Industry Views

Monday Memo: Behold the Radio Unicorn!

By Holland Cooke

imGot young local radio news talent? CONGRATULATIONS, for five reasons:

1. They’re young, which our 100-year-old medium NEEDS.
2. Streaming and satellite competitors don’t do local.
3. Radio is still #1 in-car. And in-home again, via smart speakers.
4. As listeners wonder “What NEXT?” news has their back.
5. Talent is acquired. Hire attitude, train skills.

Just DOING local news makes you special, especially if your AM/FM competitors don’t. Six tips for taking it to the next level, and making your station more habit forming:

— Make this hour’s newscast sound different than last hour’s. A particularly clever turn-of-phrase can come back to haunt you the second time a listener hears that version. The little voice in their head says, “I already heard that.”
— Lead with the latest. Avoid telling the story in chronological order. Is there some detail that can top this hour’s version? “A third shift of state troopers has joined the search for little Sarah Johnson…”
— Write as though you were telling the listener face-to-face. The police posted: “Anyone who has seen a car matching that description is asked to contact the police.” Rewrite to say, “If you see that car, call the police.”


— Less is more. Long sentences can make it difficult for the listener to follow the story and understand the information. Emulate your network’s writing style. Write for the ear. Avoid using too many adjectives and adverbs.
— But don’t leave out verbs! “The woman’s husband arrested the wounded man taken to the hospital.” Huh?
— Highly recommended: “Writing Broadcast News Shorter, Sharper, Stronger” by Mervin Block (expensive on Amazon, FREE on Google Books).

Time Spent Listening is still the ballgame. Specifically, we want to add occasions of tune-in, which is easier than extending duration-per-occasion. Translation: There is very little we can do to keep someone in a parked car with the key on Accessories.

So be known for knowing. Benefit-laden imaging will earn you the information reputation that keeps listeners coming back again and again, “for a quick update.” And user-friendly copy points will be more effective than the boastful station-centric way many news promos sound.

Holland Cooke ( is a consultant working the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. He is the author of The Local Radio Advantage: Your 4-Week Tune-In Tune-Up and “Close Like Crazy: Local Direct Leads, Pitches & Specs That Earned the Benjamins” and “Confidential: Negotiation Checklist for Weekend Talk Radio.” Follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke and connect on LinkedIn

Industry News

Edison: Reaching Potential Voters with Audio Ads

According to data from Edison Research’s ongoing Share of Ear study, reaching potential voters with campaign ads should include spending on audio because “fully 84% of the voting-age public is reached by ad-supported audio daily.” Where to spend depends on which potential voters campaigns are trying toim reach. “Republicans listen to more AM/FM radio than other groups, with an index of 109 (or 9% more listening than average). The ad-supported spoken-word channels on SiriusXM are a particularly efficient place to find Republicans, with an index of 146. Meanwhile, podcasts stand out as the more efficient platform for reaching Democrats, indexing at 121. And what about those elusive Independents, who often tip an election? Both streaming music, and in particular music videos on YouTube, over-deliver for these potential voters, with indexes of 103 and 123 respectively.” Edison adds, “Regardless of the party that buyers are trying to reach with political ads, audio stands out as a superior pathway to reaching voters. Audio provides enormous audiences and often a far less cluttered political environment than other ad channels.”

Industry Views

Monday Memo: WHY Are You Podcasting?

By Holland Cooke

imBecause you can? Because you aren’t doing AM/FM radio? Because you are on radio, but can’t-do-there what you can-do podcasting? Because you are making money podcasting?

Podcasters I help must first survive a conversation about WHY. “It’s a success…if…” WHAT?

Wired magazine co-founder Kevin Kelly reckons that “a creator, such as an artist, musician, photographer, craftsperson, performer, animator, designer, video maker, or author – in other words, anyone producing works of art – needs to acquire only 1,000 true fans to make a living.”

Devour these four pages he wrote – a genuine whack-on-the-side-of-the-head – and the structure for my coaching:


What you read there may change how you approach the podcast you’re doing… or nudge you into podcasting if you don’t. As does the Edison Research 2024 Infinite Dial survey. Here’s that download, and a cautionary video from TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison:

Next Monday is Memorial Day here in the USA, so I’ll be back here on “…the third of June.” If you work mornings, this is my last column you will see before your show that day, so make a note in your bumper file: Bobbie Gentry, “Ode to Billy Joe.”

