Monday Memo: Are We Flunking the Rorschach Test? The age-old psychoanalysis tool asks what we see when we look at an ink blot. Some see a butterfly, others see Satan. “We see what we want to see,” and on talk radio, consultant Holland Cooke observes that “we hear what we want to hear; what Michael Harrison calls ‘the daily dance of affirmation.’” In this week’s column, Cooke warns against telegraphing repetition, and he outlines sales tactics for political talk radio, and urges that we “make room for the possibility that people are willing to be happy, especially after all we’ve been through lately.” Read it here.
Pending Business: Where the Customer is Still King. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says that too often he finds himself in situations where inquiries to radio station sales departments either go unreturned or the reply takes far too long. He says it’s no wonder why radio sales is a single-digit growth business when “we just do the same thing over and over and expect different results.” He offers a three-part solution to radio sales customer service here.
Newsmax Syndicates Daily Rob Carson Show; WCBM, Baltimore First Affiliate Station. Multi-media personality Rob Carson’s new daily talk radio program is being syndicated nationally by Newsmax and the first affiliate station is WCBM, Baltimore. “The Rob Carson Show” airs from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET. Carson’s weekend cable news show “Rob Carson’s What in the World?” airs on Newsmax TV. Newsmax says, “Rob cut his teeth writing the biggest political satire for Rush Limbaugh for over 20 years. Through five presidencies, Rob relentlessly dogged the Establishment with song parodies and commercial parodies that infused politics with comedy and pop culture. He plans on bringing that iconoclastic perspective to his new syndicated show.” Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy says, “Bringing Rob Carson to talk radio allows us to better reach viewers and listeners with information that matters. We have had tremendous demand from our TV viewers for more Newsmax on radio and Rob is our first response to that demand.” Steve Lapa, of Lapcom Communications, assisted in developing “The Rob Carson Show.”
Talent Shuffle at WCBM, Baltimore. With the arrival of Rob Carson’s show at Charm City news/talk outlet WCBM, the station moves Bruce Elliott to morning drive alongside Sean Casey for the newly titled, “The Morning Drive with Casey & Elliott” and “The Derek Hunter Show” returns to its previous slot airing from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon. Speaking about adding Rob Carson to the lineup, WCBM general manager Marc Beaven says, “In our continuous search to give the listeners of Maryland the very best in conservative radio, we are proud to announce the addition of Rob Carson to our lineup. Rob brings major market talk radio skills to the Baltimore market and his presence solidifies WCBM as the best place to receive conservative programming. Conservative talk needs real news with some entertainment. That’s what Rob did with Rush and what he’ll do for us.”
Beasley Flips WCTC-AM, New Brunswick to Sports Talk. Noting that all current, full-tine employees will remain with the station, Beasley Media Group announces that heritage New Jersey radio station WCTC-AM/W228DY, New Brunswick flips from news/talk to sports as “FOX Sports New Jersey.” The station is airing the complete FOX Sports Radio national lineup. It will continue to air Rutgers football and basketball games plus Somerset Patriots baseball games. Beasley Media Group SVP and regional market manager Dan Finn says, “1450 WCTC is a heritage radio station serving Central New Jersey for 75 years. In 1947, WCTC began airing Rutgers Football and this has continued to this day. In addition, 21 years ago, we started airing the Somerset Patriots baseball franchise which is now a AA New York Yankees affiliate. It really made sense to dedicate the rest of our programming to sports and FOX Sports Radio is the best sports programming out there. In addition, 1450 WCTC just began simulcasting on 93.5 FM expanding our coverage area. It’s a very exciting time for WCTC, especially during our 75th anniversary.”
