Thursday, April 12, 2018

| April 12, 2018

Entercom Re-Thinks Hot Talk Hybrid ‘97.3 The Machine’; Launches Sports Talk ‘97.3 The Fan’ Today.  After two weeks of consideration following air personality Kevin Klein’s controversial Tweet promoting his morning show that would never see the light of day, Entercom drops the hot talk/sports talk hybrid format for KEGY, San Diego – that included Dan Sileo in middays and the Seattle-based “The Men’s Room” show in afternoons – and goes traditional sports talk.  The lineup features Sileo in morning drive and market pro Chris Ello partnered with Padres legend Tony Gwynn Jr. for afternoon drive.  Entercom San Diego SVP and market manager Bob Bolinger says, “After a recent off-air tweet, we took the opportunity to step back, listen to the important feedback from the community and our partners – the Padres – and re-evaluate the path forward.  The station was always going to be largely about sports and we determined the right thing to do was to go 100% all-in.  We look forward to building ‘97.3 The Fan’ into San Diego’s best sports station, delivering the highest quality content and listening experience for the people of this great community.”  Middays will feature CBS Sports Radio syndicated personalities Jim Rome (9:00 am to 12:00 noon) and Doug Gottlieb (12:00 noon to 3:00 pm) and, of course, the San Diego Padres are sticking with the station for its radio flagship.

RTDNA Concerned About DHS Journalist Database Program.  Via its Voice of the First Amendment Task Force, the Radio Television Digital News Association says it is “expressing grave concern regarding a report the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is soliciting bids from companies that would create a database of ‘hundreds of thousands of news sources around the world and compile a database of journalists, editors, foreign correspondents, and bloggers to identify top media influencers.’”  RTDNA reports that it learned via the website Big Law Business that the Department of Homeland Security is “seeking a contractor that can help it monitor traditional news sources as well as social media and identify ‘any and all’ coverage related to the agency or a particular event… The data to be collected includes a publication’s ‘sentiment’ as well as geographical spread, top posters, languages, momentum, and circulation.  The request comes amid heightened concern about accuracy in media and the potential for foreigners to influence U.S. elections and policy through ‘fake news.’” Big Law Business says the DHS request for proposals was put out after 19 Republican members of Congress wrote with concerns about Al Jazeera (owned by the government of Qatar) and whether it should have to register as a foreign agent.  RTDNA executive director Dan Shelley says, “Whether or not the Trump administration’s Department of Homeland Security is seeking to create a database of journalists and others as a result of the inquiries about Al Jazeera’s independence, it is wrong.  The fact the U.S. government may wish to monitor journalists would put the principles of the First Amendment, and the existence of responsible journalism, which are bedrocks of our democracy, on a perilous precipice.”

‘Free Talk Live’ on Affiliate Binge. The nationally syndicated “Free Talk Live” show starring Ian Freeman and Mark Edge announces it has passed the 180-affiliate mark.  The program adds more than a dozen stations during 2018 so far, including: Cumulus Media’s WGOW-FM and WGOW-AM in Chattanooga; Eagle Communications’ KFEQ-AM, Kansas City; The Cromwell Group’s WZUS-FM, Decatur, Illinois; Connoisseur Media’s WJET-AM, Erie; Texarkana Radio Center’s KTFS-AM/FM, Texarkana, Texas; and EMG2’s KTEL-AM/FM, Walla Walla, Washington.  The show also welcomes back former affiliates Sugar River Media’s WNTK-FM, New London and WUVR-AM/FM, Lebanon in New Hampshire.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Paul Ryan Announces Exit, Zuckerberg Before Congress, U.S. Syria Policy, Mexican Border Security, and MLB and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/11).  The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and the status of Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein and Robert Mueller; House Speaker Paul Ryan announces he won’t run for re-election and will leave his post next January; Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before Congress; President Trump’s threats of military action in Syria aimed at the Russians; Mexican border security and the “caravan” of illegals; and MLB and NBA action 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. It’s being called a re-launch of its classic R&B format in New Orleans.  Entercom’s WWWL-AM is now simulcasting on translator W225CZ and re-brands as “The New HOT 92.9 FM.”  Entercom says the new frequency will reach a broader fan base in the Northshore area and improve the listening experience for the adjoining New Orleans metro areas.  Big Abe continues to host the morning drive and Kelder Summers will remain in the afternoon drive daypart…..SiriusXM is broadcasting live from the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival for the fourth consecutive year.  The limited-run channel on the satellite radio service will feature music by artists who will be performing leading up to the festival.  Once it starts, Coachella Radio will provide continuous coverage of the festival both weekends with live performances, artist interviews, as well as exclusive Coachella news and happenings…..Westwood One welcomes more than 90 of country music’s biggest acts to its Westwood One Backstage at the Academy of Country Music Awards to celebrate the 53rd Academy of Country Music Awards.  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes comments, “With our long-standing official partnership, only Westwood One Backstage and the Academy of Country Music Awards can deliver such extraordinary star-power to our listeners, affiliates, and advertisers.  We’re bringing the biggest country music stars and radio personalities together to capture unique over the air, on demand, and social content that celebrates the passion, the energy, and the glory of country music at its best.”

FCC Quiets Cumulus’ ‘99X’ Atlanta Translator for Now.  The translator – W255CJ, Atlanta – has been the subject of complaints from Steve Gradick’s WWGA-FM, Tallapoosa, Georgia citing interference for several years now.  But yesterday (4/11), the FCC issued a cease operation order to Cumulus for the translator that’s been simulcasting the HD2 signal of WWWQ as alternative “99X.”  WWGA and Cumulus were ordered to do a series of on-off air tests and, although Cumulus argued that the tests showed no significant interference due to the operation of W255CJ, WWGA’s interpretation of the results indicated its best signal was present when the translator was off.  The FCC ruled that since Cumulus has not “remediated the interference,” it is ordering Cumulus to shut it down.

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Category: Front Page News, Industry News