iHeart Radio grabbed two pieces of interesting media attention recently. It appears that the radio company’s strategy to pounce on the failings of legendary Los Angeles alternative rocker KROQ are paying off. iHeart rebranded its ALT 98.7 frequency and played the exact music as Entercom’s KROQ, which has been firing long-loved air personalities. Now the iHeart station has nearly doubled the ratings over the once-dominant KROQ using a former KROQ programmer. The slipping KROQ is now lead by a programmer that was by iHeart.
Variety tells the switcheroo story in a long read but radio fans will love reading about the inside maneuvering.
There’s lots of accurate reporting on radio management decisions based on demographics vs. sales, and the issue of whether to let programming age with one generation or to keep spinning back toward younger listeners (now in less abundance). Great radio insights.
And now to a little political drama. iHeart Radio’s popular “The Breakfast Club” co-host Charlamagne Tha God pressed presidential hopeful Joe Biden on issues pertaining to helping African Americans. Biden threw some snark claiming that if an African American didn’t know for sure whether they were voting for Biden, “then you ain’t black.”
Of course that didn’t sit well. A Biden staffer tried to give the former VP the wrap-up cue but Charlamagne
wasn’t having it. Details here from trade sheet ALL ACCESS:
A tsunami of complaints followed Biden’s dismissive comments.
Now Charlamagne’s opinions are sought in many media sectors. He is demanding that Biden choose an African American woman as his running mate. Charlamagne contends that a white female running mate would create “voter depression.”
The Biden “you’re not black” gaffe spotlights a longtime criticism of white Liberals: they automatically expect to get African American votes by default so there’s no need to woo them.
Here’s the complete Biden interview with Charlamagne, which, in Biden’s defense, was an incredibly generous 17 minutes in length. If an interviewer can’t get to his/her pressing questions within that timeframe, their strategies need tweaking.