Sports talk personality Donal Ware is celebrating the 18th anniversary of his nationally syndicated program “BOXTOROW” that first aired on August 20, 2005 on a radio station in its home base of Raleigh, and stations in Baltimore, Birmingham, Greensboro, and Winston-Salem. The show airs on SiriusXM’s College Sports channel in addition to radio stations in 12 of the top 50 markets across the country including Washington, Tampa, Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Austin, Kansas City, Raleigh, Nashville, Norfolk, Jacksonville, and New Orleans. Guests on the program over the years have included Serena Williams, Kevin Durant, Simone Biles, Jerry Rice, Snoop Dogg, Michael B. Jordan, and more.
Pictured above Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated talk host Dennis Prager addressing the annual summit of “Moms For Liberty,” a conservative group advocating parental rights, education reform, and other political/social issues. Also attending the event were 2024 presidential candidates former President Donald Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley.
Pictured above is Todd Starnes – a nationally syndicated talk radio host and owner of news/talk KWAM, Memphis – speaking at the Road to the Majority Conference in Washington, D.C. presented by the Faith & Freedom Coalition. The conference included speeches from all major GOP presidential candidates, including former President Donald Trump.
Las Vegas-based, nationally syndicated talk radio personality Wayne Allyn Root tells TALKERS magazine his latest book, The Great Patriot BUY-cott Book, is doing very well on several Amazon book charts, and he says talk radio is the main reason why. He says, “My new book is out for 48 hours and already it’s a #1 bestseller in many categories at Amazon. And to what do I credit my success at going so quickly to #1? Talk radio. In past 48 hours I’ve been a guest on 30 talk radio shows… plus of course, I’ve promoted my book on my own national radio show. Talk radio works!” Root is an ardent Donald Trump supporter who says the former president linked to his recent opinion piece titled, “Democrats Want to Indict & Arrest President Trump. They Want a War? Let’s Give it to Them” in one of his recent posts on Truth Social.
Las Vegas-based, nationally syndicated talk radio host Wayne Allyn Root has published his latest book titled, The Great Patriot BUY-cott Book. Root says, “Our nation is headed for a ‘National Divorce.’ That phrase was my original idea for over two years now on my national radio and TV shows. Then Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene picked it up and ran with my idea.” Root says the idea is to build a “parallel conservative patriot economy” consisting of conservative-owned businesses and his book lays out the plan. Root adds, “My co-author Nicky Billou (an Iranian immigrant) and our team of researchers spent over a year researching and identifying the 123 most patriotic companies in America to buy from and to invest your savings and retirement accounts in (some are publicly traded).”
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
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.
KOGO, San Diego Launches ‘Slater & Lou’ Show. As part of a realignment of programming and a frequency swap in San Diego, iHeartMedia announces the launch of the new “Slater & Lou” program on news/talk KOGO-AM. Starring Mike Slater and Lou Penrose, the program will air daily from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm beginning today (9/1). Penrose had been hosting a one-hour show on KOGO and Slater had been hosting on co-owned KGB-AM “The Patriot.” iHeartMedia says, “The duo will join forces for a fast-paced, news-driven talk program for San Diegans that will focus on the day’s top stories both local and national. Slater’s extensive knowledge of history combined with Lou’s background in politics will provide listeners with an accurate understanding of topics and the impact they may have on people’s lives.” iHeartMedia San Diego director of news and programming Brian Long says, “Mike and Lou represent a fresh approach to talk radio. Joining KOGO’s lineup on the drive home next to ‘champion of government reform’ Carl DeMaio will provide the show with a great forum to deliver their unique perspectives to the KOGO audience.”
iHeartMedia San Diego Flips Frequencies; Adjusts Programming on News/Talk and Sports Outlets. Today (9/1), the frequency swap of iHeartMedia San Diego AM stations takes effect as the sports talk format heard on KLSD-AM “XTRA 1360” moves to KGB-AM where it will become “San Diego Sports 760” and conservative news/talk “The Patriot” moves to KLSD-AM’s 1360 signal as “The Patriot 1360 AM.” iHeartMedia president San Diego/Riverside region Noreen Ippolito states, “We are committed to delivering an audio sports platform with massive reach for our listeners and partners. Our goal is to reach fans wherever they are through the iHeartRadio App, KGB-FM HD2 simulcast, and on 760 AM’s massive day and nighttime signal which can be heard all over the West Coast.” The lineup on “San Diego Sports 760” remains the same, while the show lineup on “The Patriot 1360 AM” is now all syndicated with the move of Mike Slater to KOGO as noted in the story above. Talk host Mark Larson tweets that he also moves from KGB-AM to KOGO-AM to host the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm “KOGO at Night” program.
