Talk Radio/Media Industry News

Friday, October 31, 2014

| October 31, 2014

2014hhsports-header only 200TALKERS Magazine Presents 2014 Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk.  Today (10/31), the editors of TALKERS magazine present the third annual Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk – The 100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America.  This list ranks sports talk hosts, duos or ensembles from 1 to 100, based upon a set of criteria that includes a combination of hard and soft factors.  The genre of sports talk radio has evolved greatly and grown exponentially over the past 10 years to go from being a fringe format to an important sub-genre of spoken-word radio programming.  With this in mind, the editors of TALKERS debuted the Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk in 2012 to acknowledge the hard-working air personalities on sports talk radio.  The results of this list are, admittedly, subjective.  Being  true to the realities of the media business, ratings and revenue are two of the major factors – some would say they are the only factors worth considering – but the editors also took into account other qualities that help create a list that is reflective of the industry’s diversity and total flavor and still give credit where credit is due.  Those qualities include: courage, effort, impact, recognition, service, talent and uniqueness.  The other concrete qualification for inclusion is hosts must be working – that is, have a regularly scheduled professional show on the air at a minimum of one terrestrial or satellite radio station – at the time of publication.  Now you know the criteria, so who’s #1 this year? Number two, and three?  Click here to find out.

ppmunitRound Four of October PPM Data Released.  The fourth of four rounds of October 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The survey period was September 11 through October 8.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

salemcommunicationsTwo More Salem News/Talkers Take ‘The Answer’ Brand.  Joining the 11 Salem Communications-owned news/talk station to begin using “The Answer” as their brand are WRC, Washington and KLUP, San Antonio.  Beginning November 4, they become “AM 1260 The Answer” and “AM 930 The Truth,” respectively.  Salem VP director of spoken word format Phil Boyce comments, “Since this is decision day in America, we felt the perfect time to make the brand name switch was on Election Day, and both markets were ready to go.”  Boyce says the brand has resonated with listeners in the markets where the company is using it.

napabroadcasting logoSchechtman Launches Local Digital Effort NapaBroadcasting.com.  Napa Valley broadcasting pro Jeff Schechtman – for the past 10 years the GM of radio stations KVON and KVYN in the region – is launching an online radio station targeting the Napa Valley community.  Schechtman is partnering with Napa Valley College and the operation’s offices and studios are located on the school’s campus.  In a press release, Schechtman notes that since leaving KVON and KVYN, former local talk station KVON flipped to sports using Fox schechtmanjeffSports Radio and he says both stations have outsourced their news.  “There is currently no original audio reporting and no chance for the community to hear the voices of local leaders, opinion makers or other citizens.”  He says his venture hopes to provide that local content.  “Suddenly it became clear to me and others in the community that there was a huge need for local programming that wasn’t being served.  Napa also provides a unique economic opportunity, because in addition to local news and talk, we can expand the effort to incorporate wine, food and health programing, which has both local and worldwide appeal.  We can use the internet for both local, regional and worldwide purposes.”  The partnership with Napa Valley College provides both programming and creative personnel.  Music programing will also start in January.  Schechtman believes that being on a college campus helps provide the energy and creativity that represents what this effort is about.  “This is radio for the way we live now,” he explains.

r'nelgaryOdds & Sods.  With the move of evening host Rich Zeoli from the evening shift to afternoon drive at CBS RADIO’s WPHT, Philadelphia, current afternoon drive co-host Gary R’nel slides back into the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm time slot.  R’nel has been working with Dick Morris who exits the station on November 5…..New general managers are named by Salem Communications for its San Diego and Sacramento station groups.  Dale Hendry relocates to San Diego to lead the team there. He moves south from the company’s Sacramento cluster where he’s been serving as GM.  Taking over Hendry’s role in Sacramento is Mark Durkin who is promoted from his director of sales position.  And Scott Hamilton becomes general sales manager in Sacramento.

