See it now on TalkersTV! It was one of the most important panels at the recent Talkers New York 2013 convention (6/6) receiving coverage in numerous newspapers and blogs across the country and sparking a major industry buzz. Moderated by RAB CEO /president Erica Farber (pictured at left), the panel of heavy hitters includes Jana Cosgrove, president, CBS Radio Sales/Entercom Radio Sales; Jerry Crowley, VP/GM, Salem's WNYM, New York; Dan Metter, SVP, sales, Premiere Networks; John Murphy, EVP, sales, Dial Global; and Jeff Smulyan, CEO, Emmis Broadcasting. The discussion tackles a variety of key issues affecting the industry including comments about the resilience of advertising on the Rush Limbaugh show in the aftermath of the campaign to influence a sponsor boycott of the program (and news/talk radio in general) resulting from the Sandra Fluke incident. See the entire panel discussion on TalkersTV by clicking here.
Nathan Daschle Joins Clear Channel as EVP of Political Strategy.
Political strategist, attorney and Ruck.us founder Nathan Daschle is recruited by Clear Channel to take the newly created position executive vice president for political strategy. The company states that Daschle “will develop and oversee a Washington, D.C.-based team that will focus on working with political and issue advertisers and advertising agencies to develop custom strategies and campaigns that leverage the unique reach and power of Clear Channel Media and Entertainment. He will lead efforts to fully utilize Clear Channel's unmatched national reach and local activation through its radio, digital, mobile and outdoor assets, as well as its event capabilities, to provide political and issue advertisers targeted, effective, affordable and powerful ways to deliver their messages.” Daschle reports directly to CEO John Hogan who says, “Having Nathan Daschle on board sends a clear message that we intend to seriously invest in this arena and to continue to provide more and better options for political and issue advertisers through our multiplatform offerings. His extensive political background makes him the perfect person to grow the Clear Channel political strategy team as well as lead our ‘class of one’ offerings to political and issue advertisers.” About joining Clear Channel, Daschle comments, “Political and issue advertising, marketing and events is a $7-billion business, and I’m looking forward to making Clear Channel front-and-center with politically focused advertisers and agencies. The future of effective campaign advertising lies in the smart integration of traditional and digital media, and no company does this better than Clear Channel Media and Entertainment. Clear Channel is reinventing the way organizations – and campaigns – communicate with their audiences, and I look forward to building a strong, bipartisan team at Clear Channel that will effectively market its extraordinary assets.”
Clear Channel Flips Sports Talk KJR’s FM Signal to Hot AC.
Clear Channel sports talk outlet KJR-AM, Seattle enjoyed an FM simulcast for the past year and half on sister signal KNBQ at 102.9 but the simulcast ended on Friday as the company made KNBQ a hot AC branded “The New 102.9 NOW.” Sports talk remains on KJR-AM.
Beasley Broadcasting Goes FM Sports in Fort Myers.
Beginning Thursday, June 20, Beasley Broadcasting’s rock WJBX, Fort Myers “99X” flips to a simulcast of the company’s AM sports talk station WWCN as “99.3 ESPN.” The company is directing rock fans to its other rock outlet WRXK “96 K-Rock.”
Kansas City Website Raises Issues Regarding Radio Ratings and the Law.
By now you’ve probably heard about the reportedly independent website www.listenlonger.com operating in Kansas City that had been seeking out PPM holders in an effort to save its “favorite Kansas City radio station through education about the ratings system.” The site reports it has been in contact with Arbitron – in fact the ratings company sent a cease and desist letter to the operators and they’ve tweaked their strategy but are not shutting down the site. Now the site operators say they will no longer ask to be contacted by PPM holders but will continue to keep the site going and it appears the operation is not violating any laws. For its part, Arbitron has sent a letter to Kansas City subscribers to assure them the May 2013 PPM data has not been tainted that reads, in part: “During the May report period, a third-party website encouraged Kansas City radio listeners to support an unnamed local station, posted general information about ratings methodology and ratings data, and solicited information on PPM panelists. We want to assure subscribers that the website is not affiliated or endorsed by Arbitron and that Arbitron has taken substantial steps to ensure the integrity of the Kansas City PPM panel and all Arbitron audience estimates for the market…Arbitron monitors social media sites daily, interacts with panelists on a regular basis, and has confidential processes in place to help identify panelists who may have disclosed their participation. We have also taken special measures in light of the Kansas City website to protect the integrity of in-tab panelists included in the recently-released May 2013 Kansas City data.” After being contacted by Arbitron, the following (an excerpt) was posted on the site: “Arbitron has demanded we provide the name of anyone who contacted us regarding this issue, and the names of anyone to whom we passed that information along. ListenLonger.com would like to use this update as written notice to Arbitron that no one has ever contacted us saying they had a PPM except a reporter who posed as a PPM holder in an attempt to surreptitiously gather information…In short, please whatever you do, don’t tell us if you have a PPM. Really. We don’t want to know.” The site operators are fans of an Entercom station in the market as they encourage people to sign up for the “Get My Perks” program Entercom employs and although the site operators say Wilks Broadcasting had questioned the integrity of the May 2013 PPM data as a result, Arbitron ensures subscribers the data was not affected.
"How Many Social Media Followers Should I Have?"
That question is one of the more commonly asked of digital radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller. In a column posted today (6/17) Miller answers that question, as well as some of the most frequently asked, including: "We’re on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest. What other hot new sites should we be on?" "How often should we post? I’m not sure we’re posting enough." "I have many times more listeners than followers. Why should I waste time with social media?” "I can sell ads on my own air and on my website. There’s no way to monetize Facebook and Twitter. I don’t want to get too involved in it for that reason." Check out Chris Miller's answers to these questions and concerns by clicking here.
SABO SEZ: It Would be Good for Radio if Arbitron Ratings Were More Openly Available to the Industry and the Public.
In an article posted today (6/17) media consultant and TALKERS columnist Walter Sabo compares how TV ratings are an open book while radio ratings are secretive and inaccessible -- a difference that he thinks significantly works to the disadvantage of radio as both a business and an institution. To read Walter Sabo's column, click here.
Clear Channel Moves John Hogan to New York City.
Most of the company’s high-level executives are already stationed in the Big Apple and not the company’s legal headquarters in San Antonio. Now, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment CEO John Hogan is moving to New York as well. In a filing with the SEC, the company notes that Hogan is also getting a pay increase to make his base salary $1,125,000 in addition to moving expenses and a housing allowance for the next year and a half.
Entercom Boston talk show host Howie Carr – heard daily in PM drive on WRKO – has reported on the activities of New England mobsters for most of his career. He’s written several books about Boston gangland characters, including James Whitey Bulger titled The Brothers Bulger: How They Terrorized and Corrupted Boston for a Quarter Century, and now as Bulger goes to trial in a South Boston courthouse, Carr will do a weekly live remote from The Barking Crab restaurant and pub next door to the courthouse.
Magna Global Releases International Ad Revenue Forecasts for the Rest of ’13 and for 2014; United States Radio to Be Flat.
Looking at the really big picture first, Magna Global predicts global ad spending to be up 3% in 2013 and rise to 6.1% in 2014. That said, in the United States, those figures are up just 0.4% for ’13 due to the missing Olympics and political ad spending that occurs in even-numbered years. For 2014 the figure is expected to rise. As for radio, Magna Global predicts 2013 will be flat but for those radio companies also selling digital, there is a ton of opportunity as that category is expected to rise 11.5% and is boosted by the mobile aspect of the category, predicted to go up 61.7%.
Odds & Sods.
WMAL, Washington “Mornings on the Mall” co-host Larry O’Connor (and Breitbart.tv editor-in-chief) is sitting in for Cumulus Media Networks’ nationally syndicated Geraldo Rivera this week…..Dave Graveline’s “Into Tomorrow” nationally syndicated program is taking two lucky listeners to this year’s IFA Consumer Electronics and Appliance Show in Berlin Germany in celebration of the program’s 10th anniversary covering the event. Graveline is providing airfare, four nights lodging and other perks to the two winners…..Talk media personality Ernest Istook is filling in for KTOK, Oklahoma City’s Lee Matthews in afternoon drive four days this week.
