Talk Radio/Media Industry News

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

| October 18, 2017

Tax Reform Radio Row with the Trump Administration.  Pictured above is WMAL, Washington and Westwood One talk show host Chris Plante (left) interviewing President Trump (right) during yesterday’s radio row, organized by the Trump Administration to promote its tax reform policies, at the Old Executive Office Building in Washington, DC.  As TALKERS reported yesterday, talk hosts taking part in the daylong event that made not only the president and vice president available to talk hosts but numerous administration officials and tax reform experts included: Salem Radio Network’s Hugh Hewitt and Mike Gallagher; Plante, WMAL’s Mary Walter, and Vince Coglianese; WPHT, Philadelphia’s Chris Stigall; and WIBC, Indianapolis’ Tony Katz.  Pictured below (l-r) are WMAL “Mornings on the Mall” co-hosts Mary Walter and Vince Coglianese, Vice President Mike Pence, and morning show executive producer Heather Hunter.

WTMJ, Milwaukee Makes Lineup Changes.  Milwaukee news/talk WTMJ Radio moves 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm talk host Steve Scaffidi to the late morning slot and brings Jeff Wagner back to the early afternoon daypart where he’d been for more than 10 years.  When longtime station personality Charlie Sykes left the station, Wagner moved from late mornings to the early afternoon show and former Oak Creek, Wisconsin Mayor Steve Scaffidi joined the station to host late mornings.  WTMJ director of programming and news Eric Brooks comments, “Steve has grown tremendously since joining the station in early 2017.  He has capitalized on his unique perspective as a former politician and community leader.  His show is quickly growing and we are excited to put him in the daypart where our audience has come to expect political and issue-driven talk.  Meanwhile, Jeff Wagner will resume his early afternoon program where he consistently beat his competitors in Milwaukee – especially Rush Limbaugh and other shows piped in from out of town.”

TALKERS News Notes. The Tulsa operations of E.W. Scripps has a new general sales manager.  Dan Smith, most recently with Enid, Oklahoma-based Williams Broadcasting, is familiar with the market, having served with Cox Media Group’s crosstown cluster for 11 years.  Now, he’ll head the sales efforts for news/talk KFAQ plus sister country KVOO, CHR KHTT, classic country KXBL, and classic hits KBEZ. Scripps Radio Tulsa vice president and general manager David Abel comments, “Dan brings with him a tremendous track record of results and a deep understanding of the Tulsa market.  He’s a proven leader who has a long history of talent and business development, which make him a perfect fit to lead our veteran sales team.”…..At iHeartMedia’s Jacksonville, Florida cluster, Seth Harp is promoted to his new position as program director for sports talk WFXJ-AM “Sportsradio 930.”…..Sirius XM announces a new, one-hour weekly show starring Rickey Gervais set to launch on October 24 at 11:00 am ET on its Comedy Greats channel.  The show is called “Ricky Gervais Is Deadly Sirius,” and SiriusXM says the show will present Gervais “tackling more ‘sirius’ topics with some of the most respected experts in their fields.  Whether it’s a conversation with scientist and author Richard Dawkins about religion and the afterlife, or rocker Noel Gallagher on hijinks with his bandmates and his musical influences, Gervais will have thought-provoking discussions about the topics he feels the most passionate about, namely music, science, art, and ethics.”  Gervais states, “I started out in radio, and SiriusXM made me an offer to return that I couldn’t refuse.  With 32 million subscribers, editorial control, my own playlist and absolute freedom of speech, it’s the perfect platform for me, and hopefully the listener too.”…..Hearst-owned news/talk WBAL, Baltimore is adding an FM translator to its transmission after the company agreed to buy W268BA, Church Hill, Maryland from Hope Christian Church of Marlton for $650,000.  The FM 101.5 signal’s transmitter is located due east of Baltimore, across Chesapeake Bay.

Walter Sterling Featuring Talk Hosts ‘Who Should Be Working.’  On his Sunday night, WPHT, Philadelphia-based and Westwood One-syndicated talk show, Walter Sterling is unveiling a new feature in which he invites talented talk show hosts who are out of work – and who he says should be working – to appear and showcase their skills.  Sterling says that the guest star selects what they feel is the hot story, gives their opinion and why they should be hired.  He adds, “It’s ridiculous how many ratings-growing hosts are out of work and I want them to be heard — and to work.  Ed Tyll was the first to appear on the show and Casey Bartholomew is next.  Tyll got immediate response from the industry.  I welcome these amazing story tellers.”  You can reach Walter at: waltermsterling@gmail.com.

