Industry Views

Monday Memo: Behold the Radio Unicorn!

By Holland Cooke

imGot young local radio news talent? CONGRATULATIONS, for five reasons:

1. They’re young, which our 100-year-old medium NEEDS.
2. Streaming and satellite competitors don’t do local.
3. Radio is still #1 in-car. And in-home again, via smart speakers.
4. As listeners wonder “What NEXT?” news has their back.
5. Talent is acquired. Hire attitude, train skills.

Just DOING local news makes you special, especially if your AM/FM competitors don’t. Six tips for taking it to the next level, and making your station more habit forming:

— Make this hour’s newscast sound different than last hour’s. A particularly clever turn-of-phrase can come back to haunt you the second time a listener hears that version. The little voice in their head says, “I already heard that.”
— Lead with the latest. Avoid telling the story in chronological order. Is there some detail that can top this hour’s version? “A third shift of state troopers has joined the search for little Sarah Johnson…”
— Write as though you were telling the listener face-to-face. The police posted: “Anyone who has seen a car matching that description is asked to contact the police.” Rewrite to say, “If you see that car, call the police.”


— Less is more. Long sentences can make it difficult for the listener to follow the story and understand the information. Emulate your network’s writing style. Write for the ear. Avoid using too many adjectives and adverbs.
— But don’t leave out verbs! “The woman’s husband arrested the wounded man taken to the hospital.” Huh?
— Highly recommended: “Writing Broadcast News Shorter, Sharper, Stronger” by Mervin Block (expensive on Amazon, FREE on Google Books).

Time Spent Listening is still the ballgame. Specifically, we want to add occasions of tune-in, which is easier than extending duration-per-occasion. Translation: There is very little we can do to keep someone in a parked car with the key on Accessories.

So be known for knowing. Benefit-laden imaging will earn you the information reputation that keeps listeners coming back again and again, “for a quick update.” And user-friendly copy points will be more effective than the boastful station-centric way many news promos sound.

Holland Cooke ( is a consultant working the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. He is the author of The Local Radio Advantage: Your 4-Week Tune-In Tune-Up and “Close Like Crazy: Local Direct Leads, Pitches & Specs That Earned the Benjamins” and “Confidential: Negotiation Checklist for Weekend Talk Radio.” Follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke and connect on LinkedIn

Industry News

Salem Media Group Q1 2024 Revenue Down 8.3%

The first quarter of 2024 brought in net revenue of $58.6 million, a decline of 8.3% from the same period in 2023 for Salem Media Group. The company’s broadcast revenue fell 4.6% to $46 million, while its digital media revenue rose 1.9% to $10.7 million. The company reports a net loss of $5.1 million, basically the same as it reported in Q1 of 2023. Regarding its revenue,im Salem states, “Revenue growth from the sale of broadcast airtime is negatively impacted by audiences spending less time commuting, certain automobile manufacturers removing AM radio signals, increases in other forms of content distribution, and decreases in the length of time spent listening to broadcast radio as compared to audio streaming services, podcasts, and satellite radio. These factors may lead advertisers to conclude that the effectiveness of radio has diminished. We continue to enhance our digital assets to complement our broadcast content. The increased use of smart speakers and other voice activated platforms that provide audiences with the ability to access AM and FM radio stations offers potential sources for radio broadcasters to reach audiences. Our broadcast advertising revenue is particularly dependent on advertising from our Los Angeles and Dallas markets, which generated 15.3% and 18.4%, respectively, of our total net broadcast advertising revenue during the three-month period ended March 31, 2023, compared to 15.1% and 18.7%, respectively, of our total net broadcast advertising revenue during the three- month period ended March 31, 2024.”

Industry News

Sabo Sez: Make it Bigger

By Walter Sabo
CEO Sabo Media Action Partners
A.K.A. Walter Sterling
Host, WPHT, Philadelphia
Host, Talk Media Network

imWhen a new restaurant opens, smart owners put the phone on busy so would-be diners believe the joint is hot, packed and hard to get in to. At street fairs we are drawn to merchant booths with long lines. Crowds give us confidence.

My mentor, Ed McLaughlin, as president of the ABC Radio Networks had one dictate when presented with a new idea: Make it bigger.

Last week radio hosted a major event. An event so big that it was covered by all media, except… except… radio and most radio trades. After turning down the Washington Post and The New York Times, the President of the United States gave the longest interview of his tenure to a radio star, Howard Stern. A commercial radio interview. Not NPR. Not MSNBC, not The View. Radio. The president, like hundreds of other leaders and businesses believes radio is the best medium to sell his message.

The president’s choice of medium should now be the first slide on every sales deck of every radio pitch. Today!

The damage of small. Many people in our business sell small and it hurts the industry. It’s easy to be dismissive of the Stern interview of Biden… instead, why not own it? Make it your interview because you share the same playing field.

Smart media executives do everything they can to make their stage seem to earn the largest possible audience. Cable, for example sells “homes passed.” Really. Cable sells the number of homes that can receive the advertiser’s message because those homes have cable. Using cable’s selling logic, radio could win every buyer’s analysis by selling “radios installed.”

About 20 years ago radio sellers started showing their station’s “time spent listening” (TSL) data to media buyers. That is the lowest number. While local TV stations sell their “designated market area” (DMA), radio mines the very tiniest delivery number: TSL

Your website’s first name is WORLD WIDE. Shockingly many radio companies strive to make their website “more local.” Stations have federal licenses dictating that their signal is specifically LOCAL. Your website could turn your station into a world-wide business with pristine world-wide delivery. Rather than grow, many broadcasters fought to have permission to geo-fence their signal, they fought to get smaller.

A major ratings week’s results for FOX News or CNN would get the program director of WLTW, KOST, Z100 or WINS fired. CNN had an average of 601,000 viewers in March. What’s your station’s cume? CNN grossed $1.1 BILLION dollars. They aren’t selling numbers. They are selling their brand: CNN or FOX or MSNBC. Cable networks, all with tiny viewership compared with WCBS-AM, WBZ-AM, or KFI’s cume, deliver ancient demos yet they are grossing a billion bucks by selling their brand and their environment. They sell shows. A show is as big as the seller and buyer can imagine. Imagine bigger.

Put simply: 1010 WINS has more listeners in New York City than the “Tonight Show” has viewers in New York City.  There’s your second slide.

Media buyers want a deal. They want radio to bring in the buy. But the CEO of the brand wants an environment for their message that moves product. Your hosts can move product. Your listener can name your hosts, which instills trust and listeners can recall copy points from hosts’ live reads. To an investor, the relationship between your listener and your host is defined as goodwill. Goodwill adds considerable value to your station. Selling the dynamic of listener engagement will justify much higher rates than TSL.

Walter Sabo has been a C Suite action partner for companies such as SiriusXM, Hearst, Press Broadcasting, Gannett, RKO General and many other leading media outlets. His company HITVIEWS, in 2007, was the first to identify and monetize video influencers. HITVIEWS clients included Pepsi, FOX TV, Timberland, Microsoft, and CBS Television. He can be reached at His nightly show “Walter Sterling at Night” is debuting next week on WPHT, Philadelphia. His syndicated show, “Sterling On Sunday,” from Talk Media Network, airs 10:00 pm-1:00 am ET, now in its 10th year of success.

Industry Views

Monday Memo: The Local Radio Advantage

By Holland Cooke

imIf you’re a news/talk station, don’t assume that you own “news radio” in your market. Imaging is important, but it merely talks-the-talk. You walk-the-walk with local news copy that delivers what solid commercial copy does: benefits. Just doing local news makes you special. But do listeners simply hear a station voice… reading something? Are you merely… accurate? Or do you deliver “take-home pay,” unwrapping the story to tell the listener something useful?

In many homes, there are now fewer radios than smart speakers. And nobody has ever said: “Alexa, please play six commercials.” But she can play millions of songs. So do streams and YouTube.

What can make a music station different from all those other audio choices is the way you help folks cope, how relevant and empathetic you are, how you sound like you have-their-back as day-to-day news has them wondering “What NEXT?”

And boosting tune-in exposes your advertisers better. So, Time Spent Listening is still the ballgame. Specifically, you need to add occasions of tune-in, and this week’s column begins a three-part series of news copy coaching tips that can help bring listeners back more often.


Simply rewriting source material can make a huge difference. Press releases torture the ear. They’re formal, and prone to jargon and spin (especially from politicians). When they’re from the police, they’re written in cop-speak. And most press releases are written inside-out, emphasizing a process, rather than the consequence to listeners.

Process example: “At Thursday’s work session of the Springfield City Council, a decision was made to move forward with Community Days this year. The annual Community Days celebration is scheduled for June 16 and 17th. Council members made sure the Community Days funds will be handled by an independent accountant. Councilwoman Sharon Grant said…”

Re-write to lead with consequence: “The annual Springfield Community Days celebration will be June 16th and 17th. After last year’s controversy, Council members made sure the Community Days funds will be handled by an independent accountant. At Thursday’s session, Councilwoman Sharon Grant said…”

That simple tweak is well-worth the minimal effort. Listeners are mentally busy. Remove “Styrofoam words.”  Example: “State Police say they are investigating a possible case of child endangerment after a seven-month-old child was treated for severe injuries.”

Simply delete “say they.”

Next week: Ripped from the headlines… 

Holland Cooke ( is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. He is the author of The Local Radio Advantage: Your 4-Week Tune-In Tune-Up,” and “Close Like Crazy: Local Direct Leads, Pitches & Specs That Earned the Benjamins” and “Confidential: Negotiation Checklist for Weekend Talk Radio.” Follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke and connect on LinkedIn

Industry Views

SABO SEZ: Five Golden Actions for 2024

By Walter Sabo
Consultant, Sabo Media Implementers
A.K.A. Walter Sterling
Radio Host, “Sterling On Sunday”
Talk Media Network

imResearch shows that readers to trade publications like articles with five bullet points. Here are my five bullet points for 2024. If these were to be deployed, you could be thriving by the end of the year. These actions would increase sales and audience share.

1. Radio should be easy to buy. It’s not. Easy fix: Look at your website. Based on the website how would you buy time on your station? It should be as simple as a realtor’s website. Put up pictures of your salespeople with ALL of their real contact information – not a FORM. Offer their email and cell number. Offer a “tour” of the offerings with information about the talent and the audience. What does the host sell best? How about a very brief audio message from each host to your potential advertiser?
2. Every medium creates its own stars. Example – David Caruso, good on TV, bad in movies. Your hosts, good on radio, lousy at original podcasts.  Sure, edit up the interviews or bits and make them into a podcast. But don’t ask a host to get off the air and make brand new content for a podcast. Engage locals who are good at making original podcasts and offer them a stage.
3. Sell the biggest number. Your morning show probably has more listeners than the “Tonight Show” has viewers in your city. 1010 WINS has more listeners in New York than FOX News has viewers nationwide. Go check. Those are the numbers that put radio in perspective!  Stop selling the smallest number, TIME SPENT LISTENING. Who came up with that!?
4. Don’t make potential advertisers jump through hoops. If you have spent your career in programming, you may not know the tyranny of MEDIA CREDIT. New radio advertiser: Good buy, high rate, longterm business. Sounds great. Not so fast. At most companies, new business still has to go through the gauntlet of a MEDIA CREDIT CHECK. End that.
5. What’s wrong with the hosts? Many hosts use a content formula that MUST generate a diminishing audience size and older and older and older demos.  Repeat. WHY? If you start to trust that what you talk about socially, with your friends, your audience will grow and grow younger. Be more like Bruce Collins, PD at WBAP, Dallas. Bruce just hired James Parker who has been featured for years on “Sterling On Sunday.” James is going to talk about life, fatherhood and funny. He joins “New Jersey 101.5” alumnus, Casey Bartholomew, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon, who talks about life, fatherhood and funny.  It’s working so well that WBAP will now be simulcast on Class C2 FM, KLIF.

