Industry News

SiriusXM Adds Three Talk Shows to Urban View Channel

The satellite service announces that it is adding three new weekend programs to the schedule on its Urban View channel. Political consultant, writer, and commentator Shermichael Singleton hosts the Saturday 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm show. He’s a former contributing host of Vox Media’s “Consider It” and the host ofPublic Relations - Business “ScreenShare” on MSNBC’s Peacock. The program features diverse guests and conversations that “tackle the biggest issues in culture, entertainment, media, and politics.” Best-selling author, advocate, speaker, and strategist Reecie Colbert hosts the Saturday 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm program that addresses politics, culture, current events, entertainment, and lifestyle topics. And broadcaster, news analyst, business executive, college dean, university professor, lecturer, entrepreneur, and advocate Dr. Rashad Richey is host of the Sunday 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm hour that SiriusXM calls “your one-hour Sunday ‘all things’ political, social, and economic empowerment show!”

Industry News

TALKERS News Notes

Chris “Mad Dog” Russo is not interested in the potential afternoon drive opening at WEPN-FM  “ESPN Radio New York.” James Kratch sums up Russo’s feelings about the idea at Elite Sports New York, writing, “The WFAN legend told Newsday he is happy at SiriusXM and speculation he could return to terrestrial radio to replace Michael Kay is ‘probably not realistic.’ ‘I’m not going to leave Sirius, let’s put it that way,’ Russo told sports media columnist Neil Best. ‘I love Sirius so much. They’ve been good to me. … I’m going to do that as long as they’ll have me, to make a long story short.’” ESPN Radio New York PM drive host Michael Kay’s contract is up and, after 23 years there, it’s expected he may move on.

At SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio, this week is the annual “Players Week” in which several current major league players and top prospects join SiriusXM hosts for special extended feature segments. During this special programming, players have a “national platform, an hour of airtime, and the freedom to guide the conversation and discuss the teams and topics both on and off the field that most interest them.”

Chris Haynes, senior NBA Insider for TNT and Bleacher Report, and Marc Stein, veteran NBA reporter and publisher of The Stein Line on Substack, announce they’ve partnered for the new iHeartPodcast program, “#thisleague UNCUT.” The two insiders “break down the latest hot topics with candor and bold opinions” twice per week.

Industry Views

Monday Memo: Baseball Bonanza, Part 2

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

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

Plan now to OWN the games

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

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

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

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

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

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

Graphics - Logo

 

Avoid the banana syndrome

 Use baseball to recycle audience in and out of games.

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

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

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

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

Holland Cooke (HollandCooke.com) is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. He is the author of “Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers, Without Buying Clicks,” available from Talkers books; and “Spot-On: Commercial Copy Points That Earned The Benjamins,” a FREE download; and the E-book and FREE on-air radio features Inflation Hacks: Save Those Benjamins.” Follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke

Industry News

TALKERS News Notes

Audacy’s Cadence13 podcast studio launches, “WEAPONIZED with Jeremy Corbell & George Knapp,” a multi-platform, investigative podcast series hosted by investigative filmmaker Jeremy Corbell and award-winning investigative journalist George Knapp in which they “pull back the veil on the world of the known to explore the world of the unexplained. They break news and share never-before-seen footage, previously suppressed documents, original recordings, and hard evidence related to UFOs, the paranormal, cutting-edge science, cover-ups, conspiracies, and big-time crimes.”

The nationally syndicated travel show “RMWorldTravel” starring Robert and Mary Carey officially surpasses the 500-station mark and is now heard on 510 affiliate stations across the U.S.

The Weather Channel and Skyview Networks announce the expansion of their partnership with the inclusion of SnoCountry Ski Reports. With this expansion, The Weather Channel and SnoCountry will utilize Skyview Networks’ network audio sales platforms and regionalization capabilities to provide winter ski reports to unique geographic audiences, giving listeners valuable ski resort conditions through the winter season.

SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio is broadcasting from this year’s PGA Show in Orlando today (1/24) through Friday (1/27). The PGA Show is not open to the public and SiriusXM’s hosts will share with their audience insight into the latest in golf instruction, equipment, apparel and more. Listeners will also hear one-on-one interviews with many of the PGA Professionals in attendance at the event.

Industry Views

Local News Matters Most

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

Beard - ForeheadWhy? Done right, it makes you special. Because new-tech audio competitors don’t do local news, and with most broadcast radio hours now robotic.

“Why waste your time with AM/FM radio?”

Responding to that recent SiriusXM Marketing campaign, NAB president & CEO Curtis LeGeyt:

  • “Unlike our competitors, listeners do not need to fork over a monthly subscription fee, purchase a program or afford an expensive mobile data plan.”
  • “During times of emergency, Americans are not told to turn to SiriusXM for lifeline information. They are not going to get emergency alerts, hear up-to-the-minute reporting or find out where to get help on Pandora or Spotify. No other audio medium can replicate our service when lives are in danger.”
  • “Broadcast radio also provides an engine for economic activity. When local businesses want to get the word out about their goods and services, local radio stations provide an affordable way for them to advertise and reach the consumers who live in their area.”

These are not “normal” times

  • When Trump was on the front burner, his controversies alone changed daypart-to-daypart, even hour-to-hour. The talk part of the news/talk format remains largely static, no minds change. But our news content is dynamic.
  • In a monsoon in Las Vegas (NOT a misprint) someone drowned; and video of rain cascading through the ceiling onto blackjack tables at Planet Hollywood went-viral. We prayed as Kentucky drowned and Buffalo got snowed-under. After tumbleweeds piled-up around her Colorado home blocking windows and doors, Marlies Gross told AccuWeather: “We have so many fires here, and we have a drought and those tumbleweeds, they would just go up and explode into flames all over, and we probably would go with it.”
  • After 2+ years of arguing about vaccines, Polio is back and COVID is back again’ and RSV isn’t just a kid thing. Increasingly noticeable in my travels: Without being required to, people are re-masking.

It’s easier to add Occasions than Duration-per

Translation: There’s little we can do to keep someone sitting in a parked car with the key on Accessories. And AM/FM has never had more competition. So, to keep ‘em coming back, keep telling them something they can’t hear elsewhere, and make it sound different than last hour.

And TELL THEM that’s what you do:

  • “Are you on-the-road? Stay up-to-speed with us!”
  • “What happened since breakfast? We’ll tell you before dinner.”
  • “Stay close to the news.”

Be known for knowing. And tell them when and how you’ll tell them, on various devices.

Holland Cooke (HollandCooke.com) is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. He is the author of “Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers, Without Buying Clicks,” available from Talkers books; and “Spot-On: Commercial Copy Points That Earned The Benjamins,” a FREE download; and the E-book and FREE on-air radio features Inflation Hacks: Save Those Benjamins.” Follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke 

Industry News

LiveOne Slashes $5 Million in Costs; Plans to Spin Out PodcastOne

Digital content platform LiveOne announces that “as part of its focus on generating cash from operations on a consolidated basis, (it) is implementing additional cost and expense reductions from both operations and corporate overhead, which is anticipated to increase the previously implemented annual cost savings to a total of over $30 million in its fiscal year ending March 31, 2023.  On December 29, 2022, the company revealed that Courtside Group, Inc. (dba PodcastOne) has filed an S-1 with the SEC for its planned spin-out and special dividend to LiveOne’s stockholders of record on January 16, 2023. The company says that PodcastOne is expected to record revenue of $25 million for the first nine months of fiscal 2023 ending December 31, 2022.

