Jack and Suzy Welch recently visited the studios of SiriusXM, appearing on Knowledge@Wharton on the satcaster’s Business Radio channel. The former CEO of General Electric and his wife — a Harvard Business School graduate, business journalist and author — chatted up their co-authored book, The Real-Life MBA: Your No BS Guide to Winning the Game, Building a Team, and Growing Your Career.
It’s hard to imagine there is anyone who doesn’t know David Letterman will turn off the lights at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City tonight. When he does he’ll end a long and storied run on late night network television, an arena that both his fans and critics agree he forever changed. When I first stumbled upon Dave hosting a daytime TV show on NBC back in 1980 (it lasted just 3 months) I can honestly say I had, what today we would call, a true ‘WTF?’ moment. You know, one of those times when you literally stop and say, “Wow, here’s something I haven’t seen/heard before. This guy is really unique and different.” The program was by industry standards a “flop” but ultimately it convinced NBC to give Letterman his own late night show. And the rest is history. That is the legacy that current and future Talk media personalities should learn from David Letterman: Be true to yourself, believe there is an audience for what you do, and always meet the expectations of your fans, no matter what your critics may say. Much has been written about the Ball State Radio/TV graduate (who began his career as a Talk radio show host in Indianapolis), so we’ll not reiterate his career history here. Suffice it to say that over the years David Letterman — both at his best and at his worst — influenced a generation of TV and radio Talk personalities and changed the entire style of a medium.
In a related news item, longtime David Letterman pal and Late Show band leader Paul Shaffer — who hosts the Envision Networks daily feature Paul Shaffer’s Day In Rock — recently shared some memories of his more than three decades at Letterman’s side, and also commented on what he believes is the legacy his soon to be ex-boss leaves behind. “I think that we can look around us now to see Dave’s legacy in all the other people that are doing talk shows now on the air – From James Corden and Jimmy Fallon, to Jimmy Kimmel and Chelsea Handler — you can see that they all gladly and irreverently give it up to Dave for being so influential and you can see it in their programs. I think that’s his legacy right there.”
While David Letterman is getting all the retirement attention today, we note that another broadcast legend — Johnny Donovan — is hanging up his headphones at WABC/New York, where he’s been Staff Announcer and Production Director for the past 30+ years. Donovan (pictured left in a classic 1978 station publicity photo) began his career at WABC in 1972, when he was one of the station’s popular DJ’s during it’s hugely successful ‘MusicRadio’ era. When WABC flipped to Talk radio in 1982, Donovan stayed on, becoming the signature voice of the station. “Johnny Donovan was the sound of 77 WABC,” said Mike McVay, SVP/ Content and Programming for Cumulus Media. “He joins the ranks of legends like Don Pardo, Ed McMahon and Ernie Anderson. His production and imaging skills are legendary. He will be missed at WABC, but more than that, he will be missed in our industry.” Donovan will continue to be heard as the voice of Premiere Networks’ nationally syndicated Rush Limbaugh Show (a position that he’s held since 1988) as well as through media clients of his own successful voiceover business.
When a ruptured pipeline sent oil spilling onto the beaches of Santa Barbara, CA early today, ABC News Radio correspondent Alex Stone (right) was dispatched to the scene to report on the situation. At least one beach, Refugio State Beach, has been evacuated of beach-goers and campers, while warnings are also posted for other beaches. The spill comes just days ahead of the usually busy Memorial Day holiday weekend in the popular California coastal community … Zach Mullins is promoted to the new position of Digital Sales Manager for Cox Media Group/Atlanta’s radio station cluster, including News/Talker WSB-AM & FM. Joining CMG in 2011 as a Sales Associate, Mullins quickly rose to his most recent position as Digital Sales Specialist, where over the past few years he’s helped shape digital strategy and fulfillment campaigns for some of CMG’s largest accounts … Dr. Christian Conte, host of Spike TV’s Coaching Bad, signs with New York City-based Media Management Group. MMG will work with Conte on developing and extending his multiple media platforms, including a new website.
SiriusXM will commemorate our nation’s fallen service men and women of all generations this Memorial Day by broadcasting Taps across every music, Sports, Talk, and entertainment channel on the subscriber-based satellite radio service. The one-minute solemn observance will be broadcast at approximately noon (ET) on Monday, May 25th, in recognition of the national holiday honoring those who gave their lives in service to our country … Remote News Service, which offers “hyper-localized news content” for radio stations in all market sizes on a cash/barter basis through Benztown, has launched a new website that offers free trending news to the site’s visitors, along with a new blog by RNS President Lesley Lotto, Sorry Not Sorry! Personal Insights From A Radio News Manager.
