Art Bell Says Adios to SiriusXM After Six Weeks. On his website, late night talk radio icon Art Bell writes that he’s leaving SiriusXM where his “Art Bell’s Dark Matter” program was airing after just six weeks for three reasons: SiriusXM’s web player is notoriously unreliable, causing a loss of subscribers and a degraded listening experience for those who remain listening online; for a “caller driven” show, the caller pool for Art’s show is just too small; and international listeners have no legitimate way to hear the show. SiriusXM has not commented on Bell’s post nor any issues the two parties may be having. TALKERS editors can’t help but wonder how these points weren’t discovered and dealt with prior to the announcement Bell would be joining the satcaster, especially in light of Bell’s additional comments. They are: “This is not the first time that we have heard issues relating to the internet platform offered up by SiriusXM. There have been a host of issues from the functionality to being booted off, to having longer shows reset from the beginning after an hour and a half, making it almost impossible to listen to a two hour show on demand.” The post is written in third person and continues: “The departure of Bell, as unfortunate as it is, should be a signal to SiriusXM. The company has a compelling product, great content, and great potential, but in some ways has lost the edge that it once had. The frustrations of Bell can be heard on other channels as well. Opie & Anthony, Howard Stern, Jay Thomas, and others have all at times expressed a great deal of frustration. In some ways, the complaints of on air personalities ring back to the old FM days of terrestrial radio, a path that many consumers and on air personalities could not wait to get away from.”
Michael Medved and Stephanie Miller to Debate in Chicago. WYD Media Management syndicated progressive talk host Stephanie Miller – based out of KTLK, Los Angeles – and KTTH, Seattle-based Salem Radio Network syndicated personality Michael Medved will meet in the Windy City for a debate of the hot issues of the day on Thursday at The Meadows Club in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. The event is titled “The Great Debate 3” and will be moderated by WGN-TV political analyst Paul Lisnek. Medved is heard in the market on Salem O&O WIND “AM 560 The Answer” and Miller’s show is carried on WCPT. Issues debated will include: Will the Affordable Care Act be fully implemented or repealed? Which is the bigger threat to American prosperity: big business or big government? Is it constitutional for the NSA to spy on foreign leaders or the American people?
Sports Talker Dan Sileo Fired from WMEN, West Palm Beach for Tweet. Yesterday TALKERS magazine reported that Florida sports talk host Dan Sileo – who previously worked for WDAE, Tampa and WQAM, Miami prior to joining WMEN “640 Sports” – Tweeted that he’d pay $1,000 to whichever player “took out” Florida State player Devonta Freeman because he felt Freeman was disrespecting his alma mater Miami during Florida State’s crushing win over the Hurricanes. He then deleted the Tweet and apologized but that wasn’t enough for James Crystal Radio which let him go on Monday. Sileo wrote on his Facebook page: “I want to first start this letter off by saying…We thank 640 AM SPORTS for having us on the station the last few months…was VERY COOL!!….With that…640 and myself are parting ways over a TWEET I made about an FSU player who I thought was DISRESPECTING the UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI…It was a moment of emotion when I said I would like to pay $1,000 for anybody to take him out…..NOW….I NEVER thought ANYBODY would take that serious but they have…a MOUNTAIN of BACKLASH has come against 640 and my family…There are NOW DEATH THREATS against me and my family and I have hired a private COP to protect US….So we UNDERSTAND that some of U took my comment serious…..AGAIN….Was just an EX Player saying a feeling that was wrong….To FSU…we APOLOGIZE…NO WAY would I ever want a kid hurt…..GOOD LUCK TO 640 AND THE CANES!”
Jimmy Kimmel to Host Howard Stern Birthday Bash on SiriusXM. The satcaster says that for the first time on satellite radio the infamous Howard Stern Birthday Bash show will be heard on the evening of January 31, 2014 to commemorate Stern’s 60th birthday. Jimmy Kimmel is expected to host the live broadcast from a major New York venue with an audience of VIPs and fans. As he loves to do, Stern will reveal more about the show – including VIP guests, performers and the special location – over the next few months on his SiriusXM show. Stern says, “With this birthday bash, we are finally one step closer to making my birthday the national holiday it deserves to be.” Kimmel adds, “I am honored and excited to take part in a celebration of the life of my friend and hero Howard Stern. This should be the best BaBa-birthday party ever.”
