Talk Radio/Media Industry News

Monday, May 4, 2015

| May 4, 2015

Kavi HalemaneHalemane Joins Premiere Networks. Vice president of digital media is the title Kavi Halemane is being given. In defining that role, Premiere Networks’ chief product officer Chris Williams comments, “Kavi will be responsible for managing Premiere’s digital media product, editorial, and social strategy. His mission is to grow loyalty and engagement between our talent and audience by delivering a compelling digital platform to extend their brands. Kavi’s previous experience creating world-class digital communities for marquee artists has him perfectlyPremiere Networks positioned to excel in this role.” According to Halemane, “I’m very excited to be returning to the New York City area to join [Premiere parent] iHeartMedia under Chris Williams. Premiere Networks has a pedigree for great content. I look forward to expanding their brands in digital through this leadership role by infusing new strategic solutions, partnerships, and innovation.” Most recently Beverly Hills-based, Halemane was executive vice president of digital for The Collective. His past credits include marketing-digital strategist for Interscope, Geffen, and A&M Records; head of new media and digital production for PE-KO International Records; and co-founder of howellbands.com.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

| May 2, 2015

Dr. Mehmet OzDr. Oz Hooks On with iHM. Well that didn’t take long. Just this past Thursday (TALKERS, 4/30), we reported that Harpo Productions is pulling the plug on Westwood One-syndicated “The Daily Dose with Dr. Oz.” Now comes word that Dr. Mehmet Oz is entering into partnership with iHeartMedia. According to iHM Networks president Darren Davis, “We have been great fans of Dr. Oz and we are thrilled to be able to give him this much larger platform – from broadcast to digital and mobile. We could not be more excited to be working with him.” Dr. Oz comments, “I have always seen radio as a terrific way to reach people in their daily routines and deliver health information in a way that is fun and easy-to-understand. After many years of visiting iHeartMedia studios all over the country, they were the obvious partner for my brand – given their wildly successful brands, amazing on-air talent, and commitment to the wellness of America.” The Harpo Productions-Westwood One news came shortly after at least 1,000 doctors stated they believe Dr. Oz should resign his faculty position at New York City’s Columbia University. Earlier, 10 doctors sent a letter calling for him to be replaced as Columbia’s cardiothoracic surgeon. It is the doctors’ contention that Dr. Oz has promotediHeartMedia products and made claims unsubstantiated by medical evidence. Results of a poll of 1,300 doctors conducted by doctors’ social network SERMO indicate 57% feel he should resign from Columbia; 4% are calling to have his medical license revoked; and 22% opine he should resign and have his license taken away. Doctors have criticized Dr. Oz for his “disdain for science” and for manifesting “an egregious lack of integrity by promoting quack treatments and cures in the interest of personal financial gain.” Late last month (4/23), Dr. Oz answered back by stating he never promotes treatments for his own financial benefit. Dr. Oz was in hot water last June during a Senate hearing for making claims about “miracle” cures and weight-loss supplements. The final Westwood One version of “Daily Dose with Dr. Oz” will be fed to affiliates in approximately four weeks (Friday, 5/29); his iHeartMedia commitment takes effect “the latter part” of this year.

Friday, May 1, 2015

| May 1, 2015

cumulus logoA Down First Quarter for Cumulus Media.  The numbers here are compared to the same period in 2014.  Cumulus Media reports 2015 Q1 net revenue dipped 7.2% on income of $271,079,000.  Revenue was down across the board at the company in the first quarter and here’s the breakdown: broadcast revenue was $251 million (down 7%) and digital revenue was $8.06 million (down 16.4%).  Political ad revenue was down 67.7% and a portion of the net revenue drop was due to an increase in the license fees and other category which rose 9.1%.  Breaking down the broadcast revenue a bit further, local and national spot sales were down a bit – 3.6% and 2.4% respectively – but network revenue sank 13% on income of $86.7 million.

