feature “Looking at the Law” is signing off after 42 years of hosting duties.  Neil Chayet announces he’s retiring from producing the feature that he and WBZ, Boston have been creating and syndicating across the country.  He comments, “While there is an endless supply of court cases and material to continue ‘Looking at the Law’ for years to come, I feel that 42 years is the right number for me and it leaves more time to continue the other passions I’ve worked on tirelessly over the years.”  WBZ director of news & programming Peter Casey adds, “You can hear an audible chuckle coming from cars all over New England as they listen to Neil on WBZ.”…..Midroll Media announces three new staffing additions.  Amy Fitzgibbons joins Midroll as vice president of marketing.  Laura Mayer is the new executive producer, and David Murray becomes vice president of finance and strategy. Fitzgibbons was most recently VP of marketing at PhotoShelter.  Mayer was in the podcast production department at Panoply, and Murray moves to Midroll from parent company E.W. Scripps where he was finance business partner…..Program host Kevin McCullough announces that the “Saturday SuperCast Radio Night LIVE!” is now airing on Salem Media Group’s KPXQ, Phoenix starting this weekend…..The NHL’s Boston Bruins and CBS RADIO Boston ink a multi-year extension for sports WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” to continue serving as the flagship radio station for play-by-play.  The Bruins have been with CBS Boston since they started airing on all-news WBZ-AM for the 1995-96 season…..Radio Vermont Group owner Ken Squier confirms to Vermont alternative weekly Seven Days that his stations are for sale.  Squier says he is looking to sell to an operator who will continue his family’s tradition of local programming.  Radio Vermont was launched by Squier’s father Lloyd with WDEV-AM, Waterbury (currently news/talk/sports) in 1931.  The company also operates classic hits WCVT, Stowe “101 The One” and country WLVB, Morrisville…..Westwood One nationally syndicated talk show host Mark Levin publishes his fifth book – this one titled, Rediscovering Americanism and the Tyranny of Progressivism (Threshold Editions 2017).  He tells the Washington Examiner, “My new book covers a lot of territory — philosophy, history, economics, law, culture, etc.  And I look deeply into what is meant by Americanism, republicanism, individualism, capitalism.  What do we mean by natural law, unalienable rights, liberty, and property rights?  From where do these principles come?  Why are they important?”

Trump-Russia Investigation Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 19-23. The special counsel investigation into possible ties between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was testimony by former Homeland Secretary Jeh Johnson and others about Russia’s attempts to hack the U.S. presidential election.  Coming in at #3 was the unveiling of the GOP health care plan, followed by the Georgia congressional race won by Karen Handel at #4.  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.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Mike Carruthers to Present Another in Series of Free Online Podcasting Workshops on Wednesday, June 28 at 1:00 pm ET.  Following the success of his recent podcasting webinar presented in conjunction with TALKERS magazine, noted broadcaster Mike Carruthers of Perfect Your Podcast will be presenting another free online podcasting workshop titled, “The 3 Essential Ingredients for a Successful Podcast.”  The workshop is designed to give instruction and guidance to broadcasters interested in expanding their programming and brand into the podcasting realm focusing on the steps necessary to gain traction in terms of increased listenership and revenue generating potential.  Carruthers is well known in radio for the many years of success he enjoyed as producer and host of the syndicated, short-form series, “Something You Should Know,” – now a long-form, lucrative hit on the iTunes chart as a podcast.  Carruthers tells TALKERS, “It is amazing how many people WANT to start a podcast – but never quite pull the trigger.  There are a lot of reasons why, but mostly it boils down to a lack of confidence, fear of having too much to learn, not knowing where to begin, and concern about the amount of time it can consume.  This workshop will greatly help to alleviate these issues.”  The free online workshop will take place this coming Wednesday, June 28 at 1:00 pm ET.  Space is limited, so those interested in participating should register now.  For more information and to register, please click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Punk legend and KLOS, Los Angeles disc jockey Steve Jones is receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  Cumulus Media notes that the host of KLOS’ “Jonesy’s Jukebox” program and guitarist for the Sex Pistols and Iggy Pop is recognized on Rolling Stone’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.”  He’s also the only radio personality to be honored with a star for the Walk of Fame Class of 2018…..Cumulus Media’s Detroit hot AC WDVD signs morning personality Blaine Fowler to a long-term contract extension.  “The Blaine Fowler Morning Show” has been heard on the station since 2003.  Cumulus Detroit director of FM programming Robby Bridges says, “Blaine and Lauren [Crocker] both are special talents and I’m thrilled they’ll make their magic on Detroit’s 96-3 WDVD for a long time to come.”…..Adams Radio Group announces some personnel changes in the Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland market.  Active rock WZBH “93.5 The Beach” program director Johnny Maze assumes the afternoon drive slot on the station, exiting his PM gig at sister classic rocker WGBG “BIG 98.5.”  Joining WZBH from the company’s Las Cruces, New Mexico operations is Carolina, who is named music director and midday personality.  She takes over for Leah Rantz, who recently joined Saga’s alternative WLZX, Springfield, Massachusetts.

PPM Analysis: Adult Hits. Managing editor Mike Kinosian turns to music formats for the third of his four-part series looking at the performances of radio stations based on data from the May 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, today looking at adult hits.  In analyzing 6+ performances comparing May 2016 to May 2017, he writes, “One of every two adult hits stations on this sample improve (50%) year-to-year; 40% decline; and 10% are flat.”  WQSR, Baltimore; WARH, St. Louis; and KJAQ, Seattle all rise more than a full share, year-over-year.  KBPA, Austin is the only adult hits station in a PPM market to rank #1 in the May survey.  See the rest of the data here.

Talk Radio, Recalibrated for The Trump Era?

| January 17, 2017

By Holland Cooke
Media Consultant

 

cookewriterBLOCK ISLAND, RI — Radio’s top format now pivots, as the 2016 vote shoulders conservative talkers with the “mainstream media” mantle they have relentlessly disdained.

Positioning as fringe always seemed dubious, while station reps were touting radio as the #1 reach medium.  So take the win.  It’s a face-saving opportunity to tell listeners (and advertisers) things are good now.  There’s a psychological component to recession, and historically, we’re overdue for one.

In my December newsletter, I offered a format forecast for talk radio.  If you missed the download TALKERS offered then, help yourself at HollandCooke.com.  No login or email required.  On the home page, scroll down to “Voices Radio Will Miss in 2017.”  As we prepare to witness history this week, an update…

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