Longtime former Talk radio programmer and personality Darryl Parks, who recently accepted a position as Senior VP at Cincinnati-based Simply Money Media, posts some food-for-thought on his eponymous blog entitled, How Red Lobster Is Like AM (and Talk) Radio. In it, Parks (pictured) compares the plight of many AM Talk radio stations to the recent sale of Red Lobster restaurants, where the primary value in the deal is said to be the value of the real estate the declining chain’s restaurants sit atop. Warning that Talk radio could face a fate similar to that of the once popular seafood eateries, where the land under the studios and transmitters becomes more valuable than the station’s revenues, Parks writes, “Red Lobster patrons are an old and vanishing group. Talk radio’s audience is old and shrinking too. This demographic has little value to many mainstream advertisers. I predict Red Lobster won’t be around in 10 years and I’ll say the same fate is in store for Talk radio if we don’t dare to innovate and bring younger listeners to the format.” Read Darryl’s full post HERE.
Meanwhile, in another blog post about Talk radio worth pondering, veteran talker Tom Donahue — currently PD at Talk Stream Live (TSL) — wonders just what defines Talk radio and the title “talk host” in today’s media world. “Is Talk radio only shows and hosts that are heard on broadcast radio stations?” he asks. “Or, rather, a hybrid, that includes all forms and platforms of broadcast and digital — radio stations, Internet, streaming, mobile apps, podcasting and social media?” Donahue (pictured), who streams his own program via TSL and on his 24/7 station TD Media, as well as on TuneIn, Podomatic, and Stitcher, worries that what sometimes passes for being a professional Talk radio host today is a little bit like being a reality TV star — a genre he calls “fame for the inane or insane.” “Simply mouth-off about anything and stream it or podcast it and you are a self-proclaimed talk host,” writes Donahue. “Many of them have never been hired to talk professionally, let alone ever visited a Talk radio station. Should there be a distinction between the ‘hobbyist’ and the ‘professional?'” But the big question for Donahue is whether the changing definition of who can lay claim to being called a talk host means that the format is growing and evolving, or actually devolving. Read more HERE.
The veteran Talk radio programmer and Gabe Hobbs Media namesake will be “arrested” and “locked up” as part of the 2014 St. Petersburg, FL Executive Lock Up to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association. As a “jailbird” Hobbs (pictured) is working to raise bail via donations from friends and family, all of which goes to help MDA find a cure for Muscular Dystrophy, ALS and other neuromuscular diseases. It’s not the first time Hobbs has been “incarcerated” for MDA. “People might see the headline about me going to jail and figure, ‘Yep, Gabe’s Jacor days finally caught up to him!” Hobbs told NTS MediaOnline Today. “And while the MDA lockup is an old promotion, it still works well for them. In the 90’s I remember being ‘locked up’ in a local mall’s center court. The jail was made out of 12-packs of Pepsi, which was obviously the sponsor. Back then we had to use one of the four or five hard-line phones they would install to call people during the lockup to raise the ‘bail’ money.” Hobbs notes he will be picked up tomorrow morning (5/29) at 10am and locked-up to do some hard time at The Hangar Restaurant and Flight Lounge in St. Pete. “I am hoping to already have my bail money — $3,500 — raised by then,” he said hopefully. Industry friends who wish to support Hobbs’ efforts on behalf of MDA can do so HERE.
KIRO 97.3 FM/Seattle and MyNorthwest.com will honor one local student with a $10,000 dollar scholarship on June 6th, live on Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross. The Standout Student Awards, in partnership with Comprehensive Wealth Management and the Rotary Club of Lynnwood, honors western Washington students who stand out in the classroom, school and community. Nine students were selected as monthly winners, where they received a $1,000 scholarship and are eligible for the $10,000 educational scholarship grant. Listeners are being encouraged to vote on the top three candidates at www.MyNorthwest.com through Friday (5/30) … News broke earlier today about the death of poet, teacher, artist, activist and author of the bestselling I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings and 30 other published works, Dr. Maya Angelou. She was 86. Tom Becka, afternoon host at The Mighty 1290 KOIL/Omaha recently spoke with Angelou (pictured) in what is now apparently her final public interview. “Dr. Angelou was scheduled to appear in Omaha next week and I had the chance to interview her in advance of that visit,” said Becka. “She was really a charming woman.” Hear Angelou’s conversation with Tom HERE.