As David Letterman retires from his nightly show after a 33-year run and more than 6,000 shows on late night television. Alan Kalter (center) — voice of The Late Show with David Letterman — dropped in for a visit with CBS Sports Radio hosts Gregg Giannotti and Brian Jones, where he chatted about The Late Show’s final week. Kalter also told Gio & Jones about some of his favorite guests from the world of sports who have appeared on the program, and teased a few special surprises coming up in tonight’s final show that will air at 11:35pm (ET/PT).
A new post from longtime media executive and programming and management advisor Walter Sabo (left) weighs in on a topic that seems to be all over the industry trade press these days — programmatic buying. “Blogs and speeches covering all forms of media are obsessed with programmatic spot buying,” writes the Sabo Media namesake and Chairman. “Most people reading about it do not have the guts to say, ‘What the heck is programmatic buying?’ Simply put, programmatic buying automatically matches the ‘right’ ad with the ‘right’ customer at the ‘right’ price in a millisecond. It’s precision, automated ad buying.” But Sabo characterizes today’s programmatic buying systems as “primitive” and fraught with some big problems that are not being discussed (like placing “good clean brands on really nasty porn sites”). “Programmatic is a way to justify money that must be spent — fast,” continues Sabo, pulling no punches. “The money must be spent, or commissions aren’t paid and budgets aren’t renewed. There … I’ve said it.” Learn additional insights and facts about advertising’s new programmatic buying trend and how it will impact the future of media sales HERE.
ABC Radio officially announces it has extended its ABC News Radio affiliation with Tribune News/Talker WGN/Chicago, in a deal that includes an expansion of shared editorial resources in the Windy City. Concurrently, Ryan Burrow (right), who recently joined WGN from crosstown News/Talk rival WLS, is now also serving as a contributor to ABC News Radio, reporting on stories from the Chicago region and from around the country. “Ryan Burrow is a talented award-winning reporter who understands how to tell stories that capture an audience’s interest,” said Steve Jones, ABC News Radio VP/GM. “Through ABC News Radio’s expanded partnership with WGN Radio, Ryan will cover stories of interest to our national audience from across the Midwest region and around the country.”
While here at NTS MediaOnline Today we tend to not place too much credence on monthly ratings analysis, whether numbers are up or down. However, we’d be remiss in not noting that Nielsen Audio’s analysis of April 2015 ratings in PPM measured markets shows News/Talk as the highest rated format overall during the first month of spring, posting an 8.8 AQH share (6+). The format also posted a top five finish in the 25-54 demo … The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) has announced that CBS News 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl has been named the winner of the 2015 Paul White Award, which recognizes a lifetime of achievement and service to the profession of electronic journalism. Stahl will be honored on September 19th at the RTDNA’s Excellence in Journalism event in Orlando.
From Our “Not Exactly Talk Media News” Department: You may recall that last fall syndicated Country radio personality Bobby Bones transmitted an EAS tone as part of an on-air bit that triggered a multi-state activation of the Emergency Alert System. And as we all know, that’s one of those things that really gets the attention of the FCC. Today we learn that iHeartMedia has agreed to a settlement following the FCC Enforcement Bureau’s investigation of the incident, agreeing to pay a $1 million civil penalty and also implement a company-wide compliance plan to protect to ensure against such errors going forward. Read the FCC’s notice of the resolution HERE.
A statement released by Premiere Networks reports that the network and WRKO/Boston have been “unable to reach terms” on a renewal deal for The Rush Limbaugh Show to continue airing on the Entercom News/Talker past their current three-year deal that will end this summer. The statement also notes that Limbaugh (pictured) “airs in every measured media market in the U.S. and we look forward to announcing exciting news for our Boston listeners soon.” … Motley Fool Money picks up three new affiliates in Virginia including WMNA/Gretna, WIQO/Lynchburg, and WBZS/Roanoke … Former golf pro and TV broadcaster Peter Oosterhuis and Fred Albers have teamed up to host Oosty & Fred, a new weekly show available to subscribers on the satcaster’s PGA Tour Radio channel. The new two-hour program debuts Saturday (5/23) at 8am … Compass Media Networks inks a contract extension with the Big D & Bubba Show that will keep CMN as the syndicator of the daily morning show through 2020.