Rudy Giuliani is hosting his own coronavirus-themed talk radio show and, for a fee, he’ll tell listeners that your business is providing a crucial good or service amid the panic and uncertainty.
The former New York mayor and personal attorney to President Donald Trump is offering paid sponsorship packages for his new show on WABC in New York, billed as part of the station’s three-hour daily block of coronavirus coverage. A sponsorship solicitation sent out by a WABC advertising representative last week and obtained by The Daily Beast indicates that Giuliani’s on-air endorsements of those sponsors will couch them as crucial coronavirus-era businesses.
“I’m confident that I can help you achieve your goals and highlight your brand right now as a much-needed product or service during this unprecedented time,” Giuliani says in a 60-second promotional audio clip that accompanied the sponsorship solicitation.
The audio clip of Giuliani never actually mentions the coronavirus. But it repeatedly alludes to the financial toll of the virus and efforts to control it. “In these uncertain times, i would love to talk to you about how I can help you and your business,” Giuliani says. “We know how important you are to our community. We want to help you grow your business, especially during these times.”
Such promotions are fairly common on talk radio, where endorsements by the hosts themselves can be lucrative advertising opportunities. But the coronavirus and subsequent business closures and runs on key goods have created an unprecedented situation for many American consumers—and opportunities for companies that can successfully market themselves as essential products or services.
Reached by phone on Monday, the WABC advertising representative who sent the email offering paid Giuliani endorsements asked The Daily Beast to email a list of questions, but did not respond to those inquiries. Giuliani also did not respond to questions about the endorsements.
WABC brought on Giuliani late last month for a series of segments in its three-hour blocks of afternoon programming devoted to coronavirus coverage. He’ll be hosting his show, Chat with the Mayor, from 4 to 6 p.m. on Monday through Friday this week, according to WABC’s email to potential advertisers.
“We are offering this special opportunity to grow your bottom line with this special segment,” the email said.
It also contained a more detailed breakdown of the benefits that sponsors will get for underwriting the show. Giuliani will read five-second promos at the beginning and end of each segment, sponsors will get shoutouts in promotional materials, and they’ll get 60-second advertising spots at the end of each show.
“The program is also brand new so the investment is what you're comfortable with,” WABC’s advertising representative noted in his email.
It’s not clear whether any advertisers have taken him up on the offer. WABC promos indicate that Giuliani’s show last week was sponsored by a construction consulting company called Front Line Consultants.
Michael Rollo, a former NYPD officer who runs that firm, told The Daily Beast that he advertised on Giuliani’s show out of a sense of solidarity with the former mayor. “The guys that we work with are retired New York City cops,” Rollo said, and Giuliani “was the mayor when we were there for 9/11.” Sponsoring his radio show is “a little bit of a payback. He was there for us back then... To me it's a win-win.”
In one promotional segment for Front Line last week, Giuliani plugged the company by saying, “You know Front Line. They get rid of the bats.” Rollo said his company has nothing to do with bats, and that he had no idea what Giuliani meant by that.