Sean Hannity to Host Breakfast Social and Deliver Morning Kick-Off Address at TALKERS New York 2013. In what has become an annual tradition at the national TALKERS conference, Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel talk superstar Sean Hannity will again host a major networking event and deliver the morning kick-off address at the annual TALKERS conference. In making the announcement TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “We all get to see a side of Sean that he saves for his colleagues in the industry – one of the most knowledgeable, articulate, and charismatic experts on the nuts and bolts of the business of spoken-word radio. When Sean shows up at this event and addresses the industry on the state of ratings, research, advertising, affiliate relations and all the behind-the-scenes issues with which we as an industry are concerned, the left-versus-right paradigm that so dominates our airwaves disappears and it becomes apparent just what a broadcast industry statesman we have within our ranks. He is a tremendous asset to this important gathering as well as the business of radio and television.” Hannity will be one of a stellar lineup of industry luminaries being scheduled to speak at the event with more details of the roster and agenda to be announced next week. Registrations for the 16th annual TALKERS New York City Conference are on sale now! Save the date: Thursday, June 6, 2013. Formerly called “The New Media Seminar” the event – now simply titled “TALKERS New York 2013” – will again take place at the comfortable and modern Concierge Conference Center on Manhattan’s East Side. It will be a power-packed, full day of special addresses, panels, presentations, and social networking opportunities tackling the key issues facing talk radio and its relationship with the new talk media (internet, satellite, cable TV) as well as existential general radio industry issues including music radio and the changing role of the disc jockey. According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “This will be a TALKERS conference for the new era. Our presentation this year will be so fresh and vital to the survival and ‘thrival’ of the business that we actually are moving beyond the title ‘New Media Seminar.’ It is not to be missed.” As indicated, registrations are now on sale. A full registration entitling the attendee to all presentation and food events is $199. Due to the pressures of limited space and seating, there are no partial registrations. This event is traditionally a rapid sellout. IMPORTANT: Registration will be limited to members of the working media only and can only be taken over the phone. For registration and sponsorship information call 413-565-5413. Stay tuned for specific agenda details right here at Talkers.com.
The Price Tag for Cox Media’s Stations Going to SummitMedia: $66.25 million; Connoisseur to Pay $40 million. The paperwork for the deal between Cox Media Group and the two buyers of its properties in six markets is being filed and now we know the price tags. SummitMedia will pay $66. 25 million for the former’s radio properties in five markets. The stations SummitMedia is in the process of acquiring are: Birmingham (WAGG-AM, WBHJ-FM, WBHK-FM, WENN-AM, WZZK-FM, WZNN-FM, WBPT-FM, and CMG’s contract rights for WALJ-FM); Greenville, South Carolina (WJMZ-FM, WHZT-FM); Hawaii (KRTR-AM/FM, KPHW-FM, KCCN-FM, KINE-FM, KKNE-AM); Louisville (WRKA-FM, WVEZ-FM, WSFR-FM, WQNU-FM); and Richmond (WHTI-FM, WKHK-FM, WKLR-FM, WURV-FM). Connoisseur will pay $40 million for the Southern Connecticut stations that include: WPLR-FM, WEZN-FM, WFOX-FM, and contract rights for WYBC-FM.
RAB: Radio Up 4% in 2012 Q4. According to a report by the Radio Advertising Bureau, radio ended 2012 on a high note with Q4 revenue up 4% over 2011 comps, to $4.34 billion. The report notes this was the highest growth recorded over the past eight quarters and since the strong rebound gains registered throughout 2010. Full-year spending was up for the third consecutive year and totaled $16.482 billion (an increase of 1% over 2011). RAB president and CEO Erica Farber says, “The resurgent automotive industry and the closely-contested presidential political race provided the main impetus for 2012’s positive spot performance. Our medium also enjoyed strong increases in Q4 spending by advertisers in the key communications and financial services categories.” The chart here shows comparisons of spot, digital and off-air.
CBS Radio Reports 2012 Q4 Revenue Up 1%. Most of the talk during the CBS conference call yesterday was about television. Not surprising since that’s where CBS is performing extremely well. The talk of CBS possibly selling its radio division did not come up as it has so often in the past. In fact, CEO Les Moonves’ only mention of radio during the call was in connecting the new CBS Sports Radio Network to Super Bowl programming when he said, “The Super Bowl was also very good for us in radio, where we debuted our CBS Sports Radio network just a few weeks before the game. When we announced this venture last year, we had less than 100 affiliates. Now we’re already at 250. The Super Bowl was a tremendous launching pad for this franchise, and we look forward to good things to come.”
