Talk Radio/Media Industry News

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

| July 26, 2016

marconiimage small2016 Marconi Award Finalists Announced; News/Talkers Dominate Legendary Station of the Year Category.  The finalists for this year’s Marconi Radio Awards from the National Association of Broadcasters have been announced.  The winners will be announced September 22 at the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show at the 2016 Radio Show in Nashville.  News/talk stations dominate the Legendary Station of the Year category.  The finalists are: KRLD-AM, Dallas; WBAL-AM, Baltimore; WBT-AM, Charlotte; WDBO-FM, Orlando; and all-news WINS-AM, New York.  Two Premiere Networks sports talk hosts are finalists in the Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year – Jay Mohr and Dan Patrick – along with Premiere’s Delilah and Elvis Duran plus Entravision’s Erazno y la ChokolataCBS RADIO’s Mike Francesa (WFAN, New York) and Toucher and Rich (WBZ-FM, Boston) are finalists in the Major Market Personality of the Year category along with KFI, Los Angeles’ Tim Conway Jr. and music radio personalities Mark Curry of KBLX, San Francisco and Woody from KYSR, Los Angeles.  See the rest of the finalists here.

beasleybrianBrian Beasley Promoted to Chief Operating Officer of Beasley Media Group. The company announces Brian Beasley is promoted to chief operating officer of Beasley Media Group, Inc. from his EVP of operations post.  He comments, “This COO position is a great honor, considering my entire life has been dedicated to the radio business.  I’ve benefitted greatly from my hands-on experience at all levels of this business and I’ll be continuing to contribute to the successful operations of our stations for many years to come.”

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallGeorge Noory Interviewed by Michael Harrison.  The nation’s leading late-night talk show host, George Noory is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne hit “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” posted today (7/26).  The multi-talented Noory, who has hosted Premiere Networks’ “Coast to Coast AM” for the past 14 years, talks about how the show has evolved and expanded from primarily covering the paranormal (UFOs, ESP, time travel, astral projection, etc.) to now include the paranoid (conspiracy theory, thenooryNightTalk Illuminati, special interest groups, etc.).  Harrison and Noory discuss the impact of digital age technology and modern communications on the human nervous system and society.  The podcast is coordinated with today’s release of prolific author Noory’s first novel, Night Talk (Forge 2016) – a thriller that tells the story of a late night talk show host (“Greg Nowell”) who gets himself entangled in a web of intrigue that involves the same elements as the subject matter covered by its real life author.  To listen to this fascinating podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Progressive Talker Nicole Sandler Battling Lung Cancer.  A YouCaring fundraising account has been set up to help defray the cost of the medical bills that she says will not be paid by insurance.  Radio pro and progressive talk personality Nicole Sandler recently relaunched her Internet radio show in a partnership with fellow talk hostsandlernicole Randi Rhodes, whose show follows Sandler’s on the stream.  But now she’s facing a diagnosis of adenocarcinoma – Non Small Cell Lung Cancer.  Sandler is blogging about her experience – and keeping followers well-informed about her struggles with her insurance company – and she says the cancer does not appear to have spread beyond the one lung but that other tests are pending to determine if that’s the case.  You can visit Sandler’s YouCaring page here.

Entercom Launches Late-Night, Syndicated Paranormal Show ‘Beyond Reality Radio.’  The program – Entercom’s first syndication effort – launches on August 1 on 10 company-owned news/talk stations live from hawesjason12:00 midnight to 2:00 am ET.  It stars Jason Hawes, co-founder of The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) and creator and star of Syfy’s blockbuster hit “Ghost Hunters,” and JV Johnson, ajohnsonjv longtime paranormal investigator and current publisher and editor of TAPS paraMagazine.  Entercom stations airing the program are: KJCE, Austin; WRKO, Boston; WBEN, Buffalo; KEZW, Denver; WSKY, Gainesville; WYRD, Greenville; KMBZ, Kansas City; WWL, New Orleans; KNSS, Wichita; and WILK, Wilkes-Barre.  JV Johnson says, “Radio has a long history of programs about the paranormal, dating back to the 1920s, so it’s very exciting to bring ‘BRR’ to the airwaves with Entercom and continue this tradition, but with a contemporary twist.  We’ll be engaging with our listeners not only through call-in, but through our digital platforms.  So while we’re reaching a larger audience, we’re also creating a community with which we’re intimately connected.”

The Presidential Race/Democratic National Convention, Verizon-Yahoo! Deal, Rio Troubles/Russian Doping Scandal, Cuomo NC Ads Controversy, SoCal Wildfires, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/25).  The aftermath of the Republican National Convention, day one of the Democratic National Convention, and the activities of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump; the acquisition of most of Internet pioneering firm Yahoo! by Verizon; the troubles facing Rio De Janeiro as it prepares to host the Olympics and the related Russian doping scandal; New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s state-paid ads aired in North Carolina that critics say violate the Hatch Act; the wildfires affecting Southern California; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods.  The regular CBS RADIO Pittsburgh promotion “eat.drink.SUMMER” is taking place on August 12 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Lodge at North Park.  Attendees can enjoy samples from some of Pittsburgh’s finest restaurants along with new products, spirits, beers and more.  On-air personalities from the CBS Pittsburgh stations will be in attendance throughout the evening…..In the Greenville, South Carolina market, Entercom Upstate – with seven radio stations in the market – is being honored by the Greenville Health System for Entercom’s support and promotion of the Children’s Hospital over the last 10 years. The GHS Children’s Hospital is dedicating its fifth floor Family Room to Entercom Upstate to recognize how the stations have helped the hospital through the Children’s Hospital Radiothon, an annual fundraising event that has raised more than $2.6 million to date and supported thousands of children.  The 9th Annual Radiothon will take place on August 4…..The RAB announces the retirement of SVP, research Andy Rainey.  Rainey has led the research team at the RAB for the last 23 years.  At the same time, Annette Malave, vice president of business development is promoted to SVP, insights, effective August 1.

Monday, July 25, 2016

| July 25, 2016

Jack Tomczak Exits KTLK, Minneapolis.  Morning drive personality Jack Tomczak exits iHeartMedia‘s Twin Cities news/talk KTLK where he co-hosted the morning show with PD Andrew Lee.  In a post on the station’s tomczakjackwebsite, Lee writes about Tomczak’s departure, although he declines making public the reason, statingktlklogo that’s between Tomczak and the company.  For now, it appears Lee will host the “Up and At ‘Em” show solo.  Tomczak had been with the station for the past five years.  Lee wrote, in part, “I’m sad to announce that Jack is no longer a part of the KTLK morning show. Many have suspected as such, but I have not been able to address this publicly until now…This has been one of the most challenging weeks in my entire radio career. I hate knowing that the listeners are out there wondering what’s going on and I really hate not being able to be forthcoming on the air. I hope you understand.”

iHeartMedia Leases KKSF, San Francisco to Deportes Media for Spanish Sports Outlet.  It was just three months ago during the re-alignment of Cumulus Media’s KGO and KSFO that Armstrong & Getty left kksfiHeartMedia’s crosstown talker KKSF for mornings at KGO.  That prompted the move-in of syndicated progressive talker Stephanie Miller to AM drive on KKSF.  Now, the progressive programming is gone and iHM is leasing the signal to Deportes Media and it is airing ESPN Deportes programming on the station.  Along with Miller exiting the station’s lineup are: Gil Gross, Cory (Callewaert) and Joel (Riddell), “The Doghouse with JV & Elvis” (a.k.a. Jeff Vandergrift and Dan Lay), Los Angeles-based Mo’ Kelly, and Fox News Radio’s Alan Colmes.

KLWB, Lafayette Sports Talk Host Jordy Hultberg Arrested on Domestic Battery Charge.  Louisiana sports media personality Jordy Hultberg has been arrested on counts of domestic abuse battery and simplehultbergjordy battery in East Baton Rouge, Louisiana after an alleged incident involving his estranged wife, according to the Lafayette Advocate.  Hultberg hosts the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm show on Delta Media Corp.’s KLWB “103.7 The Game.”  The paper reports that 59-year-old Hultberg is accused of pushing his wife into a dresser.  According to the account, Hultberg’s estranged wife went to the house to check on him after his daughter expressed concern for his well-being.  Hultberg was allegedly discovered in the bedroom with another woman.

morrisVideo16WOMAN OF THE YEAR VIDEO POSTED – Talkers 2016: Bridging the Generations.  Another video recording of a key event at the recent Talkers 2016: Bridging the Generations, that was held at Hofstra University on Long Island May 20, has been posted today (7/25) on Talkers.com.  It is the finale of the four-part Awards Ceremony during which the Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions Made to the Radio Industry by a Woman award (“Woman of the Year”) was presented to Ginny Morris, chair/CEO of Hubbard Radio.  The award is presented to Morris by Danielle Lin, C.N., host of the nationally syndicated Danielle Lin Show.  To view this video in its entirety, plus the convention videos already posted, please click here.  Stay tuned to Talkers.com for more videos from Talkers 2016: Bridging the Generations that will be posted in the days and weeks to come.

‘102.5 The Bone’ in Tampa Adds Beckles for Sunday Show.  Tampa talk pro Ian Beckles is being brought aboard Cox Media Group’s hot talk WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone” to host a Sunday sports and pop culturebecklesian show, beginning August 7.  CMG Tampa director of branding and programming John Brennan says, “At ‘The Bone,’ we have the luxury to cover every possible topic throughout the week, from politics and news, to pop culture, entertainment, and sports.  Ian Beckles is one of the best sports talkers out there and he brings with him credible sports analysis, with the talent to cover all the other topics.  He is a perfect fit, and I’m very excited to work with him.”  Off the air since 2015, Beckles previously worked at iHeartMedia’s crosstown sports talker WDAE.

cookehollandCooke: Making Your Station’s Image Great Again.  Media consultant Holland Cooke writes in a column posted today at Talkers.com about how important it is that your station’s P1s associate what you do with what they want – just as Donald Trump’s supporters recognize him as the one who wants to “Make America Great Again.”  Noting that perceptual studies are expensive, Cooke recommends using SurveyMonkey and illustrates how station operators can gauge how they’re doing with P1s by asking for their opinions.  Read more here.

Odds & Sods.  Charlotte sports outlet WFNZ has an FM frequency in the market as Beasley Media Group is now simulcasting the WFNZ-AM programming on translator W272DP at 102.5 FM…..Sports talker Matt Jones exits the 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm show on Signal Media of Arkansas’ KABZ-FM, Little Rock “The Buzz.”  Program director Justin Acri is hosting the show until a full-time replacement can be named…..AdLarge Media adds another podcast to its roster with an exclusive national ad sales agreement to represent the “Completely Unnecessary Podcast” (#CUPodcast), hosted by writer and gamer, Pat Contri and fellow gaming expert, Ian Ferguson…..NBC Sports Radio broadcast live from the 27th American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament at Edgewood Tahoe South in Lake Tahoe, Nevada over the weekend.  Athletes and celebrities competed all weekend forschwartzmannMannixToomer big money prizes.  Some of the players this year included Justin Timberlake, Stephen Curry, Alfonso Ribeiro, Marcus Allen, Jerome Bettis, AJ Hawk, Ray Romano, Terrell Davis, Marshall Faulk, Bode Miller, Jerry Rice, Willie Robertson, Abby Wambach, Emmitt Smith, and more.  Pictured here are (l-r): NBC Sports Radio hosts Dan Schwartzman, Chis Mannix, and Amani Toomer.

The Presidential Race/RNC Aftermath/This Week’s DNC, Germany Concert Explosion, Police Violence Against Blacks/Cop Killings/Black Lives Matter Movement, Rio Olympics Troubles/ Russian Doping Scandal, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The presidential race including chatter about last week’s Republican National Convention and this week’s Democratic National Convention; the suicide bombing outside a concert event in Germany; various violent/deadly encounters between police and black men, the slayings of police officers, and the Black Lives Matter movement; the troubles facing the Rio De Janeiro Olympic games and the related Russian doping scandal; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

Friday, July 22, 2016

| July 22, 2016

thebarbershopSports KJR, Seattle Launches Weekly Show ‘The Barbershop.’  Two Washington athletes – retired Seattle Seahawk Marcus Trufant (right) and UW Husky Terry “T-Holla” Holliman (left) – are co-hosting the new weekly show airing Wednesday’s from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm on iHeartMedia’s sports talk KJR, “Seattle’s Entertaining Sports Talk.”  The show is called “The Barbershop” and is sponsored by Snoqualmie Casino.  It will be broadcast live and remote from the casino every Wednesday before Seahawks home games.  iHeartMedia Seattle SVP of programming Rich Moore says, “We couldn’t be more excited to add ‘The Barbershop’ to our lineup.  The show is a great fit for our coverage of the Seahawks and enhances Seattle’s first choice for NFL coverage.”

KKFN, Denver Tweaks Program Schedule; Sandy Clough to Go Solo.  Beginning Monday (7/25), Denver radio icon Sandy Clough will host his own daily show from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon on KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan.”  He’s been co-hosting the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot with Brandon Stokely.  Former University ofcloughsandy kkfn logoColorado quarterback and longtime Denver radio personality host Charles “CJ” Johnson will join Stokley in that daypart for the new “CJ and Stokley” show.  Program director Armen Williams says, “As one of the most recognizable voices in Denver sports radio history, it’s great to have Sandy in a timeslot where he has flourished in the past.  We’re excited to have his unmistakable presence leading into the second half of the day.”  Also, the station announces that NFL insider and Footballguys.com senior writer Cecil Lammey will serve as The Fan’s Broncos insider who will report daily from Broncos headquarters at UCHealth Training Center.

talkersten logoThe Presidential Race/Republican National Convention Top News/Talk Story for Week of July 18-22.  The activities of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and the happenings at the Republican National Convention tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was police shootings of black men tied with the Black Lives Matter movement.  Coming in at #3 was the aftermath of the attempted coup in Turkey followed by the Rio Olympics terror threats tied with the Russian doping scandal 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.  View this week’s entire chart here.

RTDNA to Honor Charlie Rose with 2016 Paul White Award.  This year’s Paul White Award is going torosecharlie television legend Charlie Rose.  The RTDNA announces the honor is given annually in recognition of the recipient’s “lifetime of achievement and service to the profession of electronic journalism.”  RTDNA chair Kathy Walker comments, “Charlie Rose is a consummate interviewer, a gifted storyteller and an exemplary broadcast journalist.  Always well-prepared, he asks the hard questions and gets substantive answers.”  The award will be presented on Monday, September 19 at Excellence in Journalism 2016, at the Sheraton New Orleans.

wcbmRare Job Opportunity.  “Talk Radio 680” WCBM, Baltimore – the #1 news/talk radio station in a top 25 market – has a rare opening for an air talent who can inform, stimulate and entertain an audience.  Interested candidates should know that this is not just a job but also a lifestyle and should be well versed on current events and topics in the news.  The next great talk show host will have a special relationship with our listeners and sponsors and will be able to do remote broadcasts, public appearances and personal endorsements.  Five years’ major market experience is preferred with a proven track record of success in generating ratings and revenue.  Extensive knowledge of social media and audio editing is a plus.  If you want to work for a great family-owned company in an environment designed to encourage creativity and personal growth, rush your air check and resume to: Sean Casey, Director of Programming & Operations, WCBM Radio, 1726 Reisterstown Rd., Ste 117, Baltimore, MD. 21208.  Or email at: sean@wcbm.com.  No calls please.  WCBM is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

| July 21, 2016

Roger Ailes Resigns from FOX News.  In a deal that appears to have been orchestrated by 21st Century FOX chairman Rupert Murdoch and FOX News chief Roger Ailes himself after the sexual harassment charge by foxnewschannelformer FNC personality Gretchen Carlson seemed to become too much to overcome, Ailes has resigned and Rupert Murdoch will take over stewardship of the division, according to numerous news reports.  Not much else is known at this time about how the deal was worked out.  What remains to be seen is whether or not there’s any substance to the rumors that numerous FOX News staffers have threatened to follow Ailes out the door.  Names associated with that report include: Bret Baier, Shepard Smith, Sean Hannity and Greta Van Susteren.

Five Radio Companies Collaborate with Shazam for ‘Audience Measurement Solution.’  You can bet that the five radio companies involved here – iHeartMedia, Cumulus Media, Entercom Communications, Cox Media Group, and Sun Broadcast Group – are hoping this venture with audio recognition technologyshazam developer Shazam will result in a listening measurement system that will truly “deliver market- and station-level audience metrics across all radio formats.”  A press release from the firms announces this new “measurement solution for broadcast and digital audio” using the several companies’ “proprietary data assets and measurement capabilities.”  They say the measurement solution will “leverage information collected from tens subramanyamradhaof millions of devices to produce the accurate, stable cross-platform audience metrics that the industry has been waiting for.”  iHeartMedia president of research and insights Radha Subramanyam says, “Shazam delivers unparalleled audio insights that will enable stable measurement across both digitalbouvardpierre and broadcast radio, making this an extremely exciting initiative for both iHeartMedia and the audio industry.  The richness of our data, combined with Shazam’s measurement capabilities, will enable much deeper insights than traditional audio measurement does, and we believe it’s a necessary and valuable addition to the evolving multi-platform audio measurement marketplace.”  Cumulus Media chief insights officer Pierre Bouvard adds, “Shazam’s fielddavidaudio insights can be an empowering measurement tool for Cumulus Media, as well as the audio industry.  Clients are demanding more insights and targeting capabilities from media companies, and radio needs to offer what has become basic table stakes.  Shazam can help us deliver on these expectations.”  Entercom president and CEO David Field says, “With this type of innovation, we believe media strategists and planners will be prompted to re-think their media mix models to give radio its fair share of the media buy.”

The Presidential Race/Republican National Convention, Rio Olympics Troubles/Russian Doping Ban, Wisconsin Transgender Suit, Yiannopoulos Twitter Controversy, Roger Ailes-FOX News Status, Turkey Coup Attempt Aftermath, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/20).  The activities of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump tied with the happenings at the Republican National Convention; the troubles facing Rio De Janeiro as it prepares to host the Olympics and Russia’s failed bid to avoid its track and field athletes being banned for doping; the suit by a Wisconsin transgender teen against his school district; the controversy over Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos being banned from Twitter for criticizing Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones; speculation about the status of Roger Ailes’ employment as chief of FOX News after being accused of sexual harassment; the aftermath of the failed coup attempt in Turkey; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

hurleyharryVideo16TWO MORE VIDEOS POSTED – Talkers 2016: Bridging the Generations.  Two more video recordings of key events at the recent Talkers 2016: Bridging the Generations, that was held at Hofstra University on Long Island May 20, have been posted today (7/20) on Talkers.com.  They are the second and third segments of the four-part Awards Ceremony.  They include the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to legendary personality Don Imus.  The presentation was made by the ceremony’s emcee/Westwood OneschwalbVideo16 syndicated host (and former recipient of the award) Jim Bohannon.  The award was accepted on behalf of Imus by WABC, New York program director Craig Schwalb. The other presentation posted today is the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Involvement by a Radio Talk Show Host (“Humanitarian of the Year”).  The recipient was WPGG, Atlantic City, NJ morning host Harry Hurley and it was presented by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison. It included a special $1000 donation made by Hurley to the Broadcasters Foundation of America.  Accepting on behalf of the Foundation was Renee Cassis. To view these videos in their entirety, plus the convention videos already posted, please click here.  Stay tuned to Talkers.com for more videos from Talkers 2016: Bridging the Generations that will be posted in the days and weeks to come.

kfgoDan Hammer to Exit KFGO, Fargo.  Afternoon talk show host Dan Hammer is leaving his gig with Midwest Communications’ news/talk KFGO, Fargo.  Yesterday (7/20), Hammer told his audience he’s leaving the business and re-locating to Minot, North Dakota for personal reasons.  Hammer joined the station in December of 2015.

WSSP, Milwaukee’s Mike Wickett Exits for KC Opportunity.  After a nine-and-a-half year run onwickettmike Entercom’s sports talk WSSP-AM/W289CB simulcast “Sports Radio 105.7 FM The Fan,” morning drive co-host Mike Wickett is leaving the station for a yet-to-be-announced gig in Kansas City.  Wickett’s been working alongside co-host Chuck Freimund on the “Chuck and Wickett” show and there’s no word yet from Entercom what its plans are for the morning show.

Entercom Ups Reis to VP of Digital Engagement.  Getting VP stripes at Entercom Communications is Kim Reis, who’s now vice president of digital audience engagement.  Entercom notes that since she became director of digital audience engagement in July of 2013, the company’s social following and digital marketingreiskim footprint have grown by more than 500%.  In this new position, Reis will “coach and support the programming, promotions, digital and on-air teams in all 27 markets to better engage with listeners and fans on social media, email, text, websites, on-demand audio, live streaming and other digital assets to grow ratings and revenue.”  Reis joined Entercom after serving as digital media & marketing director for Media General’s WJAR-TV, Providence.  She began her career as a morning radio co-host on WPRO-FM and WWKX in Providence.

Odds & Sods.  Big Apple news/talk “710 WOR” is making its programming heard on the HD2 channel of sister classic rock WAXQ-FM…..A new deal between E.W. Scripps-owned news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee and MLB’s Brewers continues the relationship that puts play-by-play and special baseball programming on flagship WTMJ.  The length of the deal was not disclosed…..SiriusXM announces actor/producer/director Michael Rapaport will host a weekly fantasy football show on its 24/7 fantasy sports channel.  The show will be called “Ya Never Know” with noted fantasy sports expert John Hansen every Tuesday from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET from July 26 through the end of the 2016 NFL season…..DirecTV sports talk personalities Dan Patrick and Rich Eisen each have released new mobile apps for their respective programs available on both Android and iOS.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutIs There (Extra-)Terrestrial Life Beyond Terrestrial Radio?  Michael Harrison Catches Up With Former Radio Programmer Laurie Cantillo.   Former talk radio program director (WTOP, WABC, KFYI, XTRA, KTAR) Laurie Cantillo is the guest interviewee on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne program, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  The past recipient of the TALKERS Woman of the Year Award left all-news WTOP, Washington, DC a year-and-a-half ago in a fascinating change of career course and became a public affairs officer in the planetary sciences division of the National Aeronautics and Spacecantillolaurie Administration (NASA).  Since joining NASA, Cantillo has been involved in communicating information to the media about a variety of colorful projects including the recent New Horizons fly-by of Pluto and the current Juno Mission to Jupiter.  Harrison and Cantillo discuss a wide range of subjects and issues including the state of commercial radio, the impact of today’s media on the news, the relationship between young people and social media and, of course, leading edge discoveries and NASA projects in science.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box in the right-hand column of every page on Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

| July 20, 2016

Beasley to Acquire Greater Media’s 21 Stations in Seven Markets for $240 Million. The two communications firms surprised the industry last night with an end-of-the-workday announcement that Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. will acquire Greater Media, Inc.  The deal is being structured so that Beasley will beasley logo longacquire all of the outstanding stock of Greater Media for an “aggregate consideration of approximately $240 million, subject to adjustments.”  Greater Media shareholders are expected to receive approximately $100 million in cash and approximately $25 million in shares of the company’s Class A common stock (at a fixed value of $4.61 per share).  In addition, the shareholders of Greater Media will receive the net cash proceeds from the sale of its tower assets, estimated to be approximately $20 million.  Beasley will refinance approximately $80 million of debt of Greatergreatermedia logo Media.  The deal will add Greater Media’s 21 radio stations to Beasley’s portfolio and gives Beasley entrance into the major market of Detroit with rock WRIF, classic rock WCSX, and classic hip hop and R&B WMGC.  It seriously beefs up its Boston presence by adding five stations to current property ethnic WRCA-AM.  Those stations are: classic hits WROR, country WKLB, rhythmic AC WBQT, adult contemporary WMJX, and alternative WBOS.  It bolsters Beasley’s Philly and Charlotte holdings with the addition of sports talk WPEN, classic rock WMGK, rock WMMR, and adult hits WBEN in the former and news/talk WBT-AM/FM and hot AC WLNK in the latter.  Beasley will be over the station ownership limit in Charlotte and will have to divest a couple of FM signals.  Six New Jersey stations are also part of the package.  Beasley says it intends to fund the acquisition through borrowings under a new beasleycarolinecredit facility that it expects to enter into in connection with the closing of the acquisition, together with cash and cash equivalents available to the company and the issuance of Class A common stock as described above.  RBC Capital Markets and U.S. Bank have provided committed financing in support of the acquisition.  Upon closing, Beasley’s portfolio of stations that it owns and operates will expand to 73 stations (52 FM and 21 AM) in 16 markets.  BBG interim CEO and CFO Caroline Beasley says, “The acquisition of Greater Media’s broadcasting and related digital assets represents a transformational growth opportunity for Beasley and is strategically and financially compelling for our shareholders.  The transaction increases our broadcast portfolio by approximately 40% and more than doubles our audience reach, giving us both market leading stations and great brands.”

WPHT, Philadelphia Personalities Report from RNC.  Covering the Republican National Convention thiszeoliRNC16 week are WPHT, Philadelphia personalities Chris Stigall (AM drive) and Rich Zeoli (PM drive).  Zeoli tells TALKERS magazine that on Tuesday, the CBS Philadelphia booth drew a big crowd as Breitbart’s Milo Yiannopoulos and stigallCBS3RNC16author and conservative pundit Ann Coulter joined him for the entire 5:00 pm hour, live from media row (pictured at right).  This interview happened just before Yiannopoulos was permanently suspended from Twitter for comments he made about Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones.  Meanwhile, Chris Stigall has been pulling double duty at the RNC, first hosting his morning show from 6:00 to 9:00, then serving as a correspondent for the company’s KYW-TV “CBS3” live from the convention floor for the station’s evening news (pictured above).

Rumors of Possible FOX News Talent Exodus If Ailes Forced Out.  Coming on the heels of widespread media reports of Fox News chief Roger Ailes’ potential ouster from his long-held position, is a report in Breitbart foxnewschannelthat indicates some of Ailes’ faithful talent at FNC would be willing to follow him out the door, ostensibly to start a new, competing network.  Ailes is being accused by former FNC personality Gretchen Carlson of sexual harassment.  Other reports indicate Megyn Kelly has also said Ailes harassed her.  The Breitbart piece states that the FNC talent referenced includes Bret Baier, Shepard Smith, Sean Hannity, Greta Van Susteren, and, possibly Bill O’Reilly.  However, the piece concludes by saying none of the report is certain and that the situation could change quickly.  Read it here.

The Presidential Race/Republican National Convention, Baton Rouge Cop Slayings, Black Lives Matter Movement, Turkey Coup Attempt, Twitter Bans Milo Yiannopoulos, FOX News-Ailes Case, Rio Olympics Troubles, and Garry Marshall Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/19).  The activities of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump tied with the action at the Republican National Convention; the aftermath of the slaying of three Baton Rouge police officers; criticism of the Black Lives Matter movement; the failed attempt to overthrow Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan; conservative media figure Milo Yiannopoulos is banned from Twitter after attacks on Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones; the controversy surrounding Roger Ailes’ status with FOX News; the problems facing Rio De Janeiro as it prepares to host the Olympics; and the death of television’s Garry Marshall were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods. At the Tulsa operations of Cox Media Group, Mary Garcia is promoted to digital sales manager.garciamary  In this role, Garcia will work directly with the Cox Local Solutions team, a collaborative effort between Tulsa TV, its six radio stations, and its cable platform.  She joined the company 16 months ago as a digital sales specialist.  In Tulsa, CMG operates news/talk KRMG-AM/FM, country KWEN “K95.5,” adult contemporary KRAV “Mix 96,” classic rock KJSR “The Eagle 103.3,” and contemporary Christian K289CC “Spirit 105.7.”…..Cumulus Media fills the 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm slot on sports talk WJOX-FM, Birmingham with Alabama natives Joe Hunk and Jon Lunceford.  Their new show – “JOX Primetime” – replaces the previous 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm show hosted by Matt McClearin and Scot Harrison…..The NHL’s Florida Panthers and CBS RADIO’s sports talk WQAM, Miami have reached a multi-year contract extension to continue to broadcast play-by-play of Panthers games.  Doug Plagens and analyst Bill Lindsay return to the broadcast booth…..Futuri Media announces that broadcast news pro Jill Manuel is joining the company as director, TopicPulse partnership development.  The company says her “expertise with broadcast newsroom digital integration and successful history blending compelling journalism and engagement will provide a unique and specialized strategic resource for Futuri’s TopicPulse partners.”

Radio and TV Pro Pat O’Brien New Host of ‘Business Rockstars.’  The “Business Rockstars” media franchise has a new feature talent as radio and television pro Pat O’Brien becomes lead anchor.   The company says O’Brien will play an “integral role in the newly revamped daily show that targets the 30 million entrepreneurs andobrienpat ‘wantrepreneurs’ interested in starting and growing a business.”  The company also notes that “Business Rockstars” is available on TV in more than 40 million homes and airs in 150 radio markets.  Plus it’s streamed on numerous digital and social media platforms.  O’Brien will join a team of hosts including five-time Emmy award winning TV news anchor Thuy Vu, best-selling author and entrepreneur Mark Lack, and correspondents Laurel Mintz (CEO of Elevate My Brand), Darren Kavinoky (“Investigation Discovery” host), Rachel McCord (The McCord List), James Sun (BBC TV’s “Sun Tzu’s ART OF WAR”), and Jessica Naziri (tech expert and content strategist).  Business Rockstars chairman and co-founder Steve Lehman says, “Pat is a long-time friend and one of the greatest broadcasters on the planet.  He brings a fresh new approach to business interviews with some of the world’s biggest CEOs, disruptors, and entrepreneurs.  From hosting six Olympics, to anchoring “Access Hollywood” and “The Insider,” Pat brings a unique perspective in his approach and style to “Business Rockstars.”