Sales vs Customer Service. Longtime radio sales professional Kathy Carr, president of the Howie Carr Radio Network, writes today in an exclusive piece for TALKERS magazine that in radio’s halcyon days of the 1990s, a salesperson could make a good living filling agency avails. “Those were the days of sitting in front of that huge desktop computer and typing out a schedule in Tapscan to make the cost per point. But was that really sales or was it mere customer service?” Carr says real salespeople will always be able to find a job and reveals five questions she asks a prospective seller to determine if they are really a salesperson. Read it here.
Salem Media Group To Boost Power. In a promotion that takes effect at the beginning of next year, Salem Media Group senior vice president Allen Power will be elevated to president/broadcast media. Chief executive officer David Santrella comments, “Allen Power and I have worked and collaborated closely for 18 of my 21 years with Salem. His keen operational experience, combined with his strong hand of leadership, provides a perfect combination to build a better future for the broadcast division.” Power notes, “My years with Salem have been the most rewarding of my career. Our dual focus on doing well – while doing good – provides a culture unique in media. I’m grateful for the leadership of our founders, Edward Atsinger and Stuart Epperson, and to Dave Santrella for the opportunity to play this role as our company continues to grow as a multimedia platform.” In other SMG news, senior vice president of operations Linnae Young is upped to executive vice president of operations & revenue development. “Linnae has been my go-to person every time we’ve had an opportunity to sell multiple marketing elements from several divisions to new clients,” Santrela states. “Her work in our industry on Salem’s behalf with many clients made this an easy decision for me. Linnae brings out the very best from those she works with; I look forward to seeing her touch across the entire division.” Meanwhile, Salem’s Chicago general manager/regional vice president Jeff Reisman is upped to senior vice president/operations, where he will oversee the company’s stations in eastern markets. According to Santrella, “Allen [Power] and I have worked closely with Jeff for many years. His track record in Chicago speaks for itself. He was the first building block to what is now our digital marketing agency, Salem Surround. These three promotions [of Power, Young, and Reisman] are all from within our Salem team, which is further proof that Salem appreciates/believes in our employees and rewards hard work and success.”
Remembering Lowry Mays. The founder and chief executive officer of what is now iHeartRadio, Lowry Mays, died yesterday (Monday, 9/12) at the age of 87. Mays co-founded San Antonio Broadcasting Company with Red McCombs 50 years ago (1972). They purchased their first radio station, San Antonio’s KEEZ-FM; three years later (1975), they bought a second San Antonio outlet (currently iHeartMedia news/talk) WOAI. The company became Clear Channel Communications then iHeartRadio. Born in Harris County Texas on July 24, 1935, Mays graduated with a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering from Texas A&M University in 1957 and enlisted in the United States Air Force. Upon his discharge, Mays earned an MBA from Harvard University and became an investment banker. Mays continued his affiliation with Texas A&M by serving two non-consecutive terms (1985 -1991 and 2001- 2007) on the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents, including as chair from 2003 – 2005. In 2002, the school renamed its business school after Mays. Texas A&M University System chancellor John Sharp comments, “A really big tree fell in the Aggie forest. We will never forget what he did for Aggieland.” Texas A&M’s school of business was endowed by Mays in 1996 with a $15 million gift and was renamed the Lowry Mays College & Graduate School of Business. The university renamed the school once more in 2002 to Mays Business School. In 2017, the Mays Family Foundation gifted an additional $25 million, the largest single commitment in the business school’s history. Both gifts were part of an overall lifetime giving of $47 million. A 1999 Texas Business Hall of Fame inductee, Mays served as chair of the United Way of San Antonio and was a member of the associates board at Harvard Business School. In 2003, Mays testified before the Senate that the deregulation of the telecommunications industry had not hurt the public. In an interview that same year with Fortune Magazine, however, he remarked, “We’re not in the business of providing news and information. We’re not in the business of providing well-researched music. We’re simply in the business of selling our customers products.” Mays was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2004, but suffered a stroke the following year. He stepped down as Clear Channel’s chief executive officer and was succeeded by his son, Mark.
