Category: Industry News

Friday, October 24, 2014

| October 24, 2014

ramseydaveDave Ramsey Hits the Big Screen.  Regular TALKERS readers are kept up-to-date on the live events that nationally syndicated talk star Dave Ramey presents in cities around the country.  Now, Ramsey is taking his presentation to the big screen as Fathom Events will produce “Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze Present: The Legacy Journey” for select cinemas nationwide for one night only on Wednesday, November 19 at 7:00 pm local time.  The production is from the recent event in Grand Rapids that was taped before a live audience.  The event will be presented in nearly 600 select movie theaters around the country through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network.  Fathom Events is listing the participating theaters on its website.  Ramsey states, “‘The Legacy Journey’ is about you taking control of your money; being debt-free, saving and investing.  When you start to see your future becoming secure, you will naturally become concerned with the next generations of your family.  When you do the things we teach, your vision expands and you start to see the world’s needs and how you can make a difference.”  Ramsey’s daughter Rachel Cruze is a seasoned communicator and presenter.  She recently published a new book titled, Smart Money Smart Kids, co-authored by Ramsey.

beasley logo longNet Revenue Dips 5% for Beasley During Third Quarter.  That figure is for continuing operations – the stations Beasley is keeping, excluding those slated to be sold to CBS.  Due to the pending transaction between Beasley and CBS in which it’s trading five of its stations for 14 CBS signals, the company is required to report both continuing operations and discontinued operations.  The net revenue from the combination of both continuing and discontinued operations was -5.9%.  The company reports that the decline “primarily reflects lower advertising revenue at the Company’s Wilmington and Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville market clusters which more than offset net revenue increases at the Company’s Las Vegas and Ft. Myers market clusters.”  Company chairman and CEO George Beasley comments, “We don’t believe third quarter operating results from continuing operations reflect the strength, ratings and local relevance of our platform, as the lower level of reported net revenue from continuing operations is temporarily mismatched with certain expenses that will be better amortized across the Company’s larger revenue base once we complete the asset exchange with CBS Radio.  We are very excited by the potential presented by the CBS transaction…The planned asset exchange with CBS Radio addresses these strategic objectives and upon completion, we will expand our owned and operated station base by nine stations increasing Beasley’s portfolio to 53, including 33 FM and 20 AM stations, in 12 markets with approximately 7.7 million weekly listeners.  Importantly, we will add completed clusters in the Tampa and Charlotte markets which complement our already strong mid-Atlantic presence.”

nielsen logoNielsen Q3 Revenue Up 14%.  That’s on a constant-currency basis.  The company reports that its core top-line growth (excluding the Arbitron and Harris acquisitions) was 3.4%.  Nielsen CEO Mitch Barns says that increase was “driven by strong growth in Audience Measurement, double-digit growth in Ad Solutions and double-digit growth in the emerging markets, offset somewhat by anticipated softness in our Insights business in North America.”  Barns adds that “Adjusted EBITDA was up nearly 20% or 22% on a constant-currency basis, reflecting the impact of our Arbitron acquisition as well as great execution by our operating units…And our free cash flow of $289 million was up 17% in the quarter versus the prior year.”  During yesterday’s investors conference call, Barns discussed the integration of ratings systems for television and digital but only spoke of radio and digital ratings integration in passing, saying the company is “making progress” and it would keep the industry “posted.”

henckmitchMadison Talk Personality Mitch Henck Returns with Internet Show, Broadcast Plans.  After being let go from iHeartMedia’s Madison news/talker WIBA in June, Mitch Henck says he’s been “hounded” by fans to get back behind the mic.  Starting Monday, October 27, Henck begins an internet-based talk show airing live daily from 8:00 am to 11:00 am CT.  Podcasts of the show will be available after the conclusion of each live show.  The program will be web only for the rest of the year but Henck has plans to roll out the show into AM/FM syndication in 2015.  The show will take live callers and feature guests.  Henck says, “It’s exciting to be back with a great team in place.  We’re committed to bringing you the highest quality programming every day.  And I can’t wait.”

ballentinewarrenFormer Talk Host Warren Ballentine Convicted in Chicago Mortgage Fraud Scheme.  The Chicago-based real estate lawyer was syndicated nationally by Radio One and his talk show was carried by as many as 37 affiliate stations before he was indicted on real estate fraud charges.  The Chicago Tribune reports that Warren Ballentine will be sentenced in January and could face up to 30 years in prison for bilking lenders out of some $10 million as part of the fraudulent loan scheme.  Ballentine’s attorney says they will appeal and that his client knew nothing of the fraud and served only as the closing agent, accruing about $8,000 in fees for the real estate transactions.  He also noted several of Ballentine’s co-defendants testified against him after striking deals with prosecutors.  See the Tribune piece here.

ibs logoMichael Harrison to Serve as Keynote Speaker at College Radio Conference – Agenda Includes Presentation by Holland Cooke.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (pictured here) will deliver the keynote address at the 7th Annual Intercollegiate Broadcasting System East Coast Radio, Webcasting & Mediaharrisonherald2 Conference held tomorrow (10/25) at Simmons College in Boston.  Harrison’s speech is titled “The Precarious Position of Audio-Only Media in the Age of Video Screens.” Harrison will discuss the psychological processes at play in the different ways in which the human brain processes various forms of sensory stimulation.  According to Harrison, “I enjoy speaking at events with college broadcasters because they are still, shall we say, academically inclined and it gives me the opportunity to put on my media theorist hat and address some of the abstract concepts underlying general communications in our cookehollandelectronically accelerated relationships.  I believe it is very important for people involved in anything having to do with the aurally based art forms of ‘radio’ and music to at least have an understanding of the mind’s different relationships with the eye and the ear.”  Harrison also plans to include a serious discussion of the sensitive relationship between form and content in the art and science of media in his address.  Also speaking at the event will be noted media consultant and TALKERS contributor Holland Cooke whose address is titled, “The Future of Talk Radio: YOU – The Revolution is Over.” He will identify the major challenges facing talk radio in this new era and offer solutions and encouragement for young broadcasters entering the field.  For more information about the one-day event, please click here.

Odds & Sods.  The new SiriusXM program hosted by Jenny McCarthy debuts on Monday, October 27.  The show is called “Dirty, Sexy, Funny with Jenny McCarthy” and is set to air daily from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET…..NBCSportsRadio.com is unveiling its first-ever digital-only show called “The 2 Robbies ‘Football’ Show”, a Premier League-focused program which stars NBC Sports Group analysts Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe.  The soccer show launches tomorrow at 5:00 pm ET…..Sports talk KWTO, Springfield, Missouri “98.7 The Jock” is changing network affiliations, moving from Fox Sports Radio Network to ESPN.  The Meyer Communications station inked a three-year deal with ESPN.

freemanedgeTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “Free Talk Live” featuring Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is added to the weekend program schedule at WIBC-FM, Indianapolis.  The program also recently began airing on KFNN, Phoenix; and KCOX, Jasper, Texas…..The GCN-distributed “Freedom Feens” show is added to the lineup at WSRQ, Sarasota…..The “Motley Fool Money” radio show is part of the weekend programming at WAFS, Atlanta.

Ebola Pandemic Threat Tops Talkers TenTM for Third Straight Week.  Discussion about the threat of an Ebola pandemic and the Obama Administration’s handling of the matter was again the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio for the week of October 20-24.  At #2 this week was the terror attacks that happened in Canada.  Coming in at #3 was the battle against ISIS in Iraq followed by the looming mid-term elections 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, October 23, 2014

| October 23, 2014

morrisdickDick Morris to Leave WPHT, Philadelphia Talk Show.  The notorious political operative has been hosting the afternoon drive program on CBS RADIO’s WPHT, Philadelphia for the past 18 months, but now informs the company he will exit after the mid-term elections to return to the political campaign business, focusing on assisting Republicans in 2016.  Dick Morris made the announcement on his Wednesday program and the Philadelphia Daily News is reporting that CBS RADIO Philly SVP and market manager Marcwpht logo Rayfield says, “He has done a great job for WPHT and we knew his busy schedule might one day make doing a daily radio show difficult.”  Rayfield expects to have news of the station’s plans for the daypart as soon as next week.  Philadelphia talk radio pro Gary R’nel co-hosts the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show alongside Morris and has been a largely unsung component of the program’s professional smoothness and appeal.  Also, it is reported in the Daily News story that noted media consultant Walter Sabo has been seen at the station in recent weeks and has even recently hosted several talk programs during nighttime hours under a fictitious name – fueling speculation that the Sabo Media CEO is either involved in the station as a sabowalterconsultant or even more provocatively as a potential replacement for an on-air talent opening.  Although Sabo’s involvement is officially denied by CBS market management, TALKERS magazine editorial intelligence indicates it is not unusual for well-known programming consultants to occasionally moonlight as fill-in talent simply for the sake of keeping their first-hand “feel” for the format active… or as is likely in the case of Sabo, simply for the fun of it.  Regarding developments at WPHT, Walter Sabo tells TALKERS, “Under [OM] Andy Bloom and [PD] Jared Hart, WPHT has become a dynamic, Philadelphia radio station. They’ve made a series of great decisions, they will make the right one again.”

veittomNew Local Show to Debut on WHBO, Tampa and WHOO, Orlando.  The two sports talk stations are operated by Genesis Communications and, although they carry the slogan “The Team,” are branded collectively along with the website of the same name, “Sports Talk Florida.” Now the simulcast adds a new local show to the program lineup.  Debuting in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot is “The Front Office,” hosted by Tom Veit, a.k.a. The GM.  The station says the program “will take a unique look at the Central Florida sports world giving listeners the perspective from those that make the deals and the sports insiders that know how they’re made. Veit is a seasoned sports executive with over 25 years of experience in the sports and entertainment industry.”  Veit comments, “With 10 major professional sports teams and seven all sport Division I collegiate programs in Florida, there needs to be a place during the midday to talk local sports.  Every day there will be passionate debates on the hot topics.  After spending so many years working in the Central Florida sports scene, the one thing I know is that there is passion from every point of view.”

westwood one sportsWestwood One’s Unique Fourth Down. Pro football fans this Sunday (10/26) will experience either pure nirvana or pigskin overkill when Westwood One airs four consecutive NFL games. The league’s “International Series” affair between the Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons from London’s Wembley Stadium kicks off the coverage, beginning at 9:00 am (ET).  Assigned to that contest are Dave Sims and Mark Malone.  Kevin Lee and Ross Tucker will call the Houston Texans versus Tennessee Titans game, which starts at 12:30 pm (ET). Immediately following, the Philadelphia Eagles play the Arizona Cardinals, with Tom McCarthy and Rod Woodson handling play-by-play and analysis duties, respectively.  Wrapping up Westwood One’s quadruple-header marathon is the 7:30 pm (ET) tussle between the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints, with Kevin Kugler, James Lofton, and Chris Doering doing the broadcasting honors.

abcKaterskyOttawaOn the Scene in Ottawa.  As Canada deals with the attacks at the country’s National War Memorial and Parliament that happened on Tuesday, ABC News Radio‘s Aaron Katersky is on the scene.  He’s pictured here just down the road from the Parliament building in Ottawa reporting after Michael Zehaf-Bibeau killed Canadian Army reservist Nathan Cirillo who was serving as a guard at the capitol.   

Michael Brown Autopsy Report/Ferguson Tensions, Mid-Term Elections, Ebola Pandemic Threat, Monica Lewinsky Speech, Canadian Killings, Battle Against ISIS, and Renee Zellweger Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/22).  The unofficial release of the autopsy report on Michael Brown indicating he was shot at close range and the tensions in Ferguson, Missouri; the looming mid-term elections and speculation about a majority change in the Senate; the Ebola pandemic threat and the Obama Administration’s response; the revisiting of the Monica Lewinsky-Bill Clinton affair after Lewinsky’s recent speech blaming the Drudge Report for “ruining” her life; the recent killings in Canada related to homegrown “jihadists”; the coalition battle against ISIS in Iraq; and the flap over actress Renee Zellweger’s changed appearance were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

| October 22, 2014

limbaughrushPew Research Study of Most- and Least-Trusted News Outlets Demands Definition of ‘News Outlet.’  The results of the recently released Pew Research study of the most- and least-trusted news outlets come from the firm’s ongoing American Trends Panel and were culled from 2,900 responses.  Many ofstewartjon the findings are not surprising – liberals don’t trust Fox News Channel and conservatives don’t trust NPR – but what TALKERS found interesting was the inclusion of radio talk shows such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and TV comedy shows like “The Colbert Report” and “The Daily Show” among news outlets.  Lumping talk and comedy shows with actual news organizations certainly gives the list some color.  For the record, TALKERS does not consider a talk show or television show a “news outlet” in the traditional sense, but perhaps the fact that at least some consumers get their “news” from Jon Stewart or Rush Limbaugh is broadening the definition of “news outlet” whether industry people consider it to be so or not.  See the Pew study here.

galuskijoeWSYR, Syracuse Personality Galuski Battling Cancer.  Morning show personality Joe Galuski has been off iHeartMedia-owned news/talker WSYR, Syracuse for the past five weeks and yesterday the station fixture announced he’s been battling cancer.  Syracuse.com reports Galuski is fighting non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a stronger form of the same disease that he beat after a previous occurrence in 1992.  Galuski assured listeners that he is going to “knock it out.”  iHeartMedia VP/market manager Rick Yacobush tells Syracuse.com, “Our plan right now is for Mark Wainwright and George Kilpatrick to be alternating as morning hosts and keep the seat warm until Joe returns.”  Read the whole story here.

salemtownhall14Successful Event.  This photo was taken from the balcony of the Alex Theatre in Glendale, California at last weekend’s AM 870 The Answer Town Hall.  On the stage are (from left to right): KRLA “The Morning Answer” hosts Elisha Krauss and Brian Whitman, “Morning Answer” host and author Ben Shapiro, SRN-syndicated talk hosts Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, and Hugh Hewitt; and author and media personality Katie Pavlich.  The sell-out crowd of 1,300 was also treated to surprise guest Mike Gallagher leading them in a spirited rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”  The hosts heard on the Salem-owned station batted around issues including the mid-term elections, the upcoming leaders of the Republican Party and the Ebola pandemic threat.

westwood one NEWWestwood One and vCreative Extend Partnership.  The rep deal between Westwood One and vCreative continues as the two firms announce a multi-year extension.  vCreative offers cloud-based terrestrial and digital software that allows continuity, traffic, and production departments to work easily together.  Westwood One COO Charles Steinhauer says, “vCreative is a great partner for Cumulus and the radio industry at large as they continue to innovate and improve station work flow.  Westwood One is proud to extend our partnership with vCreative president Jinny Laderer and her team as we continue to represent the best and brightest companies in the marketplace.”

morrisginnyThe Conclave to Honor Ginny Morris with Rockwell Award.  As the 39th Conclave Learning Conference on November 14-15 in Minneapolis approaches, The Conclave announces the 2014 Rockwell Award is being bestowed upon Hubbard Radio chair and CEO Ginny Morris.  Conclave board of directors chairman Mark Bolke says, “The Rockwell Award recognizes those who have contributed to the rich legacy of the radio industry, communicating, inspiring and mentoring.  Ginny has led Hubbard’s radio division from a two-station Minneapolis based group to one of the prominent and most respected radio companies in the country.  We thank Ginny for her support of the Conclave over the years.”

sternAnalysisHoward Stern to Undergo Analysis on Radio Show.  He’s received a lot of attention during his long radio career, but now Howard Stern will undergo “scientific and metaphysical analysis” on “The Outer Limits of Inner Truth Radio Show.”  To be clear, Howard Stern is not appearing on the show (as far as we know), but the program’s hosts will speak with experts from various disciplines as part of the show.  Executive producer Ryan McCormick says, “We’re going to examine Mr. Stern’s life in a way that we feel has never been done before.  We believe that Howard Stern is a very deep intellectual and spiritual person and that his life can offer humanity a lot of valuable lessons.”  The program – set to air on Saturday, October 25 at 10:00 pm CT (on the web, 11:00 pm CT broadcast) – will be divided into five parts and feature 15 separate interviews with people including Regan Arts CEO Judith Regan, former Viacom EVP Tony Fox, a former Stern show intern, plus numerous psychics and psychologists.  McCormick adds, “It is our sincere hope that the research we’ve compiled for this broadcast helps Mr. Stern in some way to have a greater understanding of who he truly is and provide him with some measure of peace and comfort.”  See more about the show at www.outerlimitsradio.com.

Ebola Pandemic Threat, Mid-Term Elections, Monica Lewinsky Speech, the Battle Against ISIS/Denver Teens Plan, Michael Brown Autopsy Report/Ferguson Tensions, Obama Green Cards/Immigration Plan Report, Financial Markets Activity, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/21).  The concerns over an Ebola pandemic and how U.S. authorities are dealing with the matter; the looming mid-term elections and the possibility of a majority change in the Senate; reaction to Monica Lewinsky’s recent speech in which she blamed the media for her treatment after the Bill Clinton affair; the ongoing battle against ISIS and the case of three Denver teen girls trying to fly to Syria to join ISIS; the just-released Michael Brown autopsy and tensions in Ferguson over whether Darren Wilson will be charged; reports of the Obama Administration’s plan to increase the number of green cards issued and its immigration policy; the activity on the world’s financial markets; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

| October 21, 2014

wtopEbolaEbola Dominates Talk Radio as Matter Is Top-of-Mind with Public.  The issues surrounding the outbreak of Ebola in Africa and its spread to other nations including the U.S., make it the ongoing top story being discussed on talk radio.  The different aspects of the issue – the political, the medical, the immigration-related and the economic – are making it an ongoing topic worth examining from different angles.  Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington presented a panel discussion about the issue at Washington’s Newseum on Monday (10/20).  Pictured here at the Newseum’s Knight Studio are (from left to right): Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene for the state of Maryland; Dr. Jesse Goodman, professor of medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center (who is also former chief scientist for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration); Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institutes for Health; Bruce Alan, WTOP midday anchor and Debra Feinstein, WTOP midday anchor.  The live event, carried on WTOP, featured the medical experts answering audience questions about the virus, the outbreak and response in the United States.  It was attended by more than 100 guests including healthcare workers and media representatives from CNN, BBC, C-SPAN, Associated Press, U.S. News and World Report, WJLA, WUSA 9, NBC Washington, FOX 5, and more.

ktth logoKTTH, Seattle Sells Out Gun Rights Debate.  This is the third panel discussion Bonneville Seattle news/talk KTTH will host in the “Freedom Series.”  It takes place tomorrow (10/22) at Pigott Auditorium at Seattle University from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm and the event is sold out.  The panel is being moderated by KTTH host David Boze.  Also taking part from the station are KTTH pm drive host and New York Times bestselling author Ben Shapiro and Salem Radio Network-syndicated host Michael MedvedDave Ross, heard on sister news/talker KIRO-FM, is also taking part.  Representing Washington Ceasefire is president and activist Ralph Fascitelli.  KTTH program director Jason Antebi states, “There is a conflict between honoring the Second Amendment rights of Washingtonians and tackling the issue of needless gun violence.  Without examining both sides of the issue, I’m not sure we can find any solutions.  It’s my hope that this panel can provide us all with meaningful information and find common ground among folks on either side of this issue.”

abcnewsradioABC News Radio, Fox News Radio Set Midterm Election Coverage. Two weeks from tonight (Tuesday, 11/4), Aaron Katersky will anchor ABC News Radio‘s 7:00 pm – 2:00 am (ET) midterm election coverage.  Alex Stone is among the network’s team of more than a dozen correspondents – he will be in California; Steven Portnoy will report from Kentucky; and Jim Ryan will report from Dallas.  Special contributor Ann Compton joins the coverage from Washington, while Richard Davies will be stationed at the network’s “Decision Desk.”  ABC News Radio will provide one-minute Election Day foxnewsradio“Status Reports.”  It will continue doing so four times an hour for seven hours, starting at 7:00 pm (ET), on (Wednesday) November 5. Meanwhile, Fox News Radio will air an hour-long Dave Anthony-hosted “Balance of Power” weekend special before Election Day.  The FNR morning anchor will take a final look at various key races around the country.  Fox News Radio’s Lisa Brady and Fox News Channel‘s Kelly Wright are slated to co-anchor election night coverage (6:00 pm – 2:00 am, ET), with additional contributions provided by FNR political analyst Jeff Birnbaum and FNC’s Molly Henneberg. FNR correspondents will report from various election headquarters.  FNC’s Eric Shawn and Julie Banderas co-host a two-hour “Morning after Election” on Wednesday, November 5.

topicpulse logoLDR Interactive’s TopicPulse Partners with E.W. Scripps TV and WTOP, Washington.  The real-time social media monitoring system TopicPulse is now being used by E.W. Scripps Television and Hubbard Broadcasting’s WTOP, Washington.  LDR Interactive says that its TopicPulse system “scans social media including Twitter and Facebook, local message boards, and news sources to track trending topics in a local market.”  Additionally, producers can access trending videos and images, and see which primary demo (gender and age group) is most inclined to engage with the topic on social media.  TopicPulse also features a Tweetmap that showcases the market’s most popular tweets and hashtags on a local map, enabling producers to create hyper-local content based on up-to-the-minute social trends.  LDR reports that E.W. Scripps Television is using TopicPulse to fuel a nationally syndicated show called “The Now,” which uniquely focuses on trending topics and social buzz in each local market.  With WTOP, TopicPulse is being used to track social media engagement within the beltway. Hubbard Washington SVP and GM Joel Oxley says, “TopicPulse has been a difference maker and a smart addition to our newsroom toolkit.  The more information we have to track what our audience is interested in, the greater the opportunity is to better serve their needs, and TopicPulse helps us get there.”  LDR CEO Daniel Anstandig says, “We’ve been quietly deploying TopicPulse in major markets across the US this year.  Whether you are creating content for a national TV show or a local market radio morning show, TopicPulse provides the real-time insights that on-air talent and producers need in an instant.  It’s a secret weapon for content producers.”

spreaker logoWYD Media Ad Sales Partners with Spreaker.  This partnership puts together WYD Media Ad Sales LLC and Spreaker, “an international digital company that provides a diverse community of broadcasters, musicians and producers a platform where they can listen to original content and/or upload their own content and seamlessly distribute it on www.Spreaker.com.”   WYD Media Ad Sales president John Murphy says, “Spreaker’s technology is exceptional because it allows broadcast capabilities and sharing of all entertainment genres in both spoken-word and music.  This is a great opportunity for our advertising clients because we can actually create andhartenbaumron distribute content specifically for them in any format imaginable.”  Spreaker CEO Francesco Baschieri comments, “I’m excited to see yet another piece of our vision fall into place.  We’re contributing to a new type of media with Spreaker as the internet’s new home for spoken-word content.  Thanks to this collaboration with WYD Media Ad Sales, we’ll be able to give our hosts a way to build on their talent and monetize.   Anyone who thinks they can step up to this game is welcome to join.”  WYD CEO Ron Hartenbaum adds, “The platform is an organic community of people who really want to be there and are actively participating.  I’m excited about tapping into that marketplace by creating and aggregating cohesive content with Francesco and our clients.”

Odds & Sods.  Longtime Twin Falls, Idaho radio personality Kelly Klaas is retiring after a 45-year career that started on top 40 station KEEP (now KEZJ-AM).  Klaas has been hosting a talk show on Townsquare Media’s news/talk KLIX since 2007…..James Crystal Radio’s sports talk WMEN, West Palm Beach “640 Sports” names Steve White afternoon drive host.  White replaces Orlando Alzugaray who exited in August to join WQAM, Miami.

karnlogoCool Job Opportunity.  KARN-FM, Little Rock and the Arkansas Radio Network are looking for the next great news anchor/producer to join Arkansas’ largest radio newsroom!  You have to be a great news writer and multi-tasker, because you’ll be anchoring newscasts on “Newsradio 102.9” KARN and the Arkansas Radio Network.  You’ll also contribute to our live morning and/or afternoon drive talk shows.  Must be able to work nights and weekends.  Please send resumes, broadcast writing samples and airchecks to: cumulusradio.jobs@cumulus.com with “Little Rock News” in the subject line.  Cumulus Media Little Rock maintains a drug-free workplace and is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer.  Women and minorities are strongly encouraged to apply.

kfwb sports‘The Beast 980’ to Open Los Angeles Clippers Season with Special Broadcast.  When the 2014-15 NBA season kicks off and the Los Angeles Clippers host their home opener, KFWB “The Beast 980” is celebrating the event with a special, live broadcast featuring Jim Rome and Fred Roggin outside Staples Center on Thursday, October 30 from 12:00 noon to 7:00 pm.  The station says its exclusive Clippers insider coverage kicks off with the Fred Roggin show from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm followed by “The Drive,” with Brett Winterble and former NFL tight end George Wrighster from 3:00 pm to 6:30 pm.  Rome, who will broadcast his CBS Sports Radio Network-syndicated show earlier in the day from Orange County, makes his way up to Staples Center for a special appearance as co-host from 4:00 pm to 6:30 pm.

Ebola Pandemic Threat, Mid-Term Elections, Campaign Against ISIS, Pistorius Sentenced, New Green Cards Plan/Amnesty Policy, Monica Lewinsky Speech, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/20).  The ongoing threat of a global Ebola pandemic and the Obama Administration’s handling of the crisis; the looming mid-term elections and the potential for a majority shift in the Senate; the political landscape in the Middle East with ISIS gaining more power in Iraq; former Paralympics sprinter Oscar Pistorius sentenced; a reported plan by the Obama Administration to issue new immigrant workers green cards and the possibility of a new amnesty policy; reaction to Monica Lewinsky’s recent speech blaming the Drudge Report for her public reputation; and the weekend’s NFL action were among the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, October 20, 2014

| October 20, 2014

redskins logoWWXX License Renewal Objection Draws Response. The FCC is considering whether it should rule if the team name of the NFL‘s Washington franchise (“Redskins”) is indecent.  One of that team’s three radio flagships – Red Zebra Broadcasting-owned WWXX – has filed its answer to objections regarding the renewal of its broadcast license.  WWXT (92.7) and WWXX (94.3) repeat the signal of primary flagship WTEM “ESPN 980.”  Red Zebra states that its response “makes clear that under the Communications Act and the First Amendment, the FCC should not be in the business of censoring the content of radio stations.  Any debate about the team’s name and its meaning should be held in the free marketplace of ideas, not in the halls of the FCC or any other governmental agency.”  Red Zebra counsel Andrew McBride of Wiley Rein LLP comments, redzebra“We hope the FCC will swiftly reject this transparent attempt to use the license renewal process to intimidate broadcasters across the country with the baseless threat that accurately reporting on the Washington football franchise by using the team’s full name violates any law or FCC regulation.”  Many consider the name of the DC franchise a slur to Native Americans and they have called on team owner – and Red Zebra primary investor – Dan Snyder to change it.  President Barack Obama is among those fccasking the NFL to endorse a name alteration, as are at least one-half the members of the U.S. Senate.  In a preliminary 18-page formal petition to deny renewal of a station’s FCC broadcast license, petitioner John F. Banzhaf III, “a listener to station WWXX, respectfully requests on behalf of himself and others similarly situated, and who are like himself adversely affected or aggrieved, that the agency deny the renewal of this station’s license and any other requests.  It deliberately, repeatedly, and unnecessarily broadcasts the word ‘R*dskins’ during most of its broadcasting day, and especially in prime time where its well documented adverse impact on impressionable young Indian as well as non-Indian children is greatest.  Through its licensee and controlling owner Dan Snyder, also actively encourages or indeed forces many other broadcasters to likewise broadcast a derogatory racial and ethnic slur contrary to the public interest.”  Banzhaf is an American legal activist and a law professor at George Washington University Law School.  The Washington Post editorial board has stopped using the team’s name, and a panel of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled the team’s trademark registration four months ago.  Even so, Snyder vows to keep the name.  TALKERS legal editor Steve J.J. Weisman recently wrote a column about this matter addressing the FCC’s jurisdiction to rule on the issue.  Read that piece here.

cookehollandCooke: Two Weekend Problems, Two Solutions.  In a piece written exclusively for TALKERS, radio consultant Holland Cooke addresses two weekend problems that face talk radio stations and offers a couple of solutions.  He says ask-the-expert shows – i.e. brokered programming from local attorneys, real estate agents, veterinarians, etc. – don’t have to sound bad!  Coach them so their broadcasts are well-executed and informative.  Plus, let these clients use your listen-on-demand capabilities to reach more potential customers and they will be more satisfied with the money they are spending on your station.  Read Cooke’s entire piece here.

barnesgabeHow Mobile Can Save Your Talk Radio Brand.  Digital media pro Gabe Barnes says, in a column exclusive to TALKERS, that he’s surprised by the number of radio execs who are put off by the reported amount of radio app usage that takes place outside of the station’s broadcast range.  They see primarily the streaming fees for a listener who’s outside the “market.”  The Mersoft Media director, business development says that’s not necessarily bad.  “Many of those listening out of the broadcast range are actually local residents or have some ties to that local community.  A local advertisement would be just as effective, provided the advertisement is compelling and targeted.”  But there are more advantages for getting fans of your programming to go “mobile” with it.  Read Barnes’ entire column here.

wtic logoWTIC, Hartford License Renewal on Enforcement Hold.  With the conviction of former Connecticut Governor John Rowland – until April of 2014 the afternoon drive personality on WTIC, Hartford – on campaign fraud charges in the rear view, CBS RADIO’srowlandjohn news/talk WTIC, Hartford is now waiting out an enforcement hold on his license renewal with the FCC.  In a story in the Hartford Courant, Edmund Mahony writes that the hold on the process is due to a “payola” complaint to the FCC related to Rowland’s actions promoting a Republican candidate in a primary race without disclosing – either to the radio audience or the FEC – that he was on that candidate’s payroll.  The FCC doesn’t comment on the specifics of these matters and CBS RADIO is simply confirming that the process is on hold but the company does not know why.  Rowland is set to be sentenced in January.  The station certainly took its share of criticism for hiring Rowland after his first conviction in 2004 on corruption charges related to activities while in the governor’s office.  Now, the station may be liable for a fine or reprimand, according to experts Mahony cites in his story.  Most experts agree a denial of the license renewal for WTIC is unlikely, to say the least.

espnradioESPN Radio to Air World Series. This marks the seventeenth straight year that ESPN Radio has exclusive radio rights to MLB‘s World Series.  ESPN “Sunday Night Baseball” lead play-by-play announcer Dan Shulman and analyst Aaron Boone will function in those capacities on the radio broadcasts for the best-of-seven series that commences tomorrow night (10/21) between the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants.  Pre-game and post-game coverage will be handled by Jon Sciambi, analyst Chris Singleton, ESPN MLB insider Peter Pascarelli, and Marc Kestecher.  Meanwhile, for the tenth successive year, ESPN Deportes Radio will broadcast every game for a Spanish-speaking audience.  San Diego Padres Spanish-language announcer Eduardo Ortega will be joined by Renato Bermudez, Armando Talavera, and Jose Francisco Rivera.

kmbz logoCool Job Opportunity.  One of the top newsrooms in the country, KMBZ in Kansas City, has an immediate opening for a Morning Show Executive News Producer.  This is a unique opportunity for someone with great writing skills, an appetite for everything news, and a desire to create exclusive content each and every day.  Candidates need to have a news background, and a good understanding of news-wheel operations.  Reporting experience would be very good as well.  “Kansas City’s Morning News” and KMBZ are committed to finding the right person to fill this position.  If you have what it takes, send a resume, along with anything else that will make you shine to KMBZJobs@gmail.com.  KMBZ and Entercom Kansas City are an Equal Opportunity Employer.

salemIsraelSalem Personalities in Israel.  Four Salem Communications Christian teaching talk personalities are accompanying more than 350 listeners on a trip through the Holy Land.  Pictured here from left to right are: Mark Daniels, WFIL, Philadelphia; Frank Sontag, KKLA, Los Angeles; Georgene Rice, KPDQ, Portland; and Kevin McCullough, nationally syndicated and WMCA, New York after a lunch on Mt. Carmel in Haifa, Israel.  Also joining the listeners and personalities on this trip is Salem Communications radio division president David Santrella.

Friday, October 17, 2014

| October 17, 2014

boycephilBoyce: Talk Radio Is NOT Dying.  In a new opinion piece posted today in TALKERS, Salem Communications VP/director, spoken word format and operations VP, New York region, Phil Boyce, answers the steady stream of critics who claim that news/talk radio is gasping its last gulp of air.  He writes, “They seem to come out of the woodwork these days.  Most of them never understood talk radio, and why it got so big.  Some of them have their own personal dislikes about the format, and now that there are rumors of our death, they relish in it.  I have seen more reasons for this than I can shake a stick at, and NONE of it makes sense to me.”  Boyce takes issue with the findings of the recently released report from Bridge Research (originally exclusively published in TALKERS on10/15) stating that listeners are fatigued by the repetitive nature of today’s media news cycle and talk radio’s response to it.  Boyce also answers a widely disseminated blog by a political science professor in Human Events claiming talk radio is dying because of “conservative greed” and takes a shot at Nielsen’s ongoing exclusion of online numbers when tallying radio audience figures, an omission that is particularly detrimental to news/talk.  To read Phil Boyce’s entire piece, please click here.

ramseySeattle14Dave Ramsey Delivers in Seattle.  This photo shows nationally syndicated talk radio superstar and New York Times best-selling author Dave Ramsey heading out onto the stage at Benaroya Hall in Seattle on October 16 where he presented his “Legacy Journey LIVE!” event.  For this presentation, Ramsey’s daughter, Rachel Cruze, joined him on stage to talk about winning with money, strengthening marriages and leading children with confidence.  The day before, Ramsey hosted his “EntreLeadership 1 Day Event” along with speakers Chris Hogan and Christy Wright. That presentation focused on how to run a business using the same common-sense principles that Ramsey practices in his own company of more than 400 team members.  Local affiliate KTTH partnered with Ramsey to promote the events.  Station program director Jason Antebi says, “Whenever Dave comes to town, people get excited – from the listeners to the station’s staff.  Not only does he provide great inspiration and insight to listener’s lives through his show and top-notch events, his team offers some great tips we can impart to our sellers.  Can’t Dave just move to Western Washington?”

salemcommunicationsSalem Stations Hold Listener Rallies in Advance of Elections.  Three of the conservative news/talk stations owned by Salem Communications are holding listener rallies in the weeks leading up to the November 4 elections.  On October 18, KSKY, Dallashannity “660 AM The Answer” welcomes Premiere Networks syndicated star Sean Hannity who joins local hosts Mark Davis and Jon David Wells to a sold-out event where potential 2016 presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz will appear.  On October 19 in Glendale, California KRLA “AM 870 walshjoeThe Answer” is presenting “Town Hall 2014” featuring the “Morning Answer” team of Brian Whitman, Ben Shapiro and Elisha Krauss, along with Salem Radio Network national hosts Dennis Prager, Michael Medved and Hugh Hewitt.  Townhall.com columnist Katie Pavlich will also be in attendance.  Then on October 24 and 25, WIND, Chicago “AM 560 The Answer” presents an event featuring local host and former congressman Joe Walsh, morning team John Howell and Amy Jacobson, Sean Hannity, potential presidential candidate Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, author and speaker Mark Steyn, and Radio America syndicated personality Dana Loesch.  Sean Hannity comments, “It’s always a blast to see our listeners face-to-face and feel their excitement as we move into the final stretch of this important election season.”  Salem VP/director of spoken word format Phil Boyce says, “All of our news/talkers have been all over this election season for months and these events will help them capitalize on the enthusiasm and interest in three of our largest markets.  It’s just another thing we do to stay connected to the community.”

madisonjoeOdds & Sods.  At the CBS RADIO cluster in Chicago, the company promotes Ashley Fields from her director of marketing position at sports talk WSCR to marketing director of all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM and WSCR.  According to Chicago media writer Robert Feder, the addition of Cubs broadcasts on WBBM-AM beginning next season means a new focus on sports programming for the all-newser.  Feder reports Fields will also “oversee integrated marketing and non-tradition revenue efforts for Cubs baseball and Bears football on WBBM Newsradio and White Sox baseball on ‘The Score.’”…..SiriusXM personality Joe Madison is one of a number of DC VIPs being honored in Washington on Sunday, October 26 at “No Permission Needed 2014” – the 10th anniversary celebration and afternoon of fine art by M. Gasby Brown.  The event pays tribute to Detroit natives who’ve “lived, worked and played in Washington, DC.”  WPGC, Washington news anchor Guy Lambert is serving as master of ceremonies for the celebration…..Former WQAM, Miami evening personality Kevin Rogers is now handling weekend news anchor duties for iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk WIOD.  During his time with Beasley Broadcast Group, Rogers also was studio host for the Florida Panthers Radio Network…..Angie Austin is the new host of “Daybreak USA,” syndicated by Ten Syndication and IRN-USA Radio Network.  She most recently was a personality at Crawford Broadcasting-owned religious stations KLTT and KLVZ in Denver.

bobandtomBob & Tom Debut Customized Football Songs.  The first affiliate to get a Bob & Tom customized football song is iHeartMedia-owned classic rock WOFX, Cincinnati “Fox 92.5.”  The Westwood One-syndicated morning show duo is creating the songs for affiliates in markets with college or pro football teams.  The song for WOFX promotes the Bob & Tom show while getting listeners pumped for the next Bengals matchup.  Sample the Cincinnati Bengals song, “Who Dey,”

 
.  Other markets being rolled out include New Orleans, Green Bay, Detroit, Buffalo, Chicago, Oklahoma, and Nebraska.  The show’s Tom Griswold says, “This is a terrific opportunity for us to create something exclusive for our listeners that can only be heard on the Bob & Tom show affiliate stations.”  “Who Dey” and all the other team songs are performed by Duke Tumatoe and The Bob & Tom Band, and recorded at the show’s recording studio in Indianapolis.

Ebola Pandemic Threat Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of October 13-17.  The growing threat of an Ebola pandemic along with associated topics including criticism of the CDC, the Obama Administration’s response and questions about travel restrictions combined to be the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week.  At #2 on the Talkers TenTM was the battle against ISIS.  Following at #3 was the looming mid-term elections and chatter about the possibility of a majority change in the House and at #4 was Florida’s Charlie Crist-Rick Scott debate flap.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio each week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s complete chart here.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

| October 16, 2014

westwood one NEWWestwood One to Cease Production of NBC News Radio. Affiliates received the word yesterday (Wednesday, 10/15) by way of a note from senior vice president of affiliate sales Dennis Green that NBC News Radio newscasts and other programming will no longer be produced/distributed by Westwood One.  As a substitute, Westwood One will soon provide its own CNN-powered branded news network.  Green writes that Westwood One News will offer stations “enhanced programming, correspondent reports and news features.  Westwood One News is designed to help stations integrate their local branding into newscasts with greater flexibility, including selecting one- to five-minute newscasts based on need and preference.” Westwood One will halt production/distribution of the NBC News Radio network as of 12:00 midnight (ET) Monday, December 15.

merrillchrisChris Merrill Moves to iHeartMedia’s KFYI, Phoenix.  It turns out that Chris Merrill – most recently morning drive host at iHeartMedia’s KOGO, San Diego – will not be banished to the evening slot there but will move to the company’s KFYI, Phoenix to take over the afternoon drive show being vacated by Mike Broomhead, who moves to mornings.  KOGO shifted to a newsier show format for its morning and afternoon drive dayparts and had slated Merrill to host the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm show.  But with Barry Young retiring from KFYI and Broomhead taking over his mid-morning slot, an opening on the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm show was created that Merrill will fill beginning November 10.  KFYI program director Neil Larrimore states, “We are beyond thrilled to bring Chris into town!  He is an up-and-coming superstar who understands the evolution of talk radio.  With Chris joining the team, KFYI is perfectly positioned for much success in 2015 and beyond.”

salisburyseanSean Salisbury Gets More Air Time in Houston.  According to a report by the Houston Chronicle’s David Barron, Sean Salisbury will replace Chronicle columnist Jerome Solomon on the KFNC, Houston “ESPN Houston 97.5” 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm program alongside station sports director Dave Tepper.  Salisbury also co-hosts the Yahoo! Sports Radio afternoon show with John Granato heard on KGOW in the market.  Solomon is leaving the radio show to focus on his news duties.

frantzbobBob Frantz Lands at Toledo Sports Talker.  After being ousted in July from iHeartMedia’s news/talk WTAM, Cleveland where he hosted the evening show, Bob Frantz finds a radio home at Cumulus Media’s sports talk WLQR, Toledo “106.5 The Ticket” on the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm show.  WLQR recently parted company with Norm Wamer who held down that daypart.  According to a story in the Toledo Blade, Frantz will broadcast from his home in Northeast Ohio as well as from the station’s Toledo studios.  The paper quotes Cumulus RVP and market manager Andy Stuart saying the program will be “a Northwest Ohio sports talk show” that will also cover Detroit, Cleveland and South Bend sports.

wtoplogoWTOP, Washington to Present Live Ebola Program from Newseum.  Washington all-news outlet WTOP is presenting a special town hall program on Monday, October 20 at 10:00 am live from the Knight TV Studio at the Newseum in DC.  The Hubbard station says it will examine the threat of Ebola in the U.S. and beyond.  The program will be hosted by WTOP anchors Bruce Alan and Debra Feinstein and will feature expert guests Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at National Institutes of Health, and Dr. Jesse Goodman, professor of Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center and active infectious diseases clinician at the Washington DC VA Medical Center and Walter Reed Medical Center.  The station also extended an invitation to the Centers for Disease Control to join the panel.  WTOP program director Laurie Cantillo says, “WTOP is pleased to facilitate an in-depth discussion on this important subject.  The town hall format gives everyone a chance to ask questions directly of two preeminent physicians on the forefront of the battle against this deadly disease.”  The Knight TV Studio will seat 150 people for this broadcast.

salemcommunicationsPerez Appointed VP/GM of Salem Miami.  At the Salem Communications Miami cluster, Felix Perez is tapped to be vice president and general manager.  Perez – who has nearly 23 years of experience in Spanish media – was most recently vice president and general manager of Univision New York.  Salem radio division senior vice president Allen Power comments, “We are excited about having Felix at the helm in Miami.  His years of leadership in media; his focus in Spanish radio; and his track record for exploiting new opportunities and solving problems make him uniquely qualified for this role.”  Perez remarks, “Salem’s values and mission are a great match for my own personal business philosophy.  The company’s record of delivering for all of its constituencies while holding true to its mission makes it unique.”  Salem’s Miami cluster consists of Christian talk WHIM “The Answer”; Spanish Christian talk WKAT “Radio Luz”; Spanish variety WOCN “La Nueva”; and business talk WZAB “The Biz.”

word logoCool Job Opportunity.  Incredible talk show talent needed.  WORD 106.3, the news/talk leader in Greenville, SC, has a rare and immediate opening for an exceptional talk show personality.  The ideal candidate will be an excellent communicator able to connect with the conservative values of our on-air and social media audiences and will have the skills and desire to become a trusted talent that WORD 106.3 listeners can depend on for local, state and national topics.  You will have a team of like-minded professionals, with on-air skills.  You will work in a fast-paced, challenging environment and you will have unbridled desire to dominate your time slot and make your brand iconic in the 59th largest market.  You’ll work at the largest cluster in the State of South Carolina for Entercom, the best broadcaster in the radio space.  You’ll live in beautiful Greenville, South Carolina and have the support and tools you need to be successful and create a powerful local brand.  Is this you?  You have experience preparing and executing an interactive, engaging, successful talk show.  You are a master of creativity, imagination and professional judgment in writing, producing, interviewing and creating content.  You are wired to what’s important to your audience and know how to deliver it to your audience on air and with social media.  Required Experience: A demonstrated track record of on-air success that will translate to success at WORD 106.3.  Please submit your resume to greenvillejobs@entercom.com.  Entercom Greenville is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Ebola Pandemic Threat/CDC Criticism, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Prospects, Financial Markets Activity/Falling Oil Prices, Battle Against ISIS, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/15).  The threat of an Ebola pandemic, criticism of the Obama Administration’s and CDC’s handling of the matter and concerns over the lack of travel bans from countries with Ebola outbreaks; the looming mid-term elections and talk about the prospects for the 2016 presidential race; the tumultuous global financial markets and falling oil prices; the battle against ISIS, and the two MLB championship series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

| October 15, 2014

stephandougDoug Stephan and WYD Media Management Partner for Syndication.  The new relationship between nationally syndicated radio personality Doug Stephan and Ron Hartenbaum’s WYM Media Management means WYM begins handling affiliate sales for Doug Stephan’s “Good Day” morning show and it will oversee the national launch of “Good Day Weekend,” a three-hour show that will be available for broadcast any time, every weekend.  The two partners say the new show will feature “segments and stories in real time, discussing the week’s breaking news with lively interviews of newsmakers and plenty of advice and fun commentary.”   Doug Stephan comments, “Ron and his talented team bring a level of professionalism and credibility that will surely take ‘Good Day’ to unprecedented levels.  I’m looking forward to working with such a wonderful partner.”

riverageraldoThe Village Voice Names Geraldo Best AM Radio Host in NYC.  The iconic New York paper is out with its 2014 Best Of Awards and WABC late morning personality Geraldo Rivera takes the Best AM Radio Personality Award.  The paper writes, in part, “Geraldo Rivera actually has something to say.  The guy understands the issues of the day and has enough confidence in his opinions to call bullshit on blowhards like Bill O’Reilly, which he often does on that toad’s own show with style and red-faced grace.”   Check out the full story here.

wffr logoFull Service FM Signal Begins Serving Muskegon, Michigan.  The programming at WFFR, Muskegon, Michigan is a blend of talk and music that launched on Monday, October 13 as a non-profit station operated by Shoreline Broadcasting.  Local radio pros – including Andy O’Riley, Bill Marshall and Matt Hendricks – are serving as on-air personalities.  According to MLive.com, the station is branding itself, “The Official Radio Station of Muskegon County.”  The station is playing music – mostly classic rock – when it’s not airing spoken-word content.  O’Riley, who is also serving as the station’s general manager, says on the station’s website, “Our focus will be on making sure that our role as a community asset will be appreciated and used often.  Yes, we need to make a living but we also need to be the voice of a community.”

farmjournalmediaFarm Journal Broadcast to Debut Digital Platform.  From Farm Journal Broadcast comes a digital mobile radio service called, “My Farm Radio.”  The company says that the new digital effort is set to debut on November 3 and will focus on providing a mix of best-in-class news, weather and markets along with entertaining and informative conversation for America’s farmers and ranchers.  It will feature both a live stream and on-demand content.  Farm Journal Media SVP of broadcast Brian Conrady says, “All the latest research indicates that for a growing number of farmers and ranchers, mobile devices are rapidly becoming the go-to choice for news and information.  While this totally new offering will be a first for agriculture, we expect our audience – and clients – will quickly associate ‘My Farm Radio’ as the Pandora-type app for agriculture.”  My Farm Radio will launch with the full portfolio of programs and reports from Farm Journal Media, including “AgriTalk,” “Market Rally,” and “American Countryside.”  In addition, the company will be approaching potential programmers to make their shows or reports available on the app, or even own their own channel on the platform.

wbel-am logoBig Radio Brings Back Heritage WBEL Calls to Beloit, Wisconsin Station.  The Scott Thompson-operated Big Radio company announces a change of call letters as WTJK, Beloit is now WBEL-AM – the calls it originally signed on with in 1948.  Thompson says, “The future of AM1380 is in its past…For years, it was the powerhouse radio station not only for Beloit, but for the entire Rock River Valley in both Wisconsin and Illinois.  Because it is a full-time 5,000 watt radio station, we intend to bring it back to its glory days.  Local news, weather and high school sports together with local, real, non-satellite personalities will air from 5:00 am to 6:00 pm.  Now with the addition of WGEZ in Beloit, Big Radio will be able to broadcast on both WBEL and WGEZ from their studios in downtown Beloit.”  The WGEZ purchase from Alliance Communications is expected to be approved by the FCC by the end of the year.  At the same time, the company announces that Ben Thompson (son of Scott), is named general manager of WGEZ and market manager for Janesville/Beloit.  Ben Thompson has been with Magnetar Capital, an Evanston, Illinois-based hedge fund, since graduating from DePaul University in finance and accounting.  He will be moving to Beloit and starting effective December 1, 2014.

U.S. Ebola Cases/Pandemic Threat, the Battle Against ISIS, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Prospects, Hong Kong Protests, Financial Markets Activity, and MBL Playoffs and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/14).  The case of the second Texas hospital worker to become infected with Ebola and the threat of a pandemic; the coalition battle against ISIS and controversy over the U.S. and Turkish military relationship; the looming mid-term elections and the prospects for the 2016 presidential election; the protests in Hong Kong and China’s response to the matter; the dip in U.S. stocks and the activity in the global financial markets; and the MLB playoffs and NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

| October 14, 2014

bridgeratings logoNews/Talk Radio and the Oversaturated News Cycle – Study Reveals Listener Fatigue.  Highly respected media research firm Bridge Ratings has been annually monitoring the consumption patterns of news/talk radio and has just released its latest findings which shed light on the perceived softening of listenership to this format that remains one of the most popular broadcast radio formats among Americans.  The study, which analyzed perceptions and behavior from a national news/talk listener panel, uncovered a significant level of listener FATIGUE – not only with the format but with news coverage; more specifically, talk radio topics related to politics and the frequency with which they air.  To read the entire report on the study and how a general national news coverage malaise has affected American radio listening, please click here.

kogo-am logoKOGO, San Diego Gets Newsier.  The programming at iHeartMedia’s KOGO, San Diego was tweaked on Monday to reflect its “commitment to news programming,” according to program director Brian Long.  To accomplish that, the station shuffles some of the talk shows to different dayparts and moves talent accordingly.  LaDona Harvey leaves her midday talk show and is paired up with Ted Garcia to host “San Diego’s Morning News.”  Moving out of morning drive is Chris Merrill who is now heard from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.  In afternoon drive, Bob “Sully” Sullivan vacates that daypart and is now heard from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm and Ernie Brown and Marilyn Hyder are hosting “KOGO’s Afternoon News.”  Premiere’s Rush Limbaugh remains in the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot.  Finally, former longtime program director Cliff Albert is back at the station hosting the 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm “KOGO’s News at Noon” program.  Brian Long comments, “We have assembled a fantastic lineup that will keep our audience informed on-air, online and through social media platforms.”

tantarosandreaTantaros and Talk Radio Network Settle.  The terms of the settlement will remain confidential as they almost always do in cases such as these, but a US District Court in New Jersey has dismissed the suit brought by Fox News Channel personality Andrea Tantaros against Talk Radio Network with prejudice after the two sides settled the matter.  Tantaros had claimed in her suit that Talk Radio Network had breached its contract with her and that it had misrepresented its operations – including its ability to market her radio talk show – and that it had neglected to make her aware of its suit against ad rep firms working with it when it wooed her to begin hosting a nationally syndicated program.  Tantaros is a host of “The Five” on Fox News Channel.

hancockjohnWBT, Charlotte’s John Hancock Videos Bold Look at Legal Pot.  The experience of WBT, Charlotte talk show host John Hancock buying weed at a legal marijuana shop in Colorado while on vacation has been chronicled on video and the Greater Media news/talk outlet posted the video on its site here.  TALKERS asked Hancock, who does a tremendous job walking the viewer through the process of buying legal pot and asking questions of the proprietor in the video, how his decidedly conservative audience has responded to his posting a video of himself buying marijuana to consume.  He says, “My older demo is either ‘disappointed’ in me, or vowing to quit listening.  The majority seem intrigued by the process of buying weed legally.  Many wonder how I enjoyed ‘experimenting’ again!  Bill Clinton may have never inhaled, I still haven’t exhaled…”  Hancock laughs when he tells TALKERS that a listener called in to say, “Can’t wait for the video of your trip to Nevada,” joking about exploring legal prostitution!

missanellimikeOdds & Sods.  At the Toledo operations of Cumulus Media, Norm Wamer exits his positions as host of “The Front Row with Norm Wamer” heard on sports talker WLQR-FM, and as program director for sister news/talk WLQR-AM, the latter a post he’d held for the past 14 years…..WPEN-FM, Philadelphia host Mike Missanelli is catching flak from the media, football fans and more after his Tweet following the season-ending knee injury of Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz.  Missanelli Tweeted, “Hey Giants Fans: Victor Cruz is over.  Dance to that.”  Missanellli removed the Tweet minutes later and apologized claiming he thought Cruz just dropped the ball and that he was unaware Cruz was injured on the play.

U.S. Ebola Cases/Pandemic Threat, Battle Against ISIS, Financial Markets Activity, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Prospects, Oregon ‘First Fiancee’ Scandal, NFL and MLB Playoffs Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/13).  The heightened concern over the CDC’s and U.S. hospitals’ ability to combat Ebola in America; the battle against ISIS and the Obama Administration’s ability to build a coalition of nations in the region to fight the organization; the dipping U.S. stock market and the state of the global financial markets; the looming mid-term elections tied with the prospects for the 2016 presidential race; the scandal plaguing Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber and his fiancée; and the weekend’s NFL and MLB playoffs action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, October 13, 2014

| October 13, 2014

herskovitz_newBones 150TV’s “Bones” Episode Takes Shot at Conservative News/Talk Radio. The cry keeps emanating from the media world and beyond.  “Radio is dying or is already dead!” Particularly AM talk radio. Then a question comes to mind. If the format is dead then why does a prime time, long-running, TV hour crime drama devote the theme of one of its shows to the murder of an AM radio conservative, talk show host? Did any of you watch this past Thursday night’s (10/9) episode of “Bones?” It was titled, “The Purging of the Pundit.”  If you haven’t ever seen the program, the theme of the entire series is simply about a female scientist who appraises the remains of murder victims and partners with her FBI agent husband to solve the crimes. In this particular episode the victim was an AM radio conservative talk show host who was named “Hutch.”  They also portrayed him as overweight and, for a little extra spice and color, a sadomasochist in the thrall of a dominatrix.  In an opinion piece posted today (10/13) in TALKERS, H&H Communications president and radio marketing maven Al Herskovitz writes, “Unless I’m suffering from serious paranoia, most of the elements including the name, with some slight exceptions, minor exaggerations and a few twists, strike me as a barely-veiled description of someone in our business with whom we all are familiar. It’s hard to believe the medium — AM radio — troubles the TV producers to that degree. The only logical conclusion is they object to the talk host’s political positions and find this a way to use their program to get out their message while still keeping it under the umbrella of entertainment. Or perhaps, they are simply trying to appeal to what they assume are the predisposed beliefs of their target viewership and shamelessly illustrating (and amplifying) a nasty caricature based on a stereotype. There are numerous conclusions for us that can be drawn from this. But here’s one really important one.  Don’t sell short your format. Talk radio continues to make major impact on our society.  Obviously it has some TV producers concerned.”  To read Herskovitz’s entire article, please click here.

cassell russWord 106Greenville Remembers Russ Cassell.  Entercom Greenville, South Carolina-owned WYRD “WORD 106.3″ 8:00 am – 12:00 noon talk show host Russ Cassell passed away over the weekend. The 60-year-old Cassell reportedly suffered a massive heart attack at his home Saturday morning (10/11) and could not be revived; he had been with WYRD the past 20 years. Entercom Greenville vice president and general manager Steve Sinicropi comments, “The passing of Russ Cassell is a sad day for his family, our Entercom family, and his listeners. His passion was his radio program on ‘WORD 106.3.’ Cassell was a well-respected professional. He was a radio giant and it is difficult to express how much he will be missed.” Operations manager Bob McLain remarks, “There are some radio personalities who are larger than life – that was Cassell. He was passionate about what he believed, and he was dedicated to keeping people informed. He was a brilliant and very talented radio host and a personal friend. His loss will be greatly felt by all of us in the ‘WORD’ family, those who worked with him, and those who listened to him.” Salem Radio Network vice president of news and talk programming Tom Tradup oversees programming on Greenville’s WGTK and states of Cassell, “He was a tough competitor, but beloved throughout the upstate of South Carolina. All of us at ‘Conservative Talk 94.5′ have Russ’ family and Entercom colleagues in our prayers.” One listener comments on the station’s website that, “Russ Cassell was famous for saying ‘Know what you believe and why you believe it.’” Another writes, “His convictions were strong, but his compassion for humanity was stronger.” WFBC AM & FM, Greenville hired Cassell in December 1980 to do afternoons and color analysis for Clemson University football broadcasts. Six months later, he was promoted to morning drive. Cassell eventually became program director, music director, sales manager, and station manager. McLain hosted a WYRD memorial show for Cassell Saturday (10/11) at 6:00 pm. The station will continue paying tribute to Cassell all this week during what was his customary 8:00 am – 12:00 noon air-shift.

Nielsen TV (150)Nielsen Knew of TV Ratings Errors. In a story, which at the very least, is bound to raise some eyebrows in the radio industry, Nielsen last Friday (10/10) acknowledged that it had been reporting inaccurate television ratings for the last seven months. In a Friday conference call with reporters, however, Nielsen executives Pat McDonough and Steve Hasker downplayed viewer discrepancies, saying they fell between .1% – .25% of viewing totals. They repeatedly indicated incorrect ratings fell “well within the tolerance of statistical error.” Nielsen said it discovered a software flaw and traced it back to March. Inaccuracies, of course, could affect billions of advertising dollars based on the research company’s rating stats. WPP‘s GroupM is the world’s largest media buying group. A managing partner in charge of research there, Lyle Schwartz, tells The New York Times, “You look at Nielsen as the gold standard for currency. When you introduce these errors on systems that were working fine in the past, you start looking at the numbers a little bit closer to see if there is anything else occurring that we haven’t identified yet.” Nielsen execs say any changes in numbers or program rankings would be corrected when the company issues new TV ratings today (Monday, 10/13).

ppm (3)kinosianmikePPM Analysis: News.  In several thorough breakouts, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian scrutinizes Nielsen Audio September PPM data for all-news outlets. Follow each news station’s trends for the last six monthly ratings sweeps and see how the format fares in terms of market share and market rank (6+). In addition, each all-news outlet’s year-to-year, as well as month-to-month performance is tracked. Mike Kinosian’s entire analysis can be viewed by clicking here.

white davidSAG-AFTRA Logo (2)SAG-AFTRA’s White Gains Four-Year Extension. SAG-AFTRA national executive director David White received a four-year contract extension yesterday (Sunday, 10/12). White comments, “This job presents new challenges every day and I am thrilled to continue in my role at SAG-AFTRA. It is an honor to represent SAG-AFTRA members and I look forward to continuing the great work we have accomplished to date.” Along with union president Ken Howard, White was a lead negotiator on the recent primetime television and feature film deal. White was a candidate for a similar position with the National Basketball Association this spring.

