Industry Views

Pending Business: Summertime Blues

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp
President

imWhen market leaders drop rates, what comes next?

We have all been there. A market leading radio station will review sales, income, profits, pacing, costs and determine the best path to increasing income and reversing a negative sales trend is to strategically reduce, repackage or simply drop rates.

Assume the position of being downstream in audience delivery, which should mirror most reading this column. This is the time of year when many news/talk operators face this never-ending strategic pricing dilemma. Unless you are fortunate enough to sell or manage for the market leader, the trickle-down effect of the market leader dropping rates in a knee-jerk reaction to slow sales can be a 90–120-day revenue and income killer for those living downstream. It can happen in any business, but ad sales are particularly vulnerable as cancellations, market business conditions and weather can often impact the delicate ecosystem of radio ad sales.

Like it or not, very few if any business decision makers wake up shouting, “Gotta buy some radio ads right now!” With Father’s Day behind us (hope you had a good one) and Labor Day in front of us, let us review some basics to help keep our collective eye on the prize and focus on delivering performance through year end.

1. Summer Sales. Like or not, the American retail world we grew up and live in today conditioned us to anticipate and respond to those great summer sales events. July 4th, Labor Day, Back to School, these are all themed marketing opportunities that most of us expect and celebrate. That “Summer Sizzler” sale is not limited to steaks, barbeques, fashion, and vacations. Be creative, go with the flow and work with your teams to be a front runner in the creative packaging opportunities department.

2. Plan to adjust. Keep an idea or two on hold until it is “break the glass” time, then pull the trigger on your adjustment and move fast!

3. Expand your prospecting universe. New business opportunities are the lifeblood of sales. That email you send asking if there is anything happening this season is a necessary evil and without anything compelling to add it is deleted as quickly as you hit send. Be different!

4. Balance your short-term sales panic button with a long-term plan. We all must deal with the uncontrollable competitive variables in our sales environment. But success belongs to those who anticipate, adjust, accommodate, and answer the challenge!

Steve Lapa is the president of Lapcom Communications Corp. based in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Lapcom is a media sales, marketing, and development consultancy. Contact Steve Lapa via email at: Steve@Lapcomventures.com.

Industry Views

Monday Memo: “Cart This Up”

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

Talk host: Hot-key this SFX: stopwatch – TV’s iconic “60 Minutes” sound – 60 seconds of tick-tick-tick, then some sort of time’s-up sound. Play it underneath callers who vehemently disagree with you, or each other.

By giving them uninterrupted time, you will seem more welcoming than rude controlling caricature hosts. (The most compelling shows are those that sound nearly-out-of-control.)

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If the caller’s beef is with you, you’ll likely “win,” because even the most PO’d caller can’t fill the allotted :60.

Another SFX: tap dancing. Play this underneath callers or sound bites of newsmakers who sound like they’re on-the-spot… or under interviews that sound humorously all spin.

Holland Cooke (HollandCooke.com) is a consultant working the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. He is the author of The Local Radio Advantage: Your 4-Week Tune-In Tune-Up and “Close Like Crazy: Local Direct Leads, Pitches & Specs That Earned the Benjamins” and “Confidential: Negotiation Checklist for Weekend Talk Radio.” Follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke and connect on LinkedIn

Industry News

KBLA’s Climate Justice Symposium to Air on C-SPAN

Smiley Audio Media’s talk KBLA, Los Angeles Talk 1580 is presenting the Climate Justice Symposium at theim California Science Center in Los Angeles tomorrow (6/18) live from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm PT and the program will be broadcast live on C-SPAN. The event is being moderated by Smiley Audio Media chief and KBLA talk host Tavis Smiley and will feature leaders of the nation’s climate and environmental justice community. Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass will offer remarks and Dr. Cornel West will deliver remarks on the intersection of Climate Justice and Juneteenth.

Industry News

Lonnquist to Lead Sales for iHeartMedia Twin Cities

iHeartMedia names Eric Lonnquist SVP of sales for the company’s Minneapolis stations that includes news/talk KTLK-AM, sports talk KFXN “K-Fan” and five music brands. Lonnquist most recently served inim major market sales at Paycor. iHeartMedia Minneapolis market president Greg Alexander comments, “Eric Lonnquist is a seasoned sales professional in the Minneapolis market. His extensive background in media sales, combined with his leadership roles in major market sales makes him the perfect fit for our team. We are excited to have Eric lead our sales strategy and drive our continued success across our iconic broadcast and digital platforms.”

