Talk Radio/Media Industry News

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

| October 17, 2018

E.W. Scripps to Acquire Triton for $150 Million. Cincinnati-based E.W. Scripps Company may not want to operate radio stations anymore (in August it announced a deal to sell its remaining 19 radio stations to SummitMedia for $47 million), but it likes the digital audio space enough to pony up $150 million for digital audio tech and measurement services firm Triton.  Scripps says that the move helps it “advance its strategies for near- and long-term value creation.”  Triton provides measurement in the digital audio space as well as hosting and advertising infrastructure (including dynamic ad insertion).  Scripps president and CEO Adam Symson says, “Triton positions Scripps well to expand its role in the fast-growing global digital audio marketplace. Triton’s efficient business model, multiple growing revenue streams, competitive advantages and expanding international footprint made this an attractive opportunity.”  He adds, “The acquisition of additional television stations remains our number one M&A priority, with the goal of enhancing our national scale and in-market depth for our Local Media portfolio.  On the National Media side, acquiring Triton complements our strategy of owning growth businesses that capitalize on the evolving habits of media consumers and furthers our commitment to margin expansion.” Triton powers or measures streaming music and podcasting for media companies including: Pandora, Spotify, NPR, iHeartMedia, Entercom, Cumulus Media, Prisa (Spain), Mediacorp (Singapore) and Karnaval (Turkey).  This is a cash transaction and Scripps notes that Triton’s 2018 revenue is projected to be approximately $40 million, with EBITDA projected in the mid-teen millions. Triton’s 2019 revenue is projected to grow in the low to mid-teens percent range over 2018.  Triton co-founder and CEO Neal Schore and his management team will continue to lead Triton.

WOWO, Fort Wayne Names Kayla Blakeslee New Morning Host. News director Kayla Blakeslee is named as the new morning drive host at Federated Media’s news/talk WOWO-AM/W298BJ in Fort Wayne. Longtime station morning personality and market legend Charly Butcher died unexpectedly in August and the station had been searching for his replacement.  Blakeslee returned to WOWO as news director in 2016 after a year away from radio.  She’d been with the station previously from 2011 through 2015.  WOWO afternoon host Pat Miller announced Blakeslee’s appointment on his program yesterday (10/16).

Rosati Named President of Binnie Media. New England media company Binnie Media promotes EVP of New Hampshire and Maine radio Massimo Rosati to president of the company.  Rosati joined Binnie in 2015 as regional sales manager after having previously served with iHeartMedia and Saga Communications.  Binnie Media owner Bill Binnie says, “Massimo joined us five years ago and was responsible for regional sales before taking responsibility for New Hampshire radio sales and eventually all of the radio sales.  I am confident that Mass’ creativity, energy, and passion for the business will be crucial to our success.”

Cristina Mayer to Serve as iHM Washington-Baltimore Marketing Director. Marketing pro Cristina Mayer is named marketing director for iHeartMedia’s Washington DC/Baltimore operations.  She comes to iHeartMedia from Mimi Brown Studio in New York where she was production manager.  In this position, Mayer will be responsible for developing and creating marketing strategies in order to increase brand awareness, enhance business relationships, and assist with driving in revenue for the region.  Washington/Baltimore RVP of programming Jeff Kapugi says, “Cristina’s extensive experience across many different types of media and entertainment organizations made her the perfect person to oversee marketing & promotions for iHeartMedia Washington DC/Baltimore.”

TALKERS News Notes. At suburban Chicago news/talk WCGO, Evanston, the “Citizen Kelly” show hosted by William J. Kelly moves to the 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm daypart.  At the same time as the show time change is announced, Kelly takes the opportunity to announce the filing of his paperwork to run for mayor of Chicago.  He says, “As the only Republican candidate in this race against 15 Democrats, I can win this race with the 133,000 Trump voters in Chicago alone.  My callers support me 100%.”…..Milwaukee news/talk WTMJ Radio is again presenting its holiday radio show “The Night Before Christmas,” starring Milwaukee media personalities Gene Mueller, Jane MatenaerJeff Wagner, and a cast of WTMJ hosts and local voices.  The annual show will be presented Monday, November 26 at Turner Hall.  It will be recorded in front of a studio audience and replayed on WTMJ and WTMJ.com throughout the Christmas season.  Five dollars from every ticket sold will benefit Kids2Kids Christmas…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that ESPN hires former Chicago Tribune and New York Times sports reporter Malika Andrews to serve as an NBA reporter for ESPN.com and WMVP, Chicago “ESPN1000.”  She’ll cover the Bulls as well as the Milwaukee Bucks and the Minnesota Timberwolves.  She takes over for Nick Friedell who’s moving to NoCal to cover the Golden State Warriors for the company…..PodcastOne launches the new podcast, “Life Reboot,” hosted by television personality Leah Messer, self-empowerment speaker and teacher Lindsay Rielly, and celebrity journalist Brian Scott.  The podcast will guide listeners in learning to transform and live their best lives through personal stories, guest interviews, and tips from the Live Your Standard life coaching program…..iHeartRadio and HowStuffWorks are debuting a new iHeartRadio original podacast titled, “The End of The World.”  It’s developed and hosted by fan-favorite Josh Clark, co-host of the beloved podcast “Stuff You Should Know”.   This program “tackles the existential risks humankind faces and how today’s technological advancements will contribute to our survival.”  Clark is joined by a number of top experts including, astrobiologists, philosophers, and economists…..There’s a new senior vice president for news at NPR as Nancy Barnes fills the role left vacant by Mike Oreskes last fall after allegations of misconduct from his past arose and forced him to resign.  Her background is in newspapers.  She’s served as executive editor of the Houston Chronicle.