Bloomberg Media Chief Mayers Is Retiring. Having joined the company in 2001 as Bloomberg Radio’s station manager, Bloomberg Media global head of radio and television Al Mayers is retiring from the company. Announcing the news in a staff memo, Bloomberg Media chief executive officer M. Scott Havens and Bloomberg editor-in-chief John Micklethwait write, “Al has been a tireless leader at Bloomberg for over two decades, first in radio and now in his wider broadcast role. During COVID, it often seemed as if Al was single-handedly keeping us on the air. His retirement is a prompt for us to redesign the editorial side of Bloomberg Media – both in line with that philosophy and the broader changes in journalism and the media world. The lines between audio, video, print and live events have become ever harder to distinguish, especially as our audience decides when they want to watch, read or listen to our content. We need a unified approach not just to fit this world, but also to reflect the fact that Bloomberg Media is now an integrated global business, which surged almost 50% last year and has just realized another 24% increase in the first six months of 2022. So after Al leaves this month, David Merritt will become head of a new position, Bloomberg Media Editorial. [He] will oversee the editorial side of all of our media platforms – the website, all our audio and video, including BTV, radio, Quicktake, podcasts, events and our magazines. We are forever grateful for what Al has done for this company and wish him all the best in his next chapter on Cape Cod.” Mayers previously was general manager of Bloomberg Radio, overseeing the station’s programming, syndication and business operations. Michael Bloomberg named Mayers chief of Bloomberg’s global TV division in 2015.
Omnipresent air talent/media executive Nick Cannon will host next month’s (10/19) Marconi Radio Awards dinner during the NAB Show in New York. The ceremony returns in-person after a (COVID-caused) two-year hiatus. NAB executive vice president/industry affairs April Carty-Sipp comments, “NAB is excited to be joined by the talented Nick Cannon to honor the on-air voices and local stations that have shined brightest over the past year. We look forward to welcoming the broadcast community to this crowd-pleasing and lively celebration of the best in radio.” Ryan Seacrest will be presented with the NAB “Distinguished Service Award”; Paul and Fred Jacobs will receive the “National Radio Award.” Established in 1989 and named after inventor/Nobel Prize winner Guglielmo Marconi, the NAB Marconi Radio Awards are given to radio stations and outstanding on-air personalities to recognize excellence in radio. Nominees for “News/Talk Station of the Year” include: KNX, Los Angeles; KRMG, Tulsa; KTMY, Minneapolis; WKXW, Trenton (New Jersey); and WLW, Cincinnati. “Sports (Talk) Station of the Year” nominees include: KNBR, San Francisco; WBZ-FM, Boston; WIP, Philadelphia; WMFS, Memphis; and WXYT-FM, Detroit. Finalists for this year’s awards in all categories can be found here.
TALKERS News Notes. “Game Time With Boomer Esiason,” the syndicated TV interview show done by Audacy New York sports talk WFAN’s morning co-host, now has a podcast version. Introduced via Audacy’s 2400 Sports podcast studio, the standalone product will feature material not included in the broadcast version. Esiason remarks, “I’m really excited about the opportunity to expand our in-depth conversations with some of the biggest stars in sports through the launch of this new podcast. This show will enable us to dig deeper into what makes these icons tick and will deliver can’t-miss content for listeners across the country.” … Co-host of the podcast “For Colored Nerds,” Brittany Luse, succeeds Sam Sanders as host of NPR’s “It’s Been A Minute.” Vice president of programming & new content development Yolanda Sangweni notes, “Brittany is one of the most exciting and essential voices in pop culture podcasting. She brings deep curiosity, empathy, and joy to the mic and to her storytelling. We are beyond thrilled to be re-imagining ‘It’s Been A Minute’ with Brittany at the helm.” Luse states, “I’ve spent the entirety of my eight-year hosting career helping audiences to connect the dots between culture and current events. I look forward to continuing and expanding that work at my new home.” Formerly host of podcasts “The Nod” and “Sampler,” Luse will begin her new duties next month (10/7). … Following four months of being interim local host for New Hampshire Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” Julia Furukawa has the job permanently. New Hampshire Public Radio president/chief executive officer Jim Schachter notes, “In Julia, we have a serious journalist in the ‘All Things Considered’ anchor chair. [She] connects with listeners across a broad, diverse spectrum; loves exploring New Hampshire; and understands that reporting the news is both a joy and a