Inside Radio News

In New Twist On Sports Radio, iHeart Bets On ‘The Gambler.’

One of the country’s most sports-crazed cities is getting a third sports talk station – with a unique twist that plays off the region’s embrace of legalized sports betting. Placing a bet on the City of Brotherly Love, iHeartMedia launches “Fox Sports Radio – The Gambler” on WDAS (1440) and the Philadelphia-licensed translator W273DO at 102.5.

The station features a combo of Fox Sports Radio programming along with sports betting programs, including the local “The Daily Ticket with Sean Brace,” which will anchor afternoons from 3-7pm. Fox Sports Radio’s “Straight Outta Vegas with RJ Bell” will follow from 6-7pm.

Brace, owner of phillyinfluencer.com, a well-known local sports website, will be at the forefront of “The Gambler” when it debuts with his program Monday, Aug. 26 at 3pm.

“Whether you’re heading to Atlantic City or one of our four local sports books, we’ll have what you need to keep you informed,” Senior VP of Sales Jeff Moore, said in a release. “It’ll be a great mix of national sports talk icons with the local edge to inform and entertain the gambling audience in a groundbreaking way.”

iHeartMedia’s entrance into the market’s sports talk landscape has the unique spin of capitalizing on legalized sports betting in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware and Philadelphia’s rabid sports fan base, whose sports talk options include Entercom’s WIP-FM (94.1) and Beasley Media Group’s WPEN (97.5). WIP-FM is the sports radio market leader, currently ranked fourth in the July 2019 PPMs with a 5.9. Beasley’s “97.5 The Fanatic” posted a 2.3.

In addition to the AM and FM signals for “The Gambler,” listeners can also pick up the station on the HD2 channel of WDAS-FM (105.3) and on the iHeart streaming app.

WDAS was previously airing “Breakthrough Radio,” a joint effort between iHeartMedia and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia that launched in October 2017.

Inside Radio News

Bubba Finds New Radio Home On JVC Media’s ‘Florida Man Radio.’

Bubba the Love Sponge will be back on the air in Florida as JVC Media plans to launch “Florida Man Radio” on WDYZ Orlando (660) and its corresponding translator, the Oviedo, FL-licensed W288CJ at 105.5.

JVC Media is in the process of buying the station and translator from Salem Media Group and is aiming for an early September launch of the station, which will also include Shannon Burke in afternoons. Burke, a former Bubba show member, was most recently at the now defunct “Talk 106.7” WYAY Atlanta. “Florida Man Radio” will also include radio veteran Scott Ledger in middays and attorney Justin Clark from 6-7pm.

“This will be a personality-driven talk station focused on Central Florida,” Director of Programming Len Shackelford said in a release. “There will be no topics off limits, including topics specifically about our on-air staff. Think sports, politics, pop culture... if you talk about it in your life or on social media, Florida Man Radio 660 AM and 105.5 FM will talk about it.”

JVC CEO John Caracciolo added, “The vision of a locally based talk station that isn’t afraid to confront the big topics while not taking it too seriously, screams the mantra of JVC. We aren’t afraid to buck the norms – keeping live and local radio working for our clients and listeners, providing great results for clients, and continuing to invest in great programming. I’m thrilled for the future of our stations across the country.”

Bubba the Love Sponge, once the king of Tampa radio, now counts more lawsuits than affiliates. He lost his sole Tampa station in May, Genesis Communications “1040 The Team” WHBO. The Tampa Bay Times reported at the time that his studio and racetrack are under foreclosure proceedings.

Responding to the Times story, and the comments that accompanied it, Bubba posted, “Yes, I've made plenty of mistakes, most of which I'm paying for dearly. I will not give up. I will not quit. I will walk into whatever I have left for a studio and do a show that is better than anything that's currently available in most places.”

