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America’s E-Bike Future

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes says he has had a great experience with his futuristic commuting method, and he believes that most Americans would feel the same.

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If only they’d give them a try, Americans would fall in love with E-Bikes. 

That is the opinion of MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, who discussed his newfound joy of commuting via an electric bike last week on his “All In with Chris Hayes” program. He has had a great experience with his futuristic commuting method, and he believes that most Americans would feel the same.

“Last fall, it was still Covid, and there was no vaccine, and I started to have to come into the studio to do the show,” Hayes began. “I had a little bit of a commuting problem. I didn’t want to start taking the subway at that point. I think there’s some of it that suggest that masking is pretty fine, but I was like, eh, I wasn’t that psyched about it. But I had to get from Brooklyn to Midtown, it’s about nine miles, and I had to do without the subway. I didn’t want to take a car every day. I came up with the ultimate solution – a foldable E-Bike.”

Hayes said he started to use the foldable e-Bike to make the 9-mile commute to the MSNBC Studios and then stored it in his office. Among its benefits, according to Hayes, was that he got to enjoy the sights of New York City while not arriving hot, sweaty, and disheveled for his television duties.

“Changed my life, best commute I have ever had in my life,” Hayes said, noting that he arrived each day “cool and clean.”

Hayes welcomed New York Times writer Jay Caspian Kang, who last week penned an Op-Ed titled “Free E-Bikes for Everyone!” Kang pointed out that his E-Bike conversion was much the same as Hayes’ and that his daughter now enjoys being brought to school on the bike. In addition, Kang said the bike had given him a liberating feeling, being able to travel to New York City after the past couple of years of Covid-related lockdowns.

“First of all, it’s a very cool feeling because you feel like a superhero. It’s like the vision I had as a kid of having a cyber-suit where you are like Ironman. It’s you, but you’re stronger,” Hayes said. “So when you’re pushing the pedals, there’s like this extra oomph, so you can put kids on it. You can run errands on it. It also means you’re not sweating in the same way. And it also just replaces a lot of car trips; I think that’s a key thing to think about.”

The MSNBC Segment by Hayes was titled “The Case For Giving Every American a Free E-Bike.”  

In his Times piece, Kang concurred, saying, “City governments should purchase an electronic bicycle for every resident over the age of 15 who wants one. They should also shut down a significant number of streets. Shutting down some streets for bikes is not only for safety but also because the more inconvenient driving becomes, the more people start to consider other options.” 

Some may see a similarity in this approach by Kang to the current president and administration increasing gasoline prices and the costs of many other goods. However, administration officials have made clear that one clear benefit and objective of these rising costs will be to change citizens’ behavior, similar to the change Kang hopes to see if New York were to use tax dollars to give bikes to New Yorkers.

“We have to get cars off the street somehow,” Kang said. “We have to get cars off the road somehow for every reason. Pedestrian safety, bike safety. But mostly because of climate change and the carbon that they emit. So I don’t know; I think you need to develop some kind of drastic measure that also incentivizes people. And I think that we’ve been waiting around for some sort of solution to this. I don’t know; I think every single person that I talk to who has ridden an E-Bike, and who has sort of committed to it in a way, has said it has replaced tons of their car trips.”

Kang said the only problem with having more people adopt the emerging technology is the expense, citing the high cost per E-Bike. (A quick internet search finds many E-Bikes priced near $1500 apiece.) Kang opined that only by “giving them away for free” could the plan be brought to fruition. 

“If you’re going to get cars off the road, you’re going to need something to replace that,” Kang said. “People are still going to want some sort of speed; they’re still going to want some sort of convenience. E-Bikes are the way right now.”

Hayes wrapped up the segment, saying that the key is for planners to think ahead and assess what cities, and suburban areas, would need as they move into the future. And as the holiday approached, he said he would soon be heading out on his E-Bike to pick up his Thanksgiving pies. 

BNM Writers

Midterm Election Madness Has Come Early

As we enter 2022, this can likely be the best and most passionate midterm year for the News Talk audience in over a decade.

