Category: Talk Radio


Did News/Talk Radio Bungle “The Interview”?

Where was News/Talk radio when hackers reportedly representing the North Korean government nuked Sony Pictures and scared major theater owners into locking out the latest movie from Seth Rogen and James Franco, The Interview? With stations labeled "Freedom" and "The Flag" and "The Truth," News/Talk crows daily about the dangers faced by "free" Americans from their own government, so what did N/T broadcasters do when those same freedoms were abjectly denied to Americans due to the vandalism (or terrorism) of a foreign government? For most stations in the format, the answer appears to be: … [Read more...]


A Remarkable Conversation with Glenn Beck

If you are a regular watcher of CNN's Reliable Sources, then last weekend you saw the first part of a remarkable interview with the equally remarkable Glenn Beck. Always a great talent and once a polarizing lightning rod for controversy, Glenn reveals new layers of thoughtful complexity and a humanity that will surprise those who know him best from his Fox News days. I thought it was quite striking. Watch for yourself and see if you don't agree. One of the great challenges of commercial spoken word radio is that audiences and broadcasters alike are pigeonholing the format as the home of … [Read more...]


Why Nothing Changes in Talk Radio

Today, I'm taking a back seat to the inimitable Darryl Parks, a legend in the world of commercial radio spoken word. Darryl has an extraordinarily blunt and insightful perspective on what ails Talk Radio, and you can read it here. A few highlights: I guess I hit close to home with my prior blog post on the Ratings Disaster that is today’s talk radio. The June PPM’s suck for talk radio. Hell. The diary markets coming in are bringing little joy. And many in the talk radio industry just sit back and continue on autopilot with the same hard line conservative narrative hour after hour, ignoring … [Read more...]


News/Talking about the Wrong Things

Republican soul-searching followed the demographic slam to the gut from younger voters, African Americans, and Hispanics in the election earlier this month. And the reverberations from that punch have resonated through the ranks of News/Talk programmers and talent nationwide. While I can’t be specific about the research I have done in that area (it’s both extensive and proprietary), I can tell you this much: It should come as no great surprise. Interest in Talk per se – as expressed in the form of Conservative Political Talk – is only a small fraction of the overall interest in the … [Read more...]


Radio Lessons from the Huffington Post

Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington was on CNN last weekend where she outlined the key elements of HuffPo's success.  And while not every (or maybe even not any) other site can hope to become the traffic magnet that is Huffington Post, it seems to me her prescription is relevant for any local media company that aspires to truly serve the information interests of their audiences (Public Radio and News/Talk - I'm talking to you). It is most certainly not simply about spreading our content - whatever it is - across platforms. Arianna spells out four elements of the HuffPo … [Read more...]


Talk Radio: Is it Safe to be Unpopular?

And the furor over Rushgate goes on... Piping in from the perspective of Talk Radio talent was Tampa Bay's Mark Larsen, who wrote this to NTS Media Online's Al Peterson: It’s the Internet — it has changed everything. It used to be only the immediate listening audience at the time of an ‘offense’ by a host responded to the incident — usually by calling the show or writing a snail-mail letter to the manager. If the immediate audience was amiable to the host, it was like a tree falling in the forest and no one cared. But with the Internet, incidents get Tweeted, YouTube’d, played and replayed … [Read more...]


Glenn Beck on the Future of TV – and Radio

If there is no "radio," there is only media.  If there is no "television," there is only media.  And what drives each media brand is the idea at its core.  All thanks to the Internet and its panoply of digital doodads and the ubiquitous opportunity for any and every tribe to find a home and each other in the presence of the sandbox called their passions. Case and point:  Glenn Beck.  Since last month Glenn has been reinventing the future of television - and doing it online. Like him or hate him, you have to credit Glenn and his team for navigating some perilous waters and doing so with … [Read more...]


A Lesson for News/Talk Radio from Amazon’s Kindle Fire

Too many News/Talk broadcasters just don't get it. What can they learn from Amazon's new Kindle Fire? Quite a lot, I think. This is not a piece about Amazon vs. Apple.  Nor is it a piece about the merits and prospects for Kindle Fire.  Those are all discussed ad infinitum elsewhere. This is a piece about strategic thinking, specifically the strategic thinking that makes Kindle Fire different from the zillions of other tablet alternatives to Apple's groundbreaking iPad. Amazon's Jeff Bezos spelled it out, as reported by USA Today: One reason that some companies have not succeeded … [Read more...]

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