Paul Totella and his mother 250Will You Wear My Pin?  One of the most dynamic broadcasters association presidents in America, New Jersey Broadcasters Association (NJBA) president Paul Rotella appoints noted presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin an honorary NJBA member. Seen here Rotella is pinning the coveted NJBA membership pin on Goodwin during a reception following her recent lecture at the New Jersey City University in Jersey City, and Paul’s mom, Jean Rotella, looks on along with NJ Chamber’s Ray Zardetto.  The lecture series is a part of New Jersey’s year-long 350th birthday celebration.

WSOY Community Food DriveDecatur’s WSOY Sets Benchmark Accomplishment. Although the stated goal of WSOY, Decatur, Illinois’ 12-hour “Community Food Drive” was 825,000 pounds of food,the Neuhoff Media talker looked to have the 13th annual event reach an even loftier, unanticipated objective of one million pounds. The event’s host – and one of its co-creators – Brian Byers admits, “I worry each year if we can make our set goal. Each year, I am grateful that we can reach what we set, but once I heard that we had a shot to hit one million [pounds], I knew we had to get there. It would not have sat well with me all year knowing we got so close [without reaching] it. We set high goals for ourselves. It is not the size of the community that should dictate what we can or cannot do – it is the generosity of the people. What we have in Decatur is unmatched anywhere.” The Salvation Army is one of the drive’s largest beneficiaries and three-year captain Wes Dalberg comments, “We see an increase in traffic through the Salvation Army each year, yet somehow, this community comes together and raises more and more donations – it really is amazing.” The WSOY food drive wrapped up last Friday (10/10) at 6:30 pm with 1,039,593 pounds of food as the final (record-setting) total. Monetary donations matched nearly one-third of what was collected during the combined sum of the station’s previous 12 food drives.

PeterKingIthacaRadio_1014 A Visit to Historic Ithaca. Well-known CBS Radio news correspondent Peter King (not to be confused with the sports guy) recently visited Cayuga Radio Group Ithaca, New York affiliate WHCU AM & FM. The station is included in “Ithaca Radio,” King’s just-published book he co-authored with his brother Rick Sommers. “Ithaca Radio” (Arcadia Publishing) contains many historical photographs from four legendary stations, including a 1940′s-era shot of legendary CBS News correspondent Edward R. Murrow at a WHCU microphone. Left to right are WHCU news director Greg Fry, co-author Rick Sommers, King, and WHCU morning host Lee Rayburn.

Giants Of BroadcastingTen “Giants of Broadcasting” Honorees Announced. The Library of American Broadcasting‘s 12th annual “Giants of Broadcasting & Electronic Arts” event will be held this Thursday (10/16). Honorees include Spanish Broadcasting System founder and chairman Pablo Raul Alarcon Sr.; SBS president Raul Alarcon Jr.; television producer/director David Barrett; “PBS NewsHour” co-anchor and co-managing director Gwen Ifill; talk show icon Regis Philbin; longtime New York City television anchor Chuck Scarborough; noted television programmer Fred Silverman; Greater Media chairman and chief executive officer Peter Smyth; a special tribute to Sylvester L. “Pat” Weaver; and “PBS NewsHour” co-anchor and co-managing director Judy Woodruff. Hubbard Radio president Virginia Hubbard Morris chairs the Library of American Broadcasting Foundation, which created the Library of American Broadcasting – located at the University of Maryland. Donald West chairs the Giants of Broadcasting & Electronic Arts awards program.

Man and MeatVenison for Dinner.  During the week, Lars Larson is a mild-mannered conservative talk show host on the air six hours a day on two shows.  One is heard regionally in the Northwest on a network of 17 affiliates emanating from Alpha Broadcasting’s KXL, Portland; the other is nationally syndicated across the country on more than 100 affiliates by Compass Media Networks.  On the weekends, Larson morphs into a rugged outdoorsman, taking on the untamed forests and natural wilderness of Eastern Oregon, braving encounters with wild beasts, and hunting for food to feed his family.  This photo was taken this Saturday morning (10/11) as the proud champion of the Second Amendment displays his latest conquest felled at 450 yards with a Nosler rifle and .270 wsm shell.

FCCIndefinite Extension Proposed to LPTV Digital Deadline. The FCC last Friday (10/10) released a Third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the issue of analog low power and translator TV stations. The Commission suggests extending indefinitely the present September 1, 2015 deadline for those stations to switch to digital transmission. Broadening the cut-off date would give new life for Channel 6 analog television stations that basically function as FMs, given that channel 6 audio is receivable on FM (at 87.75). The docket – open for comment 30 days after publication in the Federal Register – proposes LPTV and translator channel-sharing in the manner being proposed for full-power digital stations; creation of a new digital-to-digital replacement translator service; and elimination of the analog tuner requirement.

Friday, October 10, 2014

| October 10, 2014

alphamedia logoAlpha Media to Buy Buckley’s California Stations.  In a deal just announced today, Portland-based Alpha Media enters into a definitive agreement to purchase radio stations from Buckley Broadcasting of California, LLC and Buckley knzrCommunications, Inc.  The properties are: In Bakersfield, rhythmic oldies KKBB “Groove 99.3,” CHR KLLY “Kelly 95.3,” and KNZR-AM and KNZR-FM, a simulcast news/talk operation; in Merced, CHR KHTN “Hot 104.7” and country KUBB.  Alpha chairman Larry Wilson comments, “The Buckley clusters in California will be a great addition to the West Coast footprint.  Merced is a unique city with a thriving arts scene and is an adventurous community.  As one of the fastest-growing regions in the nation, Bakersfield is a rich and vibrant city full of live and local opportunities.”  The acquisition, after FCC approval, will give Alpha Media 74 radio properties.

garciatonyBudget Time Is for Planning Programming Promotions.  Syndication and programming consultant Tony Garcia writes in today’s edition of TALKERS magazine that while the newly arrived Fourth Quarter is a traditional budget time in business, it’s also a great time for programmers to plan promotion strategy.  Garcia says that even though it seems elementary, the calendar really is a great tool with which to get a concrete grasp on the things that may affect your show during 2015.  “The multi-level-marketers have a saying: Plan your work, then work your plan…Look at the dates you want your events to take place, then work backward from there and create a to-do list that is comfortable for you to work with, but leaves enough time for brainstorming your idea and lining up the resources you need, whether that be money, a graphics designer, a direct mail house or a trade publication or conference organizer.”  Read Garcia’s entire piece here.

wtic logoReverend Will Marotti Steps Away from WTIC, Hartford Afternoons.  Operations manager Steve Salhaney tells the Hartford Courant that Reverend Will Marotti’s stint as afternoon drive host was never intended to be permanent.  He’d been hosting the show since the departure of former Governor John Rowland – recently convicted of campaign finance violations – back in April.  When Rowland first joined WTIC in 2010, he co-hosted afternoons with Marotti for a show called “State and Church” that lasted until 2012, when Marotti left for personal reasons.  Salhaney tells the paper that sports radio personality – and voice of the University of Connecticut Huskies – Joe D’Ambrosio will serve as temporary host of the afternoon show while it seeks a permanent replacement.

pattizPodcastDayPattiz Feted for Podcast Industry Leadership.  The founder and CEO of Podcast One, Norm Pattiz, is pictured here with a few of the honors he received for his work in furthering the podcasting industry.  Few outside of the broadcasting and podcasting worlds were probably aware that September 30, 2014 was National Podcast Day.  But Pattiz certainly was aware, especially after being lauded by legislative leaders for his company’s leadership in promoting the media format.  Pattiz, the founder of syndication giant Westwood One, has been acknowledged with numerous radio honors during his illustrious career, including being recognized in June of this year by TALKERS magazine with its Lifetime Achievement Award.

bohannonIowa14Stumping in Iowa.  Acclaimed radio host Jim Bohannon is not running for office but he was in Iowa recently speaking at the IowaWatch Free Press Champion Awards, sponsored by the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism.  The event honored two Iowa journalists for promoting and showing, by example, the benefits of transparent government in the state.  Bohannon, host of Westwood One’s Jim Bohannon show and the news program “America in the Morning,” was a guest speaker at the event.  The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism is an independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan news service, founded in 2010, that collaborates with Iowa media partners to produce investigative and explanatory journalism, and trains college students to do this kind of work at a professional and ethical level.

brentmegfirehouseWhere There’s Smoke…  Nationally syndicated dynamic talk duo Brent & Meg join Los Angeles City Fire Station 78 in Studio City, California in support of the campaign to put a smoke alarm in every home and business.  Of the 20 fire-related deaths in Los Angeles this year, 16 took place in buildings without working smoke alarms.  Chances of survival go up 50% when there’s a working smoke alarm.  The LA City Fire Department has been running a smoke alarm giveaway at each of its 106 fire stations since March, with home security company First Alert donating 500 alarms a month to the city.  Pictured with the good-looking team of brave and dedicated firefighters at Station 78 are the husband/wife team of (l-r) Brent Seltzer and Meg McDonald.  The Brent & Meg Show – billed as “The kind of Boomers Millennials wish their parents were like” — is syndicated by Genesis Communications Network (GCN) and airs live middays daily 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm ET.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison recently described the Brent & Meg show as “a great example of the kind of talk radio available to news/talk stations that breaks the mold of predictable left/right ‘puppet mouth’ politics without losing an iota of compelling social relevance, biting humor and human interest…if I owned a talk station in any sized market, I’d find a spot – live or in delay — for this remarkably fresh and innovative two-hour chat show that appeals to generations born on both sides of the digital divide.”

kcaa logoKCAA, Loma Linda Owner Debuts ‘The Post Hole’ Blog.  Getting his columns shot down by publishers for “political or ideological” reasons was the impetus behind KCAA, Loma Linda owner Fred Lundgren’s launching of ThePostHole.com – a news aggregator and public blog that welcomes a full spectrum of written views.  Lundgren says that he had articles rejected by both progressive and conservative online publications for apparently varying from the general political philosophy of those publications.  Lundgren says this shows how “writers across the political and ideological spectrum are being funneled into small compartments that reinforce reader bias and discourage open debate.”  Hence, the birth of ThePostHole.com, which Lundgren calls “the place to go when your editor says ‘NO!’”

TALKERS Affiliate Update.  The GCN-distributed “Freedom Feens” program is added to the lineup at KZNU, St. George, Utah; KRSY, Alamogordo, New Mexico; WNZS, Bangor; and KVLI, Lake Isabella, California.

abcnewsAdamWestABC News Radio Visits with Batman.  At the New York Comic Con, ABC News Radio entertainment correspondent David Blaustein had the chance to chat with the original TV Batman, actor Adam West.  ABC News Radio affiliates had the opportunity to present to their listeners West’s thoughts about the character, the movie franchise and his role in the history of the superhero character.  They also spoke about West’s first-ever meeting with George Clooney who also played Batman, albeit on the big screen.

U.S. Ebola Cases/Pandemic Threat Top Talkers TenTM for Week of October 6.  The threat of a global Ebola pandemic and the recent case of Thomas Eric Duncan dying of the virus in Texas were part of the greater topic of the Ebola threat that was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week.  At #2 was the battle against ISIS and Joe Biden’s remarks that angered Saudi and UAE leaders.  Following at #3 was the new Leon Panetta book Worthy Fights tied with the Supreme Court gay marriage cases, and, at #4 was the aftermath of the Bill Maher and Ben Affleck spat on Maher’s HBO show over his comments on Islam.  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, October 9, 2014

| October 9, 2014

dahlsteve posedIt’s Official: Dahl to PM Drive on WLS-AM, Chicago.  This story was first tipped by Chicago media writer Robert Feder but now Cumulus Chicago announces that Windy City radio legend Steve Dahl will indeed return to over-the-air radio after a six-year hiatus and he will replace Roe Conn and Richard Roeper in afternoon drive.  Dahl has been podcasting for the past five years on a subscription basis and part of this deal is that Cumulus will partner with Dahl to expand his podcasting network.  WLS-AM operations manager Peter Bolger comments, “Chicago and WLS are known for great radio personalities.  That’s why I’m proud and excited to have Steve Dahl back on ‘The Big 89.’”  Dahl states, “I am ecstatic to not only be a part of the Cumulus radio family, but also a partner with them in the podcast network. This is an important new chapter in radio’s future.”

mancowMancow ‘Takes Break’ from Radio.  Yesterday, TALKERS magazine reported that Erich “Mancow” Muller’s simulcast of his radio show on WPWR-TV, Chicago “My50Chicago” is ending.  Today, Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that not only is Mancow’s TV simulcast ending but he’s “taking a break” from broadcasting and will be off radio and TV for a while.

giordano domWPHT, Philadelphia’s Dom Giordano to Host Public Interview on Pending Victims’ Rights Bill.  Tomorrow morning (10/10) WPHT, Philadelphia late morning host Dom Giordano will present a remote broadcast from Andy’s Diner in nearby Trevose, Pennsylvania during which he’ll interview Pennsylvania State Representative Mike Vereb about his controversial proposed PA House bill that would “stop ‘revictimizing’ by helping to block publicity-seeking criminals.   Vereb claims it will increase victims’ rights by allowing the victim of a crime or prosecutors acting on the victim’s behalf to file a civil action to stop conduct by an offender that causes severe mental anguish.  A judge would have the power to grant injunctive relief.”  The station says the bill is a response to convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal’s recent delivery of a commencement address to about two dozen students at Goddard College.  The bill will also will ban Mumia Abu-Jamal from hosting a radio show while in prison.  The show takes place at 10:00 am ET.

emmisEmmis Reports Q2 Revenue Dips 1.7%.  The 2014 second fiscal quarter financial numbers for Emmis Communications are in and revenue during that period was up 15%, from $41.2 million to $47.6 million.  This data includes revenue from WBLS and WLIB in New York, which Emmis began operating under an LMA on March 1, 2014.  On a pro forma basis, radio net revenue was down 1.7%.  President and CEO Jeff Smulyan states, “While the summer monthssmulyanjeff were challenging for the radio industry, our employees once again delivered revenue share gains.  In addition, our most recent ratings significantly outperformed during September, highlighted by ‘Power 106’ holding the top spot in LA with both 18-34 and 18-49 audiences.  Pacings have improved, looking much stronger for the fall than the summer.  Momentum is continuing to build for NextRadio, the Emmis-led industry initiative to make FM broadcast radio available on smartphones and tablets, as we approach 1 million downloads.  Average time spent listening per NextRadio session is 50% higher than the radio broadcasting industry average, and as we have gained significant broadcaster involvement and increased listener satisfaction, we are seeing increased interest from other carriers, handset makers and automakers.”  Looking ahead, the company reports its pro forma radio net revenues are pacing up mid- to high-single digits for its third fiscal quarter.

sorbo 300Sam Sorbo Visits Important Affiliate.  One of the rising stars of syndication, the extremely personable Sam Sorbo, walks the walk as well as doing the talk thing as she gets out there and visits her affiliate stations around the country.  Pictured:  the Talk Radio Network host is greeted by the legendary Les Lansing (l), owner of Sorbo’s Grand Rapids outlet WPNW-AM/FM (“The Pledge”).  Talented hosts such as Sorbo and the venerable Jerry Doyle have been a significant part of the Mark Masters-owned TRN’s formidable “comeback” effort (after a high-profile financial and programming shake up) which appears to be gaining traction on a daily basis.

anderson gregsalem logoSalem’s Anderson Announces Retirement. Salem Radio Network president Greg Anderson is retiring at the end of this year. Salem Communications chief executive officer Edward Atsinger comments, “Launching a new national radio network to serve Christian and conservative audiences was no small undertaking [21 years ago]. When I appointed Greg Anderson to lead this effort, I had enormous confidence in his vision, experience, and determination. Today, I can say that Greg surpassed even my own high expectations. He is, without question, one of the finest radio professionals I have ever worked with.” Anderson remarks that he has been “incredibly blessed to work for great radio stations and great media companies including, for the past 21 years, Salem Communications. I am particularly indebted to Ed Atsinger and Stu Epperson who have supported me along the way in the creation and growth of our national businesses. Most of all, I am in awe of the Salem national team who stop at nothing to accomplish great things year after year. They are simply the best. It has been my privilege and pleasure to have worked with them.” Prior to his 21-year association with Salem, Anderson ran Multimedia Broadcasting‘s Radio Division. His past credits include managing/programming WFBC, Greenville, South Carolina. Other Salem senior executives will assume Anderson’s responsibilities.

ShazamSunShazam, Sun Broadcast Group Form Digital Partnership. The venture will launch Shazam for Radio. Shazam chief executive officer Rich Riley states, “Shazam users are already ‘shazaming’ music on the radio millions of times each day. Our partnership with Sun Broadcast Group gives radio stations the opportunity to deliver customized content experiences to their audiences, while creating new revenue streams for the stations and their advertisers.” Sun chief executive officer Jason Bailey reflects that when he “started Sun six years ago,” his goal was “to truly make a difference in this industry. This partnership came out of the two most sincere questions we asked ourselves when we started Sun: What is best for listeners, and how do we secure the future of radio in this new digital world? Shazam’s 100 million monthly active users will be able to connect and interact with their favorite radio shows in the most incredible way ever.” Sun and Shazam will produce national countdown shows for multiple formats based on Shazam results in each station’s market. “The Shazam Top 40″ will allow listeners to connect with the show on their phone and desktop.

Odds & Sods.  A couple of career moves to report from America’s Talk Radio Network as Bob Appel and Lexi Lapp join the company as affiliate relations representatives.  They are part of the team that includes Joe Sparra and David Reeder at ATRN…..Home improvement pro Danny Lipford announces he’s added a public relations manager to his Today’s Homeowner media operations.  Stephanie Greenwood will “serve as the media liaison for the ‘Today’s Homeowner’ family of brands, working alongside current and veteran director of marketing and public relations, Tiffany Burtnett…..iHeartMedia will simulcast Cleveland Cavaliers games on rock WMMS, Cleveland in addition to news/talk WTAM, which serves as the NBA team’s flagship station.

Ebola Virus Pandemic Threat/Thomas Eric Duncan Death, Leon Panetta Book, U.S.-Led  Anti-ISIS Campaign, North Korea Leadership Question, ObamaCare Policy Cancellations, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Prospects, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/8).  The death of Ebola victim Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan in the U.S. and the threat of a global pandemic; Leon Panetta’s Worthy Fights tome critical of the Obama Administration; the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS and the controversy questioning Turkey’s commitment to the cause; questions about the whereabouts of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un; the uptick in health policy cancellations that don’t meet the Affordable Care Act criteria; the looming mid-term elections and speculation about possible candidates for president in 2016; and the MLB playoff action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

| October 8, 2014

dahlsteveSteve Dahl to WLS-AM for Afternoons?  That’s the report from Chicago media writer Robert Feder (whose column is now behind the Tribune paywall).  Feder writes that the official announcement could come this week, according to his sources, that Windy City radio legend Steve Dahl will replace Roe Connwls-am logo and Richard Roeper in the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot on the Cumulus Media news/talk outlet sometime in November.  Dahl, who most recently made Chicago news after a public criticism of Tribune’s crosstown WGN and, specifically, station president Jimmy de Castro and morning personality Steve Cochran, has been operating his own subscription podcast business for the last couple of years.  Feder predicts that he will continue that venture in addition to the WLS-AM gig.  Stay tuned…

kroi logoRadio One Kills Houston All-Newser.  The three-year experiment of all-news on KROI, Houston is over as Houston media blogger Mike McGuff breaks the story.  Station anchor Lanny Griffith went public with the news on Facebook writing: “The whole staff has been FIRED.  We thank you for your support and I will be fine.  We are heartbroken cause we put everything into this station but it just wasn’t meant to be.  Thanks to Radio One for all you did for all of us and our families.”  The station has flipped to “B92” – all Beyonce – as the market awaits the new format for the station.  Radio One RVP Doug Abernethy states, “We’re proud of the work we did with ‘News92.’  We hired established and trusted Houstonian journalists from the radio, print and television news industries.  We also invested in community relations, infrastructure, marketing, promotions and sales.  Unfortunately after three years of a valiant effort, the difficult decision had to be made.”  The station posted the following message on its website:  We’d like to thank the ‘News92’ staff for their outstanding service, our advertisers and each of you our listeners and web visitors for your support.  This difficult decision is a result of sustained poor ratings performance and significant financial losses over the past three years despite the substantial financial and human resources we invested.  Unfortunately, the market hasn’t shown a sustainable appetite for news radio, but each of you motivated us daily to produce a high-quality news program.  Together, we made history.”

rabbloriHorizon Names Rabb PD at KBNW, Bend.  At the Horizon Broadcasting Group news/talk simulcast of KBNW, Bend, Oregon and translator K238BH, Bend at 104.5 FM, Lori Rabb is named PD and host of the “Central Oregon’s Morning News” program.  Rabb jumps across town from Combined Communications-owned KBND where she was news director and morning news anchor.  Horizon president and CEO Keith Shipman comments, “Lori Rabb is an award-winning broadcast journalist and we are delighted to have her join our team and help us take our news and talk programming to the next level.”

mancowChanges in the Air for Mancow’s TV Simulcast in Chicago.  According to a report in MediaBistro’s TVSpy, the radio-TV simulcast of the Mancow radio show is ending.  The radio program has been airing on Fox TV O&O WPWR-TV “My50Chicago.  The site also reports that a bigger role for Erich “Mancow”Muller may be in the works as Fox’s WFLD-TV, Chicago is reportedly developing other projects for him that may include a movie review show.

cainhermanHerman Cain to Begin Digital Venture.  Following fellow former presidential candidate Sarah Palin, nationally syndicated radio personality Herman Cain is debuting the HermanCainChannel.com – a subscription site powered by TAPP.  The new venture is described as “a subscription-based online network offering Cain supporters unprecedented access to and interaction with him.”  Cain is the executive editor of the channel overseeing “all content posted to the channel, which includes daily videos and commentary on important issues facing Americans, excerpts from his popular nationally syndicated radio show, and inspirational segments on Cain’s personal journey, which took him from modest beginnings to the heights of American business and politics.”  Cain is charging users $9.99 per month or $99­ per year.  TAPP was co-founded in March of this year by Jeff Gaspin, former chairman of NBC Universal Television; Jon Klein, former president of CNN/U.S.; and Michael Greer, former chief technology officer of The Onion.

Odds & Sods.  At CBS’ Philadelphia operations, Eagles running back LeSean McCoy will join both KYW-TV “CBS 3” and “Sportsradio 94WIP” as an on-air contributor.  McCoy will be featured with sports director Beasley Reese in weekly analysis on “Eyewitness News” following Thursday Night Football on CBS in addition to his “Toyota Sunday Kick Off” appearance on Sunday mornings.  On the radio, McCoy will join Anthony Gargano and Rob Ellis every Friday at 5:00 pm and is featured on “The Chickie’s and Pete’s Players’ Lounge with LeSean McCoy” hosted by Ike Reese and Gargano each Monday at 6:00 pm…..Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow is making regular appearances on Seven Bridges Radio’s sports talk WJXL, Jacksonville “1010XL” during the football season.  Tebow, who played high school football at Jacksonville’s Nease High, will join “The Drill” every Tuesday to talk SEC football with hosts Dan Hicken and Jeff Prosser.

kykn logoCool Job Opportunity.  We’re the DOMINANT conservative talk station in medium market Salem, Oregon.  1430 KYKN is CONNECTED WITH OUR LISTENERS.  We are seeking an enthusiastic personality to work in and out of our national programming.  Excellent people, production, and social networking skills required.  Become a WELL KNOWN LOCAL PERSONALITY in this thriving capital city, both on the air and out and about our community. Send resume, mp3s, and social media links to Gator J. Gaynor:  Gator@KYKN.com. EOE.

U.S Ebola Cases and Pandemic Threat, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Prospects, U.S. ISIS Policy/American Teen Tries to Join ISIS, Leon Panetta Book, SCOTUS and Gay Marriage, Seattle Renames Columbus Day, Ferguson Protestors Clash with Cardinals Fans, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/7).  The U.S. cases of Ebola, the extent of the virus in Africa and the threat of a pandemic; the looming mid-term elections and the prospects for the 2016 presidential race; the U.S. military-led coalition strikes against ISIS, Turkey’s failure to assist and the case of the U.S. teen arrested for trying to join ISIS; Leon Panetta’s Worthy Fights book; the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear challenges to lower court rulings against gay marriage bans; Seattle to rename Columbus Day “Indigenous Persons Day”; the clash between Ferguson protestors and Cardinals fans at Busch Stadium; and MLB playoff action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

| October 7, 2014

rufailsuzyiHeartMedia Appoints GSMs in San Francisco and D.C.  There are two GSM appointments within iHeartMedia to report.  Suzy Rufail is named general sales manager for the San Francisco station group, while Todd Freundlich has been tapped for similar duties at the company’s Washington, DC cluster. iHeartMedia major market executive vice president of operations Hartley Adkins declares, “Suzy will be a great addition to the San Francisco sales team.  Her extensive experience creating personalized, creative and strategic cross-platform marketing solutions for clients will be an amazing asset for the cluster.  Suzy is an accomplished sales and marketing leader with a successful track record.  She will be a valued member of the Sanfreundlichtodd Francisco sales leadership team as we continue to provide a greater reach than any other media company.”  Market president Katie Wilcox comments, “Suzy has a robust background in senior management, experience in complimentary formats and a successful record of leading high performing organizations.  I am confident she will be a vibrant contributor to the San Francisco team.”  Rufail remarks, “I am honored to join a company that I have long admired for its strategy and innovation.  I am thrilled for the opportunity to work with a dynamic leader like Katie Wilcox and the exceptional team of talent she has brought together in this thriving market.”  On the opposite coast, iHeartMedia Washington, DC and Baltimore vice president of sales Ken Roberts observes of Freundlich, “Todd is a terrific leader whom I have admired for years.  I am proud to add his professionalism and market expertise to our stellar management team.  His passion and focus for clients fits perfectly in our culture.”  Freundlich states, “It is a privilege to be able to join iHeartMedia – a cutting edge company with products and platforms second to none.  I look forward to working alongside the iHeartMedia DC sales team and contributing to the high standards and strong foundation they have created in this market.”  For the past nearly three years, Rufail was American General Media’s Albuquerque market manager and director of sales.  She previously worked as senior account manager for Cox Orlando rhythmic CHR WPYO “Power 95.3″; was general sales manager for Univision Radio Albuquerque; and general manager of Ramar Communications Albuquerque’s KRTN-LP and KTEL-LP.  For the last five years, Freundlich was general sales manager of Cumulus Media Washington, DC talker WMAL.

eisenrichFox Sports Radio Network Adds Rich Eisen to Daily Schedule.  This is the second show produced by DirecTV that Fox Sports Radio Network and Premiere Networks are distributing in radiofoxsportsradio logo syndication – Dan Patrick is the other.  Beginning November 3, FSRN begins making the Rich Eisen show available to affiliate stations in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET slot.  In order to make room, Jay Mohr moves to 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET, Steve Gorman slides back to 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET, JT The Brick ft. Tomm Looney will air from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm ET and Jason Smith’s show is cut by an hour, airing from 11:00 pm to 2:00 am.  Premiere Networks is repping the show.  Eisen – whose primary gig is with the NFL Network – debuted his TV/radio show yesterday (10/6) on DirecTV’s audience channel.

boortznealBoortz to Podcast Via ConnectPal.  Retired talk show legend Neal Boortz is joining the Andy Dean-founded ConnectPal to produce a program two to three times per week that will be available to subscribers of the service.  Boortz left his full-time gig in the radio business in January of 2013.

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia and Omnicom Media Announce Partnership.  In a deal that the two sides say could be worth $200 million, iHeartMedia and ad giant Omnicom Media Group announce they will work together in a way that will “result in increased access to exceptional creative services and campaign ideation for Omnicom Media Group’s vast array of advertising clients.”  In a press release, the companies say they will also “collaborate on developing new,omnicom logo groundbreaking audio and cross-platform opportunities for clients that leverage technologies and insights from both companies.”  iHeartMedia president, national sales, marketing and partnerships Tim Castelli states, “At iHeartMedia we’re constantly searching for ways to utilize our unparalleled reach and insights into our consumers to help our advertising partners cultivate creative and cost-effective individualized marketing campaigns.  What makes this new partnership with Omnicom so exciting is that it allows us to do that and more.  Ultimately, our collective goal is to leverage iHeartMedia’s technologies, insights, and comprehensive media offerings to provide Omnicom clients with richer media and marketing campaigns.  We believe that with this new partnership, Omnicom Media Group clients will have the ability to leverage their partnerships with us to accomplish bigger and more impactful solutions.”

Odds & Sods.  Detroit all-news WWJ is bringing Dr. Deanna Lites aboard to serve as the station’s health reporter.  She’ll be an on-air contributor and serve as a writer for CBS RADIO’s Detroit website…..News comes from Christopher Seward at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Turner Broadcasting Systems – parent company of CNN – is announcing it will trim its workforce by 10% or some 1,475 positions in an effort to “reduce redundancies, focus resources and prioritize investment in programming, monetization andcnn innovation.”  Almost 1,000 of the cuts will affect workers in Atlanta but less than 300 will come from CNN Worldwide…..Cher Ames exits the director of marketing and promotion position at CBS RADIO’s WBBM-AM and WCFS, Chicago.  She’d been with the stations for 14 years…..The NBA’s Portland Trailblazers will be heard in the Eugene-Springfield, Oregon market after the team agrees to a deal with Eugene Comedy Radio-owned KLZS, Eugene “All Comedy 1450.”…..Executive vice president and chief content officer Kinsey Wilson exits NPR after a six-year stint with the public media company.

digityCool Job Opportunity.  Digity Media seeks morning show co-host for male-leaning show in Myrtle Beach.  Here’s the scoop: Our long time co-host of 8½ years is leaving for an opportunity in TV.  That means you have a rare chance to replace her, move to the beach and be a part of a long-running, winning morning show.  Here’s some of the things we are looking for: Proficient in Cool Edit/Adobe Audition, able to find a story in anything, energetic, self-motivated, connected to what’s happening now and a Rolodex of guests wouldn’t hurt either.  Morning show experience not required but helpful.  Send resume and aircheck (preferred) to myrtlebeachjobs@digity.me or via mail to: 1016 Ocala Street, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577. Attention: B.J. Kinard.  NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE.  Digity Media is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

scheifferRTDNA14CBS Radio News Collects at the Murrow Awards.  Photos here are from the Edward R. Murrow Awards ceremony at the Marriott Marquis in New York City.  It wasravivRTDNA14presented last night (10/6) by the Radio Television Digital News Association to honor outstanding achievements in electronic journalism.  CBS Radio News won in three categories: Best Audio Continuing Coverage: Boston Marathon bombing; Best Audio Newscast: World News Roundup; and Best Writing: Bob Schieffer Weekly Commentary.  Schieffer is pictured at left accepting his award and at right is national correspondent Dan Raviv accepting a Murrow Award from correspondent Steve Hartman for coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing.

kkob balloons14Nice Station Vehicle!  At the world-famous 43rd annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, Cumulus Media news/talker KKOB’s balloon was flying high.  Program director Pat Frisch took this photo.  He tells TALKERS, “The event was started by 770 KKOB as part of the station’s 50th birthday party in 1972.  That year there were 14 balloons at the event.  This year there are more than 550 balloons.  The event has now grown to a nine-day festival with more than a million people attending and 23 countries represented with balloons.  Pretty cool!”

SCOTUS Gay Marriage Ruling, Ebola Pandemic Threat, Obama Immigration/Amnesty Policy, U.S. Military vs. ISIS, Joe Biden ISIS Remarks, and Affleck-Maher Islam Kerfuffle Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/6).  The Supreme Court’s decision not to hear cases challenging several appellate court rulings overturning same-sex marriage bans in five states; the U.S. cases of Ebola and the threat of a pandemic; President Obama’s policy in immigration and amnesty; the U.S.-led military strikes against ISIS and questions about intelligence accuracy; Vice President Joe Biden’s remarks accusing Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates of aiding ISIS; and the argument between Ben Affleck and Bill Maher over Maher’s criticisms of Islam on his HBO program were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, October 6, 2014

| October 6, 2014

methenykevinKSFO Talk Show Host Ethan Bearman Met with Kevin Metheny on Friday Afternoon (10/3) Shortly Before the Famed Programmer’s Untimely Death.  In what might have been Kevin Metheny’s final meeting with a talent at a station he directed, the famed programmer engaged in an almost 90-minute session with up-and-coming talk star Ethan Bearman who hosts weekend programs on KSFO, San Francisco and handles fill-in work at the Cumulus Media San Francisco operation.  According to Bearman, the impromptu get-together took place shortly after he got off the air after filling-in on thebearmanethan3 station’s AM drive show.  Bearman tells TALKERS, “I tracked Kevin down in his office and planted myself firmly in his guest chair.  He raised an eyebrow, cracked a smile, said hello and asked if I knew what channel he could find the Giants game, starting in 45 minutes or so.  We shared stories, we talked vaudeville, we laughed about movies and television shows, and then we got to the business at hand.  We talked radio — what it means, where it’s going, what it takes to be successful.  He opened up, verbally put an arm around me and starting sharing advice and tips on how best to entice an audience.”  Bearman, who had only briefly met Metheny several months earlier, says he was struck by the man’s sense of humor and friendly manner stating, “He even did impressions of well-known figures inside and outside the industry for me as we broke the ice – something that really made me feel very special because we didn’t even have an appointment.”  Bearman continues, “I left my meeting with Kevin at 12:45 Friday afternoon with a hearty handshake and big smile.  I had learned more from him in an hour-and-a-half than I had in months and I know I will be thinking about his words for years to come.  He conveyed a desire to make radio better, to make the station better, and to help me to be better at my craft.  And he did it all in a manner without arrogance, with a genuine spirit, and a feeling of one who not only wants to win, but wants to help others do the same.”  Bearman concludes, “In such a short time, I knew Kevin Metheny was a not only a successful man and loving father, but someone who wanted to lift others in the process, a real mensch.  So many people in this business knew for decades that was who he was, I feel both short-changed and uplifted knowing him so briefly.”

kinosianmikeMLB Baseball Flagship Station Analysis.  TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian presents his fourth analysis of the performances of MLB flagship stations this season – this time based on September PPM data.  Again, the flagships in markets where baseball has traditionally been good to its radio outlet and in markets where the team was performing well continue to benefit from increased listenership.  In this report Kinosian tracks how flagship stations have performed over the past five PPM surveys, compared to September 2013, how they rank in their respective markets, and how the stations stack up based on MLB divisions.  Check out Mike Kinosian’s analysis here.

bennettfredNew Townsquare Trenton Market Manager Named.  A new market manager for Townsquare Media’s talk WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” is named as Fred Bennett takes over for Lorenzo Caldara.  Bennett comes to Townsquare Media from his most recent position as chief business development officer for Jelli Inc.  In a statement, Bennett comments, “I am thrilled to be joining Townsquare Media.  ‘New Jersey 101.5’ has done an awesome job of serving advertisers and the community with informative, entertaining and unique content.  I look forward to working with the team to realize the full potential of the powerful ‘New Jersey 101.5’ brand.”

kdkafmlogoPittsburgh Tribune-Review Columnist Joins ‘The Fan’ in Pittsburgh.  Now making regular appearance on CBS RADIO’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh “Sportsradio 93-7 The Fan” is Pittsburgh Tribune-Review sports columnist Rob Rossi.  He’ll provide insight for the upcoming NHL season, making regular appearances on “The Fan Morning Show,” “Starkey and Mueller,” and “The Colin Dunlap Programme.”  He’ll also appear once a week on sister news/talk outlet KDKA-AM’s “Morning News” with Larry Richert and John Shumway.  Program director Ryan Maguire comments, “We’re thrilled that we could add Rossi’s insight on not only Penguins hockey but the entire Pittsburgh sports scene to our team.”

Odds & Sods.  Sitting in for WSYR, Syracuse morning show host Joe Galuski all this week is Mark Wainwright…..Comedian Chelsea Handler is sitting down with Foo Fighters leader Dave Grohl for the SiriusXM “Town Hall” show.  The program is being recorded today (6:00 pm ET) before a studio audience in New York and will air Thursday at 6:00 pm on the satellite service…..CBS RADIO’s Los Angeles all-newser “KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO” is spotlighting the northern San Fernando Valley as part of its “KNX On Your Corner” series on Friday, October 24.  Dick Helton and Vicky Moore will anchor the news from 5:00 am to 9:00 am, Frank Mottek will host the “KNX Business Hour” from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm and Jim Thornton and Diane Thompson will anchor the broadcast from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

joycebrianphilipThe Next-to-Next Generation.  Pictured here is WGOW, Chattanooga talk show host Brian Joyce (right) broadcasting live from client Economy Honda Superstore.  The young man sitting across from him (left) is 7-year-old Philip Roberts who came to the remote with his mother.  Joyce tells TALKERS, “At first, we thought the mom was there to take a test drive or buy a new car.  It turns out Philip is a huge fan of the Brian Joyce show, to the point where he even pretends he has his own talk radio show!  When he comes home from school, his mom says he sets up a table with a ‘Talk Radio 102.3’ logo and puts on a headset, and he’ll do an entire talk show for his mom and dad.”  Joyce says they put Philip on the air for a segment and he was thrilled to get the opportunity.

cbssportsnyKomenPromoting for a Cause.  Tonight’s WWE Monday Night RAW live at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn got a shot on CBS Sports Radio this morning as WWE chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon appeared on the morning show to talk about the WWE’s partnering with the Susan G. Komen Foundation.  Pictured here are (from left to right): “The Morning Show” hosts Brandon Tierney, Dana Jacobson, Tiki Barber and McMahon.

Saturday, October 4th, 2014

| October 4, 2014

methenykevinVeteran Radio Programmer Kevin Metheny Succumbs to Heart Attack at 60.  Longtime broadcasting executive and major talk radio programmer Kevin Metheny has unexpectedly died yesterday (10/3) afternoon due to what is being reported as a sudden heart attack at the age of 60.  Metheny had been serving as operations manager of Cumulus Media outlets KGO and KSFO in San Francisco since JuneBefore that he was program director of WJR, Detroit, also a Cumulus station. He was a second generation radio professional, the son of broadcaster Terrell Metheny.  John Dickey, EVP programming and content for Cumulus issued the following statement:  “Kevin Metheny’s sudden passing this afternoon is a devastating personal and professional loss for his broadcasting family at Cumulus, and for the entire radio industry. Kevin was a legendary broadcasting talent who touched many lives in his remarkable 44-year career, and whose successes made an indelible mark on radio. His reputation and accomplishments are simply unparalleled and we are grateful for having had the opportunity to work with him as PD of WJR in Detroit and most recently, as operations manager of KGO and KSFO in San Francisco. His Cumulus family extends our deepest sympathies to Kevin’s loved ones. We will miss him profoundly.”  Metheny began working in radio at KWHP, Edmund, Oklahoma and WKY, Oklahoma City.  His long and storied career includes having worked at a number of key radio stations around the country, most notably as programmer of WNBC, New York with Howard Stern (who critically dubbed a character in his autobiographical book Private Parts based on Metheny, “Pig Vomit”) in the 1980s and in more recent times with Jacor, Clear Channel and the Randy Michaels regime at WGN, Chicago. TALKERS/RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison states, “Metheny was one of the major radio programmers of the modern era.  He had a keen understanding of the basics of talk radio and the important role talent plays within it. He wasn’t afraid of controversy nor subjecting himself to criticism. After more than four decades of making a difference in this industry he was still involved in one of the hot spots of action where he was well on his way to engineering a turn-around at the Cumulus operations in San Francisco.  This is a tragic loss for all of us who care about radio.  Our deepest condolences to his family and colleagues.”

 

Friday, October 3, 2014

| October 3, 2014

robbinsndmarkleyRobbins and Markley Named Late Morning Hosts at KXL, Portland.  The duo filled in for Jim Villanucci while he was on vacation back in March and it must have gone well because Scott Robbins and Jamie Markley are taking over the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon PT left vacant when Villanucci suddenly left Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL, Portland last month.  They are based at Alpha Media’s Peoria news/talker WMBD where they are the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm CT hosts.  They will continue to work both stations doing live and local shows – that means a seven-hour broadcast day.  Alpha Media EVP of programming Scott Mahalick comments, “We’re very privileged and blessed to work with legendary talk talents such as Scott Robbins and Jamie Markley that can bring the live and local professionalism and energy to the Pacific Northwest.”

nrglogoNRG Media Deals Seven Stations to Riverfront Broadcasting.  Calling the new owners a “perfect match” for the Northwestern Iowa stations, NRG Media CEO Mary Quass announces the company is selling seven properties to Yankton, South Dakota-based Riverfront Broadcasting LLC.  They are: adult contemporary KLGA-FM and country KLGZ-AM and translator K253BJ Algona; news/talk KWBG-AM in Boone; adult contemporary KHBT-FM in Humboldt; and oldies KQWC-AM and AC KQWC-FM in Webster City, Iowa.  Quass comments, “It has been great working with the radio teams in all four markets.  They have been an integral part of our company for years and a significant contributor to our company’s growth.  At the same time, I am equally excited for the stations.  Riverfront Broadcasting shares the same culture and I am confident they have a robust broadcasting future ahead.”

ramseylincolncenterDave Ramsey Wows ‘em at Lincoln Center.  Yesterday (10/2), nationally syndicated radio star Dave Ramsey packed ‘em in at Lincoln Center in New York City as he hosted nearly a thousand business leaders for the one-time event, “Business Gets Personal.”  Ramsey was joined by “marketing gurus” Seth Godin and Gary Vaynerchuk.  During the presentation, the three offered valuable insights on how to grow and lead a successful business.  In the photo here, you see Ramsey, Godin and Vaynerchuk on stage at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall, Time Warner Center.

piscopojoe‘AM 970 The Answer’ Morning Host Joe Piscopo Profiled in HuffPost.  Comic, actor and now morning drive talk personality Joe Piscopo is profiled by Brian DAmbrosio in the HuffingtonPost.  The piece chronicles Piscopo’s career  from before his time on “Saturday Night Live” through to his current gig hosting the wake-up show on Salem Communications’ news/talk WNYM, New York, “AM 970 The Answer.”  In addition, it touches on Piscopo’s political philosophy, though Piscopo is quick to say he’s not an expert on politics, and the piece relates that he is a long-time Democrat who’s disillusioned with the party.  See the whole piece here.

hunterkarenKaren Hunter to Host SiriusXM Show.  Journalist, author, college professor and talk media personality Karen Hunter begins hosting her eponymous daily talk show on SiriusXM’s Urban View channel on Monday (10/6).   SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein states, “This summer when Karen hosted a series of shows with us, we were impressed with her smart, lively approach to a wide range of issues and saw a passionate response from listeners and on social media.  On Karen’s new daily show, her boldly curated range of guests across the worlds of sports, entertainment, and pop culture, as well as entrepreneurs from varied fields, will bring inspiration and insights to our Urban View listeners.”  Guests for the first week of shows – airing at 4:00 pm ET – include: financial expert Carmen Rita Wong; Fashion Queens’ Bevy Smith; producer Holly Carter; political strategist and investment banker Boris Epstheyn; and television personality La La Anthony.

ppmunitRound Four of September PPM Data Released.  The fourth of four rounds of September 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 August 14 through September 10.  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.

wbtwlnk duo logoCool Job Opportunity.  The Charlotte, North Carolina operations of Greater Media seeks a traffic manager.  This demanding position oversees revenue through management and scheduling of programming and commercial inventory for both WBT and WLNK.  The ideal candidate must be a critical thinker and problem solver and have the demonstrated ability to manage a diverse workload and work effectively under pressure and deadlines.  See more details about this position here.

Odds & Sods.  Ad sales for Sports USA’s NCAA college football play-by-play broadcasts will be handled by AdLarge Media as the two companies agree to a deal extension through the 2015 season…..Dave Wills re-signs with the Tampa Bay Rays on a three-year deal to serve as play-by-play man for the MLB club’s radio broadcasts heard on WDAE, Tampa.

U.S. ISIS Policy and Obama ‘60 Minutes’ Interview Top Stories for Week of September 29 – October 3.  The military efforts to thwart ISIS and President Obama’s “60 Minutes” interview tied atop the Talkers TenTM this week.  At #2 was the U.S. Ebola case and the fears of a pandemic.  Following at #3 was the Secret Service controversy and at #4 was the mid-term elections tied with the 2016 presidential race 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 magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

| October 2, 2014

cbsradio logoCBS RADIO-Beasley Station Swap Announced.  It’s sort of close to some of the rumors that had been moving through the industry about CBS RADIO and Beasley Broadcasting Group swapping Florida and Philly stations.  Here’s what the companies are announcing:  Beasley will take ownership of: sports talk WIP-AM, Philadelphia; in the Tampa market it gets sports talk duo WHFS-AM and WHFS-FM, hip hop WLLD, country WQYK, classic hits WRBQ, and Spanish WYUU-FM; in the Charlotte market it acquires urban contemporary WBAV, sports talk duo WBCN-AM and WFNZ-AM, AC WKQC, CHR WNKS, hip hop WPEG, and country WSOC-FM.  In exchange, CBS RADIO will take ownership of five stations.  They are the three Miami market signals: hip hop WPOW, country WKIS and sports talk WQAM; and Philadelphia outlets country WXTU, and hip hop WRDW.  Despite CBS RADIO’s major market tradition, this move will give it its first Miami holdings.  CBSbeasley logo long RADIO president and CEO Dan Mason states, “This transaction reinforces our strategy to concentrate on large-market properties.  We already have television duopolies in both Philadelphia and Miami, so these new stations will be a terrific complement to our existing local broadcasting portfolio, and a welcome addition to the overall CBS family.”  BBG chairman and CEO George Beasley says, “Throughout Beasley Broadcast Group’s 53-year history, we have actively managed our station portfolio with the goal of serving the local communities where we operate, diversifying our operations, managing risk and improving financial results.  The asset exchange agreement with CBS RADIO addresses all of these strategic objectives as, upon completion, we will expand our station base by nine stations and add completed clusters in Tampa and Charlotte which complement our already strong mid-Atlantic presence.  Furthermore, the transaction is also consistent with our long-term strategy to operate leading clusters in large- and mid-size markets.” These are straight-up swaps — no cash involved — and, obviously, are pending FCC approval.

redskins logoCan the FCC Really Outlaw ‘Redskins?’ TALKERS magazine legal editor attorney Steven J.J. Weisman writes today in response to the hoopla surrounding both the petition to deny the license renewal of one of Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder’s sports talkweismansteven stations, but also public comments by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler that he is sympathetic to the movement to change the football team’s nickname.  As TALKERS readers are probably aware, three of the FCC commissioners have come out against use of the term during broadcasts and that’s led to the conclusion – drawn largely by the consumer media – that the agency will make the term illegal.  Is this possible?  See Steven Weisman’s column on this matter here.

mohrjayFox Sports Radio Network Renews Jay Mohr.  Comedian and actor Jay Mohr began his sports talk radio show on Fox Sports Radio Network in January of 2013.  Now, the network reports the two sides have signed a new “long-term agreement” to keep him part of its syndication efforts.  FSRN and iHeartMedia say the show is currently heard on more than 150 affiliate stations.  About the new deal, Mohr comments, “I’m so happy to be on the air with FOX Sports Radio and iHeartMedia for years to come.  I have always been a huge sports fan, and obviously, I have a difficult time keeping my mouth shut.  Now, for three hours a day, in upwards of 150 cities, it’s actually my job.  This is a dream come true for me.  The old cliché is true — ‘Pick a job you like…’  I love this job and hope to have many more multi-year deals after this one!”

halldonnaNew Market Managers for CMG in Atlanta, San Antonio and Tulsa.  There are three new market leaders for Cox Media Group to announce today.  In Atlanta, former Cox Media group VP Donna Hall is named VP and general manager.  She’s been with Cox since 1987.  Ben Reed moves from the Atlanta VP/GM post to the same position at the San Antonio station group.  And Dan Lawrie jumps from the San Antonio cluster to CMG’s Tulsa properties to serve as VP/GM.  CMG EVP of radio Kim Guthrie states, “We are thrilled that we can tap such phenomenal internal talent across Cox for these important leadership positions.  Ben, Dan and Donna are proven leaders who know how to build strategic, award-winning teams.”

westwood one NEWWestwood One to Rep Sports USA Media.  More football to sell for Westwood One as it and Sports USA Media announce an agreement for the former to rep the latter’ssportsusa Sunday NFL games beginning with the 2015 season.  Both Westwood One and Sports USA Media currently broadcast an NFL doubleheader every Sunday afternoon during the regular season.  Sports USA founder and CEO Larry Kahn states, “We are thrilled to partner with Westwood One and with the NFL.  We have worked with them in various capacities over the years, and they are the gold standard when it comes to the NFL.”

wdnc logoWDNC, Raleigh-Durham Adds Translator to Multi-Cast.  With the addition of translator W246CG at 96.5 FM (licensed to Durham), Capitol Broadcasting’s sports talker WDNC “620 The Buzz” is now available to listeners on four signals.  Back in April, the company added the station’s signal to W257CS at 99.3 FM (licensed to Morrisville near Raleigh).  It is also heard on WCMC-FM’s HD2 channel at 99.9 FM.  Company OM and PD for sports programming Dennis Glasgow states, “Capitol Broadcasting is working to ensure that our Raleigh-Durham listeners have the best opportunity to tune into our outstanding sports talk programming, along with Duke football and basketball on FM.  In this fast-changing radio landscape, we’re looking for every advantage to grow our listenership for the Triangle sports fan.  I think we’ve accomplished that with the addition of these two translators in Raleigh-Durham.”

kilmeadebrianKilmeade on Remote from Texas.  Today (10/2), Fox News Radio personality Brian Kilmeade is broadcasting his “Kilmeade and Friends” radio show from Irving, Texas, site of the 2014 Warrior Open golf tournament.  As part of the broadcast, Kilmeade will interview former President George W. Bush.  The radio show will emanate from the Las Colinas Country Club and some of the guests in addition to President Bush will include: General Peter Pace, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; General Peter Chiarelli, former Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army; and wounded warrior Luis Avilar, who has the honor of doing the ceremonial first hit.  The Warrior Open is a competitive 36-hole golf tournament, including an 18-hole Pro-Am.  The event honors U.S service members who serve and sacrifice to defend the United States of America and heralds the many effective organizations that give their time, talents and resources to support men and women of our military.

nielsen logoRound Three of September PPM Data Released.  The third of four rounds of September 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 August 14 through September 10.  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.

Odds & Sods.  Joining the growing Cross Platform Media Group, is Russ Jones who is named SVP of news operations for the IRN/USA Radio Network and director of news and public relations for Cross Platform Media.  Jones is co-founder of Christian News Service, a news release distribution and content creation firm and publisher of ChristianPress.com. Both entities are now under the CPM umbrella of companies…..CBS RADIO Washington makes staffing changes and out is promotions coordinator Cain McCoy.  He’d worked with sports talk WJFK-FM and all-news WNEW-FM.

U.S. ISIS Strikes/Intelligence Debate, U.S. Ebola Case/Pandemic Fears, Secret Service Controversy, Jimmy Carter CNBC Interview, Immigration/Amnesty Issues, Hong Kong Protests, Financial Markets Activities, Washington Redskins Name Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/1).  U.S. military strikes on ISIS and discussion about the quality of intelligence information the administration is receiving; the first documented U.S. Ebola case and questions about how a Dallas hospital handled it; the controversy over the effectiveness of the Secret Service after a man got all the way to the East Wing before being apprehended; reflections of President Jimmy Carter as he celebrates his 90th birthday; the immigration legislation and Barack Obama-promised amnesty issues; continuing protests by pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong; the activities on the world’s financial markets; and the ongoing flap over the Washington Redskins’ name were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

| October 1, 2014

klaclogoDodgers-KLAC Broadcast Deal Gives Team Equity in Station.  Indeed, the newsworthy part of this story is the Los Angeles Dodgers acquiring an equity position in KLAC, Los Angeles as part of the renewal for play-by-play flagship rights.  Neither side is going into details, so what “an equity position” means is not clear.  The team and station owner iHeartMedia made thedodgers logo announcement Tuesday about the multi-year agreement renewing KLAC’s broadcast rights of the Dodgers regular season games, select spring training games and potential post-season games.  The deal must be approved by Major League Baseball.  Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten comments, “We are looking forward to expanding KLAC’s content in this new partnership for our passionate and loyal fan base.  We will be teaming up with the fantastic creative team at iHeartMedia on a number of projects and initiatives to enhance our fans’ engagement.  And what better team to tell the story than from broadcast talent of Vin Scully, Rick Monday and Charley Steiner.”

theblaze logoAnother Cable Network for Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze.  The Glenn Beck-founded video platform TheBlaze gets carriage on Suddenlink – one of the top 10 cable companies in the U.S.  A Wikipedia entry shows Suddenlink with approximately 1.2 million subscribers.  TheBlaze says this addition means its “24/7 news, opinion and entertainment network” is now available on 77 television providers nationwide including 10 of the top 25.  TheBlaze president of business development Lynne Costantini says, “We are pleased that Suddenlink decided to launch TheBlaze in response to customer demand, validating the appeal of our original programming to a broad audience.  We look forward to providing additional value and choice to Suddenlink’s customers, growing our respective businesses together in partnership.”

eisenrichRich Eisen Program Available on PodcastOne.  When the DirecTV-produced Rich Eisen show airs on October 6, an audio version of the program will become available via PodcastOne as the sports media star begins a relationship with Norm Pattiz’s programming-on-demand platform.  Eisen, the former ESPN personality who’s been with the NFL Network since its inception, has produced a podcast via NFL Media for the past four years.  Eisen quips, “The podcast form is in this show’s DNA, so I am overjoyed to have the Rich Eisen show in the PodcastOne family.  Plus, this leaves me one step closer to my dream of getting Norm Pattiz’s Lakers tickets.”  Pattiz replies, “My courtside seats are now a lock.  Rich is a pro’s pro.  Sports talk on demand is a digital segment that’s breaking big in the podcast universe and we are excited to engage this passionate fan base with the exceptional content Rich consistently creates.  His expertise and talent are a great addition to our roster which includes Dan Patrick, Ross Tucker, Steve Czaban and all of Yahoo! Sports.”

opienortonOpie Hughes and Jim Norton Re-Up with SiriusXM.  Any hopes the Opie & Anthony fans had that when the contract came up, Opie Hughes (right) and partner Jim Norton (left) would walk away in protest of former co-host Anthony Cumia’s firing this summer are dashed as Hughes and Norton announce via Twitter that they have “not resigned, but re-signed” with the satcaster.  The show is billed as “Opie with Jim Norton.”  Cumia was fired by SiriusXM after a series of Tweets from him that used vulgar and racial terms to describe an encounter he had with an African America woman in Times Square earlier this year.

ppmunitRound Two of September PPM Data Released.  The second of four rounds of September 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 August 14 through September 10.  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.

doylejerryOdds & Sods.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Jerry Doyle adds two new stations to his affiliate list.  The Talk Radio Network-syndicated show is now heard on Midwest Communications’ news/talk WKZO, Kalamazoo and Frank Iorio-owned WJAS, Pittsburgh…..At the Fresno operations of Cumulus Media, Michael Knight is named news director for KMJ-AM and KMJ-FM.  Knight comes to KMJ after spending last several years with KFWB, Los Angeles…..Alpha Media’s KXL-FM, Portland “FM News 101 KXL” picks up three Oregon Association of Broadcasters Awards.  Delivered at this past weekend’s 2014 OAB Fall Conference, KXL won accolades for: Best Single Story Newscast by reporter, Rosemary Reynolds on a piece covering Robert Yuille; Best Investigative Reporting for the K-9 Shooting earlier this year; and Best Newscast for the coverage on the shooting of Officer Robert Libke……Sports USA announces a new twice-weekly podcast from baseball Hall-of-Famer and Emmy Award-winning analyst Joe Morgan is being produced.  Dubbed, “Conversations with Joe Morgan,” it debuts on Thursday (10/2).  The company says each week Morgan will create one new podcast featuring the topics of today along with one “Classic Conversation” featuring a mixture of over 100 of the greatest sports and celebrity interviews he has conducted…..Entercom‘s Milwaukee sports talker WSSP is now simulcasting on translator W289CB at 105.7 FM.  The station has re-branded as “Sportsradio 105.7 The Fan.”

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foleyjackWestwood One Appoints Foley to its Business Development Division. Former Radio Disney Group business development manager Jack Foley joins Westwood One as a business development vice president.  Westwood One president Steve Shaw states, “Jack’s outstanding record of success in radio, event sponsorship, digital, in-store audio, and experiential marketing is an ideal match for this position.  He has the ability to leverage all of our platforms and to create powerful marketing solutions for our clients.”  New York City-based Foley comments that he is “thrilled” to join the “great team at Westwood One” as “we put the power of sound to work for our valued clients.  Westwood One offers unsurpassed assets from which to build integrated marketing programs that deliver exceptional value and ROI.  I look forward to activating these deep connections in a way that serves all stakeholders, content providers, marketers, and consumers.”  Foley’s past credits include Entercom Boston’s vice president and director of sales; Clear Channel’s (now iHeartMedia) regional vice president for sales (Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Maine); president and owner of mergers/acquisitions brokerage Transworld Advisors; and senior vice president of business development for Opus 3 Mobile.

medvedsmileyAgreeing to Disagree.  Nationally syndicated talk show hosts Michael Medved (left) and Tavis Smiley (right) pose for a photo after their on-air discussion about the day’s hot issues.  Salem Radio Network’s Medved hosted Smiley – whose weekly radio show is distributed by PRI – on his program to talk about issues and Smiley’s new book, Death Of A King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Final Year (Little, Brown & Company, 2014).  Medved’s camp reports the two sparred over: black unemployment, economic inequity in minority communities and failing schools after six years of the Barack Obama presidency, to name a few.

