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Airwaves: December 2, 2005

Getting Personal

Do personal endorsements from your favorite radio personalities work with you?

For example, when popular KFI morning host Bill Handel discusses installing new windows or a new driveway, do you feel you can trust his opinion, or are you more inclined to think he got the product at a free or reduced rate in exchange for the personal ad?

Big money rides on the answer, as personal endorsements do indeed seem to work, and stations or personalities can command big (extra) bucks for that personal touch.

In my case, it depends on the personality, the product, or the quality of the endorsement. Some personalities seem to hock anything under the sun, and their ads are not very convincing to me. I always figure the restaurant gave them free food, or that even they aren't stupid enough to believe the claims of the special weight loss pills.

And I have a hard time believing the claims of best cookware, when the host admits he never cooks.

But others are more convincing, whether or not the personality claims to have personally used the product or service. I bought windows from a company whose ad was read by KFI afternoon host John Kobylt. I've considered sending flowers using a company that advertises with personal endorsements quite often on many stations. Of course I'm already married, so I don't have to send flowers often ...

Just kidding, Jean.

What's your take? Do the endorsements work for you? Have you ever bought something or gone somewhere based on the recommendation from your favorite radio personality or host? Let me know.


Next Tuesday is the day we will all learn about radio's "most significant innovation" in fifty years.

According to industry newspaper Radio and Records, a press conference will take place December 6th and will feature an announcement from CEOs of the world's leading radio companies, including Clear Channel, Cox Radio, and a few others.

R&R figures that the announcement will have something to do with Ibiquity's digital HD Radio system, perhaps a subscription radio service. No matter, I just want to know what the industry considers radio's most significant innovation from 50 years ago.

The good money says the development of FM broadcasting. But considering the sad state of radio today, those running the press conference -- Brainerd Communications, a public relations firm -- may have something else in mind. The advent of higher ad rates, for example ...

More Rush to Love

Rush Limbaugh will soon feature a video version of his daily "Morning Update" podcast. Beginning December 12th, the podcasts will be available to subscribers of Rush 24/7 at

As with current audio version available to subscribers, the video Update will be the morning commentary that will air the following day on over 600 Rush Limbaugh Show affiliates (though I cannot remember the last time I heard one on local affiliate KFI). So 24/7 subscribers actually get a jump on the next day's show.


Copyright © 2005 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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