The 10% Solution
By Chris Miller Miller Digital
SHAKER HEIGHTS, OH — “Being consistent is good. That applies both on the air, and in your social media, too. Your fans build up expectations of what you’re going to post. If they choose to engage with you about what you post, that’s great. Nice work.
There’s a dark side to consistency, however. When you get into a rut, or your favorite ways to interact aren’t getting interacted with, it’s time to take control by losing a little control.
You never want to just change everything at once about what your station is doing in social media. However, I’d recommend taking about 10% of your posts, and just try different ideas. Do this whether you’re wildly successful, or not happy with your fans’ level of engagement. If you’re always curating content, linking to sources online, try posting a great photo, or just asking an open-ended question. Here’s an example. Read the complete storyhere.
SEATTLE — “ If you’ve made the investment on play-by-play sports on your station, it’s important to maximize the return on your investment by trying to recycle that audience to another day part on your station.
Arbitron tells us that MLB drives cume increases anywhere from 50%-65% on flagship stations when the baseball season starts. This influx of audience is one of the reasons we pay rights fees, share revenue, or give up inventory to carry this programming. In a climate with little or no external marketing dollars, I’ve often joked that our promotional time within baseball play by play is the closet thing we’ll get to an interstate billboard or TV campaign.
A few years ago in Seattle, we decided to take a different approach to how we used our in-game promotional inventory during Mariner broadcasts. We wanted something that was more dynamic than a recorded promo — something that cut through and made the listener feel like someone was watching the game with them.” Read the complete storyhere.
WTOP Hacking: Why You Should Worry
By Steven J.J. Weisman TALKERS Legal Editor
BOSTON — As reported in Talkers earlier in May, Washington D.C. radio stations WTOP and Federal News Radio had their websites hacked resulting in the possible infection of anyone who accessed the two websites using the popular Internet Explorer web browser prior to the discovery and correction of the problem.
The hacking of these two websites is particularly insidious because unlike infections that occur when a computer user is lured to a phony infected website set up for the specific purpose of infecting unwary computer users — a technique called “phishing” — in this case, the computer users were infected when they went to legitimate websites that they believed were trustworthy.
One of the two malware programs that became installed on the computers of those people who used Internet Explorer to access the websites of WTOP and Federal News Radio resulted in the victim having a pop-up message appear telling him or her that their computer was infected with a virus and then provided a link to a website offering phony security software and invited the victim to order the software by providing credit card information. This is a common scam. You should not click on the link to go to the phony security software website and you certainly should not provide your credit card information.” Read this entire story here.
Crud (and Other Stuff)
By Thomas R. Ray, III CPBE, AMD, DRB Tom Ray Consulting
NEW YORK — “So I was working on this transmitter today. Seriously – I know this starts off like a joke. Problem was actually a bad air switch. All transmitters have a way to sense air flow. If there is no air flow in the transmitter, if, for example, the blower motor quits, it will shut down. In the case of a tube transmitter, this is to prevent the final amplifier deck from melting down and starting a fire. In a solid state transmitter (which also uses temperature sensing in the final amplifier), it prevents the transistors from self destructing causing a fire and/or other severe damage to the amplifier.
Anyway, this isn’t related to the air switch, but it could be (the air switch in this case was 33 years old – it simply had enough). The air filters on the transmitter were caked with crud.
The air filters are there to keep crud out of the transmitter (obviously, in this case, they did their job). In a tube transmitter, crud can cause an arc over in the high voltage areas. In solid state transmitters that do not have high voltage inside, the crud acts like a blanket holding heat into the transistors. Heat is an electronic device’s worst enemy. Read the complete storyhere.
Five Secrets to Hiring Excellent Digital Sellers
By Walter Sabo Sabo Media
NEW YORK — “Made you look!
There is nothing harder than finding effective digital sellers. So hard, it is logical to conclude that there aren’t any great digital advertising sellers. The job listings are packed with ads begging, “Sharks wanted.” “Are you a shark?” “Can you bring business with you?” “Closers only.”
