Syndication Reality: The Need for Measurable Audience

| April 23, 2014

By Tony Garcia
Global Media Services
Founder

garciatonywriterDENVER — I was talking with a prospective client about sponsorship and revenue generation. He was having a hard time getting his head wrapped around the whole idea of audience aggregation.

“My show is about outdoor grilling.  Why wouldn’t Omaha Steaks want to sponsor it?” It’s a logical question, and one that just about everyone just starting out asks. Is it possible? Sure. Is it likely? No.

I know what you are thinking: “What about that guy who has that weekend show?” There are several shows of this nature that are very successful. But those are special cases, and their revenue comes more from supplemental revenue channels than from network advertisers. There are also some highly specialized podcasters who are making money because they target an extremely narrow niche that can’t be reached any other way. We’re talking about general appeal programming here.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

| April 23, 2014

talbottjuliePremiere Networks President Julie Talbott Named Woman of the Year.  The editorial board of TALKERS has named Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott as the 2014 recipient of the Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Talk Radio Industry by a Woman.  The honor, also known as “Woman of the Year,” will be presented to Talbott by last year’s recipient, Heather Cohen, EVP of The Weiss Agency, at the forthcoming Talkers New York 2014 conference on Friday, June 20 as one of the highlights of an awards ceremony at which presentations will also be made for “Lifetime Achievement,” Humanitarian of the Year,” and Freedom of Speech (the recipients of which have yet to be announced).  In addition to Cohen, past recipients of this prestigious award include Robin Bertolucci, Stephanie Miller, Laurie Cantillo, Grace Blazer, Kim Komando, Laura Ingraham, Randi Rhodes, Lynn Distler, Adriane Gaines, Ellen2014 NYC logo 150 Ratner, Gloria Allred, Lisa Evers and its namesake Judy Jarvis, the late independent talk radio syndication pioneer for whom it was first presented posthumously.   Upon announcing the board’s choice of Julie Talbott, TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “We all look forward to the day that a special award to a female member of the talk radio community is no longer relevant or necessary – but if you look at the breakdown of the numbers of men versus women in the business, it is clear that we have not yet reached that day.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison adds, “We couldn’t be more delighted having the opportunity to honor Ms. Talbott for her achievements and contributions to not just talk but the entire spectrum of popular radio over the years. She is a bright, creative, dignified and extremely inspirational role model for young women looking to build a career in the radio broadcasting industry.”  Julie Talbott started her career in advertising at BBDO, where she spent five years as supervisor of media planning and buying.  Her love of radio took her to MJI Broadcasting, where she spent 19 years.  As COO of MJI Broadcasting, Talbott was instrumental in growing the company from five people to more than 150.  In 1999, Premiere Networks acquired MJI Broadcasting.  At that time, Talbott joined Premiere as senior vice president of integrated marketing solutions, focusing on advertising sponsorships.  In 2003, she was promoted to executive vice president, affiliate relations.  In that role, she oversaw a staff that increased affiliations for programs hosted by Jim Rome, Glenn Beck, George Noory, Bob and Tom, Steve Harvey, Keith Sweat, Elvis Duran, Fox Sports Radio and others.  In 2009, Talbott was named VP, content and affiliate relations for Premiere Networks and then promoted in September 2012 to extend that title to Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s National Media Groups.  In January of this year, she was promoted to president of Premiere Networks.  In her current role, Talbott continues to oversee the operation of Premiere Networks radio programs and services and manage business partnerships with talent, while leading and maintaining key affiliate relationships to sell and service Premiere Networks, Total Traffic & Weather Network and iHeartRadio.  A native of Kentucky, Talbott received her B.A. from the University of Kentucky and attended the Business Strategy Program at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business in 1996.  Talbott lives with her husband and three children in New York.  For information about registering for Talkers New York 2014 please call 413-565-5413.

kwqw logoCumulus Makes Over KWQW, Des Moines.  Gone is the “Wow FM” brand and in is “98.3 The Torch – Common Sense Radio” on Cumulus Media news/talker KWQW.  New program director Robert Rees takes over the morning drive slot on air and WMAL, Washington-based Chris Plante as well as Cox Media’s Herman Cain make way for Westwood One’s Dennis Miller and Premiere’s Glenn Beck in middays.   About his new gig, Rees says, “I’m excited to be here in Des Moines to get people to talk about and laugh about all aspects of life during their morning drive.  Plus, we’ll get them all of the traffic, news and weather information they need to start their day!”

pagliarulojoeJoe Pags Returns to KPRC, Houston.  Beginning on Monday, April 28, WOAI, San Antonio-based Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo will also be heard on Clear Channel’s Houston news/talk KPRC as his afternoon show will be simulcast on both stations from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  In addition to his daily work on WOAI and KPRC, Joe Pags is also heard on Clear Channel’s syndicated “The Weekend” on Saturdays and on KOA, Denver from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Saturdays.

garciatonySyndication Reality:  Measurable Audience Needed.  The latest piece from Global Media Services founder Tony Garcia published in TALKERS today (4/23) focuses on the reality that some broadcasters with syndication programming ideas don’t want to hear: It takes measureable audience to get the attention of agency people.  Garcia writes that for any general interest radio program, the fact is that “media buyers look for large audience metrics.”  Garcia says that means listeners, not necessarily affiliate stations.  For more, read Garcia’s column here.

murrow2014RTDNA Names Regional Murrow Award Winners.   The complete list of winners is too extensive to print here.  You can check out the full list, by region, here.  But some of the stations who took a moment to promote their victories included Cumulus Media’s KGO, San Francisco which won the 2014 Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence which includes the categories of breaking news, continuing coverage, features and in-depth web and digital media presence.  KGO OM Ron Escarsega comments, “There were lots of big stories to cover in 2013: the Asiana plane crash at SFO in July, two BART strikes that disrupted commutes for thousands of people and the U.S. Supreme Court decision that led to the resumption of gay marriages in California.  But there were other stories, too, everything from the opening of the new span of the Bay Bridge to features, like the one about a guitar prodigy struggling with ALS. I’m very proud of the entire news team for coming together to provide comprehensive coverage for our listeners.”  Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington was also honored for Overall Excellence in addition to being recognized in the following categories: Breaking News – Coverage of the Navy Yard Shooting; Feature Reporting – “V-E Day” by Reporter Kristi King; Sport Reporting – “Capital’s Dentist” by Sports Reporter Jonathan Warner; Hard News Feature – “United Pets” by Lori Lundin; WTOP senior news director Mike McMearty adds, “It is always an honor to be recognized with an Edward R. Murrow award.  It’s especially gratifying when you win more than any other station in, what I believe is, one of the most competitive markets in the country.  These awards are a reflection of the hard work and dedication of the entire WTOP newsroom staff and would not be possible without the freedom to experiment granted by our program director Laurie Cantillo.”

theblaze radio networkPremiere Networks Distributing TheBlaze Memorial Day Special.  The title of the show is, “Freedom: Love It or Lose It,” and it’s a production of Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze Radio Network.  It’s an “exclusive three-hour Memorial Day radio special…featuring the hosts, writers and editors of TheBlaze and TheBlaze.com, including: Doc Thompson, Buck Sexton, Jay Severin and others.  From personal stories to conversations about the meaning of the holiday, listeners will be treated to a special tribute to those who fought and gave their lives to defend our freedom, and the loved ones who support them.”  Premiere says it’s available for news/talk stations to air between May 24 and 26.

smulyanNASDAQEmmis’ Jeff Smulyan Sits Down for NASDAQ Interview to Promote Radio Business.  Some of the crew of Emmis Communications’ New York stations rang the closing bell at the NASDAQ last Friday and while visiting the exchange, CEO Jeff Smulyan sat down with journalist Kelsey Hubbard to appear on NASDAQ’s CEO Signature Series.  Smulyan promoted his company’s efforts behind getting the FM chips in cell phones activated and in pushing the NextRadio platform.  When asked about his company’s ability to prosper versus competitors including SiriusXM and Pandora, Smulyan stated that SiriusXM is a subscription service and implied it will always face challenges because of that.  As for Pandora, he said his company has been streaming for 18 years and he’s yet to meet anyone who’s making money at it.  “The cost structure is very different and I think that’s at the heart of it.”  Watch the video here.

lionelLionel to Appear at Big Apple’s Cutting Room with Live Talk and Music Show.  Maverick radio and television talk personality Lionel will be “playing” at the Cutting Room, an innovative midtown New York City nightclub owned by actor Chris Noth, and known for its dedication to excellent live music and performances.  Lionel, whose commentaries are seen by New Yorkers on WPIX-TV channel 11, tells TALKERS, “Don’t call it stand up!”  Lionel’s in-person presentation consists of a unique mixture of spoken word and music – described as “extreme thought and critical thinking” — along with the live music of his bluegrass trio, Lock ‘n Load.  The one-night performance takes place at the Cutting Room, 44 East 32nd Street in Manhattan on Saturday, May 10 at 8:00 pm.  Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door.  For more information call 212-691-1900 or click here.

highschoolradioday14This is High School Radio Day.  More specifically, it is the third annual such event.  WBFH, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (suburban Detroit) station manager Pete Bowers is credited with founding/scheduling the inaugural High School Radio Day in May 2012, as well as last April’s follow-up.  Estimating there are 200 high schools in the nation with an over-the-air non-commercial, educational radio station or an internet-only or online radio station, Bowers comments, “The number of terrestrial stations is dropping, but the number of online stations is increasing.  Some of those are applying for LPFM construction permits.  That is why we must unite on High School Radio Day and make the public aware of what we do, how we do it, and the service we provide our communities.”  In 2012, 31 schools from 16 states registered for the event, compared to 52 schools from 32 states last year.  Today’s activities planned by participating stations are found at www.highschoolradioday.com.  Also on the website are names of participating high schools with links to their websites and online streams of their programming.

CBSdcmayorCelebrating CBS RADIO’s Move to DC.  On Monday, TALKERS reported the plans CBS RADIO has to move its six-station cluster from its current offices in Lanham, Maryland to a newly re-developed part of Washington, DC – the Capitol Riverfront.  Pictured here at the Monday afternoon press conference at the site of the office building on Half Street SE are (from left to right): Mayor Vincent C. Gray, senior vice president/market manager of CBS RADIO Washington, DC, Steve Swenson, and CBS RADIO president and CEO Dan Mason.

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cbsphillyCBS Philly Partners for ‘Broad Street Run.’  The coming Blue Cross Broad Street Run on May 2-4 is being sponsored in part by The City of Philadelphia Department of Parks & Recreation and CBS RADIO Philadelphia.  The company’s five radio stations are providing marketing, media and programming support as well as secure sponsorships for the famed race to grow the event “Beyond Broad Street.”  This marks the run’s 35th anniversary.  City official Michael DiBerardinis states, “The megaphone the CBS RADIO stations and CBSPhilly.com bring to the event is unparalleled.  They have a proven track record working as close business partners with some of the City’s most iconic events such as the Stotesbury Cup Regatta and the Philadelphia Flower Show.  We are excited to have them as partners.”

Russian Aggression in Ukraine/U.S. Troops Exercise in Eastern Europe, SCOTUS Affirmative Action Decision, U.S. al Qaeda Drone Strikes, 2016 Presidential Race/Mid-Term Elections, and South Korea Ferry Disaster Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/22).  Growing concerns over Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and the arrival of U.S. troops in Poland as exercises in Eastern Europe begin; the Supreme Court’s decision to again strike the Affirmative Action policy in Michigan; the United States’ use of drones to hit al Qaeda targets in Yemen kills 55 suspected terrorists; speculation about the candidates for president in 2016 and the looming mid-term elections this fall; the crew of the South Korean Ferry that capsized faces charges after allegedly failing in its duty to passengers were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

| April 22, 2014

dentonbillCC LA Moves Denton to AMs Duty.   According to Don Barrett’s LARadio.com, Clear Channel Media + Entertainment’s Los Angeles cluster is shifting general sales manager Bill Denton’s responsibilities from CHR KIIS and alternative KYSR to its AM properties – news/talk KFI, conservative talker KEIB, and sports talk KLAC.  The piece goes on to report that Denton’s skills in generating income for radio stations are well known in the market (CC reportedly lured him away from CBS last year) and that CC management would like him to put his talents to work on the AMs which have reported recent revenue decreases.  This move comes as an estimated six sales staffers exit the LA cluster in a company-wide move that some are reporting eliminated up to 300 jobs nationally.  Read the LARadio.com piece here.

bustellmikeHubbard Radio Names Bustell VP of Market Research.  The company creates a new position, vice president of market research and brings The Media Audit’s Mike Bustell aboard to fill the role.  Hubbard Radio EVP and COO Drew Horowitz states, “I am thrilled to have someone of Mike’s caliber joining Hubbard Radio to create an entirely new revenue stream for the company.  In a slow growth or no growth environment it is incumbent on us to develop new revenue models to keep our business on a growthhubbardradio logo trajectory.  Mike will bring an innovative approach to our sales teams helping them develop new revenue categories and expand our current account expenditures with programs that deliver results.”  Bustell served as executive vice president of sales and marketing at The Media Audit and major market manager for Impact Resources.  Bustell comments, “It’s an honor to come to work for Hubbard Radio.  I’ve had the pleasure of working with many of their stations, managers, and salespeople throughout the country, many for as long as 20 years.  Hubbard is the finest, private, family-owned broadcaster in America.  They win awards, serve their communities, and dominate in ratings, and revenue generation.  They play to win and have great values and a great history.  I can’t wait to dive into all their research tools and assist their stations help more local advertisers and industries achieve growth.”

iheartradio newNew iHeartRadio Networks Unveiled.  A press statement from Clear Channel says its new advertising platform is a “unified one-of-a-kind platform [that] will better maximize Clear Channel’s powerful collection of assets, providing the targeted impact marketers need ― and what they are accustomed to receiving from television networks.”  The company explains, “This new Network offers advertisers’ access to Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s 840 live radio stations, plus popular digital channels, local website properties, nationally-syndicated programs and satellite radio channels.  The network also includes specialized and proprietary options like talent endorsements, organic DJ mentions and product placements, commercial roadblock messaging across the entire network and nimble copy change capability since all the assets are owned and operated by Clear Channel.”  Clear Channel Networks president Darren Davis comments, “The new unified network has the tremendous capability to give advertisers the massive reach they’d expect from a radio or television network, but with the effective frequency and enhancements not typically available in the network advertising space.  It’s truly the best way for a brand to reach American consumers in a much more affordable way than television networks – and with greater ROI.”  The company is also introducing a range of iHeartRadio Targeted Networks designed to effectively reach specific demographic and psychographic groups – including Country, Hispanic, African-American, Millennial, Women, Men and Holiday.

corcoranmacJC Corcoran Begins Digital Venture.  Along with his former KIHT “K-Hits” producer/partner Laurie Mac, longtime St. Louis radio personality JC Corcoran (pictured here with Mac) is debuting his new digital program title, appropriately, “The Digital Showgram.”  Corcoran worked in the St. Louis market for 29 years before leaving last year to host mornings at Clear Channel’s classic rock KKRW, Houston (which subsequently flipped to hip hop as “93.7 The Beat”).   Corcoran’s show streams live from 6:30 to 8:00 am daily and then goes into podcast mode.  Corcoran is operating on a subscription model at $9.99 per month.  He says, “We are a commercial-free, entertaining talk show for St. Louis.  We’re giving the audience almost exactly what they got during our terrific run that ended in 2009, but without the commercials, clutter, filler and music repetition we know they detest.”  JC says his early sign-off time makes him available for additional broadcast opportunities.  His programing is available at jcontheline.com.

ppmunitFourth Round of March PPM Data Released.  PPM data from the fourth and final group of 12 markets for the March 2014 period (February 27 – March 26) has been released by Nielsen Audio.  Those markets include: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all the (subscriber) numbers here.  Managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian offers his “Ten Takeaways” from the report at RadioInfo.com here.

rtdna logoHofstra University’s Bob Papper Releases Annual News Director Survey.  You’ll find Hofstra University Professor Emeritus Bob Papper’s annual news director study at the RTDNA site here.  Some of the interesting results include the following: Radio news directors are more stable in their jobs compared to their television brethren, staying with their station for an average of just over 9 years relative to TV’s 2 years in major markets and 3 years in large and medium markets; also, the average age of both TV and radio news directors is 49.

kbme logoKBME, Houston Tweaks Program Schedule.  The air schedule at Clear Channel’s sports talk KBME, Houston is being shuffled as the Fox Sports Radio Network-syndicated “Jay Mohr Sports” program moves to early evenings and the station reverts to live and local during the day.  The Houston Chronicle reports that Matt Thomas moves from the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm show to the 11:00 am to 2:00 pm slot currently occupied by Mohr, and Charlie Pallilo’s show slides down from the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot to the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm time slot.  The paper says ratings show a dramatic drop-off during the first hour of Mohr’s program.

ktarlogoBonneville’s KTAR-FM Honored with Four Regional Murrows.  Phoenix market news/talk KTAR-FM is the recipient of four Edward R. Murrow regional awards, from the Radio Television Digital News AssociationBonneville Phoenix VP and market manager Scott Sutherland says, “We are thrilled that the KTAR news team is once again being recognized for producing first-rate journalism that makes a difference in our community.”  The four awards were for: Continuing Coverage: “Tragedy at Yarnell Hill” – KTAR news, talk, and digital content teams; News Series: “Immigration: Seeking Solutions” – Jim Cross, Aaron Granillo, Sandra Haros, Bob McClay, Martha Maurer, talk show, and digital content teams; Reporting, Sports: “Hoops History on Wheels” – Aaron Granillo; Use of Sound: “Miracle League” – Aaron Granillo.

wmgc sportslogoOdds & Sods.  According to Crain’s Detroit Business, Detroit Pistons basketball will move from its current home at CBS RADIO Detroit to Greater Media’s new sports talk outlet WMGC “Detroit Sports 105.1.”  The story reports Greater Media will make an announcement later today but also quotes CBS Detroit market manager Deb Kenyon stating her company decided not to bid on a renewal after considering the terms…..WKNR, Cleveland sports talk host Tony Rizzo will not serve any jail time after he pleaded “no contest” to a reduced “persistent disorderly conduct” charge in connection with a December incident during which his wife Catherine reported Rizzo struck her.  Rizzo was sentenced to 30 days with 27 suspended and received credit for the three days he served…..Hubbard Radio’s WXOS, St. Louis “101 ESPN Radio” announces it has renewed its deal to serve as the flagship for St. Louis Rams football play-by-play.  The multi-year deal includes current Rams Radio on-air personalities Steve Savard and D’Marco Farr continuing in their roles on game days and throughout the week…..SiriusXM is adding a new show called “OurTime with Matthew Segal” to the lineup on its P.O.T.U.S. channel.  SiriusXM calls it a “new six-week series produced by and for Millennial listeners…each episode will be organized by theme and dedicated to a non-partisan discussion that offers a fresh, in-depth dialogue of issues faced by the nation today, including health care, the budget, education, LGBT equality, and voting rights.”  Segal is founder of OurTime.org.

unlogo blueTalk Radio Day at the United Nations Set for Thursday, June 19.  TALKERS magazine announces the next installment of its annual international initiative, “Talk Radio Day at the United Nations.”  Presented in conjunction with Talk Radio News Service and in association with the United Nations Foundation, the event consists of a massive radio row held in the heart of the United Nations’ iconic headquarters on the East Side of Manhattan.  Approximately 25 talk show hosts and programs from around the country are given the opportunity to do live shows or simply record interviews on the scene for later playback with a wide variety of special guests including UN officials, foreign ambassadors, international policy experts and representatives of the arts and sciences from around the world.  “This is one of our most prideful annualtrns logo events,” states TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “and I am absolutely delighted that – in spite of the technical and tactical challenges presented by a project of this complexity and enormity – we are able to produce yet another installment in 2014.”  Harrison says, “It accomplishes a number of important things – most notably, it gives a variety of talk show hosts and millions of their listeners in every corner of the country the opportunity to shift gears and discuss international news stories of significant consequence that rarely, if ever, are covered or discussed in the mainstream American media.  Some of these stories have staggering implications on war, peace, life and death.”  Harrison also points out, “Hosts of just about every political and ideological persuasion have raved about this event over the many years we have been doing it saying that it has proven to be a personally rewarding experience for them as much as it has provided a spectacular bit of special programming to their stations and networks.”  “Talk Radio Day at the United Nations” will conveniently take place the day before Talkers New York 2014 when many talk show hosts are already in New York City.  Hosts already on board include Alan Colmes of Fox News RadioDoug Stephan of the “Good Day” show; Larry Young of WOLB, Baltimore; Dr. Joy Browne of Radio America;  Martha Zoller of WGAU, Athens, GA; Ethan Bearman of GCN and KGO, San Francisco; Carole Marks of “A Touch of Grey” and more.  Talk Radio News Service will broadcast the entire day to its hundreds of affiliates across the nation with more to be announced and the event will be covered live on TalkersRadio.  All equipment and broadcast set ups are provided at no cost for the convenience of the participants – but placement is limited and this will fill up rapidly, so interested hosts should call 413-565-5413 quickly to inquire about signing up.

Tan Talk Network Owner David Wagenvoord Dies.  Details of David Wagenvoord’s passing are few but friend and business partner Jerry Dennon tells TALKERS Wagenvoord owned many stations over the years and was involved in the brokering business.  Wagenvoord owned WTAN, Clearwater, Florida; WDCF, Dade City, Florida; and WZHR, Zephyrhills, Florida on which he operated the Tan Talk Network.

noorycardinals stadiumGeorge Noory Goes ‘Hitting for Heroes.’  As “Coast to Coast AM” host George Noory might admit, he was actually trying to hit for heroes as he and son Jonathan (pictured here standing to Noory’s left) attended the annual Hitting For Heroes event on Friday, April 18, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.  Benefitting Little Patriots Embraced, a charity focused on enhancing the lives of military families in need, the event gives baseball fans a chance to hit one out the park by going up to bat against the warm-up pitchers for the St. Louis Cardinals.  Noory confesses he missed every pitch and is not going to give up his night job!

Russian Aggression in Ukraine, ObamaCare Criticism, 2016 Presidential Race/Chelsea Clinton Pregnancy, Global Warming, Boston Marathon/Bombing Anniversary Coverage, South Korean Ferry Tragedy, and Teen Jet Stowaway Among Top Stories Yesterday (4/21).  Growing concern over Vladimir Putin’s troops entering Ukraine; debate over the number of people signed up for health care via the Affordable Care Act; speculation about candidates for president in 2016 and chatter about Chelsea Clinton’s pregnancy and what it may mean for Hillary Clinton’s candidacy; ongoing disagreement over the state of the science behind anthropogenic climate change; coverage of the 2014 Boston Marathon and the memorials one year after last year’s bombings; the search for survivors and questions about culpability in the South Korean ferry accident; and the case of a 16-year-old teen who survived a flight from California to Hawaii in the wheel well of a jet were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Talkers New York 2014

| April 21, 2014

nmsnycwebpageheader

• AGENDA •

Registration/Information Desk Open

8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Exposition Open

9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Exhibitors (in alphabetical order):

Americans for Free Choice in Medicine

Broadcasters General Store

Comrex Corporation

National Journalism Center

Business Lounge Open

9:00 am – 3:45 pm

Sponsored by Newsmax

Continental Breakfast/Reception

9:00 am – 9:45 am

“Breakfast with Hannity”

Sponsored by Sean Hannity/Premiere Networks

Morning Keynote Address

9:45 am – 10:10 am

Speaker: Sean Hannity, Host, Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel

Morning Sports Keynote Address

10:15 am – 10:40 am

Introduction: TBA

Speaker: Mike Francesa, Host, WFAN, New York

Panel Discussion

10:45 am – 11:20 am

“The State of Radio Advertising and Sales”

Introduction: TBA

Moderator: Erica Farber, President/CEO, RAB

Panelists (in alphabetical order): Kraig Kitchin, CEO, Sound Mind, LLC; Joe Puglise, President/Market Manager, Clear Channel, New York; Julie Talbott, President, Premiere Networks.  More TBA.

Special Presentation

11:25 am – 11:40 am

“Radio Pros: Planning Your Financial Future in Today’s Environment”

Introduction: TBA

Speaker: Ric Edelman, Host, The Ric Edelman Show/CEO, Edelman Financial Services.

Panel Discussion

11:45 am – 12:20 pm

“Radio: The Big Picture”

Introduction: TBA

Moderator: Michael Harrison, Publisher, TALKERS

Panelists (in alphabetical order):  Steve Goldstein, EVP, Saga Communications; Tom Langmyer, VP News/Talk Programming and VP/GM, WTMJ/WLWK, Milwaukee; Tom Leykis, CEO, The New Normal; Mike McVay, SVP, Programming, Cumulus Media;  Howard B. Price, Director Business Continuity and Crisis Management, ABC News

Panel Discussion

12:25 pm – 1:00 pm

“The State of Local Talk Radio”

Introduction:  Ethan Bearman, Host, KGO, San Francisco/GCN

Moderator: David Bernstein, GM, Talkers Broadcast Operations

Panelists (in alphabetical order): Jerry Crowley, VP/GM WMCA/WNYM, New York; Michael “Bax” Baxendale, Host WAQY (“Rock 102”), Springfield, MA; Phil Tower, PD, WOOD, Grand Rapids;  Larry Young, Host, WOLB, Baltimore.  More TBA.

Luncheon

1:00 pm – 1:50 pm

Talkers Awards Ceremony

2:00 pm – 2:40 pm

Master of Ceremonies: Jim Bohannon, Host, WestwoodOne

“Humanitarian of the Year Award”

Presenter: TBA

Recipient: TBA

“Lifetime Achievement Award”

Presenter: TBA

Recipient: TBA

“Woman of the Year Award”

Presenter: Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss Agency

Recipient: TBA

“Freedom of Speech Award”

Presenter: TBA

Recipient: TBA

Special Presentation

2:45 pm – 3:00 pm

“Radio in the Digital Age”

Introduction: TBA

Speaker:  Jerry Del Colliano, Publisher, Inside Music Media

3:00 pm – 3:35 pm

Panel Discussion

“The State of Talk Programming”

Introduction:  TBA

Moderator: Kevin Casey, VP, Executive Editor, TALKERS

Panelists (in alphabetical Order): Phil Boyce, VP/Spoken Word Programming, Salem Communications; Bill Hess, PD, WMAL, Washington, DC; Gabe Hobbs, CEO, Gabe Hobbs Media;  Craig Schwalb, PD, WABC, New York; Eric Stanger, VP/Operations & Affiliate Marketing, Sean Hannity Show/Premiere Networks

Panel Discussion

3:40 pm – 4:15 pm

“Developing and Managing a Talk Show Hosting Career”

Introduction: Steven J.J. Weisman, Esq., Senior Partner, Harrison Strategies

Moderator:  Mike Kinosian, Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief, TALKERS

Panelists (in alphabetical order):  Tom Becka, Host, KOIL, Omaha; Ron Hartenbaum, CEO, WYD Media; Tom Marr, Host, WCBM, Baltimore; Joe Piscopo, Host, WNYM (“The Answer”), New York;  Martha Zoller, Host, WGAU, Athens, GA/Georgia News Network.  More TBA.

Special Extravaganza

4:20 pm – 5:00 pm

“The Talk Rumble”

Introduction: Dr. Joy Browne, Host, Radio America

Moderator: Lionel, Commentator, WPIX-TV, New York/Host, TalkersRadio

Rumblers (in alphabetical order):  Alan Colmes, Host, Fox News Radio, Mike Gallagher, Host, Salem Radio Network; Thom Hartmann, Host, WYD Media; Joyce Kaufman, Host, WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale/Miami; Kevin McCullough, Host, XtreMEDIA, Lincoln Ware, Host, WDBZ, Cincinnati; and David Webb, Host, Sirius/XM Satellite Radio.

Closing Reception

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

HOTEL INFO

Because New York City has so many hotels from which to choose, there is no “official” conference hotel – but several nearby recommended facilities include: Holiday Inn Express (click here), Hilton Millennium (click here), Marriott Downtown (click here) and Hilton Doubletree (click here).

Monday, April 21, 2014

| April 21, 2014

2014 NYC logo 150Agenda Taking Shape for Talkers New York 2014.  The 17th annual installment of the talk radio and media industry’s largest and most important national convention – Talkers New York 2014 — is taking shape with most speakers and sessions already scheduled (for up-to-the-minute agenda, click here).  The one-day, power-packed conference will feature approximately 65 industry speakers participating in two keynote address, two special presentations, five panel discussions, an awards ceremony, the Talk Rumble, an exhibition, gala luncheon, and closing cocktail reception.  Talkers New York 2014 will be held on Friday, June 20 at the India House located at One Hanover Square in the cultural heart of New York City’s downtown Wall Street financial district.   The event – as usual — is expected to be an early sellout.  Registrations ($249 for all activities) are only open to professionals working in radio, communications and associated business and can only be obtained via telephone with credit card.  Please call 413-565-5413 to register or obtain a sponsorship.  Because New York City has so many hotels from which to choose, there is no “official” conference hotel – but several nearby recommended facilities include: Holiday Inn Express (click here), Hilton Millennium (click here), Marriott Downtown (click here) and Hilton Doubletree (click here).

cbsradio logoCBS RADIO to Move Washington Operations into DC.  According to a story in the Washington Business Journal, CBS RADIO has signed a lease for a 33,000 square foot second floor in a 10-story office building on Half Street SE and the stations will relocate from their current site in Lanham, Maryland.  In addition to the second floor, CBS will also lease about 3,000 square feet of space on the ground floor to serve as a performance space.  Washington DC Mayor Vincent Gray is expected to announce the deal at a press conference today that will include CBS RADIO president Dan Mason and senior vice president Steve Swenson.  CBS operates sports talk duo WJFK-FM and WJFK-AM, all-news WNEW-FM, hip hop WPGC, adult contemporary WIAD and Spanish WLZL.

relm networkRELM Network Offers Free Don Geronimo Podcasts.  Radio personality Don Geronimo began hosting a daily two-hour program on the RELM Network on April 1 after years working on CBS RADIO outlets – most recently KHTK, Sacramento and WJFK-FM, Washington.  Beginning today, RELM isgeronimodon offering a free, weekly “best of” Don Geronimo show podcast.  RELM says it will be 20 to 30 minutes in length and will contain highlights from recent episodes.  It will be available at relmnetwork.com, dongeronimopodcast.com and iTunes.  Geronimo’s show airs live from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm with a recorded version available shortly after each live show ends.  RELM is charging $9.99 per month to subscribe to the show ($26.99 per quarter or $99.99 for a year).   The cast of the show also includes co-host Drew Hoffar, their sidekick, Joe Ardinger, and features regular appearances by longtime pal and newsman Buzz Burbank.

tombarnardshowRoster Growing at Tom Barnard Network.  Twin Cities radio personality Tom Barnard is adding a number of new podcasts to Tom Barnard Network – the digital venture that operates independently of his KQRS, Minneapolis morning show.  According to the Pioneer Press, Barnard is distributing podcasts from Kailen Rosenberg, Rusty Gatenby and Tommy Mischke.  Rosenberg is a relationship expert and author who hosts the show “Lovetown, USA” on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network.  Her podcast is titled, “The Love Happy Hour,” which is produced with the assistance of Kelly Guest.  Gatenby is an entertainment reporter – formerly with KSTP-TV – who is producing a video podcast with fellow broadcaster Melinda Jacobs called “The Rusty Gatenby Review.”  Longtime Twin Cities radio show host Tommy Mischke debuts “The Mischke Roadshow” on May 12.  Mischke previously hosted shows on WCCO and KSTP-AM.  Barnard’s nephew Sean Barnard, who serves as general manager for the venture, tells the Pioneer Press, “We saw that there were a lot of talented people out there looking for an outlet, and it’s a very unique, fun and creative way to do things.”

cclogoAE Sues Clear Channel New Orleans.  Another sales staffer at Clear Channel’s New Orleans cluster is suing the company claiming management conspired to dismiss her in retaliation for testifying in the cases of other African American AEs suing the company.  Caucasian sales staffer Michelle Killian alleges in her suit that market manager Dick Lewis, sales manager Rob Hasson and director of sales Joshua Mednick attempted to create reasons to terminate Killian through assigning unattainable sales goals.  She also alleges the company began giving her smaller value sales leads in order to affect her income.  Further she alleges this came about after she testified in the cases of Prixie Montgomery and other black AEs suing the company for violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Killian states in her complaint that the atmosphere created at the cluster was such that black and white AEs only spoke to each other when business demanded it and that she was also targeted by management for interacting and socializing with African American co-workers.

siriusxmSiriusXM and NBC Agree to New ‘TODAY’ Show Channel.  In an agreement announced on today’s edition of the “TODAY” show on NBC TV, it was announced that the network and SiriusXM will produce the “TODAY” Show Radio channel that will carry audio from the morning television program live.  The channel will also air replays of the show.  SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein says, “Listeners will for the first time be able to take the ‘TODAY’ show with them on their busy morning routine and throughout the day during their daily drive.  TODAY’s unparalleled and timely content is another great example of working with an iconic brand to provide great programming to our millions of subscribers.”

Former WJBO, Baton Rouge Sportscaster Walter Hill Dies.  For years, Walter Hill teamed up with John Ferguson to call Louisiana State University football games on WJBO, Baton Rouge.  Hill died in Lafayette, Louisiana on Saturday (4/21) at age 86.  Hill later served as sports director at WBRZ-TV.  He retired from that station in 1986 after 25 years.

envisionnetworks newCool Job Opportunity.  Affiliate Sales Manager.  Sales Experience Required.  Base salary plus Uncapped commission.  The position is based in Cleveland, Ohio.  Envision Networks is looking for salesperson to join a growing company and a fun team.  The successful candidate will be responsible for aggressively growing and maintaining the number of affiliated radio stations in their regional territory.  We use salesforce.com for our CRM and marketing.  We use social media as a sales tool.  Additional responsibilities: maintain affiliate relationships and handle affiliate questions or concerns in a timely manner; attend regional trade shows and entertain clients; attend affiliate events and broadcast industry functions to learn, laugh and live the dream; work closely with the director of affiliate relations to develop and relay new sales/marketing programs, products and services; provide innovative customer service and sales; maintain and track territory sales initiatives.  Qualifications & Requirements: 1) Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of training and experience; 2) Previous broadcasting industry experience is a plus, but not required; 3) Strong computer/technical skills; must have knowledge and experience with CRM, Word, Excel, and Outlook; 4) Ability to work well independently and as part of a positive team; 5) Good oral and written communication skills. Attention to detail is critical; 6) Exceptional organizational and time management skills; 7) Ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously; 8) Ability to prioritize and meet deadlines.  Spanish language skills a plus.  Salesforce.com a plus.  Microsoft Office Suite Required.  Envision Networks (www.goenvisionnetworks.com) offers profit sharing as well as competitive benefits and compensation package plus organization funded 401k retirement plan in a fast-paced entrepreneurial environment.  Please send cover letter, resume and salary requirements in MS Word or ASCII text to Laura Orkin, Chief Operations Officer or e-mail LauraO@envisionradio.com, or via fax to 216-514-4699.  No phone calls PLEASE.

conwaysimonBBQConway Goes Live from BBQ Joint for Good Cause.  WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive personality Simon Conway took his talk show on the road on Good Friday to the local Jethro’s BBQ ‘n’ Pork Chop Grill in order to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Conway reports that the local eatery gave him a percentage of its take for the afternoon for the cause and it even named a drink after him called the Simon Shandy.  The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society got $2 from each drink sold!

Friday, April 18, 2014

| April 18, 2014

main line broadcastingLarry Wilson’s Alpha Broadcasting and L&L to Merge; Company to Buy Main Line Broadcasting for $57 Million.  A big two-pronged announcement from Larry Wilson’s Alpha Broadcasting and L&L Broadcasting: First, the two companies will merge into one to be named Alpha Media.  Second, the company will purchase 19 stations in four markets from Main Line Broadcasting for $57 million.  Here’s what the companies announce.  “The current corporate team for Alpha Broadcasting and L & L Broadcasting will remain and operate the company from the corporate headquarters in Portland, Oregon.”  Alpha operates six stations in Portland while L&L operates 43 stations in sevenalpha logo markets.  L&L has been overseeing the operation of the Portland stations for the last year pursuant to a management agreement with Alpha.  Chairman Larry Wilson states, “The merger will be the culmination of a long term plan to ultimately combine the two companies and will allow us to streamline our oversight of all 49 stations to take advantage of the many synergies.”  But wait, there will soon be more than 49 stations.  The announcement that L & L Broadcasting is entering into an agreement to acquire 19 radio stations from Main Line Broadcasting for $57 million will expand L&L logothat to 68 stations.  Main Line Broadcasting is headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and operates in the Louisville; Richmond-Petersburg, Virginia; Dayton; and Hagerstown, Maryland-Chambersburg, Pennsylvania markets.  L & L Broadcasting president and CEO Bob Proffitt comments, “We’ve worked hard to maintain strong community involvement and an intimate connection with our listeners and advertisers in all of our markets.  I’m confident that we’ll be able to implement our mission of live and local radio in the Main Line markets.”  Main Line CEO Marc Guralnick adds, “I am extremely proud of all of Main Line Broadcasting’s employees who have done a phenomenal job over the years.  I am pleased to have these great broadcasters now under the leadership and vision of Larry Wilson and Bob Proffitt.  There’s not a better company than L&L Broadcasting to ensure this continued success.”

rhodesrandiRandi Rhodes Calls it Quits.  Progressive talk show host Randi Rhodes, according to a press statement from syndicator Premiere Networks, “has decided to end her show” as of May 16.  The presser says, “We wish Randi well and thank her for her years of incredible creativity and unique voice.”  Rhodes – a native New Yorker – was a very successful, longtime local talk host at WJNO, in West Palm Beach who went into syndication with Air America during the early 2000s and moved over to Premiere after Air America’s demise.  Last November it was reported that Premiere would be dropping the Randi Rhodes show but two days later that was reversed.  There’s been no official statement about today’s news from Rhodes herself.

talksmerconishTalk Personality Michael Smerconish to Be Interviewed at Own Book Club Event.  Fans of talk host Michael Smerconish are aware of his regularly scheduled book club events that go back to his days hosting morning drive on WPHT, Philadelphia.  The setup was simple: Smerconish would invite an author he enjoyed to come to town and be interviewed by him in front of a live audience.  The author would then sign books and mingle with fans.  Now, the tables are turning as Smerconish prepares to release his first novel titled, Talk: A Novel (Cider Mill Press 2014), and he will be the one interviewed.  On Wednesday, May 7, at the Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, Pennsylvania, Smerconish will sit down with Larry Kane to be interviewed about his new book that deals with “the inner workings of conservative talk radio and campaign politics.”

ppmunitThird Round of March PPM Data Released.  PPM data from the third of four groups of 12 markets for the March 2014 period (February 27 – March 26) has been released by Nielsen Audio.  Those markets include: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all the (subscriber) numbers here.  Managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian offers his “Ten Takeaways” from the report at RadioInfo.com here.

sextonbuckOdds & Sods.  Sitting in for Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh today (4/18) is TheBlaze national security editor Buck Sexton.  The former CIA officer and NYPD Intelligence Division analyst says of sitting in for Limbaugh, “If you told me when I started doing radio in 2013 that by 2014 I would be sitting in for Rush Limbaugh, I would have laughed.  Today, it is happening, and what would have sounded like a joke then is the realization of a dream now.  I couldn’t be more excited, or more thankful, for the opportunity.”…..NFL dierdorfdanbroadcasting icon Dan Dierdorf switches to the college ranks after retiring from CBS.  He’ll become the color man in the radio booth for University of Michigan football alongside play-by-play man Jim Brandstatter (who makes the shift from his color analyst position after 34 years).  Both Dierdorf and Brandstatter played at Michigan during the 1969 and 1970 seasons…..Sports talk personality Jason Goff exits CBS RADIO’s WZGC, Atlanta “92.9 The Game” where he’s been the evening host…..Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace is staying put at the cable news/talker as he’s inked a multi-year renewal that will keep him hosting “Fox News Sunday” and involved with the news operation’s political and elections coverage…..ABC News Radio’s “Perspective” program produces a special Earth Day edition titled, “Going Green,” and is available to affiliate stations today (4/18).  ABC says Iron Chef and host of ABC’s “The Chew” — Michael Symon — shares his gardening tips, the benefits of growing your own vegetables and the many ways you can turn your backyard space into a culinary destination. Experts will also be on hand to debunk common food labels and share their green grocery shopping tips.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “Armed American Radio” with host Mark Walters is added to the program schedule at KBIM, Roswell, New Mexico…..The Genesis Communications syndicated “Freedom Feens” with Michael W. Dean and Neema Vedadi joins the lineup at KLID, Poplar Bluff, Missouri and WQXL, Columbia, South Carolina.

Russian Aggression in Ukraine Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of April 14-18.  The continuing aggression by Vladimir Putin’s Russian troops in Ukraine and reports of Jews being targeted with neo-Nazi tactics tied atop the Talkers TenTM chart as the most-talked-about topics on news/talk radio this week.  At #2 was criticism of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act.  Following at #3 was income tax return day tied with talk of statistics indicating the number of Americans receiving benefits, and at #4 was speculation about candidates for president in 2016.  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.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

| April 17, 2014

grahammichaelMichael Graham to Middays on WYAY, Atlanta.  Talk radio pro Michael Graham is saying good-bye to Massachusetts and New England and heading south for the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show at Cumulus Media’s WYAY, Atlanta “All News 106.7.”  Graham has been hosting a program on the New England Talk Network and on the Boston Herald’s digital audio project since Greater Media flipped WTKK, Boston from talk to urban contemporary (as WBQT).  Cumulus is getting away from the all-news on WYAY – it’s already added market pro Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson to the wyay logoschedule in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm shift – though there’s no indication it has plans to change the drive time news programming anytime soon.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports the changes but Graham himself bids a fond adieu to New England and a not-so-fond adieu to the Massachusetts political scene which he blames for WTKK’s demise.  He singles out Governor Deval Patrick and you can read that here.

beckglennGlenn Beck Talks About Film Projects to Hollywood Reporter.  Talk radio star and media entrepreneur Glenn Beck tells the Hollywood Reporter that there’s a reason he bought a movie studio in Texas – The Studios at Las Colinas in Irving: He has plans for three film projects with many more hopefully to come.  The facility, where such movies as “Robocop” and “JFK” were filmed, also serves as the base for his radio and digital operations under his TheBlaze banner but his Mercury Radio Arts film division has plans for the three films – one set in ancient history, one in modern history and a third “faith-based” project – that are underway.  Read the Hollywood Reporter piece here.  Meanwhile, Beck also appears irked that he’s pigeonholed as a political right-winger by the media, telling the magazine, “Everybody thinks they know who I am because of my stint on Fox – that was two years of my life.  I’m much more into culture than I am into politics, and that’s where I intend on making my stand.”

cclogoClear Channel Restructures Sales Efforts; Extent of RIF Unknown.  The prospect that Clear Channel Media + Entertainment intended to change the structure of its sales force has been rumored for some time and now the plan has been put into effect.  The exact nature of the realignment is not known but the company released the following statement: “As a policy, we don’t discuss personnel matters.  However, for the last several months we have been flattening our senior management organization to reduce overlap.  Now we are aligning our sales organizations to this new structure and to give more resources, authority, and accountability to the most productive members of our team so we can operate as effectively and efficiently as possible.”

kall logoJohnson to Replace Hanson at Broadway Media.  A number of changes taking effect at Broadway Media in Utah to report.  First, the company announces that its Salt Lake Radio Group market manager G. Craig Hanson is leaving the company after 37 years to enter the ownership end of the business in St. George, Utah.  Taking over for him will be Stephen C. Johnson.  He’ll serve as general manager and CEO of the Salt Lake Radio Group that includes: KXRK, KUDD, KUUU, KEGA, KYMV and KALL.  Johnson spent the last 35 years with Simmons Media.  Other moves include Broadway Media VP/administration Bret J. Leifson exiting to pursue other interests.  Joining the companies is John G. Kimball who will serve as general manager and CEO of Real Media – the division that operates Broadway’s digital, technical, event and entertainment, and outdoor media assets.  Kimball has worked in the market with Bonneville and Real Salt Lake.

nielsen logoSecond Round of March PPM Data Released.  PPM data from the second of four groups of 12 markets for the March 2014 period (February 27 – March 26) has been released by Nielsen Audio.  Those markets include: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all the (subscriber) numbers here.  Managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian offers his “Ten Takeaways” from the report at RadioInfo.com here.

fccnewFCC Issues FNPRM for 2014 Quadrennial Review; Ownership Regs Proposed to Remain, Cross-Ownership Open for Consideration.  The Federal Communications Commission has released its Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that initiates the 2014 Quadrennial Review and chief among the topics are the broadcast ownership rules.  The Commission is proposing to keep the current radio broadcast ownership rules in place but it is open to discussion about relaxing the radio-newspaper cross-ownership ban as well as the radio-television cross-ownership rules.  This has Republican Commissioner Ajit Pai furious in his dissent.  He takes the Commission to task for, 1) failing to complete the 2010 Quadrennial Review and; 2) putting proposals such as the radio-newspaper cross-ownership ban question into the 2014 review.  Here are his words: “Congress has instructed us to review the newspaper-paiajitbroadcast cross-ownership rule every four years and repeal or modify it if we determine that it is no longer in the public interest.  And here is the simple truth: The Commission has not been able to conclude since 2000 that the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rule remains in the public interest.  And today, the Commission dodges the issue entirely, putting off the issue until 2016, sixteen years after our last determination! What’s the solution at this point?  While writs of mandamus are not to be issued lightly, I believe that the D.C. Circuit would now be justified in ordering the Commission to remove the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rule from our books.  We have had plenty of opportunities to justify maintaining the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rule, but instead we have chosen to punt — including today.”  Pai’s sentiment that the FCC works too slowly, especially in an era when changes in technology are happening at an ever-faster pace while government seems to work slower than ever, is one echoed by many in the broadcasting industry.  Consider the Commission’s conclusion regarding how digital media is affecting broadcast media.  It’s important to understand that the quote from the FNPRM is relative to broadcasters’ (TV also) desires to relax ownership regulations.  Whether you agree or not, it’s the Commission’s assessment of the current state of the audio entertainment landscape that indicates its willingness to only see one moment in time, without regard for the future.  “Despite broadcasters’ claims to the contrary, we tentatively find that, for purposes of the Commission’s ownership rules, non-broadcast sources of audio programming are not yet meaningful substitutes for broadcast radio stations with respect to either listeners or advertisers.  While alternate platforms such as satellite radio and Internet-delivered audio are growing in popularity, broadcast radio remains the dominant radio technology.  In 2012, 92 percent of Americans age 12 or older listened to broadcast radio, a figure that has remained essentially constant over the last decade.  Satellite radio still serves only a small portion of the population, even though its subscription rates continue to climb.  And though recent data suggest that a significant portion of adult U.S. broadband households (42 percent) listen to Internet-delivered audio programming, we note that millions of U.S. households continue to lack broadband connections.  In addition, only 14 percent of Internet radio listeners listen in their cars, where most broadcast radio listening occurs.   Thus, we tentatively conclude that Internet-delivered audio programming is not yet a meaningful substitute for broadcast radio listening for most listeners.  We seek comment on this tentative conclusion and invite commenters to provide any more recent relevant information and data.  We believe, moreover, that satellite radio and content delivered via the Internet generally are national platforms that are not likely to respond to competitive conditions in local markets.”  Even if you agree with these conclusions (which, obviously, many do not), will they still be true in 2015, 2016 (when the 2014 Quad is supposed to be delivered to Congress) or 2017?

biakelseyBIA/Kelsey’s New Study Explores ‘Reinvention of Audio.’  The full name of the study from BIA/Kelsey is “The Internet Radio Revolution Has Arrived: Platforms, Services, Audiences and Advertisers Reinvent Audio,” and as the title implies, it works to make sense of the state of audio entertainment and its relationship with the advertising world as it exists today, plus where it’s going in the near future.  The study authors note a five-step process that occurs when a major change affects the media: 1) Fundamental breakthroughs in enabling technologies occur, 2) Entrepreneurs and their investors experiment with getting the right value proposition into the market, 3) Consumers find the winning technologies and begin to use them, 4) Advertisers sensing a new opportunity for connecting with their consumers allocate “experimental budget,” and 5) Media companies and publishers take new platforms seriously.  The report states, “It is only when we reach this last phase that we really get a sense of how fundamentally a technology will impact us in the long run.”  It believes the audio business is entering this fifth phase.  Read the entire study here.

iheartradio newiHeartRadio Gets into Subaru’s STARLINK.  Japanese automaker Subaru was a little late to the party with a digital infotainment system but the new STARLINK is available on many of its 2014 cars and now Clear Channel Media + Entertainment announces its iHeartRadio will be included on the system.  The STARLINK infotainment system is being demoed at the New York Auto Show beginning tomorrow (4/18).  Subaru of America marketing strategy & launch manager David Sullivan, says, “We are thrilled to have iHeartRadio as our first content partner for the STARLINK cloud service application.  The award-winning service brings a huge amount of programming and custom content to Subaru vehicles with a great, easy-to-use interface.”

ObamaCare Criticism, IRS-DOJ Tea Party Connection, Russian Aggression in Ukraine, Sebelius Senate Run, Tax Day, and Bloomberg vs the NRA Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/16).  Scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the allegation that the Lois Lerner led department of the IRS contacted the Department of Justice about prosecuting the Tea Party; escalating aggression by Putin’s Russian forces in Ukraine; speculation that former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will run for the U.S. Senate; chatter about the complex U.S. tax code and the number of taxpayers supporting benefit takers; and former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plans to battle the National Rifle Association were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

| April 16, 2014

2014 NYC logo 150By Popular Demand, “Talkers New York 2014” is Bringing Back the Talk Rumble!  After several years on hiatus, the legendary (and original) “Talk Rumble” will return to the annual TALKERS conference at Talkers New York 2014.  The session features a large group of local and national talk show hosts – representing a variety of ideologies, genders and ethnicities — in a fast-paced, smokin’ debate of the hottest issues of the day.  It is moderated by an individual sworn to uphold the principles of political non-partisanship and philosophical even-handedness.  This year’s choice to serve in that capacity is WPIX-TV Channel 11, New York commentator (and TalkersRadio host) Lionel.  Rumblers include (in alphabetical order):  Alan Colmes of Fox News Radio, Mike Gallagher of Salem Radio Network, Thom Hartmann of WYD Media, Joyce Kaufman of WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale/Miami, Kevin McCullough of XtreMEDIA, Lincoln Ware of WDBZ, Cincinnati, and David Webb of Sirius/XM Satellite Radio.    Talkers New York 2014 will take place on Friday, June 20 at the India House Club located at One Hanover Square in the heart of New York City’s financial district.  More than 60 speakers will be participating in this year’s 17th annual installment of the talk radio industry’s longest-running and most important convention.  The event is always an early sellout and only open to communications industry professionals working in or closely associated with talk media.  Registrations ($249 per person) are only taken with credit card by phone.  Call 413-565-5413.

justicejonJournal’s KQTH, Tucson Re-Brands; Shifts Jon Justice to Late Mornings.  Leaving the station brand “The Truth” behind, Journal Broadcast Group news/talk KQTH, Tucson is making a few adjustments to its air schedule as well.  As per John Schuster’s piece in Tucson Weekly, the station is taking the slogan “104.1 KQTH, Tucson’s News and Talk.”  Jon Justice, who’s been heard in morning drive since the station debuted on the FM dial seven years ago, is moving to the 8:30 am to 12:00 noon slot where he’ll compete with Rush Limbaugh, heard on Clear Channel’s KNST from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.  Taking over the morning show on KQTH is program director Bill White, who will host a news wheel show.

ramseyRaleighDave Ramsey Presents Live in Raleigh.  Nationally syndicated talk superstar Dave Ramsey was in Raleigh on tax day presenting his “Legacy Journey LIVE!” event to a sold-out crowd at the Durham Performing Arts Center.  Ramsey’s presentation focuses on how to win with money, strengthen marriages and lead your children with confidence.  His daughter, Rachel Cruze, joined him on stage.  Ramsey worked with Clear Channel affiliate WTKK “106.1 FM” to promote his appearance.  WTKK program director Brian Taylor comments, “When Dave comes to town it’s a reminder that our format is not inherently niche.  Build it and they will come.  Listeners turn out for Dave.  Identifying issues and concerns is one thing — it’s quite another to offer practical and actionable solutions we can all accomplish.  At WTKK Raleigh, all three numbers are solid: Ratings, revenue and attendance.”  Pictured here are (from left to right): Cruze, Clear Channel Raleigh market manager George Allen, Ramsey, program director Brian Taylor and general sales manager Dave Beecher.

krxa logoKRXA, Carmel Valley Signs Consent Decree in Sponsor ID and Indecency Case; to Pay $15,000.  Progressive talk radio outlet KRXA, Carmel Valley, California is owned by Harold S. Ginsberg and is currently in negotiations to be sold to El Sembrador Ministries (which has filed a contingent application to convert it to a non-commercial station).  The Consent Decree which will have Ginsberg pay $15,000 revolves around a brokered show that aired in 2009 that the FCC ruled was not properly identified as a sponsored program.  Also, the Commission ruled that the same program violated indecency regulations.  Though Ginsberg initially argued against both allegations, he reversed course and, due to financial hardship, is paying the fine and exiting the broadcasting business.

millerhannityWelcoming Sean to Boise.  KIDO, Boise morning drive personality Kevin Miller (right) poses for a photo with Premiere Networks talk star Sean Hannity (left) at the recent 2014 Media Solutions Conference in Philadelphia.  Both Miller and Hannity worked at WVNN, Huntsville early in their careers and now are both part of the lineup at Townsquare Media’s KIDO, Boise as Sean Hannity’s program is heard there in afternoon drive.  Miller tells TALKERS, “Sean has always been great to me since our days at WVNN.  It was a pleasure to welcome him to KIDO.”

mccollummaryMcCollum Promoted at Idaho Media Group.  Local sales manager Mary McCollum is promoted to director of regional and national sales at IdaVend Broadcasting, Inland Northwest Broadcasting and KRPL Inc.  McCollum began her career in media as a marketing manager for Ubiquitel (Sprint Wireless), in 2000.   She moved to neighboring Clarkston, Washington in 2009, taking a position in Lewiston as sales manager at Pacific Empire Radio Corporation.  In 2011, McCollum moved to nationally recognized IdaVend Broadcasting as the sales manager for Inland Northwest Broadcasting and KRPL, Inc. in Moscow.  In addition to national and regional sales, McCollum also specializes in political advertising and sponsorship promotions.

Tax Day, ObamaCare Criticism, Boston Marathon Bombing Anniversary, Russian Ukraine Aggression/Obama-Putin Talks, and Harry Reid and Nevada ‘Cattle Battle’ Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/15).  The deadline for filing federal and state tax returns and the increased tax rates many Americans are facing; the anniversary of the deadly bombings at the Boston Marathon; the ongoing tensions in Ukraine as pro-Russian factions press for return to Russian rule and President Obama’s talks with Vladimir Putin; Harry Reid’s involvement in the controversy between a Nevada rancher and the Bureau of Land Management were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Bringing Creativity and Heightened Localism to the Radio Sales Department — with a Biographer

| April 15, 2014

Wordsmith Rix Quinn delivers a unique mix of creative writing and a down-home vocal presentation to any station’s local marketing arsenal 

By Jeff McKay
TALKERS
Special Features Correspondent

mckayjeffNEW YORK – Budget cutbacks are not only limiting the resources of radio programming departments – they are squeezing station sales and creative marketing efforts as well.  Concept development and simple copywriting take personnel and time – something in short supply these days on the radio front. Add the potential of literally limitless internet real estate to the mix of radio’s marketing possibilities and the frustration of having limited man/woman-power only grows.

In a recent report on the top-billing radio stations for 2013, BIA/Kelsey wrote of Washington, DC’s all-news WTOP-FM (103.5) that the top-billing radio station in the United States “WTOP is morphing into a digital media company by providing access to its audience in many different ways beyond over-the-air.”  Mark Fratrik, senior vice president and chief economist for BIA/Kelsey concludes, “Its approach is serving them well and its model demonstrates that as the industry continues to adopt a multi-platform approach, it will engage audiences and sustain growth.”