WCCO, Minneapolis Brings the ‘Sports Huddle’ Show Back for Sunday Mornings. Twin Cities news/talk WCCO-AM is resurrecting the “Sports Huddle” show to air Sundays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon. The Audacy station says that the show that ran for over 40 years originally hosted by Sid Hartman with Dave Mona primarily as a co-host, will return on October 10 with new hosts Mike Max and Pete Najarian. WCCO brand manager Brad Lane says, “We’ve been discussing for a while a show that ‘reboots’ the heritage and equity of the old ‘Sports Huddle’ while exhibiting a new energy and more expansive template for Pete and Mike to talk about all the various topics they’re passionate about. We’re confident this new edition will help take this legacy brand to the next level, while offering a unique and fresh outlook on the most relevant topics each week.” Mike Max is a longtime sports voice on WCCO, hosting his weeknight show “Sports to the Max,” since 1998, as well as making daily appearances on “The WCCO Morning News.” The Gaylord, Minnesota native started his career as an intern at WCCO-TV, becoming a sports producer and reporter for WCCO-TV. Pete Najarian is a former Minnesota Gopher football star and NFL player with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings. Following football, he moved into the financial world, becoming co-founder of MarketRebellion.com, a financial media and education company, as well as best-selling author of both How We Trade Options and Follow the Smart Money. Najarian is also one of the “Fast Money Five” on CNBC’s “Fast Money and Halftime Report.”
TALKERS News Notes. Boston all-news WBZ-AM announces a multi-year sponsorship agreement with Needham Bank to be the exclusive sponsor of the WBZ NewsRadio Traffic Copter. The iHeartMedia Boston market president Alan Chartrand says, “We at iHeartMedia Boston are excited to start a new partnership with Needham Bank as the exclusive sponsor of the WBZ NewsRadio Traffic Copter. Listeners consistently utilize this heritage brand as evidenced by WBZ’s continued success. People throughout New England lean into objective news sources to remain informed, and none has been more dependable over the past 100 years than WBZ NewsRadio. We greatly appreciate the support of our partners like Needham Bank.”…..iHeartMedia Pittsburgh announces a new broadcast agreement with Duquesne University to air football and men’s basketball games, effective immediately. Games will be broadcast on WBGG-AM, WPGB-HD, and the iHeartRadio app. iHeartMedia Pittsburgh president Tim McAleer comments, “We are thrilled and excited to begin this new partnership with Duquesne University. Duquesne is one of Pittsburgh’s most respected and prestigious schools and we are proud to provide these games for Dukes fans everywhere.”…..WBUR’s “Endless Thread” podcast is launching a new series focusing on the origin, manipulation and cultural impact of memes — pop culture’s amusing way of communicating both far-out and common ideas. Debuting Friday, October 1, Endless Thread’s meme series will cover everything from “Kilroy Was Here” and “Rick Rolling” to the impact of memes using images taken out of context. The podcast is hosted by WBUR executive producer Ben Brock Johnson and senior producer Amory Sivertson and returns for season five with a new “always on” format – producing an “endless thread” of continuous episodes, beginning with a deeply reported new series on the connection and blurred lines between online communities and real life. Johnson says, “The inspiration for our meme series was the realization that behind every piece of pop culture, there is a story. In the case of images with different captions used to express a variety of scenarios, we explore how memes have changed people’s lives and influence everything from politics to the clever ways we interact online.”…..The nationally syndicated “Motley Fool Money” show hosted by Chris Hill joins “South Florida’s Money Talk Radio Network” and is now airing on stations in Boca Raton, Ft. Lauderdale, and Pompano Beach.
COVID-19, Biden Spending Plans, Border Crisis/Haitian Migrants, Trump Georgia Rally, Germany Elections, Cargo Ship Logjam/Economy, Amtrak Train Derailment, and Gabby Petito Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., booster policy, and mask & vaccine mandates; the battle on Capitol Hill over President Joe Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan and his $3.5 trillion spending plan; the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border and the status of Haitian migrants; former President Donald Trump’s appearance at a rally in Georgia and his ongoing claim of election fraud; Germany’s elections result in the Social Democrats taking the most seats; the huge logjam of ships in Los Angeles and Long Beach waiting to unload and the state of the U.S. economy; Sunday’s deadly Amtrak derailment in Joplin, Montana; and the Gabby Petito case were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s September 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio. As the NFL began its 100th season of play, 65% of the sports talk stations on our panel saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share increase from the August survey to the September survey, with big gainers Cumulus Media’s WGFX-FM, Nashville (+1.5), Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM, Boston (+1.3), and Entercom’s WKRK-FM, Cleveland (+1.0) leading the way. Comparing September 2018 to September 2019, 50% of the sports talk stations on our panel are up, with 43% down and 7% steady. Just one sports talk outlet ranked #1 in its market during the September survey – Entercom’s WIP-FM, Philadelphia. The company’s WFAN, New York ranked #2 in the Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island) market. See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.
