Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Saturday Aircheck

The "Timmer", Tim Kelly was the king of late nights from 1981-1988 - Tim and his wife (Ev) were a duo throughout the county (locally at KFI) until KIIS.

These days gregarious and extremely industrious Kelly is still in Southern California, burning up the 405 (San Diego) Freeway commuting between Los Angeles and San Diego as X Digital Systems’ Executive Vice President/board member/partner.

Why Christiane Amanpour Is Bombing on ABC's 'This Week

Nine weeks since her hot launch as the host of one of the major Sunday political talk shows, Christiane Amanpour is tanking as the ratings for ABC's "This Week " have fallen dramatically to the point that the program occasionally drops to last place among the top three. So says Luisita Lopez Torregrosa, who the blog Woman Up at

She writes:
"This Week," under host George Stephanopolous, at times hit No. 1, but usually held a strong second place in the Sunday morning talk show wars, after the perennial favorite, "Meet the Press" on NBC. But now "This Week" is winding up in third place more often than not on most Sundays. On Sunday, Sept. 19, for instance, the show not only plummeted to third place, behind "Meet the Press" and CBS's "Face the Nation," but received the lowest ratings in the 25-54 demographic in more than seven years.

For Amanpour, this has to be a tough uphill battle. It's a bit ironic that a celebrated international journalist with a wealth of experience in the major hot spots of the world could find defeat in a cold television studio, as far as one could get from the deserts of Arabia and the bloody streets of Sarajevo, where at one time she commanded the attention of a global audience.

Her going to ABC to anchor a prestige program was promoted for months. The hype made sense. Amanpour, as familiar a brand as there is in TV journalism, was leaving CNN and joining one of the media's most respected news programs. She was a woman, a journalist warrior, intrepid, fearless, and exotic. She was everywhere – in the Gulf War, reporting as scuds were incoming; in Bosnia and Serbia, wearing bullet-proof vests; in Iran, her head covered, but not her instincts for the jugular.

By all rights, by all measurements, she should've been an instant hit with "This Week." She's well prepared, obviously intelligent, a tough questioner, and she has scooped outstanding exclusives with the major movers and shakers of the moment. Her interview with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi showed tenacity and adversarial style; her interview with Queen Raina of Jordan displayed deep understanding of the Middle East and a warmth and sympathy she rarely allows to seep out.

In the studio at the Newseum in Washington, with her round-table talking heads, she's less sure-footed. She lacks the cozy manner and hail-fellow-well-met style of the master of Sunday shows, Tim Russert, or the friendly, accommodating manner of Russert's successor, David Gregory. There's nothing cozy about her. Seated at her table, one would not dare laugh or take a poke at a fellow guest or, least of all, at the host. Her guests change from week to week, with the possible exception of George Will, to whom she is far less deferential than her predecessors. In fact, she's not deferential at all to anyone. She's polite, attentive but hardly warm. She's not "one of the boys." And there's the rub.

Read more here.

Tom Sez:  This lengthy article can be summed up thusly:  Christiane Amanpour lacks personality.

Friday, October 1, 2010

CNN Fires Rick Sanchez After Radio Meltdown

CNN has fired anchor Rick Sanchez, following a radio rant Thursday night where he called Jon Stewart a "bigot," blamed CNN brass for discrimination against him and insinuated that the media industry is controlled by Jews.

(Read the full transcript.)

The network announced Sanchez's dismissal in a statement early Friday evening: “Rick Sanchez is no longer with the company. We thank Rick for his years of service and we wish him well,“ the statement said.

Hunter Walker at reports Sanchez had gone on Pete Dominick's Sirius XM show to promote his new book, "Conventional Idiocy." While on air, he called Stewart a "bigot," implied that CNN is controlled by Jews and that the network passed him over for promotion because he's Latino.

The controversial interview occurred on the final day of Sanchez's show in the 8 p.m. timeslot, where he was temporarily replacing Campbell Brown, who departed in May. He was apparently upset that he was not given the slot permanently.

Instead, the network gave the slot to the new talks show "Parker Spitzer," with Kathleen Parker and Elliot Spitzer. The show launches Monday.

Read more here.

Craig Newmark: NPR Will Be Dominant News Force

NPR will be one of the dominant forces in media in ten years because their membership-based funding model is finely tuned to the habits of millennial news consumers. That's the prophecy of Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist and a new media philosopher.