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

| April 15, 2014

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh’s ‘Cure-A-Thon’ Raises $3 Million-plus for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Last Friday (4/11), Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Rush Limbaugh held his annual “Cure-A-Thon” to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the show-long effort helped raise more than $3 million for the cause.  The annual event is executed in a relatively low-profile manner, that is, without a lot of promotion outside of Limbaugh’s program.  The large amount of money raised is indicative of the loyal and generous nature of his audience.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, who listened to the entire program, comments, “Limbaugh did a masterful job of not simply asking for contributions, but educating his listeners about the diseases of blood cancer and the progress that is being made in finding the cure.  It was compelling radio.  Add to that his skill in weaving into the flow of the show other topics of the day from ObamaCare to his contrarian take on the selection of Colbert to replace Letterman and it was quite apparent that after all these years he is still an extraordinarily skilled talk broadcaster.”

bouloukosdonDon Bouloukos to Retire from CBS RADIO New York.  After 16 years with CBS RADIO and a career that spans 41 years, CBS RADIO New York senior vice president and market manager Don Bouloukos announces he’s retiring from the company effective June of this year.  Bouloukos first joined CBS RADIO in 1998 following the acquisition of American Radio Systems Inc. where he was co-chief operating officer.  Bouloukos comments, “It is never an easy decision to leave an industry you love, and a company and cluster of stations that have been such an important part of your life.  But after 41 years, it is time.”  Current CBS RADIO executive vice president, operations, Scott Herman will take over for Bouloukos and add supervision of the New York cluster to his duties.  The CBS RADIO New York group consists of all-news WCBS-AM, classic hits WCBS-FM, sports talker WFAN-AM/FM, all-news WINS-AM, CHR WNOW-FM and hot AC WWFS-FM.  Bouloukos continues, “I’ve been very fortunate to work for a company that allows you to operate stations as if they were your own and I take great pride in what we have been able to accomplish over the years.  Working with Dan Mason and Scott Herman has been an absolute pleasure.  My only regret is that I am not 21 years old and starting all over again.”

stouffervalKXL, Portland Names Val Stouffer News Anchor.  Radio news pro Val Stouffer joins Alpha Broadcasting’s Portland news/talker KXL “FM NEWS 101.”  The station reports that Stouffer will be part of the “Portland’s Afternoon News” program as co-anchor alongside news anchor Dan Mitchinson.  Stouffer’s news radio experience includes stops at the old WMAQ and WLS in her hometown of Chicago.  She’s also worked in Seattle at both KIRO and KOMO.  Alpha Broadcasting director of programming Scott Mahalick says, “Val is a win for KXL.  She brings significant news/talk knowledge and incomparable experience that will benefit not only our afternoon daypart but our entire station.”

nielsen logoFirst Round of March PPM Data Released.  PPM data from the first of four groups of 12 markets for the March 2014 period (February 27 – March 26) has been released by Nielsen Audio.  Those markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all the (subscriber) numbers here.  Managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian offers his “Ten Takeaways” from the report at RadioInfo.com here.

quinnrixBringing Creativity and Heightened Localism to the Radio Sales Department — with a Biographer.  Ft. Worth, Texas-based multimedia storyteller, biographer and marketing strategist Rix Quinn delivers a unique mix of creative writing and a down-home vocal presentation to any station’s local marketing arsenal, regardless of market size.  Learn more about this fascinating wordsmith and his ideas for adding new dimensions to local radio sales that straddle both the medium’s on-air and online space.  In a new article by special features correspondent Jeff McKay, Quinn says, “The service I provide is to help small businesses tell their story in features that run 250-300 words, which is fairly short, focusing on the unique experiences of the owner-manager of the business or the unique product or service that the business provides.”  He adds, “That can also include short-form generic features that ‘celebrate’ the tradition and community service of general local business categories such as stand-alone ice cream parlors, mom & pop hardware stores, garden supply centers, independent book stores, jewelry stores…the list is endless.  At the conclusion of each feature, the station tags it with individual examples of the category that are non-competitively located in different parts of the coverage area and makes them available to the advertisers at a very reasonable cost.”  To read McKay’s piece about Rix Quinn in its entirety, please click here.

ingrahamlauraLaura Ingraham Adds ABC Contributor to Her CV.  The announcement came on Sunday’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos that conservative media personality Laura Ingraham will join ABC News as a contributor.  She’s not giving anything up for the new role, either.  She’ll remain a Fox News Channel contributor and regular fill-in host for Bill O’Reilly as well.  She’ll also continue hosting her daily three-hour Courtside Entertainment Group-syndicated radio talk show.

shannonbobThe Conclave’s Bob Shannon Steps Down After Health Scare.  The executive director of The Conclave resigned from the Minneapolis non-profit on Monday, April 14, citing health issues.  Bob Shannon says in a statement, “Upon my return from the NAB late Thursday evening, I experienced a medical episode that brought paramedics to my home in the middle of the night.  Fortunately, the problem wasn’t as life threatening as was originally thought, but it has prompted some soul searching on my part.  Therefore, after consulting with my physician and my family, I have decided to curtail all business activities for the foreseeable future and will be resigning all of my obligations over the next few weeks.  Sadly, that includes the Conclave.”  Conclave chairman Mark Bolke comments, “Obviously, Bob’s health and well-being is my primary concern, and I respect his decision.  As executive director of the Conclave, Bob brought with him the passion of a real radio broadcaster.  Not only in regards to what made it so compelling in the past, but a vision of what it still can be.  He is a champion of the medium, and never afraid to tell it like it is.  It’s been a pleasure serving with Bob, a true gentleman, and we wish him the very best.”

antinrobinPussycat Dolls Founder Robin Antin Joins PodcastOne.  The founder of the modern burlesque troupe The Pussycat Dolls – dancer, choreographer and actress Robin Antin – is producing a weekly podcast available on PodcastOne.  Fresh programs will be available on Tuesdays.  Her debut show today (4/15) will feature Kim Kardashian and Antin’s brother, famed hair stylist Jonathan Antin.  PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz says, “I’m really looking forward to this podcast.  Not only will it attract a huge audience, but working with Robin will be big time fun.  Her millions of fans will have unprecedented access as they listen to her every week on PodcastOne.com.”

gastineaumikeOdds & Sods.  At Clear Channel’s Seattle sports talker KJR, the station is debuting a show for local soccer fans dubbed, “Seattle Soccer Talk Live” and hosted by longtime market sports personality Mike Gastineau, who returns to the station he left two years ago.  The weekly show will air live from local pubs on Tuesday evenings at 7:00 and will focus on the MLS Seattle Sounders FC.  Gastineau recently self-published a book about the Sounders franchise…..The Wall Street Journal and MarketWatch Radio Networks picked up a few Excellence in Financial Journalism Awards from the NYSSCPA and New York Financial Writers Association.  Marketwatch.com Radio won honors for “Housing on Fire: Tips for Buyers and Sellers” by Alisa Parenti with producer Tracy Johnke; and the Wall Street Journal Radio Network was honored for The Wall Street Journal This Morning with Gordon Deal for his 16-day segment series addressing “the government shutdown’s impact on real people, the economy and business.”

cbsphillyCBS RADIO Philadelphia Prepares for 5th Annual Earthfest Celebration.  The Philadelphia cluster of CBS RADIO stations is partnering with the Clean Air Council to help sponsor its 5K Run for Clean Air at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Saturday (4/19).  CBS Philly SVP and market manager Marc Rayfield comments, “The CBS RADIO stations are proud to partner with the Clean Air Council in their mission to improve our region’s environmental and public health. As a huge voice in the region, we have a responsibility to use our power and reach to support such important issues.”  CBS RADIO Philadelphia participation will include the KYW Newsradio Kidcast Mobile Studio, that gives kids a chance to be a KYW news anchor.  WPHT “Big Money” host Steve Cordasco will present his weekly radio program live from 7:00 am to 10:00 am and will discuss the growing popularity of green or socially conscious investing.

beckaplugeBecka Takes Plunge for Boy with Cancer.  KOIL, Omaha talk show host Tom Becka is pictured here standing in the 50-degree waters of Lake Manawa in Council Bluffs, Iowa after jumping in on Monday, April 14 to raise money for a local boy with cancer.  Becka was part of a group of radio personalities and local politicians who took the “plunge,” including adult hits KOOO, Omaha’s Crash Davis and hot AC KQKQ, Omaha’s Jenny Olive.  The stunt was to benefit Landon Shaw, a Missouri boy with cancer who has inspired Facebook fundraising challenges.  On Friday before the plunge, the water was 60 degrees but a chill – along with some snow – moved through the area and the water was down to 50 degrees on Monday!

wjbcawardCelebrating ‘Station of the Year’ Honors.  Bloomington, Illinois news/talk WJBC was recently honored with the Illinois Associated Press Station of the Year Award.  Since 1999, the Cumulus Media-owned station has won the award three times.  It is given to one radio or television station in the state for its work with the Associated Press for continuing cooperation and contribution.  WJBC news director Stephanie Pawlowski says, “We are proud to continue in WJBC’s long tradition of community service.  The Associated Press has been a great resource for WJBC over the years and we are pleased to assist such an amazing organization in any way we can.”  WJBC has a seven-member news team, including an agribusiness reporter, and says that it produces more local coverage than any other station in Central Illinois.  Pictured here with the award are (from left to right): Bryan Bloodworth, sports writer; Adam Studzinski, news reporter/anchor; Pawlowski; Eric Stock, news reporter/anchor/sports director; Zac Dietmeier, news reporter/anchor; and Dan Westhoff, operations manager.

Boise and Denver Radio Personality Jon Duane Hellhake Dies.  On the radio he went by the name Jon Duane, both during his 10-year stint on the “Morning Zoo” at KPPL, Denver and as morning personality on KIDO, Boise.  Jon Hellhake passed away on Friday, April 11 after a two-year battle with cancer.  The Idaho Statesman reports the Boise native discovered radio in college and, after working in Denver, co-hosted the morning show at KIDO from 1998 through 2008 with Chris Kelly.

Kansas City Slayings, 2016 Presidential Race, Russian Aggression in Ukraine, Limbaugh-Colbert Flap, ObamaCare Criticism, Tax Day, and Blood Moon Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/14).  The killing of three in Kansas City by neo-Nazi, former political “candidate”; speculation about possible 2016 presidential candidates; Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and the taunting of a U.S. destroyer by a Russian fighter jet; the criticism by Rush Limbaugh of CBS-TV’s choice of Stephen Colbert to replace David Letterman; scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; income tax returns become due on Tuesday; the first of four “blood moon” eclipses to take place over the next 18 months and some prophecies related to them were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Frazier Glenn Cross and the Media

| April 14, 2014

By Steven J.J. Weisman
TALKERS 
Legal Editor

weismanwriterBOSTON — The country was shocked and saddened to see and hear the news on Sunday of the killing of three people by racist and anti-Semite Frazier Glenn Cross, who has also been known as Glenn Miller, particularly when he ran for the United States Senate from Missouri in 2010. To those who might question why I, a lawyer, refer to Cross/Miller as a “killer” when he has not been convicted in a court of law and is entitled to a presumption of innocence, I respond that it is abundantly clear that Cross/Miller did indeed kill 14-year-old Reat Underwood and his grandfather Dr. William Corporon who had the misfortune to be attending a singing contest at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park, Kansas.  By the way, neither of them was Jewish.  We also know that Cross/Miller killed an elderly woman at the nearby Village Shalom senior living facility.  Cross/Miller is entitled to a legal presumption of innocence in determining whether he is legally responsible for these killings, but make no mistake about it, he killed these three innocent people.  During his arrest, he was recorded screaming “Heil Hitler.”

What makes Miller’s case of particular interest to broadcasters goes back to 2010 when he ran as a write-in candidate for the United States Senate in Missouri.  Under federal law, radio stations and television stations are not required to carry political advertisements, but if they do choose to carry political advertising, the stations must not discriminate among candidates.  They must carry the advertising of any bona fide candidate who wishes to advertise on their stations.  In 2010, Glenn Miller produced and spoke in a number of racist and anti-Semitic rantings under the guise that they were political advertisements for his candidacy.  Here is a link to a YouTube video of some of his ads.  Be forewarned, they are extremely offensive:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlPeIMIVgq0&bpctr=1397487415

As you can well imagine, Missouri broadcasters that carried political advertisements were very upset when confronted by Miller demanding advertising time on their stations.  Some broadcasters carried the advertisements preceded by apologies and disclaimers while others donated the money paid by Miller to local chapters of the NAACP and the Jewish Community Relations Council.

Ultimately, the Missouri Attorney General and the Missouri Broadcasters Association requested a declaratory ruling from the FCC as to whether Miller was indeed a “bona fide” political candidate and thus was entitled to air his venomous political advertisements or was he just a racist, anti-Semite trying to exploit what he perceived as a loophole in the law.    The petition by the Missouri Attorney General and the Missouri Broadcasters Association argued, “Whatever Miller’s commitment might be, it is not about getting elected in the general election, but simply to pervert the campaign laws to his true purpose of requiring FCC licensees to broadcast his non-campaign messages to an unsuspecting public.”  Specifically, the petition indicated that Miller did not have a campaign committee, an office or issue press releases, all of which the FCC used as standards as to whether a write-in candidate qualified as a bona fide candidate.  Finally, after months of carrying Miller’s advertisements, the FCC’s Media Bureau issued an informal ruling that “on the facts and pleadings submitted by all parties, including Mr. Miller, it would not be unreasonable for Missouri broadcasting stations to determine that Miller is not a bona fide write-in candidate and therefore, Missouri broadcasters may deny him access to their stations.”  Immediately thereafter the advertisements were dropped and little was heard from Glenn Miller by a national audience.  That is until Sunday.

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Steven J.J. Weisman, a practicing attorney, is a senior partner in the talent management firm Harrison Strategies, LLC.  He is also legal editor for TALKERS magazine and publisher of the websitewww.scamicide.com. He can be e-mailed at: stevenjjweisman@aol.com.  Steven J.J. Weisman is available as a guest to discuss the subjects of identity theft and scams.

Monday, April 14, 2014

| April 14, 2014

weismanstevenRadio and KC Shootings Suspect’s Political ‘Campaign.’  The tragic triple slaying in Kansas City over the weekend in which three people lost their lives at the hands of alleged killer Frazier Glenn Cross sparked memories of his write-in political effort almost four years ago that caused grief for numerous Missouri radio stations.  In a piece published today (4/14), TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes about the radio advertising case that was spurred by Cross’ “campaign.”  Read his piece here.

kiernanedVeteran Baltimore GM Ed Kiernan to Retire.  News/talk WBAL and rock WIYY “98 Rock” vice president/general manager Ed Kiernan informed his staff this past Friday (4/11) that he will be retiring from the Hearst Television Baltimore stations sometime this summer.  Hearst Television president Jordan Wertlieb comments, “Having worked closely with Ed for all these years, I know firsthand how he has enhanced all aspects of the radio business he has managed with his enthusiasm, good humor and leadership.  With Ed at the helm, WBAL has been among the nation’s most honored radio stations and a major community force through the WBAL Radio Kids Campaign.  Throughout his tenure, Ed has built upon 98 Rock’s storied 37-year history, including expanding the station’s presence on the web and in mobile applications.” Hearst director David Barrett comments, “We are so proud of Ed’s stewardship of WBAL and ’98 Rock.’ His commitment and passion for our stations, his team, and the Baltimore community are the hallmark of a truly remarkable career.  We have been blessed by his steady leadership and warm friendship, which indelibly mark his years with Hearst.”  Before joining WBAL and “98 Rock” in 1991, Kiernan spent 17 years at CBS RADIO.  Among the positions he held with that company were vice president/general manager of all-news WCBS-AM, New York and vice president/general manager of CBS Radio Reps.  Upon leaving the Baltimore stations, Kiernan will reportedly relocate to New York state where he and his wife own a home.

gamblingjohnrJohn Gambling Returns to NYC Radio Today.  Just a few months after retiring from his morning show gig at Clear Channel’s WOR, New York, John R. Gambling returns to the air in the Big Apple on Salem Communications’ WNYM “AM 970 The Answer.”  Gambling is hosting the two-hour 11:00 am to 1:00 pm show starting today (4/14).  When Gambling’s exit from retirement was announced last month, Salem VP director of spoken word format and VP for the New York marketwnymlogo Phil Boyce said, “When John Gambling left New York radio last December there was a void created for quality morning radio in this market, and we decided to fill it.  John had worked for me for nine years at WABC.  Before and after that he worked for [WNYM GM] Jerry Crowley at WOR.  Jerry and I looked at each other and thought this was something we could not pass up.”

cclogoClear Channel Study Reinforces Power of Personality Endorsements.  The study was the result of collaboration between Clear Channel Media + Entertainment and the University of Southern California surveying 2,700 respondents.  It was designed to look into the connection between consumers and radio personalities and gauge the effectiveness of the latter’s influence in directing consumer behavior.  In press release from Clear Channel detailing some of the findings, the company concludes that “radio is a far more powerful social force than ever before, particularly because of thehannitysean conversations fueled by on-air personalities and the connection listeners feel to on-air local and national talent like Ryan Seacrest, Sean Hannity, Delilah and Bobby Bones.  CC reports some of the key findings were: 1) When comparing radio personalities to other media personalities, 6 out of 10 listeners said that radio hosts are “like a friend,” whose opinions they trust; 2) With even more ways for consumers and on-air personalities to interact, 4 out of 10 listeners feel personalities make more of an effort to foster a personal connection, making the radio experience inherently more social, particularly when compared to TV or streaming playlist services; 3) Listeners equate an on-air personality endorsement to a friend’s recommendation, more so than they do sponsored Facebook posts, sponsored tweets or television commercials; and 4) More than half of the study participants agreed that they trust brands, products and services their favorite on air personality recommend, a finding that is encouraging smart marketers to undertake unique radio-based campaigns.  The press release did not mention breakdowns of results for various demographics.

wilc logoWallis Re-Brands WILC, Washington.  The Laurel, Maryland-licensed station is being operated by Wallis Communications under an LMA.  Management says that after dropping Spanish AC and flipping to talk earlier this year, the station is now using the slogan, “Where Liberty Has a Voice.”  Saying the station is “home to a new libertarian and personality-driven radio format, combining brokered and syndicated shows,” Wallis is airing shows by Dr. Kevin Wallis, Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck, WestwoodOne’s Dennis Miller and John Fredericks.  Station general manager Lisa Miller says, “The goal is to bring a fresh and unique perspective to new listeners by delivering extraordinary content and viewpoints on important topics like politics, world affairs and much more.  We expect that the station will also move into new US markets later this year.”

tradupkinnearSalem Radio News Examines Religious-Themed Movies.  The Salem Communications-owned news division is presenting a special week-long series focusing on the SONY Pictures film version of the New York Times #1 bestseller Heaven Is For Real.  The film is based upon Nebraska pastor Todd Burpo’s account of his son Colton’s near-death experience and the visions of heaven he says happened while doctors were operating on him for a ruptured appendix.  SRN News vice president/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (pictured here at left with actor Greg Kinnear) tells TALKERS that although millions of readers made Heaven Is For Real a bestseller, some theologians have raised concerns about the concept of “heavenly travel” and have condemned both the book and the film version that opens nationwide this Wednesday.  Kinnear stars in the film.  He, along with director Randall Wallace (Oscar-nominated writer of “Braveheart”) and the film’s producer Joe Roth, were interviewed by Tradup for the series.  Also part of SRN’s program will be theology bloggers Tom McMann and Michael Patton who have written about the controversy created by Burpo’s book and the film.  Tradup adds, “There have been a number of Christian-themed box office hits so far in 2014 including “Son of God,” “NOAH,” and “God’s Not Dead.”  I believe – in terms of production values, scope, and the quality of the cast and writing – “Heaven Is For Real” has the potential to eclipse all of them.  Regardless of where theatregoers are in their walk of faith, it is quite simply a powerfully emotional film and, as we will present to listeners, the voices for and against it are part of a healthy debate that should serve the church in America well.”

deptrojohnOdds & Sods.  WPRO-AM, Providence talk show host John DePetro is named winner of the AP “Best Talk Show” award for Rhode Island.  DePetro also had the privilege of sitting in for WestwoodOne nationally syndicated personality Michael Savage for two shows last week.  DePetro comments, “It is great to win best talk show, because it is so competitive.  I work really hard on my show, and it is rewarding to be recognized for it.”…..On Tuesday, April 15, a memorial service will be held in Boston for the victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.  Fox News Radio is offering live, anchored coverage of the memorial service.  Hosted by FNR’s Jeff Monosso, the broadcast will be available on Fox News Radio affiliated stations across the country as well as on the Fox News Radio mobile app, and on the web at www.radio.FoxNews.com…..Matt Perrault exits Absolute Broadcasting-owned sports talk duo WGAM, Manchester and WGHM, Nashua, New Hampshire where he had served as general manager and afternoon personality for the past three years.

scba logoSouthern California Broadcasters Association Launches College Outreach Program.  In an effort to connect with college students and “engage students on the value of radio and its many digital platforms,” Southern California Broadcasters Association president Thom Callahan is embarking on a series of speaking engagements to take place at broadcast and communications classes at colleges and universities in Southern California and in London, England.  The SCBA states that what began as a radio career night at a UCLA radio broadcast class in Los Angeles in March has now expanded to four more speaking engagements over the next 30 days.  Callahan will speak with students “about the entire media landscape using research trends, comparative analysis, and a rich narrative of callahanthomradio’s growth and future in today’s rapidly changing media environment.”  Callahan states, “We are honored to have an honest dialog with what will be the next generation of broadcasters, producers, talent, sales executives, and future management.  Our goal is to open both minds and hearts to the tremendous future of radio and its many audio and digital platforms.”  The SCBA series will be held in April at California State University at both its Los Angeles and Fullerton campuses as well as at Pasadena Community College in Pasadena.  The fourth lecture will be broadcast via Skype to the David Puttnam Media Centre at the University of Sunderland in London, England on May 13.

hahnceleJournalist, State Pol, and Former Station Owner Cele Hahn Dies at 72.  For 20 years, Cele Hahn and husband Curt Hahn owned WNNZ, Springfield, Massachusetts – originally an oldies outlet as WLDM before flipping to news/talk.  The Hahn’s sold WNNZ to Clear Channel in 1998.  In addition to her work as a broadcaster – she was a radio personality on WNNZ along with her ownership role – Cele Hahn was a lifelong journalist, serving with papers including: the Miami Herald, the Huntington (WV) Advertiser, the Sioux City Journal and the Albany Times Knickerbocker News in New York.  She ran for state representative as a Republican in Massachusetts and served four terms before retiring in 2002.  She is survived by her husband Curt, her children and grandchildren.

emorycaptainherbCox Media Group Mourns Death of “Captain” Herb Emory.  Atlanta market traffic reporting legend “Captain” Herb Emory died on Saturday from what appears to have been a heart attack.  Emory reported traffic for CMG’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM and WSB-TV.  WBS reports that according to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Emory stopped to help at a car accident when he suddenly fell ill.  He was transported to WellStar Douglas Hospital where he later died.  Emory’s funeral will be private, but there will be a Celebration of Life and Memorial Service for Captain Herb which will be open to all the public.  Details on that event are forthcoming.  Emory had been with WSB Radio and “Channel 2 Action News” since 1991and served as an Alanta traffic reporter since 1971.  Emory watched over the interstates during the week and hosted special traffic and NASCAR broadcast programs with his wife, Karen Emory.  Captain Herb hosted and produced the “WSB Speed Shop” auto racing from 1993 until 2011.  Emory previously was a news/traffic reporter from 1978 through 1991 with WQXI-AM, WSTR-FM and the Georgia Network News.

Friday, April 11, 2014

| April 11, 2014

limbaughrushLimbaugh Commenting on Colbert’s Hiring: “War on the Heartland of America.”  Clearly – not everyone was doing cartwheels regarding yesterday’s announcement that CBS-TV has selected Stephen Colbert to replace David Letterman as “Late Show” host when Letterman departscolbertstephen sometime next year.  Colbert will gear up for the new assignment by retiring his fake conservative persona (which he has described as a “well-intentioned, poorly informed, high-status idiot”) on Comedy Central‘s “Colbert Report” at the end of this year.  Perhaps the most vociferous and vitriolic public comments concerning the late-night succession involving Colbert were made by Rush Limbaugh on Thursday’s (4/10) Premiere Networks broadcast.  He claims that CBS-TV’s hiring of Colbert has, “declared war on the heartland of America.  No longer is comedy going to be a covert assault on traditional American values, conservative values.  Now it is just out in the open.  What this hire means is a redefinition of what is funny, and a redefinition of what is comedy, and they’re blowing up the 11:30 format.”  Limbaugh and Letterman are hardly allies, yet Limbaugh noted that, “The world is changing – people don’t want the kind of comedy that Carson gave us, or even Letterman gave us.  It is the media planting a flag.  There is no unity in this hire.”  Furthermore, Limbaugh contends that CBS-TV has, “hired a partisan, [a] so-called comedian, to run a comedy show.”

batchelorjohnbookshowWABC, New York’s John Batchelor to Debut Author Video Series on WABCradio.com.  WABC, New York and WestwoodOne syndicated talk show host John Batchelor begins a new online video program titled “John Batchelor Author Series” (sponsored by online bookseller Entitle) in which he “takes his appreciation of literature, history, and political intrigue to a new level” via long-form interviews with today’s most intriguing authors.  Batchelor comments, “I used to be an author, and I enjoy the enthusiasm of hearing in depth of a new book, well told by the person who survived the research, the writing and the publishing.  It’s fun for me to learn the stories of the making of the stories.”  WABC program director Craig Schwalb states, “No one does books better than John Batchelor, and the ‘Author Series’ proves that.  This is a natural extension of John’s passion and we hope that his listeners in New York and across the country will enjoy it.”  The program launches with an in-depth interview of Thomas Cahill the author of Heretics and Heroes.  Future episodes include: Robert Klara author of FDR’s Funeral Train, Eri Hotta author of Japan 1941: Countdown to Infamy and George H. Nash author of The Crusade Years 1933-1955.  Fresh episodes will appear weekly on wabcradio.com.

karnlogoKARN-FM, Little Rock Names PD; Seeks Afternoon Host.  Little Rock news/talker KARN-FM names Adam Thomas program director for the station and the Arkansas Radio Network.  Thomas takes over for longtime PD and PM drive host Dave Elswick who, along with morning host Bob Steel and news director Jack Heinritz, exited the station last week.  Thomas is seeking a new afternoon drive personality for the station and says, “The afternoon show should be a compelling blend of information and entertainment.  Opinion and point-of-view are important, but this program must appeal to a broad segment of the Little Rock community.  Candidates must have a mastery of current events, a relentless curiosity, and the ability and desire to talk about more than politics.  A willingness and ability to engage the audience outside the show via personal appearances, digital media and other channels is a must.”  Send resumes and airchecks or links to cumulusradio.jobs@cumulus.com with “Little Rock PM Host” in the subject line.  Cumulus Media is an EOE.

rowlandjohnFormer Governor, WTIC Host John Rowland Indicted on Federal Elections Violations Charges. A week after former Connecticut Governor John Rowland resigned from his afternoon drive talk show on CBS RADIO’s WTIC, Hartford, he has been indicted by a federal grand jury on seven counts related to alleged illegal campaign activity.  Rowland, who resigned from the governor’s office in 2004 and eventually served 10 months in prison after being charged with corruption, is this time accused of scheming to work for two Connecticut political campaigns and trying to conceal from both the public and the Federal Elections Commission that he was being paid by the campaigns.

wtjk logo newWTJK, Janesville to Flip to News/Talk.  The newly acquired Janesville, Wisconsin sports talker that Scott Thompson’s Big Radio purchased from Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma Broadcasting is flipping to news/talk as “The Big AM 1380” beginning Monday, April 14.  The station – an ESPN Radio outlet under Good Karma’s ownership – will focus on local content and Scott Thompson will host the morning drive show.  The rest of the day will feature: Glenn Smith from 9:00 am to 11:00 am, Andrew Liebetrau & Andy Gannon from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, Tony Huml from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm and Sly from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Program director Andrew Liebetrau comments, “We are incredibly excited to do more for our local listeners, partners and communities.  Not only will we have a lot of great new and local content, but we will continue to offer some of the great local programs we have had for years.”

sportsusaOdds & Sods.  Former NFL quarterback Jake Plummer is producing a weekly podcast for Sports USA Network.  Sports USA president Bob Moore says, “Jake Plummer is a true superstar with a huge following in the college and pro football sports world.  We are excited to add Jake’s show to our growing list of digital audio programs as we continue to produce current, fresh, and informative sports programming.”  Plummer is currently an NFL game analyst on Sports USA’s “Sunday Doubleheader” package as well as a college football analyst on the Pac-12 Television Network…..Alison Cuddy exits Chicago Public Media-owned WBEZ, Chicago where she has been serving as arts & culture reporter and producer.  She leaves to become program director for the Chicago Humanities Festival…..The “Sports Business Radio” show, hosted by creator Brian Berger, celebrates its 10th year on the air.  It debuted on KXL, Portland and then moved to national syndication via Sports Byline USA Network.

ABCNewsRadiocrewMeet the New Boss. The New York-based staff of ABC News Radio poses for a photo with newly named ABC News president James Goldston (at center).  Goldston was given a standing ovation by the ABC News Radio staff when he visited them today just hours after getting the top job at the network.  Goldston, most recently senior vice president overseeing content and development, succeeds Ben Sherwood who is stepping down from the president position in a few weeks after assisting Goldston during the transition phase.

ObamaCare Criticism Top Talk Story for Week of April 7-11.  The ongoing scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act was again the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week.  At #2 was the 2016 presidential race tied with this fall’s mid-term elections.  Following at #3 was global warming and at #4 was the move to charge former IRS official Lois Lerner with contempt tied with Kathleen Sebelius’ resignation as Health and Human Services Secretary.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

| April 10, 2014

cookehollandNAB Show: Day Three.  Today’s report from the NAB Show in Las Vegas courtesy of media consultant Holland Cooke delves into the world of Millennials and how they consume media – and therefore advertising – as well as their need to make everything “social.”  But it’s not all about Millennials.  Whether the attitudes of Boomers and Gen Xers are changing regarding how they prefer to be talked to (addressing talk radio programmers especially here) or not, HC notes Huffington Post founding editor Roy Sekoff believes “engagement” is paramount in reaching people effectively.  Read Holland Cooke’s report from the NAB Show here.

biakelseyBIA/Kelsey: Mobile Local Ad Revenue to Reach $4.5 Billion This Year.  That figure would represent a $1.6 billion increase from last year’s $2.9 billion.  The firm says that – largely driven by local marketing initiatives of national advertisers – locally targeted mobile ads will represent more than half of overall U.S. mobile ad spending by 2018.  BIA/Kelsey senior analyst/vice president of content Michael Boland comments, “Advertiser demand will be driven by natural market forces to follow undervalued inventory.  Mobile advertising’s appeal includes higher performance, clearer ROI, tangible conversions and a shorter purchase funnel.  These qualities of mobile content and advertising present a rare alignment between typical mobile user intent and advertisers’ stated objectives.”  In its annual U.S. “Local Media Forecast” (2013 – 2018), BIA/Kelsey predicts mobile local ad revenue will more than triple over the next five years, reaching $15.7 billion in 2018.  It says total U.S. mobile ad spending will grow from $11.4 billion this year to $30.3 billion in 2018, and locally targeted mobile ads will represent 52% of overall mobile ad spending in this country.  National-to-local mobile marketing will be the focus of the company’s “Leading in Local: The National Impact” conference next month (5/7 – 9) in Atlanta.

colbertstephenStephen Colbert to Replace David Letterman on CBS.  Wow, talk about a quick and surprising announcement regarding the late night superstar’s replacement!  When David Letterman announced he would be retiring from the “CBS Late Show” next year, many figured it would be a long time before a permanent successor was named.  But CBS tweeted that it will bring Stephen Colbert aboard to host the program when Letterman steps down.  The company is promising an official press release later today (4/10).  Early analysis of the move by industry watchers is largely positive with many agreeing this gives Colbert a perfect avenue to step out of his “Colbert Report” character and flex his other show biz muscles while CBS acquires a younger, more up-and-coming television personality.  But it sure makes us curious how long this deal was in the works.

stevensgerodNew Orleans Talk Show Host Charged with Theft, Forgery.  The former longtime morning host at urban talk WBOK, New Orleans – Gerod Stevens (a.k.a. Gerald Neely) – has been charged with theft of more than $1,500 and forgery after authorities allege he cashed checks from advertisers intended for his employer – Bakewell Media of Louisiana.  WDSU-TV, New Orleans reports the station and Stevens parted last year.  Legal analyst John Fuller tells WDSU-TV Stevens has no prior record and the charges are not “that serious” in the “grand scheme of things,” but he acknowledges that the maximum for both crimes is 10 years.

darlasandrea

Odds & Sods.  Chicago radio journalist Andrea Darlas will speak at the convocation of the class of 2014 at her alma mater the University of Illinois.  Andrea Darlas is a journalism grad of the school – class of 1994 – and at the commencement ceremony on May 17, she will be a featured speaker.  Darlas is an award-winning news anchor and reporter for WGN, Chicago and WGN-TV.  She is heard weekday mornings on the Steve Cochran show and is seen on WGN-TV as a weekend freelance reporter and contributor for “House Smarts” with Lou Manfredini…..SiriusXM announces the launch of “The Comedy Cellar Show,” a comedy talk show hosted by Noam Dworman, owner of the renowned Comedy Cellar, and comedian Dan Naturman.  The program will debut with special guest Dave Attell and will feature topkuglerMasters comedians as guests, engaging in uncensored roundtable discussions, as well as exclusive stand-up sets performed by the comedians that same night at the historic venue…..WestwoodOne is again the exclusive radio partner for Augusta National Golf Club’s Masters Tournament.  WestwoodOne will provide radio stations nationwide with live hole-by-hole coverage as well as hourly updates throughout the rounds, beginning April 10 through April 13.  Bob Papa and Charlie Rymer will anchor live coverage.  The network’s Kevin Kugler is pictured here at right on the course — the part known as Amen Corner — during yesterday’s broadcast events.

IndiaHousebwIndia House Club Selected as New Home of Talkers New York 2014 Industry event to relocate to National Historic Landmark.  After a successful run of five years at New York City’s Concierge Conference Center, the editorial board of TALKERS magazine announces that the 17th annual installment of the talk radio industry’s longest-running and most important national convention – Talkers New York 2014 – will be held at the India House Club, located in the world famous India House.  India House is the architectural and historic centerpiece of Hanover Square — the cultural hub of New York’s financial district in Lower Manhattan.  It is situated at One Hanover Square.  The opportunity to present the conference at the newly-selected venue is one that TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison says is, “too good to pass up.”  Harrison states, “We deeply apologize for any inconvenience that our announcement of the former venue might have caused those who have already registered.”  According to Harrison, “This event has been selling out several weeks in advance, year after year.  The India House Club offers us the opportunity to open the conference to an extra hundred or so people without losing the intimacy that is one of its many attractions.  This venue is elegant, comfortable,2014 NYC logo 150 beautiful and slightly larger than the conference’s former site and yet it comes fully equipped with the state of the art technology that an event of this nature demands.  It is also located in one of America’s most vibrant ‘neighborhoods’ and a piece of geography in the belly of the Wall Street beast symbolic of both the good and bad impacting the radio industry in the 21st century.” India House, constructed in the mid-19th century in the style of a Renaissance palazzo, has a long and distinguished heritage tied into the formation of lower Manhattan as well as the story of business and commerce in New York.  It is registered as one of New York City’s historic sites and is an official National Historic Landmark.  Talkers New York 2014, only open to professionals working in or closely associated with the communications industry, is still expected to be an early sellout.  Registrations are $249 per person for all sessions, exhibits, receptions and food and only taken by phone with credit cards.  Call 413-565-5413.  More details about speakers and agenda will be announced in the coming days leading up to the event on Friday, June 20. For more information, click here.

cowherdcostnerCowherd and Costner Talk “Draft Day” and More.  Actor Kevin Costner (left) chats in the Times Square ESPN Radio studios with talk show host Colin Cowherd.  Costner made the appearance to promote his new film “Draft Day” in which he plays rogue football GM Sonny Weaver who must do what he thinks is necessary to revive the moribund Cleveland Browns (that’s the true-to-life part of the film).  During Costner’s visit with Cowherd, the two talk about the importance of playing sports throughout life – not just in youth – as well as Costner’s effective playing of sports characters in his past films.

SchillingFAIRTalking Immigration Reform in DC.  At the annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row being held in Washington, DC, some 50 talk show hosts from around the country have spent the last two days (4/9-10) at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill speaking with listeners, lawmakers, law enforcement, immigration experts, activists and members of the media about the issue of immigration reform.  Pictured here is WINA, Charlottesville, Virginia talk show host Rob Schilling (right) interviewing Dan Stein (left), president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which is sponsoring the annual event.

PA School Stabbing Rampage, ObamaCare Criticism, 2016 Presidential Race, U.S.-China Relations, Hank Aaron GOP Comments, Lerner Prosecution Movement, and Al Sharpton Informant Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/9).  A stabbing rampage allegedly committed by 16-year-old Alex Hribal wounds 24 at a Pittsburgh-area high school; scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act and the White House’s criticism of doctors profiting off Medicare patients; speculation about the possible candidates in the 2016 presidential race; Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s combative conference with China’s defense chief ahead of President Obama’s coming visit to China; baseball legend Hank Aaron calls the Republican party the modern KKK; the move by GOP congressmen to prosecute former IRS official Lois Lerner; and the controversy over the story that Rev. Al Sharpton was a mob informant were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

NAB Show: Day Three

| April 10, 2014

NAB Show convention coverage by consultant Holland Cooke

 

cookewriterLAS VEGAS — Did I say 93,000+?  The final attendance figure for the National Association of Broadcasters’ annual convention is…?  Cue that Jerry Lewis Telethon-style tympani roll.  98,015!  And the vibe here has been bustling and upbeat.

ICYMI:

And here’s what I gleaned from the most radio-pertinent sessions I attended on Wednesday.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

| April 9, 2014

cookehollandNAB Show: Day Two.  Media consultant Holland Cooke reports back to TALKERS/RadioInfo from Las Vegas with notes from the second day of the annual NAB Show in Las Vegas.  Among the topics Cooke writes about are NAB CEO Gordon Smith’s conversation with FCC chairman Tom Wheeler (it appears radio is not on Wheeler’s radar), an instructive group of thoughts for radio operators from former NYTimes columnist and current Yahoo Tech columnist David Pogue, plus some comments about the future of the AM band.  Read Holland Cooke’s complete column here.

nabcrystalawardNAB Announces Crystal Radio Award Winners. Chosen among 50 finalists, 10 stations emerged as victors of the National Association of Broadcasters’ 27th annual Crystal Radio Awards.  Recipients were honored at yesterday’s (Tuesday, 4/8) radio luncheon at the NAB Show in Las Vegas.  Honorees are Clear Channel Los Angeles urban-rhythmic oldies KHHT “Hot 92.3″; CBS Radio Detroit all-news WWJ; Bonneville Phoenix KTAR-FM “News/Talk 92.3″; Hubbard Minneapolis hot AC KSTP-FM “KS-95″; and Clear Channel Omaha KXKT “Today’s Country.”  Other winners are Cromwell Group‘s WZUS “Talk 101 FM,” Decatur, Illinois; Lenawee Broadcasting adult contemporary WLEN “Lenawee’s Best Radio Station,” Adrian, Michigan; Fife Communication adult contemporary KCVM “93.5 – The Mix,” Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Iowa; East Kentucky Broadcasting‘s WDHR “Today’s Best Country,” Pikeville, Kentucky; and Riverfront Broadcasting‘s KYNT “Yankton’s Home Team,” Yankton, South Dakota.  Crystal Radio Awards recognize stations for outstanding year-round commitment to community service.  Judges representing broadcasting, community service organizations, and public relations firms chose the finalists.

wgan logoChanges at Saga Portland and Binnie.  WGAN, Portland brand manager and news director Jeff Wade exits his roles with Saga Communications in Portland to take on the news director role with Binnie Media’s statewide news network serving neighboring New Hampshire called New Hampshire One.  As a result, Saga names Portland operations manager Chris Mac program director of news/talk WGAN and promotes afternoon news anchor and reporter Frank Alosa to the news director position.  On his new post, Alosa says, “This really is a great opportunity to take the reins as news director at a station with such a rich history in this market.  I look forward to continuing and expanding upon WGAN’s news tradition.”

advantagesystems logoSales Pro Mike Messenger Joins Advantage Systems Inc.  Sales training and consulting firm Advantage Systems Inc. announces radio sales pro Mike Messenger – who most recently was director of sales for Cox Media – is joining the company to serve as revenue development manager.  Messenger says that the concept of growing revenue through a focus on local direct business is what attracted him to Advantage Systems.  During his time with Cox Media, Messenger led a team that sold across 12 states, growing revenue via local direct.  Messenger states, “It’s a unique concept that has proven fruitful – in fact growing revenue 15% year-over-year.  I am very excited to help advertising sales professionals grow their revenue.  What Advantage Systems offers to local, small and mid-size businesses is unparalleled in the industry.  This is a unique opportunity for me at the right time in my career to do what I love to do: help businesses grow their client base and make more money, while helping sales professionals improve their income.”  In this position, Messenger will be working with sales teams and managers to help strengthen their local direct strategy and maximize digital sales to ultimately generate sustainable growth in their individual markets.  Advantage Systems VP of sales Frank Kulbertis comments, “Media organizations and local advertisers are going to love working with Mike Messenger.  His experience and enthusiasm make him the ideal person to help us expand our business in the broadcast and cable TV industries, while continuing our extensive work in the radio industry.  I am thrilled that we were able to add someone of Mike’s caliber to our organization.”  Advantage president Mike LoConte adds, “A key advantage to our Advantage Systems program is the strengthening of the sales team so that we can help our media partners grow their revenue not only thru focused sales programs but all year round.  We feel Mike has what it takes to help all of our media partners exceed their sales goals.”

ObamaCare Criticism, 2016 Presidential Race, Global Warming, Russian Aggression in Ukraine, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Search, Lois Lerner Contempt Move, and Vance McAllister Scandal Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/8).  Ongoing scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; speculation about the players in the 2016 presidential campaign; renewed debate over the consensus regarding anthropogenic climate change; suspicion that Vladimir Putin’s government is fomenting revolution in Ukraine; renewed hope that authorities are close to finding Malaysia Airlines Flight 370; the battle in Washington over potential contempt charges against former IRS official Lois Lerner; and the “Christmas kissing” scandal involving Louisiana congressman Vance McAllister were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

NAB Show: Day Two

| April 9, 2014

NAB Show convention coverage by consultant Holland Cooke

 

cookehollandLAS VEGAS – Applause to 2014 Crystal Award winning stations, who were honored at Tuesday’s Radio Luncheon, after-which came one helluva moment, Steve Harvey’s NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame acceptance speech.

It began every bit as hilarious as you’d expect, then turned suddenly, stunningly, emotional, the kind of from-the-heart moment that defines great big characters.  He tearfully applauded the Crystal winners, declaring that “radio is about the community, about the people.  Every radio station can play the same songs.  [The Crystal winners] are doing radio the way radio should be done.”

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NAB Show: Sound Bites from Sin City

| April 8, 2014

NAB Show convention coverage by consultant Holland Cooke

 

cookewriterLAS VEGAS — 94,000-plus attendees and 1,700 reporters have come here from 159 countries, to peruse the wares of 1,550 exhibitors in a 35-football-field size exhibit hall.

The April NAB Show isn’t a radio convention, and the recurring theme radio people hear here is that stations can’t only be “in the radio business” anymore.  Although NAB’s mission remains advocating for its member licensees, there are lots of people here who don’t work at stations.  Conference themes such as “Where Content Comes to Life” and “Channel Opportunity” focus convention-goers on the reality that transmitter delivery is now merely part of broadcasters’ repertoire.  And that the credibility and habitual use transmitters have earned is a big advantage competing with new-tech interlopers for audience and advertiser attention.

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So, You Want to Be Syndicated. Love or Money?

So, You Want to Be Syndicated. Love or Money?

| April 8, 2014

By Tony Garcia
Global Media Services
Founder

 

DENVER – I’ve spoken with many people who have the syndication bug.  The first question I ask is, “Love or money?”  We all love what we do, and we would all like to collect a fabulous salary for doing that which we love.  But in the syndication business, it’s a bit more complicated.

Syndication is an indirect sale.  As a program producer you provide a product that you believe can build an audience.  In order to get that audience, you have to get your program on the air.  No matter how good your show is, without affiliates, no one will ever hear it.  Another way to look at it is “shelf space,” just like products in a store.  If you don’t get on the shelves, you’ll never get consumers to try your product. Program directors are the ones responsible for stocking those shelves and they are literally bombarded with pitches on a daily basis.

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

| April 8, 2014

marinerrayRay Mariner to Program ‘106.1 The Ticket’ and ‘NASH FM 92.3’ in New Orleans.  In a newly created management position at Cumulus Media’s New Orleans operations, programmer and air personality Ray Mariner begins leading the programming at country WRKN “NASH FM 92.3” and sports talker WMTI “106.1 The Ticket” on April 15.  Mariner most recently was a personality on Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN, Atlanta “680 The Fan.”  He also served in the market as PM drive personality on Lincoln Financial Media’s CHR WSTR “Star 94.”  Cumulus SVP of programming Mike McVay states, “Ray is a rare breed of programmer and talent.  He has shown his programming acumen by performing and succeeding at the highest level.  We’re excited to have him oversee the programming of both ‘NASH FM 92.3’ and ‘106.1 The Ticket’ in New Orleans.”  Cumulus sports/talk format captain Jim Mahanay adds, “Ray Mariner is a strong addition to Cumulus’ programming team in New Orleans.  He brings a great track record and tremendous talent to this important role at ‘NASH FM 92.3’ and ‘106.1 The Ticket.’  I look forward to having him lead our sports programming in this key market.”

jaworski showRon Jaworski’s WPEN, Philadelphia Show to Air Year Round.  Former Philadelphia Eagles great Ron Jaworski has been hosting a weekly football show on Greater Media’s WPEN, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic” during the regular NFL season but now the station makes his Wednesday evening 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm show a year-round deal.  The station is kicking off the program with a live show from Riley’s Pub at Valleybrook Country Club in Blackwood, New Jersey tomorrow evening (4/9).  Jaworski says in a statement, “I couldn’t be more excited to be extending the Ron Jaworski show to a year-round event. The NFL has become a 12-month league.  It’s going to be fun talking with the Philadelphia fans about free agency, the draft, training camp and eventually when the games get started in September.”

cookehollandNAB Show: Sound Bites from Sin City.  Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas reporting for RadioInfo from the NAB Show and here is some of what he’s gleaned from the convention.  Cooke writes that although this convention is not a radio gathering – that’s in Indianapolis in September – he says, “The recurring theme radio people hear here is that stations can’t only be ‘in the radio business’ anymore.”  Sales skills are probably the most important a broadcaster can have these days and there’s a lot of that kind of advice to be had.  During the RAB’s Lunch-N-Learn session, CEO Erica Farber noted that three of radio’s sales mistakes are: being afraid to ask for “The Big Ask”; constant rep turnover; and selling to the same advertisers over and over.  Read more of HC’s report here.

garciatonySyndication: Love or Money?  Moving a radio program into the syndication realm is a challenging venture and it’s a move that can be started for the wrong reasons.  In a column published today (4/8), Global Media Services founder Tony Garcia writes that for a show to have a chance at success in syndication – even one that is successful on the local level – there are a number of questions the producer of the show must answer before moving ahead.  Garcia says, “If you are going to get the attention of program directors, your show and your pitch must to be relevant and compelling.  What is it you are providing for the station and its audience?  Are you solving a problem?  Are you doing something that the station can’t easily do itself?”  Read more about what Garcia suggests a potential show producer must be prepared to answer in his piece here.

holdtheirfeet2014Immigration Radio Row Takes Place in Washington Tomorrow.  The annual radio row – organized by the Federation for American Immigration Reform – is dubbed “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” and the two-day event begins tomorrow at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill.  FAIR says it features the largest gathering ever of talk radio hosts focused on a single issue.  Dozens of hosts from across the country will spend two days discussing immigration policy with listeners, lawmakers, law enforcement, immigration experts, activists and members of the media live from radio row while broadcasting their shows back to their home markets.  Credentialed members of the press are welcome.  In particular, reporters covering the national immigration debate will have access to a wide variety of personalities and perspectives all in one location.  For more information, contact Kristen Williamson, press secretary at: office 202-328-7004/cell 847-651-8611.

snlkaganQ1 Radio Deals Top $300 Million on Strength of WBLS/WLIB Sale.  According to SNL Kagan, first quarter 2014 radio deals topped the $300 million mark in value.  This big quarter was largely the result of the $131 million (8.5 times cash flow) sale of urban contemporary WBLS and gospel WLIB from YMF Media LLC to Emmis Communications Corporation.  The other big deal was the $74 million sale of 10 stations from South Central Communications Corporation to SummitMedia, LLC.  SNL Kagan says that compared to the 2013 average of 7 times cash flow, the average radio cash flow multiple rose by half a point in the first quarter of 2014.

nrgmediaNRG Media Reports Completion of Change in Equity Investors.  The change in equity investors that NRG Media, LLC announced in October of 2013 is complete.  The company says the change solidifies “the new partnership between the Midwest-based media company and Cyrus Capital Partners, an investment management company that actively invests in debt and equity securities on a global basis.”  Cyrus has approximately $4 billion in assets under management and its investor base is comprised of sophisticated long term institutional and high net worth investors.  NRG CEO Mary Quass states, “We look forward to a long relationship with Cyrus Capital Partners and wish to thank Waitt Media and McCarthy Capital for their support over the last 9 years.”

bennettbillOdds & Sods.  Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated morning host Bill Bennett celebrates his 10th year with the network.  His “Morning in America” program was visited on Monday by special guests including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, fellow Salem talk host Mike Gallagher and WestwoodOne personality Mark Levin…..Newsweb Radio adds local gay rights author and activist Wayne Besen to the weekend lineup at WCPT-AM/FM, Chicago to host a weekly Saturday afternoon program called, “I’ve Got Issues.”  Newsweb president Charles Gross says of the progressive program, “We are excited about this hard-hitting new show that will debate the critical local and national issues that affect our lives.”…..CBS Radio News White House correspondent Peter Maer is being awarded the Merriman Smith Memorial Award for Presidential Coverage Under Deadline Pressure.  Maer is receiving the honor for his reports at the Hampton Roads, Virginia shipyard where the president traveled to make his case on last year’s sequestration fight.  The White House Correspondents Association says,  “Peter Maer’s story on the potential impact of budget sequestration did what White House reporters too rarely do: It humanized a national political story, and managed to do so on an extremely tight deadline, no less.”

krokduckA Day at the Races.  WBAP, Dallas talk show host Chris Krok (left) poses for a photo with “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson (right) at the Texas Motor Speedway during its “Duck Commander 500” race held over the weekend.  Also in the photo is Krok’s son Isaac (center).  Krok broadcast his program live from the speedway on Friday (4/4) and then hosted 80 listeners who bought tickets to be part of “Krok and His Flock” on Saturday.  Krok and his listeners were able to tour the garage and pits.

ObamaCare Criticism, IRS Scandal, Russian Aggression in Ukraine, Common Core Controversy, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Search, and Student Athlete Compensation/NCAA Championship Game Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/7).  Ongoing scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the move by House Speaker John Boehner to bring legal action against ex-IRS official Lois Lerner; Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine and fears he’s preparing to arm Iran; troubles with the Common Core standards as states drop the program; the continuing search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370; and controversy over compensating student athletes and the run-up to the NCAA Championship game were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, April 7, 2014

| April 7, 2014

businessrockstars radio‘Business Rockstars Radio’ to Air on WGN.FM.  The Ken Rutkowski-hosted “Business Rockstars Radio” program begins airing on Tribune Company’s WGN.FM digital platform.  WGN VP of content and programming Todd Manley says, “Ken Rutkowski is driven by a hunger to understand innovators, and his knack for unlocking the heart and soul of entrepreneurs makes for a potent audio-video-social journey.  This fits WGN.FM’s free-form model perfectly, and we can’t wait for Ken’s first Business Rockstars Chicago event.”  “Business Rockstars Radio” began broadcasting live today (4/7) from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm CT.  Business Rockstars co-founder Steve Lehman comments,wgnfm lofo “We’re thrilled to expand ‘Business Rockstars Radio’ into the Chicago market by joining the powerhouse family over at WGN Radio.  This new alliance will allow us to reach the huge demographic of ‘Wantrepreneurs’ in Chicago and the surrounding areas with fun, fast-paced and compelling entrepreneurial content about growing, starting, and funding businesses.  It’s going to be great to work with the WGN team.  Todd Manley is a cutting-edge, forward-thinking programmer, and I’ve always admired and had a great working relationship with my only man-crush, Jimmy de Castro.”

walshjoeSalem Communications Adds Chicago-based Joe Walsh to WNYM, New York Afternoon Schedule.  Former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh is no stranger to the WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer” airwaves – he’s been working on the air there since late January.  But now the company announces Walsh will host the 5:00 pm hour on “AM 970 The Answer” and then do his 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm CT show on WIND, Chicago.  Salem VP director spoken word format Phil Boycewnymlogo says, “We looked at a lot of options for late afternoons, but once we put Joe on the air in New York something magical happened.  He instantly bonded with the New York audience.  Joe sounds like he was born and bred in New York with a fire-breathing attitude.  New York politicians need to get ready for this guy.”  Walsh comments, “When Governor Cuomo said three months ago that conservatives weren’t welcome in New York, I took that as an invitation.  Other talk show hosts threatened to leave New York, but I told the folks at AM 970 I want to go where the enemy lives, and they took me in.”

cookehollandRadio: Playing Catch-Up to Our On-Demand Culture.  Reporting from the RAIN Summit that preceded today’s opening of the NAB Show in Las Vegas, media consultant Holland Cooke writes about what those on the digital platform are doing well and what AM/FM operators can learn from them.  Cooke offers analysis of what “curation” can mean to radio station programmers and sales staffers as well as reporting on what works on the podcasting platform and what doesn’t.  Read Holland Cooke’s piece here.

cbslogoCBS-Nielsen Cross-Media Measurement Data Shows Power of TV-Radio Combo Buys.  A statement from both CBS and Nielsen calls today’s news “proof of concept (POC)” for local television plus radio audience measurement.  Using Nielsen TV and radio panels the two companies “collaborated to demonstrate the additive power of combining media buys for major advertising campaigns.  The POC combined audience data from CBS’ local TV and radio assets in order to build a foundation that measured combined and unduplicated reach across both media.”  It’s good news for CBS but it’s really the only player with a large number of TV and radio assets across the company.  Still,nielsen logo Nielsen says it intends to open participation in the pilot across a wider group of clients to “further strengthen cross-media selling models.”  But the companies go on to say that “creating a measurable foundation gives advertisers using marketing mix models as a basis for their media planning the tools they need to accurately account for how local television and radio together contribute to driving sales.  This POC begins the conversation into the data needed by those models to correctly value local television and radio.”  Here’s more from the press release: “In some cases, using local television and radio together doubled the reach in certain markets.  In the five markets measured in the POC, an advertiser could reach anywhere from 84% to as high as 93% of all adults 18+ within a month by leveraging local television and radio together.  Advertisers would be able to see the benefits of combining the buying of these media and dayparts together.  For instance, combining television prime time and late news all week with morning drive on weekdays, an advertiser could reach 75% of A18-49 in Boston within four weeks.  In this example, a local media buy could make sense for fast food advertisers.”  Full results of the study are being presented at the NAB Show tomorrow (4/8).  CBS Corporation chief research officer David Poltrack says, “Industry-standard measurement is a first step toward showing large advertisers what local advertisers already know – there is a lot of value to combining local television and radio in a media buy.  We will continue working with Nielsen to bring to the industry the rich analytics, reporting tools, and planning software needed to prove these benefits to advertisers.  The long-term plan is to include online as well.  This proof-of-concept demonstrates the power of broadcasting quickly and frequently to reach mass audiences.”

sternhowardHoward Stern to Interview Billy Joel for SiriusXM “Town Hall” Series.  The “Town Hall” Series on SiriusXM taking place at the end of this month will feature talk radio legend Howard Stern sitting down with rock icon Billy Joel.  The satcaster says that this “unique live sit-down special, pays tribute to Billy Joel with conversation, questions, performances by Joel and special guests.”  It will take place at a “secret, intimate location in New York City on Monday, April 28.”  Additional details about the “Town Hall,” including special performances and guests, will be revealed by Howard Stern in the coming weeks on his program. Stern says, “The 2010 interview I did with Billy Joel was one of my favorites of my career.  Now, this special hits a whole new level, with surprise guests whose lives have been changed by Billy, from the unknown to the famous, giving Billy the tribute, and fans the treat, that they deserve.”

sinnersaintKFXX, Portland Debuts Two New Weekend Shows.  Adding local programming to its weekend programming roster is Entercom’s KFXX, Portland “1080 TheFan.”  The new Saturday program is “The Sinner and the Saint” featuring Keith Hill and Luke Anderson (pictured here) airing from 9:00 am to 11:00 am.  On Sundays from 8:00 am to 10:00 am, “Sports Sunday” hosted by Mike Lynch and Rashad Taylor is now heard.

kcaa logoKCAA, Loma Linda CEO Featured on Sundance TV Reality Series Tonight.  On this evening’s episode of “Loredana Esq.,” KCAA CEO Fred Lundgren will be featured as station attorney and program star Loredana Nesci represents him in a case that went before the Los Angeles Superior Court.  The TV show features Nesci – a former L.A. cop-turned-criminal defense attorney – as she handles cases facing overwhelming odds.  During this evening’s episode Nesci represents Lundgren who faces receivership after being sued by a broadcaster for $800,000.  Lundgren terminated the broadcaster’s contract due to repeated on-air obscenities.  Lundgren says this episode offers a “unique glimpse behind the scenes of a radio station licensee who gets caught between our First Amendment rights and the First Amendment restrictions placed on radio stations by the FCC.”

cochransteveOdds & Sods.  Beginning tomorrow (4/8), Tribune’s WGN, Chicago will present a video component to the morning drive Steve Cochran program.  According to Chicago media writer Robert Feder, there will be multiple cameras in the studio to, as chief content officer Todd Manley says, give “a peek behind the curtain – a way to see how everybody collaborates.”…..ESPN Radio’s “SVP & Russillo” will originate from Sundance Square in Fort Worth today from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm in advance of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship game.  Today’s broadcast featuring hosts Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Russillo is open to the public…..Las Vegas-based talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs reports thatwachsdaliah two more talk show hosts have signed on to take part in the effort to raise funds for the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society.  Casey Hendrickson of WTRC, Michiana-Fort Wayne “News/Talk 95.3” and Len Connell of “The Sex and Money Show” on KLAV, Las Vegas join a number of other radio hosts who are competing to raise the most money and claim the FROST prize (top fundraising host).  Dr. Wachs says there’s still time to join the fun and possibly win a $1,000 Southwest Airlines gift card.  Contact her at doctordaliah@hotmail.com.