Saudi Journalist Case, Elizabeth Warren Criticism, T.I. ‘Melania’ Video, November Midterms/2020 Presidential Race, Trump-Russia Report, Trump-Stormy Daniels Spat, Canada Legalizes Pot, Hawking ‘No God’ Conclusion, NFL Action, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/16).  The case of presumed-dead Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the Trump Administration’s response; criticism over Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Native American heritage video; rapper T.I.’s video that depicts a Melania Trump look-alike doing a striptease; the battle for control of the house and senate in the November midterms and speculation about who will run for president in 2020; news that after the November elections, Robert Mueller will release his findings so far in the Trump-Russia investigation; the legal and social media spat between President Trump and Stormy Daniels; Canada becomes the second nation in the world to legalize marijuana; Stephen Hawking’s final book concludes there is no God; NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Radio, Real Estate and Real Life: Former ‘Shock Jock’ Carolyn Fox Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  One of the first female radio personalities to be called a “shock jock,” former New England disc jockey and talk show host Carolyn Fox, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Back in the 70s, 80s and 90s, Fox was a major personality on a variety of leading radio stations in Boston and Providence with a growing national reputation in the industry.  She is a two-time recipient of Billboard’s Radio Personality of the Year award and has been inducted into the Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame. But when the 21st century rolled around, things began to unravel for Fox in terms of both her career and marriage.  Her career sputtering and simultaneously going through a painful divorce, this mother of two decided to make a major change.  She packed up and headed to New York where she launched a new career and life as a real estate salesperson in Manhattan.  Playing upon her connections in radio, colorful history, and superb communication skills, she forged a dynamic career in the lucrative but highly competitive Manhattan real estate market as a member of the prestigious Corcoran Group’s sales team.  Harrison and Fox talk candidly about changes in radio including what it takes to “move on” and explore the fascinating idiosyncrasies of Manhattan real estate.  Harrison says, “Let’s not hide from the fact that the shrinking of the radio industry since consolidation has forced thousands of broadcasting pros to reinvent themselves and find new ways to make a living, not to mention keep their heads on straight.  I think this conversation provides an enlightening and even inspirational glimpse into that process.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” in the right-hand column of the TALKERS newsletter and on every page on Talkers.com.

 

KIRO-FM, Seattle Seeks Night Host.  As the Bonneville station says, this is a “golden opportunity with one of the nation’s most established and respected news/talk stations.  We’re looking for a fun, entertaining, and well-informed individual who can deliver remarkable content that attracts an adults 25-54 audience. In addition, qualified candidates should be able to regularly contribute to the various digital platforms including, but not limited to regular blogs, podcasts, and/or videos, online listener chats, and use of other social media platforms in addition to emerging digital technologies.”  KIRO-FM would prefer candidates have one to two years of major market hosting experience. Check out the application info and full job description here.

Envision Networks Seeks Talent Booker. If you’ve got the talent, we’ve got the cash. Do you have the contacts to book top celebrities for morning radio shows across the U.S.?  We’re seeking a highly motivated, freelance, go-get-’em type to book tours with everyone from Hollywood and TV types to classic rock artists and quirky people making headlines or going viral.  Good commissions and there’s no limit to the amount of $$ you can make.  Please have at least three years of experience as a talent booker.  If you have the connections, we want to connect with you.  Send a resume along with a list of celebrities you’ve booked in the past to celebsonradio@envisionnetworks.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports on Windy City radio pro Kathy Hart’s guest stint on news/talk WGN-AM over the weekend in which she spoke – to some degree – about her tumultuous end at Hubbard Radio hot AC WTMX.  While co-hosting with WGN weekend personality Frank Fontana, Hart disclosed she underwent medical treatment for what ended up being Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome during the time she was off the air leading up to her exit.  But when asked why she ultimately did not return to the very successful “Eric & Kathy” show, she declined to explain…..Southern California sales pro George Herrera joins Meruelo Media as local sales manager for hip hop KPWR, Los Angeles “Power 106” and urban contemporary duo KDAY, Redondo Beach and KDEY, Ontario. Previously, he served as an account executive at alternative KROQ…..Envision Networks announces the return of the Wink Martindale-hosted program “The 100 Greatest Christmas Hits of All Time” for holiday programming.  This 10-hour show counts down from 100 to 1 the top-selling, highest-charted, and best-loved Christmas songs ever released…..The Radio Music License Committee announces that Salem Media Group CEO Ed Atsinger is elected chairman of the RMLC.   He succeeds Ed Christian and John VerStandig, who had been operating as RMLC co-chairs for the past year.  Atsinger, no stranger to music licensing committees, previously served as chairman of the National Religious Broadcasters Music Licensing Committee for many years.  Ed Christian comments, “Given my vested interest in seeing to it that the RMLC continues to thrive, it’s reassuring that we now pass the baton to an experienced chairman who is perfectly positioned to hit the ground running.”  Atsinger adds, “I am fortunate to be assuming the mantle of chairman of the RMLC at a time when Ed Christian and a talented executive committee have worked so hard to build a solid foundation for the group and to enhance the RMLC’s stature in the industry. That said, it’s no secret that there are multiple challenges facing the industry right now and I am anxious to get to work with a great RMLC team that has already distinguished itself in many ways. We will continue the fight to maintain reasonable license fee levels during difficult economic times.”…..Pictured at right are “Steve Harvey Morning Show” cast members Shirley Strawberry (left) and Carla Ferrell (right) joining the more than 4,000 people who took part in the 2018 Sista Strut Breast Cancer Walk in Chicago this past weekend organized by iHeartMedia urban contemporary WVAZ “V103,” hip hop WGCI-FM, and Gospel WGRB “Inspiration 1390.”…..Sun Broadcast Group appoints of Rich O’Brien vice president of programing & affiliate relations.  O’Brien comes to SBG with more than 25 years of experience in national radio syndication, having served as a VP of radio programs for Superadio Network…..Sad news from the Motor City as former WRIF air personality Mike Clark passed away on Monday (10/15) at age 63.  Clark was one half of the “Drew and Mike” show (with Drew Lane) that aired on the rock station in morning drive for more than two decades.  Lane is quoted in the Detroit News saying, “He had some medical issues the past couple years, but I’m still very surprised because we were texting yesterday and he was in typically good humor.”…..Pictured below is Premiere Networks-syndicated personality Delilah (left) during her appearance on ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America” show with Robin Roberts (right) to talk about her latest book, One Heart At A Time, (2018, Rosetta Books).  During the book tour, she’s also appearing on “Megyn Kelly TODAY” and is featured on the cover of Women’s World Magazine and Guideposts magazine.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

