Category: Front Page News

Friday, March 27, 2015

| March 27, 2015

leetomTom Lee Tapped to Lead LA’s ‘The Beast 980.’  Radio and sports talk pro Tom Lee is being given the programming reigns to KFWB, Los Angeles “The Beast 980” – the recently flipped sports talker owned by the KFWB Asset Trust.  Lee says in a press statement that “Los Angeles sports fans are the greatest and perhaps the most underrated in America.”  Lee will have the opportunity to help bring substantivekfwb sports ratings to a radio format that has historically never really achieved – from a pure ratings standpoint – much in the Los Angeles market.  Lee continues, “Their passion, the distinct LA attitude and our great sports teams will all be represented by ‘The Beast 980.’”  Lee certainly understands successful sports talk as his resume includes some of the industry’s most visible sports talk ventures.  He launched FOX Sports Radio in 2000, leading the programming team that created and developed the 24/7 national sports network.  Lee has also programmed KESN-FM, Dallas ESPN Radio, as well as sports radio stations WIP, Philadelphia and KJR, Seattle.  KFWB Asset Trust Trustee Diane Sutter comments, “Tom has achieved some of the highest ratings of all-sports stations across the country.  Our listeners will benefit from Tom’s invaluable skills in producing relevant content, top-notch talent and his experience in working with sports teams.”  Lee begins his new gig on March 30.

goldsteinsteveSteve Goldstein Exits Exec Role at Saga Communications; Launches Podcast Venture.  After a career with Saga Communications that spanned almost 30 years, Steven Goldstein leaves his executive vice president position and announces that he is forming a company called Amplifi Media, LLC which will specialize in “the development of digital audio-on-demand (podcast) content.”  Goldstein adds, “As connected cars, Bluetooth and smartphones converge, time-shifted audio will grow exponentially.amplifi logo  People will listen to content at a time and place of their choosing, just as is occurring rapidly in the television industry with Netflix, DVRs and on-demand video.”  A press statement from Amplifi says the company will “concentrate on great storytelling, compelling content and fresh voices on a variety of popular subjects, and will adapt, craft and focus the product for the unique needs of the digital audio business.”  Goldstein concludes, “The top of the iTunes podcast chart is dominated by NPR and affiliates.  They have done a tremendous job but there is a world of mainstream topics yet to be explored for on-demand-audio.  That’s where Amplifi will live.”  Goldstein can be reached at 203-221-1400 or via email at sjgoldstein@amplifimedia.com.

spiegelmattWSCR, Chicago Host Apologizes for ‘Childish’ and ‘Crass’ Tweet.  From the “haven’t they been paying attention” department comes this story, chronicled by Chicago media writer Robert Feder here.  In a nutshell, WSCR veteran talk hosts Matt Spiegel and Dan Bernstein were Tweeting critically about the television presence of Comcast SportsNet Chicago anchor Aiyana Cristal when the two veered into the now-all-too-familiar territory visited by many media personalities these days: they commented on her breasts.  To Spiegel’s (and to some degree Bernstein’s) credit, he seems to realize his error and has apologized profusely via Twitter, admitting that he made a stupid, childish mistake.  Feder reports that sources say Spiegel and Bernstein will not be disciplined for the incident.

Odds & Sods.  Bringing a passion of hers to WABC, New York on Sunday nights at 7:00 is Laura Smith who tells TALKERS magazine she’s “psyched” to debut “Above and Beyond with Laura Smith” this weekend.  Smith says the program is a revival of the program she hosted on SiriusXM and on WFAS-FM, Westchester several years ago.  “It’ssmithlaura a passion of mine as it incorporates conversations with the some of the a world’s most popular thought leaders and then the biggest celebrity psychics, mediums and astrologers giving free readings live on the air.  This Sunday, I have global phenomenon, spiritual teacher and four-time NYT best-selling author, Marianne Williamson plus celebrity medium Thomas John…..There’s now an FM signal to complement Delmarva’s news/talk WDEL-AM, Wilmington.  The company announces it is using the newly acquired WJKS, Canton, New Jersey to create at trimulcast of the legendary news/talker.  In the market the station can be heard on WDEL at 1150 AM, on WJKS at 101.7 FM and via HD-3 on WSTW’s 93.7 FM.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  More stations are airing the Compass Media Networks-syndicated Lars Larson show.  New affiliate stations for the KXL, Portland-based talk personality include: WHBY, Green Bay; WLFJ, Greenville, South Carolina; WLEA, Elmira New York; WBRP, Baton Rouge; WNRP, Pensacola; KCRS,larsonlars Odessa; WDRC-AM, Hartford; and KTIP, Porterville, California.  Larson comments on his busy schedule, “I prep from 6:00 am to 12:00 noon on the Left Coast and talk from 12:00 noon to 6:00 pm.  I’ll leave the mic when they drag me away.  I’ll sleep when I get old.”…..Stephan MultiMedia’s “Good Day” with Doug stephandougStephan is also adding affiliate stations and announces it’s surpassed the 300-station mark with the following new outlets: KTFL, Gilbert, Arizona; KVNU, Logan, Utah; WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island; WDNY, Dansville, New York; WQXL, Columbia, South Carolina; KBIZ, Ottumwa, Iowa; WPBQ, Jackson, Mississippi; WEBY, Milton, Florida; KSCB, Liberal, Kansas; WFEA, Nashua, New Hampshire; and KQEW-FM, Fordyce, Arkansas…..“Free Talk Live” with Ian Freeman and Mark Edge joins the daily lineup at KWOR, Worland, Wyoming.

dickeycurtisKubyinfShow Prep with Lew Dickey.  When Cumulus Media president and CEO Lew Dickey is in New York, he’s more than ready to roll up his sleeves and get to work with the talent at legendary news/talk outlet WABC.  Dickey (seated right) is captured here in the office of WABC midday talk duo Curtis Sliwa (seated left) and Ron Kuby (seated floor) as the executive gives Kuby a therapeutic massage to make him more relaxed on the air.  Dickey did, however, draw the line when Sliwa demanded that his be a foot massage.

Germanwings Flight 9525 Tragedy Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 23-27.  The downing of Germanwings Flight 9525 was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of March 23-27, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program.  Following at #3 was the tense relationship between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and, at #4, was the potential 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, March 26, 2015

| March 26, 2015

RamseyPhoenix15Ramsey Entertains and Informs in The Valley.  Nationally syndicated talk radio star and best-selling author Dave Ramsey (pictured here on stage at beautiful Symphony Hall in Phoenix) visited The Valley with the promotional help of affiliate station KTAR “News 92.3.”  He presented to a sold-out audience his “Smart Money” program – which explains how to win with money, strengthen marriages and lead your children with confidence – on Wednesday, March 25.  Financial expert and speaker Chris Hogan joined Ramsey on stage.  While in Phoenix, Ramsey also hosted his “EntreLeadership 1 Day Event” whichRamseyPhoenixstaff15 addresses how to run a business using the same common-sense principles that Ramsey practices in his own company of more than 400 employees.  Pictured at right is Ramsey (center) with vice president of content and operations for Bonneville Phoenix Ryan Hatch (right), and Bonneville Phoenix VP and market manager Scott Sutherland (left).  Hatch comments, “Dave’s consistent success in providing important and helpful content that delivers large audiences on KTAR ‘News 92.3 FM’ is well known.  What really puts Dave over the top is the personal touch and powerful connection he makes with our market when he comes to Phoenix.  It’s become a must-see event for our listeners and clients, which is why you see sold-out crowds on March 24 and 25.”

wallkevinTalk Host Kevin Wall Returns to Air in Nevada.  Las Vegas talk radio personality Kevin Wall returns to the air in the market on Silver State Broadcasting’s KBET “790 Talk Now” and in the Reno market on Evans Broadcasting’s KKFT-FM “99.1FM Talk” beginning March 30.  The show is produced by Battle Born Radio Corp. and is titled, “Live and Local Now!”  It will air weekdays from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.  Wall comments, “I am so excited to be reunited with my thousands of listeners across southern Nevada.  The opportunity to talk with thousands of new listeners in northern Nevada is something I’m really looking forward to.  What a brilliant idea, linking northern and southern Nevada.  These two independent broadcasters, without the shackles of corporate radio, are preparing to unleash a whole new brand of conservative talk on listeners across the Silver State.  I can’t wait to get started on March 30th!”

weei logoWEEI to Host Baseball Show at Gay Boston Sports Bar.  Boston sports talk outlet WEEI says it will make history this weekend when it broadcasts its Hot Stove Baseball Panel live from Cathedral Station Sports Bar and Pub – a prominent gay bar in the city – on Sunday (3/29) from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  The Entercom sports talker says the program will feature panelists Rob Bradford and John Tomase of WEEI.com, former Red Sox player and WEEI-FM midday personality Lou Merloni and Sam Kennedy, EVP/Chief Operating Officer of the Boston Red Sox.  The moderator will be Boston Herald sports columnist and WEEI-FM fill-in host Steve Buckley.  Entercom Boston VP and market manager Phil Zachary says, “When you look at just how far we’ve come as a society at large, it makes sense to openly embrace sports fans from every segment of our richly diverse community.  Sunday’s event is WEEI’s official and public declaration of welcoming Boston’s LGBT sports fans to our extended radio family.”  The event is co-hosted by Boston Spirit Magazine, the premier LGBT publication in the Massachusetts and New England area.

sykescharlieAnnual Charlie Sykes ‘Insight’ Show to Feature Scott Walker One-On-One.  The WTMJ, Milwaukee personality is announcing that the 2015 edition of his annual live event titled, “Insight,” will feature an exclusive one-on-one interview with Governor Scott Walker.  The live program takes place on Wednesday, April 1 from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm at the Harris Theater in suburban Brookfield and audio will be played on WTMJ at 8:30 the next morning.  The station says, “620 WTMJ’s Charlie Sykes Insight is a radio show taped in front of a studio audience.  Charlie Sykes will interview the All Star panel and the audio will be played back on 620 WTMJ…The show features the biggest and brightest conservative leaders to review policy and politics in a unique setting.”  In addition to Governor Scott Walker, guests appearing on the panel include: Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson (via video), Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, and Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, Jr.

Odds & Sods.  Sports author, columnist and media personality John Feinstein begins hosting a weekly golf show on SiriusXM’s PGA Tour Channel.  The show will be a one-hour production titled, “A Good Walk Spoiled with John Feinstein,” and will air Monday’s from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm.  Feinstein recently exited the CBS Sports Radiofeinsteinjohn Network.  He comments, “I’m happy to be back at SiriusXM and I’m grateful to Scott Greenstein and Steve Cohen for the chance to talk golf, as well as hoops.”…..New York media personality (and WOR talk host) Mark Simone made a recent appearance on Australian television speaking about his relationship simoneAussieTVSinatrawith and knowledge of Frank Sinatra and his music as the late singer’s 100th birthday would have been this year.  Simone is pictured here at left appearing on Melbourne, Australia’s “9News.”…..ESPN Radio is announcing it is preparing to begin its 18th Major League Baseball season of broadcasting more than 66 games that will include multiple appearances from several top teams, including the defending World Series Champion San Francisco Giants, defending American League Champion Kansas City Royals, the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.  The sports giant notes that its radio network will also be the home to the Gillette Home Run Derby and the 86th MLB All Star Game from Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati on Monday, July 13, and Tuesday, July 14.  kdkaEvery MLB postseason game will be broadcasted for the 18th consecutive year….. CBS RADIO Pittsburgh stations KDKA-AM and KDKA-FM have been honored by the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters with 2015 Excellence In Broadcasting Awards.  “Newsradio 1020” KDKA-AM received honors for Outstanding Radio Commercial for “Alcosan Open House,” and for Outstanding Public Service Announcement/Campaign for “A Salute to Veterans.”  Sports talker “Sportsradio 93-7 The Fan” KDKA-FM received the award for Outstanding Coverage Of A Local Sporting Event for its coverage of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 2014 postseason.

hurleyharryNJBA Hall of Fame Class Includes WPGG, Atlantic City’s Harry Hurley.  The New Jersey Broadcasters Association is announcing the inductees for its 2015 Hall of Fame Class.  This year’s group includes: Harry Hurley, Dan Finn, and Kevin Williams. NJBA president and CEO Paul Rotella comments, “In addition, Richard Swetits was named our Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient, and he will enter the NJBA Hall of Fame as part of this extraordinary honor for a lifetime dedicated to our industry and the NJBA.  The 2015 NJBA Hall of Fame Class of Inductees is comprised of true pioneers, innovators, and visionaries, with their accomplishments spanning the state and the region.”

Iran Nukes Issue, Obama-Netanyahu Relationship, 2016 Presidential Prospects, ObamaCare, Germanwings Flight 9525 Mystery, Bo Bergdahl Case, Yemen Tensions, Russian Military Aggression, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/25).  The negotiations over a West-approved nuclear program for Iran; the strained relationship between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; the potential candidates for president in 2016; scrutiny of the effectiveness of the Affordable Care Act; the investigation into the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps; the decision to charge Bo Bergdahl with desertion; tensions in the Middle East as Saudi Arabia begins military operations in Yemen; the ongoing buildup of military activity by Russia; and the NCAA men’s hoops tourney were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

| March 25, 2015

2015 small header_250TALKERS ‘2015 Heavy Hundred’ Published — Annual Feature Ranks 100 ‘Most Important’ Talk Radio Hosts.  Today (3/25) marks the publication of the annual feature from TALKERS magazine titled, “The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America” – known informally as the “Heavy Hundred.”  This edition marks the 20th consecutive year that this talk media trade journal (that is about to mark its 25th anniversary) has been compiling and publishing the list.  TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey says, “As people can see by perusing this year’s list, it includes a number of familiar faces (and voices) as well as new up-and-comers, plus several veterans whose continuing, successful careers our editors believe need acknowledgement on this list in 2015.  The task of compiling this annual feature is extremely challenging – especially since it draws upon both objective and subjective factors – and is the source of heated debate every year among our editors for months leading up to its release.”  View the 2015 Heavy Hundred here.

weismanstevenFCC Issues Biggest Fine Ever.  TALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes today about the landmark FCC fine levied against WDBJ-TV, Roanoke, Virginia.  Though the fine is for a violation of indecency standards by a television outlet, this story gives a glimpse into the mindset of today’s FCC.  The station was hit with the maximum $325,000 allowed by law. Weisman writes, “Many are questioning the size of the WDBJ fine particularly when it was an obvious mistake rather than an intentional exercise of pushing the indecency envelope as has been the case with indecency fines from years past when hosts such as Howard Stern were often singled out for indecency charges.  WDBJ has indicated that it will oppose the proposed fine.”  Read Weisman’s entire story here.

mcmahonbillWhat Radio Personalities Want and Need Most from a Coach.  According to noted talk radio consultant Bill McMahon, it’s not easy being a radio personality.  They work in relative isolation far from their listeners.  They can’t see or hear them.  Most radio studios don’t even have an outside window.  The only immediate feedback personalities get on their performance is from those working with them in the studio.  If they work alone, there is no feedback in the moment.  McMahon, CEO of consulting firm The Authentic Personality, goes on to say, “Oh, radio personalities get plenty of delayed reaction to their work, but it often does more harm than good.  The phone lines light up or they don’t.  Texts, Tweets, Facebook posts, and emails deliver all kinds of mixed messages.  Some are glowing with praise and love.  Others state clearly and unequivocally, ‘you suck!’  After the show, the confusion continues.  An enthusiastic PD might proclaim he loves a bit the personality hated, usually without offering specifics about what made it so good.  Later, the GM weighs in saying, “I didn’t get that phone segment you did in the 8 o’clock hour and I don’t think it was relevant to our listeners.”  Problem is the personality thinks it’s the best thing he did all morning and his followers on Twitter and Facebook seem to agree. This is the real world of a radio personality where everyone has an opinion on what they do and the opinions are anything but unanimous.  It’s no wonder even the most successful radio personalities with consistently high ratings can be very insecure.”  In a new article posted today (3/25) that is a must-read for PDs, McMahon details some of the things he has learned that radio personalities need from their talent coaches.  To read it in its entirety, please click here.

wkxwMuch Ado About Nothing? You Decide.  When it comes to New Jersey politics and Governor Chris Christie, controversy is never far away.  But recently, Townsquare Media-owned talk giant WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” found itself in the political spotlight – if only for a moment – after a spur-of-the-moment bit during the “Ask the Governor” show involving a “gift” for news director Eric Scott was picked up by the mainstream media.  In summary, the International Business Times wrote about Christie’sscotteric spontaneous request to show sponsor Lester Glenn Auto Group to get show host Eric Scott something for his work on the program.  Christie is quoted saying, “How about a new car from the Lester Glenn Auto Group for Eric Scott?  Right, can we do that?  Are the Lester Glenn Auto people listening?  Eric Scott is getting the shaft here, and what we need is a little love for Eric Scott.  So maybe it could be coming from the christiechrisLester Glenn Auto Group.”  Read the IBT piece here.  After getting Scott the use of a Corvette from Lester Glenn Auto Group for a week, Townsquare EVP Alex Bekett sought to calm those crying ethical foul over the matter by issuing the following statement to PolitickerNJ.com to clarify: “Eric Scott was offered free use of a 2015 Corvette Stingray by ‘Ask The Governor’ sponsor Lester Glenn Auto Group from March 17, 2015 – March 24, 2015 as a result of an unsolicited humorous comment made by Governor Christie on February’s award-winning monthly ‘Ask the Governor’ program on ‘New Jersey 101.5.’  Neither ‘New Jersey 101.5’ owner Townsquare Media, nor Mr. Scott, paid for use of the automobile.  The car belongs to Lester Glenn Auto Group.  Neither Townsquare nor Mr. Scott were given a car, but rather Mr. Scott was given brief use of a car.  Neither Townsquare nor Mr. Scott have knowledge of the political contributions of the ownership of the Lester Glenn Auto Group.  The Lester Glenn Auto Group is a valued Townsquare Media advertising partner.  A portion of a conversation during February’s ‘Ask the Governor’ program on New Jersey 101.5 led to the unsolicited provision of free use of a car for Mr. Scott from Lester Glenn Auto Group. None of the parties involved believe anything that transpired was inappropriate.  Nothing that transpired will affect continued objective coverage of the governor on ‘New Jersey 101.5,’ as was evidenced by last night’s ‘Ask the Governor’ program.”

Odds & Sods.  A new, nightly lineup is unveiled at ESPN Radio, effective Monday, March 30.  The sports content giant says “the new shows will be hosted by three distinct ESPN voices with disparate takes on the sports world – Jorge Sedano, Bomani Jones and Freddie Coleman.  The new lineup will kick off at 7:00 pm ET with ‘Theespnaudiologo Sedano Show,’ followed by an evocative new program ‘The Right Time with Bomani Jones’ at 9:00 pm and continuing with the three-hour ‘Freddie Coleman Show’ at 11:00 pm.”  VP, ESPN Audio network content David Roberts comments, “The new weeknight lineup underscores our commitment to serve sports fans by offering the most compelling, interesting, informative and entertaining content wachsdaliahfrom an on-air team that is dynamic, distinctive and diverse all week long.”…..Las Vegas-based nationally syndicated talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs tells TALKERS magazine she’s thrilled that Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval recently honored the request she made – along with Assemblyman Chris Edwards – to make a Proclamation that Nevada Blood Donation Day will this year be April 25.  She says, “I am so ecstatic that Governor Sandoval and Assemblyman Chris Edwards were so quick to assist us in making a statewide day for blood donation!  This will help save so many lives!”

wgan logoCool Job Opportunity.  Saga Communications’ Portland, Maine radio group is seeking a brand manager and news director for news/talk WGAN.  Saga reports it has an opening to lead its top news/talk outlet WGAN and its sister brands in the beautiful Portland market.  Successful candidates will exhibit an ability to lead a five-person news department, develop and coach local talent, direct programming, develop and curate a contemporary sound for the entire station in delivery and production.  Please send your resume and supporting material to Bob Adams, General Manager, Portland Radio Group: Badams@portlandradiogroup.com.  EOE/MF.

The Obama-Netanyahu Relationship, Iran’s Nuclear Program, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Russian Military Aggression, the Crash of Germanwings Flight 9525, Scott Walker Voter ID Law Victory, Google-White House Relationship, and Angelina Jolie Cancer Prevention Surgery Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/24).  The political relationship between President Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu and the U.S. and Israel; the controversy over negotiating a nuclear policy with Iran; the growing list of potential candidates for president in 2016; increased military aggression by Russia and the West’s response; the mystery of the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps; Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s high court victory in that state’s voter ID law battle; suggestions of a cozy relationship between Google and the White House; and the flap over Angelina Jolie’s decision to have her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed for the purposes of cancer prevention were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

| March 24, 2015

2015 small header_250TALKERS ‘Heavy Hundred’ for 2015 Delayed One Day – Coming Tomorrow Wednesday, March 25.  TALKERS magazine has delayed the date for the posting of the 2015 installment of the publication’s annual feature, “The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America” which was originally set to be posted today.  The list will be revealed tomorrow (3/25) at approximately 2:00 pm ET.  This will mark the 20th consecutive year that the talk media trade journal (that is about to mark its 25th anniversary) has been compiling and publishing the list – also known as “The Heavy Hundred.”  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “This year’s list will include a number of familiar faces (and voices) as well as new up-and-comers and several veterans whose continuing, successful careers our editors believe need acknowledgement on this list in 2015.”  Casey continues, “Needless to say, compiling this list is extremely challenging – especially since it draws upon both objective and subjective factors – and is the source of heated debate every year among our editors for months leading up to its release.”

savagemichaelSavage Celebrates Milestone!  Talk radio icon Michael Savage – now syndicated by Westwood One – is celebrating 21 years in radio today (3/24) with a special program that will reflect on his more than two decades on the air.  Savage is recognizing his time on the radio by encouraging listeners to call in and share their favorite memories from past shows.  He’ll also play rare archival show segments from over the years throughout the program.

robinsonjosephRobinson to President Post at iHeartMedia Ventures Group.  This is a promotion for iHeartMedia’s EVP of strategic development as Joseph Robinson is named president of theiheartmedia logo iHeartMedia Ventures Group in which Robinson will work “to develop high-value strategic opportunities with media, technology, and content companies.”  He’ll report to iHeartMedia president, COO and CFO Rich Bressler, who states, “Joe has played an invaluable role in helping iHeartMedia explore new digital and technology opportunities for both consumer-facing and internal initiatives.  I’m delighted that Joe is expanding his role with us; his new leadership position will be instrumental in our continued success as a 21st century media company — one that is both relentlessly forward-looking on the technology front and focused on using iHeartMedia’s cross-platform assets in creative ways that help redefine the future of consumer media and entertainment.”

suttonsteveSutton to Program KCMO, Kansas City.  Talk radio pro Steve Sutton is appointed program director for Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM, Kansas City.  Sutton is an experienced broadcaster who’s worked at CBS RADIO, iHeartMedia, ABC, and Air America (where he was co-creator and VP of programming and operations).  Cumulus SVP of programming Mike McVay says, “We’re very excited to have Steve join us in Kansas City.  He’s a multi-formatted programmer with amazing life experiences.  I can’t wait to hear how he sets news/talk radio on its ear.”  Sutton comments, “A life of amazing experiences continues in Kansas City at KCMO.  We all do this because it’s fun and fulfilling.  And now, thanks to Lew Dickey, John Dickey, Mike McVay, and Mark Sullivan, I get to do it again.  Donna Baker and I arrive within a week of each other.  We both can’t wait to start drawing on the easel.”

holleymichaelWEEI, Boston Re-Ups with Michael Holley.  Boston sports talkers WEEI announces that PM drive personality Michael Holley is “in it for the long haul with his veteran partner, Dale Arnold.”  Holley just signed a new, multi-year contract that will keep the duo together in the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm shift (alongweei logo with recent addition Jerry Thornton).  Holley comments, “I’m so grateful to be able to do a job that I love, in a region that I love, speaking and working with people that I love.  There have been so many incredible stories in New England sports the past decade-plus, and I’m excited and humbled that I’ve been able to share in the journey on the radio.  I look forward to many more great shows with Dale, Jerry and our producers Andy Massaua and Ben Kichen.”

younglarryWOLB, Baltimore Morning Host Larry Young Named TALKERS 2015 “Humanitarian of the Year.”  Veteran radio talk show host and former Maryland State Senator Larry Young has been selected by the TALKERS magazine editorial board as this year’s recipient of the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Radio Talk Show Host.  The prestigious honor – also known as “Humanitarian of the Year” — will be presented to Young during the Awards Presentation at the forthcoming Talkers New York 2015.  The presentation will be made by Carole Marks, CEO of Talk Media,2015 NYC 150 Inc.  WOLB, owned by Radio One, is an urban/talk-formatted station serving the Baltimore-area African American community.  Young began his show and radio career on the station in 1998 hosting weekday mornings, 6:00 am to 10:00 am, after a turbulent and controversial career in Maryland state politics.  Since then, he has accrued a number of honors celebrating his work in the community as a broadcaster including “Best Radio Station” by Baltimore City Paper in 2007, 2008 and again in 2009. He also has been the recipient of such awards as the 2007 Pinnacle Award presented by the American Development Consortium, the 2009 Ed Bradley Award presented by the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the 2011 Unsung Hero Award presented by the Grace Outreach fundraising committee and prestigious 2012 Whitney M. Young Jr. Award presented by the Greater Baltimore Urban League.  Young, a longtime member of the TALKERS “Heavy Hundred” is held in extremely high regard not only within the community served by WOLB, but by his co-workers as well.  WOLB general manager Howard Mazer tells TALKERS, “Larry Young is the kindest and most helpful person I know. The word NO is not in his vocabulary. When anyone in the community calls Larry, he will go out of his way to help them.  It does not matter the time or the day.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison adds, “I have had the personal pleasure of spending time with the folks at WOLB at the station’s community functions where I have witnessed this man in action first-hand and I must say – the work of Larry Young and the relationship he has with his listeners and co-workers is absolutely inspiring – makes me proud to be in radio. And it is not a single day, promotion or activity that we are talking about.  Every moment of his work on and off the air involves the concepts of service and connection.  Larry Young and WOLB are the very essence of ‘community’ as it applies to radio.”  Talkers New York 2015 – the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention — takes place on Friday, June 12.  As of today’s posting, it is 75% sold out.  For complete agenda details and registration, sponsorship and hotel information, please click here.

wind logoSalem-Owned WIND, Chicago Debuts New Program Schedule; Dave Ramsey to Join the Station in June.  The Chicago secular news/talk outlet WIND “AM 560 The Answer” announces its lineup changes that take effect on both Monday, March 30 and Monday, June 1 of this year.  WIND has made official the addition of Dan Proft as permanent morning co-host, alongsideramseydave Amy Jacobson, in which the duo will host the newly created, “Chicago’s Morning Answer,” from 5:00 am to 9:00 am.  Station general manager Jeff Reisman comments, “Dan Proft is the perfect addition to our lineup.  As the only talk radio station in Chicago dedicated to talking about politics, current events, and proftdanbreaking news, Dan Proft provides the kind of analysis and insight that our audience has come to expect from us.  ‘Chicago’s Morning Answer’ will be the go-to place in Chicago to get up to speed on what’s happening in the world each morning.”  Salem Radio Network’s Mike Gallagher will be added to the station’s lineup airing live from 9:00 am to 11:00 am.  Dennis Prager will follow from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, replacing Dennis Miller.  Then, on June 1, nationally syndicated superstar Dave Ramsey will begin airing in the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot, immediately following the Joe Walsh program that will air from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Finally, “This Morning with Gordon Deal,” (syndicated by Compass Media Networks) will debut on March 30 in the 4:00 am to 5:00 am slot.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutMichael Harrison and Norm Pattiz Discuss a Wide Spectrum of Media Issues on PodcastOne.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and PodcastOne founder/CEO Norm Pattiz engage in an illuminating conversation about media and its impact on society in the third and latest installment of the podcast series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  The two iconoclastic media figures draw upon their radio industry experience and 38-year friendship in tackling such issues as net neutrality; new advertising techniques; the impact of consolidation on radio; differences between radio and TV; the evolving state of journalism; the effect of fractionalization on the national consciousness, problems and changes in music radio and the burgeoning state of podcasting.  To hear the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

parriottphilKKOH, Reno APD Phil Parriott Dies in Auto Accident.  Tragic news from the Cumulus Reno station group after news/talk KKOH, Reno assistant program director Phil Parriott died early on the morning of March 21 from injuries sustained in a car accident.  Station staffers are saying Parriott was an extremely valuable member of their team who will be deeply missed by current and past co-workers who call him a friend.  KKOH program director Dan Mason states, “We report tragedy in the news every day and can easily forget that real people are involved.  We’re reminded of that as we mourn our friend and colleague today.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Phil’s family during this difficult time.”

wpen-fm logoGreater Media Named ‘Best in Philly’ Again.  For the fourth consecutive year, Greater Media’s radio properties have been named among the “Top Workplaces in Philadelphia” by Philly.com.  Hundreds of companies take part in the survey, but only a select few companies are awarded top workplace.  The Greater Media Philadelphia station group consists of rock WMMR; classic rock WMGK “102.9 MGK”; adult hits WBEN-FM “95.7 Ben FM”; and sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic.”  The evaluation for the “Top Workplaces” program was based entirely upon feedback from an employee survey conducted by Workplace Dynamics in the fall of 2014.  Greater Media Philly VP and market manager John Fullam comments, “Great companies start with great employees.  We are fortunate to have such an extraordinary team dedicated to serving Philadelphia, our listeners and advertising partners every day.”

2016 Presidential Prospects, U.S.-Iran Nuke Negotiations, Obama-Netanyahu Relationship, UVA Rape Investigation, Battle Against Militant Islam, Russian Military Aggression, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/23).  The potential candidates for president in 2016; the controversy over the negotiations between the West and Iran over its nuclear program; the strained relationship between Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama and the recent Israeli elections; the police statement that it failed to find corroborating evidence in the Rolling Stone-reported UVA gang rape story; the militant Muslim organizations waging war in the Middle East and Africa; concern over Russia’s recent uptick in military maneuvers; and the weekend’s NCAA tourney action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, March 23, 2015

| March 23, 2015

nielsen logoNews/Talk Off to Strong 2015 Start in Brew Town. While taking heed of the standard disclaimers about putting too much stock into Nielsen Audio’s 6+ Mon.-Sun. numbers when judging news/talk stations, it’s still pretty impressive that Journal Broadcast Group’s WTMJ and iHeartMedia’s WISN combined for a 16.8 share (AQH share, persons 6+, Mon.-Sun. 6:00 am to 12:00 midnight, February 2015 PPM survey).  These two news/talk outlets together present some of the nation’s mostwtmj logo successful local programming and syndicated talk shows along with a healthy serving of successful sports play-by-play.  Certainly, some markets are just good news/talk markets due to wisn logodemographics, history, political intrigue, heritage signals and successful sports franchises.  And, yes, Milwaukee fits that mold.  But care has to be taken to give credit to the programmers and air talent (both talk hosts and news personnel) who make these stations sound like Milwaukee.  By the estimation of TALKERS editors, the triumvirate of Charlie Sykes, Jeff Wagner (both at WTMJ) and Mark Belling (at WISN) is worthy of being singled out for praise.  (Also noteworthy and heard on WISN is WIBA, Madison-based host Vicki McKenna.) These personalities have contributed heavily to their stations’ success.  For the last six PPM surveys – October 2014 through February 2015 – WTMJ has scored between 8.8 and 10.9 (persons 6+), while WISN has notched from 4.3 and 6.5.  There’s no guaranty of continued success in the radio business but with the local talent on board these signals and Wisconsin appearing to remain in the nation’s political spotlight as long as Scott Walker is in the governor’s office, the smart money will remain on both of these stations.  For related data on the entire news/talk format, see the latest news/talk format PPM analysis from TALKERS magazine managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian here.

wlup logoIt’s Back to Music Radio for Mancow.  As has been reported for several weeks now but just officially confirmed by Cumulus Media over the weekend, Erich Mancow Muller will assume morning drive duties on the company’s WLUP-FM, Chicago “Classic Rock 97.9 The Loop” effective March 30.  After winning the “listener-generated morning show talent search,” Mancow will return to the Chicago airwaves to produce the entertainment-based “Mancow Morning Show on 97.9 The Loop.”  Show cast members will include: Al Roker, Jr., Luv Cheeze and Cathy Vlahogiannis, providing the female prospective with Carrie Ann DeYoung, as well as new talent Abe Kanan, famous for his show onmancow SiriusXM.  Cumulus says that “after a month of on-air auditions by multiple candidates vying to host mornings on ‘The Loop,’ Mancow garnered an impressive listener response to The Loop’s Morning Show Web Survey during his five-day run.  Mancow brought back the funny and served up the fast-paced entertaining show that put him on the map with Chicago radio listeners from 1994 to 2006.  Fans of the original “Mancow Madhouse” came out of the woodwork to show their support, and thousands of positive comments flooded the station website.  Comparing the voting traffic to the other candidates, it was no contest: Mancow won the ‘election’ in a landslide.”  After leaving Emmis and former alternative WKQX in 2006, Mancow reinvented himself as a conservative talk show host and was syndicated by TRN-FM for a number of years.  Speaking about his new gig, Mancow comments, “This is my final act because I don’t believe I’ll ever top this!  Chicago is a tough city for commuters and our ONLY goal with this show is to provide an escape and make our listeners laugh.  There will be radio theatre.  We will be three-dimensional and break out of the speaker. This show will pop like no other.  We believe it will cut through the clutter and seize an audience that hasn’t been served in years.  Cumulus and John Dickey brought me back into radio. He is a leader I can follow into this great radio battle to victory.  This guy is committed to talent and committed to winning.  It doesn’t matter how much you love radio (and I do); if you don’t have the right people around you, you are doomed.  Finally, I have my dream team cast of characters and a company that actually wants to win.  Lately in radio it seems like people are listless and don’t know what to do.  That is not the case with ‘The Loop.’  We have a direction and we know where we’re going.  This is the most exciting time ever.”

wnov logoEric Von Joins Lineup at Urban Talker WNOV, Milwaukee.  Spoken-word and urban music outlet WNOV, Milwaukee is owned by Courier Communications Corp. – publisher of the market’s African American newspaper the Milwaukee Courier.  The station announces itvoneric is adding local radio personality Eric Von to its programming lineup, hosting the 7:00 am to 9:00 am daily show beginning April 6.  Von had been an air personality at WMCS, Milwaukee – a former urban-formatted station – before that station’s format flip in February of 2013.  WNOV general manager Sandra Robinson comments, “We’re excited to have Eric Von join the lineup. He brings to progressive radio his own unique style that engages audiences in calm and rational tones.  Eric’s ability to raise awareness among listeners and keep them tuned in to those issues that are important in their lives is critical in a city where so many feel left out and ignored.”

Sunday, March 22, 2015

| March 22, 2015

Ed ShaneShane Succumbs to Cancer. Chief executive officer of Houston-based Shane Media Services, and publisher of the music magazine Best in Texas – Ed Shane – has lost his battle against colon cancer. Shane and his wife/business partner/former country programmer (KILT, Houston, WIL, St. Louis) Pam Shane revealed his diagnosis on social media less than four weeks ago (2/24). In that posting, Pam Shane noted, “This will be an interruption for Ed and me during the next few months. Shane Media clients are aware of this, and know that I will be keeping their projects moving forward. We appreciate the support from friends and colleagues at this difficult time.” Outpouring of sympathy and exceptionally kind comments permeated social media. For example, renowned sports broadcaster (Boston Red Sox radio play-by-play, among others) Jerry Trupiano declares Shane was, “a true giant in the industry and one of the best people I ever worked with.” Among the many others “heartbroken” to hear the news of Shane’s passing is CBS Radio country KFRG “K-Frog,” Riverside on-air talent Heather Froglear, who comments, “We were so fortunate to have [him] on our team for many years. I will be forever grateful for [his] guidance on the air. He always encouraged this young gal just starting in country radio. I considered [him] a mentor – but mostly a friend. My heart goes out to Pam and the rest of Ed’s friends and family. You will be missed – terribly.” Longtime group program director Frank Bell recollects that during his tenure at Keymarket/Sinclair, “Ed Shane helped us launch many great country stations, including KFRG; WGGY, Wilkes Barre-Scranton; and WOGY, Memphis. His handiwork in news-talk helped shape the sound of WWL, New Orleans; WBEN, Buffalo; and WLAC-AM, Nashville. Ed’s clarity of thought made him a welcome addition to every conference call and strategic planning meeting. He was one of those rare consultants who ‘talked the talk’ and ‘walked the walk.’ In Texas terms, he wore a big hat and had lots of cattle. Thoughts and prayers today go out to his life and business partner, Pam, and that talented group of Shane Media programmers, both past and present.” Distinguished programmer Ed Scarborough (Lieblick) declares, “We have lost a true ‘gentle’ man. Condolences to Pam and Ed’s family, and to Ed’s extended family. He touched many lives and leaves aEd Shane #2 wonderful legacy.” According to Brent Clanton, “Ed gave me my first job in Radio at Paul Taft‘s KODA, Houston and he taught me so much more than the business. I was privileged to work with him on two [Houston] start-ups, KIKK-AM ‘Business Radio 650′ with the equally-legendary Dickie Rosenfeld, and more recently, the launch of Radio One‘s ‘News 92 FM’ [KROI]. Ed was a gentleman, a perfectionist, and was always thinking ahead on ways to make a radio station’s product better. He made me a better broadcaster, and planted in me an appreciation of how to bring up the next generation of radio professionals.” Intersat‘s manager of media product strategy (and former programmer) Chuck Dickemann comments, “Ed’s influence on me and my career went far beyond broadcast and radio. His support, confidence, and mentorship permeated everything I did. Beyond that, he was a friend – a true friend.” Programmer John Roberts mentions that, “Ed was a pro’s pro for sure, but more importantly, he was simply a great guy. Plenty of people in radio, including me, owe significant career steps to Ed & Pam’s generous advice and help. Stories about change in our business, real or perceived, seem to hit us between the eyes daily. The idea of consultant Ed Shane not being around is one legit ‘change’ I wish we did not have to face.” Mardit Media Consulting president Barry Mardit notes that Shane was a “familiar face at CRS. He always greeted me with a warm smile and a hearty handshake. I always looked forward to our brief chats as well as his in-depth presentations. The consummate professional and true champion who so believed in the power of radio. Ed was a vast storehouse of the knowledge and expertise needed to harness and unleash its full potential. Our industry has lost a giant and those who have known Ed have lost a giant of a friend.” SeniorNet Dallas president Dan Halyburton states, “Ed Shane was a great radio man and a good friend. Ed played an important role in the efforts at KPLX, Dallas in the 1990s to fight one of the toughest country battles ever. His knowledge and commitment to winning were unequaled. Ed always had such energy and presence.” Country consultant Joel Raab notes, “Ed Shane was a great guy and solid professional. He was always generous with his thoughts and advice. He gave me lots of encouragement – even though we were competitors. For that I will always be grateful.” Ron Parker recalls that his “very first radio job was at WPLO-FM, Atlanta and Ed was the operations manager of the station for Plough – thoughts and prayers to Pam and the Shane family.” Ed Shane – who founded Shane Media in 1977 – entered hospice care early this past week. He previously was station manager of Houston’s KRBE and programmed talk KTRH in that market. He also was the former program director of KKDJ, Los Angeles (now iHeartMedia CHR KIIS), as well as a number of other major market stations.

Friday, March 20, 2015

| March 20, 2015

ppmunit altNielsen Audio Releases Fourth Round of February 2015 PPM Data.  The fourth of four rounds of February 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The February 2015 survey period covered January 29 through February 25.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS magazine and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

cookehollandCooke: Telephone Tips for Weekend Talkers.  Media consultant Holland Cooke presents the third in a series of video presentations for Talkers TV designed to increase the effectiveness of weekend talk show hosts.  You can view the entire video in the Talkers TV box on the upper-right-hand-side of this page.  Cooke writes, “Smart talkers aim for high call count.  It’s YOUR show.  But when you usher in caller after caller you introduce perspectives and voices that broaden the conversation, and you can ignite sparks.  And if you host an ask-the-expert show, callers’ relatable issues and questions enable you do demonstrate your know-how to listeners you want as customers.”  Read more here.

2015 NYC 150Talkers New York 2015 to Present Powerful Speakers Agenda. The agenda for the 18th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention is shaping up to be one of the best in the event’s colorful history. Talkers New York 2015, which is approximately 70% of the way toward being sold to capacity, takes place from 8:45 am to 6:00 pm on Friday, June 12 at the historic India House in lower Manhattan. The event kicks off with its traditional “Breakfast with Hannity” social buffet (presented by Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity) followed by opening keynote remarks by the legendary sports talk host, Mike Francesa, of WFAN, New York. Following that, Hannity will moderate a panel discussion titled, “The State of Radio Ratings” featuring (in alphabetical order): Phil Boyce, SVP, Salem Media Group; Erica Farber, president/CEO, Radio Advertising Bureau; Steve Goldstein, EVP, Saga Communications; Brad Kelly, VP, client service, Nielsen Audio; Tom Langmyer, VP/GM, Milwaukee radio operations, VP/news-talk programming, Journal Broadcast Group; and Greg Moceri, CEO, Moceri Media. That will be followed by a fireside chat-style conversation between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and John Dickey, EVP, content & programming, Cumulus Media; Harrison will then don his moderator’s hat and host a panel titled, “The Big Picture,” featuring (in alphabetical order): Alan Colmes, host, Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel; Holland Cooke, consultant, Holland Cooke Media; Karen Hunter, host, SiriusXM Satellite Radio; Chris Oliviero, EVP, programming, CBS RADIO; Joe Sciacca, editor-in-chief, Boston Herald/Boston Herald Radio; Craig Schwalb, PD WABC, New York; and Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks. That event will be followed by a luncheon networking social which leads into the Annual TALKERS Awards Presentation emceed by Westwood One talk star Jim Bohannon. Awards will be presented for “Humanitarian of the Year,” “Woman of the Year,” “Lifetime Achievement,” and “Freedom of Speech” (recipients to be named shortly). This event will be introduced by the great Dick Robinson, founder/CEO of the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. This will be followed by a panel discussion titled, “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in a Changing Paradigm” moderated by TALKERS managing editor/West Coast bureau chief, Mike Kinosian and featuring (in alphabetical order): Vince Benedetto, president/CEO, Bold Gold Media Group; Kathy Carr, VP, sales & marketing, Howie Carr Radio Network; Jerry Crowley, VP/GM, WNYM/WMCA, New York; Ron Hartenbaum, CEO, WYD Media; Tom Leykis, CEO/host, The New Normal; and Cary Pahigian, president/GM, WBAL/WIYY, Baltimore. The discussion then turns to content with TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey moderating the panel “Programming Talk Radio in 2015” featuring (in alphabetical order): Carl Anderson, EVP, programming, iHeartMedia; Mike Bendixen, PD, Newstalk 1010, Toronto; Valerie Geller, CEO, Geller Media International; Scott Masteller, PD, WBAL, Baltimore; and Mike McVay, SVP, corporate programming, Cumulus Media. That will lead into a panel discussion exploring the programming realm beyond the dominant conservative news/talk model titled, “Variety, the Spice of Life.” Moderated by TALKERS GM/radio operations David Bernstein, this session features (in alphabetical order): Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning show co-host, WAQY (Rock 102), Springfield, MA; Dr. Joy Browne, host, Genesis Communications Network; Tony Bruno, host, WIP, Philadelphia; Thom Hartmann, host, WYD Media; Doug Stephan, CEO, Stephan Multimedia; and Larry Young, host, WOLB, Baltimore. The final panel discussion of the day, “Navigating a Talk Show Hosting Career,” will be moderated by Bill Hess, PD, WMAL, Washington, DC and feature Michael Berry, host, The Michael Berry Show (syndicated); Howie Carr, host, Howie Carr Show; Mandy Connell, host, KHOW, Denver; Todd Schnitt, host, WOR, New York/Compass Networks; and Dan Yorke, Host, WPRO, Providence. The convention will conclude with a “Farewell Reception.” Exhibitors scheduled to present the latest in radio broadcasting equipment, technology and services include Broadcasters General Store, Comrex Corp., among other major companies. More speakers and agenda details will be announced here in the days ahead. Registrations are priced at $299 per person. Registrations, which are only open to professionals currently or recently employed in media-related industries, include all sessions, presentations, exhibits and breakfast/lunch/refreshment/and social networking activities. The heavyweight, non-stop agenda will include approximately 65 speakers and 500 attendees are again expected. Registrations can only be taken over the phone and paid for by credit card. The event will be an early sellout and no registrations can be sold after that point. See more information about the event here.  To register, call 413-565-5413; for sponsorship information, email info@talkers.com; and for local hotel information please click here.

berrymichaelbusTaking the Show on the Road.  Houston-based talk show host Michael Berry tells TALKERS magazine he was struggling with the problem of how to balance his need to go see some of his markets with his unwillingness to be separated from his wife and two sons.  He hit upon the solution and turned his boys’ spring break into a “Michael Berry Show DixieLand Tour.”  He got a band’s tour bus and a professional driver and they’re visiting six cities in seven days – from Houston to Atlanta – with stops in Beaumont, New Orleans, Nashville, Atlanta, Birmingham, and Baton Rouge.  He does his radio show during the day and a public meet-and-greet with the listeners at night, complete with a rock band he brings along.  Berry tells TALKERS, “I want to know the people who sell my show and program my station, and see them often.  And I want to look listeners in the eye and hear about their lives.  I think it has helped us grow our audiences and develop close relations with our station management and sellers.”

Odds & Sods.  While NBC Sports Radio personalities Donovan McNabb and Mark Malone – hosts “Under Center” – are on vacation next week, weekend host and Emmy-winner Brian Webber will be filling in with a star-studded list of co-hosts that include: Eric Dickerson, Brian Westbrook, Troy Brown, Terrell Davis, and Rodney Harrison…..Joining NPR as senior vice president of news and editorial director is Michael Oreskes.  He makes the move from his VP/senior managing editor post with The Associated Press.  Oreskes takes over for Margaret Low Smith who left in 2014.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Update.  Independently syndicated “KJRadio Show,” hosted by Kevin Jackson, joins the lineup at Salem Communications’ WGKA, Atlanta “AM 920 The Answer.”

kingNewseumLarry King Honored at Newseum.  This photo was taken at Washington, DC’s Newseum on March 18 at a party celebrating the new Larry King exhibit.  King (right), a longtime former Westwood One talk show host (who is currently hosting AARP segments on Cumulus-owned stations) is pictured here with WW1 EVP of news and talk Bart Tessler (left) and Pat Piper (center), current assignment editor for Westwood One News.  The Newseum exhibit will include King’s iconic microphone, part of his CNN TV set, his suspenders, and other items.  Piper was the producer and Tessler the executive in charge of Westwood One’s groundbreaking “The Larry King Show.”

beasleyfreedompressCelebration of the First Amendment. The photo you see here is from the 11th annual Honor the Free Press Day sponsored by the Marine Corp League of Naples, E. T., Brisson Detachment #063 and the Naples Press Club.  For the past several years, Beasley Broadcast Group has also taken part.  The goal is to observe the importance of freedom of the press and this year’s honoree is Bob Orr, recently retired from CBS News.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Marine Corp member Pappy Wagner (survived Iwo Jima), Beasley’s “Sunny 106.3” WJPT-FM afternoon host and market PSA director Sheila Book, Orr, Marine Corp member Bob Foster and Beasley VP corporate communications Denyse Mesnik.

Iran Nukes/GOP Letter Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 16-20.  The negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program and the letter sent to the Islamic state’s government by GOP senators tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was President Obama’s relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the results of the Israeli elections.  Coming in at #3 was the 2016 presidential prospects followed by the Hillary Clinton email probe 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, March 19, 2015

| March 19, 2015

schurrtomTom Schurr Named SVP, Operations for Cumulus.  Longtime iHeartMedia (Clear Channel/Jacor) executive Tom Schurr joins Cumulus Media as part of the senior station operations team as senior vice president, operations.  The company says that in his new position, Schurr will oversee Cumulus station operations in multiple U.S. markets, including Dallas and Houston, with additional market responsibilities to be announced at a later date.  He will report to president and CEO Lew Dickey, who comments, “Tom is an extremely talented broadcast executive with unparalleled operating experience across all market sizes.  We look forward to his important contribution to our success.”  While president of operations for iHeartMedia, Schurr had direct responsibility for all major market operations across the U.S.  He also managed markets including Houston and Dallas, and as a regional operations executive over the South East and East Regions, was responsible for the oversight of 100 markets and 500 stations.   He says, “I couldn’t be more excited to join Lew Dickey and the Cumulus team.  This is a dynamic organization stocked with passionate leaders and competitive team members who have assembled a great portfolio of assets and are striving towards a bright future.  It’s great to be part of it!”

rowlandjohnU.S. District Judge Gives Former Governor and WTIC, Hartford Host John Rowland 30 Months for Campaign Fraud.  The Hartford Courant reports that former WTIC, Hartford talk show host John G. Rowland was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for his conviction on campaign fraud, conspiracy and obstruction of justice.  Rowland was the former governor of Connecticut who was previously convicted of bribery in 2004.  He was released from prison in 2006 after serving almost two years for that offense.  This time around, via his political consulting company, Rowland worked for Republican congressional candidate Lisa Wilson-Foley, and his crime was hiding that fact from the public, then conspiring to hinder investigators.  According to a previous story in the Hartford Courant, prosecutors made note of Rowland’s use of his radio show to criticize his client’s opponent in the Republican primary.  The prosecution could have made more out of the use of his radio show and pointed that out in court filings when it wrote, “Although Mr. Rowland’s use of his radio show was an egregious aspect of his conduct and certainly constituted an abuse of the public airwaves and a fraud on his audience, the Government is electing not to seek the two-level enhancement.”  Rowland must also pay a fine of $35,000 and serve three years’ probation.  His attorneys are vowing to appeal.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases Third Round of February 2015 PPM Data.  The third of four rounds of February 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The February 2015 survey period covered January 29 through February 25.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS magazine and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

Odds & Sods.  Texas-based talk show host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo (WOAI, San Antonio; KPRC, Houston) is the on-screen narrator for the film adaptation of the John Hagee book Four Blood Moons.  Pags tells TALKERS thepagliarulojoe film opens nationwide on Tuesday, March 23…..On the monthly “Ask the Mayor” show on all-news KNX, Los Angeles, LA Chief of Police Charlie Beck joins Mayor Eric Garcetti in the studios today (3/19).  The call-in program is hosted by KNX anchor Tom Haule and chief investigative reporter Charles Feldman…..XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090” morning personality Dan Sileo is the new host of the sileodanSan Diego Padres pre-game show.  “The Mighty 1090” serves as the flagship for Padres baseball…..Vince Russo brings his podcast “Vince Russo’s The Brand” to The RELM Network.  The digital platform now features 24 shows, including: “Buzz Burbank News and Comment,” the Kirk McEwen show,” the Marc & Lowell show, Brad & Britt, and “Foodie & The Beast.”…..The New England Patriots and Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston extend their relationship for another three years.  The new deal means the continuation of “Patriots Monday” and “Patriots Friday” programming that provides fans weekly access to exclusive interviews with Tom Brady, Coach Bill Belichick and others.

Israeli Elections/Referendum on Netanyahu, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Hillary Clinton Email Probe, Iran Nukes/GOP Letter Issue, Obama ‘Mandatory Voting’ Comment, Starbucks Race Conversation Campaign, and Chris Borland Quits NFL Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/18).  The victory of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party in Israel’s elections; the potential candidates for president in 2016 and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s recent trip to New Hampshire; the ongoing probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of private email for State Department business; the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program and the letter sent to the Islamic state by GOP senators; President Obama’s suggestion that voting be made mandatory; the flap over Starbucks’ campaign to discuss race matters with its customers; and the state of the NFL in the wake of Chris Borland’s retirement from the game at age 24 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

| March 18, 2015

bouvardpierreBouvard Joins Cumulus Media as CMO. Former president of sales for ArbitronPierre Bouvard – is named chief marketing officer of Cumulus. The New York City-based media research, sales, and marketing expert will direct Cumulus’ strategy for its local and national brands. Cumulus president and chief executive officer Lew Dickey comments, “Pierre is one of the radio industry’s most effective advocates. He understands the power of our great medium and is uniquely positioned to leverage audience insights to help advertisers take full advantage of our platform to deliver national scale with local activation. Incremental data beyond ratings is rapidly becoming the most important component in advertising decisions; we are excited to have Pierre leading our effort to help our clients achieve a superior return on investment.” Bouvard – who begins his new assignment today (Wednesday, 3/18) – states that, “Cumulus is America’s fastest growing major radio group. Over the last ten years, their national revenues have grown tenfold from $50 million to $500 million. They have transformed themselves into a major market, cross-media national platform through the merger of Westwood One and Cumulus Radio Networks; launch of the ‘Nash’ country music lifestyle brand; and the Rdio onlineCumulus radio partnership. Radio is the soundtrack for the American worker and ‘king of the road.’ Cumulus has impressive solutions for advertisers and agencies to reach the right audience and accomplish their brand and sales objectives.” Most recently, Bouvard was senior vice president of sales for TiVo Research & Analytics. Prior to his lengthy Arbitron tenure, Bouvard was executive vice president of Coleman Insights.

nrgmediaJack Taddeo Joins NRG Media’s Waterloo/Cedar Rapids Operations.  Consultant and radio management pro Jack Taddeo is the new general manager for NRG Media’s Waterloo and Cedar Rapids, Iowa stations: rock KFMW, Waterloo; classic hits KOKZ, Waterloo; sports talk KWLO, Waterloo; and news/talk KXEL, Waterloo.   NRG Media chief operating officer Chuck DuCoty comments, “We couldn’t be more pleased to have Jack Taddeo on board.  He is an outstanding broadcaster who demonstrates strategic vision, outstanding coaching skills and great leadership.”

giffordRDEshotLarry Gifford: Radiodays Europe 2015 – Day Three.  The overriding theme of the just-concluded three-day radio conference in Milan, Italy was the future of content distribution, according to consultant and talent coach Larry Gifford, who filed a series of special reports for TALKERS magazine.  “Talk of the future of radio and audio was pervasive. ‘The connected age,’ ‘second screens,’ and ‘visualizing radio’ were some of the buzz phrases heard throughout the three days.  Everyone seemed to be talking about how important it is to embrace video, studio cams, and social media,” Gifford writes.  Get more of Gifford’s summary of the event, including some insight into how one Australian morning show is embracing the digital platform, here(Pictured here is Gifford delivering his “30 Ideas in 45 Minutes” session on Tuesday. Photo by James Cridland.)

boldgoldmediagroup logoBold Gold Media Forms Foundation for Training Tomorrow’s News/Talk Broadcasters.  The broadcasting company that operates nine commercial radio stations in Northeast Pennsylvania and Upstate New York is announcing a new effort “to help prepare tomorrow’s frontline communicators.”  Bold Gold Media Group is establishing the Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation – a non-profit organization that is an altogether separate and distinct entity from Bold Gold’s commercial broadcast operations.  Bold Gold says the Foundation will focus its efforts on providing funding and resources to educational organizations that train tomorrow’s broadcast and media leaders.  While the Foundation encourages young people in all areas of broadcasting, it is currently placing particular emphasis on supporting the advancement and training in the various spoken-word andbenedettovince informational formats such as news and talk.  Bold Gold president Vince Benedetto states, “Radio broadcasting is the most powerful, informative, and persuasive medium in the world, and the news and talk formats are extremely demanding, and like all media, evolving… and we need the best and brightest communicators of tomorrow to begin preparing for these fields today.  Investing in the future providers of our communication needs is imperative.  The most trusted broadcasters have always been those who could provide timely, reliable and compelling information and entertainment you couldn’t find anywhere else… they were live and they were local.  That’s still true and even more important than ever, but powerful broadcasting is now about being on-air, online, mobile, social, live and local!  That’s what future leaders in our medium need to be preparing for, and the Foundation intends to support efforts that seek to do just that.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “This is a very exciting initiative.  Vince Benedetto is a rising young star among station group owners who are passionate about radio and dedicated to having it continue to grow to the fullest extent of its potential.”  The Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation will be having its Inaugural Fundraising Event on Tuesday evening the 19th of May at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre, PA, and will feature citizen-journalist James O’Keefe, of Project Veritas, as the guest speaker.  To support the work of the Foundation and to purchase tickets to the May 19th event, go to www.BoldGold.org, or email the Foundation at:  info@BoldGold.org.  Meet Vince Benedetto at Talkers New York 2015 on Friday, June 12.  To register, call 413-565-5413.

ppmunit altNielsen Audio Releases Second Round of February 2015 PPM Data.  The second of four rounds of February 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington (D.C.), Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The February 2015 survey period covered January 29 through February 25.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS magazine and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

newsmax logoNewsmax Feed Network Achieves 67 Million Uniques in February.  According to data from comScore, Newsmax Media’s Newsmax Feed Network posted a record 67.4 million unique visitors last month.  The Newsmax Feed Network is a proprietary syndicated headline box that is carried on more than 2,000 websites, making more than 1 billion page impressions monthly.  The Feed Network box carries unique Newsmax content headlines along with sponsored advertisements.  Newsmax reports that it “has gained enormous traction recently, and a bevy of well-known publisher brands make up the network, including National Review Online, Boston Herald, Breitbart News Network, dozens of local ABC, NBC, and CBS News affiliates via independent television station groups Gray, Nexstar, and Schurz Communications, as well as community newspaper networks Horizon Publications and Gatehouse Media.”  Newsfeed Network manager Kevin Mallon comments, “We are very excited about the latest comScore numbers.  More and more publishers are choosing to implement the Newsmax Feed because of the relevant and quality content we provide, while yielding them robust revenue from our sponsors.”  Company VP of business development Matt D’Lando adds, “Our Feed Network focuses on a clear demographic of 45-plus baby boomers, the largest demographic group in the nation with the highest disposable income.”

cookecantilloWTOP PD Alumni Club.  Two former program directors of all news WTOP, Washington, DC – Laurie Cantillo and consultant Holland Cooke — pose for a selfie today at Inside Music Media publisher Jerry Del Colliano’s annual Media Solutions Conference in Philadelphia.  Cantillo is a guest speaker at the full-day event discussing methods of increasing radio station website traffic, something she has proven to be able to do quite well before leaving her position at WTOP last week.

