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Big Guests Aren’t Necessarily the Best Guests

But even when we land the “big fish”, how often do they live up to the hype? Not as often as we all would hope

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How often do we as hosts and producers think about getting the “biggest name” guest we can get our hands on in order to create that appointment listening with the audience in hopes of landing just one more quarter-hour?

We all do it. And it’s our job to do it.

But even when we land the “big fish”, how often do they live up to the hype? Not as often as we all would hope. 

However, what if we started thinking about our supposed B-list or C-list guests as the stars they’re capable of being? Labeling guests based on their name recognition always seemed like a fool’s errand and I personally got a lesson in that last week.

Courtesy of the organization, FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, I was at their radio row event last week in Washington D.C. to discuss the most pressing issues surrounding illegal immigration and our southern border. Given the policies of the current administration, the timing could not have been more appropriate.

And while I worked hard to book some of the biggest names on the guest list, including many former officials who worked under President Trump, the best and most memorable conversations were with those who were unknown by the audience prior to the conversation beginning. I talked with border patrol agents who gave in-depth analysis and personal stories of what they’ve seen on the border. One mentioned how Native Americans, who own some land along the Arizona border, are working in tandem with the Mexican drug cartels on the issue of illegal immigration.

I talked with fourth-generation cattle ranchers who own land on the border that is home to a portion of former President Trump’s infamous border wall. They discussed seeing illegals walking across their property on a weekly basis and how some illegals have figured out ways through or around their wall. 

Then there was the impromptu conversation with the fellow talk show host from San Antonio, who was booked at my radio table after my show wrapped up, and I popped him on for a few minutes since he had recently been to a portion of the border that hasn’t gotten as much attention as some of the hot spots covered in national media. Oh, and he’s a first-generation Mexican American immigrant so that just adds another twist to his story and mine. 

As I wrapped up the radio row event, these were the kinds of conversations that stuck out in my head. These individuals were more transparent and not worried about misspeaking to possibly hurt any future political aspirations. They were real and raw. 

And boy was it great talk radio.

There’s no doubt that the big names may bring in some P2’s or P3’s, and even if the content isn’t as outstanding as the name, it brings people to your radio station.

But for those of us looking to create great content every quarter-hour, treating every guest with that same attention, and then trying to help them deliver entertaining and informative content for the audience is what matters. Let’s put the same attention into these folks as we do our supposed “stars”. They’re far more likely to exceed their expectations and provide great content, anyway.

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BNM Writers

Urban Meyer’s Coaching Future Depends On Winning, Not Being a Good Husband

“The NFL doesn’t have any morals, and the fans really don’t care. If the Jaguars were 3-1 or 4-0 and this same situation occurred, would we even be talking about Meyer losing his job? Let’s not pretend we are about anything other than winning.”

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If Urban Myer gets fired, it’ll be because he was a bad coach. If he keeps his job, it will be validation that he’s a really good coach. 

As I write this column, it’s the morning after news and video broke of the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars on a bar stool, with a young blonde woman, who is not his wife, gyrating on his lap. In another video, he appears to be grabbing the crotch of the same woman.

Inappropriate? Absolutely. Fireable? Well, that depends on his record.  

Right now he’s 0-4, and it seems he’s in over his head. But he didn’t break any laws. It appears to be as consensual as consensual can be in 2021.

Nobody was at risk of any injury. The apology was, of course, comical. “I should have left”. Really? How would your wife or girlfriend handle that explanation?  He stayed behind and missed the flight back to Jacksonville so he could spend time with his grandchildren. It turns out he spent time with someone else’s grandchildren. But I digress. 

When all the laughing and schadenfreude is over, the bottom line is, it’s between Urban and his wife. However, he is 0-4, has created multiple distractions, and seems way in over his head. But he could turn it around. 

The Urban Meyer story follows the news from last week of Dr. Dre being a part of the Super Bowl halftime show. One doesn’t have to go too far on Google to find out how abusive Dr. Dre has been towards women, but apparently the NFL doesn’t care.  

If you search his history you’ll learn that he’s punched women in public. His wife has told stories of Dr. Dre holding a gun to her head on a number of occasions. He has also acknowledged his past behavior and apologized for it. However, he does make great headphones, so he does have that going for him. 

But regardless, the NFL has signed off on an admitted wife beater taking center stage at their signature event. Nobody seems too bothered by it. Yet five days later we want the Jaguars to fire Meyer for getting rubbed on at a bar after a game?

I’ve heard the most ridiculous commentaries. “Meyer might have broken the moral clause of his contract and thus might be fired, and don’t forget the USC job is open.”

So let me get this straight. Urban Meyer is unfit for the NFL but ok to teach college boys how to become men?

Can we just be honest. The NFL doesn’t have any morals, and the fans really don’t care. If the Jaguars were 3-1 or 4-0 and this same situation occurred, would we even be talking about Meyer losing his job? Let’s not pretend we are about anything other than winning.   

We love to give lip service to morals, especially when your guy’s morals don’t live up to my morals at any given moment in time. If my guy was seen with a farm animal, and was 9-0 with a unstoppable offense? We would giggle, and keep on cheering.  

Don’t believe me? You think there are some standards that we can all agree on?

Remember this, Tom Brady was booed on his return to New England. Yes some cheered, but many more were angry and mad at his decision to work in Tampa Bay. He brought a failing, miserable franchise, getting ready to move, six Super Bowls. Can’t the fans be satisfied and appreciate his past accomplishments? Nope. He got booed.

Meanwhile, Patriot’s owner, Robert Kraft, whose charges were dropped after visiting the Asian Day Spa twice before an AFC playoff game in Kansas City, continues to be a hero in New England. The woman who serviced Kraft twice that day, and until I lost count, 29 others, were charged with all sorts of criminal deeds. Makes sense, Kraft’s charges dropped. Jail and fines for the woman. Kraft gets cheered, and Brady is booed. What the $&#¥%##£%#.

Urban Meyer’s greatest sin this past weekend isn’t leaving his grandkids to his wife and being caught on video being an idiot. It’s his inability to coach his team to hold on to a 14 point lead, causing them to lose to the Bengals, and remain winless and in last place.

If Meyer gets fired, it’s because he’s 0-4, and in way over his head. If he keeps his job, it’ll be because he’s a good coach, not a good husband.

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BNM Writers

President Biden Address Lures Viewers To Multiple Networks

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Of the several breaking news events that aired on MSNBC for the week ending September 26, its most-watched was President Joe Biden’s first address before the United Nations General Assembly on Sep. 21 from New York City. He spoke about the most pertinent global issues of current: the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and human rights abuses. The 36-minute airing (from 10-10:36 a.m.) drew 799,000 total viewers and 76,000 in the key 25-54 demographic, according to Nielsen Media Research. MSNBC’s cable news competitors each offered their own ratings advantages during that time period. For the 10-11 a.m. hour, CNN averaged nearly twice more adults 25-54 than MSNBC (140,000 vs. 76,000), although CNN also delivered 668,000 in total viewers. Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” easily topped both MSNBC and CNN combined in both key figures, having posted 1.67 million viewers along with 252,000 adults 25-54.

As for the week (Sep. 20-24), the aforementioned “America’s Newsroom” averaged 1.78 million total viewers, which beat NBC’s “TODAY with Hoda and Jenna” (1.515 million total viewers) for the fourth consecutive week. In the 1 p.m. hour, Fox News’ “America Reports” garnered 1.75 million viewers, edging out another broadcast network news program: the third hour of ABC’s “Good Morning America” (1,596,000 viewers), dubbed “What You Need to Know.”

The #FreeBritney movement successfully achieved its goal on Sep. 29 when a Los Angeles judge had ruled Britney Spears’ father Jamie Spears should be suspended as her conservator, ending his 13-year role in that position of the famous pop star’s estate. Three days prior, on Sep. 26, CNN premiered the one-hour special report entitled “Toxic: Britney Spears’ Battle For Freedom.” The exposé featured interviews with journalist Ronan Farrow as well as actresses Mischa Barton and Rosie O’Donnell. The special’s initial telecast delivered 546,000 total viewers and 91,000 in the 25-54 demo. Its direct competition from Fox News, “Life, Liberty and Levin” (1.743 million viewers/195,000 adults 25-54) drew much larger figures within the 8-9 p.m. hour.

Here are the cable news averages for September 20-26, 2021.

Total Day (September 20-26 @ 6 a.m.-5:59 a.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 1.495 million viewers; 247,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 0.731 million viewers; 86,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.549 million viewers; 124,000 adults 25-54
  • HLN: 0.193 million viewers; 63,000 adults 25-54
  • CNBC: 0.150 million viewers; 35,000 adults 25-54
  • Newsmax: 0.136 million viewers; 16,000 adults 25-54
  • The Weather Channel: 0.109 million viewers; 22,000 adults 25-54
  • Fox Business Network: 0.101 million viewers; 12,000 adults 25-54

Prime Time (September 20-25 @ 8-11 p.m.; September 26 @ 7-11 p.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 2.406 million viewers; 391,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 1.346 million viewers; 168,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.776 million viewers; 185,000 adults 25-54
  • Newsmax: 0.219 million viewers; 31,000 adults 25-54
  • CNBC: 0.218 million viewers; 59,000 adults 25-54
  • HLN: 0.186 million viewers; 66,000 adults 25-54
  • The Weather Channel: 0.136 million viewers; 28,000 adults 25-54
  • Fox Business Network: 0.069 million viewers; 9,000 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, Tue. 9/21/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.644 million viewers

2. The Five (FOXNC, Mon. 9/20/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.550 million viewers

3. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 9/21/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.465 million viewers