Industry News

Radio Hall of Fame Unveils 2024 Inductees

The Museum of Broadcast Communications announce the eight 2024 inductees into the Radio Hall of Fameim who will be honored at the ceremony on September 19, at the Omni Nashville Hotel. Six of the inductees were elected by a voting participant panel comprised of more than 900 industry professionals and two inductees were voted on by the Radio Hall of Fame Nominating Committee. This year’s inductees are: “The Crook & Chase Countdown” (Lorianne Crook and Charlie Chase); Lee Harris; Phil Hendrie; Jaime Jarrin; Kraig Kitchin; Barry Mayo; Mary McCoy; and Matt Siegel.

Industry News

iHeartMedia and Deep Blue Announce WSAN Shows

iHeartMedia and Deep Blue Sports + Entertainment announce the inaugural lineup of original podcast shows for the Women’s Sports Audio Network (WSAN). iHeartMedia says the free, ad-supported network available across its broadcast, digital and podcast platforms is “designed to amplify well-known and new influentialim women sports athletes and relevant programming to millions of listeners nationwide, and also unlock access to inventory and opportunities for brands to engage.” iHM chief marketing officer Gayle Troberman says, “We’re committed to championing incredible athletes and building further awareness until women’s sports reaches the kind of nationwide and international prominence it has always deserved. It’s humbling and inspiring that the first-ever, dedicated women’s sports reports will start airing with the massive reach of iHeart’s broadcast radio platform and the full-on power of collaboration between world class athletes, incredible journalists, podcasters and the fans.  This is a pivotal moment for women’s sports to get heard.” Content will include: “Good Game with Sarah Spain,” and shows hosted by Sheryl Swoopes, Tisha Alyn, Madison Packer, Rennae Stubbs, Caitlin Thompson, and Khristina Williams.



Industry News

Michael Harrison Embarks Upon “Obsolete Slobs” Media Tour in Support of Provocative New Music Video

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Now that the TALKERS 2024: Radio and Beyond conference is in the history books, TALKERS founder (and Gunhill Road member) Michael Harrison has embarked upon what is being called the Summer of ‘24 “Obsolete Slobs” media tour in support of the perennial rock group’s latest music video endeavor. Gunhill Road, the ensemble that has been creating multi-genre rock and pop music spanning more than five decades, has released a breathtaking new song and video titled, “Artificial Intelligence (No Robots Were Injured in the Production of this Song).” The piece – which is an unapologetic examination of the potential consequences AI poses to current human civilization – is an advance release from the band’s forthcoming fifth album. Gunhill Road has developed a unique niche in recent years attracting hundreds of thousands of internet followers powered, in large part, by the attention and airplay given it on talk radio. New songs by the group typically debut on multiple radio talk shows sparking conversation about today’s pressing topics of news and social concern. The compositions feature clever, biting lyrics delivered in a highly musical and original way. The band consists of co-founding member/pianist/vocalist/songwriter Steve Goldrich, longtime guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Paul Reisch, noted Broadway theater instrumentalist/guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Brian Koonin, and vocalist/songwriter Michael Harrison. (Harrison co-wrote this song and performs lead vocals.) This production features a special guest vocal appearance by recording artist Bibi Farber, daughter of the late talk radio pioneer, Barry Farber. The visually stunning video for “Artificial Intelligence (No Robots Were Injured in the Production of this Song)” which, ironically, employs generative AI for many of its remarkable images, was produced by Matthew B. Harrison. The song, an infectious rocker marked by driving guitars, riveting keyboards, soaring horns and a multi-layered group chorus depicts the dangers human civilization faces in an increasingly uncertain environment marked by the rising corruption of deep fakes and manipulative algorithms that threaten elections and question the very premise of “self-evident” truths. It ultimately asks the question, “What does it mean to be human?” Check out the video here. To arrange a talk media interview with Michael Harrison to discuss the song and its implications, email info@talkers.com or call 413-565-5413.