U.S. ISIS Policy, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Hopefuls, Obama Amnesty Policy, White House Trespasser/Secret Service Controversy, U.S. Ebola Case/Pandemic Threat, and NFL Controversies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/30).  The military strikes against ISIS and speculation about U.S. intelligence breakdowns; the looming mid-term elections and the prospects for the 2016 presidential race; controversy over a possible Obama Administration amnesty program; the recent White House trespasser case and questions about the Secret Service’s effectiveness; the first U.S. Ebola virus case and concerns over a possible pandemic; and the domestic violence cases that have rocked the young NFL season were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

| September 30, 2014

pinchjonPinch Postpones Retirement. Apparently, you can hold off buying a gold watch for Jon Pinch a bit longer. Cumulus‘ 14-year executive vice president and chief operating officer was scheduled to call it quits in late-November, but the company is installing him as market manager for its six-station Atlanta cluster.  Cumulus president and chief executive officer Lew Dickey comments, “Jon is the consummate team player and will now be contributing in this new role. We are excited to have someone with his loyalty, talent, and experience leading our terrific team in Atlanta.”  Pinch remarks that he is “honored” to lead “these great stations at this important juncture in the company’s growth.  This makes perfect sense for the stations and for me – personally and professionally – so retirement will have to wait.  To say that the position amounts to downshifting for me sounds almost comical.  The lifestyle change, with far less travel, allows me to spend my time at home in Atlanta and continue to work in the industry I love.  It is the best of both worlds.  I am thrilled to work with the incredible team in place at our Atlanta stations to drive the continued growth of these vibrant radio brands.”  The position has been open since April when Cumulus promoted Jeff Brown to corporate senior vice president.  Cumulus’ Atlanta cluster consists of country WKHX “Kicks 101.5,” WNNX “Rock 100.5,” CHR WWWQ “Q-100,” country WWWQ-HD2 “Nash Icon 98.9″; news WYAY “News Radio 106.7,” and WWWQ-HD3.

borrel lmktserv graphicBorrell Associates Study Highlights the Cost to Small and Medium Businesses of Digital Marketing.  A study released today by Borrell Associates called the 2014 Digital Marketing Services Outlook focuses on the dollars spent by small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in America on digital marketing.  This is relevant to radio inasmuch as it shines a light on what it really takes – in dollars – to support digital marketing that both competes with radio’s traditional on-air advertising and the digital marketing that is also offered by broadcasting companies.  For instance, we often jump to the conclusion that digital advertising is less expensive – no transmitter needed, no printing press and mailing system – but as the Borrell study estimates, SMBs spend three of every five marketing dollars on digital marketing services for a national total of $501 billion this year.  The study also concludes, “In fact, when it comes to what the typical local business spends on digital marketing, only 13% goes toward classic forms of online advertising such as banners, paid search or video.  More than two-thirds of what they spend goes toward managing their digital media channels.  The rest goes toward “promotions” — or all those creative activities such as contests, giveaways, coupons and two-for-one deals that flow from their newfound marketing finesse.”  Note the Borrell graphic here laying out the industry’s digital media services expenditures.  See more about the Borrell study here.

watchdogradioWatchdog Radio Debuts.  The new offshoot of Watchdog.org – itself a project of Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity – is Watchdog Radio, a “new broadcast initiative at the state and national level, that aims to replicate the success of Watchdog.org’s online reporting.”  The Illinois-based organization’s president, Jason Stverak, says, “Watchdog Radio is a chance for us to connect with a wider audience and bring them news stories that are impacting communities all over the country.  It is our goal to discuss the issues that others don’t and keep Americans informed on waste, fraud and abuse at every level of government.”  “National Watchdog Radio” will be syndicated on weekends.  The show is hosted by reporters Eric Boehm and Matt Kittle.  The two-hour show will focus on state and local governments across the states, as well as larger national trends.   Kathryn Watson of Watchdog.org’s Washington, DC bureau will join the program to discuss the most interesting stories of the week from Watchdog.org.

Execs Named at iHeartMedia Atlanta.  Following the just-announced departure of Matt Scarano from Atlanta to iHeartMedia’s Chicago station group, the company announces changes in the Atlanta cluster.  Justin Schaflander is named market president and Jason Mosher takes on the VP of sales position.  Schaflander moves up from his previous position as VP of sales for the cluster and Mosher is upped from his duties as GSM of WUBL, WGST and Total Traffic and Weather Network.

nielsen logoRound One of September PPM Data Released.  The first of four rounds of September 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 August 14 through September 10.  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.

katz mg logoKatz-Commissioned Study: Radio Effective Way to Reach Swing Voters. A study commissioned by Katz Media Group shows swing voters are regular radio users – 81% of those identified as swing voters report listening to AM/FM radio regularly. Moreover, voters across the political spectrum report that radio ads are more credible than the ads they see on the internet by a 56-35 margin, which increases to a 62-38 margin among low-turnout voters. The survey was handled by Vox Populi Polling to examine how much influence radio has in the electoral marketplace. The sample size for the survey was voxpopulipolling logo1,059 active voters. Other results from the study include: Swing voters spend 10% more time with radio daily than the average American voter; 67% of swing voters listen to FM regularly, while 14% are exclusively AM radio listeners; 65% of low-turnout Republicans and Democrats say they listen to FM music on a regular basis; and 61% of swing voters agree that radio is a good way for political candidates to reach them. KMG EVP of strategy, analytics & research Stacey Lynn Schulman says, “This research illustrates that radio is both a habitual and influential medium for reaching voters who can make the difference on Election Day. In the race for credibility, radio outshines online advertising by a wide margin in the minds of still impressionable voters.”

harrisheidiOdds & Sods.  Former KDWN and KXNT, Las Vegas talk show host Heidi Harris is now the market manager for Blab TV Las Vegas – an online video talk platform…..Cross Platform Media Group, LLC announces former VP of programming for Westwood One, Tim Maranville, is named chief content officer and director of channel development for the company’s platforms that include: IRN-USA Radio Network and TEN Syndication, home to USA Radio News, “Daybreak USA,” the Steve Deace show, “Bill Martinez Live,” “Point of View,” and others…..John August exits his weekend position with Entravision’s country KNTY, Sacramento “101.9 The Wolf” to take on the fill-in host position for news/talk KNCO, Grass Valley, California’s daily “Swap-Shop” program…..ESPN Radio presents its 17th consecutive season airing MLB post-season baseball beginning tonight as Jon Sciambi and analyst Chris Singleton call the AL Wild Card Game between the Oakland Athletics and the Kansas City Royals.

Obama ’60 Minutes’ Interview, U.S. ISIS Strikes, Hong Kong Protests, Secret Service WH Security Breach Investigation, Mid-Term Elections, Hillary Clinton and 2016 Presidential Hopefuls, and Obama Amnesty Pledge Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/29).  Analysis of President Obama’s interview on “60 Minutes” on Sunday evening; the U.S. military’s strikes on ISIS targets and controversy over President Obama’s statements that the U.S. has “underestimated” ISIS; Hong Kong residents protesting the tightening of rule on the Chinese island; the case of the man who entered the White House and the Secret Service’s ability to protect the president; the looming mid-term elections; the prospects for the 2016 presidential race, including Democrats Hillary Clinton and Jim Webb; the state of immigration legislation and President Obama’s pledge to create an amnesty policy were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, September 29, 2014

| September 29, 2014

cookehollandTo Reach Millennials, Get Real.  In a column posted today (9/29), media consultant Holland Cooke reports from the recent Maine Association of Broadcasters conference where a major topic of conversation was reaching the Millennial generation.  Cooke writes that the news for radio operators today with regard to this generation is a good news/bad news scenario:  The good is that Millennials like the idea of an audio-only medium but the bad news is they don’t want it to sound like it did for generations past – they have very different media sensibilities.  “Keeping it real” is the mantra for this generation as comments from the “How Millennials Use Media” panel indicate.  Cooke reports college-age panelists said things like, “People our age find radio gimmicky,” and, “Authenticity is a huge factor.”  Read Cooke’s entire column here.

dahlsteveTalent Rant in Chicago.  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, a war of words was started over the weekend after Windy City radio legend Steve Dahl broke out the heavy verbal artillery against WGN,cochransteve Jimmy de Castro and pretty much everyone who works on air at WGN.  Apparently sparked by his take that WGN president de Castro is a “glory hog” (for appearing in the front row during a group photo of the staff and WGN Walk of Fame honoree Pat Hughes), Dahl let loose with his opinion of the personalities and the station.  That brought a return volley from WGN morning personality Steve Cochran who wrote an open letter published by Feder in which he asked, simply, “Why so bitter, Steve?”  You can read Feder’s coverage of the Dahl podcast rant here and check out Cochran’s reply here.

entercomKansas City Woman’s Court Victory at Entercom’s Expense Serves Up Lessons for Broadcasters.  Friday’s court victory for a Kansas City law student who was incorrectly identified as a “local porn star” by the “Afentra’s Big Fat Morning Buzz” show on Entercom’s alternative KRBZ “96.5 The Buzz” provides more lessons for broadcasters in how to avoid falling victim to a (in this case) $1 million dollar penalty for something that could have been avoided.  As you are probably aware by now, Ashley Patton was misidentified by the morning show as a “local porn star” after confusing her name with that of a text-message suggestion by a listener who wrote to the show that Ashley Payton put pornographic images of herself online.  On Friday, the jury awarded $250,000 in actual damages and the two sides agreed to punitive damages of $750,000, which Entercom will not appeal.  Entercom had believed that its hosts had not actually engaged in negligent behavior since the identification of Patton was accidental and the station fixed the mistake as soon as it found out about it, as reported in the Kansas City Star’s coverage of the case.  But that’s not exactly what happened.  It stands to reason the station may have been able to avoid further angering Patton – and avoid the subsequent lawsuit – if it had acted quickly when Patton spoke with program director Scott Geiger hours after the bit aired.  According to court records, during that conversation, Geiger questioned Patton’s statement that she was not a porn star, even asking her, “How do you know that you’re not a porn star?”  He also promised to call her back after investigating the incident but never did.

radioamerica newRadio America to Syndicate ‘Financial Myth Busting.’  The weekend program “Financial Myth Busting with Dawn Bennett” is being syndicated nationally by Radiobennettdawn America.  The show is described as being “designed to help Americans separate financial facts from fallacies.”  Host Dawn Bennett is the CEO of Bennett Group Financial Services and she says, “Our message of being true to what is really happening in the financial world as it relates to geopolitical events has struck a chord with listeners.  We’ve brought an array of guests on the show to report on subjects that deserve more attention.  Partnering with Radio America allows us to take these important ideas to a much larger audience, and I couldn’t be more excited.”  Radio America COO Mike Paradiso adds, “Dawn has a way of cutting through the noise and providing clarity in the cluttered world of financial and economic opinion.”

levinMRCawardAccepting the Buckley Award for Media Excellence.  WABC, New York-based and nationally syndicated talk personality Mark Levin is pictured here accepting the William F. Buckley Award for Media Excellence from the Media Research Center at its 2014 Gala on Thursday, September 25, 2014.  Levin joins conservative broadcasters Rush Limbaugh, the late Tony Snow, and Brit Hume as a recipient of the award.  During his acceptance speech, Levin made a case for Republican candidates to return to the conservative principles of Ronald Reagan and William F. Buckley.

Odds & Sods.  In honor of the 25th anniversary of news personality Brian Lehrer’s time with WNYC, the New York public radio outlet is airing a special program titled, “25 Years in 25 Days: Then and Now with Brian Lehrer.”  The “five-week series takes a look back at the defining global and local news stories from each year that Lehrer has been on the air.”…..The United Nations Department of Public Information announces the debut of audio news available to broadcasters via its new in-language mobile app.  Audio content from the United Nations in eight languages is now accessible.   Covering meetings and events at UN Headquarters in New York, UN Radio also produces news features and analyses on a variety of social, political, economic, development and cultural issues involving the UN and its work.

Friday, September 26, 2014

| September 26, 2014

spriggspeteCox Promotes Spriggs and Anderssen.  Longtime Cox Media Group talk radio programmers Pete Spriggs and Drew Anderssen both receive promotions.  In Atlanta, Spriggs, who serves as director of branding and programming for heritage news/talker WSB (WSBB-FM “News 95-5” and WSB-AM), is now news/talk/sports radio format leader.  At the same time, the company announces that WDBO, Orlandoanderssendrew director of branding and programming Drew Anderssen becomes the company’s news/talk/sports format coordinator.  These appointments mean the two, in addition to maintaining their current roles, will work with CMG VP of radio programming Steve Smith and the local PDs of the company’s talk and sports stations.  Those include: news talk WXKT and WGAU and sports WRFC-AM in Athens, Georgia; news/talk WHIO-AM/FM, Dayton; news/talk WOKV-AM/FM, Jacksonville; sports KONO-AM, San Antonio; and news/talk KRMG, Tulsa.  CMG EVP of Radio Kim Guthrie comments, “Pete and Drew are two of our most talented directors of branding and programming and we’re thrilled they will share their skills with the rest of our team.  Their natural instincts will help all of our Cox Media Group news/talk/sports stations across the country continue to grow and flourish.”

wepn logo‘ESPN Radio’ New York Makes Lineup Adjustments; Lupica Show Adds an Hour.  The ESPN O&O in New York tweaks its programming schedule in several ways, effective Monday September 29.  The moves come about a month after the company shifted the role of Stephen A. Smith, taking him off the WEPN midday show.  The changes include an expanded two-hour show hosted by Mike Lupica airing from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.  Ryan Ruocco – who co-hosted with Smith – partners up with Dave Rothenberg for a one-hour show airing at 12:00 noon.  Ruocco also will join the PM drive Michael Kay show where he becomes a contributor.  In the evenings, Alan Hahn and former Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro are the permanent hosts of the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm program.  Additionally, Bill Daughtry’s role with ESPN grows as his Saturday morning show on WEPN is now heard from 8:00 am to 12:00 noon.  He’ll continue to host New York Knicks broadcasts as well as provide daily “SportsCenter” updates from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daily.  “ESPN Radio NY 98.7FM” program director Justin Craig comments, “These changes strengthen an already powerful personality driven lineup on 98.7FM.  Two hours of Mike Lupica’s passion and opinions, additional opportunities for Bill Daughtry, Ryan Ruocco and Dave Rothenberg, and the new team of Alan Hahn and Rick DiPietro, whose chemistry was evident from day one, reinforce our commitment to serve sport fans.”

ryanmickeyMickey Ryan Named to PM Drive Show at WGFX-FM, Nashville.  The afternoon drive sports talk show 3HL heard in Cumulus Media’s WGFX-FM, Nashville “104-5 The Zone” adds Mickey Ryan to the cast that includes Brent Dougherty and Blaine Bishop.  Station program director Brad Willis notes that Dougherty and Bishop have been part of 3HL since it launched in January of 2010 in the midday slot.  The show moved to the PM drive daypart on October of 2011.  Prior to the launch of 3HL, Ryan had worked with Dougherty on the station’s evening show.  Willis says, “Mickey was a great part of our team five years ago, and life took him to Arkansas.  During his time there, he hosted his own radio show and became the assistant athletics director for Arkansas State University.  We are excited to have Mickey as part of our radio family again, and are looking forward to having him on air with Brent and Blaine on 3HL.”

proftdanWLS-AM, Chicago Morning Host Dan Proft to Support GOP Candidates Via PAC.  In addition to his position as morning drive co-host on Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM, Chicago, Dan Proft heads up the conservative political action committee Liberty Principles PAC.  According to a story in the Chicago Daily Herald, Proft will spend some $2 million before the November elections in an effort to get Republicans elected to state offices.  In the piece, Proft cites the vast majority that Democrats enjoy in the Illinois House as a reason to get more Republicans elected.  He says, “We think that there needs to be more balance in state government.”  Read the whole story here.

butlernathanNathan Butler Joins Clear Channel Satellite.  Named the new director of operations for Clear Channel Satellite is Nathan Butler.  The company says Butler has served in the radio broadcasting, engineering and technology field for years.  His background includes director of operations at Kentucky News Network and Total Traffic Network.  His expertise includes working with the X-Digital System, radio broadcasting, radio programming, social networking, broadcast journalism, radio producing and digital media.

U.S. ISIS Policy/Syria Strikes Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of September 22-26.  The air strikes on ISIS targets in Syria and the U.S. military policy combating ISIS was the most talked about story on news/talk radio this week.  At #2 was the negotiations with Iran over cooperation against ISIS and the country’s nuclear program.  Following at #3 was the number of new terror plots uncovered and at #4 was the NFL domestic violence cases and the suspension of Bill Simmons by ESPN.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on 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.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

| September 25, 2014

wgn logo newWGN, Chicago to Challenge WBBM’s News Dominance.  From a story by Robert Channick published in the Chicago Tribune comes word of some of WGN, Chicago’s programming tweaks that are designed to capture more of the news-hungry radio users in the market and, presumably take some ears away from market radio news leader WBBM.davlantesanna  Among the additions are the first hour of the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano show becoming “The Business Lunch,” and focusing on Chicago business stories.  CBS RADIO’s WBBM airs “The Noon Business Hour” with Sherman Kaplan and Kris Kridel at the same time.  Additionally, former WMAQ-TV and WFLD-TV news anchor and reporter Anna Davlantes joins the station to host “The Big Story” – a 90-second news segments that will air during the Steve Cochran morning show and be a jumping-off point for show.  The same segment will air in the afternoon with WGN managing editor of radio news Judy Pielach hosting.  WGN Radio president Jimmy de Castro also tells the paper the station plans to add staff to the news department  in the future.

americaweekendlogoSmaldone and Gold Named Hosts of ‘America Weekend.’  Radio pros Valerie Smaldone and Leslie Gold are named new hosts for the Envision Networks-syndicated weekend talk radio program “America Weekend.”  Envision’s show airs on both Saturdays andsmaldonevalerie Sundays and the network says it’s “designed to be a break from the usual brokered programming and political fare of most news/talk stations,” covering “the lighter side of news and lifestyle issues facing today’s on-the-go talk listeners.”  Smaldone and Gold join current “America Weekend” talent goldleslieMike Bennett, Ed Kalegi, Smith and Sabatino, and Dave Graveline.  Envision VP of programming Michael Lichtstein says, “We couldn’t be more excited to have Valerie and Leslie join the team of hosts on ‘America Weekend.’  Each brings a breadth of radio experience to the show and together they set a new bar when it comes to delivering compelling and thought-provoking conversation.”  Smaldone adds, “I am delighted to be working with the fabulous Leslie Gold as we host a weekly show together focusing on fascinating personalities and celebrities, trends and curiosities.”  Gold says, “‘America Weekend’ presents an opportunity to talk about the stuff that intrigues, amuses and vexes all of us.  Hosting the show with my real-life friend Valerie Smaldone makes it an immense pleasure for me.  We pledge captivating talk by two veteran broadcasters who are also true friends.  It should be much fun.”

adweek14Radio to Be on Hand at Advertising Week Conference in NYC Next Week.  When Advertising Week kicks off in New York City next week, radio will be a segment of the media industry presenting during the four-day conference.  One of the panel highlights will be titled, “Voices of the Original Social Media,” hosted by the RAB and moderated by RAB president and CEO Erica Farber, on Tuesday, September 30 at 11:30 am ET.  This session will feature both nationally syndicated airfarbererica talent and local stars relating their experiences with listeners and brand partners and how that’s being leveraged over the airwaves and on digital platforms.  The panel will include: NBC Sports Radio toomeramaniNetwork’s Amani Toomer, Premiere NetworksBobby Bones, WQHT, New York “Hot 97” morning personality Ebro Darden, and WMIB, Miami “103.5 The Beat” midday personality Angie MartineziHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman will take part in a panel titled, “Loss of Serendipity” on Wednesday, October 1 alongside MediaLink chairman and CEO, Michael Kassan and Google SVP global marketing Lorraine Twohill during which they will “explore the flip side of data-tailored content creation and distribution by considering the importance of serendipity.”  Entercom president and CEO David Field will moderate a panel titled “Evolution or Revolution Part II” on Thursday, October 2.  His panelists will include: Enterprise Group president Jim Doyle, The New York Times EVP of advertising Meredith Kopit Levien, TBWA president and CEO Troy Ruhanen, Centaur Media CEO Andria Vidler, and Shelly Palmer of Shelly Palmer Digital Living.  They will talk about “disruption, real-time reinvention, retaining and growing share, and balancing today with tomorrow.”

limbaughrushLimbaugh Goes on the Offensive.  Brandishing a new tactic to fight the StopRush campaign being waged against his Premiere Networks-syndicated radio program, Rush Limbaugh and official show spokesman Brian Glicklich issued a press release yesterday (9/23) with the purpose of “outing” the forces behind what Limbaugh calls a “conspiracy.”  TALKERS readers are well aware of the campaign – led by Media Matters for America – to hit Limbaugh (and others) where it hurts most: in their advertising revenue.  That organizations aligned with Media Matters are conducting digital campaigns to harass mediamattersadvertisers on Limbaugh’s program is not disputed, but yesterday’s release attempts to flesh out the tactics and the people involved in the campaign.  The release says, in part, “The StopRush group claims to be made up of ordinary consumers unhappy with Rush Limbaugh’s comments.  The group claims to be ‘grassroots,’ just concerned consumers who won’t shop at businesses that advertise with Rush Limbaugh.  In truth, however, there are no potential customers here, just a small number of hardcore political activists founded by Angelo Carusone, EVP of Media Matters for America.  It’s remarkably tiny. Only 10 Twitter users account for almost 70% of all StopRush tweets to advertisers, amplified by illicit software.  In addition, almost every communication from a StopRush activist originates from outside the state of the advertiser.  Thus, these activists are not and never would have been customers… their only role is to harass small businesses in an attempt to interfere with their operations, as long as they are advertising with Rush.  ‘A small number of politically motivated out-of-state activists are distributing target lists indiscriminately, and annoying small businesses until they give up the advertising deals that help them grow, or risk being unable to conduct business at all.  It’s not even activism… it’s blackmail,’ according to Brian Glicklich. Meanwhile, Carusone issues the following statement in response to Limbaugh’s press release, which you can read in its entirety here.  “Rush Limbaugh’s show has reportedly lost millions of dollars in revenue for radio companies, thousands of advertisers big and small refuse to run ads on the program and radio stations are dropping the show.  After initially insisting there were no troubles with advertisers, two years later Limbaugh’s crisis team comes out with a report attributing this massive exodus to just 10 people? The numbers just don’t add up.  This is a grassroots effort that grows every day.  Instead of attacking people on the internet, Limbaugh’s team would better fill their role by advising their client not to excuse rape in some situations (as he did just last week).  Rush Limbaugh is bad for business — and the only thing Limbaugh has to blame for that is his own repeated conduct.”  In addition to the press statement, Limbaugh published on his website the names of nine people he says are leaders in the campaign, complete with Twitter IDs and, in some cases, emails.

margeryelizabethMargery Punnett to Leave ‘myTalk 107.1’ in Minneapolis.  Announcing via the Hubbard Radio female-targeted talk outlet’s website, Margery Punnett (left) says she’ll leave her midday talk show position at KTMY, Minneapolis “myTalk 107.1” in November to join her husband (and former KTMY co-host) Ian Punnett in Phoenix.  Margery Punnett – who currently co-hosts the midday show with Elizabeth Ries (right) – says she’ll move to Phoenix to join Ian who’s there studying at the graduate level at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

ketelaarsteveKetelaar Exits WOC-AM, Quad Cities.  According to a story in the Quad Cities Times, WOC-AM Quad Cities morning drive host Steve Ketelaar has left the station.  It’s not clear if Ketelaar was let go or if he left of his own accord.  In the story, Jim O’Hara, operations manager for the iHeartMedia Quad Cities cluster, tells the paper, “He is going to pursue his voice-work career full time, which is…pretty successful already.  He’s looking forward to doing it 100% of the time.”  Ketelaar co-hosted the morning show with Dan Deibert who remains co-host of the morning show on WOC-AM. He’s being joined by the company’s Dan Kennedy as co-host.

cecilbobHearst Baltimore’s Cecil to Exit.  Director of sales Bob Cecil has shared his decision to leave Hearst Baltimore’s two-station combo.  President and general manager Cary Pahigian comments that Cecil has “contributed immeasurably” to the Baltimore tandem “for several decades,” but “after careful consideration” he will “step away and enjoy time with his family.  We thank Bob for his extraordinary efforts and wish him only the best.”  In a staff memo, Cecil writes, “It has been a great privilege teaming with the Ravens, Orioles, Naval Academy, and so many other terrific business partners throughout my career.  I am appreciative of the support of Cary Pahigian and look forward to his – and your – great success in the years ahead.”  Hearst Baltimore consists of WIYY “98 Rock” and talker WBAL.  Cecil joined the stations 14 years ago; his last day there will be one week from Friday (10/3).

freelancestarSalierno Named Interim GM of Star Radio Group.  Longtime radio sales executive Ralph Salierno is promoted to interim general manager of the Star Radio Group based in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  For the past two years, Salierno has served as director of sales for the station group.  He’s also worked in the industry in Orlando, Virginia Beach, Oklahoma City and Memphis.  Star Radio Group is part of The Free Lance-Star Publishing Company which was purchased at a bankruptcy auction in May of this year by Sandton Capital Partners for $30.2 million.  The radio stations are: country WFLS, hip hop WVBX, classic rock WWUZ, and news/talk WNTX-AM and translator W243BS at 96.5 FM.  Free Lance-Star and Star Radio Group publisher and CEO Gene Carr states, “Ralph has been a key member of the Star Radio group and has earned this internal promotion.  In his new duties as interim GM, he will continue to serve as the director of sales as well.  Ralph has done a great job in driving revenue growth.”  At the same time, the station announces Jeff Beck is promoted to program director for WFLS and WWUZ.  He’ll also have a supervisory role over WVBX and WNTX.  Carr adds, “Jeff brings years of service and industry knowledge to the team.  This new management team will help to position the company for further growth.”

SOCO Radio Adds LMA of Pueblo Stations.  Announcing the local management agreement between his SOCO Radio and United States CPP LLC, SOCO principal Mike Knar takes control of news/talk KWRP, Pueblo, translators K230BB, Fowler, Colorado (93.9), K262BB, Boone, Colorado (100.3) and oldies KFVR-FM, Beulah, Colorado.  Knar states, “These are assets I’ve coveted since I left Cumulus in 2011.  We plan on driving a very hard local message in Southern Colorado.  SOCO also controls AC KFEZ, Walsenburg, Colorado and hip hop KJQY, Colorado City.  Knar announces his firm is seeking talent for his stations, especially broadcasters who can work on air and sell.  Contact him at: mike@socoradio.com.

hornsStanleyCupKissing the Cup!  It’s almost hockey season and CRN Digital Talk Radio CEO Mike Horn (left) and VP of affiliate sales and marketing Jennifer Horn (right) are getting into the spirit as they kiss the Stanley Cup, currently being held by the 2014 champion Los Angeles Kings.  The Horns had the opportunity to check out the NHL championship trophy at Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Miller’s Stanley Cup celebration.

U.S. ISIS Policy/Syria Strikes, NFL Domestic Violence Cases/ESPN Suspends Bill Simmons, Emma Watson UN Speech/Nude Pix Threat, UN Climate Change Conference, Hillary Clinton Presidential Prospects, Mid-Term Elections, Iran Nukes Negotiations, and Hannah Graham Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/24).  The Obama Administration’s ISIS policy and the recent air strikes in Syria; the ongoing discussion about the various domestic violence cases involving NFL players and ESPN’s decision to suspend Bill Simmons for his rant against NFL commissioner Roger Goodell; actress Emma Watson’s speech before the UN about feminism and women’s rights and the subsequent threat by hacktivists to reveal nude pictures of her; the UN Climate Change conference and President Obama’s speech; the prospects for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential run; the looming mid-term elections and speculation about majority changes in Congress; the negotiations with Iran over fighting ISIS and the country’s nuclear program; the case of missing Virginia college Hannah Graham were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

| September 24, 2014

harrisonherald2Michael Harrison Sings Praises of Podcasting as “a Fundamental Broadcasting Process” of the New Era.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (left) reiterated his longtime praise of podcasting as “the best thing to come down the pike since sliced bread” as a natural and obvious supplement to the tools available to broadcasters “in distributing their media products to a potentially unlimited global consumer base.”  In a statement made Monday (9/22) during the weekly TALKERS conference call, Harrison described podcasting as “so simple, elegant and traditional a distribution concept, it is amazing many people in radio are still confused as to exactly what it means now that it has become reincarnated in a digital age configuration and is being called podcasting.”  According to Harrison, “Podcasting has always been around.  On a fundamental level, a ‘podcast’ is simply a convenient unit of packaging in the distribution of a cohesive piece of pre-produced media content.  From the perspective of basic media theory, music records were ‘podcasts’ before the advent of the internet.  In 1978 and ‘79, when the infamous Ayatollah Khomeini — while in ‘exile’ in France — instigated a revolution that ultimately ousted the Shah from Iran, he did so, in part, by sending his manifesto and doctrines to his constituents via recordings on audiocassettes which were duplicated and/or ‘bicycled’ around the country from interested person to interested person.  That was also a pre-internet form of podcasting.”  Harrison says that modern digital podcasting should be a fundamental service of every radio station, network, syndicator and individual radio show every bit as important as their on-air service and online streaming.  He says, “Basically the word ‘pod’ – although stemming from an Apple device – should mean programming on demand. What we are really talking about is the vital and growing role ON DEMANDpattiznorm programming will play in the presentation of radio-oriented content.  We might soon reach a point when the only real-time, appointment broadcasting in both radio and television will be ‘live events’ most typified by sports presentations, breaking news, and talk shows dependent upon live listener/guest interaction.”  Harrison continues, “We will be getting into deeper and deeper discussions about the optimum programming of podcasts (or on demand content) as we figure out better and more practical ways to slice and dice the episodes into pragmatically digestible portions.”  When asked if he could cite an example of a broadcaster, station or company effectively executing podcasting at this point on the timeline, he immediately responded, “I’d put my money on Norm Pattiz and what he is doing with Podcast One.  This prestigious platform he is developing with attractive on demand entities performed by significant names with built in followings is an example of elegant, obvious genius at work.  This is an example to emulate.  Podcast One is going places and fast!”  He concludes, “But there is room on this train for everyone who has decent content and a handle on digital age promotion.  Thankfully, lots of bright folks in radio are well on their way to fully capitalizing on this marvelous technological gift.”

ludlumandyLudlum Leaves KNX. After nearly six years as director of news programming at Los Angeles’ KNX, Andy Ludlum exits the CBS RADIO all-news outlet.  He spent more than 16 years at onetime (similarly-formatted) KNX sibling KFWB in a variety of capacities including program director; news director (2003 – 2006); and executive producer (1998 – 2003).  KNX news director Julie Chin is the station’s interim PD until CBS RADIO Los Angeles market manager Dan Kearney hires a successor to Ludlum.  After a -.6 to 2.4 (May – June, 6+), KNX advanced to 2.5 in July and to 2.7 (#14) in August. It registered a 3.1 in January (#9) and March (#10).

podcastone logoThree New Multi-Media Talent Debut PodcastOne Shows.  Speaking of Norm Pattiz’s PodcastOne, the company announces three new podcast series preparing to debut.  TV and radio legend Larry King and his wife Shawn King will premiere their podcast on October 10.  “Pawn Stars” cast member Rick Harrison debuts his “Pawncast” next month, and Ultimate Fight Club star Chael Sonnen begins a series in October as well.  The Kings will interview guests and Shawn will lend a female perspective to the show.  Larry King comments, “I’ve never worked with a partner before.  It’s going to be fun doing this with the wife!”  Harrison will talk about history, pop culture and more, plus speak with Las Vegas mainstays and celebrities on his show.  And, saying the company is building upon its colossal success with former WWE stars Steve Austin, Chris Jericho, Jim Ross, Roddy Piper, Bill Goldberg and Jesse Ventura, the PodcastOne is targeting the lucrative MMA audience with Sonnen’s new weekly show featuring mixed martial arts talk and special guests.

scba logoSCBA White Paper Contrasts AM/FM Radio Satisfaction with That of Pandora.  In an effort to combat the perception that pureplays like Pandora are running away with consumer satisfaction – and more important, being an effective advertising medium – the Southern California Broadcasters Association is issuing its latest white paper titled, “Consumer Response and Listening Satisfaction of Broadcast Radio vs. Pandora Internet Music Service.”  Using data from Bridge Ratings LLC and Scarborough, the study included a survey of 4,339 Pandora Prime users and 4,400 heavy users of broadcast radio.  The SCBA states while marketers are always looking for something new and different, “questions of how the audience is measured and/or its effectiveness over time may not have been looked at in the rush of the ‘new media blitz’ on advertisers.  Moreover, how is the consumer using broadcast radio vs. the Pandora internet music service over time and what are the trend lines advertisers should concern themselves with to protect their media investment and ensure the media plans are performing as they should?”  Some of the conclusions reached by the SCBA include: customer dissatisfaction with Pandora over time as evidenced by a 40% drop in reported satisfaction over the course of three years; the collapse of session use on Pandora; and diminished awareness – or recall – of ads heard on Pandora versus broadcast radio.  See the white paper here.

wtoplogoWTOP, Washington Holds Live Online Chat Regarding Missing UV Student.  With the disappearance of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham a top story in the region, Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington held a live chat about the case with reporters Neil Augenstein and Mike Murillo from a press conference in Charlottesville.  Augenstein Tweeted statements from authorities and the questions from the media and then took questions from visitors to WTOP.com.  It was during the chat that Augenstein reported the breaking development that 32-year-old Jesse Matthew has been charged with abduction with intent to defile in connection with the missing Graham.

woodwardeliseWoodward Exits KJR-AM, Seattle.  Sports talk outlet KJR-AM cuts midday personality Elise Woodward from the payroll.  She was co-host of the 10@10 show with Jerry Brewer on the iHeartMedia-owned station.  The Seattle Times reports the former UW basketball star was surprised by the move after being at KJR since 2002.  She worked in afternoon drive with Mike Gastineau for four years until Gastineau retired from the station in 2012.  Woodward maintains her roles as both a sideline reporter for UW football on crosstown KOMO and color analyst for UW women’s basketball home games that air on KKNW.

espnPDspanelESPN Holds Affiliate Programming Conference.  At the recent affiliate programming conference held at ESPN’s Bristol, Connecticut campus, radio PDs and brand managers at affiliate stations took part in panels and discussions on such topics as the state of sports radio, best programming practices, how to produce great talk shows and more.  Pictured here taking part in the “Producing Great Talk Shows” panel are (from left to right): ESPN’s Colin Cowherd, KGMZ, San Francisco PD Jason Barrett, ESPN Radio talent producer Josh Drew, and “The Herd” producer Vince Kates-Paulus.

U.S. Strikes in Syria/ISIS Fighting Coalition, Domestic Violence and the NFL, Climate Summit 2014, Hillary Clinton 2016 Prospects, Mid-Term Elections, White House Security Breach, and Ebola Virus Pandemic Threat Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/23).  The strikes against ISIS in Syria by the U.S. military and the building of a coalition; the NFL’s domestic violence cases; President Obama’s address at the UN Climate Summit 2014; the prospects for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race; the looming mid-term elections and potential majority changes in Congress; the recent Secret Service White House security breach; and the threat of an Ebola virus pandemic were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

| September 23, 2014

mcmahonbillBill McMahon: Perhaps We Should Focus on What We are Good at and That Which the Public Still Wants and Needs.  In a new opinion piece posted in TALKERS today (9/23) by veteran radio consultant and talent coach Bill McMahon, the following questions are presented to radio broadcasters:  What business are you in?  Does your business have a future?  He says, “These seem like fundamental questions radio broadcasters should be asking themselves right now.”  In it McMahon adds his voice to the chorus of industry opinions supporting the preservation of audio-only media as one of — if not the — major products of “radio” in the emerging unified multi-media platform marketplace.  McMahon sarcastically says, “This vision for the future seems perfect for radio broadcasters who create precious little content of any kind. It makes total sense to go compete with everyone in the entertainment business.  Sure, why not? Go take on Disney and Live Nation.  You have all kinds of talent and experience creating video entertainment.  You’ll be great at creating and promoting massive concert events.  This is the kind of stuff your current customers have come to expect from you.  You have lots of resources ready to commit to these enterprises.  They’ll no doubt drive lots of additional listening to your AM and FM radio stations.  Like Nike says, you should ‘just do it!’”  He concludes on a serious note, “Yikes!  Let’s get real!  What’s wrong with the business you’re in right now?  What’s wrong with the audio entertainment business?  Doesn’t it have a future?  Audio entertainment is unique and powerful.  It involves the consumer in creating the experience it provides.  Sound generates pictures and emotions in minds and hearts.  The effect is deeper and more memorable than anything on a screen.  When you hear someone laughing or crying you don’t need to see them to fully experience their joy or sorrow.  Music can change your mood instantly.  The sound and the lyrics create a vibe.  Music is mind altering, heart penetrating, and memory making. Audio entertainment can be consumed while you’re doing other things like walking, running, driving, or making love.  Audio entertainment will never go out of style.  Americans spend more than four hours per day with audio entertainment according to the “Share of the Ear” study from Edison Research.  Audio entertainment has an enduring future as long as great audio entertainment is created.  Radio broadcasters are in the audio entertainment business.  Why not stay there?  Why not focus your limited resources on creating extraordinary audio entertainment? Why not be really good – even exceptional – at something, rather than average or mediocre at everything.  Your current consumers are predisposed to using and appreciating audio entertainment.  Why not concentrate on creating new audio entertainment content that surprises, amazes, and delights them.  Hire gifted artists who love creating content for the theater of the mind.  Create content in all shapes and sizes and distribute it on the platform that fits it best. That’s a future that makes sense for radio broadcasters.  To read Bill McMahon’s entire piece, please click here.

bloomberglogoiHeartMedia Goes Business Talk with Bloomberg on KNEW, San Francisco.  With the move of Premiere Networks talk shows Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck to Cumulus Media’s crosstown KSFO on Monday, September 29, the fate of the shows’ soon-to-be former affiliate station – KNEW, San Francisco – is now known.  The station will begin carrying Bloomberg Radio programming on Monday.  The station will also be simulcast on KOSF-FM’s HD2 channel.  Bloomberg Radio’s Al Mayers comments, “As part of Bloomberg’s new consumer media strategy, we’re excited about expanding Bloomberg Radio into the San Francisco Bay Area, a vital market for those who create, move global business and shape conversations about the innovations of tomorrow.”  iHeartMedia San Francisco market president Kathryn Wilcox adds, “Teaming up with Bloomberg was a natural fit.  It provides high-quality content and aligns nicely with the local business talk on KKSF 910.”

iheartmedia logoiHeartMedia Takes on More Debt.  The company formerly known as Clear Channel CommunicationsiHeartCommunications (and its radio-centric subsidiary iHeartMedia) – announces it is selling $250 million of 9.0% Priority Guarantee Notes (PGNs) that will come due in 2022.  Rating agency Fitch Ratings reports that the “notes are being issued as part of the same series as the $750 million of PGNs due 2022 that were issued on September 10, 2014, and rated ‘CCC/RR4′.  Proceeds from the offering are expected to be used to prepay $245.9 million in Term Loan B due 2016 and $4.1 million in Term Loan C due 2016 and to pay fees and expenses related to the offering.”  The iHeartCommunications debt stands at approximately $21.1 billion according to Fitch but the rating company reports it believes that the company has “adequate liquidity (including cash on hand, monetization of repurchased and outstanding notes, and asset sales) to meet its debt service obligations,” although it does foresee free cash flow to be negative over the next few years.

lionelLionel to Make Return Appearance at The Cutting Room in New York City.  Multimedia talker Lionel of LionelMedia.com has again been booked to play an evening of what he calls “Outspoken Word” sprinkled with bluegrass music at New York City’s famous nightclub, The Cutting Room.  The iconoclastic radio performer presents his difficult-to-categorize brand of stand-up commentary/observations along with several musical numbers by his Americana roots trio, Lock-n-Load in a program described by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison as “fascinatingly original and intelligently eclectic to the core.”  The booking is set for Saturday, October 11 at 7:30 pm at the mega-hip showcase venue located at 44 East 32nd Street in the Big Apple.  Tickets are on sale, $30 in advance, $35 day of show, with a $20 food/drink minimum.  To reserve tickets, call 212-691-1900.  To view a video of Lionel discussing the forthcoming performance, please click here.

salemNYChostsyachtCelebrating Success.  Getting together to celebrate a year of success at Salem Communications’ New York properties news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” and Christian talk WMCA (and to celebrate the latter’s anniversary as a Christian talk station) are four talk hosts heard on the stations (from left to right): talk personality and XtreMedia CEO Kevin McCullough; Salem Radio Network host Mike Gallagher; GCN-syndicated host Dr. Joy Browne; and WNYM morning personality Joe Piscopo.  McCullough comments, “While the style and content of the shows couldn’t be more different nor come from more diverse perspectives, the camaraderie instilled by GM Jerry Crowley and VP Phil Boyce could not be more clear!  Fun people, doing fun radio, and having fun doing it!”

hughespatOdds & Sods.  Houston sports talk personality Barry Warner joins Yahoo! Sports Radio where he’ll serve as a national contributor and host of the “Barry Warner Classic Minute” daily feature heard on KGOW and KFNC-FM in Houston…..WGN, Chicago announces the WGN Radio Walk of Fame Induction Ceremony honoring Chicago Cubs broadcaster Pat Hughes to take place on Wednesday, September 24 from 3:30 pm – 4:00 pm.  The ceremony will include a live broadcast interview with Hughes conducted by host Dave Eanet…..Internet talk radio platform LA Talk Radio announces it is adding live streaming video to its content options.  Founder Sam Hasson says LA Talk Radio “has waited until it could define how to deliver a polished radio broadcast that also appeals to the audience visually, with professional studios and eye-popping graphics.  The results are great-looking as they are streamed smoothly in high-definition to any computer or mobile device.”  The video function debuts October 1.

White House Intruder Case, Hillary Clinton 2016 Prospects, Mid-Term Elections/Congressional Majority, NFL Domestic Violence Troubles, U.S. ISIS Policy, Iran Nukes Talks, Ebola Pandemic Threat, and Lois Lerner Politico Story Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/22).  The man with a criminal past who hopped the White House fence and entered the building before being stopped; the prospects for a presidential bid by Hillary Clinton in 2016; the looming mid-term elections and discussion about the potential for majority changes in Congress; the NFL’s domestic violence issues; the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS, Secretary of State John Kerry’s nuclear talks with Iran; the threat of an Ebola virus pandemic; and the Lois Lerner Politico interview addressing the IRS scandal were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, September 22, 2014

| September 22, 2014

rowlandjohnFormer Connecticut Governor and WTIC, Hartford Talk Host Found Guilty of Campaign Law Violations.  He’d already served 10 months in prison for a 2004 conviction on corruption charges when CBS RADIO’s news/talk WTIC, Hartford hired John Rowland to host a daily afternoon drive radio talk show.  Now, after Friday’s conviction on seven counts of campaign finance law violations, it appears that Rowland is likely headed back to prison.  Sentencing is scheduled for December 12 but his attorneys plan to appeal.  According to the Hartford Courant’s account, Rowland, who resigned from WTIC in April just before being indicted on the charges, chose not to take a plea deal for 18 months jail time and tested his luck with the jury.  It didn’t work as the jury found him guilty of all charges related to his scheme to consult a Republican political candidate in 2012 and hide the fact that he was accepting the cash for those purposes.  Read Edmund Mahony’s Courant story here.

cookehollandLocal On-Air Talent CAN Become Indispensable.  Media consultant Holland Cooke revisits (and expands upon!) the point he made the “pages” of TALKERS four years ago that “if you’re in RADIO, you’re in SALES” in a column published today (9/22).  It’s easy to pick apart the effectiveness of another medium’s advertising components but radio must look in the mirror for, as Cooke writes, criticism of a lot of radio’s not-so-great spots is justified because “at many stations, including some in major markets, there’s no creative department.  Reps write their own copy, a task that’s not sellers’ core competency.”  Effectiveness is directly related to quality, so how to up the quality?  Cooke offers some suggestions and you can check them out here.

jacobsfredConsultant Fred Jacobs Encourages Radio Talent to Learn and Exploit Expanded Array of Available Media Tools.  Reaction and commentary continues to buzz throughout the industry on the topic of the role of the aural media arts (non-visual radio and music) in the increasingly multi-media/visual environment of the digital era – instigated largely last week by comments made by TALKERS and RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison in the aftermath of the Clear Channel name/branding change to iHEARTMEDIA.  According to Harrison, “I am delighted by the enormous number of responses – mostly overwhelmingly positive – that my comments sparked.  Of course, there were those who immediately jumped to theiheartmedia logo conclusion that I am against the word ‘media’ or that I do not believe radio should be involved in internet, satellite or visual media at all.  This is, of course, preposterous!  The name of our company that owns TALKERS is Talk Media, Inc.; the name of our convention was the New Media Seminar way back in 1998; TALKERS magazine’s slogan is The Bible of Talk Radio and the New Talk Media; I have championed a concept known as “The Media Station” for more than a decade and the list goes on.  All I am saying is we should remain sensitive and respectful to the idea that there is a very important place in this emerging mix for pure audio-only radio and music in terms of the fundamentals of these processes – and that by doing so, we will be serving the best interests of our industry, the people who work in it and the consumers who love radio and music on their basic terms.”  Harrison continues, “My friend, noted radio consultant/researcher Fred Jacobs, CEO of Jacobs Media, — also an industry voice who is outspoken on this most compelling issue — has written and posted a blog today (9/22) that I believe adds an important dimension to the subject that warrants attention.  Jacobs makes a case, somewhat counterpoint (but not contradictory) to mine, that I find inspirational.”  In the blog, Jacobs writes, “I started thinking about this notion that the proliferation of screens will narrow the field for talkers, DJs, and hosts who are great with words, but not so wonderful visually.  As he [Michael Harrison] notes, screens of all sizes are becoming dominant parts of how people consume media. Thankfully, radio has been able to participate on most of those screens, whether on smartphones or tablets.  Over time as autonomous driving becomes more common, those who ride in these cars will gravitate to entertainment that is visual in origin – at least at a higher percentage than they are able to consume now while dangerously texting and driving.  So is this the beginning of the end for radio, or is it simply the beginning of the beginning?  Because as we have explored in this blog during the past few years, disruption forces old stars to adapt while bringing new ones to the center stage. Notably, two of the “Best Motion Picture” Oscars in just the past few years have focused on this topic. The King’s Speech starring Colin Firth was a story about changing technology, as the King of England was forced to learn how to communicate on the radio.  Of course, he struggled, but in the end he was able to adapt.  And in The Artist, the film’s silent film star refused to adapt to ‘talkies’ and is eventually displaced by a new brand of movie icons.  Change is uncomfortable and it can be bitter, as depicted in this amazing film.  The ending eventually become a happy one, but the road was arduous and difficult because of the tech disruption caused by the advent of movie sound.  Change is hard, especially for those who have enjoyed the status quo.  It tests everyone in all strata of the organization and the industry. Accepting, adapting, and adjusting is hard work.  It can be quite uncomfortable in workplaces that were once always fun and even kind of easy.  But these are the necessary skills that radio people need to exude in order to make the transition.  We see signs of this every day in broadcast radio.  Those who have the ability to connect with audiences – in person and in social spaces – have a unique edge.  The old paradigm of the DJ hermit, locked down the hall in the air studio, is breaking apart.  Today’s air talent need to be able to mix it up with listeners, clients, and community leaders.  Not every film star is handsome.  The public appreciates an interesting face, whether it’s Peter Dinklage on Game of Thrones or Linda Hunt on NCIS.  They may be exceptions, but they stand out because they’re different, captivating, and worthy of our attention.  They’re also immensely talented actors.  And the same will be the case on the radios of the future.  While good-looking DJs like Ryan Seacrest or Bobby Bones may have inherent advantages, Howard Stern proves that must-hear content trumps a pretty face.  And he’s not alone.  Words matter, and they will continue to in a media ecosphere that is now dominated by visuals. Screens or not, it’s the thought that counts.  These are changes that radio need to roll with.  Let’s open up new visual doors, new avenues, and new paths for our content.  And let’s embrace them because it’s truly a media world.”  To read Fred Jacobs’ entire blog, please click here.

warrenallisonRadio Management Pro Warren Named VP/MM for Cumulus Nashville.  Jumping from the Austin cluster of Entercom where she was director of sales and taking on the vice president and marketwwtn logo manager role at Cumulus Media Nashville is Allison Warren.  Cumulus SVP Jeff Brown comments, “Allison was a key part of my team in Denver some years back.  She did great work there and has since built a portfolio of successes in vibrant radio markets including Austin, Madison and Milwaukee.  Her results-driven, collaborative leadership style will infuse our Nashville operations with the energy and focus needed at this pivotal point in the cluster’s growth.  Allison will be an incredible asset to Cumulus’ leadership team.”  Warren also served with Entercom at its Madison and Milwaukee clusters as well as with CBS RADIO in Denver.  Cumulus operates six stations in the market including news/talk WWTN-FM “SuperTalk 99.7,” sports talker WGFX “104.5 The Zone,” as well as the Tennessee Titans Radio Network.

irn usa logoCross Platform Media Acquires IRN/USA Radio Network.  The president and CEO of Cross Platform Media, Sam Hassell, says the acquisition of IRN/USA Radio Network “rounds out the services of Cross Platform that is already deeply embedded in the national media space.”  Hassell continues, “We are very excited to make this announcement.  We look forward to fulfilling the original vision of USA Radio Network by providing audience-engaging news and content to the independent and group station owners around the country.”  Christian and conservative broadcast pioneer Marlin Maddoux launched the USA Radio Network in 1985 and Hassell adds, “We are very respectful of the Maddoux legacy and proud to continue syndicating ‘Point of View,’ ‘Daybreak USA,’ IRN/USA News and so many other significant programs.”  IRN/USA Radio Network currently produces and/or distributes more than 20 nationally syndicated radio programs with audience-targeted formatting primarily for news/talk and Christian radio (both commercial and non-commercial).

biakelseyBIA/Kelsey Forecast for 2015 Local Media Revenue: Up 1.6%.  But, of course, the increase comes as beneficial for those in the online/digital media realm (+13.1%) and, not surprisingly, traditional media is expected to see another dip (-1.7%).  BIA/Kelsey is presenting these results and more at its Leading in Local: SMB Digital Marketing conference in New Orleans this week.  The company predicts that in 2015, online/digital will account for more than one-quarter (25.2%) of total local media revenues in 2015.  Revenues for online/digital are expected to grow from $31 billion in 2014 to $35 billion in 2015, representing a 13.1% growth rate.  Other forecasts include: Mobile local ad revenues will grow from $4.3 billion in 2014 to $6.6 billion in 2015; Local social media revenues will grow from $2.5 billion in 2014 to $3.6 billion in 2015; Local search revenues will grow from $7.1 billion in 2014 to $7.2 billion in 2015; Local display revenues will grow from $4.3 billion in 2014 to $4.9 billion in 2015; and Local online video revenues will grow from $2.3 billion in 2014 to $3.0 billion in 2015.

dolansexpo9-14Dolans and Seaview Radio Hit Home Run with Live Event in South Florida.  Proving there is life after WOR, New York, the legendary husband/wife money media team of Ken & Daria Dolan (pictured here, Daria at left, Ken at right) joined forces with WSVU (960 AM/95.9 FM/ 106.9 FM), North Palm Beach “Seaview Radio” this past Saturday (9/20) presenting a successful, day-long listener/sponsor event titled, “South Florida Wealth & Health Expo 2014,” at the prestigious Jupiter Maltz Theatre in Jupiter, Florida.  The event brought local businesses and services from the fields of health, finance and better living together highlighted with on-stage financial advice presentations by the Dolans.  Seaview Radio general manager Chet Tart tells TALKERS, “The event gave us a wonderful opportunity to establish new and heightened relationships with sponsors from one of the most dynamic business sectors in the market.  We immediately received positive response with attendees and vendors already asking about next year’s event.  I think we might have to find a larger venue, next time around.”  The Dolans, now based in Jupiter, are best remembered for their stunning run of success at WOR, New York and the WOR Radio Network in the 90s and early-2000s – supplemented by their hosting hot shows on CNN, MSNBC anddolans poster other cable news/talk networks as well as penning best-selling books on the topic of personal finance.  Known for their entertaining banter and solid advice both on air and on stage, the Dolans went into semi-retirement several years ago – but have had difficulty steering clear of offers that keep coming their way for live appearances and their broadcast sales consulting services.  The result has been the birth of the increasingly active firm Dolan Media.  CEO Ken Dolan tells TALKERS, “There are huge revenue and promotional opportunities for local radio stations in live events – especially in the areas that strike home to most people – health and money.  The two go together beautifully as we have just proven at this event in Florida.  Daria and I are strongly considering taking this show on the road and helping stations around the country create a very exciting form of financial and PR synergy so dearly needed by small and middle-sized operators at this time.”  Perennial members of the TALKERS Heavy Hundred during their run at WOR, the Dolans have been ranked #75 on the prestigious Heaviest Hundred list of the “100 Most important Radio Talk Show Hosts of All Time.”  WSVU, North Palm Beach was recently sold by North Palm Beach Broadcasters to JVC Media.  GM Chet Tart – one of the most connected broadcast executives in the market – will stay on as GM of the new expanded operation planned by the acquiring owners, telling TALKERS, “With this transition to JVC, I find myself even more focused than ever… offering leadership, encouragement and inspiration to the staff.  That’s my focus!”   Chet Tart can be reached by email at chet@jvcbroadcasting.com.  Ken Dolan can be contacted at dolanmedia1@aol.com.

schafferdennyOdds & Sods.  At the iHeartMedia Des Moines cluster, alternative KXDA PD Mike Killabrew takes on the programming responsibilities for sister sports talker KXNO, leaving WHO programmer Van Harden to focus on his duties with the heritage news/talker…..Radio personality Denny Schaffer – most recently with iHeartMedia news/talker WRNO, New Orleans and former host at the company’s WSPD, Toledo – is back in Toledo as morning jock on Cumulus Media’s hot AC WWWM “Star 105.”…..Dallas news pro Jim Ryan joins ABC News Radio full time.  Ryan — a current staffer at WBAP, Dallas and part-time contributor to ABC News Radio, makes the switch starting November 1.

Friday, September 19, 2014

| September 19, 2014

kfwb sportsKFWB Ready to Unleash “The Beast 980.” Los Angeles talker KFWB officially plugs in all the components to transition to all-sports “The Beast 980″ next Monday (9/22).  Weekday mornings (5:30 am – 9:00 am) will be kick-started by a locally originated program headed by noted Fox and ESPN talent Jeanne Zelasko, and former NBA, UCLA player Marques Johnson.  Having worked at San Diego’s XETRA “XTRA Sports,” the talented Zelasko is no stranger to doing Southern California sports radio.  “The Jim Rome Show” (Rome is also an XTRA alum) airs from Orange County (9:00 am – 12:00 noon), followed by a three-hour show (12:00 noon – 3:00 pm) local show fronted by longtime KNBC-TV, Los Angeles (Channel 4) sports anchor Fred Roggin.  Brett Winterble (SiriusXM) and former Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants tight end George Wrighster take over from 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm; “L.A. Sports Today” follows between 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm. CBS Sports Radio‘s Doug Gottlieb will air from 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm. In addition to being the flagship of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers, “The Beast” will carry Sunday, Monday, and Thursday NFL games; NCAA football and basketball play-by-play; and a weekly overview of USC athletics.

rosejoeOdds & Sods.  WQAM, Miami morning drive personality Joe Rose is giving up his “other” gig as sports anchor at NBC affiliate WTVJ, Miami.  In a press statement, Rose comments, “It’s time for me to slow downmarottarich and get a decent night’s sleep!  It’s been a fun ride and I’ve been able to cover a lot of major sporting events that I never could have if it wasn’t for NBC 6.”…..KFI, Los Angeles morning sports anchor Rich Marotta is leaving KFI and the radio business.  Marotta, who appears on the Bill Handel show, is a well-known Southern California sports voice, who’s also done radio play-by-play broadcasts for pro teams including the NBA’s Clippers, the NHL’s Kings and the NFL’s Raiders.

johnsonpattiReach Media Adds Patti Johnson to NY Sales Staff.  This is a return to REACH Media Inc. for Patti Johnson who most recently served as local sales manager for iHeartMedia in Chicago.  Prior to that, Johnson served for almost three years as an account executive in the Chicago offices of REACH Media.  Her new gig begins Monday (9/22) as she works from the New York office of REACH as account manager, Eastern sales.  She also previously worked for Interep Radio Sales in Chicago and St Louis in various sales positions.

crninternational logoCRN International Study Draws Eye-Opening Conclusions About Radio Ads.  The results of CRN International’s research poll of 525 consumers and the resultant white paper shines a spotlight on the traditional methods of advertising on radio, how consumers perceive those efforts and what might be done to make radio a more effective advertising vehicle.  When it comes to influencing a purchase decision, the study — conducted and released by the Connecticut-based, national ad agency that specializes in radio — indicates that 41% of survey respondents said that custom content – defined as useful or entertaining information provided by a sponsor – would be the messaging form most likely to increase their purchase decision.  Testimonials from everyday consumers like themselves came in second as a purchasing influencer at 20%, with traditional commercials finishing third at 18%.  A red flag for radio is that more than 80% of the respondents confirmed that they pay little attention to radio spot commercials.  Those ads, they said, have little chance of influencing a buying decision, according to the study.  Perhaps more alarming for radio operators is the results seemed to fly in the face of previous studies that most radio listeners stay tuned in through entire lengthy commercial stop sets.  In the CRN research, 67% of the consumers said they don’t make it past the second advertisement during a commercial break.  However, positive signs from the study include some of the following conclusions: Regarding endorsements from their favorite radio DJ personalities, 28% said that tactic would have a positive impact on their chances of considering or buying the sponsor’s product; Regarding endorsements from everyday people like themselves, 42% said that tactic would increase their chances of considering or buying the sponsor’s product; 23% of the respondents said meeting radio personalities at a live, local radio station appearance would be of interest to them; 52% said they would be interested in participating in a contest or sweepstakes heard on the radio; Almost 60% said they would be very or somewhat receptive to considering or buying the product of a contest or sweepstakes sponsor.  To see the CRN International white paper, click here.

americaweekendlogo‘America Weekend’ Airs on WNJE, Trenton.  Becoming a part of Connoisseur Media-owned religious formatted Trenton, New Jersey outlet WNJE’s programming is “America Weekend.”  The Envision Networks-syndicated weekend news/talk program is described by the syndicator as a show “designed to be a break from the usual brokered programming and political fare of most news/talk stations, ‘America Weekend’ covers the lighter side of news and lifestyle issues facing today’s on-the-go talk listeners.”  The program offers over 12 hours of new programming each weekend from the lineup of hosts that includes: Ed Kalegi, Mike Bennett, Valerie Smaldone, Leslie Gold, Smith and Sabatino, Animal Radio, and “Into Tomorrow” with Dave Graveline.

siriusWhartonOfficial Opening.  The new SiriusXM studios at the Wharton School on the campus of Penn are official opened by Geoffrey Garrett, newly appointed Dean of the Wharton School (left), and Scott Greenstein, president and chief content officer, SiriusXM (right).  The ceremony for the official ribbon cutting for SiriusXM’s studio for Business Radio powered by the Wharton School took place on September 18.

