Audio analytics and research platform Veritonic, in partnership with computer vision and attention AI company Realeyes, publishes their first Veritonic Audio Attention Report that analyzes effective audio advertising. The report provides data-backed insight into the importance of creative efficacy programs for audio and podcast advertising. Some of the key takeaways include: 1) Attention quality was highest for the audio ad that had the highest voiceover volume (36%) as opposed to the ad that had the lowest voiceover volume (27%) and the ad that had too many competing elements within the creative (25%); 2) 75% of participants reported a good quality audio ad positively influences their consideration to purchase a product; and 3) The inclusion of multiple competing audio components elements within an audio ad caused the ad to score lower in terms of overall quality than the ads without multiple competing elements. You can get the full report here.
Audacy SVP and head of research & insights Idil Cakim dives into a new political study by Nielsen (commissioned by iHeartMedia, Audacy and Cumulus) that suggests advertising on radio can provide political campaigns with an edge and help “connect with key voter groups and amplify other political advertising.” The Nielsen study – Optimizing Political Campaigns in November – concludes that “if a campaign reallocated 20% of existing ad dollars to radio, it could reach 17% more voters.” The study references Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman’s 2022 campaign, noting that it deployed radio to reach voters in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. In doing so, it allocated 20% of media dollars to radio and generated a 10% lift from radio above the local TV campaign, amounting to 676,000 additional voters at no extra cost. Audacy SVP of strategy, partnerships and analytics Jon Blum says, “When campaigns activate a TV plan, they should activate a corresponding radio plan and incorporate it into the mix with TV. The portion of the population that isn’t reachable via TV could be the swing vote and what throws it over the top for a candidate.” Nielsen’s study noted that if a campaign moved 20% of ad spending to radio, the optimized media plan would connect with 15% more Democratic and Republican voters and 23% more unaffiliated voters. See more about the study here.
Audacy and audio analytics and research platform Veritonic announce they have renewed their partnership. Audacy SVP of research and insights Idil Cakim comments, “Measuring the impact of our total Audio campaigns — including radio, streaming and podcast advertising— with Veritonic allows us to show the power of Audacy’s content in connecting with audiences and mobilizing customers. We’re thrilled to continue our partnership and enable our clients and advertising partners to leverage audio to achieve the utmost in competitive edge, reach, and ROI.”
Cumulus Media Inc is the first audio group to report third quarter 2023 operating results in a year that’s been challenging for all media reliant on advertising. Today’s Q3 report reveals net revenue of $207 million, a decline of 11% over the same period in 2022. Cumulus reports net income during the quarter of $2.7 million, down 68% from a year ago. However, for the first nine months of 2023, the company reports a net loss of $19.8 million. Cumulus reports in segments, and for the Q3 period total broadcast radio revenue was $146 million, down 17.4% from a year ago. Spot revenue was down 15.2% while network revenue declined 22.8% from Q3 of 2022. Cumulus’ digital segment reports revenue of $37.2 million, an increase of 6.6%, year-over-year. Cumulus CEO Mary G. Berner states, “Third quarter revenue and Adjusted EBITDA finished in line with expectations with results reflecting the continued dichotomy between local and national business lines. Despite the challenging environment, we maximized performance by continuing to focus on areas we can control, including growing each of our digital businesses, reducing costs, and improving our balance sheet through non-core asset sales and debt reduction. These actions have further improved the company’s revenue growth profile, operating leverage, financial flexibility, and strategic optionality and, collectively, position us to rebound when the advertising environment improves. While we are continuing to see weakness in national markets, as companies are starting to set their 2024 marketing budgets, we are seeing some initial indications from key national advertisers in several categories that sentiment is improving for next year. That tone, combined with the anticipation of a robust political spending cycle, gives us cautious optimism that we may be seeing the early signs of a market recovery.”
By Holland Cooke
She was the agent I enjoyed working with most over three decades I was an active real estate investor. We remain good friends, and her technique informs the work I do coaching agents – and attorneys and financial advisors and other professionals – who host ask-the-expert radio shows.
Understand the difference between “advertising” and “marketing”
Achievers like Connie do. Do you? Erroneously, these terms are often used interchangeably.
— Advertising asks shoppers to pick your product off a crowded shelf.
— Marketing makes them want to.
High-volume agents typically allocate 30% of net income to marketing, which produces leads. Lower-volume agents spend as much, or more, on advertising, which produces fewer leads. If you’re handing out mouse pads in the era of iPad, you’re late.
And you’re bucking human nature: Every…single…day, we are bombarded by SO many advertising pitches, that we lean-back-from commercials. But we lean-into storytelling, when the story hits home. One of the few things that can keep someone sitting in a parked car with the key on Accessories is the on-air attorney untangling the caller’s dilemma when it is REAL relatable.
“Can you recommend a plumber?”
The caller isn’t Connie’s client…yet. The stranger got her name from someone else Connie had helped. Reputation. Word-of-mouth. “Got a pen?” she asks. “I’m going to give you his cell number. And let me know if he can’t help you and I’ll recommend someone else who’s helped me lately.” THAT is marketing GOLD. Instant relationship.
As is the attorney whose weekend call-in show offers that “the lawyer is in, the meter is off.” One that I coached offers words-to-live-by: “If you want someone to think you can help them, help them.”
Expensive syndicated TV spots – or hokey locally produced ads – and look-alike billboards – all blur-together in a wall of noise. As do agents’ radio copy that “If I can’t sell your house, I’LL buy it!” and attorneys hedging that “If we don’t win, you don’t pay.”
Yes, advertise. But rather than squandering that airtime touting yourself, do a commercial disguised as an informative feature, snack-size how-to guidance. And offer more-about-that in a free download checklist or podcast or other asset on your memorable domain name website. Or “Ask me!” by calling your memorable phone number. Tell ‘em, rather than just trying to sell ‘em, and you’ll sell more of ‘em.
Big-spending competitors look alike. You can sound different.
It’s the oldest, most-proven concept in marketing: Free samples, of your expertise and comforting counsel. Your trusted voice can differentiate you. Done right, these shows have callers asking, “May I call you at the office on Monday?” even before the host invites them to. BUT…
In too many cases, that weekend show is a well-kept secret, under-promoted by the station, and only available in real-time…UNLESS…the radio show is just one element of a coordinated interactive multi-platform strategy, which harvests and addresses your prospects’ relatable concerns via podcast, social media, email, those commercials I describe above, and a voicemail tactic SO obvious that few spot the opportunity.
Lots of work? You bet! An organized production routine is key. Find a producer – a Robin to your Batman – who can keep that conveyor belt humming, and he or she is every bit the hero as Connie’s plumber.
Holland Cooke (HollandCooke.com) is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. He is the author of “Spot-On: Commercial Copy Points That Earned The Benjamins,” a FREE download; and “Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers, Without Buying Clicks,” available from Talkers books. Follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke
The iHeartPodcast Network announces what it is calling “an industry-first Influencer Summit where some of the most successful podcast creators will open the mic and teach marketers the art of podcast advertising” on Wednesday, April 26, at the iHeartMedia executive offices in New York City. The company says, “The hands-on educational event will feature diverse podcast authorities such as the wildly popular media personality and founder of The Black Effect Podcast Network, Charlamagne tha God; the woman behind the successful ‘Stuff You Missed in History Class’ podcast, Holly Frey; and esteemed journalist, author and co-founder of Pushkin Industries, Malcolm Gladwell, joined with today’s biggest marketers to explain why podcasting is growing rapidly and how brands need to adapt, invest and create audio advertising that resonates with podcast fans.” iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group CEO Conal Byrne says, “Podcasters are the most creative, fastest-growing, diverse wave of influencers to hit content and marketing in years – just as influencer marketing more generally was becoming a key new way to reach audiences. This event came together because our podcast creators are deeply invested in the brands and advertising that become part of their shows, that they asked us to give them a chance to sit down with marketers at scale and talk about what makes host-read creative work. What really differentiates podcasting and our iHeartPodcast Network from other mediums is that creators and fans expect the advertising to be endemic to the shows, often voiced by the hosts and authentic to the listening experience. This is a chance to roll up our sleeves and co-create, collaborate and showcase the simplicity, speed and creative potential of podcasting.”
By Michael Berry
Host, The Michael Berry Show
KTRH, Houston – iHeartRadio
Growing up in a small town, “word of mouth” was the most powerful form of advertising. It could make – or break – a business. Malcolm Gladwell’s important Tipping Point book explained that movements, pandemics, and other things that “catch on” do so because of the influence of “connectors” – people who are asked for their opinion. Today, the media world likes to call them “influencers.”
For 17 years, I’ve entertained listeners on the radio and on podcast. Our show has built what many in the industry tell me is an impressive business model. Like Gladwell, I created our own vocabulary and I am strident in enforcing the use of it. Because words matter. I explain to companies that they are our “sponsors,” not “advertisers.” I explain that they put their name behind our show, just as I do for them. In a commercial break stop-set that will be several “commercials” for “advertisers,” but only a couple of my “endorsements.” I don’t speak for a company unless I believe in what they do and how they do it. Likewise, I encourage listeners to send me feedback on their experience with my show’s sponsors. I forward those to the sponsors, either with a request that they address the shortcoming in the service or an attaboy for a job well done.
Listeners tune in to radio, particularly talk radio, to hear the opinions of the host. The host’s opinion matters. If he shares his opinion on movies he likes, foods he enjoys, political candidates he supports, that opinion can affect what the audience does. It is also true that – if his recommendation is trusted by the listener – it can affect the choices the audience makes when they buy something or hire someone to perform a service. But it has to be an “endorsement.”
The radio industry, for many, many years, failed to recognize the value and power of an endorsement. Sellers would sell advertising to clients and get the on-air talent to read the copy points the client (or agency) wrote. Often listlessly, just reading. That is not an endorsement. It is not a host suggesting to his audience where he would personally buy a new door for his home, or take his wife for dinner. If, however, the “read” (a term that reflects that the host is simply reading words someone else wrote) were instead an endorsement, he wouldn’t need all those details. Instead, with just the name of the company, and the owner, and the phone number, as well as what category they are in, he would be able to speak for 30 seconds about why that business is special, why he would (and hopefully has already) use them.
An endorsement is a stamp of approval. It says you believe in someone or something. If an endorsement is really an endorsement, it doesn’t need new copy points to be “freshened up.” It doesn’t include discount offers, seasonal sales, “get in quick before they run out” scares, or other silly tricks Americans long ago learned to ignore. Using that language kills credibility. If I ask you where I should buy my car, and you have a dealer you believe in, you’ll refer me to them, and, if you really like them, call them yourself and ask them to take care of me. “Hook me up” as the kids say. I’m not going anywhere else after an endorsement like that.
Radio (and podcast) has a big future, because of the connection audiences have with hosts. Why abuse that connection? Why cheapen it? Sales reps should understand that and make it part of their pitch. My best sales reps literally dial up companies in industries I identify and start with the question, “Do you listen to The Michael Berry Show?” If the answer is no, I don’t want them as sponsors. I want folks who understand why I’m controversial, why my audience listeners, what my values are.
Radio and podcast’s future is dependent on a sound business model that understands what makes us special, unique, and better than other forms of media.
Here is my list of suggestions to sellers and hosts, in hopes of facilitating better results for show sponsors:
— Sellers should never pitch a client without asking the talent first.
— Talent should not endorse a company without researching and approving them.
— Talent should tell sellers what sorts of things they WANT to endorse. Guns, cigars, home improvement, cars, medical. The best endorsement is something the talent will use himself. An avid gun owner is going to present a very compelling (and effective/profitable) endorsement for a gun range he visits once a week. Look at how weight loss sponsors have profited when the host follows their program and endorses it on air.
— If a sponsor isn’t committed to a yearlong relationship, don’t do it. It ruins credibility to change the endorsement inside the same category. Again, credibility is everything.
— Talent should develop personal relationships with sponsors. They can help listeners this way and the sponsors become show content.
— The value of talent to the station is far more than just ratings. Half my audience is 55+, so the 18-34 or 25-54 rating is less useful to me. But when show sponsors stay on air for 10 or more years, it is a ringing endorsement that what we do works. They vote with their dollars. The whole point of ratings was to show agencies how many people listened, in hopes that that vast listening audience would respond to the commercials they hear, thus monetizing the show, right? Why not go straight to the “dollars in (from the sponsor), dollars out (listeners spending money with sponsors)” model? Show sponsors who get tangible results from their partnership with talent don’t cancel their buy.
— Openly discuss how much money a talent brings into the station. The programming side of radio loves to talk about things that don’t generate dollars, while the sales side is often disconnected from the actual product they are selling. Fix that.
Michael Berry is a longtime, high-ranking member of the TALKERS Heavy Hundred. He’s heard daily on KTRH, Houston and across the country on his own independent network. Michael Berry can be emailed at MichaelBerry@iheartmedia.com.
By Holland Cooke
Companies hire consultants to avoid experiments. We improve results by customizing and implementing Best Practices proven elsewhere. So, I’m about to break a rule, because advertisers in a super-opportune category have become a noisy blur.
Personal Injury: The gift that keeps-on-giving
Legal representation of purported victims of fender benders, slip-and-fall accidents, and other “injuries caused by the negligent, careless, or reckless actions of others” is an industry in which supply exceeds demand. Thus, all the outdoor and TV advertising. And too little radio.
In the Providence, RI TV market I watch at home, this category stands shoulder-to-shoulder with look-alike automotive spots in sheer dollars over-spent. And their message is the same on billboards:
— The attorney’s head shot (also a real estate agent cliché); and
— 6-figure settlements touted.
Because they’re all shouting the same thing, they resort to tactics:
— Attorney Rob Levine is “The Heavy Hitter,” and runs enough TV that viewers in Southern New England can sing the jingle: “The Heavy Hitter is the one for you. Call one-eight-hundred-law-one-two-two-two.” To his credit, it’s a different phone number than his web site offers, so he can track TV results.
— Easier to remember: Bottaro Law: 777-7777.
Watching local Las Vegas TV while at CES recently was a deep dive into Law advertising. The pitch from several I saw was we charge less, like a shameless radio competitor dropping-trou’ to get the entire buy.
If we don’t win, you don’t pay
“What are your rights? What is your case worth?” Possibly a cash amount divisible-by-3, if that’s the attorney’s contingency.
Those expensive nationally syndicated TV spots (customized for the local firm) depict fearful insurance executives eager to settle. And the attorney may threaten that, “if they don’t, we’ll beat ‘em in court.” Baloney, that’s the last thing the lawyer wants. Too time-consuming and risking a losing verdict.
Like radio commercials, attorneys’ inventory is perishable
— We can’t sell yesterday’s empty spot avail; and lawyers’ closing opportunity is “B.I.S.,” Butts In Seats for that free, no-obligation consultation, in-person, where the seller goes for the close.
— If nobody was sitting in that chair today (“intake”), no sale.
— And that’s how attorneys are missing a bet not using radio.
“The lawyer is in, the meter is off”
That’s the proposition when they field listener calls in brokered weekend talk radio shows.
— DONE RIGHT, these shows can run-rings-around TV and outdoor ROI.
— Forgive caps lock in that last sentence, but it’s a crying shame how – at too many stations – the audition for pay-for-play weekend talkers is the-check-didn’t-bounce. One of the things I do for client stations is coach-up weekend warriors — in hosting fundamentals that are second-nature to us — but not to non-career broadcasters. Results = renewals. Otherwise brokered hosts churn, a management distraction, and upsetting listening habits.
— Occasionally, in markets where I don’t even have a client station, I’m working with lawyers (and real estate agents, financial advisors, foodies, and other ask-the-expert hosts), because nobody at the station is doing airchecks with them.
— No billboard or tacky TV spot can humanize the attorney – and demonstrate the comforting counsel – like eavesdropping on a conversation with a caller’s relatable situation.
Think “sales funnel”
We know how to make the phone ring, specific dance steps. The more callers, the better.
— When lines are full, screeners can choose callers whose dilemma is in the attorney’s lane. If, for instance, the host specializes in Personal Injury (or “Family Law,” translation divorce; or another specialty), calls about real estate transactions are off-topic.
— Do this right, and – before the host can offer – callers will often ask “May I call you in the office on Monday?”
Admittedly, this is an experiment…
…because I am frustrated witnessing all this noisy me-too advertising.
Personal Injury cases are he-said-she-said. So try this, and tell me if it works.
— Sales 101: That first call is Needs Assessment, right? Know the prospect’s pain.
— Yet too many radio reps resemble Herb Tarlek, telling the station’s story. Amoeba-shaped coverage maps and ratings rankers and rate cards all look alike…like Law firm marketing.
— I’m telling any attorney willing to listen to make four words the centerpiece of the marketing message, and they’re the same four words that turn callers into clients for weekend talkers: “Tell me what happened.”
The Free Prize Inside: Podcasts
Lifting weekend calls to repurpose as on-demand audio is digital marketing value-added.
Holland Cooke (HollandCooke.com) is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. He is the author of “Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers, Without Buying Clicks,” available from Talkers books; and “Spot-On: Commercial Copy Points That Earned The Benjamins,” a FREE download; and the E-book and FREE on-air radio features “Inflation Hacks: Save Those Benjamins.” Follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke
By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp
If you are like most sellers or managers, you look for a comfortable rhythm in your proposals that works for your style and now fits the cut and paste culture. There is nothing wrong with time-saving technique — except when the shortcuts take you to an outdated comfort zone. In radio sales we all get hypnotized by what worked for years. After all, we are creatures of habit and why mess with past success? It’s a challenging but important part of radio sales strategy.
Monday Memo: Can News Save Talk? Twenty years ago, at the TALKERS magazine conference in New York, Michael Harrison declared that “talk saved AM radio and it will save FM.” In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke asks, “Now, can news save FM from talk?” Read it here.
Pending Business: Keep it Simple. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column that great leaders are successful because they keep the mission simple. But while the mission may be simple – audio advertising’s mission is to sell goods and services – executing the mission is not always so easy. He offers four tips for keeping the mission simple and staying focused. Read it here.
FAIR’s Hold Their Feet to the Fire Radio Row 2022 Takes Place This Week. This Wednesday and Thursday (9/21-22) nationally syndicated and local talk radio hosts will broadcast live from Washington, D.C. at the Federation for American Immigration Reform’s 15th annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row. FAIR says the two-day event focuses on the “failed immigration policies of the Biden–Harris administration and the Schumer–Pelosi-led Congress, holding them both accountable.” FAIR executive director Bob Dane comments, “The Biden-Harris administration has not only taken a torch to every aspect of U.S. immigration policy and law, with disastrous results, they are blatantly lying to the American public. Just this week, Vice President Harris claimed on national television that our borders are secure. Sadly, the ideologically driven mainstream news outlets refuse to report the extent of the damage the Biden-Harris administration has wrought on the American public. The American public knows it is being lied to, and the purpose of ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ is to make sure that the American people have the information they need to hold the administration and Congress accountable for their reckless and politically driven policies by blanketing the nation’s radio airwaves.”
WCBS-AM, New York News Director Tim Scheld Named Chair of RTDNA. At the final day of the RTDNA22 convention in Indianapolis on Friday (9/16), Tim Scheld, (left) news director at Audacy’s all-news WCBS-AM, New York, was installed as chair of the Radio Television Digital News Association. He’ll serve in the role for a year. Scheld succeeds outgoing chair Allison McGinley, (right) news director at WKMG-TV, Orlando, for the final year of her three-year leadership cycle. Sheryl Worsley, vice president of podcasting, KSL Podcasts, is named chair-elect and begins a three-year leadership cycle. Scheld states, “I am here to tell you that RTDNA has your back. We pledge to be a strong and tireless advocate for fact-based, responsible journalism. And we will fight like none other to protect your rights to report those truths.” Of McGinley, Scheld says, “Over the last year, you have led with strength and vision, always ready with support and passion, pushing RTDNA forward. You carefully and thoughtfully navigated every challenge that came your way with grace and helped others in leadership do the same. We thank you for guiding our board and our association. We thank you for your time and talent. And we look forward to your work with the foundation.”
iHeartMedia Announces Second NextUp Podcast Initiative. The second annual NextUp Initiative from iHeartMedia opens the application process today and runs through September 30. The NextUp Initiative is designed to “empower creators of all backgrounds by giving them the tools to succeed in the podcast industry, from developing and marketing a podcast to using industry-leading software.” The NextUp program will span six months beginning January and will include a monthly stipend. Creators will exit the program with at least three finished episodes and a polished pitch for their podcast. NextUp is led by industry veterans and iHeartPodcast executive producers Anna Hossnieh and Joelle Smith, and iHeartPodcast production manager Yesenia Medellin. “The program will mentor the selected NextUp fellows, elevating the voices of new, historically underrepresented storytellers, and provide an incredible opportunity for the next generation of podcast creators to be heard.” The company says that applicants selected will have the opportunity to work with and learn from some of iHeart’s top creators and executives with the goal of creating content focused on their own unique perspectives and stories. The inaugural NextUp initiative produced a full slate of shows from all eight of its NextUp fellows, covering a range of important topics from the working class to Native American identity. Find out more and apply here.
Salem’s WGTK-FM, Greenville, South Carolina Hosts Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. Pictured above is WGTK-FM, Greenville, South Carolina “94.5 The Answer” morning drive personality Joey Hudson broadcasting during the station’s “Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.” Salem says the event – which drew 600 officers who received Chick Fil A breakfast biscuits as well as bags containing gift certificates and other special items – was a prime example of local talk radio being involved in the community. Hudson adds, “We were honored to have South Carolina Lt. Governor Pamela Evette and Greenville police chief Howie Thompson join our live broadcast. While some on the political left advocate defunding the police, our goal is defending the police and showing them our appreciation 24/7.”
TALKERS News Notes. Media company Barstool Sports, Inc. announced new initiatives at its 2023 upfront presentation that took place on September 14 at Webster Hall in New York City. Presented by CEO Erika Ayers Nardini, the company is announcing seven new shows, five new live events and a new NIL marketplace for college athletes and creators “to further solidify the company’s creativity, influence and impact on Millennial and Gen Z audiences.” Nardini and founder Dave Portnoy said the company plans to further expand its reach among the hard-to-reach 18-34-year-old demographic and “its unmatched influence to move products for brands.” They reported that in the past six years Barstool revenue grew 3650%; this year alone its workforce grew by 42%. They underscored how Barstool leverages its audience on every social platform to deliver high-ROI brand partnerships, which include 27 billion video views across its content. They also shared that 58% of listeners have purchased a product after hearing it advertised on a Barstool podcast, according to a recent audience survey…..Beginning Sunday, September 25, WNYC Studios’ “The United States of Anxiety” expands from a local New York City radio program and podcast into a nationally syndicated live radio show available to public radio stations. As part of this expansion, the show will now go by “Notes from America with Kai Wright,” a new name that reflects its national presence, inviting a broader audience to engage together in its popular call-in format. WNYC says the show will “continue its commitment to facing the unfinished business of our history and its grip on our future – but with a fresh focus on finding solutions. Each week, Wright will convene intimate conversations about race, power, democracy and the most urgent issues of our time — putting them in historical and cultural contexts, while simultaneously providing a space for listeners to share how these issues impact their lives on a personal level.”
The November Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Trump Legal Issues, Trump Ohio Rally, Inflation/Financial Markets Activity, Hunter Biden Investigation, Russia-Ukraine War, Queen Elizabeth Funeral, and Hurricane Fiona Ravages Puerto Rico Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The November midterm elections and speculation about the nominees for the 2024 presidential race; the legal issues facing former President Donald Trump; the Ohio Trump rally supporting U.S. Senate candidate J.D. Vance; inflation, the financial markets activity, and the Fed’s expected hiking of interest rates; Republican senators’ request for a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden; Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; the funeral procession for Queen Elizabeth II; and Hurricane Fiona’s battering of Puerto Rico were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Newsflash: We’re using more coupons and grabbing more BOGOs these days. Have you been to the grocery store lately? Pick an aisle, any aisle. Do we need an audit to tell us the price of almost anything you buy is at a record 40-year high? Even store brand food is getting more expensive. Check your mailbox, some pre-COVID free publications are roaring back with coupons and limited time offers. Check in with your 20- or 30-something children. What was once an, “Oh dad, so embarrassing!” is now part of their pre-shopping ritual.
By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp
The announcement surrounding the “Today” concept in the App Store is particularly relevant to the radio business.
NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS, is now posted. This new episode titled “Hostile Takeovers” looks back at this past week of 4/11 to 4/15. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Curtis Sliwa, talk show host, WABC, New York; Jim Bohannon, talk show host, Westwood One; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; Bill O’ Reilly, talk show host/commentator, No Spin News; and Matthew B. Harrison, associate publisher, TALKERS/law professor. The show airs weekends on WONK-FM, Washington, DC; WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; KTLK-FM, St. Louis; WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; SuperTalk 99.7 WTN, Nashville; KMZQ, Las Vegas; WTPL, Manchester, NH; WEMJ, Laconia, NH; WTSN, Dover-Portsmouth, NH; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; WGDJ, Albany, NY; WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, DE; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA; WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WSAR-AM/FM, Fall River, MA; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; KQEN, Roseburg, OR; the Virginia Talk Radio Network; CRN Digital Talk Radio Network; Podcast Radio UK and many more. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.
Report: Connoisseur’s Jeffrey Warshaw Offers to Buy Cumulus Media. According to a report from Reuters, Connoisseur Media CEO Jeffrey Warshaw is leading a consortium that is offering to acquire Cumulus Media “for close to $1.2 billion, including debt, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.” Warshaw’s offer is to take the company private for $15 to $17 per share. Before the news broke yesterday, Cumulus was trading at around $11 per share. After the news broke, Cumulus stock closed Thursday’s trading at $14.21 per share. Warshaw says the consortium would be willing to pay more, subject to due diligence. Reuters says that “a Cumulus spokesperson confirmed that the company had received ‘an unsolicited, non-binding, highly conditional indication of interest’ and that its board of directors was reviewing it alongside its financial and legal advisers.” Cumulus operates 406 radio stations, syndicator Westwood One, as well as its digital platform. The Reuters piece notes that in February, Noble Capital Markets analysts put a $27 price target on the stock, saying that “Cumulus is seeing strong advertising demand driven by sports betting, government, restaurants and cryptocurrency platforms.”
iHeartMedia Division President Linda Byrd Announces Retirement. Forty-year iHeartMedia staffer Linda Byrd announces she is retiring from her role as division president for iHeartMedia Florida and moves into an advisory role, effective July 15. The company says that “as a company leader for four decades at iHeartMedia, Byrd has contributed to the success of nearly 50 different markets and countless employees.” iHeartMedia says one of the duties in her advisory capacity will be the continued involvement in iHeartMedia’s Hispanic footprint, where she has made significant contributions. Byrd says, “It’s hard even to say the word retire. I have had the most fantastic career working in an industry that I absolutely love. I’ve never even thought about doing anything else. And I am so fortunate to have been on this iHeart train, and previous companies, for the last 40 years. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I am thankful and excited to have the opportunity to transition into an advisory role for the next stage of my life. And I’m truly appreciative of the support and partnership I have had for so many years with Bob [Pittman], Rich [Bressler], Greg [Ashlock] and Hartley [Adkins]. I couldn’t have asked for a better team to learn from and work with.”
John Rowe to Lead Cumulus Northeast Wisconsin. Radio executive John Rowe is promoted to vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s combined business unit of Cumulus Green Bay and Cumulus Appleton/Oshkosh. Rowe has been serving as vice president/market manager for Cumulus Appleton/Oshkosh for nearly eight years and adds leadership responsibilities for the Green Bay market, effective immediately. In the two markets, Cumulus operates sports talk WDUZ-AM/FM, Green Bay and news/talk WOSH-AM/FM, plus seven music brands. Rowe comments, “I am excited to lead both Wisconsin clusters on behalf of Cumulus Media. The combination of talent and quality programming in each market makes this an ideal role and provides a host of opportunities going forward. My primary focus will be to enhance these great brands while meeting the needs of both our listeners and advertisers. I want to thank Mary Berner, Bob Walker, and Mark Sullivan for this opportunity.”
TALKERS News Notes. Sports talk KKFN-FM, Denver “104.3 The Fan” afternoon drive personality Darren “DMac” McKee is named Denver’s best talk show host in alt-weekly Westword’s Best of Denver 2022 edition. The Bonneville station notes that the recognition was not specific to the format of sports, or even the field of radio. McKee co-hosts “The Drive with Tyler Polumbus and DMac.” It was a week for kudos for the duo as Polumbus was honored by the Colorado Broadcasters Association with their 2021 Award of Excellence in the category of Best Regularly Scheduled Entertainment Program for his “Mount Polumbus” segment…..SiriusXM announces the launch of Amanda Seales’ “Smart Funny & Black Radio,” a new morning show on Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud Radio channel. The weekly program kicks off on Monday (4/18) at 10:00 am ET. Seales is joined by co-hosts Taj Rani and JeremiahLikeTheBible. Kevin Hart says, “I’m beyond excited to have the amazing Amanda Seales join Laugh Out Loud Radio’s expanding family, as we continue to deliver a dynamic slate of voices to the channel. Passionate, unapologetic, brilliant, talented, and most of all funny, her show is going to be a can’t-miss experience for our SiriusXM listeners nationwide.”…..Larj Media and iHeartMedia debut the new serial podcast “Nobody Should Believe Me,” hosted and executive produced by novelist Andrea Dunlop. The podcast investigates Munchausen by proxy, a form of medical child abuse in which a caregiver feigns, exaggerates, or induces illness in their child for the purpose of receiving attention and sympathy from medical staff, their family, the community, and even strangers online. Dunlop first became interested in the subject when her older sister was investigated for Munchausen by proxy. This catastrophic series of events that followed tore her family apart and set her on a journey to understand this most taboo form of abuse. In this groundbreaking podcast, Dunlop talks to some of the top experts in the world to explore the criminology and psychopathology behind Munchausen by proxy and to reveal the wide swath of destruction these perpetrators leave in their wake…..Audacy announces that its premium podcast studios, including Cadence13 and Pineapple Street Studios, have garnered 22 nominations for the 2022 Webby Awards, the leading international award honoring excellence on the internet, representing the most across the industry. Audacy’s nominations span original series, partner series, partner networks, and branded content across 20 categories, including Arts & Culture, Crime & Justice, Documentary, Diversity & Inclusion, and Sports.
Russia-Ukraine War Top News/Talk Story for Week of April 11-15. The ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and the greater topic of U.S. foreign policy was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the U.S. economy, including high gas prices, inflation and employment figures, followed by the Brooklyn subway shooting, crime, and guns at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.