Pending Business: The Early Renewal Seagull. In today’s column, radio sales pro Steve Lapa begs talk radio sellers not to fall into the “seagull” sales strategy where the seller “flies” in, drops a package, but never properly follows through. He admits that it can happen to the best sellers as they try and test the waters on an early renewal. “Despite all the work in that sales meeting, you stepped into the pothole of sales meeting facts that have no real benefit to your advertiser. Important facts to you could be nothing but white noise to the advertiser.” He offers a four-point plan for better communication with your client. Read it here.
WTKS-FM, Orlando’s ‘Monsters in the Morning’ Interviews Bob Saget Days Before His Death. In what was one of his last interviews before his unexpected death yesterday (1/9) at age 65, Bob Saget chatted with Russ Rollins and his “Monsters in the Morning” cast on January 6. Rollins says, “Bob would be a guest on our show and stay for several days. He told me we made him feel so comfortable he wanted to be a cast member. One of the sweetest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.” During the interview, Saget spoke – and joked – about the importance of comedy and laughter in all our lives. “You can make people laugh and it might not be their cup of tea, but you’re doing something great for people. That’s why I’m doing it. We all have the same joke, which is that laughter is the best medicine – no – it’s actually Percocet. Everybody has a version of that. Well, the other one is when they say, you know, if you could just make one person laugh, you’re a really crappy comic.” Hear the interview here.
Flag Family Media Names Bridgette Readel Farm Director. Agronomist Bridgette Readel joins Flag Family Media as farm director for its broadcast team. Readel has been an agronomist for the past two decades, serving clients and providers with crop performance solutions. In her role with Flag Family Media, she’ll deliver on-air updates and reports on Fargo news/talk outlets WZFG, WDAY and KTGO. In addition, her reports will be heard on Scott Hennen’s statewide “What’s On Your Mind” late morning program. Readel says, “Although I graduated from college as a high school ag teacher, I now find myself teaching adults the nature of production agriculture and truly enjoy sharing the bright and positive message of ag in North Dakota. I am thrilled to join the team at WDAY and ‘The Flag’ and share the exciting moments and news from today’s ag landscape. There are so many positive opportunities in agriculture, and I look forward to bringing those experiences home to our listeners.” Flag Family Media president and managing partner Steve Hallstrom says, “We couldn’t imagine a better way to usher in the new year than to add a seasoned professional and gifted communicator like Bridgette. A great farm director will enable us to serve our region in this important and diverse industry. The ag sector has become a fascinating world of autonomous machinery and precision technology, and Bridgette will be a huge piece of our leading-edge ag coverage.”
Marty Bender Named Growth Consultant for ‘BOB & TOM Show.’ Radio programming pro Marty Bender is taking on a new role with the “BOB & TOM Show” in which he’ll serve as a consulting member of its affiliate services team and growth partner to the nationally syndicated program and its affiliates. Bender will serve as a content/strategy partner to every affiliate of the program, helping them optimize and monetize the show in their local markets through creative, high-impact strategies that drive listenership and advertising dollars. Bender previously served as executive producer of the BOB & TOM Show and will also assist in creating new content for the program, with an emphasis on growing the video content side. Program chief operating officer John Kesler says, “Listeners consume more hours of content in countless ways, and now more than ever, they want to control when they consume it. 2022 is just the beginning of a huge change in how radio will evolve to meet listener demands. In addition to already being well-staffed and well-positioned for this evolution, we are thrilled to offer Marty Bender as a content and strategy partner to each and every one of our 100+ affiliates. As far as I know, no other syndicated radio show has ever made this service available to their affiliate stations.”
TALKERS News Notes. The Dallas cluster of Cumulus Media stations – including news/talk WBAP and KLIF, as well as sports talk KTCK-AM/FM “The Ticket” – raised a grand total of $1,767,990 for DFW Metroplex charities during 2021. Cumulus Dallas supported signature community events with other groups to help raise additional millions in charitable donations. WBAP’s “Christmas is Caring Radiothon” drove over $212,000 in donations benefiting the Denton State Supported Living Center serving people with special needs, and The Ticket’s “Drop Your Pants 8” event raised $108,000 in Bob Sturm’s annual effort to raises resources for the Cornerstone Clothes Closet, which helps clothe and provide showers to the homeless…..Netflix, Audacy’s Pineapple Street Studios and Hyperobject Industries unveils “The Last Movie Ever Made: The Don’t Look Up Podcast,” a six-part oral history of the making of Don’t Look Up, Adam McKay’s Netflix disaster comedy. On the podcast, listeners will hear how the cast and crew – including Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep, Rob Morgan, Cate Blanchett, Tyler Perry, Timothee Chalamet, Himesh Patel, Ariana Grande, and many more – stayed sane and safe while making a movie as the country was in chaos. The first two episodes dropped on January 7 and new episodes will drop on Fridays through February 4…..WNYC announces that Janae Pierre is the new host of the daily news podcast “Consider This.” Jointly produced by WNYC and NPR, “Consider This” is a first-of-its-kind podcast that brings listeners a mix of the biggest local and national stories based on the listener’s location. WNYC editor-in-chief Audrey Cooper comments, “We’re thrilled to have Janae at the helm of ‘Consider This,’ the first podcast to blend local and national news stories. Throughout her career, she’s shown a unique talent for the kind of locally rooted but universally applicable reporting that makes up so much of what we do at WNYC. We’re excited to see how she and the team shape ‘Consider This’ for the future.” Pierre joins from WBHM, Birmingham, where she hosts “All Things Considered” and does general assignment reporting.
Audie Cornish Joins CNN. After 16 years with NPR, Audie Cornish is joining CNN and its new subscription streaming service CNN+. Cornish was most recently co-host of NPR’s “All Things Considered.” In her new role with CNN, she will serve as an anchor and correspondent for CNN+. She’ll host a weekly CNN+ show and contribute to CNN+’s slate of live programming. She will also host a new podcast for CNN Audio and will appear on CNN covering national, political and breaking news. She says, “I am very excited to join CNN and the CNN+ team. There are fresh stories to be told and new ways to tell them. CNN has a dynamic system of reporters and storytelling channels. I am thrilled to be a part of it.” Cornish will be based at CNN’s Washington, DC bureau and begins her new position in February.
COVID-19, January 6, U.S.-Russia Relations, Economy/Supply Chain, Midterm Elections, NYC Apartment Fire, and Bob Saget Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The soaring rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and abroad, the Omicron variant, vaccine mandates, and school policies; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack; the U.S. and Russia to meet over the tense Ukraine situation; the state of the U.S. economy and the ongoing supply chain woes; the challenges Democrats face in maintaining control of Congress in this year’s midterm elections; the deadly apartment fire in the Bronx that killed at least 19; and TV star and comic Bob Saget dies unexpectedly at 65 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.