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Hey Bad Guys – Watch Out!

| February 5, 2013

TALKERS Spotlight: THE WATCHDOGS

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief

LOS ANGELES —  Contrasted to national talk radio hosts who can sometimes get deeply mired in a monotonous right against left (or vice versa) onslaught, many of their local counterparts emerge as bona fide folk heroes for standing up against a coterie of injustices inflicted on their fellow residents.

Actions taken by this band of “watchdogs,” in the overwhelming number of instances, have nothing to do with political leanings or a partisan playbook.

johnandkencarrhowieLegendary for rooting out the “bad guys,” afternoon talk hosts “John & Ken” (John Kobylt & Ken Champiou) expose what they consider dirty dealings to their very large audience on Los Angeles’ KFI.  Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, WRKO, Boston’s Howie Carr is a thorn in the side of the “powers that be” in New England.  Everywhere in between, intense professional satisfaction comes when they go toe-to-toe with pit bull-like tenacity against the establishment. In that same sort of imagery, “hold their feet to the fire” has actually become a talk radio slogan as on-air talents attempt to expose and defeat “the bad guys.”

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

| July 17, 2014

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 Videos Being Posted. Up Today: Erica Farber Moderates “The State of Radio Advertising and Sales” Panel. Today (7/17) marks the third 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 the event’s powerful “State of Radio Advertising and Sales” panel moderated by Erica Farber, president/CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB). The panel features an array of heavyweight radio executives including Ron Furman, CRO, Westwood One; Kraig Kitchin, CEO, Sound Mind, LLC; Joe Puglise, president/market manager, Clear Channel, New York; and Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks. According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “The scope of important radio sales issues clearly covered and illuminated during this session is nothing short of extraordinary. We are delighted to be able to make such solid and useful content available to the entire industry.” Among the topics covered: Dealing with spoken word radio’s loss of advertisers due to the much-publicized backlash against controversy; selling against andfarberNYC14 still effectively utilizing digital; what’s being done about the need for accurate ratings in the digital era; the role of the on-air personality in driving sales; and the state of small/medium market station revenue, among others. Erica Farber begins the panel by referring to earlier remarks made by Sean Hannity, Phil Boyce and Greg Moceri critical of the present-day Nielsen Audio system that doesn’t include tallies of digital platform listenership. She states, “I don’t want anyone to walk away thinking that this is not being addressed. It is very complicated and we [the RAB, major radio industry leaders and Nielsen] are trying to figure it out.” Regarding advertiser boycotts, Ron Furman admits, “We have hard work to do. [Once you have lost advertisers due to their discomfort with controversy] it is hard to get them back.” On that same topic, Julie Talbott advises, “The key is to find businesses that want to grow.” Kraig Kitchin notes, “Hosts who have the ability and interest in selling products and services will go the longest way.” Joe Puglise points out, “WOR is pacing up [revenues] double digits.” He credits the significant income increase at the heritage talker acquired by Clear Channel in 2012 to its relatively recent addition of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity to its roster – both having been long-time staples of cross-town rival WABC. If any singular statement sums up the basic sentiment expressed by the panel it is Julie Talbott’s observation: “It is a different kind of sale today. It is a more sophisticated sale.” To see “The State of Radio Advertising and Sales” panel, please click here. Coming tomorrow: “Radio: The Big Picture” moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison featuring panelists Steve Goldstein, EVP, Saga Communications; Sam Kimball, CRO, Livestream; Tom Langmyer, VP/news/talk programming, Journal Broadcast Group; Tom Leykis, CEO, The New Normal; Mike McVay, SVP, Cumulus Media; and Walter Sabo, CEO, Sabo Media. The TALKERS conference videos were recorded by Art Vuolo.

minihanekirkBoston Sports Host Apologizes for Calling Erin Andrews a “Gutless Bitch” and Telling Her to “Drop Dead.”  This past Tuesday’s MLB All-Star Game was, in essence, a Derek Jeter tribute.  Retiring at the end of the year, the Yankees shortstop participated in his final mid-year classic.  Fox was elaborate in its coverage; Jeter had success at the plate; and American League/Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell stretched the substitution process for Jeter, enabling the popular infielder to enjoy an isolated, extended standing ovation.  It had all the components of a great story, particularly since the AL won 5-3.  Perhaps only St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright will be the only person to know for certain if he made it a bit easier for Jeter to smack a first-inning double, which was the catalyst for three quick AL runs in that frame.  Social media was buzzing that Wainwright had indicated he might have grooved the pitch Jeter hit.  Fox reporter Erin Andrewsweei logo questioned Wainwright about it and the pitcher backtracked from that notion, and he said Jeter’s hit was on the up-and-up.  Apparently though, the televised exchange between Andrews and Wainwright did not sit well with Entercom-owned sports WEEI-FM, Boston personality Kirk Minihane. On (yesterday) Wednesday morning’s “(John) Dennis & (Gerry) Callahan” program, Minihane declared of Andrews, “What a bitch – I hate her.  What a gutless bitch.  Seriously, go away.  Drop dead.  I mean, seriously, what the hell is wrong with her?  First of all, follow-up.  Second of all, the guy admitted he did it -he admitted it.  He told reporters he threw a couple of ‘pipe-bombs.’  How is that social media’s fault?  I hate her – I seriously hate her so much.”  A Minihane-issued statement was posted last (Wednesday) night on the WEEI website that read: “I used a series of words to describe Erin Andrews’ work at the All-Star Game.  My choice of words was wrong.  I was wrong to have used them.  To all whom I offended – particularly Ms. Andrews – I apologize.  There is no place for what was said.  It was immature and completely uncalled for.  I am often critical of media members and their work and recognize here that I’ve made the kind of mistake I would call out if it was done by another sportscaster or writer.  Again, to all involved, I’m very sorry.”  The Boston Globe is reporting that Entercom VP/market manager Phil Zachary says Minihane was contrite, chose to issue the apology and will not be suspended or fired.  This is not surprising since many media watchers in Boston have credited Minihane’s role on the Dennis & Callahan show as very positive for the show and the station.

garciatonySyndication: Behind-the-Scenes Preparation.  In this next installment of a multi-part series on syndicating radio programs, Global Media Services founder Tony Garcia writes about handling an important – but not so sexy – aspect of syndicating a radio program: being prepared when it comes to the business end of the project.  Those parts of the business include the finances, production, distribution and marketing of the program.  It may seem obvious, but the financial aspect is crucial and making sure all facets of the business are accounted for from a money standpoint is mandatory.  Garcia writes, “Once you have established a budget, you’ll know the entire cost of syndicating your show.  Be prepared to float the show financially for at least two years in order to give the show enough time to find affiliates and audience.”  Read Garcia’s entire piece here.

talkmediaTV logoTalk Media TV Expands Video Platform; WMYT, Wilmington-based Talker Curtis Wright to Be Featured.  North Carolina-based talk media personality Curtis Wright (pictured below) – co-owner and executive producer of Talk Media TV and a personality on WMYT, Wilmington – is continuing his efforts to expand the company’s video production capabilities and web online presence through the establishment of new production ventures with both InNova TV Networks and Nationalwrightcurtis show logo Productions.  Wright announces that to support this effort to expand the creation and distribution of new broadcast and video content, Talk Media TV and WMYT 106.7 FM will be moving to newly constructed broadcast and office facilities which will be shared by all three companies.  He says this allows WMYT to commence ‘live web video streaming’ of its many original, local, live broadcast shows.  Wright says, “We formed Talk Media TV and WMYT 106.7 FM just over a year ago to create a truly multi-media, multi-broadcast company that can create and distribute original broadcast content using all of the emerging communications technologies and platforms.  This new association with both InNova TV Networks, which will be supplying us our web and internet ‘virtual channel’ for live video streaming, and National Productions, which will be supporting our expanding original video productions, takes us closer and closer to reaching our original ‘vision’ for our company and services to our clients.”  Talk Media TV will be taking two recently created segments that appear on Wright’s WMYT show and produce them for the Talk Media TV “virtual channel.”  Those segments are “Constitutional Path to Liberty” with Dr. Greg Brannon and “Cape Fear Capital Connections” with Thomas E. Vass.

sunbroadcastgrouplogoRivlin Joins Sun Broadcast Group.  Former Westwood One vice president of affiliate sales Ron Rivlin is tapped to become Sun Broadcast Group’s senior vice president of programming and affiliate relations.  Rivlin will oversee the affiliate sales department’s focus on “The Marilu Henner Show,” “Nashville Music Minute,” and “AccuWeather en Espanol.”  SBG chief executive officer Jason Bailey comments, “Lately, I have had the honor of welcoming some of the greatest men and women in radio to our team.  Today, I get that pleasure yet again.  As we begin to finalize our 2015 lineup, we needed the best of the best to lead the charge.  Anyone who knows Ron can tell you he is exactly that.  I am honored that he chose to join our family.”  Rivlin states that he is, “over-the-moon excited to be joining [all] the radio pros at Sun Broadcast Group, which represents a new generation of media companies.  [It is] laser-focused on the needs of affiliates, advertisers and, of course, listeners.  I cannot wait to share what is coming next.” Before his Westwood One tenure, Rivlin was Triton Digital Media’s vice president of interactive solutions, and ABC Radio Networks’ senior director.

herskovitzalHeaving Bricks at Radio.  Radio sales maven Al Herskovitz writes today (7/17) about his frustration with radio’s current image crisis that, he says, is largely radio’s own fault.  Herskovitz cites examples from his hometown market in which he hears long-outdated spots on the air as well as old, pre-recorded weather forecasts still on the air and almost no community profile for stations that purport to serve the local market.  The fixes for these problems are not hard to imagine, as Herskovitz illustrates.  Read his piece here.

gamblingjohnrJohn Gambling Laments Loss of Mayoral Sit-Downs.  Stating that he’s been talking with New York City’s mayors for the past 15 years, WOR personality John Gambling Tweeted about his frustrations trying to book Mayor Bill de Blasio, a story picked up by the New York Daily News.  Gambling began his regular chats with the City’s mayors, first with Republican Rudy Giuliani and then with Republican Michael Bloomberg.  But de Blasio, a Democrat, has not responded to repeated requests to join the program.  Gambling tells the paper, “My views of his policies are what they are, and they’re obviously 180 degrees from where he is.  I’ve been sitting with mayors for 15 years… I’m always willing to let somebody speak their mind.  I’d like to have a conversation with the mayor.”  Read the Daily News piece here.

ingrahamlauraIngraham Endorses Tennessee Senate Candidate. Next Tuesday (7/22), Laura Ingraham will be in Nashville where she will attend the “Restore America” rally. The Courtside Entertainment Group host is backing Tennessee Senate candidate Joe Carr, who is trying to unseat incumbent Lamar Alexander in next month’s (8/7) primary.  “Anti-amnesty” conservative talk host Ingraham supported Dave Brat, who – last month – defeated Representative Eric Cantor in Virginia’s seventh Congressional District.  Brat and Carr oppose reform that would grant amnesty to immigrants.  In addition to criticizing Alexander for supporting the comprehensive immigration bill that passed the Senate last year, Ingraham called Carr, who opposes the bill, “terrific” on immigration.  Carr, Alexander, Brat, and Cantor are all Republicans.  Ingraham, and in some instances talk radio in general, has been credited with Brat’s victory by such publications as Politico, and these stories received a lot of attention, especially among political wonks and the cable news/talk channels.  TALKERS believes that the reality is not quite so clear and the conclusion that any talk show host’s support of a candidate that leads to victory in an election – regardless of the party affiliation – is a very difficult thing to prove.

Child Immigration Crisis, Israel-Hamas Violence, ISIS Campaign in Iraq and Syria, Eric Holder Racism Controversy, Clinton and Warren Potential Presidential Bids, Obama Lawsuit Move, and Summer Polar Vortex Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/16).  The ongoing influx of child illegal immigrants and the Obama Administration’s policy dealing with the crisis; the heightened violence in the Gaza strip; the continuing campaign by ISIS to bring about a caliphate in Iraq and Syria; chatter about Eric Holder’s comments that criticism of the Obama Administration is based in racism; the potential 2016 presidential bids by Hillary Clinton and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren; the move in the U.S. House to sue President Obama over his unilateral actions regarding the Affordable Care Act; and the summer polar vortex affecting much of the Midwest were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

| July 9, 2014

lakampbrianClear Channel Makes Corporate Structural Changes; Moves iHeartRadio into Clear Channel Networks Group Division.  Along with this change – putting the iHeartRadio platform under the Clear Channel Networks Group banner headed by president Darren DavisBrian Lakamp remains with the company and is promoted to the new position — president of technology and digital ventures.  The company calls Lakamp’s promotion part of its “taking another important step in its continuing transformation to a consumer-driven, technology-fueled company.”  Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “Our corporate focus on digital, increasingly leveraging technology to maximize our business, reflects the natural evolution of Clear Channel into a 21st century media company.  Creativity is also enabled by technology, and as advertisers’ interest in new and emerging technology options continues to grow, we intend to remain at the forefront of both innovation anddavisdarren creativity.  Brian is perfectly positioned to help us – and our consumers, advertisers and content partners – as we continue to build Clear Channel’s digital roadmap for the future.”  The new role puts Lakamp in charge of the overall technology platform and capabilities for all of Clear Channel – including its broadcast, digital radio, events and promotions and out-of-home businesses.  The company says he will also be responsible for developing the company’s overall place in the worlds of big data and programmatic buying. Putting iHeartRadio under Darren Davis’ purview means he’ll be responsible for the entire business of iHeartRadio as well as Premiere Networks, Total Traffic and Weather Network; and the 24/7 News Network.  Davis comments, “I look forward to working with the immensely talented iHeartRadio team to build on the tremendous success of iHeartRadio by utilizing the full promotional and creative power of Clear Channel for iHeartRadio Networks.  I’m excited to continue my collaboration with Brian in his new role to leverage new opportunities and maximize emerging technologies across Clear Channel’s national platforms and services.”

riseguysRise Guys Return to Sacramento Radio.  Sports talk morning drive personalities Whitey Gleason and Mark Kreidler – known as The Rise Guys – are returning to the Sacramento market on Entercom’s KCTC “ESPN 1320” after leaving the market for San Francisco three years ago.  In 2011 they took the gig at Entercom’s KGMZ, San Francisco “95.7 The Game” after years at the company’s KHTK, Sacramento.  But earlier this year they exited that station after talent changes were made.  Now, they return to the Sacramento market on KHTK’s sister station.

kiroBrock and Salk Show to Air in Mornings on KIRO-AM, Seattle.  The recent return of Mike Salk to Bonneville’s Seattle sports talker KIRO-AM “710 ESPN Seattle” as program director after a year-long stint at WEEI, Boston is now bringing about changes to the station’s talent lineup as he and Brock Huard are getting back together on the radio for a morning show from 7:00 am to 10:00 am.  The “Brock & Salk” show debuted in 2009 but ended when Salk took the afternoon co-host gig at Entercom’s WEEI, Boston in the spring of 2013.  The change means Michael Grey is moving from afternoons to the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot followed by “Bob & Groz” from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm.  Danny O’Neil, Dave Wyman and Jim Moore will host afternoon drive from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Salk comments, “These changes make an already strong lineup even stronger and this is just the beginning.  I’m thrilled with where the station is going and couldn’t be more excited to get behind the mic.”

frantzbobFrantz Exits WTAM, Cleveland.  Talk personality Bob Frantz is let go from his position with Clear Channel’s news/talk WTAM, Cleveland where he appeared alongside Mike Trivisonno on the 9:00 am to 10:00 am show “The Spew” as well as hosting the 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm program.  Frantz was doing his second tour of duty with the station – he worked there in the late 1990s before returning in 2006.  Replacing him in the evening slot is “The Sports Feed” co-host and Indians reporter Nick Camino.

nielsen logoRound One of June PPM Data Released.  The first of four rounds of June 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 May 22 through June 18.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publican 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 at RadioInfo.com here.

emmisEmmis Q1 Report: Radio Revenue Essentially Flat.  The results for the first fiscal quarter for Emmis Communications (ending May 31) show the company’s net radio revenue up 22% — but that includes the addition of revenue from WBLS and WLIB, New York which it has been operating under an LMA since March 1.  Assuming those stations had been in the fold at the same time a year ago, revenue would have been flat.  Atsmulyanjeff the station level, the company reports its stations were up 1.6% compared to local radio market revenue down 5.5% during the fiscal quarter.  Emmis president and CEO Jeff Smulyan says, “While our markets continue to be tested, our stations and employees have risen to the challenge and continue to outperform our markets.  We continue to believe NextRadio, the Emmis-led industry initiative to make FM broadcast radio available on smartphones and tablets, is a game-changer for the radio industry and will reignite growth.  We have spent the last year building out the NextRadio ecosystem, and now we are entering a critical phase to build consumer awareness.  I’m proud of our team for its continuing focus on innovation and operational excellence.”

pagliarulojoeOdds & Sods.  WOAI, San Antonio-based talk show host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo’s program is being added to another Clear Channel-owned news/talk station as KEX, Portland picks up the program to air from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.  The show is also heard on KPRC, Houston and KHOW, Denver…..Former Dallas Cowboys defensive star Dat Nguyen inks a contract renewal with Alpha Media sports talker KZDC, San Antonio “1250 ESPN.”  Nguyen hosts the afternoon drive show where he’s been since joining the station in August of 2012…..ESPN Radio’s “10th Annual ESPY Day Auction” to benefit The V Foundation for Cancer Research is officially underway on eBay and will continue through Wednesday, July 16.  This year’s auction of more than 250 items includes tickets to prime sporting events, autographed memorabilia, unique experiences with athletes, celebrities and ESPN and ABC personalities and behind-the-scenes experiences with numerous ESPN programs.

Child Immigration Crisis, Obama Approval Ratings, GOP Picks Cleveland for 2016 Convention, Israeli-Hamas Violence, Costco Pulls D’Souza Book, Palin Joins Impeachment Plea, and Klein’s Blood Feud Criticism Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/8).  The influx of minor illegal immigrants in the Southwest and the political battle over immigration enforcement; the lower approval ratings for President Obama; the RNC chooses Cleveland for site of 2016 convention and the importance of Ohio in the next presidential election; escalating violence between the Israelis and Palestinians; the flap over Costco’s decision to stop selling Dinesh D’Souza’s America: Imagine the World Without Her; Sarah Palin returns to the media spotlight calling for the president’s impeachment; and controversy over Ed Klein’s book about the relationship between the Clintons and the Obamas were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Take Your Audience to the Movies

| July 8, 2014

Movie review by consultant Holland Cooke

 

cookewriterBLOCK ISLAND, RI — Before debt-hobbled mega-owners deleted local mojo from the expense budget, radio stations used to DO things that engaged listeners in person.  Before too much of talk radio succumbed to caricature monologue, it used to provoke thoughtful dialogue.  Here’s an easy, quick opportunity to rekindle that touch-N-feel, and HEAR the people your advertisers want to meet.

MUST-SEE: “America: Imagine the World Without Her”

You might be hearing commercials — on the Rush Limbaugh show and in similar programs — for the new Dinesh D’Souza film.  And you might recall reading my review, a couple years ago in TALKERS magazine, of his previous flick “2016 Obama’s America.”  ICYMI: http://getonthenet.com/ObamasAmerica.pdf

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Thursday, July 3, 2014

| July 3, 2014

krantzwhitmireBrad Krantz and Britt Whitmire Take Show to RELM Network.  After exiting WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte recently, talk radio pros Brad Krantz and Britt Whitmire of the “Brad and Britt Show” are going digital as they join the RELM Network to distribute their show as a podcast.  The duo relm networkworked together at former talk outlet WZTK, Raleigh-Greensboro for eight years prior to joining WBT two years ago.  About the new podcast show, Whitmire says, “This is exactly what our fans have wanted.  A chance to hear us without being interrupted by traffic and weather every ten minutes or having to wait through long commercial breaks.”  Krantz adds, “I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to connect with our fans.  The podcasting world opens up a lot of possibilities for us and we love what the guys at RELM are doing.”  The daily show will be uploaded in the early afternoon Monday through Friday.

zollermarthaZoller and Bryant Recognized by Georgia Association of Broadcasters.  The annual awards handed out by the Georgia Association of Broadcasters are dubbed the “Gabby Awards” and Cox Media Group’s Athens/Gainesville/Greater Atlanta stations were among those recognized this year.  The company announces that WGAU, Athens picked up two Large Market category awards – one for Martha Zoller’s and Tim Byant’s coverage of the Boston Marathon Bombing, the other for Best Morning Show Personality or Team which recognized Zoller and Bryant.  CMG Athens-Gainesville VP/GM Scott Smith says, “I’ve always known what an exceptional staff we have here at CMG Athens/Gainesville, but I’m also a bit biased.  But it really is a great honor to have our hard work recognized by our peers in the broadcast industry.  I’m very proud of these awards.”

wiglesworthcarlTalk Radio Pioneer Carl Wiglesworth Dies.  Texas local talk radio pioneer Carl Wiglesworth died on Tuesday at age 73.  He suffered a massive heart attack on Friday and never regained consciousness.  Wiglesworth was a high-profile talk radio personality during the 1980s and 1990s – the period during which the format rose to prominence in the popular culture.  He spent most of his career at WOAI, San Antonio, famously quitting that station on the air in 1999 after delivering a rant against the state of the talk radio business.  He also worked at KTSA and KAHL in the San Antonio market.  On the WOAI website, former co-worker Eliza Sonneland says of Wiglesworth’s program, “To talk to people who had differing opinions from the status quo, that was the bread and butter of Carl’s program.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Carl Wiglesworth was in a league of his own in terms of his courage, independence, preparedness, localness and authenticity.  Although described as a conservative, it should be pointed out that the conservative movement that marked the phenomenal growth of talk radio in the wild ’90s – typified by Wiglesworth – was far more of a blend of issues-driven libertarian populism than the partisan ideological approach to talk radio that came later.  Carl’s self-imposed departure from corporate radio more than a decade ago was a severe loss for our industry.  His death this week is an even greater loss for humanity.”

ussiowaWHO, Des Moines’ Simon Conway to Broadcast from USS Iowa.  The image you see here is the USS Iowa which is docked in the Port of Los Angeles.  Today is the second day WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive host Simon Conway will broadcast his program from the deck of the battleship.  For the third year in a row, Conway has broadcast from the WWII flagship battleship.  He tells TALKERS that WHO Radio was instrumental in saving FDR‘s flagship from certain death.  This Iowa Class Battleship was the 2013 Museum Ship of the year.

morganmccaslinMelanie Morgan and John McCaslin Reunite for ‘Troopathon 7.’  For a brief period, Bay Area news/talk radio pro Melanie Morgan (left) and Washington-based journalist and radio broadcaster John McCaslin (right) co-hosted “America’s Morning News” syndicated by Talk Radio Network.  The two were back together at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California raising funds for care packages for U.S. troops serving overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The goal of the fundraiser is $350,000 by July 4.  Morgan is currently morning news anchor at KSRO, Santa Rosa, California and McCaslin, who exited TRN last fall, reports he’s in charge of content for ESPN co-founder Scott Rasmussen‘s “not-yet-announced but much-anticipated multi-platform national news operation, set to launch this fall.”

hancockjohnWBT-AM/FM, Charlotte’s John Hancock to Spearhead Summer Food Drive.  Food drives usually are charity projects that are most common around the holidays but WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte personality John Hancock is, for the third consecutive year, heading up a summertime project to help benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina.   Partnering with Harris Teeter and Jif, Hancock and the station will lead the Peanut Butter N’ July campaign.  Because it is high in protein, peanut butter is one of the most valuable commodities for a food bank and is one of the most requested items for those who benefit from their services.  WBT is placing donation bins in 37 participating Harris Teeter Stores throughout Mecklenburg County and around the Charlotte area and listeners are encouraged to stop by to donate a plastic jar of fresh unopened peanut butter.  Each Saturday during July, Hancock will be on hand at one of the participating stores helping to collect peanut butter and spreading the word about the cause.

wrjn logoPrice of Four-Station Magnum Wisconsin Acquisition: $2.25 Million.  The recently announced sale of two radio stations in Racine, Wisconsin – news/talk WRJN-AM and AC WEZY “Lite Rock 92.1” – and two in West Bend, Wisconsin – country WBWI and news/talk WBKV – has been filed and the sale price of the four stations is $2.25 million.  Magnum Communications is acquiring the stations from Bliss Communications.

sorbosamTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Three new affiliates add Talk Radio Network’s Sam Sorbo show to their lineups: KBYR, Anchorage; WPNW-AM/FM, Grand Rapids; and KADI, Springfield, Missouri…..“America Tonight” with Kate Delaney announces the addition of two affiliate stations: WSRQ, Sarasota joins for the Monday through Saturday program and KSMD, Searcy, Arkansas is the newest Saturdays affiliate.

alphamedia longCool Job Opportunities.  Never work another day…L&L Broadcasting, Alpha Broadcasting, and Main Line Broadcasting are merging into one company named Alpha Media.  68 radio stations in 12 beautiful markets and we need the best, brightest, most aggressive, confident, and talented market managers, programmers, on-air personalities and account executives that are looking to be part of the radio industry in 2014.  At Alpha Media, we work as a team.  Your chairman, Larry Wilson and CEO, Bob Proffitt will be available to go on sales calls, meet your clients, brainstorm with programming and assist with marketing.  We firmly believe that the best people do the best radio.  We are looking for passionate, progressive candidates that breathe creativity and are live and local thinkers.  Climb aboard this fast-moving train and bring your talent home to the Alpha Media Family.  Send cover letter and resume to jobs@landlbroadcasting.com with Alpha Media in subject line.  No phone calls.  Alpha Media is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.

Immigration Policy Protests/Influx of Minor Illegals, SCOTUS Hobby Lobby Ruling, ISIS Violence in Iraq, Hurricane Arthur, Obama Executive Orders Controversy, Israeli-Palestinian Turmoil, Low Obama Approval Ratings, and World Cup Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/2).  Increasing protests against the government’s transferring of refugee immigrants and the Obama Administration’s handling of the crisis; reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby health care/birth control decision; escalating violence in Iraq from ISIS activities; Hurricane Arthur threatens the Eastern Seaboard; the controversy over President Obama’s use of executive orders and the Supreme Court’s ruling on recess appointments; the turmoil in Israel over the Hamas-suspected  teen murders; recent polls indicating sinking approval ratings for President Obama; and the U.S.’s exit from the World Cup were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

| July 2, 2014

alphamedia logoAlpha Broadcasting, L&L Broadcasting Become Alpha Media; Main Line Deal Closes. Portland-based L&L Broadcasting operates 43 stations in seven markets; the merged company’s corporate headquarters will continue to be in Portland, where Alpha Broadcasting owns six radio facilities.  In addition to this merger, L&L’s $57 million deal to purchase 19 Main Line Broadcasting stations has been finalized.  Alpha Media chairman Larry Wilson states, “The merger of Portland’s Alpha operation into our newly created Alpha Media results in one company operating all markets.  Our ‘Live and Local’ vision continues to be our focus.  By adding the former Main Line markets, we can continue to develop ourmain line broadcasting footprint with attractive markets operated by great radio people.  We are excited to add them to our growing company.” L&L Broadcasting president and chief executive officer Bob Proffitt remarks, “From the day we visited each Main Line market, we knew they were full wilsonlarryof talented radio broadcasters who understand our vision and how we operate.  We feel our live and local approach will enhance each market’s rating and revenue potential.  Having Portland in the fold allows us to liberally use some of the best brains in the radio business to help listeners, clients, and employees at our other markets throughout the country.”  According to Main Line Broadcasting chief executive officer Marc Guralnick, “It has been a great nine years at Main Line Broadcasting.  I have had the pleasure of working with some of the best people in the industry.  I am excited to have our talented broadcasters now under the leadership of Larry Wilson, Bob Proffitt, and the Alpha-L&L team.  I wish L&L and this tremendous staff much continued success.”  The four markets for Philadelphia-based Main Line are Louisville, Dayton, Richmond, and Hagerstown, Maryland-Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.  The company was represented in the transaction by Media Venture Partners.

katztonyTony Katz Assumes Morning Drive Role at WIBC-FM, Indianapolis.  Monday (6/30) was the first day on the job for new WIBC-FM, Indianapolis morning show personality Tony Katz.  He replaces Steve Simpson who recently exited the station after 22 years.  Katz had been hosting the 9:00 pm to 12:00wibclogo midnight show at WIBC-FM from his home in Los Angeles but is moving to Indy for this new role.  Emmis market manager Charlie Morgan recently told the Indianapolis Business Journal the move to replace Simpson with Katz was the result of the station wanting a more opinionated, commentary-driven show than the newsy approach Simpson was comfortable with.  “He’s just not the right guy for what the role of host now requires.  What we’re asking our hosts to do is offer opinion and perspective, and [Simpson] was not comfortable with that.  He was more comfortable in a more traditional news role.”

gottliebdougCBS Sports Radio Network’s Doug Gottlieb Show Gets Cable Simulcast.  Beginning August 25, the Doug Gottlieb show will be seen on cable’s CBS Sports Network in addition to being heard on the CBS Sports Radio Network.  The program will be simulcast live from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.  CBS Sports SVP of programming Dan Weinberg says, “Adding the Doug Gottlieb show greatly strengthens our afternoon lineup adding three hours of live and relevant content each day.  Doug’s show is high-energy, insightful and entertaining and we are excited to extend the reach of his radio show to the CBS Sports Network television audience.”

kfbk logoKFBK Boosts Murray to News Director.  Assistant program director Mike Murray is elevated to news director at Clear Channel Sacramento talker KFBK.  Vice president of programming Ken Charles – who programs KFBK and sibling talker KSTE – comments, “In determining the needs of our department, and wanting to make sure there is one vision and voice between programming and news, Mike rose to the top as the right candidate for the role.”  In the next few weeks, there will reportedly be some news/programming restructuring associated with Murray’s promotion.

keiperjenniferKeiper Returns to WLS-AM, Chicago as News Anchor.  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Jennifer Keiper is back with news/talk WLS-AM, Chicago after a six-year absence during which she worked as Midwest correspondent for Fox News Radio.  Keiper will anchor the news during afternoon drive, where Roe Conn and Richard Roeper are currently heard.  Keiper is taking over for Susan Carlson who resigned two months ago to join WMAQ-TV.  Read Feder’s column here.

mathenysamMatheny Named EVP/Chief Technology Officer for NAB.  Joining NAB from Capitol Broadcasting to serve as the new EVP and chief technology officer is Sam Matheny.  His work as part of the corporate staff involvement in several Capitol Broadcasting media ventures: general manager at News Over Wireless, which provided the first local television news applications for wireless carriers; manager of Digital Cinema at Microspace Communications, deploying digital cinema as a viable market for satellite delivery; and vice president & general manager at DTV Plus, which developed and launched the nation’s first DTV datacasting service.  Matheny is currently a member of the FCC Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council and is a member of the Academy of Digital Television Pioneers.  NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith states, “NAB is thrilled to have Sam Matheny joining the team as our new CTO.  Sam’s roots are in broadcast localism and service to the community, but he is also a technology strategist determined to push broadcasters to embrace digital and Internet opportunities that generate revenue.  Today, tens of millions of our listeners and viewers are legally accessing broadcast programming on platforms and devices that are IP-based, portable and mobile. We believe Sam is the right choice to press these digital strategies forward and lead our industry’s technology future.”

joycebrianpanelWGOW, Chattanooga Host Brian Joyce Moderates Panel on Democracy and Human Rights in Geneva.  Tennessee talk radio personality Brian Joyce (pictured here, bottom, far right) was recently in Geneva, Switzerland at the invitation of the Geneva Press Club to moderate a panel discussion on democracy and human rights.  Among the members of this panel were Egyptian MP and Secretary General of Egypt’s Industry & Energy Committee Hatem Azzam (second from right, standing).  Joyce is going abroad this weekend to speak at a public rally in Istanbul, Turkey in Alfatih Square in Istanbul to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the military coup in Egypt, which took place on July 3, 2013.  He was invited by a Turkish organization called Union of NGOs of the Islamic World, in cooperation with the Egyptian Solidarity Movement. Joyce says the Turkish government and Turkish people have been strong, vocal critics of military rule in Egypt, as well as of violations of democracy and human rights across the Muslim world.

pavlinahannityPavlina Interviews Sean Hannity on Talkers TV.  Sixteen-year-old talk media prodigy, Pavlina Osta, host of the syndicated radio show “Pavlina’s Kidz Place,” conducted an interview with Premiere Radio and Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity at the recent Talkers New York 2014 convention. That 15 minute interview is currently playing on Talkers TV located at the top of the upper right hand column of boxes on every page on Talkers.com.  Pavlina has been broadcasting since she was 11 years old and has an amazing track record of conducting exclusive interviews with more than 300 stars from the fields of entertainment, sports, politics and media.  David Bernstein, GM of Talkers broadcasting operations says, “This young woman is going to be a huge media star.  She has everything going for her – even a local Gracie Award to her credit.  Watch out world, Pavlina is coming!”

marconiawardMeet This Year’s NAB Marconi Radio Award Finalists. They are listed below and the list encompasses 21 categories.  The Marconi Radio Awards are given by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) to honor excellence in broadcasting. “Legendary Station”:news KCBS-AM, San Francisco; talk KXLY-AM, Spokane; sports WFAN, New York; country WIL-FM, St. Louis; and adult contemporary WLEN-FM, Adrian, Michigan. “Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year”:Bob & Tom, Westwood One; Elvis Duran, Premiere Radio Networks; Rush Limbaugh, Premiere Radio Networks; Ryan Seacrest, Premiere Radio Networks; and Rickey Smiley, Radio One/REACH Media. “Major Market Personality of the Year”:Carter Alan of WZLX, Boston; Big Boy of KPWR, Los Angeles; Kevin & Bean of KROQ, Los Angeles; Preston & Steve of WMMR, Philadelphia; and (Fred) Toucher & Rich (Shertenlieb) of WBZ-FM, Boston. “Large Market Personality of the Year”:Bo Matthews of WIL-FM, St. Louis; Dr. Don (with Rachael and Grunwald) of WYCD, Detroit; Jim “JJ” Johnson of WOMC, Detroit; Larry Richert of KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh; and Ryan & Shannon of KSTP-FM, Minneapolis. “Medium Market Personality of the Year”:Brent Johnson of WTCB, Columbia, South Carolina; Cole Johnson of WNVZ, Norfolk; Kevin Miller of KIDO-AM, Boise, Idaho; Chris Kelly & Chris Demm of WKRR, Greensboro; and Jeff Walker of WKRZ, Wilkes Barre-Scranton. “Small Market Personality of the Year”:Bill Barrett, Tim Fox & Tracy Berry of KKNU-FM, Eugene, Oregon; David Gustafson of KJSK-AM, Columbus, Nebraska; Dottie Ray of KXIC-AM, Iowa City, Iowa; Brian Egan, Rusty Bumper & Amanda Walton of WKWS-FM, Charleston, West Virginia; and Brian Lee & Chris Wolfe of KZOQ-FM, Missoula, Montana. “Major Market Station of the Year”: country KKBQ, Houston; urban AC WBLS, New York; rock WMMR, Philadelphia; hot AC WTMX, Chicago; and country WUSN, Chicago. “Large Market Station of the Year”:adult contemporary KRWM, Seattle; CHR WBLI, Long Island; talk WCCO, Minneapolis; talk WTMJ, Milwaukee; and sports WXYT-FM, Detroit. “Medium Market Station of the Year”:rock KAZR-FM, Des Moines; hot AC KSTZ, Des Moines; country WIVK-FM, Knoxville; talk WOWO-AM, Fort Wayne, Indiana; and country WUSY-FM, Chattanooga, Tennessee. “Small Market Station of the Year”:talkKFGO-AM, Fargo, South Dakota; CHR KNDE-FM, Bryan-College Station, Texas; full-service adult contemporary KYNT-AM, Yankton, South Dakota; country WFRE-FM, Frederick, Maryland; and adult contemporary WLEN-FM, Adrian, Michigan. “Adult Contemporary Station of the Year”:KIFM, San Diego; WBEB, Philadelphia; WILV, Chicago; WMEE-FM, Fort Wayne, Indiana; and WVAF, Charleston, West Virginia. “CHR Station of the Year”:KQKS, Denver; WBBM-FM, Chicago; WNVZ, Norfolk; WPOI, Tampa; and WVAQ, Morgantown, West Virginia. “Country Station of the Year”:KCYY, San Antonio; WIL-FM, St. Louis; WKLB, Boston; WLHK, Indianapolis; and WOKQ, Portsmouth, New Hampshire. “News-Talk Station of the Year”:KCBS-AM, San Francisco; KRLD-AM, Dallas; KTMY, Minneapolis; WGCV-AM, Columbia, South Carolina; and WLW, Cincinnati. “(Classic Hits-) Oldies Station of the Year:”WJMK, Chicago; WMJI, Cleveland; WSRZ, Sarasota; WXGL, Tampa; and WOGL Philadelphia. “(Contemporary Christian) Religious Station of the Year”:KKJM, St. Cloud, Minnesota; KKLA, Los Angeles; KLTY, Dallas; KNOM, Nome, Alaska; and WMHK, Columbia, South Carolina. “Rock Station of the Year”:KROQ, Los Angeles; KSWD, Los Angeles; WBAB, Long Island; WDRV, Chicago; and WSUN, Tampa. “Spanish Station of the Year”:KLZT, Austin; WNUA, Chicago; WYUS-AM Milford, Delaware; WYUU, Tampa; and WXSH, Georgetown, Delaware. “Sports Station of the Year”:KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh; KFXN-FM, Minneapolis; WBZ-FM, Boston; WIP-FM, Philadelphia; and WXYT-FM, Detroit. “Urban Contemporary Station of the Year”: KPRS, Kansas City; WGCI-FM, Chicago; WHQT, Miami; WQHT, New York; and WVKL, Norfolk. “Noncommercial Station of the Year”: KPCW, Park City, Utah; KUNV, Las Vegas; WEAA, Baltimore; WRHU Long Island; and WSDP,  Canton, Michigan. Winners will be announced in two months (9/11) at the awards dinner in Indianapolis during this year’s NAB Radio Show.

kgy logoKGY Inc. Sells KGY-AM, Olympia to Catholic Broadcaster.  Sports talk KGY-AM, Olympia, Washington is being sold to Sacred Heart Radio for $250,000, according to The Olympian.  The station has been in the Kerry family since current KGY Inc. business manager Nick Kerry’s grandfather Tom Olsen purchased it in 1939.  KGY Inc. will continue to operate country outlet KYYO-FM “96.9 KAYO” and translator K237FR at 95.3 FM.

