In the midst of a concerted effort by some in the media to discredit and pronounce yet again the death of Talk radio, it’s nice to come across a story that talks about the incredible ability of the format and its hosts to move product for advertisers. In a feature posted at Forbes.com this week, Carbonite founder and CEO David Friend talks about what he believes helped take his cloud-based storage service from a fledgling start-up to a company that today employs some 425 employees and boasts revenues of $107 million last year. When it came time to market the new service to consumers, Friend says the company put its faith in endorsement spots by Talk radio hosts. “That was another stroke of good luck,” Friend told Forbes’ staff writer Bruce Rogers. “We found out that people who listen to Talk radio, especially conservative talk radio, really trust the hosts. It was a real stroke of brilliance on the part of our marketing VP. Every year we doubled the ad spending which doubled the revenue. That’s how we got to $100 million in sales in just four or five years.” You can read the full story/interview with Friend in Forbes HERE.
Our story in yesterday’s (4/23) NTS MediaOnline Today about CRN International’s choices for the radio industry’s ‘Mount Rushmore’ resulted in a ton of feedback. While few argued with CRN International’s choices (Guglielmo Marconi, William S. Paley, Paul Harvey and Howard Stern), most readers had their own additions, including their most oft-mentioned choice, Rush Limbaugh (pictured). Other reader suggestions included Jean Shepherd, Gordon McLendon, Wolfman Jack, Neal Boortz, Phil Hendrie, Dr. Laura, Art Bell, Ira Glass, Terry Gross and Casey Kasem, to name just a few. Of course, “Radio’s Best Friend” Art Vuolo couldn’t resist weighing in on the topic to lobby for his number one choice saying, “Joey Reynolds used to say (somewhat in jest), ‘When Howard was born there was a star in the east — and it was me.’ Joey was doing “shock radio” long before Stern ever showed up on the radio dial. He’s been way ahead of his time throughout his entire career, but he’ll probably only be recognized for who he was after he’s gone, which is sad but true. And you should print this!” OK, Art, we just did. Meanwhile, programming and marketing consultant Jon Quick notes how much fun it would be to debate this with a room full of radio folks and a few adult beverages. Well, you will have to “BYOB,” but we do have a “virtual” room full of radio pros hanging out on our Facebook page, and you can join the conversation HERE.
Longtime Talk radio and television personality ‘Lionel’ (pictured) will be appearing at New York City’s Cutting Room on May 10th, where he’ll offer the audience his ”unique mixture of spoken word, extreme thought and critical thinking, along with his bluegrass trio Lock ’n Load, for a full evening of entertainment.” Find out more and get tickets to the event HERE … After a career spanning some 40 years, WILK/Wilkes-Barre news anchor Bud Brown hangs up his headphones at Entercom’s northeast Pennsylvania News/Talker. Local TV station WNEP covered his final broadcast yesterday (4/24) HERE … Early bird registration for next fall’s NAB/RAB Radio Show in Indianapolis has opened. Make your CFO smile ear-to-ear by saving $100 off your ticket to attend the annual confab by registering before May 30th. Get more details and sign-up HERE … Call-To-Listen provider AudioNow inks a new deal with the Bible Broadcasting Networks to offer 24/7 access to the Christian radio network’s English and Spanish-language programming on any mobile phone in the U.S.
Rush Limbaugh Update: Sources inside Limbaugh’s camp tell NTS MediaOnline Today that the cochlear implant surgery the Talk radio host had last week was “very successful,” but a nagging spring cold has delayed Rush’s return to his Premiere Networks-syndicated program so far this week. TheBlaze Radio Network host Buck Sexton guest-hosted again today, as Rush is reportedly now hoping for a Thursday return to the “Golden EIB microphone” … Speaking of TheBlaze, Premiere Networks has announced it will offer an exclusive three-hour Memorial Day radio special produced by Glenn Beck’s digital radio venture. Freedom: Love It Or Lose It will feature hosts, writers and editors from TheBlaze, including the aforementioned Sexton, along with Jay Severin, Doc Thompson and others. All will pay tribute to those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country, and to the loved ones who support them … Talk Radio On TV: Look for WYM Media Management syndicated talker Leslie Marshall tonight (4/23) when she guests on FOX News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor @ 8 and 11pm (ET).
From our “Goin’ Out In Style” Department: Condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Florida broadcast veteran David Wagenvoord, who died Monday (4/21) at the age of 82. Wagenvoord (pictured) was President of Wagenvoord Advertising Group, owner of the Tan Talk Radio Network and author of the best-selling book on bartering, No Cash, No Problem. A tribute to Wagenvoord currently posted on the WTAN/Clearwater website notes, “True to his legend, Dave bartered his own funeral!” … As NTS MediaOnline Today told you last week, Cumulus Media officially debuted the new lineup at the newly re-branded KWQW/Des Moines today, as the former WOW-FM becomes 98.3 The Torch – ”Common Sense Radio.” The FM News/Talker is now programmed by Robert Rees, who also hosts wake-ups … Edison Research recently released a study for the In Store Audio Network – you know, that “radio station” you hear while shopping at the grocery store and many other retail outlets — shows the service reaches some 39 million shoppers a day! Those who’d like to review an executive summary of the Edison Research survey can reach out to In Store Audio President of Sales, Kevin Connolly, HERE.