| October 16, 2018

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from the September 2018 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, today focusing on news/talk. Among news/talk stations in PPM markets, some 47% see a dip in their 6+ weekly AQH share while 39% improve and 14% remain unchanged.  Looking back to last September, 53% of news/talk stations improve from September 2017 to September 2018 with 42% losing ground.  Four news/talk stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets in the September survey: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta rolls with a 7.9 share; Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis shoots up to an 8.3 share; iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati dips to a 9.1 share (but stays in first place); and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” stays on top with an 8 share. See Kinosian’s entire report here.

Cox Media Group Unveils its Broadcast Analytics Service. This platform for radio advertisers from Cox Media Group is called Cox Analytics for Broadcast and promises that “through rich audience data and insights, this new solution helps advertisers target active consumers in their product category and track the effectiveness of their campaigns through detailed analysis of their website traffic.”  The press release explains further: Data has always been used in the broadcast industry to determine results, and by leveraging the power of social media to identify these insights, CMG can tap into its massive digital audience – matching offline to online audiences.  Results are collected by combing listener data with social audiences, leading to a clearly defined, hyper-specific audience for radio advertisers to target.  These numbers are then generated through a custom dashboard, which allows advertisers to improve performance and understand what is driving their results. CMG executive director of revenue Katie Reid says, “These new capabilities will transform the way our clients target consumers and advertise with our radio platforms. Through Cox Analytics for Broadcast, we can measure the effectiveness of these audience segments, attribute actions taken by consumers and provide insightful research and data to reach ROI and help meet our clients’ goals.”

WVMT-AM, Burlington and Sister CHR Sold to Vox AM/FM LLC. Burlington, Vermont news/talk WVMT-AM and sister CHR WXXX-FM “95 TripleX” are being sold by Sison Broadcasting to Vox AM/FM, LLC for an as yet undisclosed price.  Vox currently owns sports talk duo WCPV-FM “101.3 The Game” and WEAV-AM “960 The Zone,” and classic hits WVTK-FM.  Vox will begin operating the stations under an LMA on January 1, 2019.  Sison owner Paul Goldman says, “WVMT and ‘95 TripleX’ have been my life and passion for over 40 years.  There is no player in our market better equipped to ensure their future than Vox.  My valued employees and stations are in great hands.”  Meanwhile, Vox partner and principal Ken Barlow states, “The people and stations at Sison are terrific! They have enormous market history and blend very well with our current cluster.  We look forward to merging our operations to better serve the Burlington-Plattsburgh radio market.”  This transaction was arranged by Doug Ferber of DEFcom Advisors on an exclusive brokerage basis.

Oakland A’s and KGMZ Breakup Not Pretty. The Oakland A’s announced their parting from flagship station KGMZ-FM, San Francisco with a Tweet showing radio equipment being wheeled away and the phrase, “It’s not us; it’s you.” Ouch!  But as the San Jose Mercury News writes, the parting was not a surprise since the team announced in April that this was the last year of the deal and asked fans if they thought the sides should renew with the Entercom sports talker.  There’s no word where the A’s radio broadcasts will end up for the 2019 season.

Missing Saudi Journalist, Paul Allen Dies, November Midterms, Hurricane Michael Aftermath, Warren Ancestry Video, Trump ‘60 Minutes’ Interview, Portland Patriots-Antifa Skirmish, Stormy Daniels Suit Tossed, NFL Action, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/15). The case of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s trip to Saudi Arabia; Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies at 65 after battle with cancer; the November midterm elections and the battle for control of the house and senate; the devastation in the Florida panhandle after Hurricane Michael; Senator Elizabeth Warren produces video proving Native American ancestry, taunts President Trump; the president’s interview on “60 Minutes” with Lesley Stahl; the weekend’s clash between Patriot Prayer demonstrators and Antifa protestors; a judge tosses Stormy Daniels’ suit against President Trump; the weekend’s NFL action and the MLB Playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Triangle radio personality Madison Lane returns to the air on Curtis Media Group’s adult hits WBBB-FM, Raleigh “96BBB” to host the morning drive program.  Lane previously was the morning personality at iHeartMedia’s CHR WDCG “G105” and WRSN-FM.  She left the business in 2006 to raise her children.  Lane says, “It was such a blessing to be able to have some time away to raise my kids and focus on my family.  This new chapter of my life is exciting and WBBB feels like home.  I love the awesome variety of music and the loyalty to the community.  I’m so excited to be a part of the team.”  Curtis Media Group SVP and general manager David Stuckey comments, “From our very first meeting, I knew Madison was the perfect fit for mornings on WBBB.  Madison brings familiarity and star power to the fastest growing station in the Triangle.  Her life experiences and knowledge of the Raleigh-Durham market make her the right person to solidify WBBB as the dominant radio brand in the Triangle.”…..Indiana Radio Watch’s Blaine Thompson reports that Adams Radio Group’s rhythmic CHR WJFX, New Haven, Indiana (Fort Wayne market) promotes late night and weekend host Taylor Morgan to middays…..Entercom announces the dates for the “Not So Silent Night” concert events in New York, San Francisco, and San Diego.  The alternative music festival debuted in San Francisco in 1991 and has grown from a small acoustic concert to a large arena show hosting some of the biggest alternative acts in three cities.  This year, the show will debut at New York’s Barclays Center and will be co-headlined by Muse and Florence + The Machine. WNYL, New York ALT 92.3’s holiday event will also feature musical performances by AJR, Bastille, Chvrches, Death Cab for Cutie, Foster The People, and Mike Shinoda on Thursday, December 6…..Entercom triple A WXRT, Chicago is announcing its 10th annual “Holiday Jam” will feature music from The Head and the Heart with special guest Mt. Joy…..WCSX, Detroit morning host Big Jim has been on a six-month mission to get a street named after Motor City music legend Bob Seger and this Friday (10/19) it’s going to happen.  The Beasley Media Group station, “The Big Jim’s House Morning Show,” and the City of Allen Park will officially unveil Bob Seger Boulevard during a two-hour event and ceremony at Allen Park City Hall that will include a special performance by a Bob Seger tribute band as well as a video screen featuring fans and celebrities congratulating the rock legend!