SCOTUS Hobby Lobby Ruling, Obama Executive Actions, Illegal Immigrant Influx-Amnesty Proposal, Global Warming Debate, Israeli-Palestinian Tensions, Sarkozy Investigation, and World Cup Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/1).  The backlash over the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Hobby Lobby contraceptive case; John Boehner’s threat to sue President Obama over the executive actions issue; debate over amnesty as the Southwest deals with an influx of minor illegal immigrants; continuing disagreement over the issue of man-made climate change; high tensions in Israel following the deaths of three Israeli teens and a Palestinian youth; the corruption investigation of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy and the U.S.’s exit from the World Cup were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Pandora Chickened Out!

| June 19, 2014

New Jersey Broadcasters Association convention coverage by consultant Holland Cooke

 

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

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

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

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

| June 18, 2014

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

| June 17, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

| June 3, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, May 19, 2014

| May 19, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An Open Letter to Talk Host Michael Smerconish

| May 13, 2014

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


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

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

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

Read More

Meet Ken Rutkowski

| May 12, 2014

Second of two-part special on “Business Rockstars”

Quintessential connected host not stuck in a rut

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief

 

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

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


Amazing Stories

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

| May 8, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

| May 7, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, May 5, 2014

| May 5, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Syndication Reality: The Need for Measurable Audience

| April 23, 2014

By Tony Garcia
Global Media Services
Founder

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

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

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

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NAB Show: Day Two

| April 9, 2014

NAB Show convention coverage by consultant Holland Cooke

 

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

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

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Monday, April 7, 2014

| April 7, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

| April 1, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Catching Up with Lionel

| March 31, 2014

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor/West Coast

 

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

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

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

Smart, Funny, and Unedited

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

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

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

Read More

So, You Want to Be Syndicated. Why?

| March 28, 2014

By Tony Garcia
Global Media Services
Founder

 

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

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

Still want to be syndicated?

Read More

Friday, March 28, 2014

| March 28, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, March 20, 2014

| March 20, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

| March 18, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, March 17, 2014

| March 17, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

| March 12, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, March 6, 2014

| March 6, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

| March 5, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Farewell to a Jim Dandy Gentleman

| March 5, 2014

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

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

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

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

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

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

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Monday, February 24, 2014

| February 24, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, February 20, 2014

| February 20, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Part Three – “Radio is Beyond Radio Now”

| February 12, 2014

TALKERS Three-Part Special Feature

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

By Jeff McKay
TALKERS
Special features Correspondent

 

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

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

Read More

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

| February 12, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Part Two – Taking the Vision and Creating Envision

| February 11, 2014

TALKERS Three-Part Special Feature

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

By Jeff McKay
TALKERS
Special features Correspondent

 

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

At MJI, Wolkoff was accustomed to building programs from the ground-up.  This was not how Premiere was operating at the time, and realizing that sooner or later the end could come for him at Clear Channel and Premiere, Wolkoff began devising “Plan B.”  The question for Wolkoff would be in which direction should he go, to work for someone as he had his entire career to-date, or start his own company?

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

| February 11, 2014

entercomEntercom Revenue Down 2% in Q4; Dips 3% for 2013.  The 2013 fourth quarter numbers for Entercom are in and the company reports net revenue was down 2% on $99.6 million though adjusted net income per share was basically flat.  Also free cash flow increased by 2%.  For the full year of 2013, net revenue dipped 3%.  Though station expenses decreased slightlyfielddavid during the year, station operating income decreased by 8% to $125.8 million.  Entercom will hold a conference call with investors and analysts at 12:00 noon ET today (2/11).  President and CEO David Field says in a statement, “Entercom’s fourth quarter revenues declined 2% while revenues excluding political advertising posted a 2% increase.  2014 began on a solid note with January revenues up moderately over the prior year.  We are optimistic about 2014 performance based on improving sales capabilities and execution, strong ratings and meaningful local growth opportunities.”

beasley logoBeasley Broadcast Group to Work with Propel Marketing for Online Marketing.  In an effort to expand its online marketing, Beasley Broadcast Group announces it is engaging Propel Marketing to “assist Beasley’s local clients in building and expanding their online marketing opportunities and solutions.”  In a statement, Beasley says that Propel’s products and services include website and mobile site design, search engine optimization, lists and local directories, social media services and online reputation management.  It further states that the “agreement affords Beasley’s local account executives access to a robust portfolio of online marketing services.  Beasley’s relationship with Propel Marketing enhances the on-air and online advertising opportunities already available to existing and future clients, especially small businesses that typically do not have in-house resources to create and implement successful online marketing campaigns.  Propel Marketing will not only create and deliver online marketing solutions, but also provide a dedicated team of specialists to ensure that Beasley’s clients are fully leveraging Propel Marketing products.”  Beasley EVP and CFO Caroline Beasley states, “We are extremelybeasleycaroline excited by this relationship.  It gives us the ability to respond to any request a local advertiser may have that involves exploring a digital component.  The ability to combine radio’s powerful reach with Propel Marketing’s wide assortment of online products and services will greatly enhance a local advertising campaign.”  Newly appointed vice president of digital Stacey Sedbrook adds, “By integrating online marketing with their current radio marketing efforts our clients are able to both extend their audience reach and more efficiently target their messaging.  Beasley sales professionals remain the primary contact for our advertising customers.  Our goal remains helping local businesses build their brands and grow their revenue.  We can now offer integrated marketing solutions under the Beasley Broadcast brand allowing advertisers to streamline their marketing efforts with a trusted local partner.”

mckayjeffTALKERS Posts Part-Two Today of Three-Part Special (2/10-12) Spotlighting Danno Wolkoff and Envision Networks.  Like many people who go to college with a plan for what they want to do when they graduate, Danno Wolkoff went to Syracuse University with a goal of winding up in television production.  Fate, and the prodding from senior management at MJI Broadcasting instead sent him in the direction of sales and affiliate relations.  Wolkoff discovered he had a gift for sales, and doubled his income in one year.  It was through sales and affiliate relations work that he climbed the corporate ladder at MJI, expanding and growing their sales offices nationwide.  When Clearwolkoffdanno Channel acquired MJI and merged it into Premiere Radio Networks (now simply “Premiere Networks”), he became VP of affiliate relations.  However, it wasn’t long before he began to realize that the hands-on and creative approach he had at MJI wasn’t translating to the growth concepts and business model of Premiere and Clear Channel.  Wolkoff faced a career crossroads and would make a decision that would change his life and become an important source of programming and services for radio.  His vision was Envision Radio Networks — a highly successful and forward-thinking company that envisionnetworks newcreates over four-dozen content products and services for radio stations and media outlets nationwide, customizing solutions for clients, producers and affiliates.  It is a company literally founded after another syndication and programming company decided they had a good product that despite making money, didn’t make enough money for their bottom line.  What Wolkoff has accomplished in the span of just 10 years is inspiring and a textbook example of creating a force for productivity and jobs in an industry.  He took the biggest gamble of his life, grabbing a program and three people laid off by an established firm that would become his largest competitor, and growing an independent syndication empire serving over 1,500 radio stations with everything from prep services to music shows, local news and information to weekend talk shows.  His staff has grown over 20-fold in a decade to include an array of producers, salespeople and contract staffers researching, producing, creating and selling more than four-dozen products to radio stations in both the largest and smallest markets.  Now known simply as Envision Networks (they dropped the word “Radio” this past week – more on that later) continues to not only grow, embracing new technology and catering to those needs, but in the process has become an independent force in syndication.  In today’s installment, Wolkoff discusses exactly what it takes to build a formidable syndication firm from scratch and shares his view of the changing nature of the syndication business as well as radio in general.  In the words of Michael Harrison, “The emergence of special individuals like Danno Wolkoff is the force that propels an industry such as ours forward.  I’ve seen this movie many times before.  Danno is the kind of guy who has the makings of being a true giant 10 years down the pike, taking his place among the biggest of the big.”  To read part two of TALKERS special features correspondent Jeff McKay’s extensive profile “The Vision of Envision: The Rise of Radio Syndication Entrepreneur Danno Wolkoff and an Emerging Independent Powerhouse” please click here.  And if you missed part one published yesterday, read that here.

krasnymaxMax Krasny Joins CBS RADIO as VP/Sales and Strategic Alliances.  The former WestwoodOne EVP takes on the vice president, sales and strategic partnerships position with CBS RADIO’s Altitude Group division which focuses on helping brands connect with consumers using CBS RADIO stations, along with CBS Television stations and their digital properties, as well as CBS’s outdoor assets.  Max Krasny reports to the executive leadership of the Altitude Group: Rich Lobel, executive vice president and CMO, and Sue McNamara, senior vice president, sales.  Lobel states, “Max is a seasoned pro who brings a marketing acumen to a client’s business, and knows how to deliver creative excellence that makes brands stand out and get noticed.  No one has a better portfolio of local assets under one roof than CBS including: radio, television, out-of-home, live events, websites, mobile and social apps.”

wls-am logoFCC Socks WLS-AM, Chicago with $44,000 Fine.  The Forfeiture Order comes from the station failing to identify the sponsor of programming that aired back in 2009.  The content was in the form of long-form shows – two two-hour programs, a one-hour show – plus 90-second and 15-second spots and promotional announcements paid for by Workers Independent News.  During the two-week period in question, the FCC determined that 11 announcements were aired without proper sponsor identification and issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for $44,000 – 11 violations at $4,000 per.  Cumulus argued that the commission had in the past reduced fines to a one-time violation amount and that it should just have to pay $4,000.  But the commission ruled that no such precedent had been set and that the forfeiture amounts in failure to identify sponsorships cases reflect the unique aspects of each case and thus the commission considers this case to be comprised of 11 violations, not one.

clarkjackFormer MLB Slugger and Talk Host Jack Clark Apologizes to Albert Pujols.  During a discussion on WGNU, St. Louis, sports talk host and former MLB slugger Jack Clark alleged that former Cardinals player Albert Pujols used performance enhancing drugs during his time in St. Louis.  Pujols threatened to sue and the station ended the contract between Clark’s co-host Kevin Slaten and Clark, cancelling their show.  The station also issued an apology to Pujols.  But for a time Clark maintained his assertion about Pujols and even challenged Pujols to a live debate – an invitation Pujols’ attorney refused.  Now, Clark issues the aforementioned apology and Pujols agrees to withdraw his lawsuit.

farmjournalmedia“Market Rally” Readies for March Launch.  What is said to be the first-ever, long-form agricultural commodity markets-focused national radio program will debut next month (3/10). That is when Farm Journal Media launches Chip Flory-hosted “Market Rally.”  The one-hour weekday program will air at 2:00 pm (CT), immediately following the close of major commodity markets.  Farm Journal Broadcast Division senior vice president Brian Conrady remarks that a “really solid group of stations” is already committed to air “Market Rally” and he anticipates “several more” before the program debuts.  “The show fills a programming void for many stations,” Conrady comments.  “It wraps their day’s farm coverage with a new, information-packed, entertaining program.  It is all about markets, which everyone knows farmers cannot get enough of.”  Flory notes, “We have a long list of guest analysts anxious to share their market perspective with the audience each day.  We will take listener questions/comments via phone, text, and social media.  Our goal is to remove as much confusion as possible from this increasingly volatile marketing environment.”  Flory remains editorial director of Farm Journal’s “Pro Farmer” newsletter and he will host “Market Rally” from FJB’s new studio in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

wmalbeatlesThe Beatles Played in Washington, Too!  As America remembers The Beatles’ arrival in this country 50 years ago this week, much of the attention is focused on the New York-based national broadcast on the “Ed Sullivan Show.”  But Cumulus Media’s WMAL, Washington knows that the group’s first public concert was in Washington, DC.  Pictured here in the WMAL studios are Fox News Channel chief Washington correspondent – and noted Beatles expert – James Rosen (center) and “Mornings on the Mall” co-hosts Brian Wilson (left) and Larry O’Connor (right) after being on the air for Tuesday’s celebration of The Beatles’ first concert on U.S. soil – in the Nation’s Capital.  Among other guests remembering The Beatles on the program were: The Beach BoysMike Love, Rolling Stone Magazine’s David Wild, Herman’s Hermits singer Peter Noone, and local Fox 5 anchor (and former “Good Morning America” weather anchor) Tony Perkins, who discussed his love for the Beatles as an African-American youth growing up in D.C.

wsouhunterOdds & Sods.  Baltimore Orioles broadcaster Jim Hunter recently visited his alma mater Seton Hall University and spoke with student staffers at his old college radio station – WSOU-FM – about making it in sports broadcasting today.  Hunter, pictured here (third from the right) surrounded by students, stressed to them the importance of preparation, noting that the need to do your homework doesn’t end when you graduate from college.  He also shared tips on improving on-air performance and how to tell listeners a good story…..New York City broadcasting legend John Gambling returned to the radio recently, if only briefly, to speak on WABC, New York with Frank Morano on his Sunday “Morning with Morano” program.  Morano and Gambling talked about the state of radio today, the tradition of the Gamblings and covering weather events…..For the 18th consecutive year, ESPN Radio is providing comprehensive coverage of NBA All-Star 2014, culminating with an exclusive radio broadcast of the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, February 16.  Kevin Calabro will describe the action throughout the weekend with analyst Jon Barry.  They will be joined by studio analysts Marc Kestecher and P.J. Carlesimo and reporters Marc Stein and Shelley Smith.

brentmegSCRABrent & Meg Honored for Keeping Studio City, California Free of Dog Poop.  Although they are heard all over the world on TalkersRadio (weekdays 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm PT), the experimental talk station that lives on this website, the dynamic husband/wife radio duo of Brent & Meg (Brent Seltzer and Meg McDonald) believe in the concept of cleaning up your own backyard as well as tackling the issues of greater humanity.  This past Saturday evening (2/8) they were honored by some of LA’s top movers and shakers for their community volunteer work in regularly picking up dog poop (no kidding) found on the streets of LA’s Studio City – the neighborhood from which their daily show emanates (as well as their home).  The gala appreciation dinner took place at Carla’s Café on the CBS Studio Center lot.  Pictured here are (from l-r): State Assemblymember, 46th District, Adrin Nazarian; Los Angeles City Councilmember, 2nd District, Paul Krekorian; Meg McDonald (Brent & Meg Show on TalkersRadio); Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; and Brent Seltzer (Brent & Meg Show on Talkers Radio).  Upon learning of Brent & Meg receiving this honor, TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo’s music editor/director Duane Doobie issued the statement: “I seldom listen to talk radio, but when I do, I prefer Brent & Meg.  True, like most talk show hosts, they are full of sh*t… but in a helpful, solutions-oriented way.”

ObamaCare Criticism, Hillary Clinton in 2016, Immigration Reform, Winter Olympics, Winter Weather, and Shirley Temple Black Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/10).  Scrutiny of the implementation and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the release of new documents about the Clintons and Hillary’s possible run for president in 2016; the move in Washington to pass immigration reform legislation; the Winter Olympics games in Sochi, Russia; a new winter storm reportedly heading for the South and East this week; and the death of former child star and U.S. Ambassador Shirley Temple Black were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Part One – ‘I Didn’t See a Future for Me in Radio’

| February 10, 2014

TALKERS Three-Part Special Feature

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

By Jeff McKay
TALKERS
Special features Correspondent

mckayjeffwolkoffdannoNEW YORK — Like many people who go to college with a plan for what they want to do when they graduate, Danno Wolkoff went to Syracuse University with a goal to wind up in television production.  Fate, and the prodding from senior management at MJI Broadcasting instead sent him in the direction of sales and affiliate relations.  Wolkoff discovered he had a gift for sales, and doubled his income in one year.  It was through sales and affiliate relations work that he climbed the corporate ladder at MJI, expanding and growing their sales offices nationwide.  When Clear Channel acquired MJI and merged it into Premiere Radio Networks, he became VP of Affiliate Relations.

However, it wasn’t long before he began to realize that the hands-on and creative approach he had at MJI wasn’t translating to the growth concepts and business model of Premiere and Clear Channel.  Wolkoff faced a career crossroad, and would make a decision that would change his life and become an important source of programming and services for radio.

Read More

Not the Same-Old, Same-Old

| February 10, 2014

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

 

kinosianLOS ANGELES — Tremendous temptation surfaces in the years of profiling talk radio personalities to make an occasional obligatory James Brown-inspired reference.

Specifically, a justifiable desire eventuates to compare certain talk hosts to the late entertainer (as opposed to the CBS-TV and former Sporting News Radio broadcaster of the same name) who – in addition to “The Godfather of Soul” was often dubbed the “hardest-working” person in show business.

Not that those in other genres of this medium are slackers – Ryan Seacrest represents the definitive textbook example of a supremely ambitious music radio star – but a select group of talk radio hosts do the improbable of overseeing multiple long-form weekday programs (often back-to-back).

That handful of Herculean talk realm performers has at various times included, among others, the likes of Thom Hartmann, Rusty Humphries, Lars Larson, Michael Smerconish, and Ed Schultz.  Some such as Alan Colmes and Sean Hannity have had and continue to have a daily radio/daily TV mix.

As laudatory as that most assuredly is, someone in Tampa took conscientiousness and mindboggling to an even more impressive level.

Read More

Monday, February 10, 2014

| February 10, 2014

francesamikeWFAN, New York’s Mike Francesa Show to Air on Cable’s Fox Sports 1.  According to a report by Neil Best in Newsday, sources indicate the cable TV simulcast of New York sports talk icon Mike Francesa’s afternoon drive sports talk program will be Fox’s fledgling Fox Sports 1 cable channel.  The deal that had Francesa’s program simulcast on the Fox-owned and Yankees-operated YES Network for the past 12 years ended last week and though the MSG Network was anticipated being the eventual destination for Francesa’s show, the official news of the Fox Sports 1 deal could come sometime this week.  Best writes that Fox presumably wants Francesa’s show to help raise its visibility even though it’s a New York-centric show.  Interestingly, WEPN-FM’s afternoon host Michael Kay is now seen in Francesa’s old slot on YES and if Francesa does land on Fox Sports 1, the two shows will appear on side-by-side channels 69 and 70 on New York’s Cablevision system.

compasslogoWall Street Journal and MarketWatch Radio Networks Outsource Affiliate Relations and Marketing to Compass Media Networks.  Executive editor for the Wall Street Journal and MarketWatch Radio Networks John Wordock says in a memo to affiliate stations, “We are deeply committed to our audio business and appreciate our partnership with your station…The Wall Street Journal and MarketWatch Radio Networks will continue to provide the best money news coverage in the business, from Wall Street to Main Street to your street.  Together, Dow Jones and Compass look forward to working with you and your station and we’re both dedicated to providing top-notch customer service.”  This move to take the affiliate relations and marketing department out of house is not entirely unexpected after the cuts the company made in the fall eliminating executive positions within that department.

levinmarkMark Levin to Keynote Tea Party Anniversary Celebration.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Mark Levin will serve as the keynote speaker at the five-year anniversary celebration of the Tea Party Patriots taking place in Washington, DC on February 27.  Levin, whose program is syndicated by Cumulus Media Networks, says, “The Tea Party, which consists of millions of hard-working taxpayers, is to be celebrated not condemned.  The ruling class must be trounced and its media cheerleaders must be exposed if the republic is to survive.  The Tea Party is our only hope.  It’s a great honor to be asked to speak to such outstanding and courageous patriots.”  Other high-profile participants include: Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), and Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots.

schnitttoddTodd Schnitt: Not the Same-Old, Same-Old.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Todd Schnitt credits his background in CHR radio and his passion for finding the topics that intrigue him that he believes will also intrigue his listeners for making his show a different-sounding sort of conservative talk radio show.  TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian’s profile of the man who worked for years as the successful “MJ Kelli” at Clear Channel’s WFLZ, Tampa before branching into drive time talk radio at sister station WFLA delves into the mind of a personality working to grow his national program in the post-Sandra Fluke era.  Schnitt says, “My feelings have been bolstered by many experts and consultants in the field regarding the burn on conservative talk radio…You hear the same pounding on Democrats and liberals every single day.  It is to the point with a bunch of hosts in my space where you can pull one of their shows from last month and it would sound the same as what they are saying today.  I have always approached a talk radio show so that it fits on any conservative radio station, but with more of an intrinsic entertainment value.”  Read Mike Kinosian’s story here.

mckayjeffTALKERS Launches Three-Part Special Today, Tomorrow and Wednesday (2/10-12) Spotlighting Danno Wolkoff and Envision Networks.  Like many people who go to college with a plan for what they want to do when they graduate, Danno Wolkoff went to Syracuse University with a goal of winding up in television production.  Fate, and the prodding from senior management at MJI Broadcasting instead sent him in the direction of sales and affiliate relations.  Wolkoff discovered he had a gift for sales, and doubled his income in one year.  It was through sales and affiliate relations work that he climbed the corporate ladder at MJI, expanding and growing their sales offices nationwide.  When Clear Channel acquired MJI and merged it into Premiere Radio Networks (now simply “Premiereenvisionnetworks new Networks”), he became VP of affiliate relations.  However, it wasn’t long before he began to realize that the hands-on and creative approach he had at MJI wasn’t translating to the growth concepts and business model of Premiere and Clear Channel.  Wolkoff faced a career crossroads and would make a decision that would change his life and become an important source of programming and services for radio.  His vision was “Envision Radio Networks,” (now simply “Envision Networks”) — a highly successful and forward-thinking company that creates over four wolkoffdannodozen content products and services for radio stations and media outlets nationwide, customizing solutions for clients, producers and affiliates.  It was a company literally founded after another syndication and programming company decided they had a good product that despite making money, didn’t make enough money for their bottom line.  What Wolkoff has accomplished in the span of just 10 years is inspiring and a textbook example of creating a force for productivity and jobs in an industry.  He took the biggest gamble of his life, grabbing a program and three people laid off by an established firm that would become his largest competitor, and growing an independent syndication empire serving over 1,500 radio stations with everything from prep services to music shows, local news and information to weekend talk shows.  His staff has grown over 20-fold in a decade to include an array of producers, salespeople and contract staffers researching, producing, creating and selling more than four-dozen products to radio stations in both the largest and smallest markets.  Now known simply as Envision Networks (they dropped the word “Radio” this past week – more on that later) continues to not only grow, embracing new technology and catering to those needs, but in the process has become an independent force in syndication.  In the words of Michael Harrison, “The emergence of special individuals like Danno Wolkoff is the force that propels an industry such as ours forward.  I’ve seen this movie many times before.  Danno is the kind of guy who has the makings of being a true giant 10 years down the pike, taking his place among the biggest of the big.”  To read part one of TALKERS special features correspondent Jeff McKay’s extensive profile “The Vision of Envision: The Rise of Radio Syndication Entrepreneur Danno Wolkoff and an Emerging Independent Powerhouse” please click here.

cbslocalmediaCBS Reports Record Digital Traffic Month.  It’s a new record for a single month as CBS Local Digital Media reports its websites and mobile applications attracted 56.8 million unique users during January topping the previous all-time high of 50.6 million in April 2013.  The January 2014 number was up 37% compared to a year ago.  CBS Local is happy with its performance in this arena last year reporting year-to-year growth of 21% in average unique users per month.  CBS Local Media COO Anton Guitano says, “Our continued integration of digital into all parts of our local business is yielding dividends.  The great mobile presence our stations have via mobile websites, Radio.com and CBS Local apps creates a presence that gives the consumer a great user experience.”

larsonlarsLars Larson’s Busy Week: Subbing for KVI’s John Carlson; Keynoting Nevada Republican Dinner.  There are few in the talk radio business who work harder than talk show host Lars Larson.  Lars tells TALKERS that in addition to his regular radio programs – middays on Alpha Broadcasting’s KXL, Portland and nationally syndicated from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET via Compass Media Networks – he’s filling in on morning drive today and tomorrow (2/10-11) on KVI, Seattle for John Carlson.  This evening he’ll be hosting a station event for KXL and then heads to Reno on Thursday to do both regular shows from affiliate KKFT-FM before keynoting the Washoe County Republicans’ annual Lincoln Dinner on Friday.  Lars reports he’ll be able to fly home in time on Friday to spend Valentine’s weekend with his “very patient wife,” Tina.

smerconishmichaelMichael Smerconish Jumps to CNN.  The SiriusXM talk show host is leaving MSNBC and will join up with CNN for a role that includes regular appearances during the week providing analysis and commentary plus a weekly Saturday morning program, reports the Washington Posts’s Eric Wemple.  In a release, CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker says, “We are thrilled to have Michael join CNN.  At a time when the cable news landscape has become increasingly polarized, his independence and passion for reasoned dialogue makes him the perfect fit for CNN.”  Smerconish joins CNN at a time of flux.  Zucker has been making programming changes to reverse the cable news/talk channel’s floundering ratings.  CNN announced recently it is cancelling Anderson Cooper’s “AC 360 Later.”

comptonawardHonoring Ann.  ABC News Radio White House correspondent Ann Compton (left) is pictured here at the Washington Press Club Foundation’s 70th Annual Congressional Dinner on February 5 at which she was honored with the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award.  The award recognizes an individual whose outstanding accomplishments promote the journalistic profession and enhance the role of women journalists.

richertlarryOdds & Sods.  The Akron Beacon Journal reports that weekend and fill-in host Bob Early resigned from his position with WNIR-FM, Akron after a disagreement over a guest for his weekend talk show.  Early hosted the Saturday and Sunday evening show on the station and he tells the paper he and management were not in agreement about Early booking the owner of an erotic goods chain on his program.  Read the whole story here…..Patrick Ryan joins Magnum Broadcasting to serve as general manager for talk WEEO-FM,ryanpatrick Chambersburg, Pennsylvania/ Hagerstown, Maryland and corporate brands strategist.  Ryan was most recently local sales manager at Albany Broadcasting.  He says, “I’m thrilled to put my talk radio expertise back to work and look forward to buying-building new brands with Michael Stapleford and his incredible team.”…..KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh morning host Larry Richert announced that Pittsburgh Pirates president Frank Coonelly will serve as the keynote speaker at his “Larry Richert Honors Our Hometown Heroes” event at the Lexus Club at PNC Park on Thursday, March 6.  The annual even created by Richert honors five ordinary individuals in the community who have done extraordinary things and it benefits the Wounded Warrior Project.

Friday, February 7, 2014

| February 7, 2014

benztimTim Benz Promoted to Sports Director at CC Pittsburgh.  Programmer and air personality Tim Benz exits his role as morning show host at alternative WXDX, Pittsburgh “105.9 The X” to take the sports director role at Clear Channel’s Pittsburgh cluster.  With the move, WXDX evening host Abby Krizner moves to mornings.  According to Pittsburgh’s Timesonline.com, Benz’s move means he’ll host a show on sister sports talker WBGG but will also continue to contribute to WXDX’s sports content (the station is the Penguins flagship).  In a related move, Benz’s co-host Bob McLaughlin stays with the station as producer of the sports-heavy PM drive Mark Madden program on WXDX.  About his promotion and the expansion of sports programming which will see his commentary used on cluster stations including rock WDVE, CHR WKST “96.1 KISS,” news/talk WPGB “FM News Talk 104.7,” and classic hits WWSW “94.5 3WS,” Benz tells Timesonline.com, “This opportunity to extend sports programming is something we have been discussing for some time and will enhance our platforms.”  He’ll host the daily 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm show on WBGG.

wftl logoJames Crystal Radio Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection.  After reports surfaced in the radio trades (including TALKERS) that James Crystal Radio had missed payroll in January, questions began to arise about the state of the company’s affairs and, sure enough, it’s now publicwmen logo information that the company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the Southern District of Florida.  In the filing, James Crystal Radio lists assets of between $1 million and $10 million with between $10 million and $50 million in liabilities.  Some of the 20 creditors with the largest claims include: more than $220,000 owned to BMI, more than $1.5 million to various attorneys for fees, plus some $861,000 owed to the IRS in payroll taxes and more than $200,000 in property and local taxes.  This is a particularly unfortunate situation since the company has operated in a very locally focused manner giving opportunities to Florida personalities at news/talk WFTL and sports talk WMEN, both serving the West Palm Beach and South Florida markets.  The company also owns foreign-language WFLL, Fort Lauderdale and gospel KBXD, Dallas.

ramseydaveDave Ramsey Crosses Town to KEIB, Los Angeles.  Nationally syndicated financial talk superstar Dave Ramsey moves from news/talk KFWB, Los Angeles to Clear Channel’s new conservative talk KEIB “The Patriot keib logo1150” where the show will air from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm beginning February 24.  KEIB program director Robin Bertolucci says, “We are delighted and excited to have Dave as part of our lineup.  With his proven track record in LA, he’ll be an excellent addition to our station.”  Currently, local personality Carlos Amezcua airs in the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot on KEIB.

kfwbKFWB Expands ‘Money 101’ with Bob McCormick.  With the departure of Dave Ramsey, CBS RADIO operated KFWB, Los Angeles grows Bob McCormick’s “Money 101” program and places it in themccormickbob 10:00 am to 2:00 pm slot on the program schedule.  As a result, “LA’s Morning News with Penny Griego and Phil Hulett” adds another hour, wrapping at 10:00 am.  The station notes that McCormick “is a recognized authority on personal finance issues in Southern California…his fast-paced show features compelling content that goes beyond the headlines and focuses on how these issues influence our lives in Southern California.”  Program director Andy Ludlum says of the changes, “We have enjoyed a great relationship with Dave Ramsey and his team.  They are consummate professionals and Dave did a great job for us.  It was a good partnership, but the opportunity to add more local programming to super-serve our listeners prevailed.”

envisionnetworks newEnvision Networks Announces New Brand.  The new name and branding for Envision Radio Networks is Envision Networks.  The 11-year-old media network, which provides content and services to more than 1,500 radio stations across the country, says it has grown beyond the scope of a radio-only syndication company and that the new name Envision Networks encompasses its heritage radio business as well as its growing digital networks, streaming networks and on-demand listening.  President and CEO Danno Wolkoff states, “Envision Networks is a more accurate representation of our current evolution and growth in radio, digital, streaming and product placement.  The Envision Networks name and branding now reflects everything we supply to radio stations and other media while creating a desirable audience for our advertisers and partners.”

j4 logoBroadcasting Pro Todd Feinburg Launches Boston Traffic Service.  It’s called J4traffic and the Boston-based broadcasting pro tells TALKERS magazine it is a “crowd sourced, all-traffic radio station for Boston, the first radio format being launched by Speaks Mobile, Inc.”  The app is available for free download from the Apple and Android stores.  Todd Feinburg (who co-hosted morning drive on WRKO, Boston for the past five years and currently is doing part-time and fill-in work for WBZ-AM) explains the concept behind this initiative.  “Rush hour is expanding to encompass much of the day in major American cities, and not just on weekdays.  Radio traffic reports lack the frequency, substance and reliability to be effective at easing this pain, and traffic maps don’t go together well with the legal and practical responsibilities of operating a motor vehicle.  Furthermore, traffic data delivered tofeinburgtodd mobile apps lacks the nuance that drivers need to make effective decisions regarding comparative routes – and it’s generally not much fun.  We will correct these problems with The Jay – on-demand traffic talk radio that is informed by the crowd.”  Feinburg says the programming will consist of a traffic report every five minutes.  In between, they’ll broadcast updates reported to them by commuters.  Drivers will share what they see on the road via 15 second mp3s they record on the J4traffic app, or they’ll call in with live reports.  He says they are in “beta” mode right now but once they’re up to speed, they’ll use “Facebook mobile ads and Google keyword ads to push new users to the app in order to speed growth.  In addition, we are optimistic that local media outlets will respond well to a PR campaign emphasizing a new format – all traffic radio – on a platform that has not been used to offer unique, local, radio content – but has been proven successful by companies such as Pandora, Spotify and Apple.”  Feinburg says their positioning will be “as a humble, bootstrap operation looking to solve a problem, because that’s what we are.  We see this as the beginning of a trend – ‘local’ is the power of radio, and local radio has been abandoned by broadcasters.  Now that the threshold to entry has been lowered and anyone can have a radio station, we expect thousands of niche broadcast outlets to appear on the mobile platform.”  Along with Feinburg, the two other principals are Jonathan Roy, an attorney who has left his practice in order to join the startup world.  He gained experience in tech and startups before attending law school 15 years ago.  Aaron Sawyer is a 20-year veteran of Total Traffic and its predecessor, Metro Traffic.  Aaron worked as a manager and announcer for Total Traffic, setting up and rolling out new markets.

nextmedia logoExecutive Changes at NextMedia in Chicago as Sale to Digity Expected to Close on Monday.  The sale of NextMedia’s nine suburban Chicago radio stations to Dean Goodman-led Digity, LLC is expected to close on Monday, February 10 and Chicagoland Radio and Media reports that two executives are being told they will not be retained when the deal is consummated.  General managers Patrick Pendergast and Scott Kosak will reportedly exit the company and NextMedia360 vice president Brian Foster will serve as manager for the entire group.  The Chicago stations are part of a larger deal that encompasses 33 stations becoming assets in Digity, LLC.  The Chicago-area stations include: classic hits WERV-FM, Aurora; country WCCQ-FM, Crest Hill; news/talk WJOL-AM, Joliet; AC WSSR-FM, Joliet; rock WRXQ-FM, Coal City; sports WKRS-AM, Waukegan; hot AC WXLC-FM, Waukegan; rock WIIL-FM, Union Grove, Wisconsin and news/talk WLIP-AM, Kenosha, Wisconsin.

ramseyboiseDave Ramsey Brings Live Events to Boise.  Nationally syndicated superstar Dave Ramsey is pictured here with (from left to right) Idaho First Lady Lori Otter, Townsquare Media regional vice president Kevin Godwin, and Idaho Governor Butch Otter during a visit to the market this week.  Ramsey presented his “Legacy Journey LIVE!” event to a sold-out crowd in on Thursday (2/6) at the Morrison Center for the Performing Arts.  The production presents Ramsey’s philosophy about how to win with money, strengthen marriages and lead your children with confidence. His daughter, Rachel Cruze, joined him on stage. Local affiliate KIDO helped promote the event and Kevin Godwin states, “KIDO’s enthusiasm for the unique opportunity to host Dave Ramsey in Boise is brimming.  It couldn’t have come at a more perfect time, as KIDO is celebrating its 85th anniversary of broadcasting this year.  It’s very special to have one of our most popular talk show hosts here to share this with us and our community.”  On Wednesday, Ramsey hosted his “EntreLeadership 1 Day Event” along with Cruze and speaker Chris Hogan, about how to run a business using the same common sense principles that Ramsey practices in his own company of more than 350 employees.

gallaghermikeTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  In the Riverside-San Bernardino market, Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh is added to the lineup at KTIE, San Bernardino…..“Free Talk Live” featuring Ian Freeman and Mark Edge joins the program lineup at WVFT-FM, Tallahassee; WYOO-FM, Panama Beach, Florida and KGUM-AM, Agana, Guam…..The XtreMedia produced and syndicated Kevin McCullough show is added to the programming at WHEP, Mobile/Pensacola; WTXY, Wilmington, North Carolina; and WROM, Rome, Georgia…..The WYM Media-produced Leslie Marshall show is added to the Indiana Talk Radio Network airing from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm…..Salem Radio Network’s Michael Medved show is added to the lineup at WFBL, Syracuse; WMCR, Oneida, New York; and KVOC, Casper, Wyoming and the company’s Mike Gallagher show joins the programming at KMAX, Colfax, Washington…..“The Graveyard Shift” show announces affiliates for its March launch.  KONR, Anchorage and KDOL, Livingston, Texas will carry the program.

bennettbillreaganlibraryBennett Keynotes at Reagan Event.  Nationally syndicated morning drive host Bill Bennett is pictured here speaking at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California yesterday (2/6).  The Salem Radio Network personality, who served as Education Secretary under Reagan, was keynote speaker at the event commemorating the 103rd anniversary of Reagan’s birth.  Yesterday’s ceremony included a color guard, chaplain, a brass quintet, a 21-gun salute, a flyover, the placing of an official White House wreath on President Reagan’s gravesite and remarks by Bennett.  Prior to the ceremony, Bennett signed copies of his new book, Is College Worth It?

