Industry News

KXNT, Las Vega to Host Live Mayoral Debate

Audacy news/talk KXNT-AM, Las Vegas “News Talk Radio 840 AM” is hosting a live mayoral debate featuring the top polling candidates ahead of the Las Vegas general election at the Plaza Hotel & Casinoim showroom on Thursday (5/9) from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Talk show host Alan Stock and afternoon host Sam Mirejovsky will moderate the event that will be free to the public. KXNT brand manager Mark Bonilla states, “As the premier talk radio station in Las Vegas, ‘News Talk Radio 840 AM’ is dedicated to providing a platform for informed discussion and debate by offering voters the opportunity to hear directly from the leading candidates about their visions for the future of the city.”

Industry News

Premiere Networks and Jesse Kelly Sign Long-Term Extension

Talk show host Jesse Kelly and Premiere Networks agree to an exclusive long-term agreement that extends his relationship with the company. Kelly will continue his role as host of “The Jesse Kelly Show,”im heard on more than 200 affiliate stations. Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott says, “We’re delighted to extend our partnership with Jesse Kelly. Since joining our industry-leading talk lineup three years ago, we’ve watched him build a loyal following of passionate fans who value his authentic, bold and relatable brand of entertainment. We look forward to many years of continued success together.” Kelly comments, “As blessed as I am to be part of Premiere, I know they’re twice as blessed to have me. I can’t wait for three more years of being the Da Vinci of the airwaves.”

Industry News TALKERS 2024

John Catsimatidis Named Recipient of 2024 TALKERS Freedom of Speech Award

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Self-made billionaire businessman, broadcasting entrepreneur, radio talk show host and best-selling author John Catsimatidis (pictured above speaking at last year’s TALKERS 2023) has been selected by the TALKERS editorial board as the 2024 recipient of the highly prestigious Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech. The honor, also commonly referred to as the “TALKERS Freedom of Speech Award,” is presented each year to a talk media practitioner whose work sets an example for the exercise and preservation of the First Amendment. In addition to Catsimatidis’ founding and/or ownership of major enterprises in the fields of grocery chains and the energy industry, he is a long-running radio talk show host who began changing the course of the medium’s history by purchasing heritage radio station WABC, New York in 2019.  Since then, the Greek immigrant born on the island of Nistros in 1948 and who came to the United States with his parents when he was six months old, has made significant progress in repositioning and reinvigorating the legendary talk and music station to its role as a major cultural and political influencer in modern media. This has been accomplished by boldly bringing diverse, high-profile voices to the station’s talent lineup, focusing heavily on local news and public policy issues, eliminating paid weekend programming, adding a dash of music and pop culture to the mix, concentrating the station’s schedule on live shows in real time and investing in community-oriented events. Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Media Group has subsequently expanded the station’s national footprint by acquiring WLIR-FM, Long Island and launching its own syndication arm, Red Apple Audio Networks. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, upon announcing the selection, stated, “John Catsimatidis is a true New York City legend and former mayoral candidate who has proven to be one of the most positive forces the radio industry has seen in decades. He embodies the spirit of what this award is all about. He joins a remarkable list of broadcasters from all ends of the political spectrum – left, right, middle, and apolitical – who’ve received this honor going back every year to the origins of TALKERS in the late 1980s.” The award will be presented at TALKERS 2024: Radio and Beyond at Hofstra University on Long Island Friday, June 7.

Industry Views

FROM THE ARCHIVE: Joe Madison Classic Interview Posted This Week on Harrison Podcast