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CBS News

It’s 2022. It’s a midterm year, which typically provides a lift to News Talk stations around the country. Of course, it will never be a Presidential Year, but it’s a chance to drum up plenty of storylines on the local and federal front to carry through the year.

As we enter 2022, this can likely be the best and most passionate midterm year for the News Talk audience in over a decade. I’d go back to the Tea Party movement of 2010 as the last time a midterm appeared to be shaping up this well for those with conservative values. Instead of playing defense, a la 2018, when Republicans held the White House, Senate, and House leading into those midterms, the party is now on offense. They’re in the minority in the House and Senate, while President Biden continues to see his approval rating fall off a cliff.

This should create an environment for a generally right-of-center audience that will be engaged and excited about what’s to come this fall.

How can your station handle this expected enthusiasm? Lean into it. From U.S. Senate to House races, all the way down to school board races, which will remain hot-button topics throughout the year (look at Exhibit A: Virginia).

From a content perspective, that means trying to capture as much of the news as you can for your audience. Lead the way. Get the candidates to try and make news on your show. Heck, get the candidates to make announcements on your show. For example, on KCMO in Kansas City, in just the last two weeks, we had the privilege of having a candidate for a U.S. House seat in Missouri announced exclusively on our show, while we also had a candidate for a county commissioner chair in the biggest county in Kansas in the KC Metro make his announcement on our program.

These don’t need to be long-form interviews, as the audience isn’t likely wanting to get into the weeds on some of the policy and topics just yet. Still, it will make the show and the station feel “big” that these candidates want to be on your station to make their announcement regardless of what they’re running for.

And not only will it be quality content that becomes appointment listening, if teased correctly. It also creates plenty of opportunities for afterglow with great promos and liners to continue building the station’s brand around the clock.

“Your Home in Missouri and Kansas for the 2022 Midterms!”

“Leading the way on the 2022 Midterms in Kansas City!”

These can work on rejoins, promos, liners, or anything you need from your station’s imaging perspective.

If I may add a caveat here, obsessing over the 2022 midterms in January or February will not carry you until November. But it’s undoubtedly already here and getting plenty of attention.

But don’t let that prevent a show from having great topic variety, local and national, all while still having fun at the same time.

After 2021 that was ho-hum compared to the previous five years, the news cycle is undoubtedly picking back up: Is your station prepared for the re-engagement that is likely set to return from a portion of the listening audience?

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BNM Writers

Biden, Harris Jan. 6 Speeches Deliver Viewers To All 3 Networks

“Fox News was first overall, drawing 1.44 million total viewers and 215,000 of the audience in the key 25-54 demographics, according to Nielsen Media Research. MSNBC was a close runner-up in total viewers with 1.31 million.”

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Marking the start of the one-year anniversary of the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 were remarks by Vice President Kamala Harris, followed by President Joe Biden. Harris stated, “On Jan. 6, we all saw what our nation would look like if the forces who seek to dismantle our democracy are successful — the lawlessness, the violence, the chaos.” In Biden’s speech, he said “At this moment, we must decide what kind of nation are we going to be… Are we going to be a nation that lives not by the light of the truth, but in the shadow of lies? We cannot allow ourselves to be that kind of nation. The way forward is to recognize the truth, to live by it.

Both speeches occurred in the 9-10 a.m. Eastern hour on Jan. 6. The rankings according to viewer figures among the cable news networks were, once again, similar to those of recent news events. Fox News Channel was first overall, drawing 1.44 million total viewers and 215,000 of the audience in the key 25-54 demographics, according to Nielsen Media Research. MSNBC was a close runner-up in total viewers with 1.31 million.

The window for CNN’s coverage went from 8:45 a.m. to 10:28 a.m. ET; while more precise data for the speeches themselves were not made available, the time period offered was still enough to achieve cable news’ runner-up spot in adults 25-54. CNN drew 187,000 in the demo while MSNBC did 182,000.

CNN delivered their most-watched hours of their week (ending Jan. 9) in the hours following Biden’s speech. Within the time frame of 10:28 a.m. to noon Eastern, which included a 22-minute speech by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the network averaged 1.25 million total viewers and 238,000 adults 25-54. Still, Fox News Channel topped those figures; from 10 a.m. to noon, they averaged 1.74 million total viewers with 272,000 adults 25-54. For FNC, the week marked 21 consecutive weeks in which they outdrew CNN and MSNBC combined according to total day data.

The Weather Channel achieved its highest rated week since the week ending Sep. 5, 2021 (Hurricane Ida). Winter Storm Garrett swept from Colorado to Maine, helping bring more than 6 inches of snow to parts of the Tennessee Valley and the Northeast. Snow totals have ranged from 2 to 5 inches in the Washington, D.C. to Baltimore to Philadelphia corridor to close to 10 inches at New York’s LaGuardia Airport and in southern Connecticut; the five boroughs of New York City received snow levels in-between. Most of the channel’s top hours occurred between the 8-11 a.m. ET time period from Jan. 3-7.

Cable news averages for January 3-9, 2022:

Total Day (January 3-9 @ 6 a.m.-5:59 a.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 1.408 million viewers; 223,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 0.746 million viewers; 88,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.548 million viewers; 113,000 adults 25-54
  • HLN: 0.196 million viewers; 58,000 adults 25-54
  • The Weather Channel: 0.191 million viewers; 37,000 adults 25-54
  • CNBC: 0.161 million viewers; 39,000 adults 25-54
  • Newsmax: 0.121 million viewers; 21,000 adults 25-54
  • Fox Business Network: 0.105 million viewers; 12,000 adults 25-54

Prime Time (January 3-8 @ 8-11 p.m.; January 9 @ 7-11 p.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 2.303 million viewers; 365,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 1.284 million viewers; 154,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.705 million viewers; 153,000 adults 25-54
  • HLN: 0.227 million viewers; 73,000 adults 25-54
  • CNBC: 0.206 million viewers; 66,000 adults 25-54
  • The Weather Channel: 0.218 million viewers; 47,000 adults 25-54
  • Newsmax: 0.142 million viewers; 29,000 adults 25-54
  • Fox Business Network: 0.053 million viewers; 8,000 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, Wed. 1/5/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.606 million viewers

2. The Five (FOXNC, Thu. 1/6/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.576 million viewers

3. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 1/6/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.515 million viewers

4. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 1/5/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.382 million viewers

5. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 1/4/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.365 million viewers

6. The Five (FOXNC, Mon. 1/3/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.330 million viewers

7. The Five (FOXNC, Fri. 1/7/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.311 million viewers

8. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 1/4/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.279 million viewers

9. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Mon. 1/3/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.125 million viewers

10. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Fri. 1/7/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.953 million viewers

18. Rachel Maddow Show “Democracy In Peril 1/6 Anniversary” (MSNBC, Thu. 1/6/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.444 million viewers

133. CNN Newsroom (CNN, Thu. 1/6/2022 10:28 AM, 32 min.) 1.260 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, Wed. 1/5/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.620 million adults 25-54

2. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 1/6/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.576 million adults 25-54

3. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 1/4/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.565 million adults 25-54

4. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Mon. 1/3/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.557 million adults 25-54

5. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 1/4/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.502 million adults 25-54

6. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Fri. 1/7/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.487 million adults 25-54

7. The Five (FOXNC, Wed. 1/5/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.486 million adults 25-54

8. The Five (FOXNC, Fri. 1/7/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.483 million adults 25-54

9. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 1/6/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.483 million adults 25-54

10. Hannity (FOXNC, Wed. 1/5/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.472 million adults 25-54

22. Rachel Maddow Show “Democracy In Peril 1/6 Anniversary” (MSNBC, Thu. 1/6/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.359 million adults 25-54

65. CNN Newsroom (CNN, Fri. 1/7/2022 3:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.255 million adults 25-54

177. Forensic Files “Time Will Tell” (HLN, late Sat. 1/8/2022 12:00 AM, 30 min.) 0.155 million adults 25-54

Source: Live+Same Day data, Nielsen Media Research

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BNM Writers

Dave Ramsey and Those Evil Millionaires

Ramsey spent some time discussing a recent New York Times article, which was pushing the moral need to “abolish millionaires.”