Clear Channel Breaks Up AM/FM Simulcast of News/Talk KNST, Tucson. It looks like Clear Channel is going to leave news/talk on FM in Tucson to Journal’s crosstown KQTH “104.1 The Truth.” A new country format debuted on KNST FM – “Wild Country 97.1” – ending the AM/FM simulcast of the news/talk format that’s been in effect since November of 2011. News/talk remains the format on the AM 790 frequency.
Attorney and Talk Radio Personality Warren Ballentine Pleads Not Guilty in Bank Fraud Case. Lawyer and former Syndication One talk radio personality Warren Ballentine pleaded “not guilty” in U.S. District Court of Northern Illinois. He faces multiple charges of fraud after begin charged by a federal grand jury with two counts of bank fraud, two counts of making false statements to lenders, and one count each of mail fraud and wire fraud. The indictment is seeking a forfeiture of some $9,775,000. Ballentine hosted a nationally syndicated midday program distributed by Syndication One but the program was cancelled after the news of his indictment went public.
TRN’s Andrea Tantaros Picking Up Affiliates at Steady Clip. On the heels of her positive write-up in the New York Observer, Fox News Channel and Talk Radio Network personality Andrea Tantaros is adding new affiliates and getting praise from existing affiliate PDs, reports TRN CEO Mark Masters. Yesterday, TALKERS reported the Observer story that profiled Tantaros as one of the cast members of FNC’s “The Five” and host of her own syndicated talk radio program. Tantaros filled the slot left vacant by the departure of Laura Ingraham from the TRN lineup and programmers, including KENZ, Reno’s Sean Patrick are pleased with her performance. Patrick says, “Andrea Tantaros is a fabulous addition to our lineup. She is the breath of fresh air that conservative talk radio has been lacking, a female perspective that is conversational. She is a rising star in the format and we are proud to have her on our station.” Buckley Radio of Connecticut VP/GM Eric Fahnoe states, “We’re thrilled with the lively and engaging perspective that the Andrea Tantaros show brings to ‘The Talk of Connecticut’ station lineup. Andrea’s fresh presentation addresses contemporary issues and perfectly aligns with the direction we wanted to take our programming in 2013!”
This Year, Jerusalem. The Middle East is a non-stop, hot-spot of political, ethnic and social intrigue replete with complex nuances often lost in the day-to-day mainstream press - making it a valuable destination for talk show hosts to do first-hand, fact-finding missions and live broadcasts with a parade of fascinating interviews. In the past decade, America’s Voices in Israel, with advice from TALKERS magazine, has sponsored dozens of radio talk show hosts representing a spectrum of political perspectives on such trips to the Holy Land. SiriusXM Patriot Channel host David Webb is broadcasting from Israel this week on one such journey where he met up with Fox News Channel and Cumulus Radio host Mike Huckabee in Jerusalem in addition to interviewing numerous leaders of government, industry, health, arts and science. Webb (right) and Huckabee (left) are pictured above previewing the upcoming U.S. presidential visit to Israel in March. Webb is also pictured (at right) in the radio broadcasting studio of the Jerusalem Post holding an old copy of TALKERS magazine on display featuring a cover shot of TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and syndicated host Doug Stephan meeting with Israel’s current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Odds & Sods. Former Massachusetts Republican Senator Scott Brown is the newest contributor to join Fox News Channel. Brown served the final two years of the term of the late Ted Kennedy before losing a re-election bid to Elizabeth Warren. Fox EVP of programming Bill Shine says, “Senator Brown’s dedication to out-of-the box thinking on key issues makes him an important voice in the country and we are looking forward to his contributions across all Fox News platforms.”…..Two daytime TV talk shows have bitten the dust within the last week. “The Ricki Lake Show” was canceled by Twentieth Television and just yesterday the Los Angeles Times reported “The Jeff Probst Show” is being canceled at the end of its second season.
State of the Union Address Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 11. According to the ongoing research from TALKERS, the president’s State of the Union address was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio, landing atop the Talkers TenTM for the week of February 11-15. Following at #2 was the Christopher Dorner case. At #3 was the sequester deadline tied with deficit reduction and the Chuck Hagel and Jack Lew hearings were tied 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 published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.