Talk Radio/Media Industry News

Friday, November 21, 2014

| November 21, 2014

renojayssonCumulus Names Reno to Lead KGO and KSFO, San Francisco Sales.  At the Bay Area cluster, Cumulus Media appoints sales pro Jaysson Reno to vice president, sales for heritage market news/talkers KGO and KSFO.  Reno has worked in the San Francisco market for 10 years in the radio, digital and event space, and has led sales for the company’s rock KSAN and triple A KFOG since 2012.  Cumulus San Francisco VP/market manager Justin Wittmayer says, “Jaysson brings strong leadership, a keen business sense and the market equity needed to drive advertiser performance and grow revenues.  KGO and KSFO are legacy brands in which we will continue to invest to benefit our community, to enhance the user experience and to deliver superior advertiser results.”

wgwg logoBen Finfer and Alex Quigley Also Casualties at Tribune Media.  With the reported looming end of Tribune Media’s nine-month-old sports talk experiment on WGWG-LP comes news two staffers – Ben Finfer and Alex Quigley – learned about their imminent dismissal via Twitter while on the air.  According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the “Quigs and Finfer” personalities spoke on air about their disappointment, with Finfer saying, “We’re doing a live show here and to be told this way, it’s really a letdown.  We’re getting screwed on this one…We just found out on Twitter a half hour ago that the station is being taken off the air.  We were not told about this ahead of time.”  The story broke via a Tweet and blog post by Chicago media writer Robert Feder (and TALKERS passed along the story to you) who learned about the changes from inside sources.  It appears WGN and WGWG-LP management didn’t anticipate the news leaking out and although the station has not been performing in the ratings against competitors WSCR and WMVP, this is a bit of a PR black eye for Tribune Media.

ramseyAustin14Dave Ramsey Rocks Austin’s Bass Concert Hall.  No, nationally syndicated financial talk superstar and best-selling author Dave Ramsey didn’t sing (as far as we know), but he did pack the house at the Bass Concert Hall in Austin, Texas last night (11/20) nonetheless.  Ramsey presented his “Legacy Journey LIVE!” event in which he discusses how to win with money, strengthen marriages and lead your children with confidence.  His daughter, Rachel Cruze, joined Ramsey on stage.  Ramsey worked with local affiliate KJCE “Talk Radio 1370 AM” to promote this event.  Entercom VP/market manager Alan Kirshbom comments, “Austin loves Dave!  We are proud to welcome him back for what promises to be another exciting and uplifting event.”  Pictured here are (from left to right): KJCE promotions director Aaron Hurd, KJCE director of sales Heather Baumli, Ramsey, KJCE program director Stephen Kerr, Kirshbom, and KJCE general sales manager Bob Woche.

rabRAB: Radio’s Q3 Revenue Dips 2%; Off-Air and Digital Jump.  The 2014 third quarter radio revenue report from the Radio Advertising Bureau concludes radio’s total revenue dipped 2% — a bit better than Q2’s 3% drop (all comparisons are versus the same period in 2013).  Breaking it down, spot revenue and network revenue fell back 3% and 4% respectively in Q3 this year compared to last, but digital and off-air revenue were up by 11% and 14% respectively.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber comments, “The increasing strength of radio’s digital platforms becomes more evident every quarter as advertisers recognize the unparalleled benefits of reaching radio’s dedicated audiences on every device and platform they are using.  In addition, the growth in off-air opportunities for advertisers is a clear indication that radio is focused on continuing to deliver more innovative solutions to help them reach their consumers.”  See the RAB’s report here.

Odds & Sods. Longtime Arkansas talk show host and programmer Dave Elswick begins duties as program director and afternoon drive host at Crain Media Group-owned KHTE, Little Rock.  His program will also air on the company’selswickdave KSMD, Searcy, Arkansas (about 50 miles northeast of Little Rock) as Elswick begins building out the Dave Elswick Network.  He worked for years at Cumulus Media’s KARN-FM, Little rock as PD and personality…..SiriusXM adds former NBA head coach George Karl to its roster of hoops experts on its NBA Radio channel.  He debuts today (11/21) from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET and will host regularly throughout the season…..CBS RADIO‘s all-news KNX, Los Angeles will present a special program titled, “Immigration: The President Acts,” on Monday (11/24) from 10:00 am to 11:00 am.  The show will include expert guests and listener call-ins.  KNX anchor Tom Haule and chief investigative reporter Charles Feldman will host the show.

