Talk Radio/Media Industry News

Friday, October 24, 2014

| October 24, 2014

ramseydaveDave Ramsey Hits the Big Screen.  Regular TALKERS readers are kept up-to-date on the live events that nationally syndicated talk star Dave Ramey presents in cities around the country.  Now, Ramsey is taking his presentation to the big screen as Fathom Events will produce “Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze Present: The Legacy Journey” for select cinemas nationwide for one night only on Wednesday, November 19 at 7:00 pm local time.  The production is from the recent event in Grand Rapids that was taped before a live audience.  The event will be presented in nearly 600 select movie theaters around the country through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network.  Fathom Events is listing the participating theaters on its website.  Ramsey states, “‘The Legacy Journey’ is about you taking control of your money; being debt-free, saving and investing.  When you start to see your future becoming secure, you will naturally become concerned with the next generations of your family.  When you do the things we teach, your vision expands and you start to see the world’s needs and how you can make a difference.”  Ramsey’s daughter Rachel Cruze is a seasoned communicator and presenter.  She recently published a new book titled, Smart Money Smart Kids, co-authored by Ramsey.

beasley logo longNet Revenue Dips 5% for Beasley During Third Quarter.  That figure is for continuing operations – the stations Beasley is keeping, excluding those slated to be sold to CBS.  Due to the pending transaction between Beasley and CBS in which it’s trading five of its stations for 14 CBS signals, the company is required to report both continuing operations and discontinued operations.  The net revenue from the combination of both continuing and discontinued operations was -5.9%.  The company reports that the decline “primarily reflects lower advertising revenue at the Company’s Wilmington and Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville market clusters which more than offset net revenue increases at the Company’s Las Vegas and Ft. Myers market clusters.”  Company chairman and CEO George Beasley comments, “We don’t believe third quarter operating results from continuing operations reflect the strength, ratings and local relevance of our platform, as the lower level of reported net revenue from continuing operations is temporarily mismatched with certain expenses that will be better amortized across the Company’s larger revenue base once we complete the asset exchange with CBS Radio.  We are very excited by the potential presented by the CBS transaction…The planned asset exchange with CBS Radio addresses these strategic objectives and upon completion, we will expand our owned and operated station base by nine stations increasing Beasley’s portfolio to 53, including 33 FM and 20 AM stations, in 12 markets with approximately 7.7 million weekly listeners.  Importantly, we will add completed clusters in the Tampa and Charlotte markets which complement our already strong mid-Atlantic presence.”

nielsen logoNielsen Q3 Revenue Up 14%.  That’s on a constant-currency basis.  The company reports that its core top-line growth (excluding the Arbitron and Harris acquisitions) was 3.4%.  Nielsen CEO Mitch Barns says that increase was “driven by strong growth in Audience Measurement, double-digit growth in Ad Solutions and double-digit growth in the emerging markets, offset somewhat by anticipated softness in our Insights business in North America.”  Barns adds that “Adjusted EBITDA was up nearly 20% or 22% on a constant-currency basis, reflecting the impact of our Arbitron acquisition as well as great execution by our operating units…And our free cash flow of $289 million was up 17% in the quarter versus the prior year.”  During yesterday’s investors conference call, Barns discussed the integration of ratings systems for television and digital but only spoke of radio and digital ratings integration in passing, saying the company is “making progress” and it would keep the industry “posted.”

henckmitchMadison Talk Personality Mitch Henck Returns with Internet Show, Broadcast Plans.  After being let go from iHeartMedia’s Madison news/talker WIBA in June, Mitch Henck says he’s been “hounded” by fans to get back behind the mic.  Starting Monday, October 27, Henck begins an internet-based talk show airing live daily from 8:00 am to 11:00 am CT.  Podcasts of the show will be available after the conclusion of each live show.  The program will be web only for the rest of the year but Henck has plans to roll out the show into AM/FM syndication in 2015.  The show will take live callers and feature guests.  Henck says, “It’s exciting to be back with a great team in place.  We’re committed to bringing you the highest quality programming every day.  And I can’t wait.”

