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Thursday, September 3, 2015

If You Haven't Already Visited Today, Here's Some of What You're Missing... Offline for Maintenance.

TALKERS readers are being informed that our companion website to this email publication – – has been offline for much of today (9/3) as we perform required maintenance and should be back online soon.  We apologize for the inconvenience.  – TALKERS editors.  

Sirott and Murciano to Exit WGN, Chicago After Tomorrow’s Show.

According to Chicago Radio and Media, Tribune’s WGN, Chicago is not renewing the contracts of midday, husband-and-wife team of Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano (pictured).  Reporting from an internal memo from vice president of content and programming Todd Manley, the site says the midday slot will be filled by the extension of Steve Cochran’s morning show until 10:00 am and afternoon duo Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder moving to the 10:00 am to 3:00 slot with a noon hour break for the “Wintrust Business Lunch” with Steve Bertrand.  The memo also says that ratings are not the reason for the change but the reports goes on to note that the Sirott and Murciano show was the lowest rated of the daytime shows.

Dan Le Batard Show Moves to Middays on ESPN Radio.

One of the summer’s worst-kept secrets in sports talk radio is confirmed: The Dan Le Batard Show will move to the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm slot on the ESPN Radio program schedule – the slot formerly held by Colin Cowherd before his departure for FOX Sports.  Le Batard and co-host Jon “Stugotz” Weiner (along with contributors John Amaechi, Greg Cote, Amin El Hassan, Sarah Spain and Pablo Torre) emanate from WAXY, Miami and the local hour of the show will now be heard on that station from 9:00 am to 10:00 am instead of at 3:00 pm.  At this time, ESPN Radio has not announced what will air in Le Batard’s current 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart beginning September 8, nor has WAXY announced its program schedule changes.  TALKERS sources have said they believe Bomani Jones will move from nights to afternoon drive.  At WAXY, the move of Le Batard means the Chris Wittyngham and Josh Friedman program will no longer air from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.  Le Batard will continue to host the cable TV show, “Highly Questionable,” weekday afternoons at 4:00 pm, alongside his father Gonzalo “Papi” Le Batard and Bomani Jones.

Beasley Creates New Conservative Talker in Charlotte on WBCN-AM.

This is one of the stations Beasley Broadcast Group acquired in the asset swap with CBS RADIO.  BBG is removing most of the sports talk programming from WBCN-AM, Charlotte and creating a syndicated conservative talk outlet branded “America’s Pulse 1660 AM,” effective September 8.  The lineup includes: Compass Media’s “This Morning – America’s First News with Gordon Deal,” Premiere NetworksSean Hannity and Glenn Beck programs, Laura Ingraham, and Westwood One’s Mark Levin.  The station will continue to air CBS Sports Radio programming overnights and on weekends. Beasley vice president of programming Justin Chase comments, “It's unbelievable to me that some of the biggest talk hosts in America like Hannity, Beck, Levin and Ingraham were not heard in the Charlotte market!  Well, that all changes now, and we know the politically conservative audience in the market will be thrilled.”

Premiere Networks Puts A.D. into Talk Syndication; Show Added to WTKS-FM, Orlando.

He’s worked at SiriusXM on its younger-skewing rock channels – Alt Nation, Lithium, Octane and Faction – and he’s afternoon host on alternative KTBZ, Houston “The Buzz.”  But A.D., a.k.a. Adrian Rowntree, has also been hosting a weekend show on KPRC, Houston and iHeartMedia management has been impressed enough with his work as a talk personality to take the next step.  Premiere Networks SVP of programming Bill May is quoted in a press release saying, “The first time I heard A.D. I thought he could be something special.  He just needed a platform to work on his craft and with the iHeartRadio platform he has grown into a terrific young spoken-word host!”  His show will air on WTKS-FM on Monday, Wednesday and Thursdays.

Nielsen Audio Releases Third Round of August 2015 PPM Data.

The third of four rounds of August 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The August 2015 survey period covered July 16 through August 12.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

Listener Dines with George Noory to Benefit the American Red Cross.

High bidder Dean Hazen (right) enjoys a sumptuous dinner at Morton’s The Steakhouse in Burbank on Tuesday evening (9/1) with “Coast to Coast AM” host George Noory (left).  Hazen bid $3,700 on the prize as part of KFI, Los Angeles’ annual benefit for the American Red Cross.

Odds & Sods.

Washington, DC sports talker WTEM “ESPN 980” renews its deal with Washington Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan for the star player to appear on the station’s shows during the football season.  He’ll call in to the “Inside the Locker Room” show with hosts Doc Walker, Brian Mitchell and Scott Jackson Monday afternoons…..CBS RADIO’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh “93.7 The Fan” is holding its 5th annual football kickoff party at local restaurant Cioppino on September 10.  The hosts of “The Fan Morning Show” – Colin Dunlap, Josh Miller, and Jim Colony will host the event that doubles as a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Obama Secures Votes for Iran Nuclear Deal, Hillary Clinton Email Investigation, American Immigration Policy Debate/European Migrant Chaos, 2016 Presidential Candidates, Search for Illinois Cop Killers, Climate Change/Obama Alaska Visit, and Looming Deflategate Ruling Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/2).

