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Tag: "political talk"

Monday, May 10, 2021

| May 10, 2021

Monday Memo: Was Rush the Format? As the American comeback unfolds, polls demonstrate widespread optimism. “Yet,” consultant Holland Cooke reckons, there’s “a day-after-day negativity, a wearying sameness, among the half-dozen hosts vying for the Rush Limbaugh hours” on his affiliate stations. And in this week’s column, Cooke warns against typecasting the format as political talk: “If we learned one thing during the pandemic shutdown, it’s people’s appetite for ‘survival information.’” Read his column here.

Pending Business: Why Buy? Sales and marketing pro Steve Lapa says that if you ask yourself the question: Why buy advertising on your station, you know the answers to this in your sleep. “Yet why do three different sellers give three different answers? It sounds silly, but even at the best run stations, large market or small, my experience is the answers vary a little too much.” He offers eight questions to ask yourself that will help you formulate the answers to that question: Why buy? Read it here.

Townsquare Media Q1 Net Revenue Down 5.1%; Digital Revenue Up 13%. Reporting its financial data for the first quarter of 2021, Townsquare Media reveals total net revenue was $88.8 million, a decline of 5.1% from the same period in 2020. The company’s net loss shrinks dramatically from $59.5 million in the first quarter of 2020 to $6.1 million in Q1 of 2021. Operating income also did an about-face, shrinking from a loss of $72.1 million in Q1 of 2020 to income of $8.8 million this year. Townsquare Media CEO Bill Wilson says, “We are extremely proud to report that Townsquare’s first quarter 2021 results approached, and in some cases exceeded, levels achieved in the pre-COVID first quarter of 2019, which surpassed our expectations and previously stated guidance. In the first quarter of 2021, net revenue declined -5% year over year, and -1.6% excluding political and Live Events net revenue. When excluding Live Events net revenue, first quarter net revenue increased +0.3% as compared to the first quarter of 2019. Total digital revenue growth accelerated to +13% year over year (+32% vs. Q1 2019), contributing nearly 49% of Townsquare’s total first quarter net revenue. Our digital revenue growth was fueled by Townsquare Interactive, our digital marketing solutions subscription business, Townsquare Ignite, our digital programming advertising platform, and Townsquare Amped, digital advertising on our owned and operated brands, which increased revenue year over year by +15%, +12%, and +11%, respectively. Impressively, TSI, Ignite, and Amped’s first quarter net revenue exceeded Q1 2019 revenue levels by +34%, +45%, and +15%, respectively. Over the next three years, we expect to grow our digital net revenue from $167 million (on a trailing twelve-month basis as of March 31, 2021) to $250 million. The strong growth of our digital revenue, together with our strong expense management, led to Adjusted EBITDA increasing nearly +30% over the prior year. I am especially proud to share that first quarter Adjusted EBITDA of $20.1 million is +$1.3 million, or +7%, higher than Q1 2019’s pro forma Adjusted EBITDA, and +$2.1 million, or +12%, higher when excluding profit from Live Events.”

The Mayor and the Mobster. Nationally syndicated Compass Media Networks talk star Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo scored an amazing one-hour double interview with former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former high-profile mobster Michael Franzese last week which he ran on Tuesday through Friday (5/4-7) as a four-part special series on his radio show titled, “The Mayor and the Mobster.” Giuliani prosecuted Franzese 40 years ago at a time when the two men were arch enemies. Much has changed since then in terms of their relationship. In a fascinating conversation about the nature of crime fighting, prosecution, and redemption, the two men have more than reconciled their differences as indicated in a wonderful interview conducted brilliantly by Pags. You can watch the entire 56-minute conversation captured on video by clicking here.

Missouri House Passes Bill to Make January 12 ‘Rush Limbaugh Day.’ The Missouri House of Representatives passed a bill last Thursday (5/6) that would make January 12 “Rush Limbaugh Day” in honor of the Cape Girardeau, Missouri native who died in February at age 70. The bill met with opposition from Democratic House members, including Rep. Ashley Bland Manlove who criticized Limbaugh for “constant attacks on Black people and other people of color,” according to a report by the AP. Republican Rep. Sara Walsh, a supporter of the bill, said, “Rush demonstrated courage to speak boldly and encouraged his listeners and viewers to reach for their dreams and to push onward beyond the naysayers and discouragers that we all encounter in life.” The bill must pass the Missouri Senate before it moves on to the governor’s office.