Salem Appoints Tara Loring Eastern Regional Digital Sales Director. Audio sales pro Tara Loring is named Eastern regional digital sales director for Salem Media Group, effective September 12. Loring most recently served with Hubbard Broadcasting as general sales manager and director of digital media for the company’s West Palm Beach cluster. Salem VP and general manager Jon Latzer says, “Tara has been an active hands-on leader in both the broadcast and digital media industries for several years and her wealth of experiences will provide tremendous growth to our digital marketing firm – Salem Surround. In Tara, we have an individual who has experience working with multiple sales staffs and managing high-performance individuals. We are thrilled that Tara is joining our growing sales and operational efforts and will lead a team who is dedicated to helping Salem and our advertisers grow and thrive.” Loring comments, “I am thrilled to be joining the Salem Media team, one that truly embraces forward-thinking initiatives to produce real results for clients and partners. A big thank you to Jon Latzer, Jamie Cohen, and Dave Santrella for welcoming me with open arms. I look forward to taking my passion for building winning teams to Salem Surround and working with Jon to help continue their incredible revenue and operational growth.”
Edison Research: Top Podcast Genre is Comedy. Based on Edison Research’s data collected continuously from Q3 2021 through Q2 2022 by surveying weekly podcast consumers ages 18 and older in the U.S., the company reveals its list of the Top Podcast Genres in the U.S. and comedy once again takes the top spot as the genre consumed by most weekly podcast listeners. Here’s the updated Top 10 Genres for Q2 2022 in full: 1) Comedy, 2) News, 3) Society and Culture, 4) True Crime, 5) Sports, 6) Business, 7) Arts, 8) TV and Film, 9) Education, and 10) Religion and Spirituality.
TALKERS News Notes. Journalist Greta Van Susteren – host of the nightly Newsmax TV program “The Record with Greta Van Susteren” – has been honored by Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who awarded her the Order of Merit, III Degree for her in-depth and hard-hitting project, “Putin’s Atrocities: Horror in Ukraine.” Newsmax says, “Much of the mainstream media has focused on weapons and the billions in financial aid given to Ukraine by the global community to fend off Moscow’s aggression. Van Susteren’s series, though, took a different tack, exploring the savagery displayed by Putin’s forces. Intriguing segments looked at reports of POWs being tortured and executed, alleged war crimes by Moscow, and the Kremlin’s campaign of terror against Ukraine’s women and children. Van Susteren says, “I have been on the ground in Ukraine and seen this war with my own eyes. Once you see it with your own eyes, you can’t turn your back. The world needs to know what is going on… especially the atrocities. This is why I am at Newsmax — the opportunity to do these important stories with great colleagues.”…..The WSB-AM, Atlanta-based, nationally syndicated Erick Erickson show adds new affiliate stations as KJJR, Kalispell, Montana and WETR, Knoxville add the program on weekends; WMAY, Springfield, Illinois puts the show on weekday evenings; and WDBO, Orlando moves the program into the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart…..The Milwaukee Business Journal reports that Colleen Valkoun has exited her role as market president for iHeartMedia’s Milwaukee radio station operations that includes news/talk WISN, sports talkers WRNW-FM and WOKY-AM, plus four music brands. The Journal reports that Valkoun’s duties will be absorbed by iHeartMedia Area president Jeff Tyler…..Nielsen Holdings plc announces that at a court meeting and special meeting of its shareholders, its shareholders have approved the previously announced definitive agreement for Nielsen to be acquired by a private equity consortium composed of Evergreen Coast Capital Corp., an affiliate of Elliott Investment Management L.P., and Brookfield Business Partners L.P. together with institutional partners. Shareholders approved the $28.00 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $16 billion, including the assumption of debt. The transaction, which is expected to close in October 2022, remains subject to customary closing conditions. Upon closing, Nielsen will become a private company, and its shares will no longer be traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
FBI Documents Investigation, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Biden Philly Speech, Student Loan Forgiveness, China COVID Lockdown, Migrant Busing, Russia-Ukraine War, and Jackson Water Woes Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/31). The FBI and Department of Justice investigation into the documents retrieved from former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago; the midterm elections, Sarah Palin’s special election loss, and speculation about the nominees for the 2024 presidential race; President Joe Biden’s planned prime-time speech tonight in Philadelphia; criticism of Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan; China’s COVID lockdown of 21 million in Chengdu; Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s busing of migrants to New York, Washington, and Chicago; the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and the attempt to inspect the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant; and Jackson, Mississippi’s water system failure were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp
A little help here, I’m getting lost.
