Independently Owned and Operated. . .

Posted April 16, 2007 by Bill Hampton
Categories: Bill Hampton, Blog Maverick, Dave Ramsey, Don Imus, Imus, KCMO, KCRS, KEX, KLIF, KNRS, KPRC, Mark Cuban, talk radio, The Dave Ramsey Show, Uncategorized, WGST, WWTN

I was reading one of my favorite Bloggers today. . . Mark Cuban over at Blog Maverick and he had a very good post on the whole Don Imus situation. In his blog he mentioned that b/c Imus was owned by a large public company that he really didn’t have a chance b/c these companies fight so hard to maintain their “squeaky clean” image that they, in a nutshell, are going to choose their battles wisely and this isn’t one they’re going to take on. In talking about publicly owned shows he made the following comments:

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” Excluding Premium Subscription Networks like Showtime and HBO where subscribers know what they are paying for, ” What TV networks would stand up for Maher or Imus and let the show go on ?”

Maybe Fox News. Fox is controlled by NewsCorp, which is controlled by Rupert Murdoch. If you and Rupert were on the same side, then your show might have a shot. If you weren’t on the same side, then you probably wouldnt have a show in the first place.

Would any basic cable network ? Digital Network ? I doubt it. Why ? Because just about every one is owned by a public corporation. Can you name the cable networks that are privately owned ? What about individually owned ? Besides my HDNet, the only one I can think of is RFD TV. I guess you can include the Outdoor Channel in the indie mix although they are a public company, but glancing at the listings in USA Today’s TV listings, I didnt see a single network that wasn’t owned by a major public media company.

The same applies to radio. How many nationally distributed shows anywhere (near) Imus’s listener numbers are privately owned ? I dont know of any.

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I commented on Mark’s blog that he need to look no further that in his own city over to AM570 KLIF between 1p-4p each day. Over there he’d hear the largest independently owned and operated nationally syndicated talk radio show in the country. 100% Private. The Dave Ramsey Show.

Now cleared in over 318 cities including major market clears on top stations:

Atlanta – WGST

Kansas City – KCMO

Dallas – KLIF

Houston – KPRC

San Antonio – KTSA

Salt Lake City – KNRS

Portland – KEX

Nashville – WWTN

I don’t know what Imus’ numbers were but I have a feeling we fall in the “anywhere near” range. I would suspect that there is a reason Cuban’s HDNet is individually owned and I would suspect that it’s the same reason The Dave Ramsey Show is. Independent and Individually owned means faster and more creative. When we want to do something, we do it. . .today. We don’t have to wait for board approval. We can make a decision immediately and act on it.

There is no doubt this is one of the key elements to our success.

Web Traffic Continued. . .

Posted April 2, 2007 by Bill Hampton
Categories: Clark Howard, Dave Ramsey, Dr. Laura, Jones Radio Network, Neal Boortz, Take On The Day, The Dave Ramsey Show, web traffic

After reading through my recent post – Dave Ramsey Web Traffic – I realized that I had forgotten a couple of hosts who are certainly worthy of mention. . . When I checked them out I found some really impressive numbers. . . They are:

Neal Boortz – 22,302

Clark Howard – 50,841

Dr. Laura - 84,203

Other than making a correction to my previous post which now puts Dave Ramsey at #3 (thanks, Neal!) I think it’s important to point out that of all the hosts we’ve mentioned 3 of your top 8 hosts are “lifestyle talkers” or Non-political talkers. I think this is important and coincides with Sean Compton’s recent statement on the opening panel of the TRS, “talk radio needs to go in the direction of entrepreneurial shows like Dave Ramsey and Clark Howard, programming that is service oriented and that attracts women listeners.”

Talk Radio has the best programmers in the business. Over the last 12 months I think I’ve seen programmers respond to listeners desires and the overall atmosphere of the country in general. On great talk radio stations you are seeing political talkers and lifestyle talkers filling the lineup and winning with fantastic ratings. It meets more of the listeners whole life and I think is attracting a higher percentage of women listeners.

I think Lifestyle talkers have a great future ahead of them.

Dave Ramsey Web Traffic:

Posted March 30, 2007 by Bill Hampton
Categories: ABC Radio Network, Air America, Bill O'Reilly, Dave Ramsey, Ed Schultz, Glenn Beck, Laura Ingraham, Mancow, Mark Levin, Michael Savage, Mike Gallagher, Premiere Radio Network, Radio, Rush Limbaugh, Rusty Humphries, Sean Hannity, talk radio, Talk Radio Network, The Dave Ramsey Show, web, web traffic

The Dave Ramsey Show team had a meeting today to discuss the radio portion of our website. It is getting a renovation. In the meeting we, of course, were reviewing some other sites and discussing the features that we liked. These other sites weren’t just radio sites but sites in general.

As I began my review I decided to look at other talk radio websites and because I wanted to look at the best I reviewed each one at Alexa. For those that aren’t familar with Alexa, it is a database of information about sites that includes, among other things, statistics, traffic details, page views and overall reach. This was an interesting project. What I found was encouraging for the Dave Ramsey website. Here is a ranking according to Alexa’s analysis, of a few hosts that I pulled up. I will include the site and also their ranking on Alexa among all websites. This is based on the most recent 3 months average:

Rush Limbaugh – 10,345

Dave Ramsey – 30,882

Sean Hannity – 35,241

Bill O’Reilly – 51,998

Glenn Beck – 56,917

Michael Savage – 59,550

Laura Ingraham – 169,080

Mancow – 261,463

Mark Levin – 427,776

Ed Schultz – 731,264 / 926,150 (it’s somewhere between this number based on a review of 2 sites: http://www.bigeddieradio.com and http://www.wegoted.com)

Mike Gallagher – 1,233,556

Rusty Humphries – 2,730,083

I may have forgotten some in terrestrial radio but this was my first pass. After reviewing this, I took Alexa’s comparison feature and ran Ramsey up against the top 4 others (Rush, Hannity, Beck, O’Reilly) to see what that looked like. . . ramsey-alexa-comparison.jpg

Ok, so you can’t see it great but Rush is red (of course) the green line is Hannity and O’Reilly they are strong in October and November (election) and then they settle down as the new year begins. Ramsey and Beck stay pretty steady throughout with the 3 month averages (Jan-Mar) coming in at the above numbers.

So of the hosts that I pulled info on, Ramsey is #2 for reach and traffic and we like our message has stayed pretty steady over the last couple months. I remember when we first started tracking this, we were in the 60,000 range so I’m pretty happy with the direction that we’re heading and, like always, look forward to the continued journey.

Celebrating #300!

Posted March 26, 2007 by Bill Hampton
Categories: Amy Severson, Bill Hampton, Bob Borquez, Chad Nikazy, Dave Ramsey, Joe Leavitt, KNRS, Laura Ball, Salt Lake City, Sarah Mitchell, Suzanne Simms, talk radio, The Dave Ramsey Show

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This almost slipped by unnoticed. When the team here cleared KNRS in Salt Lake City it had officially cleared The Dave Ramsey Show in our 300th city! Why did it almost go by unnoticed? B/c we’ve already surpassed 315 clears. They are coming too fast.

We announced this clear in our recent ad campaigns so the industry was aware of it but on a personal celebration level. . .we just kept truckin’ and never really stopped to go. . .WOW!  It’s a big deal. It’s something worth celebrating.

Great job to the affiliate relations / sales team of The Dave Ramsey Show:

Suzanne Simms, Joe Leavitt, Bob Borquez, Chad Nikazy, Amy Severson, Sarah Mitchell and Laura Ball. . .

400 should be here in a couple weeks! :-)

Great Marketing Conversation:

Posted March 16, 2007 by Bill Hampton
Categories: Bill Hampton, Brian Williams, Dallas Mavericks, Dave Ramsey, Dream, Drive, Focus, Mark Cuban, Marketing, NBA, Pat Croce, Persistence, Success, The Dave Ramsey Show, Vision, Winning

So I was talking with our Director of Marketing, Brian Williams, this morning in our weekly meeting. He asked me a question that I know but hadn’t verbalized in a long time. It was one of those questions that you “just do” but maybe it’s been a while since you thought about why you do it.  In a nutshell, here was the question:

“Why do we market Dave the way we market Dave and what books have I read that make me the marketer that I am?”

We went on to have a great discussion. We first talked about non-traditional marketers that I really admire. Most of them are guys where marketing is simply an extension of who they are and they are very competitive.  . . Two names were Mark Cuban and Pat Croce.  Specifically Cuban. . .he’s a true american success story first of all. He identified the dream and in Dave’s terms, “Left the Cave, Killed something and brought it home”. To stay with the Dave analogy, he knows who his fans (listeners) are and he markets to them. The fans enjoy a Dallas Mavericks basketball game. Why? One b/c the team is great which is certainly a result of their owners passion and vision, but also I think the bigger reason is Cuban doesn’t walk the industry line. The industry line is boring. He didn’t become “one of them”. He knows himself. Knows what made him successful in other businesses and he carried it over to the NBA. He probably, vehemently defends against becoming one of the industry. The fans eat it up. It’s no fun to follow another vanilla talking head for the industry. People always follow passion and Cuban has it.