bellmediaBell Media to Lay Off 80 Employees.  Canadian broadcast giant Bell Media is announcing personnel cuts across its radio division that will affect some 80 people.  As reported by the Windsor Star, the Windsor market (which operates four stations that also serve Detroit listeners) will lose seven staffers, but those people haven’t been identified yet.  The stations in Windsor include: triple A CKLW-FM “The River 93.9,” alternative CIMX “89X,” oldies CKWW and news/talk CKLW-AM.  The paper notes that Bell Media cut about 120 positions in the radio division back in June.

miw logoMIW Announces 2015 Mentoring Program.  The details of the 2015 Mildred Carter Mentoring Program from the Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio Group are available.  The 14-year-old program matches up-and-coming women in the radio industry with female professionals recognized as leaders in all aspects of radio.  2015 Mentoring Committee chair Lindsay Cerajewski (who also serves as sales manager at CBS RADIO’s WUSN, Chicago) says, “This is a wonderful opportunity for mentees to gain valuable insight, knowledge and access to some of the most influential women in radio.  We look forward to another outstanding program in 2015.”  A total of four candidates from the radio broadcasting industry – within the sales, marketing, programming and digital disciplines – will be selected for the 2015 program.  Of those, at least one spot will be designated for a programming candidate, and one spot designated for a digital candidate.   For mentee criteria and instructions on how to apply, please visit http://tinyurl.com/miwmentee. The deadline to apply is Friday, December 12, 2014.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The Genesis Communications Network-syndicated Dr. Joy Browne program is added to the program schedule at WGNC, Gastonia, North Carolina.

Obama Amnesty Executive Action Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 17-21.  The plan by President Obama to use executive action to give amnesty to some 5 million undocumented aliens was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Coming in at #2 was the videotaped speeches of Affordable Care Act architect Jonathan Gruber.  At #3 was the tension over the grand jury’s anticipated decision whether to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and at #4 was the record snowfall in Buffalo and the early cold snap.  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, November 20, 2014

| November 20, 2014

brandmeierjonathonChanges at Tribune Media as ‘The Game 87.7’ to End; Garry Meier and Jonathon Brandmeier Exit.  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Tribune Media will soon announce that its nine-month old sports talk venture on WGWG-LP “The Game 87.7”meiergarry will shut down by the end of the year.  At the same time, Feder reports that Chicago radio legends Garry Meier – whose program was heard only on wgn.com – and Jonathon Brandmeier, heard in mornings on WGWG-LP, are both out effective immediately.  Brandmeier and Meier were both moved off WGN-AM when president and GM Jimmy de Castro began re-tooling the heritage news/talker with personality changes.  Steve Cochran was brought in for mornings and Meier was replaced by Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder in afternoons.  It remains to be seen how the other WGWG-LP staffers will be affected by the change.

bauerletomRadio Rising to Occasion as Snow Buries Tight Knit Buffalo Community.  No doubt, the Winter of 2014-15 is off to a quick start and no region has felt its fury this past week more than Buffalo, New York where “lake effect” bands of snow have piled up more than eight feet of the white stuff in some parts of the city leaving others relatively unscathed.  TALKERS is receiving reports that Buffalo radio stations and personnel have been rising to the occasion helping those directly impacted by the harsh weather conditions with information and support.  WBEN afternoon drive host Tom Bauerle is a longtime market icon who recognizes the important role radio plays during such challenging situations.  He tells TALKERS, “One of the great aspects of live, local programming during a weather emergency is that we often help people in the here and now.  Our host David Bellavia [an Iraq war hero] took a stranded motorist named Liza under his wing last night, and even after his show made sure that rescue workers reached her and her small children.  Buffalo is a city of longtime residents, generally, and our roots run deep.  Western New York, in my opinion, is blessed with genuinely caring people who show their best attributes during a common calamity.  Frankly, many of our listeners were desperate to volunteer to help remove, shelter and feed stranded motorists, but seem to have been rebuffed by the authorities.  It really is an honor to host during a time when we can actually make a difference in real-time safety.”

hurleyharryWPGG, Atlantic City Helps Raise Funds for Thanksgiving Relief.  At Townsquare Media-owned news/talk outlet WPGG, Atlantic City, morning personality Harry Hurley led yesterday’s effort to raise money to feed Thanksgiving dinner to more than 950 families in the area with the “Feed a Family Radiothon.”  The company’s five radio stations brought in more than $23,000.  The station notes that with more than 12,000 people out of work because of the recent casino closing debacle in Atlantic City, this emergency fundraising campaign was even more important.