What the Iran nuclear deal will mean after President Obama secures enough votes to pass the legislation; the ongoing investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for State Department business; debate over the immigration policy in the U.S. and the related migrant issues Europe is dealing with; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the search for the killers of a suburban Chicago police officer; the debate over climate change and President Obama’s trip to see Alaskan glaciers; and the soon-to-be-decided case of Tom Brady’s four-game suspension in the “Deflategate” matter were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Legendary Talk Radio Executive George Green Discusses Life after KABC and New Book in Inspirational Chat with Michael Harrison.

He was one of the kings of Los Angeles media, having served as president and general manager of KABC for 17 consecutive years during the station’s heyday as one of the brightest pioneering lights of talk radio.  He had been there for 21 years prior to that, working his way up from sales rep to GSM to the top spot – a total of 38 years with the heritage outlet!  Then, it suddenly came crashing down in 1996, when he was informed by the then-new owners of the station, The Walt Disney Company, that he was being replaced in three days by another station head.  On the new installment of the international hit podcast “Up Close and Far Out” posted today (9/1), George Green discusses with Michael Harrison how it felt to suddenly and unexpectedly be shown his way out the door and to the parking lot; how it impacted his life and then inspired him to move forward by starting a new independent media management/advertising agency and by writing a series of uplifting books covering love and aging as well five inspirational storybooks for young children.  He even dabbled in acting landing roles in a Hollywood movie, a weekly TV series and five Honda TV commercials.  Now, he has written and published a brand new book – years in the writing – titled, Out of the Spotlight: Over Forty Interviews with Famous, Successful People Who Enjoy Their Lives as They Move from One Spotlight into Another (George Green, 2015).  It is inspired by George Green’s own experience moving on with life after suffering the pain of being fired from a job that defined his identity.  He widens that umbrella of despair to include people who enjoyed great fame only to have to come to grips with time moving on and their spotlight dimming.  It happens to people in all walks of life from superstars to everyday folks.  According to Michael Harrison, “George Green is one of the most important managers to ever serve in this industry during the modern era.  At 84, he remains robust, clear-thinking, articulate and tremendously active in business, sports, the arts and just plain living.  I am delighted to be presenting this podcast to the radio industry as well as the world. It is a story worth telling and being heard… especially in this age of cutbacks in the radio business.”  To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player located in the right-hand column on every page of For stations interested in interviewing George Green, he can be emailed at

Cool Job Opportunity.

Wanted: Part-Time WBT Tailgate Girls.  “News Talk 1110” WBT, Charlotte is seeking part-time WBT Tailgate Girls who are interested in learning more about event marketing, promotions and broadcasting.  As part of the WBT Tailgate Girls, you will work to gain exposure for the radio stations at station-produced and/or sponsored events, area concerts, sporting and cultural events and other on-site opportunities relevant to the station’s marketing and sales effort.  Candidates must be detail oriented, creative and outgoing.  They must have strong communications and organizational skills and must be able to represent the station(s) in a positive manner at events.  Candidates should have strong people skills, web/internet knowledge, and must be able to multi-task and meet deadlines.  All candidates should possess a desire to learn more about promotional/marketing strategies for radio.  In order to be considered for the position, candidates must have a valid driver’s licenses.  Hourly pay: $12.00.  If you think you have the talent and qualifications to be a (part-time) News Talk 1110 WBT Tailgate Girls with Greater Media Charlotte, please e-mail resume and photo to  If you would like to mail a package, send to: Greater Media Charlotte, Attn: Promotions, One Julian Price Place, Charlotte, NC 28208 NO TELEPHONE CALL PLEASE!

Holland Cooke: ‘Quality, Currency, Quantity.’
By Holland Cooke
Media Consultant

BLOCK ISLAND, RI -- Just back at his Block Island, Rhode Island home base after a summer on the road visiting client stations, consultant Holland Cooke writes in TALKERS today about crafting news copy that is more “remarkable.”  He says, “Not ‘miraculous,’ but ‘remarkable,’ meaning likely-to-provoke-a-remark when heard.  ‘Hmmm…’ is a remark, because the listener heard useful information which he/she might quote over lunch or dinner.  Or at least REMEMBER, which is, after all, what diary ratings measure, and relevance is what brings PPM-ers back again and again.”  For more thoughts about effective radio news, read Cooke’s entire column here.

