Cumulus Media’s Dallas news/talk stations WBAP and KLIF-AM have three career opportunities for qualified radio news pros. First, KLIF-AM has an opening for a news anchor on “DFW’s Morning News.” In this position, you’ll work each day with veteran, award-winning anchor, Dave Williams. Candidates must be well read, and able to relate to a 35-64 year old adult and know how to “play the hits of the day” that resonate with them! The position requires extreme reliability and flexibility. Females are encouraged to apply. Second, Cumulus is seeking a news director to work with both stations. It says, “This is not a 9 to 5 weekday desk job. If news runs in your blood, if you get an adrenaline rush from breaking stories, if you are hands-on, and you realize the commitment that it takes to win from you and your team, then this job could be for you. Our ideal candidate should possess an extremely good work ethic and have a history of news department success as a news director.” And third, the company is looking for a managing editor for both stations. This is an early morning position from 2:30 am until 10:30 am. The main job is to make sure the shows on both stations have the content they need to have a successful broadcast. Get more information on all of these positions and apply here.
By Holland Cooke
Radio talkers: What is this hour about? How will listeners benefit from listening? And how long do you expect them to wait to hear that?
To quote Jerry Seinfeld…
“There is no such thing as an attention span. This whole idea of an attention span is, I think, a misnomer. People have an infinite attention span if you are entertaining them.”
Are they entertained hearing about your weekend? About your sidekick/board-op/screener’s weekend? By a long, self-amused, produced show intro? Or are they quickly engaged, by your invitation to weigh-in-on topic du jour? Or by your offering them Q+A access to a guest who can address their concerns?
What if they believe the promos?
As each day’s news causes us all to wonder “What NEXT???” smart stations methodically invite on-hour listening appointments, for “stay close to the news… a quick update, throughout your busy day.” Whether that’s a network feed or a local newscast, whoever delivers it reckons what is relevant to the lives of the mentally busy, in-car listeners our advertisers want as customers. In consultant-speak, it’s “take-home pay” for tuning-in.
They may listen mostly to other stations that play music, but those stations aren’t as informative. So – as the weather forecast signals the end of that on-hour update – can you freeze the driver’s index finger in mid-air between the steering wheel and the button for “Kiss” or “Magic” or “Cat Country?”
Does your A-block rock?
Most common miscalculation I hear? Extended banter before the first break. A-block ends with (finally) a specific, inviting call-in proposition or teases the guest coming up… after the break, when the show really begins.
Better: Tee-up what’s-up immediately as the hour begins. Try this: Make the very first thing you say a question which includes “you” and/or “your.” Then say hello, and swap takes on that topic with your sidekick/board-op/screener.
One warning: Sounding so-quickly-engaging may divert your screener. The phone’s already ringing.
Holland Cooke (HollandCooke.com) is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. He is the author of “Your Trusted Voice: How to Attract New Clients More Efficiently than Competitors Who Spend a Fortune on Advertising.” Follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke
By Walter Sabo
Consultant, Sabo Media
A.K.A. Walter Sterling
Radio Host, Sterling On Sunday
Talk Media Network
In the strum and dirge of daily radio life, it is easy to forget the mad skills required to do what we do. Consider the TV sitcom. 22 minutes of content, 22 times a year. The cast ad libs – nothing! Between eight and 11 writers scribe every word. Hair, makeup… handled by others! A donut run? No, there’s the crafts services table that will make you, the star, whatever you want any time you want it. Hot? A production assistant sprays mint scented water on you.
How’s your day? You or your on-air talent create a three- or four- or perhaps even five-hour show out of thin – or should I say rarefied – air! Writers? You mean that kid who has to go to class at 11? Production? Sure, as soon as the spots for the weekend are cut. Food? Ya got quarters?
You are a miracle of creativity, ambition and sheer talent. Reward? The company wants to cut your live read fees and could you help out in sales? As a point of reference, when Dr. Ruth Westheimer killed in the ratings at WYNY, we gave her a Seville.
GOOD NEWS. You can fix this. Talk radio is the last frontier of free form radio. Fact is you can do whatever you want.
Most talk shows and stations peaked about six years ago. The audience is not growing, it’s not attracted to talk radio’s offerings of endless political theory. So, stop.
What works? Take a look at the ratings of KMBZ-FM Kansas City; KFGO, Fargo; KFBK, Sacramento; WABC, New York’s Frank Morano; WTAM, Cleveland’s Bill Wills; WLW, Cincinnati; KFI, Los Angeles; KDKA, Pittsburgh’s midday. (I will now be flooded with other examples but listen to those stations.) Hosting a network radio show, “Sterling On Sunday,” I have learned what those audio outlets exemplify works!
Talk about your day. Talk about what two best friends would discuss over a quick lunch. The topics that generate ratings are not always the “hot talk radio topics.” The list that works reads like this, try it:
— Trouble with the in-laws.
— Is “Storage Wars” fake?
— Tip at the drive-thru?
— Cell phone for a 10-year-old?
— Married? Is texting cheating?
— How can I do less and earn more?
— Yes, it was a controlled demolition.
— Taylor Swift bi? Harry Styles bi?
— Are you kidding? Women ARE in charge!
— Turn on the AC, shut the damn window.
The power of the mirror. When the radio speaks the conversation of the listener, the ratings go up. Guaranteed.
Walter Sabo was the youngest executive vice president in the history of NBC. The youngest VP in the history of ABC. He was a consultant to RKO General longer than Bill Drake. Walter was the in-house consultant to Sirius for eight years. He has never written a resume. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. or mobile 646-678-1110. Hear Walter Sterling at www.waltersterlingshow.com.
Cumulus Media is looking for a program director for its Chattanooga, Tennessee news/talk stations. The program director will be responsible for growing and operating strong brands and must have a strong programming background and passion for growing others and a passion for the local community. You will program two legendary news/talk stations. Energy, enthusiasm, attention to detail and experience in news writing/delivering and talk show hosting is a necessity. You must have the ability to interact with listeners and handle multiple phone calls at one time. You will be responsible for all aspects of programming including managing and motivating on-air staff, imaging, station strategy, developing and executing revenue generating sales & programming promotions, website & social media, digital content and have a strong understanding of the core audience of a news/talk format. The position also requires a daily AM drive air-shift, along with live appearances and live broadcasts! See more and apply here.
As reported by Sara Fischer for Axios, Latino Media Network – the Hispanic media company partially funded by philanthropist and activist George Soros – names Sylvia Banderas Coffinet chief operating officer. Banderas Coffinet most recently served as general manager at Vox Media. Latino Media Network’s acquisition of the conservative Radio Mambí network of Spanish-language news/talk stations from TelevisaUnivision aggravated some conservatives who petitioned the FCC to deny the license transfers. The petition was rejected. The Radio Mambí format goes back to Amancio Víctor Suárez’s launch of programming created by anti-communist Cuban exiles in the mid-1980s. The group of 18 radio stations will gradually be turned over to Latino Media Network throughout this year. Company co-founder Jess Morales Rocketto is quoted saying, “We’re not the first business owners with our own political leanings,” while adding that they are focused on commercial success and not “imposing a political agenda.” Read the Axios piece here.
The New York City Radio Committee, a joint partnership of New York City radio broadcasters iHeartMedia, Spanish Broadcasting System, Salem Media Group, Media Co., Univision, and Audacy announce the completion of a successful campaign designed to promote the power of radio advertising agencies and advertising executives. The multi-media “Fall in Love with Radio” campaign ran from mid-September to the end of November during which more than 2,800 radio spots were broadcast on 21 of the most popular stations in NYC. The campaign included digital and social media marketing, trade press, and signage at venues during Advertising Week in New York City. According to independent brand lift analysis by DYNATA, ad professionals who saw or heard the campaign were 29% more likely to consider radio for their media campaigns compared to those that had not seen the campaign. Of those that saw the campaign, 82% said they were somewhat/extremely likely to consider using radio for their next campaign compared to 53% of respondents who did not see the campaign. Audacy New York market president and NYC Radio Committee chair Chris Oliviero says, “The outstanding results of the campaign prove when we tell our story, with data and creativity, that radio can substantially enhance its position with advertising professionals. While radio continues to earn its place as an essential part of any media plan, we still must communicate our benefits and invite more marketing partners to collaborate together. This innovative multi-platform outreach accomplished just that. My appreciation to all my colleagues in New York City, across several ownership groups, who came together with a commitment to make ‘Fall in Love with Radio’ a success.”