His lawsuits included a ratings tampering case, brought by Nielsen, which was settled in July 2018, and lawsuits Bubba filed against his one-time employer Cox Media Group and former show member Mike Calta, who wound up replacing Bubba at CMG’s “102.5 The Bone” WHPT. Bubba was also involved in the highly publicized Hulk Hogan sex tape controversy that ultimately shuttered Gawker.com.

Bubba the Love Sponge also airs in mornings on “98 Rock” WYBB Charleston.

All-Female ‘The Gray And Green Show’ To Debut On WHTS Grand Rapids.

Cumulus Media CHR “105.3 Hot FM” WHTS Grand Rapids debuts a new all-female morning program, “The Gray and Green Show,” with Rachael Gray and Jackie Green. The new show will launch Monday, Aug. 26, with Green moving from afternoons to join Gray for wakeups. Ken Evans was previously paired with Gray in mornings.

“The Gray and Green Show” is being marketed as the only morning radio show in West Michigan presented by two female hosts. “We are so excited to present this one-of-a-kind show to the West Michigan audience,” OM/PD Lori Bennett said in a release. “Rachael and Jackie are two of the most dynamic personalities I’ve ever worked with and their emotional connection as part of the West Michigan community is unmatched. Sure, they’re about ‘girl power,’ but actually, it’s ‘people power.’”

Gray, who has been heard in mornings at “105.3 Hot FM” for the past seven years, added, “I have never been more thrilled in my entire career. It’s an exciting time for our industry, and I feel beyond grateful that I get to sit ‘across the board’ from one of my closest friends, who also happens to be an amazing woman.”

Green, who started her radio career at Townsquare Media crosstown rock WGRD-FM (97.9), previously hosted “On the Scene with Jackie Green” on the local Fox TV affiliate. She returned to radio in 2016, hosting afternoons at “105.3 Hot FM.”

“Since I began in radio, my dream was to be part of a morning show,” Green remarked. “I’m so happy to make the move to work with Rachael, who’s not only an incredible talent but a great friend.”

ESPN Launches New Flagship College Football Podcast.

ESPN debuts “ESPN College Football Podcast- Herbie & Pollack,” a new flagship college football podcast. The program features lead analysts Kirk Herbstreit and David Pollack and is hosted by SportsCenter’s Kevin Negandhi.

The new podcast debuted Friday, Aug. 23 and will publish three times a week through the collegiate football season. Negandhi will be joined by Herbstreit on Mondays, while Pollack will co-host Wednesdays and Fridays.

The series will feature many of ESPN’s well-known college football personalities, with weekly segments devoted to the CFP Rankings, the ESPN CFB 150 Initiative – which celebrates the 150th anniversary of college football – along with predictions and analysis of upcoming games.

The new podcast joins “CFB 150: Down & Distance,” hosted by Ivan Maisel and an audio version of the “Packer and Durham” morning show that airs on the ACC Network as new entries into ESPN’s new podcast lineup. ESPN’s weekday “College Football Live” is also now available as a podcast.

Neal Boortz ‘Fully Retired” After Filing Last Commentary On WSB.

Neal Boortz, who retired from his daily syndicated talk show in 2013, and has been doing daily commentaries on Cox Media Group’s WSB-WSBB-FM Atlanta (750/95.5), filed his final audio segment Friday, Aug. 23.

Boortz opened the piece by recalling his move from being a full-time lawyer to talk show host back in the early 90s, which he says was made to decrease the stress level he was experiencing at the time. “Well, it’s back in spades,” he said in “The Last Commentary.” “I cannot believe what is happening to this country,” he continued. “I can’t watch the news anymore.”

Blaming what he described as “America headed toward a disaster” due to children “knowing more about LGBTQ history than they know about the history of the United States,” Boortz said he decided to hang up the headphones for good.

“I’m going to just enjoy my friends, my family and my travels while the rest of you see if you can pull this country back from the brink,” he said. “I want to be fully retired because I don’t want to pay that much attention to the news… because the news is so depressing and I don’t want to be depressed.” Boortz thanked listeners “for a great career at WSB and for six years at these commentaries.” Listen to his last WSB commentary HERE.

