Monday, June 30, 2014

| June 30, 2014

borrell logoBorrell Associates Releases Political Advertising Outlook; Radio’s Share to Shrink.  But that’s not entirely unexpected by those who’ve been involved in political ad buys over the past few years.  Even though Borrell estimates the total ad spend this year alone to be $8.3 billion, the media that will see an increase are cable and online.  TV will lose market share at the expense of cable – due, Borrell concludes, to the more highly targetable nature of cable’s niche programming.  While online is expected to see a big increase, it’s still a small part (3.3%) of the total political ad spend for 2014.  Radio’s share is shrinking – from 6.5% of the total ad spend in 2010 to an estimated 5.8% this year.  But that money — $485 million – is money the industry is banking on.  Another item of note from Borrell is that 54% of the total ad spend comes in September and October.  The ability to narrowly define a medium’s audience helps a political ad buy and if radio executives can show campaigns that they have a desired audience, the likelihood of getting the buy increases.  For more information, see the Borrell Associates site here.

clarkleonClark Takes Helm of Journal’s Tucson Radio Stations.  Assuming the VP/GM position at Journal Broadcast Group’s Tucson operations is Leon Clark, who comes to the company from his most recent post as sales manager for the digital audio aggregator TuneIn.  Journal operates four stations in the market: adult contemporary KMXZ “94.9 Mix FM,” news/talk KQTH-FM, rhythmic oldies KTGV “106.3 The Groove,” and sports talk KFFN “ESPN Tucson.”  Journal EVP – Radio Steve Wexler comments, “Leon’s broadcast and digital experience, as well as his strong leadership track record, makes him a great fit with Journal and our Tucson team.  He embodies our core values of integrity, excellence, determination and innovation and I’m thrilled to welcome him to our company.”  Clark comments, “I am honored to lead the Tucson team forward and to become part of a broadcast group that shares the same core values that I do.  We have some incredible opportunities ahead of us and I look forward to much success for our Tucson team.”

wgn logo newWGN, Chicago Returns the Bird to Service.  As Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports, Tribune Company news/talker WGN, Chicago is bringing the iconic marketing mascot the Bird – appropriately named Chicago – back into service to be the face of some of its marketing efforts.  Instead of being a TV and print icon, the Bird will be a social media avatar for the station.  Vice president of content and programming Todd Manley tells Feder, “The idea is to give the Bird a new life in a new space and really have it be the voice of Chicago through listening to WGN Radio.”  Read Feder’s story here.

bearmanquakes2KSFO, San Francisco’s Bearman Talks Soccer and More During Weekend Remote.  Rising talk radio star Ethan Bearman (pictured here at right) speaks with San Jose Earthquakes president Dave Kaval (left) outside Stanford Stadium during a Saturday evening broadcast on Cumulus Media’s KSFO, San Francisco.  Bearman broadcast his program from the stadium on the occasion of the MLS match between San Jose and the Los Angeles Galaxy dubbed the California Classico.  Bearman says the excitement of the World Cup and the biggest fireworks show in the Bay Area brought some 50,000 people out for the event.  He says that although KSFO is not a sport talk-oriented station, the interview with Kaval, two-time MLS goalkeeper of the year and former Earthquake Joe Cannon plus the local non-sports topics make for a show that was a bit hit with the listeners and fans in attendance.

entercomGeary Exiting Entercom Communications Post.  Citing his desire to return to the political communications end of the business, Entercom director of strategic communications Kevin Geary announces he’s leaving his position with the company to focus full time on his political communications firm, Independence Strategy.  Geary’s been with Entercom for the past three years and, during that time, he’s kept his own company in business.  But he says he misses the political communications biz and wants to return.  “The closer we got to the 2014 elections it was clear just how much I missed it.  With 3 ½ years in corporate and media communications, I know I can offer clients a unique combination of political, business perspectives.”

wpen-fm logoGreater Media Sports Talkers to Air USA World Cup Game.  As the USA soccer teamwmgc sportslogo continues its bid for the World Cup, Greater Media-owned WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic” and WMGC, Detroit “Detroit Sports 105.1” will air the USA vs Belgium match live on Tuesday, July 1 at 4:00 pm ET.  In addition WPEN-FM Mike Missanelli is broadcasting live from Pagano’s leading up to the match.  Fans who join Missanelli in Center City will be able to watch the match on a 20-foot-by-17-foot screen, as well as on the televisions inside Pagano’s.  WPEN-FM program director Matt Nahigian says, “We had an overwhelming amount of listeners asking us to air the US vs Germany game and it continued for Tuesday’s matchup.  We’re excited to be able to provide the radio call of the game to our listeners.”

Friday, June 27, 2014

| June 27, 2014

hayworthjdJ.D. Hayworth to Host Late Morning Show on Newsmax TV.  One of the new programs on the Newsmax TV channel that is launching on both DirecTV and DISH Network is called “America’s Forum” with former U.S. Congressman and talk radio personality J.D. Hayworth.  The show will air from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET and begins during the network’s soft launch this summer before the hard launch this fall.newsmaxtv logo  Hayworth, who has hosted a regular show in his home market on news/talk KFYI, Phoenix during his talk radio career, says he’s excited about engaging and serving the expanding audience on Newsmax TV.  Newsmax Media founder and CEO Chris Ruddy says, “J.D. Hayworth is a smart, informed, and passionate host who is not afraid to speak his mind, and as a result we expect him to be one of our most watched and discussed personalities.  With his experience in Washington, DC, we believe he can give our viewers unique insight into how Washington works.”

kasemtesimonyLegislation Inspired by Casey Kasem Ordeal Passes Legislative Hurdle.  A bill making its way through the California legislative process that would give adult children reasonable access to an ailing parent cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee hurdle on a 6-0 vote.  The bill was inspired by the Casey Kasem family’s well-documented situation.  The bill was sponsored by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) and it would protect children from being denied access to a parent by a parent’s future spouse or child.  Since introducing the legislation in January, Assemblyman Gatto has been contacted by hundreds of people who have been denied access to their ailing parents, and has been working closely with several of them, including radio and television personality Kerri Kasem (pictured here during testimony earlier this week).  Recently, Kasem spoke publicly for the first time since her father’s passing last week.  She shared her struggle to obtain even basic visitation rights during Casey’s final hours.  She also emphasized that her story is not unique to celebrities, a point underscored when she presented a stack of letters representing a small sample of the thousands of letters she has received from folks across the country with similar stories of heartache.  View that video here.  Kasem said, “I saw my father every single week, talked to him every day, until he lost his voice, every day on the phone, and we were cut off for no reason last July.  If this bill had been in place, my dad would still be alive today.”  Former radio industry pro, attorney, and district chief of staff for Assemblyman Gatto, Jason Insalaco, played an important role in crafting this bill.  Insalaco has worked at numerous Southern California radio outlets – including former hot talk KLSX and news/talk KFI – during his career.

mcneildanStatus of WSCR, Chicago’s Dan McNeil Uncertain.  From Chicago media writer Robert Feder, sports talk personality Dan McNeil has been off the air at CBS RADIO’s WSCR as he’s in contract negotiations and guest hosts have been filling in with 9:00 am to 1:00 pm co-host Matt Spiegel.  Feder reports that McNeil, who’s had his share of personal issues – dealing with substance abuse and depression – makes about $300,000 and is seeking in the neighborhood of $500,000 in his new contract.  Feder also reports McNeil has made no secret of the fact he’d like to be in afternoon drive, not middays.  Read Feder’s entire story here.

didingerrayCBS Radio Philly in Done-Deal with Didinger.  Among facets of the just-signed pact with CBS Radio-owned Philadelphia sports outlet WIP-FM, Saturday’s 10:00 am – 1:00 pm “Ray Didinger and Glen Macnow Show” will be expanded to include a Sunday version.  WIP operations manager Andy Bloom declares, “Ray is one of the most respected and revered authorities in Philly sports.  Our simple goal was to ensure Ray spends his entire radio career playing for one team, CBS Radio Philadelphia.  We think with this agreement we have accomplished that goal.”  Pro Football Hall of Fame writer Didinger is “very happy” to continue his relationship with WIP.  “I am delighted that I will now be able to partner with my good friend Glen Macnow on Sundays, as well as Saturday.  With the level of interest in the Eagles this season, we will have plenty to talk about.”  Didinger will do commentary on all-news sibling KYW, and each Friday during the football season, he will appear with (CBS Radio Philadelphia talk outlet) WPHT morning driver Chris Stigall.

mackgrahamBritish Broadcaster Graham Mack Produces Outstanding Audio Podcast Depicting His Experience at Talkers New York 2014.  Internationally known, award-winning broadcaster Graham Mack attended the recent Talkers New York 2014 conference (6/20) and compiled an array of on-the-scene audio interviews with its participants into a Radio Academy podcast (28:42) that has already drawn positive attention around the world.  In addition to his highly decorated special programs which have been heard on some of the most prestigious networks in the world including the BBC, Mack is the program director and morning show host on BOB-FM in Hertfordshire.  He hails from Liverpool and spent his early adulthood and career in Australia. The podcast includes conversations with Michael Harrison, Sean Hannity, Brent & Meg, Tom Leykis, Joe Piscopo, and Phil Boyce.  To hear it in its entirety, please click here.  Stay tuned to Talkers.com for more coverage of Talkers New York 2014.  Videos covering most of the conference will be posted after the July 4th weekend.

gratnerchuckFifty and Done For Salem’s Gratner.  After spending 50 years in radio – the last 23 as general manager of Salem Communications Pittsburgh – Chuck Gratner will retire next Tuesday (7/1). Twelve-year Salem Pittsburgh general sales manager Tom Lemmon will succeed Gratner. According to Salem radio division president David Santrella, “Salem is blessed to have so many outstanding general managers taking care of business in our markets around the country – Chuck has been one of our strongest for all these years.  Chuck has earned his reward for a job well done.  We wish him many more years of success, only this time with a fishing rod instead of a radio tower.”  Regional operations vice president Linnae Young – who oversees Pittsburgh – comments, “We have been so fortunate to have had Chuck’s wisdom and expertise all these years managing our stations in Pittsburgh.  While Chuck will be sorely missed, we are pleased to have Tom ready to take on this new responsibility.”  Gratner began his radio career as an on-air talent in greater Los Angeles at KNJO, Thousand Oaks.  He was part owner of KCNO, Grass Valley, California; worked in Dallas at KRLD, KCBI, and KLTY; and spent time in Sacramento at KCRA and KROY.

mayesharryOdds & Sods.  With the departure of Tony Bruno from Greater Media’s sports talk WPEN-FM, Philadelphia (reported yesterday at TALKERS), Harry Mayes goes solo in the late morning shift with evening host Nick Kayal sitting it at least temporarily…..The man known as “Radio’s Best Friend,” Art Vuolo, will appear on news/talk KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh this weekend as a guest on Stony Richards’ Saturday evening program beginning at 6:00 pm.  In addition to being responsible for chronicling much of radio’s modern history on video, Vuolo also has served as the official videographer for the Talkers New York conference for the past several years…..Bradley George is the new senior anchor/correspondent and local host for “Morning Edition” on Georgia Public Radio.  He comes to GPR from Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN where he was news anchor and “Morning Edition” local host…..ABC TV’s “The View” will look very different next season as at least two of the show’s hosts – Jenny McCarthy and Sherri Shepherd – are leaving.  According to TMZ, executive producer Bill Geddie is also exiting.  One report indicates all but Whoopi Goldberg are out as the network is “cleaning house.”

wrjn logoMagnum Finds Bliss in Milwaukee-Area Quartet.  In a recently announced deal, Magnum Communications is acquiring four greater Milwaukee properties from Bliss Communications, the parent company of Racine Broadcasting and West Bend Broadcasting.  Stations involved are two AM talk outlets WRJN and WBKV; adultwbkv logo contemporary WEZY “Lite Rock 92.1″; and country WBWI.  Magnum Communications president Dave Magnum points out that as a result of this acquisition, “My co-workers and I will program radio signals connecting from Milwaukee to La Crosse.  When my late wife, Lynn, and I started from scratch 23 years ago, we wanted to grow across Wisconsin.  I’m blessed to work with so many talented and loyal individuals, many of whom have been on board since the early-1990s.”  Bliss president Sidney “Skip” Bliss remarks, “These stations have been an important part of Bliss Communications for 17 years in Racine, and 43 years in West Bend.  We have enjoyed our relationship with the communities and all of our terrific employees.  This sale, however, represented an opportunity for me to pass the ownership of these great radio stations on to another Wisconsin broadcasting family.  The staffs of the Racine and West Bend stations have served a large number of listeners and advertisers for many years.  We sincerely appreciate the dedication and commitment of this outstanding group of associates.”  Bliss – which publishes The Janesville Gazette - will continue operating the stations until the FCC approves the transaction, exclusively brokered by Media Services Group Chicago office director Bob Heymann.

GOP Primary Controversies/State of the GOP Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of June 23-27.  The recent controversial GOP primary races – including Thad Cochran’s victory this week – along with talk about the state of the GOP heading into mid-term elections and the 2016 presidential election tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week.  At #2 was the shrinking U.S. GDP.  Coming in at #3 was the IRS scandal and the missing Lois Lerner emails followed by the SCOTUS scuttling President Obama’s recess appointments followed at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

The Times They Are a-Changing…

| June 26, 2014

William O’Shaughnessy
Whitney Media
President

 

oshaughnessywriterNEW ROCHELLE, NY — As you have no doubt read in the public press, our colleagues at WFAS-FM are pulling up stakes and moving to the big City with a different name and changing to an “urban” format.

WFAS-FM has served Westchester and environs as a locally based suburban station with various music formats for years and we wish them well as they now turn their focus to the highly competitive New York City market.

Longevity

During our own 54 years of serving the County, we’ve always had cordial relations with the 17 (count ‘em!) absentee owners of WFAS-FM … and, indeed, with many among the dizzying parade of 43 hard-working general managers who tried mightily to give the station some meaning and purpose and at least a semblance of local involvement despite the many corporate changes and turmoil in their front office.  

Read More

Thursday, June 26, 2014

| June 26, 2014

carrhowieWRKO, Boston’s Howie Carr Signs with Global Media Services for Syndication.  Boston-based talk show host Howie Carr – hosting afternoon drive at Entercom’s WRKO – contracts with Global Media Services to market his syndicated radio show.  Carr is currently carried on 15 radio stations globalmediaservices logothroughout New England.  Carr comments, “I’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time.  It’s exciting to be branching out on my own and expanding the network.  I have a great relationship with my affiliates and advertisers and I think they’ll tell you I’ve been a real asset to their businesses.”  Global Media Services founder Tony Garcia says, “Howie Carr is an icon and legend in New England and I look forward to partnering with him to bring his unique views on politics, pop culture and society to the entire nation.  The possibilities are endless.”  Garcia has been writing columns for TALKERS about the syndication business.  He founded his new company in 2014.

niewkathleenAttorney and Former Talk Host Pleads Guilty to Fraud.  In what seems like a never-ending chain of financial advisors hosting brokered weekend talk shows who go on to defraud investors, comes the latest from Chicago where Kathleen Niew pleaded guilty in federal court to 10 counts of fraud.  Niew brokered her show from Salem Communications-owned WIND, Chicago.  She lost the life savings of a local couple — $2.3 million – investing in foreign mining projects that failed.  She faces up to 11 years in prison when she is sentenced.  She was disbarred in Illinois several months after the issues surrounding her arrest came to light.

ciancibuddyWPRO, Providence Host Buddy Cianci Takes Leave to Run for Mayor.  As many predicted he would when he first began to bat around the idea of running for a third stint as mayor of Providence, Buddy Cianci announced his candidacy on Wednesday (6/25) and stepped away from his afternoon drive programgranahantara in order to devote his full attention to the race.  Cianci is on leave from the station and Tara Granahan is subbing for him.  Granahan says, “I’m thrilled for Buddy as he delves into his latest adventure in politics.  I’m really looking forward to spending more time with our listeners.  Then, we’ll see what happens in November!”  Cianci resigned from the mayor’s post in 1984 after pleading no contest to assault.  He served for 12 years from 1990 to 2002, again resigning after a racketeering conviction forced him to relocate to federal prison for four years.  Cianci also was serving as a political commentator for WLNE-TV, a gig from which he is also on leave.

brunotonyTony Bruno Resigns from WPEN-FM, Philadelphia.  There is not much information about the sudden departure of sports talk host Tony Bruno from Greater Media’s WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic,” but the station issues the following statement: “Tony Bruno has chosen to resign his position at ‘97.5 The Fanatic.’  We thank him for his contributions and wish him well.”  Bruno had been off the air this week during what has been reported to have been contract negotiations.  Obviously, from Bruno’s perspective, the negotiations did not go well and he has left the station.

martinjohnOdds & Sods.  At Entercom’s sports talker WMFS-FM/AM, Memphis, John Martin adds columnist duties for the station’s website.  Martin is executive producer for the Geoff Calkins show.  His column is titled “The 92.9 Line.”…..NPR and American Public Media strike a deal for NPR’s “Morning Edition” to include APM’s “Marketplace Morning Report” feature to the program beginning this fall…..Greater Media sports talker WPEN-FM, Philadelphia is breaking away from regular programming today to broadcast the U.S. vs. Germany World Cup match.  Personalities Harry Mayes, Jon Marks and Sean Brace will broadcast live from Pagano’s in Philly where the match will be shown on a 20’ x 17’ screen.

oshaughnessywilliamNYC Move-In Prompts Missive on ‘Community Radio.’ The format flip to urban contemporary and move of Cumulus Media’s WFAS-FM, Bronxville, New York (Westchester County) to the New York City metro is not a story TALKERS would usually cover since it is a music station. But the move caused Whitney Radio president William O’Shaughnessy to promote the community-mindedness of his stations – WVIP-FM and WVOX-AM – to his advertisers, the listeners and WFAS-FM’s listeners. Read O’Shaughnessy’s memo here.

bfoa logoFour Named to Broadcasters Foundation of America Board of Directors.  Four distinguished broadcast industry leaders are named to the Broadcasters Foundation of America board of directors.  They are: Peter Dunn, president, CBS Television Stations; David T. Lougee, president, Gannett Broadcasting; Elizabeth (Beth) Neuhoff, president & chief executive officer, Neuhoff Communications; Michael (Mike) O’Neill, president & chief executive officer, BMI.  BFoA chairman Phil Lombardo says, “The addition of these four prominent broadcasters to our board will further enhance awareness of the work that we do and increase our ability to help more broadcasters in need.  Their dedication to helping those in our industry who need it most is an inspiration that I hope will motivate everyone in our profession to make a donation and become involved with our cause.”

tangeralexMarlin Broadcasting Chairman Alex Tanger Dies at 94.  The broadcasting career of Alexander Tanger started after his return from World War II service when he became vice president of WHDH-TV and WHDH-AM in Boston.  He bought WLKW, Providence and operated it for many years.  Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, he convinced General Cinema Corporation to buy FM radio stations – among them WIFI-FM, Philadelphia; KRBE-FM, Houston; WGZC-FM, Atlanta; WHUE-FM Boston; WGCI-FM, Cleveland; and WEFM-FM, Chicago, where he won a landmark case in the U.S. Court of Appeals that freed broadcasters from government oversight of programming.  In the 1980s and 1990s, Tanger built the WBACH Classical Music network of FM stations in Maine and served as the chairman of the board of Marlin Broadcasting, Inc. and Marlin Broadcasting, LLC from 1979 until his passing.

U.S. GDP Shrinks, Primary Races-Mid Term Elections, Lerner’s IRS Emails Scandal, Hillary Clinton Memoir/2016 Presidential Race, Influx of Illegal Immigrants; SCOTUS Cell Phone Search Ruling; Global Warming Debate; and World Cup Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/25).  Analysis of the economy as the gross domestic product in the U.S. shrinks 2.9%; the Thad Cochran primary race and the looming mid-term elections; the Lois Lerner IRS emails and GOP audits scandal; sales of Hillary Clinton’s memoir and the possibility she’ll run for president in 2016; continuing concern over the influx of illegal immigrants and public health issues associated with the problem; the SCOTUS ruling on warrantless police searches of cell phones; the debate over man-made climate change; and World Cup action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

| June 25, 2014

townsquare logoTownsquare Media to Go Public with IPO Hoping to Raise $144 Million.  The negative spin on this story is that by going public, Townsquare Media becomes another company that must serve shareholders first – with all that that implies.  But the reality is that Townsquare’s backers – Oaktree Capital and GE Capital (with 62% and 18% stakes, respectively) – have poured a lot of cash into building the company’s portfolio of 312 radio stations and number of digital publications.  The company is sitting on $645 million of outstanding debt and the IPO would help put a dent in that if it raises the $145 million it hopes for.  The one aspect of the company’s balance sheet that is turning radio industry watchers’ heads is that, according to its S1 filing, 26% of its revenue is coming from the non-radio end of its operations.  At this point, there is no timetable for the IPO or any report of how much shares will be sold for.

shepardsullivanNew England Radio Pro Brad Shepard Exits WHYN, Springfield.  For the past 11 years, Brad Shepard (left) has co-hosted the morning drive program alongside Bo Sullivan (right) on Clear Channel’s news/talk WHYN, Springfield, Massachusetts.  Now, the station appears to be going with Sullivan alone in the driver’s seat as CC’s Jennifer Powers confirms to Masslive.com that “Brad Shepard is no longer part of WHYN mornings.  We appreciate all of his contributions during his time with us and wish him well.”  Prior to joining Clear Channel Springfield in 2000, Shepard was morning host at crosstown AC WMAS-FM for seven years.  The move appears to be budget related like most of the talent cuts taking place at Clear Channel that TALKERS and RadioInfo have reported this week.

hummtomTALKERS Career Moves.  Las Vegas radio pro Tom Humm inks a new, five-year deal to remain in his vice president and market manager role at Beasley Broadcast Group’s station group there that includes four music stations and news/talk KDWN…..Nicky Sparrow is named the director of sales for the Clear Channel New Orleans station group that consists of six music outlets and news/talk WRNO-FM “Rush Radio 99.5.”

wgn logo newWGN, Chicago to Unveil ‘Walk of Fame.’  This Friday is the day Tribune Company’s WGN Radio will hold the WGN Radio Walk of Fame Induction Ceremony at Pioneer Court in front of Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue.  The ceremony will be broadcast live on WGN with hosts Steve Cochran and Bob Sirott introducing the 2014 Walk of Fame inductees and interviewing them or their family representatives.  Being inducted this year are: Spike O’Dell, Orion Samuelson, Kathy O’Malley, Wally Phillips (represented by wife, Barbara Phillips), Judy Markey, Quin Ryan (represented by his cousin, Justin O’Brien), Milt Rosenberg, Jack Brickhouse (represented by wife, Pat Brickhouse), Roy Leonard, and Bob Collins (represented by wife, Christine Collins).

nyfest smallThe New York Festivals Announces International Radio Program Award Winners.  Monday evening in New York City, the New York Festivals handed out honors to the winners in the 2014 competition The New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards.  The broad competition included entries from all over the world in a wide spectrum of categories.  Some of the winner from the United States included the American Forces Network; WGBH, Boston; Bloomberg News; and Gary Theroux Productions.  Follow this link and you can search for winners based on country or category.

PodcastOne Targets Young Demos with Brody Jenner Show.  The half-brother of the Kardashian sisters – Brody Jenner – is entering the world of podcasts with co-host andpodcastone logo relationship expert Dr. Mike Dow for a weekly podcast titled, “The Brody Jenner Podcast with Dr. Mike Dow.”  Brody – star of MTV’s “The Hills” – will focus on the love lives of celebrities and the podcast’s audience as they engage them through social media.  PodcastOne founder and CEO Norm Pattiz says, “Brody Jenner has an amazing connection with exactly the target audience we want to build at PodcastOne. We’re now doing business with over 100 of the nation’s biggest brands. We know where we need to go and we’re betting that Brody and Dr. Mike Dow can help get us there.”

deanandyOdds & Sods.  “America Now” host Andy Dean will appear on this Friday’s edition of “Real Time with Bill Maher” on HBO at 10:00 pm ET.  The Premiere Networks-syndicated talk host will be on with journalist Bobby Ghosh and MSNBC anchor Joy Reid…..Former WEEI, Boston sports talk host Glenn Ordway’s digital effort “The Big Show Unfiltered” makes a move on its SiriusXM platform where it is also heard liveordwayglenn from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.  The show moves from channel 108 to channel 220 for Sirius subscribers but remains on 206 for XM subscribers.  A press release from Ordway’s organization reports the show’s podcasts (which debuted on March 17) “have generated nearly 312,000 listener hours, up from over 252,000 individual listening sessions.  Each of those individual listening sessions, on average, has lasted 1:14, a critical factor in developing listener loyalty.”…..The internet video sports entertainment project 120 Sports debuts this evening at 6:00 pm ET.  120 Sports is collaboration between Time Inc./Sports Illustrated, MLB.com, the NHL, Campus Insiders and Silver Chalice.  120 Sports is described as “a first-of-its-kind network partnership involving multiple leagues and media properties created for the digital generation and the devices it uses most.  In 120 Sports, today’s fans will have access to unauthenticated video programming through a new platform built to intuitively integrate video and data in ways they haven’t experienced before.  The 120 Sports product will debut as free native applications for mobile and tablet devices as well as a web experience at 120Sports.com and other distribution outlets.

Iraq Turmoil-U.S. Military Role, IRS Scandal Testimony, Influx of Illegals in Southwest, Primary Races/State of the GOP, Hillary Clinton Memoir-Financial Status, News Corp Phone Hacking Trial, LeBron James Watch, and World Cup Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/24).  The continuing march of ISIS toward Baghdad and the U.S. military’s potential role in the country’s security; the testimony surrounding the loss of Lois Lerner’s emails by the IRS; the massive influx of minor illegals in the Southwest and concerns about health problems and criminal activity; the primary races for the fall’s mid-term elections and debate over the state of the GOP; Hillary Clinton’s latest memoir and her statements about her financial status; verdicts in the News Corp phone hacking scandal; speculation about the future of NBA star LeBron James; and the hoopla over World Cup action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

| June 24, 2014

shawsteveSteve Shaw Named Westwood One President.  Moving up from his post as SVP of Cumulus national sales is Steve Shaw who takes on the president role at the company’s Westwood One syndication and sales unit.  The company says Shaw will “expand his role as head of national spot sales for Cumulus’ owned-and-operated stations to include all national and digital sales for WestwoodOne, effective immediately.  In this new role he’ll oversee Westwood One Networks, Westwood One Sports, and Westwood One Digital, including Rdio and Cumulus National Sales, which will be renamed Westwood One Media Group.  Shaw waswestwoodone logo previously president of Katz Radio Group and president of Cox Digital Solutions.  Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey says, “Steve will drive the integration of our large stable of national media assets and advertising products under the Westwood One brand.  His track record of success in both broadcast radio and digital media will be instrumental as Cumulus and Westwood One combine to provide a compelling new set of ad packages designed to meet the rapidly evolving needs of our advertisers.”  Shaw comments, “Westwood One brings to listeners and advertisers an incredibly powerful combination of great content across a multitude of distribution channels.  With many of the most established brands in sports, talk, news and entertainment, as well as emerging new brands including NASH and Rdio, the opportunities are significant.  I am very excited to be working with the Westwood One team to create unique and effective solutions for our agency and client partners.”

caltamikeWHPT, Tampa’s Mike Calta Re-Ups with Cox Hot Talker.  Afternoon drive personality Mike Calta signs a contract renewal with Cox Media Group’s hot talk WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone.”  The station says the “#1 afternoon drive talk show host” continues in his role as host of the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm show.  Thewhptlogo station’s director of branding and programming, John Brennan, comments, “Mike Calta has earned his place among the elite in radio.  I’m honored that he will continue his dominance for several more years as part of The Bone’s team.  This announcement shows CMG’s commitment to providing its communities with the most compelling content and personalities.”  Calta says, “I’m excited to continue my radio career for the next five years right where it started 20 years ago in Tampa Bay.  CMG has been a great company to work for and I look forward to growing the Mike Calta show with them.”  Calta changed his air name from the high school nickname “Cowhead” that he used for years to his given name earlier this year.

henckmitchMadison Talk Host Mitch Henck Out at WIBA-AM.  Telling the Wisconsin State Journal he “probably milked (the radio job) as long as you could,” mid-morning talk host Mitch Henck says he was ousted by Clear Channel from news/talk WIBA-AM, Madison in a budget-related move.  The host of the 8:00 am to 11:00 am “Outside the Box” program says the ratings were not a problem and that it was “a corporate thing.”  Henck tells the paper he was neither right nor left in his approach to talk radio and he’s probably a “throwback.”  He also says he’s not bitter about the exit and will focus on other interests including his night club act called The Big Show in which he performs songs from the 1950s and 1960s.

cbslogoCBS RADIO Executes Cross Platform Sales Promotion in NYC.  This promotion ties in the popularity of golf among a certain demographic, that demo’s passion for luxury cars and a popular sports talk personality.  CBS’ radio, TV and digital platforms are executing a promotion involving the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut Lexus dealers and the Metropolitan Golf Association (MGA) called the “Lexus Perfect Drive” that features WFAN morning drive personality Craig Carton.  It was developed in collaboration with CBS Altitude Group and Team One, the ad agency for Lexus, to create excitement in the golf community through an engaging promotion implemented via original audio and video while also driving consumercartoncraig awareness of the Lexus brand.  Vignettes broadcast on sports talk WFAN-AM/FM, all-news WCBS-AM and classic hits WCBS-FM, plus WCBS-TV and featured on www.cbsnewyork.com offer an insider’s view into an array of renowned golf courses, and in-depth conversations with each club’s head pro as they reveal tips on what it takes to make par on the course’s most challenging hole.  A different course will be highlighted each week of the 12-week campaign.  During the promotion Lexus enthusiasts can visit one of 21 tri-state area dealerships where they can test drive a featured automobile or enter to win a VIP experience at a local golf club.  One grand prize winner will receive a trip to a famed golf resort in Ireland.  Altitude Group EVP Rich Lobel states, “We had a great time working with Team One and Lexus to create a campaign that highlights their pursuit of perfection and comes to life on a very local level.  Craig is a known golf enthusiast with a distinctive ability to speak to sports fans and champion results for clients.  He will be a great ambassador for Lexus as we execute this program.”

valentineboatTalk Host Phil Valentine to Take Listeners on ‘The Great Loop.’  Nationally syndicated talk show host Phil Valentine is taking his listeners with him as he brings his newly purchased boat – a 1968 57-foot Chris Craft Constellation – home to Tennessee from Fort Pierce, Florida.  He’s calling it Great American Vacation: Cruising the Great Loop and he’ll broadcast daily from the master stateroom of the boat he travels part of what’s called The Great Loop, also known as the Great Circle Route.  That route runs from Chicago and the Great Lakes down to the Tennessee River then down to Mobile and the Gulf of Mexico through the Tennessee-Tombigbee valentinephilWaterway.  From there it hugs the coast of the Panhandle down past Tampa then either across Florida via the Okeechobee Waterway or down around the tip of Florida then back up the East Coast to New York, up the Hudson then the Erie Canal and back into the Great Lakes. The entire loop is about 6,000 miles.  Valentine plans to traverse approximately a quarter of the loop from Fort Pierce to Mobile then up to Tennessee.  The Fort Pierce to Mobile leg will take approximately 8 to 10 days.  The last leg to the Tennessee River will take another 4 days.  The Westwood One personality says, “I’ve been looking for this particular boat for about eight years.  I’ve dreamed of doing at least part of the loop and the part we’re doing is probably the most scenic in the country.  The great news is our entire audience can vicariously join us for the ride.”  Valentine has hired a captain and first mate to navigate the trip.  Updates along with pictures and videos are being posted daily at http://CruisingTheGreatLoop.blogspot.com.

wgwg logo‘The Game 87.7’ Partners with Comcast SportsNet Chicago.  The late morning sports talk show “Kap & Haugh,” heard daily on WGN Radio’s sports talk sister WGWG-LP “The Game 87.7,” will be seen on Comcast SportsNet Chicago beginning July 21.  Tribune’s WGN Radio announces the show featuring David Kaplan and David Haugh will be simulcast live from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon and the deal will also include a one-hour “best-of” show that will air weeknights from 11:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  WGN and WGWG-LP president and general manager Jimmy de Castro states, “It’s been our focus to deliver sports talk like no one else.  Combining the ‘Kap & Haugh’ radio broadcast with the TV powerhouse Comcast SportsNet is another piece that fits in our puzzle to bring a complete media experience to the Chicago sports fan.”

kantar media logoKantar Media Reports U.S. Ad Spend for Q1 2014 Up; Radio Categories Dip.  The Sochi Olympics were a boon for U.S. ad spend in the first quarter of 2014 but television was the beneficiary of that.  However, even without the Olympics money, the U.S. ad spend was up just under 4% compared to the same period a year ago.  As for radio, national spot was the only category – at a jump of 6.7% — was the only one to see an increase from last year.  Local spot, network radio and Hispanic spot were all down with local radio dipping 4.7% compared to the same period a year ago.  Kantar reports that both local radio and Hispanic local radio saw declines attributable to lower spending from the retail, auto dealer and restaurant categories.  See the press statement here.

herskovitzalHolding Hands at the Talkers Conference.  Sales maven Al Herskovitz writes that the recent Talkers New York 2014 conference provided the opportunity to meet in person with fellow talk radio sales people and compare notes about the current state of business.  He says that during chats in the hallways, one topic kept coming up: the art of servicing the client after the sale has been made.  Heskovitz writes that, aside from the ever-present medium and large market concerns about the inclusion of a digital component in marketing proposals, “every group member agreed there are steps that now must be taken to keep the nervous advertiser as comfortable as possible during the run of the spots.”  Read Herskovitz’s suggestions for reminding your clients how important your vehicle is for getting their message to consumers here.

dukesmichaelOdds & Sods.  Whether the current spate of Clear Channel layoffs is a company-wide trend or just coincidence is not known for certain, but longtime WKBN, Youngstown, Ohio news director Jim Michaels has been let go after a 30-year career with the station, and according to WFMJ-TV, he was the last person left in the station’s news department…..Alaska talk show host Michael Dukes will become the new morning show host at Ohana Media Group’s KBYR, Anchorage in September.  Currently he is host at Last Frontier Mediactive-owned KFAR, Fairbanks…..Talk show host Mark Wainwright will be sitting in for WSYR, Syracuse morning host Joe Galuski from June 30 through July 3.  Wainwright says he’s available for fill-in work an can be reached at thatvoice@verizon.net…..Speaking of fill-ins, Clear Channel talk personality Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo – WOAI, KPRC and KHOW – is being heard this week in the Crescent City as his show is airing in the afternoon drive slot where WRNO’s John Osterlind is on vacation.

brownejoygymDr. Joy Browne Works to Support Cancer Survivors and Their Families.  Nationally syndicated (Radio America) relationships host, Dr. Joy Browne – a past recipient of the TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year Award” – continues her charitable ways.  Immediately following her appearance at Talkers New York 2014, the perennial Heavy Hundred radio star participated in the second annual Manhattan Relay for Life presented between 6:00 pm and 6:00 am at Pier 36 (6/21-22) presented by the American Cancer Society in support of cancer survivors and their families.  She is pictured here at Basketball City with the emcee of the event, Lehi Dowell.

WFANChristiesoftballChris Christie Steps to the Plate for Boomer Esiason Foundation.  New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is pictured here at the plate at Yankee Stadium taking part in the fourth annual Bombers Boomer Broadway Softball Classic on Monday, June 23.  Christie is a regular guest on WFAN, New York’s Boomer & Carton morning show and he joined Boomer Esiason’s team for the charity softball game.  Team Boomer, which consisted of WFAN personalities and Esiason’s noteworthy friends including Christie, played an exciting matchup against a host of Wounded Warriors and New York Yankees alumni, benefitting the Boomer Esiason Foundation.  WFAN reports that in the 7th inning, with the bases loaded, the Governor’s fielding at third base contributed to leading his team to a 7-6 victory.  Photo by Christian Conte/CBSNewYork.com.

Hillary Clinton Wealth Claims/Health Rumors, Iraq Turmoil-U.S. Assistance, Illegal Immigrant Influx, IRS Scandal, More VA Hospitals Allegations, Klein Clintons-Obamas Book, and World Cup Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/23).  Ongoing claims by Hillary Clinton that she and Bill are not rich plus reports that she’s not in good health; the ISIS-perpetrated violence in Iraq and U.S. assistant to the Iraqi Army; controversy over the massive influx of illegals crossing the U.S. border in the Southwest; more testimony from IRS officials about the missing Lois Lerner emails; new allegations of mistreatment of patients at VA hospitals; the new Ed Klein book Blood Feud about the relationship between the Clintons and the Obamas; and World Cup action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research about TALKERS.

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 a Tremendous Success.  Aside from the impressive numbers (60-plus speakers, hundreds of registrants, early sellout, 29 sponsors), the 17th annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national convention in the talk media industry was a crowd-pleaser in terms of issues addressed, solutions proposed, and connections made.  Talkers New York 2014 has received praise not only for its agenda’s precision and well-balanced representation of the industry’s diversity — but the spectacular (India House) venue’s food, comfort and elegance as well.  It was a power-packed day (6/20) without a second of downtime. From the opening “Breakfast with Hannity” networking social to the final “Farewell Cocktail Reception,” it stands out as what TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison describes as “one of the really good ones.”  In the words of Journal Broadcast Group’s VP/news/talk programming Tom Langmyer, “This is an incredible venue and the discussions are truly enlightening and powerful.  Not only is the event informative, but also very inspiring.  This is the juice we all need – and I am even more optimistic about the future of talk and the personal connection we can provide – across ALL platforms.”  Consultant/programmer Greg Moceri, CEO of Moceri Media adds, “Just amazing to me how many of us in the biz all these years feel this is a ‘can’t miss’ event every year.”  Courtside Entertainment/PodcastOne CEO Norm Pattiz describes Talkers New York 2014 as “a high-energy, super-pro, first-class conference.”  Radio and WPIX-TV, New York commentator Lionel says, “It just might have been the most fruitful and beneficial to date, if that’s even possible.”  Salem syndicated personality Mike Gallagher called it, “another wonderful gathering.”  Kraig T. Kitchin, CEO of Sound Mind, LLC says, “A great environment for conversation, for interaction, and for shared ideas.  I had a great time!  I learned a lot – more than I anticipated.  The camaraderie was very evident, industry-wide, and that was a true blessing.”  Among the major issues addressed were the challenges facing radio (of all formats, including talk) in the 21st century digital age including the arenas of programming, sales, technology, audience measurement and economics.  The very role and pertinence of radio in this new era was held up to the spotlight of scrutiny in terms of generational changes and expectations.  The result in a nutshell: unbridled (but absolutely realistic) optimism!  The two words that came up time and again throughout the day were “community” and “passion.”  Perhaps, the general sentiment of the conference is best summed up by WAQY, Springfield, MA “Rock 102” morning show co-host Mike “Bax” Baxendale who wrote, “These seminars have always made me want to become a greater broadcaster.  For that I am deeply grateful.”  In the words of TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “The hours and hours of valuable content generated by this event are going to keep our editorial and audio/video production departments busy for weeks as we break it all out and organize it for presentation in the form of stories, news and video packaging.”  Look for multi-media coverage of the event right here at Talkers.com in the days and weeks ahead.  In the meantime, the staff and management of TALKERS want to express deep gratitude to the hundreds of individuals and companies who supported this event so solidly as registrants, speakers and sponsors.  We are humbled by your precious friendship and confidence.

#1. Hannity Speech

Sean Hannity makes point during morning keynote.

 

 

 

 

 

1bHannity

Sean Hannity addresses standing room crowd.

 

 

 

 

 

1cHannity

Phil Boyce (l) and Greg Moceri (c) interviewed by
Sean Hannity (r).

 

 

 

 

2Francesa

Mike Francesa delivers sports talk keynote.

 

 

 

 

 

3Pattiz

Norm Pattiz accepting Lifetime Achievement Award.

 

 

 

 

 

4Hartmann

Thom Hartmann accepting Freedom of Speech Award.

 

 

 

 

 

5Julie

Julie Talbott accepting Woman of the Year Award.

 

 

 

 

 

6CaroleJoyce

Carole Marks presenting Joyce Kaufman with
Humanitarian of the Year Award.

 

 

 

 

 

 

7JimBo

Jim Bohannon emceeing the Awards Ceremony.
Not pictured, Kenneth Chandler, introducer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

8DelColliano

Jerry Del Colliano delivering special address.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9Erica

Erica Farber moderating “State of Radio Advertising
and Sales” panel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

10Salespanel

“State of Radio Advertising and Sales” panel. (l-r):
Ron Furman, Julie Talbott, Joe Puglise, Kraig Kitchin.
Not pictured:  Dr. Asa Andrew, introducer.

 

 

 

 

11BigPicture

“Radio: The Big Picture Panel” (l-r): Tom Langmyer,
Mike McVay, Sam Kimball, Steve Goldstein, Tom Leykis.
Not pictured:  Michael Harrison, moderator;
Dana Loesch, introducer.

 

 

12LocalRadio

“The State of Local Talk Radio” panel. (l-r): Jerry Crowley,
Larry Young, McGraw Milhaven, Mike “Bax” Baxendale,
Lee Harris.  Not pictured:  David Bernstein, moderator;
Ethan Bearman, introducer.

 

 

 

13Programming1

“The State of Talk Radio Programming” panel.  (l-r):

Bill Hess, Craig Schwalb, Gabe Hobbs.  Not pictured:
Kevin Casey, moderator; Phil Boyce, panelist.

 

 

 

14Bloom

“The State of Talk Radio Programming” panel,  Andy Bloom.

 

 

 

 

 

15Managing

“Developing and Managing a Talk Show Hosting Career”
panel. (l-r): Ron Hartenbaum, Tom Becka, Martha Zoller.
Not pictured:  Mike Kinosian, moderator.

 

 

 

 

16Managing2

“Developing and Managing a Talk Show Hosting Career”
panel.  (l-r): Tom Marr, Joe Piscopo.

 

 

 

 

17Rumble

“The Talk Rumble” (l-r):  Mike Gallagher, Bubba the
Love Sponge, Joyce Kaufman, David Webb,
Kevin McCullough, Alan Colmes, Thom Hartmann.
Not pictured:  Lionel, moderator; Dr. Joy Browne, introducer.

 

 

 

18Price

Howard B. Price delivering special address.

Monday, June 23, 2014

| June 23, 2014

wind logoWIND, Chicago’s Joe Walsh Returns to Air After Truncated Show Involving Racial Slurs.  To be clear, former congressman and current WIND, Chicago 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm talk personality Joe Walsh did not use the ‘N-word’ or any other words referring to actual people.  On his Thursday show is used the Washington Redskins controversy as a jumping off point for an academic conversation about words, their meaning and how people perceive them.  But in using those words, management pulled him off the air during a commercial break and he did not return.  Walsh met with management onwalshjoe Friday and was apprised of the company’s policy about such language.  The following statement issued Friday afternoon from Salem Communications-owned WIND “AM 560 The Answer” general manager Jeff Reisman explains that policy: “Yesterday, AM 560 The Answer’s Joe Walsh conducted a segment of his show regarding the recent controversy about the name of the Washington Redskins.  During the segment Joe intended to cite several common racial slurs as examples.  He did not in any way use them in a defamatory or derogatory manner, simply as examples. However, AM 560 The Answer did not allow them to go on the air.  AM 560 The Answer has a policy of not using certain words on the air that are highly inflammatory and offensive even in the context of a discussion of why those words are offensive.  We will continue that policy.  Joe Walsh will be back on air tonight.”

baldwinmcculloughBig Little Screen Add for ‘McCullough/Baldwin *LIVE*’.  The XtreMEDIA-produced weekend talk show “McCullough/Baldwin *LIVE*,” featuring Kevin McCullough and Stephen Baldwin announces the addition of a new television affiliate for the video stream of the show.  Beginning July 1, the program will be seen on KFLA-TV, Los Angeles.  XtreMEDIA says the program will be available in the 14 million TV/cable households that get the channel.  Kevin McCullough comments, “Being live on television in ‘prime time’ always ratchets up response and numbers.  And on a signal like KFLA in SoCal — which stretches literally from Palm Springs to Santa Barbara, Huntington Beach all the way to Bakersfield, blows us away.”  He adds that in total through the partnership with BizTV, the weekend broadcast will reach approximately 40 million TV/cable households in some 20 markets.  He says of the radio version of the show that “in most recent PPM trends the Saturday night broadcast accounted for more than half the radio station’s Saturday total cume on its flagship market NYC, and two other markets.”

parisjimGenesis Communications Network Debuts “Jim Paris Live.”  The weekly, two-hour program airs Sundays starting at 9:00 pm (ET).  Palm Coast, Florida-based Jim Paris has recently been broadcasting over the internet and the ChristianMoney.com editor comments that he has “wanted to get back to terrestrial radio.  Genesis Communications was my first choice and it was a natural fit.  I already listen to several programs on the network and feel that my voice will be a complement to their already-fantastic lineup.  I love the niche that GCN fills, and I am excited to add my name to their roster.”  Paris formerly hosted programs on the Sun Radio Network and USA Radio Network.  In the late-1980s, he was a substitute host for financial advisor Charles J. Givens’ syndicated radio show.

learfieldsports logoLicensing Resource Group Liquidated into Learfield Sports.  Although terms of the transaction were not disclosed, Plano, Texas-headquartered Learfield Sports obtains Licensing Resource Group (LRG).  Learfield president and chief executive officer Greg Brown states, “The LRG team has done a terrific job serving its collegiate partners – we are thrilled to have them join the Learfield family.  We are also excited to now offer a broader collection of services to our collegiate partners.”  According to LRG president and CEO Lewis Hardy, “We have a great team of people and have worked hard over the years to build valuable relationships in the college marketplace.  Learfield will help us grow our capabilities in the coming years.  Learfield has a stellar reputation.  We are excited about this new chapter of growth for LRG.”  Hardy will continue to manage LRG day-to-day; he will report to Learfield Sports chief operating officer Marc Jenkins.  LRG primarily provides schools with licensing services, including trademark and brand management.  The company also provides schools and vendors with advice and consulting services.  Learfield Sports manages exclusive multimedia rights – including radio broadcast rights – to approximately 100 collegiate properties.  Learfield says it does not anticipate making any employee changes related to this acquisition.

gillemdennyAMVETS Joins Forces with ”Frontlines of Freedom.”  Denny Gillem-hosted military/veterans-geared talk program “Frontlines of Freedom” enters a long-term partnership with proactive veterans’ service organization AMVETS.  Gillem remarks that AMVETS is, “the most inclusive veterans organization in our country – they truly care about our veterans. AMVETS and its members are proactively engaging in local and national events, and initiatives to improve the provisioning of health care for veterans; preservation of earned benefits; recognition of service; encouraging Americanism; and positively representing veterans to our nation as a whole.”  The program’s co-creator and executive producer Josh Leng comments that “Frontlines of Freedom” listeners are “already benefiting from this partnership through the additional information and ideas on important veterans issues and the experts it has brought to the program.  In just over a year, we have welcomed 46 new affiliates.  This past week, we reached the 60-affiliate station mark.  Enthusiasm for ‘Frontlines of Freedom’ by station owners, general managers, and program directors has really started to snowball.”  The partnership will incorporate information-sharing on veterans’ issues and legislation, shared access to voices on military and veteran support, and action-based opportunities for veterans.

Odds & Sods.  Now heading up the sales efforts of Genesis Communications’ three-station cluster Florida cluster of WAMT, Orlando “AM 1190 News,” sports talk WHOO, Kissimmee “AM 1080 The Team,” and WIXC, Titusville “AM 1060 News” is Scott Schwartz whom the company names general sales manager.   Schwartz will also oversee sales for the company’s web publications…..Sonoma Media Group adds an FM translator – K276DT, Santa Rosa – to the signal of news/talk KSRO, Santa Rosa.  The new signal is at 103.5 FM.

Friday, June 20, 2014

| June 20, 2014

methenykevinCumulus Media Moves Kevin Metheny to KGO and KSFO, San Francisco.  From his current position with Cumulus Media as program director of WJR, Detroit, Kevin Metheny will go West to take the helm of Bay Area news and talk stations KGO and KSFO as operations manager, effective July 14.  The company says that Metheny is “a career content creator whose other recent work includes the successful kgo logo newlaunch of CBS RADIO’s country KMNB, “BUZ*N @ 102.9” in the Twin Cities; program director of WGN, Chicago; and 13 years with Clear Channel in various roles, including regional vice president of programming.”  Cumulus EVP and co-COO John Dickey states, “Kevin Metheny’s reputation and accomplishments are unparalleled.  His deep understanding of spoken-word radio and ability to work with bigger-than-life talents make him the ideal candidate to lead the legendary KGO and KSFO.”  Metheny takes over for Ron Escarsega, who exits the stations.

walshjoe

WIND, Chicago Pulls Joe Walsh Off the Air After ‘Conversation About Words.’  Chicago talk show host (and former U.S. Congressman) Joe Walsh was pulled off his radio program on the Salem Communications-owned talk station yesterday (6/19) after he used a number of racial slurs while engaging in what he termed (via Twitter) “an honest, adult conversation about words without resorting to alphabet soup phrases (C-word, N-word etc.).”  Walsh was riffing on the controversy over the NFL’s Washington Redskins losing its trademark due a recent Trademark Office decision.  He Tweets that he “Found out that if I said Redskins or Cracker or Redneck Bible Thumper I could stay on.  But if I said N***er or Sp**k, they cut me off.”  As reported in the Daily Mail, Walsh is expected to be off the radio today and will meet with management later this afternoon.  Walsh is fairly new to talk radio and apparently didn’t think an academic discussion was the same as outright use of the words he was discussing.  Still, management is understandably skittish about the matter.  Time will tell if this afternoon’s meeting is about setting it right or a pink slip for Walsh.

wgn logo newTribune’s WGN, Chicago Takes Top Honors at IBA Awards Ceremony.  Chicago news/talker WGN was honored with the Chicago Market Station of the Year award at the 2014 Illinois Broadcasters Association Silver Dome Awards ceremony held in Peoria on Wednesday, June 18.  This is the seventh year running for WGN taking home that honor.  The Tribune-owned station also was honored with first place wins in six categories, including: Best play-by-play team for Chicago Blackhawks broadcasters John Wiedeman and Troy Murray; Best radio series or documentary for “Beyond Bartman: The Story of the 2003 Cubs,” produced by David Kaplan, Trey Elling and Dan Levy; Best radio feature for “Halloween Rescheduled,” with Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder; Best station website for wgnradio.com; Best use of new media for the “Graveyard Shift Tours,” video with Nick Digilio and Dan Sugrue; and Best non-humorous commercial for “Des Plaines Golf Center,” produced by Jason Skaggs.  WGN president and GM Jimmy de Castro states, “We are thrilled to have taken home seven awards and to be recognized by our peers at the Illinois Broadcasters Association.  You can’t be named Chicago Market Station of the Year without terrific contributions from people like John and Troy of the Chicago Blackhawks and the incredibly talented family at WGN Radio.  These awards are a testament to the strong sense of collaboration at our station and the amazing buzz in our hallways.”

Odds & Sods.  The chairman of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will take over as general manager of sports talk KLAA, Orange, California after the exit of David Baronfeld.  The radio management pro had been GM of the station for the past three years…..Compass Media Networks announces its NFL play-by-play schedule for the 2014 season.  Some of the key games the network is offering include: the 49ers at the Cowboys on 9/7, the Raiders at the Seahawks on 11/2, and the Cowboys at the Bears on 12/4…..Sports USA also announces its NFL play-by-play schedule for the coming season.  Games available through it include the Saints at the Falcons on 9/7, the Broncos at the Seahawks on 9/21, and the Packers at the Bears on 9/28…..Staradio Corp.-owned rock station WYKT, Kankakee, Illinois will flip to sports talk as “105.5 the Ticket” beginning July 10.  The station will use CBS Sports Radio Network programming and will air NFL play-by-play from WestwoodOne as well as local high school football and basketball.

browneUN14Joy at the United Nations.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Joy Browne (right) is pictured here interviewing an unidentified expert from the United Nations at yesterday’s “Talk Radio Day at the United Nations” – the massive radio row at the iconic headquarters of the World Organization — produced by TALKERS magazine in association with the Talk Radio News Service and the United Nations Foundation.  Dr. Joy Browne will be at the Talkers New York 2104 conference taking place at the historic India House in Hanover Square today.  Meet her there!

Iraq Turmoil Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of June 16-20.  The political turmoil and violence taking place in Iraq and the Obama Administration’s policy toward the nation was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the crisis of child illegals pouring over the borders in the Southwest and the larger topic of immigration reform.  At #3 was the recent primary results and races and the state of the GOP followed by Hillary Clinton’s memoir tied with speculation about the 2016 presidential race at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Pandora Chickened Out!

| June 19, 2014

New Jersey Broadcasters Association convention coverage by consultant Holland Cooke

 

cookewriterATLANTIC CITY — Stroll the iconic Boardwalk here, and you feel like you’ve stepped-back in time, the good ol’ summertime.

Also timeless: the radio mojo upstairs at Caesars, where the New Jersey Broadcasters Association convention wrapped Wednesday.  Because this state has only one commercial TV station – New York City’s channel 9, re-licensed to Secaucus to save its license years ago – this was, de facto, a radio show.  I attend lots of these state conventions, and each year this is a real good one.

Applause to affable NJ Broadcasters’ president/CEO Paul Rotella, who rounded-up some 300, an impressive headcount for a state meeting, in a state this size, with station travel budgets still tight.  And these attendees WERE…local…very “of” this unique state.  Proof: side-by-side on Radio Row: TWO stations on 1450AM, licensed-to, and sounding-very-much-like, their communities, in different parts of The Garden State.

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

| June 19, 2014

2014 NYC logo 150Two Big Days for Talk Radio in the Big Apple.  Today (6/19) kicks off a big couple of days for talk radio in New York City starting with the ninth annual installment of “Talk Radio Day at the United Nations” – the massive radio row at the iconic headquarters of the World Organization — produced by TALKERS magazine in association with the Talk Radio News Service and the United Nations Foundation.  Tomorrow is the power-packed day of “Talkers New York 2014” — the 17th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longestcolmesUN14 running and most important national convention.  More than 25 hosts, shows and networks are participating in the United Nations initiative which is already underway at the time of this posting.  They are interviewing international policy experts, ambassadors, newsmakers and UN department leaders.  Tomorrow, more than 55 industry leaders will address hundreds of attendees from radio stations, networks and broadcast-oriented organizations from across the country in an anticipated event that was been sold-out two weeks in advance.  Look for full coverage of both exciting events right here in the days ahead.  Meanwhile, from today’s broadcasts from the United Nations, pictured here is Fox News Radio personality Alan Colmes (left) interviews UN deputy general secretary Jan Eliasson (right).

millerkevinARKKARN-FM, Little Rock Announces New Programming Lineup.  Arkansas news/talker KARN-FM, Little Rock “Newsradio 102.9” has new morning drive and afternoon programming as the Cumulus Media station names Arkansas native Kevin Miller morning drive host and Doc Washburn afternoon talkwashburndoc personality.  The station says Miller is a longtime market veteran who has worked at such stations as adult contemporary KURB “B98.5” and CHR KLAL “Alice 107.7.”  Beginning Monday, July 7, Doc Washburn begins hosting the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm program.  Washburn comes to Little Rock from his most recent gig at Greater Media’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte.  He’s also worked in the Savannah, Georgia; Panama City and Fort Walton Beach, Florida markets.  KARN-FM program director Adam Thomas states, “Kevin and Doc bring passion, experience and a love of local radio to mornings and afternoons on Arkansas’ legendary news radio station.”

edisonshareofearEdison Research: Broadcast Radio Grabs 52% of Audio Listening.  According to a new study of 2,096 Americans ages 13+ that the company calls the “Share of Ear” measurement, Americans spend more than four hours per day listening to audio from all sources and AM/FM broadcast audio (heard on all of its platforms) has a 52% audience share of listening.  The study asked the panel about its audio listening habits including radio, internet delivered radio, pure-play digital services, and consumers’ own music collections.  The study is based on a 24-hour listening diary recorded last month.  Edison Research president Larry Rosin comments, “Edison’s ‘Share of Ear’ study is a response to the many requests from all corners of the audio industry and investment community for ‘total share of everything’ figures that did not previously exist.  Edison reported last September that America is in a ‘golden age of audio consumption.’  Seeing that Americans spend roughly a fourth of their waking day listening to some sort of audio confirms it.”

alphamedia logoAlpha Media’s Portland Stations to Use Clip Interactive Technology.  Calling it a first for the Portland, Oregon market, Alpha Media announces it signs on with Clip Interactive to have the company’s technology allow listeners to be “interactive” with its six stations that include: talk KUFO-AM “Freedom 970,” CHR KBFF “Live 95.5,” country KUPL “98.7 The Bull,” sports talk KXTG-AM “750 The Game,” news/talk KXL “FM News 101” and triple A KINK.  The station says that new apps loaded with the Clip technology have been pushed out and that with “Clip Interac-tive’s technology, these apps now enable our listeners to access a live feed of what’s playing, listen to the stations streams and browse the content aired in the past hour.  Users can also interact with what they hear by rating music, entering contests, accessing special offers and more.”  Alpha SVP and market manager Milt McConnell adds, “Clip Interactive has been an important partner of Alpha Broadcasting and we are excited to implement their new technology, which greatly benefits our listeners, advertisers and other partner companies.  These apps will enable us to further engage our listener base while quantifying the effectiveness of our advertisers’ campaigns.”

cookehollandNJBA Convention Report.  Media consultant Holland Cooke reports from Atlantic City where the New Jersey Broadcasters Association just wrapped its annual convention.  Among the topics covered: The Great Debate – Internet Pure-Plays versus AM/FM Broadcasters; the still-high consumption of audio content in a multi-media universe; and selling audio content in the current era.  Cooke reports that while Connoisseur chief Jeff Warshaw admits that “radio hasn’t been its own best friend lately,” many radio people believe that digital audio services are hot not necessarily because they are good, but because they exist on the “shiny new object” that is the smartphone or tablet, thereby making them de facto “cool.”  Read more of Holland Cooke’s NJBA report here.

justiceborderGetting the First Look.  KQTH, Tucson morning drive personality Jon Justice (pictured at left wearing lanyard) stands outside the Nogales Border Patrol facility where child immigrants are being quartered.  Justice is credited with breaking the story that went national after receiving a tip from insiders about the conditions in which the children were being kept.  Here, Justice is part of the first group of media allowed to tour the facility.  TALKERS hears that it was Justice’s tenacity in requesting the media be allowed to see the site that, in part, led to the Border Patrol opening the facility to the media.

Obama Administration’s Iraq Policy, Washington Redskins Decision, Global Warming Debate, Benghazi Suspect Testimony, Primary Races/State of the GOP, IRS Scandal/Missing Lerner Emails and World Cup Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/18).  The political turmoil in Iraq and the Obama Administration’s military policy there; the cancellation of the Washington Redskins’ trademark and debate over the team’s name; the ongoing discussion over man-made climate change and proposals to limit carbon emissions; the Benghazi suspect’s story about the attack on the U.S. consulate; mid-term primary races and the state of the GOP; the missing emails from Lois Lerner and the IRS scandal; and World Cup action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

| June 18, 2014

sheridantomJournal Broadcast Group Milwaukee Announces Promotions.  From Tom Langmyer, VP/GM of radio operations for Journal Broadcast Group’s Milwaukee stations – news/talk WTMJ and adult hits WLWK “94.5 The Lake” – come the following promotions: Tom Sheridan is promoted to director of sales from his GSM position.  The company says in this role, Sheridan has a more clearly defined, overall bjorsonjasonresponsibility and accountability for all top-line revenue at Milwaukee’s radio operations.  With his promotion it has eliminated the previous dual reporting structure for interactive and national sales and streamlined the sales organization.  Jason Bjorson is elevated from local sales manager to general sales manager.  Bjorson will continue to oversee local sales, with additional leadership responsibilities across oconnellkatieall other top-line revenue streams.  He will oversee sales training, recruit to expand the sales organization, develop general revenue strategies, lead the company’s growing events business and expand local relationships.  Katie O’Connell is promoted to executive producer, digital content and social media.  This new lead position will drive the company’s content and social media strategies across all platforms.  Prior to her current role at Milwaukee’s radio operations, O’Connell served with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, rothcollinWTMJ-TV, and Journal Interactive.  Collin Roth has been promoted to managing editor for Right Wisconsin, working with WTMJ personality Charlie Sykes and leading his content team for this growing digital/subscription-based product.  Additionally, Bryan Shore and Steve Frank have been named digital sales associates.  Langmyer says, “This solid new structure and excellent team will lead us in product development, cross-platform content and revenue growth.  These promotions represent a new leadership structure to drive further growth at Journal’s Milwaukee Radio Operations.”

brent and meg_61714 A 72 dpi“Brent & Meg” Graduate from TalkersRadio to Launch New Terrestrial Midday Show on GCN.  The husband/wife talk radio team “Brent & Meg” (legendary rock radio personality/newsman Brent Seltzer and award-winning public relations veteran Meg McDonald) have signed a deal with Genesis Communications Network (GCN) to launch a Monday-Friday midday show (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm ET) on Monday, July 7.  This development marks the first time a program conceived and launched on TalkersRadio has made the leap from the experimental platform operated by TALKERS magazine to terrestrial radio. “We couldn’t be more delighted,” states TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein, adding, “This marks an exciting milestone for TalkersRadio and is a wonderful testimony to our initial success in carrying out our ongoing mission to be a laboratory where new concepts in talk radio can be developed.  I am personally proud of Brent & Meg because I believe what they’ve got to offer midday talk radio has been – with rare exceptions – a missing element from our medium for many years.  They are, simply put, sensationally fresh!”  TalkersRadio officially began streaming on Talkers.com in September of 2013 and Seltzer and McDonald were among its charter performers.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (who “discovered” Brent & Meg) adds, “Brent & Meg couldn’t be in better hands than with entrepreneurial visionary Ted Anderson who has done such a fantastic job of developing GCN into a budding powerhouse syndication firm.  He reminds me of the old record company and studio heads who understood how to build and develop new talent and acts from the grassroots markets up.  We sure need more of that in today’s network radio scene.”  Harrison goes on to describe “Brent & Meg” as “the newest thing ‘old school’ has to offer – perfect, contemporary husband/wife chat for the midday position…where yesterday meets tomorrow.”  To read TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian’s fascinating in-depth account of the Brent & Meg saga posted today (6/18), please click here.

ccme horiz logoClear Channel to Put New Audience Targeting Tool to Use for 2014 Political Buys.  The new tool is called AuDiO – short for Audience Delivery Optimizer – and what the company calls “a groundbreaking, proprietary radio targeting tool developed specifically for political advertisers.”  Clear Channel goes on to say, “This first-of-its-kind radio optimization tool enables local and national political campaigns across the country to precisely target key voter segments using radio — which was confirmed by recent research to be one of the most effective and efficient consumer advertising vehicles.”  How does it work?  The company says AuDiO matches key information about 245 million Americans who listen to Clear Channel’s 840 U.S. terrestrial radio stations to leading political databases to make actionable predictions about which desired voter segment is listening to which stations at which times.  The launch of AuDiO means that Clear Channel is now uniquely able to match broadcast listener data – for any of its 840 stations, at any time of day and in any political district nationwide – to multiple third-party data sources to identify which listeners fall into any given political district and, within that district’s listening audience, which segments are present and in what numbers.  CCM+E EVP for political strategy Nathan Daschle comments, “Ninety-two percent of Americans listen to radio every month — but despite radio’s incredible reach, campaigns have never had a tool like AuDiO for radio before.  AuDiO takes the guesswork out of radio buying by replacing wild hunches with actionable and precise models so that campaigns know which of their desired target audiences are listening, when and to whom.  This means that campaigns, political parties and other groups across America have the ability to use radio in a much smarter way to reach their target voters.”

nielsen logoNielsen Releases Revised Los Angeles PPM Data.  After the controversial case of one Univision Los Angeles programming staffer (who’s been fired) being involved in a PPM household, which delayed the release of May PPM data for the market from last week to this week, the ratings company releases the Los Angeles numbers and revises the April PPM data for the market as well.  Those numbers can be found at TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo here.  Also, see managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian’s “Takeaway” from the LA ratings here.

snookipodcastReality Star Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi Podcast Debuts on PodcastOne.  Add another colorful celebrity to the lineup of podcasts available through Norm Pattiz-founded PodcastOne as former “Jersey Shore” reality series cast member Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi begins producing a weekly on-demand show for the service.  Pattiz comments, “Sometimes I feel like we’re on the Starship Enterprise going where no man has gone before!  Taking a star of one medium like Nicole and exposing – in every sense of the word – her on another is what makes this all fun.  PodcastOne is pleased to welcome Nicole’s audience to our platform and expose her to the additional hundred million monthly listeners who currently consume PodcastOne programs.”

harrismedia logoAdLarge, KMG and Harris Media Partner for Control Room Pro Distribution.  Three firms are teaming up to sell and distribute the new Control Room Pro suite of digital production field and studio tools.  AdLarge Media will lead the national advertising sales effort, while KMG Networks will spearhead radio station distribution.  The two firms share a similar relationship on behalf of several radio and digital products and services.  Harris Media founder Lee Harris says, “Most of the new digital and mobile programs for broadcast radio are consumer-facing.  We focused on the development of cutting-edge newsroom and radio station field tools that expedite the gathering of news-related material for anchors and streamlined the field reporting process.”  Krantz Media Group president and CEO Gary Krantz adds, “Control Room Pro tools already are proven winners in the news/talk marketplace, including top stations like WINS, New York; WCBS-AM, New York; and KYW-AM, Philadelphia.  News/talk stations have a high overhead on field equipment and in-studio production programs.  These digital products fill a clear marketplace need by increasing productivity and decreasing equipment and production library costs.  Radio station affiliates will experience positive bottom line results.”

cataldibobbleheadWIP-FM, Philadelphia and Personality Angelo Cataldi Sell Bobbleheads to Benefit Police Survivors Fund.  In cooperation with local business Cottman Transmission & Total Auto Care and the Philly Team Store, CBS RADIO sports talker WIP-FM, Philadelphia and morning drive personality Angelo Cataldi are selling Cataldi bobble-head dolls, a portion of the proceeds from which will benefit the Philadelphia F.O.P. Lodge #5 Survivors Fund.  The dolls are being sold for $20 via the station’s website.  Both Cottman Transmission and the Philly Team Store are giving dolls away with major purchases.  The F.O.P. Lodge #5 Survivors Fund, since its inception, has been invaluable to the members of the lodge who have experienced the most devastating tragedies.   The losses incurred by the families of deceased and extraordinarily injured officers cannot be recovered but can be eased through financial support or assistance.  This fund continues to be able to provide help for families due to the charitable donations of police family, friends and business partners.

waltersbudCromwell’s Bud Walters to Receive National Radio Award.  At the coming NAB Radio Show in Indianapolis in September, Cromwell Group founder and president Bud Walters will receive the NAB’s “National Radio Award” during the Radio Show Luncheon on September 12.  NAB EVP of radio John David states, “Bud Walters’ exemplary leadership and his enthusiasm for radio have had a positive impact on the industry.  We salute Bud for his tireless devotion to serving local communities through the power of radio.”  Walters founded his company in 1972.  He currently owns and operates 28 radio stations (six AM, 17 FM and five HD2+ translators) in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Iraq Turmoil, Primary Results/State of the GOP, Hillary Clinton Memoir, Benghazi Suspect Prosecution, Child Immigrant Influx, IRS Scandal-Missing Lerner Emails, Soaring Food Prices, and World Cup Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/17).  The violence in Iraq as a militant Muslim group vies for power in the state; the victories of Tea Party-backed candidates in the primaries and the future of the GOP; former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s memoir; the plans to prosecute a suspect in the deadly Benghazi attack; U.S. immigration policies and the large numbers of child immigrants pouring across the Southwest borders; the IRS scandal and the loss of Lois Lerner’s emails; the dramatic hike in U.S. meat prices; and American interest in World Cup action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

MEET BRENT & MEG: Genesis of an Energizing Mid-Day Partnership

| June 18, 2014

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief

 

LOS ANGELES —Journey back to the “Golden Age” of radio and television, and, you will promptly ascertain that, especially in terms of audience acceptance, pairing a real-life husband and wife was a brilliant programming strategy that tended to produce blockbuster results.

ozzie and harrietConsider such instantly familiar classic examples as George Burns & Gracie Allen; Desi Arnaz & Lucille Ball; Ozzie & Harriet Nelson; and Jim & Marian Jordan as “Fibber McGee & Molly,” whose 24-year radio run concluded in 1959.

Contemporary “Windy City” radio partisans will surely cite “Don Wade & Roma,” who were staples on WLS-AM, Chicago for over 25 years; Don Wade succumbed to brain cancer last September.

brent and meg_61714 A 72 dpiFairly recently (then-married) couples Chet Curtis & Natalie Jacobson on Boston’s WCVB-TV, and Jim Lampley & Bree Walker on Los Angeles’ KCBS-TV co-anchored the news together on their respective stations; 74-year-old Curtis lost his fight against pancreatic cancer five months ago.

These are simply representative examples (certainly not approaching a definitive list) of the effective, albeit not now revolutionary concept.

Consequently, while it will hardly be precedent setting when Los Angeles-based Brent Seltzer and his wife Meg McDonald debut next Monday (6/23) on the Genesis Communications Network for their daily, two-hour (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm, ET) broadcast, it nonetheless promises to be a wonderfully refreshing burst of fresh air to talk radio.

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National Journalism Center Plays a Supportive Role with Talk Radio and Media’s Youth

| June 17, 2014

By Jeff McKay
TALKERS
Special Features Correspondent

 

mckayjeffWilbur, Kirby 2014WASHINGTON, DC — In the era of industry-wide consolidation and moves to cut costs with syndication over local talk hosts, longtime radio and media veteran Kirby Wilbur could be the poster child for reinventing a career while helping others to start their own.  Washington, DC-born and Seattle-raised, Wilbur made a name for himself in the Pacific Northwest not from his job as a real estate appraiser, but as a frequent caller to talk shows, a non-paid “hobby” that ultimately led him to his own talk show on KVI in 1993.  For the next 16 years, he was a staple on Seattle airwaves, along with numerous appearances on TALKERS magazine’s “Heavy Hundred” list of the most important radio talk show hosts in America, and also as a fill-in host for the Sean Hannity Show, until he was cut loose from KVI in October, 2009.

Fortunately for Wilbur, his Republican ideology, political activism and ability to articulate points allowed him to move directly into politics, becoming the chairman of the Washington State Republican Party.  During his tenure, Republicans picked up majorities in the Washington State House and State Senate.  However, an offer came his way that has not only changed him, but is also developing a new generation of members of the media.

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If I Owned a Radio Station Right Now

| June 17, 2014

By Jerry Del Colliano
Inside Music Media
Publisher

delcollianoSCOTTSDALE, AZ — This is a question I get all the time especially because I have devoted my career to generational media.

When 95 million millennials are rejecting radio, music, network television and disrupting everything they can, operating a radio station for profit seems like a bad business.

One thing I can tell you upfront.

I wouldn’t run my station the way the biggest majors run theirs.

Nor would I go brain dead not knowing whether to go or grow.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

| June 17, 2014

crowleymonicaRadio Host and Conservative Media Figure Monica Crowley Joins The Washington Times.  Conservative talk media figure Monica Crowley is named online opinion editor for The Washington Times.  Crowley, who has hosted a regular talk radio program syndicated by Talk Radio Network and is a longtime contributor to Fox News Channel, begins her work for The Washington Times on June 23.  Her duties will include overseeing all opinion content online, ranging from the weekly columns of Dr. Ben Carson and Tammy Bruce to the online “Communities” portals of such opinion contributors as Christine O’Donnell, Tom DeLay, Ernest Istook and Steve Deace.  Crowley will remain as a Fox News contributor and plans to write for The Washington Times.  The paper’s president and CEO, Larry Beasley, says, “We’re thrilled to have Monica join The Washington Times.  With her extensive background, talent and education, Monica will enhance our online offerings from around the country and the world.”

kroegerchrisCBS Radio’s WFNZ, Charlotte Names Chris Kroeger Afternoon Host.   Taking over for WFNZ, Charlotte sports talk host Marc James, who moved to the company’s WZGC, Atlanta “92.9 The Game” to partner with Chad Dukes, is Chris Kroeger – new host of “Prime Time with Chris Kroeger.  In a statement, program director DJ Stout says, “Like the Charlotte Hornets we too are bringing our legendary brand ‘Prime Time’ back.  We’re excited for Chris to take on this opportunity.  He is a top-notch talent and we look forward to him bringing his fresh approach to ‘Prime Time.’”  Kroeger is a Charlotte native who’s been coveringwfnz Appalachian State football.  He appeared weekly on WFNZ to talk App football.  He’s spent the last three years anchoring coverage of the Pac-12, SEC, ACC, AAC & Big East for IMG College.  The station says Kroeger will rotate two different co-hosts each day on the show including local and national writers, former athletes and team owners alongside the show’s other members: The Q.C.B., Hitman, and Jayweezie.  The station announces another addition to the lineup: “The Call Up with Colin and Nate” (airing weekdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon) featuring on air/producer for the WFNZ “Mac Attack Morning Show” Colin Hoggard and Nate Conley, executive producer of the WFNZ midday show “Bustin’ Loose with Frank Garcia and Mark Yarbro.”  WFNZ says fan favorites Colin and Nate are joining forces on this caller intensive show bringing a fresh perspective to sports radio.  DJ Stoud adds, “We’ve taken our time in putting the right shows and the right people in place.  All three of these guys know the city and know the station and bring a passion for sports as well as different perspectives for WFNZ and sports radio in the Carolinas.”

delcollianojerryWhat Would Jerry Del Colliano Do if He Owned a Radio Station Now?  Inside Music Media publisher and longtime industry observer/analyst Jerry Del Colliano candidly shares the 17 things he would do if he were in the situation of owning and operating a commercial radio station for profit today.  In a provocative piece posted today (6/17) in TALKERS and RadioInfo, Del Colliano addresses: sales department size, sales commission structure, commercial price structuring, handling (or not handling) eight-minute stop sets, appealing to a generation obsessed with video games, and strategizing the digital component as it relates to radio.  He also introduces a radical new way of dealing with hits and music discovery and much more.  To read Jerry Del Colliano’s entire article, please click here.  Also meet Jerry Del Colliano at Talkers New York 2014 on Friday of this week (6/20).

iheartradio newClear Channel Updates iHeartRadio App.  The newest version of the app for Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio digital music and talk service is being released.  The 5.0 verion for iOS and Android is being touted by the company to bring “iHeartRadio users an even more personalized listening experience with enhanced algorithms.  Among the new algorithm updates to the digital radio service is the ‘For You’ feature, which adds a genre selection tool for improved, more tailored station recommendations.  iHeartRadio 5.0 will also include a sleeker, more beautiful and intuitive UI, improved search and simplified controls.”  CC president of digital Brian Lakamp comments, “iHeartRadio 5.0 features a significant upgrade to the way we serve our listeners.  We’ve been working diligently to personalize iHeartRadio and give our listeners more of the artists, the music and the kind of listening experience they want.  iHeartRadio 5.0 accomplishes that by introducing recommendations, more intelligent design and a better user experience overall.”

nielsen logoNielsen’s RADAR June 2014 Quarterly Report Released.  The quarterly RADAR radio network ratings report from Nielsen for June 2014 has been released and, once again, the report concludes that network radio listening remains consistent from a cume standpoint.  Some data from the report includes an estimate of national audience listening – the national audience that heard a network radio commercial during an average week stands at 181.3 million Americans aged 12+.  Nielsen goes on to say, “That’s nearly 70% (68.0) of all Americans aged 12+ who heard a network radio commercial during an average week.”  It also reports that, in the top 25 DMAs, network radio reached more than 94 million listeners, more than 70% of the 12+ population in those markets; and that more than 70% of Americans aged 25-54 listened to network radio each week.   Nielsen notes the data here reflects listening to subscribing networks and does not include all network radio listening.

wilburkirbyNational Journalism Center Plays Supportive Role with Talk Media’s Youth – Organization to Showcase Internship Program at Talkers New York 2014.  In the era of industry-wide consolidation and moves to cut costs with syndication, longtime radio and media veteran Kirby Wilbur could be the poster child for reinventing a career while helping others to start their own.  Washington, DC-born and Seattle-raised, Wilbur made a name for himself in the Pacific Northwest as a talk show host on KVI for 16 years.  From 1993 to 2009, Kirby was a staple on the Seattle airwaves and also as a fill-in host for Sean Hannity.  After being cut loose from KVI, Wilbur became chairman of the Washington State Republican Party.  During his tenure, Republicans picked up majorities in the Washington State House and State Senate.  However, an offer came his way that has not only changed him, but is also developing a new generation of members of the media.  About a year ago, Wilbur and his wife left the Pacific Northwest for Washington, DC, where he became executive director of the conservative-based National Journalism Center.  His new career may not place him behind the microphone, but it does allow him to help groom the next generation of future radio reporters, talk show hosts, writers and members of the media.  “The Young America’s Foundation is a project of the National Journalism Center.  Its mission is to train and work with journalism students (conservative and otherwise) who aspire to careers in the field and encourage them through internships and academic programs.  The program’s alumni include a stellar roster of well-known media and journalism figures.  To read the entire story written by TALKERS special features correspondent Jeff McKay posted today (6/17) please click here.

joycebrianOdds & Sods.  WGOW, Chattanooga, Tennessee “102.3 The Talk Monster” mid-afternoon talk show host Brian Joyce is filling in on Cumulus Media’s Atlanta news/talk WYAY “Newsradio 106.7” from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm tomorrow evening (6/18)…..At Entercom’s Sacramento operations, Lance Richard is named vice president of sales for the six-station group that includes sports talk KCTC “ESPN 1320.”…..HLN personality Vinnie Politan is exiting the cable news channel to take a position with WXIA-TV, Atlanta.  Politan hosted the afternoon “HLN Now: On the Case” program.

schramkenPublic Memorial for Seattle Broadcaster Ken Schram Planned for June 22.  Longtime Seattle radio and television newsman and personality Ken Schram passed away on May 29 at the age of 66 after a long illness.  Schram worked for years for Fisher Communications on all-news KOMO-AM/FM, news/talk KVI as well as on the company’s KOMO-TV.  He also worked for Bonneville at KIRO-FM.  A public memorial is scheduled for Sunday, June 22 at the Fisher Pavilion at the Seattle Center.

millerdennis grandrapids“Live from Grand Rapids…”  Nationally syndicated WestwoodOne talk show host Dennis Miller did his June 6 program from the Cumulus Grand Rapids studios ahead of his appearance at the city’s DeVos Performance Hall for a show with Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly.  Miller (left) took a moment to pose for a photo with WJRW and WBBL program director Dave Jaconette (right).

Iraq Turmoil, Primary Results/State of the GOP, IRS Scandal-Lerner Emails Status, Child Illegals Influx, Hillary Clinton Book Tour, World Cup Action, and NHL-NBA Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/16).  The instability in Iraq due to the infiltration of a radical Islamic militant forces’ occupation of parts of the country; discussion about the state of the Republican party after this spring’s primary contests; the controversy over the status of Lois Lerner’s emails relative to the IRS scandal; the continuing influx of child illegal immigrants in the Southwest; Hillary Clinton’s book tour for her latest memoir; the World Cup action in Brazil and the U.S.’s victory over Ghana; and the Spurs’ and Kings’ victories in the NBA’s and NHL’s finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Glenn Beck and the Limits of the First Amendment

| June 16, 2014

By Steven J.J. Weisman
TALKERS 
Legal Editor

 

weismanwriterBOSTON — In the days following the bombing at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 that killed three people, wounded 260 more and initially dealt a blow to the psyche of Massachusetts and the rest of the country, the nation was obsessed with finding out who were the perpetrators of this horrendous and cowardly act of terrorism.  It did not take long before authorities were able to identify Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who died in a shootout with police four days after the bombing, and his brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is presently awaiting trial as the terrorists behind the crime.

However, for talk show host Glenn Beck, the story did not end there.  At the time of the bombings and for some time thereafter he was convinced that there was a conspiracy that included another individual, who he identified as an Al Qaeda “control agent” and the “money man” behind the bombing, although the lack of sophistication involved in the crime certainly did not appear to require any significant funding to bring about this attack.  The man identified by Beck as the third conspirator was a 20-year-old Saudi Arabian studying in the United States named Abdulrahman Alharbi.  Alharbi was present at the bombings in Boston and actually was among those injured by the blasts.

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Monday, June 16, 2014

| June 16, 2014

warginsusieKOA, Denver Changes PM Drive Programming to Newsy Bent.  Longtime Clear Channel Denver personality Dave Logan remains on KOA, but he loses former Denver Post sports columnist Dave Krieger (who exits the station) and the content will turn away from sports as KUSA-TV, Denver “9News” part-time reporter Susie Wargin joins Logan for the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm talk show portion of “Colorado’s Afternoon News.”  From 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm Susan Witkin and Mike Rice co-anchor the all-news part of the show.

entercomEntercom Adds Platforms to Rochester ESPN Sports Talker.  The new Rochester market sports talk outlet “ESPN Rochester” debuts on multiple platforms from Entercom Communications.  The broadcast is heard on translator W239BF as well as on original signal WROC-AM, an HD2 channel, and several online destinations.   Entercom Rochester VP and market manager Susan Munn says, “This is an exciting day for our brand, our clients and, most importantly, our listeners.  Since we launched ESPN Rochester in 2008, our goal has been to deliver the most compelling and entertaining brand of national and local sports talk to Rochester.  From FM to AM to HD and online streaming, we are putting the best sports content where sports fans demand and access it.  ESPN media reaches 58% of men and 81% of avid sports fans nationally and ESPN Rochester has the biggest brands and names in sports from the Bills and Sabres to the #1 sports morning show in the country with Mike & Mike.  With ESPN Rochester now on FM, it makes our already powerful cluster of stations an even better advertiser choice to serve the important male audience.”

kfnskxfnKFNS-AM, St. Louis GM Marshall Resigns; Sports Talk Stations in State of Flux.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Dan Caesar is reporting that Grand Slam Sports general manager Dan Marshall has resigned his post a week after an altercation between him and KXFN morning host Brian McKenna landed Marshall in the hospital and McKenna in police custody.  There are still more questions than answers about what happened and who will be held responsible for the incident.  Although McKenna was taken into custody and Marshall was injured, no charges have been filed against McKenna, who took umbrage at being ridiculed on the air by fellow station personality Nick Trupiano.  The incident that resulted in fisticuffs happened after McKenna went to the station offices to confront Marshall about what was being said about him on the air.  Station operations manager Mike Calvin says there have been no decisions made about on-air talent or whether McKenna – who was fired after the incident – will be offered his position back.  Read Caesar’s story here.

beck not conformGlenn Beck Teams with Fathom Events to Produce National Cinema Event.  The name of the July 22 and July 29 “night of action against Common Core” is being called “We Will Not Conform,” and involves nationally syndicated Premiere Networks star Glenn Beck teaming with Fathom Events.  It’s a live broadcast direct to cinemas across the country and here’s how Beck and Fathom describe it: “This isn’t a typical show –it’s an interactive experience and a rare opportunity to make a real difference in America’s education system. ‘We Will Not Conform’ is your chance to not only hear from experts like Michelle Malkin, David Barton, and others but to join LIVE with fellow theatergoers across the country to develop tangible strategies in the pursuit of enacting real change in our schools.  By the end of the night, the brainpower, experience, and passion of cinema audiences nationwide will be captured in a unified plan of action distributed to all participants.”  Tickets for adults are $20.

stephandougDoug Stephan Breaking New Ground with Experimental Farm Show.  His reputation as a major player in syndicated news/talk radio has been forged by longevity, the ability to change with the times and consistent success.  Doug Stephan’s national general issues morning program, “Good Day,” is the second-longest-running weekday syndicated show in talk radio, having launched in October of 1988, with only Rush Limbaugh beating him out during this past quarter century-plus by a mere handful of months (Rush debuted in August of 1988).  In addition, Stephan’s program, “The Talk Radio Countdown Show,” is one of the longest running and most successful weekend programs in news/talk radio.  Now, in addition to his traditional mainstream talk radio accomplishments, Stephan has been cooking up an experimental show on the platform of TalkersRadio that has been gathering significant interest by industry players and observers alike.  The show is a one-hour-per-week information and advocacy forum titled, “American Family Farmer,” and it is targeted specifically to the beleaguered sector of the talkersradio logoAmerican agriculture industry that is comprised of small, independent operators.  What makes Stephan qualified to host such a specifically targeted program?  The answer: In addition to being a dedicated lifelong radio broadcaster, he is also a dedicated lifelong family farmer!  Stephan is the owner/operator of several dairy farms in the Boston suburb of Framingham, Massachusetts under the umbrella of Eastleigh Farm. Stephan tells TALKERS, “I have been around cows all my life. I spent all my free time around the animals as a young boy, sort of an island of solitude for me growing up. I went to the farm when I was afraid to be home, or anywhere else.  I have kept an alliance with cows over the years on several farms that I have owned — raising heifers and milker replacements for various farms and dealers in Massachusetts.”  Stephan continues, “I have become more involved on a wider scale, to the point now where I have several hundred Jersey dairy cows, which provide us with the raw milk we sell, along with cheeses, ice cream and various other diary-related products that have meaning to those in the locavore movement [people who choose to eat locally grown and raised food].”  On “American Family Farmer” Stephan takes a position quite different from the affable generalist that is heard hosting his traditional news/talk programs.  He is a tell-it-like-it-is advocate of the political and economic interests of the farmers his new program is designed to serve.  He explains, “The family farmers in America, of which I am one, have a tenuous relationship with Big Government and Big Ag.  It is obvious to most that the many problems we are trying to solve have come about as a result of too much government meddling in the affairs of the American family farm.   We are aggressively addressing these problems with solution-based discussions each week.  We are dedicated to becoming the voice for these hard-working people who play such an important role in the economic and nutritional well-being of our nation and are basically being stepped on by Big Government in cahoots with Big Business.”  According to TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein, “During the four months or so that this amazing program has been on our experimental platform, we have received non-stop inquiries from small market and rural stations around the country asking if it is available in syndication.  We have had to turn them away, explaining that it is just an experimental program still in development and that we do not have an infrastructure set up to be able to offer it in syndication.  It seems that this show would be a wonderful venue for a wide variety of advertisers that are specifically interested in reaching the people who buy equipment, feed, and other products that support the effort of running a small farm.  It is also a sure-fire, powerful one-hour per week place to park local advertisers seeking this audience as well.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison adds, “Giving birth to an ‘out-of-the-box’ program like American Family Farmer has been exactly what we designed TalkersRadio to do.  It is especially exciting to see this vehicle being productively utilized by seasoned professionals such as Doug [Stephan], Alan [Colmes] and Lionel to create properties different than what they are generally known for in the industry.”  Harrison adds, “Now we have to identify a good home for American Family Farmer out there among established syndicators to partner in the effort of creating a new rural network for the terrestrial dial – or place it on an existing farm-oriented syndicator.”  American Family Farmer airs on TalkersRadio (on Talkers.com) Saturday mornings between 8:00 am and 9:00 am ET.  Interested syndicators can find out more by emailing Michael Harrison at michael@talkers.com or calling 413-565-5413.  Look for a major announcement involving another TalkersRadio program coming later this week. TalkersRadio, powered by Backbone Networks, is an experimental talk radio laboratory run by TALKERS magazine to support the development of new programs and programming ideas for talk radio.

epictimes logoTRN’s Jerry Doyle Launches Kickstarter Campaign for Relaunch of EpicTimes.com.  Talk show host Jerry Doyle, whose daily radio program is syndicated nationally by Talk Radio Network, announces the beginning of a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the relaunch and expansion of his flagship website, Epictimes.com.  Doyle says money raised through this campaign will support the growth of EpicTimes.com – currently a news curation and aggregation site.  He says the updated EpicTimes.com will be a one-stop shop for news-related audio and video content for the politically independent “middle majority” that is currently underserved by the left- and right-leaning news media.  The site will also featuredoylejerry podcasts of his radio program as well as other well-known contributors.  Doyle comments, “We are trying to create a news outlet that represents the real needs and interests of the American people, which is something that I am very passionate about.  EpicTimes.com has always been a place where people can find the news and information they are looking for, not what the media thinks they want or need to hear.  Expanding the site allows us to offer more information and give more power to the individual.”  Doyle brings aboard Elaine Kunda as CEO of EpicTimes.com.  Kunda previously served as CEO of women’s lifestyle digital network B5Media and has worked in various digital media companies since 1998.  She adds, “EpicTimes.com presents an exciting opportunity for me.  To be involved basically from the ground floor and build a media network of this kind during a time of such frustration by the American people is exactly the kind of challenge I’ve been looking for.  Jerry’s passion for this company, his fans and his listeners is infectious.  I am looking forward to working with him to make EpicTimes.com a household name.”  With the support of contributions from this Kickstarter campaign, the new EpicTimes.com is scheduled to relaunch in September 2014.

giordanodomOdds & Sods.  In recognition of Flag Day this past Saturday (6/14), WPHT, Philadelphia midday personality Dom Giordano and his listeners joined forces with the local VFW to provide flags for the 1,200 veterans whose graves are located in Forest Hills Cemetery in Huntingdon Valley.  The VFW and Montgomery County officials were at odds about the oversight that would have left the soldiers’ graves without flags.  Giordano’s program was flooded with calls from listeners willing to donate money and flags…..ABC News Radio is offering three one-hour specials ahead of the coming Fourth of July weekend, including: “Second Tour: Military Vets Making a Difference,” “Red White & BBQ” and “Car Crazy: America’s Love Affair With Cars.”  ABC’s Aaron Katersky hosts “Second Tour: Military Vets Making a Difference,” which tells the amazing stories of the continued selflessness and strength from men and women who have returned home from war.  Scott Goldberg anchors “Red White & BBQ,” featuring all of the best tips to make your summer BBQ the best on the block. And Alex Stone hosts “Car Crazy: America’s Love Affair With Cars,” a show that dishes on the latest technology and safety trends influencing the auto industry today…..NPR appoints Jonathan Hart as its new chief legal officer and general counsel. Hart, who currently serves as a partner in Cooley LLP’s Technology Transactions practice group, joins NPR on July 1.

weismanstevenWEISMAN: The Limits of the First Amendment.  TALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes in an article published today (6/16) about the pending legal case involving Premiere Networks syndicated talk host Glenn Beck, who is being sued by Saudi Arabian student Abdulrahman Alharbi for defamation.  Alharbi was, for a time accused of being involved in the Boston Marathon bombing by Beck even after local authorities had cleared him of any suspicion.  Beck’s attorneys are pointing to the First Amendment as part of Beck’s defense.  But Weisman says the result may rest on whether Alharbi qualifies and as a public figure, limited public figure or not a public figure at all.  Read Weisman’s analysis of the case here.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

| June 15, 2014

kasemcaseyCasey Kasem Dead at 82.  Legendary radio personality and television voice-over star Casey Kasem died early Sunday (6/15) after complications from Lewy Body Dementia.  The long, sometimes bizarre legal and health care odyssey Kasem and his family have been on has been well chronicled in the radio trades and in the consumer media.  Sadly, the publicly fought battle between Kasem’s children from his first marriage – especially daughter Kerri Kasem – and Casey Kasem’s second wife Jean is probably not over as Jean Kasem has accused the children (and the courts) of hastening his death.  Regardless, Casey Kasem will remain a part of radio history as the host of “American Top 40” and “Casey’s Top 40” and his work in pioneering the concept of the syndicated countdown show will always be important to students of music and radio.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison comments, “He brought the skills of voice acting and disc jockeying to the level of iconic art.  In doing so he became one of music radio’s greatest stars.  Those of us still in this struggling industry owe anyone, who can create reason for the word radio and star to be in the same phrase, a debt of gratitude.” Kerri Kasem announced his death via Facebook early Sunday and wrote, “Even though we know he is in a better place and no longer suffering, we are heartbroken.  Thank you for all your love, support and prayers.  The world will miss Casey Kasem, an incredible talent and humanitarian; we will miss our Dad.”

Friday, June 13, 2014

| June 13, 2014

krantzwhitmireChanges in Evenings at WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte; Krantz & Whitmire Exit.  The duo ofwbtlogo Brad Krantz and Britt Whitmire are out at Greater Media’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte where they hosted the 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm show for the past two years.  The station moves late evening host Doc Washburn up to the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot and is airing the newsy “Charlotte at Six” from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Krantz and Whitmire worked together at Curtis Media’s former talk outlet WZTK-FM, Greensboro, North Carolina and at WPTF, Raleigh.  Krantz worked at WBT from 1999 through 2003 alongside Richard Spires in afternoon drive.  The Charlotte Observer’s Mark Washburn reports that Krantz is unhappy with the lack of support he believes the duo received from station management over the course of their two-year stint.  He also says he believes the reason the show didn’t track well with WBT listeners is because of the swerve toward the far right the station took in recent years.  “We were hired to break the WBT noon-to-6:00 pm right-wing sewer that had been led by Jeff Katz, Tara Servatius and Vince Coakley.  We did that, got high ratings but got no support from management.”  Read Washburn’s entire piece here.

gardneralAl Gardner Partners with Marty Hurney at ‘ESPN 730’ in Charlotte.  Longtime Charlotte talk personality Al Gardner – 14 years as morning drove co-host at crosstown WBT-AM/FM – is paired up with former Carolina Panthers general manager Marty Hurney for the mid-afternoon program (1:00 pm to 3:00 pm) on HRN Broadcasting’s sports talk WZGV “ESPN 730.”  The “Hurney and Gardner” show moves to the earlier time slot beginning Monday, June 16 and “The Pulse with Bobby Rosinski and Chris Allison” moves into the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot.  In addition to his stint with the Carolina Panthers, Hurney also worked for the Washington Times as a sports writer.

nielsen logoFinal Round of May PPM Data Released.  PPM data from the final round of four groups of 12 markets for the May 2014 period (April 24 – May 21) 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.

Jwtmj logoournal News/Talk WTMJ, Milwaukee Credits Ratings Growth to ‘Broader Appeal.’  The just-released PPM numbers for the Milwaukee market show Journal Broadcast Group’s news/talk WTMJ in the top spot (Persons 6+) with a 9.4 share in Nielsen Audio’s May 2014 PPM survey.  Vice president and GM of radio operations for the Milwaukee market for Journal, Tom Langmyer, comments, “We returned WTMJ to its roots of being broad in appeal and have seen strong results.”  Milwaukee market media observers tell TALKERS the “broader approach” is evident in numerous dayparts, including morning and afternoon drive where hosts Gene Mueller and John Mercure, respectively, are entertaining a wider variety of topics during what had been a more tight rotation of hard-news issues.  The station usually sees a summer ratings surge due to its position as flagship station for Milwaukee Brewers baseball, but Langmyer hints recent ratings growth doesn’t appear to be just the result of baseball cume.  Meet Tom Langmyer at Talkers New York 2014 on Friday, June 20.

conwaysimonOdds & Sods.  Even being on vacation won’t stop WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive personality Simon Conway from cracking the mic when he’s in demand.  Today, Conway filled in as morning drive personality on Clear Channel’s WFLF, Orlando “Newsradio 102.5 WFLA” and he’ll be back behind the mic this evening sitting in for Andy Dean on Premiere Networks’ syndicated “America Now” program…..Morning drive host and general sales manager Brian Collamore is taking time away from his on-air duties at Catamount Radio-owned news/talk WYSB, Rutland, Vermont to run for state senate.  According to WCAX.com, Collamore will continue his sales duties while running.  Collamore says he believes his years of experience on the air have given him the opportunity to interact with the people of the region and learn what their needs are.

vicratner honorABC News Radio’s Vic Ratner Honored.  Longtime ABC News Radio newsman Vic Ratner (left) was honored by the Radio and Television Correspondents’ Association on Thursday evening (6/12) Washington, DC.  Ratner, pictured here with ABC News Radio’s Cheri Preston (right), was honored with the Career Achievement Award for Distinguished Reporting on Congress.

wqamTysonWatch Out for Your Ear, Marc!  Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson visited the Marc Hochman show in Beasley Broadcasting’s WQAM, Miami studios yesterday prior to attending game four of the NBA Finals.  He spent almost an hour on air chatting about the Heat and his own life.  Pictured here are (from left to right): Victor Bermudez, Sha Tabb, Hochman, Tyson, and Zach Krantz.

Eric Cantor Defeat Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of June 9-13.  The primary election defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and related discussion about the looming mid-term elections was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week.  Landing at #2 on the Talkers TenTM was talk about Hillary Clinton’s latest memoir.  At #3 was the 2016 presidential race followed by the political instability in Iraq at #4.  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, June 12, 2014

| June 12, 2014

milhavenmcgrawMilhaven Named PD at KTRS, St. Louis.  Morning drive host McGraw Milhaven has been promoted to program director at CH Holdings-owned KTRS, St. Louis.  Milhaven takes over for Lauren Ryan who remains with the station in a promotional capacity.  In a statement published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, general manager Mark Dorsey says, “He [Milhaven] sees where radio is going in the next 10 years.”  Part of Milhaven’s duties will include handling the social media strategy for the station.  Milhaven – who previously worked at CBS RADIO’s crosstown KMOX, has been with KTRS for the past 10 years.  Meet McGraw Milhaven at Talkers New York 2014 on Friday, June 20.

abcnewsradioMore Murrow Award News.  Adding to the list of winners of the Radio Television Digital News Association’s National Edward R. Murrow Awards published by TALKERS yesterday is ABC News Radio which won for Overall Excellence in the radio category.  ABC News Radio was also recognized in the Breaking News category for its coverage of the Boston Marathon Bombing.  Public radio station WBEZ, Chicago was honored for Overall Excellence in the radio, large market category and WDEL, Wilmington, Delaware was recognized for Overall Excellence in the radio, small market category.  CBS RADIO’s WBZ-AM, Boston won in the radio, large market Continuing Coverage category for work on the Boston Marathon bombing.  See the entire list of radio winners here.

nielsen logoFirst Round of May PPM Data Released.  PPM data from the first of four groups of 11 markets for the May 2014 period (April 24 – May 21) has been released by Nielsen Audio.  Those markets include: New York, 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.

fairFAIR Names Giaritelli Press Secretary.  The Federation for American Immigration Reform announces that in response to increasing demands from talk radio looking for comment on the escalating immigration crisis, it has made a strategic new hire as Anna Giaritelli assumes the role of press secretary for the organization.  Giaritelli has worked at CQ Roll Call, Cox Media Group and the Washington Examiner, to name a few.  She joins the FAIR media team consisting of communications director Bob Dane and media director Ira Mehlman.  Hosts and producers seeking to book Dane or Mehlman for interviews can reach her at 202-328-7004 or at agiaritelli@fairus.org.

pagliarulojoeOdds & Sods.  San Antonio-based talk radio host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo will be heard nightly on Clear Channel’s KHOW, Denver beginning Monday, June 16 from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am.  Joe Pags’ daily program is based at CC’s WOAI, San Antonio and simulcast on the company’s KPRC, Houston…..At the San Francisco cluster of Cumulus Media, market manager Steve Sklenar exits after a year in the position.  Sklenar was in charge of the company’s eight market signals including news KGO, news/talk KSFO and sports talk KNBR…..In addition to ESPN Radio’s recent announcement that its programming and live sports events are now available on Apple’s iTunes Radio, the sports giant’s radio content will also be made available to TuneIn users.  TuneIn VP of programming Kevin Straley says, “ESPN channels are very popular on TuneIn, and have already been followed approximately 1.5 million times.  We are excited to continue to add more personalized content for ESPN fans, from dedicated 24/7 channels for the most popular podcasts, to live international events like the World Cup.”

Cantor Primary Defeat, Immigration Amnesty-Child Refugees Case, Hillary Clinton Book, Gun Violence, Iraq Instability, Bergdahl Prisoner Swap, and NBA-NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/11).  The aftermath of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s primary election defeat; speculation about a renewed push for an illegal immigration amnesty bill and the case of child illegals being shipped to locations in Arizona; Hillary Clinton’s prospects for president in 2016 and her tour supporting her latest memoir; talk about the recent cases of gun violence in the U.S.; the political instability in Iraq as al Qaeda threatens to assume control of the country; the continuing analysis of the Bowe Bergdahl-terror suspects prisoner swap; and the NBA and NHL finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

| June 11, 2014

dish net logoAnother Big Vehicle for Newsmax TV.  On the heels of the recent announcement by Newsmax that its Newsmax TV programming will be added to the channel lineup at DirecTV, comes today’s announcement that the programming will also be available on DISH Network beginning with a soft launch on June 16.  Newsmax Media says this addition of 35 million homes and businesses puts Newsmax in more than one-third of U.S. cable and satellite homes. newsmaxtv logo Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy comments, “Newsmax TV’s agreement with DISH further accelerates our path to initial carriage in 40% of U.S. homes.”  Ruddy adds that he expects Newsmax TV’s distribution to grow by the time the channel, “which targets the interests and needs of an underserved Baby Boomer audience,” officially launches this fall.  About the content to be seen on Newsmax TV, the company states that “Newsmax TV differentiates itself from other news services by providing independent news with a ‘mainstream conservative’ tilt, though it will be open to all points of view.  More than just a politically focused channel, Newsmax TV will provide a full range of informational programming and lifestyle content for Boomers in the areas of health, finance, and personal well-being.”  Newsmax TV will soft launch 24/7 with nine hours of live programming, expanding to 18 hours of live programming by year’s end.  The programming will place an emphasis on practical, useful information that is relevant to the lives of a large, underserved adult audience.   In addition to securing the main satellite television providers, Newsmax TV also plans a major OTT platform rollout, with penetration estimated in excess of 100 million iOS and Android smart devices.

