By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Last weekend, as the Uber left a bustling Florida airport and headed towards my home, in the distance, hovering overhead in a perfect spring sky was the iconic Goodyear blimp. Since the 1955 Rose Bowl, when the Goodyear blimp responded to the NBC request to carry a TV camera, the blimp means live sports and that means sponsorships.
There you have it. In one brief sentence, more clues that business is coming back. Masked Uber drivers are out and about again, masked travelers are filling airlines, hotels, and airports. Albeit at a tempered pace, sponsored outdoor sporting events are feeding local economies. It may not be at past levels, but remember last year at this time? Take what you can, when you can.
By Holland Cooke
As technology consumption changed, what had been “The Consumer Electronics Association” changed its name to “Consumer Technology Association;” thus their concern about this event being misconstrued as a gadget show.
By Holland Cooke
Internet-based innovation is disrupting every legacy industry. Ask an insurance agent or travel agent or stockbroker or bookstore owner, if you can find one. Or the record labels or TV networks or cable companies. Or stores. Again this year, Black Friday happened on smartphones. Most AM/FM broadcast hours are now automated.
Tegna Putting San Diego’s KFMB-AM and KFMB-FM Up for Sale. According to Ken Leighton’s report in the San Diego Reader, Tegna has put news/talk KFMB-AM and classic hits KFMB-FM up for sale and intends to announce a potential new owner by November 15. The story indicates radio station staffers learned about Tegna’s plans in a memo last week. Tegna bought the two radio stations as part of its acquisition of two San Diego television outlets – KFMB-TV and KFMB-DT2 – back in December of 2018. The piece reports that iHeartMedia is rumored to be interested and goes on to speculate that KFMB-AM could become a sports talk station, with programming from iHeartMedia’s crosstown KLSD moving to KFMB-AM’s better signal. However, such an acquisition would put iHeartMedia over the ownership cap in the market and require divestitures.
Hofstra’s WRHU-FM Wins Third Marconi Award. At this year’s Marconi Awards at the NAB/RAB Radio Show in Dallas, Hofstra University’s WRHU, Hempstead, New York took home its third Marconi Award. The school’s station won the Noncommercial Station of the Year in 2014 and 2017. This year, the station won the inaugural College Station of the Year honor. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a feature-length look at Hofstra’s WRHU. Kinosian writes that several things make WRHU unique. “Operated primarily by a roughly 250-member student staff, which in itself is fairly mind-blowing, the noncommercial, educational, community-oriented facility has another 20 or so ‘community volunteers.’” Read the entire piece here.
TALKERS News Notes. Indianapolis sports talk host Dan Dakich is serving a one-week suspension from his show on Emmis Communications’ WFNI-AM “The Fan” for “a failure last year on Dan’s part to adhere to the journalistic principles valued by Emmis,” according to a report in the Indianapolis Star. However, neither Emmis nor Dakich are responding to inquiries about the specifics of his transgression. Former Indiana Pacers player Scot Pollard is sitting in as host of Dakich’s 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show…..Entercom sports talk personality Christian Fauria is doing a marathon radio broadcast on WEEI, Boston to raise awareness of diabetes and raise funds for the American Diabetes Association. “Christian Fauria’s 25 for 25k” entails Fauria broadcasting live for 25 hours straight from 2:00 pm on November 13 to 3:00 pm on November 14 in an effort to raise $25,000. Fauria’s son was recently diagnosed with diabetes and during the broadcast, he’ll discuss his family’s journey with diabetes and welcome special guests, including New England Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower, diabetes patients, medical professionals, and Susan Sarro, executive director of the American Diabetes Association in New England…..This week’s Westwood One blog looks at the levels of awareness, usage, and enrollment in their rewards programs for Uber and Lyft among AM/FM radio listeners. According to a national MARU/Matchbox study commissioned by Westwood One, heavy AM/FM radio listeners are big users of ridesharing. 60% of heavy AM/FM radio listeners used Uber in the past year compared to 37% of light AM/FM radio listeners. A greater proportion of heavy AM/FM radio listeners used Lyft in the last year (49%) versus only 21% of light AM/FM radio listeners. See more here…..ESPN Radio is reporting that its summer ratings (June 20-September 11) with men 25-54 in PPM markets were up 4% over the same period in 2018 (6a-6p). The upward trend was aided by an increase in time spent listening of 6%. The morning drive “Golic and Wingo” show was up 5% year-over-year with men 25-54 and enjoyed a 17% increase in TSL for the same period.