"Only very recently have I been thinking about the successful news organizations, he said, responding to a question from James Fallows at the Washington Ideas Forum. "I have a feeling that membership models and philanthrophy models will be stronger than advertising-supported models, people will be willing to pay for news they can trust."

And trust, he said, "is the new black."

Read more here.

Rush Guests On "Family Guy"

What do you get when you cross a highly contentious right-wing radio talk show host with an irreverent left-wing cartoon?   This week's episode of "Family Guy."

Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh will appear as a lead character in this week's episode of the Emmy-winning cartoon, and believe it or not, he agreed to do his own voice-overs.

Seth MacFarlane, creator of "Family Guy," is well-known as a supporter of the Democratic Party. In the past he has donated money to left-wing Congressional committees and even helped fund Barack Obama's presidential campaign, according to

But the upcoming episode probably won't be as ruthless as you think. According to, here's a synopsis issued in a press release by Fox:

"When Brian learns that Rush Limbaugh (guest-voicing as himself) is going to be at the Quahog Mall for a book-signing, he decides to go down there and give him a piece of his left-wing mind. But when Rush unexpectedly comes to Brian's rescue, Brian has a political change of heart."

That actually sounds a little bit like the circumstances surrounding the episode. Maybe MacFarlane had a similar encounter with Limbaugh when they agreed to work together.

Here's a sneak peek..

Salem's Hugh Hewitt Exposes Dirty Trick

In what can best be described as a rhetorical evisceration, syndicated radio host Hugh Hewitt takes civil rights attorney Gloria Allred apart piece by piece as she tries to rationalize her well-orchestrated, transparent dirty trick against GOP candidate Meg Whitman.

Satire: Alan Grayson: Hates Children, Seniors, Loves Satan

"In context, out of context, whatever." In light of Alan Grayson's false attack ads against his Republican Congressional opponent Dan Webster, the editorial team approves this out-of-context message.

Here's Grayson's original "Taliban Dan" ad that started the controversy:

NYTimes Answers Questions About Glenn Beck

The New York Times Magazine's cover article about Glenn Beck doesn't hit the newsstands until Sunday. However, has posted the article on its website. Thursday, readers had questions and  the article’s author Mark Leibovich was happy to answer them.

Globe To Offer Two Websites: One Free, One Pay

The Boston Globe next year will split its digital news brands into two distinct websites, keeping free while establishing a subscription-only pay site,, which will feature all the content produced by the newspaper's journalists, publisher Christopher M. Mayer said today.

The change, scheduled to take place during the second half of 2011, is aimed at building an audience of paid subscribers online, a strategy that newspapers across the country increasingly are moving towards. With this approach, the company also aims to maintain high traffic to, one of the nation’s largest regional news sites and a site that generates revenue from advertising. will continue its focus on being a "one-stop source for all things Boston" that offers breaking news, sports, and weather, from a variety of sources, as well as classified advertising, social networking, and information about travel, restaurants and entertainment, Globe officials said.'s audience will have limited access to journalism that appears in the newspaper, but will have wide-ranging access to content the Globe’s newsroom produces throughout the day for the website., designed to closely approximate the experience of reading the paper's print version, will contain all the stories and other content from the day's paper as well as exclusive reports, in-depth news, analysis, commentary, photos and graphics, plus video and interactive features.

Subscribers to the Globe newspaper will have access to as part of their subscription at no additional charge. The cost of a digital-only subscription has yet to be determined.

Read more here.

Newspaper Wants To See Your Ink

Why is The Bee sponsoring a tattoo contest?

For years journalists have been derisively called "ink-stained wretches," but the phrase has taken on new meaning since we asked readers to "Show Us Your Tattoo."

For the contest which ended at 5p Thursday on, we encouraged readers to submit photos of their tattoos. Whoever's tattoo is the favorite of our online voters wins the privilege of getting a new tattoo during the Music & Body Art festival in Lodi this weekend.

Reaction from some readers has been needle sharp. Some called the contest a trash idea from a trashy newspaper.

"What kind of knuckleheads are running the paper these days?" read one caustic e-mail. "Can't you guys come up with anything to raise the level of consciousness up a little around here?"

Another reader wrote on our Web site, "I don't know why The Bee wants to glorify this despicable art form."