Five bullet points. Goals: HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Walter Sabo was a founding architect of SiriusXM and began the recruitment of Howard Stern. He has consulted RKO General, PARADE magazine, Hearst Broadcasting, Press Broadcasting, and other premium brands. He launched the first company to engage online video influencers, Hitviews. As an executive, he was EVP of NBC FM RADIO giving Dr. Ruth Westheimer her first media job and fostering the creation of adult contemporary. As VP ABC Radio Networks, Sabo hired Ringo Starr to be a DJ for a 24-hour special.

Industry News

The Damning Myth of Spoken Word Radio: High Time Spent Listening (TSA) and Low Cume

By Walter Sabo
Consultant, Sabo Media
A.K.A. Walter Sterling
Radio Host, “Sterling On Sunday”
Talk Media Network

imDependency upon a PPM panel to deliver high time spent listening is a bad business model. Would you rather count on one person listening for one hour or four people listening for 15 minutes? Right.

A good music format program director knows exactly how to program talk radio in a PPM environment. Oddly, when a music programmer has the privilege of programming a talk station they seem to forget all of their programming knowledge. Both formats are measured by exactly the same technology and therefore if it “works” in music, it works in talk.

The reason “New Jersey 101.5” quickly became the highest cuming FM talk station in the world – for 20+ years – is because when Bob McAllanJay SorensenPerry SimonJohn Dziuba and I designed it, we had a simple process: Build a music station that takes a lot of phone calls. It was always programmed like a top 40 station and 33 years later it obviously worked.

The reason “Real Radio 104.1 in Orlando” was the only Howard Stern station that did not suffer the expense of having to change format when he was recruited to SiriusXM Satellite Radio was because the station was built as a heavily formatted music station that took a lot of phone calls. Note that Real Radio 104.1 and New Jersey 101.5 both air music non-stop on the weekends for the single purpose of targeting a specific cume demographic. It obviously worked.

What are the key elements of a music format that should be applied to talk in order to build cume?

  • Please, god, don’t flag the “breaks.”
  • Every show had a specific pace based on topic set up time and call length time which gave the station a consistent rhythm and sound.  All day.
  • No “records” from home!  No personal sound effects, jingles or that crap.
  • Constantly sell ahead. No yesterday calls, yesterday references. Sell what’s next.
  • Assume every single listener just tuned in. Explain the topic and give the phone number obsessively.
  • Listener driven not host driven. Every host is valuable and gifted but if a host makes the mistake of quitting, the interest needs and tastes of the listener are constant and can be reflected by the next host. A constant.

Mickey Luckoff, the brilliant president of KGO, San Francisco for decades explained why he hired most of his hosts from top 40  radio because, “I can teach them TALK but I can’t teach them radio.”  BTW yes, even 34-year morning host Jim Dunbar worked at WLS and KQV as a top 40 jock immediately before joining KGO to host a talk show.

Walter Sabo was a pioneer in the concept of targeted talk which allows a station to precisely reach a chosen demographic. He has had a robust list of consulting clients including, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Conde Naste, CBS, Press Broadcasting, RKO General, Hearst, Fred Silverman Productions, and many more. His company HITVIEWS was the first major player to recognize and monetize online video stars known as “influencers.” He is on the nominating board of the Radio Hall of Fame. Reach him at 646.678.1110 or  Discover Sabo’s network radio show here:

Industry Views

Monday Memo: Baseball Bonanza, Part 2

By Holland Cooke

In 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…


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 ( 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

Front Page News Industry News

Monday, October 3, 2022

Monday Memo: Yes, You Need More Cume. “It’s a never-ending problem” because budgets are tight, and with new-tech competitors chipping-away at AM/FM Time Spent Listening. In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke outlines three specific goals for on-air promotion; but cautions that “the only people who hear it are already listening.” Read it here.


