Industry Views

Pending Business: The Fastest Billboards

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp
President

Until NASA approves company logos on rockets, the fastest billboards an advertiser can buy move at over 200 miles per hour, weigh less than seven ounces and are three-hundredths of an inch thick.

Who wants fast-moving billboards? The longer you can read the message the better, right? Not a problem when a marketer identifies a hard-to-reach target combined with an engaging new opportunity. No, these are not the colorful logos you see on NASCAR vehicles or the old school logos on Formula 1 cars. These are the new-age digital billboards on Formula 1 race cars.

These new billboards are the first of their kind, strategically placed on Formula 1 cars. These magnificent machines, featured at races around the world, can reach speeds of nearly 250 miles per hour. When a race car is moving that fast every ounce of weight counts, hence the paper-thin design. You see (excuse the pun) it is all about a camera angle and what the viewer sees when TV coverage cuts to that strategically placed camera and over 2 million viewers are looking on. Angles count.

Formula 1 racing not a threat to local radio ad sales, you say? Not yet, but when over 13 million people watch the top 12 Grand Prix races worldwide, it’s just a matter of time. The Formula 1 billboard lessons for local sellers and managers are not simple “how many calls, how many closes?” The Formula 1 billboard story is about:

— Sales and marketing innovation in a sport that is nearly 130 years old. The idea of creating a paper-thin, super lightweight digital billboard is an amazing accomplishment.

— Try again. How many times have you pitched a package to an advertiser who told you what was wrong with your package, only to lead to frustration at not winning the business? Can your manager quickly adapt to the advertisers’ needs? Managers, please read that last sentence carefully. The designers of the digital billboard were sent back to the drawing board until the weight and thickness worked for these incredible race machines.

— While you are thinking about getting your pitch together, somebody is already moving forward. In plain English: you snooze, you lose.

— Collaboration is the way to win. It took sellers working with engineers, working with marketers to make the concept work. How about you? Are you comfortable selling in collaboration with teammates?

The sales and marketing innovation clock never stops. How about you? Is your learning clock still ticking?

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. Steve Lapa will be moderating the “Generating Revenue” panel at TALKERS 2023 on Friday, June 2 at Hofstra University.

Industry News

TALKERS 2023 is an Advance Sellout. However, Standby List Placed in Operation

TALKERS 2023, the 26th annual installment of the talk media industry’s iconic gathering, is an advance sellout. However, at the suggestion of several industry professionals still wanting to attend, there will be a standby list in operation until 12:00 noon ET on Thursday, June 1 which will operate on a first-come, first-served basis, as (and if) cancellations occur. Potential attendees in the New York area interested in being put on the list should call Barbara Kurland at TALKERS at 413-565-5413 or email her at info@talkers.com.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “Industry professionals who have attended the TALKERS Conference in theim past enjoy it and find it to be a valuable experience for a number of reasons beyond the remarkable quality of the speakers and pertinence of the agenda. They appreciate the intimacy of the environment and outstanding ‘who’s who’ in talk media makeup of their fellow attendees. We work diligently to keep this event within those parameters. It is only open to people who work within or are associated in some way with the talk media industry – there is no online open registration – and it all happens within one power-packed day with absolutely no down time.” More than 65 luminaries from the talk media industry are set to speak at a content-heavy day of fireside chats, solo addresses, panel discussions, workshops, award presentations, new equipment showcases and endless networking opportunities. All in a beautiful indoor/outdoor state-of-the-art environment conducive to one-on-one conversations. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison adds, “People attend this seminar not only to see and hear the speakers… they come to meet them and each other as well! This event offers that opportunity.” The entire agenda of events at TALKERS 2023 will be video recorded and posted for world-wide viewing at a later date. Some sponsorship opportunities still exist. See more about the agenda, sponsorship and hotel information here.