Odds & Sods.  The new SiriusXM program hosted by Jenny McCarthy debuts on Monday, October 27.  The show is called “Dirty, Sexy, Funny with Jenny McCarthy” and is set to air daily from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET…..NBCSportsRadio.com is unveiling its first-ever digital-only show called “The 2 Robbies ‘Football’ Show”, a Premier League-focused program which stars NBC Sports Group analysts Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe.  The soccer show launches tomorrow at 5:00 pm ET…..Sports talk KWTO, Springfield, Missouri “98.7 The Jock” is changing network affiliations, moving from Fox Sports Radio Network to ESPN.  The Meyer Communications station inked a three-year deal with ESPN.

freemanedgeTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “Free Talk Live” featuring Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is added to the weekend program schedule at WIBC-FM, Indianapolis.  The program also recently began airing on KFNN, Phoenix; and KCOX, Jasper, Texas…..The GCN-distributed “Freedom Feens” show is added to the lineup at WSRQ, Sarasota…..The “Motley Fool Money” radio show is part of the weekend programming at WAFS, Atlanta.

Ebola Pandemic Threat Tops Talkers TenTM for Third Straight Week.  Discussion about the threat of an Ebola pandemic and the Obama Administration’s handling of the matter was again the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio for the week of October 20-24.  At #2 this week was the terror attacks that happened in Canada.  Coming in at #3 was the battle against ISIS in Iraq followed by the looming mid-term elections at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

| October 23, 2014

morrisdickDick Morris to Leave WPHT, Philadelphia Talk Show.  The notorious political operative has been hosting the afternoon drive program on CBS RADIO’s WPHT, Philadelphia for the past 18 months, but now informs the company he will exit after the mid-term elections to return to the political campaign business, focusing on assisting Republicans in 2016.  Dick Morris made the announcement on his Wednesday program and the Philadelphia Daily News is reporting that CBS RADIO Philly SVP and market manager Marcwpht logo Rayfield says, “He has done a great job for WPHT and we knew his busy schedule might one day make doing a daily radio show difficult.”  Rayfield expects to have news of the station’s plans for the daypart as soon as next week.  Philadelphia talk radio pro Gary R’nel co-hosts the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show alongside Morris and has been a largely unsung component of the program’s professional smoothness and appeal.  Also, it is reported in the Daily News story that noted media consultant Walter Sabo has been seen at the station in recent weeks and has even recently hosted several talk programs during nighttime hours under a fictitious name – fueling speculation that the Sabo Media CEO is either involved in the station as a sabowalterconsultant or even more provocatively as a potential replacement for an on-air talent opening.  Although Sabo’s involvement is officially denied by CBS market management, TALKERS magazine editorial intelligence indicates it is not unusual for well-known programming consultants to occasionally moonlight as fill-in talent simply for the sake of keeping their first-hand “feel” for the format active… or as is likely in the case of Sabo, simply for the fun of it.  Regarding developments at WPHT, Walter Sabo tells TALKERS, “Under [OM] Andy Bloom and [PD] Jared Hart, WPHT has become a dynamic, Philadelphia radio station. They’ve made a series of great decisions, they will make the right one again.”

veittomNew Local Show to Debut on WHBO, Tampa and WHOO, Orlando.  The two sports talk stations are operated by Genesis Communications and, although they carry the slogan “The Team,” are branded collectively along with the website of the same name, “Sports Talk Florida.” Now the simulcast adds a new local show to the program lineup.  Debuting in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot is “The Front Office,” hosted by Tom Veit, a.k.a. The GM.  The station says the program “will take a unique look at the Central Florida sports world giving listeners the perspective from those that make the deals and the sports insiders that know how they’re made. Veit is a seasoned sports executive with over 25 years of experience in the sports and entertainment industry.”  Veit comments, “With 10 major professional sports teams and seven all sport Division I collegiate programs in Florida, there needs to be a place during the midday to talk local sports.  Every day there will be passionate debates on the hot topics.  After spending so many years working in the Central Florida sports scene, the one thing I know is that there is passion from every point of view.”

