Talk Radio/Media Industry News

Friday, June 23, 2017

| June 23, 2017

Wading Across the Widening Mainstream.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison says that it was no surprise that Megyn Kelly’s interview with Alex Jones fell short of NBC’s expectations in the ratings and that President Donald Trump is effectively adhering to a carefully honed strategy by playing exclusively to his base – even though it is resulting in an extremely low (by recent standards) approval rating.  It is all a part of what Harrison describes as the new rules of the “widening mainstream.”  In a provocative new article posted today (6/23), Harrison argues, “We are immersed in the digital era marked by a dizzying number of media platforms and their attendant human interests.  Yet, we still hear the expression ‘mainstream media’ (MSM) used as though news and entertainment are still dominated by a handful of media outlets and patronized by a largely homogeneous society.  We actually still believe there is a ‘general public.’  I laugh when I hear, ‘The American people have spoken.’  Who are they?”   Harrison continues, “If we are going to insist on clinging to the ‘mainstream’ analogy for media we should at least recognize that it is no longer the narrow, deep river in which we used to swim as kids – capable of supporting the ocean liners that were network television.  Now it’s a wide-but-shallow marsh only capable of supporting smaller, specialized vessels.”  Harrison goes on to say that the strategy being employed by Donald Trump in maintaining his power within this environment is – at least for now – “Unstoppable” and explains why.   To read the entire piece, please click here.

WCBS-AM to Celebrate ‘A Night of New York Stories.’ All-news WCBS-AM, New York “Newsradio 880AM” is presenting an event at the PlayStation Theater in Times Square titled, “Celebrating 50 Years of News: A Night of New York Stories,” on August 8.  It will be hosted by the station’s Wayne Cabot and Alex Silverman and will celebrate the station’s 50th anniversary by bringing together some of New York’s most notable names in news, politics, sports and entertainment.  The evening will close with a special interview and song performance by legendary singer Tony BennettCBS RADIO New York SVP and market manager Marc Rayfield says, “‘Newsradio 880’ is a trusted New York City news outlet with a rich history and legacy of delivering up-to-the-minute news.  We are proud to be a part of the fabric of New York and will continue to tell the stories of the people, places and happenings from all around this great city.  This special night is a chance to gather with listeners, station personalities and prominent figures to celebrate what the station has meant for the past 50 years and will continue to mean well into the future.”  Additional station personalities taking part include: Craig Allen, Joe Connolly, Pat Farnack, Brad Heller, Tom Kaminski, Paul Murnane, Steve Scott and Michael Wallace.  Among the special guests sharing their New York stories on stage will be Jeff Fager and Lesley Stahl (60 Minutes), former New York Giants co-captain George Martin, “Late Show with David Letterman” bandleader Paul Shaffer, and former New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine.

Capitol Broadcasting Renews ‘The Sports Shop with Reese & Kmac.’ WDNC, Raleigh-Durham “The Buzz” extends its deal with morning drive personalities Erroll Reese and Kevin McClendon for the duo to continue to host “The Sports Shop with Reese & Kmac” for another year.  Reese and Kmac call their show “urban sports radio” and the station says it is one of the few sports radio morning shows in the country co-hosted by two African-Americans.  Capitol Broadcasting sports radio operations manager/program director Dennis Glasgow comments, “We’re very pleased to give a local voice to all our morning sports radio listeners in Raleigh-Durham, but it’s clear that this diverse show we’ve assembled is giving the listener something different, entertaining and just plain fun every day with Reese and Kmac on Buzz Sports Radio.”

TALKERS News Notes. The host of the radio legal feature “Looking at the Law” is signing off after 42 years of hosting duties.  Neil Chayet announces he’s retiring from producing the feature that he and WBZ, Boston have been creating and syndicating across the country.  He comments, “While there is an endless supply of court cases and material to continue ‘Looking at the Law’ for years to come, I feel that 42 years is the right number for me and it leaves more time to continue the other passions I’ve worked on tirelessly over the years.”  WBZ director of news & programming Peter Casey adds, “You can hear an audible chuckle coming from cars all over New England as they listen to Neil on WBZ.”…..Midroll Media announces three new staffing additions.  Amy Fitzgibbons joins Midroll as vice president of marketing.  Laura Mayer is the new executive producer, and David Murray becomes vice president of finance and strategy. Fitzgibbons was most recently VP of marketing at PhotoShelter.  Mayer was in the podcast production department at Panoply, and Murray moves to Midroll from parent company E.W. Scripps where he was finance business partner…..Program host Kevin McCullough announces that the “Saturday SuperCast Radio Night LIVE!” is now airing on Salem Media Group’s KPXQ, Phoenix starting this weekend…..The NHL’s Boston Bruins and CBS RADIO Boston ink a multi-year extension for sports WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” to continue serving as the flagship radio station for play-by-play.  The Bruins have been with CBS Boston since they started airing on all-news WBZ-AM for the 1995-96 season…..Radio Vermont Group owner Ken Squier confirms to Vermont alternative weekly Seven Days that his stations are for sale.  Squier says he is looking to sell to an operator who will continue his family’s tradition of local programming.  Radio Vermont was launched by Squier’s father Lloyd with WDEV-AM, Waterbury (currently news/talk/sports) in 1931.  The company also operates classic hits WCVT, Stowe “101 The One” and country WLVB, Morrisville…..Westwood One nationally syndicated talk show host Mark Levin publishes his fifth book – this one titled, Rediscovering Americanism and the Tyranny of Progressivism (Threshold Editions 2017).  He tells the Washington Examiner, “My new book covers a lot of territory — philosophy, history, economics, law, culture, etc.  And I look deeply into what is meant by Americanism, republicanism, individualism, capitalism.  What do we mean by natural law, unalienable rights, liberty, and property rights?  From where do these principles come?  Why are they important?”

