Digital Media News Notes
May 26, 2016

On Thursday, June 2nd, Mark Ramsey will kick off Hivio 2016 — his annual “unconvention” — in Los Angeles. If you didn’t manage to score a ticket to this year’s two-day event, Ramsey reports it will all be streamed live via ‘LiveStream.’ See the full Hivio agenda and bookmark the streaming site HERE.… This Sunday (5/29) SiriusXM — the ‘Official Satellite Radio Partner of INDYCAR’ — will offer subscribers live coverage of the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500. Raceday coverage begins at 8am (ET), with extensive pre-race programming hosted by Pete Pistone … In other news from SiriusXM, the satcaster will commemorate the Memorial Day observance of our nation’s fallen military men and women by broadcasting Taps across all its music, sports, talk, and entertainment channels. The one-minute observance will take place at approximately Noon (ET) on Monday, May 30th.

Talk And Media News Notes
May 24, 2016

If you can’t make it in person to tonight’s annual Gracie Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles, you can still catch the whole event ‘live.’ The Alliance for Women in Media, in conjunction with Cumulus Media, will stream tonight’s festivities on the AWMF website, beginning at 7:30pm (PT) / 10:30pm (ET) … According to a new report from NextRadio — the smartphone app that provides free FM radio listening — broadcasters who offer enhanced in-app content experience three times the tune in as stations that display only a logo or nothing at all. “Stations that leverage the enhanced content options available in NextRadio enjoy a measureable competitive advantage – they are growing audiences and connecting with their listeners in a fresh and personal way,” said Paul Brenner, President, NextRadio Powered by TagStation. “Advertisers have much to gain, too, as enhanced content provides endless possibilities to deliver value for consumers – from coupons to find a store nearby to in-store offers—all with quantifiable results tied in to data attribution reporting.”

Podcasts: If You Create It, Will They Come?
May 23, 2016

A new study from Nielsen and Scarborough Research says podcast consumption is not only on the rise among adults 18+, listening to on-demand digital audio has actually doubled in the past five years. In the just released report, If You Create It, Will They Come, Nielsen-Scarborough examined the lifestyles and behaviors of podcast listeners to identify the types of content that engages them and keeps them returning for more. The study found that podcast listeners are equally male and female, with the majority (70%) being between the ages of 18-44. They are 39% more likely to be single, 44% more likely to be a college graduate and 33% more likely to be employed in a white collar occupation. With an average household income of $83,700, podcast listeners exceed the national average by about $12,000. An executive summary from the report states, “As media consumption continues to shift more to on-demand and advertisers wanting to reach consumers must go beyond age and gender, knowing lifestyle and interests are critical to reach the right listener. So ‘yes,’ they will come, but only if you fill your podcast with the right content.” Read more HERE.

Facebook Trending Stories Scandal “Overblown”
May 20, 2016

In the latest edition of his company’s newsletter, Red Seat Ventures founding partner (and former Mercury Radio Arts CEO) Christopher Balfe offers his take on the recent scandal over whether or not Facebook has been skewing its ‘Trending Stories’ by censoring conservative-leaning posts. “The scandal is overblown,” writes Balfe (pictured). “And I say this as the former CEO of one of the companies that was allegedly impacted. First of all, the trending stories section on Facebook doesn’t deliver very much traffic. Even if you are the top news outlet selected, the fact is that it takes people multiple clicks to get to your story. And by the time they would get there, Facebook has already summarized the story well enough that most people don’t bother clicking through. Secondly, I think it’s fairly obvious that human editors have their own biases. Wish it weren’t so, but it is. And I’ve always found that if something really broke through to the mainstream, it would trend on Facebook, conservative or not. I don’t want to downplay the importance entirely. If News Feed was being impacted by biased editors, that would be a bigger deal. But for now I don’t feel there’s much of an issue here.”


Beck: Facebook Meeting “Deeply Disturbing”
May 20, 2016

Meanwhile, in a related news item, Glenn Beck – founder and CEO of TheBlaze and long running Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk radio host — was among some two dozen or so members of conservative media who were invited to Facebook’s Silicon Valley headquarters this week to discuss the aforementioned charges alleging bias against conservative news and stories by the social media giant. As it turns out, Beck’s takeaway from the sit-down would seem to bolster the idea that the whole thing is a bit of a ‘tempest in a teapot’ as the old saying goes. “Yesterday, I had an opportunity to meet with some of the senior staff at Facebook, including the CEO and COO,” Beck wrote on his website. “I found the meeting deeply disturbing — but not for the reasons you might think.” Although Beck says he left the meeting “convinced that Facebook is behaving appropriately and trying to do the right thing,” in the end it wasn’t necessarily the representatives from Facebook who were attending the meeting that made him feel a bit uncomfortable as he listened. Read more HERE.