The account executive turnover at major digital firms is very high. Start-ups raise funds to salary qualified, experienced shark-sellers but their hires sell—nothing. Not a little, but nothing. In talking with dozens of start-up CEO’s they share the same story:
“I hired a seller with a killer resumé and they sold, nothing. All the billing we have was sold by me and my co-founder.” Read the complete storyhere.
Talking in the UK: Perspectives from an American Talk Show Host Working in London
By Charlie Wolf Talk Show Host
LONDON — “Working in London, England, as an American talk show host has its challenges. For instance, for the first two-three years of my six year stint as a host on commercial national talk station, TalkSPORT, (Talk Radio UK) doing a political/news-based show – it was the audience’s view that I was not allowed an opinion at all, either as a host and especially as a “Yank.”
For years on the BBC – where there is “speech radio” (drama, news, news analysis – and done very well) there had been very little interactive talk, and even then the host – though he would occasionally explore or challenge a point – was mostly a moderator not an instigator or opinion former. Talk shows on the BBC, now more opinionated than they used to be, are very much in the mould of “on the one hand there is …. But on the other hand…. what do you think?” British radio – due to over-regulation, a fairness doctrine, dominant licence funded BBC, a lack of competition, and a “scared-of-one’s-own-shadow” attitude to regulators – will never have a thriving talk radio market as in the US. There is not the space for talent to truly develop in talk commercially. Read the complete storyhere.
Can the Radio Station Overcome Smothering Debt and Become a Viable Business Again?
By Mike Kinosian, Managing Editor TALKERS
LOS ANGELES — “Chalk it up to misreading the economic tealeaves or perhaps to good old-fashioned avarice, but several radio groups have fallen victim to the, “(S)he who has the most toys, wins” hypothesis.
“Winners” managing to run the board in today’s all too real game of Radio Monopoly are rewarded by becoming further ensconced in deeper, darker, debt.
Administer sodium pentothal to a cross-section of radio managers and the overwhelming majority will vociferously state that, owing to its cookie-cutter nature and mounting pressure to deliver grossly unrealistic percentages to the bottom line, the business is no longer fun. Countless executives at high-billing, strong ratings performing outlets have been unduly placed in the gut-wrenching position of laying off personnel and making other vital cutbacks – forced to share the load of paying for what could be considered out-of-control acquisition sins at the corporate level.
Capitalism has functioned exceptionally well for years, so to be clear, this is not a condemnation of mammoth radio groups, nor a suggestion that they are run by evil, incompetents.
There can however be hiccups such as the painful one we are witnessing with revenue survival.
Those who did not overly-consolidate or did not allow themselves to be enthralled with the “biggest is best” notion seem to be in a better position to thrive. Read the complete storyhere.
The 2013 Heavy Hundred
The editors of TALKERS magazine, with input from industry leaders, present the 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America –– a popular annual feature that has come to be known as the “Heavy Hundred.” This is one of the most challenging tasks that TALKERS undertakes each year considering that there are thousands of talk show hosts across the country, ranging from national icons to those laboring in relative obscurity. Aside from the hosts whose sheer numbers and fame demand their inclusion on this list, the selection process is subjective with the goal being to create a list reflective of the industry’s diversity and total flavor as well as giving credit where credit is due. The TALKERS magazine editors who painstakingly compile this super-list draw upon a combination of hard and soft factors when evaluating candidates. These include (in alphabetical order): courage, effort, impact, longevity, potential, ratings, recognition, revenue, service, talent and uniqueness. We acknowledge that it is as much art as science and that the results are arguable. There is one concrete qualification for inclusion. Hosts must be working at the time TALKERS magazine initially posts the list in order to be considered. They must have a regularly scheduled professional show on the air at a minimum of one terrestrial or satellite radio station at “press time.” The list remains intact from that point forward until the next year’s edition. In past years, TALKERS magazine has included sports talk hosts in the Heavy Hundred. Last year, due to the massive growth in the sports talk genre, sports talk radio has earned a Heavy Hundred of its own, the 2013 installment of which will be published by TALKERS in the coming months. TALKERS magazine salutes the fine broadcasters who made this year’s list. To view it click here.
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