Trump Tax Reform Plan, Fallen Soldiers Controversy, North Korea War Threats, Puerto Rico Devastation, Marino Drug Czar Withdrawl, Iran Nuclear Deal, Weinstein Scandal-#MeToo Campaign, Mandalay Security Guard Case, Travel Ban Halted, MLB Playoffs, NFL Protests-Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/18). The Trump Administration’s tax reform plans and yesterday’s White House radio row; President Trump’s comments about former presidents not meeting with families of fallen soldiers; North Korea’s missile program and its threats of war; the state of post-Maria Puerto Rico and the problems delivering aid; U.S. Rep. Tom Marino withdraws name from drug czar consideration after reports of his close ties to big pharma; the Iran nuclear deal and President Trump’s threat not to certify Iran’s compliance; the Harvey Weinstein sexual predation scandal and the subsequent #MeToo campaign; the “missing” security guard from Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay hotel appears on “Ellen” to talk about the deadly mass shooting; a Hawaii judge halts the latest version of the Trump travel ban; the Major League Baseball playoffs; and the NFL anthem protests and weekend action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Cox Tampa Launches Support Effort for Regional Businesses. Tampa Bay was spared a direct hit by Hurricane Irma, but many local businesses were greatly impacted by the storm that left them without power, with lost inventory, or even needing to close their doors for days.  Because of this, Cox Media Group is launching its philanthropic initiative, Cox Media Group Cares Tampa Bay.  The company says that “with the generous support of sponsors, The Miggs and Swigg Radio Show, DeBartolo Family Foundation, Pepin Distributing Company and Great Bay Distributors, Cox Cares will help small businesses recover after Irma through marketing and promotional outreach.”  Each Saturday between October 21 and Small Business Saturday – November 25 – local companies will be featured on Cox Media Group radio stations. The businesses will receive free on-air, online and social media promotion throughout the week. The supporting station will also be on-site at each business location that Saturday.  Cox Cares will provide assistance to more than 40 small businesses in the Tampa Bay area with approximately $250,000 in promotional support.  CMG Tampa VP and general manager Keith Lawless states, “CMG understands local businesses are an important part of our communities.  The disruption from Hurricane Irma has greatly impacted these businesses.  We are proud to help support them at a time when they need it most.  With the help of our local sponsors, we are promoting Tampa Bay area businesses across all six of our CMG radio stations.”

Sally Quinn Guests on This Week’s Harrison Podcast.  Longtime Washington Post journalist, columnist, television commentator, Washington insider, author and legendary social hostess, Sally Quinn is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  She candidly discusses her Watergate-era, wildly romantic, extra-marital love affair, and subsequent enduring marriage of more than four decades to legendary Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee, as well as her idiosyncratic relationship with religion, sexual harassment in politics as well as media… and much more.  (She claims the late U.S. Senator John Tower tried to rape her in the back of a taxi.)  Quinn is currently promoting her new book, Finding Magic: A Spiritual Memoir (HarperOne, 2017) and Harrison was granted one of her first interviews.  To hear 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 on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Promoted at iHeartMedia’s Jacksonville, Florida station group is programmer G Wiz.  He rises to SVP of programming in addition to his roles programming hip hop WJBT “93.3 The Beat” and urban AC WSOL “V101.5.”  At the same time, country WQIK program director Cindy Spicer takes on the new title senior program director and Skip Kelly assumes the programming role at CHR WKSL “97.9 Kiss FM” in addition to his incumbent role as PD of adult hits WWJK “107.3 The River.” …..Making the switch from mornings at Townsquare Media’s CHR KSAS, Boise “103.5 Kiss FM” to afternoons at sister country KAWO “WOW 104.3” is Chris Cruise.  KAWO PD Rich Summers had been hosting the afternoon show but is giving it up to focus on programming.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

| October 17, 2017

Big Executive Changes at Townsquare Media.  The biggest surprise about the news released by Townsquare Media late yesterday (10/16) is that company founder and CEO Steven Price is leaving the CEO role and will now be the executive chairman of the board, a move that takes him out of the day-to-day operation of the radio and live events company.  It was seven years ago that Price – with backing from Oaktree Capital Management – founded the company.  Oaktree managing director and Townsquare board member David Quick announces that Bill Wilson and Dhruv Prasad are being promoted to the positions of co-chief executive officers who will report to the board of directors.  At the same time, the company announces that radio management pro Erik Hellum is promoted to chief operating officer, local media.  Townsquare reports that it “owns 318 radio stations and more than 325 local websites in 67 U.S. markets, a digital marketing solutions company serving approximately 11,750 small-to-medium sized businesses, approximately 550 live events with nearly 18 million attendees each year in the U.S. and Canada, and one of the largest digital advertising networks focused on music and entertainment reaching more than 50 million unique visitors each month.”  In 2015, Townsquare acquired mobile amusement company North American Midway Entertainment.  It also operates music and entertainment websites including: hip hop-focused XXLmag.com, TasteofCountry.com, hard-rock-oriented Loudwire.com and New York music site BrooklynVegan.com.

Entertainment Journalist Craig Marks Joins Townsquare.  Speaking of those genre-specific digital publications that Townsquare Media operates, the company says that it has hired “veteran editor and journalist” Craig Marks to serve as editorial director in which he’ll “oversee editorial content across web, social and video for eight of Townsquare’s music and entertainment brands including: TasteofCountry, Loudwire, PopCrush, ScreenCrush, UltimateClassicRock, TheBoot, Diffuser, and TheBoombox.”  He will work alongside Vanessa Satten, longtime editor in chief of XXLmag.com.  During his career, Marks has served as executive editor at Billboard, and as editor-in-chief at Blender magazine, Spin and Popdust. He comments, “I am thrilled to be joining such an innovative, multi-platform company as Townsquare.  I look forward to participating in the continued growth of the company and its industry-leading music and pop-culture brands.”

Story Questions Trump’s Absence from Talk Radio.  In a piece by Oliver Darcy published at CNN.com, the author wonders why President Trump has, except for one or two campaign-oriented appearances, not taken his message to conservative talk radio.  Noting that conservative talk radio hosts are, by and large, supporters of the president, reports that the administration says the president has “a great relationship with talk radio” but choses to use Twitter “to speak directly with his base.”  Some talk hosts offer their thoughts.  Former WTMJ, Milwaukee talk host Charlie Sykes is quoted saying, “The only thing that I can think of is that Donald Trump doesn’t listen to the radio.  He watches television.  He reads The New York Times. So he reacts to what’s in his world.”  WFTL, Fort Lauderdale personality Joyce Kaufman says she thinks he knows he’s vulnerable in the long-form interview with hosts who might pressure him on issues like immigration reform.  Read the whole story here.

