Clear Channel Programmer Chris Sargent Departs. Clear Channel Portland vice president of programming Chris “Sarge” Sargent leaves the cluster effective immediately. In addition to his VP duties, Sargent for the past 20 months was the cluster’s operations manager. He programmed classic hits-oldies KLTH, news/talk KEX, progressive-talk-turned-sports KPOJ and classic rock KFBW. Sargent joined the Portland cluster over four years ago from Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Bruce Logan Named VP of Programming and Ops at CBS Radio Houston. Programmer Bruce Logan exits his regional programming manager role at Clear Channel’s Greensboro, North Carolina and Greenville, South Carolina clusters and his national country brand coordinator post to join CBS Radio as vice president of programming and operations manager for the six-station Houston cluster that includes: hot AC KHMX, sports talk KIKK, country KILT-FM “The Bull,” sports talk KILT-AM, CHR KKHH “Hot 95.7,” and Spanish KOLO. He’ll also have day-to-day programming responsibilities for “The Bull” and “Hot 95.7.” CBS Houston SVP and market manager Sarah Frazier says, “Bruce has a reputation as one of the premier country radio programmers in America. We have admired his work for some time and are thrilled we have an opportunity to bring him into the division. I am equally excited about his leadership skills and ability to build teams which is so important in today’s cluster environment.”
Pro Wrestler Chris Jericho Joins PodcastOne. World champion wrestler Chris Jericho – also a New York Times best-selling author and lead vocalist of the metal band Fozzy – is launching his podcast on PodcastOne. The program, “Talk Is Jericho,” premieres today (12/4) with Steve Austin as Jericho’s first guest. Jericho dishes out his unique take on all things pop culture and life in general as he interviews some of the biggest names in entertainment from wrestling and music to TV and film with new episodes delivered every week at PodcastOne.com. Jericho comments, “I’ve been considering doing a podcast for years now, but wanted to find the right people to work with. Now after being hooked up with the fine folks at PodcastOne, I know I’ve found the right place! I’m stoked to bring you the biggest names in show biz every week to discuss all things pop culture, music, pro wrestling and kumquats. Get ready Jerichoholics…The Pod Of Thunder has arrived!” PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz says, “As an entertainer, Chris is so much more than a world champion wrestler. He’s an actor, an author, lead singer in a rock band and radio broadcaster. With a package like that and the proven success of PodcastOne programs like the Steve Austin show, this is clearly a great bet. Actually, more like no bet at all. We’re thrilled with our new partnership.”
Carson and Beckman Promoted at Idaho Broadcasting Groups. The Moscow, Idaho-based broadcasting companies IdaVend Broadcasting, Inland Northwest Broadcasting and KRPL Inc. announce two promotions. The company’s current promotions director – Jon Carson – is upped to executive director of promotions for the nine-station radio group beginning January 2014. Carson has been with the company for more than two years and commutes between the station groups’ two locations in Moscow and Lewiston, Idaho. Carson recently earned designation as CRSM, Certified Radio Sales Manager, from the Radio Advertising Bureau. With the expansion of his team, Carson is overseeing a team of two promotions directors. The Moscow promotions director will oversee promotions for the six-station group, Inland Northwest Broadcasting, and KRPL, Inc. The Lewiston promotions director will oversee promotions for the three-station group, IdaVend Broadcasting. Additionally, Amberly Beckman is promoted to promotions director for the Moscow-based group from her most recent position as promotions director at the Lewiston-based stations. She has served with the company for the past two years.
The Sad State of Radio Broadcast Engineering – Part 2. Around Labor Day, TALKERS technical editor Tom Ray wrote a powerful article that asked, “Where have all the broadcast engineers gone?” He was inundated with responses — not just from across the country – but from around the world! Obviously, he hit a nerve with everyone. Ray reports, “I have heard from Australia, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and Ireland. Obviously, this is a universal topic and I have been overwhelmed. Additionally, I was both surprised and not surprised at the bitterness in many of the responses. Broadcast engineers are a unique group. It’s difficult, though not impossible, to find a more dedicated group of people in any business. We take it personally. The station becomes part of us and is what we do. And once that is disrupted, even if the person is in a much better place, it is taken personally. I can relate.” In a long-awaited follow-up to that article, Tom Ray posts a powerful and informative “Part 2” today (12/4) that goes into even more depth on this complex and important topic – raising issues and offering solutions – that lies at the very foundation of the state of today’s radio station business. It is must reading for anyone who cares about the present and future state of radio station operations. To read it in its entirety, please click here.