B&OLive showBig Bax & O’Brien Bash in Springfield.  The long-running, highly-successful morning talk team of Bax & O’Brien (Mike “Bax” Baxendale and John O’Brien) of Saga Communications’ classic rocker, WAQY (Rock 102), Springfield, Massachusetts presented their second annual “Thursday Night Live” show last night (10/30).  The bawdy, irreverent comedy spectacular played before a sold-out house of more than 200 core fans at downtown Springfield’s prestigious City Stage theater whoharrisongoldsteinBOsmall paid $27 each for the honor of being entertained by a slew of guests and performers that included salty crooner Red Peters & the Alan Pinchloaf Singers, show producer/newsman/sidekick Steve Nagel, a “mystery guest,” comedic appearances by several high-profile local sponsors as well as hilarious video drop ins from Lionel of LionelMedia.com and show regular, Fitsy. Pictured above (l-r):  Bax & O’Brien on stage.  Pictured at right (l-r): Saga Communications EVP Steve Goldstein and TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison with a photo bomb appearance of associate publisher Matthew B. Harrison taken at a selfie machine set up in the theater lobby.

journalcommunicationsJournal Reports Radio Revenue Up 5.1% in Q3.  Bucking the industry-wide third quarter trend, Journal Communications is reporting a downright outstanding quarter for its radio and television division.  On the radio side, operating earnings were up 16.1% and the net revenue figure of $21.6 million saw a percentage hike of 5.1%.  Television net revenue was up 22.8% but publishing fell 5.4%.  The irony here is that Journal is entering into a complex deal with E.W. Scripps that would put the combined TV and radio properties into one company and the publishing platform into another called Journal Media Group.  Journal Communications CEO Steve Smith states, “Journal benefitted from continued growth in television retransmission revenue along with significant political and issue advertising spending in a number of our markets.  Our focused broadcast sales efforts grew both television and radio revenue, excluding retransmission and political, by approximately 3% and drove television and radio digital revenue up 22% and 31%, respectively.”  Journal has fared better than other radio station owners in the political advertising arena by luck of the draw – it owns stations in states and markets with tight and high-profile races and ballot issues.

wmaldiner10-14Another Stop on the ‘WMAL Diner Tour.’  This photo is from the latest stop on the October “WMAL Diner Tour” in which the station broadcasts (each Friday this month) live from a different diner in Maryland or Virginia.  It’s all part of the station’s content leading up to Tuesday’s elections.  Seen here are (from left to right): guest Ed Henry, Fox News White House correspondent; WMAL “Mornings On The Mall” hosts Larry O’Connor and Brian Wilson.

Mid-Term Elections Take Over Top Spot on Talkers TenTM.  After three weeks of the Ebola pandemic threat as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio, the run-up to Tuesday’s mid-term elections was the prevailing topic this week.  At #2 was the domestic Ebola cases and the threat of a global pandemic.  Coming in at #3 was the battle against ISIS in Iraq and Western citizens joining the radical organization, followed by the 2016 presidential prospects 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.

KFWBsports legendsLos Angeles Sports Media Legends.  The opening of the Los Angeles Clippers 2014-15 season was the reason for the remote broadcast from “Fan Fest” outside the Staples Center in Los Angeles for the team’s flagship KFWB “The Beast 980.”  Pictured here are (from left to right): Ralph Lawler, who appears on the station at 7:30 each morning; midday personality Fred Roggin; and late morning syndicated talk host Jim Rome.  Additionally, the station’s other weekday personalities Marques Johnson, Jeanne Zelasko, Brett Winterble and George Wrighster appeared at the broadcast.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

| October 30, 2014

baxteredEd Baxter Named Midday Host at KKSF, San Francisco.  Longtime market pro Ed Baxter is named the permanent 10:00 am to 1:00 pm host at iHeartMedia’s KKSF, San Francisco “Talk 910.”  The Bay Area Radio Hall of Famer was a fixture on crosstown KGO for more than 30 years where he served as news anchor in both morning and afternoon drive slots.  iHeartMedia San Francisco VP of programming Don Parker writes on the station’s website, “We are thrilled to add Ed Baxter to the ‘Talk 910’ lineup.  Ed has a tremendous audience base from his many years on the air in the Bay Area, as well as a fantastic track record of success for advertisers.  Our commitment to live and local talk throughout prime-time programming is unparalleled in the Bay, making ‘Talk 910’ San Francisco’s Talk Station.”