Holland Cooke ( is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. He is the author of The Local Radio Advantage: Your 4-Week Tune-In Tune-Up,” and “Close Like Crazy: Local Direct Leads, Pitches & Specs That Earned the Benjamins” and “Confidential: Negotiation Checklist for Weekend Talk Radio.” Follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke and connect on LinkedIn

Job Opportunity

Cumulus Seeks OM/PD for Albuquerque

CUMULUS MEDIA | Albuquerque is looking for a dynamic operations manager/program director. Our staff takes pride in our community and value teamwork. If you can deliver lifestyle headlines, be focused, creative and multi-task and most of all… love radio, we should talk.  Board work, remotes, production,im and podcasts are all a part of what we do, so show us what you’ve got. The successful candidate will be responsible for all aspects of programming including scheduling content, coaching on-air staff, station and AM/FM cluster strategy, development of on-air/online promotions and generating associated revenue, oversight and content creation for digital extensions (including streams, websites and podcasts), and have a strong customer service approach towards listeners, staff, & sales. Additionally, the candidate will act as the program director for Legendary News Radio KKOB and KNML The Sports Animal. Find out more and apply here. Cumulus is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Industry News

Mike Church Show Begins AM/FM Syndication

Talk media personality Mike Church – longtime host of the morning drive program on SixiusXM’s The Patriot Channel – is bringing his Internet-based talk program to terrestrial radio. Church’s company, The Crusade Radio Network,” says, “We are delighted to announce that after seven years of singularim devotion to Internet radio broadcasting, we are launching ‘The Mike Church Show’ into terrestrial radio syndication! The launch date of ‘The Mike Church Show’ will be March 1 and the show will begin its repatriation of AM/FM radio in Atlanta, Georgia’s #7 U.S. radio market on WXKG “The King”! Church adds, “We’ve always known that terrestrial radio was going to play a part in our industry leading development of Internet radio, we just didn’t know in what way. Over the last two years, that role began to materialize with the dearth of quality talk shows and the opportunities to fill that gap left by the wrecking ball that was consolidation’s march through local radio properties.” The program airs live from 7:00 am to 10:00 am ET.

Industry News

Edison Research: Radio Grabs 36% of Americans’ Audio Listening

According to data from Edison Research’s Q4 2023 Share of Ear study, Americans 13+ spend 36% of their audio consumption listening to AM/FM radio. Edison says, “AM/FM radio continues to make up theim largest share of listening, accounting for more than one-third of daily time with audio among those age 13+. The vast majority of that listening (31%) is to AM/FM over-the-air signals.” (The other 5% comes from radio streams.) Behind AM/FM in listening is streaming music (20%), YouTube (14%), podcasts (11%), SiriusXM (8%), owned music (4%), TV music channels (3%), audiobooks (3%) and other (1%).

Industry Views

Monday Memo: Baseball Station? Own It!

By Holland Cooke

imAs The Beatles sang, “It’s been a long, cold, lonely winter.” ‘Still is, eh?

Baseball – even Spring Training while it’s still chilly in March – says “Here Comes The Sun.” That’s what baseball means…to listeners. But with games also on SiriusXM and Tune-In and team apps, baseball isn’t the exclusive franchise AM/FM affiliates used to enjoy. So, BE KNOWN for having the games.


To local advertisers? In the words of one GM – who has made a pile of money selling baseball – “It’s ego and envy.” And while second and third-generation retailers might family-feud about other things, grandfather AND father AND son can agree on this expenditure lots quicker than you can get consensus about a ROS spot package on Kiss or Lite or Magic or Froggy.

Help yourself to your February Baseball To-Do List:

Holland Cooke ( is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. He is the author of “Confidential: Negotiation Checklist for Weekend Talk Radio” and “Close Like Crazy: Local Direct Leads, Pitches & Specs That Earned the Benjamins.” Follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke and connect on LinkedIn

Industry News

WWO: Audio Personalities Drive Advertising Effectiveness

This week’s Westwood One Audio Active Group blog reports on a study by System1 investigating the effectiveness of talent-read ads on podcasts or AM/FM radio. The study is based on the assumption thatim a host-read ad on a podcast or AM/FM radio show drives powerful brand impact and sales effect and positive emotional impact is what measures a successful campaign. System1 studied host-read ads and devised a rating system that correlates creative quality with long-term share growth – in layman’s terms, “the more you feel, the more you buy.” But the study found that only 17% of the ads tested rated high enough to have the sufficient emotional impact necessary to lift long-term brand share by between 1% and 3%. See the complete blog post here.

