A Cautionary Tale: Empire Broadcasting Group, Basket of Grifters?

OK, this post is a bit off topic, but I think it’s important to share.

 

On the 13th of Dec. 2016, I received a call from Eleanor, stating she worked for Empire Radio, which was actually incorrect, the “station” is called Empire Broadcasting Group, (a typo in her script, maybe),  she left me a message. I returned it the next day. Just to backtrack a bit, I did look-up Empire Radio, which does seem to exist.

Eleanor returned my call and we spoke on the 15th of December. She stated that the producers of the online radio station were interested in Tummy Love and my story. What led me to the work I do now? They felt it would inspire others, if my story was shared in an eight minutes interview. Eleanor did state if all went well with the interview and the producers liked my delivery, story etc., I’d be asked to return for a 30 minutes spot, at a cost. She claimed Empire Radio had millions of listeners all over the world. Still thinking it was FLO Empire Radio (there’s an actual Empire Radio out there too) and not Empire Broadcasting Group, I thought that was feasible.

Fast forward to my scheduled interview date 1/06/2017. I was interviewed by Michael David. Other than a black sesame seed from my oatmeal making me cough,  the interview went by pretty quickly and pretty smoothly. I had written out a short script to keep myself on point, I tend to think by association and can get off topic rather quickly. Knowing I had only eight minutes, I wanted to keep it clean and focused. I’d even prepared a special offer for the first 15 listeners that joined my email list to receive a free bottle of my Full-Tummy Massage Oil, and, if there was enough time, a short guided meditation for less anxiety and better digestion. The two are very much connected, anxiety and digestion.

As the interview came to a close, I did manage to slip in the massage oil offer, but not the meditation…”Oh well, that’s show biz…”, I thought to myself. After the interview, Michael David asked me to reply to their last email, stating how the interview went. “Do I get some kind of survey?”, I asked. “No, just reply to the last email.” Weird…however, I did reply with a “Thanks for the opportunity!”

Minutes later, I got a phone call from Ken Bennett, one of the “executive producers”. He claimed he heard the interview, loved it and positive responses were already coming in from their listeners. He would love to have me back again for three 30 minutes spots. Which I could design as a Q&A with callers or just a straight interview with Muriel Donnely. This Muriel Donnely, from what Ken described, is a well-known TV personality who brings the best out of guests on her show.

Ken was full of praise for my delivery of the interview and even joked about coming to Detroit for lunch or massage, on me.I guess when he felt he’d done enough fluffing, which included telling me that a press release would go out to NBC, ABC, CBS and all social media outlets; the cost for all the work they’re doing for me, would usually be $8,000. BUT this week and ending this week, only, they’re charging $1,500 for three 30 minutes spots on their station.

Within 10 seconds he whittled the special offer down to one 30 minutes spot for $600. He also said don’t take my words as a hard sell, take it as “enthusiasm” because he knows how many people have been helped growing their businesses because of these interviews, in the past. Also claiming they have 225,000 Twitter followers. Of course, I must decide now and he’d transfer me to the payment department (or something to that effect). When I told him, I’m not making a decision right now because, I want to think about the offer and perform some Due Diligence on his company. He abruptly said, “okthankyouKeely” and hung-up. Well, that told me a lot. Scammers? Grifters playing the long game? Or could it be more like a fake till you make it kinda deal? Anyone getting calls from Empire Broadcasting Group beware! In the meantime, I’ve got 15 bottles of Full-Tummy Massage Oil up for grabs.

Here’s a few things I discovered with a little research on the correct company:

-EmpireBroadcastingGroup.com was created Nov. 2, 2016.(Whois.net).

-They have 56,000 Twitter followers instead of 225,000. Much of their posts seem to be click bait. Joined Nov. 2016

-Most of the photos on their website look like stock photos.

-Couldn’t find video interviews with Muriel Donnely or Donnelly in view.

-Terrible graphic design

-When you’re asked to reply to the email about how the interview went, that reply is entered under Testimonials on their website.

-Lastly, I have yet to hear from any “listeners” via phone call, email or any other the social media outlets.

 

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9 Comments Add yours

  1. Thank you for your post! I just got a call from them too and am scheduled to have an interview. I'm going to use a recording device on my interview and then just post it to my own website for free!

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  2. Hey, you're very welcome! I'm glad you found my post and got a heads-up. If they have the same formula, your interview will appear on their site for a week or two then be taken down. I recorded my interview from their site with all the fake applause and other bells and whistles. Not sure how I'm going to use it…may just post the transcript in my bio. Great shots btw! Will keep you in mind when shopping for new head shots.

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  3. Thanks so much for the info and I'd love to have the opportunity to work with you sometime!

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  4. Yes, they tried to get me to do this as well. Starting a call with “this is not a sales call,” is basically a way to let you know that this is, in fact, a sales call. Add to that the rapid-fire script recitation and, bingo! It's a scam!

    This number is one to watch out for: 631-257-5599

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  5. Tummy Love says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

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  6. Sonica Li says:

    Haha yeah! I got almost exactly the same numbers and names quoted to me except they “normally” do $2000/show, but they're offering $1000/show. I said I'm not interested and got “thankyoubye[click]”

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  7. Tummy Love says:

    Smart woman! Wow, it seems I had the Xmas sale offer 😉

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  8. Tummy Love says:

    Ha! You're absolutely right about the “This is not a sales call.”…Stephanie! I'm glad this post is useful for others wanting to get some insight on these guys. Thanks for adding a phone number, more validation. It seems they're targeting entrepreneurs with small businesses…hmmm.

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