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Legendary radio talk show host and civil rights activist Joe Madison, who succumbed last week to cancer at 74, is memorialized on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” In addition to expressing his personal view of Madison’s career and historic accomplishments, Harrison presents what he describes as the “most comprehensive interview with Joe Madison available in the extensive TALKERS archives.” Harrison continues, “Joe Madison has appeared as a guest on eight occasions during this podcast’s eight-year history (a milestone achieved this month) in addition to delivering two major keynote addresses and making at least five additional panel appearances at national TALKERS conferences – so we certainly have a wealth of material from which to choose.” The interview presented here was conducted and originally posted in April, 2022 in conjunction with the publication at that time of Madison’s long-awaited book, Radio Active: A Memoir of Advocacy in Action, on the Air and in the Streets. The strikingly candid conversation between the two old friends covers Madison’s personal exploration into his genealogy along with his experiences in dealing with alleged racism in his radio career, life-threatening hunger strikes, and his general complex overview and connection with Black and White relations in America. Harrison states, “As warm as our personal friendship grew over the years, interviewing Joe was never easy.  He challenged me at every turn – even when I agreed with him. At one point in this interview, he bluntly tells me that my question is naïve!” Listen to the podcast in its entirety here.

Industry News

Rhode Island Talk Host John DePetro Returns to the Air

WNRI-AM, Woonsocket, Rhode Island midday talk show host John DePetro is back on the radio afterim recovering from prostate cancer surgery last month. DePetro openly discussed his medical condition with listeners, who have applauded him for the right attitude and shining a spotlight on a difficult subject. DePetro says, “I want to thank the incredible outpouring of prayers and support from listeners, and the tremendous team at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Cancer-free in 2024 and it feels great.”

Industry News

Greenville’s News/Talk 98.9 WORD Adds Erick Erickson Show

Audacy announces that WYRD-FM, Greenville, South Carolina “News/Talk 98.9 WORD” adds the WSB, Atlanta-based, syndicated Erick Erickson show to the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm time slot, effective tomorrow (6/21). Audacy Greenville-Spartanburg SVP and market manager Steve Sinicropi says, “With the arrival ofim Erick Erickson as the new afternoon talk show host on WYRD-FM, an unsurpassed team of talent will serve the Upstate, north Georgia and western North Carolina. Erick’s thought-provoking discussions, unyielding insight and captivating presence will be a welcomed addition to our listeners and partners. Erick will complete News/Talk 98.9 WORD’s incredible lineup, allowing us to provide unmatched content for listeners and the largest and most effective platform for advertisers.” Erickson is syndicated via Compass Media Networks.

Industry News

Major Travel Company, Collette, Forging Win-Win Partnerships with Talk Radio – Entering Deals at TALKERS 2023

When executed properly, the marriage of a popular talk show host and a good tour booking company can prove lucrative for both parties and provide listeners with unforgettable travel experiences. The travel industry’s longest running tour planner is doing just that. Collette, the oldest tour operator in North America (established in 1918), is bullish on talk radio and is proactively seeking partnerships in organizing host-led guided listenerim tours that provide a significant revenue stream for stations (or syndicators) as well as world-wide free travel for their top personalities. Collette is planning a major presence at TALKERS 2023 tomorrow (6/2) at the 26th annual sold-out installment of the talk media industry conference at Hofstra University on Long Island. Jim Edwards, VP, US affinity development (jedwards@collette.com) and Paul Holly, marketing manager (pholly@collette.com) for Collette will be in attendance at the conference to discuss potential partnerships with broadcasters interested in exploring this opportunity as well as the world. Check out their website at www.collette.com

Industry Views

Monday Memo: Even a Robot Knows!

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

I asked ChatGPT, “What IS ChatGPT?”

Instant reply: “ChatGPT is a pre-trained language model developed by OpenAI. It uses advanced natural language processing techniques to generate human-like text responses to questions and prompts, based on patterns it learned from a massive amount of text data. It is designed to assist with a wide range of tasks, including answering questions, generating creative writing, and translating text between languages. ChatGPT is built using the GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) architecture, which has been state-of-the-art in many NLP tasks.”

If ever there was an elevator speech that sounded robotic, that’s it. But pick almost any other topic, and – quicker than you’re expecting, ChatGPT scours the Internet – and most of what it spits-back can seem eerily conversational. Including my question about conversation itself: “What DJ or talk show host habits do listeners find most annoying?” Mere moments later…

“Here are some habits that listeners may find annoying in DJs or talk show hosts:

— Interrupting guests or co-hosts: Listening to a conversation that is constantly being cut off can be frustrating for listeners.