The NFL and Domestic Violence Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 15-19.  The intense controversy over recent domestic violence cases involving NFL players was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio, landing atop the Talkers TenTM for the week of September 15.  Coming in at #2 was the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS.  At #3 was the new domestic terror threats tied with the foiled Australian plot followed by Hillary Clinton’s presidential ambitions and the GOP hopefuls at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

| September 18, 2014

youngbroomheadBarry Young’s Retirement from KFYI, Phoenix Pushes Mike Broomhead into Mid-Morning Slot.  As TALKERS magazine reported back on March 14 of this year, longtime Phoenix talk radio personality (and president and CEO of WestStar MultiMedia Entertainment) Barry Young (left) is retiring from his daily talk show duties at iHeartMedia-owned news/talker KFYI.  Now, the station announces that after Young does his last show on November 7, current afternoon drive personality Mike Broomhead (right) will move to the 7:00 am to 10:00 am slot.  Broomhead states, “Barry Young is a legend in this business and will someday soon be in the Arizona Broadcasting Hall of Fame.  It has been an honor to work with and learn from him.  I’m looking forward to hosting mornings.  I want to talk about the issues that concern all of us and find solutions that are best for Arizona.  I’m not always right, but I always want what is best.”  KFYI program director Neil Larrimore adds, “Mike is a superstar who has worked hard to earn this opportunity.  He’s a great host, but even more so, he’s a good man.”  The station will begin a search for a new afternoon drive host.

fullermaggieFormer WNIR-FM, Akron Talk Host Sues Station Over Harassment Allegation.  Former morning drive personality Nancy Jones – who went by the on-air name Maggie Fuller – is suing Media-Com Inc. for reinstatement and/or back pay plus damages alleging she was sexually harassed by current morning drive host John “Couchburner” Denning.  The complaint states that Jones, who was a staffer with WNIR-FM, Akron since 1999, began, in 2013, receiving “hostile” and “disrespectful” treatment from Denning, culminating in his using the c-word to describe her to listeners at a promotional event.  Jones claims station management did nothing to address her complaints.  Read more about this case in the Norwalk Reflector here.

weberjeffIt’s Synchronicity for BizTalkRadio’s Weber.  After more than a decade with BizTalkRadio and Lifestyle TalkRadio Network,president Jeff Weber departs the Center Post Holdings company to join Synchronicity in a consulting capacity.  Weber asserts that, “Synchronicity’s technology has begun to revolutionize the industry; I don’t make statements like that unless I mean them.  Just as John Armstrong created and built DG Systems, this new company of his is totally cutting-edge.  It will be a major asset to broadcasters, syndicators, and others who want to reduce costs with a user-friendly and efficient platform.”  According to Weber, Synchronicity increases revenue through localization of advertising and real-time accountability.  In his 12 years with the former Business TalkRadio Network (now BizTalkRadio and Lifestyle TalkRadio Network), Weber was its executive vice president; acting chief executive officer; and one year ago, became president.  Additionally, Weber will consult Connecticut-based Forte Family Broadcasting.

koontzbobKFWB Selects Koontz as Sports Sales Manager.  Former KSPN “ESPN 710,” Los Angeles station manager Bob Koontz joins newly launched all-sports KFWB, Los Angeles “The Beast 980″ as sports sales manager.  The Southern California native comments that he is “thrilled” to be part of the new sports outlet and that he looks forward “to working with our great talent to help build strategic partnerships and unique opportunities for our clients and listeners.”  Prior to becoming KSPN’s station manager (2006 – 2008), Koontz spent six years as the station’s first sales manager. He also held the sales manager title for Los Angeles stations (talk) KABC; (rock) KLOS; (sports-talk) KMPC; (adult contemporary) KIQQ “K-Lite,” and (regional Mexican) KSCA.

mcmorrisebonyMcMorris Tapped as Radio One Washington, DC News/Community Affairs Director. “News One Now” weekly contributor Ebony McMorris is appointed news and community affairs director for Radio One Washington, DC.  The company’s nation’s capital cluster consists of urban AC WMMJ “Majic 102.3,” urban contemporary WKYS; gospel WPRS “Praise 104.1,” gospel WYCB “Spirit 1340,” and talk WOL.  According to Radio One vice president and general manager Alan Leinwand, “We are very fortunate to have Ebony moving into this very important position.  She will play an integral role in helping us deliver a first-class news product, while also helping grow our community footprint.”  Replacing Sheila Stewart, who passed away 11 months ago, McMorris comments, “Taking over a position held by Sheila is an honor because she mentored me early in my career.  I cannot forget her power to connect people.  The vision of this company and its staff is unmatched.”  In addition to her new duties, McMorris – who has worked with Radio One since 2007 as WOL’s national reporter and host of public affairs programming on “Praise 104.1″ and “Majic 102.3″ – will serve as a daily reporter for the syndicated “Tom Joyner Morning Show.”  McMorris was morning news correspondent on Roland Martin‘s radio show.

abcnewsradioABC News Radio and Hearst Strike Deal for News and Info Service for Baltimore Stations.  When Hearst Radio’s news/talk WBAL and rock WIYY in Baltimore begin using ABC News Radio products later this year, it’ll mark a return to the outlets for ABC after more than 10 years absence.  In addition to the two stations using ABC’s “premium national, wbalinternational and entertainment news programming,” ABC Radio will provide music news for WIYY’s website and ABC Air Power, the most immediate, most topical and most complete radio show prep service in the industry today.  WBAL and WIYY president and GM Cary Pahigian comments, “From reliable top hour newscasts and breaking news for WBAL and prep and digital support for ‘98 Rock,’ we are delighted to welcome the powerful resources of ABC to Hearst Radio Baltimore.”

stigallcruzConstitution

Stigall and Ted Cruz Talk the Constitution.  Pictured here at the National Constitution Center on September 17th in Philadelphia are WPHT, Philadelphia morning personality Chris Stigall (left) and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) (right).  Cruz joined Stigall for a one-on-one discussion about Constitutional conflicts in the news today.  The event drew hundreds of WPHT listeners to hear Cruz – a noted Constitutional scholar – discuss the issues.

mcmahonbillConsultant Bill McMahon Sounds Off on Key Radio Issues.  One of the veteran consultants who’s had a significant influence on the modern era of talk radio as a thinker and innovator is Bill McMahon. He and his company, The Authentic Personality, developed what has been come to be known as the Authentic Personality method, the first formal training process for radio personalities and program directors. Hundreds of radio personalities and program directors in the US and the UK have participated in his Authentic Personality workshops. McMahon was one of the first to recognize Rush Limbaugh‘s “talent on loan from God” and give him a platform for its use. In addition to Rush, he has influenced the careers of many of radio’s biggest stars including Kidd Kraddick and Johnny Vaughan in the UK. Interestingly McMahon was the featured interview in the very first print issue of TALKERS almost 25 years ago. At a time when radio is facing all kinds of new high-tech competition for the consumer’s time and attention, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (who also conducted that first interview in 1990) thought it appropriate to sit down again with McMahon and talk about the current state of radio and radio personalities.  In what turned out to be a fascinating 55-plus minutes of conversation, McMahon opines the following observations:

  • Very little has changed in terms of radio content/format development since the initial conversation 25 years ago.
  • The vast majority of radio’s content over the past 50 or 60 years has been created by the music industry. The radio industry has functioned primarily as the distribution and promotional arm of the music industry. The radio industry has created very little of its own content since the inception of television… with the notable exception of talk radio.
  • Major innovations in radio content creation have come from individual on-air talent like Rush Limbaugh, Howard Stern, Scott Shannon, etc., not radio industry management.
  • Radio is no longer attracting the best and brightest talent. This is a critical and a potentially fatal problem for radio.
  • Radio needs to launch an immediate campaign to recruit extraordinary talent who love creating audio entertainment and have ideas for new programs and formats that consumers want and need.
  • The radio industry’s desire to create big mass appeal formats and programs goes against everything that’s happening in the world. Things that are succeeding have clearly defined specialties. Think Rush Limbaugh, Howard Stern, and Fox News. In this world of unlimited choice where consumers are in control of what they consume and when they consume it, having a clearly defined and distinctive specialty is a must for success.
  • The “Fourteen Traits Inherent in the Best Radio Personalities” provide a guide for evaluating and recruiting the kind of talent radio needs to attract to continue to be viable.

To listen to the entire unedited audio conversation between Bill McMahon and Michael Harrison conducted for this story, please click

 
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To contact Bill McMahon call 208-887-5670 or email Bill@AuthenticPersonality.biz

Odds & Sods.  A special series is being presented by SiriusXM on the Howard 101 channel.  Howard Stern show media producer and aspiring film maker JD Harmeyer interviewed five Hollywood directors while at the 2014 Comic Con International in San Diego earlier this summer and the result the “JD Directors Special” during which Harmeyer interviews “Bridesmaids” director Paul Feig, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” director Jonathan Liebesman, “Children’s Hospital” creator Rob Corddry, “Into the Storm” director Steven Quale and legendary film director and writer Guillermo del Toro.  The program airs on Friday, September 19, at 7:00 pm ET…..Westwood One extends its partnership with Harpo Studios and Dr. Mehmet Oz for the daily, one-minute feature, “Daily Dose with Dr. Oz.”  Dr. Oz says “Not a day goes by that I don’t get positive feedback from listeners of ‘Daily Dose.’  My goal is to spread the message of good health – body, mind and spirit.  Syndication with Westwood One helps to expand that message to an attentive and diverse audience.”

BFoA golf 14Broadcasters Foundation of America Celebrity Golf Tournament Raises $250,000.  Monday’s 2014 Celebrity Golf Tournament at Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Tarrytown, New York helped raise $250,000 for the Broadcasters Foundation of America.  More than 150 broadcasters and celebrities turned out in support of the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation, including famed sportscasters, athletes, and actors.  Celebrity golfers included: Michael J. Fox; Bruce Beck, WNBC-TV; Craig Carton, WFAN; John Franco, Mets Hall of Famer; Sterling Sharpe, Green Bay Packers Hall of Famer; Tina Cervasio, Fox Sports and MSG Network; Howard Cross, New York Giants great; Maurice Dubois, WCBS-TV; Rachel Grant, actress and philanthropist; Jay Harris, ESPN; Mary Calvi, WCBS-TV; Otis Livingston, WCBS-TV; Sean McDonough, CBS and ESPN; Lonnie Quinn, WCBS-TV; Dana Tyler, WCBS-TV; Chris Wragge, WCBS-TV; and more.

gravelinecheckpointcharlie‘Into Tomorrow’ Visits Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin.  As part of a whirlwind tour of techie events to cover for his weekly consumer electronics talk show “Into Tomorrow,” host Dave Graveline (center, surrounded by his staff) was in Berlin and is pictured here in front of the historic Checkpoint Charlie.  During a two-week period, Graveline covered the IFA in Berlin, the recent Apple event in San Francisco and the annual Intel Developer Forum (IDF).

The NFL and Domestic Violence, the U.S.-led Coalition Against ISIS, Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Prospects, the Mid-Term Elections and a Possible Change in Congressional Majorities, Ebola Virus Pandemic Threat, Australian Terror Plot Foiled and Scotland Secession Referendum Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/17).  The continuing controversy over the NFL’s domestic violence policy and the several players facing criminal charges and league suspensions over incidents; the Western coalition of countries vowing to combat ISIS; Hillary Clinton’s visit to Iowa and her prospects for running for president in 2016; the looming mid-term elections and talk about majority changes in Congress; concern over the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa and the possibility of a pandemic; the thwarting of a terror plot in Australia; and today’s referendum in Scotland on seceding from the U.K. were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

| September 17, 2014

hamburgjoanJoan Hamburg to Host Weekend Show on WABC, New York.  After a long career at crosstown heritage AM news/talker WOR, Cumulus Media announces that New York radio personality Joan Hamburg is joining its news/talker 77 WABC to host a weekly Saturday program to air from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.  Cumulus says on the show Hamburg “will continue discussing the most important social, economic and political issues that impact listeners’ lives each week.  Hamburg will also interview major celebrities and powerful political figures on the program.”  In addition, the deal calls for Hamburg to produce weekly features and exclusive programs available in digital formats.  Hamburg comments, “How excited I am to join legendary WABC radio and work with Kim Bryant, Craig Schwalb and the rest of the Cumulus family. And what a treat to join their roster of the best talk talent in the country.  New York get ready — the conversation is about to begin.”

villanuccijimTalk Host Jim Villanucci Resigns from KXL, Portland.  There is little known at this time about what has transpired to cause midday talk show host Jim Villanucci to resign from his position with Alpha Media’s KXL, Portland but a Tweet from KXL’s Lars Larson states simply that Villanucci has resigned for “personal reasons” and that Larson wishes him well.  Filling in during the daypart is Victoria Taft.

francesamikeTension Between WFAN’s Mike Francesa and Management Over Fox Sports Simulcast.  According to a story by Neil Best in Newsday, WFAN, New York afternoon drive superstar Mike Francesa has been ordered by CBS RADIO management – under threat of lawsuit – not to gripe publicly about the simulcast of his show being bumped from cable’s Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 for live sporting events.  Best reports that while Francesa didn’t talk specifically about the Fox Sports simulcast issues, he said on his radio show that in contrast to a corporate statement to the contrary, he has been threatened with legal action if he speaks publicly about anything that costs the company money, with the implication being the Fox Sports arrangement.  In other words, he could be held liable for any income CBS loses if the Fox Sports relationship dissolves.  Read Best’s piece here.

cottociscoCisco Cotto Joins CBS RADIO’s WBBM-AM, Chicago.  Newsman and talk show host Cisco Cotto is becoming part of the staff at CBS RADIO’s all-news WBBM-AM and WCFS-FM, Chicago, according to Chicago media writer Robert Feder.  Cotto has worked in the Chicago market his entire career.  He started at CBS’ former all-news WMAQ and has served as news anchor at Cumulus Media’s crosstown WLS-AM (where he also went on to host a talk show) as well as at Salem’s news/talk WIND, and the Moody Bible Institute’s Christian talker WMBI.  His position at WBBM and WCFS is anchor/reporter.   Read Feder’s entire column here.

krennjimKDKA-AM, Pittsburgh Adds Comic Jim Krenn to Friday Program.  Joining the “KDKA Morning News with Larry Richert and John Shumway” each Friday is Jim Krenn, a popular Pittsburgh radio personality and comedian.  KDKA-AM program director Jim Graci says, “KDKA is delighted to have Jim Krenn on the station each Friday morning.  It’s like adding another big bat to an all-star lineup, and will give KDKA listeners another reason to smile heading into the weekend.”  Krenn is a Pittsburgh native who worked successfully in Steel City radio for 24 years.  He is currently producing a weekly podcast titled, “Jim Krenn: No Restrictions.”

nrglogoDreyer Named Director of Integrated Media for NRG.  Appointed to the newly created position of director of integrated media for NRG Media is Erica Dreyer.  In making the announcement, NRG president and CEO Mary Quass noted that Dreyer recently served in the same post for both Maverick Media of Rockford, Illinois and Mid-West Family Broadcasting of Rockford for the past seven-plus years.  Quass states, “Digital media offers the greatest potential revenue growth for radio today.  Erica Dreyer has earned seven awards for excellence in the digital arena.  Dreyer’s the maverick we need to lead this new department.”  In this position, Dreyer will be responsible for infusing new inventory and pricing techniques into NRG’s interactive portfolio.  Dreyer will also train and educate sales departments in the station group to produce more sophisticated, high-value integrated solutions for clients and help educate advertisers about integrated solutions for their business needs.  Dreyer starts with NRG on September 30.

wpht logoWPHT, Philadelphia Speaker Series Hosts Senator Ted Cruz.  Tonight’s event at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia is the latest in the WPHT Speaker Series and will feature Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) discussing the First and Fourth Amendments.  The program takes place in observance of Constitution Day and WPHT morning drive personality Chris Stigall is moderating the discussion.

espnwomenThe Big Issue of the Day.  Pictured here are ESPN personalities (from left to right) Jemele Hill, Jane McManus and Cari Champion in the studio during the production of the podcast “espnW Presents: The State of the NFL on ESPN Radio.”  The show was a joint effort by espnW and ESPN Radio.  Also appearing on the program were espnW personalities Kate Fagan and Sarah Spain.  ESPN host Keith Olbermann and National Organization for Women president Terry O’Neill joined the conversation as guests.

The NFL and Domestic Violence, U.S.-Led Coalition Against ISIS, Mid-Term Elections, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Presidential Run, New Benghazi Investigation,  Ebola Virus Pandemic Threat, Scotland Succession Referendum, and Obama Amnesty Issue Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/16).  The ongoing furor over the domestic violence issues plaguing the NFL; debate over the potential effectiveness of the U.S.-led coalition to combat ISIS; the looming mid-term elections and how they may affect majorities in Congress; Hillary Clinton’s weekend appearance in Iowa and her possible run for president in 2016; the new Benghazi investigation; the status of the Ebola outbreak in Africa and the potential for a pandemic; Thursday’s referendum on whether Scotland breaks away from the U.K.; and Senator Ted Cruz’s effort to prevent amnesty action by President Obama were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

| September 16, 2014

iheartmedia logoClear Channel Becomes iHeartMedia.  This is a major name change for a heritage radio company, but, as the press release indicates, it reflects the company’s belief that it’s become a “one-of-a-kind multi-platform media company” that has moved beyond just radio.  Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman states, “iHeartMedia reflects our commitment to being the media company that provides the most entertainment to the most engaged audiences wherever they go, with more content and more events in more places on more devices.  We have massive consumer reach and influence across our platforms because we know how to program the live content people want to hear, see and share right now, we are the largest mobile media company in existence — more than 60 percent of our broadcast usage is out of home, compared to just 30 percent for other mobilepittmanbob devices — and we deliver more live programming than any other media company today, built on the national and local on-air personalities who are the heart of our powerful broadcast radio franchises.  Combined with Clear Channel Outdoor’s reach of over half a billion people worldwide across 30 countries and five continents, it’s clear that no other company can match our reach or broad spectrum of media platforms.”  Clear Channel Outdoor will retain its name.  Pittman adds, “In a world where 2x ROI is judged as successful, Nielsen has shown that radio delivers 6x ROI on average.  It’s because we combine the power and predictably of mass reach with the immediacy and relevance of live programming and the unique and powerful engagement that consumers have with their favorite radio stations and personalities.  The opportunity for the new iHeartMedia is to use all of these industry-leading assets together in new ways — extending our massive reach and cultural influence across radio, outdoor, digital, social and live events to make it easier for advertisers to deliver the most relevant, real-time messages across all our platforms at scale, amplified by social media and mobile, to get a superior ROI to other media.”

harrisonherald2Michael Harrison:  “The Systematic Abandonment of ‘Radio’ by ‘Radio’ is a Disturbing Trend.”   TALKERS and RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison warns of what he terms “a disturbing half-baked trend, that although understandable in the big picture of communications, poses an unnecessarily sped-up threat to the livelihoods of everyone in the radio business – not to mention the fundamental role of audio-media in both the spoken-word and musical arts.”  Harrison acknowledges, “The move away from the word ‘radio’ in the lexicon of our industry is certainly understandable from a sales and marketing standpoint and  it makes total sense to create unified multi-media platforms for today’s mega-consolidated, corporate behemoths to compete effectively in the ‘noisy’ world of the emerging digital era.  However, those who work in the media arts that are fundamentally built upon aural foundations – spoken-word shows and music creation – will face increasingly limited opportunities to present their wares to an interested consumer base as venues and business opportunities evaporate at an exponential rate.”  Harrison observes, “As we move more and more into a world of screens and not speakers, the only talent that will have a chance to survive in a bottom-line driven, corporate environment will be those whose assets are visually gifted.  That does not bode well for the brilliant wordsmiths and musical geniuses who most likely do not have faces for television.  It also does not hold much of a future for the deeper aspect of communication that is aurally based – a means of expression that runs deep within our very humanity, holding a unique and special place within our brains.”  Harrison concludes, “Those of us who are still proud of and value the role of ‘radio,’ audio-oriented music, and the theater of the mind, must give considerable consideration as to what the role, if any, audio-only media will have in this new age.  It can and must be respected and preserved within this inevitable, emerging grid or we face the likely prospect of devolving overnight from making great radio and music to extremely cheesy television.”

wjbc logoTim Lewis Named PD, Afternoon Host at WJBC, Bloomington, Illinois.   Thirty-year radio pro Tim Lewis is the new program director and afternoon personality at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WJBC, Bloomington “The Voice of Central Illinois.”  Lewis was most recently with KBLY, Idaho Falls hosting AM drive and serving as program director.  He’s also worked at such heritage signals as KSL, Salt Lake City; KOA, Denver; and WLW, Cincinnati and has received numerous industry awards.  During the 1990s, he hosted a nationally syndicated sports talk show on the One on One Sports Radio Network, eventually clearing more than 250 stations.  Cumulus EVP, programming and content John Dickey states, “Tim Lewis’ long and diverse experience in spoken-word radio make him the perfect choice to lead the remarkable WJBC programming team and guide the station to even greater success.”

ingrahamlauraLaura Ingraham Show Podcast Debuts.  The nationally syndicated Laura Ingraham show is now heard on demand via PodcastOne as the Norm Pattiz-founded and let podcast producer and distributor launches the new program format.  A press statement from PodcastOne notes, “Laura’s phenomenally successful radio program, which airs on over 200 stations, has been a radio staple for a long time but market conditions have now made it very difficult for an independently produced program to get distribution in many of the major markets.”  Pattiz adds, “As undeniably great as Laura’s program is, it doesn’t air on a single Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia) station.  Her ability to make and influence news is a well-known fact.  So as of this week, the Laura Ingraham show can be heard in every market in the country as well as around the globe, on-demand from PodcastOne.  Obviously, Laura’s fans are finding her and significantly expanding her radio audience.”

wodt logoOdds & Sods.  Former Spanish sports talk WODT, New Orleans has flipped to English-language sports as “Fox Sports 1280.”  The iHeartMedia-owned station had been airing ESPN Deportes  content…..The Philadelphia Phillies and CBS RADIO’s WIP and WPHT have signed a one-year deal to keep Phillies play-by-play on the company’s stations through the 2015 season.  Phillies management tells the Philadelphia Business Journal that the one-year pact will allow the sides to hopefully work on a long-term deal before the end of next summer…..espnW and ESPN Radio are collaborating on special program dealing with domestic violence in the NFL and the Ray Rice case.  It’s called “espnW Presents: The State of the NFL” airing on ESPN Radio and ESPNRadio.com at 9:00 pm ET.  The program is being hosted by Jemele Hill and Cari Champion.  espnW voices Jane McManus, Kate Fagan and Sarah Spain, who have been sharing their perspectives on issue, will be featured.

wqamschellenbergerMarc Hochman Show Voice Schnellenberger Honored.  Florida football legend and “voice” of “The Marc Hochman Show w/ Zach Krantz” on WQAM, Miami, Howard Schnellenberger, was honored on Saturday as Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton renamed its football field “Howard Schnellenberger Field.”  Schnellenberger has coached for the Miami Dolphins, Miami Hurricanes, and Florida Atlantic University among many other teams.  Fans of the Hochman show know Schnellenberger voices all its opens, rejoins, and imaging.  Pictured here are (from left to right): Hochman, Schnellenberger, and Krantz.

conclaveThe Conclave Announces Student Scholarships.  Continuing the scholarship program that’s been part of The Conclave’s mission since 1979, the 2014 Conclave Scholarships are announced.  The five scholarships available from educational institutions include: The Bill Gavin Memorial Scholarship which includes application fees, books & supplies and tuition valued at $16,200, awarded by the Specs Howard School of Broadcast Media Arts, Southfield, MI. Competition for this scholarship will begin shortly with details forthcoming; The Dennis Becker Memorial scholarship which is a half tuition scholarship valued at $17,000, awarded by the Sanford Brown College, Mendota Heights, Minneapolis; The Conclave Music Industry Scholarship which is a 25-50% tuition discount valued up to $20,000 awarded by the McNally Smith College of Music, St. Paul, Minnesota; and details regarding The Marc Birger Memorial Scholarship to Kean University and The Doug Lee Memorial Scholarship will be announced soon.  For information about the 39th Conclave visit www.http://theconclave.com.

cbi logoJournalist Training Session Available at Seattle College Broadcasters Conference.  At next month’s CBI National Student Electronic Media Conference in Seattle (October 20-25) KUOW, KPLU, NPR and College Broadcasters Inc. are offering a unique training opportunity.  The student media project is seeking student applicants to their first event.  The week-long session is an opportunity for college and graduate students to learn from professional journalists.  A committee of journalists will select up to six students to pair one-to-one with public media journalists and college multimedia instructors from around the country. Three students will be selected from the Seattle/Tacoma area.  The Student Multimedia Project will emphasize multimedia storytelling focused on character development.  Students who are selected for the project will each find a person to focus on for their story — someone doing something interesting who is willing and available to be interviewed.  Students will produce a radio story about the person and then tell their story differently for the web.  NPR consultant and project manager Doug Mitchell says, “NPR and its member stations support the Project because it allows us to discover and groom a diverse pool of young talent.  The Project gives public media professionals a chance to see if students have what it takes to do the work and lets our industry build a pipeline of new professionals who understand our way of storytelling.”

The NFL and Domestic Violence, Hillary Clinton in Iowa/2016 Presidential Prospects, Obama Forms ISIS Coalition, Mid-Term Elections, Scotland Separation Referendum, and Ebola Pandemic Threat Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/15).  The furor over domestic violence cases in the NFL and the league’s plans to address the situation; Hillary Clinton’s weekend visit to Iowa and the probability she’ll run for president in 2016; President Obama’s formation of a coalition to fight ISIS; the looming mid-term elections; the build-up to Scotland’s Thursday referendum to leave the United Kingdom; and the threat of an Ebola pandemic were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, September 15, 2014

| September 15, 2014

bohannonjimWestwood One’s Jim Bohannon Celebrates 30 Years of National Shows.  Legendary broadcaster Jim Bohannon is celebrating the 30th anniversary of BOTH of his Westwood One shows — “America in the Morning” on September 17, 2014 and “The Jim Bohannon Show” on September 22, 2014.  Bohannon iswestwood one NEW heard on more than 500 affiliates nationwide.  He says, “It’s hard to believe that ‘America in the Morning’ is 30!  We’ve covered so many stories in that time, from the Challenger disaster to 9/11, from Bergdahl to Benghazi, from Harry Reid to Prince Harry, and I’d like to think the best is yet to come.  It’s been an honor and pleasure to help so many people start their busy days.”  Westwood One EVP, news and talk Bart Tessler comments, “Congratulations to our radio Hall of Famer, who consistently plays at the top of his game.  Jim’s friends and colleagues at Westwood One salute him as we continue to enjoy listening to his wit and wisdom.”

kirkkage posterJesse Kage Joins CBS RADIO’s WHFS, Tampa.  More recently with Clear Channel’s rock WXTB, Tampa, air personality Jesse Kage joins CBS RADIO’s crosstown sports talker WHFS “Sports Radio 98.7 The Fan” to co-host the morning show with Kirk McEwen.  The new Kirk & Kage show debuts today, according to program director John O’Connell.  Also featured on the show are Roxanne Wilder and Special Ed.  The station says, “Kirk and Kage promises to be a unique blend of sports, lifestyle, personality and fun.”  O’Connell adds, “I am very excited to welcome Jesse Kage to 98.7 the Fan.  The station has always had an energy and edge that you find in a rock station, so in many ways Jesse will feel right at home.  The pairing of Jesse with Kirk McEwen puts two outstanding radio personalities together that will excite and engage listeners.  ‘The Kirk and Kage Morning Show’ will not only be a destination for sports fans but anyone craving a balance of sports, fun and entertainment.”

businessrockstars radio‘Business Rockstars’ Joins BizTalkRadio Network Lineup.  Joining the BizTalkRadio network is the nationally syndicated “Business Rockstars” program hosted by Ken Rutkowski.  The program will air daily from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.  “Business Rockstars co-founder Steve Lehman says, “Jeff Weber is a bright guy who understands that political radio is tired, the entrepreneur is the new rockstar.  ‘Business Rockstars’ is the fastest growing talk show in the US, and the only national entrepreneurial radio show that teaches listeners how start, grow, and fund a business.  Entrepreneurship is red-hot, advertiser-friendly and attracts a younger audience to radio.  Ken Rutkowski is brilliant, and Business Rockstars is simply…good business!”

wittmayerjustinWittmayer Named Cumulus San Francisco Market Manager.  The new vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s San Francisco station group is Justin Wittmayer who joins from Clear Channel’s Miami cluster where he was VP of sales.  Wittmayer also worked for Clear Channel in the Bay Area as GSM and market manager for that company’s San Jose stations.  Cumulus SVP Gary Pizzati says, “Our business in San Francisco is very complex.  The assortment of formats, which now include Nash FM, coupled with three major sports teams requires a leader who understands how to maximize revenue and cash flow from each.  Justin not only understands what it takes to drive revenue, he knows how to run a business.  His years of experience in the Bay Area will serve us well with the relationships he’s established in the ad community and with recruiting top talent.  We are thrilled to welcome Justin to the Cumulus family – now at the helm of our San Francisco operations.”

Giessinger Named GSM for CC Minneapolis.  Taking the role of GSM for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s Minneapolis station group is Grant Giessinger.  He joins the company from CBS RADIO’s Minneapolis cluster.  He’s worked for Clear Channel in the past, having served as sales manager and VP/GM for the company’s North Dakota stations.

biakelseyBIA/Kelsey Study Indicates Social Media an Important Means of Promotion for Small and Medium Businesses.  The study from BIA/Kelsey is called Local Commerce Monitor and the full findings of the study will be presented to clients attending the firm’s LEADING IN LOCAL: SMB Digital Marketing conference taking place September 22-24, in New Orleans.  What’s relevant to radio is the growing importance of marketing via social media to small- and medium-size businesses.  The study surveyed 546 local businesses and determined that almost 75% report using social media to market their businesses with those businesses using 21.4% of their marketing budgets on social media.  As suspected, Facebook is the dominant form of social media, with 55.1% of SMBs reporting they have a Facebook page for their business.  LinkedIn came in second at 31%.  But other social media that are being used for marketing by SMBs include Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.

kdkaKDKA-AM, Pittsburgh Continues Spaghetti Breakfast Tradition.  This Friday CBS RADIO news/talker KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh holds the 31st “NewsRadio 1020 KDKA Spaghetti Breakfast” at the Heinz Hall Garden Plaza in downtown Pittsburgh from 5:00 am to 9:00 am.  As always, the public is invited to the free event and take in the live broadcast of the “KDKA Morning News” with Larry Richert and John Shumway.  Historically, the promotion attracts thousands of Pittsburghers on their way to work with KDKA personalities and local dignitaries serving piping-hot plates of penne pasta, sausage, bread and all the fixings.  Richert comments, “This is a one of a kind event and I love that KDKA started it with John Cigna and that it continues with John and me.”  The event benefits the Little Sisters of the Poor, a charity Cigna supported.  The charity will collect monetary and canned food donations on site.

Friday, September 12, 2014

| September 12, 2014

radioshow14Notes & Quotes from Indy.  Reporting from the 2014 Radio Show in Indianapolis for TALKERS/RadioInfo is media consultant Holland Cooke who delivers today’s analysis.  He reports on former Ford CEO Alan Mulally’s speech on management tactics; the NAB Leadership Breakfast featuring CumulusLew Dickey, Clear Channel’s Bob Pittman, and CBS RADIO’s Dan Mason; Wells Fargo analyst Marci Ryvicker’s brutally frank assessment of the state of the radio business; and more.  Read Holland Cooke’s full report here.

jonathonandkellyJonathon & Kelly Return to WVOC-FM, Columbia.  It was early in August that Jonathon Rush and Kelly Nash (pictured here) exited the afternoon drive slot on Clear Channel’s WVOC-FM, Columbia to focus on their morning drive show on sister country station WCOS “The Great 98.”  Now, Nash tells TALKERS magazine they are returning to WVOC-FM in a way that won’t burn them out.  They’re now providing a 90-second feature called “Rash Thoughts” (when you combine their last names, Rush and Nash, you get Rash!)  that will run in all dayparts.  Also the duo is hosting a Saturday morning program on WVOC-FM that will air at 11:00 am.

herskovitzalQuestionable Word Choices Can Ruin Ad Copy.  Sale maven Al Herskovitz writes in a piece published in TALKERS today (9/12) that some of the word choices used in ad copy leave him baffled.  In an era when radio needs all the competitive advantages it can get, using stale and/or ineffective word in ad copy is one of the things radio could easily change.  Herskovitz writes, “Many commercials, particularly those on local stations, seem to be stuck in the ways they have been making their sales points in the past.  Some of the spots I hear sound as if they were churned out of one of those old “fill-in-the-blanks/client’s-name-inserted here”  books that stations and ad agencies used 30 years ago.”  To read Herskovitz’s entire column, click here.

ramseyGrandRapids14Dave Ramsey in Grand Rapids.  Nationally syndicated radio talk show star Dave Ramsey brought his “Legacy Journey LIVE!” event to fans in Grand Rapids on Thursday, September 11 at DeVos Hall.  His presentation centered on how to win with money, strengthen marriages and lead your children with confidence.  His daughter, Rachel Cruze, joined him on stage in a live event promoted in conjunction with affiliate station WTKG.  He also hosted his “EntreLeadership 1 Day Event” there on Wednesday during which he, along with speakers Chris Hogan and Christy Wright, discussed how to run a business using the same common-sense principles that he practices in his own company of more than 400 team members.   Clear Channel West Michigan VP and market manager Tim Feagan says, “We were pleased when Dave chose Grand Rapids for both EntreLeadership and The Legacy Journey events.  This is a natural progression from the many successful ‘Total Money Makeover’ events WOOD Radio has hosted over the years.  Our listeners have responded enthusiastically and it looks that we will have a great turnout for both events.  We, and more importantly, our clients, are thrilled!”  Pictured here are (from left to right): WTKG program director Phil Tower, Ramsey, WTKG general sales manager Henry Capogna, and Feagan.

marconiimage2014 Marconi Award Winners Announced.  The winners of this year’s Marconi Awards were revealed at the 25th Anniversary NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show at the 2014 Radio Show in Indianapolis last night.  This year’s honorees are:  Legendary Station — WFAN-FM, New York; Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year — Rush Limbaugh, Premiere Radio Networks; Major Market Personality of the Year — Kevin and Bean, KROQ-FM, Los Angeles; Large Market Personality of the Year — Ryan and Shannon, KSTP-FM, St. Paul; Medium Market Personality of the Year — Kevin Miller, KIDO-AM, Boise; Small Market Personality of the Year — Dottie Ray, KXIC-AM, Iowa City; Major Market Station of the Year — KKBQ-FM, Houston; Large Market Station of the Year — WTMJ-AM, Milwaukee; Medium Market Station of the Year — WOWO-AM, Fort Wayne; Small Market Station of the Year — KFGO-AM, Fargo; AC Station of the Year — WBEB-FM, Philadelphia; CHR Station of the Year — KQKS-FM, Denver; Country Station of the Year — KCYY-FM, San Antonio; News/Talk Station of the Year — WLW-AM, Cincinnati; Oldies Station of the Year — WOGL-FM, Philadelphia; Religious Station of the Year — KLTY-FM, Dallas; Rock Station of the Year — KROQ-FM, Los Angeles; Spanish Station of the Year — KLZT-FM, Austin; Sports Station of the Year — WBZ-FM, Boston; Urban Station of the Year — WHQT-FM, Coral Gables, Florida; Non-Commercial Station of the Year — WRHU-FM, Long Island.

WHRUMarconiHofstra University’s WRHU Wins Marconi for Best Non-Commercial Station.  Celebrating the 2014 Marconi Award for Best Non-Commercial station for Hofstra University’s WRHU, Hempstead, New York are (from left to right): Brianna Borresen, news director WRHU; John Mullen, director of operations WRHU Radio Hofstra University; John Shea, VP and market manager of COX Long Island and member of Hofstra University Lawrence Herbert School of Communication; and Heather Cohen, EVP of The Weiss Agency and member of the Hofstra University Lawrence Herbert School of Communication advisory board and president of the Hofstra University Lawrence Herbert School of Communication Alumni Association.

simpsonsteveOdds & Sods.  At CBS RADIO’s news/talk WCCO, Minneapolis, Steve Simpson is named the new morning news anchor alongside morning host Dave Lee.  Simpson was the longtime morning news personality on Emmis-owned news/talk flagship WIBC, Indianapolis until exiting in June…..KIRO-FM, curleyjohnSeattle morning personality John Curley – host of the “Curley and Tom Morning Show” – is set to serve as the keynote speaker at the 3rd annual National Student Electronic Media Convention being held in Seattle on Saturday, October 25.  At the convention, Curley will share his personal formula for succeeding through difficulty and achieving career goals…..Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington adds a new hourly health and fitness feature to the programming lineup.  “To Your Health” will be a one-to-three minute segment airing every hour at :22 minutes past the hour.  The feature debuts Monday September 15…..Clear Channel’s WCKY, Cincinnati is serving as the flagship station for Northern Kentucky University Men’s basketball for the 2014-15 season.

U.S. ISIS Policy and President Obama’s Address Top Story for Week of September 8-12.  The issue of the United States’ military policy in dealing with ISIS and President Obama’s national address on the matter was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Ray Rice controversy and the related topic of domestic violence.  Coming in at #3 was the mid-term elections and the prospects for the 2016 presidential race followed by the anniversary of 9/11 at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

| September 11, 2014

cookeholland‘The Golden Age of Audio Consumption.’ Reporting from Indianapolis, media consultant Holland Cooke summarizes some of the sessions he’s attended at both the RAIN Summit and the 2014 Radio Show.radioshow14  Edison Research president Larry Rosin is quoted referring to the current era as the “golden age of audio consumption” noting that, according to his company’s research, Americans spend roughly a fourth of their day listening to some form of audio.  While this may be true, how this falls out for AM/FM radio is open to interpretation.  Is it an opportunity for AM/FM radio or just a sign that other forms – read: digital – are poised to overtake AM/FM’s dominance in the near future.  That is THE topic being discussed at the NAB/RAB-produced Radio Show this week.  Read Holland Cooke’s entire column here.

wheelermikeWheeler Named WJR, Detroit Program Director.  The new program director for Cumulus Media’s news/talk WJR, Detroit is Mike Wheeler who joins the company from his most recent post as regional program manager for Clear Channel’s Connecticut properties.  The Detroit native has worked at numerous Motor City outlets including WNIC, WABX, WHYT and WCZY.  Over the course of his career he’s also served as PD for CBS RADIO’s “DaveFM” in Atlanta, and was RVP of programming for Clear Channel in Atlanta, St. Louis, and Toledo.  Cumulus EVP, programming and content John Dickey states, “We’re thrilled to have Mike Wheeler join Cumulus.  His proven skill as a programmer combined with his Detroit roots makes him the perfect choice to lead the legendary WJR.  Mike’s years of multi-format experience also makes him a great asset to the Cumulus programming team.”  Wheeler comments, “WJR is a part of the fabric of Detroit.  The station is deeply connected to the people of Detroit and widely intertwined with the local business community.  I look forward to nurturing and building on that tradition.” Wheeler replaces Kevin Metheny who now programs the company’s KGO and KSFO, San Francisco stations.

rogginfredLA Sports Personality Fred Roggin to Host ‘The Beast 980’ Program.  New Los Angeles sports talk outlet KFWB “The Beast 980” adds a local program hosted by LA radio and TV sports personality Fred Roggin to the daily schedule airing from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm, to start later this month.  In a statement, the station says Roggin is well known nationally for his work with NBC Sports and a winner of more than 50 awards for broadcast excellence, and has been part of the Southern California sports landscape since 1980, including his work as the longtime sports anchor at KNBC-TV “NBC4.”   Roggin comments, “I’ve been fortunate to be on NBC4 for over 30 years and I look forward to it every day.  I started my career in radio and can’t wait to be part of one of the most exciting things to happen on LA radio in years.  I’m ready to go Beast mode!”

murphymattAlabama Pol Learns Lesson About the Digital Age.  Democratic candidate for governor of Alabama Parker Griffith learned the hard way that the “mic is never off,” in a metaphorical sense.  Griffith didn’t like the line of questioning he was presented with by WAPI, Birmingham host Matt Murphy during a recent appearance on Murphy’s radio program.  When Griffith tore into Murphy off the air using salty language, Murphy Tweeted the candidate’s comments to his followers.  Needless to say, Griffith didn’t like that either and accused Murphy of making public a “private conversation.”  Whatever one may think of Murphy’s actions, Griffith should know that a candidate for office should always assume his words are for public consumption unless expressly agreed upon as a private conversation.

robinsontedSan Francisco 49ers Suspend Ted Robinson for Ray Rice Commentary.  In a case that is another example of the sensitivity organizations are feeling about their employees offering opinions about hot-button topics, the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers announce radio play-by-play voice Ted Robinson is suspended for two games after he commented on the Ray Rice case on sports talker KNBR, San Francisco.  During the segment, Robinson said, speaking about Rice’s wife Janay, “How does she marry him after that?  How does she go in front of Goodell?  That’s pathetic to me.”  Hardly the stuff of outrageous opinion, but it was enough to bring the skittish football club to suspend Robinson.

wmgc sportslogoOdds & Sods.  Detroit Lions football gets some insider expertise on Greater Media’s sports talker WMGC “Detroit Sports 105.1” as the station brings active players Golden Tate and Stephen Tulloch aboard to appear on Tuesday programs.  Tate will be part of the Ryan and Rico show to talk about the offense and Tulloch will appear on the Matt Dery program to talk about the defensive game.  Also, Lions great Herman Moore returns to wgwg logoserve as the station’s “Lions Insider” to appear on a number of the station’s programs…..In Chicago, Tribune Radio’s WGWG-LP “The Game 87.7” bolsters its football programming with a number of weekend shows including former Vegas oddsmaker and current Fox Sports 1 personality Todd Fuhrman’s “Who You Playin’,” Saturday’s college football show “Campus Tailgate” with Pete Fiutak, Howard Griffith, Chicago Tribune’s Teddy Greenstein, Tribune Radio’s Dave Eanet, Jordan Bernfield, and Sam Panayotovich, and Sunday’s “Double J Show,” Jason Goch and former Chicago Bears fullback Jason McKie, among others.

bohannonemceeRS14Master of Ceremonies.  Doing one of the many things he does so well is Westwood One syndicated personality Jim Bohannon, pictured here at the 2014 Radio Show emceeing the Westwood One Branding Party put on by the syndicator.  In addition to the crowd being entertained by country acts Chase Rice and Montgomery Gentry, numerous WW1 personalities were on hand to mingle with guests and network partners.  The network gave away a pair of tickets to Super Bowl XLIX and a pair of tickets to the NCAA Final Four.

stockatlaspremiereKDWN, Las Vegas Hosts Premiere for Atlas Shrugged 3.  The third installment of the movie adaptation of the Ayn Rand classic Atlas Shrugged saw its world premiere take place in Las Vegas last week and Beasley Broadcasting news/talk KDWN hosted the event.  Pictured here at the premiere is the cast of the film with emcee and KDWN morning host Alan Stock (center) standing with them.

President Obama’s ISIS Address, Ray Rice Case-NFL’s PR Troubles, Mid-Term Elections/2014 Presidential Prospects, 9/11 Anniversary, Immigration Issues, and Ferguson City Council Meeting Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/10).  Analysis of President Obama’s ISIS Address and the US’ military policy in the Middle East; the media backlash against the NFL in the wake of the Ray Rice suspension and questions about when the elevator video was first seen; the looming mid-term elections and the prospects for the 2016 presidential race; the observance of the anniversary of 9/11; the state of immigration reform in Washington; and the protests at the first Ferguson, Missouri city council meeting since the death of Michael Brown were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

| September 10, 2014

cookehollandRadio Roundup from Indy.  Media consultant Holland Cooke is on the ground in Indianapolis reporting from the 2014 Radio Show.  The three-day convention produced by the NAB and the RAB begins today but plenty was happening yesterday at the RAIN Summit.  Some of the news from Indy includes: Nielsen Audio’s Jeff Wender swearing that measuring digital is the company’s biggest priority; RAIN’s Kurt Hanson explaining the problems with HD Radio and why online radio is about six years away from catching up with AM/FM in terms of listenership; and Podcast One’s Norm Pattiz declaring that “there’s no showbiz in radio anymore!”  To read Holland Cook’s complete report, click here.

safetyjoeKFWB, Los Angeles Brings Safety Aboard.  Coming to the new sports talk outlet from his most recent post as vice president of communications for the Los Angeles Clippers is Joe Safety.  The station announces that the veteran sports broadcasting and communications executive will serve as director of strategic initiatives and partnerships for KFWB 980.  KFWB Trustee Diane Sutter comments, “We’re extremely pleased to welcome Joe and the depth of sports experience he brings to us.  His skill sets, relationships and incomparable knowledge of the LA market will help us deliver unique programming to our listeners.”

kinosianmikeMLB Baseball Continues to Give Boost to Most Flagship Stations.  TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian presents his third analysis of the performances of MLB flagship stations this season – this time based on August PPM data.  Again, the flagships in markets where baseball has traditionally been good to its radio outlet and in markets where the team is performing well continue to benefit from increased listenership.  In this report Kinosian tracks how flagship stations have performed over the past five PPM surveys, compared to July 2013, how they rank in their respective markets, and how the stations stack up based on MLB divisions.  Check out Mike Kinosian’s analysis here.

powerswayneWayne Power to Host Mornings on WKZO, Kalamazoo.  Show business pro Wayne Powers is named morning drive host at Midwest Communications news/talk WKZO, Kalamazoo.  Effective October 13, Powers replaces current morning host Jim McKinney who remains with the station to host the 5:00 pm show “Everything Kalamazoo at 5.”  Powers’ career in show business includes playing roles on such TV shows as “Laverne & Shirley,” “Simon & Simon,” “Doogie Howser,” “Full House,” “Murder She Wrote” and many others.  He also starred in the popular sitcom, “13 East,” on NBC for two seasons.  Powers’ wkzologovoicework includes nationally recognized characters as “Budman” for Budweiser and the voice of “Wayne,” the talking crow on the popular Windex TV commercials for over 13 years.  He’s also an accomplished jazz vocalist.  Most recently, Powers has been hosting shows in Greater Media’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte.  Current morning show news anchor Andrew Green and producer Tim Abramowski will continue to be a part of the show.  WKZO brand manager Jeremy Lawrence comments, “Building a winning, local team is what we have been focused on and the addition of Wayne Powers will allow us to get even more local.  He is an interesting guy that people will love listening to.  In addition, I couldn’t be more excited about what Jim will be doing weekdays at 5:00 pm.  Jim is someone everyone in the area knows and I know they will enjoy hearing from him in this new role.”

harrisonmichaelMichael Harrison: “The Key to Attracting Millennials to Talk Radio is to Target Smart Young People in Need of Help.”  Addressing the recent quarterly meeting of the trade publication’s editorial board at which the subject of lowering talk radio demos was being discussed, TALKERS magazine founder Michael Harrison stated that the way to create spoken word radio to attract the massive generation coming of age is to not talk down to them or pander to entertaining them with lowest common denominator programming, but rather “aim high, be smart, and most important, be helpful.”  According to Harrison (who originally earned industry prominence in the 70s as a pioneer in programming for what was then referred to as the youth culture), “The gigantic Millennial generation is full of millions of absolutely brilliant young adults who are germinating a fresh point of view to the problems of society and are plugged into the technology and culture of the times.  But they are in desperate need of help in actualizing these characteristics… and that is the key, we must help them!”  Harrison elaborates, “They need help coping with an increasingly dangerous and stressful world – and that’s just for starters.  They need guidance, advice and answers to the massive, seemingly-insurmountable problems they face economically, socially and even spiritually… they need to be encouraged and inspired.”  Harrison continues, “This does not mean talk show hosts have to be young and pandering – at least not young for young’s sake… they must be wise and credible.  You would be amazed how young people of all generations throughout history will turn their trust over to an older adult who speaks their language – but with the perspective of wisdom – and, most important, an older adult who empathizes with their challenges and plight.”  Harrison drives home the point, “We must throw these kids a rope – a lifeline – and pull them out of the emotional and financial quicksand of living in their parents’ basements with nothing but a bleak future looming ahead.”  The 48 year industry veteran sums it up – “Most importantly, we must not talk down to these emerging ‘natives’ of the 21st century.  Do not pigeonhole them as having attention deficit disorder, simplistic consciousness and frivolous concerns.  The Millennials are the ones who have triggered the TV binge watching craze and are attracted to complex multi-season television programs with multiple story arcs and complicated characters.  We mustn’t allow TV to be more intelligent or hipper than radio.  And don’t believe that they have completely given up on AM and FM.  They have only largely given up on these platforms’ programming.  They are masters of consumer technology and electronics.  If the word got out that there was programming on AM and FM that can help them escape their way out of the murky darkness of this era, they’d rediscover traditional radio in a nano-second…  at least the smart ones… and I assure you there are enough smart ones out there to give us a sizable young audience.”

cohenbethCohen Joins Cumulus DC as DOS.  Washington, DC media pro Beth Cohen is named director of sales at Cumulus Media’s Washington, DC cluster for news/talk WMAL-AM/FM and CHR WRQX “All the Hits 107.3.”  Cohen comes to Cumulus from Clear Channel’s crosstown operations where she was GSM for rock WWDC “DC101” and CHR WITH “Hot 99.5.”

clossontimWestwood One Adds Two to Affiliate Sales Staff.  Saying that the move comes as it continues to boost its programming and station partnerships, Westwood One announces the addition of Tim Closson and Todd Alan to is affiliate sales team.  Tim Closson will develop and manage Westwood One country radio syndication partnerships for “NASH Nights Live with Shawn Parr,” “Kickin’ It with Kix Brooksalantodd Overnights,” the newly announced NASH Icons, “American Country Countdown,” Lia, “Big Time with Whitney Allen,” “Country Weekly AM/PM,” “Country Gold with Randy Owen” and “Country Countdown USA with Lon Helton.”  He’ll also help to affiliate Westwood One Sports products, including CBS Sports Radio and NBC Sports Radio.  Todd Alan returns to Westwood One after serving as VP, affiliate sales and programming at Focus 360.  He will work closely with stations and affiliating various entertainment shows and services, including the Bob & Tom show, “Pop Crush Hosted by Billy Bush,” “Nights Live with Adam Bomb,” “Flashback,” “Backtrax USA hosted by Kid Kelly,” “The Daly Download with Carson Daly,” “The Weekend Countdown with Billy Bush,” and prep services.

jimmyfund14WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Check Presented.  WEEI, Boston staffers are pictured here at Fenway Park prior to a Red Sox game helping present the ceremonial check from this year’s “WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon presented by Arbella Insurance Foundation” which raised more than $3.3 million for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  The two-day broadcast took place on August 19 and 20.  During the 13 years the radio-telethon has been taking place, more than $37 million has been raised for adult and pediatric cancer care and research at the institute.  Pictured here are (from left to right): Sox co-owner Tom Werner, Entercom market manager Phil Zachary, WEEI program director Kevin Graham, WEEI and WEEI Network executive producer Joe Zarbano, NESN’s Sean McGrail, Arbella Insurance Foundation’s Beverly Tangvik, and The Jimmy Fund’s Suzanne Fountain.

bubbaBubba the Love Sponge Foundation Aids Officer’s Fiance.  After two Charleston, South Carolina County deputy officers were shot – one succumbing to his wounds – while responding to a disturbance, syndicated radio host Bubba the Love Sponge’s foundation responded by sending $10,000 overnight to Rhianne Hearn, the fiance of Deputy Joe Matuskovic.  Bubba told listeners to his affiliate stations, “My foundation’s mission is to immediately offer financial relief for the families of fallen officers and deputies in our syndicated markets.”  His show is heard on LM Communications’ “98Rock,” WYBB-FM.  He also announced there will be a “Bikes for Badges” charity motorcycle ride set for October 4, 2014, with details to be announced WYBB.  All funds above and beyond $10,000 will go directly to Rhianne Hearn.

President Obama’s ISIS Press Conference, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Prospects, Ray Rice Case, Bruce Levenson Racism Controversy, Scotland-U.K. Referendum, and Apple Announces New Products Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/9).  The United States’ ISIS policy and President Obama’s Wednesday press conference on the matter; predictions about the looming mid-term elections and prospects for the 2016 presidential race; the NFL’s indefinite suspension of Ray Rice and talk about domestic violence in America; the controversy over Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson’s decision to sell his interest in the team after admitting sending a racially tinged email; the referendum that could see Scotland leave the UK; and the new products unveiled by Apple yesterday were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

| September 9, 2014

nagleraward14Radio Television Digital News Association Honors Nagler. This past Friday night (9/5) in Nashville, CBS Radio News vice president Harvey Nagler received the Radio Television Digital News Association‘s John F. Hogan Distinguished Service Award.  The honor recognizes an individual’s contributions to the journalism profession and freedom of the press. During his acceptance speech, Nagler stated, “Schools must be incubators for innovation in a field that desperately needs it.”  Many years ago, those in radio, television, and print, Nagler remarks, were “the messengers,” who decided what Americans would know.  “Today it is the reverse,” he opines.  “Everyone can publish – everyone can, at least, perceive themselves as journalists.  Content is ubiquitous.  It is often hard to discern the big picture from individual snapshots of information that flood our devices.  To place context on stories, many still seek out journalistic entities with traditional values.  In the end, it proves we still need to be able to turn to journalists and news organizations we can trust.”  Believing that the public’s “appetite for news has never been greater,” Nagler emphasizes, “It is our job, our responsibility, our mission to maintain that trust as we broaden our roles on new platforms, while continuing to serve our audiences on our traditional platforms.”  Prior to becoming vice president of CBS Radio News nearly 17 years ago, Nagler is credited with establishing the phrase, “traffic and weather together on the eights” when he was director of news programming for CBS Radio New York’s WCBS-AM.

neerrichardA Case for Accurate Headlines.  A story published today in TALKERS magazine by WFAN, New York sports talk host Richard Neer underscores the position talk hosts often find themselves in today when taking on a delicate – and complicated – issue.  Neer accurately points out that in today’s media culture, where all content must be immediate, fresh and provocative, there is little time for anything that isn’t black and white or that involves any depth.  Neer writes that for the talk host, “There is no tolerance for asking questions that have no easy answers.  Certain stories are reported from only one angle.  Anyone who carefully parses a statement that the press declares politically incorrect is defined as supporting the dark side.  Forget nuance, once you are attacked by the consensus bullies, you can only surrender and apologize, lest you lose your livelihood.”  He points to one of the culprits in this matter: the news headline.  Neer says so many headlines are misleading and are written purposely that way to tantalize to get people to read the story.  But often times, upon closer inspection, it becomes clear the headline is misleading or even the exact opposite of what the text of the story shows.  Still, what readers (assuming people actually go on to read the story) often come away with is a “glib conclusion based on the headline.”  Read his entire piece here.

joycebrianBrian Joyce Show Gets Permanent Billing on WGOW, Chattanooga.  Mid-afternoon talk show host Brian Joyce tells TALKERS magazine that the 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm time slot on Cumulus Media’s WGOW, Chattanooga “Talk Radio 102.3” is now officially called the Brian Joyce show.  Since he took over wgow logothe slot in April of 2012, the daypart had been called “Live & Local.”  Joyce also reports that since he began hosting his show, that daypart has gone from 10th in the market among Men 25-54, and 15th in the market among Persons 25-54, to among the top three in both demos, making it the first time in station history that this has been accomplished.

wgwg logoTribune Sports Talker WGWG-LP, Chicago Announces Changes.  A couple of changes to report at the sports talk outlet WGN Radio programs on low-power FM WGWG, branded “The Game 87.7 FM.”  In conjunction with Tribune Media, the station announces Chicago Bears’ cornerback Tim Jennings and safety Ryan Mundy will join as on-air contributors appearing on segments during the “Kap & Haugh” and the “Jarrett, Harry & Spike” shows, as well as Jennings co-hosting the weekly hour-long program, “The Jennings & Jarrett Show,” with The Game’s Jarrett Payton.  Jennings and Mundy will also provide updates on WGN-TV during the morning and evening news.  At the same time, as Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports, Howard Griffith goes to part time with his duties at the station, due to his workload at the Big Ten Network.  Griffith had been sharing equal billing with Alex Quigley and Ben Finfer on the station’s afternoon drive program.

clipinteractiveClip Interactive Announces Revenue Successes in Portland and Indy Markets.  Saying that it measures its success based on the new advertising dollars that its interactive radio apps bring to its station partners, Clip Interactive announces its apps developed for Alpha Media and Salem Broadcasting in Portland and Cumulus Radio in Indianapolis have generated more than $1 million in new revenue to date in 2014.  Further, the company says Clip Radio-powered stations are producing $100,000 of new revenue within 30-45 days of launch and Clip says this shows not only that radio advertising works, but also proves that an innovative and revenue-generating mobile solution is now available and radio advertisers embrace it.  Moreover, Clip says this net new revenue is coming from multiple sources including advertisers who are completely new to radio and returning advertisers who previously left radio for digital media.  Alpha Media’s president and CEO Bob Proffitt comments, “We are now able to attract advertisers that had previously abandoned the medium for alternative digital solutions.  Through the Clip Radio-powered apps, we are able to build a stronger relationship with both our listeners and our advertisers, providing both groups with compelling content that they cannot find anywhere else. We are eager to expand our interactive radio capabilities to our other Alpha Media markets.”

TALKERS Affiliate Roundup.  KNEI-FM, Cedar Rapids adds Envision Networks-distributed VirtualNWS Weather Reports featuring meteorologist Laura Huckabee…..The Sun Broadcast Group-syndicated Marilu Henner show joins the programming at KUSH-AM, Cushing, Oklahoma and KJFF, Festus, Missouri.