Pending Business: The Aftermath of Ian. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa has been affected by natural disasters numerous times during his career – including the long list of hurricanes that have impacted Florida in recent decades. In today’s column, he offers five takeaways for radio sellers working in markets affected by Ian, as well as those who may face a similar situation in the future. Read it here.


Morning Host Chris Stigall Re-Ups with Salem’s ‘The Answer’ in Philly. WNTP-AM, Philadelphia “AM 990 The Answer” morning host Chris Stigall signs a multi-year extension to continue with the Salem Media Group news/talk station. The host of “Philadelphia’s Morning Answer with Chris Stigall” says, “It’s been the highlight of my career to call Philadelphia morning radio my professional home for 12 years now. It’s so gratifying to work with principled, faith-first broadcast partners in Salem Media Group who genuinely respect their audience, their clients, and their broadcasters. Thank you to Salem Media, our sponsors and the smartest audience in all of radio for allowing me the privilege to continue hosting your morning show for years to come. All glory and honor to God!” Salem Philadelphia general manager Lorenzo Caldara adds, “Since the day Chris began with Philadelphia’s ‘AM 990 The Answer,’ he has engaged Philadelphians in intelligent and relevant conversation that has served to entertain and stimulate much thought in the minds of our audience. He has secured such an attentive audience that can’t wait to listen and call in to him everyday Monday through Friday.”

‘Smart Money Happy Hour’ Podcast Debuts at #1. The latest podcast from the Ramsey Network, “Smart Money Happy Hour,” debuted last week at #1 in Apple Business, #1 in Spotify Business and #19 in all Apple podcasts. Ramsey Network says the “Smart Money Happy Hour” is a mix of solid advice and snark from two friends who also happen to be money experts. Co-host Rachel Cruze says, “People will talk about almost anything these days, except money. These conversations shouldn’t be awkward or boring, but rather give listeners a sense of relief that they aren’t alone in their money journey – whatever circumstance or stage of life they’re in.” Co-host George Kamel adds, “The show is a good balance of real-life humor mixed in with money advice listeners can relate to. We’re willing to go there, have those conversations, and be that friend for you.” “Smart Money Happy Hour” topics include: Is Convenience Worth Being Broke? The TV Network That Brainwashed Us All; How to Leave a Royal Legacy for Your Family; and Can the Middle Class Still Afford to Go to Disney?

SRN’s Mike Gallagher Raises Funds for Hurricane Ian Relief. Pictured above in front of what’s left of a Venice, Florida car dealer’s lot is Salem Radio Network personality Mike Gallagher broadcasting live. In the wake of Hurricane Ian’s devastation in Florida and the Carolinas, Gallagher is broadcasting from disaster sites today (10/3) and is raising funds to help people impacted by the huge storm. Gallagher is partnering with Christian non-profit relief organization Food for the Poor to rush hurricane emergency kits and hurricane flood relief kits to impacted areas. Gallagher says, “This is what radio does best: opening the hearts and wallets of listeners to help fellow Americans they will likely never meet.”

TALKERS News Notes. A new deal between FOX Sports Radio and LaVar Arrington’s Up On Game Presents and Brinx.TV provides for distribution of programming across both platforms. The sports platform Brinx.TV is operated by John Brenkus – host of “Sports Science.” As part of the agreement, “The NIL House” will be the first joint property to be distributed by the Up On Game Presents podcast feed (available on iHeartRadio and everywhere podcasts are heard) and Brinx.TV. The venture launches today (10/3) at 3:00 pm ET. Arrington says, “We are thrilled to be partnering with a pioneer like John Brenkus and Brinx.TV. This relationship will dramatically expedite our slate of programming and positively impact the sports entertainment industry.”…..Cumulus Media’s news/talk KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno recently teamed with local agriculture company Gar Bennett to raise money for the Central California Food Bank for the 2022 Feeding Families Fund Drive. Gar Bennett Inc. matched every donation with 50 cents on the dollar as the effort raised $656,000 to fight hunger in the Central Valley. Cumulus Media Fresno VP and market manager Patty Hixson says, “I’m overwhelmed by the support of our community. We can always count on the generosity of our KMJ listeners! A special thanks to Karen and Greg Musson of Gar Bennett, Farm Credit and Amazon for their massive contributions and to our talented on-air team for their hard work on this important effort.”

