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Analysis: More Hivio Highlights

| June 7, 2016

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

 

kinosianlgLOS ANGELES — The third and final installment of our recap of last week’s Hivio 2016 conference sums up three of the 17 sessions presented Thursday (6/2) and Friday (6/3) on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip, literally steps away from the famous Comedy Store.  Most of the agenda featured one-on-one interviews conducted by event co-organizer Mark Ramsey, who declares, “Contests on radio are pathetic.” The “attraction to listen,” he notes, is “a one in a million chance to win something.” That incentive to listen, Ramsey stresses, “makes no sense” and the San Diego-based media advisor-strategist/research analyst seamlessly utilizes that statement to introduce Omaze co-founder/co-chief executive officer Ryan Cummins, who Ramsey comments has a “different – better – way [that] will change the way you view contesting.”

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Analysis: Hivio 2016 Day 2

| June 6, 2016

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

 

kinosianlgLOS ANGELES — After presenting a full slate of activity Thursday afternoon (6/2), San Diego-based media advisor-strategist/research analyst Mark Ramsey returned the following morning (Friday, 6/3) with another packed schedule as part of Hivio 2016. Kicking things off was a one-on-one discussion with Panoply Media chief content officer Andy Bowers, who has been working on Slate podcasts since 2005. The former, 14-year NPR correspondent joined Slate in April 2003 when it was working on various internet projects. “By magazine standards, we jumped in pretty early,” he recalls. “It proved to be one of the most popular things Slate did.” By 2014, they realized other magazines would most likelybowersandy get into the business as well and Bowers opines, “We could either compete [against them] or we could try to form a network and help teach them what we had learned.” That was the idea behind Panoply, a full-service podcast network that “connects sophisticated listeners with top publishers and thinkers,” which was started approximately 16 months ago. “We are trying to be a ‘one-stop shop’ for media brands, authors, and people we think should be doing a podcast,” Bowers told Ramsey.

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Analysis: Hivio 2016 Conference

| June 3, 2016

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

 

kinosianlgLOS ANGELES — “Radio isn’t radio; radio is life.”  Noted international talk radio consultant Valerie Geller stressed that point yesterday (6/2) during the kickoff of the two-day Hivio confab in Los Angeles.  The “labor of love” event organized by San Diego-based media advisor-strategist/research analyst Mark Ramsey and Slacker Radio director/content initiatives Jaime Solis concludes today (6/3).

Ten people – including Geller – were interviewed in one-on-one “Q&A” sessions with Ramsey, or they madegellervalerie individual presentations. Emphasizing that on-air talents and podcasters are all in the story business, Geller states, “It is all about how to powerfully communicate your story. The real secret is how does it matter to you?” She reasons that, if the talent does not care, there is no reason to think the audience will either. “You are an actor playing the part,” she remarks. “Radio – audio – is magical – you are in someone’s head.”

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Friday, June 3, 2016

| June 3, 2016

kornheisertonyKornheiser to End Long Run on WTEM, Washington.  Sports media personality Tony Kornheiser is announcing he’s exiting his midday talk show on Red Zebra Broadcasting’s WTEM, Washington “ESPN 980.”  Kornheiser was part of the sports talk outlet’s original lineup when the station debuted in 1992.   In a statement, Kornheiser says, “I have loved every minute on the radio at WTEM.  But I felt it was time to pursue a new and appealing challenge.  I will be launching a podcast this September.  I am excited that this endeavor will allow me to continue to work with so many of the people who have been a part of my radio show for over the past 20 years.  But I will miss all of my friends and colleagues at WTEM.”  Kornheiser’s final show will air later this month and WTEM will announce his replacement at a later date.

rickardsreeseiHeartMedia Grand Rapids Eliminates Reese Rickards WOOD News Director Role.  As reported by MLive.com, longtime Grand Rapids radio personality Reese Rickards has been let go by iHeartMedia after 24 years in the market.  Rickards was a high-profile morning personality (along with Neal Dionne) on country WBCT “B93.7” until being named news director at news/talk WOOD in 2014.

hivio16imageHivio 2016 – Day One Coverage.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian is in Los Angeles at the Andaz Hotel covering the Hivio 2016 conference organized and presented by San Diego-based media advisor-strategist/research analyst Mark Ramsey and Slacker Radio director/content initiatives Jaime Solis.  Among the media experts Ramsey interviewed during Thursday’s day one of the two-day event were radio consultant Valerie Geller and Pandora SVP of ad product sales & strategy Lizzie Widhelm.  Geller explained to attendees that whether one is doing on-air radio or a podcast, “It is all about how to powerfully communicate your story.  The real secret is: How does it matter to you?”  Interestingly, what Pandora is trying to achieve is what AM/FM radio has going for it: ease of use.  Widhelm said, “Discovery, ease of use, and personalization have to be in the DNA of everything we do.  Pandora lovers want to stay on the platform: It is easy; it is in your pocket; and it is an app that is integrated in cars and homes. We want things to be frictionless.”  Read more of Kinosian’s report here.

talkersten logoThe Presidential Race and Clinton Email Case Top Talkers TenTM for Week of May 30-June 3.  The most-talked-about topic discussed on news/talk radio this week was the presidential race.  Following close behind at #2 was the Hillary Clinton email case.  At #3 was the euthanizing of a rare gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo because a child had entered the animal’s enclosure.  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.