Odds & Sods.  The internet-based talk show “Behind Enemy Lines Radio” – hosted by NYC Republicans, attorney Gene Berardelli and Army combat veteran Russell Gallo – is joining the AM/FM platform as it will be heard Thursdays at 1:00 pm on Forsythe Broadcasting’s WNJC, Washington Township, New Jersey (Philly market).behindenemylines logo  The show joins the “Conservative Commandos Radio Network” in creating a block of conservative programming heard every day from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm on WNJC…..CBS Sports Radio programming will emanate from Indianapolis beginning April 2 for coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four.  Shows airing from the Indiana Convention Center will include Doug Gottlieb and Tiki & Tierney…..Joining the Yahoo Sports Radio national lineup for a daily 10:00 am program is former Carolina Panthers general manager Marty Hurney and his sports talk radio partner Lanny Ford.  Together, they host “Inside the Lines,” heard on WZGV, Charlotte “ESPN 730.”…..New to SiriusXM’s Insight channel is a new show called “The Briefing Powered by Dartmouth College,” – an “all-new radio show giving listeners a lively hour that dissects the history, facts, and perspectives shaping the week’s news.”  The bi-weekly show will be hosted by Michael Mastanduno, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Nelson A. Rockefeller Professor of Government at Dartmouth.

boomercartonTAZ15Pluggin’ Podcasts on Boomer & Carton.  Former pro wrestler Taz, a.k.a. Peter Senerchia (center), enjoys a mock choke-hold from Boomer Esiason (left) as he appeared on WFAN, New York along with Craig Carton (right) to promote his new wrestling podcast titled, “The Human Podcast Machine” that is available on Play.It, CBS RADIO and CBS Local Digital’s podcast platform.

Ken Birdsong Celebrates 50 Years in Radio.  WENG, Englewood, Florida morning drive host Ken Birdsong is celebrating 50 years in radio on March 27.  He started his career when he was just 15 at his hometown station KWOC, Poplar Bluff, Missouri.  He then went on to work for stations in the Show-Me State cities of Kennett, Jefferson City, Moberly, and Osage Beach. He also put in a stint in Mt. Airy, North Carolina (the heart of Andy Griffith country) and did afternoons in Las Vegas.  In 2002, he joined WENG and served as general manager until 2012.

Iran Nukes/GOP Letter, Israeli Elections/Netanyahu’s Future, Hillary Clinton Email Probe, 2016 Presidential Prospects, OU Racist Song Case, and Dick Cheney Playboy Interview Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/17).  Iran’s nuclear program and the controversy over the letter sent to the nation by GOP senators; the Israeli elections and Benjamin Netanyahu’s status on the world stage; the ongoing probe over Hillary Clinton’s use of private emails for State Department business; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the furor over an OU fraternity’s videotaped racist song and the university’s reaction; and Dick Cheney’s criticism of President Obama in his recent Playboy interview were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

| March 17, 2015

courtsidelogoMike Agovino Named to New Executive Vice Chairman Role at Courtside Entertainment/PodcastOne.  After Triton Digital was acquired by private equity firm Vector Capitol late last week, Triton co-founder and COO Mike Agovino leaves that company to join Norm Pattiz’s Courtside Entertainment and PodcastOne to serve in the newly created post executive vice chairman.  A press statement from Courtside says that Agovino will “work withagovinomike chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz, president Kit Gray and COO Greg Batusic across all divisions of PodcastOne and Courtside Entertainment, contributing his extensive experience in new media technology, audience analysis and development, and revenue growth for the continued expansion of the groundbreaking podcast network.”  Pattiz states, “Mike has been a pioneer in the audio industry and brings a unique global perspective of the digital audio business to PodcastOne.  He shares our vision that on-demand premium content is a key driver in the future of audio, and I look forward to working with him as we continue to build audience and revenue, while creating new opportunities across this powerful and growing platform.”  Agovino’s career began at Katz Media where he spent 18 years rising to become president of Katz Radio before launching Katz Interactive and later Clear Channel Radio Sales as president/COO.  He departed Katz to become co-COO of Interep Radio Sales, leaving several years later to start Triton.

klac logo 15The LA Dodgers and iHeartMedia Re-Brand Sports Talker KLAC, Los Angeles.  Big changes come to sports talker KLAC, Los Angeles as now-co-owners iHeartMedia and the Los Angeles Dodgers re-brand the station to reflect this new relationship.  The new brand is “AM 570 LA Sports” and it comes with some programming changes.  (Oh yes, it also includes the Dodgers’ spiffy new 2015 slogan, “We Love LA!”)  The programming lineup is as follows: Dan Patrick from 6:00 am to 9:00 am; the newly created “LA Today with Bill Reiter and Leann Tweeden” from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon; Jay Mohr from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm; “The Petros and Money Show” with Petros Papadakis and Matt “Money” Smith from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm; plus another new addition, “Dodger Talk featuring David Vassegh and Kevin Kennedy,” which will air immediately following Dodgers baseball games or at 7:00 pm Monday through Friday.  That show will air year round starting with Spring Training and throughout the regular season.

starlingmarkMark Starling New AM Host/News Director at WWNC, Asheville.  From his most recent gig as afternoon drive anchor at Cox Media Group’s WDBO, Orlando “News 96.5FM,” Mark Starling heads North to Asheville, North Carolina to serve as the morning host and news/director at iHeartMedia’s wwnc logoWWNC “News Radio 570.”  Starling says if his new challenge, “Making the jump to the Asheville market is exactly the kind of move I have been after for several reasons. Not only is it the chance to get back to doing mornings, but the chance to really create a hyper-local morning show concentrating on the news and information the community is really looking for.  It’s an adventure I can’t wait to get started on.”  Starling starts March 25.

giffordlarryLarry Gifford: Radiodays Europe – Day Two.  Consultant and talent coach Larry Gifford is in Milan, Italy attending the Radiodays Europe 2015 conference and files this special report to TALKERS magazine.  On day two, Gifford covered, among other things, a keynote speech by iHeartMedia/Premiereduranelviseuro15 Networks morning show star Elvis Duran (pictured here).  The “Z100”-based morning personality says over the years he’s come to appreciate his work even more than when he was young.  That’s based in part on his believing that he’s not bigger than the show.  He says he’s also found new joy in helping people – especially listeners – tell their stories.  Also included in this report is a “psychoanalysis” of radio and Australian personality Mel Greig’s thoughts about her infamous prank call to a London hospital that resulted in a nurse committing suicide.  Read Gifford’s full report here.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases First Round of February 2015 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of February 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The February 2015 survey period covered January 29 through February 25.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS magazine and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

fisherkageTVposterFisher and Kage Launch New Program on Digital Platform.  Tampa Bay radio pros Chris Fisher and Jesse Kage are launching a videocast to stream live Monday through Thursday from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm ET via their “Fisher and Kage” app and www.fisherandkage.com.  The duo says the “uncensored show” will also be available on-demand and will stream from a brand new studio at Jannus Live in downtown St. Petersburg.  They’ve named “Special” Ed Grubbe as executive producer.  Fisher hosted mornings at WSUN, Tampa “97X” from 2001-2011 and worked at WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone” before exiting in 2013.  Jesse Kage worked at “97X” from 2004 to 2007 before moving to WXTB, Tampa “98Rock” where he worked afternoons until last year.

Odds & Sods.  On-air changes take place at Dot Com Plus-owned sports talk WNSP, Mobile “Sports Radio 105.5 FM” as Chip Ramsey is replaced in the AM drive chair by PM drive co-host Mark Heim.  Afternoon co-host Randy Kennedy recently assumed programming responsibilities from Ramsey…..SiriusXM announces the debut of an all-new channel curated and presented by multi-media star Andy Cohen.  The host of “Watch What Happens Live” on Bravo will also host a weekly radio show in addition to producing the new Radio Andy channel.

carrRush15Meeting of Mega-Mouths.  The Palm Beaches in sunny Florida have become one of the talk radio capitals of the nation as evidenced by the chance meeting the other evening of syndicated stars Rush Limbaugh and Howie Carr at a local PB eatery.  Carr and his dynamic wife Kathy Carr were on the scene taking a brief break from the frozen, snowy tundra that has gripped New England this winter.  The Carrs will be two of approximately 65 speakers who will be addressing a sold-out, packed house at the forthcoming Talkers New York 2015 on Friday, June 12.

2016 Presidential Prospects, Hillary Clinton Email Probe, Ferguson Cops Shootings, Iran Nukes/GOP Letter, Fate of Netanyahu, Battle Against ISIS, Russia Flexes Military Muscle, 49er Borland Retires at 24, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/16).  The potential candidates for president in 2016 and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s visit to New Hampshire last weekend; the ongoing controversy over Hillary Clinton’s use of private email for State Department business; the case of the two officers shot in Ferguson; the negotiations with Iran over its nuclear policy and the GOP letter to the Iranian government; the Israeli elections and the fate of Benjamin Netanyahu; the continuing battle against ISIS; Russia’s ramping up of military activity and Vladimir Putin’s talk of nuclear readiness; the early retirement of 49ers linebacker Chris Borland at age 24 due to concerns about brain injury; and the field for the NCAA men’s basketball tourney were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, March 16, 2015

| March 16, 2015

townsquare logoTownsquare Media Q4 Pro Forma Net Revenue Up 9.5%.  Reporting 2014 Q4 and full-year financial figures, Townsquare Media announces its pro forma net revenue was $93.7 million – up 9.5% compared to the same quarter a year ago – and for the full year, pro forma net revenue was up 8.4% on income of $384.7 million.  While pro forma local advertising net revenue increased 5.6% during Q4, chairman and CEO Steven Price says that “nearly 30% of our 2014 pro forma net revenue was derived from sources other than the sale of terrestrial radio advertising.”  He further comments, “Consistent with our January pre-announcement, we are pleased to report fourth quarter pro forma net revenue growth of 9.5% and pro forma adjusted EBITDA growth of 8.6%, with strong growth in each of our operating segments.  We are pleased to announce that we have broken out our Live Events business as a separate reportable operating segment and believe this will provide increased transparency to our investors.”  The company also explains how the company’s divisions are broken down: “We have two reportable operating segments, which are Local Advertising and Live Events, and report the remainder of our business in an Other Media and Entertainment category.  Our Local Advertising segment is composed of broadcast, digital and mobile advertising on our stations, streams, websites and mobile application.  Our Live Events segment is composed of a diverse range of live events, which we create, promote and produce, including musical concerts, multi-day music festivals, consumer expositions and trade shows, athletic events, lifestyle events and other forms of entertainment.  The Other Media and Entertainment business principally includes digital marketing services, national digital assets and other revenue.”

slatenkevinKevin Slaten Returns to KXFN, St. Louis Airwaves Today.  In a story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch today by Dan Caesar, it’s reported that notorious St. Louis sports talk personality Kevin Slaten will be on KXFN’s air today (3/16) as the Grand Slam-owned station is being leased by Talkstl.com’s owners.  Slaten’s show is currently heard on the digital platform.  Caesar writes that Talkstl began the deal over the weekend and began airing Yahoo Sports Radio.  He also reports the move is part of a power struggle at Grand Slam that is forcing KXFN to change formats again.  Read his piece here.

wtemlogoProgramming Quake at WTEM, Washington.  According to Dave HughesDCRTV.com, a huge programming maelstrom took place at Red Zebra-owned sports talker WTEM, Washington “ESPN 980” last week that prevented today’s debut of the local “Man Cave” show with Chris Paul and Jason Reid and cost programmer Chuck Sapienza his job.  The short version is that Washington Redskins and WTEM owner Dan Snyder doesn’t appreciate former Washington Post writer Reid’s criticism of the Redskins operations and put the kibosh on the show.  When Sapienza tried to justify the move, he was dismissed.  Read the DCRTV.com report here.

Larry Gifford: Radiodays Europe – Day One.

giffordlarryMILAN – BBC radio is widely considered one of the most innovative media companies in the world, which is the reason BBC radio director Helen Boaden was a good choice to set the tone for Radiodays Europe 2015 in Milan, Italy.  In her special Sunday night conference-opening presentation, Boaden laid out one of the big challenges facing radio and offered a road map for those who want to follow.

“You need to understand your company’s space in the digital universe,” Boaden (pictured below during her address) commanded. She encouraged everyone to look at media, telecom, and social media companies and any other company that has entered the space of audio content creation to be sure there is a true understanding of the scale at which we are competing.  This isRDEBBC when she referred to Google, Amazon.com, Netflix and Facebook as “the four horseman of the digital apocalypse.”  But, she made it clear it’s not just a fight for dollars and ear-space, but for our talent.  “We, for the first time, have lost one of our best presenters to Apple.”  (She’s referring to DJ Zane Lowe’s recently reported move from London to Cupertino.)  She thinks she knows why, too.  “What they want is actually the best of radio.  Aggregation no longer, they can see, is enough.”

Boaden strongly believes despite the technology changes, at the heart of all good radio is still good storytelling.  She oversees what seems like dozens of BBC radio brand extensions each focused on getting fans to listen, watch and share stories.

Listen. Watch. Share.

That is the BBC radio secret: a three-pronged, listener-focused, strategy for every platform.  She gave innovative examples the BBC has implemented for each, including pop-up radio stations, animating great radio content, and engaging fans with share-worthy original content.  Boaden concluded, “The future of radio relies on you staying close to the audience.  Despite how you feel about them sometimes, you can’t sack your audience, but your audience can sack you.”

Radiodays Europe features Elvis Duran as the conference keynote address today (3/16).  Duran and iHeartRadio‘s Dennis Clark will discuss how to create a successful morning show.  You can keep up-to-date on the conference by following #rde15 on Twitter.

This special report to TALKERS was filed by Larry Gifford.  He is a radio programming consultant and talent coach (www.larrygifford.com) and host of the Radio Stuff Podcast.  He can be emailed at larrygifford1@gmail.com.

dickeylewLew Dickey to Address SXSW Media Conference.  At the 2015 South by Southwest Music and Media Conference in Austin this Thursday (3/19), Cumulus Media president and CEO Lew Dickey will be featured on a panel discussion during which he’ll speak to attendees about how listeners and artists are benefiting from the integration of broadcast radio and music streaming services.  The panel will be moderated by digital news outlet Quartz’s John McDuling, along with fellow panelists Rdio CEO Anthony Bay and Glassnote Entertainment Group president/chief executive officer Daniel Glass. The panel, titled, “The Marriage of Radio & Online Listening,” will address the future for merged relationships between radio and online listening.

robinsondickBliss Family Robinson.  In this personality profile published today (3/16), TALKERS magazine managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian presents the story of lifelong radio pro Dick Robinson – founder of the Connecticut School of Broadcasting.  From his beginnings at WARE in Ware, Massachusetts in the late 1950s, to his time at WDRC-AM & FM in Hartford, to the founding and building of CSB and beyond, Kinosian paints a colorful picture of this fascinating “radio guy” and the storied business he and his family have built and maintained.  Read the entire piece here.

Odds & Sods.  Concerning the conspicuous absence of college hoops legend John Thompson from Westwood One’s broadcast from the Big East Tournament last week, the syndicator reports he had corrective surgery for athompsonjohn benign twisted intestine and is home recovering well.  “Unfortunately, he is unable to travel extensively for the next few weeks, otherwise he would be in his favorite spot — courtside for March Madness.”…..New Hampshire Public Radio’s Virginia Prescott, host of “Word of Mouth,” is being recognized by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation with a Gracie award in the category of Outstanding Host – Entertainment/Information category.

VOATLVO VIPs.  At the recent VO Atlanta voice-over conference, some of the nation’s top voice-over artists gathered.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Chris Corley, Randy Thomas, Mitch Faulkner and Jason Garte.  Thomas moderated a panel titled, “The History of Radio Imaging,” featuring Garte, president of The Mix Group and Mix Talent Management; Corley, a top promotional announcer and imaging voice; and Faulkner, imaging voiceover talent and founder of MLMI Creative Services Atlanta.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

| March 14, 2015

Joe McDonnell #2Joe McDonnell: LA Saddened at Giant-Size Talent’s Passing. How “big” was Joe McDonnell in Los Angeles? Consider this: Friday’s (3/13) lead item for several newscasts on the city’s only all-news station, CBS Radio‘s KNX, was that the 58-year-old McDonnell – widely-known as “Big Joe” or “The Big Nasty” – had passed away. “Big” references regarded his weight, approximately 700 pounds at one time; however, the sports talk host underwent gastric bypass surgery and lost roughly more than half of that. “Nasty” became a handle owing to his highly opinionated nature. The overwhelming majority of those familiar with McDonnell’s exemplary on-air work in Los Angeles would quickly associate him with being a “legendary” or “iconic” sports talk radio “fixture” and that would certainly be accurate. He was, however, among the rarest of on-air talents in the country’s second-largest market, in that, in addition to doing a nightly (7:00 pm – 11:00 pm) sports program (“The Joe McDonnell Experience”) on Clear Channel‘s (now iHeartMedia) KLAC, he also did a Sunday (12:00 noon – 2:00 pm) political talk program (“The Joe McDonnell Show”) on co-owned KTLK-AM (now KEIB). Most recently, McDonnell did fill-in work at KNX. Reaction to his death has continued virtually nonstop, with a who’s who in local and national media, as well as executives of major sports franchises, offering condolences. Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia knew McDonnell ever since Scioscia first came up as a catcher in the Dodgers’ organization. “He was a good friend who will be missed. It’s sad,” Scioscia states. On Twitter, Keith Olbermann writes, “Heartbroken to learn of death of LA radio legend, my friend, Joe McDonnell. He leaves us having never held a grudge.” Ken Rosenthal comments, “So sad to hear about the passing of Joe McDonnell, a one-of-a-kind sports personality in Los Angeles and a reporter at heart.” Several years ago, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian, then the special features editor for Inside Radio, did an extensive profile of McDonnell, who freely used the word “idiot” to describe someone with whom he disagreed. It was a trademark of the bombastic on-air persona of “The Big Nasty” and customarily delivered in vitriol by the dean of Los Angeles radio sports talk hosts. McDonnell garnered legions of dedicated fans. Once – to benefit charity – he accepted the challenge of co-workers and successfully completed a four-hour shift without uttering one negative. In his profile, Kinosian shattered the myth about McDonnell and let the truth be told that in real-life, McDonnell was a far cry from the manic personality listeners were accustomed to hearing. Pensive and completely conscientious McDonnell qualified as a native Angelino, havingJoe McDonnell - Josh Hamilton relocated from Philadelphia in 1959 at age three with his parents. “I loved radio and wouldn’t go anywhere without it,” he fondly recalled to Kinosian. “I’d go to bed listening to it and wake up with it. I went through radios [as others] went through socks. Even when doing homework, I had the radio on.” Although thoroughly enthralled by the medium, McDonnell at that time never thought about pursuing a career in it. Family members urged him to be a lawyer, but McDonnell formulated sportswriter aspirations while attending L.A. Valley College and Cal State – Northridge. His radio career was, in his words, “a total accident.” A high school buddy McDonnell hadn’t seen in a while told him he received academic credit for working at a radio station. That was all it took for McDonnell: He scored an interview for a newsroom opening at KGIL in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley and his first day was September 18, 1975 – the day they arrested Patty Hearst. “I was so excited to be there and hung around to watch what everybody did. Then the story broke and I wound up staying until 10:00 pm. I fell in love with radio my first day and knew this was for me.” Freelance sports opportunities later surfaced for him at Mutual, AP Radio, and UPI Radio and he adroitly transitioned into a daily field correspondent. Play-by-play was briefly tinkered with, but long enough for McDonnell to know it didn’t captivate him. Something else did and as he flatly asserted to Kinosian, “My interest in politics is equal to my interest in sports. They are jobs but they are [also] passions. I love being able to show another side of my life. I am very liberal but do not [rubber-stamp] everything simply because that is what [other liberals] say you should do. I take things on a position-by-position basis. It is impossible and disingenuous to be one way on every subject. No one can ever accuse me of being a phony.” The first Gulf War was underway when he hosted a general talk show on KFI, Los Angeles. America’s first casualty came as a result of friendly fire. Soon after that, the victim’s widow drove to KFI one Sunday afternoon and McDonnell did two hours with her. “It was the most gut-wrenching, yet most fulfilling, thing I’ve done on radio,” he told Kinosian. “Quite honestly, I didn’t know I was capable of pulling it off. People heard me do sports and wondered what I knew about [politics]. I had to win them over.” Multiple Golden Microphone award winner McDonnell toiled in the Southland at KMAX and KWNK between 1994 – 1997; won raves doing sports updates for (then-all news) KFWB; and was part of the original 1992 staff transitioning KMPC to all-sports – although the outbreak of the L.A. riots was the considerably more monumental story the night of the format flip. For numerous personal and professional reasons, a five-year run beginning in 2000 as KSPN “ESPN 710,” Los Angeles’ assistant program director and afternoon driver profoundly affected him. “My first three years there were great,” McDonnell declared to Kinosian. “I had a say in what went on and helped build KSPN from the ground up with [KABC & KSPN OM] Erik Braverman who was my KFI producer. Unfortunately when Erik decided he wanted to concentrate on KABC, they brought in people who didn’t share our ideas.” It was one different concept after another and became the beginning of the end for McDonnell there. “They killed morale and dissolved everything we did. I wanted to leave every day the last two years I was there but made so much money I would’ve been put in a mental institution if I quit.” From the minute McDonnell walked into the Burbank offices of KLAC to interview with KLAC general manager/program director & KTLK program director Don Martin, he sensed something different. “This might sound crazy – but I really liked that they made me earn my position. Don put me on KTLK and let me do some KLAC fill-in. It meant a lot when he said I assimilated with the audience and staff. People have this idea you expect everything be given to you.” Being a sports talk host was a 24 hour-a-day job for McDonnell because, “Information doesn’t stop.” His shows were frequently punctuated with “24” and “Da Ali G” clips and laced with abundant/energetic hip-hop tracks as bumpers. At first, longtime “McDonnell – Douglas” partner Doug Krikorian wasn’t part of the equation for the “Joe McDonnell Experience,” although the Long Beach Press-Telegram sportswriter joined the ensemble to deliver weekly “K-Files” reports. After all, it was Krikorian who hung the “Big Nasty” moniker on McDonnell when Big Joe collared/disposed of a rowdy patron one night at their favorite hangout. Naturally, the subject of McDonnell’s weight came up in the Kinosian profile of him and McDonnell said that even before the gastric bypass procedure, the heavy burden he was carrying didn’t really bother him. He did however eventually begin slowing down, getting sick, and spending more time at home. “I stopped going to games because it was uncomfortable. My doctor told me I had to do something. Any addict – and I’m definitely a food addict – thinks you can do it on your own.” That’s the fallacy and something an addict desperately wants to believe but McDonnell stressed it can not be done alone. “It got to the point where I realized I was going to die. I had the surgery and lost 300 pounds. On Christmas Day, I put slabs of turkey and prime rib on a plate [surrounded with] potatoes, stuffing and cranberry sauce. I took it to the table and had a bite of each. Hey look – I’m a food addict and always will be.” The old Joe most likely would’ve avoided on-air surgery mentions. If it did pop up, he probably would’ve been brutal in challenging the person referencing it. A much mellower McDonnell made a conscious decision when he left KSPN that the “Big Nasty” had died. “It was a great vehicle for what I needed – but – that really isn’t me,” he emphasized to Kinosian. “I’m opinionated and will raise my voice but I’m a nice guy and like to have fun. One reason I love my job is it allows me to hang with people.” Conceding it was a “shortcoming” on his part as a talk show host to refrain from mentioning much about his personal life, McDonnell declared, “You can’t be isolated and expect to reach your audience; you have to let them in on your life. For the most part, I refused to do that. Don Martin and I had a long talk about that and he said the best on-air people let you know about them.” A happy, healthy, and exuberant McDonnell chatted up his March 30, 2007 wedding to KLOS’ lovely Elizabeth Cohn (now working at cross-town Bonneville-owned KSWD “The Sound”). “I finally met someone who will put up with me and I [married] the most Joe McDonnell #3wonderful person in the world,” McDonnell emphasized in that profile. Joe and Elizabeth worked together for four years inside ABC Radio Los Angeles (now Cumulus Media) and basically didn’t say a word to each other. “She understands I’ll occasionally make fun of her on-air and exaggerate things but my life is now an open book.” Numerous health ailments – some nearly life-threatening – plagued McDonnell and he frequently credited Elizabeth as being the rock who held him together. An avowed movie junkie, McDonnell would go to as many as three or four in one day. It was his way to relax and escape. “One of the biggest benefits of losing weight is I can fit into theater seats. That was honestly a problem before.” Such McDonnell segments as “Who Do You Want To Kick Out Of LA?” gave him a Northeast-sounding vibe, but his entire nearly 40-year career was spent in Los Angeles. The ardent WWE fan told Kinosian, “It would take a million dollar offer for me to leave Los Angeles. In the early-1990s, I had a chance to work for a friend in Nashville and had a big offer to go to Seattle in 1994 but my mother had cancer so I wasn’t about to leave town. There was a preliminary discussion years ago with WFAN, New York about being a reporter/weekend host but Los Angeles is my home. I’m part of the radio landscape.” Eerie now, but McDonnell confided to Kinosian in that lengthy printed conversation, “All the stuff I’ve done is leading up to something. I’ve always felt there was a bigger plan for me and a different path. God has kept me around for a reason – but I don’t know what it is. With what I’ve put myself through, any other person would have been dead by now.” Even at his heaviest, the voracious reader managed to stay in “fairly good shape.” The only weakness until recently was with his knees. According to McDonnell, “The ultimate moment for me would be to somehow find out who really killed John F. Kennedy.” As for the once “Big Nasty,” no cause of death was reported; several reports – including the one on KNX – said he died at Los Angeles’ Good Samaritan Hospital after a “brief illness.” A two-hour Friday night (3/13) Jeff Biggs-hosted show on KSPN paid tribute to McDonnell, who typically aired hisJoe & Elizabeth McDonnell “Kick Out” segment Fridays. Poignant, touching, and chillingly appropriate, the final word was given to Elizabeth McDonnell who somehow managed to summon up the strength in her voice to utter she wanted to kick Joe out of LA. Dramatic, goose-bump radio. “When I die,” McDonnell once told Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News, “I want to be cremated and then have a plane spread half of my ashes over Dodger Stadium and the other half over the [ex-home of the Lakers] Forum.”

Friday, March 13, 2015

| March 13, 2015

Laurie Cantillo

WTOP PD Cantillo Departs. Late Friday afternoon (3/13), WTOP, Washington, DC program director (and co-author of “Right Brained Children in a Left Brained World,” 1998) Laurie Cantillo teased her social media followers with this post: “Spring is a time of new beginnings … excited for the future.” That message is actually a follow-up to what was shared earlier in the day with the staff at the Hubbard all-news operation. “The decision has been made to not renew Laurie Cantillo’s contract,” general manager Joel Oxley writes. “The decision was reached mutually by Laurie and me.” In another internal memo, Cantillo states, “Our anchors and reporters have never sounded better and page views for WTOP.com are off the charts. Morale is as high as the International Space Station, where we conducted a historic live interview this morning. We are on ‘TOP’ in every respect, which makes this the right time for me to pursue my next adventure. There is no finer multimedia newsroom in America and I will miss seeing you every day. My immediate plan is to co-create a screenplay and finally get around to writing my next best seller.” Although she notes, “Radio and digital media innovation will continue to be a big part of my life,” she did not indicate if there is a particular station in her future. WTOP news director Mitchell Miller, senior news and sports director Mike McMearty, and managing editor Darci Marchese will share in assuming Cantillo’s duties. WTOP chalked up a mammoth +3.1 to 9.2 (Nielsen Audio PPM, January 2015, 6+) as it progresses from third to first. It is the station’s best mark in exactly one year, equaling the 9.2 it logged in January 2014. WTOP was #1 (6+) for 11 straight monthlies before iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH took the top spot in December and “Holiday” 2014. Simultaneous with graduating from the University of Colorado, Cantillo landed a full-time reporting job in Boulder and she had a 13-year tenure at Denver’s KOA. She was selected to program KTAR, Phoenix in 1997 and was later recruited by cross-town KFYI in a similar capacity. The former WABC, New York programmer joined WTOP in 2011 and officially became program director there upon the retirement of vice president of news and programming Jim Farley.

journalbroadcastgroupPositive 2014 Q4 for Journal Broadcast Group’s Radio Sector.  With the merger with E.W. Scripps expected to close in the second quarter of 2015, Journal Communications reports a positive fourth quarter of 2014 – up 13.6% on revenue of $122 million.  For the radio sector, the fourth quarter saw revenue rise to $22.1 million – an increase of 7.7% (excluding the change in the fiscal year, revenue increased 5.5%).  The company reports that radio political and issue revenue was $0.7 million compared to $0.1 million.  Excluding political and issue, total revenue increased 4.9%, local revenue increased 6.5%, though national revenue decreased 0.9%. Automotive revenue, up 13%, was a driver of local growth.  For the full year, radio revenue increased 3.0% to $79.1 million.  Excluding the change in the fiscal year, revenue increased 2.4%.  Radio political and issue revenue was $1.3 million compared to $0.4 million.  Excluding political and issue revenue, total revenue increased 1.8%, local revenue increased 2.6%, though national revenue, a small component of our revenue, decreased 6.6%.  When the merger deal closes next quarter, Journal and E.W. Scripps will merge their broadcast and digital media assets under a company retaining the E.W. Scripps name and be based in Cincinnati.  Their newspapers and community publications and related digital products will comprise a firm to be called Journal Media Group, based in Milwaukee.

levymitch

KJR, Seattle Re-Ups Levy; Adds Powell for Middays.  Morning drive personality Mitch Levy — with iHeartMedia’s sports talker KJR-AM, Seattle for the past 20 years – will continue in his morningpowellchuck drive role after inking a new contract.  At the same time, the station announces the arrival of Chuck Powell to host the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show.  He most recently was with Bonneville in Phoenix at both sports talk KTAR-AM and the former adult hits KPKX.  Former Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren is also returning to the station this NFL season to serve as NFL expert and contributor.

stocknspca15NSPCA Honors KDWN’s Alan Stock.  For the past 10 years, Las Vegas talk show host Alan Stock has been featuring the Pet Pick of the Week in an effort to get local pets adopted.  Earlier this week, the Nevada SPCA surprised Stock with special recognition for his work.  Pictured here (from l-r) are: Master Magician Lance Burton (former headliner at the Monte Carlo), Stock, and NSPCA president Kathy Jung.  She’s holding Keno, who was in this year’s Puppy Bowl before the Big Game.

XtreMedialogoKevin McCullough’s XtreMEDIA to Present Holy Week-Themed Radio Drama Across U.S. and International Radio Networks.  The audio drama is based on the one-man play being performed in Chicago by actor and radio personality Stephen Baldwin titled, “Heaven, How I Got Here: A Night with the Thief on the Cross.”  McCullough says, “Easter weekend on five  American radio networks and the biggest networks in the United Kingdom (our first jaunt into international broadcasting) a compelling ‘audio drama’ of the same role Stephen is portraying on stage, will be aired on both religious and mainstream spoken word stations across Europe and America.  Thus far 1500-plus stations have signed on and in some clusters/markets like Salem NYC the drama will air nine times from Good Friday evening through end of Easter Sunday. There is no cost to take the broadcast.  We commissioned the Grammy and Dove award winning composer Dick Tunney for an original soundtrack, we created a completely digital sound design, and Stephen re-created the character he will portray on stage to give voice to the ‘thief’ to whom Jesus historically said, ‘This day you will be with me in paradise.'” McCullough says stations wishing to take the radio special can email him at kmc@x3media.net and he’ll be glad to add them to the growing surge of stations gobbling it up.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “Free Talk Live” featuring Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is now heardfreemanedge on Iredell Broadcasting’s WSIC-AM/FM/TV, Statesville, North Carolina, which includes transmission on over-the-air digital TV channel 21.2…..The GCN-syndicated “America Tonight” delaneykatewith Kate Delaney adds affiliate stations in: WSMN, Nashua; WPBQ, Jackson, Mississippi; KIXW, Victorville, California; KTFL, Higley, Arizona and KLOE, Goodland, Kansas…..Syndication Networks-syndicated “Those Weekend Golf Guys” joins the weekend lineup at KQV, Pittsburgh…..“Business Rockstars” is added to the program schedule at KTMS, Santa Barbara and KTVA, Oxnard/Ventura.

Iran Nuclear Controversy Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of March 9-13.  The controversy over President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran and the group of GOP senators who sent a letter to Iran contesting the president’s right to unilaterally make such deals was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week.  Coming in at #2 was the probe of Hillary Clinton’s use of personal email for State Department business.  At #3 was the 2016 presidential prospects followed by the amnesty/immigration issue 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, March 12, 2014

| March 12, 2015

2015 small header_250TALKERS ‘Heavy Hundred’ for 2015 Coming Tuesday, March 24.  The editorial board of TALKERS magazine has set the date for the posting of the 2015 installment of the publication’s annual feature, “The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America.”  This will mark the 20th consecutive year that the talk media trade journal (that is about to mark its 25th anniversary) has been compiling and publishing the list – also known as “The Heavy Hundred.”  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “This year’s list will include a number of familiar faces (and voices) as well as new up-and-comers and several veterans who have unfortunately been overlooked in recent years.”  Casey continues, “Needless to say, compiling this list is extremely challenging – especially since it draws upon both objective and subjective factors – and is the source of heated debate every year among our editors for months leading up to its release.”

ramseyHouston15Dave Ramsey’s Smart Money Event Takes Houston.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey was in Houston on March 11 presenting his Smart Money event at Woodlands Church.  Ramsey discussed how to win with money, strengthen marriages and lead your children with confidence.  Financial expert and speaker Chris Hogan joined Ramsey on stage.  Ramsey combined forces with local affiliate KSEV to promote this event.  In addition to the Smart Money presentation, he also hosted his EntreLeadership 1 Day Event in Houston on Tuesday, March 10.  Ramsey, along with Hogan, spoke about how to run a business using the same common sense principles that Ramsey practices in his own company of more than 400 employees.  KSEV general manager Bonny English says, “KSEV loves having Dave to town!” These events are a great opportunity to re-connect in person with our KSEV audience.  And the event sponsors are always excited to be part of the Ramsey/KSEV family!”

podcastone logoPodcastOne Earns 19 Nominations for People’s Choice Podcast Awards.  When the 10th annual People’s Choice Podcast Awards take place at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino on Tuesday, April 14, PodcastOne will have 19 podcasts vying for honors.  The 10th Annual People’s Choice Podcast Awards will take place during NMX 2015 Las Vegas in conjunction with NAB Show.  The nominees are selected based on podcast-listener submissions directly to the Podcast Awards.  PodcastOne nominees include: The Adam Carolla Show, The Steve Austin Show – Unleashed!, The Dan Patrick Show, Talk is Jericho, The Dr. Drew Podcast, Sex with Emily, Brandi Glanville Unfiltered, Barstool Sports Mailtime, Loveline, Rob Has a Podcast, Eddie Trunk Podcast, Straight Talk with Ross Matthews, Schmoes Knows, Paula White’s Hope for Today, and The Skeptics Guide to the Universe.   Voting takes place at podcastawards.com through March 24. The Podcast Awards will be hosted by PodcastOne personalities Dennis Miller and Emily Morse.

Odds & Sods.  WABC, New York midday team Curtis Sliwa and Ron Kuby spent a good portion of their Wednesday (3/11) program in the studio with just newsman Ken Duffy after a bomb scare forced all other staffers – including their board op and producer Flirty Flipper – to exit the 17th floor of Madison Square Garden.  Sliwa andsliwakuby Kuby refused to leave and did much of the show without callers or commercials in the absence of a board operator…..Westwood One is presenting exclusive coverage of the 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship beginning on Tuesday, March 17.  Full play-by-play action from all 67 men’s basketball games includes the First Four, games from all eight second-round and third-round sites, plus the regional semifinals and finals.  In addition, Westwood One will broadcast the NCAA Men’s Final Four on Saturday, April 4, and the National Championship Game on Monday, April 6, live from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

wkzoAwardWKZO, Kalamazoo Grabs Michigan Station of the Year Title.  Pictured here with the Station of the Year Award for WKZO, Kalamazoo is station brand manager Jeremy Lawrence.  The Midwest Communications news/talk station received the honor from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters during the annual Broadcast Excellence Awards that took place on Wednesday, March 11 in Lansing.  This marks the fifth time that the station has received this award since 2008.  The station also picked up six awards for broadcast excellence in the areas of news and agriculture coverage, promotional materials, commercial production and special programming.  Lawrence comments, “It is a great privilege to lead this team of talented broadcasters.  The Michigan Association of Broadcasters are only making official what we’ve known every single day here at the station, that this is a fantastic group that pour themselves into producing great content every time they come to work.  I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of it.”

Iran Letter/Kerry Response, Hillary Clinton Email Probe, OU Racist Song Case, Latest ISIS Violence, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Immigration/Amnesty Issues, and ‘Blurred Lines’ Ruling Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/11).  The controversy over the Republican-authored letter to Iran over the proposed nuclear deal and Secretary of State John Kerry’s response to Congress; the continuing probe of Hillary Clinton’s use of personal email for State Department business; the case of University of Oklahoma fraternity brothers’ racist song and the school’s response; the reported execution of a captured Mossad agent by a teenage ISIS member; the potential candidates for president in 2016; President Obama’s amnesty order and its effect on immigration; and the legal case of the “Blurred Lines” song were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

| March 11, 2015

salemmediagroup logoSalem Media Group Reports Broadcast Sector Flat in Q4 2014; Net Revenue Up 2.3% for All of 2014.  The company’s net broadcast revenue was up 2.3% on revenue of $192.9 million for the entire year of 2014.  The fourth quarter of 2014, however, was flat on revenue of $48.8 million.  However, the company’s digital and publishing arms performed much better with the digital media sector’s revenue increasing 14.7% to $11.7 million from $10.2 million (compared to the same quarter a year ago).  Publishing revenue rose 47% to $5.4 million from $3.7 million (compared to Q4 of 2013).

ellisrobRob Ellis Exits WIP-FM, Philadelphia.  Telling listeners of his final evening show on CBS RADIO’s WIP-FM, Philadelphia that he’s leaving the station, Rob Ellis lets on that he was not happy being moved from middays – where he was partnered with Anthony Gargano prior to Gargano’s exit from the station last December – to evenings as Josh Innes was moved up from nights to work with Tony Bruno on the new midday show.  He teases that he’ll be seen and heard in the market but was not specific.

TALKERS/RadioInfo Publisher Michael Harrison Joins Podcast One to Host Weekly Podcast. TALKERS/RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison and Norm Pattiz have announced entering into an agreement harrisonUpCloseFarOutin which Harrison will host a weekly podcast on Pattiz’ PodcastOne, the leader in advertiser-supported, on-demand digital audio with more than 200 programs downloaded over 120 million times every month. Titled, Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison, the podcast, which officially debuted yesterday (3/10), delivers provocative insights into the digital era’s rapidly evolving technology and the effects of these changes on the human condition. In addition to conducting candid, probing conversations with top contemporary thinkers from the arts, science, business and pop culture worlds, Harrison will share personal experiences and perspectives culled from his long-standing career as one of the most influential media observers and analysts in the broadcasting realm for more than four-and-a-half decades. “Up Close and Far Out has found the perfect platform for distribution and promotion with the leading podcaster, PodcastOne, to deliver illuminating insights and stimulating information to the rapidly growing podcast audience in the most modern and timely way possible,” says Michael Harrison. “It will be a pleasure and valuable opportunity to once again be associated with this innovative company’s extraordinary founder, Norm Pattiz.” This marks the first time that Michael Harrison has agreed to take on a regularly scheduled performance role on a platform outside those under the TALKERS magazine umbrella in more than 20 years and he credits that largely to his confidence in Pattiz. Harrison and Pattiz worked together in the mid-1970s when Pattiz was launching Westwood One and Harrison hosted, wrote and produced one of that company’s earliest groundbreaking offerings, The Great American Radio Show with Michael Harrison. “Michael Harrison’s track record of success in predicting, defining and participating in media trends spans the digital divide and is nothing short of extraordinary — and we are excited to expand that from the newspaper, magazine, radio and television commentaries in which he has become a universally recognized resource to the intimate and unfiltered realm of his own regularly scheduled podcast,” says Norm Pattiz, chairman and CEO of PodcastOne. “Bringing his unique brand of articulate analysis and intelligent conversational skills to the table, Michael Harrison knows how to connect with both the professional media practitioner and educated pop culture consumer on a remarkably high and consistent level.” Harrison adds, “Whereas my work in the industry trades focuses primarily on information directly applicable to professionals in the radio, TV and digital realm, this project will be more aggressively speculative and theoretical – targeted to the hardcore ‘media freaks’ in and beyond the industry.” This unique podcast, Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison, will be available on www.PodcastOne.com, the PodcastOne app, www.talkers.com, www.RadioInfo.com, and iTunes. The podcast can be directly accessed at www.podcastone.com/up-close-and-far-out

Odds & Sods.  Another podcaster is added to the program lineup at Dupage Radio’s WCKG, Elmhurst, Illinois (suburban Chicago) as “The Dolly McCarthy Show” joins for weekends.  WCKG general manager Matt Dubiel says, “We’re always working on new ways to live up to our mission to be the WGN of the suburbs.  Adding Dolly – a suburban mother who is involved in suburban organizations and hosts a show about suburban affairs – makes her show a win-win for everyone…and sure beats crazy, political shout-fests!”…..Mahindra USA and Yahoo Sports Radio are hitting the air with a comprehensive, nationwide marketing partnership to support the continued robust growth of the Mahindra brand and the company’s extensive dealer network.  As part of the Yahoo Sports Radio campaign and in appreciation of their service, Mahindra is offering First Responders across America an opportunity to win a Mahindra eMax 22 HST tractor with front-end loader.  Any active or retired law enforcement, firefighter or EMT is eligible to enter through Yahoo Sports Radio’s website or www.tributetothebrave.com between March 6 – April 4, 2015.

cosbyritaCumulus New York Talent to Be Honored with Gracie Awards.  Broadcasters from Cumulus Media’s New York stations will be honored with three Gracie Awards from the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation during the awards presentation on June 22 at the New York Hilton Hotel.  Thefordkelly awards are about recognizing excellence in programming by, for or about women. Capturing Gracie Awards at Cumulus New York are: Rita Cosby, WABC for Outstanding Host-News/Non-Fiction, Local Market Radio; “The Ride Home with Pat Kiernan & Rita Cosby,” WABC New York, for Outstanding Talk Show-News, Local Market Radio; and “NASH Matters with Kelly Ford” featuring the Grace Institute, WNSH “NASH-FM 94.7” for Outstanding Interview Program or Feature, Local Market Radio.

biggerpicture‘The Bigger Picture’ Celebrates Two Years on Los Angeles Airwaves This Month.  The idea for the radio program that would become “The Bigger Picture with Timothy Spangler” began when the host returned to the United States in 2012 after spending 10 years in London.  Spangler says that the experience gave him “a platform to learn the ways of the world outside the sterile partisan political debates so common in American media.”  He says the concept was simple: a live weekly radio show that would focus on international affairs and global events that would approach the stories and guests with ample amounts of humor, familiar to listeners who had grown up on “The Daily Show” and “Colbert Report.”  By avoiding domestic political issues – too often talked to death during the week on traditional AM stations – he hoped to give listeners a refreshingly different radio experience.  “The world is a funny place,” according to Spangler, “and we just want to share that with as many people as we can.”  Joined by college buddies actor David C Fisher and musician Phillip Sparks, the three UCLA alumni decided to launch the show on Salem Media Group’s news/talk KRLA “AM870 The Answer.”  “We were drawn to the heritage of KRLA, which is a station anyone who grew up in LA is familiar with.”  Spangler says they kick off the Sunday 10:00 pm show with a news round-up featuring the strangest and most puzzling news stories from around the globe – German grandmothers thwarting bank robberies, Venezuelan grocery stores running out of toilet paper – all are fair game.  On a more serious note, each week the BIG story goes in depth on a topic or development that has not yet received the attention it deserves – important stories that mainstream media are unwilling to make time for, says Spangler.  He also books top-notch guests to talk about the world’s issues.  Some recent guests include: Edward Norton, Stevie Wonder, Jim Kerr from the rock band Simple MindsLesley Nicol, who plays “Mrs. Patmore” on PBS‘ “Downton Abbey,” Mathew Rhys, star of FX‘s hit drama, “The Americans,” and Jeff Perry, star of the ABC hit television series, “Scandal,” to name just a few.  As for the future of the program, Spangler observes that the content is not local market-specific and clearly lends itself to a national audience.  Conversations with syndicators and affiliates are ongoing, and the team hopes to bring “The Bigger Picture” to more and more listeners in the months ahead.

weeksdonLongtime Albany Talk Personality Don Weeks Dies at 76.  Four years after retiring from a 30-year stint as morning drive host at WGY, Albany in 2010, Don Weeks passed away at age 76.  The Daily Report of Schenectady wrote that Weeks had been in failing health.  He lost his wife Suzanne in December of 2014.  “Uncle Don” began hosting the morning show in December of 1980 and earned a Marconi Award in 2005.  He started in radio in the Capital Region in 1956.

Hillary Clinton Email Probe, Iran Nukes Deal Controversy, OU Sigma Alpha Epsilon Racism Case, Amnesty Issue, 2016 Presidential Prospects, ‘Blurred Lines’ Ruling, and Apple Unveils Watch Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/10).  The ongoing investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of private email for State Department business; the battle between Congress and President Obama over the proposed Iran nukes deal; the racial tensions ignited at University of Oklahoma after a fraternity is recorded singing a song with racist lyrics; the GOP’s fight against President Obama’s amnesty orders; the potential candidates for president in 2016; a jury sides with the estate of Marvin Gaye in the “Blurred Lines” case; and Apple unveils its soon to be marketed Watch product were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

| March 10, 2015

scottjimEnd of an Era in Cincinnati as Jim Scott Announces Retirement from WLW.  Legendary Cincinnati morning personality Jim Scott announced on the WLW airwaves today that he is retiring after a 54-year career, effective April 6.  As reported by the Cincinnati Enquirer, Mike McConnell will take over the morning show.  McConnell left WLW’s midday show to work with former boss Randy Michaels at Chicago’s WGN.  He spent three years there.  In making the announcement, Scott said the choice to retire is entirely his.  He began his Cincinnati career in 1968 on WSAI.

rossiray‘New Jersey 101.5’ Parts Ways with Overnight Host Ray Rossi.  The station will air “rewind” versions of the midday “Dennis & Judi” show and the afternoon drive “Deminski & Doyle” program.  WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5″ brand manager Eric Johnson says the Townsquare Media station will “continue to offer breaking news, weather, and trafficwkxw updates…each weeknight from 12:00 midnight to 5:00 am.”  At one time Rossi was partnered with Craig Carton in afternoon drive in the first incarnation of “The Jersey Guys.”  After Carton left to become Boomer Esiason’s partner in mornings on WFAN, New York, Rossi partnered with Casey Bartholomew.  When “Deminski & Doyle” took over afternoon drive, Rossi moved to the overnight show.  Johnson says, “We wish Ray all the best and thank him for his many years of service.”

mancowMancow Returns to FM Music Radio as Morning Host of WLUP-FM, Chicago.  After a tryouts stunt by Cumulus Media’s classic rock WLUP-FM, Chicago for a new morning drive personality, it’s being reported by numerous Chicago media outlets that today, Erich Mancow Muller will get the gig and anwlup logo official announcement will follow.  Others who spent a week on the air in hopes of landing the position included: Liz Wilde, Abe Kanan and Shadoe Stevens.  After exiting alternative WKQX, Chicago in 2006, Mancow reinvented himself as a young-skewing conservative talk personality and was syndicated by TRN-FM for a number of years.  He’s been off radio since last fall.

sagaSaga Communications Q4 2014 Radio Net Operating Revenue Up 6.3%.  The latest financials from Saga Communications have been released and for the radio division, the fourth quarter of 2014 was a good one, with net operating revenue up 6.3%.  For all of 2014, Saga’s radio division reports net operating revenue was up 3.4% on revenue of $113.6 million.

bunkerdanforthKPOJKPOJ, Portland Launches New Morning Drive Show.  The new morning show on iHeartMedia’s sports talk KPOJ, Portland “Rip City Radio 620” is “Rip City Mornings with Bunker and Danforth.”  Andy Bunker was most recently with Bonneville’s KIRO-AM, Seattle.  The station says Taylor Danforth is a native Oregonian, high school athlete and a graduate of the University of Oregon.  He spent his first years in radio calling play-by-play for high school football games and most recently was on-air at another local sports station.  iHeartMedia Portland SVP of programming Dave Hill says, “We see an incredible opportunity to produce a local sports morning show for Portland.  They are hungry to talk about Portland sports and we are thrilled to give them the first shot each morning.”

WTOPWTOP-FM, WRC-TV Create D.C. News Alliance. The joint venture – which begins in two weeks (3/25) – is between Hubbard Washington, DC all-news operation WTOP and cross-town NBCUniversal-owned WRC-TV “NBC 4.” WTOP senior vice president and general manager Joel Oxley opines, “The Washington region is the most educated and information-hungry market in America. WTOP and ‘NBC 4′ are committed to serving the needs of our community with timely, accurate news from the most trusted teams of journalists in the nation’s capital.” WRC-TV “NBC 4″ president and general manager Jackie Bradford declares, “The combined forces of two dynamic, cutting-edge newsrooms working together on all platforms will be powerful. This partnership will serve people throughout the Washington area well by delivering the most up-to-date local news, information, and weather.” In addition to the two entities covering breakingWRC-TV news in a collaborative way, WTOP reporters will be featured on “NBC 4″ newscasts and “NBC 4″ reporters will be heard throughout the day on WTOP. WRC-TV’s “Storm Team 4″ meteorologists will provide forecasts on WTOP every ten minutes on the eights.

beasleyLVcontainerBeasley Las Vegas to Open Radio Studio at ‘Downtown Container Park’ Destination.  The partnership between Beasley Media Group Las Vegas and D&C Entertainment will soon bring to fruition the “Beasley Media/Cox Business Broadcasting Studio” to the city’s Downtown Container Park (pictured here) – what will be the first and only radio broadcasting studio in the park – an open-air shopping center and entertainment venue featuring almost 40 shops, restaurants and bars.   Beasley says its Las Vegas VP and market manager Tom Humm, along with D&C Entertainment “recognized the value in creating a visual and interactive location for not only live radio broadcasts, but also interviews with entertainers, celebrities and local dignitaries. The space was selected for its close proximity to the stage. With Cox Business onboard as a Studio Sponsor, the vision became a reality the first part of this year.  Construction began February 17, 2015 and the completion of the Beasley Media/Cox Business Broadcasting Studio is expected in early April, 2015.”  The completed facility will be a fully functional radio broadcasting studio featuring state-of-the-art broadcasting equipment from the Wheatstone Company.  Humm comments, “We envision bringing and supporting live events at the Downtown Container Park.  Through our five radio stations, Beasley Media Group Las Vegas reaches over 1 million local residents weekly.  There’s a terrific synergy between our audience, D&C Entertainment’s ideas and the size and popularity of Downtown Container Park.  We’re confident that once completed, our radio broadcasting facility will be a major highlight to the downtown area.  In radio, it’s all about the community.  What better way to entertain and serve our community than through a visible, completely functioning radio studio in the Downtown Container Park.”