4. The Five (FOXNC, Wed. 9/22/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.426 million viewers

5. The Five (FOXNC, Thu. 9/23/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.283 million viewers

6. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 9/23/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.244 million viewers

7. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 9/22/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.240 million viewers

8. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Mon. 9/20/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.143 million viewers

9. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 9/23/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.052 million viewers

10. The Five (FOXNC, Fri. 9/24/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.021 million viewers

23. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Thu. 9/23/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.409 million viewers

140. Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN, Thu. 9/23/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 1.055 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. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 9/21/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.632 million adults 25-54

2. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 9/22/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.589 million adults 25-54

3. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 9/23/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.539 million adults 25-54

4. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Mon. 9/20/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.535 million adults 25-54

5. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 9/21/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.534 million adults 25-54

6. Hannity (FOXNC, Wed. 9/22/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.526 million adults 25-54

7. The Five (FOXNC, Mon. 9/20/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.520 million adults 25-54

8. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 9/23/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.513 million adults 25-54

9. Hannity (FOXNC, Tue. 9/21/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.507 million adults 25-54

10. The Five (FOXNC, Wed. 9/22/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.475 million adults 25-54

51. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Thu. 9/23/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.304 million adults 25-54

69. Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN, Tue. 9/21/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.279 million adults 25-54

168. Forensic Files “Last Dance” (HLN, Tue. 9/21/2021 11:30 PM, 30 min.) 0.159 million adults 25-54

Source: Live+Same Day data, Nielsen Media Research

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BNM Writers

Peyton & Eli Manning Are Making Monday Night Football Relevant Again

“It’s so enjoyable to sit in my living room watching the game with two brothers who have a great respect for each other, the game, their fellow NFL’ers, and the referees. With malice towards none, with charity for all. Expect each other.” 

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Howard Cosell is rolling over in his grave, and I love it.  

Not because of the new PBS, Ken Burns, documentary about Muhammad Ali, which is fantastic, by the way. Cosell is twisting because of the new Monday Night Football dream broadcasting team of brothers Peyton and Eli Manning on ESPN 2. 

Simply put, it is must see TV.  

Cosell, in his book, “I Never Played the Game”, described what was happening to the broadcast world as “Jockocracy”. A term to describe how former athletes were given broadcasting jobs that they had not earned.   

Well, Peyton and Eli are ‘Jockocracy’ gone wild. Howard, you might have been right, but you are also wrong. They are great. Not to be missed. I watch just to hang with the Manning’s and their friends.  

We are only a few weeks in, and it’s safe to say I’ve watched more Monday Night Football games this year, than the last 15 years combined. Partly because I’m a Jets fan and they don’t get to play on Monday Night’s, and with all due respect to those who have been in the Monday Night booth in recent years, nobody in it has been as exciting as Howard Cosell.

Until Now.  

They’ve tried Dennis Miller,  Paul Maguire, OJ Simpson, a younger Keith Jackson, Dan Dierdorf, Jon Gruden, and of course Al Michaels, to name just a few. All were fine, but you tune in to watch the game, not listen to the announcers. 

Until Now.  

I don’t care who is playing, or much about the game, but I’ve learned more about reading a defense than I ever have. It’s so enjoyable to sit in my living room watching the game with two brothers who have a great respect for each other, the game, their fellow NFL’ers, and the referees. With malice towards none, with charity for all. Expect each other. 

Between the two, it seems nothing is off limits. They are constantly making fun of each other, their interceptions, hairlines, losses, teenage years, records, misdeeds, and accomplishments.  
How many times have you heard about “halftime adjustments”? Broadcasters drone on about the locker room adjustments that worked in the second half. Well, according to Peyton and Eli, the joke is on all of us.

In one of their first broadcasts, the Manning brothers detailed how everyone asks about what changes were made to the game plan in the locker room. Yet the truth is, there is barely time to suck on an orange before you are called out to start the second half. There are no halftime adjustments. 

Of course, watching it, they were much more interesting and funny and more importantly, credible. To me? It was riveting.   

This past week, Eil was telling a story about a young Philly fan who gave him the double bird, and in the process showed the double bird on TV. After the break he apologized, and added, if the 9 year old can do it to me, I thought it was okay for me to do it back to him, and added, “You should of heard what he said about Mom”.

Any other announcer would officially be canceled forever. But for this broadcast, it’s all part of the fun, hanging out with friends, and learning a lot about football. It just so happens your friends are NFL royalty, and it was well within the bounds of acceptable behavior, while still being fun and authentic.  

I cant wait until their father jumps in for a few quarters. Or their mom, brother Cooper, or their next door neighbor, who doesn’t know anything about football.   

Hey Cosell, back in your day, when one could fake authenticity, one could do almost anything.  Today, when two brothers combine to win four Super Bowls, there’s no need to fake anything.  You have all the authenticity you need to make Monday Night Football relevant again.  

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