His earlier radio program was on the air on WSB beginning in 1993, with syndication starting in 1999. He stepped down from the program in January 2013 with 200 affiliates and an estimated weekly audience of six million.

Following Devastating Fires, ‘Radio Malibu’ Now Running On Solar Power.

“Radio Malibu” KBUU-LP (99.1) is now operating using solar power, the first phase of the station setting up emergency communications for Malibu High School and Malibu City Hall.

During the Woolsey Fire that devastated the area in November, “Radio Malibu” broadcast information for the local community until it was knocked off the air when power lines were lost in the wildfire.

The installation of solar panels comes courtesy of a grant from the Malibu Foundation and relieves the station of counting on gas-powered generators in case of another power outage.

“We’ve burned about 3,200 gallons of gas to stay on the air since Nov. 16,” General Manager Hans Laetz told The Malibu Times. “Nothing will be better than getting off the grid and going solar.”

Now that the station can rely on solar panels, the next phase of keeping the community connected during times of emergency is the installation of a new microwave data link from Santa Monica High School to Malibu High School (MHS).

“MHS, like the rest of Malibu, is vulnerable to loss of phones and internet when Southern California Edison turns off the power in Santa Anas,” Laetz continued. “Radio Malibu” will provide a microwave relay site at their transmitter, which sits 825 feet above sea level. “We hope to have a 100mbs signal pathway set up between MHS and Santa Monica High in 30 days—powered with solar panels and batteries,” he said. “Santa Monica High School will connect that to the outside internet.”

Plans are in motion to extend the microwave data link to Malibu City Hall, which will give the city emergency services access to the internet during power outages, such as last fall’s wildfires. “It’s critical that City Hall has a solar/battery connection to the outside world in case a blackout or downed power pole takes out their internet and internet-based phone system,” Laetz said. The connection will also be provided to Malibu’s elementary schools.

KBUU is also planning to install boosters to extend the signal reach of the low power station to eastern Malibu and the far western parts of the city.

“The Malibu Foundation is underwriting the substantial construction projects and paying for the contract engineers and electricians, plus our legal fees at the FCC,” Laetz continued. “They’re supporting ways to harden the entire fire-ravaged area—not just Malibu—against the effects of global warming.”

Family Secrets Podcasts Gets ‘Today’ Show Promo.

The second season of the Family Secrets podcast began this week and the iHeartPodcast Network original had some high-profile publicity for its return. To coincide with the launch, host and best-selling author Dani Shapiro appeared on NBC-TV’s “Today” show to tell her eye-opening story and promote the new season.

In the spring of 2016, through a genealogy website to which author Dani Shapiro had submitted her DNA for analysis, she received the stunning news that her father was not her biological father. The resulting book, Inheritance, has become a Times bestseller, and last February she became a podcaster with the release of the first season of iHeart’s Family Secrets podcast. The podcast tackles stories of paternity, identity, crime, addiction, abuse, shame and guilt in a way that the producers say will allow listeners to have a platform to “liberate themselves from the power that a family secret can hold over them.”

As part of Shapiro’s “Today” show appearance, a guest from the first season of Family Secrets also told his story. Steve Lickteig was raised to believe his grandparents were his parents, but when he was 18 learned the truth.

In the new season of the Family Secrets podcast, guests share with Shapiro how they confronted or came to terms with a secret. Episode one details Jon Mehlman and his wife Marla’s decision not to tell their children about Marla’s breast cancer. Instead of burdening their daughters with imminent death, the two wanted to live a happy and full life.

“The amazing thing that I think is happening these days is there is new understanding of relationships and family,” Shapiro said.

News Bites: KXTG, KDKA, Westwood One, WGAN.

News Bites for August 23...