Industry News

BIN Announces Gun Safety Campaign

BIN: Black Information Network announces the new initiative, “Lock It and Store It! A BIN Gun Safety Awareness Campaign,” designed to inform the community about the importance of keeping guns out of the reach of children to help save lives. It will include the airing of special features, news reports and socialim media on the costs and impacts of unintentional shootings by Black children in America. BIN president Tony Coles states, “This campaign is a shining example of the role community leaders play in the programming on the Black Information Network. This topic has been a part of so many stories we have aired, and keeping children and families safe is vital to the communities we serve. Bringing this campaign to life started with the BIN Local Roundtable and would not be possible without them.” The BIN Local Roundtable was designed as a forum for business and civic leaders from local communities across the U.S. to provide perspective and collaborate with BIN’s leadership team regarding the network’s programming and local engagement.

Industry News

Top News/Talk Media Stories Over the Weekend

The Supreme Court’s mifepristone and bump stock rulings; the presidential race; Benjamin Netayahu disbands the Israeli war cabinet; Justice Department won’t prosecute Merrick Garland; Alex Jones bankruptcy court ruling; U.S. migrant crisis; the rise of Europe’s far right; surgeon general seeks warning labels for social media; and the deadly heatwave predicted to affect much of the country this week were some of the most-talked-about stories in news/talk media over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Industry News

Ongoing Coverage of TALKERS 2024: Radio and Beyond

The 27th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest running, and most important national event took place this past Friday (6/7) at Hofstra University on Long Island. TALKERS 2024: Radio and Beyond was an advance sellout. The power-packed, one-day agenda featured a roster of more than 60 speakers from all ends of the talk radio and related talk media industries including talent, station owners, CEOs, programmers, technical experts, journalists, syndicators, and a wide variety of visionaries. The annual talk media industry tradition was presented by TALKERS in association with the prestigious university’s multi-award-winning station WRHU Radio and Hofstra’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication. Key discussions included “Gaining Traction in a Noisy World,” “The Case for AM Radio,” “Generating News/Talk Revenue in the Digital Era,” “The State of Sports Talk Radio,” “The Brave New World of Technological and Generational Change,” “Programming News/Talk Radio,” “Perspectives on Hosting Television Talk,” “Philanthropy and Community Service,” “The Art of Story Telling,” “Talk Radio Programming Opportunities Beyond Politics,” “Meeting the Challenges of Being a Talk Talent,” “The Big Picture of Radio’s Role in a Rapidly Changing World,” and “The State of the First Amendment” among others. As the volumes of data generated by this gathering are sorted out, TALKERS will provide in-depth, detailed coverage of the conference in the days and weeks ahead including posting videos of its key segments.  See a selection of photos from TALKERS 2024 Radio and Beyond below.

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A group of top talk radio pros participated in the panel discussion “Programming News/Talk Radio.” Pictured (l-r): Doug Stephan, CEO/Founder, Stephan Multimedia; Phil Boyce, SVP, spoken word format, Salem Media Group / ops VP, New York region, WMCA / WNYM-AM 970 The Answer; Paul Vandenburgh, owner/host, WGDJ Talk 1300, Albany, NY; Scott Lakefield, APD, WOR, New York; Greg Stocker, brand manager, WPHT, Philadelphia; and Grace Blazer, VP, national NTS brand coordinator, director of news and AM programming, Florida region, iHeart Media Miami.  The panel was moderated by Mike McVay, president McVay Media Consulting (pictured below).

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TMN syndicated host Dr. Daliah Wachs performed the singing of the National Anthem.

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One of the main panel discussions at TALKERS 2024: Radio and Beyond was “Generating News/Talk Revenue in the Digital Era.” Pictured (l-r): Moderator Steve Lapa, president, Lapcom Communications Corp.; Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media Group; Josh Leng, Founder/CEO, Talk Media Network; John Caracciolo, president/CEO JVC Broadcasting; Ron Hartenbaum, managing member, Crossover Media; Kathy Carr, president, Howie Carr Radio Network; and Julie Talbott, president Premiere Networks.

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Pictured above is a segment of the crowd at TALKERS 2024: Radio and Beyond giving a standing ovation during the event.

Industry News

Round Four of May PPMs Released

imThe fourth of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2024 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. The survey covered April 25 through May 22. Today, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeways from this group of markets. In Austin, Waterloo Media’s news/talk KLBJ-AM is steady with a 4.4 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) and remains ranked #7, while in Raleigh, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WTKK-FM adds a full share for an 8.3 share and climbs to the #2 rank, and in Indianapolis, Urban One’s news/talk WIBC-FM rises 1.2 shares for a 6.9 share finish that lifts it to the #4 rank. In Milwaukee, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WISN posts its ninth straight #1 rank after adding 1.8 shares to finish with a 12.1 share. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeways from this group of markets here.

Industry News

REVERSE ROLES: Harry Hurley Interviews MH on Harrison Podcast About Artificial Intelligence

WPG, Atlantic City radio star Harry Hurley reverses roles with MH on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Actually, this week’s episode of the long-running podcast consists of provocative excerpts from Harrison’s recent guest appearance (6/4) on Hurley’s popular WPG morning show in which he was booked to discuss the technological and sociological implications of AI. This took place in conjunction with the release of the new Gunhill Road music video, “Artificial Intelligence (No Robots Were Injured in the Production of this Song).”  Harrison co-wrote and performs lead vocals on the song with the venerable band which had its world premiere on WPG that morning and kicked off Harrison’s “Obsolete Slobs” radio tour in support of the piece. The conversation is a no-holds-barred look at the implications – beneficial and destructive – of the remarkable new technology that is disrupting art, communications, and life here in the early decades of the 21st century and promises to have dramatic impact on the course of humanity going forward. Don’t miss this! Listen to the podcast in its entirety here.

Industry News

Frank Morano Show Adds Stations in Las Vegas and the Twin Cities

The WABC, New York-based overnight talk show, “The Other Side of Midnight with Frank Morano,” is nowim airing on Audacy talk outlets WCCO, Minneapolis and KMXB-HD3, Las Vegas “K-DAWN.” Red Apple Audio Networks distributes the show live from 1:00 am to 5:00 am nightly. Morano comments, “I’m incredibly grateful to be on both of these great radio stations. I’ve dreamt of being on the radio in Minnesota ever since Jesse Ventura ran for governor. It’s great to be on a station that has so many independent thinkers. As far as ‘K-DAWN’ goes, I’m absolutely thrilled to be on the air in Las Vegas, a 24/7 city. It’s great to talk to an audience in a city that’s up all night.”

Industry News

Hegseth’s War on Warriors Tops Bestseller List

The new book from Army veteran and “FOX & Friends Weekend” co-host Pete Hegseth, The War on Warriors: Behind the Betrayal of the Men who Keep us Free (FOX News Books, 2024) hits the top spot onim the New York Times non-fiction bestseller list. FOX News Media says that this marks Hegseth’s fourth New York Times bestselling title and follows the runaway success of his inaugural FOX News Book, Modern Warriors: Real Stories from Real Heroes, which debuted in 2020. Hegseth says, “Publishing this book has been a moving experience from start to finish. I am honored and humbled that The War on Warriors has resonated with so many people; most especially with actively serving troops, veterans, and military families. This book is for them, and for our country. A great nation needs a great military, and I hope this book plays a role in restoring the military to its core function: deterring, fighting, and winning our wars.”

Industry News

Top News/Talk Stories for Week of June 10 – 14

The presidential race was the most-talked-about story in news/talk media this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the Hunter Biden guilty verdict, followed by former President Donald Trump’s legal battles at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed in news/talk media during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.

Industry News

Ongoing Coverage of TALKERS 2024: Radio and Beyond

The 27th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest running, and most important national event took place this past Friday (6/7) at Hofstra University on Long Island. TALKERS 2024: Radio and Beyond was an advance sellout. The power-packed, one-day agenda featured a roster of more than 60 speakers from all ends of the talk radio and related talk media industries including talent, station owners, CEOs, programmers, technical experts, journalists, syndicators, and a wide variety of visionaries. The annual talk media industry tradition was presented by TALKERS in association with the prestigious university’s multi-award-winning station WRHU Radio and Hofstra’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication. Key discussions included “Gaining Traction in a Noisy World,” “The Case for AM Radio,” “Generating News/Talk Revenue in the Digital Era,” “The State of Sports Talk Radio,” “The Brave New World of Technological and Generational Change,” “Programming News/Talk Radio,” “Perspectives on Hosting Television Talk,” “Philanthropy and Community Service,” “The Art of Story Telling,” “Talk Radio Programming Opportunities Beyond Politics,” “Meeting the Challenges of Being a Talk Talent,” “The Big Picture of Radio’s Role in a Rapidly Changing World,” and “The State of the First Amendment” among others. As the volumes of data generated by this gathering are sorted out, TALKERS will provide in-depth, detailed coverage of the conference in the days and weeks ahead including posting videos of its key segments.  See a selection of photos from TALKERS 2024 Radio and Beyond below.