2014 NYC logo 150Sean Hannity to Keynote and Host Special Breakfast at Talkers New York 2014 Set for Friday, June 20.  Nationally syndicated Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel talk media superstar Sean Hannity will again serve as the morning keynote and breakfast host at this year’s installment of TALKERS magazine’s annual New York City-based convention.  The TALKERS magazine annual national talk media industry conference enters its 17th consecutive year as the date and site have been set for the next installment of the industry’s largest, longest-running and most important gathering.  Upon the announcement of Hannity’s participation, TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “Sean’s valuable contributions to this event have become a tradition over the course of its colorful hannityseanhistory.  He transcends politics and even the competition factor at this event and is by far one of the brightest and most popular individuals in a behind-the-scenes sense in the talk industry.  His grasp of ratings issues, sales challenges, the local/national balance equation and changes in the syndication sector is extremely ‘black belt’ in quality and greatly appreciated by his colleagues in the business.”   According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “This will be the most important installment of this can’t-miss conference ever because it will deal with some of the most sensitive and existential issues facing not only the talk side of the business, but all of what we still call ‘radio.’  It should not be missed, plain and simple, by anyone or any company serious about their future in this industry.”  Registrations for the event are limited only to people who are members of the working media (meaning actively or recently employed in the industry or associated industries) and can only be booked by telephone with credit card.  Individual registrations for the entire event including all sessions, presentations, breakfast, lunch, refreshments and receptions are $249.  As usual, because of space limitations and the quality of this long-established event, an early sellout is expected.  Stand by for ongoing information about speakers, agenda and hotel suggestions in the days ahead.  For further registration and sponsorship information, please call 413-565-5413.

2014 NYC logo 150Mike Francesa to Deliver Sports Keynote Address at Talkers New York 2014  - Set for June 20.  WFAN, New York sports talk superstar Mike Francesa will reprise his “grand slam home run” contribution from last year and again deliver this year’s sports keynote address at Talkers New York 2014 on Friday, June 20.  Upon making the announcement, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Mike Francesa’s speech last year was one of the most memorable highlights of the conference.  He brings the same no-nonsense, unapologetic, common-sense approach to the issues of the industry that he brings to his legion of fans on the radio about their passion – sports — and quite frankly, it is quite refreshing and inspirational to those of us for whom radio is the ‘game’ of our lives.  Francesa is thefrancesaspeaking quintessential local sports talker – the most important in the business – and is a voice that needs to be heard because so much has happened in the sports talk sector since last summer.  He’s the perfect guy to deliver the updated message within the context of continuity.”  Francesa’s address will directly follow the conference’s general morning keynote address delivered by Premiere Radio/Fox News Channel heavyweight Sean Hannity.  More than 60 speakers from the leadership ranks of the industry’s talent, programming, management and sales arenas are being signed up to fill out the power-packed, one-day agenda.  The TALKERS magazine annual national talk media industry conference (known for years as the “New Media Seminar”) enters its 17th consecutive year as the talk radio industry’s largest, longest-running and most important gathering.  Harrison continues, “This will be the most important installment of this must-attend conference ever because it will deal with some of the most sensitive and even existential issues facing not only the talk side of the business, but all of what we still call ‘radio.’  It should not be missed by anyone or any company serious about their future in this industry.”  Registrations for the event are limited only to people who are members of the media industry (meaning actively or recently employed in the radio, television, and press industries or associated industries) and can only be booked by telephone with credit card.  Individual registrations for the entire event including all sessions, presentations, breakfast, lunch, refreshments and receptions are $249.  As usual, because of space limitations and the quality of this long-established event, a very early sellout is expected.  Stand by for ongoing information about speakers, agenda and hotel suggestions in the days ahead.  For further registration and sponsorship information, please call 413-565-5413.

ObamaCare Criticism Returns to #1 on Talkers TenTM.  The most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of January 3-7 was scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act.  The issue held the top spot on the Talkers TenTM for eight straight weeks last fall and now returns to #1.  At #2 this week was the pending immigration legislation and the amnesty component expected to be included in the bill.  Following at #3 was talk of Hillary Clinton running for president in 2016 with the nation’s and several states’ marijuana laws coming in 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.  To view this week’s entire chart, click here.

Imaging with Style and Class in a PPM World

| February 6, 2014

By Pete Gustin
PeteGustin.com
Voice Over Artist & Creative Services Director

gustin, peteBOSTON — “Imaging” isn’t nearly as difficult a concept to define as you might think, even when it comes to radio imaging.  In fact, it’s quite simple.  What is the image that you wish to portray to your listening public?  Is it cool?  Is it smart?  Is it irreverent, connected or quirky?  When done right, your radio imaging will give your listeners the overall impression that you are exactly what you tell them you are.  It’s extremely powerful in fact.  If you’ve ever heard the old saying “act as if”, that’s exactly what you should do when it comes to your radio imaging.  Act as if you’re cool, or in this case, image as if you’re cool… and you will be.

So what happened?  Why is the true art of imaging fading away?  PPM consultants are breaking everything down into 15 minute segments and telling us that the most important thing to do is to get people from one block of listening to the next.  So how do they propose we do this?  It’s simple.  Just tell the listeners what’s coming up next and they’ll stick around to hear it, Right?  Maybe, but probably not.  I can’t remember the last time I went to see a stand-up comic who, after delivering a really fantastic joke stopped to tell the crowd “Hey, if you liked that joke, stick around.  I’ve got plenty more to come.”  The show just keeps on going… until it absolutely has to stop.

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Alex Bennett: Still Pioneering After All These Years

Alex Bennett: Still Pioneering After All These Years

| February 5, 2014

A Good Listen to a Good Guy 

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief

 

kinosianLOS ANGELESSome view their own age and/or that of others as a roadblock – a barrier to achieving an untold number of additional hopes and dreams.

To others, age – more correctly – is merely a meaningless number with no attached strings or restrictions.

Alex Bennett #1It would have been quite easy and understandable for Alex Bennett to take leave and retreat from the business in which he has been an integral part for several decades. After all, the legendary broadcaster was 73 years old when Sirius XM unceremoniously pink-slipped him last June after more than nine years of service at the satcaster (he turned 74 two months ago).

Notwithstanding an imposing and lengthy list of accomplishments and vitae, which the native Californian could trumpet as an entree to retirement, he has become an entrepreneur with “Alex Bennett’s Great American Broadcasts” being the centerpiece of his novel take to talk radio.

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Civility

| January 28, 2014

By Richard Neer
WFAN, New York
Talk Show Host

 

neerwriterNEW YORK – Would you bet your career on winning the lottery?

Unfortunately, that’s what many of us are doing. Let me explain the analogy.

Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks won the lottery.  His rant after the NFC championship game hit all the viral markers: it was loud, it was outrageous and it reached a huge audience at exactly the right time.  Sherman went from a fine-but-obscure cornerback to a national figure literally overnight.  Blogs, tweets, Facebook pages and every other form of social media either supported or vilified him.  The fame he achieved might last the traditional fifteen minutes, or with clever marketing, catapult his off-field career to new heights.

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

| January 28, 2014

wftl logoJames Crystal Radio Misses Payroll.  According to a report in Jose Lambert’s column in the Miami Herald, staffers at the James Crystal Radio Group stations in West Palm Beach – news/talkwmen logo WFTL and sports talk WMEN – have not been paid since January 1 due to the holder of a $17 million loan to the company freezing its account.  The company is operated by Jim Hilliard and when contacted by the paper, general manager Steve Lapa stated that Hilliard is working from “6:00 am to 10:00 pm daily to resolve the situation.”  Lapa reports the staffers have missed only one pay period up until this point.  Between the two stations it’s estimated there are approximately 75 employees.

davisdarrenClear Channel Creates Networks Group; Names Davis President.  In a corporate re-alignment move, Clear Channel Media + Entertainment creates a new unified Networks group to take full advantage of its “power, reach and scale to deliver more compelling content opportunities to its partners, affiliates, advertisers and consumers, as well as providing a unique platform to its content partners and talent.”  Darren Davis, most recently EVP and GM for the national programming platforms, will lead this effort as president, Clear Channel Networks Group.  The company says that in his new role, Davis will oversee and ensure the success and close integration of the networks — Premiere Networks, Total Traffic and Weather Network, the 24/7 News Network and the iHeartRadio Network.  This new position underlines Clear Channel’s continued commitment to further expanding and transforming its business, introducing innovative new products, moving onto exciting new platforms and delivering even more unique opportunities and content to its audiences and its talent.  Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman states, “This new unified Networks group will enable us to better capitalize on our powerful relationships, creative talent and unparalleled capabilities across all platforms and maximize our infrastructure in an entirely new way to take these networks to a higher level, as well as develop new ones.  Darren is an innovative and effective leader of teams and has been a success at every role he has played at this company from the beginning as a programmer through his role as EVP and GM for the National Programming Platforms (NPP) group with Tom Poleman.  His extensive and diverse experience makes him the perfect candidate for this important new leadership role.”

grandephilPhil Grande to Appear at Rumsfeld Book Event.  In conjunction with news/talk WLSS, Sarasota, Florida, nationally syndicated financial talk personality Phil Grande – host of the “Phil’s Gang” program – will make a presentation and appear with former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld at Rumsfeld’s special event and speech at the Hyatt Regency on February 13.  Rumsfeld is touring the country promoting his new book, Rumsfeld’s Rules: Leadership Lessons in Business, Politics, War and Life (Broadside 2013).

neerrichardSports Talk: How Important Is Civility?  Unlike the Seattle Seahawks’ Richard Sherman, sports talk hosts “need to be liked.”  That’s what WFAN, New York sports talk host Richard Neer says in his column published today (1/28).  Neer writes (while referencing the notoriety being enjoyed by Sherman in the aftermath of his recent rant), “If you are talented or lucky enough to win that lottery by catching the public imagination at precisely the right moment, you can thrive by being what polite society deems ‘uncivil.’  But you’re treading a narrow line and making a lot of enemies in the process.  One misstep could end your career as suddenly as a torn ACL could end Sherman’s.” Read Neer’s entire column here.

crninternational logoCRN International Debuts Events Division; Names Kelly Travers Director.  Integrated radio marketing solutions company CRN International is establishing a new Events Division for the growing number of live functions it manages as part of client campaigns.  The company says the move will allow it “to execute with optimum efficiency for the many events it coordinates for consumer brands, ranging from local radio station appearances to high-profile nightclub galas.”  To head up the new venture is Kelly Travers who is named director of retail strategies and activation.  CRN president and founder Barry Berman states, “Live events are used when they help solve a client objective, and they have to be well executed in every detail if they hope to deliver the expected business outcome.  Establishment of this new operating unit will allow our clients to sleep at night knowing all logistics are being addressed thoroughly.”  Travers notes that CRN International orchestrated more than 300 events as part of client marketing strategies last year alone.  Among the companies that have used live events engineered by CRN as an offshoot of their radio-triggered campaigns are Fiat and Petco, to name a few.

wxgiRed Zebra’s WXGI, Richmond to Simulcast on WZEZ-FM.  In a deal that will begin on February 1, Red Zebra-operated sports talk WXGI, Richmond “ESPN 950” will expand its reach by simulcasting on WZEZ at 100.5 FM.  The agreement between Red Zebra Broadcasting and Delmarva Educational Association gives “ESPN 950” reach to the northwest of the market.  General manager Buck Albritton states, “We could not be more excited to move our dynamic on-air lineup onto the FM frequency.  Most importantly, we are increasing our signal reach to serve more sports listeners.”  The stations will begin their relationship with the broadcast of Super Bowl XVLIII on Sunday.  Program director Mitchell Bradley states, “Not only is this an opportunity to serve a greater number of listeners, we will increase the number of games that we can broadcast.  We’ll be able to carry one play-by-play lineup on our AM station while featuring another program event on the FM signal.”  Red Zebra is controlled by Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder.

radiohealthjournal logoOdds & Sods.  The syndicated public affairs program “Radio Health Journal” is celebrating the airing of its 1,100th episode this week.  The program began in 1992 and is now heard on more than 480 stations across the country.  Produced by MediaTracks Communications and hosted by Reed Pence, the show provides listeners with a wide variety of health topics, including consumer safety, healthcare, drug abuse, mental illness, food safety, and youth at risk.  Pence states, “From the start, we cared about the information that we were providing to the listener.  We’ve always concentrated on providing important and useful information in a consumer friendly way.”…..SiriusXM talk host Joe Madison will attend tonight’s State of the Union Address as a guest of Congressional Black Caucus chair Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH).  On Wednesday, Fudge will appear on Madison’s program to discuss the president’s address…..The NFL’s Baltimore Ravens will be heard on Clear Channel’s classic rock WBIG, Washington, DC next season.  Last season the team’s games were heard in the DC market on Hubbard Radio’s WFED, Washington.

espnmikemikebradshawSports Talk Frenzy in NYC.  It’s Super Bowl week in New York City and ESPN – along with the other major sports radio networks including Fox Sports Radio Network, CBS Sports Radio Network and NBC Sports Radio Network – is there.  Pictured here is Fox Sports analyst Terry Bradshaw (right) on ESPN’s Mike & Mike show this morning with Mike Golic (center) and Mike Greenberg (left).  ESPN enjoys the advantage of its fabulous Times Square studios for this year’s Super Bowl.  All this week at the nearby Sheraton Hotel in Manhattan, some 90 radio stations are broadcasting from the Super Bowl XLVIII radio row.

millergovernorDown on Main Street.  Always getting out into the community, KIDO, Boise morning drive host Kevin Miller (center) takes his show out to Ed’s 50 Café where he hosts a roundtable breakfast chat with Idaho Governor Butch Otter (right) and EntreLeadership director of coaching and community John Felkins.  EntreLeadership is part of talk superstar Dave Ramsey’s organization.  Felkins’ job involves meeting with business leaders from across the country and helping them generate improvements to their companies by applying the EntreLeadership way of doing business.

comrexACCESSComrex Rolls Out Switchboard Traversal Server.  Don’t get freaked out by the engineer-speak, this is a very cool new feature for Comrex’s ACCESS and BRIC-Link IP audio codecs.  This major upgrade to the company’s popular BRIC Traversal Server (or BRIC-TS) service for ACCESS and BRIC-Link IP audio codecs allows for presence notification, status and connection help (NAT Traversal) via a cloud-based service which is free to use for Comrex ACCESS IP codec customers.  The feature is included in all Comrex ACCESS IP Audio codecs and can be unlocked on Comrex BRIC-Link codecs for a small license unlock fee.  The company states that it will be migrating all existing BRIC-TS accounts to the new Switchboard TS today (1/28) and the changeover will be seamless for existing users.  While customers will experience an improved graphical user interface, they should note two main improvements to the management tools in Switchboard.  Specifically, “Contact Lists” and “Shares” have simplified the task of managing a large fleet of ACCESS and BRIC-Link codecs.  What this all really means is that Switchboard TS is designed to allow your BRIC codecs (such as ACCESS) to connect with each other without having to have an IT guy onsite everywhere you go!  To contact Comrex by phone, call 800-237-1776.

Cool Job Opportunity. Heritage News/Talk station in the northeast has a rare opportunity in a top 100 market.  Now accepting applications for a combo News Director/Program Director.  Great company and a great opportunity for the right person with strong forward thinking programming ideas and strategies.  Must have experience in both news and programming with a multi-platform distribution approach to include on-air, online and mobile.  Please email a resume along with any supporting materials to Gabe Hobbs at gabe@gabehobbsmedia.com.  Or you can place your materials in my DropBox at https://www.hightail.com/u/GabeHobbsMedia. No calls please.  EOE/MF

State of the Union Address, NSA Spying Controversy, Hillary Clinton in 2016, More Icy Winter Weather, 56th GRAMMYs, and Super Bowl XLVIII Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/27).  The president’s annual State of the Union address to be delivered tonight; more revelations about the extent of the NSA spying operations; speculation about Hillary Clinton’s 2016 political ambitions; the next round of frigid winter weather set to hit the Midwest, East and South this week; the 56th GRAMMY awards held Sunday; and the run-up to Super Bowl XLVIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

| January 23, 2014

rabRAB Connects Radio and Home Improvement Spending.  According to the Radio Advertising Bureau’s Finding Consumer Trends (F.C.T.) Report, “when consumers are determining their next home improvement project, radio ads influence that decision.  Also, listener trust is positively influenced when a favorite radio station personality promotes a particular home improvement project or service – especially among 18-34 year olds.”  Radio Advertising Bureau president and CEO Erica Farber adds, “The findings from the survey demonstrate radio’s ability to persuade and influence behavior.  With 75% of the survey respondents being homeowners, it’s clear that radio is a key medium for home farberericanewimprovement companies and services to reach their target audience.”  The study was conducted from October 29 to November 19, 2013 and queried over 12,300 respondents aged 18+ about their home improvement plans, timelines and estimated budgets.  The RAB worked with Presslaff Interactive Revenue on the study and determined some of the top goals of homeowners regarding home improvement projects.  Presslaff president Ruth Presslaff states, “The information from this report provides RAB members with the information they need to drive sales for their stations.  The identification of consumers’ home improvement goals and preferences is certain to open doors for radio sellers and create a dialogue with local home improvement businesses and services.”  The RAB and Presslaff are presenting a webinar on this study on January 30 for members.  To become an RAB member, please call Member Response at 800-232-3131.

hannityseanSean Hannity for Senator? Governor? President?  There’s often speculation in the media about the possibility high-profile personalities – especially those in the news/talk game – would ever run for public office.  Premiere Networks nationally syndicated radio star and Fox News Channel personality Sean Hannity entertained that notion during the #Ask Sean segment of his FNC show on January 21.  His response?  “The answer is ‘yes, I think about it.’” When asked about what office he’d consider, he responded, “I’m leaving New York as you know…so it would be either in Texas or Florida.”  If Hannity does seriously consider a run for office, it would be down the road as he indicates he has ties to New York for the near future – kids in school, etc. – and contractual obligations that have him working in New York.  In case you missed it, Hannity’s plans to leave New York come after Governor Andrew Cuomo made public comments critical of those with traditional conservative values including being pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, and opposed to same-sex marriage.  The idea of Sean Hannity being political office “material” is not new, especially as a concept floated in TALKERS.  Almost a decade ago the print version of this publication featured a bold cover with an artist’s rendition of a gray “mature” version of the handsome radio star delivering a mythical presidential press conference as the nation’s Commander in Chief.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, who is vehemently non-partisan as a function of his role in the broadcasting industry, makes no secret of his admiration for Hannity’s qualities as a person of substance and potential leadership skills outside the radio show world.  Regarding today’s news story, Harrison states, “Regardless of where you stand on his political positions, on the larger playing field of life, Sean Hannity is an extremely authentic human being with remarkable ‘people skills.’  I have witnessed him in action long enough and know enough radio broadcasters over the years to recognize how out of the ordinary he is.  Hannity might be a staunch conservative and Republican Party advocate, which serves a purpose in the mosaic of things in radio and the larger marketplace of ideas – but forget the stereotypes…he is also one of the most compassionate and generous human beings in terms of his day-to-day life, his charitable work, and his dealings with colleagues in the business of all stripes.  He also works a room (from the position of central player) better than anyone I have EVER seen, including Bill Clinton!  I’m not saying Sean Hannity will be president.  But I believe he would be extremely effective as a congressional or gubernatorial candidate in the right situation.  In the meantime, from a purely selfish perspective, I truly hope he forestalls any such ambitions for years to come.  We need people of his talent and character in this business and we need them now.”

spadaforadanDan Spadafora Named Brand Manager at WHTC, Holland, Michigan.  In West Michigan, Midwest Communications brings Dan Spadafora aboard as brand manager and morning drive personality at WHTC, Holland, Michigan (25 miles southwest of Grand Rapids).  Spadafora comes to WHTC from his most recent position with Clear Channel’s sports talk WMAX-FM, Grand Rapids “96.1 FM ESPN” and sister news/talk combo WOOD-AM/FM.  He says in a statement, “Radio to me has always been more than simply a job.  It is about providing a service to the community while also doing something I love.  I want to show that not only is radio alive and well, but this station in town can be a station people can depend on for local news and information.  ‘Holland’s Hometown Station’ should be a news leader.”

wexlersteveJournal Broadcast Group Re-Aligns; Separates Radio and TV.  The move means that Journal Broadcast Group EVP and GM for the Milwaukee TV and radio stations Steve Wexler takes on the new role of EVP of radio for the company.  Debbie Turner is named EVP of television.  Journal Communications president and CFO Andre Fernandez explains, “As we have invested in our broadcast businesses and expanded our geographic footprint over the last decade, we believe that repositioning our broadcast segment around television and radio recognizes the unique expertise we’ve always had in Journal Broadcast Group around each medium.  These changes also ensure the appropriate strategic focus and resourcing for each business, and should help us further improve our operational performance.”

coxmediagroupCox Media Group Announces Openings in Tampa Cluster.  With the promotion of Tim Clarke to director of digital audience and the departure of program director Michael Sharkey, Cox Media Group Tampa has three new programming positions as a result of organizational changes following these events.  Tampa VP and market manager Keith Lawless states, “CMG has invested the last four years in creating some of the biggest and most successful brands in Tampa Bay.  This is a very unique opportunity that CMG Tampa has not seen in decades.  The entire CMG family is eager to welcome the next programming leaders to help take these big brands to the next level.”  Positions include:

  • CMG Tampa Operations Manager (OM): This new position will oversee all programming and content for CMG Tampa’s six top rated FM brands. Those stations include WWRM “Magic 94.9,” WSUN “97X,” WPOI “HOT 101.5,” WHPT “102.5 The Bone,” WDUV “105.5 The Dove,” and WXGL “107.3 The Eagle.”  This individual will oversee all program directors and will report to the Tampa VP/market manager.  The OM will also have PD responsibilities for one or more stations.
  • WPOI/WSUN Program Director:  This individual will be responsible for the branding and growth of Tampa Bay’s most innovative 18-49 brands, “HOT 101.5” and “97X.”  In its third year in format, “HOT 101.5” is a top ranked CHR while “97X” delivers one of the deepest relationships with its listeners as America’s premiere Listener Driven Radio station.  This individual must have a track record of successfully developing brands as well as a deep understanding of emerging digital and social platforms. This position will report to the OM.
  • WHPT 102.5 The Bone Program Director: This person will be responsible for the overall operation of America’s hottest talk radio station.  “The Bone” has one of radio’s largest personalities with the highest ratings, all on Florida’s hottest signal.  The successful candidate will have a track record of successfully operating talk-based formats, working with high-profile talent, and creatively marketing and growing brands like “The Bone.”

Interested candidates should send their resumes and cover letter to Keith Lawless:  1015.Lawless@coxinc.com.

cookehollandTwitter Tip: Think Twice.  Broadcasters using Twitter to connect with their audience are offered some tips from media consultant Holland Cooke who writes the following.  Observation: You won’t lose followers by not Tweeting.  Twitter is a powerful tool.  I myself was a late-adopter, and I’m real impressed.  AND IT’S FREE…and that’s a double-edged sword.  Tip: Pretend that each Tweet costs you a dollar.  Why?  Watch your followers numbers.  They tend to go down right after you’ve Tweeted something, which, apparently, one or more followers didn’t find relevant.  Don’t take it personally!  Whoever just left (and I wish there was a way to know who) might’ve followed you in the first place because an earlier Tweet was as enticing as the one that turned ‘em off wasn’t.  You yourself will un-follow after perhaps even a Tweet doesn’t grab you.  Spam is spam, whatever the platform.  I was recently exposed to some research that demonstrated something you might find unsurprising: Tweets about one’s self get re-Tweeted less than Tweets which link to third party internet content.  In Contagious: Why Things Catch On (Simon & Schuster), Wharton prof Jonah Berger writes, “People like to pass along practical useful information.  News others can use.”  Social media is sharing.  Facebook seems to be degenerating into pictures of what the waiter just delivered.

stigallchrisOdds & Sods.  WPHT, Philadelphia morning drive talk host Chris Stigall got the chance to do an in-studio segment with WestwoodOne syndicated talk host, SNL alum and comic Dennis Miller as the latter was on the East Coast for a stand-up gig at a nearby Delaware casino.  The two talked about Jimmy Fallon succeeding Jay Leno, his take on the job President Obama is doing and a look ahead to a possible Chris Christie-Hillary Clinton race in 2016…..Nationally syndicated Nashville-based talk host Phil Valentine will appear on Fox Business Channel this evening (1/23) to discuss the issue of global warming on John Stossel’s program.  Valentine recently produced the film “An Inconsistent Truth” challenging current global warming conclusions.  Also appearing on tonight’s show are Bill Nye the Science Guy and Marc Morano who runs the website ClimateDepot.com…..Fox Sports Radio Network is announcing it will be broadcasting live from New York next week leading up to Super Bowl XLVIII as it has for the past 13 years.  Beginning Monday, Fox Sports Radio will bring listeners programming and updates from several locations throughout New York City as the Dan Patrick show, “Jay Mohr Sports,” J.T. The Brick and “Steve Gorman SPORTS!” broadcast live from the center of the action…..Once again ESPN Deportes Radio is presenting play-by-play of the Super Bowl in Spanish.  Coverage will begin with a three-hour special Super Bowl preview from the stadium with analysis by Kenneth Garay, Sebastian Christensen, Eduardo Martell, Carlos Arratia and Marcelo Sandrin.  Game coverage starts at 6:00 p.m. with Garay (play-by-play) alongside Christensen (analysis) in the booth, and Sandrin reporting from the field…..The San Franciso 49ers name former NFL player Tim Ryan color analyst for 49ers radio broadcasts.  He replaces Eric Davis and will work with Ted Robinson.  Cumulus Media‘s sports KNBR and rock KSAN serve as flagships for San Franciso football games.

Global Warming/Eastern Freeze-Western Drought, Roe v. Wade Anniversary, ObamaCare Rollout, Bob McDonnell Investigation, ‘Real’ U.S. Unemployment Figures, and Iran Nuclear Deal Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/22).  The freezing winter weather affecting the East and the Western drought plus talk of their possible relationship to global warming; the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that made abortion legal; criticism of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act; the investigation of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell on corruption charges; the report that the real unemployment figure in the United States is over 30%; and the deal being struck with Iran over its nuclear program were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

| January 14, 2014

dollarsignJohn Hogan’s Exit from Clear Channel Cushioned with Cash.  Although the official line from former Clear Channel Media + Entertainment chairman and CEO John Hogan and the company is that he wanted to “spend more time with his family” and the time was right, a fair number of jaded industry watchers will never believe he wasn’t forced out – especially just seven months after he was moved to the company’s New York City offices to work more closely with CC Media Holdings chairman and CEO Bob Pittman.  The company’s 8-K filing details what Hogan is walking away with after his time leading the division.  Here’s what he can counthoganjohn on: $900,000, representing the amount previously earned by Hogan pursuant to a supplemental incentive plan with respect to 2012 performance; an annual bonus of $77,250 for performance during 2013; and a prorated annual bonus with respect to the days he was employed during 2014.  Pursuant to the Separation Agreement and in consideration of the extension by Mr. Hogan of certain restrictive covenants applicable to him, the vesting of 93,076 restricted shares of Class A Common Stock of CCMH granted to Mr. Hogan on October 22, 2012 will be accelerated and CCMH will repurchase 83,938 of such shares (the aggregate repurchase amount of such repurchased shares, the “Repurchase Amount”), provided Mr. Hogan does not revoke the Separation Agreement.  Additionally, in exchange for the Separation Agreement, Mr. Hogan’s release of claims and the extension of certain restrictive covenants applicable to him, and provided that Mr. Hogan does not revoke the Separation Agreement, CCB agreed to pay Mr. Hogan: $333,000, representing the remaining amount earned by Mr. Hogan pursuant to a supplemental incentive plan with respect to 2011 performance; an “equity value preservation payment” equal to $1,027,355, paid in a lump sum payment; a lump sum severance payment equal to (x) $1,538,000 minus (y) the Repurchase Amount; a severance payment equal to $3,297,000, paid over 36 months; and a payment of $1,000,000, paid over 12 months, beginning on the first anniversary of the date of separation.  Hogan is also entitled to receive continued healthcare coverage for 36 months, continued secretarial services for 6 months, $20,000 in outplacement services, and a housing allowance of $25,000 per month for up to 9 months, which amount is grossed up for certain applicable taxes; provided, that the housing allowance payments will stop if Mr. Hogan ceases to have obligations under the terms of his current lease agreement.  CCB also will pay up to $25,000 for Mr. Hogan’s reasonable legal fees incurred in connection with the negotiation of the Separation Agreement.

hannityseanSean Hannity to Air on Salem’s WDTK, Detroit.  The Motor City destination for Premiere NetworksSean Hannity show is Salem Communications-owned WDTK.  The program will air live in the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot.wdtk logo  It previously was heard on crosstown news/talk WJR since its 2001 national debut.  WDTK general manager Chris MacCourtney states, “The opportunity to bring Sean Hannity aboard was one we felt we could not pass up.  Sean was an instant hit when he came to Detroit and he continues to be one of the most popular talk personalities in the market.  He will join an already solid lineup of talk talent on ‘News/Talk 1400.’”  Since the first of the year, Hannity’s program had been added to Salem outlets WIND, Chicago; WWRC, Washington; and KSKY, Dallas.

quigleyalexDouble Shot of WGN, Chicago News.  Two items from Tribune’s WGN, Chicago: First, as Chicago media writer Robert Feder reported over the weekend, assistant program director Alex Quigley has been upped to operations manager at news/talk WGN, Chicago.  Quigley worked in the market at former Emmis alternative rock WKQX as interactive program manager.  When he first came to WGN he hosted the weekend show “ChicagoNow Radio” and “Chicago Preps Plus.”  WGN vice president of creative content Todd Manley said in a memo to staffers, “This is a recognition of Alex’s role in our expanding future…He’ll be mentoring producers and searching for new talent that builds our farm system, coordinating special programming, scheduling, digging deep on ratings analysis, and dreaming big dreams.”  Second,jacobsonwalter longtime television news personality Walter Jacobson brings his “Perspective” commentaries to the station beginning this Thursday.  Robert Feder reports that the longtime WBBM-TV anchor who exited the station last February will present his 90-second feature on Thursdays during Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano’s midday show and they will be repeated on the weekend during “The Sunday Spin: Politics with Rick Pearson” program.  Jacobson will also appear as a contributor to various shows on WGN.  Jacobson tells Feder, “Having been listening to WGN Radio since the day I became a reporter, and believing it’s the best in the business, I’m thrilled to be joining the team.  For me, it’s a perfect fit at a perfect time.  The station’s coming back, and 2014 is going to be an intriguing and exciting year in Chicago’s wild and woolly politics.”

salemcommunicationsSalem Communications Buys Eagle Publishing for $8.5 Million.  It had been reported recently that this deal was on the way and now it’s official as Salem Communications enters into a deal to purchase the assets of Eagle Publishing that includes conservative book publisher Regnery Publishing, and digital properties RedState.com and HumanEvents.com.  In a statement, Salem CEO Edward Atsinger IIIeaglepub logo says, “Eagle is one of the most influential companies in the conservative media space.  Its addition to Salem brings together a unique portfolio of conservative media properties and fits with our strategy of integrating traditional media and new media assets all serving the same target audience.  The opportunity we like most about this acquisition is that each of Eagle’s businesses matches up so well with Salem’s extensive media platform.  With 102 radio stations and a dozen major national websites all targeting the conservative community, this provides a perfect marketing platform to promote Eagle’s products to a wider audience.”  The purchase price is $8.5 million and current Eagle CEO Jeff Carneal will exit the organization as a result of the acquisition.

sternhoward‘A-List’ Talent Jon Bon Jovi and John Fogerty Added to Howard Stern Birthday Broadcast.  The January 31 birthday bash broadcast for SiriusXM’s Howard Stern just added two more “A-list” talents as Jon Bon Jovi and John Fogerty will join Steven Tyler, David Letterman and Louis C.K. for the show to be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel live from the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City.  On his program, Stern announced, “We have told you on the music side of things that we have Steven Tyler coming by to do a little number in honor of my birthday, I’m so honored…[today] I am excited [to announce that]…Jon Bon Jovi is going to perform…I am very excited to see Jon and thank him for that.  And also one of my heroes will perform that night—one of the greats, the all-time greats.  A guy whose every record I bought when he was in Creedence Clearwater Revival, and later his solo stuff, John Fogerty will come by to perform two great songs – I won’t say what the songs are, [but] we’re really excited about that…the list just begins there, Robin, it just begins there [there is] a huge amount of musicians coming by to help us out…it’s great.”

dubayjeffSports Talk Host Jeff Dubay Exits KSTP, Minneapolis in Budget Move.  Twin Cities sports talk personality Jeff Dubay, who fought a public battle against drug addiction to return to the airwaves in the market on Hubbard Radio’s KSTP, has left the station in what he says is a budget-related move.  The Star-Tribune reports Dubay – who worked at Clear Channel’s “KFAN” sports talk brand for 10 years before a crack cocaine addiction sidelined him – sent social media messages indicating that he was let go from the late morning show he co-hosted with Judd Zulgad because of financial reasons.  The station posted a message on its Facebook page confirming the matter was financial and not performance related.  The paper reports KSTP waived Dubay’s non-compete and he is free to work in the market if the opportunity arises.

shannonmikecardsShannon Staying With the Redbirds. St. Louis Cardinals fans will continue to hear Mike Shannon as the voice of the National League team that appeared in the 2013 World Series, as the former MLB player signs a two-year contract extension.  This will be Shannon’s 42nd year as a Cardinals broadcaster and 56th year with the team.  According to club president Bill DeWitt, “Mike’s voice has become the soundtrack to St. Louis baseball.  We look forward to having him back in the booth this season and for years to come.”  It is anticipated that Shannon will call all Cardinals’ home games this year for St. Louis flagship KMOX and roughly 30 road games for the CBS Radio-owned talk station.  Fox Sports Midwest‘s Rick Horton and former lefty relief pitcher Al Hrabosky will do the remaining road games.  Shannon will continue his work throughout the year on KMOX pre-game, post-game, and morning drive call-in segments.

mhblasingamebookGreat Read!  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is pictured intensely absorbing the new book authored by independently syndicated talk show host Jim Blasingame titled The Age of the Customer: Prepare for the Moment of Relevance  (2014 SBN Books).  Blasingame is the longtime host of the very successful program “The Small Business Advocate Show” which is targeted to helping independent entrepreneurs and business owners cope with the day-to-day issues that face people running their own companies during this era of rapidly accelerating change.  This book, Blasingame’s third, is “his best work yet,” according to Harrison and “must-reading for anyone out there on the perilous high seas of today’s turbulent marketplace…especially those who are doing it independently without the backing of the Wall Street/banking/big-time money machine.”  Harrison goes on to say, “This includes those brave and hardy ‘Davids’ owning and operating independent radio stations and small groups, syndication companies and internet communications startups bucking the death grip of today’s mega-corporate ‘Goliaths.’”  The premise of the book is that small business owners are operating at a time that is so momentous it has never happened before.  Blasingame, a veteran of TALKERS magazine’s Heavy Hundred, identifies it as an epochal marketplace shift that’s causing the 10,000 year old Age of the Seller to be replaced by the Age of the Customer.  With an introduction by Steve Forbes, Blasingame’s book reveals how these two ages are existing concurrently in parallel universes, and how much time business-people have left to join the emerging universe.  He says relevance is replacing competitiveness and explains how to recognize when you arrive at the “moment of relevance,” how to connect with “new-influencers” who co-own your brand message; why you must be a good storyteller; the good, the bad and the ugly of social media; and he identifies the “killer app” that wasn’t a part of your past but will dominate your future.  Broadcasters interested in learning more about this book and perhaps scheduling Jim Blasingame as a guest can visit AgeoftheConsumer.com or email jim@jbsba.com.

cpb logoWHYY, Philadelphia-Led Local Journalism Center Awarded CPB Grant.  The recipient organization of a Corporation for Public Broadcasting grant for $1.5 million is the new multimedia local journalism center (LJC), Keystone Crossroads — a collaboration of Pennsylvania public media stations.  The new Keystone Crossroads is led by WHYY, Philadelphia.  Pittsburgh’s WQED and WESA FM, Central Pennsylvania’s WPSU and Harrisburg’s WITF will be partner stations.  The LJC will focus on the challenges the cities are facing, including a shrinking tax base and crumbling infrastructure, and enormous budget deficits.  The Corporation for Public Broadcasting  states, “By combining smart storytelling with energetic civic engagement, Keystone Crossroads will help Pennsylvanians see the challenges of their cities more clearly, understand how they are related, and create a forum for potential solutions at both the local and state levels.”  CPB president Pat Harrison adds, “Local Journalism Centers are really centers of collaboration comprising public media stations working together to report on local stories with significant impact.  This kind of focused collaboration ensures in depth reporting on issues of importance and concern to Pennsylvanians and of interest to all Americans.”  In addition to Keystone Crossroads, CPB  funds six other LJCs across the country, including:  EarthFix based in the Northwest; Fronteras in the Southwest; Harvest in the Midwest; Innovation Trail in upstate New York, the Southern Education Desk in the South, and most recently the Energy LJC in the Rocky Mountains.

