Morano Pays Tribute to Larry King
“I don’t really have the vocabulary to express my deep sadness at the passing of Larry King,” Morano said. “I can’t begin to describe the impact that he has had on the world of radio, cable news and broadcasting in general.”
Broadcasting legend and interviewer extraordinaire Larry King passed away Saturday, January 23rd at the age of 87. An emotional Frank Morano, host of The Other Side of Midnight on WABC, paid tribute to King during his opening monologue on Monday, saying King’s death “Marks the end of an era in broadcasting”.
Morano began his tribute by discussing King’s impact on the world of broadcasting.
“I don’t really have the vocabulary to express my deep sadness at the passing of Larry King,” Morano said. “I can’t begin to describe the impact that he has had on the world of radio, cable news and broadcasting in general. Watching his work, sometimes he would make you laugh, sometimes he would make you cry, sometimes he would surprise you and then sometimes he would make you scratch your head. But that was Larry. Because of that, it is a struggle to find what made Larry King so great. I have come to the conclusion that it wasn’t one thing, but a combination of many, many things.”
Morano adds that King had many similarities with another television icon, Alex Trebek.
“There are a lot of people in television or radio that can find success for a moment,” Morano said. “But to have longevity and be on the air for literal decades, you have to be relatable to audiences. You have to be ‘just a regular guy from the neighborhood’. You have to be curious and you have to be humble. Both Larry and Alex had those qualities and that’s why people loved them.”
While Morano does compare King to Trebek, he said it was King’s differences from other broadcasters that set him apart.
“Let’s be honest. Larry King was no Ken Doll,” he said. “He would wear those suspenders that nobody else would think about wearing. He didn’t look like the picture of somebody you thought was supposed to be on TV. He did not ask the same erudite questions that everyone else was asking. No, Larry King was different and that’s what made him so special.”
Morano closes his monologue by crediting King with shaping the modern news format, saying that his death leaves a void in the world of broadcasting,
“I didn’t know Larry personally aside from meeting him a couple of times for about ten seconds, but I feel like I lost a friend,” Morano said. “He was one of the people that helped define and create modern day cable news and call-in radio formats. That era has closed with his passing. That is really sad.”
Later in his program, Morano interviewed King’s producer Tammy Haddad. Morano also invited listeners to call in and share their memories of King throughout the program. In addition, Morano played some rare clips of King from his career, but stopped short of devoting the entire four hour show to him because, “I don’t think Larry would have wanted it that way”.
Jacob Conley writes about news/talk radio BNM. He can be found on Twitter @GWUJake or reach him by email at email@example.com.
Bob Pittman: iHeartMedia Won’t Be Shutting Down Broadcast Stations
“90% of Americans listen to iHeart broadcast radio stations every month. To put that in context, the biggest TV network reaches less than 40% of Americans and the big streaming music services reach less than 30%.”
Very few large broadcasting corporations adopted digital platforms as quickly as iHeartMedia did. iHeartRadio is one of the most popular platforms for streaming content from a variety off stations. Bob Pittman says that does not mean the company does not see plenty of value in traditional broadcast radio.
Lydia Moynihan of The New York Post spoke with the iHeartMedia CEO Friday morning. She asked Pittman if he could foresee a day when the company would be done with terrestrial radio and focus solely on digital products.
“To the contrary – the strength and foundation of our company is our broadcast radio stations,” Pittman responded. “90% of Americans listen to iHeart broadcast radio stations every month. To put that in context, the biggest TV network reaches less than 40% of Americans and the big streaming music services reach less than 30%.”
He added that any success that the company has seen with podcasting or streaming is clearly linked to the success of the its radio stations. He said that is true for its live events too.
“We use that massive and unique reach of our broadcast radio to build complementary products like the iHeartRadio digital service and our major events like the iHeartRadio Music Festival, the iHeartRadio Music Awards and the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour, and it’s why we’re the #1 podcast publisher by a lot. It all starts with using the trusted voices on our broadcast radio stations and creating demand – and with our unparalleled reach we have quite an advantage over the other audio players, regardless of their cash war chests.”
Buffalo, Chicago, Milwaukee Top Markets for AM Radio
“The study shows thirteen markets that have at least 40% of listeners using AM radio. Ten of them are in the Midwest.”
Nielsen has looked at information from the 2022 fall book to determine where AM radio is the most popular. The company released a list Thursday of 141 markets where at least 20% of radio listeners tune to AM radio in a given month. Cities in the Great Lakes region are all at the top of the list.
In Buffalo, 56% of radio listeners use the AM band in a month. The market’s most-listened to stations are both AM stations owned by Audacy – news/talk WBEN and sports talker WGR. Neither has an FM simulcast.
There is a tie for second place. 48% of listeners in Chicago utilize AM. Popular news stations WGN and WLS are both only available on AM as is the market’s heritage sports talk brand, 670 The Score. Milwaukee is the other market with 48% of listeners using AM radio.
AM radio remains very popular in the Midwest. The study shows thirteen markets that have at least 40% of listeners using AM radio. Ten of them are in the Midwest.
Last month, Nielsen used numbers from the 2022 Fall book to show that across the country, more than 82 million people rely on AM radio during a month. That is a third of all terrestrial radio listeners.
A hearing on Sen. Ed Markey’s AM For Every Vehicle Act is scheduled for Wednesday on Capitol Hill.
Fox News Radio Reportedly Facing Cutbacks
“Freelance shifts still exist on the network and current freelancers have been offered other opportunities over the weekend. Staff employees were not impacted.”
According to All Access, Fox News Radio is tightening the belt a bit. Job cuts and staff reassignments are on the way.
Most of the effected positions are filled by freelancers. Reporters and fill-in hosts could be effected.
“Fox News Audio has reduced the number of freelance shifts and adjusted its workflow on weekends,” a source told Perry Michael Simon. “Freelance shifts still exist on the network and current freelancers have been offered other opportunities over the weekend. Staff employees were not impacted.”
One full-time staffer has confirmed that he is out. News anchor Kerin McCue had been with Fox News Radio since 2012. He told All Access that he will exit some time this month. The report does not say if that is the result of these cutbacks or McCue’s own decision.
The network does have a lower-cost plan for the weekend. Some repurposed content from SiriusXM’s Fox News Headlines 24/7 will fill newscast slots.