bryantjamesHubbard Expands ‘2060 Digital’; Names James Bryant President.  Cincinnati VP and market manager James Bryant is heading up Hubbard Radio’s new in-house, digital company called 2060 Digital, LLC.  The new digital media services company will expand from Hubbard Interactive in Cincinnatihubbardradio logo and begin serving Hubbard Radio clusters in the Chicago, Washington, Minneapolis-St. Paul, St. Louis, Seattle, Phoenix and Cincinnati markets.  2060 Digital will “provide digital solutions for clients, including website and mobile site build out, SEO, SEM, retargeting, social media management, content and video.”  Two years ago, Bryant was instrumental in launching 2060 Digital in Cincinnati.  Hubbard chair and CEO Ginny Morris comments, “We have long looked to Jim for leadership in this space and we feel fortunate that his full attention will be focused on helping us find comprehensive solutions for our advertising partners.  We look forward to bringing Jim’s entrepreneurial approach to 2060 Digital to the rest of our company.”  At the same time, with the promotion of Bryant, Hubbard announces Mike Fredrick also moves up from his VP/general manager/DOS for the Cincinnati operations to VP and market manager.

wwjCrainsCBS RADIO Detroit One of Motor City’s “Best Places to Work.”  The annual feature from Crain’s Detroit Business names CBS RADIO Detroit one of the best places to work in the city.  Some of the reasons for the local station group being such a great employer include: Annual company party, tickets to local events, rewards site to allow employees to send thank you and birthday cards and award nominations, and child care assistance.  Pictured here in the all-news WWJ studio delivering a newscast is anchor Jackie Paige.  The still is from a video created by CBS Detroit that is found on the Crain’s Detroit Business website.  You can check out the cool video here.

Odds & Sods.  TALKERS SoCal sources notice iHeartMedia’s KFI, Los Angeles has stopped using the “More Stimulating Talk” slogan that’s been part of the station brand for so many years and simply refers to itself as “KFI640.”…..Former “Judge Alex” television personality Alex Ferrer is beginning a legal analysis program on the digital platform ConnectPal….. The NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals re-sign with iHeartMedia in the Queen City for another five-year run airing its games on news/talk WLW, sports talk WCKY “ESPN 1530,” and rock WEBN…..CBS RADIO Tampa sports talker WHFS-FM “Sports Radio 98.7 the Fan” is presenting “Tickets for Turkeys” to benefit Feeding America Tampa Bay.  Listeners who donate a turkey will pick from sealed envelopes which contain tickets to Tampa’s hottest events and attractions such as: Busch Gardens, The Who, Black Keys, Tampa Bay Lightning, Universal Studios, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, WWE, Monster Jam, Arena Cross, Tampa Bay Rays and more.  The live broadcast takes place tomorrow (11/21).

carrWBZshotCBS Boston Addresses Political Relevance of Talk Radio in Recent Election.  In a piece published online by WBZ-TV political analyst Jon Keller, whether talk radio in Boston had something to do with the state getting its firstreadanTV Republican governor in eight years is the topic.  Keller writes that some local talk show hosts, including market ratings king Howie Carr (left) and WBZ-AM evening personality Dan Rea (right), say their shows were part of the reason Charlie Baker won the race and an automatic gas tax increase was defeated.  The piece comes at a time when the news/talk format is taking its punches for being anything from “predictable” to “only relevant to old white men.”  It also comes after an election cycle that political ad buyers will be analyzing to more accurately apportion among the various media the next campaign’s ad buy.  Believers in the news/talk format as one that attracts a large percentage of those who actually vote will be eager to see if ratings data confirms the effectiveness of the format.  Read the WBZ-TV piece here.

goldenmike15Golden Mike Award Ceremony Moved to March 16.  The annual Golden Mike Award fundraiser presented by the Broadcasters Foundation of America will take place at the Plaza Hotel in New York on March 16.  Next spring, NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith is being honored with the award.  Earlier this week the announcement was made but the date has moved from February 23 to March 16.