Obama ‘Theater of Being President’ Comment, Obama Drops Immigration Changes, Ray Rice Cut and Suspended by NFL, U.S. ISIS Strategy-Wednesday Press Conference, Global Warming Controversy, Midwestern Child Respiratory Virus Mystery, Bruce Levenson Scandal, and Joan Rivers Funeral Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/8).  Criticism of President Obama’s comment on “Meet the Press” that the “theater of being president” doesn’t come naturally to him; Obama’s decision to not pursue immigration law changes via executive order before the mid-term elections; the Baltimore Ravens cut Ray Rice and the NFL suspends him indefinitely after the full video of him punching out his wife in an elevator is revealed; Wednesday’s scheduled press conference during which President Obama will address the US’s ISIS strategy; increased scrutiny of the global warming theory; the mystery of a respiratory virus affecting thousands of Midwestern children; Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson’s admission of a racist email forces sale of team; and the weekend funeral of comedienne Joan Rivers were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, September 8, 2014

| September 8, 2014

leykistomnonameTom Leykis Holds eBay Auction; Winner Has Show Hosted from His Own Home.  Saying that the Comrex equipment he uses makes doing this sort of remote a no-brainer, radio provocateur, online innovator and talk host legend Tom Leykis (left) is taking his internet radio program on the road for a live broadcast from the home of a lucky listener.  The honor of having Leykis and his producer Gary Zabransky host Leykis’ New Normal-produced internet call-in show will go to the highest bidder on the eBay auction going on right now.  The winner is invited to have friends over as part of the “studio audience.”  Leykis tells TALKERS magazine that he began to realize how easy it is to be away from the studio with great sound quality and the ability to take callers after a chat with Comrex at a Talkers conference.  He says, “I found the Comrex Access at yourcomrex BRIC-Link Talkers LA 2013 event and, ever since it arrived, we’re unchained from our studios and doing our shows from almost anywhere we want.  It sends my voice at broadcast quality using simple broadband.  No expensive ISDN installs, no big entourages to carry so much heavy equipment.  I throw the Access into my car with its onboard mixer and some mics and go.”  In fact, Leykis says the Comrex BRIC-Link (pictured here) works so well that he’s able to host his show from his ranch in northern Santa Barbara County, his house in Hollywood or anywhere, leaving his Los Angeles studio’s ISDN lines relegated to emergency back-up duty.  Check out the Leykis show eBay auction here.

nrglogoNRG Names Martin Digital Content Manager/Web Designer. Former seven-year Clear Channel Milwaukee director of online content Tim Martin joins NRG Media as digital content manager and corporate web designer.  NRG Media chief operating officer Chuck DuCoty states that, owing to “the diversity of formats and listener appeal, this role is an important one to demonstrate NRG’s commitment to digital platform asset development on all NRG Media stations throughout Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin.  I have had the pleasure of working with Tim when I was market manager of Milwaukee’s WISN and WLTQ; I can attest to his many talents.  With his expertise, I am confident we will develop even more digital solutions to further engage our audience and our advertisers.”  Martin observes that he will be “working with some of the nation’s best broadcast talents.  This is a welcome challenge, as I will be putting all our broadcast assets to work to extend to the interactive space in every single market we serve.  It is going to be a tremendous experience and one that is very meaningful.”  Martin – who will continue to be Milwaukee-based – previously spent six years as Clear Channel Milwaukee’s IT manager and webmaster; in addition, he was that cluster’s promotions director (1995-2001).

hillsdalecollegeHillsdale College to Acquire Radio Station.  The independent liberal arts college located in southern Michigan is announcing the acquisition of a radio signal – actually a low-power FM at 101.7 – that will become the school’s student run radio station when it’s fully operational.  Hillsdale College is well known to talk radio listeners as it has been referred to often on the medium and has been lauded for its mission of institutional independence and high academic standards by major hosts.  The call letters are WRFH – for Radio Free Hillsdale – and, according to FCC regulations must be operational by July of next summer.  Writing in the school’s paper The Collegian, Jack Butler notes that broadcaster Vince Benedetto, president/CEO of Bold Gold Media Group, helped the school with the acquisition of the station.  Pennsylvania-based Benedetto says he learned of the school through radio.  “On a Scranton-area station we bought in 2010, I would hear on-air people — Mark Levin and Hugh Hewitt — talk about the college, and I was impressed with what I heard.”  Benedetto tipped school president Larry Arnn to the availability of the signal and helped the school prep its FCC application.  Benedetto adds, “It’s generally infrequent to just get to start a brand new radio station.  But now the college has the opportunity to starts its very own.”  John Miller is the Dow Journalism program director and he says, “I’m confident there will be a high level of student involvement.  I want it to be for radio what The Collegian is for journalism.”  Benedetto, whose station group spans Pennsylvania and New York State, tells the paper he thinks this will be a great thing for the school’s students.  “The college is going to be creating opportunities for students interested in broadcasting.  This is in every sense a real radio station.  It’s hard to learn radio in a classroom environment because it’s so specific and technical.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison adds, “It is heartening to see an educational institution like Hillsdale College step up to the plate and provide the national conversation – specifically those on the moderate to conservative side of the spectrum — with research and policy papers that are based in legitimate scholarly principles as opposed to purely partisan objectives that seek victory often at the expense of truth.  Unfortunately the latter has become a trend that, in my opinion, has sullied the credibility of some of the Washington-based think tanks that have moved away from such principles in recent years as the political discussion in America has coarsened on a very disturbing level – certainly a level that has not been of service to conservative talk radio.  I see Hillsdale as a bright hope for the future as it relates to our industry.”

nuvoodoo logoLikely PPM Panelists Big on Radio.  One of the conclusions drawn from the most recent NuVoodoo Ratings Prospects Study from NuVoodoo Media Services is that radio remains highly relevant among those who would be inclined to participate in the current PPM ratings system.  NuVoodoo VP of research Leigh Jacobs says, “Radio remains strong, particularly among could-be ratings participants.  These human periscopes who are inclined to participate in the PPM ratings are beneficial in many ways.  In our data, we’ve seen that they’re more highly attuned to paying attention to advertising messages and are more likely to enjoy the contests that radio stations use as part of their promotional arsenal.  It’s especially beneficial to radio, since fewer listen daily among those who predicted that they wouldn’t participate in a PPM-style methodology.”  NuVoodoo’s VP of marketing Mike O’Connor adds, “Armed with this information and deeper insights beyond, we can help our marketing clients target heavy users of radio with minimal waste.  And with Facebook, Google and YouTube at our disposal in 2014, it’s never been more economical to reach them.”  The company says it makes the full results of the study available to clients and this update was fielded going into the fall ratings season to make sure NuVoodoo clients have the benefit of the very latest intelligence on emerging social media platforms for use in their marketing and promotion plans.”

riverstalkersCrackin’ Up with Joan Rivers.  The death of former radio talk show host Joan Rivers (WOR, 1997-2002) continues to be a news buzz and talk topic as the tragic demise of the multi-media pop cultural icon clearly struck a nerve withriversstaff the American psyche.  Digging through the TALKERS magazine archives, we found these two photos taken of the brilliant comedienne during her appearance at the Talkers New York 2000 conference (“New Media Seminar III”) at the peak of her talk radio career.  Pictured above is Joan Rivers addressing the conference and then relaxing and entertaining TALKERS staffers with a non-stop barrage of hilarious wisecracks during the cocktail reception.  Pictured at right (l-r): then-WOR, New York PD David Bernstein (currently TALKERS GM of broadcast operations); Joan Rivers; TALKERS business manager and executive assistant to the publisher, Barbara Kurland; the late-Sharon L. Harrison; and TALKERS associate publisher Matthew B. Harrison.

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siriusxmSiriusXM to Simulcast “Ellen.” Starting today (9/8), an audiocast of Emmy-award winning daytime program “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” can be heard on SiriusXM‘s”Stars,” channel 109, and through the SiriusXM internet radio app.  The satcaster’s president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein opines that DeGeneres hosts “the most popular nationally syndicated daytime talk show.  We know our listeners, whether they are in the car, at home, or on the go, will love being able to tune into the daily show through satellite radio, and not miss a minute.” This represents the first time DeGeneres’ daytime television talker will be available to radio and TV audiences; the new season of that program begins today.  In addition to the simulcast, SiriusXM will rebroadcast “Ellen” the following morning at 9:00 am ET.

kasperalanNJ101.5’s Alan Kasper to Retire.  After a 25-year career with WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5,” chief meteorologist Alan Kasper announces he’s retiring from the station.  The station says, “For a generation, Alan has been THE weather authority for the state of New Jersey.  He is a legendary forecaster — from his broadcast TV days in New York City to his 25 years with New Jersey 101.5, Alan has often stood alone in accurately forecasting some of the worst weather New Jersey has ever seen.  His precise track of wkxwsnowstorms, hurricanes, and other major weather events have allowed residents to properly prepare and undoubtedly saved lives.”  Eric Johnson is brand manager for “New Jersey 101.5” and he says, “A generation has grown up listening to Alan Kasper to find out if they had school the next day.  While other media incessantly hypes the weather, Alan’s calm demeanor and friendly presentation delivered peace of mind to New Jersey residents.  His dedication to bringing this critical information to our listeners is unmatched in the industry.”  Meteorologist Dan Zarrow takes over for Kasper as chief meteorologist with the goal to expand Townsquare Media’s digital weather content across online, video and social media.  He says, “I’m excited for the challenge.  I grew up listening to Alan and will work hard every day to provide the same level of forecasting New Jersey has come to expect from New Jersey 101.5.”

wiplogoWIP-FM, Philadelphia/Eagles Radiothon Raises $290,000-plus.  The money raised during last week’s 2014 Eagles Radiothon  on CBS RADIO’s “SportsRadio 94WIP” will go to the Eagles Youth Partnership (EYP) which serves more than 50,000 low-income children in the region with a focus on health and education programming.  The three-day auction that ran from September 2 to September 4 offered Eagles fans and 94WIP listeners the opportunity to bid on unique sports and entertainment experience prizes involving their favorite Eagles players and “SportsRadio 94WIP” radio personalities.  Participating shows included Angelo Cataldi & The Morning Team, Michael Barkann and Ike Reese, Anthony Gargano and Rob Ellis, and Josh Innes.

le batard studioESPN Builds Studio in Clevelander Hotel in Miami for Dan Le Batard.  Miami-based sports talk personality Dan Le Batard moves into his new studios today.  The facility at Miami Beach’s Clevelander Hotel will be the home of both his daily ESPN2 sports discussion program “Highly Questionable” and his eponymous ESPN Radio program.  The set (pictured here) gives a different look but retains that Miami flavor.  From its debut in 2011 until 2014, the show has originated from a set modeled after a 1950s Miami home kitchen.  Le Batard states, “We are going to conga line from our colorful 1950s kitchen to something South Beach cooler.  It’ll feel fun and colorful and like a party — like an ESPN Miami, next to a pool serving drinks.”

ppmunitRound Four of August PPM Data Released.  The fourth of four rounds of August 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 July 17 through August 13.  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.

Odds & Sods.  The ESPN2 program “Colin’s Football Show,” hosted by Colin Cowherd, is sporting a new theme written and performed by comedian and recording artist Rodney Carrington.  The show debuted over the weekend (Sunday 9:00 am) and it begins with the tongue-in-cheek tune that asks viewers, “Are You Ready?” for Colin’s Football Show, and the open features Cowherd and Carrington with his band, with cameos by regular guests ESPN The Magazine editor-in-chief Chad Millman and ESPN Radio host Tom Waddle.…..CBS RADIO is partnering with the Travis Manion Foundation to promote the 9/11 Heroes Run.  The Travis Manion Foundation is hosting the 9/11 Heroes Run 5K race this month in eight locations around the Greater Philadelphia Region.  The annual race series will unite the community to remember the sacrifices of the heroes of the September 11th attacks and the wars fought since.  Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, KYW Newsradio, 98.1 WOGL, SportsRadio 94WIP and CBS Sports Radio 610 AM have joined together to send hosts to many of the race locations across the Delaware Valley communities.

doingwhatworksRadioAmericaDoing What Works at Radio America.  Nationally syndicated talk show hosts Darrell Anderson (left) and Maureen Anderson (second from left) – hosts of the program “Doing What Works” – are pictured here at the studios of Radio America.  The two paid a visit to their syndicator’s offices and posed for this shot with Rich McFadden (second from right), Radio America operations director and Doug Stephan‘s “Good Day” co-host, and Radio America COO Mike Paradiso (right).

hennerwcfoMarilu Henner Takes Atlanta.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Marilu Henner is pictured here in the studios of WCFO, Atlanta where she broadcast her Sun Broadcast Group-syndicated program last week.  Pictured here with Henner is WCFO general sales manager Jennifer Green.

Cool Job Opportunities: Anchors and Editors and Producers–Oh, My!  Westwood One is looking for the best digital-savvy, full-time and part-time network news staff for its Washington, DC-based network news operation.  This is a full-service, 24/7 operation supporting many of the top news and talk stations in the country.  Candidates will be responsible for writing, producing, and anchoring newscasts, including editing audio and assembling sound cuts.  Must have network quality delivery, excellent writing skills, and editorial and news judgment.  Producers must have proficiency in digital audio editing, board op skills, and ability to effectively communicate in a fast-paced environment.  These positions require demonstrated professional experience anchoring, writing, and producing, preferably at the network level.  Interested candidates should send work samples, including anchoring, reporting, and news writing, along with cover letter, to kdelany@westwoodone.com.

Friday, September 5, 2014

| September 5, 2014

ksfoRush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck Return to KSFO, San Francisco.  This move announced by Cumulus Media comes just a few days after local personality Spencer Hughes exited the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot at KSFO.  Now, the company saysknew Rush Limbaugh will occupy that show time while Sean Hannity will air from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm followed by Glenn Beck from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  Michael Savage and Mark Levin will continue to air in the afternoons.  Now the big question is what are Clear Channel’s plans for KNEW “960 The Patriot” after the three Premiere Networks shows jump across the street?  A likely option would be to plug in Fox Sports Radio Network programming.  We can expect Clear Channel to make its intentions known relatively soon.  The start date for the changes is September 29.

cumulus logoCumulus Media Realigns Executive Structure; Jon Pinch to Retire.  Calling this move a part of the goal to “enhance the company’s strategic and operational focus and leverage its business platform,” Cumulus Media president and CEO Lew Dickey announces the company is eliminating the co-COO posts that John Dickey and Jon Pinch have shared for years, the assignment ofpinchjon John Dickey to the new EVP of content and programming position, and the retirement of Jon Pinch after a 45-year career in the business.  Lew Dickey says, “Our vision has been to build the radio company of the future and dickeyjohnthat is exactly what we are achieving.  Towards that end, we have strategically broadened the company’s scope and now have in place differentiated distribution channels and multiple content development platforms.  To accelerate our plans, we are putting in place a new organizational structure to reflect the company’s strategic evolution, bringing clarity, focus and accountability to key leadership roles in both our station and network groups.”  A number of changes will take place in addition to Pinch’s retirement.  Cumulus has retained the services of the search firm Spencer Stuart to seek an executive vice president of radio.  That person will be “focused on providing day-to-day operational and strategic leadership of Cumulus’ radio station group consisting of its 460 stations in 90 U.S.shawsteve markets.”  Steve Shaw has been promoted from his SVP Cumulus national sales post to president of Westwood One.  As for John Dickey, his new position will entail focusing on developing and maximizing content and programming.  The company says, “Establishing this focused position recognizes the critical importance of Cumulus’ development and promotion of content and programming across the company’s station group, Westwood One network and other media platforms including Nash and Rdio.”

buttweilerSandy Buttweiler Leaves KFGO, Fargo and Radio for Job Outside the Industry.  As reported in Prairie Business Magazine, longtime Fargo radio personality Sandy Buttweiler has resigned from her talk show position to take a job outside the radio biz.  Buttweiler co-hosted the Jack & Sandy show with longtime partner Jack Sunday at Midwest Communications-owned KFGO, Fargo.  As the paper notes, Buttweiler joined KFGO in 1982 and has worked there during three different stints as well as at other stations in the market, including crosstown WDAY.  She told listeners there were no problems at the station and that she “was presented with an opportunity about six weeks ago.  After careful and thoughtful consideration, it just seemed like the right time to take on this new opportunity.”

newsthatmakesyouthink‘The News That Makes You Think’ Hits 100 Affiliate Mark.  The newest feature from XtreMedia and hosted by Kevin McCullough passes the 100 affiliate mark after just 90 days in production.  McCullough’s program – “The News That Makes You Think” – is airing in markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Boston, Phoenix, Tampa, Portland, Nashville, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, and Las Vegas.  McCullough tells TALKERS magazine that, when launched in June, his company believed there would be a market for this type of feature and he describes it, saying, “The content is designed to offer a substantive look at national, political, and human interest stories.  But every newscast provides information important to families and people of faith.  And at the end of the day it’s about telling great stories!”  McCullough says that across the Monday-Friday XtreMedia platform, 413 unique stations are airing the company’s programming.

cochransteveWGN, Chicago Re-Ups Steve Cochran.  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, WGN, Chicago morning drive personality Steve Cochran signs a four-year contract extension to continue with the Tribune Broadcasting outlet.  As Feder points out, over the past year Cochran has performed well for WGN.  In the most recent Nielsen Audio PPM survey, Cochran was #2 in the market (Persons 6+) with a 5.4 share.  Cochran tells Feder, “Thanks to my amazing staff of Andrea Darlas, Dave Eanet, Orion Samuelson, Mary Vandevelde, Kevin Powell and my son, Ross, 5:00 am is actually fun.  Working for Jimmy de Castro, Todd Manley and Larry Wert is as good as it gets — and I feel like we are just getting started.”  Read Feder’s column here.

nielsen logoRound Three of August PPM Data Released.  The third of four rounds of August 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 July 17 through August 13.  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.

rafffranklinEthnic WCGO, Chicago Begins Shift Toward Issues Talk Format.  The Evanston, Illinois signal has been an ethnic time-brokered station since 1978 but consultant Tim Disa says that with a newly approved power increase to 10,000 watts (daytime), the station is revamping the programming, starting with thepinkusgeoff 12:00 noon to 6:00 pm daypart.   Franklin Raff – a 39-year-old former producer for the G. Gordon Liddy show – is now hosting the 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm show, followed by Radio America’s Dana Loesch from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm, and former crosstown WIND personality Geoff Pinkus hosting the 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm program.  Additionally, the station is carrying Premiere Networks’ “Coast to Coast AM” with George Noory in the overnight daypart.  Disa says the goal of the station is to create “new, more inclusive content – a bit more libertarian and we will be reaching out to a younger generation using humor and common sense.”

Odds & Sods.  At the Salem Radio Network operations in Washington, DC, Jeff Matzka is named chief engineer.  The operation includes the Washington, DC bureau of the SRN News and the studios of the Bill Bennett “Morning in America” show…..The new flagship station for the NBA’s Washington Wizards is CBS RADIO’s all-news WNEW-FM, Washington (licensed to Bowie, Maryland).  The station reports that D.C. area play-by-play broadcaster Dave Johnson will return for his 17th season calling Wizards games, and is joined for the 7th year by analyst Glenn Consor…..Clear Channel’s news/talk WHJJ, Providence and classic hits WWBB “B101” will be the new flagship stations for University of Rhode Island football and men’s basketball this season.  WHJJ will also air the 16 Dan Hurley shows featuring the Rams’ head basketball coach.

savageyachtNYCCelebrating Success.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Savage is pictured here aboard his family yacht in the New York harbor addressing representatives from syndicator Westwood One, Cumulus-owned WABC Radio, and several high-profile clients and partners.  Using the occasion of the success of his latest book, Stop the Coming Civil War (Center Street 2014), Savage used the tale of his grandfather’s immigration from Russia almost 100 years ago to express why America needs to reward hard work and not take from those who are productive.  This event on NYC’s Chelsea Pier also caught the eye of the New York Post’s Page Six.

gallaghercowardlylionMike Gallagher Plays the Cowardly Lion.  Regular TALKERS readers know one of Salem Radio Network host Mike Gallagher’s interests is the theatre – Gallagher won a 2013 Tony Award as an investor in the Broadway revival of “Pippin.”  In addition to the numerous roles he’s played on the stage over the years, Gallagher (pictured here in full make-up for dress rehearsal) is currently playing the Cowardly Lion in the South Carolina Children’s Theatre production of The Wizard of Oz.

US ISIS Strategy and Journalist Beheadings Top Stories on News/Talk Radio for Week of September 1-5.  The controversy over the United States’ military policy regarding the ISIS campaign in Iraq and the recent beheadings of two American journalists tied atop the Talkers TenTM for the week of September 1-5.  At #2 this week was the Al Qaeda jihad threat tied with the missing Libyan airliners.  Coming in at #3 was the mid-term elections and the prospects for the 2016 presidential race followed by the Justice Department’s probe of the Ferguson, Missouri police department 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, September 4, 2014

| September 4, 2014

riversjoanComedienne and Talk Host Joan Rivers Dead at 81.  Media personality Joan Rivers will be remembered for her work as a comedienne – most notably for her acerbic red carpet commentary shows and her long stint guest hosting “The Tonight Show” for Johnny Carson – but she was also a radio talk show host who worked for five years both on WOR, New York and the WOR Radio Network.  Former WOR program director David Bernstein – who now serves as GM of TALKERS broadcast operations – hired Rivers for her radio gig to replace Barry Gray at the station.  Bernstein says, “Joan loved radio.  She understood that timing in comedy translates differently on radio than on TV, or any other medium.  And she let me teach.  She was hungry to conquer a new medium.”  Bernstein says Rivers was unlike stars from other media whobernsteindavid dabble in radio.  “She may have been the hardest-working person I’ve ever supervised.  She showed up at the station to do her show even while on vacation.  I asked her, ‘What are you doing here?’  She said, ‘My plane came in early, so why not work?  I love being on the radio!’”  He says Rivers was also very generous to those around her at the radio station.  “She filled in for me in Providence at WPRO.  She came to Rhode Island, bought lunch for the entire six-station cluster and did every TV interview I could set up.  She also hosted Rush’s show for one of the weeks he was out.  She knew she’d upset the apple cart, and that pleased her.”  Bernstein says managing Rivers left him with no end of funny stories.  “I had to tell her she can’t have her nails done during the show because she is not close enough to the mic, not to mention it screws up her concentration.  But, perhaps that most memorable night was when she came in for her show straight from cosmetic surgery, and was…uh, unable to do a comprehensive show.  I pulled her off after the first break, and instead of anger, she expressed gratitude that I protected her image by taking her off the air that night.  As you can imagine, her language had always been an issue.  After three bad words, I had to suspend her for a week.  Although she was angry, I convinced her that she should go on the media tour to discuss the FCC language rules, and she hit “Entertainment Tonight,” “The Today Show,” “Larry King Live” and a slew of others.  It was a Joan Rivers bonanza – great press for WOR – all thanks to Joan’s skilled use of the word ‘shit.’”

hannitySean Hannity to Lead WDBO-FM, Orlando Live Event.  The live stage production is being called “Red, White, & Truth: Solutions for America,” and is presented by Cox Media Group-owned news/talk WDBO-FM, Orlando “News 96.5.”  It will take place October 30 at the CFE Arena at the University of wdbo-FM logoCentral Florida.  Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity, along with Radio America-syndicated personality Dana Loesch, Fox News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade and talk host Herman Cain will present “a dynamic on-stage discussion about current issues in the news, including the 2014 Florida Congressional Gubernatorial races.”  Listeners can buy tickets starting at $25 and have the option of a VIP experience that includes a meet-and-greet plus photo op with the hosts.  “News 96.5” program director Drew Anderssen says, “We often tell our listeners, ‘when we’re not doing the news, we’re talking about the news,’ and this event gives listeners an opportunity to engage with our hosts in a live, interactive setting, to hear their off-the-cuff remarks on major topics affecting the nation and Central Florida.”

hughesspencerSpencer Hughes Exits KSFO, San Francisco.  After a six month stint hosting the late morning show on Cumulus Media’s KSFO, San Francisco, talk personality Spencer Hughes resigns from the station.  On his Facebook page and website, Hughes says he refuses to be negative about his departure from the station and says, in part, “I am at peace with my departure from KSFO.  It was the home of my talk radio debut back on December 31, 1994.  I worked and befriended some of the biggest legends in the business.  This New Year’s Eve would have been my 20th anniversary hosting the Spencer Hughes show and I had always envisioned it would be behind the mic of the station that gave birth to my vision and dream 20 years ago.”  Hughes promises fans his show will be back “even bigger and better.”

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Today: 68% of Americans Hear Network Radio.  The latest Nielsen “Audio Today Report” indicates that nearly seven in 10 Americans – 68% — are reached by network radio that emanates from such distributors as AdLarge Media, American Urban Radio Networks, Crystal Media Networks, Premiere Networks, United Stations Radio Networks and Westwood One.  Among the data Nielsen reports includes: Listeners reached by these networks are highly qualified consumers — 74% of all full-time workers listen to network radio; 69% of those with household incomes over $75,000 per year listen to network radio and 66% of college graduates tune in each week, too.  Nielsen also says the study indicates 51.5 million Millennials are “engaging with network radio.”  Read the entire study here.

creative talent logoSteve Gallagher Launches Creative Talent, Inc.  Longtime broadcasting executive Steve Gallagher announces the formation of Creative Talent, Inc. – a broadcast talent agency focused on talent, content management and representation.  Most recently, Gallagher was an EVP with Sun Broadcast Group.  He says in a statement, “We are in a new age andgallaghersteve never before has the power of the personality and content creator been more important.  Never before have there been more platforms, distribution channels and opportunities for all creative talent to advance.  At Creative Talent, we are committed to representing the most talented personalities and content creation companies and provide them with the individual attention for them to amass huge success and reach their full potential.  At the same time, Gallagher announces his company has formed a strategic alliance with ConnectPal – the platform recently debuted by talk media personality Andy Dean.  Dean comments, “Steve Gallagher gets it.  Steve is a forward thinker and his great talent relationships are the key to unlocking the future of content distribution.  I am extremely excited to work with Steve and Creative Talent, Inc.”

patrickdanPremiere Networks and DirecTV Renew Dan Patrick Deal.  The agreement between Clear Channel’s Premiere Networks and DirecTV for the Dan Patrick sports talk show is renewed, though the term of the deal is not announced.  The pact means Premiere Networks will continue providing exclusive ad sales representation and radio distribution for the show and it will continue to be part of the Fox Sports Radio Network lineup.

ppmunitRound Two of August PPM Data Released.  The second of four rounds of August 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 July 17 through August 13.  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.

bloomberglogoMichael Bloomberg Returns to Bloomberg LP.  Nine months after leaving the New York City mayor’s office, Michael Bloomberg has a renewed presence at news organization Bloomberg LP.  At the end of this year, current president and CEO Daniel Doctoroff will exit the company and it’s being reported by USA Today that Bloomberg will not seek an immediate successor to Doctoroff but will run the company with the assistance of other company executives.  Doctoroff is a close friend of Bloomberg and served as Deputy Mayor until 2008 when he left to become president of Bloomberg LP.  He became CEO in 2011.  Though the two deny there is any bad blood between them over Bloomberg’s return to the company, it’s being reported that Doctoroff was irked by Bloomberg’s becoming involved again in day-to-day operations.

wexlerlisaOdds & Sods.  WFAS-AM, White Plains, New York talk show host Lisa Wexler is now heard on WGCH, Greenwich, Connecticut as the 4:00 pm hour of her program is being simulcast on the station…..Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington and WTOP.com become the first U.S. radio partner to enter into an agreement with the Waze Broadcast Program – a network of news media using the Waze navigation service’s real-time information to supplement their traffic reporting.  The partnership will allow the WTOP traffic department access to a special version of the Waze app to help reporters identify, capture and report the most newsworthy incidents in real-time.  In exchange, WTOP is branding Waze user content when the information is incorporated into reports…..WING-AM, Dayton “ESPN Radio 1410″ is adding another hour to the program “Dayton Sports Scene with Mark Neal” — doubling the show to two hours.  Alpha Media reports the new show time — from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm — comes as the result of Alpha Media’s recent entry into the Dayton market with the commitment of more “live and local” programming.

ABCComptoncake‘We’ll Miss You, Ann.’  Those are the words on the cake you see being presented to retiring ABC News Radio White House correspondent Ann Compton aboard Air Force 1.  She was toasted in the press cabin en route to Estonia yesterday morning and treated to the rich, chocolate layer cake in celebration of her final flight after 41 years.  Upon landing, Ann was invited for a private visit to the front cabin with President Obama.  She was given a peek at his private quarters – complete with double-sink bathroom, full shower, and living area — which Ann says still looks the same as when President George H.W. Bush gave her a tour back when the Boeing 747 had its first presidential flight 20 years ago!

wtmj logoCool Job Opportunity.  If you love pro sports, have the passion to sell and have a track record of winning, WTMJ Radio may have the opportunity for you.  WTMJ has a rare opening in its sports marketing group for a sports account manager to drive revenue for flagship WTMJ’s Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Brewers broadcast partnerships. Connect with WTMJ’s director of sales, Tom Sheridan at tsheridan@jrn.com and let him know how you can play a big role on a winning team.

US-UK’s NATO Tactic Against ISIS/Journalist Beheadings, Russia-Ukraine Military Tensions, Hacked Naked Celeb Pics/Apple iCloud Troubles, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Prospects, Ebola Virus Pandemic Threat, Ferguson PD to Be Investigated by Justice Department, and Start of NFL Season Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/3).  The US and UK’s plans to seek a NATO coalition to fight ISIS and the beheadings of American journalists; the ongoing military tensions between Ukrainian forces and Russia; the controversy over the hacking of celebrities’ naked photos and questions about the security of Apple’s iCloud; the looming mid-term elections and prospects for the 2016 presidential race; the threat of an Ebola virus pandemic; the U.S. Justice Department’s plan to investigate the Ferguson, Missouri police department; and the start of the NFL season were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

| September 3, 2014

businessrockstars logo‘Business Rockstars’ Aligns with Radio America.  Talk radio network Radio America is entering into a relationship with Business Rockstars.  A statement from the companies announces that Radio America will broadcast “Business Rockstars,” hosted by Ken Rutkowski, which airs live from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET Monday through Friday.  “Radio America will add the broadcast to their lineup in a multitude of new markets around the nation.  Additionally the show can be seen from the live video stream, andradioamerica heard through the show’s website businessrockstars.com.  Business Rockstars co-founder Steve Lehman states, “We are very excited about this alignment with Radio America.  Mike Paradiso, COO of Radio America, is a smart guy.  He and his team will play an important strategic role in the growth of our terrestrial platform from both a sales and affiliation standpoint.  Entrepreneurs are the new rock stars.  Our show provides the strongest elements from a “Shark Tank”-like environment, combined with big name CEOs, entrepreneurs and start-ups.  We deliver real solutions to starting, growing and funding a business, while sharing stories that inspire and motivate listeners, from billion dollar start-ups, to business train wrecks, and our host Ken Rutkowski is brilliant.”  Paradiso adds, “Business Rockstars has done a great job of thinking outside the box, producing a show that is engaging, entertaining and interesting not only to aspiring entrepreneurs but to anyone interested in what makes successful people tick.  I also love the aggressive social media and digital aspects of the show that engage younger listeners and provide affiliates with a great resource for integration into their digital media sales efforts.”

brady billSolutions to AM’s Problems.  Radio pro Bill Brady weighs in today with thoughts about what AM radio’s problems – and consequently, the solutions – are.  In this piece, Brady – president and CEO of Futures & Options, Inc. – writes that network and syndicated programming vendors must play an important role in a new model to give AM stations the chance to succeed.  Ever the realist, Brady notes that while “live and local” is a great mantra, it’s simply an unaffordable option for AM signals that are in medium and small markets and/or have been languishing for years.  Brady also suggests a new model for network-station partnerships that could benefit both.  Read his entire column here.

sabowalterFive Steps to Effective Hiring.  Over the course of his storied career, media consultant Walter Sabo has been responsible for hiring and/or recommending more than 1,000 people for companies ranging from ABC to SiriusXM to smaller firms such as Press Communications.  During that time, he’s learned how to best go about the hiring process and he offers five steps to bringing the best people into a company.  Read his column here.

nielsen logoRound One of August PPM Data Released.  The first of four rounds of August 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 July 17 through August 13.  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.

bubbaBubba the Love Sponge to West Palm Beach?  That’s the rumor being reported by GossipExtra columnist Jose Lambiet.  In his piece, Lambiet reports sources tell him New York-based JVC Media plans to create a rock station in the market, perhaps on WBGF, Belle Glade (40 miles inland from West Palm) or on one of the two translators it is buying – either W295BJ at 106.9 licensed to Jupiter or W240CI at 95.9 and licensed to North Palm Beach.  Lambiet also says the company has plans to create a new sports talk station built around CBS Sports Radio Network’s Jim Rome.  In the spring, JVC announced plans to purchase the translators and WSVU-AM, North Palm Beach from North Palm Beach Broadcasting for $850,000 and WBGF and sister station WSWN, Belle Glade from BGI Broadcasting for $555,000.

glasgowlindiGlasgow Appointed Alpha Media’s Corporate VP/NBD. Former Entercom San Francisco director of sales Lindi Glasgow joins Alpha Media as corporate vice president of new business development.  Alpha Media chairman Larry Wilson is “delighted” about the appointment.  “It goes hand in hand with our ‘live and local’ philosophy – concentrating on building relationships with our advertisers versus negotiation tactics,” he comments.  “Her stellar career and personal accomplishments make her the ideal candidate for the task.  Her creative thinking will be a huge addition to our sales strategy.”  President and chief executive officer Bob Proffitt notes that, “From the day I met Lindi as a rookie seller in Albuquerque 20 years ago, I was absolutely convinced she was destined for greatness.  She did not disappoint.  She has had a stellar career with amazing results.  I am delighted that she will help marry our ‘live and local’ philosophy in our 12 markets with new business development.  We are into relationships – much less into negotiation.  She has the skills, and our local markets have the content and audience to garner great results for our local advertisers; that is what I am most excited about.”  Glasgow remarks that she is “thrilled to join Alpha Media.”  She is returning to her “original radio roots that began with Larry and Bob, both of whom, I have enormous respect for.  I am passionate about the radio industry, how it engages with local communities and can play an essential part of growing local businesses.  I look forward to working with our local markets and am more than anxious to get started.”  Prior to working for Entercom San Francisco, Glasgow was corporate regional director of sales & marketing for Entercom Washington, DC; director of business development for Entercom Denver and Portland; and director of business development at Citadel Albuquerque.

komandopremiereTheatrical Premier.  The first feature film from Barry Young Entertainment premiered at the Landmark Theater in Phoenix recently and is set for release this Friday, September 5.  Barry Young – president and CEO of WestStar MultiMedia Entertainment – and wife Kim Komando – star of her eponymous nationally syndicated radio show and WestStar chairman and CFO – created the new division of their company to pursue film and television projects.  The company’s first venture, working in conjunction with OceanBlue Entertainment and Magnolia Pictures is Frontera, starring Ed Harris, Eva Longoria, Michael Peña, and Amy Madigan.  Pictured here are (from left to right): Madigan, Komando, Young, and Harris.

ISIS Beheads U.S. Journalist; U.S. Military Policy in Iraq; Russia-Ukraine Tensions; Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Prospects; Ebola Pandemic Threat; and Hacked Celeb Nude Photos Among Top Stories Yesterday (9/2).  The beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff by Islamic militants and the ISIS campaign in Iraq; the U.S. military policy in Iraq and Syria; military tensions between Russia and Ukraine; the coming mid-term elections and the prospects for the 2016 presidential campaign; the threat of an Ebola virus pandemic; and controversy over the hacked iCloud photos of celebrities were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

| September 2, 2014

armstrongcarrigan small‘The Financial Exchange’ Adds Five New England Affiliates.  The WRKO, Boston-based program “The Financial Exchange” with Barry Armstrong (right) and Kim Carrigan (left) announces it is adding five New England affiliate stations so far this month.  This build-out of the Barry Armstrong brand in the region is the next step in creating a larger radio platform.  The program – which airs live from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET – starts today on WELI, New Haven; WGIR, Manchester and WHYN, Springfield.  Later this month, the show will also air on WTAG, Worcester and WQSO, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

dennis&callahan showWEEI-FM, Boston Morning Show Remains Intact as John Dennis Inks New Deal.  According to a report in the Boston Globe by Chad Finn, morning personality John Dennis has signed a new contract with Entercom to remain in part of sports talk WEEI-FM’s morning show.  Co-host Gerry Callahan reportedly signed an extension in August.  Though the terms of the deal are not being released, Finn reports that sources say the new contract will not pay Dennis or Callahan the same kind of money they had been receiving from their last contract signed in 2007.  Sports media personality Kirk Minihane joined the program 18 months ago and his arrival has breathed new life into the show that has been challenged by CBS RADIO’s crosstown WBZ-FM and its Toucher and Rich morning program in the ratings.  As Finn reports, the Dennis & Callahan show beat Toucher and Rich in the Nielsen Audio PPM ratings in July.  August PPM data is being released this week.

la canforajasonBaltimore’s “Fan” Adds La Canfora to Afternoons. Starting today (9/2), the afternoon drive (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm) Scott Garceau Show with Jeremy Conn on CBS RADIO Baltimore all-sports WJZ-FM “The Fan” expands to include CBS Sports “NFL Insider” and analyst Jason La Canfora.  Vice president of programming Dave Labrozzi believes, “It is only natural that one of the country’s premier sports analysts would join Baltimore’s premier sports talk station.  Jason will bring an even greater depth to our coverage of sports in general, and football in particular.  It is great to have someone of Jason’s caliber and national notoriety joining our team.”  La Canfora reflects, “As a kid who fell asleep every night listening to Baltimore sports talk radio with a radio under my pillow, and who grew up taking the number 22 bus to Memorial Stadium, this is truly a dream come true.  I am always listening to Scott and Jeremy when I’m in the carpool line at my kid’s school or taking them to practices, so I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to join the team at ‘The Fan’ and talk about all of local sports.”  Baltimore native La Canfora joined CBS Sports as the NFL Insider for “The NFL Today” on the CBS Sports Network and CBSSports.com in 2012.

fennellbrettFennell Named SVP and CFO for Cox Media Group.  Taking over for Charles Odom, who was promoted recently to vice president and treasurer for Cox Enterprises, is Brett Fennell who assumes the SVP and chief financial officer role for Cox Media Group.  Fennell comes to CMG from Manheim where he was VP of financial planning and analysis.  CMG president Bill Hoffman states, “Brett is a proven Cox leader and a perfect addition to CMG’s executive team.  Additionally, his appointment is a great example of how Cox professionals can grow their careers across all Cox companies.”  In this role, Fennell will be responsible for all financial accounting and reporting, financial planning and analysis, financial systems and finance process improvement for CMG’s broadcasting, publishing and digital companies, as well as for Cox Reps and Cox Target Media.

sterlingkentMore TALKERS Career Moves.  Sports talk personality and programmer Kent Sterling moves across town from Emmis-owned sports outlet WFNI, Indianapolis to Entercom’s WXNT “CBS Sports 1430” where he’s now hosting the afternoon drive show, bumping the network’s Doug Gottlieb…..Weekend talk show host Lisa Ann Walter exits Clear Channel’s KFI, Los Angeles.  Walter had been hosting the 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm show on Saturdays and Sundays for the past three years…..Mark Willard leaves ESPN O&O KSPN, Los Angeles where he’d been hosting the daily “ESPNLA Now” program from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.  He’d been with the station since 2008.

fantownhall’99.9 The Fan’ in Raleigh Holds Hurricanes Town Hall.  Sports talk outlet WCMC-FM, Raleigh “99.9 The Fan” is holding its second “Fan Town Hall,” this time featuring the Carolina Hurricanes and with three of the most influential people in the team’s organization.  The event takes place tomorrow (9/3) at WRAL-TV.  The 90-minute, commercial-free program will be moderated by “The Buzz” morning drive host and Hurricanes pre/post-game host, Mike Maniscalco.  Hurricanes panelists will include: president Don Waddell, executive VP/GM Ron Francis and head coach Bill Peters.  “99.9 The Fan” OM and program director Dennis Glasgow states, “Capitol Broadcasting is the first media outlet to have this unprecedented access with the newly formed Canes management team of Waddell, Francis and Peters, so we look forward to hearing their vision for the first time ever in a very unique setting.  We know how passionate Caniacs are in North Carolina.  It’s important to us for the fan base to have social media access so that they can ask questions about their team directly to the decision makers.”

roseIRSinterviewTalking IRS on WFED, Washington.  Afternoon drive personality Francis Rose (left) sits down for an exclusive interview with IRS Commissioner John Koskinen (right) on his “In Depth” program heard on Hubbard Radio’s WFED, Washington “Federal News Radio.”  Rose tells TALKERS Koskinen discussed the IRS side of the Lois Lerner email controversy; the six different investigations focused on the agency; his experience testifying about the agency’s operations; the antiquated state of the agency’s information technology; how the pressure from Congress on Lerner, and other issues, is hurting taxpayers; and his trips to the 25 largest IRS locations outside DC.

Odds & Sods.  After a summer stint hosting a radio show for SiriusXM, actress, author and comic Jenny McCarthy is signing with the satcaster to host a daily show on the service called, “Dirty, Sexy, Funny with Jenny McCarthy.”  The program will debut this fall and air from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET…..Northwestern University football play-by-play voice Dave Eanet (and WGN, Chicago sports anchor) was honored at Saturday’s home opener as the radio booth at Ryan Field was officially named the Dave Eanet Broadcast Booth.  Eanet has been the voice of Northwestern football (heard on WGN) since 1990…..Public radio outlet WUSF, Tampa wins five distinct journalism awards at the 2014 Society of Professional Journalists’ recent Sunshine State Awards.  The station received recognition for best newscast, general coverage, feature reporting and public affairs.  Celebrating its 50th anniversary, WUSF Public Media received a total of 26 state, regional and national journalism awards in 2014.

bennettryanBill Bennett Hosts Paul Ryan at Reagan Presidential Library.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Bill Bennett (left) sits down with former protégé Paul Ryan for a Q&A at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California over the weekend.  Wisconsin Republican Congressman Paul Ryan serves as chairman of the House Budget Committee and was touring to promote his book The Way Forward (Twelve 2014).  Ryan worked for Bennett at the latter’s Washington think tank Empower America.  Salem Radio Network says that Bennett and the late Jack Kemp inspired Ryan to run for a seat in Congress.

majchrowitzmikeFox News Radio’s Mike Majchrowitz Dies at 51.  Condolences to the family, friends and co-workers of Fox News Radio White House correspondent Mike Majchrowitz, who died at age 51 after a long battle with cancer.  Fox News Radio VP Mitch Davis comments, “Mike was an original — a solidly tenacious reporter, a thoughtful anchor and a good man.  He earned the respect of his colleagues for many things, not the least of which was his kindness.  From our earliest days he helped Fox News Radio grow into what we are now.  His voice was unique, as was his courage.  Throughout his struggle, he remained positive and was an inspiration to us all. We will miss him.”

Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Race, ISIS Violence/Obama ‘No Strategy’ Comment, U.S. Strikes al-Shabaab in Somalia, Al Qaeda Jihad Threat, Russia’s Ukraine Aggression, and Michael Sam Cut/NFL Season to Open Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/1).  The coming mid-term elections and the prospects for the 2016 presidential race, including talk of Mitt Romney running; the ongoing ISIS campaign in Iraq and President Obama’s statement the U.S. has “no strategy” regarding ISIS; U.S. drones strike al-Shabaab in Somalia; the threat by Al Qaeda of a jihad against America; Russia’s continuing aggression in Ukraine; and openly gay football player Michael Sam is cut by St. Louis as the NFL season opener to take place Thursday were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, August 29, 2014

| August 29, 2014

whptlogoCox Revamps ‘102.5 The Bone’ in Tampa – without Bubba the Love Sponge.  Saying that it is “taking the station in a different direction,” Cox Media Group Tampa announces the redesign of talk outlet WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone” and moves afternoon personality Mikecaltamike Calta to AM drive.  The rest of the day looks like this: Billy Madison from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon; Shannon Burke from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm; “In Your Face with Drew Garabo” from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm followed by “The Bone Daily Rewind Show” from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm.  CMG Tampa VP and market bubbamanager Keith Lawless states, “CMG periodically changes direction, talent and format of its various media programs in order to provide our audiences with fresh perspectives and compelling content.  ‘The Bone’ has proven to be one of America’s most outspoken radio stations.  Tampa Bay can expect ‘The Bone’ to continue to deliver ‘Real, Raw, Radio’ every day.”  The station says that although it is discontinuing the Bubba the Love Sponge show, it will continue to be the technical head end to the Bubba Radio Network through the end of 2014.  The Bubba the Love Sponge Show is heard on KRZQ, Reno; WTRS, Ocala; WRXK, Ft. Myers; WZLB, Ft. Walton Beach; WYBB, Charleston, South Carolina; and WRSO, Orlando.

facebooklogoSocial Media Dominator? Facebook. According to NuVoodoo‘s latest “Ratings Prospects Study,” Facebook remains the prevailing social media outlet of choice among those who are 14 – 54 years old.  Moreover, as NuVoodoo vice president of research Leigh Jacobs states, “Despite all the hype surrounding them, both Snapchat and Vine are comparatively small players overall. While other players get more coverage, Instagram has the deepest penetration among teens [14 - 17] after YouTube and Facebook; it is getting traction among [those] 18 – 34.  We found continuing positive momentum for Facebook, even among 14-17-year-olds.  Other platforms have stronger momentum, but given its tremendous reach, Facebook remains a powerful tool for connecting with listeners.”  NuVoodoo executive vice president of marketing Mike O’Connor comments that, “Radio marketing is about influencing the most likely ratings respondents at the lowest cost possible.  It is clear from our findings that heavy users of both broadcast and Pandora can be reached in numbers on Facebook and YouTube that rival the home phone of a decade ago.  Imagine knowing the exact music taste of everyone and then only calling the most likely listeners.  It is that precise targeting and cost-efficiency that makes social media the great equalizer.”  NuVoodoo interviewed nearly 1100 respondents, ages 14-54, in all PPM markets for this study.

krantzwhitmireBrad and Britt Join WJZY-TV, Charlotte for Commentary Duties.  Radio talk show hosts-turned-podcasters Brad Krantz and Britt Whitmire – formerly of WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte – are now part of the weekend staff at Fox TV O&O WJZY-TV, Charlotte as they begin handling commentary duties on the new show, “Good Morning Carolinas.”  They report they will be offering takes on politics and happenings of local and national importance.  They’ll also be on the station’s “Ten O’Clock News” on Wednesday (9/3) to offer analysis of the first debate between Senator Kay Hagan (D) and challenger Thom Tillis (R).  Of course, they will continue their daily podcast, which is available on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, SoundCloud, and BradandBritt.com.

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wfan logoWFAN, New York Names Argaman GSM.  Promotions in the sales department at CBS RADIO’s sports talk WFAN, New York include WFAN/Yankees Radio Network sales chief Sean Argaman being named general sales manager for WFAN effective immediately.  At the same time, CBS RADIO EVP of operations Scott Herman announces Brian Rooney has been promoted to sales manager and will assume additional responsibility working alongside Argaman.  Steve Kalman takes over the role of head of Yankees sales.

berryPTSDcheckMichael Berry Helps Raise More than $200k for PTSD Foundation of America.  Houston-based talk show host Michael Berry – the “Czar of Talk Radio” – helped raise a total of $207,598 for the PTSD Foundation of America, an organization for which he is the national spokesman.  Partnering with Gringo’s and Jimmy Changas, popular Tex-Mex restaurants in the Houston area, and calling upon his listeners to join him at four concerts the restaurants underwrote, Berry and his cohorts donated all ticket revenue to the cause.  Berry says, “Live radio has the ability to bring together listeners, show sponsors, and people in need, in real time, and make magic.  When the roll is taken up yonder of the effect of radio in communities in America, we should tally all the work being done by local hosts across the country who are doing this in their cities every single day.  Every year, I listen to Rush speak from his heart about leukemia and lymphoma during his Cure-a-Thon.  And it makes me think that we all need to do more, and use our powerful microphone for good.  THIS is what makes radio fun.”  Pictured here at the presentation ceremony are (from l-r): Berry, Camp Hope executive director David Maulsby (Camp Hope is run by the PTSD Foundation of America); two unidentified veterans who received peer counseling at Camp Hope; and local restaurateur Russell Ybarra who donated $125,000 and hired the bands to help raise the rest of the money.

beasleyawards14Beasley Broadcast Group Announces Corporate Award Winners.  At its annual management meeting held at the corporate offices in Naples, Florida this week, Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. gathered corporate management and station leadership from the eleven markets in which it operates to celebrate achievements and contributions from individual employees and radio stations over the preceding twelve months. The 2014 honorees include: WXKB-FM, Fort Myers-Naples – Radio Station of the Year; Brad Beasley – General Manager of the Year/Fort Myers-Naples; Donna Williams – Business Manager of the Year/Augusta, Georgia; AJ Lurie – Sales Manager of the Year/Fort Myers-Naples; Tee Gentry – Program Director of the Year/Augusta; Lamar Smith – Engineer of the Year/Las Vegas; Natalie Conner – CEO Award of Excellence/Executive Vice President.  Founder, chairman and CEO George Beasley states, “It is a sincere privilege each year to honor our company’s highest achievers.  The level of professionalism within Beasley Broadcast is tremendous.  The ladies and gentlemen we recognize for 2014 worked very hard to earn this recognition, and for that they have also earned my respect.  I am very proud of each of them.”  Pictured here at the corporate meetings are (from left to right): VP of programming Justin Chase; EVP of operations Brian Beasley; VP market manager Kent Dunn (Augusta); chairman and CEO George G. Beasley; president and COO Bruce Beasley; EVP and CFO Caroline Beasley; VP of engineering and CTO Mike Cooney; VP market manager Brad Beasley (SW Florida); retiring VP market manager Natalie Conner (Philadelphia); VP of sales Heather Monahan; director of sales AJ Lurie (SW Florida).

WXKS-AM, Boston Augments UMass Sports Coverage. In Beantown, Clear Channel-owned WXKS-AM “Bloomberg Radio 1200″ signs a three-year deal with the University of Massachusetts department of athletics and multimedia rights holder UMass Sports Properties and Learfield Sports.  The pact begins with the 2014 – 2015 athletic season and allows 50,000-watt WXKS-AM to air all UMass football games and men’s basketball contests that do not conflict with Bloomberg programming.  Learfield Sports regional general manager Pam Batalis comments that WXKS-AM is “the perfect complement to an already thriving UMass sports network.  When you combine the positive momentum building around UMass football with the national attention achieved by our men’s basketball program, the timing was right to deliver these two teams to our significant fan base in the metro-Boston area.”  UMass director of athletics John McCutcheon states, “We are very excited to bring [WXKS-AM] on-board as one of our radio partners for football and basketball.  The partnership gives us a great home in the Boston media market and really gives those programs fantastic exposure in eastern Massachusetts.  When looking at the package and a multi-year agreement, we feel very strongly that this relationship will help us reach our fans and alumni in the eastern-half of the Commonwealth.” Josh Maurer returns for his seventh season handling play-by-play duties for both “Minuteman” football and men’s basketball.  Three UMass graduates will join him on football broadcasts: analyst Matt Goldstein, sideline reporter Cody Chrusciel, and program host Adam Frenier.  In addition to WXKS-AM, the UMass sports network includes Entercom Boston flagship (sports) WEEI-FM, Entercom sports WVEI, Worcester, and Marshfield Broadcasting adult contemporary WATD-FM, Marshfield.  The affiliation begins with tomorrow’s (Saturday, 8/29) football opener against Boston College.

cosbyritaOdds & Sods.  With election season kicking into high gear, Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York is presenting the second in a series of exclusive “Election Central” roundtables on Saturday (8/30) at 3:00 pm ET.  The program is being hosted by Rita Cosby and features a preview of the November mid-term elections with a discussion featuring some of New York’s most influential political reporters: WNBC’s Andrew Siff, NY1’s Errol Louis, and WPIX 11’s Marvin Scott.  The roundtables can also be heard on the “Election Central” page at wabcradio.com…..As in seasons past, CBS RADIO’s WIP, Philadelphia “SportsRadio 94WIP” will produce the “Howie Roseman Show” each Monday during the NFL season.  WIP afternoon host Anthony Gargano and Eagles play-by-play announcer Merrill Reese will co-host the program with the Eagles GM live from Chickie’s and Pete’s in South Philadelphia from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm…..Yahoo! Sports Radio announces the debut of its weekend football programming that begins with “Rivals Saturday” and wraps up Sunday night with “Postgame” with Peter Brown.

ISIS Campaign/U.S. Military Policy in Iraq and Syria Top News/Talk Story for Week of August 25-29.  Landing atop the Talkers TenTM this week is the ISIS campaign in Iraq and Syria and the Obama Administration’s military policy there.  At #2 this week is the mid-term elections and the prospects for the 2016 presidential race.  Coming in at #3 is the plans by President Obama to bypass the Congress to sign a global climate change treaty and to use executive orders to pass immigration legislation followed by the Michael Brown death aftermath at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a 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, August 28, 2014

| August 28, 2014

nilonsusanSarasota Talk Station Owner Says, “AM Radio Is the Future of Radio!”  Time and time again, the question is asked, “What does the future hold for AM radio?”  Articles are written with predictions of AM’s demise due to the lack of interest of the “Millennials,” or how internet and satellite radio will make it almost impossible for AM to compete in such a fickle industry.  While these predictions seem to make sense to the untrained ear, WSRQ, Sarasota owner/GM Susan Nilon writes, “It reminds me of a time several decades earlier when experts attributed the demise of movie theaters due to the advent of the video cassette recorder.  Or the slow death of vinyl records, due to the portability and popularity of the compact disc.  Well, here we are 30 years later, and the US and Canada box office revenue in 2013 was $10.9 billion with 68% of the population in attendance and ‘vinyl sales hit their highest level since at least 1991, with six million units sold’ according to industry data.  While it’s fun and sometimes smart to try to predict the future, if these ‘predictions’ impact the decision makers of this industry by encouraging them to enter into a self-fulfilling prophecy of AM radio, then they are not only short-sighted, but are foolish as well.”  Nilon goes on to provide a solution to avoid the danger of this negative syndrome in a new article posted today (8/28) in TALKERS.  To read it, please click here.

redskins logoNew Challenge for Dan Snyder’s “Redskins” Problem.  As you know, the critics of the NFL’s Washington Redskins team name are getting more persistent but now a George Washington University professor is vowing to challenge the FCC-granted licenses of radio outlets that carry Redskins football play-by-play.  In a piece in Broadcasting & Cable by John Eggerton, professor John Banzhaf lays out a laundry list of tactics – starting with challenging the licenses of stations owned by Dan Snyder’s Red Zebra Broadcasting that carry Washington football – to force the name change.  Banzhaf tells B&C/Multichannel News, “One could argue by analogy to obscenities (including even fleeting ones), to hate speech, to profanity (‘including language so grossly offensive to members of the public who actually hear it as to amount to a nuisance’), to the Drug Lyrics Policy, or more generally that using racist derogatory words on the air when it isn’t necessary isn’t consistent with the legal requirement to operate in the ‘public interest, convenience, and necessity.’”  It’s not difficult to imagine the arguments that could be made in court surrounding many of Banzhaf’s potential tactics and most raise the issue of the FCC getting involved in regulating content beyond obscenity.  Read the entire piece here.

mannellypatrickWSCR, Chicago Fills Dan McNeil’s Shoes with Former Bear Patrick Mannelly.  The CBS RADIO sports talk station didn’t take long to find a partner for midday personality Matt Spiegel after contract talks finally ended with longtime WSCR personality Dan McNeil.  Recently retired Chicago Bears long snapper Patrick Mannelly will join Spiegel for “The Spiegel and Mannelly Show, effective September 2.  In a press release, “The Score” program director Mitch Rosen says, “For Mannelly to join our team just a couple months removed from playing for the Bears and the NFL is what makes this work so well.  His insight, opinions and energy will make this a terrific Chicago sports radio show.  Spiegel and Mannelly bring a great mix of intelligent sports content and insider knowledge to our team.”

zitojeffJeff Zito Named Afternoon Personality at Fort Myers Sports Talker.  Market pro Jeff Zito – who is well known for his work with former partner Bob Garrett on the “Zito and Garrett” show that aired on crosstown talk WXRK and rock WJBX – is joining Sun Broadcasting’s sports talk duo WFWN, Fort Myers/WNOG, Naples “1240/1270 The Fan” to host the afternoon drive show.  Other changes at the station include the addition of DirecTV/Fox Sports Radio’s Dan Patrick in late mornings and CBS Sports Radio Network programming in the evenings.  Program director Joseph Lopez says, “I am very excited for the new additions to ‘The Fan!’  I honestly feel with [morning host] Thom Abraham and Jeff giving the community their local takes plus national voices as well respected as Dan Patrick and Jim Rome, this makes for the best sports lineup Southwest Florida has ever seen.”

wfed logoLineup Changes at Hubbard’s WFED, Washington.  A new role is created for current morning drive co-host Emily Kopp at Hubbard Radio’s WFED, Washington “Federal News Radio.”  Kopp will leave her role alongside morning host Tom Temin to begin serving as a full-time reporter for the station’s digital and radio operations, effective September 2.  As such she will contribute to the morning program and will be featured on the Francis Rose-hosted “In-Depth” program.  At the same time, current morning digital writer/editor Shefali Kapadia becomes producer of the morning show and the station will hire a new digital writer to fill her current position.  WFED program director Lisa Wolfe states, “Emily has quite a bit of expertise that we can now take full advantage of.  She will become our special correspondent at the intersection of radio and digital news.  Her reporting, writing and video skills will help enhance the efforts of the entire organization.”

klonkKlonk Chosen as Connoisseur Connecticut Promotions Chief. Former classic rock WCCC, Hartford promotion director and on-air talent Klonk is appointed promotion director for Connoisseur Media Connecticut.  Regional operations manager Keith Dakin observes that, “Klonk not only has strong name recognition in the market, but has the experience and knowledge of this area that these stations truly need.  She will be an immediate asset as we continue to redefine our stations.”  Klonk states, “I am very excited to start the next chapter of my radio career at such a great station and company.  I’m very grateful for this great opportunity that Connoisseur Connecticut has given me; it is an honor to be a part of this fantastic team.” Klonk – who begins her new assignment next Tuesday (9/2) – spent over 10 years at WCCC. When Educational Media Foundation acquired WCCC from Marlin Broadcasting the first of this month (8/1), it transitioned the station to its contemporary Christian K-LOVE format. Connoisseur Media Connecticut consists of WDRC-AM “The Talk of Connecticut,” Hartford; classic hits WDRC-FM, Hartford; talk WMMW, Meriden; talk WSNG, Torrington; and talk WWCO, Waterbury.

hartmannthomPortland Media Deal to Give Thom Hartmann and Carl Wolfson Better Market Coverage.  After the demise two years ago of progressive talker KPOJ, Portland, fans of personalities such as local hostwolfsoncarl Carl Wolfson and national figure Thom Hartmann were relegated to hearing them online via XRAY.fm or on 7-watt low power FM KXRY.  Now, Willamette Week reports a deal with MetroEast Community Media will give the two personalities more coverage as they will also be heard on translator K296FT at 107.1 which covers more of the metro – especially the southwestern suburbs.  The deal will be fully consummated this fall and will create a non-commercial trifecta that will include talk, news and music.

