By Holland Cooke
BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Next month we will be noting that “It’s been TWENTY years!” We’ll invite callers’ where-were-you-when-you-heard stories. They will recall how — in the days following 9/11 – we were all…Americans, actually being nice to each other. And we were angry enough at whoever-did-this that we bungled into Iraq. Cue Lee Greenwood.
We were galvanized by a human enemy. Yet now, as we’re under attack by a super-human enemy – a virus that has killed over a half million in the USA, and is now resurging – we argue.
Monday Memo: Pandemic Purchasing Habits. Consultant Holland Cooke says that as virus variants foretell #StayHomeTFN, he reckons that “life-disrupted suggests opportunities for the observant.” In this week’s column he starts at the supermarket and ends up on the living room floor. Read it here.
Trump Impeachment, COVID-19 Stats & Vaccines, Stimulus Package/Child Tax Credit, Smartmatic Lawsuit, Capitol Insurrection Investigation, Newsom Recall Effort, Bucs Beat Chiefs in Super Bowl LV Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. This week’s scheduled impeachment trial of Donald Trump; the declining number of COVID cases in the U.S. and the rollout of vaccines; the debate over a federal stimulus package that could include a $3,000 child tax credit; the $2.7 billion Smartmatic lawsuit against FOX News and several personalities; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol insurrection; the move to recall California Governor Gavin Newsom; and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Pending Business: The Host Read Commercial. Sales and marketing pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column about the renewed interest in the host read commercial. Over the years, the best talent in the business have made fortunes via host read spots. While there are plenty of things that can go wrong with this type of ad, it’s one of the most effective ways to market a product or service. Click here to read Lapa’s pointers for making the host read spots work for everyone.
FOX Business Network Drops Lou Dobbs Program. The Los Angeles Times broke the story and it’s now being reported in numerous media outlets. The “Lou Dobbs Tonight” show is off the air at the FOX Business Network (it aired twice daily at 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm ET) and an interim program will fill its time slot. CNN’s Brian Stelter and Oliver Darcy report that Dobbs’ show was the highest-rated program on the network but that advertisers shied away from it because of Dobbs’ “far-right programming choices.” They also report that sources at FOX News say the $2.7 billion lawsuit recently filed against FOX News and several personalities – including Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, and Jeanine Pirro – by voting tech firm Smartmatic is just one of the factors in the programming change. It is also being reported that while Dobb’s show is off, he remains under contract to FOX News.
Dobbs Commentaries Continue on SRN. Although Lou Dobbs (above left) is off of FOX Business Network, his “Lou Dobbs Financial Report” features continue to be provided three times daily by Salem Radio Network. SRN VP/News & Talk programming Tom Tradup (above right) says, “Lou’s SRN reports have always combined his unparalleled command of financial news with his trademark political insights, and I think it’s a safe bet that he will weigh-in on developments in the Trump impeachment trial as it unfolds.”
SummitMedia Inks Deal with Nielsen for Continuous Diary Measurement. The company enters into a long-term deal with Nielsen Audio for ratings service in the nine markets in which it operates: Birmingham, Alabama; Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina; Honolulu; Knoxville; Louisville; Richmond, Virginia; Wichita; and Omaha, Nebraska/Council Bluffs, Iowa. The new deal between SummitMedia and Nielsen incorporates an expansion and enhancement of the service level to include Continuous Diary Measurement. SummitMedia chairman and CEO Carl Parmer says, “We are looking forward to utilizing Nielsen’s measurement and data analytic capabilities to showcase SummitMedia’s value to the advertiser and agency communities. Consumers’ media habits are evolving at an incredibly rapid pace and having a faster read on audience trends is imperative. Continuous Diary Measurement will enable our teams to react more strategically and quickly.”
TALKERS News Notes. Financial experts Rashad Bilal and Troy Millings announce that their financial literacy podcast, “Earn Your Leisure,” is partnering with Charlamagne Tha God’s and iHeartMedia’s The Black Effect Podcast Network. The podcast, which has amassed more than five million downloads, “applies an in-depth lens on the role money plays in sports, entertainment, and business.”…..Entercom’s news/talk WCCO-AM, Minneapolis reveals that its 13th annual “Let’s Kick Hunger Day Radiothon” raised a record-breaking $544,974 to benefit Second Harvest Heartland. Results from this year’s virtual event on February 4 brought the overall fundraising total to over $2.5 million since 2009. Entercom Twin Cities SVP and market manager Shannon Knoepke says, “Second Harvest Heartland is on the hunger fight of our lives right now during this pandemic, and the WCCO Radio listeners have stepped up for the people who need us most. The actions of our listeners and our local team will help thousands of families in need. It’s a joyous day.”…..The GCN-syndicated “America Tonight,” hosted by Kate Delaney, adds new affiliate stations. Adding the program to their lineups are: KFXZ-AM, Lafayette, Louisiana; KLCJ-FM, Oak Grove, Louisiana; and WMIC-AM, Sandusky, Michigan.