Monday Memo: Talk Radio 101 – LISTEN. “Streaming has music radio on its heels, because,” in consultant Holland Cooke’s view, “The Sentence Never Spoken is ‘Alexa, please play six commercials.’” Yet Cooke warns that “talkers should avoid taking false comfort that we’re less vulnerable to digital competitors, because people are using social media to talk to each other without us.” In this week’s column, HC details techniques to engage callers. Read it here.
Pending Business: It’s a Matter of Trust. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says that it’s not unusual for news/talk radio sellers to unwittingly overlook the importance of the trust and credibility that their station’s hosts have engendered with their listeners. Too often, this important quality that’s not easy to match is left out of proposals for one reason or another. Read his column here.
Adriana Rizzo Named SVP of Consumer Marketing for Audacy. Marketing pro Adriana Rizzo joins Audacy as SVP of consumer marketing, effective January 31. In this role, Rizzo will lead the company’s audience growth initiatives across brand strategy, creative, messaging, media planning and attribution, while also managing the company’s Alchemy function, focused on the strategic integration of exclusive content and programming to Audacy’s over 200 million listeners. Audacy chief marketing officer Paul Suchman says, “We’re thrilled to have Adriana join our growing team. Her hire underscores our commitment to world-class marketing and our vision to become the audio platform of choice for consumers. The timing of Adriana’s hire is well aligned with our deep investments in technology and our future-proofed digital platform. Adriana will be a key partner to our business lines and to our marketing leads across broadcast, digital, sports betting and podcasting.” Rizzo was most recently with Discovery and launched streaming service Discovery+. She’s also served with ESPN. She comments, “I’m very excited to be joining Audacy at such an important and strategic time for the company and the industry. I look forward to working closely with this talented team and helping Audacy achieve new heights.”
After YouTube Snub, Heidi Harris Launches Vimeo Show. Twenty-four-year veteran Las Vegas-based radio talk show host Heidi Harris, currently heard at “97.1 FM Talk St. Louis” (KFTK-FM), is another conservative commentator recently banned from YouTube because of political content that the mega-platform says doesn’t meet its standards. In response, she has launched a new channel on Vimeo which will feature her daily “Headlines with Heidi” program. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison served as her first guest. Harris and Harrison discussed the current Big Tech censorship controversy as well as a number of “behind-the-scenes” talk media issues. To see the program, please click here.
2022 iHeartRadio Podcast Awards Take Place Virtually on Thursday. A number of celebrities will make guest appearances on this Thursday’s 2022 iHeartRadio Podcast Awards. The program was originally to take place live at the iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles but will now happen virtually at 9:00 pm ET on February 3 streaming on iHeartRadio’s YouTube channel and Facebook page as well as broadcast across select iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide. iHeartMedia says stars appearing include: Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and Will Arnett, Martha Stewart, Matt Rogers and Bowen Yang, Paris Hilton, Shonda Rhimes, Will Ferrell, Wilmer Valderrama, and many more. While winners from most categories will be decided by a panel of industry leaders and creatives, the Podcast of the Year award is decided by social voting on Twitter. The nominees for Podcast of the Year are: “Code Switch,” “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend,” “Crime Junkie,” “Louder Than a Riot,” “Office Ladies,” “SmartLess,” “Stuff You Should Know,” “The Daily,” “The Midnight Miracle” and “You’re Wrong About.”
Round Four of Holiday PPM Ratings Released. The fourth and final round of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s Holiday 2021 sweep covered December 9 – January 5. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. Due to holiday listening habits influenced by Christmas music, spoken-word stations often lose share during this period, but not all stations saw losses this time around. In Indianapolis, Emmis Communications’ news/talk WIBC-FM adds seven-tenths for an 8.8 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) but remains ranked #3 in the market. Cumulus Media’s WWTN-FM, Nashville “SuperTalk 99.7” is up eight-tenths for a 6.1 share finish and climbs from the #8 rank to #3. In Providence, Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM rises nine-tenths to a 6.7 share but is still ranked #5 in the market. iHeartMedia’s WJNO, West Palm Beach adds a half share for a 2.3 share finish good for the #11 rank. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as the first three rounds) here.
Ukraine Tensions/Sanctions, COVID-19, U.S.-China Relations/Olympics, Midterm Elections/Trump & the GOP, Spotify’s COVID Issue, Supreme Court Opening, North Korea Missile Test, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories over the Weekend. Russia’s military build-up at the Ukraine border and the West’s threatened sanctions if Russia invades; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and abroad, and mask & vaccine mandates; the Biden Administration’s relations with China and the Beijing Winter Olympics; the battle for control of Congress in the November midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence on the GOP; Spotify deals with artists pulling their music in response to what they term medical misinformation being spread on the “Joe Rogan Experience”; the controversy over President Joe Biden’s promise to nominate a Black woman to fill retiring Justice Stephen Breyer’s Supreme Court seat; North Korea tests a new missile causing concern over its military ambitions; and the Cincinnati Bengals will face the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl after Sunday’s games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.