Talk Radio/Media Industry News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

| September 16, 2014

iheartmedia logoClear Channel Becomes iHeartMedia.  This is a major name change for a heritage radio company, but, as the press release indicates, it reflects the company’s belief that it’s become a “one-of-a-kind multi-platform media company” that has moved beyond just radio.  Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman states, “iHeartMedia reflects our commitment to being the media company that provides the most entertainment to the most engaged audiences wherever they go, with more content and more events in more places on more devices.  We have massive consumer reach and influence across our platforms because we know how to program the live content people want to hear, see and share right now, we are the largest mobile media company in existence — more than 60 percent of our broadcast usage is out of home, compared to just 30 percent for other mobilepittmanbob devices — and we deliver more live programming than any other media company today, built on the national and local on-air personalities who are the heart of our powerful broadcast radio franchises.  Combined with Clear Channel Outdoor’s reach of over half a billion people worldwide across 30 countries and five continents, it’s clear that no other company can match our reach or broad spectrum of media platforms.”  Clear Channel Outdoor will retain its name.  Pittman adds, “In a world where 2x ROI is judged as successful, Nielsen has shown that radio delivers 6x ROI on average.  It’s because we combine the power and predictably of mass reach with the immediacy and relevance of live programming and the unique and powerful engagement that consumers have with their favorite radio stations and personalities.  The opportunity for the new iHeartMedia is to use all of these industry-leading assets together in new ways — extending our massive reach and cultural influence across radio, outdoor, digital, social and live events to make it easier for advertisers to deliver the most relevant, real-time messages across all our platforms at scale, amplified by social media and mobile, to get a superior ROI to other media.”

harrisonherald2Michael Harrison:  “The Systematic Abandonment of ‘Radio’ by ‘Radio’ is a Disturbing Trend.”   TALKERS and RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison warns of what he terms “a disturbing half-baked trend, that although understandable in the big picture of communications, poses an unnecessarily sped-up threat to the livelihoods of everyone in the radio business – not to mention the fundamental role of audio-media in both the spoken-word and musical arts.”  Harrison acknowledges, “The move away from the word ‘radio’ in the lexicon of our industry is certainly understandable from a sales and marketing standpoint and  it makes total sense to create unified multi-media platforms for today’s mega-consolidated, corporate behemoths to compete effectively in the ‘noisy’ world of the emerging digital era.  However, those who work in the media arts that are fundamentally built upon aural foundations – spoken-word shows and music creation – will face increasingly limited opportunities to present their wares to an interested consumer base as venues and business opportunities evaporate at an exponential rate.”  Harrison observes, “As we move more and more into a world of screens and not speakers, the only talent that will have a chance to survive in a bottom-line driven, corporate environment will be those whose assets are visually gifted.  That does not bode well for the brilliant wordsmiths and musical geniuses who most likely do not have faces for television.  It also does not hold much of a future for the deeper aspect of communication that is aurally based – a means of expression that runs deep within our very humanity, holding a unique and special place within our brains.”  Harrison concludes, “Those of us who are still proud of and value the role of ‘radio,’ audio-oriented music, and the theater of the mind, must give considerable consideration as to what the role, if any, audio-only media will have in this new age.  It can and must be respected and preserved within this inevitable, emerging grid or we face the likely prospect of devolving overnight from making great radio and music to extremely cheesy television.”

wjbc logoTim Lewis Named PD, Afternoon Host at WJBC, Bloomington, Illinois.   Thirty-year radio pro Tim Lewis is the new program director and afternoon personality at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WJBC, Bloomington “The Voice of Central Illinois.”  Lewis was most recently with KBLY, Idaho Falls hosting AM drive and serving as program director.  He’s also worked at such heritage signals as KSL, Salt Lake City; KOA, Denver; and WLW, Cincinnati and has received numerous industry awards.  During the 1990s, he hosted a nationally syndicated sports talk show on the One on One Sports Radio Network, eventually clearing more than 250 stations.  Cumulus EVP, programming and content John Dickey states, “Tim Lewis’ long and diverse experience in spoken-word radio make him the perfect choice to lead the remarkable WJBC programming team and guide the station to even greater success.”

ingrahamlauraLaura Ingraham Show Podcast Debuts.  The nationally syndicated Laura Ingraham show is now heard on demand via PodcastOne as the Norm Pattiz-founded and let podcast producer and distributor launches the new program format.  A press statement from PodcastOne notes, “Laura’s phenomenally successful radio program, which airs on over 200 stations, has been a radio staple for a long time but market conditions have now made it very difficult for an independently produced program to get distribution in many of the major markets.”  Pattiz adds, “As undeniably great as Laura’s program is, it doesn’t air on a single Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia) station.  Her ability to make and influence news is a well-known fact.  So as of this week, the Laura Ingraham show can be heard in every market in the country as well as around the globe, on-demand from PodcastOne.  Obviously, Laura’s fans are finding her and significantly expanding her radio audience.”