Trump-Russia Investigation Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 19-23. The special counsel investigation into possible ties between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was testimony by former Homeland Secretary Jeh Johnson and others about Russia’s attempts to hack the U.S. presidential election.  Coming in at #3 was the unveiling of the GOP health care plan, followed by the Georgia congressional race won by Karen Handel at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Mike Carruthers to Present Another in Series of Free Online Podcasting Workshops on Wednesday, June 28 at 1:00 pm ET.  Following the success of his recent podcasting webinar presented in conjunction with TALKERS magazine, noted broadcaster Mike Carruthers of Perfect Your Podcast will be presenting another free online podcasting workshop titled, “The 3 Essential Ingredients for a Successful Podcast.”  The workshop is designed to give instruction and guidance to broadcasters interested in expanding their programming and brand into the podcasting realm focusing on the steps necessary to gain traction in terms of increased listenership and revenue generating potential.  Carruthers is well known in radio for the many years of success he enjoyed as producer and host of the syndicated, short-form series, “Something You Should Know,” – now a long-form, lucrative hit on the iTunes chart as a podcast.  Carruthers tells TALKERS, “It is amazing how many people WANT to start a podcast – but never quite pull the trigger.  There are a lot of reasons why, but mostly it boils down to a lack of confidence, fear of having too much to learn, not knowing where to begin, and concern about the amount of time it can consume.  This workshop will greatly help to alleviate these issues.”  The free online workshop will take place this coming Wednesday, June 28 at 1:00 pm ET.  Space is limited, so those interested in participating should register now.  For more information and to register, please click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Punk legend and KLOS, Los Angeles disc jockey Steve Jones is receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  Cumulus Media notes that the host of KLOS’ “Jonesy’s Jukebox” program and guitarist for the Sex Pistols and Iggy Pop is recognized on Rolling Stone’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.”  He’s also the only radio personality to be honored with a star for the Walk of Fame Class of 2018…..Cumulus Media’s Detroit hot AC WDVD signs morning personality Blaine Fowler to a long-term contract extension.  “The Blaine Fowler Morning Show” has been heard on the station since 2003.  Cumulus Detroit director of FM programming Robby Bridges says, “Blaine and Lauren [Crocker] both are special talents and I’m thrilled they’ll make their magic on Detroit’s 96-3 WDVD for a long time to come.”…..Adams Radio Group announces some personnel changes in the Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland market.  Active rock WZBH “93.5 The Beach” program director Johnny Maze assumes the afternoon drive slot on the station, exiting his PM gig at sister classic rocker WGBG “BIG 98.5.”  Joining WZBH from the company’s Las Cruces, New Mexico operations is Carolina, who is named music director and midday personality.  She takes over for Leah Rantz, who recently joined Saga’s alternative WLZX, Springfield, Massachusetts.

PPM Analysis: Adult Hits. Managing editor Mike Kinosian turns to music formats for the third of his four-part series looking at the performances of radio stations based on data from the May 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, today looking at adult hits.  In analyzing 6+ performances comparing May 2016 to May 2017, he writes, “One of every two adult hits stations on this sample improve (50%) year-to-year; 40% decline; and 10% are flat.”  WQSR, Baltimore; WARH, St. Louis; and KJAQ, Seattle all rise more than a full share, year-over-year.  KBPA, Austin is the only adult hits station in a PPM market to rank #1 in the May survey.  See the rest of the data here.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

| June 22, 2017

Hugh Hewitt to Host Weekend Show on MSNBC. TVNewser is first with the report that Salem Radio Network talk show host Hugh Hewitt will begin hosting a Saturday morning show on MSNBC on Saturday (6/24).   The program will air live at 8:00 am ET.  Obviously, some will be surprised by the addition of conservative Hewitt joining the left-leaning cable news/talk channel, but as The Hollywood Reporter points out in its coverage of the story, MSNBC recently added former Fox News Channel personality Greta Van Susteren and former George W. Bush Administration communications staffer Nicole Wallace.  In illustrating the gains MSNBC has made over the last 12 months, THR also notes that Standard Media Index just released a report showing MSNBC’s ad rates are up 43% over last year’s.

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the second in a series of analyses based on data from the May 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, this time focusing on sports talk.  The return of Major League Baseball is usually good for sports talkers during summer ratings periods, and in this report, Kinosian concludes that, for the 6+ demo, “just over half the stations (53%) on the panel are up April 2017 – May 2017; one in four (25%) are down; and the remaining 22% of the sample is flat.”  However, “approximately two of every three eligible sports talk stations are down year-to-year (64%) while 26% improve; the remaining 10% are steady.”  Just five sports talkers ranked in the top five in their respective markets in the May 2017 survey, led by CBS RADIO’s WXYT-FM, Detroit at #2 (behind the company’s all-newser WWJ-AM).  See the entire report here.

Joey Hudson Rises to GM of Mike Gallagher Show. Longtime Mike Gallagher show team member Joey Hudson is named general manager for the Salem Radio Network syndicated talk show.  Hudson serves as executive director of the Gallagher’s Army: Fallen Officer Fund charity, a position in which he’ll continue to serve.  He’s also been GM of Salem-owned Caron Broadcasting’s WGTK-FM and WRTH-FM in Greenville, South Carolina.  He’ll leave that position.  Mike Gallagher says, “2017 has been the strongest year we’ve had in terms of affiliates, ratings and revenue for our national radio show.  Joey is the perfect person to oversee the growing daily operations of our show throughout the rest of 2017 and into the exciting future.”