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Pictured (l-r) are the industry visionaries who made the “Brave New World” panel one of the most illuminating highlights of TALKERS 2024: Radio and Beyond – Matthew B. Harrison, Esq., VP/associate publisher, TALKERS / senior partner, Harrison Media Law; Steven Goldstein, CEO, Amplifi Media; Heather Cohen, president, The Weiss Agency; John T. Mullen, GM, WRHU-FM/WRHU.org, Hofstra University; and Scot Bertram, GM, WRFH / Radio Free Hillsdale 101.7 FM. Not pictured, moderator Harry Hurley, morning host, WPG, Atlantic City. The session explored radio’s generational divide, the impact of YouTube and social media; changing technology, the protection of intellectual property rights, artificial intelligence and more.

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Bill Brady, owner/host, KFNX, Phoenix “The Pulse of Arizona” delivered a compelling address appropriately titled, “The Case for AM Radio” that received a standing ovation.

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WPG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley (r) presented Broadcasters Foundation of America chairman Scott Herman (l) with a donation of $8,000 from the famous Hurley in the Morning Charty Foundation.  Each year, beginning with a $1,000 donation in 2017, Hurley has presented a gift to the BFoA at the TALKERS conference increasing the sum by a thousand dollars each year. The total now stands at $36,000. Herman delivered an emotional address detailing the tremendous work the Broadcasters Foundation does each year in providing financial support and protection to radio and TV professionals who have fallen on hard times due to catastrophic health issues or natural disasters.  For more information about the Broadcasters Foundation of America please click here.  www.broadcastersfoundation.org

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Rob Finnerty, host of “Wake Up America” on Newsmax TV, delivered an insightful lunchtime address titled “In Front of the Camera” expressing the perspective of talk show hosts on the television side of talk media.  Newsmax sponsored the lunch at TALKERS 2024: Radio and Beyond.

Industry News

WABC Names Dominic Carter Host of 3:00 pm Hour

Red Apple Media’s WABC, New York announces that Dominic Carter is the new host of the daily 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm show, the same slot previously occupied by Rudy Giuliani until he was let go by the company in mid-May. The show simulcasts on WABC Radio and WLIR-FM, Hampton Bays on Long Island. Carter willim continue to host his nightly 12:00 midnight to 1:00 am show as well as his 11:00 pm to 12:00 midnight heard on Sundays. Red Apple chief John Catsimatidis says, “It is with great pleasure that I announce Dominic as our 3 to 4 pm host. Dominic is an exceptional broadcast journalist and political commentator who presents all sides of issues relevant to our listeners. He’s done an excellent job with his overnight programs and I know he will do the same with the 3:00 pm hour.” Carter comments, “I’m excited about hosting an afternoon slot and grateful for the trust that Mr. Catsimatidis and [president] Chad Lopez have shown in me. It’s an honor to serve the New York City area listeners, especially on a powerhouse station like WABC Radio, as well as WLIR 107.1, our sister station on Long Island.”

Industry News

Paul Blake to Lead Beasley Philadelphia

Beasley Media Group promotes Paul Blake to cluster manager for its Philadelphia stations. He most recently served as vice president/director of sales and has been with the cluster for the past 22 years. In his new role,im he will report directly to president Bruce Beasley and will be responsible for overseeing WMMR-FM, WMGK-FM, WXTU-FM, BEN FM, 97.5 The Fanatic, WWDB 860 and Camden’s WTMR 800. He states, “I am deeply honored and thrilled to take on the role of cluster manager for Beasley Media Philadelphia. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the Beasley family for their unwavering trust and confidence in me. It is an incredible privilege to lead one of America’s premier groups of radio stations and digital content creators, and I look forward to continuing our tradition of excellence and innovation in the media industry.”

Industry News

Round Three of May PPMs Released

imThe third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s May 2024 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. The survey covered April 25 through May 22. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Portland, although Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM dipped six-tenths to a 5.8 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share), it remains ranked #2, while iHeartMedia’s news/talk KEX-AM rises one-tenth to a 1.7 share stays in the #20 rank. In San Antonio, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOAI-AM is steady with a 2.8 share but falls back to the #13 rank, while Alpha Media’s news/talk KTSA slides back two-tenths to a 1.9 share good for the #19 rank. In Salt Lake City, Bonneville’s news/talk KSL-AM/FM loses 3.2 shares to finish with a 4.9 share and regresses to the #4 rank, while iHeartMedia’s news/talk KNRS-AM/FM adds half a share for a 3.1 share finish that lifts it to the #14 rank. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets here.