westwood one sportsWestwood One’s Unique Fourth Down. Pro football fans this Sunday (10/26) will experience either pure nirvana or pigskin overkill when Westwood One airs four consecutive NFL games. The league’s “International Series” affair between the Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons from London’s Wembley Stadium kicks off the coverage, beginning at 9:00 am (ET).  Assigned to that contest are Dave Sims and Mark Malone.  Kevin Lee and Ross Tucker will call the Houston Texans versus Tennessee Titans game, which starts at 12:30 pm (ET). Immediately following, the Philadelphia Eagles play the Arizona Cardinals, with Tom McCarthy and Rod Woodson handling play-by-play and analysis duties, respectively.  Wrapping up Westwood One’s quadruple-header marathon is the 7:30 pm (ET) tussle between the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints, with Kevin Kugler, James Lofton, and Chris Doering doing the broadcasting honors.

abcKaterskyOttawaOn the Scene in Ottawa.  As Canada deals with the attacks at the country’s National War Memorial and Parliament that happened on Tuesday, ABC News Radio‘s Aaron Katersky is on the scene.  He’s pictured here just down the road from the Parliament building in Ottawa reporting after Michael Zehaf-Bibeau killed Canadian Army reservist Nathan Cirillo who was serving as a guard at the capitol.   

Michael Brown Autopsy Report/Ferguson Tensions, Mid-Term Elections, Ebola Pandemic Threat, Monica Lewinsky Speech, Canadian Killings, Battle Against ISIS, and Renee Zellweger Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/22).  The unofficial release of the autopsy report on Michael Brown indicating he was shot at close range and the tensions in Ferguson, Missouri; the looming mid-term elections and speculation about a majority change in the Senate; the Ebola pandemic threat and the Obama Administration’s response; the revisiting of the Monica Lewinsky-Bill Clinton affair after Lewinsky’s recent speech blaming the Drudge Report for “ruining” her life; the recent killings in Canada related to homegrown “jihadists”; the coalition battle against ISIS in Iraq; and the flap over actress Renee Zellweger’s changed appearance were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

| October 22, 2014

limbaughrushPew Research Study of Most- and Least-Trusted News Outlets Demands Definition of ‘News Outlet.’  The results of the recently released Pew Research study of the most- and least-trusted news outlets come from the firm’s ongoing American Trends Panel and were culled from 2,900 responses.  Many ofstewartjon the findings are not surprising – liberals don’t trust Fox News Channel and conservatives don’t trust NPR – but what TALKERS found interesting was the inclusion of radio talk shows such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and TV comedy shows like “The Colbert Report” and “The Daily Show” among news outlets.  Lumping talk and comedy shows with actual news organizations certainly gives the list some color.  For the record, TALKERS does not consider a talk show or television show a “news outlet” in the traditional sense, but perhaps the fact that at least some consumers get their “news” from Jon Stewart or Rush Limbaugh is broadening the definition of “news outlet” whether industry people consider it to be so or not.  See the Pew study here.

galuskijoeWSYR, Syracuse Personality Galuski Battling Cancer.  Morning show personality Joe Galuski has been off iHeartMedia-owned news/talker WSYR, Syracuse for the past five weeks and yesterday the station fixture announced he’s been battling cancer.  Syracuse.com reports Galuski is fighting non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a stronger form of the same disease that he beat after a previous occurrence in 1992.  Galuski assured listeners that he is going to “knock it out.”  iHeartMedia VP/market manager Rick Yacobush tells Syracuse.com, “Our plan right now is for Mark Wainwright and George Kilpatrick to be alternating as morning hosts and keep the seat warm until Joe returns.”  Read the whole story here.