‘Home Wizards’ Show Partners with Media Management Group. KFWB, Los Angeles-based weekly home improvement show “Home Wizards” – hosted by Cindy Dole (left) and Eric Stromer (right) – joins the New York-based MMG Radio Network. Home Wizards is a nationally syndicated radio show and multimedia content brand. The show feeds live from KFWB Saturdays from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm ET. In addition to Dole’s and Stromer’s work on the radio on digital platforms, Eric is a regular on NBC‘s “Today Show.” MMG president Jeff Schwartz comments, “Cindy and Eric are familiar to millions of Americans who enjoy home improvement and decorating. They have a great on-air chemistry that resonates with both men and women while creating an inviting environment for sponsors.” Cindy Dole adds, “Home Wizards is a true multimedia opportunity to engage with your audience every day! We needed a team that excels in that space and are so impressed by how MMG masters the art of turning sales and marketing into a higher-level connection that delivers meaningful results!”
Edison Research to Work with Triton Digital on ‘Infinite Dial’ Study. Arbitron’s absorption into the Nielsen fold has had an impact on the annual “Infinite Dial” study that Edison Research has been producing in partnership with the radio ratings firm. Edison announces that it will be conducting the long-running study of consumer media usage with Triton Digital when the new study is released in March of next year. Edison states that the study has been “one of the most widely cited and well-regarded studies on digital media usage, eagerly awaited each year and used by advertisers and content providers. Hundreds of start-ups, advertising agencies, established businesses, financial analysts, and academics all make extensive use of the study each year.” Edison Research president Larry Rosen comments, “We’re hard at work making the 2014 version of ‘The Edison/Triton Infinite Dial’ the best ever. Edison has always sought to provide thought leadership and Triton Digital is the recognized leader in digital audio measurement with its MRC-accredited Webcast Metrics platform. Our two companies have come together to continue the tradition of ‘The Infinite Dial’ and the tracking of consumer media trends in the digital economy.”
WPRO, Providence Talk Host John DePetro Files Police Complaint Alleging Threat. WPRO, Providence late morning talk show host John DePetro filed a complaint with the Providence Police alleging that he was threatened outside the radio studios on Tuesday morning by two men he did not know. The men apparently took issue with his comments about a labor union protest that happened in September. According to a report in the Providence Journal, DePetro expressed his opinion of union leaders after a union protest at a fundraiser for State General Treasurer Gina Raimondo allegedly served to intimidate attendees and prevent others from attending. DePetro reportedly said, referencing a female union leader, “What a disgrace. You are an embarrassment…You are parasites. You are cockroaches. You lie. You are union hags. There’s another word I’d like to use…it begins with a W. and an H. and an O. and an R. and an E. and an S. See if they can spell that.” Labor unions have since called for a boycott of WPRO until DePetro is fired. DePetro has said that if the men who threatened him are caught, he will press charges.
Sun Broadcast Group Contracts with Jelli for Cloud-Based Ad Platform. SBG CEO Jason Bailey announces that his company is investing the resources necessary to affect the “much-needed change to measurement and accountability in network radio” that he’s been publicly calling for as it will deploy Jelli, Inc.‘s cloud- based ad platform across its entire network that will make it easier and faster to buy and run radio advertisements. The change will start immediately across all of Sun’s Hispanic products including CNN en Español, Fox Deportes, AccuWeather en Español and its national Latino Advantage network. Sun Hispanic content partner, Stardome Media Group, has also committed to the platform change. A roll out to Sun’s general market offerings will begin in early 2014. Bailey comments, “I have been asking leaders large and small to stand with me and implement true change in how we conduct business across our industry. Radio has been living in the dark ages when it comes to accountability. We’re being eaten alive by the real-time metrics of digital audio competitors and our best answer, RADAR, still requires busy planners and buyers to go back months after a campaign to see what should have run. Today we stand proud to put our entire sales and programming schedules on the line and make a real change for this great industry.” In a statement, SBG says it is agreeing to finance equipment and installation costs for each affiliate they service. It has also been working with Jelli’s team of engineers to enhance the ad platform and include delivery of short-form content and features, allowing for real time measurement of sponsorships and integrated product placement in addition to relieving local affiliate workload in scheduling and running network content and ads.
Vulpi Joins USRN as VP/GM Content Affiliations. Former My Traffic Department vice president of sales Frank Vulpi is tapped to become vice president/general manager of Content Affiliations for the United Stations Radio Networks (USRN). Vulpi will oversee roughly one-dozen staffers marketing the network’s programming services. “Frank’s wealth of experience on both the station and the network side of the business is an incredible asset for our company,” comments USRN executive vice president Charlie Colombo. “He understands the needs of our clients; he knows the new platforms; and he knows how to develop and maintain those essential relationships with our affiliates. He is joining an already successful team.” Vulpi’s approximately 30-year industry background includes being general sales manager of New York City’s WYNY. In addition, he spent 15 years with Bloomberg‘s media division, ultimately running its radio and television syndication departments.
HD Radio to be Standard on the 2015 K900. The seventh Kia-made vehicle to have HD Radio as a standard feature will be its 2015 K900. The luxury sedan will join the recently-launched Cadenza, along with the Forte, Optima, Sorento, Soul, and Sportage as other Kia vehicles to offer the digital AM & FM format. HD Radio is – or will be – available as a factory-installed feature from 33 automotive brands including Acura, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford, GMC, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, MINI USA, Mitsubishi, Porsche, Ram, Rolls-Royce, Scion, SRT (Chrysler), Subaru, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo. The 2015 Kia K900 is expected to arrive at dealers during the first quarter of 2014.
WGN, Chicago Helps Raise More Than $554,000 for Tornado Victims. In response to the widespread damage of the November 17 storms throughout Illinois, Tribune Company’s WGN, Chicago partnered with the McCormick Foundation, WGN-TV and the Chicago Tribune to host the Illinois Tornado Relief Effort on Tuesday, November 26. The fundraising initiative took place over a 24-hour period, with WGN Radio hosts rallying listeners to donate to the newly established Illinois Tornado Relief Effort. WGN listeners, in addition to major donations from Medline Industries Inc., Cadence Health, Wintrust Financial Corporation and the FDC Foundation, contributed to a total of $554,087 raised. The McCormick Foundation matched the first $500,000 raised at 50 cents to the dollar, providing an additional $250,000 in funds and bringing the total amount available to grant to $804,087. WGN president and general manager Jimmy de Castro says, “The Illinois Tornado Relief Effort continues the WGN Radio tradition of reacting quickly to take care of our listeners in need. It’s also another example in a long list of generous giving from the Chicago community. We thank our partners at the McCormick Foundation, WGN TV, and the Chicago Tribune as well as generosity of our listeners, viewers, and readers for helping rebuild the lives of those impacted by the devastating storms.”
Upstate New York Business Talker Flips to Sports. Genesee Media Corp.’s WRSB, Canandaigua (plus translator W286AE, Fairport) and WASB, Brockport flip from business talk as “Business 1310” to sports talk using programming from CBS Sports Radio Network.
Daytona Beach Talker Gets Dog Park Re-Opened. WELE, Ormond Beach, Florida – being operated by Goliath Radio under an LMA – recently put its community-oriented philosophy to work to help re-open a closed dog park in Daytona Beach. Goliath Radio talk show host Big John, a former member of the Volusia County Council, came to the rescue when resident Mary Nichols (pictured here) found herself and her dogs locked out of the park that had been open since 2001. It turns out Big John had helped create the park when he was on the County Council. When Nichols showed up at the radio station to complain about the closure, Big John put her on the air and took calls about the park that had become the center of a dispute between the county and the suburban city of Holly Hill. Big John urged the sides to find a compromise. Within 20 minutes of the broadcast, the outline of an organization of dog owners/lovers that might operate the park came together; a local veteran’s club offered a meeting room and support to bring it together and support for maintaining the dog park was offered. By the following Thursday, the Friends of the Holly Hill Dog Park was formed and able to show a broad base of support to the County Council which voted to reopen the park for 90 days while officials and the newly-formed support group work out details for ongoing operation. Big John tells TALKERS, “People are ready and willing to do good things if we just give them a chance to figure out how. Radio can be the bridge to coming up with answers and actions in our communities that benefit everybody.”