Howard B. Price: Now, It’s Personal.
By Howard B. Price
Director, Business Continuity
ABC Television

NEW YORK -- Writing in the aftermath of the shooting deaths of WDBJ-TV, Roanoke journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward, ABC Television Network director, business continuity Howard B. Price says that, although it’s impossible to know if anything could have prevented their deaths, media employers must take this tragedy as a lesson to do more to prepare staffers to combat threatening situations.  How so?  Price says, “Ask any crisis trainer, and they will tell you that situational awareness is critical – no matter one’s field or the instant circumstances of their work.  Who would have imagined that a live shot on local tourism in a bucolic park would end in so much trauma – on an early morning newscast in Moneta, Virginia?”  He suggests that even in the most seemingly benign situations, crews should observe a safety protocol.  “When you arrive at the scene of a story, look for areas of safe refuge and secondary escape routes.  Try to keep a corner of your eye cocked peripherally to catch at least a glimpse of anything that doesn’t look quite right.  Keep a cellphone or two-way radio close.  Think about how you might call for help.  And don’t hesitate to raise red flags about any coverage plan you find risky.”  Read Price’s entire story here.

Remember the Commercial
By Al Herskovitz
H and H Communications

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Radio advertising pro Al Herskovitz writes in a column published in TALKERS recently, that the salesperson’s responsibility doesn’t end with the signing of the contract.  It’s incumbent upon that person to make sure the copy – and the delivery of the copy on air – are done in a way that will get the sponsor’s message across effectively.   Regarding live reads, Herskovitz says, “The keys to good live copy are finding the most important advantages, hammering away at them in simple, understandable terms and delivering the message in an enthusiastic and sincere manner.”  Read Herskovitz’s entire piece here.

PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships
By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor

LOS ANGELES -- TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents this year’s second analysis of the performances of stations serving as flagships for MLB play-by-play – this time based on data from Nielsen Audio’s July 2015 PPM survey (6+).  As is often the case, MLB teams that appear to be headed for playoff contention (even in June and July) tend to boost ratings for their flagships.  The continuing resurgence of the Kansas City Royals has certainly been good for KCSP – the station performed three full shares better in 2015 than during the same period a year ago.  Although interestingly, the division leading Houston Astros have only nudged flagship KBME up 0.3 share (1.3 share, 6+) from a year ago.  View Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Report from Podcast Movement
By Richard Davies
How Do We Fix It?

Fort Worth, Tx. -- Longtime ABC News Radio journalist Richard Davies has been working with his co-host Jim Meigs on their podcast “How Do We Fix It?” since retiring from the network news radio business.  He recently attended the Podcast Movement conference in Fort Worth, Texas.  Davies reports that the recent success of “Serial” and the PR Marc Maron received for President Obama’s appearance on his “WTF?” podcast has given hope to the thousands of podcast “newbies.”  “Marketers and tech firms are taking note of podcasting's recent growth.  Some companies sponsored booths and took part in Q&A sessions at Podcast Movement.”  Read Davies’ entire report here.

The Importance of Talk Radio
By Chris Stigall
Talk Show Host
WPHT, Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA -- WPHT, Philadelphia morning drive host Chris Stigall writes in a piece published in TALKERS today about recent events that have given him pause to reflect on the value of talk radio to the greater society.  Stigall says that an important cog in the media machine would be missing if talk radio did not exist.  He says, “Call talk radio propaganda if you’d like, but it can only thrive if it offers something consumers want to hear and delivers results to advertisers and sponsors.  I know in our show’s case we’re blessed with both.  Whether it’s Limbaugh’s leading voice of conservatism, Levin’s case for millennials to engage in their country’s political future, Hannity’s demands for more scrutiny of a taxpayer-funded entity, or simple assessments of current and future leaders’ character – talk radio is the only place it’s found consistently.”  Read Stigall’s entire piece here.

Profile: Bold Gold Media Group CEO Vince Benedetto
By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor

WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON, Penn. -- TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a profile of Vince Benedetto, chief executive officer of the 10-year-old radio company Bold Gold Media Group.  To say Benedetto is bullish on radio is an understatement.  The former U.S. Air Force captain tells Kinosian he can’t believe so many people in the industry are such naysayers about its future.  “There is an explosion of audio consumption because it is even easier to consume.  It is so strangely un-entrepreneurial to live in a world where audio demand and consumption is exploding, yet so many in our industry act as if it is the end of the world.”  Benedetto began building his radio portfolio with the acquisition of four signals in the Catskill Mountains and Pocono Lake Region and grew into the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre market from there.  He says, “There are things about radio that other businesses do not have as strengths.  One is that you are not warehousing things, so you get to refresh your inventory every day. Radio's margins are very good and you can get involved in many businesses all at once.  If you do it correctly, you learn about many different kinds of businesses.  It was exciting to me that I knew radio was about to go through many changes.”  Read the entire piece here.

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