Archive for June 2013

Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity on Forbes ‘Most Powerful Celebrities’ List

June 29, 2013

The headline from this year’s Forbes Most Powerful Celebrities list was that multi-media star Glenn Beck makes more money than Oprah Winfrey. Beck is the top ranking conservative talk host on the Forbes list, reportedly earning $90 million. That’s compared to Oprah’s $77 million. Beck is ranked #34 most powerful on the list.

Rush Limbaugh, according to Forbes, earns $66 million. Limbaugh is behind Beck, ranked #37. Will Smith and Ben Aflack are sandwiched between Back and Limabugh.

Limbaugh outranks celebrities such as Adam Sandler and Angelina Jolie. They also trounce politically liberal-leaning comedians David Letterman and Jon Stewart.

Sean Hannity is also on the list, with Forbes reporting he earns $30 million. He ranks #71.

Beck, Limbaugh and Hannity are all featured in The Right Amazon best seller. Specifically, the book explains how conservative talk radio is not an echo chamber, citing some of the many differences between Beck and Limbaugh.

Click here to order a copy of The Right Frequency.


TRN’s Battle Over Ingraham, Savage Continues

June 29, 2013

Talk Radio Network is continuing its legal fight over the loss of their two biggest starts continues.

Laura Ingraham and Michael Savage after years of wrangling with TRN, bolted the netowrk for Dial Global and Courtside Entertainment, respectively. The often contentious relationship the two hosts had with TRN is talked about in The Right Frequency.

An article in Talkers magazine says the following.

“In the original suit TRN filed against numerous radio syndication and ads sales organizations alleging antitrust violations Courtside Entertainment was a defendant but a California judge removed Courtside from that complaint ruling it was not connected to the antitrust allegation.  Now, TRN files a complaint in United States District Court District of Oregon Portland Division against Courtside and Dial Global alleging tortious interference with both TRN’s contract with Michael Savage and Laura Ingraham.  The suit seeks unspecified damages plus legal fees other and further relief.”

Click here to order a copy of The Right Frequency.

Talk Radio Hosts Move From Behind Mic to Ballot

June 29, 2013

In Minnesota, talk radio is moving to the forefront of politics.

Former conservative talk radio host turned state Sen. Dave Thompson is running for governor of Minnesota, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The paper reports

“Thompson, who grew up in greater Minnesota but now lives in suburban Lakeville, built a following as a conservative talk radio show host. Thompson acknowledged the shows could provide opponents campaign fodder, but he said they won’t find a trove of edgy comments.

“I really said the same stuff on talk radio that I say now. There’s a reason for that: I believe it,” Thompson told the newspaper. “I wasn’t a shock guy. I tried to call it like I saw it.”

He isn’t the first talk radio host to move beyond just commenting on politics, as explained in The Right Frequency, an Amazon best seller.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, a former U.S. House member, was also a talk radio show host. Conservative talker Martha Zoller, who wrote the forward for The Right Frequency, was a candidate for U.S. Congress in Georgia in 2012. Liberal radio host Al Franken was elected to the U.S. Senate from Minnesota in 2008. In 1977, conservative talk show host Barry Farber was the Conservative Party nominee for Mayor of New York.

The book also talks about other talk radio hosts who strongly consider political campaigns, such as Bob Grant and Dennis Prager.

Click here to order a copy of The Right Frequency.

Walter Winchell Gossip Monger Tough to Box in Politically

June 26, 2013

Forbes magazine, in an article about celebrities and gossip titled, “Thoughts on Celebrity Mania, Walter Winchell and James Candofini,” provided coverage of Winchell profiled in Chapter 2 of The Right Frequency.

From Forbes:

Writer and movie critic Neal Gabler had this to say about gossip columnist Walter Winchell (1897-1972) (Gabler wrote Winchell: Gossip, Power and the Culture of Celebrity):

If one surveys this culture of Monica Lewinsky and O. J. Simpson and constant gossip and salaciousness, and one tries to trace the roots, you find yourself at Walter Winchell. He was not only present at the creation of this modern journalism but in many respects he was the creation.”

Winchell, portrayed by Burt Lancaster in the searing 1957 film The Sweet Smell of Success, described his craft thus:

“Gossip is the art of saying nothing in a way that leaves practically nothing unsaid.”

Winchell, the inventor if infotainment, could be difficult to define politically, as The Right Frequency explains. He began as a supporter of President Franklin Roosevelt before becoming a supporter of Sen. Joe McCarthy.

Click here to order a copy of The Right Frequency.

Social Media Habits for Radio Listeners

June 25, 2013

Arbitron and Edison Research Indefinite released the 2013 study on the social media habits of radio listeners. The results come at a time when radio is trying to ensure competitiveness among a younger demographic. The following are results as reported by Talkers Magazine.

  • News/talk/sports P1s are very aware of digital music services such as Pandora and iHeartRadio although they are far less likely to be regular users than are P1s of other radio formats.
  • They are slightly more likely to have listened to a podcast in the last month compared to the larger group of all radio users 12-plus (15% versus 12%).
  • News/talk/sports P1s are big YouTube users with 43% saying they watched a YouTube video in the last week compared to 37% for all radio users 12-plus.
  • News/talk/sports P1s are far less likely to wake up to a cell phone (19%) than are all radio users 12-plus (30%).
  • News/talk/sports P1s are fans of tablet devices with 34% claiming to own one versus 29% for all radio users 12-plus.
  • They are less likely to follow a radio station on Facebook (2%) than are all radio users 12-plus (9%).
  • And they are also less likely to be frequent social media users (“several times per day”) with 20% saying they do so compared to 27% for all radio users 12-plus.

Poll: Radio News Reporting Increases 8.8 Percent

June 23, 2013

The RTDNA/Hofstra University poll of ratio stations was released last wee that showed a slight up tick in the number of radio stations reporting local news, Talkers magazine reported.

This is considered a near record. (Click here for poll results.)

The article quotes Hofstra professor emeritus Bob Papper saying, “As I do each year, I would urge caution on those numbers.  The numbers are based on stations that return the survey, and since it’s a news survey, stations that run news could well be more likely to return the surveys than stations that do not.  It’s possible those percentages are too high.”

The overall percentage is up a surprising 8.8% from last year, with AM stations up 9.8 points and FM stations up 4 points, according to the survey, as 77.7% of radio stations run local news — 78.8% of AM stations and 77.2% of FM stations. ”

The A.M. dial become more of a domain for the news talk format, as reported in The Right Frequency, at about the time of the rise of Rush Limbaugh when he saved A.M. from extinction during the early 1990s. Today, with consumers increasingly turning to devices such as iPods for music, the FM dial is moving to the news talk format.

“The percentage of stations reporting an increase in news fell from 30.1% last year to 22% this time around.  The percentage reporting a drop edged up from 4.9% to 6.7%,” Papper said. “Non-commercial stations were a little more likely to increase the amount of news; so were stations in the biggest markets.”

Click here to order a copy of The Right Frequency.

Key to Radio Station Survival in New Media Landscape

June 23, 2013

Talkers magazine featured a recent and important piece on the future of radio stations in a changing media environment.

“Countless executives at high-billing, strong ratings performing outlets have been unduly placed in the gut-wrenching position of laying off personnel and making other vital cutbacks – forced to share the load of paying for what could be considered out-of-control acquisition sins at the corporate level,” the Talkers article said.  “Capitalism has functioned exceptionally well for years, so to be clear, this is not a condemnation of mammoth radio groups, nor a suggestion that they are run by evil, incompetents.

“There can however be hiccups such as the painful one we are witnessing with revenue survival,” the article continues. “Those who did not overly-consolidate or did not allow themselves to be enthralled with the ‘biggest is best’ notion seem to be in a better position to thrive.”

The article continues, “Syndicated programming is one specific area where it is highly challenging for an operator like Americom to knock heads against a massive group such as Cumulus. “Citadel – now Cumulus – has had Rush Limbaugh in Reno [on #1-ranked, talk KKOH],” Quinn points out. “Someone in my position has a very difficult time talking to Premiere in hopes of having them give Limbaugh’s show to me. Cumulus can do group deals and we cannot. In situations such as that, small companies are at a disadvantage [but] in local radio, whether talk or music, we can be fully competitive.”

Click here to read the full talkers article.

Click here to order a copy of The Right Frequency.