Industry News

WWO: AM/FM Radio Tops TV Among Persons 18-49

The latest blog post from Cumulus Media | Westwood One’s Audio Active Group features data from Nielsen’s Total Audience Report for Q3 of 2023 that indicates “AM/FM radio’s persons 18-49 average audience is now +5% greater than television.” Other takeaways from the research include: 1) Sinceim 2018, Nielsen’s Total Audience Report reveals the 18-49 weekly reach of live and time-shifted TV has dropped -26%. Over the same period, TV’s daily time spent is down -59%; 2) cord-cutting is a major driver of TV’s audience collapse: The MRI Simmons January 2023 “How Americans Watch TV” report reveals 51% have cut the cord; 3) While a huge number of Americans have abandoned traditional TV for streaming, AM/FM radio remains the dominant audio platform: According to Edison Research’s Q2 2023 “Share of Ear,” AM/FM radio has a massive 69% share of U.S. ad-supported audio. AM/FM radio audience shares are over 17 times larger than ad-supported Pandora and ad-supported Spotify. See the full blog post here.

Industry Views

Monday Memo: Improving Results from Endorsement Spots

By Holland Cooke

imThe stations I work with make big money with live endorsement spots delivered by familiar local on-air personalities. Remember them? With most AM/FM broadcast hours now robotic or non-local, your relationship with the listener is precious and can be leveraged… carefully.

Quality vs. Quantity

The more products or services you endorse, the less special each pitch will be. You’re asking the listener’s trust each time, so asking too often can sound insincere. So back-to-back “I’m [name] for [account]” is verboten, and that can happen when spots you voice air outside your show.

 “Tell me a story”

 When the late, great Don Hewitt – the father of “60 Minutes” – spoke at a NAB convention years ago, he told us that he was often asked, “Why is this the most successful TV news show of all time?” And he said, “I can tell you in four words: ‘Tell me a story,’” which every piece did.

Describe your personal experience with the advertiser’s product or service in before-and-after fashion – problem was, problem solved – in a relatable way.


 OOPS!  Do you say, “I haven’t sold you yet?”

Often, these are long-standing advertiser relationships.  Two cautions:

If you’ve been touting an advertiser for a while, DON’T say so. “For years, I’ve been telling you about [name of business]” = “…and I haven’t sold you yet, have I?” Instead, keep the pitch fresh.

And keep it customer-centric rather than talking about a store. In one spot I heard, for a sewing supply retailer, the well-intentioned host sounded awestruck as he recited the store’s inventory (“over fifteen hundred bolts of fabric!”). That’s the store’s problem. Instead, solve the listener’s problem: “Imagine the money you could save if you made all your kids’ back-to-school clothes this year?  [advertiser] will give you free lessons!”

Avoid saying…

 “MY GOOD FRIENDS AT [name of business],” which sounds phony.

“All-new:” Say “new,” if it IS new, AND if newness is a listener benefit (and say why).

“…AND MUCH MORE,” which means nothing. Weed-out stuff like this, and you’ll give copy more time to breathe.

“Needs,” as in: “FOR ALL YOUR [product category] NEEDS” (the ultimate “BLAH, BLAH, BLAH”).

Holland Cooke ( 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

Industry News

Audacy and TuneIn Renew Distribution Agreement

Audacy announces it is extending its digital distribution deal with TuneIn that provides streaming of its 250-plus stations and entire podcast library to the content aggregator. Audacy says the partnership expands the reach of its content to more than 200 additional platforms and connected vehicles and devices, including Tesla, Rivian,im Lucid, Bose, Samsung and Xbox, as well as on the TuneIn mobile app and The agreement also gives Audacy access to TuneIn’s advertising supply and brings select TuneIn original content to the Audacy digital platform. Audacy chief digital officer J.D. Crowley imcomments, “Streaming of AM/FM Radio is one of the fastest growing segments of all digital audio today. As consumer demand for Audacy’s best-in-class local audio content continues to increase, we’re committed to meeting the listener wherever they wish to consume, and we’re delighted to expand the availability of our unique live sports, news, and personality-driven audio content to over 200 new TuneIn-supported platforms. We’re equally thrilled to welcome TuneIn’s premium exclusive content to the Audacy digital platform.”