Abortion laws will quickly become a leading topic again as states begin to weigh in on laws. Social media is already buzzing about Brittney Griner’s sentencing and what about her stance on honoring our National Anthem? The January 6 hearings continue to produce new fodder for talkers as the Russia-Ukraine-China-Taiwan storyline is on the radar — literally. Those topics don’t touch what’s happening in your neck of the woods. Somewhere along the way one of your local talent or nationally syndicated talent will say something that will offend listeners, sponsors, or both.
Radio One Swaps Frequencies in Charlotte; Sports Talk WFNZ Gets Full Market FM Signal. Charlotte sports talk WFNZ-AM is getting a full-market FM signal as Radio One swaps FM frequencies between WFNZ and hip hop/R&B “92.7 The Block.” WFNZ is now heard on WFNZ-FM at 92.7 (in addition to WFNZ-AM at 610) and “The Block” airs on FM translator W273DA at 102.5. Radio One Charlotte/Richmond regional VP Marsha Landess says, “Charlotte has continued to grow as a great sports city and Sports Radio WFNZ will continue to grow with it! Now on a more powerful FM signal, with continued live and local talent, we will be able to superserve more of our listeners and clients with broader market coverage on the FM dial.”
Audacy Unveils New Audacy Digital Audience Network. In an effort to present advertisers with a “high-performing audience solution,” Audacy launches the Audacy Digital Audience Network, “an addressable aggregate of over 60 million listeners that other audio platforms and streaming platforms do not reach.” Audacy says that each month, it connects with 200 million fans across its broadcast and digital assets. Over 60 million of these listeners can be found on ADAN across its streaming content, on the Audacy app and on its podcasts. Through this, ADAN can target precise audiences at scale and deliver high-performing digital audio media strategies for Audacy’s advertising partners.” The company says it “continues to provide exclusive content across news, sports, talk, music and podcasts that its listeners seek and trust as a daily habit. ADAN audiences skew more affluent, are more likely to be college educated and are more diverse – collectively bringing the highest value consumers to advertisers. ADAN provides an unduplicated reach to listeners that other audio platforms do not deliver.” Components of the Audience Network include over 230 of Audacy’s broadcast brands and thousands of podcasts. Exclusive stations, curated music stations from Audacy brands, talent and influencers and digital streams of MLB play-by-play broadcasts via flagship partnerships are also included in ADAN.
