Front Page News Industry News

Monday, May 23, 2022

Monday Memo: Leapfrog Legacybox. “As oxide literally falls off cassettes and reel tape,” consultant Holland Cooke warns, “those precious airchecks will be gone forever” unless you digitize them. “Ditto VHS tapes and photos of loved ones now long gone.” But, in this week’s column, HC’s experience with a major national advertiser points to a local sales lead. Read it here.

 

Pending Business: The Ego Drive Connection. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column that most talk radio sellers don’t stop to think about the personality trait that connects them to their station’s talk hosts. But both have a healthy ego drive. The successful talk radio host is driven to convince their listeners that their take on an issue is the correct one. And their skill set includes the power of persuasion – just a like a good seller. Read more here.

 

Lars Larson Celebrates 25 Years at KXL-FM, Portland. Talk radio host Lars Larson – whose KXL-FM, Portland-based program is heard on more than 20 stations the Pacific Northwest on Alpha Media’s Radio Northwest Network and whose Compass Media Networks nationally syndicated program serves some 100 affiliate stations – celebrated his 25th anniversary at KXL on Friday (5/20). In a video on the KXL website, Larson talks about his 25 years at KXL, how he got into radio as a teenager, and the difference between his past work as a television news managing editor and his current work as a talk host. “I love the idea of gathering interesting information and then presenting it to my audience, so they get a chance to hear what’s going on.” See the video here.

 

Audacy Recognizes 100 Years of KFH, Wichita. Wichita radio station KFH is celebrating its 100th year of service to the area. The Audacy news/talk outlet – now an AM/FM combo – is Kansas’ oldest commercially licensed radio station. Audacy Wichita SVP and market manager Jackie Wise says, “As the oldest radio station in Kansas, KFH Radio is very much a key piece of a fabric of this region and the city of Wichita. We’re honored to have been able to carry that baton for 100 years now, serving our community in key moments throughout history. We’re proud of the role we play in Wichita and look forward to celebrating our centennial anniversary alongside our loyal listeners.” KFH Radio will kick off its 100th anniversary celebration by welcoming special guests as part of its on-air programming. It will also begin airing short-form audio clips that spotlight some of the most memorable moments in station and Wichita history, including coverage of World War II, Wichita State University athletics, national attention from the 1938 Orson Welles “War of the Worlds” program that aired on the station, and more. KFH Radio, first known as WEAH, was launched on May 26, 1922 for the purpose of broadcasting crop and market reports.

 

MIW Announces MIW Mildred Carter Mentoring Program Class of 2022. This year’s Mildred Carter Mentoring Program’s class is announced by Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio, Inc. For the MIW Mildred Carter Mentoring Program that matches up-and-coming women in radio with female professionals recognized as leaders in all aspects of the industry, four candidates from the radio industry within sales, marketing, programming and digital disciplines are selected each year. This year’s mentees are: Susan Aksu-Magarian, director of marketing, Benztown; Lindsay High, general sales manager, Audacy San Francisco; Bri O’Neill, digital sales manager, Leighton Broadcasting, Grand Forks, ND; and Lauren “Lo” Sessions, APD/MD “Energy 94.1” and Content Director “WE 94.5,” Alpha Media, San Antonio. Lindsay Adams, chair of the 2022 MIW Mentoring committee, and a 2006 graduate of the program says, “We couldn’t be happier seeing a year over year increase in the amount of program applicants. The easy part is recognizing a talent and applauding the determination to further develop their career.  The hard part is making final decisions from such an incredible pool of candidates. We thank Beasley Media Group and Entravision Communications for their generous support, and we can’t wait to start working with the Class of 2022.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. The 24th annual “Cares for Kids Radiothon” raised $314,000 for the Bernard & Millie Duker Children’s Hospital at Albany Med. iHeartMedia Albany’s news/talk WGY-AM/FM “News Radio 810 & 103.1” and “99.5 the River” took part in a 25-hour radiothon on May 5-6. WGY personalities who interviewed medical professionals and patients during the broadcast included: Doug Goudie, Diane Donato, Joe Gallagher, Mike Patrick, and Jaime Roberts…..SiriusXM announces the acquisition of Team Coco, including the critically acclaimed hit podcast “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend,” and the Conan O’Brien-led podcast network and digital media business. The transaction brings to SiriusXM Team Coco’s staff, who will continue to produce the network’s slate of popular podcasts, as well as collaborate on content for SiriusXM. As part of the deal, O’Brien enters into a five-year talent agreement with SiriusXM, under which he will remain host of his namesake podcast…..Pictured below is one of the pioneers of digital era independent talk broadcasting, James Lowe, a.k.a. Jiggy Jaguar (c) interviewing actor/musician Billy Bob Thornton (l) and musician J.D. Andrew (r) this past Saturday night (5/21) at the McPherson Opera House in McPherson, Kansas where their acclaimed roots rock band called Box Masters were performing.

 

Title 42 Ruling, the Economy, Russia-Ukraine War, Monkeypox/COVID-19, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Great Replacement Theory, Kellyanne Conway Book, U.S.-China Relations, and Australian Elections Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. A Louisiana District judge rules the Trump-era Title 42 that keeps migrants seeking asylum from entering the U.S. must stay in place while the matter plays out it court; the baby formula shortage, the high price of gas & food, and the selloff on Wall Street; the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and its economic impact; the spread of monkeypox and the fast-rising number of COVID-19 cases in parts of the U.S.; the primary elections for this November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the controversial Great Replacement Theory; former Trump counsellor Kellyanne Conway publishes her memoir Here’s the Deal; the tense U.S.-China relations over Taiwan; and Australian’s oust conservative Scott Morrison in favor of center-left PM Anthony Albanese were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Front Page News Industry News

Monday, May 9, 2022

Pending Business: Howdy Partner. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes today about the strange use of the word “partner” for the advertiser on a radio program. Lapa says, “Do our advertisers (customers) really want a partnership in the true sense of the word? Or do our advertisers want what everyone else wants: maximum value at the best price?” Aside from the inaccurate nomenclature, Lapa wonders if the “partner” designation affects the sales effort. Read his column here.

 

Monday Memo: “Gas cards? OR…Bitcoin?” “Imagine asking a contest winner to choose THAT?” consultant Holland Cooke asks. In this week’s column, he recalls “when radio stunts were fun,” and how a contest “will sound as big as you make it sound.” Read more here.

 

Audacy First Quarter Net Revenue Up 14%. For the first quarter of 2022, Audacy reports net revenue of $275.3 million, an increase of 14% over the same period in 2021. The company also saw its net loss shrink from $21.6 million in the first quarter of 2021 to $11 million in Q 1 of this year. Audacy provides financial data by segment and reports that spot revenue (national and local) was $173.9 million, while its digital segment (including podcasting) rose 16% to $53 million from the $41.6 million reported in the first quarter of 2021. Audacy also breaks down net revenue by format type and reports music radio revenue was $140.4 million; sports radio revenue was $53 million; and all-news & news/talk revenue was $48.3 million. Audacy president and CEO David Field comments, “I am pleased to report that Audacy posted strong first quarter results, delivering 152% growth in Adjusted EBITDA led by double digit revenue growth in both digital and spot radio. With our scaled, leadership position across broadcasting, podcasting and digital audio and our differentiated premium content offerings, we are well positioned to drive rapid evolution and innovation across the organization to capitalize on the outstanding growth opportunities in the dynamic audio marketplace. In Q1, we launched the Audacy Digital Audience Network, an addressable aggregate of 60 million listeners across our app, streaming content, and podcast lineup, enabling precision targeting at scale coupled with real-time optimization and reporting. We are looking forward to a number of exciting additional product and content launches and enhancements over the course of 2022 that will accelerate our audience growth and bolster our advertiser appeal.”

 

Beasley Broadcast Group Reports Q1 Net Revenue Increase of 15.6%. Reporting its financial data for the first quarter of 2022, Beasley Broadcast Group – parent company of Beasley Media Group – states that net revenue was $55.7 million, an increase of 15.6% over the same period in 2021. The company is also reporting an operating loss of $2.7 million in Q1 compared to an operating loss of $2.5 million in the first quarter of 2021. The increase in operating loss is primarily the result of an increase in operating expenses, which reflects additional cost of sales related to the revenue increase, other expenses related to sports and marketing, and additional expenses related to the company’s digital agency build out. Beasley’s net loss for the quarter fell to $3.7 million compared to the net loss of $10.7 million reported for the same period a year ago. Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley states, “First quarter results highlight ongoing progress toward our goal of returning all of our revenue sources to pre-pandemic levels. Net revenue rose 15.6% inclusive of a 35.5% rise in digital segment revenue, which accounted for 14% of total net revenue in the quarter, marking further success of our digital transformation strategies. Comparing our revenue performance to the first quarter of 2019, revenue was down $2.0 million, or 3.4%, as the 2019 results benefited from events and other revenue that has not fully recovered from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Total outstanding debt as of March 31, 2022 was $300 million, as we did not have any scheduled debt payments during the quarter, and we had $50.7 million of cash and cash equivalents on hand at quarter end. We made an interest payment of approximately $12.9 million in February and repurchased $5 million of our 8.625% senior secured notes at a discount early in the second quarter. Our strong liquidity position enables us to make debt repayments while providing us with increased financial flexibility to pursue a potential acquisition or investment within the digital space, should an opportunity arise that could accelerate our digital growth, provide synergies or improve financial results. Looking ahead to the second quarter and second half of 2022, our focus remains on driving further revenue diversification and audience expansion, improving margins, benefiting from the return of the political cycle, maintaining a strong and flexible balance sheet, reducing net leverage and growing free cash flow. We expect progress on each of these fronts as we continue to close the gap on our pre-pandemic revenue and SOI levels and grow from there. I am extremely proud of our team members across the company for everything they have done and are doing to help us move past the challenges presented by the pandemic. We have clearly accomplished a lot and I believe we have many more opportunities ahead to build the company and enhance stockholder value.”