salemtownhall14Successful Event.  This photo was taken from the balcony of the Alex Theatre in Glendale, California at last weekend’s AM 870 The Answer Town Hall.  On the stage are (from left to right): KRLA “The Morning Answer” hosts Elisha Krauss and Brian Whitman, “Morning Answer” host and author Ben Shapiro, SRN-syndicated talk hosts Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, and Hugh Hewitt; and author and media personality Katie Pavlich.  The sell-out crowd of 1,300 was also treated to surprise guest Mike Gallagher leading them in a spirited rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”  The hosts heard on the Salem-owned station batted around issues including the mid-term elections, the upcoming leaders of the Republican Party and the Ebola pandemic threat.

westwood one NEWWestwood One and vCreative Extend Partnership.  The rep deal between Westwood One and vCreative continues as the two firms announce a multi-year extension.  vCreative offers cloud-based terrestrial and digital software that allows continuity, traffic, and production departments to work easily together.  Westwood One COO Charles Steinhauer says, “vCreative is a great partner for Cumulus and the radio industry at large as they continue to innovate and improve station work flow.  Westwood One is proud to extend our partnership with vCreative president Jinny Laderer and her team as we continue to represent the best and brightest companies in the marketplace.”

morrisginnyThe Conclave to Honor Ginny Morris with Rockwell Award.  As the 39th Conclave Learning Conference on November 14-15 in Minneapolis approaches, The Conclave announces the 2014 Rockwell Award is being bestowed upon Hubbard Radio chair and CEO Ginny Morris.  Conclave board of directors chairman Mark Bolke says, “The Rockwell Award recognizes those who have contributed to the rich legacy of the radio industry, communicating, inspiring and mentoring.  Ginny has led Hubbard’s radio division from a two-station Minneapolis based group to one of the prominent and most respected radio companies in the country.  We thank Ginny for her support of the Conclave over the years.”

sternAnalysisHoward Stern to Undergo Analysis on Radio Show.  He’s received a lot of attention during his long radio career, but now Howard Stern will undergo “scientific and metaphysical analysis” on “The Outer Limits of Inner Truth Radio Show.”  To be clear, Howard Stern is not appearing on the show (as far as we know), but the program’s hosts will speak with experts from various disciplines as part of the show.  Executive producer Ryan McCormick says, “We’re going to examine Mr. Stern’s life in a way that we feel has never been done before.  We believe that Howard Stern is a very deep intellectual and spiritual person and that his life can offer humanity a lot of valuable lessons.”  The program – set to air on Saturday, October 25 at 10:00 pm CT (on the web, 11:00 pm CT broadcast) – will be divided into five parts and feature 15 separate interviews with people including Regan Arts CEO Judith Regan, former Viacom EVP Tony Fox, a former Stern show intern, plus numerous psychics and psychologists.  McCormick adds, “It is our sincere hope that the research we’ve compiled for this broadcast helps Mr. Stern in some way to have a greater understanding of who he truly is and provide him with some measure of peace and comfort.”  See more about the show at www.outerlimitsradio.com.

Ebola Pandemic Threat, Mid-Term Elections, Monica Lewinsky Speech, the Battle Against ISIS/Denver Teens Plan, Michael Brown Autopsy Report/Ferguson Tensions, Obama Green Cards/Immigration Plan Report, Financial Markets Activity, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/21).  The concerns over an Ebola pandemic and how U.S. authorities are dealing with the matter; the looming mid-term elections and the possibility of a majority change in the Senate; reaction to Monica Lewinsky’s recent speech in which she blamed the media for her treatment after the Bill Clinton affair; the ongoing battle against ISIS and the case of three Denver teen girls trying to fly to Syria to join ISIS; the just-released Michael Brown autopsy and tensions in Ferguson over whether Darren Wilson will be charged; reports of the Obama Administration’s plan to increase the number of green cards issued and its immigration policy; the activity on the world’s financial markets; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

