NTS Aircheck
 February 14, 2008

» Does Talk Radio Make A Difference? That's the title of a new study just released by Edison Media Research seeking an answer as to whether or not conservative Talk hosts have any real impact on voters, specifically in the recent Republican primaries. "The crucial distinction is between 'beliefs' and 'attitudes,'" notes EMR VP and researcher Tom Webster. "Attitudes are a function of experience, and can be changed subject to persuasion. In that, it could be argued that conservative Talk radio might nudge you a little one way or the other regarding a certain issue. It would take some serious nudging, however, to knock you completely out of a lane that has been circumscribed by your beliefs. Beliefs tend to be developed early in life, and are much more resistant to change. Could a talk show host sway you one way or another in regards to an infrastructure bond issue? Sure. Could they influence your beliefs about family, God or morals? Probably not." Read the full study here.

» DOJ OKs Clear Channel Sale: But the deal for Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital to take the company private comes with a few strings attached by the government regulatory agency. The DOJ's Antitrust Division says CC must divest itself of some stations in four markets including Cincinnati, Houston, Las Vegas and San Francisco so that "advertisers will continue to receive the benefits of competition." The sale of any stations in those markets will be subject to approval by the DOJ as well as by the FCC. While no specific stations have been named as potential sell-offs by the company yet, News/Talk/Sports outlets in the markets identified by the DOJ that could potentially be involved include WLW, WCKY, WKRC and WSAI/Cincinnati; KTRH, KPRC, and KBME/Houston; and KNEW and KKGN/San Francisco.

» Bill Clinton Speaks Out On WMAL: WMAL/Washington host Chris Plante scored a 17-minute live interview this week with the former President, who defended his wife, Hillary, for speaking out against recent comments by MSNBC's David Shuster about the Clintons' daughter, Chelsea. Shuster accused the former first lady's campaign of "pimping out" her daughter for political gain. "If he had made a racial slur against Senator Obama, he would have been fired," Clinton said. Asked if he thought the political press has been unfair to his wife and excessively generous to her Democratic rival, Barack Obama, the former President said, "They've been active participants in this election, but I don't want to talk about the press. I want to talk about the people. That's what's wrong with this election, people trying to take this election away from the people." You can see and hear Plante's full conversation with Clinton here.

» DOD Tapping New Media To Reach Worldwide Radio Audience: The U.S. Department of Defense is partnering with BlogTalkRadio — a free, web-based platform which allows any user with a phone and a computer to host a live, interactive radio show — to develop live Internet talk shows aimed at informing DOD employees, the public and the blogger community about Pentagon activities and initiatives. The first shows slated to run as part of the new alliance are ASY (America Supports You) Live and Department of Defense Bloggers Roundtable. "We're using new media in the Department of Defense because it's allowing us to create a more customized experience for our diverse worldwide audiences," said Allison Barber, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs. "They can access our news and information where they want it, when they want it. BlogTalkRadio is one of the new media formats enabling us to provide that more personalized experience." Learn more about the new programming initiatives here.

»KIRO, KYW Launch New Web Initiatives: In a sign of the times, two major radio stations, Bonneville News/Talk KIRO/Seattle and CBS Radio all-News KYW/Philadelphia, have debuted new web efforts designed to broaden online reach and revenues. KIRO unveiled www.MyNorthwest.com, a new website it shares with sister Talk outlet KTTH and Classic Hits clustermate KBSG. The new site features news, traffic, weather, music "and other culturally relevant issues providing Northwest residents with a timely and accessible local lifestyle resource." Meanwhile, KYW and the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPMTC) have teamed to launch www.HearPhilly.com, an Internet radio station devoted to sounding off on all of the great things to do in the City of Brotherly Love. The online station will feature reports on local events, exhibitions, attractions, restaurants, shops, performing arts and more. The broadcasts, anchored by KYW reporter Krista Jasillo with support from editorial content provided by GPTMC and other KYW reporters, will be updated daily.

»FOX Sports Radio Spends Weekend In Daytona: Beginning tomorrow (2/15), the Premiere Radio Networks-distributed 24/7 Sports network will present three days of live coverage from Florida's famed Daytona International Speedway, culminating in Sunday's (2/17) running of the 50th annual Daytona 500. FOX Sports Radio hosts Craig Shemon, James Washington, Chris Myers - who also hosts NASCAR on FOX, Sean Farnham, JT "The Brick," Rick Horrow, Rob D'Amico and Michele Rahal will provide listeners with live updates and interviews with drivers, crew chiefs and others as the "Race to the Chase" begins. Fans can also log on to www.RaceDayonFox.com for all the latest news.

»In Tomorrow's NTS Aircheck Weekly: On a recent broadcast CNBC host Jim Cramer announced that "Radio is finished as we know it." Naturally, we figured that might not be a view shared by radio broadcasters, so in this week's edition of NTS Aircheck Weekly we ask a number of prominent industry execs to weigh in on Cramer's statement and give us their take on the future of the industry. You'll find it only in the Feb. 15 issue of NTS Aircheck Weekly, arriving in your inbox tomorrow!

©2008 News - Talk - Sports Aircheck