Talk Radio/Media Industry News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

| September 23, 2014

bloomberglogoiHeartMedia Goes Business Talk with Bloomberg on KNEW, San Francisco.  With the move of Premiere Networks talk shows Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck to Cumulus Media’s crosstown KSFO on Monday, September 29, the fate of the shows’ soon-to-be former affiliate station – KNEW, San Francisco – is now known.  The station will begin carrying Bloomberg Radio programming on Monday.  The station will also be simulcast on KOSF-FM’s HD2 channel.  Bloomberg Radio’s Al Mayers comments, “As part of Bloomberg’s new consumer media strategy, we’re excited about expanding Bloomberg Radio into the San Francisco Bay Area, a vital market for those who create, move global business and shape conversations about the innovations of tomorrow.”  iHeartMedia San Francisco market president Kathryn Wilcox adds, “Teaming up with Bloomberg was a natural fit.  It provides high-quality content and aligns nicely with the local business talk on KKSF 910.”

iheartmedia logoiHeartMedia Takes on More Debt.  The company formerly known as Clear Channel CommunicationsiHeartCommunications (and its radio-centric subsidiary iHeartMedia) – announces it is selling $250 million of 9.0% Priority Guarantee Notes (PGNs) that will come due in 2022.  Rating agency Fitch Ratings reports that the “notes are being issued as part of the same series as the $750 million of PGNs due 2022 that were issued on September 10, 2014, and rated ‘CCC/RR4′.  Proceeds from the offering are expected to be used to prepay $245.9 million in Term Loan B due 2016 and $4.1 million in Term Loan C due 2016 and to pay fees and expenses related to the offering.”  The iHeartCommunications debt stands at approximately $21.1 billion according to Fitch but the rating company reports it believes that the company has “adequate liquidity (including cash on hand, monetization of repurchased and outstanding notes, and asset sales) to meet its debt service obligations,” although it does foresee free cash flow to be negative over the next few years.

lionelLionel to Make Return Appearance at The Cutting Room in New York City.  Multimedia talker Lionel of LionelMedia.com has again been booked to play an evening of what he calls “Outspoken Word” sprinkled with bluegrass music at New York City’s famous nightclub, The Cutting Room.  The iconoclastic radio performer presents his difficult-to-categorize brand of stand-up commentary/observations along with several musical numbers by his Americana roots trio, Lock-n-Load in a program described by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison as “fascinatingly original and intelligently eclectic to the core.”  The booking is set for Saturday, October 11 at 7:30 pm at the mega-hip showcase venue located at 44 East 32nd Street in the Big Apple.  Tickets are on sale, $30 in advance, $35 day of show, with a $20 food/drink minimum.  To reserve tickets, call 212-691-1900.  To view a video of Lionel discussing the forthcoming performance, please click here.

salemNYChostsyachtCelebrating Success.  Getting together to celebrate a year of success at Salem Communications’ New York properties news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” and Christian talk WMCA (and to celebrate the latter’s anniversary as a Christian talk station) are four talk hosts heard on the stations (from left to right): talk personality and XtreMedia CEO Kevin McCullough; Salem Radio Network host Mike Gallagher; GCN-syndicated host Dr. Joy Browne; and WNYM morning personality Joe Piscopo.  McCullough comments, “While the style and content of the shows couldn’t be more different nor come from more diverse perspectives, the camaraderie instilled by GM Jerry Crowley and VP Phil Boyce could not be more clear!  Fun people, doing fun radio, and having fun doing it!”

hughespatOdds & Sods.  Houston sports talk personality Barry Warner joins Yahoo! Sports Radio where he’ll serve as a national contributor and host of the “Barry Warner Classic Minute” daily feature heard on KGOW and KFNC-FM in Houston…..WGN, Chicago announces the WGN Radio Walk of Fame Induction Ceremony honoring Chicago Cubs broadcaster Pat Hughes to take place on Wednesday, September 24 from 3:30 pm – 4:00 pm.  The ceremony will include a live broadcast interview with Hughes conducted by host Dave Eanet…..Internet talk radio platform LA Talk Radio announces it is adding live streaming video to its content options.  Founder Sam Hasson says LA Talk Radio “has waited until it could define how to deliver a polished radio broadcast that also appeals to the audience visually, with professional studios and eye-popping graphics.  The results are great-looking as they are streamed smoothly in high-definition to any computer or mobile device.”  The video function debuts October 1.