Monday, March 9, 2015

| March 9, 2015

carrhowieHowie Carr to Return to WRKO, Boston.  As Entercom puts it – “one of the more public divorces in Boston media history turns out to have been just a trial separation” – as Howie Carr resumes his talk radio career on the company’s WRKO effective March 16 hosting the afternoon drive show from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm and replacing interim host Mike Siegel.  After exiting WRKO at the end of December, the Howie Carr show was heard on Blackstrap-owned WMEX, Boston.  Entercom Boston VP and market manager Phil Zachary comments, “As the weeks passed, it became obvious to me that WRKO and Howie belongwrkologo together.  It’s that quirky relationship that everyone says will never last but ends up enduring longer than most because both partners enhance the other’s strengths and talents.”  Carr began his radio talk career on WRKO in 1994 and it is now syndicated via his own Howie Carr Radio Network (HCRN) throughout the Northeast.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “Howie Carr is one of the most potent local hosts in talk radio today bringing an extremely loyal and active listenership with him no matter what station he’s on.  He is so popular in New England that his appeal has spread from the Hub [Boston] to almost 20 major stations across the six-state region making his network a model example of regional syndication.  There is no question, however, that Howie Carr and the legendary WRKO are a natural fit – I am so pleased to see they’ve worked out their differences.”  Howie Carr and his dynamic wife Kathy Carr, who serves as VP of sales and marketing for HCRN and is one of the chief architects of his network, will be among the 65 speakers appearing at the forthcoming Talkers New York 2015 on Friday, June 12.

mcmahonbillThe Artist’s Secret: The Force that Guides Successful Radio Personalities.  Talk radio consultant and TALKERS contributor Bill McMahon says that in his 25-plus years of coaching talent, he has discovered a force common to successful radio personalities, as well as all outstanding artists.  He calls it “The Artist’s Secret” and it consists of three basic elements:  1) instinctive reactions – the inspiration for their ideas which come from inside; 2) audience of one – their focus on pleasing themselves, first and foremost; and 3) “I matter” – the belief that what they think and do actually can make a difference.  In an advice piece posted today (3/9) in TALKERS, McMahon cites three (of many) examples he’s collected of well-known creative figures and shows how they embody these principles.  They include controversial actor/film maker, Mel Gibson; the genius behind Pixar’s success, John Lasseter; and radio icon, Howard Stern.  To read McMahon’s piece, please click here.

theblaze logoFormer Glenn Beck Execs to Launch Own Digital Venture.  Two of the former executives involved in the building of Glenn Beck’s Mercury Radio Arts and its subsidiary TheBlaze, are partnering up to launch a new digital venture but are mum on just what it will be.  Regular TALKERS readers remember that Chris Balfe was CEO of Mercury Radio Arts and that he left in December of last year.  Betsy Morgan was promoted to CEO.  Now, come reports that president and chief content officer Joel Cheatwood quietly left the company last month.  Beck’s camp issued a statement from Beck praising the two men.  “Chris and Joel helped me build one of the industry’s first truly independent multi-media companies.  I am sad to see them go but they left our company with an incredible foundation.  I am truly grateful that we remain friends and am very excited to see what they do next.”  CNN reports that TheBlaze has been working to get carriage on the nation’s largest cable and TV systems but have not been able to secure deals with Comcast (the largest cable operator) or DirecTV (the top satellite provider).

cookehollandCooke: Weekend Call Screener Tips.  Media consultant Holland Cooke provides this quick primer for call screeners to weekend talk shows.  Among some of the advice included are:
“Prepping callers before they go to the host on-air is real important.  Not-doing-so is where lots of shows drop the ball on the one yard line.”; “Our goal is to keep…listeners…listening…by coming-to-the-point, at-the-speed-of-life.  So help the caller boil-it-down to an opening statement that communicates his/her point succinctly.”  And there’s much more advice that is crucial for weekend call screeners helping to improve the show.  You can either read more here, or view the video in the Talkers TV screen on the upper right-hand side of this main page at Talkers.com.

mennutotonyMennuto to CBS RADIO for Marketing Post.  Joining CBS RADIO as vice president, branded content solutions, is marketing pro Tony Mennuto.  The company says he’s being charged with developing “unique audio and video marketing opportunities for advertisers that can be distributed across a variety of platforms, building awareness and increasing brand recognition.  Among his responsibilities will be to create entertaining and experiential storytelling programs that leverage the broadcast reach and expertise of CBS RADIO.”  Mennuto will report to Rich Lobel, executive vice president and CMO, Altitude Group, CBS RADIO’s team of local engagement experts tasked with helping Fortune 500 brands connect with consumers using its 117 stations and live events platform, along with assets from CBS Television Stations, and CBS Local Digital Media.  Previously, Mennuto was founder and CCO of MisterFace.

piolineddie‘Piolin’ Joins PodcastOne Roster. The first Hispanic entertainment program available on-demand via PodcastOne is that of Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo. PodcastOne chairman and chief executive officer Norm Pattiz comments, “It is very exciting to be entering the high-demand Hispanic marketplace with one of the most popular personalities in Spanish entertainment. ‘Piolin’ leads the way in his field with a massive, loyal audience. Building off PodcastOne’s proven history of results, this opens an additional demographic reach for new and existing advertisers across our digital platform.” Sotelo (“Piolin”) remarks that he is “thrilled and podcastone logohonored” to be part of the company’s initial Spanish-language podcasting venture. “I am incredibly excited to make ‘El Show de Piolin’ available to listeners on demand through our new podcasts on PodcastOne. It will strengthen my connection with listeners and give them another way to access the show whenever they want to listen. I know how much it will mean to the industry that Norm Pattiz chose our show to be a part of [this] forward-thinking, trailblazing platform.” In 2002, HBC hired “Piolin” to do mornings on KCSA, Los Angeles. The Mexico native was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame 16 months ago and the NAB has named Sotelo “Top Spanish Format Personality” in 2006, 2008, and 2010. He formed Los Angeles-based production/syndication company Alliance Radio Networks, which launched “El Show de Piolin” this past January. The program airs in approximately 40 markets in the United States. Effective immediately, PodcastOne has exclusive rights to advertising sales and distribution of the podcast, with new episodes available weekdays on PodcastOne.com and iTunes.

smithjakeWGMD, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware Personality Gone After Islam Rant.  It’s actually been more than three weeks since Jake Smith was Mike Bradley’s on-air partner on the morning drive show on Resort Broadcasting’s news/talk WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  Smith did not return to the air after the February 20 program during which he went on an anti-Muslim diatribe that included the statement, “As far as I’m concerned, not every Muslim is guilty, but every Muslim is suspect.”  For his part, Smith is unapologetic and tells DelawareOnline that the company treated him well and had the right to dismiss him.

krebsjoelKrebs Upped to LSM of Portland Quartet. Two-year Alpha Media Portland account executive Joel Krebs is boosted to local sales manager of FM talker KXL, sports KXTG AM & FM “The Game,” and talk KUFO “Freedom 970.” Senior vice president and market manager Milt McConnell remarks, “Joel has distinguished himself as both a leader and mentor; he is very deserving of this promotion.” Director of sales Amy Leimbach comments, “Joel Krebs has been a very positive asset to the Alpha sales organization. I am confident that his leadership skills will generate great success with our talk properties in Portland.” Krebs notes, “I am excited to continue the growth of this solid sales department and stations with our rapidly growing company.” Prior to joining Alpha Media Portland, Krebs had a 13-year tenure – five of which as sales manager – with the Portland stations owned by Entercom.

Odds & Sods. Joining the BlogTalkRadio podcast community is the Pac-12 Conference. BlogTalk Radio announces the conference produces two podcasts focusing on the football and basketball seasons. They are hosted by Mike Yam and feature analysts Kevin O’Neill and Rick Neuheisel…..Greater Media Boston announces co-hosts Candy O’Terry and Sue Tabb will receive Gracie Allen Awards from the Alliance For Women in Media in the categories of Portrait/Biography series and Best Soft News feature for “Love Is All Around,” a series about three Boston-based charities: Love Lane Special Needs Horseback Riding Program, Lucy’s Love Bus and Lovin’ Spoonfuls.

Friday, March 6, 2015

| March 6, 2015

beasley logo longBeasley Reports 2014 Q4 Pro Forma Net Revenue Dips 4.3%.  Getting an accurate picture of the fourth quarter – not to mention the total of 2014 – is a bit dicey because of the asset exchange between Beasley and CBS RADIO.  But as Beasley chairman and CEO George Beasley says in the press release, “On a reported basis, fourth quarter net revenue from continuing operations rose 23.5% and SOI [station operating income] increased 14.6%, while operating income of $1.8 million was impacted by $1.7beasleygeorge million of transaction and termination expenses related to the Asset Exchange and otherwise would have compared favorably with the $2.8 million in the comparable year ago period.  However, given the required accounting treatment for discontinued operations, the results include only one month of operations from the stations we received in the asset exchange, while excluding the results of the stations we gave up in the transaction.  As a result, we believe a pro forma presentation, which assumes the asset exchange occurred on January 1, 2013, better reflects the operating results.  On a pro forma basis, fourth quarter net revenue decreased 4.3% to $28.9 million while SOI declined 8.0% to $9.2 million.  Importantly, while the fourth quarter pro forma presentation allows for a comparison of the same stations during both periods, it does not reflect our recently initiated and planned format and personnel changes in Tampa as well as expense reductions in Tampa and Charlotte, the benefits of which we expect will be reflected in our results as we move through 2015 and into 2016.”

kkfn logo20 Years of KKFN Sports Talk in Denver Being Recognized.  This Monday (3/9), Lincoln Financial Media will celebrate 20 years of sports talk in Denver on KKFN.  The format is now heard on KKFN-FM “104.3 The Fan,” but debuted in 1994 on KKFN-AM.  The special broadcast will feature several former personalities and athletes who have been part of the two-decade history.  The station’s original lineup included: the Fabulous Sports Babe (Nanci Donnellan), Woody Paige & Todd Mansfield, Doug Moe & Tom Green and Jeff Reckard.  On Monday the station will welcome back former Fan personalities Woody Paige, Tom Green, Dan Issel, Charles Johnson, Irv Brown and Joe Williams.  They will be joined by Rockies radio announcer Jerry Schemmel.  The station’s current lineup is: “The Fan Morning Show with Mike Evans, Nate Lundy and Vic Lombardi” (5:30 am to 9:00 am), Dan Patrick (9:00 am to 12:00  noon), Sandy Clough and Scott Hastings (12:00 noon to 3:00 pm), “The Drive”­ with Alfred “Big Al” Williams and Darren “D-Mac” McKee (3:00 pm to 9:00 pm) and “The Fan Late Night” with Ryan Edwards and Shawn Drotar (9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight).  “The Fan” will also hold an anniversary party on Thursday, March 26, at the Sports Column in downtown Denver.  Listeners will get the chance to celebrate with members of “The Fan” on-air staff and celebrities.

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia Names Charlie Wilkinson Dallas Market President.   Moving to Texas from his most recent position with the company as regional president overseeing Charlotte and Raleigh, Charlie Wilkinson becomes market president of iHeartMedia’s six Dallas properties.  EVP of operations – Texas majors Kelly Kibler comments, “Charlie has exceeded expectations and consistently raises the bar.  He has proven his ability to create and lead winning teams.  I’m confident he will continue to deliver consistent integrated revenue growth for the Dallas cluster.”  Former market president, Deidre Richter, will join iHeartMedia’s national sales team and will report to Jeff Howard, president of national sales.  Richter will lead the South Central Connections Team.

Odds & Sods.  At the Cromwell Group’s Nashville sports talk duo “94.9 The Game 2” — WQZQ-AM and W235BW – morning drive co-host Joe Dubin leaves the station and partner Greg Pogue to return to television sports as sports anchor on WSMV-TV, Nashville, effective March 30…..This weekend begins Westwood One Sports’ presentation of a slate of exclusive women’s college basketball broadcasts this month.  It gets underway Sunday with the Pac-12 Women’s Championship game andwestwood one sports culminating with the Women’s Final Four and National Championship in Tampa on April 7.  On Tuesday, March 10, WW1 broadcasts the Big East Women’s Championship, live from Allstate Arena in Chicago.  CBS Sports Radio talk-show host Amy Lawrence has the play-by-play, along with former University of Connecticut All-American Swin Cash as the analyst…..Salem Media Group New York brings Chief of Robotic Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital, Dr. David Samadi, to the staff serving as chief medical correspondent for news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” and Christian talk WMCA “AM 570 The Mission.”  Additionally, Dr. Samadi will host the new program “World Health News with Dr. Samadi,” airing Sundays from 10:00 am to 11:00 am.

curtiskubyroast15Curtis & Kuby Roast Takes Place Monday in NYC.  Gotham Comedy Club will be the site of the Curtis & Kuby Roast on Monday, March 9 at 7:00 pm.  The duo – heard daily in middays on Cumulus Media’s WABC – will be in attendance as Roast Master Rich Vos (featured on Comedy Central, HBO, and Showtime) hosts a night of no-holds-barred comedy in honor of talk radio odd couple Curtis Sliwa and Ron Kuby.  Comedians Kurt Metzger, Bonnie McFarlane, Geno Bisconte, Aaron Berg, and The Stone Brothers will all come out to roast the duo. Limited tickets are still available at www.wabcradio.com. The event is produced by Jeffrey Gurian in conjunction with Gotham Comedy Club and 77 WABC.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The sports programming from Yahoo! Sports Radio is now being heard on Word Broadcasting’s WVHI, Evansville, Indiana…..The Genesis Communications Network-syndicated “Freedom Feens” show is now being heard on affiliate stations WRMN, Elgin, Illinois (Chicago market) and on WPNN, Pensacola, Florida.

Netanyahu Speech/Iran Nukes Top Talkers TenTM for Week of March 2-6.  The speech before Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the issue of a pact to allow Iran’s nuclear program to expand were tied for the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week.  At #2 was the Supreme Court’s hearing a challenge to the Affordable Care Act. Coming in at #3 was the probe of Hillary Clinton’s use of private email for State Department business, followed by the Homeland Security Department funding battle and President Obama’s amnesty order at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio this 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, March 5, 2015

| March 5, 2015

limbaughrushReport That WLS-AM, Chicago to Drop Limbaugh Denied by Cumulus.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reported earlier today (3/5) that inside sources at Cumulus Media Chicago say news/talk WLS-AM is preparing to drop Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh from the daily lineup due to sagging ratings and revenue.  However, after Feder reported that Cumulus initially had no comment on the matter, the company is now telling him the report is “not at all accurate.”  Regular TALKERS readers are aware that WLS-AM has been revamping its lineup, recently announcing the arrival of Jonathon Brandmeier to the program schedule for the 9:00 am to 11:00 am slot but Cumulus is insistent that the initial Limbaugh story is not true.

infinitedial2015Cooke: Analysis of Infinite Dial 2015.  The Infinite Dial 2015 study was released by the folks at Edison Research and Triton Digital on March 4 and the results are, in the words of consultant Holland Cooke, “must-reading for anyone, in any format, in radio.  And ‘anyone’ includes sales.”  This year, the annual study was based on data from answers to questions posed to 2,002 persons 12+ (during January and February of this year) and addresses the broad query of media usage in various circumstances.  What’s not particularly surprising is the continued rise in preference for Internet-based media by consumers.  But the actual numbers shed some light on how and why people are going to a particular medium for content.  See Holland Cooke’s summary and commentary on the study here.

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: News/Talk (Part 2).  TALKERS magazine managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian presents the second of his two-part analysis of the performances of news/talk stations based on data from the January 2015 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  This second part focuses on non-commercial talk stations.  Kinosian says it’s true that many non-com or public stations more variety outlets, so he clarifies the definition.  “Stations comprising this base lean toward spoken-word programming (specifically talk and news – locally originated and/or from NPR).  Some might play music as well – from alternative to bluegrass to classical and practically anything else in between. ‘Variety’ or another such label could be affixed to these stations, but we are choosing to group them under ‘talk’ (since that is their primary thrust) with an added ‘noncommercial/public’ designation.  See the entire report here.

2015 NYC 150Don’t Be Shut Out of Talkers New York 2015.  Registrations are being booked at a rapid pace as Talkers New York 2015 is heading toward being an early sell-out.   A power-packed, informative agenda and fantastic business/career networking opportunities will be part of the day-long conference set for Friday, June 12 at the India House Club in the Big Apple’s historic Financial District.  Registrations are priced at $299 per person.   Registrations, which are only open to professionals currently or recently employed in media-related industries, include all sessions, presentations, exhibits and breakfast/lunch/refreshment/and social networking activities.  The heavyweight, non-stop agenda will include approximately 65 speakers and 500 attendees are again expected. Join such figures as (in alphabetical order): Mike “Bax” Baxendale, Ethan Bearman, Mike Bendixon, David Bernstein, Michael Berry, Jim Bohannon, Phil Boyce, Dr. Joy Browne, Tony Bruno, Howie Carr, Kathy Carr, Kevin Casey, Alan Colmes, Mandy Connell, Holland Cooke, John Dickey, Erica Farber, Mike Francesa, Steve Goldstein, Sean Hannity, Michael Harrison, Ron Hartenbaum, Thom Hartmann, Bill Hess, Karen Hunter, Brad Kelly, Mike Kinosian, Tom Langmyer, Carole Marks, Tom Marr, Jimmy Mathis, Mike McVay, McGraw Milhaven, Greg Moceri, Todd Schnitt, Joe Sciacca, Julie Talbott, David Webb, Dan Yorke, Larry Young and many more as the roster of outstanding speakers continues to be announced in the days ahead.  Registrations can only be taken over the phone and paid for by credit card.  To register, call 413-565-5413; for sponsorship information, email info@talkers.com; and for local hotel information please click here.

lundinloriLori Lundin Wins a Gracie.  A big TALKERS congratulations to WTOP, Washington, DC news reporter Lori Lundin upon being announced a winner of a Gracies Award for her special report titled “Libido in Limbo.”  The piece deals with the dearth of sexual dysfunction drugs on the market for women and a new potentially helpful drug, Flibanserin, that has been going through the testing phase.  Lundin reports, “Declining hormones, job stress and other problems can take their toll in the bedroom and on relationships.  And while the airwaves are saturated with ads for sexual dysfunction drugs for men… where are the sex drive drugs for women?”  Lundin’s Gracie Award is for the category “Local Market Outstanding Reporter/Correspondent.” She will receive it from the Alliance for Women in Media at a special awards luncheon at the New York Hilton on Monday, June 22.  What makes this award particularly special is the fact that the past few years have been exceptionally challenging for Lundin.  She was a breast cancer survivor, still in recovery, when she was let go from her anchor position at Mark MastersAmerica’s Radio News Network when that operation unexpectedly shut down in 2013.  Facing tough going in a shrinking radio news job market, the seasoned radio newswoman turned to WTOP where she was given part-time and fill-in work as she began to regain her health and get back on her feet.  It was during this stint that she has won the aforementioned honor.  On hearing about Lundin’s achievement, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “I have been following the saga of Lori Lundin since this outstanding woman first came to my attention during the sad ARNN fiasco.  She is not only an extremely talented, intelligent and hard-working broadcast journalist in the truest sense of the term – but she is an extraordinarily brave human being as well.  It warms my heart to see her honored with a Gracie in this manner.  God bless you Lori! You are an inspiration!”  To hear Lori Lundin’s report, please click below.

1. Libido In Limbo     

 

Odds & Sods.  Moving up to program director and web editor at Dot Com Plus-owned sports talk WNSP, Mobile, Alabama is afternoon drive co-host Randy Kennedy.  He takes over for Chip Ramsey and he will remain co-host of “The Afternoon Sports Drive” alongside Mark Heim…..Broadcast journalist and bestselling author Jane Velez-Mitchell launches a new show on ConnectPal.com.  The former CNN personality will present original video content that takes viewers behind the scenes of her latest venture, the social media news operation –JaneUnChained.com…..College Station, Texas gets an FM sports talker as Brazos Valley Communications flips rock KJXJ “Rock 103.9” to sports using ESPN Radio content and branding the station “ESPN Aggieland.”…..“The Successful Farming Radio Magazine” recently celebrated the 5,000th installment of the daily agricultural radio feature.  Show host and creator Darrell Anderson and his wife, Maureen, started North Shore Productions to syndicate and produce the program which debuted January 1, 1996, with 44 affiliate stations, mostly in the Midwest.  It now airs on 133 stations in 20 states.

kfwb sportsCool Job Opportunity.  KFWB, Los Angeles “980 The Beast” is seeking a Promotion Manager.  This person will develop and manage from inception to completion all station promotions, events and contests.  Regular activities will include aggressively establishing the station’s street presence; building key relationships; managing, hiring and training Street Team staff; creating collateral materials including writing copy and press advisories; ordering merchandise; managing promo inventory; growing the station’s database and subscription services.  Candidate will serve as a liaison between the programming and sales departments to help achieve ratings growth and develop client promotions.  See more info and apply here.

Hillary Clinton Email Probe, SCOTUS ObamaCare Case, Fed’s Ferguson Discrimination Report, Iran Nukes Issue, 2016 Presidential Prospects, South Korea Ambassador Attacked, and Winter Weather Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/4).  The investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of private email for State Department business; the Affordable Care Act case being heard by the Supreme Court; the scathing report on Ferguson, Missouri’s record of discrimination and harassment of minorities; the issue of a treaty that would allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons; the potential candidates for president 2016; the knife attack of the U.S.’s ambassador to South Korea; and the ongoing wintry weather across much of the country were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

| March 4, 2015

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: News/Talk (Part 1).  TALKERS magazine managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian presents the third in a four-part series of reports analyzing the performances of spoken-word radio stations based on January 2015 PPM survey data from Nielsen Audio.  This story focuses on commercial news/talk stations.  Kinosian writes that the first reports published “presented overviews of the truly astonishing January 2015 PPM ratings performances turned in by news and sports outlets.  Those extraordinary stats notwithstanding (especially with all-news), we have quite possibly saved the best for last in analyzing the most omnipresent genre under the spoken-word umbrella, talk stations.  For several reasons, we have separated “talk” into two groups – commercial, and non-commercial/public.  The January 2015 ratings overview of commercial talkers appears today, while the companion piece for non-commercial/public talk stations will be posted tomorrow.  Either way you slice it though, it was a strong sweep for both groups and the numbers will confirm that as being the height of understatement.”  Check out the analysis here.

wbzTsarnaevtrialCovering the Boston Marathon Bombing Trial.  With one of the nation’s most-watched trials beginning in Boston, CBS RADIO’s WBZ-AM, “Newsradio 1030” is announcing its coverage plans that include a weekly podcast produced by WBZ reporters Lana Jones and Carl Stevens called, “The Boston Marathon Bombing Trial Podcast: U.S. v. Tsarnaev.”  The station says, “WBZ NewsRadio 1030 will have comprehensive reporting in newscasts throughout the day as well as digital and social media real-time reporting while court is in session.  In an effort to reach those listeners who need their news ‘on-demand,’ WBZ debuts today a weekly podcast of the highlights of the ground-breaking trial.”  The podcast will be published each Friday morning.  Pictured here outside the WBZ Mobile Newsroom are (from l-r): Stevens, Jones, and studio producer Peter Clarke.

henckmitchMitch Henck Returns to Madison Airwaves with iHeartMedia.  After exiting iHeartMedia’s news/talk WIBA, Madison in June of last year, Henck began producing his own daily webcast.  Now, he returns to the Madison airwaves on WIBA’s sister WXXM-FM daily 8:00 am to 11:00 am.  Additionally, he’ll also be available via the iHeartRadio platform.  Henck says, “I’m thrilled to be returning to the iHeartMedia airwaves where I got my start in talk radio.”  The station says that “politics, culture, history, media, education, religion, along with Mitch’s favorites – standup comedy, professional golf, and college basketball – will be daily fare on 92.1FM beginning Monday, March 23.”

wgan logoChris Mac to Exit WGAN/WZAN Brand Manager Post; Plum Gig Opens.  After some 25 years with Saga Communications’ talk stations WGAN and WZAN in Portland Maine, brand manager and news director Chris Mac is exiting the radio business for a post at a local financial institution.  That means a really cool gig is opening and here’s how Saga is advertising it: Portland Brand Manager/News Director.  Saga Communications has an opening to lead its top news/talk radio WGAN and its sister brands in beautiful Portland, Maine.  Successful candidates will exhibit an ability to lead a five-person news department, develop and coach local talent, direct programming, develop and curate a contemporary sound for the entire station in delivery and production.  Please send your resume and supporting material to Bob Adams, general manager, Portland Radio Group Badams@portlandradiogroup.com. EOE/MF.

jackoftradeappsRadio Apps Built by Radio People.  In a story published today (3/5), TALKERS special features correspondent Jeff McKay focuses on a company that is designing and servicing apps for radio stations that are affordable and custom-tailored to each client’s station.  Jack of Trade Apps is headed by principals Paul Varga and Andrew Davis.  Varga tells McKay, “Our app is developed for the traditional radio station cluster or stand-alone.  With every app there’s a content management system, and it is an extension of the unique brand you are building.  We’ve priced it for the independent owner or cluster or regional owner to make it affordable.  We know budgets are tight and the importance of return on investment is paramount.”  Read more about Jack of Trade Apps here.

Netanyahu Speech, Hillary Clinton Email Probe, SCOTUS ObamaCare Hearing, Homeland Security Department Funding, Amnesty Issue, and 2016 Presidential Prospects Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/4). Wednesday’s speech before Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the Iran nuclear threat; the investigation in Hillary Clinton’s using private email for State Department business; today’s hearing at the Supreme Court on the Affordable Care Act; the funding of the Homeland Security Department through September and John Boehner’s decision to not fight the amnesty order via funding; and the potential candidates for president in 2016 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

| March 3, 2015

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: Sports Talk.  TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian presents a report on the performances of sports talk-formatted stations based on data from the January 2015 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  In this analysis is a chart of the performances of subscribing stations in shares over the past six surveys; fluctuations from the previous Holiday 2014 survey; comparisons from January 2014; market rank over the past three surveys; plus a comparison including the all-news format.  View this entire report here.

lopezchadLopez Relocates to Cumulus New York as Market Manager. Fourteen-year general sales manager of CBS Radio New York all-news siblings WCBS-AM and WINS Chad Lopez is appointed vice president and market manager of the cross-town cluster owned by Cumulus Media. “Chad is a highly talented and experienced sales leader behind several legendary brands in New York City radio,” comments Cumulus senior vice president Gary Pizzati. “Relationships he has built and the respect he has developed with the ad community over the last 15 years are unprecedented. This was clearly the next and natural step in his career. We are extremely excited to have Chad on our team and as a member of the Cumulus family.” According to Lopez, “Cumulus presented me with a tremendous opportunity to further my career and run an iconic group of stations in my hometown. I couldn’t be more excited and ready to take on this challenge.” A former U.S. Navy officer, Lopez previously was director of sales for CBS Radio New York, and for five years was Dom Camera and Associates’ senior media buyer. Among the stations comprising Cumulus Media New York are hot AC WPLJ (1.9, #18, 6+, January 2015 Nielsen Audio PPM), talk WABC (1.6, #19), and country WNSH (1.5, #20).

cumulus logoCumulus Q4 Revenue Flat; Up 1.4% for Whole of 2014.  The release of fourth quarter and 2014 financial numbers and president and CEO Lew Dickey’s investor’s conference call took place yesterday.  While the fourth quarter started out pretty good for Cumulus Media, Dickey notes that – much like the rest of the industry – revenue began to tail off leading up to Thanksgiving and stayed that way through December.  Net revenue (pro forma) for the fourth quarter was up 0.3% and up 1.4% for the entire year of 2014.  Dickey also said during the call that the company has ceased its search for an EVP of radio after determining that it does not need to fill that position.  Jon Pinch held the title until he left to run the company’s Atlanta station group.

FAIRHold2015Ninth Annual ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Event Scheduled for April 15 and 16 – Broadcast Spaces Filling Up Fast.  The annual Washington, DC radio row produced by the Federation for American Immigration Reform will take place on Wednesday and Thursday, April 15 and 16 at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill.  As in the eight years prior, the event will consist of talk hosts from across the country broadcasting live, debating immigration policy while interviewing members of Congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists and citizens who live along the border.  FAIR says that “this year’s event will focus on the aftermath of President Obama’s amnesty and his continued abuse of executive power, the GOP’s internal battle over how to tackle immigration and the ongoing border crisis with its implications for national security risks.”  Event general manager and FAIR spokesman Bob Dane comments, “Politicians fear and respect the amplitude of talk radio.  Hold Their Feet to the Fire speaks for millions of radio listeners and, this year, will prove that the mic is mightier than Obama’s pen.”  For talk show hosts wishing to take part in this year’s radio row, reservations are required and hosts/producers should call now.  There are only a handful of spaces left and they will go quickly.  There is no cost to attend and all technical engineering and ISDN lines are provided by Silver Lake Audio of New York, the official engineering firm for Hold Their Feet to the Fire.  Congressional guests, activists, high-profile media personalities, and immigration experts will be in attendance and available throughout the event for wall-to-wall interviews.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison will also be on hand presenting a non-partisan perspective on the First Amendment.  Contact Bob Dane or Anna Giaritelli for more information at 202-328-7004 or bdane@fairus.org or agiaritelli@fairus.org.

kiroKIRO-AM, Seattle Announces Lineup Changes.  At Bonneville’s Seattle sports talker KIRO-AM “710 ESPN Seattle,” the weekday lineup is being tweaked to add new talent to the daytime programming.  The station announces a new late morning program called Justin & Gee Show with co-hosts Justin Myers and Gee Scott.  Myers has co-hosted “The Nightwatch” since July 2014 and Gee is best known for his tenure as co-host of “The Barbershop.”  At the same time, Tom Wassell makes the transition from nights as he teams up with Bob Stelton and Dave “The Groz” Grosby on the newly re-titled “Bob, Groz & Tom Show.”  Wassell has been serving with the station as producer of several KIRO-AM shows over the past three years.  Program director Mike Salk adds that Scott will continue to host “The Barbershop” with former Seahawks cornerback Marcus Trufant and ex-Husky running back Terry Hollimon in its new timeslot at 7:00 pm.  The station’s programming, dubbed Seattle Sports Radio Network, is also heard on stations in Eastern Washington including KGA, Spokane; KJOX, Kennewick (Tri-Cities market); and KBBO, Yakima.

TNM news logoPot Is Hot.  From a radio listener’s standpoint, the angles that can be addressed with regard to the changing attitudes about marijuana in the U.S. include the medical, business/industrial, recreational, and legal, to name a few.  One such radio show – “The National Marijuana News” – has been doing that since June of last year and is gaining traction in the audio media realm.  The producers of TNMNews call it “an unbiased and balanced one-hour, weekend show that delivers information that is of interest to the U.S. public…TNMNews helps audiences discern fact from fiction to help listeners unscramble the often perplexing details.”  The program was developed by seasoned news producers and media industry professionals and “takes a deep dive beyond the headlines to explore breaking cannabis news, including field segments, interviews, and roundtable discussions.  Guests who are experts in alternative health, yoga, the law, and more generate compelling discussions that not only clarify misconceptions but also present an opportunity for listeners to become more knowledgeable.”  The producers of the show have teamed with AdLarge Media to market the radio show.  AdLarge’s Jessica Sherman, senior director, affiliate marketing, says, “In addition to the many legal marijuana-related products and retailers, there are a plethora of ancillary advertising categories, such as holistic practitioners, yoga instruction classes, green grocers, green products, fast food restaurants, and more.  TNMNews is like aficionado or hobby programs that focus on cigars, cars, travel, etc.”  For broadcasters confused about how to present unbiased news about marijuana to radio audiences and how to maximize revenue opportunities from this fastest growing industry in America, TNMNews executive producer Martin Wagmaister says, “It’s no longer a debate ‘for or against.’  Americans are looking for answers that will help them with their personal decisions.  Our goal at TNMNews is to present all the accurate information available, and to explore every viewpoint out there.”  For broadcasters who may be a bit skittish about the topic in general, the show producers say TNMNews and its topic are fully acceptable under the laws that govern radio through the FCC.  TNMNews producers conducted extensive research and as long as the show does not promote the selling or buying of marijuana and is focused on disseminating news and information around the topic, TNMNews has the legal right, and the freedom, to talk about marijuana.  Recent affiliates of the show include KBYR-AM, Anchorage and KFAR-AM, Fairbanks.  Check out show demos here.

Mark Wainwright Subbing for WSYR’s Joe Galuski During Latter’s Recuperation.  WSYR, Syracuse morning personality Joe Galuski is still on the mend battling Non-Hodgkins Lyphoma and talk pro Mark Wainwright is scheduled to continue subbing for him through April 17.  Also filling in for Galuski when Wainwright is now available is George Kilpatrick.  Wainwright says Galuski is “in good spirits and thoroughly expects to be back on the air in the coming months.”  Wainwright can be reached at thatvoice@verizon.net.

Odds & Sods.  Multi-media star Lionel takes the stage this Saturday, March 7, at 7:30 pm for his show at The Cutting Room in New York City.  It’s an evening of Lionel’s patented (out)spoken word and “the immaculate twanglionel of bluegrass” with his trio Lock ’n Load.  For tickets and more information click here…..Nationally syndicated morning show Mike & Mike – ESPN Radio’s Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg – will celebrate their 15th anniversary from the Downtown Disney stage at Walt Disney World in Orlando on Friday, March 6.  The live show will be open to the public and doors will open at 5:00 am…..KFWB, Los Angeles “The Beast 980” reaches an agreement to carry the MLS’ LA Galaxy games.  In addition to streaming every game on “The Beast 980” mobile app, a minimum of 20 games will be broadcast on the station beginning this Friday, March 6, the Galaxy opens the season at the StubHub Center against the Chicago Fire…..Genesis Communications-owned Sports Talk Florida enters into an agreement with the NASL Jacksonville Armada FC to share content and live play-by-play audio streaming.

patrickTXdanpatrickTalking to Texas’ Top Elected Officials.  Texas talk show host Matt Patrick – heard on iHeartMedia’s KTRH and KPRC, Houston and KFXR, Dallas – is pictured here having lunch with Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick (who is a talk radio pro himself and owner of KSEV, Houston).  During his two-day visit to Austin, Matt Patrick also interviewed Texas Governor Gregg Abbott and other Texas lawmakers.

Netanyahu to Address Congress, Iran Nuclear Program, Net Neutrality Issue, Homeland Security Department Funding, President Obama’s Amnesty Order, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Hillary Clinton Email Probe, LAPD Skid Row Killing, and Leonard Nimoy Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/2).  The controversy over Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress; the growing threat of Iran’s nuclear program; ongoing debate over the potential effects of the FCC’s net neutrality policy; the issue of funding the Department of Homeland Security beyond this week; the political battle over President Obama’s amnesty order; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of personal email for State Department business; the shooting death of a man by LAPD in the city’s Skid Row district; and the death of actor Leonard Nimoy were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Cool Job Opportunity.  We are looking for a quick-witted, comedic-minded entertainer who has natural observational skills and a background in stand-up comedy, comedic acting, improv and natural timing.  If your friends think you’re hysterical, you’re the funniest person at any event, or you have a twisted view of life, this job’s for you.  Send video links of your work and resume to: comedysearch15@gmail.com.  An Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO).

Monday, March 2, 2015

| March 2, 2015

mcintyredougDoug McIntyre Returns to WABC, New York.  A change to the afternoon drive programming is made at Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York as KABC, Los Angeles morning drive personality Doug McIntyre begins hosting “Right Now with Doug McIntyre” on the station Wednesday, March 4.  Cumulus says the new, hour-long talk show will be “focused on the most important stories and personalities in New York.  As a native New Yorker, McIntyre brings with him a deep understanding of the Tri-State area’s most pressing issues and how they relate to the national headlines of the day.”  McIntyre has appeared on WABC in the past.  Hewabc logo created the “Red Eye Radio” show in 2000, first as a one-time post-election recap and then as a local overnight show in Los Angeles, expanding to become a nationally syndicated program in early 2010 with WABC as one of its flagship stations.  McIntyre also previously hosted “Talking the News” on WABC in 2009, a weekday morning show that aired before “Imus in the Morning.” McIntyre will continue as host of “McIntyre in the Morning” on KABC “TalkRadio 790.”  McIntyre says, “This is a real homecoming for me and I am genuinely thrilled to be returning to 77 WABC.  There is no more dynamic and insane city on the planet than New cosbyritaYork.  The Tri-State area is like a nation unto itself, with its own politics, its own culture and its own sense of humor and I look forward to highlighting the city’s unique stories again.”  Prompting this programming change at WABC is Rita Cosby’s decision to end her work hosting “The Ride Home with Rita Cosby.”  Citing her “various TV commitments and international speaking engagements” that require her to spend more time away from her daily show, Cosby is stepping down from the daily show but will continue to be heard on WABC hosting her new weekend talk show that will debut on March 8.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb says she will “continue to secure exclusive interviews with some of the biggest names making headlines in current events, politics and entertainment.”

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: All-News.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of all-news-formatted radio stations based on data from the January 2015 Nielsen Audio PPM survey.  Kinosian writes, “Historically horrible winter weather conditions and the cessation of all-Christmas music are most likely contributing factors to the truly stunning January 2015 performance of all-news outlets…Although not coming anywhere close to possessing the massive volume of talk outlets, the feat all-news stations accomplished in the most recent sweep is nonetheless exceptionally impressive: Not one news station on the panel of properties we tracked regressed (6+) from Holiday 2014 to January 2015.  Read the entire report here.

madisonjoeMarathon-Man Madison. While understandably “exhausted,” SiriusXM‘s Joe Madison achieved his goal of a 52-hour broadcast during which he raised more than $150,000 for the construction of the Smithsonian‘s National Museum of African-American History and Culture. “When you do something for the right reasons – and you have the support of others – you really can do anything,” Madison states. “I hope our SiriusXM broadcast helps cast a spotlight on the need to raise funds for the much needed [museum to be built on the National Mall in Washington, DC].” The Guinness World Record Organization is reviewing the broadcast as a new record. Madison began the marathon this past Wednesday (2/25) at 6:00 am (ET) and continued un-interrupted until Friday (2/27) at 10:00 am (ET).

espnLAKSPN, Los Angeles Debuts Live and Local Show with Kelvin Washington and Travis Rodgers.  The new program featuring radio and TV pro Kelvin Washington and sports talk radio’s Travis Rodgers will air live on ESPN O&O KSPN, Los Angeles “ESPNLA 710” from 5:00 am to 7:00 am.  The show will continue until 9:00 am via ESPNLA.com and the ESPN Radio app.  KSPN begins airing ESPN Radio’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd at 7:00 am.  Rodgers also hosts “Travis Rodgers Now” on Yahoo! Sports Radio and will continue in that role.

ipsosiHeartMedia: Study Shows Consumers Want AM/FM Radio in Cars in Traditional Format.  From a press release by iHeartMedia comes news that, according to a research study conducted by Ipsos (a leading global independent market research company) AM/FM radio remains the overwhelmingly preferred audio entertainment option in the car.  Further, “while consumers use new streaming services, virtually all consumers – 99% — are comfortable with the current AM/FM in-car radio operation.  And 91% of consumers say they prefer physical AM/FM radio buttons and controls built into the car dashboard, rather than AM/FM being an app that appears in the car’s electronic interface (with only 9% saying they would want it changed into a dashboard app).”  Other news from the study includes the finding that “while AM/FM radio remains paramount in the car, consumers use their in-car CD player three-and-a-half times as much as they use any digital music service.”  Additionally, the report indicates that “AM/FM radio still dominates in-car listening as the top platform used, with 84% of consumers using it in the car, followed by CD players at 64% — but radio still maintains a huge leadership position over the next closest service choice, SiriusXM – which had 22%.  Pandora was 18%; iHeartRadio was 8%; HD radio 7%; and Spotify was 7%.”  The study, conducted by Ipsos for iHeartMedia in January 2015, surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1036 adults 18-plus.

KGMZKGMZ, Oakland A’s Extend Partnership. The deal between KGMZ “The Game” and MLB‘s Oakland Athletics keeps the AL West team’s broadcasts on the Entercom-owned flagship at least through the 2018 season. Market manager Steve DiNardo comments that “The Game” has, “grown as a brand – experiencing consistent ratings and revenue growth during our partnership with the A’s. We are delighted to continue serving as the destination for Oakland A’s radio broadcasts for the next four seasons.” Oakland A’s vice president of broadcasting & communications Ken Pries remarks, “It has been an amazing partnership so far. We look forward to many more seasons of A’s baseball on 95.7 FM and all of the affiliates across the A’s Radio Network.” The A’s primary broadcast team will again consist of Ken Korach and Vince Cotroneo, who are in theirOakland A's 20th year and 10th year, respectively, calling the team’s games. Joining them occasionally will be former MLB catcher Ray Fosse, entering his 30th consecutive season on A’s radio. KGMZ will broadcast all 162 regular-season A’s games and some spring training contests. The A’s and “The Game” first partnered in 2011.

WKIMCumulus Sends The Vibe to Memphis. Score yet another transition to classic hip-hop as Cumulus Media Memphis jettisons talk on WKIM in favor of “98.9 – The Vibe.” Cumulus senior vice president of programming Mike McVay comments “The Vibe” is “designed to capture the spirit and complexity of Memphis. This city has birthed many music types of which this format is one more. ‘The Vibe’ is classic hip hop.” In addition to hosting mid-days on co-owned rocker WXMX “The Max,” Danni Bruns is programming “The Vibe” and she remarks, “Memphis has always been at the forefront of music. Now we have a new ‘Vibe’ – this is our party station.” Late last year, Flinn Broadcasting flipped Memphis alternative outlet WIVG to “throwback hip-hop” as “Bumpin’ 96.” The logo for Memphis’ “Vibe” mirrors that of Indianapolis sibling WRWM, although the latter is using “The Beat” rather than “The Vibe” as its handle. Naughty By Nature‘s “Hip-Hop Hooray” kicked off Friday’s (2/27) noontime launch of Memphis’ “Vibe.” Among persons 6+ in the latest (January 2015) Nielsen Audio PPM ratings report for Memphis, WKIM registers a 1.4, ironically tying it at #19 with WIVG. The 1.4 for WKIM is the station’s best (6+) performance in more than two years – it hit 1.8 in November 2012.

Odds & Sods.  Nationally syndicated talk host Laura Ingraham is being tapped to serve as the national chairman for the PAC Citizens for the Republic.  The political action committee was originally founded by Ronaldingrahamlaura Reagan in 1977.  A press statement says the PAC’s goal is to lead a “revitalized effort to advocate conservative principles and shine a light on government corruption.”…..Former WKRC, Cincinnati radio host Blake Seylhouwer was found guilty of two counts of negligent assault after an altercation outside his home during which he fired a rifle into the driveway and caused debris to spray up, injuring his wife.  Seylhouwer is an area businessman who brokered time from the station for a weekend show…..A grand jury in Hackensack, New Jersey has indicted Alan “Dr. Al” Lupinacci on charges of practicing medicine and conducting surgery without a license.  Lupinacci has brokered time from WMCA, New York for his “Learn to Be Healthy” program.  His medical license had been suspended in 1995 after he pleaded guilty to 10 counts of criminal sexual conduct with female patients.

Friday, February 27, 2015

| February 27, 2015

brandmeierjonathonWestwood One Announces: Here’s Johnny! Bona fide Chicago radio cult legend Jonathon Brandmeier takes to the national stage next month when Westwood One commences syndicating his daily three-hour eponymous show-gram. Executive vice president of content and programming for Westwood One’s parent company – Cumulus Media - John Dickey comments, “Jonathon is one of the most versatile performers in radio today. We know audiences will enjoy his lively humor and take on each day’s topics. We are thrilled to add ‘Johnny B’ to the Westwood One roster of relevant and relatable talkmillerdennis programming.” Remarking this is an “extremely exciting” time for all those associated with his show-gram, Brandmeier – who has achieved industry success in Los Angeles (on talk KLSX) and Phoenix (on KZZP) as westwood one NEWwell as in Chicago – notes, “We look forward to continuing to entertain audiences in Chicago and expanding our reach nationwide.  Fasten your seatbelts – it is going to be a wild ride.” Simultaneous with Brandmeier’s addition to the Westwood One roster is the departure from it by the program hosted by Dennis Miller. The former “SNL” cast member states that he is “stepping aside from radio at the moment” and that, “it has been a great run. I have had a phenomenal time interacting with my guests and audience, but with so many other commitments, it is hard to maintain a daily talk show. It is time to pass the torch as I move on to explore other opportunities – I wish ‘Johnny B’ lots of luck.” Three top-five market Cumulus-owned AM stations (KABC, Los Angeles, WLS-AM, Chicago, and KLIF-AM, Dallas) have already cleared Brandmeier’s 10:00 am – 1:00 pm (ET) program. In addition, there are affiliates in Salt Lake City (KKAT), Providence (WPRV), and Albuquerque (KTBL) – all are Cumulus Media AM properties.

mccoysteveSteve McCoy to Host Mornings on ‘News Radio 106.7’ in Atlanta.  The Cumulus Media news station is changing morning shows, bringing aboard Atlanta market pro Steve McCoy, effective Monday, March 1.  McCoy worked at the old WZGC “Z93” in AM drive where he was the longest-running morningwyay logo new personality in the station’s history.  He also worked at “Power 99,” WSTR “Star 94” and WSB-FM “B98.5.”  WYAY “News Radio 106.7” program director Greg Tantum says, “Steve has had a personal relationship with millions of Atlanta radio listeners for years.  Steve’s deep roots in the community bring a one-of-a-kind perspective and understanding to the daily lives of Atlanta residents.  Most important, Steve has proven he is the best at entertaining listeners and making them feel good – even in Atlanta traffic.”

weismanstevenWeisman: The Battle Over Net Neutrality.  With yesterday’s passage of the FCC’s proposal to reclassify the Internet as a public utility and regulate it, the battle may have just begun.  TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman, in a timely column examining the matter, writes that this is sure to bring about court challenges by the ISPs. Weisman notes that even though there was support in both the Democrat and Republican parties for preventing ISPs from creating multi-tiered delivery services, there are other issues that Republicans say are problematic.  “Opponents of the FCC’s classifying the Internet as a utility are concerned that, by doing so, the FCC would have increased authority to regulate rates and take other actions that they believe would stifle investment by Internet Service Providers and slow innovation.  FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has said that he is cognizant of the power that classifying the Internet as a utility would provide the FCC, but that he expects to use a ‘light touch’ in regulating the Internet and would ignore powers that the FCC had that did not relate to broadband.  The devil is often in the details and it will be important to see whether a ‘light touch’ is reflected in the specific regulations to implement the vote which will not be published for a few days and will not become effective for a few months.”  Read Weisman’s entire column here.

2015 NYC 150Today Is the Last Day to Receive the Early Bird Discount for Talkers New York 2015.  Registrations are already being booked at a rapid pace as Talkers New York 2015 is heading toward being an early sell-out. The session will be held as part of the day-long conference set for Friday, June 12 at the India House Club in the Big Apple’s historic Financial District.  Registrations are priced at $299 per person with an early-bird, discounted cost of $249 available until 5:00 pm ET this afternoon.  Registrations, which are only open to professionals currently or recently employed in media-related industries, include all sessions, presentations, exhibits and breakfast/lunch/refreshment/and social networking activities.  The heavyweight, non-stop agenda will include approximately 65 speakers and 500 attendees are again expected.  Registrations can only be taken over the phone and paid for by credit card.  For registration, sponsorship and hotel information, please call 413-565-5413.  More speakers, panelists and agenda updates will be announced next week.

bohannonjimJim Bohannon to Emcee Awards Ceremony at Talkers New York 2015.  Talk radio great Jim Bohannon will reprise his stellar performance as Emcee of the Awards Ceremony at the forthcoming Talkers New York 2015 conference on Friday, June 12.  The veteran Westwood One syndicated personality (a past recipient of the TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award) will preside over the presentation of the honors which include awards for:  Freedom of Speech, Lifetime Achievement, Woman of the Year and Humanitarian of the Year.   Stay tuned for the names of the award recipients as well as those who will be making the presentations.

rogersleeRogers Upped to News Director for Entercom Upstate.  Morning news personality Lee Rogers is promoted to news director for Entercom’s Upstate South Carolina station group.  Rogers anchors the morning news on news/talk WYRD, Greenville “106.3 WORD” during “The Tara Show.”  Entercom Upstate OM Mark Hendrix comments, “Lee brings a wealth of news experience and Upstate knowledge.  I look forward to Lee expanding 106.3 WORD’s position as the Upstate’s breaking news leader.  Listeners will hear more proprietary content on the news that matters most to them.”

Odds & Sods.  With the signing of Jonathon Brandmeier to the Westwood One network and the show being picked up by Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM, Chicago, the station cuts ties with John Kass and Lauren Cohn, who were co-hosting the late morning daypart, although Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports the station is auditioning Lauren Cohn for work on the morning show hosted by Big John Howell.  Filling in on the late morning program until Brandmeier starts is talk radio pro Tom Becka, who’s on the air there today through March 6…..American political satirist – and five-time Emmy nominee – Will Durst joins the regular panel of humorous pundits on the weekly podcast “The Koz Effect,” which streams live at 7:00 am ET Saturdays via the Radio Titans podcast network…..San Antonio news/talk KTSA is now heard on the FM dial in the market as Alpha Media begins simulcasting the station on translator K296GK at 107.1 FM…..Powell Broadcasting’s news/talk KSCJ, Sioux City, Iowa begins simulcasting its programming on translator K235CA, Sioux City at 94.9 FM…..ABC and PodcastOne are debuting a new, original podcast series which takes an in-depth look at the new television drama “American Crime.”  The weekly podcast will be hosted by film critic and radio personality Elvis Mitchell.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Joining Greater Media’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte is financial talk superstar Dave Ramsey, who will air in the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot.  His show is also being added to theramseydave evening program schedule at CBS RADIO’s news WNEW-FM, Baltimore/Washington…..The “Good Day” show with host Doug Stephan adds 11 new affiliate stations, including: WQXL, Columbia, South Carolina; stephandougWPBQ, Jackson, Mississippi; and KFTL, Gilbert Arizona…..The “Business Rockstars” show with Ken Rutkowski is added to the program schedule at 18 Rocking M Media outlets in Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska and Oklahoma…..“The Financial Exchange” with Barry Armstrong and Kim Carrigan joins the program lineup at WXTK-FM, Cape Cod…..WCGO, Chicago adds Bruce DuMont’s “Beyond the Beltway” to its weekend lineup…..BizTalkRadio clears several shows, including the Ray Lucia program, on new business talk outlet WHFS-AM, Tampa and the 11-station “SuperTalk” chain in Mississippi…..“The Money Pit Home Improvement Show” featuring Tom Kraeutler and Leslie Segrete joins the program lineup at WRKO, Boston.

hannityStigallCPAC15Hannity Visits Chris Stigall Show at CPAC Radio Row.  In this photo, Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity (right, standing at mic) makes an impromptu stop at the WPHT, Philadelphia booth on the radio row at the CPAC conference.  He appeared on the morning show hosted by Chris Stigall (far left, seated).  During the broadcast Stigall spoke with former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, her daughter Bristol, and potential 2016 candidate Senator Ted Cruz.

ramseysacramento15Dave Ramsey’s ‘Smart Money’ Takes Sacramento.  Nationally syndicated radio talk star Dave Ramsey’s “Smart Money” live event tour continued last night (2/26) in Sacramento as he presented his program about how to win with money, get out of debt and invest for the future at Adventure Church.  Financial expert and speaker Chris Hogan joined Ramsey on stage.  Local affiliate KSTE helped promote the event.  KSTE program director Bill White comments, “Dave Ramsey touches, inspires, and helps people every day.  He not only provides a healthy perspective in regards to personal and professional finances but has an overall ‘LIFE’ philosophy that resonates with his audience far and wide.  His show isn’t just about money; it’s about life.  We’re proud to have Dave on “Talk 650” KSTE, a radio show that’s important and matters to listeners and our clients.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): KSTE’s Joel Mordhorst, account executive; Darren Mounts, general sales manager; Ramsey; Michelle Alfano, account executive; Jeff Bussani, account executive; and White.

ramseydave logoCool Job Opportunity.  Media Advertising & Sponsorship Sales, Ramsey Solutions – The Dave Ramsey Show.  This is not a normal job-posting… because this is not a job!  We have “one” incredible opportunity available, that will change your life.  The only question is “Are you that person?”  Ramsey Solutions has an opening for the right person who possesses as a minimum: Proven track-record of closing million dollar deals; Ability to deliver results for your client because you care enough to put together the right solution; Personal integrity that allows your to rise above your competition; Aptitude to hear the word ‘No’ as an opportunity; Fortitude to manage the resources of Radio, Video, Digital, Print, and Event Sponsorships to create unlimited earning potential; Strong working knowledge of what we do and “Why” it works so well every time!  This position provides the ability to represent: The Dave Ramsey Show — 3rd Largest Nationally Syndicated Talk Radio Show in the nation; 558 Radio Affiliates nationwide – 8.5 million weekly listeners; 2009 Marconi Award Winner; 2013 NAB Hall of Fame Inductee. Digital Footprint – 1.6 million weekly impressions; Podcast; Online Video Channel/App; Online Audio Stream; iHeartRadio Dedicated Channel.  Print Exposure — Two (2) Newsletters with more than 1 million subscribers combined.  Live Event Sponsorship — (20) Events each year reaching more than 75,000 in attendance.  The opportunity to prove what you can do begins now!  If you have what it takes to fill this “one” position then it’s your assignment to get our attention.  When we find this person we will commit to providing an incredible work environment, un-paralleled resources with a brand that delivers results, and the ability to control your own earning potential with no corporate imposed ceiling.  Apply online at www.daveramsey.com/careers.

Department of Homeland Security Funding Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of February 23-27.  The battle in Congress over the funding of the Department of Homeland Security was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was President Obama’s amnesty order tied with the controversial comments made by former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani.  Coming in at #3 was the brutality of ISIS tied with the Iran nuclear weapons program, and following at #4 was the allegation of Bill O’Reilly’s violating the journalistic ethics code.  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 it published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

| February 26, 2015

2015 NYC 150‘Big Picture’ Panel to Tackle Broad Strokes View of Radio’s Rapidly Evolving Role in 21st Century Media.  The power-packed agenda for the forthcoming 18th annual installment of the longest-running and most important talk media industry national convention is taking shape.  The event’s traditional convergence panel, “The Big Picture,” will feature a lineup of speakers including (in alphabetical order):  Alan Colmes, personality, Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel; Holland Cooke, consultant, Holland Cooke Media; Joe Sciacca, editor-in-chief, Boston Herald/Boston Herald Radio; and Julietalbottjulie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks with two more industry heavyweights to be confirmed shortly.  The colmesalaneclectic discussion will be moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison who states, “I love moderating this panel.  It goes in many directions and is not afraid to explore esoteric speculation about what is lurking just over the horizon and around the next corner.”  Harrison adds, “It is always full of valuable takeaways for our attendees.”  The session will be held as part of the day-long conference set for Friday, June 12 at the India House Club in the Big Apple’s historic Financial cookehollandDistrict.  Registrations are priced at $299 per person with an early-bird, discounted cost of $249 available sciaccajoeuntil 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 27 (tomorrow).  Registrations, which are only open to professionals currently or recently employed in media-related industries, include all sessions, presentations, exhibits and breakfast/lunch/refreshment/and social networking activities.  The heavyweight, non-stop agenda will include approximately 65 speakers and 500 attendees are again expected.  Registrations can only be taken over the phone and paid for by credit card.  For registration, sponsorship and hotel information, please call 413-565-5413.  Again, an early sellout is expected, so avoid being shut out by registering now!  More speakers, panelists and agenda updates will be announced here in the coming days.

shoredaveDetroit’s WMGC Shores Up PD Vacancy. The program director opening at WMGC “Detroit Sports 105.1″ has been filled, as the Greater Media outlet taps Dave Shore for the position. Vice president and market manager Steve Chessare comments, “Dave’s experience in overseeing sports radio in major markets made him the perfect choice to lead [our] team. We are absolutely thrilled to have him help us take the station to the next level.” Shore – who will beginWMGC- FM his Motor City assignment next month (3/23) – most recently was operations manager of ESPN Radio Los Angeles’ KSPN and was the pre-game host of the station’s broadcasts of the NBA‘s Los Angeles Lakers. For seven years, he was sports director/on-air talent for ESPN Radio Dallas’ KESN and he did television play-by-play for Texas Tech basketball, as well as pre-game duties for the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks. In 2007, Shore launched Capitol Broadcasting Raleigh’s WCMC “99.9 – The Fan” and managed co-owned sports WDNC “620 – The Buzz” and WCLY “1550 ESPN Deportes.” Shore succeeds Jason Dixon, who was the first program director WMGC hired in August 2013 when the station transitioned from adult contemporary to sports. Ironically, Dixon arrived at WMGC after a three-year stint as operations manager/program director of the same three Raleigh sports stations (WCMC, WDNC, and WCLY) on Shore’s resume.

williamsonrachelWilliamson to New CMG Digital Post.  Sales and management pro Rachel Williamson is the new director of digital revenue development for Cox Media Group.  The company says that in this role, she’ll focus on working with the company’s 59 radio brands “to drive our digital revenue growth and integrated sales.”  She joins CMG from her most recent post with Cumulus Media as director of national sales.  Cox senior director of digital solutions Jesse McCambridge says, “We are very excited to have Rachel join our team.  We have experienced tremendous growth in digital across the company and Rachel’s experience brings industry expertise and focus on integrated marketing solutions.”

bearmanethan3Bay Area Talk Personality Ethan Bearman Highlighted in HuffPo Piece.  Talk radio personality Ethan Bearman – currently heard on his regular weekend shows on KSFO, San Francisco (where he does a lot of fill-in work), via his GCN-syndicated program and as a regular sub on WPHT, Philadelphia – is one of five “agents of change” that writer Greg Archer profiles in a recent piece in the Huffington Post.  About Bearman, Archer writes, “In just a short span of time, Bearman’s nationally syndicated radio talk show…has quickly risen among the ranks as one of the more thought-provoking outings on the airwaves.  Why The host is unabashedly witty, yes, but he’s also deeply interested in current events, politics, science, tech and other rich topics.  Beyond that, he appears to have a rare gift of being able to dissect half-truths, offering realistic takes on complex topics, and somehow allow the listener to find a curious and perhaps unexpected respite with him somewhere in the middle of ‘The Here And Now.’”  Read the HuffPo piece here.

rabRAB Cites Borrell’s Positive Forecast for Radio’s Digital Sales Growth.  According to research from Borrell Associates, the radio industry will rise above the half-billion-dollar mark in digital advertising this year based upon revenue that is projected to grow by 18%.  The study, titled, “Benchmarking: Local Radio Stations’ Online Revenues,” was done on behalf of the Radio Advertising Bureau.  It indicates that radio stations added or reassigned as many as 750 new employees to focus on digital ventures last year, causing revenue to grow 16% in 2014.  More than one-third of the radio managers surveyed indicated that they had at least one employee exclusively assigned to digital operations, up from 11% last year.  Also, more than 33% of those surveyed said their stations were either setting up a “digital agency,” were planning to set one up soon, or already had one.  Some other findings from the report include: Nearly two-thirds believe their sales reps are talking to the wrong buyers when trying to sell digital; and 77% gave sales training a number 1 or number 2 priority in terms of what would boost their station digital sales the most.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber comments on the study, “It’s important to look at all available revenue data in order to provide our industry members with additional market barometers.  We’re making tremendous strides in radio’s digital growth, and this survey continues to provide us with areas to focus on and invest in to truly maximize this revenue stream.”

metaxasericSalem Brings Eric Metaxas Aboard for Daily Talk Show.  Although Eric Metaxas is a well-known author, speaker and TV personality in the Christian community, Salem Media Group says his new daily talk show could cross over to the news/talk format.  Metaxas will begin hosting his new radio show on April 20, airing from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET.  Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce says, “We are extremely enthusiastic to have Eric join the Salem platform.  I have tried to get Eric to join us for two years, and this opportunity seemed to be a perfect match.  He’ll do a great show every day that will inspire listeners and help stations grow their audience.”  In a press statement, Salem notes that Metaxas is the author of the bestseller, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet Spy (Thomas Nelson 2011) as well as a recent Wall Street Journal column titled, “Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God.”