Dan Day. interactive media director for the Modesto Bee admits he is is the "knucklehead" behind the contest. He explains:

My photo should reveal that I'm not the stereotypical big-muscled, hog-riding ruffian whose back is a canvas for a needle-and-ink portrait of the Grim Reaper. I wear neckties and wing tips, and I don't have any tats.
But I recognize that tattoos -- once the domain of bikers, carnival workers and other rough-and-tumble types -- have become much more common in society.

To men and women 30 and under, the stigma earlier generations associated with tattoos hasn't imprinted. Maybe that's why there are about 50 registered tattoo parlors in Stanislaus County and 80 or so registered artists.

It's that under-30 generation we're trying to reach with the contest, hoping they'll stop by our Web site to view a few tattoos and maybe even pick up a copy of the newspaper.
Read more here.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Radio Remains Source For New Music

Teens and young adults report nearly three times more daily Internet usage in 2010 than in 2000

Edison Research Wednesday announced the preliminary results of the American Youth Study: 2010, a nationally representative survey of the media and technology habits of young Americans. This study is the sequel to a similar study released in 2000 by Edison, and presents both a look at today's 12-24 year-olds, and a cohort from the 2000 study, today's 22-34 year-olds. This study was sponsored by, and was debuted at the 2010 RAB/NAB Radio Show in Washington, D.C.

According to Edison President Larry Rosin, the original 2000 study "was a real wake-up call to traditional media companies, particularly the radio industry. Now, with this 2010 data, we have an opportunity to see just how teens and young adults have changed over the past decade, and which media are best poised to be competitive in the near term." Rosin went on to point out that radio was still the leading source for music discovery, but other outlets, including YouTube and social networks, have grown to be significant as well.
Principal findings from this study include the following:
  • 12-24 year-old Americans reported Internet usage of two hours and fifty-two minutes per day, roughly triple this age group's reported usage from 2000 (59 minutes).
  • Radio continues to be the medium most often used for music discovery, with 51% of 12-24 year-olds reporting that they "frequently" find out about new music by listening to the radio. Other significant sources include friends (46%), YouTube (31%) and social networking sites (16%).
  • 20% of 12-24s have listened to Pandora in the last month, with 13% indicating usage in the past week. By comparison, 6% of 12-24s indicated they have listened to online streams from terrestrial AM/FM stations in the past week.
  • More than four in five 12-24s own a mobile phone in 2010 (up from only 29% in 2000), and these young Americans are using these phones as media convergence devices. 50% of younger mobile phone users have played games on their phones, 45% have accessed social networking sites, and 40% have used their phones to listen to music stored on their phones.
  • Music tastes have shifted among 12-24s over the past decade: those radio listeners who indicated that Top 40/Pop stations were their favorite have more than doubled, while Alternative Rock stations were selected by half as many listeners in 2010 as in 2000.
  • Today's 22-34s have significantly changed their media consumption habits since the first study in this series 10 years ago. In 2000, 44% of 12-24s most often began their day by listening to the radio. Today, radio continues to lead, with 29% of that same cohort (today's 22-34 year-olds) reporting that radio is the medium they use most in the morning, while Television (25%) and the Internet (23%) have gained significantly.

What Beck Thinks Of NYTimes Article

When Glenn talked about it on the radio Wednesday morning, he had not yet had time to read the entire report. Here’s his early take:

Abbie Boudreau Talks About Love Boat Prank

CNN's Abbie Boudreau Explains How James O'Keefe Was Going To Try And Punk Her & CNN

 James O'Keefe, the conservative filmmaker whose undercover videos essentially destroyed community organizing group ACORN, apparently attempted to lure CNN Correspondent Abbie Boudreau onto a boat potentially strewn with dildos and pornography, where he planned to faux-seduce her as hidden cameras filmed the whole thing.

Rush: Obama Upset by "Imam Obama"

From The Rush Limbaugh Show Wednesday:

RUSH: Obama ostensibly, (CNN's) Wolf Blitzer knows, unhappy with my referring to him as Imam Obama.  So then Blitzer said to (Democrat political advisor) Donna Brazile, "When you hear Rush Limbaugh calling the president not just Barack Hussein Obama, but Barack Hussein Imam Obama, what do you think, Donna?"

BRAZILE:  Well, first of all I'm not going to react to Rush Limbaugh.  I think the reason why Rush Limbaugh says those things is because he knows that the mainstream media and others will, you know, salivate and want to discuss it.  But, you know what?  In this polluted, volatile political season, unfortunately those kind of comments by Mr. Limbaugh and others will always attract media attention, and it's a sad statement about where we are today.