White House Intruder Case, Hillary Clinton 2016 Prospects, Mid-Term Elections/Congressional Majority, NFL Domestic Violence Troubles, U.S. ISIS Policy, Iran Nukes Talks, Ebola Pandemic Threat, and Lois Lerner Politico Story Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/22).  The man with a criminal past who hopped the White House fence and entered the building before being stopped; the prospects for a presidential bid by Hillary Clinton in 2016; the looming mid-term elections and discussion about the potential for majority changes in Congress; the NFL’s domestic violence issues; the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS, Secretary of State John Kerry’s nuclear talks with Iran; the threat of an Ebola virus pandemic; and the Lois Lerner Politico interview addressing the IRS scandal were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, September 22, 2014

| September 22, 2014

rowlandjohnFormer Connecticut Governor and WTIC, Hartford Talk Host Found Guilty of Campaign Law Violations.  He’d already served 10 months in prison for a 2004 conviction on corruption charges when CBS RADIO’s news/talk WTIC, Hartford hired John Rowland to host a daily afternoon drive radio talk show.  Now, after Friday’s conviction on seven counts of campaign finance law violations, it appears that Rowland is likely headed back to prison.  Sentencing is scheduled for December 12 but his attorneys plan to appeal.  According to the Hartford Courant’s account, Rowland, who resigned from WTIC in April just before being indicted on the charges, chose not to take a plea deal for 18 months jail time and tested his luck with the jury.  It didn’t work as the jury found him guilty of all charges related to his scheme to consult a Republican political candidate in 2012 and hide the fact that he was accepting the cash for those purposes.  Read Edmund Mahony’s Courant story here.

cookehollandLocal On-Air Talent CAN Become Indispensable.  Media consultant Holland Cooke revisits (and expands upon!) the point he made the “pages” of TALKERS four years ago that “if you’re in RADIO, you’re in SALES” in a column published today (9/22).  It’s easy to pick apart the effectiveness of another medium’s advertising components but radio must look in the mirror for, as Cooke writes, criticism of a lot of radio’s not-so-great spots is justified because “at many stations, including some in major markets, there’s no creative department.  Reps write their own copy, a task that’s not sellers’ core competency.”  Effectiveness is directly related to quality, so how to up the quality?  Cooke offers some suggestions and you can check them out here.

jacobsfredConsultant Fred Jacobs Encourages Radio Talent to Learn and Exploit Expanded Array of Available Media Tools.  Reaction and commentary continues to buzz throughout the industry on the topic of the role of the aural media arts (non-visual radio and music) in the increasingly multi-media/visual environment of the digital era – instigated largely last week by comments made by TALKERS and RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison in the aftermath of the Clear Channel name/branding change to iHEARTMEDIA.  According to Harrison, “I am delighted by the enormous number of responses – mostly overwhelmingly positive – that my comments sparked.  Of course, there were those who immediately jumped to theiheartmedia logo conclusion that I am against the word ‘media’ or that I do not believe radio should be involved in internet, satellite or visual media at all.  This is, of course, preposterous!  The name of our company that owns TALKERS is Talk Media, Inc.; the name of our convention was the New Media Seminar way back in 1998; TALKERS magazine’s slogan is The Bible of Talk Radio and the New Talk Media; I have championed a concept known as “The Media Station” for more than a decade and the list goes on.  All I am saying is we should remain sensitive and respectful to the idea that there is a very important place in this emerging mix for pure audio-only radio and music in terms of the fundamentals of these processes – and that by doing so, we will be serving the best interests of our industry, the people who work in it and the consumers who love radio and music on their basic terms.”  Harrison continues, “My friend, noted radio consultant/researcher Fred Jacobs, CEO of Jacobs Media, — also an industry voice who is outspoken on this most compelling issue — has written and posted a blog today (9/22) that I believe adds an important dimension to the subject that warrants attention.  Jacobs makes a case, somewhat counterpoint (but not contradictory) to mine, that I find inspirational.”  In the blog, Jacobs writes, “I started thinking about this notion that the proliferation of screens will narrow the field for talkers, DJs, and hosts who are great with words, but not so wonderful visually.  As he [Michael Harrison] notes, screens of all sizes are becoming dominant parts of how people consume media. Thankfully, radio has been able to participate on most of those screens, whether on smartphones or tablets.  Over time as autonomous driving becomes more common, those who ride in these cars will gravitate to entertainment that is visual in origin – at least at a higher percentage than they are able to consume now while dangerously texting and driving.  So is this the beginning of the end for radio, or is it simply the beginning of the beginning?  Because as we have explored in this blog during the past few years, disruption forces old stars to adapt while bringing new ones to the center stage. Notably, two of the “Best Motion Picture” Oscars in just the past few years have focused on this topic. The King’s Speech starring Colin Firth was a story about changing technology, as the King of England was forced to learn how to communicate on the radio.  Of course, he struggled, but in the end he was able to adapt.  And in The Artist, the film’s silent film star refused to adapt to ‘talkies’ and is eventually displaced by a new brand of movie icons.  Change is uncomfortable and it can be bitter, as depicted in this amazing film.  The ending eventually become a happy one, but the road was arduous and difficult because of the tech disruption caused by the advent of movie sound.  Change is hard, especially for those who have enjoyed the status quo.  It tests everyone in all strata of the organization and the industry. Accepting, adapting, and adjusting is hard work.  It can be quite uncomfortable in workplaces that were once always fun and even kind of easy.  But these are the necessary skills that radio people need to exude in order to make the transition.  We see signs of this every day in broadcast radio.  Those who have the ability to connect with audiences – in person and in social spaces – have a unique edge.  The old paradigm of the DJ hermit, locked down the hall in the air studio, is breaking apart.  Today’s air talent need to be able to mix it up with listeners, clients, and community leaders.  Not every film star is handsome.  The public appreciates an interesting face, whether it’s Peter Dinklage on Game of Thrones or Linda Hunt on NCIS.  They may be exceptions, but they stand out because they’re different, captivating, and worthy of our attention.  They’re also immensely talented actors.  And the same will be the case on the radios of the future.  While good-looking DJs like Ryan Seacrest or Bobby Bones may have inherent advantages, Howard Stern proves that must-hear content trumps a pretty face.  And he’s not alone.  Words matter, and they will continue to in a media ecosphere that is now dominated by visuals. Screens or not, it’s the thought that counts.  These are changes that radio need to roll with.  Let’s open up new visual doors, new avenues, and new paths for our content.  And let’s embrace them because it’s truly a media world.”  To read Fred Jacobs’ entire blog, please click here.

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warrenallisonRadio Management Pro Warren Named VP/MM for Cumulus Nashville.  Jumping from the Austin cluster of Entercom where she was director of sales and taking on the vice president and marketwwtn logo manager role at Cumulus Media Nashville is Allison Warren.  Cumulus SVP Jeff Brown comments, “Allison was a key part of my team in Denver some years back.  She did great work there and has since built a portfolio of successes in vibrant radio markets including Austin, Madison and Milwaukee.  Her results-driven, collaborative leadership style will infuse our Nashville operations with the energy and focus needed at this pivotal point in the cluster’s growth.  Allison will be an incredible asset to Cumulus’ leadership team.”  Warren also served with Entercom at its Madison and Milwaukee clusters as well as with CBS RADIO in Denver.  Cumulus operates six stations in the market including news/talk WWTN-FM “SuperTalk 99.7,” sports talker WGFX “104.5 The Zone,” as well as the Tennessee Titans Radio Network.

irn usa logoCross Platform Media Acquires IRN/USA Radio Network.  The president and CEO of Cross Platform Media, Sam Hassell, says the acquisition of IRN/USA Radio Network “rounds out the services of Cross Platform that is already deeply embedded in the national media space.”  Hassell continues, “We are very excited to make this announcement.  We look forward to fulfilling the original vision of USA Radio Network by providing audience-engaging news and content to the independent and group station owners around the country.”  Christian and conservative broadcast pioneer Marlin Maddoux launched the USA Radio Network in 1985 and Hassell adds, “We are very respectful of the Maddoux legacy and proud to continue syndicating ‘Point of View,’ ‘Daybreak USA,’ IRN/USA News and so many other significant programs.”  IRN/USA Radio Network currently produces and/or distributes more than 20 nationally syndicated radio programs with audience-targeted formatting primarily for news/talk and Christian radio (both commercial and non-commercial).

biakelseyBIA/Kelsey Forecast for 2015 Local Media Revenue: Up 1.6%.  But, of course, the increase comes as beneficial for those in the online/digital media realm (+13.1%) and, not surprisingly, traditional media is expected to see another dip (-1.7%).  BIA/Kelsey is presenting these results and more at its Leading in Local: SMB Digital Marketing conference in New Orleans this week.  The company predicts that in 2015, online/digital will account for more than one-quarter (25.2%) of total local media revenues in 2015.  Revenues for online/digital are expected to grow from $31 billion in 2014 to $35 billion in 2015, representing a 13.1% growth rate.  Other forecasts include: Mobile local ad revenues will grow from $4.3 billion in 2014 to $6.6 billion in 2015; Local social media revenues will grow from $2.5 billion in 2014 to $3.6 billion in 2015; Local search revenues will grow from $7.1 billion in 2014 to $7.2 billion in 2015; Local display revenues will grow from $4.3 billion in 2014 to $4.9 billion in 2015; and Local online video revenues will grow from $2.3 billion in 2014 to $3.0 billion in 2015.