Envision Networks Adds to Sales and Marketing Teams in Cleveland. Two personnel changes take place in Envision Networks’ Cleveland office. First, Jen Weisfeld moves from her role as assistant marketing manager to affiliate relations manager. In this role, Weisfeld consults and assists Envision Networks’ affiliates and potential radio stations throughout the northwest states on their programming, sales, and production needs. Second, Lara Weidner joins Envision Networks as the assistant marketing manager following a stint as a marketing intern. In this role, Weidner handles public relations and other marketing aspects for the company’s shows, features, and services. Speaking about Weisfeld, Envision senior affiliate relations manager Ryan Verardi says, “Super serving our affiliates is our most important job. Jen’s radio experience and knowledge of our shows and services makes her an incredible resource to stations across the country.” Envision Networks marketing director Dave Hintz adds, “Lara Weidner brings a strong work ethic to our team. She has done a great job building better processes for the public relations function and produces quality marketing pieces for our sales team.”
Former WCTC, New Brunswick Personality to Receive Easter Seals Honor. Radio pro Bert Baron left Beasley Media Group’s news/talk WCTC-AM, New Brunswick where he was the longtime morning drive host to take on the public information officer role with the City of New Brunswick. On Wednesday, October 16, Baron will receive the 2019 Champion Award from Easter Seals NJ, recognizing Baron’s ongoing commitment to providing opportunities to individuals living with disabilities and special needs. Baron says, “It’s truly an honor to receive this special recognition from Easter Seals NJ. It’s one of the many lifelong connections I’ve been fortunate to make through the three ‘ships’ of broadcasting: partnerships, friendships, and relationships. It’s moments like these that make live-and-local radio simply irreplaceable.” During this radio career Baron was elected into the New Jersey Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame and received a Marconi Award nomination for Best Large Market Personality from the NAB.
New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation” Posted. The recently launched, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC (10/11). The new episode titled, “DC Reality Show!” looks back at this past week of October 7-11, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Hugh Hewitt, talk show host, Salem Radio Network); Dick Morris, political strategist/author/pundit; Nan Su, reporter, NTDTV/The Epoch Times; Chip Franklin, talk show host, KGO, San Francisco; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as well as other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; and KBKW, Aberdeen, WA as a special week-in-review and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA and the iHeartRadio App. To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.
Howard Stern Commemorates Opening of SiriusXM Hollywood Studios. Pictured above is SiriusXM personality Howard Stern (left) with actor Seth Rogen (center) and rap artist Snoop Dogg (right) at the official grand opening of the SiriusXM Hollywood Studios this week. Other stars appearing with Stern during his broadcasts from California included: Jennifer Aniston, Robert Downey, Jr., Jimmy Kimmel, Adam Levine, Demi Moore, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
TALKERS News Notes. Former Golden State Warriors player Chris Mullin is joining Cumulus Media’s sports talk KNBR-AM/FM, San Francisco as an on-air contributor. KNBR program director Jeremiah Crowe says, “We are thrilled to welcome Chris into the KNBR family. Chris brings a unique perspective to both our Warriors coverage and overall NBA coverage, given his great success as a player, coach, and executive.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports Nexstar Media Group’s WGN-AM is adding Sunday afternoon football to its programming via Compass Media Networks. But WGN listeners won’t hear the Bears – those rights belong to Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM. Robert Feder also reports that WGN is changing part of its business model and is now airing a full simulcast online, instead of airing different commercials on the stream. Because of this, the station qualifies for Nielsen’s Total Line Reporting in which its over-the-air and streaming ratings can be combined…..The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that former WGST, Atlanta talk radio host Dana Barrett is running for congress as a democrat. The piece notes that Barrett considers herself socially liberal and “fiscally responsible.” She hopes to challenge Republican Barry Loudermilk for the 11th Congressional District seat.