Clear Channel Media & Entertainment has named Adam Maisano as Vice President and Market Manager for the company’s five-station Greensboro, NC cluster, including FM News/Talker WPTI. The move marks a return to Clear Channel for Maisano, who spent the past 12 years with the Curtis Media Group in Raleigh. CC Vice President and Regional Manager for the Greensboro, Greenville and Asheville markets Bill McMartin said, “Adam brings tremendous experience, passion and enthusiasm to our team in Greensboro. The response from staff and clients to the news of Adam’s return to the market has been tremendous.” Meanwhile, an obviously enthused Maisano (pictured) said, “Returning to Clear Channel in the Triad is essentially coming full circle in my career. To manage these heritage brands in the same market where I first cut my teeth in local sales is something I couldn’t have envisioned 20 years ago. It’s great to be home!”
That’s according to the annual RTDNA survey of radio and television News Directors, conducted and compiled by Bob Papper, Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Journalism at Hofstra University. Papper (pictured) found that while the average radio News Director has been in that role somewhere or another for 11.7 years, almost two-thirds (63.4%) are currently News Director at the one-and-only station where they have ever held that title. That fact is especially true for non-commercial radio station News Directors, where the percentage exceeded three-quarters (77.3%). The survey notes that there was no significant difference in those findings based on geography or ownership, but the percentage was actually highest in the very largest markets. The RTDNA/Hofstra University Survey was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2013 among all 1,659 operating, non-satellite television stations and a random sample of 3,263 radio stations. Valid responses came from 1,300 television stations (78.4%) and 249 radio News Directors and General Managers representing 649 radio stations. Read more HERE.
Best wishes to nationally syndicated Talk radio titan Rush Limbaugh as he recovers from previously announced surgery to receive a second cochlear implant. Limbaugh had one of the high-tech devices implanted in his left ear after suffering sudden hearing loss in both ears back in 2001. At the time, Limbaugh said doctors advised him to hold off on having the implant surgery on his right ear, in hopes that medical science might come up with a cure for his hearing loss within a decade or so. Having lived for now some 13-years with implant-assisted hearing in his left ear only, Limbaugh publicly announced on his April 7th program that he had opted to undergo surgery for a second device in his right ear. Frequent Limbaugh show guest-host Mark Steyn and TheBlaze Radio Network’s Buck Sexton held down the fort for the Premiere Networks-syndicated host last week, while Mark Belling was behind the microphone for today’s broadcast. Belling kicked off the show by telling fans, “Rush is doing fine, he’s feeling well and he’s scheduled to be back on the program on Wednesday (4/23).”
WHO/Des Moines afternoon host Simon Conway broadcast his show from ‘Jethro’s BBQ ‘n Pork Chop Grill’ last Friday (4/18), to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Conway (pictured) reports the local restaurant kicked in a percentage of their take for the day to help the cause and even named a drink – The Simon Shandy — for him, contributing $2 for each one sold … The Washington Business Journal reports that CBS Radio/Washington, DC will soon move to new digs at The District’s Capitol Riverfront. More HERE … SiriusXM subscribers will be able to hear an exclusive audio simulcast of NBC TV’s Today show, beginning June 26th. NBC’s morning crew made the announcement on today’s program, joking they’re planning to steal some of Howard Stern’s satellite radio audience. Watch HERE.
End of the Rhodes: Firebrand liberal Talk radio host Randi Rhodes (pictured) has opted to end her Premiere Networks nationally syndicated show. A brief statement from the network reads: “Randi Rhodes has decided to end her national radio program. We’ve had a successful partnership with Randi for several years, and we wish her all the best for the future. Premiere Networks will conclude syndication and production of The Randi Rhodes Show on May 16th.” … TheBlaze Radio Network host Buck Sexton got to sit behind the “Golden EIB Microphone” today, as the former CIA officer and NYPD intelligence analyst turned talk host got to sit in for Rush Limbaugh on his Premiere Networks-syndicated show. Along with his daily Talk radio show, Sexton also co-hosts Real News on TheBlaze TV … Variety Senior TV editor Brian Steinberg reports that FOX News Channel will launch a new noon-1pm (ET) show on April 28th entitled Outnumbered. The one-hour program will feature a rotating crew of four female hosts and one male examining the top news of the hour. Read the full story HERE.