Industry News

Westwood One: Audio Personalities Highly Effective Connection to Listeners

This week’s blog post from Cumulus Media | Westwood One’s Audio Active Group reveals data from studies indicating that audio personalities – both AM/FM and podcast hosts – are highly effective in connecting listeners to advertisers. According to Jacobs Media Techsurvey 2023, DJs/hosts/shows are the main reasonim for listening for 60% of consumers. According to a study by MARU/Matchbox, there are a number of reasons listeners gravitate to AM/FM. First is comedic relief: 90% strongly or somewhat agree that their favorite DJs make them laugh. Second is local feel: 73% say personalities understand what makes my city/town unique. And third is thought-provoking: 64% agree that they make them think.  Additionally, Magna and Vox Media surveyed 2,028 weekly podcast listeners and asked, “Whose influence matters most?” A stunning 75% cited podcast hosts while only 15% named social media influencers or TV/movie celebrities (10%). See the complete blog post here.

Industry Views

Monday Memo: 5 Ws + $

By Holland Cooke

Joe Pags - Talkers MagazineLocal news sponsorship is an opportunity to “fish for whales,” institutional advertisers who can associate with something special. And, well-done, local news sure is special, because:

New-tech audio competitors don’t do it, and most AM/FM broadcast hours are now robotic.

Newspapers are in a tailspin swapping print dollars for digital dimes; and their – and TV stations’ – websites aren’t as portable as radio.

And it’s easier to add occasions of listening than to extend duration-per. Translation: There’s very little we do can keep someone in a parked car with the key on Accessories.

First things first: Plan NOW for The Big Story. In a recent column here I outlined the “break the glass” plan you should prep.

 As for day-to-day local news:

Who are you talking to? Habitual radio users – especially news/talk – are older-than-younger. Think Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964), who control most retail spending. And report information that matters to people with children of any age living at home (super-spenders) and people driving (what’s happening right now, and what threatens to block their path). Think “car radio” for busy people and you won’t turn-off anyone sitting-stiller.

What: INFLATION, health and safety, “survival information” (weather = news). Jim Farley, my successor managing WTOP, Washington, hung a sign in the newsroom: “WGAS,” his litmus test for relevance, “Who Gives A Shit?”

Where: What’s happening within your signal pattern? And when everyone’s buzzing about a big story elsewhere, localize by asking pertinent sources “if it happened here?” and Man-on-the-Street interviews (local accents) reacting.

When: What JUST happened…what’s happening right NOW…what happens NEXT. When you’re wall-to-wall, do frequent resets, because people believe your promos, and are tuning-in to know. Other times, specific goal: Each newscast sounds different than the last.

Why it matters to your listener: News people I coach will chisel this onto my tombstone: Report consequence, not process. Don’t give me the minutes of the City Council meeting, tell me how what-was-discussed will impact me. Rewrite press releases, which aren’t easy on the ear (“The public is asked…”), tend to be process-laden, and are often self-congratulatory.

Longtime ABC News executive Av Westin, one of two industry icons we lost in 2022: “I believe the audience at dinner time wants to know the answers to three very important questions: Is the world safe? Is my hometown and my home safe? If my wife and children are safe, what has happened in the past 24 hours to make them better off or to amuse them?”


— Emulate your network’s writing style.

— HIGHLY recommended reading: “Writing Broadcast News: Shorter, Sharper, Stronger” by Mervin Block.

— Rewrite to favor The Magic Words “you” and “your” and avoid third-person-plural (words like “residents”). Instead of “Business owners interested in applying for these loans should contact…” say “If you’re a business owner…”

— Arrange with a local TV station (“our news partner NBC28”) to use their sound, in exchange for attribution (which will enhance their standing and serve to promote their newscasts).

I am encouraged by how much 2022 work sought me out, asking that I review stations’ local news copy, and work with the local newscasters whose work can habituate listeners and make money.

Make your work count twice.

— When you’re covering a meeting or event, ask people there something else too. “How are YOU feeling inflation?”

— Say WHERE you gathered comments. “We spoke to shoppers leaving Star Market in West Springfield.”

Al Primo, inventor of “Eyewitness News,” who also passed away last year: “People can tell their stories better than we can write them.”

Holland Cooke ( is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. He is the author of the E-book and FREE on-air radio features Inflation Hacks: Save Those Benjamins;” and “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

Industry Views

Monday Memo: Even a Robot Knows!