dolansexpo9-14Dolans and Seaview Radio Hit Home Run with Live Event in South Florida.  Proving there is life after WOR, New York, the legendary husband/wife money media team of Ken & Daria Dolan (pictured here, Daria at left, Ken at right) joined forces with WSVU (960 AM/95.9 FM/ 106.9 FM), North Palm Beach “Seaview Radio” this past Saturday (9/20) presenting a successful, day-long listener/sponsor event titled, “South Florida Wealth & Health Expo 2014,” at the prestigious Jupiter Maltz Theatre in Jupiter, Florida.  The event brought local businesses and services from the fields of health, finance and better living together highlighted with on-stage financial advice presentations by the Dolans.  Seaview Radio general manager Chet Tart tells TALKERS, “The event gave us a wonderful opportunity to establish new and heightened relationships with sponsors from one of the most dynamic business sectors in the market.  We immediately received positive response with attendees and vendors already asking about next year’s event.  I think we might have to find a larger venue, next time around.”  The Dolans, now based in Jupiter, are best remembered for their stunning run of success at WOR, New York and the WOR Radio Network in the 90s and early-2000s – supplemented by their hosting hot shows on CNN, MSNBC anddolans poster other cable news/talk networks as well as penning best-selling books on the topic of personal finance.  Known for their entertaining banter and solid advice both on air and on stage, the Dolans went into semi-retirement several years ago – but have had difficulty steering clear of offers that keep coming their way for live appearances and their broadcast sales consulting services.  The result has been the birth of the increasingly active firm Dolan Media.  CEO Ken Dolan tells TALKERS, “There are huge revenue and promotional opportunities for local radio stations in live events – especially in the areas that strike home to most people – health and money.  The two go together beautifully as we have just proven at this event in Florida.  Daria and I are strongly considering taking this show on the road and helping stations around the country create a very exciting form of financial and PR synergy so dearly needed by small and middle-sized operators at this time.”  Perennial members of the TALKERS Heavy Hundred during their run at WOR, the Dolans have been ranked #75 on the prestigious Heaviest Hundred list of the “100 Most important Radio Talk Show Hosts of All Time.”  WSVU, North Palm Beach was recently sold by North Palm Beach Broadcasters to JVC Media.  GM Chet Tart – one of the most connected broadcast executives in the market – will stay on as GM of the new expanded operation planned by the acquiring owners, telling TALKERS, “With this transition to JVC, I find myself even more focused than ever… offering leadership, encouragement and inspiration to the staff.  That’s my focus!”   Chet Tart can be reached by email at chet@jvcbroadcasting.com.  Ken Dolan can be contacted at dolanmedia1@aol.com.

schafferdennyOdds & Sods.  At the iHeartMedia Des Moines cluster, alternative KXDA PD Mike Killabrew takes on the programming responsibilities for sister sports talker KXNO, leaving WHO programmer Van Harden to focus on his duties with the heritage news/talker…..Radio personality Denny Schaffer – most recently with iHeartMedia news/talker WRNO, New Orleans and former host at the company’s WSPD, Toledo – is back in Toledo as morning jock on Cumulus Media’s hot AC WWWM “Star 105.”…..Dallas news pro Jim Ryan joins ABC News Radio full time.  Ryan — a current staffer at WBAP, Dallas and part-time contributor to ABC News Radio, makes the switch starting November 1.

Friday, September 19, 2014

| September 19, 2014

kfwb sportsKFWB Ready to Unleash “The Beast 980.” Los Angeles talker KFWB officially plugs in all the components to transition to all-sports “The Beast 980″ next Monday (9/22).  Weekday mornings (5:30 am – 9:00 am) will be kick-started by a locally originated program headed by noted Fox and ESPN talent Jeanne Zelasko, and former NBA, UCLA player Marques Johnson.  Having worked at San Diego’s XETRA “XTRA Sports,” the talented Zelasko is no stranger to doing Southern California sports radio.  “The Jim Rome Show” (Rome is also an XTRA alum) airs from Orange County (9:00 am – 12:00 noon), followed by a three-hour show (12:00 noon – 3:00 pm) local show fronted by longtime KNBC-TV, Los Angeles (Channel 4) sports anchor Fred Roggin.  Brett Winterble (SiriusXM) and former Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants tight end George Wrighster take over from 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm; “L.A. Sports Today” follows between 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm. CBS Sports Radio‘s Doug Gottlieb will air from 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm. In addition to being the flagship of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers, “The Beast” will carry Sunday, Monday, and Thursday NFL games; NCAA football and basketball play-by-play; and a weekly overview of USC athletics.

rosejoeOdds & Sods.  WQAM, Miami morning drive personality Joe Rose is giving up his “other” gig as sports anchor at NBC affiliate WTVJ, Miami.  In a press statement, Rose comments, “It’s time for me to slow downmarottarich and get a decent night’s sleep!  It’s been a fun ride and I’ve been able to cover a lot of major sporting events that I never could have if it wasn’t for NBC 6.”…..KFI, Los Angeles morning sports anchor Rich Marotta is leaving KFI and the radio business.  Marotta, who appears on the Bill Handel show, is a well-known Southern California sports voice, who’s also done radio play-by-play broadcasts for pro teams including the NBA’s Clippers, the NHL’s Kings and the NFL’s Raiders.

johnsonpattiReach Media Adds Patti Johnson to NY Sales Staff.  This is a return to REACH Media Inc. for Patti Johnson who most recently served as local sales manager for iHeartMedia in Chicago.  Prior to that, Johnson served for almost three years as an account executive in the Chicago offices of REACH Media.  Her new gig begins Monday (9/22) as she works from the New York office of REACH as account manager, Eastern sales.  She also previously worked for Interep Radio Sales in Chicago and St Louis in various sales positions.