wodt logoOdds & Sods.  Former Spanish sports talk WODT, New Orleans has flipped to English-language sports as “Fox Sports 1280.”  The iHeartMedia-owned station had been airing ESPN Deportes  content…..The Philadelphia Phillies and CBS RADIO’s WIP and WPHT have signed a one-year deal to keep Phillies play-by-play on the company’s stations through the 2015 season.  Phillies management tells the Philadelphia Business Journal that the one-year pact will allow the sides to hopefully work on a long-term deal before the end of next summer…..espnW and ESPN Radio are collaborating on special program dealing with domestic violence in the NFL and the Ray Rice case.  It’s called “espnW Presents: The State of the NFL” airing on ESPN Radio and ESPNRadio.com at 9:00 pm ET.  The program is being hosted by Jemele Hill and Cari Champion.  espnW voices Jane McManus, Kate Fagan and Sarah Spain, who have been sharing their perspectives on issue, will be featured.

wqamschellenbergerMarc Hochman Show Voice Schnellenberger Honored.  Florida football legend and “voice” of “The Marc Hochman Show w/ Zach Krantz” on WQAM, Miami, Howard Schnellenberger, was honored on Saturday as Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton renamed its football field “Howard Schnellenberger Field.”  Schnellenberger has coached for the Miami Dolphins, Miami Hurricanes, and Florida Atlantic University among many other teams.  Fans of the Hochman show know Schnellenberger voices all its opens, rejoins, and imaging.  Pictured here are (from left to right): Hochman, Schnellenberger, and Krantz.

conclaveThe Conclave Announces Student Scholarships.  Continuing the scholarship program that’s been part of The Conclave’s mission since 1979, the 2014 Conclave Scholarships are announced.  The five scholarships available from educational institutions include: The Bill Gavin Memorial Scholarship which includes application fees, books & supplies and tuition valued at $16,200, awarded by the Specs Howard School of Broadcast Media Arts, Southfield, MI. Competition for this scholarship will begin shortly with details forthcoming; The Dennis Becker Memorial scholarship which is a half tuition scholarship valued at $17,000, awarded by the Sanford Brown College, Mendota Heights, Minneapolis; The Conclave Music Industry Scholarship which is a 25-50% tuition discount valued up to $20,000 awarded by the McNally Smith College of Music, St. Paul, Minnesota; and details regarding The Marc Birger Memorial Scholarship to Kean University and The Doug Lee Memorial Scholarship will be announced soon.  For information about the 39th Conclave visit www.http://theconclave.com.

cbi logoJournalist Training Session Available at Seattle College Broadcasters Conference.  At next month’s CBI National Student Electronic Media Conference in Seattle (October 20-25) KUOW, KPLU, NPR and College Broadcasters Inc. are offering a unique training opportunity.  The student media project is seeking student applicants to their first event.  The week-long session is an opportunity for college and graduate students to learn from professional journalists.  A committee of journalists will select up to six students to pair one-to-one with public media journalists and college multimedia instructors from around the country. Three students will be selected from the Seattle/Tacoma area.  The Student Multimedia Project will emphasize multimedia storytelling focused on character development.  Students who are selected for the project will each find a person to focus on for their story — someone doing something interesting who is willing and available to be interviewed.  Students will produce a radio story about the person and then tell their story differently for the web.  NPR consultant and project manager Doug Mitchell says, “NPR and its member stations support the Project because it allows us to discover and groom a diverse pool of young talent.  The Project gives public media professionals a chance to see if students have what it takes to do the work and lets our industry build a pipeline of new professionals who understand our way of storytelling.”

The NFL and Domestic Violence, Hillary Clinton in Iowa/2016 Presidential Prospects, Obama Forms ISIS Coalition, Mid-Term Elections, Scotland Separation Referendum, and Ebola Pandemic Threat Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/15).  The furor over domestic violence cases in the NFL and the league’s plans to address the situation; Hillary Clinton’s weekend visit to Iowa and the probability she’ll run for president in 2016; President Obama’s formation of a coalition to fight ISIS; the looming mid-term elections; the build-up to Scotland’s Thursday referendum to leave the United Kingdom; and the threat of an Ebola pandemic were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, September 15, 2014