— Talking over music: A DJ who talks over the music can detract from the listening experience for music lovers.

— Shouting or excessive enthusiasm: An over-the-top delivery style can come across as insincere or artificial to listeners.

— Unnecessary repetition: Repeating the same jokes, phrases, or segments repeatedly can quickly become tiresome for listeners.

— Lack of preparation: A lack of research or preparation can lead to awkward silences, missed opportunities, or inaccurate information.

— Poor phone manners: Rude or abrupt treatment of callers can be off-putting to listeners and impact the overall tone of the show.

— Ignoring listener feedback: Failing to respond to listener feedback or questions can make listeners feel unvalued and disengaged.

— Being too political: Focusing exclusively on political topics or taking a one-sided approach can alienate listeners with differing opinions.

— Playing too many commercials: Excessive commercial breaks can make the listening experience feel repetitive or disjointed.”

With most AM/FM broadcast hours now automated, syndicated, and voice-tracked, even a robot knows what it takes to keep our fellow humans from wandering-off to less-cluttered music streams and greater topical variety that podcasts offer.

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

Sales

Pending Business: The Ego Drive Connection

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp
President

 

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — What critical personality trait connects you, the seller, to your leading talk show host? I’ll bet you never gave that a minute of your time!

This important trait in every top seller and top talker is present on every sales call and in every show. It is not a skill or learned technique, but if this one trait doesn’t shine properly, performance will suffer. Pause here as we zoom back.

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Front Page News Industry News

Monday, April 18, 2022

Monday Memo: Spring Cleaning. “You’re expecting a metaphor,” Holland Cooke reckons. “When a consultant says, ‘Spring Cleaning,’ you brace for a checklist of tough choices when Spring ratings come in.” But HC says, “Take me literally,” as he wistfully chronicles procrastination you can likely relate to. Read more here.

 

Pending Business: The Anecdote. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes today about the value of a relatable anecdote in the talk radio sales process. He compares the focus a golfer has when playing the game to the connection hosts have with listeners. “Think about the engagement level of your listener with their favorite talk show host. The outside world shuts down for a brief moment as that listener is focused on what your host is saying. The host presents the content in a way that helps the listener shut out their daily distractions and engage with the host, guest and callers.” Read more here.

 

Key Networks and Beasley Partner to Offer Features for Sports Talk and Music Stations. This partnership between Key Networks and Beasley Media Group will make the features “Esports Quick Hits” and “Game Pop” available to sports talk stations and music stations, respectively. The 30-second segments are produced by Benztown and “deliver high energy, entertaining video gaming and pop culture content that ties esports to the traditional sports world by keeping listeners up to date on the latest esports and pro-gaming news.” The two companies announce that SportsMap Radio will be airing the feature on more that 100 U.S. stations on the SportsMap network four times a day every Monday through Friday. Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley says, “Beasley Media Group and our Beasley Esports division couldn’t be more excited about this new partnership! Key Networks is very aligned with us on developing and distributing next-generation content that reflects the growing popularity of digital sports.” Key Networks COO Dennis Green adds, “Key Networks continues to partner with best-in-class brands, and we are delighted to bring the esports features ‘Quick Hits’ and ‘Game Pop’ to stations across the country. Our partners at Beasley Media Group discovered early on that esports appeals to a young audience that continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Now is the time to get on board, as the future for esports is NOW!”

 

Report: Alex Jones’ Infowars Files for Chapter 11 Protection. According to a story by Bloomberg, Alex JonesInfowars is seeking Chapter 11 protection in Southern Texas, “with liabilities of as much as $10 million, according to a court filing.” The story notes that Alex Jones and his companies were found liable in a defamation lawsuit in Connecticut that was brought by families of some of the children killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre. The families testified that they were harassed by fans of Jones’ program after Jones claimed that the families were paid crisis actors and that no children actually died. Jones has since stated publicly that he knows the massacre actually took place. Jones is awaiting the next phase of the case as the trial will determine the damages. Jones was also found liable in a similar case filed in Texas.