Talkers New York 2014 Sold Out.  The extra space provided by a new venue notwithstanding, registrations for Talkers New York 2014, the 17th annual installment of talk radio’s longest running national convention are sold out.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “With nine more days to go and significantly more space than the last five gatherings, it is extremely gratifying to see the tremendous support being given to this exciting and productive conference as indicated by yet another advance sellout.  All of us at TALKERS are grateful to the industry and we will do our best to make this the best annual convention we’ve ever presented.  Considering the stellar lineup of speakers and powerful roster of registrants from all sectors of talk media, I have no doubt this will be the ‘big’ one that they’ll be talking about for years to come.”  Talkers New York 2014 takes place on Friday, June 20 at the iconic India House (an official landmark) located in the heart of New York’s historic Financial District.  For up-to-the minute agenda details and sponsorship opportunities, please click here.

cbsradionewsThree National Murrow Awards for CBS Radio News.  Among the radio news networks, CBS Radio News was a big winner, garnering three national Edward R. Murrow awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association.  CBS Radio News was honored for: Best Newscast, Best Continuing Coverage and Best Writing.  CBS Radio News vice president Harvey Nagler comments, “As I have said before, these awards are an acknowledgment of the consistently outstanding work our staff performs day in and day out.  It is a tribute to them that when the biggest story of the year occurred CBS once again was the place to go.”  Nagler is referring to the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 for which the network won Best Newscast anchored by Steve Kathan and Paul Farry.  That news event was also the subject of coverage for which it won the Continuing Coverage award.  Bob Schieffer, anchor of “Face the Nation” and CBS News chief Washington correspondent, won in the Writing category for his commentary about Washington legislators.  The awards will be presented at a dinner in New York on Monday, October 6.

itunesradio logoESPN Radio Content Available on iTunes Radio.  TALKERS magazine tipped readers that this deal was coming and now it’s official.  The deal between sports giant ESPN and Apple’s iTunes Radio makes ESPN Radio talk shows and events available on iTunes Radio and, according to a press release, will bring “expanded local station content to its listeners in the future.”  The live ESPN Radio network stream being offered includes: Mike & Mike, “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” “SVP & espnradioRussillo,” the Dan LeBatard show, “Sedano & Stink,” and the Freddie Coleman show.  The deal also includes live sports events such as the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Major League Baseball including the playoffs and World Series, season-long college football, US Open Golf, and college basketball.  Tonight’s Atlanta Braves vs. Colorado Rockies game will be the first live sporting event to be heard.  ESPN SVP Traug Keller comments, “We are thrilled to make our industry-leading sports talk and championship play-by-play content available to fans via iTunes Radio.  And we are excited to partner with Apple to expand our digital reach.  Our fans can look forward to expanded ESPN Audio offerings on both the national and local sports levels in the future.”

theblaze radio networkTheBlaze Radio Network Fourth of July Special Available.  A Fourth of July news/talk radio special is being made available via Premiere Networks.  The program is a three-hour show produced by Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze Radio Network titled, “TheBlaze Radio Network’s Independence: The Power of the Individual” hosted by Doc Thompson and Skip LaCombe.  Premiere says the show examines “the power of the individual and the importance of self-governance, as well as a look at the Founding Fathers and the Declaration of Independence.”  The special will also feature guest appearances by several hosts, writers and editors of TheBlaze and TheBlaze.com, including S.E. Cupp, Will Cain, Mike Slater, Mike Opelka, Jay Severin, Mike Broomhead, Chris Salcedo and others.  The show is available for air from July 4-6.

Entercom Launches ’95.7 ESPN’ in Rochester Market.  The debut of the sports talk signal in the Rochester market happens on translator W239BF at 95.7 — formerly licensed to Greece, New York on the northwestern edge of the market.  Entercom was able to move the signal a bit southeast and change the city of license to Rochester.  It purchased the translator from Family Life Ministries for $150,000.

heathertonM&MGood Things Happen in Miami.  Just ask Mike Greenberg (left) and Mike Golic (right) about the fun in the sun in Miami.  The ESPN morning duo Mike & Mike broadcast live from Lummus Park in Miami today (6/11) as they cover the NBA Finals and were visited by model Erin Heatherton (center) on the set.  Heatherton – a Chicago native – talked about the comparisons between Michael Jordan and LeBron James as well as the Spurs’ game 3 victory and meeting Mike & Mike at the NBA All-Star Game.

Child Immigrant Refugees Case/Amnesty Proposals, Hillary Clinton Book, Bergdahl Deal/Terror Suspects Return to Battle, Dave Brat-Eric Cantor Primary, Climate Change Debate, and NBA-NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/10).  The influx of minor refugees pouring across the U.S. borders and renewed debate over amnesty for illegal aliens; Hillary Clinton’s newest memoir and her statements about the family’s financial status upon leaving the White House; the Bowe Bergdahl-terror suspect swap and concerns over released prisoners returning to the terror battlefield; the Virginia primary race between House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Tea Party-backed candidate Dave Brat; ongoing debate over climate change and global carbon emissions policy; and the NBA and NHL finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

| June 10, 2014

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 on Verge of Sell Out – Only 20 Seats Left.  As of 12:00 noon ET today (6/10) only 20 registrations remain available for Talkers New York 2014, the 17th annual installment of the talk radio and media industry’s longest running and most important national convention.  According to the event’s organizers, the sale of registrations will officially close at 5:00 pm ET today.  This year’s event – only 10 days away — covers the existential issues facing not only talk radio – but radio in general – as both a business and iconic piece of the broader pop cultural picture.   According to its director, Michael Harrison, the gathering will “connect the future of talk radio with its past.”  Harrison says, “This conference was way ahead of the curve when it was first launched in the late 90s as ‘The New Media Seminar’ in pointing the way toward radio’s inevitable entry into the digital era.  While most other conferences are now acting as if the digital age were something new and obsess on the technical aspects of the medium as if we just discovered websites and social media, this year’s conference will accept the internet, apps, and multi-platform options as a given and concentrate on how we can get back to the basics of what makes ‘radio’ special, important, financially viable and culturally indispensable — regardless of the technology via which it is distributed.”  Harrison also points out, “Everyone knows how difficult it is to be a professional in this industry these days between layoffs and economic uncertainty.  The movers and shakers – both established giants and up-and-coming prospects – that attend this great event create an infinite set of relationships upon which careers and businesses are built.  In other words, not only does this convention offer information and inspiration, it also provides its attendees one of the industry’s most potent annual networking environments and opportunities.”  There will be more than 55 industry leaders in speaking roles at the conference which takes place on Friday, June 20 at the iconic India House in the heart of New York City’s historic Financial District.  Registration is only open to professionals (and broadcasting students) working in radio and related media.  They are neither transferable nor refundable.  The cost is $249 per person which includes all sessions, receptions, exhibits, food and refreshments.  Registrations can only be booked over the phone with credit card.  Call 413-565-5413.  Again, the sale of registrations closes as 5:00 pm ET today.  For up-to-the-minute agenda information and further details please click here.

beckglennGlenn Beck Buys D-Day Flag for $350,000.  According to a report in the New York Daily News, Premiere Networks syndicated talk personality Glenn Beck – through his Mercury One charity – purchased a 70-year-old U.S. flag that flew over USS LST 493 involved in the Normandy landing on June 6, 1944.  The story notes that the tattered, 48-star flag was part of an anonymous online auction via Bonham’s and had been estimated to fetch between $25,000 and $35,000.  Though the auction was anonymous, Beck announced the purchase on his radio show.

loeschdanaKFTK-FM, St. Louis’ Loesch and Glover Honored by MBA.  Honors from the Missouri Broadcasters Association were handed out at the organization’s annual banquet in Branson on Saturday, June 7 and two personalities from Emmis’ KFTK “FM News/Talk 97.1” were winners.  Midday talkgloverdave personality Dana Loesch (who is also syndicated nationally via Radio America) and PM drive host Dave Glover took home first-place awards – Loesch for Best Air Personality and Glover for both Spot News and Editorial.  KFTK program director Jeff Allen says, “We have been blessed with some of the best local talent in the country at 97.1 and I think these awards are an example of that.  Dana and Dave produce unique, compelling content every day and make it sound easy.  Believe me, it’s not!  Congratulations to them and their staffs.”

simonsonbillGrand Rapids-Based Bill Simonson Goes National with CBS Sports Radio.  Sports talk personality Bill Simonson broadcasts a daily program from Cumulus Media’s WBBL, Grand Rapids that airs on nine other signals across Michigan.  Now, Simonson is hosting a nationally syndicated version of his “Huge Show” via CBS Sports Radio NetworkMLive.com reports Simonson began the 10:00 pm to 2:00 am ET show on Saturday, May 31.  In the story, Simonson says his goal is to talk about the hot sports topic of the week with people from all over the country.  He notes the big national sports talkers get the high-profile guests but he wants to hear “the voice of the people.”

nielsen logoFirst Round of May PPM Data Released.  PPM data from the first of four groups of 11 markets for the May 2014 period (April 24 – May 21) has been released by Nielsen Audio.  Those markets include: New York, 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.

Nielsen Withholds Los Angeles PPM Data.  At this juncture, don’t expect Nielsen Audio to say anything specific about the reason the Los Angeles PPM data wasn’t included in the release of the May 2014 numbers – it’s just saying the data is being withheld for “additional quality control.”  Nielsen not being specific about when the data will eventually be released either.  When ratings information is withheld, it’s due to newly acquired information that the final report is compromised for one reason or another.  When the report is issued, Nielsen will likely offer and explanation to subscribers.

deanmichaelwOdds & Sods.  According to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Ben Fong-Torres, Deidra Lieberman quietly resigned from Cumulus Media’s KGO last month after moving from the GM post to an AE position.  Lieberman succeeded Mickey Luckoff in 2011….The GCN-syndicated “Freedom Feens” show hosted by Michael W. Dean goes daily adding a 1:00 am to 3:00 am ET program to its weekend offering that airs on Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm…..Add a whole bunch more awards for Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington, DC as the all-newser collects eight Chesapeake AP Awards.  This year alone, WTOP has won more than 30 major awards for excellence in journalism, including five regional Edward R. Murrow Awards and seven National Headliner Awards…..CBS RADIO all-news KNX, Los Angeles welcomes Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti into its studios tomorrow (6/11) for the regular “Ask the Mayor” program.  The show is hosted by KNX anchor Tom Haule and chief investigative reporter Charles Feldman.  Topics discussed will include: drone use by the LAPD, raising the minimum wage in the city and the LA Kings’ Stanley Cup run.

Bergdahl Prisoner Swap/Terror Suspects Returned, Hillary Clinton Book Tour/2016 Presidential Race, Las Vegas Cop Killings/Gun Control Issue, VA Hospitals Scandal, U.S. Jobs Figures Report, Child Immigration Influx-Arizona Immigrant Dumping, and NBA-NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/9).  The aftermath of the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner swap and speculation about released terror suspects returning to the battlefield; Hillary Clinton’s book tour and her prospects for running for president in 2016; the killing of two police officers in Las Vegas and renewed discussion about gun legislation; the continuing commentary about the VA Hospitals scandal and treatment of America’s veterans; the recent U.S. jobs figures report indicating employment on the uptick; the cases of child illegal immigrants being warehoused in Arizona and the dumping of other illegal immigrants in that state; and the NBA and NHL finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, June 9, 2014

| June 9, 2014

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 on Verge of Sell Out – Only 50 Seats Left.  As of 12:00 noon ET today (6/9) only 50 registrations remain available for Talkers New York 2014, the 17th annual installment of the talk radio and media industry’s longest running and most important national convention.  This year’s event covers the existential issues facing not only talk radio – but radio in general – as both a business and iconic piece of the broader pop cultural picture.  According to its director, Michael Harrison, the gathering will “connect the future of talk radio with its past.”  Harrison says, “This conference was way ahead of the curve when it was first launched in the late 90s as ‘The New Media Seminar’ in pointing the way toward radio’s inevitable entry into the digital era.  While most other conferences are now acting as if the digital age were something new and obsess on the technical aspects of the medium as if we just discovered websites and social media, this year’s conference will accept the internet, apps, and multi-platform options as a given and concentrate on how we can get back to the basics of what makes ‘radio’ special, important, financially viable and culturally indispensable — regardless of the technology via which it is distributed.”  Harrison also points out, “Everyone knows how difficult it is to be a professional in this industry these days between layoffs and economic uncertainty.  The movers and shakers – both established giants and up-and-coming prospects – that attend this great event create an infinite set of relationships upon which careers and businesses are built.  In other words, not only does this convention offer information and inspiration, it also provides its attendees one of the industry’s most potent annual networking environments and opportunities.”  There will be more than 65 industry leaders in speaking roles at the conference which takes place on Friday, June 20 at the iconic India House in the heart of New York City’s historic Financial District.  Registration is only open to professionals (and broadcasting students) working in radio and related media.  They are neither transferable nor refundable.  The cost is $249 per person which includes all sessions, receptions, exhibits, food and refreshments.  Registrations can only be booked over the phone with credit card.  Call 413-565-5413.  Again, a sellout is expected today or tomorrow.  For up-to-the-minute agenda information and further details please click here.

nogales centerKQTH, Tucson’s Jon Justice Breaks Immigrant Children Story.  By now you’re well aware of the story of hundreds of unaccompanied immigrant children crossing the border and beingjusticejon rounded up and processed in Nogales, Arizona.  The story was broken last Wednesday by KQTH, Tucson morning drive personality Jon Justice whose sources inside the Border Patrol sent photos (one of which is seen here) of the conditions at the Nogales center where the youths are being temporarily held. See the other pictures sent to Justice in an AZCentral news piece here.  The story notes that the children – some as young as one and others as old as 17 – were apprehended crossing the border in Texas and bused to the Nogales center.  Justice was out front covering this story that led to the subsequent international story.

kfnskxfnUgly Scene at KFNS and KXFN in St. Louis Plays Out in Local Media; KXFN Host Brian McKenna Fired.  An unfortunate scene that took place at Grand Slam Sports-operated KFNS and KXFN in St. Louis was played out for St. Louis Post-Dispatch readers after KXFN morning host Brian McKenna allegedly assaulted Grand Slam Sports president Dan Marshall.  As the paper reports, McKenna was upset about comments KFNS host Nick Trupiano was making on his afternoon drive show about McKenna, KFNS host Charlie “Tuna” Edwards and McKenna’s girlfriend.  McKenna entered the station offices extremely angry and encountered Marshall.  After words were exchanged, McKenna allegedly attacked Marshall physically, sending him to the hospital.  St. Louis police were called and, according to the paper, the incident is being reviewed to determine if charges will be brought.  Read the story here.  The whole episode began when Trupiano was talking about a Post-Dispatch piece recently published that detailed some of the recent trials and tribulations of Grand Slam Sports and Marshall’s leadership of the sports talk stations.  That piece is found here.

cumulus logoCumulus Sets Managers in Mobile, Melbourne and Pensacola. In market #97 (Mobile), Cumulus Media promotes its vice president of sales in that Alabama cluster – Angel Brown – to vice president and market manager. Cumulus senior vice president Gary Pizzati comments, “When we recruited Angel into the company several years ago, we knew she had the core talent, drive, and ability to go much further in our company. Last year, Angel single-handedly turned [Mobile into] a materialbrownangel contributor to our success.” Brown remarks, “I have the privilege of managing four powerhouse stations, alongside an exceptional team of people within an amazing organization. I could not be happier.” Before becoming vice president of sales for Cumulus Mobile, Brown was sales manager for the company’s Albany, Georgia cluster; an account executive in Albany for WALB-TV; and she was an IKON Southwest Georgia/East Alabama account executive. Cumulus Mobile consists of urban contemporary WBLX “The Big Station,” urban AC WDLT, CHR WABD, and AM gospel simulcast WGOK & WXQW.  Meanwhile, the company transfers Pensacola, Florida vice president and market manager Hugh McPherson to similar duties in the Sunshine State at its mcphersonhughMelbourne-Titusville-Cocoa cluster (market #102). Regional vice president Pete DeSimone notes, “Hugh is a very talented manger with a proven track record for successfully developing and leading great teams.  He understands the value of people, our systems, and delivering consistent results for customers.”  Senior vice president Gary Pizzati comments, “Hugh took Pensacola to new heights under his leadership.  We look forward to the same performance in Melbourne.  We are fortunate to have the solid bench strength to be able to promote from within.”  McPherson states that leaving Pensacola is “bittersweet, considering the staff’s hard work, dedication, and success. I am honored and excited to lead the charge in Melbourne and work with another very talented team.”  McPherson previously was vice president and chief operating officer of Great Plains Media Cookeville, Tennessee; general sales manager at Atlanta’s WBZY and Greenville, South Carolina’s WTPT; and he held that title at Cumulus clusters in Toledo and Savannah, Georgia.  The company’s Melbourne stations are CHR WAOA “The Coast’s #1 Hit Music Station,” WHKR “Today’s Best Country,” and WSJZ “Sports Radio 95.9.”  Finally, replacing McPherson in Pensacola is VP of sales JJ Waters who is upped to VP and market manager.  Pizzati says, “This was a natural move for JJ within Cumulus. Her 20-year tenure in Pensacola as a sales manager has been very advantageous for us.  Now at the helm of our newly assembled cluster, JJ will take us to the next level.  We’re proud to have her on our team.”

pittmanbobPittman’s Clear Channel Investment Highlighted in Financial Times Piece.  The financial aspect of Clear Channel’s operations and CEO Bob Pittman’s investment of $5 million of his own money in the company are features of a piece in the Financial Times.  In the piece, Pittman says “every investment banker in the world” has suggested that Clear Channel spin off its digital platform, iHeartRadio, in order to pay down some of its $20 billion in debt, but Pittman remains steadfast that the multiple platform reach of Clear Channel makes it more valuable.  In the piece, Pittman (who was recently resigned to a new contract through 2019) says owners Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee are “patient” but it also underscores that if Pittman is not successful in turning Clear Channel around, he loses his $5 million.  Read the story here.

holmeslaurenceWSCR’s Holmes to Host Morning Show on ‘120 Sports.’  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, WSCR, Chicago evening sports talk personality Laurence Holmes will begin hosting a daily, two-hour morning sports morning show on the soon-to-launch 120 Sports live streaming-video network project from Time Inc./Sports Illustrated, the NHL, MLB.com, and Jerry Reinsdorf-owned Silver Chalice.  Feder’s story describes the show as a “national sports roundup” that will air live from 7:00 am to 9:00 am and will feature Chicago comedy actor Dylan McGorty, who also hosts a weekend show at Tribune’s WGWG-LP “The Game 87.7 FM.”  WGWG’s Meghan Kluth will oversee social media for the program.  Read the full story here.

TNM news logoNational Marijuana News Launches Today.  Changes in marijuana laws across the country are spurring changes in the way the media reports on marijuana.  Case in point is today’s debut of “The National Marijuana News” which launches on Live365, Blog Talk Radio, YouTube and Vimeo, “with terrestrial, satellite and television, in all its forms, tokellybruce2 follow.”  The program is hosted by industry pro Bruce Kelly and executive produced by Martin Wagmaister, who’s worked with Rick Dees, Ryan Seacrest, and Tom Rounds‘ Radio Express.”  Kelly and Wagmaister are calling it “the nation’s first unbiased news-talk radio/TV show that focuses on the political, economic, medicinal and social implications of the rapidly evolving medical and recreational marijuana industry.”  Kelly says, “TNM News takes a deep dive beyond the headlines to explore breaking cannabis news with network-news-quality, in-studio and field segments with industry leaders and celebrity guests.  It’s no longer a game ‘for’ or ‘against’ marijuana in this country.  We are here to educate, inform and entertain Americans so they can accurately decide for themselves.”  Wagmaister adds, “Program content is everywhere.  The problem we had to overcome is that the content was all extremely biased — either for or against marijuana legislation.  We feel it’s imperative to create a news product that presents both sides of the issues.”

barbermickeyDr. Mickey Barber Joins ‘Late Night Health Radio.’  Joining “Late Night Health Radio” host Mark Alyn as a regular contributor is Michale “Mickey” Barber, MD.  Alyn and producer “Insane” Darrell Wayne tell TALKERS Dr. Barber is an age management board certified doctor based in Charleston, South Carolina.  She offers tips on feeling and looking younger, while improving general health.  “From weight loss to what to eat, Dr. Barber keeps boomer listeners up to date on maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle.”  The two-hour show airs on KABC, Los Angeles; KTHO, Lake Tahoe; WMEL, Cocoa Beach, Florida; KMYN, Albuquerque; KUHL, Santa Maria and on RadioActive Internet Radio.

kirofm logoOdds & Sods.  News/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle names local high school student Sophie Knudsen the winner of its “Standout Student of the Year” award that comes with $10,000 in scholarship money.  The station, in conjunction with Comprehensive Wealth Management and the Rotary Club of Lynnwood, awarded nine students – including Knudsen — $1,000 each during the school year with the opportunity to win the grand prize…..CBS RADIO’s all-news KYW, Philadelphia is honored with two regional Edward R. Murrow awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association in the categories of Best Newscast for thekywlogo “KYW Reporters Roundup” and Continuing Coverage for “Changes at The Vatican: A Philadelphia Perspective.”  KYW director of news and programming Steve Butler comments, “The work that ‘Reporters Roundup’ host Steve Nikazy puts into the program is unmatched in our industry.  The three shows per day contain the highest production values and are extremely informative for the KYW listeners.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS and classic hits WLS-FM will have their sales staffs move to Chicago’s iconic Merchandise Mart building (from which classic rock WLUP-FM and alternative WKQX also operate) by the middle of this month.  Feder also reports that although there is no timetable for moving the studios of WLS-AM and WLS-FM to the Mart, that is something the company plans to do eventually.

ddaymarksetalTalk Radio Pros Cover D-Day Ceremonies in Normandy.  A number of talk radio personnel covered President Obama’s participation in ceremonies commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Allied Invasion of Normandy (D-Day) this past Friday (6/9) sending reports back to their respective networks and shows.  Pictured at the Normandy Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-su-mer, in Normandy, France, that honors American Troops who died in Europe during WWII are (l-r):  David Webb, host, Sirius XM Satellite Radio; Ron Hartenbaum, CEO, WYD Media; Carole Marks, host, “A Touch of Grey;” and Ellen Ratner, bureau chief, Talk Radio News Service.  Ratner tells TALKERS, “Being there was an extremely emotional experience.”

Livestream Connects Talk Radio with Visual Platform

| June 6, 2014

Company to play major role at forthcoming Talkers New York 2014 

 By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief

 

LOS ANGELES —Radio’s collective resume is remarkably rich with astounding seminal moments and some breathtaking benchmark events; however, open for conjecture, of course, is the one singularly most important to the medium.

Few can dispute that a 62-minute October 30, 1938 segment would be at – or near – the top of a multitude of related “Top 10″ lists.

That was when, without commercial interruption, the CBS Radio Network aired “The Mercury Theater on the Air” adaptation of H.G. Wells’ 1898 novel “The War of the Worlds.” Directed, narrated, and starring Orson Welles, the program suggested that a Martian invasion was in progress.

As much as any other solitary program, this particular stunning piece of radio history was responsible for linking the medium to the term “theater of the mind.”

Read More

Friday, June 6, 2014

| June 6, 2014

cosbypopeWABC, New York’s Rita Cosby Interviews Pope Francis.  Calling it an historic conversation, WABC, New York journalist and talk personality Rita Cosby traveled to Rome earlier this week to both meet with Pope Francis and broadcast back to her New York audience from the Vatican.  Cosby met with the Pope on Wednesday (6/4) and says that among the topics they discussed was his role in creating peace in the Middle East.  On Sunday, the Pontiff will meet in the Vatican for a prayer summit with Israeli president Shimon Peres and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.  Cosby says of her meeting with Pope Francis, “One of the greatest moments of my life.  He was extremely engaging and approachable.  It is clear he cares deeply about peace in the Mideast and would like to do anything he can to assist this very difficult process.”  Cosby discussed her conversation with the Pope on the Thursday 5:00 pm program she co-hosts with Pat Kiernan.  Pictured here is Cosby meeting with Pope Francis outside the Vatican.  Photo: L’Osservatore Romano.

livestream logoLivestream Connects Talk Radio with Visual Platforms – Groundbreaking Firm to Play Role at Talkers New York 2014.   One of the leading-edge technology companies (founded in 2007) that provides radio stations, networks and shows with an accessible system to stream their content in a video mode – Livestream – will be demonstrating its systems and providing instruction at Talkers New York 2014 on Friday, June 20 in the event’s exhibit area.  The company’s chief revenue officer, Sam Kimball will also participate in a panel discussion, “Radio: The Big Picture,” moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison.  This signifies the rapidly growing company’s preliminary endeavor at marketing its stellar product to radio, according to Livestream’s GM for news and radio,roseclayton Clayton Rose.  In an exclusive feature story written by TALKERS managing editor/West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian posted today (6/6), Rose states, “It has almost been an inbound initiative of us being reactive. We are now at the point where we think there is enough of a market out there that we are going to be more proactive in reaching out and trying to work with radio programmers to live stream their content.”  Nearly 150 employees comprising Livestream are found in its Brooklyn global headquarters, or satellite offices in Los Angeles, London, Bangalore (India), and Zaporizhia (Ukraine). Software engineers are responsible for building the Livestream technology. “It is a much dispersed work world we live in,” Rose acknowledges. “You find the best people you can, and if they happen to be software engineers in the Ukraine, that is where you set up an office. It is becoming more and more common. Livestream, SKYPE, and other means of technology are making the world a lot smaller than it used to be.”  Current talk radio clients of Livestream include progressive hosts, Thom Hartmann (this year’s freedom of Speech Award recipient), Stephanie Miller and Mike Malloy, as well as KTRS, St. Louis’ morning personality McGraw Milhaven and talk programming on Tucson’s KQTH.  To read Mike Kinosian’s entire article, please click here.

wyfx logoNew Talk and Sports Outlets in Evansville.  There are two companies involved in the changes taking place in the Evansville market.  First, The Original Company’s WYFX flips from sports talk as “ESPN Radio 106.7” to news/talk with the new lineup as follows: The WSJRN’s “The Wall Street Journal This Morning” with Gordon Deal; three Fox News Radio shows – Brian Kilmeade, John Gibson and Tom Sullivan; Premiere Networks’ “America Now” with Andy Dean; and WestwoodOne’s Michael Savage.  At Townsquare Media’s crosstown WJLT, the station is dropping classic hits and will flip to sports talk using ESPN programming.  Tristatehomepage.com reports air personalities Dave Westrich, Julie Michaels, Johnny Kincaid, and Gavin Eddings are out at WJLT as a result of the flip.

nrhof 14 logoLucky Seven National Radio Hall of Fame Inductees.  When the 2014 National Radio Hall of Fame inductees are honored in five months (11/9), the ceremony will take place in Los Angeles, rather than Chicago where every other such event has been held.  The NRHOF class of 2014 includes Charlie Brown (Jack Woods) & Irv Harrigan (Paul Menard) better known as “Charlie & Harrigan,” Barry Farber, Stanley Hubbard, Jon Miller, Agnes Moorehead (posthumous), Dick Orkin, and “This American Life” host Ira Glass.  Museum of Broadcast Communications founder and president Bruce DuMont confirms that, “The National Radio Hall of Fame is taking the show on the road this year.  Many Radio Hall of Famers and several 2014 inductees live in southern California, so it seems like a great time to try something different.”  Charlie & Harrigan were first paired in 1966 in Dallas at KLIF.  They would later enjoy success in Cleveland, Houston, and San Diego.  Farber’s radio career began in the 1950s in New York when he joined WNBC-AM as a producer.  He had a 15-year association with New York’s WOR and more than 10 years at cross-town WMCA.  He has had national exposure on the ABC Radio Network and – since 2008 – on CRN Digital Talk Radio.  Hubbard Broadcasting founder Stanley Hubbard launched WAMD, Minneapolis in 1923.  The following year, he started what might have been radio’s first regularly scheduled daily news broadcast, which aired at 6:00 pm each evening.  Seven-year San Francisco Giants radio voice Miller (on Bay Area KNBR) has had additional MLB play-by-play experience with the Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Oakland A’s, and Texas Rangers.  He had a two-decade run with ESPN TV, anchoring “Sunday Night Baseball,” and he covered 13 consecutive World Series for ESPN Radio. Known to many as “Endora” on the TV series “Bewitched,” Moorehead began her career as a singer on St. Louis heritage station KMOX.  She passed away more than 40 years ago (April 1974).  Orkin attended the Yale School of Drama and he is the creator of the longest-running radio serial of all time, “Chickenman,” which chronicled the exploits of a mild-mannered shoe salesman-turned-crime-fighter.  Since 1978, Orkin has created radio commercials through his California-based Radio Ranch production company.  “This American Life” host/producer Glass launched the show in November 1995 as “Your Radio Playhouse” on Chicago’s WBEZ.  The next summer, it had been picked up for national syndication and the show has won two George Foster Peabody awards.  A number of women of the National Radio Hall of Fame will be honored at this year’s NRHOF induction ceremony.  They include Eve Arden (“Our Miss Brooks), Virginia Payne (“Ma Perkins), Shirley Bell (“Little Orphan Annie), and Virginia Clark and Julie Stevens (“The Romance of Helen Trent).  Other females to be recognized include comedians Gracie Allen and Jane Ace; Marian Jordan (“Fibber McGee and Molly”) and Gertrude Berg (“The Goldbergs”).  Other ladies to be saluted that night are producer Lynne “Angel” Harvey (Paul’s wife) and Cathy Hughes; journalists Ann Compton (ABC News) and Susan Stamberg (NPR);interviewer Terry Gross; singer Kate Smith; urban radio personality (and now daytime TV talk host) Wendy Williams; Chicago talents Yvonne Daniels and Terri Hemmert; and jazz pianist-composer-writer Marian McPartland.  Premiere Radio Networks will produce/distribute the broadcast in association with the MBC.  Premiere’s nighttime adult contemporary “Love Songs” personality Delilah will host the Hall of Fame ceremony; Westwood One‘s Jim Bohannon will be the announcer.

cardenasedOdds & Sods.  All-news WWJ, Detroit announces Ed Cardenas joins the station to serve as its digital reporter.  The CBS RADIO outlet says he’ll serve as a regular on-air contributor and will also provide content for CBSDetroit.com.  WWJ program director Rob Davidek says, “Ed is a terrific writer who knows the area and will be finding and telling stories focused on business, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.  He will be a great addition to our all-news format.”…..When the 68th Annual Tony Awards kick off on Sunday evening, WABC, New York will begin a “live tweeting analysis.”  The station says, it will cover the iconic New York awards show beginning at 8:00 pm ET when “Imus in The Morning” cast members Imogen Lloyd Webber and Mike Gunzelman will be tweeting analysis, reaction, and green room moments live from Radio City Music Hall.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb states, “You can’t be in New York and ignore the Tony Awards.  With Imogen and Mike, 77 WABC will provide timely and entertaining coverage any fan of Broadway should make a point to follow.”…..Cumulus Dallas announces sports talk KTCK “The Ticket” and the NHL’s Dallas Stars renew their deal for the station to air the team’s play-by-play for the next five seasons.

pattiznormNorm Pattiz to Receive 2014 TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award.  The editorial board of TALKERS magazine has named Norm Pattiz the recipient of the publication’s annual Lifetime Achievement Award for 2014.  Pattiz is the founder and former chairman/ CEO of the original Westwood One, which under his leadership was America’s largest radio network and provider of news, sports, entertainment, talk and traffic programming to the broadcast industry. Westwood One owned, managed or distributed NBC Radio Networks, CBS News, CNN Radio, the Mutual Broadcasting System, numerous major league professional sports schedules and events, the Olympic Games and an extraordinarily wide variety of syndicated talk and music shows.  In 2010, Pattiz, founded and launched Courtside Entertainment Group.  The company produces and finances multi-platform programming and is the radio home of Loveline, Bill O’Reilly, Dr. Drew, Laura2014 NYC logo 150 Ingraham, Ron Paul and a wide variety of music “super specials.”  Recognizing the untapped opportunities in the audio on-demand industry, Pattiz launched PodcastOne at the end of 2012.  The company quickly became the leading producer/ distributer in audio on-demand programming.  Today, PodcastOne’s popular line-up of personalities and brands include Adam Carolla, Dan Patrick, Steve Austin, Radio Lab, Freakonomics Radio, the Nerdist, Jay Mohr, Kathie Lee Gifford, Dennis Miller, Penn Jillette, Ross Tucker, Yahoo Sports, Bret Eason Ellis, public radio stations WNYC, New York and KCRW, Los Angeles as well as 200 more of the nation’s most popular podcasts. PodcastOne programs are downloaded over 120 million times every month.  In 2000, Pattiz was appointed by President Clinton and reappointed in 2002 by President Bush to serve on the Broadcasting Board of Governors of the United States of America.  The Board oversees all U.S. nonmilitary broadcasting services, including Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty, Middle East Broadcasting and others.  Pattiz was responsible for conceiving and launching America’s Arabic language radio and television services to all 22 countries of the Middle East, plus Farsi language broadcasting to Iran reaching a weekly audience of more than 40 million listeners — an achievement that earned him the TALKERS magazine Freedom of Speech Award in 2002.  Pattiz currently serves as a regent of the University of California.  He is the chairman of the Regent’s Oversight Committee of the Department of Energy Laboratories and serves as the chairman of the board of the Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos National Security Labs.  Pattiz is an inductee of the National Radio Hall of Fame and has been the recipient of numerous professional and leadership awards including the “Giants of Broadcasting Award” from the Library of American Broadcasting.  He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Pacific Council on International Relations.  Upon announcing the selection of Norm Pattiz as the recipient of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “This amazing broadcaster has made an indelible and positive impact on the radio business that is now extending into the digital era with the same force and measurable effect that he began delivering so many decades ago.  If Norm Pattiz doesn’t deserve the TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award, nobody does.”  The honor will be presented at the gala Awards Ceremony at Talkers New York 2014 by legendary WestwoodOne personality Jim Bohannon on Friday June 20.  There will be more than 65 industry leaders in speaking roles at the conference which takes place on Friday, June 20 at the iconic India House in the heart of New York City’s historic Financial District.  Registration is only open to professionals (and broadcasting students) working in radio and related media.  The cost is $249 per person which includes all sessions, receptions, food and refreshments.  Registrations can only be booked over the phone with credit card.  Call 413-565-5413.  Again, a sellout is expected shortly.  For up-to-the-minute agenda information and further details please click here.

Bergdahl Prisoner Swap Controversy Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 2-6.  The highly controversial swap of five prisoners with terrorist connections for Taliban-captured Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of June 2-6, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the primary elections and this fall’s mid-term elections.  Following at #3 was the 2016 presidential race and, at #4, the VA Hospitals scandal tied with criticism of the Affordable Care Act.  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.

Talkers New York 2014

| June 5, 2014

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 a Tremendous Success.  Aside from the impressive numbers (60-plus speakers, hundreds of registrants, early sellout, 29 sponsors), the 17th annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national convention in the talk media industry was a crowd-pleaser in terms of issues addressed, solutions proposed, and connections made.  Talkers New York 2014 has received praise not only for its agenda’s precision and well-balanced representation of the industry’s diversity — but the spectacular (India House) venue’s food, comfort and elegance as well.  It was a power-packed day (6/20) without a second of downtime. From the opening “Breakfast with Hannity” networking social to the final “Farewell Cocktail Reception,” it stands out as what TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison describes as “one of the really good ones.”  In the words of Journal Broadcast Group’s VP/news/talk programming Tom Langmyer, “This is an incredible venue and the discussions are truly enlightening and powerful.  Not only is the event informative, but also very inspiring.  This is the juice we all need – and I am even more optimistic about the future of talk and the personal connection we can provide – across ALL platforms.”  Consultant/programmer Greg Moceri, CEO of Moceri Media adds, “Just amazing to me how many of us in the biz all these years feel this is a ‘can’t miss’ event every year.”  Courtside Entertainment/PodcastOne CEO Norm Pattiz describes Talkers New York 2014 as “a high-energy, super-pro, first-class conference.”  Radio and WPIX-TV, New York commentator Lionel says, “It just might have been the most fruitful and beneficial to date, if that’s even possible.”  Salem syndicated personality Mike Gallagher called it, “another wonderful gathering.”  Kraig T. Kitchin, CEO of Sound Mind, LLC says, “A great environment for conversation, for interaction, and for shared ideas.  I had a great time!  I learned a lot – more than I anticipated.  The camaraderie was very evident, industry-wide, and that was a true blessing.”  Among the major issues addressed were the challenges facing radio (of all formats, including talk) in the 21st century digital age including the arenas of programming, sales, technology, audience measurement and economics.  The very role and pertinence of radio in this new era was held up to the spotlight of scrutiny in terms of generational changes and expectations.  The result in a nutshell: unbridled (but absolutely realistic) optimism!  The two words that came up time and again throughout the day were “community” and “passion.”  Perhaps, the general sentiment of the conference is best summed up by WAQY, Springfield, MA “Rock 102” morning show co-host Mike “Bax” Baxendale who wrote, “These seminars have always made me want to become a greater broadcaster.  For that I am deeply grateful.”  In the words of TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “The hours and hours of valuable content generated by this event are going to keep our editorial and audio/video production departments busy for weeks as we break it all out and organize it for presentation in the form of stories, news and video packaging.”  Look for multi-media coverage of the event right here at Talkers.com in the days and weeks ahead.  In the meantime, the staff and management of TALKERS want to express deep gratitude to the hundreds of individuals and companies who supported this event so solidly as registrants, speakers and sponsors.  We are humbled by your precious friendship and confidence.

#1. Hannity SpeechSean Hannity makes point during morning keynote.

 

 

 

 

 

1bHannity

Sean Hannity addresses standing room crowd.

 

 

 

 

 

1cHannity

Phil Boyce (l) and Greg Moceri (c) interviewed by
Sean Hannity (r).

 

 

 

 

2Francesa

Mike Francesa delivers sports talk keynote.

 

 

 

 

 

3Pattiz

Norm Pattiz accepting Lifetime Achievement Award.

 

 

 

 

 

4Hartmann

Thom Hartmann accepting Freedom of Speech Award.

 

 

 

 

 

5Julie

Julie Talbott accepting Woman of the Year Award.

 

 

 

 

 

6CaroleJoyce

Carole Marks presenting Joyce Kaufman with
Humanitarian of the Year Award.

 

 

 

 

 

 

7JimBo

Jim Bohannon emceeing the Awards Ceremony.

Not pictured, Kenneth Chandler, introducer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

8DelColliano

Jerry Del Colliano delivering special address.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9Erica

Erica Farber moderating “State of Radio Advertising
and Sales” panel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

10Salespanel

“State of Radio Advertising and Sales” panel.
(l-r): Ron Furman, Julie Talbott, Joe Puglise, Kraig Kitchin.

Not pictured:  Dr. Asa Andrew, introducer.

 

 

 

 

11BigPicture

“Radio: The Big Picture” panel.
(l-r): Tom Langmyer, Mike McVay, Sam Kimball, Steve Goldstein, Walter Sabo and Tom Leykis.

Not pictured:  Michael Harrison, moderator;
Dana Loesch, introducer.

 

 

12LocalRadio

“The State of Local Talk Radio” panel.
(l-r): Jerry Crowley, Larry Young, McGraw Milhaven, Mike “Bax” Baxendale, Lee Harris.

Not pictured:  David Bernstein, moderator;
Ethan Bearman, introducer.

 

 

 

13Programming1

“The State of Talk Radio Programming” panel.
(l-r): Bill Hess, Craig Schwalb, Gabe Hobbs.

Not pictured: Kevin Casey, moderator; Phil Boyce, panelist.

 

 

 

14Bloom

“The State of Talk Radio Programming” panel,  Andy Bloom.

 

 

 

 

 

15Managing

“Developing and Managing a Talk Show Hosting Career” panel.
(l-r): Ron Hartenbaum, Tom Becka, Martha Zoller.

Not pictured:  Mike Kinosian, moderator.

 

 

 

 

16Managing2

“Developing and Managing a Talk Show Hosting Career” panel.
(l-r): Tom Marr, Joe Piscopo.

 

 

 

 

17Rumble

“The Talk Rumble”
(l-r):  Mike Gallagher, Bubba the Love Sponge, Joyce Kaufman, David Webb, Kevin McCullough, Alan Colmes, Thom Hartmann.

Not pictured:  Lionel, moderator; Dr. Joy Browne, introducer.

 

 

 

18Price

Howard B. Price delivering special address.

 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

| June 5, 2014

wtoplogoMore Sports Content on WTOP’s Digital Platform.  Intent on continuing to build its digital platform’s reputation as part of the Washington, DC station’s news brand, Hubbard Radio’s WTOP is expanding sports coverage with the addition of a new beefed-up sports section and the hiring of Noah Frank as digital sports editor.  Frank most recently worked with MLB’s Washington Nationals.  He’s also worked with the Fresno Grizzlies, San Antonio Missions and the Chicago Cubs.  WTOP says its “sports section will go beyond the typical scores and stats of many online sports sites, taking a deeper look into the stories of the people and personalities that make the sports world so compelling.”  Director of digital media John Meyer adds, “In order to continue to evolve the WTOP news brand in Washington, we must transform the way we originate our content.  Dedicating resources to creating original digital content puts us in a better position to efficiently use this content across other platforms such as radio, social and mobile.”  WTOP says the section is the fourth in its online expansion, following the launch of the Living, Technology and Entertainment sections.  The sports section will launch the week of June 23.

cbsradiocubs comboCBS RADIO Chicago and Cubs Deal Official; Wrigley Field to Be Site of Concert Events.  The expected announcement that CBS RADIO’s all-news WBBM-AM, Chicago will be the new home for Chicago Cubs play-by-play beginning with the 2015 season is confirmed in a press release from CBS.  The terms of the deal are not public yet but one of the facets of the deal includes the Cubs and CBS RADIO working together to present concerts at venerable Wrigley Field.  CBS RADIO president and CEO Dan Mason says, “This partnership also capitalizes on the expertise of our local stations to create one-of-a-kind events utilizing the inherent synergies of music and sports.  Being able to interact with fans both in and out of the ballpark provides us a unique opportunity to connect with the community and grow our relationships with local businesses and national brands.”  Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer will continue to call the action and a weekly, one-hour “Cubs Corner” program will also air on WBBM-AM.  The MLB team and Tribune’s WGN are parting ways after this season after 90 years in broadcast partnership.

reesegeicoRadio Mercury Winners Announced.  The 23rd annual Radio Mercury Awards were held in New York last night in a ceremony produced by the Radio Advertising Bureau at le Poisson Rouge.  This year’s $50,000 Best of Show award was given to Wieden+Kennedy for the spot, “MomSong” for client Old Spice.  The Marketer of the Year award was given to insurance giant GEICO.  This year’s chief judge, Matt Eastwood, worldwide chief creative officer at JWT, stated, “MomSong was the clear choice and the most engaging spot we heard.  All of this year’s winners deserve to be recognized for their inspiring and exceptionally creative spots and campaigns.”  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber adds, “These winning spots and campaigns are true testaments to radio’s ability to engage consumers, build brands and inspire the next generation of creative minds.  Our mission is to recognize those storytellers who create an audiophoric world and truly capture our hearts and minds.”  Hubbard Radio president and CEO Bruce Reese (left) presented the Marketer of the Year award to GEICO broadcast marketing manager Amy Hooks (right).  The ceremony was hosted by Eric and Kathy from Hubbard Radio’s “101.9 The Mix” in Chicago, and included presenters: Jim & Kim from CBS RADIO’s WWFS, New York “Fresh 102.7”; Wendy Wild from Clear Channel Media + Entertainment’s WKTU, New York; DJ Enuff from Emmis Communication’s WQHT, New York “Hot 97”; and Ino Gomez from Univision Radio’s WADO, New York.  DJ Whutevva from Clear Channel Media + Entertainment’s WWPR, New York “Power 105.1” served as the guest DJ for the night.

bubbaBubba the Love Sponge and Affiliate Present Fundraiser for Highway Crash Victims.  Syndicated, multi-format talk show host Bubba the Love Sponge and country affiliate WTRS, Gainesville/Ocala “102.3 My Country FM” are presenting “Bikes for Badges,” a charity motorcycle run on Saturday, June 14 at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala.  All monies raised will go directly to the families of fallen Florida Highway Patrol officer Chelsea Richard, as well as civilians George Phillips and John Duggan, who died in a tragic I-75 pile-up on Saturday, May 3.  WTRS program director Dave Tyler says, “Bubba the Love Sponge and ‘102.3 My Country FM’ are committed to giving back to our community.  This is our hometown.  Tragedy can strike anywhere and we want to ensure the families of our fallen heroes are well taken care of.  The Bubba the Love Sponge Foundation to date has given nearly half a million dollars in funds to families of these heroes.  Now we are honored to take care of the three families affected by this accident.”

Odds & Sods.  On tomorrow’s 70th anniversary of the invasion at Omaha Beach in Normandy, France – D-Day – Fox News Radio is providing coverage to affiliate stations.  Jeff Monosso and Simon Owen will be reporting from Normandy.  Monosso is also hosting a special, “D-Day: We Remember: A Fox News Radio Special,” which takes a look back at the events that unfolded during the D-Day invasion as well as the day’s ceremonies of remembrance…..Mark Halverson is the new vice president and general manager for Journal Broadcast Group’s Omaha station group that includes sports talk KXSP “590 ESPN Radio.”…..At Broadway Media’s Salt Lake City cluster, Corey O’Brien is promoted to digital content director for the six-station cluster that includes sports talk KALL “ESPN 700.”

gormanwilliamsHolly Williams Talks Music and Sports with Steve Gorman.  Pictured here are Fox Sports Radio personality Steve Gorman (right), host of “Steve Gorman SPORTS!,” country music artist Holly Williams (center), and show co-host Jeffrey Gorman (left), in the Nashville studios of Fox Sports Radio.  Williams, daughter of country legend Hank Williams, Jr. (and granddaughter of Hank Williams!), stopped by the studios to talk with the Gormans about her new album The Highway and share stories about growing up as the daughter of Hank Williams, Jr.  She also told of her failed attempt at playing basketball as a child.  Answering the question asked of every guest who appears on the program, Williams announced her favorite musical artists are Jay-Z and Tom Waits.

schlessingerlauraDr. Laura Goes to Bat for KidsEmail.  Talk radio superstar Dr. Laura Schlessinger – heard daily on SiriusXM Satellite Radio – is encouraging parents to use KidsEmail for their children’s internet communications.  A press statement from KidsEmail says, “Recognizing the difficulty parents face with protecting their kids from cyberbullying, predators, vulgarity, spam, pornography, and other internet dangers, Dr. Laura encourages that parents use KidsEmail to help safeguard their kids.”  Dr. Laura adds, “KidsEmail is an excellent tool for parents to use when playing an active role in keeping their kids safe from online dangers.  It also helps parents teach their kids how to use the internet safely and responsibly.”  KidsEmail.org founder and CEO Jacob Andersen states, “We are extremely excited that Dr. Laura recognizes how valuable a service like KidsEmail is in helping parents raise their children in a safe environment.   It’s always been our mission to protect children while helping them learn about and enjoy technology in a safe environment.”

robertsrobinGracie Awards Luncheon to Feature Roberts. ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America” anchor and 2014 national Gracie Award recipient Robin Roberts will be a special guest at the 39th annual Gracie Awards luncheon next Wednesday (6/11) in New York City.  Alliance for Women in Media Foundation (AWMF) chair Kay Olin states that this particular “memorable” event “honors and shares the compelling work of so many women in media, as well as recognizes the next generation of media stars.  We are pleased to award Robin Roberts with a Gracie statue at our luncheon; she is a notable reporter whose work serves as inspiration to all in attendance.”  This year’s local, online, public, and student winners include MPR News‘ “Betrayed by Silence,” AARP’s “Beyond the Face of Alzheimer’s — A Few Good Men,” “George Washington University’s Plus Size: The New Normal,” KNX, Los Angeles’ “Healthcare Uncovered,” and Mudbath Productions’ “Satellite Sisters.” Moll Anderson and Nancy Giles will host this year’s luncheon ceremony.