...Alpha Media sports “The Game” KXTG Portland (750) is dropping its FM simulcast on the Gresham, OR-licensed translator K275CH at 102.9. Speculation has Alpha placing rhythmic CHR programming currently on KWEE as “We 96.3” on the 102.9 translator signal with the imminent sale of KWEE to Way Media. Alpha currently operates KWEE under a local marketing agreement with 3 Horizons Media.

...Lineup tweaks at Entercom “NewsRadio 1020” KDKA Pittsburgh, effective Sept. 3: Larry Richert and John Shumway move from 6-10am to 5-9am; Marty Griffin transfers from afternoons with Wendy Bell to 9am-12pm solo; Lynne Hayes-Freeland shifts from 10am-2pm to 12-3pm; Bell continues in PM drive (3-6pm) solo. Evenings will have Robert Mangino 6-7pm and 8-10pm Wednesday through Friday. Rob Pratte will handle Monday and Tuesday evenings from 6-10pm.

...Westwood One announces additional Labor Day Weekend radio specials. Singer/actress Sabrina Carpenter will host “Last Big Weekend of Summer,” playing pop hits of the summer with a look forward to fall concerts, movies and events. The four-hour CHR special is available to air from Saturday, Aug. 31 through Monday, Sept 2. The “Last Official Weekend of Summer” rock special is hosted by Brandon Boyd of Incubus, who will look back at the biggest summer festivals and ahead to concerts this fall. The special is also available to air over Labor Day Weekend. Westwood One previously announced its “Workin’ Hard Country” hosted by Dierks Bentley for country stations.

...Saga Communications news/talk WGAN Portland, ME (560) is simulcasting on the Portland-licensed translator W253DA at 98.5. The station had been airing on the Portland-licensed translator W288CU at 105.5. A new format is expected to debut on the 98.5 signal in the near future.

Tune-In Time: Commuters Spend 8.8B Hours A Year Stuck In Traffic.

The good news: There’s plenty of time for commuters to tune in to AM/FM radio during the morning commute. Less good: That’s because traffic congestion continues to clog the nation’s highways. The Texas A&M Transportation Institute links an improvement in the economy to the worsening gridlock, with the average auto commuter in 2017 adding about 12 minutes per day to their time stuck in traffic.

Average commute times have increased to nearly 27 minutes one way from about 24 minutes in 2001, according to a story in The Wall Street Journal, quoting U.S. Census data. For those who drive to work, the average commute was almost 26 minutes in 2017, up from about 23 in 2001.

That additional 12 minutes a day equates to a grueling 54 hours a year—roughly the time it would take to binge-watch five seasons of a TV show, the Journal says. The study finds that in most cities, more Americans at work means more cars on the road at peak times. “The economy-congestion linkage is as dependable as gravity,” the Texas A&M report says.

Nationwide, congestion rose steadily from the 1980s through the middle of the last decade, before stalling briefly during the recession, according to the data. Since 2009, it has grown by 26%, as measured by the number of hours commuters are delayed by traffic. That is equivalent to roughly an extra hour every year.

Increasingly, commuters are also sharing the road with trucks moving goods to satisfy the increased consumer demand, said Bill Eisele, senior research engineer at the institute. “If we eat anything or buy anything, that’s going to take a truck to get it to you,” he said.

The top 10 metros with the most egregious congestion in 2017, measured in minutes the average commuter spends in traffic per day, are: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, New York, San Jose, Boston, Seattle, Atlanta, Houston and Chicago. In fact, drivers in Los Angeles spent 119 hours a year in traffic in 2017, almost half an hour every workday, on average. And drivers in Fresno, CA., spent 40 hours in traffic in 2017, up 67% since 2009, the fastest growth rate since the recession. Those in Bakersfield, Calif., saw their annual traffic time grow by 60% to 24 hours on average.

Congestion nationwide consumes a total of 8.8 billion hours a year, the report found, and wastes 3.3 billion gallons of fuel. Combined, that costs the economy $166 billion a year, according to the report.