radioonelogoRadio One Down 4.8% in Q1.  Urban media operator Radio One reports a down first quarter of 2015 on income $105.8 million – a drop of 4.8%.  The company saw positive results in its cable TV advertising sector – up 9.9% — and that helped ease some of the decline in other sectors.  The radio broadcasting segment was down 9.4%.  Radio advertising was down 5.5% and digital advertising dipped 6.1%.  Meanwhile, in the category “event revenue & other” Radio One dropped a dramatic 82.6%, due in part to a timing issue relative to annual events.

jacobsmediaInside the Mind of the Sports Radio Fan.  Using data from its recent Techsurvey 11, Jacobs Media presents this analysis of the media usage of the typical sports radio fan.  Jacobs Media president Fred Jacobs says, “Since our Techsurveys expanded to more than a dozen formats several years back, it has afforded us the opportunity to study how fans of different formats differ when it comes to media and technology use.  No group of radio listeners typifies that more than sports radio partisans.  In their quest to find a good game, up-to-date info, fantasy sports, draft information, gossip and rumors, these savvy fans use a lot of different media options.”  Some of the media habits of sports radio fans that the survey highlights center around the smartphone.  Sports radio P1s are very frequent texters and they stream audio and video on a more frequent basis than P1s of other radio formats.  For more, see the full story here.

cookehollandYES-YOU-CAN Sell Rush Limbaugh.  Media consultant Holland Cooke presents some tested means of selling the “controversial” leading news/talk radio host – Rush Limbaugh.  As Cooke points out, just because there’s been some backlash against Limbaugh’s show and his affiliate stations doesn’t mean stations can’t find sponsors for the show.  After, as Cooke observes, “This guy moves product.”  In this piece he offers some thoughts on whom to prospect, how to write spots that work and how storytelling can work in your favor.  Read it here.

harrisonmichael5-15Michael Harrison to Do 60-Second Daily Feature on Media for Boston Herald Radio. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison has entered into an agreement with the Boston Herald to write and perform a weekly 60-second feature titled “Michael Harrison on the Media” beginning Monday (5/4) that will be dropped into the pioneering online station’s programming flow several times a day as well as its growing network of terrestrial partners.  In it, Harrison explores the direct connection between media and the human condition – past, present and future – commenting on the impact of changing communicationsbostonheraldradio logo technology on society and culture.  According to Harrison, “I love the idea of being connected with such a forward-thinking organization as the Boston Herald and its ground-breaking media station, Boston Herald Radio.  Creating one of these tight little pieces each week helps sharpen my insights and ability to express them and just like my weekly, longform podcast ‘Up Close and Far Out’ on Podcast One, it gives me the opportunity, at this seasoned stage in my life, to dabble in speculation about the broader scope of media outside the radio industry itself for a worldwide consumer audience of ‘media freaks.’  What fun!”  Boston Herald Radio Network executive producer Tom Shattuck tells TALKERS, “I am thrilled to have these exclusive commentaries by Michael Harrison running on our platform!”  To hear an installment of “Michael Harrison on Media” please click below.

1. MH-On-the-Media-1.mp3     

2015 NYC 150Spectrum of Talk Radio Programming to Be Addressed on “Variety, the Spice of Life” Panel at Talkers New York 2015.  At the Talkers New York 2015 conference taking place on June 12, talk personalities from a variety of styles of programming will discuss the industry, their roles in it, and the future of talk content when they appear on the “Variety the Spice of Life” panel.  Moderated by TALKERS general manager of radio operations David Bernstein, the panel will feature: Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host at classic rock-formatted WAQY “Rock 102,” Springfield, MA; Dr. Joy Browne of Genesis Communications Network; Tony Bruno, WIP-FM, Philadelphia; Thom Hartmann of WYD Media; Doug Stephan of Stephan Multimedia; and Larry Young, WOLB, Baltimore.  This panel will present hosts from disparate backgrounds and radio formats, including a rock jock appealing to listeners immersed in rock and pop culture; the industry’s longest-running radio psychologist; a season sports talk pro; a progressive host with a multi-disciplined background; a nationally syndicated morning talk generalist; and an urban personality working mornings and heavily involved in the community on a local station.  Bernstein says, “This will be an exciting panel to moderate – there is so much more to talk radio than one would think having it always described in the media as just a bunch of conservative white men talking politics.”  Talkers New York 2015 takes place on Friday, June 12 at the India House Club in New York City’s financial district.  Space is limited, so register today by calling 413-565-5413.  For the full agenda, please click here.

