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The Real Stars of Podcasting Are Heard on Radio

The truth is local radio hosts run circles around podcasting hosts in every single measurement.

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I have listened to podcasts. Others have told me about their favorite podcasts. People have even suggested that I start a podcast. Yet, I don’t really understand what they are and why so much money is being wasted on them.

I host a daily, four-hour morning radio show. News of the day, sports, movies, funny and sad stories, slice of life, keen insight, (if I may). We cover everything and we must be doing okay. 14 years in St. Louis, and we’re still going strong ( knock on wood). We have long term sponsors, and a few staff members. I can guarantee you that if we weren’t making money for the company, we would not have lasted this long. Radio is a cutthroat, bottom line, business. There is no room to lose a nickel.

Recently, it was announced that Jason Bateman, Will Arnet and Sean Hayes are getting ready to ink a 20 million dollar a year deal for their podcast, which is one hour a week. ONE HOUR? I’m on the air for 20 hours a week. They have THREE PEOPLE, ONE HOUR PER WEEK? $20 MILLION? ARE YOU KIDDING ME??

Good for them, I wish them all the best. However, according to Bloomberg News, there are almost no podcasts that take in 20 million dollars in ad sales a year. Also, when podcasts are purchased for large sums of money and go behind a paywall, like Spoitfy, they almost always lose audience. So why spend all this money, which they can never recoup, at a losing enterprise?

Radio has a bad image in some circles, and yes radio is in trouble. Not because there is something wrong with radio, it’s because the big companies have a hard time servicing the massive run up in debt from the outrageous prices they paid for consolidation. Radio, itself, both talk and sports, are making money hand over fist, and their hosts are far and away the best in the game. As for the radio audience, it’s still the biggest and it’s not even close. By any real metric.

So how come the podcast companies, looking to throw money around, don’t come looking for hosts who are successful on the radio? I’m not talking about the syndication hacks. They just parrot the things they hear from other shows. I’m talking about the true talent, the local radio hosts who do most of the heavy lifting in radio.

The truth is local radio hosts run circles around podcasting hosts in every single measurement. There I said it.

As a radio guy, and with no disrespect, I know that the Bateman, Arnet and Hayes podcast, while fine, would be nothing compared to a successful radio personality who has been in, survived, and thrived in talk/sports radio. Not even close.

The skills we have learned in radio, how to hold a conversation, interview, talk, tell stories, move the story, is 100 times more refined than the most successful podcasters. Actors might be great at acting naturally in a movie or conveying feelings from words on a page, but hosting a radio show? No, Sorry. What about comedians? They are great at telling the same joke in different cities every weekend. But, hosting a 20 hour a week podcast with new material every second of every day? Sorry. No. Not trying to cause trouble, it’s just a simple fact.

Bill Simmons, yes enjoyable, but I can name seven sports radio guys right now that would run circles around him in terms of entertainment.

Joe Rogan, funny? Sure, but really? He’s high most of the time doing the podcast. True radio hosts are much more interesting.

Podcasters Anna Faris, Michelle Obama, Gwyneth Paltrow, etc., I’m sure have nice podcasts and I’m glad they have an outlet for their voice and opinion. But the money being tossed at these hosts is ridiculous.

When radio came along, they went to the stars of vaudeville. When television came along, they went to the stars of radio. There are exceptions, and it’s never a straight line, but if one is looking for the next stars of podcasting, don’t give actors 20 million a year to be radio hosts, and lose money. Help your bottom line and content quality by going to find a local radio host.

BNM Writers

Viewers Turn To Fox News For 9/11 Memorial Ceremonies

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Memorial
Fox News

Ceremonies commemorating the 20th anniversary of 9/11 at the memorial sites of the World Trade Center area in New York, the Pentagon in Washington D.C. and Shanksville, Pennsylvania were covered by multiple networks.

On the cable front, Fox News Channel led all in coverage, well above their cable news competition. As the following is noted, FNC was ahead in each hour according to key figures tabulated by Nielsen Media Research:

7:00 a.m.-8:00 a.m.