 

Ramsey Solutions Wins Webby Award for Borrowed Future Documentary. The documentary film Borrowed Future – produced by Ramsey Solutions – will be recognized as the Best Video Documentary in the Longform category of the 2022 Annual Webby Awards. Known as the “best of the Internet,” the Webby Awards are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, the leading international awards organization honoring excellence on the Internet. Borrowed Future was originally released as a podcast in 2019 and reveals the inner workings of the predatory student loan industry that keeps borrowers trapped in debt. Directed by David DiCicco, the story follows college graduates who owe between $9,000 and $1 million in student loans, a college graduate who paid cash for college, and a group of high schoolers who haven’t made their choice yet. Leading voices like Mike Rowe, Seth Godin and Dave Ramsey are also featured. For weeks, the film held top spots on multiple streaming platform charts: #1 documentary on Google Play, #2 documentary on Apple TV and #5 documentary (rent or buy category) on Amazon Prime Video. Dave Ramsey says, “There’s no doubt we stirred up a holy ruckus with this documentary, and I’m so proud of the team that put it together. The student loan industry is downright evil. We definitely can’t bank on student loan forgiveness, and it’s about time America said, ‘I’ve had it!’” Webby Awards executive director Claire Graves comments, “Borrowed Future has set the standard for innovation and creativity on the Internet. This award is a testament to the skill, ingenuity, and vision of its creators.” The 26th Annual Webby Awards will take place in New York City on May 16. See more about the film here.

 

Brandon Tatum Joins Salem Radio Network for Syndicated Radio Program. Conservative media figure and former Tucson police officer Brandon Tatum is joining the Salem Radio Network to fill the slot Larry Elder held until his retirement from radio in early April. He will assume duties as host of the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET program on May 16. The third hour of the program will be repurposed into a podcast. Salem SVP of spoken word Phil Boyce says, “Salem conducted a nationwide search, and some very big names were interested in taking this important slot. Brandon brings a unique talent to Salem, and has a strong following among the nation’s youth, with his involvement with Turning Point USA. His compelling story is riveting.” Tatum has been serving as director of urban outreach for Turning Point USA and hosts the popular program “The Officer Tatum Show” on social media platforms including YouTube. Tatum says, “Words cannot describe what a blessing it is to be a part of the Salem family. I am incredibly humbled and honored to continue the legacy of the great Larry Elder. My mission in life is to serve God with the gifts he has given me. Being the voice of and for the people is one of those gifts.” Additionally, Tatum co-founded Blexit with Candace Owens, an organization “dedicated to changing the narrative in the black community through education, community outreach, and empowerment.” Carl Jackson, who has been subbing as guest host in Elder’s absence both last summer when he ran for governor, and more recently after Elder’s decision to retire from radio, will continue as a regular sub for Tatum.

 

TALKERS News Notes. Philadelphia sports media legend and Pro Football Hall of Famer Ray Didinger announces he’s retiring from his weekend radio program on Audacy’s WIP, Philadelphia. The station reports that Didinger said on yesterday’s program that he co-hosts with Glen Macnow, “Sunday, May 29th will be my final show. I am ready to transition from Ray Didi to grandpop.” Audacy says Didinger covered the NFL for The Philadelphia Bulletin and The Philadelphia Daily News for over 25 years and in 1995 his name was added to writer’s honor roll in the Pro Football Hall Of Fame. Didinger also worked as a senior producer at NFL Films, as an Eagles TV analyst on NBC Sports Philadelphia…..SiriusXM announces that Jessica Casano-Antonellis joins the company as SVP and head of communications, reporting to chief marketing officer Denise Karkos. In this role, she will be responsible for all aspects of the company’s communications function, including strategic communications, brand reputation management and media relations. Karkos adds, “Jessica is a valued and respected leader who brings a wealth of strategic communications experience in the media, entertainment and technology industries to SiriusXM. She will be an incredible asset to the company and will play a key role as we continue to tell the story of SiriusXM as a leader in audio entertainment.”…..Former KQQZ, St. Louis station owner Bob Romanik – whose self-given nickname was “The Grim Reaper of Radio” – has died at age 72 while in hospice. According to his obit in the Belleville News-Democrat, Romanik served as an East St. Louis police officer and chief of police in both Washington Park and Valmeyer, Illinois during his career. He was a notorious raconteur who liberally used racial epithets on the air and referred to his programming as W.A.R. or White Awareness Radio. In 2020, after attempting to conceal his ownership of KQQZ and failing to show up for FCC hearings on the matter, the Commission permanently dismissed his application for renewal.

 

The Economy, Roe v Wade, COVID-19, Russia-Ukraine War, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, January 6 Investigation, and Musk & Twitter Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The sinking Dow and NASDAQ, the high price of food & gas, and the ongoing supply chain woes; the reactions to the leaked draft of a Supreme Court decision to reverse Roe v Wade; the rising rate of COVID cases in some parts of the U.S., concerns about new variants, and the ongoing lockdowns in China; Russia’s war in Ukraine and Vladimir Putin’s propaganda; the November midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the Justice Department’s investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack; and Elon Musk’s attempt to acquire Twitter were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Front Page News Industry News

Monday, May 2, 2022

Monday Memo: R.I.P. Bill Balls. “He’s the Central Casting baritone, shouting or growling-through whatever promo copy the station sends.” And consultant Holland Cooke warns that “because radio ratings – and your advertisers’ results – are a memory test, conformity is detrimental to station imaging.” In this week’s column – and now that we’re a Month into the MLB season – HC points to baseball’s unlikeliest success story as a template for freshening station imaging. Read it here.

 

Pending Business: Drop These Excuses to Earn More. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column about two tired old excuses that no seller should be uttering in today’s media landscape. When negotiating rates, are you still arguing with your client using the phrases, “We don’t give it away” and “We have hard costs?” If so, Steve explains why this is dated and is only harming your potential commission. Read more here.

 

Sarah van Mosel Named EVP of iHeart Audience Network. Digital audio revenue pro Sarah van Mosel is named executive vice president for iHeartMedia’s iHeart Audience Network. She was most recently chief revenue officer at Stitcher, where she led podcast revenue strategy across SiriusXM, Pandora and Stitcher. The iHeart Audience Network is iHM’s new audience-based buying service that provides advertisers with inventory “sourced from the expansive iHeartRadio database and other premium publishers across streaming and podcasting.” In her new role, van Mosel will assist with iAN sales operations, publisher development and podcast slate partnerships and will report to Conal Byrne, CEO of the iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group. Byrne says, “The iHeart Audience Network is the first and only audio marketplace that seamlessly unifies all forms of audio with one common set of audiences, and we’re thrilled Sarah is bringing her expertise, vision and talent to take these unique capabilities to their full potential for advertisers and publishers. She’s been at the forefront of innovation in podcasting from the very beginning and her unique perspective on the rapidly growing medium will ensure this venture becomes the premier service for all brands. The team is looking forward to seeing where she takes iAN next.”

 

Cumulus Media Ups Brian Philips to Chief Content Officer. Rising to chief content officer for Cumulus Media is Brian Philips, who has been serving the company as EVP of content and audience since 2019. Cumulus president and CEO Mary G. Berner says, “Brian Philips is an exceptional executive and the perfect choice to lead our programming efforts as we continue to execute our audio-first strategy, which is transforming the company from a traditional radio broadcaster into a multi-dimensional audio media company. This promotion reflects Brian’s tremendous contributions, and I have full confidence in his creative vision, operational expertise, and savvy leadership to guide us through this critical evolution.”

 

TALKERS TIP.  Excellent Correspondent Available for Interviews from War. News directors and talk show hosts take note. Gregg Stebben, who spent years being interviewed every month by talk stations all over the country as an editor for Men’s Health magazine, is now in Poland and Ukraine as a volunteer doing radio interviews about the Ukraine situation. He’s available to be “Your-Man-in-Poland/Ukraine.” In an interview, he can talk about the situation with refugees in Poland and all over Europe, his personal experiences with Ukrainian refugees, and the mood in Poland and Western Ukraine. Are the Polish overwhelmed by absorbing almost 3 million refugees and/or terrified they might be next on Putin’s list? He can also talk about his trip to the Ukraine border, and what he’s seen and heard in Poland that makes him fear this Russian invasion will turn into a global conflict if Putin is successful in Ukraine. To schedule an interview with him: Gregg@Stebben.com, 843.722.3100 (cell or text).

 

WBAP, Fort Worth/Dallas Celebrates 100 Years of Service. Fort Worth/Dallas news/talk station WBAP-AM begins celebrating its 100th year of service to the market today (5/2) from its Victory Park studios. Station program director Bruce Collins says, “We begin the celebration today and have exciting things planned throughout the year to celebrate. WBAP has meant so much to the DFW community. It is going to be a fun year.” The celebration was kicked off this morning as the “WBAP Morning News” team featuring Hal Jay and Brian Estridge welcomed back notable contributors, including former on-air talent and executives that “helped WBAP become a trusted leader in Dallas-Fort Worth.” The station plans to continue its centennial celebration with historical audio clips played on the station daily, the launch of a podcast series highlighting the key figures in the station’s 100 years, and a celebration in the fall. WBAP signed on for the first time under the direction of famed Fort Worth businessman Amon G. Carter on Tuesday, May 2, 1922, operating at 10 watts of power. Within the first six months, WBAP established itself as a service to the community, becoming the first station to air livestock market reports and weekly church services. As the station continued to evolve, WBAP would become the first to broadcast a rodeo, air remote broadcasts, and send a war correspondent to Europe in the early days of World War II. Additionally, WBAP was the first station with regularly scheduled newscasts. Today, WBAP operates as a 50,000-watt, clear-channel station operated by Cumulus Media.