Chris Christie Scandal, Hillary Clinton in 2016, New Congressional Spending Deal, ObamaCare Enrollment Status, A-Rod Suspension/Legal Challenge, and Golden Globe Awards Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/13).  The ongoing analysis of the Chris Christie lane closure scandal and apology press conference; speculation about Hillary Clinton’s plans to run for president in 2016; the new $1 trillion spending plan approved by Congress; enrollment in healthcare plans via the Affordable Care Act; Alex Rodriguez 162-game suspension and his plans to challenge the arbitration ruling; and the aftermath of Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, January 13, 2013

| January 13, 2014

cclogoClear Channel Media + Entertainment Chairman and CEO John Hogan Retires; Position Eliminated.  In a move that comes as a surprise to many, John Hogan is retiring from Clear Channel Media + Entertainment as chairman and CEO and will take on the title of chairman emeritus.  At the same time, his position will not be filled and folks in the CCM+Ehoganjohn division will report to CC Media Holdings chairman Bob Pittman and president and CFO Rich Bressler as Pittman announces he’s signed a five-year extension of his contract.  In a statement this morning, Pittman says, “John Hogan has made tremendous contributions to Clear Channel during his tenure – particularly during the unprecedented economic headwinds our country, our industry and our company, faced in 2008 and 2009.  He has been an pittmanbobexcellent partner for me and for Clear Channel’s leadership as we have evolved into the only multi-platform media company with national reach and the ability to execute locally.  As my friend and partner in Clear Channel Media + Entertainment, John has been an important element in Clear Channel’s transformation into a multiplatform media company.  There is never a perfect time to make big decisions like this, but his logic was compelling and making this change at the start of a new year made sense.  We thank him for his long service and the enormous positive impact he’s had on both our company and the radio industry, and we are delighted that John will remain part of the family with his title of Clear Channel Media + Entertainment chairman emeritus.”  Hogan joined Clear Channel when Jacor – for which he was serving as senior vice president of radio – was acquired by the company in 1999.  He became president and CEO of Clear Channel Radio in 2002 and took on the chairman and CEO of CCM+E role in 2012.

bauerletomWBEN, Buffalo Talk Host Tom Bauerle Is the Subject of Talk Himself After Police Visits to His Home.  From a piece published in the Buffalo News, we learn that there is concern among WBEN, Buffalo afternoon drive host Tom Bauerle’s Williamsville, New York neighbors and local police about his recent behavior that some might describe as paranoid.  Here’s the short version: the paper reports that police responded to a 911 call to Bauerle’s home last Wednesday where Bauerle complained he was under surveillance by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s operatives.  Police found Bauerle in his backyard with a loaded weapon.  He surrendered the weapon to police – who were not able to find evidence of anyone spying on Bauerle – and was also willing to surrender additional weapons in his home to his attorney.  The paper also reports that Bauerle’s neighbors held a recent meeting with the talk host after he sent them emails raising the issue of him being “watched.”  Neighbors told the paper his concerns seemed “quirky” and “made you scratch your head.”  Nonetheless, Bauerle – who was off the air last Wednesday and Thursday but returned to the air on Friday to explain his absence was due to hitting a “physical wall of exhaustion” – did agree to a voluntary psychiatric evaluation on Wednesday of last week.  No reports have been released yet and the Buffalo News received its information from neighbors and interviews with police officers who are remaining anonymous until the report is released.  No charges have been filed in connection with the incident.  Read the Buffalo News story here.

gallaghermikeProfile: Salem Radio Network’s Mike Gallagher.  Talk radio personality Mike Gallagher has been in the business since he talked his way into a substitute position at WAVI, Dayton while a junior in high school in 1978.  Thirty-six years later and heard in syndication across the country, Gallagher tells TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian that he’s still going strong after a career that’s seen him in morning drive at WABC, New York; in business for himself running his own syndicated show; and moving on with his career after the heartbreaking loss of his wife Denise to endometrial cancer in 2008.  His philosophy about programming a talk show remains simple, “I go where my gut takes me.  You have to reflect the ‘hits,’ and in our business, the ‘hits’ mean the headlines.”  He tells TALKERS that he has always stayed on top of how his show is performing from a business perspective.  “It is self-preservation, and my secret to longevity.  I learned many years ago that ratings in our business are very volatile, and in particular, talk radio ratings can be cyclical.  We are subjected to a political season and a post-political season, so ratings go up and down.  I will always win, however, if I deliver revenue…I know where we are to the penny at any given point, and right now, I’m 7% over my January budget.  It is a tough environment, so I am very proud of that.  We are fighting and scrapping for every dollar.  I have always viewed the radio show as a business.  I learned that many years ago from Greg Anderson.”  Read Mike Kinosian’s entire profile of Mike Gallagher here.

kfbk logoKFBK, Sacramento FM Signal Changes.  News/talk KFBK, Sacramento’s FM simulcast had been 92.5 for much of the past two years.  But after Christmas, Clear Channel Sacramento flipped KFBK’s FM signal to 93.1 – most recently the location of classic hits KHLX.  Now we know that the company made the switch so that it could turn the better 92.5 signal into new country outlet “The New B92.5.”  The 93.1 frequency is licensed to Pollock Pines – some 40 miles west of downtown Sacramento – whereas the 92.5 signal is centered on the market and provides full-market coverage.

canzano logoKXTG-AM, Portland Sports Talker Named Sportswriter of the Year.  Midday sports talk host John Canzano – heard from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daily on Alpha Broadcasting’s KXTG-AM, Portland – is named 2013 Oregon Sportswriter of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association and Hall of Fame.  Finalists for the award were nominated by NSSA members from mid-October to mid-November.  Final balloting took place during the month of December.   In addition to his work on KXTG-AM, Canzano writes for the Oregonian and makes regular appearances on KGW-TV.  Oregonian editor and vice president of content Peter Bhatia states, “John is a terrific columnist and reporter.  He brings something special to our city and state every day and it is great to see that recognized.”  KXTG-AM PD Bernie Bokenyi adds, “I am honored to have John as a part of our team on ‘750 The Game.’  His commitment to readers, listeners and viewers every day is unmatched.”  Canzano comments, “This market offers the most compelling news anywhere in the country.  I love working and living here and being able to bring that to readers and listeners and viewers.  We’re different than other markets — we have an ongoing dialogue.”

longjaleighLong Named Co-GSM at WSB, Atlanta.  At Cox Media Group’s Atlanta Radio, Jaleigh Long is named new co-general sales manager for news/talk WSB where she’ll work alongside fellow GSM Beth Bowers.  Director of sales Walt Phillips says, “Jaleigh Long has a proven track record of leading her teams from the front.  Her focus has and will continue to be on developing talent and driving new business development initiatives.  She’s strategic in her problem solving and decision making with an extensive background in digital ad products and strategy.  Partnering with current GSM Beth Bowers only strengthens our position when it comes to coaching and leading this team into a new era at news/talk WSB.”  Long spent the last seven years as GSM for South Central Media in Evansville, Indiana.

sportsusaBrandon Randazzo Named Social Media Director at Sports USA.  The executive producer of Sports USA’s “Conversations with Joe Morgan,” and podcasts “Leigh Steinberg on Sports” and “Odds Are with Jimmy Vaccaro” is upped to director of social media for the company,  Sports USA president Bob Moore says Brandon Randazzo “is a go-to guy with a vast history of getting the job done.  His background in programming, producing, promotions, and voicing radio stations tied to his skill set of social media makes him the ideal person for this position.  Brandon will front all of our social media platforms going forward.”  Randazzo comments, “Sports USA is one of the most respected names in radio.  Their relationship with a significant network of over 400 radio affiliates and massive audience will increase the exposure of our social media platforms every day.  I am excited for this opportunity to expand the Sports USA brand into social media.”

hollandbrianTalk Personality Brian Holland to Host Syndicated Overnight Show.  The program is called “The Graveyard Shift” and host Brian Holland is planning to self syndicate it beginning March 17.  In a statement, Holland says, “Overnights are often a forgotten daypart because everyone assumes that one show is unstoppable.  That was true a few years ago, but now, the fact of the matter is when a program isn’t challenged, it’s of course going to stay number one.  We are getting a lot of attention from stations that are either concerned with the drop in their overnight audience, or are looking for something serious and sustainable to carry in that daypart.”  Holland’s press release states the program will focus on the paranormal and what he calls “fringe topics,” but will also cover popular culture, movie news, video game news, and other topical items.  Each program will feature at least one guest for an interview, listener phone calls and emails, and a look at current affairs from all walks of life.  The show was formerly syndicated by Harris Broadcasting Network but ceased after the death of that company’s principal.

Three Broadcasters Facing Legal Action for Copyright Infringement.  Orange County California-based Mavrix Photographs LLC has filed complaints against Clear Channel, CBS Radio and Townsquare Media for copyright infringement in the United States District Court Central District of California.  Mavrix claims that the three companies all posted images it owns – specifically, images of pop star Katy Perry – to some of their stations’ websites with full knowledge that the photos did not belong to them.  As in the past, Mavrix is seeking $150,000 per illegal use per company but it is more likely that the issue will be settled out of court for less than what Mavrix seeks.  Still, the lesson for website operators is that – especially with celebrity photos – the companies that own the copyrights will seek out violators and will file complaints if they recognize their property being used without permission.

wwtn logoCool Talk Radio Opportunity.  WWTN-FM, Nashville seeks full-time midday host.  This is a rare opportunity in the city The New York Times calls “it!”  Nashville is on the rise and WTN is the dominant talk station in Music City.  We are a live and local operation.  With the addition of this position the station is live and local from 5:00 am to 7:00 pm every weekday.  And “yes,” we usually beat Rush.  This is not an entry level job.  We are looking for some authentic, fresh energy – someone that is a people person and will weave themself into the fabric of the community in short order.  Expect to work social media and participate in public events.  We’re looking for someone who is a voracious consumer of news and info – someone that brings solutions with the problems, someone with a sense of hope.  You should be as good as any trial lawyer at convincing people of your position using indisputable logic to connect the dots.  You can’t ‘just’ do national-political; you have to sound like Nashville.  You must be good at sensing the mood of the community and covering a wide range of emotions.  If you are just angry, don’t bother applying.  Being a fan of and having interest in country music is a plus.  Email resume, references, optional cover letter, and un-scoped air-check to cumulusradio.jobs@cumulus.com put “WWTN-FM Nashville Host” in subject line.  Cumulus Media is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer

Heeding Headlines Has Gallagher Playing the Hits

| January 13, 2014

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES — Neither long ago (relatively speaking) nor far away in some remote galaxy, teenagers were so routinely enthralled by their local radio station of choice that summoning up the courage to actually go visit it was a personal seminal moment.

When one Dayton high school junior made such a trek in 1978, nothing short of a series of mind-boggling events followed.

Eager to see what his favorite facility looked like, this 17-year-old requested a tour, and what immediately caught his attention wasn’t a piece of equipment or seeing someone involved in the on-air process. Rather, it was a bulletin board memo, which read that the station was “still looking for a young talk-master.”

Completely fearless, he knocked on the program director’s door and confidently declared he could do that. As luck would have it, the night talent at the talk station was out with the flu.

Improbable reality number one was that, while the PD had planned to fill-in for his ailing talent, he remarkably, inexplicably said the young visitor should go ahead and give talk radio hosting a try – that night.

Either the program director was one of the foremost assessors of raw talent imaginable or, at the other end of the spectrum, had temporarily taken leave of his senses.

Regardless, the high school student did a four-hour shift and was so impressive in what was – in essence – an on-air audition that, defying logic, he was hired.

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TalkersRadio Hits the Ground Running for 2014 with New Hosts, Shows and Programming Directions

| January 10, 2014

By Kevin Casey
TALKERS
VP/Executive Editor

caseywriter (2)TalkersRadio logo 300SPRINGFIELD, MA – TalkersRadio, the “experimental” talk radio station launched last fall by TALKERS magazine to provide the industry with a “work out space” and “showcase for new talk programming concepts” has, according to its general manager David Bernstein, “hit the ground running” in 2014 with the announcement of several new hosts and shows scheduled to join its programming roster this month.

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Friday, January 10, 2014

| January 10, 2014

nielsen logoWill Nielsen’s Dominance in Online Measurement Hurt Radio Buys?  According to some analysts – most notably J.P. Morgan’s Doug Anmuth – the answer is yes.  In a piece published at MediaPost News by Joe Mandese, Anmuth asserts that Nielsen’s Online Campaign Ratings is growing in acceptance and may become the dominant “currency” for digital ratings and that it will drive ad budgets from TV and radio to digital.  Mandese writes that though some marketers and agencies prefer comScore’s vCE ratings system used to plan, buy and validate online ad buys, Nielsen’s dominance in the ratings in other media will give it the ability to leverage that into cross-platform ratings.  With YouTube’s recent adoption of Nielsen’s ORC system, it’s being predicted by Anmuth the move could “drive material change in TV buyer behavior.”  Similarly, Nielsen’s imminent rollout of its streaming audio measurement will affect radio buys.  Anmuth writes, “Just as we are seeing a shift in digital video measurement with YouTube, we expect streaming music providers including Pandora to gravitate towards partnerships with traditional measurement providers.  Nielsen is deeply engaged in developing the technology to measure streaming radio and it is working to fully integrate Nielsen Audio.”  Check out the story here.

emmisEmmis Net Revenue Up 3.4% — on Strength of Publishing.  The loss of political advertising that all broadcasting companies are dealing with – the fall of 2012 was a good year for that sector and Emmis’ fiscal Q3 measures September, October and November – affected the company’s 2013 Q3 to 2012 Q3 comparison and the result was a 0.4% increase in revenue for Emmis’ radio division.  The publishing segment of the business carried the day with a 9.8% increase in net revenue.  Emmis CEO Jeffsmulyanjeff Smulyan says in a statement, “The government shutdown in October, coupled with non-recurring political revenues from the prior year, caused significant headwinds for us and the radio industry.  However, Emmis’ ability to grow revenues despite these challenges is a testament to the talent, ingenuity and hustle of the Emmis team.  Our radio revenues are rebounding in our fourth fiscal quarter as these challenges have abated and our publishing division continues to post impressive revenue gains.  NextRadio, the Emmis-led industry initiative to make FM broadcast radio available on mobile phones via a pre-loaded app, continues to gain momentum and recently exceeded 100,000 activations.  I’m excited about the progress we are making and the momentum we have heading into calendar 2014.”

talkersradio logoTalkersRadio Hits the Ground Running for 2014 with New Hosts, Shows and Programming Directions. TalkersRadio, the “experimental” talk radio station launched last fall by TALKERS magazine to provide the industry with a “work out space” and “showcase for new talk programming concepts” has, according to its general manager David Bernstein, “hit the ground running” in 2014 with the announcement of several new hosts and shows scheduled to join its programming roster this month. Set for launch this weekend (1/12) is “Radio Lifeboat with DG & Mickey Gooch,” described by Bernstein as “a raw, emotion-packed ‘reality’ show that sure ain’t no cruise.” The one-hour-per-week program, emanating live on Sunday evenings at 7:00 pm ET from Malibu, California, is hosted by the mother/son team of Diane “DG” Gooch and her son Mickey Gooch. The show is basically a weekly therapy and educational support session helping people and families overcome the challenges of addiction. Also debuting this month (1/25) is a new program from Lionel – one of the most iconoclastic, impossible-to-peg, and intellectually stimulating talk show hosts of the modern era. A veteran of such major outlets as WABC and WOR, New York among others, as well as being a podcast pioneer at lionelmedia.com the quirky, satirical and extremely original observer of the human condition has been enjoying tremendous success conceiving, writing, producing and performing daily commentaries on the heritage WPIX-TV, Channel 11 for the past four years in New York City where the ex-prosecutor’s also added his insight and experience as its resident legal analyst. However, he has not forgotten his roots in and love for radio and promises that his 9:00 am to 10:00 am Saturday show will provide Lionel enthusiasts around the country with a version of his work that is “like nothing they have ever heard before. This will truly be Lionel unchained!” Another program getting readied for launch on TalkersRadio in either late-January or early-February is “The Hard Question with Blanquita Cullum.” Hosted by veteran talk show host, Washington-insider, and former member of the United States Broadcasting Board of Governors, Blanquita Cullum, the one-hour-per-week show will cover the hottest and most-pressing economic, environmental and political issues facing the country from a non-partisan, non-ideological perspective. Cullum tells TALKERS, “I’ve been in this business too long to mess around playing the old right versus left game that is quickly getting us nowhere. It is time to get serious – especially having this marvelous platform upon which to perform – and dust off the old journalism skills. Just as the name implies, I will be asking big shots and policy makers from the worlds of energy, finance and government the hard questions. None of that easy, puff-piece stuff. This show is going to get down, dirty and real!” These new shows will join the already-developing programs on TalkersRadio that include “The Brent & Meg Radio Show” hosted by the dynamic husband/wife duo Brent Seltzer and Meg McDonald, “Green Connections” hosted by Washington, DC-based energy and sustainability expert, journalist Joan Michelson, “Healed Planet” hosted by well-known talk media star Alan Colmes, “The Robbie Student Show” hosted by record producer and urban philosopher Robbie Student, and “The Talkers Show” hosted by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison. To read more about TalkersRadio, check out a full feature story posted today by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey by clicking here.

kahnjulieRegan Communications Group Names Kahn EVP/Sports Media. Former Entercom vice president and New England market manager Julie Kahn joins public relations firm Regan Communications Group as executive vice president of sports/media.  Over and above that, she will be a special advisor to company president/founder George Regan, who comments, “Julie Kahn’s talents, skills, mind, and passion for this business are a grand slam for our company.  This is a great start to our new year.” Kahn “had the pleasure” to work with Regan Communications for the nearly 14 years that she was with Entercom.  “I am excited to become part of the management team and help Regan continue its growth and success,” she remarks.  Among Kahn’s new duties will be working with her former employer – Entercom, Boston – which is one of Regan’s clients.  In addition to being a board member of the Boston Sports Museum, Kahn is on the Boston board of directors for the National Sports Management Network.  The holder of a JD/MBA from Northwestern University, Kahn began her radio career in WGN, Chicago’s sales department; was general manager of KSAN, San Francisco; and vice president/director of sales for Susquehanna, San Francisco.

baldwinmcculloughBaldwin/McCullough Show Auditions on WNYM, New York.  With the move of talk personality Curtis Sliwa to crosstown WABC, Salem Communications news/talk WNYM “Am 970 The Answer” is putting the XtreMedia-produced Baldwin/McCullough program on this afternoon and next Friday as an audition.  Actor Stephen Baldwin and media entrepreneur and talk host Kevin McCullough have been hosting the Baldwin/McCullough program as a weekend show for the past several years.  Also, Iowa-based talk personality Steve Deace is set to audition in the afternoon drive slot on WNYM next Monday through Thursday.

kgmzlogoMidday Changes at Entercom’s ’95.7 The Game’ in San Francisco.  The late morning show featuring Sean O’Connell, Matt Steinmetz and producer Justin Kleisley is out and program director Jason Barrett announces “friends since high school” Guy Haberman and John Middlekauff are partnering up for the new 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program.  Haberman serves as host of the station’s pre- and post-game shows for Oakland As broadcasts and was host of the evening show at KGMZ during 2013.  Middlekauff was West Coast scout for the Philadelphia Eagles for the past two years and served as an NFL analyst for the station since the beginning of the 2013 NFL season.  The new pair begin hosting the “Mid-Morning Show” on January 20.  Matt Steinmetz had been working at KGMZ in the late morning daypart for the past 18 months.  He was joined by O’Connell last February.

buehlerjulieJulie Buehler and Geoff Bloom Re-Up with KXPS, Palm Springs.  The “Buehler’s Day Off” afternoon drive show at CRC Media West-owned sports talker KXPS, Palm Springs “Team 1010 KXPS” will continue with the station through this year.  Sports media pro Julie Buehler and co-host Geoff Bloom joined the station in June of 2012.  Buehler comments, “I love the Coachella Valley!  Love the vibrancy, the spectrum of sports fans and the rich culture and I’m honored to be a voice for such a passionate community.  I know with the vision from CRC Media West and our team’s ability to execute such a thorough game plan, 2014 will be even more groundbreaking, history-making fun than the past 18 months.”

lebatarddanDan Le Batard Has Baseball Hall of Fame Vote Taken Away.  In November, WAXY, Miami and ESPN Radio personality Dan Le Batard – also a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America (which votes for Hall of Fame players) – gave his vote to Deadspin.com in a protest saying his vote has become pretty worthless in the “sanctimonious” atmosphere of the process.  There’s a rule against that and the BBWAA board of directors voted to strip Le Batard of his vote this season and beyond.  He also will not be able to cover any baseball event this season as a sanctioned BBWAA member.

baumannbigjoeNew Morning Show at WRSO, Orlando.  At sports talker WRSO, Orlando “810 CBS Sports Radio,” there’s a new morning team in the 7:00 am to 9:00 am slot.  Former TV anchor Dave Baumann and local radio personality Big Joe are taking over the slot.  The station is owned by Star Over Orlando and it says the program will soon also be heard on the 93.1 frequency as well.

Odds & Sods.  All-newser KNX, Los Angeles continues its “KNX on Your Corner” series on January 31 when it takes an in-depth look at the unique aspects of the Crescenta Valley communities lying between the San Gabriel Mountains and the Verdugo Mountains: La Crescenta-Montrose, La Cañada Flintridge, Sunland and Tujunga.  The CBS RADIO station will broadcast live from the Black Cow Cafe in the heart of Old Town Montrose.  News anchors bearmanethanTom Haule and Vicky Moore will kick off the day 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 Chris Sedens and Diane Thompson will be on hand from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm…..KSCO, Santa Cruz talk host Ethan Bearman will host the KSFO Talk Show from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon on Cumulus Media’s KSFO on Monday and Tuesday January 13 and 14.  The slot currently has no permanent host…..Talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs – syndicated nationally via Genesis Communications Network – celebrated her 5th wachsdaliahanniversary on the radio yesterday (1/9).  She tells TALKERS magazine that she began her radio career five years ago on KLAV…..MSNBC shuffles its daily lineup after the departure of Martin BashirAlex Wagner moves into the 4:00 pm ET slot previously held by Bashir and the network will feature a rotating cast of hosts for Wagner’s 12:00 noon slot – including Joy Reid who’s been sitting in the 4:00 pm slot lately…..For the 3rd consecutive year, Entercom’s WEEI, Boston will serve as the official radio partner for the 2014 Pan-Mass Challenge August 2 and 3.  The PMC – a 190-mile bike event starting in Sturbridge, Massachusetts and ending in Provincetown and the tip of Cape Cod – is the largest single athletic fundraising event in the country and, since 1980, has raised more than $414 million for the Jimmy Fund, which supports adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

savagemichaelTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The “Savage Nation” show hosted by Michael Savage is added to the programming at the following stations: WCFO, Atlanta; WVGG, Lucedale, Mississippi; WLBY, Saline, Michigan; KBHS, Hot Springs, Arkansas; KVPI-AM, Ville Platte, Louisiana…..Business talk host Phil Grande’s “Phil’s Gang” show is added to the lineup at KDWN, Las Vegas…..Cumulus Media NetworksMark Levin is now heard on WFNC, Fayetteville, North Carolina; WVLK-FM, Lexington; WFNR, Blacksburg, Virginia; KFAY, Fayetteville, Arkansas; and WALG, Albany, Georgia…..Conservative/libertarian Genesis Communications Network-syndicated talk host Jason Lewis is added to the program schedule at KZRG, Joplin, Missouri…..From WYM Media, the Leslie Marshall show joins the programming at KABQ, Albuquerque and Phil Hendrie’s program is now heard on KNEW, San Francisco and KTNF, Chico/Redding, California…..“Freedom Feens” with Michael W. Dean and Neema Vedadi is added to the programming at WVFT-FM, Tallahassee; WYOO-FM, Panama City, Florida; and KENN-AM/FM, Farmington, New Mexico.

Chris Christie Scandal Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 6-10.  The Fort Lee lane closure scandal that’s rocking New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s administration was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week making it the #1 story on the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was former Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ book Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War (Random House 2013), which criticizes President Obama and his administration.  Following at #3 was the “polar vortex” chilling much of the nation tied with the companion topic of global warming and at #4 was Janet Yellen being confirmed chief of the Federal Reserve.  The Talkers TenTM is a chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

| January 9, 2014

cclogoClear Channel Releases Results of ‘Audio Space’ Study; Growth in New Platforms Means Audio Consumption Is ‘Additive.’  The study was a combined effort with MediaVest and Clear Channel Media + Entertainment and surveyed “thousands of audio listeners who use one or more of the following audio sources ­ personal music collections (CDs, iTunes downloads), broadcast radio, streaming AM/FM radio, custom online playlists, satellite radio, online music videos and digital music channels on TV ­ shows.”  Among the results of the study is the conclusion that “because of the use of alternate audio devices, time spent across audiomediaVest logo platforms continues to increase and growth in audio is predominantly additive.”  The goal of the study was to determine when, why and how consumers choose different audio platforms and some of the conclusions reached are: afternoon drive (3:00 pm to 7:00 pm) generally sees the highest usage; the car remains the most popular location for audio listening throughout the day; 63% of teens listen to more than two audio platforms a day – the highest of any demographic; broadcast radio is the most popular audio platform; listeners choose broadcast radio to stay connected to “the world,” top drivers for radio usage are its accessibility, timely news, traffic, weather, engagement with radio personalities and discovering new music; personal music collections (CDs, iTunes downloads, etc.) are about control with 81% choosing the platform to control or customize their listening experience.  Custom playlists are also about control and follow with 67% choosing the platform for this reason; 41% of consumers are willing to listen to ads in exchange for free online audio.  Ads related to the music consumers like and optimized for the time of day are most powerful.  MediaVest EVP and research director David Shiffman states, “In the audio space, most measurement focuses on a single audio platform, rather than a complete view of the landscape.  Our goal in working with Clear Channel – with its extensive experience in both live and digital radio – was to generate a real-time and accurate view of the audio space, which we believe is going through an evolution similar to television.  Marketers have embraced the concept of multi-screen consumer behavior, but audio media also provides a tremendous opportunity for them to connect with their target audience throughout their day.”

cookeholland2014 CES: Innovate or… Reporting for TALKERS from the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas is media consultant Holland Cooke who writes that one of the hottest topics during CEA CEO Gary Shapiro’s interview with FCC chairman Tom Wheeler was spectrum auction; that all of the five FCC commissioners where there and he was able to ask a question or two about AM revitalization of Ajit Pai; about some very revealing stats that show why smart broadcasters are taking advantage of posting video to YouTube (and why you should, too); and even more about the ‘connected car’ that is the focus of so much of the audio and information sector at the show.  Read Holland Cooke’s report here.

pahigiancarySaga Portland President Pahigian Prepares To Exit.  Fifteen-year Portland Radio Group president Cary Pahigian broke the news to his staff yesterday (1/8) he will soon be leaving the Maine operation.  According to Pahigian, he told Saga vice president Warren Lada about a year ago that he was evaluating his next professional challenge.  “I was certainly happy and fortunate to be working with the finest group of people I have ever met,” Pahigian wrote in a staff memo.  “Still, the impending 15-year mark was activating an area in my brain that had been quiet for years.  Warren asked me to forge ahead and see how I felt at the end of 2013.  The only way to properly examine what I wanted to do and aggressively pursue that opportunity, was to focus on it 100%.  It would be impossible to conduct that process and still remain at my best with the demands of this job.”  Pahigian continues his duties at the operation until his successor is hired.  Prior to his 15-year Portland, Maine tenure as president of the eight-station cluster, Pahigian was a 26-year-old station manager at heritage Boston outlet WBZ-AM; corporate vice president of operations for Sconnix Broadcasting; and he programmed Philadelphia’s WIP.

grantbobWABC, New York to Air Bob Grant Special.  The longtime home to late talk radio pioneer Bob Grant will air a special broadcast in his honor this weekend.  Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York – where Grant worked daily from 1984-1996 and again weekly from 2009-2013 – is airing the special program that “will feature notable moments from the talk show host as well as comments from broadcasters inspired by Mr. Grant.  Also, included in the special are thoughts and comments from members of Mr. Grant’s immediate family.”  WABC program director Craig Schwalb said, “WABC is proud to produce this special to honor the late Bob Grant, a true legend in our industry.  We hope our listeners will enjoy this opportunity to remember his contribution to WABC and to the city of New York.”  The show will air Saturday 1/11 at 5:00 pm and Sunday 1/12 at 4:00 pm.  Grant died on December 31, 2013 after an illness at age 84.

weei logoWEEI.com Keeps Its Team Intact. All contributing writers and columnists of Boston’s WEEI.com have signed new contracts for this calendar year.  Alex Speier, Mike Petraglia, DJ Bean, Christopher Price, and Jerry Spar will continue blogging, opining, and reporting breaking sports news for the site, as well as appearing regularly on Entercom-owned Boston sports outlet WEEI-FM.  They join Kirk Minihane and Celtics beat writer Ben Rohrbach.  Last week, “Dennis & Callahan” morning show co-host Minihane signed a long-term deal as the site’s opinion editor.  “It is a privilege to work alongside such a talented and dedicated group of sports journalists,” comments site editor Rob Bradford.  “There isn’t another sports radio station in the country with WEEI’s commitment to enterprise journalism.  Boston sports fans have come to expect us to be first with breaking news and commentary wherever they engage with our brand.”  WEEI brand manager Kevin Graham remarks, “[These guys] live and breathe Boston sports and they are respected throughout the Boston sports landscape for their journalistic integrity.  In this sports-crazed market that boasts some of the most esteemed writers in the business, they stand among the best-in-breed.” WEEI.com recently won the 2013 RAIN Internet Radio award for “Best Streaming Radio Station in America.”

wtoplogoWTOP, Washington Touts Page View Growth.  Hubbard Radio all-news WTOP, Washington, DC reports that it realized “a 30% overall increase in page views to WTOP.com, averaging more than 22 million page views and reaching more than 1.8 million unique users per month.”  The organization adds that “a number of major news stories in the nation’s capital contributed to this growth, including sequestration, the government shutdown, and the Navy Yard shooting.  WTOP.com also strengthened its commitment to unique local content with the launch of two new verticals – Living and Technology – and the introduction of the live blog for breaking news…WTOP’s growth can also be attributed to its strategic use of social media. Traffic to WTOP.com from Facebook and Twitter grew by 150% in 2013, making WTOP one of the top five social media players in the DC market.”  WTOP director of digital media John Meyer says, “While news judgment will always be the primary factor in story selection, we have editorial meetings throughout the day, using a variety of statistical tools to determine how our homepage is performing.  Armed with the most recent data on what people are searching, clicking, and sharing, we can adjust accordingly.”

deprezmarkMark DePrez Named VP/GM at Farm Journal Media.  Former longtime WOWO, Fort Wayne general manager and Federated Media COO Mark DePrez joins Farm Journal Media as VP/GM of the company’s radio business.  In this position DePrez will oversee such shows as “AgriTalk with Mike Adams” and “American Countryside with Andrew McCrea.”  The company also reports that a new commodity markets-focused show hosted by Chip Flory is being prepared to launch in the early spring.  Farm Journal Broadcast SVP Brian Conrady says, “We are thrilled to have Mark join our team.  Radio has quickly become an important part of Farm Journal’s integrated go-to-market media strategy, and Mark has the experience, the talent and the tenacity to further spur this growth.”  DePrez comments, “It’s fascinating to see the role radio plays as part of an integrated marketing solution in agriculture.  I’ve had the opportunity to learn a lot about Farm Journal’s cross-platform content and how radio can fit.  I’m excited to be part of this expanding radio business.”

kaskajimmieJimmie Kaska Named Sports Director at WBIZ, Eau Claire, Wisconsin.  The new title for Jimmie Kaska comes as he takes over the sports director role at Clear Channel’s WBIZ, Eau Claire, Wisconsin from Mike Sullivan who held the position for the past 40 years.  The station notes that during Sullivan’s tenure, “he was responsible for getting games on the air involving local teams performing in over 200 venues in 30 states, one territory and two foreign countries. Of those roughly 8,000 games, only two did not get on the air.  Sullivan also negotiated rights fees and made other arrangements for airing over 10,000 games involving professional and college teams in Wisconsin and Minnesota, as well as nationally broadcast events.  WBIZ-AM was the first 24-hour sports station in Wisconsin, and one of the first 10 in the United States when the format debuted in 1992.  The station format was switched in 1994-95, but then returned to the all-sports format in 1996, and has remained all-sports since then.”  Kaska serves as PD for WBIZ and sister news/talk WMEQ.  He states, “It’s crazy to think that the first job I had in my life when I was 17 would be the same one I’m doing today.  It seems like every year I find something else to take charge of, and of all the roles I have here, this one will be the most visible and most important.  It’s my goal that I continue the long tradition of being one of the best and most active sports radio groups in the country.  The mentoring I’ve received from Mike Sullivan has been invaluable to both my career in broadcasting and to life.  I’m humbled and excited for the opportunity.”

advantagesystems logoAdvantage Systems Brings Reed Bunzel and A. Darryl Davis Aboard.  Sales and marketing firm Advantage Systems Inc. announces Reed Bunzel and A. Darryl Davis join the company as revenue development managers.  The company says, “Bunzel has been leading a charge for the radio industry to use digital media to grow revenue since digital first appeared, and he has joined Advantage Systems, Inc. to help stations do just that.  Bunzel, current president of Bunzel Media Strategies, will be working with broadcasting groupsbunzelreed throughout U.S. and Canada to help them with a revenue generation program designed to incorporate traditional media with new interactive solutions provided by Advantage Systems, Inc.”  Bunzel comments, “What I find interesting is that RAB’s just-released data shows that radio’s digital revenue was up 3% in the previous quarter and 7% in the first half, but I saw another study today predicting 16% growth in digital advertising next year.  That tells me that radio is severely underperforming in the digital era. It needs to be smart and catch up.”  Regarding Davis, Advantage Systems VP for sales Frank Kulbertis states, “Darryl has a history of doing programs similar to our Advantage Plan program that included schedules and digital products for television so he was a perfect fit as a new revenue development manager for us.”  The company says Davis will work with broadcast groups to grow their advertising revenue.  The program includes extensive sales training, new business leads in the local market, a focused workshop to educate local business owners on traditional and new media, 12-month advertising commitments along with turn-key creative services and the ability to generate digital revenue thru inclusion of interactive solutions.

