Monday Memo: Stay Safe

By Holland Cooke


BLOCK ISLAND, RI — What’s “our elevator speech?” they asked. Sales reps at a client station tend to pitch the AC FM with T-Rex numbers, and leave money on the table by under-pitching the news/talk station.

When I wrote, in great big letters on the whiteboard: “Because these are NOT normal times…” the owner proclaimed “That’s it!” and every rep was nodding and scribbling.

In last week’s column, I recommended how promoting the news half of the news/talk franchise can generate more of what the ratings people call Occasions of Listening.

  • After that armed protester was shot dead attempting to breach FBI HQ in Cincinnati, the Open Carry characters appeared outside FBI/Phoenix. And, sadly, the next mass shooter is likely plotting right now. Dog whistles are all over Twitter.
  • In a monsoon in Las Vegas (NOT a misprint) someone drowned; and video of rain cascading through the ceiling and onto blackjack tables at Planet Hollywood went-viral. We were already praying for Kentucky, and the Western wildfire season is now perennial.
  • After 2+ years of arguing about vaccines, polio is back; and Monkeypox is here.
  • The people advertisers want as customers are wondering “What next???”

This particular station, a FOX News Radio affiliate, just began airing the network headlines at 30:30. “Stay close to the news” our promo at 30:00 cautions: “We’re doubling-down on FOX News.”

Be known for knowing, I recommended last week. And brace for something real bad – the sobering Big Story that blocks-out-the-sun — that could pop at any moment. And when it does, consider adding two words to your on-hour ID, after whatever routine language tee’s-up your newscast. Timecheck, then say “Stay safe.”

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