lippjenJennifer Lipp to Leave KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno.  Twenty-year Fresno market radio personality Jennifer Lipp is leaving her morning drive co-host role at Cumulus Media’s news/talk duo KMJ-AM and FM.  The Fresno Bee reports that Lipp – who is partnered with John Broeske on the John and Jen show – and her family are moving from the area because her husband has accepted a position in Arkansas.  The Philadelphia native also worked in the Fresno market at rhythmic oldies KFBT “The Beat 103.7” and rock KKBZ “The Blaze 105.1” before joining KMJ two years ago.

2014hhsports-header only 200TALKERS Magazine to Present 2014 Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk.  On Friday (10/31), the editors of TALKERS magazine will present the third annual Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk – The 100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America.  This list will rank sports talk hosts, duos or ensembles from 1 to 100, based upon a set of criteria that includes a combination of hard and soft factors.  The genre of sports talk radio has evolved greatly and grown exponentially over the past 10 years to go from being a fringe format to an important sub-genre of spoken-word radio programming.  With this in mind, the editors of TALKERS debuted the Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk in 2012 to acknowledge the hard-working air personalities on sports talk radio.  The results of this list are, admittedly, subjective.  Being  true to the realities of the media business, ratings and revenue are two of the major factors – some would say they are the only factors worth considering – but the editors also took into account other qualities that help create a list that is reflective of the industry’s diversity and total flavor and still give credit where credit is due.  Those qualities include: courage, effort, impact, recognition, service, talent and uniqueness.  The other concrete qualification for inclusion is hosts must be working – that is, have a regularly scheduled professional show on the air at a minimum of one terrestrial or satellite radio station – at the time of publication.  Look for this annual feature to be published at Talkers.com tomorrow!

nielsen logoRound Three of October PPM Data Released.  The third of four rounds of October 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The survey period was September 11 through October 8.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

wsj this morningRamping Up to Election Day.  Tuesday’s mid-term elections are right around the corner and “The Wall Street Journal This Morning” went to the iconic Independence Mall in Philadelphia to gauge how Americans are feeling about the economy, their wages, their job security, and their small businesses.   Host Gordon Deal and news anchor Gina Cervetti will present comments from the people they talk to during special segments of the show on Monday and Tuesday in a feature called “Voices of the Voters.”

harrisheidiOdds & Sods.  KBET, Las Vegas talk show host Heidi Harris is honored by being profiled in the 2014 edition of the Distinguished Women in Nevada publication.  Harris, a longtime Las Vegas media personality, hosts the 6:00 pm hour on KBET…..WPHT, Philadelphia talk show host Dom Giordano (who recently re-upped with the CBS RADIO news/talk outlet) is being honored in chocolate!  Gertrude Hawk Chocolates will issue “The Dom Bar.”  The candy will have a picture of Giordano on the label that will say, “It’s Dom Time.”…..Westwood One announces that Mary Giesen has been hired to serve as vice president, sales planning.  It’s a homecoming for Giesen, who previously worked at Westwood One in several sales planning capacities.  Her responsibilities this time will include strategic development of the company’s sales initiatives, including management of commercial inventory; sales data; pricing; and performance.