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Readers got another strong shot of common sense for their dollars and cents last week from the radio host known for delivering it in daily doses over the years.

During last week’s launch week for his new book, Baby Steps Millionaires: How Ordinary People Built Extraordinary Wealth – and How You Can Too, author and radio host, Dave Ramsey, took to the airwaves to share the underlying philosophy of his newest hit.

“We launched this book in the middle of a society where a portion of the people are out there; I call them the hope stealers. Their job is to steal your hope,” Ramsey began. “Their job is to tell you that the society, the culture, the country that we live in is so broken that the little man can’t get ahead. You stand no chance unless you inherit it from a rich uncle. You can’t make it; we need socialism. We need wealth redistribution. Wealthy people are evil anyway, and so they should be punished.”

Ramsey spent some time discussing a recent New York Times article, which was pushing the moral need to “abolish millionaires.” To Ramsey, this is anathema. After all, the radio host has made a name for himself, as well as created thousands of jobs through his multi-million dollar business by becoming the financial voice for the “little man.” He began small, became a millionaire, lost it all through bankruptcy, and then prospered much more than before through the reliance on true, Biblical financial principles.

“A billion dollars is wildly more than anyone needs, even accounting for life’s most excessive lavishes,” Ramsey quoted the story. “It’s far more than anyone might reasonably claim to deserve, however much he believes he has contributed to society. Billionaires should not exist. When American capitalism sends us its billionaires, it’s not sending us its best. It’s sending us people who have lots of problems, and they’re bringing their problems with them. They’re bringing inequality.”

Ramsey pointed out the apparent case of jealousy and envy.

“Two evil character traits of anyone who is one with money. Money is evil; money is bad. If you get money, you are evil, and you are bad,” Ramsey said. “You should have it taken away from you and given to someone else….so that they are evil and bad, I guess. I never thought about that part. If we give it out, is it not a problem for the poor people that get it. I mean, if it’s bad, maybe we should just centralize it with a few people and destroy them instead of giving it to other people. That’s kind of illogical. The critical thinking breaks down on this, doesn’t it?”

And as usual, Ramsey didn’t hold back what he thought. As he has said countless times, he’s an “expert on his own opinion.”

“I’m old. When I was young, we called those communists,” he said. “This is straight-up Marxism.” He then referenced Democratic politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s policy adviser, who said “every billionaire we have is because of a policy failure” and that “a moral society needs guardrails against it.” 

Co-host John Delony, questioning the logic of the extreme leftist logic Ramsey was referencing, asked a real-world question to test the integrity of the socialist theory.

“I’m just thinking of the first guy that popped into my head, everybody’s favorite target – Elon Musk comes up with a cool computer program and sells it for a lot of money. Helps a lot of people do a lot of things. Then he develops a car and a battery. What’s the inherent evil there? I’m perplexed by the argument,” Delony said.

“It’s not logical; it’s not critical thinking skills. Marxism never is,” Ramsey answered, cutting through the propaganda. “What ends up happening is that the whole thing is about vilifying wealth and the wealthy so that we can do a power grab and move the money around and get credit for it. It’s a power grab thing. That’s generally what’s at the core of Marxism or these kinds of things all along.”

As Ramsey has been saying for years, and studies support, the wealthy lead all income earners in consistent giving.

“In the real world, the most generous people on the planet are the wealthy,” Ramsey noted. “This is actual data, not theory, not political rhetoric that’s trying to beat a drum. But the actual data says that wealthy people feed more starving children than not-wealthy people.” 

“88 percent gave to a charity in 2020,” Delony pointed out, referencing a survey of 1626 households with a net worth of at least a million dollars.

“Millionaires, there they are again!” Ramsey chimed.

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