By Holland Cooke

I asked ChatGPT, “What IS ChatGPT?”

Instant reply: “ChatGPT is a pre-trained language model developed by OpenAI. It uses advanced natural language processing techniques to generate human-like text responses to questions and prompts, based on patterns it learned from a massive amount of text data. It is designed to assist with a wide range of tasks, including answering questions, generating creative writing, and translating text between languages. ChatGPT is built using the GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) architecture, which has been state-of-the-art in many NLP tasks.”

If ever there was an elevator speech that sounded robotic, that’s it. But pick almost any other topic, and – quicker than you’re expecting, ChatGPT scours the Internet – and most of what it spits-back can seem eerily conversational. Including my question about conversation itself: “What DJ or talk show host habits do listeners find most annoying?” Mere moments later…

“Here are some habits that listeners may find annoying in DJs or talk show hosts:

— Interrupting guests or co-hosts: Listening to a conversation that is constantly being cut off can be frustrating for listeners.

— Talking over music: A DJ who talks over the music can detract from the listening experience for music lovers.

— Shouting or excessive enthusiasm: An over-the-top delivery style can come across as insincere or artificial to listeners.

— Unnecessary repetition: Repeating the same jokes, phrases, or segments repeatedly can quickly become tiresome for listeners.

— Lack of preparation: A lack of research or preparation can lead to awkward silences, missed opportunities, or inaccurate information.

— Poor phone manners: Rude or abrupt treatment of callers can be off-putting to listeners and impact the overall tone of the show.

— Ignoring listener feedback: Failing to respond to listener feedback or questions can make listeners feel unvalued and disengaged.

— Being too political: Focusing exclusively on political topics or taking a one-sided approach can alienate listeners with differing opinions.

— Playing too many commercials: Excessive commercial breaks can make the listening experience feel repetitive or disjointed.”

With most AM/FM broadcast hours now automated, syndicated, and voice-tracked, even a robot knows what it takes to keep our fellow humans from wandering-off to less-cluttered music streams and greater topical variety that podcasts offer.

Holland Cooke ( 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

Industry Views

Monday Memo: Baseball Bonanza, Part 2

By Holland Cooke

In last week’s column, we outlined the playbook for selling radio’s 2023 baseball season. This week, how smart stations leverage the franchise to build Time Spent Listening.

Plan now to OWN the games

They’re also on SiriusXM, where you can decide which team’s feed you want to hear. And “The MLB is back on TuneIn, and this year TuneIn Premium is the destination for all things baseball. With a Premium plan, listeners get access to live play-by-play of every single game — with no blackouts.” Here in New England the NESN 360 app, “in partnership with the Boston Red Sox, the Boston Bruins and Major League Baseball,” $30 per month, “with a first-month promotional price of $1.”

So – post-exclusivity – what’s an AM/FM affiliate to do?

— Goal: Be KNOWN FOR having the games, by embracing the team. Waving the flag conspicuously, regardless of where fans hear it, can score you diary credit. Don’t quote me.

— During Spring Training, I’m wary of airing games Mon-Fri 6A-7P. But nights and weekends, why not? It’s conspicuous, also useful in diary markets, where ratings measure what’s NOTICED. And, hey, in March, every team is in first place.

— Can you go to Arizona or Florida? Admittedly not-inexpensive but ask your team network about Spring Training packages and arrangements. Some stations bring advertisers who commit early, hosted by the rep who sold the most.

— As Opening Day approaches, count-it-down in your on-hour ID. Then…


Avoid the banana syndrome

 Use baseball to recycle audience in and out of games.

— Dumbest-thing-I-hear-most-often on baseball stations: During the game, when the network calls for a station ID, the station announces that it’s “your [name-of-team] station. Ugh. It’s like printing the word “banana” on the yellow peel.

— Your station’s on-hour ID – in any hour – is beachfront property. It’s where you sign your name, where you explain yourself to listeners you’ve trained to “check-in for a quick FOX News update, every hour, throughout your busy day.” Games invite listeners who might not otherwise cume your station, so use those 10 seconds to tell them why/when to come back for something else useful.

— “CATCH-up when you WAKE-up, with a quick morning update and your AccuWeather forecast, on your ONLY local news radio, [dial positions, call letters, city of license].” Opportune, since the game might be the last thing they near at night.