Monday, October 15, 2018

| October 15, 2018

iHeartMedia Appoints Greg Millard to EVP of Event and Experiential Partnerships Post. This new position is under the watch of iHeartMedia president of national sales, marketing and partnerships Tim Castelli.  New EVP of event and experiential partnerships Greg Millard comes to the company from his most recent position with Turner Broadcasting as vice president of partnerships and branded programming.  In his new role, Millard will spearhead the go-to-market strategy for all of iHeartMedia’s national sponsorship sales efforts, including the company’s roster of nationally recognized marquee events; the iHeartRadio Theaters in New York and Los Angeles; custom events and partnership opportunities; and local events in more than 150 markets nationwide.  Castelli says, “iHeartMedia has the biggest, culture-defining events in music across every genre.  Greg will leverage these events and culturally relevant moments to connect brands with their consumers.  With our unique access to data, insights, artists, moments and airwaves, iHeartMedia’s one-of-a-kind partnership opportunities help brands shape pop culture – not just chase it.”

Alpha Media’s ‘640 The Hurricane’ Names Andy Slater Afternoon Host. West Palm Beach sports talk outlet WMEN-AM “640 The Hurricane” announces the addition of the Andy Slater show in the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm slot, effective today.  Slater was most recently hosting afternoons at iHeartMedia’s WINZ, Miami.  He’d served with Alpha Media’s WMEN for six years prior to that.  WMEN program director Paul Mason states, “Nobody has their finger on the pulse of the South Florida Sports scene like Andy Slater.  His proven track record of breaking local sports stories, inside sources, and his massive poker tournament is a huge win for ‘640 The Hurricane.’”

KLBJ-AM, Austin Weekend Talk Host Sued by Local Police Commander. Austin police commander Jason Dusterhoft is suing gun shop owner and weekend talk personality Michael Cargill and retired police officers group members Lyndon Lueders and Kevin Fisk for defamation. Dusterhoft claims that the trio defamed him by talking on the radio about his being put under criminal and internal investigation for allegedly assaulting a woman at a local nightclub. Dusterhoft is currently on restricted duty.  He claims the three made false statements about him.  Cargill tells the Austin American Statesman that the matter is a free speech issue.  Cargill’s one-hour, weekly show, “Come and Talk It” airs Sundays at 4:00 pm on Emmis-operated news/talk KLBJ-AM.

TALKERS News Notes. Conservative media icon Bill O’Reilly won a round in his legal battle with fellow, former FOX News Channel colleague Laurie Dhue, who is suing O’Reilly for allegedly breaking the terms of a previous sexual harassment settlement by speaking publicly about those past allegations.  O’Reilly’s team had filed a Motion to Compel Arbitration and/or Dismiss the Complaint and U.S. District Judge Deborah Batts ordered the two sides to arbitration, citing the clause in the settlement providing for dispute resolution.  Dhue argues that in a series of media appearances in 2017 prior to and leading up to FOX’s firing of O’Reilly, he made categorial denials of any wrongdoing even though, she argues, the settlement terms forbade him from doing so.  Dhue complains that these “false statements” cause her harm because “no employers will hire her if they believe that [Plaintiff] has previously made false allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace.”…..iHeartMedia and Einhorn’s Epic Productions are teasing their new original scripted mystery podcast call “Lethal Lit.”  “Lethal Lit” is a six-episode scripted podcast that follows teen detective Tig Torres as she returns to her small hometown of Hollow Falls where her aunt was framed as a serial killer ten years ago.  It’ll debut October 29 with two episodes and subsequent episodes will air each Monday on the iHeartRadio platform.  iHM says this is a “new type of storytelling format” for iHeartRadio.  Check out the official trailer here…..The photo below is a shot of the KKOB, Albuquerque hot air balloon that flew during last week’s Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.  Station PD and director of AM Operations for Cumulus Albuquerque Pat Frisch says the now-world famous balloon festival was started back in 1972 to celebrate the heritage station’s 50th anniversary.  The balloon below is being piloted by Ron Curry.