I’m telling you. . as we talked about this I realized that is EXACTLY what has made us win with The Dave Ramsey Show. Dave is a self made man who knows exactly who he is and what got him here. He has laser focus on what he knows he was created to do. As a company he has mentored us to passionately defend our message and the way we deliver that message. As for talk radio, none of our team members are “career radio guys”. We look at the industry a little different and I think that has made us very appealing to the listeners. We have narrowed this thing down to a simple message of HOPE and we go after that everyday with laser focus. We know exactly what we are aiming at.

Of course, it all goes down to pursuing the passion with blinders on. Not getting distracted from what you know in your gut you are called to do.

I’m getting excited as I’m typing this. I see a guy who is just running toward the goal screaming, “GET OUT OF MY WAY!!!!” Brick wall, doesn’t matter I’m going through it. . .Fined by the NBA? Tough, I’ll match your fine with a gift to charity. Dropped by a radio station for saying the wrong thing on the air? Your loss. . .we’re going to keep winning all over the country b/c we are convinced that what we are doing is right.

Take it to the hole over and over and over again. Never stop!

It’s always good to remember why you’re doing what you’re doing and then be forced to verbalize it. It was a good meeting.

It all started with “The Money Game”

Posted March 16, 2007 by Bill Hampton
Categories: Air Check, Dave Ramsey, Radio, talk radio, The Dave Ramsey Show, The Money Game

So last night I’m cleaning out my basement and I find an aircheck of The Dave Ramsey Show from 1993. I haven’t talked to Dave yet but this could be the first one that was ever done. The show wasn’t called The Dave Ramsey Show then but “The Money Game”. We changed the name of the show back in 1999 (maybe late ’98) because when we were trying to syndicate the show people would get our information and figure it was a boring money show and woudn’t listen to it. If they did listen to it they would consider us for weekends only b/c that’s where boring money shows went. 1993! What a difference 13 years makes.

This aircheck is yet another reminder of, “Remembering where you came from.” Coming in and being a part of this show for the last 8 years, and thinking about all the memories surrounding the road we’ve travelled. . . it is a pretty special thing to hear what could be the first one. . .where it all started. It had to start somewhere. Dave had to turn on that mic for the first time and take a chance. It’s pretty funny to listen to. Dave certainly was not the pro that he is today.

I’m getting ready to call our radio team in here to listen to it. 12-15 of us will gather around and many of them will hear it for the first time. It will be fun and we will laugh but we will also remember, once again, where this all started and remember, once again, where we came from. It will be a good day.

Who’s Left, Who’s Right. . . Who Cares?!

Posted March 15, 2007 by Bill Hampton
Categories: Amy Bolton, Bill Hampton, Bill Handel, Dave Ramsey, Gabe Hobbs, Jerry Doyle, Jones Radio Network, Lifestyle Talk, Phil Boyce, politics, Premiere Radio Network, talk radio, Talk Radio Network, talk radio seminar, The Dave Ramsey Show, WABC

left-right.jpg

This was the title of a panel I sat on while at the Talk Radio Seminar last week. Not being part of a political talk radio show, I was invited to represent the alternative but growing genre of “Lifestyle Talk”.

Other participants were:

Phil Boyce – WABC Radio, Gabe Hobbs – Clear Channel, Amy Bolton – Jones Radio, Jerry Doyle – Talk Radio Network, and Bill Handel – Premiere Radio Network.

There were a lot of differing viewpoints offered during this session. Here is what I was left with. . . Talk Radio, along with radio in general is there to serve it’s listeners. Listeners lives are well rounded. Do they care about politics? Absolutely. Is there only one spoke on the wheel of their life? Of course not. For a station to have hosts that represent politics, money and other aspects of the listeners life as a whole just makes sense.

There is a lot of talk right now in radio circles regarding political talk vs. lifestyle talk. Which way should a station program? My question is. . .why does it have to be one or the other. There is a growing number of major stations in top 50 cities that have decided to mix the two and they are doing extremely well.

The listeners lives are well rounded. Have your programming reflect that and I think you’ll be surprised at the reaction you’ll receive.


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