Odds & Sods.  Minneapolis morning drive personality Jason Matheson is getting a four-week test run of his dailymathesonjason “The Jason Show” television program on three stations outside the Twin Cities market.  Matheson co-hosts the morning drive show on Hubbard Radio’s female-targeted talk station KTMY, Minneapolis “myTalk 107.1” with Alexis Thompson.  His TV show is produced by Fox Television’s KMSP-TV.  During the test it will also air on KTTV, Los Angeles; KDFW-TV, Dallas; and KSAZ-TV, cosbyritaPhoenix…..Former Mexican president Vincente Fox appears on WABC, New York on “Election Central with Rita Cosby.”  During the conversation, Fox said he’d like to have an “official debate” between him and Donald Trump.  Fox told Cosby the debate would serve the purpose of having Trump “listen to our arguments” about the economy, jobs, the value of Mexico, his views on the wall, and more…..There’s a new baseball show on ESPN O&O WEPN, New York “ESPN New York 98.7” called “Balls & Strikes with Matthews and Rubin.”  The show promises “the most complete baseball show in New York, bar none,” with hosts Wallace Matthews and Adam Rubin each Sunday from 7:00 am to 9:00 am…..Salem Media Group is announcing it is paying a quarterly dividend of $0.065 per share payable June 30 for shareholders of record as of June 16.….Minnesota Public Radio staffers voted to join SAG-AFTRA.  The new bargaining unit will cover the public media professionals who create content for MPR News, American Radio Works, and the newly formedkantzkelly Investigative Unit.  This election allows them to move forward to negotiate a first contract…..Centerpost Limited – the parent company to Youtoo America, BizTV and BizTalkRadio – announces the hiring of Kelly Kantz as vice president of programming.  Kantz was most recently SVP of programming sales for Rural Media Group – parent company of RFD-TV, FamilyNet and Rural Radio.

podcastone bStuttering John Launches Show on PodcastOne.  Comedian, longtime Howard Stern show personality and former “Tonight Show” emcee John Melendez, a.k.a. Stuttering John, launches a new podcast on the PodcastOne platform.  PodcastOne says on this show, Melendez “delivers his daring style with celebrity interviews, in addition to his funny banter with comedians, rock stars and politicians on any topic that comes to mind.  Throughout the series, Melendez will discuss, in depth, his life after divorce, bizarre online dating experiences and untold stories from behind the scenes of the Howard Stern show and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”  In the first episode, he speaks about making up with Stern after a very public rift.  The first show also features an interview with Howie Mandell.

ufcUnfilteredUFC Partners with DGital Media for Podcast Series.  Global sports brand UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) and DGital Media are working together to produce and monetize an exclusive, on-demand audio series called, “UFC Unfiltered with Jim Norton and Matt Serra.”  The program will be hosted by veteran comedian Jim Norton and former UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra.  UFC says that, effective June 21, it will publish two episodes per week, available each Tuesday and Thursday on-demand via multiple outlets and apps, including UFC.com, iTunes, GooglePlay, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn and others.  DGital Media chief content officer Chris Corcoran comments, “There is no fan base that craves and consumes insider content more than the loyal followers of UFC, and we feel this new partnership will help bring them even closer to the athletes and stories they love.”