Impeachment Inquiry/Ukraine Scandal Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 7-11. The Democrats’ impeachment inquiry against President Trump and the related issue of whether the president implied he’d release Ukraine financial aid in exchange for President Volodymyr Zelensky investigating Hunter and Joe Biden’s energy dealings there was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the 2020 presidential election. Coming in at #3 was Turkey’s invasion of Syria, followed by U.S.-China relations at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Alpha Media’s Lincoln, Nebraska station group, Double J is named content director for CHR KFRX. Double J was most recently with SummitMedia’s rhythmic CHR KPHW, Honolulu “POWER 104.3” as APD and morning drive host. Alpha Lincoln operations manager Rob Kelley says, “We are very excited to bring Double J’s excitement, energy, and knowledge to lead heritage KFRX into the next decade with our Alpha Lincoln operation!”…..NRG Media announces that programming pro Jay Michaels is joining the company’s Omaha cluster to serve as program director for hot AC KQKQ “SWEET 98.5” and hip hop KOPW “POWER 106.9.” NRG Media Omaha general manager Mark Shecterle comments, “I am thrilled to have Jay join our incredibly talented and award-winning staff. Jay’s music knowledge, creativity, passion for radio and his competitive spirit is second to none. Jay has a great programming mind, as well as a strong sales mentality, which is important in our business. I am very fortunate to once again work with Jay, as he is truly one of the best programmers in the business.”…..PennLive.com reports on cuts at Cumulus Media’s Pennsylvania stations WZCY, Mechanicsburg, “Nash 93.5 FM” and CHR WWKL, Hershey “Hot 106.7.” At WZCY, morning radio host Charles “Chachi” Angelo exits and at WWKL, morning personalities Ryan “DJ Puff” Downes and Steph Pagliaro also exit.
Mark Levin to Air Interview with President Trump. Nationally syndicated talk radio host Mark Levin is presenting an exclusive interview with President Trump on his Westwood One program later today (4/26). In the segment, the president tells Levin he’ll be proud to run on a position that continues prohibiting felons from voting and accuses Democrats of moving to the far left. Trump also weighed in on the Mueller Report. Check out some of the audio from the interview here.
NJBA to Induct Class of 2019 into Hall of Fame. At this summer’s New Jersey Broadcasters Association convention in Atlantic City, the state broadcasters organization will induct seven into its Hall of Fame. Being enshrined this year will be: Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley (who will also present a keynote address at the convention), iHeartMedia Networks Group president Darren Davis, Townsquare Media CEO Bill Wilson, Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce, Emmis Communications founder and chairman Jeff Smulyan, WFPG-FM, Atlantic City “Lite Rock” morning host Eddie Davis, and late national syndication and WCTC-AM, New Brunswick talk radio legend Bruce Williams. Also at this year’s event,TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison will address the conference as a featured speaker.
Jim Bohannon Helps WDUN Celebrate 70th Anniversary. Pictured above is Westwood One nationally syndicated late night personality Jim Bohannon (right) with WDUN, Gainesville, Georgia EVP and general manager Bill Maine (left). Bohannon visited his affiliate station in the market yesterday (4/25) to attend its 70thanniversary celebration luncheon.
Kellie Holeman Named Market President at iHeartMedia Greensboro. Radio executive Kellie Holeman is moving from iHeartMedia’s Toledo operations to the Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point cluster to serve as market president. The station group consists of news/talk WPTI-FM and seven music formatted stations. iHeartMedia area president Bill McMartin says, “I am very excited to have Kellie Holeman lead the iHeartMedia team in the Triad and the Virginia-Carolina region. Kellie has an extensive track record and brings over 25 years of experience managing iHeartMedia stations in a competitive Ohio media environment. Our Greensboro team is looking forward to Kellie’s strong leadership, positive enthusiasm, and competitive drive to further lead a best-in-class team at iHeartMedia Greensboro.” Holeman served as market president for a seven-station market for iHeartMedia Toledo for the past seven years.