Warren Franklin Named Morning Host at KYKN. In Salem, Oregon, iSalem Media news/talker KYKN announces that market pro Warren Franklin is named morning drive host.  In addition to handling the morning news and commentary duties, Franklin will do 15 live remote broadcasts each month.  KYKN program director (and afternoon air personality) Gator Gaynor says, “We are delighted to have someone of Warren’s ability and robust personality on our team.”

Edison Research and NPR Study Smart Speaker Owner Habits. There’s a lot of optimism on the part of radio station operators that the smart speaker – Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home, Apple’s Homepod – can bring radio listening back into the home.  NPR and Edison Research have partnered to research the habits of current smart speaker owners to see if that optimism is well grounded. The results of the “The Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research” will be revealed in part at a June 28 webinar.  Edison VP of strategy Tom Webster says, “Although Smart Speakers have not been around for very long, nearly one in five owners say that these devices are the way that they most often listen to audio.  The frictionless way in which these devices enable audio consumption is already changing listening behaviors, and potentially increasing audio consumption overall.”  The study consisted of a national online survey of 1620 Americans ages 18+.  Eight hundred respondents owned at least one smart speaker (160 Google Home, 709 Amazon Alexa-enabled, and 69 who owned both.) Eight hundred and twenty respondents did not own a smart speaker device and were surveyed for comparative purposes.

Starnes Keynotes Writer’s Conference. Pictured above is Fox News Radio host Todd Starnes serving as keynote speaker at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference.  During the event he also led workshops for more than 500 writers.  As TALKERS magazine reported yesterday, Starnes is launching a new, three-hour radio talk show on FNR on July 5.  See more about him at toddstarnes.com.

Central PA Host and GM Differ Offer Different Takes on Programming Policy.  By now you’ve heard about classic rock WTPA, Palmyra, Pennsylvania weekend personality Bruce Bond’s exit from the station after, as he claims, feeling forced to resign for being ordered not to talk critically about President Trump.  WTPA general manager Tim Michaels is now speaking out, telling Fox News that Bond was hired to do an entertainment program.  His orders were to not talk politics – nothing specific about being for or against Trump.  Obviously, that’s not how Bond expressed it when he first spoke to media about his exit.

New York Festivals 2017 International Radio Program Award Winners Announced. The big winner in this year’s New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards – the annual awards program honoring the World’s Best Radio Programs – was RTÉ Ireland which was presented with the prestigious title of Broadcaster of Year.  TBI Media UK was honored with Production Company of the Year.  RTÉ Radio Ireland earned an impressive 10 Gold trophies, 8 Silver, 10 Bronze, and 12 Finalist Certificates.  Among the United States winners were, SiriusXM, CBS RADIO Boston, Westwood One, ESPN, ABC Radio, and iHeartMedia.  See the entire list of winners here.

Edwards Returns to Lead Pubcaster WBEZ, Chicago.  Windy City media maven Robert Feder tips us that Steve Edwards is returning to public media outlet WBEZ, Chicago after five years away.  In 2012 Edwards – who hosted a popular two-hour afternoon show – left WBEZ to become executive director of the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics.  Now, he is set to lead WBEZ programming as vice president and chief content officer.  Read Feder’s story here.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Election Hacking Hearings, GOP Health Care Plan, Republican Handel Wins Georgia House Seat, Flint Airport Attack, Tropical Storm Cindy/Western Heatwave, ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ Controversy, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/21). The special counsel investigation into possible ties between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; yesterday’s testimony from former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and others about Russian election hacking; the Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act with a plan critics say is being devised behind closed doors; Republican Karen Handel wins the race for Georgia’s sixth congressional district seat; the attack on a police officer at the Flint, Michigan airport by a suspected radical Islamist; Tropical Storm Cindy approaches Louisiana and the Western U.S. heatwave; the controversy over ABC-TV’s ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ program; 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.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The new morning show at iHeartMedia’s WWYZ, Hartford “Country 92-5” is “Damon & Cory” – Connecticut radio pro Damon Scott and incumbent WWYZ morning personality Corey Myers.  iHeartMedia Hartford Region president Steve Honeycomb states, “We are excited that a well-known local personality like Damon Scott is joining longtime morning host, Cory Myers.  Damon Scott is a familiar name that has been on the radio in Connecticut for years.  He understands how to connect with listeners and the local community as well as what it takes to be successful in radio.”  Scott spent the past 27 years as PM drive host at CBS RADIO’s crosstown CHR WTIC-FM…..The new morning show is launched on Cumulus Media’s country WKHX, Atlanta “Kicks 101.5” and it’s called  “Caddy, CJ and Ali,” featuring Cadillac Jack, CJ and Ali Mac.  This comes after the recent move of former morning show co-host Dallas McCade to music director and midday personality.  Concurrent with the lineup changes, “Kicks 101.5” takes on the new slogan, “Georgia’s Country For Life.”…..The Tom Kent Radio Network signs a contract with SAG-AFTRA top become the first major independent American music syndication network to ratify such an agreement.  TKRN CEO and president Tom Kent states, “Our team is more than excited to become a SAG-AFTRA shop!  We embrace all of its principles and look forward to a long and prosperous future together.  Working with the head of SAG-AFTRA local Brian Lysell has been a total pleasure. Our current and future affiliates know how committed we have been to showcasing excellent talent and this deal is a major indication that our commitment will continue.”

