Industry Views

In Pursuit of Younger Demos

By Walter Sabo
Consultant, Sabo Media
A.K.A. Walter Sterling
Radio Host, “Sterling On Sunday”
Talk Media Network

imThe persistent liability of most talk stations is that they attract a high percentage of listeners over the age of 65. Consider that many of those older listeners are attracted to radio shows that are talking for companionship and comfort.

There are simple, tested techniques to incorporate in an on-air presentation that will appeal to a younger listener. If put on the air these tips will also enhance a station’s PPM results.

— Bumper music is unnecessary, it makes breaks seem longer. If it is necessary to use bumper music it should have been recorded after the year 2000. 2000 was obviously 23 years ago. A 35-year-old was 12 in 2000.

— Young people are busy with work, kids, life. They are attracted to radio that matches their pace. The shorter the calls, the younger the callers will be. DO NOT thank callers for holding on – that’s a screener’s job. Thank a caller for holding on and you signal that it takes a long time to get on the air. Busy people won’t call to be put on hold!

— The editorial page of any newspaper has the lowest readership. Comics, horoscope, and entertainment have the highest. Quote the editorial page and you’ll wake up grandpa and scare away the new mom. Did you know Taylor Swift has a new boyfriend?

— Everyone is attracted to mirrors of their lives. We engage with people who have similar problems with their kids, in-laws, jobs, money, car. How would you make a friend at a party? Those techniques will work for you on the air. What did your mother tell you about party talk? “Don’t talk about politics or religion, talk about the weather and the shrimp”

— The easiest way to attract younger listeners and repel older listeners is to play music on the weekend. Targeted, researched music that appeals to the exact audience age you covet. WABC features several music shows on the weekend. Sabo Media’s charter clients include “New Jersey 101.5” and “Real Radio Orlando” They air music all weekend, talk all week.

BONUS: Music on the weekend puts a station on concert, movie, music, club, and bar buys!

Just like a music station, a talk station must present a consistent package of entertainment, topics, news stories, music selection, production elements must appeal to your target listener. No wavering.


Above is a picture of two of Sterling On Sunday’s loyal listeners. Steven and Casandra of Burlington, NJ. Steven owns the bakery, Casandra works there and is a junior in college.

Walter Sabo founded Sabo Media to work with innovative media companies such as RKO, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, PARADE magazine, Pegasus, Apollo Advisers and others. He produces and hosts the successful talk show, Sterling On Sunday. Last Sunday the topics included how to know what’s in the custard in Walter Sabo can be emailed at

Industry News

Damon Amendolara to Host Mornings on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Channel

SiriusXM brings sports talk personality Damon Amendolara, a.k.a. D.A., to the Mad Dog Sports Radio channel to host the morning drive program “The D.A. Show with Babchik,” alongside longtime SiriusXMim personality Mike Babchik. Amendolara has been hosting a program on CBS Sports Radio since 2017. SiriusXM VP of sports programming Eric Spitz states, “D.A. is one of the brightest stars in sports radio today. He delivers a terrific blend of informative and thoughtful sports talk with creative, entertaining humor, which is what our listeners are looking for as they start their day. He and Babs will make a dynamic team as they lead off our programming each morning.”

Industry News

Maggie Gray and Andrew Perloff Named Morning Show at CBS Sports Radio

Audacy announces that Maggie Gray and Andrew Perloff are hosts of the new morning show on the CBS Sports Radio network as they move from afternoons to 6:00 am to 10:00 am daily beginning October 2. Gray spent three years as midday co-host at the company’s WFAN, New York and joinedim CBS Sports Radio in 2021. She’s also an analyst for SNY, appearing on “Baseball Night in New York.” Perloff joined CBS Sports Radio in 2022 after 13 years with “The Dan Patrick Show” where he earned the nickname “McLovin.” CBS Sports Radio brand manager Spike Eskin says, “Maggie and Perloff are going to be awesome in the morning. The way the show has grown and evolved over the last couple of years is so exciting, and we’re really looking forward to bringing their special mix of opinions, interviews and fun to the morning.”