Bonneville-Seattle Appoints Four Directors In Organizational Restructure.

Bonneville has made a sweeping restructure of its three-station Seattle cluster, with a slew of new organizational appointments intended, in part, to grow its digital business. Effective Monday, Aug. 26, the company has appointed four new directors while giving expanded responsibilities to a trio of managers.

  • Mike Salk moves from Program Director of sports “710 ESPN” KIRO to Director of Programming, overseeing news/talk KIRO-FM (97.3) and talk “AM 770” KTTH in addition to the sports station.
  • Tina Sorensen advances from Sales Manager of KIRO-FM and KTTH to Director of Digital, managing both content and revenue for the cluster’s digital properties, which include the MyNorthwest web portal.
  • Cathy Cangiano expands from “710 ESPN” Sales Manager to Director of Sales for all three stations, plus Seattle Mariners Radio. “710 ESPN” is the Mariners network flagship.
  • Alison Lichtbach upgrades from Controller to Director of Finance, managing the Business and Operations Departments.

Marin Brustuen continues to serve as the fifth director in her Human Resources Business Partner role.

Calling the five directors “proven leaders,” VP/Market Manager Dave Pridemore says they’re ready for their new assignments. “They are innovative and prepared to provide guidance as we look to the future of our dynamic and far reaching audio and digital products,” Pridemore said in a news release. “This new structure ensures our success in 2020 and beyond and elevates our daily focus on our digital business which is imperative, as Bonneville Seattle is well positioned in this space to generate significant audience growth and to deliver solid ROI to our clients.”

In addition, Bonneville has given expanded responsibilities to three of the cluster’s managers:

  • Bryan Buckalew as the Program Director of KIRO-FM
  • Colleen O’Brien as the Managing Editor of KIRO-FM, leading its news department
  • Ethan Kelly as Sales Manager for KIRO-FM and KTTH

As part of the restructure, the company has eliminated the position of Director of News and Programming at KIRO-FM.

What Will Impact Radio In Washington This Year

By Frank Saxe

    The clock is ticking on the 115th Congress and if its first half accomplishments are any indication, legislation that would impact radio may struggle to gain traction in the coming months. No issue looms larger for radio than a performance royalty and music copyright reform. But unlike in years past, today the radio and record industries are talking.

      There’s more than just a potential performance royalty keeping radio’s lobbyists busy. Washington insiders say that although conventional wisdom says not much gets done in an election year, the best chance of a legislative action impacting radio is passage of a bill that would allow stations to tap into the fund paying for the TV spectrum repack.

        The elevation of Ajit Pai to chairman of the Federal Communications Commission a year ago has delivered a number of regulatory changes that have long been sought by broadcasters as he’s followed through with his pledge to “take a weed whacker” to FCC regulations. Washington insiders think it’s a course Pai will continue down in 2018.

        PEOPLE MOVES

        • Updated

        Scotty Kay joins the morning show at Entercom country “US99” WUSN. Kay, who was most recently morning host at Cumulus Media hot AC “Hot 93.3” KLIF-FM Dallas, joins Jason Pullman and Katie Bright who succeeded “Stylz & Roman” and debuted Aug. 8.

        • Updated

        Moriah Daniels is named midday host at Hubbard country WIRK West Palm Beach (103.1). Daniels began with the station eight years ago as an intern under CBS Radio ownership and has served in a number of roles including brand ambassador, air talent and in the sales department.

        Drive time exits at Entercom rhythmic oldies “Q 102.1” KRBQ San Francisco as morning man Chuy Gomez and PM driver Victor “Big Daddy” Zaragoza exit, the result of ongoing staff cuts at the radio group. Both had been with the station since 2018.

        • Updated

        Frank Lario has exited his morning co-host role at Entercom classic hits WOGL (98.1). Lario posted on Facebook that he is suffering from tinnitus, which led to him stepping away from his role at the station.