| September 15, 2014

bohannonjimWestwood One’s Jim Bohannon Celebrates 30 Years of National Shows.  Legendary broadcaster Jim Bohannon is celebrating the 30th anniversary of BOTH of his Westwood One shows — “America in the Morning” on September 17, 2014 and “The Jim Bohannon Show” on September 22, 2014.  Bohannon iswestwood one NEW heard on more than 500 affiliates nationwide.  He says, “It’s hard to believe that ‘America in the Morning’ is 30!  We’ve covered so many stories in that time, from the Challenger disaster to 9/11, from Bergdahl to Benghazi, from Harry Reid to Prince Harry, and I’d like to think the best is yet to come.  It’s been an honor and pleasure to help so many people start their busy days.”  Westwood One EVP, news and talk Bart Tessler comments, “Congratulations to our radio Hall of Famer, who consistently plays at the top of his game.  Jim’s friends and colleagues at Westwood One salute him as we continue to enjoy listening to his wit and wisdom.”

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kirkkage posterJesse Kage Joins CBS RADIO’s WHFS, Tampa.  More recently with Clear Channel’s rock WXTB, Tampa, air personality Jesse Kage joins CBS RADIO’s crosstown sports talker WHFS “Sports Radio 98.7 The Fan” to co-host the morning show with Kirk McEwen.  The new Kirk & Kage show debuts today, according to program director John O’Connell.  Also featured on the show are Roxanne Wilder and Special Ed.  The station says, “Kirk and Kage promises to be a unique blend of sports, lifestyle, personality and fun.”  O’Connell adds, “I am very excited to welcome Jesse Kage to 98.7 the Fan.  The station has always had an energy and edge that you find in a rock station, so in many ways Jesse will feel right at home.  The pairing of Jesse with Kirk McEwen puts two outstanding radio personalities together that will excite and engage listeners.  ‘The Kirk and Kage Morning Show’ will not only be a destination for sports fans but anyone craving a balance of sports, fun and entertainment.”

businessrockstars radio‘Business Rockstars’ Joins BizTalkRadio Network Lineup.  Joining the BizTalkRadio network is the nationally syndicated “Business Rockstars” program hosted by Ken Rutkowski.  The program will air daily from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.  “Business Rockstars co-founder Steve Lehman says, “Jeff Weber is a bright guy who understands that political radio is tired, the entrepreneur is the new rockstar.  ‘Business Rockstars’ is the fastest growing talk show in the US, and the only national entrepreneurial radio show that teaches listeners how start, grow, and fund a business.  Entrepreneurship is red-hot, advertiser-friendly and attracts a younger audience to radio.  Ken Rutkowski is brilliant, and Business Rockstars is simply…good business!”

wittmayerjustinWittmayer Named Cumulus San Francisco Market Manager.  The new vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s San Francisco station group is Justin Wittmayer who joins from Clear Channel’s Miami cluster where he was VP of sales.  Wittmayer also worked for Clear Channel in the Bay Area as GSM and market manager for that company’s San Jose stations.  Cumulus SVP Gary Pizzati says, “Our business in San Francisco is very complex.  The assortment of formats, which now include Nash FM, coupled with three major sports teams requires a leader who understands how to maximize revenue and cash flow from each.  Justin not only understands what it takes to drive revenue, he knows how to run a business.  His years of experience in the Bay Area will serve us well with the relationships he’s established in the ad community and with recruiting top talent.  We are thrilled to welcome Justin to the Cumulus family – now at the helm of our San Francisco operations.”

Giessinger Named GSM for CC Minneapolis.  Taking the role of GSM for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s Minneapolis station group is Grant Giessinger.  He joins the company from CBS RADIO’s Minneapolis cluster.  He’s worked for Clear Channel in the past, having served as sales manager and VP/GM for the company’s North Dakota stations.

biakelseyBIA/Kelsey Study Indicates Social Media an Important Means of Promotion for Small and Medium Businesses.  The study from BIA/Kelsey is called Local Commerce Monitor and the full findings of the study will be presented to clients attending the firm’s LEADING IN LOCAL: SMB Digital Marketing conference taking place September 22-24, in New Orleans.  What’s relevant to radio is the growing importance of marketing via social media to small- and medium-size businesses.  The study surveyed 546 local businesses and determined that almost 75% report using social media to market their businesses with those businesses using 21.4% of their marketing budgets on social media.  As suspected, Facebook is the dominant form of social media, with 55.1% of SMBs reporting they have a Facebook page for their business.  LinkedIn came in second at 31%.  But other social media that are being used for marketing by SMBs include Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.

kdkaKDKA-AM, Pittsburgh Continues Spaghetti Breakfast Tradition.  This Friday CBS RADIO news/talker KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh holds the 31st “NewsRadio 1020 KDKA Spaghetti Breakfast” at the Heinz Hall Garden Plaza in downtown Pittsburgh from 5:00 am to 9:00 am.  As always, the public is invited to the free event and take in the live broadcast of the “KDKA Morning News” with Larry Richert and John Shumway.  Historically, the promotion attracts thousands of Pittsburghers on their way to work with KDKA personalities and local dignitaries serving piping-hot plates of penne pasta, sausage, bread and all the fixings.  Richert comments, “This is a one of a kind event and I love that KDKA started it with John Cigna and that it continues with John and me.”  The event benefits the Little Sisters of the Poor, a charity Cigna supported.  The charity will collect monetary and canned food donations on site.

