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.
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.
Pete Mundo is the morning show host and program director for KCMO in Kansas City. Previously, he was a fill-in host nationally on FOX News Radio and CBS Sports Radio, while anchoring for WFAN, WCBS News Radio 880, and Bloomberg Radio. Pete was also the sports and news director for Omni Media Group at K-1O1/Z-92 in Woodward, Oklahoma. He’s also the owner of the Big 12-focused digital media outlet Heartland College Sports. To interact, find him on Twitter @PeteMundo.
Armed American Radio Host Sues OpenAI For Defamation
Walters claims to be a victim of an AI “hallucination”.
Mark Walters, the host of the Armed American Radio show distributed nationwide by Salem Radio Networks, has sued OpenAI. He claims that the ChatGPT program developed by OpenAI wrongly indicted him for stealing money from the Second Amendment Foundation.
Walters claims to be a victim of an AI “hallucination”. This happens when technology creates false events and results without any factual basis. Walters is a syndicated radio host who says that he was never mentioned in the legal case of Second Amendment Foundation v. Robert Ferguson. Additionally, he has never been employed by a nonprofit organization dedicated to defending gun rights.
Walters’ attorney, John Monroe, expressed his client’s grievance: “OpenAI has defamed my client by fabricating outrageous falsehoods about him.”
According to the New York Post, Open AI is facing its first-ever defamation lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed in the Superior Court of Gwinnett County State of Georgia and stems from an incident involving journalist Fred Riehl.
Riehl had engaged with ChatGPT, an AI developed by Open AI while researching the Second Amendment Foundation case against Washington State Attorney Robert Ferguson. Riehl shared a URL to the complaint on the Second Amendment Foundation website and asked ChatGPT to provide a summary of the case.
According to ChatGPT, Alan Gottlieb, the founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), filed a legal complaint against Mark Walters. The complaint accuses Walters, who was the organization’s treasurer and chief financial officer, of committing fraud and embezzlement by using funds for his personal expenses without permission or repayment.
It further accuses Walters of manipulating financial records and bank statements to hide his actions and failing to provide accurate and timely financial reports and disclosures to the SAF’s leadership. The AI-generated response clarified that the plaintiff was seeking various remedies, including the removal of Walters from his position as a member of the SAF’s board of directors.
The lawsuit filed against OpenAI claims that every factual statement in the summary related to Walters is untrue. Riehl further interrogated ChatGPT about its summary, specifically regarding Walters’ involvement in the lawsuit against Ferguson. In response, the AI-generated text provided a paragraph from the complaint, which described Walters as an individual residing in Georgia who has served as the Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer of SAF since at least 2012. The paragraph stated that Walters has access to SAF’s financial records and is responsible for maintaining them and providing financial reports to the board of directors.
However, the lawsuit against OpenAI asserts that none of the information provided by ChatGPT is present in the actual complaint it was asked to summarize. The lawsuit alleges that ChatGPT’s responses are entirely fabricated and bear no resemblance to the genuine complaint. It accuses ChatGPT of making false and malicious statements about Walters, which were published and damaged his reputation, exposing him to public disdain and ridicule. The suit claims that OpenAI’s dissemination of the allegations to Riehl constitutes the publication of defamatory material about Walters.
As a result, Walters is seeking both general and punitive damages, the specific amount of which will be determined during the trial. Additionally, he is requesting reimbursement for the legal expenses incurred in bringing the case to trial before a jury.
Armed American Radio is a radio show that airs on Sundays from 8:00-11:00 PM ET and has been on the air since 2009.
Ryan Hedrick serves as the Assistant Program Director and Co-Host of the Morning News Express at WFMD. Prior to WFMD, he hosted an afternoon program at News Talk 103.7 FM in Chambersburg, PA. He has worked at Sirius XM in Washington D.C., WBEN in Buffalo, NY, and for stations in Baltimore, MD. He has also worked at WIBW-AM in Topeka KS, earning the Kansas Association of Broadcasters (KAB) award for Major Market enterprise reporting in 2016. To connect with Ryan, find him on Twitter @SureToCover.
Erick Erickson: Despite Big Numbers, No One Outside of Twitter is Talking About Tucker Carlson
“No one off Twitter is talking about the content at all.”
Tucker Carlson debuted his video show on Twitter earlier this week to much fanfare. Erick Erickson believes you can be fooled by the reach displayed in the first installment.
Many conservative pundits pointed to analytics to prove that Carlson’s show on the social media app will actually have a bigger presence than it did while being broadcast on Fox News.
However, Erickson argued in a tweet that any mention of Carlson outside of the social media platform is largely non-existent.
“The Tucker Carlson problem in a nutshell: I see many people on Twitter talking about how many views his video got, but no one on or off Twitter is talking about what he said in those ten minutes,” Erickson said. “No one off Twitter is talking about the content at all. Few on Twitter are either.”
According to public information available on Twitter, Carlson’s debut 10-minute episode — which Fox News contends breached his contract — has been viewed 106 million times as of this publication.
In the wake of Carlson’s large debut episode, a Twitter user has gone viral for claiming that they created a locked account with 0 followers, and will still have their tweets listed as receiving views, which should be impossible. The argument follows that Twitter is instead using impressions — rather than views — as the public metric displayed on individual tweets.
Bob Sirott Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Radio Debut
“My early radio career allowed me to adapt to television.”
June 8th, 1973. That’s the day Chicago media legend Bob Sirott got his start on WLS-AM.
In a tweet, the WGN Radio morning host shared a picture of his time at what was then The Big 89, and shared that it was the 50th anniversary of his debut on the Chicago station.
Sirott originally began his radio career on WBBM-FM in 1971 as a fill-in DJ before moving to WLS in 1973. He worked there until 1979 before joining WBBM-TV. In 1989, he shifted to a role at WMAQ-TV, before ultimately returning to radio in 2019.
“Radio is a lot more creative than television,” Sirott told Barrett News Media earlier this year. “It’s harder. My early radio career allowed me to adapt to television. It goes the other way, too. I think the television work has made me better at the radio the second time around.”
He replaced Steve Cochran as the morning host on WGN Radio. The 73-year-old saw his contract extended in 2021 to remain with the station.