FNC: 1.258 million total viewers; 179,000 adults 25-54

CNN: 0.369 million total viewers

MSNBC. 0.314 million total viewers; 48,000 adults 25-54

8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m.

FNC: 1.891 million total viewers; 339,000 adults 25-54

CNN: 0.479 million total viewers

MSNBC. 0.524 million total viewers; 58,000 adults 25-54

9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

FNC: 1.771 million total viewers; 306,000 adults 25-54

CNN: 0.616 million total viewers

MSNBC. 0.640 million total viewers; 59,000 adults 25-54

10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.

FNC: 1.770 million total viewers; 285,000 adults 25-54

CNN: 0.704 million total viewers

MSNBC. 0.733 million total viewers; 77,000 adults 25-54

11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

FNC: 1.411 million total viewers; 198,000 adults 25-54

CNN: N/A

MSNBC. 0.862 million total viewers; 78,000 adults 25-54

12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m.

FNC: 1.242 million total viewers; 230,000 adults 25-54

CNN: N/A

MSNBC. 0.813 million total viewers; 74,000 adults 25-54

History Channel aired 9/11 programming throughout the day, highlighted by the premiere of two new two-hour specials; “Four Flights” (1.166 million viewers; 370,000 adults 25-54) and “I Was There” (1.054 million viewers; 400,000 adults 25-54) — both were cable’s top non-sports telecasts of Saturday, Sep. 11, based on 25-54.

Within a four-week span, HBO aired Spike Lee’s eight-hour documentary “NYC Epicenters 9/11 —> 2021½“, with the conclusion on Saturday, Sep. 11. Its original airings’ figures were, as follows:

Part 1 — Sun. Aug. 22: 212,000 viewers; 90,000 adults 25-54

Part 2 — Sun. Aug. 29: 163,000 viewers; 73,000 adults 25-54

Part 3 — Sun. Sep. 5: 200,000 viewers; 77,000 adults 25-54

Part 4 — Sat. Sep. 11: 237,000 viewers; 120,000 adults 25-54

Note: The above data does not reflect the cumulative viewership of the episodes’ re-airings on the various HBO network and streaming platforms.

Over on the broadcast networks, NBC’s special telecast of “Saturday TODAY” (with Savannah GuthrieHoda Kotb and Lester Holt) easily bested ABC’s “Good Morning America Saturday” in both total viewers — 1.71 million vs. 1.24 million — and in the key 25-54 demo, with NBC nearly doubling ABC: 438,000, to 243,000. (Data for CBS and the Fox broadcast network were unavailable.)

Here are the cable news averages for September 6-12, 2021.

Total Day (September 6-12 @ 6 a.m.-5:59 a.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 1.378 million viewers; 226,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 0.650 million viewers; 78,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.532 million viewers; 1177,000 adults 25-54
  • HLN: 0.200 million viewers; 65,000 adults 25-54
  • CNBC: 0.131 million viewers; 32,000 adults 25-54
  • Newsmax: 0.129 million viewers; 18,000 adults 25-54
  • The Weather Channel: 0.127 million viewers; 28,000 adults 25-54
  • Fox Business Network: 0.076 million viewers; 9,000 adults 25-54

Prime Time (September 6-11 @ 8-11 p.m.; September 12 @ 7-11 p.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 2.268 million viewers; 359,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 1.101 million viewers; 138,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.715 million viewers; 169,000 adults 25-54
  • HLN: 0.223 million viewers; 66,000 adults 25-54
  • CNBC: 0.188 million viewers; 61,000 adults 25-54
  • Newsmax: 0.156 million viewers; 29,000 adults 25-54
  • The Weather Channel: 0.152 million viewers; 27,000 adults 25-54
  • Fox Business Network: 0.044 million viewers; 7,000 adults 25-54

Top 10 most-watched cable news programs (and the top MSNBC and CNN programs with their respective associated ranks) in total viewers:

1. The Five (FOXNC, Thu. 9/9/2021 5:28 PM, 32 min.) 3.688 million viewers

2. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 9/9/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.139 million viewers