WWO Blog: AM/FM Radio, Print, and Podcast Ads Lead in Attentiveness. The Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Group releases a new Media Attentiveness and Ad Skipping Report that incorporates several new studies that examine consumer attentiveness and concentration levels when using various media platforms, ad-skipping tendencies, and the reasons why listeners choose to use various audio platforms. Cumulus EVP of marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “Our new Media Attentiveness and Ad Skipping Report demonstrates that AM/FM radio leads all media in advertising attentiveness with the lowest levels of ad skipping. Consumers also devote very high levels of concentration to podcasts since listeners actively seek them out to learn something new, which justifies premium CPMs for podcasts.” Some of the highlights of the report include: 1) Attention grows in importance among marketers and agencies: Nearly half of advertisers have discussed consumer attentiveness as a metric. Two out of three say it is important for measuring media investments; 2) Traditional media ads have greater engagement compared to digital ads: AM/FM radio, print, and podcast ads lead in attentiveness. Consumers skip social and digital ads the most; 3) Social media disconnect: Agencies/marketers overestimate consumer concentration of social media. Two consumer studies reveal social media has the lowest attentiveness of media platforms; 4) AM/FM radio CPMs should be a premium to Pandora and Spotify: Pandora/Spotify audio impressions are not the same as AM/FM radio impressions. The greater proportion of spoken word content on AM/FM radio generates much higher levels of concentration and attentiveness. The information and personalities of AM/FM radio satisfy consumer needs for information and connection. See the full blog post here.
KLIF-AM, Dallas Adds ‘Markley, van Camp & Robbins’ Show. The Compass Media Networks nationally syndicated news/talk program “Markley, van Camp and Robbins” is added to the program lineup at Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM, Dallas in the 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm slot. KLIF-AM program director Bruce Collins says, “These guys were just what we were looking for to add to KLIF’s lineup, news and information and a whole lot of laughs and fun. They understand entertaining radio.” The program stars Jamie Markley, David van Camp, and Scott Robbins. Van Camp says, I’m excited and honored to be on the legendary KLIF. Having spent several years in the Metroplex, being on that station means a lot to me. Many thanks to Bruce Collins, who’s been a great partner and supporter of the show from the beginning.”
Todd Starnes Speaks at CPAC 2022. Nationally syndicated talk radio host and best-selling author Todd Starnes was a featured speaker at last weekend’s CPAC 2022 in Orlando. In addition to appearing on the conference’s agenda, Starnes broadcast his national radio show from the CPAC radio row during which he interviewed former President Donald Trump and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (pictured here with Starnes).
KYW, Philadelphia Honors 2022 GameChangers. Pictured above are the recipients of the 2022 GameChangers honors from Audacy’s all-news KYW, Philadelphia. The annual GameChangers recognize people making a difference in communities of color around the Philadelphia region. This year’s honorees were recognized at a ceremony at Audacy’s Philadelphia headquarters on February 27. KYW Newsradio community impact reporter Racquel Williams, who has been highlighting the GameChangers honorees throughout February, hosted the ceremony. The 2022 recipients were nominated by members of the audience and selected by a panel of previous honorees. Audacy Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “KYW Newsradio shines light on the stories of people from all backgrounds doing amazing things in our communities who might not otherwise get the recognition they deserve. That’s part of our mission 365 days a year, and we’re proud to award these meaningful honors to these outstanding community leaders during Black History Month.”
Cumulus Media’s WJR, Detroit Helps Raise $1.74 million for Salvation Army. Detroit news/talk WJR-AM helped raise more than $1.74 million for The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit during a 27-hour radio fundraiser that took place on February 24 and 25. The Cumulus Media station presented the 35th Annual Bed & Bread Club Radiothon as station personalities including Paul W. Smith (pictured here), Sean Baligian, Kevin Dietz, Lloyd Jackson, Chris Renwick, Mitch Albom, Ken Brown, Steve Courtney, Kevin O’Neill and Guy Gordon broadcast from The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Divisional Headquarters in Southfield, Michigan.
Norm Lewis to Perform at BFoA’s Golden Mike Award Dinner and Ceremony. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces that this year’s entertainment for the Golden Mike Award Gala will be Broadway, film, and TV star Norm Lewis. Following a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the BFOA Golden Mike Award Dinner and Ceremony returns this year on Monday, March 14 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. The annual event is the biggest fundraiser for the Broadcasters Foundation, whose sole mission is to provide financial aid to broadcasters in acute need from critical illness, accident, or serious misfortune. This year’s BFOA Golden Mike Award honoree will be Hilton Howell, Jr., chairman of the board and CEO of Gray Television and Atlantic American Corporation. The Lifetime Achievement Award honors a broadcaster who has made invaluable contributions to the television and radio industries. This year, it will be presented to renowned sportscaster Lesley Visser.