Industry News

Cumulus Media and Former KTCK-AM/FM, Dallas Hosts Settle

The legal battle between Cumulus Media and former KTCK-AM/FM, Dallas midday sports talk hosts Dan McDowell and Jake Kemp is over as United States District Judge Karen Gren Scholer issues an order stating that the parties have resolved the matter and the parties are to file dismissal documents byim Friday (9/29). Cumulus objected to the two hosts publishing their “The Dumb Zone” podcast arguing that it violates the terms of their contracts, specifically the non-compete clause. McDowell and Kemp left “The Ticket” in July after being unable to come to terms on a renewal due to the two sides’ disagreement over digital initiatives. McDowell and Kemp had argued that Cumulus’ business is “the operation of terrestrial radio stations – old media – and it was only in that business that Plaintiff employed the Defendants.” Ultimately the two sides were ordered into mediation on the matter. The terms of the settlement have not been made public.

Industry Views

Matthew B. Harrison is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast

Two generations of the Harrison radio family meet on mic discussing the copyright implications of artificial intelligence as Matthew B. Harrison is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Matthew, the son of Michael, is VP/associate publisher of TALKERS in addition to being a media and intellectual property attorney, talent manager and audio/video producer.  His latest productions, “I Got a Line in New York City” ( and “My Friend is Going Away” ( are experimental exercises in the utilization of AI graphics in the music video genre. On this podcast, Harrison and Harrison bring into focus the somewhat murky application of copyright law in communications and the arts as we hurtle into the frontier age of artificial intelligence. Listen to the podcast in its entirety here

Industry News

Report: New York Public Radio to Cut Workforce by 12%

According to a report by Benjamin Mullen in The New York Times, public media firm New York Publicim Radio plans to reduce its workforce by 12% due to a “free fall in the advertising market.” The source is a memo to staffers from NYPR CEO LaFontaine Oliver. The story goes on to note that the organization employs about 340 full- and part-time workers at WNYC, classical WQXR, and the Gothamist news site. Read the Times piece here.

Industry News

KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno Raises $620,000 for Central California Food Bank


Pictured above at last Friday’s 10th annual KMJ’s Feeding Families Fund Drive is station news anchor Liz Kern (left) and station talk host Ray Appleton – with his dog Elvis (right). The Cumulus Media news/talk station helped raise $620,000 for the Central California Food Bank. In the last decade, KMJ’s Feeding Families Fund Drive has raised a total of over $4.4 million to help feed area families in need. The fundraiser is conducted every year in partnership with the Musson family at agribusiness firm GAR Bennett, which very generously matches 50% of the total funds raised through the drive.

Industry News

Audacy Houston Raises $100k-plus for Barbara Bush Literacy Foundation

Audacy’s Houston radio stations helped raise more than $100,000 for the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation during the 4th annual Giving Week campaign. Audacy’s five stations – including sports talk KILT-AM Sports Radio 610 – launched the campaign in support of one of the Foundation’sim signature programs, My Home Library, which raises funds to provide home libraries to economically disadvantaged children in Houston. Audacy Houston SVP and market manager Sarah Frazier says, “Through the power of community and compassion, we’re delighted to help provide a brighter future for underserved children. We are proud to support the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation in their critical mission once again.”

Industry News

PodcastOne and Barbara Schroeder to Release Season Two of “Bad Bad Thing”

PodcastOne and director and Emmy Award winning journalist Barbara Schroeder are producing and distributing season two of the Bad Bad Thing series with this year’s podcast, “Bad Bad Thing: The Blackstone Sisters.” This limited podcast series goes behind the headlines that splashed acrossim Hollywood and the nation in 2015 when Jill Blackstone, a respected television talk show producer, was accused of killing her disabled sister Wendy and their rescue dogs. While Jill Blackstone claimed the deaths were caused by accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, police believe she produced the scene to make it look like an accident. Although the case against Jill Blackstone ended with a no contest plea deal, a new anonymous source has come forward to release evidence never before made public, so that the real story of what happened to Wendy Blackstone, and the secrets being kept by the Blackstone family, can finally be revealed.

Industry News

Yesterday’s (9/26) Top News/Talk Media Stories

The efforts in congress to avoid a looming government shutdown; the bribery allegations against U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and his refusal to step down; the impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden; the 2024 presidential race and tonight’s GOP candidates’ debate; former President Donald Trump’s legal battles; the Hunter Biden investigation; the Alabama redistricting case; the FTC and 17 states sue Amazon for monopolistic practices; the Writers Guild of America agrees to end its 148-day strike; and former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s book Enough were some of the most-talked-about stories in news/talk media yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Industry Views

Pending Business: Demo Talk

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp

imAttention news/talk radio sellers! Get ready to meet your new best friend… and it is not who you think it is.

