That’s the question posed by Salem Radio Network VP/News & Talk Programming, Tom Tradup, in a feature appearing in the June 2013 of Town Hall magazine. In it, SRN syndicated Christian talker Janet Mefferd says she thinks it’s not so much a glass ceiling, but sheer numbers that account for the fact that relatively few women currently hold leading on-air roles in local and national Talk radio. “There are just more men who go into radio, period,” she told the Salem-owned publication. “When I was in college, I could count on one hand the number of girls who were majoring in radio/TV, and those who did generally went into television as a career.” Although Mefferd does recall being told by the program director at her very first on-air job to “lower your voice” — a wildly inappropriate demand he’d probably never give to a male colleague — the 18-year old says she didn’t take offense, she took the advice. “His exact words were, ‘No one wants to hear a screechy woman on the radio.’ I wasn’t offended; it was good performance advice and I’ve heeded it ever since. The content of Talk radio is key, but if your delivery makes it hard for listeners to hear your content, there’s no point.” Read more in the upcoming June issue of Town Hall.
In a recently posted interview, author, speaker and longtime friend of the radio industry, Tim Sanders, talks with businessman and entrepreneur Nolan Bushnell about his new book, Finding The Next Steve Jobs: How To Find, Hire, Retain and Nurture Creative Talent. In the book Bushnell — who founded companies including Atari and Chuck E. Cheese, and who was also Steve Jobs’ first boss — offers a strong argument that companies simply must focus more on hiring those who can bring passion and creativity and into their organizations if they really want to gain a competitive advantage and succeed. Asked how to identify those with the sort of creative enthusiasm that he saw in a young Steve Jobs, Bushnell told Sanders, “Make sure they are passionate about something. Make sure that something makes their eyes light up. If they’re not passionate about anything? Next.” In a radio industry that most of us would agree is in serious need of a booster shot of passion, creativity, and leadership, Sanders’ interview and Bushnell’s book should be added to your “must read” list today. Read the full interview HERE.
An amendment to the Telephone Records Protection Act, introduced yesterday (5/16) by a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives, would protect not only journalists, but all Americans from having their phone records seized by the government without a court order. Wired.com’s Kim Zetter reports the proposed amendment — which comes in the wake of the Associated Press scandal in which federal investigators obtained and reviewed the phone records of AP journalists — would require any federal agency seeking to seize telephone records to first get a court order that states “specific and articulable facts” to prove that the information being sought is “relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation.” Current legislation on the books allows the feds to demand records from telephone service providers using only an administrative subpoena. The bill was introduced by representatives Justin Amash (R-MI), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO) and Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) who said in a statement, “If the case in favor of acquiring this information is so compelling, it seems a requirement that the government get a court order should be no impediment to the conduct of a valid government investigation.”
Veteran broadcast manager Steve Sinicropi has been named VP/GM for Entercom/Greenville’s five station cluster that includes News/Talk WORD-AM & FM. Prior to the recent sale of Cox Media Group’s Greenville stations to SummitMedia, Sinicropi served for the past decade as VP/GM of the crosstown cluster. His radio resume also includes management stints at CBS Radio/Detroit and All Pro Broadcasting/Milwaukee. “I’m excited to have Steve join Entercom to lead our team,” said Entercom RVP Michael Doyle. “His years of success in the Greenville market make him the right person to lead our strong team and incredibly strong brands in upstate South Carolina.” For his part, Sinicropi says he’s “thrilled” to be joining Entercom, praising the cluster’s “five powerful brands and great digital assets, along with the largest audience in the Greenville Spartanburg market.”
Free Talk Live host Ian Bernard, a.k.a. Ian Freeman, is part of a group of six citizens being sued by the city of Keene, NH for their practice of doing what has become known as “Robin Hooding” in their hometown. Freeman and his fellow Keene citizens — all reportedly associated with the Free Keene group — regularly patrol city streets to feed expired parking meters, leaving behind a card on the windshield that says, “Your meter expired, however we saved you from the king’s tariffs.” The card is signed by “Robin Hood and his Merry Men” and includes a suggestion to “please consider paying it forward,” giving an address where donations can be sent. The city calls the group’s actions harassment and, according to New Hampshire’s Union Leader, wants the court to prohibit the ‘Robin Hooders’ from coming within 50 feet of parking enforcement officers “during the performance of their employment duties for the city.” Meanwhile, the self-proclaimed “band of merry men” claims to have prevented the issuance of some 4,000 parking tickets since their efforts began, and suggest that it’s not harassment, but lost revenues that are really behind the lawsuit. Stations or shows interested talking with Ian (pictured) about this story can reach him HERE. The nightly Free Talk Live (syndicated via Talk Shows USA) currently airs on a reported 110+ affiliates nationwide.