Radio: Playing Catch-Up to Our On-Demand Culture

| April 7, 2014

RAIN Summit West coverage by media consultant Holland Cooke 

 

cookewriterLAS VEGAS — When I joined Netflix, TV listings instantly became less interesting.  And less interesting yet when I installed the Roku box.  If you have Apple TV, you can relate.  Ditto Google Chrome.

Radio remains a vital first informer when the fit hits the shan.  We do live real-time real well.  But AM/FM broadcasters are late to address the convenience use behavior listeners demonstrate via DVR use and “House of Cards” binge-watching.  Meanwhile, advertising dollars are flowing, not leaking, to the digital platform.

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Friday, April 4, 2014

| April 4, 2014

wtic logoFormer Connecticut Governor John Rowland Resigns from WTIC, Hartford Show as New Corruption Probe Intensifies.  The former Connecticut governor resigned from office in 2004 amidst corruption charges to which he eventually pleaded guilty and served 10 months in federal prison.  He began a talk show host career on CBS RADIO’s WTIC,rowlandjohn Hartford in 2010 – for the first two years with co-host Pastor Will Marotti of the New Life Church in Meriden before going solo – but now that gig is over as Rowland stepped down yesterday without addressing the new allegations.  The Hartford Courant reports that testimony from local businessman Brian Foley and his wife, Lisa Wilson-Foley (a former congressional candidate) stated in federal court that they used a phony consulting contract with Rowland to pay him for political assistance to Wilson-Foley’s failed 2012 campaign.  Rowland faces possible indictment by a grand jury.  WTIC program director Jenneen Lee tells the paper Pastor Will Marotti will step into the afternoon drive slot beginning Monday.  Read the entire Courant piece here.

elswickdaveBig Changes at KARN-FM, Little Rock; PM Driver Dave Elswick Out along with AM Drive’s Bob Steel and ND.  Longtime afternoon drive personality and program director Dave Elswick announces via Facebook that he’s out at Cumulus Media’s KARN-FM, Little Rock.  Here’s his post: “I ask for your prayers tonight.  After nearly 14 years on KARN I was fired by Cumulus Media.  Bob Steel and news director Jack Heintz were also fired.  I have no idea what will be on the station tomorrow.  Know that I love every one of you who have supported me over these years. God Bless.”  There were rumors of change at the news/talk outlet swirling but nothing concrete had been put out.  As of now, the KARN-FM website lists the AM and PM drive dayparts generically.  It’s possible Cumulus is clearing the afternoon deck to move Michael Savage into a live slot from the current late night delayed broadcast.

esiasonboomerCriticism of Mets Infielder’s Paternity Leave Reversed as WFAN’s Boomer Esiason Apologizes.  The decision by New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy to miss two games to be with his wife in Florida after she delivered their son on Opening Day was a hot topic of conversation on New York sports talk radio and both WFAN afternoon host Mike Francesa and morning drive co-host Boomer Esiason opined that two games was too many to miss.  But during the initial chatter, Esiason said that he’d have asked his wife to schedule a C-section in order to be with his teammates for the games.  The MLB CBA allows for up to three days of paternity leave.  Esiason apologized on WFAN’s morning show today (4/4), calling his comments “insensitive” and expressing contrition for having put the Murphy family’s personal lives “under a spotlight.”  He also said his C-section comment was not intended to mean he was telling women what to do with their bodies.

openingday2014Nielsen Audio Quantifies the Obvious: Opening Day Is Big for Radio.  What’s well known to radio practitioners is put into numbers by Nielsen Audio from this season’s Opening Day.  While baseball – from a ratings standpoint – will be good to most MLB flagships this year, some of the Opening Day numbers are truly spectacular.  In Cincinnati, flagship WLW pulled a 46.6 share with Men 25-54 on a 12+ cume of 270,700.  Also, it’s interesting to note the difference in cume and share from the Cubs at Pirates broadcasts where the woebegone Cubs fans in Chicago didn’t appear to have the same passion (via radio, anyway) as the recharged Bucs backers in Pittsburgh.  Check out the data here.

theblaze radio networkGlenn Beck’s TheBlaze Radio Network Reports Streaming Success.  The digital side of Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze Radio Network reports that it makes its debut as one of the top 20 most-listened-to streams in America, according to Triton Digital‘s February 2014 ranker.  TheBlaze president and chief content officer Joel Cheatwood states, “When we launched TheBlaze Radio Network in January 2013 we did so with the goal of being one of the top online radio stations in America.  In our first month of accredited measurement, it is exciting to see our single stream on the same list as these established multi-stream services.”

mozdiezcarlsonEntercom Boston Boosts Mozdiez to Director of Integrated Media Strategies.  It is a position the cluster specifically crafts for Carlson Mozdiez, who is elevated from director of digital operations.  New responsibilities for the Syracuse University graduate include developing/executing customer-facing brand messaging, including live events, contesting and promotions, external advertising,entercom websites, video, and social media.  Entercom Boston vice president/market manager Phil Zachary comments, “Streamlining our ever-expanding array of digital and marketing channels, which connect the most valuable radio consumers in New England to our brands and our advertisers, makes logistical sense.  Carlson is the ideal leader to spearhead these innovative efforts.”  Mozdiez remarks that, “It is an exciting time as we continue to develop and optimize the ways people interact with our stations while creating new means for advertisers to access our audiences.”  Entercom Boston consists of rock WAAF, sports WEEI-FM, sports WEEI-AM, news/talk WRKO, the Boston Red Sox Radio Network and their respective web properties.  Mozdiez joined Entercom in 2002 as promotion coordinator for WEEI and WRKO.

millerdennisDennis Miller Celebrates Radio Anniversary.  Today marks the seventh anniversary of entertainer Dennis Miller’s nationally syndicated WestwoodOne radio program.  The “Saturday Night Live” alum is commemorating the day with special guests including: Mark Steyn, nationally syndicated columnist and author of After America: Get Ready for Armageddon; Bob Saget, comedian and author of Dirty Daddy: The Chronicles of a Family Man Turned Filthy Comedian; Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky; David Spade, comedian; Frank Sinatra Jr.; and fellow SNL alum Dana Carvey.

richertlarryKDKA-AM’s Larry Richert to Be Roasted for Charity.  Pittsburgh talk radio personality Larry Richert – co-host of the “KDKA Morning News on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA” will be the guest of honor at a Roast & Toast on Friday, April 25 to be roasted and toasted by friends and co-workers to benefit the Roxsan Betters Albanese Foundation.  This foundation helps financially challenged families with children who are terminally ill or face a life threatening situation.  Fellow KDKA-AM talk host Rob Pratte will serve as Master of Ceremonies.

westcottpaulOdds & Sods.  When Premiere Networks’ “America Now with Andy Dean” hits the air tonight, WTAG, Worcester morning drive talk show host Paul Westcott will be in the host chair.  Westcott has become a regular fill-in for Dean when he’s away…..This weekend’s NCAA Final Four is being covered by SiriusXM.  The satcaster says it’ll offer subscribers comprehensive coverage of this weekend’s action plus analysis on the College Sports Nation channel from hoops experts such as three-time ACC Coach of the Year Bobby Cremins, Hall of Fame Michigan State guard Mateen Cleaves, former Villanova and UMass coach Steve Lappas, former University of Vermont coach Tom Brennan, plus Tim Brando, Mark Packer, Chris Childers and Jason Horowitz…..Birach Broadcasting’s sports talker KXRQ, Des Moines announces it’s the newest affiliate for Kansas City Royals baseball play-by-play……Sunrise Broadcasting strikes an agreement with Sea-Comm Media to use the latter’s translator W240AS, Wilmington at 95.9 FM to augment the signal of its sports talk WMFD “ESPN Wilmington,” heard on 630 AM.

ObamaCare Criticism Remains Atop Talkers TenTM.  The major political issue of the past year – the passage of the Affordable Care Act – continues to be one of the top news/talk radio stories and was again the most-talked-about topic this week, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.  Coming in at #2 this week was the deadly Fort Hood Shooting.  At #3 was the looming mid-term elections tied with the potential candidates in the 2016 presidential election, and at #4 was this week’s Supreme Court campaign donation ruling.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

| April 3, 2014

wbzlogoWBZ, Boston and WBZ-TV Win Peabody Award for Marathon Bombing Coverage.  The CBS-owned television station and all-news radio outlet are being honored with a 2013 George Foster Peabody Award for overall excellence for their combined coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings.  The citation from the Peabody Awards states: “Out in force to cover the annual marathon, both WBZ-TV and Newsradio 1030 had a journalistic advantage when the bombs detonated.  Neither gave it up as their reporters spent hour after hour on the air providing wide-ranging, enterprising, non-sensational coverage of the casualties, the suspects and the intense, nerve-wracking manhunt.  They become crucial sources not just to their city but to a stunned nation.”  The awards will be delivered during the ceremony to take place in New York on May 19.

wabcWABC, New York Covers Final Four.  As the battle to claim the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship title continues this weekend, Cumulus Media news/talker WABC, New Yorkladennoam covers it from Dallas with Geraldo show regulars Noam Laden and Jared Max sitting in for Geraldo live from radio row on Friday and Monday from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET.  They will also maxjaredproduce a special wabcradio.com only broadcast slated for Saturday April 5 at 10:00 am ET.  WABC also partnered with WestwoodOne for a series of March Madness promotions including the Greatest Moments in Tournament History vignettes and an exclusive fly-away promotion to the Men’s National Championship game.  Program director Craig Schwalb says, “Working with WestwoodOne on these opportunities is a huge win for our listeners and clients.  Our audience is into the excitement, the personalities, and the stories surrounding the Final Four, and so is 77 WABC!”

cowhead‘102.5 The Bone’ Tampa Personality Cowhead to Drop Nickname; Seek Syndication Deal.  In a piece in the Tampa Bay Times, WHPT, Tampa afternoon drive personality Mike Calta – who goes by the nickname Cowhead on the radio – says he will give up the sobriquet and begin the next phase of his career using his real name as of April 14.  In fact, he’ll host an on-air funeral for the moniker.  He tells the paper, “When I started at the ‘Power Pig,’ everybody had those types of names.  I was Big Mike for a while but that didn’t really stick.  Then they asked me if I ever had any nicknames in high school and I remembered that a few people called me Cowhead and it sort of stuck.  The minute I said it I immediately regretted it…I think times change.  Even the ‘Power Pig’ changed its name.  As times change and you age, it just gets silly.”  Calta also tells the Times that his contract with Cox Media is up in June and he’s looking to have a syndication deal be part of negotiations.

radiocom logoCBS Revamps Radio.com.  Calling it part of the evolution of CBS Local Digital Media, the company announces the debut of the new Radio.com.  The company says in a statement, “Four years ago, we launched our new digital media business, rethinking the way CBS’s radio and television stations operate online and in the mobile space.  Since then, we have evolved into the largest digital business in local broadcast media.  There are few companies that have the radio, television, digital, out-of-home, and events platforms we do, and as a result we’re able to better leverage our local market properties with national scale.  As leaders in integrating digital and traditional media into experiences that resonate with consumers, we take our next step forward in that regard with the debut of the new Radio.com website and streaming player.cbslocalmedia  More than just live audio and video simulcasts of our stations, Radio.com presents original programming, live webcasts, exclusive editorial features and storytelling, and interviews with some of the biggest artists and personalities in the world.  Indeed, we have taken a different strategy than others in the industry by recognizing that this ‘other’ content has tremendous value to our audiences.  The popularity of our programs has demonstrated our thinking is correct.”  Highlights of the new Radio.com include: a fresh look and feel, with improved interactivity; ability to be embedded on other sites; improved ad insertion capabilities; better-quality playback and streaming; program schedules available in real-time; expanded social media opportunities; play history; artist and track information integration; simple song purchase; and enhanced station guide and navigation experience.  CBS promises updated mobile apps in the coming months.

theblazetv logoBeck’s TheBlaze TV Added to Cable ONE Menu.  It’s another cable company addition for Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze TV.  His 24/7 news, opinion and entertainment network channel is being added to Cable ONE.  A statement from TheBlaze says Cable ONE is America’s 11th largest cable operator.  This addition gives the TheBlaze TV “distribution on 54 television providers nationwide including seven of the top 30.”  Cable ONE serves customers in 42 markets in 19 states, including Biloxi/Gulfport, Boise, Phoenix/Prescott, and Sioux City, among others.  Cable ONE vice president of marketing Joe Falbab says, “We are very excited about adding TheBlaze to the Cable ONE lineup.  Our customers have requested this channel and we are happy to be able to respond to that request.  We are committed to listening to our customers and will continue to deliver to them the best possible programming.”

emmisEmmis Reports Q4 Revenue Up 11%.  Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications Corporation operates on a fiscal year calendar and its fiscal 2014 fourth quarter ended February 28, 2014.  The company reports that its Q4 revenue jumped to $32.4 million from $29.1 million a year prior.  If you cut out WEPN, New York (which is being operated by ESPN under an LMA), revenue was up 12% for the quarter.  For the full year fiscal 2014, net radio revenue hit the $145.4 million mark realizing an increase in net revenue of 5% over 2013.  In a press release this morning, the company reports “these results also outperformed Emmis’ local radio markets in which revenue growth improved 3% for the year.”  President and CEO Jeff Smulyan comments, “Fiscal 2014 marked the fourth consecutive year we have outperformed our local radio markets and the radio industry as a whole.  Our strong operating performance is the result of sound strategy and its execution by a phenomenal workforce that makes me so proud.  We are very excited about the addition of WBLS and WLIB in New York and the momentum behind NextRadio as we head into fiscal 2015.”

nab logoNAB Radio Board Election Results.  The results of the NAB Radio Board election are in and the members who will serve two-year terms beginning in June are: Pete Booker, president and CEO, Delmarva Broadcasting Company; Steven Cutler, EVP business development and corporate strategy, Clear Channel; Gary Exline, general manager, Eagle Communications, Inc.; Kim Guthrie, EVP, Cox Media Group; Erik Hellum, EVP, Townsquare Media; Deon Levingston, SVP/market manager, Emmis Communications; Margaret Perkins, president and CEO, First Natchez Radio Group; Mary Quass, president and CEO, NRG Media, LLC; Joe Schwartz, president and CEO, Cherry Creek Radio; Jose Valle, president, Univision Radio; Thomas Walker, president, Mid-West Family Broadcasting.

wint logoOdds & Sods.  The WPHT Speaker Series – produced by CBS RADIO news/talk WPHT, Philadelphia – continues this evening (4/3) as station personality Dom Giordano interviews Tea Party leader, former Florida Congressman and veteran Lt. Col. Allen West at Valley Forge Military Academy and College.  West is the author of the new book Guardian of the Republic…..Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP, Washington is sponsoring its “Click for a Cause” online contest that will give Washington, D.C. non-profits the chance to win cash and free commercial air time on WTOP.  There will be three grand prizes of $10,000 each with runners up winning $5,000 worth of commercials to advertise their cause on WTOP…..WELW, Willoughby, Ohio changes its calls and brand.  The Spirit Broadcasting-owned station is using the WINT calls and has branded the station “1330 WINTegrity Radio.”  Station president Ray Somich says the change comes ahead of a major expansion to take place this summer.  The station has served communities to the east of Cleveland for the past 50 years.

Deadly Fort Hood Shooting, ObamaCare Criticism, SCOTUS Campaign Donor Limits Ruling, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Race, Russian Aggression and House Benghazi Hearing Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/2).  The shooting at Fort Hood that claimed the lives of four and the preliminary investigation; scrutiny of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and criticism of the White House “victory” presser; the Supreme Court ruling killing limits on personal campaign donations; speculation about political power shifts after the mid-term elections and the possible candidates for president in 2016; worries over Russia’s plans for Ukraine and other former Soviet bloc nations and President Obama’s tactics versus Vladimir Putin; and the Congressional hearings on the Benghazi incident were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

The Introverts are Quietly Taking Over the Business World

| April 2, 2014

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
CEO

“Quiet people have the loudest minds.”  – Stephen Hawking

sabowalterwriterNEW YORK — Better cash bet? Telephone or telegraph? That was the debate among investment bankers at the turn of the 19th century. A significant portion of the population preferred the written word. They liked the formality, pause and thought of composition. Telephones didn’t let you take back or erase words you regretted.

As the telephone was funded and adopted, extroverts embraced the technology. Extroverts enjoyed talking for hours. They prefer to express themselves spontaneously, passionately. They love group think, brainstorming, team playing, drama in the conference room, public speaking and spontaneity. The phone is made for them.

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

| April 2, 2014

theblaze logoGlenn Beck’s TheBlaze.com Claims Increased Unique Visitors.  The website that’s a part of Glenn Beck’s digital efforts is growing rapidly, according to the company.  TheBlaze.com reports that, according to data from Omniture, it had its best month ever in March, attracting more than 35 million unique visitors and becoming the 43rd most trafficked site in the U.S.  Further, the company claims the site generated 198.7 million page views in one month.   TheBlaze president and chief content officer Joel Cheatwood comments, “TheBlaze.com’s mix of original reporting and curation has quickly made it one of the leading sites in America.  Editor-in-chief Scott Baker and his team have done a tremendous job and we are proud of how the site continues to grow alongside our TV network.”

opieanthonyOpie & Anthony to Celebrate 20 Years Together at Carolines on Broadway.  The hot talk duo of Greg “Opie” Hughes and Anthony Cumia will celebrate 20 years together on the radio as Opie & Anthony with a special edition of its “Unmasked” comedy series broadcast live from Carolines on Broadway – New York City’s premier stand-up comedy nightclub.  The program – “O&A20: Unmasked” – will air on SiriusXM live at 4:00 pm ET.  SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein says, “We want to toast Opie & Anthony on reaching this milestone and for being one of the most outrageous and daring duos in all of talk radio. SiriusXM has been proud to give Opie & Anthony the freedom to give fans and listeners their intense, edgy talk and uncensored comedy.  We are thrilled to have SiriusXM listeners across the country celebrate their decades in radio with an evening that will be without a doubt an outrageous and unpredictable show.”

daleholley picWEEI, Boston to Stick with Dale Arnold and Michael Holley in PM Drive.  Well, for as long as anything is stuck with in radio these days.  Those are our words, not those of Entercom Boston vice president and market manager Phil Zachary, who tells the Boston Globe that the station is “going forward with Dale and Holley” several weeks after parting ways with Mike Salk, who returned to his adopted hometown of Seattle to serve as program director at KIRO-AM.  Salk and Holley were paired up in afternoon drive for almost a year after Glenn Ordway was ousted from the station (Ordway has subsequently begun his own digital venture SportsTalkBoston that features his “The Big Show Unfiltered” also airing live in PM drive).  Michael Holley and Dale Arnold had been partners in middays on WEEI for almost six years before their show was broken up in 2011 to bring Lou Merloni into middays.  Boston radio observers speculated that WEEI management felt the knowledgeable-but-not-very-hip Arnold is the antithesis of what CBS is doing successfully at rival WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” so they took him out of the daily lineup.  Arnold stuck around WEEI hosting weekend shows, sports pre-game programs and doing fill-in work.  Now, Zachary tells the paper, “We will continue to evaluate and enhance the program as we start to get some Nielsen feedback.”

sabowalterSABO: Introverts Are Taking Over the Business World.  Media consultant Walter Sabo asks what kind of workforce are you building with respect to the personality types of staffers?  Are they introverts or extroverts?  Or a mix of the two?  According to Sabo, the different personality types prefer to communicate in different ways – extroverts, verbally and introverts, with the written word.  “An interesting fact about radio stars is that they are shy as hell.  They thrive working alone in a room where they have absolute control of their environment.  They hate to meet new people.”  With emails and texting taking over the way people – yes, especially young people – communicate, it may just be that introverts are taking over the business world.  Read Sabo’s entire column here.

topicpulse logoLDR Interactive Adds Two to TopicPulse Executive Team.  The growing firm LDR Interactive announces two executives join its TopicPulse leadership team.  Hank McMonigle is named vice president, sales for TopicPulse and Dana Hall joins as TopicPulse support and client services manager.  The company says in a statement that McMonigle and Hall will lead client development and service for TopicPulse, its real-time, social media monitoring system for local newsrooms and content producers.  TopicPulse scans social media including Twitter and Facebook, blogs, comment/message boards, and news sources to track trending topics in a local market.  McMonigle comes to LDR Interactive with more than 30 years of experience in the media industry, most recently serving as vice president/general manager at NextMedia Group in Dallas.   Dana Hall is a broadcast and music industry journalist who’s covered formats ranging from urban, hip-hop, gospel, rhythmic, and top 40 for Radio & Records, Billboard, Airplay Monitor, and RadioInfo.  She also programmed urban outlet WILD, Boston.  LDR Interactive CEO, Daniel Anstandig comments, “Hank and Dana bring exceptional talent and perspective to our growing team.  They are media industry thought leaders and relationship builders.  Their enthusiasm for innovation and forward-thinking mindset is already driving TopicPulse’s growth in the days since they’ve joined our team.”

herskovitzalThe 2014 Hersky Award Winners Are Announced.  For the 7th year running, TALKERS magazine is proud to deliver news of the winners of the annual Hersky Awards for talk radio advertising excellence.  Okay, so maybe the Herskys aren’t as big as some other industry awards, but radio pro Al Herskovitz is an accomplished sales pro and a serious observer of today’s radio advertising landscape and, even though we have a little fun with it, his accolades are delivered with utmost sincerity.  Check out his story and why Fox Sports Radio’s Jay Mohr, Compass Media’s Todd Schnitt, Cumulus Media and others are being recognized this year by clicking here.

Lionel largeCatching Up with Lionel:  One of Talk Radio’s True Originals Performing at the Top of His Game in Experimental Radio Space.  One of the most unique and original performers to grace the airwaves during talk radio’s modern era is a quirky former trial lawyer, prosecutor and talk show caller from Tampa, Florida named Michael William Lebron who is known in his many media-related activities (radio, television, books, live performances) by the professional name “Lionel.”  As Lionel, he has enjoyed a stellar career as a talk show host on such great call letters was WABC and WOR in New York, WFLA, Tampa as well as in national syndication on such networks as the WOR Radio Network and Air America.  He even hosted a cool show on Court TV.  These days he is familiar to New York television viewers as a commentator and legal analyst for WPIX-TV Channel 11 and to the elite audience of industry professionals and hard core talk show fanatics glued to TalkersRadio – the “experimental talk radio space” operated by TALKERS magazine on its website (www.talkers.com) as a laboratory for new ideas and formats for the industry.  It is within this endeavor that Lionel has begun raising eyebrows and is receiving praise fortalkersradio logo having delivered some of his most remarkable spoken-word performances to date.  In the words of TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “When Lionel is left to his own on-air devices and not squished into an existing talk ‘format,’ ‘formula’ or cookie-cutter political ideology, he is capable of creating a level of compelling content the quality of which we haven’t heard since the days of Jean Shepherd.  All we have done at TalkersRadio is encourage him to do whatever he wants and as a result we have benefited from the brilliant results of that strategy.  What he does for us would fit any talk format out there today if the programmers didn’t ‘try to make it fit’ what they think is the only way to make talk radio work.”  In a new feature story written by TALKERS managing editor/West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian posted today (3/31), we look back at the amazing career of this most unusual talk show host, tap into his views and opinions about the state of the format, and reveal his hopes for the future.  To read the entire piece, please click here.

comrexpilotComrex to Unveil New Streaming Appliance at NAB Show.  For broadcasters involved in streaming content and who may be attending the NAB Show in Las Vegas, a visit to the Comrex Corporation booth will be informative.  There, the company will introduce the new P1L0T IP Streaming Server.  The company states that P1L0T is a dedicated streaming appliance designed with hardened Linux-based hardware and software.  There are no moving parts…not even a fan. AES3 and analog balanced inputs, special audio processing options enhanced for streaming and an intuitive web-based interface are included.  P1L0T can deliver your source stream to any SHOUTcast/lcecast-based streaming server and, given enough bandwidth, can deliver 100 streams directly to listeners.  Listeners connecting to your audio stream have a choice of formats, either HE-AAC, Opus or MP3 because P1L0T is capable of encoding in each mode simultaneously.  P1L0T is a compact unit occupying 1/2 U of rack space, at a very low cost.  The Comrex booth will be #C2221 in the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

foxCDBOdds & Sods.  A new album featuring the songs of Bob Dylan has been released by the Charlie Daniels Band titled Off the Grid and Charlie Daniels visited the Fox News Radio studios in New York City to promote the record.  Daniels (right) is pictured here with Fox News Radio morning anchor Dave Anthony (left) who is sporting Daniels’ hat for the photo…..Last week TALKERS announced CBS News Radio was recognized with National Headliner Awards.  This week, we have two more to announce.  Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington wins seven National Headliner Awards including first place in the Newscast, News Series and Website categories.  Also The Wall Street Journal Radio Network is honored with two National Headliner Awards.  “Wall Street Journal This Morning with Gordon Deal” takes 3rd place in the Breaking News Category and MarketWatch.com Radio is recognized with a 2nd place finish in the Radio Affiliated Website category…..Chicago Public Media, which operates WBEZ, Chicago, announces Goli Sheikholeslami is named the new president and CEO of the organization.  She most recently served as chief product officer at Everyday Health but also served with the Washington Post, leading the digital division.

kars4kidsSometimes It Is Fool’s Gold.  Despite how perceptive you might think you are, or the conscientious pains you take to be aware, there is still a better-than-average chance you were duped about something yesterday – even if it was for a split-second.  It is a national pastime and we are not talking about the beginning of the baseball season.  Hopefully, the intention is always harmless, yet inevitably, something a bit wonky can happen when the calendar flips to the first day of April.  Okay – more specifically – countless on-air April Fool’s Day pranks were hatched yesterday; here is a quick look at two of them – one nationally and the other on a local level. Registered 501(c)3 nonprofit car donation charity Kars4Kids changed their long-running radio jingle, although listeners of more than 50 stations in 14 markets wondered if they were hearing correctly when they heard the new “message.”  The radio spot indicated Kars4Kids is launching a new division – Kids4Kars.  The kid donation program supposedly provides free pickup of all donations of kids and offers a free lifetime vacation to donors in return.  Kars4Kids spokesperson Morris Franco alleges that, “We had been getting requests for this service on social media and from callers for years. People would call up saying they have a kid they would like to donate and wondered what they can get in return.  After we got enough of these parents calling, we realized that there was a real need for kid donation that wasn’t being filled by anyone else, so we decided to step up to the plate.”  Prospective donors were directed to the charity’s website, where they could “submit a donation” by using an online form.  The website stated the program could “accept kids up to age 12 in any condition, provided the donor is the child’s legal parent.” Anyone getting to the confirmation part would receive an “April Fool’s” statement, followed by, “Your kids are worth more than you think.”  According to a Boston Medical Center study, 73% of parents pay more attention to their mobile phones than to their children during mealtime.  The Kids4Kars campaign encourages parents to ignore their devices during times reserved for their children.  “We felt we needed to hit hard to get the gravity ofchazandaj the message across,” Franco states. “With the increasing temptations of our mobile devices, it is harder and harder to stay focused on our children.  The shock value of an April Fool’s prank allowed us to wake parents up to the damage they can do to their children by focusing on their devices instead of their kids.”  It is estimated that this particular stunt reached at least 50 million people.  Meanwhile in Connecticut, Chaz & AJ – the morning team at Connoisseur Media‘s WPLR, New Haven “Connecticut’s #1 Rock Station” and co-owned classic rock WFOX, Stamford-Norwalk “The Fox,” reported that state taxpayers could double their tax rebate check from $55 to $110 by registering with a new database program instituted by the Department of Revenue Service.  According to Chaz, it was difficult to establish the exact number of calls the stations received, especially since, “The high volume that came in ultimately caused the phone system to crash.  We did not think it would generate that many calls.”  Shortly after 9:00 am, the morning duo fielded a call from the Governor’s office and Chaz points out, “They complained that the revenue department was overwhelmed with phone calls – they were not happy.”  A voicemail message declared it was an April Fool’s Day joke, but the Department of Revenue Services received calls about the supposed “rebate” throughout the day.

ObamaCare Criticism, Global Warming Debate, Ryan Budget Cuts, Benghazi Hearing, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Investigation, Russian Aggression, and MLB Season Opens Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/1).  Scrutiny of the White House’s claim that the Affordable Care Act has reached its stated goals; renewed debate over the theory of man-made climate change; Rep. Paul Ryan’s proposal to cut $5 trillion from the proposed federal budget; today’s House Intelligence Committee hearing at which former deputy CIA director Michael Morell will testify on the Benghazi case; new conflicting information about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370’s last communications and a renewed criminal investigation; Russia’s aggression in Ukraine; and the opening of the 2014 Major League Baseball season were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Seventh Annual Hersky Awards

| April 2, 2014

Al Herskovitz
H&H Communications
President

 

herskovitz81st Academy Awards¨ Press Kit ImagesBRADENTON, Fla. –  No, this is not about the Emmys, the Oscars, the Clios, the Obies, the Tonys, the CMAs or the Golden Globes.  No, this not about these lesser annual awards.  They all make way for the most important citations that occur around this time, and this is the seventh year – the Annual Hersky Awards.  As you all know, the Herskys honor outstanding achievement in the field of talk radio advertising and sales.

There may be a handful of readers who are still among the uninitiated, so let us restate the few, simple rules. There is no actual statuette, naked or semi-clothed (just the mock-up seen here)!  There is no committee, although nominations and suggestions from the greater broadcast world are accepted and reviewed.  There is no formal event with a red carpet or fashion parade.  Keep in mind, however, the honors are pretty much confined to national entities, since reviewing every talk show or program in the country is a physical impossibility.  The decisions of the judges are final, and there is only one judge (see byline above).  So, may I have the envelopes!

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How to Help Your Remote Guests Shine

| April 1, 2014

By Michael W. Dean
The Freedom Feens
Michael Dean after Dark
Genesis Communications Network
Talk Show Host

 

deanmichael2CASPER, WY — I get a lot of e-mail, and lot of it is confusing. People are in a hurry and probably don’t realize that I can’t hear what’s in their head when they’re writing.

The most common confusing e-mail I get is people writing me and saying “I want to do an interview with you.”

The confusing thing about that is that I get interviewed a lot. I also interview people a lot. So when people write to me and say “I want to do an interview with you”, I have no idea if they want to interview me or if the want me to interview them.

So my first advice when dealing with guests is this: write your requests clearly. Because a lot of people are interviewed, and also interview others.

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Sports Talk After the Super Bowl

| April 1, 2014

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor

 

kinosianLOS ANGELES —When the industry adopted electronic-based measurement in the form of Nielsen Audio’s (formerly Arbitron) PPM, it was universally known that January would be a “down” month for those stations that played all-Christmas music during the December and “Holiday” survey periods.

Another significant ratings trend though that conversely has flown considerably under the radar is that – in February – all-sports stations tend to hit the skids.

Typically, the Super Bowl is played the first Sunday in February and, for whatever reason, sports outlets take a bit of a hit immediately after that mega-event.

Good news though is that it does not usually become a prolonged funk for these facilities, as we are presently on the threshold of the 2014 MLB season, which coincides with the tail end of “March Madness.” In addition – and perhaps to a lesser extent – playoffs loom in the NBA and NHL.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

| April 1, 2014

mandisdanDan Mandis Hosts Early Afternoon Show at WWTN, Nashville.  Talk radio pro Dan Mandis is the new 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm personality at Cumulus Media’s WWTN, Nashville “SuperTalk 99.7.”  Mandis, who spent years as executive producer of the Dr. Laura Program, has most recently been programming such talk radio outlets as Clear Channel’s KHOW and KKZN in Denver and Federated Media’s WOWO, Fort Wayne.  He also hosted thewwtn logo Saturday morning show on KOA, Denver.  With Mandis’ arrival at “SuperTalk 99.7,” the station is now live and local from 5:00 am to 7:00 pm.  He’ll follow morning host Ralph Bristol and late morning personality Michael DelGiorno while leading into PM drive host Phil Valentine.  WWTN program director Brian Wilson states, “We think Dan’s view of the world is just familiar enough to be comfortable for our audience and at the same time just different enough that he’ll make a lot of people stop and think twice about the disease behind the symptoms.  As the fourth leg to the table, we think all our core shows will complement each other.  The effect is that the whole will be greater than the sum of the parts.”  Mandis comments, “There are so many reasons to be excited about this opportunity.  Being part of an amazing talk radio station on FM is one, and living in a great city like Nashville is another.  I honestly can’t wait to get started.”

mandersbill‘PowerTalk 96.7’ Fresno Host Bill Manders Receives Kidney from Teen Suicide Victim.  Afternoon drive personality Bill Manders returned to his show on Clear Channel’s news/talk duo KALZ and KRZR in Fresno after kidney transplant surgery three weeks ago.  According to local TV station KFSN, Manders received a kidney from a local teen who had just committed suicide.  It turns out 17-year-old Lexi Morris’ father Jason is a regular listener to Manders’ program and made the unusual request that Manders receive his daughter’s kidney.  As the story notes, this is not the usual procedure but the kidney was a perfect match.  Manders tells the TV station, “I was in tears when I heard her story, but I would rather concentrate on the plusses in her life.  She was smart, athletic, she has a great family, and I know she’s there looking down on me, so I’ve got to honor her.”  Read the whole story here.

hochmanshow groupMarc Hochman Officially Signs with Beasley to Host PM Drive on WQAM, Miami.  Nothing is ever official until the contract is signed but Marc Hochman’s departure from Lincoln Financial Media’s crosstown WAXY last fall with the intent on sitting out his non-compete and landing in PM drive at WQAM was one of radio’s worst-kept secrets.  As soon as it was legal (at 12:01 am on 4/1), Hochman (second from left) inked a pact with WQAM to begin his run as the station’s afternoon personality.  The new Marc Hochman show will also feature Zach Krantz (right), former Miami Dolphins cheerleader Sha Tabb (second from right), and longtime WQAM producer Victor Bermudez (left).  WQAM program director Andy King says, “Marc is an incredible talent and one of the most creative minds in radio.  His ability to blend sports, pop culture and humor into an entertaining show has led him to tremendous success throughout his career and I’m excited for him to continue that success here at 560 WQAM.”  Hochman adds, “I am the quintessential ‘radio nerd,’ so the opportunity for me to host an afternoon drive show on the most legendary sports talk station in Miami was one that I couldn’t pass up.  When I first moved to Miami in 1987, I listened to WQAM all the time.  Now, a little over 25 years later, I’ll be sitting behind that microphone, and I couldn’t be more thrilled!”  The station also announces that one of the most legendary voices in South Florida sports history, Howard Schnellenberger, has signed on as the imaging voice of the Marc Hochman show.  All the show intros and production will be voiced by Schnellenberger.

morganmelanieMelanie Morgan Returns to Radio in Santa Rosa.  Long time Bay Area news radio and talk radio pro Melanie Morgan (formerly with Cumulus Media’s KGO and KSFO, San Francisco and, for a time, with TRN’s “America’s ksro logoMorning News”) joined Sonoma Media Group-owned KSRO, Santa Rosa, California as news director and morning anchor.  She began her news director duties yesterday (3/31) and starts on-air next Monday (4/7).  Melanie replaces a heritage morning news anchor, David Wesley Page, who retired from radio about a month ago after nearly 30 years on the KSRO morning news.  Morgan is married to former longtime KGO program director Jack Swanson.

mitchellbrianBrian Mitchell and Scott Jackson Re-Up with WTEM, Washington.  Two of Doc Walker’s co-hosts on Red Zebra Broadcasting’s WTEM, Washington “ESPN980” are in the fold for another three years.  The companyjacksonscott announces that Brian Mitchell and Scott Jackson have extended their contracts with the station, keeping them on the “Inside the Locker Room” with Walker through 2017.  The mid-afternoon show teams former Washington Redskins Doc Walker and Brian Mitchell along with veteran talk show host Scott Jackson.  Mitchell has been a part of the “ESPN980” family for five years.  Brian also is a contributing member of the Washington Redskins Radio Network, offering analysis pre-game, post-game and during halftime.  Jackson has worked at WTEM for nine years and will serve in many additional roles, including hosting “Redskins Recap,” Mondays after Washington Redskins games and as the station’s lead NBA analyst.  Vice president of programming Chuck Sapienza says, “’Inside the Locker Room’ has been a ratings success.  To have all three guys under contract for the next few years makes our station stronger.  Doc, B-Mitch and Jack have so much fun on the air, you can’t help but laugh along with them while listening.”

businessrockstars radioBusiness Rockstars Radio Affiliates with CRN Digital Talk Radio.  This week “Business Rockstars Radio,” hosted by Ken Rutkowski began an affiliation relationship with CRN Digital Talk Radio.  The program that features “Rockstar” CEOs, entrepreneurs, and start-ups targeting the 30 million “Wantrepreneurs” in the U.S., joins CRN’s integrated audio platform combining television, radio and social media.  CRN Digital Talk Radio CEO Mike Horn says, “We’re thrilled about our new partnership with ‘Business Rockstars Radio,’ a show with such compelling content, we’ve decided to air it three different times across our platform.  ‘Business Rockstars Radio’ is the only crn logonational entrepreneurial radio show that brings in ‘Rockstar’ CEOs and entrepreneurs combined with the magic of Ken Rutkowki’s talent and continuing with each guest on the show.  We are also excited to partner with the legendary Steve Lehman, a name synonymous with cutting-edge talk radio.”  Lehman adds, “We’re excited to expand the Business Rockstars Radio footprint by joining Mike Horn’s renowned CRN Digital Talk Radio Network.  This new alliance will add an additional 11 million television households across the U.S. to the Business Rockstars Radio Network, allowing us to reach more ‘Wantrepreneurs’ with fun, fast-paced, and compelling content about growing, starting, and funding businesses.”  Business Rockstars Radio guests include some of the biggest CEOs and entrepreneurs daily, including: Nolan Bushnell (Atari and Chuck E. Cheese Founder), Akon (musician and entrepreneur), Daymond John (Host of ABC’s “Shark Tank”), Cheryl Tiegs (model, actress and entrepreneur), Thom Beers (CEO of Freemantle Media), Scott Painter (Founder and CEO of TruCar) and many others.

kinosianmikeSports Talk Post-Super Bowl.  The American sports (and money!) juggernaut that is the National Football League plays a huge role in the success of sports talk radio in America.  Not to disparage the MLB, NBA, NHL and NCAA, but it’s clearly the most successful and popular league in professional sports in America.  So, what effect does the end of the NFL’s season the first weekend in February have on sports talk stations?  TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian takes an in-depth look at sports talk radio’s performance in PPM markets leading up to the Super Bowl and in the month that follows.  Check out his report here.

journalbroadcastgroupMcHale Named VP/CTO for Journal Broadcast Group.  The Milwaukee-based company announces Brian McHale is its new vice president and chief technology officer, overseeing “the leadership, management, implementation and long-term planning of the company’s technical and physical infrastructure across its 13 television stations and 35 radio stations in 11 states.”  Journal Broadcast Group also says McHale will “ensure the efficient and on-schedule delivery of media content, identify emerging technologies and how to profitably deploy them, and work closely with Journal’s leadership team to develop the company’s operational and strategic direction.”  McHale comes to Journal from Seattle’s Fisher Communications where he was vice president of technology.

deanmichaelwHow to Help Your Remote Guests Shine.  Radio is a busy business and sometimes hosts must process guests with a level of assembly-line speed that doesn’t always allow for the kind of attention to detail that can make the difference between a quality broadcast and a tune-out.  Many interviews on radio sound like there was no forethought to audio quality.  And many guests sound like they were thrown into an unfamiliar situation with no preparation.  In a very helpful, extensive advice piece posted today (4/1) Genesis Communications Network (GCN) talk show host Michael W. Dean (“The Freedom Feens” and “Michael Dean After Dark”) offers advice on how to maximize the quality of your remote guests covering everything from programming content to technical delivery in today’s frenzied radio environment.  To read it in its entirety, please click here.

ObamaCare Criticism, Russian Aggression, North and South Korean Tensions, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Discrepancies, Global Warming, and “Noah” Criticism Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/31).  Scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the international implications of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and Eastern Europe and President Obama’s dealings with Vladimir Putin; heating tensions between North and South Korea; conflicting information from the Malaysian government about the disappearance of Flight 370; renewed debate about global climate change; and criticism of the new film “Noah” were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Catching Up with Lionel

| March 31, 2014

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor/West Coast

 

kinosianLOS ANGELES — Recording artists running the gamut from Bing Crosby to Sam Cooke to Janet Jackson and Luther Vandross (among others) have wonderfully warbled to remind us that the “The Best Things in Life Are Free.”

A 1956 film that starred Gordon MacRae accentuated the point as well.

Offering a different take in the predominantly uplifting sentiment are the Beatles, who – while acknowledging the fact – nonetheless suggested those “free” things could be kept in exchange for “money” – but – that’s another story.

Smart, Funny, and Unedited

Back to the positive point: Words are free and no one in talk radio is more adroit, melodious, and astute in his splendidLionel large employment of the vocabulary than brilliantly witty Lionel, who generously remarks, “If you like my words – take them – they are not mine [anyway], they are yours. As a sesquipedalian and a logophile, I love the mother tongue. Do not marvel at the fancy words. It is part of who I am. I will never try to make people feel stupid. People love smart and funny – they crave it.”

These days, not only does Lionel get to demonstrate how deliciously lovely the language may be when utilized with panache, he also offers a veritable talk radio clinic.

On one hand, it is a fresh and innovative concept, while on the other, there is enormous simplicity to a back-to-the-basics approach. “It came about through the genius, foresight, and wherewithal of [TALKERS publisher] Michael Harrison,” Lionel comments of his Saturday, 9:00 am – 10:00 am ET TalkersRadio show. “It is just a joy and Michael is the preeminent voice in talk radio. Since the beginning, he has told me what I need to do must be the best.”

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Monday, March 31, 2014

| March 31, 2014

beckglennBoston Marathon Bombing Spectator Suing Glenn Beck for Defamation with Malice.  Almost a year after the Boston Marathon bombing, spectator Abdulrahman Alharbi – a then-20-year-old student – is suing Glenn Beck, TheBlaze Inc., Mercury Radio Arts and Premiere Networks in United States District Court, District of Massachusetts for defamation and slander.  The complaint states that Alharbi was questioned by authorities investigating the attack, he allowed them to search his apartment and officials quickly concluded he had notheblaze logo involvement.  At that point, other media reports ceased.  The complaint continues, saying that Beck, with the active participation of the distributor defendants, repeatedly and falsely identified Alharbi as an active participant in the crimes, repeatedly questioned the motives of federal officials in failing to pursue or detain him and repeatedly and falsely accused Alharbi of being a criminal who had funded the attacks and says the statements were made widely and publicly and caused grave injury to the plaintiff.  Alharbi says he’s received numerous messages, internet postings and other communications based on Beck’s false statements accusing him of being a murderer, child killer and terrorist.  He’s requesting a jury trial and is seeking unspecified damages, interest, costs and attorney’s fees.

rogersFOX shotRep. Mike Rogers Talks About Radio Gig on ‘Fox News Sunday.’  Michigan Congressman Mike Rogers shocked the political world last week when he announced he would not seek re-election in the fall and will begin a radio career with Cumulus Media after his term ends.  It was politically surprising because he is chair of the powerful House Intelligence Committee.  As radio industry watchers see it, he’s certainly a known commodity in the political news/talk scene due to his frequent media appearances, but many are viewing his deal with Cumulus with a wait-and-see attitude.  In general, politicians-turned-radio-hosts don’t have a great track record of long-term success in the business.  On yesterday’s “Fox News Sunday,” Rogers spoke about the radio gig, telling host Chris Wallace, “You know, it was an interesting opportunity when you see the level of debate today, Chris, on national security issues and foreign policy.  It worries me for the future of this country like nothing I’ve ever seen.  So, when someone walked in and said ‘Hey, we’re to give the opportunity to have a discussion in people’s cars, living rooms and kitchen, every single day from California to Iowa to New Hampshire to South Carolina, we think that you can change the needle on this debate.’ And I thought long and hard about it and I think they’re right…this is a great program, it’s a sophisticated program, that you have, but we need to broaden that audience to have discussion so that we can put America on solid footing as we move forward in a very troubling world.”

mccarthypeteWOR, New York Names Pete McCarthy Host of Mets Show.  The New York Mets open the 2014 campaign at home today (3/31) at Citi Field versus the Nationals and begin their first season being heard in NYC on Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s WOR, New York.  As part of Mets programming, the station announces Pete McCarthy will begin hosting “The WOR Sports Zone,” tonight from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.  The new sports talk show will be heard weeknights on Mets game days before and after each game.  McCarthy joins WOR after more than eight years at MLB.com and five years at SNY-TV, where his duties included sports anchor, play-by-play announcer, color analysis, radio talk show host and sideline reporter.  McCarthy says, “I am very excited to be joining WOR and becoming a part of the new flagship station for Mets baseball.  As a lifelong and die-hard Mets fan from Long Island, it is a dream come true to be on the radio in New York City talking sports.”

devilsadvocatesMadison Talk Host Sues Wisconsin Capitol Police.  In what could turn out to be a precedent-setting legal case in Wisconsin, WXXM, Madison “92.1 The Mic,” talk show host Dominic Salvia is suing the state’s Capitol Police in federal court after he was arrested last summer while covering protests at the State Capitol.  Dominic is co-host of “The Devil’s Advocates,” heard from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm daily on the progressive talk outlet (alongside co-host Mike Crute).  In the complaint, Salvia says he was taking photos and observing the protest scene in the Capitol Rotunda for about five minutes when Capitol Police arrested him.  He informed the officers he was a working journalist and should not be arrested, to no avail.  Civil rights attorney Jeff Scott Olson is handling the case in which Salvia is seeking damages from the three officers.  In a related case, the state of Wisconsin is appealing the dismissal of a charge against co-host Mike Crute who was cited for not having a permit to engage in a sing-along protest at the Capitol Rotunda.  Last summer, a judge ruled the permit required was unconstitutional.  Olson is representing Crute in that appeal.  Regarding the first case, it’s expected the state will argue Salvia was not a working journalist.  Given the expanding nature of media and journalism, the definition of a working journalist is up for debate and this case will likely revolve around that question.

kaplandavidWGWG, Chicago’s Kaplan to Host Sports Memorabilia TV Show.  Chicago sports talk personality David Kaplan – heard daily on Tribune Company’s new sports talker WGWG-LP, Chicago “The Game 87.7” – is going national as host of the WGN-TV produced show, “A Piece of the Game.”  As Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports, the show, created and produced by Don Dupree, is getting a national distribution deal.  The program features historically significant sports memorabilia and invited fans to have their historic sports items appraised on the program.  The show begins taping at the end of April and is expected to begin airing nationally in June.

mcnabbdonovanOdds & Sods.  Former NFL star Donovan McNabb extends his partnership with the WestwoodOne and NBC Sports Radio where he’ll continue to co-host the “Under Center with McNabb & Malone” alongside partner Mark Malone…..The Premiere Networks-syndicated 24/7 Comedy format announces comedian and actor Greg Proops is the special guest host all this week.  “The Smartest Man in the World” is giving listeners a peek behind one of comedy’s most alluring and intelligent acts, and is highlighting some of his most popular stand-up bits.  Proops is also one of thewachsdaliah stars of the CW Network’s improv comedy show “Whose Line Is It Anyway.”…..Las Vegas-based talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs reports her “FROST contest” is about to get underway and she has radio hosts from all over the country participating in the contest to be the top fundraising host for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  Some of the hosts include: Doug McIntyre, KABC, Los Angeles; Simon Conway, WHO, Des Moines; Alan Stock, KDWN, Las Vegas; Jesus Marquez, KLAV, Las Vegas; Eddie Floyd, Dennis Romeo, Brooke Santina & Debbie McCarthy of America Matters, Reno; Josh Tolley of the ‘The Josh Tolley Show,’ GCN Network; and Steve Sanchez, Steve Sanchez Show, GCN Network.  Dr. Wachs says she’s adding some extra spice by giving the top fundraising host a $1000 Southwest Airlines Gift Card.  The actual campaign begins in two weeks and hosts can still join in by reaching out to her at:  doctordaliah@hotmail.com.

So, You Want to Be Syndicated. Why?

| March 28, 2014

By Tony Garcia
Global Media Services
Founder

 

DENVER — That’s the question I ask people who approach me about a program they want to syndicate or a concept they think would be perfect as a syndicated program or service.  Everyone wants to play on a bigger stage.  It’s natural.  It drives us to be better at what we do.  We all share a passion for radio.

Moving from a local show to a syndicated show requires much more than passion.  It requires determination, perseverance, internal strength, patience and the ability to judge oneself dispassionately.  Ask anyone who is syndicated and they are likely to tell you about the highs of signing the first affiliate and the frustration of losing affiliates.  As a good friend of mine once said, “Syndication will break your heart.”

Still want to be syndicated?