iHeartMedia Throws VIP Party at Cannes. Hip hop star The Weeknd was the featured performer at the intimate VIP dinner hosted by iHeartMedia and MediaLink at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, France during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.  iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman, along with MediaLink CEO Michael Kassan and president/COO Wenda Harris Millard, hosted the party that – for the sixth consecutive year – brought together the “senior most-influential decision makers and thought leaders in the media ecosystem.”  Pictured above are (from l-r): Tom Poleman, chief programming officer for iHeartMedia; John Sykes, president of entertainment enterprises for iHeartMedia; The Weeknd; Michele Anthony, EVP of Universal Music Group; and Scott Borchetta, founder, president & CEO of Big Machine Label GroupPhoto by Tony Barson/Getty Images for iHeartMedia.

Wednesday, May 21, 2017

| June 21, 2017

Fox News Radio Unveils New Shows Featuring Todd Starnes and Tom Shillue.  The two new talk radio programs fill the afternoon daypart – the Todd Starnes show airing from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET (7/5) and the Tom Shillue show following from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET (7/10).  They replace the John Gibson and the Tom Sullivan shows, respectively.  Fox News Radio says both programs are nationally syndicated on terrestrial radio stations along with satellite and digital distribution on all multimedia and social platforms.  The programs will also be part of a new multi-media video component with live streaming capabilities on FOXNews.com for consumers and partners.  Additionally, Fox is renaming the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET “Kilmeade & Friends program “The Brian Kilmeade Show,” beginning on July 5.  Starnes has been with Fox since 2005 and is a featured columnist on FOXNews.com.  Shillue is a stand-up comedian and former host of Fox News Channel’s “Red Eye.”  He joined FNC in 2015 and remains a contributor to the network.  Previously, Shillue was a correspondent on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”  As for Gibson and Sullivan, John Gibson will continue hosting his program on the gibsonradio.com digital platform.  Similarly, Sullivan will host his radio program on a limited basis on tomsullivan.com.

Peter Thiele Named KARN-FM, Little Rock Program Director. Talk radio programming pro Peter Thiele is appointed program director for Cumulus Media’s KARN-FM, Little Rock “Newsradio 102.9.”  Cumulus Little Rock vice president and market manager Keith Liesmann states, “We are thrilled to have Peter join our team at Cumulus Little Rock.  Peter is a proven news/talk leader and we look forward to seeing KARN-FM continue to grow under his leadership.  Peter’s background and success in the format and his experience in many different radio markets makes him the perfect program director for Central Arkansas’ heritage news/talk station.”  Thiele has worked in markets including: New York, San Francisco, Minneapolis, San Antonio, Greenville/Spartanburg, and Huntsville.

Jim Philips to Retire from WTKS-FM, Orlando.  The 70-year-old radio pro told his listeners on Tuesday (6/20) that he’s leaving iHeartMedia’s hot talk ‘Real Radio 104.1’ and the radio business to retire after a career that’s spanned 30 years in Central Florida.  The Orlando Sentinel reports on Jim Philips’ announcement here, quoting his on-air announcement, “I’m retiring.  I’m not retiring from life, I’m just retiring from this business…Everything I can do on the air I’ve done. Everything.”

PPM Analysis: All-News. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of all-news stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2017 PPM survey.  This month, the report notes that “a whopping seven of 10 stations on the news panel are down April 2017 – May 2017 (70%); roughly one in five are up (18%) and the remaining 12% remain flat (6+)…year-to-year stats in the all-news format are considerably more encouraging than month-to-month figures, as nearly half the stations on our eligible sample improve May 2016 – May 2017 (47%, 6+); 41% show a decrease; and the remaining 12% are unchanged.”  Eight all-news stations ranked in the top five (6+) in their respective markets, with two – WWJ, Detroit and KCBS-AM, San Jose – ranking #1 in the May PPM survey.  See the entire report here.

Stephanie Miller Featured in LA Weekly Piece.  Talk radio star Stephanie Miller is the subject of a feature piece in LA Weekly that delves into her current media efforts taking on the Trump Administration, and serves as a retrospective of her radio, stage, TV and digital career.  Regular TALKERS readers know Miller’s history as a progressive talk show host and, more recently, her work headlining the successful “Sexy Liberal Comedy” tours (the current one dubbed the “Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour”).  In this story, TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison is quoted, speaking of her career (including her revenue-generating digital platform), “It’s an amazing feat.  She’s a major player in American talk radio, one of the biggest stars in internet talk and one of a handful of progressive hosts who have developed a large following of listeners from coast to coast.  She’s a pioneer in the evolution of radio from the 20th to the 21st century.”  Read the LA Weekly feature here.

