Media researcher Richard Harker posts some new food-for-thought at his Radio InSights blog about something he labels, PPM’s Mysterious Ten Minutes. ”How long does a News/Talk person listen to a station? Ten minutes,” says Harker, asking and answering his own question. “How long does a Rock person listen? Ten minutes. How about an Adult Contemporary listener? Ten minutes. Country? Ten minutes Urban? Ten minutes. See a pattern? No matter the format, PPM panelists listen exactly ten minutes. Well, now and then maybe nine minutes — but you get the idea. Does that make sense? Identical listening durations across formats is perhaps the most enigmatic aspect of what is arguably the most enigmatic radio listening measurement ever devised.” Harker has more to say — quite a bit more, in fact — including a pretty astounding percentage of times he says that Nielsen Audio’s PPM fails to correctly identify the right station. Read the full post HERE.
Yet another Talk host gets an unscheduled, management-mandated vacation, as ESPN has given host/commentator Stephen A. Smith a one-week suspension from appearing on ESPN Radio and ESPN2′s First Take in the wake of his comments on the NFL’s decision to suspend Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for two games after being charged with assaulting his then fiancée, now wife, several months ago. In a statement released to employees and posted on the ESPN website late Tuesday (7/29), network president John Skipper said, “We’ve said publicly and in this space that those remarks did not reflect our company’s point of view or our values. They certainly don’t reflect my personal beliefs. We have been engaged in thoughtful discussion about appropriate next steps. Those conversations have involved a diverse group of women and men in our company. Stephen has called what took place ‘the most egregious mistake’ of his career. I believe his apology was sincere and that he and we have learned from what we’ve collectively experienced. I’m confident we will all move forward with a greater sense of enlightenment and perspective as the lasting impact of these last few days.” Smith (pictured) is expected to return to the air on August 6th.
Meanwhile, NTS MediaOnline Today readers have continued to offer their feedback on another high-profile suspension — that of WEEI/Boston personality Kirk Minihane – following those now well-reported, opinionated comments he made about FOX Sports reporter Erin Andrews. “These four words of advice can prevent most problems,” emails KDKA/Pittsburgh host and Steel City media veteran Dimitri Vassilaros. “Stop … calling … people … names.” Saying he believes that calling someone names is “simply a lazy way to communicate” Vassilaros continued, “Talk hosts can be deeply outraged about any issue or behavior without using hurtful words such as bitch, slut, stupid, idiot, etc. In Talk radio, name-calling should not be the name of the game.” Longtime broadcaster and faithful reader Joe Benson pulled no punches when he wrote to say, “Fire this schmuck. He knew better. And if Fox is listening, you might consider what makes Erin Andrews so bad and fix it.” Finally, longtime WAYY/Eau Clair personality and Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Hall of Famer Marty Green offers Minihane just a bit of redemption with his comment — our final one on this topic: “I think he was right. She was hired for her looks.”
The Alliance For Women In Media welcomes industry veteran Valerie Blackburn as interim CEO of the more than 50-year old professional association. A long time supporter and past Chair of AWM, Blackburn will oversee day-to-day operations, as well as facilitate the Board’s strategic planning while the search for a new CEO is conducted … Congrats to Rita Rich and Debra Grobman, as the duo’s Patriot Made Audiocast marks “three years of telling stories about creating, and keeping jobs in America.” You can check out the show for yourself HERE … ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike — Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic (pictured) — were on hand to throw out the first pitch at at 100 year old Wrigley Field last night (7/29), where the Chicago Cubs outlasted the Colorado Rockies, winning 4-3 in a 16-inning marathon that went on for nearly six and a half hours, making it the longest game (time-wise) in franchise history.
ABC News Radio entertainment correspondent Jason Nathanson immersed himself in the phenomenon that is San Diego’s legendary Comic-Con over the past weekend. While doing his best to get into the spirit of things by using his headphones to channel Princess Leia’s famous hairdo, Jason remained among a distinct minority of normal looking individuals in a crowd dominated by the likes of the duo flanking him above.