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Friday, March 28, 2014

| March 28, 2014

rogersmikeCongressman Mike Rogers to Join Cumulus Media in Unnamed Role.  The mysterious press release from Cumulus Media states that when his current term in Congress is up at the end of this year, Republican Mike Rogers will “bring his unique perspective as a leading intelligence expert and former FBI agent to Cumulus, the national media company that operates the nation’s largest talk radio platform.”  The company isn’t specific whether Rogers will host acumulus logo daily show, produce daily commentary or fill some other role.  Rogers is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and is hard to miss if you watch cable news/talk TV or the Sunday morning news shows, as Cumulus points out when it states, “As a media-savvy politician who last year appeared on more Sunday public affairs shows than any other elected official in the nation, Chairman Rogers will play an important role helping Americans understand critical issues that impact their lives.”  Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey is quoted saying, “We are thrilled to have Chairman Rogers join our team.  He has been instrumental helping to shape many of the most important issues and events of our time and will play a significant role in our expanding content platform.”

rizzotonyWKNR, Cleveland’s Rizzo Pleads ‘No Contest’ in Domestic Case.  The host of the afternoon drive “The Really Big Show” on Good Karma-owned WKNR, Cleveland – Tony Rizzo – pleaded “no contest” to a reduced “persistent disorderly conduct” charge in connection with a December incident during which his wife Catherine reported Rizzo struck her.  According to Cleveland.com, an assistant district attorney says the reduced charge was leveled after Catherine Rizzo admitted she initiated the argument by striking Tony Rizzo with a glass.  Rizzo’s attorney says his client accepted the reduced charge to avoid a trial though he believes Rizzo would have been acquitted.  The probation department will review the case before sentencing.  WKNR has stuck by Rizzo throughout, calling his status with the station “unaffected” by the case.

mcdowellrobertNAB Show Features ‘Net Neutrality’ Debate; Ex-Commish McDowell to Take Part.  At the NAB Show in Las Vegas next month, the issue of net neutrality is being addressed during the Super Session titled, “World Without Rules: Is This the End of the Open Internet?”  On Tuesday, April 8, NAB says “top opinion leaders and experts on the issue of net neutrality will address how proposed regulations governing access to the internet will affect content providers, ISPs and content creators.”  Tech Policy for Re/code senior editor Amy Schatz will moderate the panel consisting of: Jessica Gonzalez, EVP and general counsel of the National Hispanic Media Coalition; Robert McDowell, former FCC commissioner; Pantelis Michalopoulos, head of the Telecom, Internet & Media Group at Steptoe & Johnson LLP; and Berin Szoka, president and founder of TechFreedom.

costadinoSports Talker Dino Costa Profiled; Adds Staff to New Digital Venture.  Mercurial sports talk personality Dino Costa, after years with SiriusXM, recently announced the start-up of his new, eponymous digital sports talk venture.  Now he’s reporting that Bob Robinson is joining Dino Costa World Wide LLC to serve as executive producer for the program that will debut on May 5.  Costa says that the 25-year broadcast pro will be in charge of all production and engineering for the program and will work from its Cheyenne, Wyoming headquarters beginning March 31.  Robinson spent 19 years in the Raleigh-Durham market working at stations including WRDU and “96 Rock.”  Costa also received a bit of love from Forbes recently when Tom Van Riper profiled him.  In the piece, Costa basically admits his argumentative nature, especially with regard to his dismissal from SiriusXM, saying, “I bitched one too many times.”  But Van Riper writes that quality can be a good one for a sports talk host.  Read the entire piece here.

garciatonySo, You Want to Be Syndicated.  Why?  That’s the question syndication business veteran Tony Garcia, founder of Global Media Services, asks radio broadcasters that approach him about a program they want to syndicate or a concept they think would be perfect as a syndicated program or service.  Everyone wants to play on a bigger stage.  It’s natural.  It drives us to be better at what we do.  In a new piece posted today (3/28), Garcia writes, “Moving from a local show to a syndicated show requires much more than passion.  It requires determination, perseverance, internal strength, patience and the ability to judge oneself dispassionately.  Ask anyone who is syndicated and they are likely to tell you about the highs of signing the first affiliate and the frustration of losing affiliates.  As a good friend of mine once said, ‘Syndication will break your heart.’”  Still want to be syndicated?  If so, read Garcia’s entire column by clicking here.

cbsradionewsCBS Radio News Honored by the National Headliner Awards.  Four years running CBS Radio News is recognized by the National Headliner Awards, nabbing first place in both the Network Newscast and Breaking News or Continuing Coverage categories, this year for reporting on the Boston Marathon Bombing.   In the network newscast category “CBS World News Roundup” anchor Steve Kathan and producer Paul Farry won for their reporting on that chaotic morning when police shut down an entire suburban Boston neighborhood to search for one of the marathon bombing suspects just hours after his brother died in a confrontation with police.  Vice president for radio Harvey Nagler comments, “From the moment the two bombs went off in Boston, CBS Radio News was on the air immediately with continuous coverage and special reports every 10 minutes.  The hourly newscasts contained vivid and dramatic descriptions of the events.”  CBS News correspondent Barry Bagnato won in the News Series category for his five part series on “Drones, Invading Our Skies and Our Personal Space.”

waynealyn‘Late Night Health’ Approaches Milestone Episode.  The syndicated program will air its 100th show this weekend.  Host/producer Mark Alyn (right) remarks, “We can’t believe we have done so many shows while featuring information designed to help listeners.”  Colleague “The Insane” Darrell Wayne (left) jokes, “Sitting across from each other for all these hours with our bellybuttons almost touching has been an amazing experience.”  The program is a holistic look at health, blending traditional medicine with alternative approaches.  Alyn is the only radio host to be invited by the Natural Products Association to speak with elected officials in Washington, D.C. one week from Tuesday (4/8) as part of Natural Products Day.  He will discuss GMO labeling and concerns about Food & Drug Administration-proposed supplement legislation.

streblowdarenGrowing ‘Daren Streblow Comedy Show’ Adds Daily Feature.  The weekly “Daren Streblow Comedy Show” is heard largely on news/talk stations across the country but also has some Christian radio affiliates.  Now, the program will expand with the creation of a daily feature culled from some of the best bits of the full-length program.  Executive producer Corey Irish comments, “We have received constant requests from our affiliates asking us to add a short feature on the weekdays.  We believe some of these station groups will also add this vignette to the music stations in their clusters.”  Irish also reports that the program recently added personality Riley Armstrong – an established comedic musician – to the program.  As far as the content is concerned, Streblow describes the show as “night club tested and family approved.”

tyleraishaAisha Tyler Named Gracie Awards Host. Daytime television audiences, of course, know Aisha Tyler as one of the panel members on CBS-TV’s “The Talk.”  The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation (AWMF) has tapped the Dartmouth College alum to host the 39th annual Gracie Awards in two months (5/20) in Los Angeles.  According to AWMF chair Kay Olin, “The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation advances the influence and impact of women in all forms of media, and Aisha Tyler embodies this goal perfectly.  From network television to cable, from actor to author, from podcasts to best-selling books, Aisha showcases her talents in an impressive variety of media.  We are delighted that Aisha is hosting this year’s Gracie Awards Gala.”  Tyler – who formerly hosted “Talk Soup” – comments, “It has truly been an impressive year for women in all media.  I am very much looking forward to celebrating all that women have accomplished.”  However, she jokes, “No one is getting an award for that Kimye [Kim Kardashian-Kanye West] Vogue cover if I have anything to say about it.”  The Gracie Awards (or “Gracies”) recognize consummate programming created for women, by women, and about women in radio, television, cable, and digital media.  The awards program also encourages the realistic and multifaceted portrayal of women in entertainment, news, features and other programs.  “The Talk” was recently renewed for a fifth season.  In addition to her role there and as a regular Stephanie Miller show contributor, Tyler voices Lana Kane on “Archer.”  Last summer, she replaced Drew Carey as host of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”

mcdanielearl groupRemembering Earl McDaniel. Writing in the Honolulu Star Advertiser, reporter Erika Engle describes Earl McDaniel as “the longtime charismatic general manager” of Honolulu’s KSSK-AM and KSSK-FM.  The 85-year-old McDaniel died this past Wednesday (3/26) in Arizona. McDaniel formulated the idea for a $1 million giveaway that helped solidify the morning drive success of Michael W. Perry and Larry Price (“Perry & Price”), following the 1983 death of J. Akuhead Pupule.  KUMU production director Michael Shishido programmed KSSK years ago and tells us that McDaniel was, “the best GM I’ve ever worked with.”  Elaborating on his Facebook page, Shishido comments, “If you had the great opportunity to work for KSSK prior to 1991, you got to work for one of the greats, Earl McDaniel.  He was larger than life.  He was tough and demanding, but he was a radio and marketing genius – and he had a huge, compassionate heart.  I could fill up Facebook for days with Earl stories as could many of my radio colleagues.  Radio has lost a giant.  Aloha, Earl.”  As a Los Angeles on-air talent, Earl “The Pearl” McDaniel worked for KFVD and KPOP (1953 – 1958); KLAC (1958); KDAY (1958 – 1961, where he was its program director); and KFWB (1961 – 1963).  Renowned voiceover talent and longtime programmer Charlie Van Dyke notes on his Facebook page that McDaniel was, “a great guy with the most wonderful stories and a very quick sense of humor.  I was so happy that I had the chance to meet with him even briefly.”  The most touching tribute though to McDaniel can be found on laradio.com, where publisher Don Barrett opens up his homage by stating, “The most important man in my life died [Wednesday] night.”  In the heartfelt printed eulogy, Barrett details how he met McDaniel while Barrett attended Santa Monica High School in the 1950s.  “He was the biggest deal on the radio dial in the 1950s,” Barrett writes of McDaniel.  “He was the early Rick Dees or Ryan Seacrest.”  The two instantly became friends and Barrett points out, “Earl was never more than a phone call away.  I went to him first for advice whenever there was a stumbling block in my journey.  He would help me see a way to roll the boulder out of the pathway.  He provided life tools to be a success – personally and professionally.  Earl was the first to pair Robert W. Morgan and The Real Don Steele long before they arrived in Southern California for ‘Boss Radio.’”  According to Barrett, “Earl broke the Chipmunks Christmas Song and lost his job over it.  On Thanksgiving weekend, he played it twice an hour and the station owner threatened to fire Earl if he played it one more time.  Earl did and was fired, however, by Monday it was the hottest record at Wallichs Music City.  Earl was always figuring out a way to make things better, bigger and more spectacular.  He not only coined the phrase, ‘If you don’t promote a funny thing happens – nothing,’ he lived by it.  When Earl was running Honolulu’s KGMB, one year the station took in 60% of the revenues in the 18-station market.  I remember remarking to him what a stunning statistic that was.  He dismissed it and said he would not be happy until he got 100% of all advertising dollars.  Earl was the personification of what it is to be a mentor.  There is no one I have trusted more.  I will forever be grateful for every act of kindness he gave to me and my family – I will forever be grateful for Earl McDaniel.”  That only scratches the surface of Barrett’s piece, which also contains this condensed message from McDaniel himself, who anticipated his death.  “I am an agnostic.  I will be taken to the Neptune Society for cremation.  I have told my heirs that I do not care where they let the ashes fly.  When it is over, it is over.  To that end, there will be no funeral, no casket, and no flowers.  I have celebrated life for 85 years, and that celebration has been a wonderful, wonderful ride.  I have been contemplating all the good times, and the good times were fantabulous.  If I have borrowed something I haven’t returned or money I haven’t repaid, contact my daughter, Kathy.  Do not sing me any sad songs.  If I were to have an epitaph, it would be, ‘Earl McDaniel … from 1928 to 2014, he lived.’”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Charlie Van Dyke, Earl McDaniel, and Don Barrett.

deanmichaelwTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The GCN-syndicated “Michael Dean After Dark” joins the lineup at WKRO, Cairo, Illinois…..“Armed American Radio” Mark Walters is added to the program schedule at KVOC, Casper, Wyoming and WRGA, Rome, Georgia…..The “Daren Streblow Comedy Show” is now heard on KKNW, Seattle; KDIS, Little Rock; and KVOP, Lubbock, Texas.

ObamaCare Criticism Returns to Top of Talkers TenTM.  The scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act was again the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of March 24-28.  At #2 this week was the Supreme Court’s hearing of the Hobby Lobby case which debates the question whether employer-provided health care services that conflict with the employer’s religious beliefs should be required to be offered.  Following at #3 was President Obama’s relationship with Vladimir Putin tied with the aggression of Russia into Eastern Europe and, at #4 was talk about the prospects for political power change after the mid-term elections and the looming 2016 presidential race.  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.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

| March 27, 2014

hannityseanUnusual ‘Ratings Battle’ Between Savage and Hannity Heats Up.  Prior to the rollout of his WestwoodOne-syndicated talk show on Cumulus-owned news/talk stations – many of which had previously carried Premiere NetworksSean Hannity show – Michael Savage took an aggressive stance in both industry and consumer presssavagemichael proclaiming he would beat Hannity in the ratings.  Now, two Nielsen Audio PPM rating periods later, WestwoodOne is waging a PR offensive that many industry watchers note is rarely seen in the syndication business, going so far as to use words like “trounced” and “demolished” with respect to Savage’s ratings versus Hannity’s.  Reporting Nielsen Audio PPM data in the Persons 25-54 demo for major markets New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Dallas, WestwoodOne shows Savage more than doubling Hannity’s AQH share there (NYC 1.1 vs .5, Chicago 1.2 vs .2, San Francisco 1.5 vs .5, and Dallas-Ft. Worth 1.3 vs .5).  Hannity’s camp responds with a memo from premierenetworks newPremiere Networks VP/operations and affiliate marketing for the Sean Hannity show Eric Stanger, who writes, “It’s puzzling that Michael Savage would want to brag about his listening audience.  Despite his claims, the numbers show that Savage is losing thewestwoodone logo audience that he inherited from Sean Hannity in droves, on the radio stations that Sean spent 17 years building.  In New York on WABC as well as on Dallas on WBAP, in the key demo of A25-54, Savage has lost a whopping 49% of the audience that he inherited from Sean Hannity.  Other key markets tell a similar story as you can see below.  All in all, Savage has bled away almost half of the audience on the key stations that were given to him in 2014 (In Los Angeles, where Cumulus has decided not to air the ‘Savage Nation,’ KABC-AM has dropped 27% without Hannity).  Meanwhile, Sean Hannity has more than doubled the total audiences where he has started on new stations after leaving Cumulus in New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas (AQH percentage change December ’13 to February ’14 Persons 12+:  WOR, New York, +108%; KEIB, Los Angeles +172%; and KSKY, Dallas +128%).”  EDITOR’S NOTE:  TALKERS magazine maintains a general policy of not publishing ratings results of contests between individual hosts because there are so many potential situations taking place in the industry it would become editorially unwieldy and impossible to manage accurately and fairly.  This is especially true in regards to reporting on battles between syndicated hosts in which there is often inconsistency from market to market in terms of actual times and number of hours broadcast.  Plus, this publication avoids getting involved in situations hinting of personal vendettas and vitriol between personalities and even competing companies.  In the words of publisher Michael Harrison, “This industry faces enough competitive challenges these days from external sources for us to turn our guns on each other in anything more intense than healthy, sportsmanlike competition.”

eskinspikeCBS RADIO Ups Spike Eskin to PD of WIP-FM and WIP-AM.  Interim program director Spike Eskin is officially the PD at CBS RADIO’s “SportsRadio 94 WIP” and “CBS Sportsradio 610,” the company announces.  Eskin has been filling the role on an interim basis since Jeff Sottolano was named director of programming for CBS RADIO earlier this year.  Previously, Eskin served as sports editor for CBSPhilly.com and did part-time air shifts on WIP-FM, all-news KYW and CBS 3 TV.  Senior vice president and market manager Marc Rayfield says, “Spike is his own person.  He is tenacious, strategic and a proven winner.  We interviewed an extremely talented pool of national and local candidates.  Spike was clearly our best choice.”  Eskin comments, “My career in radio has taken me in many different directions, and has ultimately led me to a job that I feel like I was born to do and I am honored and humbled to have. I’m excited to work with the best air talent in sports radio, and our incredible staff to continue building the legend that is WIP.”

schembrijoeSchembri Upped to VP of Corporate Business Development, Sports Sales and Sponsorships.  This new corporate position lifts Joe Schembri from his VP of business development post.  Now, he’ll be working directly with clients to “create local, regional, and national campaigns that reach and engage consumers by utilizing multiple platforms to drive incremental revenue that include radio, sports play-by-play, event sponsorships, digital, database, mobile and social.”  Entercom station group president Weezie Kramer states, “For years, Joe has been a leader in our company and throughout radio, and I am proud to elevate him to this new position.  Sports has always been a strength of entercomEntercom and, under Joe’s leadership, we will bring a greater platform of products and greater results to our clients.”  Entercom serves as the radio broadcast partner for the Boston Red Sox, Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres, Kansas City Royals, Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Saints, New Orleans Pelicans, Oakland Athletics, Oakland Raiders, San Jose Sharks and several NCAA teams, including this year’s #1 NCAA basketball seeds University of Florida Gators and Wichita State Shockers.  Schembri comments, “This is an exciting time for radio, sports and event marketing.  Entercom is powerfully positioned across the country to build dynamic, multi-platform campaigns that engage our fans, connect them to our clients and generate results that make a difference.”

nymrad logoNYMRAD Registers a +3.26%.  According to the Miller Kaplan New York Market Revenue Report, New York Market Radio (NYMRAD) advertising revenue for the first two months of this year increased 3.26%, when compared to last year’s figures.  Total revenue for February – including “digital” and “network”/”NTR”/”other” were up 2.3%.  New York Market Radio Broadcasters Association executive director Deborah Beagan comments, “The New York market is up, despite the series of storms.”  The “automotive” category there is up 11%, with over $10 million of spending.  Three rapidly growing such advertisers are Land Rover, up 153% from $166,000 last year to $420,000 this year; Tri State Ford Dealers – improving by 48% from $458,000 to $680,000; and Mercedes Benz, up 72% from $265,000 to $455,000.  The “communications/cellular” category sees a 20% gain, with over $8 million of spending.  Rapid such growers included Verizon, up 69% from $1.29 million to $2.17 million; Metro PCS – improving 95% from $1.28 million to $2.50 million; and AT&T, up 67% from $917,000 to $1.53 million.

scba logoLos Angeles Radio Revenue Grows in February.  According to data from Miller Kaplan Arase as reported by the Southern California Broadcasters Association, during February, the Los Angeles radio market saw revenue climb by 3.7% for the month and, on a year-to-date basis through February, the LA total market revenue growth is 3.1%.  SCBA president Thom Callahan states, “This substantial market growth reflects the dynamic power of Southern California Radio and our member radio stations’ determination to begin 2014 on very strong footing.”  On the digital side, the report indicates revenue for the reporting stations in February up 16.8% and a YTD growth rate of 14.7%.  The subsequent “X-Ray” report YTD also reveals substantial new business growth with 336 new advertisers spending $12.7 million.  Key category drivers include: insurance – up 141.7%, cellular/communications – up 45.8%, concerts/theatre/movies – up 34.7%, casinos/lottery – up 32.5%, and education – up 32.3%.

starkjaysonStark Reality for Philly’s WPEN-FM.  ESPN.com senior baseball writer – and Philadelphia native – Jayson Stark will host a one-hour eponymous show on select Mondays throughout the baseball season for Greater Media Philadelphia’s WPEN-FM “The Fanatic.”  The two-time Pennsylvania Sportswriter of the Year will continue to be a Wednesday afternoon contributor on the station’s “Mike Missanelli Show.”  Stark acknowledges that, “I may work for ESPN now, but I’m still a Philadelphian, so the only thing cooler than joining my buddy Mike Missanelli every Wednesday is getting my own personal hour of radio.  I will get to talk to my favorite Philadelphians about the Phillies and the sport they play, mix in a little trivia, and do our best to turn this extravaganza into a show that’s even more fun than spending a summer evening hanging out in Ashburn Alley.”  Stark’s program will emanate live from Newtown, Pennsylvania’s Green Parrot; the debut show is one week from Monday (4/7) between 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm.  Stark has written/reported about MLB for ESPN since 2000.  Before that, he covered the Phillies for the Philadelphia Inquirer.  He appears as an analyst on a variety of ESPN radio and television programs.

delcollianojerryJerry Del Colliano’s “Media Solutions Conference” Draws 100-plus to Philadelphia.  More than 100 radio broadcasters from across the country gathered at the classy Rittenhouse Hotel in Philadelphia yesterday (3/26) to attend noted industry observer and analyst Jerry Del Colliano’s fifth annual “Media Solutions Conference.”  The attendees represented various levels of management, talent and ownership from a variety of radio companies — local, regional and national.  In addition to Del Colliano’s in-depth presentation of information about such topics as understanding the Millennial generation, disrupting radio before its media rivals do, separating radio’s main product into unique on-air and online categories, using video to generate additional revenue streams, reinventing the morning show, time-shifting radio, and reducing the liability of commercials while increasing their effectiveness, attendees were treated to presentations by WBEB, Philadelphia “More FM” owner Jerry Lee, Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel talk star Sean Hannity and TALKERS/RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison.  Jerry Lee discussed a number of tactics and philosophies employed by his company to make it one of the most successful ratings and revenue-generating, leejerryindependent music-formatted, stand-alone FMs in America.  He basically told the attendees that you have to spend money to make money and espoused the benefits of heavy promotion, research and putting together a top-notch team of talent and management in order to reap the rewards radio is still capable of delivering.  He also spoke extensively about the importance of creating effective, listenable commercials and limiting the number of spots perharrisonmichael hour to no more than 12.  Sean Hannity discussed the various keys to attracting younger listeners to the talk format on both radio and television (something he has proven to do very well) and was critical of today’s ratings system that largely ignores listenership to radio on the internet and satellite platforms.  Michael Harrison joined Del Colliano at the end of the conference for a free-wheeling Q&A wrap up of the day’s subject matter.  Harrison encouraged the attendees to trust in their own common sense and intuition, pointing out that all forward evolution in the arts and communication begin with someone taking a stand based on their gut instincts.  According to Harrison, “This was one of the most interesting, informative and well-organized conferences I have ever attended.”  Jerry Del Colliano will be a major speaker at the forthcoming “Talkers New York 2014” on Friday, June 20.  For information call 413-565-5413.

borrell logoBorrell Research Projects Hike in Recruitment Advertising.  Just what radio might realize from the projected 5.8% increase in dollars spent by employers seeking workers via broadcast isn’t certain and the category doesn’t break down radio, TV, and cable.  However, as the recruitment advertising report – subtitled The Long, Gray, Line – states, employers will spend $22.9 billion in the category this year.  “Of that, 84% is spent on online media, and of that, half is being spent on so-called digital services like developing websites, search engine optimization, and managing social media.  That services portion is growing at the fastest clip – nearly 50% growth in 2014 and potentially tripling over the next five years.  By 2018, we foresee a future where employers will spend 67% of their recruitment marketing budgets on digital services, 23% on classic digital advertising, and the remaining 10% on traditional media advertising.”  See more about the report here.

RIhof logoWOR, New York PD Tom Cuddy Leads Rhode Island Radio HoF Class of 2014.  The Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame announces the class of 2014 inductees and they include: current WOR, New York program director Tom Cuddy (who got his start in radio at WPRO-AM in 1980); air personality and programmer Rick Everett (served at WGNG, WSNE, WWLI, WWBB, WRX, and WCTK; current WRNI news anchor/reporter and host Dave Fallon; New England Tech teacher and 30-plus year radio station staffer Paul Perry; the late Carroll “Pappy” Philbrook, who began his career in Rhode Island radio in the 1940s as an engineer at WHIM, WHJJ and WHJY; easy listening pioneer Tony Rizzini; and entertainment icon Saucy Silvia who hosted an entertainment program on WADK for 26 years.  Additionally, the Shepard Award – created to recognize the founders of radio (John and Robert Shepard, owners of the Shepard Department Stores) in the Ocean State and to honor present-day contributors to the industry through leadership, dedication, achievement, innovation and spirit – goes to Janice Skelly.  Skelly began her radio career in 1978, working for WPRO-FM in the sales department, and for most of the next 36 years, she remained a fixture within the sales and business operations of WLKW-AM/FM and WSNE-FM through several ownership changes.

ObamaCare Criticism, SCOTUS Hobby Lobby Case, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Race, Obama vs Putin/Russian Aggression, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Fate, and NSA Data Collection Policy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/26).  Scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the Supreme Court Case that will decide the scope of religious exemptions for employer-provided health care; speculation about the political ramifications of the mid-term elections and possible candidates for president in 2016; Russian aggression in Eastern Europe and criticism of President Obama’s handling of Vladimir Putin; the fate of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370; and concern over the NSA’s bulk data collection program were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Inside SportsTalkBoston.com

| March 26, 2014

Sports Media Personality Glenn Ordway’s Multi-Platform Venture Is Off and Running

 

By Jason Wolfe
Chief Content Officer
SportsTalkBoston.com

 

wolfejasonwriterBOSTON — I’ve worked in sports radio my entire broadcast career. When I graduated from Syracuse in 1989, I was privileged to land a job in my hometown of Boston right out of college. Talk about young and green. I didn’t have any idea what radio was all about at that time. I just knew I loved it. Twenty-four years later, it’s amazing how much the medium, and the industry, have changed.

In the old days, hosts flipped on the microphone, yapped about their teams, took calls from passionate fans whose very lives seemingly depended on the outcome of the games, and threw in numerous guests to provide more insight into the topic at hand. It was a pretty simple formula. Information ruled the day and that’s what we did, discuss the information.

Nowadays, to be successful in sports talk radio, and most formats, it’s about much more than providing information. Listeners sportstalkboston logoalready have the information you want to discuss, even before you get to the station. You need opinions, humor, edge, attitude, and most of all personality. Fans will listen to hosts they love, and those they hate, because of the personality that exists in both. Personality breeds engagement. Engagement breeds loyalty.  Loyalty breeds ratings and ratings breed revenue. That is the formula hosts and shows need to embrace today if they want to win.

Read More

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

| March 26, 2014

sportstalkboston logoInside SportsTalkBoston.com.   The surprising exit of longtime WEEI sports talk personality Glenn Ordway last year and the departure some months later of station programmer Jason Wolfe saw big changes in the Boston sports talk scene.  Those changes are becoming even more high profile with the debut of Ordway’s new multi-platform sports talk destination wolfejasonSportsTalkBoston.com.  Regular TALKERS readers are aware Wolfe is signing on with the venture to serve as chief content officer.  In this exclusive story, Wolfe goes into a bit more detail about not only what the future will bring to SportsTalkBoston.com, but he writes about Ordway’s place in the hearts and minds of Boston sports media fans and how that plays into the execution of the content.  As Wolfe says, “Personality breeds engagement.  Engagement breeds loyalty.  Loyalty breeds ratings and ratings breed revenue.  That is the formula hosts and shows need to embrace today if they want to win.”  Read this entire piece here.

wtoplogoWTOP, Washington Takes ‘Top Biller’ Crown for Fourth Year Straight.  The annual top radio billers report from BIA/Kelsey is out and although Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP, Washington dropped a little over $1 million in billing from 2012 to 2013, at a reported $63.5 million it still was the nation’s #1 biller, beating Clear Channel’s CHR KIIS-FM, Los Angeles by about $2 million.  KIIS-FM had a good year, adding almost $5 million to its revenue total to report in at $61.6 million.  Rounding out the top 10 for 2013 were:  Clear Channel’s CHR WHTZ, New York “Z100” at $51 million; CBS RADIO’s all-news WCBS-AM at $50 million; Clear Channel’s AC WLTW, New York “106.7 Lite FM” at $45.5 million; CBS RADIO all-news WINS at $45 million; Clear Channel’s hot AC KBIG, Los Angeles “104.3 MYfm” at $44.5 million; CBS RADIO’s sports talk WFAN, New York “The Fan” at $43 million; CBS RADIO’s alternative KROQ, Los Angeles at $42.8 million; and CBS RADIO’s all-news WBBM, Chicago wraps the top 10 at $42 million.

mckinneygregEntercom Loosens Load on ‘ESPN Upstate’ Personality Greg McKinney.  In addition to his work at Entercom Greenville’s sports talk duo WORD-AM/WYRD-AM “ESPN Upstate” where he’s host of “In The Huddle with Greg McKinney” from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm, McKinney had been doing mornings on sister AC WSPA “Magicespnupstate 98.9.”  (He also handles anchoring the “College Football Today” pregame show on rock WTPT “93.3 The Planet.”)  The company adds “Murphy, Sam and Jodi” on WSPA for morning drive and relieves McKinney of the daily double duty.  Entercom Greenville VP and market manager Steve Sinicropi comments, “Our sports coverage in terms of talent, teams and signal coverage is unmatched in this market.  We are thrilled that the person who will become the local face of ‘ESPN Upstate’ was already in our stable.  Putting Greg McKinney on ESPN with a live and local show, not only plays to his strengths and talents, but it provides our clients with an additional and valuable touch point to connect with a highly sought after consumer.”

entercomEntercom Sets Milwaukee and Madison Managers.  Former Cumulus Mobile vice president/market manager Chuck Sullivan is tapped for similar duties at Entercom Milwaukee, while Entercom Madison director of sales Ed Schulz is elevated to vice president/market manager of that Wisconsin market.  They succeed Michael Keck (see next story), who was overseeing both markets.  Regional president Michael Doyle comments, “Entercom is proud to add two of the strongest people in radio to our leadership team.  Chuck and Ed bring with them a wealth of experience, unique perspectives and a passion to make their powerful brands and their clusters not only the strongest in the state, but in all of radio.”  Meanwhile, Sullivan remarks, “Entercom Milwaukee has some of the most powerful and iconic brands from [CHR WXSS] ‘Kiss-FM’ to [hot AC WMYX] ‘Mix’ to [WSSP] ‘SportsRadio 1250.”  Schulz adds, “Madison is a special place and Entercom has distinct brands that not only connect with the community, but deliver results for our clients.  I am proud of what we have accomplished in Madison and am excited for the future.  Before joining Cumulus, Sullivan spent nine years as managing partner of Wilmington, North Carolina’s Ocean Broadcasting.  Schulz joined Entercom two years ago and will be responsible for adult alternative WMMM “Triple M,” classic hits WOLX, and hot AC WMHX “Mix 105.1.”

keckmichaelCBS RADIO Twin Cities Names Keck VP/DOS.  As referenced in the story above, sales pro Michael Keck moves northwest from Entercom Milwaukee to the Twin Cities where he’s the new vice president/director of sales at CBS RADIO Minneapolis, effective April 7.  The company says that in this role, he will be responsible for overseeing sales in the market for news/talk WCCO, adult hits KZJK “104.1 Jack FM,” and country KMNB “BUZ’N@102.9.”  Keck will work closely with Michael Weiss, CBS RADIO’s president of sales and report to Mick Anselmo, senior vice president and market manager for the Minneapolis cluster.  Keck comments, “I am thrilled to be coming back to the Twin Cities.  It’s a tremendous privilege to be associated with two powerful FM stations and one of America’s most legendary and successful AM brands in WCCO.  I can’t wait to be a part of the CBS RADIO team in this vibrant radio and media marketplace.”

envisionnetworks newSun Broadcast Group to Rep Envision Networks’ Spanish Content.  An exclusive ad sales agreement has been struck between Sun Broadcast Group, Inc. and Envision Networks for Sun to rep Envision’s Spanish-language inventory that includes: CNN en Español, Fox Deportes and AccuWeather ensunbroadcastgrouplogo Español.  Envision president and CEO Danno Wolkoff states, “Jason Bailey and his team at Sun Broadcast will increase our presence in the Spanish advertising arena.  They will represent our programming, services and online audio product lineups to Hispanic advertisers and maximize the scope of our network’s reach and frequency and the amount of impressions it delivers for clients.”

pretzellodebbieBeasley Honors Pretzello with President’s Club Award.  This in-house sales award for the calendar year 2013 goes to Beasley Broadcast Augusta senior account executive Debbie Pretzello for the third time.  The President’s Club consists of Beasley sales executives inducted annually for their abilities to meet or exceed individual and market goals, attain accreditation from the Radio Advertising Bureau as Certified Radio Marketing Consultants (CRMC), and over-deliver their clients’ expectations on a daily basis.  One account executive in each market in which Beasley operates is named to the Club monthly.  At year’s end, each market names a winner based on overall performance.  Additionally, the individual with the highest ranking from this notable pool of top-performers is named Beasley’s “President’s Club Overall Winner” for the previous calendar year.  Beasley EVP of sales Heather Monahan says, “We are thrilled that Debbie Pretzello continues to lead our Augusta sales team and is recognized for her third time as our ‘Overall President’s Club Winner.’  Retaining talent in our business is of the utmost importance to Beasley.  Debbie forges ahead year after year, raising the bar for our sales organization.  Her ability to win multiple awards signifies her vast talent for delivering results for her local clients.  Debbie Pretzello earned the title ‘Overall President’s Club Winner’ again this year by providing ROI for her customers, that’s something that makes us very proud.”

robbinsmarkleyOdds & Sods.  When the New York Yankees’ season kicks off on April 1, Spanish-speaking listeners in the New York area will be able to hear the games in Spanish on Univsion-owned WADO, New York.  CBS RADIO’s WFAN-AM/FM – the new rights holder for Yankees games, agrees to the deal that will have WFAN producing the games with Rickie Ricardo and Francisco Rivera in the booth for the Spanish-language broadcast…..WMBD, Peoria afternoon duo “Robbins & Markley” – (pictured here) Scott Robbins (l) and Jamie Markley (r) – are sitting in for the vacationing Jim Villanucci on Alpha Broadcasting’s KXL, Portland this week…..The weekly two-hour “Both Sides Now” program – hosted by Mark Green and featuring talk media personalities including: Ron Reagan, Katrina van den Heuvel, Eliot Spitzer, Bob Shrum, Jonathan Alter, Mary Matalin, Erick Erickson, David Frum, Rich Lowry and Torie Clarke – signs up with Focus 360 to handle ad sales for the program.

elswickettingerTackling Big Issues.  KARN-FM, Little Rock program director and afternoon drive host Dave Elswick (right) poses for a photo with former Israeli Ambassador Yoram Ettinger (left) after two spoke on Elswick’s program about Israel and the country’s complex relationship with the U.S., Iran and the Palestinians.  Ettinger served as Minister for Congressional Affairs at Israel’s Embassy in Washington.  Elswick will be speaking on the “Big Picture” panel at Talkers New York 2014 in New York City on Friday, June 20.

ObamaCare Criticism, Michelle Obama in China, Hague Nuke Summit, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Fate, Mid-Term Elections/ 2016 Presidential Race, NSA Bulk Data Collection Policy and Nick Cannon ‘Whiteface’ Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/25).  Scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; coverage of First Lady Michelle Obama’s trip to China and her speech about America’s discriminatory past; President Obama’s comments about Russia and a possible NYC nuclear threat made at the Nuclear Security Summit at the Hague; the possible fate of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370; prognostication about the fall mid-term elections and the 2016 presidential race; the fate of the NSA’s bulk data collection policy; and musician/TV personality Nick Cannon’s “whiteface” photo controversy were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

| March 25, 2014

 

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 – Powerful Agenda and Speaker Lineup Now Being Unveiled.  The 17th annual installment of the talk media industry’s largest, longest-running and most important gathering – Talkers New York 2014 – will take place on Friday, June 20th.The day kicks off with a morning keynote address by Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel talk superstar Sean Hannity following his “Breakfast with Hannity” opening gala which has become a tradition at the yearly event.  That is followed by a sports talk radio keynote by WFAN, New York legend, Mike Francesa.  RAB CEO/president Erica Farber reprises her role as moderator of the “State of Radio Advertising and Sales” panel which features a roster of management/marketing heavyweights including Sound Mind, LLC CEO Kraig Kitchin and more.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison moderates the popular “Big Picture” panel featuring Journal Broadcast Group VP, news/talk programming and VP/GM, WTMJ/WLWK, Milwaukee Tom Langmyer; Cumulus Media SVP, programming Mike McVay; Saga Communications EVP, Steve Goldstein; KARN, Little Rock PD Dave Elswick; WMCA/WNYM, New York VP/GM Jerry Crowley; ABC News, director business continuity & crisis management, Howard B. Price; and WYD Media Management CEO Ron Hartenbaum.  TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey moderates the “State of Talk Radio Programming” panel featuring Salem Communications VP spoken word Phil Boyce; Gabe Hobbs Media CEO Gabe Hobbs; WABC, New York PD Craig Schwalb; WMAL, Washington, DC PD Bill Hess; and WPHT/WIP/CBS Sports Radio 610, Philadelphia OM Andy Bloom.  TALKERS managing editor/West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian moderates the “State of Talk Show Hosting” panel featuring Fox News Radio host Alan Colmes; WYD Media host Thom Hartmann; WGAU, Athens, GA/KRMG, Tulsa/ Georgia News Network host Martha Zoller; Stephan Multimedia host Doug Stephan; WDBZ, Cincinnati host Lincoln Ware; and WestwoodOne host Jim Bohannon with more to be announced; Consultant Holland Cooke provides an informational “takeaway” presentation and Inside Music Media publisher Jerry Del Colliano appears as a special guest delivering the closing wrap-up.  A number of headline speakers and surprise guests have yet to be announced including the esteemed recipients of the Freedom of Speech Award, Humanitarian of the Year Award, Woman of the Year Award, Lifetime Achievement Award and the presenter of the Annual State of the First Amendment Address.  In all, more than 65 speakers are participating and 500-plus attendees will pack the facility.  The event also features technological displays of the latest equipment by Comrex Corporation and Broadcasters General Store.  According to Michael Harrison, “This is the most important installment of this can’t-miss conference ever because it deals with some of the most sensitive and existential issues facing not only the talk side of the business, but all of what we still call ‘radio.’  It is not to be missed, plain and simple, by anyone or any company serious about their future in this industry.”  Registrations for the event are limited only to people who are actively or recently employed in the industry or associated industries and can only be booked by telephone with credit card.  Individual registrations for the entire event including all sessions, presentations, breakfast, lunch, refreshments and receptions are $249.  As usual, because of space limitations and the high quality of this long-established event, an early sellout is certain.  Stand by for ongoing information about speakers, agenda and hotel suggestions in the days ahead.  For further registration and sponsorship information, please call 413-565-5413.

leykisauctionphotoLeykis Listener Pays $5,500 to Celebrate Show Anniversary on Air.  As April 2 approaches, talk radio star Tom Leykis and his crew are preparing to celebrate the second anniversary of his internet talk show.  Leykis – who spent many years with CBS RADIO based at former hot talk KLSX, Los Angeles – created The New Normal company to execute his vision for interactive talk radio on the internet and launched his live program on April 2, 2012.  As a way of offering something special to a loyal listener and of celebrating the occasion, Leykis auctioned a day in the studio with the Tom Leykis show on eBay and a listener from Orange County (still anonymous at press time) shelled out $5,500 for the honor.  As was written in the eBay description, the winner gets to come to “The New Normal Studios in Burbank, California and spend the afternoon with Tom Leykis and his cohorts, Gary Zabransky, Dean J. DeMilio, and Mike Timpson.  You’ll see Tom’s Tesla Model S.  We’ll take photos.  Or not.  Alcohol will be consumed.  Anything can happen.  If you win, be sure to bring bail money.”

scba logoSCBA Makes Case for Advertising on Radio in SoCal with Quarterly Market Report.  A case can be made that the Southern California Broadcasters Association is working as hard as any organization can to convince advertisers that their money would be well spent on Southern California radio.  In its latest Quarterly Market Guidance Report, the SCBA draws upon some of the data that’s already been reported this year that indicates: 1) radio listening in the region (persons 12+) is increasing, according to Nielsen Audio data; and 2) advertising revenue in the  region is increasing as per Miller Kaplan Arase reports.  The report, designed to target advertisers and agencies, offers arguments for shifting parts of ad budgets away from television and cable to radio for effective marketing.  See the report here.

karelirelandInternational Remotes?  Karel Tells You How.  California-based talk show host Karel (pictured here sporting the green mohawk in a St. Patrick’s Day parade in Ireland) has been doing international remotes since the days when the equipment necessary to get the job done required a half-dozen flight cases, an-onsite engineer and ISDN and POTS lines set up way in advance.  As Karel illustrates in today’s piece, that’s in the distant past.  Just returned from an eight-day trip to Ireland from which he broadcast live from numerous locations during his travels, Karel details the equipment necessary and how he managed it all with an ease that allowed him to focus on creating the programming and not troubleshooting engineering snafus.  Read his story here.

bartiromomariaOdds & Sods.  The David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh is being taken over this weekend by CBS RADIO Pittsburgh as it presents the Giant Eagle Kidapalooza on Saturday, March 29.  In addition, news/talk KDKA-AM is bringing back the Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield KDKA Health Fair.  Kidapalooza is a unique, indoor family festival featuring exciting entertainment and indoor adventures spread over more than 100,000 square feet of space…..Tribune’s WGN, Chicago and the Chicago Blackhawks are presenting the March edition of “Chicago Blackhawks Live” featuring Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville on Tuesday, April 1 at the new Old Town Pour House in suburban Oak Brook.  “Blackhawks Live” is a series of one-hour radio broadcasts hosted over dinner throughout the year featuring current Blackhawks players, legends and management.  Blackhawks radio broadcasters John Wiedeman and Troy Murray host the event that includes a question-and-answer format between the hosts and the featured Blackhawks guests…..Fox News Channel is launching a new Sunday morning program featuring Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo called “Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo.”  The show will have a business focus in which Bartiromo interviews business leaders and industry newsmakers about commerce and finance issues.

abcmudslideABC News Radio at Washington Disaster.  At left is ABC News Radio correspondent Alex Stone in Arlington, Washington covering the mudslides in Washington State.  He is pictured with Lisa Bishop and her dog Cody who are waiting to go in to begin looking for victims.  The pair are a FEMA-certified team and so far have been told it’s too dangerous to begin searching.

ObamaCare Criticism, Global Warming, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Fate, Obama vs. Putin/G7 Meeting, Fatal Washington Mudslide, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/24).  Scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; theories about global warming the cause of unusual winter weather; conclusions about the fate of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370; the shutting out of Russia from the G8 conference and President Obama’s dealings with Vladimir Putin; the tragedy of the mudslide in Washington that’s claimed numerous lives and left many presumed dead; and the first weekend of the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to research from TALKERS.

International Remotes?
If Not Now, When?

| March 25, 2014

By Charles Karel Bouley II
Talk Show Host

 

karelLONG BEACH, CA – Fourteen years ago I did my first international remote broadcast for KFI, Los Angeles. My late husband Andrew (also my co-host) and I had been invited to Ireland to broadcast for St. Patrick’s Day 2000.

Once it got cleared, it was a big to-do.  Engineer and producer extraordinaire Emeliano Limon was to come with us, and he had an arsenal of equipment.  Metal crates and boxes, too much for one person to manage, all got on board Aer Lingus that year as the “Karel & Andrew” show went live in Dublin.

ISDN lines had to be dropped at each hotel.  There had to be access to POTS lines as well.  The internet and computers were in their infancy so international speeds were spotty at best.  To do the broadcast to an ISDN Codec like the Telos Zephyr, an ISDN line, two microphones, mixing board, vocal processor; it took large audio files taking hours to send and audio recorders like a DAT or MiniDisc for field audio that then had to be converted and edited.

In other words, it took manpower, equipment and time to do a remote abroad, or, anywhere for that matter.

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Monday, March 24, 2014

| March 24, 2014

businessrockstars radioBusiness Rockstars Radio to Debut. Via a strategic alliance with the Wall Street Business Network, “Business Rockstars Radio” will premier its national radio syndication effort on March 31 on 10 major market stations. Business Rockstars Radio, hosted by Ken Rutkowski, features “rockstar” CEOs, entrepreneurs, and start-ups and targets the 30 million “Wantrepreneurs” in the U.S. The March 31 rollout is the “launchrutkowskiken pad” for the national rollout of the program. Salem Radio Division president David Santrella states, “Salem is excited to be adding more compelling and relevant content to our Wall Street Business Network. We thank the Good Life Network for their efforts in securing the Business Rockstars Radio program for our growing business-format platform, and look forward to a long and mutually successful relationship with both the Good Life Network and Business Rockstars Radio.” The program will air live from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET and debut on: KDOW, San Francisco; KVCE, Dallas; KTEK, Houston; WZAB, Miami; WAFS, Atlanta; KKOL, Seattle; WBZW, Orlando; KYCR, Minneapolis; KSAC, Sacramento; and KGU, Honolulu. Business Rockstars Radio co-founder Steve Lehman comments, “Business Rockstars Radio is loaded with powerful entrepreneurial content presented in a fun, fast-paced, two-hour daily show. The program has big name CEOs, entrepreneurs and start-ups that discuss their adventures in starting, growing and funding businesses. These stories inspire and educate listeners, from billion dollar start-ups to business train wrecks.”

greatermedia logoGreater Media Philly Named a Top Workplace. This is the third successive year the company has earned such recognition from an annual survey conducted by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com.  Hundreds of companies take part in the survey and as Greater Media Philadelphia vice president/market manager John Fullam states, “Great companies start with great employees.  We are fortunate to have an extraordinary team dedicated to serving Philadelphia, our listeners, and advertising partners every day.”  Judges are employees and evaluation for the “Top Workplaces” program is based upon feedback from a fall 2013 employee survey conducted by Workplace Dynamics.  The Philadelphia Inquirer ran a special publication insert yesterday (3/23) to announce the honor.  Greater Media’s four-station Philadelphia cluster consists of adult hits WBEN-FM “95.7 Ben-FM,” WMGK “Philadelphia’s Classic Rock,” WMMR “Everything That Rocks,” and sports WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic.”

agasepaulCumulus Nabs Agase for VP Sales Post in Chicago.  Chicago market sales pro Paul Agase is named vice president of sales for Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM “Chicago’s Talk Leader” and classic rock WLUP “97.9 FM The Loop.”  Most recently, Agase was general sales manager at CBS RADIO’s all-news WBBM.  He’s also worked in the market at sports talk WSCR “The Score,” triple A WXRT, WKSC “103.5 Kiss FM,” and WBBM-FM “B96.”  Cumulus EVP and co-COO John Pinch comments, “Paul has made a significant impact driving sales for Chicago radio.  His talents are an ideal match for Cumulus Chicago’s iconic stations and we are excited to welcome him to the company.”

comrexComrex Welcomes Torelli as Market Development Manager.  Multi-disciplined media pro Joe Torelli joins Comrex Corporation as market development manager.  The company says that in this role, Torelli will spearhead awareness and drive acceptance of the Comrex LiveShot products in the broadcast, education, worship and government markets.  Comrex managing director Kris Specht states, “Joe comes to Comrex with extensive experience on both sides of the broadcast industry starting as a photojournalist at WFLA-TV, Tampa where he first used Comrex products.  Capitalizing on his field experience there and over a decade at NBC News covering world events, he transitioned to design and delivery of market focused products at Avid, Quantel and, most recently, Apple products that became standards in the industry.  That background will help Comrex grow the acceptance of the LiveShot products.”  Torelli says, “I see LiveShot as truly amazing technology and I’m no stranger to highlighting new technology and differentiating features to the market.  I’m excited about the opportunity to help extend LiveShot’s appeal and acceptance.”  Comrex LiveShot delivers live video and audio over a range of IP networks.  LiveShot is used by TV stations and networks to deliver high-quality, low-latency, full-duplex video and audio from anywhere internet access is available.

bearmanethan2Ethan Bearman Adds KGO, San Francisco to His Roster of Radio Homes.  Multi-platform talk show host Ethan Bearman, one of the 2014 first-time members of TALKERS magazine’s newly published “Heavy Hundred,” has just been named regular host of the Sunday 10:00 am to 1:00 pm slot on KGO, San Francisco.  Bearman has also been retained by the Cumulus San Francisco cluster to do fill-in at KGO’s sister station KSFO where he’ll be keeping the mic warm next week for morning host Brian Sussman (also a 2014 Heavy Hundred inductee) between 5:00 am and 9:00 am on April 3 and 4.  The hard-working Bearman also has a two-hour weekend syndicated show carried by Genesis Communications Network (GCN) and is a regular member of the air staff at Michael Zerling’s nationally famous KSCO, Santa Cruz where he hosts 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm weekdays.  Bearman tells TALKERS, “I am blessed and honored to be working with some of the best professionals in the industry – Michael Zwerling is one of the most ardent examples of a broadcaster dedicated to serving the local community and creating breakthroughs in modern marketing techniques.  Ted Anderson is a dynamo of entrepreneurial innovation, who has built GCN into a powerhouse among the up-and-coming syndicators.  And now, the mighty Cumulus, where I am honored to work at one of the truly legendary sets of call letters in America – KGO – with a staff that is the very embodiment of broadcasting professionalism.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison has been quoted as saying, “I have heard one of the major voices of talk radio’s future and it emanates from a young man named Ethan Bearman.”

cookehollandMedia Usage Research (and What You Can Do With It).  Media consultant Holland Cooke pens a brief synopsis of some of the recent media usage research that’s been published recently and takes it a step further and offers some advice that station operators can use to put their best foot forward.  Smart owners and programmers are not getting depressed about the changing media landscape; they are doing their best to adapt to how people are using media.  Cooke offers some thoughts about working with that mindset.  Read it here.

sorbosamSam Sorbo to Launch Daily Talk Show.  Actress/author and True Feminist CEO Sam Sorbo is beginning a daily, three-hour talk show on Wednesday (3/26).  A press statement says she’s being “tapped by America’s Talk Network, Inc. to host a new daily talk show that will be syndicated and exclusively represented by Talk Radio Network Enterprises.”  The eponymous show will air from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET.    CEO Mark Masters says Sorbo is “an ‘independent conservative,’ an accomplished entrepreneur, who has an uncanny ability to connect with the listeners on a visceral level.”  Sorbo states, “I view it as a privilege to be behind the microphone…Ronald Reagan understood the power of humor, satire and good-natured ridicule in ways that created a massive ‘Big Tent of Voters.’  My goal is to follow that model in creating a ‘Big Tent of Listeners’ for ratings success for our stations.”

kcoh logoHouston Judge Allows KCOH Suit Back Before Court.  The months-long dispute between former KCOH, Houston talk show host Michael Harris and South Houston Community Development Corp. president Jesse Dunn will return to the courts after being dismissed last month.  Harris claims Dunn made false representations to induce Harris into obtaining personal lines of credit totaling $130,000 to finance radio station equipment and operations.  Last month the case was dismissed but Harris’ lawyer Robert Collier argued he was unaware of the motion for summary judgment and didn’t have time to respond.  The suit was reinstated on March 11 and, according to the Houston Chronicle, Collier will ask that the court put KCOH assets into receivership for accounting and control.

eastlanratings logoEastlan Adding Three Markets. Tallahassee, Florida; Columbus, Georgia; and Hammond, Louisiana are the metros that the ratings company will begin surveying this spring.  Eastlan president/chief executive officer Mike Gould comments that, “As Eastlan rolls into our fifteenth year, we are grateful to the small and medium market radio leaders who have recognized the value in carefully scrutinizing their radio ratings/vendor relationship.  We never imagined we would be fortunate enough to become the senior radio ratings provider in the United States.” Nielsen Audio is already measuring Tallahassee and Columbus; Hammond was an unrated metro.  Roughly five months ago, Eastlan added 11 other markets in Texas, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, and Arkansas.

stigallswiftChris Stigall and Taylor Swift Goofing in NYC.  WPHT, Philadelphia morning drive personality Chris Stigall (right) takes what he calls the “ultimate selfie” with pop and country superstar Taylor Swift (left) at the 8th Annual Taste of Hope Wine Dinner to support City of Hope in New York City’s Tribeca on March 20.  This event is just one of the fundraising projects City of Hope produces to help raised funds to cure — and ultimately prevent — cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases.

millernooryCoast to Coast AM from Boise.  Nationally syndicated late-night star George Noory (left) poses for a photo with KIDO, Boise morning drive personality Kevin Miller (right) backstage at the Egyptian Theater in Boise during a visit to the city.  The Premiere Networks-syndicated “Coast to Coast AM” personality was in town for a live show at the Egyptian Theater.  Also pictured here is Noory Productions president Tom Danheiser (c).

BTC logoHD Radio Cited in Growth of Broadcaster Traffic Consortium Revenue.  The Broadcaster Traffic Consortium (BTC), is a nationwide broadcasting network that distributes location-based data — including: local traffic, weather, and fuel prices via radio technology to navigation devices and automobile in-dash systems.  The consortium reports that revenue for 2013 continued to grow and it anticipates more growth in 2014.  The consortium was established in 2007 and since that time its total revenue compound annual growth rate is 50.8%.  The addition of HD Radio technology for traffic data in 2011 comprises 20% of the BTC’s total revenue.  Greater Media CEO Peter Smyth says, “Greater Media is now seeing a return on our investment in BTC.  The transmission of traffic data via our HD signals allows us to be an integral part of the digital dashboard.  We are pleased to see that revenue growth is exceeding our expectations.”  Getting traffic data via HD Radio allows users to avoid eating up their allotted data on bandwidth-intense activities like traffic.  The BTC says, “The smooth launch with auto manufacturers Honda and Mitsubishi last year has opened the door for additional automakers to realize the value of HD Radio Data real-time traffic.”  The founding members of the BTC include: Beasley Broadcast Group; Bonneville International Corporation; Cox Radio, Inc.; Emmis Communications; Entercom Communications Corp.; Greater Media; NPR and Radio One.

Research (in)Digest

| March 24, 2014

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterBLOCK ISLAND, RI — Like listeners dizzied by more-more-more media choices, we, inside-the-box, are bombarded by a torrent of data about our own changing media landscape.

Recently here, I summarized a real useful Edison Research/Triton Digital study: “The Infinite Dial 2014.”

ICYMI:  http://www.talkers.com/2014/03/06/the-infinite-dial-2014/

And here’s the short version of more recently-released research that relates to your work, and some recommendations accordingly:

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Friday, March 21, 2014

| March 21, 2014

wolfejasonJason Wolfe Joins Glenn Ordway’s New Digital Sports Talk Venture.  As the new chief content officer for Sportstalkboston.com, programmer Jason Wolfe rejoins former fellow WEEI staffer and Boston sports media personality Glenn Ordway as the new digital venture, which debuted on Monday (3/17), evolves .  Wolfe was VP of programming operations for Entercom New England prior to exiting the company last year.  Ordway was afternoon drive host on WEEI for many years.  In a statement, Ordway says, “I couldn’t find a more accomplished programmer to extend our efforts to build the best possible content than the Wolfman.”  The company lists the local personalitiessportstalkboston logo appearing on the new “Big Show Unfiltered,” stating, “Listeners on all platforms will hear former All-Pro nose tackle and Patriot Fred Smerlas, Super Bowl Champion linebacker Steve DeOssie, veteran Boston Herald columnist and best-selling author Steve Buckley, former Comcast Sports Net New England studio host and Boston Celtics sideline reporter Greg Dickerson and long-time Boston sports personality and “Big Show” alum Pete Sheppard, will join the Big O along with new contributors ordwayglennJerry Thornton of Barstool Sports and comedian Graig Murphy.”  Regarding Wolfe, the press statement tallies his accomplishments: “He has spent his entire broadcast career in Boston, including 22 years with WEEI.  Under his leadership, the station achieved tremendous success, becoming the #1-ranked sports radio station in the country, and holding the top spot in Boston for six straight years.  The station was nominated for six Marconi Awards with four wins, the most recent in 2012.  Wolfe also created the Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon which, in partnership with NESN, has raised $31 million for cancer care and research in its 12-year history.”  Ordway adds, “It’s our goal to assemble a cast of fun, interesting and compelling personalities.  I feel strongly that with this group, we’re well on our way to achieving that.”  Wolfe starts with the company on April 10.

nab logoNAB Issues Reply Comments on AM Band Revitalization.  The FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rule Making regarding its proposals for revitalizing the AM band and NAB, in its reply comments, reiterates its “support for most of these proposals, and suggests certain other policy changes that would further enhance the public’s AM radio service.”  In summary, NAB states it “agrees with most comments in favor of opening a filing window for FM translators in which only AM stations may participate, as a means of extending the benefits of cross-service translators to more AM stations and their listeners.  While translators obtained in this window should generally remain linked to the acquiring AM station, NAB submits that it would be reasonable to allow such translators to be transferred under certain limited circumstances, such as financial hardship.”  NAB also says it supports “relaxation of the proposed limit of one FM translator per AM station, to accommodate AM stations with unusually large or irregularly shaped service areas, as well as opening the filing window to all AM radio stations on an equal basis, regardless of class or ownership structure.  The record also demonstrates support for the FM translator processing approaches set forth in the ‘Mattoon’ and ‘Tell City’ waiver cases. Retention of the former, and approval of the latter, will expand the universe of eligible cross-service translators, and foster efficient spectrum use by enabling more translators to be fully utilized.”  Read NAB’s entire reply comments here.

cbsradio logoCBS RADIO Adds to Its Live Events Division.  The expansion of the live events division at CBS RADIO includes the addition of Katie Forte senior producer, strategic events and partnerships.  She’ll be based in New York, according to Amy Stevens, senior vice president of strategic events and partnerships.  The company says that in the newly created position, Forte will “play a key role in the development and management of signature programs that provide audiences and advertisers with one of a kind experiences with their favorite artists, sports stars, newsmakers and CBS RADIO personalities.  Additionally, Forte will serve as a liaison with local venues, arenas and CBS RADIO’s current roster of partners in the entertainment industry, while cultivating new business relationships and opportunities.”  Forte comes to CBS RADIO from her most recent position as director, concerts marketing, digital and social media with Madison Square Garden Company.

costa logoSports Talker Dino Costa to Begin Multi-Platform Endeavor.  Former SiriusXM sports talk personality Dino Costa announces the coming debut of his new multi-platform sports talk venture on May 5.  His new company, Dino Costa Worldwide, LLC, is producing the Dino Costa show it calls “a multi-platform sports media and entertainment forum – combining the elements of radio, television, and newspaper, under one umbrella.”  Costa is working on a subscription model ($72 per year) that will include a live, daily four-hour show available in high-definition with a three-camera shoot planned.  Other content will include pre-recorded podcast interviews with a host of news-making individuals, pre-recorded video vignettes, and “Costa Chronicles” featuring consistent written word features by Costa.  The new show will also feature a mobile app so that all elements of the show may be accessed at anytime, anywhere for those on the go.  It’ll all be at DinoCostaShow.com.

audi logoAudi to Bring Wi-Fi to 2015 A3 Model.  The arrival of wi-fi in the automobile in the United States appears to be coming first from Audi, according to a piece at Technologyreview.com.  The story says the German manufacturer will make wi-fi available in its 2015 A3 model and it’s certain other manufacturers will follow.  GM already has plans to offer 4G LTE in some 2015 models beginning this summer.  Industry watchers know that the digital dashboard is going to expand but how fast that will happen before it can be said to be ubiquitous is up for debate.  The Technologyreview.com piece reports Audi will charge $100 for 5 gig of data for six months.  If you add that to a consumer’s existing smartphone plan, it becomes clear the dollars add up.  Manufacturers are working to make the operation of digital apps acceptable for drivers who can’t be distracted, and that limits what can be done in the vehicle (at least in the front seat).  Few are denying this is the future of entertainment and information in the car but reviews of some digital dashboard apps currently available are not glowing.  They cite difficulty of operation and unreliability in many cases.  But time usually solves these issues and that will be the case here.  But for now, service like this will belong to those with a yen for gadgets and a fair amount of disposable income.  Read the Technologyreview.com piece here.

webbdavidOdds & Sods.  Talk show host David Webb will moderate a panel discussion about the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 on SiriusXM this evening.  “Malaysia Air Mystery – A Listener Roundtable,” will feature a panel of experts including: former CIA agent Bob Baer, former Navy SEAL and pilot Brandon Webb, forensic psychiatrist Michael Aronoff, former National Transportation Safety Board investigator Alan Yurman, former CIA intelligence officer Dr. Michael Scheuer, director of the division of bioethics at NYU Langone Medical Center Dr. Arthur Caplan, security and terrorism professional Kerry Patton, and chief operating officer of Aviation International News Randy Padfield…..The popular public radio program “This American Life,” created and hosted by Ira Glass, will no longer be distributed by Public Radio International after July.  Neither side is talking specifics but both have agreed to move on after negotiations for renewal broke down.  The show has been distributed by PRI since it debuted in 1997…..CBS RADIO O&O WCCO,wcco logo Minneapolis is the recipient of 11 awards in the recent 2013 Minnesota Associated Press Broadcasters News Contest.  The awards will be presented at the annual awards banquet on Friday, March 28.  Among the 10 categories judged, WCCO is receiving eight first place awards and three honorable mentions.  First place honors were awarded in the following categories: Best In Show, Best Website, Sport Hard News, Feature, Series/Special, Sports Reporting, Best Newscast, and Sports Play By Play.

freemanedgeTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “Free Talk Live” with Ian Freeman and Mark Edge joins the lineup at KNOX, Grand Forks and WBBA, Pittsfield, Illinois…..WestwoodOne’s Jim Bohannon is now heard on KWLZ, Warm Springs, Oregon and KBNW, Bend, Oregon.….WILC, Maryland adds the Genesis Communications Network-distributed Alex Jones show to its lineup…..The “Freedom Feens” with Michael W. Dean and Neema Vedadi is picked up by WSVG and WAMM, Woodstock, Virginia…..The Genesis Communications Network-syndicated weekend Ethan Bearman program is added to the program schedule on KBY, Anchorage…..Salem Radio Network’s Dennis Prager show is added to the lineup at WNNG, Unadilla, Georgia and WKAL, Rome, New York.

karelirelandKarel Takes Ireland!  Talk show host Charles Karel Bouley writes from across the Pond to let TALKERS know he just finished hosting nine programs from the Emerald Isle – including a St. Patrick’s Day show.  While there, Karel led the St. Patrick’s parade in Dublin atop a double decker bus occupied by media from around the world.  As he says, “Being openly gay the whole time (take that NYC and Boston)!”  Pictured here is Karel (l) interviewing the Lord Mayor of Dublin Oisin Quinn at his home, Mansion House.

