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Monday, October 4, 2021

| October 4, 2021

Monday Memo: Copy Worth Copying, Part 3. Consultant Holland Cooke quips, “I’m a consultant. If you steal from me, you’ve stolen twice!’ And in this week’s column, he invites you to “emulate success” by passing along effective commercial copy points he’s squirreled-away. “Describe your advertisers – and your station, in promos – THIS well,” and HC says, “you’ll DO well.” Read it here.

 

Pending Business: Fake it ‘Till You Make it. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column about “what happens when sellers go through their daily routine and focus on activities with no results? The daily no-results activity grind hides honest evaluation of performance and suddenly imaginary appointments fill the call report schedule.” He says that “as we move through the final quarter of 2021 and start the 2022 selling process, [sellers must] be honest with themselves about their 2021 performance and income.” He offers some simple questions to ask yourself in order to find that positive attitude that radio sales requires. Read it here.

WOSH-AM, Oshkosh Adds FM Translator. Oshkosh, Wisconsin news/talk outlet WOSK-AM adds an FM translator to its 1490 AM signal. Cumulus Media announces that W230DB at 93.9 FM went live this morning at 7:00 am local time during the “WOSH Morning News with Phil Cianciola” program. Cumulus Appleton-Oshkosh vice president and market manager John W. Rowe states, “This is an exciting day for local radio and for the Oshkosh, Wisconsin market. We are thrilled to continue the tradition of great local programming now on the FM dial.” WOSH program director Steve Edwards adds, “The proud history of 1490 WOSH continues with the addition of 93.9 on FM. This will expand the reach of WOSH into the homes and businesses of conservative news/talk consumers.”

Hurley in the Morning Charity Gala Raises $75,000. Pictured above at the 12th Annual Hurley in the Morning Charity Gala and Silent Auction at the Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City in Friday (10/1) are (from l-r): president of sports and entertainment for Mohegan Gaming Entertainment Tom Cantone, singer Tony Orlando, WPG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley, and actor and singer Gianni Russo. The event raised $75,000 with more money still coming in. Hurley says, “It was like a dream come true. We had 215 amazing people gather and celebrate Tom Cantone’s remarkable life and career. It was a magical evening.”

TALKERS News Notes. Progressive talk media personality Stephanie Miller announces that her “Sexy Liberal Survivors’ Tour” will do a one-show-only performance at the Barrymore Theater in Madison, Wisconsin. The show will feature Miller and her fellow comics Hal Sparks, Frangela, and John Fugelsang on Saturday, October 23 at 8:00 pm. Miller is making it possible for fans outside of Madison to see the show live via pay-per-view through MeetHook…..Conservative podcast platform Ricochet announces that Alex Rosenwald joins the company as vice president of marketing and community. Rosenwald was most recently senior director of strategic communications and branding for MediaDC, in which he led public relations efforts for the Washington Examiner, and formerly, the Weekly Standard and Red Alert Politics. Ricochet co-founder Rob Long says, “We’re excited to have Alex join the Ricochet team and turn his talents to our growing membership and audio-on-demand business. We’re a small operation with a large reach — over 4 million downloads per month across the network — and we’re thrilled to have Alex’s energy and know-how on board.”

FEMA and WBZ-AM, Boston to Unveil New Emergency Broadcast Studio. On Friday, October 15, FEMA and iHeartMedia Boston will host the unveiling of an all-hazards upgrade to the “Primary Entry Point” facility at WBZ NewsRadio 1030. The modernization to the emergency studio increases iHeartMedia’s WBZ NewsRadio 1030 Boston’s resiliency to continue broadcasting under all conditions, including natural disasters and acts of terrorism. This facility is one of 77 across the country that serve as a National Public Warning System Primary Entry Point (PEP) station, participating with FEMA to provide emergency alert and warning information to the public before, during and after incidents and disasters. WBZ is the 13th station in the country to work with FEMA to complete the all-hazards upgrade, which includes increased sheltering capabilities, expanded broadcast capacity, and sustainable power generation for all types of hazardous events. The event will include a tour of the facility and a live demonstration at the WBZ PEP station emergency studio in Hull, Massachusetts.