Russia-Ukraine War, Hurricane Ian Aftermath, Economy/Financial Markets, Mar-a-Lago Documents Case, Brazilian Elections, and Indonesia Soccer Riot Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The move by Vladimir Putin to attempt to annex parts of Ukraine as he calls up more troops in Russia’s war against its neighbor; the aftermath of Hurricane Ian’s destruction of the Fort Myers-Naples region; inflation and the bear market that’s pushed the world’s financial markets to lows not seen since 2009; the battle between former President Donald Trump’s lawyers and the Department of Justice over the Mar-a-Lago records case; conservative Brazil president Jair Bolsonaro forces runoff election with opponent Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva; and the soccer riot in Indonesia that left 125 dead were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.


Monday Memo: Review Airchecks… Later.

By Holland Cooke


BLOCK ISLAND, RI — The radio coaching concept seems quaint now:

  • The single-station PD (remember them?) met with local talent (remember them?) at regular intervals to review a recent show. As a young DJ, I was fortunate enough to work for two PDs who sat me down weekly.
  • Most important thing I learned? Each bit has a beginning, middle, and end.

Back to the future:

  • Whole-cluster “Brand Managers” have replaced PDs, mostly managing feeds from syndicated and/or voice-tracked talent.
  • For remaining station-based talent, routine critique is unlikely. That manager is just TOO busy, and might lack the chops.
  • The product suffers, from content of questionable interest, and unkempt execution that tests listeners’ patience.



Monday Memo: Gas Cards? Or… Bitcoin?

By Holland Cooke


BLOCK ISLAND, RI — In the past 12 months, Bitcoin has bounced between just-under $32K to just-over $65K. And saying “free gas” is the new “SQUIRREL!” So promoting a contest which awards the winner this prize choice WILL earn your station immeasurable word-of-mouth and could multiply Time Spent Listening.
If $65K has you coughing-up-blood, exhale:



Monday Memo: Is Your Show the Dog? Or the Tail?

By Holland Cooke


BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Lots of response to last week’s “Weekend Warriors, Renegotiate.” SOME stations were horrified by what I’m telling their brokered ask-the-expert hosts. SMART stations already offer the win-win template I outlined. ICYMI:

 FMs are scrambling. AMs? Ugh.

As if AM wasn’t already suffering listener demographics, technical interference, caricature programming, and too little local content, now comes the proposal to make Daylight Saving Time permanent. From November through February – when local sunrise would come between 8:00 am and 9:00 am – later pattern and power change times would cripple full-time stations. Daytimers would be utterly screwed if smart ones with translators hadn’t already rebranded as FMs (as have so many full-time AMs).


Front Page News Industry News

Monday, February 21, 2022

Monday Memo: BOOM! Political battle lines are drawn, and every day’s news gives both sides fresh fodder to bludgeon the other. “But to what end?” consultant Holland Cooke asks. In this week’s column, he makes the case that “predictability works against Time Spent Listening,” and recommends “how to better exploit headlines we too often squander as arguments.” Read more here.


Pending Business: Five Basics for Better Sales. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column about what he calls five sales basics that all sellers should remember. “Chances are your time in front of your advertisers is limited. Although your goals may be clearly mapped out, the sales process has changed, and in-person calls are more limited. Email, links and web-based pitches are a critical component of the current sales environment. You may be a sales wizard, but in this COVID-adjusted world what happens before and right after you hit the send button is more important than ever.” Read his column here.