Obama vs. Putin Clash Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 17-21.  The butting of heads between President Obama and Russian president Vladimir Putin over the latter’s aggressive policies was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was Russia’s annexation of Crimea.  Following at #3 was criticism of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act, and at #4 was the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

| March 20, 2014

gamblingjohnr‘AM 970 The Answer’ Coaxes John Gambling Out of Retirement.  New York radio legend John Gambling will be back on the radio in New York City on April 14 as he’ll begin hosting a daily two-hour show from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, shaving an hour each off the Mike Gallagher and Dennis Prager shows that surround it.  Gambling  retired from the morning drive show at Clear Channel’s WOR in December.  Salem Communications VP director of wnymlogospoken word format and VP for the New York market Phil Boyce states, “When John Gambling left New York radio last December there was a void created for quality morning radio in this market, and we decided to fill it.  John had worked for me for nine years at WABC.  Before and after that he worked for Jerry Crowley at WOR.  Jerry and I looked at each other and thought this was something we could not pass up.”  WNYM vice president and general manager Jerry Crowley adds, “It is rare when you have a chance to build a lineup like we are building here at ‘The Answer,’ and even rarer still when you have a chance to add somebody of John’s integrity and character.  Every talk radio listener in this market knows and admires John and we are sure he will do well with both listeners and advertisers.  This is huge for us.”

xray fmProgressive Talk Returns to Portland Airwaves on Non-Com KXRY.  According to reports from The Oregonian and BlueOregon.com, non-commercial outlet KXRY, owned by Common Frequency, Inc. and licensed to Portland, is debuting a hybrid progressive talk and music format that will include local talk personalities Carl Wolfson, Adam Klugman and Jefferson Smith (among others) as well as WYD Media nationally syndicated host Thom Hartmann.  KXRY is a class D FM at 91.1 broadcasting at 8 watts.  The programming is also streaming at XRAY.FM.

wrcn logoWRCN, Long Island Announces News/Content Partnerships.  The newly launched Long Island news/talk outlet WRCN, Riverhead “LI News Radio, 103.9 FM” begins a partnership with WABC-TV, New York “Channel 7/Eyewitness News” that involves “Eyewitness News” Long Island correspondent Kristin Thorne calling into the station every afternoon to give listeners a rundown of what Long Island stories the “Channel 7/Eyewitness News” is working on for their evening news broadcast.  The partnership also includes the two media outlets pooling their information in order to provide their audiences with the most up-to-date Long Island news stories.  The JVC Media station has also developed a relationship with St. Joseph’s School of Journalism in which the college’s journalism and new media professors and students will contribute to the station’s developing news stories.  WRCN general manager Matthew Goldapper comments, “We are incredibly excited to welcome St. Joseph’s College and ‘Channel 7/Eyewitness News’ to our station.  Having fresh talent from the college, as well as seasoned talent from ‘Eyewitness News’ participate in our station brings extraordinary resources to ‘LI News Radio’ that we can share with our listeners.”  Future goals include having Thorne visit the “LI News Radio” studios (located at MacArthur Airport in Islip) each month where she can participate in the station’s live morning program to discuss stories and issues in greater detail.

heathertondickRadio Veteran Dick Heatherton Joins TalkersRadio with New Motivational Program.  Longtime major market personality Dick Heatherton is launching a new program – “The Dick Heatherton Show” — on TalkersRadio geared to helping people overcome obstacles in their lives during these tough times so they can achieve, regain or sustain success.  Heatherton has been in the radio business for more than 40 years — most notably as an on-air personality on legendary outlets as well as serving several stints as a PD and GM.  He has been a disc jockey on WCBS-FM, New York and heard on an array of diverse call letters such as KCBS-FM, San Francisco; KFI, Los Angeles; KMPC, Los Angeles; KLIF, Dallas; WFIL, Philadelphia; WPOP, Hartford and more in a career that has spanned more than four decades.  He has acted on ABC-TV’s “General Hospital” and has played different roles over 14 years on the soaps as well as performing on NBC’s “One Life to Live.”  He has produced a series of jazz concerts for Bravo, CBC and Australian television.  He also produced/co-talkersradio logohosted the nationally syndicated TV show, “New Day Dawning” and has been announcer/warm up guy for many TV game shows.  Heatherton was also the American Ambassador of Good Will to the City of Frankfurt, Germany among his extensive list of credits and accomplishments.  As he prepares to debut the first installment of the weekly one-hour program this Sunday (3/23), Heatherton tells TALKERS, “Radio prepares you for everything and anything.  The best part of radio is it teaches you to think on your feet.”  And, these days he’s doing a lot of that as an author/speaker and certified coach, assisting others and giving platform presentations around the country.  His first book, Out of the Fog and Into Focus is the stories of how many celebrities overcame tough times in their lives including the lessons they learned along the way.  His new book, The Upside to Down Times, will be released in May.  Along with his own takes on subjects of personal sensitivity, Heatherton will interview leading motivational speakers as well as today’s headliners, sports figures, actors, talk personalities and money makers who failed on their way to success.  On making the announcement of “The Dick Heatherton Show” joining the TalkersRadio line-up, TALKERS GM of broadcast operations, David Bernstein says, “Dick is not only a smooth and accomplished broadcaster, he is a renaissance man who fearlessly reveals his own life’s ups-and-downs including the pain, disappointments and moments of sheer despair – as well as absolutely uplifting examples of redemption and success.  This is truly compelling radio and another example of the developmental and experimental type of talk programming we are so dedicated to doing on this radio laboratory called TalkersRadio.”  Heatherton’s program will air Sunday evenings between 9:00 pm and 10:00 pm ET with repeat broadcasts streamed several times during the week.  TalkersRadio, a service of TALKERS magazine, powered by Backbone, is situated on the website www.talkers.com as well as available on TuneIn.

ligginsalfredRadio One’s Liggins and Hughes Awarded Bonuses.  The compensation committee of Radio One is awarding CEO Alfred Liggins $1.5 million and founder Cathy Hughes $500,000 in bonuses based on employee performance criteria and “additional considerations for the founder.”  In an 8-Khughescathy filing with the SEC, the company reports how it arrived at the figures.  The short version is that the 2008 Employee Agreement that provided the bonus structure lapsed in 2011 so the compensation committee “exercised discretion to reflect a number of factors and changed circumstances not contemplated by the 2008 Employment Agreements.”  Citing seven specific factors, including that radio and Reach Media revenue was up 5% (ex-political), the committee arrived at the figures cited above.

mikeandmikeOdds & Sods.  ESPN Radio announces its schedule for Major League Baseball’s Opening Week.  “Mike & Mike” and “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” will both be on the road.  Cowherd broadcasts from Chase Field in Phoenix on March 28 in advance of the Arizona Diamondbacks home exhibition game against the Chicago Cubs.  Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic will be in Detroit on Monday, March 31, ahead of the Detroit Tigers home opener against the Kansas City Royals.  Then “The Herd” moves to Boston for the defending World Series Champions Boston Red Sox hosting the Milwaukee Brewers in their home opener on Friday, April 4 and “Mike & Mike” will back in New York City on Monday, April 7, when the New York Yankees host the Baltimore Orioles in Derek Jeter’s final home opener…..Digital audio aggregator TuneIn strikes a deal with WestwoodOne to carry its coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and more.  TuneIn will deliver all 67 games from the first round through the Final Four in North Texas.  It will also offer WestwoodOne’s coverage of other NCAA championship events, including the Division I Women’s Final Four, the Men’s Frozen Four, the Men’s and Women’s College World Series and the Division I Men’s Lacrosse Semifinals and Championship.

nielsen logoThird Round of February PPM Data Released.  PPM data from the third of four groups of 12 markets for the February 2014 period (January 30 – February 26) has been released by Nielsen Audio.  Those markets include: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all the (subscriber) numbers here.  Managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian offers his “Ten Takeaways” from the report at RadioInfo.com here.

Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 Mystery, Obama vs. Putin/Crimea-Ukraine Case, ObamaCare Criticism, Winter Weather/Western Drought, and NSA Spying Scandal Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/19).  The growing number of theories about the missing Malaysian Airlines flight 370; Vladimir Putin’s victory in annexing Crimea and possible plans for taking Ukraine and criticism over President Obama’s response; scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the winter weather still affecting the Midwest and East and the drought in the West; and renewed concerns about the NSA’s spying tactics were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

| March 19, 2014

geronimodonDon Geronimo Goes Digital.  After exiting CBS RADIO last month and promising he’d be back with a vengeance after his contract expired, radio pro Don Geronimo announces he’s joining the digital RELM Network to produce his new show that will be available via subscription only.  The new show will be presented live, Monday through Friday, starting in early April, at www.DonGeronimoPodcast.com .  The company says the exact launch date will be announced soon.  A recorded version of the show will be available on that website, shortly after each live show ends.  The cast of the new show will be Geronimo, co-host Drew Hoffar, their sidekick, Joe Ardinger and will feature regular appearances by Geronimo’s longtime pal and newsman Buzz Burbank.  A statement from the RELM Network, says, “As changes in the radio relm networkindustry continue to disappoint listeners, Geronimo looks forward to doing the show he’s always wanted to do, without interference from corporate radio executives or the FCC rules that quashed the medium’s spontaneity and fun.  Longtime listeners especially won’t want to miss the show’s opening week, in which Geronimo will talk about the events that — and people who — led him to do this podcast.” Burbank, who will panel on the show and bring bits of his news, worked with Geronimo nearly thirty years in their days at CBS Radio.  Burbank will continue his daily newscast at www.BuzzBurbank.com.  Burbank is a partner in, and co-founder of, The RELM Network, along with Marc Ronick and Lowell Melser.  The RELM Network now features 17 shows, including “Buzz Burbank News and Comment,” “The Kirk McEwen Show,” “The Marc & Lowell Show,” plus shows focusing on gaming, the arts, interviews, sports, politics — left and right — and more.

weinerlenLen Weiner to Program Lincoln Financial Media’s WAXY, Miami.  South Florida sports talker WAXY-AM/FM, Miami “FM 104.3/AM 790 The Ticket” has a new program director as Lincoln Financial Media announces Len Weiner will join the company beginning March 24.  The company parted ways with PD Tod Castleberry lastwaxylogo November.   Weiner most recently was vice president of programming for Genesis Communications’ stations in the Tampa, Orlando and Melbourne markets.  He’s also served at WGN, Chicago; ESPN Radio Network and KMPC, Los Angeles.  LFM SVP and general manager Maureen Lesourd comments, “I am excited that Len’s joining our ‘Ticket’ team.  His depth of experience as a sports radio programmer, producer and talent developer plus his solid track record for strengthening big brands makes him the perfect choice.”  Weiner adds, “I can’t wait to get started at ‘The Ticket.’  It’s a thrill and honor to join the team and continue to build and grow this great brand.  I would also like to thank Maureen and [LFM SVP of programming and operations] John Dimick for this opportunity.”

riverageraldoGeraldo Rivera Strikes Deal with Blast Applications for Digital Projects.  It’s not clear whether his new deal with Cumulus Media allows him to control his own digital endeavors or whether Cumulus is a silent partner in this but Geraldo Rivera and Blast Applications, Inc. are partnering to bring his radio show live to listeners via mobile devices.  Under the terms of the agreement, Rivera’s 10:00 am to 12:00 noon WABC, New York show will be distributed digitally and Blast Applications is responsible for promoting Geraldo’s upcoming online store that will feature innovative and one-of-a-kind products that will be available for purchase nationwide.  Blast Applications CEO Dino Luzzi states, “It is incredibly exciting to announce our joint revenue agreement with the Geraldo Rivera team to promote their popular radio show and online store.  This agreement is another key milestone in our growth for 2014 as we continue to expand Blast Application’s opportunity to create more revenue in the near future.”  Rivera comments, “With the help of Blast Application, we expect the Geraldo Rivera radio show to experience new growth and revenue opportunities.”

sykescharlieWisconsin Governor Scott Walker Featured at WTMJ’s “Insight 2014.”  The annual live event produced by Journal Broadcast Group’s WTMJ, Milwaukee and talk host Charlie Sykes that features important figures in public policy and media takes place this evening and will be re-broadcast tomorrow (3/20) from 8:30 am to 12:00 noon on the station.  “Insight 2014 with Charlie Sykes” is an annual political state of the state event and this year includes Governor Scott Walker, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, WTMJ talk host Jeff Wagner and numerous Wisconsin political and media figures.

ramseydaveDave Ramsey to Present Fall ‘Business Gets Personal’ Event in NYC.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar, best-selling author and live event producer Dave Ramsey sells out theaters and arenas across the country targeting individuals and families as well as businesspeople with his “Legacy Journey LIVE” and “EntreLeadership” events.  Now, Ramsey is presenting a new businessperson-focused program to take place in New York City on October 2 titled “Business Gets Personal.”  The new event entails Ramsey teaming with marketing experts and best-selling authors Seth Godin and Gary Vaynerchuk to give businessmen and women valuable insight they can use to take their business to the next level.  Ramsey’s Lampo Group says the one-day event will allow attendees the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the business through keynote speeches, Q&A sessions and networking opportunities.  The daylong program takes place at the Rose Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall, Time Warner Center.  Godin’s latest book is titled, The Icarus Deception (Portfolio Hardcover 2012).  Vaynerchuk works in the family’s liquor sales business and launched Wine Library TV, a daily video blog about wine to much success in 2006.

huffaubreyKGMZ Adds Aubrey Huff to Morning Show.  The new morning show at Entercom’s KGMZ, San Francisco “95.7 The GAME” hosted by Ric Bucher and Chris Townsend adds retired San Francisco Giants star Aubrey Huff to the program’s cast beginning March 31.  Program director Jason Barrett says, “Last week, we announced a new lineup for ‘The GAME.’  Since then, we’ve been fortunate enough to add one of the most entertaining sports personalities in the Bay Area to our team.  It’s hard to improve on the ‘perfect team in the perfect time slot,’ but adding Aubrey Huff does just that.  Make no mistake — this morning show will be different, more informed, and more colorful than any other in the market.”  Huff adds, “I couldn’t be more excited to join ‘95.7 The GAME.’  I had an incredible experience in San Francisco, being a part of two World Championship Giants teams, and now I’m looking forward to joining my brand new team in the Bay Area.”

hurleyharryMichael Harrison Encourages Talk Radio to “Organize Communities, Not Sides.”  In a guest appearance this morning on the Harry Hurley morning show on Townsquare Media’s WPG, Atlantic City “Talk Radio 1450,” TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison – when asked by the popular, long-running AM drive star about the present state of talk radio in America – stated, “Although talk radio continues to be one of radio’s most successfulharrisonmichael formats and the platform that gives rise to the medium’s biggest stars, it might need to adjust its mission and style to perhaps a more positive mode in the days ahead for the sake of improving its image in the advertising community and maintaining influence in the arena of public policy.  I suggest that talk show hosts think more about organizing ‘communities’ that bring people together – especially on the local level where left and right ideology plays less of a defined role – than galvanize ‘sides’ that turn people and communities against each other.”  Harrison added, “There are many ways to target audiences and create critical, marketable masses.  Going forward it is important that news/talk radio explore all its options in this regard and not rely exclusively on the ‘us against them’ paradigm.”

bilstaderikOdds & Sods.  At Journal Broadcast Group’s news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee, Erik Bilstad is promoted to the role of executive producer, news, effective immediately.  The company says that in addition to his current duties as a reporter and news anchor on “Wisconsin’s Afternoon News with John Mercure,” Bilstad’s responsibilities will now include day-to-day management of the news department and personnel, along with story assignments and directing special news and severe weather coverage…..Former Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo joins Tribune’s WGWG-LP, Chicago “The Game 87.7 FM” for a weekly football insider role on the midday show hosted by David Kaplan and David Haugh, according to Chicago media writer Robert Feder…..The Florida Times-Union reports the Jacksonville Jaguars will switch from Cox Media Group‘s WOKV, Jacksonville to Seven Bridges-owned WJXL for play-by-play of the team’s games beginning with the 2014 season.  According to the report, games would also air on Renda Broadcasting‘s country WGNE-FM.  The deal has not been officially announced by the NFL club.

jablonskijackMinneapolis Sports Talker Jack Jablonski Nabs Prom Date with ESPN’s Michelle Beadle.  Twin Cities sports talk personality Jack Jablonski made headlines in 2011 when, as a high school hockey player, became paralyzed from the chest down after being checked into the boards.  Jablonski was hired the following year at Cumulus Media’s “Sports Radio 105 The Ticket” (WGVX and WGVZ, Minneapolis) to host the weekly “Hockey Night in Minnesota” program that airsbeadlemichelle Wednesdays at 5:15 pm.  During his show last Wednesday, Jablonski joined former Vikings offensive lineman Mike Morris and Pioneer Press columnist Bob Sansevere. ESPN anchor Michelle Beadle was also on the air with them, having been booked for the second time by Jablonski.  After some hockey talk, the mood changed as Barry White‘s “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe” started to play.  The 18-year-old Minneapolis celebrity asked Beadle to his high school prom — and she accepted!

nielsen logoSecond Round of February PPM Data Released.  PPM data from the second of four groups of 12 markets for the February 2014 period (January 30 – February 26) has been released by Nielsen Audio.  Those markets include: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all the (subscriber) numbers here.  Managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian offers his “Ten Takeaways” from the report at RadioInfo.com here.

stockwallaceGeorge Wallace Visits KDWN, Las Vegas.  Comedian George Wallace (c) is pictured here in Beasley Broadcast Group’s Las Vegas studios with KDWN program director John Shaffer (l) and KDWN morning drive host Alan Stock (r).  Wallace spoke with Stock about the 10th anniversary of his engagement at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino on the strip.

Obama vs. Putin/Crimea-Ukraine Case, ObamaCare Criticism, Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 Mystery, and Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Race Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/18).  Analysis of the motives of Russian president Vladimir Putin and his battle with President Obama over Russian interests and the Crimea-Ukraine case; scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the deepening mystery of the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370; and speculation about changes in Congressional power possible after the mid-term elections and the possible candidates for president in 2016 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

| March 18, 2014

graefejohnEntercom Ups Graefe to Chief Information Officer.  Twelve-year Entercom staffer John Graefe is promoted to a new post as the company’s first chief information officer, responsible for delivering a broad range of IT initiatives to support the company.  Graefe has been the vice president of IT and will continue to lead the team of employees overseeing the company’s IT infrastructure, as well as its strategy and partnerships.  In making the announcement, the company says Graefe is a tech leaderentercom with a unique view of IT innovation and its application in driving business objectives.  In this new role he will take over responsibilities for the company’s analytics and business intelligence initiatives.  He’ll report to EVP/CFO Steve Fisher, who comments, “John has demonstrated outstanding leadership in managing our IT organization while continuing to position IT as a strategic asset and business driver.  I am confident that, as CIO, he will continue to advance Entercom strategic platforms and strategies.”  Graefe says, “I am excited for the opportunity to continue leading the IT team at Entercom and further advancing our initiatives in analytics and business intelligence.   This will continue to enhance Entercom’s position as a leading broadcasting and marketing solutions company.”

rileyjulesRiley Returns to Journal Broadcast Group in Tulsa.  Most recently working as a consultant in the industry, Jules Riley is named operations manager for Journal Broadcast Group’s Tulsa operations, including news/talk KFAQ.  Tulsa VP/GM Bill Berry says, “We are very excited to welcome Jules back to Journal.  She has a stellar reputation in the industry and extensive experience with multiple formats.  I have no doubt that she will do a terrific job as our programming leader.”  Riley was the program director for Journal’s rock KICT “T95” and classic rock KFXJ “104.5 The Fox” in Wichita until 2001 before leaving to lead programming teams in St. Louis, Philadelphia and Phoenix.   She comments, “I am thrilled to rejoin Journal Broadcast Group and work with the phenomenal Tulsa team.  My thanks to Bill Berry, Beverlee Brannigan and Steve Wexler.”

“Trippin’ Out into the Future” with Michael Harrison.  The time has come for the rise of the MEDIA STATION.  When Jerry Del Colliano was asked what role TALKERS/RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison will play at his forthcoming “Media Solutions Conference” in Philadelphia on Wednesday, March 26 – the noted industry observer and analyst described Harrison as a “futurist” and stated “Michael and I will trip out into the future of radio and digital content.”  Harrison’s reaction to delcollianojerrythe comment was that he was extremely flattered by the remark, stating, “Wow, to be in this business for 48 years and still be called a ‘futurist’ is a compliment, to say the least.  Those who know me personally or have heard me speak and read my articles over the decades know that I maintain a very healthy respect for the past and radio’s pop cultural heritage – HOWEVER, they also know that I do so only from the perspective that they help us navigate the wild waters of the future into which we must always be bravely sailing.”  Harrison continues, “There are several things that I am looking forward to discussing at Jerry’s seminar that span my interest in both talk and music radio…but first and foremost, I believe it’s time for the industry to come to terms with the theoretical (and increasingly real) concept of the “media station”harrisonmichael because that is, in fact, where we are heading in terms of platform.  And while many people in this business are running around uttering the half-baked phrase ‘content is king’ and counting their chickens over the seeming ease of entry to the internet — those who have an understanding of media theory and elementary art appreciation understand that without ‘platform,’ content cannot be monetized.  The ‘media station’ will be the platform of today’s radio station (as well as most newspapers and magazines) before this decade is over.  Those who prepare for this and understand exactly what it entails will not only survive — they will thrive — and continue to successfully ride the traditional time-line of our glorious industry from one century to the next.  Those who do not will drown in the vast ocean of noise that is the undeveloped, platform-less internet.”  Harrison will be one of three special guest speakers at the conference.  Along with WBEB, Philadelphia (“More FM”) owner Jerry Lee and nationally syndicated Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel talk star Sean Hannity.  The intensive day-long workshop will focus on a wide variety of digital-era issues currently facing and challenging radio.  These include coming to a better understanding of the Millennial generation, learning to disrupt radio itself before its media rivals do, separating radio’s main product into unique on-air and online categories, effectively using video to generate significant amounts of revenue, reinventing the morning show, time-shifting radio, making commercials less of a liability and much more.  Harrison adds, “I am really looking forward to participating in this conference and tackling these crucial issues with a bunch of smart people from all ends of the business.  Jerry Lee has so much to share about running an independent station in an aggressive, winning way – we could sure use more Jerry Lees in this industry – and Sean Hannity is the very definition of a classy guy who rose to the very top of the talent ladder.  One of the things Sean brings to the table is the ability to attract younger listeners to traditional news/talk – he has done quite alright in already solving questions to which most people are actively seeking answers.”  The event takes place at Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Hotel.  For more information click here.

nielsen logoFirst Round of February PPM Data Released.  PPM data from the first of four groups of 12 markets for the February 2014 period (January 30 – February 26) has been released by Nielsen Audio.  Those markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all the (subscriber) numbers here.  Managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian offers his “Ten Takeaways” from the report at RadioInfo.com here.

wnfl logoOdds & Sods.  The station that will benefit from Midwest Communications’ purchase of the construction permit for an FM translator licensed to Howard, Wisconsin (W221DA at 92.1) is sports talk WNFL, Green Bay.  Midwest is buying the CP from David M. Stout for $65,000.  Howard lies northwest and adjacent to the City of Green Bay…..The mystery of the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight 370 has been a boon to the ratings of cable news/talk channel CNN.  The ratings woes of the channel are well known to industry watchers and the recent news has boosted the channel’s ratings above those of its competitors Fox News Channel and MSNBC in recent days.

Crimea Votes to Join Russia/Obama vs. Putin, Malaysian Airline Flight 370 Mystery, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Race, ObamaCare Criticism, Los Angeles Quake, and Lingering Winter Weather/Global Warming Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/17).  The Crimea-Russia case and criticism of President Obama’s handling of Vladimir Putin; the ongoing mystery of the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370; the forecasting of political change with the mid-term elections and speculation about the 2016 presidential race; scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; Monday’s Los Angeles earthquake and concerns about another one; and the chilly weather still affecting the Midwest and East and the global warming controversy were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, March 17, 2014

| March 17, 2014

cclogoClear Channel Creates Major Markets Operating Group. Executive vice president Hartley Adkins, executive vice president Tom McConnell, senior vice president Kelly Kibler and Greg Ashlock are the MMOG’s four division leaders.  The latter is Clear Channel Los Angeles’ former president, who adds president of Clear Channel Southern California duties.  Each leader reports to chairman/chief executive officer Bob Pittman, who states, “As a company, we continue to assess every aspect of our operations to make sure we have the right structure in place to efficiently and effectively leverage our position as the country’s leading multi-platform media and entertainment company.  Our Major Markets Operating Group will collaborate with our local market management to oversee our entire spectrum of media and entertainment platforms in our largest and highest revenue-generating markets.  These include everything from our core broadcast radio and its strong digital platform, whose traffic has doubled in the last year, and theschurrtom extremely successful iHeartRadio digital platform, to events and our expanded coordination with Clear Channel Outdoor – all of which we are increasingly mobilizing to benefit our national and local advertising partners.”  President of regional markets Matt Martin continues in his position; however, president of operations for major markets Tom Schurr departs the company. Regarding Schurr, Pittman notes, “During his tenure with us, Tom played a big role in Clear Channel becoming the media and entertainment leader it is today.  All of Clear Channel Media and Entertainment joins me in thanking Tom for the many contributions he has made to our company.”  Meanwhile, Pittman states Major Markets Operating Group will increase empowerment and accountability of the company’s individual market leaders.

sullivanrichSullivan Takes Over Middays on WGST, Atlanta Today.  Less than two years after exiting the afternoon drive slot on CBS RADIO’s then-triple A WZGC, Atlanta, Rich “Sully” Sullivan returns to the air in the market as the new 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm host on Clear Channel Media + Entertainment’s news/talk WGST.  Station program director Matt Shiflett says, “We are excited to have Sully join our team.  His knowledge of the city and ‘man-on-the-street’ attitude will solidify 640 WGST as Atlanta’s compelling talk radio station.”  Sullivan was the afternoon drive personality on WZGC “Dave FM” for six years from 2006 through 2012 before the station flipped to sports talk.

wkrklogoCleveland’s “Fan” Continues as Gladiators Flagship.  For the third consecutive season, CBS Radio Cleveland’s WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” will be the Arena Football League team’s radio outlet.  According to CBS Radio Cleveland vice president/market manager Tom Herschel, “The intense, hard-hitting games of the AFL fit perfectly into our lineup.”  Gladiators’ chief operating officer Mike Ostrowski comments, “We are extremely excited to continue our relationship with ‘The Fan.’  They do a great job of delivering football-related stories, updates, and content to our fans.  We look forward to working with them again this season with the on-going goal of growing the Gladiators brand in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio.”  Doug Plagens enters his third successive year handling play-by-play, while current “Fan” personality/former National Football League player Dustin Fox will provide analysis on home games.  In addition to game broadcasts and pre- and post-game shows, the station will air daily Gladiators reports each afternoon.

theblaze radio networkNew Weekend Shows Added to TheBlaze Radio Network.  Beginning next Saturday (3/22), TheBlaze Radio Network is expanding its lineup including new programs featuring cable news/talk personalities Will Cain and S.E. Cupp; KFMB, San Diego talk host Mike Slater and long-time radio and television producer Mike Opelka.  TheBlaze Radio Networks VP of programming Dom Theodore says, “This new Saturday lineup underscores TheBlaze Radio Network’s commitment to original programming.  We are absolutely thrilled to add Mike Opelka, Will Cain and SE Cupp, and Mike Slater to our already successful Saturday talent roster of Chris Salcedo and Joe Pags.  This is just another great step in our continued growth as a network.”

ryderturiOdds & Sods.  Radio pro Turi Ryder is on Tribune’s WGN, Chicago in the 11:00 pm to 2:00 am slot all this week (3/17-21).  Ryder, who worked a six-month stint on WGN last year from her home studio in the Bay Area, has relocated to Chicago.  She appears this week in the unsettled slot between evening host Pete McMurray and overnight personality Nick Digilio…..Results Radio’s new FM signal in Rhinelander, Wisconsin signs on as a sports talk outlet branded “Sports Radio 96.5” using programming from CBS Sports Radio Network plus Fox Sports Radio/DirecTV’s Dan Patrick and regionally syndicated personality Bill Michaels.  The company won WHOH at 96.5 FM in an FCC auction in 2013.

nielsen logoNielsen: 68% of Americans Heard a Network Radio Commercial During Average Week.  That figure is for Americans 12 and older, according to the Nielsen March 2014 RADAR Radio Network Ratings report which says more than 181 million persons heard a network radio commercial during an average week.  Other bulletpoints from the survey designed to illustrate the reach of network radio include Nielsen’s conclusion that commercials aired on the 46 measured networks reached: 71.2% percent of persons aged 18-49 (95.8 million listeners) and 71.9 % of persons aged 25-54 (90.0 million listeners).  In the top 25 DMAs, network radio reached: 70.7% of persons aged 12+ (95.1 million listeners); 74% of persons aged 18-49 (51.1 million listeners); and 74.6% of persons aged 25-54 (48.6 million listeners).  View the study here.

pizzapatronColloquial Spanish Term Kills Ad Deal for CBS RADIO and Univision in Texas.  The Dallas-based Pizza Patron chain’s ads for its new pizza with jalapenos in it won’t air on CBS RADIO or Univision stations in Texas.  According to a story published on NorthCountryPublicRadio.org, the name of the product and the content of the ad are too controversial for the broadcasters.  The radio campaign for La Chingona implies that only chingones are able to handle its spiciness.  What is a chingone?  A search of urban dictionaries indicates a chingone is what Americans would call a “bad-ass,” but the root of the verb is the Spanish slang for f**k.  Younger Hispanics say there is nothing inherently bad about the word but they admit it’s not a word they would use in front of their grandmother, either.  According to the NorthCountyPublicRadio.org piece, this isn’t the first time the company, whose target audience are Mexican immigrants, has ruffled feathers.  Several years ago it did a “pesos for pizza” promotion that offered discounts for customers paying with Mexican pesos.  The company received a lot of flak but business jumped 34%.  The most recent promotion apparently has CBS RADIO and Univision fearful of the FCC due to the use of the chingona term.

brennerdavidBrenner’s Run At Radio Royalty. By now, you most likely know that popular comedian David Brenner passed away over the weekend.  The Philadelphia native succumbed to cancer at the age of 78.  What you might not be aware of, however, especially if you read any one of at least a dozen or so different obituaries is that Brenner holds a relatively high-water mark in radio history.  Nowhere though was it mentioned in any account we saw.  It was as if radio was magically expunged from Brenner’s past.  Lest anyone doubt it though, David Brenner did, in fact, replace Larry King when the bespectacled talk show veteran quit his syndicated radio show nearly 20 years ago (June 1994).  Perhaps part of the confusion is that King was a nighttime fixture for years and in January 1993, Jim Bohannon - King’s regular fill-in – took his slot.  King though did not disappear – he segued to afternoon drive.  Most will remember Bohannon directly replacing King at night – which is true.  It is also correct though that Brenner then succeeded King in PM drive.  Unlike King, who transferred his Mutual Broadcasting show from Washington, DC to Westwood One in Los Angeles, Brenner based his program from New York.  According to Claudia Puig - then a superb writer for the Los Angeles Times (6/24/1994) – Brenner’s afternoon drive program was carried “in more than 100 markets” and the comedian did not attempt “to emulate King or to discuss weighty topics.”  Puig opined in her piece that to many in talk radio at the time, the move represented, “a clear-cut example of the heightened emphasis being given to entertainment in their format, as opposed to information.”  Regarding the succession, iconic Los Angeles talk radio personality Michael Jackson commented to Puig that it was, “sad when you see a Larry King replaced by a David Brenner.  Let’s see what kind of staying power Brenner’s show will have.  If you equate entertaining with telling jokes, I’m not that good at it, but if you equate it with hospitality and building a bridge with an audience, that’s what I do.”  Rewinding 20 years and witnessing how the industry viewed this choice to take over for Larry King is certainly a fascinating exercise.  Esteemed talk show host Bruce Williams chimed in back then by saying, “Brenner is an unknown quantity.  He is certainly a very funny comedian.  I don’t think he has exhibited as yet an interview capability or a radio capability, but then all of us were unknown quantities before we got into this.”  Taking a somewhat different tact – and as a reminder – this is from a 20-year-ago Claudia Puig column in the Los Angeles Times, KABC and KMPC, Los Angeles’ then general manager George Green commented, “Larry King was tired and they replaced him with a pure entertainer in hopes of drawing younger people.  As talk radio has become a very hot medium, you start looking at the word ‘entertainment’ as being more important than it was before.  ‘Entertainment’ does not necessarily mean a program that makes you laugh.  There can be many ways to entertain.”  King producer Pat Piper did similar duties for Brenner.  “There have always been attempts in radio to make people laugh,” Piper mentioned to Puig.  “It is good to hear some guys having fun.  When people call in, they say, ‘David, this is such a breath of fresh air.’  Not all of talk radio has to be what you see on ‘Crossfire.’”  Brenner had a two-year contract with Westwood One.  As it turned out, that was exactly how long the experiment lasted, as the syndicator pulled the plug on Brenner’s PM drive effort in June 1996.  Notwithstanding a limited two-year radio run, Brenner was as adept at observational humor as anyone else was.  His 1983 album “Excuse Me, Are You Reading That Paper?” is a comedy classic.  Most, of course, will remember the Temple University honors graduate from a slew of “Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson” appearances that began in 1971.  Many published accounts have the number of visits at 158 – the show’s most frequent guest and fifth most popular guest host (75 times). The five-time author (his latest – “I Think There’s a Terrorist in my Soup” – was published in 2003) headlined four HBO specials.  Prior to getting into comedy, Brenner helped write, produce, and direct 115 television documentaries. Longtime Brenner friend Joan Rivers tweeted, “RIP David Brenner. I adored him, and laughed more with him than anybody.  Sad, sad, sad.  Knowing David, he’s now making the devil laugh.” The funniest Brenner-related note we came across was relayed by family representative Jeff Abraham who points out that Brenner’s final request was to have $100 in small bills tucked in his sock, “just in case tipping is recommended where I’m going.”  Brenner’s gravesite will read, “If this is supposed to be a joke – I don’t get it.”

wachsdaliahTalk Host Dr. Daliah Wachs Organizes Fundraiser.  Las Vegas-based talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs is organizing a fundraiser to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  Dubbed “FROST” (Fundraising Radio Host), Wachs says the contest will involve a challenge to radio hosts.  The radio host who brings in the most proceeds will be awarded a prize valued $1000, a plaque, and recognition as the 2014 FROST winner.  Runner ups will be recognized as well.  It’ll start April 14 and end May 10.  Interested radio hosts can message Dr. Daliah Wachs at doctordaliah@hotmail.com before April 1.

Friday, March 14, 2014

| March 14, 2014

salkmikeMike Salk Returns to KIRO-AM as Program Director.  The year-long return to his hometown and the afternoon drive co-host slot on Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston didn’t pan out and now sports talker Mike Salk is returning to Bonneville’s KIRO-AM, Seattle “ESPN 710” to serve as the program director.  He’s also expected to pick up an air shift that will be announced in the future.  Salk worked with Brock Huard on the station before exiting last spring to partner up with Michael Holley at WEEI.  In a statement, Salk says, “I could not be more excited about this unique kiroopportunity and the new challenge of running the programming at ‘710 ESPN Seattle.’  Even though I left Seattle last year, it never ceased being home.  ‘710 ESPN Seattle’ is a nationally renowned sports station and this opportunity to lead it is an honor.  The people in that building are special and I can’t wait to reconnect with all of them.”  Station VP/GM David Pridemore adds, “It is gratifying to have Mike return to ‘710 ESPN Seattle’ and 710Sports.com as the program director and eventually as an on-air host.  Mike knows the market, our people, the sports talk format, the art and business of radio, and the power and influence of digital media. We are privileged to have Mike at the helm of ‘710 ESPN Seattle.’”

youngbarryKFYI’s Barry Young Announces Retirement.  Talk radio pro Barry Young has been a host at Clear Channel’s KFYI, Phoenix for much of the past 27 years but he’s announcing that he’ll retire from the station in November.  Young has held down the mid-morning slot at the station for more than a decade.  Young served as the station’s program director from 1988 to 1998.  It was during that time he met his future wife, computer expert and talk host Kim Komando.  In addition to his work with KFYI, Young is also president and CEO of WestStar TalkRadio Network which syndicates the weekend program hosted by Komando, as well as other radio programs.  Young started his career at WGAC, Augusta, Georgia at the age of 14.  He went on to work at WRNG, Atlanta; WFAA, Dallas; WNWS, Miami; and WJNO, West Palm Beach before arriving at KFYI in 1987.

rabRAB: Radio Revenue Flat in 2013.  The Radio Advertising Bureau is releasing its report on revenue for the fourth quarter of 2013 and the year as a whole and on revenue of $17.6 billion for 2013, the radio business was essentially flat compared to 2012.  Spot revenue dipped 3% in the fourth quarter of 2013 but the industry was lifted by digital (up 18%), off-air (up 11%) and network comp (upfarberericanew 7%).   For the total of 2013, spot revenue was down 1% but buoyed by digital (up 16%) and off-air (up 5%).  The source of the figures is accounting firm Miller Kaplan Arase based on a pool of more than 100 markets extrapolated for the entire nation.  RAB CEO Erica Farber states, “Digital continues to gain momentum among advertisers looking to maximize their use of all radio platforms.  Based on the recent Borrell Associates forecast of a 22% rise in digital spending on radio in 2014, this category is poised to surpass the $1 billion mark.”  Automotive remained the number one ad category.  Ad sectors that gained during 2013 were professional services (up 23%), communications (up 18%), and concerts/theatre/movies (up 12%).

rosinlarryTalking Point: Edison’s Larry Rosin Explores ‘Nationalization’ of Radio.  The question of just how far Clear Channel and Cumulus Media will go in eliminating the costly local programming elements from their O&O stations to be replaced by nationally syndicated programs (which they own) is one that’s been discussed much by people in the industry as well as written about in such publications as this.  Edison Research president Larry Rosin spoke about it openly at the recent CRS in Nashville and follows that up with a blog piece on the Edison site.  Rosin suggests that Clear Channel’s full-steam-ahead move to brand its stations iHeartRadio and Cumulus’ stratagem in the country realm with “NASH FM” are manifestations of the “nationalization” of radio programming by those companies and, while that may save some money and give corporate a monolithic control over programming, ultimately, he believes it’s not going to work.  Rosin says the results of his research lead him to that conclusion particularly with regard to younger people and the use of AM/FM radio.  “We pretty much hear the same things over and over – they do and will continue to go to radio for unique compelling content – and to be in-the-know on what is happening locally.  Young listeners talk to us about the chance to actually meet the personality they hear on the radio and the announcements of local events or concerts.  They understand their local radio stations are providing them with something that Pandora and Spotify don’t.  So the question is: Will the nationalized radio content be so great, so amazing, so compelling, that the consumers of tomorrow will stay loyal to FM?”  So the argument about local versus national programming continues.  Perhaps Clear Channel and Cumulus are banking on their reach and relationships with labels and artists to deliver what they consider the best content.  Other operators are going the “live and local” route.  Time will tell who wins this one.  But the cost could be heavy.  Read Rosin’s entire piece here.

cubs logoCubs Broadcasts Could Leave WGN After 2014 Season.  The Chicago Tribune’s Ed Sherman writes that sources indicate Tribune’s WGN, Chicago – broadcaster of Chicago Cubs play-by-play since 1925 – put the rights to carry the games after this season on the market and that CBS RADIO appears to be the most interested.  According to the Tribune, CBS is putting together a package that would include airing games on news WBBM and include coverage on its other radio properties.  The Cubs reportedly have a current deal that pays the team $10 million per season – per perennially losing season, that is – and the story reports WGN is losing money on the broadcasts.  Interestingly, local industry sources in Chicago tell Sherman someone will eventually fork over a lot of cash for Cubs rights.  Just which company that is remains to be seen.

wkzologoOdds & Sods.  When the NCAA Division I Men’s tournament begins on Tuesday, March 18, WeswoodOne will offer play-by-play action from 67 games, including the First Four, games from all eight second-round and third-round sites, four regional semifinals and finals venues, and all three games from the NCAA Men’s Final Four at AT&T Stadium in North Texas…..SiriusXM is also presenting coverage of the March Madness tourney and says it’s providing “uninterrupted access to live play-by-play” of all the games.  Additionally, On Selection Sunday, the satcaster will provide up-to-the-moment coverage as tournament teams and first round match-ups are announced.  Chris “Mad Dog” Russo and Steve Torre will host live from 5:00 to 9:00 pm ET on March 16…..Midwest Communications-owned news/talk WKZO, Kalamazoo is honored with five Excellence in Broadcasting awards from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.  The station won Best in Category awards for Community Involvement and Promotional Materials.  In addition, Merit Awards were achieved for Play-by-Play from a hockey game that featured Western Michigan University as well as for Best Morning Personality for an interview conducted on “Kalamazoo’s Morning News.”  Another highlight for the station was a win of the Best in New Media Award for the coverage of the 2013 Kalamazoo Marathon.

gallaghermikeTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The Salem Radio Network-syndicated Mike Gallagher show is added to the program schedule at KLO, Salt Lake City…..Two new affiliates in Arkansas join the Yahoo! Sports Radio network: KVRC, Arkadelphia and KBOK, Malvern are carrying the full schedule of programming…..KNOX, Grand Forks is the newest affiliate station for GCN-syndicated Dr. Daliah Wachs.

ObamaCare Criticism Returns to Top of Talkers TenTM.  Scrutiny of the rollout and the effects of the Affordable Care Act was the most-talked-about topic on news/talk radio during the week of March 10-14.  Coming in at #2 this week was the 2016 presidential race tied with the Republican special election victory in Florida.  At #3 was Obama vs. Putin and the political tensions brought about by the Ukraine and Crimea instabilities.  Following at #4 was the lower job approval ratings for President Obama.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

| March 13, 2014

francesamikeWFAN, New York’s Mike Francesa Gets Video Deal with Fox 1.  After exiting the YES Network for the TV simulcast of his radio show in early February when his contract ran out, New York sports talk icon Mike Francesa’s WFAN show will land on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 in a deal just announced.  The companies say they’ve reached foxsports1a “multi-year, multi-media agreement.”  Fox Sports 1 and 2 general manager and COO David Nathanson says, “We are thrilled to add Mike Francesa to our Fox Sports family of channels.  Mike is without question one of the most popular sports personalities in New York and has maintained a significant national reputation through his syndicated NFL show and his WFAN program…He’s knowledgeable and opinionated with an ability to attract top-name guests who appeal to sports fans everywhere.  This is a fantastic addition to FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2.”  The simulcast begins on March 24 when it will air from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Fox Sports 1 and then from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Fox Sports 2.  It will also be streamed live via Fox Sports GO through participating video providers.  Francesa will deliver the Sports Keynote Address at the Talkers New York 2014 conference on Friday, June 20, 2014.

weei logoSalk Exits WEEI-FM, Boston After a Year.  The homecoming for Boston-bred sports talk personality Mike Salk lasted just about a year.  Salk has left the station for a new gig elsewhere (reportedly back to KIRO-AM, Seattle where he was co-hosting with Brock Huard).  The changes at WEEI-FM since former afternoonsalkmike drive personality Glenn Ordway was forced out have been numerous: program director Jason Wolfe exited and the general manager who brought Salk to WEEI – Jeff Brown – abruptly left in September of 2013.  Boston Globe writer Chad Finn analyzes the situation and states that although Salk was raised in the area and worked at other Boston AM signals for a time, “his homogenized style, honed during his time at ESPN radio, made him seem like an outsider.”  Finn reports the station will begin pairing up a rotating cast of co-hosts for Michael Holley in the PM drive slot as is works to find a permanent replacement for Salk.

ktth logoKTTH, Seattle Produces ‘Panel Series’ to Debate Policy Issues.  Seattle news/talker KTTH is beginning a panel series aimed at “encouraging robust discussion of important issues in Western Washington,” and it will start with an April 9 debate over the proposed $15 minimum wage.  Afternoon talk host Ben Shapiro will take part in the debate and morning drive personality David Boze will moderate.  Also taking part in the debate will be Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant, National Employment Law Project deputy director Rebecca Smith, and Washington Policy Center vice president for research Paul Guppy.  The debate is open to the public.

catsimatidisWNYM, New York to Air ‘The Cats Roundtable.’ New York business mogul and former mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis begins hosting an hour-long Sunday morning program on Salem Communications’ WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer” this weekend.  The station says the show will feature interviews, listener call-ins and John’s unique take on the news affecting New York.  Catsimatidis is CEO of The Red Apple Group and Gristedes Foods.  His first guests on the 3/16 program will include former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former New York Governor George Pataki.  Catsimatidis comments, “I’m incredibly excited about this.  After the mayor’s race, I was struck by how many New Yorkers from all walks of life were anxious to continue the conversation about how to improve our city.  As a lifelong fan of local radio, I’m convinced that this is the best way to do that.”

smithrandySmith to Named to GSM Post at Cox Tulsa.  Moving over from the television side of Cox Media Group’s Tulsa operations is Randy Smith who is named general sales manager for the group that includes classic rock KJSR, AC KRAV, news/talk KRMG-AM/FM, and country KWEN.  Cox Tulsa general manager Gene Vidler says, “I am excited to have Randy join our radio cluster.  I have known Randy for many years, first as a competitor and more recently as a colleague with our sister TV stations.  Randy’s knowledge of the market and his relationships in Tulsa will be a great fit to help our radio cluster continue to grow.  Randy is very well respected and well known in the media community.”

knxgridlockKNX, Los Angeles to Air Daylong Programming on Region’s Traffic Problems.  Southern California’s traffic problems are legendary and CBS RADIO’s all-news KNX “1070 NEWSRADIO” is presenting what it calls a “comprehensive and unprecedented examination of Southern California’s infamous traffic congestion that often turns the region’s freeways and streets into a continuum of parking lots.”  It’s a day-long series titled, “Driven to Gridlock: L.A.’s Never-Ending Sig Alert,” airing on Thursday, March 27 from 5:00 am to 7:00 pm.  The station says, “Producers Charles Feldman and Laraine Herman, along with KNX 1070’s award-winning news staff, will explore the past, present and future of SoCal’s traffic situation with help from urban planners, civic leaders, technology experts, law enforcement and commuters.  Among the topics to be covered in 26 special reports will be the evolution of our region’s car culture; why traffic congestion will likely worsen before it improves; the future of mass transit; the financial impact of traffic jams on business; coping with an aging infrastructure and growing population; the impact of past ‘solutions’ such as signal synchronization, car pool lanes, ridesharing, and toll lanes; and more-recent ideas like congestion pricing popular in Europe and flexible work schedules.”

conwaysimonOdds & Sods.  Hard-working talk radio personality Simon Conway – afternoon drive host at Clear Channel’s WHO, Des Moines – is continuing his fill-in work subbing for Premiere Networks nationally syndicated host Andy Dean.  Iron-man Conway is used to double-duty having hosted the morning show at WFLF, Orlando for six days earlier this month…..Public radio WNYC, New York welcomes Sean Bowditch to the organization as executive editor.  Bowditch has served in the past as senior producer for “Marketplace Morning Report,” and producer at NPR and WBUR, Boston…..ESPN Radio is expanding its “SportsCenter All Night” program to seven nights a week.  Joining veteran ESPN Radio “SportsCenter” host Jay Reynolds, who will continue to host SportsCenter All Night Sunday into Monday through Thursday into Friday, will be John Brickley, who will serve as host of the late Friday and Saturday shows.

mhruddygroupPosh Palm Beach Pow Wow!  Noticing that more than a handful of his talk radio pals were in Florida’s Palm Beach County at the same time, Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy invited them all to dinner and conversation last evening (3/12) at Donald Trump’s palatial Palm Beach Island estate, Mar-A-Lago.  The result was a real yak-fest.  Among the many topics of conversation — which ran the gamut from industry gossip to the future of radio in the digital age – was inside-information about Newsmax’s forthcoming plunge into the news/talk television wars.  Pictured (l-r): Rush Limbaugh show producer James Golden; WRKO, Boston personality Howie Carr; WFTL, Fort Lauderdale VP/GM Steve Lapa; former U.S. Rep. (R-AZ), talk show host and Newsmax TV contributor J.D. Hayworth; TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison; and Ruddy.

katz mg logoKatz Media Group Helps Raise $170,000 for Broadcasters Foundation of America.  After its 5th annual membership drive to support the Broadcasters Foundation of America, Katz Media Group announces this year’s contributions bring Katz’s total support to more than $170,000.  The BFoA provides financial assistance to those in the radio and television profession who find themselves in acute need.  Katz Radio Group president Mark Gray states, “The Broadcasters Foundation does incredible work for those in need.  Every year, our company looks forward to the opportunity to come together and make a difference.  I’m enormously proud of our employees continued dedication, which to date has raised more than $170,000 over the past five years.  The contributions have even more meaning for Katz as it supports the Stu Olds Memorial Fund, in honor and memory of our former president and CEO.”

ObamaCare Criticism, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Mystery, Obama vs. Putin/Crimea-Ukraine Crisis, 2016 Presidential Race, Winter Weather/Global Warming, and Overtime Pay Hike Proposal Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/12).  Scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane and the theories of its disappearance; President Obama’s standoff with Vladimir Putin over the Crimea-Ukraine crisis; speculation about possible candidates in the 2016 presidential election; the latest bout of winter weather hitting the East and debate over global warming; and President Obama’s proposal to enact mandatory hikes in overtime pay were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

| March 12, 2014

2014header - final for KCTALKERS Posts 2014 Heavy Hundred.  The 2014 installment of one of TALKERS magazine’s most popular and, perhaps, controversial annual features – “The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America” – debuted on March 11.  Also known as “The Heavy Hundred,” the ranked listing of 100 hosts and talent teams from around the country is based on a number of both quantitative and qualitative criteria and is determined by collective analysis of the TALKERS editorial board with input from a wide variety of industry leaders.  It includes local and national hosts from an array of genres falling under the umbrella of “general” talk or “news/talk” radio covering politics, health, finance, relationships, consumer electronics, popular culture and a variety of specialties. (TALKERS launched a special and completely separate annual “Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk” two years ago.)  Hosts on the list are selected from those working at the time of its publication on platforms that include commercial and public AM/FM radio as well as satellite radio (internet-only talk hosts are ranked by TALKERS in an annual feature titled “The Frontier Fifty”).   According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “It is no secret that economic restraints facing the industry these past few years have contributed to shrinking the number of individuals working on the air across the nation.  Although the 2014 edition of the Heavy Hundred will, of course, include many familiar names, the need for new blood, fresh voices and potential up-and-comers has never been greater.  Readers will find this year’s roster will feature a number of new names and first-timers, which is quite exciting!”  To view the entire 2014 Heavy Hundred, please click here.

kgmzlogo‘Game’ Changes in San Francisco.  KGMZ “95.7 The Game” is modifying its weekday on-air lineup.  Among the adjustments at the Entercom-owned San Francisco Bay Area sports outlet are the importing of former cross-town KNBR talent Damon Bruce to afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) and shifting current PM drivers Ric Bucher and Chris Townsend (below left, respectively) to mornings, replacing “The Rise Guys” — Whitey Gleason, Mark Kriedler and Dan Dibley.  Entercom San Francisco vice president and market manager Steve DiNardo states, “This is a brucedamongreat day for our station and for Bay Area sports fans.  For years, Damon Bruce has been one of the strongest, most opinionated, and passionate personalities in Bay Area sports.  He understands what it takes to compete and win in this market.  Just as exciting is moving Ric Bucher and Chris Townsend to morning drive.  In just 14 months, they have developed strong chemistry and a loyal following.  We feel like we have the perfect team in the perfect time slot to grow ‘The Game.’” According to Bruce, “The Bay Area has a one-of-a-kind sports scene, one of the hottest and most exciting buchertownsendin the country today.  Bay Area fans are some of the most passionate fans in the country. I can’t wait to start and kick off a new drive-time experience for Bay Area sports fans.”  Bruce was with KNBR from 1998 – 2000, and returned in 2005.  He gained national exposure hosting “Sports Overnight America,” before leaving to become a SportsCenter anchor on ESPN Radio. Bruce has filled in for Jim Rome and has hosted SportsCenter for ESPN International. His other credits include fill-in host on Fox Sports Radio; Sporting News Radio; CBS Sports Network; and hosting pre and post-game shows for the San Francisco Giants and San Francisco 49ers.  The revised KGMZ lineup – which begins in just over two weeks (3/31) – will include “Bucher and Towny” with Ric Bucher and Chris Townsend (6:00 am – 10:00 am); Haberman & Middlekauff (10:00 am -12:00 noon); “The Wheelhouse” with John Lund & Greg Papa (noon – 3:00 pm); and “The Damon Bruce Show” (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm).

salemcommunicationsSaga’s Ed Christian “Hoping for a Little Better” in Q4.  The 2013 fourth quarter and full year fiscal reports for Saga Communications saw the company’s net operating revenue dip 5% in Q4 of 2013, compared to the same period in 2012.  But gross revenue increased 3.8% during the quarter excluding political.  For the full year, the company’s gross revenue was up 3.3% (ex-political).  In a conference call with investment analysts, Saga CEO Ed Christian christianedstated, “I was hoping for a little better in Q4, we can always do a little more, we can always do a little better but I’m not disappointed.  We’re just pleased with the results.”  Christian said it’s hard not to put some blame on the winter weather for the economic sluggishness.  “Saga operates in a lot of mid-America markets and a lot in New England and I really don’t have to tell you what the last four months have been like.  In those markets it’s just outright miserable…I was talking with one of our managers the other day and he said people are irritable and it’s gloomy and people are lethargic.”

beasley logoBeasley Declares Cash Dividend.  The company’s board of directors is announcing the company is declaring a quarterly cash dividend of $0.045 per share of its Class A and Class B common stock.  The dividend is payable on April 10, 2014, to shareholders of record on March 31, 2014.

linnmanpaulKEX, Portland Personality Accused of Assault.  Morning show personality Paul Linnman – host at Clear Channel’s news/talk KEX, Portland – is being accused by a co-worker of assault after he allegedly groped her buttocks and licked his lips as he stared at her breasts.  Kailee Kinney is bringing the suit against Clear Channel and Linnman in Multnomah County Court.  Kinney is a producer and account executive at CC Portland.  She’s seeking $325,000 in damages.  The complaint alleges Linnman “came up behind plaintiff and groped her buttocks, a sexually intimate part of her body.  Linnman used an open palm to slap Plaintiff’s buttocks and then grabbed and squeezed plaintiff’s buttocks.”  It further alleges that “Linnman approached plaintiff for a second time, stating, ‘I should apologize but that black dress…you look great in that black dress,” during which he “licked his lips and stared at Plaintiff’s breasts as he made this comment to plaintiff.”

postbillSalem, Oregon Talk Host Suspends Show After Equal Time Complaint.  In the Salem, Oregon market, Willamette Broadcasting employee Bill Post has suspended his daily talk show on KYKN due to his campaign for state representative and a complaint from a primary opponent about violation of equal time rules.  Post announced his campaign for the seat in December.  Last month, Barbara Jensen announced her bid for the seat but Post continued to work on the air.  Jensen complains that Post and the station have been violating FCC rules and election laws but also asserts Post has violated other campaign laws but did not specify what they are.  In a story in the Statesman Journal, Post says the station was prepared for Jensen’s complaint and that he believes the station and his campaign manager have operated within the law.   Jensen’s complaint implies that once Post worked on air after opponents joined the race, the station must then provide equal time.

journalcommunicationsJournal Communications Shows Off New Brand.  The parent company of radio and TV station firm Journal Broadcast Group unveils a new company brand with three cohesive new logos representing Journal Communications and its two major business segments, the Broadcast Group and Journal Publishing.  As part of the new brand, the company also launched a fully redesigned corporate website atjournalbroadcastgroup www.journalcommunications.com.  Journal Communications chairman and CEO Steven J. Smith comments, “When we look at our company, we see quality, focus and effective teams in our local markets – all part of a business that is moving forward.  However, many people outside of Journal often have no idea that, in addition to their favorite local station or publication, we have a total of 13 television stations, 35 radio stations and a major daily newspaper with a variety of supporting local publications, all with complementary digital products.  As such, we believe our new brand better represents our company to investors, employees and the public and positions us as a national media company with diverse brands united under a common identity.”  The redesigned company website includes links to all of Journal’s digital products and Journal Broadcast Group live streaming sites, as well as a “What’s Trending Now” feature that highlights Journal’s most recent content across its Broadcast and Publishing websites.

entercomEntercom Kansas City Takes Action Against Delinquent Client.  It’s not unusual for radio stations to put a past-due account into collection but Entercom Kansas City is seeking a court’s assistance in getting more than $52,000 it claims it is owned by Vinson Mortgage Services Inc.  In a story in the St. Louis Business Journal, Vinson apparently advertised on news/talk KMBZ, alternative KRBZ and rock KQRC.  This is not the only action involving Vinson.  St. Louis television station KMOV-TV is filing a suit claiming it is owned more than $68,000.

wdrc-amOdds & Sods.  The recent FCC filing for Buckley Broadcasting’s sale of its Connecticut stations to Connoisseur Media announced last week shows the price is $7.9 million.  The stations include classic hits WDRC-FM, Hartford; talk WDRC-AM, Hartford; WWCO, Waterbury; WSNG, Torrington; and WMMW, Meriden…..Talk radio pro Mark Wainwright is sitting in on Clear Channel’s WSYR, Syracuse for Joe Galuski on the morning program next week, March 17 – 21…..Alpha Broadcasting announces Jeremy Scott and Brian Perkins will be the radio announcers for the Arena Football League’s Portland Thunder when games air on the company’s KXTG, Portland “Sports Radio 750 The Game.”  Scott serves as a reporter for sister news/talk KXL.  Perkins is a reporter and air personality on KXTG…..XtreMEDIA nationally syndicated talk host Steve Deace is talking to New Englanders today as he sits in for Boston talk icon Howie Carr on Entercom‘s WRKO.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Mystery, Winter Weather/Global Warming, Republican Wins Fla. Special Election, ObamaCare Criticism, CIA Monitoring of Senate Staffers/Snowden Video Appearance, and Obama vs. Putin/Ukraine-Crimea Tensions  Among Top Stories Yesterday (3/11).  The ongoing mystery concerning the whereabouts of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet; a new round of winter weather hits the East and renewed debate over the case for man-made global warming; Republican David Jolly defeats Democrat Alex Sink in Florida Congressional special election; scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; Senator Diane Feinstein’s allegation the CIA monitored Senate staffers and Edward Snowden’s commentary on surveillance cases; and President Obama’s faceoff with Vladimir Putin and the case of Russia’s incursion into Crimea and Ukraine were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

| March 11, 2014

nielsen logoNielsen’s March 2014 RADAR Report Says Radio Listening Up.  According to the soon-to-be-released March 2014 RADAR 120 National Radio Listening Report from Nielsen, total radio listening has increased in the past 12 months by 1.2 million weekly listeners.  Stating that radio now reaches 244.4 million Americans, Nielsen also breaks it down a bit adding that “the national audience aged 18 to 34 grew by more than half a million compared to the previous year, reaching 91.9% of all 18 to 34 year-olds.”  As far as time spent listening is concerned, the report indicates the average total time spent listening to AM/FM radio is 2 hours and 41 minutes (persons 12+), a figure that remains steady from the time documented last March.

geronimodonDon Geronimo Teases Fans About New Show.  Radio pro Don Geronimo is Tweeting teasers to his followers about his next radio venture and it appears to include some old friends.  Geronimo, who is still under the employ of CBS RADIO for another three weeks or so after exiting both KHTK, Sacramento and WJFK-FM, Washington, reports that his new show will also include  former “Don & Mike” show newsman Buzz Burbank, “Slow Joe” Ardinger, and Drew Hoffar, with whom Geronimo worked at KHTK.  Due to contract issues, Geronimo is keeping quiet about where the show will be available until April.  It’s not certain the show will be aired on AM/FM radio and may be an internet venture.

parkertheman‘Parker and The Man’ Returns to WDFN, Detroit.  The sports talk duo of Rob Parker and Mark Wilson is coming back to its original Detroit signal on March 24 when “Parker and The Man” will take over the evening slot on Clear Channel’s WDFN, Detroit.  Parker, who works for WDIV-TV, Detroit on its “Sports Final Edition” show, made the announcement of the pair’s return to AM/FM radio on Sunday.  The duo have been hosting an internet version of their show since last summer but now, through Woodward One Media, the show is being reborn on the radio.  It will also be available online via Premier Sports Talk Network.  Parker and Wilson left WDFN in 1999 and jumped to CBS RADIO’s WXYT-FM and held down the evening slot through 2006 when they exited the station.  Woodward One CEO Weston Silver tells the Detroit News, “‘Parker and the Man’ is a proven commodity in Motown.  We’re thrilled to be able to put them back on the air.  Sports fans will flock back to them because their show is both fun and informative.”