Industry News

Aitken Named Cumulus Media Chief HR Officer

Cumulus Media promotes Kriston Aitken to chief human resources officer, effective July 1, 2024. She’ll be responsible for human resources strategy and operations, talent management, compensation and benefits, and supporting the advancement of the company culture. She succeeds Todd McCarty, who is retiring afterim nearly nine years with the company. Aitken joined Cumulus Media in 2016 and has been SVP of human resources for the past two years. Cumulus CEO Mary G. Berner says, “For the past nearly eight years, Kriston has been a stand-out HR executive, and I’m delighted that she is fully ready and able to step into this important role. Given our significant focus on culture and the fact that 94% of our surveyed employees express pride in working at Cumulus, it’s crucial to have a leader genuinely invested in cultivating our culture. Kriston’s commitment to this aspect and her proven operational skills give me full confidence that she will continue to enhance the legacy that Todd leaves behind.”

Industry News

Yesterday’s (6/12) Top News/Talk Media Stories

The aftermath of the Hunter Biden guilty verdict; the G7 meeting in Italy and the plan to loan Ukraine $50 billion; the presidential race; former President Donald Trump’s legal battles; the U.S. House votes to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt; Southern Baptist convention bans churches with women pastors; the Israel-Hamas war and the strikes against Northern Israel from Lebanon; Russian war games near Cuba; the Fed reports inflation is easing but expects just one rate cut this year; and NBA legend Jerry West dies at 86 were some of the most-talked-about stories in news/talk media yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Industry News

Ongoing Coverage of TALKERS 2024: Radio and Beyond

The 27th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest running, and most important national event took place this past Friday (6/7) at Hofstra University on Long Island. TALKERS 2024: Radio and Beyond was an advance sellout. The power-packed, one-day agenda featured a roster of more than 60 speakers from all ends of the talk radio and related talk media industries including talent, station owners, CEOs, programmers, technical experts, journalists, syndicators, and a wide variety of visionaries. The annual talk media industry tradition was presented by TALKERS in association with the prestigious university’s multi-award-winning station WRHU Radio and Hofstra’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication. Key discussions included “Gaining Traction in a Noisy World,” “The Case for AM Radio,” “Generating News/Talk Revenue in the Digital Era,” “The State of Sports Talk Radio,” “The Brave New World of Technological and Generational Change,” “Programming News/Talk Radio,” “Perspectives on Hosting Television Talk,” “Philanthropy and Community Service,” “The Art of Story Telling,” “Talk Radio Programming Opportunities Beyond Politics,” “Meeting the Challenges of Being a Talk Talent,” “The Big Picture of Radio’s Role in a Rapidly Changing World,” and “The State of the First Amendment” among others. As the volumes of data generated by this gathering are sorted out, TALKERS will provide in-depth, detailed coverage of the conference in the days and weeks ahead including posting videos of its key segments.  See a selection of photos from TALKERS 2024 Radio and Beyond below.

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KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM, Seattle afternoon talk show host John Curley was the 2024 recipient of the TALKERS Humanitarian of the Year award (the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Community Service). He is pictured delivering his acceptance speech discussing the importance of using your platform for good causes.

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Michael Harrison (l) interviewed Fred Toucher (r), morning show co-host of WBZ-FM 98.5 The Sports Hub, Boston in a fireside chat titled, “The State of Sports Talk Radio.”  The discussion included comparisons between sports talk and news/talk radio, the benefit of sports talk hosts operating in on-air teams, the relationship sports talk hosts have with home teams and their ardent fans, dealing with harsh criticism on social media, the impact of gambling on sports talk radio, the challenges hosts are facing in covering women’s basketball and more.

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One of the many highlights of the conference was a blessedly civil “Great Debate” between WYD Media syndicated host Thom Hartmann (c) representing the left and Salem Radio Networks host Mike Gallagher (r) representing the right.  The session was moderated by Lee Harris (standing l), director of integrated operations, NewsNation/WGN Chicago.

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The panel session titled, “Behind the Mic,” delved into the issues and challenges faced today by talk radio talent. Participants included (l-r) Jeff Katz, WRVA, Richmond; Frank Morano, WABC, New York/Red Apple Media; Martha Zoller, WDUN, Athens, GA; Moderator Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo, Compass Media Networks; Dom Giordano, WPHT, Philadelphia; Howie Carr, Howie Carr Radio Network; and Chris Krok, WBAP, Dallas.