Trump ’60 Minutes’ Interview, Sears Declares Bankruptcy, U.S.-Saudi Tensions, November Midterms, Kanye West White House Visit, Portland Patriot Prayer Violence, American Pastor Andrew Brunson Released, Hurricane Michael Aftermath, NFL Action, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Reaction to President Trump’s sit-down interview with ’60 Minutes’ reporter Lesley Stahl; iconic American retailer Sears files for bankruptcy protection; the ongoing tensions between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia over missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi; the November midterms and the battle for control of congress; Kanye West’s Oval Office meeting with President Trump; the violence at the Portland, Oregon Patriot Prayer rally; Turkey releases American pastor Andrew Brunson; the aftermath of Hurricane Michael; the weekend’s NFL action; and the Major League Baseball league championships series were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Beaumont, Texas market, Cumulus Media names Tommy “Jammer” Muzzillo program director for CHR KQXY “Q94.”  Muzzillo has been serving as assistant program director and music director, as well as afternoon personality at the station since 2010.  He rises to this position with the recent retirement of former OM and PD Brandin Shaw.   Muzzillo says, “I am thrilled to be programming the station I helped put on the air back in 1993!  And the funny thing is, our VP/market manager Bo Brown, who took the reins at the stations about three months ago, was with me when we kicked off ‘Q94’ back in 1993!  He and I work very well together and we have a really solid team at Cumulus Beaumont, plus having great Cumulus leaders and great minds like Doug Hamand, Mike McVay, Leslie Whittle, and Louie Diaz to bounce music and ideas off of makes us even stronger as we take the station into the future.”…..Director of programming Jerry McKenna exits Cape Cod Broadcasting’s four-station cluster – including country WKPE and adult contemporary WOCN – as the company eliminates his position…..Premiere Networks-syndicated radio host, Emmy Award-winning television personality, and best-selling author Steve Harvey was among the honorees at the Merge Gala Awards at the 10th annual Merge Summit in Los Angeles.  The Merge Gala Awards recognize those making an impact in bridging the worlds of faith and entertainment.  Harvey was joined by fellow award recipients Laila Ali, DeVon Franklin, and Chad Johnson & Michelle Williams.  (Photo: Von Jackson, Vlex Photos)…..Detroit radio duo “Rat and Puff,” a.k.a. Jeff Daly and Josh Foreman, respectively, are launching the 3rd annual “Terror Tour” – showcasing three of the biggest and scariest haunts that Michigan has to offer. Friends of the “Rat and Puff” show have the opportunity to win free tickets on their social media accounts and go along with the show as they document each experience. Despite not having a radio home at the moment, the show wanted to continue its yearly tradition.   They say, “We are really excited about our ‘Terror Tour’ this year because we personally, hand-picked all three stops.  We are super fans of haunted attractions and Michigan has some of the scariest in the country.  We encourage everyone to follow along with us on our social @RatAndPuffShow as the tour is bigger and scarier than ever.”…..iHeartMedia Nashville’s CHR WRVR “107.5 the River” announces the lineup for its second annual “Live. Life. Love.” concert taking place on Monday, December 10 at Marathon Music Works.  The concert will feature performances by Why Don’t WeDan + Shay, Lauv, and Kim Petras.  All proceeds from the event will benefit To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA), a non-profit organization that supports mental health and suicide prevention resources nationwide.

PPM Analysis: Hot AC. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on 6+ data from Nielsen Audio’s September PPM survey, today focusing on hot AC. Compared to the August 2018 PPM survey, 49% of the hot AC stations on this panel were down (6+ AQH share) in September with 42% up and 9% flat.  Year-over-year, 50% were down with just 45% of stations up.  Just two hot AC outlets ranked #1 in their market in September – iHeartMedia’s KBIG, Los Angeles and Alpha Media’s WRMF, West Palm Beach – while nine hot AC outlets ranked in the top five in their respective markets.  See the whole report here.

Friday, October 12, 2018

| October 12, 2018

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on 6+ data from Nielsen Audio’s September 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio.  More than half (54%) of the sports talk stations on Kinosian’s panel saw their weekly AQH share go up from the August 2018 survey to the September 2018 survey, led by Cumulus Media’s WGFX-FM, Nashville “104.5 The Zone,” which enjoyed a 1.4 share increase.  Comparing September 2017 to September 2018, some 55% of sports talkers improved.  Interestingly, Cumulus’ KNBR enjoyed a 1.2 share increase year-over-year in the San Jose market but dipped a tenth in the adjacent San Francisco market.  Entercom’s WFAN, New York “The Fan” ranked #1 (6+) in the September PPM survey in the Long Island market – the only sports talker to achieve a #1 ranking.  See the entire report here.

Cumulus Makes Prepayment of Portion of Loan. This $50 million discounted prepayment means Cumulus Media has paid off a portion of its $1.3 billion senior secured term loan facility due May 2022. Cumulus successfully purchases $50.2 million aggregate principal amount of term loans under the facility for $50 million (a discount to par value of 0.40%).  The transaction closed on October 11, 2018 and was funded with cash from operations.  The company notes that it will recognize a one-time, non-operating gain of approximately $0.2 million in its fourth quarter 2018 earnings, and its annual interest expense will be reduced as a result of this transaction.

KVI, Seattle Hosts Listener Appreciation Event. Seattle news/talk station KVI held a listener appreciation party on Tuesday (10/9) at Sinclair Broadcasting’s KOMO Plaza.  The station’s local hosts joined producer Phil Vandervort on stage for a discussion of such topics as the coming midterm elections and their favorite local restaurants.  Pictured (from l-r) are: KVI program director Rick Van Cise, station manager Gary Greenberg, morning host John Carlson, late morning duo Jamie Markley and David van Camp, early afternoon host Lars Larson, afternoon drive personality Kirby Wilbur, and Compass Media Networks VP of affiliate sales Adam Wilbur.

Doug Stephan Celebrates 30th Anniversary as a Continuously Running Independent Syndicated Host.  It began as a morning show titled “Good Day” in a basement studio at WCKY, Cincinnati 30 years ago this week and has been on the air as a general news/talk weekday show hosted and managed by veteran broadcaster Doug Stephan ever since.  Along the way, it evolved under different names and has been co-hosted by a variety of personalities alongside Stephan in addition to spawning a number of specialty shows under the corporate banner of Stephan Multimedia.  The program is currently titled the “DJV Show” and, in addition to central figure Doug Stephan, is co-hosted by Jennifer Horn and Victoria Keelan.  In marking the milestone, Stephan tells TALKERS, “I think for the first few months, I was talking to myself, and now after all these years, I have spoken to millions of listeners…how many…who really knows?  Plus being on over 1,400 stations in the collective over the years, I am humbled by the support of so many station managers and program directors.  If my count is correct, we still have some 24 stations who were on at the beginning or close to the beginning of this fabulous ride, and to all of them, and all of you, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I could not remain as the only host/producer of these programs which have nothing but advertiser support… no big company, no big advertiser, no big benefactor – just me and the folks on the team made this happen…wow!”

