Today Meets Yesterday At KMLB



Today Meets Yesterday At KMLB
July 2, 2010
Today Meets Yesterday At KMLB
This week, family-owned and operated KMLB/
Monroe, LA celebrates 80 years of broadcasting
to the northeast Louisiana community. Owned
by Holladay Broadcasting, today’s weekday
lineup at KMLB features several big syndicated
Talk names -- Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity,
Michael Savage, Neal Boortz and George
Noory -- along with longtime local host Moon
Griffon, who has served up “common sense”
conservative talk, mixed with a healthy dose of
Cajun flavor, for nearly 20 years. Like most 80
year olds, KMLB recently “had a little work done,” including a move
from its original 1440 frequency to a new, more powerful home at AM
540. I caught up with PD Rob Redding this week to talk about both
the challenges and opportunities of programming a small town, locally
owned radio station, with an 80-year heritage, and got his thoughts on
the significance of being an African-American who is programming a
conservative Talk radio station.
Issue 151
on the entire region and on how much money people have in their
pockets. We’ve sent a couple of our folks down to cover it, but here in
northeast Louisiana, while we’re concerned and talking about it, the
world here has not stopped for us.
Talk about the station’s relatively recent move from AM 1440
to a new home at AM 540.
After the company agreed to acquire KNOE, it took awhile to get it all
finalized, but the move down the dial was able to take place in 2008
and we’re really happy about being on AM 540. Certainly the move
has enhanced the station’s coverage area and we’re really excited to
have the opportunity to have KMLB reach many more listeners in
the area.
What are some of the challenges and benefits of working for a
family owned and operated station in a business that is largely
corporately owned?
The advantages are clear. I don’t have to deal with an owner that
I never see. Bob Holladay walks the hallways of this station every
single day. He has an open-door policy, which amazes me, because
you can literally walk into his office at any time and talk to him about
anything. So the staff gets a lot of one-to-one interaction with the
owner and I believe that’s a really good thing and a real advantage.
People here are obviously concerned about the environmental issues,
Another advantage comes from all of the relationships with listeners
the impact on the revenues of the fishing industry, the jobs from the oil
and businesses that have been built up over the years, because the
platforms, the drilling moratorium -- all of that will all have an impact
family has been part of this community for so many years. We know
(continued on page 3)
Before we talk about the anniversary, let’s talk about the
situation in the Gulf of Mexico. While Monroe is far from the
coastline of Louisiana, how is the crisis impacting your area of
the state?
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For Boortz it’s business as usual.
July 2, 2010
NTS MediaOnline Weekly
WFNI (1070 The Fan)/Indianapolis becomes the new radio home to
Butler University Men’s Basketball. The multi-year deal includes all
exhibition, regular season and post-season games beginning with the
2010 NCAA season … Former Ocean Broadcasting exec Chuck
Sullivan is named Market Manager for Cumulus/Ft. Walton Beach
… FM Talker KPEL/Lafayette moves down the FM band from 105.1 to
a stronger signal at 96.5, where it exchanges frequencies with Alternative
rocker KFTE … Ralph Renzi is named Director/Federal Sales at
Bonneville/DC’s WFED (Federal News Radio) and all-newser
WTOP. Most recently sales manager for the stations, Renzi will now
manage all federal government-related business for both outlets … The
Board of BMI has donated $20,000 to the Broadcasters Foundation
of America in the names of Frank Melton and Don Thurston, both
former BIA Board members who died last year… WNRR/Augusta
flips from Talk to soft AC/Standards under new owners Savannah
River Radio … Former WTKS/Orlando personality Shannon
Burke finishes paying his debt to society and makes a return to the air
at crosstown WEUS … The Seattle-based Bob Rivers Show crew is
in Bangladesh today, in advance of the program’s July 15th one-day
fundraiser to sponsor children through World Vision. Since 2006 Rivers
and his listeners have sponsored more than 3000 kids in Ethiopia, the
Dominican Republic and Senegal, built a school for 2000 children in
Ethiopia, and contributed more than $1 million every year to help their
sponsored children.
Page 2
Westwood One has named Kevin Harlan as the new play-by-play
voice for the network’s Monday Night Football broadcasts. Harlan will
take the chair alongside Boomer Esiason recently vacated by Marv
Albert. Harlan is just the fifth voice to call the weekly games since CBS
Radio and WW One first began MNF radio broadcasts in 1978. He’ll
follow in the footsteps of the aforementioned Albert, Howard David,
Jack Buck and Don Criqui … WTEM/Washington adds Envision
Radio Networks’ syndicated daily feature, The USA TODAY Fantasy
Sports Minute.
Clear Channel/Manchester, NH seeks a GSM for News/
Talker WGIR-AM and Rock clustermate WGIR-FM. Email your
resume and references to [email protected] …
Independently syndicated talker Tom Donahue’s Free Thinker
Radio is seeking an ad sales rep. Email your resume and inquires
about the position to [email protected] … Got a gig open?
Looking for a new challenge? Just email the details and contact
info to [email protected] and we’ll post it here, free of charge,
as a service to industry professionals.
Tim Disa’s partners with health supplement
manufacturer Nature Trade Center to offer radio stations a health
store for their website. The Health Radio Store is designed to
provide radio with a way to tap into what Disa reports is a, “$25
billion a year health supplement market.” Citadel/Colorado Springs
stations KVOR, KKFM and KKML are all charter affiliates
of the new online venture … Sirius XM Radio debuts the
satcaster’s new Fantasy Channel. No, it’s not an adultthemed offering, it’s a new service programmed for fanatics
of the burgeoning fantasy sports world … GET BREAKING NEWS
alerts by following us on TWITTER, or “friend” us on FACEBOOK.
Find one-click links to both at
That’s Seattle-based radio personality Bob Rivers during his 2008 visit
to Senegal, in conjunction with his annual child sponsorship fundraiser
for World Vision. Learn more about Rivers’ yearly charity drive to help
kids in desperate need in “Person-To-Person” above.
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July 2, 2010
NTS MediaOnline Weekly
(continued from page 1)
just about everybody at every business in town. There are, of course,
challenges, too. We don’t have access to all the resources of a company
the size of Clear Channel, and as a PD I’ve learned how important it
is to learn to keep things like spending and promotions in proportion to
what we are. I think that tends to make us try to be more creative and
innovative in those areas.
Is programming a station with 80 years worth of history behind
it both a blessing and a curse?
Well, yes I think that’s true. I am definitely aware that this station has a
history. That tends to cause some preconceived notions about the radio
station, its performance, and its abilities, and that is something we have
to fight every day. However, when it comes to competing in the market,
having that heritage KMLB brand also works to our advantage.
Tell us about some of the plans in place for KMLB’s 80th
anniversary celebration.
We have a big gala for all of our advertisers that will happen later this
month that we’re really excited about. We’re also doing a lot of onair stuff about the anniversary with special features and retrospective
looks back at some of the big stories the station has been a part of, and
some of the names who were a part of the station over the years.
Finally Rob, I think it’s fairly safe to say that you may be the only
African-American PD of a conservative Talk radio station that
I know of. So how did you come to be in your current position
at KMLB?
I’m not sure that Bob Holladay realized the significance of the move
he made when he made me the program director of KMLB last year.
When I heard about the opportunity to program the station, I called
him right away because I wanted this job. I think it is important for
that barrier to be broken. I look at it as an opportunity not just for me,
but for Talk radio overall, too. It’s a shame that we have only a handful
of Black syndicated shows in the country when you think of that in
terms of there being thousands of radio stations and hundreds of Talk
radio show hosts. I think if we can open up the door and diversify a
little, that’s a good thing. I don’t necessarily think that every situation
will be like mine, but I do think that it’s important to have diversity in
management, as well as on the air at Talk radio. Not just for the sake
of having diversity, but because there are Black people out there with a
conservative outlook on things, especially on social issues that are also
often political issues. I am very glad that Bob has been so accepting of
the diversity that I bring to the table. He really is one of those innovative
owners that ‘gets it’ when it comes to knowing what needs to be done
and how we need to move forward in the radio industry.
Al Peterson
[email protected]
Brooke Trissel
[email protected]
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