AdLarge and Sounds Profitable Partner for ‘Up Next – A Podcast UpFront.’ Audio ad sales network AdLarge Media partners with podcast ad tech publication Sounds Profitable to launch Up Next – A Podcast UpFront. The companies say that “embracing a ‘never-been-done-before’ concept, Up Next utilizes the podcast format to promote podcasting with two acclaimed industry leaders hosting the series, FRQNCY founder/CEO Michelle Khouri and Edison Research SVP, Tom Webster. The idea originated from a brainstorming session between the leadership team at AdLarge and Sounds Profitable and is NOT an event but rather a podcast series specifically designed to showcase the multiple facets of the podcast industry including publishers, networks, content producers, and more. No special invitation required to listen to the podcasts, they are available to everyone.” In the first season of the Up Next series, AdLarge’s premiere episode focuses on the power of podcast advertising in addition to exploring the intriguing and valuable aspects of the podcasting world. The AdLarge season consists of six episodes, which also includes sample episodes from some of the most favored podcasts in the space today such as: “Crime Junkie,” “Swindled,” “The Hey Girl Podcast,” “The Trip,” and “Kill Me Now with Judy Gold.” AdLarge SVP, head of revenue operations & digital sales Ilwira Marciszek says, “It’s crazy that no one thought of this earlier. We know podcasts get results. This is the perfect way to get in front of people on their own time. I’m beyond thrilled to use the medium we’re selling to showcase the power of podcasting.” You can learn more here.

Broadcasters Foundation of America Seeks Donations to Counter Lost Fundraising Events. The Broadcasters Foundation of America is in need of donations to counter the loss of funds from major fundraising events that were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. A 501(c)3 charity, the BFoA is the only organization dedicated exclusively to providing financial aid to broadcasters and their families whose lives have been upended by debilitating illness, accident, or catastrophe. BFoA chairman Scott Herman says, “In its more than 70 years of existence, the Broadcasters Foundation has provided financial assistance to every broadcaster who qualified, and we want to continue that track record. These men and women are our colleagues, and unthinkable tragedy has left them unable to work. We cannot turn our backs on them.” Cancelled fundraisers for the Broadcasters Foundation include the Celebrity Golf Tournament, the Golden Mike Award, and the Philip J. Lombardo Charity Golf Tournament. Personal and corporate donations can be made here.

COVID-19, GOP vs Cheney, Rising Consumer Goods Prices, Weekend Gun Deaths in U.S., Gas Pipeline Hack, Biden’s Infrastructure Plan, Afghanistan Girls School Bombing, and Arabian Sea Arms Seizure Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., vaccine hesitancy, and the outbreak in India; U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney faces losing her GOP leadership role for not carrying the stolen election banner; concerns about the fast-rising prices of gas and consumer goods; the slaying of six at a Colorado Springs birthday party and numerous other gun deaths over the weekend; the hacking of a gas pipeline by Russia-based operatives; President Joe Biden to push his infrastructure plan this week; the bombing at a girls school in Afghanistan that killed 85 people; and the U.S. Navy seizes a large weapons cache in the Arabian Sea were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Michael Harrison Animal Welfare Music Video Going Viral on YouTube. The animal welfare anthem “I Know You’re Real” that appears on the new Gunhill Road album What Year Is This! has been picking up an accelerating number of views this past week – approximately 1,400 per day – solely based thus far on radio interviews. The song’s lyrics, penned by Michael Harrison and recited by him on the recording and video, discuss the metaphysical nature of the relationship between humans and animals as well as the connectedness of all sentient life forms to the universe at large. The video, described by talk media host Thom Hartmann as “a masterpiece,” displays a fascinating array of photos and video clips depicting animals – domestic and wild – and cosmic images. Harrison recently became a regular working member of the legendary NYC-based band that has been around since the late 1960s. To book Harrison to appear as a guest talking about animal welfare, cosmic consciousness, and the golden days of FM rock radio, please contact him directly at michael@talkers.com or call Barbara Kurland at TALKERS at 413-565-5413.  To view the video, please click here.

Pending Business: Rush Changed How We Sell

| February 22, 2021

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications
President

 

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Before Rush generated big ratings, local talk radio went something like this:

Morning Show – Local topical talk with news, traffic, weather, and sports all presented by local personalities.

General Talk – Do you remember Bruce Williams welcoming callers?

“Experts” – Dr. Laura (now thriving on SiriusXM) – interacting with callers about relationship issues.

Sports – PM drive shows with local personalities debating callers, before it became a full time format.

Read More

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

| June 6, 2017

Sabo: AM Radio – Stop the Doomsday Machine! Consultant Walter Sabo writes today that he strongly believes in the future of radio.  But, he says, if all you put on your talk radio station is political talk, then you “wallow in a 1 share or are rushing toward a 1 share. Or worse…Admission is the key.  First, admit that it’s not working.  It’s not working.  I am puzzled by companies that would clean house if a music station hit a 1 share, but fail to take action with talk stations that have a 1 share – or worse.”  Read more from Walter Sabo here.