Friday, September 12, 2014

| September 12, 2014

radioshow14Notes & Quotes from Indy.  Reporting from the 2014 Radio Show in Indianapolis for TALKERS/RadioInfo is media consultant Holland Cooke who delivers today’s analysis.  He reports on former Ford CEO Alan Mulally’s speech on management tactics; the NAB Leadership Breakfast featuring CumulusLew Dickey, Clear Channel’s Bob Pittman, and CBS RADIO’s Dan Mason; Wells Fargo analyst Marci Ryvicker’s brutally frank assessment of the state of the radio business; and more.  Read Holland Cooke’s full report here.

jonathonandkellyJonathon & Kelly Return to WVOC-FM, Columbia.  It was early in August that Jonathon Rush and Kelly Nash (pictured here) exited the afternoon drive slot on Clear Channel’s WVOC-FM, Columbia to focus on their morning drive show on sister country station WCOS “The Great 98.”  Now, Nash tells TALKERS magazine they are returning to WVOC-FM in a way that won’t burn them out.  They’re now providing a 90-second feature called “Rash Thoughts” (when you combine their last names, Rush and Nash, you get Rash!)  that will run in all dayparts.  Also the duo is hosting a Saturday morning program on WVOC-FM that will air at 11:00 am.

herskovitzalQuestionable Word Choices Can Ruin Ad Copy.  Sale maven Al Herskovitz writes in a piece published in TALKERS today (9/12) that some of the word choices used in ad copy leave him baffled.  In an era when radio needs all the competitive advantages it can get, using stale and/or ineffective word in ad copy is one of the things radio could easily change.  Herskovitz writes, “Many commercials, particularly those on local stations, seem to be stuck in the ways they have been making their sales points in the past.  Some of the spots I hear sound as if they were churned out of one of those old “fill-in-the-blanks/client’s-name-inserted here”  books that stations and ad agencies used 30 years ago.”  To read Herskovitz’s entire column, click here.

ramseyGrandRapids14Dave Ramsey in Grand Rapids.  Nationally syndicated radio talk show star Dave Ramsey brought his “Legacy Journey LIVE!” event to fans in Grand Rapids on Thursday, September 11 at DeVos Hall.  His presentation centered on how to win with money, strengthen marriages and lead your children with confidence.  His daughter, Rachel Cruze, joined him on stage in a live event promoted in conjunction with affiliate station WTKG.  He also hosted his “EntreLeadership 1 Day Event” there on Wednesday during which he, along with speakers Chris Hogan and Christy Wright, discussed how to run a business using the same common-sense principles that he practices in his own company of more than 400 team members.   Clear Channel West Michigan VP and market manager Tim Feagan says, “We were pleased when Dave chose Grand Rapids for both EntreLeadership and The Legacy Journey events.  This is a natural progression from the many successful ‘Total Money Makeover’ events WOOD Radio has hosted over the years.  Our listeners have responded enthusiastically and it looks that we will have a great turnout for both events.  We, and more importantly, our clients, are thrilled!”  Pictured here are (from left to right): WTKG program director Phil Tower, Ramsey, WTKG general sales manager Henry Capogna, and Feagan.

marconiimage2014 Marconi Award Winners Announced.  The winners of this year’s Marconi Awards were revealed at the 25th Anniversary NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show at the 2014 Radio Show in Indianapolis last night.  This year’s honorees are:  Legendary Station — WFAN-FM, New York; Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year — Rush Limbaugh, Premiere Radio Networks; Major Market Personality of the Year — Kevin and Bean, KROQ-FM, Los Angeles; Large Market Personality of the Year — Ryan and Shannon, KSTP-FM, St. Paul; Medium Market Personality of the Year — Kevin Miller, KIDO-AM, Boise; Small Market Personality of the Year — Dottie Ray, KXIC-AM, Iowa City; Major Market Station of the Year — KKBQ-FM, Houston; Large Market Station of the Year — WTMJ-AM, Milwaukee; Medium Market Station of the Year — WOWO-AM, Fort Wayne; Small Market Station of the Year — KFGO-AM, Fargo; AC Station of the Year — WBEB-FM, Philadelphia; CHR Station of the Year — KQKS-FM, Denver; Country Station of the Year — KCYY-FM, San Antonio; News/Talk Station of the Year — WLW-AM, Cincinnati; Oldies Station of the Year — WOGL-FM, Philadelphia; Religious Station of the Year — KLTY-FM, Dallas; Rock Station of the Year — KROQ-FM, Los Angeles; Spanish Station of the Year — KLZT-FM, Austin; Sports Station of the Year — WBZ-FM, Boston; Urban Station of the Year — WHQT-FM, Coral Gables, Florida; Non-Commercial Station of the Year — WRHU-FM, Long Island.

