Talk Radio/Media Industry News

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

| September 20, 2017

Heidi Harris Exits KXNT, Las Vegas After Post Critical of Gay Adoption. The report from KVVU-TV, Las Vegas “FOX 5” notes that talk show host Heidi Harris’ exit from CBS RADIO news/talker KXNT came just days after she posted to Facebook a critique of a local ad promoting adoption that featured a gay couple.  Harris told KVVU-TV that the company is not renewing her contract but “couldn’t say whether it was because of her Facebook post.”  Harris’ Facebook post took aim at an ad for the Clark County Department of Family Services promoting adoption that showed two gay men holding a child.  She wrote, in part, “Another not-so-subtle attempt to normalize something that is NOT normal.  Even if it is normal for YOU it is not the best thing for the baby…Babies who are eligible for adoption should go to MARRIED people of the opposite sex.  That is the IDEAL situation for a baby, and political correctness, changing laws or attitudes cannot alter that REALITY.”  Neither CBS RADIO nor Harris would comment about whether the post had anything to do with the station’s decision to not renew her contract.  But Harris posted a Bible verse clearly aimed at addressing the matter.  Her post: “Though they intended evil against you and devised a plot, they will not succeed. (Even though they think they have) Psalm 21:12.”  Since Harris’ departure, afternoon personality Alan Stock is hosting the morning show.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison issued the following comment in response to Harris’ exit from the station, “Certainly CBS has the right to employ or terminate talent based on whatever political or positioning sensibilities are in vogue at the moment.  However, it continues to be an unfortunately perilous situation for talk talent to be hired and encouraged on one hand to take controversial positions that fit either the left or right paradigm that constitutes radio ‘stationality’ and then cut loose for doing that exact thing if they just happen to step over the constantly moving and ever-subjective line of political correctness.  Heidi Harris is a longtime, major and important player in this business and the issue of gay adoption is one that has been openly and legitimately discussed in this medium for years.  Considering the fact that her contract was coming up for renewal, perhaps there is a financial component to this story.  There is also the possibility that they buckled in the tyrannical face of advertiser pressure. Regardless, I strongly advise those corporations that are serious about playing in the talk radio arena to be prepared in advance to take the heat of controversy that is a normal part of doing business and stand behind their talent in these instances.”

Guy Phillips to Exit KYKY, St. Louis AM Show to Host Afternoons on Crosstown KTRS.  According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, morning personality Guy Phillips is leaving CBS RADIO’s hot AC KYKY, St. Louis and will take over the afternoon show at CH Holdings’ crosstown news/talk KTRS.  The paper reports that Phillips will leave KYKY in November and will likely start at KTRS in January.  KTRS afternoon personality Frank O. Pinion recently exited KTRS and will join crosstown sports talk KFNS on October 2 (though O. Pinion will host a general issues program).  Currently hosting the afternoon show at KTRS are KMOV-TV meteorologist Kent Ehrhardt and local radio pro Paul Harris.  The Post-Dispatch says that the rest of the current KYKY morning show – Courtney Landrum, Jen Myers, Kevin Berghoff and Lance Hildebrand – will remain on as hosts of the wake-up program.

Francesa to Leave WFAN in December as Scheduled.  New York sports talk icon Mike Francesa will do his last show for CBS RADIO’s WFAN on December 15 as scheduled, according to the New York Daily News.  Francesa had said, in the immediate wake of the Craig Carton matter, that if the station needed him to stay on for a period to avoid revenue losses in both drive time dayparts, that he would consider it.  But that’s apparently not necessary as Francesa told his listeners he’ll leave in December and that “the station is comfortable with that (decision) and I am, too.”  Read the Daily News piece here.

Tedd Webb to Retire from WFLA, Tampa.  The Tampa Bay Times reports that market radio pro Tedd Webb will retire from radio and his current gig as co-host of the morning show on iHeartMedia’s news/talk WFLA-AM, Tampa at the end of January.  The 68-year-old Webb has been plagued by health issues – congestive heart failure and diabetes – and those issues have intensified recently.  Webb tells the paper, “I had a heart attack.  I’m on dialysis three times a week.  I’m drained.  My heart wants to go on, but my body won’t let it.”  Webb works with radio partner Jack Harris and personality Aaron Jacobson.  Harris says, “It’s going to be tough without Teddy.  It’s like Sonny without Cher, Cheech without Chong.”  Read the Times piece here.

Buchanan Exits Connecticut Talker. Afternoon drive talk show host Jim Buchanan announces via Facebook that he’s exited Cumulus Media’s Bridgeport, Connecticut news/talk station WICC, where he anchored the “Talk of the Town” program.    Buchanan had hosted the afternoon drive daypart at WICC since 1982.  The nationally syndicated Dave Ramsey show is now airing in the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot.

TALKERS News Notes. A new, improved version of CBS RADIO’s Radio.com mobile app has been made available to consumers.  CBS says it has “a fresh new look and logo to complement an easy-to-navigate experience now with higher streaming quality.”  CBS EVP of digital J.D. Crowley states, “Audiences want choice and that’s exactly what we’ve given them with this relaunch of the Radio.com app.  By combining their favorite local radio stations and on-demand content, we are catering to the distinctive tastes of mobile-first audiences, giving them control over when and where they engage with our content through a free, best-in-class experience.”…..The nationally syndicated “America Outdoors Radio” program announces that it has surpassed the 50-affiliate mark after just 15 months on the air.  The John Kruse-hosted show is a weekly, one-hour look at fishing, hunting and the shooting sports…..As reported in SportsBusinessDaily, college sports marketing and media rights firms Learfield and IMG College are agreeing to a merger.  Learfield president and CEO Greg Brown will lead the combined companies, estimated by some to be worth $2 billion.  After completion, the new company will control the media rights to some 200 schools.

Trump UN Speech, North Korea Threats, Cassidy-Graham Health Care Bill, Hurricane Maria, Climate Change Debate, Hillary Clinton Book Tour, Trump-Russia Investigation, ‘Sanctuary’ Issue, MLB Payoff Push, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/19).  Tuesday’s speech by President Trump before the UN General Assembly; North Korea’s threats against the U.S.; the move to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with the Cassidy-Graham health care plan; Hurricane Maria threatens a direct hit on Puerto Rico; the recent spate of hurricanes and the renewed debate over climate change after experts suggest it intensified the storms; Hillary Clinton’s What Happened book tour; the investigation into Paul Manafort by the special counsel as part of the Trump-Russia probe; Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ battle against the various “sanctuary” policies; the Major League Baseball playoff push; and NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Cleveland Radio Personality John Webster Dead at 74.  Legendary Cleveland radio personality John Webster passed away recently at the age of 74.  Webster was one half of the morning show duo “Lanigan and Webster” with John Lanigan on WMJI from 1984 to 1997.  He was also a talk radio pioneer who served on morning shows on WERE and WHK.  Cleveland programming icon (and oWOW Internet radio chief) John Gorman commented on Facebook: “When I arrived in Cleveland I was blown away by John Webster’s creation: The ‘People Power’ tabloid-style news/talk format on WERE with Gary Dee (and Webster) in mornings and other characters including George Forbes – when he was the controversial Cleveland City Council president.  At the height of the ‘people power’ format, Webster pulled the plug.  He later told me that he felt he went as far as he could go with the format…”  Cleveland.com reports that Webster’s stepson Jason Fox said “Webster died during the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in Florida.  He said Webster was recovering from hip surgery when the hurricane hit, knocking out power to his home for over a week.  ‘I think that was the final straw for John.’”

A “Talk” Down Memory Lane: The Great Kiddie TV Shows and Hosts of the Past.  In somewhat of a change of pace, the award-winning PodcastOne media series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” explores the lost art and genre of the television “kiddie show” that was a mainstay of popular culture from the late ‘40s to the early ‘70s.  Harrison is joined by veteran broadcaster Brad Shepard, an entertainment industry historian and GM/morning host of Pioneer Valley Radio (www.PioneerValleyRadio.com) in Springfield, Massachusetts.  Harrison and Shepard discuss such shows as “Howdy Doody,” with Buffalo Bob Smith; “Kukla, Fran and Ollie” with Fran Allison; Shari Lewis; “Andy’s Gang” with Andy Devine (and the infamous “Froggy the Gremlin” pictured at left), “Winky Dink” with Jack Barry; “Ding Dong School” with Miss Frances; Soupy Sales, “Wonderama” with Sonny Fox, Chuck McCann; “The Merry Mailman” with Ray Heatherton and so much more.  To listen to this fun and entertaining romp through fascinating media history, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Chicago, classic hits WLS-FM morning show producer Daniel Wolfe is promoted by Cumulus Media to assistant program director.  He’ll continue to serve as producer for “The WLS Wake Up Call.” WLS PD and Cumulus VP/classic hits programming Brian Thomas says, “This puts Dan one step closer to his goals of becoming a PD at Cumulus after doing a great job as morning show producer.  I am looking forward to working with Dan in this new role.”…..At Cumulus Media’s West Michigan CHR WHTS, Coopersville (Grand Rapids market), air personality Ken Evans is partnered with current morning host Rachael Gray on the “105.3 Hot FM Morning Show.”  Evans previously hosted mornings in the market at iHeartMedia’s crosstown CHR WSNX.   Cumulus Grand Rapids market manager Jeff Cartwright comments, “We are excited at the direction ‘105-3 Hot FM’ will take with Ken now in our Cumulus Grand Rapids family.”…..Las Vegas radio pro Connie Breeze joins the MannGroup-syndicated weekend hip hop program “The Mack Attack” (with host Greg Mack) as chief entertainment correspondent.  Breeze also serves with Beasley Media Group at rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” as APD, music director, and afternoon personality.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

| September 19, 2017

It’s Official: Laura Ingraham to Host FOX News Channel Show.  As has been previously reported but now confirmed by FOX News Channel, conservative media figure Laura Ingraham will begin hosting the 10:00 pm ET hour on FOX News Channel with a new show called, “The Ingraham Angle,” beginning October 30.  Beginning Monday (9/25), Sean Hannity moves to the 9:00 pm ET hour (putting him up against MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow).  That means “The Five” returns to its original 5:00 pm ET start (that hour opened up with the dismissal of Eric Bolling and the cancellation of “The Specialists”).  The Los Angeles Times reports that Ingraham has been making about $2 million per year as a contributor to FNC and her full-time salary will be much higher than that.  The question left unanswered for now is whether or not Ingraham will continue to host her Courtside Entertainment-distributed, daily national radio talk show.

Dave Ramsey to Emcee NRHoF Induction Ceremony.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey is hosting the 29th Annual National Radio Hall of Fame Induction ceremony and celebration on November 2 at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago.  National Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig T. Kitchin says, “We’re honored to have Dave, a world-class speaker who regularly addresses audiences of 10,000 at his live events, serve as our master of ceremonies.”  The 2017 inductees include: Tom Barnard, Bobby Bones, Joseph M. Field, Bill Handel, Sean Hannity, John Records Landecker, Robin Quivers and Robert S. “Bob” Sievers.

TALKERS News Notes. With the sudden departure of conservative Jedidiah Bila from ABC-TV’s “The View,” CNN is reporting that former Premiere Networks radio host and former FOX News Channel personality Meghan McCain is in talks to join the daytime TV talk show.  McCain recently exited FNC and the “Outnumbered” program she co-hosted there…..CBS RADIO’s Los Angeles all-news KNX shifts some of its talent into different dayparts.  The morning drive daypart is still hosted by Dick Helton and Vicky Moore.  New to middays is Brian Ping, who leaves the nights and overnights he’s been working for the past six years to handle the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm show.  The one-hour “KNX In Depth” show with Charles Feldman and Mike Simpson airs from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm.  Simpson and Chris Sedens handle the 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart and Diane Thomson hosts the 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm “Evening News.”…..TuneIn is debuting “First Play,” what it calls “a first-of-its kind podcast program offering early releases of new episodes from new and popular podcasts from networks like WNYC Studios, Gimlet Media, HowStuffWorks, Wondery, Feral Audio and StarTalk.”  New episodes will be available early, up to one week before they’re available on other platforms, and they will be free to all TuneIn users.  The company says, “With the launch of First Play, TuneIn enables podcast super fans to hear episodes early from a selection of more than 30 podcasts, produced by the most popular podcast creators.  Participating shows will debut their early releases throughout the initial run of the program, concluding December 31st.”…..Entercom sports talk WFNZ, Charlotte “The Fan” and the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets renew their partnership for the station to serve as the flagship for the team’s play-by-play.  Entercom Charlotte market manager Matt Hanlon says, “The Hornets are an outstanding organization in a great sports town. It makes so much sense for WFNZ to be the flagship station for the Hornets’ radio network.”

TalkersRadio Marks its Fourth Anniversary.  This Fall marks the fourth anniversary of the launch of TALKERS magazine’s experimental platform, TalkersRadio.  The station serves as both a workshop and industry showcase for new ideas in talk programing.  TALKERS founder Michael Harrison describes it as “a vehicle for broadcasters to try out new concepts for talk shows, both long and short form, that might not otherwise have an opportunity to be exposed to industry decision-makers, as well as real listeners, at this moment in time.”  Commenting on the milestone, TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein states, “This has been one of the most exciting projects in which I’ve ever been involved as a programmer and manager.  As we begin our fifth year, I am pleased to say we have a fascinating line-up of shows and talent with more in the pipeline about to debut.”  Bernstein adds, “The system at TalkersRadio keeps shows up and running for as short or long a time as they need development or receive enough feedback to know what their next steps should be.  We’ve had some major properties get their start in this ‘experimental theater.’  For example, ‘American Family Farmer’ hosted by noted talk host Doug Stephan began on TalkersRadio as a laboratory project in which Doug – an independent farmer in addition to being a talk host – created a new forum in which he could act as an advocate for the beleaguered independent, small farmers across America.  Today, the show is a terrestrial radio weekend smash heard on about 150 stations around the country.”  The late Alan Colmes of FOX News Radio and FOX News Channel was working on a project titled “Healed Planet” – an exploration into the human consciousness movement and significant departure from his usual news/talk style – that was about to find a home on terrestrial radio at the time of his unexpected passing. (“Healed Planet” is still available for listening in the TalkersRadio archive section.)  The husband/wife chat show “Brent & Meg” (Brent Seltzer and Meg McDonald) found a home on terrestrial radio shortly after launching on TalkersRadio when it was picked up by WPG, Atlantic City and GCN.   Current shows include “London Calling” – a weekly magazine hour hosted by internationally-known British broadcaster Graham Mack connecting popular culture in Great Britain and the United States that has developed a worldwide audience.  Veteran radio and TV star Claire Carter is heard discussing a variety of eclectic issues ranging from politics to health to changing cultural patterns in her feature called, “Good For You Radio.”  This week, she kicks off a new series of short form commentaries with a powerful warning about national security titled, “The Importance of Protecting the Grid.”  The aforementioned Meg McDonald has a new short form feature in which she discusses her observations of the common “everyday” situations of life titled “MEG!”  Michael Harrison describes McDonald as a female version of the late Andy Rooney.  This week also marks the debut of “The Animals’ Voice” hosted by animal rights activist and award-winning Voice of America and NPR news reporter, Lori Lundin.  World-renowned record producer Robbie Stevens is set to launch his new radio show titled “I Don’t Do Radio” in October.  For more information about TalkersRadio contact David Bernstein at 413-565-5413.

Renewed ObamaCare Repeal Move, Trump’s UN Speech, Hillary Clinton Book/Election Challenge, California Sanctuary State Bill, Climate Change Debate, Hurricane Maria Threatens Caribbean, Georgia Tech Student Killed/Protests, Rolling Stone for Sale, Toys ‘R’ Us Files Bankruptcy, MLB Playoff Push, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/18).  The GOP revives its move to repeal and replace ObamaCare with the Cassidy-Graham Plan; anticipation of President Trump’s Tuesday address before the UN General Assembly; Hillary Clinton’s book tour supporting What Happened and her statement she’d consider challenging the election results; California’s legislature passes bill making California a sanctuary state; the renewed debate over climate change; Hurricane Maria hits the Caribbean and threatens Puerto Rico; the shooting death of a Georgia Tech student and the resulting protests; iconic magazine Rolling Stone is up for sale; retailer Toys ‘R’ Us files for bankruptcy protection; the Major League Baseball playoff push, 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 magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  On-air pro Chris Randolph is named afternoon drive host at Cumulus Media’s country WFMS, Indianapolis, effective October 2.  Randolph comes to WFMS from his recent position with Alpha Media hosting morning drive at hot AC WXMA, Louisville.  He’d also served with iHeartMedia at crosstown WMXL, Louisville.  WFMS program director Stephen Giuttari comments, “We’re very excited to have Chris join the team here in Indy. He’s one of the top talents in our industry and I’m confident that he will be a great addition to our team at WFMS and that ‘Indy Country’ listeners will love him!”…..Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch tips us that Sound Management, LLC has sold three signals to Artistic Media Partners for $3.4 million.  The Indiana stations are: CHR WNDV, South Bend; rock WYXX, Goshen; and 80s-pop WYET, New Carlisle (102.3fm, New Carlisle)…..In Atlanta, morning show personality C.J. Lusk has exited Cumulus Media’s country WKHX “Kicks 101.5” where he’d been part of the “Cadillac Jack and Ali Mac Morning Show.”…..Rowdy Yates has left E.W. Scripps’ country KVOO, Tulsa where he co-hosted the morning drive show with Sunny Leigh…..iHeartMedia’s alternative WRFF, Philadelphia “Radio 104.5” is releasing volume nine of its “Radio 104.5 Studio Sessions” albums, sponsored by Blue Moon.  The annual benefit album features the best live-recorded studio sessions from Radio 104.5’s Performance Theater.  The project will benefit Delaware Valley hunger relief organization Philabundance.  Artists on this year’s CD include: Vance Joy, Catfish & The Bottlemen, Weezer, AWOLNATION, alt-J, Kaleo, Grouplove and more.

Radio One Sues Former Jock and Twitter; Alleges Hijacking of Twitter Account.  In a case filed in U.S. District Court in Virginia, Radio One is suing former WCDX, Richmond “iPower 92.1” air personality Amir Shabazz, alleging that he, immediately after being let go from the station, illegally used its @iPowerRichmond Twitter handle to promote his own business ventures, Tweeted pornographic images, and changed passwords.  Saying that the Twitter account is a valuable business tool for the station – by some standards worth $2.50 for each follower – it values the account as being worth more than $31,000 per month.  The complaint says Shabazz, who went by the air name Henny Hardaway, is taking these actions willfully and maliciously.  It’s suing Twitter, alleging that the company has taken no action to stop Shabazz.  Radio One is asking the court to stop Shabazz from “squatting” on the @iPowerRichmond account and is seeking unspecified damages, plus attorneys’ fees and court costs.

Monday, September 18, 2017

| September 18, 2017

Cramer Says Market Is Wrong About Entercom-CBS Merger.  Markets and investment expert Jim Cramer – a former radio talk show host himself – said on his “Mad Money” program on CNBC that the market may be wrong about its ho-hum attitude toward the EntercomCBS RADIO merger.  About the post-merger Entercom he says, “They’ll be the #1 creator of local audio content in America.  More important, they’ll also have a gigantic sports business, broadcasting games from 45 professional teams [and] numerous college teams.”  He also noted that the new Entercom will become the second-largest radio company by revenue with the best balance sheet in the radio biz.  The CNBC.com story says Cramer believes that Entercom “will also create a bustling live events business with some 4,500 live events a year.  Cramer says This alone should make the stock a strong play on the rise of the experiential economy, one of his favorite trends.”  Read the whole story here.

Not So Fast! Leslie Marshall Show to Stay on AM/FM Radio.  Last week’s report from WYM Media Management that progressive media personality Leslie Marshall would be ending her eponymous AM/FM syndication efforts and focus on Internet broadcasting of her radio program was premature.  WYM tells TALKERS magazine that they “were able to work out an agreement” with new partner Progressive Voices to feed the program to Marshall’s terrestrial radio affiliates. Progressive Voices will air the show live weekdays from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET beginning October 2 and will continue building relationships with terrestrial radio partners.

Herskovitz: Light in the Darkness.  Talk radio sales pro Al Herskovitz writes today about his experience in his Florida home dealing with Hurricane Irma.  He points to the importance of radio during emergencies such as catastrophic weather.  His story – and so many others like it – backs up what a lot of Americas are saying as they ask smartphone manufacturers – especially Apple – to turn on the FM chip in smartphones.  Read Herskovitz’s piece here.

TALKERS News Notes.  A new content partnership between NPR and iHeartRadio brings more than 30 of the former’s podcasts to the iHeartRadio digital platform.  iHeartRadio says that it has seen a 60% uptick in listenership from its more than 100 million registered users.  They are now able to access podcasts including: “Up First,” “Fresh Air,” “Invisibilia,” “Planet Money,” “How I Built This” and more.  The addition of the NPR shows means iHeartRadio now offers more than 9,000 shows across 19 different categories…..FOX News Radio announces the premiere of the new podcast “Children of Song.”  It is a new show hosted by music author and historian Robert K. Oermann and former New York Times theatre critic Charles Isherwood.  Each week, “Children of Song” features interviews with artists who were exposed to the music business through their famous parents, as well as performers who began playing music at an early age. The artists share their backstories and the inspiration behind many of their biggest hits, as well as sing their most memorable songs that highlight those remarkable journeys.  Guests featured on the show include: Vince and Jenny Gill, Lorrie Morgan, Pam Tillis, the Orbison boys, Kristin Chenoweth, David Cassidy, Neil Sedaka, Steve Cropper, Felix Cavaliere, and many more.

St. Louis Protest Violence, California Sanctuary State Bill, Irma and Harvey Aftermath/Climate Change Debate, North Korea Sanctions/Trump at UN, Harvard-Chelsea Manning Controversy, Emmy Awards, MLB Playoff Push, College Football, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The arrest of more than 80 after three days of protests in St. Louis after the acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley; California’s move to pass a bill making it a “sanctuary state”; the social and political effects of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey and the related debate over man-made climate change; the sanctions levied against North Korea, Kim Jong Un’s threats against the U.S., and President Trump’s appearance at the UN this week; criticism of Harvard University for naming Chelsea Manning a visiting fellow; Sunday evening’s politically laden Emmy Awards show; the MLB’s playoff push; the weekend’s college football games; and Sunday’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

BFoA Golf Tourney Raises $250,000.  Last week’s Celebrity Golf Tournament benefitting the Broadcasters Foundation of America raised $250,000 to help broadcasters in need.  This year, the annual fundraiser took place at Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Briarcliff Manor, New York.  BFoA chairman Dan Mason states, “The funds come at a time when more broadcasters than ever are in need of emergency assistance.  Our colleagues braved dangerous winds and rain from these massive hurricanes to remain on the air, broadcasting vital, life-saving news and information to their communities.  It is up to us to help these dedicated broadcasters now, in their time of need.”

Renee Brady Passes at 68.  Media figure Renee Brady, wife of radio industry pro Bill Brady (currently CEO of Futures & Options, Inc.) died recently at age 68 after a battle with cancer.  Renee Brady was an “acclaimed astrologer with an impressive media career.  She hosted radio programs in the New York, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach markets and appeared on hundreds of radio programs across the country.  Her work would also take her to London and the U.K. where she was seen on the nationwide Channel 4 Network and heard on BBC Radio.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Minneapolis radio personality Tom Barnard is being sued by the estate of his late attorney, Ron Rosenbaum.  The Ron Rosenbaum Trust – led by his widow Lucy Quinlivan – alleges that Barnard is in violation of his contract with Rosenbaum that requires him to pay five percent of his salary to Rosenbaum through the duration of the contract, which is the end of 2019.  Rosenbaum died in May of 2016.  Barnard made payments to Rosenbaum, and then the Trust, from January 2015 through February of 2017 for Rosenbaum’s work negotiating Barnard’s current contract with rock KQRS.  KSTP-TV reports that Barnard attorney Chris Madel says, “Tom Barnard has done so many charitable things, not only for the Rosenbaum family but for others in the community.  To me, this is sad someone else is trying to take advantage of him like this.”…..Radio management pro Lori Heerden joins Alpha Media’s San Jose duo as market manager.  She’ll oversee classic hits KBAY “Bay FM 94.5” and hot AC KEZR “Mix 106.”  During her career, Heerden has served with CBS RADIO, Beasley Media Group, Americom, and EZ Communications…..KRRL, Los Angeles “REAL 92.3” announces the lineup for its annual “The REAL Show” hip hop concert event.  It takes places at The Forum on November 18 and performers will include: J. Cole, French Montana, Yo Gotti, Cardi B, Jessie Reyez, Zoey Dollaz and Cozz, with a special performance from Young California…..Connoisseur Media Connecticut launches alternative rock “Mod 102.3” on FM translator W272DO, fed by WPLR’s HD2 channel.  Connoisseur Connecticut operations manager Keith Dakin is programming the station.  The company says it made the decision to bring current alternative music to the signal after an extensive music study for sister stations in the New Haven market.  The study showed a clear void for the format, making it a natural fit to launch “Mod” on 102.3.  Station personalities include Ed Oliveira and Christian TurnquistTristan Haller is handling the marketing for “Mod.”

PPM Analysis: Rhythmic CHR.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the fourth and final analysis of radio station performances based on data from the August 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, focusing on rhythmic CHR.  Kinosian reports that “only about three of every 10 rhythmic CHR panelists are up July 2017 to August 2017 (29%, 6+), while more than half (55%) are down; the remaining 16% of the sample is flat.”  He adds that comparisons of August 2016 to August 2017 pretty much mirror the month to month changes; 60% of rhythmic CHR stations in the sample are down year-over-year.  Entercom’s WJMH, Greensboro is the rhythmic CHR station that ranks highest in its respective market, ranking #3 in August.  See the whole report here.

Friday, September 15, 2017

| September 15, 2017

Weisman: Jemele Hill and the First Amendment. TALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes today about the Jemele Hill controversy and how her Tweet calling President Trump a white supremacist has some calling for her firing.  Weisman says that freedom of speech relative to one’s status as an employee is not as “free” as some people would like to think.  Also, he addresses the charges that ESPN is hypocritical for not firing Hill after firing MLB great Curt Schilling for political rhetoric.  Read his column here.

KVET, Austin Talk Host Sean Adams Dies at 46. KVET-AM, Austin “1300 The Zone” sports talk host Sean Adams died yesterday after suffering a heart attack in Round Rock, Texas.  Adams was co-host of “The Bottom Line” show with Chip Brown that airs in morning drive.  Adams worked in sports media in the market for years, also having served at former sports talker KZNX-AM and ESPN’s Longhorn Network.  He wrote two motivational books: Sports for Life: Daily Sports Themes for Life Success, and It’s Okay to be Crazy.  He leaves behind his wife Karen and a son and daughter.  Brown posted a tribute to Adams at the station’s website here.

Leslie Marshall Show Ends AM/FM Availability, Remains Digital Program. Progressive talk radio personality Leslie Marshall is putting the wraps on her program’s AM/FM platform and will focus fully on being an Internet program.  WYM Media Management informed affiliate stations that the “The Leslie Marshall Show” is joining Internet platform Progressive Voices, effective October 2.  WYM says that Marshall made this decision “with a heavy heart,” but was moved to her decision because listeners are “accessing her program online more and more.”

Gow Media Moving the KGOW-AM, Houston Sports Talk Format.  The sports talk format that Gow Media has been airing on KGOW-AM, Houston (branded “SB Nation Radio 1560 AM”) is moving to the FM band beginning on October 1.  CultureMap.com reports that the format is being re-branded “SportsMap 94.1 FM” and will air on translator K231CN, Houston, fed by KFNC-FM, Houston’s HD2 channel.  The report says that KFNC-FM afternoon personality Fred Faour will become editor-in-chief of SportsMap.com. Air talent on “SportsMap 94.1 FM” will include Charlie Pallilo, Nate Griffin, Patrick Creighton, Barry Warner, Sean Salisbury, Brian Barrett, and Robin Carlin.  Gow will lease KGOW-AM to Latino Broadcasting Corp.

TALKERS News Notes.  The Cleveland Indians and iHeartMedia agree to a contract extension for the company’s news/talk WTAM and rock WMMS in Cleveland to air the club’s games through at least 2023.  As has been the case, WTAM serves as the flagship and WMMS simulcasts most of the games…..The talk is off iHeartMedia’s Phoenix news/talk KOY-AM “KFYI2” (and its translator K229DB) and regional Mexican takes over as “El Patron.”…..This November (11/2), the New Jersey Broadcasters Association is marking its 70th anniversary with a special Awards Banquet and Gala at the Tropicana Resort and Casino in Atlantic City.  The event will salute “Broadcast’s Heritage and Enduring Impact on Society.” Ben Ferencz – the only surviving Nuremberg prosecutor – will be honored with the Howard L. Green Humanitarian of the Year Award.  Inducted into the NJBA Hall of Fame at the same time will be: “Imus in the Morning” personality Bernard McGuirk, NJ101.5 hosts Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco of the “Dennis and Judi Show,” WSUS, Franklin, New Jersey morning host Steve Andrews, Press Communications CFO Rich Morena, and Connoisseur Media CEO Jeff Warshaw.

Trump Administration DACA Policy Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 11-15.  Whether or not President Trump wants to reverse the Obama Administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or is willing to alter the program in some way was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At # 2 this week was the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.  Coming in at #3 is Hillary Clinton’s What Happened book and her media tour, followed by the Trump Administration’s tax code overhaul plan 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 the entire chart here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.   KQHN, Shreveport, Louisiana flips from CHR to hot AC as Cumulus Media announces the station has re-branded as “The All New Q97.3.”  The programming on the station is as follows: “The Bert Show” in mornings and “The Shawn Dion Show” in afternoon drive.  Westwood One’s Adam Bomb program assumes the evening daypart…..CBS RADIO promotes Poet Taylor from weekend jock to host of the midday show on hip hop WPGC, Washington.  Taylor’s radio experience includes her start at Baltimore’s hip hop WERQ and serving as executive producer on WPGC’s “Joe Clair Morning Show.”  Most recently, she was segment producer for WJLA-TV’s “Good Morning Washington.”…..Programmer Chris Shebel announces via Facebook that he’ll leave iHeartMedia’s Portland, Oregon cluster when his contract expires at the end of this year.  Shebel has been programming adult contemporary KKCW “K103” and classic hits KLTH “Eagle 106.7.”  He says he’s exiting the radio business and moving to Palm Springs, California…..As part of Beasley Media Group’s on-going “Community of Caring Initiative,” adult contemporary WJBR, Wilmington, Delaware recently partnered with The Kenny Family Foundation and Shoprite to match food donations for hurricane relief pound for pound.  The station collected more than 12,500 pounds of food during a recent on-site collection event.  As a result, WJBR will be sending more than 25,000 pounds of food donations to Feeding Texas via the Food Bank of Delaware…..Adams Radio Group brings sales pro John Ludwig aboard as senior account manager for its Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland station group.  Ludwig was most recently a sales consultant for Entercom’s Portland, Oregon operations.

PPM Analysis: Rock. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the third of four analyses of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2017 PPM survey, today focusing on rock.  Overall, rock-formatted stations have performed well in Nielsen’s PPM markets, recently.  Kinosian reports that just over half of the rock stations in his sample saw their 6+ ratings rise from July 2017 to August 2017 (52%), versus the 42% that were down.  The remaining 6% of the sample was flat.  Comparing August 2016 numbers to the August 2017 report, “roughly six of 10 facilities on our eligible rock sample improve year-to-year (61%), while 39% decline.”  There were seven rock stations that ranked in the top five in their respective markets in the August 2017 survey.  Although none ranked #1, there were three that ranked #2: iHeartMedia’s WDVE, Pittsburgh and WHJY, Providence; plus Saga Communications’ WNOR, Norfolk, Virginia.  See the full report here.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

| September 14, 2017

Craig Carton Resigns from WFAN.  A day after releasing his first public statement declaring his innocence relative to the federal fraud charges filed against him, radio personality Craig Carton has resigned from his position as morning host alongside co-host Boomer Esiason on CBS RADIO’s WFAN, New York.  As most TALKERS readers are aware, Carton is charged with being part of a Ponzi scheme that bilked $5.6 million out of investors, ostensibly to pay off gambling debts.  Carton’s attorney says the government’s case is a “gross misunderstanding of what happened.”  Here’s Carton’s statement: “Unfortunately, the unfounded legal issues currently plaguing me will only be a distraction to everyone at WFAN and the show I helped build.  With that in mind, I have submitted my resignation to the station and they accepted.  I am sad to see this chapter of my life close but know that it will allow me to focus on my family, my well-being and clearing my name, while giving the show the best opportunity to succeed without further disruption.  I’ve always felt a personal connection to our listeners and want to thank them for making me a part of their daily routine. I hope they can respect the fact that as much as I want to talk about the allegations against me I can’t at this time. There will come a time when I will be able to speak directly about the case and I hope our listeners will be there.”  In accepting Carton’s resignation, CBS RADIO issued the following statement: “We appreciate all of his contributions over the last decade and wish him and his family well during this next phase.  We are especially grateful to our dedicated employees, sponsors and listeners for their continued support of ‘THE FAN.’  The search for a replacement co-host for the morning show will begin immediately.”

PPM Analysis: Public News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the second of four analyses of the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2017 PPM survey, today focusing on public news/talk.  Kinosian reports that, comparing July PPM figures to August numbers (all 6+ ratings), “six of every 10 stations on this public news/talk panel are up (60%)…while 29% are down; the remaining 11% of the sample is flat.”  Similarly, a comparison of August 2016 ratings to August 2017 shows 60% of stations are up year-over-year.  As far as market rank is concerned, there were four public news/talk stations that ranked #1 in their respective markets in the August survey: KQED-FM, San Francisco (which also ranked #1 in the adjacent San Jose market); WAMU, Washington; KUOW, Seattle; and KPBS, San Diego.  Five other public news/talk stations finished in the top five in their respective markets.  Read the whole report here.

Watkins Named LSM at Cox Atlanta. Sales and marketing pro Mike Watkins is appointed to the local sales manager position at Cox Media Group’s Atlanta radio operations.  In this role, Watkins will “focus on developing talent and driving new business development initiatives” for the cluster’s stations, including news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM.  For the past 20 years, Watkins has been a media consultant for CMG Atlanta.  Prior to that, he spent the first half of his career on the programming side of the business working at legendary stations KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh and WGCI, Chicago.  Watkins came to Atlanta in 1993 as the program director of WALR “Kiss 104.”

WTAR, Norfolk Debuts New Lineup; Local PM Drive Show. On Monday (9/18), Sinclair Communications unveils the new programming lineup at WTAR, Norfolk “Sports Radio 850.”  The schedule will consist of FOX Sports Radio’s “Outkick the Coverage with Clay Travis,” Dan Patrick; “The Herd with Colin Cowherd”; the local Nick Bailey show; and the Rich Eisen show.  Host and PD Nick Bailey says his show will also feature Jason Dick, from “101X” in Austin.  It will also include Tim Murray based in Washington.  Murray is nationally syndicated as part of SBNation.  Bailey states, “We are excited to give the people of Hampton Roads premiere sports talk every weekday.  I think the lineup gives a fresh entertaining spin on sports no matter what time of the day you tune in.  Plus, local sports talk starting at 3:00 pm will be a nice addition to the market.”

Rita Cosby Hosts ‘Pubs and Politics’ Event at The Cutting Room.  This evening in New York City, 77 WABC Radio personality and political editor Rita Cosby hosts “Pubs and Politics” at The Cutting Room on E. 32nd Street.  The evening features three of the top New York City mayoral challengers: Nicole Malliotakis, Sal Albanese, and Bo Dietl.  Also appearing will be former Milwaukee County sheriff David Clarke.  Appearing to discuss the media’s role in the political scene is CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota.  The program will be opened by “Saturday Night Live” cast member Darrell Hammond with remarks and thoughts on the current political environment.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb says, “It’s hard to imagine a better night of political debate and comedy.  The stars come out for Rita, our great listeners, and for WABC Radio.”

Galaxy’s Ed Levine Inducted into Syracuse University’s WAER Hall of Fame.  Pictured above is Galaxy Communications president and CEO Ed Levine (center) during the ceremony inducting him into the WAER Hall of Fame.  Flanking him are Scott MacFarlane (left) and Marv Albert (right). Levin comments, “WAER is where it all started.  It’s where my love for radio was realized, where I met my wife (Pam), and where Craig Fox, Ted Utz and I formulated the plan to start WAQX, which was my first real job in radio.  I couldn’t be happier to be a part of a class that includes Scott MacFarlane and the great Marv Albert.”  Past WAER Hall of Fame inductees include: Bob Costas, Mike Tirico, Lakshmi Singh and former ABC News anchor Ted Koppel.  WAER, once a student-run radio station, is a public radio station based at Syracuse University that maintains a student workforce, primarily in the news and sports departments.

Trump Administration’s DACA Policy, Trump Tax Code Overhaul, Irma and Harvey Aftermath, Hillary Clinton Book, ESPN’s Jemele Hill Controversy, North Korea Threats, Ben Shapiro’s Berkeley Speech, Equifax Security Breach, Apple Introduces New iPhones, ‘Racism’ Banner Unfurled at Red Sox Game, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/13).  The negotiations between Democrats and President Trump on immigration policy regarding ‘dreamers’; the Trump Administration’s efforts to rewrite the U.S. tax code; the effects of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey and the prognosis for long-term recovery; Hillary Clinton’s new book What Happened and her current media tour; the controversy at ESPN over Jemele Hill’s statement calling Trump a white supremacist and the sports media organization’s reaction; the nuclear threats against the U.S. by North Korea; anticipation of protests at UC Berkeley at tonight’s Ben Shapiro speech; the Equifax security breach and criticism of the company’s handling of it; Apple’s introduction of new iPhones, including the iPhone X; protesters unfurl anti-racism banner at Wednesday’s Red Sox game; and NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Country stations KPLX, Dallas “99.5 The Wolf” and KSCS “New Country 96.3” brought Broken Bow Records artist Dustin Lynch to Cowboys Red River Dance Hall in Dallas on Tuesday (9/12) to raise money for the American Red Cross Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.  Lynch performed a 90-minute set for the nearly 2,600 fans in attendance, raising $25,750 to help those affected by last month’s Hurricane Harvey…..CBS RADIO CHR KLUC, Las Vegas partnered with Zappos For Good, Lyft and the Salvation Army for a three-day broadcast last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to collect items for Hurricane Harvey and Irma relief efforts. KLUC’s “Chet Buchanan & the Morning Zoo” filled five semi-trucks with donated supplies and hit the road this past Saturday for the 1,200 mile trek from Las Vegas to the Salvation Army Divisional Disaster warehouse in Arlington, Texas…..Envision Networks is partnering with Skid Trax to offer “The Ashley & Brad Show” to affiliates on a barter basis. Ashley & Brad are based at KWSV-LP, Simi Valley, California.  Envision says the show “targets the 25 to 54 audience with current topics and humor.  Radio stations’ music playlists will remain intact – just add Ashley & Brad voice tracks.”…..Jim Dorman joins iHeartMedia to serve as operations manager for the company’s four-station Wichita cluster that includes CHR KZCH, country KZSN, adult contemporary KRBB, and alternative KTHR.  Dorman takes over for the departed Brian Jennings…..Milwaukee hip hop outlet WKKV “V100.7” is presenting the 6th annual Cracker Barrel Sista Strut – a 3K breast cancer charity walk that aims to bring awareness to the importance of breast cancer screenings.  The charity walk will take place on Saturday, October 7.