Monday Memo: Your Egg-Timer? “Baseball stations: Exhale!” As Spring Training is underway and with Opening Day now April 7, consultant Holland Cooke reckons that “we need this,” as we’re shocked by the Ukraine crisis and suffering inflation. And in this week’s column, HC shares a revered baseball announcer’s simple trick “that can help radio matter more as listeners cope.” Read it here.
Pending Business: Happy Mother’s Day. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa is predicting “one of the biggest Mother’s Day sales cycles on record.” He says that professional sellers are already prepping for it because they fully understand the importance of “planning, organization, focus and adjustment.” Read his column here.
Michael Harrison Interviews John DePetro from Poland Near Ukraine Border. As reported in TALKERS last week, WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island talk show host John DePetro has taken his independent program live to Rzeszow, Poland – the closest city with an airport near the border with Ukraine. He landed there last Monday (3/7) and has been sending back live feeds since his arrival interviewing Ukrainian refugees pouring over the border by train, as well as local Polish citizens. DePetro has been using a combination of Q-Go Live and basic cell service as well as Facebook live stream to connect with his station and listeners. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison interviewed DePetro on Thursday (3/10) for “The Michael Harrison Wrap.” To listen to that dramatic conversation in its entirety, please click here.
‘myTalk 107.1’ in Minneapolis Raises $105k (and counting) for Ukraine Aid. Twin Cities talk outlet KTMY-FM “myTalk 107.1” is partnering with Minnesota-based Alight to raise money that will directly aid refugee care of displaced Ukrainians in Poland. The Hubbard Radio station says that Alight (formerly known as American Refugee Committee) has a team on the ground at the Ukraine border in Poland, assisting refugees with relief items and medical supplies for people fleeing Ukraine. They are providing baby food, diapers, sanitary items, blankets and phone chargers so people can stay connected with loved ones. Alight is offering safe transport for families once inside Poland and secure shelter in Poland. Plus, support for host communities who’ve been openly welcoming Ukrainians. So far, “myTalk 107.1” has raised $105,000 and will continue to solicit donations through this week. KTMY program director Amy Daniels says, “We’ve said it for years, ‘myTalk 107.1’ listeners, we call them ‘myTalkers,’ are the best listeners in the world. Our amazing airstaff has been telling Alight’s story with genuine caring and passion and our listeners have responded and given with full hearts.”
Former Atlanta Talk Host Kara Stockton Dies. WSB-TV.com is reporting that former “Talk 106.7” radio personality Kara Stockton died on Thursday evening at the age of 44. Stockton worked on air with Shannon Burke from 2016 to 2019 on the former Cumulus Media talk station (currently contemporary Christian WAKL-FM). After leaving Cumulus, Stockton worked producing the radio show “Crime Stories with Nancy Grace” for Sirius XM. The WSB-TV story notes that “family members told the AJC that Stockton had recently had her gallbladder removed and was having liver problems. She also had recently recovered from COVID-19” but indicated in a recent Facebook post a month ago that she was in the hospital dealing with medical complications.
Russia-Ukraine War, Gas Prices/Inflation, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Urban Violence, COVID-19, Actor William Hurt Dies, and Tom Brady Returns to the NFL Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the refugee crisis, and relations between Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping; soaring gas prices and the ongoing rise in consumer retail prices; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the increased rate of violent crime and homelessness in America’s urban centers; the tailing off of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the relaxing of mask mandates; actor William Hurt dies at 71; and Tom Brady announces he’s returning to the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Ryan Kaufman Adds KVOR, Colorado Springs PD Duties. Radio programmer Ryan Kaufman is promoted to program director for Cumulus Media’s news/talk KVOR-AM, Colorado Springs. Kaufman has been serving the company as PD for sports talk KCSF-AM “Xtra Sports 1300” and will continue in that role. Kaufman takes over for Bobby Irwin who continues in his position as operations manager of the Cumulus Colorado Springs station group and PD for two music brands. Cumulus Colorado Springs market manager Scott Jones says, “This is a well-deserved opportunity for Ryan. He’s a rising star in our business and you won’t find anyone more dedicated to and passionate about his trade. Ryan’s instincts are spot on and when you combine that with his tremendous work ethic, you achieve great results. I’m excited for us, for Ryan, and especially, for our listeners.” Kaufman comments, “Taking over a heritage station like KVOR is an amazing opportunity. Whether it’s sports or news/talk, the most important thing is the ability to engage in a conversation with the listener, talking about the issues that matter to them and keeping them informed. KVOR has been leading that conversation in Southern Colorado for decades with thought-provoking hosts and unrivaled news coverage. I look forward to working alongside news director Jim Arthur to not just maintain that standard but exceed it.”