John Williams Says Goodbye to WCCO-AM, Minneapolis. Back in January, WGN, Chicago announced that it was bringing talk show host John Williams back to the station on a full-time basis – hosting the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show – and at the same time, Williams announced he’d be leaving CBS RADIO’s WCCO and relocate from the Twin Cities back to Chicago.  On Friday (6/2), Williams hosted his last program on WCCO.  Since then, he’d been hosting both shows from Minneapolis.  The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that WCCO is not ready to announce its new PM drive host.  Station operations manager Lindsey Peterson tells the paper that Jordana Green and Mike Max will host on an interim basis but that the station is close to signing a permanent replacement.

New Format Receives Praise at 20th Annual TALKERS Convention in NYC.  The 20th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention took place Friday (6/2) in the Chelsea district of Manhattan and it fulfilled its promise to continue its tradition of being a power-packed, valuable, one-day experience for its attendees.  More than 55 industry leaders from the ranks of ownership, management, programming, sales, technology and talent comprised a roster of speakers addressing the most pertinent issues facing talk professionals in 2017.  These included the complexities of news/talk programming in the era of Trump, capitalizing on podcasting at the local level, opportunities for talent in the current environment, selling radio outside the ratings, achieving an effective multi-platform balance, operating a professional broadcasting career in the perplexing age of increased consolidation against a backdrop of looming bankruptcy, engaging millennials, applying the latest technology and much more.  The major annual TALKERS awards were presented at the event.  (See details in yesterday’s story lower on this page.)  This year’s convention launched a new approach that scrapped the old, long-form panel format in favor of short solo presentations, fireside chat interviews and the new “one-on-one” dialogue approach.  Discussing the new style, TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey says, “We created a new, fast-paced approach to the conference and it worked very well – feedback has been extremely positive!”  The entire convention was video recorded and will be featured here on Talkers.com shortly.  Stay tuned for more story and photo coverage in the days ahead.  Meanwhile, below are some more photos from the event.

Norm Pattiz (l) and Dan Mason (r) point to their headshots peeking through the portholes in the theater doors on W. 26th Street at Talkers 2017: A New Era.

Talkers 2017 was attended by a large number of young broadcasters and college radio students.  Hofstra University’s WRHU operations manager John T. Mullen (l) and Hillsdale College’s WRFH general manager Scot Bertram (r) participate in a one-on-one discussion, “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?”  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

SiriusXM Satellite Radio host and advisor Karen Hunter served as a “one-on-one” session facilitator at Talkers 2017.  Photo by Don Hurley.

iHeartMedia programming executive Grace Blazer (l) and WPHT, Philadelphia host Dom Giordano (r) discuss the nuts and bolts of today’s industry. Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

SiriusXM VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab addresses convention. Photo by Don Hurley.

Talent agent Heather Cohen (l) and Fox News star Brian Kilmeade (r) tackle the future direction of talk media.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison

WMAL host Larry O’ Connor delivering welcoming remarks.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

David Bernstein (l) and Dr. Asa (r) discussing ratings and revenue.  Photo by Don Hurley.

Jim Bohannon paying tribute to Dr. Joy Browne, Alan Colmes and Tom Marr.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

Talk radio mavericks Tom Leykis (l) and Michael Berry (r) talk about the new digital era.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

More Talkers 2017 coverage and photos coming tomorrow.

George Noory and Premiere Networks Extend Relationship. The host of Premiere Networks’ “Coast to Coast AM” signs an exclusive, long-term agreement to continue hosting the overnight radio show.  George Noory assumed hosting duties on the program back in 2003.  He says, “I’m excited to carry the torch for years to come.  I want to thank the incredible team at Premiere and my amazing show staff, who have been with me since this remarkable journey started.”  Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott comments, “I’m continually amazed by the dedication and passion George has for ‘Coast to Coast AM’ and his audience.  George is the driving force behind the show’s continued success and we’re proud to extend our partnership.”

KXTG, Portland Unveils New Late Morning Show with Justin Myers and DeVon Pouncey. A day after announcing the addition of Dino Costa to the lineup as afternoon drive host, Alpha Media Portland unveils its new late morning show co-hosted by former afternoon co-host Justin Myers and former Pacific University basketball star DeVon Pouncey.  Myers – who worked at KIRO-AM, Seattle prior to joining KXTG, Portland – was partnered with Noah “Chop” Homsley for “The Irregular Guys” afternoon show back in February.  With the demise of that show, Homsley stays on as Dino Costa’s executive producer and as APD for the station.  Alpha Media Portland operations manager Bruce Collins says, “Alpha Media has shown once again that it believes in being live and local and is committed to winning across the country.”