Sunday, June 7, 2015

| June 7, 2015

Mike Agovino“Back to the Future” Moments for PodcastOne’s Agovino. As part of his “weird-new” role as PodcastOne executive vice chair, Mike Agovino is discovering more “differences” in the podcast marketplace than “commonalities” to challenges encountered the last ten years by digital music and broadcast streaming entities. “It is much less about the science of advertising and it is much more about the art of advertising,” he remarks to Mark Ramsey Media president Mark Ramsey in a 30-minute, one-on-one interview during this past week’s hivio 2015 conference. Having spent ten years inside Triton Digital as its chief operating officer, Agovino recounts that the company had “an ad platform, a content delivery network, and it built apps for people. With hundreds of brand names across the canvass, there is a very scientific approach to connecting the right ad to the right person at the right time to create some kind of results,” he declares. “It is so much ‘science’ that, if you live in it long enough, you lose your feel for the ‘art.'” Approximately 27 years ago, self-described Howard Stern “freak” Agovino was living in New York and faithfully listened to the fabled morning man every day. When it was time for the former president of Katz Radio and ex-chief operating officer of Clear Channel Radio Sales to lease a new car, he drove 15 miles out of his way to the Long Island dealership for which Stern regularly voiced a paid endorsement. “That was me saying ‘thank-you’ to Howard,” Agovino emphasizes. “It was not me necessarily wanting” to give that particular establishment the business but “it was me giving appreciation to Howard for all the laughs.” Stern’s “influence” over Agovino to sign the car lease was considerable and as he hastens to add, that meant he had to drive that extra 30-mile (roundtrip) distance “forPodcastOne every service visit” for a three-year period. “It is love for a show,” Agovino insists. “That was not part of my last ten years but it is very much part of what we do at PodcastOne, so it is “back to the future.’ It is digital media, but it is one-to-one and back to the art form of what made me fall in love with radio advertising.” When Agovino gets together with his former Katz co-workers, he points out there is considerable laughter. “We enjoy what we went through back then and we talk about how much fun the business was. More times than not, when you get in a discussion with someone you have known for 25 – 30 years in the audio business, the closer you get to the present moment in the discussion, the less fun you will be having. That sucks for all of us and it is unfortunate.” He has, however, rediscovered the ‘art’ piece of the business and Agovino did not realize how much he missed it. What he has found to become important on the podcast side is that, “It is almost less about targeting a listener and more about making sure you have a great match of product to host. When you try to apply the science of audio impressions to what is happening right now in podcasting, none of the numbers work. They do not make any sense because … there are no rules. We might say to someone who is the right match with the right host we won’t let anyone else in because the credibility of this voice speaking about your brand will last as long as we can continue to make the acquisition of customers in that model an efficient thing for you.” PodcastOne is looking at having its hosts talk about an advertiser a minimum of two minutes throughout the course of an hour without, as Agovino explains, “doing it more than ten seconds at any point – and there is no copy. It has to start from a place of authenticity. The host has to ‘buy-into’ the product or you move onto the next host because it is not going to work for the long haul.” One of the “most traumatic” days in Agovino’s radio sales career occurred when his rep firm lost WMAL, Washington, D.C. but picked up cross-town WTOP the same day. For years, he had been proudly touting WMAL as “the voice of news” in the nation’s capital. “If you approach this with deep sincerity,” he remarks, “it is difficult” to suddenly knock on doors, talking up what had been the competition. “Traditional” ratings metrics, Agovino opines, will not matter that much in this space, although he concedes, “They will happen” and they are “easy enough to produce.” Much more important will be “attribution metrics and convergent metrics. There are many ways to analyze how a particular show produces results within a specific category.” The most recent stats Agovino has seen indicate there are 21.3 million hours of podcasting listening a day. “It is hard to know how big the universe is and how big a piece of that universe you have,” he mentions. A different economic model exists in podcasting since, as Agovino explains, “For the most part, the hosts are taking risks with you and they hivio 2015are not getting guaranteed seven-figure annual checks: We are in this together.” He suggests, “If you have a talent who has influence and impact on a ‘tribe,’ figure out a way to [do a podcast], but you cannot do what you did with streaming. You cannot move it over to digital and expect it to work. This is an infinite dial with niches and sub-niches. Expansion of shows will be tremendous. Things that we are doing and bringing up are ‘kid-in-a-candy store’ stuff for me.”

Richard LaemerPublic Relations Maven Defines “GMOOT.” After working as public relations director at the Columbia Business School, Richard Laermer founded RLM PR in 1991. He was among the participants at Los Angeles’ hivio 2015 seminar who maintains the audio world is in a state of flux. “Many brands underestimate their audience,” Laermer notes to Mark Ramsey Media president Mark Ramsey in a one-on-one interview. “There is no sense of teasing-out the information about that brand, starting with something small; building upon it; and getting people excited about it.” Referring to Google as the “ultimate PR player, author-media trainer-blogger Laermer states, “They have built upon one message, which is the democratization of everything – even their missteps have always been messaged as the democratization of ‘X,’ ‘Y,’ or ‘Z.’ I respect that a great deal.” One major problem with brands is that everything is short-lived. “In the PR and advertising world, we refer to it as ‘GMOOT,'” Laermer points out of the “Get Me One Of Those” acronym. People who stand behind things “get ahead much faster,” he states. “That seems like common sense but as Aristotle said, ‘There is nothing common about common sense.’ Every single person we interact with – regardless of age – is looking for something to talk about and something to report. If we are consistent, we have the ability to give them that.” It is Laermer’s contention that “public figures” such as on-air personalities and podcasters need to convey what they stand for, “what they believe in, and what they are certain about” because,RLM PR Logo “These are things that people actually care about. People do want to know what a ‘personality’ thinks about ‘the issues.’ In the land of the tease, you want to be certain that people will come back for more.” Advising that, “It cannot be about the technology,” Laermer states, “It has to be about who are you and what you are putting out there.” Featuring 11 Ramsey-conducted interviews and five presentations, the two-day hivio 2015 conference was held Thursday (6/4) and Friday (6/5) at Hollywood comedy club The Improv.