Bergdahl Prisoner Swap/al Qaeda Threats, Slenderman Stabbing Case, Influx of Illegal Aliens in Southwest, New Donald Sterling Allegations, Latest Justin Bieber Controversy and NBA-NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/4).  The controversy over the swap of five terrorist prisoners for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and concerns about the renewed strength of al Qaeda and recent threats by the terrorist group; the case of the 12-year-old Wisconsin girl stabbed by two friends to please a fictitious internet character; recent waves of illegal immigrants appearing in Southwest cities and questions about responsibility for the occurrences; new allegations of racist and sexist behavior by Clippers owner Donald Sterling; another incident of racist language by troubled pop singer Justin Bieber; and the NBA and NHL finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

| June 4, 2014

cubs logoChicago Cubs to Move to CBS RADIO’s WBBM Next Season.  In what appears to be the end of a 90-year relationship, Tribune’s WGN, Chicago is passing on Chicago Cubs play-by-play and, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune, the club will sign with CBS RADIO’s WBBM beginning in 2015.  That Tribune has been losing money on the broadcasts in recent years has been pretty widely reported for some time now and it’s not particularly shocking to industry watchers that WGN is giving up on the Cubs.  Though the deal has not been formally announced (a press release is expected sometime Thursday), the Tribune reports that the previous deal was for approximately $10 million per season and WGN had the right to match any other offer, which it chose not to do.  CBS RADIO already has the rights to Chicago Bears games (which air on both WBBM-AM and simulcast WCFS-FM) and White Sox broadcasts which air on sports talker WSCR.  WGN holds the rights to Blackhawks hockey.

kcaa logoKCAA, Loma Linda Owner Fred Lundgren Writes Appeal for AM Station Owners in HuffPost Piece.  In a blog post on Huffington Post, KCAA, Loma Linda, California founder and CEO Fred Lundgren asserts that the FCC has “waited too long to act on the problems facing the AM band, and the agency has made so many wrong and irreversible decisions that the AM band can’t be sustained in the long term…It’s time for the Congress and the FCC to pause it’s love affair with inefficient point-to-point communication and realize that the most efficient form of mass communication and spectrum utilization continues to be point-to-multipoint terrestrial radio, and unless the AM band is migrated to FM very soon, the opportunity to expand the band will be gone forever.”  Lundgren writes about the 10 ways the FCC is hastening the demise of the AM band and says the way to save the stations is to migrate them to FM frequencies below 87.5 FM.  Read his piece here.

sedersamSam Seder’s ‘Ring of Fire’ Changes to Daily Format.  Progressive talk host Sam Seder, co-host of the weekend “Ring of Fire” syndicated radio talk show, launches a daily version of the show airing from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.  The show is syndicated by Ron Hartenbaum‘s and Debbie Greenbaum‘s WYM Media Management and distributed by WestwoodOne.  WYM describes the show as a “live, take-no-prisoners, progressive talk show featuring blistering commentary, smart interviews and the comedy which has made Sam Seder so popular amongst progressive audiences.”  In addition to his work on “Ring of Fire,” Seder is a contributor to MSNBC and produces a daily political podcast called “Majority Report.”

wntw logoWNTW, Chester, Virginia Flips to News/Talk as ‘820 The Answer.’  The branding slogan “The Answer” has been used by Salem Communications news/talk stations in some markets but now the Delmarva Educational Association-owned signal licensed to Chester, Virginia (just south of Richmond) takes on the moniker as it flips from Christian talk to conservative talk featuring programming including: local host John Fredericks, Cox Media’s Herman Cain, Salem Radio Network’s Dennis Prager, WestwoodOne’s Michael Savage, Mark Levin, and “Red Eye Radio” plus independently syndicated Steve Deace and Genesis Communications Network-distributed Alex Jones.

cigardave logoCigar Dave Offers D-Day Tribute Show to Non-Affiliates.  Last weekend, nationally syndicated talk show host “Cigar Dave” Zeplowitz hosted a special “D-Day 70th Anniversary Tribute.”  He reports that the response to his show, which devoted the entire two hours to the historic events of June 6, 1944, was so overwhelming that he’s decided to give the show to non-affiliates on a one-time basis to air this weekend, in honor of the 70th anniversary.  Zeplowitz states, “Friday marks the 70th Anniversary of Allied Expeditionary Forces scaling the cliffs at Normandy to begin the liberation of Europe from Nazi oppression.  It’s imperative that every American of every age recognize and understand the historic significance of D-Day.  The tribute show is my way of honoring the great Americans who stormed the beaches and insuring their legacy and sacrifice is never forgotten.”  The D-Day 70th Anniversary Tribute features a timeline of Operation Overlord and the D-Day invasion with audio from General Dwight D. Eisenhower, news reports from D-Day and highlights of Ronald Reagan’s speeches on the 40th Anniversary of D-Day.  The special tribute also includes interviews with World War II veteran Thomas Blakey, one of the first paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division to land behind enemy lines on D-Day, and April Cheek-Messier, president of the National D-Day Memorial.  Stations interested can contact Skip Joeckel at: 719-579-6676 or via email at: Skip@TalkShowsUSA.com.

unlogo blueTalk Radio Day at the United Nations Shaping Up as Major Broadcasting Event for Thursday, June 19.  TALKERS magazine announces a strong and diverse lineup of participating hosts at the forthcoming 9th 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 important annual 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.  Participating hosts include: Thom Hartmann, Alan Colmes, Doug Stephan, Dr. Joy Browne, Martha Zoller, David Webb, Ethan Bearman, Carole Marks, John Fredericks, Miriam Wallach, Ed Woodson, George Russell, Brent Seltzer and Meg McDonald (Brent & Meg), Phil Paleologos, Scott Hennen, Dr. Evelyn Higgins, Timothy Spangler, David Fisher, Debbie Nigro, Rick Smith, Howard Monroe 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 only a handful of spots are left, so interested hosts should call 413-565-5413 quickly to inquire about signing up.

krusejohn‘Northwestern Outdoors Radio’ Wins Three National Honors.  The regional weekend program “Northwestern Outdoors Radio” with host John Kruse, wins Excellence in Craft awards from the Outdoor Writers Association of America.  Kruse was honored with first place in the radio broadcast category; second place in the hunting category and second place for a humorous interview segment.  This is the second year “Northwestern Outdoors Radio” entered the national competition featuring outdoor radio shows and podcasts from all over the United States.  Kruse comments, “We must be doing something right, and it’s wonderful to get feedback saying so from not only our listeners, but also from the judges who are our peers in the outdoors media industry.”  The show is an hour-long weekend show airing on 52 stations in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana.  The program covers not only fishing and hunting, but also wildlife watching, conservation, and a wide variety of outdoor recreational activities and destinations with a strong focus on the Northwestern United States.

Bergdahl Prisoner Swap, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Race, New Donald Sterling Allegations, VA Hospitals Scandal, U.S.-Israel Relations, and NBA-NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/3).  The aftermath of the prisoner swap for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl; the primary races leading up to this fall’s mid-term elections and speculation about candidates for president in 2016; new allegations of racist and sexist behavior against Clippers owner Donald Sterling; the ongoing fallout from the VA Hospitals scandal; U.S.-Israel relations in the wake of Hamas’ role in the Palestinian Authority makeup; and the prelude to the NBA and NHL finals series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

| June 3, 2014

pahigiancaryHearst Baltimore Hires Pahigian as President/GM.  Former Saga Communications Portland, Maine president and general manager Cary Pahigian will succeed Ed Kiernan in the same capacity at Hearst Baltimore talker WBAL and WIYY “98 Rock.”  Kiernan recently announced his retirement.wbal  According to Hearst president Jordan Wertlieb, “Having worked for some of the nation’s most honored radio stations, including most recently overseeing stations of various formats, Cary brings a wealth of experience.  He is a passionate advocate for local broadcasting and understands the importance of community service and how it is the fabric of leading radio stations.”  Prior to his tenure at Saga’s Portland properties, Pahigian was station manager at heritage Boston outlet WBZ-AM; operations manager and program director of Philadelphia sports station WIP-AM; vice president of operations at Sconnix Broadcasting; and vice president and general manager of Boch Broadcasting on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

markowskichrisChris Markowski and Jenna Laine to Co-Host New AM Show at Genesis’ Tampa and Orlando Stations.  On the news/talk simulcast of WWBA, Tampa and WAMT, Orlando, Genesis Communications debuts the new “Your Wake Up Call” morning drive program co-hosted by Chris Markowski and Jennawwbawamt logos Laine with news anchor Robert Pankau and entertainment reporter Kurt Shriner.  Markowski is known for his nationally syndicated weekend program “Watchdog on Wall Street.”  Laine most recently served as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Insider for Sports Talk Florida.  Markowski comments, “I couldn’t be more thrilled to be covering all the important news and events in one of the most important areas in the country: Tampa Bay, Orlando and the entire I-4 corridor.”  Laine adds, “Whether it’s news or sports, the one constant for me as a journalist has always been ‘people.’  I love telling your stories and I care very much about issues that affect our communities.”

kitchinkraigKitchin Elected to Museum of Broadcast Communications Board.  Radio pro and Sound Mind co-president Kraig Kitchin is elected to the board of directors of the Museum of Broadcast Communications.  Downtown Chicago’s MBC has housed America’s only National Radio Hall of Fame since 1992.  MBC founder-president-chief executive officer Bruce DuMont comments that, “Kraig is one of the most talented and respected radio executives in America.  He will bring his energy and vision to the museum, and help raise awareness of our mission nationally.”  Kitchin remarks that for over 25 years, “The Museum of Broadcast Communications has done a remarkable job of recognizing great accomplishments in both radio and television.  I am thrilled to join the MBC board and help chart the future of the museum and the National Radio Hall of Fame.  More than ever, it is important to recognize the great work done by broadcasters behind the microphone and in front of the camera.”  Sound Mind was launched in 2008 and offers management services to radio, television, and production companies.  Kitchin works with radio personalities in both talk and music genres.  He previously was the longtime president/chief operating officer of the Premiere Radio Networks.  Kitchin is a member of the National Radio Hall of Fame Steering Committee that supervises the induction process; the NRHOF Class of 2014 will be announced later this week.

roundstomRadio Industry Mourns Tom Rounds. With considerable recent focus on the plight and deteriorating health of iconic personality Casey Kasem, it is an unfortunate, eerie twist of irony that the man who in 1970 – with Kasem and producer Don Bustany – launched and marketed “American Top 40 with Casey Kasem” passed away on Sunday (6/1).  To state that Watermark founder Tom Rounds was a broadcasting innovator is actually an understatement.  Many within the industry are still in shock regarding the death of the 77-year-old Rounds (he would have been 78 this coming Friday, 6/6) who expired in Los Angeles, reportedly from complications related to a “minor surgical procedure.”  His wife – Barbara Rounds – was with her longtime husband when he passed away.  By the 1980s, “American Top 40″ was heard on more than 500 U.S. radio stations.  Approximately three years following ABC’s 1982 acquisition of Watermark, Rounds founded and was chief executive officer of entertainment program supplier Radio Express; by the late-1990s, Burbank (California)-based Radio Express was producing most of its own product.  It presently handles syndication outside the United States for American radio programs such as “The Rick Dees Weekly Top 40″ and “American Country Countdown.”  Radio Express vice president of sales Jessica d’Agostin notes, “We are deeply saddened by T.R.’s passing.  We will profoundly miss his humor, his wisdom, and his kindness.  He was a great man.  He loved his wife, his family, and radio with all his heart.  We will continue to move forward at Radio Express in his honor and as a living tribute to the example ‘T.R.’ set for excellence in all things.”  Amherst College (Massachusetts) alum Rounds entered radio at the campus station in the late-1950s.  Shortly thereafter in a stunt at Hawaii’s KPOI, he would set a record for staying awake on the air for 260 consecutive hours, while doing his show at a department store.  By the mid-1960s, he landed in San Francisco to program top 40 KFRC.  Among those commenting on Facebook regarding Rounds’ passing is Ed Mann of MannGroup Radio who states, “I’m just sick about it.  Tom was my first producer at MannGroup Radio.  I had the opportunity to work ideas with him for years after.  He was truly one of the great guys in this business.  He was my model as a businessman – such a great combination of creative and manager.  We had not talked in years, but this hurts plenty.  [Mann’s wife] Mindy and I send our condolences to Barbara and the family.”  Former Radio & Records (R&R) country editor/Clear Channel director of production Jim Duncan recounts, “When I first moved to Los Angeles from San Diego to be part of R&R, I had lunch with Tom and [R&R founder/publisher] Bob Wilson.  He tried to get me to come do some production at Watermark.  I chose to work at Westwood One producing shows.  I saw Tom many times over the years and he kept trying to get me to work with him.  Sorry I didn’t – he was somebody very special.”  Veteran programmer and imaging voice Charlie Van Dyke writes, “Tom Rounds, of course, was a successful program director and part of the original Watermark organization that gave birth to ‘American Top 40.’  He was a great friend to me over the years.”  Another legendary voiceover talent, Joe Cipriano, states, “I was honored to co-host with Adrienne Walker the ‘World Chart Show’ for Tom for several years.”  Former KIIS “Kiss-FM”, Los Angeles general manager Wally Clark is among the many to simply remark, “Sorry to hear this news.”  Sabo Media‘s Walter Sabo describes Rounds as a “great gentleman,” while Sonoma Media Group president Michael O’Shea opines that Rounds was, “a great guy.  Radio, as an industry, suffered today.”  Former Radio Et Cetera sales manager and ex-general manager of suburban Los Angeles adult contemporary FM trimulcast KLIT, KNJO, & KXEZ Rick Lemmo remarks that, “Tom was a true gentleman.  I loved working with him in so many ways.”  Ed Scarborough, who has programmed numerous stations, including Los Angeles CHR KKHR and San Antonio adult contemporary KQXT, succinctly declares that Rounds was, “a legend.”  MultiBrand Media International owner/president Bill Pasha reflects that he recently made a new friend.  “His name was Tom Rounds.  Through business, I was fortunate enough to enjoy the wit and wisdom of the man who founded the largest syndication company in the U.S., Watermark.  He was a good friend of my pals – Toby Arnold and Tom Merriman – who passed away before ‘T.R.’  I enjoyed his war stories of the biz we both love. About three weeks ago, I spent almost two hours on the phone laughing, chatting and learning from this wonderful guy who was not too busy to offer me advice on how to grow my business. Good men are never truly gone.  They live on in our hearts and in the contributions they made to our industry.  Tom Rounds was one of those guys.”  Salem Media of Hawaii program director Phil Abbot summarizes his thoughts by declaring, “I am speechless. Thank you ‘T.R.,’ for all the help and the masterful instruction along the way.”  When Norm Garr was on the air in Oxnard-Ventura-Santa Barbara (California), his station was an “AT 40″ affiliate.  The station’s on-air talents were allowed to buy a copy of the year-end program.  “After I left radio and moved into TV,” Garr recollects, “I wrote Tom the next year asking if I could buy a copy of the next year’s year-end show.  For the longest time, he sent me a copy at no charge.  What a ‘mensch.'”  One of Rounds’ former employees, Cindy Jo Hinkleman, remarks, “I am in shock to receive this news about Tom Rounds passing.  Working for Radio Express was one of the highlights of my life so far.  He believed in me and gave me the most amazing opportunities to shine.  He will stay dear to my heart.  I will always remember his smile.”  Offering philosophical perspective, Mark Brower writes, “I learned a very difficult lesson today on how precious life is.  The world lost one of the best.  Not only my boss but also a wonderful friend.  He was a wonderful teacher of life, a wonderful storyteller and a wonderful person – definitely my mentor.  He was very passionate and music was definitely his life.  I learned a lot from Tom Rounds – I will never forget you.”  His wife Barbara; a daughter Michelle; a son Tommy; a stepdaughter Debbie; and four grandchildren survive Tom Rounds.  A memorial service will be held this Sunday (6/8) at 5:00 pm at Forest Lawn in Hollywood Hills.  Memorial donations may be made to City of Hope Cancer Center.

cainepaulCaine to Bloomberg.  Former WestwoodOne CEO Paul Caine joins Bloomberg Media Group to serve as chief revenue officer.  Caine was with WestwoodOne for not quite a year before that company’s acquisition by Cumulus Media forced him out.  Prior to that, Caine spent 23 years at Time Inc. during which he rose to president and group publisher of the Style & Entertainment Group.

whio logoCox Media’s Multi-Media Convergence in Dayton Analyzed.  There are only a few instances in which media operators are producing content and selling advertising for radio, TV, newspapers and digital and Cox Media Group’s Dayton operation is one of them.  Michael Depp at NetNewsCheck.com writes a multi-part piece on how WHIO-AM/FM and siblings WHIO-TV, the Dayton Daily News and its affiliated digital properties are performing three years after merging the media into one cohesive effort.  From a news and information perspective, the piece begins by illustrating how news staffers produce for all four media.  Check it out here.

Odds & Sods.  One of Charlotte’s favorite summer traditions returns as Greater Media’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM and sister AC WLNK team with the Charlotte Knights minor league baseball club to “SkyShow Charlotte” – a fireworks spectacular – on July 4 at BB&T Ballpark.  The station says WBT’s “SkyShow” continues its tradition of providing a great free street festival including a ferris wheel, interactive kids’ activities and livewbtlogo entertainment…..Hubbard Radio-owned WFED, Washington “Federal News Radio” launches a new weekly program titled, “Women of Washington,” a weekly interview series featuring some of Washington D.C.’s most ambitious and influential female executives.  The program is hosted by Aileen Black and Gigi Schumm.  WFED program director Lisa Wolfe says, “I’m very excited about this particular program, not only because Aileen and Gigi are so well informed about the federal market, but because they have a higher goal to inspire young women to reach and excel at the executive level.”…..World-renowned pastor Joel Osteen gets his own channel on SiriusXM as the satcaster announces the debut of “Joel Osteen Radio” this fall.  The programming will include services from his Lakewood Church in Houston as well as content from his catalogue of past sermons and more…..The Voice of America signs a new agreement with digital call-to-listen platform AudioNow for the latter to provide VOA programming inside the United States.  The new agreement expands an on-going relationship between VOA and AudioNow, which already distributes programming from VOA in 34 languages by phone.

Bergdahl Prisoner Swap Controversy, Russian Aggression-U.S. Allies Support, Texas Open Carry Demonstration, Male Unemployment Stats, and NBA-NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/2).  Controversy over the Guantanamo prisoner swap for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl; Russian aggression in Ukraine and the Obama administration’s seeking $1 billion for NATO allies; the furor over the Open Carry Texas-orchestrated open carry demonstration and the NRA’s response; new statistics indicating one of every six young American males is unemployed; and the NBA and NHL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, June 2, 2014

| June 2, 2014

hamburgjoanJoan Hamburg Show Cancelled at WOR, New York.  When Clear Channel shuffled the daily lineup at news/talk WOR, New York to make room for Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity the long-running Joan Hamburg show moved to the weekend.  Now, the company cancels the Saturday and Sunday version of the Joan Hamburg show.  Hamburg had been a fixture on WOR since she joined the station in 1979.

elswickdaveDave Elswick Lands at ‘96.5 The Voice’ in Little Rock.  Today, longtime Little Rock talk radio personality and programmer Dave Elswick begins hosting the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm show atkhte logo Crain Media Group news/talk KHTE, England, Arkansas “96.5 The Voice.”  (England is about 20 miles southeast of Little Rock).  Elswick was most recently program director and afternoon drive host at Cumulus Media’s crosstown KARN-FM before exiting the station in early April.

beckglennGlenn Beck’s Lawyers Argue in Boston Libel Suit.  In his case against Premiere Networks syndicated talk show host Glenn Beck, Abdulrahman Alharbi claims that Beck’s insistence that Alharbi financed the bombing attacks at the Boston Marathon in 2013 during on-air discussion of the incident reaches the level of libel.  Alharbi claims that Beck’s continued assertion that he was part of the attacks after police questioned him and cleared him as a suspect caused him pain and suffering.  Beck’s lawyers are not arguing Alharbi was part of the plot but they say the threshold for libel is very high and Beck’s actions do not rise to that level.  The Boston Business Journal’s Eric Convey reports that Beck’s attorneys also argue that Beck’s speech is protected by the First Amendment.  In the initial court filing, Alharbi claimed he was the target of harassment via the internet after Beck accused him of being a “bad, bad” person who financed the attacks even after police cleared him.

abacastEntercom Names Abacast Digital Streaming Partner.  The result of this partnership between Entercom and Abacast is that beginning in August of this year, Entercom stations will move to Abacast’s Clarity digital audio streaming and monetization platform.  Entercom will use Clarity for ad insertion, campaign management and reporting, audience metrics, streaming, royalty reporting, and AbaPlay, The Everywhere Player.   Entercom VP digital strategy & enterprise platforms Timentercom Murphy comments, “With the ultimate goal of offering the best listener and advertiser experience, Abacast was the clear choice.  Abacast offers us the most innovative technology in the digital radio industry, and this partnership will allow us to continuously improve the end experience for listeners and advertisers as habits change and move toward mobile and targeted impressions.”  In a statement, the companies say that Abacast Clarity provides Entercom with a cloud-based digital audio monetization service, enabling revenue from in-stream audio ads, synchronized banners for call‐to‐action campaigns, pre-roll video ads, and third‐party ad sales integration.  Later this year, Entercom stations will be equipped with Abacast’s Skip Technology for Live Streams and MusicStart, offering features currently found only in playlist service to live radio streams.  Abacast CEO Rob Green says, “We built our platform with unique targeting and streaming features to serve enterprise customers like Entercom and look forward to a strong partnership.  With Entercom’s wide range of stations and reach combined with Abacast’s industry leading technology we look forward to serving Entercom and providing their entire listener base with a fantastic experience.”

espnupstateEntercom Adds to FM Signals to ‘ESPN Upstate’ in Greenville-Spartanburg.  Growing its “ESPN Upstate” sports talk brand, Entercom announces the addition of two FM signals to the multicast based at WORD-AM, Spartanburg and WYRD-AM, Greenville.  The two signals are translators W290WB, Greenville at 105.9 and W246BU at 97.1 Spartanburg.  The company says that “using optimized antennas and the most advanced broadcasting equipment available, ‘ESPN Upstate’ is now the most powerful and far-reaching sports station in the Greenville/Spartanburg market with two AM signals, 960 AM and 1330 AM; two FM signals, 97.1 FM and 105.9 FM; HD radio at WFBC-HD3; and 24/7 on-line streaming at www.espnupstate.com.”  Entercom’s vice president and market manager Steve Sinicropi comments, “In three short months, ‘ESPN Upstate’ has become the fastest-growing and most powerful sports station in The Upstate.  Adding the powerful ESPN brand to not only one, but two FM signals makes our already-powerful cluster of stations an even better advertiser choice to serve the important male audience.  With 24-hour sports on ESPN Upstate, Clemson Football play-by-play on ‘93.3 The Planet’ and Carolina Panthers play-by-play on ‘Classic Rock 101.1,’ we deliver to an enormous audience.”  In addition to ESPN programming, the stations air local sports talk shows “In the Huddle with Greg McKinney” and “Straight Up with Sturg.”

stephandougDoug Stephan and Dream Big America Celebrate One Year Programming Relationship.  Over the course of the past year, Doug Stephan and Dream Big America have featured more than 100 startups on Stephan’s nationally syndicated “Good Day” every Tuesday during a special segment where entrepreneurs compete to win.  Upon the recent partnership between Stephan’s Good Day and “My Cool Inventions,” the Dream Big America feature moves to Fridays from 9:00 am to 10:00 am ET joining Stephan and “My Cool Inventions” hosts Akos Jankura and John Cremeans.  On June 6, three competing finalists from Monday-Thursday pitch their startup or product live on air.  Listeners vote on their favorite, which is announced the following Friday.  At the end of each month, those Friday finalists compete for the monthly grand prize of $20,000 worth of support and resources.  Stephan says, “I’m very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish this past year with Dream Big America.  Helping others has always been a priority of mine and this is an ideal way to do that.  These entrepreneurs have a voice on our show and a chance to achieve their dreams.”

conwaysimonOdds & Sods.  It’s Monday morning of no sleeping in for WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive talk personality Simon Conway who tells TALKERS he’s proving once again that “sleep is overrated” as he fills in on Clear Channel’s sister news/talk WFLF, Orlando “Newsradio 102.5 WFLA” on the morning show today (6/2)…..Compass Media Networks announces its 2014 college football play-by-play schedule.  The company notes it has a deal with Learfield Sports, which owns the local rights to more than 70 universities, and thus Compass can choose the games it wishes to make available.  Some of the games Compass is offering this season include: Florida at Alabama on 9/20; Ohio State at Penn State on 10/25; and the Big Ten Championship game on 12/6…..“The Tailgate Tour” commences a new relationship with Yahoo! Sports Radio, after concluding a 14-year association with Fox Sports Radio.  NFuse 360 Marketing managing partner Jay Freedman comments, “We are very excited to be working with Yahoo! Sports Radio.  Many radio stations on ‘game day Saturday’ try to own the position that they are the ‘go-to home’ for sports, and that they are there with the fans but they are not.  The Tailgate Tour will put Yahoo! Sports Radio into the heartbeat of the largest games in the country.”  Gow Broadcasting chief executive officer David Gow states, “This is a great step for us.  Jay and his team are the best in the field.  We are delighted to be onsite with them at some of the biggest games of the season.” Gow Broadcasting – in partnership with Yahoo! Sports – owns and operates Yahoo! Sports Radio. The Tailgate Tour will kick off at the start of college football season and be on the road for 14 straight weeks reaching a schedule and fans in the SEC, Big 10, ACC and Big 12. As The Tailgate Tour’s official radio network, Yahoo! Sports Radio will have complete access to tours assets, as well as a joint promotional platform and sales channel…..Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is signed up to once again make regular weekly appearances on CBS RADIO‘s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh “Sportsradio 93.7 The Fan” for the upcoming NFL season.  Roethlisberger’s show airs Tuesdays at 11:00 am during The Fan’s Cook & Poni Show beginning September 9.  Program director Ryan Maguire comments, “We’re thrilled that Ben has agreed to join us once again every week during the football season.  The Fan has become a destination station for Steeler fans during the week with insight on the team they can’t get anywhere else.”

conclaveTen Added to Conclave’s 2014 – 2015 Board of Directors.  Joining the board are Pittsburgh voiceover talent/producer Drake Donovan; Jacobs Media digital/social media strategist Lori Lewis; Lakeland Broadcasting president Steve Linder; Corus, Vancouver brand manager Ronnie Stanton; KEEZ, Mankato, Minnesota program director Brad Steele; sales broker Phil Strider; Nicolet Broadcasting Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin’s Roger Utnehmer; and RadioGeorge.com founder/CEO George Woods.  Veteran smooth jazz programmer Michael Fisher and WCWI-FM, Adams, Wisconsin operations manager Bob Goff rejoin the board. Conclave board chair/RCS sales manager Mark Bolke remarks, “This newly reformed board is a direct result of the industry outreach the Conclave began over the winter, soliciting the help of interested individuals in helping the organization rise to new challenges.  We are thrilled that so many extremely talented and respected individuals have chosen to come on board for the next year.  The new members, including professionals who are actively engaged in ownership, management, programming, sales, production, research, and new media, add a wealth of experience and perspective to the Conclave.”  Incumbent board members include Bolke; Jane Dyson; Vallie-Richards-Donovan consultant Harv Blain; Conclave executive director emeritus Tom Kay, and BMI vice president of industry relations Dan Spears.

marshallleslieLeslie Marshall Scores Role in Indie Sci-Fi Flick.  Talk media personality Leslie Marshall has a part in a new indie sci-fi film called The App.  The movie stars Sean Faris, Sarah Roemer, Frank Deal, James Saito and Marshall.  According to Variety, production starts today in New York City.  The story centers on “a brilliant mind’s descent into madness.”  Variety writes that “the story was inspired by the massive use of new technologies which intersect with psychopharmacology for therapeutic purposes.”

medvedYaleYalies Reunite in New Haven!  An unlikely gathering of public figures is seen here as Salem Radio Network talk host Michael Medved (center) was in New Haven, Connecticut on Friday, May 30 for his Yale University class reunion.  He was joined by several prominent fellow Yale alums including: longtime Connecticut Senator and 2000 Democratic V.P. nominee Joe Lieberman (second from left) and former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft (right).  All joined Medved on his nationally syndicated radio show.  Also pictured here are: Hadassah Lieberman (left), Dr. Diane Medved (third from left), and Janet Ashcroft (second from right).

Friday, May 30, 2014

| May 30, 2014

newsthatmakesyouthinkXtreMEDIA Debuts News Package.  This short-form news package is titled, “The News That Makes You Think,” and is the fourth broadcast venture from entrepreneur Kevin McCullough.  The XtreMEDIA chief hosts nationally syndicated daily shows as well as amcculloughkevin WMCA, New York program.  He says the new feature is designed for morning drive and middays on affiliate stations.  “The content is designed to offer a substantive look at national, political, and human interest stories.  But every newscast will also provide information important to families and people of faith.  And at the end of the day it’s about telling great stories!”  The venture will launch June 2 on WMCA during morning drive.  The product is a combined venture of XtreMEDIA Broadcasts and TheBingeThinker.com.  McCullough adds, “We expect this to take off quickly.  We’ve had requests from stations taking our other shows asking for it for a while but it has been configuring logistics that has slowed the roll out.”  For information and market availability, reach out to Kevin McCullough at: kmc@x3media.net.

dibblerobRob Dibble Comes Home to Connecticut for PM Drive at WUCS, Hartford.  Former MLB star Rob Dibble is taking over the afternoon drive show on Clear Channel’s sports talk WUCS, Hartford “97.9 ESPN” as host of “The Rob Dibble Show with Paul Nanos.”  The 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm program will be simulcast on Clear Channel’s WAVZ, New Haven “ESPN 1300.”  Dibble – son of award-winning Connecticut radio newsman Walt Dibble – has worked in broadcasting since retiring from baseball in 1996.  He most recently worked for Fox Sports Radio Network.  He’s also done stints as ESPN, Fox Sports TV and SiriusXM.  Dibble comments, “After years of being in the broadcast industry and working around the country, it was always my dream to follow in my father’s footsteps and broadcast out of the great state where I was born.  Connecticut has the most passionate sports fans anywhere and I’m lucky to be a part of it with ’97.9 ESPN’ and ‘ESPN 1300!’”

schramkenSeattle Talk Media Personality Ken Schram Dead at 66.  Longtime KOMO, Seattle personality Ken Schram died at age 66 after a long illness.  Schram worked for 35 years at KOMO-AM, Seattle before exiting the station in 2012.  He had been handling fill-in duties with Bonneville’s KIRO-FM prior to being hospitalized last fall after suffering kidney failure.  During his Seattle career, Schram also worked at KOMO-TV.  During his time with KOMO-AM, he co-hosted the left-right “The Commentators” program taking the progressive stance against conservative foil John Carlson.

younglarryWOLB, Baltimore Hosts Gubernatorial Debate.  Next Thursday morning, Radio One Baltimore’s news/talk WOLB will host a gubernatorial debate on the “Larry Young Morning Show.”  Host Larry Young will moderate the debate in which candidates Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Del. Heather Mizeur, and Attorney Gen. Doug Gansler will take part.  The debate will air live from 8:00 am to 9:30 am.  The debate will be simulcast on the company’s gospel WWIN “Spirit 1400” and sister news/talk WOL, Washington.

kasemcaseyBill to Give Children Access to Ailing Parents Moves Forward.  It’s not named after radio legend Casey Kasem, but bill number AB 2034 certainly was the result of work between California Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) and Kasem’s daughter Kerri.  Broadcasters are aware of the problems Kasem’s children have faced trying to see their father who is struggling with a form of dementia called Lewy Body Disease.  Jean Kasem has refused to allow visits from Kasem’s children from his first marriage.  Bill AB 2032 passed the Assembly on a 70-0 vote.  The bill seeks to protect children from being denied access to a parent by a parent’s future spouse or child.  Assemblyman Gatto says, “Conflict among family members is the last thing our loved ones want to see as they approach their final hours.  I hope this bill will help decrease the heartache and stress of families already facing difficult circumstances…The law must do more to keep up with the changing norms of modern families.  AB 2034 brings the law into the 21st century and allows family members to focus on caring for their loved ones.”

firstlight logoWestwoodOne’s ‘First Light’ Celebrates 25 Years.  The early morning news magazine “First Light” with Dirk Van is celebrating its 25th anniversary on Monday, June 2.  Van, host of the show since its debut in 1989, says, “What an honor to be on the air for a quarter century, hosting a show with so many great affiliates – not to mention getting an earful from listeners each day.  I’ve always felt I just guided this program along from day to day.  The real stars are the First Light crew: producer David Oziel, the man with the Devorecast – Dean Devore, our sports geek Robert Workman, Marketwatcher Charlie Turner, and our peerless movie critic Chuck Rich.”

custerchuckChuck Custer Celebrates 30 Years at WGY, Albany.  Morning drive co-host and program director Chuck Custer is celebrating 30 years with Albany market news/talker WGY.  It was Memorial Day weekend in 1984 when Custer began working for the station anchoring evening newscasts.  Since that time he’s served as morning news anchor alongside the legendary Don Weeks, as news director and now program director and morning show co-host with Kelly Lynch.  Custer says of his career at the Clear Channel station, “I’ve been truly blessed to have the opportunity to do what I love to do, at a great station, with a group of people – past and present – who mean so much to me.”

smithlaurarestLaura Smith on the Wall of Fame.  WABC, New York talk personality Laura Smith has been honored in a most unusual way after interviewing Palm Restaurant manager Nick Maracz.  Smith tells TALKERS she spoke with Maracz on the radio about the famous New York City eatery on her show “The Saturday Café.”  A couple of weeks went by and she received the picture you see here showing her caricature right next to Liza Minelli!  Smith says, “The restaurant has been there for 80 years and back in the day, when all the syndicated newspapers and comic book illustrators would go there for lunch but couldn’t afford to pay, they would draw pictures on the wall in exchange for food.”

boschgracieSavoring the Gracie.  Pictured here holding her Gracie Award from the Alliance for Women in Media at the 39th Annual Gracie Awards Gala in Beverly Hills last week is CBS Radio News correspondent Heather Bosch.  Bosch was honored for her work in the Soft News Feature category for her story on “Autism on Broadway.”  The judges said her submission displayed superior quality in writing, production and programming.  Heather has won multiple national awards since joining CBS three years ago after an illustrious career at KIRO-FM, Seattle.

UCSB Killings/Gun Laws Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 26-30.  The deadly shootings at University of California Santa Barbara and the debate over gun laws in America that followed were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the VA Hospitals scandal.  Coming in at #3 was the dip in the GDP and the state of the U.S. economy followed by the Edward Snowden interview at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

| May 29, 2014

newsmaxtv logoNewsmax TV to Launch on DirecTV Next Month.  Wider distribution is ahead for Newsmax Media Inc’s Newsmax TV channel as the conservative news and talk outlet will be available on DirecTV beginning in mid-June.  Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy says the deal that will put Newsmax TV in the homes and businesses of 20 million subscribers will start with nine hours of live programming.  Currently, Newsmax TV is available online at Newsmax.com.  Ruddy states, “Our launch will benefit from the existing Newsmax.com audience that is already in place.  This audience will naturally be drawn to our brand of news, features and useful information and consist of one of the highest concentrations of baby boomers on the web.  We will immediately plug into that audience to participate in the development and the evolution of the channel prior to a national launch.”  Newsmax says that in addition to planned cable and satellite distribution, the new channel will be available via a wide range of “TV Everywhere” platforms just as the “crucial 2014 mid-term election coverage commences.”  Ruddy adds, “Newsmax was born online and as the lines between TV and the web blur, we will attract a growing audience that doesn’t differentiate between the two.  As a result, we are also well positioned to maximize the opportunities provided by ‘TV Everywhere’ platforms to reach tens of millions of Americans.”

beckerphilBecker Becomes L&L Broadcasting’s VP/Programming.  Former Oasis Radio Fort Wayne, Indiana general manager Phil Becker is appointed vice president of programming for L&L Broadcasting.  “As a continuation of our rapid growth, we have been searching for the ideal candidate to help our programming teams execute strategies for on-air, online, and mobile audience growth,” comments L&L Broadcasting president and chief executive officer Bob Proffitt.  “Phil is the absolute perfect fit for us and will not only be a dynamic addition to our corporate structure, but a welcoming face to our markets as he helps them continue to evolve.” Senior vice president/director of programming Scott Mahalick states, “We are thrilled to have such a alphamedia logovisionary programmer join our team with a winning track record; great passion for the art of the product; business sense; and stellar leadership traits.”  Becker remarks that the L&L Broadcasting team is “truly focused on their brands, as well as hiring the best people.  The direction and vision of the entire corporate team is an exciting and refreshing approach to the industry that I love.”  Prior to becoming Oasis Radio Fort Wayne’s GM, Becker was its operations manager and director of programming.  His previous background includes programming tenures at Cox Radio Group Orlando rhythmic CHR WPYO “Power 95.3″; CKEY, Fort Erie Ontario (Buffalo-Niagara Falls); and in Dothan, Alabama for New South Communications.  In April, Larry Wilson announced that Alpha Broadcasting and L&L Broadcasting would merge into one company – Alpha Media.  When that merger is complete, the company will operate 68 stations.

itunesradio logoApple-Beats Deal Overshadows iTunes Radio’s Non-Music Deals.  The just announced deal that Apple is acquiring Beats Music and Beats Electronics for $3 billion is the subject of a lot of chatter in the financial and music/radio sectors.  While the music angle is what Apple CEOespnradiologo Tim Cook appears to be focused on, spoken-word audio programming is not escaping Apple’s eye.  Almost buried under the Beats acquisition news is Apple’s announcement that it is creating an ESPN channel for iTunes Radio that will make its ESPN Radio content – Mike & Mike, Colin Cowherd, SVP & Russillo, and SportsCenter – available to iTunes Radio listeners.   This comes on the heels of the March addition of the NPR channel to the service.  Also, 9to5Mac is reporting that the ESPN station will carry this year’s World Cup live.  While analysts are speculating largely about how this will affect SiriusXM, obviously this is another platform to compete with AM/FM radio, as well.

jamesmarcMarc James Moves from Charlotte to Atlanta for CBS RADIO.  The sudden disappearance of afternoon drive sports talk host Marc James from the lineup at CBS RADIO’s WFNZ, Charlotte “The Fan” is explained as he moves southwest to Atlanta to partner up with Carl Dukes on WZGC “92.9 The Game” to wzgc logoco-host “Game Time” from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm effective Monday, June 2.  The station also brings Mark Zinno in from its WJZ-FM, Baltimore “105.7 The Fan,” as TALKERS reported yesterday.  WZGC program director Terry Foxx states, “Both Marc James and Mark Zinno bring unique perspectives to the Atlanta radio market.  Marc James’ strong opinions will be a solid addition to Carl Dukes’ ability to objectively deliver content and Mark Zinno provides a global vision and a powerful punch to the Night Show.”  Back in Charlotte, local blogger Randy Inman writes on his Panther Lair blog that he hears the candidate most likely to replace James on the PM drive show at WFNZ is Chris Kroeger.

midwestcomm logoSouth Central Properties Dealt to Midwest Communications.  Some extremely successful sticks are about to exchange hands as Wausau, Wisconsin-based Midwest Communications is acquiring South Central Communications’ radio stations.  (SummitMedia had announced intentions to buy the group for a rumored price somewhere in the range of $75 million, but that obviously fell apart.)  Among the facilities involved are adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9″ and adult hits WCJK “Jack-FM” (both in Nashville); adult contemporary WJXB “Today’s Soft Rock,” rock WVRX “The X,” and classic rock WIMZ (all inwjxa logo Knoxville); and adult contemporary WIKY, country WLFW “The Wolf,” CHR WSTO “Hot 96,” and classic rock WABX (all in Evansville, Indiana).  According to South Central chief executive officer J.P. Engelbrecht, “We have found a great steward for our radio stations in Midwest Communications.  They are good broadcasters who will build upon the legacy created by our outstanding team.”  Midwest Communications chief executive officer Duke Wright comments, “We feel extremely fortunate to be acquiring one of America’s best-run radio groups.  South Central and Midwest are entirely family-owned with both families being in the radio business for well over 50 years.  We feel there is a lot of commonality between the companies – I am certain we will have much to share with each other.”  Nashville AC “Mix 92.9″ is that market’s perennial top-ranked powerhouse (6+): In April’s PPM, it registers an 11.8 (#1, 6+).  A similar ratings prowess exists for Evansville AC WIKY, which was #1 (12+) in the fall 2013 book with a robust 16.3.  WSTO finished third (9.1); WABX was fifth (5.0); and WLFW ranked seventh (4.1).  Nashville’s WCJK ranks eighth in April (6+) with a 5.1.  South Central did not subscribe for the latest Knoxville numbers, so its three stations there are not listed.  The Wright Family formed Midwest Communications in 1958.  Midwest Communications presently owns 63 radio outlets in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.  Terms of the transaction – for which Kalil & Company was the exclusive broker – were not disclosed.

jenkinsjudithJenkins to Enter New Mexico Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.  News pro Judith Jenkins will be inducted into the New Mexico Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame on June 7.  The longtime KKOB, Albuquerque morning news anchor also worked at KKOB-TV during her career.  In addition to her duties on KKOB’s morning program alongside Ed Hartley, Jenkins also handles news duties for Cumulus’ FM stations in the Albuquerque cluster.  She will be the first African American elected to the New Mexico Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.

2014 NYC logo 150Madison Rising Official National Anthem Performer for Talkers New York 2014.  When the Talkers New York 2014 conference opens on June 20, at the India House in the Financial District, the band Madison Rising will serve as the official performer of the national anthem.  You can check out this band’s rendition of the Star Spangled Banner in the Talkers TV box on the upper right side of this page.  Talkers VP/executive editor Kevin Casey says, “Not since Jimi Hendrix laid down his iconic (and controversial!) rendition of the national anthem at Woodstock in 1969 has such a tremendously soul-stirring version of this song, performed in the rock idiom, been recorded.  Not only is Madison Rising an extremely talented band, their version of the Star Spangled Banner puts you on the edge of your seat!”  For more information about Talkers New York 2014, click here.

beckatomOdds & Sods.  Omaha talk show host Tom Becka says he’s not looking for a fight with SiriusXM but says, contrary to the satcaster’s claim that host Maggie Linton did the last radio interview with author Maya Angelou before her death on Sunday, he actually did.  The KOIL talk host tells TALKERS magazine he did what he believes is her last radio interview on May 13.  You can hear that

1. here     
…..As part of a promotion to operations manager for Great Plains Media’s Lawrence-Topeka, Kansas clusters, programmer and air talent Tabatha Levrault gains operations manager duties for news/talk KLWM…..Sports USA is announcing its 18-game college football schedule for the 2014 season.  Defending National Champion Florida State, Auburn, Michigan State, Alabama, Ohio State, Oregon, LSU, Stanford, and UCLA will be among the teams featured this year.  Sports USA president Bob Moore states, “We are pleased to offer college football’s biggest matchups to our 400-plus affiliates, advertisers, and fans nationwide.  Our schedule is second to none.”…..“This American Life” will be distributed by Public Radio Exchange when the show’s deal with PRI expires on July 1.  Host and executive producer Ira Glass says in a press statement, “They’ve been a huge innovative force in public radio, inventing technologies and projects to get people on the air who’d have a much harder time without them.  They’re mission-driven, they’re super-capable and apparently they’re pretty good with computers.”

hartmannthomThom Hartmann to Receive 2014 Freedom of Speech Award.  The TALKERS editorial board has named progressive radio and television talk show host Thom Hartmann as the 2014 recipient of The Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech.  The award recognizes broadcasting achievement in raising consciousness and awareness of the First Amendment, displaying courage and commitment in exercising First Amendment rights and contributing to the viability of the First Amendment through deed and example.  The award, one of the most prestigious and high-profile honors presented to individuals in the talk media industry, has a colorful (and often controversial) history that goes back to the early 1990s when the modern era of talk radio emerged and the format became recognized as an influential forum of public policy and social change following the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine.  It was re-named in honor of talk radio pioneer Gene Burns upon his death in May 2013. TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “Gene Burns was the model by which the Freedom of Speech Award and the Annual State of the First Amendment Address delivered at our national conventions were developed.  It is only 2014 NYC logo 150fitting that this institution bears the name of this great champion of the ideals and foundation upon which contemporary spoken-word radio is built.”  Last year’s recipient of the Freedom of Speech Award was Glenn Beck.  Recent recipients include Rush Limbaugh, Al Franken, Sean Hannity, Alan Colmes, Jim Farley, Juan Williams, Joe Madison, Michael Savage, Norm Pattiz, Bill O’Reilly, Matt Drudge, G. Gordon Liddy and Brian Lamb among many others.  Upon making the announcement of Thom Hartmann’s selection as this year’s recipient, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “It is about time the industry recognizes the enormous contributions Thom Hartmann makes in keeping our industry representative of the spectrum of legitimate political ideologies at play in the American marketplace of ideas.  Not only has he effectively kept the voice of liberalism alive in this arena with intellectual clarity, poise and civility for more than a decade — he has, in the process, developed and pioneered effective new, multi-media platform models and has amazingly bridged the artificial programming and business gap between commercial and public broadcasting.”  The Thom Hartmann Program, launched in 2003 and represented by WYD Media, is on the radio live weekdays 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm ET, and is syndicated by WestwoodOne, Pacifica, and CRN Digital Talk.  It’s heard nationally on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio, American Forces Radio, and is simulcast as television on the Free Speech TV network – which airs on both Direct TV and the Dish satellite TV systems, and several hundred cable systems, from Manhattan Neighborhood Networks to smaller systems from Burlington, Vermont to Seattle, Washington. The show is carried online by Progressive Voices on the TuneIn app, by NetRootsRadio, and streams live on its own YouTube and LiveStream channels.  Close to 200 commercial and non-commercial radio stations carry Thom Hartmann’s show in the U.S., Ghana, Aruba, and Canada.  In addition to radio, this entrepreneurial broadcaster also hosts “The Big Picture” TV show, that is owned and produced by Thom Hartmann and represented by WYD Media.  It airs live nationwide on cable and satellite TV at 7:00 pm ET and 10:00 pm ET in an estimated 60 million-plus U.S. households via his licensing agreement with Free Speech TV, and is available in 107 countries in more than 600 million homes around the world via his licensing agreement with RT TV.  The Big Picture is also carried by 200-plus community cable systems.  It’s also available on Hulu and via Roku on the internet, and has its own YouTube channel.  Hartmann’s website this year has had over a million unique visitors, and has an active community with its own user blogs, message board, and chat room.  He has over 65,000 Facebook followers, and 37,000 Twitter followers, and over 15 million YouTube views just this year with over 60,000 subscribers to his YouTube channels.  He’s the New York Times bestselling, four-time Project Censored Award winning author of 24 books in print in 17 languages on five continents.  TALKERS named Thom Hartmann as the eighth most important talk show host in America in 2011, 2012, and 2013 (10th the two previous years), and for three of the past five years the #1 most important progressive host, in its “Heavy Hundred” ranking.  The Freedom of Speech Award will be presented to Thom Hartmann at Talkers New York 2014. There will be more than 65 industry leaders in speaking roles at the conference which takes place on Friday, June 20 at the iconic India House in the heart of New York City’s historic Financial District.  Registration is only open to professionals (and broadcasting students) working in radio and related media.  The cost is $249 per person which includes all sessions, receptions, food and refreshments.  Registrations can only be booked over the phone with credit card.  Call 413-565-5413.  Again, a sellout is expected shortly.  For up to the minute agenda information and further details please click here.

hobbsjailGabe Hobbs Arrested!  Noted media consultant Gabe Hobbs is appealing to friends and colleagues to help rescue him from the MDA lockup – he needs $3,500 to be set free.  Hobbs tells TALKERS he’s dedicating his efforts to return to civil society to late Clear Channel Omaha/Lincoln operations manager Jim Steel who was lost to ALS in 2007.  He says he’s been humbled by the number of people who actually want to see him on the outside and have donated.  “But I need more.  Prison life just doesn’t suit me and I have no idea how to make a shiv so the best thing would be for me to make bail.”  To free Gabe and donate to the MDA click here.

UCSB Killings/U.S. Gun Laws, VA Hospitals Scandal, Prince Charles Anti-Capitalism Speech, Marine Held in Mexico Case, Kerry-Snowden Spat, U.S. GDP Dips, and NBA-NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/28).  The aftermath of the deadly shootings at the University of California Santa Barbara and discussion about gun legislation; the continuing investigation into the scandals reported at VA hospitals; reaction to Prince Charles’ speech in which he advocates a new “inclusive capitalism”; the case of the U.S. Marine being held in Mexico on gun charges; Secretary of State John Kerry’s reaction to the Edward Snowden interview; the dip in the U.S. gross domestic product; and the NBA and NHL playoff action were among the top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

| May 28, 2014

hannitybismarckSean Hannity Keynotes Petroleum Conference.  Nationally syndicated talk radio star Sean Hannity served as the keynote speaker at the 2014 Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Bismarck, North Dakota last week.  Hannity addressed the attendees at the 22nd annual event, praising the oil boom in North Dakota and urging America to become energy independent.  The Premiere Networks personality said, “In spite of government, you have been able to show the entire country that there is an answer out there — the answer is oil, the answer is energy, it’s the lifeblood of our economy…You have shown the country the way, I just hope that America is wise and smart enough to follow North Dakota.”  Hannity has been vocal on his radio program about America’s need for energy independence.  Through his “Get America Back to Work” campaign, Hannity teams up with companies in oil-rich states to help promote and inform those in need of work of the openings available to them.  In the photo here, Hannity is seen on stage at the Bismarck Civic Center.

cosbyritaWABC, New York’s Rita Cosby to Meet with Pope.  TALKERS magazine sources report that television and radio journalist Rita Cosby – now co-host of “The Ride Home” on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WABC, New York – is being granted an audience with Pope Francis and will report back to the WABC listeners next week.  The talented journalist is getting a “once in a lifetime” chance for an audience and will be in Rome next week.  While the technical details are reportedly still being worked out, it’s possible Cosby will co-host the 5:00 pm ET show (alongside Pat Kiernan) from Rome.  Cosby’s visit comes as the popular and personable pontiff prepares to meet with sexual abuse victims next month.

zinnomarkCBS RADIO Brings Zinno to Atlanta’s ’92.9 The Game.’  Sports talk personality Mark Zinno is making the move from CBS RADIO’s WJZ-FM, Baltimore “105.7 The Fan” south to sister sports talk station WZGC, Atlanta “92.9 The Game.” Zinno – a former U.S. Special Forces service member who was deployed to Iraq in 2005-06 – hosts the evening show on WJZ and will handle the same daypart at WZGC.  He tells DCRTV’s Dave Hughes he’ll miss the Baltimore market but that “it’s the right move for me.”

patrickdanksevKSEV, Houston Owner Patrick Wins Primary Race for Texas Lieutenant Governor Seat.  Current Texas state senator Dan Patrick – who is also owner of Houston talk station KSEV – won the right to face Democrat Leticia Van de Putte in the general election in the fall after beating three-term Republican incumbent David Dewhurst in yesterday’s primary.  In Texas, the lieutenant governor is considered the second most powerful post as he or she controls the senate’s legislative schedule as well as the budget process by also serving as the leader of the legislative budget board.