— Then in NON-game hours, use top-of-hour to wave the flag. Plug team-and-time of the next game you’ll air.

Holland Cooke ( 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

Front Page News Industry News

Monday, October 3, 2022

Monday Memo: Yes, You Need More Cume. “It’s a never-ending problem” because budgets are tight, and with new-tech competitors chipping-away at AM/FM Time Spent Listening. In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke outlines three specific goals for on-air promotion; but cautions that “the only people who hear it are already listening.” Read it here.


Pending Business: The Aftermath of Ian. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa has been affected by natural disasters numerous times during his career – including the long list of hurricanes that have impacted Florida in recent decades. In today’s column, he offers five takeaways for radio sellers working in markets affected by Ian, as well as those who may face a similar situation in the future. Read it here.


Morning Host Chris Stigall Re-Ups with Salem’s ‘The Answer’ in Philly. WNTP-AM, Philadelphia “AM 990 The Answer” morning host Chris Stigall signs a multi-year extension to continue with the Salem Media Group news/talk station. The host of “Philadelphia’s Morning Answer with Chris Stigall” says, “It’s been the highlight of my career to call Philadelphia morning radio my professional home for 12 years now. It’s so gratifying to work with principled, faith-first broadcast partners in Salem Media Group who genuinely respect their audience, their clients, and their broadcasters. Thank you to Salem Media, our sponsors and the smartest audience in all of radio for allowing me the privilege to continue hosting your morning show for years to come. All glory and honor to God!” Salem Philadelphia general manager Lorenzo Caldara adds, “Since the day Chris began with Philadelphia’s ‘AM 990 The Answer,’ he has engaged Philadelphians in intelligent and relevant conversation that has served to entertain and stimulate much thought in the minds of our audience. He has secured such an attentive audience that can’t wait to listen and call in to him everyday Monday through Friday.”

‘Smart Money Happy Hour’ Podcast Debuts at #1. The latest podcast from the Ramsey Network, “Smart Money Happy Hour,” debuted last week at #1 in Apple Business, #1 in Spotify Business and #19 in all Apple podcasts. Ramsey Network says the “Smart Money Happy Hour” is a mix of solid advice and snark from two friends who also happen to be money experts. Co-host Rachel Cruze says, “People will talk about almost anything these days, except money. These conversations shouldn’t be awkward or boring, but rather give listeners a sense of relief that they aren’t alone in their money journey – whatever circumstance or stage of life they’re in.” Co-host George Kamel adds, “The show is a good balance of real-life humor mixed in with money advice listeners can relate to. We’re willing to go there, have those conversations, and be that friend for you.” “Smart Money Happy Hour” topics include: Is Convenience Worth Being Broke? The TV Network That Brainwashed Us All; How to Leave a Royal Legacy for Your Family; and Can the Middle Class Still Afford to Go to Disney?

SRN’s Mike Gallagher Raises Funds for Hurricane Ian Relief. Pictured above in front of what’s left of a Venice, Florida car dealer’s lot is Salem Radio Network personality Mike Gallagher broadcasting live. In the wake of Hurricane Ian’s devastation in Florida and the Carolinas, Gallagher is broadcasting from disaster sites today (10/3) and is raising funds to help people impacted by the huge storm. Gallagher is partnering with Christian non-profit relief organization Food for the Poor to rush hurricane emergency kits and hurricane flood relief kits to impacted areas. Gallagher says, “This is what radio does best: opening the hearts and wallets of listeners to help fellow Americans they will likely never meet.”

TALKERS News Notes. A new deal between FOX Sports Radio and LaVar Arrington’s Up On Game Presents and Brinx.TV provides for distribution of programming across both platforms. The sports platform Brinx.TV is operated by John Brenkus – host of “Sports Science.” As part of the agreement, “The NIL House” will be the first joint property to be distributed by the Up On Game Presents podcast feed (available on iHeartRadio and everywhere podcasts are heard) and Brinx.TV. The venture launches today (10/3) at 3:00 pm ET. Arrington says, “We are thrilled to be partnering with a pioneer like John Brenkus and Brinx.TV. This relationship will dramatically expedite our slate of programming and positively impact the sports entertainment industry.”…..Cumulus Media’s news/talk KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno recently teamed with local agriculture company Gar Bennett to raise money for the Central California Food Bank for the 2022 Feeding Families Fund Drive. Gar Bennett Inc. matched every donation with 50 cents on the dollar as the effort raised $656,000 to fight hunger in the Central Valley. Cumulus Media Fresno VP and market manager Patty Hixson says, “I’m overwhelmed by the support of our community. We can always count on the generosity of our KMJ listeners! A special thanks to Karen and Greg Musson of Gar Bennett, Farm Credit and Amazon for their massive contributions and to our talented on-air team for their hard work on this important effort.”

