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Syndicated Hosts Need to Do Their Part to Create Local Flavor

Syndicated host should be willing to do whatever they can (if they’re smart and care) to help a station and local market. 

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Those of us on the programming side of radio all want more. Granted, if we have a single, competitive bone in our body, we should want more; more marketing, more access to research and information, more cross-promotion, and in many cases, more local content. But, there’s nothing wrong with wanting that and pushing for it while also understanding the problematic situations our business finds itself in as we continue to dig out of the pandemic. 

So there have always been two options. On would be to complain to anyone who will listen (and that group is much smaller than you think), or continue to push forward, make the best of the resources you’re given while also planning and plotting for a future of achieving what it is you eventually want for the radio station. 

Depending on your company and market size, you may have one or two local shows on your station for many news talkers. Of course, you may prefer having local, but at the same time, having syndication isn’t something you need to, or should, view as a negative. 

What can you do in news talk syndication to create a “local flavor”? How can you make these syndicated hosts, many of whom have hundreds of affiliates, feel like they’re part of your market? Well, that depends on who your host is, but many will be willing to do whatever they can (if they’re smart and care) to help your station and market. 

In our case at KCMO Talk Radio, Dave Ramsey has always been a very engaged syndicated host with our market. From hosting Ramsey events in Kansas City to providing himself and his personalities as guests on our local shows to doing local endorsements, there is a strong connection and feeling to the audience that Dave is part of the KCMO family. He has also been a staple in his mid-day time slot on the station for over a decade.

For more newcomers to the station like Ben Shapiro, who is also incredibly busy as a co-founder of The Daily Wire, he may not be as accessible. Still, he is willing to turn around topical and unique liners and rejoins we can use throughout syndication that make Ben sound like he’s one with Kansas City. For example, rejoins over bumper music during the holidays, saying, “Hey, it’s Ben Shapiro, and to all our KCMO listeners, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!”

Around the rest of the station, Mark Levin’s book publisher was kind enough to send us a few extra copies of his recent bestseller, American Marxism. We then planned an interview with Mark to promote his book and talk about the day’s news while announcing we would then be giving away copies all week long. 

Some of these items are smaller than others, but they’re personable and are appreciated by listeners. And guess what, these small things add up.

Granted, they may not add up by tomorrow, next week, next month, or even next year, but they’re building blocks. Whether it’s something glorious like events with personalities or smaller items like topical liners, these move the station forward in a positive way. As a bonus, it prevents you from complaining to someone who likely doesn’t want to hear it anyway. Everybody wins. 

News Radio

Ben Shapiro: Donald Trump Endorsing People Doesn’t Carry a Lot of Power

During his show on Wednesday, Shapiro said Trump may hold power over the Republican party but when it comes to local political races, there are other factors at play.

Ryan Hedrick

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AFP/Getty Images/Jason Kempin

Syndicated radio host and author Ben Shapiro suggested that an endorsement from former President Donald Trump is not the golden ticket it’s portrayed to be.

During his show on Wednesday, Shapiro said Trump may hold power over the Republican party but when it comes to local political races, there are other factors at play.

“So, there’s a difference between Donald Trump endorsing a person, which I don’t think has a lot of power. And Donald Trump is destroying people,” Shapiro said via Mediate.

“He (Trump) actually talked about how Brian Kemp was terrible and horrible and no good and very bad. And Brian Kemp won because he had earned the loyalty of the Republican voting base in Georgia, despite Trump’s anger at Brian Kemp.”

Shapiro concluded that “Trump does not have the sort of stranglehold the media thinks he has on the Republican Party.” 

Recently, Pennsylvania Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz is one Trump-endorsed candidate that has backed away from the former president.

An Axios analysis of Oz’s social media and campaign website uncovered that the Republican candidate is no longer lauding his Trump endorsement ahead of the midterm elections this fall.

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News Radio

Longtime WIBC News Anchor Retires After Nearly 30 Years

Stan Lehr is calling it quits with his final day coming July 1.

Ryan Hedrick

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Longtime WIBC-FM news anchor Stan Lehr is calling it quits after nearly 30 years behind the microphone. The Indianapolis Star reports that Lehr’s last day will be July 1. 

WIBC is owned by Emmis Communications who last week announced a move to sell its Indianapolis radio properties to Maryland-based Radio One. Lehr’s retirement reportedly had nothing to do with the news of the impending sale. 

“This will bring to an end a long chapter in the station’s history,” WIBC News Director Chris Davis wrote in his email. “His reputation as a stickler has been widely-known in the industry for decades.” 

Davis described Lehr as a “stickler” who never wanted recognition for his work. 

“Instead, he made it clear to all who work or have worked with him that strong writing, accuracy, and excellence in delivery are the best ways to serve the listeners,” added Davis. 

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News Radio

WWL, FEMA Unveiling New Emergency Broadcast Studio

The news conference will occur at 9 a.m. CT, leading to official remarks, Q&A, a tour of the facility, and a live demonstration at the WWL PEP station emergency studio. 

Eduardo Razo

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FEMA and Audacy’s WWL-AM/FM will present the unveiling of an all-hazards upgrade to the “Primary Entry Point” facility on June 28th. 

The news conference will occur at 9 a.m. CT, leading to official remarks, Q&A, a tour of the facility, and a live demonstration at the WWL PEP station emergency studio. 

Some of the speakers at the event will include Erik Hooks, Deputy Administrator, FEMA, and Kevin Cassidy, Senior Vice-President, Market Manager, Audacy-WWL. 

“The modernization to the emergency studio increases WWL’s resiliency to continue broadcasting under all conditions, including natural disasters and acts of terrorism,” the statement said which Barrett News Media obtained. “This facility is one of 77 across the country that serve as a National Public Warning System Primary Entry Point (PEP) station, participating with FEMA to provide emergency alert and warning information to the public before, during and after incidents and disasters.”

“WWL is the 15th radio station in the country to work with FEMA to complete the all-hazards upgrade, which includes increased sheltering capabilities, expanded broadcast capacity, and sustainable power generation for all types of hazardous events.”

Anyone attending the event will arrive at check-in 15 minutes before the press conference starts.

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