Odds & Sods.  When the Big 10 Men’s basketball tourney begins on Thursday, all of the games will be made available to radio stations via Compass Media Networks.  Compass says two of its crews will be in Indianapolis calling the games.  Matt “Money” Smith (co-host of KLAC’s “Petros & Money,” NFL Network host, and Compass play-by-play man) and former NBA star Rick Mahorn will partner up and Drew Bontadelli and former Cal Poly star and Compass analyst Mike Wozniak will serve as the second crew.  KLAC producer and host Tim Cates will announce the broadcasts and serve as studio host from Compass’ Los Angeles broadcast facility…..Clear Channel’s Minneapolis-based KFAN network has inked a deal with Learfield Sports to air University of Minnesota football for another three seasons…..American Public Media Group announces Morris Goodwin is the new senior vice president and chief financial officer for the corporation that is made up of Minnesota Public Radio, American Public Media, Classical South Florida, and Southern California Public Radio.

UnivisionAmerica“Univision America de Costa a Costa” Debuts.  The morning program is from Univision Radio‘s AM arm - Univision America.  Translated as “Univision America from Coast to Coast,” the Ricardo Espinoza, Tsi Tsi Ki Felix, and Ricky Lopez-hosted show is a combination of news and talk programming, mixed with finance, health, and entertainment information. Univision America vice president/general manager Felix Perez comments, “These personalities reflect the diversity of their listeners’ world.  Audiences crave 24/7 engagement with radio personalities who they can relate to – and – this team delivers.”  Miami-based Espinoza was most recently co-host/news announcer for “Buen Dia New York” on WADO, New York.  Chicago-based Felix is an air personality with “Al Aire con Tsi-Tsi-Ki,” her daily show on Chicago’s WRTO.  New York-based Lopez is the voice of New York City’s WQBU.  “Univision America de Costa a Costa” premiered yesterday (3/10) at 6:00 am on KTNQ, Los Angeles; WRTO, Chicago; KFLC, Dallas; KLAT, Houston; WQBA, Miami; KCOR, San Antonio; KLSQ, Las Vegas; KGBT, McAllen; and KQBU, El Paso.

Missing Malaysian Jet Mystery, Obama vs. Putin/Ukraine-Crimea Case, Snowden SXSW Appearance, and Global Warming All-Nighter Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/10).  The mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370; the criticism of President Obama’s handling of Russian president Vladimir Putin and Russia’s incursion into Ukraine and Crimea; the appearance of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden via video at the SXSW festival in Austin; and the all-night session held by Congressional Democrats on the topic of global warming were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, March 10, 2014

| March 10, 2014

TRN logo 125Cumulus-logo 100ww1 125TRN Companies and Cumulus Media Announce Amicable Westwood One Settlement.   TRN Companies and Cumulus Media announced late Friday afternoon (3/7) that they have agreed to settle outstanding claims arising during previous ownership of WestwoodOne, acquired by Cumulus Media in December, 2013. Lew Dickey, president and CEO of Cumulus Media, said, “While Cumulus Media had no role in the lawsuits filed by TRN Companies, we are pleased to resolve these claims and move forward together. We remain supportive of each other and are optimistic for the future.”  Mark Masters, CEO of TRN Companies, said: “We are pleased to ‘turn the page’ with the new owners of WestwoodOne and have put past issues behind us.  As we build bridges together, we look forward to a mutually beneficial future working with our affiliated stations, customers, Lew and John Dickey and Cumulus Media.”

emmisEmmis to Reward Employees with Stock.  The company states that as part of its 2012 Employee Retention Plan, roughly 75% of its full-time employees are being notified they are eligible to receive what it is saying is “a sizeable stock award.”  The company further states, “Emmis prides itself on being a destination employer in the media and digital industries, and as such, places a high value on cultivating a culture that allows us to attract and retain the best talent in our industries.  The third of Emmis’ Eleven Commandments states: Be good to your people – get them into the game and give them a piece of the pie.”  Eligible employees will receive a pro-rata share of approximately 976,000 shares of Emmis Communications common stock.  Using Friday’s closing price, the 976,000 shares in the Retention Plan will deliver $3,240,000 in value to the 598 employees who qualify for the plan.  To ensure a broad-based distribution, the Plan excluded executive officers and capped the level of salary credit at $50,000.  As an example of the award size, a full-time employee of Emmis who has been with the company since April 2, 2012, with a salary of $40,000 per year will get approximately 1,480 shares. That equates to a market value of $4913.60, using the closing price last Friday, March 7 of $3.32.  The awards will vest on April 2, 2014 and will be distributed to employees shortly thereafter.  It will be their choice whether to hold or sell the stock.

hughesspencerKSFO, San Francisco Names Hughes Late Morning Host.  Cumulus Media’s news/talk KSFO, San Francisco has been trying out talk show hosts in the late morning slot (billed on the station’s website as “KSFO Talk Show”) for the past several months.  Now, the station names Spencer Hughes permanent host of the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program.  Hughes’ resume includes stops at talk stations across America including WRKO, Boston; KGO, San Francisco; KTKZ, Sacramento; and KSRO, Santa Rosa.

decastrojimmyWGN VP/GM Jimmy de Castro Talks Radio and More.  The vice president and general manager of Tribune Company’s WGN, Chicago and the new sports talk WGWG “The Game 87.7” spoke candidly with the Chicago Sun-Times for its online video feature “The Sit Down.”  In the interview, de Castro throws out a number quips that’ll interest industry watchers.  For example, he’s not trying to bring young listeners to WGN, “I don’t want a younger audience for ’GN.  I want 35- to 65- or 70-year-old people.”  He says he hasn’t committed a lot of money to his staff.  “I don’t have one contract with one person on our station.  Not one.  They’re all here because of how they feel.  Any time they want, they can walk out the door.”  The one-time WLUP-FM leader also talks about his career and how he views life after all of his success.  See it here.

robertsjackJack Roberts Dies at 62.  Radio executive/on-air personality Jack Roberts died this past weekend in Los Angeles.  Over the course of his career, the 62-year-old Roberts was a general manager, program director, on-air talk host, and producer.  Most recently, the Boston College graduate and Massachusetts native was executive producer for CRN Digital Talk Radio programming, including “What’s Cookin’ Today.”  CRN chief executive officer Michael Horn comments, “Jack truly understood and loved radio.  He became an instant, caring friend to everyone he encountered.”  Roberts thought he could get any guest or celebrity, and Horn remarks, “He almost always booked them.  Guests and talent, but most especially the listeners, enjoyed what they heard.  Jack’s legacy will live on through them and all of us.  That would make him very proud.”  Roberts was a senior producer on syndicated radio programs hosted by Dick Cavett, and Colonel Oliver North.  He was in charge of production for “The Jerry Williams Show” and “The Doug Stephan Show.”  His on-air experience includes stops at Boston’s WRKO, WMEX and WXKS; WPRO, Providence; and WDRC, Hartford – where he became general manager and program director.  Roberts held those titles at WWRC, Washington, DC as well.  Programmer Ron Jacobs writes, “Jack Roberts is great at shining the spotlight on others and not blowing his own horn.”  Funeral services are pending for Roberts, who wrote a radio-themed blog – “HollywoodHillsGroup.com” - that highlighted industry achievements and gave publicity to on-air talent.

barnardtomTwin Cities Star Tom Barnard Talks Podcasting in Profile Piece.  Morning radio personality Tom Barnard – a 43-year Minneapolis-St. Paul market icon – is profiled by the Minneapolis Post.  The star of Cumulus’ rock KQRS speaks about numerous topics – the death of the voice-over business, his rise to fame, and his decision to get more political after 9/11 – in the story and explains his separate business producing and selling ad time for his daily two-hour podcast.  Barnard tells the Post that although he billed roughly $250,000 in 2013, the show is not in the black due to expenses including salaries and the cost of bandwidth.  Barnard and partner Don Shelby (former WCCO personality) are not collecting a salary at this point.  Barnard’s decision to sell ad time and not charge for subscriptions as well as to go after local ad dollars, flies in the face of the way many of the high-profile podcasters are doing it (think Tom Leykis and Adam Carolla).  Read the entire Post story here.

Odds & Sods.  In the Duluth market, Midwest Communications flips standards WGEE, Superior, Wisconsin to sports talk using CBS Sports Radio programming…..Sports radio pro Seth Everett becomes part of the New York Mets broadcasts on Clear Channel’s WOR, New York this season where he’ll be hosting the pre- and post-game programs…..Charlotte Knights minor league baseball will air on Greater Media’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte this summer as the station will carry 10 Saturday night home games and two Friday evening home games.

stigallboltonChris Stigall Broadcasts from CPAC.  The annual Washington, DC gathering of conservative politicians dubbed the Conservative Political Action Conference involves an active radio row and WPHT, Philadelphia morning drive host Chris Stigall (right) was in the middle of all the action last week as he broadcast his show from the event.  He’s pictured here interviewing former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton (left).

wvbr logoWVBR Returns To Collegetown (Ithaca) in New, High Tech Studio Station to Hold March 15th Dedication Ceremony – Keith Olbermann Makes Major Donation.  Proving that grassroots terrestrial radio is alive and well, WVBR-FM is returning home to Collegetown (a proud name sported by downtown Ithaca, New York – home of Cornell University and Ithaca College – per its reputation as being one of the best college towns in America) after a 14-year absence, with a newly-built, state-of-the-art studio.  The new studio is located at 604 East Buffalo Street in Ithaca, next to the Carriage House Café and across from The Connection, Loco Cantina, and the Chapter House.  WVBR has operated out of 957 Mitchell Street near East Hill Plaza afterolbermannkeith leaving its longtime home at 227 Linden Avenue in Collegetown in 2000. It will be officially dedicated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to take place this coming Saturday (3/15).  WVBR-FM is a commercial, non-profit radio station that is owned and fully operated by the Cornell Radio Guild, a group of Cornell University students.  Since 1935, this group’s stated mission has been running a radio station with the goal of training students in broadcasting.  Since 1968, WVBR has been serving Ithaca and Tompkins Counties playing an eclectic mix of classic and modern rock under the banner, “Real Rock Radio.”  WVBR broadcasts over 93.5 FM and 105.5 FM to Tompkins County and the surrounding area. The newly named Olbermann-Corneliess Studios was purchased with donations from station alumni, most notably ESPN host Keith Olbermann.  Olbermann gave what has been described by station management as “a generous donation” with a request that WVBR’s new home studio be named in honor of his late father Theodore Olbermann, as well as the late Glenn Corneliess, his colleague during his years at WVBR who passed away in 1996.  Olbermann, the Corneliess family, and Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick will be among those on hand for the dedication, as well as many station alumni, current staff, and management.  A brand new set of professional equipment, a large vinyl library, a live performance space, three soundproof production booths, and two advanced on-air studios are some of the many highlights of the new space.  “There is no doubt in my mind that 604 East Buffalo Street will feature the best college radio setup in the country,” says Drew Endick, president of the Cornell Radio Guild, Inc. and general manager of WVBR, telling RadioInfo, “We have been trying to expand our content production operations and provide better services for the local community, and we now have the facilities to meet these challenges.”  The new studio will be home to two radio stations – WVBR, which broadcasts with a rock format over FM, as well as CornellRadio.com, which is being launched as a more student-centric, freeform online station.  CornellRadio.com will feature pop, hip-hop, dance, and alternative music, as well as talk shows, comedy programming, and sports content provided by a partnership with the Big Red Sports Network.  Each station will have its own cutting-edge studio within the building.  “This move is extremely important to the goals of our station,” says Michael Mallon, senior vice president of communications.  “The latest technology will not only allow us to create better content for our listeners, but it will also allow the students of Cornell University to learn and train on the same equipment as is used in the big stations in major cities.”  The move is also significant as the station will now be a close walk for most students.  “It’s a perfect location for us, both physically and symbolically,” Mallon continues, “The station is right between the students who operate the station, and the Ithacans who make up most of our listenership.”  ASI Renovations managed the huge project.  The space was already in great condition, but the design presented some big technical challenges.  Sherpa Technologies wired the building for radio operations.  Students and weekend staff led the move, bringing over the entire vinyl and CD collections, as well as other important articles from the old station.

stevensbrucieChattin’ with a Legend.  WFTL, Fort Lauderdale late morning talk host Rich Stevens (right) entertains legendary disc jockey Cousin Brucie (left) in the station’s studios.  Stevens tells TALKERS the pair chatted about numerous topics and took calls from listeners.  While speaking with callers, a 92-year-old local listener phoned in to tell Cousin Brucie he remembers winning a contest 40 years ago that Cousin Brucie executed that sent him on a vacation.  Brucie asked him if he was still there and needed money to get back!

odonnellwmalSittin’ in on WMAL, Washington.  Former Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell (left) is pictured here in the WMAL, Washington studios as she served as guest co-host on the “Morning On The Mall” program today (3/10).  O’Donnell worked with co-host Larry O’Connor (right) while subbing for Brian Wilson.

Friday, March 7, 2014

| March 7, 2014

wheelertomFCC Will Seek Public Comment on Ownership Rules; Reversal of Cross-Ownership Bans Appear Unlikely.  Reports are circulating in the media trades that senior FCC officials say FCC chairman Tom Wheeler will propose relaxing cross-ownership bans, but in a blog post dated March 6, that tone is not expressed.  Wheeler writes about the Commission’s duty to undertake and complete the 2014 Quadrennial Review.  He discusses some of the proposals regarding maintaining current ownership rules that will be open for public comment but many industry watchers say this should not be cause to think a Wheeler-chaired Commission will ultimately relax current cross-ownership bans.  Much of Wheeler’s concern in the blog is with television joint sales agreements and he’s clearly out to change those.  You can read Wheeler’s entire post here.

newsmax logoNewsmax Chief Chris Ruddy Announces Cable TV News/Talk Project.  In a piece in Bloomberg Businessweek, Newsmax founder and CEO Chris Ruddy announces his plans for a new cable news/talk network with Fox News Channel as his target.   Ruddy is quoted asking, “How do you have something so successful in cable that nobody else wants to imitate or cut into their market share?  It defies reason.”  Ruddy tells Bloomberg Businessweek his goal is “to be a little more boomer-oriented, more information-based rather than being vituperative and polarizing.”  He says that if he can get 10% to 15% of FNC’s audience, he’s going to be “hugely profitable.”  The piece states FNC bills $1 billion a year.  He understands the cable carriers don’t want to pay new networks and believes even if he has to pay them to carry the network, he’ll make money.  Currently Newsmax TV is online featuring talk media personality Steve Malzberg.  Ruddy does not say what the programming will look like when he’s ready to launch in June.  Read the entire Bloomberg Businessweek story here.

pelosiSiriusOdds & Sods.  Nationally syndicated “America Tonight” talk host Kate Delaney keeps her sports talk chops sharp as she sits in on the NBC Sports Radio Network this weekend hosting the 11:00 am to 2:00 pm slot both Saturday and Sunday this weekend…..In honor of Women’s History Month, SiriusXM host Julie Mason (left) sat down with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (right) before a live audience at the Newseum in Washington, DC on Tuesday, March 4.  It’s part of the “SiriusXM Leading Ladies” series of candid conversations with influential and inspiring women who have forged their own paths to leadership and success.

ramseySADave Ramsey Deep in the Heart of Texas.  Nationally syndicated talk radio star Dave Ramsey is pictured here on stage at the Lila Cockrell Theatre in San Antonio as he presented his “Legacy Journey LIVE!” on Thursday (3/6).  Ramsey talked about how to win with money, strengthen marriages and lead your children with confidence.  His daughter, Rachel Cruze, joined Ramsey on stage.  Ramsey combined forces with L&L Broadcasting’s news/talk KTSA to promote this event.  KTSA GSM Coreena Hazelett comments, “L&L Broadcasting and ‘550KTSA’ are thrilled to partner with the Dave Ramsey team in bringing life-transforming content to entrepreneurs and leaders as well as teaching families how to live now so you can leave a powerful legacy for your family.  We, along with our sponsors, sincerely believe in the importance of contributing to the growth of business and the quality of life for families here in San Antonio.”  Ramsey also hosted his “EntreLeadership 1 Day Event” on Wednesday along with Cruze and speaker Chris Hogan.  The content of that presentation was how to run a business using the same common sense principles that Ramsey practices in his own company of more than 400 team members.

lanevemarkLaNeve Named to Entercom Board of Directors.  From the sales and marketing world comes the newest member of the Entercom board of directors as Mark LaNeve joins immediately.  He has served as COO of WPP’s Global Team Ford – an agency that serves as the marketing and advertising partner to Ford and Lincoln businesses globally.  During his time as chief marketing officer at Allstate Insurance, he led the marketing for the company and developed the long-running “Mayhem” campaign.  Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “Mark LaNeve is a tremendous addition to Entercom’s board of directors.  He has led some of America’s most iconic brands and ad campaigns.  He will bring a new and fresh perspective to the Entercom board.”

medvedCPACMichael Medved Broadcasts from CPAC.  Seattle-based Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Medved (right) is pictured here interviewing Republican Senator from Utah Mike Lee (left) at the radio row at CPAC 2014 taking place in Washington, DC.  The event is the American Conservative Union’s annual confab of conservative activists being held at the Gaylord Hotel & Convention Center.

Obama vs. Putin/Ukraine-Crimea Unrest Top News/Talk Stories This Week.  The political crisis in Ukraine and Crimea and the scrum between President Obama and Vladimir Putin were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Coming in at #2 was ObamaCare Criticism.  At #3 was the Israel-Palestinian talks followed by the 2016 presidential race at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View the entire chart here.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  ABC News Radio adds WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte to its roster of affiliate stations…..Yahoo! Sports Radio announces KXFN, St. Louis flips to sports and takes its lineup of national sports talk hosts.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

| March 6, 2014

infinitedial logoThe Infinite Dial 2014.  Media consultant and TALKERS contributor Holland Cooke sat in on yesterday’s annual webinar presented by Edison Research and Triton Digital that detailed the results of the 2014 version of the Infinite Dial study.  Many results are not surprising: smartphone use is growing rapidly with 61% of Americans owning cell phones – a 500% increase in five years.  Although the “digital dashboard” – newer model cars with in-dash infotainment systems – gets a lot of press coverage as new deals are struck between app-makers, service providers and car manufacturers, as of today the smartphone is more important.  The study reports 43% of persons 12-24 listen with a smartphone while in the car and 27% of persons 25-54 do the same.  Still, AM/FM owns the auto for now and is still the primary source for discovering new music.  Read more results from the study and Holland Cooke’s analysis here.

barrettdanaDana Barrett to Host New Local Show on ‘biz 1190’ in Atlanta.  On Salem Communications’ business talk WAFS, Atlanta “biz 1190,” local media personality Dana Barrett debuts a new program dedicated to “a unique look into ‘the business of everyday life’” debuting on Monday, March 10.  Barrett states, “Atlanta is such a dynamic business market with an incredible diversity of industries.  Healthcare, real estate, entertainment, retail…you name it, we do it here. I want to celebrate and embrace that diversity by talking to the business leaders and entrepreneurs that make our region go.”  The daily show will air from 9:00 am to 10:00 am with a repeat from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  Program director Aaron Williams adds, “It’s the perfect match for us.  As the market’s only station dedicated to business, we couldn’t be happier to bring Dana’s unique knowledge of the metro Atlanta area to our audience.”

bowermikeMike Bower Exits ’97.9 ESPN Hartford.’  The afternoon drive program hosted by Mike Bower at Clear Channel’s Hartford sports talk outlet WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” is cancelled and the station is actively seeking a new personality for the daypart.  In a message posted on his Facebook page, Bower announces, “Unfortunately The Bower Show’s time on ‘97.9 ESPN’ in Hartford and ‘ESPN Radio 1300’ in New Haven has come to an end.  Clear Channel opted to not renew the show but we would like to thank them for giving us the opportunity to talk sports with you every day for the past two years.  More importantly, we would like to thank all of YOU…our listeners, for your continued support of The Bower Show.”  The Bower Show was the only local daily show on the program schedule.

katz mg logoRosenthal Promoted at Katz Media Group.  With this promotion, Mark Rosenthal – currently CEO of Katz Radio Group – adds the title CEO of Katz Media Group in which he will also oversee Katz Television Group, KMG’s television representation company.  The company says that as CEO of Katz Radio Group, Rosenthal will remain focused on building the radio sector, working closely with Katz Radio Group president Mark Gray to drive additional media dollars into radio.  Effective immediately though, he will now also work closely with KTG presidents Leo MacCourtney and Craig Broitman to grow and further develop KTG’s assets, advocacy and revenue-generating efforts.

boycephilSalem Study: Christian Teaching Listeners Younger Than Perceived.  The results of a study by Nielsen Audio commissioned by Salem Communications looking at the make-up of the audience for Christian teaching and talk-formatted radio shows indicates the audience is younger than may be commonly perceived.   Half of the listeners to the format are under 55 and are spending 6.1 hours per week listening to stations airing the format.  The study also indicates younger listenership is growing.  Salem VP, director of spoken word format Phil Boyce states, “There is this perception that these are your father or even grandfathers radio stations, but we found there is a significant pool of younger listeners spending a great deal of time with our CTT format.”

edwardsgeoffGeoff Edwards Passes. No sooner had we reflected on the life and career of Los Angeles and Bay Area radio personality/television game show host Jim Lange (who succumbed to a heart attack last week) than we must now sadly note the passing of Geoff Edwards.  Much like the 81-year-old Lange, Edwards, 83, amassed considerable fame from his Los Angeles radio days and nationally through several game show-hosting stints.  Edwards died yesterday (3/5) of complications of pneumonia at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California.  Wink Martindale, Lange, and Edwards toiled together in Los Angeles at the once iconic KMPC. “Geoff was one of the cleverest, funniest radio and television personalities I have worked with,” Martindale states of Westfield, New Jersey native Edwards, who was heard on KMPC from 1968 – 1979.  He was also on-air in Los Angeles at KHJ (1964 -1965) and two go-rounds at KFI (1966 – 1968 and 1987 – 1989).  According to Edwards’ agent of many years, Fred Westbrook, Edwards succeeded in television by making several bold fashion statements.  He favored jeans over suits and his hair was longer than that of most other talents at the time.  “He was part of the new breed,” Westbrook comments.  Tributes on Facebook regarding Edwards’ death included this observation from renowned voiceover talent/studio audience warm-up announcer/”Price is Right” announcer Randy West.  “Geoff was a wonderfully kind and joyous guy, very bright, with a great natural talent for creating joy, both over the air and in person.  For me, it was more laughs per hour with Geoff than anyone else since high school.  What a pro, what a sweet man, what a character, what a ball.  He was loved and respected by everybody.  We laughed and giggled every time we were together.”  Sonoma Music Group president Michael O’Shea checked in by remarking, “What a shock.  Geoff was our 9:00 am – 12:00 noon personality at KMPC.  Personable, authentic, real and natural.  We played tennis a time or two. This is very sad.”  Longtime KOST, Los Angeles on-air personality Ted Ziegenbusch notes that Edwards was, “One of my favorite lunchroom pals.  Thanks for the laughter, the stories and the fun.  I know you have always enjoyed travel.  This journey is the best one ever.”  Veteran Los Angeles traffic reporter Mike Nolan comments that he was, “a fan for years, then honored to work with him at KFI, so happy to have called him a friend.”  Fellow television game show host Jim MacKrell remarks, “I am deeply saddened by the news of Geoff’s passing.  I know of no one in our business with a better reputation and a multitude of friends.  I am glad I was one of them.” Edwards’ national television resume includes hosting “Jackpot!”, “Chain Reaction,” “Play the Percentages,” “Treasure Hunt” and “The New Treasure Hunt.”  In Los Angeles, he and Meredith MacRae won Emmy Awards for co-hosting the daily “Mid-Morning L.A.”  For nine years (1986 – 1995), he co-hosted the California Lottery‘s “Big Spin.”  An eyewitness to one of America’s most memorable moments, then-news reporter Edwards was in the basement of the Dallas Police Department on November 24, 1963 when Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald, the suspected assassin of President John F. Kennedy.  Funeral plans are pending for Edwards, who is survived by his wife, two stepsons, his ex-wife and their three children, as well as nine grandchildren.

Obama vs. Putin/Ukraine-Crimea Intrigue, ObamaCare Criticism, IRS Scandal, Obama Approval Ratings Sink, and 2016 Presidential Race Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/5).  The political storm in Ukraine and Crimea and how President Obama is handling Vladimir Putin’s moving Russian troops into the region; scrutiny of the Affordable Care Act as the administration announces current health plans can be kept through 2016; Lois Lerner’s refusal to testify in new hearings looking into the IRS scandal; dipping approval ratings for President Obama; and speculation about candidates for president in the 2016 election were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

The Infinite Dial 2014

| March 6, 2014

Holland Cooke
TALKERS Contributor
Media Consultant

 

cookewriterBLOCK ISLAND, R.I. — It was like telling the punch line at the beginning of the joke, when Edison Research VP/Strategy & Marketing Tom Webster began a well-attended webinar: “It’s hard to overstate the impact of the smartphone on the American consumer.”

“The Infinite Dial 2014” is #22 in an ongoing series researching consumer adoption of digital media.  As Webster and Mike Agovino — COO of Triton Digital, which sponsored the study – narrated their presentation, they had plenty of good news for radio broadcasters.  But the undeniable headline was that those who merely feed audio to transmitters aren’t fishing where the fish are swimming to.

Among data presented, based on a just-released survey of 2023 Americans P12+: 

61% of Americans – an estimated 160 million — now own a smartphone.  That’s 500% growth in 5 years.  Eight-in-ten P18-34.

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

| March 5, 2014

wdrc-amBuckley to Sell Connecticut Stations to Connoisseur.  Led by Hartford classic hits outlet WDRC-FM, the Connecticut stations Buckley Broadcasting is selling to Connoisseur Media also includes talk WDRC-AM and its simulcast AMs WMMW, Meriden; WSNG, Torrington; and WWCO, Waterbury.  The price on this deal is not being made public yet.  Buckley is being represented by Richard A. Foreman Associates.  In a memo to staff, Buckley president and CEO Joe Bilotta says, “After much reflection, the Board of Trustees has decided that the reality of the evolving competitive landscape, and our sincere desire to see this historic brand continue, are cause for a change in the ownership of our Connecticut properties.  Our decision to negotiate with, and eventually sell WDRC-AM/FM to Connoisseur, gives our audience, advertisers, and employees access to the considerable resources of this multi-dimensional media and entertainment company.  For over half of a century Buckley Broadcasting has been the steward of these great call letters and there is not a better company than Connoisseur to ensure the continued and accelerated future success of the WDRC brand.”

foxsportsradio logoFox Sports and Premiere Networks Renew FSRN Deal.  The relationship between Clear Channel subsidiary Premiere Networks and Fox Sports goes back to August of 2000 when the two companies agreed to work together to debut the Fox Sports Radio Network.  Now, almost 14 years later, the two companiespremierenetworks new agree to a long-term extension of the partnership.  Premiere Networks will continue to produce and distribute Fox Sports Radio Network to its radio affiliates.  Additionally, “Premiere Networks and Fox Sports will continue working together across multiple platforms to synchronize the audio, digital, online and television assets of Fox Sports, FOXSports.com and Fox Sports Radio, further extending the reach, visibility and engagement of these brands with millions of consumers.  Additionally, with the recently-launched 24-hour television network Fox Sports 1, the radio and television divisions will work closely to increase cross-promotional opportunities and highlight Fox Sports’ established team of top insiders, analysts and personalities.”

nielsen logoNielsen’s Cross-Platform Report: Smartphone Use Rising, AM/FM Use Decreasing.  The numbers are nothing astronomical with regard to the decline in use of AM/FM radio, but they show a trend.  According to the March 2014 Nielsen Cross-Platform Report, the hours of use per day for adults 18+ for AM/FM radio have dropped from 2:53 minutes to 2:46 minutes from the fourth quarter of 2011 through the fourth quarter of 2013.  At the same time, use of smartphones has risen from :48 minutes per day to 1:07 minutes per day over the same three-year period.  Again, this is not a dramatic change but it certainly shows that the use of smartphones continues to rise for adults and the use of the AM/FM radio is declining.  You can check out the report here.

edisonresearchAnd Speaking of Smartphones…The increase in usage of smartphones by Americans has risen to 61% (persons 12+), according to Edison Research and Triton Digital – the two companies presenting their “Infinite Dial 2014” webinar today at 2:00 pm ET.  Edison releases this little teaser in advance of today’s event indicating that in 2009 just 10% of Americans owned smartphones.  That number climbed to 44% in 2012 and has soared to 61% in 2014 and Edison estimates that means about 160 million people in raw numbers.

holdtheirfeet2014Just a Few Slots Left at FAIR’s ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Radio Row.  The topic of immigration reform continues to be a much-discussed one on news/talk radio with related legislation brewing in Congress.  The Federation for American Immigration Reform-sponsored “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row taking place April 9 and 10 in Washington, DC is nearing a full slate.  FAIR communications director Bob Dane tells TALKERS magazine, “It’s ‘last call’ for one broadcast booth remaining in morning drive, one in afternoon drive, and two in midday.”  Broadcast slots are granted on a first-come, first-served basis.  Interested hosts should contact Dane 202-328-7004 ASAP to discuss details.  Dane says, “Attendees enjoy Capitol Hill access to lawmakers, immigration activists, experts and law enforcement working in tandem to secure our borders and to enforce the rule of law.”

langejim‘Radio Guy’ Jim Lange Remembered.  When Jim Lange passed away last week at age 81, he was remembered by most for his role as host of television’s “The Dating Game.”  But as TALKERS managing editor and bureau chief Mike Kinosian writes, “Jim Lange was one of the finest ambassadors radio could ever hope to have.”  A few years back, Kinosian did a profile of Lange and learned more about his radio career – including why he always kept a radio job even during the heyday of “The Dating Game” and his other TV game shows.  He said that if the TV job failed, he always had radio.   Lange told him, “I noticed that all the game show hosts were radio guys.  They were hired because they could adlib.  There is no script on a game show. You have rules, but that is it.”  Read Mike Kinosian’s story about Jim Lange here.

Ukraine-Crimea Unrest/Obama vs. Putin, ObamaCare Criticism, MSNBC Programming Changes, Texas Primaries, U.S. Marijuana Policy, and Hillary in 2016 Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/4).  The crisis in the Ukraine and Crimea and criticism of President Obama’s stance against Russia’s Vladimir Putin; ongoing scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the cable news/talk wars and the performance of new MSNBC programs; Tuesday’s Texas primary elections; the changes in marijuana policy in the United States; and speculation that Hillary Clinton will emerge the the Democratic frontrunner in the 2016 presidential election were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Farewell to a Jim Dandy Gentleman

| March 5, 2014

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

Jim Lange #3kinosianLOS ANGELES — The broadcasting industry took another hit last week as Jim Lange succumbed to a heart attack.

In much the same way the late Dick Clark never seemed to age, some were shocked that the always youthful-looking Lange was actually 81 when he passed away at his Mill Valley, California home.

Several years ago – during my tenure as special features editor for the trade publication Inside Radio – the two of us had an extended conversation; the result was one of my in-depth personality profiles.

That chat laid the foundation for what became a continuing friendship. It was a privilege to remain in contact with the gracious and hospitable Lange, who was most deserving of the “Gentleman Jim” handle.

As a tribute, here are edited/condensed/updated highlights from that profile, which began by theorizing, if those at Guinness ever concocted a world record category for “Person Throwing The Most Kisses on Television,” Lange would be the hands-down winner.

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

| March 4, 2014

scba logoSCBA Reports 2014 Starting Off Positive.  Calling it “solid, steady revenue growth that sets the stage for a strong first quarter for Southern California radio,” Southern California Broadcasters Association president Thom Callahan reports the results of the Miller Kaplan Arase Market Summary report for January 2014 indicating total market revenue for Los Angeles radio grew by 1.7% in January.  Callahan adds, “The 1.7% growth rate for January is, of course, good news for our industry here in Southern California, however, a closer look at what made up that growth reveals a market and region that is healthy and growing.”  The Miller Kaplan Arase X-Ray report for Loscallahanthom Angeles radio further describes both strong category growth and exceptional new business development in the first month of the New Year.  That growth includes: insurance companies – up 152.1%, education – up 61.5%, concerts/theatre/movies – up 54.6%, communications/cellular/public utilities – up 22.7%, and both the auto category – up at 6.3% and health care – up at 6.4%.  Callahan says, “New business development was a significant revenue driver for Southern California radio in January and showcases how new advertisers are rediscovering radio and its effectiveness in building brands and market share for their business.  With 297 new advertisers spending $7,408,878 in new business in January alone, it’s clear our SCBA member stations are fully engaged in new business development.”

journalbroadcastgroupJournal Communications Reports Q4 2013 Numbers; Radio Down 7.2%.  That radio figure does include the loss of political advertising and a quirk of the bookkeeping calendar that took a week away in 2013.  Accounting for those issues, Journal reports that on a same-station basis, radio revenue was up 0.7% in the fourth quarter and for the whole of 2013 same-station revenue was up 3.7%.  The news for national revenue continues to be negative as Journal’s radio stations saw national drop 22.8% in Q4 and dive 8.9% for the entire year.  In a statement, chairman and CEO Steven Smith says, “Journal Communications delivered a solid fourth quarter in a non-political year, driven by gains in core revenue in our broadcast group and improving advertising revenue trends in publishing…Consolidated revenue of $107.4 million was up 11% compared to 2012, excluding the extra week and political revenue in 2012.”

paytonjarrettWGWG-LP, Chicago Adds Jarrett Payton to Air Staff.  The new sports talk outlet Tribune’s WGN, Chicago is building on the leased WGWG-LP signal announces the addition of Jarrett Payton – son of Bears great and NFL Hall-of-Famer Walter Payton – to the afternoon drive show with Harry Teinowitz and Spike Manton.  “The Game 87.7” vice president of creative content Todd Manley tells Chicago media writer Robert Feder, “I think Jarrett is way more than sports royalty in this town.  He’s the sort of creative, inventive mind that will help us define the future of this brand.”  As Feder reports, Payton’s radio experience includes serving as host of Chicago Bears post-game shows on ESPN O&O WMPV, Chicago.

beckapodcastlogoTalk Host Tom Becka Launches Web-based Podcast Series.  Talk radio pro Tom Becka holds down the afternoon program at NRG Media’s KOIL, Omaha.  Now, Becka is debuting his latest venture – a podcast series available at his website TomBecka.com titled, “Tom Becka Podcast.”  Becka has a specific goal with regard to the podcast’s subject matter: letting interesting, everydaybeckatom2 people tell stories about themselves – things you might never know unless you asked.  Some of the fascinating subjects Becka has covered with his podcast project include: a woman named Kaylee talking openly about what it’s like to live with bi-polar disorder; a local man who’s taken his passion for film and started a new career making films; a conversation with a tattoo artist about the tattoo phenomenon; a man with terminal cancer relating his inspirational thoughts about living and dying; a local man who lives every day with Asperger’s syndrome; and many more.  Becka says, “Tom Becka.com is a place where every day people are going to be telling their stories…inspirational stories, life lessons, stories about overcoming adversity.”  All the subjects for this project are from the local Omaha area, as Becka says, people who may be your friends, relatives or neighbors.  Becka is posting a new episode every Sunday.  Check it out here.

harrisonmichaelMichael Harrison on the Road – Next Big Stop: Jerry Del Colliano’s “Media Solutions Conference” in Philly March 26.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison will be one of three special guest speakers at noted industry observer and analyst Jerry Del Colliano’s fifth annual Media Solutions Conference set for Philadelphia on Wednesday, March 26.  Along with WBEB, Philadelphia (“More FM”) owner Jerry Lee and nationally syndicated Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel talk star Sean Hannity, Harrison will participate in the intensive day-long workshop that will focus on a wide variety of digital-era issues currently facing and challenging radio.  These include coming to a better understanding of the Millennial generation, learning to disrupt radio itself before its media rivals do, separating radio’s main product into unique on-air and online categories, effectively using video to generate significant amounts of revenue and much more.  Harrison states, “I am really looking forward to participating in this conference and tackling these crucial issues with a bunch of smart people from all ends of the business.  Jerry Lee has so much to share about running an independent station in an aggressive, winning way – we could sure use more Jerry Lees in this industry – and Sean Hannity is the very definition of brains and class.  One of the things Sean brings to the table is the ability to attract younger listeners to traditional news/talk – he has done quite alright in an area of the field to which most people are actively seeking answers.”  The event takes place at Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Hotel.  For more information click here.

marshallleslieOdds & Sods.  Nationally syndicated progressive talk show host Leslie Marshall does double duty on Thursday (3/6) as she sits in for Thom Hartmann on his nationally syndicated program…..ESPN O&O WMPV, Chicago adds a weekly program covering Major League Soccer and the local Chicago Fire.  The show is dubbed “Chicago Fire Weekly” and it’s being hosted by Fred Heubner and will feature contributions from Kevin Egan, analyst for the Chicago Fire’s television broadcasts…..News/talk WNTX, Fredericksburg, Virginia is again being heard on translator W243BS, Fredericksburg after the latter signal carried the “Fred FM” format for the past 11 months.  WNTX is owned by Free Lance-Star, currently going through Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization…..Kevin Calabro re-ups with ESPN where he serves as the lead play-by-play voice on the NBA on ESPN Radio.  He’ll continue working with lead NBA analyst Jon Barry, as well as PJ Carlesimo and Stan Van Gundy.

mitchelljohnFormer Nebraska Radio Owner Mitchell Dies at 89.  In Nebraska, John C. Mitchell was a decorated broadcaster who was honored with a Pioneer Award from the Nebraska Broadcasters Association and is a member of the Nebraska Broadcasters Hall of Fame.  Trained as an attorney who practiced law until he retired in 2001, Mitchell began acquiring radio stations in 1953 with the purchase of KGFW, Kearney – the station at which he worked in high school.  Eventually his Mitchell Broadcasting Corporation would own some 14 stations across the state.  Mitchell is pictured here at the mic on KGFW.

Crimea-Ukraine Tensions/Obama vs. Putin, ObamaCare Criticism, Israel-Palestinian Talks, The Oscars, Hillary in 2016, and Marijuana Policy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/3).  The military incursions into Ukraine and Crimea by Russia and criticism of President Obama’s handling of Vladimir Putin; scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; U.S. pressure on Netanyahu to convene Palestinian peace talks; Sunday evening’s Academy Awards show; speculation about Hillary Clinton running for president in 2016; and marijuana policy in the U.S. were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, March 3, 2014

| March 3, 2014

fccnewFCC Kills CIN Study…at Least for Now.  The Federal Communications Commission issued a brief statement late Friday afternoon ending the current form of the Critical Information Needs study that has enraged broadcasters since it was announced last May.  Recently, as the beginning of the study approached this spring, broadcasters – and many from the public arena – had re-stoked their disapproval.  The FCC’s statement on February 28paiajit was: “The FCC will not move forward with the Critical Information Needs study.  The Commission will reassess the best way to fulfill its obligation to Congress to identify barriers to entry into the communications marketplace faced by entrepreneurs and other small businesses.”  Commissioner Ajit Pai, who had publicly criticized the scope of the study, said, “I am pleased that the FCC has canceled its Critical Information Needs study.  In our country, the government does not tell the people what information they need.  Instead, news outlets and the American public decide that for themselves.  I look forward to working with my colleagues to identify and remove actual barriers to entry into the communications industry.  This newsroom study was a distraction from that important goal.”

heavyhundred logoTALKERS to Postpone Publishing 2014 Heavy Hundred Until Tuesday, March 11.  The 2014 installment of one of TALKERS magazine’s most popular and, perhaps, controversial annual features – “The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America” – is being readied for publication this coming Tuesday, March 11, 2014.  It was originally intended for publication today (3/3) but last-minute developments in the industry regarding the contracts and standing of several key hosts has required adding the extra week for consideration and tabulation.  Also known as “The Heavy Hundred” the ranked listing of 100 hosts and talent teams from around the country is based on a number of both quantitative and qualitative criteria and is determined by collective analysis of the TALKERS editorial board.  It includes local and national hosts from a variety of genres falling under the umbrella of “general” talk or “news/talk” radio covering politics, health, finance, relationships, consumer tech, popular culture and a variety of specialties. (TALKERS launched a special and separate Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk two years ago.)  Hosts on the list are selected from those working at the time of its publication on platforms that include commercial and public AM/FM radio as well as satellite radio (internet-only talk hosts are ranked by TALKERS in an annual feature titled “The Frontier Fifty”).   According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “It is no secret that economic restraints facing the industry these past few years have contributed to shrinking the number of individuals working on the air across the nation.  Although the 2014 edition of the Heavy Hundred will, of course, include many familiar names, the need for new blood, fresh voices and potential up and comers has never been greater.  Readers will find this year’s roster will feature a number of new names and first-timers, which is quite exciting!”  Companies interested in sponsoring segments of this widely discussed and read (by hundreds of thousands of broadcasting industry members and consumers/listeners) feature should call 413-565-5413.

wnewlogoCBS RADIO Adds Baltimore, Maryland Content to All-News WNEW-FM.  The two-year-old all-news format on CBS RADIO’s WNEW-FM, Bowie, Maryland-licensed station is getting some tweaking as the station will add more Baltimore and Maryland content to its programming in the form of news and traffic, as the company says, “in addition to its extensive coverage of the Washington, D.C. metro.”  The company is opening a Baltimore news center beginning today (3/3), which is located at CBS television station WJZ-TV.  Other bureaus will follow in Annapolis and Montgomery County throughout the year.  Longtime Baltimore radio news anchor Sarah Jacobs has been named bureau chief, overseeing a team of local reporters.  Baltimore Sun columnist David Zurawik reported on the changes last week questioning if the changes are the result of the inability to “put a dent” in the ratings at Hubbard’s crosstown WTOP.  Some of the changes beginning today include traffic reports every five minutes during peak travel times plus expanded coverage to include “Beltway to Beltway” traffic spanning the entire Baltimore-Washington corridor, from the Baltimore Beltway to the Washington Beltway, and the major arteries that feed them.  CBS RADIO SVP and market manager Steve Swenson states, “WNEW reaches 5.3 million people across Baltimore and Washington, and all the counties in between – more than any other local radio station.  We’re thrilled to offer area residents around-the-clock news coverage, and serve as the primary destination for all their traffic information needs.  Whether driving the two Beltways, I-95, the Baltimore Washington Parkway, I-97, or Route 50, commuters will only need to listen to one station: All-News 99.1FM.”  In the Baltimore Sun piece, Zurawik writes that Swenson concedes the location of the WNEW-FM transmitter – near Annapolis – doesn’t cover the DC metro the way most DC-licensed stations do.  Swenson tells the paper WNEW-FM “reaches 38% of the DC metro population while it covers more than 75% of the Baltimore metro.”

geronimodonDon Geronimo to Exit ‘106.7 The Fan’ in Washington.  After returning to his longtime stomping grounds at WJFK-FM, Washington “106.7 The Fan” following a stint at the company’s KHTK, Sacramento, Don Geronimo will again leave the station and his evening show.  Geronimo Tweeted that he’s going to be on the CBS RADIO payroll for another 30 days and then “off to brighter pastures.  You know I have a lot to say on the entire matter, you’ll hear it all soon enuf, ever 4ward.”

stephanpattizPodcastOne Makes Doug Stephan’s ‘Good Day’ Show Available on Demand.  Nationally syndicated radio personality Doug Stephan (left) is partnering with PodcastOne to have the service distribute his podcast and have PodcastOne Sales serve as the exclusive rep for his podcast.  Stephan’s “Good Day” is now available in a digital format after the original broadcast of the radio program.  PodcastOne CEO Norm Pattiz (right) says, “Everybody needs a good day.  Now we can make sure that Doug Stephan’s ‘Good Day’ is available 24 hours a day, on-demand, from PodcastOne.  This is just another example of the expanding radio footprint that makes the best talent available to the largest possible audience, and on a personal level, having Doug on the podcast lineup brings a big smile to my face and assures me of having my own personal good day.”

humphriesrustyTalk Radio Personality Rusty Humphries Joins Washington Times.  Longtime TRN-syndicated talk radio personality Rusty Humphries is joining the Washington Times for an “expansive role” in which he will be “a weekly columnist, a blogger and a daily video show host.”  The organization notes that “Humphries’ appointment is part of the Washington Times’ aggressive expansion into the many platforms that comprise a modern media company.  The audio from Humphries’ video show will also be streamed on the Kaliki-based, on-demand network that was recently established in partnership with the Times.  Humphries comments, “I’m excited to become part of the Washington Times family.  I am proud to add my voice and my ideas to the excellent work that the Times has been producing for decades.”  Times editor and vice president of content and business development John Solomon adds, “Rusty is a rare and special talent.  We are thrilled to have his wisdom and his good humor as part of our growing menu of offerings.”

sextonbuck showNew Lineup from TheBlaze Radio Network; Buck Sexton Show to Weekdays.  There’s a new weekday schedule from Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze Radio Network as the company announces the Buck Sexton show moves to weekdays in the 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm ET slot effective March 17.  Sexton is also co-host of “Real News from TheBlaze,” he is a former Central Intelligence Agency officer and NYPD Intelligence Division analyst with hands-on expertise in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations around the world.  As a result of the move, the Pat & Stu show moves to the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET slot.  TheBlaze president and chief content officer Joel Cheatwood states, “Over the past 18 months or so Buck has emerged as a very strong new voice in media.   We’re excited to see what he can do with the expanded opportunity on TheBlaze Radio Network.”

oconnellsusanCompass Media Networks Welcomes Susan O’Connell.  Affiliate relations pro Susan O’Connell is joining Compass Media Networks as a consultant with the goal of managing and enhancing affiliate relations and strategy related to The Wall Street Journal Radio Network. O’Connell has served as senior director, affiliate sales for The Wall Street Journal Radio Network since 2006.  Compass exclusively manages affiliate sales and advertising sales for WSJ Radio.

revenuedevelopementresourcesLawrence Named Director of Sales at Revenue Development Resources.  After 14 years of service to the Radio Advertising Bureau, Bob Lawrence becomes director of sales for Revenue Development Resources.  He states, “It’s exciting to be representing the valuable services that RDR offers to broadcasters, and to once again team with RDR president/CEO Mark Levy.  I look forward to more of the kind of successes that Mark and I achieved during our years working together at the RAB.”  Says Levy, “Bob joining us is like old-home week.  With former RAB team members Tim Foley and now Bob Lawrence on the team, it’s like working with family again!”

younglarryOdds & Sods.  Imaging and voice-over pro Pete Gustin leaves his gig with Entercom’s sports talk WEEI-FM and news/talk WRKO after 18 years with the stations.  Gustin, who recently launched his own imaging and voice-over service, writes on his Facebook page, “I’ll be partnered with dozens of major national brands, programs, radio stations, TV networks, sports franchises and agencies like Solid Talent with Micaela Stepanovich, CESD Imaging — affiliates and Paul Wintner and Jason Helzner, who are both very much responsible for this new path I’m on.”…..WOLB, Baltimore morning show host Larry Young is honored as a recipient of the 2014 Verizon Community Innovator Award.  The company says that Young was the only recipient of the award in the communications field.  “We here at Radio One Inc. are very proud of Larry’s many accomplishments and this shows the great works he has done for the community and how he represents his community.”…..Center Post Holdings announces it is re-branding the Business TalkRadio Network to BizTalkRadio to reflect its new partnership with sister network BizTV.  Center Post Holdings purchased BTRN last October .

rickbubbaclassRick & Bubba Read to 50,000 Kids in 13 States!  Nationally syndicated morning show Rick & Bubba (Rick Burgess and Bill “Bubba” Bussey) recognized the National Education Association’s “Read Across America” day today by using technology to read Dr. SeussGreen Eggs & Ham to an estimated 50,000 students in 800 schools across 13 states.  The SSI-syndicated show has made an annual tradition of creating the “world’s biggest classroom” on this day.  In the photo here, Rick & Bubba are seen on a screen in one of the classrooms taking part in the event.

wachsdominicGoing for Woman of the Year.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs (right) is pictured here with two-time cancer survivor Dominic (left) as Wachs gears up to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Las Vegas.  Wachs was nominated for Woman of the Year so her goal is to raise $20,000 during the campaign that runs from March 21 through May 31.  Wachs tells TALKERS the funds go to cancer research and financial assistance to families with children afflicted with blood cancer.  Listeners can help by going to her website at www.drdaliah.com and hitting the “Fight Blood Cancer” link after March 21.

abcoscars14ABC News Radio at the Oscars.  Just a couple of hours before winning the Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her work in “12 Years a Slave,” last night in Los Angeles, Lupita Nyong’o (right) stops on the red carpet to talk with ABC News Radio’s David Blaustein (left).