Talk Hosts on the Agenda at CPAC 2022. The American Conservative Union’s four-day CPAC 2022 takes place in Orlando this week from Thursday through Sunday and will feature a number of high-profile talk radio hosts on panels and in presentations. WMAL-FM, Washington morning host Larry O’Connor and Salem Radio Network’s Charlie Kirk will appear on the panel “War: A Tribute to Andrew Breitbart,” WREC-AM, Memphis morning host Ben Ferguson will interview former HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson. Premiere Networks personality Glenn Beck keynotes Friday’s Ronald Reagan Dinner. Westwood One syndicated host Mark Levin hosts “A Conversation with Mark Levin and Julie Strauss Levin.” Starnes Media Group syndicated host Todd Starnes and SRN’s Sebastian Gorka appear on the panel “Fire Fauci”; KTTH, Seattle host Jason Rantz appears on the “Government is Dangerous to Your Health” panel; and SRN’s Larry Elder sits on the “Biden’s Breadline” panel.


Report: SXM Media Top Podcast Publisher by Reach. According to data from Edison Research’s Podcast Consumer Tracking Report for the fourth quarter of 2021, SiriusXM Media is the top podcast publisher by reach. Edison says, “This ranker measures reach as a percentage of the weekly podcasting audience. Rankings are compiled by measuring the total unduplicated reach of all the shows represented by a given network.” Rounding out the top five are: 2) Spotify, 3) iHeartRadio, 4) NPR, and 5) The New York Times.  Edison Research SVP Tom Webster says, “We are pleased to be able to introduce the podcast industry’s first all-inclusive ranker of producers. We’ve tracked this space for 10 quarters with thousands of listeners, and the data we see has been incredibly stable over that period of time.”


TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WGN-AM morning drive host Bob Sirott is serving as the host of a series to air on the regional Marquee Sports Network featuring him interviewing Chicago Cubs legends Ernie Banks, Glenn Beckert, Randy Hundley, Ron Santo and others. The conversations were videotaped in 2010 and 2011, but never aired. Sirott says, “It’s a special thrill to anchor what will be a permanent record of these Wrigley favorites for generations of Cubs fans to enjoy.”…..Writer and musician Dessa continues her exploration of human behavior, instincts, and culture in season two of her podcast, “Deeply Human.” The podcast is a collaboration between BBC World Service, iHeartMedia and American Public Media that investigates our tendencies to create social hierarchies and to use intoxicants; Dessa speaks to experts on monogamy, accents, and the dark forces at play in the way we perceive and pursue beauty. In season two, she speaks to psychologists, animal behaviorists, mathematicians, historians, and one legendary DJ.


Ukraine Tensions, COVID-19, Inflation/Oil Prices, Arbery Hate Crime Trial, Winter Weather, British Royalty, and the Beijing Olympics Among Top News/Talk stories Over the Weekend. The ongoing diplomatic tensions between Russia and the West over the former’s military buildup at the Ukraine border; the falling COVID-19 cases in the U.S., battles over mandates, and the Canadian truckers’ Ottawa protests; soaring consumer retail and gasoline prices; the federal hate crime trial of Travis and Gregory McMichael and William Bryan in the death of Ahmaud Arbery; the bitter cold affecting much of the northern U.S. this week; Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, her contracting COVID-19, and the fallout from Prince Andrew’s settlement with alleged Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking victim Virginia Guiffre; and 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.


Monday Memo: BOOM!

By Holland Cooke


BLOCK ISLAND, RI — CNN reports: “Special counsel Durham alleges Clinton campaign lawyer used data to raise suspicions about Trump.” Righties light-up Twitter with “BOOM!”

Maggie Haberman’s forthcoming book says White House staff “periodically discovered wads of printed paper clogging a toilet,” which they believed the president was responsible for. Lefties light-up Twitter with “BOOM!”

Many days, these gotchas become radio talkers’ snark du jour.



Monday Memo: But Wait, There’s More!

By Holland Cooke


BLOCK ISLAND, RI — I worked with the late great Larry King four times, and I can sum-up how he got those he was interviewing to say something they didn’t say in other interviews along the PR tour by quoting his RT America show promo: “I never learned anything while I was talking.”

So thanks for compliments and to those who shared my column here last week: “Talk Radio 101: LISTEN.”