Russia-Ukraine War, Hurricane Ian Aftermath, Economy/Financial Markets, Mar-a-Lago Documents Case, Brazilian Elections, and Indonesia Soccer Riot Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The move by Vladimir Putin to attempt to annex parts of Ukraine as he calls up more troops in Russia’s war against its neighbor; the aftermath of Hurricane Ian’s destruction of the Fort Myers-Naples region; inflation and the bear market that’s pushed the world’s financial markets to lows not seen since 2009; the battle between former President Donald Trump’s lawyers and the Department of Justice over the Mar-a-Lago records case; conservative Brazil president Jair Bolsonaro forces runoff election with opponent Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva; and the soccer riot in Indonesia that left 125 dead were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.


Pending Business: SiriusXM’s Chutzpah

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp


BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Chutzpah!

That’s the way most AM/FM radio vets reacted to the recent SiriusXM ads. By now you should know about the upheaval over the “Why waste your time with AM/FM radio?” broadside attack launched last week.

Imagine, a frenemy like satellite radio calling our baby ugly. Chutzpah! Nobody does that to the people who gave most satellite radio talent their start, right?



Monday Memo: Your Podcast Isn’t a Broadcast

By Holland Cooke


BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Be there or be square. Legacy media are scrambling to follow eyes and ears beyond old towers and deliver the on-demand options users now favor. NBC’s got Peacock; CBS touts its Paramount+ and invites us to watch the rest of “60 Minutes” interviews online; and CNN sure stubbed its toe scrambling to catch-up.
Radio stations archive reruns of on-air shows, though typically little more.



NAB2022: Don’t Blink

By Holland Cooke


LAS VEGAS — If you’re here this week, bear with me. I’m that guy in the row behind you, typing feverishly-enough to resemble the movie character racing the countdown readout to disarm a nuclear warhead about to detonate. If you’re not here, here’s why I am:

Megatrends in the U.S. Audio Listening Landscape

From Laura Ivey, Edison Research, with bullet points from the “Share of Ear” data her firm has been tracking since 2014:


Front Page News Industry News

Monday, February 28, 2022

Monday Memo: Read Me, Please! “Few opportunities to engage are more powerful than the ongoing email conversation you have with listeners.” Consultant Holland Cooke calls it “a relationship that Pandora and Spotify and your robotic AM/FM competitors can’t emulate.” In this week’s column, HC shares tips for the most important words of your email: its subject line. Read about it here.


Pending Business: Sell Carefully. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says the war in the Ukraine has the potential to bring more information and opinion-hungry listeners to your news/talk station and provides a sales opportunity. “The loyal audience base your station has worked hard to develop will lock in regularly for information updates and the clarity your air talent can bring to a complex and intimidating situation that could affect everything from the price of gas at the local pump to a roller coaster ride in their stock portfolio.” He offers six tips for selling during this historic news storm. Read more here.


KNBR-AM/FM, San Francisco Promotes Adam Copeland to Afternoons. Sports talk radio pro Adam Copeland is promoted to co-host of the afternoon drive with longtime host Tom Tolbert on Cumulus Media’s KNBR-AM/FM, San Francisco. This comes after Cumulus parts ways with Tolbert’s former co-hosts Larry Krueger and Rod Brooks. Tolbert tweeted last week about their departure, saying, “Rod and Larry are no longer on the show. It sucks. I’m always saddened when something doesn’t work. I love both of those guys. I consider them friends. I can’t tell you why some things work and some don’t work. It’s a bummer. It stinks.” The new “Tolbert and Copes” show airs from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Copeland joined KNBR as an intern in 2009 and was hired in 2016 as a board operator. He eventually became the producer of “KNBR Tonight with Ryan Covay.” In 2018, after time as a fill-in host on the station, Copeland was named host of his own talk show, “The Lead Off Spot with Adam Copeland,” airing weekday mornings from 5:00 am-6:00 am. He also served as a producer of the “Murph and Mac” morning program.  Copeland says, “Having the opportunity to host ‘The Leadoff Spot’ and hang with Murph and Mac for the past four years has been a dream come true since I was 16 years old, and I’m forever indebted to all the loyal listeners, callers, and guests who made the show as fun and engaging as it was. It’s been the honor of my life. I look forward to bringing that same energy and enthusiasm to afternoon drive with the legendary Tom Tolbert. I know I have big shoes to fill, and I hope to make my fellow Bay Area sports fans proud. Onward and upward.”