LiveOne adds, “PodcastOne’s proprietary internal Content Management System allows creators and producers to track metrics about shows on an episode-by-episode basis.  CMS is the platform where podcast episodes are uploaded, RSS feeds are created and distributed to listening platforms, and the listening data is analyzed and displayed in a dashboard for the creators/producers to see. This fully owned and operated enterprise CMS rivals other paid platforms such as Megaphone (Spotify-owned), Art19 (Amazon-owned) and SimpleCast (SiriusXM/Pandora-owned). The CMS’ day-to-day operation and maintenance is managed by a vendor we contract with and is constantly being updated to be a best-in-class system. LiveOne remains committed to spinning-out PodcastOne as a separate public company to be listed on a national exchange. In connection with such spin-out, LiveOne has moved the record date to Jan. 16, 2023 for PodcastOne’s special dividend to LiveOne’s stockholders of record. In addition, LiveOne intends to explore spinning-out SlackerOne as a separate public company during its 2024 fiscal year.”

Front Page News Industry News

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Steve Wexler Steps Down from Daily Management Duties at Good Karma Brands Milwaukee. Radio management pro Steve Wexler – vice president and market manager for Good Karma Brands Milwaukee – will wrap up his 35-year career and transition into a coaching and development role at the company. The announcement was made today (11/15) by GKB founder and CEO Craig Karmazin, who says, “We are appreciative and grateful Steve “Wex” joined Good Karma to lead the Milwaukee team through a time of significant growth and transition. His passion for local news and his community-focused approach to broadcasting and media led the team through a pandemic, the launch of a new station, and award-winning coverage of so many significant moments of the past several years. We’re looking forward to continuing to learn from his knowledge and leadership expertise as he moves into a coaching role within the GKB home office.” The company says that EVP Emily Dillinger will assume the role of interim market manager for GKB’s three Milwaukee stations talk WGKB-AM/W269DL “101.7 The Truth,” sports talk WKTI-FM, “ESPN Milwaukee,” and news/talk WTMJ “Newsradio 620.” Wexler comments, “I’m looking forward to tapping into my experiences and many lessons learned to help our content, sales and management teammates continue to grow their skills and knowledge. I’m very grateful to Craig for the opportunity to do what I do best and what I enjoy most which is spending time coaching and developing our team.” Wexler led the sale of the 36-station, 8-market Scripps Radio Group in late 2018 to several broadcast companies, including GKB in Milwaukee, where he assumed the role of market manager in 2019. He began his broadcast career at WTMJ in Milwaukee as an intern and has been an on-air personality, program manager, and radio and television general manager before running the radio division for Journal Communications, which merged with Scripps in 2018.

Cox Media Group Names Market Leaders for Houston and Orlando. The company announces the appointment of new VP/market managers for its Houston and Orlando clusters. In Orlando, where Cox Media Group operates news/talk WDBO-AM/FM and five music brands, JC Campese assumes the leadership role. CMG operates three music brands in Houston where Stephanie Callihan is named to the top position. She has served with several radio groups, including Audacy where she was most recently an SVP and market manager. Campese launched his career with CMG in 2000 and rose to director of sales for the Orlando cluster prior to this promotion. CMG executive vice president Rob Babin says, “We are excited to tap into our amazing internal CMG leadership talent and announce the promotions of JC and Stephanie. JC and Stephanie have a fantastic range of experiences and talents that will make a positive impact on CMG and our talented teams in Orlando and Houston. I look forward to the difference they’ll make as CMG continues to evolve to meet the needs of our listeners, clients, and our communities.”

AWM Presents Gracies Leadership Awards. The Alliance for Women in Media hosted the Gracies Leadership Awards luncheon yesterday (11/14) at the Tribeca 360° in New York City.  Soledad O’Brien served as keynote speaker stating that the group of honorees represent “stories not just of grit, vision, and opportunity, but of women helping women and celebrating women and the story of how those women didn’t forget that they got into media to elevate people and issues and struggles that were not in the spotlight.” The seven female leaders honored (and pictured above) were: Valerie Blackburn; Nancy Daniels, chief of content, NTets, Discovery, Animal Planet &Science Channel; Marie Donoghue, vice president, global sports video, Amazon; Kim Godwin, president, ABC News; Wendy Goldberg, chief communications officer, iHeartMedia, Inc; Chelsey Maddox-Dorsey, CEO, A wonder Media Company; Debra O’Connell, president, networks, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution; and Dawn Porter, founder, Trilogy Films. AWM Foundation chair Heather Cohen states, “This is a pivotal event for us because it covers all three of our pillars- it’s recognition, it’s education, and it’s connection. We shine a light on exceptional women in media- those who have shattered glass ceilings and proven their leadership and notable today, what an honor to have Soledad O’Brien, one of the greatest storytellers of our time as our keynote.”