TALKERS News Notes. A new podcast starring Dennis Prager and Julie Hartman is joining the Salem Podcast Network. After reading Prager’s book, Still the Best Hope, Hartman – a senior at Harvard University – realized she actually held many conservative beliefs. She reached out to Prager, who was so impressed with her that he invited her on to his national talk show. Not long after, she sat in for him for all three hours of the show. Now, the two are launching a weekly podcast titled, “Dennis and Julie.” She says, “Finding Dennis’ work changed my life. I discovered the historic significance of the American value system and just how much our society today has come to be guided by the wrong principles. I hope that Dennis and I can make the world more understandable to our audience and impart to our listeners — especially those my age — how important it is to resist the far-left push that comes at them every day. I’m honored to work with Dennis and I’m grateful to Salem for trusting me with this opportunity.”…..CNN debuts three new podcasts. “Breaking News Alerts” – previously only available to smart speaker listeners – this audio version of CNN’s breaking news alerts offer podcast listeners a more contextualized understanding of breaking news. “Tug of War” takes listeners to the most volatile corners of the world to document some of the greatest power struggles of our time – a mission that now feels more relevant than ever – and offers historical, political, and social context for the Russia-Ukraine conflict. “Diversifying” – hosted by Delyanne Barros – presents insightful discussions about how the financial system can work for us, instead of against us. It creates a space for people who have traditionally been left out of conversations around personal finance, and who are often faced with the challenge of balancing cultural expectations against their own financial needs…..ESPN Audio says that the 2021 Share of Ear from Edison Research finds that ESPN Audio accounts for over half of all sports listening, at 53%, marking a nine percentage point increase in the same category from 2020. ESPN Audio was also shown to account for 63% of the digital sports listening space and 47% of the terrestrial sports audio space, both up a significant 8% points from 2020, respectively…..SiriusXM announces that Hope Solo, the World Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist goalkeeper, will launch a new and original SiriusXM podcast, “Hope Solo Speaks,” that debuts across all podcast platforms March 2. Solo will discuss a variety of topics on her mind, including her relentless fight for women’s rights and gender equality, motherhood and family, changing trends in sports and much more. Solo will be joined on episodes of the podcast by guests from various walks of life including world-class athletes, artists, and influencers for candid conversations on their experiences, passions and topics of the day.
Russia’s Attack on Ukraine, COVID-19, State of the Union, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, UN Climate Report, and Sacramento Murder-Suicide Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/28). Russia’s continued attacks on the Ukraine and the rest of the world’s response; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and relaxing mask mandates; tonight’s State of the Union address by President Joe Biden; the battle for control of Congress in the November midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the dire warning on the effects of climate change from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; and the murder of three children and their chaperone by the children’s father in a Sacramento church were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Dave Ramsey Releases New Book, Baby Steps Millionaires. Nationally syndicated talk radio star Dave Ramsey has published his most recent book, Baby Steps Millionaires (Ramsey Press, 2022). A press release for the book says, “In his first trade book in eight years, Ramsey proves that anyone can become a millionaire — no matter their starting point. The No. 1 national bestselling author and host of ‘The Ramsey Show’ tells real stories about ordinary people who spent years busting through barriers and digging out of debt so they could build wealth. Now, they’re millionaires.” The book takes a deeper look at how Ramsey invests and builds wealth — and teaches readers how they can do the same. It also includes Ramsey Solutions’ The National Study of Millionaires, the largest study of millionaires ever done in North America. Dave Ramsey says, “This is a book 30 years in the making. I’ve coached millions of people on ‘The Ramsey Show’ over that last 30 years, and people come up to me all the time saying they’re millionaires because they followed the Ramsey Baby Steps. The stories of real Baby Steps Millionaires will show you this is really possible — because these millionaires are just like you!”