Odds & Sods.  At CBS RADIO’s Atlanta cluster, Andy West is promoted from his creative services director role at sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” to imaging director for the entire cluster that includes news/talk WAOK and urban contemporary WVEE…..Townsquare Media’s oldies WJLT, Evansville, Indiana will flip to sports using ESPN programming, according to Tristatehomepage.com.  The date of the format flip has not been announced yet.

mcculloughveteranThanking a D-Day Survivor.  The veteran in the middle of this photo is 97-year-old General Jerome Richard, the oldest surviving member of the Veterans Corps of Artillery and a D-Day survivor.  Richard worked with Frank Capra to capture footage of the D-Day invasion for posterity.  He appeared at the “Stand With Israel” event hosted by Salem Communications news/talk station WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer” and Christian talk WMCA, New York.  Pictured with Richard are Kevin McCullough, nationally syndicated host and afternoon personality on WMCA (left), and WIND, Chicago and WNYM personality Joe Walsh (right). Also in attendance at the event were Salem Radio Network personalities Michael Medved, Dennis Prager and Mike Gallagher.  WNYM morning host Joe Piscopo also took part in the program.

jtbrickwilliamsJT the Brick Emcees American Cancer Society Event.  That’s Fox Sports Radio Network personality JT the Brick (right) posing for a shot with University of North Carolina basketball head coach Roy Williams (left) at the recent 7th Annual American Cancer Society Coaches vs. Cancer Las Vegas Golf Classic festivities.  JT had the honor of emceeing the event and getting the chance to play golf at Shadow Creek and Southern Highlands in Las Vegas.  The multi-day event raised more than $500,000 for the American Cancer Society and drew coaches from around the nation, including event founder and University of Oklahoma head basketball coach Lon Kruger, Williams, University of Nebraska head basketball coach Tim Miles, Kansas State University Head basketball coach Bruce Weber and University of Nevada, Las Vegas head basketball coach Dave Rice.

farmjournalmediaCool Job Opportunity.  Farm Journal Media seeks a radio affiliate manager.  Farm Journal Media is the nation’s leading agricultural media company and in late 2012 added radio to its portfolio with the purchase of the AgriTalk radio network.  The primary role of the radio affiliate manager will be to develop new affiliates and provide support to existing affiliates for current and future Farm Journal radio shows syndicated nationally.  A secondary role will be to provide maintenance of existing television affiliate relations.  Candidate must be highly motivated, organized and have exceptional interpersonal skills in order to communicate effectively with affiliates.  Background and experience in radio affiliate relations is highly preferred.  All Farm Journal Media platforms will be at your disposal for promotional purposes.  Qualifications include, but are not limited to, the following: Bachelor’s degree in communications, marketing or other related field preferred; Also valuable, experience in media sales and/or sales management; excellent negotiation skills; flexibility to travel as necessary; position is based out of South Bend, Indiana; familiarity with agriculture and/or farm programming helpful, but not required; compensation (salary and bonus opportunities) commensurate with experience.  Please email a letter of introduction and resume to: Mark DePrez, VP/GM, Farm Journal Radio, mdeprez@farmjournal.com.  No phone calls please.

UCSB Deadly Shootings, VA Hospitals Scandal, 2016 Presidential Race/Mid-Term Primaries, White House Exposes CIA Agent, Climate Change Debate, and NBA/NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/27).  The aftermath of the deadly UCSB shootings and the renewed controversy over gun control legislation and mental health care; the continuing conversation about the VA hospital scandals and care for U.S. veterans; speculation over candidates for president in 2016 and the results of primary elections for this year’s mid-term races; the flap over the White House’s exposing a top CIA agent; the ongoing debate over human activities and their relationship to climate change; and NBA and NHL playoff action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

| May 27, 2014

lonsberrybobWHAM, Rochester’s Bob Lonsberry Reprimanded for Transgender Benefits Criticism.  Just a week after Entercom fired Kimberly Rae and Barry Beck from rock WBZA “98.9 The Buzz” for their on-air criticism of the City of Rochester’s health care plan that offers health care specific to transgendered employees, WHAM talk show host Bob Lonsberry also criticized the policy in a blog post.  We don’t know what happened between the Clear Channel station and Lonsberry – he hasn’t been fired – but the company, through VP and market manager Bob Morgan, did offer the following statement: “Though Bob Lonsberry is entitled to his opinion about the City of Rochester’s health care plan, his blog post and comments about members of the transgender community were insensitive.  His remarks do not reflect the position or attitudes of the station or its management.  We cannot discuss employee personnel matters, but I can tell you that the station has removed the post and is extending an invitation to local leaders of the LGBT community to meet with Bob Lonsberry and speak on the topic.”

simsartWVON, Chicago Adds ‘Chat Daddy’ to Friday Night Programming.  In announcing the addition of Art ‘Chat Daddy’ Sims to the Friday evening schedule at urban talk WVON, Chicago, Midway Broadcasting says the new 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm program “is a lifestyle magazine show that will offer listeners local and national lifestyle stories, relationship advice, celebrity interviews and more.”  The station says that Sims has “more than 19 years of media experience in radio, television and print.”  Executive producer for the program is Daveda Flute.

lopreteallyClear Channel Adds ‘This Little Parent Stayed Home’ Show to iHeartRadio Talk Lineup.  Bringing a weekly podcast to the iHeartRadio digital platform, Clear Channel and Premiere Networks announce Ally Loprete’s “This Little Parent Stayed Home” program will air on iHeartRadio’s extreme talk radio channel live at 3:00 pm ET on Tuesdays.  Clear Channel says it has acquired the program “as part of its newest campaign to reach a more modern listenership.”  Loprete is the founder of OurMilkMoney.com, aniheartradiotalk online search directory that lists the products and services of self-employed parents in more than 120 cities across the nation.  Loprete has used her own passion to create a society where parents are given an alternative to expensive daycares and long hours away from home, inspiring a movement that has parents everywhere realizing their power as consumers, and uniting together to rebuild a broken economy with home-based businesses.  CCM+E VP of programming Ken Charles states, “Ally Loprete brings a fresh and vibrant perspective that will consistently bring in listeners within the hottest consumer demographic.”  Premiere Networks VP of programming Bill May adds, “Ally Loprete has provided us a great opportunity to broaden our reach to a progressive and innovative demographic.  Women with children and small business entrepreneurs are making significant progress with the stay-at-home workforce.  The listeners of ‘This Little Parent…’ have been extremely loyal and dedicated to the educational and motivational content that Ally had been providing on her digital weekly podcast.  She was looking to cast a wider net and we were thrilled to offer her show a new home.”

kirofm logoKIRO-FM, Seattle to Award $10,000 Scholarship to Area High School Student.  The culmination of a promotion that began at the beginning of the school year wraps on June 6 as Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle honors one local student with a $10,000 dollar scholarship live on “Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross.”  The Standout Student Awards promotion has been a partnership with Comprehensive Wealth Management and the Rotary Club of Lynnwood designed to honor Western Washington students who stand out in the classroom, school and community.  Nine students were selected as monthly winners during the course of the school year and each received a $1,000 scholarship. They are eligible for the $10,000 educational scholarship grant.

sussmanbrianOdds & Sods.  The new “Middays with MFB” debuted on Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston today.  The show – starring incumbent host and former Red Sox infielder Lou Merloni, former New England Patriots tight end Christian Fauria and talk show host Tim Benz – replaces the Mut & Merloni show in the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm slot…..Cumulus Media’s KSFO, San Francisco helps raise more than $100,000 for the Fisher House Foundation during a pre-holiday radiothon held on Friday, May 23.  Talk host Brian Sussman broadcast from the Fisher House at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System.

beckmanfrankBeckman Honored for College Football Work.  He still does the daily, late morning talk show at Cumulus Media’s WJR, Detroit, but just seven months after retiring from his 33-year stint as play-by-play announcer for Michigan Wolverines football, Frank Beckman is being honored with the 2014 Chris Schenkel Award from the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame.  In a press release from the University of Michigan, the school notes that this honor is among several he’s received over the years including Top Michigan Sportscaster and Michigan Sportscaster of the Year.

koilmorgan‘Mighty 1290 KOIL’ Flashes Back!  In Omaha, NRG Media’s “Mighty 1290 KOIL” returned to the glory days of the 1960s over the holiday weekend with a three-hour Sunday special looking back to when the station was a leading top 40 powerhouse.  Legendary morning host Roger W. Morgan returned for the broadcast, featuring the biggest hits of the 60s, live from “Loessfest” in Council Bluffs.  Among those joining the special were: singer Jimmy Clanton and former KOIL personalities Hal Widsten and Clay Michaels.  Pictured here (from left to right) are: current KOIL talk host host Tom Becka, Morgan, and Michaels.

Memorial Day Holiday/VA Scandal, Deadly Santa Barbara Shootings, Russian Aggression in Ukraine, ObamaCare Effects, and NBA/NHL Playoff Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/26).  The Memorial Day holiday and the ongoing scandal involving care at VA hospitals; the deadly shooting of six people in Santa Barbara by a UCSB student; Russia’s continued aggression in Ukraine; the effects of the Affordable Care Act; and the playoff action in the NBA and the NHL were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, May 23, 2014

| May 23, 2014

2014 NYC logo 150The State of Talk Programming to Be Explored at Talkers New York 2014.  The 17th annual installment of the talk radio and media industry’s longest running and most important national convention is less than one month away and about a week from being a sellout.  One of the highlights of the power-packed day will be a general panel titled “The State of Talk Programming,” which will tackle and shed light on some of the key issues facing theberrymichael2 format today.  Speakers include (in alphabetical order):  Michael Berry, host, The Michael Berry Show (syndicated); Phil Boyce, VP/spoken word programming, Salem Communications; Bill Hess, PD, Cumulus Media’s WMAL, Washington, DC; Gabe Hobbs, CEO, Gabe Hobbs MediaCraig Schwalb, PD, Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York; and Eric Stanger, VP/operations & affiliate marketing, boycephilSean Hannity Show/Premiere Networks.  The session will be introduced by Alan Colmes, host, Fox News Radio and moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey.  Topics to be covered will be the direction and future of political talk; working within a PPM system; navigating the cross hessbillcurrents of controversy and political correctness; productively co-existing with sales; balancing syndication with local programming; recruiting and nurturing new talent; expanding or contracting the boundaries of stationality; and integrating on-air processes with digital platforms and social media.  The panel is sponsored by WestwoodOne.  In discussing the session, Kevin Casey states, “This hobbsgabewill be a fast-paced, extremely comprehensive ‘brain-storm.’  I am particularly interested in exploring 2014’s definition of talk radio stationality and where we are going as a genre in effectively tapping into compatible programming options to take the general notion of what constitutes ‘talk stangerericradio’ forward.”  There will be more than 65 industry leaders in speaking roles at Talkers New York 2014 which takes place on Friday, June 20 at the iconic India House in the heart of New York City’s historic Financial District.  Registration is only open to professionals (and broadcasting schwalbcraigstudents) working in radio and related media.  The cost is $249 per person which includes all sessions, receptions, food and refreshments.  Registrations can only be booked over the phone with credit card.  Call 413-565-5413.  Again, a sellout is expected shortly.  For up to the minute agenda information and further details please click here.

ciancibuddyWPRO, Providence Talk Host Buddy Cianci for Mayor…Again?  In a New England Public Radio story by Ian Donnis, former Providence mayor and current WPRO-AM afternoon drive talk show host Buddy Cianci is reported to be considering joining the race for mayor.  The 73-year-old former mayor – beloved by many Rhode Islanders even after serving five years in prison on a racketeering conspiracy conviction – has been hosting a show on Cumulus Media’s news/talker since shortly after leaving prison in 2007.  He has until June 25 to file to join the race.  Rhode Island political wonks speculate that this year’s field of five democrats could be split and taken advantage of by Cianci, hence his considering the run.  As for his radio gig, Cianci is a colorful character who’s been – by most accounts – a successful talk radio personality in the market and a run for office could open a plum slot at a heritage talk radio brand.  Read the whole NEPR story here.

garganoanthonyWIP, Philadelphia and Chickie’s and Pete’s Kick Off Summer with Toll-Free Rides to Jersey Shore.  The kick off summer promotion sponsored by Philly-area sports bar and restaurant Chickie’s andellisrob Pete’s includes a live broadcast this afternoon (5/23) by WIP-FM, Philadelphia’s afternoon team Anthony Gargano and Rob Ellis from the Farley Service Plaza on the Atlantic City Expressway where they will offer a “toll-free” ride on the highway for families headed to the Jersey Shore.  The event will feature giveaways, special guests, free food, and safety demonstrations by several New Jersey transportation agencies to ensure a safe and memorable summer at the shore.  As part of the promotion, Chickie’s and Pete’s will pay all eastbound tolls on the AC Expressway at the Egg Harbor Toll Plaza from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

Odds & Sods.  Sports talk station WRSO-AM, Orlando — owned by Star Over Orlando – hires the independent rep firm The Tacher Company to rep the station…..Wisconsin broadcasters will benefit from bill just signed into law that allows a tax exemption on the purchase of machinery, supplies, fuel, electricity and equipment necessary for broadcasting.  It’s estimated that the new tax break for Wisconsin broadcasters will be about $2.2 million.

wtoplogoWTOP, Washington Names ‘Winner’ in ‘Commuter Idle’ Contest.  This is the third annual “Commuter Idle” promotion Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP, Washington has executed, designed to reward the listener whose long commute makes him or her the most “extreme commuter.”  This year the $1,000 in gas money and a one-time limo ride to work goes to Thurmond Alford, Jr. whose commute begins at 4:00 am south of Richmond.  He drives from his home in Chesterfield County, VA to a commuter lot in Stafford County, where he stands in the sluglines before carpooling to the Pentagon.  From there Alford boards the Metro, taking two rail lines before arriving at Metro Center.  After finally reaching Metro Center he walks to his office where he is a project manager for the Department of Justice.  Alford’s commute averages more than seven hours a day, although it can be much longer if complicated by road construction, wrecks, inclement weather or Metro rail issues.  WTOP program director Laurie Cantillo says, “We never cease to be amazed by the sacrifices our listeners make as they juggle work and family.  We feel their pain!  Our goal is to tell their stories and arm them with the region’s best traffic information to make their lives a little easier.”

podcastone logoGoldberg Program Joins PodcastOne.  Former WWE star, NFL lineman and motor sports enthusiast Bill Goldberg joins PodcastOne to produce and host his “Who’s Next with Goldberg” program.  Goldberg’s first guest was racing legend Tony Stewart.  Goldberg’s show features him talking “to his celebrity friends every week as they share the real stories behind some of their real life adventures.”

bergbillChicago Talk Host Bill Berg Dies.  From a report in ChicagoRadioandMedia.com, Bill Berg, a longtime market talk radio personality, died this week at age 77.  Berg worked at WIND and WGN during his career.  He first joined WIND as a jock in 1966 but soon was hosting what may have been the city’s first “sporty” radio show in the evenings on which he would play music, chat about sports stories and deliver scores and highlights.  He moved to Tribune’s crosstown WGN in 1971 and hosted the afternoon drive show there through 1982.

freemanedgeTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “Free Talk Live” featuring Ian Freeman and Mark Edge joins the programming at three Washington State signals: KITZ, Silverdale; KGTK, Olympia, and KUJ-AM, Walla Walla…..The weekly Ethan Bearman show – syndicated by Genesis bearmanethanCommunications Network – is added to the Saturday program schedule at KVLI, Lake Isabella, California…..The Leslie Marshall show is added to the program schedule at the following affiliates: KPHX, Phoenix; WNYY, Syracuse; WXXM-FM, Madison; KABQ-AM, Albuquerque; KTRC, Santa Fe; KBAI, Bellingham, Washington; WZON, Bangor, Maine; WBSM, New Bedford, Massachusetts; KGOE, Eureka, California; KVOT, Taos, New Mexico; and KNFO, Basalt, Colorado…..WCLT, Newark, Ohio is the newest affiliate for Yahoo! Sports Radio.

VA Hospitals Scandal Top News/Talk Story This Week.  The expanding scandal engulfing Veteran’s Administration hospitals across the country was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of May 19-23, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was criticism of the Affordable Care Act.  Following at #3 was Russian military aggression and at #4 was the controversy over global warming.  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.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

| May 22, 2014

schultzedEd Schultz Drops Three-Hour Radio Show; Moves to One-Hour Web Format.  In a surprise move announced at the end of his MSNBC show on Wednesday (5/21), radio and television personality Ed Schultz announced he’s putting the wraps on his three-hour AM/FM radio program and will begin a new, one-hour format program that will be available via his website wegoted.com with no subscription fee.  His last three-hour radio show will be tomorrow (5/24) and the digital initiative begins on Tuesday (5/27).  Saying that commentary and newsmaker interviews will continue to be the focus of his new format, Schultz adds, “This change will give me more flexibility to be on the road, to do the kind of shows I want to do here for ‘The Ed Show’ here on MSNBC.”

johnsonbruceBruce Johnson Out at ‘Voice of Central Jersey.’  It appears news and sports director Bruce Johnson is a victim of budget cuts at Greater Media’s WCTC, Brunswick, New Jersey.  According to NewJersey On-Line, Johnson was told money is the reason he’s leaving the station after 34 years.  Johnson is a former Rutgers University football play-by-play voice who became part of the station in 1980.  He was upped to news director in 1987.  He tells NJ On-Line, “I love radio. It’s been my life.  I want to be able to keep on doing it.  If not, I want to keep on working, so I don’t want people to think I’m going to be fading away into the sunset.”

strata logoSTRATA Study Shines Light on Suspicion Over Web Metrics.  Radio sales pros have long wondered if the love affair the advertising world has with all things digital is overblown, some of the conclusions of STRATA’s most recent study of advertising agencies may show there is truth there.  While the advertising industry is largely bullish on the ad business right now – the study finding that 62% of agencies polled say they see business increasing this quarter compared to the same time last year – they also are suspicious of web traffic analytics.  More than half the agencies polled – 56% — reported they do not trust web traffic numbers provided by the publishers with whom they advertise.  Further, when asked if they agreed with an earlier report indicating 36% of web traffic is fraudulent, 31% of the agencies surveyed feel the fraudulent number is actually higher.  STRATA president Joy Baer comments, “Ad agencies revealed an interesting dichotomy within the advertising industry; agencies are displaying high levels of confidence and are increasing their ad spend while they question the accuracy of reported Web traffic numbers and the inflated CPMs they may command.  Another interesting parallel was the optimism many agencies felt while they looked cautiously at rising ad costs as a major concern. The strength that our clients are reporting bodes well for the rest of the year.”

costasbobSportscasting Seminar Adds Albert, Costas.  The third annual “One Day Ticket to Sportscasting Success” seminar adds Bob Costas and Marv Albert to its lineup.  The event – which will take place in just over two weeks (Monday, 6/9) in Salisbury North Carolina – is part of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association‘s 2014 awards weekend.  NSSA Hall of Famer Costas hosts NBC‘s “Football Night in America”; was the primetime host of that network’s Olympic games coverage (although sidelined for a time with pinkeye); and co-hosts NBC’s coverage of the U.S. Open, Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.  He has also broadcast the World Series and the NBA Finals. Albert is also an NSSA Hall of Famer.  He has been the play-by-play voice of seven Stanley Cup Finals, six Super Bowls, and the NBA Finals. Sportscasters Talent Agency of America chief executive officer Jon Chelesnik is the organizer of the seminar.  He comments, “This year’s seminar includes presentations, panel discussions, opportunities for attendees to have their work critiqued by the pros, outstanding networking opportunities – and you don’t have to be an STAA client to attend.”  Other seminar speakers include three-time “National Sportswriter of the Year” and NBC football anchor Peter King; NFL, NBA, and NCAA broadcaster Ian Eagle; ESPN Radio Network senior director Scott Masteller; Auburn University play-by-play broadcaster Rod Bramblett; and executives from Learfield Sports and IMG.

mcmanusadamOdds & Sods.  Talk radio host Adam McManus is lining up some summer fill-in work as he’ll be sitting in for Joe Walsh on Salem Communication‘s WIND, Chicago “AM 560 The Answer” on May 27 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  He’ll also sub for KTSA, San Antonio midday host Jack Riccardi on June 19-20 and July 7-11…..Bernard Bokenyi exits the PD role at Alpha Media’s sports talk KXTG-AM, Portland “750 The Game” after 13 months in the position…..ESPN Deportes is broadcasting the 2014 UEFA Champions League Final live on Saturday, May 24 beginning at 2:00 pm ET.  The final features two teams from the same city: Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid.

VA Scandal, ObamaCare Criticism, Russian Military Aggression, Thai Military Coup, NSA Data Mining Policy, Cong. Garcia ‘Communism Works’ Flap, NFL Painkiller Suit Controversy, and NBA/NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/21).  The growing Veteran’s Administration scandal; scrutiny of the effects of the Affordable Care Act; Russia’s military incursion into Ukraine and Vladimir Putin’s promise to remove troops from the country; the military coup taking place in Thailand; the NSA’s data mining program and proposed changes to its scope; the flap over Florida Congressman Joe Garcia’s comment that “communism works”; the suit against the NFL by former players alleging the league distributed illegal painkillers to players; and NBA and NHL playoff action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

| May 21, 2014

wgn logo newWGN Announces Garry Meier Moves to Digital Platform, John Williams Returns to WGN Radio.  A big change in Windy City talk radio as Garry Meier leaves the PM drive slot he’s hosted since 2009 on WGN Radio to handle the same shift at meiergarryTribune’s wgn.fm internet station.  Coming back to WGN is John Williams who left 18 months ago to move to the Twin Cities where he hosts the afternoon drive show on CBS RADIO’s WCCO – a position he’ll continue to hold.  The new schedule at WGN looks like this: Steve Cochran in mornings, Williams from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano from 12:00 noon williamsjohnto 3:00 pm, Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder move into the afternoon drive slot from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm, followed by Pete McMurray from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm, Patti Vasquez from 11:00 pm to 2:00 am and Nick Digilio from 2:00 am to 5:00 am.  Speaking about bringing Williams back to WGN, VP of content Todd Manley states, “John crafts radio shows that are laced with such unique wit and wisdom that you don’t want to miss a minute.  John was born to be on both of these great stations.  We give many thanks to our friends at WCCO for so graciously sharing him.”  Station president and general manager Jimmy de Castro comments, “Garry is perfect for wgn.fm because he understands both the potential of spoken word and that the future of radio is programming to tech-savvy, mobile audiences.  His approach to entertain interactively through digital media propels us into the future.  This is a great start to the revamp of our entire online and mobile products including our apps, websites and on-demand content distribution.”

kaufmanjoycebillboardJoyce Kaufman Named by TALKERS, Humanitarian of the Year.  Talk radio personality Joyce Kaufman – 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm host at James Crystal Radio, Inc.-owned WFTL, Fort Lauderdale – has been named by the TALKERS editorial board as the 2014 recipient of the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Talk Radio Broadcaster.  Also referred to as “Humanitarian of the Year,” the award is named in honor of Sharon L. Harrison, the late wife of Michael Harrison and mother of Matthew B. Harrison, who played an instrumental role in the radio trade publication business going all the way back to her days as an associate editor at Radio & Records during its formative years in the early 1970s through the launch of TALKERS magazine in 1990.  In making the announcement of Joyce Kaufman’s selection, TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “Ms. Kaufman embodies so many of the values that are vital to the continued importance of radio as an iconic resource serving the best interests of society.  She is quintessentially local and deeply connected to her South Florida community.  She has been fiercely loyal to her station, co-workers and management during WFTL’s recent financial challenges.  And most importantly, she has a string of community-service achievements and awards to her credit that could reflect the productive output of more than 10 broadcasters, let alone one hard-working individual.  She is a veritable force of nature in the Fort Lauderdale/Miami2014 NYC logo 150 region and richly deserves recognition as an inspiration to the entire industry.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison says, “Most hosts and broadcasters who have received this award have been so recognized because of one or a handful of charitable and community initiatives that they have championed.  In the case of Joyce Kaufman, there are actually too many to begin listing.  To sum it up, she has been a hero to women, children, veterans, the poor and the disabled via her constant, tireless work and support of such organizations as Toys for Tots, the Patriot Guard Riders (for deployments, returning troops, funerals and veterans’ memorials), Hispanic Women of Distinction (raising money for free medical care for needy families), the Palm Beach Stand Down House (supporting homeless veterans), the Never Again Pledge Rides (for Holocaust remembrances), and so many others.  She has co-anchored the local Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon, raised 6,000 pair of shoes for the Salvation Army and has been the recipient of more than 10 major awards during her 20 year radio career including the American Legion Post 304 ‘Veterans Advocacy Award,’ the Film Recording & Entertainment Council ‘Radio Personality of the Year,’ the Husky Rescue of South Florida ‘Champion Award,’ the Wounded Warriors Foundation ‘Hero’s Hero Designation,’ the ‘Latina Pioneer of the Year,’ the Broward County ‘Law Enforcement Champion of the Year,’ the  Americans Against Hate ‘American Hero Award,’  the ‘Italian American Heritage Award,’ the Chabad of South Florida ‘Defender of Israel Award,’ the Stand Down House ‘Veteran Advocate of the Year Award’ and the FAIR ‘We the People Award,’ among many others.  The list of individuals whom she has helped simply as a talk show host on a radio program – and not necessarily affiliated with an organization – is endless.”  Harrison continues, “Joyce Kaufman has never been one to shy away from controversy and is as bold in her stance on issues close to her heart – popular and unpopular – as she is in defending the weak and disadvantaged within her community.  She is as aggressive in her advocacy of free speech as she is in serving the needy.”  Past recipients of the Humanitarian of the Year Award, one of the most prestigious in radio, include Boomer Esiason, Clay Hunnicutt, Joe Madison, Sean Hannity, Dr. Joy Browne, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, and Scott Hennen.  It will be presented to Joyce Kaufman at Talkers New York 2014 on Friday June 20.  For information on the event please click here.

mclainbobEntercom Ups McLain to OM at Greenville News/Talk and Sports Stations; Hendrix Named PD at ‘ESPN Upstate.’  A couple of programming management moves take place at Entercom’s Greenville, South Carolina cluster as longtime news/talk “WORD 106.3” (WYRD-FM) talk personality Bob McLain is named operations manager for both WYRD-FM and sports talk multi-cast “ESPN Upstate.”  At the same time, Mark Hendrix – programmer of the company’s classic rock WROQ – takes on PD responsibilities for “ESPN Upstate.”  Entercom Greenville VP/market manager Steve Sinicropi states, “The professionalism, hendrixmarkexperience and passion that Bob McLain and Mark Hendrix bring to ‘ESPN Upstate’ will help lead a powerful ESPN Radio brand that is becoming the fastest-growing sports station in South Carolina.”  Bob McLain adds, “The addition of the ESPN brand to our already powerful cluster of stations allows Entercom to better serve the important male audience.  I have worked with Mark Hendrix for more than a decade and his experience and knowledge will be invaluable as we turn ‘ESPN Upstate’ into THE dominant sports station in the market.”  On February 24, “ESPN Upstate” debuted on WORD-AM and WYRD-AM.  They are also heard on 97.1 FM and WFBC-FM HD-3 and will soon be heard on translator W290BW at 105.9 FM.

garciatonyWhat’s Your Point of Difference?  When it comes to syndicating a radio show, explaining to a potential affiliate station how it benefits that station can take more than just examples of ratings success in other markets.  Global Media Services founder Tony Garcia writes about advice for defining the difference between your show and the competition.  He says you already know what your target audience is.  “Since you already know what it is, start there, and from there take a look at what you are bringing to the show and to your potential affiliates that’s different from what’s already out there, or what’s unique about your approach to the material.”  Incorporating that into a marketing message is the next step.  Read Garcia’s entire column here.

milliondollarmediaSaurer Named CEO at Million Dollar Media.  Broadcast industry pro Bill Saurer is named the chief executive officer for Million Dollar Media, effective June 2.  Saurer also serves as president/CEO of Principle Broadcasting Network/Universal Mediasaurerbill Access.  Million Dollar Media describes itself as “the largest provider of insured contests to the media industry, and provides web-based contesting, rebate programs, sports pools, sweepstakes and promotions to a wide array of clients including professional sports teams, ad agencies, auto dealers and Fortune 500 companies around the United States and Canada.”  Million Dollar Media partner Henry Ferry comments, “We are tremendously excited to add someone of Bill Saurer’s talent, ability and experience to our team.  Both [partner] Ken Scott and myself have worked directly for Bill in the past, so we have first-hand experience of his management expertise.  As a founding partner, close friend and now CEO, we expect this dynamic to help continue the explosive growth our company has experienced, and look forward to where he will help lead us.”  Million Dollar Media, Principle Broadcasting Network and Universal Media Access are all portfolio companies of Mercury Capital Partners.

oshaughnessywilliamTaking Care of Our Own.  WVOX and WVIP, New Rochelle president and editorial director William O’Shaughnessy – who also serves as chairman of the Broadcasters Association of America’s Guardian Fund – pens an appeal to those in the industry who’ve benefitted so much from success over the years but who haven’t considered engaging in philanthropy to help those broadcasters who’ve fallen on hard times.  In his own inimitable fashion, O’Shaughnessy writes about the important mission the BFoA serves.  Read it here.

andersonmollgraciesGracies Gala Takes Place in Beverly Hills.  In Beverly Hills last night (5/20), women working in all forms of media were honored by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation at the historic Beverly Hilton Hotel, at the 39th Annual Gracie Awards Gala.   Television personality Aisha Tyler hosted the gala that recognizes exemplary programming created for women, by women, and about women in all facets of media, including radio, television, cable, and new media.  The awards program also encourages the realistic and multifaceted portrayal of women in entertainment, news, features, and other programs.  Pictured here is iHeartRadio host Moll Anderson arriving on the red carpet.   Also honored were Premiere Networks syndicated country morning personality Bobby Bones and show cast member Amy  and SiriusXM’s Julia Cunningham.  AWMF chair Kay Olin comments, “The Gracies is such a special celebration, and it is a privilege for the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation to honor the work of our talented Gracie winners.  It is truly inspiring to be in a room with so many industry professionals who have come together to recognize exceptional programming for women, by women, and about women.”  Photo courtesy of Leroy Hamilton.

knusdebateTalking Issues.  The Colorado gubernatorial candidates lined up (literally and figuratively) for a debate that was broadcast live on Salem Communications-owned news/talk KNUS, Denver .  The 90-minute event took place before a live audience on the campus of Colorado Christian College.  Pictured here are (from left to right): Colorado State Senator Mike Kopp, Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler, KNUS afternoon personality Steve Kelley, and former U.S. Congressman Bob Beauprez.

VA Scandal, Primary Super Tuesday, Global Warming, Americans on Disability, Russian Military Aggression, U.S.-China Hacking Conflict, and NHL and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/20).  The growing probe into poor treatment of veterans at the nation’s VA hospitals; the run-up to the Super Tuesday Primary elections; debate over humanity’s role in climate change; the increasing number of Americans receiving disability payments; Russia’s continued military aggression; conflict between the U.S. and China over charges brought against Chinese hackers by the U.S. government; and the NHL and NBA playoff action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Taking Care of Our Own

| May 21, 2014

oshaughnessywriterNEW ROCHELLE, NY — Dick Foreman, our dedicated and dynamic vice chairman, recently dispatched a powerful, timely and rather pointed note (it didn’t pull any punches!) to a fellow broadcaster who had turned a deaf ear to our recent pleadings and importunings on behalf of the Broadcasters Foundation of America.

Foreman’s good letter got me to thinking about how to reach those who haven’t yet gotten the message.

“Don’t let us forget who we are…and where we’ve come from.” 

                                                                 – – – Mario M. Cuomo

Through our work with the Guardian Fund of the Broadcasters Foundation of America, we’ve encountered many generous individuals, some now retired with their glory years behind them, and many still in the arena, who have unhesitatingly responded with remarkable grace and becoming generosity to our entreaties on behalf of those hurting and almost forgotten broadcasters we serve all across the country.

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What’s Your Point of Difference?

| May 21, 2014

By Tony Garcia
Global Media Services
Founder

 

garciatonywriterDENVER — One of the critical factors in successful syndication is being able to discuss succinctly what your show is about and how it benefits the affiliate.  Most successful shows have a strong core of listeners in an easily defined demographic, like Women 35-54.  And while your may have proof via ratings, email or calls that your audience is broader, focus on your core, then think about your point of difference. Your point of difference needs to be targeted and engaging.

Whether you do a political talk show, morning show, music show or feature, your show has a target audience.  Since you already know what it is, start there, and from there take a look at what you are bringing to the show and to your potential affiliates that’s different from what’s already out there, or what’s unique about your approach to the material.  Take a look at your e-mail.  What do your listeners say is different about your show?  What keeps them coming back?  Ask around. Sometimes getting an outside perspective can give you some ideas.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

| May 20, 2014

wqxi logo‘790 The Zone’ in Atlanta Drops Local Shows for ESPN Radio Programming.  The Lincoln Financial Media-owned sports talk station will still carry Atlanta Falcons football – serving as the flagship – and will also air SEC football this fall.  But the station drops the local sports talk shows for the full ESPN Radio lineup that includes: “Mike and Mike,” “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” “SVP & Russillo,” “The Dan Le Batard Show,” “Sedano & Stink” and the “Freddie Coleman Show.”  Additional programming will include “SportsCenter AllNight,” and the live broadcast of NBA and MLB games, as well as other major sporting events.  Although Colin Cowherd’s program has been airing in middays, David Archer and Mike Bell hosted the PM drive slot.  LFM Atlanta SVP and GM Rick Mack says in a statement, “We are excited to launch a new schedule that provides Atlanta-area listeners with an even more robust slate of sports programming.  By tapping more deeply into the talent and reach ESPN provides on a national stage, we will enable ‘790 The Zone’ to continue to set the standard each day for how sports news is communicated to the Atlanta sports fan…Staying connected to the Atlanta Falcons and SEC football are important to us.  We believe the changes we have implemented serve two important purposes, including offering more programming variety to our listeners and maintaining the local footprint we have worked so hard to establish.”

bayneianBayne Hosts Mornings at ‘Cities 92.9’ in Bloomington, Illinois.  Former congressional candidate Ian Bayne is named host of the morning show on Pilot Media’s news/talk WRPW, Bloomington, Illinois “Cities 92.9.”  He began hosting “The Morning Buzz with Ian Bayne on Monday, May 19.  Bayne says to listeners, “Those of you who supported my congressional campaign in the Illinois 11th congressional district and had conversations with me about the future of our Republican party, I want to thank you.  This is a tremendous opportunity for me to continue to rally the troops and inform the voters.  Radio has always been my passion.  Many of you know that I have a weekend syndicated show that will continue.”  Bayne’s program airs from 5:00 am to 8:00 am.

ktth logoSecond in KTTH, Seattle Debate Series to Take Place Next Month.  The title of the second in KTTH, Seattle’s debate series designed to encourage robust discussion of important issues in Western Washington is “Religious Freedom: Where My Rights and Your Rights Collide.”  The panel of debaters includes KTTH talk show hosts, Ben Shapiro and Michael Medved as well as expert panelists Rev. Monica Corsaro of the Rainier Beach United Methodist Church, sponsor of the Boy Scouts troop with a gay leader; Huffington Post religion columnist Valerie Tarico; and James Wellman, chair of the UW comparative religion department and author of Evangelical vs. Liberal: The Clash of Christian Cultures in the Pacific Northwest.  KTTH’s David Boze will serve as moderator.  KTTH program director Jason Antebi states, “With so many important cultural and religious topics working their way through the court, this panel discussion is especially meaningful.  I’m proud we can host another debate that tackles issues that matter to the community most, while actually seeking solutions and finding common ground.”  The debate will take place on the Seattle University campus on June 26.

wpht logoWPHT, Philadelphia to Host Congressional Primary Debate.  The two Republicans vying for the right to run in November for the New Jersey Third Congressional Seat will meet at CBS RADIO’s WPHT, Philadelphia studios on Wednesday, May 21 for a one-hour debate.  Candidates Steve Lonegan and Tom MacArthur will participate in the debate moderated by WPHT personality Dom Giordano from 10:00 am to 11:00 am.

techsurvey10‘TechSurvey 10’ Investigates Social Media Usage.  The query into radio listeners’ social media usage and daily habits confirms what you probably suspected: Facebook is still the most-used social media service; and teens are using upstarts Instagram and Snapchat almost as much as Facebook.  Asking radio listeners about their social media “cume” – whether they have a profile – and their “TSL” – daily usage, Jacobs Media reports the study shows that, yes Facebook is still the most-used service, but when it comes to what’s used on a daily basis, Twitter and Instagram begin to show their strength.  Drilling down to generation “Z” (those 22 and younger), the study shows that, on a daily basis, that demo uses Instagram and Snapchat even more than Twitter.  Check out the “cume” and “TSL” for P1s of the various radio formats as part of the data here.

rosefrancisWFED, Washington’s Francis Rose Honored with AFFIRM Award.  The host of “In Depth with Francis Rose” will be honored by the Association for Federal Information Resources Management (AFFIRM) as it recognizes individuals and groups in the federal information technology community for leading innovation in government.  The Hubbard Radio personality, heard on WFED, Washington and on FederalNewsRadio.com, will be the recipient of a 2014 AFFIRM President’s Award for Media.  WFED program director Lisa Wolfe says, “We are very proud of Francis’ recognition from and involvement with AFFIRM.  He brings the same energy and effort to their events as he does every day at Federal News Radio.”

stephandougTalk Host Doug Stephan and ‘My Cool Inventions’ Partner.  Already recognized as one of America’s hardest-working talk personalities, “Good Day” host Doug Stephan will be lengthening his on-air day by another hour. Starting in less than two weeks (6/2), Stephan will be joining “My Cool Inventions” hosts Akos Jankura “The Solutionist” and John Cremeans “The Doctor of Shopology” in the 9:00 am to 10:00 am portion of their daily two-hour program. Affiliates of both shows will merge in the 9:00 am hour, and according to Stephan, “Being entrepreneurs, we are very pleased to be able to provide a substantial platform for these new inventors.  Our listeners get to interact in a special way by not only witnessing the process of creation to execution, but getting to voice their opinion as well by voting.”  Jankura comments, “We are lifting American families one innovation, one invention, one American at a time.  We are looking for people who have a hundred million dollar product idea floating around in their heads and encouraging them to submit their product to us.”  Listeners vote for a daily winner Monday through Thursday.  Of those four finalists, an ultimate winner is named on Friday. Stephan Multimedia‘s “Good Day” airs weekdays 4:00 am to 10:00 am and Saturdays 7:00 am to 9:00 am on “more than” 350 stations. America’s Talk Radio Network’s “My Cool Inventions” is fed daily 9:00 am to 11:00 am.

fisherhouselogoFisher House Memorial Day Special Lines Up News/Talk Affiliates.  The three-hour Memorial Day weekend special “Our Greatest National Treasure” has some 125 affiliate stations.  The program is a project of the Fisher House Foundation, which provides no-cost housing and other support for the families of wounded warriors while their loved ones receive treatment at military and VA hospitals.  It spotlights their stories and shares the role that Fisher House played in their recovery.  The show – hosted by KIRO-FM, Seattle morning drive host Dave Ross — may be aired anytime from May 24-26.  It was written and produced by Marshall Adams and imaged by Chris Pendl.  The promo voice is Chris CutlerPremiere Networks is distributing the show via FTP.  To sign up, contact Kurt Kretzschmar at kkretzschmar@premierenetworks.com.  Promos are provided and custom materials are available upon request.  Stations that have signed up already will receive FTP download instructions via email from Premiere.

millerharleyKevin Miller Hosts Colorful Gubernatorial Candidate.  The governor’s race in Idaho is getting national attention due to the colorful nature of the candidates.  One of them – Harley Brown – is seated next to KIDO, Boise morning drive host Kevin Miller (left) in the picture you see here.  Harley Brown’s answers and campaign antics earned him a write-up in the Washington Post after last week’s televised debate.  The Post’s Jonathan Capehart writes, “Incumbent Gov. Butch Otter shared the stage with state Sen. Russ Fulcher and two other challengers right out of backcountry central casting.”  Those challengers are Walt Bayes and the above pictured Brown.  One of Brown’s exclamations during the debate was, “I’ve got a master’s degree in raising hell!”  Read Capehart’s entire piece here.

VA Hospital Scandal, ObamaCare Criticism, U.S. vs Chinese Hackers, Russia’s Ukraine Aggression, CIA Phony Vaccine Program Policy, and 2016 Presidential Race Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/19).  Controversy over the Arizona VA scandal and charges the poor care is widespread; continued scrutiny of the implementation and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the diplomatic battle between China and the U.S. over alleged hacking of U.S. commercial sites by trade secret thieves; Russia’s military incursion into the Ukraine; the White House’s new policy on fake vaccine programs run by CIA operatives; and speculation about candidates for president in 2016 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, May 19, 2014

| May 19, 2014

wabcRita Cosby Joins WABC, New York for ‘The Ride Home.’  Television and radio pro Rita Cosby is joining NY1 personality Pat Kiernan as co-host of the WABC, New York’s 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm program, “The Ride Home” beginning Wednesday, May 21.  Cumulus Media describes the show as “the signature drive time show featuring the latest information, insight and opinion on news, sports and pop culture with an emphasis on the New York area.”  On the new gig, Cosby says, “I am so delighted to join my friend andcosbyrita NY1 icon Pat Kiernan along with the rest of the 77 WABC family.  While I’ve been fortunate to cover the biggest national and international stories for years, there’s nothing better than covering stories that touch the very cornerstone of my own neighborhood and place of birth, New York City.  I’m excited to be a part of an exceptional and passionate team, bringing listeners context to the biggest stories impacting The Big Apple and showcasing some of the most noteworthy guests making headlines.”  Cumulus corporate programmer of news/talk Randall Bloomquist comments, “We’re excited to welcome such an extraordinary journalist and dynamic host as Rita Cosby to the 77 WABC family.  Together, Pat and Rita bring decades of broadcasting experience and a proven ability to jump between topics and deliver the day’s most important news.  As New Yorkers make their way home at the end of the day, our listeners can look forward to being kept informed and entertained by two of the best in the business.”

fccnewNational Association of Media Brokers Backs Elimination of Newspaper-Broadcast Cross-Ownership Ban.  Filing a comment with the FCC in favor of eliminating the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership ban is the National Association of Media Brokers.  The comment states, in part, “History shows that much of the broadcast industry was birthed by newspapers, which proved to be admirable stewards of the public trust.  Specialization and regulation over the years has, to a large extent, separated ownership of the two.  However, allowing newspaper/broadcast combinations in today’s marketplace, where there are so many choices for reading, viewing and listening, can only strengthen local content and public service.  This recommendation is not made for the purpose of increasing our business or to rescue newspapers or AM radio stations. Frankly, we believe eliminating newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership restrictions would not generate a significant wave of such transactions. It would, however, be a step forward to enhancing public service without any meaningful impact on diversity. At first you might believe this would be a path mostly for newspapers to invest in broadcast stations, but the reverse also can be expected, especially in smaller markets.”

vonhaesslerericWSB-AM/FM, Atlanta Gives Eric Von Haessler Part-Time Work.  The former member of “The Regular Guys” morning drive program on Cumulus Media’s rock WNNX, Atlanta has been off AM/FM radio since exiting that show last September.  Now, Eric Von Haessler has been tapped to do some fill-in work on Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/FM, Atlanta, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho.  Program director Pete Spriggs tells the paper Von Haessler filled in for Monica Perez on Saturday, May 17 from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm and that his future with the station is unclear.  “We will see where it goes.  Today, I just think it is cool to get him on the radio,” Spriggs tells Ho.  Von Haessler was part of “The Regular Guys” for more than 15 years at three different stations before exiting last fall.

wobm logoTownsquare Media Flips New Jersey AMs to News/Talk.  The oldies simulcast on WOBM, Lakewood Township and WADB, Asbury Park is gone and a news/talk format takes over on the Townsquare Media stations.  The lineup includes local morning drive team Bob and Marianne Levy followed by paid programming from 9:00 am to 10:00 am.  After that it’s the Premiere Networks lineup of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.  Also on the schedule is Compass Media’s Todd Schnitt.

dolanmitchMitch Dolan Named COO of Times-Shamrock.  Longtime ABC executive Mitch Dolan (10 years as president of ABC Radio’s station group) is now the chief operating officer for the Scranton-based Times-Shamrock Communications company where he’ll oversee its radio and outdoor properties.  The Scranton Times-Tribune reports Dolan will manage the company’s stations in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, Baltimore, Reno, and Las Vegas as well as the operational partnership in Milwaukee.  Times-Shamrock owner Bobby Lynett is quoted in the paper saying, “Mitch’s reputation preceded his introduction to us.  He is exactly the type of individual we want leading our group of managers and our geographically diverse radio and billboard division.  Since meeting Mitch, we have grown more and more excited about the great ideas and enhancements we know he can institute.”

rabRAB: Another Flat Quarter for Radio.  Actually, the spot segment of radio was down during the first three months of 2014, by 2%, with digital and off-air – both up 16% — saving the industry from a down quarter.  National was down 8%, according to the RAB’s report.  Total revenue for the quarter was $3.79 billion.  This was the fifth consecutive flat quarter for the industry.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber says, “The double-digit gains in the digital and off-air sectors this quarter highlight the growing interest among advertisers in utilizing radio’s multiple facets.  With radio broadcasters increasingly dedicating their efforts to improving and supporting their digital channels, local and national advertisers alike will find these platforms increasingly attractive to reach audiofarbererica consumers.”  As far as ad categories are concerned, Farber reports that “a number of category increases offset cutbacks in spending among others whose businesses were adversely impacted by weather conditions and other factors.”   Advertisers in the highly competitive communications/cellular arena rang up a 33% increase over their Q1 ’13 level to rank #2 among all categories in the spot segment; automotive, while flat, is again radio’s leading revenue category.  Spending in the insurance companies category was up substantially (+33%), nearing the March 31 deadline for open enrollment under the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Health care category advertisers also upped their spending (+16%) in an effort to attract the newly insured to their services.  Home improvement spending was up 14%, reflecting consumers’ need to deal with weather-related issues and growing home sales/remodeling efforts.  Also up for the quarter were professional services (+7%), concerts/theater/movies (+6%), and casinos/lottery (+3%).

BBGLasVegasBeasley Opens Las Vegas Media Center.  The dedication of Beasley Broadcast Group’s new Las Vegas operations took place on Thursday, May 15 and founder-chairman-chief executive officer George G. Beasley was among those attending the dedication ceremony of the new BeasleyMedia Center.  Beasley received a Certificate of Commendation from Nevada Democratic Senator Harry Reid, and proclamations from Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and the Clark County Commissioners.  Executive vice president of operations Brian Beasley comments, “Our Las Vegas team strives to provide the very best radio experience to both listeners and advertisers.  Importantly, they also voluntarily create, promote, and participate in a variety of civic and charitable events that benefit the local Las Vegas community, such as the Children’s Miracle Network Radiothon, the Goodie Two Shoes Foundation, and the 12th Annual ‘DJs for PJs Drive’ held just last month.”  Vice president and market manager Tom Humm remarks, “The staff is grateful for the Beasley family’s commitment to us and to the city of Las Vegas.  Our new home is one of the finest radio broadcast facilities in the country.  It is a proud moment for all of us.”  There are 85 employees at Beasley’s five-station Las Vegas cluster, which consists of country KCYE “The Coyote”; talk KDWN “AM 720″; classic hits KKLZ; urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7″; and adult hits KVGS “Bob FM.”  Syndicated talk host Jerry Doyle will originate his weekday show (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm) from the KDWN studios.

westcottpaulOdds & Sods.  Sitting in for Premiere NetworksAndy Dean both this evening and tomorrow (5/19 & 20) is WTAG, Worcester morning drive personality Paul Westcott…..Journal Broadcast Group’s news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee is being honored by the MLB’s Milwaukee Brewers with “620 WTMJ Day” at Miller Park on Monday, June 2.  WTMJ serves as the flagship for Brewers baseball and part of the special day means certain seats in the stadium will be available for just $6.20 and the game time for the Brewers-Twins matchup has been moved from 7:10 p.m. to 6:20 p.m.  Journal’s VP/GM of Milwaukee radio operations Tom Langmyer says, “Brewers baseball on WTMJ radio has been the soundtrack of summer in Wisconsin for decades.  Bob Uecker and Joe Block have a special relationship with listeners and we’re very pleased to join the Brewers in honoring fans for their tremendous support over the years.”

hughesbookScottie Nell Hughes’ Roar Due in September.  Telling TALKERS magazine that “much of the book is based on my experiences in talk radio,” author Scottie Nell Hughes announces the coming publication of her book ROAR: The New Conservative Woman Speaks Out (2014 Worthy Publishing).  The journalist and Tea Party correspondent says that as a woman who continues to defy political stereotypes, she has often found herself feeling marginalized and ignored by establishment political parties and mainstream media — particularly as an outspoken Christian conservative.  Yet she emphatically rejects 21st-century labels, choosing instead to emphasize the strength of the new conservative woman in everyday life and politics.  From her deep faith and her love for family to her independence, she says she refuses to participate in a manufactured war against men.  Hughes says, “I’m delighted to be working with Worthy and to begin a movement that fights back against a modern culture that treats ‘pro-women’ and ‘conservative’ as incompatible.  ROAR gives new voice to a demographic that has long been maligned, but whose time for being heard has come.”

kskysantorumRick Santorum Entertains KSKY, Dallas Listeners.  Former U.S. Senator (R-PA) and GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum (second from left) was in Dallas Friday, May 16 speaking before a gathering of KSKY, Dallas “660 AM The Answer” listeners at the DFW Sheraton when the photo here was taken.  During the event, Santorum discussed his new book titled, Blue Collar Conservatives (Regnery) and chatted with hosts at the Salem Communications news/talk outlet.  Pictured here with Santorum are (from left to right): KSKY morning host Mark Davis, Santorum, Texas Attorney General candidate Ken Paxton and KSKY evening host Jon-David Wells.

Friday, May 16, 2014

| May 16, 2014

ramseydaveClear Channel to Go ‘Real Talk 760’ in Denver.  The flip of progressive talk KKZN, Denver “Colorado’s Progressive Talk” reported earlier this week is confirmed with details.  The station will feature financial and personal help programs and take the positioning statement “Real Talk 760 – Real Life, Real Solutions.”  The lineup, beginning Monday (5/19), is as follows: Bloomberg  Radio and Wall Streetbohannonjim Journal Radio Network programming during the 3:00 am to 10:00 am “Money in the Morning” program block; a simulcast of sister news/talk KHOW’s Troubleshooter Tom Martino from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon; Dave Ramsey from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm (starting June 2); Clark Howard from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm; Dr. Joy Browne from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm with Jim Bohannon from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm.  In a statement, CC Denver market president Pat Connor says, “We’re excited to bring a new genre of talk programming to Colorado.  We’re confident ‘Real Talk 760’ will be a trusted source of information and entertainment for our listeners.”

compasslogoNancy Abramson Named VP Affiliate Sales & Strategic Partnerships at Compass.  Respected talk radio pro Nancy Abramson joins Compass Media Networks in the newlyabramsonnancy created position vice president of sales & strategic partnerships.  In the new post she’ll “drive strategic partnerships with radio stations and content providers.”  Compass CEO Peter Kosann states, “We are incredibly lucky to have Nancy join us.  Great people are the key to this business and Nancy fits this description.”  Abramson will work out of the company’s Rye, New York offices.  She comments, “It is an honor to join Compass Media Networks.  The company has done a brilliant job amassing an incredible content portfolio and I cannot wait to work with our distribution partners.”

osgoodcharlesWestwoodOne Inks Charles Osgood to Multi-Year Renewal.  Iconic CBS News figure Charles Osgood and WestwoodOne will continue their relationship for some years to come as the two sides agree to terms to continue producing “The Osgood File” series.  Osgood states, “I’m looking forward to bringing morewestwoodone logo of ‘The Osgood File’ to the millions of listeners across the country who tune in each weekday morning.  My producer Ray Bassett and I look forward to continuing the great partnership with our colleagues at CBS News and WestwoodOne who make it all possible – and so enjoyable.  See you on the radio!”  Osgood’s radio work has been honored over the years with two Peabody Awards, the RTDNA Murrow Award, an NAB Marconi Award, and a Radio Mercury Award.

