Tuesday, June 26, 2018

| June 26, 2018

Entercom Shifts Digital Audio from TuneIn to Its Own Radio.com. In an internal memo, president and CEO David Field outlines Entercom’s strategy for building Radio.com into the digital audio platform he believes it can become.  It starts with the migration of Entercom’s digital streams from TuneIn to Radio.com over the next couple months.  Entercom acquired the Radio.com platform with the merger with CBS RADIO and will have moved all radio streams there by early August.  Field says, “One of the benefits of our scale and the quality of our brands and content is the ability to compete effectively in the rapidly growing digital audio sector.  As the nation’s No. 1 creator of live, original, local audio content with a lineup of 235 outstanding stations, and the country’s unrivaled leader in news and sports radio, we have assets no other company can match and an enviable reach of over 112 million listeners per month — plus tens of millions more on our digital and social platforms.”  Even iHeartMedia’s iHeartRadio platform is far behind leaders Pandora and Spotify in terms of listening, so Entercom has an uphill battle ahead of itself to make Radio.com, as Field hopes, “a daily habit for many millions of Americans.”  He says, “We are committed to making Radio.com a leader in the digital audio space. We have added a number of highly talented leaders to our team to help lead the charge.  Over the next several months, we will be rolling out new product features, distribution partners, advanced advertising products, and other improvements to enrich the user experience and enhance our value to customers.” Entercom will mount an aggressive promotional campaign across its AM and FM radio stations to embed awareness of Radio.com in the minds of its radio consumers.

Sports Radio Pro Eric Spitz to Join SiriusXM. After six years as program director for CBS Sports Radio, Eric Spitz is leaving that company to join SiriusXM as vice president of sports programming.  He’ll work with senior vice president of sports programming Steve Cohen and be based in New York.  The company says Spitz will “be involved in the daily operation of SiriusXM’s sports channels, including the hiring of talent, programming development and live sports scheduling.”  Spitz began his career as a desk assistant at WFAN in New York in 1987 and rose through the producer ranks to be become the station’s assistant program director.  In 2002, Spitz was named vice president, operations and programming for Westwood One’s Shadow/Metro Traffic, a position he held for three years before returning to WFAN as program director in 2005.

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post:  Introductory Statements.  Today (6/26) TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each day, another session will be posted in the order that they originally took place.  Today’s second installment features the opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan.  In addition, KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivers the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduces Bearman.   Already posted from yesterday: the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

Mark Levin Slides into Early Evenings at WPHT.  Native Philadelphian Mark Levin will soon be heard in his hometown as Entercom news/talk WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” is adding his Westwood One syndicated talk show to its program schedule in the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot.  Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “We couldn’t be more excited to add Mark Levin to our already impressive list of marquee hosts at ‘Talk Radio 1210’ WPHT.  As a native Philadelphian, Mark’s show is the ideal complement to our local hosts, Chris Stigall, Dom Giordano and Rich Zeoli.”

TALKERS News Notes. Philadelphia all-newser KYW “Newsradio 1060” announces the recipients of this year’s “KYW Newsradio Women’s Achievement Awards.”  In its ninth year, the awards honor women in the Delaware Valley who have made a positive impact in the region through business leadership and community service.  This year’s “Rising Star” category honors local women under the age of 40 who were all selected by the community through the use of social media.  The awards will take place on Thursday, June 28 at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel.  Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “We are honored to use the influential voice of KYW Newsradio to showcase the dedication and service of these five exceptional rising stars in our community.  Their efforts embody what the ‘KYW Newsradio Women’s Achievement Awards’ stand for, and the very reason the program launched nine years ago.”…..The nationally syndicated weekend program “America Outdoors Radio” begins airing on iHeartMedia’s sports talk KJR, Seattle on July 7.  The John Kruse-hosted show is now heard on more than 60 stations across the country…..Pictured at left is Westwood One “Monday Night Football” play-by-play voice Kevin Harlan with his “2017 National Sportscaster of the Year” award.  Harlan was honored at the National Sports Media Association’s 59th awards banquet in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Illegal Immigration Policy, Maxine Waters Speech, Tariffs-Trade War Concerns, SC Trump Rally, Heather Locklear Troubles, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/25). The controversy over the Trump administration’s policy to deal with illegal immigrants; reaction to U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters’ speech in which she encourages people to harass Trump administration staffers in public; the Trump tariffs and concerns over a global trade war; Monday’s Trump rally in South Carolina at which CNN’s Jim Acosta was singled out as a purveyor of fake news by attendees; the two recent arrests of actress Heather Locklear and concerns about her health; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

“Cousin” Bruce Morrow Tells TALKERS That Dan Ingram Practiced “Early Irreverence” on the Radio.   Legendary disc jockey “Cousin” Bruce Morrow who, in his eighties, is still going strong as a major personality on the SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s 60s Channel, worked at WABC, New York for many years in the 1960s and 70s in the same historic lineup with the Dan Ingram.   For many of those golden years, Morrow did the early evening show directly following Ingram’s afternoon drive slot.  TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison caught up with Morrow via cell phone at his upstate New York country home yesterday afternoon (6/26) to discuss his reflections on his late station-mate Dan Ingram.  Unfortunately, the cell reception was not clear enough to merit being presented as an audio podcast.  However, the following is a transcription of the parts of the conversation that lent themselves to print:

MH:  Congrats on the great work you’re doing on SiriusXM.