Odds & Sods.  Consumer finance expert Rodney Anderson is hosting a daily, one-hour program on Clear Channel’s news/talk KFXR, Dallas airing from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm…..Hearst’s news/talk WBAL, Baltimore inks the MLB’s Baltimore Orioles for another two seasons.  The O’s have been heard on WBAL for all but 15 of the team’s 60-year history in the city…..WestwoodOne has the national radio rights to the remaining NFL playoff games – including Super Bowl XLVIII – that resume this weekend.  While Scott Graham hosts the pre-, post-game and halftime shows for all four games, the WestwoodOne stable of in-game announcers and analysts are lined up for the four games airing this weekend.

Chris Christie Bridge Traffic Scandal, Robert Gates Book, War on Poverty Anniversary, and Dennis Rodman North Korea Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/8).  The scandal involving New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s staffers allegedly closing lanes in Fort Lee New Jersey near the George Washington Bridge as a form of revenge against the town’s Democratic mayor; the new book from former Defense Secretary Robert Gates in which he’s critical of Obama Administration officials and the president and vice president; the 50th anniversary of LBJ’s “war on poverty”; and former NBA star Dennis Rodman’s tumultuous return visit to North Korea were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

| January 8, 2014

borrell logoBorrell Associates New Study and Forecast Predicts Radio Revenue Flat but Listening Minutes Continue to Decline Over Next Five Years.  Research firm Borrell Associates has published a new study titled, “The Future of Legacy Media: With 5 Years of Digital Disruption Ahead, What Happens Next?”  As the title implies, it looks at the effect the digital revolution has had over the past five years on time spent with each medium and ad dollars spent and then goes on to predict what is likely to happen over the next five years.  The conclusion for AM/FM radio is probably not going to be shocking to most.  Borrell predicts that minutes spent with AM/FM radio (which have already dropped from 124.1 in 2008 to 93.5 in 2013, according to the study) will continue to erode even though the number of individuals listening at least once per week (that figure we hear reported by Nielsen Audio so frequently) may remain fairly constant.  By 2018 Borrell predicts minutes spent with radio will further drop to 81.9 (for a total decrease from 2008 to 2018 of 34%).  On the revenue front, Borrell notes that radio ad spending has dropped by almost a third over the past 13 years and predicts the level the industry is at right now – about $14.3 billion – is roughly where it will be in another five years.  Here’s what the study has to say about AM/FM radio’s future: “If trends hold true, traditional radio ad spending will continue to tread water, remaining largely unchanged while growth moves online – especially among national advertisers.  Detroit is already equipping some new cars with Pandora service, so even that industry sinecure may have been breached.  Losses – where they occur – will be most felt in the larger metros, while suburban and rural areas will still depend on the local flavor of stations that have been good friends to their fathers and grandfathers.”  Which media will experience growth in minutes spent with through 2018?  Borrell predicts cable TV, out-of-home, video games and pure-play mobile, which it says will have realized a 1,145% increase in minutes spent with during the 10-year period examined in the study.  Read more here.

siriusxmSiriusXM Reports Total Subscribers Top 25 Million.  Satellite radio service SiriusXM announces it ended the year 2013 with 25.56 million subscribers – an addition of 1.66 million net subscribers during the course of the year.  The company reports that self-pay net additions in 2013 were 1.5 million for the full year, bringing self-paymeyerjim subscriptions to over 21 million.  SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer states, “SiriusXM had an outstanding 2013, and we expect to meet or exceed all other guidance we have provided for the year.  Automotive distribution is hitting on all cylinders and an increasing number of households, at all income levels, are subscribing to SiriusXM.  In a world where consumers have many choices, millions of subscribers continue to love our unmatched and easily affordable lineup of exclusive talk, live news, major sports events, and commercial-free and curated music channels.”  At the same time, the company offers guidance for 2014 that includes: Net subscriber additions of 1.25 million; free cash flow approaching $1.1 billion; revenue of over $4.0 billion; and adjusted EBITDA of approximately $1.38 billion.

cookeholland2014 International CES: Day Two.  Media consultant Holland Cooke reports from Las Vegas where he’s covering the enormous 2014 International Consumer Electronic Show for TALKERS magazine.  Some tidbits for radio people include how Yahoo! is revamping its content to fit what consumers want with regard to size and frequency and how new global anchor Katie Couric is integrating “citizen reporting” into her work.  Also, read what radio execs attending a session on internet radio are saying about building a connection with consumers in Holland Cooke’s piece here.

compassmediamarketingCompass Media Brings Research Pro Len Klatt Aboard.  Research pro Len Klatt spent the last 16 years with Premiere Networks (ultimately as SVP of research) and 11 years with Westwood One before that.  Now, Compass Media Marketing announces it has hired Klatt as a research consultant and advisor, effective immediately.  Klatt comments, “It is an incredibly exciting time to be a part of the changing audio entertainment landscape.  Compass is well positioned for continued growth and my goal is to work closely with the Compass team to best serve our advertisers, affiliates and programming partners.”

minihanekirkKirk Minihane Inks Multi-Year Deal with WEEI, Boston.  The Boston Globe’s Chad Finn reports that staffer Kirk Minihane – a recently added member of the Dennis & Callahan morning show – has been rewarded for his positive impact on the show and the station with a new multi-year deal.  Minihane became part of the morning show featuring John Dennis and Gerry Callahan in February of last year and Finn reports that the morning show has been gaining ratings ground over the past several months.  Minihane was already employed by Entercom Boston writing for WEEI.com at the time he joined the show.  The Dennis & Callahan show – and the station in general – has been under the microscope since the start-up of CBS Radio’s crosstown WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” debuted, gained ground on WEEI and overtook many of WEEI’s shows in the ratings.  Now, Finn reports that the Dennis & Callahan show recently finished in second place in the Nielsen Audio PPM ratings behind WBZ-FM’s Toucher & Rich program with a 9.0 share.

matthewsboOdds & Sods.  At Salem Communications’ New York City news/talker WNYM “AM 970 The Answer,” comic Joe Piscopo is guest hosting the morning show today (1/8) through the end of the week.  The permanent morning show slot is vacant right now after Curtis Sliwa split for Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk WABC for a midday show with co-host Ron Kuby.  The station says Piscopo will “have top name guests, give his take on the news of the day and do a variety of other comedy bits.”…..At Clear Channel’s Cincinnati cluster, Bo Matthews is named vice president of programming for the station group.  While Matthews’ recent day-to-day experience has been with music radio – he comes to Cincinnati from the company’s Cleveland cluster where he programmed rock WMMS and CHR WAKS “Kiss FM” – he will ultimately oversee news/talk WLW, talk WKRC and sports talk WSAI in his new position…..In the public radio sphere of the Rochester market, WXXI listeners are hearing new host Evan Dawson in the 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm slot held for so long by market pro Bob Smith.  Dawson is a familiar face as he spent six years as morning anchor at WHAM-TV.  The new show is called “Connections with Evan Dawson.”  Smith stepped down from his position in August after suffering a stroke in the spring.  He’s currently in long-term rehabilitative care.

rickandbubbagroupRick & Bubba Celebrate 20th Anniversary.  The nationally syndicated Rick & Bubba show – featuring Rick Burgess and Bill “Bubba” Bussey – celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.  The Syndicated Solutions Inc.-distributed program has special plans to commemorate the show’s birth.  Burgess and Bussey, along with cast members Calvin “Speedy” Wilburn, “The Real” Greg Burgess, Michael “Helmsey” Helms, Chris “Eddie Van” Adler, along with past/present show interns and related show contributors, will be performing live before sellout crowds during at least five special one-night only events in concert halls/theaters in select cities beginning in May.  SSI reports that “each ‘20th Anniversary Tour’ event will include hilarious, unforgettable Rick & Bubba moments, show favorites such as Good ‘ol Boys Theater, Willie & Wanda, The Giant Game of Rick & Bubba Knowledge, The Wacky World, Fact or Crap, and more.  There will be prizes, video tributes reliving the past 20 years, musical performances, special Q&A sessions and more…All behind-the-scenes and on-stage activities will be video recorded so excerpts can be shared during the Rick & Bubba show television/radio broadcast, and a full 20th Anniversary documentary will be available later in 2014.”  SSI president Bob Carey states, “Congratulations Rick and Bubba…I am so proud of what you’ve accomplished all these years and the special relationship that we share.  Although we’ve been business partners for just nine of your 20 years on air together, the Rick & Bubba show continues to evolve and gets better day after day, which is a testament to you both never taking your successes for granted or never stopping to work hard and improve upon yesterday.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Bill “Bubba” Bussey (sitting), Michael “Helmsey” Helms, Rick Burgess (center/sitting), Calvin “Speedy” Wilburn, “The Real” Greg Burgess and Chris “Eddie Van” Adler.

havesonjeffOutstanding Talk Producer on the Loose.  One of the personnel casualties of WWRL, New York’s recent switch from progressive talk to regional Mexican Spanish-language entertainment is Jeffrey Haveson.  Haveson, an accomplished veteran radio broadcaster is known in talk circles as one of the most hard-working, versatile and dependable producers in the business, is without a home base for the first time in more than a decade.  He served at WWRL as an executive producer working with a wide variety of hosts and formats ranging from urban talk to liberal politics and then some.  In the words of TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “Jeffrey Haveson is one of the most competent and multi-faceted facilitators of talk programming I’ve ever met.  This guy can handle all the chores that go on behind-the-scenes in making a great show happen from nurturing hosts of all political and cultural stripes, booking guests, executing remotes and creating superb production to writing an effective press release and managing social media.  He is located in the New York area and should be grabbed by one of the many media outlets looking for a solid producer.”  Haveson can be phoned at 973-207-3095 or emailed at jeffhaveson@yahoo.com.

Robert Gates Criticizes Obama in New Book, Dennis Rodman in North Korea, Boehner-Benghazi Connection, Polar Vortex Chills U.S./Global Warming, and Janet Yellen Confirmed New Fed Chief.  The new book by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates that is critical of the Obama Administration; the controversy over former NBA star Dennis Rodman’s latest trip to North Korea; questions about what House Speaker John Boehner knew about the Benghazi mission; the frigid temperatures across the U.S. and the connection to global warming; and Janet Yellen is confirmed as new chief of the Federal Reserve were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Yahoo! and “WOW!” and a Parking Space in Spain!

| January 8, 2014

Holland Cooke
TALKERS Contributor
Media Consultant

 

cookewriterLAS VEGAS — This neon desert oasis hosts 20,000 conventions a year, and this one’s the biggest.  150,000 of us jam 2 million square feet of Exhibit Hall at the sprawling Las Vegas Convention Center.

But there’s lots more happening at CES than gadgets.  Among what Consumer Electronics Association CEO Gary Shapiro calls “all aspects of the tech ecosystem:”

*  CEA unveiled an initiative to help returning service men and women find tech jobs.  Hit USTechVets.org

*  Also thank this bunch for helping to change the rules of flying, so you can now use your iPad or smartphone takeoff-to-landing.  BUT Shapiro urges that airlines use “common sense” about allowing phone calls up there.  Imagine sitting between two loud-talkers?

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Friday, January 3, 2014

| January 3, 2014

wlup logoCumulus to Acquire Merlin Media’s Chicago Signals – WKQX and WLUP-FM.  Variations of this deal had been rumored in the Windy City for some time.  Scuttlebutt heard in the late fall also had Tribune interested in WLUP-FM due to WGN president Jimmy de Castro’s earlier comments that his company is looking to acquire an FM signal inwkqx Chicago.  But now it comes to pass that Cumulus Media – for a sum yet-to-be-announced – will bring classic rock WLUP-FM and WKQX (currently adult hits WIQI at 101.1) into the company’s portfolio in addition to the alternative format airing on WKQX-LP.  Speaking about the sale, COO John Dickey states, “These great brands will be welcome additions to the two legendary brands we already own in Chicago.”  Dickey says the alternative format under calls WKQX will return to the 101.1 frequency as early as next week.  The company also has no plans to change the classic rock format on WLUP-FM so it’s unlikely it will put the country NASH format on either station in the near future.  The acquisition of the two FM signals from Emmis by Randy Michaels-led Merlin took place in 2011 and the alternative format of WKQX was displaced by a news and talk format that was to target females.  The format never took off and was flipped to adult hits a little less than a year later in July of 2012.

grantbobnmsExclusive Never-Before Seen Video of Special Tribute to Bob Grant.  In 2008, now-defunct trade publication Radio & Records announced that it was going to present the late Bob Grant with its Lifetime Achievement Award at its then-annual convention.  Shortly after making the announcement, the publication rescinded the award in the face of threatened picketers that protested Grant’s selection based on their opposition to his stated views and controversial reputation.  WABC, then owned by Citadel and Grant’s home base at the time, stepped up to the plate and decided to present Grant with its own Lifetime Achievement Award.  The station, represented by its then-VP of programming, Phil Boyce, asked TALKERS magazine if it would be willing to host the ceremony at its annual conference (then known as the New Media Seminar) in New York City that summer.  TALKERS agreed and the ceremony was conducted (amidst protests) at the event’s Friday night cocktail party.  It featured the presentation of the award by Boyce and a magnificent acceptance speech by Grant in addition to a stunning video tribute to Grant’s career produced by renowned industry videographer and historian Art “Radio’s Best Friend” Vuolo.  After the event, the video was filed away in the TALKERS vaults for posterity and never seen again.  Until now, that is.  Upon the sad occasion of Bob Grant’s passing at the age of 84 this past New Year’s Eve, TALKERS has made the video available for public viewing.  To see this historic document which includes Grant’s discussion of talk radio’s role in a free society, its relationship with the First Amendment and the unconstitutionality of the repressive Fairness Doctrine please see the TalkersTV box at the top of the right hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

gormansteveFox Sports Radio Goes to Gorman for Afternoons.  As far as Fox Sports Radio is concerned, the next wave of sports talk talent may be coming from the world of rock music, as the network fills its weekday 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot with The Black Crowes’ founding member/drummer Steve Gorman.  “Steve Gorman Sports” debuts later this month (1/27) with a series of broadcasts leading up to the Super Bowl.  According to Clear Channel senior vicefoxsportsradio logo president of sports operations Bruce Gilbert, “‘Steve Gorman Sports’ is the perfect combination of sports, passion, pop culture, music and entertainment.  Fox Sports Radio is committed to serving sports fans with unique and entertaining insight, stories, and opinions surrounding the natural drama of sports.  Steve Gorman is an excellent addition to our leading, multi-platform, sports entertainment lineup.”  Gorman comments, “This is an amazing opportunity to be able to work with the one network I always felt was a perfect fit for my show.  I know listeners will love hearing athletes and musicians alike talking, laughing, and arguing about our shared passions: sports and music.”  Gorman has hosted several local sports shows; he began “Steve Gorman Sports” as a podcast in 2010.  With all times listed referring to the Eastern time zone, FSR’s revised lineup consists of: “Fox Sports Daybreak” with Andy Furman & Mike North (6:00 am – 9:00 am); “The Dan Patrick Show” (9:00 am – 12:00 noon); “Jay Mohr Sports” (12:00 noon – 3:00 pm); “Steve Gorman Sports” (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm); J.T. “The Brick” with Tomm Looney (6:00 pm – 10:00 pm); “The Jason Smith Show (10:00 pm – 2:00 am); and “The Ben Maller Show” (2:00 am – 6:00 am).

amezcuacarlosCarlos Amezcua PM Drive Host at ‘The Patriot’ in Los Angeles.  The newly transformed conservative talk outlet KEIB, Los Angeles (formerly progressive talker KTLK), now branded “The Patriot AM 1150,” has a new PM drive host as former KTTV-TV, Los Angeles news anchor Carlos Amezcua joins the station.  KEIB’s change includes Premiere Networks nationally syndicated hosts Rush LimbaughSean Hannity and Glenn Beck now airing at the station – Limbaugh slid over from sister news/talk KFI – and also includes The Blaze personality Doc Thompson in early mornings and Westwood One’s Clark Howard in evenings.

mancowGenesis Communications Network and Mancow Partner for Syndication.  Talk radio personality Erich “Mancow” Muller and Genesis Communications Network are partnering to distribute the Chicago-based morning program.  GCN states it is “excited to announce the arrival of the popular Mancow show featuring the notorious Erich ‘Mancow’ Muller and his controversial, snarky, hilarious and hard-hitting brand of talk radio.”

stonedaveLos Angeles Sports Radio Talent Dave Stone Passes. “This is one of the toughest things I’ve ever written.”  With that, iconic Los Angeles sports talk radio/mainstream talk radio programmer and on-air talent Joe McDonnell began his Facebook tribute to longtime Los Angeles sports voice Dave Stone, who passed away earlier this week at age 64.  He’d been diagnosed with ALS.  “I didn’t even know he was sick, which was typical of Dave,” McDonnell states.  “He did not want anyone to fuss over him – even when he was batting a terminal disease.  Dave was my first hire when I was putting together ESPN 710 [KSPN, Los Angeles] in 1999 – 2000.  He put his heart and soul into everything he did there.” Part of that lineup was “McDonnell-Douglas” consisting of McDonnell and veteran Los Angeles sportswriter Doug Krikorian; Stone did sports updates.  “Big Joe” first met Stone in the mid-1970s when they were competing for the job to operate the Dodger Stadium message board. “Dave beat me out, but it became a moment when I met one of the best friends I’ve ever had,” FoxSportsWest.com writer-reporter-columnist McDonnell states.  A notoriously famous Lakers fan, McDonnell nonetheless concedes that Stone might have been just as strong of a partisan of the NBA team.  “We would spend hours talking about [Jerry] West, [Elgin] Baylor, [Wilt] Chamberlain, Darrell Imhoff, and Archie Clark.  If he was a Lakers player, we knew about him.”  Stone was the public address announcer for more than 1,400 Harlem Globetrotter performances and McDonnell writes, “If the phone rang at 3:00 am, it might be Dave calling from Singapore to get the score of the Lakers game.”  In 1991, Stone was working at Huntsville, Alabama’s WVNN-WZYP and he hired a young afternoon drive talent named Sean Hannity. Mike Dunsmore worked with Stone at Fox Sports Radio from 2007 – 2009 and just this past year at NBC Sports Radio, where Stone was an update anchor.  “He had a booming voice, loved the Lakers, and despised [former Lakers player] Kwame Brown,” Dunsmore posts on Facebook. “Dave Stone was a class act.”  Former KLOS, Los Angeles program director Rita Wilde – currently doing evenings at cross-town KSWD “The Sound” – writes, “I had no idea he was sick – he was a great guy.”  McDonnell rhetorically states of Stone, “You have no idea how much I’m going to miss you.”  Services for Stone were held yesterday (Thursday, 1/2) at 2:00 pm in suburban Los Angeles (Simi Valley).

beckatom2012KOIL, Omaha’s Tom Becka Launches Podcast Project.  Talk radio pro Tom Becka – currently hosting afternoon drive at NRG Media’s KOIL, Omaha – announces the debut of a weekly podcast project that will be featured at his website tombecka.com.  Becka tells TALKERS, “TomBecka.com is a podcast page where I interview everyday people with a unique story to tell.  Think of it as NPR, but with personality and a pulse.  Some of the interviews that are helping me launch this are a woman who’s a breast cancer survivor, a soldier with PTSD, a drag queen, a woman who accidentally found out her bartender was the child she gave up for adoption 27 years ago, and a couple that practices polyamory.  Every Sunday I will add another podcast and so far I have a rodeo clown, a man with Asperger’s, and a drummer who has spent most of his life working the cruise ships.”  This project allows Becka to step outside of the format of a live, on-air talk radio show but still bring his own personality and style to these interview projects.  He says his ability to negotiate keeping ownership of his digital rights has allowed him to work on these types of initiatives.

schnitttoddOdds & Sods.  There’s been a minor lineup shuffle at Yahoo! Sports Radio where Sean Salisbury moves to the late afternoon “Prime Cut” show alongside current host John Granato.  Leaving that show to host the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET program is Geoff Ketchum who replaces John Harris…..Compass Media Networks syndicated talk host Todd Schnitt announces changes in his show in a number of markets.  In Schnitt’s home market of Tampa, his program will be delay broadcast on WFLA from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm but will air live on sister station WHNZ from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.   The show will also shift to early evening clearances on affiliates WQSC, Charleston, South Carolina and WTKS, Savannah, Georgia…..“Labor-Lines,” hosted by Vic Fusco, moves from former progressive talker WWRL, New York to its new home at Salem Communications’ WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer” where it airs Saturdays at 1:00 pm.

savagemichaelTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The Cumulus Media Networks-syndicated “Savage Nation” with Michael Savage is added to the programming lineup at KROP, Yuma, Arizona; KVPI, Lafayette, Louisiana; and WGSO, New Orleans…..Compass Media Networks talk host Todd Schnitt joins the program schedule at KNEW, San Francisco…..Rodger Fredinburg’s “Homeland Security” show joins the weekend program lineup at KMED, Medford, Oregon…..The Genesis Communications Network-syndicated Jason Lewis program is added to the program schedule at KNEW, San Francisco…..Also from GCN, the weekly Steve Sanchez program announces its new flagship station KFNX, Phoenix…..“Free Talk Live” featuring Ian Freeman and Mark Edge announces new affiliates: WXBR, Brockton, Massachusetts; WQXL-AM/FM, Columbia, South Carolina; KMMS-AM, Bozeman and KPRK-AM, Livingston, Montana; and KMED, Medford, Oregon…..From Salem Radio Network comes the following affiliate additions: Bill Bennett’s “Morning in America” is added to KVTA, Oxnard-Ventura; Mike Gallagher becomes part of the lineup at KGED, Fresno; the Dennis Prager show is added to WEZO, Augusta, Georgia; and Michael Medved joins the programming at WKEI, Kewanee, Illinois and WTIM-FM, Taylorville, Illinois.

Holidays and Year-in-Review Top Talk Topics for Week of Dec. 30 – Jan. 3.  The holidays and a look back at 2013 were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Following at #2 was criticism of the Affordable Care Act.  At #3 was the poor rating of Congress by the public followed by winter weather and discussions of global warming tied at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a list 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.  To view this week’s entire chart, click here.

Industry Mourns Talk Pioneer Bob Grant

| January 2, 2014

NEW YORK — Bob Grant, who ranked eleventh in TALKERS magazine’s 20th anniversary Heaviest Hundred (published in 2010), which lists “the 100 most important radio talk show hosts of all time,” died on December 31 at  84 years old after a brief illness.

grantbobGrant, whose signature opening line in New York radio was “Let’s be heard!,” drove his rollercoaster career through numerous stations in New York City where listeners followed some of the more racially-charged issues in town.

Brash and confident for a guy who stood 5-foot seven, Grant was described by TALKERS in the July/August 2010 issue as an “infamous watchdog of public figures, 40-plus years in New York radio.”

Upon learning of Grant’s death, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison stated, “He was a founding father of modern talk radio whose influence on broadcasting technique, style and societal role go way beyond the boundaries of conservative broadcasting.”

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Dare to be Crap-Free

| December 16, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
Owner

SHAKER HEIGHTS — “In this multi-tasking radio world, who in the station should be responsible for online content?”  That’s a question I got from a smart guy I used to work with.  It’s a great question.

You need only two particularly strong people with this plan I’m going to give you.  You may be surprised about who they are.

Set it Up

Who should handle your online content?  Here are the staffing requirements for this focused plan:

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Friday, December 13, 2013

| December 13, 2013

westwoodone logoCumulus Announces Closing of WestwoodOne Acquisition.  Although the Department of Justice’s anti-trust division is still reviewing the merger, Cumulus Media Inc. announces the completion of the $260 million deal.  Cumulus says that although the merger was not subject to the pre-closing notification requirements of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act,cumulus logo the review is taking place and it can’t predict if the DOJ will elect to seek, or obtain, any remedies, or the effect that any remedies may have on its business, financial condition or results of operations.  Cumulus maintains it does not believe the deal raises any anti-competitive issues.  Back to the deal, Cumulus notes it consists of approximately $45 million attributable to the equity of WWO and the retirement of $215 million of debt of WWO.  Cumulus used cash on hand, including approximately $238 million in cash proceeds from the Company’s previously completed sale of 53 radio stations to Townsquare Media, LLC.

cookehollandNews/Talk #1 Format Reports Nielsen from Client Conference.  Among the information shared at this week’s two-day Nielsen Client Conference was the capper at the end of day two when Nielsen director of programming services Jon Miller announced the results of the company’s top ten formats of 2013 based on AQH share in the 48 PPM-rated markets.  The news was particularly good for news/talk as it tops the pile with a 6+ AQH share of 9.3.  It’s also been a good year for CHR which comes in #2 with an 8.2 share.  Following, in order, are: country – 7.8 share; adult contemporary – 7.7 share; hot AC – 5.5 share; classic hits – 5.3 share; urban AC 5.0 share; and sports talk and classic rock tie with a 4.3 share.  There was much more discussed as consultant and TALKERS contributor Holland Cooke writes about the attending CEOs who lamented the industry’s status quo mentality as well as more presentations about integrating social media into listener interaction, and much more.  Read Holland Cooke’s piece here.

whitmanbrianBrian Whitman Signs Extension with Salem’s KRLA, Los Angeles.  Longtime Los Angeles radio personality Brian Whitman inks a deal to continue his work as morning drive personality on Salem Communications’ KRLA, Los Angeles.  Whitman will remain part of “The Morning Answer” on “AM 870 The Answer” alongside Ben Shapiro and Elisha Krauss.  Whitman has also worked at such LA signals as KIIS-FM, KLSX-FM and KABC-AM as well as WABC, New York.krlalogo  Salem VP/director, spoken word format Phil Boyce comments, “Brian Whitman is one of the most talented voices on Los Angeles radio, and we are delighted to keep this growing show together for the foreseeable future.  I have worked with Brian since 1996 when I hired him at WABC in New York, and used him across the country as one of the funniest voice over guys on the air.  But his skills go much beyond comedy voices.  He has grown into a very talented talk show host doing morning drive in Market #2.”  Whitman adds, “I’ve been truly blessed to be on the air here in Los Angeles since 1991.  I am excited about the continued growth of our radio show, our station and our brand.  I am so grateful for the truly overwhelming support I’ve received from Salem’s chief executive officer Ed Atsinger, and the entire management team.”

hayworthjdJ.D. Hayworth Subs for Cumulus Media Networks as Huckabee Show Winds Down.  Governor Mike Huckabee did his last live show for Cumulus Media Networks as his show goes into holiday mode before ending on January 3.  Former congressman and talk radio personality J.D. Hayworth is subbing on the network beginning today through January 3 on the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm program.  Hayworth says he’ll be on the radio all of next week as well as December 26 and 27 and January 2 and 3.  “Governor Huckabee was very gracious to allow me to serve as his guest host on several occasions, and I welcome this opportunity as well.  For me, Friday the 13th is a lucky day.  I thank Cumulus for entrusting me with ‘Mike’s mic’ into the New Year.”

ericksonerickErickson to Sub for Rush Limbaugh.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that Georgia-based talk show host Erick Erickson will be fulfilling a dream when he sits in for Premiere Networks nationally syndicated superstar Rush Limbaugh over the holidays.  Erickson – who serves as editor-in-chief of RedState.com in addition to his radio work – will host Limbaugh’s program on December 20, 24 and 26.  Erickson’s regular radio job is afternoon drive personality on Cox Media Group’s WSB, Atlanta where he’s heard from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Erickson tells the AJC, “I’m really excited.  It’s one of the few things I ever wanted to do going back to college.  I listened to him every day.  I’d plan classes around his show so I’d be able to listen in my dorm for a couple of hours.”

deptrojohnRhode Island Governor Signs on to Petition to Oust WPRO’s John DePetro.  According to a report in the Providence Journal, the union-led drive to compel WPRO, Providence to remove talk show host John DePetro from his daily talk show on the station has garnered support from the state’s Governor Lincoln Chafee.  The paper reports that the boycott against WPRO’s advertisers – jewelry dealer Alex and Ani has been singled out – is being coordinated by the AFL-CIO‘s secretary treasurer Maureen Martin, who is also the political activities director of the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals.  Governor Chafee’s spokeswoman, Christine Hunsinger, confirms to the paper that the governor has signed the petition urging the jewelry store to withdraw its advertising from WPRO as long as DePetro is employed there and also says he won’t go on any other show until DePetro is gone.  Lincoln Chafee, a Republican-turned-Democrat who had long been criticized by conservatives in the media as a RINO (Republican in name only), has a history of engaging with instead of ignoring his media critics and DePetro has been a critic of Chafee for some time.  DePetro came under fire from the unions after using what they termed demeaning and sexist language in criticizing female union members’ activities.  DePetro has since apologized for his choice of words.

harrisonmichaelMichael Harrison to speak at 2014 Media Solutions Conference in Philadelphia.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison will make a rare speaking appearance at another trade publication’s industry conference and serve as a special guest faculty member at Inside Music Media publisher Jerry Del Colliano‘s forthcoming 2014 Media Solutions Conference in Philadelphia on March 26, 2014.  The one-day seminar, located at the Rittenhouse Hotel, will help preparedelcollianojerry modern-day broadcasters to solve the major problems and meet the pressing challenges facing the radio business during its rapid transition into the digital era.  Among the topics to be covered include ways to positively “disrupt” radio before your competition does and understand the sensibilities of the “millennial” generation – as well as learn new ways to present commercials, attract new audiences and develop new sources of revenue.  Harrison will be joining “MoreFM” (formerly B-101), Philadelphia owner Jerry Lee as a specially invited faculty speaker at the event.  Upon accepting the assignment, Harrison states, “I am honored to play a role in Jerry Del Colliano’s event and work alongside such a dynamic and independent entrepreneur as Jerry Lee.  Del Colliano is a brilliant thinker, teacher and observer whose bold voice in this industry continues to contribute to radio’s intelligence, health and survival.”  For information about the conference please click here.

btrnlogoMacGregor Joins BTRN as VP/Affiliate Sales.  Twenty-five-year media management veteran Mark MacGregor is named vice president of affiliate sales for Business TalkRadio Network. “Mark brings a wealth of experience to this position and our company,” comments BTRN president Jeff Weber.  “He has a proven track record of success in affiliation and I am confident he will be a tremendous asset to us as we continue to grow the networks.”  MacGregor’s past credits include similar titles to his present BTRN assignment for MyFamilyTV, FamilyNet and ETC Television.  Business TalkRadio Network provides long and short form programming to over 1,000 affiliates.  It currently features such programs as “Investor’s Edge,” “Real Estate Investor Radio,” and the “CEO Show.”

boomercartoncomedyWFAN, New York’s Boomer & Carton to Host Comedy Show.  WFAN, New York morning drive duo Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton will host the “Super Comedy Jam” at the Manhattan Center Hammerstein Ballroom on Wednesday, January 29.  Appearing at the show will be an all-star lineup of comedians, including a couple with radio ties.  The stars performing will include: Jay Mohr (who also hosts his eponymous sports talk show for Fox Sports Radio Network); Nick Di Paolo (previously partnered with Artie Lange for a late night comedy/sports radio show); Dave Attell; Michael Che; Jeff Norris; and John Pizzi.

castnermichaelOdds & Sods.  Clear Channel news/talk outlet KEX, Portland adds another hour to the back end of Michael Castner’s afternoon drive program.  Beginning Monday, he’ll broadcast from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Castner joined KEX this summer after spending the last two-plus years hosting a nationally syndicated program for The Wall Street Journal Radio Network…..The next color voice of the Chicago Cubs is former Cubs infielder Ron Coomer.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports Coomer will sit alongside play-by-play Pat Hughes when the 2014 season begins.  Coomer takes over for Keith Moreland providing analysis on WGN and affiliates across the Midwest…..Premiere Networks announces the continuation of a long-standing “Coast to Coast AM” tradition as listeners “will be treated to live, holiday-themed programming with a ‘Coast-to-Coast’ twist, including music, special guest appearances and surprises on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve and New Years Day.  Host George Noory will be live in studio to celebrate the holidays and ring in the New Year with his loyal audience, who will get the chance to share their favorite Christmas memories and stories of miracles during open lines.”

wphtphantasycampWPHT Sends Local Hero to Phillies Phantasy Camp.  WPHT, Philadelphia morning drive host Chris Stigall (center) poses for a shot with Sergeant First Class Brian Keaton, his wife and two of his children in the WPHT studios.  The station, the Philadelphia Phillies and the local chapter of the USO surprised the wounded warrior during Thursday’s program with a trip to the Phillies Phantasy Camp this morning live on the air.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Cumulus Media Networks nationally syndicated Mark Levin program is added to the schedule at KOYT, Helena, Montana; the company’s “Savage Nation” with Michael Savage adds the following stations to is affiliate roster: KINN, Alamogordo, New Mexico; WZUS, Decatur, Illinois; WBAP, Dallas; KKOB-AM, Albuquerque; and WLS-AM, Chicago…..Genesis Communications Network-syndicated Jason Lewis is added to the program schedule at KLZ, Denver; WPTK, Raleigh; and KNOX, Grand Forks, North Dakota…..The “Motley Fool Stock Watch” feature joins the programming at KTKZ “AM 1380 The Answer” and KSAC “Money 105.5” in Sacramento.

