Monday Memo: But Wait, There’s More! “Are you making these six common on-air mistakes?” consultant Holland Cooke asks in this week’s follow-up to last week’s column. HC calls these “simple techniques that make your show more inviting, user-friendly, and memorable.” Read more here.
Pending Business: “F” is for Frequency. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says, “The more social media I consume, the more I see the same ads over and over. Many advertisers do not bother changing creative. Others just update slightly. But the repetition is there, every day, non-stop.” He says local direct sellers must continue to show how a radio campaign can deliver targeted reach AND frequency more effectively than any other medium. Radio advertising is adaptable in ways other advertising is not. “With the right amount of repetition and updated copy with a solid call to action” radio is more effective than any other medium. Read his column here.
iHeartMedia Names Bloomdaddy Afternoon Host on WTAM, Cleveland. Three months after the passing of Cleveland talk radio icon Mike Trivisonno, iHeartMedia announces that David Blomquist, a.k.a. Bloomdaddy, is the new afternoon drive talk host on heritage news/talk outlet “Newsradio WTAM 1100, The Big One.” Bloomdaddy has been the morning show host at the company’s WWVA, West Virginia, for the past 17 years. The program was syndicated regionally to stations in Pittsburgh, Youngstown, Akron, and Parkersburg, West Virginia. Bloomdaddy will now call WTAM 1100 his home. iHeartMedia says the newly created Cleveland-centric, issues-based afternoon show will feature broadcasting veteran Carmen Angelo, news reports from Julie Holiday, and regularly scheduled traffic reports from Olivia Muzica. iHeartMedia Cleveland president Keith Hotchkiss says, “We’re thrilled to introduce Bloomdaddy to WTAM and the city of Cleveland. His passion for sports, his quest for information, and his commonsense approach to talk radio is the perfect combination for afternoon drive on the legendary WTAM.” Bloomdaddy comments, “I’m thrilled to launch this new show on a station that means so much to Cleveland. From the minute I turned the mic on at WTAM, it’s felt like home. I look forward to having impactful conversations with my new radio family and learning even more about this incredible city.”
Bryan Suits Named Morning Host at KTTH, Seattle. Military veteran and talk radio personality Bryan Suits is back on the radio as morning host at Bonneville’s news/talk KTTH-AM, Seattle. Suits was an evening host on sister talk outlet KIRO-FM from 1999 through 2002. He’s also hosted at iHeartMedia’s KOGO, San Diego and KFI, Los Angeles. He hosts a podcast and is a frequent guest on FOX Business. Suits says, “When we moved back to Western Washington, the last thing on my mind was radio. After filling in on KTTH mornings, I realized that I was born to do this. This is where I started and found my voice. Someone has to reflect what the sensible people are thinking and thankfully KTTH is doing that. I’m humbled and grateful to be part of the team that tells the truth every day.” Bonneville SVP and market manager Cathy Cangiano says, “KTTH is the region’s leading conservative talk station because of our passionate, local hosts. Bryan Suits makes us even stronger. As we head into the midterm elections, KTTH is poised to make some waves.”
Erin Vermeulen Promoted to Evening News Anchor on WWJ, Detroit. Radio news pro Erin Vermeulen is being promoted to evening news anchor at Audacy’s all-news WWJ, Detroit “NewsRadio 950.” She’d been serving the station as writer and editor for the station. WWJ notes that her career has taken her to the Cairo, Dubai, Oman and South Africa before returning to the United States and working at KFI, Los Angeles as a member of “The Bill Handel Morning Show” in 2015. Vermeulen says, “I am really excited to get back to my radio roots as a news presenter at one of the most iconic stations in the country. I am also very grateful to work with such talented and extraordinary people at WWJ. It is great to be back on the airwaves in my hometown, where I started my career more than 20 years ago.” Audacy Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon comments, “Erin is well connected to the community and has a number of great ideas to keep listeners informed about the top stories and events happening across metro Detroit, the state and the country. We are excited to promote Erin to anchor and look forward to hearing her voice on WWJ.”