 

Tom Webster to Leave EVP Role with Edison Research. Announced in his “I Hear Things” blog on Friday (4/29), Edison Research SVP Tom Webster will be stepping away from his role with the company next month. He outlines his new professional goals, saying, “…I want to continue to work to establish a podcast industry: a place where established networks and independent podcasters alike have fair access to information, revenue, and opportunity. I think there are some structural issues in podcasting, and some information arbitrage, as well. I want to work on both of these issues, and help to create the sandbox I wish to continue to play in for years to come.” You can read it here.

 

The Economy, White House Correspondents Dinner, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Russia-Ukraine War/Pelosi Visit, Elon Musk & Twitter, COVID-19, NFL Draft, and Naomi Judd Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The state of the U.S. economy, high gas & food prices, and threats of a recession; Saturday evening’s White House Correspondents Dinner; the primary races leading up to the November mid-term elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and Nancy Pelosi’s visit with Volodymyr Zelensky; the controversy surrounding Elon Musk’s attempt to acquire Twitter; the rate of COVID-19 infections in the U.S., the debate over masks, and China’s zero-COVID policy; the weekend’s 2022 NFL Draft; and the death of country legend Naomi Judd after a long battle with mental illness were some of the most-talked-about stars on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Sales

Pending Business: Drop These Excuses and Earn More

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp
President

 

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Here is a tip or two to help you increase your income.

Drop these two old school excuses from your sales banter and get closer to the winning side of your business interactions.

I am as serious as your commission check. What I am about to share, fresh from the field, is as old as your first pocket calculator with the same limitations of performance, yet I hear this day after day in my marketing work. It’s old, tired, and needs to go.

(more…)

Front Page News Industry News

Monday, April 25, 2022

Monday Memo: NAB, Long Time No See. For the first time in three years there’s a NAB Show in Las Vegas, and in a Sunday ceremony Jim Bohannon was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Covering the convention for TALKERS, Holland Cooke says, “There are still some masks, and – after three years – lots of hugs.” Also, in today’s column, HC’s notes from a conference session that asked, “What Business Are You In?” Read it here.

 

Pending Business: Raising Your Rates? Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column about the soaring cost of, well, just about everything and how that’s probably what forced a station he deals with to raise its rates by 250%! If you’re a seller who has to break the rising rates to your clients, how do you do it gently? He offers some thoughts on that. Read it here.

 

Round Four of March PPMs Released. The fourth of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s March 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 March 2022 sweep covered March 3 – March 30. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. Emmis Communications’ news/talk WIBC-FM, Indianapolis sheds two-tenths to finish the survey with a 9.5 share (6+, weekly AQH share) but remains locked in the #2 rank. In Milwaukee, the battle between iHeartMedia’s news/talk WISN and Good Karma Brands’ news/talk WTMJ tightens. WISN lost 1.2 shares to finish with an 8.3 share good for the #2 rank, while WTMJ adds six-tenths for an 8.2 share finish that moves it into the #3 rank. Cumulus Media’s news/talk WWTN-FM, Nashville dips four-tenths to wrap the survey with a 6.8 share that keeps it ranked #2, while iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk WLAC-AM slides two-tenths to a 3.1 share and falls back to the #12 rank. In Jacksonville, Cox Media Group’s news/talk WOKV-FM rises three-tenths to a 10.5 share and remains #1 in the market. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as the first three groups) here.

 

Beasley Promotes Tina Murley to Chief Revenue Officer. Media sales pro Tina Murley is promoted to chief revenue officer for Beasley Media Group. Murley most recently served as the vice president of sales at the company since December 2020 and prior to that was director of sales at the company’s cluster for six years. In her new role, she will be responsible for overseeing all revenue on behalf of the company. Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley states, “It is an absolute privilege to promote Tina to the position of chief revenue officer at Beasley Media Group. She has done a phenomenal job leading our company’s sales efforts over the past two years. Her ‘can do’ spirit and ability to lead our sales teams has been truly exceptional. I look forward to her continuing to drive our revenue growth across all the company’s platforms well into the future.” Murley comments, “I want to thank Caroline, Bruce, Brian, Brad and the entire Beasley family for entrusting me to lead the sales charge for Beasley Media Group. When I joined the company, I had the honor of meeting George Beasley and knew instantly that I wanted to play a larger role in his company. What I didn’t know is that I would be joining a collaborative and dedicated sales force that leads with ideas and is truly vested in client success. As CRO, I look forward to empowering our best-in-class team to succeed, grow revenue, and deliver results for our valued clients and shareholders.”

 

The Economy, Russia-Ukraine War, January 6, COVID-19, DeSantis vs Disney, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Musk vs Twitter, and France Re-Elects Macron Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Friday’s Wall Street sell-off, the high price of gasoline & food, and concerns about a recession; the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s trip to Ukraine; the recording of Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy saying Donald Trump should resign the presidency following the January Capitol attack; the controversy over mask mandates, the watch for BA.2 variant outbreaks, and the lockdowns in China; Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ move to punish Disney by taking away its special tax status; the battle for control of congress in the November midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; Elon Musk’s negotiations with Twitter over his go-private bid; and Emmanuel Macron defeats Marine Le Pen to remain president of France were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Front Page News Industry News

Monday, April 11, 2022

Pending Business: It Should Be Easy. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says in today’s column that advertising with your news/talk station should be easy. But, is it? He says, “I’m betting it’s more difficult than you think.” If you’ve never done it, try to call your station – from outside the building – and go through the process of reaching the sales department. Lapa offers a “self-check” to see how you do in the area of communication. Read more here.

 

Monday Memo: Bad News. Following-up last week’s column about how stations can better-exploit “good news,” consultant Holland Cooke outlines a playbook for “handling the gaffes inevitable in talk radio.” Read more here.

 

Cumulus Media and Daily Wire Partner for Local Digital News. A new syndication agreement between conservative news and entertainment media company The Daily Wire and Cumulus Media will include delivering Daily Wire digital content to Cumulus radio station websites in key markets across the United States. Under the terms of the deal, Daily Wire breaking news, original reporting, sports, and entertainment coverage by The Daily Wire is available on more than 50 Cumulus radio station websites, with plans to expand in the coming weeks. Cumulus Media EVP of corporate marketing and president of Westwood One, Suzanne Grimes, says, “This new deal expands our partnership with Daily Wire to include yet another Cumulus distribution platform. Our listeners now have a new way to engage with high quality content from The Daily Wire, in real time, on our Cumulus local stations’ websites.” Westwood One and Daily Wire already partner to deliver “The Ben Shapiro Radio Show.” Last year, Westwood One and Daily Wire announced they were expanding broadcast programming offerings with the addition of “The Michael Knowles Show” from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.

 

‘The Regular Joe Show’ Enters Syndication with Genesis Communications Network. Talk radio host Joe Giganti announces he and Genesis Communications Network are partnering to nationally syndicate his “The Regular Joe Show.” His program has been regionally syndicated throughout Wisconsin from his home base at Midwest Communications’ WTAQ, Green Bay since 2020. Giganti says, “When I moved to Green Bay in 2007 from my native Washington, D.C., I quickly recognized the pivotal role Wisconsin specifically and the heartland generally play in our national political identity. This impact was drawn into crystal-clear focus with the intrigue surrounding the 2020 elections.” GCN affiliates director Adam Miller comments, “The GCN family is excited to welcome ‘The Regular Joe Show’ to its morning lineup! With a proven track record in Green Bay and markets across Wisconsin as a whole, we look forward to seeing this broadcast perform at a national scale as our country transitions into an uncertain and polarized future.”

 

iHeartMedia Names Whalley VP of Sales for WOR-AM and WAXQ-FM in New York. Radio sales pro Brittany Whalley joins iHeartMedia New York as vice president of sales for news/talk WOR-AM “The Voice of New York” and classic rock WAXQ-FM “Q104.3.” In this role, Whalley will be responsible for overseeing the Q104.3 and 710 WOR sales teams, including sales growth and strategic partnerships. She will report to SVP of sales Steve DeLusant. Whalley joins the iHeartMedia New York team from Cox Media Group’s Long Island station group where she was general sales manager. She says, “iHeartMedia is a massive leader in the audio space and I am ecstatic to be joining their NYC team. I look forward to collaborating with the incredibly talented sales team and achieving goals the leadership team has put in place. The abundance of resources available at iHeartMedia to super-serve clients is a dream come true.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. The nationally syndicated early afternoon program “The Todd Starnes Show” has two new affiliates in the Sunflower State as Steckline Communications adds the 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm ET show to KQAM, Wichita and KIUL, Garden City, Kansas…..ESPN Radio announces that it is teaming former New York Giants star Chris Canty (left) and sports radio pro Chris Carlin (right) for the new 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET “Canty & Carlin” program, effective April 25. Canty says, “I’m fired up to work with Carlin. We were able to establish chemistry going back to our days working at 98.7 FM in New York. He’s a pro’s pro that puts in the work to be at his best and also bring out the best in others. We both take sports seriously, but we won’t take ourselves seriously. We’ll keep our audience informed, make them think and hopefully get a few laughs along the way.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that current WBBM-FM “B96” weekend personality Gabe Ramirez is beginning a dual role with Audacy Chicago. He’s now a regular fill-in host on sports talk WSCR “The Score.” He begins his work with the station hosting the evening show this week. Also, WSCR promotes Chris Tannehill to senior audio producer…..Federal Communications Commission chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel and National Association of Broadcasters president and CEO Curtis LeGeyt will participate in a fireside chat on the NAB Show on April 25 in Las Vegas. LeGeyt says, “In today’s hyper-competitive media landscape, a regulatory framework that allows local radio and television stations to evolve, adapt and better serve their audiences is of vital importance. Broadcasters look forward to hearing from chairwoman Rosenworcel about her role as the head of a critical agency and her outlook on the future of our industry.”

 

Russia-Ukraine War, the Economy/Inflation, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Hunter Biden Investigation, January 6 Committee/Greene Challenge, Macron-Le Pen Race, COVID-19, and Elon Musk & Twitter Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Russia’s continuing invasion of Ukraine and the U.S.’s reaction to the war; the state of the U.S. economy, including high gas and food prices; the November midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the ongoing DOJ investigation into Hunter Biden’s international business ventures; the January 6 committee’s investigation into the Capitol assault and a challenge to Marjorie Taylor Greene’s candidacy for re-election based on allegations she encouraged the January 6 attack; the race for France’s presidency between liberal Emmanuel Macron and conservative Marine Le Pen; concerns about a new wave of COVID in the U.S. as China continues harsh lockdowns; and Elon Musk declines to take a seat on Twitter’s board after acquiring a 9% stake in the company were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Front Page News Industry News

Monday, April 4, 2022

Larry Elder Exits Salem Radio Network Talk Show. Longtime Salem Radio Network personality Larry Elder exits his role as host of his eponymous nationally syndicated talk program, effective immediately. Salem Media Group says that Elder has decided to move on from the Salem Radio Network after a six-year run hosting the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET program and that it expects to announce a replacement for Elder in this slot very soon. Salem SVP of spoken word Phil Boyce says, “Larry is an icon as a radio talk show host and is a powerful voice as a leading black conservative, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors. I hope there will be future opportunities for us to work together.” Boyce adds that this was “completely, 100% Larry’s decision.” Salem continues to be a major platform for Elder’s documentaries like Uncle Tom, released two years ago, and will be providing a platform for the sequel, Uncle Tom 2, coming out in a few months. SalemNow.Com will be hosting that movie, as it did in the past. During Elder’s three-month hiatus to run for governor California in the recall election of Gavin Newsom, Orlando-based personality Carl Jackson hosted Elder’s program. Jackson will resume hosting the show for the foreseeable future. Jackson says, “It was an honor for me to sit in Larry’s chair last summer for a few months, and it will be another honor to continue his tradition on the radio now.”

 

Monday Memo: Good News. Consultant Holland Cooke reckons that “pandemic/inflation/Ukraine-weary listeners NEED some” and, in his view, “many syndicated shows earn news/talk radio a reputation for negativity” which local content can balance, “something listeners will appreciate, and advertisers will notice.” In this week’s column, HC links to video examples that illustrate. Read more here.

 

Pending Business: The Talk Radio Metaverse. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa asks you to imagine a political debate game in the metaverse in which “players pick political parties, moderators, topics, questions, debaters, venue and media coverage.” Now imagine this town hall debate in the metaverse will include advertisers and sponsors. He says, “The gaming wizards are a new generation more comfortable with commercial integration and the flexibility of working towards content that is profitable at all levels. There is a lot to be learned here. If you can open your thinking to the future, you could be in for a fun and energetic exchange in your next sales meeting.” Read more here.

 

Andrea Darlas to Host Arts & Entertainment Podcast for WLS-AM, Chicago. Chicago media personality Andrea Darlas is hosting a new podcast for Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM called “Show and Tell with Andrea Darlas.” The weekly local arts and entertainment podcast will showcase the hottest cultural experiences in the Chicago area, including new plays, musicals, museum exhibits and more. Darlas is currently senior director of constituent engagement for the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, based at the Illini Center in Chicago. She was a news anchor and reporter at WGN Radio for more than 22 years and a news reporter and weekend break/features reporter for WGN-TV for 10 years. She currently is a regular contributor to WGN-AM, WLS-AM, WCPT-AM, WCIU-TV, and the nationally syndicated home improvement TV show “House Smarts,” as well as other radio and TV shows/programs across Chicago. Cumulus Media says this new podcast will present “Chicago arts and entertainment news and information at its best, curated by one of the most trusted and well-known media figures in Chicagoland. Each week, listeners get a backstage pass to every experience and show Darlas covers, with insights and information typically reserved for arts and entertainment insiders. Darlas will interview actors and actresses, curators and docents, organizers and artists, producers, directors, stars – and everyone in between. Darlas comments, “I am so excited to bring my love for theatre, musicals, museums, arts and culture – and all things Chicago – to the legendary Big 89! I want the WLS listeners to have their very own immersive ‘backstage pass’ to the arts and entertainment community – in the greatest city in the world!”

 

 

Bill O’Reilly Appears at Live Event for Affiliate WLS-AM, Chicago. Nationally syndicated talk radio personality Bill O’Reilly – whose program “The Bill O’Reilly Update” is syndicated by Key Networks – appeared at the Genesee Theatre in suburban Waukegan, Illinois on March 31 for a live Q&A event produced by affiliate WLS-AM, Chicago. Pictured above at the event are (from l-r): Dennis Green, COO, Key Networks; Jeff Hill, director of sales, Cumulus Media Chicago; O’Reilly; Marv Nyren, vice president/market manager, Cumulus Chicago;  Stephanie Tichenor, program director, WLS-AM; and Bruce St. James, morning host, WLS-AM.

 

Midday Shows Flip at WMVP-AM, Chicago. Windy City media writer Robert Feder reports that sports talk WMVP-AM “ESPN 1000” is flipping its midday programs, effective today. The Good Karma Brands station is moving “Carmen & Jurko” – Carmen DeFalco and John “Jurko” Jurkovic to the 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm slot and the station will air Mike Greenberg’s ESPN Radio program “Greeny” from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon. WMVP program director Danny Zederman says, “We are very excited for the future and the new station lineup.”

 

Russia-Ukraine War, Hunter Biden Investigation, COVID-19, Gas Prices/Inflation, January 6 Committee, Deadly Sacramento Shooting, Jackson Confirmation Vote, and the Grammys Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and accusations of war crimes against Vladimir Putin’s military; the Department of Justice’s ongoing investigation into Hunter Biden’s international business ventures; relaxing mandates across the U.S. and concerns about new sub-variants sparking a new wave of cases; the still-high price of gas at the pump and the high cost of consumer retail goods; the January 6 committee’s recent testimony from Jared Kushner; the shooting in Sacramento that left six dead and 12 wounded and precipitated calls for gun control from President Joe Biden; this week’s confirmation vote for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson; and Sunday evening’s Grammy Awards ceremony were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Front Page News Industry News

Monday, March 28, 2022

Monday Memo: Is Your Show the Dog? Or the Tail? “Spoiler Alert: Both!” consultant Holland Cooke reckons. As radio faces new audio competitors, HC follows up last week’s column “Weekend Warriors: Renegotiate” by outlining tactics that make ask-the-expert hosts sound popular and preeminent and leverage on-air shows to the digital on-demand platform listeners and advertisers increasingly favor. Read more here.

 

Pending Business: Marketing Madness. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column about the innovation that’s taken place in the static advertising realm – bus shelters and taxi tops, for example. He says that talk radio also has the ability to create innovative marketing opportunities for clients within its own technological parameters. In fact, it’s crucial to competing. “Developing and presenting unique, cutting-edge sales and marketing solutions is a relationship builder that can cement a long-term bond,” he says. Read more here.

 

Beasley Media Group Names Kevin Rich VP of Operations. Radio executive Kevin Rich joins Beasley Media Group as vice president of operations, effective April 18, 2022. Rich was most recently market president and chief revenue and content officer at Townsquare Media’s Albany operations in which he was responsible for overseeing and managing the market with a focus on generating revenue across the company’s media and entertainment platforms. In his new role with Beasley, Rich will work closely with company president Bruce Beasley, chief operating officer Brian Beasley and vice president of operations Brad Beasley in overseeing the day-to-day business of the company’s 62 radio stations and multiple platforms. Company CEO Caroline Beasley says, “It’s an absolute privilege to welcome Kevin into our Beasley Media Group family. His credentials and leadership skills are the perfect fit with our organization. We look forward to Kevin sharing his outstanding strategic skill set, especially on the digital side of the business, with our teams across the organization.” Rich comments, “I am thrilled to join the Beasley Media family at a pivotal moment in the company’s growth. This is an exciting time for our industry, and I am honored to be joining such a talented team as we continue to deliver the very best content, provide comprehensive solutions to advertisers, and strengthen our market presence in the communities we serve.”

 

Detroit News Radio Pro Ken Rogulski Joins WHMI-FM, Howell as News Director. Radio news pro Ken Rogulski is named news director and morning drive news anchor at Krol Communications’ full-service/classic hits WHMI-FM, Howell, Michigan. Rogulski has held down a number of assignments at WJR-AM, Detroit for almost two decades including newscaster, street reporter, fill-in talk show host for the late Frank Beckmann, and performing his live annual broadcast from the policy conference on Mackinac Island. He is recipient of numerous awards from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, The Associated Press and The Society of Professional Journalists as well as having been a correspondent for ABC News and Westwood One News. Rogulski will lead the news staff that includes Jessica Mathews, Mike Kruzman, and Tom Tolen.

 

WLW, Cincinnati Celebrates 100 Years. The iHeartMedia station that was once a 500,000-watt signal dubbed “The Nation’s Station” celebrated its 100th birthday on March 23. WLW, Cincinnati is one of a number of heritage stations that launched in 1922. iHeartMedia’s WGY, Albany also celebrated its 100th this year. “Radio’s Best Friend” Art Vuolo has two WLW videos that TALKERS readers may find interesting. The first is from a WLW Radio reunion produced in March of 2020 by Vuolo and current Nexstar Media executive Sean Compton. The second is a tour of the station’s transmitter with Randy Michaels produced on December 9, 1985.

