Emmis Delivers “Really Fun” Q1 Earnings Report. With net revenue up 6% in Emmis’ fiscal Q1, CEO Jeff Smulyan was positively giddy during Friday’s investor’s conference call. The company reported net revenue of $36.9 million and operating income up 536% from $1.1 million to $7 million. Smulyan said, “More than that, our markets were up 5% and I haven’t seen markets up 5% in the American radio industry in quite some time. So we think it bodes well. We are thrilled. We think it bodes well not only for the company, but for the industry.” Smulyan was eager to talk about the FM receivers in cell phones project he’s championed and is very excited about where the project stands right now, especially with the support from the broadcasting industry, stating, “From the very largest broadcasters to the very smallest, support has been nearly unanimous. I think I had one broadcaster in the top 75 group that said I don’t want to support this and I personally talked to probably 60 to 65 of those groups. The support has been remarkable. It’s been very gratifying. I think we are on the verge of a game-changing event in this industry. I can’t announce specific times, but stay tuned, we will be able to announce industry support and then as we are done with our contractual arrangements, we will be able to announce when all this comes together. But the first step in that process is coming together, which we now have clearly demonstrated that we’ve done.”
Steve Cochran Exits Salem’s WIND, Chicago. Chicago Media writer Robert Feder tips us that longtime Windy City talk radio personality Steve Cochran has exited Salem Communications’ WIND, Chicago with both sides agreeing not to renew his contract. Cochran currently also hosts the daily 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show at KTRS, St. Louis from Chicago. Feder speculates that it wouldn’t be surprising to see Cochran appear on WGN, Chicago as the Tribune news/talk station is in re-tooling mode. The station recently ousted late night host Turi Ryder and expanded the evening sports talk show hosted by David Kaplan to 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight. It also cut “The Noon Show” hosted by Carol Roth. Cochran was on the air at WGN for 10 years prior to being let go in 2010.
Digital Media Expert Chris Miller: “Come up with a plan!” Noted radio industry digital media consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller says one of the questions he is asked most often by businesses of all types trying to make sense of their place in social media is, “What’s the return on investment?” The more honest statement he hears is, “I know I need to be doing more with social media, but I don’t know what I should do.” Miller states, “I see social media and content marketing make the needle move for businesses, but there’s one thing you have to do before you’ll see results with it: do it correctly.” In a new column posted today (7/1) Miller writes, “The first step in doing it correctly is to come up with a plan.” He offers four steps to help you create your new, effective social media strategy, especially designed for radio stations. They include 1) stating with your “measurables,” 2) determining who you are, 3) putting your plan into action, and 4) communicating and evaluating. To read all the details, please click here.
Mancow Muller to Co-Star in History Channel Reality Show. TRN-FM’s Erich “Mancow” Muller will co-star with his brother Mark Muller in the History Channel’s new series, “God, Guns and Automobiles” premiering Monday July 8. The show is described as “an American reality show revolving around the Muller families and an auto dealership named Max Motors. Located in the tiny rural town of Butler, Missouri, Mark Muller makes car deals the old fashioned way. No trade or sales stunt, no matter how outrageous or controversial, is off the table if it can help him compete against the big city dealers. Nationally syndicated radio host Mancow Muller is his business partner, and he joins the show with an oddball staff that works the deals. The Muller’s take pride in Max Motors as the embodiment of the values and spirit of the heartland of America.”
JC Corcoran to Host Late Morning Show on KFNS, St. Louis. In a story obviously related to last Friday’s TALKERS report about KFNS, St. Louis morphing from sports to guy talk, longtime St. Louis radio personality JC Corcoran – who left the market in March to host the morning drive show at Clear Channel’s classic rock KKRW, Houston “93.7 The Arrow” – will begin hosting the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show on KFNS on July 8. Corcoran will follow Tampa-based Bubba the Love Sponge when that show starts clearing on the station. Corcoran tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he’ll do the show from Houston but eventually plans to have a St. Louis-based co-host. He jokes to TALKERS, “And this time they can’t run me out of town ‘cuz I’m already gone!”
Boston Talk Host Todd Feinburg Subs on WBZ-AM. Longtime Boston morning host Todd Feinburg tries his hand at hosting evenings this week as he fills in on CBS Radio’s WBZ-AM, Boston “Newsradio 1030.” Feinburg sits in Monday through Wednesday from 8:00 pm to 12:00 midnight for Dan Rea. Feinburg recently parted company with Entercom news/talk WRKO after nearly 10 years at the Boston talker. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Bonneville’s KTAR-AM, Phoenix Adds Dan Bickley to Middays; Debuts Live and Local Morning Show. Bonneville-owned sports talk outlet “Arizona Sports 620” (KTAR-AM) in Phoenix announced additions to its program schedule with the hiring of AZCentral sports columnist and longtime sports radio host Dan Bickley to the midday show beginning July 29. Bickley will be partnered with Vince Marotta for the 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm program. Additionally, the station announces the return of Doug Franz and Ron Wolfley to morning drive, moving Dave Burns and John Gambadoro to the afternoons. Bonneville Arizona vice president and market manager Scott Sutherland states, “It doesn’t get much bigger than adding the highest profile local sports media personality in Arizona to our already powerhouse team of dynamic hosts and insiders. It’s also a momentous day for the ‘Arizona Sports’ brand as we’re ecstatic to once again offer Phoenix the only live-and-local sports morning show in the market.”