TALKERS News Notes. The winners of this year’s Edward R. Murrow awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association are being announced and ABC News Radio grabs two – one for Excellence in Sound and another for Excellence in Writing.  ABC Radio vice president Steve Jones says, “The best radio journalism relies on vivid storytelling and riveting audio to transport listeners to the heart of a story.  I’m so proud that ABC News Radio was recognized with two Edward R. Murrow Awards for Excellence in Sound and Excellence in Writing thanks to the work of ABC’s Alex Stone and Scott Goldberg!”…..E.W. Scripps’ country-formatted KFDI, Wichita “101.3 Today’s KFDI” grabs a national Edward R. Murrow Award in the “Breaking News” category for its coverage of the 2016 workplace shooting in Hesston, Kansas.  KFDI operations manager Justin Case comments, “This is a significant recognition for the KFDI radio news team and our second national Murrow Award in as many years.  Our ability to provide urgent information to our community in a breaking news situation is at the core of what we do and it is truly rewarding to receive recognition of our efforts from the RTDNA.”…..CBS RADIO New York launches “FOMO New York City,” a daily e-newsletter that delivers the latest New York-centric news and updates right to a subscriber’s inbox.  It features stories from CBS RADIO New York’s radio stations and websites, plus select content from the most-read NYC media, including: The New York Times, Gothamist, TimeOut New York and others.  CBS RADIO New York SVP/market manager Marc Rayfield says, “FOMO New York City delivers top local news in an easy-to-read format that makes sense for how we live and consume media today.  As a leader in delivering the most up-to-the-minute news in the most fast-paced city in the nation, we are uniquely poised to reach busy New Yorkers at the start of their day.”…..A new culinary podcast starring Richard Blair, winner of Bravo’s “Top Chef” and “Top Chef All-Stars” launches on the PodcastOne platform.  PodcastOne says listeners will hear from anyone and everyone in the industry, including restaurateurs, television hosts, famous chefs, producers of cooking and competition shows and more.

Lars Larson Broadcasts from Baton Rouge.  Pictured above is KXL, Portland and Compass Media Networks talk radio personality Lars Larson (second from right) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where he was broadcasting from affiliate station WBRP.  Larson tells TALKERS magazine that some of the station’s hosts joined him on a panel discussion at the Baton Rouge City Club with U.S. Rep. Garrett Graves that was aired on WBRP.  Pictured (from l-r) are: WBRP hosts Clarence Buggs, Bill Profita, and Kevin Gallagher, Larson, and Rep. Graves.

Georgia Congressional Race, Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S.-Russia Military Tensions/Syria Strikes, Michael Brown-Ferguson Settlement, Uber CEO Resigns, New Saudi Heir, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/20). Republican Karen Handel beats Democrat Jon Ossoff for Georgia’s sixth congressional district seat; the special counsel investigation into possible ties between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the military tensions between the U.S. and Russia over recent U.S. strikes in Syria; the family of Michael Brown settles a civil suit against the city of Ferguson; Uber founder Travis Kalanick resigns his CEO post with the company; Saudi Arabia names 31-year-old Mohammed bin Salman successor to the throne; and Major League Baseball action among top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

C. Crane Earbuds Were a Big Hit at TALKERS Convention.  One of the unexpected hits at the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era was a product distributed to all attendees in the goodie bag – the new C. Crane’s “CC Buds Pro-Mic” earbuds that are specifically designed for talk radio listening on smartphones.  Here at TALKERS, we have been hearing nothing but rave reviews from those who received a pair at the event.  The vast majority of high-quality earbuds are built for music and have enhanced bass response.  C. Crane’s CC Buds-Pro have high-quality materials but are designed for voice clarity, allowing voices to cut through better.  They have accurate bass that’s similar to studio monitor-type bass response which is precise but not booming.  Six different earbud covers are provided for custom comfort.  Included are three sets of small, medium and large covers in soft silicone and the same three sizes in compressible foam. The foam covers provide enhanced bass and noise isolation.  Users can select the best fitting covers for their ears.  For more information about this talk radio-friendly product, please click here.

Where Is the Next Generation of Radio and Talk Media Talent Being Developed? Since the advent of consolidation, it is no secret that the small and medium market “farm system” that developed radio talent so effectively for decades has been decimated by budget cutbacks, syndication, automation and liner cards.  Local radio stations that were once hotbeds of activity and lots of entry level opportunities have largely been replaced by computerized, less populated, more sterile operations.  Fortunately, there are hopeful signs of life on college radio stations across America.  One of the leaders in this arena is Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York (the location of two recent presidential debates and 2016’s TALKERS convention).  The school’s famous WRHU was last year’s recipient of the NAB’s Marconi Award as best non-commercial station in the nation and Princeton Review rated it the nation’s best college radio station for two consecutive years.  Radio Hofstra University operations director John T. Mullen joins host Michael Harrison as this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out.”  They talk about the state of broadcasting going forward as well as the nature of millennials and today’s young radio hopefuls.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming and on-air pro Rex Long moves from Cumulus Media’s Montgomery cluster to the Colorado Springs operations to serve as program director and air talent for CHR KKMG “98.9 Magic FM.”  He’s been programming WHHY “Y102” in Montgomery.  Cumulus Colorado Springs OM Bobby Irwin states, “There were dozens of remarkable candidates for the position and Rex stood out as so positive and creative, with the leadership qualities that a station the size of ‘Magic FM’ deserves.”…..SiriusXM is airing Guns N’ Roses live show at Harlem’s Apollo Theater on July 20.  It’s a special, invitation-only concert for SiriusXM subscribers and it was announced on the Howard Stern show.  It’ll air on SiriusXM’s Guns N’ Roses Radio and the Howard 101 channel…..Non-commercial triple A WYMS, Milwaukee “88Nine Radio Milwaukee” is now broadcasting and streaming around the clock its new “414Music.fm” HD2 broadcast radio channel and mobile and online stream.  The new channel and stream from the Milwaukee Public Schools-run station is the first to broadcast only Milwaukee music, bolstering its commitment to play and support local bands.  Program director Jordan Lee says, “Radio Milwaukee is uniquely positioned to program an all-Milwaukee-music channel because of our focus on Milwaukee artists since we first went on air 10 years ago.  We’re proud to play all Milwaukee music because it rivals music from any city in the country.”