Tax Reform Radio Row Today at White House.  The story above notwithstanding, talk radio has a presence in Washington today as the administration hosts a radio row at the Old Executive Office Building to promote its tax reform plans.  Talk show hosts taking part in the radio row include Salem Radio Network’s Hugh Hewitt and Mike Gallagher, Cumulus Media hosts Chris Plante, Mary Walter, and Vince Coglianese, as well as WPHT, Philadelphia’s Chris Stigall and WIBC, Indianapolis’ Tony Katz. Guests available to speak to talk radio hosts will include President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, as well as Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Kellyanne Conway and others. Pictured above is Salem’s Mike Gallagher (right) shaking hands with President Trump (left).  Pictured below is WPHT’s Chris Stigall (right) interviewing Vice President Mike Pence.

Salem Moves News/Talker in St. Louis to Make Room for Gospel Outlet.  As of yesterday (10/16), Salem Media Group moved its St. Louis news/talk format “The Answer” from WDSZ-AM/K236CS to KXFN-AM/K287BY and will install “Praise 95.1” on WDSZ and its translator.  In a statement about the move, Salem Media St. Louis general manager Greg Lhamon says that there’s an untapped market.  “Based on conversations with many in the St. Louis area, the community has been waiting to enjoy gospel on the FM dial.”

CBS Sports to Simulcast Jim Rome ShowVariety is reporting that CBS Sports is going to start simulcasting the Jim Rome radio show on cable’s CBS Sports Network, effective January 2.  The piece reports that the company is building a new studio to “reflect the new visual elements of his program.”  EVP of programming at CBS Sports Dan Weinberg says, “Jim is an engaging and dynamic host with an incredibly loyal and passionate fan base.  We are excited to provide one of sports talk radio’s most enduring programs a new national platform on television.”  Rome has been with CBS Sports Radio since 2012 after a long career syndicated by Premiere Networks.

North Korea Nuclear Program, McCain ‘Liberty Medal’ Speech, Weinstein Scandal, Puerto Rico Recovery Troubles, Kaepernick Lawsuit, Las Vegas Shooting Investigation, ISIS Driven Out of Raqqa, U. Florida-Richard Spencer Event, MLB Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/16).  North Korea’s statement of no negotiations until it has ICBMs that can hit the U.S. East Coast; John McCain decries ‘half-baked’ nationalism during medal acceptance speech; the Harvey Weinstein sexual predation scandal and criticism of Hollywood’s history of ‘looking the other way’; the hampered recovery efforts in Puerto Rico; former NFLer Colin Kaepernick sues the league owners for collusion; the investigation into the motive behind the deadly Las Vegas shooting and the now-missing Mandalay security guard; U.S.-backed forces push ISIS out of Raqqa; Florida Governor Rick Scott’s concerns about public safety during white nationalist Richard Spencer’s pending University of Florida appearance; the Major League Baseball playoffs; 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 Thursday (10/19), Beasley Media Group will present “Vegas Strong: A Night of Healing” at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.  The concert will honor all victims, survivors and first responders from the October 1 tragedy and feature country superstars Big & Rich and Cam, plus a surprise performance from one of country’s most renowned acts.  Beasley says 100% of the proceeds will benefit the Steve Sisolak Las Vegas Victims’ Fund that has, to date, raised nearly $11 million.  Beasley Las Vegas VP and market manager Tom Humm states, “Due to the kindness and support of the Beasley family, Mega Country Recording Artists, the country community and The Orleans Arena/Boyd Gaming we have the opportunity to present ‘A Night of Healing’ for affected families and also give special thanks to our first responders.  It is our privilege and honor to help in any small way we can as proud members of this community.  Vegas Strong!”…..The new contract between urban morning radio star Tom Joyner and Reach Media is also signaling the end of Joyner’s radio show after December 31, 2019.  The two announced the new deal last week and now report that as Joyner celebrates his 25th year in national syndication, he “plans to launch a two-year-long celebration campaign, sharing events and experiences with his listeners highlighting the past, present and future of the Tom Joyner brand.  Joyner reportedly will reveal more as his show moves forward with events and activities as a lead-up to the conclusion of his iconic morning show.”…..A new talent search TV show is coming next year and iHeartMedia is collaborating with Fox Broadcasting Company, show creator Armoza Formats, and producer ITV Entertainment.  The show is titled, “THE FOUR: BATTLE FOR STARDOM,” and iHeartMedia will use its radio station listenership to support auditions, assist in the search for talent, and boost the careers of artists throughout the run of the competition.  As part of the grand prize, the winner of the show will also be part of iHeartMedia’s “On the Verge” artist development program, which will support the winning talent with airplay across iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide.  “THE FOUR: BATTLE FOR STARDOM” begins with four super-talented singers, chosen from auditions by the show, defending their coveted spots on the stage as they are challenged individually by new singers determined to replace them.  If the existing four outperform their challengers, they survive to sing another week, until the end of the season, when the final four face off against each other.  Only one will claim the ultimate prize for an aspiring artist: a team of elite star-makers – the series’ panel of judges – all committed to launching and guiding the winner’s music career…..iHeartMedia is launching a new festival, this one aimed at the alternative rock audience, called “iHeartRadio ALTer EGO” and taking place on January 19 at the Forum in Los Angeles.  Artists scheduled to perform so far include: Mumford & Sons, Cage The Elephant, Beck, Spoon, WALK THE MOON, The National and Dashboard Confessional, with more to be announced later.  Entertainment Enterprises for iHeartMedia president John Sykes says, “Alternative rock is experiencing an incredible renaissance.  Young bands in their 20s are making music with the same energy and power of the bands like U2, Depeche Mode and REM, that helped to create the format.”…..Alpha Media San Jose inks nationally syndicated morning duo “Brooke & Jubal” to handle the morning drive daypart at its hot AC KEZR “Mix 106.”…..Michael Tedesco shifts from director of business development with Educational Media Foundation to sales manager at Christian contemporary WAWZ, Zarepath, New Jersey “Star 99.1.”  He takes over for the retiring Lorraine Shaw.