WHRUMarconiHofstra University’s WRHU Wins Marconi for Best Non-Commercial Station.  Celebrating the 2014 Marconi Award for Best Non-Commercial station for Hofstra University’s WRHU, Hempstead, New York are (from left to right): Brianna Borresen, news director WRHU; John Mullen, director of operations WRHU Radio Hofstra University; John Shea, VP and market manager of COX Long Island and member of Hofstra University Lawrence Herbert School of Communication; and Heather Cohen, EVP of The Weiss Agency and member of the Hofstra University Lawrence Herbert School of Communication advisory board and president of the Hofstra University Lawrence Herbert School of Communication Alumni Association.

simpsonsteveOdds & Sods.  At CBS RADIO’s news/talk WCCO, Minneapolis, Steve Simpson is named the new morning news anchor alongside morning host Dave Lee.  Simpson was the longtime morning news personality on Emmis-owned news/talk flagship WIBC, Indianapolis until exiting in June…..KIRO-FM, curleyjohnSeattle morning personality John Curley – host of the “Curley and Tom Morning Show” – is set to serve as the keynote speaker at the 3rd annual National Student Electronic Media Convention being held in Seattle on Saturday, October 25.  At the convention, Curley will share his personal formula for succeeding through difficulty and achieving career goals…..Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington adds a new hourly health and fitness feature to the programming lineup.  “To Your Health” will be a one-to-three minute segment airing every hour at :22 minutes past the hour.  The feature debuts Monday September 15…..Clear Channel’s WCKY, Cincinnati is serving as the flagship station for Northern Kentucky University Men’s basketball for the 2014-15 season.

U.S. ISIS Policy and President Obama’s Address Top Story for Week of September 8-12.  The issue of the United States’ military policy in dealing with ISIS and President Obama’s national address on the matter was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Ray Rice controversy and the related topic of domestic violence.  Coming in at #3 was the mid-term elections and the prospects for the 2016 presidential race followed by the anniversary of 9/11 at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the stories and people discussed on news/talk radio 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, September 11, 2014

| September 11, 2014

cookeholland‘The Golden Age of Audio Consumption.’ Reporting from Indianapolis, media consultant Holland Cooke summarizes some of the sessions he’s attended at both the RAIN Summit and the 2014 Radio Show.radioshow14  Edison Research president Larry Rosin is quoted referring to the current era as the “golden age of audio consumption” noting that, according to his company’s research, Americans spend roughly a fourth of their day listening to some form of audio.  While this may be true, how this falls out for AM/FM radio is open to interpretation.  Is it an opportunity for AM/FM radio or just a sign that other forms – read: digital – are poised to overtake AM/FM’s dominance in the near future.  That is THE topic being discussed at the NAB/RAB-produced Radio Show this week.  Read Holland Cooke’s entire column here.

wheelermikeWheeler Named WJR, Detroit Program Director.  The new program director for Cumulus Media’s news/talk WJR, Detroit is Mike Wheeler who joins the company from his most recent post as regional program manager for Clear Channel’s Connecticut properties.  The Detroit native has worked at numerous Motor City outlets including WNIC, WABX, WHYT and WCZY.  Over the course of his career he’s also served as PD for CBS RADIO’s “DaveFM” in Atlanta, and was RVP of programming for Clear Channel in Atlanta, St. Louis, and Toledo.  Cumulus EVP, programming and content John Dickey states, “We’re thrilled to have Mike Wheeler join Cumulus.  His proven skill as a programmer combined with his Detroit roots makes him the perfect choice to lead the legendary WJR.  Mike’s years of multi-format experience also makes him a great asset to the Cumulus programming team.”  Wheeler comments, “WJR is a part of the fabric of Detroit.  The station is deeply connected to the people of Detroit and widely intertwined with the local business community.  I look forward to nurturing and building on that tradition.” Wheeler replaces Kevin Metheny who now programs the company’s KGO and KSFO, San Francisco stations.