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

| June 20, 2017

WFAN, New York Celebrates 30 Years. On July 1, CBS RADIO is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the birth of sports talk radio outlet WFAN, New York.  In honor of the 1987 launch of the station, WFAN is celebrating with a special day of live broadcasts from Vanderbilt Hall inside the world famous Grand Central Terminal in midtown Manhattan this Thursday (6/22) from 6:00 am to 6:30 pm.  The day begins with a special broadcast of “Boomer & Carton,” (also simulcast on CBS Sports Network) followed by Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts, and Mike Francesa.  WFAN operations manager and CBS RADIO VP of sports programming Mark Chernoff comments, “We are proud to be a part of the fabric of New York sports.  WFAN has wonderful, appreciative and engaged listeners who are the backbone of the station, as well as leading talent, that together allow WFAN to achieve groundbreaking success and have helped the station become an institution in the Big Apple.  It is no coincidence that the station is nicknamed ‘The Fan,’ acting as a mouthpiece for die-hard sports enthusiasts.”

TALKERS News Notes. From his recent Twitter post, sports radio pro Kevin Sherrets announces he’s exiting CBS RADIO’s sports talk KHTK, Sacramento as a result of the station not renewing his contract.  Sherrets has been program director with the station since August of 2015…..CBS Radio News wins three Edward R. Murrow awards from the RTDNA for outstanding radio journalism, taking home the top award for “Overall Excellence” for the 11th time.  “The World News Roundup” was deemed “Best Newscast” for its coverage of the Baton Rouge police shooting and the opening day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. The broadcast was co-anchored with Peter King in Baton Rouge, Steve Futterman in Cleveland, and Steve Kathan, who anchors the program.  Coverage of the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando earned the staff the “Breaking News” honor…..AdLarge Media is repping the 2017 schedule of college football games being covered by Gino Torretta’s Touchdown Radio.  Its first game will be Ohio State at Indiana on August 31.  Torretta handles color analysis with Taylor Zarzour and Roxy Bernstein doing play-by-play…..Sun Broadcast Group signs chief operating officer Julio Aponte to a multi-year extension.  Under the agreement, Aponte continues to head the daily operations of Sun’s New York City and Boca Raton offices as well as oversee the company’s sales department…..Independent sales rep firm Regional Reps Corp. announces the signing of client Impact Radio Group of Boise…..Westwood One News correspondent Steve Kastenbaum is pictured at right accepting two silver awards from the New York Festivals International Award Competition for the World’s Best Radio Programs.  Westwood One was honored for Best Investigative Reporting for Kastenbaum’s “Dead People Voting” story and for Best Coverage of a Breaking News Story for the network’s coverage of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando.

Keeping Up with Every Word. WFAN, New York sports radio personality Richard Neer writes today about the tricky business of staying in tune with word usage changes and being sensitive to the public’s perception of certain words.  “Political correctness does serve a purpose and the concept was founded with good intentions. However, it has run amok. It is one thing to be aware that certain words are deemed offensive and to use them anyway, in defiance of accepted norms…It is frustrating when you’ve used a word your entire life without a second thought and with no bad intentions, only to be told it is hurtful and no longer appropriate. Sometimes, it feels that you must dance among raindrops to avoid stepping on anyone’s toes.”  Read Neer’s entire piece here.

Hugh Hewitt Keynotes Bold Gold Foundation Event. Nationally syndicated talk show host Hugh Hewitt is serving as the keynote speaker at The Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation’s 3rd Annual Event and Dinner on June 27 at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre.  The Salem Radio Network personality will speak about the role NEPA (Northeastern Pennsylvania) played in the 2016 election, the future of media, and the importance of the preservation of freedom of speech.   At the event, Pocono Raceway president and CEO Brandon Igdalsky will be honored with the Bold Gold Foundation’s ‘Atlas Award for Citizenship.’  The non-profit Bold Gold Broadcast & Media Foundation – formed by Bold Gold Media Group president Vince Benedetto – works to help young professionals enter broadcast media fields, with an emphasis on news and talk formats.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Georgia U.S. House Special Election, U.S.-Russia Syria Tensions, Sean Spicer Speculation, Otto Warmbier Dies, London Mosque Attack, Trump-Tech CEOs Meeting, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/19). The special counsel investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents, and whether the president himself is under investigation; the special election between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel for Georgia’s sixth congressional district seat; military tensions between the U.S. and Russia over the downing of a Syrian fighter jet by U.S. forces; speculation about White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer stepping down from that position; the death of former North Korean prisoner Otto Warmbier; the attack on Muslim worshippers in London by a man driving a vehicle; Monday’s meeting between President Trump and some of the nation’s tech CEOs; and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Change has come to morning drive – and at least one other daypart – at Cumulus Media’s country WKHX, Atlanta “Kicks 101.5.”  The station announces that morning show personality Dallas McCade is being promoted to music director.  With this move she departs the “Cadillac Jack and Dallas Mornings” program but will remain on air in another, yet-to-be announced daypart.  At the same time, morning show co-host Cadillac Jack says he’ll be off the air until Thursday morning (6/22), when the station reveals its new morning show lineup…..Erin Vermeulen joins WCSX, Detroit’s “Classic Rock Mornings: with Big Jim O’Brien as the newest member of the show, effective July 10.  Most recently with iHeartMedia on KFI, Los Angeles’ Bill Handel show, Vermeulen began her radio career on the former WYUR, Detroit.  WCSX program director Jerry Tarrants says, “Choosing a native Detroiter with a wealth of global experience was a no-brainer for us.  Erin will be a great on-air complement and partner to Big Jim O’Brien.”…..In New Orleans, Cumulus Media flips frequencies for its country and alternative rock stations.  The alternative format moves from WZRH at 106.1 to its new home as WRKN, branded “ALT 92.3 FM.”  The “NASH” format slides up the dial to the 106.1 position.  Cumulus says the “frequency flip brings alternative tock to two-thirds of Louisiana’s total population and comes in response to the increasing demand for alternative rock in the Gulf South among men and women equally, primarily among those aged 18 to 44.”  The alt rock format was originally launched in the market in 2015 as “106.1 the underground alternative.”…..WMGK, Philadelphia morning personality John DeBella, via his “11th Annual John DeBella Veterans Radiothon,” helps raise more than $154,000 to benefit local veterans through the Veterans Multi-Service Center.  The VMC provides services, programs, opportunities and advancement to veterans…..Last week, Premiere Networks-syndicated personalities John Boy and Billy were honored with the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters’ 2017 Hall of Fame Award for their outstanding contributions to the broadcast industry in North Carolina…..Pandora has let go of its only FM radio station, selling KXMZ, Box Elder, South Dakota (Rapid City market) to Haugo Broadcasting for $300,000.  It bought the station from Connoisseur Media for $600,000 in 2013 in hopes that it could use its status as owner of a terrestrial station to lower its royalty payments.

