Monday, March 31, 2008

Shultz Hits the Big Apple

Jones Radio Network's progressive talker Ed Schultz and his legion of "Ed Heads" debuted today on Access .1 WWRL New York. Ironically the talent Schultz replaces on the Air America flagship is Thom Hartmann, who was a part of the big Ed Shultz vs. Air America controversy last year. The flap, in which Air America hosts ridiculed Shultz's social conservative views and his North Dakota location, caused a verbal back and forth between Shultz and the network for months. It looks like Shultz is having the last laugh though, he is currently #9 on the Talkers magazine list of Top Radio Audiences, cuming about 3 million listeners weekly. That's about twice the audience of Air America, (Randi Rhodes, Thom Hartmann and Alan Colmes) and will only increase with the New York addition.


Let's Try it Again Sometime Whoopi

Well I can't say I didn't see this coming (see November 28,2007 post) Premiere Radio's Wake Up with Whoopi is done. She pretty much gave up the "ghost" on Friday and the last seven of her affiliate stations are trying something new starting this morning. As I'm thinking about what I said in the earlier post about her being a visual artist not quite suited for radio, I've got to amend that, she's not suited for music radio. Wrong format, wrong target and she has too much to say. Someday when she has more time she should try it again... as a full time talker.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The March of The Red Sox Nation

Sometimes when you want something done you have to do it yourself. Once part a plan to create a regional sports network through a partnership with Nassau Broadcasting, Entercom Broadcasting/Boston has announced it's plan to syndicate Sports WEEI-AM throughout greater New England. Once the deal to simulcast EEI over several Nassau stations fell apart early in the year, Entercom picked up and is pushing forward alone with a goal of having a syndicated sports Net ready for the Spring 2008 ratings period. WEEI programming, (Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, Bruins, Dennis and Callahan, Dale & Holley, The Big Show) is already on WEEI-FM Providence, WVEI-FM Springfield and WVEI-AM Worcester and now stations in the rest of the sports crazy region surrounding the, "gulp" #1 sports market in America can join in on the fun.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The World According to Tesh

There is an 800 pound gorilla in the room that unless you live in the world of Adult Contemporary radio you may not know about, his name is John Tesh. The former Entertainment Tonight host, author, musician and all around renaissance man has quietly built a multimedia empire that is second to none. His daily radio show, "Intelligence for Your Life" that combines soft AC music and informative tidbits meant to uplift, is airing on at least 410 stations across the US and Canada (it took about 15 minutes to count the list) , including the weekend version of the show and the one minute "Intelligence For Your Life" vignettes. Add to that the sold out concerts, the Cd's and the web presence that integrates all things Tesh, and you've got a case study on how to extend your brand. Oh by the way, Tesh's new book, "Intelligence For Your Life", (detect a theme here?) is number nine on the New York Times Bestseller list.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

From Your Radio To Your Cellphone

The number of marriages between companies who previously provided content to radio only and those who provide new distribution platforms to deliver that content are growing by the mile. Envision Radio Network and Vancouver WA based CelleCast have just announced a licensing deal that provides Envision content on-demand, over as Radio Ink's Eric Rhodes puts it, "the ultimate portable unit" the cell phone. It's a timely announcement, that we'll be able to ask Envision President Danno Wolkoff about on BlogTalk Radio Wednesday at 3pm.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Long Tail of Westwood One

Tom Taylor of Radio Info has done his usual great job of breaking down Westwood One's 1st quarterly analysts conference call with new CEO Tom Beusse at the helm. In explaining the reasons for an over 6% drop in revenues from the network side of the company, Bussee talked about the lack of reinvestment in programming and infrastructure and drops in inventory and audience along with an admitted misstep of reducing the sales force. He also mentioned the need for the company to do a better job of redistributing their brand names (NBC, CBS, CNN, The Olympics etc.) over new platforms. For more click here. But the most interesting thing to me was Beusse's acknowledgement of the company's tremendous back catalogue of content and Westwood's new emphasis on monetizing those assets. The stuff they have in the can (concerts etc.) dates back to the early 20th century, and recognizing that there is a Long Tail market (products that are in low demand or have low sales volume can collectively make up a market share that rivals or exceeds the relatively few current high volume sellers) that can be exploited speaks volumes about where Beusse is headed.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Joe Madison Leads Darfur Effort

WOL Washington's Madison along with Air America's Thom Hartmann, Talk Radio Networks Rusty Humphries and a few others are broadcasting from the Sudan this month, focusing on the "Sacks of Hope " relief effort as well as physically helping out with distribution. With all of the trivialities that we are bombarded with from the media on a daily basis, the fact that there is some actual work being done to keep this tragedy top-of-mind is worth noting. For more Click here.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Todd and Tyler Go to...Envision

The KEZO Omaha morning show just got picked up for syndication by Envision Radio Networks. In case you have no clue as to who these guys are, here's a local TV spot that ran during the Superbowl a few years ago. Todd and Tyler are the two on the end...

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Ken Johnson Resurfaces at ABC

Ken Johnson the former VP/Urban Programming with Cumulus Broadcasting joins Dallas based ABC Radio Networks as Director of Urban Programming beginning Monday (3/10). Ken has spent time both on air and programming in Wilmington DE, Boston and Washington. But he's best known for his nine year Cumulus stint where he oversaw about 25 Urban, Urban AC and Gospel outlets. Some find it a little ironic that Ken has landed on the network side of the business, because of his perceived lack of favor toward non local product. I don't totally see it that way, if the show was compelling and served a programming purpose, he was open for it. He's got some heavyweight talent to work with at ABC, mostly notably Michael Baisden, Doug Banks and Big Boy, and as Director of Urban Programming he'll be expected to bring more talent to the table.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Are We Tired of Ryan Seacrest Yet?

American Idol, E! News, American Top 40, New Years Rockin Eve and a morning show on KIIS in Los Angeles, the new Dick Clark, Ryan Seacrest is the definition of ubiquitous, he's everywhere! Now it's been announced that not only has he re-upped his deals for AT40 and his KIIS morning show but he's cut a deal with Premiere Radio Networks to re purpose the morning show into a three hour show for syndication called "On Air With Ryan Seacrest". The show will be available to stations for middays and afternoons with a ton of localization done by Seacrest for each affiliate. The big deal about all this is that Seacrest will own and control a portion of the advertising on the show. This is not unheard of, many producers and some talent with syndication deals retain some of the ad space for themselves, but not like this. Instead of ads a product placement model will be used to integrate advertisers like Coca Cola into the show. The title above is really in jest, Ryan's a pretty likable guy...and as far as brand extension, he gets it and does it without being too obnoxious.

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Corcoran Upped at Dial Global

Chris Corcoran has been named senior VP of Dial Global's programming division. In addition, he will also be GM of show prep division, as well as oversee affiliate sales for both prep and programming. Corcoran previously served as VP of affiliate management for the company.

BA 's Smooth News

Broadcast Architecture has launched their "smooth news" service. The service is live and available for SMOOTH JAZZ NETWORK affiliates and is fed directly from the company’s websites and

Sovereign City Tests "Jim and Debbie"

Sovereign City Communications has begun beta testing a new morning show targeting women 35-54. "Your Morning with Jim and Debbie" will be anchored by former WCBS-FM New York personality Jim Harrington and WGKX Memphis morning host Debbie Montgomery. The show which is part of Sovereigns "positive programming" concept has no set start date.

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