Odds & Sods.  Washington-Baltimore all-news WNEW-FM is adding talk to its lineup in the evenings andkatzmcAuliffe overnights.  It’s adding the Dave Ramsey show to air from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm as well as the KMOX, St. Louis-based “America Overnight” with host Jon Grayson…..Hubbard Radio’s Washington all-news WTOP and sister WFED “Federal News Radio,” as part of a restructuring of their sales department, promote longtime national sales manager Jeffrey Wolinsky to director of federal and national sales.…..KBBO, Yakima, Washington flips from talk to sports.  The Ingstad-owned station becomes “The Fan 1390 AM” and the Yakima Herald reports much of the station’s programming will be piped in from Bonneville’s KIRO-AM, Seattle, including:  “Brock and Salk” and “Danny, Dave and Moore.”…..WRVA, Richmond afternoon drive personality Jeff Katz (left) had the opportunity to interview Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (right) at the iHeartMedia studios in Richmond and the two posed for a quick photo after the broadcast.

hannityschnittbermanThe Big Apple Drive Timers.  Posing for a quick pic in the WOR, New York studios are the station’s drive time stars Sean Hannity (center), and new morning duo Todd Schnitt (right) and Len Berman (left).  Hannity’s radio show is syndicated by iHeartMedia’s Premiere Networks and airs in the afternoon slot on WOR.  Berman and Schnitt recently partnered up to host the morning drive show on the station.  Schnitt is also heard in afternoon drive (Eastern Time) on stations across the country via Compass Media Networks.

bfoa logoBFoA to Honor Mel Karmazin.  Legendary broadcasting executive Mel Karmazin will be honored with the 2015 Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award presented by the Broadcasters Foundation of America at its annual breakfast Wednesday, April 15 during the National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas.  Karmazin retired from his CEO post at SiriusXM in 2013.  Prior to that, he was president and COO of Viacom.  He served as CEO of CBS Corp following his work as chairman and CEO of CBS Radio, which followed the merger of Westinghouse/CBS and Infinity Broadcasting.  The Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award is bestowed annually on an individual in broadcasting whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.  It salutes its namesake Lowry Mays and is underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation.

Department of Homeland Security Funding Battle, Obama Amnesty Order, FCC’s Net Neutrality Proposal, 2016 Presidential Prospects, ISIS Brutality, Iran Nukes, and the Bill O’Reilly Journalistic Ethics Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/25).  The battle in Congress over the funding of the Department of Homeland Security; the status of President Obama’s amnesty order; the FCC’s proposal to regulate the Internet as a utility and the possible ramifications; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the brutal violence being perpetuated by ISIS and controversy over labeling the militant organization “Muslim”; the potential for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons; and the flap over accusations against FNC’s Bill O’Reilly of journalistic lapses were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

| February 25, 2015

2015 NYC 150Nielsen Audio VP of Client Service Brad Kelly to Appear on Talkers New York 2015 ‘State of Radio Ratings’ Panel.  Joining the star-packed panel addressing the State of Radio Ratings at the June 12 Talkers New York 2015 conference from Nielsen Audio is vice president of client service Brad Kelly.  He’ll discuss how Nielsen has its eye on both terrestrial listening and the ever-evolving digital options.  He will also update conference attendees onkellybrad Nielsen’s improvement programs for its basic ratings service in both PPM and Diary markets.  This hour-long panel will be moderated by Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel superstar Sean Hannity and will analyze the changing relationship between talk radio (as well as radio in general) and audience measurement methodology as we move further into the digital age.  It is no secret that determining the methodology to properly and fairly balance (and credit) listenership to radio programming on both terrestrial and online platforms has been a bumpy transition creating challenges for radio programmers and sellers alike.  Joining Hannity will be a stellar panel including:  Erica Farber, president/CEO, Radio Advertising Bureau; Phil Boyce, SVP/Spoken Word Format, Salem Media Group and Salem Radio Network, operations VP, New York Region; Steve Goldstein, EVP, Saga Communications; Tom Langmyer, VP/GM, Milwaukee radio operations, VP/news-talk programming, Journal Broadcast Group, and Greg Moceri, CEO, Moceri Media.  The session will be held as part of the power-packed, day-long “Talkers New York 2015” on Friday, June 12 at the India House Club in the Big Apple’s historic Financial District.  This marks the 18th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention.  It will also celebrate the 25th anniversary of TALKERS magazine which was launched by Michael Harrison in the summer of 1990.  Registrations are priced at $299 per person with an early bird, discounted cost of $249 available until 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 27.  Registrations, which are only open to professionals currently or recently employed in media-related industries, include all sessions, presentations, exhibits and breakfast/lunch/refreshment/and social networking activities.  The heavyweight, non-stop agenda will include approximately 65 speakers and 500 attendees are again expected.  Registrations can only be taken over the phone and paid for by credit card.  For registration, sponsorship and hotel information, please call 413-565-5413.  Again, an early sellout is expected, so avoid being shut out by registering now!  More speakers, panelists and agenda updates will be announced here in the coming days.

cbsradio logoReport: CBS Under Pressure to Sell Radio Assets to Cumulus.  In a story in The Deal by Chris Nolter, hedge fund Sandell Asset Management Corp is lobbying CBS Corp to divest of its radio station group and merge it with Cumulus Media.  Nolter reportscumulus logo that the two companies have been advised to “pursue a reverse Morris Trust merger of their radio businesses.  By spinning off the radio stations to shareholders, CBS would divest an asset with a low tax basis without incurring a large bill from the IRS.  It could also collect a nearly $900 million dividend.”  The story suggests that if CBS’ radio stations merged with Cumulus, they would pull in about $2.4 billion in sales.  Nolter writes that executive chairman Sumner Redstone controls 79.6% of CBS Corp’s shareholder vote so any move would require him being on board.  Read Nolter’s piece here.  CBS has said repeatedly that it likes radio as a cash flow business.

iheartmedia logo smallExecutive Changes at iHeartMedia as Lakamp to Exit Digital Division; Kaminsky Moves Up and Market Managers Become Presidents.  In a company-wide memo, iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman announces president of technology and digital ventures Brian Lakamp has left the company in order to pursue “entrepreneurial endeavors.”  Pittman thankskaminskybrian Lakamp for his time with the company and credits him for iHeartRadio’s registered user growth as well for some of the sales-related technologies and partnerships Pittman says will “increase the importance of our platforms for our advertising partners and make our sales process more lavenmicheleefficient.”  Pittman is reconfiguring the technology and digital ventures team with iHeartRadio COO Brian Kaminsky rising to president of programmatic and data operations.  Simultaneously, Michele Laven – currently iHeartMedia president of partnerships and local activation – is now the president of business development and partnerships.  Finally, the company announces that all market managers are now market presidents.

kaufmanadamAdam Kaufman Named WBZ-AM, Boston Morning Sports Anchor.  Veteran sports reporter Adam Kaufman is promoted to morning sports anchor for CBS RADIO’s Boston news station WBZ-AM.  The company says that Kaufman is “a multi-platform sports journalist for more than a decade” who will continue to be a show host at sister sports talker WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” and CBS Sports Radio, in addition to being a columnist for Boston.com sports and serve as a regional television anchor on Comcast SportsNet New England.  During his career, the Syracuse University grad has worked as the lead play-by-play voice of the Boston College men’s hockey team and spent five years doing radio play-by-play of the Providence Bruins minor league hockey team.

herskovitzalThe 8th Annual Hersky Awards Announced.  It’s the time of the year when radio sales maven and H&H Broadcasting president Al Herskovitz pronounces what he deems to have been the best in talk radio advertising over the course of the past year.  While these “awards” are delivered tongue-in-cheek, the winners are named by Herskovitz as excellent examples of quality and effective talk radio advertising.  To find out the winners in the categories of Best National Host Doing a Local Commercial; Best Jingle Spot; Best Live Spot Reader; and Commercial of the Year, click here.

boomercartonAllessandroIt’s a Tough Job, But Somebody’s Got to Do it.  Morning duo Boomer Esiason (left) and Craig Carton (right) pose for a shot with supermodel and Victoria’s Secret Angel Alessandra Ambrosio (center) after her guest shot on WFAN, New York to promote tomorrow night’s “Victoria’s Secret Swim Special” airing on the CBS Television Network at 10:00 pm ET.  In addition to a bevy of bathing beauties, the show will also feature GRAMMY Award-wining artists Maroon 5 and Juanes.

Obama’s Amnesty Order, Bill O’Reilly Falklands Report Controversy, the FCC’s Net Neutrality Mandate, Department of Homeland Security Funding Battle, Keystone Pipeline Veto, Continued ISIS Brutality, Feds Choose Not to Charge George Zimmerman, Chris Kyle Trial Conviction, and Ukraine Tensions Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/24).  The state of President Obama’s amnesty order; the controversy over Fox News Channel star Bill O’Reilly’s Falklands War reporting in the early 1980s; the “net neutrality” proposal by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler; the battle over funding the Department of Homeland Security before the Friday deadline; Obama vetoes the resurrected Keystone Pipeline project; the ongoing brutality being perpetuated by ISIS; the Justice Department decides not to prosecute George Zimmerman; Eddie Ray Routh is convicted in the slaying of fellow former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield; and the ongoing tensions in Ukraine and Russia’s involvement.

hopeline‘The HopeLine’ with Dawson McAllister Goes into Syndication.  Radio pro Dawson McAllister recently returned to Christian on WAY-FM with “The HopeLine with Dawson McAllister,” and is now offering clearance of his new show to the general Christian market, focusing on contemporary Christian radio stations.  For 17 years Dawson McAllister was heard Sunday nights on more than 300 Christian radio stations with “Dawson McAllister Live,” before transitioning exclusively to top 40/mainstream stations in 2007 in a syndication agreement with Premiere Networks.  After years of requests from Christian stations and former listeners for Dawson to return, along with the recent opportunity presented by WAY-FM, he made the decision to launch this new Saturday night show.  He comments, “The unique thing about this show is that I have the opportunity to challenge my audience to make a difference in their world by having an impact on the lives of their friends – I love the idea of partnering with teenagers and young adults to change the world one life at a time.”  The show is described as “a three-hour, interactive call-in show where 13-29 year olds can call and talk to Dawson about all the issues in their lives.  In return, Dawson and his co-host Sarah Lee offer trustworthy Biblically based common-sense advice and encouragement that is truly life-changing.   Christian stations wishing to air “The HopeLine with Dawson McAllister” or CHR stations wishing to air “Dawson McAllister Live” can contact Ike Wingate at Wingate Media at ike@wingatemediagroup.com.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

| February 24, 2015

2015 NYC 150Sean Hannity to Moderate Major Panel Session, “The State of Radio Ratings,” at Talkers New York 2015. Continuing with an important theme that he has discussed at prior TALKERS conferences, Premiere Radio Networks and Fox News Channel talk icon Sean Hannity will moderate a panel analyzing the changing relationship between talk radiohannity (as well as radio in general) and audience measurement methodology as we move further into the digital age. It is no secret that determining the methodology to properly and fairly balance (and credit) listenership to radio programming on both terrestrial and online platforms has been a bumpy transition creating challenges for radio programmers and sellers alike. Joining Hannity will be a stellar panel including (in alphabetical order): Erica Farber, farberericapresident/CEO, Radio Advertising Bureau; Phil Boyce, SVP/Spoken Word Format, Salem Media Group and Salem Radio Network, operations VP, New York Region; Steve Goldstein, EVP, Sagaboycephil Communications; Tom Langmyer, VP/GM, Milwaukee radio operations, VP/news-talk programming, Journal Broadcast Group, and Greg Moceri, CEO, Moceri Media. The panel will be joined by a yet-to-be-named representative of Nielsen Audio. The session will be held as part of the power-packed, day-long “Talkers New York 2015” on Friday, June 12 at the India House Club in the Big Apple’s historic Financial goldsteinsteveDistrict. This marks the 18th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention. It will also celebrate the 25th anniversary of TALKERS magazinelangmyertom which was launched by Michael Harrison in the summer of 1990. Registrations are priced at $299 per person with an early bird, discounted cost of $249 available until 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 27. Registrations, which are only open to professionals currently or recently employed in media-related industries, include all sessions, mocerigregpresentations, exhibits and breakfast/lunch/refreshment/and social networking activities. The heavyweight, non-stop agenda will include approximately 65 speakers and 500 attendees are again expected. Registrations can only be taken over the phone and paid for by credit card. For registration, sponsorship and hotel information, please call 413-565-5413. Again, an early sellout is expected, so avoid being shut out by registering now! More speakers, panelists and agenda updates will be announced here in the coming days.

talkersradio logoTalkersRadio Back for 2015 after Brief Retooling with Experimental Programs by Alan Colmes and Lionel.   TalkersRadio, the experimental internet radio platform launched by TALKERS in 2013, is back online after a two-month “re-tooling” in which several technological improvements were instituted and new ideas sorted out.  The platform is designed to serve as a workshop for new shows and concepts being developed as well as an industry showcase for programs about to be marketed.  On announcing the re-launch, TALKERS general manager of broadcast operations, David Bernstein states, “We are happy to be back up and running with great enthusiasm for the potential of this audio ‘stage.’  All of us at TALKERS are indeed proud of the remarkable success TalkersRadio has had in its first year-and-a-half providing a number of fine broadcasters the opportunity to work out new ideas and techniques, including having launched the terrestrial radio success of the Brent & Meg show and Doug Stephan’s ‘American Family Farmer.’”  The platform, described by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey as “an audio gymnasium” is re-launching with two on-demand programs hosted by well-known hosts Alan Colmes and Lionel.  Colmes – star of Fox News Radio and the Fox News Channel – is continuing to work on a concept titled “Healed Planet” — far removed from his political fare — in which he interviews thought leaders in the human consciousness movement.  Lionel – an iconoclastic and legendary veteran of major radio and television stations and networks, currently seen and heard on his own LionelMedia.com, performs an exclusive, experimental program for TalkersRadio simply titled, “Lionel.”  In it, he amply displays his remarkable and compelling aptitude for stream of consciousness story-telling and observations of leading-edge issues.  According to Bernstein, “TalkersRadio will also be streaming live industry events and inner-industry forums in the coming weeks and months with an exciting ‘new and improved’ system powered by our colleagues at Backbone Networks in Boston.”  Bernstein encourages broadcasters with new ideas and concepts that might be of interest to TalkersRadio to get in touch with him at 413-565-5413.  To hear TalkersRadio, please click here.

podcastone logo‘Mogul Mom’s Playbook’ Debuts on PodcastOne.  Joining the growing stable of star-powered podcasts available via the Norm Pattiz-founded PodcastOne is “Mogul Mom’s Playbook with Shaunie and Stella.”   The new podcast focuses on the increasing commitment of moms to juggle kids, career, parenting and relationships and is hosted by “Basketball Wives” star and executive producer Shaunie O’Neal and famed executive producer and founder of Wikked Entertainment, Stella Bulochnikov.  The weekly program features the duo and their celebrity friends “as they share tips, advice, support and lots of laughs to encourage the everyday ‘superwoman.’”   Pattiz says, “We are thrilled to welcome Shaunie and Stella to our family of hosts.  Their expressive personalities are such a joy to be around and their ability to connect with women has been proven in their personal and professional lives.”

Odds & Sods.  The first of three Republican primary debates will be moderated by Salem Media Group talk show host Hugh Hewitt.  Salem is working with CNN to produce the RNC-hewitthughsanctioned debates.  According to a press release, Hewitt will also broadcast special editions of his talk show pre- and post-debate.  At the conclusion of the debate, candidates will be invited to join Hewitt to talk candidly about the event and the pressing issues facing the nation.  Hewitt says, “I am delighted to be included with journalists posing questions as part of one of America’s finest political traditions – the presidential debate.”…..The self-described “metaphysical/biographical” program, “Outer Limits Of Inner Truth,” is airing a special two-hour show on Thursday, February 26 to commemorate its one-year anniversary.  The program is distributed via Star Com Radio Networks and airs on more than 24 stations across the country…..SWN Communications, a Memphis-based provider of the “Inside Track” radio show dedicated to horse racing, announces the program – hosted by Charlie Ricks and Bernie Halprin – becomes available on Yahoo! Sports Radio’s national network effective February 28.

Rudy Giuliani Comments Controversy, Obama Amnesty Order Case, DHS Funding Battle, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Ukraine Tensions, Sunday’s Academy Awards, and Frigid Winter Weather Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/23).  The controversy over former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s comments about President Obama’s love of his country; debate over President Obama’s amnesty order and its effects; the congressional battle over funding the Department of Homeland Security; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the civil unrest in Ukraine and Russia’s role in the matter; the 87th Academy Awards; and the frigid weather affecting much of the country were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, February 23, 2015

| February 23, 2015

radioamerica newHedgecock Gives Way to Benson on Radio America.  After many successful years in national syndication – which followed a long reign as the king of talk radio in San Diego, Rodger Hedgecock is ending his daily long-form radio show to focus on hishedgecockroger work as a TV commentator and elections coverage specialist for KFMB-TV, San Diego “CBS 8” and his production of the two daily reports he does for KFMB, San Diego.  Radio America COO Mike Paradiso states, “Roger has been a strong leader in Radio America’s lineup for years bensonchadand I want to thank him for his hard work and dedication.  He will be missed.”  Taking over Hedgecock’s nationally syndicated program is Chad Benson, whom Radio America describes as “a rising star from the Next Generation of talk hosts.”  Benson debuts on March 30 from home base at Alpha Media-owned KUFO, Portland “Freedom 970.”  About Benson, Radio America says the 44-year-old is “an accomplished talk show host boasting over 22-years-experience in the entertainment industry.  He started in music radio in the 1990s at the legendary KRTH, Los Angeles as the executive producer of the Robert W. Morgan show and has also been featured on Los Angeles radio stations such as KZLA-FM and KNCI-FM and KWOD-FM in Sacramento.  Chad has also honed his skills as a voice artist for several Hollywood productions, as fans of ‘Droopy the Dog’ hear Chad’s voice as the signature Hanna-Barbera character.”  Alpha Media San Antonio OM/PD Greg Martin says, “Chad Benson is not the usual talk host.  His entertaining style and passion for talk radio helped develop him into a great talent.  He’s not afraid to go places the average talk host will not tread.  Very unique.”  Benson’s show will air 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET.

cookehollandWeekends: Healing Talk Radio’s Achilles Heel.  In a new article posted today in TALKERS, radio consultant Holland Cooke boldly states: “At too many stations – some with once-proud call letters – weekends are an embarrassment.  Through utter neglect, stations injure ratings and leave money on the table.”  He goes on to offer advice and insights designed to help programmers and management maximize weekends – including brokered programs – to improve station ratings, revenue and image in the community.  He also appears on the latest installment of TalkersTV (upper right column box on every page of Talkers.com) with valuable information about how talk stations can make their Saturday and Sunday programming truly “Solid Gold Weekends.”  To see TalkersTV, please check out the upper right box on every page of Talkers.com.  To read Cooke’s new column, please click here.

mcmahonbillMcMahon: Determining How Long it Will Take for a Radio Show to Succeed.  Just how long to give a new radio show to “take off” has been a debate in the radio business almost since the medium debuted.  All parties would love the answer to be, “almost instantaneous,” but that’s not realistic.  Bill McMahon, CEO of The Authentic Personality, writes in a column published in TALKERS magazine today that programmers must get realistic expectations from their superiors.  But once the timeline is known, there are things that can be done to make success happen as quickly as possible.  “Coaching focused on perfecting talents and strengths and highlighting appealing personal traits will significantly speed up the development process.  Nothing slowed the development of the superstars of radio, true originals, like Howard Stern, Rush Limbaugh, and Larry Lujack more than bad coaching from PDs and management that didn’t recognize and support their unique talents and strengths.  Each was fired multiple times.  All were told to fit into some current standardized success model and be anything but themselves.  They refused.  Each had his own instincts and ideas about the kind of show he wanted to do.”  Read the rest of this enlightening piece here.

2015 NYC 150John Dickey and Michael Harrison to Conduct “Fireside Chat” at Talkers New York 2015.  The agenda is being set for Talkers New York 2015 and one of the highlights of what promises to be a power-packed day of relevant discussions, presentations, and addresses will be a conversation between Cumulus Media executive vice president of content & programming, John Dickey and TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison.  Thedickeyjohn presentation will be conducted in the informal, one-on-one “fireside chat” format.  John Dickey is responsible for Cumulus’ sales, programming, marketing, promotion and engineering and will be able to offer comments, opinions and information about a wide variety of issues presently facing talk radio, as well as the entire spectrum of radio formats.  Conference director Michael Harrison states, “There are few people as ‘plugged into’ both the day-to-day operations as well as the big picture of commercial radio in America today than John Dickey.  He has extensive, first-hand knowledge about what’s happening in the business and plays an enormous harrisonmichael2015role in influencing policy – plus he has a true passion for radio and its position in our society.  I look forward to this session with enthusiasm and plan on it providing our attendees with a lot of valuable takeaways.”  Save the date and register early.  The 18th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important annual convention will take place on Friday, June 12, 2015.   It will be located at the historic India House Club dramatically situated at One Hanover Square in the heart of Manhattan’s financial district.”  The all-day event – 9:00 am to 6:00 pm — is again expected to be a quick sellout.  Registrations are priced at $299 per person with an early bird, discounted cost of $249 available until 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 27.  Registrations, which are only open to professionals currently or recently employed in media-related industries, include all sessions, presentations, exhibits and breakfast/lunch/refreshment/and social networking activities. The heavyweight, non-stop agenda will include approximately 65 speakers and 500 attendees are again expected.  Registrations can only be taken over the phone and paid for by credit card.  For registration, sponsorship and hotel information, please call 413-565-5413.  Again, an early sellout is expected, so avoid being shut out by registering now!  Speakers, panelists and agenda updates will be announced here in the coming days.

ppmunit altRound Four of January PPM Data Released.  The fourth of four rounds of January 2015 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The survey period was January 1-28.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

salemmediagroup logoSalem Incorporates ‘Media’ into New Corporate Name.  As a corporation with multiple media platforms, Salem Communications Corporation decides to change its name to Salem Media Group to better reflect “the dynamic growth” of its multi-media business.  Salem CEO Ed Atsinger says, “Salem’s mission has always been to serve our two core audiences – Christian and conservative – with engaging and meaningful content.  That mission brought us into radio, and it has guided our growth ever since.  As more and more of our audience seek new ways to get information and inspiration, we have added new media platforms to our traditional radio offerings.  Now nearly one-third of our total revenue comes from non-broadcast sources.  This rebranding of Salem acknowledges our evolution and confirms our commitment to serve our market.”  Salem says that in addition to its 106 radio stations and syndicated programs, it “owns several of the most influential brands in the Christian and conservative media space, including Crosswalk.com, GodVine.com, Christianity.com, BibleStudyTools.com, TownHall.com, HotAir.com, RedState.com, Human Events.com, the Conservative Book Club, and Regnery Publishing.

floresreneeFlores Appointed High Desert Broadcasting LSM. Former Lazer Broadcasting Oxnard-Ventura national and regional sales manager Renee Flores joins High Desert Broadcasting as local sales manager for its seven-station cluster in Lancaster, Palmdale, and the Antelope Valley (Southern California). High Desert president Miles Sexton comments that Flores, “brings a rare combination of experience in both product marketing and broadcast sales to this position, along with proven team leadership accomplishments. We are thrilled to have her join our management team to oversee the sales operation of this dominant radio cluster.” Flores points out that she has lived “in this exciting and growing portion of the Los Angeles metro area. It is great to be returning with such a wonderful opportunity to grow and serve the diverse business community here.” Flores’ prior background includes being general sales manager for Lazer Broadcasting’s three Oxnard-Ventura stations, as well as handling sales for the company’s 25 California and Nevada stations. High Desert’s seven stationsHigh Desert Broadcasting are KOSS “NewsTalk 1380″; regional Mexican KCEL “Que Buena 96.1″; hot AC KGMX “K-Mix 106.3″; alternative KKZQ “The Edge”; classic rock KQAV “The Quake”; KMVE “Classic Top 40″; and regional Mexican KUTY “La Mera Mera 1470.”

johnstondougJohnston Joins Westwood One in EVP Role.  Joining the company as executive vice president, Midwest division in the network sales department is Doug Johnston.  The company says he’ll “oversee revenue development and multi-platform brand integrations across all Westwood One assets, including network sales, spot sales, platform, digital, and events.  Johnston is based in Chicago and reports directly to Westwood One president Steve Shaw.”  He comes to WW1 from his most recent post as SVP, sales, central region, for Premiere Networks.

Odds & Sods.  Adding another daily show to his current role as afternoon drive personality on iHeartMedia’sconwaysimon legendary WHO, Des Moines, is Simon Conway.  Today (2/23), he begins hosting the 9:00 am to 11:00 am program on the company’s WMT, Cedar Rapids…..Fusion and ESPN Radio are announcing an agreement in principle for the former to simulcast the Dan Le Batard radio program beginning this spring.  The three-hour broadcast will air weekday afternoons from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET.

wtmj logoCool Job Opportunties.  Several outstanding career opportunities are currently open at Journal Broadcast Group‘s news/talk/sports WTMJ, Milwaukee.  WTMJ has taken traffic reporting in-house, after working with an outside vendor, and is building its own 24-hour on-air/digital traffic center.  There are opportunities for traffic reporters.  The station also has a rare opportunity for a sports anchor/sports talk host.  WTMJ is also searching for an experienced digital content producer/morning show producer.  In sports marketing, WTMJ is adding another sports account manager position to sell Green Bay Packers football and Milwaukee Brewers baseball.  See these and other great opportunities at Journal Broadcast Group’s Milwaukee Operations here.

rabRAB on 2014: Off-Air and Digital Help Bolster Spot and Network for Flat Revenue Year.  The annual report on radio’s revenue for the previous year from the RAB is released and the organization states that radio ended Q4 and full year 2014 with revenue comparable to those reported at year-end in both 2013 and 2012.  Radio’s digital and off-air sectors delivered impressive growth rates throughout the year, which also saw slight dips in the spot and network sectors.  For all of 2014, spot revenue was down 3% and network revenue dipped 4%.  Those decreases were offset by the rise in digital (up 9%) and off-air revenue (up 16%).  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber comments, “Radio held its own in 2014 with radio revenue remaining steady despite an economic climate which saw some businesses tightening their spending in Q4 due to reduced consumer confidence.  Digital revenue growth indicates that radio is meeting marketers’ growing commitment to reach consumers via all digital ad channels, and this continued growth confirms radio’s position as a true marketing partner.”

abcNathansonKevinHartABC News on the Red Carpet at the Oscars.  At last night’s 87th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, ABC News was on the red carpet interviewing the stars in advance of the annual awards program.  Pictured here is ABC News’ Jason Nathanson (right) speaking with comic, actor and record producer Kevin Hart (left).

Friday, February 20, 2015

| February 20, 2015

entercomEntercom 2014 Q4 Net Revenue Up 2%.  That increase over the same period a year ago comes on revenue $101.5 million.  For all of 2014, Entercom Communications posted net revenue up 1% over 2013, with total net revenue hitting $379.8 million.  Other fourth quarter data includes: station expenses increasing 3% to $63.3 million; station operating income flat at $38.2 million; and free cash flow rising 4% to $23.4 million.  For the year 2014, adjusted net income per share was flat at $0.79.  Entercom fielddavidpresident and CEO David Field says, “After finishing 2014 with modest gains in net revenues, adjusted net income and free cash flow, Entercom is looking forward to a promising year of opportunity in 2015.  Our recently announced Lincoln Financial Media acquisition will add a number of terrific new markets and brands to our lineup and should be accretive to shareholders with no material impact on our solid balance sheet.  And we are well positioned to capitalize on a number of other significant growth opportunities throughout the organization.”  If you remember, Entercom is buying Lincoln Financial Media’s 15 stations in the Atlanta, Denver, Miami and San Diego markets for $105 million.  It will sell one of its Denver FMs to comply with FCC regulations.

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia Q4 Net Revenue Rises 1%.  During its 2014 Q4 conference call, iHeartMedia announced that net revenue was up 1% for both the fourth quarter of 2014 and for the year as a whole.  iHeartMedia COO Richard Bressler said during the investors conference call that “political dollars, traffic and weather, as well as national broadcast radio, drove higher revenues in a market that was soft across local radio.”  Bressler also touted the performance of the iHeartRadio digital platform, saying it has surpassed 60 million registered users and that total listening hours have risen 14% compared to the fourth quarter of 2013.

nielsen logoRound Three of January PPM Data Released.  The third of four rounds of January 2015 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The survey period was January 1-28.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

wtemlogoWTEM, Washington to Launch Local AM Drive Show.  Currently, Red Zebra-owned WTEM, Washington ESPN980 carries ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike show.  But beginning on March 16, the station will pair up longtime morning drive personality Chris Paul with national sports columnist Jason Reid to host “The Man Cave with Chris Paul and Jason Reid.”  Red Zebra vice president of programming Chuck Sapienza says the show “will be a blend of sports, comedy and entertainment and we are thrilled to welcome these two talented men to ESPN980.”  Chris Paul has worked in radio as part of the Donnie Simpson show on crosstown hip hop WPGC for 16 years and, for the last six years, on the syndicated “Tom Joyner Morning Show.”  Jason Reid began his professional journalism career at the Los Angeles Times covering the Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Clippers and providing college basketball analysis.  He moved to Washington in 2010 as the beat writer for the Washington Redskins for the Washington Post and was promoted to a sports columnist position in January 2011.  Reid will continue writing as a NFL columnist for ESPN.com.   Red Zebra CEO Rick Carmean adds, “We have been interested in creating a local morning drive show on ESPN980 for a while.  Chris and Jason give us and the Washington, DC sports fan the perfect combination of sports knowledge, humor and personality.”

Odds & Sods.  Producer Scott Miller jumps from Tribune’s news/talk WGN, Chicago to Hubbard’s classic rock WDRV to serve on the new Dan McNeil and Pete McMurray morning show…..Celebrity cook Paula Deen works out a deal with Compass Media Networks to launch daily radio vignettes called, “Get Cooking with Paula Deen,” and a weekly long-form podcast called, “What’s Cooking with Paula Deen.”  They will debut on May 1…..USA Radio Networks adds “Animal Radio” to its weekend lineup, airing on Saturdays from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, effective March 7…..New York radio personality Joan Hamburg is hosting a special show on Cumulus Media‘s WABC on February 21 from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm titled, “The Business of Fashion Week,” focusing on the fashion economy and featuring interviews with leading fashion industry insiders…..Alpha Media announces today that KXTG-AM, Portland “750 The Game” enters into a partnership agreement to continue as the official radio station of the Portland Thunder of the Arena Football League…..At the Fort Lauderdale cluster of iHeartMedia, Shari Gonzalez is named VP of sales…..ABC Radio is providing coverage of the 87th Annual Academy Awards this Sunday.  Correspondent Jason Nathanson will be live on the red carpet with interviews from the night’s biggest stars.  Starting at 8:20 pm ET, ABC News correspondent David Blaustein will anchor twice-hourly, one minute status reports from New York correspondents Alex Stone and Jason Nathanson reporting from backstage at the main event.

madisonjoeJoe Madison to Attempt Marathon Talk Show Record to Benefit Museum of African American History.  Talk radio host Joe Madison, as part of Black History Month, will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for hosting the longest talk radio show on Wednesday and Thursday, February 25-26.  The current record is 50 hours and the SiriusXM “Urban View” host plans to concurrently raise funds for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, currently under construction on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.  The non-profit museum is scheduled to open in 2016.

ramseyDenver15Dave Ramsey’s Smart Money Tour Kicks Off in Denver.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey began his 2015 Smart Money tour in Denver yesterday (2/19) with a sold-out appearance at the Bellco Theatre.  The Smart Money tour presents Ramsey’s philosophy on winning with money, getting out of debt, and investing for the future.  Financial expert and speaker Chris Hogan appeared with Ramsey on stage.  Ramsey and affiliate station KKZN “Real Talk 760” worked together to promote the event.  Station program director Greg Foster comments, “The Dave Ramsey show connects with listeners like no other.  ‘Real Talk 760’ has been in existence for less than a year, but Dave sold out 5,000 seats to his live event in Denver.  Dave’s fans are incredibly loyal, and that translates to new revenue for his stations.”  Pictured here at the iHeartMedia Denver studios are (from l-r): iHeartMedia Denver director of integrated media and special events Ryan Clune, general sales manager Jessica Farias, Ramsey, and market manager Pat Connor.

Battle Against ISIS/Islam Criticism Controversy Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of February 16-20.  The fight against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and the political controversy over associating Islam with the militant organization was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week.  Coming in at #2 was a Texas court’s stay of the Obama amnesty order.  At #3 was the 2016 presidential prospects and following at #4 was the rise in European anti-Semitism.  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, February 19, 2015

| February 19, 2015

weismanstevenPayola: What Every Broadcaster Should Know.  TALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes in a piece published today (2/19) that the Payola laws are something all broadcasters should be aware of, regardless of format.  While the Payola “scandal” of the late 1950s causes many people to associate Payola with playing records for consideration, any content that’s paid for must be identified.  Weisman writes, “The [Federal Communications] Commission has noted that the Sponsorship Identification Laws are ‘grounded in the principle that listeners and viewers are entitled to know who seeks to persuade them.’”  Read Weisman’s entire piece here.

mcmahonbillMcMahon: Listen to Your Creative Voice.  Talk radio consultant Bill McMahon says that all of us are born creative.  “From a very young age we all have a quiet little voice in our head that comes from somewhere deep inside.  It whispers unique and amazing thoughts and ideas to us.  In the beginning, we all hear these ideas, get excited, and do something about them. Unfortunately, the bigger and more unusual the ideas, the more resistance we encounter when we try to bring them to life.  Eventually, most of us stop listening to that quiet little voice, dismiss its thoughts and ideas, and just try to fit in because it’s too damn hard to do otherwise,” he writes.  McMahon believes that the successful content creators are the ones who still, not only listen to that creative voice, but act on some of the ideas it provides us.  Read more about his thoughts on creativity here.

goffjasonGoff Replaces Mannelly at ‘The Score’ in Chicago.  The new co-host at CBS RADIO’s sports talk WSCR, Chicago “670 The Score” is Jason Goff.  He’ll be working alongside Matt Spiegel on the 9:00 am to 1:00 pm show.  The former producer and reporter has also hosted at the company’s Atlanta sports talker wscr logoWZGC “92.9 The Game” and SiriusXM.  “The Score” operations manager Mitch Rosen says, “I’m excited to have Jason back on our team.  I believe the combination of Matt Spiegel and Jason Goff will be a great winning combination that the Chicagoland audience will love.  The show will be interactive through all of our digital platforms.”  Former Chicago Bears long snapper Patrick Mannelly worked as co-host with Spiegel after Dan McNeil exited the same position last June after a long career with WSCR.  McNeil recently joined crosstown classic rock WDRV “The Drive” as AM drive co-host.

businessrockstars radio‘Business Rockstars’ to Be Heard on 11-station Mississippi ‘SuperTalk’ Network.  The “Business Rockstars” radio show adds to its affiliate roster by being carried across the 11-station TeleSouth Communications-owned SuperTalk Mississippi network.  Saying that this new deal pushes its affiliate tally “well past the 100 U.S. radio mark,” Business Rockstars CEO Steve Lehman comments, “Radio is an important part of our multi-media and social platform.  We couldn’t be more excited to add SuperTalk.FM to our rapidly growing list of affiliate stations…Business Rockstars is an entrepreneurial business show that brings together some of the world’s biggest and most accomplished CEOs as well as successful small business owners and entrepreneurs.  We look forward to adding new listeners in Mississippi that will benefit from Business Rockstars content.”  TeleSouth president and COO Kim Dillon states, “‘Business Rockstars’ is a great show and we’re certain the listeners across the SuperTalk Mississippi network will benefit from their insightful commentary and tips.  Entrepreneurship is alive and well in our state.  We look forward to inspiring current and future business owners throughout our long and prosperous relationship with the Rockstars team.”

sternhowardDigital Start-Up Whalerock Gets Attention After Inking Howard Stern to Deal.  From a piece in The New York Times comes news that Howard Stern has agreed to a deal with Whalerock to have the latter create a “personal network” to handle digital distribution of his content.  This is a separate deal from Stern’s SiriusXM contract and Whalerock owner Lloyd Braun tells the paper he is conscious of the existing contracts of his talent and doesn’t want to get into legal disputes.  It appears Whalerock will differ from other digital platforms in that it is targeting established celebrities and designing “personal networks” for each as opposed to providing “space” for content creators on a larger, menu-type platform.  As usual, terms of all deals are confidential but other celebs reported to be on board are the Kardashian sisters and rapper Tyler, the Creator.  In the piece, Braun says celebs are eager to work with Whalerock because it cuts out the “middleman” of traditional media platforms.  The TimesBrooks Barnes astutely points out that there is still a middleman in these deals – that middleman is Whalerock.  Still, it certainly appears that Whalerock’s work handling the aspects of distribution, sales, etc., that celebs don’t want to get involved in themselves is what they get in return for some consideration.  Read the entire Times piece here.

ppmunit altRound Two of January PPM Data Released.  The second of four rounds of January 2015 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The survey period was January 1-28.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

Latest Obama Approval Ratings, Battle Against ISIS, Stay of Obama Amnesty Order, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Sunday’s Academy Awards, and Frigid Winter Weather Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/18).  Recent approval ratings for President Obama and the economy; the battle against ISIS and the controversy over publicly connecting violence with Islam; a Texas court’s stay of President Obama’s amnesty order; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the films and actors nominated for this Sunday’s Academy Awards; and the freezing and snowy weather affecting much of the country were some of the most-talked-about stories on news talk radio yesterday.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

| February 18, 2015

whfs-am logoBeasley Flips WHFS-AM, Tampa Bay to Money Talk.  One of the sports talk outlets Beasley acquired in its swap with CBS RADIO – WHFS-AM – is flipping from sports talk to money talk.  The company says “MoneyTalk 1010 AM” will be “the Tampa Bay area’s only exclusively financial talk-formatted radio station…with programming that features valuable and timely information on the financial markets and emerging trends in the economy. ochscharlie Additionally, ‘MoneyTalk 1010’ offers an assortment of health, lifestyle, and general information programs delivered by a wide variety of local and national broadcasters.”  Beasley is naming Tampa market radio pro Charlie Ochs general manager of the station.  Most recently, Ochs served as a financial professional for Prudential Financial in Tampa.  Prior to that, he was an SVP and market manager with CBS RADIO.  Beasley Media Group VP and market manager Kent Dunn comments, “The expertise and leadership that Charlie brings to ‘MoneyTalk 1010’ is extremely valuable.  This radio station is committed to delivering the most current and up-to-date financial news to the Tampa Bay area.”

If You Think Radio Has Problems with Millennials, TV Faces Immediate 18-34 Crisis – Brings Up Question About Evolution of Radio Ratings.  In the New York Post, media columnist Claire Atkinson writes about the dramatic rate at which Millennials are dropping their live television watching habits.  She reports that “traditional TV usage — which has been falling among viewers ages 18 to 34 at around 4% a year since 2012 — tumbled 10.6% between September and January.”  Read Atkinson’s entire piece here.  Radio practitioners are well aware this is not a “sucks to be you” moment; all media are trying to adapt to the changing habits of consumers – especially Millennials and Gen Xers.  And tied directly into that is rating all of this consumption so that it can be priced and sold effectively.  While radio bemoans the lack of rating non-broadcasting listening, rest assured that while Nielsen hears radio’s cries, it has much more to gain financially by figuring out how to rate non-broadcast video viewing accurately.  As Atkinson points out, there is $80 billion in annual TV ad money at stake.  In response to this situation, TALKERS/RadioInfo publisherharrisonmichael2015 Michael Harrison states, “It is going to be a long time until an accurate system of rating radio audience numbers stabilizes to the point of widespread industry acceptance – if ever.  This looming fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants period should inspire radio broadcasters to: 1) value the opportunities available in highly specialized local programming based more on direct relationships with advertisers and obvious customer results; and 2) understand the principle whereby the nature of the programming defines the nature of the audience.”  Harrison concludes, “The burden will fall upon sales departments to get out there and communicate directly with potential advertisers on a one-on-one, very human level about their businesses and how radio can directly help them connect with specifically-desired customers.”  Harrison’s Principle basically means the genre of the programming has to be so clearly distinct and appealing to an obvious segment of the population that it becomes a given whether or not it will attract significant qualitative or quantitative numbers.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases First Round of January 2015 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of January 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The January 2015 survey period covered January 1 – 28.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

zieglerbrandonEnvision Networks Debuts Weekend ‘John & Leah Show.’  The duo of John Ziegler and Leah Brandon first worked together at iHeartMedia’s KFI, Los Angeles.  Now, they are hosting a Sunday evening program – 10:00 pm ET – being syndicated by Envision Networks.  The company says the program will focus on “media, politics, sports, and pop culture.”  Envision president and CEO Danno Wolkoff comments, “John and Leah’s insights, quick wits, and rapport will be a great addition to the stations’ weekends.  With entertaining views from a male and female co-host, we are well on our way to offering new content for talk radio.”

Odds & Sods.  Joining PodcastOne as sales manager, Western region is digital media and sales pro Dana Senit.  The company says that in this new role Senit will “work with local and national advertisers in the Western region to collaborate on digital media initiatives across the network of all-star podcasts to maximize campaign effectiveness throughconnectpal personality-driven strategies.”…..ConnectPal founder and CEO Andy Dean announces his platform has struck a deal with Benztown Radio Networks to bring the latter’s talent to the ConnectPal platform where podcasts featuring such talents as David Tutera, Chris Heben, Dougall Fraser, and A.J. Barrera will be monetized.  Benztown has also made an investment – the terms of which have not been revealed – in ConnectPal…..SiriusXM is presenting comprehensive coverage of the 57th running of the Daytona 500, with the live race broadcast, multiple channels carrying in-car audio from some of the sport’s top drivers, and daily coverage from Daytona International Speedway on its NASCAR Radio channel.

marksdrjA Visit from the Doctor.  During a remote broadcast of NBC Sports Radio’s Anita Marks show live from the Harman store on Madison Avenue in New York City, NBA Hall of Fame legend Dr. J, a.k.a. Julius Erving, stopped by to chat with Marks.  Dr. J was a special guest during the in-store remote designed to celebrate the exclusive audio partnership between JBL and the NBA.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Marks, NBC Sports Radio’s Jon Stashower, Chris Mannix and Erving.

The Battle Against ISIS, The Stay on Amnesty Order, The Cost of ObamaCare for the States, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Rise in European Anti-Semitism, Ukraine Tensions, and Fifty Shades of Grey Film Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/17).  The violence perpetuated by ISIS and debate over how to combat the militant organization; a Texas court’s stay on President Obama’s amnesty order; the financial ramifications of the Affordable Care Act on the states; speculation about the potential candidates for president in 2016; the increase in anti-Semitism across Europe; the military tensions in Ukraine; and controversy over the film Fifty Shades of Grey were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

| February 17, 2015

walshbobbyguntherWAEB, Allentown Talk Host Named in Defamation Suit.  Allentown talk show host Bobby Gunther Walsh – heard in AM drive on iHeartMedia’s WAEB-AM — is named in a defamation and slander suit by the city’s District Attorney Jim Martin.  The primary defendant in the case is blogger Bill Villa who has called Martin “crooked” and “corrupt” and alleges he “fixes” cases, according to a report in The Morning Call.  Villa lost his 25-year-old daughter in a drunk driving accident and Villa claims Martin bargained a plea deal with the man accused of being responsible for his daughter’s death “in secret,” without ever notifying the family.  Villa went on Walsh’s WAEB show to talk about his issues with Martin’s work as DA.  Read the story here.

cherrycreekradio logoCorporate Promotions at Cherry Creek Radio.  At the corporate level, Cherry Creek Radio announces eight promotions that affect its 55 O&O stations in 15 Western U.S. markets.  Moving up from regional director of sales to EVP and regional manager are: Kelley Cheatwood, John Craft, and Ron Korb.  Group PD Bob Guerra rises to EVP/director of programming.  Rita Calvin adds EVP stripes to her controller position.  Travis Cronen is now VP/director of operations & IT; Ken Eklund is upped to VP of engineering, and Mary Sims becomes VP/director of accounting.  Cherry Creek Radio president and CEO Joe Schwartz comments, “With our new financial structure in place and with the many plans we have to grow the company, I feel it was important to recognize these eight individuals for the outstanding work they have done for the company over their tenure at Cherry Creek Radio.  Each of these promotions are for employees who have been with the company for at least eight years or more.”

browneWNYMBizCelebrating Success.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Joy Browne (standing) speaks at the recent Success Stories Breakfast Series at Bergen Community College in Paramus, New Jersey produced by Salem Communications New York and its stations news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” and Christian talk WMCA “The Mission.”  The event featured numerous speakers telling their stories of success, that also included former NFL star, G-III president and entrepreneur Carl Banks; My Pillow inventor Mike Lindell; Bluerock Energy president and CEO Phil Van Horne; and Bergen Community College director of multicultural affairs Ron McKnight.  The program was moderated by WNYM host Kevin McCullough and broadcast live on WNYM by morning show host Joe Piscopo.

futuri logoFuturi Media Awarded Patents for Instant Alert and Listener Driven Radio.  Calling it a “milestone for the company,” Futuri Media CEO Daniel Anstandig announces the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a patent to him and the company’s chief technical officer Brian Seeders for its “Instant Alert” and Listener Driven Radio (LDR) technology.  In a press release, Futuri Media says the patent describes a broad range of methods related to Listener Driven™ programming, including Instant Alerts, where listeners can receive e-mail, SMS text, and tweets moments before their favorite songs play on the air.  This is also one of several U.S. and foreign patents and pending patent applications held by the company that describes and protects its unique interactive mobile and social apps.   Anstandig comments, “Futuri has invested a significant amount in R&D related to interactive broadcasting as well as social and mobile technology for local broadcasters.  The issuance of this patent is a milestone for our company and our many innovative broadcast partners, who have used this and our other technologies to drive ratings and revenue since the company’s launch in 2009.”  Futuri CIO Brian Parsons adds, “Protection of our team’s innovations is critical.  Our goal is to shape the future of media with social and mobile technology that makes it possible for consumers to embrace and personalize their favorite media brands.  Whether it’s an interactive playlist, alerts for your favorite songs, a feature-rich mobile app, or social monitoring, we’re striving to create easy-to-use platforms that deliver innovative and proprietary high value for our partners.”

Odds & Sods.  Brooklyn talk host Frankie Russo is crowdfunding to continue to buy time (and hopefully, he says, evenrussofrankie more time) on New York’s legendary 77WABC.  Russo has been brokering the 1:00 am to 2:00 am Saturday slot for the past year and is now firing up an indiegogo campaign to raise $100,000 to expand his presence on the station…..Hall of Fame basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian passed on February 11 and his funeral was on wachsTarkanianFebruary 16 at Our Lady of Las Vegas Catholic Church.  GCN-syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs (pictured here with Tarkanian on the left) tells TALKERS, “It was a beautiful ceremony with laughter and tears honoring a legend.  I went to UNLV 89-93 and witnessed one of the most exciting teams year-after-year win and eventually conquer the National Championship under Jerry’s legacy.  Our city is going to great lengths to commemorate such an icon.  I knew Jerry to be warm and cuddly and I credit his and the Runnin’ Rebel legacy with the start of the Las Vegas boom in the mid-90s.  He helped put UNLV on the map from a once considered ‘casino town’ and made us locals proud to be Las Vegans.  Thank you Jerry!  You will be missed but never forgotten!”…..NBC Sports Group announces it will present live radio coverage of all three Triple Crown races for the first time on NBC Sports Radio.  It will produce radio coverage of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes on numerous broadcast and digital platforms.

Scott Walker Presidential Prospects, Court Blocks Obama Immigration Order, Department of Homeland Security Funding Battle, Brian Williams Suspension, Battle Against ISIS, Fifty Shades of Grey Film, and Cindy Crawford Photo Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/16).  Analysis of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s chances of receiving the Republican nomination for president in 2016; a Texas court blocks the Obama amnesty order; the battle in Congress over the funding of the Department of Homeland Security; the aftermath of the Brian Williams suspension; the battle against ISIS and the militant movement’s bloody tactics; controversy over the film Fifty Shades of Grey; and the flap over an unretouched photo of 48-year-old Cindy Crawford were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, February 16, 2015

| February 16, 2015

powerswaynePowers Exits WKZO, Kalamazoo Mornings.  It was a four-month stint hosting the morning drive program at Midwest Communications’ WKZO, Kalamazoo for Wayne Powers, who tells the Kalamazoo Gazette that it ended in a contract dispute.  Powers, who replaced longtime morning personality Lori Moore back in Otcober, tells the paper he’d been working 70 hours per week on the show and, when asked to handle more responsibilities, sat down with management to discuss his workload, but the two sides were unable to agree.  Powers says, “I thought it could be resolved to be completely honest with you.  I thought worse comes to worse, that I’d be able to finish out the week and say good-bye to the listeners.”  The search for a new morning host has begun.  Powers – who’s worked in television, animation and commercials during his career – had been doing part-time and fill-in work at WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte before relocating to Kalamazoo to work at WKZO.  He says he hopes to remain in Kalamazoo.

wcgo logoKovas Communications Acquires Global American Broadcasting.  Chicago-based Kovas Communications – currently operating ethnic/talk hybrid WCGO – is acquiring Vero Beach, Florida-based Global American Broadcasting.  That company has operated a technical ops center for the past 15 years that provides complete board opping, program services, and distribution of programming for radio program producers.  It currently serves several syndicated radio programs.  The five studios, satellite dishes, and all of the equipment is being relocated to Kovas Communications’ Evanston, Illinois studios.  Kovas Communications will also employ the key technicians of GAB.  Chicago media pro Tim Disa is consulting Kovas and he says the acquisition of what will now be known as GAB Radio Network will play well into the growth plans of WCGO.  He says Kovas plans to operate several nationally syndicated radio programs from its facilities and will develop new programming as well.

owensgarySpecial Feature: Remembering Gary Owens.  The iconic radio and television personality passed away in Los Angeles on Friday, February 13.  TALKERS magazine managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian writes about Gary Owens, “Blessed with an enduring ability to captivate a broad base demographic with droll, clever, sometimes-corny witticisms/puns that much sooner rather than later made you laugh, Gary Owens is being fondly remembered by those whose lives he touched by his character and one-of-a-kind classiness…Not character voices that helped to shape, mold, and define this often-honored broadcaster who passed away at the age of 80, but much more important personal qualities.”  Read Mike Kinosian’s account of Owens’ career here.

Odds & Sods.  The mayoral candidates in Chicago will appear on Matt McGill morning show on WVON all this week as the special mayoral forum airs at 7:00 am each day through Friday.  McGill will speak with each candidate about issues important to the African American community…..Talk radio pro Mike Romigh is named program director for suburban Pittsburgh stations WBVP-AM and WMBA-AM, licensed to Beaver Falls.  Romigh, who’s worked at KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh and WKBN, Youngstown, Ohio during his career, began his career at WBVP in 1976.

noorybelzerbookGeorge Noory Co-Authors Flight 370 Book.  Actor and comic Richard Belzer is the lead author but Premiere Networks personality George Noory and journalist David Wayne are co-authors of the new book investigating the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 titled, Someone Is Hiding Something (Skyhorse Publishing 2015).  According to a press release, the book scrutinizes “the theories the media and politicians claim are the ‘most likely’ reasons the plane crashed, Belzer, Noory, and Wayne argue that if a year after a huge Boeing 777 has gone missing, and there’s still no sign of it whatsoever, it’s time to think outside the box.  The public needs to stop being misled.”

CMGHoustonawardspicCMG Houston Nabs Five Star Awards.  At the 2015 Media Alliance of Houston Star Awards Gala that took place on Thursday, February 12, Cox Media Group of Houston was honored with five awards by the organization that recognizes outstanding industry professionals while supporting the continuous education of media students.  The honors were as follows: Laura Filippone as Local Radio Account Executive of the Year; Cherolyn Johnson as Local Radio Assistant Traffic of the Year; Judy Lakin as Director of Sales of the Year; Mike Murray as National Sales Manager of the Year and Courtney Jenkins as Rising Star of the Year.  Pictured here (from l-r) are CMG Houston staffers: Cherolyn Johnson, Kali Gipson, Judy Lakin, Courtney Jenkins, Laura Filippone, Mike Murray, Mark Krieschen, Sheryl Grigsby, Johnny Chiang and Lisa Searcy.

kdkaKDKA-AM, Pittsburgh Helps 1,115 Area Families Via 2015 Warmathon.  This year’s edition of the “NewsRadio 1020 KDKA Warmathon” to benefit Dollar Energy Fund raised $404,558 during the two-day event, which will help 1,155 Pittsburgh-area families maintain basic utility service.  The Warmathon was a live radiothon on CBS RADIO’s KDKA-AM that took place on February 12 and 13.  With this year’s contributions, 6,550 local, limited-income families have benefited from the total of $2.25 million that has been raised since the first Warmathon in 2009.  KDKA-AM SVP and general manager Michael Young comments, “Helping our community is part of the DNA of KDKA.  The kindness of Southwestern Pennsylvanians is overwhelming and continues to impress us at KDKA year after year.”

Friday, February 13, 2015

| February 13, 2015

cbsradioCBS RADIO Q4 Net Revenue Up 2%.  That’s about as much detail as was reported yesterday (2/12) from CBS Corp. about its radio business.  Radio is lumped into the Local Broadcasting category that also includes CBS Corp’s O&O television stations.  During yesterday’s investor’s conference call, there was no talk – as there has been from time to time – about CBS selling its radio assets en masse.  As for the current quarter, CBS chief operating officer and CFO Joseph Ianiello told analysts the radio division is pacing up in the low single digits.