Industry News

Audacy Shareholders Approve Reverse Stock Split

Audacy filed a Form 8-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday (5/26) that details the actions taken during the company’s annual shareholders meeting on May 24. Among the actions shareholders approved was the “approval of an amendment to the company’s Amended and Restated Articles of Incorporation to permit the company to effect a reverse stock split of its outstanding Class A and Class Bim Common Stock, at a ratio with a range between one-for-two and one-for-30, subject to and as determined by a committee appointed by the board of directors.” This action comes after Audacy received notice from the New York Stock Exchange that it is commencing proceedings to delist the company’s Class A Common Stock from the exchange due to Audacy’s stock reaching “an abnormally low selling price.” Trading of Audacy’s Class A Common Stock was halted on May 16 after the share price fell about 12% to $0.09 per share. Now, the NYSE will apply to the Securities and Exchange Commission to delist the company’s common stock pending completion of applicable procedures. Trading of Audacy’s common stock on the NYSE is suspended but the common stock will continue to be able to be traded over the counter. With the value of Audacy’s Class A Common Stock at less than $0.10 per share, the reverse stock split would have to be at least more than a 1-for-10 split in order for the share price to be over $1.00 per share.

Industry News

The Weekend’s Top News/Talk Media Stories

President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy reach an agreement over the debt ceiling; the 2024 presidential race and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ entrance into the GOP primary; the legal issues facing former President Donald Trump; drone strikes hit Moscow in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war; the Memorial Day holiday weekend and the spate of shootings that took place over the three days; the Texas legislature votes to impeach Attorney General Ken Paxton; Target, Bud Light, and the backlash against LGBTQ activism were some of the most-talked-about stories in news/talk media over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Industry News

TALKERS 2023 Promises to Be a Talk Media Historical Video Goldmine

In many ways, TALKERS 2023 will be the setting for a historical video documentary capturing the state of talk media at one of its most colorful and critical junctures. The 26th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important gathering set for Friday, June 2 at Hofstra University on Long Island is officially sold out. But for those who cannot attend – fear not! The entire event will be captured on video and posted shortly after the event on the TALKERS website as well as other major industry platforms. TALKERS has once again contracted the services of the radio industry’s legendary videographer and historian – Art Vuolo of Vuolo Video – who will capture all sessions and addresses for posting and posterity. In addition, the ace Hofstra student broadcasting staff of the famous Lawrence Herbert School of Communication will be video recording interviews with as many of the conference’s attending luminaries as possible – also for posting and posterity. The TALKERS conventions are treasure troves of memories and insights for history. In order to comply with health and comfort considerations and maintain the intimate, qualitative environment for which this event is known, the absolute registration cutoff point was reached earlier this week. According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “Industry professionals who have attended the TALKERS Conference in the past enjoy it and find it to be a valuable experience for a number of reasons beyond the remarkable quality of the speakers and pertinence of the agenda. They appreciate the intimacy of the environment and outstanding ‘who’s who’ in talk media makeup of their fellow attendees. We work diligently to keep this event within those parameters. It is only open to people who work within or are associated in some way with the talk media industry – there is no online open registration – and it all happens within one power-packed day with absolutely no down time.” More than 65 luminaries from the talk media industry are set to speak at a content-heavy day of fireside chats, solo addresses, panel discussions, workshops, award presentations, new equipment showcases and endless networking opportunities. All in a beautiful indoor/outdoor state-of-the-art environment conducive to one-on-one conversations. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison adds, “People attend this seminar not only to see and hear the speakers… they come to meet them and each other as well! This event offers that opportunity.” The entire agenda of events at TALKERS 2023 will be video recorded and posted for world-wide viewing at a later date. Some sponsorship opportunities still exist. See more about the agenda, sponsorship and hotel information here.

Industry News

PodcastOne to Host Adam Carolla Pay-Per-View Event

PodcastOne is producing a live, pay-per-view event starring its leading podcast talent Adam Carolla. The June 4 show titled, “Adam Carolla & Friends,” airs at 9:30 pm ET from the Belly Up Tavern outside of San Diego and features Carolla plus comics Brad Williams, Kimbles Hume and other special guests. PodcastOneim says that in 2020, “Carolla made history when he partnered with LiveOne and PodcastOne for a livestream event that garnered an impressive 1.1 million views.”  PodcastOne president Kit Gray comments, “We are excited that PodcastOne and LiveOne have partnered with Adam to produce and distribute Adam’s very first headlining pay-per-view event. Very few comedians are as entertaining in an intimate club environment as Adam. Each show he performs is unique and tailored and to be able to bring this to a worldwide audience exemplifies how we’re able to create opportunities for our podcast hosts outside of the traditional audio driven mediums.”

Industry News

Top News/Talk Stories for Week of May 22-26

The official, glitchy Twitter announcement of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ bid for the GOP nomination for the 2024 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 negotiations between the White House and congressional leaders over the debt ceiling, followed by the legal battles facing former President Donald Trump at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed in news/talk media 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.