batrapoojaNew Online Hindi Radio Station Offering Music and Talk Shows Targeted to America’s Growing Indian Population.  A new online radio station called Mera Sangeet (www.merasangeet.com), based in the Northridge area of Los Angeles and owned by its CEO, the dynamic Indian-born actress, model, entrepreneur and philanthropist Pooja Batra, is now streaming on the web with a wide variety of Hindi music and general interest (Indian issues and pop culture) talk shows.  The station’s management, which also includes noted Bollywood film-maker Anshuvijay Rode, describes its targetrodeanshuvijay audience (the Indian diaspora) as “the most affluent ethnic minority in the US.”  Many of the station’s impressive lineup of on-air personalities, described as “RJs” (radio jockeys) include household names and stars from India’s show business and Bollywood (cinema) scene.  The business model of the fledgling operation consists of two basic entities – the national Mera Sangeet LA stream that emanates from Los Angeles with the bulk of its programming and local franchises across the US (Mera Sangeet USA).  The station is offering interested and qualified parties across the country the opportunity to invest in these local franchises which would involve generating a local programming and sales component to compliment the national content provided from Los Angeles.  The station is also interested in meeting with potential general investors.  Interested parties can call Anshuvijay Rode in LA at 323-203-7445.

kqthFisherKQTH, Tucson Raises $121,000-plus for Fisher House Foundation.  On Wednesday (10/29), Journal Broadcast Group news/talk KQTH-FM, Tucson held a 12-hour radiothon to raise funds to help build a Fisher House at the Southern Arizona Veterans Administration Health Care Center.  During the broadcast, the station helped bring in $121,178 for the cause.  Pictured here celebrating the success of the event are (from left to right): KQTH producer Shane Dunn, program director and morning host Bill White, afternoon host James T. Harris and Arizona Fisher House vice chair Rick Grinnell.  Other KQTH personalities who participated in the radiothon were Jon Justice, Ben Buehler Garcia and news anchor John Harper.  Stations interested in learning how to support the Fisher House Foundation which provides housing for veterans and the families of military personnel being treated at military hospitals can contact Marshall Adams at radio@fisherhouse.org.

srnCruzSpecial Election Night Guest.  Posing for a photo with U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (right) is Salem Radio Network vice president/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (left).  Both share a laugh over an Obama t-shirt.  The two got together in advance of Tuesday night’s marathon mid-term election coverage on the network in which Cruz will play a role as one of a number of high-profile guests who will join anchor (and SRN-syndicated talk show host) Hugh Hewitt that evening.

Domestic Ebola Cases, Mid-Term Elections, Battle Against ISIS, 2016 Presidential Hopefuls, and World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/29).  The domestic Ebola cases and controversy surrounding quarantine policies; next Tuesday’s mid-term elections and the possibility of a majority change in the U.S. Senate; the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS in Iraq and the cases of Western youths joining the militant Islamic organization; the potential candidates for president in 2016; and the Royals-Giants World Series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

| October 29, 2014

zeolirichRich Zeoli Named PM Drive Host at WPHT, Philadelphia.  Evening personality Rich Zeoli will move from the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot on CBS RADIO’s WPHT, Philadelphia to the afternoon drive slot being vacated by Dick Morris beginning November 5.  Morris has been partnered with Gary R’nel in afternoons since January of 2013.  He’s exiting the radio business to return to political consulting full time.  CBS RADIO SVP and market manager Marc Rayfield says, “We are thrilled that Rich is moving to afternoons at WPHT.  He’s a smart, energetic, entertaining talk show host who can tackle a variety of issues that relate to his audience.”  Zeoli comments, “This is a passionate town and we have opinions on everything.  I love nothing more than challenging the audience and they challenge me right back.  There are many local issues that impact our lives and we need a place to talk about them.  That’s what the show is all about and what I plan to bring to afternoon drive on WPHT – a place for the Delaware Valley to talk. I’m just as interested in talking about pop-up beer gardens as I am about NSA spying.  What makes this town like nowhere else in America is its passion, and we’ll share a lot of passion on the drive home together.”  There’s no comment at this time from WPHT on the status of R’nel after Morris exits.

