Monday Memo: News = Dog, Talk = Tail

By Holland Cooke


BLOCK ISLAND, RI — This Civil War now so clearly unfolding around us was roiling long before it erupted on January 6. We’ve seen it coming on stilts. So – regardless of whether or how Donald Trump is held accountable in various predicaments now escalating – expect few minds to change.

  • That’s the “talk” half of the format, the caricature. The catch-phrases change little day-to-day. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison calls it “the daily dance of affirmation.” Less monologue/more dialogue will help. As caller-after-caller weighs-in you will sound popular, something advertisers notice.
  • Meanwhile, information — our “news” franchise – sure is changing, dramatically, profoundly, moment-to-moment. And if you convey, repeatedly, that listeners will hear “a quick news update, every half-hour, throughout your busy day,” they will contribute what the ratings people call Occasions of Listening, the quickest way to grow Share. And you will produce results for advertisers, one of which (“a whale”) has a title sponsorship on smart stations.

Be known for knowing the very latest. When-the-fit-hits-the-shan, you will be the dashboard news button, and the news source they’re asking Alexa to play.

 Holland Cooke ( is author of the E-book “Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers, Without Buying Clicks,” available from Talkers books; and“Spot-On: Commercial Copy Points That Earned The Benjamins,” a FREE download here: and “Inflation Hacks: Save Those Benjamins.” HC is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. Follow him on Twitter @HollandCooke