iHeartMedia names Clyde Bass area president for its newly formed Texas/Arkansas Area. The region consists of more than 48 stations across 10 markets. Bass is responsible for all operations in Beaumont, Waco, Bryan, McAllen and Corpus Christi, Texas and Fayetteville, Fort Smith and Little Rock, Arkansas, along with Wichita, Kansas and Springfield, Missouri. iHeartMedia division president Nick Gnau says, “I am so excited to add Clyde’s leadership to an already strong cluster of markets in Texas. Clyde’s passion for our industry, his knowledge of our products and the success he has shown through many roles with iHeartMedia make him the perfect fit to lead this newly formed Area. I look forward to seeing these areas continue to succeed as one.” Bass most recently led the Arkansas Area. He comments, “It’s been my honor to be involved for the last 10 years with some of the legendary stations that I grew up listening to here in Arkansas, and now to be reunited as area president with the team in Texas makes me even more energized over what iHeartMedia provides to advertisers and listeners.”
Dennis Green Promoted to COO for Sun & Fun Media and Key Networks. Chief revenue officer Dennis Green is promoted to chief operating officer for Sun & Fun Media and affiliated radio syndication company Key Networks. He’ll continue to report to founder and CEO Rob Koblasz. Green joined Sun & Fun Media as CRO in May 2018 after serving for 22 years with Westwood One and added CRO responsibilities for Key Networks upon the network’s launch in March 2019. In his new role, Green will oversee operations for Sun & Fun Media’s products and services for barter to radio and for Key Networks’ portfolio of nationally syndicated programming and services. Koblasz says, “Dennis is one of the hardest working people in radio, and we are very pleased to reward his efforts with this much-deserved promotion to the chief operating officer of both Sun & Fun Media and Key Networks. As chief revenue officer since 2018, Dennis has been central to the continued growth of Sun & Fun Media and the successful launch and growth of Key Networks. His leadership and deep experience in network radio are tremendous assets for us.” Green comments, “I’m delighted to assume the role of COO for Sun & Fun Media and Key Networks. I’ve been fortunate in my career to work with amazing talent and provide programming and services for stations. Rob Koblasz gave me an opportunity to build upon the success at Sun & Fun and to start Key Networks, which is fast developing into a ‘key’ player in network radio. Thank you to the best-in-class staff we have assembled to help lead the charge to provide best-in-class products and services to affiliates around the country. The best is yet to come!”
Beasley Media Group Names Pat Eastburn VP of Digital Sales. Digital media sales pro Pat Eastburn joins Beasley Media Group as vice president of digital sales. Eastburn was most recently vice president and general manager at Flypaper Digital Marketing, the internal digital agency of WEHCO Media. In his new role, Eastburn will report to Beasley chief digital officer Todd Handy and focus on leveraging his experience across the entire digital sales team as well as be focused on new products, services and key verticals. Handy says, “Pat was the consensus choice as the top candidate for this role given his extensive background in leading digital agency sales teams and disrupting traditional media channels.” Eastburn comments, “I’m very excited to join Beasley Media Group. It’s so well-respected and I’ve been thoroughly impressed by the entire team. I believe that digital marketing has significant potential as an industry relative to current and future opportunity. Combine that opportunity with top level talent and the sky is the limit.”
Banyan Software Acquires Mr. Master Inc. Today Banyan Software, Inc. Enterprise software firm Banyan Software acquires compliance and content distribution software Mr. Master Inc. Banyan, self-described as a firm that “focuses on a buy and hold for life strategy for growing software companies that serve specialized markets,” says the Mr. Master acquisition joins its growing portfolio of media companies which includes vCreative and Counterpoint Software. Banyan says it employs a decentralized management philosophy, allowing Mr. Master to operate independently and continue the successful practices that led to its acquisition interest. Banyan CEO David Berkal says, “The Mr. Master team has deep, network radio software expertise and has spent over two decades developing market leading products that serve the unique needs of its long-standing customers. We are excited to welcome Mr. Master into the Banyan family of companies and look forward to supporting the company’s future growth in the coming years.” Mr. Master president and founder Stu Jacobs comments, “We have a great team and product that radio has embraced as its go-to traffic and production workflow solution and partnering with Banyan marks an exciting new chapter in our journey. I am thrilled to stay on as CEO and work alongside Banyan as we continue to build on the foundation of client-centered innovation and services that has made Mr. Master so exceptional. Equally important is the opportunity to leverage additional resources, fueling our continued growth.”