 

WWL, New Orleans to Commemorate 100th Year of Broadcasting. As NOLA.com reports, New Orleans news/talk WWL-AM is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its first broadcast on March 31, 1922. WWL was the first station to serve the lower Mississippi River valley. The NOLA piece notes that “WWL was an outgrowth of physics experiments and wireless radio classes offered at Loyola University as early as 1907. On March 31, 1922, WWL’s first broadcast from Loyola’s Marquette Hall consisted of an on-air fundraising appeal from Father Edward Cummings, S.J., Loyola University’s president, followed by someone playing a few songs on an upright piano.” Loyola operated the station until 1989 when it sold the station and its sister WLMG-FM to Keymarket Communications.

 

TALKERS News Notes. A partnership between iHeartMedia and Collab Inc will result in the creation of Curativity, LLC, a new podcast studio publishing creator-centric shows with Collab’s top talent, as well as the debut a new slate of family shows. The Curativity kids slate will kick off with three shows featuring popular kids Collab talent Mr. Jim, including a new weekly series, “Spyology Squad,” set to launch April 4. In addition, the kids’ programs, “Kids Animal Stories,” and “Kids Short Stories,” will join the slate…..Milwaukee Board of School Directors-owned triple A WYMS-FM, Milwaukee “88Nine Radio Milwaukee” expands its flagship “Community Stories” program into a full-length weekly podcast called, “Uniquely Milwaukee.” The podcast launch is part of Radio Milwaukee’s 15th birthday celebration this year, growing a program that has been a part of its mission-driven offerings since 2007. The first episode of “Uniquely Milwaukee” centers on bodegas in the city. Station director of content Nate Imig says, “‘Community Stories’ are a beloved part of Radio Milwaukee. By expanding this content into a weekly thematic podcast, ‘Uniquely Milwaukee’ will greatly increase the amount of stories we’re able to share with listeners.”

 

Ukraine Song Getting Airplay, Garnering Downloads. A song penned by Streamline Publishing chairman and CEO Eric Rhoads is getting airplay on radio stations in the U.S. and has also been one of the most downloaded songs the past couple of weeks. Rhoads, whose company publishes radio trades Radio Ink and RBR-TVBR, says he decided “we needed a ‘we are the world’ kind of anthem. I wrote a title called, ‘Tears for Ukraine,’ and some lyrics. I then went to Billy Craig, he co-wrote with me and produced it.” You can hear the song here.

 

Russia-Ukraine War, Biden at NATO, COVID-19, Gas Prices/Inflation, Brown Confirmation Hearings, Ginni Thomas and January 6, Midterms and Trump & the GOP, and the Oscars Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; President Joe Biden calls for Vladimir Putin to be removed from power at NATO conference; concerns about the Omicron BA.2 variant that’s rampant in the U.K. and parts of Asia; Americans’ frustration over high gas prices and the high cost of consumer retail goods; the aftermath of the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Katanji Jackson Brown; the January 6 committee’s investigation and texts between Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife Ginni and Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows in which she appears to urge him to overturn the 2020 election results; the battle for control of congress in November’s midterm elections and speculation about Donald Trump’s potential 2024 run; and Sunday night’s Oscars telecast were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to research from TALKERS magazine.

Sales

Pending Business: Marketing Madness

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp
President

 

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Have you noticed the marketing driving the madness this March? The marketing machine seems to be present everywhere — especially the sports book marketing. It’s reinventing how marketers use some old school media.

Last time we noticed, our friends in the bus shelter business simply painted bus bench backs or posted large signage in the bus shelters. This static advertising supported branding, location-based ads, and in the case of the old school bus bench, catchy phrase, logo or headshot and phone number.

(more…)

Front Page News Industry News

Monday, March 21, 2022

Monday Memo: Weekend Warriors, Renegotiate. Weekend ask-the-expert shows exploit the most proven concept in marketing: free samples. Common example: The lawyer is in, the meter is off. Done well, these shows can grow all sorts of service businesses. In this week’s column consultant Holland Cooke describes “an EXTERMINATOR who’s a rock star!” But HC observes that, “too often these shows are well-kept secrets because stations don’t promote them properly.” And in this week’s column he shares “two magic words” and other deal points for hosts who broker Saturday/Sunday airtime. Read it here.

 

Pending Business: Reimagining How News/Talk is Sold. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column in TALKERS that “chances are you are still pitching the news/talk format the same way you did when podcasting was still a rumor. Is anyone still wondering why podcast ad sales are exploding, while news/talk radio is proud to be hitting 2019 levels?” He suggests sales teams reimagine how news/talk radio is sold. Read more here.

 

Exclusive ‘Kim Komando Show’ to Air on WLS-AM, Chicago on Friday Nights. A new deal between Cumulus Media’s Chicago news/talk WLS-AM and WestStar TalkRadio Network is bringing Kim Komando to the station’s listeners for a one-hour, Friday night program produced exclusively for WLS. The 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm show debuts this Friday (3/25) and “will showcase the latest news and insights in digital-lifestyle and technology that helps improve the daily lives of Chicagoland listeners.” Komando’s award-winning, nationally syndicated three-hour weekend show is also heard on WLS-AM 890 every Saturday and Sunday night from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight. WLS-AM program director Stephanie Tichenor says, “We are thrilled to have more of Radio Hall of Famer Kim Komando on the ‘Big 89.’ For over 25 years, Kim has been part of the WLS-AM family, providing our listeners with the latest tech news. Now she brings that experience to Friday nights at WLS, where listeners will learn more about why tech matters.” Komando comments, “People have different interests — politics, cars, cooking — you name it. But there is one thing that affects us all and that’s tech. It’s hard to navigate Big Tech taking our privacy along with the hackers, scammers and stalkers. You can Google anything. You can’t Google trusted advice and that’s why I am honored to be our nation’s premier digital expert. I’m thrilled that WLS sees my show worthy for the Friday schedule. Tech isn’t a hobby. It’s our lives.”

 

Christopher Layfield Named OM for Cumulus Indianapolis. Radio programming pro Christopher “Boomer” Layfield is promoted to operations manager for Cumulus Media’s Indianapolis station group that includes sports talk WXNT-AM and five music brands. Layfield joined Cumulus Indianapolis in April 2018 and served as one of two operations managers for the cluster until January, and as program director for country WFMS-FM. He will continue to program WFMS-FM and adult contemporary WNTR-FM. Layfield comments, “It truly is a thrill for me to be able to work with such a gifted group of radio pros at these iconic broadcasting brands here in Indianapolis. Being given the chance to continue to lead these teams at this level is something that I look forward to making the most of, working together for the benefit of our listeners and advertisers… and having fun doing it! I’d like to thank Chuck Fredrick, Doug Hamand and Dave Milner for this amazing opportunity.”

Adam ‘The Bull’ Gerstenhaber to Exit Cleveland’s ‘92.3 The Fan’ on April 1. According to a report in TheFocusAdam “The Bull” Gerstenhaber told his listeners that he will leave Audacy’s sports talk WKRK, Cleveland “92.3 The Fan” on April 1. Gerstenhaber, who co-hosts the afternoon drive “Bull & Fox” with Dustin Fox, has been with the station for almost 11 years. Gerstenhaber is not saying what his plans are for his  post-Fan career but tweeted: “In case you missed it, I am leaving @923TheFan. The last @BullandFox show will be April 1st (No, this is not an April fools joke). I leave with nothing but love for everyone…especially @DustinFox37 and @KeithBritton86!!”

 

NFL Insider and KIRO-AM Personality John Clayton Remembered. After last week’s passing of longtime sports media figure and NFL insider John Clayton, Bonneville International’s Seattle staff are remembering him with tributes. Clayton was a personality on the company’s KIRO-AM “Seattle Sports” for the past 14 years. Bonneville Seattle SVP and market manager Cathy Cangiano says, “John was a treasured member of our team. John was a legend in our industry and a true Hall-of-Famer. He was a consistent advocate for the game of football. His connections, friendships and relationships throughout the sports world were simply unmatched. His love of football was only surpassed by his love, loyalty and dedication to his wife Pat. John will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Pat and his family and friends.” KIRO-AM program director Kyle Brown adds, “John was an amazing journalist, colleague and friend. A Hall-of-Famer both personally and professionally, John was one of the most loyal people you’d ever meet. While his loyalty extended to friends and co-workers, it was never stronger than in his commitment to his beloved wife Pat, who he cherished every moment of his life. Our ‘Seattle Sports’ family will miss John dearly and keep his family in our hearts.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. The air talent at Salem Radio Network – including Larry Elder, Sebastian Gorka and others – have been appealing for donations to the non-profit Food for the Poor, which provides food, water and medical supplies to 17 Caribbean and Latin American countries has no “footprint” in Eastern Europe. SRN announces that Food for the Poor has reached an alliance with Feed My Starving Children, which has had staff on the ground in Ukraine for the past eight years, and so effective today (3/21), SRN hosts will generate donations to rush food, clean water and other relief supplies to over 3 million Ukrainian refugees. SRN host Mike Gallagher says, “It took some diplomatic maneuvering between these two awesome charities to combine forces in order to rush emergency relief to the children and families of war-torn Ukraine. All of us at SRN are proud to play a role in this unique campaign, and we’ll be urging our listeners to open their hearts – and their wallets – in the exciting days ahead.”…..The Newsmax-syndicated “Rob Carson Show” announces the addition of new affiliate stations. Launched last fall, the show adds WJFP-AM, Philadelphia; KMZQ-AM, Las Vegas; KSCO-AM, Santa Cruz, California; and WJFP-FM, Trenton, New Jersey. The “Rob Carson Show” airs in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET daypart, the same time slot that Rush Limbaugh occupied. Newsmax notes that Carson wrote comedy for Limbaugh for over 20 years.

 

Russia-Ukraine War/Biden Europe Trip, Gas Prices/Inflation, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, COVID-19, Jackson Confirmation Hearings, and Kanye Cut from Grammys Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the weekend attacks on Kyiv, plus President Joe Biden’s planned trip to Europe; soaring gas prices in the U.S. and the still rising price of consumer retail goods; the battle for control of Congress in November’s mid-term elections, the Republican prospects for president in 2024 and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the rising rate of the Omicron variant BA.2 cases in some parts of the world and the U.S.; this week’s start of the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson; and Kanye West is ousted from performance at Grammy Awards for his “concerning online behavior” were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Front Page News Industry News

Monday, March 14, 2022

Monday Memo: Your Egg-Timer? “Baseball stations: Exhale!” As Spring Training is underway and with Opening Day now April 7, consultant Holland Cooke reckons that “we need this,” as we’re shocked by the Ukraine crisis and suffering inflation. And in this week’s column, HC shares a revered baseball announcer’s simple trick “that can help radio matter more as listeners cope.” Read it here.

 

Pending Business: Happy Mother’s Day. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa is predicting “one of the biggest Mother’s Day sales cycles on record.” He says that professional sellers are already prepping for it because they fully understand the importance of “planning, organization, focus and adjustment.” Read his column here.

 

Michael Harrison Interviews John DePetro from Poland Near Ukraine Border. As reported in TALKERS last week, WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island talk show host John DePetro has taken his independent program live to Rzeszow, Poland – the closest city with an airport near the border with Ukraine. He landed there last Monday (3/7) and has been sending back live feeds since his arrival interviewing Ukrainian refugees pouring over the border by train, as well as local Polish citizens. DePetro has been using a combination of Q-Go Live and basic cell service as well as Facebook live stream to connect with his station and listeners. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison interviewed DePetro on Thursday (3/10) for “The Michael Harrison Wrap.” To listen to that dramatic conversation in its entirety, please click here.

‘myTalk 107.1’ in Minneapolis Raises $105k (and counting) for Ukraine Aid. Twin Cities talk outlet KTMY-FM “myTalk 107.1” is partnering with Minnesota-based Alight to raise money that will directly aid refugee care of displaced Ukrainians in Poland. The Hubbard Radio station says that Alight (formerly known as American Refugee Committee) has a team on the ground at the Ukraine border in Poland, assisting refugees with relief items and medical supplies for people fleeing Ukraine. They are providing baby food, diapers, sanitary items, blankets and phone chargers so people can stay connected with loved ones. Alight is offering safe transport for families once inside Poland and secure shelter in Poland. Plus, support for host communities who’ve been openly welcoming Ukrainians. So far, “myTalk 107.1” has raised $105,000 and will continue to solicit donations through this week. KTMY program director Amy Daniels says, “We’ve said it for years, ‘myTalk 107.1’ listeners, we call them ‘myTalkers,’ are the best listeners in the world. Our amazing airstaff has been telling Alight’s story with genuine caring and passion and our listeners have responded and given with full hearts.”

 

Former Atlanta Talk Host Kara Stockton Dies. WSB-TV.com is reporting that former “Talk 106.7” radio personality Kara Stockton died on Thursday evening at the age of 44. Stockton worked on air with Shannon Burke from 2016 to 2019 on the former Cumulus Media talk station (currently contemporary Christian WAKL-FM). After leaving Cumulus, Stockton worked producing the radio show “Crime Stories with Nancy Grace” for Sirius XM. The WSB-TV story notes that “family members told the AJC that Stockton had recently had her gallbladder removed and was having liver problems. She also had recently recovered from COVID-19” but indicated in a recent Facebook post a month ago that she was in the hospital dealing with medical complications.

 

 Russia-Ukraine War, Gas Prices/Inflation, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Urban Violence, COVID-19, Actor William Hurt Dies, and Tom Brady Returns to the NFL Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the refugee crisis, and relations between Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping; soaring gas prices and the ongoing rise in consumer retail prices; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the increased rate of violent crime and homelessness in America’s urban centers; the tailing off of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the relaxing of mask mandates; actor William Hurt dies at 71; and Tom Brady announces he’s returning to the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Front Page News Industry News

Monday, March 7, 2022

Monday Memo: The Lightning Round. Reader warning: “Grab the arm rest!” In this week’s column, Holland Cooke admits he is “validating the consultant stereotype” by sharing “9-ideas-in-8-minutes” for sales, programming and news. Read it here.

 

Pending Business: King Content. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says the “sports world seems to be redefining how we view value and utilize king content” when we hear about Apple’s reported $2 billion bid for NFL games and media platforms. The NFL brand and its unique content can drive multiple platforms. What does this have to do with selling news/talk radio? Read about it here.

 

Cary Pahigian to Leave WBAL-AM and ’98 Rock’; Dan Joerres to Assume Radio Management. Broadcasting executive Cary L. Pahigian is leaving his role with Hearst Television Baltimore at the end of this month to explore several new professional opportunities. Pahigian has been president and general manager for the company’s two radio stations – news/talk WBAL-AM and rock WIYY-FM “98 Rock” – since 2014. Hearst will assign the radio station management duties to WBAL-TV general manager Dan Joerres. Hearst Television president Jordan Wertlieb says, “When Cary joined us eight years ago, he brought a wealth of experience at many of the nation’s most honored radio stations. His passionate advocacy for local broadcasting and his strong appreciation for broadcasters’ important community service role were hallmarks of his spectacular success in managing WBAL Radio and 98 ROCK to even greater heights. We wish him great success in his well-deserved next chapter.” Prior to joining Hearst Television, Pahigian was president and GM for Saga Communications’ nine-station Portland, Maine station group. He’s also served with WBZ-AM, Boston and WIP, Philadelphia. He comments, “I joined WBAL and 98 ROCK because of the exceptional leadership team and extraordinary culture at Hearst Television. And my longtime teammate and friend Dan Joerres epitomizes that level of managerial acumen. I know he will lead the outstanding teams throughout WBAL-TV, WBAL NewsRadio and 98 ROCK to even greater achievements.  While I plan more adventures for my ongoing career, I leave Hearst with my gratitude for their support and providing me the opportunity of a lifetime.”

 

KRMG-FM, Tulsa Names Jen Townley Co-Host of Morning Show. Television news pro Jen Townley is named the new co-host of the “KRMG Morning News with Dan Potter” on Cox Media Group’s news/talk KRMG-FM, Tulsa. Townley most recently served as a news producer for Cox Media Group’s KOKI-TV “FOX23.” KRMG director of branding & programming Levi May says, “We’re happy to be able to hire someone who is already a part of the Cox Media Group family. We already know Jen’s skill set is top-notch. Her impressive news background and engaging personality will add depth to our content that I cannot wait to get on-air.” Dan Potter comments, “I’m thrilled to be joined by an on-air partner with the energy, experience and personality Jen has. Her connections to newsmakers through her years of experience as a senior news producer coupled with her devotion to family life – not to mention her sense of humor – make JT the perfect choice to co-host the ‘KRMG Morning News’ with me.”

 

Mike Gallagher Covers ‘People’s Convoy.’ Pictured above is Salem Radio Network talk host Mike Gallagher in Hagerstown, Maryland as he covered the 1,000-vehicle “People’s Convoy” that converged on the Washington, DC beltway this weekend. Gallagher recorded one-on-one interviews with convoy participants that he’ll air on his program today (3/7). Gallagher says, “My show has always believed that the most important voice we present is our listeners. So, going one-on-one with the People’s Convoy is covering an important breaking news story the mainstream media is virtually ignoring.”

 

New Stephen K. Bannon Show Launches on John Fredericks Media Network. Today is the launch of a new talk radio program on the John Fredericks Media Network. “War Room: Battleground,” hosted by Stephen K. Bannon is his newest daily show and airs from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET that will focus on news, analysis, and the personalities of the 2022 midterm elections. The program is being aired on all eight of Fredericks’ owned and or operated radio stations, including WJFP-AM 740/W277DL/W237EH in Philadelphia, Delaware, and South Jersey “Liberty Radio”; WJFN-AM/FM in Central and Southeast Virginia; and WMLB-AM, Atlanta, and all corresponding streams. Fredericks says, “We are very excited to add Steve Bannon’s ‘War Room: Battleground’ to our radio network lineup. This is the most critical next nine months in the nation’s history, and all of our focus is on the upcoming primaries and nomination conventions. That’s why ‘War Room: Battleground’ is critical to giving our listeners and viewers critical insight into the various candidates and their policy positions.” Bannon comments, “The MAGA movement has a unique opportunity to destroy the Democratic Party as a functioning institution during the coming midterm election on 8 November. This is the moment to relentlessly focus on the America First agenda of President Trump. ‘War Room: Battleground’ will be that platform.”

 

Longtime WHAS-AM, Louisville Morning Host Wayne Perkey Dies at 84. The Courier-Journal reports that former longtime WHAS-AM, Louisville morning personality Wayne Perkey died yesterday (3/6) at age 84 after complications from COVID-19. His family tells the paper that Perkey was vaccinated and boosted so they were surprised when Perkey contracted the virus. Perkey acknowledged his supporters after revealing via Facebook that he’d been hospitalized, saying, “Thanks for all the good wishes. They are taking good care of me. I am so grateful for the good wishes and prayers. These are the times when we are so grateful for our friends and family.” Longtime WHAS colleague Terry Meiners is quoted in the paper saying, “He’s the voice of a generation. The thing I want people to know about Wayne is that his effervescent personality set the tone for the whole staff at the radio station. He was the positive ray of sunshine that everyone else sort of fell in line with.” Perkey joined WHAS in 1969 and worked there until his retirement in 1999. After leaving radio, he worked selling real estate.