responsibility. Everyone at our studios knows she’s fun to be around, and now ‘ATC’ users can hear that.” Furukawa adds, “I came to NHPR [two years ago] thinking I’d mostly be behind the scenes, not behind the microphone. The team here has given me the chance to grow into a role I’ve always dreamt of being in; I couldn’t be more grateful and excited for what’s to come.” … Best known for her many reports from the front lines of world events, NPR international correspondent Anne Garrels has died at the age of 71. When Garrels arrived at NPR in 1988, she already had ten years of experience in television news at ABC, where she was bureau chief in both Moscow and Central America. Her NPR backdrops included the Soviet Union, Tiananmen Square, Bosnia, Chechnya, the Middle East, Iraq and Afghanistan. … VSiN launches three-hour (7:00 pm – 10:00 pm) weeknight sports betting content on iHeartMedia Providence news/talk WHJJ “News Radio 920.” In addition, Brent Musburger’s “Action Updates” will air twice a day. Meanwhile in Kansas City, Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710 AM” is airing short-form VSiN-produced betting features throughout the weekend. VSiN’s betting analysts will breakdown betting lines for the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, the AFC West and other big games on that week’s slate. Elsewhere, Salem Media Group Honolulu sports talk KGU & K236CR “Hawaii Sports Radio Network AM 760 & 95.1 FM” airs VSiN’s “Final Countdown with Stormy Buonantony & Matt Brown” at 11:00 am. … For the second year in a row – and fifth time overall – Syndicated Solutions’ “RMWorldTravel with Robert & Mary Carey and Rudy Maxa” earns the SATW Foundation’s Lowell Thomas Award in the “Travel Audio – Radio” category. The hosts comment, “Week after week, [our team] helps us create the most diverse and engaging network radio program. Collectively, we love the world of travel and all that it encompasses; we’re truly thankful to the wonderful sponsors who are aligned with us. We look forward to continuing to keep engaging, enticing, entertaining and empowering travelers to go explore the world. When that happens, it has such a positive impact on travelers, the travel industry and our society in general. The powerful megaphone we have to successfully impact travel is a blessing that we don’t take for granted.” The program is heard on 495 affiliates.
Nine To Be Inducted Into The Massachusetts Broadcasters Association HOF. Among those to be honored are Eric Jackson from Boston public radio news/talk WGBH; former Boston Red Sox television play-by-play announcer Sean McDonough, most recently doing a select number of games on the Red Sox Radio Network; and one-time Boston Celtics Broadcasting president Gerald Walsh, who helped create Boston sports talk (and Red Sox radio flagship) WEEI. Massachusetts Broadcasters Association chair/Beasley Media Group Boston vice president and market manager Mary Menna remarks, “The Massachusetts Broadcasters Association is thrilled to be able to gather in person to celebrate these individuals’ lifelong achievements and contributions to our broadcasting community and to welcome them into the Hall of Fame.” Other inductees include Mike Baxendale and John O’Brien (“Bax & O’Brien”), who partnered together for over twenty years in Springfield on WAQY “Rock 102”; Laura Carlo, who did mornings for more than 25 years on Boston classical WCRB; Nancy Quill, a 38-year veteran on Boston adult contemporary WMJX “Magic 106.7”; WCVB-TV, Boston journalist Jorge Quiroga; and broadcast executive Paul Kelley, the recipient of the 2022 “Pioneer Award.” Hall of Fame committee chair Peter Brown explains that award is given “to an individual who has distinguished himself/herself over decades for lasting contributions made to the broadcast industry and through a leadership role in his or her particular craft. The award was established to recognize individuals who do not appear on-air, but their role helped influence and inspire the Massachusetts broadcast community to reach a pinnacle of excellence.” The Hall of Fame ceremony will be held next Thursday (9/22) at the Boston Marriott Quincy Hotel.
NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the 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, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Like a Pendulum Do,” looks back at this past week of 9/5 to 9/9. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Tim Van Horn, talk show host, KWAM, Memphis; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; Sandy Rios, talk show host, American Family Radio; Matthew B. Harrison, VP/associate publisher, TALKERS; and Richard Neer, talk show host, WFAN, New York. The show airs weekends (Friday evenings to Sunday nights) on almost 100 broadcast signals and networks across the U.S. and U.K as well as having developed a significant international following as a podcast. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.