CORRECTION.  Earlier today TALKERS magazine inadvertently ran a year-old story about the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing of James Crystal Radio.  Included in the story was a report that the company was unable to meet payroll.  Again, the story ran by mistake and TALKERS regrets the error.

gallaghermikeSRN’s Mike Gallagher to Receive Honor from NYPD’s Sergeant’s Benevolent Association.  In recognition of talk radio personality Mike Gallagher’s ongoing support of law enforcement and his charitable work via the Gallagher’s Army Fallen Officer’s Fund, the Sergeants Benevolent Association of the Police Department of the City of New York will present him with its 108th annual SBA Heroism Award on April 9.  SBA president Ed Mullins says the award is “presented annually to people who dedicate or have dedicated themselves to protecting the liberties and freedoms that so many of us take for granted.  Your supportive actions as a member of the media exemplify all of the virtues that make our country the greatest in the world.”  Gallagher says, “I am honored to be given this special award, since it further cements the connection the Mike Gallagher show has with the men and women serving in law enforcement from coast to coast.”

bertrandmarcBertrand Partnered with Zolak at ‘98.5 The Sports Hub’ in Boston.  Taking over for Andy Gresh as co-host of the midday show at CBS RADIO’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” is Marc Bertrand.  He’ll co-host the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm program with Scott Zolak beginning Tuesday, February 17.  Bertrand has been with the station serving as sports headline anchor for the afternoon drive “Felger and Mazz” show.  Bertrand will also co-host the station’s New England Patriots pre- and postgame shows.  He’s been with the station since it launched in 2009 after working at Metro Traffic.  CBS RADIO Boston VP of programming Mike Thomas comments, “Marc’s unique opinion on the topics of the day, his local background, and his sense of humor will bring a new, entertaining twist to the midday show.  Partnered with Scott’s never-ending energy level and interesting former pro athlete take, the duo will make for a solid combination.”  Andy Gresh remains with the station in other capacities.

proftdanDan Proft to Take AM Drive Gig at WIND, Chicago.  The former WLS-AM, Chicago personality – who exited the station in December – is the new permanent host of the morning show at Salem Communications’ news/talk WIND, Chicago “AM 560 The Answer,” according to Chicago media writer Robert FederDan Proft has been hosting the program since Big John Howell exited WIND and jumped across town to the morning show at WLS-AM.  Proft made the deal public while emceeing a Republican fundraiser in suburban Chicago.  He’ll work alongside Amy Jacobson on the program as did Howell.

vanpooltanyaNAB Names Van Pool VP/Research. Four-year NAB staffer Tanya Van Pool succeeds Sharon Warden as vice president of research; Warden retired from the NAB at the end of last year. Van Pool has managed broadcast industry-related research projects for use in the NAB’s public policy advocacy work before congress and the FCC. In addition to conducting/analyzing surveys of NAB members and conference attendees to help provide direction for future events, she represents the NAB on committees such as the Media Ratings Council and Nielsen‘s policy guidelines committee. Van Pool previously developed research and analysis for Discovery Communications; prior to that, she worked in various capacities for Washington, DC television outlet WDCW.

cbspittsburghEatDrinkCBS RADIO Pittsburgh Presents Second ‘Eat.drink.Pittsburgh.’  The four CBS RADIO Pittsburgh stations are presenting a local festival of food and drink with the support of media sponsor WHIRL Magazine called “eat.drink.PITTSBURGH” at the Wyndham Grand Hotel on Saturday, February 21.  Attendees purchasing tickets can enjoy “samples from dozens of Pittsburgh’s finest restaurants along with new products, wines, beers and more — all under one roof.”  Additionally, there will be exhibits, information on local cooking and wine classes, and live music by Pittsburgh local band Nameless in August.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The “Ground Zero” show, hosted by Clyde Lewis and syndicated by Premiere Networks, is added to the program schedule at KNSS, Wichita…..The Sun Broadcast Group-syndicated Marilu Henner show joins the lineup at WZON-AM, Bangor; WSRQ, Sarasota; and WLSC, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Brian Williams Case Tops Talkers TenTM This Week.  The controversy surrounding Brian Williams’ embellishment of his experience covering the Iraq War and his subsequent six-month suspension from NBC News was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of February 6-13.  At #2 was the 2016 presidential prospects.  Coming in at #3 was the ISIS violence and the death of hostage Kayla Mueller followed by Jon Stewart’s announced departure from “The Daily Show” 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.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

| February 12, 2015

mcmahonbillBill McMahon: Curiosity Enhanced by Awareness, Experience, Imagination and Courage.  According to talk radio consultant Bill McMahon, the trait of high-level curiosity is the driving force of his well-known “14 Traits Inherent in the Best Radio Personalities.”  In an advice piece posted today (2/12) he writes, “The constant urge to ask questions, fueled by an insatiable desire to know, generates the raw material necessary to produce truly life-enriching content.  Really good questions prompt answers loaded with learning and discovery that can be shared with listeners.”  McMahon, continues, “It’s also important to note that great questions are often the product of the traits of awareness, imagination, experience, and courage.  The more a personality hears not only the words in an answer but the thoughts and feelings behind the words (awareness), recognizes how thoughts and feelings, experiences and ideas connect to new and more interesting subjects and ideas (imagination), has ‘been there and done that’ (experience), and has the courage to ask any question at any time, the better the questions.”  The valuable article is enhanced with audio clips extracted from an interview of Bill Murray conducted by Howard Stern highlighting these traits in action.  To read the entire piece, please click here.

mastellerscottMasteller To Program WBAL. One week from today (Thursday, 2/19) is when ESPN Radio‘s former senior director of affiliate & syndicated content Scott Masteller will join Hearst Corporation talker WBAL, Baltimore as program director. President and general manager Cary Pahigian declares, “Scott iswbal among the most accomplished news, talk, and sports radio executives. His ESPN experience will be key to WBAL’s role as the radio home of the [NFL‘s] Ravens and unmatched breaking news coverage 24/7. He holds a strong appreciation for the role of this iconic radio station as part of Baltimore’s heritage, and our relationship with listeners and the community.” Prior to his most recent ESPN role, he was the sports radio network’s senior director of radio/audio content. His past programming assignments include sports outlets KESN, Dallas and KFXX, Portland.

kauffmanstaceyKauffman Named Entercom Sacramento GSM. Inbound from Chicago where she was local sales manager for Hubbard Broadcasting classic rocker WDRV “The Drive,” Stacey Kauffman is appointed general sales manager for Entercom Sacramento. Vice president and market manager Sean Shannon states, “We are proud to welcome Stacey to our market-leading portfolio of brands. Entercom’s commitment to compelling live and local content continues to pay dividends as we enjoy a dominant position in delivering ratings and results to our advertisers.” Vice president of sales Lance Richard comments, “Stacey was a trailblazer in Chicago media on the integration of radio and digital media. We look forward to putting her expertise immediately to use in the growing Sacramento market.” Kauffman remarks that she is “excited” about the chance to join Entercom’s Sacramento team. “Entercom is a forward-thinking company with outstanding leadership at both the corporate and local market levels. [The company] has a reputation for providing high-quality content to audiences and results-driven solutions to advertisers.” Kauffman started her radio career with Emmis; she previously was a Merck pharmaceutical sales representative. Entercom’s six-station Sacramento cluster consists of KCTC “ESPN 1320,” CHR KDND “The End,” alternative KKDO “Radio 94.7,” KRXQ “98 Rock,” classic rock KSEG “The Eagle,” and hot AC KUDL “Star 106.5.”

radioonelogoRadio One Reports 2014 Q4 Net Revenue Dips 1.7%.  The final quarter of 2014 saw net revenue at $109.7 million for Radio One – a decrease of 1.7% from the same period in 2013.  Station operating income was approximately $42.5 million, an increase of 8.6% from the same period a year ago.  Net revenue for the entire year of 2014 was $441,387,000 – a decrease of 1.6% ligginsalfredover all of 2013.  Radio One president and CEO Alfred Liggins III comments, “Our radio business showed sequential improvement from the third quarter, with revenues -2.8%.  During the quarter we changed format from news to classic hip hop in our Houston market; excluding Houston our radio revenues for the fourth quarter were +1.1%.   Adjusting for a timing difference of our Women’s Empowerment event in Raleigh, Q1 2015 core radio revenues are currently pacing 1.8%, having weakened throughout January.   Our Washington, DC cluster continues to underperform the market, and we recently announced a new general manager of the Washington, DC market cluster by expanding the responsibilities of our own Jeff Wilson, senior regional vice president.  Excluding our Washington, DC cluster, our core radio revenues are currently pacing up about 1% compared to the same time last year.”

valentinephilTalk Host Phil Valentine a Finalist in Atlanta Film Festival.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Phil Valentine has been delving into other media lately – most notably with production of his documentary challenging the man-made global warming theory titled, An Inconsistent Truth – but now he’s entering the world of screenplays and has submitted one at the Atlanta Film Festival that’s been chosen as a finalist in the competition.  The screenplay is for a film titled, Derek Dickens & The Dream, about a man going through a mid-life crisis whose fantasy rock band – much to his surprise – hits it big.  He ultimately has to choose between the comfortable life he knows and the fantasy he’s harbored since childhood.  Valentine says, “This is my first shot at writing a screenplay.  It’s a challenging format but my forte is dialogue.  That’s what I do every day on the radio, so it’s really a natural extension of what I do.”  The winners will be announced later this month and they will be invited to Atlanta in March for a workshop and awards ceremony.

Odds & Sods.  Los Angeles all-news outlet KNX examines the Brian Williams case tomorrow (2/13) as part of its KNX Spotlight series.  “The Brian Williams Scandal” will air from 10:00 am to 11:00 am and will “take a comprehensive look at truth in media coverage in the wake of the unfolding controversy facing NBC news anchor Brian Williams.”  It will feature special guest experts and will be hosted by KNX anchor Tom Haule and chief investigative reporter Charles Feldman…..The United Stations Radio Networks-syndicated NASCAR show “Racing Rocks!” hosted by Riki Rachtman, will emanate this season from the radio studio at The NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte.   The program airs on more than 100 affiliate stations and is preparing for the kick-off of the 2015 season in Daytona on February 22…..KDKA, Pittsburgh morning host Larry Richert announces that CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garrett will serve as the keynote speaker at Larry Richert Honors our Hometown Heroes on Thursday, March 5, 2015.  Larry’s Heroes honors five ordinary individuals in the community who have done extraordinary things.   This year, a Lifetime Hero Award has been added to the awards roster and will be given to Dr. Stanley Marks, medical graduate from the University of Pittsburgh who is focused on finding a cure for cancer.

bfoa logoBFoA Announces Ward L. Quaal Leadership Awards Recipients.  The recipients of the 2015 Ward L. Quaal Leadership Awards from the Broadcasters Foundation of America have been announced.  The awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday, April 15 at the Foundation’s annual breakfast at the NAB Show in Las Vegas.  Recipients this year include: David Barrett, director, Hearst Corporation; Don Curtis, chairman & CEO, Curtis Media Group; Herb McCord, president & owner, Granum Communications Corp.; Jane Mago, former EVP & general counsel, National Association of Broadcasters; Al Primo, creator, Eyewitness News, Education Television Fund, Inc.; and Jeff Warshaw, CEO, Connoisseur Media.  The Leadership Awards are given annually by the Broadcasters Foundation in recognition of career contributions to the broadcast industry and the community at large, and are named in honor of iconic broadcaster Ward L. Quaal.

siriusDermaMedThe Business of Health.  As part of their programming on the 24/7 Business Talk from Wharton channel, SiriusXM and the renowned business college recently presented a half-hour discussion on the Knowledge@Wharton program with DermaMed SolutionsMark Pinsley (left) and Ginger Hodulik (center) as they discussed the “Business of Beauty” and their holistic approach to wellness and skincare with host Dan Loney (right).  The program was conducted live in the Wharton Business Radio on SiriusXM studios on The Wharton School campus in Philadelphia.

2016 Presidential Prospects, Brian Williams Case, Ukraine Violence/Ceasefire, Jon Stewart to Resign from ‘Daily Show,’ NC Muslim Students Murders, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Film, and Bruce Jenner Transformation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/11).  The potential candidates for president in 2016; the aftermath of the Brian Williams suspension; the violence in Ukraine and the scheduled cease-fire; Jon Stewart’s announcement he’ll resign from ‘The Daily Show’ later this year; the murder of three North Carolina Muslim grad students by a neighbor; the release of the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey; and Bruce Jenner’s gender transformation were some of the most-talked-stories on news/talk radio this week according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

| February 11, 2015

barrettjasonJason Barrett to Leave KGMZ, San Francisco for Family Reasons.  In an emotional-yet-reasoned blog post, sports talk programmer Jason Barrett explains the reason for his imminent departure from the PD position at Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game.”  Barrett has been travelling from California to Upstate New York every two or three weeks to visit his son who is living with Barrett’s parents.  He says the physical and psychological toll on the arrangement is too much and, as much as he loves his gig in San Francisco, he’s moving to New York to be with his son.  Read the entire blog post here.

cavagnaroedKCBS-AM, San Francisco’s Cavagnaro Sets His Retirement.  After spending 37 years at KCBS-AM, San Francisco, Ed Cavagnaro will retire in early-April as the station’s director of news & programming. Senior vice president and market manager Doug Harvill states, “Ed Cavagnaro built and led KCBS-AM into its status as the Bay Area’s number one radio station. He did this by hiring and managing an intelligent and capable news staff and empowering them to do their very best. Personally, I will greatly miss working with Ed. He’s truly an inspirational leader and one of the best news people on the planet.” The 63-year-old Cavagnaro comments, “There is a lot more to do and see – I didn’t want to wait too long to try new things. I have been lucky to work at [KCBS-AM] for so long. It has been an honor to be the news and program director at such a great radio station working with so many talented people.” The San Francisco native has a Masters degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He previously worked for the Medill News Service and he was an aide to a member of the San Francisco board of supervisors before joining KCBS-AM in 1977 as a promotion assistant. Cavagnaro subsequently held a variety of jobs at the station – including managing editor and assistant director of news & programming before being promoted to his present role in 1988.

czabansteveSports Talker Steve Czaban Celebrates 25th Anniversary.  Sports talk personality Steve Czaban is celebrating his 25th year in the sports talk biz this year.  Czaban co-hosts the afternoon drive show on Red Zebra-owned WTEM, Washington (with Chris Cooley) and also hosts the morning drive show on the Yahoo! Sports Radio network.  Czaban comments, “Twenty five years presiding over some of the dumbest arguments in sports has flown by in a blink.  I guess that’s what happens when you are just trying to have fun with listeners every day on the radio.  I am thankful to Yahoo! Sports Radio and WTEM for letting me do the kind of radio that is fun and engaging, and doesn’t take itself or the sports we cover, too seriously.”

Odds & Sods. Former KOTV-TV, Tulsa anchor/investigative reporter Tami Marler joins Journal Broadcast Group‘s KFAQ “Tulsa’s Talk Radio” as executive producer/news director. Elsewhere at the station, part-time technicalmarlertami producer David Prock is boosted to full-time and will handle afternoon news updates…..After a year off terrestrial radio in the wake of the changes at Talk Radio Network, Rusty Humphries announces, via a humphriesrustyvideo at The Washington Times, that he’s beginning a weekly podcast called  “The Rusty Humphries Rebellion.”…..According to a story in The Oregonian, iHeartMedia’s sports talk KPOJ will add a local morning drive show to the lineup beginning in March.  The paper reports that current KIRO-AM, Seattle evening personalities Justin Myers and Andy Bunker will host the program.  Myers tells the paper, “It’s a huge opportunity because Portland doesn’t have a morning show. giffordamanda That’s the biggest thing – having a local morning show that people can listen to on their way to work is huge.”  An official announcement is expected in the next week…..Amanda Gifford is promoted to senior director, daytime programming, ESPN Audio.  The sports giant says that Gifford will continue to oversee all aspects of “Mike & Mike,” in addition to “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” “SVP & Russillo,” and the Dan Le Batard show.

brownejoyThe Continuing Evolution of Dr. Joy Browne. The outstanding talk radio career of psychologist Dr. Joy Browne has spanned more than 35 years but the GCN-syndicated, nationally-known personality says her show is not the same as it was at the beginning. “The show has evolved so much in the last 30 years and I would argue that it even evolves on a day-to-day basis. It is never the same.” Having survived a variety of movements and trends within the news/talk genre, including the present one marked by the domination of partisan politics, the Dr. Joy Browne show has remained a mainstay of talk radio programming in New York City as well as across America. “That,” in the words of TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “is a remarkable accomplishment, considering how timid programmers can be about stretching the boundaries of their stationality and a stunning tribute to the universality of this remarkable talent’s appeal.” Now, Dr. Browne is again expanding her horizons with the enormous undertaking of entrepreneurship by assuming ownership of her show and all the responsibilities that such a commitment involves. In the words of TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “In an era when so many ‘talent’ are now facing the viable option of being in business for themselves, Dr. Joy Browne is setting an inspirational example of how it can be done.” In a profile piece by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian, Browne says that taking on the task of owning her show (as opposed to being an employee of a station or network) in today’s business climate is challenging, but something she’s set out to do because she loves what she does and successfully helping people is not only what makes the show work, but gives her satisfaction. “The only behavior I can help change is yours, but that isn’t what a caller wants to hear. They want me to tell them that the other person is to blame. I have to change their mind but I don’t have a lot of time to do it. We talk about the guts of a person’s life – their job, income, relationship, sex life, kids, or a next-door neighbor. My job is to get through and when I do, there is nothing else like it in the world.” Read the entire piece here.

patrickmattFisherHouseawardsMatt Patrick Helps Raise $$ for Fisher House Houston.  Texas talk show host Matt Patrick (left) accepts a couple of awards from Fisher House manager Frank Kelley (right) on behalf of his listeners who pledged close to $40,000 to Fisher House in Houston last Veteran’s Day weekend during the annual radiothon Patrick spearheads.  Patrick is heard on iHeartMedia’s KTRH, Houston; sister talk station KPRC, Houston and the company’s talk KFXR, Dallas.  The funds raised go to the two Fisher Houses in Houston’s Medical Center.

Former Chicago Attorney, Talk Host, Sentenced on Fraud Conviction.  Former attorney Kathleen Niew was sentenced to five years and 10 months in prison after defrauding a Chicago-area couple of $2.3 million.  At one time Niew hosted a brokered, weekend call-in show on Salem Communications-owned WIND.  According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, Niew led the couple to believe their money was being held for closings on commercial real estate deals.  Instead, Niew was using their cash for wildly speculative gold mining operation investments around the world.  Niew, who lost all of the couple’s money, pleaded guilty last June to the fraud charges.

Brian Williams Suspended, ISIS Violence/Death of Kayla Mueller, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Net Neutrality Proposal, Bobbi Kristina Fate, and Jon Stewart to Leave ‘Daily Show’ Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/10).  The controversy surrounding NBC’s Brian Williams and his suspension from the network’s news department; the violence being waged by ISIS and the death of American missionary Kayla Mueller; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the FCC’s proposal to regulate the internet; the fate of Whitney Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina; and Jon Stewart’s announcement he’ll leave the “Daily Show” this year were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

| February 10, 2015

dixonjasonJason Dixon Exits ‘Detroit Sports 105.1.’  After a year and a half as the only program director WMCG, Detroit has known since flipping to sports in August of 2013, Jason Dixon announces he’s resigned from the station effective immediately.  Greater Media’s “Detroit Sports 105.1” debuted 16 months ago to challenge the sports talk dominance of CBS RADIO’s crosstown WXYT-FM.  Dixon tells TALKERS magazine he’s available for new opportunities and can be reached at: 919-999-6096 or via email at JasonDixonPD@Gmail.com.

podcastone logoVinny G Show Comes to PodcastOne.  Former “Jersey Shore” cast member Vinny Guadagnino is hosting a weekly podcast to be made available via PodcastOne.  Dubbed, “Get Into It with Vinny G,” the show will feature the host, “alongside his crazy friends and family members, celebrity guests, and other people from all walks of life, as they ‘get into’ every topic imaginable, including sports, pop culture, politics, self-help, food, comedy, dating and relationships, and more.  It debuts Thursday (2/12) and features a reunion with The Jersey Shore’s Pauly D.  PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz says, “Though I’ve never been to the Jersey Shore, a heck of a lot of people have, and most of them are Vinny fans.  That’s because he’s a unique guy who’s open about who he is and gives back to the community.  He’s a really interesting guy with a huge social following, which usually means success when launching a new podcast.  We’re delighted to add ‘Get Into It with Vinny G’ to the PodcastOne lineup.”

shepardbradWestern Massachusetts Radio Star Brad Shepard Launching Pioneer Valley Radio.  Longtime Springfield, Massachusetts-area talk radio personality, commentator and prominent local arts & entertainment figure, Brad Shepard has announced the launch of Pioneer Valley Radio – an online platform designed to present talk shows and conversations specifically geared to “serving the civic and cultural interests of Western Massachusetts.”  Pioneer Valley Radio – located at www.PioneerValleyRadio.com – will serve as a free online home for what Shepard describes as “a wide variety of talk shows and informative conversations about what’s happening here in Western Massachusetts.”  According to Shepard, “There are so many things to talk about in the Pioneer Valley that are not being addressed today in contemporary on-air broadcasting.  Hot issues like the casino.  The economy.  Public safety,  Education. Race relations. Health services.  The arts.  Public transportation.  The list is endless.  This platform will fill a dangerously huge void and be dedicated to serving the public good.  We will be doing audio shows (and some video) about politics, civics, health care, high school sports – you name it.  The key ispioneervalleyradioLG localness and the goal is to serve the interests of the people of this region across the board.  We will not embrace or ‘target’ any specific political ideology or bias.  We can leave that to traditional, on-air talk radio.”  Shepard – who was heard the past 12 years in morning drive on iHeartMedia’s heritage outlet, WHYN-AM (and a number of local stations for years before that) will serve as general manager of the new “media station.”  He will also personally host a variety of talk shows (available on demand 24/7) that will include interviews with a wide array of prominent local figures and every day folks, as well as his own commentaries — plus calls from listeners.  Pioneer Valley Radio will also provide live coverage of special events considered too niche or “small” to be given time on traditional over-the-air stations.  The station will also feature a variety of programs produced and hosted by other voices in the community including former radio, television and newspaper personalities who’ve been squeezed out of their jobs for reasons having nothing to do with their talent, skill or performance.  Shepard tells TALKERS, “It is no secret that budget cutbacks have forced many of the local traditional media outlets in this area to cut back on programming which has tragically resulted in the loss of jobs for some mighty fine talents, not to mention live and local discussion programs.  We will do our best to rectify that unfortunate situation.”  Pioneer Valley Radio is being designed and powered by Michael Harrison’s Massachusetts-based, multimedia firm Goodphone Communications, Inc.  Pioneer Valley Radio will be free to listeners and funded by local advertising.  Shepard says, “Because we are online and not restricted by enormous technical and regulatory burdens, we will make amazingly affordable and effective advertising packages available to local businesses seeking to get their messages out to the public in a manner that won’t clutter up the programming while giving these good businesses clear sailing in really getting their full stories and services valuable exposure.  This is the kind of thing to which intelligent, creative use of the internet lends itself.”

brandwidth coverKipper McGee Authors Book on Digital Disruption.  Radio pro Kipper McGee is publishing a new book this spring in which the programmer and consultant examines broadcasting’s experience with the “digital disruption.”  Titled, Brandwidth: How Big Broadcasting Missed the Mediamorphosis, McGee says the book “offers 7 ways YOUR brand(s) can avoid their mistakes…We live in a time when broadcasters are being attacked in ways not even dreamed about a decade ago.  Many operators insist on acting penny wise and PPM foolish.”  He says the book “reveals common traits of the biggest winners and losers and offers powerful takeaways for ANY brand planning to thrive in the ever-changing digital world order.”

connecticut broadcastersSnowy Winter Puts New England Stations in Consistent Emergency Mode.  Much of the Northeast has been battered by the series of winter storms affecting the region, and broadcast outlets have been in storm coverage mode pretty steadily over the past month.  The Connecticut Broadcasters Association reports how some of its member stations have been serving their markets.  Some examples from the January 26-27 blizzard, in particular, include: CBS RADIO’s news/talk WTIC-AM, Hartford made sure its generator was ready for multiple days of service.  It arranged for announcers to broadcast from home and for staff to stay in nearby hotels in order to keep the station on the air; in Eastern Connecticut, Hall Communications‘ six radio stations provided storm updates twice an hour, carried the governor’s press conferences, and had the New London mayor and local Emergency Management directors on several times.  Staffers stayed overnight at local stations or nearby hotels to remain on the air; WLAD-AM, Danbury put staffers up in a nearby hotel and expanded local programming with live weather and traffic information, and interviews with officials from Danbury, Ridgefield, Bethel and Brookfield; in the Connecticut River Valley, WMRD-AM and WLIS-AM stayed on the air by having someone sleep at the stations.  They provided hourly weather updates and interrupted programming with storm-related news and information.  Among other stories, they were able to report on a local power outage caused by a snowplow knocking down a power pole; WINY, Putnam gassed up an all-wheel-drive vehicle to get radio personnel to work, contacted local police to serve as potential back-up transportation, tested station generators and fuel levels, and provided meals for staff in nearby hotels.  One employee stayed with his grandmother who lives two miles from the station.

cohenheatherHeather Cohen Named to Alliance for Women in Media Board of Directors.  Named to the Alliance for Women in Media board of directors for 2015 is The Weiss Agency EVP Heather Cohen.  The 1998 Hofstra University graduate, who also serves on that college’s Herbert School Advisory Council, joins the organization that is dedicated to advancing women in media and entertainment.  The group also administers the national Gracie Awards, which recognize and honor excellence in programming by and about women.

Odds & Sods.  Tax season is here and ABC News Radio is launching its annual Tax Tips series.  The news service says the series tackles “all the tough tax topics to provide listeners with a wide range of helpful information when filing for returns this year.”  ABC News correspondent Richard Davies and chief business and economics correspondent Rebecca Jarvis anchor the 30-part series…..Journal Broadcast Group and IMG have entered into a new radio partnership in Omaha that will expand the reach of University of Nebraska Cornhuskers sports, broadcast more games across the university’s entire sports lineup, and increase exposure for all Nebraska sports.  Journal says the new, five-year Omaha affiliate agreement with KXSP, KKCD, and KEZO will provide better coverage for Huskers sports through a strong AM signal on an all-sports format radio station and additional new FM affiliates.

Brian Williams Case, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Battle Against ISIS/Bobby Jindal Flap, Bruce Jenner Saga, Snowy Northeast Winter, Net Neutrality Proposal Controversy, Fighting in Ukraine, and GRAMMY Awards Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/9). The status of Brian Williams at NBC after his apology for fabricating an Iraq War coverage incident; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the fight against ISIS and the flap over comments by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal about radical Islam; the gender transformation of Bruce Jenner and his involvement in a deadly auto accident in Malibu; the record snowfall being experienced by parts of the Northeast; the FCC’s proposal to regulate the internet; the ongoing fighting in Ukraine and Russia’s role in the unrest; and Sunday’s 57th GRAMMY Awards were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, February 9, 2015

| February 9, 2015

wmal logoWMAL, Washington Tower Site Up for Sale.  Perhaps more valuable than the signals and the radio formats themselves, is the real estate upon which sit so many of the towers of America’s heritage AM stations.  A report in The Sentinel, says Cumulus Media is now accepting offers on the Bethesda, Maryland site of its WMAL, Washington transmitter through March 12.  Local real estate experts tell the paper the 75-acre piece of land in one of the toniest suburbs of DC should fetch “hundreds of millions” of dollars.  The brokerage firm CBRE Group, Inc.’s SVP John Sheridan says, “Seventy-five acres in Bethesda.  You don’t need to say anything more than that.  It is a huge parcel of land with some of the highest income demographics.  There’s the potential to build 300 or more homes.”  In 2014, Cumulus put the 10-acre parcel of land occupied by KABC and KLOS transmitters in Los Angeles up for sale and that is going to command $125 million.

businessrockstars radioBeers Becomes Equity Partner, Board Member at Business Rockstars.  Saying that his arrival will “bring the attention of the television and media community to the company’s broadcast, mobile and social platforms,” Business Rockstars announces multimedia CEO Thom Beers joins the board of directors for the company as well as making an equity investment in it.  Beers is CEO of FremantleMedia North America.  He’s a two-time Emmy beersthomAward-winning producer who brings 25 years of experience and success to Business Rockstars, producing some of the most recognizable TV shows such as: “American Idol,” “America’s Got Talent,” “The Price is Right” and “Family Feud,” plus multiple shows on the Discovery Channel and the A&E family of networks.  Beers joins Steve Lehman, chairman of Business Rockstars and former CEO of Premiere Networks, lehmanstevealong with co-founder and president Ken Rutkowski, as well as their recent addition, Andy Schuon, co-founder of REVOLT Media & TV.  Beers comments, “People like to follow ‘smart money,’ and my investment is a strong endorsement and recognition of the platform, and partners of Business Rockstars.  By leveraging television content and major media relationships, Business Rockstars will surely continue to grow and reach their goals.  I’m glad to be part of their bright future.”  The company says that Beers’ investment presents much opportunity to Business Rockstars as it plans to align with a major TV company for possible future content.  Steve Lehman adds, “Thom Beers is a Rockstar.  He is one of the brightest guys in TV today.  He’s intuitive, smart and will be a huge asset in helping to expand our TV and Over-the-Top content platform.”

rollinsrussWTKS-FM, Orlando’s Russ Rollins Served Divorce Papers on the Air.  The “Monsters in the Morning” program heard on iHeartMedia’s WTKS “Real Radio 104.1” has been headed by ringmaster Russ Rollins since its inception and the show’s cast members have always “lived their lives on the air.”  A classic example of that was when Rollins was recently served divorce papers while on the air.  Whether Rollins knew about the coming papers or not is in question – the process server indicates Rollins chose the time and place to receive the papers – but the show has posted video of the papers being served on its website and Rollins appears surprised.  Although Rollins’ estranged wife claims in the papers that Rollins physically abused her, his attorney tells WFTV-TV, Orlando that the police were called to Rollins’ home at one point but they investigated and have filed no charges.

triplettsteveTriplett Named DOS at Beasley Tampa Bay Cluster.  The newly acquired Beasley Media Group Tampa Bay cluster names Steve Triplett director of sales.  The cluster consists of: WYUU “92.5 MAX!MA”; WBRN, “BUBBA 98.7”; WQYK, “Tampa Bay’s Country Station 99.5”; WRBQ “Q105”; WLLD “WiLD 94.1”; and WHFS-AM, “Money Talk 1010.”  Triplett comes to Beasley from his most recent gig as president and founder of the marketing firm Contact Media Inc.

Odds & Sods.  At iHeartMedia’s Des Moines sports talker KXNO, a realignment of personalities takes place with Chris Williams and Ross Peterson being named the afternoon drive team.  The new “Morning Rush” show will consist of Heather Burnside and Travis Justice…..Meanwhile, across town at Cumulus Media’s sports talker KBGG “The Champ,” Marty Tirrell and Ken Miller – as has been reported in recent weeks – will reunite to host the afternoon drive program beginning today (2/9).  Tirrell and Miller first began working as a team at KXNO in the mid-1990s…..Mark Grote is named host of the pre- and post-game shows for Chicago Cubs broadcasts on all-news WBBM-AM.  Grote, who has been with the CBS RADIO Chicago station group since 2002 and is sports anchor on WSCR’s “Mully & Hanley” program, is also expected to appear on sports talk WSCR regularly as a Cubs reporter, according to a story in the Chicago Tribune.

Friday, February 6, 2015

| February 6, 2015

hunterrobKFYI, Phoenix Names Rob Hunter News Host.  Moving to iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFYI, Phoenix from Bonneville’s crosstown KTAR-FM is news pro Rob Hunter who will become part of the morning drive Mike Broomhead program.  The station says Hunter will serve as news anchor during Broomhead’skfyifoxnews show and host the 5:00 am to 6:00 am “KFYI Download” program.  Hunter has worked in news/talk for the past 15 years but also has radio experience in the AC, hip hop, rock and sports talk formats.  KFYI program director Neil Larrimore states, “Rob is a great addition to KFYI mornings.  He is smart, versatile and a solid professional.  As soon as we heard he was available, we had to snatch him up.”  Hunter comments, “I’m beyond thrilled to begin the next chapter of my career at KFYI, one of the country’s great news/talk stations and to becoming part of the vast iHeartMedia family.  I’m looking forward to working closely with KFYI’s award winning newsroom, with talk show host Mike Broomhead and with the Valley’s early morning risers.”

kiernanpatPat Kiernan Exits WABC, New York’s ‘The Ride Home.’  Big Apple media personality Pat Kiernan leaves his gig with Cumulus Media at news/talk WABC to focus on his morning news program that airs on Time Warner Cable’s NY1 channel.  Kiernan had been co-hosting “The Ride Home” with television and radio news pro Rita Cosby.  Now, with Kiernan out, Cosby is hosting the 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm program solo.

otstotmattOtstot Named KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno Morning News Anchor.  The new morning news anchor at Cumulus Media’s news/talk KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno is Matt Otstot, who joins “Fresno’s Morning News” host Blake Taylor for daily broadcasts later this month.  Taylor says of Otstot, “Matt is an enormous talent with a wealth of experience on air.  But it’s his work off-air, in the community, which is invaluable.  I can’t wait for Matt to bring his energy to the massive KMJ audience.”  Otstot has worked at local television outlets KGPE-TV and KSEE-TV as an anchor and reporter.  Most recently he was community engagement coordinator at Valley Children’s Hospital.  Otstot says, “Working at Valley Children’s was an honor.  But, when you’re offered the chance to work for a place with the reputation and success of KMJ, you jump at it.  And I hope my passion and energy for morning news resonates with Valley listeners.”

NY FestivalsWorld’s Best Radio Programs Advisory Board Adds Critchlow, Geller. Those competing for New York Festivals’ “World’s Best Radio Programs” will have to impress TBI Media founding director Phil Critchlow and Geller Media president Valerie Geller: Both are named to thecritchlowphil international radio program awards advisory board and grand jury. Executive director of the NYF radio program awards Rose Anderson states, “These two thought leaders bring creative expertise and deep knowledge of today’s radio industry. Phil Critchlow and Valerie Geller will add tremendous vision and valuable insights as we engage the worldwide radio community and are responsive to what matters to them.” Critchlow comments, “We at TBI have been lucky enough to win a gellervalerienumber of New York Festivals awards, which always means a great deal to the team. I am delighted to become part of the NYF advisory board.” Geller remarks that, “It is stunning and so satisfying on every level to have the opportunity and honor to have the chance to hear the amazing work that news, documentary, and program teams throughout the world are producing/creating. It is an honor and a pleasure to serve as a judge for the NYF awards entries.” BBC-trained Critchlow joined Unique Broadcasting in 1994 and launched The Big Idea 12 years later. He formerly was chair of the UK Radio Independents Group (RIG) and is a fellow of the Radio Academy. Geller has coached radio, television, and internet broadcasters in 35 countries. The former WABC, New York program director and KIOI, San Francisco news director received the Conclave‘s Rockwell lifetime achievement award. Deadline for entering this year’s competition is in approximately six weeks (Thursday, 3/19). A New York City awards ceremony will be held (Monday) June 22.

Odds & Sods.  Joining digital podcasting platform BlogTalkRadio is digital media pro Denise Oliver who is named programming consultant and strategist for the organization. Oliver is widely recognized within the industry as a brightoliverdenise programming and consulting mind…..Yahoo! Sports Radio personality John Granato is pictured below (far right) celebrating his son J.T. (John Tyler) Granato’s (second from right) signing to the Rice University football team as starting quarterback this National Signing Day.  As a longtime radio and television granatoSigning15sports analyst, the Houston-based host has been grooming his son in the sports industry, and even invited J.T. to intern on his national show, “Prime Cut,” with former NFL quarterback Sean Salisbury this year.  John Granato comments, “This is a great day for our family.  We couldn’t be more proud.  Thank God J.T. has his mother’s brains – there’s no other explanation for him getting into Rice.”…..Westwood One syndicated talk host Phil Valentine is headed for the big screen.  Valentine has a supporting role in the upcoming film, The Secret Handshake, scheduled for release this spring.  Handshake is written and directed by Howie Klausner, who wrote the screenplay for the Clint Eastwood movie, Space Cowboys…..SiriusXM is launching a three-week series of live, call-in shows titled, “African Ancestry Radio,” in which hosts will try to help listeners and celebrities of African descent in their quest to reconnect with their heritage.  African Ancestry’s Gina Paige and award-winning producer Shirley Neal will host the program on February 8 with Louis Gossett, Jr. and Aunjanue Ellis as their first celebrity guests.

kirofmLiveShowThat’s Entertainment!  The photo you see here is a full-stage shot of a live production of KIRO-FM, Seattle’s “Tom & Curley” show that happened at The Triple Door on Friday, January 30.  The sold-out program was a live reenactment of the duo’s radio show done in the vein of an old-time variety show, complete with their weekly and daily features and guests, a local high school jazz band, as well as a certain degree of audience interaction and…one pet chicken.  The station billed the event featuring hosts John Curley and Tom Tangney as “a night of the best conversation you will ever listen in on as Tom and John bring their entertaining take on the news of the day to a select live audience.”

Longtime Buffalo Radio Newsman Ray Marks Dies.  Radio news pro Ray Marks (Markiewicz) died on February 4 after a two-and-a-half year battle with leukemia.  During his career, Marks served as news director at WJTN, Jamestown, New York and at heritage Buffalo AM signals WGR and WBEN.  WGRZ-TV, Buffalo reports that Marks also taught as an adjunct professor at St. Bonaventure University, Buffalo State College, and Medaille College.

kkobStieglerpilotHometown Hero Sets Balloon Records.  After Albuquerque resident and expert balloon pilot Troy Bradley set six new world records by flying across the Pacific Ocean with Russian co-pilot Leonid Tiukhtyaev, Cumulus Media news/talk KKOB got one of the first radio interviews.  Pictured here, KKOB PM drive personality Scott Stiegler (right) poses for a shot with Two Eagles pilot Bradley (left) at the radio station.  Bradley and Tiukhtyaev landed in the ocean about four miles from the California Baja last Saturday.

The Brutality of ISIS and Jordan’s Vow of Retaliation Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 2-6.  The increasingly cruel and violent tactics of ISIS and Jordan’s statement it will seek retaliation for the immolation death of its captured pilot were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the anti-vaccine controversy.  Coming in at #3 was the 2016 presidential prospects followed by the Obama tax hike proposal 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.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

| February 5, 2015

scorpiorobScorpio Selected as iHM’s California Regional PM. Riverside, Fresno, Bakersfield, Monterey, Stockton, and Modesto are the Golden State markets Rob Scorpio will oversee as iHeartMedia‘s regional programming manager. The company’s senior vice president of programming Tony Coles states, “Rob is a proven leader with a great track record. We are thrilled to be able to expand his role within the company.” Scorpio comments, “One of the many great things about iHeartMedia is their commitment to promote within the company. I would like to thank Tony Coles [among other iHM executives] for this opportunity.” Scorpio moves into his new role after being operations manager for iHeartMedia’s Riverside cluster. His past programming credits include KKBT, Los Angeles; KREV, San Francisco; KBXX, Houston; WPGC-FM, Washington, DC; and KFRH, Las Vegas.

nielsengrantGrant Nielsen Stepping Down from Daily KSL, Salt Lake City Wake-Up Duties.  After almost 22 years waking up the Salt Lake City market on Bonneville’s news/talk KSL “NewsRadio,” Grant Nielsen announces he’s retiring from his daily co-host of “Utah’s Morning News” gig.  He’ll still be a voice on the station inmartinbrian various dayparts.  KSL staffer Brian Martin will take over morning host duties alongside Amanda Dickson, effective March 23.  Martin currently anchors KSL’s national news with Nielsen and Dickson and is the host of “Utah’s Noon News.”  Prior to joining KSL in 2010, he spent 15 years anchoring and reporting television news in Texas, New Mexico, New York, and Utah.  Martin says, “I realize I have enormous shoes to fill, but I couldn’t be more excited for this opportunity to help grow the institution that Grant and Amanda have created.  To work with Amanda to deliver news to Utahns driving into work each morning is something I will never take for granted.”

Odds & Sods.  The film An Inconsistent Truth – produced by Westwood One talk host Phil Valentine’s film production company ExtryGood Productions – is being picked up by NewsmaxTV.  The two-year deal means thevalentinephil film will air regularly throughout the contract period, beginning with its debut on NewsmaxTV tomorrow night (2/6) at 9:00 pm ET…..Trevor Carey is named afternoon drive host at iHeartMedia news/talk simulcast KFIV, Modesto and KWSX, Stockton, California “Power Talk 1360/1280.”  He most recently was afternoon host at Townsquare Media’s hot AC WJYE, Buffalo (now WMSX)…..Former Fox 29 Philadelphia weatherman John Bolaris will begin hosting a weekly radio show on WTEL, Philadelphia, debuting this Saturday from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  According to a story at Philly.com, the “CenterStage with John Bolaris” program will feature high-profile guests.  Joining him for the premiere show will by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and “Mob Wives” star Natalie Didonato…..ESPN is launching “Hometown” – a new division of its customer marketing and sales group that will focus on serving national brands looking to connect with fans in specific markets at their greatest passion point – their love of their favorite teams.

kleinaaron‘Aaron Klein Investigative Radio’ to Air in Philly.  The two-hour weekend show “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” – which emanates live from Tel Aviv each Sunday from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET – is now heard on Salem Communications’ WNTP, Philadelphia “NewsTalk 990” as well as on the company’s WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer.”  Klein is a Philly native who now works and lives in the Middle East.  WNTP program director Mark Daniels says, “‘NewsTalk 990’ couldn’t be more pumped about adding ‘Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.’ There’s nothing else like it, especially on the weekends!  If you watch the Sunday talking heads on TV, then listen to Aaron Sunday evening, and you’ll appreciate the difference his global perspective brings.”

wowologoCool Job Opportunity.  Federated Media’s heritage WOWO, Fort Wayne is seeking a news director.  Fort Wayne, Indiana’s #1 radio station, a 50,000-watt news, weather and talk service station has a rare opening for a full-time news director/anchor to join our Marconi winning team.  If you’re hard working, have a dynamic personality, strong news delivery, ability to command attention through storytelling, have successful interactions with on-air partners and want to work for a station the community adores and loves, we’re looking for you.  We’re one of Indiana’s premiere news stations celebrating 90 years in the community — and with a 50,000 watt AM signal with a FM simulcast, we’re the most-listened-to station in our market.  Responsibilities include news anchoring, reporting breaking news, attending sporting events and other paid appearances, leading a fully staffed newsroom as someone who leads by example and possibly fill-in hosting duties.  An ideal candidate is energetic, efficient and capable of multi-tasking in a lively, fast-paced environment.  This sometimes requires weekend and evening hours, both on the street and in the radio station.  WOWO is also unique because of a local TV partnership.  We simulcast one hour every weekday morning on our local NBC affiliate, as well as live TV traffic updates in the afternoon.  This means future candidates must be comfortable with frequent TV exposure.  You’ll also be working with one of the best crews in the business, along with a great company to back a positive environment.  To be considered, please send a resume via e-mail to operations manager Ryan Wrecker at: wrecker@wowo.com or mail your stuff to Ryan Wrecker, WOWO Radio, 2915 Maples Road, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46816.  No phone calls please. Federated Media is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

brentmegValentinesGetting Ready for Love.  There is no doubt, with Valentine’s Day rapidly approaching, love is in the air and as far as nationally syndicated talk duo Brent & Meg are concerned, it will be ON the air as well.  The husband/wife midday talk team (syndicated by GCN) were spotted by a Studio City, California Walgreens manager with a smartphone camera as they were doing some shopping in preparation for the big holiday coming up at the end of next week.  Brent Seltzer tells TALKERS, “Meg and I are in a constant state of simply being in-love and Valentine’s Day week gives us just another excuse to express, demonstrate, explore, discuss and play with it on the air.”  Meg McDonald adds, “Being a married couple approaching 30 years together opens the door to so many conversations and aspects about life that make great content for the kind of free-spirited talk radio that we have the opportunity to do every day. Although our show tackles all the issues of the day and is not what you would call a ‘relationships show’ per se, the fact that we have such an established, real relationship as the baseline of our act really comes in handy in bringing a dimension of utter reality to what we do on the air.  Valentine’s Day was made for us!”

The Brutality of ISIS/Jordan Threatens Retaliation, Anti-Vaccine Controversy, 2016 Presidential Prospects, GOP’s ObamaCare Replacement Plan, and Brian Williams Recants Helicopter RPG Attack Story Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/4).  The world’s reaction to ISIS’ burning a Jordanian pilot alive and that country’s vow to retaliate; the controversy over anti-vaccine comments made by Chris Christie and Rand Paul; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the plan by congressional Republicans to replace ObamaCare; the response to NBC anchor Brian Williams’ admission that he was not aboard a helicopter hit by a RPG in Iraq in 2004 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

| February 4, 2015

wiplogoIt’s Official: Tony Bruno and Josh Innes to Afternoons on WIP-FM, Philadelphia.  Rumor becomes reality as CBS RADIO’s WIP-FM, Philadelphia announces that it is bringing Philly sports talk radio pro Tony Bruno back to the market to partner with current eveningbrunotony host Josh Innes for the 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm show titled, “Innes & Bruno.”  Bruno began his sports talk career as part of the morning show on WIP with Angelo Cataldi and Al Morganti back in 1991.  Most recently, he worked in the market at Greater Media’s crosstown WPEN-FM, but left last June after failing to come to terms on a new deal with that station.  Josh Innes moved from the company’s innesjoshKILT, Houston in 2014.  Replacing him in the evening slot will be current PM drive co-host Rob EllisAnthony Gargano was Ellis’ partner on the show and he exited the station back in December.  WIP-FM and WPHT operations manager Andy Bloom says, “We’re excited about the partnership of ‘Innes & Bruno’ in afternoons on WIP.  Josh clearly understands what makes WIP the legendary station that it is and brings his unabashed approach to covering sports each and every day.  Tony is a Philadelphia legend with roots going back to the earliest days of WIP.  Together the two build a bridge that will allow listeners who have been listening to WIP for 25 years and those just finding us today to enjoy entertaining sports talk on the ride home each day.”

portnoystevenSteven Portnoy Joins CBS Radio News.  The new congressional correspondent for CBS Radio News is Steven Portnoy, whom CBS News vice president for radio Harvey Nagler calls, “one of the finest broadcasters in our industry who has distinguished himself time and time again by reporting on many important stories for ABC Radio News during the last 13 years.”  Nagler goes on to say that Portnoy “trulycbsradionews logo understands the needs of our affiliates and the importance of the role in servicing them.”  On joining CBS Radio News, Portnoy comments, “Under the leadership of Harvey Nagler, who has maintained a standard of excellence first established by Paul White, journalists at CBS Radio News are at the top of our craft.  As a lifelong listener and fan, I am honored and humbled to be joining the extraordinarily talented members of the CBS Radio News team.”  Portnoy is an award-winning journalist who, in addition to his network radio accomplishments, served for three years as a reporter for WMAL, Washington.  He begins with CBS Radio News on February 23.

futuri logoNew Name for LDR Interactive: Futuri Media.  In a two-pronged press release, LDR Interactive announces it becomes Futuri Media and names two new executives to the company’s staff.  Media and technology industry pro Brian Parsons joins Futuri Media as chief information officer.  He has served as an EVP for iHeartMedia and Triton Digital Media.  Veteran broadcast engineer Craig Bowman also joins the company as vice president/support, overseeing client services.  Futuri says Parsons and current chief technology officer Brian Seeders – a founding team member – will lead product innovation and software development.  The newly named company brings several media technology assets under its banner including the LDR (Listener Driven Radio) interactive programming platforms: LDR1™ voting window technology and Takeover®, which is on the air at more than 400 radio stations and networks in 11 countries; TopicPulse®, a real-time social media measurement system for newsrooms and content producers; as well as Futuri Mobile™, which designs custom mobileldrteam features and apps for broadcasters, with more than 150 iPhone, Android, and tablet apps in the marketplace.  Futuri CEO and Co-Founder Daniel Anstandig explains the changes, “We rebranded as Futuri Media and expanded our leadership team to reinforce our commitment to innovation.  The future of media is in leveraging social and mobile technology for broadcasters.  That’s why five years ago we started developing custom interactive broadcast, mobile and web technologies to drive ratings, revenue and digital engagement.  Technology changes overnight and we are passionate about staying ahead of the curve to help broadcast operators connect with their audiences and develop new revenue.  Brian Parsons and Craig Bowman bring tremendous experience and talent to enhance our products and services from day one.  They, Brian Seeders and everyone else on our leadership team have worked as a manager, engineer, programmer or seller at local broadcast. By strengthening our senior information and support tiers, we are bringing our ‘high-tech, high-touch’ approach to every client.”  Pictured here is the Futuri team surrounding Anstandig at center.

westwood one NEWWestwood One Extends CNBC Business Radio Partnership. Expanded content includes addition of a second hourly CNBC Business Radio report. Westwood One will offer hourly reports to stations at :20 and :50, with re-feeds at :25 and :55. Westwood One senior vice president of affiliate sales Dennis Green comments, “Westwood One is delighted to expand the content that we offer affiliates in the business space. CNBC is the best-in-class brand that listeners have grown to trust for many years and it is evident by the number of new stations that are signing up.” CNBC Business News CNBC Business Radiosenior vice president and editor-in-chief Nikhil Deogun remarks, “We are thrilled to be able to broaden our partnership with Westwood One. This will allow CNBC to bring its unparalleled global business content and insight to new audiences across the country. In these volatile times, listeners need to know what is happening with their money during the market day.” CNBC Business Reports currently air on more than 140 stations, including in nine of the top 10 DMA markets and 22 of the top 25.

hurneymartyFormer Carolina Panthers GM Partner in Management of Asheville Sports Talker.  The Charlotte Observer’s Mark Washburn reports that former Carolina Panthers general manager Marty Hurney is partnering with WZGV, Asheville general manager Lanny Ford to lease the station from owner HRN Broadcasting.  Hurney was let go from his post with the NFL club in 2012 and has since reinvented himself as a sports media personality.  He’s been a guest analyst on ESPN’s “NFL Insiders” and, since June of 2014 has been a personality on WZGV “ESPN 730.”  Now, Hurney and Ford will lease and manage both WZGV and sister station news/talk WZGM for the next three years.  Prior to his stint with the Panthers, Hurney was a sports writer for the Washington Times.  Read Washburn’s column here.

andersoncarliHeartMedia Names New Corporate Talk Brand Management Team.  In a memo to staff, EVP and general manager of national programming platforms Clay Hunnicutt announces the new talk brand management team for iHeartMedia, to be led by EVP of programming Midwest Carl Anderson.  He’llblazergrace remain in that role in addition to his new talk brand manager title.  Joining him on the team as brand coordinators are: Grace Blazer, who will continue in her role as director of talk programming in Miami; Greg Foster adds to his duties as vice president of programming in Denver; and longtime Louisville-based programmer Kelly Carls, who will continue as regional programming fostergregmanager.  Hunnicutt comments, “Together under Carl’s leadership, the new talk brand management team will be a vital resource to our programming operations, working with our talented local programmers to deliver the best programming to our listeners.”  Carls takes over the talk brand manager position from longtime company talk PD Ken Charles who exited the company late last year.

Odds & Sods.  The syndicated “Café Mocha” radio show is kicking off Black History Month with a series honoring women titled, #CelebrateHer.  The radio vignettes recognize African American women from the Civil Rights movement to today’s female trailblazers.  Featured in the series are actress, dancer, choreographer, director Debbie Allen, Ebonycafemocha Fashion Fair founder and director the late Eunice Johnson, musical prodigy Janelle Monae, NBC “Today Show” co-anchor Tamron Hall, first-ever African American “Cinderella” on Broadway, KeKe Palmer, Black Girls Code founder Kimberly Bryant, leader and strategist of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee featured in the movie “Selma,” Diane Nash and well-known civil rights activist and mentor to Rosa Parks, Ella Baker (deceased).  “Café Mocha” is hosted by MC Lyte, Loni Love, Angelique Perrin, and Nicole Ari Parker…..There’s a new multi-year deal between MSG Networks and ESPN O&O WEPN-FM, New York “ESPN New York 98.7FM” that will ensure the station continues as the exclusive radio broadcaster of New York Knicks and New York Rangers games.  “ESPN Radio New York 98.7” has broadcast Knicks and Rangers games since 2004…..The PGA and SiriusXM extend their agreement to program and air PGA TOUR Radio for the next three years…..Media and marketing agency pro John M. Zamoiski joins AdLarge Media as chief opportunity officer.  In this post he’ll support the company’s continued expansion into new content acquisitions, while also working on cross-platform, integrated marketing partnerships.

SBSAPooPourriWestwood One Names Super Bowl Sound Award Winner.  The second annual Super Bowl Sound Award from Westwood One celebrates “excellence in audio creativity” for the ads aired on the Westwood One radio play-by-play broadcast of Super Bowl XLIX, as voted by fans.  The 2015 Champion of Sound is the brand Poo-Pourri, with a humorous spot about the Super Bowl.  The spot was custom made for the big game and “it represents a great example of a smaller brand using the power of audio to reach consumers through huge cultural moments such as the Super Bowl.”  The other brands rounding out the top five most votes of the Super Bowl Sound Awards: Motel 6 (with two commercials), Subway, and Exergen.

Renewed Vaccine Controversy, 2016 Presidential Prospects, New Saudi Arabia-9/11 Allegations, Carter Defense Secretary Testimony, Three-Parent Baby Controversy, Gallup Challenges 5.6% Unemployment Figure, Inter-GOP Immigration Battle, and Super Bowl XLIX Aftermath Among Top Stories Yesterday (2/3).  The controversy over mandatory vaccines and Chris Christie’s and Rand Paul’s relative comments; the potential candidates for president in 2016; new testimony from Zacharias Moussaoui about the connection between prominent Saudis and the funding of 9/11; Ashton Carter says ISIS a priority in Defense Secretary nomination testimony; the flap over using DNA from three people for in vitro fertilization; Gallup CEO challenges 5.6% unemployment figure; the battle among Republicans over immigration legislation; and the aftermath of Super Bowl XLIX were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

| February 3, 2015

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia Expands with SoundBoard Initiative.  The company is calling iHeartMedia SoundBoard a “one-of-a-kind audio-centric branded entertainment studio” that will allow its talent to work with advertisers to “produce original long- and short-form audio, video and experiential content that moves seamlessly across radio, apps, and events, creating the next generation of brand storytelling.”  Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “As the number one creators of live, daily content, brands have been asking us for more ability to craft original stories that leverage the power of sound to reach consumers when they’re ready to be entertained.  We’re launching the first branded audio studio for the digital era to prove the power of radio, the power of live content, and the power of cross-platform programming designed for a media world without walls.”  In addition to using national talent such as Ryan Seacrest and Elvis Duran, the company says it will use “the many local personalities who resonate in their communities — and its unique access to the most innovative thinkers in music and entertainment — to develop new original productions that combine the power of live radio with richer storytelling across platforms.”  The iHeartMedia SoundBoard Studio will be led by John Sykes, president of iHeartMedia’s Entertainment Enterprises Group; Gayle Troberman, EVP and chief marketing officer of iHeartMedia; and Vanessa Adamo, senior vice president of Entertainment Enterprises.

koil logoBob Bruce to Host Afternoons on KOIL, Omaha.  The new local afternoon program on NRG Media’s KOIL, Omaha is announced and Bob Bruce is returning to the Omaha market after a 10-year absence to host “The Bob Bruce Radio Experience” from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm, effective February 23.  Bruce comes to KOIL from his most recent gig at iHeartMedia’s news/talk WMT, Cedar Rapids.  Bruce replaces talk pro Tom Becka who exited the afternoon show at KOIL late last year.  About his new gig, Bruce says, “I am thrilled to be a part of a legendary station like KOIL and delighted to be back in Omaha.  I love this community and all it has to offer and I will make this show educational and fun for listeners.”

madisonjoeSiriusXM’s Joe Madison Helps Get Dick Gregory Star on Walk of Fame.  From a piece by George Curry published in BlackPressUSA comes the story of how talk show host Joe Madison helped get pioneering black comedian Dick Gregory a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  Curry writes that after working on the campaign to get The Four Tops a star on the walk, he noticed that Dick Gregory was not on the walk and set out to do something about it.  After two failed campaigns, the third time (with help from others) he was able to convince the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce to grant him the star.  But the hard part was just ahead.  Getting a star requires paying $30,000 for construction and maintenance.  Madison set out to raise the money and says he appealed to his listeners for $30 contributions and soon the money was in hand.  Read Curry’s story here.