TALKERS News Notes. Programming pro Michael Cross is named operations manager for Cherry Creek Media’s seven-station cluster in Wenatchee, Washington that includes news/talk KPQ, talk simulcast KKWN-FM/KWNC-AM, and sports talk KYSP in addition to four music-formatted stations. Cross – who starts his new gig on November 5 – was most recently OM with NRG Media’s rock KFMW and classic hits KOKZ duo in Waterloo, Iowa.  Cherry Creek Wenatchee market manager Kevin Andrus says, “Michael has a passion for radio and clearly understands the influence radio has in our listeners lives.  He understands how to win ratings, coach talent, and manage those under his direction.  Cherry Creek Media is excited to have Michael join the team.”…..Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM, Hartford inks a deal with Division III school University of Saint Joseph to broadcast the team’s home games during the school’s men’s basketball team’s inaugural season.  The partnership will run through the 2018-19 collegiate season.  The school recruited former University of Connecticut basketball coach Jim Calhoun as its head coach to launch its men’s basketball program.  As part of the partnership, Joe D’Ambrosio, co-host of the station’s “Mornings with Ray Dunaway” program, will handle play-by-play duties for the games…..SiriusXM is debuting a new, weekly show hosted by former open-wheel racing star Danny Sullivan – winner of the 1985 Indy 500 and 1988 CART Series champion – on the Dan Patrick Radio channel.   Titled, “The Real Spin with Danny Sullivan and Bill Armour” it will debut on October 15 and air every Monday…..The nationally syndicated “Motley Fool Money” radio program with host Chris Hill adds new affiliate KSOO-AM, Sioux Falls, South Dakota to its roster of stations.

Hurricane Michael Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 8-12.  The destruction in the Florida panhandle from Hurricane Michael was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the release of the UN Climate Change Report and its dire warning about continued global warming. Coming in at #3 was the global stock selloff and the related interest rate hikes, followed by the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation aftermath and the related issue of Democrats accused of incivility at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

“Cousin” Bruce Morrow Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The legendary “Cousin” Bruce Morrow is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Morrow is one of the most celebrated radio personalities of all time whose remarkable career as a big-time disc jockey goes all the way back to the late 1950s when he broke into New York City radio at WINS and is still going strong today as a featured host on the SiriusXM Satellite Radio ‘60s on 6’ channel. Harrison and Morrow take a deep conversational dive into the early days of rock ‘n’ roll, their shared memories of growing up in Brooklyn, the great top 40 stations, the universals of radio communication, Morrow’s successful years in station ownership and the importance of keeping up with advances in technology. This is a must-listen for anyone who loves radio! Harrison says, “It was a thrill for me to be able to spend so much time in conversation with one of the true greats of our industry and culture. Cousin Brucie is full of joy – it pours out of him and that’s what keeps him going at such a remarkable and admirable level. It is deeply gratifying for me as a radio student, historian, and professional broadcaster to present this episode of my podcast to the world.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Operations Manager Position Open at Dick Broadcasting’s Eastern NC Cluster. The five-station cluster of Dick Broadcasting in the Greenville/New Bern/Jacksonville, North Carolina market is seeking an operations manager. The company says the successful candidate will “manage a team of great program directors, air talent, and promotional personnel. We need someone that knows what leadership means! Someone who can inspire a team!” Dick Broadcasting operates sports talk WRNS-AM “The Bull,” CHR WERO-FM “Bob 93.3,” rock WXQR, country WRNS-FM, and adult hits WQSL/WQZL. The company says candidates must have experience as a supervisor, leader, music programmer, strategic thinker, and the ability to coach air talent. On air experienced preferred. The cluster is managed by market manager Tony Denton and vice president of programming Jason Goodman. E-mail all materials to newbernresumes@dbcradio.com. DBC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

WQYK, Tampa Seeks AM Drive Co-Host. Tampa country outlet WQYK is seeking a morning show co-host. The Beasley Media Group station says the successful candidate must possess strong digital skills. “We’re seeking a great communicator and story teller with a great sense of how to create great content that will be displayed across all of our platforms. The perfect candidate is great on the air, great digitally, is forward thinking and is a true content innovator. This is a very active station, heavily involved in the community and requires someone who is fearless and willing to get out of the studio and meet listeners. If you are ready to work in a building full of incredible talent with a family atmosphere and a must-win attitude, we would love to hear from you.” Qualifications include: At least three years of proven success as a morning show co-host; full understanding of PPM best practice as it applies to an on-air show; proficient with Vox-Pro, WordPress social networking platforms, interviewing, and LIVE broadcasts; and more. Send materials to operations manager Travis Daily at: Travis.daily@bbgi.com. Beasley is an EOE.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Phoenix-based, nationally syndicated morning duo “Johnjay & Rich” – Johnjay Van Es and Rich Berra – were inducted into the Arizona Broadcasters Hall of Fame at a ceremony last night at the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale.  The program is heard in Phoenix on iHeartMedia-owned flagship CHR KZZP “104.7 KISS FM” and is syndicated by Premiere Networks.  The program debuted in Tucson on KRQ.  It moved to KZZP in 2006.  It’s currently heard in 20 markets across the country…..The Envision Networks-syndicated weekly Wolfman Jack show adds new affiliates” WCCW-FM, Traverse City, Michigan; WOWY, State College, Pennsylvania; and KMGZ, Lawton, Oklahoma.  The stations add the classic radio program in time to also air the two-hour special “Wolfman Jack Halloween Party.”  WOWY program director Bob Steele says, “I have been searching for this show for years.  Knowing what a legend he was and how much fun the show was, I knew it was going to be an instant listener favorite!  He is probably the most referenced DJ in history. Everyone has heard of him.  I think it’s his personality that resonates with people.  He makes people laugh and feel good.  He often had a shocking side and I think that may be what keeps people glued to his every word.”…..Country artist Jessie Ritter from Fort Walton Beach, Florida is named the winner of Cumulus Media’s 4th annual “NASH Next” competition.  The final competition event took place last night (10/11) at Nashville’s Wildhorse Saloon and featured live performances from the top 10 national finalists, and a special performance by Radio Romance, last year’s “NASH Next” winner whose single “Weekend” rose to the top 40 on the country airplay charts.  Ritter will receive national radio airplay on Cumulus stations and gets a recording contract with Nash Next Records under the Big Machine Label Group umbrella…..Country music legend Dolly Parton was on the NASH campus in Nashville yesterday joining “Ty, Kelly and Chuck” in-studio to talk about her latest Netflix project, “Dumplin’,” in which she found herself working with Jennifer Aniston and Sia. Pictured below are (from l-r): Ty Bentli, Parton, Kelly Ford, and Chuck Wicks.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