 

TALKERS News Notes. The weekend program “Intelligence Matters” from CBS News Radio is setting its sights on the war in Ukraine. This past weekend, host Michael Morell hosted Mike Vickers – former Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, Special Forces officer and CIA operations officer – as the two discussed whether and how Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine may have been a gross strategic miscalculation, how and when the West might have deterred his moves, and what future scenarios for the conflict exist…..Westwood One will present a broadcast slate of 23 NCAA Men’s Basketball games from Conference Championship Week as well as three broadcasts of Women’s Championship games. Westwood One’s postseason basketball coverage began last weekend and continues through Selection Sunday, with the broadcasts of the Ivy League, the SEC, and the American Athletic Championship games…..Cox Media Group Tulsa held its 3rd Annual Big Spring Clean – an annual initiative with the goal of diverting tons of items from the dump into area recycling programs. The CMG Tulsa cluster includes news/talk KRMG-FM. Market VP Cathy Gunther says, “Since the inception of this effort, CMG Tulsa and our partners have diverted more than 155 tons of trash from hitting landfills. The event is open to all Green Country residents, and we are really proud to offer this service to our community.”…..PodcastOne announces that the “Ladygang” podcast has lined up a roster of their famous friends to step up and fill in for podcast founder Becca Tobin while she’s on maternity leave. Guest hosts include Heather Dubrow, Danny Pellegrino, Jackie Schimmell, TINX, Jason Tartick, Garcelle Beauvais, Michael Yo and Josephine Skriver.

Russia-Ukraine War, COVID-19/People’s Convoy, Oil Prices/Inflation, Brown SCOTUS Confirmation Process, and Deadly Iowa Tornado Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The ongoing Russian attack on the Ukraine and the rest of the world’s response to it; the falling rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the loosening of mask mandates, and the convoy of trucks and vehicles protesting mandates around Washington, DC; the soaring price of gasoline at the pump and the continuing high retail prices for consumer goods; the Republican strategy for the confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson; and a tornado kills at least seven in Des Moines were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Front Page News Industry News

Monday, February 7, 2022

Monday Memo: But Wait, There’s More! “Are you making these six common on-air mistakes?” consultant Holland Cooke asks in this week’s follow-up to last week’s column. HC calls these “simple techniques that make your show more inviting, user-friendly, and memorable.” Read more here.

 

Pending Business: “F” is for Frequency. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says, “The more social media I consume, the more I see the same ads over and over. Many advertisers do not bother changing creative. Others just update slightly. But the repetition is there, every day, non-stop.” He says local direct sellers must continue to show how a radio campaign can deliver targeted reach AND frequency more effectively than any other medium. Radio advertising is adaptable in ways other advertising is not. “With the right amount of repetition and updated copy with a solid call to action” radio is more effective than any other medium. Read his column here.

iHeartMedia Names Bloomdaddy Afternoon Host on WTAM, Cleveland. Three months after the passing of Cleveland talk radio icon Mike Trivisonno, iHeartMedia announces that David Blomquist, a.k.a. Bloomdaddy, is the new afternoon drive talk host on heritage news/talk outlet “Newsradio WTAM 1100, The Big One.” Bloomdaddy has been the morning show host at the company’s WWVA, West Virginia, for the past 17 years. The program was syndicated regionally to stations in Pittsburgh, Youngstown, Akron, and Parkersburg, West Virginia.  Bloomdaddy will now call WTAM 1100 his home. iHeartMedia says the newly created Cleveland-centric, issues-based afternoon show will feature broadcasting veteran Carmen Angelo, news reports from Julie Holiday, and regularly scheduled traffic reports from Olivia Muzica. iHeartMedia Cleveland president Keith Hotchkiss says, “We’re thrilled to introduce Bloomdaddy to WTAM and the city of Cleveland. His passion for sports, his quest for information, and his commonsense approach to talk radio is the perfect combination for afternoon drive on the legendary WTAM.” Bloomdaddy comments, “I’m thrilled to launch this new show on a station that means so much to Cleveland. From the minute I turned the mic on at WTAM, it’s felt like home.  I look forward to having impactful conversations with my new radio family and learning even more about this incredible city.”

Bryan Suits Named Morning Host at KTTH, Seattle. Military veteran and talk radio personality Bryan Suits is back on the radio as morning host at Bonneville’s news/talk KTTH-AM, Seattle. Suits was an evening host on sister talk outlet KIRO-FM from 1999 through 2002. He’s also hosted at iHeartMedia’s KOGO, San Diego and KFI, Los Angeles. He hosts a podcast and is a frequent guest on FOX Business. Suits says, “When we moved back to Western Washington, the last thing on my mind was radio. After filling in on KTTH mornings, I realized that I was born to do this. This is where I started and found my voice. Someone has to reflect what the sensible people are thinking and thankfully KTTH is doing that. I’m humbled and grateful to be part of the team that tells the truth every day.” Bonneville SVP and market manager Cathy Cangiano says, “KTTH is the region’s leading conservative talk station because of our passionate, local hosts. Bryan Suits makes us even stronger. As we head into the midterm elections, KTTH is poised to make some waves.”

Erin Vermeulen Promoted to Evening News Anchor on WWJ, Detroit. Radio news pro Erin Vermeulen is being promoted to evening news anchor at Audacy’s all-news WWJ, Detroit “NewsRadio 950.” She’d been serving the station as writer and editor for the station. WWJ notes that her career has taken her to the Cairo, Dubai, Oman and South Africa before returning to the United States and working at KFI, Los Angeles as a member of “The Bill Handel Morning Show” in 2015. Vermeulen says, “I am really excited to get back to my radio roots as a news presenter at one of the most iconic stations in the country. I am also very grateful to work with such talented and extraordinary people at WWJ. It is great to be back on the airwaves in my hometown, where I started my career more than 20 years ago.” Audacy Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon comments, “Erin is well connected to the community and has a number of great ideas to keep listeners informed about the top stories and events happening across metro Detroit, the state and the country. We are excited to promote Erin to anchor and look forward to hearing her voice on WWJ.”

WGY, Albany to Celebrate 100th Anniversary with Special Broadcast and Podcast. Albany AM WGY will celebrate its 100th anniversary on air on February 20 with a number of special presentations, including a live celebration at 1:00 pm that day. On January 31, iHeartMedia began presenting the podcast series, “Wireless: 100 Years of WGY.” The program is hosted by WGY news anchor Mike Patrick and features intimate and candid interviews with many familiar WGY voices, with new episodes released weekly. On February 20, many past and present hosts, news anchors and members of New York’s Capital Region will take part in the special live event. A retelling of radio’s first radio drama, “The Wolf,” will also be presented live from the Kenmore Ballroom in Albany where WGY has a history of broadcasting from going back to 1923. The event at the Kenmore begins at 3:00 pm with a lecture from Chris Hunter from the Museum of Innovation and Science. WGY program director Jeff Wolf says, “It’s an honor and huge responsibility to lead an institution of innovation and community service such as WGY into its next 100 years. We’re looking forward to highlighting our first 100 years and commemorating important events in history throughout 2022.” iHeartMedia Albany SVP of programming John Cooper adds, “As a longtime Capital Region resident, WGY has had an impact on my life since the early 60s. Starting as a listener, it has been an honor and privilege to have been able to work directly with some of the great news/talk programmers and personalities over my last 22 years. 100 years of service to this community is an amazing milestone. WGY is the go-to station when you need to know.”

‘The Next Great Podcast’ Winner Named. The winner of the second annual “The Next Great Podcast” contest from iHeartMedia and Dan Patrick, in partnership with Tongal, is, “Hookergate: Criminals & Libertines in the South,” from Dr. Lindsay Byron. Byron is a former English professor, Southern historian and longtime stripper turned full-time artist, storyteller and community leader. “Hookergate: Criminals & Libertines in the South” takes listeners back in time to 1977 when a high-profile prostitution ring involving 11 businesses in three states was the most-talked-about headline of the day. The podcast combs through the dusty archives of the Danville Register & Bee, which were carefully clipped and preserved by Lindsay’s aunt’s mama, who held a familial connection to this web of crime. The program shares unforgettable colorful quotes from local reporters and unbelievable but true dramatic scenes pulled straight from the police reports. It’s all brought to life by Byron and presented alongside present-day interviews with individuals from the older Southern generation, who remember the madness as it unfolded in real time.

TALKERS News Notes. Clinical psychologist Dr. Ellen Kenner celebrated her 25th anniversary show with her February 5 episode of “The Rational Basis of Happiness.” Dr. Kenner tells TALKERS she enjoys the unique connection that only radio provides and is looking forward to her 26th year on air of her syndicated show. “The Rational Basis of Happiness” is distributed via Talk Media Network…..Sports talk personality Kevin Dunn leaves Genuine Austin Radio’s “The Horn” (KTXX-FM/KTAE-AM/W270CO) in Austin for a full-time position outside the radio business and Mike Hardge joins the station to co-host afternoons with incumbent host Rod Babers.

COVID-19, Ukraine Tensions, January 6 Investigation, Electoral Count Act, Spotify-Joe Rogan Controversy, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, and Beijing Olympics Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and abroad and the Canadian truckers’ protests paralyzing Ottawa; the investigation into the January 6 attack on the Capitol and former Vice President Mike Pence’s deviation from Donald Trump’s stance on the day’s events; the re-writing of the Electoral Count Act led by Senators Joe Manchin and Lisa Murkowski; the diplomatic tensions over Russia’s military build-up; Spotify supports Joe Rogan but deletes numerous episodes of his podcast after racially tinged comments contained within them resurface; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; and the politics and COVID issues surrounding the Beijing Winter Olympics were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Front Page News Industry News

Monday, January 24, 2022

Monday Memo: Improving Results from Endorsement Spots. “Radio – stations and personalities – can make big money with the personal pitch that cuts through listeners’ mental clutter. BUT…” in this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke warns against common technique faux pas. Read it here.