Monday, June 19, 2017

| June 19, 2017

Bill O’Reilly Touts New Operation; Promises ‘Grisly’ News About His Fox Ouster. At a performance at the NYCB Theatre in Westbury (Long Island) on Saturday, former Fox News Channel personality Bill O’Reilly told attendees, “In the weeks to come, there will be a bunch of news stories that will explain what happened and why it happened,” regarding his exit from FNC.  “It’s pretty grisly.  It’s pretty nasty.  It has to do with far-left progressive organizations that are bent on destroying anybody with whom they disagree, including the president.”  This is according to CNN, which covered his “The Spin Stops Here Tour” that includes former Westwood One talk host (and ‘SNL’ alum) Dennis MillerNewsday also covered the event and reports O’Reilly promoted the efforts of his eponymous website.  “But I am starting my own operation.  We are going to do that.”  He says they will being airing a new, half-hour newscast “where we will go into a studio and it will look like ‘The Factor.’  It’s basically an experiment to see how many people are going to want this service.  That’s coming and will be here before September in a robust form.  But I suspect there will be another network maybe merging with us.  There will be a network that rises up because the numbers for Fox are going down.”  However, the CNN report also indicates he’s not exactly predicting the death of FNC, answering a question from the audience about starting a TV network to compete with Fox, “Don’t underestimate it.  The Fox brand is very strong.  They have a lot of talent.  But if you want to get into that game, you need about $200 million.”

KBME, Houston Moves Josh Innes to AM Drive in Schedule ShuffleWith the impending departure of Lance Zierlein from the station at the end of his contract, “The Proper Gentlemen of Sports” morning drive show will disappear and current afternoon personality Josh Innes will move to mornings, effective July 17. Zierlein’s co-host Matt Thomas moves to the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart. “In the Trenches with Koch & Kalu” moves up an hour to 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, and “The Bottom Line” moves from middays to afternoon drive. Joining “Bottom Line” hosts Adam Clanton and Sean Jones will be Jayson Braddock. iHeartMedia director of AM programming Bryan Erickson states, “We’ve received a lot of great feedback since Josh joined ‘SportsTalk 790.’ Love him or hate him, he’s one of the most passionate guys on the radio right now and that resonates with sports fans.”

Reynolds Appointed Marketing/Promotions Director for iHM Portland. Radio pro Susan Reynolds joins the Portland operations of iHeartMedia as marketing/promotions director.  The cluster includes news/talk KEX “News Radio 1190,” sports talk KPOJ “Rip City Radio,” country K279BO “103.7 The Legend,” rock KFBW “105.9 The Brew,” hip hop KXJM “JAM’N 107.5,” classic hits KLTH “106.7 The Eagle,” CHR KKRZ “Z100,” and adult contemporary KKCW “K103.”  Reynolds’ experience includes time spent as a freelance publicist for various lifestyle clients; talk show producer at CJAD-AM, Montreal; director of marketing and promotion for Alpha Media Portland; and marketing and promotions director for KSOL, San Francisco.

Second Annual Hubbard Radio Talent Institute Begins at Central Washington University. Today begins the second annual Hubbard Radio Talent Institute at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington.  Hubbard Radio chair and CEO Ginny Morris leads the opening session of the 10-day institute.  She says, “Compelling and relatable on-air talent is what separates local radio from all other audio entertainment services.  Our investment in the National Radio Talent System at Central Washington University is an extension of Hubbard Radio’s commitment to do our part to nurture and grow the talent pipeline for the industry.  We are proud to partner with Dan Vallie and his team in this important initiative.”  Hubbard president Drew Horowitz will close the institute with his session titled, “Now is the Time to Start Thinking like a Pro.”  Students from various universities in the state and region accepted into the program will learn from radio pros from Hubbard, Bonneville, Alpha Media, Entercom, Townsquare Media, and others.  Each student will be certified as a Radio Marketing Professional by RAB.