Michael Berry Hosts Sold-Out ‘Great Texas Barbeque, Beer & Bourbon Blowout.’ Last Friday (3/4), KTRH, Houston-based, syndicated talk radio host Michael Berry hosted the sold-out “Great Texas Barbeque, Beer & Bourbon Blowout” in Houston that featured Premiere Networks syndicated personalities Jesse Kelly and the team of Clay Travis & Buck Sexton. The event treated a packed crowd of more than 1,200 listeners and fans to live music from country music artist Tracy Byrd as well as a conversation between the hosts about their careers and current events, including the conflict in Ukraine and the impact on the U.S., the midterm elections, and more. Michael Berry says, “Jesse and I love our fellow Texans here in Houston. Our listeners were keen to meet Clay and Buck and welcome them – Texas style, to our home with good food, good drinks, good music, and a good time. Clay and Buck loved ‘em back, and it was a great event all around. Radio can be a one-way medium – we talk into a microphone and they listen. For them to meet us, and more importantly, for us to meet them, reminds us why we do what we do and for whom.” Pictured above are (from l-r): Kelly, Berry Travis, and Sexton.
iHeartMedia’s Seattle Sports Talk KJR Adds Full-Market FM Signal. Seattle sports talk outlet KJR-AM gets an FM simulcast as iHeartMedia Seattle moves the hip hop on KUBE-FM to KUBE-HD3 and rebrands the sports station as “Sports Radio 93.3 KJR FM, Seattle’s Sports Leader.” KJR-AM will continue to air the sports format. iHeartMedia Seattle market president Mark Glynn says, “By moving the legendary KJR brand to the FM band, we’re going to be able to grow the next generation of Seattle Sports fans. With the combination of ‘Sports Radio 93.3 KJR FM,’ ‘Sports Radio 950 KJR AM’ and the iHeartRadio app, we enhance our sports platform and become the #1 destination for sports and currently the only FM sports platform in Seattle.”
John DePetro Broadcasts Live from Eastern Poland. Pictured above is WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island talk host John DePetro broadcasting his radio program live on the radio station and Facebook Live from Rzeszow, Poland. DePetro tells TALKERS, “Challenging broadcast to say the least but valuable first-hand account of situation in Eastern Europe.” DePetro notes that Rzeszow is the closest airport to the border of Ukraine and main hub for thousands of refugees. He says he’s secured a translator and security and plans to broadcast later in the week from the Ukraine border.
RAB Extends President and CEO Erica Farber. As part of the Radio Advertising Bureau’s spring board of directors meeting held March 2-3 in Orlando, the organization announces a few updates “intended to maintain its executive ranks and strategically position the organization for continued growth as it serves a diverse and evolving broadcast radio industry.” Among those are the contract extension for president and CEO Erica Farber keeping her in that position through April 2024. The RAB’s executive committee also has reinstated and activated several new committees, including committees focused on bylaws, nominating, finance, strategy, investment, events, network, multicultural, and the National Radio Talent System. The committees are overseen by the RAB board of directors with participation by RAB’s senior staff and are intended to help the organization manage its day-to-day business, while planning ahead for the future and benefit of the radio industry. Also, at the meeting, Carolyn Fisher, partner, Southeast & Midwest Region, StateNets, officially joins the board of directors replacing Dave Martin.
Russia-Ukraine War, Gas Prices/Inflation, January 6 Capitol Attack Conviction, COVID-19, House Omnibus Bill, Postal Service Reform Act, and Brittney Griner Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/8). Russia’s ongoing invasion of the Ukraine and the West’s reaction; the soaring price of gas at the pump and high consumer retail prices; the first person to stand trial for the January 6 attack on the Capitol is convicted; the falling rate of COVID-19 cases and the rolling back of mask mandates; the U.S. House prepares to vote on an omnibus bill that would include $14 billion in Ukraine aid; Congress passes bill to overhaul USPS finances; and WNBA star Brittney Griner is detained in Russia after hashish oil found in her luggage were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
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