ppmunitRound Two of October PPM Data Released.  The second of four rounds of October 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The survey period was August 14 through September 10.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

cookehollandCooke: DEVOUR iPhoneReporting.com.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke is urging news and news/talk professionals to follow the advice he offers in this column to help give your station a chance to compete in the evolving media world.  The first tip: DEVOUR WTOP, Washington reporter Neal Augenstein’s iPhoneReporting.com site to learn all the tips and tricks for using the Apple product for news purposes.  And pay special attention to that built-in camera.  Cooke says, “Beyond improving/refining/optimizing audio gathering, a smartphone camera can capture the photos and video that stations need to compete for ad dollars that are shifting from legacy media to digital.”  He goes on to say that it’s the perfect tool for making your station indispensable again.  “There’s mounting evidence of the value of radio reverting to local content, which got clobbered during draconian post-consolidation bloodlettings, and as sound-alike syndicated programming seems to have run its course.”  For more about the intersection of digital tools and radio, read Cooke’s column here.

bishopgregOdds & Sods.  The Associated Press is reporting that WMAY, Springfield, Illinois talk show host and news pro Greg Bishop is joining the Illinois News Network to be the voice of the INN’s radio efforts.  The organization – a reporting service focusing on economic policy and government started by the Illinois Policy Institute in 2012 – is developing a radio division and is bringing Bishop aboard to lead that project.  Bishop will continue to host his “Bishop On Air” program on WMAY…..The NBA’s Phoenix Suns and Bonneville’s sports talk simulcast “Arizona Sports” heard on KTAR-AM and KMVP-FM ink a deal to continue broadcasting Suns play-by-play on the stations.  This is the 39th season for Suns hoops on KTAR-AM – dating back to when the station was a news/talk outlet.  In addition to the games and ancillary programming, a “Suns Spotlight” feature will air on sister news/talker KTAR-FM…..Total Traffic Network Milwaukee staffer Andi Miller is leaving the company to relocate to Wausau, Wisconsin where her husband has accepted a position.  Miller has been a regular voice on Journal Broadcast Group’s news/talk WTMJ and adult hits WLWK “The Lake.”

iheartmedia logoBressler: Ad World Moving to Buy ROI.  During yesterday’s investor conference call, iHeartMedia president and CFO Rich Bressler spoke at length about the company’s plans to become the number one multi-platform media company – the underlying company goal that was the force behind the name change from Clear Channel to iHeartMedia.  But from a sales standpoint, Bressler told analysts that, “The advertising world is moving to buy ROI – return on investment – not ratings or impressions as it does today, and we stand to greatly benefit from this trend since we provide huge ROI reflecting our audience size, our scale and the impact we have, none of which have been fully monetized.”  The goal of reaching Millennials is important to Madison Avenue and Bressler noted the 4th annual iHeartRadio Music Festival, held last month in Las Vegas, saw social media impressions double from the previous year “reaching over five billion which is on par with the Academy Awards and more than twice the size of the Halftime Show of the Super Bowl.”  He says 80% of social media posts related to the festival came from the 18-35 demographic.  Bressler delivered the latest data about the iHeartRadio platform saying it now has 56 million registered users and total listening hours are up 10% compared to the same quarter a year ago.  Looking at the financials, iHeartMedia reported a net revenue increase of 1% and Bressler said that although the radio industry experienced a soft Q3, the company outperformed the markets based on Miller Kaplan data.

nrhof 14Melissa Etheridge and Ingrid Michaelson to Perform at National Radio Hall of Fame Induction.  This is the first Los Angeles induction ceremony after 24 years of the National Radio Hall of Fame event taking place in Chicago.  On November 9 at the Cicada in downtown Los Angeles, Charlie & Harrigan, Barry Farber, Ira Glass, Stanley E. Hubbard, Jon Miller, Agnes Moorehead and Dick Orkin will be inducted.  Performing at the event will be Melissa Etheridge and Ingrid Michaelson.  In addition, a special kitchinkraigtribute to Casey Kasem will take place.  National radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig Kitchin says, “This is an event that brings us all together to honor and celebrate the best in our business.  We have an opportunity to show our support and ensure the vitality of this institution by attending.  And if that’s not possible, please consider making a donation to the Museum of Broadcast Communications, which provides a showcase for the National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago year round.”  Noted broadcasters participating in the ceremony will include Ryan Seacrest, Larry King, Rick Dees, Delilah, Michael Jackson, Kerri Kasem and more.