| October 21, 2014

wtopEbolaEbola Dominates Talk Radio as Matter Is Top-of-Mind with Public.  The issues surrounding the outbreak of Ebola in Africa and its spread to other nations including the U.S., make it the ongoing top story being discussed on talk radio.  The different aspects of the issue – the political, the medical, the immigration-related and the economic – are making it an ongoing topic worth examining from different angles.  Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington presented a panel discussion about the issue at Washington’s Newseum on Monday (10/20).  Pictured here at the Newseum’s Knight Studio are (from left to right): Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene for the state of Maryland; Dr. Jesse Goodman, professor of medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center (who is also former chief scientist for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration); Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institutes for Health; Bruce Alan, WTOP midday anchor and Debra Feinstein, WTOP midday anchor.  The live event, carried on WTOP, featured the medical experts answering audience questions about the virus, the outbreak and response in the United States.  It was attended by more than 100 guests including healthcare workers and media representatives from CNN, BBC, C-SPAN, Associated Press, U.S. News and World Report, WJLA, WUSA 9, NBC Washington, FOX 5, and more.

ktth logoKTTH, Seattle Sells Out Gun Rights Debate.  This is the third panel discussion Bonneville Seattle news/talk KTTH will host in the “Freedom Series.”  It takes place tomorrow (10/22) at Pigott Auditorium at Seattle University from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm and the event is sold out.  The panel is being moderated by KTTH host David Boze.  Also taking part from the station are KTTH pm drive host and New York Times bestselling author Ben Shapiro and Salem Radio Network-syndicated host Michael MedvedDave Ross, heard on sister news/talker KIRO-FM, is also taking part.  Representing Washington Ceasefire is president and activist Ralph Fascitelli.  KTTH program director Jason Antebi states, “There is a conflict between honoring the Second Amendment rights of Washingtonians and tackling the issue of needless gun violence.  Without examining both sides of the issue, I’m not sure we can find any solutions.  It’s my hope that this panel can provide us all with meaningful information and find common ground among folks on either side of this issue.”

abcnewsradioABC News Radio, Fox News Radio Set Midterm Election Coverage. Two weeks from tonight (Tuesday, 11/4), Aaron Katersky will anchor ABC News Radio‘s 7:00 pm – 2:00 am (ET) midterm election coverage.  Alex Stone is among the network’s team of more than a dozen correspondents – he will be in California; Steven Portnoy will report from Kentucky; and Jim Ryan will report from Dallas.  Special contributor Ann Compton joins the coverage from Washington, while Richard Davies will be stationed at the network’s “Decision Desk.”  ABC News Radio will provide one-minute Election Day foxnewsradio“Status Reports.”  It will continue doing so four times an hour for seven hours, starting at 7:00 pm (ET), on (Wednesday) November 5. Meanwhile, Fox News Radio will air an hour-long Dave Anthony-hosted “Balance of Power” weekend special before Election Day.  The FNR morning anchor will take a final look at various key races around the country.  Fox News Radio’s Lisa Brady and Fox News Channel‘s Kelly Wright are slated to co-anchor election night coverage (6:00 pm – 2:00 am, ET), with additional contributions provided by FNR political analyst Jeff Birnbaum and FNC’s Molly Henneberg. FNR correspondents will report from various election headquarters.  FNC’s Eric Shawn and Julie Banderas co-host a two-hour “Morning after Election” on Wednesday, November 5.

