Industry Views

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

imTwo 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/videoim 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 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 News

Beasley Media Group Launches Podcast Radio U.S. Format in Four Markets

Beasley Media Group is partnering with Podcast Radio and KMG Networks for a new “podcast multiplatform radio format in four regions across the company.” Beasley says this unique format will be available to listeners via broadcast on WCSX-HD2/W228CJ, Detroit “Podcast Radio Detroit”; WJBR-AM, Tampa (formerly WHFS-AM) “Podcast Radio Tampa Bay”; WSOC-HD3/W234BY, Charlotte “Podcast Radio Carolinas”; and WXKB-HD2/W243BM, Fort Myers & W268AH/W286AK, Naples, Florida “Podcast Radioim Southwest Florida.” The stations can also be streamed and consumed as podcasts via Podcast Radio states, “Podcast Radio features live ‘Podjocks’, including former KROQ-FM, Los Angeles personality and legendary Radio Hall of Famer Gene ‘Bean’ Baxter. The format will showcase the very best produced and popular podcasts from the United States and all over the world, including audio content from TedAudio (TedTalk), Wondery, Evergreen, Corus, and more! The initiative with Beasley is the first of its kind for the company in the United States. The format will be offered to radio stations and groups on a network/barter basis via KMG Networks. AdLarge Media has been selected to facilitate the network advertising sales.” Beasley Media Group chief content officer Justin Chase says, “Podcast Radio is an idea that Caroline Beasley and our team have been thinking about and researching for years and we’re excited to be the first to launch this format in the United States. This concept has been highly successful for Gerry [Edwards] and his team in the United Kingdom, and we believe our audience will fall in love with the Podcast Radio U.S. version we present on our stations.”

Industry News

Kelsey Grammer Appears on Dom Giordano’s Jersey Shore Remote Broadcast


Pictured above is actor Kelsey Grammer (left) with WPHT, Philadelphia talk host Dom Giordano (right) during Friday’s live broadcast of Giordano’s radio program from Mulligans Shore Bar and Grill in Wildwood, New Jersey. Grammer spent the early part of his childhood on the Jersey Shore and is a welcome visitor on his frequent trips to New Jersey’s shore towns. During Friday’s program, Giordano and Grammer talked about the fight against an offshore wind farm being spearheaded by Protect Our Coast New Jersey, Faith American Brewing Company – Grammer’s brewery on his Catskills farm, and what makes the Jersey Shore such a special place.

Industry News

TALKERS to Present Webinar on Protection Against Ransomware and Other Cyber Attacks for Radio Stations and Media Companies

Ransomware, the most common cyberattack, occurs worldwide more than 37,000 times each hour and the “Business Email Compromise,” a common scam targeting companies, is attempted approximately 156,000 times each day. The cost of these attacks is huge financially, but the losses due to scams and cyberattacks extend far beyond the funds stolen or required to remedy the problems after they occur. Downtime, data depletion, extortion demands, funds stolen by scams, reputation damage, and loss of intellectual property are all sources of extreme damage to media companies and radio stations which can be even worse when you factor in possible legal liability for failure to comply with proper cybersecurity standards. Radio and media companies, large and small, have been particularly hard hit by this growing criminal activity in recent years.

TALKERS, in conjunction with Scamicide (, is presenting an exclusive webinar forim radio and media company personnel focusing on where broadcasters are vulnerable and steps that should be taken to become more secure as well as comply with federal regulations. The 90-minute webinar will take place on Friday, October 20 at 2:00 pm ET.

This information-packed session will be conducted by Scamicide founder and TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman, Esq. According to Weisman, “When it comes to the danger radio stations and media companies face from scams and cyberattacks, things aren’t as bad as you think. They are far worse.”

Weisman continues, “Your companies are further vulnerable through the many ‘Internet of Things’ devices, such as your internet connected copier and other devices, remote workers and third-party vendors, all of which become attack vectors. Making the situation even worse is the business model of sophisticated cybercriminals who sell and lease on the ‘Dark Web’ the complex malware they create to less sophisticated cybercriminals and now, through AI and deep fakes, cyberattacks and scams have become more effective.”

Steve Weisman is an attorney and a college professor at Bentley University in Boston where he teaches White Collar Crime and Media Law. He’s a prolific author and one of the country’s leading experts in scams, identity theft, and cybersecurity. Scamicide, which he founded, provides daily updated information about the latest scams, identity theft schemes and cybersecurity developments. Scamicide was named by The New York Times as one of the three best sources of information regarding COVID-related scams. Weisman is a frequent speaker and consultant regarding scams, identity theft, and cybersecurity. He was a consultant in an Equifax data breach class action and more recently advised Meta in regard to scams related to its WhatsApp app.

The cost of attending the webinar is $149 per person. Broadcasters can register by phone only with credit card. To register, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413 or email to receive a quick response.

Industry News

Benztown Offers Free Halloween AudioPack

The imaging pros at Benztown are offering a free Halloween AudioPack with more than 20 thrilling audioim pieces designed to bring some eerie seasonal sounds to stations of all formats. Sounds featured in the free Benztown Halloween AudioPack include: ghoulish whispers, clinking chains, blood-hungry zombies, creepy-crawly SFX, hauntingly horrific musicbeds, and more sonic treats and audio hocus pocus. Get it now through October 31by visiting Benztown here.  