3. Hannity (FOXNC, Tue. 9/7/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.085 million viewers

4. Hannity (FOXNC, Wed. 9/8/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.073 million viewers

5. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 9/7/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.013 million viewers

6. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 9/7/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.003 million viewers

7. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 9/8/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.971 million viewers

8. The Five (FOXNC, Wed. 9/8/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.962 million viewers

9. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 9/9/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.958 million viewers

10. The Five (FOXNC, Fri. 9/10/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.938 million viewers

17. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Tue. 9/7/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.323 million viewers

139. The Lead With Jake Tapper (CNN, Thu. 9/9/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.991 million viewers

Top 10 cable news programs (and the top  MSNBC, CNN and HLN programs with their respective associated ranks) among adults 25-54:

1. The Five (FOXNC, Thu. 9/9/2021 5:28 PM, 32 min.) 0.535 million adults 25-54

2. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 9/7/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.528 million adults 25-54

3. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 9/9/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.523 million adults 25-54

4. Hannity (FOXNC, Tue. 9/7/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.503 million adults 25-54

5. The Ingraham Angle (FOXNC, Tue. 9/7/2021 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.483 million adults 25-54

6. The Ingraham Angle (FOXNC, Thu. 9/9/2021 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.480 million adults 25-54

7. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 9/9/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.474 million adults 25-54

8. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 9/8/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.471 million adults 25-54

9. Hannity (FOXNC, Wed. 9/8/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.468 million adults 25-54

10. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 9/7/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.442 million adults 25-54

27. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Thu. 9/9/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.316 million adults 25-54

63. Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN, Wed. 9/8/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.249 million adults 25-54

167. Forensic Files “Chief Evidence” (HLN, Wed. 9/8/2021 12:30 AM, 30 min.) 0.149 million adults 25-54

Source: Live+Same Day data, Nielsen Media Research

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BNM Writers

How News Talkers Can Beat Sports Talkers at Their Own Game

Despite the fact that News and Sports Talk are considered different formats to many, oftentimes they intertwine more than the casual observer would believe.

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On Air
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Despite the fact that News Talk and Sports Talk are considered different formats to many, oftentimes, they intertwine more than the casual observer would believe. First off, both formats are under the “talk” umbrella, and there are many News Talk listeners who consume Sports Talk, and there is some, albeit less, of that vice versa. 

However, while News Talk can dabble into the sports realm ahead of a big game or a cultural issue, usually, the Sports Talk station/hosts will still be considered the “experts” on the topic. 

But what if there’s a situation where that isn’t the case? What if the News Talkers can beat the Sports Talkers at their own game?

That’s possible and doable. 

This can happen when the issue of sports and business overlap. For example, in Kansas City, a hot topic this week has been the possibility of the Kansas City Royals looking to move to a downtown ballpark and leaving Kauffman Stadium when the lease runs out in 2031 (or perhaps earlier). While it’s likely ten years away, anyone who has followed these types of situations knows the planning needs to begin years in advance. 

That always brings up the next batch of questions: Where will they go? Would they threaten to leave the city? And most importantly, who is paying for it? 

While the Sports Talkers will undoubtedly have some insider information into what the team is thinking, News Talkers might have even more valuable insight to share with the audience that the Sports Talkers can’t access. 

Why? Because we are more likely to be very familiar and have strong relationships with the politicians, bureaucrats, local commissioners, and business power players, who play just as much of a role, if not a bigger one, in a monumental move and decision like this.

Within 12 hours of the Kansas City Royals owner holding a press conference discussing this potential move, I was confident, after talking with politicians/business people in the know, I could bring my audience inside information in a way no sports talker could. 

Beyond just what is convenient for a team’s ownership group, there are plays for land, parking lots, zoning requirements, permits, and yes, dirty politics, that all get involved in these types of moves.

That’s our lane in the News Talk business. We deal with these issues on a daily basis, and we know who exactly to contact, depending on the situation. 