rabiHeartMedia’s Hartley Adkins Elected RAB Board of Directors Chairman.  At its annual board of directors meeting the Radio Advertising Bureau announced new officers and iHeartMedia EVP major markets Hartley Adkins was elected chairman.  Also on the board are (RAB duties noted inadkinshartley parentheses): Hubbard Radio chair and CEO Ginny Morris (vice chair); Cox Media Group EVP radio Kim Guthrie (finance chair); Commonwealth Broadcasting president and CEO Steve Newberry (secretary); Cromwell Group president and founder Bud Walters (immediate past chair).  Newly elected board members are: Hubbard Radio president and COO Drew Horowitz; Alpha Media EVP southern region Bill McElveen; Emmis COO and CFO Pat Walsh; and Journal Broadcast Group EVP Steve Wexler.

Ebola Pandemic Concerns, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Prospects, Hillary Clinton Jobs Creation Statement Flap, Battle Against ISIS/Domestic Terror Threats, Weather Channel Founder on Climate Change, and World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/28).  The continuing concerns about the spread of the Ebola virus and the U.S.’s policy regarding international travel and quarantines; next week’s mid-term elections and chatter about the presidential prospects for 2016; controversy over Hillary Clinton’s comment that businesses don’t create jobs and her attempts to clarify the statement; the progress of ISIS in Iraq and the increase of “lone wolf” domestic terror attacks; Weather Channel founder John Coleman’s challenging the climate change theory; and the Royals-Giants World Series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

| October 28, 2014

nielsen logoRound One of October PPM Data Released.  The first of four rounds of October 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The survey period was September 11 through October 8.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

madisonjoePresident Obama Using Radio to Reach Black Voters.  In an effort to bring black voters to the polls on November 4 – especially in Southern states such as Georgia, North Carolina, Arkansas and Louisiana where important U.S. Senate seats are on the line – President Barack Obama has been going on talk radio shows and drive time programs hosted by black personalities.  The president has appeared on such syndicated shows as Syndication One’s Rev. Al Sharpton program, “The Yolanda Adams Morning Show,” the Rickey Smiley show, and SiriusXM’s Joe Madison program.  Whether the strategy works remains to be seen but TALKERS magazine’s own research indicates the radio blitz is time well spent since, on a percentage basis, blacks are strong users of radio and those who tune in to either talk shows hosted by black personalities or morning shows that tackle issues are more likely to vote in the mid-term and presidential elections.

beckglennOdds & Sods.  The NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and Greater Media’s WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic” ink a new multi-year extension of their contract to present 76ers play-by-play on the station.  This time, the deal includes a number of unique elements designed to provide Sixers fans with news, updates and information that expands beyond the game broadcasts, pre-game show and 30-minute post-game show.  The team and the station will create multi-platform shoulder programming that will include 10 one-hour Sixers shows throughout the season, a “Player Diary” feature, and a “Call of the Game” segment.  Additionally, there will be an online “Get to Know the Sixers” component produced exclusively for 975thefanatic.com…..Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck will move farther up the dial in Chicago from DuPage Radio’s WCKG at 1530 to Kovas Family Trust-owned WCGO at 1590 (licensed to Evanston).  WCKG is transitioning to a more business talk intensive format and is giving up the rights to Beck’s show…..Chris Nicholas joins MacDonald Garber Broadcasting’s Traverse City, Michigan station group where he’ll serve as morning personality on adult contemporary WLXV “Mix 96.7” and program the company’s sports talker WKAD, Harrietta “93.7 The Ticket” and news/talk WATT, Cadillac.