ObamaCare Criticism Tops Talkers TenTM for 8th Straight Week.  The criticism of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio for the eighth consecutive week, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.  Following at #2 this week was the federal budget deal.  At #3 was the selfie President Obama took with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thornig-Schmidt and his appearance at the Nelson Mandela memorial service followed at #4 by the nuclear talks with Iran.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

| December 12, 2013

quinnandrose‘Quinn & Rose’ Honor Commitments, Forge Ahead in Post-WPGB Career.  Pittsburgh-based talk radio morning show “Quinn & Rose” – Jim Quinn and Rose Tennent – are not looking back after their 10-year relationship with Clear Channel’s news/talk WPGB, Pittsburgh ended last month.  As TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian notes in his story about the duo published today (12/12), not only are Quinn and Tennent continuing to operate their web base warroom.com, they are honoring commitments to listeners, charities and businesses made before their exit from the radio station.  They have also been keeping in touch via social media with many of their P1s who’ve rallied around the duo.  Tennent says, “I thought that I knew our audience was loyal – but I never knew just how loyal and passionate they were about the show. They really seem to care about what is happening to us personally. I am very moved by the response.”  Read more about Jim Quinn and Rose Tennent here.

cookehollandLife After Arbitron: Day One.  Media consultant and TALKERS magazine contributor Holland Cooke reports in from the first day of the Nielsen Audio Client Conference & Jacobs Media Summit in Baltimore.  Presentations focused on operating radio stations in a multi-platform universe; the importance of solving the problem of competing for ad dollars against media that can provide specific data; and the use of social media.  Check out Holland Cooke’s report here.

theblaze logoYear-End Special Available from Premiere and TheBlaze.  Premiere Networks announces the availability of an exclusive, three-hour radio special, “TheBlaze: The Year in Your Ear,” – a comprehensive review of 2013 featuring different perspectives from the hosts and writers of TheBlaze, Glenn Beck’s news, information and entertainment network.   The company states, “From the government shutdown and North Korea missile threats, to the Boston Marathon bombings and the George Zimmerman trial, listeners will be treated to a recap of the biggest national events, news headlines and stories that shaped America in 2013.”  Premiere reports the show is already cleared on KOA, Denver; WOAI, San Antonio; WPGB, Pittsburgh; KPRC, Houston; and KNRS, Salt Lake City, to name a few.  It’s available for air between 12/25 and 1/5/14.

sabowalterThe $1.4 Billion Mystery: What Do Women Want?  According to Sabo Media chairman Walter Sabo, the talk radio industry continues its modern era tradition of turning down a significant piece of the $1.4 billion advertising budget spent annually by the advertising community on female-targeted talk television.  In a newly-posted article, Sabo writes these TV programs discuss:

- Relationships

- Celebrity gossip

- Diet & exercise

- Personal finance

- Parenting

- Balancing home and work

- Shopping

To read Walter Sabo’s entire piece, please click here.

dryerfredFred Dryer to Appear in TV Series.  CRN Digital Talk Radio personality Fred Dryer (also a former pro football star and a seasoned actor) will appear in a recurring role in the NBC series “Crisis.”  Dryer hosts a weekly talk show for CRN called “The PM Show with Fred Dryer” that airs Wednesdays at 7:00 pm ET.  CRN CEO Mike Horn says, “Fred is such a talented, multi-faceted actor.  He’s also a great guy – so as fans of his work and him as a person, we’re very excited.”  Dryer plays Thomas Jefferson Smith, a powerful, confident and wise CIA agent who, despite being in his 60s, can still kick butt.  The Rand Ravich thriller centers on Washington’s most powerful players pulled into an international conspiracy.  To bring the most powerful people in the world to their knees, the conspirator must threaten what everyone holds most dear. The “Crisis” cast includes other stars such as Dermot Mulroney, Gillian Anderson, Rachael Taylor and James Lafferty.

salemcommunicationsSalem Communications Spotlighted by Bloomberg Businessweek.  The business-focused publication shines a spot on Salem Communications after its recently announced purchase of Twitchy.com from conservative media figure Michelle Malkin.  The piece notes that the company is using profits from its radio assets to fund acquisition of digital properties and that fits with its conservative political philosophy.  Felix Gillette writes, “The move may signal that the same forces currently driving consolidation in the digital news industry at large are starting to gain momentum among the ranks of conservative news publishers online.  Since the advent of the internet, a diverse constellation of conservative news outlets has sprung up across the country, creating a rich buffet for GOP-loving readers – and a major logistical challenge for the advertisers hoping to reach them.  In theory, bringing more of the sites under a smaller number of roofs will appeal to the ad buyers who oversee rising digital marketing budgets while simultaneously providing cost savings for the publishers. Thus, the increasing pressure to consolidate.”  The piece reports that in fiscal 2012 Salem “generated $108 million of gross profit on $229 million of revenue.  Of the company’s operating income, significantly more came from its radio group ($47 million) than from its websites ($3.7 million).”  It also points to Politico which says it hears Salem is in talks to buy Eagle Publishing – owner imprints Regnery Publishing, Regnery History, Eagle Financial Publications as well as digital destinations RedState.com and MarkSkousen.com.

ObamaCare Criticism, Budget Deal/GOP Stalls on Nominees, Mandela Tribute Sign Interpreter Controversy, and Obama Selfie-Flirting Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/11).  Scrutiny of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and criticism of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius; the budget deal and the Republicans’ stall tactics on President Obama’s judicial nominees; the controversy over the sign-language interpreter at the Nelson Mandela tribute; and criticism over President Obama’s taking a selfie and “flirting” with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

| December 5, 2013

weineranthonyRumor: Anthony Weiner to Try Talk Radio.  Here we go again! Another disgraced politician – this time it’s former congressman and former NYC mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner – is rumored to be in the running for a talk show on one of two New York City radio signals.  The New York Daily News is reporting that sources say Weiner is in talks to begin hosting a show on either Cumulus Media’s WABC (where the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET slot is opening in the New Year) or on Clear Channel’s WOR.  WABC operations manager Tony Mascaro tells the paper they are looking at a lot of candidates for the slot but denies Weiner is one of them.  The track record of former politicians – especially disgraced ones – succeeding in talk radio is not good.  Most managers and programmers are either aware – or find out very quickly – that the tradeoff for hiring such a person is not usually worth it.  Yes, one gets instant recognition of the person from the public, but the long hours, challenging work, glamorless working conditions and time needed to get traction in the ratings usually turns off former pols who are used to a different sort of workday.  Oh, and then there’s the fact that they almost always have no broadcasting skills whatsoever.  Stay tuned, the Weiner-watch is on!

cumulus logoCumulus Media Holdings to Refinance $2.23 Billion in Debt.  According to a Reuters report, Cumulus Media Holdings has set terms on a new $2.23 billion loan that would serve to reduce its interest payments over the course of the loan.  The company is marketing a $200 million, five-year revolver and a $2.025 billion, seven-year, first-lien term loan.  The proceeds would refinance Cumulus’ current first- and second-lien loans.  Moody’s Investor Services VP and senior credit officer Carl Salas is quoted saying, “It’s a meaningful improvement in their annual debt service.  They will save upwards of $30 million to $35 million in interest costs which adds nicely to their free cash flow generation.”

rouhierdannyCBS Radio’s WJFK, Washington Hears It from Redskins About Game Broadcast Parodies.  NFL fans are aware that the Washington Redskins – owned by the litigious and sensitive Dan Snyder – are having a tough season (3-9 right now) after making the playoffs last year.  That’s been the source of much frustration on the part of fans and the source of material for WJFK host Danny Rouhier and producer Ajay Atayee who’ve been producing bits that are mock-ups of game broadcasts.  Rouhier does the voices of Redskins radio play-by-play announcers Larry Michael and Sonny wjfkfmJurgensen and splices in actual drops of color man and former ‘Skin Chris Cooley.  The hysterically funny bits have been critical of the team’s play, the fan experience at FedEx Field and Snyder’s public image, so much so that, according to the Washington Post, WJFK Redskins beat reporter Grant Paulsen was told by team spokesman Tony Wyllie that the bits are so malicious that they could prompt legal action.  This may be water under the bridge since the Post reports Wyllie says after talking with the station and being assured it’s all in good fun, the team has no problem with the station’s content.  Since the station has no intention of stopping Rouhier from producing more similarly themed bits, we’ll see how the rest of the season plays out.

kennedyKYSR, Los Angeles Morning Personality Kennedy to Host Fox Business Net Show.  Former MTV VJ and current morning drive host at Clear Channel’s alternative KYSR, Los Angeles, Lisa Kennedy Montgomery, will begin a new nightly current events talk show on Fox Business Network titled “The Independents” that will premiere on Monday, December 9.  The Hollywood Reporter states that Kennedy will co-host with Reason magazine’s Matt Welch, America’s Future Foundation’s Kmele Foster and a rotating panel of money experts.  Kennedy herself writes on her KYSR blog that the show will be “aimed at all the mealy-mouthed, partisan faithful out there.  Has the 2 party system totally failed you?  Yeah, me too!  Tune in 4 nights a week on FBN, and just remember, music and politics go hand in hand. I will always hold hands with you.”  Kennedy has been a contributor to FBN making regular appearances on “Stossel.”

ohana logoVali Named Interim GM of Ohana Broadcast, Hawaii.  The name Austin Vali is widely-known in Hawaii radio and, as Ohana Broadcast Company‘s interim general manager, he will oversee four Oahu stations and five Kauai facilities.  Owner/president Jason Wolff comments, “Austin brings a wealth of experience, knowledge, and relationships in the Honolulu market.  He will be a tremendous asset as we strive to produce the best possible radio for our listeners and clients.”   Recently, Vali was vice president/general manager of Cox Media Group‘s three-station Long Island cluster.  During his 40-year radio career, he has worked in Pittsburgh, Norfolk, and Louisville; however, Vali is perhaps best known for his experience in Hawaii.  Since arriving there in 1978, he worked at Honolulu’s KIKI and KQMQ and he co-owned KRTR-FM and KXME in that market.

runningwithnaturePodcastOne Adds Mariel Hemingway Program to Stable.  Titled after her best-selling book  Running with Nature, actress and author Mariel Hemingway, along with her partner, stuntman, actor, health and wellness expert, Bobby Williams, are launching their new podcast via PodcastOne.  The podcast invites listeners to “join them on their adventures; from Hollywood to Holistic healing…transforming relationships to finding the most meaningful ways of living every day, Mariel and Bobby are here bringing laughter, wonder and awe with some great advice.”  The first podcast episode “features nutrition tips, a review of her just released documentary called ‘Running from Crazy,’ and exercise tips from Bobby and Mariel’s ‘Meditation Moment.’”  PodcastOne COO Greg Batusic says, “Mariel and Bobby offer a refreshing and unique take on life that their fans and new listeners will surely benefit from.  We’re happy to have them join our stellar lineup.”

madiganbobWTOP, Washington’s Bob Madigan to Retire.  Drive time news anchor Bob Madigan will retire from his position at Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington, DC at the end of the year.  Outgoing vice president of news and programming Jim Farley (also retiring, see next story) says in a memo to his DC staff, “Bob has been in this crazy business of ours for 50 years, 20 of them here at WTOP and WASH when both stations were co-owned.  He and I worked for 11 years at NBC News….I have been inflicted on Bob for 27 of his 50 years in the business.  By the way, if you are wondering how he got in 50 years ago, he started working in radio during high school.”  Farley goes on to say that as WTOP’s “Man About Town,” he “was a one-person ‘good news’ department covering everything from charity galas to scholarship awards and chili cook-offs for a good cause.  Bob covered so many events, that in less than a year on the beat, he was emcee, announcer or celebrity judge at many of them.  He became a one-man marketing machine for WTOP, getting our name out there in a positive way that was priceless!  He was chosen to announce the Inaugural Parade along Pennsylvania Avenue for both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.  At the Bush Inaugural Parade he was paired with…Meat Loaf.  For years he announced the start of the Race for the Cure live on WTOP.  He has a long, long list of awards and honors including a (rare for a journalist) RAMMY Award, “The Duke Zeibert Capital Achievement Award.”  RAMMY’s are awarded by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington.

cookefarleyA Farewell to Jim Farley.  Radio consultant and TALKERS contributor Holland Cooke (right) poses for a selfie with outgoing vice president of news and programming Jim Farley at a retirement bash for the longtime WTOP, Washington programmer at the Newseum in Washington, DC.  After 17 years with the station, Farley is “slowing down but not retiring” as he’ll step down from his current post but consult WTOP for the next two years. He’s also open to consult others with their news and/or digital strategies.  Current WTOP program director Laurie Cantillo is stepping into the post at year’s end.  Cooke reports that modern-day WTOP-ers, Hubbard execs and many alumni toasted Farley at the bash.  Among other things said at the farewell party, Farley told staffers, “What a crowd!  YOU did it.  YOU GUYS do all the heavy lifting, and I got all the credit.  I’m gettin’ out before they catch me.”

kmbzGood Fences Make Good Neighbors.  Usually that’s the case but at the Entercom AM transmitter site in Westwood, Kansas, just how a good fence is defined appears to be the issue.  The towers for KMBZ and KUDL are surrounded by residential neighborhoods – that wasn’t the case in the 1930s when the towers went up.  According to the Prairie Village Post, now neighbors are challenging the renewal of Entercom’s special use permit for the site claiming they want improvements there.  After meeting with residents, a plan commission sub-committee is suggesting the current chain-link fence with barbed wire makes the property look “blighted” and recommends removal of the perimeter fence and replacement with fencing that complies with current code.  Entercom fears liability issues without a perimeter fence.  In 2008, a trespassing teenager was killed after falling from a tower on the site.  Expect some sort of compromise on this issue since moving the station towers would be very difficult yet protection of the transmitters and towers needs to continue for obvious reasons.

junkiesCredit to WJFK-FM, Washington’s “Junkies” for Nabbing Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Segment.  He’s been one of the hot talk radio topics for the past several weeks (as documented in TALKERS magazine’s weekly top topics chart The Talkers TenTM), so why not book him as a guest?  CBS Radio’s “The Junkies” did just that and got a cool 25-minute segment with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford on WJFK-FM, Washington today.  Ford, who’s obviously been in the news a bit lately and doesn’t seem to be very mic-shy, talked with the Junkies about football (he offered his NFL picks for the week), the drug use allegations against him, President Obama, and his run for re-election next fall (which he says he’ll win because he has the support of the people).

kgmzlogoOdds & Sods.  Entercom’s KGMZ, San Francisco is preparing to begin a listener giveaway of tickets and cool memorabilia for its six area pro sports teams.  “95.7 The Game” is calling the promotion “The Six Teams of Christmas” and will give listeners a chance to win game ticket packages to see the Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers, San Francisco Giants, Oakland As, Golden State Warriors and San Jose Sharks…..CBS Radio’s New York stations (including sports WFAN-AM/FM and all-news WINS and WCBS) are announcing a new promotion: The Firehouse Chili Cook-Off.  After entries were submitted from all across the tri-state area, semi-finalists will compete to see whose chili recipe cbsfirehousereigns supreme.  At establishments in New Jersey and New York, the staple food of firefighters will be cooked, tasted and judged by local sports figures, and one fire company at each event will move into the final round of the competition.  The grand prize winner will receive VIP tickets to a 2014 New York Yankees game…..Entercom’s Boston Red Sox flagship WEEI, Boston is broadcasting from the MLB Winter Meetings in Orlando next week.  Live coverage of the meetings will begin with Salk & Holley from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm Monday through Wednesday.  The Mut & Merloni show will also originate from the Swan and Dolphin Resort from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm Tuesday through Thursday.

kirofmhollidaymagicHoliday Magic at KIRO-FM, Seattle.  Pictured here is KIRO-FM, Seattle afternoon drive duo Ron & Don manning the tote board at last year’s “Holiday Magic Radiothon.”  The Bonneville news/talk station, in partnership with Treehouse (a non-profit agency that ensures that kids in foster care have access to the essential services required to help them make it to high school graduation and beyond), are hosting the 25th Annual Foster Child Holiday Magic Radiothon today.  The station set a record last year raising more than $500,000.  The 12-hour “Holiday Magic Radiothon” helps local foster kids by raising money to provide each child in the program with one significant holiday gift along with support programs and services throughout the year.

humphriesdamian2Rusty Humphries on the Set in Bucharest.  That’s talk show host and actor Rusty Humphries (left) with actor Michael Damian (right) on location in Bucharest, Romania on the set of the romantic comedy Love By Design.  Humphries says he plays a reporter covering a big fashion show in New York City.  He notes that Bucharest is a popular location to shoot NYC scenes since it can be made to look like the streets of New York and the production costs are much less.  The movie also stars Jane Seymour.  Humphries was in Bucharest for seven days filming.  He tells TALKERS, “I had a blast.  I love the fact that I’m having the opportunity to really live out my dreams: radio, TV and film.  This is my third major motion picture, and it’s always an honor to be involved with a project as special as this.”

ObamaCare Criticism, NSA Cell Location Database, Obama Millennial Support Diminishing, Detroit Bankruptcy, Bashir Resignation, and Fast Food Minimum Wage Effort Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/5).  Analysis of the implementation and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the NSA policy that reportedly gathers the location of cell phone users; the loss of support from Millennials for President Obama; the Detroit bankruptcy case ruling; Martin Bashir’s resignation from MSNBC after his Sarah Palin comments; and the move by organized labor to push for a national minimum wage for fast food workers were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

The Sad State of Broadcast Engineering – Part 2

| December 4, 2013

By Thomas R. Ray, III CPBE, AMD, DRB
Tom Ray Consulting
President
TALKERS
Technical Editor

raytomNEW YORK — Around Labor Day, I wrote an article that asked, “Where have all the broadcast engineers gone?”  I was inundated with responses, which is why it has taken me so long to write a follow up article.  Obviously, I hit a nerve with everyone.  I have heard from Australia, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and Ireland.  Obviously, this is a universal topic and I have been overwhelmed.  That, and I’ve been working on a large project with not much time to put electrons to the screen.

Additionally, I was both surprised and not surprised at the bitterness in many of the responses.  Broadcast engineers are a unique group.  It’s difficult, though not impossible, to find a more dedicated group of people in any business.  We take it personally.  The station becomes part of us and is what we do.  And once that is disrupted, even if the person is in a much better place, it is taken personally.  I can relate.

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What You Look Like to Us

| November 18, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
Owner

SHAKER HEIGHTS — Those of us in digital media know that our world will continue to change drastically, over and over again.  We also know that we will be bigger and better three years … five years … 10 years from now.  Plus, we hear how radio compares itself to online listening choices, and we see how you use your digital platforms.

And here’s what we think.

We Have Transmitter Envy

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Friday, November 15, 2013

| November 15, 2013

rhodesrandiPremiere Reverses Course; Keeps Randi Rhodes on Syndication Menu. There are no reports indicating just what happened between Randi Rhodes and syndicator Premiere Networks but the latter is confirming the widely reported news that Rhodes will continue to be syndicated by Premiere, at least through 2014.  Premiere SVP of affiliate relationspremierenetworks logo Peter Tripi emailed affiliates, “In a happy turn of events, we are pleased to announce that Premiere Networks will continue to produce and distribute the Randi Rhodes show.  In an industry of constant change, it’s a pleasure to provide good news about a talk talent we think so highly of.  We apologize for any inconvenience the previous announcement caused, but look forward to a very successful 2014 with the Randi Rhodes show.”  Several weeks ago, Rhodes began telling her audience she was foreseeing the end of her program and later Premiere notified affiliates the relationship would be ending.

kabclogoKABC and KLOS Could Fetch Roughly $90 Million. Before you start feverishly looking for loose change behind sofa cushions and envision putting together a consortium, that is the estimated price for (just) the real estate of the Cumulus-owned talk and rock combo.  For decades, KABC and KLOS have operated from a 45,000-square-foot broadcast facility that sits on a 10-acre Los Angeles site at La Cienega and Jeffersonkloslogo Boulevard.  It is close to a stop on the Expo Line rail route connecting downtown LA and Culver City.  In an article in yesterday’s (11/14) Los Angeles Times, Roger Vincent notes that, “The area is considered ripe for mixed-use development that might include apartments, offices and stores.  Real estate experts familiar with transit-oriented development say the Baldwin Hills site could command $200 a square foot, or more than $90 million,” although Cumulus reportedly has not officially set a price for the KABC-KLOS property.  The LA Times piece quotes an unnamed Cumulus spokesperson who indicates company officials feel the Los Angeles property is a “greatly underutilized asset.” Cumulus has decided to sell it “to free up cash to redeploy in other areas of the business.”  One option under consideration would be to have KABC and KLOS remain as tenants at the location following the sale.

nielsen logoNielsen Trims Payroll by as Many as 500 Positions.  The statement from Nielsen is vague company-speak – “As part of the integration of Nielsen Audio, Nielsen is implementing changes across the company to enhance growth and to align our resources to meet and exceed client needs. These changes will improve productivity and innovation for the benefit of our organization, clients and shareholders.”  However, unsubstantiated reports swirling through the industry are that as many as 500 former Arbitron staffers are being let go as Nielsen brings the radio ratings division fully into the parent company.  The move is not surprising – or shouldn’t be – to anyone who’s been in this business for a while.  Nielsen reported to shareholders that it would be able to realize $20 million in “synergies” and that money has to come from somewhere.  In late September, when TALKERS wrote that staffers at Arbitron are wondering how many jobs will be cut as a result of the acquisition, Nielsen was quick to issue a statement saying the company had, “no plans to reduce headcount at this time,” which we reported on October 2.  TALKERS sees the dismantling of the Arbitron brand and all that it stood for in this clandestine manner as a red flag that should not go by without at least comment.  Those who recall the sale of the iconic trade publication Radio & Records to Nielsen in 2006 will remember the company making similar statements about its intentions to use its formidable resources to grow the magazine and increase its services to the radio industry.  However, in 2009, Nielsen shut the publication down.  In a recent speech at the NAB Radio Show in Orlando, TALKERS and RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison stated that for radio to thrive, let alone survive, in his new digital era – it must celebrate and protect its “radio-ness,” and avoid being assimilated into the multi-media soup of the 21st century at the expense of its unique industry and cultural identity.  We hope that the powers-that-be at Nielsen show more respect for the specialness of radio in the days going forward and that they will be held accountable for significant discrepancies between their words and actions.

ordwayglennGlenn Ordway Lands Weekend Gig at SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio.  Longtime WEEI, Boston sports talk personality Glenn Ordway will begin hosting “The Big Weekend Show with Glenn Ordway” on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio channel this weekend.  Ordway’s show will air Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00 am to 11:00 am.  Ordway – who spent the early part of his radio career as a Boston Celtics commentator – was instrumental in the building of Entercom’s WEEI, Boston where he created “The Big Show” afternoon drive program.  His work in sports talk radio in Boston goes back to his days at talker WRKO where he hosted “Sportscall,” beginning in 1981.  He worked at WEEI from 1987 until leaving the station in the spring of this year.

duncanchrisWXOS, St. Louis Renews with Chris Duncan; Announces New Program Schedule.  Hubbard Radio’s WXOS, St. Louis “101 ESPN” announces it has signed a contract renewal with sports talk host – and former St. Louis Cardinals star – Chris Duncan.  The term of the contract was not announced.  Program director Chris “Hoss” Neupert states, “We are excited to have Chris continue with ‘101ESPN,’ he is a tremendously talented guy and a hard worker who prepares in great depth every day to entertain and inform the ‘101ESPN’ audience.”  At the same time, the station announces its new post-morning drive lineup effective 11/25: Kevin Wheeler, 9:00 am to 12:00 noon; “The Turn” with Chris Duncan and Anthony Stalter, 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm; and “The Fast Lane” with Randy Karraker and D’Marco Farr (with Brad Thompson joining the show on Monday, January 6th, 2013) from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

fccnewFCC Approves Hiking Foreign Ownership Limit; NAB Approves.  The mood at the Federal Communications Commission was ebullient as all five commissioners signed on to a policy change that would allow for foreign investment in U.S. broadcasting signals.  The new policy would not put a strict limit on the percentage of interest allowed but would only kick in the FCC’s scrutiny if the stake goes above 25%.  The days of concern over foreign control over content on American airwaves are long over and the NAB weighed in on the change, with president and CEO Gordon Smith stating, “NAB applauds the FCC for providing flexibility in commission rules allowing increased foreign investment in broadcast TV and radio stations.  We are especially pleased the FCC recognized that local broadcasters routinely provide ‘local news, Amber Alerts and public safety information’ to serve our communities.  Today’s vote provides broadcasters greater access to capital that will allow local stations to continue our indispensable role as the primary purveyor of news, entertainment and lifeline information to the American people.”

blairderricknowitsthenewsTalk Media Network Brings Weekly Satirical News Program into the Fold.  “Now It’s the News with Derrick Blair” joins the Josh Leng-led Talk Media Network.  The company says in a statement, “While many shows embrace talking points and are overly predictable, Derrick Blair brings a refreshing approach to ‘Now It’s The News,’ in the genre of ‘enlightened entertainment’ that includes ‘The Colbert Report’ found on Comedy Central.”  Blair adds, “In the truest spirit of bipartisanship, ‘Now It’s The News’ will continue to mock the left, the right, the center, and all points in between.”  Josh Leng comments on the one-hour, weekly program, “’Now It’s The News with Derrick Blair’ appeals to core radio listeners who love news and politics, but also to a much wider audience who simply enjoy a good laugh and quality entertainment.  Derrick’s show is 100% original, and serves as a perfect bridge between political and non-political programming, giving listeners a humorous transition. It’s also a great way to laugh off some of the stress that can build up during the week.”  The program has been in syndication since 2010.

cumulus logoCumulus-Townsquare Deal Closes.  Yesterday, Cumulus Media announced that it had completed the sale to Townsquare Media, LLC of 53 radio stations in 12 small and mid-sized markets for approximatelytownsquare logo $238 million in cash, and the swap with Townsquare of 15 radio stations in two small and mid-sized markets in exchange for five radio stations in Fresno, California (together, the “Townsquare Transaction”).  Cumulus reports in an 8-K filing that it intends to use the cash proceeds from the Townsquare Transaction to fund a portion of the purchase price payable to complete its previously announced acquisition of Dial Global, Inc., now known as WestwoodOne.  This acquisition is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2013.

marksidWPHT, Philadelphia Celebrates 57 Years of Sid Mark’s Broadcast Career. The Philadelphia broadcaster is best known these days for his nationally syndicated weekly program “The Sounds of Sinatra.”  Home base – news/talk station WPHT, Philadelphia – is celebrating the career of Sid Mark tonight at a special, sold-out event at Galdo’s in Philadelphia to celebrate his 57th year hosting “The Sounds of Sinatra.”  The evening will feature Bobby Rydell and the sounds of the 17-piece big band City Rhythm Orchestra paying tribute to Sid Mark.  CBS Radio Philadelphia SVP and market manager Marc Rayfield says, “Sid is not only a Philadelphia treasure, but a national treasure as well.  His legendary voice has insured that another legendary voice has remained quite legendary.  We are honored to have him as a member of our team at WPHT.”  Sid Mark launched “The Sounds of Sinatra” in Philadelphia 57 years ago after a caller suggested that Sid spin one hour of Frank Sinatra songs.  That tradition developed into “Friday with Frank,” as well as “Sunday with Sinatra” which presently airs on 1210 WPHT on Sundays from 9:00 to 1:00 pm.  “The Sounds of Sinatra,” now heard on more than 100 radio stations from coast to coast, is the only radio program of its kind to have been personally authorized by Frank Sinatra.

ramseygreenvilleDave Ramsey Fills the House in Greenville.  Nationally syndicated talk superstar Dave Ramsey is pictured here on stage in Greenville, South Carolina last night presenting his new “Legacy Journey LIVE!” The program discusses how to win with money, strengthen marriages and lead your children with confidence.  His daughter, Rachel Cruze, joined Ramsey on stage. Ramsey combined forces with local affiliate WORD, to promote the event.  Entercom Upstate director of news and programming Bob McLain states, “As a heritage partner with Dave Ramsey it’s a pleasure to be able to welcome Dave and Rachel Cruze to the Upstate…The opportunity for ‘WORD 106.3’ to partner with Dave in this venture, as we do on the air, just helps to cement the personal relationship our listeners have with Dave and the station.”  Also, on Wednesday, Ramsey hosted his “EntreLeadership 1 Day Event” in Birmingham, Alabama with speaker Chris Hogan addressing how to run a business using the same common sense principles that Ramsey practices in his own company of more than 350 employees.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Envision Radio Networks’ “America Weekend” featuring hosts Paul Harris, Turi Ryder and Rob Carson, is added to the program schedule at Blount Broadcasting Corporation’s talk WKVL and rock WNFZ in Knoxville, Tennessee…..Genesis Communications Networks-syndicated Dr. Daliah Wachs joins the program lineup at WZGM, Asheville, North Carolina.

ObamaCare Rollout Criticism Tops Talkers TenTM.  The ongoing criticism of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio for the fourth straight week.  At #2 this week was the GOP strategy for the 2014 and 2016 elections tied with analysis of the November 5 elections.  Following at #3 was President Obama’s declining poll numbers tied with the new Benghazi allegations and at #4 was the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s chart here.

Aaron Klein Takes Breaking News and Investigative Talk Radio to a New Level

| November 13, 2013

By Jeff McKay
TALKERS
Special Features Correspondent

mckayjeffKlein feature picNEW YORK — Aaron Klein simply breaks all of the stereotypes of today’s talk show hosts.  He’s just 34 years old.  He does not lean liberal or conservative, nor does he speak in political talking points.  He does not love or hate President Obama, or stand on the ground of anyone’s political party.  He’s an accomplished author of six books with another blockbuster on the way.  His radio show doesn’t just talk about the news – in many cases it breaks the news – broadcasting half a world away.

Klein grew up in a tight-knit community of orthodox Jews in Philadelphia, and eventually moved to New York City where he attended Yeshiva University.  It wasn’t long before he joined the student newspaper, and became editor.  If he wasn’t hooked to the media by that time, a powerful report in the college newspaper led to the school removing issues of his newspaper.  That action led to the threat of a lawsuit against the university.  The school backed down and discontinued their practice.

Like many people in radio, Klein never really planned on the media as a career.

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

| November 12, 2013

bloomquistrandallRandall Bloomquist Returns to Programming as Corporate News/Talk PD for Cumulus.  Cumulus Media announces the appointment of four executives to corporate programming posts and Randall Bloomquist – out of the radio station programming business since exiting WGST, Atlanta in January of 2009 – is named corporate PD for news/talk.  Current corporate programmer Jim Mahanay is named corporate PD for sports, allowing him to focus fully on thiscumulus logo growing aspect of Cumulus’ business.  In other appointments, Derek Madden of KLOS, Los Angeles and Scott Jameson (OM/PD at the Minneapolis cluster) continue their local station responsibilities but also add corporate rock programming duties.  In a statement, Cumulus COO John Dickey says, “Our success depends on executing effectively across programming at the local and national levels, which is why I’m very pleased about these new appointments that will help Cumulus continue building on our commitment to the very best content.”  Randall Bloomquist, who most recently operated Bloomquist Media executing content and promotional work for clients including Fisher House Foundation, says of returning to radio programming, “I’m thrilled to join Cumulus at this exciting time in the history of radio and audio content.  Cumulus is a true audio platform company well positioned to help shape the future of our industry.  I look forward to working with John Dickey, Mike McVay and the rest of the Cumulus news/talk team to create great radio that resonates with listeners and delivers for clients.”  In his career, Bloomquist has also programmed WMAL, Washington; WBT, Charlotte; and WRVA, Richmond.  He previously was the Washington, DC bureau chief for Radio & Records.

toucher&rich’98.5 The Sports Hub’ Renews ‘Toucher & Rich’ Morning Show.  Reporting that the morning team of Fred Toucher (left) and Rich Shertenlieb (right) has placed number one in the Men 25-54 demo for the past 14 Nielsen PPM rating periods, CBS Radio’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” inks the duo to a new, multi-year contract.  CBS Radio Boston SVP and market manager Mark Hannon says, “’Toucher & Rich’ have connected with Boston sports radio listeners over the last four-plus years with their innovative, clever and funny content.  They are two great guys who have done an amazing job of anchoring ‘98.5 The Sports Hub,’ and we are thrilled that they will continue to wake up Boston for years to come.”

brucedamonKNBR, San Francisco Host Damon Bruce Status Unknown.  Sports talk host Damon Bruce has been under fire from many quarters after a rant related to the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin case in which he stated the influence of women is causing sports to “lose its way.”  He said, in part, “There are very few – a small handful – of women who are any good at this at all.  That’s the truth.  This is guy’s stuff.  This is men’s stuff.  And I don’t expect women to understand men’s stuff anymore than they should expect me to be able to relate to labor pains.”  It’s being reported that Bruce has been suspended for two days but that his job is also still in jeopardy.  If the suspension report is accurate, he should be back on his 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show on Wednesday (11/13).  For his part, Bruce is not apologizing and has indicated in recent Tweets that he’s not surprised by the “piling on” that’s taking place in the media over his comments.  Part of a recent Tweet states, “If me pointing out men set policy/tone/rules/ in sports makes me a sexist, bad guy, than ‘say goodnight to the bad guy!”

hollanderjoelJoel Hollander Joins Entercom’s Board of Directors.  Former CBS Radio president and Westwood One chairman and CEO Joel Hollander is named to the board of directors for Entercom Communications Corp.  Currently, Hollander is president and CEO of 264 Echo Place Partners, his own media consulting firm.  Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “We are delighted to have Joel Hollander join Entercom’s board of directors.  Joel’s unique background, intellect and expertise make him an ideal addition to our board.”  Hollander adds, “I look forward to serving Entercom’s shareholders and helping grow their unique and powerful set of assets.  This is an exciting time for radio, and Entercom is strongly positioned to succeed going forward.”

flynnbillWEGO, Winston-Salem Talk Host Bill Flynn to Run for U.S. Senate.  Over the weekend, WEGO, Winston-Salem morning drive host Bill Flynn announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate as a Republican.  Flynn hopes to win the Republican primary and challenge Democrat Kay Hagan who defeated Elizabeth Dole in 2008.  The Winston-Salem Journal reports that Flynn spoke to about 50 people at a “Sunday Funday” event in Kennersville, North Carolina.  Truth Broadcasting Company, owner of WEGO “AM 980 The Eagle,” has not announced the point at which Flynn will give up his daily radio program.

wgnlogoWGN, Chicago Adds Blackhawks Programming to David Kaplan Show.  Former Blackhawks player Eddie Olczyk is already a regular guest on David Kaplan’s evening sports talk show on Tribune’s WGN, Chicago.  Now, the station is adding more of Olczyk and making a live event out of the show.  The broadcast series dubbed “The Eddie O Show” — a series of six one-hour radio broadcasts hosted throughout the 2013-2014 season – will feature Olczyk during Kaplan’s show.  Each broadcast will feature in-depth hockey talk and listeners will have an opportunity to submit questions throughout the show.  The season premiere takes place on Monday, November 18 at Scout Waterhouse & Kitchen in Chicago and is open to the public.  The audience will have the opportunity to enter to win Blackhawks prizes, including merchandise and tickets.  Olczyk also serves as the color analyst for Blackhawks hockey on Comcast SportsNet Chicago and WGN-TV Channel 9.

biakelseychartBIA/Kelsey: Radio to Capture 11.5% of Local Ad Spend in 2013.  In a report detailing local ad spending, advisory firm BIA/Kelsey projects that radio will have garnered 11.5% of local ad spending for 2013 – totaling $15.2 billion – when all is said and done.  The full report is available to clients and radio stations and states that radio will grab the fourth largest share of local ad revenue behind direct mail, newspapers and TV.  The reports states, “The local radio market is growing, albeit at a more moderate pace than it once did, by expanding its offerings to off-air platforms, providing a wider range of listener experiences and advertiser opportunities.”  Chief economist and report author Mark Fratrik adds, “As we move toward 2014, it’s clear the radio industry has adapted to incredible competition from all sides, with streaming and other audio competitors taking audiences.  Yet local radio is surviving, and in some instances, thriving, and poised to compete well in the new marketplace.  Radio is also beginning to deliver other compelling digital services that help its local advertisers navigate promotional opportunities. With the right attitude towards the new reality of increased competition and strategic planning, local radio stations can prosper.”  The report offers tempered good news for radio when it states, “Another indication of the success of the radio industry’s performance is the recent increase in values of publicly traded radio companies.  Like other local media companies, values of public radio companies have increased by 68.2% through the first three quarters of 2013, easily beating the performance of the overall stock market.  But as competition for audience share continues to cut into audience share for radio stations, the industry needs to be on its toes to remain competitively viable.”

rhodesrandiRandi Rhodes Hints at Departure from Premiere in New Year.  The message board on her website is full of her fans commiserating the potential end of her Premiere Networks-syndicated talk show based on comments the progressive talk star made on her program about being unemployed in January.  There’s been no official statement from Randi Rhodes outside of the show chatter and Premiere has issued no notice to affiliate stations as of today (11/12).