WGY, Albany to Celebrate 100th Anniversary with Special Broadcast and Podcast. Albany AM WGY will celebrate its 100th anniversary on air on February 20 with a number of special presentations, including a live celebration at 1:00 pm that day. On January 31, iHeartMedia began presenting the podcast series, “Wireless: 100 Years of WGY.” The program is hosted by WGY news anchor Mike Patrick and features intimate and candid interviews with many familiar WGY voices, with new episodes released weekly. On February 20, many past and present hosts, news anchors and members of New York’s Capital Region will take part in the special live event. A retelling of radio’s first radio drama, “The Wolf,” will also be presented live from the Kenmore Ballroom in Albany where WGY has a history of broadcasting from going back to 1923. The event at the Kenmore begins at 3:00 pm with a lecture from Chris Hunter from the Museum of Innovation and Science. WGY program director Jeff Wolf says, “It’s an honor and huge responsibility to lead an institution of innovation and community service such as WGY into its next 100 years. We’re looking forward to highlighting our first 100 years and commemorating important events in history throughout 2022.” iHeartMedia Albany SVP of programming John Cooper adds, “As a longtime Capital Region resident, WGY has had an impact on my life since the early 60s. Starting as a listener, it has been an honor and privilege to have been able to work directly with some of the great news/talk programmers and personalities over my last 22 years. 100 years of service to this community is an amazing milestone. WGY is the go-to station when you need to know.”
‘The Next Great Podcast’ Winner Named. The winner of the second annual “The Next Great Podcast” contest from iHeartMedia and Dan Patrick, in partnership with Tongal, is, “Hookergate: Criminals & Libertines in the South,” from Dr. Lindsay Byron. Byron is a former English professor, Southern historian and longtime stripper turned full-time artist, storyteller and community leader. “Hookergate: Criminals & Libertines in the South” takes listeners back in time to 1977 when a high-profile prostitution ring involving 11 businesses in three states was the most-talked-about headline of the day. The podcast combs through the dusty archives of the Danville Register & Bee, which were carefully clipped and preserved by Lindsay’s aunt’s mama, who held a familial connection to this web of crime. The program shares unforgettable colorful quotes from local reporters and unbelievable but true dramatic scenes pulled straight from the police reports. It’s all brought to life by Byron and presented alongside present-day interviews with individuals from the older Southern generation, who remember the madness as it unfolded in real time.
TALKERS News Notes. Clinical psychologist Dr. Ellen Kenner celebrated her 25th anniversary show with her February 5 episode of “The Rational Basis of Happiness.” Dr. Kenner tells TALKERS she enjoys the unique connection that only radio provides and is looking forward to her 26th year on air of her syndicated show. “The Rational Basis of Happiness” is distributed via Talk Media Network…..Sports talk personality Kevin Dunn leaves Genuine Austin Radio’s “The Horn” (KTXX-FM/KTAE-AM/W270CO) in Austin for a full-time position outside the radio business and Mike Hardge joins the station to co-host afternoons with incumbent host Rod Babers.
COVID-19, Ukraine Tensions, January 6 Investigation, Electoral Count Act, Spotify-Joe Rogan Controversy, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, and Beijing Olympics Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and abroad and the Canadian truckers’ protests paralyzing Ottawa; the investigation into the January 6 attack on the Capitol and former Vice President Mike Pence’s deviation from Donald Trump’s stance on the day’s events; the re-writing of the Electoral Count Act led by Senators Joe Manchin and Lisa Murkowski; the diplomatic tensions over Russia’s military build-up; Spotify supports Joe Rogan but deletes numerous episodes of his podcast after racially tinged comments contained within them resurface; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; and the politics and COVID issues surrounding the Beijing Winter Olympics were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Monday Memo: 2 Magic Words. Your Mom and Dad were right. “Please” and “Thank you” will distinguish you, particularly in these coarse, troubled times. And in this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke makes the case for “two more ‘Magic words’” broadcasters and podcasters should use as often as possible. Read it here.
COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, Stimulus Bill, Presidential Race/Vote by Mail, Portland Protests, Tropical Storm Isaias/SoCal Apple Fire, Microsoft-TikTok Deal, and Pro Sports Challenges Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The rising number of positive COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and projections for future cases; the stalled stimulus talks in Congress as the previous package expires; the November presidential election and President Trump’s remark that it should be delayed due to concerns about vote-by-mail fraud; the violent protests continuing in Portland; Tropical Storm Isaias hits the Southeast Coast and thousands are evacuated in Southern California due to the Apple Fire; Microsoft’s deal to acquire TikTok from its Chinese developer; and COVID-19 takes its toll on U.S. pro sports leagues were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Pending Business: Gone Too Soon. Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes about two radio professionals who passed away last week: Herman Cain and Bob McCurdy. Lapa says he knew both men and learned a lot about leadership, sales, and radio from them. Read it here.