The Radio Advertising Bureau has launched Finding Consumer Trends (F.C.T.), a new service to help member radio stations sell locally and highlight the buying power of radio listeners coast-to-coast. Developed in conjunction with Presslaff Interactive Revenue, the F.C.T. reports are turn-key online surveys of a station’s audience that provide salable insights and qualified leads on purchase interests in top ad categories. Among the key findings of the latest F.C.T. study (that included 28,000 respondents 18+): The closer listeners get to purchasing or leasing a vehicle, the more important a part radio advertising plays. Also, radio is a top “must-have” in-dash entertainment option for automotive buyers of every age. The RAB and Presslaff will present Data To Drive Your Automotive Sales, a members-only webinar detailing the study, on May 21st at 10am and 3pm (CT). Find out more HERE.
Commenting on yesterday’s breaking news that the United States Department of Justice had secretly seized both the professional and personal telephone records of news reporters and editors for the Associated Press has prompted a stern rebuke from Vincent Duffy, Chairman of the Radio Television Digital News Association, who released the following statement: “This unprecedented invasion of privacy involving confidential information is a blatant violation of basic rights afforded by the First Amendment. This action is unwarranted and absolutely strikes at the heart of the press freedoms we cherish in the United States. These critical freedoms are protected by both the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights and have clearly been thrust aside by the federal government through this action. RTDNA is working closely with other media groups to seek answers as to why the Justice Department took such a serious and, in our judgment, blatantly unconstitutional action toward an unknown end. Our efforts are directed toward reversing this assault on these basic and important freedoms.”
Your comments are welcome HERE.
The ongoing war of words between Cumulus Media CEO Lew Dickey and conservative Talk radio host Rush Limbaugh has gone well beyond the confines of the industry media, spilling over to numerous consumer publications in recent days including the DC-based conservative monthly magazine The American Spectator. That’s where today (5/14) contributing editor Jeffrey Lord has posted a lengthy feature suggesting that Rush and his fellow Premiere Networks syndicated conservative talker Sean Hannity are not the reason behind Cumulus’ ad revenue issues, with Lord saying that Dickey is “misreading” the conservative Talk radio audience. “Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and conservative Talk radio are not the problem here,” writes Lord. “The are just the latest, albeit the biggest targets.” Read Lord’s full story HERE.
Seattle radio and television veteran John Curley (pictured) has returned to the lineup at KIRO-FM where he’s now partnered with Andrew Walsh for The John Curley Show with Andrew Walsh, weeknights from 7-10pm. Curley, who spent 14 years hosting Evening Magazine on Seattle’s KING-TV, previously hosted evenings on KIRO followed by a short stint in mornings that ended earlier this year. Meanwhile, Walsh has been with the Bonneville-owned News/Talker since 2010, producing The Ross and Burbank Show, co-hosting the Too Beautiful To Live podcast with Luke Burbank, and hosting a solo evening show since October of 2012. “With John’s comfortable style and story-telling skills he naturally fits well in a night time setting,” said Pete Gammell, KIRO Program Director. “Partner John’s entertaining approach with Andrew’s newsy perspective, and you have a completely new dynamic and compelling show.”
The Board of Directors of the Southern California Broadcasters Association has named industry veteran Thom Callahan to lead the organization as its new President. Callahan (pictured), most recently president of Callahan Communications, previously served as Director of Sales for Los Angeles-based Radiate Media. The 30-year industry pro has also held senior management positions with the Associated Press, CBS Radio, and Metro Networks. He’ll assume his new role with SCBA on June 3rd … BONUS TUESDAY GIG ALERT!! Word out of KFI/Los Angeles is that reporter/anchor Chris Lane is leaving the Clear Channel News/Talker to pursue a non-radio position in Texas. Prior to joining KFI in 2010, Lane served as morning anchor at KFBK/Sacramento for six years. News Director Chris Little reports that Lane’s departure opens the door to a prime opportunity at one of America’s great News/Talk stations. Rush your resume and audio to him HERE. Meanwhile, look for more “Gig Alerts” — as always — on page two of the May 17th edition of our regular Friday feature publication, NTS MediaOnline Weekly.