| October 11, 2018

Emmis Fiscal Q2 Revenue Down 7%. Financial data from the second fiscal quarter of Emmis Communications’ year (ending August 31) is released and the company reports pro forma revenue was down 7% in markets that were down 4%.  The recent sales of KPWR, Los Angeles in August of 2017 and the St. Louis cluster on April 30 of this year make year-over-year figures not comparable.  Net revenue for the 2018 second fiscal quarter was $30.7 million, down from $41.8 million in the same quarter of 2017.  The company says underperformance is principally due to weather-related issues for New York’s Summer Jam in June, which led to its June revenues declining 16% for the month.  Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan says, “Emmis’ radio revenues were up 2% in both July and August, and Emmis’ third quarter is off to a strong start with September revenues up 1% and October pacing up double digits, which would be our strongest month in four years.  Ratings remain strong in New York and continue to improve in Indianapolis.  Austin has rebranded KGSR as “Austin City Limits Radio,” the result of a multi-year licensing agreement with Austin City Limits Enterprises, LLC, creating an eclectic format sure to connect with Austin listeners.  Also, our dynamic pricing business, Digonex, has seen a surge of new clients in the last couple of months and we are more excited than ever about the prospects for that business moving forward.”

Smulyan Says Future of NextRadio and TagStation in Limbo.  In his comments about Emmis Communications’ fiscal Q2 numbers, CEO Jeff Smulyan gives an update on the status of the NextRadio and TagStation projects.  He says, “For the past several months, Emmis and other companies in the radio industry have been working diligently to form a consortium that would own and operate the NextRadio and TagStation businesses. The participating companies envisioned using their collective scale and resources to build an attribution platform for the radio industry that would have provided the common language and measurement that radio advertisers are demanding.  Unfortunately, the consortium has not been formed and these efforts appear to have been unsuccessful.  Because Emmis is unwilling and unable to continue to fund the NextRadio and TagStation businesses as they are currently structured, we plan to dramatically reduce the operations of these businesses and explore other means of eliminating the operating losses from these businesses in the coming months.”

PPM Analysis: All-News. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on 6+ data from Nielsen Audio’s September PPM survey, today focusing on all-news.  While Entercom’s WWJ, Detroit shows a marked improvement of almost a full share over its 6+ weekly AQH in September of last year, most of the country’s all-news stations declined year-over-year.  Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington was again the only all-news station to rank #1 in its market, but Entercom’s KCBS-AM ranked #2 in both the San Francisco and San Jose markets, while WWJ, Detroit ranked #3 in September.  See the entire report here.