Sun & Fun Media Celebrates 25th Anniversary. Founded in 1996 by chief executive officer Rob Koblasz, Sun & Fun Media is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Sun & Fun is a leading network radio company offering radio stations a unique suite of products and services designed to increase sales, improve ratings, and reduce expenses for 100% barter. It serves more than 1,400 stations across the U.S in nearly all 50 states. Sun & Fun says it is the radio industry’s go-to supplier of virtually all products and services needed by radio stations for barter, including vacations, incentives, gift cards, vehicle wraps, branded station merchandise, and bill pay for NTR events, television and billboard advertising for stations, research, consultants, transmitters and other equipment, software and more. The company has even paid electric bills on barter, as well as worked with large radio groups to cover costs for corporate managerial meetings and office holiday parties. Koblasz, who is also CEO for Key Networks, says, “Over the last 25 years, Sun & Fun Media has built a dream team of former radio GMs and network executives who deliver big for our clients time and time again. Our team has an extensive radio background. We understand the needs of stations and the challenges they face, and we’re able to provide turnkey solutions to improve their top-line revenue and reduce their expenses. We are proud to have set the standard as a barter partner to radio stations across the country. We thank our team members for their outstanding service and commitment to our customers, and our loyal customers who continue to grow with us.
iHeartMedia Reveals Plans for Development in the Metaverse and Web3. Audio giant iHeartMedia says it is taking “an important next step in extending its presence into web3 and the metaverse, beginning with plans for the creation of iHeart events and experiences for listeners and music fans” on online gaming platform and game creating system Roblox and “committing to launch tokenized communities for its users and creators.” It also says it will “use its industry-leading consumer reach of over 90% of Americans every month and strong engagement to create the awareness and demand necessary to bring new metaverse and web3 platforms to the mass market.” If you’re not familiar with these terms, XRToday defines metaverse as “a simulated digital environment that uses augmented reality, virtual reality, and blockchain, along with concepts from social media, to create spaces for rich user interaction mimicking the real world.” Wikipedia defines web3 as “an idea for a new iteration of the World Wide Web based on blockchains, which incorporates concepts including decentralization and token-based economics.” iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman states, “Although there are a number of great new products for the metaverse and web3 from a wide array of creators, with our unparalleled audience reach, multiple platforms, and our trusted broadcast and podcast hosts, iHeartMedia is uniquely positioned to build the consumer awareness, understanding and demand necessary for those new products and platforms from both us and others to succeed. We see this as a unique opportunity to serve our listeners’ needs, provide an important new layer of growth for the company, and help develop the advertising and consumer potential for the metaverse and web3.” The press release says that this year, “iHeartMedia plans to bring immersive musical moments to the over 47 million daily active users on the Roblox platform and launch its first tokenized community, building a new token that will incentivize and reward the iHeart creator community in new ways and give iHeart’s fans unique access to offerings across its multiple platforms, and a series of collectible non-fungible tokens (NFTs), building on the success of its previously launched iHeartRadio Music Festival NFTs in partnership with Green NFT platform OneOf in September 2021.
Premiere Networks’ Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Enjoying Rapid Growth. According to data presented by Premiere Networks, the nationally syndicated radio program “The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show” continues to experience rapid growth and success across multiple platforms since its debut in June 2021. Premiere says, “In addition to marking one of the biggest launches in talk radio history on more than 400 stations nationwide, the program’s total AQH audience increased 40% from June to November among PPM markets in the key demo of Adults 25-54. The powerhouse duo is also driving No. 1 rankings in many markets, including KTRH-AM, Houston; KOGO-AM, San Diego; KNRS-FM, Salt Lake City; KFBK-AM, Sacramento; WTKK-FM, Raleigh-Durham; and WISN-AM, Milwaukee. Additionally, ‘The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show’ closed out 2021 by setting a new podcast record with 10.3 million monthly downloads in December. The popular program is also connecting and engaging with fans online, with unique visitors to www.ClayandBuck.com growing 239% since its launch in June 2021.”
Compass Media Networks Promotes Alexander to Senior Director of Research. The company announces that Kareem Alexander is promoted to senior director of research. Compass Media Networks says that Alexander, who’s been with the company since 2015 and previously held the director of research title, will oversee and manage the research, data, and analytics of Compass Media Networks’ 16 national advertising networks and audience measurements of the affiliate base. Compass president of sales & marketing Paul Gregery comments, “Kareem always goes above and beyond to deliver timely research and data for our sales staff and advertisers.”