Industry News

Bob Pittman Addresses Key Issues in TALKERS 2023 Video

iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman and TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison engaged in an exclusive nine-minute video conversation recorded yesterday (5/24) to be debuted during the opening segment of TALKERS 2023, the 26th annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important conference set for Friday, June 2 at Hofstra University. In it, Pittman candidly and directly addresses key existential issues pertaining to the talk radio industry as it faces daunting forks in the road. Harrison, who has known Pittman since he was a 20-year-old music director at WMAQ, Chicago in the mid-1970s, asks the chief of radio’s largest firm such questions as, “Do you still have the same passion for radio as I remember you having when we were kids in the business?” “What are iHeart’s intentions for news/talk and sports talk radio within the realm of the company going forward?” “How can radio remain true to its roots and mission as an audio medium and theater-of-the-mind without missing the opportunities provided in a multiplatform environment?” plus more. Pittman says that this is a “golden moment” for both radio and the larger field of audio in which it is and will remain a major player. He pointed out that “25% of iHeart’s stations do not play music” and that more and more shows on the company’s music stations are “actually talk shows that play little or no music at all.” He reaffirmed the company’s awareness that personality plays an important role in the presentation of music and it is its intention to pivot back in that direction. He candidly addressed the divide between the coastal elites who influence the direction of national media but are largely out of touch with the heartland and the rest of real America. The video will make its debut at the TALKERS 2023 conference and then be made available publicly in the video coverage of the event that will be posted in the weeks following June 2. TALKERS 2023 is officially sold out. See more about the agenda, sponsorship and hotel information here.

Industry News

“98.9 WORD” to Host Immigration Broadcasts from U.S.-Mexico Border

Audacy news/talk WYRD-FM, Greenville, South Carolina “98.9 WORD” is presenting a two-day, live special from Yuma, Arizona at the U.S.-Mexico border in partnership with Americans for Prosperity on May 30 and 31 from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET. The programs are being moderated by WORD afternoon drive host Charlieim James. The focus on illegal immigration will feature local and national law enforcement officials, along with local community leaders and migrants in answering questions about recent developments, technology advancements, cross-border traffic control systems, border and citizen security, quality of life in the border region, and economic opportunities. James comments, “On this trip, we’re ripping up the talking points and bringing you actual observations and conversations with those directly affected by the crisis at our southern border. I look forward to delivering these real-time moments to the WORD audience.”

Industry News

KXEL-AM and Mudd Produce “Iowa Talking Points” Program

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NRG Media news/talk outlet KXEL, Waterloo, Iowa and Mudd Advertising are partnering to produce a series of cross-platform events in advance of Iowa’s caucuses. The series, titled, “Iowa Talking Points,” will be produced for live video stream, video and audio on-demand playback, and radio rebroadcast. The events will be hosted by KXEL program director and host Jeff Stein and will be conducted in front of a live studio audience at Mudd’s state-of-the-art “Studio5@Mudd” facility in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The first program will be tomorrow (5/26) with GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy. Stein – who has covered every Iowa Caucus since 1980 – says, “This will be the only place for multiplatform conversations about issues important to Iowa caucus-goers. The unique synergy of these partners allows us to provide access across multiple outlets to persons across Iowa and across the U.S.” Pictured above is Stein in the KXEL studios with Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley.

Industry News

Urban One Gets Second Notice of Non-Compliance from NASDAQ

Urban One has received a second notice from the NASDAQ Listing Qualifications Department that it was not in compliance as a result of not having timely filed both its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the period ended December 31, 2022 and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended March 31, 2023. Urban Oneim received its first notice of non-compliance on April 3. In accordance with the second NASDAQ notice, Urban One has until June 2 to submit a plan to file both delinquent reports or to submit a plan to regain compliance. If NASDAQ accepts the company’s plan, Urban One may get up to 180 days (September 27) to file the reports. If it doesn’t, the company can appeal the decision. Urban One says it intends to submit its plan to regain compliance on or before June 2.