Detailed Agenda for Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Posted. Although speakers and sessions are still being added, the basic detailed agenda for the forthcoming 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most important annual gathering of the talk media industry is now posted and can be accessed here. According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “The sheer quality of this convention’s lineup of speakers is a testimony to the present-day vibrancy of talk radio and the associated talk media industry. This is the place to be for anyone who is serious about their career and business in the field of talk shows.” The event will take place on Friday, June 7 in New York City at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 55 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including influential talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, fast-paced day! As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. A full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. To take advantage of the hotel discount available to TALKERS convention attendees, contact the Hilton Fashion District Hotel located directly across the street from the venue at 152 W. 26th St, New York, NY 10001 by clicking here.
TALKERS CONVENTION SPOTLIGHT: Panel Discussion to Address Talk Radio’s Challenges and Opportunities Generating Revenue in 2019. One of the many highlights planned for the forthcoming Talkers 2019: Telling the Story on Friday, June 7 in New York City will be an extremely useful and pertinent panel discussion focusing on the challenges faced by and opportunities available to talk radio in 2019 in advertising sales, digital marketing, and the generation of non-traditional revenue. Titled, “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2019,” the session will feature panelists (in alphabetical order) Asa Andrew, host, “AsaRx”; Vince Benedetto, CEO Bold Gold Media Group; Suzanne Grimes, EVP/marketing, Cumulus Media and president, Westwood One; Chad Lopez, VP/market manager, Cumulus Media New York; Dave Robinett, chief marketing officer, #250 – America’s Mobile Speed Dial; and Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks. The discussion will be moderated by Erica Farber, president/CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB). The session will be introduced by Michael Zwerling, owner, KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz. The panel will identify problems as well as solutions inherent in the sales and marketing of talk radio as the medium integrates its multi-platform assets into the rapidly evolving digital era. Don’t miss this session! The TALKERS convention is rapidly heading toward being an early sellout. To see the entire up-to-the-minute agenda and registration/hotel information, please click here.
WMVP’s Zederman Launches Fitness-Nutrition Podcast. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports some podcast news out of the Windy City. Danny Zederman, who serves ESPN sports talk O&O WMVP-AM as executive producer of the late morning “Kap & Co.” with host David Kaplan, is striking out into the podcast space with the health, nutrition, and fitness-focused “The Armchair Nutritionist” program. Zederman tells Feder, “I target a demographic that usually goes unserved in the health and nutrition marketplace: the newbies trying to figure out health and nutrition in order to get themselves on track in life with the limited time they have in the day.”
Mueller Report Aftermath/Impeachment Talk Top News/Talk Stories for Week of April 22-26. The reaction to the release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report and Democrats’ calls for impeachment of President Trump were the top news/talk stories this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the Trump Administration’s plan to ignore subpoenas from House leaders. Coming in at #3 was the 2020 presidential candidates and their political strategies, followed by the Southern border migrant issue at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programmer Dave Numme is promoted to format captain for hot AC and rock brands for Alpha Media. Numme serves as content director for hot AC KEZR and classic hits KBAY in San Jose, positions he will continue to hold. Numme says, “Alpha Media is progressive in building a culture that empowers our people to initiate new ideas to grow our brands and audience. It’s exciting to be asked to help share best practices and collaborate with all of our content managers to have fun and win.”…..In Rhode Island, Hall Communications appoints April Shibley to the position of promotions manager for WCTK-FM, Providence “Cat Country 98.1.” She previously served with Cumulus Media New York as promotions director. Hall Communications VP of programming Bob Walker says, “April is a true industry pro and we are thrilled to have her join us in Providence.”…..WCMF, Rochester midday personality Dave Kane is the subject of a feature piece in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle this week. The piece reveals Kane’s thoughts on classic rock from the late 1960s and the 1970s and why it still resonates with people. Kane is being honored by the Rochester Music Hall of Fame for his 38 years of work on the rock station at a ceremony on Sunday (4/28).
PPM Analysis: Mainstream Rock. Managing editor Mike Kinosian takes a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on mainstream rock. Based on weekly 6+ AQH share, about half the rock stations in PPM markets saw their ratings go up and about half saw them go down. Comparing March 2018 to March 2019 slightly more than half (56%) of rock stations saw ratings improve year-over-year. Three rock stations ranked #1 in their respective markets during the March survey: Hubbard Radio’s KSHE, St. Louis; and iHeartMedia’s WDVE, Pittsburgh and WHJY, Providence. See the whole report here.