Friday, February 28, 2014

| February 28, 2014

salemcommunicationsSalem Communications Posts Q4 2013 Revenue Increase of 3.4%; Broadcast Up 1%.  Digital was the key to Salem Communications’ 2013 fourth quarter revenue increase of 3.4% for the company as a whole.  The broadcast sector was up 1% on revenue of $47.4 million and broadcast makes up about 60% of the company’s revenue.  The company’s publishing sector was flat while internet and e-commerce was up 16.6%.  Salem’s outlook for the first quarter of 2014 projects “total revenue to increase 9% to 11% over the first quarter 2013 total revenue of $55.6 million.  The company is also projecting operating expenses before gains or losses on the sale or disposal of assets, impairments and stock-based compensation expense to increase 13% to 16% as compared to the first quarter of 2013 operating expenses of $48.2 million.  This guidance includes the impact of the hiring of two new senior executives and the financial performance for the recent acquisition of Eagle Publishing.  The guidance for the first quarter contemplates a loss of $0.4 million due to the assumption of some unfavorable contracts that will rapidly unwind and the fact that the first quarter is always a soft quarter in the book publishing business with the big titles being released in the spring and in the fall.”

nielsen logoNielsen Study Ties Station Choice to Buying Behavior.  In a release from Nielsen about its recent major market pilot test, the company says that “for the first time, a connection can be drawn between what consumers listen to on the radio and how they spend.  This solidifies radio’s place as a valuable marketing platform for advertisers and media planners.  The major market pilot test combined proprietary Nielsen data with anonymized panelist credit and debit card purchasing behavior covering more than 24 billion transactions and $2 trillion in annual sales primarily from the retail, travel, digital, restaurant, entertainment, financial services and telecom categories.”  Results from the Dallas market, for example, show that listeners to pop radio spend more per buyer annually on casual dining than those listeners who prefer other formats.  In the same market, rock and alternative listeners spend more per buyer annually in retail locations than listeners who prefer other formats.  News/talk listeners, the study showed, go to the movies more each year that do listeners of other formats.  Nielsen SVP of local media product leadership Farshad Family says, “The ability to determine how radio listeners among different formats like pop, news or rock are spending their dollars creates a unique opportunity for radio broadcasters to make a case for the value of their audience.  We are just beginning to tell the story about the value of radio’s audience.  As we make progress on conducting more links between listening data and purchase data, we will continue to share more insights with the marketplace.”

ordwayglennOrdway’s ‘Big Show Unfiltered’ to Begin Next Month.  Longtime Boston sports talk radio host Glenn Ordway is returning with a daily, 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm program (“Big Show Unfiltered”), which will be heard via his SportstalkBoston.com website and on mobile devices.  “I am so thrilled to once again be talking local sports in my hometown with the best fans in America,” comments Ordway, who presided over “The Big Show” for 27 years on Entercom-owned Boston sports outlet WEEI.  “I look forward to presenting an alternative in the market that will feature the best of the past with some new, innovative elements and voices.  There is no reason to hold anything back anymore – it is all unfiltered.”  The renamed “Big Show Unfiltered” is set to begin in about two weeks (Monday, March 17) and it will include similar components from his WEEI program, such as “The Whiner Line.”  It is believed that down the road, Ordway is planning to have his program air on a terrestrial radio network comprised of New England affiliates.  Boston native Mike Salk, who co-hosted a program on Seattle’s KIRO-AM since 2009, replaced Ordway in afternoon drive on WEEI-FM alongside Michael Holley.  Ordway’s final show on WEEI-FM was in mid-February of last year.

loganleeLogan Exits Shane Media.  Stating on his Facebook page that he thought he’d “spend the rest of my working days in this chair at Shane Media,” Lee Logan says the fiscal realities of the industry have him exiting the consulting company and looking for his next great opportunity.  Logan had been with Shane for the past seven years and was instrumental in assisting Radio One put its all-news format on KROI, Houston “News 92 FM.”

aalderstimFreedom’s Voice Broadcasting to Purchase Dark KPTO, Pocatello for $75K.  The principal of Freedom’s Voice Broadcasting is Tim Aalders who hosts the “Freedom’s Voice” talk show heard on United Broadcasting Company’s KTKK, Salt Lake City.  Ted Austin’s Main Street Broadcasting is the seller for the signal that is currently dark.  Aalders plans to expand the reach of his programming into the southeastern Idaho market.  This is no announced timetable for KPTO going back on the air.

sabowalterIf Weekends Were Weekdays?  Hey, They Are!  That so many talk-formatted stations air infomercials on weekends is not news – nor is the programming-versus-sales paradigm so prevalent at many of these stations.  Media consultant Walter Sabo says a little-known truth in the business is that Saturday midday is an indicative daypart and the second highest Homes Using Radio daypart.  What could this mean to your talk station?  Read Walter Sabo’s latest column here to find out.

hcsmithOdds & Sods. The New York Festivals World’s Best Radio Programs announces the appointment of Michael Freedman, senior vice president and professor at University of Maryland University College to the New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards Advisory Board and GrandJury panel.  NYF executive director Rose Anderson comments, “Michael Freedman brings over 35 years of broadcast journalism experience to his role as Advisory Board and GrandJury member.  His creative vision and reputation within the industry will be a tremendous asset.”…..ESPN O&O WEPN-AM, New York “ESPN Deportes Nueva York” will continue to air New York Mets play-by-play in Spanish as the team and rights owner Clear Channel (English-language games will be heard on WOR) agree to continue the broadcasts through the 2016 season…..Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington announces the addition of an entertainment section to its WTOP.com site with WTOP.com staffer Alicia Lozano named editor for the section.  Director of digital media John Meyer comments, “As WTOP evolves into a digital news operation, we are continuing to dedicate resources to original digital content that will feed not only our website but also our radio and mobile platforms.  The Washington area is rife with local stories concerning the arts, music, movies and more.  Our entertainment section will bring these stories to life online and on-air.”…..Media consultant Holland Cooke (pictured above at left in the WABC, New York studios with host Laura Smith) is appearing on WABC, New York this weekend on “Saturday Café with Laura Smith.”  Cooke, who also blogs at his SurvivalSpeech.com, will offer “9 Tips For YOUR Academy Awards Acceptance Speech.”

herskovitzmediaroundtableThe Media Roundtable.  TALKERS and RadioInfo sales and marketing specialist Al Herskovitz (standing) was a recent speaker at the Media Roundtable in Sarasota, Florida.  His subject was “The Current State of Radio Broadcasting.”  The Media Roundtable conducts a monthly meeting that brings together media executives and active participants from all types of media: radio, TV, cable, internet, newspapers, magazines, publishing, motion pictures, theatre arts.  The purpose of the group is to review current and future news and developments in the media with an interchange of opinions and questions by those in attendance.  The Media Roundtable originated in 1950 in New York City and moved to Florida in 1991 and is unique in the United States.  It currently is chaired and managed by longtime TV executive Irwin Starr.  While there are some 300+ active members, the luncheon sessions are limited to the first 50 who make reservations.  Pictured here with Herskovitz are Starr at far left and media broker Burt Sherwood, second from left.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The Envision Networks-syndicated “America Weekend” talk show featuring Paul Harris, Turi Ryder, Rob Carson and other personalities, is added to the program schedule at Ohana Media Group’s KAST, Astoria, Oregon.

‘Religious Rights’ Legislation Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 24-28.  The story of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s veto of a “religious rights” bill that would have allowed businesses to discriminate against customers based on religious beliefs was the most-talked-about issue of the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act.  Following at #3 was the political unrest in Crimea and Ukraine and the U.S.-Russia tensions accompanying it.  And at #4 was the 2016 presidential race, Hillary Clinton’s prospects and the looming mid-term elections this fall.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

If Weekends were Weekdays?
Hey, they ARE!

| February 28, 2014

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
CEO
sabowalterwriterNEW YORK — No station consulted by Sabo Media has ever had paid-for programming on the weekend. Paid-for programming destroys weekday revenue by suppressing audience and aging demos.

The core issue is that Saturday middays is the second highest Homes Using Radio daypart. By default it’s vital.

There is a little known trend indicator that reveals how vital weekends are to weekdays. In diary markets, Saturday midday is predictive of the next rating period. If Saturday midday is up compared to weekdays, the next -overall- rating period will be up. If it is down, the next -overall- period will be down.

Bart Walsh, a very smart radio manager (formerly WKYS-FM, Washington, DC) taught me that.

Read More

Thursday, February 27, 2014

| February 27, 2014

millerjpatJournal’s WTMJ and ‘The Lake’ Name J. Pat Miller to Marketing Post.  At the Milwaukee properties news/talk WTMJ and adult hits WLWK “94.5 The Lake,” Journal Broadcast Group ups J. Pat Miller to the new position director of marketing & innovation.  The company says that in his new role, he’ll be responsible for the overall marketing activities of WTMJ and WLWK as well as designing and implementing new brand programs.  VP and GMwtmj logo Tom Langmyer comments, “J. Pat has demonstrated his ability to create and develop new revenue streams.  He will focus more of his attention on additional initiatives to grow our business.”  Miller adds, “This new role is vital to our growth and the industry as a whole.  The incredible team here at Journal’s Milwaukee Radio Operations can effortlessly pull off most anything we create.”  Miller is overseeing the promotions department and the company announces that Alison Helf is named promotions manager.

wgwg logoTribune’s WGWG-LP, Chicago Brings McKnight Aboard.  The fledgling sports talk station Tribune’s WGN is building and airing on LMA’d WGWG-LP “The Game 87.7” adds another local sports talk personality to its staff.  Connor McKnight – who’s served with CBS RADIO’s WSCR “The Score” for the past four years – joins “The Game 87.7” for an on-air role.  According to Chicago media writer Robert Feder, McKnight will “make his first appearance Thursday (2/27) on Mark Carman’s show, which airs from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm.”  Feder reports he’ll become part of the daily lineup.  At WSCR, McKnight hosted the “Hit and Run” baseball show as well as having been an anchor and reporter at the station.  Read Feder’s story here.

diminochrisChris Dimino Set to Join ‘680 The Fan’ for ‘Rude Awakening’ Show.  As reported by the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho, former WQXI sports talk personality Chris Dimino will become part of WCNN “680 The Fan” in an on-air capacity as his non-compete clause from WQXI expires on March 17.  Dimino has been working for the station in an off-air capacity since last September but Ho reports he’ll join Christopher Rude and Perry Laurentino on the morning show soon.  Dimino was part of the WQXI morning program – including fellow hosts Steak Shapiro and Nick Cellini – that was fired in the wake of the poorly thought out bit poking fun at former New Orleans Saints player Steve Gleason who is suffering from ALS.  Read Ho’s entire piece here.

nab logoNAB Rejects Elimination of Advertising Tax Deduction.  As part of a comprehensive tax code overhaul proposal being spearheaded by House Ways and Means Chairman David Camp (R-MI), the deduction that businesses can claim for advertising expenses would be eliminated and this oft-considered-but-never-enacted change has the NAB letting legislators know how it feels about it.  NAB EVP of communications Dennis Wharton states, “NAB strongly opposes any job-killing proposal that would limit the ability of thousands of large and small businesses from fully deducting their annual advertising expenses.  Advertising on local radio and television stations is a key driver of the American economy – indeed, a recent study found local broadcast advertising generates $1.05 trillion in GDP and supports 1.48 million jobs.  NAB will work with lawmakers and other stakeholders to ensure the advertising tax deduction continues to create economic prosperity and well-paying jobs.”  Since ad deduction elimination is just one part of a comprehensive tax overhaul proposal, it’s difficult to say how it would affect a company’s bottom line in the long run.  Camp has stated his goal is to simplify the tax code – not to increase anyone’s tax burden – and there are other proposed changes that promise to help the bottom line of corporate and individual taxpayers.  This is an election year so it’s unlikely there will be any action on this front any time soon.

clyburnmignonFCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn Defends CIN; Implies It’s Misunderstood.  During a speech at Washington, DC’s Media Institute on Wednesday (2/26), FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn defended the controversial Critical Information Needs (CIN) study that would have researchers quizzing journalists and managers about how they choose news stories and information for dissemination to the public.  Her speech came the day after Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) promised legislation to put the FCC’s study to rest for good, citing its potential intrusion into First Amendment areas and its scope being beyond the purview of the Commission.  Clyburn explained that the Commission needs to understand the markets it regulates.  She said that she would never be a part of anything that seeks to chill free speech or shape news gathering and that the goal was to “gather data and other information about whether there are any market entry barriers, preventing local communities from receiving important information…I am about facilitating ownership and opportunities and making sound decisions about our most critical industries based on solid research and not rhetoric.”  Still, critics of the study argue that neither Clyburn nor FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler have adequately explained the connection between interviewing news people about story selection policy and barriers to station ownership for minorities.

blackburnvalerieValerie Blackburn to Step Down at CBS RADIO Los Angeles.  The word from Los Angeles is Valerie Blackburn – currently serving as controller for the CBS RADIO Los Angeles cluster and general manager of news/talk KFWB (residing in the KFWB license trust) – is resigning from her positions and is planning to take some time away from radio and work to travel and be with family and friends.  Her exit will not be immediate and it’s assumed CBS is already working on finding her replacement.

schultzAZSchultz Honored by Arizona Progressives.  Nationally syndicated talk show host and MSNBC personality Ed Schultz is pictured here speaking at the annual Arizona Advocacy Network dinner on Saturday, February 22.  Schultz was honored by the group for his work on key progressive issues and he addressed the attendees.  He was clearly in the right state at the right time with the controversy over the Arizona religious freedom bill such a hot-button issue. (Photo: Josselyn Berry)

farberericanewRAB: Radio’s Digital Revenue Expected to Rise 22%.  That’s from the just-released Benchmarking: Local Radio Stations’ Online Revenues report from Borrell Associates and the Radio Advertising Bureau.  The report states that digital revenues went up 15% in 2013 and the total figure for 2014 could be as high as $520 million.  Some figures from this year’s report: the average radio station brought in $166,490 in digital advertising – about 3% of its total revenue; some large-market stations report making millions; the average revenue for four-station clusters is approaching $750,000.  The data for the study is culled from three sources: ad revenue reported by the stations, local business ad spending, and a survey of radio managers.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber states, “We’re experiencing year-over-year, double-digit growth in radio; and to truly maximize this revenue stream this survey continues to provide us with areas to improve upon and ultimately grow our overall revenue share.  Most notably, sales managers are looking for continued training for their sales staffs and a better understanding of the digital buying community.  The RAB is poised to help in this area through our professional development programs and outreach.”

millerstephanieOdds & Sods.  Talk show host Stephanie Miller‘s “Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour” hits Fort Lauderdale, Florida Saturday, March 1.  The progressive talker, whose show has played in theaters to sold-out crowds across the country, is appearing at the Parker Playhouse  along with John Fugelsang, Carlos Alazraqui, special panel guest Judy Tenuta and more surprises…..“SportsRadio 94” WIP-FM, Philadelphia is presenting the “Great Birds Debate” remote broadcast today at Chickie’s and Pete’s in South Philadelphia.  The station says it is one of the few times all year that the WIP wiplogoairstaff is on the same stage together.   Personalities Angelo Cataldi, Rhea Hughes, Michael Barkann, Ike Reese, Anthony Gargano, four-time champion Rob Ellis (also a member of the CBS 3 Sports Team), Josh Innes, Howard Eskin, CBS 3 Sports Director Beasley Reece, and Philadelphia Eagles insider Dave Spadaro will all be present to discuss and debate questions about the Eagles present and future.  The event is free and open to the public…..At Detroit urban talker WCHB, John Mason leaves that Radio One outlet masonjohnto take over the morning slot at sister urban AC WDMK where Reach Media’s Tom Joyner has been airing.  Joyner moves to mornings at WCHB and that bumps talk host Mildred Gaddis from AMs to afternoon drive in Mason’s old slot…..A couple of notes from SiriusXM: U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will appear on the next installment of the “SiriusXM Leading Ladies” series, “candid conversations with influential and inspiring women who have forged their own paths to leadership and success.”  SiriusXM P.O.T.U.S. host and veteran White House correspondent Julie Mason will host the program on March 4 before a live audience at The Newseum in Washington, D.C.  In addition to the one-on-one conversation between Leader Pelosi and Mason, the one-hour town hall style event will have an interactive element featuring questions from an audience of SiriusXM listeners, female students from D.C. universities and Newseum members.  Also from SiriusXM, sports talk host Casey Stern re-ups with the satcaster for his daily hosting spot on the MLB Network Radio channel, as well as for expanded duties on additional SiriusXM sports channels.  Stern will continue to host “Inside Pitch” alongside his co-host, former Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals general manager Jim Bowden, every weekday afternoon…..Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York is bringing the world of fashion to its airwaves as it takes a look back at NY Fashion Week with an exclusive interview with Kenneth Cole.  Hosted by Cristina Cuomo, editor of Manhattan magazine, from the Modern Luxury arm of Cumulus Media, the interview digs into Cole’s ambitions and inspirations.  He also shares details of his groundbreaking advertising campaigns, views of fashion, social media, and much more.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb says, “It was a real honor to work with our sister publication Manhattan and Cristina Cuomo to bring the iconic designer to WABC Radio.  We are already making plans for this fall’s Fashion Week.”

bfoabryantgroupBroadcasters Foundation of America Raises More Than $200,000 at ‘Golden Mike’ Event.  At Monday evening’s black tie 2014 Golden Mike Award Dinner honoring BMI president Del Bryant, the Broadcasters Foundation of America raised more than $200,000 for its mission of helping broadcasters in need.  More than 200 television, radio, and music industry executives and celebrities were in attendance.  The evening was hosted by CBS NewsBob Schieffer.  Presenters for the evening were longtime personal and professional friends of Bryant’s:  Michael Bolton, performer and BMI songwriter; Jack Sander, former chairman of the BMI board of directors; and Sandra Lee, internationally acclaimed culinary and home style expert and host of four highly rated programs on the Food Network and the Cooking Channel, plus HGTV.  Legendary singer, songwriter, musician, and actor Kris Kristofferson performed, as did songwriter Brenda Russell, who sang her top 10 hit “Piano In The Dark,” and “Get Here.”  Dolly Parton opened a very moving video that provided a glimpse into Bryant’s amazing life — from his early years growing up as the son of songwriters Boudleaux and Felice Bryant through his incredible 42-year career at BMI where he championed the works of some of the biggest songwriters in entertainment.  Pictured above are (from l-r): Jim Thompson (president of the Broadcasters Foundation), Michael Bolton, Sandra Lee, Del Bryant, Bryant’s son Thaddeus, Kris Kristofferson, Brenda Russell, Bob Schieffer, and Phil Lombardo (chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation).

Brewer Vetoes ‘Religious Rights’ Bill, ObamaCare Criticism, U.S.-Russia Tensions Over Crimea-Ukraine, Immigration Legislation, Bitcoin Controversy, and Hillary Clinton in 2016 Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/26).  Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoes legislation that would have allowed businesses to refuse service to some based on religious beliefs; scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the political tensions between the U.S. and Russia over the strife in Ukraine and Crimea; new immigration legislation that includes an amnesty component; the bitcoin movement and recent events questioning its value; and speculation about Hillary Clinton running for president in 2016 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

It’s a Political Ad War

| February 26, 2014

Al Herskovitz
H&H Communications
President

BRADENTON, Fla. –  Sales departments in many markets – and corporate accounting departments across the industry – are aware how important political advertising is as a revenue stream.   The every-other-year nature of the political ad cycle plays havoc with annual sales goals but the money that is out there during political season is worth going after and is not just for major or large market, highly rated stations or stations in traditional “battleground” states or districts.  Stations of all sizes and corporate affiliation can try to take advantage of some of the tactics used in bringing in political money.  Here are some pointers for stations and shows that might have previously believed that they are either too small or “unconnected” to play in this valuable arena.

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5 Things to Do Today to Improve PPM Performance

| February 26, 2014

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
Chairman
NEW YORK — Most talk stations are scheduled rather than programmed.  When I talk to talent they always say, “No one has taught me anything.  No coaching.”
When I meet with most GMs their common complaint is, “The PD doesn’t meet with the talent.”

These five upgrades to your on-air work will improve your PPM performance and it’s what I would hound you about if I was your program director:

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

| February 26, 2014

waldengregCongressman Greg Walden Intends to Kill FCC’s Critical Information Needs Study.  It wouldn’t be out of line to suggest Oregon Congressman Greg Walden doesn’t trust the FCC not to step over the line regarding its Critical Information Needs study.  The controversial study would send researchers into the field to determine how stations and news personnel are choosing and presenting news and information and whether the conclusions reached somehowfccnew create a barrier to entry into station ownership for minorities.  Last week, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler backed off the study as initially created and he has said the Commission has no intention of regulating the content of journalists or broadcasters.  Walden is promising to craft legislation to end the CIN study permanently.  He says “The very existence of this CIN study is an affront to the First Amendment and should have never been proposed in the first place.  As someone with a journalism degree, I was alarmed from the moment I saw it, which is why we wrote to Chairman Wheeler in December to urge him to stop the study.  To date, Chairman Wheeler has insisted upon only making small tweaks, and what he has proposed to do isn’t enough.  The study should be eradicated completely.  The potential for violation of the First Amendment is exceptionally egregious, but it is also concerning that the commission believes it can prescribe what ‘critical information needs’ are in communities across the country.”

wnymlogoSalem Names Joe Piscopo Permanent Morning Host at WNYM, New York.  Former “Saturday Night Live” cast member, comic and actor Joe Piscopo has been sitting in hosting the morning show on Salem Communications’ WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer” since the beginning of the year.  Now the company makes it official as he’s named morning host of “Piscopo in the Morning.”  He is joined on the air by morningpiscopojoe show producer Frank Morano and newsman Al Gatullo.  Salem VP/director of spoken word format Phil Boyce says, “One of the best things I get to do in this job is find talented people who have accomplished something on one stage and are ready to take on another one.  Joe is extremely talented on the radio, bringing a level of entertainment to mix with the information that you seldom get to hear.  This is a very connected morning show in the nation’s top market.”  Piscopo has been involved in a variety of projects since he left SNL, and still does a number of nationwide tours with former cast members. In addition to numerous movie appearances, and comedy club gigs, he is soon to be featured in a national reality TV show for a major network.  He comments, “I have my college degree in broadcasting.  I remain a dedicated student of the most intimate medium, radio.  And with legendary broadcast giants like GM Jerry Crowley and current day guru of all radio personalities past and present, Phil Boyce, this is the positively perfect storm of talk radio.  I honestly believe that this is not only the reinvention, renaissance and revitalization of AM radio, (not to mention a totally new and exciting journey of my career) but the best thing to happen to NY radio since David Sarnoff.”  Crowley says, “We have had a huge positive reaction to Joe, both from listeners and advertisers, since he joined us. This is going to be a true home run.”

sabowalterImprove Your PPM Performance.  Media consultant Walter Sabo offers five quick tips for improving your talk radio station’s performance in PPM (or frankly, any) markets.  Sabo writes that one of the biggest gripes from general managers at stations which he consults is that the program director doesn’t coach the talent.  That can lead to bad habits.  To read his quick five-point prescription for getting on the track to better audience engagement, click here.

casonbrittneyWFNZ, Charlotte’s Brittney Cason Tells Chilling Tale of Narrow Escape from Human Trafficking Ring.  There’s no word how far the FBI is in its investigation of what happened – or almost happened – to media personality and WFNZ, Charlotte air talent Brittney Cason, but as the former NFL cheerleader writes in a column on XOJane.com, her dashed dream to cover the Sochi Olympics turned out to be a probable life-saving event.  You can read her story here, but here’s a summary: After being recruited to cover the Winter Games by whom Cason thought was a legitimate agent, Cason discovered through her own dogged pursuit of answers to questions that bugged her that the man pretending to be an agent was likely involved in a human trafficking ring operating around the Sochi Games.  Cason notes that one of the most common pretenses for abducting women for trafficking purposes is a modeling gig.  Cason’s experience in the broadcasting and modeling business may have saved her life.

reckfordlauraCape Cod Broadcasting Names Reckford News Director.  General manager Beverly Tilden announces that Cape Cod Broadcasting is naming Laura Reckford news director for the company.  Tilden says, “Cape Cod Broadcasting has been a trusted resource for local Cape Cod news and information.  Laura’s experience and leadership will assure that we continue that tradition as we grow and expand our news offerings.”  Reckford most recently worked in the communications & development department at Housing Assistance Corporation.  She is also the founder of the new online magazine CapeCodWave.com where she currently is editor and publisher.  Cape Cod Broadcasting says it will partner with CapeCodWave.com as part of its development of its website CapeCod.com.  She has worked at Cape Cod Life as managing editor and served with The Falmouth Enterprise in the same capacity.  She began her media career in New York City at Entertainment Weekly, Good Housekeeping, Viacom and 20th Century Fox.  Reckman comments, “After working in film, television, magazines, and newspapers, I am excited to be working in radio, a medium I have long admired.  In addition, I am looking forward to bringing local journalism to CapeCod.com and also enhancing that website with the magazine-style journalism of Cape Cod Wave.”

herskovitzalPolitical Ad Season Is for Everyone.  Media sales maven Al Herskovitz, president of H-and-H Broadcasting, writes about the already-upon-us political advertising season and what radio stations can do to get their fair share of the pie.  Herskovitz notes that political is a busy category at major and large market stations but that smaller market stations and shows that may have considered themselves too small or “unconnected” can follow some strategies to make sure they are exhausting all possible sources of revenue in this category.  Read Herskovitz’s column here.

deanmichaelwDean Adds Nightly Show to GCN Lineup.  “Freedom Feens” co-host Michael W. Dean is hosting his own nightly show distributed by Genesis Communications Network beginning Monday, March 10.  In addition to the weekly “Freedom Feens” program he hosts with Neema Vedadi, “Michael Dean After Dark” will air from 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight PT.  Dean says the program will feature him and a rotating cast of co-hosts for the two-hour show.

komandotvWeighing in on Net Neutrality.  Nationally syndicated talk show host, columnist and digital expert Kim Komando (right) is seen here in this screen shot during an appearance on the Fox Business Network’s “The Willis Report” hosted by Gerri Willis (left).  During the segment, Komando discussed the net neutrality issue and a potential deal between Netflix and AT&T for faster download speeds.

Arizona Religious Rights Bill, ObamaCare Criticism, Hagel Army Reduction Plan, Defense of Marriage Laws Controversy, Bitcoin Exchange Troubles, and Ukraine Turmoil-Russian Influence Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/25).  The controversy over the Arizona bill that would allow business owners to discriminate against customers based on their own religious beliefs; the plan of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to downsize the Army to its lowest level since after WWII; the edict from Attorney General Eric Holder that state attorneys general do not have to enforce “defense of marriage” laws; the question of the solvency of bitcoin exchange Mt.Gox; and the political turmoil in the Ukraine and Russia’s influence in the region were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

| February 25, 2014

levinmarkMark Levin to Be Honored at CPAC.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Mark Levin will receive the inaugural Andrew Breitbart Defender of the First Amendment Award at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday, March 6.  According to a story on Breitbart.com’s Big Journalism, Breitbart News editor-in-chief Alex Marlow will introduce Citizens United president David Bossie, who will present the award to Levin along with Breitbart News president and CEO Larry Solov and Breitbart News executive chairman Stephen K. Bannon.  Solov says, “Mark Levin fearlessly and passionately stands up for conservatives and everyday Americans whose voices the mainstream press often tries to marginalize or silence.  And like Andrew Breitbart, Levin has a way of cutting through the mainstream press’s filter with his words and is never afraid to have arrows slung at him by the institutional left on the front lines of the fight.”  David Bossie comments, “Levin is not only a friend, but supports and defends the vision of our Founding Fathers on his nationally syndicated radio program daily.  There is nobody better to receive this inaugural award and I am happy that he will be joining us at CPAC to accept it.”  Levin’s show is syndicated by Cumulus Media Networks.

kkfn logoProgramming Additions at LFM’s Denver Sports Outlets.  At Lincoln Financial Media’s Denver cluster, changes are taking place beginning Monday, March 3 that will put Fox Sports Radio/DirecTV’s Dan Patrick on KKFN “104.3 The Fan,” moving over from sister sports station KEPN “1600 The Zone.”  To make room, Sandy Clough leaves the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot where Patrick will air and joins Drew Goodman and Scott Hastings for the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show.  Program director Nate Lundy states, “Like many in Denver, I’m a big fan of Dan Patrick.  As we take the next step in our evolution, it only makes sense to bring the number one national personality to ‘The Fan.’  His perspective and top-level guests will further solidify our commitment to the best sports talk in town.”  KKFN is also debuting a new evening show called “The Fan Late Night with Ryan Edwards and Shawn Drotar” that is airing from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  Lundy adds, “Sandy Clough has been part of The Fan’s success for over 17 years and putting him alongside two other outstanding Denver sports veterans will make for a great show for our listeners.  ‘The Fan Late Night’ will give fans of Denver’s four major pro sports teams a chance to sound off as part of their postgame experience.”  Lundy says a new lineup on KEPN will be announced in the near future as Patrick’s show transitions to “104.3 The Fan.”

mhnrbapanelMichael Harrison Speaks at NRB 2014 in Nashville.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (c) participated as a keynote speaker yesterday afternoon (2/24) at the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) conference in Nashville in a general session focused on “Values in American Popular Media.”  The presentation included an opening address by Harrison followed by a spirited panel discussion in which he was joined by DeVon Franklin, SVP of production, Columbia Tristar Pictures (l) and Russell Moore, president, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (r).  Harrison used the platform as an opportunity to espouse his personal and professional philosophy that the combination of vigilant community service and high ethical standards equate to good and successful business strategy in the media industries – especially radio.  Harrison told the conference, “Radio of all formats – not just Christian specifically – should never miss an opportunity to be a hero and serve the true needs of humanity within its local, national and even global market reach.  Why wait for a hurricane or natural disaster to suddenly go into emergency mode?  Why limit our potential to just being the ‘Sterno’ of media?  Day-to-day life provides a nonstop series of emergencies, pain, fear, sorrow and loss on a very human scale that we have the power to calm and alleviate in addition to providing our regular menus of music and talk entertainment, information and discussion.  If we do this with sincerity and authenticity on a consistent level, the communities we serve will amply reward us with both ratings and financial support and the self-fulfilling prophecy about radio being a dying medium will be forestalled for decades to come.”  Harrison warned the crowd that “Christian and religious broadcasting has a head start on fulfilling this role because it is woven into the basic fabric of its service – however, in its passion and zeal to compete in the same marketplace of ideas and commerce co-occupied by secular media, it should be careful not to fall into the trap of stifling the First Amendment rights of dissenting voices and lifestyles nor succumb to the present-day widespread practice to seeking victory at the expense of truth for commercial and political advantage.”

meyersstevenSteven Meyers Heads Digital Strategy at Greater Media.  This is a promotion for Steven Meyers who joined Greater Media Philadelphia in 2012 as digital manager.  Now, in this new director of digital strategy role for all of Greater Media, he will be responsible for helping to grow Greater Media’s audiences and revenue by developing new digital platforms that deepen listener engagement while providing new opportunities to the company’s commercial partners.  He comments, “Greater Media understands that ‘digital’ isn’t just a separate line of business, but a foundational component of our brand experiences and client value.  I’m very excited to become a larger part of shaping that vision.”  Greater Media CEO Peter Smyth adds, “We look forward to having Steve share his valuable knowledge and insight with our teams as we continue to grow and drive our company’s interactive efforts into the future.”

fornicolajasonHubbard’s WFED, Washington Names Fornicola Director of Custom Media.  Coming to Hubbard’s Washington, DC talk and federal news outlet WFED is Jason Fornicola in the new position, director of custom media.  Fornicola recently worked as communications specialist for the American Federation of Government Employees.  He also hosted the weekly AFGE radio program “Inside Government.”  In a statement, director of federal sales Ralph Renzi comments, “We have worked with Jason for seven years and are impressed with his experience and success in journalism, as well as his innovative outreach.  Our investment in providing greater resources for our clients will help us solve more complex marketing objectives.”

edisonresearchEdison Research to Present ‘Infinite Dial 2014’ Next Week.  In a teaser for the free webinar from Edison Research and new partner Triton Digital, the companies report that data from this year’s study shows “31% of Americans 12+ report using the internet radio service Pandora on a monthly basis, up from 27% one year ago.  iHeartRadio is used by 9% monthly, while iTunes Radio, which debuted in 2013, comes in third with 8% monthly usage, followed by 6% using Spotify.”  The webinar takes place Wednesday,tritondigital March 5 at 2:00 pm ET.  Edison says this is the 22nd study in “The Infinite Dial” series, one of the longest-running research series covering consumer use of media, technology and digital platforms.  The webinar will be co-presented by Edison Research VP of strategy Tom Webster, and Triton Digital COO Mike Agovino.  Topics covered will include:  An update on Internet Audio usage, including new data on iTunes Radio, Beats Music, and other services; recent growth in podcasting; the growth in smartphone ownership, and how it has changed consumer behavior; updates on social media usage for services including Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest and more; and the connected car, and in-car usage of digital media.

alexanderbarbraFinancial Talk Host Convicted in Fraud Case.  A federal jury convicted Barbra Alexander Monterey, California on 28 counts of conspiracy and fraud for her role in a Ponzi scheme.  Sixty-four-year-old Alexander worked with APS Funding partner Michael Swanson to host “Money Dots” on Clear Channel-owned KION, Monterey and other outlets.  Prosecutors had alleged Alexander and Swanson bilked investors of some $4 million.  Alexander is expected to get a lengthy prison term.  Swanson was previously convicted.

pregnantNew Maternity Leave Policy for Cumulus Announced.  Radio giant Cumulus Media announces a change to its human resources policy by adding “the implementation of an industry-leading maternity leave policy providing new mothers with six weeks of fully paid time off in addition to the paid time off and disabilitycumulus logo benefits currently provided to employees.”  The company says the policy takes effect immediately and is available to all full-time, non-commission employees with at least one year of service.  Chairman and CEO Lew Dickey states, “Cumulus continues to grow and innovate thanks to the dedication of our colleagues across the country.  We are committed to providing benefits that recognize employees’ health and family needs, and providing fully paid leave to new mothers after they give birth is the right thing to do.”

nabcrystalawardNAB Crystal Award Finalists Announced.  The 50 finalists for the 2014 Crystal Awards have been announced and that list can be found here.  The National Association of Broadcasters states that since 1987, the NAB Crystal Radio Awards have recognized radio stations for their outstanding year-round commitment to community service.  Winners will be announced and the finalists will be honored at the NAB Radio Luncheon.  The Luncheon will be held Tuesday, April 8 during the 2014 NAB Show in Las Vegas.  During the luncheon, Yahoo tech columnist David Pogue will present a keynote address and popular national radio personality, television host and best-selling author Steve Harvey will be inducted into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame.

kfwbcargiveawayThis Brand New Car Is No Mirage.  Well, actually it is.  It’s a 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage and it’s now the property of Anita Gowing of Whittier, California (right).  She was the winner of the KFWB, Los Angeles giveaway that took place at South Coast Mitsubishi on Sunday, February 23.  Gowing is seen reacting as her key starts the car.  Inside the car with her is KFWB afternoon news co-anchor Maggie McKay (left).  As part of the contest, 124 listeners won a pair of tickets to an upcoming LA Clippers game and got a key for a chance to win the car.

ObamaCare Criticism, NFL N-word Penalty, Arizona Religious Rights Bill, Ukraine Unrest-Russian Influence, Hagel’s Proposed Military Cuts, and Winter Weather Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/24).  Scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the NFL’s new rule penalizing teams for players’ use of the n-word during games; the Arizona bill that would allow businesses to discriminate for religious reasons; the political turmoil in Ukraine and the influence of Putin’s Russia; Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s proposed shrinking of the Army to its smallest size in 74 years; and a new round of winter weather for the East were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, February 24, 2014

| February 24, 2014

espnupstateEntercom Adds Sports Talker ‘ESPN Upstate’ to Greenville Brands.  In the Greenville, South Carolina market, Entercom is taking the WORD-AM and WYRD-AM signals and pairing them with Spartanburg, South Carolina translator W246BU and the HD-3 channel of WFBC and creating the new sports talk brand “ESPN Upstate.”  The station will carry the full ESPN Radio lineup except for the afternoon drive daypart which is being hosted by local personality Greg McKinney.  According to the station, McKinney “has done play-by-play for Greenville High School and national high school powerhouses Byrnes and Dorman High Schools.  He served on the football and basketball broadcast teams for Wofford College.  McKinney was inducted into the Wofford College Hall of Fame as recognition for his contributions to their play-by-play broadcasts.  He currently anchors ‘College Football Today,’ on ‘93.3 The Planet,’ prior to each Clemson football game.  Vice president and market manager Steve Sinicropi comments, “ESPN is the biggest name in sports and adding the most powerful brand in sports makes our dominant cluster of radio stations even stronger.  This past year we have had tremendous success in the sports arena with Clemson football play-by-play, Greg McKinney anchoring our ‘College Football Today’ pregame show, and Carolina Panthers football with our ‘Carolina Kick Off’ pre-game show hosted by The Rise Guys.  Adding ESPN is another major step as Entercom Upstate becomes THE place for sports radio in the market.”

dicarojulieTribune Moves DiCaro to Radio Operations.  In a move reported by Chicagoland Radio and Media, Julie DiCaro moves from her community manager role at the Chicago Tribune’s ChicagoNow site to a new post two floors up at Tribune Tower to WGN Radio where she’s now handling social media for news/talk WGN, online project WGN.fm and new sports talker WGWG “The Game 87.7.”  She will also oversee writing sports blogs for the stations and have an on-air role at WGWG.  DiCaro is an attorney who gave up practicing criminal and family law to pursue her passion of writing about sports.  She founded the Chicago Cubs-intensive blog A League of Her Own as well as the network of female blog writers titled Aerys Sports Network.

toryjohnCFRB, Toronto Talk Host John Tory to Run for Mayor.  Add former CFRB “The Live Drive” talk host John Tory to the growing list of people challenging colorful and embattled Mayor Rob Ford for the Toronto mayoral seat.  Tory has been host of “The Live Drive” since the fall of 2009. He was president and CEO of Rogers Communications from 1995 to 1999 (he is still a member of the Rogers board of directors) and has worked in the offices of notable Canadian politicians including former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.  Tory is resigning from his show to run for office and program director Mike Bendixen is quoted in a story on the “Newstalk 1010” website saying, “We would love John to stick around but…the station supports him in his endeavours in running for political office.”  As for the station’s treatment of him, Bendixen adds, “We’re gonna be just as hard on him as we would be on Rob Ford, as we would be with David Soknacki and Karen Stintz and Olivia Chow and whoever else decides to run.”

sokoljasenSokol to Host Late Morning Show on WAKR, Akron.  Another local program is added to the schedule at Rubber City Radio news/talker WAKR, Akron as news anchor and reporter Jasen Sokol begins hosting a two-hour show airing at 10:00 am today (2/24).  Sokol became part of the station’s news department after working at Kent State-owned WKSU, Kent while attending as a Walton D. Clarke Graduate Fellow.  Vice president of information media for Rubber City Ed Esposito comments, “We are proud to present the next generation of talent from Northeast Ohio.  Jasen is a true pro, with experience during his college career.  He’s smart, asks the questions that need to be asked but most importantly has the northeast Ohio sensibility and sensitivity WAKR listeners have come to expect.”

hunnicuttclayClear Channel Promotes Clay Hunnicutt to EVP and GM of National Programming Platforms.  This is a bump up from his most recent post as EVP of programming for the company’s largest markets.  According to a statement, in this new post, Hunnicutt will “work with [president of National Programming Platforms Tom] Poleman to oversee all aspects of the National Programming Platforms team, which develops and manages Clear Channel’s national programming ­ all on-air and digital content across the company’s radio stations and websites. He will work closely with Clear Channel’s senior and executive vice presidents of programming to emphasize the connection between Clearcclogo Channel’s 850 local radio stations and the National Programming Platforms assets, such as live events like the iHeartRadio Music Festival, iHeartRadio Ultimate Pool Party, iHeartRadio Country Festival and iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour, while also leveraging groups like the brand management in-house format team.  He will manage a team of programmers focused on sales integration with station programming , as well as the programming operations center and the Premium Choice network to ensure all content is executed and seamlessly integrated for Clear Channel’s national programming and advertising initiatives.  Hunnicutt will also continue as the company-wide brand manager for Clear Channel’s country stations.”  Poleman comments, “Clay has an unmatched connection with our local markets and knows how to link our national capabilities to our local assets.  He has a great understanding of the day-to-day programming of our local radio stations and what it takes to drive ratings and revenue.  His expertise will ensure our national platforms are of benefit to all of our radio stations nationwide, which gives us a huge competitive advantage.”

westbrianExecutive Changes at Nielsen.  Two executive moves at Nielsen are announced as chief financial officer Brian West is upped to chief operating officer and Jamere Jackson joins the company as CFO from his most recent post with General Electric.  The changes are effective March 10.  West takes over for Mitchell Habib who “moves to the next phase of his career, after a transition period.”  Nielsen CEO Mitch Barns says, “Our company has never been in a better place, due in large measure to Brian’s vision, leadership, and execution over the last seven years.  Brian is a trusted colleague and an exceptional business partner, with a proven track record of value creation.  As a key member of our leadership team, he has played an integral role in defining our growth strategy, allocating capital and delivering value to our shareholders.  His deep understanding of Nielsen’s people, operations, and clients well positions him to drive value in his new role as COO.”

morganpiersOdds & Sods.  The end is near for “Piers Morgan Tonight” on CNNThe New York Times columnist David Carr reports that the date of the final program is not certain but that the continued poor ratings are the reason.  Morgan tells Carr, “It’s been a painful period and lately we have taken a bath in the ratings…Look, I am a British guy debating American cultural issues, including guns, which has been very polarizing, and there is no doubt that there are many in the audience who are tired of me banging on about it.”  He says the show has “run its course and [CNN president Jeff istookernestZucker] and I have been talking for some time about different ways of using me.”…..Chisholm Trail Broadcasting’s KZLS – recently flipped to talk radio as “1640 The Eagle” – adds Ernest Istook’s syndicated talk show to the program quiversrobinschedule.  Istook represented the 5th Congressional District in Oklahoma for 14 years before leaving congress and pursuing other interests including broadcasting.  He says he intends to add more outlets for his program as it grows…..At Cumulus Media’s sports talk KFNZ, Salt Lake City, program director and air personality Tim Montemayor moves from the afternoon drive show where he was co-hosting with Kyle Gunther to the morning drive daypart…..Howard Stern show personality Robin Quivers was honored for Outstanding Literary Work by the NAACP at its “Image Awards” on Saturday, February 22.  Quivers recently published The Vegucation of Robin: How Real Food Saved My Life (Avery 2013).

SCBA colorSCBA Blog Introduces Auto Focus Report.  The latest blog from the Southern California Broadcasters Association and president Thom Callahan has been published and in this edition, Callahan introduces what it calls “an ambitious SCBA initiative to help regional auto dealer associations reach more customers more profitably by simply using more radio.”  Callahan comments, “The auto industry in Southern California and the nation, is facing a challenging year ahead with record new model introductions as well as a loomingcallahanthom factory incentive battle among most manufacturers.  This spells trouble for dealer profitability and makes the need to re-evaluate traditional radio/TV spending levels as an immediate focus.”  The SCBA Auto Focus Report will be “a detailed look at dealer association ad spending levels for radio and TV and compare those budgets to actual sales by dealership.  Using verified Polk Auto Data to document sales by dealership, the SCBA Auto Focus Report will create custom solutions and recommendations for each participating dealer association.”  Callahan adds, “Rather than just waving a ‘radio is great’ flag, we are approaching this project from a business point of view.  We have a compelling story to tell about cost of sales, profitability, and bringing substantive value to radio’s relationship with the auto industry.”

wearableiHeartRadio to Be Featured on Samsung Gear 2.  In the very near future when you’re doing your best Dick Tracy impersonation, your cool, new wrist device will allow you to hear your favorite music and talk programming as Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio is being featured on the new Samsung Gear 2 (pictured here).  The wrist-worn Gear 2 is a new device that keeps Samsung phone users connected with their phones and allows them to receive “Quick Glance notifications, such as texts, emails and phone calls, all on your wrist.”  Now, users will be able to control their iHeartRadio app operations from their wrist, as well.  The industry is calling this new device a “wearable” for obvious reasons.  CC president of digital Brian Lakamp says, “iHeartRadio is dedicated to providing even more access to the music, news and entertainment that our listeners love.  Wearables are an emerging access point for music fans, and Clear Channel continues to make iHeartRadio available everywhere our users are listening.  The sleek design and interface of the Samsung Gear 2 lends itself well to the iHeartRadio user experience and we believe it will be popular among our listeners.”

tradupuziNational Religious Broadcasters Conference Underway.  In Nashville, the National Religious Broadcasters Association conference is taking place and one of the companies with a presence is Salem Radio Networks.  Pictured here is SRN VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (left) presenting and SRN clock to Israeli minister of tourism Dr. Uzi Landau (right).  Tradup reports that Landau spoke about reporting truthfully on world events and warned of Iran’s atomic weapons program.  The conference is billed as an event that networks thousands of Christian communicators, from program producers to authors, pastors to engineers, directors to vendors presenting outstanding internationally known speakers and musicians and giving attendees the opportunity to attend numerous educational sessions on radio, TV, film, church media, internet and leadership, and receive helpful industry training.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is keynoting a two-hour session today (2/24).

Kasem Press Conference Video

| February 21, 2014


Friday, February 21, 2014

| February 21, 2014

clearchannelCC Goal: ‘#1 Multi-Platform Media Company in Revenue and Earnings.’  Radio giant Clear Channel reiterates its corporate goal at yesterday’s Q4 conference call through president and CFO Rich Bressler who says the deals and partnerships it has entered into over the past 12 months are all geared toward that goal of being the “#1 multi-platform media company.”  Much of the focus on the Media + Enterainment sector was about iHeartRadio and Bressler spoke glowingly about it, saying, “iHeartRadio reached 43 million registered users by the end of 2013, climbing 84% year-over-year.  To put that growth in perspective, iHeartRadio surpassed its 20 million registered user milestone faster than any other digital service and reached 40 million faster than Facebook, Twitter or Pandora, second only to Instagram.  Importantly,iheartradio iHeartRadio’s total listening hours went up 29% over the year, with mobile representing 54% of iHeartRadio’s total listening hours during the fourth quarter of 2013.  Our brand awareness climbed nearly 70%, slightly behind Pandora but above Spotify.  We also continue to lead with Facebook engagement, having over 6.7 million likes for our iHeartRadio page, surpassing Pandora, Spotify and even Netflix.”  The large number of promotional events the company has produced has affected the expense side of the ledger.  Bressler reported, “Operating expenses increased $80 million year-over-year, driven mainly by continued investment on national sales and programming capabilities, special events, promotional costs, compensation and higher streaming and performance royalty expenses during 2013 due to increased listenership on iHeartRadio platform…Expenses were up $36 million due mainly to increased costs associated with our special events and higher streaming and performance royalty expenses.”   Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript.  Members can read the whole call here.

wscr logoMore Moves in Chicago Sports Talk World.  As tipped by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Chicago White Sox television broadcaster Steve Stone is signed by CBS RADIO to be WSCR’s go-to baseball expert this season.  Feder writes that Stone – who worked for “The Score” before joining Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM for baseball correspondent duties last year – was also being wooed by Tribune’s sports start-up WGWG “The Game 87.7″ but since WSCR is the flagship for White Sox games, CBS was able to prevent Stone from working for a direct competitor.  Speaking of Tribune’s WGWG, the station is preparing to announce that former Cub Todd Hollandsworth – who’s worked for the MLB Network and Comcast Sports Net Chicago – will join “The Game 87.7” as its baseball expert.  Read Feder’s column here.

kasempresserKerri Kasem Helps Introduce Bill to Provide Access to Sick Parents.  Yesterday, RadioInfo reported that radio personality Kerri Kasem – daughter of legend Casey Kasem – would appear with California Assemblyman Mike Gatto at a press conference on Thursday to introduce legislation that would give judges the ability to allow adult children to see sick to dying parents in cases where they’ve been kept away in the past.  Industry watchers are aware of the public battle Kasem’s children have been waging with his second wife, Jean Kasem, over visitation with Kasem who is suffering from advanced Parkinson’s disease.  Kasem appeared at Los Angeles Superior Court yesterday to bring attention to the introduction of the bill.  She commented, “It’s not just me – the daughter of a famous person.  There are so many families, so many sons and daughters going through what I’m going through right now.”  Kasem said she used the power of her radio show to talk about it and received a lot of feedback from people in similar situations and that’s part of her motivation for working with Gatto on this legislation.  “No child deserves to go through what I’m going through and no loving parent deserves to be left alone to die with nobody by his side.”   You can view video from the press conference here.  Working as district chief of staff for Assemblyman Gatto is radio business veteran Jason Insalaco who’s been involved in the programming and agent ends of the industry during his career.

hardquestion logo“The Hard Question with Blanquita Cullum” Launches on TalkersRadio This Weekend.  TalkersRadio – the experimental talk radio platform operated by TALKERS magazine at www.talkers.com/talkersradio — announces the launch this weekend (2/22) of “The Hard Question with Blanquita Cullum.”  Hosted by veteran talk show host, Washington-insider, and former member of the United States Broadcasting Board of Governors, Blanquita Cullum, the one-hour-per-week show will cover the hottest and most-talkersradio logopressing economic, environmental and political issues facing the country from a non-partisan, non-ideological perspective.  Cullum tells TALKERS, “I’ve been in this business too long to mess around playing the old right-versus-left game that is quickly getting us nowhere.  It is time to get serious – especially having this marvelous platform upon which to perform – and dust off the old journalism skills.  Just as the name implies, I will be asking big shots and policy makers from the worlds of energy, finance and government the hard questions.  None of that easy, puff-piece stuff.  This show is going to get down, dirty and real!”  The new program will air each Saturday morning at 10:00 am ET with repeats scheduled throughout the week.

krg logoKRG Appoints Chenault-Qawwee to VP of Health Care Strategies.  Radio rep firm Katz Radio Group (a Clear Channel subsidiary) announces the creation of a new department to “take full advantage of radio’s massive reach and scale in order to deliver compelling health care media solutions for advertisers.”  The new Health Care Strategies group, headed by vice president LaTonya Chenault-Qawwee, will “provide a higher level of focus and expertise in the health care category.”  The company says that in her new role, Chenault-Qawwee will “oversee all sales operations, developing strategic plans for advertisers by leveraging KRG’s unmatched reach, research and expertise in developing innovative media solutions.  She will work closely with the nation’s leading health care companies, as well as federal and state exchanges, to incorporate the latest health care reform needs into high-impact advertising packages. This new position underlines KRG’s continued commitment to be the leading advocate for radio, and to further expand its business by providing advertisers hyper-focused expertise in specific categories.”

knx logoOdds & Sods.  The Washington Times announces it has partnered with California-based BT Software’s Kaliki Audio Newsstand to provide content for the app that allows users to stream news and talk content.  The newspaper’s editor John Solomon says the radio lineup will launch in early March with five daily shows and several weekly shows, anchored by the midday program “Live from The Washington Times” starring Andy Parks…..CBS RADIO’s all-news KNX, Los Angeles announces the next stop on its “KNX in Your Neighborhood” remote series will be South Orange County on Friday, March 14.  The station says its “award-winning news team will explore O.C.’s southernmost communities, including Mission Viejo, San Clemente, Aliso Viejo, Lake Forest, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Juan Capistrano, Laguna Hills and Dana Point.  Civic and business leaders from these areas will be featured throughout the day live from the Mission Grill in San Juan Capistrano…..CRN Digital Talk Radio debuts a new show called “Wall to Wald Sports,” a hybrid of sports and politics.  The show is hosted by Ronnie Wald and Fred Wallin and airs Fridays at 1:00 pm ET.  The company says, “Wald and Wallin discuss sports in what they term their own ‘novel’ way before shifting to politics – an area in which they differ significantly.  The duo says that ‘to Wald, Ronald Reagan is a hero – but to Wallin, he was a bad actor.’”

ppmunitFinal Round of January PPM Data Released.  PPM data from the fourth and final group of 12 markets for the January 2014 period (January 2-29) has been released by Nielsen Audio.  Those markets include: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all the (subscriber) numbers here.  Managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian offers his “Ten Takeaways” from the report at RadioInfo.com here.

ObamaCare Criticism Remains at Top of Talkers TenTM.  The scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act remained the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of February 17-21.  Coming in at #2 on this week’s chart was the executive power controversy surrounding President Obama.  At #3 was a tie between a possible Hillary Clinton run for president in 2016 and the infighting taking place in the Republican Party followed by the winter weather and the global warming issue at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

| February 20, 2014

stephanbarnSyndicated Host Doug Stephan Suffers Devastating Loss in Dairy Farm Disaster.  Early yesterday morning (2/19) Eastleigh Farm – located in the suburban Boston community of Framingham, Massachusetts – suffered a winter-related natural disaster in which one of the barn roofs collapsed under the weight of snow trapping, killing and injuring some of the dairy cows at the historic facility.  The farm is owned by nationally syndicated talk show host Doug Stephan, whose long-running morning program “Good Day” is heard on hundreds of stations across the country and is consistently ranked one of the most-listened-to talk shows in the business.  According to reports from the scene (pictured here where a cow is seen being hoisted to safety), at least three cows have died and many others are injured.  The trauma to the cows is immeasurable.  Dairy cows are very sensitive and this has potentially long-term consequences for the health of the farm and the remaining herd.  Stephan is somewhat of a local folk hero in the “Metrowest” region of Massachusetts where the Eastleigh Farm – already beleaguered by economic issues challenging small family farmers across America – has been engaged in a high-profilestephandoug struggle to exist and continue to bring healthy, raw locally raised dairy products to the community.  Eastleigh Farm is the last historical dairy land in Framingham.  A fund-raiser has been launched to help with the formidable veterinarian bills, the care of the cows and the rebuilding of the barn.  For information about the fundraiser, please click here.  To see local video news coverage of the story, please click here.  Ironically, Doug Stephan recently launched a new, weekly one-hour show on TALKERS magazine’s experimental talk radio platform, TalkersRadio titled, “American Family Farmer with Doug Stephan,” designed to bring information, inspiration and a political voice to the hard-pressed, small farmers battling the powerful interests of the mega-corporate-government-supported farm industrial complex that has been systematically squeezing them out of existence.  The show airs with a new installment on TalkersRadio every Saturday morning at 8:00 am ET with repeats throughout the week at 11:00 am ET.  Clearly, this disaster and its aftermath will provide Stephan with a tremendous amount of compelling material and content for the show. (Image: WCVB-TV, Boston)

kasemkerriRadio’s Kerri Kasem to Appear with California Assemblyman Mike Gatto to Introduce Parental Access Legislation.  Industry pros and the radio-loving public have been following the tragic story of radio legend Casey Kasem and his second wife’s refusal to allow Kasem’s adult children to visit him as his health deteriorates due to advanced Parkinson’s disease.  Now a California legislator is introducing a bill that would “provide reasonable accommodations for adult children who want to visit their parents, and provide children the right to know when an ailing parent’s health becomes worse or if the parent dies.  The proposed legislation seeks to protect children from previous marriages from being denied access to a kasemcaseyparent by a parent’s future spouse or child.”  State Assemblyman Mike Gatto will introduce the bill and “Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx” co-host Kerri Kasem, daughter of Casey from his first marriage, will appear alongside Gatto when that happens today at 2:30 pm PT at the Los Angeles Superior Court.  In explaining the reason for the bill, Gatto’s office states, “Currently, adult children are not afforded the legal right to visit an ailing parent.  With divorce and remarriage becoming more prevalent, there is a greater possibility of conflict between a subsequent spouse and an ailing parent’s children from a previous marriage.  These conflicts can become exacerbated when a parent becomes incapacitated or dies.  In some cases, elderly parents are not even informed that their children wish to see them.  Such conflicts are very painful for those involved and can mean that certain adult children do not get to see their parent(s) before the parent(s) pass away.”

cclogoClear Channel Issues Q4 and 2013 Revenue Numbers; CCM+E Up 3%.  The parent company of Clear Channel Media + Entertainment – Clear Channel Media Holdings LLC – is reporting figures for the fourth quarter of 2013 and for the whole of 2013.  It reports revenue for the CCM+E division was up 3% — 8% excluding political advertising – and it notes that the reason was “due primarily to stronger national and digital advertising, as well as promotional and event sponsorship with the expansion of the Jingle Ball tour, iHeartRadio Music Festival and album release events.”  For all of 2013 CCM+E was up 2%.  The company states that “increases across multiple advertising categories were led by the telecommunications, retail and entertainment advertising markets.  Digital revenue benefited from higher total listening hours, which were up 29%, and from investments in a digital sales organization.  Promotional and event sponsorships also moved higher, driven by special events, such as the iHeartRadio Music Festival, Jingle Ball tour, iHeartRadio Ultimate Pool Party and album release events.”

wgwg logoTribune’s WGWG, Chicago Grabs Finfer for Daily Role.  The Tribune sports talk format airing on WGWG-LP at 87.7 FM adds another local talent as Ben Finfer jumps aboard from CBS RADIO’s crosstown WSCR.  Finfer served as producer for the late morning McNeil & Spiegel show before joining Tribune’s new “The Game 87.7” on Wednesday.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that he’ll be part of the midday shows hosted by David Kaplan and Howard Griffith and Alex Quigley.  While all of the media eyes may be on the new guy in town, WSCR and ESPN O&O WMVP have a healthy head start on WGWG.  Data from Nielsen Audio’s January PPM indicates WSCR enjoyed a 5.0 share with Men 25-54 and WMVP racked up a 3.6 share, according to Feder.

obriencolleenColleen O’Brien Joins KIRO-FM, Seattle for Mornings.  At Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle, former KXLY-TV, Spokane news anchor Colleen O’Brien is named morning drive news anchor, filling the role held by Linda Thomas prior to her exit from the station to join Starbucks as managing editor for online news and content strategy.  O’Brien is no stranger to Seattle or the radio side of the business.  Prior to her work in Spokane, O’Brien served at crosstown KOMO-AM/FM.

imusdonThe 4th Annual ‘Imus on Broadway’ Fundraiser ‘Opens’ Monday.  For the fourth year in a row, Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York teams up with “The Great White Way” to present “Imus on Broadway” at the Hard Rock Café in Times Square.  The evening’s event – a benefit for the Imus Ranch for Kids with Cancer – is a one-night-only production hosted by New York Post theatre columnist Michael Riedel and features performances from the casts of: “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder,” “After Midnight,” “Avenue Q,” “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,” “Chicago,” “Mamma Mia,” “Motown the Musical,” “Kinky Boots,” “La Soiree,” “The Lion King,” “Pippin,” “Phantom of the Opera,” and “Wicked.”