Fourth Round of April PPM Data Released. PPM data from the fourth of four groups of 12 markets for the April 2014 period (March 27 – April 23) 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.

2014 NYC logo 150Four Dynamic Solo Speakers to Present Spectrum of Views and Information at Talkers New York 2014 – Hannity, Francesa, Edelman and Del Colliano to Appear in Key Addresses.  The agenda continues to grow as the 17th annual installment of talk media’s longest running and most important convention – Talkers New York 2014 — is now less than five weeks away.  The power-packed, one-day, industry-only gathering will provide its luminous attendees with more than 65 speakers participating in five panel discussions, an awards ceremony, the legendary and original Talk Rumble, a product and idea exhibit, and four dynamic solo presentations.  Kicking off the day with the traditional TALKERS General Keynote Address will be Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel superstar Sean Hannity discussing key issues including his vision of news/talk’s future.  That will be followed by WFAN, New York legend Mike Francesa delivering the second annual TALKERS Sports Keynote Address in his unique, no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is style; highly respected, personal finance advisor and syndicated radio host, Ric Edelman will deliver a special presentation offering retirement planning information specifically geared to radio professionals shifting from employee to self-employed status during this economically transitional era in the business; and noted radio industry observer and Inside Music Media publisher, Jerry Del Colliano will offer up a serving of potent insights about “Radio in the Digital Era.”  According to TALKERS publisher and conference director Michael Harrison, “Each of these solo speakers brings something very special to the table and we couldn’t be more delighted having them serve our attendees in their key roles.”  The event takes place on Friday, June 20 at the iconic India House located at One Hanover Square in the heart of New York City’s historic Financial District.  Registration (open only to people who are employed in the radio industry or associated media companies and broadcasting students) is $249 per person and covers all events, presentations and sessions including breakfast, lunch, day-long refreshments and closing reception.  Talkers New York 2014 is expected to be sold out before June.  Registrations can only be booked by telephone with credit card.  For registration or sponsorship information call 413-565-5413. To see up-to-the-minute agenda details and hotel information, please click here.

boomercartonWFAN, New York’s Boomer & Carton Welcome the Gin Blossoms to ‘Summer Kickoff Party.’  The event will take place at D’JAIS in Belmar, New Jersey next Friday, May 23 as WFAN, New York morning drive team Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton will broadcast their show live for the inaugural Memorial Day “Summer Kickoff Party” on the CBS RADIO sports talk station.  The Gin Blossoms will perform live during the show and will serve as special guests on the program.

lordrichOdds & Sods. Sports talk KILT-AM, Houston personality Rich Lord is being replaced as the sideline reporter for Houston Texans radio broadcasts by John Harris, who recently joined the Texans as a media contributor.  He most recently worked at KGOW, Houston and the affiliated Yahoo! Sports Radio network.  According to David Barron in the Houston Chronicle, the move was not a reflection on Lord but a means of raising Harris’ profile…..CBS RADIO Philadelphia partners with the Schuylkill Navy of Philadelphia around the Stotesbury Cup Regatta presented by the Tri-State Toyota Dealers, the largest high school rowing event in the world.  As part of the partnership, the CBS Radio Sponsorship Group will serve as a marketing, media and sponsorship arm for the Stotesbury Cup, which has been held continuously on the Schuylkill River since 1927, attracting almost 6,000 high school athletes from over 200 high schools and over 30,000 spectators for the two-day event.  The 2014 Stotesbury Cup Regatta takes place today and tomorrow.

hartmannthomTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Radio America’s “Dana Show” with Dana Loesch joins new stations KXL-FM, Portland; KFQD-AM, Anchorage; WIBW-AM, Topeka; WGKA-AM, Atlanta; WAAM-AM, Ann Arbor; and KNWZ, Palm Springs…..“Gun Talk” with host Tom Gresham is now part of the program schedule at KWQW, Des Moines “98.3 The Torch.”…..WYD Media’s Thom Hartmann moves to afternoon drive on Saga Communications’ progressive talk WNYY, Ithaca…..New affiliates for The Wall Street Journal Radio Network‘s “MarketWatch Reports” include: KROI, Houston; KQTH, Tucson;  and KOA and KKZN, Denver.  KKZN also picks up “The Wall Street Journal This Morning” and “The Wall Street Journal This Weekend.”…..The “Motley Fool Stock Watch” daily feature is added to the programming at WNOS, New Bern, North Carolina.

koznmanning‘OMAHA, OMAHA!’ Peyton Manning’s in Town.  Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning – whose use of the word “Omaha” when barking out audible signals on the gridiron was the subject of much discussion and jocularity last season – visited the city for the 60th Annual B’nai B’rith Charity Sports Banquet on May 15 at Century Link Center.  The event was attended by more than 1,200 people and KOZN, Omaha “1620 The Zone” morning hosts Gary Sharp (left) and Damon Benning (right) got the chance to snap a pic with Manning (center) while welcoming him to the city.

Boko Haram Kidnappings/Militant Islamism Top News/Talk Stories for Week of May 12-16.  Landing atop the Talkers TenTM this week is the kidnapping of the schoolgirls in Nigeria by the militant Islamic group Boko Haram and the U.S.’s role in the situation.  At #2 was the report on Antarctic glacial melt and debate over climate change.  Following at #3 was the 2016 presidential race and the matter of Hillary Clinton’s health and at #4 was the mid-term elections and primary race results.  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.

A Sales Dilemma

| May 15, 2014

Al Herskovitz
H&H Communications
President

 

herskovitzwriterBRADENTON, Fla. — There is a recent U.S. Congressional Report that reveals that the Army National Guard doled out more than $32 million of its marketing and recruiting budget so far this year.  Most of it went to NASCAR coverage – TV, radio, cable, etc.  And, at best, they only could attribute about 3% of it to getting recruits.  A spectacular and costly failure.

Why do ad campaigns fail and what to do about it?  Well, this one fundamentally tanked because of poor research. According to the investigative report, about 90% of NASCAR fans are between 35 and 54 years old.  Not exactly National Guard possibilities when they are seeking 18-to-24-year olds.

There is no question that research is critical.  You must know who your station or show is trying to reach, and, if, in fact, what you are presenting has any chance of reaching them.  Independently syndicated programs boast of the number of their affiliates, then cry mightily when that hard-fought-for ad schedule is canceled or not renewed.  And individual radio stations face a similar dilemma with their local business accounts that include the added obstacle of having to face their home business community.

Read More

Thursday, May 15, 2014

| May 15, 2014

dubosedavidDavid DuBose Exits the EVP/COO Role at SummitMedia.  It was a quiet and unexplained departure but longtime Birmingham media executive David DuBose is no longer the executive vice president and chief operating officer at SummitMedia – the company he co-founded with Carl Parmer.   DuBose had been serving as market manager for Cox Media Group in Birmingham when the Cox stations came up for sale.  DuBose and Parmer formed SummitMedia and purchased the stations in six markets that Cox was selling.  DuBose remains a minority owner of Summit.

reedgregGreg Reed to Manage SummitMedia’s Birmingham Cluster.  Taking on the day-to-day management of SummitMedia’s Birmingham stations as VP/GM is Greg Reed.  His radio career goes back to his start as an AE with CBS RADIO Philly.  He formed Beasley-Reed Broadcasting with George Beasley and purchased WCJX-FM which would become WPOW “Power 96” and become a ratings dynamo.  The company also owned hip hop WJHM, Orlando and sports talk WQAM, Miami.  On joining SummitMedia, Reed comments, “I am very excited to be working with the outstanding team Summit Media Birmingham has assembled.  I am particularly happy to be reunited with SummitMedia SVP/programming Bill Tanner and to work with CEO Carl Parmer.  We all share years of experience and similar operating philosophies which should serve us well.”

larsonkeithKeith Larson Re-Ups with WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte.  Not only will talk show host Keith Larson remain with Greater Media’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte but he’s adding an hour to his program.  Larson, who’s been with WBT since 2002, renews his contract with the station and adds the 9:00 am hour to his late morning show.  He’ll be heard from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon beginning May 22.  Greater Media Charlotte SVP market manager Rick Feinblatt says, “Keith is an important part of the WBT family.  We look forward to him continuing to entertain our outstanding WBT listeners weekday mornings on the station.”

qantum commQantum Communications Swaps Station Portfolio to CCM+E for WALK-AM/FM, Long Island, Then Sells Duo to Connoisseur.  In a carefully arranged deal that takes Qantum out of the radio business.  The company swapping its 29 radio stations in marketswalk logo including Cape Cod; Myrtle Beach; Florence, South Carolina; Brunswick, Georgia; Auburn, Alabama/West Point, Georgia to Clear Channel for WALK-AM/FM, Patchogue, New York (Long Island), currently in the Aloha Station Trust.  It will then sell the two stations to Connoisseur Media.  Qantum president Frank Osborn states, “We are very proud of all that our clusters have achieved.  Each cluster is the leader in its respective market and reflects the talent, dedication and hard work of local management and staff.  We will miss working with them, but felt this unique transaction was in the interests of our stockholders.  It is rare when you find an instance where cooperation among three companies results in higher value for all.”  The deal was brokered by Media Venture Partners.

loeschdanaRadio America’s ‘Dana Show’ Adds Affiliates.  The daily talk show hosted by KFTK-FM, St. Louis-based personality Dana Loesch is added to the program schedule at several new stations including: KXL-FM, Portland; KFQD-AM, Anchorage; WIBW-AM, Topeka; WGKA-AM, Atlanta; WAAM-AM, Ann Arbor; and KNWZ, Palm Springs.  In addition to home base KFTK-FM, St. Louis, Loesch’s show is also heard on Emmis sister station WIBC, Indianapolis.  Loesch, a rising star in the conservative media, began her relationship with syndicator Radio America earlier this year.  She will be a featured speaker a TALKERS New York 2014 on Friday June 20.

sumnertomTom Sumner Show Canceled at WFNT, Flint, Michigan.  The afternoon drive Tom Sumner show at Regent Communications’ news/talk WFNT, Flint has been dropped and replaced with the nationally syndicated Sean Hannity show.  In a story from the Flint Journal, Sumner says there were changes being made at the station that he declined to be a part of, thus ending his two-year tenure with the station.  Sumner tells the paper, “There’s no real controversy to it.  I wasn’t fired, I didn’t quit in a huff or anything.”

herskovitzalA Sales Dilemma.  Radio sales maven Al Herskovitz writes today (5/15) about a couple of particular challenges sales pros face in delivering for their clients.  He notes that sometimes AEs are confronted with taking the money for a buy that will not be effective (for any number of reasons), full well knowing he or she will not be able to come back for a renewal.  Why would the campaign not be effective?  Poor research about the client’s target audience and shoddy execution of the campaign are two reasons.  Read more from Al Herskovitz here.

globalmediaservices logoRadio Pro Tony Garcia Launches Global Media Services.  The new company – Global Media Services – is described as a full service radio offering that supports sales, product and program development, and marketing services.  Tony Garcia’s 30-year radio career includes stops at United Stations, CRN International and RegionalHelpWanted.com.  He is also responsible for the syndication launch of “Bob & Sheri,” radio’s “most successful adultgarciatony contemporary morning show.”  Garcia states, “Global Media Services will specialize in bringing exciting new services and programming into the radio marketplace.  With competition and budget the biggest concern in radio today, Global’s goal is to build a roster of clients whose services will help stations run more efficiently and generate more revenue in both programming and sales.  We’re excited to connect quality products and services with great stations.”  Garcia says services provided include: affiliate sales, access to ad representation, reviewing, critiquing and preparing demos, show/service marketing or packaging, marketing material development, and social media development and execution.  He can be contacted at 303-916-6333.

limbaugh bookRush Limbaugh Wins Children’s Book Award.  The Children’s and Teen Choice Book Awards were handed out on Wednesday evening in New York City as part of the Children’s Book Week and Premiere Networks talk star Rush Limbaugh won Author of the Year for his book Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims: Time-Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans.  The voting comes from a group of about 13,000 students who, according to CNN, “read newly published children and young adult books within their classes through the International Reading Association, in partnership with the Children’s Book Council.”  The Author of the Year and Illustrator of the Year finalists were generated from best-seller lists.  Children voted for their favorites online with help from parents and teachers.

nyfest smallNew York Festivals Announces Radio Program Awards Finalists.  New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards announces the 2014 Finalists for The World’s Best Radio Programs.  The GrandJury panel selected 260 entries submitted from 32 countries.  All Finalists proceed to the medal round to determine Gold, Silver, and Bronze trophies.  World-wide since 1982, NYF’s International Radio Program competition honors the most innovative work in radio broadcasting, receiving entries from radio stations, networks, and independent producers from around the globe.  RTÉ Networks Ireland led this year’s competition with 23 Finalists, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation saw 21 entries move forward, followed by TBI Media United Kingdom with 17 Finalists.  View the list of finalists here.

biakelseychartBIA/Kelsey: Social Media Advertising to Hit $15 Billion by 2018.  It should be no surprise to the radio industry that advertisers are craving space in social media but the latest forecast by BIA/Kelsey indicates how much more money will be spent on the platform over the next several years.  Data shows $5.1 billion was spent in social media advertising in the U.S. in 2013.  BIA/Kelsey expects it to rise to $15 billion by 2018.  The forecast breaks down the social ad spend into two categories: native social advertising (Facebook news feed ads and Twitter promoted tweets), and social display ads.  While display ads account for the largest segment of social advertising — $3.3 billion in 2013 – native social is predicted to eclipse display by 2015.  Here’s the breakdown of the forecast: U.S. social display ad revenues will grow from $3.3 billion in 2013 to $5.6 billion in 2018; U.S. native social advertising will surge to $9.4 billion in 2018, up from $1.8 billion in 2013.  The forecast also presents social advertising revenues by platform: desktop and mobile.  Driven by Facebook and Twitter, U.S. social mobile ad revenues eclipsed $1.5 billion in 2013. U.S. social mobile ad revenues will reach $7.6 billion by 2018, surpassing social desktop for the first time.  BIA/Kelsey VP, consulting Jed Williams says, “We were initially skeptical about the social-mobile market’s ability to capture optimal wallet share because of mobile’s limitations, such as smaller screen size, limited ad inventory and static creative.  Over the past year, however, Facebook, Twitter and other networks have generated dramatic revenue growth, primarily as a function of mobile ad acceleration and largely through natively integrated mobile ad formats.  We expect this growth to continue throughout the forecast period.”  (The chart above shows that progression.) As many have suggested, geotargeting is the next big step for delivering customers to retailers and Williams calls local targeting an emerging capability.  “As social usage further migrates to mobile platforms, the need for locally targeted messages and offers that leverage mobile’s unique capabilities will expand.  We expect social local ad spend to increase steadily through 2018, as SMBs better leverage multi- and micro-targeting to optimize campaigns, and national brands drive more traffic to individual store locations and target consumers with more personalized offers.”  For more on this study contact BIA/Kelsey’s Steve Passwaiter at spasswaiter@biakelsey.com.

ppmunitThird Round of April PPM Data Released.  PPM data from the third of four groups of 12 markets for the April 2014 period (March 27 – April 23) 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.

Odds & Sods.  WXYT-FM, Detroit sports talk personality Doug Karsch joins the pre-game “Tailgate Show” for Michigan Wolverines football.  Karsch has served as sideline reporter in the past and will continue in that role as well…..Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP, Washington has a new station voice in Scott Fisher.  Program director Laurie Cantillo says previous station voice Pat Garrett “accepted a group deal to work with multiple CBS sports stations, which is good for him and an opportunity for us.”  In addition to the new sound, the station is beginning to use the phrase “Washington’s Top News” as a positioning statement.

ramseySLCSalt Lake City Welcomes Dave Ramsey.  Nationally syndicated talk radio star and best-selling author Dave Ramsey (center) took his Legacy Journey LIVE! event to Salt Lake City’s Abravanel Hall on May 14.  The program addressed “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 local affiliate KNRS to promote the event.  KNRS program director Rod Arquette (right) says, “Dave Ramsey is Utah’s financial rock star.  Our listeners and clients love Dave and his team.  With his hilarious wit, Dave takes what could be a boring topic – money – and turns it into something that’s informative, educational and most importantly entertaining.  Utah loves Dave Ramsey!”  Also pictured here is KNRS general sales manager Joyce Wirthlin (left).

Boko Haram Kidnappings, ObamaCare Criticism, 2016 Presidential Race/Hillary Clinton’s Health, Mid-Term Election/Primary Races, Benghazi Probe, NY Time Fires Jill Abramson, and Casey Kasem Search Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/14).  The kidnapping of Nigerian schoolgirls by Boko Haram and criticism of the Nigerian government’s ability to rescue them; ongoing scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the 2016 presidential race and questions about Hillary Clinton’s health; the looming mid-term elections and recent primary race results; the renewed Benghazi probe and Susan Rice’s testimony; the surprise firing of NYTimes executive editor Jill Abramson; and the bizarre search for missing radio legend Casey Kasem were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

| May 14, 2014

naglerharveyCBS’ Harvey Nagler Named RTDNA’s John F. Hogan Award Winner.  Longtime CBS Radio News vice president Harvey Nagler is being honored by the Radio Television Digital News Association with its 2014 John F. Hogan Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes an individual’s contributions to the journalism profession and freedom of the press.  RTDNA executive director Mike Cavender says, “We’re proud to honor one of the driving forces behind radio news in America.  Harvey Nagler is a champion of quality broadcast journalism.”  RTDNA chairman Chris Carl adds, “The format and sound of today’s radio newscasts owe a lot to Harvey Nagler.  The many awards and accolades earned by CBS Radio News are proof that he stands for innovation and integrity.”  The award will be presented on Friday, September 5 at the Excellence in Journalism 2014 national convention, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville.

mutnanskymikeWEEI-FM, Boston Finds Sox, Evening Role for Mike Mutnansky.  When the talent changes take place later this month at Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston, current “Mut and Merloni” co-host Mike Mutnansky will exit that show but remain with the station as host of the station’s Boston Red Sox pre- and post-game shows.  He’ll have a role on the nightly “Planet Mikey” program hosted by Mike Adams as well as hosting his own 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show.  As TALKERS reported earlier this week, Entercom is creating a new midday show called “Middays with MFB” co-hosted by Lou Merloni, former NFL tight end Christian Fauria and New England native and current “970 ESPN Pittsburgh” sports personality and Clear Channel Pittsburgh sports director Tim Benz.  Mutnansky replaces John Ryder in the Red Sox broadcast role effective later this month.  Mutnansky joined WEEI in 2005 as a sports anchor and weekend host.  He became a regular fill-in host for the station’s prime time shows and in 2011 was teamed with former Boston Red Sox infielder Lou Merloni in the midday slot.

compasslogoCompass Media Networks to Serve as Ad Rep for AirKast.  This move puts Compass Media Networks further into the digital sales realm as it will become the national advertising representative and marketer for AirKast’s mobile services and applications to publishers, AirKast logoincluding radio and television stations.  AirKast is a mobile services and platform provider that supports more than 3,000 mobile apps the company reports are launched more than 20 million times per month.  More than 1,100 radio and television stations use AirKast’s mobile platform and technology to publish their streaming audio, and on-demand audio and video content.  AirKast COO Simon Moy comments, “Mobile is the next frontier for radio and television, and it is paramount that stations have a powerful mobile platform that can effectively monetize their programming.  We are thrilled to partner with Compass Media Networks, who will now drive our national sales and deliver additional revenue for our affiliate partners.”

nielsen logoSecond Round of April PPM Data Released.  PPM data from the second of four groups of 12 markets for the April 2014 period (March 27 – April 23) 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.

cowherd studio shotCowherd Hits the Road to Celebrate 10 Years.  Today, ESPN Radio personality Colin Cowherd broadcasts live from Legends Bar in New York City from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm in what is being described as part of the fifth annual ESPN Audio Baseball Tour and in celebration of Cowherd’s 10-year anniversary at ESPN.  Cowherd comments, “It’s The Herd’s 10-year anniversary and spending a day in New York is a great way to celebrate.  And with Ivan Nova going down for the Yankees, I may as well audition to be the Yankees fifth starter while I’m at it.”  Cowherd’s broadcast comes prior to game two of the Subway Series between the New York Mets and Yankees.  He’ll welcome several guests to his show, including veteran Major League Baseball managers Bobby Valentine and Willie Randolph.

wkzologoCool Job Opportunity.  Are you that person at a party?  The one who everybody stops to listen to when you start telling a story?  The most informed person in the room?  If you are, heritage talker WKZO, Kalamazoo wants to provide you the tools to use those talents to get West Michigan’s day started with the information it needs.  Our next morning host will be surrounded by an outstanding news team, a company dedicated to live and local and the freedom to create compelling content every day.  And you’ll do it in a vibrant college town in one of the booming economic regions of the country.  And if you have a young family you need to know about the Kalamazoo Promise.  If you’re passionate about making great radio every day, we want to talk with you.  Send aircheck and resume to Jeremy Lawrence, Brand Manager at jeremy.lawrence@mwcradio.com or snail mail to: WKZO Morning Host Search, 4200 West Main Street, Kalamazoo, MI  49006.  Please, no phone calls.  Midwest Communications is an Equal Opportunity Employer by choice.

Antarctic Glacial Melt Report/Global Warming, Karl Rove’s Hillary Brain Damage Comment, Boko Haram Kidnappings, Donald Sterling CNN Interview, Russian Military Aggression, and Casey Kasem Missing Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/13).  The controversy over global warming on the heels of the recent report about unstoppable Antarctic glacial ice melt; the flap over Karl Rove’s comment that Hillary Clinton may have brain damage; the global effort to return the kidnapped Nigerian school girls and questions about the United States’ classification of Boko Haram; fallout from the Donald Sterling interview on CNN; Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine and Eastern Europe; and the disappearance of radio legend Casey Kasem were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

An Open Letter to Talk Host Michael Smerconish

| May 13, 2014

By Lars Larson
Compass Media Networks/Alpha Broadcasting
Talk Show Host


larsonlars
PORTLAND, OR — Michael, I know you’re trying to squeeze some lemonade out of your career prospects but bashing fellow talk hosts as routinely and regularly lying to listeners isn’t the best way to sell a book or get more audience to a cable news network.

You went on the CBS morning news show last week (documented by the Media Research Center) to hock your wares (a book and a satellite radio show and your new show on CNN) and accused those of us still working in terrestrial radio of LYING to listeners while declaring that you ALWAYS tell the truth.

(CBS host) Gayle King, “I used to listen to these guys, Michael, and say, ‘They can’t possibly believe what they’re saying. It’s just is a way to just rile up the crowd.” (Smerconish) “…yes, that’s exactly the way that I believe that it is.” (Q-King) “Did you always believe what you were saying?” (Smerconish) “I believed what I was saying at all times.”

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

| May 13, 2014

brennanjohnJohn Brennan Upped to Director of Branding and Programming at ‘102.5 The Bone’ in Tampa.  The promotion lifts John Brennan from his content manager position to director of branding and programming at Cox Media Group’s WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone, REAL.RAW.RADIO.”  In this post he’ll be responsible for all programming operations for WHPT, including talent selection, coaching,whptlogo scheduling, imaging, brand development, digital strategy and more.   Cox Tampa VP and market manager Keith Lawless states, “In his previous role as content manager for WHPT, John demonstrated his clear understanding and vision for this unique format.  I am confident in his leadership capabilities and proud to have John in this important role.”  Brennan comments, “I am extremely excited to be named the director of branding and programming for ‘102.5 The Bone.’  ‘The Bone’ is one of the most unique stations in radio, with some of the most polarizing and talented personalities in the world, and I get to work with them every day.  I am honored that Kim Guthrie, Steve Smith and Keith Lawless have such confidence in me to continue the great success of this station.  I feel genuinely lucky to be working for a company that encourages such originality and creativity!”  In addition to his previous content manager position, Brennan was also executive producer of the Mike Calta show.

wgn 90WGN, Chicago Celebrates 90th Anniversary with ‘Walk of Fame.’  As Tribune Company’s WGN, Chicago celebrates its 90th year of service to the market, the station will spend the month of June honoring its history with several commemorative projects, videos, “Throwback Thursday” social media posts, and on-air programming featuring highlights throughout the decades.  The station says the anniversary celebration culminates on Friday, June 27 when Tribune Media unveils the “WGN Radio Walk of Fame.”  Plaques will be installed outside the Allstate Showcase Studio at the Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue.  The 2014 induction will recognize 10 beloved and legendary hosts from the station’s long list of distinguished talent including: Jack Brickhouse, Bob Collins, Roy Leonard, Judy Markey, Spike O’Dell, Kathy O’Malley, Wally Phillips, Milt Rosenberg, Quin Ryan and Orion Samuelson.  Bios and career highlights of the inductees can be found at wgnradio.com.  The ceremony will broadcast live from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm followed by an anniversary special broadcast, “90 years in 90 minutes” from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm.  WGN VP of content Todd Manley says,Our inaugural Walk of Fame class represents all nine decades of WGN Radio’s life in ChicagoWe look forward to honoring even more names who have helped make us the fencepost of conversation for 90 years.”

pittmanbloomberg2Bob Pittman Explains Radio’s Resilience to Bloomberg.  In a piece for Bloomberg TV, Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman says the reason 92% of Americans tune in to radio at least once per week is because good radio operators know the audiences they are trying to reach and present the content in a way that attracts them.  In the piece, he asks Bloomberg’s Cristina Alesci, “Do you think we’re so dumb that we spend hundreds of millions of dollars per year to program radio stations versus just playing the music if that would work?”  The piece also features media experts who address radio advertising and how that is evolving to try to keep revenue coming in as more and more advertisers move ad dollars to digital.  View the three-minute segment here.

wilcoxkatieCC Ups VP of Sales Wilcox to SF Market President Post.  After yesterday’s announcement that longtime market manager JD Freeman would be retiring from the Clear Channel Media + Entertainment San Francisco cluster, the company announces it is promoting vice president of sales Katie Wilcox to the market president position.  Wilcox has been VP of sales since 2009 leading a team of more than 50 sellers, managers and staff to identify opportunities for the seven station cluster.  She comments, “Although I have big shoes to fill, my past experience with my partners in programming and operations give me great confidence that this talented team will continue to thrive in the future.  I am energized by the challenge ahead and look forward to serving the expanding needs of our listeners, clients and staff.”

sheehankevinRed Zebra Inks Kevin Sheehan to Three-Year Extension at ‘ESPN 980’ Washington.  Midday show co-host Kevin Sheehan re-ups with Red Zebra’s WTEM, Washington, DC “ESPN 980” for another three years.  Sheehan works with Thom Loverro on “The Sports Fix” that airs from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm.  VP of programming Chuck Sapienza says,Kevin has become a fixture in Washington, DC radio and his ratings dominance is a testament to his hard work and preparation.”  Sheehan will also continue to host the Official Redskins Pre-Game Show, contribute to the Tony Kornheiser show and co-host “Monday Morning Quarterback” after each Redskins football game.  Red Zebra CEO Rick Carmean adds, “Kevin Sheehan, Thom Loverro, Doc Walker and Brian Mitchell give us one of the strongest midday lineups in the industry.  We are ecstatic to have Kevin in the fold for the next three years.”

larsonlarsAn Open Letter to Michael Smerconish from Lars Larson.  Nationally syndicated and regional talk radio personality Lars LarsonCompass Media Networks and Alpha Media’s KXL, Portland – writes an open letter to SiriusXM and CNN talk media personality Michael Smerconish, criticizing him for  “bashing fellow talk hosts as routinely and regularly lying to listeners.”  Larson writes in response to Smerconish’s recent appearance on CBS TV in which he promotes his new book called Talk: A Novel, the protagonist of which is a conservative talk host who ignores his conscience to get a big syndication deal.  Read Larson’s open letter here.

nielsen logoFirst Round of April PPM Data Released.  PPM data from the first of four groups of 12 markets for the April 2014 period (March 27 – April 23) 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.

malibuThe Connected Car Ain’t Cheap!  As advertisers attempt to follow the consumer to the next hot destination – mobile – the saving grace for traditional media just may be the expense of data.  The Wall Street Journal’s Tom Gara writes about GM’s new option for 4G LTE connectivity in some models that turns your vehicle into a Wi-Fi hot spot.  But it’s not cheap.  Certainly consumers with lots of disposable income may splurge but others are likely to balk at paying up to $50 a month for 5 GB of data on top of their smartphone data plans and other monthly media bills.  There are other options: $5 per day for 200 MB – not good enough for video but fine for surfing the web.  Still, while its possible data may get less expensive down the road, providers are showing no signs of dropping those prices in the near future.  Even though advertisers are feverishly trying to figure out how to reach all those 25-39 year olds glued to their smartphones, the fact that radio is free and easy to use is still what keeps many people tuning in.

dresdalesantanaGetting to the Heart of it with Carlos Santana.  While appearing on ABC’s “Good Morning America” to promote his latest album Corazon, guitar legend Carlos Santana (right) spent some time backstage talking with ABC News Radio’s Andrea Dresdale (left) whose report was available to affiliates.

Timothy Geithner Book, Boko Haram Mass Kidnapping, Ice Melt Prediction/Climate Change, New Benghazi Hearings, NFL Draft, and Donald Sterling CNN Interview Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/12).  Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s memoir and the controversy over interpretations that Geithner was asked to twist the truth about the factors contributing to the federal deficit; the kidnapping of Christian schoolgirls by militant Islamist organization Boko Haram and its request for a prisoner swap with jailed fellow militants; predictions about Antarctic ice melt and the debate over climate change; the effort to hold new hearings on the Benghazi attack; the NFL draft; and the interview Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling gave to CNN’s Anderson Cooper were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

wtmj logoCool Job Opportunity.  Journal Broadcast Group is seeking a part-time producer for WTMJ, Milwaukee’s midday show with Charlie Sykes.  Education:College degree in related field preferredSkills:Excellent verbal and social communication skills; strong radio news background; effective problem-solving abilities; high work ethics, news judgment and production skills; ability to meet deadlines and detail orientation; ability to read and decipher news source material; operate studio equipment; follow program logs; computer proficiency in digital audio programs.  Minimum of one year experience in broadcasting, preferably news/talk radio.  Duties:Assist show planning for midday with Charlie Sykes – including show prep materials, audio production and guest booking; develop and maintain extensive contacts; help communicate show material and coordination with Right Wisconsin staff; maintain station commercial log; facilitate breaking news, severe weather and traffic coverage for southeast Wisconsin.  Send resume and cover letter to: Eric Brooks, Newsradio 620 WTMJ, 720 E. Capitol Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53212Email to: ebrooks@jrn.com.

Meet Ken Rutkowski

| May 12, 2014

Second of two-part special on “Business Rockstars”

Quintessential connected host not stuck in a rut

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief

 

LOS ANGELES — Connoisseurs of the fine art of the interview — and it truly is an art form — relish the opportunity to study Charlie Rose as he masterfully plies his craft nightly on PBS.

Roundtable one-on-one settings featuring the amiable Rose are clinics that more often than not uncover fascinating layers to his intriguing guests.


Amazing Stories

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Monday, May 12, 2014

| May 12, 2014

wyay logo newIt’s Official: Cumulus Shifts WYAY, Atlanta to News/Talk.  As you can see, the official brand still employs the word “news,” but the all-news format is gone as Cumulus Media’s WYAY, Atlanta becomes “Newsradio 106.7.”  The change comes with the debut of the Michael Graham show in the 8:30 to 12:00 noon slot today (5/12).  The other shows that are part of the station’s talk lineup include Cumulus Media’s John Batchelor show which airs from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am and “Red Eye Radio” in thegrahammichael overnight slot.  Both morning drive and afternoon drive will remain news programs.  The station is the home of Atlanta Braves baseball and partners with WAGA-TV “Fox Five” and The Atlanta Business Chronicle.  Cumulus EVP and co-COO John Dickey says, “‘Newsradio 106.7’ is Atlanta’s best resource for in-depth news and compelling, entertaining talk about the things that matter most in our lives.  Our five-star news team, in partnership with ‘Fox Five,’ tells listeners what’s happening locally, nationally and around the world.  Our fresh talk personalities, including Michael Graham and Kim Peterson, help the audience understand, respond and sometimes even laugh about those events.”

kkzn logoProgressive Talk to Disappear from KKZN, Denver.  The story from Clear Channel’s Denver station group is that the progressive talk format on KKZN is ready to be dumped, although an official announcement has yet to be made and what will take its place is not yet known.  KCNC-TV personality Gloria Neal had hosted the evening show on KKZN until last week when she was let go.  She posted on her Facebook page that the format would change and all current hosts would be gone from the station.

rutkowskikenSecond of Two-Part Special on “Business Rockstars” – Meet Quintessential “Connected” Host, Ken Rutkowski.  The second of our two-part series on “Business Rockstars” centers on the host of this daily, two-hour program who has a somewhat similar style to Charlie Rose and adroitly produces the same meaty results, although the centerpiece guests he gets to “hang out with” each day are “very cool people” who — in the business world — turn nothing into something.  “That is the angle I like,” comments “Business businessrockstars logoRockstars” host/co-founder (with Steve Lehman)/co-owner/president Ken Rutkowski.  “How many people can say that almost every one of the 1,500 people they have talked with in the last two years is ‘amazing’?  We have three or four ‘amazing’ guests on every day.”  Some have entire chapters of their life they have never shared, yet Rutkowski — named in 2009 as an intelligence analyst at the Oprah Winfrey Network — elicits nuggets from them.  “They have tips to help people,” he remarks. “By listening to the show, it is almost like getting a nice degree in business — but in a fun way.”  To read part-two of the TALKERS special feature on “Business Rockstars with Ken Rutkowski” by managing editor Mike Kinosian posted today (5/12), please click here.

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh Salutes U.S. Military with Tractor Giveaway.  With Memorial Day 2014 as the backdrop, Premiere Networks talk star Rush Limbaugh is teaming up with Mahindra USA to give away one Mahindra Max 22 tractor to an active duty or veteran of the U.S. military.  The winner will be selected in a random drawing on May 26.  Mahindra USA is an active supporter of the military and offers the “Mahindra Pride Military Appreciation Program,” recognizing the commitment of members of the armed forces.  The Military Appreciation Program offers an extra $200 rebate for active and retired U.S. military personnel with the purchase of a new Mahindra tractor and qualifying implement.  It also supports Operation Finally Home with its “Build To Rise” program, which provides custom-built, mortgage-free homes to our heroes and their families.  Limbaugh states, “I’d like to thank Mahindra, the world’s number-one-selling tractor, for their generosity.  And God bless all of you who protect our freedom.  We are pleased to join with Mahindra USA in giving away one of their spectacular tractors to a deserving active duty or veteran of our military.”

gallaghermikeCrowd-sourced Film Hits Goal on Mike Gallagher Show.  The drive to raise funds by a group of independent filmmakers to produce a film about controversial Philadelphia abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell hits its goal of $2.1 million – three days before their deadlineduring the Mike Gallagher show on Friday, May 9.  Gallagher says,I am so grateful and proud of our listeners who contributed literally tens of thousands of dollars today to help make this important movie a reality.”  Listeners to Gallagher’s program—as well as audiences of fellow Salem Radio Network hosts Bill Bennett, Hugh Hewitt and others—were asked to contribute start-up funds for the projectIf the $2.1 million had not been raised by midnight on May 12, all donations would have been returned to listeners and the film would not have been produced.

merlonilouWEEI-FM, Boston Tweaks Midday Talent.  A change in the midday lineup at Entercom’s sports talk WEEI-FM, Boston as Mike Mutnansky exits the “Mut & Lou” show and will stay with the company in another capacity to be announced later.  Joining Lou Merloni for the new midday show, dubbed “Middays with MFB,” is former NFL tight end Christian Fauria and New England native, 970 ESPN Pittsburgh sportsbenztim personality and Clear Channel Pittsburgh sports director Tim Benz.  The new lineup takes place later this month.  WEEI program director and brand manager Kevin Graham says, “We are thrilled with the new team we have assembled.  This show will be the only sports radio program in New England that offers listeners insight from a former major leaguer and a former NFL player.  When you add in fauriachristianthe sports radio experience of New England native Tim Benz, listeners will hear a brand new sound in the market.”  Fauria played four seasons with the Patriots earning Super Bowl rings at Super Bowl XXXVIII and XXXIX.  More recently Fauria has worked as a college football analyst for CBS, does color commentary for Patriots preseason games locally on WBZ-TV and hosts a pre-and-post-game show during the NFL regular season.  Benz was born in Boston and is a graduate of Syracuse University.  He served as a radio beat reporter for the Pittsburgh Steelers and also worked at stations in Columbus, Salt Lake City and Syracuse.

mohnjarlMohn Moving to NPR as President/CEO.  Current Southern California Public Radio (SCPR) chairman Jarl Mohn is appointed president and chief executive officer of NPR.  When Mohn begins his NPR term in July, he will be succeeding Paul Haaga Jr., who has been acting president/chief executive officer since last year.  NPR board chair/ideastream Cleveland chief operating officer Kit Jensen remarks, “We are delighted to welcome Jarl.  His background as a successful media executive and innovator makes him ideally suited to lead NPR as it continues to expand its reach and play a unique role in public service journalism and cultural programming. Jarl has a deep commitment to the public radio system, love of radio and passion for quality journalism.  He has demonstrated throughout his career a keen ability to identify media and consumer trends.  He has exhibited a strong track record on diversity and fairness.”  According to Mohn, “This is not a job for me – it is a mission.  I love public radio and NPR.  It is a national treasure and it is more important now than ever.  I want to make sure that the NPR staff, the member stations, and the others who make it happen have everything they need to do their best work.”  Mohn was the founding president and chief executive officer of Liberty Digital; president and chief executive officer of E! Entertainment Television (January 1990 – December 1998); executive vice president and general manager of MTV and VH1 (1986 – 1990); and was a WNBC-AM, New York on-air talent in the 1970s.

harrisheidiOdds & Sods.  Las Vegas talk show host Heidi Harris returns to the airwaves in the market hosting a daily, one-hour show on Silver State Broadcasting’s KBET, Las Vegas.  Harris tells TALKERS magazine the show begins this evening (5/12) at 6:00 pm…..At Kirkman Broadcasting’s news/talk WQSC, Charleston, South Carolina, the Bryan Crabtree show expands, adding the 7:00 am hour.  As of June 2, Crabtree’s program will air from 7:00 am to 10:00 am.  He says, “I have spent the past 15 years informing listeners how to solve our communities’ problems and find solutions to society’s challenges.  The response has been incredible andcrabtreebryan humbling.  We will continue to grow our audience in Charleston by focusing on the stories that matter to citizens of the Lowcountry of South Carolina.”…..Beginning July 1, Compass Media Networks becomes the exclusive advertising sales agent for the on-demand audio programming of CBS Radio News.  The programming includes audio podcasts of “60 MINUTES,” “FACE THE NATION,” “Weekend Roundup,” “CBS EVENING NEWS,” “What’s In The News,” “Tech Talk,” “Not Just Another Story” and “Reporters Notebook.”…..CBS RADIO news/talk outlet WCCO-AM, Minneapolis announces an extension in its partnership with the broomheadmikeUniversity of St. Thomas to broadcast Tommie football through the 2016 season.  WCCO-AM’s Dave Lee will continue to provide play-by-play for the Tommies, along with WCCO-AM’s Eric Nelson doing color commentary…..KFYI, Phoenix afternoon host Mike Broomhead partnered with U.S. Senator John McCain to hold a Town Hall meeting on May 9 at which they welcomed Arizona veterans and their families to discuss the Phoenix VA Health Care System and how it has recently affected them.  Case workers from McCain’s staff were on hand to answer questions and to help get veterans the services they need.

katzparadeBonAirKatz Serves as Grand Marshall.  WRVA, Richmond PM drive talk show host Jeff Katz is pictured here with his ride for the Bon Air Victorian Day Parade.  On Saturday, May 10, Katz served as the Grand Marshall for one of the oldest civic parades in Richmond.  Katz tells TALKERS magazine that although the official Grand Marshall’s hat was rather Victorian…the Grand Marshall’s ride, this cool 2014 Mustang convertible, was anything but.

Cool Job Opportunity.  Midwest Communications seeks news directorBelieve it or not there are still rewarding jobs in radio news. WHBL, Sheboygan, Wisconsin is looking for a news director who will be given the freedom to create and the tools to win.  You’ll spend as much time in the field as you do in the newsroom.  Wewhbl logo need someone who is a triple-threat: strong on-air skills, a good reporter, and a good writer.  We set the news standard in our market.  It’s on-air and on our website before it’s in the newspaper.  We do some enterprise reporting.  We do some investigative work.  If you have a passion for news, whether on the radio or online, we want to talk with you.  We offer a competitive salary and a full benefits package.  Send your resume and mp3 to WHBL brand manager Kelly Meyer at: kelly.meyer@mwcradio.com or snail mail to Kelly’s attention at: 2100 Washington Avenue, Sheboygan, WI 53081. No phone calls, please.  Midwest Communications is an Equal Opportunity Employer by choice.  Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

scanlandanRadio News Pro Dan Scanlan Dies.  Radio news pro Dan Scanlan died over the weekend after suffering a heart attack on Saturday morning at his northern Virginia home.  He was 74.  Scanlan’s career included stops at such storied radio news franchises as WINS, New York, AP Radio, Mutual/Westwood One (as both anchor and Senate correspondent), as well as freelance work for CBS Radio and WCBS, New York.  Most recently he was weekend anchor on NBC News Radio.  Earlier in his career he worked at WHYN-AM, Springfield, Massachusetts.

conwaysimonWHO, Des Moines’ Simon Conway Grabs Charity Drive Honors.  In a contest among a number of radio talk show hosts to see who could help raise the most cash for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society sponsored by talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs, WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive personality Simon Conway came in first after raising almost $4,500.  Wachs dubbed her talk host challenge FROST (fundraising radio host).  She says hosts wishing to considered for the next round of FROST, write to her at: doctordaliah@hotmail.com.

Friday, May 9, 2014

| May 9, 2014

cbsradioCBS RADIO Revenue Up 2%.  When CBS Corp. announces its financial numbers, the focus is generally on television, its bread and butter.  The corporation as a whole was down for the first quarter of 2014 – revenue dipped 2.27% compared to the same quarter a year ago on revenue of $3.86 billion – mostly as a result of CBS TV having had the 2013 Super Bowl and having two less NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship tournament games this year.  Underneath it all, radio – part of the Local Broadcasting division that includes CBS TV O&O stations – was up 2% compared to the first quarter of 2013.  During yesterday’s conference call with investors, CEO Les Moonves said the radio division “had a good quarter with steady revenue growth in each month along the way and another strong performance by our CBS Sports Radio Network.”

entercomEntercom Q1 2014 Net Revenue Flat.  Revenue for the first quarter of 2014 was flat at $78.2 million compared to the same quarter in 2013 for Entercom Communications Corp.  In a statement by CEO David Field, he says, “I am pleased to report that free cash flow increased 19% for the quarter.  First quarter revenue was up excluding the effect of our non-renewal of Boston Celtics radio broadcasts, despite the unusually challenging winter weather that impacted many of our markets.  We are increasingly enthusiastic about the radio industry’s future growth outlook based on a number of recent developments, most notably the release of the Nielsen Catalina study which showed radio generating outstanding ROI results across 10 major national brands, significantly outperforming other competitive media.”

parksdarrylDarryl Parks Named SVP of Simply Money Media.  The Cincinnati-based financial advice firm Simply Money airs an hour-long talk radio show on Clear Channel’s WKRC, Cincinnati nightly from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm and when Darryl Parks was still the PD there, he was instrumental in improving the quality of the show, writes the Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Kiesewetter.  Now, months after Parks’ VP of news talk operations position was eliminated by CC, Parks joins the financial firm founded by Nathan Bachrach and Ed Finke.  Bachrach tells the paper Parks’ role is to “help us craft our message and work with all of our media partners – CNBC, The Enquirer, Fox 19 and Clear Channel.”  Parks says, “While I had success doing radio in Cincinnati and other markets, future success will be defined by having expertise across all media.  Simply Money Media allows me to use my skills in audio, but also the skills I had in television, digital and print.”  Read Kiesewetter’s piece here.

edisonresearchEdison-Triton ‘Moms & Media 2014’ Spotlights Mobile Usage.  The “Moms & Media 2014” data presented at the Thursday, May 8 webinar by Edison Research and Triton Digital was culled from the larger “Infinite Dial 2014” study presented by the firms in March.  Much of what was presented was not surprising – but it put some hard numbers on what savvy media industry players already suspect.  Primarily, it’s that “moms” – defined as a woman having a child under 18 living in her household – are very attached to their mobile devices and are relying on them more and more.  Some stats: the majority of moms (59%) are 35+; 60% are employed either full or part time; and 69% own a smartphone (compared to 36% of moms who owned a smartphone in 2011).  Some relevant stats for radio operators include: 30% of moms have ever listened to online radio (including AM/FM streams) using a smartphone through a car audio system; 56% have listened to online audio in the past month; and they averaged 12 hours and 4 minutes listening to online radio during the week previous to the study.  Check out the slide presentation here.

misw logoGender Analysis Study Released.  The Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group (MIW) provides the data that is based on information from well over 11,000 AM and FM stations.  According to the study, roughly 18% of those 11,000+ facilities had women general managers this past year, basically flat from 2012 (17.8% – 17.7%).  By way of further comparison, it was 14.9% in 2004. Breaking it out by market size, 17.7% of managers in top 100 markets (virtually mirroring the entire sample) were female in 2013, versus 16.8% in 2012. Spokesperson Kay Olin notes that, “The MIWs have been analyzing and publishing gender numbers for the past 14 years.  It is important to track the upward growth and impact of women’s leadership in radio.  It is always encouraging to see the number of management opportunities grow.  We all can make a difference through mentoring and nurturing future leadership.”  For whatever reason, it is still easier to find female general managers than it is to locate women program directors.  Figures from the past few years regarding women PDs remain fairly consistent – in the one in 10 range.  The most recent numbers show females program 11% of all stations in the country; eight years ago, it was 10.7%.  There is actually a bit of a year-to-year decline though when the numbers are separated in the top 100 markets only.  Women in metros of that size could be found occupying programming chairs in 11% of cases in 2013, off from 11.8% in 2012.

quarmjuliegalleyMcGavren Guild Names Quarm Dallas Region VP/DOS.  Former Katz Radio Group senior account executive Julie Galley Quarm is appointed vice president/director of sales for McGavren Guild‘s Dallas office and will oversee all sales for the independent media rep firm’s clients in that part of the Lone Star State.  President/chief executive officer Kevin Garrity declares, “This is a major hire for McGavren Guild and Genesis Media Holdings as we continue to build one of the strongest teams in radio sales.  Julie is a very talented executive with great relationships and a stellar track record of developing new business.  She will play an integral role in helping our client stations grow their revenue and share.”  Quarm comments that, “Under the strong leadership of Kevin Garrity, McGavren Guild is a terrific company with a very bright future.  It was an easy decision for me to be a part of the team that will grow key client relationships and develop new opportunities in the Dallas/Fort Worth region.”  Prior to joining Katz Radio Group, Quarm was an Interep senior account executive; network account coordinator at Premiere Radio Networks; and senior scheduling coordinator at Nielsen Media Research.

mcmanusadamMcManus Seeing Major Fill-In Duty.  San Antonio-based talk show host Adam McManus tells TALKERS he has been doing a ton of guest hosting lately.  During spring break, he broadcast for Chris Krok on Cumulus-owned WBAP, Dallas in mid-March.  Later that month he sat in for Joe Walsh on Salem Communications’ WIND, Chicago.  In addition to a recent fill-in gig for KTSA, San Antonio’s Sean Rima, McManus has been hosting the morning drive show on KTSA after the tragic death of morning personality Trey Ware’s son Justin.  Reach out to McManus at TalkRadioAdam@gmail.com.

Odds & Sods.  WTAG, Worcester morning drive host Paul Westcott fills in this evening (5/9) on Premiere Networks‘ “America Now with Andy Dean.”…..At Rocking M Radio, Will Sterrett comes aboard to serve as corporate news director.  He’ll work from home base country/farm KXXX, Colby, Kansas where he’ll also be news director.  Sterrett was most recently an anchor at Cumulus Media’s news/talk KCMO, Kansas City…..The New York Daily News is reporting that Spero Dedes will not return as the voice of New York Knicks basketball on ESPN O&O WEPN-FM, New York.  His contract was not renewed by MSG Network.  He joined the Knicks in 2011 after working for the Los Angeles Lakers…..Joining the affiliate relations team at America’s Talk Radio Network is David Reeder.  His previous experience includes managing the radio group Marsh Broadcasting and serving as VP/GM at USA Radio Network…..“America Tonight” personality Kate Delaney sits in for GCN-syndicated Jason Lewis on Monday, May 12.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “Free Talk Live” featuring Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is added to the weekend program schedule at KMYC, Yuba City, California and KLID, Poplar Bluff, Missouri adds the weeknight edition of the program…..Genesis Communications Network-syndicated “America Tonight” with Kate Delaney is added to the program schedule at WQXL, Columbia, South Carolina.

boomer14draftBoomer & Pals Celebrate NFL Draft.  A big party was thrown by WestwoodOne at Boomer Esiason’s Stadium Grill at Bowlmor Lanes in Times Square, New York City on Thursday evening prior to the beginning of the 2014 NFL Draft.  In addition to serving as analyst on WestwoodOne’s coverage of Monday Night Football, Esiason is also morning drive co-host on CBS RADIO’s WFAN-AM/FM, New York alongside Craig Carton.  Pictured here are (from left to right): Esiason, WestwoodOne sports announcers Scott Graham and James Lofton.

Climate Change/New Power Plant Regulations Top News/Talk Stories for Week of May 5-9.  Stiffer power plant emissions regulations and the controversy over climate change were the two stories that tied for most-talked-about on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Coming in at #2 was the Monica Lewinsky Vanity Fair article.  At #3 was the potential 2016 presidential candidates tied with mid-term election chatter and following at #4 was the Boko Haram kidnappings.  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.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View the entire chart here.

Biz Biggies Rock On

| May 8, 2014

The colorful history and present-day innovation of industry entrepreneur Steve Lehman

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief

 

LOS ANGELESSeveral enterprising Los Angeles radio station employees in the mid-1980s ingeniously laid the foundation for what would become one of the most renowned, esteemed radio syndication companies this medium has witnessed.

Generally corroborated is that the initial investment for Premiere Radio Networks was a modest $30,000, which in turn helped to trigger first-year advertising billing for the novice venture in the neighborhood of $2 million.