podcastone logoPodcastOne Platform to Host Bossip Podcast.  Bossip.com is billed as the “premier online destination for African American popular culture and entertainment news.”  Now, it is partnering with PodcastOne to produce the “Bossip Presents: Don’t Be Scared” podcast.  A press release says, “The weekly podcast is a viciously funny conversation between Bossip’s awkward, quirky and at times terrifyingly honest trio, Bossip staffer-hosts David Dennis, Jason “Jah” Lee and Danielle “Danni” Canada.  PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz comments, “Bossip.com has built a great digital platform that hits the right points of humor and news in entertainment gossip.  This new podcast extends their site to the rapidly growing audio-digital platform, and provides a strong content addition to our roster of websites who have turned to podcasting as an impactful way to communicate with their loyal audience.”

alphamedia logoDone Deal: Alpha Closes on Coast Radio and Free Lance-Star Stations.  There are seven more radio stations officially in the Portland-based Alpha Media fold after the closing took place on the deals with Coast Radio Company and Free Lance-Star Radio.  As previously reported when the sales were announced, Alpha gets three California signals from Coast: adult contemporary-formatted trio KUIC, Vacaville, KKIQ, Livermore, and KKDV, Walnut Creek.  And from Free Lance-Star it acquires: country WFLS and talk WNTX in Fredericksburg, Virginia; CHR WVBX, Spotsylvania, Virginia; and classic rock WWUZ, Bowling Green, Virginia.   Alpha chief Larry Wilson says, “We are very fortunate to be able to work with such great employees at all of the stations.  Each cluster is exceptional and brings its own unique attributes to the company, allowing us to build a diverse and dynamic culture.”

Odds & Sods.  Talk radio personality Leslie Marshall joins the iHeartRadio platform as her podcast is nowmarshallleslie being featured there.  Marshall also announces she’s begun writing a blog for Blue Nation Review and has penned her first column titled, “It’s 2015 and Sexism Is Alive and Well in Clinton Coverage.”…..Getting a national presence is WINS, New York weekend news anchor David Weiss who has two features that will be distributed by America’s Talk Radio Network.  The five-minute “News for You” show features Weiss’ take on the world and national news and the two-minute “Slice of Life” is a more offbeat take on daily life…..In Seattle, Ed Ronco is the new local host of “All Things Considered” on KPLU.  He’s been with the station for two years and also hosts a weekly travel segment titled, “Going Places.”

srnCapitolGangSalem’s Capitol Gang.  Posing for a shot at Salem Media Group’s reception at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday evening (4/30) are (from l-r): Salem Radio Network host Dennis Prager, Townhall.com news editor Katie Pavlich, hosts Bill Bennett and Mike Gallagher.  The event was to honor freshmen members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House.  It was also attended by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and U. S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “Free Talk Live” with hosts Ian Freeman and Mark Edge add newfreemanedge affiliates to their roster including: KIXZ, Amarillo, Texas; Chattanooga market trimulcast WSDT, WEPG, and WSDQ; KTUI, Sullivan, Missouri; and KAZZ, Parowan, Utah and its Cedar City, Utah K253BU at 98.5 FM…..The Marilu Henner show is added to the program schedule at: KTUI, Sullivan, Missouri; WGGH, Marion, Illinois; WIMS, Michigan City, Indiana; KHUC-FM, Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

talkersten logoBaltimore Protests and Violence Top Talkers TenTM.  The week of protests, violence and questions about the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody were all facets of the most-talked-about story of the week.  Coming in at #2 on this week’s Talkers TenTM was the 2016 presidential prospects.  At #3 was scrutiny of the operations of the Clinton Foundation followed by the Supreme Court’s hearing of arguments in the case of four states with anti-gay marriage statutes at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