 

Pending Business: Comfortably Numb. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says that radio sales proposals missing the answer to the “Why Buy?” question are missing the chance to tell your station’s unique story. If your station has personalities that connect with listeners and get thousands of them to act when it comes to charity giving and live appearances, sellers should tell those stories. “Move on from empty ‘reach’ numbers. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Tik-Tok and geo-targeted others will win the numbers game. But when it comes to showing results, radio is still a primary medium.” Read more here.

Starnes Media Group Partners with Hibbard Group for Affiliate Relations. The Starnes Media Group announces that it is engaging The Hibbard Group as its agency of record for affiliate relations and acquisition for “The Todd Starnes Show” and “The Todd Starnes Commentary.” Todd Starnes’ daily talk radio program airs live from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET and Starnes Media produces three separate 90-second daily commentaries by Todd Starnes that are heard on more than 650 stations nationwide. The Hibbard Group president Jack Hibbard says, “I am excited to be working with Todd Starnes. Todd’s high standard of journalistic integrity is rare these days. We believe that, combined with his unique style of communication, he has created a show that any radio station would be proud to air.” Starnes says the partnership is “an important step for us. We believe they have the experience to assist us in growing our affiliate base and serving our stations well.”

Radio One Partners with Charlotte FC for Radio Broadcasts. As part of a partnership between Major League Soccer club Charlotte FC and Radio One, sports talk WFNZ-AM/W273DA, Charlotte will serve as the club’s flagship radio station. Radio One says it will broadcast most matches on WFNZ, while the remaining matches will be carried on sister news/talk station WBT-AM/FM. Radio One regional vice president Marsha Landess says, “Our team at Radio One Charlotte is thrilled to bring the passion of Charlotte FC to “Sports Radio” WFNZ. With the growing excitement of professional soccer that’s evident in Charlotte, we look forward to a long successful partnership and are glad that we are a part of this historic time in Charlotte sports.”

COVID-19, Ukraine Tensions, Biden Approval Ratings/Midterm Elections, Inflation & Supply Chain, Boris Johnson Troubles, Beijing Olympics, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The COVID mandates protest in Washington, DC and the rate of Omicron cases in the U.S. and abroad; the tensions over Russia’s military build-up at the Ukraine border; President Joe Biden’s low approval ratings and the battle for control of Congress in the midterm elections; high retail and oil prices and the ongoing supply chain woes; UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s political troubles; the politics and health policies at the Beijing Winter Olympics; and the NFL Playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Front Page News Industry News

Monday, January 17, 2022

Talk Radio Legend Michael Jackson Passes at 87. Talk radio host Michael Jackson, who achieved legendary status during his career in Los Angeles, died on Sunday (1/16) at his home in L.A. at the age of 87. Jackson, who retired from radio in 2007, had been suffering from Parkinson’s Disease for the past 10 years. He is best remembered for his iconic work at KABC, Los Angeles that lasted from 1966 to 1998. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison (who served as a talk show host on rocker KMET in Los Angeles between 1975 and 1986) issued the following statement: “Michael Jackson was one of the all-time greats – a founding father – of talk radio. During his 32-year run at KABC, his very presence gave the station prestige and national stature as one of – if not THE – first very rare commercial outlets fully committed to the spoken-word format. Michael Jackson and KABC were synonymous with the phrase ‘talk radio.’ It should also be pointed out that his heyday in the format began prior to the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987 which, in my opinion, marked the beginning of the modern era of talk radio.  That made him the member of an exclusive club of radio performers whose historical relevance and influence on things to come in the broadcasting industry are incalculable.” Jackson’s longtime producer Lyle Gregory remembers Jackson in a piece you can read here.

Monday Memo: Podcasting ‘Will Continue to Explode.’ In a marketing piece to the advertising community, iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman sees “no signs of growth abating.” In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke outlines opportunities at the station level. Read it here.

 

Pending Business: Early Warning. According to the “sales calendar,” January is over, and the first quarter is headed toward spring. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says it’s time for an early review of your sales game plan. “Like any other performance skill, practice, evaluation and repetition makes for improvement. The skills required for success in today’s sales environment may be different from the last few years.” Read about Lapa’s six questions you can ask yourself here.

Chicago Sports Personality Les Grobstein Dead at 69. Windy City sports media personality and WSCR “The Score” overnight talk host Les Grobstein was found dead at his home in suburban Elk Grove Village on Sunday, according to a report from Chicago media writer Robert Feder. He reports that WSCR operations director Mitch Rosen said Grobstein had been away from his show since last Wednesday due to illness. During his career, Grobstein was sports director at WLS-AM, Chicago for 10 years. He served at sports talk WMVP from 1991 to 1997. He began his overnight stint with WSCR in 2009.

Pioneering Talk Host Susan Bray Dies at 79. A number of news outlets are reporting that former talk host Susan Bray (pictured here on C-SPAN) died in her native Australia last week at age 79. The Des Moines Register has a nice story written by her longtime friend Julie Gammack, who would replace her on WHO-AM. During her career, Bray worked at such outlets as WHO-AM, Des Moines and WWDB-FM, Philadelphia. She earned the nickname the “Saucy Aussie” because of her ribald sense of humor. After a long talk radio career in the U.S., Bray, who had married American Ed DeLong, returned to her hometown of Mudgee, Australia where she and DeLong ran a bed and breakfast.

Maine Station Fires Sportscasters After Body Shaming Incident. The owner of Houlton, Maine radio station WHOU-FM has fired two sportscasters who were caught on a hot mic body-shaming female basketball players during a game between two high school teams. Jim Carter and Steve Shaw were calling the game while watching it on a livestream and made comments about the weight of some of the teenage girls. Carter is a former coach from another school and Shaw had been the athletic director at one of the schools playing in the contest that night. Carter told the Portland Press-Herald that he has apologized to the superintendent of one of the schools, adding, “I don’t even know what to say. Hopefully everybody can get through this and be OK.” Northern Maine Media owner Fred Grant posted a notice of the pair’s dismissal on the station website saying, in part, “Our mission has been to highlight the best of our communities, our schools, the programs we love, and most importantly – our students.  Last night, two broadcasters made comments that were not only inappropriate, they were also blatantly wrong.  Those broadcasters were terminated… We’ve heard from many of you, and many have shared clips of the event in question. While it’s wrong that it happened, I’m going to ask each of you to help us shift the focus back on the excellence we see every day in our students. If you’ve shared the video post, I’m hoping you will take it down, not to downplay the incident, but to better help all of our students move on to the important work and events in their lives.”

MIW Names Three to Board of Directors. Three new members are joining the board of directors for Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio. Haley Jones of MRC Data, Melissa Mitchell of Bonneville International, and Brittney Jackson of Urban One/Radio One are joining the board of the organization that “consists of top-level female radio professionals who use their experience, influence, and resources to help other women in radio develop management and leadership skills.” Jackson currently serves as the general and digital sales manager for Urban One/Radio One in Richmond where she is responsible for recruiting and developing new talent, leading multi-platform sales efforts, and increasing annual revenue. Jones serves as head of independents for MRC Data where she oversees independent labels, small radio groups, and managers with music intelligence for today. Mitchell is Bonneville International’s director of finance, corporate controller and is based in their Denver market. MIW board president Ruth Presslaff says, “We are extremely fortunate to have not one, but three powerhouses join our board. Their success speaks for itself; it’s their willingness to pay it forward for the good of women and our industry that makes each so special and appreciated. I’d be remiss in not thanking the three members leaving our board as their terms end: Kay Olin, principal of Olin & Associates, and past MIW spokeswoman, whose constant leadership, dedication, and long term participation profoundly impacted MIW and me personally; Valerie Blackburn, principal at VKB Consulting, whose financial expertise led MIW through the arduous process of establishing a formal 501(c)(3) status; and Beth Neuhoff, president & CEO Neuhoff Media who provided invigorating energy and challenging ideas that MIW will push ever forward.”

Cowboys Great Chad Hennings Takes Part in SRN News Series. Pictured here is Salem Radio Network VP of news Tom Tradup (left) with three-time Dallas Cowboys Superbowl champion Chad Hennings. Hennings is in the SRN studios working with Tradup on a special, week-long series on SRN News aimed at getting men involved in Christian ministries. The five-part series titled, “Get Off the Bench,” begins airing today (1/17)

Tuscaloosa Sports Talker Jay Barker Arrested on Assault Charges. Former University of Alabama star quarterback Jay Barker was arrested in Nashville and charged with aggravated assault after allegedly trying to ram the car his estranged wife was riding in. Barker hosts the midday show on Townsquare Media’s sports talk WTUG-HD2/W256CG, Tuscaloosa “Tide 100.9” and is married to country artist Sara Evans. She filed for divorce from Barker in August.

COVID-19, Midterm Elections/Trump & the GOP, Texas Synagogue Assault, Djokovic Booted from Australia, NFL Playoffs, Winter Weather, and Martin Luther King, Jr Day Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The high rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the Supreme Court’s rejection of the Joe Biden vaccine mandate; the battle for control of Congress in November midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence in the GOP; the Texas synagogue hostage incident; Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic is kicked out of Australia ahead of the Australian Open after violating the country’s COVID protocols; the NFL’s Wild Card weekend; intense winter weather hitting the Eastern U.S.; and the Martin Luther King, Jr weekend and holiday were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Sales

Pending Business: The Early Renewal Seagull

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp
President

 

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Don’t do it! Whatever you do, don’t sell like a seagull.

During the course of the past year, especially during pandemic impacted inventory cycles, every kind of sales approach you can imagine was and still is in play. The most creative techniques seem to be coming from inventory challenged businesses, like real estate. The real estate sales world has spawned reality-style TV shows that are now featured on Netflix. Do we really pay to watch a show about sellers?

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