Industry Views

The Evolution of Radio Station Stickers in the 21st Century

By Andy Gladding, EdD, CBT

Chief Engineer
Salem Media of New York
WRHU Radio, Hofstra University

imThe best thing about attending media conferences like TALKERS 2024: Radio and Beyond, which occurred last week on June 7, is the opportunity to hear diverse viewpoints from industry experts. Gatherings like these also provide the opportunity for attendees like me to “chew” on some of the great ideas presented by the expert panelists and think about solutions to some of the challenges raised during the discussions.

One of the many contemporary issues facing radio brought up during TALKERS 2024 was the evolution and need for vinyl bumper stickers in today’s branding environment. Bumper stickers have been a central component of radio station marketing over several decades, as they provide a low-cost visual aid for stations to get their logo and frequency out to the public, using a “listener-driven” mobile platform. However, as cars increase in price, value, and longevity, station owners are questioning the willingness of car owners to plaster their high-cost investment with third-party advertising. Therefore, the value of continuing to create and distribute vinyl stickers for radio stations has been called into question.

While cars may no longer be an attractive moving billboard destination for station listeners, a whole new field of organic advertising space has emerged, especially on the surface of laptop computers, tablets, and other mobile devices. Many consumers use the uniform blank space of their laptops and cellphones as a place for vinyl stickers. The idea behind this concept is that vinyl stickers allow the device owner to personalize their equipment for identity branding and theft protection. It is much easier to identify a personal device at a place like a coffee shop or airplane security line if you’ve placed a personalized vinyl sticker on it. Many Millennials and Gen-Z’ers are more willing to use the back of their electronic devices as a showcase for vinyl sticker advertising, as it helps attract attention to the user while in a public setting and lets others know “what they are about” with just a quick glance. Electronic devices are on display everywhere and are often carried around with the user in backpacks. When presented with a vinyl sticker, the recipient is usually willing to place the sticker on the device, simply because trying to store it elsewhere will usually result in the destruction of the vinyl sticker.

With this in mind, radio station marketing folks may want to rethink the footprint and layout of their vinyl stickers, choosing to migrate the wider “car bumper” format to a smaller, more concise mini-billboard that could live, display, and survive more effectively on the back of an electronic device.

Solutions like these can only happen when the listener is presented with a challenge by top industry minds. This TALKERS 2024 attendee is grateful for the chance to help provide a solution to a practical problem, made possible by the collaborative environment fostered by an in-person gathering.

Andy Gladding is the chief engineer for Salem Media of New York and WRHU, Hofstra University. He can be emailed at biggladman@aol.com

Industry News

WINA, Charlottesville Expands “The Schilling Show”

Saga Communications news/talk outlet WINA-AM, Charlottesville announces that it’s adding an hour to “The Schilling Show,” hosted by Rob Schilling. The program now airs from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daily. The station says this comes “in response to the show’s growing popularity and demand for more in-depthim discussions and analysis of local issues.” Charlottesville Radio Group operations manager and WINA program director Paul McDaniel says, “We are thrilled to extend ‘The Schilling Show’ by an hour each weekday. Rob’s ability to connect with the audience and provide insightful commentary has made the show a cornerstone of our programming. This expansion is a testament to his unparalleled work and the loyalty of his listeners.” Schilling comments, “I’m grateful for the opportunity to spend more time daily with my loyal listening audience as we further explore and examine pressing issues of the day. This additional hour will allow for more compelling guests, more in-depth analysis, and most importantly, more time for WINA listeners to engage with their community.”

Industry News

Josh Klingler to Exit KCSP, Kansas City Morning Show

Longtime Kansas City sports talk radio personality Josh Klingler is leaving his daily role on sports talk KCSP-AM’s “Fescoe In The Morning” program with Bob Fescoe. The Kansas City Star reports Klinglerim made the announcement yesterday (6/11) on the program. He said, “I am retiring from daily radio. I’ve been doing this for 30-something years all told six and seven days a week and kind of decided, probably after the football season if I’m being honest… My get-into-work time has been gradually getting later and later and later. And it’s just because getting up sucks. And there’s no other show I would want to do. There’s no other thing I would want to do in media. And just decided for me that this was like the perfect time to walk away.” Klingler says he’s not retiring fully. He’ll still do Chiefs radio broadcasts and some freelance TV. Read the Kansas City Star report here.