Convention Coverage Unlike Any in History. News and management pro Tom Tradup (pictured below at the 2016 RNC) writes in an exclusive opinion piece for TALKERS magazine about the challenges facing radio news and radio talk show hosts covering the 2020 national political conventions. The Salem Radio Network V.P. of News/Talk Programming says, “Pity the responsibility of my network as well as our colleagues at ABC Audio, CBS Radio, and the soon-to-be-defunct Westwood One radio news as we have dodged and weaved as COVID-19 impacted the venerable institutions known as National Conventions for both the Republican and Democratic parties. (Full disclosure: most of us have long understood that the actual ‘news value’ of political conventions was zero, but we nevertheless turned out every four years to provide coverage of delegates from Wisconsin wearing dopey yellow foam triangles shaped like cheese on their heads as we dodged screams and urine from various protest groups.)” Read his entire piece here.
WXYT-FM, Detroit Personality Jamie Samuelsen Dies at 48. It was just last week that WXYT-FM, Detroit sports talk host Jamie Samuelsen announced to listeners that he’s been battling colon cancer since January of 2019 – something he kept to himself until the very end. On Saturday (8/1) Samuelsen passed away at age 48. The Detroit Free Press shares comments from Samuelsen’s friends and co-workers – a number of whom got the chance to visit with him last week after he made his diagnosis public. The Free Press’ Anthony Fenech writes that Samuelsen – who had been working from home since the COVID-19 outbreak – was not in pain toward the end but his energy was very low. He leaves behind his wife Christy and three children: Caroline, 16, Josh, 14, and Catherine, 11. Samuelsen had been co-hosting the morning drive show with Mike Stone on the Entercom sports talk station since August of 2016.
WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte Adds Jesse Kelly Show. The nationally syndicated “Jesse Kelly Show” is now airing on Entercom’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte on Sundays from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. The Key Networks-syndicated show debuted in April and airs live weekdays from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET. WBT-AM/FM brand manager Mike Schaefer says, “Jesse Kelly represents the evolving sonic landscape of news/talk. Jesse’s informed, funny, and brings unique experience and wisdom to the listeners that has been earned as both a Marine Corps combat veteran and a congressional candidate. We’re excited to bring Jesse’s show to the listeners of WBT!”
Jim Bryant Leaving Hubbard Radio’s 2060 Digital. After heading up Hubbard Radio’s digital marketing agency 2060 Digital for the past eight years, Jim Bryant announces he leaving the company and his role as president of the division. He says, “I’m an entrepreneur at heart and feel like we’ve now built the business to a day-to-day operating level. My goal was to build the business, and I think we did that…and, quite honestly, 44 years in this business is about as much fun as one guy can handle. I appreciate the huge vote of confidence Ginny Morris and Hubbard Radio afforded me, allowing me to stretch out, take smart chances, and surround myself with the terrific talent required to keep moving this business forward.” Hubbard EVP and CFO Dave Bestler says, “There is no way our digital platform would be where it is today without Jim. His vision and leadership have made 2060 Digital one of the leading digital agencies in each of our radio markets. During the past two years, Jim has focused on expanding 2060 Digital services beyond our radio footprint to new markets, including Indianapolis, Nashville, Detroit and Columbus. His vision has come to life and we look forward to continuing to grow the 2060 business on top of the strong foundation that Jim built.” 2060 Digital general manager and Hubbard SVP of digital strategies Steve Goldstein is assuming Bryant’s duties.
Air Talent Shuffle at Entercom’s WFNZ-AM, Charlotte. The Charlotte Observer’s Rick Bonnell reports that Entercom’s Charlotte sports talk station WFNZ-AM is swapping midday and afternoon drive shows. Effective today, “The Clubhouse with Kyle Bailey” moves to the midday daypart (10:00 am to 2:00 pm) and Nick Wilson and Josh Parcell move to the 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot. According to the piece, Bailey is pleased with the move to middays saying it “aligns with a lot of things in my life right now.” Bailey also hosts the Charlotte Hornets pre-game show on the station.
Farkas Exits ‘101.3 The Game’ in Burlington. At VOX AM/FM’s Burlington, Vermont sports talk outlet WCPV-FM “101.3 The Game,” program director and air personality Brady Farkas exits after four years. Station GM Ken Barlow tells the Burlington Free Press, “These things are never easy. (Farkas) is a very good guy, a very knowledgeable sports guy, and in many aspects of the job he did just fine. But we felt the station was mired in the position it’s in and we need revenue to be able to have it grow an audience and the program director is one of the primary people responsible for that.” Farkas tells the paper he’s proud of his time at the station, “We went through an affiliation switch from ESPN to FOX Sports Radio in fall of 2018 and delivered a number-one-rated station in fall of 2019. I am proud of the work our staff accomplished in order to achieve that.”