TALKERS News Notes. Effective today, KSOO, Sioux Falls, South Dakota moves Fox News Radio’s “Kilmeade & Friends” with Brian Kilmeade from the delayed evening broadcast to a live airing from 8:00 am to 11:00 am CT…..Fred Weinberg is the new CEO of USA Radio’s parent company, Anthem Broadcasting LLC.  He announces in a press release that Corrie Creasman is now news director for the network and that USA content is being distributed digitally via VPN…..This year’s NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner and Show, taking place on September 7 at the 2017 Radio Show in Austin, is being emceed by Reach Media-syndicated personality Rickey Smiley…..Rock’n Robin Productions and ABC Radio announce that Robin Roberts’ podcast series “Robin Roberts: Everybody’s Got Something” returns on Wednesday (6/21).  The 10-episode series will continue to feature aspirational, positive and intimate discussions that ABC says resonated so deeply with listeners in season one.  ABC Radio vice president Steve Jones comments, “After a debut season filled with candid and uplifting conversations, we are thrilled to have Robin return with 10 new emotionally satisfying episodes for listeners.”

Trump-Russia Investigation, Iran Attacks Syrian ISIS Targets, USS Fitzgerald Collision, Megyn Kelly-Alex Jones Interview, GOP Baseball Shooting, Kaepernick Police Comments, U.S. Open, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The special counsel investigation into possible links between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and debate over whether President Donald Trump himself is being investigated; Iran launches missiles into Syria at ISIS targets in response to Tehran terror attacks; the deaths of seven sailors in the collision of the USS Fitzgerald with a merchant marine vessel; the controversy over Megyn Kelly’s Sunday broadcast of her interview with Infowars’ Alex Jones; the status of U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise and the attack on the GOP baseball practice; Colin Kaepernick’s comments that police are comparable to runaway slave patrols after the ‘not guilty’ verdict in the case against officer Jeronimo Yanez; Brooks Koepka wins the U.S. Open; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

KGO’s Ethan Bearman on Fox News Channel’s ‘The Specialists.’  The screen capture above is from KGO, San Francisco midday talk host Ethan Bearman’s recent appearance on Fox News Channel’s “The Specialists” program.  The show makes regular use of radio talk show hosts.

 

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Air personality Aimee Montgomery shifts from Beasley Media Group’s hot AC KVGS “Star 107.9” to adult contemporary W268CS “Lite 101.5” as midday host, effective July 5.  Montgomery joined “Star 107.9” in 2015 and most recently served as a co-host of the morning show and worked as local on-air liaison/producer for the “Brooke and Jubal” program.  Beasley Las Vegas operations manager John Candelaria comments, “We have witnessed Aimee’s great attitude, effort, and dedication.  We look forward to her applying these same skills across the hall on ‘Lite FM.’”…..Programming pro Joshua Raiford, a.k.a. J1, moves from Urban One’s Indianapolis cluster where he was PD of hip hop WHHH “Hot 96.3” and CHR W275BD “Boom 102.9” to Washington to program the company’s hip hop WKYS.  Raiford comments, “I’m humbled, honored and excited about this great opportunity.  I thank God first and foremost, and I would also like to thank Jay Stevens, Jeff Wilson, and Kashon Powell for selecting me for this tremendous responsibility.”…..Longtime triple A WXRT, Chicago personality Wendy Rice is leaving the station.  She’s been the host of “Saturday Morning Flashback” for more than 30 years.  Rice married then-station PD Norm Winer in 1987 and works full time as a middle school teacher.  Taking over her duties will be WXRT’s Frank E. Lee and Johnny Mars who will rotate as host of the 8:00 am to 11:00 am program…..There are three moves to report from CBS RADIO’s Philadelphia cluster from VP of music programming Shelly EastonMark Radziewicz (a.k.a. Razz) of country WXTU, Nicky G. of classic hits WOGL, and Michael Bennett of adult contemporary WTDY all add assistant program director to their titles.  All three remain music directors for their stations…..Brian Fisher is upped to operations manager at Curtis Media Group’s Boone, North Carolina cluster.   Fisher will continue to host the 11:00 am to 2:00 ppm show on country duo WMMY/WWMY “Highway 106.1 and 102.3” and handle operations at news/talk WATA-AM/W243DH and Gospel WECR…..Beasley Media Group launches a “Southern”-based format on W234BY, Charlotte branded “94.7 Smoke.”  Beasley says “the core of the playlist will be Southern rock, however, ‘94.7 Smoke’ will also play anything it deems ‘Southern,’ including both local and new artists.  In addition, the station will focus all things deemed ‘Southern,’ including hunting, fishing, four-wheeling, pick-up trucks, cold beer, horseshoes, great BBQ, Myrtle Beach, The Smokies, NASCAR and more!”

CBS RADIO’s KNCI, Sacramento Forced to Apologize for Artist Snub. This is one that CBS RADIO’s country KNCI, Sacramento would like to have back.  Up-and-coming artist Lindsay Ell was scheduled to be part of a station appearance at KNCI by country artists in town on Brad Paisley’s “Weekend Warrior World Tour.”  But, Lindsay happens to be dating air personality Bobby Bones and his show airs on iHeartMedia’s crosstown KBEB “92.5 The Bull.”  So, the station “uninvited” her.  She tweeted about the incident, apologizing to her fans.  Meanwhile, “The Bull” took the bull by the horns and declared it Lindsay Ell Day and played her single, “Waiting on You,” every hour on the hour.  Realizing its error, KNCI subsequently tweeted out the following, “Lindsay is an amazingly talented, up-and-coming artist and today we regrettably made a bad decision to cancel her show.  We only hope that she — and our listeners — will forgive us, and that Lindsay and her team will allow us to reschedule the show.”