Industry News

Ramsey Solutions Hosts EntreLeadership Summit 2023

Ramsey Solutions is hosting EntreLeadership Summit 2023 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville May 31 through June 2. Ramsey Solutions says, “EntreLeadership Summit is for business owners and leaders with a heart for investing in themselves and their teams. This year’s speakers include Ramsey Solutions’ CEO Daveim Ramsey, bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell, clinical psychologist Dr. Jordan Peterson, Food Network celebrity chef and restaurateur Maneet Chauhan and more. Dave Ramsey comments, “World-class leadership is becoming more important because that’s who people want to follow. Something happens when you get thousands of powerhouse leaders in one room. After leaving Summit, you’ll be ready to hire and retain top talent, lead with confidence, and strengthen your company culture.” Find out more about the event here.

Industry News

Premiere Networks Host, Producer Honored with Gracie Award

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Two Premiere Networks staffers were honored at the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation’s 48th annual Gracie Awards at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles. “The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show” producer Alice Mroczkowski was honored in the Producer – Talk [Radio – Nationally Syndicated Commercial] category and “Elvis Duran and the Morning Show” co-host Danielle Monaro was honored in the Co-host [Radio – Nationally Syndicated Commercial] category for the second time in her career. Pictured above are (from l-r): Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott, Mroczkowski, and Monaro.

Industry News

TALKERS 2023 Officially Sold Out

The 26th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest running and most important gathering set for Friday, June 2 at Hofstra University on Long Island is officially sold out. In order to comply with health and comfort considerations and maintain the intimate, qualitative environment for which this event is known, the absolute registration cutoff point was reached yesterday at 5:00 pm ET. According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “Industry professionals who have attended the TALKERS Conference in the past enjoy it and find it to be a valuable experience for a number of reasons beyond the remarkable quality of the speakersim and pertinence of the agenda. They appreciate the intimacy of the environment and outstanding ‘who’s who’ in talk media makeup of their fellow attendees. We work diligently to keep this event within those parameters. It is only open to people who work within or are associated in some way with the talk media industry – there is no online open registration – and it all happens within one power-packed day with absolutely no down time.” More than 65 luminaries from the talk media industry are set to speak at a content-heavy day of fireside chats, solo addresses, panel discussions, workshops, award presentations, new equipment showcases and endless networking opportunities. All in a beautiful indoor/outdoor state-of-the-art environment conducive to one-on-one conversations. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison adds, “People attend this seminar not only to see and hear the speakers… they come to meet them and each other as well! This event offers that opportunity.” The entire agenda of events at TALKERS 2023 will be video recorded and posted for world-wide viewing at a later date. Some sponsorship opportunities still exist.  See more about the agenda, sponsorship and hotel information here.

Industry News

TALKERS News Notes

Audacy radio stations were honored with 30 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards from the RTDNA. WCCO, Minneapolis; KNX, Los Angeles; WBBM, Chicago; WBEN, Buffalo; and WCBS, New York captured the distinguished “Overall Excellence” Award.

Edison Research announces that its Edison Podcast Metrics is launching in the U.K. The first survey is underway with data from Q2 2023 to be available for subscribers sometime in Q3. Edison SVP Melissa Kiesche says, “We are incredibly enthusiastic about the expansion of Edison Podcast Metrics to the U.K. We have seen how beneficial the data has been to those in the podcast industry in the U.S. and we are looking forward to seeing the thriving podcast community in the UK take advantage of this research.”

ABC Audio has two Memorial Day programs for news/talk stations. “Uvalde 365,” hosted by ABC News correspondent Michelle Franzen, chronicles the May 24, 2022 shooting of 19 students and two teachers. This one-hour program is part of a larger ABC News initiative in which a team embedded in the community for one year follows survivors and families of victims as they cope with the loss of their loved ones and the inaction of the police, their fight for justice, and developments in the investigation. “America Remembers,” hosted by correspondent Alex Stone, features Iraq and Afghanistan veterans still struggling with PTSD and highlights gold star family members who have lost loved ones during their time of service and who talk about how they are moving through their grief.

Industry News

Yesterday’s (5/24) Top News/Talk Stories

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announces his bid for the White House via a glitchy Twitter event; the negotiations between President Joe Biden and congressional leaders over the debt ceiling; IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley removed from the Hunter Biden investigation goes public; Microsoft IDs Chinese hackers targeting U.S. infrastructure; the legal battles facing former President Donald Trump; Target pulls some Pride merchandise after blowback; and music legend Tina Turner dies at 83 were some of the most-talked-about stories in news/talk media, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.