Last week, FM107 announced Daily Glean’s own Brian Lambert would co-host a 7-9 p.m. show beginning Jan. 11. Lambert, who among other gigs epically bickered with Sarah Janecek on KTLK-FM, promised a kinder, gentler show with comedian Sheletta Brundidge on the women-talk station.
“Those looking for my spittle-laced rants will be disappointed,” he told Strib pal Colin Covert.
But fear not, lovers of spittle-laced rants! Lambert plans another media revival in 2010: his media blog, “Lambert to the Slaughter,” once of the Rake, then of Mpls.St.Paul mag, will become part of the Same Rowdy Crowd stable after the first of the year.
“Just a sad, desperate yearning for the sound of my own voice,” he says of the unsalaried gig.
Still, this is good news for media junkies and your humble correspondent. Brian does spittle far better than I ever will, so there’s the entertainment factor. Plus his criticism drives Strib, PiPress and MPR types far crazier than mine does, which — when it comes to reporting at least — lets me play good cop to his bad one.
Lambert will still write Daily Glean for us. Of the FM107 gig, he says Brundidge “has comedy chops … She’ll need ’em to prop me up.”
Not that I’m trying to cost anyone a gig (especially these days) but I was curious why, in these financially depressed days, a radio station would spend any coin on the 7-9 p.m. hours. After all, the audience is a sliver of that found in daytime.
FM107 GM Dan Seeman says there are several reasons. Because the station is one of the rare talkers aimed at women, national shows are hard to find. “Trust me, if there was a good syndicated show out there, I’d run it,” Seeman quips.
Building evenings around sports — a la AM1500 with the Twins, WCCO with the Wild, or KFAN with the Wolves — also isn’t an option.
In this case, the station’s outlay isn’t huge; Brundidge, Burger’s former producer, is already on the payroll, and Lambert has a part-time contract.
But beyond cost is revenue. “This opens up two more hours of live endorsements,” Seeman notes. “Do not confuse ratings with revenue.”
FM107 ranks 18th overall in the market, but the GM contends its sales place higher because its personalities move product. (Listeners aren’t as amenable to a pitch from a robo-DJ at some pre-programmed music station.) You’re wise to be skeptical anytime a radio exec pooh-poohs ratings, but there is local talent that makes the direct-sales proposition pay, even as overall ad revenue slides.
Although Lambert sees Brundidge as the sales draw, he quips, “I’m prepared to endorse Vagisil if asked.”
As you’d expect, Seeman is genuinely tickled to pair Lambert and Brundidge, calling them “great together” after post-Kevyn Burger fill-in gigs. He says Lambert tirelessly urged him to put Brundidge on the air. “Brian wasn’t trying to get a gig for himself,” Seeman says. “But he clearly gets a kick out of her, so I thought it would be great to put them together.”