| April 30, 2015

pew logoPew Research Center’s State of the News Media 2015 Released.  There isn’t really much in the 2015 edition of the Pew Research Center’s “State of the News Media” report that’s surprising, but for those who like to put hard numbers to what most industry observers already suspect, it serves that purpose.  In the audio category (AM/FM, online streams, satellite radio), Pew uses Nielsen Media Research data and reports that 53% of Americans 12-plus have listened to online radio in the past month – an increase from 27% in 2010.  Not surprisingly, smartphone usage for listening is overtaking laptops and desktops as the technology of choice with 73% having listened via a smartphone in the past week.  Laptop/desktop listening in the last week was reported by 61%.  Internet-based listening in the automobile continues to increase with “more than a third of U.S. adult cellphone owners (35%) having listened to online radio in the car.  That is substantially more than the 21% who did so in 2013, and nearly six times the number (6%) who had done so in 2010.”  The study breaks out podcasting separately and states, “The percentage of Americans who have listened to a podcast in the past month has almost doubled since 2008, from 9% to 17% by January of 2015.  The percentage listening in 2015 was up two points over 2014 levels (15%).”  The “State of the News Media” also looks at other news media – newspapers, cable news, network news, public broadcasting and more.  See the whole study here.

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia Reports Q1 Revenue Up 4%.  For the first quarter of 2015, iHeartMedia reported its consolidated revenue increased 4% to $1.4 billion in 2015 compared to 2014 after adjusting for a $54 million unfavorable impact from movements in foreign exchange rates.  On a reported basis, consolidated revenues were slightly up.  The company says revenue increased $28 million, or 4%, driven primarily by the traffic, weather and syndication businesses, as well as events. Revenue growth was partially offset by lower core local broadcast radio advertising revenue.

friedmanmarshaFriedman: Talk Radio Remains a Great Venue for Publicity.  Public relations pro Marsha Friedman pens a regular column titled The PR Insider that is read widely by the public relations industry and its clients.  As CEO of EMSI Public Relations, Friedman has decades of experience in the PR biz and is very bullish on the power of talk radio to get a message across.  Her most recent piece is about talk radio’s effectiveness.  For this, she reached out to TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison who says, “Research continues to indicate that talk radio is where a high concentration of voters and active consumers are indeed listening.  Talk radio also puts the spotlight on important issues that for reasons of ratings, circulation or sizzle the rest of the mainstream media often tends to ignore or simply bury.”  Friedman explains the benefits of talk radio from her experience which you can read here.

Daily DoseHarpo Dumps “Daily Dose.” Affiliates received word yesterday (Wednesday, 4/29) from Westwood One senior vice president of affiliate sales and broadcast operations Dennis Green that, “After many years, Harpo Productions has decided to end production of ‘The Daily Dose with Dr. Oz’ feature.” This comes shortly after at least 1,000 doctors say they believe Dr. Mehmet Oz should resign his faculty position at New York City’s Columbia University. Earlier, 10 doctors sent a letter calling for the host of the eponymous one-hour Dr. Oz television program to be replaced as Columbia’s cardiothoracic surgeon. It is the doctors’ contention that Oz has promoted products and made claims unsubstantiated by medical evidence. Results of a poll of 1,300 doctors conducted by doctors’ social network SERMO indicate 57% feel Dr. Oz should resign from Columbia; 4% are calling to have his medical license revoked; and 22% opine he should both resign and have hisDr. Mehmet Oz license taken away. Doctors have criticized Dr. Oz for his “disdain for science” and for manifesting “an egregious lack of integrity by promoting quack treatments and cures in the interest of personal financial gain.” Last Thursday (4/23), Dr. Oz answered back by stating he never promotes treatments for his own financial benefit. Dr. Oz was in hot water last June during a Senate hearing for making claims about “miracle” cures and weight-loss supplements. As an option to Dr. Oz’s soon-to-be defunct radio feature, Westwood One is suggesting “A Better Life with Dr. Sanjay Gupta,” a feature it distributes from CNN‘s chief medical correspondent. The final “Daily Dose with Dr. Oz” will be sent to stations four weeks from tomorrow (Friday, 5/29).

costantiniCamdenYardsAn Eerie First for MLB.  Pictured here is Westwood One News correspondent Bob Costantini in the press box at Camden Yards in Baltimore covering Wednesday’s Baltimore Orioles-Chicago White Sox game that was played with no fans in attendance due to the violence and unrest after the funeral of Freddie Gray, who died while in police custody.