topicpulse logoLDR Interactive’s TopicPulse Partners with E.W. Scripps TV and WTOP, Washington.  The real-time social media monitoring system TopicPulse is now being used by E.W. Scripps Television and Hubbard Broadcasting’s WTOP, Washington.  LDR Interactive says that its TopicPulse system “scans social media including Twitter and Facebook, local message boards, and news sources to track trending topics in a local market.”  Additionally, producers can access trending videos and images, and see which primary demo (gender and age group) is most inclined to engage with the topic on social media.  TopicPulse also features a Tweetmap that showcases the market’s most popular tweets and hashtags on a local map, enabling producers to create hyper-local content based on up-to-the-minute social trends.  LDR reports that E.W. Scripps Television is using TopicPulse to fuel a nationally syndicated show called “The Now,” which uniquely focuses on trending topics and social buzz in each local market.  With WTOP, TopicPulse is being used to track social media engagement within the beltway. Hubbard Washington SVP and GM Joel Oxley says, “TopicPulse has been a difference maker and a smart addition to our newsroom toolkit.  The more information we have to track what our audience is interested in, the greater the opportunity is to better serve their needs, and TopicPulse helps us get there.”  LDR CEO Daniel Anstandig says, “We’ve been quietly deploying TopicPulse in major markets across the US this year.  Whether you are creating content for a national TV show or a local market radio morning show, TopicPulse provides the real-time insights that on-air talent and producers need in an instant.  It’s a secret weapon for content producers.”

spreaker logoWYD Media Ad Sales Partners with Spreaker.  This partnership puts together WYD Media Ad Sales LLC and Spreaker, “an international digital company that provides a diverse community of broadcasters, musicians and producers a platform where they can listen to original content and/or upload their own content and seamlessly distribute it on www.Spreaker.com.”   WYD Media Ad Sales president John Murphy says, “Spreaker’s technology is exceptional because it allows broadcast capabilities and sharing of all entertainment genres in both spoken-word and music.  This is a great opportunity for our advertising clients because we can actually create andhartenbaumron distribute content specifically for them in any format imaginable.”  Spreaker CEO Francesco Baschieri comments, “I’m excited to see yet another piece of our vision fall into place.  We’re contributing to a new type of media with Spreaker as the internet’s new home for spoken-word content.  Thanks to this collaboration with WYD Media Ad Sales, we’ll be able to give our hosts a way to build on their talent and monetize.   Anyone who thinks they can step up to this game is welcome to join.”  WYD CEO Ron Hartenbaum adds, “The platform is an organic community of people who really want to be there and are actively participating.  I’m excited about tapping into that marketplace by creating and aggregating cohesive content with Francesco and our clients.”

Odds & Sods.  Longtime Twin Falls, Idaho radio personality Kelly Klaas is retiring after a 45-year career that started on top 40 station KEEP (now KEZJ-AM).  Klaas has been hosting a talk show on Townsquare Media’s news/talk KLIX since 2007…..James Crystal Radio’s sports talk WMEN, West Palm Beach “640 Sports” names Steve White afternoon drive host.  White replaces Orlando Alzugaray who exited in August to join WQAM, Miami.

karnlogoCool Job Opportunity.  KARN-FM, Little Rock and the Arkansas Radio Network are looking for the next great news anchor/producer to join Arkansas’ largest radio newsroom!  You have to be a great news writer and multi-tasker, because you’ll be anchoring newscasts on “Newsradio 102.9” KARN and the Arkansas Radio Network.  You’ll also contribute to our live morning and/or afternoon drive talk shows.  Must be able to work nights and weekends.  Please send resumes, broadcast writing samples and airchecks to: cumulusradio.jobs@cumulus.com with “Little Rock News” in the subject line.  Cumulus Media Little Rock maintains a drug-free workplace and is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer.  Women and minorities are strongly encouraged to apply.

kfwb sports‘The Beast 980’ to Open Los Angeles Clippers Season with Special Broadcast.  When the 2014-15 NBA season kicks off and the Los Angeles Clippers host their home opener, KFWB “The Beast 980” is celebrating the event with a special, live broadcast featuring Jim Rome and Fred Roggin outside Staples Center on Thursday, October 30 from 12:00 noon to 7:00 pm.  The station says its exclusive Clippers insider coverage kicks off with the Fred Roggin show from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm followed by “The Drive,” with Brett Winterble and former NFL tight end George Wrighster from 3:00 pm to 6:30 pm.  Rome, who will broadcast his CBS Sports Radio Network-syndicated show earlier in the day from Orange County, makes his way up to Staples Center for a special appearance as co-host from 4:00 pm to 6:30 pm.