Liberty Media Reports SiriusXM Q3 Financials: Revenue Up 11%. Although Liberty Media acquired a controlling interest of SiriusXM in January of this year, Liberty is reporting the satcaster’s financial numbers separately because it “believes the presentation of financial results as reported by SiriusXM is useful to investors as the comparability of those results are best understood in the context of SiriusXM’s historical financial presentation.” Highlights of SiriusXM’s earnings include: record revenue of $962 million, up 11% from third quarter of 2012; net income of $63 million; adjusted EBITDA grew 21% to a record $296 million; the company repurchased $1.6 billion in shares from January 1 through September 30, 2013. Initial 2014 guidance is: revenue of over $4 billion and adjusted EBITDA of approximately $1.38 billion.
Michael Kassan Media-Focused Feature to Begin on WOR, New York. The Clear Channel news/talk outlet announces that “Medialinked — Inside Advertising and Media with Michael Kassan” debuts today. The company says the new show offering industry reports from the highly influential business and media strategist will also be available on iHeartRadio and at wor710.com. Kassan, who is founder, chairman and CEO of MediaLink and also serves as special advisor to CC chairman Bob Pittman, will provide a daily inside look at the advertising and media worlds featuring exclusive interviews with his personally selected list of major media and advertising figures as well as commentary on significant industry topics. Special features will also include Kassan’s expert analysis and reports on key industry events including Ad Week, Association of National Advertisers (ANA), American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAA), Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and more. Clear Channel New York market president Joe Puglise says, “Michael Kassan is an internationally recognized media specialist and his expert opinion will provide WOR listeners inside analysis of the media and advertising industry. His passion and enthusiasm for the industry will resonate well with WOR listeners and provide an avenue for partners and advertisers to engage in the conversation.”
‘News One Now with Roland Martin’ Debuts. Radio One’s radio and television project featuring former CNN star Roland Martin debuted on Monday. “News One Now with Roland Martin” is a three-hour radio show being syndicated by Radio One in which the third hour of the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm daily program is simulcast on the company’s TV One cable channel. On the program’s premiere, Martin discussed topics including the controversial death of Kendrick Johnson; the Detroit mayoral race; Africa’s economic boom as well as spoke with Radio One and TV One CEO Alfred Liggins about minority ownership in the media. Martin told the Houston Chronicle’s David Barron that this program, especially on the TV side, will bring important black Americans into the media to talk about today’s issues. “This is a chance for us to show the breadth and depth of black America. When was the last time you saw a black economist talking on television? Other than Colin Powell, when was the last time you saw a black general talking about the military? We can showcase that talent.”
David Bellavia’s Stint at WBEN Buffaloed by Employer. Last month Entercom announced that frequent fill-in and weekend talk show host David Bellavia was being given his own late night talk show – airing from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am – on news/talk WBEN. Now, after just two weeks hosting the program, Bellavia has had to step down from the show after his full-time employer objected to his taking the position. Not only will Bellavia not host his own daily program, he’s apparently not working for WBEN at all, including as the go-to fill-in personality for Sandy Beach and Tom Bauerle when they are away, which he had been doing in the recent past. Reports from Buffalo indicate that Bellavia’s employer had a change of heart about his work with WBEN. Michael Caputo is filling in for Sandy Beach and the station is running “Best of” programming in the late night slot.
ObamaCare Criticisms, 2014 and 2016 Elections, Virginia Governor Race, Dolphins Suspend Player for Misconduct, and New Jersey Mall Scare Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/4). The ongoing scrutiny of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act; speculation about the GOP’s prospects in the 2014 mid-term elections and the 2016 presidential race; today’s Virginia governor contest, the suspension of a Miami Dolphins veteran over allegations of misconduct toward another rookie teammate; and the tensions caused by the suicide of a man at a New Jersey mall were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.