Dow Drops 800+, Hurricane Michael Hits Panhandle, UN Climate Change Report, Clintons Speaking Tour, Astronauts Emergency Landing, Missing Saudi Journalist, First Man Film, NFL Action, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/10).  The Dow dips more than 800 points on fears of interest rate hikes; Hurricane Michael slams into the Florida panhandle causing devastating flooding; reactions to the UN climate change report that heightens urgency for controlling carbon emissions; Bill and Hillary Clinton’s plan to launch a speaking tour after the November election; U.S. and Russian astronauts survive emergency landing in failed launch to International Space Station; concerns about Saudi deception in case of missing journalist; this weekend’s opening of the film First Man; the weeks’ NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Fans of Howard Stern and Opie & Anthony will certainly get a kick out of the latest “Opie Radio” podcasts.  Gregg “Opie” Hughes recently hosted former Stern cast members “Stuttering John” Melendez, and Jackie “The Jokeman” Martling (along with “Opie Radio” regular Carl Ruiz) for what is being produced as a two-part podcast.  Westwood One says the podcasts reveal “personal stories about backstabbing and redemption in a post-Howard Stern satellite radio world.  This double-episode also covers the complicated history between the Howard Stern show, the Opie & Anthony show, ‘The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,’ and the revealing books available now from John and Jackie.”…..In a related story, Anthony Cumia is publishing a book that promises to tell all about his break-up with Gregg “Opie” Hughes, his suspensions and firings from radio gigs (including SiriusXM), and much more.  It’s called, Permanently Suspended: The Rise and Fall… and Rise Again of Radio’s Most Notorious Shock Jock (2018, Post Hill Press) and is to be published on November 20.  Cumia is currently producing and hosting his eponymous online program…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that former longtime WTMX morning star Kathy Hart is going to make some appearances on Tribune’s news/talk WGN this month. Hart exited her role alongside Eric Ferguson on the Hubbard Radio hot AC back in April of 2017 – a move that has never been fully explained.  Since that time, she’s made a few appearances on WFLD-TV’s “Good Day Chicago” and now she’ll sit in with WGN’s Frank Fontana on his weekend show on the 14th and the 28th. The two will also sub for midday host John Williams next Wednesday (10/17)…..HRN Media Network, a Gen Media Partners company, hires broadcast and digital media expert Matt Feinberg as its chief strategy officer. HRN Media Network president Clark Logan says, “Matt is a longtime media industry veteran who has been involved with growth-oriented companies and is credited for leading their expansion across emerging technologies and platforms.  As HRN looks to meet the many opportunities that go beyond broadcast radio, Matt’s experience and knowledge will be pivotal in helping us achieve results for our content partners and advertisers.”…..E.W. Scripps’ news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee is hosting another “The Hometown Call at Turner Hall” viewing party for the Milwaukee Brewers’ NLCS game three against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday, October 15.  The free event features a massive movie-screen broadcast at Turner Hall Ballroom synced to Hall of Famer Bob Uecker’s play-by-play broadcast as heard on WTMJ RADIO and the Associated Bank Brewers Radio Network…..Monday night’s Westwood One broadcast of the Green Bay Packers vs San Francisco 49ers game will feature the first-ever national NFL broadcast with a father-daughter broadcast team.  MNF play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan (right) will be joined by his daughter Olivia Harlan Dekker (left), who will serve as the sideline reporter.  Harlan says, “It’s probably every parent’s dream to someday get a chance to work side-by-side with their child.  The fact that this will be at Lambeau Field where Olivia’s grandfather ran the Green Bay Packers for more than two decades and where she used to play as a little girl and attended many games growing up, makes it even more special.   To be a part of an NFL broadcast is always an honor, but to have our daughter as part of our crew is extraordinary and wonderful.  I know I speak for Olivia, my wife Ann, and our three other children in saying that this will be an incredibly proud moment for our family, and we offer our sincere thanks to Westwood One and the NFL.”

Chris Stigall Hosts Ann Coulter for WPHT Speaker Series. Pictured above are WPHT, Philadelphia morning host Chris Stigall (left) with author and conservative media figure Ann Coulter (right) at the Broadway Theater in Pitman, New Jersey appearing before a sell-out crowd of 1,000.  Coulter is on tour promoting her new book, Resistance is Futile! How The Trump-Hating Left Lost Its Collective Mind.  Stigall tells TALKERS magazine that the event also brought about 100 people out to protest Coulter’s appearance.

Entercom Launches LGBTQ+ Station ‘Out Now.’  The station is airing on a number of Entercom stations’ HD2 signals as well as on Radio.com. It’s launching today (10/11) to coincide with National Coming Out Day and is based at the company’s KAMP-HD2 in Los Angeles.  Entercom LA SVP and market manager Jeff Federman says, “We are thrilled to launch ‘Out Now,’ a passion project for our entire team, to give a voice to the LGBTQ community and its allies.  Our goal is to provide a high-quality listening experience and content for our community as well as a diverse platform with differing points of view.”

Broadcasters Foundation of America Prepared for Emergency Grants for Those Affected by Hurricane Michael. The Broadcasters Foundation of America is preparing for another influx of emergency grant applications from victims of Hurricane Michael, even as requests for emergency aid from those affected by Hurricane Florence are still coming in.  Broadcasters whose personal lives or property are acutely affected by Hurricanes Michael or Florence are encouraged to find out if they quality for an emergency grant by visiting https://broadcastersfoundation.org/hurricanerelief/State broadcast associations in affected areas are working with the BFoA to alert members that they can apply for aid.  The Broadcasters Foundation Emergency Grant Relief Program provides an expedited application process that is streamlined to deliver emergency funds as quickly as possible to qualifying individuals who work (or have worked) in broadcasting.  Emergency grants are based on financial need.  Earlier this year, the Broadcasters Foundation board of directors elected to double the maximum amount of an individual emergency grant from $1,000 to $2,000.  Last year, more than $300,000 was awarded to individual victims of a rash of disasters that included Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, as well as wildfires and floods.  To learn more about emergency or monthly grants or to donate, please contact the Broadcasters Foundation at 212-373-8250 or info@thebfoa.org or visit www.broadcastersfoundation.org.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that Ryan Cameron is soon to be back on the Atlanta airwaves at Urban One’s urban contemporary simulcast of WAMJ/WUMJ “Majic 107.5/97.5,” beginning November 5.  Cameron will also be working with the company to “create content and strategy.”  He’ll host afternoons, bumping current PM drive personalities Silas “SiMan” Alexander and Chubb Rock to the evening show…..Entercom is launching its new morning show on Twin Cities country outlet WMNB “BUZ’N @ 102.9” that will star Mandy James, Paul “PT” Thomas, and current AM host Mike Dubs, a.k.a. Michael Wilczynski.  James was most recently host of the morning show at Townsquare Media’s CHR WZOK, Rockford.  Thomas comes to WMNB from Milestone Radio’s country KLCI, Elk River, Minnesota…..The Chicago-based rock band Friday Pilots Club is the winner of Cumulus Media’s 2nd annual neXt2rock competition.  Close to 1,700 artists entered the second installment of the neXt2rock franchise.  The final competition event featured live performances from the top five national finalists and a special performance by Roc Nation recording artist Dorothy. The winner of neXt2rock was selected by a panel of rock music luminaries and industry professionals, including Big Machine Label Group president & CEO Scott Borchetta; fashion designer and record label head John Varvatos; musician, songwriter, and producer Desmond Child; Korn frontman Jonathan Davis; and Fozzy frontman, actor, and wrestler Chris Jericho.