Odds & Sods.  Longtime San Diego sports talk personality Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton is joining XETV, San Diego “San Diego 6” to serve on the 10:00 pm news on Saturdays and Sundays.  News director Don Shafer says, “Lee will bringhamiltonhacksaw his unique perspective and knowledge of local, state and national sports to San Diego 6 News.”  Lee will bring his signature “Hacksaw’s Headlines” to the sportscast, with his take on the biggest stories of the day…..Cumulus Media sports talker WSKO, Syracuse inks a deal to broadcast Syracuse Chiefs minor league baseball for the next two seasons.  Kevin Brown and Eric Gallanty will be in the broadcast booth for play-by-play duties…..According to PennLive, Cumulus Media’s sports talk simulcast WHGB-AM and W243BR, Harrisburg “Sportsradio 96.5” will be carrying Washington Nationals baseball this season instead of Philadelphia Phillies games.

Patriots Win Super Bowl XLIX, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Politicians’ Vaccine Remarks Flap, Battle Against ISIS, Obama Tax Hike Proposal, Suge Knight Charged with Murder, and Bobbi Kristina Brown in Coma Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/2). Patriots win game that is most-watched TV broadcast in U.S. history; the potential candidates for president in 2016; comments by Chris Christie and Rand Paul questioning safety and efficacy of vaccines; the fight against ISIS; the tax hikes proposed by President Obama; rap mogul Suge Knight is charged with murder and more in hit-and-run death; and Whitney Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown in a coma were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, February 2, 2015

| February 2, 2015

bubbaBubba the Love Sponge ‘Programming’ Beasley’s WBRN, Tampa.  Those new calls are for the old WHFS-FM (most recently sports talker “The Fan”) in Tampa at which Bubba the Love Sponge has set up camp as his new flagship station.  And with the call letter change comes news from Beasley Media Group that the station is airing a new format called “Bubba 98/7, No Rules Radio.”  Carl Harris serves as the station’s program director but Beasley reports that the station – which will include musical artists such as AC/DC, Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, Led Zeppelin, Stone Temple Pilots, Linkin Park, Green Day and Foo Fighters – will also include songs chosen by Bubba himself.  Those range from artists like Eminem, Notorious B.I.G., Dr. DRE, Jerry Reed, Public Enemy, C.W. McCall, LL Cool J and many others.  Additionally, “Bubba 98/7, No Rules Radio” features parody bits from the legendary Bubba The Love Sponge archives.  Beasley EVP of operations Brian Beasley says, “Beasley has entered new territory with today’s announcement.  The music, personalities and bits will all be the creative responsibility of the station’s morning show host, Bubba the Love Sponge.  We hope the listeners will be thoroughly entertained by the new direction of the station.”

bohannonjimBohannon, Westwood One Agree to Multi-Year Pact. Owing to a Westwood One contract extension, Radio Hall of Famer Jim Bohannon will continue hosting both his nightly eponymous program and “America in the Morning” for the Cumulus Media-owned syndicator. Westwood One executive vice president of news and talk Bart Tessler comments, “Jim may be in the Radio Hall of Fame, but he is just getting started. With new show resources and his contagious energy and enthusiasm, Westwood One and our affiliates and clients can look forward to many more years of Jim hosting his franchise programs.” Bohannon remarks, “I am so pleased to have the honor of continuing my career with Westwood One – my home for over half my time in radio. Now that we have added reports from Westwood One News correspondents, ‘The Jim Bohannon Show’ and our news magazine ‘America in the Morning’ are about to enter their best days yet. With all the challenges of the day, from partisan battles inside the Beltway to the war on terror, I’m eager to keep the discussion going.” Self-described “militant moderate, voice of reason” Bohannon appears at #20 of TALKERS’ “Heavy Hundred” of 2014.

medvedmichaelMedved Takes Hiatus To Fight Throat Cancer. In 18 years as a syndicated talk host, Salem Radio Network‘s Michael Medved has not missed more than four consecutive days of regularly scheduled broadcasts. This past Friday though (1/30), he revealed that in mid-December he was diagnosed with stage three throat cancer. Owing to that reason, Medved is taking a medical leave. “I always knew it would take something serious to keep me away from the microphone I cherish for an extended period of time,” he comments. “My prognosis for full recovery is very good. In the great majority of cases, this is a highly-curable form of cancer.” Medved broadcast every day while completing more than half of his daily radiation and weekly chemotherapy treatments. He will receive his last scheduled radiation treatment in just over three weeks (2/26). “Shortly thereafter, I hope to return to regular broadcasting,” he remarks. “The exact time of my return will be determined by my medical progress, but I will be straining to get back to work as soon as humanly possible. I know how fortunate I am with my loyal and marvelous audience, so I wanted to provide full transparency and direct explanations – you’ll be hearing from me soon.” KSKY, Dallas morning talent Mark Davis will be Medved’s primary fill-in; Davis hosts the Friday edition of Salem Radio Network’s “Bill Bennett’s Morning in America.” Other guest hosts for Medved will include KTTH, Seattle’s morning drive personality David Boze, and American Enterprise Institute president Arthur Brooks. Listed at #25 of TALKERS’ “Heavy Hundred” of 2014, 66-year-old Seattle-based Medved was chief film critic for The New York Post in the mid-1990s.

mannellypatrickPatrick Mannelly Reportedly Exiting WSCR, Chicago.  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, midday personality – and former Chicago Bears long snapper – Patrick Mannelly will announce his exit as midday co-host on today’s program.  Mannelly joined co-host Matt Speigel back in September after the CBS RADIO sports talker could not come to terms with Dan McNeil to stay with “The Score.”  It’s believed that Mannelly will remain a part of Bears pre-game shows on the station.  Once again there is an opening at WSCR and already there are rumors this could open the door for Dan McNeil’s return or, as DaWindyCity reports, David Kaplan and David Haugh might be candidates since they exited Tribune Media with the shutdown of crosstown sports talk WGWG-LP “87.7 The Game.”

brunotonyTony Bruno and Josh Innes to Host Afternoons on WIP-FM, Philadelphia.  As reported by Molly Eichel in the Philadelphia News, Tony Bruno will return to the airwaves in Philly on CBS RADIO’sinnesjosh WIP-FM alongside current WIP personality Josh Innes for the afternoon daypart formerly occupied by Anthony Gargano and Rob Ellis.  Gargano exited the station but Ellis remains under contract and it’s not known what role Ellis might play at the station.  Bruno was heard in middays on Greater Media’s crosstown WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” until he resigned from the station last June.  He’s been podcasting via BlogTalkRadio recently.  At one time, Bruno worked on the WIP morning show hosted by Angelo Cataldi.

Odds & Sods.  Just named the new White House correspondent for CBS News Radio is Pam Coulter, who replaces the recently retired Peter Maer.  Coulter rejoined CBS in 2011 after working as a correspondent for NPR and ABC Radio News for 12 years where she covered, among other things, the White House, Congress and the Pentagon…..Longtime Sioux Falls radio newsman Gene Hetland retired from Townsquare Media’s news/talk KSOO after a career that spanned 38 years.  The Associated Press reports that the 63-year-old Hetland started at KSOO in August of 1976 and retired on January 30…..The new morning news anchor at Midwest Communications-owned news/talk WHTC, Holland, Michigan is Mary Ellen Murphy…..San Antonio Magazine is out with its “Best of the City 2015” and it names former San Antonio Spurs point guard Antonio Daniels “Radio Personality of the Year.”  Daniels hosts “The Hardline” on Alpha Media’s KZDC “ESPN San Antonio.”

greshamtomTom Gresham’s ‘Gun Talk’ Clears WRKO, Boston.  The Entercom Boston news/talker adds Tom Gresham’s “Gun Talk” to the program schedule airing Sunday evenings at 8:00 pm.  Entercom Boston market manager Phil Zachary says, “Over the last few years, Tom Gresham’s ‘Gun Talk’ has emerged as the definitive voice of rational, responsible gun owners across America.  It just makes sense that his program be heard on one of the most powerful radio signals here in the cradle of the American Revolution.”  Gresham comments, “Massachusetts is full of gun owners who continue to fight for gun rights.  I’m proud to lend my voice to those who preserve the tradition of freedom in Boston and the entire area.”

businessrockstars radioBusiness Rockstars Hits 100 Affiliate Mark.  With the addition of KTLR, Oklahoma City, the nationally syndicated “Business Rockstars” show arrives at the 100 affiliate plateau.  The programming is hosted by Ken RutkowskiBusiness Rockstars chairman Steve Lehman says, “Radio is an important part of our multi-media and social platform.  We couldn’t be more excited to add KTLR to our consistently growing list of affiliate stations.  The rock stars of today no longer play guitar and blast through your speakers.  The new Rockstars are Business Rockstars: the Mark Zuckerbergs, Elon Musks and Mark Cubans of the world.”  In describing its programming, the company says “entrepreneurship is on fire.  It’s not political, it’s not controversial, it’s all about empowering listeners with the right tools and information so that they become Rockstars too.  Business Rockstars is the only daily, long-form show on the air that drills into the core of starting, growing, and funding a business.  The show is attracting a younger audience to AM radio.  There are 30 million hungry ‘Wantrepreneurs’ in the US and Business Rockstars is here to feed them.”

Friday, January 30, 2015

| January 30, 2015

drexDreX to Host New KGO, San Francisco Talk Show.  Music radio personality DreX crosses into the news/talk realm with his new gig as evening host at Cumulus Media’s KGO, San Francisco.  The station notes that DreX worked in the market in the past at KSJO, San Jose – now “NASH FM 92.3.”  DreX crafted successful CHR night shows in markets including San Antonio, Dallas and Philadelphia.  He then shifted to mornings at signals such as WHYT, Detroit and WKSC, Chicago “Kiss FM.”  Cumulus SVP of programming Mike McVay comments, “Drex brings a unique perspective to the news/talk format and an uncanny ability to entertain and inform in his own engaging style.”  San Francisco VP/market manager Justin Wittmayer adds, “DreX brings his unique voice to KGO nights for a highly compelling program that is fresh, live and local.  The Bay Area is in for quite an experience with DreX.”

malzbergsteveMalzberg and Newsmax TV Extend Relationship.  The new three-year deal keeps talk media pro Steve Malzberg hosting his Newsmax TV daily news and talk program that currently airs from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.  Newsmax says in a statement that Malzberg is “a veteran TV and radio personality, [who]newsmaxtv logo attracts a star-studded roster of news-breaking guests and delivers insightful commentary around topical, often-contentious issues that connect with audiences.”  Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy says, “Steve Malzberg is a key member of our on-air team who brings a fearless and informed approach to news/talk programming.  Our growing audience is truly responding to him and he will no doubt continue to deliver provocative talk and engagement with his guests as we enter into the pivotal, upcoming presidential election period.”

levinmarkMark Levin Show to Air on KRLA, Los Angeles.  The Westwood One-syndicated Mark Levin show is moving to a prime spot in Los Angeles, airing live from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm PT on Salem Communications-owned news/talk KRLA, effective February 3.  With the change, Salem Radio Network’s Hugh Hewitt will move to the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm timeslot.  Salem SVP of spoken word format Phil Boyce comments, “Rarely do you have the chance to add somebody of Mark’s quality in market #2, and we decided it was an opportunity we could not pass up.  Hugh Hewitt is also a class act, so running these two back-to-back makes this lineup even stronger.”  Levin states, “It’s an honor to join the wonderful lineup at KRLA.  I know my great listeners, who include two of my biggest fans in the LA area (my kids, who live and work there!) will appreciate hearing the show LIVE, too!”

worobchandWNDB, Daytona Beach Producer Arrested on Child Porn Charges.  According to a story by WKMG-TV, Orlando, WNDB, Daytona Beach executive producer Chand Worob has been taken into custody by Daytona Beach police on charges of receiving and distributing child pornography.  The story reports police had been investigating the 25-year-old radio station staffer since October.  They arrested him at the radio station where he works on the Marc Bernier morning show and served a warrant at his home where they reported finding a laptop with some 500 images on it.

zeisepaulCBS RADIO Ups Zeise at ‘Sportsradio 93.7 The Fan’ in Pittsburgh.  The new evening personality at CBS RADIO sports talker KDKA-FM “Sportsradio 93.7 The Fan” is Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sportswriter Paul Zeise.  He’s been hosting programs at the station on a part-time basis since 2011.  Program director Ryan Maguire says, “Paul has truly developed as a personality and we’re happy we could make him a larger member of our on-air team.  Paul has strong ties within the local sports community and will provide unique insight and hard-hitting opinions that will resonate with our listeners.”

imusbroadway logoFifth Annual ‘Imus on Broadway’ Happens on February 9.  On Monday, February 9, New York radio legend and WABC morning drive personality Don Imus will present the fifth annual “Imus on Broadway” at the Hard Rock Café in Times Square.  Ticket sales from the one-night only performance will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.  New York Post theatre columnist Michael Riedel will join Imus as emcee.  The evening will showcase live performances from some of Broadway’s top musicals including: Kinky Boots, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, It Shoulda Been You, Honeymoon In Vegas, The Lion King, Cabaret, Into The Woods, Les Miserables, Chicago and more!

wfanfantasyphenom5WFAN, New York to Begin 5th ‘Fantasy Phenom Challenge.’  Next Sunday (2/8), CBS RADIO sports talker WFAN, New York kicks off the 5th “Fantasy Phenom Challenge” at the Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station, New York in which contestants will have the chance to earn on-air shifts on “The Fan.”  The station will register the first 100 contestants online and those will audition before a panel of judges at area shopping malls around the region.  A change in this year’s competition will allow for finalists to receive personal coaching from one of WFAN’s on-air hosts!  Up to 12 participants will move on to round two, where online voting will determine the top six contestants for the final.  The finalists will be part of a special St. Patrick’s Day remote broadcast featuring WFAN’s Boomer and Carton show and simulcast on CBS Network.  The Finals will be held in late March or early April on Mike Francesa’s afternoon drive show.  “Fantasy Phenom” year 4 winner, Dimitri Adrahtas, is completing his one-year stint with the station broadcasting his show to Tri-State area listeners.

Odds & Sods.  Longtime Los Angeles talk radio personality Marc Germain, formerly “Mr. KABC,” will host the evening show on CBS RADIO’s KXNT, Las Vegas all next week, February 2-6.  Germain has been making his home in Sin City for the past five years and has been hosting a nightly live show and podcast from his TalkRadioOne.com base…..Agermainmarc new, four-year renewal between USC and ESPN O&O KSPN, Los Angeles “ESPNLA” means the station will continue to serve as the flagship radio outlet for Trojan football through the 2018-19 season.  The deal also means approximately one-half of USC’s men’s basketball games will also air on “ESPNLA.”…..CBS RADIO’s sports talk WFAN, New York begins its inaugural year of broadcasting the New York City Football Club with Tom Kolker, Glenn Crooks and Roberto Abramowitz handling the announcing duties.  For English-language broadcasts, Tom Kolker is the new play-by-play voice and Glenn Crooks will provide in-game analysis.  For Spanish-language broadcasts airing on WADO, they will be led by Roberto Abramowitz.  A Spanish-language analyst will be named at a later date.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup. The Dr. Joy Browne program – distributed nationally by Genesis brownejoyCommunications Network – is added to the program schedule at: WPTF, Raleigh; WDXR, Paducah, Kentucky; and WVFT, Tallahassee…..As noted earlier in the week, Premiere NetworksSean Hannity joins the program schedule at Beasley Media Group’s KDWN, Las Vegas while Dave Ramsey moves to a live airing at CBS RADIO’s KXNT, Las Vegas…..The Kim Komando weekend “digital lifestyle” program is now airing on: Entercom’s WRKO, Boston; Townsquare Media’s simulcast KCHH and KBUL-AM, Billings, Montana; and WNBF, Binghamton, New York.

Northeast Blizzard Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of January 26-30.  Winter storm Juno and the criticism of forecasters and government officials anticipating the event was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week.  Coming in at #2 was the 2016 presidential race followed by ISIS threats tied with Taliban 5 developments at #3.  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, January 29, 2015

| January 29, 2015

thunejohnSenate Commerce Committee Chair Thune Seeks Communications Act Overhaul.  Speaking before an audience at the American Enterprise Institute, Senate Commerce Committee chairman John Thune (R-SD) said he will kick-start the process of reviewing and updating the country’s communications laws, last done in 1996.  From a story at The Hill, Thune admits his efforts will require support fromfccnew Democrats but says it’s very early in the process.  He told the crowd the very legal framework that could allow broadband internet to be classified a utility is obsolete.  He criticized the FCC’s rulemaking process with regard to “net neutrality” and said its agenda is being nudged by “an increasingly imperious president.”  He said, “With the FCC poised to reclassify broadband due to a lack of clear statutory authority, we can readily see the consequences of that obsolescence and the need for action.”  Getting support from Democrats prior to the 2016 election may be all but impossible but Thune says trying to update the Act that was last modernized when the Internet was in its infancy is necessary.”

Mark LevinWestwood One Locks-In Levin. A contract extension between Westwood One and Mark Levin will keep the talk show host with the Cumulus Media-owned syndicator through 2020. Cumulus executive vice president of content and programming John Dickey states, “Mark has established himself as a pillar in talk radio with his sharp and witty commentary. We look forward to expanding his program’s reach.” Levin comments, “I am delighted to continue working with Cumulus and Westwood One. I look forward to further developing the show over the next five years. I am passionate about challenging the mainstream media and educating the public on the most pressing political and legal issues of our time and maintain myWestwood One commitment to doing so.” Flagship WABC, New York launched Levin’s 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm show in 2003; a third hour was added six years later (2009). Previously an advisor/administrator to several members of president Ronald Reagan‘s cabinet, Levin is president of the Landmark Legal Foundation, a non-profit Washington, DC-based advocacy group.

leboncherylynLeBon Named to Co-Host ‘America Continues’ on USA Radio Networks.  Joining host Jim Sharpe on his “America Continues” program – to be syndicated live nightly from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET beginning February 2 – is Cherylyn Harley LeBon.  She is president and CEO of public relations firm KLAR Strategies and is national co-chair of the leadership network, Project 21.  On joining USA Radio and working with Sharpe, LeBon says, “It is a wonderful opportunity to co-host with Jim Sharpe on ‘America Continues’ to share with our audience the unique stories happening around our country.  We want to talk about the stories that are not being told and highlight reasons why America is still so great.”  LeBon previously served as a political appointee in the George W. Bush Administration; as a spokesman at the Republican National Committee; and as senior counsel for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.  She is also a contributor to BlogHer, TheBlaze, and She Owns It.

weei logoWEEI.com Benefits from DeflateGate Controversy.  Fans of the New England Patriots may be sick to death of the “deflategate” flap but the story has been a boon for Entercom’s WEEI, Boston and its digital destination, WEEI.com.  The station reports that the story has “crushed all previous engagement records for ‘Sports Radio WEEI’ and its digital assets.  Between January 19, the day the allegations of tampering with some of the AFC Championship footballs were first announced, and January 25, WEEI.com racked up the following eye-popping statistics: Over 1 million unique users to WEEI.com; over 4.3 million page views in that same time frame; The WEEI Facebook page reached more than 6.1 million people in one week with more than 1 million of those engaging and participating in a WEEI post; on Thursday, January 22, more than 280,000 unique visitors and 1 million page views were tallied for the Tom Brady and Bill Belichick press conferences, the largest day in site history; and those press conferences peaked at over 22,000 users on the WEEI audio stream.  The station’s previous record-setting day for streaming was a peak of 15,000 for a Tom Brady interview last fall.  WEEI brand manager Kevin Graham comments that “you don’t post numbers like that unless sports fans know you’re the digital destination for timely and credible information.  I’m very proud of the combined efforts from our on-air and digital content teams in reporting this ever-changing story.  We have been at the forefront of coverage from the beginning and been the go-to station for national media outlets such as ESPN, The CBS Evening News, FOX News and CNN, to name a few.”

Odds & Sods.  At non-commercial triple A and news/talk hybrid KCRW, Santa Monica, California, Matt Miller puts the wraps on his “Left, Right & Center” program, producing the last episode on Friday, January 30…..This evening is the official “weigh-in” broadcast on WIP-FM, Philadelphia prior to Friday’s Wing Bowl 23 – the annual chicken wing eating contest, this year being held at the Wells Fargo Center.  The 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm broadcast today takes place at Chickie’s and Pete’s in South Philadelphia.  The station’s Al Morganti and Rhea Hughes are hosting the broadcast…..WGN, shivesdrtomChicago will air the memorial service for Chicago Cubs legend Ernie Banks on Saturday, January 31 from 10:00 am until its conclusion.  Sports director Dave Eanet will host the broadcast.  The station will make the Kathy & Judy show available via wgnplus.com and will join that show in progress after the Banks memorial service…..The medical talk show “Mayo Clinic Radio” is now being represented for national syndication by Chicago-based Syndication Networks Corp.  The program is a weekly, one-hour show hosted by physician and longtime broadcaster Dr. Tom Shives with veteran radio host Tracy McCray.

bearmanKSCOcageTalk Personality Ethan Bearman Co-Founds Government Watchdog Site.  The new organization and its website – Community Action for Government Efficiency, or CAGE – is a Santa Cruz, California-based one that seeks to help keep politicians accountable, according to co-founder and talk radio personality Ethan Bearman.  He’s pictured here (center) appearing on KSCO, Santa Cruz’s “Good Morning Monterey Bay” program with host Rosemary Chalmers (right) and CAGE co-founder Vincent Perez (left) to announce the debut of the site Cagesc.org.  Bearman says, “Our goal is to provide a clear and simple pathway of information to the people and business community of Santa Cruz County.  CAGE provides a forum for a common-sense approach to impacting change in economic, political and social issues.”  He says, “Users of the site can find information on relevant topics that impact our business community; share concerns that impact our community; participate in the discussion forums related to these issues; and influence positive behavior from our local politicians by holding them accountable.”  Bearman is host of the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm program on KSFO, San Francisco on Saturdays and Sundays.

ISIS Captives/Threat to President Obama, Obamas Saudi Visit, Obama Administration Tax Plan, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Immigration Reform/Amnesty Issues, and Super Bowl Hype/DeflateGate Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/28).  The potential swap of captives between Jordan and ISIS and the group’s threat to President Obama in beheading video; Barack and Michelle Obama’s visit with the Saudi royals; the administration plan to hike taxes on top earners; the potential candidates for president in 2016; immigration reform proposals and the amnesty policy championed by President Obama; and the build-up to Super Bowl XLIX and the deflategate flap were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

| January 28, 2015

hannitySean Hannity Show to Air on KDWN, Las Vegas.  Moving across the street from CBS RADIO’s KXNT, Las Vegas to Beasley Media Group’s KDWN is Premiere Networks nationally syndicated superstar Sean Hannity.  The change takes effect on Monday, February 2.  KDWN program director John Shaffer says, “We are very excited that Sean Hannity is joining our lineup at KDWN.  His show will help solidify our position as the news and talk leader in Las Vegas.”  Hannity’s show will air live in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot, replacing the “Live in Las Vegas” show hosted by Dave Carney and Chad Forster.  Back at KXNT, the station moves financial talk star Dave Ramsey from a delayed broadcast in the evening to the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart.

omalleypaulO’Malley Upped to Westwood One Senior VP, Strategic Sales Partnerships. Trading in the title of Cumulus vice president of brand solutions, Paul O’Malley becomes Westwood One’s senior vice president of strategic sales partnerships. According to Westwood One president Steve Shaw, “Bringing Paul over to run our new strategic sales division was a no-brainer. His wealth of experience in new business development, world-class reputation among agencies, and vast knowledge of our assets make him the prefect partner to lead this new team. We are building an impressive and outstanding sales force and Paul is a top-tier player on the team.” O’Malley comments that he is “excited by the opportunity” to “deliver experiential solutions which will encompass national scale and local engagement. The best brands in the U.S. are asking for new, innovative, and measured programs. Westwood One and Cumulus have assets and capabilities that are unparalleled in the industry and that deliver results for advertisers.  I look forward to growing our client base and driving revenue across our platforms.” Atlanta-based O’Malley previously (2004 – 2011) was Citadel’s regional president of sales.

westwood one NEWWestwood One to Vacate Montfort Drive Offices in Dallas.  With the looming expiration of Westwood One’s lease at the Dallas offices – located at 13725 Montfort Drive – later this year, the company announces it will move those operations to other facilities.  Westwood One will build out some new broadcast facilities at the TM Studios operations on Academy Lane in Dallas, and will move programming, production and affiliate sales there.  The company reports that back-office functions (traffic and affiliate service/affidavit management) will be relocated to an existing Cumulus facility in nearby Arlington.  “Other than some duplicated facility support positions, there will be no other changes to staffing related to the relocations.”

ww1lofton-kearseWW1 at Media Week for Super Bowl XLIX. Broadcasting from the annual media week at the Super Bowl here is Westwood One NFL analyst and Pro Football Hall of famer James Lofton (right) as he interviews Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (left).

‘Juno’ Storm Controversy, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Obama Tax Plan/529 Plans, ISIS Prisoner Swap Issue, ObamaCare Repeal Vote, ‘American Sniper’ Flap, Low Oil Prices/Financial Markets Activity, and Super Bowl/DeflateGate Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/27).  Winter storm Juno and the chatter about overblown predictions and mandatory shutdowns; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the Obama Administration’s plan to hike taxes on top earners and its backing off the elimination of the 529 college savings plan; the possible ISIS deal to swap prisoners; the GOP’s plans to vote on repeal of the Affordable Care Act; lower oil process and the activity on the world’s financial markets; and the looming Super Bowl and talk about the DeflateGate issue were among the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

| January 27, 2015

price howardGetting It Partly Wrong and Absolutely Right.  Disaster preparedness expert Howard B. Price – director, business continuity for ABC Television – writes in a piece in TALKERS today (1/27) that even though parts of the Northeast escaped the dire predictions of Winter Storm Juno, it’s better that people were overprepared.  For those upset with officials for shutting down roads and, in some cases, entire cities, Price says, “No one should EVER blame the messengers for decisions governments and businesses take based on scientific facts that were trumped – as they sometimes are – by the forces of nature.  Better to plan for what turns out to be unnecessary, then to be caught flat-footed when circumstances are worse than you anticipated.”  Keep in mind that as we publish this piece on Tuesday, parts of New England are indeed getting a lot of snow, combined with high winds.  Read more from Price here.

foxcarolynCarolyn Fox: My Prescription for Radio Success.  Radio pro Carolyn Fox writes about the key tenets to help personalities succeed in the radio business – even in this era.  In this piece she presents five points radio personalities should understand in order to have success in a business that’s contingent upon connecting with listeners.  “Great radio is nothing more than real humans connecting with other real humans aurally,” Fox says, “Don’t overcomplicate the message because my kid is banking on you to resuscitate radio so he too can pay back his college loans.”  Read Carolyn Fox’s piece here.

leykistomnonameTom Leykis’ The New Normal Reports 2014 Profit.  It’s been three years since Tom Leykis – free from the confines of his old contract with CBS RADIO – debuted his own internet talk program via a digital platform operating within his company The New Normal LLC.  Leykis says that his gross revenue for 2014 was $524,952, an increase of 60% over 2013’s gross, and a net profit of $2,187.  He goes on to say that this profit “will most likely exceed the combined net profits of the radio industry’s two largest companies (representing 1,310 or 11% of all US commercial radio stations).”  Pointing to the balance sheets of large radio operators iHeartMedia and Cumulus Media, Leykis says “iHeartMedia has not earned a net profit since at least 2008 according to its own 10K report.  Despite recent claims of ‘accelerated growth,’ iHeart’s best showing since 2008 was the second quarter of 2010 when it showed a net of negative $204.2 million…Cumulus Media, which is number two to iHeartMedia in stations owned, has shown a slight profit in 2014, with earnings per share for 2014 so far reported at $0.04 per share and net revenue of $159.34 million as of the third quarter of 2014.”  TALKERS editors note that while profits are certainly a challenge for companies with large debt service, it can be argued that the two companies mentioned (and the others not) employ thousands of people, support workers’ families and in turn contribute to the economy in a bigger way than a small company that actually earns a profit.  Still, Leykis says his point is that it doesn’t take big corporate backing to produce a successful media venture.  “In the end, this news doesn’t exactly make my day.  I made a fantastic living in the radio business and I still have many friends in the industry who are afraid of what the future holds.  I could have retired young and lived comfortably forever.  This project is to show radio folks that there’s a future for them if they’re willing to work hard.”

Westwoon One Super Bowl AdsWestwood One to Recognize Excellence in Audio Creativity. It has become an annual event for the syndicator to recognize the best radio commercials within perhaps the year’s biggest sporting event – the Super Bowl. Westwood One‘s senior vice president of sports sales & marketing Brandon Berman explains that the Cumulus Media division created the “Sound Awards” to “connect with – and to encourage – marketers, creatives, and brands to join forces and showcase the power of sound. Our Super Bowl broadcast is the perfect environment for advertisers to leverage their commercial creative, thanks to our incredible reach and sheer volume of audience across platforms. Following the crowning of a Super Bowl Champion, we look forward to crowning an advertising champion.” Westwood One’s play-by-play coverage of SuperSeahawks - Patriots Bowl XLIX between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks originates this Sunday (2/1) from suburban Phoenix (Glendale). The “Super Bowl Sound Awards for Excellence in Audio Creativity” will feature national ads airing on Westwood One’s Super Bowl XLIX broadcast, as well as SiriusXM Radio, NFL.com/Audiopass, NFL Mobile from Verizon, and on the American Forces Radio Network. Last year’s winner, Motel 6, earned the top spot with a parody on how to use AutoCorrect.  Other top vote getters were Tilted Kilt, Subway, Exergen, and Taco Bell. Voting opened yesterday (Monday, 1/27) at 3:00 pm (ET) and runs through next Tuesday (2/3) at 12:00 noon; winners will be announced next Wednesday (2/4).

XEPRS-AMXEPRS-AM, Padres Extend “Mighty” Agreement. The pact between Broadcast Company of the Americas’ sports outlet XEPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090″ and the National League West San Diego Padres covers this year’s MLB season and next year. BCA president Mike Glickenhaus comments, “We are very excited to continue our relationship with the Padres. We believe very strongly in the [team’s] vision for theSan Diego Padres future and we are looking forward to being a part of it.” Padres president Mike Dee remarks, “We are thrilled and excited because this really is a good partnership. ‘The Mighty 1090′ is where San Diego fans go for their sports and the Padres are glad to be part of it.” XEPRS-AM has been the Padres’ flagship since 2004; the station is licensed to Rosarito Beach, Baja California (Mexico).

Odds & Sods.  Former Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Mike Rogers joins Hudson Institute as a Distinguished Fellow.  In this role, he’ll focus on cyber-warfare and security, counterterrorism, and national security policy.  Rogers currently hosts the nationally syndicated feature “Something to Think About withrogersmike Mike Rogers” for Westwood One and is a CNN national security contributor…..At the Omaha cluster of NRG Media, AM radio operations manager Neil Nelkin announces he’s leaving the position and the station group he’s been at for more than two decades.  The company’s Omaha AM properties include: sports talkers KZOT and KOZN, news/talk KOIL, and Spanish-language KMMQ…..There’s a changing of traffic reporters at Tribune’s WGN, Chicago as the station informs traffic service Radiate Media that it’s dropping 10-year personality Leslie Keiling and will replace her with Judy Pielach, according to Chicago media writer Robert Feder…..Ashley Lopez is named political reporter for Kentucky Public Radio’s WFPL, Louisville.

Johnjay and RichJohnjay and Rich Suggest Non-Traditional Super Bowl Accommodations. Capitalizing on the fact that this Sunday’s Super Bowl is being played in their flagship market, Phoenix-based syndicated morning talents Johnjay and Rich maintain they are prepared to rent out their studio. Emphasizing they are offering the “full Super Bowl experience,” the duo cites computers, buffet breakfasts/lunches, convenient parking, and color television as tongue-in-cheek selling points to would-be renters. According to a video they shot, the 3.5-day rate to rent their studio is approximately $160.

WW1probowl15Busy Week in Arizona for Westwood One.  Pictured here is the crew that covered last weekend’s NFL Pro Bowl game at University of Phoenix Stadium – also the site of this weekend’s Super Bowl XLIX.  Westwood One is the exclusive national radio partner of the NFL.  From left to right are: producer Aaron Cummins, announcer Scott Graham (the voice of NFL Films), executive producer Howard Deneroff, and NFL Hall of Famer Rod Woodson.

Obama Tax Plan, ‘American Sniper’ Film Controversy, 2016 Presidential Prospects, East Coast Blizzard, and Super Bowl/DeflateGate Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/26).  The proposal by President Obama to hike taxes on the rich to assist the middle class; the controversial responses to the film “American Sniper”; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the blizzard hitting the East Coast; and Sunday’s Super Bowl and chatter about the DeflateGate issue were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, January 26, 2015

| January 26, 2015

limbaugh logoLongtime Rush Limbaugh Staffer Kit Carson Dies After Battle with Cancer.  TALKERS magazine has learned from Sound Mind LLC principal Kraig Kitchin that longtime Rush Limbaugh staffer Christopher “Kit” Carson passed away this morning (1/26), in New Jersey.   The cause was brain cancer.  Kitchin says Carson had suffered a bout of cancer four years ago but found his way to recovery two years later and was given a clean bill of health.  In the last several months, the cancer returned.  Kit Carson was the “chief of staff” of Limbaugh’s program since the early 1990s.  He became part of the program’s staff in 1989.  Kitchin says Carson wanted to be an actor, but fell in love with his work on the program.  He screened calls, opened and answered the mail, and he took every opportunity to be invaluable.  And he became invaluable.  Later, he was nicknamed “H.R.” with Limbaugh naming him after Nixon Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman.  A clearly shaken, limbaughrushtearful Rush Limbaugh announced the news at the top of his radio program today (1/26).  He said, “We are all experiencing a huge void in all of our hearts here today.”  Limbaugh praised Carson as never having a bad word to say about anyone and was always a mediating force for good and harmony among the staff.  Limbaugh said that Carson was the longest-running employee of the show and quickly proved himself to be the new program’s number one defender, champion and evangelist.  Limbaugh also credited Carson with coming up with many ideas and angles that he used as his own on the air—and was also a tremendous force for Rush maintaining optimism and positivity in his work and attitude about life.  Clearly he was the one guy who Limbaugh never once doubted – “I had total trust in him.”  Limbaugh said, “Even at 58 he had an innocent exuberance about him.”  Carson is survived by his wife, Theresa, and two sons.

cookeTalkersTVNow Showing on TalkersTV: Writing Commercial Copy That Produces RESULTS.  Just try not to flinch when you hear The Six Most-Dreaded Words in Radio Sales: “We tried radio, it didn’t work.”  Even when the retail business and the station fit-like-a-glove — AND the client buys enough frequency — the campaign can flop, and the disappointed advertiser gives up on radio entirely.  WHY?  Consultant and TALKERS contributor Holland Cooke explains, “Too often, it’s because the commercial copy was ineffective.  Not surprisingly, this can happen because cutbacks have cost the station a creative department and reps are writing their own spots… too often banging out scripts quickly, so they can get back on the street to close new business — which they’re under pressure to do, because of churn.  Why does this often happen?  You guessed it: Because clients cancel…because they didn’t get results…because the copy didn’t work.  It’s a vicious cycle.”  Cooke adds, “Ironically, the same problem is common at stations that HAVE a creative person or department.”  And he cites three reasons:

1.  The conveyor belt is out of control.  With four, five or six stations under one roof, the writer gets overwhelmed.

2.  ESPECIALLY this time of year, when stations stage the annual first quarter “one day sale,” piling even more work on the writer; in many cases spots that will air long-term (or until the disappointed client cancels).

3.  The writer, back at the station, didn’t share the rep’s in-person contact with the prospect during the important Needs Assessment step.  Cooke figures that “account executives are, potentially, better writers than…writers, because they know clients’ stories first-hand.”

“Potentially,” Cooke stipulates, “because account executives need to speak to the listener (the advertiser’s client) the same way they approached the advertiser.  Reps are natural sellers, but don’t always apply their persuasive talent to copy writing.”  In a video now showing on TalkersTV, Cooke outlines what he calls “the dance steps of a 60-second commercial script,” based on his work helping client station reps craft copy for local retailers.  See Cooke relate what he terms “The Five Steps of Selling Anything to Anybody” (how reps got the order) to the copy-writing process.  See the TalkersTV box at the top right-hand column of this page and every page of Talkers.com.

mussonchristinaKMJ-AM/FM, Fresno Names Musson Co-Host.  The new late morning show at Cumulus Media’s Fresno news/talker KMJ-AM/FM launches today as “Broeske & Musson.”  KMJ program director Blake Taylor announces the station promotes Christina Musson from station executive producer to co-host of the program alongside John Broeske.  Taylor says, “We tried out dozens of potential co-hosts for John, but we only needed to look down the hall for the perfect answer.  ‘Broeske & Musson’ is going to be a dynamic show with tons of energy.  They’ll continue to deliver the hard-hitting and fun topics of the day that our listeners expect.”  Musson has been executive producer the past six years.  Her resume also includes production and reporting work at Fresno’s KMPH-TV KGPE-TV as well as KAPP-TV in Yakima, Washington.  She says, “I’m excited to take the next step in my career at such an amazing station and to partner with John Broeske – someone I admire and respect.  I grew up listening to KMJ, so it’s a dream come true.”

knxawards15Radio & Television News Association of Southern California Presents Awards.  The 65th annual Golden Mike awards were presented by the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California (RTNA) on Saturday evening (1/24) in Universal City.  The awards are presented annually for excellence in radio, TV and Internet broadcast journalism.  CBS RADIO’s all-news KNX, Los Angeles was recognized with seven Golden Mike awards in the following categories: Best New Broadcast Over 15 Minutes – “KNX Morning News”; Best Live Coverage of a News Story – “LAX Shooting”; Best News Reporting – “Nanny Nightmare” by Charles Feldman; Best Spot News Reporting – “The Great UCLA Flood of 2014” by Desmond Shaw, Ed Mertz, and Pete Demetriou; Best News Public Affairs Program – “Ask the Mayor”; Best Trafficgregorysteveawards Report – KNX Traffic at 6:15 am; and Best Sports Reporting – “Watts Bears”  by Ed Mertz.  Pictured above left are (from l-r) KNX staffers Ron Kilgore, Frank Mottek, Kathy Kiernan, James Tuck, Ric Schroeder, Wendy Thermos, and Pete Demetriou accepting the award for Best Live Coverage of a News Story.  iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk KFI and reporter Steve Gregory also took home seven Golden Mike awards (see photo at right) in the following categories: Best Radio News Special – “Breaking Down The Border Crisis” by Steve Gregory and Oswaldo Borraez; Best Radio Investigative Reporting – “Mold School” by Steve Gregory and Oswaldo Borraez; Best Radio Light Feature (less than a minute) – “Valentine’s Day Flower Inspection” by Steve Gregory; Best Radio Serious Feature (less than a minute) – “Operation Boo” by Steve Gregory; Best Radio Hard News Series – “Trial Of Jailed Marine In Mexico”; Best Radio Internet News Reporting – “Operation Boo” by Steve Gregory and David Perez; and Best Radio Newscast (under 15 minutes).  KFI program director Robin Bertolucci comments, “We have the best news team here at KFI, these folks rock and Steve is a prime example of the caliber of talent that makes us so proud!”

ppmunitRound Four of Holiday PPM Data Released.  The fourth of four rounds of Holiday 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The survey period was December 4 to December 31.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

franklinjoeNew York Talk Legend Joe Franklin Dies at 88.  The New York talk television and talk radio icon who was famously parodied by Billy Crystal on “Saturday Night Live,” died after a long battle with cancer on Saturday (1/24).  Joe Franklin hosted a television program interviewing celebrities and offbeat characters beginning in the early 1950s.  He worked in radio later in his career at such stations as WOR, New York and most recently on the Bloomberg Radio Network.  Franklin ranked 71st in the 2010 TALKERS magazine 20th Anniversary Heaviest Hundred list (which ranks “the 100 most important radio talk show hosts of all time”) and appeared a number of times as a special guest speaker at the annual TALKERS Convention in New York City.  Publisher Michael Harrison would introduce him to the attendees from out of town as a famous New York City “tourist attraction as legendary as the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and Central Park.”  Franklin juggled so many careers in the media that it’s a good thing he stopped to write a book every few years – in fact, 23 in all — to capture his amazingly colorful life.  His autobiography Up Late With Joe Franklin (Scribner, 1995) is jam-packed with celebrity-rich-anecdotes — from Eddie Cantor and Rudy Vallee to Howard Stern, for example.  According to the Library Journal, “He actually knew those early entertainers and knew many of those currently entertaining.”  What originally made him a household name — even before the highly touted “Saturday Night Live” parodies by Billy Crystal — was Franklin’s late night variety program “The Joe Franklin Show,” which ran from 1950 through 1993.  The Guinness Book of World Records lists it as the longest running TV talk show in history manned by one host.   And what a show it was!  Much like visiting your favorite neighborhood hardware store, you never knew what unexpected gems would pop up among the variety and clutter.  A sample show would feature a sculptor, belly dancer, an up-and-coming comic, a podiatrist and then maybe a famous actor or singer.  According to Publisher’s Weekly (1994), his program’s “total guest list ran between 200,000 and 300,000.”  and included such names as Frank Sinatra Jr., Bing Crosby, Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Vincent Price, Howard Stern, Buddy Hackett, — as well as first TV exposure for eventual stars like Sammy Davis Jr., Bill Cosby, Woody Allen, Barbra Streisand and Julia Roberts.  “It would be easier to list the few who did not appear than to catalogue those who did,” PW says. Franklin started and ended his long show business career in radio.  His first job, at 16, was working behind the scenes at WNEW, New York where he became “the record librarian,” (or really “the record picker”) for Martin Block’s popular “Make Believe Ballroom” radio program.   Once station management recognized his unique expertise in vaudeville and entertainment trivia, they offered him a 15-minute program dedicated to nostalgia.  Eventually that became his calling card and part of the schtick he’d weave into shows, whether radio or television.  The self- proclaimed “King of Entertainment” had an encyclopedic knowledge of “all things entertainment” from the first half of the 20th Century:  silent films, Broadway stage shows, musicians and singers.  With that, he also earned the title the “king of nostalgia.”  After his television show ended, Franklin focused on his long-running “Memory Lane” radio program, which ran on WOR on weekend overnights.  He’d tell stories about many of the entertainers whose records he would play.  In recent years, up until the time of his death, he hosted a weekends-only series of six-minute segments on Bloomberg Radio Network called ‘The Business of Show Business.’  Audio podcasts are still available at Bloomberg.com.  Throughout his career, the round-faced, jovial Franklin was commonly called back to television to do guest spots on the big late night and daytime talk shows such as those hosted by Regis Philbin and David Letterman.   Considered a good luck charm for the start of a new talk show due to the length of his show’s run, Franklin often kicked off day one of a show – and did so on the first broadcasts of “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and “This American Life.”  Though Franklin may never have wanted to act in movies – like his childhood friend Tony Curtis – he did appear as himself in “Ghostbusters” and “Broadway Danny Rose,” just to name two of the 34 titles that IMDb lists.   Franklin was born in 1926 in the Bronx, New York.  He met his model/actress wife when she was a secretary and he was “a kid of 24 just doing radio… and we were married on the TV show called ‘Bride and Groom,’” where real-life couples tied the knot after being quizzed about their relationship on national television.  Perhaps what sums Joe Franklin up best is his favorite personal quote: “It’s nice to be important, but it’s even more important to be nice.”

Odds & Sods.  Former “Regular Guys” personality Eric Von Haessler begins hosting his “The Von Haessler Doctrine” show on Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB, Atlanta airing Sundays at 1:00 pm.  Since exiting his “Regular Guys” co-host position at Cumulus Media’s crosstown rock WNNX “96 Rock” in June of 2014, Von Haessler has been doing fill-vonhaesslerericin work at WSB and podcasting…..Boston sports talk personality Danny Picard launches his new eponymous podcast at the same time he debuts his new website and celebrates the opening of his new studio inside Beantown Athletics in Dorchester, Massachusetts.  Picard is a weekend personality on Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston and is part of the “Patriots Pre-game and Post-Game Live” shows on Comcast SportsNet New England…..Westwood One is picarddannyannouncing some of the details of its Super Bowl programming as the official network radio partner for the National Football League.  It will feature a full schedule of game day programming leading up to kickoff.  Westwood One’s live game coverage features Kevin Harlan, handling the play-by-play duties for the Super Bowl for the fifth straight year, and Boomer Esiason, serving as the color analyst.  Hall of Famer James Lofton and Mark Malone will once again report from the sidelines.  Emmy Award-winning host Jim Gray will anchor the pregame and halftime coverage…..FOX Sports Radio is also on the scene in Glendale, Arizona this week leading up to the Super Bowl.  FSRN announces that as part of its continuous coverage “Jay Mohr Sports” news anchor Dan Beyer and J.T. The Brick will broadcast live from radio row while the Dan Patrick show and the Rich Eisen show will broadcast from the DIRECTV Super Fan Festival at the Pendergrast Family Farm in Glendale’s Sports and Entertainment District across from Phoenix Stadium.  Also, former NFL player Lincoln Kennedy will broadcast a special edition of the network’s Saturday morning program Gargano & Kennedy…..CBS Sports Radio’s plans for coverage of the big game include live-from-Glendale broadcasts all week by the network’s Jim Rome, Doug Gottlieb and the Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney program.

Friday, January 23, 2015

| January 23, 2015

alphamedia logoFredericksburg Stations to Join Alpha Media Portfolio.  Still in acquisition mode, Portland, Oregon-based Alpha Media announces it will acquire the four-station Free Lance-Star Radio group.  The stations include: country WFLS and talk WNTX in Fredericksburg, Virginia; CHR WVBX, Spotsylvania, Virginia; and classic rock WWUZ, Bowling Green, Virginia.  Alpha chairman Larry Wilson comments on the deal, “Around 50 miles from Washington D.C., Fredericksburg is a thriving place that continues to grow. It will be a nice addition to our East Coast footprint.  I feel privileged to be able to get into that market and work with the great people there.”  The stations were acquired by Sandton Capital in a bankruptcy auction and the firm must divest of the signals to comply with cross-ownership regulations.  Free Lance-Star operates print and digital publications in the market.  George Reed of Media Services Group is the broker for Free Lance-Star Radio.

sumpterjimJim Sumpter Show Renewed on USA Radio Networks.  The midday Jim Sumpter program will continue to be syndicated via the USA Radio Networks after the two parties agreed to a renewal deal.  The Jim Sumpter show airs live from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET Monday through Friday and from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm on Saturdays.  In a press statement USA Radio Networks says, “Jim brings a powerfully unique presentation of storytelling and interpretation of current events from a constitutional perspective that translates to compelling radio that draws listeners in as few other hosts can.”  Sumpter comments, “The content of my show challenges establishment elites – especially politicians who say one thing, but do another and media organizations who shirk away from truthful reporting – that it takes a special group of courageous patriots who both get it and are committed to supporting it.  I’m grateful for this opportunity from Sam Hassell, Sherrie Roberts, and Tim Maranville to give me the venue and support to make a lot of noise, stir up a lot of trouble, and do a lot of good.  This is going to be fun.”

newsmaxtv logoNewsmax Signs Deal with NCTC Adding Nearly 12 Million Subscribers.  A new deal between Newsmax TV and the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC), will provide Newsmax TV access to 900-plus member cable systems, encompassing nearly 12 million MVPD subscribers.  Newsmax Media founder Christopher Ruddy says, “This NCTC agreement further accelerates our focus on securing carriage with independent cable operators country wide and is an important component of our goal to reach 50 million-plus subscribers for our first year on-air anniversary.  Initial meetings with many NCTC members indicate a widespread reception that we anticipate will lead to notable launches in 2015.”  Newsmax TV, which the company says targets the underserved baby boomer audience, is already carried by DISH and DIRECTV in approximately 35 million cable/satellite homes.

nielsen logoRound Three of Holiday PPM Data Released.  The third of four rounds of Holiday 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The survey period was December 4 to December 31.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

FAIRHold2015Ninth Annual ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Event Scheduled for April 15 and 16. The annual Washington, DC radio row produced by the Federation for American Immigration Reform will take place on Monday and Tuesday, April 15 and 16 at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill. As in the eight years prior, the event will consist of talk hosts from across the country broadcasting live, debating immigration policy while interviewing members of Congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists and citizens who live along the border. FAIR says that “this year’s event will focus on the aftermath of President Obama’s amnesty and his continued abuse of executive power, the GOP’s internal battle over how to tackle immigration and the ongoing border crisis with its implications for national security risks.” Event general manager and FAIR spokesman Bob Dane comments, “Politicians fear and respect the amplitude of talk radio. Hold Their Feet to the Fire speaks for millions of radio listeners and, this year, will prove that the mic is mightier than Obama’s pen.” For talk show hosts wishing to take part in this year’s radio row, reservations are required and hosts/producers should call now. There is no cost to attend and all technical engineering and ISDN lines are provided by Silver Lake Audio of New York, the official engineering firm for Hold Their Feet to the Fire. Congressional guests, activists, high-profile media personalities, and immigration experts will be in attendance and available throughout the event for wall-to-wall interviews. Contact Bob Dane or Anna Giaritelli for more information at 202-328-7004 or bdane@fairus.org or agiaritelli@fairus.org.

Odds & Sods.  The new American General Media sports talker in Bakersfield – KGEO “1230 AM ESPN” – is adding a live and local program beginning Monday (1/26) as the Greg Kerr show debuts.  The local sports media pro will take to the air from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm daily for the station that launched late last year…..Baseball broadcaster Jeff Levering is moving up to the big leagues from his gig with the AAA Pawtucket Red Sox to the Milwaukee Brewers Radio Network broadcast team.  Levering is going to be the play-by-play voice for select road games this season as he joins Bob Uecker and Joe Block.  He’ll also contribute content for the Brewers’ digital platform…..ESPN Audio announces its new weekend program lineup.  Eight new shows are being added, including the two-hour “espnW Presents: Spain & Prim on ESPN Radio,” co-hosted by espnW’s and ESPN Chicago 1000 Radio’s Sarah Spain and ESPN anchor and analyst Prim Siripipat.  Additional shows debuting in the new lineup are: Marty & McGee, Dave Rothenberg Show, Dickerson & Hood, Robin Lundberg, Coachman & Bretos, Ian Fitzsimmons and “NBA Lockdown: Insiders.”

sayreterrieqKKOB, Albuquerque’s Terrie Q. Sayre Passes Unexpectedly.  KKOB, Albuquerque program director Pat Frisch informs TALKERS that station weekend personality Terrie Q. Sayre died unexpectedly at the age of 54.  Frisch says, “It is with deep sadness that I tell you we lost a true friend, a bright lite in the 770 KKOB family.”  Frisch says Sayre handled weekend mornings for Cumulus Media’s news/talk KKOH, Reno for several years before moving to Albuquerque and doing weekends for KKOB for the past seven years.  Sayre was a former show girl for Harrah’s and Caesars Lake Tahoe and was Mrs. Nevada 1998.  She was married to Skip Sayre and is survived by a brother.

State of the Union and Obama Tax Plan Top News/Talk Stories This Week.  The State of the Union Address and President Obama’s tax plan tied as the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the “no-go zones” controversy and the related militant Islam issues.  Coming in at #3 was ISIS’ holding of two Japanese nationals for ransom and following at #4 was the 2016 presidential prospects.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

| January 22, 2015

ramseydaveDave Ramsey Surpasses 550 Affiliate Mark.  Nationally syndicated financial talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey announces his program is now heard on more than 550 AM/FM affiliate stations and, according to the Ramsey organization, is heard by more than 8.5 million listeners weekly.  “‘The Dave Ramsey Show’ is clearly positioned as the third largest talk radio show in the country behind only Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.”  Vice president of Ramsey Media Brian Mayfield comments, “‘The Dave Ramsey Show’ continues to grow and make a difference in the radio world, as well as in the lives of our listeners.”  Recently, the Dave Ramsey show experienced upgrades in a few major markets including moving to a live timeslot from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm on KTAR-FM, Phoenix and expanding the timeslot to 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm KEIB, Los Angeles.  Beginning in February, the show will move to a live timeslot from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm on KXNT, Las Vegas.

carsonrobNew AM Host and Talent Shuffle at KCMO, Kansas City.  Talent moves will take effect on February 2 at Cumulus Media’s news/talk KCMO, Kansas City.  Current morning drive personality Greg Knapp is moving to afternoon drive and new in the morning slot will be Rob Carson.  At the same time, WMAL, Washington personality Chris Plante will also air on Kansas City on KCMO in the 9:00 am to 12:00 noonplantechris slot.  The rest of the schedule will be: Dave Ramsey from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm; Michael Savage from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm; Mark Levin following Knapp from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm and John Batchelor airing from 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  Cumulus Kansas City SVP and general manager Mark Sullivan says, “I’m thrilled to have two of the industry’s best joining our lineup.  I’m anxious to hear Rob Carson and Chris Plante on our airwaves and I’m sure that Kansas City is going to feel as strongly about kcmo logotheir talent to entertain and inform as I am.  I’m also pleased to have Greg Knapp hosting our afternoons, as his dynamic and in-depth discussions keep me glued to the radio and I know that the local presence that he brings will be outstanding.  These are exciting times here at the broadcast center!”  Carson comments, “This is a real homecoming for me and my family.  We’ve been away from Missouri too long, and it’s a real blessing to get a spot on one of the country’s premiere talkers, KCMO.  I’m excited to join John Dickey, Mike McVay and Mark and [PD] Gary Nolan at Cumulus.”

ppmunitRound Two of Holiday PPM Data Released.  The second of four rounds of Holiday 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The survey period was December 4 to December 31.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

mcconnelldaveWTOP, Washington’s Dave McConnell Celebrates 50 Years with Station.  WTOP, Washington reporter Dave McConnell began his career with the station on January 18, 1965.  McConnell spent most of his career serving as Capitol Hill correspondent – a title he holds today that makes him the only full-timewtop logo NEW 1-15 congressional correspondent for a local radio outlet in the country.  WTOP news director Mike McMearty relates, “It is part of WTOP lore that while other kids were skipping school to see the Washington Senators play at Griffith Stadium, Dave was skipping school to hear the real Senators debate on Capitol Hill.”  McMearty adds, “Dave McConnell is a class act.  He’s a mixture of hustle, honesty and humbleness.  Dave lets the members of congress express their point-of-view without inserting opinion or commentary.  He is, and has always been known as, an honest broker.  I consider it an honor to have worked with him for more than 20 years of his illustrious career.”  Even after 50 years, McConnell has no plans to retire anytime soon.

Odds & Sods.  Financial talker Ray Lucia inks a deal with BizTV and BizTalkRadio for the companies to exclusively produce and syndicate his programs.  As part of the new agreement, the national radio show expands to two hours airing luciaraylive from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm ET…..In addition to the almost 400 AM/FM affiliate stations that aired ESPN Audio’s broadcast of the College Football Playoff Championship on January 12, the sports giant reports that the game averaged 69,000 listeners in the average minute across network and affiliate streams.  The ESPN Audio Streaming Network audience (including the ESPN Radio website and mobile app, the SportsCenter mobile app, Tune In Radio, Slacker Radio, and Apple iTunes Radio) grew 103% from last year’s BCS National Championship game. The 69,000 listeners is the third-highest network stream in history, trailing only two 2014 FIFA World Cup matches.

kfbklogoCool Job Opportunity.  Legendary KFBK, Sacramento has an immediate opening for a full-time morning news co-anchor and writer.  Our ideal candidate has strong news broadcasting experience and is able to multi-task and take direction well.  You will work alongside Amy Lewis, our long-term KFBK co-anchor, in a fast-paced, challenging and friendly environment.  Must be an aggressive self-starter who can hit the ground running, cut up sound on the fly, report live from the street or in-house, love big breaking news, write conversationally, and stay on top of social media – all while creating and contributing daily content to the web and Facebook.  You will need to be able to write short, tight copy, adlib well, anchor short-form newscasts or long-form event coverage when necessary, and understand news coverage in the digital/social media age.  Conversational and credible on-air news delivery, creative broadcast news writing skills and the ability to communicate effectively are prerequisites for this position.  You must be able to work under pressure in a fast-paced environment, meet deadlines, have a strong knowledge of current events and work positively as part of a team.  For more information and to apply, click here.

wkzoCapitolCovering the State of the State.  WKZO, Kalamazoo broadcast its Wayne Powers morning drive show live from the office of State Rep. Aric Nesbitt at the Michigan Capitol in Lansing yesterday (1/21) the morning after Governor Rick Snyder’s State of the State Address.  The Midwest Communications news/talk station reports that it was able to talk with Michigan lawmakers and leaders from both parties throughout the morning, including Michigan Lt. Governor Brian Calley and Michigan House Speaker Kevin Cotter as well as local senators and representatives including Senators Margaret O’Brien, Tonya Schuitmaker and John Proos and Representatives Aric Nesbitt, Jon Hoadley, Brandt Iden and Dave Maturen.  WKZO brand manager Jeremy Lawrence comments, “It is such a pleasure to be able to serve our listeners by talking with our leaders at the Capitol.  Being that we are the eyes and ears of the listener, we value our ability to let them know what is happening in our government.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Nesbitt, Maturen, O’Brien, Schuitmaker, Cotter, Lawrence, Midwest Communications VP/Market manager Mike Klein, and (seated) Powers.