BM: I love it and I’m having a great time.  Talking with people that grew up with me as well as new people.  I feel great.

MH:  You have the same spirit that marked your work in the 60s and 70s but there’s nothing dated about it.  It is very contemporary.

BM:  Thank you, Michael.

MH:  Did you and Dan Ingram know the impact what you were doing back in the WABC days was having on teenagers?  That you were larger-than-life cultural gurus?

BM:  Although I’d like to say yes, the answer is no.  We knew what we were doing professionally as far as broadcasting is concerned but we didn’t realize that we would be part of people’s DNA and culture.  It was all relatively new. Fortunately, Dan and I were allowed to experiment and we did.  They left us alone to do our thing.  Of course, Dan and I were different sides of the ruler.

MH:  How so?

BM:  One of Dan’s major contributions to radio history was what I call ‘EI’ – early irreverence.  He was a precursor to what would eventually be known as “shock jocks” although I hate to use those words.  Dan would take a lot of the culture, the things that were happening in everyday life that we all experienced, and he twisted it a little bit and made it bigger than life and made us look at it and laugh at it. That was great.  It shocked a lot of people.  I must tell you, it even scared me a little bit because I didn’t know how people were going to react.  I didn’t know how our sponsors would react.  In those days, you know, we had to keep our sponsors happy.  In order to keep them happy, we had to get the ratings and get the people to listen… and I always used to say to him, “Ya know, do you think maybe you went a little too far?”  He’d respond, “You ain’t heard nothin’ yet.  Wait ‘til tomorrow!”   And then he’d go a step above.

MH:  What about management.

BM:  The guys in the suits upstairs – they were kind of scared.  Their knees were shaking.  They didn’t know what to do with him.  But they let him do his thing… but Dan Ingram was a professional.  He knew he was ripping at the envelope but he also knew where to stop.  In those days, anyhow.  In those days, he knew just how far he could take it.  Then he was a great lead in for me because I was a complete opposite… I was into my “Cousin” Brucie family, it was family-oriented and it was fun… it was sometimes a little silly, but never blue.  Dan was a little, shall we say, sky blue.  He would never get blue-blue, but he would get a little sky blue on the radio.  People would listen to it and say – hey did you hear what Dan said?  It was kind of fun.  So it was a great lead in for me.  It was a wonderful experience.  We did it together for years and years.  I miss him.  But we have his legacy which continues with a lot of the young people who are on the air today who were obviously influenced by him.  They try, they experiment.  And I always tell young broadcasters at lectures I give and classes I teach, never to be afraid to experiment.  If you make a mistake, just don’t do it again.  Dan knew when he had to stop.  He had this great intelligence about him.  He would do parodies and say things that people would repeat… everything was irreverent.

MH:  He was into comedy and day-to-day social commentary.  You were more into the music and artists and the lingo of the kids and the street.  It is amazing looking back at how this tightly formatted radio station had enough flexibility within its staging, so to speak, to accommodate two very different back-to-back approaches to the pop culture and still maintain its amazingly unique and recognizable stationality!

BM:  Exactly!  And that’s because they trusted us.  They knew that Dan and I would know where the edge of the water was.  They didn’t do that so much with anyone else on the station.  I could do what I wanted with the music.  Dan would follow a format but within that format he could do his own thing.  Sometimes we’d come on each other’s shows, sometimes we made fun of each other but we had a real, jolly-good time.

MH:  Did you get along off the air?

BM:  He and I always got along professionally.  Were we bosom buddies on the outside?  No.  None of us at WABC were really that close.  A few of the guys would go out after their shows and have drinks.  I was never into that.  Wasn’t my thing.  Dan and I respected each other professionally and we got along great.  But, outside the station and station business we went our own ways.  We were two different personalities, as we were on the air.  What you got on the air was exactly the way we were.   I was into sweetness and didn’t want to make anyone angry.  Dan would like to make people a little angry, stir up the pot.  I didn’t want to do that.  We were two different guys but it worked beautifully.

MH:  How did those days compare to today’s radio?

BM:  The thing about Dan and I and all the jocks at WABC that we had in common was the desire to make people feel good and not be uncomfortable.  In his case, Dan made people comfortable who wanted to “get off” a little bit.  But, it was still a feel-good experience and wasn’t dangerous.  That was the best part of it.  There are things that are happening on the radio today, lyrics and things, that are in my opinion a little dangerous… makes me nervous and doesn’t make me feel good.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Karina Farias joins the programming team at Bonneville’s Bay Area duo of adult contemporary KOIT, San Francisco and classic rock KUFX, San Jose.  She’ll handle music director and on-air duties.  Farias has been doing part-time on-air work at Entercom’s country KILT-FM, Houston and working full time at Bryan Broadcasting in College Station, Texas. She says, “I have been given the opportunity of a lifetime!  I’m so excited to join the team at Bonneville San Francisco!  My dream has always been to end up in California working alongside programmers and air talent I can learn so much from, and I now get to make that dream a reality.  Getting to work alongside Brian Figula, whom I’ve looked up to for the last year makes this even sweeter!  I want to thank Brian Figula, Carl Gardner, and everyone at Bonneville San Francisco for believing in me.”…..Philadelphia radio personality Ray Koob is back on the air in the city doing part-time evenings on Entercom’s classic hits WOGL (Mondays and Tuesdays from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight).  Koob had been the evening jock at Beasley’s crosstown classic rock WMGK for the past 16 years.

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Category: Front Page News, Industry News