 

Devon Doers Named VP of Sales for iHeartMedia Twin Cities. Radio sales pro Devon Doers joins iHeartMedia as vice president of sales for the Minneapolis station group that includes news/talk KTLK-AM and sports talk KFXN “KFAN,” plus five music brands. Doers comes to iHeartMedia from Townsquare Media’s Bozeman, Montana operations where he’s been serving for the past eight years. iHeartMedia Minneapolis SVP of sales Bekki Yang says, “Devon’s extensive career in media, which has evolved over the years to include multi-channel marketing and digital, is what we’re most excited about.” Doers comments, “I am excited to help and be part of such a talented, experienced and great group of professionals with everyone at iHeartMedia Minneapolis.”

 

Dan Sileo and JAKIB Media Partners Extend and Expand ‘The National Football Show.’ A new deal between JAKIB Media Partners and sports talk personality Dan Sileo is announced. The new pact expands Sileo’s “The National Football Show” program by one hour to stream from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm daily. JAKIB Media Partners president Joe Krause says, “Dan Sileo knows football and knows the stars of the game. In his expanded role, sports fans will find themselves wanting more and more from Dan Sileo.” In addition, Sileo will host, “The College Football Show” every Saturday and team up with Barrett Brooks for a bi-weekly, one-hour show called, “In the Trenches.”

 

Russia-Ukraine War, the Economy/Inflation, Weekend Gun Violence, Biden Approval Ratings, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, COVID-19, and Easter & Passover Holidays Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, the pressure on NATO, and the economic effects of the war; the state of the U.S. economy and the high price of gas and food; the shootings in Pittsburgh and South Carolina; the low approval ratings for President Joe Biden; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the return to mask mandates at some U.S. colleges, concerns about the BA.2 variant, and the lockdowns in Shanghai and Hong Kong; and the Easter and Passover holidays 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 Anecdote

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp
President

 

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — News and talk radio sellers are boring.

Sorry if I offended you. But that’s what I see in the marketing work I do.

It’s all about numbers on paper. If ratings are not part of the pitch, it comes down to a laundry list of predictable guests, a boilerplate bio, and whatever else is fast and easy.

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Front Page News Industry News

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

MIW Reveals Gender Analysis Study Results. The Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio organization reveals the results of the 22nd MIW Gender Analysis Study that tracks the progress of female professionals holding general manager, sales manager, and program director/brand manager titles. MIW says the study reflects data from the calendar year 2021 and was accounted for by PrecisionTrak. In the general manager category, women hold the position at 20.79% of U.S. radio stations. This is an increase of almost a full percentage point from 2020, which was 19.9%. Notably, this number continues to show consistent growth from 2004, when the percentage of female general managers was only 14.9%. Looking at sales managers, 33.59% of stations had a woman in the position last year. MIW says the management position that poses the greatest challenge for women is program director/brand manager. Only 12.09% of U.S. stations had women in the position in 2021, versus 12.2% in 2020. MIW board president Ruth Presslaff says, “If the glass is half full we should celebrate any upward movement, even if it’s incremental, as jobs continue to be eliminated in the continuing pandemic. However, it’s disappointing that the glass isn’t filling faster for those in programming and MIW is paying close attention to this issue. We encourage you to register at radiomiw.com to learn about our multiple opportunities for mentoring and career development!”

iHeartMedia to Celebrate WOR, New York’s 100th Anniversary. WOR-AM, New York owner iHeartMedia is preparing to celebrate the news/talk station’s 100th anniversary of its first broadcast on February 22, 1922. Next Tuesday (2/22), “Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning” will kick off the tribute by interviewing on-air hosts from WOR’s history to share memories of their time at the station. WOR will also air audio of historic moments and invite listeners to call in with their favorite WOR recollections. On February 23, the Empire State Building will light up in the colors of the station’s logo beginning at 5:40 pm. WOR program director Tom Cuddy says, “A station broadcasting for over a century is truly incredible. 710 WOR has a strong connection with the communities we serve, and as the media landscape continues to evolve, it’s exciting to see our reach has continued to grow as WOR listeners adopt streaming on smart devices and the iHeartRadio app.” WOR was initially launched to sell radios and other merchandise at Bamberger’s department store in Newark, New Jersey.