conwayDogWHO’s Simon Conway Raises Funds for Puppy Jake Foundation.  That organization acquires, raises and trains service dogs for physically and mentally wounded military personnel and provides them for free.  WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive host Simon Conway (pictured here with the mic) recently held a tasty fundraiser to help the cause.  Conway managed to get a local supermarket to donate 200 pounds of meat, convinced a bakery to provide 800 buns and even got a champion BBQ king to do the grilling so he could hold a cookout in the WHO parking lot.  In two hours he raised more than $4,000.  Conway says, “The audience was incredible.  We were non-stop with people driving through, picking up sandwiches and throwing heaps of cash in the donation buckets.”  There were also plenty of dogs – including Conway’s own chocolate lab Reagan – on hand to enhance the “cute” factor!

Ebola Pandemic Threat, Mid-Term Elections, Sharyl Attkisson Book, Battle Against ISIS, 2016 Presidential Prospects, World Series, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/27).  The response to quarantine procedures in various states for health care workers who’ve visited West Africa and the threat of a global pandemic; the ramp-up to the mid-term elections as high-profile Democrats and President Obama hit the campaign trail; journalist Sharyl Attkisson releases a new book detailing her experiences at major news organizations trying to cover news that could be negative for the Obama Administration and Democrats; the growing concern over Western citizens joining the ISIS organization; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the Royals-Giants World Series; 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.

Monday, October 27, 2014

| October 27, 2014

kelleyjoeHospitalWDBO-FM, Orlando Morning Host Joe Kelley Sidelined by Enterovirus D68.  The morning drive personality posted his status on the WDBO-FM, Orlando “News 96.5” website confirming he’s been diagnosed with the Enterovirus D68.  Joe Kelley was admitted to the hospital on Friday, October 17 and has been in an isolation ward since his diagnosis.  As you might suspect, Kelley was questioned about whether he traveled to West Africa because the flu-like symptoms were similar to those exhibited by Ebola patients.  Read what Kelley has to say about what he’s been going through here.

giordanodomWPHT, Philadelphia Re-Signs Dom Giordano.  Philadelphia talk radio host Dom Giordano signs a multi-year deal to remain with CBS RADIO’s WPHT “Talk Radio 1210.”  The station says Giordano will continue to host his 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daily show.  CBS Philly SVP Marc Rayfield comments, “Dom has been a staple of Philadelphia talk radio for over 25 years and is a cornerstone of WPHT.  We are pleased that Dom will be with us for years to come.”

stitcherlogoStitcher Acquired by Deezer.  The San Francisco-based digital spoken-word audio aggregator Stitcher is being acquired by French digital audio service Deezer.  The financial terms of the acquisition are not being announced.  Deezer offers about 35 million music tracks and has about 16 million monthly active users around the world.  Meanwhile, Stitcher has 1.5 million registered users.  According to a story in the San Francisco Chronicle, the deal will give Deezer the rights to deliver some 35,000 talk shows and spoken-word podcasts to its users.  Deezer North America CEO Tyler Goldman says, “About 35 percent of terrestrial radio listening is non-music.  We thought it was an important offering to provide to our users.”  The story reports that Deezer will keep Stitcher a separate company and its 23 employees will remain with it.

westwood one news logoWestwood One Announces Staff Hires for News Network.  As Westwood One continues to build its eponymous news network that is set to debut at the end of the year, the syndicator announces the addition of several news pros joining the project.  They include: CNN correspondent Steve Kastenbaum who is joining to serve as senior correspondent and New York bureau chief; Bob Costantini of NBC News Radio becomes the network’s Washington correspondent; veteran CNN broadcast journalist Jim Roope will be the network’s West Coast correspondent based in Los Angeles and Alan Scaia will serve as the Midwest reporter, based in Dallas.