rogginfredLA Sports Personality Fred Roggin to Host ‘The Beast 980’ Program.  New Los Angeles sports talk outlet KFWB “The Beast 980” adds a local program hosted by LA radio and TV sports personality Fred Roggin to the daily schedule airing from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm, to start later this month.  In a statement, the station says Roggin is well known nationally for his work with NBC Sports and a winner of more than 50 awards for broadcast excellence, and has been part of the Southern California sports landscape since 1980, including his work as the longtime sports anchor at KNBC-TV “NBC4.”   Roggin comments, “I’ve been fortunate to be on NBC4 for over 30 years and I look forward to it every day.  I started my career in radio and can’t wait to be part of one of the most exciting things to happen on LA radio in years.  I’m ready to go Beast mode!”

murphymattAlabama Pol Learns Lesson About the Digital Age.  Democratic candidate for governor of Alabama Parker Griffith learned the hard way that the “mic is never off,” in a metaphorical sense.  Griffith didn’t like the line of questioning he was presented with by WAPI, Birmingham host Matt Murphy during a recent appearance on Murphy’s radio program.  When Griffith tore into Murphy off the air using salty language, Murphy Tweeted the candidate’s comments to his followers.  Needless to say, Griffith didn’t like that either and accused Murphy of making public a “private conversation.”  Whatever one may think of Murphy’s actions, Griffith should know that a candidate for office should always assume his words are for public consumption unless expressly agreed upon as a private conversation.

robinsontedSan Francisco 49ers Suspend Ted Robinson for Ray Rice Commentary.  In a case that is another example of the sensitivity organizations are feeling about their employees offering opinions about hot-button topics, the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers announce radio play-by-play voice Ted Robinson is suspended for two games after he commented on the Ray Rice case on sports talker KNBR, San Francisco.  During the segment, Robinson said, speaking about Rice’s wife Janay, “How does she marry him after that?  How does she go in front of Goodell?  That’s pathetic to me.”  Hardly the stuff of outrageous opinion, but it was enough to bring the skittish football club to suspend Robinson.

wmgc sportslogoOdds & Sods.  Detroit Lions football gets some insider expertise on Greater Media’s sports talker WMGC “Detroit Sports 105.1” as the station brings active players Golden Tate and Stephen Tulloch aboard to appear on Tuesday programs.  Tate will be part of the Ryan and Rico show to talk about the offense and Tulloch will appear on the Matt Dery program to talk about the defensive game.  Also, Lions great Herman Moore returns to wgwg logoserve as the station’s “Lions Insider” to appear on a number of the station’s programs…..In Chicago, Tribune Radio’s WGWG-LP “The Game 87.7” bolsters its football programming with a number of weekend shows including former Vegas oddsmaker and current Fox Sports 1 personality Todd Fuhrman’s “Who You Playin’,” Saturday’s college football show “Campus Tailgate” with Pete Fiutak, Howard Griffith, Chicago Tribune’s Teddy Greenstein, Tribune Radio’s Dave Eanet, Jordan Bernfield, and Sam Panayotovich, and Sunday’s “Double J Show,” Jason Goch and former Chicago Bears fullback Jason McKie, among others.

bohannonemceeRS14Master of Ceremonies.  Doing one of the many things he does so well is Westwood One syndicated personality Jim Bohannon, pictured here at the 2014 Radio Show emceeing the Westwood One Branding Party put on by the syndicator.  In addition to the crowd being entertained by country acts Chase Rice and Montgomery Gentry, numerous WW1 personalities were on hand to mingle with guests and network partners.  The network gave away a pair of tickets to Super Bowl XLIX and a pair of tickets to the NCAA Final Four.

stockatlaspremiereKDWN, Las Vegas Hosts Premiere for Atlas Shrugged 3.  The third installment of the movie adaptation of the Ayn Rand classic Atlas Shrugged saw its world premiere take place in Las Vegas last week and Beasley Broadcasting news/talk KDWN hosted the event.  Pictured here at the premiere is the cast of the film with emcee and KDWN morning host Alan Stock (center) standing with them.