TALKERS News Notes. Audio research and analytics firm Veritonic announces the second annual Audio Intelligence Summit is scheduled for February 15 at Second Floor in New York City. Veritonic says, “The summit will once again gather industry-leading brands, agencies, and publishers to dive deep into the data and analytics that are driving today’s successful audio and podcasting strategies. We look forward to coming together with fellow publishers, platforms, brands and agencies to collectively improve upon and consider the data and analytics that are making audio’s ever-expanding influence increasingly efficient and impactful.” Find details about the summit by visiting https://audiointelligencesummit.com…..Benztown + McVay Media Podcast Networks announce the launch today of the quirky new comedic podcast, “The Neurotic Vaccine,” created and hosted by Andy Cowan, award-winning writer for “Seinfeld,” “Cheers,” and “3rd Rock from the Sun.” In “The Neurotic Vaccine,” Cowan invites fellow neurotics to share his mini-therapy sessions with co-host, clinical and forensic psychologist, Dr. Scott Kopoian. Together with their guests – including inaugural guests Jay Leno and Cathy creator, Cathy Guisewite – Cowan and Kopoian work toward the daunting goal of immunity to neurosis. “The Neurotic Vaccine” podcast includes celebrity guests, post-session postscripts, comedy featurettes and more. Future sessions of “The Neurotic Vaccine” will feature stars including Leave It To Beaver’s Jerry Mathers and Tony Dow (in his final interview), “Curb Your Enthusiasm” guest star comedian Elon Gold, Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary, CNN host Michael Smerconish, and actress Marilu Henner…..Quu Inc., announces radio veteran Laura Gonzo joins the company as senior director of affiliate services. In this role, Gonzo will work with stations and sales teams to ensure the successful implementation of Quu’s advertising products. Gonzo served as affiliate director for “The Bob & Tom Show” from 1997 through 2008. She says, “Quu’s powerful technology is truly a game-changer for radio. Beyond elevating the station’s visual appeal, Quu offers a huge opportunity to increase sales and drive stronger returns for clients. I’m thrilled to join the team of passionate experts at Quu and to help stations make the most of these transformative products.”…..SiriusXM announces that Andy Cohen has signed a three-year contract extension and that his exclusive SiriusXM channel Radio Andy “will now serve as the audio subscription service’s definitive home for pop culture with “Andy Cohen Live” and “Smith Sisters Live” expanding to daily shows.” Cohen says, “SiriusXM allows me to dig deeply into two of my passions – pop culture on Radio Andy and music on the Kiki Lounge. I’m so proud of what we’ve developed over the last seven years on Radio Andy. I’ve loved programming the channel, and my longform interviews with celebrities and authors feed my soul. Programming the Kiki Lounge brought me incredible joy during the pandemic and listening to it is a romp through my expansive music vocabulary.”

Midterms Aftermath, Trump in ’24, Biden-Xi Meeting, The Economy, Crypto-Crash, G-20/Russia-Ukraine War, and UVA Killings Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/14). The results of last week’s midterm elections that leave the Democrats in control of the U.S. Senate and the Republicans likely to assume control of the U.S. House; former President Donald Trump’s expected announcement he’ll run for president in 2024; Monday’s meeting between President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping; inflation and fears of a recession; the fall of cryptocurrency exchange FTX and the 75% decline of crypto value over the last 12 months; the G-20 meeting in Bali, Indonesia and the pressure on attending nations to officially condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; and the fatal shooting of three University of Virginia football players were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.