So whether it’s the Oakland Raiders leaving for Las Vegas, the St. Louis Rams bailing for Los Angeles, or the Seattle SuperSonics heading to Oklahoma City, these are just a handful of examples of where the News Talkers can beat the Sports Talkers at their own game in a story that has mass appeal to both audiences.

And the beauty of all this is you don’t even need to be a “sports expert” to own this story if and when it comes to your town (or rumors start to swirl). You need to simply work the connections you already have, which are highly unlikely to be had by your sports counterparts, do some digging and cross-referencing, and you can own a story like this in your city in no time. You might even be able to draw new cume to your show and station by being the authoritative figure on the topic. 

And then, when it all inevitably comes back around to breaking down pitching changes and hit-and-runs, leave that to the jocks. That’s boring stuff anyway. 

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BNM Writers

It’s Not a Vaccine Mandate, It’s a Test Mandate

“Chuck Todd from Meet The Press, the New York Times, CNN, numerous other media outlets and even the White House spokesman have called Biden’s policy a vaccine mandate. It’s not. So, why do they keep reporting it as such?”

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I feel I must disclose my feelings on Covid-19 before my column this week so everyone knows my bias. 

If you want to take the horse dewormer medicine, Ivermectin, for Covid-19, I DON’T CARE.

If you want to wear a mask in a crowd indoors or out, I DON’T CARE

If you don’t want to get a Covid-19 vaccine, again, I DON’T CARE. 

In terms of full disclosure, I have been vaccinated. As far as I know, I haven’t had Covid-19, and only my dog has had some form of Ivermectin. 

With that out of the way, can we talk about how President Biden’s mandate is being discussed and reported on? This is not a liberal or conservative issue, and it’s not a CNN vs FOX News issue. Most everyone has an opinion on it, yet most don’t care to find out what was actually proposed. Even the White House is misleading folks with its own policy. 

This is not a vaccine mandate, it’s a test mandate. 

President Biden’s policy has made two changes. All federal workers must receive a vaccine. You don’t have to work for the federal government, but if you do, you must be vaccinated. Again, not a mandate. No one is forcing you to work for the federal government. That’s your choice.  

Delta Airlines implemented a policy charging employees $200 if they choose not to be vaccinated. As a result, thousands have received the Covid-19 vaccine to avoid the penalty. That is their choice. 

Schools, public and private universities, hospitals, and companies big and small have made similar rules. If you want to work or attend, you must get a vaccine. Not a vaccine mandate, big difference.

Companies make all sorts of rules, some smart, some dumb. I know a radio station that will not let their on-air hosts talk to the media (dumb). My company policy says, I can’t eat food in the studio (smart). You can agree or disagree with a policy, and if you choose not to follow it, that is your choice. Nobody from the government is going to come to your home, hold you down, and jab a needle in your arm. Yet I’ve heard that said a few hundred times in the last few weeks.

Part two of President Biden’s policy says that if you are a company with over 100 employees, your employees will be required to have a vaccine or get tested weekly to see if they are Covid-19 positive. Again, this is not a vaccine mandate. It’s just a test, once a week. A test mandate, if you will.

Chuck Todd from Meet The Press, the New York Times, CNN, numerous other media outlets and even the White House spokesman have called Biden’s policy a vaccine mandate. It’s not. So, why do they keep reporting it as such?   

I talk to neighbors, callers, and friends, and they’re all arguing over something that isn’t happening. Some have gotten really angry and stood defiant. They will not, under any circumstances, be forced to get a vaccine. 

“How about a test?” 

“Wait, what?”  

These are crazy times. We talk past each other, we debate our own set of facts, we get to choose the news we like, and disregard and disqualify the news we don’t. I’m afraid we have crossed some type of rubicon. Everyone is arguing and debating a policy but nobody knows the actual policy.

If you think taking a test to find out if you have a life threatening virus that could harm you, a family member, or a coworker is government overreach, I DON’T CARE. Quite frankly, I’m exhausted by the screaming. But if you are going to argue about it, you should do yourself a favor and know what the policy is before you decide you are for it or against it. 

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