Obama Immigration Action, ObamaCare-Gruber Controversy, Ferguson Tensions, Battle Against ISIS, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Buffalo Record Snowfall/Early Chill, and Bill Cosby Rape Allegations Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/19).  The promise by President Obama to enact amnesty for illegal aliens by executive order; the simmering controversy over ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber’s video-taped speeches; the growing tensions in Ferguson, Missouri as the grand jury decision on whether to indict officer Darren Wilson is awaited; the battle against ISIS and the U.S. military’s need for more drones; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the record eight feet of snow received in Buffalo and the early cold snap much of the country is experiencing; and renewed allegations of rape against Bill Cosby were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

| November 19, 2014

franklinchipChip Franklin Named Midday Host at KGO, San Francisco.  The next step in returning KGO to its talk roots from the newsy experiment that began a few years ago comes as Chip Franklin takes over the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot beginning December 8.  Franklin has had long talk radio stints – most recently with KOGO, San Diego from 2007 to 2013 and with WBAL, Baltimore from 1999 to 2007 – and is also working writing position pieces and prep for guests on “Real Time with Bill Maher,” “Good Morning kgo logo newAmerica” and “Face the Nation.”  He also regularly appears at comedy clubs across the U.S.  On his new gig, Franklin comments, “The current narrative is that San Francisco is all liberals, progressives and Democrats mixed in with the occasional 4.9.  Maybe, but I see it more as a city that simply embraces freedom and more to the point, the free expression of ideas regardless of ideology.  Whether it’s politics, art, music or comedy, it all starts with a passion for discovery – discovery of life here in the Bay area, the wider world, and our inner lives.”  Cumulus Media EVP of content and programming John Dickey says, “KGO strives to inform and entertain the Bay Area with relevant news and compelling talk hosted by big personalities.  Chip Franklin’s point of view, intelligence and wit are going to drive some amazing conversations on KGO.”

Odds & Sods.  WABC, New York and CBS “Inside Edition” special correspondent Rita Cosby celebrated her 50th birthday hosting a special benefit for the Wounded Warriors Project at the Hotel Edison in New York City recently. crosbybednareksmall Among the 1,000-plus guests and celebs attending the fundraiser were fellow WABC personalities Curtis Sliwa and Geraldo Rivera.  Cosby is pictured here in this photo, (courtesy of Nicole Vranjican), with Broadway’s Tomaczek Bednarek at the event.  Read more about the party here…..WPGG, Atlantic City talk show host Harry Hurley is named to the PolitickerNJ’s “2014  Power List.”  This is the eighth time Hurley – morning personality on the Townsquare Media news/talk station – has been named to the list…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Tribune’s WGN, Chicago adds former Sun-Times columnist and critic Dave Hoekstra who will host his weekly “Evening Journal” radio program on the station beginning in December.  The program will air Saturday evenings.

sportsfixWTEM‘Sports Fix’ Celebrates Five Years on WTEM, Washington.  Washington, DC midday sports talk show “The Sports Fix” with Kevin Sheehan and Thom Loverro is celebrating its fifth anniversary on Red Zebra Broadcasting’s WTEM “ESPN 980.”  The station says the program “has been a ratings leader, achieving #1-ratings in its time slot throughout the five-year run.”  Vice president of programming Chuck Sapienza adds, “‘The Sports Fix’ has been a constant performer.  Kevin, Thom and producer Marc Sterne perform at a high level every day and it shows in their consistency and ratings success.”

ccsatClear Channel Satellite Services to Serve iHeartMedia Only.  In a story by Leslie Stimson at Radio World, iHeartMedia, the parent company of Clear Channel Satellite Services, is informing clients that it will no longer provide satellite services to non-iHeartMedia operators.  Contracts currently existing will be honored until they expire and the company will not accept new ones.  A memo from CCSS reads, in part: “In the coming weeks, our team will be working with the existing customers to discuss the best way for a smooth transition to a new provider.  Customers with soon-expiring contracts will have the option to continue their service on a month-to-month basis until we’ve found a suitable assignee for the business.”

scba logoOctober Revenue Gains Reported in Los Angeles, San Diego. According to Miller Kaplan Arase‘s October summary report, Los Angeles posted increases of 3% for local spot and nearly double that (5.7%) for national spot.  Meanwhile, San Diego was +1.3% local spot and a substantially higher +18% for national spot.  Southern California Broadcasters Association president Thom Callahan comments, “Our entire region produced a very robust October as the critical fourth quarter began.  The sluggish third quarter performance we had is a distant memory, as advertisers once againcallahanthom looked to Southern California radio for increased market share and real revenue results.  Our combined market growth in October should set the stage for a dramatic and positive finish for [fourth quarter] and 2014.  Our members’ efforts to provide proactive solutions to client challenges really came together in October.  We see enormous positive energy in our markets and our continued regional focus on radio’s ROI is making a difference for all of our member sales teams.”  Revenue in the “NTR/Network/Other” category improved last month by a whopping (approximately) 63% in Los Angeles and 26.3% in San Diego.  October’s total market revenue for Los Angeles was 7.1%, while San Diego’s was 8.8%. Year-to-date total market revenue though is -2.2% (Los Angeles) and 2.9% (San Diego).