By any standard, that qualifies as an ultra-impressive, if not eye-popping, startup. More than a quarter of a century later, that figure has ballooned by 200 times.

As a result, it is perhaps not one bit surprising that one of the chief architects of that empire again has his creative juices flowing with a project involving the fates and fortunes of fellow industrialists.

Read More

Thursday, May 8, 2014

| May 8, 2014

hannityseanMovement Afoot to Curtail Media’s Free Speech?  In a story by Paul Bedard of the Washington Examiner, he writes that Federal Elections Commissioner Lee E. Goodman warns there is brewing sentiment within the FEC to support changing the exemption that the media enjoys regarding support of political candidates and/or issues.  Goodman tells the paper, “I think that there are impulses in the government every day to second guess and look into the editorial decisions of conservative publishers.”  The piece cites Premiere Networks talk star Sean Hannity and the movie division of Citizens United for effectively endorsing candidates.  As the story notes, all media currently enjoys the right to endorse candidates and promote them without being subject to limits or disclosure requirements.  It’s unlikely that such a move would pass legal muster but Goodman’s comments to the Examiner indicate frustration with conservative media on the part of liberal staffers at the FEC.

perryjenniferJennifer Perry Exits WYAY, Atlanta.  The former WGST, Atlanta afternoon news anchor had been the news director at Cumulus Media’s all-news WYAY “All News 106.7” since its inception as a news station 16 months ago, but now the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports Perry is leaving the station for a position outside the radio biz.  The move coincides with the station’s addition of another talk show that begins Monday, May 12 – this one featuring Michael Graham in the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot – to what had been a true all-news format.  There’s no indication the programming changes were part of Perry’s decision to exit.  Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson has been hosting a show from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm since last fall.  Ho also reports that he hears the station will change its handle from “All News 106.7” to “NewsRadio 106.7” in the near future.

iheartradio newCCM+E Teams with Grupo Radio Mexico for iHeartRadio Hispanic Network.  It was a natural progression given Clear Channel Media + Entertainment’s existing relationship with Grupo Radio Mexico syndicating “El Show Del Mandril” via Premiere Networks, but the additional ventures announced today (5/8) take the relationship much deeper.  The launch of the iHeartRadio Hispanic Network will mean listeners to the digital entertainment platformgruporadiomexico will be able to hear Grupo Radio Centro, Grupo Radio Mexico stations and “El Show Del Mandril.”   Grupo Radio Mexico owns and operates 51 radio stations across multiple formats in 13 Mexican markets — including the leading station cluster in Monterrey and Guadalajara.  As part of the deal, beginning later this year, iHeartRadio will become the exclusive digital ad sales provider for these market-leading Mexican stations.  In what CC is calling an industry first, it will replace all local Mexican station ads with consumer-targeted U.S. ads and that this also marks the first time iHeartRadio will provide U.S. listeners with radio broadcasts from leading stations throughout the Mexico Republic.  GRC chairman and CEO Francisco Aguirre says, “This is the second step in the groundbreaking partnership between our two companies.  Bob Pittman and I share a vision to expand both companies beyond their respective borders in a very fast paced and evolving digital landscape.  Our Mexico stations are market leaders across all demographics and we look forward to their natural expansion in the U.S. through the iHeartRadio Hispanic Network.”

lehmansteveBiz Biggies Rock On — The Colorful History and Present-Day Innovation of Industry Entrepreneur Steve Lehman.  Actually there are two stories here.  One is the colorful history about the birth and early days of Premiere Networks which was launched by noted industry entrepreneur Steve Lehman and his partners Tim Kelly, Louise Palanker, and Ed Mann in the mid-1980s and went on to become one of network radio’s greatest successes.  The second story is about the more recent launch of an extremely innovative multi-media, radio-based syndicated program called “Business Rockstars,” hosted by brilliant business expert and organizer of billionaires, Ken Rutkowski.  What is the connection between these two stories?  Steve Lehman.  In a fascinating two-part special feature written by TALKERS managing editor/west coast bureau chiefBusiness Rockstars Logo Mike Kinosian, we are taken on a radio journey that spans three decades from the early days of modern syndication and consolidation to today’s leading edge of multi-platform talk radio. “I saw the need for something that was not ‘old politics’ on talk radio,” declares Lehman, who was fascinated by an article that indicated there are 30 million “wantrepreneurs” in the United States. “I thought that is a great audience to try to educate and to entertain about something I am passionate about — entrepreneurship. ‘Business Rockstars’ is an entrepreneurial business platform that is driven by radio, television, and social media. Those are the springboards to the monetization model, which is live events, content and product sales, and membership.”   Part one begins today (5/8).  Read it by clicking here.

wheelchristianCRN Digital Talk Syndicates ‘Let’s Talk Tech.’  The weekly radio program “Let’s Talk Tech” with host Christian Wheel is now being syndicated nationally by CRN Digital Talk Radio.  The program airs live Saturdays 8:00 pm ET from home base KFWB, Los Angeles.  The show is described as covering everything from “smartphones to the internet, home theater to security, software to digital cameras.”  CRN CEO Michael Horn says, “Christian is fluent in things called ‘C/C++,’ ‘Visual Basic’ and ‘x86 assembly.’  But more important, he’s fluent in radio.  Christian explains tech-related topics so everyone can understand and enjoy them.”

ldrlogoHelp for the Industry from the Experts at LDR Interactive.  The company says that it is launching its #Engage Blog to offer “broadcast solutions to motivate, measure and monetize your audience.”  LDR Interactive says the #Engage Blog shares “perspectives from the leadership team behind the Listener Driven Radio phenomenon and the growing TopicPulse real-time social measurement platform.”   The LDR #Engage Blog will feature insights on motivating, measuring, and monetizing audience engagement by offering a behind-the-scenes look at some of the most successful implementations of real-time, social, local, mobile, and interactive programming across LDR’s partner stations.  LDR says it  will also share unique perspectives from its world-class team of software engineers, broadcast managers, sales managers, and programmers.  Blog posts have been published by CEO, Daniel Anstandig; director of sales, Tracy Gilliam; and TopicPulse support and client services manager, Dana Hall.

sullivanchuckSullivan Heads to Brew Town with Entercom.  From his most recent gig with Cumulus Media in Mobile, Chuck Sullivan heads north to the Dairy State to serve as VP/GM for Entercom’s Milwaukee cluster, taking over for Michael Keck who left for opportunities in the Twin Cities.  Sullivan will oversee CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM,” hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix,” and sports talk WSSP “Sports Radio 1250.”  He says, “I couldn’t be more excited about this tremendous opportunity.  Entercom Milwaukee has some of the most powerful and iconic brands, from ‘Kiss FM,’ the most-listened-to station in Wisconsin, to ‘99.1 the Mix’ and ‘SportsRadio 1250.’”

mariottijayOdds & Sods.  The Ayn Rand Institute announces it will begin producing a weekly, two-hour talk radio program hosted by executive director Yaron Brook.  In addition to seeking AM/FM affiliates, the program will air on the digital Liberty Express Network and the Ayn Rand Institute’s own site, aynrand.org.   The show debuts June 9…..Sports talk personality Jay Mariotti expands his digital reach by joining with PodcastOne for distribution of his daily show.  Mariotti’s program is heard via Genesis Communications Network and on his own Mariottishow.com platform…..Lisa Namerow, former SVP of strategic partnerships and audio monetization at Slacker Radio is joining XAPPmedia as senior vice president of business development and publisher relations for the company that provides an interactive audio advertising service.

nielsen logoNielsen to Make Cuts at Three Call Center Locations.  The Baltimore Sun reports that Nielsen will make cuts to its call-out workforce at locations in Sarasota, Florida; Radcliffe, Kentucky and Columbia, Maryland.  The paper reports the call center cuts are part of the company’s efforts to consolidate operations since the acquisition of Arbitron by Nielsen last year.  Though no filing with the Maryland State Department of Labor has been reported, filings have been made in Florida and Kentucky with cuts of 220 and 237 workers being made respectively.

radioonelogoNet Revenue Up 12.1% at Radio One; Liggins Cautious.  The financials from Radio One, Inc. for the first quarter of 2014 are in and the company reports net revenue was approximately $111.1 million, an increase of 12.1% from the same period in 2013.  It reported a net loss of approximately $25.2 million or $0.53 per share compared to $18.1 million or $0.36 per share theligginsalfred same period a year ago.  Radio One president and CEO Alfred Liggins III says, “Reflective of the broader economy, we experienced a slowdown in revenue growth in Q1.  Adjusting for timing differences on major events, consolidated revenue was up by 5.4% compared to Q1 2013.  Looking across the segments, TV One achieved its highest-ever show ratings, with the “NAACP Image Awards Show.”  However, the benefits of the NAACP partnership will be felt over the longer term as during the first quarter, TV One had higher programming amortization associated with the initial telecast of the Image Awards.  Our internet business continued its profitable trajectory and had robust 27.6% revenue growth year-over-year.  Looking ahead, core radio revenue is currently pacing down mid-single digits for the second quarter, but we anticipate markets picking up momentum in the second half of the year as political spending ramps up.”

harrisondickeyCMW14Lew Dickey Is “Bullish on the Stick” – Shares Insights into the Big Picture of Cumulus Media’s Corporate Strategy at Canadian Music Week.  In a “Fireside Chat” between Cumulus Media president/CEO Lew Dickey and Talkers/RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison held during the opening sessions of an international radio summit in Toronto, the head of the America radio industry’s second largest group said that he is “bullish” on radio when asked where the stick stands within his company’s long-term strategy.  The 40 minute-conversation took place at 9:30 am Wednesday (5/7) at “Radio Interactive: International Radio Summit” held as part of this week’s ongoing multi-media festival, “Canadian Music Week.”  Dickey made the comment when asked by Harrison how Cumulus plans to balance its attention between the traditional AM/FM federally licensed platform (the “stick”) and all of its many digital age assets. Harrison asked, “Considering the massive amount of capital you have invested in traditional radio, is there the danger of a conflict between the stick and your other media?  More importantly, how do you feel about the future of the traditional radio station in general in this rapidly changing environment?”  Dickey responded that – yes, “times have changed in the past five years alone faster than ever and will probably change even faster in the coming five years” but he is nonetheless “bullish on the stick” and that all of Cumulus Media’s projects and multi-media endeavors are based upon the foundation and strength of traditional radio.  He said, “What we are doing is building upon our radio assets as the foundation of our larger media reach, always keeping in mind the importance of radio as the base of this larger system.”  Dickey went on to say that he personally believes in the uniqueness, importance and future of radio as a vital audio medium and has great respect for the basics that drive its success – music, entertainment, information and especially talent.  He summed it up stating, “In today’s media marketplace, the size of your reach counts.  You can’t effectively compete with emerging and already-existing giants such as Google with limited audience reach – that’s why you have to be able to provide advertisers with a large, multi-media package for maximum exposure which even includes magazines that we have among our assets.  That does not mean we do not value the tremendous importance of radio or the radio station in particular.  It is just that the ability of each station to compete effectively is enhanced when it is connected to a larger set of platforms increasing the reach we can provide to advertisers.”  Acknowledging Harrison as one of the industry’s leading experts on talk radio, he praised the importance of the format “in its broader definition” – even as it applies to music radio — stating, “Talk radio is more than just the political talk that many tend to narrow it down to when referring to the format.  Talk radio is all over the radio in many different forms…it appears on rock and pop music radio as morning shows, it’s in the all-news broadcasts…it is certainly in sports talk and it is our very act of talking that makes radio programming of all formats really work.”  When Harrison complained that there doesn’t seem to be the same level of format innovation today as there was in the past – and that he can’t see how radio can survive if its owners and managers think today’s formats can exist in a ‘snapshot’ and not be replaced by new ones, especially when these rapidly changing times demand it, Dickey smiled and said, “You must have been a fly on the wall at one of our recent corporate meetings!  I specifically asked the question, ‘When was the last time we’ve seen a significantly new format emerge in radio?’  There is no doubt this is a concern that we care about greatly.  However, I want to point out that we have good programming people on our team and we encourage them to be creative in this regard.”  Dickey added, “However, keep in mind, formats DO evolve as the times demand… it is just not always as noticeable as the debut of brand new formats that mark a departure from those that came before them.”  Harrison asked Dickey about audience measurement stats and his view of the PPM in particular to which he responded that “PPM would be far more accurate if we had a larger sample and until that day we have to deal with the potential of large fluctuations that can cause problems especially when dealing with tight margins within the rankings of stations.”  When asked if he counters that with some emphasis on qualitative selling in addition to the quantitative approach – especially on the local level, Dickey responded, “Even on the local level advertisers want data – we are living in an age in which data and measurement play a critical role in just about everything.  So even in situations in which there are no ‘ratings’ per se, it is incumbent upon the sales force to come up with information that conveys something measurable.”  Immediately following the conversation with Dickey, Michael Harrison was asked how he felt it went to which he responded, “That guy is one smart dude!”  Prior to facilitating the chat with the Cumulus head, Harrison delivered the conference’s keynote address titled, “Staying Iconic in the New Pop Culture,” in which he reiterated his basic principles that for music radio to maintain its standing in society it must reclaim ownership of the music culture and not stray from the basic tenets of entertainment, magic, humanity and caring – trusting its future as much on instinct and courage as on research and fear.

Global Warming/Clean Air Act, Boko Haram Kidnappings, Monica Lewinsky Vanity Fair Piece, 2016 Presidential Race/Mid-Term Elections, House Holds Lois Lerner in Contempt, and Russian Aggression in Ukraine Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/7).  The Obama Administration’s push for tougher regulations on power plant emissions and the debate over global warming; the global community’s response to the capture of Nigerian school girls by the militant Islamist group Boko Haram; Monica Lewinsky breaks her silence about affair with President Bill Clinton; the potential candidates for president in 2016 and this fall’s mid-term elections; former IRS official Lois Lerner found in contempt by House; and continued concerns about Russian aggression in Ukraine were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

| May 7, 2014

callewaertcoreyCory Callewaert Named PD at CC’s Bay Area News/Talkers.  Bay Area talk radio pro Cory Callewaert is promoted from his assistant program director post at Clear Channel’s San Francisco cluster to PD of news/talk outlets KKSF “Talk 910” and KNEW “960 The Patriot.”  The latter station is largely conservative syndicated fare – Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Andy Dean – while KKSF features local and regional programming with Armstrong & Getty (based at KSTE, Sacramento), Frosty Stillwell in middays and Gil Gross hosting PM drive.  Callewaert’s experience in the market includes a stint with CBS RADIO co-hosting the Cory & Lex show at former hot talker KIFR-FM “106.9 Free FM” and two years as APD at KKSF and KNEW from 2003 to 2005.  He rejoined Clear Channel San Francisco in 2009.

rogersmikeNYT Magazine Spotlights Rogers, Huckabee and Political Talk Radio.  In a piece by Mark Liebovich in The New York Times Magazine, current Fox News Channel/former WestwoodOne talk show host Mike Huckabee and soon-to-be WW1 talk personality (and current House Intelligence huckabeemikeCommittee chair) Mike Rogers (R-MI) chat about talk radio and politics.  Rogers recounts meeting Cumulus Media CEO Lew Dickey at WJR, Detroit personality Paul W. Smith’s wedding.  The two chatted and Dickey asked if he’d ever considered getting into talk radio.  The rest, as they say, is (developing) history.  Both he and Huckabee offer comparisons between politics and media and Huckabee sums it up telling Liebovich “If you have more votes than the other guy, you win; if not, you lose.” Same with ratings. “Anybody who thinks, Oh, I’m really smart and articulate, good for me…if he doesn’t have people who watch and listen to him, he’s gone.”  Read the whole story here.

raydottieKXIC, Iowa City’s Dottie Ray to Retire.  Iowa City radio personality Dottie Ray is retiring from Clear Channel’s KXIC “Iowa City’s News & Sports Leader” after a career that has spanned 64 years in the market.  Ray hosts her daily eponymous show from 8:45 am to 9:00 am.  The station says she began broadcasting her fifteen-minute program back in 1950 and since then has informed listeners about local organizations, artists and events.  She has interviewed thousands of guests over the years, always focusing her program on the Iowa City community and non-profit organizations.  To celebrate her contributions to the community, AM-800 KXIC will be broadcasting one final interview with Dottie Ray, flipping the microphone around to ask Dottie about her career.  KXIC morning host Jay Capron will conduct the interview on Tuesday, May 13.  The entire 9:00 am hour will be dedicated to Ray, with several special surprises planned for the program.  CCM+E Iowa City OM JJ Cook says, “She is an amazing lady and a very passionate and involved broadcaster.  Dottie is a true Iowa City icon and I’m lucky to have had the pleasure of working with her for the past 11 years.”

entercomEntercom Introduces SmartReach Digital.  Headed up by Stephen Gibbons, the Entercom division is intended to help local businesses navigate digital marketing options.  Gibbons most recently was vice president of marketing and vice president of national sales at Dex One.  Entercom president and chief executive officer David Field states that, “SmartReach Digital is an exciting and important expansion of our company’s product line and a perfect complement to our core radio business.  Our goal is to be the preferred choice to meet the advertising and marketing needs of our local customers.”  The new division will focus on designing and implementing integrated digital marketing strategies for local businesses.  It will offer a number of products and services that “enable local businesses to attract, activate, and engage targeted leads.”  Field adds, “We believe our new SmartReach Digital products will bolster our ability to deliver powerful and effective solutions for our customers.”  As of April 1, SmartReach Digital has debuted in six Entercom markets; over the next 12 months, it will be rolled out in other markets where the company owns stations.

cbssportsradiologoNFL Draft Day Draws Radio Coverage.  The National Football League’s annual draft has become one of the sport’s prime events and – especially since it moved from being held exclusively on the weekend to the first two days happening on a Thursday and Friday – it’s become a major event for radio coverage as well.  CBS Sports Radio announces it will be on hand and broadcasting live from Radio City Music Hall in New York to its more than 300 affiliate stations.  The network says evening duo Chris Moore and Brian Jones of “The Mojo Show” will be live from 6:00 pm to 12:00 midnight ET for round one of the draft and from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm on Friday for rounds two and three.  CBS Sports Radio overnight host Damon Amendolara will serve as reporter. nbcsportsradio logo Over at NBC Sports Radio and WestwoodOne, that network’s Scott Graham will westwoodone logoanchor the coverage with updates and one-on-one interviews throughout the night.  Donovan McNabb will co-host “Under Center with McNabb & Malone” from Radio City.  Later that evening, NBC Sports Radio crew of Jon Stashower, Amani Toomer, and Eytan Shander will go live with features, special reports, and expert analysis.  NBC Sports Radio is a joint venture between NBC Sports and WestwoodOne.  CBS Sports Radio is repped by WW1.

salemcommunicationsSalem Communications Reports Q1 2014 Revenue Up 12%.  But that big hike includes the recent acquisition of Eagle Publishing, as CEO Ed Atsinger noted during the investors conference call yesterday.  Atsinger says the company is very bullish on the acquisition of Eagle and what it can mean to the company’s multi-platform efforts.  More on that shortly, first the numbers.  Salem’s broadcast division was up 5.4% while its internet and e-commerce division revenue rose 32.9% and the publishing division went up 44%.  Breaking down the radio numbers a bit, Atsinger said, “Forty of our radio stations are in the foundational Christian teaching and talk format.  These stations contributed 45% of total broadcast revenue and increased 4% for the quarter.  Advertising revenue was up 9% while block programming on this format was up 3%. We have 27 stations in news/talk and they increased 16% for the quarter, due to an increase in santorumbookpolitical revenue.  Overall, these stations contributed 17% of total broadcast revenue.”  Back to the integration of publishing with broadcasting, Atsinger says the addition of Eagle and imprint Regnery dovetails nicely with its stations’ conservative philosophy as well as with its digital properties including TownHall.com, HumanEvents.com and RedState.com.  He said Regnery just published the book Blue Collar Conservative by former senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum – its first significant title – and it used its nationally syndicated news/talk shows and digital assets to plug the book.  Regarding this, Atsinger says, “This marketing approach we think will help us boost sales, but I think it will also regularly provide additional leverage in terms of being competitive for signing up new attractive offers.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript.  Members can read the whole transcript here.

ordwayglennOdds & Sods.  The new radio play-by-play voice of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars is Frank Frangie, who replaces Brian Sexton as the team switches from former flagship WOKV-AM/FM to Seven Bridges Radio-owned sports talker WJXL “1010XL.”  Sexton had called all 392 games in the franchise’s history.  He’ll move to jaguars.com where he’ll serve as senior correspondent.  Former Jaguars players Jeff Lageman and Tony Boselli will remain in the game-day booth as analysts…..Boston sports talk personality Glenn Ordway reports the app for his internet radio show is now available.  The “Big Show Unfiltered” app makes its debut just months after Ordway launches his venture Sportstalkboston.com…..Former WNTA, Rockford, Illinois talk host Doug McDuff lands across the Illinois-Wisconsin border at WTJK, Janesville “The Big AM 1380” to host the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show, according to mystateline.com.  WTJK is owned by Good Karma but is being operated by Big Radio under an LMA with the sale of the station to Big Radio pending.

Global Warming Debate, 2016 Presidential Race/Monica Lewinsky Interview, Obama Economic Legacy, Benghazi Aftermath, and Russian Aggression in Ukraine Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/6).  The reignited debate over climate change and the Obama Administration’s policy regarding power plant emissions; the 2016 presidential race and Monica Lewinsky’s piece in Vanity Fair in which she goes public about her affair with President Bill Clinton; the tepid U.S. economy and the Obama Administration’s fiscal legacy; continued investigation into the deadly Benghazi attack; Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and fears other former Soviet bloc nations have about Vladimir Putin’s motives were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

| May 6, 2014

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh’s Camp Responds to Media Matters Piece.  The consumer media war against conservative talk radio – led by Media Matters for America – has, in general, not seen a lot of pushback from the program hosts themselves and the producers of the shows.  But Premiere Networks-syndicated Rush Limbaugh, the chief target of criticism, fired back at Media Matters after a piece by its senior fellow Eric Boehlert was published in The Huffington Post that proclaimed Limbaugh’s program a ratings failure in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York.  Limbaugh program spokesperson Brian Glicklich penned a response to Boehlert’s piece in which he takes Boehlert to task for, primarily, publishing the three stations’ weekly AQH numbers with the implication they are Limbaugh’s numbers before clarifying that later in his piece.  He then adds his statistics about changes in Limbaugh’s ratings on those outlets.  With just four months under his belt on these stations, one thing is for sure: Limbaugh is still the primary target for Media Matters and scrutiny of the these signals is something the industry will see a lot of over the next year or so.

sabowalterYou’re Here Because of Ben Hoberman.  The recent passing of Ben Hoberman – the architect of KABC-AM, Los Angeles’ talk format in the early 1960s – has caused some of the industry’s great thinkers to look back at what made KABC and Hoberman so successful.  Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo writes today in TALKERS (5/6) that Hoberman understood the basic premise behind great talk radio: It’s a show.  Sabo also says Hoberman followed a number of other prescriptions for success, including these two: He invested in new technology and he embraced fresh, often outrageous talent.  Read Walter Sabo’s entire piece here.

paiajitFCC Commissioner Ajit Pai Address AM Revitalization and Cross-Ownership Rules at PAB Meeting.  At the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters meeting in Hershey on Monday (5/5), FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai told the assembly that he wants to implement the workable aspects of the Commission’s AM revitalization program by the fall.  He told the gathering, “Small broadcasters and large broadcasters alike want to revitalize AM radio.  So do civil rights organizations and those favoring increased ownership diversity.  Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, the list goes on.  Indeed, I’ve been amazed by the chord that AM revitalization has struck throughout the United States.  When I made this proposal in September 2012, I never imagined the response we would receive…Time isn’t on the side of this grand old band, so let’s commit ourselves to getting this done by Halloween.  Our proposals will not be a panacea for the real problems confronting AM broadcasters.  But they will help.  For example, I’ve heard from numerous AM broadcasters desperate for FM translators.  That’s why we need to move forward with an FM translator window designed for AM broadcasters.  If the FCC acts soon, that window could open next year.  In addition to asking for comment in our NPRM on specific proposals, the Commission also solicited other ideas on how to improve the AM band, both in the short term and the long term.  And we received many suggestions from station owners, engineers, and listeners.  We need to sort through them and figure out which ones merit action and which ones need further study.  Beginning this summer, I plan to hold a series of meetings with stakeholders to discuss these proposals.  And I invite you to participate.  If you have an idea for revitalizing the AM band, don’t be shy. It’s not too late to tell us what you think.”  Regarding the cross-ownership rules, Pai is realistic about what can be accomplished, stating, “Unless the courts intervene, I see no prospect that the FCC will bring all of its media ownership rules into the 21st century in the next couple of years.  But I do see a glimmer of hope when it comes to the newspaper-radio ownership ban.  The Commission has signaled an openness to getting rid of this anachronism.  And as the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu put it, ‘a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.’”

wcpt logoNewsweb Radio to Change Programming on Two Chicago FMs.  The programming on two of the four stations currently airing Newsweb Radio’s progressive talk programming will cease and begin airing a Polish-language format under a time-brokerage deal.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder has the story and he reports WCPT-FM, Arlington Heights at 92.7 and WCPQ-FM, Park Forest at 99.9 will begin airing the Polski.FM-branded format on June 2.  Newsweb Radio president Charley Gross tells Feder the move will allow the company to focus progressive talk on its 820 AM flagship, 92.5 FM (which covers mainly the western suburbs and northwest Illinois) and its webstream while providing a source of revenue from the other two stations.

sagaSaga Communications Net Income Down 9%.  Although the company’s net operating revenue was up by 0.8% with $29,423,000 realized in the first quarter of 2014, net income for Saga Communications was down 9% from $2,949,000 in 2013 to $2,439,000 this year.  Saga’s long term debt dropped from $58,828,000 during the same period in 2013 to $46,078,000 in 2014.

millerstephanieOdds & Sods.  Changes in weekend programming at Cumulus Media’s news/talk KSFO, San Francisco put an end to Barbara Simpson’s weekly show…..Clear Channel adds a little FM strength to the market coverage of news/talk WRVA, Richmond.  The formerly dark translator W253BI, licensed to Glen Allen, Virginia at 98.5 FM, gives WRVA more potential coverage in the northern part of the market…..The “Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour” presented by WYD Media nationally syndicated talk media personality Stephanie Miller rolls into Albuquerque for a show at Popejoy Hall on Saturday, May 10.  Miller, along with fellow performers John Fugelsang and Carlos Alazraqui, will also do a show in Minneapolis on June 7.

sciannapaulScianna Named BRN Director of Communications & Marketing.  That is a brand new title for Bott Radio Network and the one landing it is Paul Scianna, founder/executive director of the first Missouri-based Family Policy Council associated with Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council.  Bott Radio Network president and chief executive officer Rich Bott states that, “This new role is consistent with the exciting growth of Bott Radio Network and will help facilitate our continuing expansion and use of new media platforms to better serve our listeners and broadcast ministry partners.  Paul has been a longtime friend of the Bott family, and he has a passion for the mission, vision, and values of BRN. Paul will have a key role in serving our listening audience, broadcast ministry partners and business sponsors, as well as engaging community leaders, pastors and our associates as we implement new ways to advance our vision of getting the word of God into the people of God.”  Scianna comments that he is “excited and humbled” to join BRN “at this point in the organization’s 52-year history.  Bott Radio Network has established a strong foundation on which we can build to fulfill its vision of broadcasting the timeless message of hope.”  Scianna previously was vice president of the college testing company ACT; manager of internal corporate communications for Sprint; and senior vice president of corporate and public affairs for the PR firm Fleishman Hillard.

wsjdealawardgroupEnjoying the Accolades.  The staff of The Wall Street Journal Radio Network’s “WSJ This Morning with Gordon Deal” poses with their Excellence in Financial Journalism Award received from the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA) which recognizes reporters from the national and local press whose work was published, posted or broadcast in 2013 and contributed to a better and balanced understanding of business or financial topics.  The “WSJ This Morning” crew was honored with one of only 11 awards given by the organization for the program’s coverage of the government shutdown.  Pictured here (from left to right) are: Mike Gavin, Gina Cervetti, Deal (holding the award) and Dave Duncan.

Obama WH Correspondents’ Dinner Speech, Mid-Term Election Prognostications, Russian Aggression in Ukraine, Rice Withdraws from Rutgers Speech, and Clean Air Act Battle Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/5).  Criticism of President Obama’s highly political speech at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner; the most recent polls indicating Democrats may suffer losses in the mid-term elections in November; continued aggression in Ukraine by pro-Russian forces; former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice withdraws from her speech at Rutgers University; and the political battle over the Obama Administration’s restrictions on power plant emissions as part of the Clean Air Act were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

First We Entertain: You’re Here Because of Ben Hoberman

| May 6, 2014

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
CEO

sabowriterNEW YORK — In the 1970s and early 80s KABC-AM, Los Angeles was the number 1 or 2
biller in America.  From its inception it was run by Ben Hoberman.

Meeting Mr. Hoberman was an event.  You made an appointment, no one just
walked in to his office.  The GM down the hall at KLOS made an
appointment.  Mr. Hoberman’s office was different than yours.  It was
crisp, immaculate and no-nonsense.  Just like Mr. Hoberman.

Read More

Monday, May 5, 2014

| May 5, 2014

three eagles logoThree Eagles Communications to Sell Stations to Dean Goodman’s Digity.  The growing media portfolio of Dean Goodman continues to grow as his Palm Beach, Florida-based Digity Companies agrees to purchase Three Eagles Communications’ 48 stations in markets in Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota.  Pending FCC approval, the transaction is expected to close during the third quarter.  Three Eagles founder and CEO Rolland Johnson says of the deal, “I think it is an excellent time to be buying stations.  Radio seems to have survived the perfect storm and shoulddigity come out stronger than ever.  While on the NAB Board with Dean Goodman 10 to 12 years ago, Dean talked about his vision of buying stations and rolling them up into a diversified company.  It is great to have a vision like Dean’s and to be able to follow through with it.  Dean is getting a group of hard-working people with award-winning stations who deserve a chance to participate in something as exciting as what Digity offers.  I congratulate him on an excellent purchase.”  Goodman comments, “Digity is on-air, online, on-demand, on-location, and on-the-go.  It connects today’s busy consumers with content they want, people they trust, products they enjoy and things that matter.  We are very pleased to have signed the Three Eagles purchase and Digity intends to continue to grow in all areas of its operations.”  Digity, through Palm Beach Broadcasting, operates four FM stations in the Palm Beach market.  GoodRadio.TV operates 26 radio stations in Midwestern markets.  Digity earlier this year purchased 33 radio stations from NextRadio and operates those stations in San Jose, Chicago, suburban Dallas, Saginaw, Canton, Greenville and Myrtle Beach.

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh Awards Grants in Essay Contest; Tennessee School Reacts.  The essay contest Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk star Rush Limbaugh conducted earlier in the 2013-14 school year has been completed with three schools receiving a package of books and a cash gift from Limbaugh and his wife Kathryn.  At Hawkins Elementary School in Rogersville, Tennessee, principal Barry Bellamy and first grade teacher Danee Collette are still reeling after receiving a shipment of books from Limbaugh that included American classics The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Where the Red Fern Grows as well as copies of his own bestseller Rush Revere and the New Patriots.  According to the Rogersville Review, Bellamy and Collette were even more shocked to receive a check for $15,000 to use as the school sees fit.  Collette tells the paper her father is a big Limbaugh fan and told her about the essay contest.  She dutifully wrote it and didn’t think much more about it until a Limbaugh staffer called to ask for a shipping address for the books.  Collette says the money will probably be used for white boards, desks and tables for the library.  She tells the paper, “This is so awesome!  I graduated last May, got a job here for the school year, and now this!”

hobermanreaganRemembering Ben Hoberman. Very briefly worded mentions of talk radio pioneer Ben Hoberman‘s passing dotted the internet Saturday and Sunday, but precise details regarding his death are not readily available.  What we do know though is that the longtime ABC Radio executive was 92 when he died on Saturday (5/3).  General consensus within the industry indicates that – with Hoberman at the helm in 1960 – Los Angeles’ KABC-AM was one of the first fulltime talk stations in the country – if not the first.  On John Rook‘s Facebook page, the well-known programmer posted that, “When all of the ABC-owned radio stations were introducing Top 40 programming, [Hoberman] envisioned a new kind of format featuring talk. KABC would become top-rated in Los Angeles for decades, a format that gave birth to KGO’s talk format in San Francisco.  His success elevated him to the presidency of ABC Radio.  Ben Hoberman was a role model for managing radio stations, a total gentleman, and one of the real class guys I have known.  My sincerest condolences to all who mourn his passing.”  In the early-1970s, John Mainelli was a 20-year-old NABET vacation-relief news writer for KABC and the talk radio consultant recounts, “I had just learned what ‘fortnight’ meant and decided to use it in a script the next chance I got.  Mr. Hoberman walked into the newsroom after [KABC morning drive talent] Bob Arthur read the story, saw my name on the filed script, dropped it on my desk and said, ‘If you mean two weeks ago, say it.’  That was ‘Mr. H’ – attention to detail and follow-through.”  Hoberman had been with ABC for close to 40 years, much of that time in Los Angeles, where he had been KABC-AM’s general manager.  He later was based in New York, running the network’s radio division, then consisting of six AM stations and six FM outlets, as well as syndicated programming as “American Top 40″ – then hosted by Casey Kasem.  Hoberman, ex-ABC-TV president Elton Rule, and several other investors attempted to raise enough money to take over the entire ABC Radio division.  Hoberman is pictured here at right in an undated photo with President Ronald Reagan.

russochrisSiriusXM’s Chris Russo Stirs Controversy Over Race on Sports Talk Radio.  The flashpoint for a controversy over race and radio was SiriusXM sports talk personality Chris “Mad Dog” Russo’s recent comment to a caller when asked about why there are no black sports talk hosts on his channel.  Russo replied that he has not found one “worthy of doing a national talk show.”  That started a social media flap.  In the New York Daily News’ coverage of the story, Bob Raissman reports that Russo was not apologizing for his comment and told his paper, “The idea that I wouldn’t hire a black talk show host, a Korean talk show host, or a talk show host from Mars is absurd.  If there is any person of any ethnicity who wants to get a job at ‘Mad Dog Radio’ and we feel he or she is capable of doing a national talk show at the highest level, I’d put them on in a second.  Let’s just say we are not being overwhelmed by resumes.”

sabowalterFive Simple Engagement Actions.  Media consultant Walter Sabo, in a column published today (5/5), writes that it’s very important for listeners to feel that your radio station is “special.”  Sabo notes, “It is so important to examine every single second of our programming in every format and ask, ‘How can this be better?’  Too much time is wasted on learning new rules from ‘corporate’ and new organizational structures.  If your company is ‘afraid’ of Pandora and other web companies, the solution is better programming.  It’s always better programming.  Fresh programming ideas come from external sources, solid research and by paying close attention to what audiences do.”  And with that in mind, Sabo offers five ways to better engage your audience.  Read his piece here.

wtmj logoJournal Broadcast Group’s News/Talk WTMJ and Adult Hits WLWK in Milwaukee Honored with WBA Awards.  In the large market category, Journal Broadcast Group’s news/talk WTMJ and adult hits WLWK were recently honored with Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Awards.  WTMJ won the following honors: News & Talk Station of the Year; News Operation of the Year; Best News & Talk Radio Show (AM drive) for “Wisconsin’s Morning News with Gene Mueller”; Best News & Talk Radio Show (9:00 am to 5:00 pm) for “Wisconsin’s Afternoon News with John Mercure”; Best Live On-Scene Reporting, Jodi Becker and the WTMJ News Team (Carroll University Lockdown); Best Spot News, Shooting at Children’s Hospital, WTMJ Radio News Team; Best Feature, “Preserving WWII History,” Erik Bilstad; Best Sportscast, Greg Matzek; Best Continuing Coverage, “Say it Ain’t So, Ryan Braun,” WTMJ Radio News & Sports Team; and Best Use of Audio, “Rain, Rain, Go Away,” Erik Bilstad.  WLWK was honored for: Best Newscast – Music Format, Lake Mornings with Danny Clayton, Vince Vitrano & Andi Miller; Best Promotional Announcement, “Free Fun Night Out,” “The Lake” staff; Best Commercial – Music Station, Flanners/Just Press Play – Jim Gilles; and Best Humorous Commercial Music Station Love Finds A Way – Jim Gilles.

waretreyKTSA, San Antonio Morning Host Trey Ware Mourns Death of 28-Year-Old Son.  At Alpha Media-owned talk outlet KTSA, San Antonio, Trey Ware has handled morning drive for the past 21 years – almost half of his broadcasting career.  But last week Ware and his wife Nancy suffered the devastating loss of their 28-year-old son Justin who died under circumstances that are being kept private at this time.  This is not the first such tragedy for the couple.  Ware and his wife lost their daughter Rebekah in 2009 at age 20.  In the San Antonio Express-News, writer Jeanne Jakle spoke with Ware who said, “We’re taking it day by day, minute by minute, that’s all we can do…They were the only two we had.  April is not a good month for us.  We want to expunge April from the calendar.”  Other KTSA staffers are sitting in for Ware during this time.  Local radio personality Adam McManus has subbed the past few days.

scba logoSCBA Goes on the Offensive in TV vs Radio Ad Spend.  If there’s a radio trade organization doing more to make the case for radio as an advertising vehicle, we’re not aware of it.  The Southern California Broadcasters Association has been very focused on consistently reaching out to the media to present radio’s case versus its competition and in this case, the competitor is TV.  The SCBA is releasing a white paper  titled, “Traditional Appointment Television’s Technology and Viewership Crisis,” and it zeroes in on the decline in appointment viewing replaced by on-demand viewing that largely allows consumers to skip through commercial sets.  SCBA president Thom Callahan states, “The imbalanced ratio of radio to TV ad spending in Southern California is completely unjustified when one looks closely at this SCBA report.  Traditional appointment television is under direct attack from a variety of technology giants such as Google TV, Netflix, Amazon TV, YouTube, Hulu, as well as the ominous DVR.”  Callahan says the report goes on to show that “radio remains the only real time medium with no tape delay or commercial skipping.”  He adds, “Southern California Radio has grown its listenership of Adults 18+ over the past six years by an impressive 7.4% while local general market TV viewership has spiraled downward by -6.5% for early fringe programming and -8.5% for any local news.  We are urging every general market TV advertiser to look at their ad spending and decide if they want to invest in the power of radio and our solid growth trends and commanding reach in Southern California vs. the eroding viewership of traditional appointment TV.”

katzvalleypatriotawardJeff Katz Honored with Journalism Award.  Multi-media personality Jeff Katz was honored recently with an Editor’s Choice Award for his column that appears in the New England-based publication The Valley Patriot.  Katz currently is host of the afternoon drive show at Clear Channel-owned news/talk WRVA, Richmond.  He also writes for the Boston Herald and self-syndicates the nationally distributed “Katz Commentary.”  He is also a public speaker having delivered keynote addresses all over the country.  Katz tells TALKERS all of his media ventures embrace his unique philosophy of life, “Not Left. Not Right. Just Real.”  Katz (left) is pictured here accepting his Editor’s Choice Award from The Valley Patriot publisher Tom Duggan (right).

dickeylewWHcorresSharp-Dressed Men.  The annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner took place in Washington, DC on Saturday evening (5/2) and there was no shortage of media players at the who’s who of news and politics gathering.  Pictured here are (from left to right): Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey; ABC News president James Goldston; and ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve JonesPhoto by Jay Snap, LaDexon Photographie.

Five Simple Engagement Actions

| May 5, 2014

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
CEO

 

sabowalterwriterNEW YORK – There are many simple things that radio broadcasters can do to “engage” their listeners and make their stations stand out as being special. Here are five examples to consider:

1. The Radio Cathedral.  In your listener’s mind, the radio station is a community cathedral.  Recently I was talking with a Connecticut cub scout leader. She told me that she was about to take her troup on “their favorite trip.” She explained that they were going on a field trip to build their own radio sets. The kids loved it.

I asked, “At which radio station are you going to do that?”

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Friday, May 2, 2014

| May 2, 2014

2014 NYC logo 150Movers and Shakers to Tackle Radio’s “Big Picture” at Talkers New York 2014.  In what has become a popular tradition at TALKERS conferences, a diverse group of industry heavyweights will tackle radio’s “big picture” in a panel session covering industry economics, technology, changing business models, programming challenges and trends, the relationship between talk and music radio, and radio’s role as a first responder during emergencies among other key subjects.  Panelists include (in alphabetical order):  Steve Goldstein, EVP, Saga Communications; Tom Langmyer, VP news/talk programming Journal Broadcast Group and VP/GM, Milwaukee radio operations; Tom Leykis, CEO, The New Normal; Mike McVay, SVP, programming, Cumulus MediaHoward B. Price, director business continuity and crisis management, ABC News.  The session will be introduced by rising talk star Dana Loesch, KFTK, St. Louis and Radio America; moderated by Michael Harrison, publisher, TALKERS; and sponsored by ABC News Radio.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “This session is always a crowd pleaser at our conferences with lots of valuable take-aways.  Its free-wheeling, quick pace touches upon a wide variety of the broad-strokes themes that run throughout today’s radio concerns.”  Talkers New York 2014 takes place on Friday, June 20 at the historic India House on Hanover Square in the heart of NYC’s historic financial district.  More than 65 industry leaders are scheduled to speak.  It is on the verge of a sellout with registrations only open to professionals working in the radio and associated media industries. Registrations ($249) are only booked over the phone with credit card.  Call 413-565-5413.  For more up-to-the-minute agenda and sponsorship information, please click here.

kleinaaronAaron Klein Show Moves to ‘AM 970 The Answer’ in NYC.  After four years airing on Sunday evenings on Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York, the Tel Aviv-based “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” program debuts on Salem Communications-owned crosstown news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” Sunday, May 4.  In a press release, Salem says the Klein show “deals with the hotbed of Muslim extremists, and how they are trying to bring down the state of Israel.”  Klein exited WABC when the station made the decision to focus on locally driven programming.  Salem VP/director of spoken word format Phil Boyce says, “After years of competing with Aaron Klein and his program on WABC we now have grabbed him to join our new and re-vamped lineup on ‘AM 970 The Answer.’  I have had so many people ask me if we could bring Aaron over to our station and it is a pleasure to do so.  He fits our station and our attitude just fine, and I can’t wait to see what he is going to break next.”  Klein comments, “I am thrilled to be joining Salem Radio and ‘AM 970 The Answer’ to bring energetic, news-driven, live talk radio to the Sunday night lineup.  Together, we will prove there is a major audience for weekend talk radio if the content is compelling enough.”

worldbeatdaily logoTalk Hosts Lynn Woolley and Ben Barrack Debut News/Talk Site.  KTEM, Temple-Killeen, Texas-based talk media personalities Lynn Woolley and Ben Barrack announce their collaboration on a new national website called “The World Beat” at www.WBDaily.com.  The duo say “the new site will feature material from the Lynn Woolley show (also heard on KBBW, Waco; KWBC, Navasota, Texas; KCRS, Midland, Texas; and KVOP, Plainview, Texas) and the Ben Barrack Show (heard Sunday mornings on KTEM), but will not be devoted to any specific talk show.  WBDaily will feature cutting-edge opinion on national stories, often with a Texas flavor and occasional breaking news stories.  In fact, WBDaily will be a great source for show prep.”

wcar logoMichigan Family Sues Sima Birach, Jr. in Case Involving Sports Talk WCAR, Livonia.  A Michigan family is suing Sima Birach, Jr. claiming the operator of sports talk WCAR, Livonia, Michigan (suburban Detroit) bilked them out of almost $1 million.  The Detroit News reports that the station is leased to Birach, Jr. by his father (for $1 a year) whose Birach Broadcasting operates 23 stations in 14 states.  Sima Birach, Sr. tells the paper his son has no right to sell anything but commercial time.  He also says he’s been sued as the result of bad business decisions made by his son in the past and adds, “He’s been involved with some shysters before.  He’s 37-years old.  What am I going to do?”  The family suing Birach, Jr. is Drago and Jadranka Mihajlovski and their son Zive.  The trio allege they gave Birach, Jr. $500,000 on August 12, 2012, for a 10% interest in the station and on October 9, 2012, they say they invested $450,000 more for an additional 15% share in the station.  Their attorney says they were promised $50,000-per-year lifetime jobs as well and that after a few pay periods, the money stopped coming in and Birach, Jr. told them they had no interest in the station and their investment would not be returned.

ramseydaverachelRamsey-Cruze Book Debuts at #1.  The latest book by financial talk superstar Dave Ramsey – this time with his daughter Rachel Cruze – is called Smart Money Smart Kids (Lampo Press 2014) and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list (week ending 4/26) for “Advice, How-To and Miscellaneous.”   The book is promoted as providing “practical steps parents can take to teach their kids about money basics like working, spending, saving and giving, as well as how to deal with bigger challenges such as avoiding debt, paying for college and battling discontentment.”

radioioRadioIO and Bubba the Love Sponge Team Up for Digital Delivery.  Nationally syndicated, Tampa-based morning drive talk host Bubba the Love Sponge and RadioIO agree to terms on a deal that will allow the latter to continue to deliver Bubba the Love Sponge and his shows exclusively over the Internet on Bubba Army Radio through December 31, 2016.  RadioIO will have the exclusivebubba right to distribute archived and newly produced internet-only content of the Bubba Radio Network over the internet and the non-exclusive right to broadcast the Bubba the Love Sponge show live.  RadioIO will pay periodic fees based on subscription and advertising revenue received by the company relating to the Bubba programming.  In addition to the daily Bubba show, other programming consists of “Bubba Army Radio Uncensored,” “The Shannon Burke Show,” “Dangerous Conversations with Scott Ledger,” and a daily specialty show.  Bubba the Love Sponge’s radio show is heard on formats including: hot talk, country, rock, classic hits and sports talk.

townsquare logoKJOC, Quad Cities Returns to Sports Talk.  After an 11-year period airing non-sports content (including the most recent format using Scott Shannon’s True Oldies Channel), Townsquare Media’s KJOC, Davenport flips to sports talk as “ESPN 1170.”  The Quad Cities Times reports station operations manager Darren Pitra saying, “We looked at a variety of things, but the decision was to go with ESPN.”  The station will carry the entire ESPN Radio lineup plus Chicago Cubs baseball and Iowa State football and basketball.  Pitra says of local sports talk, “It’s not something that’s completely [out of the realm of possibility] down the road.”

costa logoDino Costa Digital Platform to Debut Monday.  As TALKERS reported last month, former longtime SiriusXM sports talk personality Dino Costa is going the entrepreneurial road with his sports talk program and making it available via a digital platform on a subscription model.  Costa says the show will be accessible from anycostadino computer or mobile device and offer visitors access to a variety of digital and written news and commentary, including a live, three-hour video broadcast each weekday; pre-recorded interviews with today’s sports leaders and newsmakers; behind-the-scenes features; and exclusive news articles covering the top sports stories making headlines each week.  Costa says, “The new Dino Costa show is something that will redefine sports-based commentary and opinion, and I’m delighted to be back to serve as the conduit for a sports radio crowd across North America that is extremely frustrated with the meager sports talk offerings of today.  Our platform allows for the most refreshingly candid commentaries available.  We have no partnerships with leagues, officials, or any alliances that will prevent us from delivering the most unequivocal and straightforward opinion and views on a regular and consistent basis.  The era of corporate-driven news media is more than a huge problem that people of all walks are contending with these days.  We are the radical departure from this awful status quo…I cannot wait to get going.”   Emanating from Costa’s Cheyenne studios, his talk show airs live daily at 4:00 pm ET.

beard awardWABC, New York to Cover 2014 James Beard Awards.  When the 24th James Beard Awards are handed out on Monday, May 5, Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York will provide coverage of the festivities.  The James Beard Awards recognize excellence in cuisine, culinary writing, and culinary education in the United States.  They were established in 1990.  This year’s ceremonies will take place at New York’s Lincoln Center.  WABC says that starting today, listeners can watch video interviews with some of New York’s top chef’s including Gramercy Tavern’s Michael Anthony and Betony’s Bryce Shuman.  Also, 77 WABC chats with Food Network host and James Beard Award emcee Ted Allen about the importance of the awards to New York and the country.  Monday, 77 WABC will provide live streaming coverage of the awards presentation from New York’s Lincoln Center.

sutherlandrachelOdds & Sods.  A programming and branding change takes place at Entercom’s WMC-AM, Memphis as the station becomes “ESPN 790 AM” and adds ESPN Radio programming.  It is keeping the CBS Sports Radio-syndicated Tiki Barber, Brandon Tierney and Dana Jacobson morning drive show…..Rachel Sutherland  — most recently with Cumulus Media’s WMAL-AM/FM, Washington – joins Fox News Radio to serve as a reporter based in Washington.  Sutherland has also worked with TRN as an anchor for America’s Radio News Network and for Metro Networks in DC…..CBS RADIO’s sports talk WIP-FM and news/talk WPHT in Philly in conjunction with the Philadelphia Phillies’ “Phillies Charities” are offering fans a chance to win cool up-close-and-personal Phillies prizes like a kid’s sleepover in the Phillies Clubhouse, playing a video game on PhanaVision against A.J. Burnett, enjoying lunch with Ryne Sandberg in his office, or having a private hitting clinic with Chase Utley.  It’s called the “Phantastic Auction” on phillies.com and runs today through May 15.  Proceeds from the auction benefit Phillies Charities.  Last year’s event raised $129,000.

edisonresearchEdison Research Offers ‘Moms & Media’ Webinar.  Extracting more data from its Infinite Dial 2104 research study, Edison Research is presenting a free webinar on May 8 at 2:00 pm ET titled “Moms and Media 2014: Mobile Is a Must.”  Edison says, “Moms are the target for most readers’ radio stations.  And for those moms, mobile has become a priority over the last 12 months.”  The presentation “features fresh tracking data about social networking, mobile device ownership, and simultaneous media consumption.  The report highlights how moms are adapting radio to make it more suitable to their mobile lifestyle.”  See more info here.

americaweekendlogoTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The Envision Networks program “America Weekend” is added to the program schedule at WRJN, Racine, Wisconsin (Milwaukee market)…..BizTalkRadio programming is added to WWWE, Atlanta as the station picks up the following shows: “Investor’s Edge,” “Executive Leaders Radio,” “Speak Up and Stay Alive,” “Equity Strategies” and the weekend show “Animals Today.”