Odds & Sods.  A new channel is debuting on SiriusXM as the satcaster and the Turner Broadcasting-owned Bleacher Report agree to program a new sports destination.  In a statement, SiriusXM says Bleacher Report is “the leading digital destination for team-specific sports content and real-time event coverage and is one of the fastest-growing digital properties in the U.S.”  SiriusXM began airing a daily Bleacher Report-branded show in 2013 and now expands to give it a full channel of its own…..Fans of Western Michigan University sports will still be able to hear play-by-play on Midwest Communications stations as the school and the company have extended their deal in the Kalamazoo market that will have alternative WZOX serve as the flagship for football, men’s basketball and hockey…..The Philadelphia Eagles and CBS RADIO‘s “SportsRadio 94WIP” are announcing the annual Eagles Radiothon hits the airwaves at 6:00 am on Tuesday, September 2 and closes on Thursday, September 4 at 6:00 pm. Fans will be able to bid on exclusive sports and entertainment prizes with many involving their favorite Eagles players and “SportsRadio 94WIP” personalities.  All proceeds benefit Eagles Youth Partnership’s vital health and education programs that serve over 50,000 low-income children in the area.

conclaveThe Conclave Announces Dates, Tuition for November Conference.  The 39th annual Conclave Learning Conference will be held November 14-15, 2014 at the Crown Plaza Hotel Airport in Minneapolis, and is presented in partnership with the Minnesota Broadcasters Association (MBA).  The Conclave announces that the deadline to save $50 on early bird registration for the event is August 31. After that, registration jumps from $249 to $299.  To register, visit theconclave.com.

Obama Climate Change Ploy, Russian Aggression in Ukraine, ISIS Campaigns/U.S. Military Policy in Iraq and Syria, Michael Brown Death Aftermath, Burger King Leaving America Controversy, Ebola Threat, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Race, and ESPN’s Michael Sam Shower Story Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/27).  Reports that President Obama plans to skirt the Senate for a global climate change treaty; new indications Russia is backing Ukrainian rebels with military force; the ISIS campaigns and U.S. military policy in Iraq and Syria; talk about race relations in America and police brutality against minorities in the wake of the Michael Brown death in Ferguson, Missouri; controversy over Burger King’s plans to merge with Tim Horton’s and avoid the U.S. corporate tax rate; the ongoing threat of an Ebola pandemic; the looming mid-term elections and chatter about the frontrunners in the 2016 presidential race; and ESPN’s apology for its story about openly gay NFL player Michael Sam’s showering habits were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

| August 27, 2014

bauerhankClear Channel Suspends Hank Bauer for One Broadcast.  After making an anti-Semitic joke during the San Diego Chargers-San Francisco 49ers pre-season game, Clear Channel is suspending radio color man and former Charger Hank Bauer for the final pre-season game tomorrow evening.  Chargers play-by-play airs on CC’s rock KIOZ and sports KLSD.  During the broadcast, noting that fans in the expensive seats were leaving the game early, Bauer’s partner Josh Lewin said he would stay for the entire game if he had those seats.  Bauer then quipped, “But then again you know how copper wire was invented?  Somebody dropped a penny between Josh and his family member.”  Bauer later posted an apology on Twitter, stating, “I made a hurtful insinuation that I regret and I would like to express how sorry I am.  My poor choice of words were unfortunately open for negative interpretation, please know it was never my intention to offend any of my listeners.  I hope you accept my apology.”

hannityPaul Ryan to Guest Host Sean Hannity Show August 28.  In a rare example of a sitting member of Congress occupying the host chair for Sean Hannity on his Premiere Networks nationally syndicated radio show, Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) – and former vice presidential candidate – will serve as guest host Thursday, August 28.  Premiere Networks says in a statement that Ryan will “weigh in on ISIS, the Ferguson tragedy, slain American journalist James Foley, and why Burger King should move to Canada.”

doingchadChad Doing Joins KGMZ, San Francisco.  After years at Alpha Media’s KXTG-AM, Portland, sports talk personality Chad Doing is lined up to become part of the air staff at Entercom’s KGMZ, San Francisco “95.7 The Game.”  The station isn’t announcing a specific role for Doing yet, but station PD Jason Barrett comments, “I couldn’t be more thrilled to bring Chad on to our team.  When you listen to Chad host a talk show, you can’t help but notice his passion, honesty and high energy.  He comes across as a genuine guy who truly loves sports but more importantly, you sense that he loves to connect with his audience.  I’m looking forward to getting Chad settled in and utilizing his abilities to help grow our radio station in the future.”

travisclayClay Travis to Exit WGFX-FM, Nashville.  After failing to come to terms on a contract renewal, Clay Travis will exit the “3HL” show on Cumulus Media’s sports talk WGFX-FM, Nashville after tomorrow’s program.  The show will continue with Blaine Bishop and Brent Dougherty.  Travis writes on his Fox Sports Outkick the Coverage blog that he wanted to remain with the station but that corporate would only approve a $5,000 raise.  He’ll continue to write for Outkick the Coverage and appear on Fox Sports TV.

Deal for Statesboro, Georgia Stations Closes.  According to the Statesboro Herald, the $600,000 deal that has six stations in the market changing hands has closed.  Neal Ardman is operating Radio Statesboro, Inc. and will acquire the stations from Georgia Eagle Media.  That company will retain ownership of the towers which will be leased to Radio Statesboro.  The stations include: adult contemporary WPMX-FM “Eagle 102.9,” country WHKN, news/talk WMCD-FM, classic rock WZBX, news/talk WWNS and sports talk WPTB.  According to the story, the formats on WWNS and WPTB will flip in the near future and Radio Statesboro plans to drop classic rock on WZBX and go CHR.

radioshow14Radio Show Sets “Magic of Radio” Session. Renowned programmer/WCBS-FM, New York wakeup talent Scott Shannon, Cumulus Media syndicated morning drivers Bob (Kevoian) & Tom (Griswold), and Westwood One consumer expert Clark Howard will discuss ways that their fellow on-air personalities can effectively impact listeners in a positive manner.  The four noted talents will share their opinions at next month’s (9/10 – 12) Radio Show in Indianapolis in a Gary Berkowitz-moderated session, “The Magic – Radio’s Storytellers.”  Also on the agenda is the (Friday) 9/12 “Programming Masters Series,” which addresses the effect of the multi-platform media environment on radio programmers.  Panelists will include Marilu Henner; ABC News Radio vice president and general manager Steve Jones; Howard Cogan (the voice of Jack-FM); Kane; and HOCO Productions and The Blaze Radio Network vice president of programming Dom Theodore.  The Radio Show is produced by the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB)and National Association of Broadcasters (NAB).

Michael Brown Death Aftermath, American ISIS Fighter Killed, U.S. Military Policy in Iraq and Syria, Mid-Term Elections, Obama Climate Change Deal, Lois Lerner Emails Controversy, and IMF’s Lagarde Under Investigation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/26).  The aftermath of the shooting death of Michael Brown; the death of American Douglas MacArthur McCain killed in Syria while fighting for ISIS; the Obama Administration’s military policy in Iraq and Syria; the looming mid-term elections; President Obama’s reported plan to skirt the U.S. Senate for a global climate change treaty; new information about the status of Lois Lerner’s IRS emails; and investigation of IMF chief Christine Lagarde on fraud charges were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

| August 26, 2014

owensronnRonn Owens Goes Public with Parkinson’s Diagnosis. Longtime KGO, San Francisco talk personality Ronn Owens recently went public with the diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease that he received in 2001.  He tells the San Francisco Chronicle he held off on announcing his condition because he didn’t want people feeling sorry for him and didn’t want to be identified by his illness.  Owens tells the Chronicle’s David Wiegand he’s been managing the disease with medications since his diagnosis but felt the time was right for letting his listeners know about it.  “I felt it was important to tell people that you can have it like I have for 12 ½ years and not be severely impacted by it.  It’s possible, and it’s not a death sentence.”  The 68-year-old Owens sounds as though he has no plans to retire from radio if the station still wants him.  Read the entire piece here.

wwj logoCBS RADIO and Townsquare Media Partner on new Michigan News Network.  The new venture will roll out September 2 on 20 affiliate stations.  Both companies announce that the new Michigan News Network will provide affiliated stations across the state with news,wxyt-fm logo sports and other local content produced by CBS RADIO stations WWJ, Detroit “Newsradio 950” and WXYT-FM, “97.1 The Ticket.”  The service offered will include top-of-the-hour broadcasts weekdays from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm and 60-second sports updates three times per day during the same time period.  Townsquare Media will serve as the exclusive syndication partner and manage affiliate relationships.  CBS RADIO president and CEO Dan Mason states, “CBS RADIO’s Detroit stations have served as the authoritative voice of the community for many years, establishing themselves among the market’s most credible brands and news sources.  We are excited to be working with Townsquare to distribute our award-winning programming to listeners across the entire state of Michigan, while also realizing the highest value for our content.”

zollermarthaMartha Zoller to Leave Talk Radio Biz for Political Campaign Gig.  After stepping away from the talk radio business a couple of years ago to run for office herself (an unsuccessful campaign for U.S. Congress), Georgia talk radio personality Martha Zoller is again leaving the radio industry to join David Perdue’s U.S. Senate campaign.  She tells TALKERS that she’s been offered a post in which she’ll be doing surrogate work, training surrogates and messaging as well as focusing on engagement of women and minorities for Perdue’s campaign.  Zoller has been co-hosting the “Zoller & Bryant” morning drive show (with news director Tim Bryant) on WGAU, Athens, Georgia as well as in other parts of the state via the Georgia News Network.  She says she will continue to write for her zpolitics.com site while working for Perdue’s campaign.

wolfejasonJason Wolfe Named to Executive Post with Financial Exchange Radio Network.  Longtime WEEI and WRKO, Boston programmer Jason Wolfe joins The Financial Exchange Radio Network as chief media and marketing strategist.  The network syndicates the WRKO, Boston-based program “The Financial Exchange with Barry Armstrong (pictured below at right) and Kim Carrigan (left)” heard on eight other affiliate stations around New England.  Armstrong is president and CEO of the network.  In this new role, Wolfe will be in charge of building the brand and expanding the reach of the program in addition to developing new marketing and business partnerships that expose the show to a much larger audience.  Wolfe has also been working with former WEEI personality Glenn Ordway as chief content officer for Ordway’s Sportstalkboston.com and will continue in thatarmstrongcarrigan small position.  Wolfe comments, “I’m thrilled to be able to work more directly with Barry, to build on what is already a very successful show.  I’m privileged to have developed strong relationships with all of the major radio operators across the country and I’m extremely confident that as our discussions continue we’ll be able to expand the reach of this program.”  Armstrong adds, “Jason has been working with us as a consultant for several months and has been doing a great job in getting ‘The Financial Exchange’ on additional radio stations.  I know that he will build on that success in his new role as our new chief media and marketing strategist.”

price howardLesson from Napa: Be Prepared for that 3:00 am Telephone Call and Avoid Nasty Pranks While at It. No doubt you remember “it’s three am – and the phone rings…” from a 2008 Clinton for President political ad – arguably the most enduring line from that campaign. And it’s a question broadcasters need to answer BEFORE bad things happen…because bad things tend to happen at the worst possible time. Like 3:20 am PT this past Sunday…when the earth in and around Napa County, California shook like it hadn’t shaken in almost 25 years. At 3:20 am at most stations outside the largest markets – and even at some of the bigs, too – the programming likely is automated, or live via satellite. If anyone actually IS home, they are likely to be the lowest-paid, least-experienced people on the payroll. And that’s OK…we’ve all been there. But it’s only OK if plans are in place to help those folks deal with breaking news when senior managers, more experienced hands – and a full crew – aren’t around to help. If you’re a California station manager, you’ve got a quake plan that takes your staff step-by-step through operations and internal notification, programming and commercial adjustments, and continuous coverage ground rules. You’ve built comprehensive lists of key contacts in local, regional and state government; public and private disaster response groups; academic experts. And you’ve got a network news affiliation to back you up. Because at the end of the day, you’ve got to be fast. You have to be comprehensive. And most of all, you have to be right. In a must-read, informative new piece posted today (8/25) in TALKERS, ABC Television Network director of business continuity and industry expert on emergency preparedness Howard B. Price outlines everything a radio station should do to be ready for an earthquake such as the one that rocked Napa. He also lists things to help you avoid those horrific and embarrassing “pranks” that often accompany fast-breaking news events whereby imposters claiming to be officials get on the air and disrupt the decorum with nasty “gotcha” outbursts. To read the entire article, please click here.

brady billThe Best Talk Station Ever: What the Radio Industry Can Learn from a Truly Special News/Talk Operation. Seasoned radio business pro, Bill Brady, president/CEO of South Florida-based media investment firm, Futures & Options, Inc., serves up a fascinating look at one specific radio station that he says should be studied as the “best news/talk radio station, ever.” Wonder what it is? Hint: It existed in the past and proved there can be a lot more to news/talk radio than just one political point of view. Another hint: It had conservative, liberal, lifestyle, consumer advice, sports and art & entertainment elements delivered by legendary hosts who were at the top of their game and it sounded like no other station in the nation. Oh yes, by today’s standards, it also had extraordinarily high ratings Want to find out more? Read Brady’s entire piece by clicking here.

Host Rick Tryon Ends Political Show on KINX, Great Falls.  According to a story in the Great Falls Tribune, Rick Tryon is ending his daily one-hour political talk show, citing the difficulty of making it financially feasible.  Tryon brokers the “Politics Montana with Rick Tryon” program which consists of him interviewing opinion leaders about political issues.  Tryon tells the paper the listeners have been good to the show but it’s time consuming and he’s ready to dedicate energy to other interests.  Tryon’s last program will be Wednesday (8/27).

engsterjimMore TALKERS Career Moves.  After being unceremoniously let go by longtime employer NPR back in 2004, former “Morning Edition” host Bob Edwards landed at Sirius.  Now, 10 years later Edwards is leaving SiriusXM as the satcaster is cancelling his program.  SiriusXM has not commented publicly on the move but Politico’s Dylan Byers reports the last show will air September 26…..Louisiana talk show host Jim Engster is taking his eponymous talk show from public outlet WRKF, Baton Rouge to Guaranty Broadcasting’s commercial outlet WBRP, Baton Rouge beginning in November.  Engster will move from a one-hour morning program to a two-hour afternoon drive show.

cookehollandYour Podcast Format.  Are you serious about making your podcast stand out from the literally millions of podcasts available on the Internet?  As a professional talk show host you probably are already doing some type of on-demand programming, but are you conscious of the program’s format?  Media consultant Holland Cooke writes that basic radio formatics apply but there is a difference between an AM/FM talk show and a podcast and your execution should reflect the difference.  Cooke says you need to understand how users are consuming your podcast and design the show accordingly.  Read his entire piece here.

alangaryOdds & Sods.  Entertainment pro Gary Alan is currently available to handle fill-in work.  Alan, a South Florida native who’s worked at such signals as WAXY, Miami, says his unique style easily allows him to navigate through politics, sports, entertainment, and today’s social issues with wit and a sense of humor.  He can be contacted at: garyalan@cfl.rr.com or phoned at 407-960-3663…..The regularly scheduled “Ask the Mayor” show on CBS RADIO’s KNX, Los Angeles returns Thursday (8/28) as LA Mayor Eric Garcetti spends an hour with KNX listeners from 10:00 am to 11:00 am fielding calls and answering emailed and Tweeted questions.  KNX anchor Tom Haule hosts the program that airs about every six weeks…..Yahoo! Sports Radio adds “Sports Kings’ NFL Weekly Countdown” to its weekend lineup.  The show debuts Saturday at 7:00 am ET featuring MeanGene “The Sports Machine” and sports host Ronnie Brooks.

wachssmileyWachs and Smiley on Vegas TV.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs (right), poses for a selfie with fellow syndicated radio personality and comic Rickey Smiley (left) at the studios of KVVU-TV, Las Vegas “FOX 5.”  Dr. Wachs appeared on the “MORE” program to discuss nurse practitioners taking over doctors’ duties and Smiley was there to promote his show at the Orleans Theater in Las Vegas last Friday night.

Ferguson Fallout/Michael Brown Funeral, Obama’s Relationship with Fellow Democrats/Mid Term Elections, Napa Earthquake, U.S. Iraq and Syria Military Policy, Ice Bucket Challenge, Russia-Ukraine Tensions, and VMA Awards Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/25).  The funeral of Michael Brown and the fallout from his death at the hands of Ferguson, Missouri police; the looming mid-term elections and chatter about the strained relationships between President Obama and fellow Democrats; the Napa, California earthquake and talk of the future “big one” for California; the military policy of the Obama Administration with regard to military involvement in Iraq and Syria; the ice bucket challenge phenomenon; the military tensions between Russia and Ukraine; and Sunday’s VMA Awards show were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday (8/25).

Monday, August 25, 2014

| August 25, 2014

napaquakemapLocal Radio Responds to Napa Earthquake. The most severe earthquake to hit Northern California in 25 years registered a 6.0 and was centered in Napa, California on Sunday morning. Local media responded and – although knocked off the air for about 30 minutes — Wine Country Broadcasting’s news/talk KVON, Napa (and sister hot AC KVYN, St. Helena) did return to the air to serve the region. Farther south in San Francisco, sources tell TALKERS magazine that local television went wall-to-wall with its coverage. As for radio, KSFO weekend personality Ethanbearmanethan3 Bearman says that competition KCBS-AM covered it “like a quality news network” while sister news/talk KGO covered the event and took calls until San Francisco 49ers football began. Bearman says, “I had my producer, Leigh Wolf, toss aside what we had planned. We started the show interviewing a rep from PG&E about power and gas in Napa, took a couple of callers, then interviewed Ross Stein, a geophysicist from the USGS about earthquakes and this one in particular. We had more callers sharing stories, then an interview with CHP officer Daniel Hill about safety and road closures, followed by more callers sharing stories. We also interviewed Yountville councillor Richard Hall about the damage in his town up the road from Napa, then many more callers.” Bearman tells TALKERS that what KSFO was able to do was use its two-way nature to do what TV couldn’t. “TV doesn’t provide more than a 10-minute loop. Straight news on KCBS-AM is just talking to the listener while we provided that human contact, that outlet of expression, that connection with others. It was really powerful and received a lot of positive feedback.”

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theblaze logoBeck’s TheBlaze Negotiated with CNN for HLN Partnership.  But, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal by Keach Hagey, the two sides could not come to an agreement on terms.  Hagey’s report states that CNN executives recently held talks with agents from Glenn Beck‘s TheBlaze about a partnership that would change the programming on the struggling HLN channel that would have seen TheBlaze content replace the current shows on HLN.  It’s being reported that CNN is in talks with Vice Media about a similar partnership.  The WSJ reports that HLN’s total viewership has declined 22% for the season to date, and dipped 19% in the 18 to 49 demo, based on Nielsen numbers.

kfwbKFWB Accelerates Talk-to Sports Transition. Los Angeles talker KFWB was expected to conduct its transition to all-sports early next month; however, this past Sunday at midnight, CBS Sports Radio Network programming took over the 980 AM dial position.  Word quickly spread and there was plenty of activity/reaction on social media.  Included in the commentary are two classy postings from people who have worked at KFWB.  On-air talent Lisa Osborne writes on her Facebook page: “It is KFWB’s last weekday as a news/talk station – format flip next week to all sports.  Tune in if you can today to this heritage news station.  If you grew up in LA, you can sing the jingle – that is what everyone does when they find out I work here.  I’ve worked with some real pros here including: Penny Griego, Phil Hulett, Bret Lewis, Rhonda Kramer, Ken Jeffries, Elaine Perkins, Bill Nesbitt, Paul Lowe, Michael Shappee, Maggie McKay, Philip Luther Nash, Michael Knight, Russ Spears, Donna Page, Andy Ludlum, Joe Guimond, Cyndee Maxwell, and plenty more.  Iconic Los Angeles traffic reporter Kramer comments, that she was “only 26 years old” when she began reporting traffic on the station.  “It has always been home and I have worked with some of the most talented individuals in the news broadcast business.  It has been an honor to work with pros like Dan Avey, Charlie Brailer, Don Hurbert, Bob Howard, John Brooks Jack Popejoy, Judy Ford, Andy Ludlum, and most recently, Maggie McKay, Michael Shappee, Lisa Osborne, Penny Griego and Phil Hulett. Working here has been extremely rewarding, affording me the opportunity to win 18 Golden Mikes.  I am proud of my work on KFWB and have made friends here who will be in my life forever.  I wish nothing but the best for the new sports format.  Thanks KFWB for the wonderful memories.  You will always be a part of me.”  Quite a few industry personnel who did not work at the station were partisans.  “I was your biggest fan,” New Normal entrepreneur/talk host Tom Leykis writes.kfwbfinalcast  “Seriously. I grew up in New York listening to ’1010 WINS.’  When I came to live in LA in the 1980s, KFWB, clearly modeled after WINS, became my new best friend…As a lifelong radio guy, I wanted to let you all know that, for me, you all were the best.”  On one hand, advanced timing of the format flip is a bit of a surprise, yet on the other, there is considerable logic to it.  The station has already secured a program director – Owen Murphy (from Seattle) – and it has cleared CBS Sports Radio programming.  That lineup includes a well-known local quantity, Jim Rome, who will be heard 9:00 am – 12:00 noon.  One more major piece to be added though is a locally originated morning show, which will likely debut in two weeks (Monday, 9/8).  A format change was practically inevitable, as the station’s 6+ PPM shares thus far in calendar year 2014 have topped out at .3 (January, February, and May) and included .2 showings in March, April, June, and July. KFWB’s July ranking was #42.  One year ago (July 2013), it ranked #39 (.5), still significantly lower from its all-news days.  It actually would be ironic (or perhaps purposefully intended) if a morning show is installed September 8, as that will mark the five-year anniversary KFWB switched from all-news to all-talk.  When CBS Corporation acquired KCAL-TV, Los Angeles (Channel 9) in 2002 (to go along with KCBS-TV Channel 2), it put them over the limit of radio and television properties in the same market.  Three years ago, CBS Radio placed KFWB into a Diane Sutter-headed trust, under the name The KFWB Asset Trust.  Director of news programming at CBS Radio Los Angeles’ all-news KNX – and formerly (and simultaneously) holding that same title for KFWB – Andy Ludlum posts on his Facebook page, “After 46 years of delivering news to the people of Southern California, the news watch has stopped for KFWB.  I have been fortunate to have spent the past 25 years of my life working there with some of the most talented people to ever open a microphone or write a news story.”  Ludlum posted the photo above showing the final minute of the final full newscast with Maggie McKay (right), Ted Sobel (center), and Michael Knight (left).

ktar-fmKTAR-FM, Phoenix Re-Brands; Tweaks Programming.  The Bonneville news/talk station announces it is re-branding at the same time it is making programming changes and unveiling its new website designed specifically for mobile users.  The station is now “KTAR News…on 92.3 FM and KTAR.com.”  Bonneville Phoenix market manager Scott Sutherland states, “This re-brand and website re-launch lets the community know that our commitment to live and local news has never been stronger.  And it also signals that KTAR News is a multi-platform media brand that distributes audio news and talk show content on FM Radio, KTAR.com and the KTAR App, as well as written, audio and video story content online across all devices.”  Programming changes include more news content in middays with “Arizona’s Noon News and Karie Dozer” (from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm) and an earlier start (2:00 pm) for afternoon drive team Mac and Gaydos.  Bonneville Phoenix VP of content and operations Ryan Hatch comments, “Our ‘mobile-first’ design will deliver a powerful, multi-media user experience on smartphones, where our online audience continues to migrate.  Using the very latest technologies, the site also seamlessly adapts to tablets and desktops to deliver the same quality experience across all platforms.”

nrglogoNRG Media, Woodward in Four-Station Transaction.  The price for the latest NRG Media purchase – the quartet of Woodward Communications facilities in Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Iowa – is $3.55 million.  NRG Media chief executive officer Mary Quass is “delighted to have the opportunity” to add the stations to her company’s platform.  “We continue to look for great radio properties that are located in the Midwest and are an integral part of the communities they serve,” she comments.  “Regarding NRG, Woodward Communications president and chief executive officer Tom Woodward states, “It is a well-known, community-oriented radio broadcast company with a great Midwestern culture and presence.  Our strategic plans and related growth goals positioned the sale of the Waterloo properties.  We salute the loyal, talented and dedicated staff we were fortunate to work with.  We will continue to operate, grow and enhance our award-winning, seven-station radio group in the Appleton-Green Bay, Wisconsin markets which we’ve owned since the late-1970s.”  The deal is for KFMW “Rock 108″; KOKZ “Iowa’s Classic Hits”; KWLO “1330 ESPN“; and KXEL “Iowa’s News & Talk Station.”  Woodward Communications has operated these outlets the past two years. Prior to that, Bahakel Broadcasting owned KXEL for 54 years (1958 – 2012); it owned the other three from 1996 – 2012.

WSCRgregolesjohnFound: WLS-AM’s “Next Talk Star.” If you wonder where the next generation of talk radio personalities is coming from, the answer might be professional wrestling.  John Chase Gregoles (pictured here) emerges as the winner of WLS-AM, Chicago’s “Next Talk Star” competition and the Lake Geneva, Wisconsin resident is a day trader who has a background in … sports entertainment.  This represents the Cumulus Media-owned talk station’s third such promotion, with WLS-AM program director/operations manager Peter Bolger pointing out, “Our last two winners are still on the air with a weekend show and occasional fill-in.  It is certainly possible we will be as fortunate with this year’s winner.  What the finalists had to say about talk radio and the passion they have for it was instructive and extremely energizing.”  Gregoles comments that he “wants to broaden the audience of talk radio.”  Wannabes submitted auditions via the station’s website. WLS-AM narrowed the submissions to 10 semifinalists; the top five were then determined by online voting. Bolger; WLS-AM’s (9:00 am – 11:00 am) Kass & Cohn co-host Lauren Cohn; 2012 winner Stephanie Trussell; and 2013 winner Laura Kelly were among those judging the competition.  Gregoles gets to host a two-hour WLS-AM show, receive a limo ride to/from the studio, and a trip for two to Mexico.

kinosianmike

MLB Baseball Continues to Give Boost to Most Flagship Stations.  TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian presents his second analysis of the performances of MLB flagship stations this season – this time based on July PPM data.  Again, the flagships in markets where baseball has traditionally been good to its radio outlet and in markets where the team is performing well continue to benefit from increased listenership.  In this report Kinosian tracks how flagship stations have performed over the past five PPM surveys, compared to July 2013, how they rank in their respective markets, and how the stations stack up based on MLB divisions.  Check out Mike Kinosian’s analysis here.

sabowalterSabo: It Is a Widespread Myth That “Ours Is a Very Big Sports Town.”  As a globetrotting media consultant, Walter Sabo reports, “There is noticeable bravado in every city about the local level of sports fandom.”  In a new opinion piece certain to spark disagreement on the part of many TALKERS readers, Sabo makes the case that even though most radio markets claim to be “big” on sports or even the “biggest” sports city in America, the “facts don’t match the roar of the crowd.”  He writes, “According to the data presented from the major league national teams, every city is pretty much the same.”  To read this informative and provocative piece in its entirety, please click here.

hamiltonhacksawLee ‘Hacksaw’ Hamilton Hangs Out Fill-In Shingle.  West Coast sports talk pro Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton, most recently with Broadcast Company of the Americas-owned XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090,” announces he’s making himself available as a “radio free agent” for freelance work as “Hacksaw & Company,” as he says, “sports talk radio designed for your market, when you need a pinch-hitter.”  Hamilton’s daily content can be seen at (www.leehacksawhamilton.com).  He can be emailed at hacksaw5555@gmail.com.

Arkansas Stations Swap Frequencies; AC Turns Conservative/Christian Talk.  A pair of Arkansas FMs are swapping positions on the dial – John M. Dowdy-owned hot AC KKTZ moves from 93.5 up to 107.5 while AC KOMT moves to the 93.5 frequency.  KKTZ will remain hot AC but KOMT flips to conservative/Christian talk using content from Salem Radio Network, Westwood One and Premiere Networks.  The new talk station will air: Bill Bennett in AM drive followed by Mike Gallagher, Dennis Miller, Michael Medved, Mark Levin, Janet Mefferd and “Coast to Coast AM” with George Noory.

Odds & Sods.  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, radio pro Mike Stephen is joining WGN, Chicago for a weekend show called “Outside the Loop Radio” that will air from 6:00 am to 7:00 am Sunday mornings, effective October 4.  The eight-year-old show is promoted as “Chicago’s Almost Above-Ground Audio Magazine,” and promises “interviews with local newsmakers on everything from arts and politics to the environment and food.”…..Sitting in for Jimmy Barrett on Clear Channel’s WRVA, Richmond in morning drive all this week is Mark Wainwright…..CBS RADIO’s sports talker WJFK-FM, Washington “106.7 The Fan” and IMG Sports Network agree to an extension that will allow Virginia Tech football and men’s basketball  play-by-play to be heard on the station through the 2018 season.

Friday, August 22, 2014

| August 22, 2014

thomas mikeThomas Adds CBS Sports Radio VP Stripes. Three-year CBS Radio Boston vice president of programming Mike Thomas takes on additional responsibilities as vice president of sports programming for CBS Sports Radio. Among the Boston stations Thomas supervises is all-sports WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub.” Thomas and Mark Chernoff will oversee the company’s sports properties, as well as CBS Sports Radio; Chernoff is CBS Radio’s vice president of sports stations and vice president of programming for CBS Radio New York, which includes iconic sports outlet WFAN. CBS Radio executive vice president of programming Chris Oliviero states that, “Mike’s creativity and expertise in the format is evident by [WBZ-FM's] quick ascent in one of the most competitive and passionate sports towns in America. These skills will serve CBS Radio well as Mike joins Mark in guiding our continually growing, industry leading portfolio of both local and national sports brands which combined produces nearly 300 hours a day of original content.” Thomas has programmed CBS Radio Boston classic rocker WZLX the past eight years and “The Sports Hub” the last five. His prior programming credits include KGB, San Diego; WFBQ, Indianapolis; WTUE and WXEG, Dayton; and WYMG, Springfield, Illinois.

newsmax (3)mike rogersNewsmax Publishes Insightful Article About Mike Rogers and the Evolving Role of Politics in News/Talk Radio.  Senior editor David A. Patten of Newsmax Media (Newsmax.com and Newsmax Magazine) serves up an informative article that provides fairly objective insight into the recent announcement that at the end of his current Congressional term, U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) will begin a career with Cumulus Media as a radio talk show host.  The article presents reaction from outspoken conservative media practitioners who react to Rogers’ plan to approach conservative politics from a “kinder and gentler” perspective than the traditional presentations allegedly offered by the genre’s big players such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, and Michael Savage.  In the article, commentator (and former radio talk show host) Michael Reagan labels Rogers’ yet-to-debut new show “RINO radio” (Republican in Name Only.)  Conservative media watchdog L. Brent Bozell III charges that Rogers thinks conservative radio listeners are “knuckle-draggers unable to think for themselves, unable to be smart.”  Rogers explains to Newsmax TV why he is giving up his coveted chairmanship of the House Intelligence Committee to join the likes of Mike Huckabee as politicians who enlisted in the media, stating, “It gives me an opportunity to talk to people all over the country about American exceptionalism, the future of America, the issues of the day, national security, and foreign policy in a way I just don’t hear interjected into the public debate.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, known for his nonpartisan stance on political talk radio, is recruited for comment in the piece saying that Rogers is “more compelling than the average dry politician” — but perhaps not as interesting as the more successful radio talkers.  He adds that having a “flair for show business” is at least as important to success in talk radio as whatever policy knowledge a host brings to the table.  Harrison states, “Sometimes the goals of success in talk radio are different from the goals of success in politics which goes back to something I said before: Politicians do not make good talk-show hosts.”  Whether Rogers can succeed on the same battlefield where so many others from elective office have fallen really depends on how audiences react. And that, Harrison says, “Nobody can predict.” On the positive side of the ledger, Harrison says, “Rogers has savvy media instincts, and can talk credibly on a wide range of issues thanks to his insider knowledge.” The negative side of the ledger: Rogers is a politician.  “As a species,” says Harrison, “politicians don’t fully understand the show-business and human-element aspects of talk programming. They see it as another platform to further their political selves, as opposed to their personality selves.”  Harrison expounds, “What’s needed are spontaneous expressions that touch people on a human level. That’s not easy for most politicians, who by instinct and training learn to keep their reactions under wraps.  I’m not saying Rogers doesn’t have it.  I’m just saying we don’t know that he does.”  In the article, Harrison hastens to add that he’s rooting for Rogers to do well because his success would benefit the industry. He says that Cumulus “will have to show Rogers that it’s OK to flirt with controversy in expressing his opinion.”   The TALKERS publisher concludes, “On the radio dial, there’s no room for squishy Republicans. If he irritates the core of the right-wing that loves talk radio,” says Harrison, “and doesn’t generate interest among the people who want to hear a moderate, he may wind up with nothing.”  To read the entire Newsmax article, please click here.

Radio Statesboro, Georgia Eagle Media Close on Five-Station Deal. Neal Ardman‘s Radio Statesboro acquires a five-station Statesboro, Georgia cluster from Georgia Eagle Media. The transaction includes country WHKN, sports WPTB, adult contemporary WPMX, talk WWNS, and classic rock WZBX. Media Services Group‘s Eddie Esserman in the company’s St. Simons Island, Georgia office was the exclusive broker and represented Georgia Eagle Media (the seller) in this deal.

Pardon Me Governor. Even though Matt “Rookie” Michalski poured a bucket of ice and a drink pitcher’s worth of ice directly on Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, the dayton bucketproducer/sidekick of Hubbard Minneapolis KSTP-AM’s regionally syndicated “Garage Logic” with Joe Soucheray is (presumably) not in any hot water with the state’s chief executive. The extenuating circumstance is that it was pre-arranged as part of the ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge.” Governor Dayton accepted the dare to be showered with ice yesterday (Thursday, 8/21) at the Minnesota State Fair. Minnesota Twins owner Jim Pohlad nominated Dayton, who in turn, laid down the gauntlet to a fellow Democrat, Minnesota Senator – and former Air America talk host – Al Franken. The “Ice Bucket Challenge” went viral through social media the middle of this year. A common stipulation is that nominated people have 24 hours to comply or forfeit by way of a charitable financial donation to ALS. We have larson bucketseen numerous media personalities become involved such as Lars Larson, who does daily conservative talk shows on Alpha Media Portland’s KXL-FM and nationally on Compass Media Networks. Portland city commissioner Steve Novick challenged Larson to participate in this charitable soaking. Larson accepted and got drenched yesterday morning (Thursday, 8/21) outside downtown Portland’s PacWest Center. “It was cold, but I loved doing it,” Larson remarks. “ALS is a terrible disease and we raised [more than $700] for the cause. Doing the honors of dumping the ice water on Larson was Alpha Media adult alternative KINK morning drive co-host/news director Sheila Hamilton. The initial shock, Larson comments, “is so cold.” Two of Larson’s listeners did the deed to Novick, who acknowledges, “It was fun and it is great to see people all over the country drawing attention to fighting this disease.”

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klein jerryKlein Proves “You Can Go Home Again.” Twenty years ago, longtime Charlotte resident Jerry Klein was one of the first liberal hosts given the challenging task of trying to balance conservative talk radio, when he took over late-nights at heritage 50,000-watt, “Blowtorch of the South”-turned talker WBT-AM, Charlotte. A few years later, he moved up to a slightly earlier timeslot, but he was dismissed in October 1997. A short-lived self-syndication effort followed before Klein departed for Washington, DC. He landed at WMAL where he learned the business not just as a host, but also as senior producer, and assistant program and marketing director. He rubbed shoulders with many top politicians and media personalities. Three years ago, however, things took a horrific turn for the worse, when he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and serious liver disease. Klein was informed he had little chance to survive more than a year. Barely a month after a first unsuccessful surgery, Klein awakened one morning only to find his wife had unexpectedly passed away in their bathroom. One year later, unable to work, penniless, and close to homeless, he accepted an offer from friends in Charlotte to stay in a spare bedroom. Klein returned early last year, thinking he was going home to die. This time last year, things suddenly changed again – this time for the better – as Klein’s oncologist indicated Klein’s cancer had mysteriously vanished. Although still battling physical issues, Klein nonetheless began writing for Charlotte’s alternative news weekly, Creative Loafing, just as he did from 1987 – 2001. Moreover and quite astonishingly, one week from today (8/29), roughly 17 years after being fired from WBT, Klein returns to the now Greater Media-owned talker to fill-in for John Hancock (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm). He will do the same Labor Day (Monday, 9/1) for Keith Larson (9:00 am – 12 noon). “Take your pick of clichés,” Klein offers. “Either, ‘Lazarus is still rising,’ or ‘You can go home again.’ One year ago, I would never have dreamed this was possible – I didn’t think I’d be alive. Instead, I’ve been welcomed home in a way that rocks me to my core. People who screamed at me for my positions now come and hug me. I am constantly told how much I was missed. This proves you might have to leave home thinking you’re a failure, only to return to find out you might have been wrong.”

WZGC LogoFalcons Call an FM Flagship Audible. Effective with this weekend’s (third) pre-season tilt against the Tennessee Titans at the Georgia Dome, the NFL‘s Atlanta Falcons will move its FM flagship from Lincoln Financial Media hot AC WSTR “Star 94″ to CBS Radio sports outlet WZGC “The Game.” According to a post on the station’s website, “The Game” will be “airing the remaining preseason games and all regular season games for the 2014 – 2015 season.” Lincoln Financial Media’s WQXI “The Zone” continues as the team’s AM flagship station. It is a bit of an oddity that two competing broadcast companies are flagships for the same sports franchise.

Duquesne DukesThree Outlets to Carry Duquesne Sports. The official radio home of Duquesne football, men’s basketball and coaches’ shows throughout 2014 – 2015 will be Clear Channel Pittsburgh’s WBGG “ESPN 970″ and WWSW-HD2 “94.5 3WS, as well as iHeartRadio. It is a result of a pact with Learfield Sports’ DUQS Sports Properties, Duquesne’s exclusive multimedia rights holder. Market president Tim McAleer remarks, “We are very excited to team up with Duquesne University athletics to bring our listeners even more local sports coverage. The ability to broadcast their specialty sports programming both locally on [WBGG] and on ’3WS’ HD2, as well as on iHeartRadio allows them to reach fans everywhere.” Duquesne University director of athletics Greg Amodio opines, “It is a great time to follow the Dukes. We trust Learfield Sports with its years of experience in pairing university partners with respected quality broadcast outlets – this will be a terrific partnership with Clear Channel Pittsburgh. We want to create the best fan experience we can, including catering to our base which relies on catching our game action and coaches’ shows on the Duquesne Sports Network.” During the football season, the University’s new radio home for the “Dukes” will air the “Jerry Schmitt Show.” The “Jim Ferry Show” will be broadcast during men’s basketball season, while the “Dan Burt Show” will be carried during the women’s basketball season.

WMC-AM LogoMemphis University School, WMC-AM Continue Partnership. Tonight’s high school football game (Friday, 8/22) between Memphis University School and Brentwood Academy will kickoff the fifth year that Entercom Memphis sports WMC-AM “ESPN 790″ has been MUS’s broadcast partner. WMC-AM will air all of the school’s Friday night football contests. Vice president and market manager Dan Barron comments, “We are proud to be the broadcast home of MUS football and continue to bring high school athletics to Memphis and to the mid-south. MUS “Owls” games are called by Mike Lawhead, Bobby Wade, and Barr Ray. Memphis University School is a college-preparatory independent day school for boys in grades 7 – 12.

Odds & Sods. Starting next Monday(8/25) CBS Sports Radio‘s 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm (ET) “Doug Gottlieb Show” will be simulcast on the CBS Sports Network…..Owing to the station’s decision to abolish news programming, Inland Empire Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA, Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario news director David Wylie exits.

ISIS Beheading, Ferguson Civil Unrest, 2016 Presidential Race, US Ecomomic Indicators, Rick Perry Indictment and Israel-Gaza Warfare are the Top News/Talk Radio Stories for the Week of August 18-22.  Although the Ferguson tragedy brought a wide variety of hot issues to the foreground and was the dominant story for most of the past two weeks, the horrific execution of American journalist James Foley at the hands of ISIS extremists captured the top spot collectively at midweek and has dominated conversation since.  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 chart here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

| August 20, 2014

Bicentennial SSB Cover 175Views “Rising” on Rock Band’s “Spangled” Song Interpretation. Several months ago, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison — a showman at heart — pondered the advantages of — and reaction to — opening the publication’s annual New York City seminar in June with a rousing, dramatic version of — all things — the National Anthem. The more he deliberated on it, the more he reasoned, why not. It has famously preceded every major sporting event and, truth be told, a multitude of minor ones as well. When done correctly and under optimum circumstances though, a spirited rendition of this country’s anthem can elicit powerfully positive emotions. Such was the case two months ago (6/20) at that very TALKERS confab when patriotic rock band Madison Rising gripped everyone’s attention and brought several to a misty-eye state with their “Star Spangled Banner” performance. The group now boasts sales of over 100,000 of “The Star Spangled Banner,” which celebrates its 200th birthday in about four weeks. Francis Scott Key wrote it on the morning of September 14, 1814, as he watched the American flag rise over Ft. McHenry. Madison Rising has updated and re-energized the anthem just in time for this momentous occasion. Thus far, there have been nearly six million unique YouTube video views of Madison Rising’s “Star Spangled Banner” performance. The band, a creation of New York City entrepreneur Richard Mgrdechian, hopes to reach 10 million views by the September 14 anniversary.  To view it, please click here.

price howardFerguson Wake Up Call: Is your Emergency Planning Proactive or Reactive?  The turmoil in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, MO illustrates the need for radio stations – particularly those in the news/talk/information genre – to be prepared in the event that something like what is happening in Ferguson strikes close to home.  Howard B. Price, director, business continuity, ABC Television Network expert (and one of the huge stars of the recent Talkers New York 2014 seminar) shares his expertise on this subject in a new piece posted today (8/20) writing: “We don’t yet know the full story behind the shooting of an unarmed African-American man by a white police officer in Ferguson…but what has emerged in the days of protest, rioting and looting that have followed is both a cautionary tale and a teachable moment for broadcasters. They – and digital newsgatherers, too – are being tested on their ability to ramp up meaningful coverage of contentious social issues simmering in communities large and small. Also being tested is their preparedness to both report the story while protecting their people and property.  To read Price’s entire priceless piece, please click here.

gallagher mikeGallagher Encourages Listeners to Support Local Police. The call-to-action by Salem talk show host Mike Gallagher comes after last weekend’s fatal shooting by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer of 18-year-old Michael Brown and the aftermath there and elsewhere. Some protesters are calling for retribution for the officer involved in Brown’s death but Gallagher hopes his audience can “turn a negative into a positive” by donating to his 501c3 non-profit “Gallagher’sArmy Fallen Officer Fund,” which provides money to families of officers killed in the line of duty. According to Gallagher, the mission of that endeavor is simple: “We want to get a check into the hands of the surviving family members of a police officer who has been killed in the line of duty as quickly as possible,” he states. “This show of financial support to be used in any way the family sees fit will in no way compensate for their loss; rather, it is a sign of appreciation, respect and support from a grateful nation.” Violence and confrontations in Ferguson are generating headlines, but Gallagher maintains that incidents there are “detracting from the solid work” local police departments do in cities and towns throughout America.

brady billBrady: What Do We Do About AM Radio?  The somber financial and technological state of AM radio as a viable commercial medium going forward is the subject of almost-daily articles both in the consumer media and the media trades. The recent Walt Disney Company  announcement of its intention to sell off 23 of its 24 AM stations only added fuel to these fires of worry and pessimism.  It’s not unusual to read the opinion that AM radio has an “image problem” or is virtually “non-existent” to younger demos — but as Futures & Options, Inc. president and CEO Bill Brady writes in a new TALKERS piece published today (8/20), news/talk radio can step up to the plate and again save AM radio (and itself) in the process.  But in order to do so, there is going to have to be new thinking, creativity and commitment on the part of all involved.  Brady writes:  “News/talk isn’t just a different format, it’s a different business.  News/talk stations used to be stand-alone operations managed by broadcasters who nurtured and cared for them.  They were sold by dedicated sales teams who knew well the format’s ability to bring customers through their client’s doors.  With the dawn of consolidation, news/talk stations suddenly found themselves in big station clusters with managers who were preoccupied with their other stations.  Often, these were music station GMs without news/talk backgrounds — and they weren’t at all prepared for the cranky, petulant, expense-laden news/talk AMs they were suddenly forced to deal with. News/talk stations can be a handful.  Their audiences are vocal, and they complain.  A lot.  Then, there are the hosts.  They are often high-maintenance.  There are pressure groups and PR crises which can’t be ignored.  Then, there’s the expense.  News/talk hosts make a lot of money.  A lot more than FM jocks do.  With news and support staffs, news/talk stations can cost a lot to operate.  To consolidation era GMs, news/talk stations were a pain and the expense reductions were irresistible.  GMs cut the guts out of their news/talk stations.  Gone, too, is the “time suck” of local hosts and their shenanigans.  GMs no longer have to spend their days talking to complaining listeners, or newspaper reporters seeking comment on controversial local hosts. All is now quiet on the western front.  Too quiet.”  To read media management pro Brady’s entire article, please click here.

wckgChicago’s WCKG Relocates. Elmhurst, Illinois-licensed/DuPage Radio-owned talker WCKG “The Voice of DuPage County” is moving to state-of-the-art studios and offices in suburban Chicago. Their facilities will be in Carr Workplaces’ Oak Brook Terrace Tower. With the exception of those in Chicago, it is the tallest building (31 stories) in Illinois. Station manager Matt Dubiel explains, “I wanted to move WCKG to the tallest building in the Chicago suburbs. Carr Workplaces make it possible for small businesses like ours to afford a world-class office environment – smack dab in the middle of Chicago-land, which is exactly what we need to serve the community and our local advertising partners. WCKG program director Leslie Harris remarks, “It is the best place to be in the suburbs. Like [TV's George & Louise Jefferson said], “We’re moving on up to the east side … of DuPage.” WCKG does not appear in print in Nielsen Audio‘s July 2014 PPM report for Chicago.

WPEN-FM LogoMidday Changes Coming to Philadelphia’s “Fanatic.” WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” will institute football season midday lineup modifications on the Greater Media-owned Philadelphia sports outlet. One constant is that Harry Mayes will be on every day 10:00 am – 12:00 noon. Each Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday — he will be paired with Brian Baldinger. Every Monday and Friday, Mayes’ on-air teammate will be another “Brian,” Brian Westbrook, who has been a regular “Fanatic” contributor in recent years. While a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, he hosted his own show on the station during the 2008 – 2009 NFL season. The Eagles drafted Westbrook in 2002 out of Villanova University. He spent eight seasons with the Eagles; made two NFL Pro Bowl squads; played in four NFC Championship Games; and in one Super Bowl. A “Fanatic” contributor since 2010, Baldinger — or “Baldy” — joined the Eagles in 1992. After his playing career ended in 1993, Baldinger developed a second career in broadcasting. This new “Fanatic” midday roster takes shape in about two weeks (9/2).

Return of Boston’s “Jimmy Fund” Radio-Telethon. Considerably more often than not in recent memory, the Boston Red Sox are serious contenders for post-season play, although the defending (2013) World Series champions have been in a protracted slump this year. That issue notwithstanding, its radio flagship – Entercom‘s WEEI – and the cable network that broadcasts all their games – the New England Sports Network (NESN) – have commenced the 36-year, 13th annual Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon. Dating back to the days of the “Splendid Splinter,” Ted Williams, and when Hall of Famer Curt Gowdy called the games, the Jimmy Fund has been the Red Sox charity of choice. Regardless of a player’s tenure with the club, he becomes immersed in the exemplary effort to support pediatric and adult cancer care/research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. As usual, this year’s broadcast is featuring David Ross croppedheart-tugging, compelling stories from Dana-Farber patients, doctors, researchers and nurses. Interspersed are celebrity guests and athletes, including a huge dose of those with a past or present Red Sox connection. The mission, of course, is to inspire people to contribute to Dana-Farber’s lifesaving mission and, since 2002, more than $34 million has been raised. Every charity nowadays needs corporate sponsorship and the WEEI – NESN Radio-Telethon is no exception. It is being aided by the Arbella Insurance Foundation, which contributes $50 for every strikeout by a Red Sox pitcher (up to $100,000).In addition, whenever a Red Sox player smacks a “Wall Ball” off Fenway Park‘s fabled “Green Monster,” Walgreens will give the Radio-Telethon $100. Perhaps the most touching part of this deeply moving event is seeing wide smiles on faces of young cancer patients when they see their favorite Red Sox stars face-to-face. Case in point is this adorable child with her new best friend, Red Sox catcher David Ross.

CBS Sports RRadio 2CBS Sports Radio Sets Weekend NFL Programming Roster. Beginning next Saturday (8/30), CBS Sports Radio anchor Rich Ackerman will host “Eye on College Football” (2:00 noon – 8:00 pm, ET), which will include reports from all top college games, as well as interviews. Co-hosted on a rotating basis by CBSSports.com senior fantasy football writers Adam Aizer, Dave Richard and Jamey Eisenberg, “Eye on Fantasy Football” will air Saturdays (10:00 pm – 12:00 midnight, ET) and will be broadcast from CBSSports.com’s Fort Lauderdale studios. CBS Radio all-sports WFAN, New York afternoon drive personality Mike Francesca will host “Mike Francesa’s Football Sunday” (9:00 am – 11:00 am). While that show starts on the network September 7, it has been on WFAN the past 25 years. Another show kicking off September 7 – and following Francesca – is a one-hour simulcast of CBSSports.com’s Adam Aizer-hosted “Fantasy Football Today.” Rich Ackerman’s “Eye on Football” (12:00 noon – 8:00 pm) will offer a national perspective on all of that day’s NFL games; it also starts September 7. Beginning with Saturday, here is a complete look at the network’s weekend lineup, with all times listed ET. Marc “Moose” Malusis and Maggie Gray (6:00 am – 10:00 am); “Eye on Baseball” with Adam Gerstenhaber and CJ Nitkowski (10:00 am – 12:00 noon); “Eye on College Football” (12:00 noon – 8:00 pm); Jody McDonald (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm); and “Eye on Fantasy Football” (10:00 pm – 12:00 midnight). The Sunday schedule is: Bill Simonson (12:00 midnight – 2:00 am); Amy Lawrence (2:00 am – 6:00 am); John Kincade (6:00 am – 9:00 am); “Mike Francesa’s Football Sunday” (9:00 am – 11:00 am); “Fantasy Football Today” (11:00 am -12:00 noon); “Eye on Football” (12:00 noon – 8:00 pm); and Jody McDonald (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm).

stephan dougMilking The Ice Bucket Challenge. Ever since going viral via social media, the “Ice Bucket Challenge” to raise awareness and donations for ALS has become nothing short of a legitimate phenomenon. Logistics are simple: After accepting someone’s dare to do so, a person fills a bucket with ice and (presumably) ice water and douses it over their head. They then extend the challenge to others and post the video on their social media site. “Good Day” host Doug Stephan participated, but presented a different twist. Not only is he one of the industry’s most tireless workers, Stephan is also a Massachusetts dairy farmer. So, let’s just say water was not in the bucket. Click  here to see what Stephan dumped on his head instead.

llbws-logo100Tonight’s Taney Dragons Game To Air on Philly’s “Fanatic.” The Philadelphia Taney Dragons Little League World Series game versus the team from Las Vegas will be broadcast tonight (8/20) on Greater Media‘s all-sports outlet WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic.” What makes this so noteworthy is that the Taney Dragons are led by starting pitcher Mo’ne Davis, who owing to her pitching prowess and personality, has become a national media star. In fact, she is the first Little Leaguer ever to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated. WPEN-FM midday personality Jon Marks will host a viewing party at Paganos on Market Street. Tonight’s game begins at 7:30 pm.

SBG LogoSun Broadcast Group Basks in Glow of Inc. Magazine Honor. Specifically, Sun Broadcast Group is proclaimed by Inc. Magazine as being one of America’s fastest growing companies. In rankings released today (8/20), the publication grades America’s quickest- rising private companies, based on percentage of revenue increase over three years. Sun Broadcast Group chief executive officer Jason Bailey proudly enthuses, “I have had the pleasure to announce many great things over these six years, but today I am ecstatic to share this news – what an accomplishment. For the many who never understood our strategy, and for those [who] still do not, receiving this award only affirms to the great people who work at Sun and the amazing agency partners who support us, that we truly are leading the way to a new era of network radio. It is caring about your partners, providing an honest, transparent sales process and always thinking big that will completely change our industry for the better. We are proof that it can be done and we are just getting started.” During the period measured that led to this year’s Inc. Magazine honor, SBG’s revenue jumped more 520%. In that time, the company added 15 fulltime positions between its New York City and Boca Raton (Florida) offices. Bailey and his SBG team will be recognized later this year in Phoenix at the “Inc. 5000 Conference & Awards Ceremony.” Sun’s programming roster includes, among others, “The Marilu Henner Show,” “The Little League World Series,” “Nashville Music Minute,” “Six-Second Reviews with Mr. Movieman,” Accuweather en Español, horse racing’s triple crown, and The Breeders Cup.

 

MVS RadioSD_Logo_Horz_2lines_April2014 lgCross-Border Partnership Involves Stardome and MVS Radio. The result will be an expansion of their respective syndicated branded programming and services in the United States and Mexico. Mexico-based MVS Radio will spearhead ad sales and affiliate relations for Stardome in Mexico; Stardome will do the same for MVS Radio-produced programming/services in the United States. Stardome managing director and chief executive officer Anthony Michael Hernandez states that, “Of all the Mexico-based companies I have worked with throughout the years, none has demonstrated the highest regard for professionalism, strong business ethics, and an undeviating work focus like my friends at MVS Radio. This is truly a partnership and a team effort in the making.” MVS Radio president and chief executive officer Alejandro Vargas remarks, “We are enthusiastic about this alliance with Stardome. We recognize them as ideal strategic partners to expand the coverage of our content in the USA and to represent its brands in Latin America. We are sure this is the beginning of new and prosperous businesses for both companies.” Stardome will service current MVS Radio owned-and-operated stations and affiliates across the southwest border of the United States, while distributing MVS Radio’s branded 24/7 formats, syndicated talk shows and morning shows in the USA Hispanic media marketplace. It adds the entire roster of over 160 MVS Radio affiliates, and owned-and-operated stations in Mexico and Central and South America as part of its duties for Pan Regional Network Radio. MVS Radio will act as Stardome’s in-country Mexico sales office and develop affiliations, network radio, and digital ad sales for Stardome’s soon-to-launch Noti-America radio news network.

Napa lgSite Vows To Keep Pace with Napa. Mention “Napa” to anyone in California and “wine country” will undoubtedly be the instant word-association response. With a 2010 census population of 76,915, Napa is California’s 100th largest city. Maintaining that their site “will not be anything like your father’s radio station or your grandfather’s newspaper, executives at NAPAbroadcasting.com declare, “You won’t hear Katy Perry or Pink ten times a day and you won’t hear sports programs from out of town.” Instead,  local conversations and local voices, “talking, in depth, about local issues” will be emphasized. They will be leaving the “daily police blotter to others” but promise “plenty of controversy” since, “no one here will be afraid to say what is on their minds.” According to a NAPAbroadcasting.com communication, “For years, television was about programs and radio was about formats. Those days are over. Today it’s all about programs and personalities – and it can’t be on someone else’s schedule. Appointment television or radio, is so over. NAPAbroadcasting.com is all about being on demand.” The site is partnering with Napa Valley College. Students, faculty, and staff there will contribute community-focused programming. “On the music side, we will be about music discovery and new kinds of music programs. We will not be another streaming music service, an online jukebox, or a place for mindless patter. Our music programs might be about anything under the musical sun, from jazz to oldies to rock. We will also be interactive, with lots of reviews, samplers and information about the business of contemporary music.” Admitting the site will always be a work in progress, a NAPAbroadcasting.com spokesperson writes, “If you stay with us, you will learn a lot about the wine, food, the hospitality business, and many of the larger-than-life, but often lesser known personalities, who live in this Valley. We think that what is good for the visitors is also good for those of us who live here.”

Ferguson Turmoil, ISIS/US Strife, Rick Perry Indictment, Robin Williams, and Gaza Crisis Among Top Talk Stories Yesterday (8/19).  The stories listed in this headline were some of the most talked about on news/talk radio yesterday  However the breaking story of ISIS beheading American journalist James Wright Foley is dominating conversation on American talk radio today (8/20) according to the ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

| August 19, 2014

Don Pardo 150Remembering Don Pardo. “It’s Saturday Night Live.” One extremely simple sentence, yet only one exceptional voice will forever be associated with it or capable of making it sing. Don Pardo. The elegant gentleman with the huge booming pipes passed away Monday night (8/18) at the age of 96. His nearly-40 year association with NBC-TV’s “Saturday Night Live” was only one part of a voluminous resume on the network for which he had a lifetime pact. Only Bob Hope had a similar arrangement deal with the network. Revered by virtually anyone who has been behind a microphone, the beloved — and yes legendary — Pardo began his career in radio. The off-camera announcer for a multitude of game shows from “Jeopardy” to “Jackpot,” Don Pardo truly achieved pop culture status. “SNL” hosts and cast members felt they arrived once they heard their names uttered by him. Click here for managing editor/West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian‘s brief retrospective salute to the Massachusetts native and 2010 inductee in the Television Academy Hall of Fame whose voice and persona were a staple for so many.     

SAG-AFTRA LogoSAG-AFTRA Condemns Arrest/Detention of Reporters Covering Ferguson, Missouri Events. SAG-AFTRA represents more than 165,000 actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists, and other media professionals. It released the following statement: “As a union that represents broadcast journalists, including many local St. Louis broadcasters, we strongly support the rights of journalists not to be impeded in their efforts to report the news. Journalists have an obligation to report what is happening in their community, and the world. We ask that law enforcement in Ferguson permit journalists the freedom to do their jobs.”