Industry News

Former Arizona Talk Host John C. Scott Dies at 80 reports that longtime Tucson market radio personality John C. Scott died on Friday (9/22) at the age of 80. He retired from his “John C. Scott Political Forum” program on Bustos Media’s KVOI-AM in July. Scott relocated to Tucson in 1967 and worked as the news anchor for KTKT-AM. He later became for news anchor for KVOA-TV, and KOLD-TV. He also hosted a talk show on KGUN-TV. In 1972, Scott won a seat in the Arizona State Senate where he served as a Democrat for two years. Current Tucson mayoral candidate Ed Ackerley comments, “He was a progressive conservative. I know that’s an oxymoron, but I believe had the best interests of the city at heart. His overall sense was that we can all come together, work together to make Tucson a better place to live.” Read the obit here.

Industry News

The Weekend’s Top News/Talk Media Stories

The efforts in Congress to avoid a government shutdown; the UAW strike targeting the Big 3 U.S. auto makers; the impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden; former President Donald Trump leading Biden by 10 points in Washington PostABC poll; former President Donald Trump’s legal battles; the corruption charges against U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ); Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley exits his post; the U.S. migrant crisis: and the tentative end to the Writers Guild of America strike were some of the most-talked-about stories in news/talk media over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Industry News

RTDNA: News Consumers Want Journalists to Ask Tough Questions of Candidates

According to a study by Magid and commissioned by the Radio Television Digital News Association, most U.S. local news consumers want journalists to ask tough, but respectful, questions of candidates and regularly fact check those running for office. RTDNA released the data at its RTDNA23 in Minneapolis. The study finds 62% of local news viewers and listeners say it is “very important” that local sources andim journalists “ask tough, but respectful questions to get answers,” and 61% say it is very important they fact-check those candidates. RTDNA president and CEO Dan Shelley comments, “In our highly polarized society, Americans need to rely on their trusted local sources of news to get the facts about candidates, campaigns and other political issues. These findings offer a clear roadmap to ensure local reporters and news managers are providing voters with the information they crave to make critical decisions in the voting booth.” Other data from the study reflects news consumers’ attitudes about news organizations, finding that 47% of those surveyed said they were in strong agreement that the information they get from local news sources is accurate and correct. That number drops to 41% when local news outlets cover political issues. It also found that just 39% of people were in strong agreement that local news sources were balanced and represented all sides of an issue. See more from the RTDNA here.

Industry News

WXYT-FM, Detroit Announces New Morning Show

Audacy promotes Detroit sports talk personality Jim Costa to co-host of the morning show on sports talk WXYT-FM, Detroit “97.1 The Ticket,” following the conclusion of the Detroit Lions season in February. He’ll join current morning personality Jon Jansen and takes over for Mike Stone who is retiring. Costa hasim been with the station since February of 2021 and has served as evening host, prime-time fill-in host, and co-hosts the “Cash The Ticket” sports betting podcast with WXYT afternoon host Mike Valenti. Audacy Detroit SVP and market manager imDebbie Kenyon says, “I’m thrilled that Jim Costa will be the next co-host of the ‘97.1 The Ticket’ morning show. Jim has spent the last few years building a great relationship with his listeners. We look forward to the talents of Jim Costa and Jon Jansen entertaining and informing the Detroit sports audience and can’t wait to see how the show evolves in 2024.” Costa adds, “This is a dream come true for me. My whole career, I’ve chased the chance to build a show on ‘97.1 The Ticket.’ I grew up listening to this station and rooting for these teams. To start the conversation in Detroit every morning is special. Jon Jansen and I are a good contrast; we play off each other well, and I’m excited for the show we will create along with Heather [Park] and the entire morning show crew.”

Industry News

Former Senator Alfonse D’Amato Joins 77WABC

Red Apple Media’s news/talk WABC, New York announces that former U.S. Senator Alfonse D’Amato is joining the station as a regular contributor in which he’ll “provide insights from his years of political service across 77WABC’s talk programs, including ‘Cats & Cosby,’ the afternoon drive show co-hosted by Redim Apple CEO John Catsimatidis and award-winning journalist Rita Cosby. Catsimatidis says, “Senator D’Amato is one of the smartest, most common sense, and knowledgeable people I know. From his many years in the U.S. Senate, Al has a deep understanding of the underpinnings of politics – local, national, and global – and will help 77WABC listeners discern the truth about what’s really going on in Washington and the world.” Senator D’Amato represented the state of New York in the U.S. Senate from 1981 to 1999. Following his departure from the Senate, he founded the lobbying firm Park Strategies. He says, “I am pleased to be part of the greatest news/talk programming in the nation. 77WABC is a station whose people call it the way it is and aren’t wed to a political party but are wed to doing what’s right in America.”

Industry News

Broadcasters Inducted into Rhode Island Hall of Fame


Pictured above is WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM, Providence morning host and WJAR-TV, Providence 6:00 pm anchor Gene Valicenti (right) with consultants Holland Cooke (left) and Mike McVay (center). Valicenti was one of those inducted into Rhode Island Radio & TV Hall of Fame last night (9/21). This year’s other radio inductee is former WPRO news director Chris Camp, who recently retired back to Rhode Island after 28 years as news director at Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta.