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Saturday, July 20, 2019

TOP STORY

PPM Dominators Have Rich Market Heritage In Their Favor.

Updated

What’s it take to be a double-digit ratings dynasty? It requires doing a lot of things right – consistently – from music, branding and positioning to the best personalities, promotions and community involvement. Based on an analysis of PPM data from Nielsen’s June survey, another key ingredient is market heritage.

To determine who the top performing stations are, Inside Radio ranked the top 10 stations in the June survey across all 48 PPM markets based on total week 6+ AQH share. The winners (see chart) are heavily tilted toward markets outside the top 30 where there is less competition. “Typically smaller market means less signals and therefore the average station has a larger slice of the pie, which is what AQH share measures,” notes Charlie Sislen, partner at Research Director, Inc. But getting past that, the common thread that unites these best-of-the best stations is longevity. “These are all stations with incredible heritage,” notes ratings historian Chris Huff. “The rough average of their time in format is over 24 years.”

Entercom’s “95.7 R&B” WVKL Norfolk, which tops the tally with an 11.4 share, has been programming urban AC for 18 years, according to Huff’s research. The No. 2 station on the all-PPM market ranker is iHeartMedia’s WCOL-FM Columbus, OH with an 11.1 share. It’s been in the country format since February 1992. Entercom AC “Lite 100.5” WRCH Hartford (third with a 10.4) evolved from beautiful music/easy listening to AC in 1990. WHJY’s 38-year rock heritage in Providence dates back to September 1981 – the iHeart station finished fourth with a 10.2. In a three-way tie for fifth with a 9.8 share is iHeart’s “Magic 105.7” WMJI Cleveland, which began life as an oldies outlet in September 1990 and, like most oldies stations, evolved into classic hits. If you include its oldies-to-classic hits journey as one format, WMJI has a 29-year legacy in the format.

Classic hits, in fact, has three entries in the top 10, more than any other format. The others are “Classic Hits 104.5” WJJK Indianapolis (No. 8 with a 9.7) and WGRR Cincinnati (tied for ninth with a 9.6), both Cumulus Media stations. WJJK has been classic hits since September 2006. But if you disregard its two years as “Jack,” its time classic hits/oldies legacy goes all the way back to 1997.

“A lot people believed that PPM would erase a lot of the heritage ‘halo’ advantage, but this just shows that strong, consistent brands are just as important as ever, if not more so,” Huff points out.

Sislen notes that these top performers not only have format longevity, they’ve worked hard to invest in – and protect – their brand over a long period of time. “I see a group of stations that mostly have had great brands for a long period of time, and they have worked hard to maintain that brand, which is not an easy accomplishment,” he observes. “If you protect the brand and take care of the radio station, you get shares like that.”

Another unifying aspect is that all the formats represented on the list target the 18-49 or 25-54 demo. That means they ply their trade in the most competitive demographic arena, as opposed to the 55+ zone, where there are fewer outlets in the hunt. That surprised Sislen, who expected to see some stations on the tally with strong 55+ appeal, such as news/talk and soft AC. “It is a real testament to these station’s strength that they win 6+ and most likely perform equally well in those highly competitive sales demos,” Sislen observes. – Paul Heine

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Story

Rush Limbaugh Sells 100,000 T-Shirts Benefiting Tunnel To Towers Foundation.

Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh’s answer to Nike scrapping plans for a Betsy Ross American flag-themed sneaker has resulted in a $1.5 million donation to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

Limbaugh, appearing on “Fox and Friends,” said he designed a “Stand Up for Betsy Ross” t-shirt “as a pushback to [Colin] Kaepernick and Nike.” Kaepernick informed Nike of the use of the colonial flag by some white supremacist movements, which led to the sneaker company pulling its release of the footwear.

“The audience that I have and that you have are some of the greatest people in this country,” Limbaugh told the Fox hosts. “They are ordinary people that do extraordinary things. We are well past 100,000 t-shirts… We are today announcing a donation of $1.5 million to Tunnel to Towers in 10 days.”

Limbaugh says the company producing the shirts is having trouble keeping up with demand. “To put this in perspective, the Super Bowl champion t-shirt every year that goes on sale the day of the Super Bowl, sells 50,000 in three months,” he explained. “This is 100,000 and we’re still going. There’s no end to this. People are still ordering.”

The host said orders would be filled into September. He then talked about his pride in the generosity of his fan base for the worthwhile cause: “It’s the greatest thing. It’s one of the most uplifting things that I have been involved in because this is the American people,” Limbaugh continued. “This isn’t me making a donation. This isn’t you or anybody else. This is the American people, 27 bucks at a time, generating enough revenue to be able to send $1.5 million to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.”

The Foundation honors Brooklyn firefighter Stephen Siller, who, on Sept. 11, ran through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel in full gear into lower Manhattan to help in the response to the terrorist attack of the Twin Towers. Siller died after the buildings collapsed. The non-profit organization helps military and first responders in times of need.

The transcript of Limbaugh’s appearance on “Fox and Friends” can be found HERE.

Story

WHMP Names Studio After Beloved 50-Year Station Employee.

Updated

Studio naming rights are fairly common in the radio industry, but Saga Communications talk WHMP Springfield, MA (1400) has placed the name of a 50-year station employee, Barbara J. Kuschk—who former GM Rick Heideman described as the one “holding chaos at check” in the traffic department for half a century—upon its on-air studio.

Kuschk, who joined the station as a high school senior in 1969, is more humble with her job description, which she describes to the Daily Hampshire Gazette as “making sure that the right commercial gets on at the right time.” A lifelong love affair with radio has kept her in place for half a century. “I remember listening to the radio when I was, like, 4,” she said as she talked about carrying a transistor radio wherever she went.

While Kuschk remained the constant, a rotating cast of radio personnel has come and gone, from managers and disc jockeys to sales people and back office staff, many of whom came together for a celebration of her career milestone.

“She was just amazing,” Hugh Massey, former reporter, news director and production director said. “If I had something missing that needed to get done, I’d get a phone call… She will remain a legend.”

As anyone who has been entrenched in radio for the amount of time Kuschk has been, she appreciates the technological advances the industry has seen but misses the personal touch. Most of the programming is pre-recorded or satellite or digitally fed. The station remains live and local weekdays in morning drive with the “WHMP Morning News” with Bob Flaherty and Denise Vozella from 6-9am and Bill Newman from 9-10am.

“We are now, and in the future will be, broadcasting live from the Barbara J. Kuschka WHMP studio,” Newman said as he opened his program on Wednesday, July 17.

Syndicated programming makes up the rest of the day with a lineup that includes Stephanie Miller, Thom Hartmann, Clark Howard, Dave Ramsey and John Batchelor. Even so, Kuschk is there to step in when issues arise. She recalled having to load an afternoon program on the fly, within seconds of realizing the show was not in place. “To the listener, they couldn’t tell the difference,” she said. When asked why she has stayed at the station for so long, Kuschk said, “Because I just love radio.”

Story

Shark Bites Richmond Radio Host (She’s Okay)… Publicity Ensues.

Updated

Richmond radio host Melissa Chase is recounting her vacation for listeners with the harrowing tale of being bitten by a shark. “It was a baby one and I’m fine now, but holy bananas it hurt so badly,” she shared on social media. With all limbs intact, the on-air personality co-hosts “Play Mornings with Melissa and Jack” on SummitMedia hot AC “103.7 Play” WURV.

The scare took place last week while on vacation with her family in North Carolina—and is not only drumming up attention via the station’s social media, but also a report on local WTVR-TV.

"It was my fault for going too far out in the ocean,” she added on the station’s Facebook page.

Chase said she was far out in the water playing on sandbars with her kids at Sunset Beach, NC, when she felt something rubbery hit her legs. "I knew right away it was a shark, but didn’t have enough time to react before it bit down on my ankle," she added. "The immediate pain felt exactly like you’d think it would when you watch a shark movie and it chomps down; my stomach felt completely nauseous."

Chase said she then hollered to get her kids out of the water. "I yelled to my oldest that I got pinched by a crab and we had to get out of there quickly so she wouldn’t get bit and screamed for the others to come out with us," she said. "We ran into shore and our friend who is a nurse helped get the bleeding under control."

At the hospital, doctors told her she was bitten by a baby shark. She said she was given a tetanus shot and an x-ray to make sure there weren’t any teeth left in the puncture wounds, the TV report explained. "I was super lucky it wasn't a big shark and beyond thankful it happened to me and not my kids," she said. "Plus I saw ‘Spider-Man’ and his powers started with a bite - so who knows, maybe I’ll end up with super powers after this."

Story

Refuge Media Group Donates Stations To University of Northwestern-St. Paul.

Updated

Religious broadcast group Refuge Media Group is donating three full-power radio stations and 14 translators to fellow religious broadcaster University of Northwestern-St. Paul. The university gains WJRF Duluth, MN (89.5); KRGM Marshall, MN (89.9); and KRFG Nashwauk, MN (102.9). The 14 translators are spread across Minnesota, Iowa and South Dakota.

The FCC application to transfer the licenses has the university assuming Refuge’s existing or outstanding liabilities in the amount of $46,680.70, NorthPine.com reports. It will also fund operations of the network, which airs Christian CHR as “Refuge Radio” until closing of the transaction.

As earlier reported by Inside Radio’s Deal Digest, the translators include the Mankato, MN-licensed K206DI at 89.1 FM; Fairmont, MN-licensed K208FJ at 89.5 FM; Hutchinson, MN-licensed K215DU at 90.9 FM; Grand Marias, MN-licensed K220BI at 91.9 FM; Grand Rapids, MN-licensed K256CW at 99.1 FM; New Ulm, MN-licensed K270DZ at 101.9 FM; Pennock, MN-licensed K277CC at 103.3 FM; Sioux Falls, SD-licensed K288GA at 105.5 FM; Brandon, SD-licensed K208EX at 89.5 FM; Watertown, SD-licensed K220IT at 91.9 FM; Brookings, SD-licensed K288EV at 105.5 FM; Spirit Lake, IA-licensed K210CG at 89.9 FM; and the Spencer, IA-licensed K220HY at 91.9 FM.

Once the deal closes, Refuge Media Group will still own two construction permits: KRGO Alton, IA (91.5) and KRFW Watertown, SD (91.9).

Story

iHeart Podcast Exec Matty Staudt Launches Jam Street Media.

Updated

Matty Staudt, iHeartRadio’s Vice President of Podcast Programming, has announced he’s stepping away from full-time work at the company to form his own podcast firm. Los Angeles-based Jam Street Media is a podcast production and consulting firm that Staudt has launched with Jessica Navarro, who most recently was EVP and head of production at Unrealistic Ideas, the production company created by actor Mark Wahlberg.

In an Instagram post, Staudt called his iHeart exit “bittersweet” and said he will still be working with the company in the future. And he will remain host of the Access Podcast on iHeartRadio. “I’m not leaving the company 100% but I am going to be devoting my time to this new endeavor,” Staudt said. “We’ll be doing branded podcasts as well as consulting and coaching for people who want to get into the podcasting space.

Staudt had been overseeing iHeartRadio’s podcast programming since June 2018. He previously was the digital program director for its San Francisco cluster. Staudt’s 29-year broadcast career began at his hometown station WQZK-FM Keyser, WV. Since then he’s moved around the country as a producer and consultant. In 2008, he became part of the startup team and first director of content and community for the podcasting app, Stitcher before moving to Premiere Networks as a consulting producer. Staudt’s passion for podcasting also extends to academia – he teaches at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco where he is credited with developing the first podcast production program of its kind in the U.S. and its first branded content course.

Story

KUOW’s ‘Battle Tactics For Your Sexist Workplace’ Returns for a Second Season.

Updated

Battle Tactics For Your Sexist Workplace, the podcast from Puget Sound Public Radio news/talk KUOW-AM/FM Seattle, has launched its second season with a dozen episodes offering up strategies for how people can deal with sexism in the modern workplace. Hosted by Jeannie Yandel and Eula Scott Bynone, many of the episodes from season two will focus on personal dilemmas brought up by listeners, such as how to be a better ally to other women, navigating appearance in the workplace, the flaws of “leaning in” and the pros and cons of being your own boss.

Senior Producer Caroline Chamberlain Gomez says there’s no “silver bullet” for dealing with the issue and the new season will look at the trade-offs and unintended consequences that come with taking action. “Dramatic #metoo stories that bring down powerful men continue to make headlines, but for a lot of women, sexism is a mundane, regular occurrence, littered with grey areas,” Gomez said. “This season of BTSW is all about exploring these grey areas and how women in different positions with different life experiences can navigate them most productively.”

In addition to many individual stories sent in over email, the BTSW Facebook Group also has a thread with dozens of listeners weighing in on quitting versus staying. “The BTSW team has forged a deep connection with its audience. This project has community participation baked into its DNA, with listener stories and questions forming the backbone of many of the episodes,” said KUOW Managing Producer Brendan Sweeney.

In addition to seeking topic ideas and stories from listeners, BTSW has also brought onboard two advisers for season two. Mikaela Kiner, CEO of Reverb is acting as the podcast’s “HR whisperer," evaluating the efficacy of the tactics discussed. And Ruchika Tulshyan, an inclusion strategist, is helping bring in new guests and amplify perspectives that are often overlooked in conversations about workplace sexism.

KUOW says six episodes in BTSW’s second season will be full-length shows with another six labeled as “bonus” episodes.

Story

News Bites: WBBM, ‘CRS360,’ MBA Scholarships.

Updated

News Bites for July 19...

...Entercom news WBBM Chicago (780) is at last broadcasting from its new transmitter site. It took two years for engineers to dismantle the former site in Itasca, IL where the station’s 50,000-watt signal has emanated from since 1942, according to Chicago media reporter Robert Feder. With the new location, WBBM has powered down to 35,000 watts daytime and 42,000 watts at night to comply with FCC requirements. The property of the former transmitter site was sold to a developer for $46 million.

...The next installment of Country Radio Broadcasters “CRS360” webinar series “Country Radio 2019: Mid-Year Ratings and State of The Format Report” will be Thursday, July 25 at 12pm (CT). “Our July CRS360 episode takes a look at the format’s mid-year ratings report card, examining national shares in key demos, comparing PPM and diary-measured markets and highlighting success stories in certain markets and at specific stations,” CRS Executive Director RJ Curtis said in a release. Panelists include Chris Huff, PD at Entercom country “The Bull 100.3” KILT-FM Houston and Joey Tack, PD at Bonneville’s “New Country 105.1” KNCI Sacramento. MCA Nashville Senior VP/Promotion Katie Dean will moderate the session. The webinar also includes a broader “state of the format” discussion to identify potential strong music trends, emerging artists, and how country radio can compete with other platforms that expose the music. Register for the free webinar HERE.

...The Massachusetts Broadcasters Association (MBA) has awarded 21 scholarships totaling $34,000 to students across the state. The grants come from the MBA’s Student Broadcaster Scholarship, Families in Broadcasting Scholarship and the Al Sprague Memorial Scholarship. The scholarships are given to students pursuing a career in over-the-air broadcasting and enrolled in a broadcast program at a two- or four-year accredited school. This year, nine Bay State residents were selected from nearly 100 applicants for the $2,000 scholarships. Winners were chosen based on financial need, academic achievement, extracurricular and community involvement and an essay about their interest in broadcasting.

Story

With ‘Blow,’ Pop Act Ed Sheeran Scores Bona Fide Rock Radio Hit.

Meet Ed Sheeran, unlikely rocker. Sure enough, the pop balladeer has achieved what might have seemed a near impossibility only a week ago. His all-out riff-fest “Blow,” featuring Bruno Mars and Chris Stapleton, from Sheeran’s just-released “No.6 Collaborations Project,” has broken bad at active rock radio, launching at No. 40 on Mediabase with 102 spins.

In fact, the song is hinting at becoming a multi-format hit—despite three other rapid-fire releases sanctioned by label Atlantic from the new album: his CHR, hot AC and AC smash “I Don’t Care” with Justin Bieber; “Beautiful People” featuring Khalid; and “Cross Me,” with Chance the Rapper & PnB Rock, all of which CHR stations are playing.

The question of whether—and how—to place pop star Sheeran, renegade country artist Stapleton and pop/R&B act Mars on rock radio was front of mind last week for consultant Fred Jacobs, who asked in his blog for Jacobs Media Strategies, “Will Rock Radio Play This Song (Can It Afford Not To?).” As Inside Radio reported on July 15, “Blow” “could be a game-changer for a variety of reasons,” according to Jacobs.

Meanwhile, online, during its first four days available as a stream, the song earned nearly 3 million on-demand plays (both audio and video) in the U.S.

Fast forward to July 18. On the all-encompassing Billboard Hot 100, which includes streaming, sales and airplay, “Blow” debuts at No. 60 for the week of July 20, 2019. (Sheeran also propels on the Billboard Artist 100 to No. 3 from No. 8.) At Mediabase, Sheeran has no fewer than seven songs riding the top 40 top 100, including, by spins: the three aforementioned releases—and then “Blow” at No. 55, with 308 spins.

In addition to top 40 and active rock, triple-A radio is playing “Blow” to the tune of 86 spins over the past seven days, Mediabase reports; while hot AC has awarded the song 61 spins. Rhythmic CHR is playing the three Atlantic singles, but not “Blow” (not surprisingly), while the track is not being indulged at either alternative or country. AC, meanwhile, is still obsessed with his hit from two years ago, “Perfect,” which remains in the top 5 there.

Meanwhile, Billboard reports that “Blow” enters at No. 3 on its Hot Rock Songs airplay chart for July 20. The closing track from Sheeran’s new album has garnered 7.5 million U.S. streams, 1.5 million plays across radio and 26,000 paid downloads, according to Nielsen Music. “Blow” also bows at No. 40 on the Mainstream Rock Songs airplay chart, Billboard says.

On Spotify, tracks from the singer-songwriter's “No.6 Collaborations Project” have helped boost monthly listeners on the service to nearly 70 million, the service reports. Sulinna Ong, Spotify UK's Head of Artist & Label Services called it “an incredible and rare feat.”—Chuck Taylor

Story

Branded Podcasts May Be Local Radio’s Easiest Entry Into Podcast Ad Market.

For a lot of local radio stations looking to capitalize on the expanding podcast marketplace, the first thought is what interesting content can they create to attract an audience. But that may be a legacy way of thinking that has broadcasters missing out on what could be a bigger opportunity. Jacobs Media digital consultant Seth Resler thinks local stations should take a fresh look at branded podcasts.

“When we think about podcasts, we really think about it in terms of the old radio model,” Resler said Thursday on a webinar. “To go out there create a hit, get a lot of people to listen, and then sell ads into it and connect advertisers with our product. The problem is it’s really hard to do.” He said most local stations don’t have the resources to produce shows that will attract a national audience. Plus there’s a lot of competition with more than 700,000 shows now in existence. And not all local sales teams are equipped to sell podcasts.

“Some radio companies create hits. That largely happens at the corporate level. But it’s tough for individual stations to do. So if you’re a smaller broadcasting company there may be a more effective way to use podcasts to generate some revenue,” said Resler, adding, “So don’t look at what the big guys are doing and say we need to copy what they’re doing.”

Branded podcasts may not be the first thought inside a radio station when the medium is mentioned. But rethinking the format could quickly begin producing revenue for a broadcaster, Resler said, rather than investing in a show and waiting to see if it becomes a hit. The data suggests there’s a growing opportunity.

Even as the vast majority of podcast revenue comes from either direct response or brand advertising, a growing number of marketers are looking at building their own content as a way to use podcasting as an advertising vehicle. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) said branded podcasts made up 10.1% of the industry’s ad revenue in 2018. That’s up from just 1.5% two years earlier. “Branded content is still a small percentage of the amount of revenue, but it is growing,” Resler said. “And I think that’s going to continue to grow in the future.”

How To Create A Branded Podcast

Once a station decides creating branded podcasts for local clients is something they want to do, Resler said the next step is determining how to approach potential partners. “The right clients have got a budget. They have money to spend on a podcast. Second, you want someone who already has fans. That’s why Trader Joe’s podcast works so well. They already have fans that are willing to engage. If it’s a new business that just launched, podcasting is probably not the right medium. And you want them to view podcasting as part of their overall marketing strategy,” he said. “This is not somebody who is looking to create a podcast and become the next podcasting superstar and then sell ads into their own podcast. You’re looking for people who are viewing the branded podcast as a way to reach their clients. And it definitely helps if the person you’re selling the branded podcast to already listens to podcasts. It makes the sale a lot easier.”

One way to help ferret out potential local clients interested in using a podcast as part of their marketing strategy is for the station to create a lead generation podcast that’s specifically designed to get and attract clients who are interested in producing their own podcast. Resler said that starts with identifying a product vertical or category that also fits the station’s audience and produce a podcast that interviews local businesses that fall under that category. For instance, a station podcast about local craft breweries could spark one to launch their own show. And Resler said it’s a process that’s even easier when the product vertical is something an on-air talent who could serve as the host is passionate about.

Once the client is secured, several other decisions need to be made, like picking the host—a station talent or the client themselves—and a hosting platform for the audio file. A format also needs to be selected. “One great show format is the one-on-one interview format. This is something that radio stations know how to do. They do it all the time and it’s something your current on-air talent can host,” Resler said. “The other format is the three-person roundtable often referred to the ‘morning zoo’ format and that’s a very common format in podcasts and one that I think would work very well for clients.”

Promoting The Show

Once a branded podcast launches, promoting the show becomes critical. But that’s something stations are good at, said Resler, who thinks a spot buy should be part of the strategy. “This is something radio salespeople already know how to do. They know how to put a spot buy together.” He said stations can also use email marketing, social media, and distribution on their own mobile app. But while everyone hopes for hit, Resler suggests stations and clients agree the first series is a “pilot season” with a finite number of episodes. Then if it’s a big hit, the two can return for a second season, or pivot and make adjustments if changes are needed.

“This is an opportunity for radio in particular because we know that broadcasters are really good at producing and promoting audio,” Resler said. “So I think this is something that you could go out and sell almost immediately.”

Story

Branded Podcasts May Be Local Radio’s Easiest Entry Into Podcast Ad Market.

For a lot of local radio stations looking to capitalize on the expanding podcast marketplace, the first thought is what interesting content can they create to attract an audience. But that may be a legacy way of thinking that has broadcasters missing out on what could be a bigger opportunity. Jacobs Media digital consultant Seth Resler thinks local stations should take a fresh look at branded podcasts.

“When we think about podcasts, we really think about it in terms of the old radio model,” Resler said Thursday on a webinar. “To go out there create a hit, get a lot of people to listen, and then sell ads into it and connect advertisers with our product. The problem is it’s really hard to do.” He said most local stations don’t have the resources to produce shows that will attract a national audience. Plus there’s a lot of competition with more than 700,000 shows now in existence. And not all local sales teams are equipped to sell podcasts.

“Some radio companies create hits. That largely happens at the corporate level. But it’s tough for individual stations to do. So if you’re a smaller broadcasting company there may be a more effective way to use podcasts to generate some revenue,” said Resler, adding, “So don’t look at what the big guys are doing and say we need to copy what they’re doing.”

Branded podcasts may not be the first thought inside a radio station when the medium is mentioned. But rethinking the format could quickly begin producing revenue for a broadcaster, Resler said, rather than investing in a show and waiting to see if it becomes a hit. The data suggests there’s a growing opportunity.

Even as the vast majority of podcast revenue comes from either direct response or brand advertising, a growing number of marketers are looking at building their own content as a way to use podcasting as an advertising vehicle. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) said branded podcasts made up 10.1% of the industry’s ad revenue in 2018. That’s up from just 1.5% two years earlier. “Branded content is still a small percentage of the amount of revenue, but it is growing,” Resler said. “And I think that’s going to continue to grow in the future.”

How To Create A Branded Podcast

Once a station decides creating branded podcasts for local clients is something they want to do, Resler said the next step is determining how to approach potential partners. “The right clients have got a budget. They have money to spend on a podcast. Second, you want someone who already has fans. That’s why Trader Joe’s podcast works so well. They already have fans that are willing to engage. If it’s a new business that just launched, podcasting is probably not the right medium. And you want them to view podcasting as part of their overall marketing strategy,” he said. “This is not somebody who is looking to create a podcast and become the next podcasting superstar and then sell ads into their own podcast. You’re looking for people who are viewing the branded podcast as a way to reach their clients. And it definitely helps if the person you’re selling the branded podcast to already listens to podcasts. It makes the sale a lot easier.”

One way to help ferret out potential local clients interested in using a podcast as part of their marketing strategy is for the station to create a lead generation podcast that’s specifically designed to get and attract clients who are interested in producing their own podcast. Resler said that starts with identifying a product vertical or category that also fits the station’s audience and produce a podcast that interviews local businesses that fall under that category. For instance, a station podcast about local craft breweries could spark one to launch their own show. And Resler said it’s a process that’s even easier when the product vertical is something an on-air talent who could serve as the host is passionate about.

Once the client is secured, several other decisions need to be made, like picking the host—a station talent or the client themselves—and a hosting platform for the audio file. A format also needs to be selected. “One great show format is the one-on-one interview format. This is something that radio stations know how to do. They do it all the time and it’s something your current on-air talent can host,” Resler said. “The other format is the three-person roundtable often referred to the ‘morning zoo’ format and that’s a very common format in podcasts and one that I think would work very well for clients.”

Promoting The Show

Once a branded podcast launches, promoting the show becomes critical. But that’s something stations are good at, said Resler, who thinks a spot buy should be part of the strategy. “This is something radio salespeople already know how to do. They know how to put a spot buy together.” He said stations can also use email marketing, social media, and distribution on their own mobile app. But while everyone hopes for hit, Resler suggests stations and clients agree the first series is a “pilot season” with a finite number of episodes. Then if it’s a big hit, the two can return for a second season, or pivot and make adjustments if changes are needed.

“This is an opportunity for radio in particular because we know that broadcasters are really good at producing and promoting audio,” Resler said. “So I think this is something that you could go out and sell almost immediately.”

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Deal Digest

Deal Digest – July 18, 2019

Updated

SALES – STATIONS

New York – Emmis files a deal to sell a majority stake in urban AC WBLS (107.5) and rhythmic CHR “Hot 97” WQHT to Standard General, the hedge fund controlled by Soohyung Kim. The filing shows that in exchange for putting $91.5 million into Emmis, Standard Media will receive a 76% equity stake in the two New York stations. Emmis will retain a 24% equity stake a company they’re calling Mediaco Holdings. The deal also calls for Mediaco Holdings to pay Emmis an additional $5 million under a five-year promissory note. The complex deal also has several other components. Under a $1.25 million per year management agreement that runs until Dec. 31, 2020, Emmis will continue to operate the two FMs and employees remain employees of Emmis although they will technically be leased to Mediaco. Emmis continues to own gospel WLIB (1190) and under a local marketing agreement it will continue to have the right to simulcast its signal on the HD2 channel of WQHT for free through Dec. 31, 2022. The deal also calls for Emmis to pay Mediaco Holdings for any expenses that it incurs related to the WLIB operations or the long-term lease of sports WEPN (98.7) to ESPN Radio.

Orlando – Salem Media Group is spinning off one of its four stations in market No. 31 as it strikes a $900,000 deal to sell talk “660 The Answer” WORL to JVC Media. The deal also includes the Oviedo, FL-licensed translator W288CJ at 105.5 FM. The acquisition gives JVC Media a second station in the Orlando market where it already owns country “103.1 The Wolf” WOTW. It will operate WORL under a local marketing agreement set to begin by August 19 and run until closing. Once the sale is finalized Salem will still own three stations in the area including religious “The Word” WTLN (950), Spanish Christian “990 La Nueva Orlando” WDYZ, and business news “1520 The Biz” WBZW. Salem will retain WORL’s programming and it may switch the format to one of its other Orlando AMs. Broker: Doyle Hadden

Portland, OR – Educational Media Foundation files a $90,000 deal to buy contemporary Christian “Air1” affiliate KWBX (90.3) from Corban College. EMF already owns four stations in the Portland market including “Air1” affiliates KZRI (88.7), contemporary Christian “K-Love” affiliates KLVP (97.9) and KLVU (107.1), and Spanish religious “Radio Nueva Vida” affiliate KXPC (90.3).

Montana – Steve Fitzpatrick, the receiver overseeing KEIN, Great Falls, MT (1310) to Wayne Ferree’s Tiger Butte Broadcasting. Ferree doesn’t own any other stations. Fitzpatrick has been in charge of the station since last November when a judge ordered Munson Radio to turn control of KEIN over to a receiver. KEIN has been primarily silent since 2013 when it lost its tower site lease.

CLOSINGS

Atlantic City, NJ – Educational Media Foundation closes to buy one of Longport Media’s five stations in market No. 154. EMF closes a $570,000 deal to buy CHR “AC-102.7” WWAC, a Class A station licensed to Ocean City, NJ. EMF doesn’t currently own any stations in the Atlantic City-Cape May market but its Philadelphia station—contemporary Christian “K-Love” affiliate WKVP (106.9)—covers parts of the region. The sale leaves Longport Media with four other stations in the Atlantic City market including classic hits “Kool 98.3” WTKU-FM, rock WMGM (103.7), “News Talk 1400” WOND, and WBSS (1490) which simulcasts WTKU-FM. Broker: Tom McKinley, Media Services Group

Amarillo, TX – Gray Television has closed a deal to sell one of its two radio stations. Alpha Media will pay $250,000 to acquire urban “WE 102.9” KEYU-FM. The station flipped from Spanish adult hits “102.9 Mundo FM” last week. New call letters are in the works too. That’s because not included in the deal are the rights to the KEYU call letters, the format, and the “Mundo FM” and “Tu Musica” brands. Alpha Media already owns three stations in market No. 170 including “Country 97.9” KGNC-FM, classic hits “101 The Eagle” KXGL, and news-talk KGNC (710). Gray Television acquired KEYU-TV in June 2018 as part of its $3.65 billion buyout of Raycom Media. It also got regional Mexican “La Ley 104.7” KTXC in the Odessa-Midland, TX market. Broker: Kalil

Raleigh-Durham, NC – Stuart and Nancy Epperson’s Truth Broadcasting closes a $175,000 deal to buy religious WTSB (1090) from Lamm Media Group. The deal also includes the Selma, NC-licensed translator W288DH at 105.5 FM, which gives the 9,000-watt daytime-only station a 24-hour signal. Truth Broadcasting also owns religious “The Truth” WDRU (1030) in Raleigh-Durham and WTSB now simulcasts WDRU. Mickey Lamm still holds an ownership interest in the currently-silent WMPM (1270) in the Raleigh-Durham market. Broker: Dick Kozacko

Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE – My Bridge Radio files a $135,000 deal to buy religious “Living Water Radio” KZLW (90.1) from Calvary Chapel of Omaha. My Bridge Radio owns seven other FMs in Nebraska but KZLW will be its first in the Omaha market. Once the sale closes, Calvary Chapel of Omaha will still own religious KHLW, Tabor, IA (89.3).

Reno, NV – Evans Broadcasting Company closes a $20,000 deal to buy oldies KSVL, Smith, NV (92.3) from Donegal Enterprises. Jerry Evans already owns four station in the Reno market including AC “Fun 101” KRFN, “99.1 FM Talk” KKFT, alternative “Alt 92.1” KRAT, and “Cowboy Country 1300” KCMY.

North Carolina – Keith Baldwin closes a $10 deal to buy the currently silent WQTM Fair Bluff, NC (1480) from Rama Communications. The deal also includes the Fair Bluff, NC-licensed translator W279DQ at 103.7 FM.

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