Odds & Sods.  Salem Radio Network’s Bill Bennett will be away from his “Morning in America” nationally syndicated program tomorrow (11/13) and Peter Kirsanow, a former member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, will sit in the guest host chair.  Kirsanow is a regular contributor to the National Review and is a partner with the Benesch’s Labor & Employment Practice Group and a member of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee…..Front Range Sports Network adds University of Kansas and Duke University men’s hoops to the programming at KDSP, Denver and KJAC, Fort Collins-Greeley…..Jim Blasingame’s “The Small Business Advocate” prepares to celebrate the program’s 16th anniversary on November 17.

ObamaCare Rollout Criticism, Veterans Day, Incognito-Martin Case, Philippines Typhoon Devastation, and ‘Blue Is the Warmest Color’ Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/11).  Ongoing debate and criticism of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act; the Veterans Day holiday; the case of Miami Dolphins player Jonathan Martin’s leaving the team and Richie Incognito’s television interview; the death and destruction after Typhoon Haiyan hits the Philippines; and the controversy over the new film “Blue Is the Warmest Color” were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, November 8, 2013

| November 8, 2013

anezscottCox Media Orlando Names Scott Anez Host of ‘Orlando’s News at Noon.’  There are a couple of moves to report from CMG’s news/talk WDBO-FM “News 96.5” and sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580” and they center around longtime Cox Orlando air talent Scott Anez who’s been with WDBO for the past 23 years.  Since the company flipped the AM side towdbofm logo sports a year ago, Anez has been hosting “ESPN Afternoons” from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm on “ESPN 580,” “Orlando’s Evening News” from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm on “News 96.5” as well as “Inside Magic” prior to Orlando Magic broadcasts.  Now, Anez will take over the “Orlando’s News at Noon” program to free up his packed afternoon schedule.  Program director Drew Anderssen says, “As a listener favorite, moving Scott to host ‘Orlando’s News at Noon’ will allow him more flexibility in his schedule and a greater focus on each show, ultimately providing our listeners a more consistent listening experience.”  This move allows news director Joe Kelley to relinquish the noon show on-air duties and focus on hosting “Orlando’s Morning News” and serving as news director for the station.  The station expects to announce a new permanent host for the “Orlando’s Evening News” program soon and will use its stable of hosts and reporters to anchor the show for now.

hayworthjdJ.D. Hayworth Sues Broadcasting Company of the Americas for XEPRS, San Diego Termination.  Talk radio host – and former Arizona congressman – J.D. Hayworth has filed suit against the company that operates sports talker XEPRS, San Diego “Mighty 1090” after he was dismissed six months into a two-year deal.  Hayworth – whose background in radio is largely as a political news/talker – was inked to a two year contract to co-host the morning drive show on XEPRS alongside market vet Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton in March.  The company let Hayworth go in late August and nowxeprs logo Hayworth is suing for breach of contract and four other complaints.  The thrust of Hayworth’s complaint is, according to the contract, he could only be terminated for “for Cause,” and that when he was let go, the station either refused or was unable to specify how he had failed to live up to the contract.  He’s seeking the pay due under the terms of the two-year contract, plus attorneys’ fees and more.  If the case goes to trial, it appears it will be Hayworth’s goal to prove that the fact that station management felt Hayworth’s pairing with Hamilton wasn’t working out was not something that can be defined as a “violation” of his contract and therefore something that fell under the “for Cause” clause in the pact.  In a sentence, if you have a no-cut contract, just because it’s “not working out,” isn’t reason not to get paid.

knxprismKNX, Los Angeles’ Frank Mottek Honored.  KNX, Los Angeles business anchor and host of the “KNX Business Hour” program, Frank Mottek, was honored with the “Outstanding News Professional” award from the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) Los Angeles chapter on Wednesday, November 6.  The 49th annual PRism Awards gala took place at the Beverly Hills Hotel.  The awards were established decades ago to honor a select number of companies, individuals and programs that most exemplify above-and-beyond industry and community impact.  PRSA is the largest public relations organization in the world, with more than 21,000 members nationally.  Pictured here (from l-r) are: KNX news director Julie Chin, director of programming Andy Ludlum, Mottek and CBS Radio SVP/Los Angeles market manager Dan Kearney.

kuhnerbashOdds & Sods.  Tribune’s WGN Chicago names Scott Miller executive producer for the late night Pete McMurray show that airs from 11:00 pm to 2:00 am.  Miller had been working freelance for the show and he tells TALKERS, “During my freelance time on the Pete McMurray show, I have booked: Buddy Guy, Billy Corgan, Mike Love, Dr Oz, Paul Rodriguez, Frankie Valli, Nora Dunn, Lester Holt, Nick Offerman, Aaron Paul, Mo Rocca, Kevin Cronin, and Bruce Hornsby to name a few.  Famed Comedy Club owner Jamie Masada voted me ‘Chicago’s Funniest Media Personality’ at Laugh Factory Chicago!”…..NRG Media’s KOIL, Omaha was recently recognized by Omaha’s Child Saving Institute for its commitment to children and families with the organization’s “Corporate Award” at the CSI Awards luncheon earlier this week.  KOIL has hosted the CSI Radiothon for the past 14 years raising more than $1 million for services to local children in need.  This year’s radiothon is December 13…..WRKO, Boston morning drive talk host Jeff Kuhner (pictured here on stage addressing fans) celebrated his one-year anniversary as host of “The Kuhner Report” on Wednesday evening at the Pearl Street Café in suburban Saugus, Massachusetts.  Some 200 fans packed the restaurant to help Kuhner celebrate the benchmark…..At Clear Channel’s sports talk KXNO, Des Moines, Tim Fisher leaves the morning show to relocate to Houston for personal reasons.  Travis Justice and producer Ross Peterson continue to host the “Morning Rush” program.

ObamaCare Rollout Criticism Tops Talkers TenTM.  Talk of the problems with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, the implementation of the federally run website, and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ role in the process was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was Tuesday’s election day results.  Following at #3 was Republican Party strategy for the 2014 and 2016 elections and at #4 was President Obama’s declining approval numbers.  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.

wachscainThe Doctor and Mr. Cain.  Genesis Communications Network nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs (right) poses for a photo with WestwoodOne-syndicated talk host (and former presidential candidate) Herman Cain (center) at a fundraiser for Congress of National Equality spokesman Niger Innis (left) who is running for U.S. Congress in the 4th district of Nevada.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “Free Talk Live” with hosts Ian Freeman and Mark Edge joins the programming at KINX-FM, Great Falls, Montana; KVFC, Cortez, Colorado; and KSZL, Barstow, California…..GCN-distributed “Freedom Feens” with Michael W. Dean and Neema Vedadi is picked up by WNFZ-FM, Powell, Tennessee…..Talk Media Network-syndicated “Fat Guys at the Movies” with Kevin Carr and Kristin Dreyer Kramer is added to the Saturday program schedule at KVEC, San Luis Obispo, California.

Peek Inside: NAB Futures 2013

| November 7, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

LAGUNA BEACH, CA — You’re more familiar with the National Association of Broadcasters’ other conventions.  Its April show in Las Vegas attracts 90,000+ from around the world.  And The Radio Show, co-produced with the Radio Advertising Bureau, recently wrapped in Orlando.

You may have attended either or both.  But odds are you’ve not been to – or even heard of – the annual NAB Futures conference…until now.  Futures is an invitation-only event for TV and radio CEO types, and attendance is limited to 65.  And, as its name implies, this is a think tank about how broadcasters can embrace and exploit the “disruption” that has changed how consumers consume media.

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

| November 7, 2013

sportshh2013TALKERS Publishes Second Annual “Heavy Hundred” of Sports Talk Radio.  The editors of TALKERS magazine, with input from industry leaders, have compiled the second annual Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk – The 100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America.  The eagerly anticipated list is posted today (11/7).  Like its long-established “sister list” – the long-running (18 years) annual “Heavy Hundred” that ranks talk radio hosts working in the news/talk and general talk genres – the editors of TALKERS magazine have ranked sports talk hosts, duos or ensembles from 1 to 100 based upon a set of criteria that includes a combination of hard and soft factors.  The results are, admittedly, subjective.  Being  true to the realities of the media business, ratings and revenue are two of the major factors – some would say they are the only factors worth considering – but the editors also took into account other qualities that help create a list that is reflective of the industry’s diversity and total flavor and still give credit where credit is due.  Those qualities include:  courage, effort, impact, recognition, service, talent and uniqueness.  The other concrete qualification for inclusion is hosts must be working – that is, have a regularly scheduled professional show on the air at a minimum of one terrestrial or satellite radio station at the time of publication.  TALKERS salutes the fine broadcasters who made this year’s second annual list!  To see the entire roster, please click here.

parksdarrylDarryl Parks Exits Clear Channel.  The longtime WLW, Cincinnati steward and architect of so many of the talk shows that aired on the station has been let go by Clear Channel.  Programmer Darryl Parks was PD of WLW from 1999 to 2010 when he was promoted to vice president of news/talk operations for the entire company.  He remained based at the Cincinnati cluster and hosted a Saturday morning talk show on WLW.  The Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Kiesewetter broke the news on Wednesday afternoon and in his report calls Parks “arguably the most influential person in Cincinnati radio” during his time as PD of WLW.  As per policy, Clear Channel doesn’t comment on personnel matters but has confirmed that Parks is no longer with the company.  The move is likely a restructuring of management within the company but Parks drew attention to himself last month with a blog post criticizing acting FCC chairwoman Mignon Clyburn’s AM revitalization program and referred to the NAB/RAB Radio Show as a “circle jerk.”

cbsradioCBS Corporation Reveals Q3 Numbers: Radio Up 1%.  For the company as a whole, revenue was up 11% but the radio division’s net revenue rose just 1%.  With so much of CBS’ revenue from television and cable, the company doesn’t spend much time talking about radio.  EVP of investor relations Adam Townsend did single out the fledgling CBS Sports Radio Network, saying, “CBS Sports Radio network continues to help drive our results.  Plus, digital revenue was up 19% in the quarter.  And nontraditional revenue, including our growing local events business, was up 9%.”  The company says it expects the radio division to be up in the low single digits in the fourth quarter.

cclogoClear Channel Radio Revenue Up 3%.  CC Media Holdings issued its third quarter 2013 financial results and the Clear Channel Media and Entertainment division’s revenue increased by 3% or $25 million.  Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman states, “Strategically and financially, our third quarter results reflect the growing strength of our Media+Entertainment business, while we continue to make meaningful progress in moving Outdoor forward internationally and in the Americas.  At Media+Entertainment, we outperformed the entire radio sector in revenue growth, including in our major markets. Increasingly, our radio business is benefiting from our strategic approach to advertising that sets us apart in the marketplace.”  Among numerous other points made about the division’s recent achievements, the company notes that there are now “39 million iHeartRadio registered users as of September 30, 2013, up 114% from the end of the 2012 third quarter, and crossing the 30 million registered user mark faster than Facebook, Twitter, Spotify or Pandora, and second only to Instagram.  iHeartRadio’s total listening hours were up 30% in the third quarter of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012.  Mobile represented 60% of iHeartRadio total listening hours during the quarter.”

katztonyTony Katz to Host Evening Show on WIBC-FM, Indianapolis.  Emmis Communications’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis and talk show host Tony Katz have agreed to terms for Katz to debut his “Tony Katz Tonight” program on the station airing from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight beginning Monday, November 11.  Katz will be based out of his Tomorrow Media Network studios in Los Angeles.  Katz most recently hosted a weekend program on Emmis-owned KFTK-FM, St. Louis “FM News Talk 97.1” where he also serves as the regular fill-in for the station’s Dana Loesch.  Katz states, “I’m thrilled to be with Emmis, a company that has fought hard to be strong in this ever-shifting radio landscape.  I’ve had a great relationship with the company, with Dana and especially KFTK program director Jeff Allen, who gave me nothing but support, opportunity and encouragement.  To go from there to the capable and fearless hands of WIBC program director David Wood makes me truly believe that this is the start of a long, profitable relationship.”  Katz is a columnist with TownHall and Christian Post and a frequent commentator on “Fox and Friends” and “The Kudlow Report” on CNBC.  He is also a sought after public speaker.

cunninghambillBill Cunningham’s TV Show Renews on The CW.  WLW, Cincinnati talk show host Bill Cunningham can also claim success in his other media endeavor – the Tribune-produced television talk program “The Bill Cunningham Show.”  Now, Cable & Broadcasting reports that the show has been picked up for another season – its third – by The CW Network which airs the show at 3:00 pm ET.  The TV project was one of those that began back when former Clear Channel radio president Randy Michaels was heading up Tribune.  Former Clear Channel programmer Sean Compton is one of the executives whom Michaels brought to Chicago and has risen to president of programming and entertainment for Tribune Broadcasting.  Compton is quoted in the piece saying, “The growth of ‘The Bill Cunningham Show’ over the past three seasons has exceeded all expectations.  When compared to perceptually bigger shows, Cunningham consistently comes out on top.  His demo conversion steadily yields impressive results and we are extremely proud of this show.”

cookehollandA Peek Inside: NAB Futures 2013.  Radio consultant and TALKERS contributor Holland Cooke was recently invited to attend – and deliver a keynote speech! – at the invitation only NAB Futures 2013 that took place in Laguna Beach, California.  Cooke describes it as “a think tank about how broadcasters can embrace and exploit the ‘disruption’ that has changed how consumers consume media.”  He reports back interesting tidbits from such speakers as: James McQuivey, VP and principal analyst at Forrester Research and the author of Digital Disruption: Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation; Scott Burnell, global lead, business development & partner management at Ford Motor Company; Jason Dorsey, “The Gen Y Guy” who wrote Y-Size Your Business: How Gen Y Employees Can Save You Money and Grow Your Business.  Get Holland Cooke’s scoop on the NAB Futures 2013 here.

westwoodone logoWestwoodOne Opens Creative and Production Studio for Radio Marketers.  Saying that it wants to help marketers develop “world-class audio,” WestwoodOne announces the opening of a full-service Creative Services division to be “powered” in part by TM Studios.  The company says it will “provide multi-platform marketing solutions including on-air, digital and experiential components, built upon the company’s core service producing engaging audio experiences that connect people with their passions in life.  The studio is currently preparing to work with marketers to produce audio ads for WestwoodOne’s broadcast of Super Bowl XLVIII.”  WestwoodOne CEO Paul Caine states, “Audio plays a vital role in the new media landscape and WestwoodOne is uniquely positioned to help marketers integrate creative, multiplatform audio advertising into the mix.  Marketers need a reliable partner who understands how, where and when today’s mobile consumers are interacting with audio and the ability to develop audio content that can stand out from the competition.  Be it mobile, terrestrial or digital consumption, the team at WestwoodOne Studio has the talent and expertise to create the most compelling and effective advertising to give our marketers the most exposure.”

valentinephilPhil Valentine Kicks Off ‘Spreading the Truth’ Tour.  Nashville-based syndicated talk show host Phil Valentine is launching what he’s calling the “Spreading the Truth” tour to promote the newly released DVD of his film “An Inconsistent Truth.”  Valentine will be in Pensacola, Florida at the Cordova Mall on Sunday, November 10 in conjunction with his Pensacola affiliate station WCOA.  Valentine reports that the movie – which challenges the notion of runaway, man-made global warming and takes its title from a twist on Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth – “hit the #1 spot on Amazon.com’s documentary list shortly after its release.  It’s the winner of three film festival awards including the Nevada Film Festival.  The film enjoyed a limited run last year in select theaters and was the top-grossing movie per screen in the entire country its first two weeks out.  It’s the 20th top-grossing nature documentary of all time, out-grossing films like “Cool It, Gasland and Fuel.”  Valentine states, “I think the fact that we hit #1 on Amazon so quickly is a testament to the appetite out there for the truth.  People inherently know carbon dioxide is not some kind of poison.  They instinctively know they’re being lied to.  We just arm them with the facts.”  The Spreading the Truth tour kicks off in Pensacola then moves to Nashville.  Other tour dates are being added.

morelandkeithOdds & Sods.  Chicago Cubs radio color analyst Keith Moreland is stepping down from his role.  WGN, Chicago announces the former Cub has made the decision to leave the broadcast booth to spend more time with his family.  In a note to the WGN staff, Moreland stated, “I would like to thank the fans, the folks at WGN Radio, my colleagues in the booth, the Ricketts family, and the Cubs for this great opportunity.  After spending three years doing it, I’ve simply decided that I want to spend more time at home in Texas.”  Moreland became a permanent fixture with play-by-play broadcaster Pat Hughes in February of 2011…..Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston announces the return of its off-season baseball show “Red Sox Hot Stove,” a weekly, one-hour program hosted by WEEI.com editor Rob Bradford and Red Sox reporter Alex Speier that will air every Thursday night from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm through February.  The program will focus on all off-season moves made by the Red Sox and in Major League Baseball, including free agency and trades, the GM and owners’ meetings and the league’s annual Winter Meetings, taking place this year from December 9-12 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando, FL.  Bradford and Speier will be joined on a recurring basis by Red Sox manager John Farrell, general manager Ben Cherington and assistant general manager Mike Hazen.  In addition, listeners will regularly hear from other managers, general managers, agents and players from around baseball.

zimneymissindy‘There She/He Is, Miss Indiana…’  Okay, so that’s not exactly how the song goes.  Nonetheless, the attractive woman you see here is Mekayla Diehl (right) who was crowned Miss Indiana USA 2014 this past Sunday.  The handsome lad seated and wearing the tiara is Federated Media news and programming guru Jon Zimney of ‘95.3 FM MNC’ (Michiana News Channel) in South Bend, Indiana, and WOWO-AM/FM in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Miss Diehl visited the broadcasting facility to talk about her being crowned to represent the state of Indiana.

ObamaCare Criticism, Election Day Results, Benghazi Case, GOP 2014 and 2016 Strategies, Iran Nukes, Miami Dolphins ‘Bullying’ Story and Tony Dorsett Health Issues Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/6).  The ongoing scrutiny of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act; Tuesday’s election results; renewed criticism of the handling of the deadly Benghazi attacks; Republican prospects and strategies for the mid-term elections in 2014 and the presidential election in 2016; Iran’s nuclear weapons program; controversy over the suspension of Miami Dolphins player Richie Incognito; and former NFL great Tony Dorsett’s admission he suffers from possible effects of football injuries were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Protect Your Rights with the Help of the EFF

| October 31, 2013

By Michael W. Dean
The Freedom Feens
Genesis Communications Network
Co-Host

CASPER – The Electronic Frontier Foundation, or EFF, is a non-profit that has taken to the courts to fight the good fight in the digital world since 1990.  They’ve initiated legal challenges against the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping.  They’ve filed a Petition for Inter Partes Review challenging a patent that a so-called “patent troll” has asserted against podcasters such as Adam Carolla.  This patent troll has sent demands for cash to many podcasters and has sued NBC, CBS, Fox, and the HowStuffWorks podcast.  The outcome of that case probably affects you, if you put up archives as a podcast, or ever plan to.

eff logoThe Electronic Frontier Foundation has fought to keep tracking software out of your phone. They’ve fought for open access to what the government is doing behind your back.  They’ve fought for Fair Use of images on websites (something that absolutely helps broadcasters and news sites). They have fought literally thousands of other things that need fighting. They’ve been protecting the Internet since before most people had heard of the Internet. So they’re friends of anyone planning to make a business shift from terrestrial radio to media on mobile devices. That’s a shift that everyone in radio should be anticipating, or at least looking at.

EFF is the premiere advocate for digital rights. They have done so much good it’s impossible to list it all here. We encourage you to check out their website to see for yourself.
https://www.eff.org/

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30 Candles for Horn’s CRN

| October 28, 2013

Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS magazine

 

LOS ANGELES — Akin to never coming across a more vocal emissary or advocate about the game of baseball than former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tom Lasorda, the radio industry would be hard-pressed to find a livelier ambassador than Mike Horn.

Thirty years ago, Horn had what, at the time, was considered a wild, if not inconceivable notion of placing radio station audio onto cable television systems around the country.

Whether or not such a wacky idea would survive three decades down the road is not something over which Horn anguished. Instead, he immersed himself in concentrating on doing something new and different.

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Friday, October 25, 2013

| October 25, 2013

pittmanbobBob Pittman Tells Los Angeles Times: ‘Not limited to our towers and transmitters.’  In an interview with the Los Angeles TimesRyan Faughnder, Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman says this is a “time of feast” for radio as the internet has helped radio expand its reach.  Pittman spoke with the Times prior to Wednesday’s Katy Perry album release event at the Burbank studio that is now the company’s iHeartRadio Theater Los Angeles.  Pittman expresses his belief that the company’s multi-media approach to distributing content – AM/FM, internet, live events, and television – is helping create excitement around it that will help the radio business evolve.  “Our view is, we need to be everywhere our listeners are,” Pittman tells the paper.  “We’re about massive reach and we’re about relationships with the consumer.  We build something big, powerful and strong and we’ll figure out how to make money on it.  We’ve built this theater, and we haven’t pre-sold anything.  We don’t know how we’ll make money on it, but it’s important to who we are.  Right now, there’s probably no one that does anything like what we’re doing with the iHeartRadio Theater in L.A., the iHeartRadio Theater in New York, the iHeartRadio music festival and the iHeartRadio Pool Party in the spring.  We’re building out all these major events for our listeners, and they’ll all come together financially, eventually.”  Read the entire L.A. Times piece here.

hannityseanSean Hannity Assists Fired ObamaCare Worker.  Premiere Networks nationally syndicated star Sean Hannity’s recent call to the government hotline set up to assist people with questions about the Affordable Care Act resulted in phone operator Erling Davis getting fired.  Hannity phoned the help line on his program with the goal of showing his audience what people who call the hotline go through and Davis, who was aware she was going to go on the radio and gave her permission to be on the show, took the call.  However, the next day Davis was fired for talking with the media – something she says she was not told was against policy.  Hannity had the woman on his program and told the mother of two he’s going to gift her a salary of $25,000 and help her find a new job. He’s also enlisting help from listeners to visit Hannity.com or email jobs@hannity.com with job opportunities in the Panama City, Florida area to help Davis.

beasleyBeasley Broadcast Group Announces Third Quarter Revenue Rises 5%.  Net revenue for the period ending September 30 was $26 million – up 5% over the same period a year ago.  Same station net revenue increased by 2.7%.  The company reports that the “$1.2 million, or 5%, rise in net revenue during the three months ended September 30, 2013 compared with the same period in 2012 reflects strength in the company’s Philadelphia and Miami-Fort Lauderdale market clusters as well as the acquisition of KOAS-FM in Las Vegas in the 2012 third quarter and KVGS-FM in September 2013.”  Chairman and CEO George Beasley comments, “The third quarter marks Beasleybeasleygeorge Broadcast Group‘s fifth consecutive period of top-line growth as third quarter net revenue rose 5% and same station net revenue increased 2.7%.  Excluding the benefit of political advertising in the year-ago quarter, same station net revenue rose approximately 4.4%.  The third quarter revenue increase reflects growth in local and digital revenue, strength in our largest market clusters in Philadelphia and Miami, and continued growth in Augusta. Overall, for our five markets that report to Miller Kaplan – which represent approximately 76% of our total third quarter revenue – Beasley station clusters grew revenue by 6.8% while the total revenue for all reporting radio stations in these markets declined by 1.4% for the quarter.  Our out-performance continues to highlight our organization-wide focus on strong core programming and targeted localism, both of which are contributing to the company’s ratings strength in its markets.”

siriusxmSiriusXM Reports Q3 Revenue Up 11%.  SiriusXM Satellite Radio reported its 2013 third quarter financial numbers yesterday and says its Q3 revenue was up 11% compared to the same period in 2012 after record revenue of $962 million.  However, net income dropped 17.3% comparing third quarters from this year to last “including losses on extinguishment of debt of $108 million (in 2013) and $107 million (in 2012).”  In a statement, CEO Jim Meyer says, “SiriusXM had a great quarter, with the 513,000 net subscriber additions and the 373,000 self-pay net meyerjimadditions setting post-merger records for the third quarter.  We also saw double-digit growth in revenue for the seventh consecutive quarter, a new quarterly record for adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA margin, and significant growth in free cash flow.  With continued growth in new automobile sales and an increasing number of existing self-pay subscribers selling their cars and rotating back into our trial funnel, we are increasing our guidance for net subscriber additions and reducing our guidance for self-pay subscriber additions by equal amounts.  We are also pleased to increase revenue guidance for 2013 and introduce new guidance for continued growth in 2014 in both revenue and adjusted EBITDA.”  The company says it expects revenue in 2014 to surpass $4 billion.

millerstephanieStephanie Miller ‘Sexy Liberal Comedy’ Tour Hits Seattle.  WYD Media Management announces another stop on Stephanie Miller’s “Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour” as it hits the Paramount Theater on December 14.  The program features Miller and comics Hal Sparks and John Fugelsang delivering an “evening of sexy political comedy!”  The “Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour” has been a very successful money-maker and profile-raiser for Miller’s morning drive radio program which emanates from Clear Channel’s progressive talk KTLK, Los Angeles.

washingtonstacyKFTK, St. Louis Debuts Stacy Washington Weekend Program.  Stacy Washington has been a contributor to the “Allman in the Morning” program on Emmis’ KFTK, St. Louis, a sub for daily host Dana Loesch, a guest on Fox News Channel and TheBlaze TV as well as a writer for Freedom Works and Townhall Magazine.  Beginning Saturday,kftk logo November 2, Washington will hit the St. Louis airwaves each weekend with her own radio show titled, “Stacy on the Right with Stacy Washington” every Saturday from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Program director Jeff Allen says, “We are thrilled to get the chance to add Stacy to our regular weekend lineup.  The show will be issues, lifestyle and opinion as only Stacy can deliver them.  I think the show will attract a big following in a short period of time.”  Stacy Washington is the daughter of an Army police cfficer and budget analyst who spent the majority of her childhood growing up in Germany.  She later enlisted in the Air Force as a weapons system analyst during which time she served on the Elgin Air Force Base Honor Guard and completed a tour of duty in Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Desert Shield.  She comments, “I’m honored to join the major voices of conservative thought on ‘FM NewsTalk 97.1,’ leading the metropolitan St. Louis area in ratings and most importantly,  in reporting the truth.  I can’t wait to get started!”

dahlsteveSteve Dahl Plans Not to Attend Radio Hall of Fame Induction; Ebert Widow Asks Him to Reconsider.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder published an open letter to Chicago radio personalities Steve Dahl and Garry Meier from Chaz Ebert, wife of the late Roger Ebert.  Ebert wrote the letter after Federmeiergarry reported that Dahl said he would not attend the November 9 ceremony at the Museum of Communications in Chicago because of his “general disinterest in the proceedings” and because Meier did not return a phone call to talk about the induction of the pair.  In her letter Ebert asks the two to bury the hatchet and attend the event for the city of Chicago and to help put an end to 20 years of resentment.  But in a post today, Dahl thanks Ebert for her thoughts and kind words but says his numerous attempts over the years to reconcile with Meier and his family have been ignored and he believes the two should go in together, not at separate tables at an event or one without the other.

kalinerpeteNews/Talk WWNC, Asheville Makes News with Resignation of Local Pol After Appearance on ‘The Daily Show.’  An appearance on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” by local North Carolina GOP precinct chair Don Yelton to discuss the North Carolina voter ID law turned into “radio gold” for Clear Channel’s WWNC, Asheville after Yelton resigned from the position on the station’s Pete Kaliner program.  According to WWNC program director Brian Hall, Yelton was made to look rather racist in the edited version of the segment that ran on “The Daily Show” and after he resigned on Kaliner’s program, numerous media outlets – including CNN, The Huffington Post, Salon and The New Yorker – were in contact with WWNC to request confirmation of the resignation and further flesh out the story.

nab logo

NAB Backs Foreign Ownership Proposal.  In response to Acting FCC Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn circulating a proposal that would make it easier for broadcasters to attract foreign investors, NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith states, “NAB applauds Acting FCC Chairwoman Clyburn for proposing that the Commission should consider foreign investment in U.S. broadcast properties the same way it considers such investments in other telecommunications properties.  This is fundamentally fair and will serve the public interest. Permitting new potential sources of capital for American radio and TV stations will strengthen our ability to continue providing compelling news, entertainment and sports programming and to remain competitive in a multichannel digital world.”

infotrak logoOdds & Sods.  The syndicated public affairs program “INFOTRAK” celebrates 10 years on the air on October 26.  The weekly show airs in 24 of the top 25 markets, and in most of the top 100 markets.  WestwoodOne manages national advertising sales for the show.  Host Chris Witting says, “Stations tell us that ‘INFOTRAK’ is the one public affairs show their listeners actually want to hear.  We consider that a real compliment.”…..ESPN Deportes announced the return of “Dream Job: El Reportero,” the nationwide search to find the final member joining the network’s team of soccer experts in Brazil to report from World Cup 2014.  The contest will launch at a live casting event in Los Angeles on November 3 at the Regal Theater starting at 2:00 pm PST.  Returning for its third installment, ESPN Deportes will give aspiring sports journalists across the nation the chance to compete for the opportunity to serve as a social media reporter for ESPN Deportes in Brazil.  Different from the previous casting tours, this year’s search will be driven by social media participation and supplemented by TV studio programs, the network’s top soccer talent, ESPNDeportes.com and ESPN Deportes Radio.

cookeworldseriesHolland at the World Series.   Radio consultant Holland Cooke reports to TALKERS magazine about his adventure making it to last night’s game two of the World Series: Long day yesterday, when I awoke pre-dawn in Minnesota, and began the trek that ended last night at Fenway Park.  It was the third time I’ve been to a World Series game, but only once was being there really about the game.  And how COULDN’T it have been, at game seven in Minneapolis, 1991, a game even Twins fans didn’t want to end, Morris vs. Smoltz, wow.  I had USA Today tickets, when I was doing Sky Radio there then, and we were entertaining darn-Minnesota-nice execs from Northwest Airlines that night…and they WERE entertained.  Also saw Toronto at the Phillies, in those rowdy 700 section seats, in the rain, at the old Vet.  Then last night, bundled-up, just like ya gotta be in April at Fenway.  Being there is less about the game itself than a word we heard repeatedly from Apple CEO Tim Cook at this week’s product introduction event: the “experience.”  ICYMI, you owe it to yourself to watch that Apple event, at apple.com.  Witness the media landscape where we now compete.  When listeners hear your station, what do they “experience?”  On behalf of my client stations that are Your Cardinals Baseball Stations, “Go Redbirds.”  But, just between you and me…

hendriephilTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  WYM Media’s Phil Hendrie is added to the program schedule at WQXL, Columbia, South Carolina in the 10:00 pm to 1:00 am slot.  The Leslie Marshall show is also added to the station’s programming in the 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot…..“Armed American Radio with Mark Walters” is added to the program schedule at the following stations: WHFT, Avon Park, Florida; WENY, Elmira, New York; WENI, Corning, New York; WRTA, Altoona, Pennsylvania; WLVA-AM/FM, Lynchburg, Virginia; WJXY, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and WXJY, Georgetown, South Carolina…..The “Motley Fool Stock Watch” is picked up by affiliates WBNW, Boston; WPLM, Plymouth, Massachusetts; WESO, Southbridge, Massachusetts; and WRAY, Princeton, Indiana…..Talk Media Network announces both “Fat Guys At The Movies” with hosts Kevin Carr and Kristin Dreyer Kramer and “Legends of Success” have been added to the lineup at WDBL, Springfield, Tennessee.  “Legends of Success” has also been added to the schedule at WBCF-AM/FM, Florence, Alabama…..“Freedom Feens” with Michael W. Dean and Neema Vedadi is added to the program lineup at KIXZ, Amarillo, Texas.