crninternational logoCRN International Study Draws Eye-Opening Conclusions About Radio Ads.  The results of CRN International’s research poll of 525 consumers and the resultant white paper shines a spotlight on the traditional methods of advertising on radio, how consumers perceive those efforts and what might be done to make radio a more effective advertising vehicle.  When it comes to influencing a purchase decision, the study — conducted and released by the Connecticut-based, national ad agency that specializes in radio — indicates that 41% of survey respondents said that custom content – defined as useful or entertaining information provided by a sponsor – would be the messaging form most likely to increase their purchase decision.  Testimonials from everyday consumers like themselves came in second as a purchasing influencer at 20%, with traditional commercials finishing third at 18%.  A red flag for radio is that more than 80% of the respondents confirmed that they pay little attention to radio spot commercials.  Those ads, they said, have little chance of influencing a buying decision, according to the study.  Perhaps more alarming for radio operators is the results seemed to fly in the face of previous studies that most radio listeners stay tuned in through entire lengthy commercial stop sets.  In the CRN research, 67% of the consumers said they don’t make it past the second advertisement during a commercial break.  However, positive signs from the study include some of the following conclusions: Regarding endorsements from their favorite radio DJ personalities, 28% said that tactic would have a positive impact on their chances of considering or buying the sponsor’s product; Regarding endorsements from everyday people like themselves, 42% said that tactic would increase their chances of considering or buying the sponsor’s product; 23% of the respondents said meeting radio personalities at a live, local radio station appearance would be of interest to them; 52% said they would be interested in participating in a contest or sweepstakes heard on the radio; Almost 60% said they would be very or somewhat receptive to considering or buying the product of a contest or sweepstakes sponsor.  To see the CRN International white paper, click here.

americaweekendlogo‘America Weekend’ Airs on WNJE, Trenton.  Becoming a part of Connoisseur Media-owned religious formatted Trenton, New Jersey outlet WNJE’s programming is “America Weekend.”  The Envision Networks-syndicated weekend news/talk program is described by the syndicator as a show “designed to be a break from the usual brokered programming and political fare of most news/talk stations, ‘America Weekend’ covers the lighter side of news and lifestyle issues facing today’s on-the-go talk listeners.”  The program offers over 12 hours of new programming each weekend from the lineup of hosts that includes: Ed Kalegi, Mike Bennett, Valerie Smaldone, Leslie Gold, Smith and Sabatino, Animal Radio, and “Into Tomorrow” with Dave Graveline.

siriusWhartonOfficial Opening.  The new SiriusXM studios at the Wharton School on the campus of Penn are official opened by Geoffrey Garrett, newly appointed Dean of the Wharton School (left), and Scott Greenstein, president and chief content officer, SiriusXM (right).  The ceremony for the official ribbon cutting for SiriusXM’s studio for Business Radio powered by the Wharton School took place on September 18.

The NFL and Domestic Violence Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 15-19.  The intense controversy over recent domestic violence cases involving NFL players was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio, landing atop the Talkers TenTM for the week of September 15.  Coming in at #2 was the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS.  At #3 was the new domestic terror threats tied with the foiled Australian plot followed by Hillary Clinton’s presidential ambitions and the GOP hopefuls at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

| September 18, 2014

youngbroomheadBarry Young’s Retirement from KFYI, Phoenix Pushes Mike Broomhead into Mid-Morning Slot.  As TALKERS magazine reported back on March 14 of this year, longtime Phoenix talk radio personality (and president and CEO of WestStar MultiMedia Entertainment) Barry Young (left) is retiring from his daily talk show duties at iHeartMedia-owned news/talker KFYI.  Now, the station announces that after Young does his last show on November 7, current afternoon drive personality Mike Broomhead (right) will move to the 7:00 am to 10:00 am slot.  Broomhead states, “Barry Young is a legend in this business and will someday soon be in the Arizona Broadcasting Hall of Fame.  It has been an honor to work with and learn from him.  I’m looking forward to hosting mornings.  I want to talk about the issues that concern all of us and find solutions that are best for Arizona.  I’m not always right, but I always want what is best.”  KFYI program director Neil Larrimore adds, “Mike is a superstar who has worked hard to earn this opportunity.  He’s a great host, but even more so, he’s a good man.”  The station will begin a search for a new afternoon drive host.

fullermaggieFormer WNIR-FM, Akron Talk Host Sues Station Over Harassment Allegation.  Former morning drive personality Nancy Jones – who went by the on-air name Maggie Fuller – is suing Media-Com Inc. for reinstatement and/or back pay plus damages alleging she was sexually harassed by current morning drive host John “Couchburner” Denning.  The complaint states that Jones, who was a staffer with WNIR-FM, Akron since 1999, began, in 2013, receiving “hostile” and “disrespectful” treatment from Denning, culminating in his using the c-word to describe her to listeners at a promotional event.  Jones claims station management did nothing to address her complaints.  Read more about this case in the Norwalk Reflector here.