Premiere Networks Talk radio personality Sean Hannity was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Williston Basin Petroleum Conference, held last week in Bismarck, North Dakota. Speaking to thousands of attendees at the 22nd annual event, Hannity — a vocal proponent of American energy independence on his daily national radio show — praised the oil boom in North Dakota and urged America to become energy independent. The Associated Press has more on Hannity’s appearance via the Bismarck Tribune HERE.
Among the victim’s of this past weekend’s shooting rampage near UCSB in Santa Barbara was Veronika Weiss, the 19-year old daughter of KABC/Los Angeles Account Executive Bob Weiss. Veronika (pictured) was murdered, along with fellow student Katherine Cooper, near the Alpha Phi sorority house. The 19-year old, first-year UC Santa Barbara student was a high school water polo star and a standout student academically, who had plans to pursue a career in the financial industry in New York City. Bob Weiss spoke live with KABC’s McIntyre In The Morning Show earlier today, recounting his late night drive to Santa Barbara and the long hours of waiting for confirmation of his worst nightmare after he was unable to reach his usually communicative daughter on her cell phone. Read more and hear an excerpt from that interview HERE. NTS MediaOnline Today offers our sincere condolences to Bob and his family on the tragic loss of their daughter, and to all of the families impacted by the horrific incident.
As widely reported by most of the music industry trades last week, Entercom first suspended, then fired the Kimberly & Beck morning show at rocker WBZA (98.9 The Buzz)/Rochester, NY after the duo made controversial comments about the city’s newly announced health benefits policy for transgender workers. Now comes word that veteran WHAM/Rochester Talk radio host Bob Lonsberry posted “insensitive” comments on the same topic to his station-related blog, causing Clear Clear Channel/Rochester VP/GM Bob Morgan to have that post deleted and issue an official statement saying: “Though Bob Lonsberry is entitled to his opinion about the City of Rochester’s health care plan, his blog post and comments about members of the transgender community were insensitive. His remarks do not reflect the position or attitudes of the station or its management. We cannot discuss employee personnel matters, but I can tell you that the station has removed the post and is extending an invitation to local leaders of the LGBT community to meet with Bob Lonsberry and speak on the topic.”
Clear Channel Media and Premiere Networks have launched This Little Parent Stayed Home on iHeart Radio Talk, featuring exclusive content for mom and dad entrepreneurs. Hosted by activist and motivator, Ally Loprete, the weekly show can be heard live on CC’s digital radio platform every Tuesday at 3pm (ET). “Ally Loprete has provided us a great opportunity to broaden our reach to a progressive and innovative demographic,” said Bill May, Vice President of Premiere Networks Programing. “Women with children and small business entrepreneurs are making significant progress with the stay-at-home workforce. The listeners of This Little Parent have been extremely loyal and dedicated to the educational and motivational content that Ally had been providing on her digital weekly podcast. She was looking to cast a wider net and we were thrilled to offer her show a new home.”
For a fourth year, KSFO (“Hot Talk 560”)/San Francisco and morning host Brian Sussman raised more than $100,000 for the Fisher House Foundation during a four-hour, pre-Memorial Day remote held last Friday (5/23). Sussman (pictured) broadcast live from the 21-room Fisher House at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, logging some $107,500 in donations by the end of his show, with additional donations continuing to pour in over the long Memorial Day weekend. Since 2011, KSFO has raised more than $480,000 for the Fisher House Foundation. During Sussman’s Friday morning broadcast, Fisher House Foundation chairman Ken Fisher checked in to report the charity has earned a coveted four-star rating from watchdog Charity Navigator for 10 consecutive years, and noted that Fisher House uses 96 cents of every donated dollar for program service initiatives. NTS MediaOnline Today is a longtime industry media supporter of Fisher House, which serves recovering military veterans and their families though a growing network of 64 no-cost comfort homes built adjacent to military medical centers and VA hospitals around the country,
NRG Media News/Talker KOIL /Omaha, returned to the glory days of the 1960’s over the Memorial Day weekend with a three-hour special looking back to the days when “The Mighty 1290” was a leading Top 40 powerhouse. Pictured during the special live broadcast are (l-r): Current KOIL talk host Tom Becka, legendary former morning host Roger W. Morgan (c) and former KOIL personality Clay Michaels.
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