Dan Sileo Subs on WMEN, West Palm Beach. Sports talk host Dan Sileo sits in for Orlando Alzugary in the afternoon drive slot this week on JCE Licenses LLC’s WMEN, Royal Palm Beach (West Palm Beach market). Sileo – who worked for years at Clear Channel’s WDAE, Tampa – most recently did an 11-month stint at Beasley Broadcasting’s WQAM. He notes that he was fired from his last two gigs for controversial statements he made on the air and tells TALKERS, “I’m very excited about the chance to see if I can make it a week without getting fired.”
Clear Channel Spent $1.17 Million on Lobbying in 2013 Q1. The blog RadioSurvivor tips TALKERS to the fact that Clear Channel’s lobbying tally for the first quarter of 2013 hit $1.17 million as reported in a U.S. House of Representatives disclosure form. According to the report, CC’s lobbying focused on: “Congressional oversight and legislative proposals regarding the Federal Communications Commission proceedings on broadcast localism MM docket #04-233; Congressional oversight and legislative proposals regarding the Federal Communications Commission proceeding on local radio ownership rules – MM docket #09-182; Congressional oversight and legislative proposals regarding broadcast decency enforcement; Congressional oversight and legislative proposals regarding tax incentives and loan guarantees to encourage diversity of ownership of telecommunications businesses. H. Con. Res. 16 / S. Con. Res. 6; ‘Supporting Local Radio Freedom Act,’ all provisions; Congressional oversight and legislative proposals regarding low power FM stations; Congressional oversight and legislative proposals regarding privacy; and Congressional oversight and proposals regarding emergency communications systems as pertaining to EAS and FCC oversight.
Odds & Sods. The Fourth of July holiday week provides a number of fill-in opportunities. Former congressman and talk radio personality Ernest Istook will sit in for Cumulus Media Networks’ Eric Harley and Gary McNamara who host the “Red Eye Radio” overnight program on Friday, July 5…..Program director Gregg Henson begins hosting a nightly 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm show called “Pittsburgh Sports Night” on Clear Channel‘s news/talk WPGB-FM, Pittsburgh. The station’s website bills it as a show featuring “the best sports personalities in Pittsburgh, like Mark Madden, Tim Benz, Stan Savran, David Todd and Mike Prisuta…..NRG Media’s KOZN, Omaha secures a three-year deal to air the radio play-by-play for Creighton Men’s basketball as the school transitions to the Big East Conference. NRG Omaha market manager and KOZN GM Andy Ruback states, “It’s just tremendous to earn the rights as the exclusive partner for Creighton Men’s Basketball. It’s an honor for ‘The Zone’ to serve our listeners, advertisers and Creighton with this winning program.”…..Clear Channel‘s WDAY-AM, Fargo inks a new three-year deal with the University of North Dakota to air the school’s football and men’s hockey games along with other sports play-by-play and associated programming beginning in August…..WZUS, Decatur, Illinois “Talk 101 FM” talk show host Tara Nickerson is honored with the Silver Dome for Medium Market Personality of the Year by the Illinois Broadcasters Association. She hosts the 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm “Daily Wrap” program.
Longtime Denver Talk Show host Rick Barber Dies at 67. The family of Rick Barber – who hosted the overnight show on Clear Channel’s KOA, Denver for 30 years – announces Barber passed away due to complications from ALS. The family writes to Westword that, after a radio career that began while in the Army in the 1960s, “Barber came back to Denver in 1982 and took a seat in the overnight chair on KOA. Rick also did television in the Denver market, as well. ‘The Rick Barber Show’ aired for an unprecedented thirty years. Rick’s final show on 850 KOA was in early 2012. ‘He was a facilitator of topics and education — that’s what his show was all about. He always considered his show a radio magazine, and not just a talk show. Dad loved his listeners,’ said son Ian Barber. In his final interview, Rick Barber talked about his time on the air. ‘My footprint should be somebody who made you laugh, made you feel comfortable, made you feel good. That’s how I want to be remembered. I want them [the audience] to think of me as the guy who did it my way. Including going out: my way.’”