        The Inside Story On Nielsen’s New Podcast Listener Buying Service.

        Nielsen last month unveiled its Podcast Listener Buying Power Service, a qualitative measurement service that shows insights into podcast listeners’ buying habits. Nielsen says the new service will leverage Nielsen Scarborough’s nearly 30,000-person database to connect specific types of listeners with particular advertisers and specific program-level insights. It also matches podcast listeners with their buying behavior.

        Six months after the project was hatched inside Nielsen, five podcast companies that have signed on as charter clients—iHeartMedia, Cadence13, Stitcher, Westwood One and cabana—are just weeks away from getting their hands on the first data. Podcast News Daily caught up with Bruce Supovitz, Nielsen’s Senior VP of National Audio Services, to get an inside look at the Podcast Listener Buying Power Service and what may be next for Nielsen in the podcast business. An edited transcript follows.

        A good place to start is probably a description of how the Podcast Listener Buying Power Service works?

        We start with Scarborough USA, the very well-known and accepted qualitative database that’s been used to plan and buy various media for years. People have used it to buy and sell radio, television, cable, newspapers, internet, and sports. The challenge was there wasn’t a lot about podcasting in there. So from that large database we do ask a question about whether someone was a podcast listener in the past 30 days. So we use that pool of people, which is rather robust, to re-contact and complete an online survey that we have developed that focuses strictly on podcast listening habits and preferences.

        The Scarborough sample is quite large.

        Scarborough USA is a 200,000-person sample and we know from that there is a pool of people, probably 15-20%, that we know have said they listened to at least one podcast in the last 30 days. So that’s our starting pool and from that we can re-contact those people who have already filled out a rather in depth booklet that talks about whether they are planning to buy a car, change insurance, do home improvement. And even deeper than that, it asks about some specific brands and categories, for instance, which big box home improvement store they shop in or which insurance company they use. So it’s not just intent to purchase, which is very valuable, it does drill down to brand-specific names. Planners and buyers have been using this for radio, television and cable for a long time but there was never anything specific tying back to podcasts. So that’s what this service is going to do.

        What sort of questions will you ask people who listen to podcasts?

        We created a questionnaire of about a dozen questions of things that you would normally think about, such as do you listen to podcasts? How often do you listen? How much time do you listen? How many podcasts do you listen to in an average week? What’s the typical length of a podcast? What devices do you listen to podcasts on? How did you hear about or discover podcasts? What kind of apps do you use to listen? We ask a question in there as a nod to radio stations, asking if they listen to a podcast from a local radio station. We even ask a question if they’ve purchased something after they’ve listened to an ad in a podcast. We ask a lot of questions that paint a very good picture about the type of person, whether they’re a light, medium or heavy user of podcasting. And then we top it off using the 18 Apple Podcast categories and ask them to identify their favorite formats and genres.

        So what does that get you?

        If a planner is given instructions to make a buy for a large brand, the brand has told them what the demographic target is and other qualitative criteria. And then they’re presented with 700,000 podcasts to choose from. Now they can go into this and say they want to reach Women 18-49 who listen to five or more podcasts a month, use the following apps and are fans of true crime and then tie that exactly back to a brand and a competitor’s brand to see what the indexes are and the coverage composition. From a pre-buy attribution point of view, that’s really very powerful stuff.

        Will you get to program-level data?

        We are going to allow subscribers to have the ability to submit a limited number of program titles to us for inclusion in the survey. That way, when the data comes out, they will see their own programs—they won’t see the other program titles—and walk in to the buyer and show their downloads and a direct profile of their program and the people who say they listen to the show and the places they shop. That’s very powerful.

        The Podcast Listener Buying Power Service is a twice a year product, correct?

        The first release will be coming out later this month for the very first time. It’s going to be available to clients through our Prime Lingo, a very user-friendly web-based piece of software. We will probably be targeting our next release in December and then in 2020 we’ll look to have a two times-a-year release schedule.