State of the Union Address/Obama Tax Plan, ISIS Holds Japanese Men for Ransom, Abortion Legislation Debate, 2016 Presidential Prospects, ‘American Sniper’ Film Criticism, and the NFL’s Deflategate Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/21).  Tuesday’s State of the Union Address and President Obama’s tax proposal; the case of the Japanese nationals being held for ransom by ISIS; the GOP’s decision to drop new abortion legislation; the potential candidates for president in 2016; continuing criticism of the film “American Sniper”; and the controversy over deflated footballs used by the New England Patriots were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

| January 21, 2015

elderlarryNEW1-15Two Talk Radio Pros Take Their Craft to the Internet.  Longtime KABC, Los Angeles talk radio personality Larry Elder debuts his new Internet-only talk show emanating from his website, LarryElder.com.  The program streams live Monday through Friday from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm PT.  Inahrenslarry addition to the live stream, Elder offers fans an “Elderado” premium subscription tier that includes access to commercial-free podcasts and more.  Elder exited KABC late last year as the station was tweaking its news/talk format.  Albuquerque media personality Larry Ahrens – a longtime news/talk KKOB host – is leaving his current gig at uPublic TV’s “The Morning Brew” program to begin an Internet radio endeavor focusing on healthy living.  According to Albuquerque Business Journals, Ahrens is joining the Phoenix-based Doublewide Networkout operated by Arizona radio personality Dave Pratt.  The show is being titled, “Smart Living with Larry Ahrens” and is expected to launch later this month.

townsquaremediaTownsquare Media Teases Positive Q4 2014 Growth.  In an 8-K filing with the SEC, Townsquare Media – which went public back in July of last year – announces pretty good 2014 fourth quarter financial numbers.  In issuing the preliminary financial results, the company says its fourth quarter pro forma net revenue jumped 9% to 10% compared to the fourth quarter of 2013.  Further, pro forma adjusted EBITDA rose 5% to 9% compared to the fourth quarter of 2013.  For the year of 2014 as a whole, Townsquare expects to report revenue of about $385 million – an increase of about 8% compared to 2013.

nielsen logoRound One of Holiday PPM Data Released.  The first of four rounds of Holiday 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The survey period was December 4 to December 31.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

farbersliwaNew York Broadcasters Honor Barry Farber.  Talk radio pioneer Barry Farber (right) was honored with induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame last fall, but his New York colleagues wanted to throw a special NYC bash for him as the cherry on the cake, and did so recently at The Statler Grill in Midtown Manhattan.  Among the more than 100 media pros and friends to attend was WABC, New York personality Curtis Sliwa (left) who, during his remarks, cited Farber as one of the talk show hosts who gave the Guardian Angels, and its predecessor organization The Magnificent 13, early publicity and support.  He also stated that it was because of Barry Farber, Barry Gray and Bob Grant that he was able to have a career in talk radio at all.  Farber is still heard on the radio via CRN Digital Talk Radio weeknights at 8:00 ET.

berneirkrauthammerTimely Live Event.  Just before President Obama delivered the State of the Union address on Tuesday (1/20), WNDB, Daytona Beach afternoon talk show host Marc Bernier moderated a discussion with Fox News political analyst and author Charles Krauthammer at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University as the latest in the school’s President’s Speakers Series.  Krauthammer recently published his latest book, Things That Matter (2013 Crown Forum).  Bernier tells TALKERS magazine that this event was the 117th in the series that dates back to 1993.

State of the Union Speech, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Paris Mayor Vows to Sue Fox News/‘No-Go Zones’ Controversy, Collapsing Oil Prices/World Financial Markets Activity, ISIS Holds Japanese Men for Ransom, Huckabee’s Beyonce Criticism, and NFL Deflated Balls Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/20).  Tuesday’s State of the Union address and President Obama’s pledge to tackle income inequality; the controversy over assertions of Muslim “no-go zones” in Europe and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo’s threat to sue Fox News; the continuing collapse of oil prices and the effects on the world’s financial markets; ISIS violence in the Middle East and the holding of two Japanese men for ransom; potential presidential candidate Mike Huckabee’s criticism of Beyonce; and the controversy over deflated footballs used in the Patriots-Colts AFC Championship game were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

| January 20, 2015

bermanschnittTodd Schnitt and Len Berman to Host Mornings on WOR, New York.  Legendary New York news/talk station WOR announces it will debut the new morning program, “Len Berman and Todd Schnitt in the Morning,” effective January 26.  iHeartMedia says the program will “focus on New York and feature interactive programming, showcasing what local listeners are talking about in news, sports, entertainment and pop culture.”  Both Berman and Schnitt are native New Yorkers.  Schnitt has been based in Tampa and currently hosts his nationally syndicated, eponymous talk show via Compass Media Networks, which he’ll continue to do in addition to the New York morning show.  Berman is an “Emmy-Award winning sportscaster and New York Times best-selling author who has covered just about every majorwor logo sports event including multiple Super Bowls, World Series and Olympics during his 40-year career in broadcasting.  He was a long-time sports anchor for WNBC-TV, New York.”  Regular TALKERS readers are aware that Schnitt, in addition to his syndicated talk show, hosted the “MJ Morning Show” on CHR WFLA-FM, Tampa for many years.   iHeartMedia market president Joe Puglise says, “Len is a well-known sports reporter and this opportunity will also showcase his other skills and personality.  Listeners will immediately engage with Todd’s quick wit and creative take on the things that impact New Yorkers.”  Schnitt adds, “Len Berman is the perfect co-host, he is a well-known New Yorker and brings a ton of wit, wisdom and street smarts to the microphone.   Together we are very excited to construct a new local, engaging and entertaining morning show for New York.”  iHeartMedia tried simulcasting WWDC, Washington “DC 101” morning personality Elliot Segal on WOR after parting company with longtime morning host John Gambling, but that lasted only a month, ending in February of 2014.  Regarding his move to NYC, Schnitt adds, “Locating our [Compass syndicated] show in the heart of New York City will be a huge benefit to our national listeners and help drive ratings for our affiliates.  I look forward to continuing to work with Compass Media Networks, our affiliates and sponsors.”

shapiroscottPremiere Names Shapiro VP – Sports Programming. Former ESPN Radio program director Scott Shapiro joins Premiere Networks in a newly created position of vice president of sports programming. His duties will include overseeing daily execution of sports content, including the Fox Sports Radio Network. Premiere Networks senior vice president of sports programming Don Martin comments,premierenetworks new “Scott’s experience producing some of the most successful, multi-platform sports programming speaks for itself. I am excited for the opportunity to team up with such a class act. His addition reaffirms our commitment to providing the best sports entertainment content the industry has to offer, along with unique and valuable opportunities for our partners.” Shapiro remarks, “I greatly look forward to working with the talented team in place. There is tremendous growth potential and a real opportunity to develop outstanding sports content. The sky is the limit in terms of the talent, infrastructure, and resources available.” In addition to programming ESPN Radio, Shapiro’s resume includes being producer of that sports network’s “Mike & Mike” morning show; he previously was assistant program director/executive producer of WQXI “The Zone,” Atlanta.

daunaisjimDaunais, Walker Get Westwood One EVP – Regional Sales Stripes. Atlanta-based Jim Daunais and Dallas-based Tim Walker are appointed executive vice presidents in Westwood One‘s network sales division.  Daunais’ responsibilities are in the southeast region – Walker’s duties are in the southwest. Westwood One president Steve Shaw comments, “Hot off the heels of promoting Kim Bryant to lead west coast sales, we are on an accelerated path to building an exceptional, preeminent sales organization. Jim and Tim are uniquely qualified to lead our southeast and southwest regions. Their respective abilities to manage, strategize, and effectively deliver client solutions will drive more revenue success across our platforms.” Daunais iswalkertim “excited for the opportunity to continue” his more than 10-year Westwood One career, where he works “alongside Steve and the rest of our incredibly talented management team, and to build upon the company’s rich history as the leader of all things audio.” Walker states he is looking forward “to leading the southwest region and bringing integrated solutions to our clients and agencies.” It is a promotion for Daunais, who joined the company in 2004. Most recently, he was Westwood One’s senior vice president, sales and vice president of southeast sales. His prior background includes being an account executive for MLB‘s New York Mets. Walker is rejoining Westwood One. He spent the last three years as Cumulus Media‘s director of national sales for the southwest region. Prior to that, Walker was national sales manager for Cumulus-owned stations in Dallas and Houston; he had a similar title for CBS Radio Dallas; and he was a Westwood One account executive (2000 – 2002) in the company’s Dallas office.

mcconnelljohnJohn McConnell Named EVP at Workhouse Media.  Radio management pro John McConnell is named executive vice president for talent and content management company Workhouse Media.  In this role, McConnell will oversee Workhouse Media’s East Coast offices and he will serve in a new senior management role for the company.  A longtime ABC Radio executive, McConnell has been managing his own firm for the past six years.  Workhouse Media principal and CEO Paul B. Anderson comments, “John comes to Workhouse Media with a powerful combined background in programming, syndication and strategy.  His track record is both broad and deep, and the industry recognizes his impeccable reputation for integrity and results.”

Odds & Sods.  Today (1/20) begins Steve Deace‘s relationship with the USA Radio Networks.  With the move from Genesis Communications Network, Deace’s program moves from an evening live airing (9:00 pm to 12:00deacesteveNEW14 midnight) to live in afternoon drive, Eastern Time…..Following the path of New York’s Christian talk WMCA, New York, Salem Communications-owned KKMS, Minneapolis takes on “The Mission” brand.  Salem rolled out “The Answer” as the brand for its news/talk stations and it appears likely most if not all of the company’s Christian talk stations will become “The Mission.”…..Tomorrow (1/21) marks the fifth anniversary of the internet program the Nicole Sandler show at radioornot.com.  Sandler began her digital program after the demise of Air America Radio in 2010.

kcsn logoNon-Comms Rocking the Boat.  For those interested in bold, new developments in music radio, check out Jeff McKay’s piece in our sister publication, RadioInfo, exploring the non-comm stations creating targeted-yet-daring rock and pop formats for hungry audiences.  Many listeners still see public radio as either left-leaning news/talk or jazz- and classic music-oriented.  But stations such as KCSN, Los Angeles; WXPN, Philadelphia; KCMP, Minneapolis; and KKXT, Dallas are bucking that trend and drawing in younger audiences.  Read more here.

younglarryMLKtreeMartin Luther King, Jr. Day Resonates Throughout News/Talk Radio.   As reported yesterday (1/19), news/talk radio hosts, programs, stations and networks buzzed with conversation inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – memorializing the birthdate of the slain civil rights leader of the turbulent 1960s.  Shows covering the spectrum of political and ideological approaches including urban, progressive and conservative positions all found pertinent subject matter for discussion to commemorate the annual Federal holiday, lifting race relations to the most-talked-about topic of the day.  Pictured here is WOLB, Baltimore morning legend Larry Young (third from right) at a ceremony in Baltimore held last week on the actual birthdate of the historic activist.  Young – a longtime member of the TALKERS Heavy Hundred – tells TALKERS,“One of my proudest moments was to have planted in 1985 the only MLK Jr. tree on state house property in the USA.  On his actual birthdate on January 15 we did a re-dedication and I said, ‘King put before us a serious vision that we would be one nation under God and indivisibly one America.’  And I want to believe that even today I can still believe in his vision.”

State of the Union/Obama Tax Plan, ‘American Sniper’ Film, MLK Jr. Day/‘Selma’ Film, ISIS Violence/Two Japanese Hostages Held, 2016 Presidential Prospects, and NFL Conference Championships Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/19).  This week’s State of the Union Address and President Obama’s expected announcement of his tax proposal; the political arguments surrounding the film “American Sniper”; the observation of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday and the concurrent release of the film “Selma”; the ongoing violence perpetrated by ISIS and its threat to execute two Japanese hostages; the potential candidates for president in 2016; and the weekend’s NFL conference championships were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, January 19, 2015

| January 19, 2015

mlkTalk Radio Observes Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  Although an official federal holiday, most talk radio personnel are working today and many are honoring or simply acknowledging the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his work leading the civil rights movement of the 1960s.  For example, the first hour of iHeartMedia superstar Sean Hannity’s national radio show is devoted to talking about the historic civil rights leader’s legacy and relevance to today’s headlines.  Given the racial tensions brought about by recent high-profile cases involving fatal confrontations between police and African American men, this year’s observance of Dr. King’s birthday is even more relevant than in recent years.  Sirius XM Satellite Radio “Urban View” host Karen Hunter says, “Every day I honor the legacy of Dr. King on my show.  So every day we do something special to honor him.  Today I will be playing snippets from a speech he gave at UCLA in 1965.  I will also be talking about Selma.  And I have already spoken to someone who marched today in New York to the UN.”  African American news/talk hosts have a variety of perspectives on Dr. King.  Charles Butler who hosts a daily syndicated show on Genesis Communications Network writes on his daily blog, “Today is the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday and since 2008 I have conducted a show called ‘The Other Side of MLK,’ and on this eighth show I added several new perspectives.  Dr. King evolved over the period he was actively involved in the civil rights movement…I have a very difficult time listening to people that use the sanitized and domesticated version of Dr. King, ‘my children would be judged by the content of their character…,’ while ignoring his call on America to end racism.  Today, the prevalence of black high unemployment, income and health disparity, poor schools and environments, criminalization of black Americans, institutional racism, and systematic undermining of the attainment of the American Dream.”  At Salem Communications’ secular news/talk stations, many hosts are devoting a segment or two to Martin Luther King.  Salem SVP/spoken word format and Salem Radio Network Phil Boyce tells TALKERS magazine, “‘The Morning Answer’ in Los Angeles [KRLA] presented a great segment discussing the difference in the language and rhetoric of MLK vs the race baiters of today.  I think conservative hosts are generally more appreciative of Dr. King now, as we have seen what others have said and done who are attempting to take his place.”  Much of the commentary planned by hosts has been designed to specifically address their criticism of “so-called” civil rights leaders who have come after the late Dr. King – described to TALKERS by Cumulus heavyweight host Mark Levin as “people who exploit race by putting forth their own attitudes and wrongly use Dr. King’s good name to back up their own take and self-interests.”   WFTL, Fort Lauderdale/Miami afternoon star Joyce Kaufman tells TALKERS, “I will be spending today’s show listening to excerpts of his speeches…asking listeners to weigh in on when and why the relations between the black community and the white community fell apart.  Jews, for instance, natural allies, now arch enemies.  Black pastors who have stopped preaching the gospel to preserve the first black President’s relationship.  Would Dr. King have embraced Kwanzaa?  I think not. He was a Baptist preacher.”  Westwood One/WYD Media syndicated progressive opinion leader Thom Hartmann reports, “We did three hours on it today.  The movie ‘Selma’ was perfectly timed, and clearly demonstrates the importance of citizens’ movements.  From the Tea Party pushing Republicans to Occupy pushing Democrats; from John Quincy Adams leading the anti-slavery movement in the House to the Suffrage movement nationwide; from the labor movement (with the Ludlow massacre and the Flint Sit Down Strikes) to the gay rights movement – every time America has moved, it’s moved because of an informed, motivated, and activated populace.  And the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the greatest teachers of that in modern times.”  Fox News Radio syndicated liberal icon Alan Colmes tells TALKERS, “Today’s news cycle proves how prescient Martin Luther King, Jr. was.  King, in his most controversial speech, ‘Beyond Vietnam,’ delivered at the Riverside Church in New York City on April 4, 1967, spoke these words:

‘This call for a worldwide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one’s tribe, race, class, and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing and unconditional love for all mankind… I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life. Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality. This Hindu-Muslim-Christian-Jewish-Buddhist belief about ultimate reality is beautifully summed up in the first epistle of Saint John: “Let us love one another (Yes), for love is God. (Yes) And every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love. . . . If we love one another, God dwelleth in us and his love is perfected in us.” Let us hope that this spirit will become the order of the day.’”

Colmes concludes, “On our show, we’re are talking about the relationship between the Bible and the Koran, to show that no one religion is superior to another, that there are more similarities than differences, and that tolerance is a key tenet of our republic.  That is how we are honoring the legacy of this revolutionary.”  Joe Madison of Sirius XM Satellite Radio – consistently one of the most influential thought-leaders in talk radio on the subject of race relations and civil rights — shares, “We aired the results of an essay contest that asked young high school students to assess the political climate in the world today, analyzing the racial challenges that exist and to compare to Dr. King’s life and deeds.”  Madison adds, “I actually spoke this morning in Tampa, Florida at the 35 annual Tampa Organization of Black Affairs Breakfast (I was their first speaker 35 years ago).  I addressed the three-year gap between the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965 and his assassination in 1968.  I asked the question: ‘How would talk radio portray Dr. King?’  His last three years on earth, he alienated many of his allies and antagonized his enemies further. He was portrayed as an extremist and an arsonist as he waged war on poverty, racism and militarism.  I suspect most talk radio would not be very supportive of Martin Luther King, Jr.” TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison responds to Madison’s last statement by telling him that “a number of conservative hosts interviewed for this story say they have been increasingly appreciating and respecting Dr. King as the years go by – especially when compared to some of his high-profile successors in the civil rights movement.” Madison fires back, “I wonder which King they respect?  Certainly not the MLK that encouraged the redistribution of wealth, affirmative action and voting rights, especially Sections 4 and 5 which were recently struck down by the SCOTUS.”

hendrixmarkEntercom Greenville-Spartanburg Sets New Roles for Hendrix, Stone, McLain. Several noteworthy personnel moves take place at Entercom-owned stations in Greenville-Spartanburg, a South Carolina cluster the company refers to as “Entercom Upstate.” For openers, rock WTPT “93.3 The Planet” and WROQ “Classic Rock 101.1″ operations manager/program director Mark Hendrix takes on additional duties as operations manager for talk WYRD-FM “Word 106.3,” as well as the sports simulcast of WORD-AM and WYRD-AM. He will continue to program WORD-AM and WYRD-AM, both branded as “ESPN Upstate.” He succeeds Bob McLain as OM for “Word 106.3″; however, McLain carries on as the station’s 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm talent and is named operations manager emeritus. Meanwhile, “Classic Rock 101.1″ assistant program director Jay D. Stone is boosted to program director. Stone continues as APD of “The Planet” and maintains his “Classic Rock 101.1″ 12:00 noon – 6:00 pm “The Stoneman” on-air shift. According to Entercom Greenville vice president and market entercommanager Steve Sinicropi, “Mark Hendrix has done an outstanding job programming ‘Classic Rock 101.1′ and ‘93.3 The Planet/WTPT-FM.’ He has coached ‘The Rise Guys’ on ‘The Planet’ to the top of many key morning demos. Hendrix will build on Bob McLain’s excellent work on ‘Word 106.3,’ developing stimulating local talk. I am also pleased that Bob will continue his very popular show. I am happy Jay D. Stone has been elevated to the well-deserved position of program director at ‘Classic Rock 101.1.’ He is the heart and soul of that station.” Hendrix comments, “I am thankful for the great opportunities that Entercom has afforded me over the years. I look forward to working with our talented staffs to deliver exceptional, locally focused programs to our upstate audiences.” McLain remarks, “Entercom Upstate has given me great opportunities to engage with listeners, discuss controversial and important issues, and establish a thought provoking radio brand.” Stone declares that, “Having the opportunity to head up the legendary call letters of WROQ is a big deal. All I can say is that, after working with the top-shelf staff at Entercom Upstate for the past 12 years, the winning tradition will continue at ‘Classic Rock 101.'” Hendrix has been with the company since August 2001, when he became program director of WTPT. McLain began his career at Winston-Salem’s WTOB. Stone was named music director of “Classic Rock 101.1″ in 2003, after holding similar duties at Des Moines classic rocker KGGO.

wmkt logoMarshall’s Multiple Roles with MacDonald Garber. Simultaneous with being named operations director for all MacDonald Garber Broadcasting AM stations, Greg Marshall is appointed general manager for the company’s Cadillac, Michigan cluster. President and chief executive officer Trish MacDonald Garber comments, “Greg’s vast experience with broadcasting and his great passion for it can only contribute to our continued success. As the current acting general manager in Cadillac, I am leaving Greg in capable hands with an upward trajectory that I know he and the team will capitalize on.” Marshall states, “I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with the great staff at the Cadillac stations and the AM radio stations in the company. I am looking forward to this amazing opportunity.” Among the stations in the Cadillac group are hot AC WLXV “Mix 96,” sports WKAD “93.7 FM The Ticket,” and talk WATT “Rush Radio 1240.” Over and above these two new duties, Marshall will continue doing his daily 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm talk show on the company’s WMKT “The Talk Station,” Traverse City-Petoskey, Michigan; the program will soon be simulcast on WATT as well.

wmca newSalem Re-Brands Christian Talk WMCA.  As had been predicted based upon some recent domain name acquisitions by Salem Communications, Christian talk WMCA, New York – for the past 25 years called “New York’s Christian Talk” – takes on the new slogan “AM 570 The Mission.”  The company put together a short video to highlight the charitable work done by the station and its listeners that underscores the reason for taking on the “Mission” moniker.  You can view the video here.

Odds & Sods.  A report in the Boston Globe by Chad Finn indicates current WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” midday personality Andy Gresh will exit the station soon.  He co-hosts the program on the sports talk outlet with former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak and hosts the pre- and post-game shows for Patriots football, for which WBZ-wbz-fm logoFM serves as flagship.  Finn reports that Marc Bertrand of the PM drive “Felger and Massarotti” show will join Zolak on the midday show…..CBS RADIO’s Los Angeles all-newser KNX is presenting special programming this week surrounding the State of the Union Address.  In addition to airing the address live at 6:00 pm PT, the station will present a special program on Wednesday (1/21) titled, “Healthcare Uncovered,” from 10:00 am to 11:00 am.  The show will examine “the state of Obamacare as the Affordable Care Act enters its second year,” hosted by KNX anchor Tom Haule and chief investigative reporter Charles Feldman.

Bob WilsonBob Wilson: Former Bruins’ Radio Voice Passes. Rabid New England sports fans are known for embracing their professional sports franchises, as well as developing a fondness for those who call the games on radio. For well over two decades – including a 1971 – 1972 Stanley Cup-winning campaign – Bob Wilson was behind the radio microphone for the Boston Bruins. The Arlington, Massachusetts native, who retired in 1995, has passed away. Boston Bruins president – and former Bruins’ star player – Cam Neely comments, “For a generation of New England hockey fans, Bob’s legendary voice was synonymous with the Bruins. He will always be a part of our club’s history. Our thoughts are with [Wilson’s widow] Nancy and their children during this difficult time.” Jack Edwards is the club’s play-by-play announcer on cable television’s NESN and he remarks that Wilson was “my greatest inspiration.” Entercom sports WEEI-FM, Boston personality/NESN Bruins host Dale Arnold states that Wilson was “one of the iconic sports voices of our time. He was a kind and classy gentleman – my hero.”Dave Goucher has been the team’s radio voice the past 15 seasons, but Goucher insists that Wilson “is the radio voice of the Bruins.” In 1987, Wilson received the Foster Hewitt memorial award, earning him a place in the broadcasters’ wing of the Hockey Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2007. Wilson was at the TD Garden (home of the Bruins and the NBA‘s Boston Celtics) nearly four years ago (March 26, 2011) when the Bruins officially named the home radio facility “The Bob Wilson Radio Booth.” Bob Castellon (his real name) was 85.

vuoloartYour Note to “Radio’s Best Friend” Couldn’t Hurt. One of the genuinely great people in the industry isn’t doing well. Just like giving a bowl of chicken soup to someone with a cold or the flu, sending a get-well wish to Art Vuolo certainly couldn’t hurt, and based on a message he posted today (Sunday, 1/18) on his Facebook page, it might go a long way in boosting the spirits of the man widely-regarded as “Radio’s Best Friend.” Coming off organizing yet another wildly successful Los Angeles radio get together, Vuolo underwent knee replacement surgery this past Tuesday (1/13), but he admits, “I hurt a lot. It is difficult for me to sit up in bed to type these words. Hoping I will feel better soon, but right now, my pain level is elevated. All prayers are welcomed.” One of radio’s greatest ambassadors and a countless times videographer of record, Vuolo is in room #154 of the Maple Manor Rehabilitation Center,31215 Novi Road, Novi, Michigan 48377.

Friday, January 16, 2015

| January 16, 2015

monahanheatherBeasley Broadcast Group Bumps Up Monahan to CRO. Seven-year executive vice president of sales Heather Monahan is elevated to chief revenue officer – a newly created Beasley Broadcast Group position, where she will oversee all sales of BBG’s core radio, digital, and non-traditional revenue opportunities. President and chief operating officer Bruce Beasley remarks, “As the radio broadcasting industry continues to offer a wider variety of ways in which we service advertisers, it became evident that having one person at corporate oversee and coordinate these various facets would be beneficial. Heather has proven her loyalty to Beasley over the years and has further shown us her ability to manage the sales process.” According to Miami resident Monahan, “What most excites me is the opportunity to define a holistic strategy that optimizes and unites our entertainment brands, engaged consumers, and marketing partners. At Beasley, our local market teams strive to create a dynamic local presence through our on-air and digital brands. Our continued evolution enables us to further maximize the collective power of our radio brands and connect consumers with marketing partners in an enhanced and more significant way. I am looking forward to delivering improved results for our partners through this new role.” Before joining Beasley Broadcast Group in 2003 as director of sales for the company’s Fort Myers-Naples cluster, Monahan held general manager and sales manager positions for a number of Michigan and Massachusetts stations. The Worcester native is a graduate of Clark University in that Massachusetts city.

deroxtraronDeRoxtra Joins SRN News.  Dallas-Ft Worth news pro Ron DeRoxtra joins the Salem Radio Network as an anchor/reporter in the SRN News Dallas bureau.  DeRoxtra has served as a news anchor, editor and producer at a number of broadcast operations including at KVIL, Dallas; KLIV, San Jose and KLIF, Dallas.  The move to SRN News reunites DeRoxtra with Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup, who was DeRoxtra’s boss when both worked at KRLD, Dallas in the 1980s.  Tradup comments, “Ron is a stellar on-air talent and a solid, award-winning journalist.  We are pumped to have him as part of our Dallas bureau and having Ron cover Southwestern stories for SRN News in Washington, as well.”

entercomDelay Arises in Entercom’s Deal to Acquire Lincoln Financial Media Stations.  The acquisition of Lincoln Financial Media’s 15 radio stations operating in four markets for $105 million will be delayed as Entercom notes in an 8-K filing with the SEC.  The company “voluntarily withdrew its notification and report forms filed with the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice under the Hart-Scott Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended…Entercomlfm logo notified the DOJ that it intends to resubmit the HSR Filing within two days after the date of withdrawal.  Entercom’s resubmission of the HSR Filing will have the effect of providing the FTC and the DOJ an additional 30 days from the date of resubmission to review the transactions contemplated by the Stock Purchase Agreement.”  After the deal is consummated, Entercom will take ownership of Atlanta outlets hot AC WSTR and sports talk WQXI; Denver stations country KYGO, rhythmic CHR KQKS, oldies KRWZ, sports talk KEPN and KKFN, and comedy-formatted translator K276FK; San Diego signals alternative KZBT, country KSON and KSOQ, and adult contemporary KIFM; and Miami outlets AC WLYF, classic hits WMXJ, and sports talk WAXY-AM/FM.

podcastone logoAdam Carolla and Dennis Miller Team up for PodcastOne Program.  Veteran comics and radio personalities Adam Carolla and Dennis Miller – both of whom already produce podcasts distributed by PodcastOne – are now collaborating on a new podcast for thecarollaadam platform titled, “PO’d with Dennis Miller and Adam Carolla.”  The new show will be a one-hour, weekly show that will feature the pair as they “entertain with comedic rants on current events, pop culture and life in general, and invite celebrity friends to join the conversation.”  millerdennisPodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz states, “I’ve worked with both of these guys for years and it’s just great to put the two of them together to do something that’s totally different as a podcast… Excuse me a PO’d cast.  They’re both incredibly talented, extremely well-known, each with a huge fan following, and yes, as the title of the show would imply, they’re often po’d about one thing or another.  We think this is gonna be the latest big hit coming from PodcastOne and there’s a lot of smiles around the office.”

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “Free Talk Live” with hosts Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is again being heard on WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware on Sunday mornings.  Also, current affiliate KIVA, Albuquerque expands its carriage of the program to weeknights…..The Bubba the Love Sponge show is added to the program schedule at JVC Media’s recently acquired country WOTW,  Orlando “103.2 The Wolf.”  This is the second JVC country station to add the show – it also airs on WTRS, Gainesville “102.3 MyCountry.”…..Talk personality Kevin McCullough reports that his feature, “News That Makes You Think,” has surpassed the 200 affiliate mark and that his eponymous long-form talk show is now heard on WBRG, Lynchburg, Virginia.

Charlie Hebdo Aftermath Top News/Talk Story This Week.  Talk about the massacre at Parisian newspaper Charlie Hebdo and the political and social ramifications of the assault were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 were the related topics of Islamic extremism and the ISIS and Boko Haram violence in Syria and Africa.  Coming in at #3 was the ISIS hack of the Pentagon and Centcom social media followed by President Obama’s immigration policy at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Donny DeutschDeutsch to Portray Daytime Talk Show Host. Premiering later this year, USA Network‘s “soft-scripted” comedy “Donny!” takes a satirical view at the media, wealth, and romance through the life of its lead star – advertising mogul/former host of CNBC‘s “The Big Idea” (2004 – 2008) – Donny Deutsch. Some radio talkers might relate to the character Deutsch portrays, described as a fictionalized version of himself “as a daytime talk show host with all the answers.” Elaborating on the cable television program “Donny!,” USA Network president Chris McCumber comments it is a, “‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’-style series, centered on the hyper-imagined real-life of Donny Deutsch. The juxtaposition of how Donny portrays his public and personal life in this series is hilarious. Storylines are a real wink for the viewers, showing that despite anyone’s profile or success, we all deal with the same issues.” Deutsch is chairman of advertising agency Deutsch Inc., and he is a regular on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” USA Network has ordered six episodes of the half-hour show.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

| January 15, 2015

wgn logo newWGN Makes it Official: Roe Conn to PM Drive.  Thanks to Chicago media writer Robert Feder, the arrival of longtime, former WLS-AM personality Roe Conn to the afternoon drive daypart at Tribune Media’s news/talk WGN is not a surprise – Feder broke the news last week.  But now, the company officially announces Conn will move into PM drive and bump Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder to late mornings with John Williams leaving that daypart and connroebeing featured as part of WGN’s Saturday programming.  Williams also hosts a daily show at CBS RADIO’s WCCO, Minneapolis and had been doing double duty.  The changes take effect on January 26.  WGN Radio VP of content and programming Todd Manley says, “Roe craves what’s behind the curtain of breaking news.  He’s a master of investigative conversation, so you’ll learn and you’ll laugh.”  WGN-TV meteorologist Tom Skilling and news anchor Mark Supplesa will be regulars on Conn’s program.  Manley adds, “We’re building an even stronger bridge between our radio journalists at the Tribune Tower and the incomparable newsroom at WGN-TV.”   Regarding the new Saturday programming, Manley says a Saturday edition of “The Business Lunch” with host Steve Bertrand will follow the Kathy & Judy show from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm.  “The World of John Williams” will air from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm and will integrate with mobile app urVibe, a news-polling social platform that he developed.  Sports talk show “The Beat,” with hosts Jarrett Payton, Connor McKnight and Adam Hoge, will air from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

messinajoeUSA Radio Networks Adds Late Night Show.  Soon to air in the 12:00 midnight to 3:00 am ET slot on USA Radio Networks is “The Real Side Radio Show with Joe Messina.”  USA Radio Networks says, “Research reveals a growing number of workers are clocking in for the graveyard shift.  Once reserved for blue-color workers, there are now a significantly increasing number of white-collar employees working evenings or nights.”  Tim Maranville is chief content officer at USA Radio Networks’ parent company Cross Platform Media Group.  He says, “Now second and third shifters can continue a live engaging conversation about America with Joe Messina’s ‘The Real Side.’  They deserve a straight shooter like Joe.”  Cross Platform CEO Sam Hassell adds, “Joe is a tremendous asset to our expanding platform of programs.  Overnights is a significantly under served time period for live national content.  Another win for our affiliate and sponsorship partners.”

beasleymediagroupBeasley Modifies Corporate Name for Radio Group.  In a move that the company says reflects “the broad and expansive reach of on-air, digital and collateral radio products that are available to Beasley’s listeners and advertisers,” Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. reports that the various entities that previously held the company’s portfolio of 53 radio stations in 12 markets now become Beasley Media Group.  The publicly traded parent company, headquartered in Naples, Florida, remains Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. and continues to trade as “BBGI” on NASDAQ.

arnolddaleWEEI, Boston Rewards Dale Arnold with New Contract.  Longtime Boston sports media figure Dale Arnold – sometimes criticized for being stodgy and “old school” – assumed the afternoon drive co-host slot alongside Michael Holley last spring and was told if he helped bring the ratings up in the daypart, he’d get a new deal.  Today, Entercom announces that after 10 months on WEEI in afternoons, “ratings are up 59% with WEEI’s target audience of Men 25-to-54, and their program routinely ranks in the top three, up from sixth place last winter.”  So the company is signing Arnold to a new contract.  WEEI brand manager Kevin Graham says, “Dale Arnold has one of the most complete and diverse sports resumes in Boston broadcast history.  He is the only person to have done play-by-play for the Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics and Revolution in addition to having called college football, basketball and hockey.  Most importantly, Dale’s name is synonymous with class and character, and the impact he’s made since returning full time is undeniable.”

sabowalterSabo: The Lessons of Lowell Bud Paxson.  Media consultant Walter Sabo worked with Lowell Bud Paxson – the founder of the Home Shopping Network – who died earlier this week.  In a column published recently, Sabo relates some of the media lessons he learned from working with Paxson and observing his operation.  While Paxson was better known for his creation of the Home Shopping Network and Pax TV, Paxson owned radio stations during his career.  Flying in the face of convention and trusting one’s instincts are two of the character traits Paxson had.  Read more from Walter Sabo about what radio operators can take away from the life and legacy of Lowell Bud Paxson here.

Odds & Sods.  Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is in the hot seat today as he appears on all-news KNX, Los Angeles’ “Ask the Mayor” program airing at 10:00 am PT.  KNX anchor Tom Haule and chief investigative reporter Charles Feldman will co-host the program and listeners are invited to call or Tweet questions.  Topics to be discussed include: the city’s crime rate, the mayor’s agenda for the New Year, safety at LAX, Barbara Boxer’s U.S. Senate seat and theknx city’s preparedness for a terrorist attack…..Glimmerglass Radio – which bills itself as “the only green living talk radio station in America” – marks its one-year anniversary in business and says it has completed its programming lineup of 54 radio programs dedicated to news and information related to all things green.  John Kosmer founded the Upstate New York-based digital station “to meet the rising interest in energy, the environment and healthy lifestyles.”…..Basketball legend Oscar Robertson will host a special Martin Luther King Jr. Day program on SiriusXM’s NBA Radio channel on Monday.  The hour-long program will be co-hosted by SiriusXM’s Jason Jackson during which Robertson will share his experiences in the civil rights struggle and discuss what Dr. King’s legacy has meant to players of his era as well as those in today’s NBA…..Yahoo! Sports Radio will be part of the media mayhem that leads up to the NFL’s Super Bowl this year.  The network will broadcast 17 hours daily from Glendale, Arizona including the Steve Czaban, Travis Rodgers, “Prime Cut with Sean Salisbury and John Granato,” “Sports X Radio” shows plus a special weekday series of “Talk of Fame.”…..Westwood One Sports continues its broadcast coverage of the NFL postseason with broadcasts of this weekend’s NFC and AFC Conference Championship games.

bennettOtterSRN’s Bill Bennett Addresses Idaho Legislature.  Pictured here with Idaho Governor Butch Otter (left) is Salem Radio Network personality and former U.S. Secretary of Education Bill Bennett (right).  Bennett, who hosts the “Morning in America” program, spoke before the Idaho legislature on the topic of education, commending the station on its education program and encouraging lawmakers to “provide more and better STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculum in the state’s schools.”

Charlie Hebdo Aftermath/Islamic Extremists, ISIS Syria Strikes/Boko Haram Violence in Africa, Obama Immigration Policy, Boehner Floor Speech Rips Obama, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Plummeting Oil Prices/World Financial Markets Activity, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/14). The aftermath of the deadly assault on Parisian magazine Charlie Hebdo and the greater topic of violent Islamic extremists; the ISIS strikes in Syria and the deadly assaults in Africa at the hands of Boko Haram; the immigration reform policy of the Obama Administration; House Speaker John Boehner’s floor speech criticizing President Obama’s policies; potential GOP candidates for president in 2016 including Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, Scott Walker, Chris Christie, and Rick Santorum; falling oil prices and the effects on the world’s financial markets; and this weekend’s NFL conference championships were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

| January 14, 2015

savagemichaelMichael Savage and Westwood One Renew Deal; College Scholarships to Be Awarded.  Nationally syndicated talk radio star Michael Savage and syndicator Westwood One are announcing the two sides have come to terms on a new, multi-year contract to keep “The Savage Nation” with the company.  In a press release, Savage and WW1 say he is “ushering in a new era of talk radio with his groundbreaking ‘Unprotected Talk’ format that he will use to interact with listeners on topical current events and lifestyle issues – with politics of course remaining an important part of the show.  Savage is challenging the talk radio industry with his one-of-a-kind program by combining timely political content with the real-life issues that his millions of listeners are talking about every day, including topics such as health, science, religion, culture and more.”  At the samewestwood one NEW time, Savage says he’s set up a $100,000 scholarship fund “for conservative college students,” that will grant five recipients two-year awards totaling $10,000 annually.  The scholarship winners will be selected through an essay contest opening January 15 titled, “What Does It Mean to Be an American?” with “the intention of promoting traditional American values.”  Savage comments, “I am uniquely positioned to discuss a wide range of topics while maintaining an authentic, unapologetic voice because of my academic background. While others focus on Obamacare, I discuss health issues.  I’m not shying away from politics and I’m not running for office like others in the media.  Cumulus has allowed me to expand my reach, but my goal has remained the same – to deliver the best, most comprehensive commentary on radio and ‘edutain’ the world in the process.  With my new scholarship fund I can now help inspire the next generation by encouraging education and conservative values.”

craneedEd Crane Exits KFBK, Sacramento as Morning Host.  From a story in the Sacramento Bee, morning personality Ed Crane is out at the iHeartMedia news/talk outlet after serving in the post since 2008.  The station recently announced it hired talk programming pro Bill White – most recently with Journalkfbk logo Broadcast Group’s Tucson stations – who assumes his new position on Tuesday, January 20.  What the station’s plans for AM drive might be is pure speculation at this point.  White handled mornings at KQTH, Tucson.  Whether he’s headed for the morning show at KFBK or the station wants him to lead the search for a new morning host is unknown.  Back to Crane, he tells the Bee that he’s not happy with how his departure was handled saying, “Some untrue things were said that weren’t nice.  I don’t get it.  We were number 1.”

wmca logoWhither Christian Talk WMCA, New York?  The Salem Communications Christian talk outlet is airing promos on the station promising a change of some sort, but what the legendary NYC signal might morph into is unknown.  The promos state, “Beginning Monday, January 19th, WMCA New York’s Christian talk, will be no more.  Find out what we will become, Monday, January 19th.”  It’s likely that there will be no real format change, just a re-branding of the Christian talk format since ratings are not usually a concern for such a station.  Salem already serves the market with secular news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer.”

pragerdennisDocumentary Film Debaters to Include Prager, Father Morris. This coming Monday (1/19), Salem Radio Network talk host Dennis Prager will join archdiocese of New York’s Father Jonathan MorrisEric Metaxas; and Anne Graham Lotz to discuss “Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus.”  Their panel discussion will be shown in 650 U.S. theaters through Fathom Events’ digital broadcast network and is slated to follow the theatrical premiere of the Timothy Mahoney award-winning documentary, which chronicles an in-depth archaeological investigation in Egypt as his team attempts to corroborate the biblical text.  Twelve years in the making, the film explores the fundamental question if there is any evidence the Exodus story actually happened.  Prager has been broadcasting on Los Angeles radio since 1982; his 9:00 am – 12:00 noon (PT) program has been in syndication since 1999.  Father Morris is currently the program director of “The Catholic Channel” on SiriusXM Radio.  The daughter of Billy Graham, Christian evangelist Lotz founded AnGeL Ministries.  Metaxas co-hosts the syndicated weekly Sunday morning program “100 Huntley Street.”  Prager’s SRN colleague Michael Medved appears on-camera in the documentary.  Fox News Channel‘s Gretchen Carlson will moderate next Monday’s debate.

snlkaganRabid Mobile Media Consumption Drives SNL Kagan $9 Billion 2014 Revenue Estimate. The research firm SNL Kagan is reporting that its estimate for 2014 revenue for the mobile entertainment sector is $9.14 billion – up from $2.71 billion just three years ago.  The frenetic growth of the mobile media industry is well documented in the radio trades and shouldn’t surprise anyone in this industry, but the figures that SNL Kagan breaks out are interesting, nonetheless.  It reports that the mobile music segment was the third largest, contributing 19% to the entertainment sector’s revenue.  However, the games category was tops – delivering 59% of the entertainment sector’s revenue in 2014 – with video in second place bringing in 20% of the sector’s revenue.  SNL Kagan estimates that the mobile music biz – led by players such as Pandora, Spotify, iTunes and others – accounted for $1.76 billion of the $9 billion total.

Charlie Hebdo Aftermath/Islamic Extremism, ISIS Hack of Pentagon and Centcom, Obama Cyber Security Speech, Bartender Accused in Plot to Kill Boehner, Romney Promises 2016 Run, and Ohio State Wins National Football Title Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/13).  The political aftermath of the deadly attack on Parisian magazine Charlie Hebdo and the larger topic of Islamic extremism; the hacking of the Pentagon’s and Centcom’s social media; the cyber-security speech delivered by President Obama; the plot by an Ohio bartender to kill House Speaker John Boehner; the promise by Mitt Romney to run for president in 2016; and Ohio State’s run to the National Championship were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

| January 13, 2015

wabcwnbm duoCumulus New York to Address Race Relations in ‘Radio Summit’ Simulcast.  News/talk WABC and urban contemporary WNBM “Radio 103.9” – both Cumulus Media properties – will present a historic radio summit “and simulcast covering some of the most pressing issues of our time.”  In the aftermath of the Ferguson grand jury decision, the Eric Garner case and the tensions between Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York Police Department, both stations will produce a 60-minute, commercial-free discussion focused on the New York City community.  The company says, “This broadcast will include substantial, heartfelt conversation discussing the issues facing the city, recounting events and proposing proactive solutions on how the city and its people can move forward.” Taking part in the discussion will be 77 WABC’s Curtis Sliwa and Ron Kuby, ‘Radio 103.9’ host DL Hughley and Minister Kirsten John Foy, Northeastcumulus logo Regional Director of the National Action Network.  It will air tomorrow (1/14) at 12:00 noon ET and will also stream on each station’s website.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb says, “Ultimately, our stations are here to serve the community and this historic simulcast demonstrates our commitment to our audiences in an honest, compelling way.”  WNBM programmer Ken Johnson adds, “We are happy to be a part of this extremely timely dialogue.  If we can set an example for a civil discussion and spark discourse nationally, then we have accomplished our mission.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison was quick to react when learning of this development, stating, “What a powerful, productive idea and use of the enormous potential of radio as a medium of healing and education within the community it serves.  What is especially appealing about this initiative is the coming together of a heritage news/talk AM facility with a hip FM culture/music station for the purpose of aggressively and positively addressing highest-common denominator concerns.  This type of programming harnesses the inherent positive energy of consolidation.  When I hear about this kind of project it stokes my optimism about the future of radio.  Yes!”

mcconnellspudEntercom Replaces ‘Spud’ McConnell with Syndicated Show at New Orleans Sports Talker.  A longtime talk host on Entercom’s WWL, New Orleans, John “Spud” McConnell moved across the hall in 2013 to host the afternoon drive show on sports talker WWWL “3WL.”  Now, management says it’s being forced to make cuts and McConnell’s show drew the short straw.  Entercom New Orleans vice president and general manager Chris Claus tells the Times-Picayune’s David Lee Simmons that “I love Spud.  He’s a great entertainer, he’s a great host, he’s a great actor, he’s great in theater, he’s great in TV, and he’s great in the movies.  But, unfortunately, we had a position to eliminate and his was the one.”  The station will carry NBC Sports Radio Network’s “Under Center” with Donovan McNabb and Mark Malone.  Claus also told the paper he’d consider bringing McConnell back to news/talk WWL but there’s no opening for a host there right now.

felgermassarottiCBS RADIO Extends ‘Felger & Mazz Show’ at ‘98.5 The Sports Hub’ in Boston.  Afternoon drive sports talkers Mike Felger and Tony Massarotti have re-signed with CBS RADIO’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” on a multi-year deal.   As part of the new deal, Massarotti will write two columns per week for www.cbsboston.com and will host “The Baseball Reporters Show,” weeknights during the baseball season from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  CBS states in a press release that the duo “have consistently been the number-one show in afternoon drive with Men 25-54 for almost four years and running.”

bryantkimBryant Rejoins Westwood One as Executive VP of West Coast Sales.  Relocating to Los Angeles, Kim Bryant departs as Cumulus Media New York City market manager to become executive vice president of west coast sales for Cumulus-owned Westwood One. According to Westwood One president Steve Shaw, “Kim is a superb seller and a born leader. She will enhance the quality of our leadership team as we build the industry’s foremost sales organization.” Bryant remarks, “The opportunity to work with Steve Shaw and Westwood One is a dream. The New York Cumulus experience – including the people I have worked with over the last few years – has been terrific. It was a real once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I am thrilled to continue to work for Cumulus in this different capacity and I look forward to having/building success in the west.” Several years ago (2009 – 2011), Bryant was Westwood One’s regional vice president of western ad sales. Her previous background includes being president and market manager for San Francisco stations owned by Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia), and executive vice president of marketing and sales for international cable channel CineMoi. An announcement is reportedly forthcoming regarding Bryant’s replacement in New York City.

midwestcomm logoMidwest Communications to Flip WQTX, Lansing to Sports Talk.  The station will leave its country format behind and become “The Ticket 92.1 FM,” effective Monday, January 19.  Midwest Communications is working with program producer Spotlight Media Marketing Production and WQTX will continue to air non-sports morning show “Michigan’s Big Show” with host Michael Patrick Shiels, as  well as adding “Michigan’s Business Rap,” the “Griff & Grinz Show” with hosts Mike Griffith and Steve Grinczel, “The Drive” with Jack Ebling (who’s moving across town from Townsquare Media’s sports talk WVFN “The Game”), plus programming from Fox Sports Radio Network.

Odds & Sods.  From a report in the Alaska Dispatch News, Australian national Catie Quinn is being ordered to leave the country – and her gig as news director at Radio Kenai-owned news/talk KSRM, Kenai, Alaska.  Quinn’s E-3 work visa is expiring and her field is not specialized enough to allow her to stay under the E-3 conditions…..According to ESPN, consumption of its digital audio content was up in 2014.  The company says the download of its podcasts – ESPN On Demand – totaled more than 302 million last year and streaming of ESPN Audio content generated more than 7.8 billion total listening minutes, an increase of 8% over 2013…..Steve Holman is named the 2015 Georgia Sportscaster of thewtop logo NEW 1-15 Year.  Holman calls Atlanta Hawks games on CBS RADIO O&O WZGC, Atlanta “FM 92.9 The Game.”  He’s called almost 2,500 games without an absence during his almost three decades on the job…..Hubbard Washington, DC news outlet WTOP announces the release of a new mobile-optimized website as well as an interactive mobile app.  WTOP says the new site uses a “responsive” technology that formats the website appearance to match whatever device the user is on.  Other new features include expanded Living, Sports, Technology and Entertainment sections, an enhanced weather section, more photos and a “cleaner and more modern look.”

120px-WJZ-FMWJZ-FM Back as Birds’ Flagship. After Hearst Corporation talker WBAL had carried its games the past several years, the Baltimore Orioles are switching flagships to CBS Radio sports outlet WJZ-FM “The Fan.” The multi-year deal takes effect this season, with WJZ-FM being the key station across the seven-state, 34-station Orioles radio network. Baltimore’s “Fan” held rights to the team’s game from 2007 – 2010. CBS Radio Baltimore senior vice president Bob Philips declares, “This partnership with the Orioles is a great addition to our market leading #1 sports brand and platform in Baltimore.” Orioles’ vice president of communications and marketing Greg Bader comments that “The Fan” is “the ideal flagship home for the Orioles radio network. Partnering with the region’s premiere radio destination for sports fans allows us to effectively reach our diverse fan base on a daily basis and to develop valuable multiplatform marketing opportunities for our sponsors.” Joe Angel and Fred Manfra return for their twelfth season calling the team’s games.

knxonyourcornerKNX to Corner Beautiful Downtown Burbank. The 10-hour (9:00 am – 7:00 pm) visit later this month (Friday, 1/30) is part of CBS Radio-owned all-news KNX, Los Angeles’ “On Your Corner” series on local communities. Team coverage will focus on issues, events, and interesting places in Burbank – frequently referred to as the media capital of the world. “KNX Business Hour” host Frank Mottek will do his 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm broadcast from well-known Burbank eatery The Castaway, and he will be followed by Chris Sedens and Diane Thompson anchoring the afternoon news (2:00 pm – 7:00 pm). In 2013, “KNX On Your Corner” received the “Best Feature – News” Golden Mike Award from the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California.

milianolouFormer CBS Radio Newsman Miliano Passes. A 40-year national and local reporter, Lou Miliano, 67, died yesterday (Monday, 1/12) in a Pinellas Park, Florida hospice. Miliano was diagnosed with lung cancer several years ago. CBS Radio News vice president Harvey Nagler comments, “Lou was one of the unique, wonderful individuals in our business – and he was an extraordinary broadcaster. His use of sound and ability to transport the listener to the scene of the story set the standard in our industry, one that has been emulated by other broadcasters nationwide. He was expert in incorporating natural sound, vivid descriptions and visual references laced with the voices of those making or affected by news events. More than that, Lou was a joy to be around.” After beginning his career in 1967 at South Lake Tahoe, California’s KOWL, Miliano spent 12 years as a reporter, anchor, and news director at several stations around the country. Based in London as the European bureau chief for the RKO Radio Networks (1983-1989), Miliano did two tours with the Pentagon pool in the Persian Gulf during the Iran-Iraq War and he covered the U.S. – Soviet summits in Geneva, Reykjavik, and Moscow. Miliano covered an array of stories for WCBS-AM, New York where he won Associated Press awards for “Best Continuing Coverage” for his work on the crash of TWA flight 800 and “Best Investigative Reporting.” He joined the CBS Radio Network in 1998 and retired in 2007. The Jersey City, New Jersey native attended colleges in Florida, California, and Colorado. He is survived by four daughters and three sons – there are no plans for a public funeral or memorial.

Charlie Hebdo Aftermath/Unity Rally, ISIS Hacks Pentagon Social Media, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Sinking Oil Prices/World Financial Markets Activity, and the Golden Globe Awards Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/12).  The state of terror threats after last week’s massacre at Parisian newspaper Charlie Hebdo and the criticism against the Obama administration for not sending a high-level official to Paris unity rally; the hacking of the Pentagon’s social media network by ISIS; Mitt Romney’s possible run for president in 2016 and Paul Ryan’s statement he will not run; the continued sinking of oil prices and their effect on the world’s financial markets; and Sunday’s broadcast of the Golden Globe Awards were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, January 12, 2015

| January 12, 2015

howellbigjohnCumulus Names Big John Howell Morning Host at WLS-AM, Chicago.  The arrival of longtime Chicago market personality Big John Howell at Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM, Chicago had been rumored for some time and now it becomes official as Howell will assume the morning show duties effective next Monday (1/19).  Most recently, Howell was morning host at Salem Communications’ news/talk WIND “AM 560 The Answer.”  He also was a jock at CBS RADIO’s country WUSN for many years as well as morning personality on CBS’ WCKG.  For seven years he hosted the Westwood One-syndicated “Country Gold” request show.  Howell comments, “I’m looking forward to joining WLS-AM.  It has been a longtime professional, as well as personal, goal. Growing up in West Michigan and listening to WLS influenced my initial decision to give the radio business a try.  Now, all these years later, and on the heels of many WLS broadcast legends, including Larry Lujack and Don Wade, it is truly an honor and a privilege.  I’m also looking forward to sharing the WLS airwaves with Steve Dahl, who taught all of us to ignore management and hate disco.”   Howell takes over for the team of Dan Proft and Bruce Wolf.

connroeRoe Conn to PM Drive at WGN, Chicago.  There’s no official word from Tribune Media on this…yet, but Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that former longtime WLS-AM afternoon host Roe Conn will take over the afternoon drive show on WGN, Chicago from Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder – both of whom have been in the post since last May.  Conn even appeared on WGN’s Steve Cochran show this morning (1/12), but chatted about issues and there was no mention of his joining the station.  The hiring of Leff and Snyder was part of the makeover of the station orchestrated by president Jimmy de Castro.  Feder reports that it’s expected that Leff and Snyder will stay on in some capacity.

rothlaurieDr. Laurie Roth Show Joins USA Radio Networks.  As part of a series of program rollouts, the USA Radio Networks announces Dr. Laurie Roth becomes part of the syndicated lineup, airing from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET effective February 2.  USA Radio Networks describes the show as an “issues-driven program known to tackle politics, crime and corruption.  Dr. Roth often visits with survivors and family membersusaRadioNetworks affected by crimes and conspiracies.  How do they survive and come back after losing a family member, being smeared or a being a victim of crime in some way?  Listeners learn the answers to such questions.  Roth says, “I expose the bad guys, stand for the good guys and don’t get caught in-between.”  Tim Maranville is chief content officer at USA’a parent company – Cross Platform Media Group – and he comments, “Dr. Roth covers the issues driving the conversation in America like no other radio host.  Her life experience brings a realness to the radio that, sadly, is uncommon in the network industry.  She is a welcome breath of fresh air.”  Recently, USA Radio Networks announced the launch of new shows including “AMERICA CONTINUES with Jim Sharpe,” and the syndication of the Steve Deace show, “DAYBREAK USA with Angie Austin,” and the hourly USA Radio News.

brooksericBrooks Promoted at WTMJ, Milwaukee.  At the Journal Broadcast Group-owned news/talker WTMJ, Milwaukee, Eric Brooks is upped to assistant program director.  WTMJ VP/GM Tom Langmyer says, “Eric has grown tremendously as a leader at WTMJ.  As producer of ‘Wisconsin’s Afternoon News with John Mercure,’ Eric has helped the program leapfrog into the top news/talk position with both listeners 6+ and 25-54.  Eric has also deftly handled many day-to-day responsibilities in the programming department in his role as executive producer of WTMJ programming.”  Brooks joined WTMJ in 2011 as a news anchor and producer before being elevated to executive producer, WTMJ programming in 2013.