Trio of Tribune Writers Join Genesis Digital Team
May 19, 2016

Genesis Communications forges a new relationship with longtime Tampa Tribune columnists Ira Kauffman, Tom Jackson and Joe Henderson, who will all serve as contributors to the company’s digital publications, and Together Kauffman, Henderson and Jackson bring over 70 years of combined journalism experience in Florida markets to their new roles with Genesis. “It is both a pleasure and an honor to add such a talented trio to our multi-platform digital team, said Genesis Communications Digital Director Jim Williams. “Joe Henderson and Tom Jackson have been friends of mine for nearly 40 years, so I can say without hesitation that few people understand the Tampa Bay Area better than they do. Their work  has entertained and enlightened generations of readers. Then add the talents of the brilliant Ira Kaufman to the mix and we now have three ‘Hall of Fame’ writers who we will be showcasing on our many platforms to a whole new audience and sponsor group.”

Heather Boethin Moves To CMG’s Gamut
May 18, 2016

Gamut, the digital media services company owned by Cox Media Group, names Heather Boethin as Director of Sales/South, based in Dallas. In her new job Boethin (left) — most recently Manager of Cox Local Solutions for the company’s radio and TV outlets in Tulsa — will oversee all digital sales for CMG properties in Atlanta, Dallas, and their respective regions. “In her many years at Cox Media Group, not only has Heather proven herself to be a strong sales leader, but also a collaborative team player,” said Rachel Williamson, VP/General Manager of Gamut. “It’s exciting to have the opportunity to promote proven talent from within, and we are thrilled to add her to the Gamut team. Her unique perspective, great work ethic, and diversified skillset will play a crucial role in transforming the way we do business.”

Talk And Media News Notes
May 16, 2016

MediaDC, parent company of the Washington Examiner, the Weekly Standard and Red Alert Politics, has hired veteran Talk radio host Michael Graham (right) to take the new position of Creative Director for the company, as part of an expansion of its multi-media and social media projects. Prior to his most recent stint at Cumulus Media/Atlanta’s NewsRadio 106.7, Graham — who already hosts the Weekly Standard’s podcast — hosted shows for WTKK/Boston, WBT/Charlotte and WMAL/Washington, DC. Graham;s final day on the air at WYAY is Friday, May 27th … Geoff Sheen, afternoon host at iHeartMedia Sports/Talker The Ticket 760 (KTKR/San Antonio) has left the building. Sheen’s hours are taken over by a simulcast of The Sports Buffet with Craig Way and Rod Babers from sister station, AM 1300 The Zone (KVET-AM/Austin) … With the debut today of the Jim Polito Show on iHeartMedia News/Talker WHYN/Springfield, MA, former local morning hosts Adam Wright and Bo Sullivan are on-the-beach. No word yet on where the duo might land … Congrats to consultant Holland Cooke on his recent induction into the Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016. Some of Cooke’s early career years were spent in Providence at WPRO and WSNE.

Are Mobile News Apps Starting To Plateau?
May 13, 2016

A story by Managing Editor Benjamin Mullins takes a look at a recent study by the Knight Foundation that indicates the growth of consumption of news and information by consumers via mobile apps could soon be maxing out. Mullins reports the study showed nearly nine out of every 10 Americans access news and information on smartphones and other mobile devices, and that’s actually up about 9% over last year. “But that growth is slowing according to the report, suggesting a plateau might be near,” writes Mullins. “The growth of mobile apps, in particular, has slowed, with adoption rates mostly flat across the industry.” So what’s behind the growth slowdown of mobile news apps? Read more of what Mullins had to say, and find a link to the full report — commissioned from Nielsen by Knight — HERE.

Facebook Still Social Media’s Big Gorilla
May 12, 2016

With Facebook announcing this week it will launch Rise & Shine, a new, live-streamed morning feed “show” created by DigitasLBi, it’s a good time for radio to remember that despite some media reports to the contrary, the massive social media platform remains a major platform for users of all ages. Two recent reports from eMarketer Daily tend to confirm that fact, with one noting that time spent with Facebook is still growing — albeit not as rapidly as it once was. According to eMarketer’s latest forecast of time spent with media, this year Americans will spend more than half of their social networking time on Facebook. And when it comes to social media marketing, the second study reported by eMarketer says “nearly all social media marketers worldwide believe Facebook produces the best ROI and is essential to social media marketing success.” Oh, and about all those Millenials who are ditching Facebook that you’ve read about? “Not. Even. Close,” says a recent report by Kurt Wagner posted at “Nearly every Internet-wielding millennial in America still uses Facebook on a regular basis.” Read more HERE.