Podcast Movement Apologizes to Ben Shapiro; Way Forward Still Unclear. The controversy surrounding the surprise appearance of Ben Shapiro at the recent Podcast Movement convention in Dallas that apparently upset at least one other attendee continues as the organization has issued an apology to Shapiro. As you may recall, Podcast Movement immediately apologized to the offended party via Twitter in a since-deleted tweet, causing Cumulus Media to cry foul and announce it would not support the 2023 convention. Podcast Movement tweeted on Thursday (9/8): “As we stated, we’re continuing to evaluate our policies guiding social media & events with inclusivity, diversity & respect for all. We have to start by sincerely apologizing to Mr. Shapiro for our reaction when he visited a booth we sold his company. That wasn’t right. Podcast Movement began in 2014, with four podcasters who had an idea to create a vibrant community that was for podcasters, by podcasters. We’re still those people with the same idea, and recognize there’s work to do as we grow. We are now looking to move forward, as we focus on that original mission from 2014 – being a hub for podcasting events, resources, news, and thought leadership.” Naturally, those with no tolerance for conservative thought are not happy with this apology and this puts Podcast Movement in a difficult situation. On one hand, it can refuse to include conservatives in future gatherings and appease the “no tolerance” segment of its constituency. But big-time podcast publishers such as Cumulus, iHeartMedia, and Audacy produce a large number of podcasts. While most of those are not political at all, some are and are hosted by polarizing personalities. Does Podcast Movement want to alienate them to appease a small but very vocal minority? On the other hand, if it says, “everyone’s welcome,” you can bet those intolerant of others’ opinions will protest loudly, and the annual event then becomes a referendum on political partisanship. Podcast Movement has less than a year to figure this out.
Round Three of August PPMs Released. The third of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 including Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s August 2022 sweep covered July 21 – August 17. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Portland, Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM grows by a full share to post a 9.0 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) that lifts the station to #1, while iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk KEX-AM rises by seven-tenths for a 3.1 share that boosts it to the #13 rank. iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOAI-AM, San Antonio adds seven-tenths to finish with a 4.6 share pushes it to the #8 rank, while Alpha Media’s crosstown news/talk KTSA rises by two-tenths for a 3.2 share but falls one position to the #12 rank. iHeartMedia’s news/talk KNRS-AM/FM, Salt Lake City remains ranked #1 even after dropping a half share for a 9.1 share finish. Meanwhile, Bonneville’s crosstown news/talk KSL-AM/FM adds a half share and closes the survey with a 6.1 share good for the #4 rank. In Kansas City, Audacy’s news/talk KMBZ-FM tacks on eight-tenths for a 4.7 finish that lifts it from #11 to #5, while Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk KCMO-AM also adds eight-tenths for a 1.5 share finish putting at the #20 rank. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets (as well as the first two groups) here.
Triton Digital Releases Streaming Rankers for July 2022. The latest data from Triton Digital’s monthly ranking of top streaming properties is released for the July 2022 period. Triton ranks streamers based on Average Active Sessions (AAS). In the U.S. for 6AM-12AM Mon-Sun, iHeartRadio is the #1 streamer with 278,576 AAS. At #2 is NPR Member Stations (67,269 AAS), followed by Audacy at #3 (61.293 AAS). Other radio-related companies on Triton’s chart includes: Cumulus Streaming Network ranked #4 (37,569 AAS), Beasley Broadcasting Corporate at #7 (16,157), Hubbard Broadcasting at #8 (13,676), Salem Communications at #10 (7,763 AAS), and Urban One at #11 (7,533). You can see the complete ranker here.
Big Radio Announces News and Sports Talent Additions. At Scott and Ben Thompson’s Big Radio in Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois, two new staffers join the company. At the Janesville, Wisconsin operations, Sean Maloney is now part of the news team working on news coverage across the group and being part of local high school sports broadcasts. He joined the company from Magnum Media in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. John Barry, award-winning sportswriter previously with the Janesville Gazette, also joins the company to work on its local sports coverage. Big Radio says its sports department consists of nearly 40 individuals working together to provide over 400 local high school sports broadcasts annually throughout Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. Company CEO Ben Thompson says, “Local news, information and entertainment is what people look for from their local stations and Big Radio injects local news, sports, entertainment and conversation wherever we can across our 10-station group. We are grateful that both Sean and John bring those values with them to help reinforce our commitment to local programming.”