ObamaCare and HealthCare.gov Criticism Top Talkers TenTM.  The scrutiny of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the problems with the HealthCare.gov website was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of October 21-25.  Following at #2 was the infighting in the Republican Party.  At #3 was the state of the economy followed by the recent teacher slayings at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top people and stories discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is posted every Friday at Talkers.com.  To see this week’s entire chart, click here.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

| October 3, 2013

kxl logoMore News/Talk Radio Success Stories.  Yes, you read that right, contrary to the pronouncement – largely in the mainstream media (but some trades are generalizing as well) – that news/talk radio is suffering an overall ratings decline because there’s something wrong with the programming, the signals or its P1s, there are news/talk stations that are doing well.  In a piece published yesterday (see Wednesday’s news below) we knrs logomentioned a few news/talk stations that are performing well such as WMAL, KMOX, WSB-AM, KIRO-FM and others but more have come to light and we believe it’s worth delving into again.  The editors at TALKERS magazine understand we are running the risk of sounding like cheerleaders but it’s not because we are blind to reality, it’s that we are irked by sweeping conclusions based on less-than-complete information that brands an kmbzentire format as dead or dying.  Yes, some news/talk stations are dealing with low ratings and, yes, there are some entire markets that have seen – at least according to Nielsen Audio’s data – listening to news/talk decline.  But for those who work at Alpha Broadcasting’s KXL-FM, Portland; Clear Channel’s KFBK, Sacramento, KNRS-AM/FM, Salt Lake City or WLW, Cincinnati; Bonneville’s KSL, Salt Lake City; Cox Media Group’s WDBO-AM/FM, Orlando; or Entercom’s KMBZ, Kansas City, are enjoying the fruits of their hard work in the form of larsonlarsnews/talk stations that are performing well in their markets in spite of this gloomy environment.  Digging a bit deeper at villanuccijimKXL-FM, the midday shows – Jim Villanucci from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon and Lars Larson from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm – are both in the top six spots in Persons 25-54.  Villanucci (brand new to Portland listeners) is ranked #6 in the market with Persons 25-54 and Larson, a conservative political talker, ranks #2 in the market with Persons 25-54.  Larson is also tied for #1 with Men 18-34 with a 9.2 share.  And he does it in liberal Portland!  In conclusion, it is not only in the best interests of the country for news/talk radio to remain a vital medium — it is in the interests of the entire radio industry because – let’s face it – most of the buzz, news, high-profile personalities, controversy, and hoopla concerning radio as an iconic component of contemporary culture has emanated from news/talk radio.  After that, a close runner up has been the more general (lifestyle and entertainment) approach to “talk” radio as practiced by talents such as Howard Stern (incorrectly described by mainstream media as “shock jocks.”)  Can you imagine what the state of radio would be today had it not been for news/talk and general talk radio during the past 25 years?   The industry should not be so quick to discount the viability of this genre of radio and the key it holds to the continued pertinence of radio itself.  Lars Larson says his philosophy about the focus of his show is simple: “I figure the future of talk is in young listeners who get into the habit and like the format and what we put on the air.  I hope to keep them in my audience for the next 20 years.”

brienjenBrief Tenure at WBZ-AM, Boston for Jen Brien.  Just three months after beginning her position as permanent overnight host at CBS Radio’s WBZ-AM, Boston, talk show host Jen Brien exits with no reason given by management.  An announcement was made at the beginning of the overnight program on Thursday morning (10/3) that Brien was no longer the host of the show.  Brien won the job after Steve LeVeille retired in June of 2012.  The station featured a number of fill-in hosts in the overnight slot for a year before giving Brien the gig.  She had previously worked at crosstown WRKO hosting midday show.

mohrlenoJay Mohr Visits ‘The Tonight Show.’  Fox Sports Radio Network nationally syndicated host Jay Mohr is pictured here on the set of “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno.  Mohr appeared on the program to talk about his sports talk radio show as well as his upcoming stand-up comedy shows in his Houston and San Antonio markets.  Mohr plugged the fact that his show can be heard on iHeartRadio – prompting a shout from an audience member who, Mohr quipped, “has the app!”

wfan logoCBS Radio Brings Soccer to NYC.  CBS Radio sports talk WFAN-AM/FM, New York agrees to a multi-year deal with the New York City Football Club to begin broadcasting the team’s matches on the stations beginning in 2015.  WFAN says it is “the first radio provider to broadcast Major League Soccer (MLS) in English in New York City.”  Manchester City Football Club owns the NYC Football Club and CEO Ferran Soriano says, “We’re thrilled to partner with a station as prestigious as WFAN.  This is a huge opportunity for the team to bring football to all New Yorkers, right from the onset of our playing debut.”  Clearly, growing interest in soccer in the U.S. is something CBS Radio hopes will continue to blossom.  CBS Radio SVP and market manager Don Bouloukos adds, “As the nation’s leading sports radio station, we always look for ways to bring every type of sport to the New York area’s fans.  Soccer is beloved across the world, and with the New York City Football Club coming to New York, it’s the perfect time to further ignite the passion soccer fans have and bring coverage and play-by-play of this new team to the Tri-State area listeners.”

weei logoOdds & Sods.  Entercom’s WEEI, Boston kicks off the Red Sox post-season play with a live remote broadcast following a shortened edition of the Salk and Holley show.  A “Red Sox Roundtable” will be broadcast live from Jerry Remy’s Sports Bar and Grill in Fenway Park from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  Mike Salk, Michael Holley and fellow WEEI personalities John Dennis, Mike Mutnansky, Lou Merloni, Mikey Adams, Kirk Minihane, Alex Speier and Rob Bradford, as well as the Sox broadcast team of Dave O’Brien and Joe Castiglione will be on hand to discuss the Sox’ impending American League Division Series matchup…..Speaking of Joe Castiglione, he’s been nominated as one of 10 finalists for the Ford C. Frick award, given to baseball broadcasters of long and meritorious service.  Castiglione has been calling Boston Red Sox games on the radio for 31 years, having joined their broadcast team in 1983…..Northwestern alumnus, Mike Greenberg, and “Mike & Mike” co-host Mike Golic, will broadcast their show live from Northwestern’s Evanston, Illinois campus tomorrow morning (10/4) in advance of Saturday’s Homecoming game between the Wildcats and the Ohio State Buckeyes, as part of the third annual ESPN Audio Fall Football Tour.  Greenberg will also serve as grand marshal of University’s 2013 Homecoming Parade tomorrow evening.

hochmanheatMedia Day with the Heat.  Lincoln Financial Media’s sports talker WAXY-AM/FM, Miami “The Ticket” morning drive hosts Marc Hochman (left) and Jonathon Zaslow (right) attended Miami Heat media day recently and took the time to pose for a shot with Heat center Joel Anthony (the tall guy in the middle).

Government Shutdown, ObamaCare Implementation, IPCC Climate Report, U.S.-Iran Relations, and Financial Markets Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/2).  The political maneuvering to fix the government shutdown; the beginning of the enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act; the release of the latest climate report from the IPCC; speculation about future relations between the U.S. and Iran; and financial markets activity were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Profile: Bill Meyer of KMED, Medford, Oregon

| October 1, 2013

Serving Local Listeners – A Blueprint for Talk Success

By Jeff McKay
TALKERS
Special Features Correspondent

MEDFORD — If you leave Portland, Oregon and head just over four hours south down Interstate 5, before you reach the California border you’ll drive right into the town of Medford.  About 75 miles inland through rugged terrain from the Pacific Ocean, Medford is a small town with a population of 76,000, but is also an economic hub for Southern Oregon and a home for the state’s growing wine industry.

KMED logoMedford is also the home of KMED-AM (1440), a news/talk station owned by Bicoastal Media and the oldest radio station in Medford.  It’s weekday lineup includes syndicated conservatives Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, along with Glenn Beck and Alex Jones.  However, what drives the station is their morning show, and Bill Meyer has not only made the morning show his own, he has been able to create a blueprint of how to package a large market type of local show and imprint that on a small market audience, giving the station a very sellable show, while the listeners get the interaction and local flavor they would not get with a nationally syndicated program.

And, he does it all on his own – without a show producer.

Read More

A Five-Dollar Ground Tester Can Save Your Life

| September 24, 2013

 

By Michael W. Dean
Genesis Communications Network
Co-Host, The Freedom Feens

 

fig 1“Fuzzy” guards the ground tester and protects it from interlopers

Live fast, die old of natural causes

Improperly grounded outlets can add noise to electrical equipment, which is not good when doing radio. And improperly grounded outlets can KILL you…which is absolutely not good when doing radio. It doesn’t make for a long career. It can also injure employees, which can kill a company.

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Memorable Marilu Is One Unforgettable Babe

| September 24, 2013

Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS magazine

Marilu HennerLOS ANGELESAnyone hosting a mega-dinner party or similar major celebratory event generally grapples with several thorny dynamics.

There is the matter of the smartest person in the room, who regrettably tends to display Dr. Sheldon Cooper’s litany of quirky behaviorisms, an instant buzz-kill in the personality department, although massive ratings for CBS-TV’s “Big Bang Theory”.

Conversely, one particular attendee is bound to exude a certain magnetism that commands instant attention, making them the clear-cut focal point.

Often, although not always, an overwhelming contributing factor to that charisma is a person’s striking good looks and/or extraordinary talent.

One would hit the proverbial jackpot by inviting Marilu Henner, as she would be the most astute person in virtually any setting yet free of all baggage – social graces or otherwise. Unquestionably, she would be the most exuberant one there with numerous qualities including an indescribable spark that lures interest. If that were not already sufficient, the well-known actress remains extremely stunning.

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

| September 17, 2013

tangneycurleyBonneville Seattle Re-Tools KIRO-FM Mid-Mornings with ‘The Tom and Curley Show.’  This is John Curley’s third daypart on KIRO-FM, Seattle and this time the station pairs him up with “veteran pop-culture enthusiast” and film critic Tom Tangney (left) for the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show.  Curley (right) – a well-known Seattle media personality – began with KIRO-FM hosting the evening program, then moved to morning drive alongside Linda Thomas for a brief period.  The station moved Dave Ross to AM drive leaving Curley out for a period.  Now, management says this new show “will bring an energetic insight into the news.  The show will keep listeners informed, entertained and connected to the latest news in the region and around the world. The combination of Curley’s enthusiasm and Tangney’s intellect is the perfect mixture for KIRO Radio’s weekday lineup.”  Program director Pete Gammell says, “The partnership between John and Tom is electric and we’re excited to offer our audience such a great program to keep them informed and connected to Seattle.”  Curley comments, “Tom is the brother-in-law I always wanted to have, a guy I can argue with sometimes and laugh with almost all the time.”  And Tangney adds, “I have a blast talking with John Curley three hours a day.  I hope and trust listeners will find our show as fun and invigorating as I do.”

TalkersLA2013Marilu Henner to Speak at Talkers Los Angeles 2013.  Accomplished actress and author — and recently syndicated radio talk show host (Sun Broadcast Group) – Marilu Henner, will be joining the stellar roster of more than 50 speakers who will be on the power-packed program at Talkers Los Angeles 2013.  Marilu Henner will present an opening greeting titled “Hello Talk Radio” at the start of the event in which she will welcomehennermarilu attendees to the conference and talk about the appeal of the medium and its potential to serve a variety of topics and interests outside the realm of partisan politics.  Henner’s new show that deals with health topics and day-to-day lifestyle issues of interest to a broad segment of the public has been drawing critical raves.  Conference director Michael Harrison states, “One listen to Marilu Henner makes it clear that she is a bright, confident, media ‘natural’ who will make a difference in this field.  Her smart, original and fearless approach to health and well-being issues is enhanced by her extraordinary charisma and all around strong media presence.  What a welcome addition to the talk radio community!  We are honored to have her play a key role in the morning kick-off of what promises to be a fantastic day!”  For sponsorship and other information about the sold-out conference which takes place at the historic Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood on Thursday, October 10, please call 413-565-5413.

mortonsamCBS Radio Moves Morton To STL as Director of Sales.  Sam Morton transfers from Dallas to become director of sales for CBS Radio, St. Louis properties news/talk KMOX, AC KEZK “Fresh 102.5,” and hot AC KYKY “Y98.”  He will arrive in St. Louis on October 14, after being general sales manager for CBS Radio, Dallas’ sports talk KRLD-FM, adult hits KJKK “100.3 Jack FM,” and classic hits KLUV.  Senior vice president/St. Louis market manager John Sheehan remarks, “I have seen the success Sam has had in a very competitive radio market.  His strategic leadership and management experience in Dallas, along with his understanding of CBS Radio business philosophies, will make him a great partner for us in St. Louis.”  In addition to his DOS duties, Morton will serve as KMOX’s general sales manager.

MEDIA BROKER SPOTLIGHT: Brett Miller – MCH Enterprises, Inc.  In this week’s installment of Media Broker Spotlight, Sandi Bergman of RadioTVDeals.com interviews media broker Brett Miller of MCH Enterprises, Inc. located in Bakersfield, California.  Like many of the professional media brokers spotlighted in this feature, Miller is extremely friendly to displaced radio bergmansandipersonnel looking to go into ownership for themselves, as well as first-time buyers.  He specializes in small market radio and believes that small market radio is the heart and soul of broadcasting and community service.  He tells it like it is: “In our little corner of the industry, we are experiencing roughly the same number of buy/sell transactions as when we started; only now the deals are smaller and buyers’ struggles to obtain financing grows bigger.  Seller financing is almost a requirement as all-cash deals are becoming harder to find and fewer between.  In addition to brokering transactions, our consulting side has grown to include transaction management and FCC support as first-time buyers enter the market, and we are doing more appraisals as banks are experiencing greater scrutiny from their examiners or coping with bankruptcies and liquidations.  We see a good number of first-time buyers with solid experience, but with no financing and no ability to collateralize licenses in order to obtain financing (hello, FCC? there’s a hint there), we sense a lot of frustration in the marketplace…not only with prospective buyers, but with sellers.  There remains a fairly large gap between buyer and seller expectations.  The margins are slim and the multiples are shrinking as the new economic reality sets in.  To some degree, what buyers want, they can’t afford and what buyers can afford doesn’t interest sellers.  While it frustrates everyone, there are still good opportunities for the right person: someone who knows how the business works, someone who is not afraid to get out on the street and make sales, and someone who wants to become an integral part of the community.  In our opinion, it is the power of radio that will ultimately lead the way for the economic recovery of Main Street.  To read the entire installment of Media Broker Spotlight, please click here.

kfnn logoCRC Broadcasting Adds FM Signal for Phoenix Money Talker.  CRC Broadcasting’s KFNN, Phoenix “Money Radio 1510” now has an FM signal on which its programming is being simulcast.  Translator K257CD at 99.3 FM covers the center of the metro.  Company founder and president Ron Cohen states, “The addition of an FM channel not only provides listeners with greater access to hear ‘Money Radio,’ but also comes at a strategically pivotal time in Phoenix radio.  We’ve built our reputation on providing more useful information than just business news.  ‘Money Radio 1510’ talks about money: how to make it, invest it, and how to be smart spenders of it.  We will continue to serve the local community with our relevant and informative programming.”

Larry Wilson’s L&L Broadcasting Buys YMF’s Columbia Cluster.  YMF Media LLC inks an agreement to sell its Columbia, South Carolina cluster consisting of urban contemporary WWDM “The Big DM 101,” classic rock WMFX “Fox 102,” rock WARQ “Rock 93.5,” hip hop WHXT “Hot 103.9,” adult hits WZMJ “The Lake,” and talk WOIC to L&L Broadcasting.  YMF Media was represented by Media Venture Partners in the transaction.  The price for the five-station cluster is $13 million.

radioshow2013Michael Harrison to Present Blockbuster Speech at NAB Addressing Key Issues of Both Talk and Music Radio.  As a matter of fact, the publisher of talk radio trade TALKERS and music radio trade RadioInfo states that in order for both talk radio and music radio to continue to play an important role in the new digital era – at least within the context of being “AM and FM” radio, and within the broader context of “radio” having certain cultural identifiers that keep it special – is for BOTH to continue to exist in a healthy way side by side.  Harrison also believes that music radio and talk radio still have much to share with and learn from each other.  Harrison’s speech will be a hard-hitting, non-stop 45-minute “pitching machine” of challenges and solutions facing today’s radio as it braces for the “whitewater ride” of finding its natural home in the digital era, which he says “will inevitably prevail in changing our entire media/cultural landscape within the next decade – at most.”  Harrison strongly advises that radio is first and foremost a harrisonmichaelconnection to popular culture and that’s what it should stay in order to remain vital.  Among the suggestions Harrison will deliver include his top 10 concepts to keeping radio vital as a pop cultural entity: 10) Celebrate radio’s “radioness” – don’t let it fade; 9) Spread out formatically and stop bunching around a mere handful of viable format options; 8) Be a hero – everyday, and in every way; 7) Strive for localness and here’s why; 6) Take “ownership” of your subject matter and slice of the humanities pie; 5) Eliminate commercial tune outs – commerciality MUST be reinvented ASAP; 4) Maintain an active “skunk works” component to your operation - garages, not corporate boardrooms, are where great new ideas are born and incubated; 3) Learn about intellectual property – it is the foundation upon which we will build most business/talent/management deals in this new era; 2) Integrate radio into the new digital age without being assimilated – the internet is a “ground” not a platform – keeping in mind that in spite of what everyone is saying, content is NOT king, platform is king; and 1) Eliminate debt – radio cannot survive within its current financial paradigm…it is time to put the brakes on consolidation and begin to think about deconsolidation.  Harrison states, “As long as every other news story we seem to be writing about in the trades is about a ‘deal’ that will create the ‘largest this or that’ in the industry, we are still headed in the wrong direction and will never make it across Bill Clinton’s metaphorical ‘bridge to the 21st century.’  Radio has always been and will always be a mom-and-pop business.  We need fewer CEOs, COOs, presidents and vice presidents – and more mom-and-pops.”  Harrison, who will be introduced by consultant Holland Cooke, will be speaking on Thursday, September 19 between 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm in the room Gatlin E2.  It is open to all attendees of the NAB Radio Show.  For information call 413-565-5413.

nextmedia logoArbitron Brings NextMedia Aboard for Diary Ratings in Three Markets.  NextMedia signs a multi-year deal with Arbitron to subscribe to the company’s diary ratings service for its stations in Canton, Ohio; Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, North Carolina; and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  NextMedia also re-ups its PPM contract for Chicago and San Jose.  NextMedia president and CEO Jim Donahoe states, “Radio continues to be a vibrant medium that reaches consumers at a very local level.  Subscribing to Arbitron’s radio ratings services gives NextMedia the opportunity to demonstrate radio’s continued strength to our current and potential advertisers.”

sagaSaga Communications Revises Projected Revenue.  The third quarter of 2013 doesn’t end until September 30 but Saga Communications is issuing a statement in which it “anticipates gross revenues for the third quarter ending September 30, 2013 to be flat to up 2.0% in comparison to the corresponding period last year.”

regional reps logoMidwest Communications Inks Regional Reps for Six Markets.  Independent sales rep firm Regional Reps Corp. is contracted by Midwest Communications to be the exclusive national sales rep firm for its stations in the following markets: Duluth; Hibbing, Minnesota; Holland, Michigan; Lansing; Sioux Falls; and Terre Haute.  The Midwest stations in Sheboygan, Wisconsin have been represented by Regional Reps since 2007.  Midwest CEO Duke Wright states, “We’re very excited about working with Regional Reps in a number of our markets.  Regional Reps has demonstrated to us that they are innovative, produce results for the stations they represent and take the initiative in developing new revenue streams for their clients.”

powerstonyaOdds & Sods.  Fox News Radio brings Tonya Powers aboard to serve as a national correspondent based in the New York headquarters.  In her new role, Powers will report on breaking news and provide daily live reports covering stories in the Northeast and across the country.  Prior to joining FNR, Powers was a news director and morning show anchor at Clear Channel’s news/talk WREC, Memphis “Newsradio 600.”…..Blackstrap Broadcasting’s WUFC, Boston changes sports network affiliations and leaves NBC Sports Radio and is re-branding as “Yahoo! Sports Radio 1510.”  This move comes after station general manager and midday host Anthony Pepe becomes part of the Yahoo! lineup.

Navy Yard Slayings, U.S. Syria Policy, Iran’s Threats to the U.S., Quest for New Fed Chief, and Colorado Floods Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/16).  The killings at the Navy Yard in Washington; the ongoing debate over the United States’ policy regarding Syria’s civil unrest; threats by Iran against the United States and its allies; the process of determining who will be the next Fed chief; and the deaths and destruction from the floods in Colorado were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, September 16, 2013

| September 16, 2013

merrillchrisKOGO, San Diego Debuts New Lineup; Chip Franklin Exits AM Drive.  After a six-year run at KOGO, San Diego, Chip Franklin exits the station as the programming lineup is tweaked at the Clear Channel news/talker.  Moving into AM drive is former afternoon personality Chris Merrill.  He’s followed by Rush Limbaugh.  At 12:00 noon, LaDona Harvey – who had been partnered with Franklin in AM drive – is on air solo from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm and Bob “Sully”franklinchip Sullivan moves from the early afternoon slot into PM drive.  Franklin came to San Diego after a long and successful run at Hearst’s WBAL, Baltimore.  He tells the San Diego Union Times he has no hard feelings about the change. “I had a great run at KOGO, and they have and continue to treat me in a highly professional manner.  Believe it or not, I have been very lucky.  I still have a lot of great friends there and I sincerely wish them the very best.  The new morning guy, Chris Merrill, is a friend and a tremendous talent.  Don’t underestimate him.”

wnymlogoSalem Communications to Move New York Stations into Current WOR Facilities.  Salem Communications announces it will move its two New York properties – news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” and Christian talk WMCA – from their current New Jersey location to Lower Manhattan into what is now the studios of Clear Channel’s news/talk WOR in the Trinity Building next to Trinity Church at 111 wor710Broadway where WOR has been located since 2006.  Since Clear Channel bought WOR from Buckley Broadcasting more than a year ago, plans have been made for WOR to move into CC’s larger New York studios.  Salem VP director of spoken word format and regional VP for New York Phil Boyce says, “Salem has a major commitment to winning in New York and this move will help us take both stations to the next level.  We know for years great radio came out of this building when it housed WOR and now we have the opportunity to continue that tradition with both WMCA and ‘AM 970 The Answer.’  As an added plus, WMCA, known as ‘New York’s Christian Talk,’ will be re-locating next door to historic Trinity Church, founded in 1697,  as the oldest church in New York City.  There is some divine providence going on here,  as WMCA,  which is licensed to the city of New York now moves next door to the oldest church.”  The move is expected to be completed before the end of this year.

pendlchrisCHRIS PENDL: Help Your Best Clients Thrive in Local Searches.  Bonneville Seattle creative director Chris Pendl writes that some of radio’s best advertisers can be the most difficult to find when it comes to mobile-based local searches.  What’s more, there can be a huge difference between how one of your clients rates on a desktop search and where they rate – if at all – on a mobile search.  Pendl notes, “With smartphone ownership now 56% among American adults, searching on smartphones is increasingly becoming a part of the consumer’s journey before making a purchase.  A recent local search study revealed, there’s an 87% increase in local searches via mobile apps.  It is in this mobile space where some of radio’s best advertisers, local and regional businesses, have poor visibility and are often non-existent.”  Pendl offers simple solutions to help your valuable advertisers appear where they should in mobile searches.  Read his column here.

komovoiceofevilKOMO-AM/FM, Seattle Scores Exclusive Interview with ‘Green River Killer.’  This morning, Sinclair Radio’s KOMO-AM/FM, Seattle begins broadcasting an exclusive interview series with serial killer Gary Ridgway, conducted by the station’s Charlie Harger.  Titled, “Voice of Evil,” it begins with a special preview at 7:15 am (PT) on ‘KOMO Newsradio.’  Reports will be broadcast at 7:15 am, 12:15 pm and 5:15 pm all this week and mark the culmination of a near year-long investigation.  The station says “Harger spoke exclusively with Ridgway on six separate occasions in what are the killer’s only media interviews since his incarceration in 2001.  Ridgway was convicted on 49 counts of murder but reveals to KOMO that he committed many more.  In his conversation with Harger, Ridgway shares frightening details of his crimes, tells detectives where to look for additional remains and even explains why he did it.  Is he sorry?  KOMO posed that question to the man serving a life sentence at Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla and his answer stunned the veteran reporter.”  Harger adds, “I think it’s important that people understand just why we’re giving voice to a guy like this.  People deserve answers and the families deserve some kind of closure.”  KOMO-AM/FM program director Paul Duckworth adds, “It’s also about justice.  There are a number of unsolved cases and we’re hopeful that our investigation will prompt the task force to reopen its investigation.”

knx logoKNX, Los Angeles to Present Health Care Town Hall.  CBS Radio all-news KNX, Los Angeles “1070 NEWSRADIO” is presenting an “unprecedented town hall event and day-long series of special reports, titled ‘KNX 1070 Healthcare Uncovered,’ on Thursday, October 3 giving Californians a broad range of information about choosing health insurance under the newly enacted Affordable Care Act.”  The station reports that more than a dozen guest speakers representing various entities involved with healthcare reform, from federal, state and local officials to health professionals and consumer advocates, will appear at the town hall forum at The Autry in Los Angeles from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm.  Guests will include Peter Lee, the executive director of Covered California, the state’s overseer and marketplace for health insurance coverage beginning in January 2014.  Also scheduled to appear are Herb K. Schultz, regional director for the Department of Health and Human Services; Carmen Balber, executive director of Consumer Watchdog; Victor Parker, district director for the U.S. Small Business Administration, Janice Rocco, California’s deputy insurance commissioner; Rocky Delgadillo, CEO of the L.A. County Medical Association, and many others including doctors and consumers of different demographics.  The event will be hosted and moderated by KNX news anchors Diane Thompson, Bob McCormick and Frank Mottek and investigative reporter Charles Feldman who is co-producing the event with Laraine Herman.  Feldman states, “This is the biggest change to our healthcare system since Medicare was rolled out in 1966 and a lot of people are confused.  Because this law is so new, we’re bringing together panelists with knowledge covering a wealth of issues so that whether you’re self-employed, a business owner, the head of household or just entering the workforce, we’ll provide answers to questions you’ve never had to think about before.”

nprHaaga Gets Nod As NPR’s Acting President/CEO.  Two-year NPR board member Paul Haaga, Jr. is named acting president/chief executive officer.  The appointment takes effect at the end of this month for Haaga, who most recently was vice chair of the board and finance committee chair.  He will succeed Gary Knell, who leaves for similar duties at thehaagapaul National Geographic Society.  “Paul has made many valuable contributions to NPR during his tenure on the board,” comments NPR board chair Kit Jensen.  “His intimate knowledge of our organization, his unwavering commitment to the highest quality of journalism and programming, and his financial acumen make him particularly well-suited to lead NPR as we begin our search for a permanent chief executive.”  The retired chair of the board of Capital Research and Management Company, Haaga is the former chair of the Investment Company Institute, and he was a senior attorney for the Securities and Exchange Commission.  “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead one of the world’s leading providers of news, music, and cultural programming on an interim basis,” he remarks.  “I look forward to working with my colleagues on the board and senior leadership team to help this great organization build on its success.”  The former National Public Radio renamed itself NPR in July 2010.

wrso logoStar Over Orlando Retakes Control of WRSO, Orlovista, Florida; Doubles Transmitting Power.  Star Over Orlando operators Carl Como Tutera and his son Carmine announce they have taken back WRSO, Orlovista which operates as a sports talk outlet carrying CBS Sports Radio Network programming.  The Tuteras also announce that they have received FCC approval to increase the daytime power to 20 kw and the night-time power to 1 kw — double the power of its original license.  Earlier in the week, the FCC placed the Carl Como Tutera FM Translator application for Channel 226 in Orlando on a ‘singleton’ list for the operation of an FM on 93.1 with 250 Watts of Power.  The pair built the AM station in 2005 and it began operations in early 2006.  WRSO operates from a studio location in Altamonte Springs and at a tower site in Orlando.  They say CBS Sports will continue to be an affiliate and be heard on both the AM and FM.

sharelljerryJerry Sharell Stable After Being Held Hostage, Stabbed. The Los Angeles radio and music communities remain stunned this morning following news that broke last night involving former five-year (1987 – 1992) Westwood One senior vice president of talent marketing Jerry Sharell, who was reportedly held hostage and attacked in Woodland Hills (San Fernando Valley – Los Angeles).  Sharell was with his girlfriend when her ex-husband was said to have arrived with flowers and a machete at approximately 8:00 am yesterday (Sunday, 9/15).  He apparently held the couple hostage for more than three hours.  “Sometime during that time, [Sharell] had been stabbed repeatedly,” Los Angeles Police Department sergeant Jeff Nuttal told KABC-TV, Los Angeles.  The woman was injured when she tried to halt the attack, but was able to escape and called authorities.  Police say that owing to a history of domestic violence, she had a restraining order against her ex-husband.  Sharell, who hosts “Sundays with Sinatra” on Los Angeles public outlet KKJZ “KJazz” – is in critical, but stable condition at Northridge Medical Center with injuries to his head and neck.  The unidentified attacker turned the weapon on himself; his condition is listed as critical as well but both he and Sharell are expected to survive.  The alleged attacker is in police custody at the hospital.  Sharell was co-executive producer of Ronnie Milsap‘s 2004 Grammy-nominated “Just for a Thrill” album.  He began his career as a Mercury Records promotion rep, before joining Main Line Distributors in 1962.  Sharell held executive positions at Buddah Records and A&M Records.  He has helped the careers of artists such as Herb Alpert, Jackson Browne, Carpenters, Cars, Joe Cocker, Eagles, Curtis Mayfield, Joni Mitchell, Queen, Linda Ronstadt, and Carly Simon.  He is past president of City of Hope, Entertainment Division, and is on the advisory board of MusiCares.  From 2002 – 2010, he was president/CEO for the non-profit Society of Singers.  Sharell’s wife of 48 years, Joanne, recently died after losing her fight against cancer.

boomercarton‘Boomer & Carton’ Off MSG Network as Contract Expires.  Last week TALKERS reported that the Yankees-owned YES Network is in talks with WFAN, New York’s Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton to do a cable TV simulcast of their AM drive show on the CBS Radio sports talk station.  Up until last week, the duo had been seen on the Madison Square Garden Network (MSG), but that deal elapsed on Friday and for now, Boomer & Carton are only available on the radio.

weei logoOdds & Sods.  Entercom’s WEEI, Boston adds ESPN “Monday Night Football” play-by-play voice Mike Tirico to its stable of football experts.  Tirico will call in to the Salk & Holley show every Thursday afternoon at 4:30 throughout the season…..Plain Talk Radio Network’s internet radio show “Talk Live with Peter Gantenbein” – a “weekly news and commentary program that engages in straight talk not for the faint of heart,” has been recognized as must-hear radio with an “Editor’s Pick” recognition from Windows Media Guide…..Good Karma flips WEFL, Tequesta, Florida to Spanish–language sports talk using ESPN Deportes.  The company had been simulcasting English-language sports on WEFL and WUUB-FM, Jupiter and the latter remains English-language sports talk…..CRN Digital Talk Radio‘s popular wine dinners return to Los Angeles on Tuesday, September 17.  Tobin James of Tobin James Winery in Paso Robles pairs a variety of wines with a prixabcdwtsradio fixe menu at Colombo’s Italian Steak and Jazz Club at 1833 Colorado Blvd. in Eagle Rock.  CRN CEO and president Michael Horn says, “People still talk about our Tobin James wine dinner from a few years ago.  Toby brings a world-class selection of wines people enjoy.  He’s also a fun, down-to-earth person that everyone relates to.  Colombo’s provides a great atmosphere and delicious food that will make the night all that more special.”…..Today ABC Radio re-launches its popular “Dancing with the Stars” station on Slacker, providing fans with behind-the-scenes access to the ABC hit reality TV show. Now in its third season, “Dancing with the Stars” Radio will deliver an on-demand audio experience and unlimited access to key moments throughout the competition.  Each week “Dancing with the Stars” Radio will follow the Season 17 cast as they battle it out on the dance floor for the coveted Mirror Ball trophy.  Season 17 of “Dancing with the Stars” premieres on tonight on the ABC Television Network.

newhouse logoNewhouse School Presents Audio Industry Summit.  The half-day event will take place in New York City on Friday, September 27 and will feature two panels of experts from 8:30 am to 12:00 noon at Syracuse University Lubin House, 11 E 61st St.  The event is free and open to the public but seating is limited.  RSVP with your name and professional affiliation to Ed Gorham at ejgorham@syr.edu by Wednesday, September 18.  Newhouse Dean Lorraine Branham states, “Given the seismic shifts in radio and newer audio platforms, much attention is being paid to the medium’s future.  It is crucial that we understand where the industry is headed so we can appropriately prepare our students.  We want to hear from thought leaders in management, programming and other key areas so we can get a better handle on best practices in radio moving forward.”  Industry players attending will include: Jeff Smulyan, founder and CEO of Emmis Communications; Dan Mason, president and CEO of CBS Radio; Buzz Knight, vice president of program development for Greater Media; Chris Oliviero, executive vice president of programming for CBS Radio; Deon Levingston, vice president and general manager at WBLS Radio (New York); Kevin Straley, vice president of programming at TuneIn; and Ed Levine, president and CEO of Galaxy Communications, among others.

Friday, September 13, 2013

| September 13, 2013

hannityseanPremiere Networks and Sean Hannity Agree to Multi-Year Extension.  This contract renewal, which keeps nationally syndicated talk superstar Sean Hannity with Premiere Networks for years to come, also extends his reach.  The company states that Hannity’s program will expand to additional major market Clear Channel talk stations as well as non-Clear Channel stations in 2014.  Those details regarding station clearances will be announced at a later date.  Additionally, the program will also move from delayed status to live on some of its existing Clear Channel affiliates,premierenetworks logo “providing listeners with up-to-the-minute programming and real-time news and information.”  As part of this new deal, Sean Hannity will participate in key live events, touring and iHeartRadio Talk, the latter of which the company calls, “the first mass-market focused audio platform to offer on-demand listener-created talk content side by side with established personalities, celebrities and shows.”  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment chairman and CEO John Hogan states, “We’re really excited to be able to expand our relationship with Sean, one of the greatest talk radio talents in the country.  Sean continues to be one of the most successful radio personalities in both ratings and delivering results for advertisers, and his provocative show has seen significant growth.  His blend of intelligence, passion and integrity is what makes him such a successful broadcaster and important asset to radio.  We expect this new distribution plan to offer even more exposure and growth for The Sean Hannity Show.”  Hannity adds, “From the very first day I went on the air in 1986, and that red light went on, I have been in love with radio.  That love has grown every day since.  I am extremely appreciative and grateful for the opportunity to do what I love every day.  Premiere has been an incredibly supportive partner and a huge part of the show’s success.  I look forward to some amazing announcements to come, and the opportunity to continue a dialogue on the issues of the day with the single greatest audience in radio.”

TalkersLA2013Talkers Los Angeles 2013 Will Sell Out by End of Business Today!  The third annual installment of TALKERS magazine’s West Coast convention set for Thursday, October 10 is shaping up to be a blockbuster.  The gathering is closing in on being an advance sellout some four weeks before the event so it is advisable for media professionals interested in attending to register now!  Due to space limitations at the intimate Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood reaching maximum capacity, reservations ($149 per person) will be sold out by the end of business (5:00 pm ET) TODAY (9/13).  The conference is again being presented in association with the Los Angeles Press Club at the historic Steve Allen Theater on Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm.  TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “We are very enthusiastic about the growth and positive impact of this Southern California gathering.  It started out three years ago as an experimental LA regional get-together and blossomed into an exciting companion to our big New York convention.”   The event - open only to members of the working media – will feature a power-packed day of panel discussions, keynote addresses, special presentations, technology and services exhibits by leading companies such as Comrex Corp. and Broadcasters General Store, tremendous networking opportunities and abundant food and refreshments lavishly catered by the Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Company (lunch is sponsored by Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity who will address the attendees from New York).  For registration or sponsorship information call 413-565-5413.  To see the latest agenda, click here.

wtoplogoWTOP, Washington Hosts Special Town Hall on Syria.  Hubbard Radio all-news WTOP, Washington hosted a special one-hour edition of its “Town Hall” program this morning from 10:00 am to 11:00 am during which WTOP Capitol Hill correspondent Dave McConnell and midday anchor Mark Lewis conducted a Q&A session with U.S. Reps Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Frank Wolf (R-VA) and Rob Wittman (R-VA) on the issues surrounding Syria.

baileyjasonsunOPINION: The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is…Ourselves.  Sun Broadcast Group Inc. CEO Jason Bailey states in an op-ed piece that the future of talk radio is dependent upon today’s players being bold enough to dare to be different at the same time that we defend the nature of the format in the sales arena.  Bailey, referencing the Rush Limbaugh-Sandra Fluke controversy, writes, “The hypocrisy of what a brand will run next to on television but not radio should enrage us all.  But we’re afraid to stand up.  Have you watched television lately?  Calling somebody a slut is like the new way of saying hello.  It’s not just modern day television either.  I recall in the 80s, and now in reruns, Ms. Blanche Devereaux being called much worse.  Did I miss the outrage, the boycott?  Is it happening somewhere today because the Hallmark Channel chooses to run such “outrageous content?”  No.  There isn’t one because the television industry defended itself and stood up to being bold and different.  They aren’t afraid to create (or in this case rerun) content for the people that are most important in their world, the viewers.  If they push the envelope or they get a few complaint emails, they accept, and move on.  We have not been able to move on from our darkest day because we’re afraid to be bold, break the mold, and more importantly, defend ourselves.”  Read Jason Bailey’s entire piece here.