Ferguson Unrest Tops Conversation on News/Talk Radio – KMOX, St. Louis is on the Scene.  As the week develops, TALKERS research indicates the turmoil in Ferguson, MO tops the list of topics of conversation on news/talk radio.  Taking advantage of their relative proximity, CBS’s heritage talker KMOX, St. Louis established a significant presence on the scene with mid-morning host Charlie Brennan and afternoon drive host Mark Reardon broadcasting their shows from the very heart of the troubled area amid the intense protests that have followed the police shooting of Michael Brown.

KMOX table in Ferguson 500

 

KNXMarina del Rey Spotlighted As Next “KNX On Your Corner” Site. In addition to focusing on important issues and happenings in Marina del Rey (“The Marina”), the 14-hour (5:00 am – 7:00 pm) “On Your Corner” profile by CBS Radio all-news KNX, Los Angeles will feature nearby Playa del Rey, Del Rey, Playa Vista, and Westchester. Civic leaders will be interviewed throughout the special day of programming next month (Friday, 9/12) designed to give listeners insight into the unique attributes of the area. KNX will originate programming from Whiskey Red‘s in Fisherman’s Village. Dick Helton and Vicky Moore will anchor the news from 5:00 am – 9:00 am; Frank Mottek will host the “KNX Business Hour” (1:00 pm – 2:00 pm); and Jim Thornton and Diane Thompson will anchor the 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm news broadcast. “KNX On Your Corner” received a 2013 Golden Mike Award for “Best Feature News” from the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California.

SCBASCBA Schedules Awards Luncheon for Outstanding Achievement in Radio Advertising. The special event of the Southern California Broadcasters Association (SCBA) and SCBA’s Sales Management Council will be held in approximately two months (10/16) at the Sheraton Universal Hotel in Universal City (Los Angeles). Selected regional advertisers will be honored with “Outstanding Achievement in Radio Advertising” awards. Former SCBA Lifetime Achievement Award winner – and current chairman and chief operating officer of U.S. International MediaDennis Holt will be this year’s keynote speaker. SCBA president Thom Callahan explains that, “Based on last year’s sold-out event, we have expanded the nominating categories and our winning advertisers. We are absolutely thrilled by both client and agency response to this prestigious luncheon. This year’s winners represent the robust diversity and energy of Southern California radio advertisers; we are so proud to honor them. [This year's festivities] is on-pace to be another record sell-out. The enthusiasm and commitment to Southern California radio will be showcased by senior client management, their agencies, our member stations, and special guests – all coming together on this one special day to honor this year’s Southern California Radio Award winners.” Being recognized this year are: Children’s Miracle Network; First 5 California; Galpin Ford; Morongo Casino; WaBa Grill; and Westside Rentals. Awards in six categories of creative radio commercials, using both Southern California broadcast radio and its digital platforms, are voted on by the Sales Management Council.

kelly bryanKelly Transfers to Clear Channel WPB as Director of Sales. Clear Channel Sarasota director of sales Bryan Kelly remains in the Sunshine State, but as of next Monday (8/25), he will traverse from the state’s west coast to West Palm Beach on the east coast in a similar capacity. West Palm Beach market manager John Hunt observes, “Bryan produced outstanding sales results in Sarasota and I know he will do the same in West Palm Beach.” Kelly comments, “I look forward to joining the exceptional West Palm Beach team assembled by John Hunt and [Clear Channel regional program manager] Dave Denver. It has been a goal of mine to represent Clear Channel in a fast-paced and competitive market.” Kelly will oversee the sales efforts for Clear Channel’s 10-station West Palm Beach cluster consisting of country WAVW; talk WAXE; talk WBZT; talk WJNO; classic rock WKGR; CHR WLDI; adult contemporary WOLL; oldies WQOL; Spanish contemporary WRLX; and talk WZZR. His previous Clear Channel assignments were in Tampa and Allentown.

wgn.fmWGN.FM To Air “The Big Payoff.” The Suzanne Muchin and Rachel Bellow-hosted show is for entrepreneurs and entrepreneur wannabes; it begins today (Tuesday, 8/19) at 11:00 am on Tribune Chicago’s WGN.FM. “The Big Payoff” will feature guest entrepreneur interviews and conversations about Chicago’s trending innovations and businesses. Video, full show podcasts and segments will be available on demand at WGN.FM. Beginning in roughly four weeks (9/15), segments will air on WGN-AM with Sirott & Murciano. President and general manager Jimmy de Castro advises listeners to, “Get ready for ‘The Big Payoff.’ Two seasoned business and media vets, Rachel Bellow and Suzanne Muchin, tell you like it really is out there in the new business world. It is absolutely worth a listen, whether you are a young entrepreneur; existing business looking for funding; or if you just want entertainment and to learn something.” According to Tribune Media president and chief executive officer Peter Liguori, “‘The Big Payoff’ could not be more timely, as entrepreneurship is a hot topic in Chicago right now.” Muchin remarks, “My roots are here, as are so many people and businesses that I want to bet on with my time, expertise, and network.” Bellow comments that, “Chicago is a special place where money and meaning are both valued which offers the perfect environment for entrepreneurs to launch and grow their businesses. This is the right place and time for us to land at WGN and WGN.FM.” Business partners since 1998, Muchin and Bellow have clarified the brand identity of an $8 billion philanthropy. Over the last seven years, they have founded three consulting agencies with client revenue topping $50 million. Three years ago through a partnership with New York-based 2MarketMedia, they launched “The Dirty Truth.” The two women will maintain a group of brand strategy clients through their consulting firm Mind + Matter Studio. Launched last September, WGN.FM focuses on content development, production, and digital distribution; “.FM” stands for “Freeform Media.”

Billy Madison ShowNineball Radio Logo“Billy Madison Show” and Nineball Radio Enter Syndication Deal. Owing to the just-signed pact with Nineball Radio, the weekday morning “Billy Madison Show” is now available for national distribution. Madison currently airs on Cox Media Group Tampa talker WHPT “The Bone, Real-Raw-Radio” and on CMG San Antonio rocker KISS. Nineball Radio president and chief executive officer Stefan Jones opines, “A show with such chemistry is rare, especially with the support of such a great company like Cox Media Group. Billy is a true professional who preps relentlessly and continually creates a show that is like nothing else being offered in rock syndication. He took KISS from 16th to number one, and he is number one at WHPT. I think the numbers speak for themselves. We are excited to be a part of it.” Madison’s show arrived in San Antonio in late-2011. Jones formed independent creator/clearance house for radio programming and services Nineball Radio as an underground prep service in 2005.

SiriusXMSiriusXM Now Airing “Back-To-School” Programming. The satcaster has a variety of such fare on multiple channels, including “SiriusXM Stars,” “Kids Place Live,” and “Doctor Radio.” Hosts and experts are offering parents practical advice for a stress-free back-to-school season. On “Stars” (SiriusXM channel 109), public health advocate Perri Peltz delves into cyber-bullying and the importance of talking to kids about it, while Denise Albert and Melissa Gerstein provide money-saving back-to-school shopping tips and efficient prepping shortcuts. Alexa Von Tobel shares recommendations to effectively tackle the process of planning/financing higher education and Jenny Hutt offers advice on how to prepare kids transitioning to high school. On “Kids Place Live” (SiriusXM channel 78), “Absolutely Mindy” has a special guest each morning as she encourages a love for school in young listeners, and she shares recipes for healthy lunches. On “Doctor Radio” (SiriusXM channel 81), gastroenterologist Dr. Ira Breite offers advice to prevent stomach problems caused by stress and anxiety related to the start of the school year. Psychiatrist Dr. Michael Aronoff explains how to differentiate the natural rollercoaster of teenage hormones and emotions from the warning signs of depression. For the older child, a cardiac surgeon will discuss sudden cardiac arrest in youth sports and screening kids for heart conditions.

WTMJ LogoWIsports LogoWTMJ, WISports.com Set to Kickoff ”Preps Live.” Live streams of 26 Milwaukee-area high school football games will be available this fall on Journal Broadcast Group’s WISports.com. A Smartphone channel has been created under JBG Milwaukee heritage talker WTMJ’s “Radio League” application, so that listeners can hear the “Preps Live” channel anywhere. Journal Broadcast Group Milwaukee vice president and general manager Tom Langmyer remarks that, “As ‘Wisconsin’s Radio Station,’ WTMJ has a great tradition of sports broadcasting, starting with the Green Bay Packers in 1929. In 2014, we continue to grow in our commitment to play-by-play with the addition of key high school match-ups.” WTMJ sports executive producer Doug Russell declares, “The ability to bring these games to friends and families [who] can’t be in the stands is what WTMJ sports is all about.” Meanwhile, J. Pat Miller, director of marketing & innovation for WTMJ and co-owned adult hits WLWK “The Lake,” points out the “Radio League” app features 10 music formats. “We are excited to add this Wisconsin-based preps sports station to our growing line-up of stations,” Miller notes. Matt Menzl and Alex Uhan headline the team of “Preps Live” football announcers; Journal Broadcast Group Milwaukee plans to offer a full schedule of prep basketball games in the winter.

conwaysimonOdds & Sods. All this week, WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive personality Simon Conway is broadcasting his program from Jerusalem. “The situation in Israel is something my audience comes back to again and again,” remarks Conway, who lived there for a year as a teenager. “I will be bringing some very powerful radio to Iowa.” Conway is part of the “Solidarity Israel” trip organized by former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.

Affiliate Roundup.  Talk Shows USA-syndicated/Tom Gresham-hosted “Gun Talk” adds the following affiliates: KARN-FM, Little Rock; WBRN, Big Rapids, Michigan; WNDA, New Albany, Indiana & WLRS, Eminence, Kentucky; and WINT, Willoughby, Ohio…. Most recent affiliates of “Free Talk Live” hosted by Ian Freeman and Mark Edge include: WPTK, Raleigh; WEZO, Augusta, Georgia, KZLS, Enid, Oklahoma; KSMD, Searcy, Arkansas; KAWW, Heber Springs, Arkansas; and WZTK, Alpena, Michigan.

Monday, August 18, 2014

| August 18, 2014

wgn-720-logo 125Wanna Buy a Fantastic Radio Station Mobile Studio?  Well. If you do, here is a rare opportunity to pick up a real gem.  The legendary WGN, Chicago is letting go of its phenomenal mobile broadcast studio and tow truck.  Seems it is too big to be conveniently used in the congested Windy City.  But in a market where there’s space to move around, it is a fully-equipped, mind-blower that could put your station in front of everybody, boost sales, and significantly increase the value of your broadcasting asset.  To learn more, please click here.

KOY LogoKOY Transitions From Business Talk To Mainstream Talk. Clear Channel Phoenix replaces its one-year business talk format on KOY “1230 The KFYI Business Channel” with mainstream talk under the “KFYI 2: The Next Generation of Talk” moniker. As KOY’s handle underscores, the station continues its association with co-owned mainstream talker KFYI. Program director Neil Larrimore states, “This is an exciting brand to put under the KFYI umbrella. Our approach of heavy digital messaging, new hosts, and more moderate content is geared toward the evolution of the information format.” The on-air roster for “KFYI 2″ is Armstrong & Getty (6:00 am – 10:00 am); Dana Loesch (10:00 am -1:00 pm); Casey Bartholomew (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm); “America Now” (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm); “TMZ Live” (6:00 pm – 7:00 pm); “Ground Zero” (7:00 pm – 10:00 pm); and Bloomberg Radio (10:00 pm – 6:00 am). Having the distinction of being Arizona’s first radio station, KOY received its broadcast license in 1922 with the calls KFCB – “Kind Friends Come Back.” KFYI ranks seventh this July (4.3, 6+); Bonneville talker KTAR-FM finishes #14 (3.0); and Rio Salado College‘s KJZZ (NPR) is #19 (2.1). KOY does not appear in the July 2014 report.

compton ann smallForty-One and Done For Ann Compton. Being the first woman assigned to cover the White House fulltime by any network was — in Ann Compton‘s opinion — an advantage since the President could not miss seeing her. The Chicago native, who began covering that demanding beat nearly 40 years ago, wants to devote more time to other things, such as being a grandmother. So, on September 10 — the anniversary of her 41st year with ABC News — she will retire. Click here for an in-depth feature piece by TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian to find out what Compton believed were her most challenging things early-on; vivid reflections on 9/11/2001; and why — and who — made being inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame especially memorable.

brown joy new 8-14Dr. Joy Browne Switching Networks to GCN.  Longtime TALKERS Heavy Hundred syndicated star Dr. Joy Browne’s show will be moving from present distributor Radio America to Genesis Communications Network (GCN) beginning Monday, September 8.  The program will continue to air during its regular time slot of 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm ET. GCN will also syndicate Dr. Joy Browne’s “Best Of” weekend program, which will air Saturdays, 1:00 am – 4:00 am ET.   Browne, a licensed clinical psychologist, hosts the longest running relationships program of its kind in syndication, airing on over 100 stations across the country including WNYM, New York.  Her show offers listeners advice on issues ranging from relationships and marriage to finance and career. (She even reviews movies and comments on theater.) Regarding Browne’s show, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “With interest growing among talk radio broadcasters in expanding the menu beyond politics and getting back to a number of areas that have long been mainstays of spoken word commercial radio during its golden days, I suspect we will see the stock of a show like Joy Browne’s take a significant upward turn.  After all, she’s remained a serious player on stations across the country during a period in which relationship shows have had tough going.  Considering she is still the best in the genre, watch out world – Dr. Joy will be riding high for years to come.”  Interested stations can contact GCN affiliate relations at (877) 996-4327, Ext. 241, 148 or 123 for more information.

murphy owenKFWBKFWB Recruits Murphy as PD. When KFWB, Los Angeles flips from talk to sports next month, the station will be programmed by Owen Murphy, who has been working as a talent coach and sports radio consultant for several hosts. KFWB Asset Trust trustee Diane Sutter comments, “Owen has built great relationships with some of America’s premiere sports talents. He has a unique perspective and will provide a fresh approach for sports radio fans in Los Angeles.” Murphy remarks, “I cannot adequately express how excited I am to be part of a team that is going to serve the Los Angeles sports radio audience in a manner never before heard. Having [CBS Sports Radio's] Jim Rome as a centerpiece of the station’s new lineup is a thrilling base to build upon for the passionate sports fans of Southern California.” Rome will be heard on KFWB 9:00 am – 12:00 noon. Murphy’s resume includes a 2009 – 2010 stint programming KIRO-AM “710 ESPN,” Seattle. He previously was an ESPN Radio producer for “Mike & Mike in the Morning” and was executive producer of “The Dan Patrick Show.” Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio‘s July 2014 PPM report, KFWB ranks #42 (.2). Its all-sports competitors are KSPN (1.2 in July, #28); KLAC (.9, #32); and KLAA (.3, #40).

ESPN RAdio - NBA LogoNBA, ESPN Audio – Teammates for a 20th Season. For the 20th successive year, ESPN Audio will broadcast games of the National Basketball Association. This year’s ESPN – NBA schedule — which will feature 29 regular-season games — tips off in slightly more than two months (Tuesday, 10/28), with Tim Duncan and the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs hosting the Dallas Mavericks. ESPN Audio will broadcast a Christmas Day doubleheader, which will showcase San Antonio against Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Immediately following that will be LeBron James’ first game back in Miami as the Cleveland Cavaliers visit the Miami Heat. ESPN Audio will air the NBA Playoffs and NBA Finals, as well as the 64th All-Star Game. Returning as ESPN Radio’s lead play-by-play voice and prime analyst are Kevin Calabro and Jon Barry, respectively. Calling/analyzing select games are Marc Kestecher and PJ Carlesimo.

Westwood-One-LOGO 7-15-2014 125townsend steveWestwood One Taps Townsend as Senior Account Manager.  Former Clear Channel New York sales manager Steve Townsend joins Westwood One‘s sales division as senior account manager. New York City-based Townsend reports to senior vice president of network sales Darrin Klayman, who states, “Steve has a proven track record and he comes with an immeasurable wealth of sales expertise. His multimedia experience and passion fit well into our desired DNA as we strive to build a team that will provide integrated multi-platform solutions for our clients.” Townsend meanwhile comments, “Westwood One is at the forefront of delivering solutions and driving revenue for clients. From its customized content, events, talent endorsements, local activations, digital initiatives, and geo-targeted programs, it is clearly the place to be; I am thrilled to be part of the momentum.” Townsend’s Clear Channel New York sales manager responsibilities were for adult contemporary WLTW “Lite-FM” and classic rock WAXQ “Q-104.3,” as well as managing sales for the “Automotive” category for the company’s entire New York group. He previously was sales manager in New York City for then-Citadel-owned (now Cumulus) hot AC WPLJ; CBS Radio‘s WXRK (now CHR WBMP); and he was an account executive and national sales manager for classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM.

smith gordonsmulyan jeffConclave Confirms Smith As Keynoter – Smulyan to Speak as Well.  The 39th annual Conclave Learning Conference – presented in partnership with the Minnesota Broadcasters Association (MBA) – will feature a keynote address by National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) president and chief executive officer Gordon Smith. Conclave chair Mark Bolke comments, “Whether you are in programming, news, sales, or station management, what happens in Congress and at the Federal Communications Commission directly impacts our collective future. Gordon Smith’s keynote will instill in all of us the ongoing need to protect our industry’s interests and preserve its status as America’s premier source for music, entertainment, news, and emergency information.” MBA president and chief executive officer Jim du Bois states, “With the broadcasting industry facing unprecedented legal, regulatory, and competitive challenges, Gordon Smith and the NAB are leading the charge in Washington. We are honored that he is taking time from his busy schedule to share his insights on key issues facing radio and television broadcasters. We are also looking forward to hearing his vision for the industry’s future as it adapts to rapidly changing media consumption habits and a shift to mobile distribution platforms.” Smith is scheduled to deliver his keynote on (Saturday) November 15 at 9:00 am onsite at the Conclave, which will be held at Minneapolis’ Crown Plaza Hotel Airport. Smith is a former United States Senator. The Oregon Republican served two terms in the Senate and was appointed NAB president/CEO five years ago (9/2009). The Conclave’s day-and-a-half learning conference begins (Friday) November 14 with a “Radio & TV Career Fair and Air Check Clinic,” followed by a special keynote from Emmis president and chief executive officer Jeff Smulyan on the NextRadio mobile platform.

wachs daliah“Dr. Daliah” Accepts Daunting Task. Radio stations and personalities constantly are being enlisted to support a number of worthwhile endeavors. An especially challenging fundraiser involves Dr. Daliah Wachs. The syndicated talk show host and Las Vegas television personality has been asked to build the pediatric wing of Community Outreach Medical Center, which will serve thousands of underserved and uninsured Las Vegas children. “This is a huge undertaking but it will get done,” Dr. Wachs promises. A board certified family physician, Dr. Wachs (University of Nevada – Las Vegas, University of Nevada – Reno, and UCLA) originates her daily “Dr. Daliah” program from Las Vegas talker KDWN; iHeart Radio carries it daily 9:00 am – 12:00 noon PT. In addition to her radio show, Dr. Wachs is the medical expert on KVVU-TV, Las Vegas.

sbs 125SBS Reports 12% Q2 Revenue Gain for Radio. Primarily owing to a boost in special events revenue and network sales, revenue for Spanish Broadcasting System‘s radio division increased 12% in the second quarter to $3.8 million. SBS’ consolidated net revenue grew from $36.1 million in 2013 to $40.9 million (+13%). Consolidated OIBDA fell 22% to $9.9 million, compared to $12.7 million; radio OIBDA decreased 10% to $1.5 million. Spanish Broadcasting System reported a net loss of $3.23 million (44 cents per diluted share), versus a loss of $1.23 million (17 cents) in the year-prior period.

Odds & Sods.   After the success of his first non-fiction book, “FM, the Rise and Fall of Rock Radio” (Villard 2001), Richard Neer of WFAN, New York has written and published his first novel “Something of the Night” (Amazon 2014).  It features a detective on the Jersey shore whose colleague and best friend is a radio talk show host. Originally tasked to find a missing small town author, the plot evolves into something much deeper, threatening the entire metropolitan region. A suspenseful page turner, the twists are non-stop.  Neer has been told that social media is the only way to move books today. However he still believes in radio’s power and will promote it mainly through our medium. Interview requests will be honored by emailing novelistcafe@windstream.net.  To access the book, please click here. ….. Mark Wainwright is filling in this week (8/18 – 8/22) for morning host Joe Galuski at Clear Channel-owned talker WSYR, Syracuse.

 

Friday, August 15, 2014

| August 15, 2014

rabRAB Reports Q2 Sales Down 3%.  It’s not surprising that the quarterly report from the Radio Advertising Bureau indicates pretty much what the Q2 data from the industry’s publicly traded companies showed.  Again the culprit was spot sales which dipped 5% while network ad sales were flat.  The positive was the digital and off-air categories which were up 9% and 15% respectively.  (All comparisons are Q2 2014 vs. Q2 2013).  Advertiser categories that saw notable increases during the quarter included: home improvement (+ 4%); charitable/religious/non-profit/government agencies (+11%); specialty retail (+14%); auto parts/service (+14%); and amusement/theme parks/museums (+ 9%).  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber states, “Based on pacing and industry insights, we anticipated a relatively flat-to-down Q2.  While we don’t forecast, a greater percentage of radio’s total annual revenue historically comes through in the second half, and we’re anticipating that we’ll see better results by the end of this year.”  See the whole report here.

bradybillBrady: Radio’s Precarious Tipping Point.  The somber financial state of radio as an advertising medium is the subject of almost-daily articles both in the consumer media and the media trades.  It’s not unusual to read the opinion that radio has an “image problem,” but as Futures & Options, Inc. president and CEO Bill Brady writes, “Fifteen years of post-consolidation chickens are finally coming home to roost.  Homogenized programming, time-spent listening declines and the decimation of sales departments are now taking their toll.”  Brady also argues against the notion that the current state of things is the “new normal.”  A lot is written about what’s wrong with radio programming, but in this piece, read what media management pro Brady says is problematic about the business end of the business.  Check it out here.

harrisonmichaelMichael Harrison Comments on Disney Plans to Sell off 23 of its 24 Stations:  Talkers  publisher Michael Harrison,when asked his take on the much-discussed Walt Disney Company decision to sell 23 of its 24 Disney Radio outlets, says, “The loss of 200 more industry jobs is, indeed, tragic – an ongoing plague that is nothing short of heart-breaking on the human level of our beloved industry.  However, those who are running around like Chicken Little, squawking that this move is indicative of the radio industry’s sky falling, are missing the real implications of this development.  Group owners and consolidators such as Disney, who don’t think this medium matches their unbending programming or, worse, believe radiodisney logothere is no way to keep old listeners and attract new listeners via creative programing, SHOULD get out and give new, enthusiastic operators the chance to get in at a reasonable investment.”  Harrison points out, “That is not to say that all consolidators should exit the business – companies such as Cumulus Media, Emmis, Alpha Media, Saga Communications and others are showing that, although the answers aren’t necessarily coming easily, they intend to find and implement them in the belief that the ‘stick’ still has years of life and the potential for pertinence in it.”  Harrison continues, “Disney’s bailing out on the idea that AM radio can no longer attract young listeners indicates it does not have the will nor financial incentive to create programming that will draw listeners of all ages to our medium.”  Harrison concludes, “The primary answer to radio’s growing lack of confidence and eroding status is to make massive improvements and reinventions in its on-air attractions.”

mcneildanDan McNeil Officially Gone from WSCR.  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Dan McNeil is not returning to the air at CBS RADIO’s sports talker WSCR, Chicago “The Score.”  He’d been off the air since June when his contract expired and he and the station had been in negotiations, but the two sides apparently could not come together.  It’s been widely reported that McNeil wanted to move from middays to afternoon drive and receive a pay hike from a reported $300,000 per year to $500,000.  Former partner Matt Spiegel notified listeners of the station’s inability to bring McNeil back and said he’s looking forward to getting a new partner and forging ahead.  Read Feder’s column here.

westcottpaulPaul Westcott Exits WTAG, Worcester.  Leaving the full-time radio business at Clear Channel’s news/talk WTAG, Worcester for a position in Washington outside of the radio business is morning drive personality Paul Westcott.  Today (8/15) is Wescott’s final day hosting the morning show but it will not be the end of his talk show career.  Westcott reports that he’s going to stay in the media business posting and podcasting via former “America Now” host Andy Dean‘s new ConnectPal platform.  This means there’s a morning drive position open at WTAG, Worcester and interested radio talent can apply by emailing:  KEVINJOHNSON@clearchannel.com

selexaheidiHeidi Selexa Show Debuts on CRN Digital Talk.  Radio personality and actress Heidi Selexa is bringing her show “Out of the Friend Zone” to CRN Digital Talk Radio where it premieres today at 10:00 pm ET.  CRN Digital Talk says, “The one-hour program is a fun yet serious, authentic show examining interpersonal relationships.  It unlocks the secrets of what is really going on in other people’s minds – and also serves as an open platform to expose and explain misunderstood signals, signs and messages between the sexes.”  CRN Digital Talk Radio president and CEO Michael Horn adds, “’Out of the Friend Zone’ accomplishes something special.  Many shows help people with relationship and communication issues – but Heidi accomplishes it in an exceptionally fun way.  She talks with listeners – not at them.”  In addition to Selexa’s AM/FM radio career, she was a personality on SiriusXM’s “80s on 8” channel.

MaerCBSVineyardOdds & Sods.  A new hockey season means the return of “Chicago Blackhawks Live” to WGN Radio.  Two September editions are already announced as Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw will be featured on September 3 and head coach Joel Quenneville will be featured on September 10.  Both broadcasts will be live from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm from the Old Town Pour House in Chicago and will air on sports talk WGWG-LP and replays of the programs on news/talk WGN following the Cubs games…..Talk media pro Jerry Klein will do some substitute work at WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte over the coming Labor Day weekend.  He’ll fill in for John Hancock on Friday 8/29 and for Keith Larson on Monday 9/1.  Klein was a full-time personality on the station back in 1994…..CBS News White House correspondent Peter Maer (pictured here) is said by CBS to be the only network radio news reporter traveling with President Obama on his vacation to Martha’s Vineyard where he anchored coverage of the president’s press statement about the Ferguson, Missouri situation.  Maer also did two-ways with affiliate stations about the president’s statements as well as about the Hillary Clinton-President Obama foreign policy rift.

Hartford Courant Shows Connecticut Radio People Some Love.  Although a number of America’s great newspapers/local news bureaus employ media writers who cover the radio business as part of their beats, often, local media give radio stations and talent the cold shoulder due to the competitive nature between the two.  For this reason, it’s nice to see the Hartford Courant’s recent pictorial on the radio personalities of Connecticut.  Check out the piece here.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Saying that it’s hit the 500-affiliate mark, Yahoo! Sports Radio announces the addition of WWCS, Pittsburgh; WCAR, Detroit: KTXX, Austin: WCLT, Columbus, and KSGG, Reno to its affiliate roster.

Michael Brown Slaying Aftermath/Militarized Missouri Cops Top News/Talk Story for Week of August 11-15.  The death of black teen Michael Brown at the hands of a police officer, the subsequent riots and looting, and the militarized status of the Missouri police tied for the top stories of the week and landed atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the ISIS threat and the U.S.’s Iraq policy.  Following at #3 was the Hillary Clinton-Barack Obama foreign policy tussle and at #4 was the suicide of actor and comic Robin Williams.  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 chart here.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

| August 14, 2014

krg logoColossal Sales Deal Between Katz and Cumulus.  Radio rep firm Katz Radio Group announces it has agreed to a new deal with Cumulus Media that is creating a new rep division at Katz dedicated to Cumulus owned-and-operated stations nationwide.  The firm – Westwood One National Sales – will provide advertisers and agencies direct access to all of Cumulus’ radio stations.  In a press statement, the companies say, “The new long-term agreement supports thecumulus logo companies’ mutual goal to evangelize the power of sound and drive more dollars into the sector. Westwood One National Sales will exclusively represent Cumulus stations nationwide and focus on providing integrated, multi-platform marketing solutions aimed to meet the rapidly evolving needs of advertisers.  Westwood One National Sales will also offer advertisers and agencies access to Cumulus’ newly developed traffic system.  The cutting-edge technology is designed to improve speed-to-market, giving Cumulus advertisers and agencies real-time pricing and availability of minute-by-minute, market-by-market opportunities across the country.”  Katz Radio Group president Mark Gray says, “Our common goal is to get radio a much bigger share of advertiser spending by solving their marketing problems and showcasing the unmatched results radio delivers.  Our new partnership with Cumulus to launch Westwood One National Sales strengthens our ability to deliver the most innovative marketing solutions for advertisers and agencies across the expanding advertising platform of one of our important partners.”  As a result of this, Bryan Forbes is promoted to senior vice president, general manager of Westwood One National Sales.  His current post with KRG is vice president/director of sales.  Westwood One National Sales will have dedicated offices in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles.

nab logoFighting for AM in New Cars; NAB Pleads with BMW.  After learning that BMW’s new electric model – the i3 – will not include an AM radio due to the engine’s causing interference with AM reception, the NAB’s Gordon Smith wrote a letter to BMW asking the company to reconsider the move and re-engineer the system to accommodate AM, as some other manufacturers have.  Smith writes, “In the last decade, AM radio has embraced an evolution towards ethnic language programming, with a wide variety of formats serving a melting pot of diverse communities that make up the fabric of America.  Indeed, two-thirds of all minority-owned stations are now broadcast on the AM band; and many of these radio stations serve as a community gathering spot for vital information about health services, education and job opportunities.”  Smith goes on to note that in many markets, sports broadcasts – from high school to the professional level – are only heard on AM signals.  How BMW will respond, if at all, is anyone’s guess but it’s worth noting that radio stations that are also streamed could be heard via the owner’s smartphone which the i3 allows to be connected to its audio system.  Still, that the AM band — where most talk radio shows reside — is considered disposable by a major auto manufacturer (combined with the growing popularity of electric autos) is a huge red flag for AM stick owners.

paiajitFCC Commissioner Ajit Pai Talks AM Revitalization in Columbus.  The campaign for AM revitalization being championed by FCC commissioner Ajit Pai was the topic at Wednesday’s town hall meeting held by the Ohio Broadcasters Association where Pai spoke and heard from broadcasters and the public on the matter.  Pai said three things he’s been thinking about lately regarding AM revitalization are: eliminating nighttime skywave protection for clear channel AM signals; allowing the use of synchronous transmission systems on the AM dial; and allowing stations to go all-digital on a voluntary basis.  But Pai said that by Halloween it’s his hope that the FCC will adopt AM revitalization that would: 1) move forward with an FM translator window designed for AM broadcasters and, 2) ask the public to comment on a new batch of specific proposals for improving our AM radio rules because “the proposals we made last year, while they will help AM broadcasters, aren’t going be a panacea.”

romejimRome Added as KFWB Gears Up To Sports Flip. Rumors of a talk-to-sports format change by Los Angeles’ KFWB will become reality sometime in September and the station locks in CBS Sports Radio mega-talent – and LA native – Jim Rome as a cornerstone.  Trustee for KFWB Asset Trust, Diane Sutter, comments, “It has been nearly two years since Southern Californians have been able to enjoy Jim’s show and he is just a hint of what listeners can expect from the new KFWB sports lineup.  We are thrilled and excited tokfwb bring Jim back home to his many Los Angeles sports fans.”  Rome, a genuine sports radio host original, will be heard on KFWB 9:00 am – 12:00 noon and will originate the program from Orange County.  Remarking that he is “thrilled to be returning home” on KFWB, Rome states, “CBS Sports Radio has provided me with an incredible opportunity to communicate with our nationwide audience via various platforms, but to reunite with our Los Angeles-based fans is particularly meaningful to me, personally and professionally.  I look forward to bringing ‘the jungle’ back home to Los Angeles.”  Rome has been with CBS Sports Radio since the network launched approximately 18 months ago.  It is believed sports KFWB’s moniker will be “The Beast.”  For years, KFWB had been an all-news station and competed against CBS Radio‘s KNX (which later became its sibling) in that arena.  Five years ago though (September 2009), it switched to talk.  Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio‘s July 2014 PPM report, KFWB ranks #42 (.2). It will be butting heads against existing all-sports outlets KSPN (1.2 in July, #28); KLAC (.9, #32); and KLAA (.3, #40).

cclogoClear Channel’s Political Advertising Tool Now Incorporates Nielsen Data.  Earlier this year, Clear Channel Media + Entertainment announced the development of its proprietary radio targeting tool for political advertisers – dubbed Audience Delivery Optimizer (AuDiO).  Now, the company reports that it is now incorporating Nielsen’s radio audience measurement data to further enhance its ability to identify key voter segments.  CC says this marks the first time that Nielsen’s Portable People Meter currency data has been combined with specific public voter information – creating a powerful new tool for political advertisers.  Clear Channel calls AuDiO a “first-of-its-kind radio optimization tool that enables political campaigns to precisely identify the 10 voter segments that are most crucial in key election districts.”  It goes on to say that with the integration of Nielsen’s industry-standard audience measurement data into AuDiO, political advertisers now have access to even more robust identification capabilities for their radio buys.  Using the 10 most common political segments, AuDiO can determine how many voters radio reaches in any political district around the country.  It can then identify the media preferences of any segment, giving advertisers key information about which media are best to reach which voters.  AuDiO works at all levels of national, statewide and local elections, and will be available for the upcoming 2014 election cycle.

fradybillGCN Adds ‘Lock-N-Load’ to Morning Offerings.  New to the Genesis Communications Network stable of programs is the Bill Frady-hosted daily program “Lock-N-Load.”  The company states that the show “covers all spectrums relating to the world of the gun, including the gun industry, trends, self-defense and, of course, those that would strip away your rights.  With guests such as the 3D gun guru Cody Wilson, Gunowners of America executive director Larry Pratt, Noble Peace Prize nominee Dr. Jim Garrow, tactical trainer Chris Costa, psychologist Dr. Linda Lagemann and many others, ‘Lock-N-Load’ explores the dynamics of the uniquely American Second Amendment and everything that goes along with it.”

bohannonnashvilleJim Bohannon Addresses Tennessee Association of Broadcasters Conference.  Sitting on a panel about spoken-word radio titled, “Give’em Something to Talk About,” Westwood One-syndicated talk show host Jim Bohannon appeared at the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters conference in Nashville.  Pictured here (from left to right) are: Westwood One’s Misti Douglas, Jean Williams, and Chrystal Heidemann, Governor Bill Haslam, Bohannon, and Westwood One’s Donny Walker.

IS Iraq Campaign/U.S. Military Involvement, Hillary Clinton-Obama Relationship, Michael Brown Slaying Aftermath, Limbaugh-Robin Williams Suicide Comments Controversy, and Israel-Hamas Cease Fire Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/13).  The Iraq campaign of IS and the Obama Administration’s involvement of U.S. military personnel; the rift between Hillary Clinton and President Obama over U.S. foreign policy; the tensions in Missouri after the shooting death of Michael Brown; controversy over Rush Limbaugh’s comments after Robin Williams’ suicide; and the cease fire between Israel and Hamas were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

| August 13, 2014

foxsportsradio logoClear Channel to Launch Sports Talker on Charlotte Translator.  Telling the Charlotte Observer that “we saw a huge opportunity for sports on the FM dial done the right way. It was the opening in the marketplace,” market manager Charlie Wilkinson announces plans for the company to bring a new sports talk station to the market on W254AZ at 98.7 by the end of this month.  The station will air Fox Sports Radio Network shows, including Dan Patrick’s DirecTV-produced program.  The station will also be available on sister station classic rock WRFX’s HD-2 channel.  WRFX program director Jeff Kent will serve as PD and Wilkinson tells the paper local shows will be added in the future.

robertsblakeWKRC, Cincinnati Weekend Host Blake Roberts Arrested in Shooting of Wife.  The good news is that Misty Seylhouwer was not seriously injured after her husband, Blake “Roberts” Seylhouwer discharged a rifle in the driveway of his suburban Cincinnati home and the bullet struck her.  After initially concluding the incident was an accident, police have reversed course and Blake Seylhouwer is being charged with felonious assault and domestic violence.  Seylhouwer said he accidently discharged the gun while taking it out of the trunk of his car but police later determined he purposely fired in the direction of Misty Seylhouwer and the bullet ricocheted off the driveway and struck her.  She has filed for protection order against Blake Seylhouwer, who hosts the “Small Business Sundays” program on WKRC.  He operates several businesses in the area including a small business consulting firm.

decastrojimmyJimmy deCastro Says He’s ‘Having a Ball.’  In an interview with Chicago media writer Robert Feder, WGN, Chicago president and general manager Jimmy deCastro speaks about the station’s decision to cut ties with the MLB’s Chicago Cubs after 89 years, the move of personalities Jonathon Brandmeier and Garry Meier to the company’s online platform WGN.fm, and the ratings struggles sports talker WGWG is facing.   deCastro has hinted that the company would be interested in purchasing an FM signal in the market but there are no definite plans to do so.  He tells Feder he believes the prices for FM signals will come down but that the company’s willingness to buy one depends on the success of the current operations.  Read the whole interview here.

alzugarayorlandoThe ‘Big O’ Returns to WQAM, Miami.  According to a report in the Miami Herald by Barry Jackson, Orlando Alzugaray, a.k.a. The Big O, will exit WMEN, Ft. Lauderdale “640 Sports” and return to Beasley Broadcasting’s WQAM, Miami in the midday 10:00 am to 1:00 pm slot beginning August 25.  Alzugaray left WQAM in 2010.  The midday show has been hosted by Alex Donno and Brandon Guzio recently and Jackson reports that Donno will move to the evening 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm show and will become part of the Florida Panthers broadcast team.  Guzio and evening host Kevin Rogers have reportedly exited the station.

armstrongdaveArmstrong Announces Retirement. As of the end of next month (September 2014), renowned market manager Dave Armstrong will leave radio after a 50-year career in the industry.  Salem Radio president Dave Santrella comments that, “Dave has been a tremendous leader in our company.  His creative contributions have created legacy attributes that Salem enjoys to this day and will enjoy well into the future.  For that – we are forever grateful.”  Armstrong remarks, “This is the end of another chapter in my workbook, but it is not the final chapter.  I am excited to see what’s next.”  Approximately 40% of Armstrong’s 50-year radio career (20 years) has been spent with Salem, for whom he has managed stations in New York City, Los Angeles, and – for the last eight years – in San Diego.  Salem’s San Diego stations are talk KCBQ-AM and Christian talk KPRZ.  Its Los Angeles cluster consists of contemporary Christian KFSH; talk KRLA; and Christian talk KKLA.  In May 2003, Salem transferred Armstrong, then regional vice president of operations and general manager of Salem Los Angeles, to oversee the company’s northeast radio operations.  That meant Armstrong became general manager of Salem New York’s WMCA and WWDJ, as well as having operational oversight for the company’s Boston-area outlets. Before joining Salem, Armstrong was a program director and sales manager for a number of stations.

nielsen logoNielsen July PPM Analysis Shows Talk in Summer Dip; Expects Improvement.  Reviewing the results of the July 2014 PPM data by format and comparing the results to previous months’ data as well as data from previous years, Nielsen Audio provides a glimpse of how formats as a whole are performing.  The study notes that the news/talk format is enduring a seasonal decline.  Nielsen reports: “The changes in lifestyles, work habits and consumer trends that occur each summer, coupled with news and sports cycles create an annual down-trend for spoken word formats during the middle of the summer.  2014 is no different as July revealed that the 6-plus shares for news/talk dropped to their lowest mark in PPM since we began tracking this data in 2011 (8.1%), all-news stayed flat relative to last summer (2.5%), and sports fared slightly better this July (4.1%) than in 2013 (3.8%).  For all three of these formats, the coming months should bring an upswing in listening as football returns and we head into the mid-term election news cycle.”  Still, as a format in the PPM markets, news/talk finished 5th among persons 25-54 behind CHR, country, hot AC and AC.  See the study here.

rabRAB: Radio Ranked Most Effective Medium Influencing Healthcare Choices.  The results of a recent Finding Consumer Trends report from the RAB, indicate that when it comes to which type of advertising influences healthcare choices, radio was ranked as the most effective medium – especially among 25-44 year olds.  The RAB goes on to state that when it comes to medical care decisions, it is insurance that outranks all other choices – including medical referrals.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber says, “With changes in medical and insurance coverage top of mind with consumers, this reports confirms radio’s ability as a powerful medium to influence their selection of where and who will provide them with medical services.  Marketers in this category who are trying to reach the 25-44 year olds should look to radio to communicate to this target group.”  More results from the study include the following: 77% of respondents state that a radio personality’s testimonial for healthcare products makes them trust the product the same or more; reputation and positive experiences are the top two reasons that local hospitals are top of mind; and the majority of respondents are currently seeking services by a dentist or orthodontist.  A webinar featuring the national results will be presented by the RAB and Ruth Presslaff of Presslaff Interactive Revenue on August 26, at 11:00 am ET and again at 4:00 pm ET.  Register for the webinar here.

kfbk logoKFBK, Sacramento to Broadcast ‘Honor Bowl.’  Sacramento news/talk outlet KFBK is partnering with The Honor Group, Inc. – a community organization dedicated to educating, empowering and equipping military veterans for success – to air the fifth annual Honor Bowl.  That event is a high school football showcase that educates the community about the needs of military veterans.  KFBK will air two of the five football games that make up the two-day fundraising event.  The broadcasts will help The Honor Group to attract sponsors to the Honor Bowl, and proceeds from the event’s ticket sales will help purchase aftermarket rehabilitation equipment benefiting disabled veterans throughout the country.

Ferguson, MO Troubles, Robin Williams’ Suicide, Hillary Clinton’s Obama Criticisms, IS Campaign/U.S. Iraq Policy, Ebola Pandemic Threat, Russian Ukraine Aggression, and Lauren Bacall Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/12).  The race riots and looting in Ferguson, Missouri in the aftermath of the shooting death by police of an unarmed black teen; actor and comic Robin Williams’ suicide; Hillary Clinton’s criticisms of President Obama’s foreign policy; the IS campaign in Iraq and U.S. military policy there; the threat of an Ebola pandemic; Russia’s continuing attempts to arm Ukrainian rebels; and the death of actress Lauren Bacall were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

| August 12, 2014

beckglennGlenn Beck’s Lawyers File Motion to Dismiss in Boston Marathon Defamation Case.  As reported by Reuters, lawyers for Glenn Beck and TheBlaze are asking a judge to dismiss the defamation charges being lodged against them by a Saudi Arabian national who alleged Beck continued to accuse him of being a party to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing even after authorities cleared him of suspicion.  Twenty-one year old Abdulrahman Alharbi was present at the attack site but was questioned by authorities and cleared within days of the attack.  Alharbi alleges Beck continued to accuse him of being the “money man” behind the attack.  Beck’s attorneys argue that Alharbi continued to grant interviews after speaking with authorities, thereby making him a limited purpose public figure and, thus not afforded the same protection as a private citizen.  Although Judge Patti Saris said she would consider the motion, she said, “I’d be surprised if I resolved this in a motion to dismiss.”

thelockerroom logoKGA, Spokane Brings Local PM Drive Show Back.  Spokane sports talker KGA – a CBS Sports Radio affiliate – is bringing back “The Locker Room Show with Toby Howell” beginning September 2 in the 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot.  The Mapleton-owned station notes Jim Miller a.k.a. MooseJaw will be part of the show on a part-time basis and the show’s original co-host, Whitworth assistant athletic director Bob Castle, will make weekly appearances.  Other additions to the program include Jim Walden appearing for “College Football Fridays, Spokesman Review staffer Jim Meehan serving as co-host, and additional contributions from SWX and KHQ-TV “Q6” sports personalities Sam Adams, Michelle Dapper and John Collette.

brooksvalerieEnvision Names Brooks Director of Affiliate Relations.  Thirty-one year media pro Valerie Brooks joins Envision Networks as director of affiliate relations.  Brooks was most recently serving with WKYC-TV, Cleveland in the sales department.  She comments, “I have been privileged to work for both locally owned and operated as well as publicly traded broadcast companies.  I love the subliminal power of our medium, and I know that radio plus our digital brand extensions remain vibrant, alive and impactful.”  Envision COO Laura Orkin adds, “We are thrilled to welcome Valerie to the Envision family as director of affiliate relations.  Valerie brings a wealth of experience to our team and will superserve our 1,500-plus affiliated stations.”

mossebE.B. Moss Joins AdLarge Media.  Coming to AdLarge Media from her most recent position with Westwood One, advertising and marketing exec E.B. Moss will serve as vice president, marketing solutions.  AdLarge says that Moss spearheaded a similar division for Citadel, then Cumulus Media Networks and ultimately Westwood One, where she launched a suite of new opportunities for clients, including devising native advertising, social media, and digital campaigns.  AdLarge co-founder and CEO Gary Schonfeld comments, “E.B. is a consummate marketer.  She has an innate perspective on clients’ goals, and is exceptional at inventing on-air, online, onsite, and social media promotions that boost a campaign to deliver a return on investment (ROI) for advertisers and their agencies.”

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paiajitCommissioner Pai and Gordon Smith Headline Radio Luncheon.  Featured at the Radio Luncheon at the 2014 Radio Show on Friday, September 12 will be FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, who will take part in a conversation with NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith.  The theme of the conversation will be communications policy and how it affects free, local radio broadcasting. The Radio Luncheon will also feature the presentation of the National Radio Award to Bud Walters, founder and president of the Cromwell Group.  A statement from the NAB notes that Pai joined the FCC as commissioner in May 2012 and is focusing on creating a regulatory environment in which competition and innovation can flourish, for the benefit of American consumers.  During his time at the FCC, Pai has made AM radio revitalization a priority at the Commission.  Between 2007 and 2011, Pai held several positions in the FCC’s Office of General Counsel, including deputy general counsel.  Prior to joining the FCC, he was a partner in the Communications Practice at Jenner & Block LLP and associate general counsel at Verizon Communications Inc.

franksjohnnyOdds & Sods.  Returning to Nashville to host his sports talk show on WNRS “Nashville’s Sportsradio” is Johnny “Ballpark” Franks.  After working in both Huntsville and the Gulfport-Biloxi markets, Franks returns to host the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm show on the Ted Johnson-owned station, reports The Tennessean…..ESPN Radio announces the schedule for its 15th season of college football play-by-play beginning with opening weekend, August 28-30.  Over the season it will present 30 regular season games on Saturdays and Thursday nights, culminating with the Pac-12 and ACC Championships in December…..Westwood One is bringing Barclays Premier League soccer to American radio listeners this season.  In partnership with London-based talkSPORT, WW1 will present 60 featured matches made available to radio stations and will present all 380 matches streamed live on westwoodonesports.com.  The season begins Saturday, August 16 and concludes on Sunday, May 24, 2015.

stockkasemTogether Again.  If only for a day, KDWN, Las Vegas morning drive host Alan Stock (left) poses for a shot with former partner Kerri Kasem (right).  Stock and Kasem co-hosted the morning show at crosstown news/talk KXNT seven years ago.  Kasem was in town attending the Nevada Broadcasters Association convention at which her late father Casey Kasem was honored.  She sat in with Stock on the KDWN morning show on August 8.

U.S. Iraq Strikes/IS Campaign, Missouri Teen Death/Riot and Looting, Robin Williams Death, Ebola Threat, Russian Aggression in Ukraine, and Immigration Policy/Border Crisis Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/11). The Obama Administration’s policy to renew airstrikes in Northern Iraq and the IS campaign in the country; the shooting death of a black Missouri teen by police and the ongoing riots and looting taking place in its aftermath; the apparent suicide of actor and comic Robin Williams; the concern over the African Ebola outbreak and concerns about a pandemic; Russia’s move to arm rebels in the Ukraine; and the continuing battle over the U.S. immigration policy and the border crisis in the Southwest were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, August 11, 2014

| August 11, 2014

kellermanmaxESPN Suspends Kellerman. There is yet more fallout related to the ugly domestic violence incident that led to Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice‘s two-game ban for domestic violence.  As we have already reported, ESPN suspended Stephen A. Smith for a week after the commentator suggested that women should be careful not to “provoke” domestic violence incidents.  Smith labeled those comments the biggest mistake of his career and he apologized for making the inference.  The network has now reportedly handed out a suspension to ESPN Los Angeles (KSPN) and “SportsNation” host Max Kellerman, who acknowledged hitting his girlfriend quite a few years ago.  Kellerman was talking with Steve Mason & John Ireland, whose radio program precedes the one co-hosted by Kellerman and former NFL player Marcellus Wiley (“Max &kspnlogo Marcellus,” weekdays 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm).  Kellerman was recollecting a college-era incident involving his then-girlfriend.  She and Kellerman had been drinking and according to Kellerman, they slapped each other.  Kellerman stressed that the two have been happily married (for roughly 20 years).  In a statement ESPN released last Friday (8/8), the network would not confirm the suspension, but stated, “Max Kellerman will return to ESPN Los Angeles Radio and SportsNation on Thursday [8/14].”  In addition to his ESPN duties, Kellerman is an HBO Sports boxing analyst.  As you might recall, Rice and his then-fiancée, Janay Palmer, who is now his wife, were involved in a physical altercation with each other this past February.  Rice was suspended by the NFL for violating its personal-conduct policy.

wtemlogoCumulus Rumored to Be Eying Dan Snyder’s Red Zebra DC Properties.  The story is reported by Dave HughesDCRTV.com that Cumulus Media is interested in the four signals that make up the Red Zebra Washington, DC-area cluster, including  WTEM, Washington; WSPZ, Bethesda, Maryland; WWXT-FM, Prince Frederick, Maryland; and WWXX, Buckland, Virginia.  The station group has been on the block for a while and DCRTV.com speculates that Cumulus would like to get its country “NASH FM” format into the Washington metro.

pagliarulojoeJoe Pags to Be Interim ‘America Now’ Host.  The 130 affiliates of Premiere Networks’ “America Now” program will be getting San Antonio-based talk personality Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo.  Joe Pags tells TALKERS magazine that the syndicated program – which until recently featured Andy Dean as host – will carry his daily show based at WOAI and that is also heard on Clear Channel-owned stations KPRC, Houston; KEX, Portland; KHOW, Denver; and KTLK, Minneapolis,  for the foreseeable future while a new host for the show is sought.

sagaSaga Communications Reports Flat Q2.  On 2014 second quarter operating revenue of $33.8 million, Saga Communications announces it was compared to the same period a year ago.  Other figures reported include: operating income from continuing operations was $8.2 million; net income for the period was $4.8 million; and free cash flow was $5.9 million.  Station operating expense was $23.5 million (station operating expense includes depreciation and amortization attributable to the stations).  Net operating revenue for the period ended June 30, 2014 increased 0.7% to $63.3 million compared to $62.8 million for the same period last year.

wrhdWRHD, Greenville Flips to Sports Talk.  Dropping the adult contemporary format for sports talk is Inner Banks Media-owned AC WRHD, Greenville, North Carolina “Star 94.3” which begins a new life as “94.3 The Game.”  The station is using regional sports talk from Capitol Broadcasting’s Raleigh-Durham sports stations “ESPN Triangle” and Fox Sports Radio content.  Morning drive features WDNC, Durham personalities Mike & Mark (Mike Maniscalco and Mark Thomas) and WCMC, Raleigh afternoon drivers Adam Gold and Joe Ovies.  Middays include FSRN’s Andy Furman and Mike North followed by Jay Mohr.  Evenings and weekends feature FSRN programming.

komandostudioNew Production Facility to Coincide with Kim Komando TV Show Evolution.  As the Kim Komando program continues its evolution from a pure radio program to a combo radio/digital TV show, WestStar MultiMedia Entertainment announces it is procuring a new 24,000 square foot live facility in central Phoenix to be the new home of the company.  WestStar president and CEO Barry Young says, “Over the past year, we have been experimenting with a live HD video production of the Kim Komando show.  While we cannot envision any scenario whereby we would move away from our core product, radio, we also realize that the ‘core product’ is changing rapidly.  Radio producers who rely on a ‘one-camera web-shot’ video product will be caught short of the new standard.  For this reason, we believe that nothing less than a full digital HD video production, suitable to network and broadcast syndication, is appropriate for an established benchmark program such as the Kim Komando show.  That level of production, together with future projects still under wraps, is not possible with anything less than a major-league production facility, such as the one we are building here in Phoenix.”  The company says that the new facility (seen in the artist’s rendering here) will be fully operational by May of 2015 and will serve as the new home to WestStar Corporate Offices, broadcast, digital sales, entertainment, film operations, 24-hour network broadcast operations center and all online operations.  The plant will incorporate five digital radio broadcast studios, two voice-over studios, two digital radio production rooms, three digital video production edit rooms, radio master control, television master control, a 2,500 square foot television sound stage and a high-security server hosting facility.

deanmichaelwSetting Up WordPress and PodPress for a Podcast.  Syndicated talk show host Michael W. Dean began his radio program as a podcast.  He writes a brief column for TALKERS today (8/11) that introduces his philosophy of podcasting and provides a link to a step-by-step video that shows talk show producers how to navigate WordPress and the PodPress plugin to get their programs up and running.  Check it out here.

smithlogginsWABCKenny Loggins Guests on ‘The Saturday Café’ on WABC, New York.  Music icon Kenny Loggins was Laura Smith’s guest on WABC’s “Saturday Café” this past weekend.  The show aired at 7:00 pm on Saturday during which Loggins talked about writing songs as a teen, touring the world with his new shows, and his passion for music.  He also promoted his latest project – a new album with a country/rock trio called The Blue Sky Riders – that is being released through a Kickstarter campaign.  Pictured here are Loggins (left) and Smith (right).

nicholawgeorgeLos Angeles Radio Mourns George Nicholaw’s Passing. Owing to the fact that George Nicholaw was among a rare group of radio general managers who passionately and regularly delivered on-air editorials, listeners to Los Angeles all-news operation KNX were very familiar with his name and voice.  The longtime Southern California broadcaster was 85 when he passed away this past Saturday (8/9).  Nicholaw had been with CBS Radio-owned KNX for 36 years (1967-2003), including when the station adopted its all-news format in 1968.  Exiting the station at the age of 74, he filed what proved to be an unsuccessful lawsuit against KNX ownership for age discrimination.  Regarding Nicholaw, veteran KNX business anchor Frank Mottek commented, “He was a fine gentleman and a broadcast pioneer.  He took an enormous amount of pride in journalism, and in excellence in broadcasting.”  On his Facebook page, former KNX anchor Larry Van Nuys notes, “I am saddened by the passing of broadcasting giant George Nicholaw.  While I can’t claim to have known him well, I can say it is a great loss to all of us who admired him.  I, along with so many others, benefitted from his journalistic integrity, broadcasting courage and lasting legacy.  He had talent, great understanding, and class.” Nicholaw died at his home after being hospitalized with an infection.

Friday, August 8, 2014

| August 8, 2014

limbaughrushClear Channel Makes Statement About News/Talk with Flip of WPGB-FM, Pittsburgh to Country.  Radio stations are in business to make money and Clear Channel – with its $20 billion of debt – needs as much as it can get, and if it believed the almost 11-year-old news/talk format on WPGB-FM washannity getting it done, it wouldn’t have dropped the format for country in the Steel City.  But it did, and industry watchers have to wonder if this move signals a change in the company’s belief in the strength of the news/talk format or if this is a market-specific situation where it saw an opportunity to battle two other operators with the very hot country format.  Certainly, country is a much less controversial sell than news/talk and perhaps that played into the decision.  Regardless, news/talk fans in beckglennPittsburgh will have to go to Pittsburgh Radio Partners-owned WJAS-AM – a class B station at 1320 kHz – to hear Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck as those shows move across town immediately.  One also has to wonder what kind of deal Pittsburgh Radio Partners got on three shows that are usually barter and cash.  Last year’s non-renewal of the Quinn & Rose morning show at WPGB-FM may have been a harbinger of this change as it’s likely CC has been considering the change for some time.  One thing’s for sure, it’s a safe bet the folks at crosstown KDKA-AM are not crying over this move.

le batard danDan Le Batard Suspended by ESPN for Billboard Stunt.  Since the Cleveland Plain Dealer wouldn’t take his ad with a sarcastic “you’re welcome” to former Miami Heat star Lebron James after his announced return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, WAXY, Miami “The Ticket” and ESPN personality Dan Le Batard decided to buy billboards in Akron with the same message (pictured at right).  While Lincoln Financial le batard billboardMedia got the joke, ESPN wasn’t laughing and suspended Le Batard for two days (August 7-8) for the stunt.  Le Batard’s show is now a collaborative effort between LFM and ESPN and WAXY VP/GM Maureen Lesourd says, “We’re ‘The Ticket 104.3’ and we have a passion for South Florida sports and in particular, the Miami Heat fans.  The fans were offended, so for ‘The Ticket’ it was a brilliant local promotion and meant for fun, but I have to respect stunts like this don’t work for a national outlet like ESPN.”  ESPN said in a statement, “Dan Le Batard will be off the air for two days, returning Monday.  His recent stunt does not reflect ESPN’s standards and brand.  Additionally, we were not made aware of his plans in advance.”

kayemarkMorning Personality Mark Kaye Honing Talk Radio Chops.  CHR morning jock Mark Kaye – host of the “The Big Ape Morning Mess” on Cox Media Group’s CHR WAPE, Jacksonville has been “quietly” doing a weekend talk show on sister station WOKV “News 104.5.”  The show was added to the company’s Orlando outlet WDBO and now is being picked up in Tulsa by CMG’s KRMG “News 102.3.”  KRMG director of branding and programming Levi May comments, “For those who are looking for the next generation of talk radio host, look no further than Mark Kaye – KRMG is on board!”  Kaye comments on the surprising speed at which his talk show has blossomed, “OM Todd Shannon, WOKV PD Mike Dorwart and I pitched this idea to Cox VP of programming Steve Smith in January.  Six months later it’s now on three stations…in two time zones!  It’s been so awesome to mix what I’ve been doing on CHR radio into a cool and trendy new news/talk show that the audience, and the industry is excited about. And I’m excited to see where we go from here.”

cbsradioCBS RADIO Q2 Revenue Down 3%.  There’s rarely much information from CBS Corp. about its radio division during quarterly conference calls or the press releases about earnings, as the company is so heavily focused on television, films and publishing.  It appears CBS RADIO had a quarter similar to other radio companies in that its net revenue decline of 3% was probably due to the soft advertising climate affecting the industry.

salemcommunicationsSalem Communication Reports Q2 Total Revenue Up 14%; Broadcast Net Revenue Up 1.8%.  The good news for Salem Communications comes as its internet and e-commerce and publishing divisions showed big revenue increases during the second quarter of 2014.  As for the broadcast division, net broadcast revenue was up 1.8% to $47.9 million from $47 million during the same period a year ago.  Station operating income decreased 13.8% to $13.9 million from $16.2 million and same station net broadcast revenue increased 1.1% to $47.6 million from $47 million.

journalbroadcastgroupJournal Broadcast Group Radio Revenue Up 1.6%.  As a whole, Journal Communications revenue was up 4.9% during the second quarter of 2014, compared to the same period in 2013.  On the radio side, Journal Broadcast Group realized a net increase of 1.6% on $20.2 million of revenue.  The company reports radio political advertising revenue was $0.1 million in each of 2014 and 2013.  Local advertising revenue, excluding political, increased 2.3%, primarily due to an increase in home products and automotive advertising.  Digital revenue, which is reported in local revenue, was $0.8 million, up 14.1%.  National advertising revenue, excluding political, decreased 6.3%, primarily due to lower automotive and restaurant advertising.  Excluding political revenue, total revenue was $20.1 million, up 1.5%.  Operating earnings from radio were $4.1 million compared to $3.8 million in 2013, an increase of 6.2%.  Radio operating expenses increased 0.5%.