sayfiereview logoSayfie Review Debuts Sites for New York, California and Texas.  Some talk radio broadcasters are already aware of the Sayfie Review – a digital news service that has operated in Florida that is described as “a 12-year-old, award-winning, must-read Florida political news website that is beloved by Florida’s top political and opinion leaders.”  It’s also been a resource for radio hosts and producers in the Sunshine State.   Now, Sayfie is expanding to provide a similar service in New York, California, and Texas.  The sites are Drudge Report-like in that they are aggregators of political news.  The company – founded by Ft. Lauderdale-based attorney Justin J. Sayfie – promises that “Sayfie Review New York, California and Texas will each continuously curate political and public policy news items from dozens and dozens of state political news sources, including major news outlets, top political blogs, editorial boards, featured columnists and influential Twitter users.”  See the sites at: SayfieReviewNewYorkSayfieReviewCalifornia, and SayfieReviewTexas.

wallethub logoWalletHub.com Ranks Most and Least Politically Engaged States.  In what could be an indicator of both the potential for political advertising as well as interest in politically oriented news/talk radio, the site WalletHub.com releases its study detailing what it considers the most and least politically engaged states in the country.  WalletHub defines itself as “a one-stop destination for all the tools and information consumers and small business owners need to make better financial decisions and save money.”  Saying it has analyzed the 50 states plus Washington, DC across six key metrics, WalletHub finds Massachusetts the most politically engaged state and West Virginia the least.  The site reports that only 14.8% of registered voters have taken part in the first 25 primary elections held this year.  See more from the study here.

kraeutlersegreteOdds & Sods.  The nationally syndicated program “The Money Pit” is celebrating its 15th year in syndication.  The two-hour call-in show is heard on more than 335 affiliate stations and is co-hosted by Tom Kraeutler (left) and Leslie Segrete (right)…..At the Queen B Radio’s five-station group that serves the southwest Wisconsin area, Steve Hemmer is named news director.  Hemmer will be in charge of news operations at the three stations licensed to Platteville and the two licensed to Lancaster, Wisconsin (which also serve the Dubuque, Iowa market).

epictimes logoTRN’s Jerry Doyle Expands Epic Times Site.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Jerry Doyle announces his EpicTimes digital news network is launching a new platform that includes additional contributors to the site that also provides aggregation of audio, video, social media, articles, blogs, photo-galleries, and more.  Joining EpicTimes are John Layfield (a.k.a. John Bradshaw Layfield or JBL) and Michael Cole, best known for their work on “WWE Monday Night Raw” and “Friday Night Smackdown.”  EpicTimes was founded by Talk Radio Network personality Jerry Doyle and is run by CEO Elaine Kunda.

kftk checkKFTK, St. Louis Awards Cash to “School Spirit” Contest Winner.  This year’s 2nd Annual FM NewsTalk 97.1 School Spirit Award goes to St. Agatha School of New Athens, Illinois for receiving the most votes during the contest.  The school was presented $5,000 to spend as it sees fit.  Pictured here are (from left to right): ): KFTK’s Denys Schaefer, St. Agatha principal Sarah Lanham, St. Agatha parents David and Leslie Graw, and KFTK morning host Jamie Allman.  Lanham says, “We’re so grateful.  I want to purchase a new double water fountain for the school. Right now we have one water fountain in the hallway and we have about 50 kids in those services.  After recess, we can have a line of up to 20 kids waiting for water.”  She says she’ll ask St. Agatha parents for ideas on how they would like to use the rest of the money since the victory was a group effort.

katzpigA Pig in a Pen.  Well, actually the “pen” is WRVA, Richmond afternoon host Jeff Katz’s office.  The pig seen here is Tucker and he’s a source of local controversy.  A local family keeps Tucker as a pet but neighbors insist he’s livestock and violates the local zoning regulations.  WRVA morning drive host Jimmy Barrett recently had Tucker and his owners on the air to discuss the matter (Tucker himself has been silent on the issue).  Barrett says, “I’m a sucker for Tucker.”  But Katz says the only question he has about Tucker is, “Should the BBQ sauce be vinegar or ketchup based?”