ObamaCare Criticism, Ukraine Unrest, Sochi Olympics, ‘Smart Gun’ Bill, Jay Leno-‘Tonight Show’ Controversy, and Hillary in 2016 Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/19).  Scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the violence and political unrest in the Ukraine; the Winter Games in Sochi; the Democratic proposal for new guns to only fire in the hand of the owner; the accusation by a former ‘Tonight Show’ writer that Jay Leno was ousted for picking on President Obama; and the prospect of Hillary Clinton running for president in 2016 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

| February 19, 2014

cumulus logoCumulus Posts Positive Q4 2013 Revenue News; Dickey Pleased with ‘Core Performance.’  The fourth quarter of 2013 and the year as a whole were seen in a positive light by Cumulus Media CEO Lew Dickey during yesterday’s investor conference call.  Dickey noted at the outset that he was happy that the company was able to meet and, in some aspects, exceed its guidance through “core performance without any impact of” mergers and acquisitions.  He also says the company achieved its goals despite 2012 political comps of over $20 million.  The company reports Q4 net revenue up 4.5% over the same period in 2013.  For the year of 2013, Cumulus net revenue rose 2.4%.  Following up on previous dickeylewconference calls in which he highlighted his expectations for sports and traffic, Dickey said CBS Sports Radio, NBC Sports Radio, NFL and NCAA play-by-play are “hitting their stride as national content brands.  Both sports and traffic are currently exceeding expectations for 2014 and are taking share in their respective markets.  And will again be substantial growth drivers as we expected them to be.  We are very encouraged by the level of interest by both the advertisers and affiliates in these products, which is a testament to the high-quality nature of the content and again the efficacy of broadcast radio advertising on sports and traffic sponsorships respectively.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript.  Members can read the whole call here.

wor logoImus: Scott Shannon Will Get the Job.  The Scott Shannon watch continues as the next radio home of the former, longtime WPLJ, New York morning co-host remains the subject of speculation in New York and across the country.  This morning, WABC-based Don Imus was heard saying, “I’m told Scott Shannon will get the [WOR] job and I’m very happy about that.”  Imus seemed sincere about his statement.  TALKERS reported yesterday that the chatter has Shannon landing at either Clear Channel’s news/talk WOR for morning drive (where the company just ended the Elliot Segal simulcast from “DC101”) or at one of CBS RADIO’s music FMs – either classic hits WCBS-FM or CHR WNOW.

anthonyrobClear Channel Promotes Rob Anthony in New England.  Programmer Rob Anthony is named to the operations manager and program director position at Clear Channel’s Providence cluster that includes rock WHJY, news/talk WHJJ, classic hits WWBB “B101,” and hot AC WSNE “93.3 The Coast.”  Anthony has been serving as regional programming manager for New England based out of the company’s Springfield, Massachusetts cluster.  He will retain that title which has him overseeing programming at the Springfield, Worcester, and Manchester and Portsmouth, New Hampshire station groups.  Anthony says, “I can’t even begin to express my excitement for the opportunity to work with such heritage brands as ‘Coast 93.3,’ ‘B 101,’ ‘NewsRadio 920’ and the mighty ‘94 HJY.’  This is truly an honor, and I can’t wait to get to work.  Thank you to Clear Channel’s programming team and [market president] Rhonda Lapham for all their continued support and guidance.”

fccnewFCC to Rework Internet Regulation Rules; Republican Commissioners Question Move.  FCC Commissioner Tom Wheeler has announced the Commission will revisit the “net neutrality” issue by “proposing rules that will meet the court’s test for preventing improper blocking of and discrimination among internet traffic, ensuring genuine transparency in how internet service providers manage traffic, and enhancing competition.  Preserving the internet as an open platform for innovation and expression while providing certainty and predictability in the marketplace is an important responsibility of this agency.”  Wheeler states that the recent D.C. Circuit Court ruling affirms Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 giving “the FCC authority to encourage broadband deployment by, among other things, removing barriers to infrastructure deployment, encouraging innovation, and promoting competition.  The court recognized the importance of ensuring that so-called ‘edge providers,’ those that use the network to deliver goods and services, can reach people who use the internet.” Republican Commissioner Mike O’Reilly disagrees, saying, “I am deeply concerned by the announcement that the FCC will begin considering new ways to regulate the internet.  As I have said before, my view is that section 706 does not provide any affirmative regulatory authority.  We should all fear that this provision ultimately may be used not just to regulate broadband providers, but eventually edge providers.”  At the same time, Commissioner Ajit Pai adds, “When Congress told us to encourage broadband deployment by removing barriers to infrastructure investment, it also established the policy of the United States to ‘preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that presently exists for the Internet . . . unfettered by Federal or State regulation.’ Whatever the Commission does as it moves forward, it must take that statutory command to heart.  The internet was free and open before the FCC adopted net neutrality rules.  It remains free and open today.  Net neutrality has always been a solution in search of a problem.”

topicpulse logoLDR Interactive Launches TopicPulse; Partners with TTWN for Sales.  Interactive broadcast technology firm LDR Interactive announces the launch of an upgraded version of its TopicPulse, what it calls “a real-time social media monitoring system for newsrooms and content producers.”  LDR Interactive explains: “TopicPulse scans social media including Twitter and Facebook, local message boards, comment boards, and news sources to track trending topics in a local market.  In addition to tracking local and national topics, producers can also access trending video and images.  The system then produces a user-friendly, real-time report that newsrooms can use to drive local, regional, and national content.”  LDR CEO Daniel Anstandig states, “TopicPulse was inspired by feedback from the world’s leading broadcasters, who said they were in critical need of a better way to track and monitor social media to produce news content.  With those needs in mind, we built and optimized TopicPulse for broadcast and digital newsrooms and released the system on beta to LDR’s media partners in 2012.  Since then, we’ve seen tremendous momentum and positive results from media companies in all market sizes.”  In addition to tracking trends, TopicPulse identifies which primary demo (gender and age group) is most inclined to engage with the topic on social media.  Newsrooms also have access to a “glance” screen with trending topics for the brand’s target audience, which can be utilized as a “heads up display” of the market.  A Tweet Map feature showcases the market’s most popular tweets and hashtags on a local map, enabling producers to create hyper-local content based on up-to-the-minute social trends.  LDR Interactive is partnering with Total Traffic & Weather Network (TTWN) as the TopicPulse national sales partner.  The TTWN sales team will serve as the major force behind local market integration of the platform in newsrooms across the U.S.

larsonlarsLars Larson Show Added to CRN Digital Talk Lineup.  The Portland, Oregon-based Lars Larson program is added to the program schedule at CRN Digital Talk Radio airing at 7:00 pm ET.  Larson hosts a local show on Alpha Broadcasting’s KXL, Portland in addition to a separate nationally syndicated program through Compass Media Networks.  CRN will carry the national program.  CRN president and CEO Michael Horn says, “Lars adds another unique, passionate voice to the CRN schedule.  He’s a newsman, a reporter, and a host – so he brings extra doses of preparation and personality to his show.”

wileyrichardFormer FCC Chair Richard Wiley to Receive BFoA’s Lowry Mays Award.  The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces that Richard E. Wiley, chairman of Wiley Rein LLP and a former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, will receive the 2014 Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award to be presented during The Broadcasters Foundation of America Breakfast on Wednesday, April 9, at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas during the NAB Show.  Wiley heads the 80-attorney communications practice.  He served as chairman of the FCC from 1974 to 1977.  Wiley played a pivotal role in the development of HDTV in this country, serving for nine years as chairman of the FCC’s Advisory Committee on Advanced Television Service from 1987 to 1995.  He represents a number of major communications-oriented organizations, including Verizon, AT&T, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, Motorola, CBS, Belo, Gannett, Sirius/XM, Emmis, Gray Television, and LG.  Wiley has been recognized by Washingtonian magazine as one of Washington’s 30 “Superstar” lawyers for his role as “the unofficial sixth commissioner” of the FCC (2011) and consistently listed as one of Washington’s “Best Lawyers” and “Top Lawyers” in the magazine.  He was named the “most prominent telecommunications lawyer and lobbyist in Washington” by Broadcasting & Cable in 2005, and he was honored with the National Association of Broadcasters’ Distinguished Service Award in 2002.

ostapavlinaTeen Radio Host Wins Student Category Gracie.  The Alliance for Women in Media announces the winners of the 2014 Gracie Awards in the local, online, student and public categories and 16-year-old Florida radio talk host Pavlina Osta wins in the student category Outstanding Anchor – News or News Magazine for her “Pavlina’s Kidz Place Radio Show.”  The Port Orange, Florida resident has been hosting a kids-targeted radio program since she was 11 and boasts an impressive list of celebrity interviews including: Katie Couric, Ed Sheeran, Carly Rae Jepsen, Sick Puppies, A Great Big World, and Steve Forbes, to name just a few.  Now she can add Gracie Award winner to her resume!

Obama Executive Power Controversy, Winter Weather/Global Warming Debate, ObamaCare Criticism, Sochi Olympics, Ukrainian Unrest, and N. Korea Human Rights Abuses Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/18).  GOP response to President Obama’s use of executive power; the onslaught of winter weather in much of the country and the debate over the global warming issue; the continuing scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the Winter Olympic games in Sochi; the protests and political unrest in the Ukraine; and the global community’s concern over growing evidence of human rights abuses were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

| February 18, 2014

wor logoWhat Are Clear Channel’s Plans for AM Drive at WOR?  With the departure of “DC101” morning host Elliot Segal from the air at Clear Channel news/talk WOR, New York has industry watchers speculating about the company’s next move for the daypart.  Mark Simone was in for Elliot today (2/18).segalelliot  Segal told his DC audience that he was not moving to New York after all and the company issued a statement saying, “After much thought and discussion it’s clear that we’d have to make significant changes to ensure the show resonates as successfully with the NY audience as it does with Elliot’s DC audience.  And given Elliot’s loyalty to his DC fans, we support his decision to continue to broadcast from Washington.”  This change is not that surprising.  To many, the Elliot move seemed an odd pairing and some industry watchers tell TALKERS they thought – even with the chatter about Elliot moving to NYC – it was a temporary move.  It seems Clear Channel wants to shake up the AM drive show and not go with another “typical conservative” morning host on WOR but the company also appears to want to go with a younger and local program.  There are rumors that recently “retired from WPLJ” personality Scott Shannon is talking with WOR but at first blush, that would also seem to be an unusual hire.

987buzzerSaga Launches Sports Talker in Ithaca.  The new station – branded “98.7 The Buzzer” – is airing on translator W254 BF licensed to Ithaca and features programming from CBS Sports Radio Network.  It will also serve as an affiliate for Buffalo Bills football and for Cornell University Men’s basketball.  Chet Osadchey is the vice president and market manager for Saga’s Cayuga Radio Group and he tells the Central New York Business Journal that this is an “excellent” expansion of sports in the Ithaca market.  “We are particularly excited about the Jim Rome show.  For several years, we have received numerous requests to carry this show and now we are able to fulfill that goal.  Jim’s show is the most interactive, contemporary, and authentic in the sports radio arena.”

atrn logoAmerica’s Talk Radio Network to Debut. The start date for the programming being offered by new syndicator America’s Talk Radio Network is March 1 and vice president of affiliations and programming Jon Patch (formerly of Business TalkRadio Network) says, “America’s Talk Radio Network programming features full-service solutions for our hosts and transactional, educational, entertaining and exclusive content for our partnering stations.”  The operation is based in Tampa Bay and programming is delivered via Cumulus XDS.  Patch adds, “I’ve been working in radio for approximately 30 years and I look forward to working with our variety of unique programs and affiliate stations servicing the needs of our partners on a daily basis.”  At start-up, the network is offering four programs: “My Cool Inventions” featuring Akos Jankura “The Solutionist” and John Cremeans “The Doctor of Shopology”; “Talkin’ Pets” with Jon Patch; a morning program called “Sunrise America”; and “Akos The Solutionist.”  For more information visit www.americastalkradionetwork.com.

conwaysimonOdds & Sods.  News/talk personality Simon Conway – heard daily at Clear Channel’s WHO, Des Moines in afternoon drive – is doing double duty this week as he fills in on the morning drive program all this week and next Monday at the company’s WFLF, Orlando “News Talk WFLA.”…..Tennis great John McEnroe is getting expanded duties with ESPN on both radio and TV that will see him work outside the world of tennis as well.  As part of his radio duties, he’ll work on ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning, O&O WEPN-FM, New York “ESPN New York 98.7” and make appearances on ESPN2’s Keith Olbermann program.

kxl logoCool Job Opportunity.  America’s most successful FM news/talk station needs America’s best news anchor/reporter.  This is a rare opening at Alpha Broadcasting’s KXL in Portland, Oregon.  We need someone who can talk to an FM listener with AM credibility.  We need someone who can write and use sound to tell the story.  Is this you?  Minimum 5 years in the broadcast industry required.  Please send your resume and sample of your on air work to:   Rebecca.marshall@kxl.com.  No phone calls please.  Must pass a background investigation. Alpha Broadcasting is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

GOP Infighting, Hillary in 2016, ObamaCare Criticism, Sochi Olympics, Tenn. VW Workers Vote Down Union Move, and Winter Weather/Global Warming Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/17).  Solidarity problems within the Republican Party; speculation about Hillary Clinton running for president in 2016; the continuing scrutiny of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and its effects; the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia; the failure of the UAW to convince VW plant workers in Tennessee to go union; and harsh winter weather and the debate over global warming were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, February 17, 2014

| February 17, 2014

wgwg logoWGN-Programmed FM Debuts Today as Sports Talk ‘The Game 87.7.’  Chicago media writer Robert Feder has the scoop following Friday’s announcement that Tribune’s WGN, Chicago will LMA WKQX-LP at 87.7 beginning today.  Last week Feder tipped us that Jonathon Brandmeier would do mornings when Tribune begins programming the station, but now he informs us the station will be thewgnlogo market’s first FM sports talk station branded “The Game 87.7.”  In addition to Brandmeier in mornings, the rest of the lineup will be: current WGN evening sports host David Kaplan and Chicago Tribune sports columnist David Haugh in middays, followed by WGN’s Alex Quigley and Big Ten Network’s Howard Griffith hosting an early afternoon show.  Former WMVP personality Harry Teinowitz and Spike Manton will host late afternoons with WGN’s Mark Carman hosting the evening show.  Overnights will feature programming from NBC Sports Radio Network.  WGN’s Jordan Bernfield will serve as full-time sports reporter.  Making the move over to the FM from WGN, Kaplan is giving up his “Sports Central” show on WGN and late night host Pete McMurray is bumped into the 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm slot.  Read Feder’s entire column here.

vitalejill‘Flirty Flipper’ Returns to WABC to Produce ‘Curtis & Kuby.’  It’s a return to the studios at Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York for Jill Vitale (a.k.a. Flirty Flipper) who served as Sean Hannity’s producer beginning in 1999 when he was a local NYC-only show.  During her time there she also produced John Gambling’s program before leaving in 2011.  Now, she returns to produce the midday show featuring Curtis Sliwa and Ron Kuby.

kevt logoTucson Talk Personality Jim Parisi to LMA KEVT.  Market talk radio pro Jim Parisi is taking over the operation of One Mart Corp.-owned KEVT under an LMA and is re-branding the former Spanish music station as news/talk radio outlet “Power Talk 1210.”  Tucson Weekly reports Parisi will serve as general manager in addition to hosting the 7:00 am to 10:00 am program.  Other personalities will include Providence, Rhode Island-based Steve Kass for 5:00 am to 7:00 am and John C. Scott for the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm program.  Fox Sports Radio Network programming will air in evenings and on weekends.  Parisi tells the paper, “I’ve come to a point that the only way to be happy is doing what I believe in.  I’m not doing anything that doesn’t reflect how I truly feel, so it will be the most genuine station I can be a part of.  We should have more local programming than most anyone in town.  We want to be as local, but as budget conscious, as we can so that we don’t go away.”

knbrlogoKNBR, San Francisco Takes Beating Over Olympics Coverage.  When Cumulus Media-owned sports talk outlet KNBR, San Francisco cut away from its coverage of the U.S.A.-Russia men’s hockey game during the shoot-out (which the U.S.A won!) to air “Hooked on Golf,” critics took to the internet to blast the station for the move.  The sports media critique site AwfulAnnouncing called the station out and posted a series of Tweets from fellow critics.  One Tweet came in from a Ryan Covay, who appears to be a KNBR staffer, saying, “I’m @ryancovay at home, not at station.  I imagine it’s because there are specific shows that need to air.  Apologies.”  It’s not been confirmed by KNBR but it appears the “Hooked on Golf” show is a brokered show that broadcasts live from a golf course in San Mateo.  That could explain the decision to cut away.

johnsondaniXtreMEDIA Expands Dani Johnson Show to Daily Format.  More than two years ago, the Dani Johnson show debuted on weekends on premier affiliate WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer.”  Now, the program moves to a daily format beginning today (2/17) and Johnson’s program will be available seven days per week.  XtreMEDIA states that “Johnson’s brand of ‘No Excuses, Just Results’ is now heard/seen in more than 66 million television householdsXtreMedialogo nationally, heard in more than 112 terrestrial radio markets, cleared on SiriusXM, and streamed/accessed by hundreds of thousands of social media users on her wesbite, social media pages, and her proprietary smartphone app.  And now she is accessed seven days a week.”  Johnson adds, “I can’t believe how much fun I’m having doing a daily show.  My true desire is to continue to help push people to achieve results in all areas of their lives, so that they can take back control, build financial resources, build stable marriages and families, and ultimately feed orphans and help those who need it most.”  XtreMEDIA CEO Kevin McCullough comments, “Dani connects with people — especially in this hyper-partisan environment — in ways that few people can.  The beauty of her show is that it doesn’t matter where you are on the spectrum of success, if you apply exactly what she shows you, you achieve better results.”

nrb logoMichael Harrison to Speak in Keynote Session at National Religious Broadcasters Convention.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison will serve as a keynote speaker next week at the NRB International Christian Media Convention 2014 in Nashville.  The event, which runs February 22-25 and is preceded by a one-day Digital Media Summit on February 21, is billed as an event that networks thousands of Christian communicators, from program producers to authors, pastors to engineers, directors to vendors presenting outstanding internationally known speakers and musicians and giving attendees the opportunity to attend numerous educational sessions on radio, TV, film, church media, internet and leadership, and receive helpful industry training.  Harrison, whose two-hour session will take place on Monday, February 24 at 2:00 pm, states, “I am really looking forward to participating in this event and spending time getting to better know people from the faith-based sector of the radio and media industries.  It will certainly give me the opportunity to embellish one of the key points of my own personal view of what radio needs to do to be a viable and productive entity in the digital era – and that is to never miss any opportunity to be a hero…to literally serve the community… to spread hope and inspiration…to talk about the many crisis and challenges facing people in everyday life and help them cope.  I recommend this course of action to all broadcasters – but this is a community where it is already proven to be a winning strategy.  I am honored to be a part of this event.”  The conference will take place at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville.  For more information please click here.

rothmanloriOdds & Sods.  On the Fox Business News cable TV simulcast of Cumulus Media NetworksDon Imus show, Lori Rothman is the new business news update reporter.  TVNewser reports that Rothman is moving into the morning role after serving as part of the early-afternoon “Markets Now” crew.  She’s joining FBN’s Connell McShane and Dagen McDowell…..Clear Channel names Brent Henslee operations manager for the company’s six-station Macon, Georgia cluster that includes sports talk WPLA “Fox Sports 1670” and all-comedy WIBB…..KCRW, Santa Monica personality Matt Miller announces he will run as a Democrat for the seat in Congress being vacated by the retiring Henry Waxman.  Miller is co-host of “Left, Right & Center” on the public radio station.  He’s also a columnist for the Washington Post.  Several Democrats are competing in the primary for the party’s nomination to run in the general election.

hendersonangeloDetroit Media Personality Angelo Henderson Dead at 51.  WCHB, Detroit talk show host Angelo Henderson passed away on Saturday (2/15) at age 51 after an illness.  The Radio One Detroit cluster issued the following statement on the WCHB website: “We at Radio One Detroit are devastated by unexpected news today.  We regretfully must confirm the passing of one of our on-air icons Angelo B. Henderson.  Henderson has been with Radio One Detroit for 15 years and was the host of the popular talk show “Your Voice with Angelo Henderson” on Newstalk AM1200/99.9FM WCHB for the past 6 years.”  Vice president and general manager Kathy Stinehour adds, “Angelo was a strong pillar in the community, I am saddened by his untimely passing and he will be greatly missed by the entire Detroit community and his Radio One Detroit family.”  In addition to his broadcasting work Henderson was a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer.

Friday, February 14, 2014

| February 14, 2014

fccnewFCC Appears to Back Off of Newsroom and Issues Study.  When it was announced last May, the proposed Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs the Federal Communications Commission would be undertaking rankled many lawmakers and broadcasters as it was perceived as an intrusion into broadcasters’ First Amendment rights in addition to being outside the bounds of the FCC’s jurisdiction.  Now, according to a piece in Ad Week, the FCC appears to be backing off, or at least re-defining, the research intended to “study entry barriers” to informationpaiajit media to determine if there are small businesses unable to break into broadcasting.  This would have been determined by quizzing news broadcasters about how they choose their stories.  Last year, some GOP lawmakers termed it an “end-around” the Fairness Doctrine and heavily criticized the study as well as the jurisdiction of the FCC to getting into content matters.  Earlier this week FCC commissioner Ajit Pai penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal arguing that the study is not necessary to filing its required report to Congress every three years on eliminating barriers to entry in the communications industry.  He writes, “This claim is peculiar.  How can the news judgments made by editors and station managers impede small businesses from entering the broadcast industry?  And why does the CIN (critical information needs) study include newspapers when the FCC has no authority to regulate print media?”  Whether or not the first field study slated for Columbia, South Carolina this spring gets underway as proposed or not remains to be seen.  Ad Week reports it was told by an FCC rep that the agency “has no intention of interfering in the coverage and editorial choices that journalists make.  We’re closely reviewing the proposed research design to determine if an alternative approach is merited.”

wgnlogoWGN to Program WKQX 87.7 Beginning Monday.  As tipped by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Tribune’s WGN will begin an LMA operation of WKQX-LP at 87.7 in Chicago starting Monday, February 17.  Feder reports that under terms of the LMA with license holder Venture Technologies Group, the deal commences Monday atbrandmeierjonathon 1:02 pm on the 17th, a minute after Cumulus Media drops the alternative rock simulcast with 101.1 FM.  President and general manager Jimmy de Castro tells Feder, “We’re outgrowing WGN with great talent.  Everything we have said we wanted to do is based on the strength of WGN and our personalities.  It’s all about getting the best spoken-word talent and getting more bandwidth.”  Vice president of creative content for WGN, Todd Manley, will announce a full lineup soon but mornings will begin with Jonathon Brandmeier who’s been doing a morning program on WGN.fm since last September.  Read Feder’s full story here.

hendriephilPhil Hendrie Exits AM/FM Radio.  Talk radio host and satirist Phil Hendrie announces he’s leaving the production and syndication of his daily AM/FM radio program after March 14 in order to fully focus on his podcast and other media ventures.  He’ll continue doing “The World of Phil Hendrie Show” on TuneIn, iTunes, the Sideshow Network and www.philhendrieshow.com.  He says that “Due to the tremendous positive growth this past year owing directly to his fans,” he’s decided that is the area where he should focus all his energies.  He adds, “The digital world is where we have made our living the last seven years so as radio attempts to find itself we’ll put our energy in our digital and online product, our animation project, my one man show and of course TV and film opportunities wherever they may occur.  To our fans, we haven’t gone anywhere!  Our daily show will continue” on digital platforms.

callahangerryGerry Callahan Remark Irks Dunkin’ Donuts; Company Cancels Ads on WEEI Affiliate Stations.  The Boston Globe is reporting that Canton, Massachusetts-based Dunkin’ Donuts has cancelled ad buys on stations in the region airing WEEI, Boston programming after WEEI morning co-host Gerry Callahan made a “disparaging comment,” presumably about the company’s donuts.  In the Globe piece, Entercom Boston VP and marketdunkin logo manager Phil Zachary says Callahan admits he “screwed up badly” with the off-the-cuff remark and that Zachary understands how Dunkin’ Donuts feels.  “You just don’t call somebody’s baby ‘ugly,’ even if it’s unintentional.”  Zachary wouldn’t say what Callahan’s words were.  He says the ad buy was not a lot of money but that’s not the point.  Dunkin’ Donuts has separate ad buys for WEEI, Boston, Callahan’s endorsements and WEEI’s O&O affiliate stations in Providence, Worcester and Springfield.  The Boston deal ended in January before Callahan’s comment.  Dunkin’ Donuts has been a long-time advertiser with WEEI, especially on Red Sox broadcasts which are ready to resume in a few months.  How the incident will affect that remains to be seen.

hhnewsteaserTALKERS to Publish 2014 Heavy Hundred on Monday, March 3.  The 2014 installment of one of TALKERS magazine’s most popular and, perhaps, controversial annual features – “The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America” – is being readied for publication Monday, March 3, 2014.  Also known as “The Heavy Hundred” the ranked listing of 100 hosts and talent teams from around the country is based on a number of both quantitative and qualitative criteria and is determined by collective analysis of the TALKERS editorial board.  It includes local and national hosts from a variety of genres falling under the umbrella of “general” talk or “news/talk” radio covering politics, health, finance, relationships, consumer tech, popular culture and a variety of specialties. (TALKERS launched a special and separate Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk two years ago.)  Hosts on the list are selected from those working at the time of its publication on platforms that include commercial and public AM/FM radio as well as satellite radio (internet-only talk hosts are ranked by TALKERS in an annual feature titled “The Frontier Fifty”).   According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “It is no secret that economic restraints facing the industry these past few years have contributed to shrinking the number of individuals working on the air across the nation.  Although the 2014 edition of the Heavy Hundred will, of course, include many familiar names, the need for new blood, fresh voices and potential up and comers has never been greater.  Readers will find this year’s roster will feature a number of new names and first-timers, which is quite exciting!”  Companies interested in sponsoring segments of this widely-discussed and read (by hundreds of thousands of broadcasting industry members and consumers/listeners) feature should call 413-565-5413.

radiomercuryawardsRadio Mercury Awards Final-Round Judging Panel Announced. Chief judge Matt Eastwood helped assemble the jury for the 23rd annual Radio Mercury Awards.  The panel represents radio’s top advertising categories including automotive, communications, financial services, packaged goods, over-the-counter, retail, spirits, and quick-serve restaurants.  Final-round judging panel consists of JWT New York group creative director Jill Applebaum; BBDO New York executive creative director Chris Beresford-Hill; Cog NYC founder Wayne Best; Grupo Gallegos chief creative officer Pablo Buffagni; Young & Rubicam Group New York chief creative officer Jim Elliott; DDB Chicago executive vice president/executive creative director Mark Gross; Publicis New York executive creative director Joe Johnson; and Deutsch New York chief creative officer Kerry Keenan.  “This list is a ‘who’s who’ of well-established creative executives, and perennial award-winning agencies with a long history of creating exceptional, noteworthy creative executions,” remarks Eastwood, who is chief creative officer of DDB Worldwide Communications Group New York.  “More importantly, our panel consists of brilliant thought leaders who have a true love and appreciation for the greatest writer’s medium of all time, radio.”  Radio Creative Fund chair – and Radio Advertising Bureau president/CEO Erica Farber – adds, “We feel so incredibly privileged to have gathered such a pinnacle group of creative ambassadors for this year’s competition.  The bar has been set high, but I am confident this group will help ensure that the mission of the Radio Mercury Awards lives on as we award the best creative audio commercials over the past year.”  Prizes will be handed out in a variety of categories such as “Agency Production,” “Radio Station Produced,” “Student,” “PSA,” “Spanish Language,” and “Best of Show.”  Deadline for submissions is April 1, with the awards event taking place June 4 at New York’s Le Poisson Rouge.

scba logoSouthern California Broadcasters Association to Provide Quarterly Guidance Report. Planning and research material is for California advertising agencies, clients and its members. Southern California Broadcasters Association president Thom Callahan notes that, “The SCBA Quarterly Market Guidance Report fulfills a growing need among California ad agencies and clients to look ahead to the next quarter to learn, plan, create, and execute even more effective radio advertising campaigns based on market conditions, trends, and the upcoming quarter’s business environment.  As an additional service to the advertising community, the SCBA will encourage face-to-face planning and development meetings with advertising agencies and major clients to provide full-year guidance and customization of our extensive market research.”  The QMG report will give current and predictive regional economic data, radio category growth, and commentary on advertising and business trends.  The report uses regional economic development corporation reports, member reports on market trends, Miller Kaplan Arase data, and audience measurement data.  It will be posted late next month for second quarter 2014 guidance on the SCBA’s website (www.scba.com).

hdradio logoS-Class Mercedes-Benz to Have HD Radio. Mercedes-Benz of Mexico is launching its S-Class with HD Radio.  iBiquity Digital is the developer of the digital technology and its chief operating officer Jeff Jury states, “We are very pleased to achieve the key goal of North American standardization with Mercedes-Benz.  With this expansion, Mercedes-Benz drivers across Canada, Mexico and the United States have access to HD Radio technology in their cars.  This coincides with our continuing efforts to bring HD Radio broadcasting to all markets across North America.  By offering the technology as standard, Mercedes-Benz is ensuring that all their customers can enjoy the current services and be ensured of enjoying the coming ‘all-digital’ future.”  The 2014 S-Class is now at dealerships across the United States and Mexico. More than 2,230 digital stations are on-air; over 1,480 HD2 and HD3 digital-only channels broadcast content that can only be heard with an HD Radio receiver.

brunotonyOdds & Sods.  WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic” sports talker Tony Bruno is scheduled to begin making weekly appearances on Keith Olbermann’s ESPN 2 program.  The first appearance will be tonight (2/14) live from ESPN’s Times Square studios in New York City…..Cumulus Media’s KOH, Reno is holding a radiothon today at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa to benefit the Veterans Guest House which provides temporary housing for vets and their families while they are being treated at the Reno VA.  This is the 11th annual radiothon the station has produced for the cause…..CRN Digital Talk Radio announces the winners of its first annual Food & Wine Awards.  CRN Digital Talk Radio ishornmike celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and is home to several food and beverage-oriented programs.  It asked listeners to decide 2013′s Best Chef, Restaurant, Sommelier, and Winemaker.  President and CEO Mike Horn says, “Food and wine are best enjoyed with good company.  Our listeners deciding the year’s best of the best in the culinary and beverage arenas was very much akin to sitting down, honoring some great people, enjoying a fun meal.”  This year’s winners are: Best Chef of the Year – Andrew Sutton – Napa Rose, Anaheim; Best Restaurant of the Year – Gary Danko – San Francisco; Best Sommelier of the Year – Paul Coker – St. Regis, Monarch Beach; and Winemaker of the Year Jeff Stewart – Hartford Family Wines…..Broadcasts of New York Yankees baseball on new flagship sports talk WFAN-AM/FM, New York will debut with the February 27 exhibition game versus the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Yankees games moved from CBS RADIO‘s all-news WCBS after a new contract was negotiated in the fall.

floresdanielWichita Police Make Arrest in Case of Slain Radio Station Staffer.  Police in Wichita have a suspect in custody in the early Monday morning slaying of Steckline Communications employee Daniel Flores.  Authorities say that in responding to a Crime Stoppers tip, they pulled over Antwon Banks who proceeded to stab himself in the stomach.  He’s in a local hospital under police guard and will be booked on felony murder charges when he’s recovered.  He was apparently the ex-boyfriend of Steckline office manager Lisa Bryce, leading authorities to conclude that Flores was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

cclogoClear Channel Commits to Campaign for ‘American Heart Month.’  For the purpose of educating the public about heart disease, its risks and preventative measures, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment is committing more than $1 million worth of on-air media to that end.  Today (2/14), Clear Channel is kicking off a two-week public service announcement campaign across its 840 radio stations to educate listeners on the symptoms of heart disease and stroke in honor of American Heart Month.  Certain Clear Channel stations will air a comedic yet informative public service announcement voiced by Emmy-nominated actress Elizabeth Banks that highlights the signs of heart attack in women, while all other Clear Channel radio stations will air a second PSA, created by the Ad Council and the American Heart Association, to help people recognize and respond to the sudden warning signs of a stroke.

savagemichaelTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  New station affiliations for Cumulus Media Networks programming this week include: for Michael Savage – WTAR, Norfolk; KMPT, Missoula, Montana; WQSI, Tuskegee, Alabama; and WWBA, Tampa; Phil Valentine – WCOA, Pensacola; Mark Levin – WGKA, Atlanta; KMPT, Missoula, Montana; and WVOC-FM, Columbia, South Carolina…..The Genesis Communications Network-syndicated “Freedom Feens” with Michael W. Dean and Neema Vedadi is added to the program schedule at KNOX-AM/FM, Grand Forks.

ramseybonesDave Ramsey Counsels Bobby Bones’ Staff and Listeners.  Nationally syndicated financial talk superstar Dave Ramsey (right) sits in on the Premiere Networks-syndicated Bobby Bones show based at WSIX-FM, Nashville, right down the road from Ramsey’s home base of Brentwood.  Ramsey appeared with Bones (left) after Bones show producer Ray lost his truck in a Super Bowl bet and is some $8,000 in debt.  Ramsey talked to the crew and audience about various topics including the terrible odds of gambling, tax withholding, and even the psychology behind using the debt snowball to pay off debt.

ObamaCare Criticism Tops Talkers TenTM.  The most-talked-about story on news/talk radio for the week of February 10-14 was the scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act and the delay in the employer mandate, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.  Coming in at #2 on this week’s Talkers TenTM was the debt ceiling issue.  At #3 was speculation about Hillary Clinton running for president in 2016 and at #4 was immigration reform.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

| February 13, 2014

cbsradio logoCBS Reports Radio Segment Down 4% in Q4 2013; Company Up 6%.  While CBS Corporation CEO, president and director Les Moonves spoke glowingly about the performance of CBS Corporation as a whole during yesterday’s Q4 conference call, the radio segment was not part of the celebration and loss of political advertising was given the lion’s share of the blame.  The company’s report indicates that after taking political out of the picture, CBS RADIO was flat compared to the same quarter in 2012.  Moonves was upbeat about the radio division saying, “In radio, we continue to put an emphasis on great, localmoonvesles programming, which is leading to bigger audiences.  During the most recent ratings period, we had double-digit ranking gains in the highly coveted 25- to 54-year-old demo in many of our major markets, and non-traditional revenue from special events was up double digits over one year ago.  Our strategy to combine the company’s local TV and radio websites into a single online presence in every market also continues to pay off.  In 2013, revenue was up 21% over the year before, and the momentum is continuing here in ’14, including a new record of nearly 57 million unique users in January.  I’m also very pleased with the success of our CBS Interactive business.  Revenue was up 14% during the quarter, and we continue to see very rapid growth in mobile ad revenue, which was up 118%, and it helped to increase profit substantially.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript.  Members can read the whole conference call here.

nielsen logoNielsen Q4 Revenue Up 11.8%; Rises 5.5% for 2013.  Media ratings giant Nielsen Holdings N.V. issues its fourth quarter 2013 and full-year financial reports and states that Q4 revenue was $1.6 billion, an increase of 11.8% over the same period in 2012.  For the full year of 2013, the company says its revenue was $5.7 billion, a jump of 5.5% over the full year of 2012.  The company reports its free cash flow for 2013 increased 34.5% to $573 million from $426 million in 2012 while cash flow from operations increased 14.9% to $901 million in 2013 from $784 million in 2012.  The result is the adjusted net income per share on a diluted basis for 2013 was $2.02, up 19.5% compared to $1.69 in the full year 2012.  Nielsen acquired radio ratings firm Arbitron during 2013 and the move paid off.  The Arbitron business helped add 9.3% to Nielsen’s Q4 revenue and 2.5% to its 2013 revenue.

krld logoCBS RADIO Dallas Ups Paul Mann to KRLD-AM PD.  At CBS RADIO’s Dallas cluster, news director Paul Mann is promoted to program director for KRLD-AM “NewsRadio 1080 KRLD” and the Texas Statemannpaul Networks (TSN), effective immediately.  Mann has served as news director for KRLD-AM and TSN since June 2006 and in this new role he will be primarily responsible for all programming and talent and will report to Gavin Spittle, vice president of news/talk/sports for CBS RADIO Dallas-Fort Worth.  Spittle comments, “Paul has shown tremendous leadership as news director with the sole focus on serving the North Texas community.  He’s helped put together a tremendous team which shares a great pride in this heritage station.”  Under Mann’s leadership, KRLD-AM has been honored with two national Edward R. Murrow Awards, in 2008 (spot news) and 2013 (newscast).

kuiperspradostellaStella Prado Kuipers Lands at Salem Los Angeles.  The successful, former KOST, Los Angeles program director joins Salem Communications to serve in the sales department working on multi-media marketing for Christian talk KKLA, Los Angeles.  Stella Prado Kuipers made her announcement on her Facebook page where she wrote: “A new chapter in my life has begun and I’m proud to announce as of March 3rd I am an employee of Salem Communications Radio Broadcasting company!  My position is multi-media marketing and I am thrilled to be a part of this company!  I’m sooooo excited!”  Kuipers had been with Clear Channel’s AC KOST for 20 years – eight as program director – before she was let go in December of 2012.

wctc logoProgramming Changes at WCTC, New Brunswick, New Jersey.  A shuffle in afternoons at Greater Media-owned news/talk WCTC, New Brunswick, New Jersey sees current 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm personality Tommy G move to the afternoon drive slot replacing Newsmax-syndicated host Stevetommyg Malzberg.  Into the early afternoon slot goes WestwoodOne’s Dennis Miller program.  WCTC program director Bert Baron states, “We’re excited to welcome Dennis Miller to the WCTC weekday lineup.  He’ll have Central Jersey laughing, thinking, and engaged on a daily basis.  I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have doing PM drive on WCTC than Tommy G, one of the most passionate and hard-working people I’ve ever known.  This is a BIG WIN for WCTC and for Central Jersey.”

delcollianojerryIs Nielsen “Lying” About Millennial Audiences?  Noted industry observer Jerry Del Colliano thinks so.  Del Colliano published a scathing indictment of the ratings research giant in his daily industry blog Inside Music Media (www.insidemusicmedia.com) this morning (2/12) referring to the Nielsen Audio (formerly Arbitron) report released earlier this week stating that “Millennials” (also known as “Generation Y”) are big fans of AM/FM radio and listen to it on average of 11.5 hours per week.  This, of course, flies in the face of what has to this point been conventional industry wisdom stronglynielsen logo suggesting that over-the-air radio is rapidly losing ground as a medium of choice for the millions of 20-something children born to Baby Boomers in the 1980s-90s and now coming of age in the millions – a widespread perception that broadcast business leaders openly fear threatens the future of what is increasingly being marginalized as “terrestrial radio.”  Del Colliano writes, “The company that now does PPM ratings which records listening that occurs by accident when meters randomly pick up an encoded radio signal is now weighing in on Millennials…an audience that clearly has no use for what consolidators put on the radio these days.”  He accuses the major corporate consolidators in radio of “paying hundreds of millions of dollars to report audience estimates that the company [Nielsen] itself admits in a legal statement are not reliable.”  Del Colliano is a veteran program director and radio personality who rose to prominence as the founder and publisher of the trade publication Inside Radio which he built to formidability as an independent journal prior to it being acquired by Clear Channel, which still publishes it.  Del Colliano has subsequently served a number of years as a member of the music department faculty at the University of Southern California (USC) teaching and writing courses on “Generational Media” specifically documenting and understanding the traits and habits of the rapidly maturing Millennial generation – a subject that he regularly shares with radio industry leaders via his blog and annual conference.

harrisonmichaelSpeaking of Jerry Del Colliano…  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison recently interviewed Jerry Del Colliano on the TALKERS magazine “experimental” talk radio station, TalkersRadio, (www.talkers.com/talkersradio) as a complete installment of the one-hour, media-talkersradio logodiscussion program he hosts.  The program, recorded two-weeks ago (prior to today’s provocative Del Colliano blog), presents the two industry observers in an in-depth discussion about the very subject of the delicate relationship AM/FM radio and Gen-Y.  In it, Del Colliano discusses such issues as Gen-Y’s obsession with authenticity as well as its consumer interest in non-over-the-air digital media.  To listen directly to the entire 58:00 installment of this first-time public conversation between Michael Harrison and Jerry Del Colliano, please click

 
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crummyjoeTalk Host Joe Crummey Publishes Non-Fiction Book.  Talk radio pro Joe Crummey has just published his first non-fiction book titled, Planking on Headstones: Your Future Outside of Time (School of Eddiness 2013).  The veteran of such historic signals as WABC, New York; KFI, Los Angeles; WNBC, New York; KABC, Los Angeles andcrummeybook KFYI, Phoenix penned this new book that “takes the reader on a journey through space-time that’s rich in love, loss, fear and contemplation.  With notes of his on-air, quick-wit persona, Planking on Headstones distills complex issues of religion and science into memorable anecdotes that elicit laughter, tears and a sense of connection.  Crummey openly shares about his life, from his brain tumor to the death of his parents, as he explains his theories, such as the ‘Fonzie Principle,’ the ‘Boston Market Revelation’ and the ‘Jesus Burger.’  He also explains why he believes the Big Bang is the most evil thing that has ever happened.”  Crummy states, “Throughout my career, I often discussed and challenged religious tenets on air with my audience.  But after going through the brain tumor experience, my quest for meaning in this life and beyond intensified.  I began to understand the importance of thinking outside of time and allowed myself to imagine the impossible while I explored this subject matter.”

cclogoClear Channel Renews Promotional Deal with Relativity.  In a statement, Clear Channel says that the renewed cross-media marketing collaboration between it and media company Relativity will include one-of-a-relativity logokind campaigns promoting upcoming movies on the part of Clear Channel and Relativity will provide exclusive content created by its filmmakers and talent that will be shared with listeners and viewers through various Clear Channel platforms.  “The programs will also include organic promotional support from popular radio personalities such as Ryan Seacrest, Elvis Duran, Dan Patrick and Steve Harvey; naturally integrated film imaging across local stations and iHeartRadio’s national digital and mobile ad units; homepage website takeovers; and national and local on-air commercial inventory.”  Clear Channel says previous successful collaborations between the companies included campaigns for the films “Limitless,” “Immortals,” “Act of Valor,” “Safe Haven” and “Free Birds.”

webbdavidOdds & Sods.  Talk media personality David Webb signs on to write a column for DC political publication The Hill.  His column will be available every other Wednesday in The Hill’s print edition, online at thehill.com and on The Hill’s app.  In addition to his daily SiriusXM talk show, Webb also appears frequently on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity” and “The Five.”…..Sports USA adds a podcast featuring former NFL star and TV personality Fred Dryer to its programming.  Sports USA president Bob Moore says, “Fred Dryer is a true NFL legend and a major TV star.  We are excited to add Fred’s show to our growing list of digital audio programs…..WNYC, New York names David Lewis its new metro editor.  Lewis taught journalism at CUNY for the past seven years.

rabNAB to Feature RAB Sales and Marketing Sessions.  The Radio Advertising Bureau will present five revenue- and growth-oriented presentations at this year’s NAB Show.  RAB president and chief executive officer Erica Farber explains that, “The RAB is in the business of helping sellers on the street close deals and help drive revenue for the radio industry.  These sessions will drive home key lessons and tools of the trade.  NAB Show attendees will find these sessions invaluable to their future success in the broadcast business.”  Specifically, the Radio Advertising Bureau’s focus will be “Lunch and Learn – A Discussion on Radio’s Four Significant Issues;” “Concentrating on Core Radio Revenues;” “Creative Radio Commercial Production and Imaging;” and “Rapid-Fire Revenue Generators for Small and Medium Market Radio.”  The NAB Show will be held April 5 – 10 in Las Vegas.

whamradiothonWDVI-FM and WHAM in Rochester Hold Radiothon to Benefit Children’s Hospital.  Today and tomorrow Clear Channel Rochester stations hot AC WDVI “100.5 The Drive” and news/talk WHAM are broadcasting the annual “Drive For Miracles Radiothon” to benefit Golisano Children’s Hospital live from the lobby of Strong Hospital.  Throughout the event, on-air personalities from each station will talk with current and former patients, their families, and the hard-working hospital staff that “creates miracles” every day.  Personalities including WHAM’s Chet Walker, Bob Lonsberry, Shari Smith, Joe Lomonaco, and Bob Matthews and WDVI’s Bill Moran, Julie, JP, and “The Mayor” Pete Kennedy will broadcast from the hospital.

bfoa logoBFoA Names 2014 Ward L. Quaal Leadership Awards Recipients.  This year’s recipients of the 2014 Ward L. Quaal Leadership Awards have been announced by the Broadcasters Foundation of America.  They will be presented at the Foundation’s annual breakfast on Wednesday, April 9, at the Wynn Hotel during the National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas.  This year’s recipients are: Jim Beloyianis, past president, Katz TV; Dan Mason, president & CEO, CBS RADIO; Deborah Norville, host, “Inside Edition”; Mary Quass, president & CEO, NRG Media; Perry Sook, chairman/president & CEO, Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc.; and Nick Verbitsky, chairman, United Stations Radio Networks.  The Leadership Awards are given annually by the Broadcasters Foundation in recognition of career contributions to the broadcast industry and the community at large, and are named in honor of iconic broadcaster Ward L. Quaal.

Winter Weather Hits South and Northeast, ObamaCare Rollout Criticism, Afghanistan Prisoner Release, Paul NSA Suit, Debt Ceiling Raised, the Sochi Olympics and Gay NFL Prospect Comes Out Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/12).  The unusually severe winter weather bearing down on the South and the Northeast; scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act and President Obama’s unilateral delay of the employer mandate; Afghanistan’s release of numerous “dangerous” inmates and the state of the U.S.’s relationship with Hamid Karzai; Senator Rand Paul’s suit against the NSA; the GOP’s signing on with Democrats to raise the debt ceiling; the Sochi Winter Olympic Games; and the coming out of NFL prospect Michael Sam were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Part Three – “Radio is Beyond Radio Now”

| February 12, 2014

TALKERS Three-Part Special Feature

The Vision of Envision: The Rise of Radio Syndication Entrepreneur Danno Wolkoff and an Emerging Independent Powerhouse

By Jeff McKay
TALKERS
Special features Correspondent

 

mckayjeffNEW YORK — Since he ventured out on his own and started what has become not only a highly successful syndication company, but one that can truly serve the needs of both the largest and even the smallest radio station, Danno Wolkoff has known that he cannot simply rest on his laurels.  Wolkoff will be the first to admit that his company, in order to be and remain successful, must change with radio’s changing times from how companies do business and manage their own businesses, to how companies must do more with less, and the ever-changing technology that could cost a company listeners and their survival.

Envision Networks has changed with the changing times in radio, something Wolkoff identifies as being driven by technology which is now the catalyst for these changes and placing traditional radio at a crossroads.

Read More

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

| February 12, 2014

barberiejillianKABC, Los Angeles Adds Jillian Barberie to Midday Show.  The sound of the midday show at Cumulus Media’s news/talk KABC, Los Angeles changes beginning Monday February 17 as the station adds local media star Jillian Barberie to the lineup co-hosting the new “Mid-Day LA with Jillian Barberie & John Phillips.”  The show airs from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm and is part of the station’s move to add more local content to its programming.  Barberie is well known to Southern California for her 18 years as co-host of Fox 11’s top-rated morning show, “Good Day LA.”  In a kabclogostatement, the station says that Barberie’s work at Fox 11 “engaged audiences with her real-life stories and electric energy.  The sassy, Canadian-born Barberie has made a career out of hanging with the guys.  While hosting ‘Good Day LA,’ she also spent a decade on the Fox NFL Pre-Game Show working opposite Curt Menefee, Howie Long and Terry Bradshaw.”  Cumulus EVP and COO John Dickey adds, “Jillian’s energy, experience and love for Southern California are unmatched.  We’re absolutely thrilled that she’s joining the ‘TalkRadio 790’ team in this important role.”  Barberie comments, “I am so excited to be partnered with John Phillips!  I couldn’t be happier to be a part of the KABC team, which is such a great place with incredibly talented people.  I’ve always felt that there is something unique and liberating about doing radio.”

coakleyvinceWYRD-FM, Greenville/Spartanburg, South Carolina Names Vince Coakley Weekend Host.  Television and radio pro Vince Coakley joins Entercom’s WYRD-FM, Greenville/Spartanburg, South Carolina “WORD 106.3FM” for a regular Sunday program and as a fill-in personality when station hosts Bob McLain and Russ Cassell are on vacation.  The station notes that Coakley’s program is “the Upstate’s only weekend live and local current events talk show” during that daypart, and adds, “Just because it’s the weekend doesn’t mean the news and the discussion about them stops.”  Coakley hosted afternoon drive on Greater Media’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte from June 2011 to July of 2012.  He spent 20 years in television news prior to that.  He’s also hosted a daily internet radio show called “Revolution Radio.”  He says, “I am thrilled to officially join the team at WORD.  The station is fearless in giving voice to hosts and listeners who place a premium on liberty.  I have come to view the Greenville area as a second home and look forward to spending more time with the people of the Upstate on and off the air.”

envisionnetworks newTALKERS Posts Part-Three Today of Three-Part Special (2/10-12) Spotlighting Danno Wolkoff and Envision Networks.  What broadcasting executive and entrepreneur Danno Wolkoff has accomplished in the span of just 10 years in founding and establishing Cleveland-based national syndication firm Envision Radio Networks is inspiring and a textbook example of creating a force for productivity and jobs in an industry.  He took the biggest gamble of his life, grabbing a program and three people laid off by an established firm that would become his largest competitor, and growing an independent syndication empire serving over 1,500 radio stations with everything from prep services to music shows, local news and information to weekend talk shows.  His staff has grown over 20-fold in a decade to include an array of producers, salespeople and contract staffers researching, producing, creating and selling more than four-dozen products to radio stations in both the largest and smallest markets.  Now known simply asmckayjeff Envision Networks (they dropped the word “Radio” this past week – more on that in today’s installment) continues to not only grow, embracing new technology and catering to those needs, but in the process has become an independent force in syndication.  In today’s installment, Wolkoff discusses how, as a result of new technology and social practices, radio has grown to point that it is “more than” simply radio and that operators must work diligently to preserve its history and uniqueness without sacrificing its potential and rightful place within the digital-era.  In the words of Michael Harrison, “The emergence of special individuals like Danno Wolkoff is the force that propels an industry such as ours forward.  I’ve seen this movie many times before.  Danno is the kind of guy who has the makings of being a true giant 10 years down the pike, taking his place among the biggest of the big.”  To read part three of TALKERS special features correspondent Jeff McKay’s extensive profile “The Vision of Envision: The Rise of Radio Syndication Entrepreneur Danno Wolkoff and an Emerging Independent Powerhouse” please click here.  And if you missed parts one and two published Monday and yesterday, please read them here and here, respectively.

entercomMore Details from Entercom’s Q4 Conference Call: The Drop on Boston and WEEI.  While Entercom president and CEO David Field acknowledged that 2013 revenue was not where the company would like to have seen it (down 3%), he stated numerous times during Tuesday’s conference call that he believes the company has turned the corner and is “positioned for a strong 2014.”  Saying that the company’s strongest-performing markets were San Francisco, Kansas City and Memphis, Field glowed about the ratings of some of the stations in those markets, pointing out the success stories of “The Wolf” and “The Point” in Kansas City, KOIT, KBLX and KGME in San Francisco.  He also addressed the state of the Boston market and of sports talker WEEI.  “We have some work to do there, but it’s interesting. weei logo We have a new leadership there now, which we are very excited about, and I believe we are starting to turn the corner there.  And if you look at the fundamentals of Boston, WEEI, our flagship in the market, remains one of the top-rated sports station in the United States.  It’s a top-three player in Boston among men.  We are about to enter baseball season with the world champion Boston Red Sox and what’s little noted too is our digital play there.  We have a major platform there with a team of writers who work for that, and it has become sort of a much visited site for fans.  And to put it into context, we do about 1.5 million unique visitors each month, just on the digital side there.  So we have a ton of opportunities in Boston and I would expect better things to come in the not-too-distant future there, and again, I think the future’s bright.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript.  Members can read the whole chat here.

fernandezandreFernandez Boosted to Journal COO; Graham Upped to SVP/CFO.  It’s a promotion for Journal Communications president Andre Fernandez as he is appointed chief operating officer in which he’s assuming operational oversight of the company’s broadcast and publishing segments.  His other expanded responsibilities will include corporate human resources; executive vice president of radio Steve Wexler continues reporting to Fernandez.  Elsewhere, the company names vice president/controller Jason Graham senior vice president of finance/controller/chief financial officer.  Graham will report to chairman/chief executive officer Steven Smith, who states, “Jason has done an excellent job leading our accounting, billing, accounts payable, payroll, and tax teams.  He has also contributed to our strategic planning and growth initiatives, which will continue to be an integral part of his expanded role as CFO.”  Prior to joining Journal in June 2012, Graham was Brookdale Senior Living‘s vice president/corporate controller.

kennerellenOdds & Sods.  At Sports USA, the company announces that Lyle Gordon is promoted to EVP affiliate relations.  Sports USA president Bob Moore says, “Lyle is a centerpiece of our company and his incredible relationships with over 400 radio stations makes Sports USA programming available to a nationwide audience.  His experience with all forms of sports programming makes him the perfect person for this job.”…..Nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Ellen Kenner celebrates her 17th anniversary on the radio as she begins broadcasting year number 18 of her Providence-based weekly talk show program…..According to ESPNNewYork.com, when the New York Mets take to the field this season, radio broadcasters Howie Rose and Josh Lewin will be back in the booth as games air on new flagship WOR.  Previously, games were heard on crosstown WFAN-FM…..In Nashville, Cromwell Group’s sports talk WPRT-FM, will continue as flagship for the AAA Nashville Sounds this season.  The Sounds are the AAA affiliate of the MLB’s Milwaukee Brewers.

floresdanielWichita Police Continue to Investigate Death of Steckline Communications Staffer.  Authorities in Wichita are investigating the death of 25-year old Daniel Flores, a staffer at Steckline Communications, who was killed sometime between Sunday evening and Monday morning at the company’s studios in West Wichita.  Right now, police have little to go on and are asking the public’s assistance in solving the crime.  At a press conference on Tuesday, police said they believe the perpetrator(s) were at the station for a reason – that it was not a random attack – but they are not sure at this point why the station or Flores was targeted.  Flores had been an employee at Steckline for about a year.

siriusxmCool Job Opportunity.  Sirius XM’s new Business Radio channel, originating from the Wharton School in Philadelphia, is looking for a business news host/producer.  The host/producer will be responsible for anchoring two hours of daily programming on business news including topics ranging from product development to marketing and management strategies.  Duties include working with an editorial team, faculty, industry experts and Sirius staff to identify daily content, create segments, and book guests as well as research business topics related to content themes.  A Bachelor’s degree and three to five years of experience in news/business reporting and anchoring or equivalent combination of education and experience required.  Applicants must be skilled in gathering, researching and reporting business stories as well as interviewing business newsmakers.  The focus is on drawing useful business insight and analyses for a lay audience on a tight deadline.  This position is based in Philadelphia. For more information please log on to: http://jobs.hr.upenn.edu:80/postings/1269Special.

kaufmanskydiveWFTL’s Joyce Kaufman Jumps with the Golden Knights.  Yes, that’s WFTL, Fort Lauderdale talk show host Joyce Kaufman riding tandem with a member of the United States Army Parachute Team “The Golden Knights” over Homestead Air Reserve Base in Homestead, Florida.  On another note, Kaufman tells TALKERS the recent Chapter 11 filing of WFTL’s parent company James Crystal Radio is not weighing on her.  She says she had faith in the company.  “We had a very anxious January, but I knew they would be honorable so I hung in.  We received all our money last week and are on schedule to be paid in a timely fashion as the company reorganizes.  I love this market.  I love this company and as long as they give me the opportunity, I am staying.”

ObamaCare Criticism, Winter Weather Headed for South and East, Obama “I Can Do Anything I Want” Quip, Sochi Winter Games, Congress Raises Debt Ceiling, Hillary in 2016, NSA Spying Scandal, and Gay Football Player Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/11).  Scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the next winter storm headed for the East and South; President Obama’s “I can do anything I want” quip; the Winter Olympics taking place in Sochi, Russia; Congress’ move to allow the raising of the debt ceiling; speculation about Hillary Clinton’s possible run for president in 2016; the backlash from the NSA spying scandal; and the announcement by NFL prospect Michael Sam that he’s gay were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Part Two – Taking the Vision and Creating Envision

| February 11, 2014

TALKERS Three-Part Special Feature

The Vision of Envision: The Rise of Radio Syndication Entrepreneur Danno Wolkoff and an Emerging Independent Powerhouse

By Jeff McKay
TALKERS
Special features Correspondent

 

mckayjeffNEW YORK — When Clear Channel came along and bought MJI Broadcasting in November, 1999, and then merging them into Premiere Networks, the idea of leaving and starting his own company was far from his thoughts.  However, Danno Wolkoff soon found out that creating new programs he was trying to push wasn’t in the plans for Premiere at that time, told simply, “If we want a new show we’ll buy it,” which included shows like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.  Wolkoff realized his future wasn’t at Premiere.

At MJI, Wolkoff was accustomed to building programs from the ground-up.  This was not how Premiere was operating at the time, and realizing that sooner or later the