Sacramento River Cats Using Skyview’s AdView Software to Manage Game Broadcast Inventory. The San Francisco Giants AAA affiliate Sacramento River Cats are using Skyview Networks’ AdView Inventory Management software for its play-by-play broadcasts.  Under the terms of a multi-year deal, the club will take advantage of the inventory management system’s web-based application.  Skyview says, “The value in AdView lies in the absolute control it provides for scheduling advertisers, which is tailored to manage and monetize the unpredictable game interruptions of play-by-play sports.  With the capability to manage their broadcast, the River Cats benefit from scheduling flexibility and faster affidavit turnaround to sponsors.”  Skyview says its AdView system was developed specifically for sports franchises to make inventory accessible and easier to manage in-house.  Clients have access to advertiser contracts, logs and reports from any internet-enabled device.  Built to manage all forms of inventory, it tracks broadcast, print, signage and digital.  This provides the traffic manager and front office a panoramic view into the inventory sellout and revenue in one consolidated system.  For more information on Skyview Networks and its full package of broadcast solutions, visit skyviewnetworks.com.

Hall Talk 2017.  Radio sales maven Al Herskovitz writes today about his chats in the halls with fellow sales pros at the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era conference in New York City.  Not surprisingly, one of the hot topics was the growth of on-demand talk programs and how to best monetize them.  Read Herskovitz’s column here.

TALKERS News Notes. Thursday, Salem Radio Network’s 24/7 SRN News service is providing live coverage of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee testimony from former FBI Director James Comey.  SRN News says it will provide longform, live, gavel-to-gavel coverage starting at 10:00 am ET, anchored by SRN News Senate correspondent Linda Kenyon.  Additionally, SRN White House correspondent Greg Clugston will provide live updates and perspective from the White House during the hearings…..CRN Digital Talk Radio welcomes former “Magnum, P.I.” star and his wife back to the network to host “The Lounge with Larry and Nancy Manetti.”  The one-hour show premieres today (6/6) on the network’s CRN 1 channel…..Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington was honored over the weekend with 19 Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association awards, including for Outstanding News Operation and the award for Best Website for WTOP.com.  WTOP director of news and programming Mike McMearty says, “We were truly humbled this year.  From multimedia, to editorial and sports, to so much more, these awards are a tribute to the hard work of our staff.  We take great pleasure in serving our listeners, our readers, and our community.”…..Sports USA announces the first couple of weeks of NFL Sunday doubleheaders it will be offering to affiliate stations.  It will begin the 2017 season presenting the Bears vs Falcons game on September 10.  SportsUSA says it will announce the season’s games several weeks ahead of each Sunday’s offerings…..When the Los Angeles Chargers kick off their season, Matt “Money” Smith will partner with Nick Hardwick for radio play-by-play duties on the team’s new flagship station, iHeartMedia’s KFI, Los Angeles.  Smith replaces Josh Lewin…..SiriusXM is launching the Tracy Anderson show on its Stars channel.  The fitness pioneer and wellness expert will host her limited-run show beginning on June 19.

Trump Travel Ban, London Terror Attacks Aftermath, Looming Comey Testimony/Russian Hacking Investigation, NSA Contractor Arrested, Paris Climate Accord Exit, Bill Cosby Trial, ‘Pink Slime’ Trial, Orlando Workplace Slayings, MLB Action, and NBA-NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/5). President Donald Trump’s tweets about the courts’ and the DOJ’s treatment of his travel ban; Britain’s releases about those responsible for the London terror attacks and speculation about the attack’s effects on Thursday’s general elections; Thursday’s senate testimony from former FBI Director James Comey and the Russian election hacking issue; National Security Administration contractor Reality Leigh Winner is arrested for leaking classified information to the press; President Trump’s decision to take the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord; the sexual assault trial of Bill Cosby begins; Beef Products Inc.’s defamation suit against ABC News over its ‘pink slime’ report; the killing of five awning company employees by an ex-staffer in Orlando; MLB action; and NBA and NHL finals action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Air personality Jimmy Phillips joins LM Communications’ Lexington, Kentucky hot AC WCDA “Your 106.3” to co-host the “Mandy in the Morning” show with Mandy Williamson.  Phillips will also serve as assistant program director.  Previously, Phillips and Williamson worked together at Magic Broadcasting II’s WILN, Panama City, Florida…..At the iHeartRadio station group in Sioux City, Iowa, general manager and market president Kelli Erickson exits…..SiriusXM is bringing celebrity DJs in to host Friday programs on its new Beatles channel.  Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder will host the first guest DJ session on Friday, June 9 at 5:00 pm ET.  Don Henley will guest on June 23, Ron Howard on July 14, and Billy Joel July 28.