RUSH:  Awe, let's get the violins out. It's a sad statement about where we are today.  What she's admitting here is that the Media Tweak of the Day works.  That's what she's talking about here. (imitating Brazile) "Well, you know, Limbaugh knows the mainstream media, they're gonna salivate, they're gonna want to discuss what he says. It's polluted the volatile political season, those kind of comments are always gonna attract media attention." The Media Tweak of the Day works.  So (GOP political pundit) Mary Matalin had her two cents.  Blitzer said, "Are you as appalled at Rush Limbaugh, Mary, as Donna Brazile is?"

MATALIN:  From the very first week of the Obama administration the Democrats have been trying to demonize Rush Limbaugh and they succeeded only in driving people to his show where they find out that he's not hateful, he's not angry, he's a common-sense conservative and he's a wickedly brilliant satirist.  And when they take this humor-impaired, grassy knoller approach to Rush Limbaugh, they make themselves look bad.  He was calling it -- making those imam remarks in satire in response to Obama's support for what was then the Ground Zero mosque, and within three days of that the mainstream press was blaming Rush Limbaugh for the doubling of Americans who are confused about the president's religion.  That's not Rush Limbaugh's issue.  You cannot blame one radio show for the confusion of a third of America.

RUSH:  She's talking about the fact that 20% of the American people think he's a Muslim.  And we didn't do that poll, the Pew people did that poll.  And then the Democrats tried to blame me, 20% of the people think he's a Muslim because I, El Rushbo, called him Imam Obama, but the poll was taken days before I introduced the Imam Obama term to the American mainstream political discourse.  So she's exactly right, Matalin has nailed it here.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Gallup: Distrust in Media Edges Up to Record

High Perceptions of liberal bias still far outnumber perceptions of conservative bias

For the fourth straight year, the majority of Americans say they have little or no trust in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly. The 57% now saying this is a record high by one percentage point.

Nearly half of Americans (48%) say the media are too liberal, tying the high end of the narrow 44% to 48% range recorded over the past decade. One-third say the media are just about right while 15% say they are too conservative. Overall, perceptions of bias have remained quite steady over this tumultuous period of change for the media, marked by the growth of cable and Internet news sources. Americans' views now are in fact identical to those in 2004, despite the many changes in the industry since then.

Read more here.

NYT: Being Glenn Beck

Nigel Parry photo
Mark Leibovich writing in the The New York Times magazine, dated October 3, profiles Glenn Beck:
Beck has a square, boyish face, an alternately plagued and twinkle-eyed demeanor that conjures (when Beck is wearing glasses) the comedian Drew Carey. He is 6-foot-2, which is slightly jarring when you first meet him, because he is all head and doughiness on television; I never thought of Beck as big or small, just as someone who was suddenly ubiquitous and who talked a lot and said some really astonishing things, to a point where it made you wonder — constantly — whether he was being serious.
At some point in the past few months, Beck ceased being just the guy who cries a lot on Fox News or a “rodeo clown” (as he has described himself) or simply a voice of the ultraconservative opposition to President Obama. In record time, Beck has traveled the loop of curiosity to ratings bonanza to self-parody to sage. It is remarkable to think he has been on Fox News only since January 2009.
Read more here from

Are You Sending the Wrong Message?

N/T Consultant Holland Cooke says he  fears that station promos have the potential to frighten advertisers and listeners. How:
  • What Arbitron calls "horizontal maintenance" is the ballgame. Listen same-time-day-to-day. If you listen a lot lately, you're hearing Rush/Sean/Beck strain to rise-above-the-cacophony, and compete in-an-era when people-line-up-for a new iPhone and have-a-conversation-with-their-wired/wireless-dashboard, etc. The gloom-and-doom I’m hearing in promos is relentless.
  • Radio is a reach-and-frequency machine. Properly-exposed promos can make the-whole-station sound unduly negative.
Two unintended consequences:
  • TSL erosion. Gloom-and-doom gets old.
  • Advertisers are hearing the consistent message that the-world-is-going-to-hell...thus the inference that consumers will hunker-down. So why bother advertising, at least for now? Ugh.
Recommendation: DO continue to cull Rush/Sean/Beck bites for promos. Just be more selective. It'll take longer to find amusing sound bites, but shoot for clips-that'd-make-the-listener-chuckle...rather than crouch-in-the-fetal-position.

Bottom line: Radio is powerful. Let's be careful that we're not using our clout to send-the-wrong-message.
Read more here.

Study: Streaming Brands Underdeveloped

Consumers who use streaming audio are highly unaware of the options available to them and have relatively shallow perceptions of the options they are aware of. That is among the key findings of the 'Successful Audio Streaming Strategies' study released by Coleman Insights Tuesday and presented at the RAIN Summit East conference in Washington, DC. The low awareness levels and shallow perceptions found in the research lead Coleman Insights to conclude that streaming audio is a brand category that remains highly underdeveloped.

Specific major findings released by Coleman Insights Tuesday include:

•On average, consumers who regularly use streaming audio can name 1.6 streaming audio brands on an unaided basis. This compares to the six or seven brands consumers can usually name for mature brand categories.

•The streaming audio services offered by 'terrestrial' AM/FM broadcasters and Pandora are the only brands with meaningful awareness levels. Less than one in ten streaming audio users is aware of brands such as AOL Radio, Yahoo! Music Radio, Last FM and Slacker on an unaided basis.

•Streaming audio consumers are more than twice as likely to be aware of an 'Internet-only' streaming brand as the streaming services offered by a 'terrestrial' AM/FM radio station. Seventy-seven percent (77%) of these consumers can name an 'Internet-only' brand, while only 33% name a 'terrestrial' AM/FM radio station stream on an unaided basis.

•Users of streaming audio are much more likely to listen to 'Internet-only' streams than streams offered by 'terrestrial' AM/FM radio stations. Half of streaming audio consumers report listening to 'Internet-only' streams; 28% listen to the streams of 'terrestrial' AM/FM radio stations.

•Aggregated usage of 'terrestrial' AM/FM audio streams exceeds Pandora usage. Pandora's 22% usage level is six points lower than that of all AM/FM audio streams.

•Streaming audio consumers prefer listening to 'Internet-only' streams over other sources of audio, including over-the-air broadcasts of AM/FM radio stations. Only 15% of streaming audio consumers'and only 7% of 15- to 34-year-olds who use streaming audio'choose over-the-air broadcasts of AM/FM radio stations as their preferred source of audio.

•Pandora is the leading brand in the streaming audio space, but it is far from dominant. Only 28% of streaming audio consumers are aware of Pandora on an unaided basis and only 22% use it on a regular basis.

•Perceptions of 'terrestrial' AM/FM radio station streams are out-of-sync with the interests of streaming audio consumers. Consumers most strongly think of AM/FM radio station streams for personalities and local news and traffic information, as opposed to attributes like fast buffering, few commercials, music variety and personalization that they value most highly.

'These findings make clear many of the strategies that will result in success in the streaming audio space,' said Coleman Insights Vice President Sam Milkman, who delivered the presentation at RAIN Summit East. 'They demonstrate how brand building is of paramount importance, how brands need to focus on a singular position or benefit, how streaming audio providers need to rethink the unique benefits their services provide from the perspective of this new delivery form and how 'terrestrial' AM/FM broadcasters need to address the challenges they face with consumers who already use streaming audio.'

A full report containing the findings and recommendations from the 'Successful Audio Streaming Strategies' study is available for free download from the Coleman Insights.
Or Click here.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mexico's El Diario Pleads with Drug Cartels

After one of its photographers was gunned down by members of a drug cartel, the Ciudad Juarez edition of the newspaper El Diario ran a front page editorial asking "What do you want from us?". El Diario editor Gerardo Rodriguez explains to NPR's On The Media.

BOB GARFIELD: From WNYC in New York, this is NPR's On the Media. I'm Bob Garfield.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: And I'm Brooke Gladstone. Mexico’s ongoing drug war has taken 28,000 lives since Mexican President Felipe Calderon began a militarized campaign against the cartels in 2006. Among the casualties are at least 30 journalists killed or disappeared.

Last Sunday, after the murderer of staff photographer Luis Carlos Santiago, the newspaper El Diario of Ciudad Juarez printed an editorial on its front page titled What do You Want from Us?, a query both angry and plaintive directed at the cartels.

On Wednesday, Calderon announced a plan to help protect journalists, but that’s likely to be of limited solace because there’s no trustworthy authority in Juarez.

Gerardo Rodriguez is an editor for El Diario. Welcome to the show.


BROOKE GLADSTONE: So can you tell me exactly what your editorial said?

GERARDO RODRIGUEZ: It’s asking the leaders of the Plaza, and this is the territories that are run by island cartels, that in this war between them and the government we are in the middle, under fire, and we're not getting a clear message why are they killing our journalists.
Armando Rodriguez was a police reporter who got killed less than two years ago in front of his house, killed in front of his daughter. His crime has not been solved, even though we have promises from the presidency. And then Luis, last week.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: The photographer.

GERARDO RODRIGUEZ: Yes. He was shot in the middle of the day in a mall. And then the killer ran and, and chased his companion, which he’s also a graphic reporter for our newspaper. Both were wearing their IDs for the newspaper. The other photographer is, is alive, but he’s in a secret location.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: Is it true that in Juarez only about 2 percent of these drug-related murders are actually solved?

GERARDO RODRIGUEZ: Yes, it is. Only 3 percent get ever to courts, and less than those are solved.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: So the paper’s editorial read, quote, “It is impossible for us to do our job under these conditions. Tell us, then, what do you expect from us as a newspaper?” You didn't really expect the cartels to respond with a bill of particulars, did you?

GERARDO RODRIGUEZ: Well, of course, we are not expecting a direct message. This is written in an ironic manner. It used to be that they would call the TV stations and the newsrooms, and they would threaten. But now, without any notice or without us knowing why, they are killing our reporters. And we just don't think a story is worth life.

Read more here.

Obama Calls Fox News "Destructive"

Mark Seliger photo
President Obama: The Rolling Stone Interview

The upcoming October 15th issue of Rolling Stone magazine features a lengthy interview with President Barrack Obama. During the interview RS asked the President:

What do you think of Fox News? Do you think it's a good institution for America and for democracy?
[Laughs] Look, as president, I swore to uphold the Constitution, and part of that Constitution is a free press. We've got a tradition in this country of a press that oftentimes is opinionated. The golden age of an objective press was a pretty narrow span of time in our history. Before that, you had folks like Hearst who used their newspapers very intentionally to promote their viewpoints. I think Fox is part of that tradition — it is part of the tradition that has a very clear, undeniable point of view. It's a point of view that I disagree with. It's a point of view that I think is ultimately destructive for the long-term growth of a country that has a vibrant middle class and is competitive in the world. But as an economic enterprise, it's been wildly successful. And I suspect that if you ask Mr. Murdoch what his number-one concern is, it's that Fox is very successful.
Read more here.

Pedophiles Find Home for Networking -- on Facebook

The world’s largest pro-pedophilia advocacy group uses Facebook to connect with its members throughout the world; to find and exchange photos of children; to hone its members' predatory behavior; and to identify, target and reel in child victims, an investigation by reveals.

Facebook says it has a strict policy against the posting of content that supports groups engaged in child exploitation, yet a simple, five-second search on Facebook, conducted on Sept. 23, yielded dozens of pages devoted to the infamous North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA). Many of those pages featured numerous photos of unnamed boys, some of whom appeared to be too young for kindergarten.

The same day, found hundreds of links to NAMBLA’s website on Facebook, which has more than half a billion users worldwide. And posts on known pedophile blogs and chat rooms show an organized effort by pedophiles to use the social networking site to prey on children.

Read more here.

Was Sarah Palin Booed on 'DWTS'?

ABC News’ Huma Khan reports: Sarah Palin appeared on "Dancing with the Stars" to cheer on her daughter but was she the subject of jeering herself?

On the show Monday night, the audience erupted into loud booing as scores for actress Jennifer Grey were announced. Co-host Brooke Burke told audience members to vote for the actress as perplexed contestants in the background look toward the stage for the source of the booing.

As the camera cuts to the stage, co-host Tom Bergeron is seen sitting with "guest ballroom commentator" Palin and her daughter, Piper, leading many to wonder whether the jeers were directed at the former governor.

Bergeron said it wasn’t Palin who spurred the booing, but that audience members felt Grey should’ve gotten a higher score. But Grey got the top scores of the night.

When asked about the booing, executive producer Conrad Green told the Washington Post that if it was aimed at Palin, it would’ve continued once the interview started, "rather than doing it before, and then wimping out."

TRN Unveils All-News Format For Radio

Talk Radio Network announces plans to launch a new syndicated radio network comprising entirely long-form news, in three-hour blocks.

Because of a void in long-form news radio, and the ever-increasing and vital “need to know” for the listener, this presidential election cycle may well see a 25% to 40% increase in News/News-Talk stations by 2012, predicts Mark Masters, CEO of Talk Radio Network.  “There is not enough quality syndicated long-form news radio programming to fill the gap,” he says. “The upcoming demand -- especially with FM’s’ move into the format -- must be filled with up-to-the-minute breaking news programming that works for both revenue and ratings.”

The first three-hour daypart is expected to launch in January, with four more three-hour blocks to follow throughout the year, to put 15 live hours of news on the air by the end of next year. Stations will be able to use individual news blocks within their existing lineups or use the blocks back-to-back to create an all-News station.

Masters said, "The flexibility of being able to ‘cherry pick’ certain three-hour long-form news blocks, or go all news, all the time will be unprecedented and highly profitable for our affiliates."

TRN President/Programming and Talk Radio Networks Syndications Ltd. President Phil Boyce said, "The Monday-through-Friday news programming the news network will be launching is designed to drive the news cycle and make our new news network the place to go for breaking news stories on radio first."

He continued, "Because of the greatly increased speed of the news cycle in recent years, as well as the massive cost at the radio group and station level for radio news rooms -- costs which they can no longer afford -- many operators are now saying that long-form syndicated radio news is now essential to the syndication landscape. We agree."

Today, the sheer revenue efficiency of News/News-Talk has resulted in approximately 45 of America’s top 100 markets now having News or News-Talk stations on the FM band.  These FM News/News-Talk stations are growing like wildfire.  This is in large part because there are simply four times more listeners on the FM band in the 25-54 demo than the AM band, and the AM band already has amassed a huge spoken-word audience in itself.

FM's transitioning to News and News-Talk means that there will be far more need for News and News-Talk content -- just in time for the next presidential election cycle, says Masters.

Long-form news has long been the exclusive province of large market stations with expensive news rooms, which in this economic environment has just become too costly for most markets.  However, Masters says his long-form “syndicated” variants are built “ground up” with localism in mind, customizable to individual news stations’ needs, without losing quality.   In fact, quality and pacing may actually improve with the syndicated product.

Masters states, “The best part about syndicated long-form news blocks – either on a standalone basis within a talk station line-up or back-to-back in an entire news only format -- is that they are beautifully produced, highly informative, fast paced and generally will not be boycotted locally or nationally by the institutional advertising marketplace.  Opinion radio can be, in rare cases, a boycott-laden space of “super sensitivities” for certain buyers in the national advertising marketplace.   Because our anchors are just reporting the news, breaking news stories or interviewing news makers, the co-hosts won’t be offering opinions, just great energy and focus on the important topics of the day. News radio is a ‘safe buy environment,’ the type of environment which is usually bought by music or top of the hour news buyers, making it the best of both worlds.”

Monday, September 27, 2010

Rachel Who?

Poll: O'Reilly popular, Maddow unknown to likely voters
More people are getting their news about the upcoming election from cable television than any other source, and from Fox News more than any other cable channel, according to a POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Poll released Monday.

The poll found that 81 percent of those polled get their news about the midterm elections from cable channels, like Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, or their websites, compared with 71 percent from national network news channels, such as ABC, NBC or CBS, and their websites.

Among cable news channels, Fox was the clear winner, with 42 percent of respondents saying it is their main source, compared with 30 percent who cited CNN and 12 percent who rely on MSNBC.  The results show the growing influence that 24-hour cable news has on shaping the political consciousness, despite the fact that network newscasts still draw many multiples of the number of viewers of even the highest-rated cable news shows.

The results of the poll of 1,000 likely voters conducted Sept. 19 to Sept. 22 also reflect a trend that many commentators and media analysts find disconcerting: Voters are turning to media sources that reinforce their political worldviews rather than present them with more objective reporting that might challenge their assumptions.

“As more people get news from cable channels and websites that offer a particular point of view 24/7, it becomes increasingly important for viewers to sample multiple sources in order to best understand the issues and proposed solutions,” said Michael Freedman, a professor of media and public affairs at George Washington and executive director of its Global Media Institute. “This trend is only increasing.”

Fox’s opinionated personalities were also rated as having the greatest positive impact on the political debate in the country. Bill O’Reilly was rated as having, by far, the greatest positive impact, with 49 percent of respondents rating him positively, and 32 percent negatively.

Glenn Beck was the second most-positively rated personality, with 38 percent of respondents saying he had a positive impact, and 32 percent saying he had a negative impact.

Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh was the third-most-positively ranked, with 36 percent saying he has a positive impact on the discourse, but his negatives far outweighed his positives, with 52 percent saying he has a negative impact.

MSNBC’s personalities were largely ranked as unknown by respondents: 70 percent said they had never heard of Ed Schultz, 55 percent said they had never heard of Rachel Maddow and 42 percent said they had never heard of Keith Olbermann.  Although Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart was ranked as having more of a positive than negative influence on the debate — 34 percent said positive compared with 22 percent for negative — 34 percent of respondents said they had never heard of him.

Read more here.

WSJ: To Advertisers, Twitter's a Fledgling

Twitter Inc.'s foray into advertising is receiving mixed reviews among marketers, underscoring the challenges of turning the popular micro-blogging service into a highly profitable enterprise.

According to Emily Steel and Amir Afati at, The popularity of Twitter has fueled expectations that marketers could use the service to target relevant ads to consumers interested in real-time information about breaking events and other topics. Since launching its much-anticipated advertising products in April, Twitter has signed on more than 30 big-name brands, including Coca-Cola Co., Virgin America and Starbucks Corp., to test them.

Twitter offers "Promoted Tweets," where marketers pay to have their messages listed as the first result when a user conducts a search on; the site handled about 130 million searches in August, according to comScore Inc. The company soon will experiment with ads that target users based on the content in their tweets, or messages.

Marketers who tried out Twitter's new advertising product at launch didn't pay for the initial tests, according to two digital-ad executives. Now, Twitter is selling Promoted Tweets for upwards of $100,000.

Read more here.

CBS Radio Makes KRLD All-News

NewsRadio 1080 KRLD unveils a new line-up Monday to become the one and only full-time news, traffic, weather and information station in Dallas/Fort Worth.  The new line-up: 
  • Ernie Brown and Mike Rogers 5am-9am
  • Mitch Carr and Scott Braddock 9am-1pm
  • David Rancken and Bonnie Petrie 1pm-4pm
  • Will Sterrett and Alice Rios 4pm-8pm
According to an website posting, these trusted radio voices will bring you traffic and weather together on the 8’s, sports at :15 and :45 and business news at :25 and :55 past every hour from 5am-8pm Monday through Friday on-air and online at  The station’s programming can also be heard on a variety of mobile devices including the iPhone, iPad and select Blackberry units.

“It’s no secret that our listeners count on KRLD to keep them informed,” said Bruce Gilbert, Vice President of News/Talk/Sports Programming, and CBS RADIO Dallas.  “We believe this new lineup gives us the depth to deliver on those expectations in a personable and professional manner, because when news affects North Texas we take our commitment to inform the community very seriously.”

50,000-watt KRLD is the source for local news, talk and information in Dallas/Fort Worth and is the flagship of the Texas Rangers Radio Network and the Texas State Networks. TSN, the Texas State Networks, serves over 130 radio affiliates in two time zones with news, talk and sports programs.  KRLD and TSN are owned and operated by CBS RADIO, one of the largest major-market radio operators in the United States.

Talker Jay McFarland announced Friday morning that he will be leaving KRLD/1080 AM to go to a station in Salt Lake City, adding that the decision was partly family-related (his mother isn't doing well).

Burke Named CEO of NBC Universal

Current COO to succeed Zucker
Comcast's COO Stephen Burke will become CEO of NBC Universal when the cable giant completes its acquisition of NBCU, Comcast announced Sunday, according to Broadcasting&Cable's Jon Lafayette.

On Friday, NBCU's current CEO, Jeff Zucker, announced that Burke had told him Comcast wanted to pick its own leadership when it assumed control of NBCU. Zucker will stay in the position until the government review of the transaction is complete.

Burke is a former ABC executive and the son of Capital Cities/ABC exec Dan Burke. He has been responsible for the integration of cable systems Comcast has acquired from AT&T and Adelphia.

 "Steve Burke is an experienced, talented and visionary leader with over 25 years in the media and entertainment industry," said Comcast Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brian Roberts. "Steve is one of the most well-respected executives in the industry, and I am confident that he will lead NBCU forward to a new era of growth."

The appointment of Burke had been expected. According to the Orlando Sentinel, he is a former Walt Disney Co. executive who joined Comcast in 1998. He comes from one of America's most prominent business families. His father, Dan Burke, was one of the two architects of the legendary Capital Cities television station group that gobbled up ABC and later sold the company to Disney.

Read more here.