Presidential Candidate Marianne Williamson Tells TALKERS, “We live in a time of journalism by clickbait.” Criticism of today’s media and journalism is not the exclusive domain of President Donald Trump. Nor is the observation that the national party committees are above putting their thumbs on the scale to help certain candidates of their own choosing. Interestingly, a candidate who is ideologically as far from the president as anyone in the race – Marianne Williamson – shares his view that both today’s media journalism and political party machinery can use improvement when it comes to honesty, integrity, and competency. Although Williamson has not qualified for inclusion in the last two debates, her candidacy remains very much alive. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison caught up with Williamson last week shortly after the Democratic debate on CNN. To listen to the conversation, please click here.
John McConnell to be Honored by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. Radio industry veteran programmer, executive, and talent agent John McConnell has been named the 2019 recipient of prestigious Arnold Schneider Visionary Award by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation for his work on behalf the organization’s mission to improve quality of life and speed the development of treatments for paralysis and breakthroughs in spinal cord research. The award will be presented at the Foundation’s annual Gala dinner in the Big Apple in November. McConnell is executive vice president of Workhouse Media and runs the talent agency’s New York office. One of his clients, the legendary Scott Shannon of WCBS-FM, New York tells TALKERS, “Since the moment he first joined the ranks as a fundraiser and now vice chair, John has left an indelible mark as a leader. He fractured his neck in 2005 after flipping over his bike. While he recovered, this experience ignited a passion and purpose to help the Foundation accelerate its mission. A year to the day after the injury, John ran the New York City Marathon. He’s since completed multiple marathons, raising millions under the Reeve banner.” Shannon continues, “I’ve known John for 30 years. Our love of radio brought us together and we have a wonderful friendship. And I’m proud to call him my agent.” This year’s Gala is titled “A Magical Evening” and it is set for Thursday, November 14 at Cipriani South Street located at 10 South Street in New York City. Those interested in attending or making a contribution may contact the Gala office at 973-933-7114 or email@example.com for reservations.
Egan Named GSM for Alpha Media Portland. The Alpha Media Portland station group that includes news/talk KXL-FM, talk KUFO “Freedom 970,” and sports talk KXTG-AM “750 The Game,” and four music brands names Michael Egan its new general sales manager, effective November 4. Egan was most recently general manager at Pitt Learfield/IMG College Sports Marketing in Pittsburgh. Prior to his six-year stint at Learfield/IMG, Egan held senior roles in corporate sponsorship sales for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Portland Trail Blazers. Alpha Media Portland director of sales Cressy Walton says, “We are very excited to have Mike join us and look forward to the ideas, relationships, and experience he is bringing to our team. His knowledge, sense of humor, leadership, work ethic, and Oregon roots are a perfect fit.”
Impeachment Inquiry Delay, Syria Withdrawal, 2020 Presidential Race/Gabbard-Clinton Clash, Trudeau Ekes Victory in Canada, Netanyahu Fails to Form Government, and Brexit Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/22). The Democrats delay the impeachment inquiry against President Trump; debate over the U.S. military’s withdrawal from Northeastern Syria; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020 and Hillary Clinton’s calling Tulsi Gabbard a “Russian asset”; Justin Trudeau wins Canada’s prime minister race but will lead a minority government; Benjamin Netanyahu fails to form a government in Israel; and Boris Johnson’s asking Parliament to approve his Brexit deal 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. Changes are taking place on air at Connoisseur Media’s Connecticut operations. Air personality Allan Lamberti is moving from mornings on classic rock WFOX, Southport “95.9 The Fox” to sister adult contemporary WEBE, Westport for afternoons, taking over for Jay Michaels, who is stepping down this week. Charlie Padgett will assume morning duties on WFOX. Lamberti says, “I grew up in Trumbull, live in Bridgeport, and have long listened to and admired WEBE108. I’m extremely excited to take over in my new role on afternoons on such a legendary signal.”…..iHeartMedia’s hip hop KMEL, San Francisco announces the lineup for its 2019 “Holiday House of Soul” taking place on Saturday, December 14 at The Masonic in San Francisco. The event will feature live performances from artists including Layton Greene, SiR and DVSN. iHeartMedia San Francisco SVP of programming Don Parker says, “The KMEL ‘Holiday House of Soul’ is a Bay Area tradition and frequently showcases some of the biggest new stars in R&B. Previous shows have included talent such as SZA and The Weeknd, just as their careers were in their earliest stages. We’re proud to again feature several of today’s freshest R&B artists who’ve all had a breakout year in 2019 with big things to come in the years ahead.”