Odds & Sods.  Talk show host Leslie Marshall – syndicated via WYM Media – is sitting in on Clear Channel’s KKSF, San Francisco “Talk 910” next Monday and Thursday (8/11 and 14) for the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm show…..Hubbard Radio’s sports talk KSTP, Minneapolis inks a deal with Learfield Sports to continue serving as the University of Minnesota’s flagship station for men’s hockey and men’s and women’s basketball for the next three seasons.

loeschdanaTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  More new affiliate stations to report for Radio America-syndicated Dana Loesch as the program is now heard on KTSA, San Antonio; KLZ, Denver; KOY, Phoenix; KZRG-AM, Joplin, Missouri; KBLL, Helena, Montana; and KXRO, Aberdeen, Washington…..“Armed American Radio with Mark Walters” is added to the program schedule at WEBJ, Mobile/Pensacola; WDDQ, Albany, Georgia; KJMT, Pine Bluff/Little Rock; WNNG, Macon, Georgia; KNNS, Wichita; KERV, San Antonio; WWWI, Baxter, Minnesota; and KVNT-AM/FM, Anchorage.

Israel-Hamas Conflict/Rise in Anti-Semitism Tops Talkers TenTM.  The conflict in the Gaza Strip between Hamas and Israel and the related issue of new incidences of anti-Semitism across the globe was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of August 4-8.  Following at #2 was the Ebola virus outbreak and the threat of a pandemic.  At #3 was Russian aggression in the Ukraine and Edward Snowden’s renewed visa to remain in Russia, followed by President Obama’s low approval ratings at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

| August 7, 2014

abcnewsradioABC News Radio to Expand Radio Operations with New Programming, New Relationship with Skyview Networks.  As the relationship between ABC News Radio and Cumulus Media comes to an end in December, ABC News president James Goldston says the news organization is preparing to “expand its operations to invest in new programming, take control of distributing and marketing our content and deepen our affiliate relationships.”  ABC News Radio will, beginning in January, enter into a new relationship with Skyview Networks to help it deliver the content and handle ad sales.  Vice president and general manager of ABC News Radio, Steve Jones, tells TALKERS that when the organization becameskyviewnetworks aware the relationship with Cumulus Media was coming to an end, Disney/ABC took the opportunity to really examine its place in the broadcast radio business.  As a result, Jones says today’s announcement is about commitment to the radio business.  “As we were looking at the landscape we decided we wanted to have a different route to serve our radio stations and we wanted to ensure that we were going to be connected with them at all times, 24/7, and the only way to be able to do that would be to own the last mile of distribution to them.”  jonessteveABCJones says ABC is buying receivers for hundreds of affiliate radio stations.  He says that by controlling that part of the operation, it will allow ABC to grow the business significantly.  Jones says this new relationship and system of operation will allow ABC to capitalize on the entertainment opportunities that are available to it via ABC and parent company Walt Disney, and bring them to broadcast radio.  Jones says ABC did more than 20,000 live, one-on-one two-ways with radio stations last year – over and above the scheduled newscasts.  He says, “In the course of having those conversations with stations about what it is they want every day from us, we would get more and more feedback about where they felt we could serve them and we weren’t really able to do it as fully as we wanted to and that’s what this new relationship is going to allow us to do.  We’re going to be in control of the relationship with the stations and we think we can grow the business and better serve the radio community.”  Skyview Networks, says Jones, has incredible technical proficiency, and has a technical solution that will allow ABC to not only manage the programming but also sell radio advertising.  The news ad sales relationship will be important says Jones.  “It’s going to be a much more integrated relationship.  I have the responsibility for the P&L for the business and am very heavily engaged with them on how, strategically, we’re going to be approaching the sales community.  We really want to use the power of the ABC brand to let the ad community know that we’re committed to radio and we will be here next year and into the future.”  Jones says Skyview will be hiring radio sales people and ABC is adding staffers as well.  Beginning today, Heidi Oringer joins the company as director of affiliate solutions; Amy Bolton is named specialist, affiliate solutions; and Mary McCarthy is now manager of affiliate solutions.  Not all of the changes will happen in January, ABC News Radio re-launched its new website today (8/7).

townsquare logoTownsquare Media Q2 Net Revenue Up 7.8%.  This is the first quarterly report for Townsquare Media as a publicly traded company and although the news is positive – pro forma net revenue for Q2 was $106.3 million – an increase of 7.8%, local advertising pro forma net revenue decreased $0.2 million, or 0.3%.  The real upside was digital as the company reports “other media and entertainment pro forma net revenue increased $7.9 million, or 39.3%, to $28.2 million, primarily attributable to growth across our live events, digital marketing services and national digital assets.”  Townsquare’s actual net revenue was uppricesteven 46.6% due to the Cumulus Media and Peak Broadcasting II acquisitions.  Chairman and CEO Steven Price says in a statement, “We are pleased to be reporting solid second quarter results, following the successful completion of our initial public offering in July.  We delivered a 7.8% increase in pro forma net revenue.  Our results continue to demonstrate the strength of our diversified revenue strategy. We enjoyed solid performance in most of our local advertising markets together with strong performance across our live event, digital marketing service and national digital assets.  These more than offset advertising revenue softness in certain markets within our local advertising segment.”

nielsen logoRound Three of July PPM Data Released.  The third of four rounds of July 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 June 19 through July 16.  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.

smithstephenaStephen A. Smith to SiriusXM Move Confirmed.  The rumor that ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith would be leaving his daily show on WEPN-FM, New York for SiriusXM – specifically the Mad Dog Radio channel – is confirmed by ESPN and SiriusXM.  But Smith’s new gig is a cooperative effort by the two companies and Smith will still make appearances on WEPN-FM.  The Stephen A. Smith show will air on SiriusXM from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm and will lead into Chris “Mad Dog” Russo’s afternoon drive show.  The show will be produced and broadcast from ESPN Audio’s headquarters in Bristol.  Smith comments, “Words can’t express how excited I am to be going to SiriusXM.  I’ve waited a long time for this.  All I’m going to say is September 2 can’t arrive soon enough.”  ESPN has not announced whether Smith’s co-host Ryan Ruocco will get a new partner for the WEPN-FM midday show or continue to host solo.

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wcco logoWCCO to Hold Gubernatorial Debate.  This evening (8/7), CBS RADIO news/talker WCCO, Minneapolis is hosting a live GOP primary election debate at its WCCO Radio Cambria Gallery in downtown Minneapolis.  The program takes place from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm and will be broadcast on the station in addition to being open to the public and to the press.  The station says the debate will be hosted by talk personality John Williams and political commentator Blois Olson.  Participants include leading GOP candidates Scott Honour, Marty Seifert, and Kurt Zellers.  Topics will include medicinal marijuana, Sunday liquor sales, taxes, and other hot-button issues.

premierenetworks newPremiere Networks to Unveil Online Platform for ‘Dr. Dave’s Ultimate Prep.’  On the occasion of the one-year anniversary of the relationship between Premiere Networks and Dr. Dave Creative Entertainment, Premiere announces it will launch an “innovative, user-developed online platform for Dr. Dave’s Ultimate Prep.  The latest in an exciting group of new services to be launched, Ultimate Prep provides on-air and online content, viral videos, ‘thought starters’ for text and audio, and the hottest lifestyle prep.  Beginning this fall, users will be provided with a sophisticated, interactive online experience allowing them to easily navigate and customize their prep.”  Dr. Dave Creative Entertainment provides a suite of multimedia morning show prep, comedy and production services for radio, television and digital platforms.  EVP/chief content officer David “Dr. Dave” Kolin says, “The opportunities at Premiere Networks and Clear Channel are truly limitless – it’s been a dream come true.  The group we have assembled is composed of talent I’ve worked with for 20-plus years in radio and television.  Combined with Dan Brassem in affiliate relations, Premiere’s Julie Talbott and Jennifer Leimgruber, and many others throughout the company, we are a formidable, winning team.  I look forward to a path of continued genuine innovation.”

lewisjasonJason Lewis Promoting Galt.io Venture.  The news of Minneapolis-based talk show host Jason Lewis quitting his nationally syndicated talk show in dramatic fashion last week and announcing his intent to pursue a digital venture called galt.io is now followed by Lewis’ fully promoting this next step in his career.  Lewis calls Galt.io an online social platform that’s based on the philosophy of Ayn Rand.  He says his new venture is designed to cater to Americans “going Galt.”  In a press release, Lewis cites examples of this movement, including: The “tax inversion” merger craze, where American corporations such as Medtronic are relocating overseas to avoid punitive federal and state corporate income taxes, even though the initial costs of large mergers can be quite expensive; expatriate Americans renouncing their citizenship in order to avoid US taxes has reached record proportions, due in part to the bizarre notion that the U.S. government taxes citizens abroad on their foreign income; trillions of dollars sitting idly in corporate coffers, as well as excess reserves at the Federal Reserve now totals a whopping $2.5 trillion. These trillions of dollars could be put to work if only federal policies rewarded risk and profit instead of penalizing them; and an economy, which despite a strong second quarter in 2014, has grown at an anemic 2.1% annual rate since the recession ended in 2009 and a labor participation rate stuck at record lows.

wbtlogoCool Job Opportunity.  Greater Media’s news/talk WBT and hot AC WLNK in Charlotte seek a promotions and events coordinator.  The company is looking for a fun, outgoing, hands-on and dedicated individual with entry-level event planning experience for a full-time position in our marketing and promotions department.  This position works to ensure the timely and successful execution of promotional events through teamwork and coordination with other departments and staff.  This position reports directly to the marketing director.  Responsibilities include daily event planning from inception to completion and working the station sponsored events.  Other responsibilities include meetings with clients and community partners, maintaining event equipment, upkeep of station calendars, and working with the promotions team to plan and execute station promotions.  Excellent organization, communication and time management skills required.  Knowledge of Microsoft Office and other promotional based software a plus.  This position requires an individual who exhibits great interpersonal communication skills, is an enthusiastic and dynamic team player, is interested in demanding projects and enjoys working in a fast paced environment.  Availability to work weekends, evenings and holidays is a must. Please send your cover letter and resume to: Greater Media Charlotte Operations Director Matt DuBois at: mdubois@gmclt.com or Greater Media Charlotte, WBT/WLNK Human Resources, One Julian Price Place, Charlotte, NC  28208.  No phone calls please.  Greater Media Charlotte is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Potential Ebola Crisis, Low Obama Approval Ratings, Congressional ObamaCare Report, Gaza Violence, Immigration Policy/Southwest Border Crisis, Russia vs West, and Obama Executive Actions Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/6).  Concern and debate over the Ebola outbreak in Africa and a possible treatment; newly released approval ratings for President Obama the lowest of his presidency; the Congressional ObamaCare report highlighting millions of exemptions from the federal law; the violence between Israel and Gaza-based Hamas; the state of the U.S. immigration policy and the border crisis in the Southwest; Russia’s response to the West’s sanctions over its aggression in Ukraine; and the ongoing controversy over President Obama’s use of executive actions were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

| August 6, 2014

koy logoClear Channel Goes ‘Next Generation’ on KOY, Phoenix.  The business talk format on Clear Channel’s KOY, Phoenix is gone and the company is airing a news/talk format it has dubbed “KFYI 2 The Next Generation of Talk.”  The lineup for the station is: Armstrong & Getty (piped in from KSTE, Sacramento), the Radio America-syndicated Dana Loesch show, Casey Bartholomew, Portland-based “Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis” and Premiere’s “America Now” (which is seeking to replace Andy Dean as the permanent host), among others.  Certainly, these hosts are a bit younger than the majority of the news/talk radio personalities working today, but critics will argue that building a lineup to appeal to a younger audience faces almost impossible odds on an AM band station.  Although, the station is available via Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio platform.

thompsonburnieBurnie Thompson Show Exits WYOO, Panama City and WVFT, Tallahassee; Show to Continue Online.  The Florida talk show hosted by Burnie Thompson – based in Panama City and focused on state and regional issues – lost its last two affiliates as Magic Broadcasting II dropped the show citing low ratings.  The program had aired in afternoons on WYOO, Panama City “Talk Radio 101” and in Tallahassee on WVFT “Freedom 93.”  Thompson, who promises the show will re-emerge on Monday, August 11 at MyFreedomRadio.com, posted on his Facebook page the following comments about his departure: “They didn’t fire me as much as they took away your voice on the radio in Panama City and Tallahassee.  Now you can no longer express your support or criticism of elected officials by name on ‘Talk Radio 101.’  They will continue to pipe in a nationally syndicated show or find someone who follows the new rules that forbid editorializing on local elections.  I think they’ve underestimated how much this all meant to you and how many of you there are.  I know they’d rather upset you than Congressman Southerland, Gov. Rick Scott, or Jay Trumbull Jr.’s financiers.”

cumulus logoCumulus Media Q2 Net Revenue Up 2%.  That figure is pro forma – the actual net revenue is up 21.4% but that number is so high because it’s affected by the acquisition of Westwood One and the Townsquare transaction.  Breaking down the radio side of things for Cumulus Media, the numbers tell the story of a challenging second quarter.  The company reports “broadcast advertising revenue decreased by $4.0 million, primarily due to a $9.4 million decrease in network spot revenue, a $9.8 million decrease in local spot revenue and a decrease of $2.6 million in national spot revenue.  These decreases were partially offset by a $2.9 million increase in revenue from the addition of two radio stations being operated under a local marketing agreement in the Chicago market and the benefit from $14.9 million of reduced producer revenue shares at Westwood One.”

americaweekendlogoEnvision Adds Content to ‘America Weekend.’  The weekend programming block, “America Weekend,” designed for news/talk radio stations offered by Envision Networks announces more additions to its content.  Envision adds “Animal Radio” as part of the new “America Weekend” lineup.  The nationally syndicated “Animal Radio” show has been on the air for 14 years and is heard on 125 affiliate stations.  “America Weekend” also has added “Into Tomorrow with Dave Graveline,” “Smith and Sabatino,” and host Ed Kalegi.

ppmunitRound Two of July PPM Data Released.  The second of four rounds of July 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 June 19 through July 16.  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.

jonesjimJim Jones Returns to Westwood One as Senior Director, News Affiliate Sales.  Just after the unveiling of its new news product – a collaboration with CNN Newsource – Westwood One announces that Jim Jones is named senior director, news affiliate sales.  The company says that in this new position, Joneswestwood one NEW will be overseeing affiliate sales for Westwood One’s news vertical and will be based in Washington and report to SVP of affiliate sales Dennis Green.  Jones worked for Westwood One for 15 years and was previously VP of affiliate sales, news/talk.  Most recently he was with Focus 360.  Green comments, “Jim has an extensive knowledge of the news product and has been involved in the affiliation of major news networks with a high level of success.  Our affiliates will have the benefit of Jim and his team’s knowledge of integrating our new white label news product into the station’s lineup as we find new audiences to bring news and information from around the world.”

stockKnesset“We Initially Went for a Vacation and Found a War.”  Talk show host and perennial Heavy Hundred member Alan Stock, heard mornings on KDWN, Las Vegas, joins what seems to be a growing list of prominent talk show hosts (Sean Hannity, Ethan Bearman, John Batchelor) who have taken their microphones to Israel for a closer perspective on the Gaza conflict.  However, in the case of Stock (who has broadcasted from Israel several times during recent years), the original plan was to take his family there on vacation – during which the violence broke out quickly, changing his agenda.  Stock interviewed a number of prominent Israeli figures including a wide array of Knesset Members (Israel’s Congress) such as conservative Likud Party leader Moshe Feiglin and liberal Labor Party leader Hilig Bar.  Stock tells TALKERS, “Both agreed that all tunnels had to be destroyed and all rocket launching sites had to be eradicated.  Both said that these things had to happen regardless of what it took to accomplish these goals.  While they have different views on domestic issues, they — and all other members of the Knesset I interviewed — agreed on the unified need for an effective defense.”  Stock adds, “I was able to call in with daily reports to my show.  Much of the information reported from the region focused on Israeli air attacks on Gaza, missing the other half of the story — the need for those attacks to put an end to rockets constantly being fired from Gaza into Israeli population centers.  If it wasn’t for Iron Dome, Israeli casualties would have been as great or greater than the Arab casualties.  In Las Vegas, at least, talk radio [KDWN] and FNC gave a more balanced picture of what was really going on in this latest war.”  Above, Stock (l) is pictured with Knesset Member Natan Sharansky (r), once a Soviet refusenik who spent time in the Soviet Gulag and who later moved to Israel.  On a completely separate note, Stock tells TALKERS that his one-time morning co-host at KXNT, Las Vegas, Kerri Kasem is going to co-host his show this Friday (8/8).  She’s visiting Las Vegas for a Nevada Broadcasters Association gala the following night where they will be giving special mention to her late father, Casey Kasem.  Stock reports she will also be meeting with Nevada legislators to get the same bill passed that’s working its way through the California legislature that would allow adult children of divorced parents the right to petition the court to have visitation rights if they are being prevented from doing so by the new spouse (as was the case with Kerri and her siblings regarding their father).

weststarbarryyoungWestStar MultiMedia Enters Film Business.  The company founded by computer expert and nationally syndicated radio host Kim Komando and Barry Young is branching out into the film business as WestStar MultiMedia’s Barry Young Entertainment division announces it’s working in conjunction with OceanBlue Entertainment and Magnolia Pictures to present the film Frontera — starring Ed Harris, Eva Longoria, Michael Peña, and Amy Madigan – which is set for theatrical release September 5, 2014.  Barry Young says, “We are very excited to have quietly watched the progress and development of Frontera over the past 18 months.  Frontera provides a careful and thoughtful look at the issue of America’s border disarray with a superb cast.  As we push our company and efforts even further into the development of digital programming with such projects as ‘The Kim Komando Show’ now being produced not only for radio, but also as a full television production, shooting live with 10 HD cameras, we are actively but very selectively perusing additional film projects.”  Young adds, “We will not consider film projects with violent and meaningless content, but rather look only at thought-provoking projects that can make a difference in the lives of its audience, such as a new Christmas production for release in 2015 and another major production based on the best-selling Anne Rice novel, Christ The Lord: Out of Egypt, the story of Jesus Christ at age 7 as he and his family depart Egypt to return home to Nazareth.”

Odds & Sods.  Saying it is focusing on the fan this NFL season, Westwood One is collaborating with its 500-plus AM and FM station partners to promote its prime time Monday, Thursday, and Sunday Night NFL broadcasts with exclusive content, special features, and local tune-in promotion.  Every Monday, Thursday, and Sunday, NFL-affiliated stations will be able to access a Game Day package featuring game-specific audio highlights, on-air vignettes, special features, and customized tune-in promos featuring Westwood One Sports’ lineup of NFL announcers, including Kevin Harlan, Scott Graham, Kevin Kugler, Ian Eagle, and James Lofton…..Former St. Louis Rams player Will Witherspoon becomes part of the St. Louis Rams radio broadcast team for games heard on flagship WXOS, St. Louis “101ESPN.”  Witherspoon joins the booth team of Steve Savard and former Rams star D’Marco Farr.

levinsliwakubyCumulus Media New York’s ‘Bark in the Park’ a Succcess.  The trio you see here are WABC, New York personalities (from l-r) Curtis Sliwa, Mark Levin, and Ron Kuby (plus Kuby’s pooches) at last weekend’s 4th Annual “Bark in the Park” at Overpeck Park in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey.  Levin served as the host for the event.  It was presented in conjunction with The North Shore Animal League America & Bergen County Animal Shelter/Adoption Center and Cumulus is proud to note that the adoption mission was a success as 19 dogs and 4 cats were adopted.  Also taking part in the event were WPLJ’s Todd Pettengill and Race Taylor, “NASH FM 94.7″ personality Kelly Ford, “Radio 103.9″ host Roxie, plus WABC’s Geraldo Rivera.

Gaza Violence, Ebola Threat/Treatment Controversy, Immigration Policy/Southwest Border Crisis, Army General Killed in Afghanistan, ISIS Campaign/Threat to Christians, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Race, and Russia’s Ukraine Aggression Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/5).  The ongoing strife in the Gaza Strip and the West’s Israel policies; the threat of an Ebola pandemic and controversy over a new treatment for the virus; the U.S.’s immigration policy and the border crisis in the Southwest; the assassination of U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Harold Greene in Afghanistan; the ISIS campaign to create a caliphate in Iraq and Syria and the group’s threat to Christians; the primaries for this fall’s mid-term elections and the 2016 presidential race; and Russia’s bolstering of troops along the Ukraine border were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

| August 5, 2014

hannityTelAvivstudioSean Hannity Broadcasts from Israel.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar (and Fox News Channel prime time personality) Sean Hannity broadcasts his PremierehannityIsraelbulldozer Networks-syndicated radio program from a radio station in Tel Aviv (left) while touring Israel to report on the conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.  Hannity will host his show from Israel again today (8/5) before returning to the United States.  Premiere reports that on his program Hannity has been reporting on numerous aspects of the conflict including “the Iron Dome anti-missile technology protecting the country from militant rockets, the Hamas tunnels used to capture and kill Israelis, what life is like there under constant threat, and more.”  At right, Hannity (center, in denim) is pictured standing on a military-style bulldozer interviewing Israeli troops near the Gaza border.

brownejoyDr. Joy Browne Returns to the Air in NYC.  Formerly based at crosstown WOR, New York (and syndicated from Buckley Broadcasting’s old WOR Radio Network for many years), Dr. Joy Browne is now heard in New York again via Salem Communications WNYM, “AM 970 The Answer.”  WNYM VP and general manager Jerry Crowley says, “Joy is a consummate radio pro.  Her show was consistently one of the most talked about shows on WOR.  Her voice was prematurely silenced across the street, as was Johnwnymlogo Gambling’s, and it is my pleasure to allow her many fans to find her again.”  Browne’s show is currently syndicated via Radio America.  She comments, “I am beyond thrilled to be back on the air in New York and working with John Gambling and Jerry Crowley and Lou Dobbs again makes it feel like coming home.  We have been besieged by listeners who wanted to know where I went and how to find me, and now they will know.”  Salem Communications market VP Phil Boyce adds, “The talk radio format is nothing without superstars who have built that unique bond with their audience.  Not all stations understand that anymore, so we are able to make that happen on our New York stations.  The addition of Joy Browne proves that.”

trimmeraaronTrimmer to Program WRVA and WRNL, Richmond.  Moving from Clear Channel’s Rochester, New York cluster where he programmed news/talk WHAM and sports talker WHTK “Sports 1280,” is Aaron Trimmer who heads south to the company’s Richmond, Virginia station group to serve as director of programming for news/talk WRVA and sports talk WRNL-AM.  Trimmer – a Richmond native – takes over for PD Jimmy Barrett who now focuses on his WRVA morning drive hosting responsibilities.

entercomEntercom Q2 Revenue Dips 1%.  Considering the recent Q2 financial reports by some other broadcasters, the 1% drop in net revenue could be considered a plus.  Entercom’s revenue was $100.2 million during the second quarter of 2014.  The company reported that fielddavidfree cash flow decreased 21% to $15 million.  Entercom CEO David Field states, “Revenue declined 1% from the prior year as results were impacted by sluggish business conditions during the quarter. Operationally, we continue to focus on developing our powerful local brands, content and digital capabilities and building our new SmartReach Digital division.  These efforts are enhancing our value to listeners and customers and raising our growth potential.  Broadcast radio fundamentals are strong with growing, massive audience reach and a superior ROI to competitive forms of media.”  Entercom reduced its outstanding debt by $4.1 million (net of cash) during the quarter. As of June 30, 2014, the company had $7.1 million in cash and $489.8 million of senior debt and senior notes.

pandoralogoPandora Eyeing Talk and Sports Formats.  In an interview with Sonali Basak for Bloomberg, Pandora CFO Michael Herring hints the company is planning to add talk and sports talk content to its service, though the type of content and when it might appear on Pandora is not known at this time.  Herring points to the popularity of talk and sports by commuters in autos as the reason for his company’s interest in the formats.  “Music’s an important piece of radio listening in the car, but if there’s a place where spoken word is also equally, and more important really, it’s in the car…As the car becomes more important, thinking about other types of content that are important for the car becomes more critical.  That’s why Sirius spends so much money on Howard Stern, sports and news.”  Basak reports that Pandora is currently available in about 33% of cars while SiriusXM can be accessed in about 71% of autos.  Usage by Pandora listeners in cars rose from about 2.5 million people during the second quarter of 2013 to about 7 million during the second quarter of 2014.  Read the entire Bloomberg piece here.

wrhu logoHofstra University’s WRHU Named College Station of the Year.  The student-operated station WRHU, Hempstead, New York “88.7 FM Radio Hofstra University” has been named the best college station in the country, according to The Princeton Review.  The publication rates colleges in America and, as part of that, also ranks college radio stations.  Hofstra University’s WRHU came in #1 this year after being ranked #5 last year.  The station is the flagship radio outlet for the NHL’s New York Islanders since 2010 and is the first and only college radio station to have an exclusive broadcasting agreement with a professional sports team.  WRHU is a finalist for a prestigious 2014 Marconi Radio Award from the NAB as the top non-commercial station in the country.  The station’s reporters have won top honors from the New York Associated Press Association, the Press Club of Long Island, the Society of Professional Journalists and New York Women in CommunicationsTALKERS/RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison, who began his illustrious radio career on WRHU (when it was still using the call letters WVHC) and is a charter inductee of the WRHU Hall of Fame, states, “I am so proud of this great radio station’s progress and accomplishments over the years since I first broadcast there in 1967.  This ranking is a tribute to the fantastic faculty staff running the operation and to the entire Communications Department at Hofstra which, in my opinion, is second to none in American academia.”  Harrison sits on the Hofstra University Department of Communication advisory board.

krantzgaryKMG Networks’ Krantz to Work with Sun Broadcast Group.  A new partnership struck by Sun Broadcast Group and Krantz Media Group/KMG Networks will have KMG president and CEO Gary Krantz joining SBG as strategic advisor.  The companies say that sunbroadcastgrouplogo“together, Sun and KMG will focus on new initiatives in content, digital, and services to superserve media partners in the audio entertainment sector.  These exciting new opportunities will be separate initiatives from existing and planned partnerships that Sun and KMG are involved with, respectively.”  SBG CEO Jason Bailey adds, “Gary and I have known each other for years and have always shared the same exciting vision for this industry.  With all that’s going on in the network radio space there are countless opportunities to make a real difference with amazing program partners who share our passion for change.  I’m stoked to work more closely with KMG on a professional basis in advancing our mission to make radio an experience for a whole new generation.”

nielsen logoRound One of July PPM Data Released.  The first of four rounds of July 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 June 19 through July 16.  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.

deanbradleeOdds & Sods.  Talk radio personality Bradlee Dean, host of the “Sons of Liberty” syndicated radio series, has been honored with the Education Liberty Award from the Education Liberty Coalition for his appearances on their behalf at some 350 high schools in 24 states nationwide. Among the goals which Dean has been promoting is ELC’s campaign for students to study at their own instructional level and for parents to make school choices for their children.  Dean’s most recent stop was in Marietta, Georgia…..Genesis Communications‘ sports platform – Sports Talk Florida – is providing “exclusive coverage” of Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp complete with live practice updates, video interviews, and behind-the-scenes developments with reporters Jenna Laine and Amanda Borges.  Genesis says that its digital platform, along with the affiliated radio stations WHOO, Orlando and WHBO, Tampa, are keeping Bucs fans informed.  The company says, “With a plethora of exclusive photos, written articles and video content covering the Buccaneers, Sports Talk Florida leads the way in merging radio, web-based media, mobile sharing and social media.”

Israel-Hamas Violence, ISIS Iraq Campaign, Ebola Outbreak Scare, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Race, Immigration Reform/Southwest Border Crisis, Russian Ukraine Aggression, and James Brady Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/4).  The ongoing violence in the Gaza Strip; the continuing campaign by ISIS to create a caliphate in Iraq and Syria; the threat of the Ebola virus as a possible pandemic; the looming mid-term elections and the possible candidates for president in 2016; the battle in Washington over immigration policies and the border crisis in the Southwest; Russia’s support of Ukrainian rebels and the probe of the downing of Flight 17; and the death of Reagan Administration Press Secretary and anti-gun crusader James Brady were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, August 4, 2014

| August 4, 2014

bearmanIsraelSendiBarTalk Host Ethan Bearman Brings Microphone to Israel – Reporting Observations on Interested Talk Shows.  Forty-eight hours ago rising talk show juggernaut Ethan Bearman – heard locally at KSFO, San Francisco and nationally via GCN — returned from a whirlwind trip to Israel where he gathered first-hand experience regarding the situation on the ground.  During his self-sponsored trip, Bearman did a number of live reports from the scene on KSFO as well as his GCN affiliates plus a number of other interested stations around the US.  Bearman first visited the front-line cities of Ashkelon and Sderot, observing the conflict in Gaza.  He met with citizens and officials on the ground, observed ambulances bringing the wounded to Barzilai Medical Center, and examined an Iron Dome installation.  He then travelled to the West Bank.  Delving deep into the region he stopped at settlements, a university, and an industrial zone. His final day involved Old City Jerusalem during a Palestinian “Day of Rage” and a trip to Tel Aviv to see the cosmopolitan city and get a read on how the latest escalation of conflict has impacted day-to-day life there. Bearman tells TALKERS, “While on the hill overlooking the fighting in Gaza, I called in to the KSFO morning show.  Sheri Yee answered the phone and put me on live with Brian Sussman and Katie Green.  While sharing my experiences, a volley of artillery fired.  It was so intense, my call was interrupted.  After the call, I turned to look toward Gaza.”  Bearman continues, “It was here that I felt the stress, this deep emotion, the subconscious recognition of danger, as I observed smoke in the distance, military vehicles nearby, explosions of a terror tunnel being blown up, the earth shaking from howitzers.”  Bearman’s interviews originated in the Voice of Israel studios involving top government officials, former ambassadors, soldiers, a pastor, a Meronite IDF soldier, and others. Bearman also interviewed well-known Israeli actress Sendi Bar (pictured above), from the TV series “The Unit” and Israel’s “Prisoners of War,” known to American audiences as “Homeland.”  Bearman says the trip showed the truth on the ground to be radically different than what is regularly portrayed in social media and major international media outlets.  He expresses gratitude to the US-based organization America’s Voices in Israel and Israel-based group The Face of Israel for facilitating much of his dramatic access to the action and important guests.  Ethan Bearman is available to do interviews about the trip and his observations on talk shows and networks this entire week, telling TALKERS, “I did this trip at my own expense for the sole purpose of bringing an American talk radio voice and set of eyes to the action.  I am gratified by the number of stations participating in my commentaries.”  Interested broadcasters can reach Bearman by phone at 831-531-7131 or via email at ethan@ethanbearman.com.

burkeshannonFlorida Talk Host Shannon Burke Debuts on Tampa and Orlando Stations Tonight.  After his most recent position as part of the Bubba the Love Sponge syndicated program, Florida talk show host Shannon Burke lands a gig hosting his own program on a pair of signals (actually a trio if you count the translator) in the Sunshine State.  Burke’s program begins airing this evening – 7:00 pm to 10: 00 pm on Cox Media Group’s WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone” (Bubba’s home base) and on Star Over Orlando’s sports talk WRSO, Orlando “810 CBS Sports Radio” and its translator W226BT.  Burke hosted his own show on Clear Channel’s WTKS, Orlando “Real Radio 104.1” for years.  Burke writes on his Facebook page, “After about 90 days of talks and meetings and phone calls I’m happy to finally be able to tell you that starting on Monday at 7pm The Shannon Burke Show will be heard on 102.5 The Bone in Tampa and CBS Sports Radio WRSO Orlando 810am & 93.1FM. Finally I can get some sleep.”

cumiaanthonyAnthony Cumia’s Internet Show Debuts This Afternoon.  A month after being fired by SiriusXM for Tweeting a series of racially charged messages after an altercation with an African American woman in Times Square, Anthony Cumia begins producing his eponymous subscriber-only online video show and podcast today at 4:00 pm.  Formerly one half of the Opie & Anthony show with partner Gregg “Opie” Hughes, Cumia tells TheBlaze that he’s completely free of any contractual ties to SiriusXM.  “They don’t have a leg to stand on as far as what I want to talk about.  I can talk about any of the staff, the management over there — and believe me, I will.”  Cumia says in TheBlaze interview that he’s pleased with the number of O&A fans who’ve cancelled their SiriusXM subscriptions as a result of his firing and says the subscriptions to his show have surpassed his initial target.  Read the story at TheBlaze here.

noorygeorgeGeorge Noory Uses ‘Coast to Coast AM’ to Lead EMP Awareness Campaign.  Fearing that enough attention is not being paid to the threat of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack or event, “Coast to Coast AM” host George Noory is announcing a campaign to protect and insulate the U.S. power grid against such an event that experts say could endanger the lives of millions of Americans.  The campaign comes right after the news of a recent report by scientists that Earth narrowly avoided a catastrophic X-class solar flare on July 23, 2012, which Noory reported on “Coast to Coast AM” two years ago.  Premiere Networks reports that Noory is working with WND (WorldNetDaily) to support and promote the campaign.  Noory willcoast to coast am logo regularly welcome scientific experts and government leaders to his program in an effort to inform the public about the vulnerability of America’s infrastructure and the need to retro fit the U.S. power grid, as well as the steps necessary to reduce the magnitude of an EMP event or attack.   Noory states, “I implore all individual states, the president and members of Congress to immediately develop a plan to protect our power grid.  The preservation of our great nation and the lives of its people are critical.  It is not a matter of if, but when we will experience an EMP event or attack.  We need to be ready now.  I want to thank WND and Joseph Farah for joining this effort, which is imperative to our future.”  Noory began this campaign by welcoming F. Michael Maloof, a former senior security policy analyst in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and author of A Nation Forsaken: EMP: The Escalating Threat of an American Catastrophe, to his show for a two-hour conversation.  Maloof, whose book is published by WND, discussed the potential dangers of an EMP event; why only a few members of Congress, the military and scientific community are issuing the warnings; and what we should be doing to protect the U.S. from the devastation of an EMP event or attack.   Noory also recently welcomed William R. Forstchen, professor of history and faculty fellow at Montreat College in North Carolina and author of One Second After, to discuss updates on the dangers of an EMP event, as well as steps to prepare.

tribunemedia logoTribune Completes Spin-Off of Publishing Division; Tribune Media Company Is Born.  The spin-off of the publishing businesses of Tribune Company is complete today and two new entities are born: Tribune Publishing and Tribune Media Company.  The latter includes the non-publishing properties including news/talk WGN, Chicago and sports talk WGWG-LP, its online audio platform WGN.fm as well as Tribune Broadcasting, WGN America, Tribune Studios, Tribune Digital Ventures, and Tribune Real Estate.   Tribune Media Company president and CEO Peter Liguori says, “In the last year, we have executed a strategy designed to embrace a rapidly changing media environment.  We doubled the size of our broadcast group, re-launched our national cable network, WGN America, with high-quality original programming, and expanded our digital businesses that power some of the world’s leading media brands.  The result is a rich and diverse portfolio of media properties and the birth today of Tribune Media Company.”

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 Videos Are All Posted.  After two weeks of daily posting of video recordings of the main sessions, speeches and presentations made during last June’s 17th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention – Talkers New York 2014 — all of the content is now up and available for worldwide viewing on this media station.  This amounts to a total of 14 files placed in the actual order that they occurred – starting with Sean Hannity’s opening keynote and concluding with Howard B. Price’s sobering advice for radio to be prepared to function in the public good during times of emergencies.  The presentation of these informative and historic recordings is sponsored by WYD Media Sales, LLC., the rep firm recently launched by Ron Hartenbaum and headed by John Murphy, that specializes in the advertising sales of spoken-word media on all popular platforms.  To view any or all of this tremendously valuable content at no charge, please click here.  The Talkers New York 2014 conference videos were recorded by Art Vuolo.  They will remain posted through the remainder of 2014.

wgmclions campWhen the Going Gets Tough…Blocked from reporting from the Detroit Lions training camp by – as Greater Media puts it – “the other sports talk station in town,” WMGC, Detroit “Detroit Sports 105.1” had to get creative.  The station approached Tech Shop Detroit, whose facility borders the Lions practice field, and obtained permission to broadcast from the Tech Shop parking lot.  The station then rented a 50-foot scissors lift from NES Rentals.  Today, the station’s Ryan and Rico began broadcasting live for the first time from the scissor lift that you can see in the photo here.  Photo: Jimmy Kemp.

Odds & Sods.  With the demise of Premiere Networks’ carrying of the 24/7 Comedy format, a former affiliate of the format flips back to sports talk.  Clear Channel’s WTGM, Salisbury, Maryland returns to sports programming – a format it last aired in 2012…..SiriusXM kicked off its third annual “SiriusXM College Sports Nation Camp Tour” yesterday (8/3) and will broadcast on location from college football training camps over the next 20 days.  SiriusXM College Sports Nation hosts on the tour include Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George; former Alabama QB and National Championship winner Greg McElroy; former head coaches Gene Chizik, Houston Nutt and Dan Hawkins; former college coach and NFL GM Phil Savage; plus college football insiders Jack Arute, Mark Packer, Chris Childers and Taylor Zarzour.

WW1LoftonHoF gameWestwood One Kicks Off NFL Broadcast Season at Hall of Fame Weekend.  The NFL’s regular season doesn’t begin until September 4 but the pre-season began this past weekend with the Hall of Fame Game between the New York Giants and the Buffalos Bills and the induction of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s class of 2014.  Pictured here is Westwood One analyst James Lofton (far right) with members of the early-1990s Buffalo Bills.  Bills great Andre Reed (third from left) was inducted over the weekend in the class of 2014.  The other Bills greats who are already in the Hall of Fame are pictured here (from left to right): Thurman Thomas, Jim Kelly, Reed, head coach Marv Levy, Bruce Smith and Lofton.

milnerkathleenWorld Renowned Psychic Star of Talkers New York 2014 Now Available for Radio Interviews.  She was one of the most popular figures at the recent Talkers New York 2014 performing so many consecutive healings and readings at a small table in the exhibit area that she didn’t have a moment to even break away for lunch from the long line of attendees seeking a session with her.  Kathleen Ann Milner was nothing short of a sensation at the conference on June 20th and since then TALKERS has been flooded with inquiries requesting information of her whereabouts and if and how she can be contacted for both personal readings and on air interviews.   We are pleased now to report that Kathleen Ann Milner is available (at least for the remainder of the summer) to appear via telephone on talk shows.  Michael Harrison describes her as “a natural side dish for this medium – one of the best and most credible psychics in the nation for those into that kind of thing.”  To contact this unusual woman referred to as a “nice kind of oddity” call 571-926-8158 or visit her website at www.KathleenMilner.com.

wor logoCool Job Opportunity.  Clear Channel has a rare opportunity at its New York City station group for a full-time producer for News/Talk 710 WOR-AM.  This position is based in Tribeca, New York.  Responsibilities include: securing guests to appear on the radio program on an everyday basis, regularly scheduling multiple guests with prior approval of the host; you’ll be assigned the tasks of preliminary and final research information needed for the program, prior to the scheduled appearance of the guests; you’ll need to be confident, knowledgeable about the radio industry itself.  Must have good writing skills and have the ability to develop great relationships and contacts; excellent judgment in prioritizing multiple stories and meeting deadlines; knowledge of current events and key local news figures; demonstrate organizational skills and must be flexible to multi-task, shift focus, and re-prioritize as the situation dictates; ability to work independently with minimal supervision and have demonstrated ability to use sound judgment and to make independent decisions; must be experienced in utilizing social media effectively; must have digital editing skills.  If you’re overflowing with passion for radio and have a true desire to win and a great sense of team, we want to talk to you.  Requirements: Must have 2-4 years hands-on radio producing experience in a medium and/or major market.  Bachelor’s degree preferred.  For more information and to apply, click here.  EOE.

Friday, August 1, 2014

| August 1, 2014

lewisjasonJason Lewis Quits Radio On Air.  The Genesis Communications Network-syndicated talk show host abruptly quit his radio program some 24 minutes into his Thursday evening show Tweeting, “Today I left the radio biz for something better.”  The Pioneer Press reports Jason Lewis told Clear Channel Minneapolis president and market manager Mike Crusham he intended to retire on August 1 (Lewis’ show was based out of KTLK, Minneapolis).  “He told me two months ago he intended to retire August 1.  He decided not to go public with it until today.  I think he is serious about it.  I hope he is not.  He is one of the best talk show hosts I have ever worked with or listened to.”  Lewis posted a video at Galt.io – his new venture – that explains his Ayn Randian views on government and society.  You can view that here.

mcneildanWSCR, Chicago’s Dan McNeil on the Ropes?  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, WSCR, Chicago sports talk personality Dan McNeil – off of his midday show now for the past eight weeks while in what’s assumed are contract negotiations – and his superiors at the CBS RADIO station are preparing for his permanent departure.  CBS Chicago SVP and market manager Rod Zimmerman tells Feder the two sides have been communicating but talks appear to be all but exhausted and the sense is that the two are not finding mutual ground.  McNeil reportedly wants a pay increase from about $300,000 per year to $500,000 and he wants to move to afternoon drive and Feder reports Zimmerman is not amenable to either.  Read Feder’s column here.

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 Videos Being Posted.  Up Today: “Howard B. Price: Being Prepared for Emergencies.” Today (8/1) marks the 14th and concluding business day of TALKERS magazine’s video posting of speeches, sessions and presentations made during last June’s 17th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention – Talkers New York 2014.  The presentation of these informative and historic recordings is sponsored by WYD Media Sales, LLC., the rep firm recently launched by Ron Hartenbaum and headed by John Murphy, that specializes in the advertising sales of spoken-word media on all popular platforms.  The worldwide showing of these very special videos continues today with a very special presentation by Howard B. Price, director/business continuity, ABC Radio News, titled “It’s Not IF, But WHEN: Preparing Your Station or Network for Emergent Events, Large or Small.”  Price cites a set of real life examples of what can happen to broadcasting facilities inpriceNYC14 terms of invasions by demented listeners or local disasters – natural and otherwise — that impair their ability to broadcast and threaten the lives and well-being of the local population.  He goes on to offer a detailed explanation of key steps that should be taken in advance of such events.  Price is introduced by national syndicated talk star Doug Stephan who says that he would expect and hope to be pre-empted by his affiliates if they were faced with a local life-threatening calamity.  He would even be “embarrassed” to be on the air during such an event and coming across as being oblivious to it.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison says, “Howard B. Price is, indeed, an industry hero.  His presentation, that concluded our conference on a compelling note, is chock-full of truths and valuable information that address the very heart and soul of our roles as broadcasters.  We didn’t catch some of the images of his accompanying power point presentation in our one-camera shoot – but with a speaker the caliber of Price at the helm, absolutely none of the vital information was lost.”  To view Howard B. Price’s address, please click here.   The Talkers New York 2014 conference videos were recorded by Art Vuolo.  They will remain posted through the remainder of 2014.

hamiltonhacksawOdds & Sods.  Southern California sports media personality Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton exits Broadcast Corporation of the Americas-operated XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090” where he’d been co-hosting the Padres pre-game show.  Hamilton had been in morning drive at the station until this past January.  He’s now operating his own eponymous website and seeking his next opportunity…..Former Minnesota Governor (and radio talk show host) Jesse Ventura debuts his “We the People with Jesse Ventura” podcast on Adam Carolla’s Carolla Digital platform.  The weekly podcast will also be available via iTunes…..The on-air lineup for coverage of Houston Texans football on sports talk KILT-AM (and on sister country KILT-FM) is set as Marc Vandermeer and Andre Ware will handle the play-by-play.  KILT-AM personality Rich Lord will host the pre-game show with John Lopez and former Texan Seth Payne.  KILT-AM personality Sean Pendergast, Mike Meltser and Ted Johnson host the post-game show and crosstown KGOW host John Harris joins the radio network for sideline reporter work…..Westwood One brings Jason Benetti aboard as a college football play-by-play announcer.  His first game will be the network’s coverage of the Wisconsin vs LSU game on August 30.  Benetti most recently was media director and play-by-play announcer for the Syracuse Chiefs minor league franchise.

marshallleslieTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  New affiliate stations for the WYM Media-produced Leslie Marshall program include KTNF, Minneapolis; KTOX, Needles, California; WKBZ and WTKG, Grand Rapids; KNFO, Denver; KVOT, Taos, New Mexico; KTRC, Santa Fe, New Mexico; WNYY, Syracuse; and WHMP, Northampton, Massachusetts…..Nationally syndicated home improvement show “The Money Pit” with Tom Kraeutler and Leslie Segrete is added to the program schedule at WOBM, Lakewood Township and WADB, Asbury Park, New Jersey; KARN-FM, Little Rock; and KRCN, Denver-Longmont…..The “Racing to Success Minute” feature with host Nadine Lajoie is added to the “Mind Your Own Business Radio Show” WLOB, Portland, Maine.

Obama Impeachment Chatter Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of July 28-August 1.  The talk about GOP leaders pushing for impeachment of President Obama and the Democrats’ use of the matter as a fundraising tool was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week.  At #2 was the U.S. House’s vote to authorize a lawsuit against President Obama for unconstitutional action.  Following at #3 was the ongoing Gaza Strip violence and at #4 was the U.S. immigration policy and the border crisis in the Southwest.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

| July 31, 2014

journalbroadcastgroupJournal Communications Announces Merger of Broadcast Operations with E.W. Scripps.  In a surprise move – at least as far as the public is concerned – Journal Communications announced late Wednesday (7/30) that it has struck a deal with Cincinnati-based E.W. Scripps to merge the two companies’ broadcast operations into one company and to spin off their respective print businesses and merge them into a separate company that will also be publicly traded.  The Journal Broadcast Group will go away and the broadcast operations will continue under the Scripps banner.  The newspaper and print businesses will operate under the Journal Media Group banner.  This means an exit for Scripps from the print business.  In a video message, Journalsmithsteve Communications chairman and CEO Steve Smith states, “These two independent companies will build upon the strong local brands Journal and Scripps have built over the years.”  The newspaper company – with 14 dailies and affiliated digital media – will be headquartered in Milwaukee.  Scripps owns only TV stations and, after the merger is complete, the new group will be the fifth largest television group in the country – with 34 TV stations in 24 markets – with Journal’s radio assets also in that group.  Journal operates 35 radio stations in eight markets.  WXYZ-TV, Detroit reports that Scripps CEO Richard Boehne states the companies will gain about $35 million in “combined transaction synergies” but he said it would be months before it would be known if there would be staff reductions or requests for employees to relocate.  The deal, pending regulatory approval, is expected to close in 2015.  Since Scripps owns no radio assets, there are no duplicative positions there but the question to be asked is how dedicated to the radio business will E.W. Scripps be?  Will it ultimately put them up for sale?  Only time will tell.

cnn newsource logoCumulus Strikes Deal with CNN for Radio News Product.  The product will not be branded CNN but will allow stations to make the content that comes from CNN Newsource their own.  A statement from Cumulus Media today about the news service to be made available via Westwood One, says, this new service will offer radio stations nationwide access to broadcast, breaking news, wire service and digital content provided by CNN for use on the air and on their websites.  Westwood One owns the patented STORQ technology that Cumulus says provides a local feel to syndicated content.  “The addition of this new service will for the first timewestwood one NEW enable local radio stations to broadcast the latest national and international news acquired by CNN but branded with their own call letters and station slogans.”  Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey says, “Our affiliates and advertising partners know they can count on us for news and information products that reflect how people today consume content through various platforms, and this exclusive access to CNN’s newsgathering will ensure we can provide stations nationwide an unmatched array of news formats.”  Dickey described the service to the New York Post calling it a “differentiated product.  For some who want hard news, this isn’t the service, but there are fewer of those types of stations across the country.  The emphasis is more on shorter stories, less hard news and ‘give it to me when I want it.’”  Cumulus Media’s Westwood One reps other news services – including ABC, NBC, CBS and CNBC Business Radio.  CNN shut down the CNN Radio division two years ago.

weei logoFox TV and Entercom Mend Fences – and Restore $$ — After Minihane Comments.  Some industry insiders were critical of Fox TV’s dropping advertising on Entercom-owned stations after WEEI-FM, Boston’s Kirk Minihane made controversial comments about Fox TV reporter Erin Andrews – charging Fox with pulling the boycott strategy.  However it appears the move by Entercom CEO David Field to apologize and to suspend Minihane for a week placated Fox and, according to a story by Chad Finn in the Boston Globe, the company will resume its advertising of its TV shows and movies on Entercom stations which is reportedly in the neighborhood of $1 million per year.  Fox Sports SVP of media relations Lou D’Ermilio stated, “We appreciate Entercom’s recognition and response to the inappropriate comments made by the WEEI host.  It is our sincere hope both organizations can now move forward.”  Finn reports Entercom Boston VP and market manager Phil Zachary commented, “On our end, we consider the matter 100 percent resolved.”  Read the whole story here.

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 Videos Being Posted.  Up Today: “The Talk Rumble.” Today (7/31) marks the 13th consecutive business day of TALKERS magazine’s video posting of speeches, sessions and presentations made during last month’s 17th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention – Talkers New York 2014.  The presentation of these informative and historic recordings is sponsored by WYD Media Sales, LLC., the rep firm recently launched by Ron Hartenbaum and headed by John Murphy, that specializes in the advertising sales of spoken-word media on all popular platforms.  The worldwide showing of these very special videos continues today with a Talkers Conference tradition – “The Talk Rumble.”  Moderated by the dynamic multi-media talk star Lionel of LionelMedia.com with a special introduction by syndicated icon, Dr. Joy Browne of Radio America, the freewheeling debate of today’s hottest talk radio issues features: Bubba the Love Sponge, Bubba Radio Network; Alan Colmes, Fox News Radio/FNC; Mike Gallagher, Salem Radio Network; Thom Hartmann, WYD Media; Joyce Kaufman, WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale; Kevin McCullough, XtreMEDIA; and David Webb, Sirius/XM Satellite Radio. To view this spoken word extravaganza, please click here. The Talkers New York 2014 conference videos were recorded by Art Vuolo.

neerrichardQuestions About Political Correctness.  WFAN, New York sports talk host Richard Neer writes in an opinion piece published today at Talkers.com, that although he believes we should all avoid words or phrases that are likely to offend, he fears that “a ‘gotcha’ mentality is running amok, looking to punish anyone who has the temerity to take an unpopular stand.”  Neer points to two recent cases – one involving Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, the other Stephen A. Smith’s current suspension from ESPN – in which both men went to great lengths to clarify statements that many people would, upon hearing the clarification, not find offensive.  Still, the controversy continued and in Smith’s case, he was suspended.  Read Neer’s insightful piece here.

kinglarryLarry King Says Piers Morgan Failed Because He Was ‘Pompous.’  Appearing on Cumulus Media’s classic rock WGRF, Buffalo on the “Norton in the Morning” show via Envision Networks’ Guest Services booking service, radio and TV legend Larry King – promoting his “Larry King Now” daily interview show that appears on Ora.tv and Hulu.com – told the show’s listeners that Piers Morgan had a toughmorganpiers transition to replace him as host of the CNN interview show.  “Any person who has been on for 25 years in one place and you have an audience who is used to you…it’s very hard to step into those shoes no matter who it is.” Speaking about Morgan, King said, “Personally, I like him fine, but it was all about him.  It was the opposite of the way I interview. He was the opposite.  So now they not only had someone who was British, different, but then he would use the word ‘I’ every other word…He became, I thought a bit, in my opinion, pompous, but that’s the way I looked at it.  So I had trouble watching Piers Morgan’s show, and I guess a lot of other people did too.”

lebronadDan Le Batard Denied LeBron James Ad by Cleveland Plain Dealer.  It’s hard to say how far along ESPN and WAXY, Miami sports talk host Dan Le Batard was in actually trying to place an ad in the Cleveland Plain Dealer to get a dig in at LeBron James, but the paper forestalled any such plan by saying it would not accept the ad, according to a report in the Washington Post.   The paper reports Le Batard was discussing the Miami Heat fans’ reaction to James’ departure for Cleveland and he suggested taking out an ad similar to the mock-up you see here that would razz James for not thanking Miami fans after his four-year stint with the Heat.  Le Batard jokingly suggested a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money for the ad.  Still, for Le Batard’s part, he got a fair amount of national press over the bit.

Odds & Sods.  The nationally syndicated Leslie Marshall show – produced by WYM Media – permanently shifts its live broadcast time to 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET…..Red Rock Radio Corp. is flipping two stations – standards WXCE, Amery, Wisconsin and standards WHSM-AM, Hayward, Wisconsin – to sports talk using NBC Sports Radio effective August 4.

Obama Impeachment Chatter/House Obama Suit Vote, Ebola Outbreak Scare, Gaza Strip Violence, Flight 17 Probe/Russia’s Ukraine Aggression, Lerner’s Anti-GOP Emails, and Stephen A. Smith Suspension Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/30).  The controversy over possible impeachment of President Obama and the Dem’s purported use of the threat in fundraisers combined with the U.S. House’s vote to sue the president for unconstitutional actions; the Ebola outbreak scare; Israel’s continuing attack on Hamas in the Gaza Strip; the investigation into the downing of Flight 17 and the complications due to Ukrainian instability and Russia’s involvement; the flap over IRS staffer Lois Lerner’s anti-GOP emails; and ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith’s suspension for his comments on the Ray Rice suspension were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

| July 30, 2014

radioworkforcegraphic14Minority Workforce in Radio ‘Highest Since Mid-1990s.’  That’s according to a recent RTDNA study by Robert Papper, professor emeritus at Hofstra University.  The latest edition of this annual study, titled “Women and Minorities in Newsrooms,” examines the state of minorities and women working in both television and radio news organizations.  The minority workforce in radio over the past 24 years peaked in 1995 at 14.7%.  Results for this year show the minority workforce in radio at 13%.  Breaking down the radio minority workforce, the data show African Americans make up 4.8% of the workforce with Hispanics making up 6.2%.  However, Papper concludes that the number of minorities working at non-commercial stations is “two to three times as high” compared to the workforce at commercial stations.  Read the entire study here.

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 Videos Being Posted.  Up Today: Panel Discussion, “Developing and Managing a Talk Show Hosting Career.” Today (7/30) marks the 12th consecutive business day of TALKERS magazine’s video posting of speeches, sessions and presentations made during last month’s 17th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention – Talkers New York 2014.  The presentation of these informative and historic recordings is sponsored by WYD Media Sales, LLC., the rep firm recently launched by Ron Hartenbaum and headed by John Murphy, that specializes in the advertising sales of spoken-word media on all popular platforms.  The worldwide showing of these very special videos continues today with a panel discussion moderated by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian titled, “Developing and Managing a Talk Show Hosting Career.”  Featured speakers include:  Tom Becka, KOIL, Omaha; Ron Hartenbaum, WYD Media; Tom Marr, WCBM, Baltimore; Joe Piscopo, WNYM, New York; and Martha Zoller, WGAU, Athens, GA/Georgia News Network.  The session was introduced by noted industry attorney, Steve Weisman, legal editor, TALKERS who compares these days to Charles Dickens’ “best and worst” of times for being a radio talent.  Weisman advises those who think these are the worst of times to “get out now, because they are right.”  But he also says for those who see it the other way, they are also right — these are the best of talkcareerpanel14times because of all the “unparalleled opportunities” that exist among the changes at hand.  Moderator Kinosian sets the tone opening the session with the statement, “As a former program director, the greatest joy I had was dealing with talent.  I loved the formatics, the elements… I loved everything about programming a radio station — but nothing interested me more than the talent.  What it’s like to be a personality.  This [panel] is about personalities on the air, their lives and their profession.  I am interested in them as human beings.”  To view the entire presentation, please click here.  Coming tomorrow:  “The Talk Rumble” moderated by Lionel with a special introduction by Dr. Joy Browne.  Rumblers include:  Bubba the Love Sponge, Bubba Radio NetworkAlan Colmes, Fox News Radio/FNC; Mike Gallagher, Salem Radio Network; Thom Hartmann, WYD Media; Joyce Kaufman, WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale; Kevin McCullough, XtreMEDIA; and David Webb, Sirius/XM Satellite Radio.  The Talkers New York 2014 conference videos were recorded by Art Vuolo.

patriotmadeaudiocast‘Patriot-Made Audiocast’ Celebrates Three Years.  Creating American jobs and celebrating the ingenuity that leads to those jobs is the keystone of the mindset of Debra Grobman and Rita Rich, co-producers of the program “Patriot-Made Audiocast.”  The show is celebrating its third year of “telling stories about creating, and keeping jobs in America.”  Grobman, based in L.A., says, “The ‘Patriot-Made Audiocast’ is a made-in-the-USA podcast production and the appetite for positive stories about American inventors, designers, artists and musicians is great throughout North America.   Washington-based Rita Rich, former longtime producer of the Jim Bohannon show, adds, “As I talk to people about their work, I learned that patriotism and pride in being American is the bedrock of so many of their stories.”  Some of the people and companies the program has featured so far include:  Annie and William Chilakian, mother and son owners of Silver Moon Bay Convalescent Apparel; Victoria Hunter Closson, inventor of The Headbone; Dal LaMagna, the CEO of IceStone; a green flooring and countertop manufacturer; Chris Miceli, marketing director of Porta-Brace customized carry cases; Judy Smith, co-inventor of Wine-A-Rita drink mix; and Laura Wilkenson-Sinton, co-inventor of FreshTape.  Grobman adds, “Consumers are looking for fellowship and a sense of connectedness everywhere, including the marketplace.