AURN and Superadio Networks Offer Free MLK Jr. Weekend Programming. This weekend is Martin Luther King Jr. weekend and American Urban Radio Network and Superadio Networks are offering free programs to honor and celebrate Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The informative and provocative one-hour special celebrating the life and legacy of King is titled, “King…Realizing the Dream.” It was originally produced in 2002 and chronicles the life of the Baptist minister and freedom fighter and explores how we as a society have carried on King’s legacy. The special includes excerpts from his inspiring speeches and examines the messages behind the words by those who walked with him to contemporary leaders who have carried the torch for justice and equality. This offering also includes a series of one-minute MLK vignettes titled, “Inspiring Moments,” and “Remembering the Dreamer.”
Loker Promoted to VP of Politics/Senior Executive Producer at FNC. Producer Jessica Loker is promoted to vice president of politics and senior executive producer of “FOX News Sunday” at FOX News Channel. In this role, Loker will oversee all political newsgathering and logistics in addition to managing “FOX News Sunday,” the network’s one-hour Sunday public affairs program that airs on FOX Broadcasting and FNC. Alan Komissaroff will continue overseeing all political coverage as the SVP of news & politics. FOX News Media president & executive editor Jay Wallace says, “Jessica’s exceptional skills and extensive understanding of politics in Washington and beyond have made her an asset to our news division. We look forward to her continued contributions to the network.”
TALKERS News Notes. A new podcast from Audacy’s Cadence13 called “Fly on the Wall” is launching. The program stars former “Saturday Night Live” alums Dana Carvey and David Spade who sit down with past and present cast, hosts, writers, and musical guests to reminisce about their favorite moments, memories, and sketches from the iconic sketch comedy program. Each week, Carvey and Spade invite listeners to be a “fly on the wall” as they sit down for in-depth conversations with a who’s who of SNL, as well as other special guests and friends, to take listeners behind the scenes and share never-before told stories about their careers and time on the show. Guests include: Chris Rock, Tom Hanks, Darrell Hammond, Kevin Nealon, Jon Lovitz, Martin Short, Melanie Hutsell, Ana Gasteyer, Tim Meadows, Laraine Newman, Rob Lowe, and Will Forte…..AdLarge announces that the “Honeydew Me” podcast joins the company’s podcast sales network portfolio. Expanding the focus on female health, wellness, and self-love, “Honeydew Me” podcast – hosted by Emma Norman and Cass Anderson – pushes old boundaries and breaks antiquated rules and expectations by openly discussing women’s sexual wellness, and normalizing conversations, questions and experiences. AdLarge co-founder Cathy Csukas says, “Emma and Cass have created something that is uniquely compelling, informative, and honest. They have provided a space to openly and authentically address female health and insecurities in a casual and safe environment. Proven by their explosive engagement on social media and with the podcast, it’s abundantly clear these are questions women everywhere want to find answers to.”…..Public media’s WNYC welcomes two new staffers as Steve Smith joins as the culture & art editor and Ann Givens assumes the public safety editor role. Smith was most recently with NPR as a senior editor on the arts, culture and books desk. Givens comes to WNYC from The Trace, a nonprofit news outlet dedicated to covering guns and gun violence in America.
COVID-19, Voting Rights, Facebook Anti-Trust Complaint, U.S.-Russia Relations, 2022 Midterms/Trump & the GOP, January 6 Investigation, and Boris Johnson Troubles Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/11). The soaring rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the Omicron variant, and the face-off between Dr. Anthony Fauci and Senator Rand Paul; President Joe Biden’s Atlanta speech promoting the Voting Rights Act; Facebook loses its bid to have the FTC’s anti-trust complaint against it tossed; the U.S., NATO and Russia’s planned meeting over the Russian troops amassed at the Ukraine border; the battle for control of Congress in the 2022 midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence within the GOP; the investigation into the January 6 attack on the Capitol; and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is called out for attending Downing Street party that violated COVID protocols were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.