President Obama’s ISIS Address, Ray Rice Case-NFL’s PR Troubles, Mid-Term Elections/2014 Presidential Prospects, 9/11 Anniversary, Immigration Issues, and Ferguson City Council Meeting Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/10).  Analysis of President Obama’s ISIS Address and the US’ military policy in the Middle East; the media backlash against the NFL in the wake of the Ray Rice suspension and questions about when the elevator video was first seen; the looming mid-term elections and the prospects for the 2016 presidential race; the observance of the anniversary of 9/11; the state of immigration reform in Washington; and the protests at the first Ferguson, Missouri city council meeting since the death of Michael Brown were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

| September 10, 2014

cookehollandRadio Roundup from Indy.  Media consultant Holland Cooke is on the ground in Indianapolis reporting from the 2014 Radio Show.  The three-day convention produced by the NAB and the RAB begins today but plenty was happening yesterday at the RAIN Summit.  Some of the news from Indy includes: Nielsen Audio’s Jeff Wender swearing that measuring digital is the company’s biggest priority; RAIN’s Kurt Hanson explaining the problems with HD Radio and why online radio is about six years away from catching up with AM/FM in terms of listenership; and Podcast One’s Norm Pattiz declaring that “there’s no showbiz in radio anymore!”  To read Holland Cook’s complete report, click here.

safetyjoeKFWB, Los Angeles Brings Safety Aboard.  Coming to the new sports talk outlet from his most recent post as vice president of communications for the Los Angeles Clippers is Joe Safety.  The station announces that the veteran sports broadcasting and communications executive will serve as director of strategic initiatives and partnerships for KFWB 980.  KFWB Trustee Diane Sutter comments, “We’re extremely pleased to welcome Joe and the depth of sports experience he brings to us.  His skill sets, relationships and incomparable knowledge of the LA market will help us deliver unique programming to our listeners.”

kinosianmikeMLB Baseball Continues to Give Boost to Most Flagship Stations.  TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian presents his third analysis of the performances of MLB flagship stations this season – this time based on August PPM data.  Again, the flagships in markets where baseball has traditionally been good to its radio outlet and in markets where the team is performing well continue to benefit from increased listenership.  In this report Kinosian tracks how flagship stations have performed over the past five PPM surveys, compared to July 2013, how they rank in their respective markets, and how the stations stack up based on MLB divisions.  Check out Mike Kinosian’s analysis here.

powerswayneWayne Power to Host Mornings on WKZO, Kalamazoo.  Show business pro Wayne Powers is named morning drive host at Midwest Communications news/talk WKZO, Kalamazoo.  Effective October 13, Powers replaces current morning host Jim McKinney who remains with the station to host the 5:00 pm show “Everything Kalamazoo at 5.”  Powers’ career in show business includes playing roles on such TV shows as “Laverne & Shirley,” “Simon & Simon,” “Doogie Howser,” “Full House,” “Murder She Wrote” and many others.  He also starred in the popular sitcom, “13 East,” on NBC for two seasons.  Powers’ wkzologovoicework includes nationally recognized characters as “Budman” for Budweiser and the voice of “Wayne,” the talking crow on the popular Windex TV commercials for over 13 years.  He’s also an accomplished jazz vocalist.  Most recently, Powers has been hosting shows in Greater Media’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte.  Current morning show news anchor Andrew Green and producer Tim Abramowski will continue to be a part of the show.  WKZO brand manager Jeremy Lawrence comments, “Building a winning, local team is what we have been focused on and the addition of Wayne Powers will allow us to get even more local.  He is an interesting guy that people will love listening to.  In addition, I couldn’t be more excited about what Jim will be doing weekdays at 5:00 pm.  Jim is someone everyone in the area knows and I know they will enjoy hearing from him in this new role.”

harrisonmichaelMichael Harrison: “The Key to Attracting Millennials to Talk Radio is to Target Smart Young People in Need of Help.”  Addressing the recent quarterly meeting of the trade publication’s editorial board at which the subject of lowering talk radio demos was being discussed, TALKERS magazine founder Michael Harrison stated that the way to create spoken word radio to attract the massive generation coming of age is to not talk down to them or pander to entertaining them with lowest common denominator programming, but rather “aim high, be smart, and most important, be helpful.”  According to Harrison (who originally earned industry prominence in the 70s as a pioneer in programming for what was then referred to as the youth culture), “The gigantic Millennial generation is full of millions of absolutely brilliant young adults who are germinating a fresh point of view to the problems of society and are plugged into the technology and culture of the times.  But they are in desperate need of help in actualizing these characteristics… and that is the key, we must help them!”  Harrison elaborates, “They need help coping with an increasingly dangerous and stressful world – and that’s just for starters.  They need guidance, advice and answers to the massive, seemingly-insurmountable problems they face economically, socially and even spiritually… they need to be encouraged and inspired.”  Harrison continues, “This does not mean talk show hosts have to be young and pandering – at least not young for young’s sake… they must be wise and credible.  You would be amazed how young people of all generations throughout history will turn their trust over to an older adult who speaks their language – but with the perspective of wisdom – and, most important, an older adult who empathizes with their challenges and plight.”  Harrison drives home the point, “We must throw these kids a rope – a lifeline – and pull them out of the emotional and financial quicksand of living in their parents’ basements with nothing but a bleak future looming ahead.”  The 48 year industry veteran sums it up – “Most importantly, we must not talk down to these emerging ‘natives’ of the 21st century.  Do not pigeonhole them as having attention deficit disorder, simplistic consciousness and frivolous concerns.  The Millennials are the ones who have triggered the TV binge watching craze and are attracted to complex multi-season television programs with multiple story arcs and complicated characters.  We mustn’t allow TV to be more intelligent or hipper than radio.  And don’t believe that they have completely given up on AM and FM.  They have only largely given up on these platforms’ programming.  They are masters of consumer technology and electronics.  If the word got out that there was programming on AM and FM that can help them escape their way out of the murky darkness of this era, they’d rediscover traditional radio in a nano-second…  at least the smart ones… and I assure you there are enough smart ones out there to give us a sizable young audience.”

