Industry News

Lee Harris Leaves 1010 WINS to Join News Nation

Legendary New York City radio news anchor Lee Harris is leaving Audacy’s Big Apple all-news station 1010im WINS. Harris, whose last day with WINS will be Friday (5/5), has been with the all-news outlet for almost 30 years, currently co-hosts the morning drive daypart with Susan Richard. He tells TALKERS magazine he’s taking on a management position with Nexstar Media Group’s cable news operation News Nation.

Industry Views

The Power of Appealing to Aspiration

By Walter Sabo
Consultant, Sabo Media
A.K.A. Walter Sterling
Radio Host, Sterling on Sunday

WABC - Bruce MorrowIt was a cruel trick. Hulu started streaming “For the People” from Shondaland Productions last month and I bit. It is a show about Manhattan, ambition and really well-tailored clothes. Then I looked at the more information tab and discovered that the show was cancelled… in 2018. Crushed. Two seasons on ABC. Cancelled.

Why have I fallen so hard for a show about the lawyers of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York? Two reasons: “For the People” is aspirational TV (at least to me) like, “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.” Every character in “For the People” has an enviable 20s-in-Manhattan lifestyle. It is easy for me to embrace the warm pool fantasy of a good job, cool sushi bars, easy sex. I also miss a character in the show named Kate Littlejohn played by Susannah Flood. She says what needs to be said and does not care what people think of her in the workplace! That’s my aspiration too!

“Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” is also aspirational (again, at least to me). The star, Guy Fieri, lives off the grid and off the menu. He eats any deep-fried dish he wants in the kitchen with the chef for free! I eat Lipitor. I aspire to be Guy Fieri, a man who has no negative consequences for his cardiac arrest diet.

When a show taps into your aspirations on any level, it becomes your show. Radio entertainment did that for you, that’s why you work in radio! You and I can do that for a listener. The founding Top 40 jocks tapped the aspirations of teens every day. Dewey Phillips on WHBQ, Alan Freed on 1010 WINS, Bruce Morrow on WABC and many more. What did they do? They said the names of their listeners for hours and hours, they formed an exclusive club of cool kids. These pioneers compelled their listener to buy the record, the ticket and come to the dance.

“Hey cousin, you’re captured.”  Bruce Morrow said that phrase MILLONS of times going into breaks. He captured the listener behind the velvet rope of coolness and that’s where they aspired to be and to remain.

The moment you share a story your listeners absolutely relate to, they will aspire to join your club. Say a listener’s name, and you instantly become a part of their personal history. Radio’s star making power is radio’s magic. Secretly, every listener wants to be a star, make their aspiration come true and you have a listener for life. Or, as the pedantic say… a P1!

Walter Sabo, consultant, can be contacted at Sabo Media: Direct phone: 646-678-1110.  Check out Meet Walter Sabo at TALKERS 2023 on June 2 at Hofstra University.

Industry News

Industry Mourns the Passing of WRHU GM Bruce Avery

The vast Hofstra University community, its Lawrence Herbert School of Communication and the greater national radio broadcasting industry mourn the passing of longtime WRHU Radio general manager Bruce Avery.  Avery passed away peacefully at home Saturday evening (1/14) after losing a five-year battle against an aggressive form of prostate cancer.  He had held the position at the Long Island, NY facility – until his recent retirement in 2022 – since 1994.  During that 28-year period, he successfully mentored countless students of radio broadcasting and played a major role in building the multi-Marconi Award-winning WRHU-FM/ into a powerhouse among America’s campus radio stations. In 2021, WRHU was the recipient of theFace - Forehead prestigious “World Radio Day Award” from the Academy of Radio Arts and Sciences of America in conjunction with the United Nations‘ UNESCO General Conference.  Recent recipients of this high honor include WTOP, Washington, DC; 1010 WINS, New York; and KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh. WRHU is the only campus radio station to receive this award. Hofstra University president Susan Posner states, “Bruce was an incredible friend and mentor who had a major hand in turning WRHU into the multi-Marconi award winning station that it is today. We will truly miss Bruce and cherish everything he gave to WRHU. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”  Lawrence Herbert School of Communication dean Mark Lukasiewicz adds, “Our heartfelt sympathies go out to Bruce’s widow Veronica, his children, and his extended family. We were fortunate to be able to celebrate Bruce’s career with him only a few months ago at his retirement luncheon, where former students and colleagues shared stories and fond memories of his decades of service at WRHU. At that event, we announced the establishment of an endowed scholarship in Bruce’s name, recognition of the deep impact he made on generations of students.”  For the past two decades, Avery also served as an extremely popular meteorologist on News12 Long Island which posted a heartfelt video tribute to his legacy that you can see here. Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.