While WEEI/Boston morning show sidekick Kirk Minihane is on a management-mandated vacation this week over his now well-documented comments about FOX Sports reporter Erin Andrews, yesterday (7/28) NTS MediaOnline Today asked readers for their take on “the line” and where to draw it in a medium that thrives on controversy and opinion: “What you have here is a failure to communicate,” emails longtime Westwood One syndicated host Jim Bohannon (pictured). “The FCC wants sweet and light. This segment of the listening public wants rhetorical disembowling. The stations are caught in the middle, but so are the talent. Talent whose act is to tap-dance on the edge of the Grand Canyon need a contract filled with specific instances of what is, and what is not allowed on the air, off-air and on social media.” Veteran Sports radio programmer and manager Tom Bigby offered his experienced insights saying, “I have managed some of the most ‘out there’ personalities in Sports radio and the Cardinal Rule was you can attack a body of work and have an opinion on most anything, but the line is a personal attack. We had some issues back in the early days but most of the talent always knew they had management’s support — as long as they did not cross that line.” And DirecTV Entertainment’s Ken Kohl sums up his take with a quote from actor William Hurt in the classic film Broadcast News: “How are you supposed to know where the line is when they keep moving the sucker?”
We’ll have more reader feedback in tomorrow’s edition of ‘The Daily Digest of Talk Media.’ Meanwhile, your comments continue to be welcomed 24/7 HERE.
Will we one day be calling nationally syndicated Talk radio host Laura Ingraham ‘Congresswoman,’ or maybe even ‘Senator?” Ingraham (pictured) didn’t exactly say that she plans to run for office, but she also didn’t exactly deny it. The former speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan and a former clerk for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas told Real Clear Politics reporter Toby Harnden this week that she has been “approached by various people to get involved” and added, “I’m keeping an open mind about running for office in the future.” Read more HERE … In a new blog post, Paragon media strategist Larry Johnson says that, with the notable exception of “high powered, heritage stations,” AM radio is “in trouble.” In fact, Johnson wonders whether or not the expanding acquisition of AM’s across the country by one group could signal the “last rights” for a lot of the AM band. Read the full story HERE.
Cumulus Media’s eight station Youngstown, Ohio group – including News/Talk 600 WSOM, News/Talk 790 WPIC and SportsRadio 1240/96.7 (WBBW-AM and WLLF-FM) — is the recipient of the company’s “highly coveted President’s Cup in recognition for the stations’ achieving best overall performance for the second quarter of 2014 across all 90 Cumulus radio markets.” That’s the whole Youngstown radio crew (pictured) as they gathered for a photo to mark the celebratory occasion … Westwood One Sports will kick off the its 2014 NFL season coverage this weekend (8/3), with the 51st annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Game, pitting the New York Giants against the Buffalo Bills at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, OH. The Cumulus Media-owned network’s NFL package for 2014 includes an “unprecedented” 102 games — from ‘Opening Night’ on September 4th, right on through Super Bowl XLIX in Phoenix next February. Review the complete game schedule HERE … KEX/Portland shuffles the deck, with afternoon host Michael Castner moving to wake-ups, where he’s paired with co-anchor Lacey Evans. Former morning host Paul Linnman segues to a new commentator role at Clear Channel’s Rose City News/Talker, while Houston-based CC syndicated talker Michael Berry slides into Castner’s PM drive hours … Former Dial Global exec Jay Green has been named VP/Digital Sales and Content Partnerships at AdLarge Media. Green’s resume also includes a recent stint handling national accounts for PodcastOne.
Apple is reportedly making a $30 million acquisition of News/Talk radio and podcast app Swell. Described as being to Talk radio what Pandora is to music radio, Concept.io’s Swell app allows users to create personalized stations using streaming content from the app’s participating partners. Get more details from the Wall Street Journal’s Lizette Chapman HERE … TechCrunch.com’s Darrell Etherington reports that NPR is rolling out NPR One, a new app designed to deliver NPR’s programming “in a way that combines the benefits of both streaming and terrestrial radio.” TechCrunch reports the app — which combines streams of NPR’s news broadcasts with curated news stories to satisfy individual users’ specific tastes — is separate from NPR’s existing mobile offerings and is available free at the App Store and via Google Play. Read more details HERE.
The crew from Yahoo! Sports Radio took over Lagasse’s Stadium at The Palazzo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas last week, with the network’s lineup broadcasting shows live from Sin City. Pictured at the ‘Super Week Network Dinner’ are (l-r): YSR hosts Steve Czaban, Scott Linn, Geoff Ketchum, and Sean Salisbury, Yahoo! Sports Radio CEO David Gow, and network hosts John Granato and Peter Brown.