Biden Spending Bills/Rift Among Democrats, COVID-19, Supreme Court Agenda, Facebook ‘Whistleblower,’ California Oil Spill, and Pandora Papers Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Debate in congress over President Joe Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan and his $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill and the fracture of Democratic solidarity on the bills; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., debate over boosters, mask & vaccine mandates; the Supreme Court’s session begins with abortion, guns, and religious liberty on the docket; Facebook “whistleblower” Frances Haugen appears on “60 Minutes” and says the company emphasizes profit over public safety; a pipeline breach off the coast of Southern California puts more than 120,000 gallons of crude into the sea; and the “Pandora Papers” data leak that shows where global elite hide their money were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

| August 17, 2021

Ramsey Solutions’ Film Borrowed Future Debuts on October 14. The first documentary film from Ramsey Solutions will premiere on digital platforms on October 14. Titled, “Borrowed Future: How Student Loan Debt Is Killing the American Dream,” and produced by Dave Ramsey, it “uncovers the dark side of the student loan industry, exposes how it’s built to work against the 45 million Americans currently in debt for their education, and shows that it’s possible to beat the student loan system.” The film is directed by David DiCicco and features experts such as Seth Godin, Dave Ramsey, Seth Frotman, Kristina Ellis, Dr. John Delony and Anthony ONeal, as well as CEO of the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, Mike Rowe. The main subjects of the documentary are college graduates who owe between $9,000 and $1 million in student loan debt, a debt-free college graduate, and high schoolers who haven’t yet questioned the norm of student loans. DiCicco says, “This film is a warning for kids and teenagers who aren’t victims of the student loan industry yet. I want viewers to walk away from this film with eyes wide open to the true cost of student loans. Teens need to know that they can have the American Dream — they just shouldn’t listen to America on how to get it.” Dave Ramsey adds, “The student loan problem is out of control, and it’s messed up millions of lives. Smart young people got sucked into a false narrative about what success looks like, and it’s left them paralyzed. It’s time to call the student loan industry what it is: an epic failure.” See more about the film here.

Phil Valentine Update: Family Says He Remains in ‘Grave Condition.’ The status of WWTN-FM, Nashville “SuperTalk 99.7” afternoon drive talk host Phil Valentine has not improved as his family provided an update last night (8/16) asking his fans to “pray for a miracle” as he remains in “grave condition.” Valentine contracted COVID-19 in mid-July and initially Valentine told his listeners that while he was pretty sick, he believed he was “on the other side of it.” His family revealed on July 22 that he’d been hospitalized and was eventually put on a ventilator due to his suffering from COVID pneumonia. Although Valentine had expressed concerns over the safety of the vaccines and disagreed with mask mandates, his family says he was never an “anti-vaxxer,” but he does regret not being more “pro-vaccine.” His family is urging his fans to get vaccinated.

Salem Media Group Promotes Jamie Cohen to SVP of Broadcast Digital. Digital media pro Jamie Cohen is promoted to senior vice president, broadcast digital for Salem Media Group. The company says that in his new role he’ll oversee all aspects of the digital operations for Salem’s local and national/network digital efforts. Salem Broadcast Media president David Santrella comments, “Jamie has done a tremendous job building Salem’s digital enterprise for our local stations. Overseeing all aspects of our digital operations, both locally and nationally, will open more channels of opportunity and unify our efforts in reaching our audiences through digital avenues and monetizing our digital assets.” Cohen says, “I’m proud of the progress we’ve made and am bullish on our future. With the emergence of platforms like Salem Now, the Salem Podcast Network and other innovations, our audience has never been bigger. We have an amazing opportunity ahead of us and I can’t think of a better place to be.”

Phil Cianciola to Host Mornings on WOSH-AM, Oshkosh. Radio pro Phil Cianciola is named morning drive host for Cumulus Media’s WOSH-AM, Oshkosh, Wisconsin “NewsTalk 1490,” effective August 23. The station says, “It is important for WOSH that we retain a local voice in mornings and provide a show that will be uniquely Oshkosh. We wanted to find someone who would get what Oshkosh and the Valley are all about and would be able to entertain our listeners while also providing the news and community information that matters most. That’s a lot to ask of someone, but we’re confident that Phil fits our needs perfectly.” During his career Cianciola has served at Milwaukee news/talk outlets WISN and WTMJ. He comments, “I believe in LOCAL radio. The magic of radio is the relationships we build with listeners over the air. It’s all I’ve ever done. I guess you could say radio is in my blood.”

Brian Hauswirth Named News Director at KSSZ-FM, Columbia, Missouri. News pro Brian Hauswirth joins Zimmer Communications to serve as news director for news/talk KSSZ-FM, Columbia, Missouri “93.9 The Eagle.” In this role, he becomes the newest member of the “Wake Up Columbia” morning drive program. Zimmer Communications operations manager Jeremy Washington states, “We’re thrilled to have Brian Hauswirth be part of our Zimmer News Network. Brian shares our vision for excellence in broadcasting and will strongly enhance our award-winning local news coverage in Mid-Missouri.” Hauswirth most recently served with Missourinet where he was a senior capitol reporter, covering the Missouri statehouse in Jefferson City. His radio station experience includes time spent working at KMZU, Carrollton; KTRS, St. Louis; and KRES-KWIX, Moberly. In addition to his new role, Hauswirth will continue his 23rd season as a college football scoreboard host at Learfield, where he handles the updates for five major colleges across the nation, including Mizzou, Alabama, Texas Tech, Purdue, and Wyoming.