Baltimore Protests, SCOTUS Gay Marriage Case, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Iran Nukes Issue, Economy Slows in First Quarter, and Nepal Quake Aftermath Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/29).  The simmering protests in Baltimore and a report that Freddie Gray appeared to be trying to hurt himself in the police van; talk about the Supreme Court arguments in the case of four states with anti-gay marriage laws; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the issues surrounding negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program; the GDP report indicating the economy slowed during the first three months of 2015; and the aftermath of Saturday’s earthquake that’s devastated Nepal were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

| April 29, 2015

pricehowardPursuing Truth Amid Civil Unrest.  Media outlets have experienced a number of situations recently that qualify as true “danger zones” in which to send their reporters and tech crews if they choose to cover the event first hand.  ABC TV director of business continuity Howard B. Price writes today about the hazards radio news staffers are facing in situations similar to what’s been happening in Baltimore and – not too long ago – Ferguson, Missouri.  He presents a plan for broadcasters to follow in preparing for coverage of such news events in the future.  Read his entire piece here.

dickeylewLew Dickey, Cumulus, Agree to Continuation. The co-founder of Cumulus Media will be remaining in-place for at least another three years: Lew Dickey extends his employment agreement as the company’s president and chief executive officer. In addition, he will carry on as a board member through 2018. According to board member Jeff Marcus, “We are grateful that Lew Dickey, who has built Cumulus into a leading national media business, has renewed his commitment to lead the company into the future. I look forward to continuing to collaborate with Lew to build value for our shareholders.” In other news at the Atlanta-based company, Ridgemont Equity PartnersRobert “Trey” Sheridan, III, will retire from Cumulus’ board when his termCumulus ends at this year’s annual stockholders meeting; Association of Magazine Media (MPA) president and chief executive officer Mary Berner will be nominated to fill Sheridan’s vacated seat. Dickey comments, “We are fortunate to be adding Mary Berner to our board. Her insights and experience will be valuable as we continue to position the company for long-term success in the changing media landscape.” Elsewhere, Cumulus lead director, Jeffrey Marcus, is appointed non-executive board chair. Marcus has been a Cumulus board member since 2011. He is a partner with Crestview Partners, Cumulus’ largest stockholder.

zampillodanRed Zebra Officially Names Dan Zampillo to PD WTEM, Washington.  The company owned by Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder announces former WXYT-FM, Detroit and SiriusXM program director Dan Zampillo is taking over the programming reigns at its sports talk WTEM, Washington “ESPN 980.”  The PD position opened up after Chuck Sapienza exited in the middle of the on-off-on again addition of the new “Man Cave” morning show hosted by Chris Paul and Jason ReidRed Zebra Broadcasting CEO Rick Carmean says, “When it comes to sports, we have the best on-air talent in the area.  We look forward to having Dan join our team.  He brings great leadership, experience and fresh insight.”

jacobsmedialogo

What News/Talk Fans Are Doing When They’re Not Listening To Your Station.  In a piece prepared for TALKERS magazine by Jacobs Media based on data from the company’s recently released Techsurvey 11, company president Fred Jacobs presents a media and tech profile of news/talk P1s.  He notes that while news/talk P1s tend to lag behind younger demos in the tech and social media areas, that’s changing.  “Fans of the format are more likely to own a tablet, listen to podcasts, and subscribe to satellite radio.  They are less apt to be social networkers.  Compared to just a few short years ago, news/talk devotees are catching up tech-wise with their kids.  The data show that six in 10 stream video at least weekly while nearly eight in 10 own a smartphone.”  See how news/talk P1s choose to use social media and why they turn to broadcast talk radio.  Read the entire piece here.