Ebola Pandemic Threat, Mid-Term Elections, Campaign Against ISIS, Pistorius Sentenced, New Green Cards Plan/Amnesty Policy, Monica Lewinsky Speech, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/20).  The ongoing threat of a global Ebola pandemic and the Obama Administration’s handling of the crisis; the looming mid-term elections and the potential for a majority shift in the Senate; the political landscape in the Middle East with ISIS gaining more power in Iraq; former Paralympics sprinter Oscar Pistorius sentenced; a reported plan by the Obama Administration to issue new immigrant workers green cards and the possibility of a new amnesty policy; reaction to Monica Lewinsky’s recent speech blaming the Drudge Report for her public reputation; and the weekend’s NFL action were among the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, October 20, 2014

| October 20, 2014

redskins logoWWXX License Renewal Objection Draws Response. The FCC is considering whether it should rule if the team name of the NFL‘s Washington franchise (“Redskins”) is indecent.  One of that team’s three radio flagships – Red Zebra Broadcasting-owned WWXX – has filed its answer to objections regarding the renewal of its broadcast license.  WWXT (92.7) and WWXX (94.3) repeat the signal of primary flagship WTEM “ESPN 980.”  Red Zebra states that its response “makes clear that under the Communications Act and the First Amendment, the FCC should not be in the business of censoring the content of radio stations.  Any debate about the team’s name and its meaning should be held in the free marketplace of ideas, not in the halls of the FCC or any other governmental agency.”  Red Zebra counsel Andrew McBride of Wiley Rein LLP comments, redzebra“We hope the FCC will swiftly reject this transparent attempt to use the license renewal process to intimidate broadcasters across the country with the baseless threat that accurately reporting on the Washington football franchise by using the team’s full name violates any law or FCC regulation.”  Many consider the name of the DC franchise a slur to Native Americans and they have called on team owner – and Red Zebra primary investor – Dan Snyder to change it.  President Barack Obama is among those fccasking the NFL to endorse a name alteration, as are at least one-half the members of the U.S. Senate.  In a preliminary 18-page formal petition to deny renewal of a station’s FCC broadcast license, petitioner John F. Banzhaf III, “a listener to station WWXX, respectfully requests on behalf of himself and others similarly situated, and who are like himself adversely affected or aggrieved, that the agency deny the renewal of this station’s license and any other requests.  It deliberately, repeatedly, and unnecessarily broadcasts the word ‘R*dskins’ during most of its broadcasting day, and especially in prime time where its well documented adverse impact on impressionable young Indian as well as non-Indian children is greatest.  Through its licensee and controlling owner Dan Snyder, also actively encourages or indeed forces many other broadcasters to likewise broadcast a derogatory racial and ethnic slur contrary to the public interest.”  Banzhaf is an American legal activist and a law professor at George Washington University Law School.  The Washington Post editorial board has stopped using the team’s name, and a panel of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled the team’s trademark registration four months ago.  Even so, Snyder vows to keep the name.  TALKERS legal editor Steve J.J. Weisman recently wrote a column about this matter addressing the FCC’s jurisdiction to rule on the issue.  Read that piece here.

cookehollandCooke: Two Weekend Problems, Two Solutions.  In a piece written exclusively for TALKERS, radio consultant Holland Cooke addresses two weekend problems that face talk radio stations and offers a couple of solutions.  He says ask-the-expert shows – i.e. brokered programming from local attorneys, real estate agents, veterinarians, etc. – don’t have to sound bad!  Coach them so their broadcasts are well-executed and informative.  Plus, let these clients use your listen-on-demand capabilities to reach more potential customers and they will be more satisfied with the money they are spending on your station.  Read Cooke’s entire piece here.

barnesgabeHow Mobile Can Save Your Talk Radio Brand.  Digital media pro Gabe Barnes says, in a column exclusive to TALKERS, that he’s surprised by the number of radio execs who are put off by the reported amount of radio app usage that takes place outside of the station’s broadcast range.  They see primarily the streaming fees for a listener who’s outside the “market.”  The Mersoft Media director, business development says that’s not necessarily bad.  “Many of those listening out of the broadcast range are actually local residents or have some ties to that local community.  A local advertisement would be just as effective, provided the advertisement is compelling and targeted.”  But there are more advantages for getting fans of your programming to go “mobile” with it.  Read Barnes’ entire column here.

wtic logoWTIC, Hartford License Renewal on Enforcement Hold.  With the conviction of former Connecticut Governor John Rowland – until April of 2014 the afternoon drive personality on WTIC, Hartford – on campaign fraud charges in the rear view, CBS RADIO’srowlandjohn news/talk WTIC, Hartford is now waiting out an enforcement hold on his license renewal with the FCC.  In a story in the Hartford Courant, Edmund Mahony writes that the hold on the process is due to a “payola” complaint to the FCC related to Rowland’s actions promoting a Republican candidate in a primary race without disclosing – either to the radio audience or the FEC – that he was on that candidate’s payroll.  The FCC doesn’t comment on the specifics of these matters and CBS RADIO is simply confirming that the process is on hold but the company does not know why.  Rowland is set to be sentenced in January.  The station certainly took its share of criticism for hiring Rowland after his first conviction in 2004 on corruption charges related to activities while in the governor’s office.  Now, the station may be liable for a fine or reprimand, according to experts Mahony cites in his story.  Most experts agree a denial of the license renewal for WTIC is unlikely, to say the least.

espnradioESPN Radio to Air World Series. This marks the seventeenth straight year that ESPN Radio has exclusive radio rights to MLB‘s World Series.  ESPN “Sunday Night Baseball” lead play-by-play announcer Dan Shulman and analyst Aaron Boone will function in those capacities on the radio broadcasts for the best-of-seven series that commences tomorrow night (10/21) between the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants.  Pre-game and post-game coverage will be handled by Jon Sciambi, analyst Chris Singleton, ESPN MLB insider Peter Pascarelli, and Marc Kestecher.  Meanwhile, for the tenth successive year, ESPN Deportes Radio will broadcast every game for a Spanish-speaking audience.  San Diego Padres Spanish-language announcer Eduardo Ortega will be joined by Renato Bermudez, Armando Talavera, and Jose Francisco Rivera.

kmbz logoCool Job Opportunity.  One of the top newsrooms in the country, KMBZ in Kansas City, has an immediate opening for a Morning Show Executive News Producer.  This is a unique opportunity for someone with great writing skills, an appetite for everything news, and a desire to create exclusive content each and every day.  Candidates need to have a news background, and a good understanding of news-wheel operations.  Reporting experience would be very good as well.  “Kansas City’s Morning News” and KMBZ are committed to finding the right person to fill this position.  If you have what it takes, send a resume, along with anything else that will make you shine to KMBZJobs@gmail.com.  KMBZ and Entercom Kansas City are an Equal Opportunity Employer.

salemIsraelSalem Personalities in Israel.  Four Salem Communications Christian teaching talk personalities are accompanying more than 350 listeners on a trip through the Holy Land.  Pictured here from left to right are: Mark Daniels, WFIL, Philadelphia; Frank Sontag, KKLA, Los Angeles; Georgene Rice, KPDQ, Portland; and Kevin McCullough, nationally syndicated and WMCA, New York after a lunch on Mt. Carmel in Haifa, Israel.  Also joining the listeners and personalities on this trip is Salem Communications radio division president David Santrella.