Monday, October 16, 2017

| October 16, 2017

Former FCC Chairman Wheeler Criticizes Ajit Pai on Silence Regarding Trump License Revocation Comments. During an appearance on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” program yesterday (10/15), former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler criticized current Chairman Ajit Pai, saying Pai’s silence regarding President Trump’s tweet about revoking broadcasters’ licenses makes him complicit in the president’s attempts to coerce the media.  Wheeler stated, “He is making himself complicit in the coercion that the president was engaging in when he was trying to send a message to broadcasters saying, ‘We’re watching, and we control your right to be alive.”’  Also on CNN, current Democratic FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel added, “History won’t be kind to silence.  It’s important for all the commissioners to make clear that they support the First Amendment, and that agency will not revoke a broadcast license simply because the president is dissatisfied with the licensee’s coverage.”

TALKERS News Notes. On Friday (10/13), Courtside Entertainment nationally syndicated radio talk show host Laura Ingraham (pictured above at right) broadcast her program from Liberty University’s Convocation, which kicks off the school’s homecoming weekend.  Ingraham’s show was co-hosted by author and Eternal Word Television Network news director and lead anchor Raymond Arroyo (above, left).  Ingraham is also scheduled to begin her nightly FOX News Channel program, “The Ingraham Angle,” on October 30…..Bonneville’s Seattle talker “KIRO Radio 97.3 FM” announces the addition of a new, weekly lifestyle show called “Cask Club Radio” created with partner Heritage Distilling Company, Inc.  The program launched on Saturday (10/14) at 3:00 pm and focuses on the growing craft spirits, cocktail, beer and wine culture. It’s being hosted by Heritage co-founder and CEO Justin Stiefel, co-host Lydia Cruz, and producer Maura Dooley.  Bonneville Seattle VP and market manager Carl Gardner comments, “Heritage Distilling has earned its reputation as a big-thinking innovator.  With this new audio project, Heritage once again takes the broad view of how its products fit into the overall lifestyle and passions of people around the Pacific Northwest.  We’re proud to partner with Heritage, and to help them blaze another new trail as a forward-thinking marketer.”…..Media sales pro John Fitzgerald returns to the ESPN Audio team as vice president, ESPN Audio ad sales.  Fitzgerald, who has spent his entire 21-year career with The Walt Disney Company, will oversee all aspects of ESPN Radio national network ad sales, including talk programming, event play-by-play and Audio on Demand, which includes podcasts.  He will report to ESPN Audio SVP Traug Keller.

Iran Nuclear Deal, North Korea Saber Rattling, Harvey Weinstein Scandal, Deadly California Wildfires, Kaepernick Files Suit, College Football, NFL Action, and MLB Playoffs, Happy Death Day Film, Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The state of the Iran nuclear deal and President Trump’s intent not to certify compliance; the ongoing saber rattling between North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and President Trump; the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault scandal; the battle against California’s deadly wildfires; Colin Kaepernick files a suit against NFL team owners alleging collusion to keep him unsigned; Saturday’s college football games; the weekend’s NFL action; the Major League Baseball playoffs; and the new horror film, Happy Death Day were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Hyper-Local High School Football Play-By-Play.  It was a scene out of “Friday Night Lights” (10/13) as hyper-local Pioneer Valley Radio (www.PioneerValleyRadio.com), serving Springfield and its surrounding communities in Western Massachusetts, launched its new sports department with live play-by-play coverage of high school football games.  Pictured above in the press box calling the PBP between the home team Longmeadow High School “Lancers” and visiting Chicopee Comprehensive High School “Colts” is TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey (c) joined by color callers Eddie Garibian (l), a Longmeadow senior, and Graham Topor (r), a Chicopee junior.  TALKERS magazine is headquartered in Longmeadow, MA.  Pioneer Valley Radio was launched in 2015 by publisher Michael Harrison and former WHYN, Springfield morning personality Brad Shepard as an experiment in local “personality-oriented, hyper-local public affairs radio.”  Since then it has gained tremendous traction and become what Shepard describes as “a serious business and an important local media platform that is making a difference.”  The expressly non-partisan station has expanded its menu to include a wide variety of programs covering local politics, civics, business, education, public health and safety, arts and entertainment and now, sports. According to Casey, who heads up the new sports department, “One of the most satisfying aspects of this project is giving local high school students the opportunity to sit in the broadcast press box and call color on the radio.  These two great kids, Eddie and Graham, were fantastic!  We plan to expand our coverage beyond football to include basketball and other sports and get lots of kids from area schools involved in our broadcasts.”  All Pioneer Valley Radio live broadcasts are powered by Boston-based Backbone Networks.

NOT TO BE MISSED: Alex Jones and Michael Harrison Engage in Candid Dialogue About the State of Media and the Talk Industry. Prolific conspiracy theorist and mega-successful independent broadcaster, Alex Jones is this week’s guest on the newly-posted (10/10) installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” During the fascinating, uninterrupted hour of fast-paced conversation, the two discuss Jones’ role as a pioneer in the rise of digital, spoken-word broadcasting touching upon the balance between news and entertainment, the corporate effect on broadcasting, the influence of Hollywood on popular culture, Jones’ relationship with Donald Trump, 21stcentury entrepreneurism, the value of direct marketing as a method of generating revenue and much more. Harrison states, “Like him or not, there is no denying the fact that Alex Jones is one of a select handful of the most influential and important talk broadcasters of the modern era and has been for years. I am glad to have the opportunity to present him to the media world from that perspective.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, 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.  At classic hits WRBQ, Tampa “Q105,” radio and television pro Rich Fields is named the new afternoon drive personality.  Beasley Broadcast Group says in announcing the addition that Fields most recently served as a meteorologist at KCBS-TV, Los Angeles.  His radio resume includes stops at KCBS-FM, Los Angeles; WCOF, Tampa; KODJ, Los Angeles; WFJO, Tampa; KNX-FM, Los Angeles; WYUU, Tampa; WSUN, Tampa, and KRTH, Los Angeles.  He also served as Bob Barker’s announcer on “The Price Is Right” for nearly a decade…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder writes today that Windy City radio personality Gary Spears did his last show on CBS RADIO’s classic hits WJMK on Friday, taking calls from Chicago listeners and from fans across the country.  Spears is retiring from the station and plans to relocate to Florida.  Feder notes that Spears “was one of the original jocks when CBS RADIO turned WBBM FM 96.3 into a Top 40 station.  His first run there from 1982 to 1984 was followed by a second from 1990 to 1994.”…..Country station WCKN, Charleston, South Carolina “92.5 Kickin’ Country” names Jess Jennings program director.  She comes to the Charleston Radio Group station from her most recent gig at country KUPI, Idaho Falls, Idaho.  Group operations manager Stephen Crumbley says, “After an intense search, we are very happy to have Jess join our team here at CRG.  Her on-air talent and programming skills are a perfect fit…..Denver radio personality Kendall B is back on the air in the Mile High City at Max Media’s rhythmic AC KJHM “Jammin’ 101.5” in the morning drive daypart.  Kendall B had most recently been at Entercom’s crosstown rhythmic CHR KQKS “KS1075.”  Max Media Denver general manager Jeff Norman says, “Kendall B has been waking the Denver market for over 15 years and I couldn’t be prouder to have him apart of the Max Media and ‘Jammin’ 101.5’ family.”…..Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch reports that iHeartMedia names Bo Money program director at hip hop WZRL, Indianapolis “Real 98.3.”  Money is also hosting afternoons on the station and will serve as a regional urban programmer for the company…..Also from Indiana Radio Watch, the price tag for WKHL, West LaFayette that Woof Boom Radio is paying for the class A FM station is $608,000.  The seller is non-profit operator Educational Media FoundationIRW reports that “once the sale closes, Woof Boom Radio Lafayette will own 90% with managing partner Jim Ducey, a.k.a. Jim Stone, owning 10%.  Ducey will become GM of WKHL.”

PPM Analysis: Adult Contemporary.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the final analysis of radio station performances based on data from the September 2017 Nielsen Audio PPM survey, today focusing on adult contemporary.  Comparing September performances to data from the August 2017 survey, Kinosian notes that “only one of every three eligible adult contemporary facilities in our sample (33%) improves between August 2017 – September 2017 (6+), while 57% are down; the remaining 10% of the panel is steady (6+).”  Going back to the September survey a year ago, “approximately four of every 10 stations (39%) on this particular adult contemporary sample improve year-to-year, while 56% regress; 5% of the panel is unchanged from September 2016.”  A total of seven AC-formatted stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in the September survey: WLTW, New York; WBEB, Philadelphia; WNIC, Detroit; WDUV, Tampa; KSFI, Salt Lake City; WWLI, Providence; and WRCH, Hartford.  See the whole report here.

Friday, October 13, 2017

| October 13, 2017

WPHT’s Chris Stigall Hosts Laura Ingraham. Philly morning drive personality Chris Stigall (left) is pictured above with conservative media figure Laura Ingraham (right) on stage at a live appearance last night (10/12).  Stigall hosts morning drive at CBS RADIO’s WPHT.  Ingraham – a nationally syndicated talk radio host via Courtside Entertainment – is preparing to begin her new, 10:00 pm ET show on FOX News Channel.  She’s currently touring to promote her new book, Billionaire at the Barricades: The Populist Revolution from Reagan to Trump (St. Martin’s Press).

Entercom Keeps Garcia at WFNZ, Charlotte. Midday personality Frank Garcia signs a new contract to continue hosting on Entercom’s Charlotte sports talker WFNZ “The Fan.”  The former Carolina Panthers offensive lineman co-hosts the “Garcia and Bailey Show” with Kyle Bailey from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.  Entercom Charlotte vice president and market manager Matt Hanlon comments, “Frank Garcia brings over 10 years of professional broadcast experience to WFNZ.  He remains a valuable resource from his professional playing days and his overall knowledge of sports.  We are thrilled he’s committed to WFNZ and Entercom for the future.”

TALKERS News Notes. On Long Island, JVC Broadcasting’s “LI News Radio” – WRCN, Riverhead – is presenting a live, remote broadcast of Tom Schiliro’s “Your Island” show on Wednesday (10/18) from the Rockabilly Barbershop in Smithtown from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm.   The station says the program will “allow customers to share their thoughts live on the radio while Vinny – the shop’s owner – does a razor skin fade or a hot shave…the barbershop is about more than just politicians and elections.  It brings humor, firsthand experience and candid interviews with the most knowledgeable political minds on Long Island.”  The station has invited a number of local politicians and political candidates to drop by the broadcast…..Duke University basketball coaching legend Mike Krzyzewski is hosting the premiere episode of the 13th season of his weekly SiriusXM show, “Basketball and Beyond with Coach K,” on Thursday, October 19.  The program features Coach K and co-host Dave Sims interviewing successful people from many different walks of life, including sports, pop culture, politics and more.

Covering California’s Wildfires. Pictured above reporting from the deadly wildfires in Santa Rosa, California is ABC News Radio correspondent Alex Stone.

Harvey Weinstein Scandal Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 9-13.  The allegations of sexual predation and rape against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talker TenTM.  At #2 this week was the political feud between President Trump and Senator Bob Corker.  Coming in at #3 was President Trump’s attack on NBC and the threat to its broadcast licenses, followed by Trump’s executive order to change some of the rules of the Affordable Care Act 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 and Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Radio’s Ongoing Humanitarian Efforts.  The radio industry – via its close relationships with listeners and sponsors – continues to build creative avenues in which to help those in need.  This piece highlights some of the initiatives that are going on right now:  In Detroit, at Beasley Media’s rock WCSX, the “Big Jim’s House Morning Show” is working to help the men and women who serve our country find work when they come home through the “94.7 WCSX-FM Employment After Deployment” initiative.  Members of the military who have returned home from a recent deployment and are looking for a job are encouraged to go to “Employment After Deployment” for information at the station’s website or email to Big Jim O’Brien to share their job experience, skill set and type of position they’re looking for.  They’re also featuring one veteran selected from all submissions received each week on the morning show and will work to match the individual up with employers located throughout the Metro Detroit area. O’Brien says, “As a proud veteran of the U.S. Naval Submarine Service, I’ve always wanted to find ways to give back and support fellow veterans.”…..Beasley Media Group’s urban contemporary WBQT, Boston “HOT 96.9” recently presented a free concert featuring the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops while collecting donations for the people of Puerto Rico.  “HOT 96.9” personalities Ramiro, Pebbles, Melissa and Wiggy were all on-hand to help fill four trucks with items that included: water, flashlights with batteries, first aid kits, baby formula, food, clothing, pet supplies and more…..The National Association of Broadcasters sent 10,000 battery-operated radios to Puerto Rico for distribution to residents affected by Hurricane Maria.  NAB, the National Alliance of State Broadcasters Associations, and multiple U.S. broadcasters funded the initiative.  NAB is working with FEMA and local Puerto Rican authorities to ensure that the radios are properly distributed to those most in need. NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith states, “Time and again, broadcast radio has served as a lifeline to communities desperate for information and support.  Our fellow Americans in the Caribbean now face a once-in-a-generation humanitarian crisis and radio is one of the only communications resources available. We admire the resolve of our friends in Puerto Rico and are proud to undertake this effort with help from FEMA to keep citizens safe and informed.”…..Nationally syndicated urban radio morning host Tom Joyner distributed $50,000 to 50 Houston-area families who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey.  The effort was one example of Joyner’s distribution of more than $500,000 raised to date for the BlackAmericaWeb.com Relief Fund supporting families, friends and those in the community that have taken in people impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma…..Pop star Ed Sheeran is partnering with (RED), Coke, Omaze and iHeartMedia to host a pizza party and love song serenade for lucky winners at the KIIS-FM, Los Angeles Jingle Ball 2017 on December 1 – World AIDS Day.  All donations are being matched up to $2 million dollars by Coca-Cola and will benefit (RED) for the fight to end AIDS.  iHeartMedia is promoting the experience across its more than 850 radio stations encouraging listeners to bid at Omaze.com/JingleBall for a chance to win a trip to Los Angeles and meet Ed Sheeran.

 

 

PPM Analysis: Classic Hits-Oldies.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the third of four analyses of the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s September 2017 PPM survey.  Two previous reports focused on all-news and news/talk.  Today, he looks at classic hits-oldies.  As a format, there wasn’t much movement from the August survey to September’s.  Kinosian says, “Just over half the stations (52%) on our classic hits-oldies sample are down between August 2017 – September 2017 (6+) while 42% improve; the remaining 6% of the panel is flat (6+).”  It’s pretty much the same looking at year-over-year numbers.  “Nearly the same number of stations on this classic hits-oldies panel are up year-to-year (47%) as are down (44%), while the remaining 9% are flat.”  However, an impressive 30 classic hits-oldies stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets in September and seven stations ranked #1. They are: KQQL, Minneapolis; KONO-FM, San Antonio; WWSW, Pittsburgh; KKLZ, Las Vegas; WMJI, Cleveland; WJJK, Indianapolis; WRIT, Milwaukee.  See Kinosian’s entire report here.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Urban radio morning star Rickey Smiley and Reach Media announce they’ve agreed to a multi-year contract extension to continue syndicating the “Rickey Smiley Morning Show.”  Urban One’s CEO of Radio One Stations and Reach Media David Kantor says, “We are delighted to extend our relationship with Rickey Smiley.  He has established himself as a leader and entertaining communicator in his 10 years of syndication.  He continues to grow in audience, followers, affiliates, but most importantly, with an affinity with his listeners that’s unparalleled.”…..Premiere Networks says it has added nine new affiliate stations for “The Rendezvous with Simon and Angi,” that include: WNIC, Detroit; KMXP, Phoenix; KMIY, Tucson; and WRVE, Albany.  The program is hosted by Simon Marcel and Angi Taylor.  Premiere says, “‘The Rendezvous’ is a nightly radio experience filled with insightful love and relationship advice, coupled with radio station music playlists.  The two-hour show is available for air between 7:00 pm and 12:00 midnight…..iHeartMedia is re-branding CHR KOSY, Cedar Rapids with a new “HOT 95.7” handle and a revamped lineup that consists of Premiere Networks’ Elvis Duran for mornings, “On Air with Ryan Seacrest” in middays, Sean Strife in afternoon drive, and “Brady At Night.”…..Envision Networks is offering the 2017 updated edition of the award-winning “100 Greatest Christmas Hits of All Time” 10-hour radio countdown special hosted by television icon Wink Martindale.

Miranda Lambert Plays at Cumulus New York’s Stage 17.  On Wednesday evening, country superstar Miranda Lambert performed before an intimate group of country fans and WNSH, New York “NASH FM 94.7” listeners at Cumulus Media New York’s Stage 17.  Lambert’s six-song set included her chart-topping single, “Heart Like Mine,” “Automatic,” and her latest radio single, “Tim Man.”  She’s pictured here with staff of WNSH.  From left to right: Crystal Dishmon, ShopKeeper Management; Dennis Reese, SVP/promotion, RCA Nashville; Lambert; John Kilgo, VP, label relations, Cumulus Media; Mike Allan, APD, “NASH FM 94.7”; and Randy Goodman, chairman/CEO, SONY Music Nashville.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

| October 12, 2017

Emmis Reports 2nd Fiscal Quarter Financials – Pro Forma Revenue Up 2%.  Today, Emmis Communications CEO Jeff Smulyan reports earnings for the company’s second fiscal quarter (ending August 31).  Year-over-year figures are not comparable due to the sale of KPWR, Los Angeles in August and January’s sale of its Terre Haute, Indiana stations.  Net revenue for the period was $41.8 million, and that compares with $46 million a year ago.  However, the company reports that pro forma radio revenue for the quarter was up 2%.  Emmis’ New York, Austin, and St. Louis clusters gained market share during the quarter.  Smulyan says, “There were bright spots this quarter, especially in New York, as our second quarter results were buoyed by record-setting ticket sales for Hot 97’s marquee event, Summer Jam, and ‘Hot 97’ has been the #1 rated station in the 18-34 demo for each of the last three months.”

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the second of four analyses of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s September PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk.  In markets affected by the recent spate of hurricanes, listening to news/talk radio spiked, as is often the case. Across the board Kinosian reports that “slightly more than half of this news/talk sample is up between August 2017 – September 2017 (54%, 6+); 29% of the stations highlighted here are down; and the remaining 17% are flat.”  When looking at year-over-year changes, “basically, one of every two stations on our news/talk sample registers an August 2017 – September 2017 increase (51%, 6+), while 42% decline; the remaining 7% are unchanged.”  A total of 13 news/talk stations in PPM markets ranked in the top five in their respective markets in the September survey, with four – Cox’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; CBS’ KMOX, St. Louis; iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati; and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton – ranking #1.  See Kinosian’s entire report here.

Trump’s Attack on NBC Spurs Rebuke by RTDNA, Letter to FCC’s Pai by Senator.  The Twitter attack on NBC’s reporting by President Trump caused the Radio Television Digital News Association to condemn the president’s words.  NBC reported that the president requested a “ten-fold” increase in the U.S.’ nuclear arsenal.  In denying the report, Trump questioned whether it was “appropriate” to challenge NBC’s license for spreading “fake news.” The RTDNA responded with a statement from executive director Dan Shelley that reads, in part, “Today’s call by the President of the United States to challenge the licenses of networks is not only dangerous to the American people’s right to access responsible journalism, it represents a clear misunderstanding on his part of how much control the federal government can exercise as it relates to networks and cable channels.”  Meanwhile, Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) fired off a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai urging him to “maintain the Federal Communications Commission’s charter as an independent agency and withstand any urges from President Trump to harm the news media and infringe upon the First Amendment…I ask for your commitment to resist the President’s request and call on you to publicly refuse to challenge the license of any broadcaster because the President dislikes its coverage.”  He also asks for copies of any correspondence in which the White House has requested action against a broadcaster.  Pai’s office has not issued a public response.

‘ESPNLA’ Adds Eric Davis to Afternoon Show. Former NFL star and sports media pro Eric Davis joins the afternoon drive program on ESPN O&O KSPN, Los Angeles “ESPNLA.”  He joins show co-hosts Marcellus Wiley and Kelvin Washington on the newly renamed “Afternoons with Marcellus, Kelvin and Eric” program, effective today (10/12).  Davis continues his position with Travis Rodgers and Kirk Morrison as hosts of the pre- and post-game programs surrounding Los Angeles Rams radio broadcasts.  Davis also currently works for FS1.

TALKERS News Notes. A leadership change takes place at Entercom’s San Francisco station group as vice president and market manager Steve DiNardo exits after five years with the company.  The move comes as Entercom announces that it is divesting of urban AC KBLX, adult contemporary KOIT, and classic rock KUFX ahead of the CBS RADIO merger.  After the deal is consummated, Entercom will operate sports talk KGMZ, all-news KCBS-AM/KFRC-FM, hot AC KLLC, rhythmic AC KRBQ, and alternative KITS.  Currently, the CBS RADIO market manager is Doug Harvil…..In Cincinnati, iHeartMedia promotes D.J. Hodge to market president for the cluster that includes news/talk WLW, sports talk WCKY, news/talk WKRC and sports WSAI.  Chuck Frederick exited that position earlier this year…..AudioHQ and TuneIn announce a deal in which the former will be the exclusive U.S. re-seller of TuneIn’s audio advertising inventory.  TuneIn VP/head of global revenue and partnerships Bill Hartman says, “TuneIn’s audience is growing and our inventory continues to scale.  We’ve been hyper-focused on content and creative solutions for our brand partners, including live-streaming music festivals, custom podcast series, and an emphasis on exclusive.  Plus, we’re now producing a variety of content with our league partners as well as human-hosted, curated radio which are focal points for our selling efforts.”

Harvey Weinstein Scandal, Trump Attacks NBC, Deadly California Wildfires, Trump-North Korea Rhetoric, Iran Nuclear Deal, Boy Scouts to Admit Girls, MLB Playoffs, and NFL Protests Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/11). The escalating scandal surrounding movie mogul Harvey Weinstein; President Trump’s attacks on NBC and threatening to revoke its “license”; the wildfires in California’s wine country that have taken the lives of 23 with hundreds more reported missing; Trump’s exchange of war rhetoric with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; the Iran nuclear deal and President Trump’s inclination not to certify Iran’s compliance with the pact; the Boy Scouts of America’s announcement it will allow girls to join; the Major League Baseball playoffs; and the controversy over NFL national anthem protests were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Delmarva’s Damien Buck Passes at 58.  Radio pro Damien Buck died on Monday (10/9) at age 58 after a long illness.  He’d been serving as production director at Delmarva Broadcasting’s news/talk WDEL-AM/FM and sister CHR WSTW, Wilmington, Delaware.  WDEL states on its website that Buck had been with the company for 30 years.  He also operated his own Buck Productions and did voiceover work for The Disney Channel.

Providence Radio Icon Jimmy Gray Dead at 72. Providence market radio personality Jimmy Gray, a.k.a. James Hargraves, died on Monday (10/9) at a nursing home at the age of 72.  During his long career, Gray worked at WOR-AM, WPRO-FM, WHJJ-AM, WEBE-FM, and WCTK.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Rock icon Nikki Sixx announces he’s leaving his syndicated radio shows at the end of December in order to focus on new projects.  The Premiere Networks-syndicated “Sixx Sense” nightly show, along with “The Side Show Countdown” and “The Side Show Classic” will end December 31.  Sixx has been working with Premiere on the syndicated programming since 2010.  He’s stepping down to work on new projects that include his blossoming photography career, TV endeavors and the Broadway adaptation of his best-selling memoir, The Heroin Diaries: A Year In The Life of a Shattered Rockstar.  Premiere president Julie Talbott states, “When we first partnered with Nikki in 2010, we set out to create a unique program from the perspective of true rock star, and that’s exactly what we did.  We’re proud of the work we did together to make ‘Sixx Sense’ one of the most widely syndicated rock radio programs in the country, while establishing the ultimate platforms for rock music fans, as well as new and established artists.  It’s been a pleasure working with Nikki, and we wish him all the best.”…..Last month it was announced that Chris Randolph would be joining Cumulus Media’s country WFMS, Indianapolis to host the midday show.  Now, Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch breaks the news that he will not take over that position after all, due to family reasons.  Thompson reports that sister WNNF afternoon host Amanda Orlando will cover the midday show in the interim.  Randolph had most recently been morning host at Alpha Media’s hot AC WXMA, Louisville…..At Cumulus Media’s country KUBL, Salt Lake City, “K-Bull 93,” program director Travis Moon is now hosting the afternoon drive show, moving Matt Ramone to the midday shift…..Pop superstar Ed Sheeran is seen here holding up a t-shirt he customized at iHeartMedia’s CHR WRVW, Nashville “107.5 The River.”  Program director Jonathan Shuford tells TALKERS/RadioInfo that the station is auctioning off the t-shirt with 100% of the proceeds going to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.

Westwood One Official Radio Partner for American Music Awards.  Radio syndicator Westwood One announces American Music Awards programming as part of its deal as official national radio partner for the awards ceremony.  The 2017 American Music Awards will broadcast live from LA’s Microsoft Theater on Sunday, November 19 from 8:00 pm to – 11:00 pm ET on ABC-TV.  As part of Westwood One Backstage, more than 25 local stations and national programs will take part during rehearsals and event night for the awards show.  Other programming will include: 30-second branded highlights, airing November 6 through November 19 that include format specific versions for hot AC, AC and CHR stations hosted by WPLJ, New York’s Jayde Donovan.  Urban and urban AC versions are hosted by WNBM, New York’s La Loca.  A two-hour nomination special will air the weekend of November 11.  The Westwood One Backstage Radio Row Remote takes place on Friday and Saturday (11/17-18).