Sterling-Clippers Controversy/Race Relations Top News/Talk Story for Week of April 28-May 2.  The recorded racist rant by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, his subsequent lifetime ban from the NBA and talk of race relations in the U.S. were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the weak economic growth report and its effect on the Obama Administration’s image.  Following at #3 was speculation about candidates in the 2016 presidential race and the possible outcome of this year’s mid-term elections, and at #4 was President Obama’s Asia trip.  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, May 1, 2014

| May 1, 2014

bubbaBubba the Love Sponge Expands into Orlando; Adds Shannon Burke to Cast.  The Tampa-based Bubba the Love Sponge show announces it will be airing in the Orlando market beginning Monday (5/5) on Star Development Group-owned sports talk WRSO-AM/FM, “810 CBS Sports Orlando.”  The move into the market will mark the return of Shannon Burke – who recently joined the program – to the Orlando airwaves.  Burke previously served at Clear Channel’s WTKS-FM.  The Bubba show reports that Star Development Group owner and president Carl Como is coordinating the new morning show launch onwrso logo Monday along with his newly added FM translator launch that will augment Orlando metro coverage on the FM in addition to his 20k AM signal, which reaches a population area of 2.5 million people.  Como states, “I wanted a show that had real punch and would make an impact.  I know Orlando radio fans will love hearing Bubba return.”  This comes as the program krzq logocelebrates its recent debut in the Reno, Nevada market on Times-Shamrock’s rock KRZQ.  That company’s market manager, John Burkavage, says Bubba and his team produces “one of the best morning shows I have heard in 30 years.  Bubba will grow my station fast and that is why we added his show, it’s a show that will go viral very quickly.”  Bubba comments, “This is an incredible thing for me and my crew.  We are already blowing up the phones in Reno – such a great group of people to work with at KRZQ.  The show has never sounded better and we are now top three ranked in almost every market we are in.  I am thrilled…We are extremely excited about coming back to a place I consider home.  We have a huge fan base there and I have no doubt people will be thrilled to have us back in morning drive in Orlando.”

farberericaErica Farber to Moderate Heavyweight Advertising Panel at Talkers New York 2014.  The agenda for the forthcoming 17th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest running and most important national convention is shaping up as being nothing short of spectacular.  One of the conference’s highlights is a panel titled “The State of Radio Advertising and Sales” which will be moderated by Radio2014 NYC logo 150 Advertising Bureau (RAB) president/CEO Erica Farber.  Panelists include (in alphabetical order):  Ron Furman, chief revenue officer, WestwoodOneKraig Kitchin, CEO, Sound Mind, LLC; Joe Puglise, president/market manager, Clear Channel New York; and Julie Talbott, president, Premiere NetworksTALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “This is going to be a  very important, informative and productive session that will discuss key issues brewing at the very heart of not only talk radio – but all of radio as well.  These participants – Ron Furman, Kraig Kitchin, Joe Puglise, and Julie Talbott have their fingers on the pulse of every aspect of radio’s sales and marketing condition, encompassing local, national and network perspectives.  And there is absolutely no one more qualified to facilitate such a conversation than Erica Farber.”  More than 65 industry leaders will be speaking at the conference which according to its directors is about two weeks away from being a sellout.  For registration information and an up-to-the minute agenda, please click here.

galvinMike Calta Show Cast Member Galvin Arrested in Prostitution Sting.  The Tampa Bay Tribune reports that Gregory James Galvin – known to WHTP, Tampa “102.5 The Bone” listeners as simply Galvin – was arrested on a charge of unlawful acts as a precursor to prostitution during a sting on Tuesday (4/29).  Galvin is part of the Mike Calta afternoon drive show (formerly the Cowhead show).  According to the paper, the sting operation had been put in place after residents complained about prostitution in the area.  Galvin allegedly approached the undercover officer and while attempting to negotiate a deal, asked the officer to show her breasts to prove she was not a police officer.  When she refused he attempted to leave but was cornered by police.  The station has made no comment about the incident.

wtmp logo newHybrid Urban Music and Talk to Air on WTMP, Tampa.  According to a story in the Tampa Tribune, WestCoastMedia is announcing it is buying WTMP and will flip the station back to the urban music and talk hybrid format that aired on the signal for 57 years prior to the Spanish and tropical formats that have aired for the past three years.  WestCoastMedia is buying the station from Davidson Media Group. Station manager Lawrence Hines tells the paper, “We’ve been gone for way too long.  This community needs its voice back, and AM 1150 WTMP is that voice.”  Programming will consist of primarily Reach Media-syndicated shows including Tom Joyner in AM drive, Rev. Al Sharpton and D.L. Hughley in afternoons, James Fortune in evenings, and station veteran Larry Steele hosting a midday show.  Music will consist of “old-school R&B, soul, funk and jazz.”

fisherhouselogoFisher House Offers Memorial Day Special.  The program is designed for news/talk stations and is called, “Our Greatest National Treasure.”  The Fisher House Foundation says the special, three-hour, highly produced program “shares powerful, inspiring stories of service and sacrifice.”  As regular TALKERS readers know, the Fisher House Foundation provides no-cost housing and other support for the families of wounded warriors while their loved ones receive treatment at military and VA hospitals.  The special program is hosted by KIRO-FM, Seattle personality Dave Ross and features compelling stories from the front lines and the home front including: Lorie Southerland of Sanford, North Carolina whose 20-year-old son died in the Iraq war, telling about her transition to being a Gold Star Mom and now manager of a Fisher House, helping other military families; One of five surviving quadruple amputees from the conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan, Travis Mills of Frisco, Texas, discusses the role Fisher House played in his recovery; and reporter Kim Dozier, critically wounded while on assignment in Baghdad, says knowing that Fisher House was taking care of her family eased her treatment.  The show is produced by Marshall Adams and distributed by Premiere Networks.  For more information and to sign up for “Our Greatest National Treasure,” contact Kurt Kretzschmar at Premiere Networks.

koh logoOdds & Sods.  At Cumulus Media’s news/talk KKOH, Reno, Jim Fannin is promoted from news reporter to news director.  At the same time, the station welcomes new anchor/reporter Daniela Sonnino from her most recent post as news director at country KLAD-FM, Klamath Falls, Oregon.  She’ll anchor news on “Reno’s Morning News With Ross And Monica.”…..Paulgoldsmithpaul Goldsmith leaves his position at Salem Communications-owned WIND, Chicago where he was director of promotions and marketing to join CURE International as VP for marketing…..All-news KNX, Los Angeles is honored with two 2013 APTRA Awards for excellence in broadcast journalism from the Associated Press Television-Radio Association.  The station won for Best News Broadcast: KNX knx logoMorning News, and Station Spot News for its coverage of the LAX Shooting.  APTRA board president John Shaffer comments, “The APTRA Awards represent the highest standards of broadcast journalism in the western 13 state region we represent.  This year the awards were more competitive than they have been in the past thanks to an increase in the numbers of entries, both on the individual and station level.”…..SiriusXM is offering comprehensive coverage of the Kentucky Derby, the first jewel of thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown, from Churchill Downs, this Saturday, May 3.  Listeners will hear Horse Racing Radio Network’s live race call of the 140th “Run for the Roses” starting at 5:00 pm ET…..ESPN Radio is broadcasting live all 64 games of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, from the Brazil vs. Croatia opener on June 12 through the Final on July 13.  This will be ESPN Radio’s second FIFA World Cup, having also done all 64 games in 2010 from South Africa.

andersonmollAnderson, Giles to Host Gracie Awards Luncheon.  When the Gracie Awards are handed out in New York next month, iHeartradio‘s Moll Anderson (“The Moll Anderson Show”) and CBS News contributor Nancy Giles will host the 39th annual awards luncheon.  The Gracie Awards were established in 1975 and are presented by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation. This occasion will honor accomplishments of women in media and entertainment at the local, public, online and student levels.  AWMF chair Kay Olin observes that the luncheon is “a wonderful chance to recognize the amazing accomplishments of women in so many forms of media.  Moll Anderson and Nancy Giles represent a diverse range of media and reflect the Gracies’ strong commitment to recognizing accomplishments of all markets of talent.”  Anderson comments, “It’s an honor to be included among so many amazing and accomplished women, those who have blazed new trails and shown the way for others in media and entertainment. According to Giles, “The Gracies are my favorite events of the year.  They are such a wonderful way to honor the unique work that women are doing in an array of media.”  National winners will be honored later this month (5/20) in Los Angeles (Beverly Hills).  The Gracies recognize exemplary programming created for women, by women and about women in all facets of electronic media, as well as individuals who have contributed to the industry.

mohrmcgrathTalkin’ Sports and More with Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath.  Sports talk host Jay Mohr recently welcomed Sugar Ray frontman Mark McGrath into the Fox Sports Radio studios to talk about numerous subjects including Sugar Ray’s upcoming “Under the Sun” tour and returning to the process of making new music, NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s decision to fine and ban Donald Sterling from the NBA in response to allegations of racism, as well as predictions of who the next Clippers owner will be.

Weak Economic Growth Report, Donald Sterling-Clippers Controversy, Russia’s Ukraine Aggression, 2016 Presidential Race, Mayor Rob Ford Admits Problem, Lethal Drug Execution Policy, and Financial Markets Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/30).  Criticism of the Obama Administration’s economic policy after a weak economic growth report; the continuing controversy surrounding LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s taped racist rant; Vladimir Putin’s military aggression in Ukraine; speculation over candidates for president in 2016; Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s admission he has a problem and is seeking treatment; the debate over the effectiveness and ethicality of current lethal drug cocktails used in executions; and the Dow’s record high were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

| April 30, 2014

beasley logo longBeasley Net Revenue Down 2.4% in Q1.  Stating that the dip in net revenue comes primarily from “lower advertising revenue at the company’s Miami-Fort Lauderdale and Philadelphia market clusters,” Beasley Broadcast Group announces a Q1 figure down 2.4% on revenue of $24.2 million.  But the taxman also bit Beasley as the company reports that a “$0.8 million, or 40.2% year-over-year reduction in first quarter 2014 interest expense related to lower borrowing costs and reduced amounts outstanding, was more than offset by a $1.3 million, or 128.8%, rise in income tax expense primarily due to a change to the company’s federal income tax rate.  In addition, the tax rate in the comparable year ago period benefited from a change to the company’s effective state tax rate.  As a result, net income and net income per diluted share for the 2014 first quarter of $0.7 million and $0.03, respectively, compared with $2.4 million, and $0.11, respectively, in the comparable year ago period.”  Beasley chairman and CEO Geroge Beasley beasleygeorgecomments, “The first quarter decline in net revenue reflects several factors that primarily impacted our three largest markets, including the severe winter weather which had a negative effect on our operations in the Northeast.  Overall, for our five markets that report to Miller Kaplan – which represent approximately 77% of total first quarter revenue – Beasley station cluster revenue declined by 4.3%, while the total revenue for all reporting radio stations in these markets decreased by 0.3% for the quarter.  In Philadelphia, our cluster underperformed the market for the first time since mid-2012 as business was significantly impacted by the severe winter weather that pressured billings, particularly among our local customers, and caused our stations to close for the equivalent of approximately three business weeks during the first quarter. In Miami, the first quarter underperformance largely relates to the revenue decline at our AM sports talk station following the departure of a popular afternoon host (Jorge Sedano).  On April 1, we addressed this situation directly by re-launching our afternoon drive programming with the addition of another highly rated Miami sports talk show host from a direct competitor in the market (Marc Hochman).  Notwithstanding the challenges endured in the first quarter, our ratings and market position in both Philadelphia and Miami remain strong.  A final factor which negatively impacted first quarter revenue results was the completion of comprehensive training for our sales team regarding our new digital and NTR initiatives.  While this training took our sales teams away from customers for several days, we believe it was essential to drive growth in these areas of our business going forward.  Our planned investments in sales and programming and the expansion of our digital offerings, combined with the revenue decline, led to a 12.2% decline in first quarter 2014 SOI compared to year-ago levels.”

journalbroadcastgroupJournal Radio Division Revenue Down 4%.  While the company as a whole sees revenue climb 3.7% on the strength of TV and retrans, the radio division of Journal Communications was down 4% on revenue of $15.2 million.  The company reports that “local advertising revenue, excluding political, decreased 3.2%, primarily due to a decrease in restaurant and financial advertising.  Digital revenue, which is reported in local revenue, was $0.6 million, up 7.8%. National advertising revenue, excluding political, decreased 18.0%, primarily due to a decrease in automotive and financial advertising.  Total revenue, excluding political revenue, was $15.1 million, down 4.2%.  Operating earnings from radio were $2.1 million compared to $2.4 million, a decrease of 11.9%.  Radio operating expenses decreased 2.6%, or 0.8% excluding a $0.2 million non-cash building impairment charge recorded in 2013, primarily due to lower programming rights fees.”

dickeylewLew Dickey Sounds Pleased with Cumulus Media’s Progress.  During yesterday’s investor’s conference call on 2014 first quarter numbers, CEO Lew Dickey explained that Cumulus Media is well-positioned in the broadcast arena but is also heading in the desired direction of broadening its revenue streams and reaching beyond “just the advertiser.”  Dickey said, “We’ve now become a very diverse national audio advertising and content platform.  Our base is fueled by our strong core broadcast advertising category, anchored by our 460 owned-and-operated stations and again, amplified by now more than 10,000 broadcast radio affiliates throughout the U.S.  Moreover, we are developing an emerging growth stream in digital advertising that is gaining real traction to our audio through our Rdio digital audio platform.  Licensing also provides the company with a significant second stream of non-advertising-based revenue and should continue to grow nicely as we develop ‘NASH’ and other original content into multimedia brands with multiple revenue streams.  Additionally, our content initiatives will provide us with new revenue streams originating from monetizing the consumer, as opposed to just the advertiser, through subscription services.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript, members can check out the entire conference call here.

langeartiebigshotDirecTV Cancels Artie Lange Show.  With three months left on his contract with DirecTV, Artie Lange’s radio talk show is canceled.  Lange told listeners to his Monday evening (4/28) show that it would be his last for DirecTV.  The program was initially co-hosted by both Lange and fellow comic Nick DiPaolo but DiPaolo left the show last year.  During his good-bye to listeners and viewers, Lange said DirecTV was very good to him and the parting, though unfortunate, was amicable.  The program was simulcast on DirecTV’s Audience channel in addition to being syndicated on the radio.

farberbarryBarry Farber’s Language Club Celebrates 30 Years.  Talk radio legend Barry Farber’s “Language Club” celebrates its 30-year anniversary with a gathering on Monday, May 28, in New York City.  Farber, who founded the club, will also be honored at the celebration, that begins at 6:00 pm at My Place Restaurant, 242 East 79th Street in Manhattan.  Farber is currently syndicated nationally via CRN Digital Talk Radio.  His program airs weeknights at 8:00 p.m. ET.  A press release from CRN states, “Farber, who has been on the airwaves since the mid-1950s, nearly failed Latin in 9th grade.  Since then, he has studied 28 languages.  He created the Language Club so students and speakers of foreign languages could congregate in a pleasant, social environment and enjoy conversing with each other.”  He is also the author of several books, including How to Learn Any Language – Quickly, Easily, Inexpensively, Enjoyably and On Your Own.  Club members periodically meet for dinner and conversation at ethnic restaurants throughout New York City.  Some members give basic language lessons to each other.  CRN president and CEO Michael Horn says, “All of us have so much to learn from Barry Farber.  Usually, it’s his takes on politics and life.  But I hear he also gives good courses in Dutch, Mandarin, and Hebrew.”

Evans Broadcast Company Stations to Observe D-Day Anniversary Live from Normandy.  This June 6, news/talk KKFT Reno, “99.1 FM Talk’ and sister country simulcast KCMY and K273AF “Cowboy Country 102.5” will broadcast live from Normandy in France to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day.  Evans Broadcast president and CEO Jerry Evans tells TALKERS this year will be the last recognized by the Normandy Veteran’s Association.

francesamikeSix Receive NY Hall Call.  The 2014 New York State Broadcasters Association‘s Hall of Fame class includes capital region/Syracuse broadcaster John Cooper; Syracuse TV reporter Nancy Duffy; WFAN, New York sports talk host Mike Francesa; renowned sportscaster Marty Glickman; Buffalo television manager Chris Musial; and New York City TV journalist Marvin Scott.  Cooper has been with Clear Channel since 2000, and is currently regional program manager for the company’s stations in Albany, Poughkeepsie, and Sussex, New Jersey.  Duffy received the Syracuse Press Club‘s Lifetime Achievement Award; she passed away in 2006.  All-American football player Marty Glickman had brief careers in professional football and basketball.  He was the NBA‘s first TV announcer and the first broadcaster for the New York Nets before the ABA – NBA merger.  In the 1960s, Glickman was the sports director of WCBS-AM, New York; he is a member of the Curt Gowdy wing of the Basketball Hall of Fame.  Glickman – the voice of the NY football Giants for 23 years and the NY Jets for 11 years – was 83 years old when he died in 2001.  While Musial was news director and president/general manager of Buffalo’s WIVB-TV, it was the highest-overall rated television station in the country from sign-on to sign-off.  WPIX-TV, New York senior correspondent Marvin Scott is the recipient of seven Emmy awards.  Before joining WPIX, he held positions as anchor, correspondent, and producer at CNN, Mutual Broadcasting System, and New York City’s WABC-TV.  Regarding his selection to the Hall, Francesa comments, “I am humbled and excited to be recognized by the New York State Broadcasters Association; it is a great honor.  Anything with ‘New York’ attached to it means all the more to me.”  The afternoon drive (1:00 pm – 6:30 pm) talent recently agreed to a long-term contract extension with WFAN.  CBS Radio president and chief executive officer Dan Mason states, “Mike has earned his place in radio history as a great broadcaster.  We are thrilled to continue our relationship with sports radio’s most celebrated host.”  From 1989 to 2008, Francesa co-hosted the “Mike & Mad Dog Show” with Chris “Mad Dog” Russo and has been overseeing “Mike’s On” since 2008.  Francesa occupies the #1 position on TALKERS’ 2013 “Heavy Hundred” of Sports Talk Radio.  The June 13 induction ceremony will take place during the Association’s summer conference in New York City.

Donald Sterling Case, Tepid Economy Data, John Kerry Israel ‘Apartheid’ Comment, Russian Aggression in Ukraine, and Chicago Gun Violence Epidemic Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/29).  The lifetime ban and fine levied against Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling in the wake of his racist comments recorded by a former mistress; weak economic news and the impact on the Obama Administration’s policies; the aftermath of Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement that Israel is in danger of becoming an apartheid state; Vladimir Putin’s continued military aggression in Ukraine; and the huge uptick in gun deaths in Chicago and the call for more gun laws were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

| April 29, 2014

brownjeffCumulus Ups Jeff Brown to SVP.  There are new corporate SVP stripes for Jeff Brown as Cumulus Media promotes him from VP/market manager of its Atlanta cluster to senior vice president, Cumulus Corporate.  In this new post, Brown will be responsible for regional operations oversight in 26 Cumulus markets and he will report to EVP and co-COO Jon Pinch, who comments, “We are thrilled to be able to promote from within for this high level position. Jeff has the energy, intellect and experience that will make him a valuable resource for our market managers.”  Brown states, “It is a tremendous honor to be asked to play a larger role in the development of our ever-expanding platform and the execution of our key strategies.  I am truly excited to help drive the continued growth and evolution of Cumulus, as it creates and distributes the very best in entertainment products and services for our listeners, communities and advertisers.”  A search for Brown’s replacement at the Atlanta cluster is underway.

davistedDavis Joins Heller in Wisconsin Sports Talk Simulcast.  Milwaukee Bucks radio play-by-play voice Ted Davis is becoming part of the Mike Heller show heard on Clear Channel’s WOKY,  Milwaukee “The Big 920 Milwaukee” and WTSO, Madison “The Big 1070 AM.”  Heller’s program airs from 2:00 pm to 6:00hellermike pm and Davis will join from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  The company says Davis will bring 26 years of NBA play-by-play experience to Mike Heller’s show.  CCM+E regional market president Jeff Tyler comments, “We are extremely excited to have a pro like Ted join Mike Heller and the rest of our great on-air team.  Ted will bring another dimension to the best sports talk line up in Madison.  With Ted Davis, the exclusive Wisconsin Badgers broadcast franchises, and more exciting plans on the horizon, we know Madison will continue to embrace ‘The Big 1070’ as Madison’s choice for sports talk and play-by-play.”

cumulus logoCumulus Q1 Revenue Up 3.7%.  For the first three months of 2014, Cumulus Media reports net revenue, on a pro forma basis, was up 3.7%.  The company reports “net revenue increased $10.5 million to $292.0 million, from $281.5 million for the three months ended March 31, 2013. The increase was due to $3.1 million in broadcast advertising revenue, of which $2.2 million was from an LMA in Chicago entered into in January 2014 (the ‘Chicago LMA’), offset by a $9.9 million decline in network spot sales and the loss of approximately $2.2 million of third party network station compensation.  Broadcast advertising revenue growth also benefited from $13.0 million of reduced producer revenue shares at WestwoodOne.  Digital advertising increased $4.5 million due to revenue from our partnership with Rdio and revenue increases from our streaming and digital commerce initiatives.  There was a $1.3 million increase in political advertising revenue; and a $1.6 million increase in affiliate license fees and other non-ad-based revenue.”  In a statement, CEO Lew Dickey says, “This quarter was marked by the accelerated integration of WestwoodOne.  We now expect to complete the two-year integration approximately three quarters ahead of time and will exceed the stated synergies by 5% to 10%.”

nab logoNAB Radio Board Makes Appointments. Named to two-year NAB Radio board seats are: Lincoln Financial Media president/chief executive officer Don Benson; Radio One chief executive officer Alfred Liggins; CBS Radio president/chief executive officer Dan Mason; Hubbard Radio chair Ginny Morris; Clear Channel chair/chief executive officer Bob Pittman; and Federated Media vice president Tony Richards.  Those appointments take effect in June.  Meanwhile, NRG Media president/chief executive officer Mary Quass is unanimously elected to the first vice chair seat of the NAB’s executive committee.  Eagle Communications general manager Gary Exline is appointed to fill a vacant board seat, while Jawco Inc. owner John Wharff is appointed to serve until June 2015.

adlargelogoAdLarge Media, Motor Racing Network Team for Exclusive Sales Agreement.  The pact is for national advertising sales representation of Motor Racing Network’s NASCAR racing on radio and digital audio platforms.  It includes all MRN flag-to-flag coverage, including 51 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races and qualifying events; 21 NASCAR Nationwide Series events; 22 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events; and 13 IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar championship events.  AdLarge Media chief executive officer/co-founder Gary Schonfeld states, “This outstanding addition to the sports properties we represent drives our company forward in network radio sports, and places us at the forefront of auto racing on radio and digital audio.  If it has four wheels and goes really fast, you can buy the audio advertising from AdLarge.”  The firm’s president/co-founder Cathy Csukas comments, “Each week, millions of radio listeners hear MRN’s vivid descriptions of exciting, fast-paced NASCAR racing action.  Their live coverage and in-depth programming produces the kind of consistent listener engagement that national advertisers want.  We are excited to partner with MRN again and to deliver their passionate NASCAR audience to our advertisers.”  According to MRN president/executive producer David Hyatt, “With Gary, Cathy, and their excellent team, national advertising sales representation is a collaborative partnership that generates success for advertisers and affiliates.  Their independent status allows them to be adaptable and innovative.  They create customized campaigns that connect advertisers with NASCAR fans.”  AdLarge is seeking a sports sales executive who will be dedicated to this undertaking.  Chief revenue officer/radio sales Don Wachsmith remarks that, “It is imperative we expand our sales management to include a focused sports sales leader to spearhead our national advertising sales efforts with MRN’s motor sports coverage.”  This is MRN’s 45th consecutive year covering NASCAR; more than 600 radio stations carry the broadcasts.

Cool Job Opportunities.  “Think CNN with a hint of the Daily Show!”  We’re on the hunt for America’s SMARTEST, most authentic, engaging, entertaining news personalities – real people who can react to, comment on and amplify the news… and do it in short, 3-minute  segments.  These are NOT “anchor” positions, we’ve got that covered.  It’s not a talk show. It’s a true INTEGRATION of news and personality.  If you…are a world-class storyteller, talk TO the listener, not AT them, eat, sleep and breathe news, are smart (but not cerebral), have a point of view but aren’t an ideologue, understand what “shareable” content is, know how to integrate social media, are comfortable with the fact that NEWS is the DNA of the radio station (your job is to generate TSL), are a winner and a team player and want to work in a highly desirable LARGE market…send cover letter, resume and mp3 of your work to: randylaneco@gmail.com

westwoodone logoOdds & Sods.  New York market traffic reporter Joe Nolan is recovering after suffering a heart attack over the weekend.  Nolan does traffic on WCBS-FM on the Scott Shannon program…..In conjunction with cable’s Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports Radio will provide coverage of the 2014 NFL Draft beginning Thursday, May 8 live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City.  Jay Glazer and anchor Don Bell will cover the first three rounds on Thursday and Friday.  Weekend coverage will showcase the final four rounds that take place on Saturday…..NBC Sports Radio – the WestwoodOne and NBC Sports Group joint venture – is celebrating a major milestone today as the network announces it has passed the 400 station mark.  WestwoodOne COO Charles Steinhauer comments, “We are very proud of the tremendous growth the NBC Sports Radio Network has experienced since inception.  Thanks to the dedication and hard work of our top-rate talent, producers, and affiliate sales team we are able to continue to extend the reach of this outstanding sports talk content for our listeners and advertisers.”

nielsen logoNielsen Study Reports Radio Listening at ‘All-Time High’; Hispanic and African America Audience Makes Up Almost 30%.  In its quarterly State of the Media: Audio Today report, Nielsen concludes radio listening in the United States reached an all-time high with 244 million Americans listening to the radio each week – that’s 92% of all Americans 12-plus.  But this report dives into the numbers of Hispanic and African American listeners.  The increase in total 12+ cume for each demographic was not dramatic – Hispanic listening went up 1.4% from last March to this, and African American listening rose just 0.6% during the same period.  But the report notes interesting conclusions about usage.  For example, the top daypart for listening by Hispanics is the midday 10:00 am to 3:00 pm and the average time spent with radio each week is 12 hours and 13 minutes.  For African Americans, midday is also the top daypart for listening and the time spent with radio each averages 12 hours and 10 minutes.  Check out the study here.

clippers logoSponsors Quickly React to Less-Than-Sterling Remarks.  Fallout over racist comments attributed to Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling continues, as CarMax, Kia, State Farm, and Virgin America pull advertising support from the NBA team.  According to a CarMax official, “These views [by Sterling] directly conflict with CarMax’s culture of respect for all individuals.  While we have been a proud Clippers sponsor for nine years and support the team, fans and community, these statements necessitate that CarMax end its sponsorship.”  A Kia official states, “Comments allegedly made by Clippers owner Donald Sterling are offensive and reprehensible.  They are inconsistent with our views and values.  We are suspending our advertising and sponsorship activations with the Clippers.  Meanwhile, as fans of the game of basketball, our support of the players and the sport is unwavering.”  Two high-profile Clippers players are spokespersons for two of those advertisers: NBA Players’ Association president Chris Paul for State Farm and Blake Griffin for Kia.  A State Farm representative notes that, “The remarks attributed to the Clippers’ owner are offensive.  While those involved sort out the facts, we will be taking a pause in our relationship with the organization.  We are monitoring the situation and we will continually assess our options.  We have a great relationship with Chris Paul and will continue supporting the ‘Born to Assist’ advertising campaign involving Chris and now other NBA players.”  The Clippers on Sunday lost game four of its playoff series to the Golden State Warriors.  It was the highest-rated game of the playoffs so far (ABC-TV), registering a 5.0 overnight rating.  In San Francisco (the Warriors play in Oakland), the game had a 9.8, the third-highest-rated first round game on any network in more than a decade.

gravelineshishaIndulging in Local Customs.  That’s “Into Tomorrow” host Dave Graveline enjoying a shisha while visiting Turkey.  Graveline tells TALKERS he’s been in the Mediterranean to serve as moderator at the annual Global Press Conference for IFA – the big consumer tech show that takes place in Berlin every September, from which Graveline broadcasts his show.  He explains, “Each year in April, they bring nearly 400 journalists from around the world to a venue in the Mediterranean to talk about the latest trends in consumer electronics, leading up to that trade show.  This year I was asked to be emcee for the event.”  Graveline says he moderated several panels in addition to the press conference.

Donald Sterling Racist Recording, Obama Asia Trip, Midwest Tornadoes, Kerry Israel ‘Apartheid’ Comments, Russian Aggression/Sanctions, and ObamaCare Criticism Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/28).  The case of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s recorded racist rants; President Obama’s trip to Asia; the deadly tornadoes that ripped through the Midwest on Sunday; controversy over Secretary of State John Kerry’s comment that Israel runs the risk of becoming an apartheid state; new sanctions being levied against Russia and Vladimir Putin’s continued aggression in Ukraine; and scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, April 28, 2014

| April 28, 2014

wfan logoCBS RADIO Puts Kibosh on WFAN-Francesa YouTube Channel.  According to a piece in the New York Daily News, a fan channel for sports talk WFAN-AM/FM and PM drive host Mike Francesa will no longer present audio or video of the station’s programming after the operator of Twitter’s @WFANAudio agreed to cease and desist putting audio or video on his YouTube channel.  The story says CBS reached out to YouTube to protect its copyright on the content and YouTube let the operator know it would suspend his account if he didn’t cease.  The paper reports it connected with @WFANAudio who said he made no money off the venture.  He says he’s merely a big fan of the station but he understands the copyright issue and will stop putting audio on YouTube.

hitzgesnorm‘The Ticket’ in Dallas Extends Norm Hitzges for Three Years.  The Dallas Morning News has the story and it focuses on Norm Hitzges’ age – he’ll turn 70 this summer.  If Hitzges stays through the end of his new three-year deal at the Cumulus Media station, he’ll be 73 when he signs off for good…if he does.  Hitzges holds down the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot on the station that, the paper points out, is populated by younger hosts trying to capture that all-important men 25-54 demographic.  As for Hitzges’ response to his success after 17 years on KTCK, Dallas, he simply says, “I landed in a really good spot.”

odonnellterryO’Donnell Set to Transfer to Clear Channel Springfield as OM/PD.  In two weeks (5/12), Clear Channel Poughkeepsie program director Terry O’Donnell will relocate to Springfield, where he will become operations manager and program director of the company’s cluster in that western Massachusetts market.  Regional programming manager Rob Anthony comments, “I am thrilled to have Terry joining the team in Springfield.  His knowledge of the formats and track record of making great radio speaks for itself.”  O’Donnell states, “I can’t thank my current team in Poughkeepsie enough.  I am looking forward to this new opportunity.”  O’Donnell will oversee news/talk WHYN-AM, hot AC WHYN-FM “Mix 93.1,” and WRNX “Pioneer Valley’s Country.”

nielsen logoNielsen Presents Radio ROI Research to Group Heads in NYC.  The meeting at Clear Channel New York headquarters announced on Friday took place as planned with Nielsen and the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) hosting an event featuring panel discussions and speakers titled “Nielsen Cracks the Code on Radio ROI.  As noted in TALKERS/RadioInfo on Friday, the event was to focus on Nielsen’s ROI measurement tool for radio.  Radio group heads attending the event were joined by key marketers and advertisers.  Clear Channel chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and CBS RADIO president and CEO Dan Mason welcomed advertiser, agency and industry attendees.  Nielsen EVP of global product leadership Steve Hasker presented the study’s findings.  Two panel discussions followed — the first, moderated by Michael Kassan, chairman and CEO of MediaLink, discussed the power of radio for marketers and how it should best be considered in the marketing mix.  Panelists from across the media landscape included: Gayle Fuguitt, president and CEO, The ARF; Matt MacDonald, BBDO; John Nitti, ZenithOptimedia; Ritu Trivedi, MediaVest and Mary Ellen Johnson Jalenek, American Express.  The second panel was moderated by Bob Pittman and featured the heads of major radio groups, including Lew Dickey, CEO, Cumulus Media; David Field, CEO, Entercom; and Dan Mason.  The group discussed Nielsen’s study and how they believe it will improve the perception of radio within the ad community.

doughertyelizabethGenesis to Syndicate Weekly Elizabeth Dougherty Show.  The weekly “Dougherty Report” program, hosted by culinary expert Elizabeth Dougherty, will air live from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight on Saturdays beginning May 10 and will be syndicated by Genesis Communications Network.  The company says Dougherty’s program “sends listeners on an adventure of good food, along with interviews and a unique take on the news of the day, for parents in particular.”  It also says Dougherty has an extensive background in food writing and culinary arts training.  The program is based out of flagship WAMT, Orlando.

biakelseyadchartBIA/Kelsey Delivers U.S. Local Spend Estimate for 2013-2018.  Just what will local radio’s slice of the advertising pie look like in 2018?  According to BIA/Kelsey’s “U.S. Local Media Forecast,” radio advertising accounted for 11.1% of the total $133.2 billion spent in 2013 (direct mail, newspapers, and TV led the category).  The primary sources of revenue for local radio in 2013 were automobile dealers ($1.43 billion), wireless telecommunications ($650.8 million), and full-service restaurants ($647.8 million).  Based on changes in the overall local media marketplace, BIA/Kelsey estimates that the overall local media market will grow faster than previously thought through 2018.  By 2018 the total will be $158.6 billion, of which $16.7 billion – or 10.5% – will go to local radio.  Obviously, the big growth is expected to be in digital.  BIA/Kelsey predicts, “Digital media continues to increase its share of total local media revenues, growing from $31.7 billion (23 percent) in 2014 to $52.7 billion (33.2 percent) in 2018.”  Find out more about the forecast here.

“Armed American Radio” Celebrates Fifth Anniversary.  Last night (4/27) marked the benchmark broadcast for the Salem Radio Network-distributed and Mark Walters-hosted program.  “It was no surprise to me that the time was right for a program of this type,” Walters comments.  “While the mainstream media continues to promote an anti-gun agenda, millions of law-abiding gun owners have found a new home on the radio dial that talks about their decision to carry a firearm.  We provide a hard-hitting, fact based, entertaining discussion about all things related to the pro-gun rights movement.”  The now three-hour syndicated program was launched in April 2009 as a one-hour, Atlanta only-based show.

gallaghersteveOdds & Sods.  Six-year Sun Broadcast Group exec Steve Gallagher departs.  Most recently, Gallagher was SBG’s executive vice president.  He joined the company in February 2008 as vice president of programming.  Gallagher’s prior credits include being director of operations for Citadel Communications Harrisburg (2005 – 2008); operations manager/program director of Nassau Broadcasting stations in Monmouth-Ocean, New Jersey (WOBM-AM, WOBM-FM and WADB) and in Allentown (WWYY “Lite 107″)…..Religious/Christian broadcaster Starboard Media Foundation (also known as Relevant Radio) agrees to acquire Multicultural Broadcasting‘s Spanish-formatted WNSW.  Purchase price for the New York City AM outlet is reportedly $10.1 million.  Michael J. Bergner (Bergner & Co.) was the exclusive broker for the transaction.  Starboard owns stations in Chicago, Austin, and Providence, as well as several Wisconsin outlets in Madison, Green Bay, and Eau Claire…..The Public Radio Program Directors Association announces the association’s president and CEO, Arthur Cohen, has decided to retire effective January 1, 2015 after an orderly leadership transition process of eight months.  The PRPD says Cohen, a veteran public radio programmer and manager will retire after a remarkable career of more than 35 years of service in public media.

risingthroughtheranksAugust Dates Set for Rising Through the Ranks Course.  The Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB), Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), and the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group (MIW) are presenting the seventh annual “Rising Through the Ranks” seminar, August 27-28, at the BMI Nashville headquarters in Tennessee.  The organizations say that, as in years past, BMI will offer 20 scholarships for this year’s program.  These scholarships cover the cost of the professional development course, which is designed to foster and educate emerging female radio sellers and managers within broadcast radio.  This year’s course will focus primarily on women in the radio workplace and sales and management techniques; including problem solving, budget reviews, managing team personalities, and personal brand building.  Scholarship winners will also have the opportunity to hear from leading radio industry executives across various station groups and industry backgrounds. Confirmed speakers include: Lynn Anderson, CEO, Integrated Media Solutions Group; Lindsay Cerajewski, general sales manager, CBS Radio; Tincy Crouse, market manager, Cromwell Radio; Erica Farber, president and CEO, RAB; Katie Gambill, president and general manager, 5-Star Radio; Kim Guthrie, executive vice president, Cox Media Group; Brandeis C. Hall, vice president, professional development, RAB; Emily Hunt, local sales manager, KSL Broadcast Group; Laurie Kahn, president and CEO, Media Staffing Networks; Sue McNamara, senior vice president, sales, CBS Radio; Kay Olin; partner, Olin & Associates; and Dan Spears, vice president, licensing, BMI.  Kay Olin says, “’Rising Through the Ranks’ is the epitome of the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group.  With the generous help from BMI and the RAB, this two-day training workshop allows us to continue to develop, and help foster female sales managers to senior positions in the radio industry.”

jiggyjohnsonGettin’ Jiggy with Gary Johnson.  At the Kansas Libertarian Convention held over the weekend, internet radio personality Jiggy Jaguar a.k.a. James Lowe (right) sat down with the Libertarian Party’s former presidential nominee Gary Johnson (left) to discuss issues near and dear to the libertarians.  Lowe’s program is heard via his own KJAGRadio.com and the Transmedia World Wide network.

Friday, April 25, 2014

| April 25, 2014

nielsen logoNielsen to Present Radio ROI Study to Group Heads.  Using phrases such as “they’ve finally cracked the code” and “radio’s ability to deliver sales lift of more than $6, for every dollar spent,” Clear Channel president and CFO Rich Bressler spoke during yesterday’s investor conference call glowingly about the recent Catalina Solutions group study that shows excellent return on investment for consumer packaged goods (CPG) advertisers using radio.  He announced that on Monday (4/28), radio group heads will gather for a conference at CC’s New York offices to see a presentation bybresslerrichard Nielsen’s Catalina Solutions group that Bressler also called “the first-ever, single source ROI study in the radio sector…Finally, we have the definitive proof of radio’s value.”  If you remember, the study in which Nielsen worked with Clear Channel measured the sales impact for the specific media buys of 10 brands, each of which had different combinations of radio networks.  Nielsen says that this group of 10 brands, which included eight CPG and two retailer brands, provided the foundation for the first normative database for radio effectiveness.  Another key finding was that radio delivers a strong consumer sales response close to the time of purchase.  The closer the exposure is to purchase, the higher the response.  On another note, Bressler did not respond directly to the recent cuts in the sales departments at Clear Channel but made reference to them in describing the state of the company’s executive structure.  “From an organizational standpoint, we create a new major market structure under which four of our senior operating executives are reporting directly to Bob Pittman and myself.  This major markets operating group will collaborate directly with our local market management to oversee our operations in our largest and highest revenue generating markets from our core broadcast radio stations to our digital mobile and events business as well as a more expanded coordination with Clear Channel Outdoor.”

siriusxmSiriusXM Q1 Revenue Up 11%.  It was another good quarterly report for satcaster SiriusXM as CEO Jim Meyer reported that his company’s subscription total is up to 25.8 million – an increase during the quarter of 267,000.  The all-important free cash flow figure was up 56% on $223 million.  Meyer toldmeyerjim analysts on Thursday, “Our solid subscriber growth, even faster revenue growth and high contribution margins have produced dramatic growth in adjusted EBTIDA and free cash flow — exactly what you would expect from SiriusXM’s highly scalable business model.  We are the world leader in monetizing audio entertainment, and the way this monetization translates in cash flow is also unmatched.  Our radios today are only in about 20% to 26% of the cars on the road today.  So we believe the opportunity for long term growth remains significant.”

smerconishmichaelPost Piece Highlights Smerconish’s Drive to Capture Center.  In a feature piece by Manuel Roig-Franzia in the Washington Post, media personality Michael Smerconish is profiled and his quest to find a political center that is hot to talk about the issues of the day is front-and-center.  The story details Smerconish’s entrance into the media world, his syndicated radio career, his cable TV gigs and his decision to leave AM/FM radio for SiriusXM last year.  In discussing this move and critics’ assertions that there is no centrist audience to be found in talk radio, he tells the Post, “I’m the referendum, aren’t I?…I’ve put my livelihood on the line to prove that you can.”

RamseyIndyIndianapolis Welcomes Dave Ramsey.  Talk radio superstar and best-selling author Dave Ramsey visited Indianapolis yesterday (4/24) as he presented his Legacy Journey LIVE! event at Traders Point Christian Church to a packed house.  The event was promoted by Ramsey’s Indy affiliate WFDM “Freedom 95 Radio.”  Pilgrim Communications VP and general manager Randy Tipmore says, “As usual when Dave Ramsey comes to Indianapolis, excitement and enthusiasm go up in the entire area as do station sales.  Every time Dave comes to town we sell out in record time for record amounts.  The Dave Ramsey show is the number-one selling tool we have at ‘Freedom 95.’  Dave Ramsey is pictured here (second from right) with members of the “Freedom 95 Radio” team.

sturgismark‘ESPN Upstate’ Adds Local Evening Show.  Sports media personality Mark Sturgis is tapped to host a live and local evening program on the Entercom-owned multi-cast serving northern South Carolina (the signals include WORD-AM, Spartanburg; WYRD-AM, Greenville; W246BU, Spartanburg on 97.1 FM and WFNC-HD3, Fayetteville, North Carolina).  Sturgis moves from his two-hour show on Byrne Acquisition Group-owned sports talk WCCP-FM, Clemson to a 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm nightly show on “ESPN Upstate.”  He follows the new “In The Huddle” show with Greg McKinney that airs in afternoon drive.  Entercom VP and market manager Steve Sinicropi states, “Our sports coverage in terms of talent, teams and signal coverage continues to get stronger and stronger.  ‘ESPN Upstate’ has become the most dominant sports network in the market.  Mark has a great live and local show right now, he has a network of sports contacts and he brings a passion for sports, strong knowledge and tremendous energy to the fast-growing ‘EPSN Upstate’ audience.  When you have a powerful brand like ESPN and the largest portfolio of radio stations in the Upstate to cross promote, it’s no wonder listeners and talent are coming to ‘ESPN Upstate.’”

sexy liberal logoStephanie Miller’s ‘Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour’ Hits Chicago Tomorrow; Albuquerque and Minneapolis Next.  Talk show host and comic Stephanie Miller’s comedy roadshow – the Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour lands in Chicago tomorrow and there are still a limited number of VIP tickets available for the event.  The show – featuring Miller, John Fugelsang, Carlos Alazraqui, and Stephanie Miller show family members Chris Lavoie and voice deity Jim Ward – is also traveling to Albuquerque on May 10 and rolls into Minneapolis on June 7.

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 manages 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.

greshamtomTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk” is added to the program lineup at the following stations: KAOK, Lake Charles, Louisiana; KFIV, Modesto, California; KWSX, Stockton, California; WCHS, Charleston, West Virginia; and WBBA, Pittsfield, Illinois…..“Free Talk Live” with Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is picked up by new affiliates KQAM, Wichita; WBKV, West Bend, Wisconsin; WHIR, Danville, Kentucky; and WRMN, Elgin, Illinois…..“Into Tomorrow” with Dave Graveline’s weekly program is picked up by KNOX-AM/FM, Fargo.

ABCCainDean Cain Visits ABC News Radio.  Actor Dean Cain goofs with ABC News Radio entertainment correspondent Joi Marie McKenzie during a visit to ABC News Radio studios to promote the new season of his VH1 series “Hit the Floor” that returns on May 26 at 9:00 pm ET.

Russian Aggression in Ukraine/U.S. Troops in Poland Top News/Talk Stories During Week of April 21-25.  The turbulent political state in Ukraine, Russia’s aggression in the region and the arrival of U.S. troops in Poland were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act.  Following at #3 was the 2016 presidential race tied with Chelsea Clinton’s pregnancy and at #4 was the deadly attack on Americans at an Afghanistan hospital tied with drone strikes on suspected al Qaeda in Yemen.  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.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

| April 24, 2014

cclogoClear Channel Releases Q1 Financials: CCM+E Up 2%.  This morning Clear Channel released financial data for the first quarter of 2014 and the Clear Channel Media + Entertainment group – radio stations, Premiere Networks, Total Traffic + Weather, iHeartRadio and related live events – saw income rise 2% compared to the same quarter a year ago.  The company says “Media + Entertainment revenue rose $14 million, or 2% compared to the same period of 2013, driven primarily by higher revenues at our traffic and weather business reflecting new product offerings and the impact of strategic sales initiatives, as well as higher national sales fueled by growth in the telecommunications, healthcare and automotive categories, and higher digital advertising revenue benefitting from an increase in total listening hours on our iHeartRadio platform. Partially offsetting these revenue gains was a decline in our local revenues.  Operating expenses were up $26 million during the first quarter of 2014 versus the same period in 2013, due primarily to higher compensation expenses driven by investments in our national and digital sales forces, and increased production costs for events such as the iHeartRadio Country Music Festival, as well as greater digital streaming and performance rights expenses driven by increased total listening hours and revenues.  OIBDAN decreased $13 million, or 6%, to $200 million in the first quarter of 2014.”

wpht logoWPHT Personalities to Debate GOP Party, Conservative Movement Future. The WPHT, Philadelphia “Talk Radio 1210″ air staff will be together on the same stage for the very first time today (Thursday, 4/24) at 5:00 pm to participate in “Super Talk Debate” at Victory Beer Hall’s XFinity Live in South Philadelphia.  Personalities Dom Giordano, Dick Morris, Gary R’nel, Chris Stigall, and Rich Zeoli will discuss/debate subjects such as the future of social issues in American politics; foreign policy intervention; the GOP’s view on marijuana legalization; and how Republicans can win the Senate in 2014 and the White House in 2016.  The format will be presidential debate style.  Each participant will be at a podium, make opening and closing statements, and answer questions from the audience and moderator Larry Kane.  Rick Grimaldi and Dr. Anthony Mazzarelli will host the post-debate show at 6:30 pm.  By voting online, listeners will decide the winner.  Voting will continue until next Monday (4/28) at 5:00 pm when Morris and R’Nel will announce the results.

brownbudWilkes-Barre Radio Personality Bud Brown Retires from WILK.  Longtime Wilkes-Barre radio pro Bud Brown calls it a career after signing off from Entercom’s news/talk WILK-AM/FM yesterday morning (4/23) after 40 years on the air.  PAHomepage.com reports Brown is a native whose career began in New Jersey before he returned home to work at WBRE and then WILK.  Brown tells the site, “I got along with all my coworkers.  I respected them.  I felt mutual respect returning and I think that more than anything else is what I treasure most about all the things about all the days on the air.”

nielsen logoNielsen Reports Positive First Quarter; Revenue Up 12.9%.  That figure is compared to the same period a year ago on revenue of $1.49 billion.  Nielsen Holdings N.V. chief executive officer Mitch Barns says, “Nielsen delivered a solid first quarter.  Our underlying business performance, which was marked by broad-based revenue growth and strong profitability, was enhanced by the ongoing successful integration of Arbitron.  Our clear focus on the key business priorities of our diverse global client base continues to produce steady and consistent results while delivering long-term value for our shareholders.”  The company reports that free cash flow for the first quarter of 2014 increased to $13 million from -$15 million in the first quarter of 2013 and cash flow from operations increased to $90 million in the first quarter of 2014 from $54 million in first quarter of 2013.  The increases were driven by stronger operating performance and favorable interest payments.

roverRover’s Legal Team to Call Howard Stern as Witness in Cleveland Case.  When WMMS, Cleveland morning show host Shane “Rover” French appears in court on May 20 to defend himself against 13 charges – including attempted felonious assault, inducing panic and resisting arrest – his lawyer is calling Howard Stern as a witness, according to Fox 8 Cleveland.  It’s not clear why Stern would be a relevant witness or if he’ll even appear.  Co-host Michael Toomey, a.k.a. Chocolate Charlie, was arrested along with French during the incident that took place over the 2013 Fourth of July holiday weekend in which an off-duty police officer claims French and Toomey shot off illegal fireworks, refused requests to stop, assaulted him and more.

fccnewMedia World A-Twitter Over FFC ‘Net Neutrality’ Plans.  The chatter got so intense over reports about what today’s announcement by the FCC regarding its new open Internet rules will be that FCC chairman Tom Wheeler issued the following statement to counter speculation.  “There are reports that the FCC is gutting the Open Internet rule.  They are flat out wrong. Tomorrow we will circulate to the Commission a new Open Internet proposal that will restore the concepts of netwheelertom neutrality consistent with the court’s ruling in January.  There is no ‘turnaround in policy.’  The same rules will apply to all Internet content.  As with the original Open Internet rules, and consistent with the court’s decision, behavior that harms consumers or competition will not be permitted.”  What got people so uptight?  Numerous sources – including the Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press, Fox News and others – say today’s announcement will propose that content companies be allowed to pay for faster delivery over the so-called “last mile” connection to people’s homes.  The Associated Press writes, “The new rules are meant to replace the FCC’s open Internet order from 2010, which was struck down by a federal appeals court in January.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed that the FCC had the authority to create open-access rules but said it failed to establish that its 2010 regulations didn’t overreach.  While the older rules technically allowed for paid priority treatment, it was discouraged.  The new rules spell out standards that such deals would have to meet to be considered ‘commercially reasonable’ and are designed to survive a court challenge in the future.  Under the proposed rules, if such a deal for priority access were challenged, the commission would look at its impact on competition, on consumers, on free speech and civic engagement, and whether a broadband provider was acting in good faith.”

cmgHoustonkidsThe Next Generation(s).  At the Cox Media Group Houston office, the sound of the pitter-patter of little feet could be heard as staffers brought their progeny to work for the annual “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.”  Altogether, 18 young people (pictured here with some of the parents), ranging from 2 ½ to 13 years of age came to work on Thursday (4/24) to follow their parents on a typical day.  Well, a mostly typical day, as activities were planned for every age group.  The kids will learn to record a commercial, use their voices for station on-air promotions, participate in social media postings, and see inside the studio as the DJs broadcast live.  The daylong activities will be mixed in with some fun as well, including a pizza party for lunch, a dance-off with the digital department, and if activities are too much, “Frozen” will be shown in the afternoon so everyone can take a break from it all.  Cox Houston VP and market manager Mark Krieschen says, “This is our first year to implement the program in Houston.  I can already feel the excitement in the air as the kids are making themselves right at home.”

Russian Aggression in Ukraine/Obama vs Putin, 2016 Presidential Race-Mid Term Elections, the FCC and Net Neutrality, President Obama’s Asia Visit, and U.S. Drone Strikes in Yemen Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/23).  Russia’s involvement in the unrest in Ukraine and analysis of President Obama’s handling of Vladimir Putin; speculation about candidates in the 2016 presidential election and the looming mid-term elections this year; controversy over the FCC’s “open internet” policy to be announced today; President Obama’s visit to Asian nations excluding China; and the state of al Qaeda after U.S. drone strikes on terrorist targets in Yemen were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

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

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.

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.

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