Ferguson Grand Jury Tensions, Jerusalem Terror Attacks, Keystone Bill Vote, Early Cold and Snow, ObamaCare/Gruber Controversy, and Bill Cosby Rape Allegations Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/18).  The simmering tensions in Ferguson as the public awaits the grand jury’s decision whether to indict Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown; Tuesday’s slayings in a Jerusalem temple; the failed vote in the U.S. Senate to move ahead with the Keystone Pipeline project; the six feet of snow that blanketed Buffalo and the cold affecting the rest of the country; the ObamaCare controversy surrounding plan architect Jonathan Gruber; and the new allegations of rape against Bill Cosby were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

| November 18, 2014

rosenmitchRosen Rises to OM of Chicago’s WSCR, WXRT. Ten-year WSCR “The Score” program director Mitch Rosen is boosted to operations manager of the CBS RADIO Chicago sports outlet, as well as co-owned triple A WXRT.  In a memo to the stations’ staff, CBS RADIO Chicago senior vice president and market manager Rod Zimmerman writes, “Mitch’s organizational skills, management style, and sales focus will help grow the great [WXRT] brand.”  Rosen previously programmed the Windy City’s similarly-programmed WMVP “ESPN Radio 1000″ and was Paragon Marketing Group’s vice president of broadcast representation. Norm Winer continues as WXRT program director.

kfkalogoChad Peterson Named Morning Host at KFKA, Greeley, Colorado.  Weld County Colorado native Chad Peterson is the new morning drive host at Broadcast Media LLC’s KFKA, Greeley, Colorado.  He’ll anchor the newly re-imaged “Advantage Bank’s Morning Drive” program.  Peterson says he’s excited to return to his roots, “Returning to the heritage station in the market – the one I grew up listening to – is a privilege and an honor.  I’m excited to serve the community.”

carrhowieHowie’s Back – Actually He Never Left – Carr Continues on Boston Airwaves with New Flagship and Ownership of 15-Affiliate Regional Network Set for National Expansion.  Last week TALKERS reported New England radio legend Howie Carr’s departure from his longtime radio home WRKO, Boston after two decades upon the termination of his most recent employment contract.  It was no secret that the relationship between Carr and WRKO owner, Entercom Communications, had been a stormy one with the air personality/Boston Herald columnist and prolific best-selling author likening his departure from the facility to being “sprung from prison.”  Beginning today (11/17) Carr brings his 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm daily program up the dial to WUFC 1510 AM as the evolving news/talk outlet also kicks off a return today to branding itself by its original, legendary handle, WMEX.  The station, owned by Blackstrap Broadcasting is under thewmex logo management of Kevin Wallis’s Wallis Communications which reportedly has signed a purchase and sale agreement to take over ownership of the outlet during the first quarter of 2015.  More importantly, Carr exits Entercom taking ownership and control with him of his 15 station New England regional network – the Howie Carr Radio Network (HCRN) which includes such heritage outlets iHeartMedia’s WHYN, Springfield, Saga Communications’ WGAN, Portland and WCRN, Worcester owned by Kurt Carberry who will manage affiliate relations and distribution for HCRN.  Known for succeeding on both the ratings (adults 25-54) and revenue fronts, Carr has developed a reputation for being extremely listener and affiliate-friendly in terms of live appearances, sales promotions and production services – qualities he says he intends to keep intact as he expands the scope of the network to a larger segment of the Northeast and ultimately across the nation.  On joining the new 1510 AM outlet, Carr tells TALKERS, “It’s a real pleasure to finally be working again with people who are truly committed to radio, and to the talk format in particular.  Boston remains a great market for talk radio, and WMEX is where it all began, with Jerry Williams talking to James Michael Curley, Malcolm X and so many others.  It’s also the station where I started, in 1980, occasionally hosting the Herald Bulldog Edition.  I know the new WMEX is going to be a great success for all concerned.”  The heritage WMEX calls in Boston go back to 1934 (first at 1500 AM, then 1470 AM before taking up 1510 AM in 1941) and the station was home to many radio greats over the years including Arnie “Woo Woo” Ginsburg.  In addition to Carr, the new incarnation of WMEX includes such national personalities in its line-up as Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Dennis Miller, and Alex Jones as well as local shows including the daily “Morning Meeting” provided by Boston Herald Radio.  Sales and marketing for the Howie Carr Show and HCRN are being handled by the company’s vice president Kathy Carr who can be emailed at Kathy@howiecarrshow.com.