TALKERS News Notes. Los Angeles sports talker KSPN “ESPN 710” unveils its new programming lineup that takes effect on August 17. The changes were necessitated in part by owner ESPN’s decision to promote Keyshawn Johnson to host of the network’s national morning show called “Keyshawn, Jay and Zubin” and co-starring Jay Williams and Zubin Mehenti. KSPN will air that program via delay (it’s to air live in morning drive Eastern Time) and Travis Rodgers – formerly part of the KSPN “Keyshawm, LZ and Travis” show – will serve as the local host. “Greeny” with Mike Greenberg airs from 9:00 am to 11:00 am, followed by Max Kellerman from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. Steve Mason and John Ireland move from afternoons to the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm daypart and the new afternoon drive show is LZ Granderson and Jorge Sedano. San Diego-based Scott Kaplan hosts evenings when there is no play-by-play…..From August 10-14, legendary Chicago disc jockey John Records Landecker will fill in for Bob Sirott hosting the morning drive show on Nexstar’s WGN-AM, Chicago. Sirott says, “Listeners are going to discover that John’s middle name truly is ‘talk!’”…..Roanoke.com reports that the “Big Dawg Sports Talk” show with Rick Watson returns to the New River Valley for morning drive on Monticello Media’s WRAD-AM/FM. The program aired in the market from 2001 to 2010 when the previous station owner canceled the show. Watson serves as director of broadcasting for Radford University and that includes his work as the voice of RU athletics…..iHeartMedia Orlando announces the launch of “Financial Fix” – an online financial resource hub where financial advisors, realtors, tax professionals, bankruptcy lawyers, and more can be featured for the local community to connect with. iHeartMedia Orlando’s Chianna Ray says, “‘Financial Fix’ will be an important resource for our community. Many people do not know where to start when it comes to unexpected financial situations such as refinancing, retirement funds withdrawal, grants qualifications, and more. This hub will be a great place for the community to find solutions in one centralized place.” iHeartMedia Orlando is promoting “Financial Fix” on-air on all of its stations, as well as on social media and the stations’ websites.
iHeartRadio Announces ‘The Next Great Podcast’ Search. In conjunction with the content creation platform Tongal, iHeartRadio unveils its search for “The Next Great Podcast.” Now through August 27, creators around the world can pitch for the chance to produce a new podcast series of any genre and to work with The iHeartPodcast Network to launch the new series. Creators will be asked to submit a short synopsis and treatment that describes their podcast idea, along with links to past work and an optional audio trailer and pitch video. Pitches will be narrowed down by a panel of podcasters, led by head judge and broadcaster Dan Patrick, and 10 semifinalists will be awarded $1,000 to further develop their idea into a 10-minute pilot. These pilots will be shared on “The Next Great Podcast” feed in the fall for fans everywhere to listen and vote. One winner will be crowned “The Next Great Podcast,” featured on iHeartRadio stations across the country and work closely with Patrick and iHeartRadio’s team of expert podcast producers to develop their podcast into an original series for distribution by The iHeartPodcast Network. iHeartPodcast Network president Conal Byrne says, “Audio is thriving and is the breeding ground for some of the best IP out there right now. Podcasting has always been an ideal place for cultivating new talent and we are excited to join forces with Tongal to reach their impressive community of creatives as we search for the next great podcast.”
Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Milwaukee, the iHeartMedia cluster that includes urban contemporary WKKV “V100.7,” country WMIL, classic hits WRIT “95.7 BIG FM,” sports talker WRNW “97.3 The Game,” and WOKY-AM “The BIG 920” are launching “Brilliantly Black” – a community resource initiative to support local Black-owned businesses, restaurants, and non-profits. iHeartMedia Milwaukee president Colleen Valkoun says, “I want to congratulate our team on this grassroots opportunity to support Black-owned businesses. Please join us in supporting the Black business community. I am thrilled we can use our stations to impact and inform the public about this much-needed community resource.”…..iHeartMedia’s alternative WHKF, Harrisburg “ALT Rock 99.3” adds Premiere Networks’ “The Woody Show” to the morning drive daypart…..Condolences to the family and friends of Riverbend Communications CHR KFTZ, Idaho Falls morning drive personality Tara Longmore Moss, who died over the weekend after a brief, unexpected illness. Moss’ co-host Brad Barlow tells KPVI-TV, Pocatello, “Tara is that host that I never heard anyone say anything bad about. All I ever heard was how much people loved her and how much people thought of her as a friend.”