TALKERS News Notes. The 2022-23 NFL season is underway and Audacy announces a series of podcasts to cater to fans. New podcasts produced by the company’s 2400Sports studio include: “Kickoff with Boomer and Valenti” starring WFAN, New York morning host Boomer Esiason and WXYT-FM, Detroit afternoon host Mike Valenti; “The Crew” with senior NFL insider Josina Anderson, Hollywood actor Morris Chestnut, and former NFL cornerback Fred Smoot; “In The Huddle” starring former NFL player and current Audacy NFL insider Brian Baldinger and Audacy NFL insider and NFL reporter Jason La Canfora; “1st & Pod with Parkins and Poni” starring WSCR, Chicago’s Danny Parkins and KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh’s Andrew Fillipponi…..Skyview Networks partners with iHeartMedia Milwaukee to be the play-by-play radio broadcast distributor for Green Bay Packers games. As part of the deal, Skyview’s AdView inventory management software will be used. Skyview SVP business development and communication Andrew Kalb says, “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with iHeartMedia Milwaukee and its Green Bay Packers radio rightsholder, ‘The Game 97.3.’ We look forward to collaborating on taking the Packers network to the next level and I am confident that with our technology, they will see new efficiencies and greater insight into revenue.”…..iHeartMedia and Warner Music Group announce a multi-year deal in which the two companies will co-produce a slate of shows that range from ongoing weekly podcasts to limited-run series, beginning this fall. As part of the collaboration, WMG’s Interval Presents will distribute its podcasts through the iHeartPodcast Network widely to all podcast consumption platforms. iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group CEO Conal Byrne states, “Joining forces with an iconic music company like Warner Music Group, known for their dedication to advancing the voices and careers of artists, is a seamless fit for iHeartMedia. Our team is thrilled to be co-producing a slate of shows to elevate inspiring, diverse voices and important conversations in this vein – and can’t wait to get started.”
Mar-a-Lago Aftermath and Trump Legal Issues Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 5 – 9. The Department of Justice’s appeal of Judge Aileen Cannon’s order for a Special Master to oversee the documents former President Donald Trump had stored at Mar-a-Lago and Trump’s other legal issues combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was politics and the midterm elections, followed by crime, violence, and homelessness at #3. 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 complete chart here.
Michael Harrison “Idiots” Tour Off and Running. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison has appeared as a guest on a number of major local and national radio talk shows covering several hundred stations across the nation during the past two weeks discussing the musical track “Idiots” on which he appears as lead vocalist with the iconic classic rock band, GUNHILL ROAD. “Idiots” is a catchy song with an ear-worm hook and provocative lyrics taking aim at what Harrison describes as the “growing wave of idiocy that’s spreading across America and threatening the nation’s democracy.” Harrison wrote the song in collaboration with his bandmates – Steve Goldrich, Paul Reisch and Brian Koonin. Since its release in late August, the song’s music video (www.idiotsvideo.com) has racked up thousands of views on YouTube and gotten airplay on dozens of talk shows and radio station websites from WABC, New York to KXL, Portland – including KTSA, San Antonio; WBT, Charlotte; KSCO, Santa Cruz; KFNX, Phoenix; WPG, Atlantic City; WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale/Miami; WRVA, Richmond; WTIC, Hartford; WVLY, Wheeling; WTNN, Nashville; KWAM, Memphis; KDFD, Denver; WLIR-FM, Long Island; WRHU-FM, Hempstead, NY and many more including exposure on Talk Media Network; Doug Stephan’s “Good Day”; Virginia Talk Radio Network, Nevada Talk Network, John Fredericks Radio Network, Podcast Radio Network in the U.K. and more. “Ironically, the song is becoming somewhat of a talk radio hit,” says Harrison. “The music stations haven’t a clue what to do with it because it doesn’t fit conveniently into their cookie cutter categories. Today’s music radio doesn’t have the flexibility to include those ‘odd’ and ‘offbeat’ songs that would occasionally come down the pike and become hits in pop’s golden era. However, talk radio programmers get it.” One of the song’s qualities that adds to its talk show appeal and support from both liberals and conservatives is its non-partisanship. Harrison calls it an “equal opportunity offender.” Lyrics include such lines as: A fool will always be a fool… left, right, blue or red… it pays to have an open mind, but not an empty head. Another: They (idiots) cherry pick and reaffirm half-baked dumb ideas… agree with almost anything that feeds their hate and fears… always blaming others for their own damn lack of vision… they buy the crap that’s sold them from the merchants of division. That last line is punctuated on the video by the famous “turd” emoji emanating from the rear ends of an elephant and donkey. Harrison plans to continue the Talk Radio Idiots Tour through the fall. Shows and hosts interested in booking him as a guest can do so by emailing email@example.com or calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. Click here to see the video.