sullivangarySullivan Honored by Habitat for Humanity of Ohio. At its annual conference, Habitat for Humanity of Ohio last week awarded the 2014 Volunteer of the Year award to the 13-year host of Premiere Networks’ “At Home With Gary Sullivan” program.  Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati president and chief executive officer Ed Lee notes, “Gary Sullivan is always willing/eager to share/leverage his knowledge and contacts to help expand the reach of Habitat for Humanity in the Greater Cincinnati region.  He has truly made a difference in our community and helped transform lives through decent, affordable home ownership.  The Habitat mission is brought to life by our volunteers – none do it better than Gary.”  Sullivan remarks that he is “embarrassed and humbled by this award, but proud to accept it on behalf of all the hard working Habitat volunteers.”  His Saturday and Sunday Premiere Networks radio show is heard in 240 markets.  In addition to being a longtime Habitat volunteer, Sullivan is a board member and serves on the “executive” and “development” committees. He has been active in the non-profit Christian housing ministry for over 20 years.  He created/hosted “The Hardware Store,” which aired on HGTV for four years in the mid-1990s.

ghazaljonathanSales Management Moves at Greater Media Detroit. At the Detroit station group, Greater Media announces Patti Taylor is promoted to general sales manager of classic rock WCSX and rock WRIF.  At the same time, Jonathan Ghazal is named sales manager for WMGC “Detroit Sports 105.1.”  Taylor has been serving as GSM for WCSX since February of 2013.  Ghazal joined Greater Media Detroit as an account executive in October of 2012.  Ghazal takes over for Cindy Senkbeil who remains with the WCSX sales team.  She’d been sales manager of WMGC since November of last year.

Odds & Sods.  Small business expert Jim Blasingame celebrates his 17th year on air hosting “The Small Business Advocate.”  The show began as a two-hour daily program on November 17, 1997…..WGN, Chicago promotes Scott Miller to supervising producer.  Miller is the executive producer of the Pete McMurray show.  His new duties will mean he hasblasingamejim oversight of the booking for all of the Tribune radio shows…..The price tag on Hubbard Radio’s purchase of Omni Broadcasting’s 16 Minnesota stations is $8 million dollars.  The deal, announced last week, must pass FCC muster…..CBS RADIO Pittsburgh is the media sponsor of the 16th Santa Spectacular taking place at Point State Park this Friday (11/21).  The CBS RADIO Pittsburgh stations – including news/talk KDKA-AM and sports talk KDKA-FM – are helping to present the afternoon’s activities that culminate in the lighting of Duquesne Light Tree and fireworks-to-music finale.

knxonyourcornerKNX, Los Angeles Continues ‘On Your Corner’ Series with Holiday Charity Component. The “KNX On Your Corner” on CBS RADIO’s all-news KNX, Los Angeles continues in December as the station profiles Cerritos on the 12th from Mimi’s Café .  Dick Helton and Vicky Moore will anchor the live broadcast from 5:00 am to 9:00 am, Frank Mottek will host the “KNX Business Hour” from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm and Jim Thornton and Diane Thompson will anchor the news from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Listeners can participate on Twitter and Facebook using #KNX OnYourCorner.  Mimi’s Cafe will also serve as a drop-off point for KNX’s annual “CHiPs For Kids” holiday toy drive in conjunction with CBS 2 and KCAL 9. New, unwrapped toys will be collected for distribution locally to less fortunate children by the California Highway Patrol.

freeebookBackbone Networks Offering TALKERS Readers Free eBook, “16 Tickets to Starting a Talk Radio Station.”   Boston-based, digital radio tech firm Backbone Networks – the state-of-the-art broadcasting solutions company that played an important role in the successful launch of TalkersRadio, has published an eBook designed to show talk broadcasters aspiring to set up their own internet talk stations the key steps to take in order to make it happen.  According to Backbone president Richard Cerny, “Every successful radio personality can now easily afford his/her own 24/7 station.”  Cerny tells TALKERS, “The future of radio is bright but targeting a single distribution medium to reach listeners has many challenges.  The future is an integrated view of your listeners.  One that encompasses AM, FM, satellite and the internet.  The barriers to entry for starting a digital station have been lowered, especially compared to the cost of running a traditional terrestrial radio station.  The difference between surviving and thriving depends on your station as a platform, your programming and the fan base you build and maintain.”  The newly published eBook is available at no cost to TALKERS readers.  To obtain a copy, please click here.