weberjeffIt’s Synchronicity for BizTalkRadio’s Weber.  After more than a decade with BizTalkRadio and Lifestyle TalkRadio Network,president Jeff Weber departs the Center Post Holdings company to join Synchronicity in a consulting capacity.  Weber asserts that, “Synchronicity’s technology has begun to revolutionize the industry; I don’t make statements like that unless I mean them.  Just as John Armstrong created and built DG Systems, this new company of his is totally cutting-edge.  It will be a major asset to broadcasters, syndicators, and others who want to reduce costs with a user-friendly and efficient platform.”  According to Weber, Synchronicity increases revenue through localization of advertising and real-time accountability.  In his 12 years with the former Business TalkRadio Network (now BizTalkRadio and Lifestyle TalkRadio Network), Weber was its executive vice president; acting chief executive officer; and one year ago, became president.  Additionally, Weber will consult Connecticut-based Forte Family Broadcasting.

koontzbobKFWB Selects Koontz as Sports Sales Manager.  Former KSPN “ESPN 710,” Los Angeles station manager Bob Koontz joins newly launched all-sports KFWB, Los Angeles “The Beast 980″ as sports sales manager.  The Southern California native comments that he is “thrilled” to be part of the new sports outlet and that he looks forward “to working with our great talent to help build strategic partnerships and unique opportunities for our clients and listeners.”  Prior to becoming KSPN’s station manager (2006 – 2008), Koontz spent six years as the station’s first sales manager. He also held the sales manager title for Los Angeles stations (talk) KABC; (rock) KLOS; (sports-talk) KMPC; (adult contemporary) KIQQ “K-Lite,” and (regional Mexican) KSCA.

mcmorrisebonyMcMorris Tapped as Radio One Washington, DC News/Community Affairs Director. “News One Now” weekly contributor Ebony McMorris is appointed news and community affairs director for Radio One Washington, DC.  The company’s nation’s capital cluster consists of urban AC WMMJ “Majic 102.3,” urban contemporary WKYS; gospel WPRS “Praise 104.1,” gospel WYCB “Spirit 1340,” and talk WOL.  According to Radio One vice president and general manager Alan Leinwand, “We are very fortunate to have Ebony moving into this very important position.  She will play an integral role in helping us deliver a first-class news product, while also helping grow our community footprint.”  Replacing Sheila Stewart, who passed away 11 months ago, McMorris comments, “Taking over a position held by Sheila is an honor because she mentored me early in my career.  I cannot forget her power to connect people.  The vision of this company and its staff is unmatched.”  In addition to her new duties, McMorris – who has worked with Radio One since 2007 as WOL’s national reporter and host of public affairs programming on “Praise 104.1″ and “Majic 102.3″ – will serve as a daily reporter for the syndicated “Tom Joyner Morning Show.”  McMorris was morning news correspondent on Roland Martin‘s radio show.

abcnewsradioABC News Radio and Hearst Strike Deal for News and Info Service for Baltimore Stations.  When Hearst Radio’s news/talk WBAL and rock WIYY in Baltimore begin using ABC News Radio products later this year, it’ll mark a return to the outlets for ABC after more than 10 years absence.  In addition to the two stations using ABC’s “premium national, wbalinternational and entertainment news programming,” ABC Radio will provide music news for WIYY’s website and ABC Air Power, the most immediate, most topical and most complete radio show prep service in the industry today.  WBAL and WIYY president and GM Cary Pahigian comments, “From reliable top hour newscasts and breaking news for WBAL and prep and digital support for ‘98 Rock,’ we are delighted to welcome the powerful resources of ABC to Hearst Radio Baltimore.”

stigallcruzConstitution

Stigall and Ted Cruz Talk the Constitution.  Pictured here at the National Constitution Center on September 17th in Philadelphia are WPHT, Philadelphia morning personality Chris Stigall (left) and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) (right).  Cruz joined Stigall for a one-on-one discussion about Constitutional conflicts in the news today.  The event drew hundreds of WPHT listeners to hear Cruz – a noted Constitutional scholar – discuss the issues.

mcmahonbillConsultant Bill McMahon Sounds Off on Key Radio Issues.  One of the veteran consultants who’s had a significant influence on the modern era of talk radio as a thinker and innovator is Bill McMahon. He and his company, The Authentic Personality, developed what has been come to be known as the Authentic Personality method, the first formal training process for radio personalities and program directors. Hundreds of radio personalities and program directors in the US and the UK have participated in his Authentic Personality workshops. McMahon was one of the first to recognize Rush Limbaugh‘s “talent on loan from God” and give him a platform for its use. In addition to Rush, he has influenced the careers of many of radio’s biggest stars including Kidd Kraddick and Johnny Vaughan in the UK. Interestingly McMahon was the featured interview in the very first print issue of TALKERS almost 25 years ago. At a time when radio is facing all kinds of new high-tech competition for the consumer’s time and attention, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (who also conducted that first interview in 1990) thought it appropriate to sit down again with McMahon and talk about the current state of radio and radio personalities.  In what turned out to be a fascinating 55-plus minutes of conversation, McMahon opines the following observations:

  • Very little has changed in terms of radio content/format development since the initial conversation 25 years ago.
  • The vast majority of radio’s content over the past 50 or 60 years has been created by the music industry. The radio industry has functioned primarily as the distribution and promotional arm of the music industry. The radio industry has created very little of its own content since the inception of television… with the notable exception of talk radio.
  • Major innovations in radio content creation have come from individual on-air talent like Rush Limbaugh, Howard Stern, Scott Shannon, etc., not radio industry management.
  • Radio is no longer attracting the best and brightest talent. This is a critical and a potentially fatal problem for radio.
  • Radio needs to launch an immediate campaign to recruit extraordinary talent who love creating audio entertainment and have ideas for new programs and formats that consumers want and need.
  • The radio industry’s desire to create big mass appeal formats and programs goes against everything that’s happening in the world. Things that are succeeding have clearly defined specialties. Think Rush Limbaugh, Howard Stern, and Fox News. In this world of unlimited choice where consumers are in control of what they consume and when they consume it, having a clearly defined and distinctive specialty is a must for success.
  • The “Fourteen Traits Inherent in the Best Radio Personalities” provide a guide for evaluating and recruiting the kind of talent radio needs to attract to continue to be viable.

To listen to the entire unedited audio conversation between Bill McMahon and Michael Harrison conducted for this story, please click

 
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To contact Bill McMahon call 208-887-5670 or email Bill@AuthenticPersonality.biz

Odds & Sods.  A special series is being presented by SiriusXM on the Howard 101 channel.  Howard Stern show media producer and aspiring film maker JD Harmeyer interviewed five Hollywood directors while at the 2014 Comic Con International in San Diego earlier this summer and the result the “JD Directors Special” during which Harmeyer interviews “Bridesmaids” director Paul Feig, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” director Jonathan Liebesman, “Children’s Hospital” creator Rob Corddry, “Into the Storm” director Steven Quale and legendary film director and writer Guillermo del Toro.  The program airs on Friday, September 19, at 7:00 pm ET…..Westwood One extends its partnership with Harpo Studios and Dr. Mehmet Oz for the daily, one-minute feature, “Daily Dose with Dr. Oz.”  Dr. Oz says “Not a day goes by that I don’t get positive feedback from listeners of ‘Daily Dose.’  My goal is to spread the message of good health – body, mind and spirit.  Syndication with Westwood One helps to expand that message to an attentive and diverse audience.”

BFoA golf 14Broadcasters Foundation of America Celebrity Golf Tournament Raises $250,000.  Monday’s 2014 Celebrity Golf Tournament at Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Tarrytown, New York helped raise $250,000 for the Broadcasters Foundation of America.  More than 150 broadcasters and celebrities turned out in support of the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation, including famed sportscasters, athletes, and actors.  Celebrity golfers included: Michael J. Fox; Bruce Beck, WNBC-TV; Craig Carton, WFAN; John Franco, Mets Hall of Famer; Sterling Sharpe, Green Bay Packers Hall of Famer; Tina Cervasio, Fox Sports and MSG Network; Howard Cross, New York Giants great; Maurice Dubois, WCBS-TV; Rachel Grant, actress and philanthropist; Jay Harris, ESPN; Mary Calvi, WCBS-TV; Otis Livingston, WCBS-TV; Sean McDonough, CBS and ESPN; Lonnie Quinn, WCBS-TV; Dana Tyler, WCBS-TV; Chris Wragge, WCBS-TV; and more.

gravelinecheckpointcharlie‘Into Tomorrow’ Visits Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin.  As part of a whirlwind tour of techie events to cover for his weekly consumer electronics talk show “Into Tomorrow,” host Dave Graveline (center, surrounded by his staff) was in Berlin and is pictured here in front of the historic Checkpoint Charlie.  During a two-week period, Graveline covered the IFA in Berlin, the recent Apple event in San Francisco and the annual Intel Developer Forum (IDF).

The NFL and Domestic Violence, the U.S.-led Coalition Against ISIS, Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Prospects, the Mid-Term Elections and a Possible Change in Congressional Majorities, Ebola Virus Pandemic Threat, Australian Terror Plot Foiled and Scotland Secession Referendum Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/17).  The continuing controversy over the NFL’s domestic violence policy and the several players facing criminal charges and league suspensions over incidents; the Western coalition of countries vowing to combat ISIS; Hillary Clinton’s visit to Iowa and her prospects for running for president in 2016; the looming mid-term elections and talk about majority changes in Congress; concern over the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa and the possibility of a pandemic; the thwarting of a terror plot in Australia; and today’s referendum in Scotland on seceding from the U.K. were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

| September 17, 2014

hamburgjoanJoan Hamburg to Host Weekend Show on WABC, New York.  After a long career at crosstown heritage AM news/talker WOR, Cumulus Media announces that New York radio personality Joan Hamburg is joining its news/talker 77 WABC to host a weekly Saturday program to air from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.  Cumulus says on the show Hamburg “will continue discussing the most important social, economic and political issues that impact listeners’ lives each week.  Hamburg will also interview major celebrities and powerful political figures on the program.”  In addition, the deal calls for Hamburg to produce weekly features and exclusive programs available in digital formats.  Hamburg comments, “How excited I am to join legendary WABC radio and work with Kim Bryant, Craig Schwalb and the rest of the Cumulus family. And what a treat to join their roster of the best talk talent in the country.  New York get ready — the conversation is about to begin.”

