Talk Radio/Media Industry News

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).

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

| October 11, 2017

16 More Station Divestitures Named in Entercom SEC Filing – Boston’s News/Talk WRKO, All-News WBZ-AM, and Sports Talk WBZ-FM Being Sold.  Which stations will not be part of the new Entercom after its merger with CBS RADIO has been one of the most eagerly awaited radio news stories since the deal was first announced.  And now, with Entercom’s SEC filing, we know of 16 more stations – in addition to the three being sold to the Educational Media Foundation – that will go to new owners.  When all the deals are consummated, Entercom will realize $264.8 million in proceeds from the divestitures that CEO David Field says will be used to pay down debt and, maybe, buy more stations.  No one thought Entercom would be allowed to keep two FM sports talk giants in Boston, so it’s not surprising that WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub” is being divested (Entercom will keep its longtime sports talkers WEEI-FM and WEEI-AM “ESPN Radio 850”) along with heritage all-news WBZ-AM and classic rock WZLX.  Those are the CBS stations.  Entercom will also divest its own news/talk WRKO and urban contemporary WKAF.  In the Pacific Northwest, CBS Seattle signals adult hits KJAQ, classic rock KZOK, and sports talk KFNQ-AM are headed for divestiture.  Down the coast in San Francisco, Entercom will shuck its own adult contemporary KOIT, urban contemporary KBLX, and classic rock KUFX (San Jose) as well as CBS’ CHR KMVQ.  In the Sacramento market, CBS stations country KNCI, adult contemporary KYMX, hot AC KZZO, and sports talk KHTK will go to new owners.  The filing does not indicate who the prospective new owners are.  What David Field does say is that he still expects the deal to close before the end of the year.

PPM Analysis: All-News.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the first of four analyses of the performances of radio stations based on data from the September 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  Today’s report looks at all-news-formatted stations.  As Kinosian notes in the story, all but three of the all-news stations in this report are CBS RADIO-owned properties.  The last PPM survey was good to all-news with “three of four stations on this particular news panel up August 2017 – September 2017 (75%); roughly one in five are down (19%) and the remaining 6% remain flat (6+).”  Comparing year-over-year ratings, “two of three stations on our eligible all-news sample improve September 2016 – September 2017 (67%, 6+), while one in three shows a decrease (33%).”  All-news outlets generally do well in the 6+ ratings and September was no different with seven stations finishing in the top five in their respective markets.  One, Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington, finishing #1.  Read the whole report here.

Salem’s KRLA/KTIE Keeps Whitman for Mornings.  Morning personality Brian Whitman inks a new contract with Salem Media Group to continue anchoring the morning drive show on news/talk stations KRLA, Los Angeles and KTIE, Riverside/San Bernardino.  The Southern California radio pro has worked at such stations as KABC and the old KLSX-FM.  He started with Salem in April of 2012.  Currently, Whitman and Jennifer Horn co-host “The Morning Answer” that’s simulcast on the conservative news/talk stations.  KRLA program director Chuck Tyler comments, “Brian is a one-of-a-kind talent.  I’m thrilled to know that he will be anchoring the ‘Morning Answer’ for years to come.”

TALKERS News Notes.  The Virginia-based John Fredericks show begins airing on Salem Media Group’s WWRC, Washington “AM 1260 The Answer” in the 8:00 am to 10:00 am slot, effective Monday (10/16).  Fredericks’ program airs live from 6:00 am to 10:00 am and is also heard on WHTK, Hampton Roads; WNTW, Richmond; and WBRG, Lynchburg…..At William Pollack-owned, suburban Chicago talk station WCGO, Evanston, “The Citizen Kelly Show” moves from middays to the 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight slot.  Show host William J. Kelly made news locally after recently announcing he plans to challenge Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner in the 2018 Republican primary race…..Syndicated Solutions, Inc announces that the nationally syndicated travel radio show “Rudy Maxa’s World with the Careys” has added 60 new radio affiliates through the first three quarters of 2017.  Robert and Mary Carey say, “We’re truly delighted and thankful for the strong support our program enjoys from network affiliates, leading sponsors and a loyal audience across our various platforms.  Our radio program is unlike anything found or heard out there – and it’s rewarding to realize so many people enjoy and respect what we do.”…..Pictured at right is a scene from last Friday’s fundraising event for the Puppy Jake Foundation – a charity founded by WHO, Des Moines afternoon talk host Simon Conway that acquires, raises, and trains service dogs for physically and mentally wounded veterans.  Friday’s fourth annual, free sandwich giveaway raised more than $28,500 for the charity.

Trump-Corker Feud, Weinstein Scandal, Iran Nuclear Deal, N. Korea Hacks U.S. War Plans, GOP Tax Plan, California Wildfires, MLB Playoffs, NFL Action/Anthem Protests Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/11).  The war of words between President Trump and Senator Bob Corker; the accusations of sexual predation and rape against entertainment mogul Harvey Weinstein; the allegations that Iran’s nuclear weapons program has not been halted and President Trump’s indication he will not certify Iran’s compliance; reports that North Korean agents hacked joint U.S.-South Korea military plans involving the North; the GOP’s formulation of its tax reform plan; the deadly California wildfires that have killed at least 17; the Major League Baseball playoffs; and NFL action and the ongoing controversy over national anthem protests 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.  Programming pro Scott Jameson signs a multi-year contract extension with Cumulus Media to continue as vice president of classic rock and operations manager for its Minneapolis stations and program director for classic rock KQRS.  The company’s other music stations in the Twin Cities are active rock KXXR “93X” and classic hip hop trimulcast, WGVX/WRXP/WWWM “105 The Vibe.”  Jameson says, “I have a great job in a city I love, a wonderful family and a dream team staff at KQRS who impress and inspire me daily.  I’m a very lucky guy.  Thanks to all who have helped me along the way.  Special thanks to Mike McVay for his motivational leadership.”…..At Cumulus Media’s alternative WNNX, Atlanta “99X,” the original three hosts of “The Morning X” program that aired on the station from 1993 through 2003 are coming back for a special broadcast on October 26 – the station’s alternative format 25th anniversary.  Steve Barnes, Leslie Fram and Jimmy Baron will return to the Atlanta airwaves for the first time in more than a decade as part of the station’s celebration.  WNNX says listeners can expect a healthy dose of laughter and gags, celebrity interviews and nostalgic banter from the trio, who “ruled Atlanta’s morning airwaves from 1993 to 2003.”…..E.W. Scripps’ country WKTI “94.5 KTI COUNTRY” launches a nationwide search for a superstar country morning show host to fill the slot left vacant by the departure of Jake Kelly.  The station notes that most recently, it added Milwaukee icon and Country Radio Hall of Fame host Karen Dalessandro for afternoons.  WKTI program director Ryan Wild says, “We’re looking a fun, entertaining morning show that loves country music.  To help us complete the job of winning in Milwaukee, the right show will run for office with our listeners every day, and embrace living in Wisconsin.  Very few people understand how to be a great local host, we are looking for someone that does!” To apply, visit www.scripps.com/careers.  Local radio pro Carol Vonn is handling the morning show until a permanent host is named.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

| October 10, 2017

New Kilmeade Book Released This Month.  Later this month (10/24), FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio personality Brian Kilmeade releases his fifth book, this one titled, Andrew Jackson And The Miracle Of New Orleans: The Battle That Shaped America’s Destiny (Sentinel 2017).  The book addresses the role of Andrew Jackson in the War of 1812 and the crucial Battle of New Orleans.  A press release says the book “makes history come alive and gives readers a new understanding of one of America’s greatest generals – who later became one of our most controversial presidents.”  Kilmeade is available for interviews.  Contact Victoria@guestbooker.com.

TALKERS News Notes.  Pictured at right, Westwood One News vice president Kevin Delany accepts a 2017 RTDNA Edward R Murrow Award for the news organization for hard news reporting.  The gala awards presentation took place at New York City’s Gotham Hall last night (10/9)…..WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta talk show host Erick Erickson (who is also editor of The Resurgent) has published a new book titled, Before You Wake: Life Lessons from a Father to His Children (Hachette Books 2017).  Already dealing with his wife’s rare, genetic lung cancer, Erickson learned in 2016 he had blood clots in his lungs for which he’s been treated.  The brushes with mortality caused him to write a letter to his children titled, “If I Should Die Before You Wake,” that went viral.  Because of the popularity of the piece, Erickson decided to expand the idea and wrote a total of 10 letters that comprise the book that is described on Amazon.com as “featuring a wonderful mix of the practical, inspirational, and spiritual.”…..Former Premiere Networks talk show host and FOX News Channel personality Meghan McCain is joining the cast of ABC-TV’s “The View.”  Program senior executive producer Hilary Estey McLoughlin states, “Meghan is smart and well-informed, with passionate opinions that will create a new and exciting dynamic at the table.  She has a unique perspective and life experience that will bring a fresh, multi-generational voice to the show.  We know she’ll be a great addition to ‘The View.’”…..WPEN-FM, Philadelphia afternoon personality Mike Missanelli told his listeners that he’s been let go from his appearance on WPVI-TV, Philadelphia’s “Sports Sunday” program after questioning the use of women as play-by-play announcers for sports.  Missanelli said he was trying to stimulate conversation relative to ESPN’s use of Beth Mowins as a play-by-play caller during an ESPN NFL broadcast.   The Philly sports site Crossing Broad reports the story here.

Capitol Broadcasting’s WCMC-FM, Raleigh Celebrates 10th Anniversary.  Triangle market sports talker WCMC-FM, Raleigh “99.9 The Fan” is celebrating 10 years on air today (10/10).  When the station signed on back in 2007, it was the market’s first sports talk station.  A press release from WCMC reports that according to the latest Nielsen PPM ratings, the station ranks number one Men 25-54 6:00 am to 7:00 pm with a 9.5 share.  It also boasts “the number one shows in morning and afternoon drive.”  Capitol Broadcasting sports radio operations manager/program director Dennis Glasgow comments, “While I’ve only been here four years at CBC, I can say this is one of the most dynamic and forward-thinking sports radio stations I have ever been associated with over my 25 years in sports broadcasting.  While this isn’t one of the first sports stations in the country, we’ve proved it is definitely one of the best, thanks to a great lineup, but mostly in part to our loyal listeners in the Triangle.”

KKOB Balloon Flies Over New Mexico.  Yesterday (10/9) was the 46th annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta and pictured above is the KKOB balloon.  The festival attracts more than a million people from all over the world to Albuquerque each year.  The festival began in 1972 as a promotional celebration of KKOB’s 50th anniversary on air.  Now, it is the largest ballooning event in the  world.

Iran Nukes Deal, Corker vs Trump, Harvey Weinstein Scandal, NFL Protests/Jemele Hill Suspended, California Wildfires, Columbus Day/Indigenous Persons Day, MLB Playoffs, College Football, and NFL Action Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The likelihood that President Trump will not certify Iran’s compliance with the 2015 nuclear pact and his expected declaration of the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization; the inter-GOP feud between President Trump and Senator Bob Corker; the sexual predator allegations against entertainment mogul Harvey Weinstein; the national anthem protests at Sunday’s NFL games and ESPN’s suspension of Jemele Hill for Tweeting about them; the wildfires in California that have claimed at least 10 lives; the Columbus Day holiday and the Indigenous Persons holiday celebrated in several states; the Major League Baseball playoffs, Saturday’s college football games, and Sunday’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the holiday weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Worcester, Massachusetts hot AC WXLO has a new program director as Cumulus Media names Laura St. James to the position.  St. James was most recently program director at the company’s WLEV, Allentown and is currently heard on weekends on the company’s country WNSH, New York “NASH FM 94.7.”…..iHeartMedia’s Allentown-Harrisburg Region makes several announcements regarding programming positions that consist of the expansion of programming roles for Newman, Dave Hovel, Derrick ‘DC’ Cole, Kathryn Alt and Jeff Hurley.  Newman is named program director for country WRBT, Harrisburg “BOB 94.9.”  Hovel adds duties as SVP of programming for iHeartMedia Wilmington, Delaware.  He’ll continue his role as SVP of programming for iHeartMedia Salisbury, Maryland.  In Allentown, Cole is named program director for CHR WAEB “B104” and rock WZZO.  Alt adds program director duties for country WDSD, Dover, Delaware in addition to her PD duties at adult hits WRDX “92.9 Tom FM.”  And finally, Hurley adds PD duties for CHR WLAN, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  He continues as Regional SVP of programming and program director for “93.3 KISS FM” in Harrisburg…..Programmer Greg Mozingo exits E.W. Scripps’ country KVOO and classic country KXBL in Tulsa to be closer to family in Memphis.