Ferguson Tensions, Latest Hostage Execution/Battle Against ISIS, Net Neutrality, GOP vs ObamaCare, 2016 Presidential Prospects, and DEA Raids NFL Teams Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/17).  A state of emergency is declared in Missouri as the decision by the grand jury whether to indict officer Darren Wilson is awaited; the execution of aid worker Peter Kassig over the weekend and the ongoing battle against ISIS in Iraq and Syria; the controversy over net neutrality and the Obama Administration’s support of it; talk of the GOP’s plans to take on the Affordable Care Act; the potential candidates for president in 2016; and the weekend raid of three visiting NFL teams by the Drug Enforcement Agency were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, November 17, 2014

| November 17, 2014

srnlogoSalem Announces Corporate Structure Changes.  With the retirement of Salem Radio Network president Greg Anderson at the end of this year, Salem Communications announces some corporate changes that begin with its consolidating the radio and network divisions into one.  Dave Santrella moves from president of the Radio Division to president of Broadcast Media, adding to his radio division santrelladavidresponsibilities the oversight of the Salem Radio Network, SMR/VMR Rep Firm, and a variety of digital assets.  Phil Boyce, currently VP, director spoken word formats is promoted to SVP, Salem Radio Network and spoken word formats.  In this new role, Boyce will be in charge of all program and revenue aspects of Salem’s news and news/talk networks including its five network talk hosts, the Janet Mefford show, and SRN News.  Boyce will continue to work with other aspects of Salem’s spoken word formats, most boycephilnotably as a program consultant for national ministries.  Boyce will continue to oversee Salem’s New York operations as well.  Santrella says of Boyce, “Phil has proven to be a tremendous and versatile leader.  He’s been an enormous help to our national ministries and an invaluable consultant to our talk network.  Putting Phil over our news and news talk network puts him in his sweet spot and I am thrilled to have him steering this important aspect of our broadcast business.”  Other radio division changes include: Allen Power and Linnae Young taking on new roles as senior vice presidents dividing up the oversight of other operational vice presidents, as well as departmental managers in ministry relations, digital and business-formatted radio properties.  Terry Fahy is promoted to an operational vice president role overseeing most of the company’s stations west of Phoenix.  Other operational vice presidents including Brian Taylor, John Peroyea, David Ruleman and Mike Moran, all pick up additional station responsibilities.  On the network side, Mike Reed and Mike Miller are promoted to senior vice presidents as well, with Reed taking on additional responsibilities in the Dallas office’s network operations and Miller expanding his role in the network’s music space.

kfxr logoiHeartMedia Tweaks Talk Programming on New KFXR, Dallas.  The Dallas-market talk station KFXR is dropping the “DFW 1190” brand and is going with “Talk Radio 1190” as it moves away from the business talk and brokered programming to air other iHeartMedia content on the signal.  So far, the new programming schedule will include the Russ Martin show from sister rocker KEGL “97.1 The Eagle” from 7:00 am to 11:00 am (a rerun of the previous afternoon’s program); KTRH, Houston-based Michael Berry for the 5:00 am hour and from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm; and KPRC, Houston-based Matt Patrick from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

goodmanforrestForrest Goodman Named Host at ‘Newstalk FM 98.9’ in Memphis.  Well-known Memphis radio personality Forrest Goodman is the new morning drive co-host at Cumulus Media’s WKIM, Memphis “Newstalk FM 98.9.”  Goodman is working alongside Steve Butler on the program.  Goodman is working in his 16th season on the radio broadcasts of Memphis Tigers football and basketball play-by-play broadcasts.  He has worked in the market as program director at crosstown WREC and was a talk host on the station, as well.  Cumulus Media corporate program director, news talk Randall Bloomquist states, “Forrest Goodman is a gifted broadcaster and a fixture on the Memphis radio and sports scenes.  Adding him to the ‘Newstalk FM 98.9’ roster is a real coup and bolsters the station’s position as the voice of Memphis.”  Goodman adds, “I’m so pleased to be back on the air.  This is my home and ‘Newstalk FM 98.9’ has great talent.  I get a chance to work again with Ben Ferguson and Andrew Clarksenior, two guys I have worked with before who are real pros.”

