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TALKERS Spotlight: THE WATCHDOGS
By Mike Kinosian
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.
Legendary 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.”
KCBS-AM, San Francisco and Jack Swanson Agree to Part Ways. San Francisco news and talk radio programming legend Jack Swanson announces he will exit the news director role at CBS RADIO’s all-news KCBS-AM, effective May 1. In a social media post, Swanson writes, “Gosh I thought I’d have some news to share with all of you this afternoon. But it seems Social Media waits for no man. Or woman. Yes, it’s true. I’m leaving the News Director’s chair at KCBS on May 1. When I came off the beach for this assignment I agreed to stay a few years and my bosses agreed to give me enough rope for me to have fun. Mission accomplished. Both sides got what we expected from the bargain. And we part in a way that is rare in the broadcasting business. Feeling great about each other. I will miss my newly-made friends at CBS terribly. But life is calling.” Swanson programmed crosstown heritage news/talk outlets KGO and KSFO during his many years at the now-Cumulus-owned station group.
TALKERS News Notes. Some of this year’s NHL Stanley Cup Playoff games are being aired on the radio in a deal with NBC Sports, NBC Sports Radio, and Westwood One. Beginning this Saturday (4/15), WW1 will present live, play-by-play audio coverage of the Toronto Maple Leafs vs Washington Capitals Eastern Conference Quarterfinals game two. Westwood One will broadcast a Playoff Game of the Week on each of the next four Saturdays and will broadcast every game of the Conference Finals and the Stanley Cup Finals…..CBS RADIO launches a new podcast hosted by Olivia Caridi, a Season 20 contestant on the popular reality dating show, “The Bachelor.” On each episode of “Mouthing Off with Olivia Caridi,” she’ll welcome actors, friends and fellow reality TV and internet stars to dish about love, relationships and navigating the ups and downs of being single and dating. A new 45-to-60-minute episode will be available on Play.it every Tuesday…..Rich Lieberman’s 415 Media is reporting that Cumulus Media’s KGO, San Francisco is adding Premiere Networks’ “Coast to Coast AM” with George Noory for the overnight slot.
U.S.-Russian Animosity Over Syria Attack, FBI Monitored Trump Adviser, U.S. Response to North Korea Threats, United Airlines’ PR Crisis, FOX’s Bill O’Reilly Scandal, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/11). The Russians’ warning to the U.S. about attacking Syria and the U.S.’s contention that Syria used Russian-made sarin gas on its citizens; the FBI acknowledges that it obtained a FISA warrant to monitor Trump adviser Carter Page; the U.S. responds to North Korea’s threats with naval operations; United Airlines deals with a PR nightmare over the forced removal of passenger; the ongoing scrutiny of FOX News Channel and host Bill O’Reilly in response to allegations of a pattern of sexual harassment; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro James Steele adds some programming duties to his work with Alpha Media. Steele is the afternoon drive host on the company’s CHR WXYK, Biloxi-Gulfport “107.1 The Monkey.” Now, he’s adding program director responsibilities for alternative rock K277CX, San Antonio “103.3 The APP” (KTFM-HD2). Alpha Media EVP of programming Scott Mahalick comments, James is that fun-spirited guy at the party you want to be around. His creativity, energy, and enthusiasm for the alternative format is contagious, and we are happy to advance talent from within Alpha.”…..In Pittsburgh, Forever Media launches a classic country outlet on WOGH – taking one of the stations off its simulcast of the country “FROGGY” format still heard on sister stations WOGI and WOGG. Dubbed “Willie 103.5,” WOGH features country hits primarily from the 80s and 90s…..Envision Networks announces that Johnny Stone is the new host of the live country music weekend show, “The Live Ride.” Envision says that Stone – a Nashville insider – will “provide up-to-date country news, concert information and artist interviews.” Envision VP of programming Michael Lichtstein comments, “Johnny Stone’s boundless energy and enthusiasm are a perfect fit for ‘The Live Ride.’ The winning mix of live country hits with Johnny’s love for all things country will bring listeners back week after week.”…..KIIS, Los Angeles – and nationally syndicated personality Ryan Seacrest – announces that Backstreet Boys have been added to the lineup for the station’s Wango Tango concert on May 13 at StubHub Center in Carson, California.
By Mike Kinosian
NEW YORK — Whether through the recently-concluded World Baseball Classic won by Team USA in an 8-0 shutout over Puerto Rico or the Olympic Games, our planet famously comes together through athletic competition.
There is a vaguely similar, highly estimable radio counterpart, although it doesn’t require a four-year wait like the WBC or Olympics, and participants won’t require season- or career-ending Tommy John surgery.
Entrants of New York Festivals’ “World’s Best Radio Programs” are evaluated on what they do best and it has been that way ever since these particular honors were established in 1982.
At one point, those currently possessing privately-owned New York Festivals retained the Clio awards as well.