Talk Host Mark Kaye Announces 15-Year-Old Sickle Cell Patient as New Voice of the Program. WOKV-FM, Jacksonville-based, syndicated radio talk show host Mark Kaye (left) names 15-year-old Quincy Chapman (right) the new voice of “The Mark Kaye Show.” Kaye met Chapman during his “Kaye’s Kids” charity event called “The 12 Days of Christmas.” Kaye says, “Every Christmas we surprise local children who are battling life-threatening illnesses with dream gifts. This past December, Quincy was one of those kids.” Chapman suffers from the painful Sickle Cell Disease that’s required several blood transfusions, spleen removal, and a recent hip transplant. “Quincy lives in constant pain,” says Kaye. “But you would never know it if you met him. He has an incredible personality, an amazing smile, and as soon as he spoke on the air we were blown away by the power of his voice. He sounds incredible!” After being at the station, Chapman posted a message on Instagram describing how much fun he had on the show and how he was “hooked” on radio. Kaye saw the post and came up with the idea of bringing him back into the studio to record elements for his show. Kaye says, “As soon as he walked in the studio you could tell by the look on his face how happy it made him. We asked him to record some liners and promos for us. Dude was a natural.”

Alpha Media’s Chris Schmidt Named NSMA’s Nebraska Sportscaster of the Year. Lincoln, Nebraska radio personality Chris Schmidt is named the National Sports Media Association’s 2021 Nebraska Sportscaster of the Year. Schmidt serves with Alpha Media’s news/talk KFOR-AM and sports talk KLMS-AM as play-by-play announcer, host of the “Hail Varsity” program, and cast member of the “KFOR Morning Show.” Alpha Media Lincoln market manager Katie Philipi says, “Chris is an exceptional broadcaster and his passion cannot be rivaled. He is so deserving of this award. The entire Alpha Lincoln family celebrates his achievement.” Schmidt comments, “I’m humbled and honored by this award. Thank you to the many folks I have worked with over the years and get to work with today. I have fun going to ‘work’ every day, talking about news and sports.”

Edison Research to Host Black Podcast Listener Report Networking Event. On February 28, Edison Research is hosting an online “networking” event to further the discussion of the results of the Black Podcast Listener Report it, SXM Media, and Mindshare released in October of 2021. Edison says the virtual event will give podcasters and other interested parties a chance to network and discuss various relevant podcast topics, such as key findings from the Black Podcast Listener Report, feedback for the next report, and other topics helpful to creators in the space.  The study participants consisted of over 2,500 Black Americans age 18+. It concluded that 36% of Black Americans now listen to podcasts monthly. Black listeners are closing the gap with the general market. In 2020, 17% of Black Americans were listening to podcasts weekly, compared with 24% of all Americans. Just a year later, the number of weekly Black listeners jumped to 26% (while the general market grew slightly to 28%). Also, 42% of Black monthly podcast listeners say they’ve been streaming shows for one year or less. You can read the report here and you can register for the networking event here.

Ukraine Tensions, COVID-19, Durham Probe, S.F. School Board Recall, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Palin-NYTimes Case, Alec Baldwin Suit, and Beijing Winter Olympics Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/15). The threat of war over Russia’s military buildup at the Ukraine border; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the planned relaxing of mask mandates in numerous states, and the truckers’ protests; special counsel John Durham’s investigation into allegations of Hillary Clinton’s digital spying on Donald Trump; the successful recall of three liberal San Francisco School Board members; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; a judge tosses Sarah Palin’s defamation suit against The New York Times; Alec Baldwin is sued in connection with the shooting death on the Rust set; and the politics behind the Beijing Winter Olympics were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.