Take a guess. Could it be a mega budget opening up from an advertiser targeting 55+?

No. How about your closest competitor admitting defeat and conceding it no longer makes sense to compete?

Close, but this could be better. This is the part where your new best friend becomes such a giant ally, making your demographic pitch so valid, you are left stone-cold speechless. This is where “The Golden Bachelor” answers the double “Jeopardy” question and you could become the next Ken Jennings of news/talk radio ad sales. Give up? Here is the story line.

The New York Times article “TV Networks’ Last Best Hope: Boomers” saluted, validated, recognized, and just about honored the news/talk radio 55+ audience value proposition. We could be talking about a new day for news/talk radio sellers.

When the highly resourced sales teams from linear network TV begin telling the same demographic value story that news/talk radio sellers have been telling forever, well then, it is time to start popping the champagne in your local sales department.

It seems that linear network TV programmers are finally conceding the 60+ audience is the remaining core audience for your favorite network television programs. According to the article, franchise programs like “Grey’s Anatomy,” and “The Voice” have median viewers over 64. Wait, what? Dr. Meredith Grey and the crew at Seattle Mercy are now appealing to seniors? It may have taken 400+ episodes, but the last man standing is indeed grey! The sellers at NBC, ABC, CBS, and FOX could start singing from the same demographic page as news/talk sellers and the harmonics are sounding wonderful.

Please don’t be silly enough to think this will ever get truly competitive. No friends, this is where everyone wins if the selling stays at the value level. Media habits are changing at mach 4 speed, and nobody knows the change part of the business better than the terrestrial radio business. From fragmentation to consolidation, we’ve seen it all. Is the best yet to come?

Smart radio sales teams will embrace this opportunity. Do you still pitch the “older demo” value proposition with the anecdotal Grace Slick is 83, Mick Jagger is 80, and Elton John is 76? Time to start talking about the scene where 70-year-old Jerry Seinfeld says to 74-year-old Kramer, “I’m movin’ to Florida! You comin’ with me or not?”

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:

Industry News

WWO: Why AM/FM Radio is a Great Place to Promote Podcasts

This week’s Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Group blog investigates the connection between AM/FM radio listening and podcast listening and concludes that “a majority of the podcast audience also listens to AM/FM radio and vice versa.” It reports that Edison Research’s Infinite Dial study reveals that of the weekly AM/FM radio audience 45% listen to podcasts weekly, 55% listen to podcastsim monthly, and 77% have ever listened to podcasts. “All of this podcast and AM/FM radio audience duplication means there are great cross-promotion opportunities.” Among the podcast audience, over half the ad-supported time spent goes to podcasts themselves at a 53% share. AM/FM radio follows with a 37% share. Distantly following are ad-supported SiriusXM (4%), ad-supported Spotify (3%), and ad-supported Pandora (3%). Additionally, MARU/Matchbox was commissioned to study Cumulus Media radio listeners who listened for at least an hour to stations in Dallas, Chicago, Detroit, San Francisco and Atlanta and were exposed to promos for eight Cumulus Podcast Network podcast titles. Overall, 54% of the Cumulus radio audience were aware of the eight Cumulus Podcast Network podcasts. A much larger promotion of heavy AM/FM radio listeners (67%) were aware of the podcast titles, and a whopping 75% of the heavy AM/FM radio streaming audience were aware of the podcast titles. Read the blog here.

Industry News

Sean Hannity to Moderate DeSantis-Newsom Debate

FOX News Channel prime time star Sean Hannity will moderate a red vs. blue state debate between Florida Governor and Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis and Democrat California Governorim Gavin Newsom on November 30 from a location in Georgia yet-to-be-determined. It will air from 9:00 pm to 10:30 pm ET. FNC says, “Hannity first raised the prospect of a debate with Governor Newsom during his exclusive sit-down this past June, following which, Governor DeSantis officially signed on to participate in July. This will mark the first time the two prominent governors will face off in a debate.” Hannity says, “I’m looking forward to providing viewers with an informative debate about the everyday issues and governing philosophies that impact the lives of every American.”