villanuccijimTalk Host Jim Villanucci Resigns from KXL, Portland.  There is little known at this time about what has transpired to cause midday talk show host Jim Villanucci to resign from his position with Alpha Media’s KXL, Portland but a Tweet from KXL’s Lars Larson states simply that Villanucci has resigned for “personal reasons” and that Larson wishes him well.  Filling in during the daypart is Victoria Taft.

francesamikeTension Between WFAN’s Mike Francesa and Management Over Fox Sports Simulcast.  According to a story by Neil Best in Newsday, WFAN, New York afternoon drive superstar Mike Francesa has been ordered by CBS RADIO management – under threat of lawsuit – not to gripe publicly about the simulcast of his show being bumped from cable’s Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 for live sporting events.  Best reports that while Francesa didn’t talk specifically about the Fox Sports simulcast issues, he said on his radio show that in contrast to a corporate statement to the contrary, he has been threatened with legal action if he speaks publicly about anything that costs the company money, with the implication being the Fox Sports arrangement.  In other words, he could be held liable for any income CBS loses if the Fox Sports relationship dissolves.  Read Best’s piece here.

cottociscoCisco Cotto Joins CBS RADIO’s WBBM-AM, Chicago.  Newsman and talk show host Cisco Cotto is becoming part of the staff at CBS RADIO’s all-news WBBM-AM and WCFS-FM, Chicago, according to Chicago media writer Robert Feder.  Cotto has worked in the Chicago market his entire career.  He started at CBS’ former all-news WMAQ and has served as news anchor at Cumulus Media’s crosstown WLS-AM (where he also went on to host a talk show) as well as at Salem’s news/talk WIND, and the Moody Bible Institute’s Christian talker WMBI.  His position at WBBM and WCFS is anchor/reporter.   Read Feder’s entire column here.

krennjimKDKA-AM, Pittsburgh Adds Comic Jim Krenn to Friday Program.  Joining the “KDKA Morning News with Larry Richert and John Shumway” each Friday is Jim Krenn, a popular Pittsburgh radio personality and comedian.  KDKA-AM program director Jim Graci says, “KDKA is delighted to have Jim Krenn on the station each Friday morning.  It’s like adding another big bat to an all-star lineup, and will give KDKA listeners another reason to smile heading into the weekend.”  Krenn is a Pittsburgh native who worked successfully in Steel City radio for 24 years.  He is currently producing a weekly podcast titled, “Jim Krenn: No Restrictions.”

nrglogoDreyer Named Director of Integrated Media for NRG.  Appointed to the newly created position of director of integrated media for NRG Media is Erica Dreyer.  In making the announcement, NRG president and CEO Mary Quass noted that Dreyer recently served in the same post for both Maverick Media of Rockford, Illinois and Mid-West Family Broadcasting of Rockford for the past seven-plus years.  Quass states, “Digital media offers the greatest potential revenue growth for radio today.  Erica Dreyer has earned seven awards for excellence in the digital arena.  Dreyer’s the maverick we need to lead this new department.”  In this position, Dreyer will be responsible for infusing new inventory and pricing techniques into NRG’s interactive portfolio.  Dreyer will also train and educate sales departments in the station group to produce more sophisticated, high-value integrated solutions for clients and help educate advertisers about integrated solutions for their business needs.  Dreyer starts with NRG on September 30.

wpht logoWPHT, Philadelphia Speaker Series Hosts Senator Ted Cruz.  Tonight’s event at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia is the latest in the WPHT Speaker Series and will feature Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) discussing the First and Fourth Amendments.  The program takes place in observance of Constitution Day and WPHT morning drive personality Chris Stigall is moderating the discussion.

espnwomenThe Big Issue of the Day.  Pictured here are ESPN personalities (from left to right) Jemele Hill, Jane McManus and Cari Champion in the studio during the production of the podcast “espnW Presents: The State of the NFL on ESPN Radio.”  The show was a joint effort by espnW and ESPN Radio.  Also appearing on the program were espnW personalities Kate Fagan and Sarah Spain.  ESPN host Keith Olbermann and National Organization for Women president Terry O’Neill joined the conversation as guests.

The NFL and Domestic Violence, U.S.-Led Coalition Against ISIS, Mid-Term Elections, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Presidential Run, New Benghazi Investigation,  Ebola Virus Pandemic Threat, Scotland Succession Referendum, and Obama Amnesty Issue Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/16).  The ongoing furor over the domestic violence issues plaguing the NFL; debate over the potential effectiveness of the U.S.-led coalition to combat ISIS; the looming mid-term elections and how they may affect majorities in Congress; Hillary Clinton’s weekend appearance in Iowa and her possible run for president in 2016; the new Benghazi investigation; the status of the Ebola outbreak in Africa and the potential for a pandemic; Thursday’s referendum on whether Scotland breaks away from the U.K.; and Senator Ted Cruz’s effort to prevent amnesty action by President Obama were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.