cohenbethCohen Joins Cumulus DC as DOS.  Washington, DC media pro Beth Cohen is named director of sales at Cumulus Media’s Washington, DC cluster for news/talk WMAL-AM/FM and CHR WRQX “All the Hits 107.3.”  Cohen comes to Cumulus from Clear Channel’s crosstown operations where she was GSM for rock WWDC “DC101” and CHR WITH “Hot 99.5.”

clossontimWestwood One Adds Two to Affiliate Sales Staff.  Saying that the move comes as it continues to boost its programming and station partnerships, Westwood One announces the addition of Tim Closson and Todd Alan to is affiliate sales team.  Tim Closson will develop and manage Westwood One country radio syndication partnerships for “NASH Nights Live with Shawn Parr,” “Kickin’ It with Kix Brooksalantodd Overnights,” the newly announced NASH Icons, “American Country Countdown,” Lia, “Big Time with Whitney Allen,” “Country Weekly AM/PM,” “Country Gold with Randy Owen” and “Country Countdown USA with Lon Helton.”  He’ll also help to affiliate Westwood One Sports products, including CBS Sports Radio and NBC Sports Radio.  Todd Alan returns to Westwood One after serving as VP, affiliate sales and programming at Focus 360.  He will work closely with stations and affiliating various entertainment shows and services, including the Bob & Tom show, “Pop Crush Hosted by Billy Bush,” “Nights Live with Adam Bomb,” “Flashback,” “Backtrax USA hosted by Kid Kelly,” “The Daly Download with Carson Daly,” “The Weekend Countdown with Billy Bush,” and prep services.

jimmyfund14WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Check Presented.  WEEI, Boston staffers are pictured here at Fenway Park prior to a Red Sox game helping present the ceremonial check from this year’s “WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon presented by Arbella Insurance Foundation” which raised more than $3.3 million for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  The two-day broadcast took place on August 19 and 20.  During the 13 years the radio-telethon has been taking place, more than $37 million has been raised for adult and pediatric cancer care and research at the institute.  Pictured here are (from left to right): Sox co-owner Tom Werner, Entercom market manager Phil Zachary, WEEI program director Kevin Graham, WEEI and WEEI Network executive producer Joe Zarbano, NESN’s Sean McGrail, Arbella Insurance Foundation’s Beverly Tangvik, and The Jimmy Fund’s Suzanne Fountain.

bubbaBubba the Love Sponge Foundation Aids Officer’s Fiance.  After two Charleston, South Carolina County deputy officers were shot – one succumbing to his wounds – while responding to a disturbance, syndicated radio host Bubba the Love Sponge’s foundation responded by sending $10,000 overnight to Rhianne Hearn, the fiance of Deputy Joe Matuskovic.  Bubba told listeners to his affiliate stations, “My foundation’s mission is to immediately offer financial relief for the families of fallen officers and deputies in our syndicated markets.”  His show is heard on LM Communications’ “98Rock,” WYBB-FM.  He also announced there will be a “Bikes for Badges” charity motorcycle ride set for October 4, 2014, with details to be announced WYBB.  All funds above and beyond $10,000 will go directly to Rhianne Hearn.

President Obama’s ISIS Press Conference, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Prospects, Ray Rice Case, Bruce Levenson Racism Controversy, Scotland-U.K. Referendum, and Apple Announces New Products Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/9).  The United States’ ISIS policy and President Obama’s Wednesday press conference on the matter; predictions about the looming mid-term elections and prospects for the 2016 presidential race; the NFL’s indefinite suspension of Ray Rice and talk about domestic violence in America; the controversy over Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson’s decision to sell his interest in the team after admitting sending a racially tinged email; the referendum that could see Scotland leave the UK; and the new products unveiled by Apple yesterday were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.