chasetomChase Named Ruby Radio’s VP/Programming.  After a 22-year gig programming iHeartMedia’s Las Vegas adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5,” Tom Chase becomes Ruby Radio‘s vice president of programming.  Ruby Radio president and chief executive officer Ken Sutherland comments, “We have worked together three times in the past and Tom Chase is an outstanding programmer.  I have a very high regard for his skills – both as a solid strategic and operational program director – and as a strong department manager.”  Chase remarks that he likes “the texture and presentation” of the Ruby-owned stations. “I grew up in a small community in Idaho, so I can relate to the size of these towns.  Ruby Radio has found ways to make these stations sound like they are in much bigger markets, without sacrificing the ‘home town feel’ of community involvement that you need for success.”  Chase will oversee Elko, Nevada hot AC KHIX “Mix 96.7″; KBGZ “Big Country 103.9″; and talk KZBI, as well as Winnemucca, Nevada hot AC KHYX “Mix 102.7″ and K232BK “Big Country 94.3.” He begins his new duties next month.

Odds & Sods.  A partnership between Tribune Media’s WGN, Chicago  and the hyperlocal site DNAInfo.com means WGN listeners will hear the neighborhood news organization’s reports twice daily – during the 8:00 am hour and the 3:00 pm hour – delivered by DNAInfo’s Jon Hansen.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports WGN vice president ofboruchovjulie content and programming Todd Manley says, “I’m a huge fan of what they’re doing at DNAinfo, and I’m thrilled about our agreement.”…..With the departure of Howie Carr from WRKO to crosstown “WMEX 1510 Boston” after his contract expired last week, Entercom is filling the afternoon drive slot with talk radio pro Mike Siegel in the interim…..Julie Boruchov is promoted to vice president, sports sales and marketing, East Coast for Westwood One‘s network sales division.  She has been serving as director, sports sales, East Coast.

bullmichaelCREShow‘Commercial Real Estate Show’ Expands to 40 Stations.  The Atlanta-based “Commercial Real Estate Show” hosted by Michael Bull (pictured here) is now heard on 40 stations across the country.  The program debuted on WAFS, Atlanta four years ago and has grown to its current affiliate roster.  Bull says that the program “provides investors, and corporate and institutional investors, advisors and occupiers of commercial real estate, a source for valuable information and best practices. The forecasts, sector updates and market intelligence intrigue a vast audience of people looking for ideas, advice and fresh talk radio content.”  A press statement from the program notes that “one of the factors adding listener interest is the relative ease someone can now invest in commercial real estate through crowd funding.  For just over a year now, the Jobs Act has allowed sponsors of real estate investments to advertise for investors.  Through a growing number of real estate crowd funding websites, accredited investors can easily invest small amounts of money in large commercial real estate deals.”  The syndicated program is a weekly one-hour show.

smithgordonGordon Smith to Receive 2015 Golden Mike Award.  The Broadcasters Foundation of America is announcing NAB president and CEO Gordon H. Smith will be honored with the 2015 Golden Mike Award at the organization’s black-tie fundraising gala at the Plaza Hotel in New York City on February 23.  BFoA chairman Philip Lombardo says, “Gordon’s accomplishments for broadcasters are widely recognized across our profession.  But perhaps many are not aware of Gordon’s tireless efforts on behalf of the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation to help our colleagues in need.  Gordon’s influence has raised awareness of the Foundation’s charitable mission, and his commitment to helping those in our business who need it most has been admirable.   We are honored to have Gordon on our Board and to recognize his dedication to our purpose with the 2015 Golden Mike Award.”

silversphilfraserLike Mother, Like Daughter.  The Los Angeles Times reports that Shout! Factory is releasing all 142 episodes of the original classic television sitcom “The Phil Silvers Show” (originally titled, “You’ll Never Get Rich,” and known to fans as “Sgt. Bilko”) on DVD.  The series ran on the CBS Television Network between 1955 and 1959.  The multiple-Emmy-winning sitcom, set at a fictionalmcdonaldmeg army post in Kansas, cast Silvers as Master Sgt. Ernie Bilko, who happened to be the post’s ace con man.  Bilko’s love interest in the story (shown in the photo at left with Silvers) is a character named Sgt. Joan Hogan portrayed by the beautiful actress Elisabeth Fraser.  If the late female star looks somewhat familiar to those of you who follow talk radio it is because her daughter Meg McDonald (right) of the syndicated GCN talk show team Brent & Meg is clearly a chip off the old block.  Brent & Meg air daily between 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm ET and were recently cleared at Townsquare Media’s WPGG, Atlantic City.