Odds & Sods.  This Friday (1/16), New Jersey Broadcasters Association president and CEO Paul Rotella will sit in for morning drive personality Harry Hurley on Townsquare Media’s Atlantic City, New Jersey news/talker WPGG…..Here’s an interesting show, now available to radio stations across the country that draws on Americans’ interestrotellapaul in the Old West: Dakota Livesay’s “Chronicle of the Old West.”  It’s both a three-and-a-half minute show delivered five days per week and a weekly, one-hour show that features friends, authors and experts who chat with host Livesay about this romanticized period of American history.  Check out OldWestRadio.com…..The WYD Media-syndicated “Huckabee Report” with Mike Huckabee and the Stephanie Miller program are both joining the lineup at CRN Digital Talk Radio.  CRN states that “The Huckabee Report” will air throughout the day on CRN effective today (1/12) and CRN 4 channel will broadcast encore presentations of the Stephanie Miller show Tuesday through Saturday, beginning January 13.

beckaliveeventTalk Pro Tom Becka Does ‘Friday Night Live.’  Longtime Omaha (not to mention Kansas City and Fargo) talk radio personality Tom Becka rhetorically asks TALKERS magazine, “What does a talk show host do when he’s on the beach?  He keeps talking…”  And that’s what you see in this photo.  Recently let go from KOIL, Omaha in a cost-cutting move, Becka reports on his latest venture – a live version of the Tom Becka Radio Show.  He says, “We set up a stage at a local watering hole, charged admission, and did an interactive audience participation show just like it was on the radio.  A sold-out crowd came to talk about the hot issues of the day with ‘Honesty, Integrity, and a Sense of Humor.’  It was spirited, entertaining, and profitable.  I used social media and my daily podcasts to promote the event and it turned out great.  I’ll be doing these on a regular basis.”  Becka can be reached at: 402-321-9590 or via Tom@TomBecka.com.

ferraranickRemembering Nick (Bazoo) Ferrara. Word and condolences spread throughout social media on Saturday, January 10 about the passing of noted CHR programmer Nick Ferrara. Conspicuously absent though were specific details of when, where, or even if Ferrara had indeed passed. The Harrison County (Mississippi) coroner though has unfortunately confirmed that 59-year-old Gulfport resident Ferrara was killed Friday (1/9) in a two-vehicle accident on Interstate 10. According to officials, Ferrara was not wearing a seatbelt while driving his 2013 Honda Accord sedan; he died at the scene from blunt-force trauma. According to a report in the Biloxi-Gulfport Sun Herald, police responded at 6:05 pm to a report of a crash with injuries. Ferrara’s car apparently rear-ended another vehicle. The Gulfport Fire Department and American Medical Response were at the crash scene. Eerily, a Friday Facebook posting ostensibly made by Ferrara – known to many from his earlier top 40 programming days as Nick Bazoo indicated simply that at approximately 5:30 pm, he was at Biloxi’s Bubba Gump Shrimp Company.  The previous day (Thursday, 1/8), Ferrara made 17 original Facebook posts. Tony Gray had the most succinct – yet possibly the most powerful comment on Ferrara’s home page, with the noted consultant simply writing, “B-97 New Orleans.” Specifically, WEZB “B-97″ is the New Orleans station (then owned by EZ Communications) at which operations manager Ferrara (Bazoo) rose to prominence in the early-1980s.  He was famously linked to that Louisiana metro.  NBC Sports Radio programmer Jack Silver though first met Ferrara in Mill Valley, California in 1984. “He was coming in to flip KMEL from rock to top 40,” Silver recalls. “He and Keith Naftalyhad the vision – I was in the right place to help them as well.  Heaven is full of great program directors who touched us all – God rest your soul.”  Media Monitors music manager Anita Bonita writes, “Godspeed Mr. Bazoo – you will be missed.” Renowned talk radio consultant Valerie Geller is “so sorry to hear this news – RIP.”  According to Giant Records vice president Jean Johnson, Ferrara was, “The consummate Facebook poster. I shared many of your hilarious posts. Rest in peace Mr. Bazoo – taken way too soon.” Legendary voiceover/imaging talent Howard Hoffman sums it up perfectly by stating, “This hurts. Selfless, strong, and just a real honor to work with you, Nick.  One of the best field marshals ever and you deserved so much better. I am glad you knew that before leaving us way too soon. Godspeed, friend – thanks for everything.” Longtime industry executive Rob Sisco laments, “Oh my dear sweet Bazoo. I am so profoundly sad to hear this news. You were one of the true good guys. I am proud and honored to have called you friend. You will be missed forever. Rest in peace, Nick.” Former New Orleans programmer Pat Matthews recalls, “Met you when you were just 18 and starting out at WIXO. A funny, talented, caring guy – wow, this is so unbelievable.” Veteran programmer Joel Burke remarks, “You were one of the smartest radio people I knew and had such a contagious laugh – RIP.” Consultant Dan Vallie comments, “Good man – good heart. Rest in peace my friend. Heaven is going to enjoy your sense of humor and big smile.” Yet another twist: A “Life Event” posted on Ferrara’s Facebook page less than two weeks ago – New Year’s Eve (12/31) – states he “started working at retired.” Commencing in 2001 and lasting approximately through 2013, Ferrara was an operations manager in State College, Pennsylvania at Forever Broadcasting and then doing similar duties at cross-town Results Radio (2006 – 2013). In addition to WEZB “B-97,” Ferrara (Bazoo) held the operations manager title at several other New Orleans outlets, including WLMG, WLTS, and WWL. In the mid- and late-1980s, he spent time in California as an OM for KMEL, San Francisco and then Gannett Broadcasting‘s properties in San Diego. Sandwiched between those stops was a two-year stint as operations manager in Pittsburgh for EZ’s WBZZ “B-94.” Information is not yet available regarding Ferrara’s funeral arrangements.

Friday, January 9, 2015

| January 9, 2015

berrymichael2Michael Berry Show Now Heard in PM Drive on WRNO, New Orleans.  Houston-based talk show host Michael Berry – the “Czar of Talk Radio” – adds another affiliate to his growing affiliate base this week as his show begins airing on iHeartMedia’s New Orleans news/talker WRNO.  Berry’s program – emanating from flagship KTRH, Houston – replaces the show hosted by John Osterlind, who exits the company.  Other stations around the country airing Berry’s program include: KEX, Portland; WGY, Albany; WGST, Atlanta; WJBO, Baton Rouge; and KFXR, Dallas.

kkoblogoKKOB, Albuquerque Again Rises to the Top.  Program director Pat Frisch checks in to report that after having the station’s 55-book streak of #1 Nielsen Audio ratings finishes (persons 12+) ended in the spring and summer surveys in which it finished #2, Cumulus Media’s news/talk KKOB, Albuquerque returns to #1 in the Fall 2014 survey.  Frisch reports that morning host Bob Clark is #1 in the market (12+), beating the next closest morning show by more than three full shares, while Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage finished in first place in the 12+, persons 25-54, and men 25-54 demos.  The station finished #6 in the market in the persons 25-54 demo with a 3.6 share.

nellesmitchthunderMitch ‘Thunder’ Nelles Joins Sports WOKY, Milwaukee.  The iHeartMedia sports talker announces that Mitch “Thunder” Nelles becomes part of sports talk WOKY “The Big 920” to serve as sports account executive and serve as an on-air contributor.  Nelles most recently was with crosstown sports talk WAUK in the sales department.  Until last spring, Nelles also worked on air with Steve “The Homer” True on WAUK’s “Homer & Thunder” program before he exited his on-air duties to focus on sales.  Nelles joins WOKY on Monday, January 12.  Program director Tim Scott states, “We are VERY excited that Mitch is joining our team.  The addition of ‘Thunder’ just deepens our local commitment to Milwaukee sports fans.”  Nelles will also contribute a blog and podcasts.

cookehollandSound Bites from CES 2015.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke files another report from Las Vegas as he covers the International Consumer Electronics Show for TALKERS magazine.  Today’s report delivers the takeaways from the numerous sessions Cooke has attended during the week that have something relevant for radio practitioners.  Issues such as the importance of understanding the ways different platforms are used, the challenges of being creative in different media spaces, and effective use of YouTube are all covered in Holland Cooke’s report which you can read here.

emmisEmmis Q3 Radio Revenue Rises 29%. Actual comparative figures are $34.8 million to $44.9 million. This includes reported revenue from New York City urban AC WBLS and gospel cluster-mate WLIB; Emmis started operating those two facilities under a Local Marketing Agreement about 10 months ago. In crediting his company’s employees, Emmis president/chief executive officer/chair Jeff Smulyan states that, owing to them, “Emmis’ stations againsmulyanjeff dramatically outperformed our markets, marking the 12th consecutive month of share gains.” Smulyan points out that Los Angeles rhythmic CHR KPWR “Power 106″ is “up 18% in a flat market. Our New York cluster was up for the quarter and is now significantly outperforming the market. With an improving labor market and lower energy prices helping to put more money into the hands of consumers, we are excited about the economic backdrop as we head into 2015.” In October, Emmis-led industry initiative NextRadio launched a new version with “LiveGuide” and Smulyan explains, “NextRadio is pre-loaded in 33 Smartphone models and we’ve had more than 1.4 million activations. All major radio companies support the effort. I couldn’t be more pleased with the effort and the momentum we have.” Emmis’ Q3 operating income increases from $8.7 million to $13.1 million, while station operating income advances year-to-year by $4 million to $18.1 million.

Odds & Sods.  Seattle sports talker KIRO-AM programming is being aired on Mapleton-owned KGA, Spokane.  A deal between KIRO-AM owner Bonneville and Mapleton has KIRO-AM’s 7:00 am to 4:00 pm programming – including Brock & Salk, Michael Gray, and Bob & Groz – airing on the station.  KIRO-AM also recently struck a deal to air the same programming on Ingstad Radio’s KJOX in the Tri-Cities, Washington market…..Noted broadcaster Pat O’Brien is debuting a new radio program to go into national syndication.  Beginning early this year, O’Brien will host KLEAN Radio, a new, weekend mental health radio show broadcasting out of KABC, Los Angeles.  A companion TV show – Klean Daily – is launching as well…..KXNO, Des Moines personality Ken Miller exits the station to pursue a yet-to-be-announced gig with former partner Marty Tirrell in the market.  The two first worked together in Des Moines doing sports talk back in 1996.

bubbaarmyBTBBubba’s Army Turns Up for ‘Bury the Bone’ Stunt.  The image you see here is of a long line of what Bubba the Love Sponge estimates was the 650-plus cars (with some 1,000 loyal listeners) who showed up for his “Bury the Bone” stunt.  Bubba and his staff – Manson, Ned, and 25 Cent – promised “Bury the Bone” tee-shirts to all who drove through the GoodFellas Pizza parking lot that sits just a few hundred yards from his old flagship station, Cox Media Group’s WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone.”  WHPT dropped Bubba’s show from its lineup in September and filled the morning daypart with former Bubba intern and then-afternoon drive host Mike Calta.  Bubba’s show began airing on Beasley Broadcast Group’s crosstown WHFS-FM earlier this week and Bubba has begun a “radio war” vowing to “bury” Calta in the ratings.  Bubba and staff ran out of tee-shirts and bumper stickers so they took the names of those who didn’t get any and promised to print more and ship them to the listeners.  Commenting on the stunt, Bubba says, “This is one of the proudest days of my broadcasting career.  I am humbled; it’s more than we expected.”

brownejoyTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Update.  The Dr. Joy Browne program – distributed by Genesis Communications Network – is added to the program lineup at WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island to airgreshamtom in the midday slot…..“Gun Talk” with host Tom Gresham joins the programming at Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze Radio Network as well as on KWSW, Eureka, California…..The GCN-distributed “Freedom Feens” show is added to the program schedule at WSLA, Slidell, Louisiana (New Orleans market) and current weekend affiliate WPBQ, Jackson, Mississippi begins airing the show daily…..The wine-centric radio show “Grape Encounters Radio” becomes part of the lineup at KTSA, San Antonio.

Charlie Hebdo Massacre/Radical Islam Top News/Talk Story for the Week of January 5-9.  The deadly assault on the Parisian satire paper Charlie Hebdo and the larger topic of radical Islam were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the new GOP-controlled Congress.  Coming in at #3 was sinking oil prices and their effect on the world financial markets followed by the 2016 presidential prospects 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, January 8, 2014

| January 8, 2015

price howardHoward B. Price: Preparedness, Vigilance and Training Important in Wake of Charlie Hebdo Attack.  The horrific assault on French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo serves as a sad reminder that attacks on media outlets are not only possible, they happen on an all-too-frequent basis.  In a piece published in TALKERS magazine, ABC Television Network director, business continuity Howard B. Price writes that “even with the best security resources and procedures in place, no broadcast facility is immune from criminal acts or terrorism.  And being in a small place doesn’t necessarily reduce the risk.  But, there are common sense things we all can do to help deter such incidents, mitigate their impact and help assure an investigative trail in the event one takes place.”  Read Price’s very important piece here.

whitebillBill White Named KFBK and KSTE, Sacramento Program Director.  It’s official: news/talk programming pro Bill White is the new PD at iHeartMedia’s KFBK and KSTE in Sacramento, effective January 20.  White – who’s programmed such storied talk outlets as WGN, Chicago; KDKA, Pittsburgh; and WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte – most recently served as PD at Journal Broadcast Group’s KQTH and KFFN in Tucson.  White comments, “These legendary stations inform and touch listeners in the Sacramento area every day.  I’m honored to be joining the talented team at KFBK/KSTE and look forward to building on their successes.”

frantzbobBob Frantz Adds Cleveland News/Talk Duties.  Longtime WTAM, Cleveland personality Bob Frantz exited that station in July of last year and in October began hosting an afternoon sports talk show for Cumulus Media on WLQR, Toledo “106.5 The Ticket.”  Now, Frantz is adding a daily news/talk program on Salem Communications-owned WHK, Cleveland “AM 1420 The Answer” to his responsibilities.  Frantz has been producing commentaries for the Salem station and now begins the daily 9:00 am to 11:00 am talk program.  Salem Cleveland GM Mark Jaycox comments, “There has been a very loud cry from Clevelanders to hear Bob Frantz on the air once more, since his mic went silent five months ago.  His straightforward, honest approach to news, sports and politics has earned him a strong following among conservatively minded listeners who want more in-depth perspective on news stories that affect our daily lives.”

charleskenKen Charles Exits iHeartMedia.  News/talk pro Ken Charles – after a long career with iHeartMedia programming stations in Houston, Miami and Sacramento, to name a few – exits the company.  Charles had been serving as the company’s national brand manager for news/talk and sports before his sudden exit.  iHeartMedia has been very quiet about this and has, so far, not announced any plans to fill Charles’ corporate post.

podcastone logoHollywoodLife Signs with PodcastOne.  What it calls “another, in a series of previously announced partnerships, merging editorial and audio media,” PodcastOne unveils the arrival of the HollywoodLife podcast to its roster of advertiser-supported, on-demand digital audio programs.  The weekly podcast is hosted by HollywoodLife.com’s renowned president and editor-in-chief Bonnie Fuller and delivers “discussion, debate and the inside scoop on all the biggest, breaking celebrity news.”  It will also feature candid conversations with top TV, music and movie stars.  PodcastOne CEO Norm Pattiz says, “Bonnie’s track record of success in editorial content and audience engagement is extraordinary, and we are excited to expand that from the website to the podcast.  Providing the best in entertainment and celebrity news, she knows how to connect with the female demographic and affect lifestyle interests in ways no one else can.”

cookehollandCES 2015: Is Your Station Merely ‘the Linear Feed?’  Radio consultant Holland Cooke continues his reporting for TALKERS magazine from the giant Consumer Electronics Show 2015 in Las Vegas and today (1/8) he focuses on the disruption TV is feeling at the hands of technology that has made about half of television program viewing delayed or on demand.  “The linear feed” means live programming in the order that it’s broadcast and Cooke writes that as consumption of media continues to change, radio must address that “the linear feed” only isn’t going to be good enough.  Read his piece here to find two ways radio stations can deal with this conundrum.

flintaaronAaron Flint Continues to Build State-Wide Montana Talk Show.  Thirty-four-year-old Montana National Guard officer Aaron Flint began hosting Northern Broadcasting System’s “Voices of Montana” radio talk show five years ago.  Since then the KYYA, Billings-based program has expanded from 10 signals to more than 20 with KLTZ, Glasgow being the latest station to begin airing the program.  Flint states, “It’s pretty clear that listener and station demand for local, interactive, engaging content on both AM and FM radio is strong.  I went on another military deployment back in 2012, and I was, frankly, a little worried that we may lose some affiliates due to the disruption.  But the support for all service members shown by our radio affiliates has just been incredible.  The fact that the show has doubled is a strong testament to the support for the community and local programming by independent and corporate-owned stations alike.”  Flint has served three tours of duty: in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa.  A former staffer on The Hill, he is also a political blogger publishing The Flint Report – a blog the Washington Post has listed as one of the best state-based political blogs.

sharpejimUSA Radio Networks Adds Jim Sharpe to Lineup.  The latest addition to USA Radio Networks’ “rapidly growing syndicated programming lineup” is media pro Jim Sharpe who will host “AMERICA CONTINUES,” airing from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET beginning February 2.  USA says the show “will advance the significant news stories of the day with a different insight: the kind of insight that only comes whenusaRadioNetworks America has had a chance to digest the events of the day and put them into true perspective.”  Sharpe’s resume includes winning awards for his work as a war correspondent, and hosting radio shows in markets including: Los Angeles, Dallas, and Phoenix.  Sharpe says of his new syndicated show, “The name of the program serves two purposes: We will continue to update America’s truly important stories even as people put their workday behind them.  And, we will continue to work on this grand experiment called America.  Too many people have given up on the ‘American Dream,’ but ‘AMERICA CONTINUES’ will acknowledge and honor that America is still the planet’s best hope.”

wwwe logoAtlanta’s WWWE Converts to Women’s Radio Network. After having aired Spanish-language music and religious programming as well as sports, Beasley Broadcast Group‘s WWWE, Atlanta transitions to the Women’s Radio Network as “1100 WRNW1.” WWWE general manager Greg Cooper remarks, “Beasley and WWWE are committed to serving the concerns of the Atlanta community. A format focused on the lifestyle of today’s woman gives us a great opportunity to drive our vision for the market forward.” The Women’s Radio Network was previously available only as an online stream: The WWWE affiliation represents the company’s first experience in delivering content on an over-the-air broadcast facility. Hapeville, Georgia-licensed Class D WWWE has not appeared in a monthly Atlanta Nielsen Audio PPM ratings report in recent memory.

nyfest smallEntries Being Accepted for “World’s Best Radio Programs.” Several new categories have been added to the 30-plus-year-old international competition, including “Best Innovation,” “Best Journalist,” and “Best Music Program Host.”  New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards executive director Rose Anderson remarks, “Our categories for ‘Sound Art’ and ‘Best Innovation’ recognize the limitless advances of creativity.  Our ‘Best Journalist,’ and ‘Best Music Program Host’ categories honor the artistry and dedication of the individuals at the mic.”  Advisory board grand jury member/Geller Media president Valerie Geller works with broadcasters in 35 countries “to become more powerful storytellers and communicators.”  Geller comments, “Stories are how we track our lives, learn about others, and develop empathy and understanding of the world.  At its best, broadcasting informs, entertains, inspires, and persuades. Most importantly, it connects people to one another through our stories.  It is satisfying on every level to have the opportunity and honor to hear the amazing work that news, documentary and program teams throughout the world are producing/creating.”  NYFIRPA entries are received from radio stations, networks, and independent producers.  Among the 2014 winners were the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (“Broadcaster of the Year”) and TBI Media UK (“Production Company of the Year”). Deadline for entering the competition is a little more than two months away (3/19); the awards ceremony will take place Monday, June 22 at New York City’s Manhattan Penthouse.

cadeauxavierpaulCreative Talent Inc. Signs Xavier Paul Cadeau.  The voice of the Brooklyn Nets – Xavier Paul Cadeau – signs with talent agency Creative Talent Inc.  The firm, founded and led by radio pro Steve Gallagher, announces the inking of the actor, comedian and voice-over artist to a management contract encompassing broadcast on-air hosting, live sporting events announcing and corporate and industrial hosting and voiceovers.  Cadeau will be appearing on the upcoming HBO television series, “Crime.”  Gallagher says, “You’ve heard his promo voice on HBO Sports, narrating on the History Channel‘s ‘UFO Files’, ‘Planet of the Apes’ week on SyFy and he’s been multiple characters on the ‘Grand Theft Auto’ video game series.  Xavier Paul is an incredible talent.”

lowysloanewendyTalk Host Wendy Lowy Sloane Celebrates Radio Show’s Fifth Anniversary.  The nationally syndicated “What’s Up with Wendy” radio show – hosted by Wendy Lowy Sloane – prepares to celebrate its fifth anniversary tomorrow (1/9).  The BizTalkRadio program is based at WGCH, Greenwich, Connecticut and “showcases interviews with the biggest names in television, movies, music, comedy, fashion, literature, and sports, in addition to self-help segments.”  Celebrity guests who will help Lowy Sloane recognize the anniversary include “Parenthood” actress Monica Potter, “Awkward” star Greer Grammer, and Michael Dinan, owner and editor of NewCanaanite.com.  The program airs from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon on Fridays on WGCH and nationally on BizTalkRadio Fridays at 7:00 pm ET.

harrisonCCraneradio15C. Crane Catalogue for 2015 Chock Full of Interesting “Radio” Units.  As the role of the AM/FM “airwaves” appliance (commonly referred to as a “radio”) continues to struggle for a place of prominence within contemporary 21st century digital society, the remaining manufacturers and distributors of traditional radios – and still out there aggressively marketing them — play a very important role in the fabric of the broadcasting industry and hold a largely untapped key to its longevity.  That being stated, the TALKERS editorial board continues to pore through the annual catalogue of products released by Fortuna, California-based C. Crane, an independent provider of radios who champions the concept of using the airwaves as a ground for mass communications.  As C. Crane president Bob Crane puts it:  “The freedom of radio listening is truly magical with its huge educational and entertainment benefits.”  Crane continues, “Traditional radio and cell phones are dependent on radio waves.  The invisible waves deliver mobility without a connection to wires.  Radios will be here forever because they are devoted to the act of listening.”  Crane sums it up: “When we started this company over 30 years ago, radio waves were broadcast over the air.  For the most part, no matter what you listen with, they still are.  Receiving radio waves better is what we specialize in.  We are here to build the best radios we can to serve [our customers] now and in the future.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (pictured here) adds, “Ever since someone asked the audience of radio professionals at one of our recent New York Seminars, “How many of you have a small AM/FM radio in your possession at this moment and the only one who raised his hand out of several hundred in the room was Art Vuolo, I resolved that as long as I am in the business of serving the radio industry, I will always have a simple AM/FM unit nearby – like my keys, cell phone and wallet… if for nothing more than just principle.”   One of the C. Crane units in Catalogue 2015 that Harrison has been carrying around lately is a neat little 5.5 ounce device dubbed the “CC SKYWAVE.”  It is a travel pocket radio that features intuitively easy on/off AM, FM, Shortwave, Weather and Aviation bands (you can listen to pilot/control tower conversations to amuse or inform yourself while waiting for a plane) that retails for $89.95.  For more information about C.Crane visit www.ccrane.com.

Charlie Hebdo Massacre, New GOP Controlled Congress, Bitter Cold Across U.S, 2016 Presidential Prospects, and Sinking Oil Prices/Financial Markets Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/7).  The murder of 12 at the Paris satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo presumably by Islamic radicals and the world’s reaction; the agenda of the new GOP-controlled Congress and reports of John Boehner’s revenge on those who voted against him for House Speaker; the extreme cold hitting much of the U.S.; the potential candidates for president in 2016; and the sinking oil prices, euro concerns and the effects on the world financial markets were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

| January 7, 2015

bloomquistrandallRandall Bloomquist Exits Cumulus Corporate PD Post.  News/talk pro Randall Bloomquist exits his corporate programming position with Cumulus Media due to “personal family reasons.”  Bloomquist – who has programmed such news/talk stations as WMAL, Washington; WGST, Atlanta; WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte; and WRVA, Richmond during his career – joined Cumulus in the fall of 2013 to oversee the company’s news/talk programming.  Bloomquist also served time as news/talk editor at the now-defunct Radio & Records trade magazine.

cristinajudgeKABC, Los Angeles Launches Judge Cristina, Dr. Drew Midday with New Schedule.  The addition of “Dr. Drew Midday with Mike Catherwood” to the daily program schedule on KABC, Los Angeles was announced late last year.  What wasn’t known was the addition of Judge Cristina Perez to the daily schedule for the “Live @ Nine” program.  Also, with the departure of Larry Elder from the station, Cumulus Media moves Jillian Barberie and John Phillips from middays to the afternoon drive slot.kabc logo  The company says, “‘Judge Cristina Live @ 9’ will focus on topical news throughout the region.  Judge Cristina has become a household name as one of the most influential syndicated television hosts from her work hosting court shows on network television, including ‘Justice for All with Judge Cristina Perez,’ (airing mornings on KCAL-TV in Los Angeles), ‘Cristina’s Court’  (FOX) and ‘La Corte de Familia’ (Telemundo).  She is the first Hispanic television judge to cross over from Spanish-language television to English-language television.  ‘Cristina’s Court’ won three consecutive Emmy Awards.  Cumulus EVP of content and programming John Dickey says, “Our live, local and topical programming has been incredibly well received by Los Angeles listeners.  We have attracted some of the top talent in the country and continue to bolster the station’s lineup in order to meet the interests of our widening audience.”  KABC operations director Drew Hayes adds, “KABC’S goal is to build a radio station that reflects the climate and attitude here.  KABC is a sunny and up-tempo station discussing the news of the day, populated with the nation’s leading personalities.  With these additions, we have successfully evolved the station to a compelling, entertaining, true Southern California station.”

tylerjeffJeff Tyler Assumes iHeartMedia Minneapolis Market President Post.  Longtime iHeartMedia executive Jeff Tyler is named the market president for the company’s Minneapolis cluster.  Tyler has been serving as regional market manager for the company overseeing the Madison and Milwaukee markets as well as operations in Grand Rapids/Muskegon, Michigan; Eau Claire, Wisconsin; and Rochester, Minnesota.  He comments, “I am excited to join a tremendous Minneapolis team in one of the best markets in the country.  It will be an honor to represent the historic call letters and franchises of the Twin Cities.  At the same time, it’s also bittersweet to leave teams in Madison and Milwaukee which have been a big part of my career and life.”

schnackejerrySchnacke Joins iHeartMedia Chicago as VP/Sales. After 17 years with the Chicago cluster now owned by Hubbard (previously by Bonneville), Jerry Schnacke joins crosstown iHeartMedia as vice president of sales.  iHeartMedia Chicago market president Matt Scarano comments, “I am thrilled to have Jerry as part of our team.  Jerry brings a wealth of expertise, high-level management experience, and a tremendous track record of success to our cluster.  I am looking forward to working closely with Jerry in his new role.”  Schnacke – who was vice president and market manager of the Hubbard Chicago facilities – remarks, “I am excited to be joining these iconic brands and honored to be on the iHeartMedia Chicago team with Matt Scarano.  I am looking forward to working closely with the staff and our clients.” Prior to his Hubbard-Bonneville Chicago tenure, Schnacke was vice president and general manger of the stations Lakeshore Communications owns in Springfield, Illinois. The “Windy City” iHM cluster is comprised of urban contemporary WGCI-FM, gospel WGRB “Inspiration 1390,” CHR WKSC “Kiss-FM,” hot AC WLIT “My-FM,” WNUA “Chicago’s Hit Country,” urban AC WVAZ “V-103,” and the company operates urban talk outlet WVON “The Talk of Chicago” under an LMA.  Hubbard Chicago consists of classic rock WDRV “The Drive,” adult contemporary WILV “Chicago’s 100.3,” and hot AC WTMX “The Mix.”

podcastone logoPodcastOne Names Kris Smith Chief Technical Officer.  Credited with starting one of the first podcast production companies in 2005, Kris Smith joins Norm Pattiz-founded PodcastOne to serve as chief technical officer.  The company says, “Smith has over a decade of experience in the medium, and has spent his career designing and developing digital products.”  Pattiz says, “Kris is a pioneer podcaster and innovator.  He has been creating podcasts and associated technology well before the medium ever went mainstream.  Having him join our team and lead the technological growth of our company is of the utmost importance as we continue to play a larger part in the growth of the industry.”  Smith replaces Rob Greenlee who will be starting his own consulting firm, with PodcastOne as its first client.

kleinaaronIsrael-Based Talk Host Aaron Klein Joins ConnectPal for Digital Platform.  Currently heard in New York City on Salem-owned WNYM “AM 970 The Answer,” New York Times best-selling author Aaron Klein joins ConnectPal.com with daily audio updates.  ConnectPal states that “in addition to moving hisconnectpal podcasts exclusively to ConnectPal.com, Klein will distribute a new investigative audio feature throughout the week focused on the hottest breaking news stories.  Plus, Klein will launch a ‘Reporter’s Notebook’ for his subscribers on ConnectPal, bringing listeners inside his daily investigative reporting, including his unique style of Middle East reportage.”  Klein comments, “I have been searching for the best platform to launch regular audio and insider content throughout the week and have finally found an exciting, highly user-friendly marketplace in ConnectPal.com.  I’m thrilled to be joining the portal and look forward to providing invigorating, newsy, exclusive additional content to my growing audience.”

cookehollandCES 2015: The Connected Car Accelerates.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke is reporting from the enormous International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas all this week and today’s report focuses on the connected car.  Cooke writes, “The last several years’ conversation about radio’s position in the new-tech dashboard remains largely academic.  As new non-AM/FM audio competitors appear there – and drivers’ attention is shared with so many non-audio apps now factory-installed – draconian radio cutbacks continue to dilute the localism that would continue to make stations unique among competitors.”  Read more from Sin City here.

playit logoCBS Launches ‘Play It’ Podcast Platform.  Providing a podcast platform for the company’s talent, CBS RADIO and CBS Local Digital Media announced the debut of Play.it.  The company says the “new podcast network brings together digital-exclusive programming from major brands and publishers as well as content from CBS RADIO shows on demand.”  The service “offers more than 300 premium content podcasts at launch, including podcasts from well-known CBS RADIO personalities like Boomer Esiason & Craig Carton, Carson Daly, and Kevin & Bean, as well as content from leading news, lifestyle, sports and media brands including 48 HOURS, 60 MINUTES, CBS Sports Radio, Vox, Deadspin, Simon & Schuster and Foursquare, among others.”

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CBS Radio, Bloomberg Join Forces. The arrangement calls for Bloomberg Radio to be the primary supplier of business reports for CBS Radio’s owned-and-operated radio stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Boston, Detroit, and three other markets. CBS Radio executive vice president of operations/CBS Radio New York market manager Scott Herman comments, “This partnership will greatly raise the level of our business coverage, enhancing our product incbsradio cities from coast to coast.  Bloomberg reporters will offer expertise and depth to local business stories of interest, reaching audiences of our individual radio stations.”  Bloomberg Radio station manager Al Mayers states, “Partnering with CBS Radio was a natural fit that brings together the leader in news radio with the global leader in business news.  It’s an important milestone for Bloomberg as we expand our audience of business decision makers.”  United Stations Radio Networks is Bloomberg’s marketing partner, and it will handle advertising usrnsales and sponsorships, as well as distribution. USRN president and chief operating officer Jim Higgins remarks, “With the addition of these great CBS Radio stations to our existing Bloomberg lineup, it clearly makes Bloomberg the preeminent business radio network for advertisers seeking an association with this extremely attractive and desirable audience. We are thrilled to be working with two of the most respected names in journalism.” Bloomberg Radio reporters are providing business news updates twice an hour on CBS Radio all-news stations, and at designated times on other CBS Radio properties.

kidd logoBuckley Shuts Down Sports Talk KIDD, Monterey.  According to a story in the Monterey Herald, Buckley Broadcasting took sports talker KIDD, Monterey “ESPN Central Coast” dark on New Year’s Eve and will try to sell the frequency.  Station EVP Kathy Baker confirmed the move and the paper reports that cost was the factor in the decision to shut down the station.  Issues related to tower maintenance of the almost 60-year old station appear to have been paramount.  The towers reside in a coastal wetland and the company says it will take down the towers.

Odds & Sods.  Named to the permanent afternoon drive daypart at iHeartMedia’s Fresno news/talk simulcast of KALZ-FM and KRZR “PowerTalk 96.7 and AM 1400” is Christopher Gabriel.  He comes to the market from his most recent gig as morning personality at WDAY, Fargo and begins his new post on January 19…..CBS RADIO all-news KNX, Los Angeles takes a special look at the hacking of the entertainment industry with the program “Lights, Camera, Terror: Hacking Hollywood,” to air on January 13 at 10:00 am PT.  Hosted by KNX anchor Tom Haule and chief investigative reporter Charles Feldman, the show will feature guests including: Sharon Waxman, editor-in-chief & CEO, The Wrap entertainment website; Matthew Belloni, executive editor, The Hollywood Reporter; Jonathan Handel, entertainment/technology attorney, Troy Gould; and Ross Crystal, KNX entertainment correspondent.

cnbc logoCNBC To Cease Nielsen Ratings Relationship. In a television development that might be of some interest to radio operators, CNBC becomes the first-ever cable outlet to end its ratings relationship with Nielsen. As of the fourth quarter of this year, Cogent Reports will measure CNBC’s business day. CNBC president Mark Hoffman states that throughout the network’s 25-year history, “Traditional measurement companies have struggled to capture CNBC’s audience of business executives, decision makers, and affluent investors who watch our network from their corner offices, trading floors, five-star hotel rooms, country clubs, restaurants and health clubs. We are excited to begin to provide our marketing partners with a more complete understanding of the power and quality of our prestigious audience.” Downplaying the decision of its rival, Fox Business Channel executive vice president of advertising Paul Rittenberg tells The Wall Street Journal, “Only using the numbers you like is a little tough to sell.” Another business player – Bloomberg Television – has never been measured by Nielsen. According to a Nielsen spokesperson quoted in The Wall Street Journal, “For networks with niche audiences like CNBC, pure age and gender-based ratings are not always the best means against which to sell.” The spokesperson notes that Nielsen will continue to measure CNBC’s evening programs. Market Strategies International‘s Cogent Reports will be measuring a television network’s audience for the first time. It will survey over 1,000 investors and financial advisers on their daily media habits; that data will provide CNBC’s ratings. Nielsen figures indicate CNBC’s average 9:30 am – 5:00 pm audience in 2014 was 177,000, which is down 13% from 2013 and off 17% from 2004.

GOP Takes Over Congress/Boehner Vote, Keystone Pipeline Legislation, Sinking Oil Prices/Financial Markets Activity, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Cold Snap, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/6).  The official swearing in of the new Congress and the political storm over a contentious vote to return John Boehner to Speaker of the House; the potential fate of the Keystone Pipeline legislation the GOP Congress is promising to revive; sinking oil prices, the state of the euro and the effects on the world financial markets; the potential candidates for president including speculation about Rick Santorum’s possible run; the bitter cold affecting much of the nation; and the NFL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

| January 6, 2015

mcmahonbillBill McMahon: 14 Traits Inherent in Top Radio Personalities.  In a piece published today (1/6) in TALKERS magazine, The Authentic Personality CEO Bill McMahon outlines what he calls “reasoned approach to evaluating talent.”  McMahon says that in creating this list of traits he “wanted to create a framework to have a meaningful and productive conversation about why a prospective air personality will succeed or fail.”  The traits fall into three categories: Personal, content, and performance.  The personal traits predict listener appeal and talent motivation.  The content traits predict the ability to generate distinctive, appealing and memorable content.  The performance traits predict the ability to present attractive content with impact.  Read McMahon’s full explanation here.

rogersmikeNew Year’s Debuts from Westwood One and NBC Sports Radio.  The first full week of the New Year marked the launch of new daily feature from former congressman and House Intelligence Committee chair Mike Rogers.  Produced by Westwood One and titled, “Something to Think About with Mikefloriomike Rogers,” the three, daily, one-minute features “provide listeners with an insider’s way of understanding critical issues and the most-talked-about topics of the day.”  On the sports side, the new midday show on the NBC Sports Radio Network hosted by Mike Florio launched Monday.  “ProFootballTalkLive with Mike Florio” airs from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm and, as its name implies, features Florio’s “critically acclaimed NFL insight and all-encompassing coverage of the league with the most current news, analysis, and thought-provoking debate.”  Debut show guests included Denver Broncos EVP of football operations John Elway, NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino, and Tom Curran of CSN-New England.

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WTMJ, Milwaukee Adds Daily Business Show.  The program airs from 4:00 am to 5:00 am and is called “Wisconsin Business Today.”  Hosted by Danny Clayton, the new program covers news on national and local business with special focus on agribusiness.   Journal Broadcast Group Milwaukee Radio Operations VP Tom Langmyer says, “WTMJ is Wisconsin’s Radio Station and waking up to the business of our state and community is a good way to start the day.  WTMJ is excited to add yet another hour of live and local programming to our daily lineup.”  Clayton also serves as morning host at WTMJ sister classic hits outlet WLWK “94.5 The Lake.”

Odds & Sods.  As tipped by Chicago media writer Robert Feeder, three of the former WGWG-LP, Chicago sports talk hosts – Jarrett Payton, Connor McKnight and Adam Hoge – have been given a weekend show on Tribune’s news/talk WGN.  “The Game” airs from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.  Tribune shut down the sports talker after a year on the air…..SiriusXM announces the debut of a new channel called “SiriusXM Insight” that the satcaster says will be a “groundbreaking news, information, and entertainment radio channel offering listeners inspiring ideas and intelligent conversation with an edge.  Designed to reach fans that enjoy the eclectic subject matter of publiclewislori radio, SiriusXM Insight will feature an array of fresh, diverse voices addressing a new era of issues in a lively, smart, and sometimes humorous approach.”  Personalities appearing on the channel include: Pete Dominick, Margaret Hoover, John Fugelsang, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Karen Hunter, Dean Obeidallah, Alan Dershowitz, Perri Peltz, Bob Roth, and many more…..The Conclave board of directors elects Lori Lewis board chairperson.  Lewis is director of digital & social strategies for Jacobs Media.  She takes over for Mark Bolke who served as chair since 2009…..Former Connecticut governor and WTIC-AM, Hartford talk show host John Rowland’s sentencing on campaign law violations has been postponed as he mounts the claim that prosecutors withheld evidence.  Read the story in the Hartford Courant here.

cookehollandReport from the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show.  The big, international trade show taking place in Las Vegas this week officially opens today and radio consultant Holland Cooke is on the scene reporting back for TALKERS magazine.  Cooke says two major keynoters are Ford Motor Company CEO Mark Fields, who can be expected to provide an update on the “connected car,” and CBS Corp CEO Les Moonves.  Read Holland Cooke’s story here.

NYPD-De Blasio Standoff, Bill Clinton/Prince Andrew Palm Beach Pedophile Controversy, Hoodie/Mask Ban Proposal, 2016 Presidential Prospects, New Congress, Mario Cuomo Dies, Winter Cold Spell, Sinking Oil Prices/Eurozone Fears, and NFL Playoff Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/5).  The ongoing feud between the NYPD rank-and-file and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio; allegations of Britain’s Prince Andrew and former President Bill Clinton being involved with underage girls in connection with accused pedophile Jeffrey Epstein; the proposal to outlaw the wearing of hoods or masks in public; chatter about the potential presidential candidates in the 2016 race; the influx of 71 new members of Congress; the death of liberal standard bearer Mario Cuomo; the blast of arctic air hitting much of the U.S. this week; the effects of sinking oil prices and the tumbling euro on the world’s financial markets; and the weekend’s NFL playoff action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, January 5, 2015

| January 5, 2015

bubbaBubba the Love Sponge Returns to Tampa on WHFS-FM.  Via an official press statement issued today (1/5), Beasley Broadcasting confirms the news a local advertiser spilled on Friday about the return of Bubba the Love Sponge to the market on the company’s newly-acquired Tampa signal WHFS-FM.  The former FM sports talk outlet will make public its new format at some point in the future but after signing on this morning at 6:00 am, Bubba the Love Sponge announced the station would air his program continuously for the next few weeks or so before debuting WHFS-FM’s new format.  Bubba aired in the market on Cox Media’s crosstown WHPT “102.5 FM The Bone” before being ousted from the station in August and replaced by then-afternoon drive host Mike Calta.  The move pits former station-mates Calta and Bubba against each other in mornings.  Last week, Ker’s WingHouse debuted Bubba Style Wings and announced Bubba’s return to the market on WHFS-FM.  Beasley says listeners are still voting for their format choice at the station’s website — thenew98.7.com — and the new format is expected to be announced within weeks.

carrhowieHowie Carr’s New England Regional Juggernaut Keeps Gaining Steam – New Stations Signed and GSM Brought Aboard.  The independent talk radio network recently launched by Boston-based, multi-media icon Howie Carr continues to gather major affiliates throughout the six New England states and sets a shiningly optimistic model for what can be created and accomplished in the often-tenuous arena of regional spoken-word syndication.  The latest stations joining the Howie Carr Radio Network (HCRN) include WCAP, Lowell, MA (which started last week); WBEC, Pittsfield, MA (which starts tomorrow 1/6); and WFEA, Manchester, NH (which begins on 1/19), bringing the total number of affiliates to 19.  Also, HCRN VP of sales & marketing, Kathy Carr announces the hiring of sales heavyweight Ross Holt as the company’s new general sales manager.  Holt, who is moving back to his home in New England, was most recently part of the sales team at CBS O&O WINS, New York and has sold Carr in the past while at WGAN, Portland.  The sheer power of the loyal-listener-generating Carr program in market after market across the Northeast segment of the US has proven to be a strong advertising lure for such regional blue chip sponsors as Subaru of New England and a long list of others.  Commenting on the growth and impact of the Howie Carr show in its independent regional incarnation (since the host left Entercom’s WRKO, Boston this fall and replaced it as his flagship with Beantown’s reconstituted WMEX) TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “It is not easy doing what Howie and Kathy Carr are accomplishing with this network – and that is creating a pertinent local flavor that resonates with listeners across a very large and diverse expanse of markets and works in terms of both ratings and revenue.  There are lessons for the industry to learn from this extremely interesting endeavor.  Of course, you must have the right host to pull this off and this guy is a true rarity.  If New England were to suddenly declare itself a single state, Howie Carr would be elected its first governor.”

cohenshattuckBoston Herald Radio and WMEX, Boston Share New Morning Show.  The morning drive show on the Boston Herald’s digital platform – Boston Herald Radio – is now hosted by Adriana Cohen and Tom Shattuck (pictured here).  The program airs from 7:00 am to 9:00 am and is also being heard on Blackstrap Broadcasting-owned and Wallis Communications-operated WMEX.  Shattuck, who also serves as executive producer of Boston Herald Radio, says in the compay’s paper, “We’ve always been straight with our audience.  This is the city of Jerry Williams, Gene Burns and David Brudnoy.  We are lucky enough now to have an opportunity to be custodians of those same airwaves and we will do it humbly, tirelessly and with the utmost respect for the listener.”  WMEX grabbed longtime Boston afternoon personality Howie Carr after his contract with Entercom’s crosstown WRKO expired in November.

proftdanWLS-AM, Chicago Breaks Up Proft and Wolf Morning Show.  As tipped by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, the morning show at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM, Chicago will be hosted by Bruce Wolf solo after the company parted ways with Dan Proft.  Wolf and Proft had worked together at the station, first in middays, before moving to mornings after longtime duo Don Wade and Roma exited due to Don Wade’s health issues.  (Wade later died from complications from a brain tumor.)

dealgordonNEWbannerFormer WSJRN Programming Evolves and Continues as Compass Media Networks Content.  As TALKERS reported last month, Compass Media Networks is advancing the business news radio programming abandoned by the Wall Street Journal after the latter chose to get out of the radio business at the end of 2014.  Today, Compass debuts breaking business and money news under the “Your Money Now” brand.  The one-minute reports are fed to affiliate stations twice per hour at :20 and :50 from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm ET Monday through Friday.  Anchors for the reports are former WSJRN morning drive anchor Jennifer Kushinka, former CEO Radio, WSJRN and BusinessWeek Radio anchor Ray Hoffman in middays, and former WSJRN evening anchor Bruce Vale in afternoon drive.  Also, Compass is continuing the morning drive program hosted by Gordon Deal for the WSJRN as the show is renamed “This Morning, America’s First News with Gordon Deal.”  Compass says the show continues to air on some 250 affiliate stations as well as on numerous digital platforms.

salemcommunicationsSeven Salem News/Talkers Assume ‘The Answer’ Brand.  Adding to the number of Salem Communications news/talk stations already using “The Answer” brand are seven more of the company’s like-programmed outlets, including:  KCBQ-AM, San Diego; KLFE, Seattle; KZNT, Colorado Springs; WGKA, Atlanta; WGUL, Tampa; WGTK, Louisville; and WLSS, Sarasota. WNYM, New York began using the “Answer” brand in 2012.  Salem SVP of spoken word formats Phil Boyce comments, “We discovered that our listeners are information seekers, always craving the answer to every possible question, from why am I stuck in traffic to who won the November election.  This branding allows our stations to cut through in markets where they are competing with more established stations that only need their call letters as a brand.  We needed something more, and this works.”

union edge logo‘The Union Edge’ Radio Show Releases New App.  Pittsburgh-based radio talk show “The Union Edge,” hosted by Charles Showalter with executive producer and co-host Angela Baughman and co-host/communications director Brittany Sheets, unveils its new app created with partner Jack of Trade Apps.  The new app allows listeners to stream the daily 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET program live as well as listen to podcasts on demand and “demonstrate some serious solidarity by sending in photos showing their everyday union actions.”  Listeners can also use the “speak out” voice recorder function to react to the show and expand on their thoughts and feelings about issues that impact their lives.  Jack of Trade Apps president Andrew Davis says, “What this app does is allow union families to organize in a way that surrounds this already great programming that heralds issues that directly impact them.  We are excited to be able to give them such a valuable tool, to help them achieve their growth and spread their message in a new way.”

Odds & Sods.  Former Arkansas governor and one-time presidential candidate Mike Huckabee gives up his weekend talk program at Fox News Channel.  Huckabee – still heard on the radio via his “Mike Huckabee Report” dailyhuckabeemike commentaries now distributed by WYD Media – says he’ll make an announcement about whether he intends to run for president in 2016 sometime in the first part of this year…..Salem Communications expands the “Cats Roundtable” program heard on WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer.”  The Sunday morning show, hosted by New York City businessman John Catsimatidis is now heard from 8:30 am to 10:00 am…..KBGG, Des Moines sports talk host Larry Cotlar exits the station as it transitions from “The Zone” to “The Champ.”  Cotlar’s show is being replaced by CBS Sports Radio Network’s Doug Gotleib…..Dr. Frank Wright exits Salem Communications where the former National Religious Broadcasters chief served as president and chief operating officer.  Dr. Wright will receive his salary in the form of severance for the next six months…..Beasley Broadcasting’s WHFS-AM, Tampa drops the CBS Sports Radio Network-programming on the station and flips the station to business talk using programming from the company’s WSBR, Boca Raton, Florida.  Beasley acquired the station from CBS RADIO in a swap.

St. Joseph, Missouri’s KFEQ Joins “Market Rally”Affiliate Network. The daily analysis of farm commodity markets airs 4:06 pm – 5:00 pm on the Eagle Communications-owned talker. KFEQ general manager Gary Exline comments, “Ever since Farm Journal launched ‘Market Rally’ [in March 2014], we have taken a wait-and-see attitude [but] when farmers in our region started asking for it – we knew we couldn’t wait any longer. ‘Market Rally’ is the perfect programming solution as we set out to reboot our afternoon drive lineup.” According to Farm Journal Radio vice president and general manager Mark DePrez, “Market Rally” host Chip Flory “already has more than 6,500 Twitter followers, a clear signal that farmers and ranchers are highly engaged in his entertaining and educational approach to the markets.” When Illinois outlets WRHL, Rochelle and WAIK, Galesburg begin carrying the program early this year, “Market Rally” will be heard on 42 affiliates in nine states.

cookeholland

2015 International CES; What Next?  Radio consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas covering the huge 2015 Consumer Electronics Show.  As Cooke notes, video and pictures are paramount to viral media.  “Major recent news stories demonstrate how profoundly technology impacts our lives.  More pictures and video are now shot with smartphones than cameras.  When Eric Garner’s take-down for selling untaxed cigarettes turned fatal, bystander video turned an already painful national conversation about race even more-painful.  When video of North Korea’s hack attack against Sony Pictures spooked movie theaters, The Interview was released on YouTube.”  Read more here.

sabowalterSabo: Biggest Trends Affecting Radio.  Media consultant Walter Sabo, in a piece published in TALKERS today (1/5), writes about seven trends in media that have been influential over the past year and will continue to be so through 2015.  From NextRadio to sports talk on FM to online audio platforms, Sabo suggests avenues radio practitioners can explore to build new and profitable content ventures.  Read Walter Sabo’s entire piece here.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

| January 3, 2015

Albany, Knoxville Set to Pick Up Sports Outlets. For more than five years, Kirkland Wireless’ WVLZ, Knoxville used “Tennessee Sports Radio” as its handle, until transitioning to classic hits-oldies in late-August last year (2014). Its tenure as a classic hits-oldies outlet is extremely short-lived: On Monday (1/5), WVLZ will return to its sports roots as “1180 The Volz.” Program director Seth Stokes and Jayson Swain will handle 7:00 am – 10 am duties; Jon Reed and Kyle Tasman-hosted “Four Quarters” follows for one hour (10:00 am – 11:00 am); and Dave Hooker is slotted for 11:00 am -1:00 pm. Yahoo! Sports Radio will supply the bulk of the station’s other programming. Meanwhile, one week from Monday (1/12), Pamal Broadcasting Albany (New York) will jettison adult alternative on WZMR “The Peak” in favor of “Win 104.9″ (and new callers – WINU). “Win” will carry CBS Sports Radio programming, most recently heard in that market on cross-town Empire Broadcasting‘s WPTR, which becomes an NBC Sports Radio affiliate. Neither WVLZ nor WZMR appeared in print in their respective market’s most recent Nielsen Audio quarterly ratings report.

Friday, January 2, 2015

| January 2, 2015

Remembering Mario Cuomo. “You campaign in poetry – you govern in prose.” The person responsible for that memorable quote knew a little something about election campaigns, given that he won re-election twice as New York State’s chief executive. Although a leading Democratic presidential contender in 1988 and 1992, Mario Cuomo never formally entered either one of those races. Cuomo, 82, died yesterday (New Year’s Day), after a lengthy hospital stay to treat a heart ailment. The liberal/progressive Cuomo famously challenged Ronald Reagan directly by proclaiming, “There is despair, Mr. President, in the faces that you don’t see, in the places that you don’t visit in your shining city.” Born in an apartment above the grocery store owned by his immigrant parents in South Jamaica, Queens, Cuomo rooted his policies in what he called, “progressive pragmatism.” Political persuasion aside, most would agree that Cuomo was a passionate orator. It, therefore, came as no surprise that he was recruited to be a local and syndicated radio talk show host. Not everyone, however, was impressed as evidenced by David Hinckley‘s comments in the New York Daily News. “As good as he could be on television, he was that bad when he tried to host on the radio,” Hinckley opines of Cuomo, who was hired by New York City’s WABC-AM. “He was still brilliant [but] for the year or so the show ran, he was almost unlistenable. It wasn’t his fault – he didn’t suddenly become inarticulate or stupid. It is just that most of the things his admirers liked about him were exactly wrong for radio.” The WABC-AM venture began in spring 1995, and as Hinckley recalls, the former governor “wanted it to be a reasonable, considered, thoughtful discussion – not, as talk radio had frequently become – people screaming at each other and hurling insults. In the abstract, he succeeded in that mission. He ran a calm, thoughtful show in which he encouraged those who disagreed with his views to call and have a rational conversation.” It is Hinckley’s contention though that Cuomo’s “monologues tended to sound professorial, as if he were explaining something to a class and – through no fault of his own – random talk radio callers rarely turn out to be someone with whom a host can hold an extended, thoughtful, academic-level conversation.” Whereas Rush Limbaugh at the time was doing a daily three-hour WABC-AM show, Cuomo hosted one weekend program and as Hinckley points out, fronting a radio show is different from being a talk radio show guest. “Cuomo was [a guest] many times, and often a very good one,” Hinckley comments. “It does not disparage him, or his achievements, that his radio show goes down alongside his New York City mayoral bid as a swing and a miss.”Mario Cuomo was the father of five, including New York’s present governor Andrew Cuomo and CNN journalist Chris Cuomo.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

| December 31, 2014

Alpha Media, Buckley Communications Close Six-Station Purchase. The sextet of California properties Alpha Media officially acquires from Buckley Broadcasting of California are in Bakersfield (urban-rhythmic oldies KKBB “Groove 99.3,” CHR KLLY “Kelly 95.3,” and talk combo KNZR-AM & KNZR-FM) and Merced (rhythmic CHR KHTN “Hot 104.7″ and KUBB “Country 96.3″). Alpha Media chairman Larry Wilson comments, “We are privileged to buy these stations from such great operators. The Buckley clusters are a great addition to our ‘live-and-local’ west coast footprint.” Buckley Broadcasting & Communications president and chief operating officer Joseph Bilotta remarks, “As we close this transaction with Alpha, Buckley Broadcasting is effectively void of broadcast assets for the first time in 58 years. To all who worked for our family-owned-and-operated business over these decades, we thank you again and wish Alpha great success in Bakersfield and Merced.” Portland-based Alpha Media now owns 86 stations in 16 markets.

 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

| December 30, 2014

wheeler mikeCumulus Detroit Elevates Wheeler to OM. WJR, Detroit program director Mike Wheeler is boosted to the newly-created position of operations manager for the heritage talker, as well as Cumulus Media‘s other three Detroit properties – hot AC WDVD “Today’s Best Hits,” country WDRQ Nash-FM,” and country WDRQ-HD2 “Nash Icon.” According to Cumulus senior vice president of corporate programming Mike McVay, “Mike Wheeler brings a wealth of experience to the table. His history in Detroit, abilities at coaching talent, and his knowledge of programming give us another strong programming presence within Cumulus. He is deserving of this promotion.” Detroit native Wheeler remarks that it is “a thrill to work with these great radio stations” and he is “grateful for the opportunity to drive the ‘fun bus’ in Detroit.” Overseeing programming for Cumulus’ four Motor City stations, Wheeler will work with in-place PDs Lori Bennett and Robby Bridges. Wheeler joined Cumulus three months ago after a five-year stint as regional program manager for iHeartMedia‘s Connecticut stations. He previously was regional vice president of programming for stations the company (then known as Clear Channel) owned in Atlanta, St. Louis, and Toledo. Wheeler has held on-air positions at Detroit stations WNIC, WABX, WHYT, and WCZY.

Monday, December 29, 2014

| December 29, 2014

kmbz logoKMBZ-AM/FM, Kansas City to End Simulcast.  Rather than airing the same programming on 980 and 98.1 as it has been since spring 2011, Entercom Kansas City will break off into separate entities, while maintaining the talk format on both dial positions. KMBZ-FM programming will mostly be locally originated; syndicated personalities will comprise the majority of what will be heard on KMBZ-AM. KMBZ-FM’s modified lineup will feature “Kansas City’s Morning News” with E.J. Becker & Ellen Schenk,” (5:00 am – 10:00 am); “Trend KC” with Burns & Monacelli (10: 00 am – 2:00 pm); Dana Wright & Scott Parks (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm); Jonathan Weir (6:00 pm – 9:00 pm – Weir previously did mid-days); and Premiere Networks’ “Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis” (9:00 pm – 12:00 midnight). KMBZ-AM “Talk 980″ will include Darla Jaye (5:00 am – 9:00 am – Jaye previously did evenings); Glenn Beck (9:00 am – 11:00 am); Rush Limbaugh (11:00 am – 2:00 pm); Sean Hannity (2:00 pm – 5:00 pm); “America Now” (5:00 pm – 8:00 pm); Westwood One’Herman Cain (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm); and Laura Ingraham (10:00 pm – 12:00 midnight). Both stations will carry Premiere’s “