        How did this service come together?

        We’ve been in this space for a couple of years talking to podcasters about what they need and solutions. We are doing a very large business with media analytics for our podcast clients, which are the brand lift and ad effectiveness studies. We’re engaged with a large number of podcast sellers, where we do these studies focused on an advertiser and what their ad recall, resonance and reaction was from listeners to that spot on the podcast. Those are very campaign-focused. What we like about that is it helps people on both sides. The agencies and the advertiser get to see how their campaign resonated. The podcaster can use it to generate revenue and ad sales. We see the Podcast Listener Buying Power Service as the next step. What else can we do to help podcasters drive sales, specifically brand dollars? We heard from podcasters and agencies that they need analytics about podcast listeners. And here we are sitting with this fantastic database that’s been used for years and is widely accepted. So we linked that to podcasting.

        How will this compare to some of the other research that we see on podcasting?

        Anyone can do a questionnaire or a study on podcast listening, but how many can link that data back to the same people who said that they bought or planned to buy the following products. That’s what we feel is the Nielsen advantage of having a big dataset and why some very large podcasters have signed-up for this service before the first data even came out.

        You’re launching with some big names. Have you heard from any other podcasters considering it?

        We are definitely going to add clients. Some were talking a wait-and-see and weren’t as familiar with Scarborough as others that have taken comfort in the big companies supporting this. But we’ve been getting inbound inquiries from as far away as the U.K. and Australia from podcasters who want us to offer the service in their countries. As well as podcast divisions within larger media companies that are just beginning to explore podcasting and, when they saw this announcement, they’ve been reaching out to Nielsen to find out more.

        What do you make of that?

        I think it’s the natural evolution that people want data and they want it tied to the brands and they want attribution. This once again gets them closer to that. If you’re an average CMO or an ad agency and you’ve been presented with the challenge to purchase “new ears” and podcasting is red-hot. So how do they begin? It’s a pretty big universe out there. This helps them.

        So this is part of the bigger effort to bring more ad dollars to podcasting?

        Yes, and surround podcasting with tried-and-true data analytics that have been acceptable and advertisers know that works.

        What feedback have you had from the ad community?

        They’re excited. There’s a lot of interest and they say there’s a ton of podcasts out there and they need help to narrow that down to the type of listener and that this is going to be a big help for them.

        Can you give us a sense of how big a focus podcasting is within Nielsen?

        In the Nielsen Audio division, it’s one of the fastest-growing segments for us in terms of year-over-year work with clients. It’s also a natural extension of working with our audio clients because not only are podcasters big in this space, but radio groups have taken positions in podcasting companies, have created podcast divisions, and it’s important to them to reach as many ears in as many distribution points as possible. So it’s a strategically important thing for Nielsen Audio and the work we’re doing is growing rapidly.

        So is this new service a step toward eventually having Nielsen podcast ratings?

        The two are distinct and definitely different. We have a technology that could measure podcasting and we tested it years ago. That approach requires that each mobile app put our code on it and then you collect the consumption through that code. In order for that to be successful, you need all the apps to participate to have a good collection of data. And if you don’t have all the apps, and specifically if you don’t have some of the major podcast apps, then you have an incomplete picture. You don’t get the whole environment and I think people want to get everything they can, that’s what they’re used to in the digital world. The habits and behaviors of people using two different apps aren’t the same so we can’t just model this out. So we decided that while the industry was deciding amongst itself what measurement means, instead we’ve turned our focus and resources to helping people generate dollars from advertising campaigns using our insights. But just because we’re not doing it today doesn’t mean we’re not going to do it tomorrow.

        Editor’s Note: Bruce Supovitz will be among the panelists on the Evolution of Podcast Advertising panel at the Podcast Movement conference in Orlando today (Aug. 1) at 9am.