Audacy and Urban One Enter into Digital Platform Relationship. A content distribution partnership between Audacy and Urban One will put audio from the latter’s 57 stations in 13 markets onto the Audacy digital platform. Audacy VP of business development Corey Podolsky comments, “This partnership underscores our unwavering commitment to amplifying diverse voices and delivering premier audio content to the communities in which we serve. We’re delighted to unite with a power player in the audio space to expand and enhace our content offering and add dozens of dynamic brands to our library.”

iHeartMedia Launches Progressive Podcast Network Cool Zone Media. The launch of Cool Zone Media will highlight “vital voices often overlooked in today’s rapidly changing political landscape,” according to iHeartMedia. The progressive podcast network is being powered by investigative journalist and podcaster Robert Evans. The company says Cool Zone Media will provide an “in-depth look at topics including climate change, the Capitol insurrection, and uncovering QAnon – offering listeners a place unique from others in the political sphere by melding media and politics with storytelling.” The network debuts with the first episode of the new daily podcast, “It Could Happen Here,” that focuses on climate change and picks up where Evans’ 10-episode weekly podcast by the same name left off. Evans, who is serving as the head of content for Cool Zone Media, will be joined by the iHeartPodcast Network’s executive producer, Sophie Lichterman, who will become Cool Zone Media’s head of creative, to help curate and elevate other vital voices in today’s progressive political landscape for the network.

TALKERS News Notes. Canton radio stations WHBC-AM “News/Talk 1480” and WHBC-FM “Mix 94.1” wrapped their 14th Annual Aultcare Wish-a-thon to benefit Wishes Can Happen on Friday August 13 and the Alpha Media outlets helped raise a record $334,928. The charity grants wishes to children with severe and terminal illnesses in Northeast Ohio. The record number was an increase of almost $145,000 over last year’s event, thanks in large part to the many businesses, individuals and foundations who stepped up…..PodcastOne announces it has secured the exclusive sales and distribution rights for B-Real’s “Dr. Greenthumb” podcast and the sales rights to the show in its vodcast form. “Dr. Greenthumb” launched in January of 2020 as a program dedicated to all things entertainment, music, and cannabis and now has more than 300 recorded episodes to date that include guests such as Tommy Chong, George Lopez, Tony Hawk, Matt Barnes, John Sally and Ricky Williams. B-Real says, “PodcastOne has set the bar for what podcasts have become. With their amazing roster of shows, best-in-class distribution and advertising approach, there is no other platform for the ‘Dr. Greenthumb’ podcast. I am excited to partner with Norm Pattiz and the PodcastOne family.”…..Pictured below are staffers from the Audacy Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina operations celebrating their honors from the 2021 State Television and Radio (STAR) Awards presented by the South Carolina Broadcasters Association. News/talk WYRD-FM “106.3 WORD” was honored with four STAR Awards including: Radio Station of the Year, Radio Personality of the Year (Tara Servatius), Best News Talk Show (Tara Servatius), and Production PSA.

Benztown West Coast Commercial Production Director Jeff Kelly Dies at 50. The company announces the untimely death of Jeff Kelly, who had joined Benztown in January as West Coast Commercial Production Director. Kelly passed away unexpectedly on August 13 at the age of 50. He and his fiancé had recently moved to L.A. to work with the Benztown team in its Glendale studios. Benztown president Dave “Chachi” Denes says, “We are deeply saddened we were not able to spend more time with Jeff and we will miss him very much. Jeff was incredibly energized and excited about working for Benztown and his recent move to L.A. from Albuquerque, and his positive attitude and tremendous talents were inspiring. His production, writing and VO skills were among the very best in the business and I am incredibly grateful for his contributions to our company, the Commercial Production Department and YamanAir.”

Biden on Taliban in Afghanistan, COVID-19 Stats & Mandates, New Trump Book, Western Drought/Wildfires, and Newsom Recall Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/16). President Joe Biden defends his Afghanistan pullout amidst the Taliban’s resurgence and the social chaos; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the rate of vaccination, and mask mandates for schoolchildren; the new book from Bob Woodward and Robert Costa titled, Peril, that chronicles the final days of the Donald Trump administration; the drought and wildfires plaguing the U.S. West; and the recall election of California Governor Gavin Newsom heats up were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.