Round Four of January PPM Survey Released. The fourth of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s January 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s January 2022 sweep covered January 6 – February 2. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets. In the Raleigh market, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WTKK-FM jumps 1.1 shares for a 7.4 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) finish and the #3 rank in the market, while Curtis Media Group’s crosstown news/talk WPTF tacks on nine-tenths for a 3.3 share finish good for the #11 rank. Emmis Communications’ news/talk WIBC-FM, Indianapolis recaptures 1.8 shares to wrap the survey with a 10.6 share and climbs to the #2 rank. In Milwaukee, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WISN-AM leaps to #1 after adding nine-tenths for a 9.7 share finish, while Good Karma Brands’ crosstown news/talk WTMJ-AM rises half a share for a 7.2 share finish good for the #4 rank. Cumulus Media’s news/talk WWTN-FM, Nashville tacks on eight-tenths to put up a 6.9 share that gives it the #2 rank in the market. Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville is back at #1 after shooting up 2.6 shares for a 9.6 share finish. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets (as well as the first three rounds) here.


Nielsen Holdings Reports 2021 Q4 Revenue Up 2.5%; Full Year Revenue Rises 4.1%. Ratings giant Nielsen Holdings plc reports its financial data from the fourth quarter of 2021 and for the full year, revealing Q4 revenue was $894 million, an increase of 2.5% over the same period in 2020. Revenue of the whole of 2021 was $3.5 billion, a year-over-year increase of 4.1%. For the full year of 2021, Nielsen reports net income from continuing operations attributable to Nielsen shareholders was $551 million, compared to $191 million in 2020. Nielsen CEO David Kenny says, “We delivered strong results in 2021. We successfully sold Nielsen Global Connect, hit significant product milestones, and exceeded all of our original 2021 guidance metrics despite facing some unanticipated challenges. We are strongly positioned within the media ecosystem, with growing relevance as audiences shift to streaming, and we are delivering value to clients across our three essential solutions. We made measurable progress toward becoming a digital-first company, and our strategy aligns with where growth in the industry is coming from. We are piloting the first iteration of Nielsen ONE, which we launched in January, with a representative group of clients across media buyers and sellers and feedback has been positive. We also made progress on strengthening our balance sheet, reducing our net debt leverage by over half a turn in 2021. We now have the flexibility to return more capital to shareholders while continuing to invest in organic growth initiatives and pursue strategic, tuck-in M&A. Our $1 billion share repurchase authorization reflects our board’s confidence in both our short and long-term growth prospects and enables us to deliver value to our shareholders.” The company reports its financial position, stating, “As of December 31, 2021, the company had cash and cash equivalents of $380 million and gross debt of $5.626 billion, resulting in net debt of $5.246 billion.”


Russian Ukraine Invasion, COVID-19, The Economy/Financial Markets, CPAC 2022/Trump & the GOP, William Barr Book, State of the Union, and SAG Awards Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Russian invasion of the Ukraine and the domestic and global responses to Vladimir Putin’s gambit; the falling rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the relaxation of mask mandates, and the U.S. trucker convoys destined for Washington, DC; the state of the U.S. economy as the Ukraine invasion affects global markets, the ongoing inflation affecting consumer retail prices, and the financial markets activities; the weekend’s CPAC 2022 conference and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; former Attorney General William Barr’s new memoir containing criticism of Donald Trump is teased; anticipation of Tuesday’s State of the Union Address; and Sunday’s Screen Actors Guild 2022 awards ceremony were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.


Monday Memo: Read Me, Please!


By Holland Cooke


BLOCK ISLAND, RI — You DO regularly communicate with an opt-in email list…right? Few opportunities to engage are more powerful than the ongoing conversation you have with listeners. It’s a relationship that Pandora and Spotify and your robotic AM/FM competitors can’t emulate.

Any email you send is worthless if it doesn’t get read  

And you yourself demonstrate why, every time you open your in-box. True or false: You delete some (lots) of messages unread, simply based on the subject line?