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“Animal Radio” Goes Local and Low-Power

Nationally-syndicated show aims at pet lovers in niches

Americans spent more than $60 billion on their family pets in 2015, according to the American Pet Products Association.

Many radio stations have tapped that advertising market with “Animal Radio,” a syndicated, call-in and infotainment program launched in 2000 by husband and wife team Hal Abrams and Judy Francis. The show airs on more than 133+ commercial AM/FMs throughout the United States. Since 2014, a commercial-free version of “Animal Radio” has been available for LPFM stations.

“LPFMs have embraced the free, weekly two-hour show and we get a huge response from both listeners and LPFM managers,” said Abrams, co-host and operations manager of “Animal Radio.” Francis serves as co-host and the producer of the show.

Abrams said many LPFM stations have found local pet-related stores to underwrite the programming. Simple and compliant underwriting announcements are made during the programming. Many of the stations also have partnered with local rescue and adoption agencies to help promote adoptions and events during program air time.

Content-wise Dr. Debbie and Dogfather Joey Villani field questions from LPFM listeners about their pets, and celebrity and expert interviews are aired. Recent shows have included topics such as eliminating the fear of visiting the vet; what pets do while their owners are away from home (I’m sure you are wondering); robots that clean up after your pet and “When Ugly=Cute.”

“It doesn’t sound like your generic syndicated program,” said Abrams. “That makes it perfect for the LPFMs. We’re not concerned about the commercial bottom line. We want to help pets live happier and healthier lives while making the show feel local and connected with each LPFM’s community.”