Odds & Sods.  From the podcast genre comes news that PodcastOne is unveiling a new series featuring TV personality and entertainment reporter Katie Wagner, and international celebrity psychic Voxx Voltair.  Dubbed, “InnerView with Katie and Voxx,” it promises to combine “the hottest news in Hollywood with astrology, clairvoyance, numerology, and Tarot readings and features the latest gossip, fashion trends, and secrets from celebrity guests.”…..At the same time CBS RADIO and CBS Local Digital Media announce some new on-demand programming on its Play.it platform.  New shows include podcasts from SHOWTIME Boxing Commentator Paulie Malignaggi, ELLE Style correspondent Alia Ahmed-Yahia, TED.com speaker Julian Treasure, former CNN senior executive producer Michael Schulder’s “Wavemaker Conversations,” “The Marilu Henner Show”; and “Boomer & Carton” producer Al Dukes’ interview series with media moguls called, “Al’s Boring Podcast.”…..SiriusXM is launching “Let’s Talk with Abby and Ari,” a live, one-hour weekly, call-in show hosted by MSNBC The Cycle’s Abby Huntsman and Ari Melber.  The show will entail Huntsman and Melber examining the news of the day first, and welcoming tastemakers and newsmakers for interviews in a relaxed, casual style.  “The show will be a conversation at the cross-section of current events, politics and entertainment.”…..ESPN 2 “First Take” moderator Cari Champion is now hosting a new weekly ESPN Audio podcast called, “espnW Presents: Be Honest with Cari Champion.”  It will feature the “straight-shooting, always-honest Champion talking sports and more with A-list athletes and celebrity guests.”

srnlogoSalem Radio Network to Organize Aid Drive for Nepal Earthquake Victims.  Via its Washington-based SRN News, Salem Radio Network launched a campaign on its 1,600-plus affiliates nationwide to encourage donations on behalf of victims of last Saturday’s earthquake in Nepal.  The network is working with Oklahoma City-based nonprofit relief organization Project HOPE.  SRN will generate funds to rush food and emergency supplies to the stricken area.  The effort includes Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated talk hosts Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, Eric Metaxas and Hugh Hewitt.

fisherhouselogoFisher House Foundation Offers Memorial Day Special to News/Talk Outlets.  As it has done in the past, Fisher House Foundation is offering news/talk radio stations a three-our Memorial Day Weekend program titled, “A Hero’s Best Medicine.”  Fisher House says this year’s program contains “all-new, compelling and diverse storytelling.  The show shares the role that Fisher House plays in military heroes’ recovery, giving family a safe place to stay just steps from their hospital rooms.”  Some of the stories told include that of Marine Cpl. Kyle Carpenter, a Medal of Honor recipient, and his family in South Carolina. Carpenter threw himself on a grenade in Afghanistan to save a fellow Marine’s life. His parents spent nearly three years in a Fisher House; and Marine Cpl. Jake Schick, a wounded warrior who attracted the attention of Clint Eastwood and landed a role in the blockbuster film “American Sniper.”  Schick met his wife in a military hospital.  Throughout his recovery she stayed in a Fisher House.  The program is hosted by KARN, Little Rock afternoon host Doc Thompson.  For affiliation details on “A Hero’s Best Medicine,” news/talk stations should send an email to radio@fisherhouse.org with the word “radio” in the subject line.

Baltimore Protests, SCOTUS Gay Marriage Arguments, Clinton Foundation Scrutiny, Nepal Quake Aftermath, 2016 Presidential Prospects, and Iranian Navy Intercepts U.S. Ship Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/28).  The tactics to curb the violent protests in Baltimore and the political aspects of the event; the Supreme Court’s hearing of arguments in the case challenging the anti-gay marriage laws in four states; the ongoing scrutiny of the financial operations of the Clinton Foundation; the aftermath of the earthquake that’s taken more than 5,000 lives in Nepal; the potential candidates for president in 2016 including new possibilities Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley; and the interception of a U.S-flagged ship in the Strait of Hormuz by an Iranian Naval vessel were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.