Industry News

Liberty Media Proposes SiriusXM Merger

Numerous news outlets are reporting the proposal by Liberty Media to merge its business with an 83% stake in SiriusXM – Liberty SiriusXM Group (LSXM) – with the satellite radio company that become aim publicly traded company controlled by the conglomerate. Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei says, “SiriusXM minority shareholders will also benefit from enhanced trading dynamics, including increased liquidity and likelihood of future index inclusion.” A merger between the two would result in SiriusXM minority investors owning about 16% of the new company, with Liberty Media controlling the rest. SiriusXM says it is evaluating the offer. Read the CNBC story here.

Industry News

Yesterday’s (9/25) Top News/Talk Media Stories

The looming shutdown of the federal government; the UAW strike affecting the Big 3 auto makers; the 2024 presidential race; the impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden; former President Donald Trump’s legal battles; the corruption charges against U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ); the U.S. migrant crisis; former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s book Enough; and “NCIS” and “Man from U.N.C.L.E” actor David McCallum dies at 90 were some of the most-talked-about stories in news/talk media yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Industry Views

Monday Memo: Sell Yourself a Schedule

By Holland Cooke

imI asked my pal, longtime radio seller, now retired: “How often were you asked, ‘How much would you charge for ONE commercial?’”

“Many times!” he guffawed. “I told ‘em ‘Keep your money! It won’t work!’” And he would explain to the prospect that repetition is the key to radio advertising.

Pitch like your happiest advertisers

Smart reps schedule commercial flights using the Radio Advertising Bureau’s Optimum Effective Scheduling formula (OES), because “message retention and recall begins after three exposures.”

Don’t stop there. I don’t know WHEN I’ll need to buy a tire, but when that next nail finds me, I know WHERE I will buy, because that retailer advertises enough to own “tires” in my mind. Purchasing a whole car is more foreseeable, and I’ve read that it takes many buyers 90 days to pull the trigger. So, if the copy is just right, always-on always works.

Programmers: Are you selling your station, on its own air, with the frequency we preach to clients? And – no matter how often you freshen your imaging – is the benefit statement as consistent as the many ways “Liberty-Liberty-Libbberty” assures us “you only pay for what you need?”


Sales 101: “Your best prospect is…”

Say it with me: “…an existing customer.”

To be clear: Nothing you say on-air will add cume, because the only people who hear your imaging are already listening.

Hey, who wouldn’t want a bigger budget for billboards over the Interstate? But it’s…the Interstate. Many who give it a glance (at most) don’t even live here. Some of those who do might give you a try. And whether they do or whether they don’t, there’s very little you can do to keep them sitting in a parked car, listening. So how can we invite them back more often?

Tip: On-hour news appointments, “a quick [name of network] update, throughout your busy day” as the world we live in has listeners wondering “What NEXT???” This is increasingly useful for music stations, with music now commoditized by non-broadcast competitors.

Rip me off

On-air promos accomplish three things:

— Defining the station, labeling your button in the listener’s mind.

— Asking for more occasions of listening, thus the newscast tip above.

— Listeners REMEMBER having-listened. Not just opportune in diary markets, where we want diarykeepers to round-up. 😉 In PPM markets, awareness drives use. So, in both cases, ratings are a memory test. And this matters even if you don’t subscribe to ratings, because advertisers need prospects to hear that tire commercial multiple times.

So, it’s worth your time to review all imaging and promos now airing. Of each piece, ask yourself: What does this accomplish? Does this convey why/when/how the listener should/can listen more often?

To hear 21 examples of imaging work I’ve done for client stations, click “DO listeners understand why to spend more time with you?” at

OK…ONE exception…

I asked my bud, who sold a lotta radio for a lotta years: “What if the request to buy ONE commercial was a pop-the-question surprise, to air when the hopeful groom knew she would be listening?”

“Ka-CHING!” he winked, “and I’d nick him good! You know what that ring cost?”

Holland Cooke ( is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. He is the author of “Spot-On: Commercial Copy Points That Earned The Benjamins,” a FREE download; and “Your Trusted Voice: How to Attract New Clients More Efficiently than Competitors Who Spend a Fortune on Advertising.” Follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke