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.