Neal Boortz to Do Commentaries for ‘Xtra 106.3,’ Atlanta. Retired talk radio legend Neal Boortz will start doing daily commentaries for Dickey Broadcasting’s WFOM-AM/W292EV, Atlanta “Xtra 106.3/1230,” effective January 31. The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that Boortz will provide daily, two-minute commentaries. Station owner David Dickey tells the AJC, “I told Neal I figured he didn’t want to do a long-form show and we couldn’t afford that anyway. Our goal is to give him a forum for a station that is growing quickly and to fill a niche. He’ll be a great addition to our brand.” In a statement, Boortz says, “The opportunity to be stridently un-WOKE and to stir things up during a crucial election year just couldn’t be passed up. Let’s have some fun.” One fallout from the new deal is that Cox Media Group’s crosstown news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM is not allowing Boortz’s voice on endorsement spots he’s been cutting for a number of clients that air on the station.
Alan Peterson Sets March Retirement Date. Writer, air personality and veteran radio/podcast production pro “The Other” Alan Peterson announces he’s retiring from his position with Radio America and the business, effective March 11. Peterson has served with Radio America for the past 18 years engineering or producing weekend programs including, “The Pet Show with Warren Eckstein,” “Intelligent Medicine with Dr. Ronald Hoffman,” “Liberty Nation,” “Tech It Out,” and “Eat Drink Smoke,” among many others. Peterson is the co-creator of the comedy jingle collection, “Dork-a-Pellas,” now produced and distributed by Dan O’Day’s L.A. Air Force. From 1989 to 2004 he wrote for Radio World and served as technical editor. He hosted radio shows in Syracuse; Springfield, MA; Danbury, CT; and Washington DC.
TALKERS News Notes. Imaging, voiceover, and jingle firm Benztown is partnering with P1 Media Group to present a free webinar for radio professionals called, “Stop Using Best Practices and Try Something New.” This 18th in the “Global Radio Ideas” webinar series is being hosted by Benztown CEO Andreas Sannemann and P1 Media Group partner Ken Benson and will feature Alpha Media EVP of content Phil Becker who will share his insights into what stations should be doing in 2022 to drive the growth of their brands. The webinar takes place on Thursday (1/27) at 1:00 pm ET. You can register for the webinar here…..PodcastOne teams with MotorTrend Group to produce and distribute “The InEVitable,” the limited-run podcast and vodcast series hosted by Ed Loh, MotorTrend head of editorial, and MotorTrend editor and automotive personality Jonny Lieberman. On the program, Loh and Lieberman will provide lively in-depth discussion on the greatest challenges and changes coming for the future of transportation. In the premiere episode, Reggie Watts, actor, comedian and band leader for “The Late Late Show with James Corden,” sits down with Loh and Lieberman for an engrossing conversation about how Watts thinks about artificial intelligence and consciousness, and what that might mean for the automotive world. As an owner of both gas-powered and electric-powered vehicles, Watts also talks about the dichotomy of owning both plus his love of Porsche cars…..SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio is broadcasting live from this year’s PGA Show today through Friday (1/25-28). SiriusXM hosts including Robert Gamez, Carl Paulson, Brian Katrek, Jason Sobel and Taylor Zarzour will broadcast on location from PGA Show Demo & Fitting Day at the Orange County National Golf Center, as well as the 2022 PGA Show at the Orange County Convention Center.
Ukraine Tensions, Financial Markets/Inflation, Biden-Doocy Incident, COVID-19, Urban Crime & Violence, and Boris Johnson Troubles Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/24). Concerns about Russia’s military build-up at the Ukraine border; the week-long selloff on the world’s financial markets that’s worrying investors and record-high retail and oil prices; President Joe Biden curses at FOX News reporter Peter Doocy after being asked a question about inflation affecting the midterm elections; the high rate of COVID infections in the U.S. and abroad and the legal challenges to vaccine and mask mandates; the spike in urban crime and violence; and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s sinking popularity after being photographed violating COVID protocols were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
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.
By Holland Cooke
BLOCK ISLAND, RI — The news/talk stations I work with make big money doing what talk radio does best: cutting through mental clutter, with live endorsement spots delivered by familiar local on-air personalities.
OOPS. Do your endorsement spots say “I haven’t sold you yet?”
Often, these are long-standing advertiser relationships. Two cautions: