Talk Radio/Media Industry News

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

| September 19, 2018

Noted Record Producer and Social Commentator Robbie Stevens Launches Short-Form Series on TalkersRadio.  TALKERS magazine is pleased to welcome noted record producer and iconoclastic social commentator Robbie Stevens to its experimental talk radio platform, TalkersRadio, beginning today (9/19).  Stevens is launching a series of short-form features titled “I Don’t Do Podcasts” in which he randomly shares his views and experiences about a variety of subjects including politics, media, education, sociology, philosophy, psychology, sports and, of course, music.  He is well-known for decades in the record business for his prolific contributions as a musician, recordist, mixer, and/or producer on records by such artists as Herbie Hancock, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the late Gil-Scott HeronJohn Lydon a.k.a. Johnny RottenAfrika Bambaataaa, the posthumous John Lennon catalog, and many more.  Stevens most recently headed up the production of Yoko Ono’s remarkable run of 13 Billboard #1 dance singles with her EDM band, ONO and just concluded the exciting 2018 surround sound re-mix of key elements from John Lennon’s “Imagine” album called “Raw” as a soon-to-be released box set titled “John Lennon’s Imagine – the Ultimate Collection” (Universal).  A Columbia University graduate, this fascinating raconteur was born in Brooklyn, raised in Queens and now resides in the Bronx.  Bringing what can be described as an “outer-borough” grit to the microphone, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison has referred to Stevens as the “Bronx Philosopher” as well as the “Rogue from Riverdale.”  TALKERS general manager of broadcast operations David Bernstein says, “I first became aware of Robbie almost a decade ago when he came to my attention as a successful record producer who liked to dabble in news/talk radio.  He briefly did some interesting work on WNYM in New York and WOR’s short-lived online ancillary talk show platform where his well-informed, ‘streety’ take on hot topics generated a positive buzz.  I am beyond thrilled that he is clearing the time in his busy schedule to get back to trying new things in spoken word programming on TalkersRadio.  This guy is an original and that’s what TalkersRadio is all about.”   TalkersRadio was launched in 2013 as an experimental radio workshop/lab where new ideas in talk programming could be tested and showcased by newcomers to the industry as well as seasoned pros looking to expand their repertoire.  Since then, a number of shows have been developed on TalkersRadio that have gone on to achieve success in terrestrial radio and/or podcasting.  To listen to the first episode of “I Don’t Do Podcasts with Robbie Stevens” please click here.

New Podcast Featuring Anthony Scaramucci Debuts on Radio.com. Will folks be interested in hearing what Anthony Scaramucci and his wife Deidre have to say?  Entercom is hoping so as it launches a new podcast on its Radio.com platform called “Mooch and the Mrs.”  Remember that Scaramucci was Donald Trump’s White House Director of Communications for 10 days.  He also served as a consultant to Trump’s campaign. Entercom says, “The new weekly podcast…will feature the couple discussing the world we live in from opposite sides of the political spectrum, while offering an intimate look into the strength of their marriage.”  Entercom SVP/GM Pam Russo adds, “Anthony Scaramucci’s first-hand political experience from his time in the White House, combined with his and Deidre’s unique points of view, will provide Radio.com listeners with a compelling podcast experience. We’re committed to providing a forum for diverse points of view and look forward to hearing Anthony’s and Deidre’s differing perspectives on the political landscape, through the unique lens of their personal relationship.”  The two have previously contributed to programming on the company’s all-news KNX, Los Angeles and Entercom says “ based on feedback and interest in these appearances, it’s clear that there is an appetite for a candid and refreshing look inside how this couple manages differing perspectives within their relationship.”

PodcasOne Brings Celebrity Gossip Maven Perez Hilton On Board. Digital celebrity news and gossip columnist Perez Hilton launches a new PodcastOne show called, “The Perez Hilton Podcast with Chris Booker.”  The new podcast delves into the world of celebrity news via “the bold and humorous lens of Hilton and fellow pop-culture expert, Booker.” PodcastOne says, “The pair bring their unique, and often clashing perspective and insight to the microphone, in this audio extension of one of the leading go-to sites for celebrity news. Plus, celebrity guests like to drop by to spill it all!  New episodes of the podcast will be released weekly, in line with the biggest news of the week.”  Hilton adds, “We are finally home!  PodcastOne is the leader in the space!  I’m upset we didn’t get here sooner!  Chris Booker and I have been doing ‘The Perez Hilton Podcast’ for over three years now and each week it gets better and better!  Our chemistry is unlike any other!  People keep tuning in every week and catching up on all the old episodes they’ve missed because they don’t just enjoy what’s hot in pop culture, they also love the two of us together.  That relationship with our listeners is so special to us!  And we are so confident and grateful that PodcastOne will help us get heard by even more people!  Tune in!  We’re trending now!”

Chris Cuomo to Host Daily Show on SiriusXM. Journalist and cable television personality Chris Cuomo is beginning a daily, two-hour talk radio program on SiriusXM, effective September 24.  The host of CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time” launches “Let’s Get After It with Chris Cuomo,” to air from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm ET on SiriusXM’s P.O.T.U.S. channel.   SiriusXM SVP news, talk and entertainment Megan Liberman says, “Chris is a remarkable journalist with a history of tough interviews that have everyone talking the next day.  On his new SiriusXM show, Chris will continue that tradition of fostering important, engaging conversations, while also giving listeners the bigger picture about what’s going on in Washington and beyond.”  During his two-decade career, Cuomo has earned Polk and Peabody awards for team coverage, as well as the Edward R. Murrow award for breaking news coverage.

Talk Media Public Relations Pioneer Richard Strauss Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  The man who literally opened the White House doors to talk radio and gave the medium top tier access to the executive branch of the Federal Government for decades to come, Richard Strauss, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Strauss, the founder and president of Washington, DC-based Strauss Media Strategies was the first-ever White House radio director, appointed at the age of 23 and serving between 1993 and 1996, the first three years of President Bill Clinton’s administration.  During that time, Strauss elevated the burgeoning medium of news/talk radio to equal status with newspapers and television in enjoying access to the presidency.  Prior to that, radio was a second-class citizen in that arena – at least during the modern era going all the way back to the Eisenhower years.  According to Michael Harrison, “What Richard Strauss did for talk radio, while still a kid, is a major piece of the medium’s colorful history and should serve as an inspiration for aspiring youngsters looking to make their mark in this industry going forward.   I am so glad we have a chance to tell his story on this week’s program.”  Media freaks, historians and audiophiles will not want to miss this podcast!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Former CBS RADIO Stations Unveil New Websites. The web presence for the individual CBS RADIO stations was always part of the company’s local broadcast cluster so that a search for a station brought one to a site from which one could then access any of the radio or TV stations in the cluster.  Now, 10 months after Entercom closed on the CBS RADIO merger deal, the radio stations have their own URL. The sites conform to a template that prominently features their relationship to Entercom’s Radio.com digital platform and features news items relevant to the station’s format.  Back in the CBS days, a number of news and news/talk programmers privately complained to TALKERS editors about their dislike of the cluster website format.  They believed it diminished their station and limited their ability to present content relevant to the format.  Search for your favorite former CBS station and check out the new format.

St. Louis Talk Host Jamie Allman Has October 22 Mediation Date. As TALKERS reported on August 29, Federal Judge Jean C. Hamilton ordered St. Louis talk host Jamie Allman and Emmis Communications and Entercom into mediation, to be completed by November 1.  This order is relative to Allman’s suit against the two companies for breach of contract stemming from Allman’s dismissal from news/talk KFTK-FM for his social media post about Parkland, Florida shooting survivor David Hogg.  The parties have agreed to use Richard P. Sher of the St. Louis firm Sher Corwin Winters LLC and they’ll begin meeting on October 22.

Kavanaugh Assault Allegations, Hurricane Florence Aftermath, Trump-Russia Investigation, North-South Korea Summit, Woodward Book, U.S.-China Trade War, Emmy Awards, Ernie & Bert Gay Revelation, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/18). The sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh; the devastating flooding in the Carolinas caused by Hurricane Florence; President Trump’s efforts to de-classify certain documents related to the Trump-Russia investigation; the meeting between North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and South Korea’s Moon Jae-in; Bob Woodward’s Fear: Trump in the White House sells 1 million copies; the escalating trade war between China and the U.S.; Monday night’s Emmy Awards show; former Sesame Street writer Mark Saltzman reveals he wrote Ernie & Bert as a gay couple; the weekend’s NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoff push 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. Radio exec Alissa Pollack is promoted to EVP of global music marketing at iHeartMedia.  The company says in her expanded role, Pollack will work closely with the company’s brand managers and national programming team to oversee and create custom data-focused roadmaps for artists, brands and advertising partners. She’ll also plan strategic roll-outs with artists, “keeping a strong pulse on what’s connecting with our consumers as well as generating opportunities for music’s current and next superstars in all formats.”  She’ll also retain her current duties and oversight of Mediabase, M-Score, RatetheMusic and BuzzAngle Music…..Geoff Vargo is retiring as president and general manager of Sarkes Tarzian’s triple A WTTS, Indianapolis after a 37-year career with the company.  Rising to the GM post in his place is 16-year station manager Brad Holtz, effective January 1, 2019.  In conjunction with these changes, Laura Duncan rises from APD/music director for WTTS to program director.  (She’s also adding PD responsibilities for sister news/talk WGCL, Bloomington, Indiana.) Holtz comments, “As I move into a new role in my career, I’m delighted that Laura Duncan will take over the programming reigns at WTTS.  As our APD/MD for the past 14 years, Laura has set herself apart as one of the most dedicated and passionate in our business.  She’ll be an outstanding programmer at WTTS.”…..The lineup for this weekend’s iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas includes: Justin TimberlakeFleetwood Mac, Carrie Underwood, Mariah Carey, Imagine Dragons, Jason Aldean, Sam Smith, Luke Bryan, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Panic! At The Disco, Kelly Clarkson, Shawn Mendes, Kygo, Rae Sremmurd, Logic, Childish Gambino and more, plus this year’s Macy’s iHeartRadio Rising Star winner, Heffron Drive.  The annual event takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Friday and Saturday night…..Beasley Media Group’s legendary rock station WMMR-FM, Philadelphia was honored by the city of Philadelphia in recognition of its 50 years of service to the city.  Pictured below is the WMMR staff in the Mayor’s Reception Room at City Hall receiving an official Resolution from Philadelphia City Councilman David Oh and other members of the council.  Beasley says WMMR-FM is regarded by the industry as the longest running rock station in America.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

| September 18, 2018

WHO, Des Moines and ‘Our American Stories’ Present Newt Gingrich Live Event.  “Our American Stories” host Lee Habeeb‘s American Private Radio and iHeartMedia’s news/talk WHO, Des Moines are collaborating to present “An Evening with Newt Gingrich” on October 15 at the Iowa Historical Building. The event is being hosted by WHO afternoon drive personality Simon Conway and Lee Habeeb.  Gingrich is quoted saying, “I am very excited to join our listeners for an evening of questions, answers and thought-provoking conversation.  WHO is taking the lead in an important concept of storytelling that rebuilds and provides people with a better understanding of America, which is something we desperately need today.”  “Our American Stories” airs in the evenings on WHO.

FNC to Produce Election Series Hosted by Ben Shapiro. This four-part series to air on FOX News Channel beginning on September 24 is being hosted by conservative media figure Ben Shapiro.  Titled, “The Ben Shapiro Election Special,” FNC says that each Sunday, Shapiro will be joined by a panel of experts along with influential guests to discuss the major headlines of the week and their impact on the upcoming 2018 midterm elections.  The one-hour program will also feature Shapiro’s political commentary and analysis on the major issues affecting the younger voting demographic this election season.  Shapiro is editor-in-chief of The Daily Wire and hosts a daily, eponymous podcast/radio show distributed by Westwood One.

Westwood One: AM/FM Radio Campaign Delivers ‘Significant Impressions.’ The study results are in the latest Westwood One blog post you can see here.  WWO says that it hired Nielsen to study a campaign for a major cable network’s season launch of a scripted drama that included AM/FM radio as well as paid TV spots and promos running on the network.  WWO says this was one of the first TV tune-in ROI studies to examine both TV and AM/FM radio.  The results indicated that although only 5% of the ad budget went to radio, it delivered 20% of total campaign impressions.  Further, with amplified frequency, AM/FM radio drove tune-in conversion: The more frequently consumers were exposed to tune-in ads, the greater the conversion to viewing the premiere.  Tune-in conversion is especially high among consumers who are exposed to ads six or more times.  The study also concluded that AM/FM radio delivered a much younger audience: TV’s audience skews older than AM/FM radio’s audience. 70% of AM/FM radio impressions came from 18-54-year-olds. Conversely, nearly half of all the TV impressions were from 55+.

TALKERS News Notes. According to the FCC, as of 11:00 am yesterday (9/17) 28 radio stations are out of service – 25 FMs and 3 AMs – in North and South Carolina.  Cell towers have also been affected by Hurricane Florence with 6% of the cell sites in the affected area out of service.  That’s down from the previous report of 7.2%.  Also, as a result of Hurricane Florence, the FCC and FEMA are alerting stations that the national test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA is being moved from this Thursday (9/20) to October 3.  The WEA tests takes place at 2:18 pm ET and the EAS at 2:20 pm ET…..The NHL‘s Los Angeles Kings and iHeartMedia unveil a new media destination for all Kings action this season.  All Kings games – including preseason, regular season and postseason contests – will now stream live on the new official LA Kings Audio Network, a custom station available on iHeartRadio, beginning with tonight’s Kings-Arizona Coyotes preseason game at STAPLES Center.  Additionally, iHeartRadio will feature “Kings Talk,” the club’s call-in radio show, that will stream live after most regular season and postseason home games from inside the Impact Sports Bar & Grill inside STAPLES Center…..Hubbard Radio and its St. Louis sports talk station WXOS-FM “101 ESPN” are presenting the return of the live event Buds & Bourbon at RYSE Nightclub at AMERISTAR Casino Resort Spa in St. Charles, Missouri.  WXOS air personalities will host the event that allows attendees to sample “the finest bourbons from distilleries such as McKenna Henry, Rittenhouse Rye, Bernheim, and more.”…..SiriusXM  announces a new weekly show featuring sports journalist Christine Brennan and former professional tennis player Rennae Stubbs, titled “Game Changers.”  It will air every Wednesday from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm will cover women’s sports as well as examine the headline topics in the larger sports world that affect and interest women and girls everywhere, whether they be fans, professional athletes, or parents and kids involved in youth sports.

Kavanaugh Assault Allegations, U.S.-China Trade War, Hurricane Florence Destruction, Trump-Russia Investigation, Bloomberg Teases Presidential Run, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/17). The allegations of a sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh; President Trump ramps up the trade war with China; the destruction in the Carolinas from Hurricane Florence; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; Michael Bloomberg announces he’s mulling a bid for president as a Democrat in 2020; the weekend’s NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoff push 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. Charlotte alternative WEND “106.5 The End” names Maria Palmer music director and evening personality.  Palmer comes to iHeartMedia Charlotte from Washington, DC where she’s been handling weekend and fill-in work on the company’s alternative WWDC and country WMZQ.  WEND program director Chuck “DZL” Thompson says, “I can’t wait for the people of Charlotte to hear Palmer on ‘106.5 The END.’  She has a rare blend of creativity, humor, passion, and drive, but also possesses the administrative and organizational skills needed to assist in running the day-to-day operations of the programming department.  Palmer is definitely one to watch and we couldn’t be more excited to add her to the iHeart and WEND family.”…..Entercom names Jordin Silver host of the morning drive show on alternative KRBZ, Kansas City “96.5 The Buzz.”  She’ll lead the “Mornings with Jordin Silver and Friends” program that features station air personalities Danny Boi and Mark.   Entercom regional president and Kansas City market manager Dave Alpert says, “We’re truly excited about the addition of Jordin to our morning show.  Pairing her with ‘Buzz’ morning vets Danny Boi and Mark will provide our listeners with a fresh show to start their day.” Silver has worked on air at KNDD, Seattle and KYSR, Los Angeles, to name a few…..Cumulus Media announces the five finalists in its rock artist competition neXt2rock.  More than 1,600 rock artists joined the competition from across the U.S.  The winner of the competition will get a record deal with Big Machine/John Varvatos Records, as well as substantial exposure, commensurate with a major label release, on Cumulus radio stations nationwide.  The finale takes place on October 4 at The Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles.  Music personality and longtime radio and TV host Matt Pinfield will host the evening’s festivities.  The five finalists are: Friday Pilots Club representing Chicago (WKQX); The Zealots representing Des Moines (KGGO); Black Rock Revival representing Memphis (WXMX); No Resolve representing Saginaw (WILZ & WKQZ); and Late Night Savior representing Salt Lake City (KBER & KHTB)…..Entercom reveals the lineup for this year’s “We Can Survive” concert to benefit Young Survival Coalition – an organization dedicated to the critical issues unique to young women who are diagnosed with breast cancer.  This year’s event will feature musical performances by Shawn Mendes, Charlie Puth, Ella Mai, G-Eazy, Khalid, Marshmello, Meghan Trainor, NF, and Tyga on Saturday, October 20 at the Hollywood Bowl…..DJ Envy, world-renowned DJ and co-host of the Premiere Networks nationally syndicated morning show, “The Breakfast Club,” has been nominated for a 2018 BET Hip Hop Award in the “DJ of the Year” category. Other nominees in the category include: DJ Khaled, DJ Drama, DJ Mustard, and Calvin Harris.

PPM Analysis: CHR. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on mainstream CHR.  About half of the stations in this month’s survey saw their 6+ weekly AQH shares dip from the July 2018 survey to the August survey.  The year-over-year trend saw 52% of CHR stations in PPM markets decline from August 2017 to August 2018.  Four CHR outlets ranked #1 in their respective markets (6+) during the August survey.  Three belong to iHeartMedia: KHKS, Dallas “106.1 Kiss FM”; WXKS-FM, Boston “Kiss 108”; and KDWB, Minneapolis.  The fourth is Hubbard Radio’s KQMV, Seattle.  See the whole report here.

Monday, September 17, 2018

| September 17, 2018

Newsmax TV to Be Carried on Comcast’s X1 Platform.  In a major move for the Newsmax TV channel, Newsmax and Comcast have signed an agreement for the latter to carry the 24/7 cable news channel on the Xfinity TV X1 platform.  Newsmax TV will initially launch to subscribers of Xfinity’s Digital Starter package that have an X1 device.   Newsmax Broadcasting CEO Michael Clemente says, “Comcast is the largest cable operator in the nation and we appreciate their decision to recognize Newsmax TV as a valuable, independent programmer for their viewers.”  Newsmax TV says it “consistently offers important viewpoints not covered elsewhere and continues to add talent to an impressive lineup that includes: Joe Walsh, Brett Winterble, Howie Carr, Wayne Allyn Root, Todd Schnitt, Joe Pags, and Jesse Lee Peterson, as well as Newsmax anchors John Bachman and Miranda Khan.”  It adds that it is currently available in 50 million U.S. cable/satellite homes and expects to reach as many as 80 million such homes by the end of 2019.  Clemente adds that the network plans to ramp up programming in the coming months as it prepares for 2020 presidential election coverage that will begin in earnest next year.

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio.  Sports talk listening heated up during the August survey as 74% of sports talk stations saw their 6+ weekly AQH share rise compared to the July 2018 survey. Looking at changes from August 2017 to August 2018, 67% of stations were up from a year ago.  Entercom’s WFAN, New York – on the back of a three-tenths increase – ranked #1 (6+) in the Long Island market in August.  The company’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh ranked #4, and WFAN, New York and Cumulus’ KNBR, San Francisco ranked #5 in their respective markets.  See the whole report here.

RJ Bell and Chris Broussard & Rob Parker Host New FOX Sports Radio Programs. On the heels of last week’s end of the JT The Brick program and the “Steve Gorman Sports!” show, Premiere Networks today announces the launch of the shows that are rounding out the FOX Sports Radio network program schedule.  Beginning today (9/17), “Straight Outta Vegas with RJ Bell” debuts from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET as what Premiere calls “the first-ever national daily radio show focused on sports betting.”  Las Vegas personality and founder/CEO of Pregame.com RJ Bell hosts the program that also features FOX Sports Radio personality Jonas Knox, plus famed betting experts Brad Powers and Steve Fezzik.  Premiere says the weekday launch of the program comes after a successful year-long run as part of FSR’s weekend lineup on Friday and Saturday evenings.  Also moving up from its weekend status is “The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard (left) & Rob Parker (right),” launching tonight from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET.  As part of the changes, “The Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon” adds an hour, airing from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am ET.  Premiere Networks SVP sports programming Don Martin and VP sports programming Scott Shapiro say in a joint statement, “This historic new lineup further solidifies FOX Sports Radio’s standing as the preeminent sports network in the nation.  It’s now crystal clear that when you’re looking for the best, live sports-talk, this is the place to tune in.  Listeners who want to be entertained, informed, and emotionally invested with the most compelling personalities and storytellers in the industry will be rewarded with every listening occasion.”

Zak Burns Gone from ‘KIRO Nights.’ Talk show host Zak Burns is no longer co-hosting “KIRO Nights” with Gee Scott at Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle. Burns joined the station two years ago to co-host the evening show with Jason Rantz, who left the program last fall to assume the morning drive show hosting duties at sister conservative news/talk KTTH.  KIRO contributor Drew Barth has been sitting in with Scott since Burns’ departure.

Entercom to Relocate Offices to Philadelphia.  In an interview with David Field in Philly.com, the Entercom president and CEO declined to comment on the “worst-kept secret” in Philadelphia – that the company is moving its corporate headquarters from Bala Cynwyd to a building on the Schuykill River in Philadelphia that it will share with Aramark (according to a recent report in the Philadelphia Business Journal).  However, in the piece written by Bob Fernandez, Field acknowledges the intense work that the CBS RADIO merger has brought Entercom but says he’s happy with what the new-look company has accomplished so far.  Regarding the move, it’s being reported that the new facility will not only be home to the corporate HQ but will also house the various radio station offices currently in numerous sites throughout the Philadelphia area.  Read the piece here.

Rumor Confirmed: Mets Games to Air on WCBS-AM, New York in 2019 Season. The recent reports out of the Big Apple that Entercom has been wooing the New York Mets to bring their play-by-play to all-news WCBS-AM turn out to be true as the company announces it has struck a six-year deal with the MLB club.  Mets games have aired on iHeartMedia’s WOR since the 2014 season.  Entercom regional president and market manager Susan Larkin comments, “We’re pleased to be the new radio home of the Mets. We remain committed to bringing our listeners and partners the most exciting sports content from their hometown teams, especially in the New York metropolitan area, where we will be the radio home for both Major League Baseball clubs beginning in 2019.”  As part of the deal, Entercom’s other New York radio stations – alternative WNYL ALT 92.3,” hot AC WNEW-FM “NEW 102.7 FM,” classic hits WCBS-FM and fellow all-news WINS-AM – will provide promotional support.

Crossover Media Group Sales to Handle Ad Sales Support for Sports Byline USA and BlueWirePods. Cross-platform content production and advertising sales rep firm Crossover Media Group Sales announces it is handling ad sales support for Sports Byline USA network. Sports Byline is led by founder and host Ron Barr and president Darren Peck and serves some 200 U.S. radio affiliates and some 500 additional stations globally as well as satellite radio, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, iTunes, CRN Digital, airlines’ in-flight channels and the American Forces Network.  The company is also working with newly launched podcast network Blue Wire that is aggregating content from sports talk personalities.  Bay Area-based Blue Wire was founded by former KNBR-AM, San Francisco host Kevin Jones.  CMGS managing member Scott Calka says, “CMGS is rapidly becoming one-stop-shopping for marketers to reach a variety of fans across the panoply of sports talk.”

23 Stations Off the Air as a Result of Hurricane Florence.  According to the FCC, as of yesterday (9/16), some 20 FM stations are off the air and three AM stations are off due to the impact of Hurricane Florence.  Also, four television stations report being out of service and 7.2% of the region’s cell towers were reported off-line, with Brunswick, Cumberland, and Carteret Counties in North Carolina reporting the largest loss of cell service.

Kavanaugh Accusation, Florence Drenches the Carolinas, Border Patrol Serial Killer Case, Trump-Russia Investigation, Bob Woodward’s Trump Book, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh; Hurricane Florence’s arrival and the resulting historic flooding in the Carolinas; the case of the U.S. border patrol agent charged in connection with four deaths; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and the related plea deal of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort; Bob Woodward’s book, Fear: Trump in the White House; the weekend’s NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

WPG, Atlantic City Morning Host Harry Hurley with Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin. Pictured above is WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley with Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin (Miss New York) during Franklin’s visit to the station today (9/17). Franklin discussed the year ahead for her as Miss America, saying she will continue her work with the performing arts and several children’s charities that’s she supports.  Hurley presented the Miss America Foundation with a surprise $500 grant that will be designated to two charities of Franklin’s choice.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Dallas, Cumulus Media brings Nathan Fast aboard to co-host the morning show on KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” with current morning personality Lisa Taylor.  He was most recently with Entercom’s crosstown CHR KVIL “AMP 103.7” as morning host.   KPLX program director Mac Daniels says, “Nathan is an amazing, creative talent wrapped around the passion and work ethic of four people.  With his leadership skills and winning spirit, we’re excited about the bright future for Nathan Fast and ‘The Wake Up With The Wolf Show’ on one of America’s leading country music brands.  We’re excited to hear him and Lisa Taylor together in the morning.”…..iHeartMedia moves Vladimir “DJ Loui Vee” Scott from its Columbia, South Carolina station group to its Indianapolis offices to serve as program director for hip hop WZRL “REAL 98.3” and hip hop WTFX, Louisville “REAL 93.1.”   iHeartMedia Indianapolis SVP of programming Mike Killabrew comments, “Vladimir possesses the creativity, passion, and leadership we look for in programmers.  His direction and attention to detail will take WZRL and WTFX to the next level.”…..iHeartMedia Raleigh names Joe Johnson program director and afternoon drive personality for classic rock WRDU, Raleigh, effective September 24.  Johnson held the same positions at the company’s WROV, Roanoke-Lynchburg…..Classic hits KGOR, Omaha debuts the “Mornings with Montez & Shari” featuring Montez and Shari Stone.  Stone was most recently digital project coordinator and midday host at Salem Media Group’s crosstown Christian contemporary KGBI-FM. Montez was most recently afternoon host and music director at the iHeartMedia Omaha cluster’s CHR KISO “96.1 Kiss FM.”  The duo say, “Being from Omaha, we both couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to serve our community in a fun way because we love this town.  We can’t wait to entertain every morning and grow our big, radio family.”…..Envision Networks announces that the “Full Metal Jackie” program – hosted by Jackie Kajzer – is now airing on the American Forces Network, broadcasting to United States military servicemembers and their families at home and abroad. AFN Radio director Scott Stover says, “American Forces Network Radio is proud to bring Full Metal Jackie to our US military serving overseas as they listen to our alternative music channel ‘Freedom Radio.’ We thank ‘Full Metal Jackie’ and Envision Networks for partnering with AFN Radio to ‘serve those that serve.’”

Friday, September 14, 2018

| September 14, 2018

PPM Analysis: Public Radio News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a review of the performances of radio stations based on data from the August 2018 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, today focusing on public radio news/talk.  This survey period was good to public radio news/talk as some 59% of stations went up (6+, weekly AQH share), with just 28% seeing some decline (the rest were flat). Year-over-year, about half the sample stations were up compared to last August and about half were down.  Four public radio news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets during the August 2018 PPM survey: KQED, San Francisco; KPBS, San Diego; KOPB, Portland; and WUNC, Raleigh.  See Kinosian’s entire report here.

WGOW-FM, Chattanooga Midday Talker Brian Joyce Moves to AM Show. Pictured above is Cumulus Media talk show host Brian Joyce (center) with his new co-hosts Jim Reynolds (left) and PD/news director Kevin West (right).  Joyce is now part of “The Morning Press” after serving as midday personality for the past several years.  He’ll continue to host both shows while “Talk Radio 102.3 FM” searches for a replacement for the midday show.  Longtime WGOW morning personality Jeff Styles exited the station recently after an altercation with another motorist led to his arrest on assault charges for which he’s currently awaiting trial.

Westwood One Podcast Network Home to New Jim Rome Podcast. This new podcast starring sports talker Jim Rome is called RPO – for Rome Pryce Opinion (a play on run pass option) – and also features former NFL star Trevor Pryce.  Rome’s daily sports talk radio show is heard on the CBS Sports Radio Network but this podcast is being produced by Westwood One.  The program will “feature Rome and Pryce’s takes on the events and activities of the 2018 NFL season and will offer insight on how an NFL player may be experiencing the season as it unfolds.”  New episodes of this 20-week series will drop every Monday during the NFL season through Super Bowl LIII.  The episodes will be available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Radio.com, CBS Sports Radio’s website, and the Westwood One Podcast Network website and app.  Rome says, “I have always worked alone but when the opportunity to work with a two-time Super Bowl winner and a presence like Trevor Pryce presented itself, I jumped.  He’s hungry, fearless and has takes for days. This one is a no-brainer and I know it’s going to deliver.”

TALKERS News Notes. A new podcast from PodcastOne will launch on September 17 called “Divorce Sucks!” hosted by family law attorney, author and founder of divorce platform It’s Over Easy, Laura Wasser.   New shows will be released weekly.  Wasser is well-known as an advocate for settlements and co-parenting and she provides relatable challenges, advice, inspiration, and solutions.  She’s known for her high-profile and celebrity clientele and her first guest on the September 17 debut is Kris Jenner…..In El Paso, Grupo Radio Centro is flipping KQBU from regional Mexican to sports talk as “Lone Star Sports 920 AM.”  The station is using programming from CBS Sports Radio and is airing play-by-play for Houston Texans and Houston Astros games.

Hurricane Florence and Trump Puerto Rico Statement Tie for Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 10-14.  The anticipation of Hurricane Florence and President Trump’s dispute of the death count in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the new Bob Woodward book, Fear: Trump in the White House, tied with the controversial NYT op-ed piece.  Coming in at #3 was the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents, followed by the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio this week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It’s published every Friday at Talkers.com. View the entire chart here.

Veteran Radio News Exec Harvey Nagler Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Recently retired, longtime CBS News Radio vice president Harvey Nagler is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Harrison and Nagler discuss this week’s hot news regarding journalism, politics and media, including the anonymous op-ed piece in The New York Times, the new Bob Woodward book Fear, and the #MeToo resignation of CBS CEO Les Moonves.  This fascinating dissection of the state of the news business in the era of Donald Trump is another must-listen in this highly acclaimed series.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Fantastic News Anchor Opportunity at WPTF, Raleigh. This is a morning news anchor position at Curtis Media Group’s heritage news/talk WPTF, Raleigh.  The station says, “‘The Triangle’s Morning News’ anchor will have a demonstrated record of excellent news judgment, strong writing skills that bring life to our news stories, and a keen appreciation for connection to our listeners!  The ‘star’ of our morning show is breaking news, extended weather, and the most frequent and in-depth traffic reports to service our growing Raleigh area, but we also need great presence to keep this high-paced show on track with a real touch of likeable personality to guide the busy mornings of our region.  Our candidate will have a strong work ethic with the ability to plan shows in advance as well as conduct and prepare interviews for air at any time.  To be clear, the morning anchor is responsible for the generation and preparation of content on the ‘TMN.’ The anchor will have a strong commitment to quality execution of the product being delivered to the listener.”  Interested broadcasters should submit their air checks and resumes to: Rick Martinez at: atrmartinez@curtismedia.com and Liza Weidle at: lweidle@curtismedia.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A number of changes take place at Entercom’s Milwaukee operations.  First, Molly Cruz – currently midday personality and APD/MD at hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix” – adds APD and music director responsibilities for sister CHR WXSS “103.7 KISS-FM.”  Weekend personality JMatt moves up to midday host on WXSS.  He’ll also serve as digital program director for the entire cluster – including sports talk WSSP-AM/W289CB “105.7 The Fan.”  Finally, Aaron Carreno is named the afternoon drive host for WMYX, handling the 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm shift.  Entercom Milwaukee SVP and market manager Chuck Sullivan states, “Big things are happening in the Milwaukee cluster.  Molly is ready to dominate her expanded role as assistant program director and music director.  Aaron is a top-notch personality whose experience will bring improvement to The Mix’s afternoon drive.  And JMatt is going to take our cluster to new heights from a digital perspective.”…..CMT personality Cody Alan is pictured below with Carrie Underwood during her visit to his Nashville studio to promote the release of her new album, Cry Pretty.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

| September 13, 2018

PPM Analysis: All-News. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on the all-news format.  Almost 63% of all-news station saw their 6+ weekly AQH shares go up compared to the July 2018 PPM survey.  Comparing August 2018 data to that from August 2017, more stations were down than up this year with Entercom’s WWJ, Detroit leading the pack with an improvement of almost a full share.  Five all-news stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets during the August survey: Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington was the sole all-newser to rank #1 in its market; Entercom’s KCBS-AM was #2 in both San Francisco and the adjacent San Jose market; WWJ, Detroit and iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento ranked #3 in their respective markets and iHeartMedia’s WBZ-AM, Boston ranked #5.  See the entire report here.

iHeartMedia to Acquire Podcast Firm Stuff Media.  The companies are not commenting on the price, but The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a source familiar with the deal says iHeartMedia is paying $55 million for Stuff Media LLC, producer of the HowStuffWorks podcasts.  Today’s press release notes that HowStuffWorks was founded in 1998 as a reference site.  “HowStuffWorks pioneered the podcast space and was one of the first companies to turn podcasting into a revenue-generating business, bringing the medium to a mainstream audience with its informative, easy-to-understand explanations of how the world works.  Today, Stuff Media is one of the nation’s largest podcast publishers, with more than 61 million global downloads and streams per month.” Its signature podcast, “Stuff You Should Know” surpassed 500 million downloads this year.   iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “This strategic acquisition will pair Stuff Media’s wildly popular content and strong creative capabilities with iHeartMedia’s extensive resources and massive scale through our digital platforms, social reach, and broadcast radio stations, introducing podcasts to the vast majority of the country and offering even more unique opportunities for advertisers to reach their consumers.”  Stuff Media president and CEO Conal Byrne will join iHeartMedia as head of its podcast division and will report to iHeartMedia Networks Group president Darren Davis.

Beasley Fayetteville, North Carolina Preps for Hurricane Florence.  As stations all across the Southeast (hopefully) prepare to serve their listening areas during Hurricane Florence’s arrival, Beasley Media Fayetteville, North Carolina checks in to share its preparation. Vice president and market manager Erika Beasley and operations manager Randy Bliss state, “Our stations are in full preparation mode here in Fayetteville.  This is the time we as local broadcasters do what we do best, serve our local communities that we live and work in!  The Beasley Fayetteville cluster has a very robust plan in place for our six radio stations. Of course, this region is still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Mathew that took place less than two years ago.  We are developing a timeline for going into full, wall-to-wall coverage, and have TV partners in the Raleigh market that we will be using for additional information…Essential personnel staff will most likely be coming in Friday morning and staying for some time.  We have made arrangements for water, food, and other important necessities. The stations all have newly updated mobile apps and we are actively pushing downloads of the apps, that will allow folks to stay tuned in even after they lose power.  Our team plans to continue to broadcast via streaming should any or all of our stations face off-air situations.  We also have a contingency plan to combine some our brands into a simulcast at some point so we can consolidate staff and pool our efforts together.

FOX News Announces New Streaming Video Service.  The conservative news organization announces that in the fourth quarter of this year it will debut FOX Nation – an on-demand, subscription-based streaming service that will feature its top talent, including Sean Hannity, Laura IngrahamTucker Carlson, and more.  FOX News SVP of development and production John Finley says, “FOX News has an incredibly loyal audience and we are confident our super fans will enjoy exclusive content helmed by the personalities they know and trust, which they will have access to watch anytime and anywhere.”  On demand access will be available on phones, tablets, computers, smart TVs, and anywhere else that allows streaming video.  The company says that “FOX & Friends” co-hosts Ainsley Earhardt, Brian Kilmeade, Steve Doocy, “The Five” co-hosts Greg Gutfeld, Jesse Watters, Dana Perino and Judge Jeanine Pirro will all play significant roles on the platform, as will online commentator Tomi Lahren.

Zena Burns Named to Futuri Media’s Executive Team. Media executive Zena Burns joins Futuri Media’s executive team as SVP, strategic marketing and brand development.  Futuri says Burns has “a 20-year history of developing strategies for driving growth for traditional media properties through digital innovation.  After running all entertainment editorial for the print edition of PEOPLE Magazine’s iconic TEEN PEOPLE Magazine, as well as overseeing its digital properties, she joined the company now known as iHeartMedia as the radio industry’s first digital program director in 2006.  Later, she became a key part of the team that developed and launched the iHeartRadio brand and app before founding the consulting agency Moxie Coalition.”  Burns will retain her equity in the company which will remain active under the leadership of associates.  The company says that in this newly created role, Burns will lead high-level marketing initiatives for Futuri, direct its marketing and communications investments, and collaborate with CEO Daniel Anstandig and Futuri’s leadership team on the development of Futuri’s suite of audience engagement and sales intelligence technology solutions.  Burns will remain based in Chicago where she will spearhead the opening of a Futuri office in the major media market for the Cleveland-based company.

TALKERS News Notes. Milwaukee news/talk outlet WTMJ extends its deal with the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks to continue serving as the flagship station for the BMO Harris Bucks Radio Network.  Added to the agreement this time are two new programs: a one-hour “Bucks Weekly Show” and a half-hour “Coach’s Show” that will air on WTMJ each week during the season.  WTMJ and sister country WKTI are owned by E.W. Scripps but are in the process of being sold to Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma BrandsTed Davis and Dennis Krause are the radio play-by-play on-air team…..Entercom announces two new football podcasts – one for Oakland Raiders fans titled, “The Silver and Black Podcast,” and one for the San Francisco 49ers faithful called, “Overtime.”  Both are available on Bay Area sports talker KGMZ 95.7 The Game’s website and via the company’s digital platform Radio.com.  “The Silver and Black Podcast” air every Monday and Friday throughout the season and is hosted by “95.7 The Game” on-air host and Oakland Raiders Radio Network sideline reporter Chris Townsend.  “Overtime” airs weekly and will be co-hosted by KGMZ personalities Bonta Hill and Joe “Butcher Boy” Shasky…..Baseball Hall-of-Famer Reggie Jackson is launching a new talk show on SiriusXM.  The weekly program is called “Swing Away with Reggie Jackson” and airs Saturdays at 11:00 am on the Mad Dog Sports Radio channel.  SiriusXM says, “Fueled by his love of all sports, Jackson will cover a broad spectrum of sports topics on ‘Swing Away,’ and he will be joined regularly by well-known athletes and celebrities on his program, where they will discuss the headline news in baseball, football, basketball, golf and much more.”

Hurricane Florence Approaches, Bob Woodward’s Trump Book, Trump-Russia Investigation, Russian War Games, Kavanaugh Nomination, Fager Exits ‘60 Minutes’/Moonves Allegations, Positive U.S. Economic News, New iPhones Revealed, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/12). The preparation for Hurricane Florence as it approaches the Carolinas; the reaction to Bob Woodward’s new book, Fear: Trump in the White House; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; Russia’s war games and China’s joint participation; the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court Justice; embattled “60 Minutes” producer Jeff Fager is fired and the sexual misbehavior allegations leveled at Les Moonves; the positive U.S. economic news; Apple unveils new iPhones; the week’s NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoff push 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. In the immediate build-up to the 2018 American Music Awards on October 9, official national radio partners Westwood One and Cumulus Media will present special programming as it covers the fan-voted awards show.  The program takes place at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles and is being aired live on ABC-TV.  Westwood One will produce “Backstage at the AMAs” for more than 25 local stations and network groups.  Through its partnership with the American Music Awards and dick clark productions, WWO will also create exclusive AMA branded long-form and short-form content leading up to and following the awards…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that the Reach Media nationally syndicated Tom Joyner show is returning to Chicago radio on Future Vision Entertainment’s “95.1 FM Clubsteppin” heard on WLEY-HD2 and translators W236CF, Chicago and W236CG, Bolingbrook in the market.  LaMont Watts owns Future Vision and tells Feder, “Bringing Tom back to Chicago was just as important as the launch of this historic station. Tom is Chicago. The listeners love him and 95.1 is excited to welcome him home.”…..Imaging pro Mark Rider is joining Entercom’s alternative WSFS, Miami “104.3 The Shark” to handle imaging voice duties. Station PD John O’Connell says Rider has “a unique, versatile and powerful voice that fits the alternative format like a glove.  His delivery and style are warm, yet authoritative and that’s what set him apart from the rest.”…..Dick Broadcasting is now simulcasting CHR WKZL, Greensboro morning show “Jared and Katie in the Morning” on its Savannah, Georgia CHR WGCO “HOT 98.3.” The show consists of hosts Jared Pike and Katie Tesh with cast members Matt Wells, Thomas Marvin, and Jason Goodman…..SiriusXM is launching the limited-run Rod Stewart Radio channel on September 20.  The channel will feature music from all aspects of Stewart’s career, including from his new album, Blood Red Roses.