This particular competition spotlights the medium’s most innovative work from a worldwide base of radio station and network staffers, as well as independent producers.
PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of sports talk stations based on data from the February 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio. The period of time between the Super Bowl and the start of the MLB season is traditionally soft for sports talkers. The NHL, NBA and college hoops haven’t historically provided the same level of fan attraction to sports talk radio as have football and baseball. This year seems no different. Kinosian notes that “roughly three of every four stations (76%) on this sports panel are down January 2017 – February 2017; only 16% are up; and the remaining 8% of the sample is flat (6+).” However, comparing February of 2016 to February of this year, “just over six of 10 stations from our eligible sports sample are down year-to-year (62%, 6+) while 27% improve; the remaining 11% are steady.” See the entire analysis here.
Lyons Joins Cumulus Appleton-Oshkosh. At its five-station cluster in the Appleton-Oshkosh, Wisconsin market, Cumulus Media names Jeff Lyons promotions/marketing director. Lyons comes to Cumulus from iHeartMedia’s Modesto, California station group where he held a similar position. Cumulus Appleton-Oshkosh operations manager Guy Dark comments, “Jeff’s experience in various markets made him an easy choice to fill our promotions slot. Coming from California, he’ll need to invest in some Badgers and Packers winter gear!” In the market, Cumulus operates news/talk WOSH-AM, classic hits WVBO, alternative WWWX “96.9 The Fox,” country WPKR “NASH 99.5,” and standards WNAM.
TALKERS News Notes. Former alternative KBZT, San Diego morning personality Chris Cantore is launching his podcasting career after being let go from the Entercom station – along with former partner Steven Woods. Via his new company YEW Media, Cantore and co-owner Chris Cote are seeking funding as they continue to produce podcasts. You can read a piece about his plans to grow from a local, San Diego platform to a national one in the San Diego Union Tribune here…..TVWeek is reporting that Fox News Channel made cable news history in the first quarter of 2017. “Delivering its most-watched quarter ever in total day viewers, FNC averaged 1.7 million viewers (up 27%) and 359,000 (up 32%) in the 25-54 demo. In primetime, FNC marked its second highest-rated quarter with 2.8 million total viewers (up 20%) and 576,000 (up 19%) in the 25-54 demo. For the quarter, FNC dominated cable news competition in both primetime and total day combined in total viewers. This quarter, FNC claimed 13 of the top 15 cable news programs in total viewers and eight out of the top 10 in the 25-54 demo. Additionally, all FNC programs were up double-digits in both viewers and demo compared to the same quarter last year. Read more about it here.
Philly Talk Radio Legend Mary Mason’s Grandson to Be Arraigned on Charges Related to Theft of Her Estate. Longtime WHAT, Philadelphia talk show host Mary Mason – a legend to the city’s urban radio audience – is currently wheelchair-bound and battling dementia. Now, the 86-year-old’s grandson, Calvin Steven Turner IV, is being charged with theft relative to the disappearance of her estate. Philly.com reports that authorities are alleging that Turner squandered $843,000 of Mason’s savings and investments. David A. Jaskowiak, the lawyer appointed last year to handle Mason’s finances, tells Philly.com, “Suffice it to say that had she had the resources she had when she retired without any dissipation by her grandson, she would have more than ample resources to afford her good care for the rest of her life.” Jaskowiak was able to recover $62,000 of Mason’s money. Read Jenice Armstrong’s column here.
GOP to Try Again on Health Care Bill, Trump Campaign-Russia Investigation, O’Reilly’s Maxine Waters Comment, Trump Reverses Obama Energy Policies, Gorsuch SCOTUS Nomination, U.S. Airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, Congress Nixes Internet Privacy Regs, and NFL League Meetings Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/28). Reports that the GOP will begin working on a new health care bill sooner rather than later; the investigation into connections between Trump campaign personnel and Russian agents; Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly apologizes for criticizing Rep. Maxine Waters’ appearance; President Trump announces his directive reversing Obama Administration energy policies; speculation about whether the Democrats will filibuster the Neil Gorsuch SCOTUS nomination; claims that U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria have been causing civilian casualties; Congress votes to eliminate FCC regulations that limit Internet providers’ abilities to share users habits and personal information; and this week’s NFL league meetings in Phoenix were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Reform Party Forum at Cumulus Media’s Stage 17. Pictured here at Cumulus Media’s Stage 17 at 2 Penn Plaza in New York City in Monday (3/27) is WABC, New York personality Curtis Sliwa (on stage, far left) hosting the Reform Party Mayoral Candidate Forum. On stage (from l-r) are NYC mayoral hopefuls Sal Albanese, Michael Faulkner, Rocky De La Fuente, Mike Tolkin, Kevin Coenen, and Bo Dietl. WABC program director Craig Schwalb states, “Our Stage 17 space above Madison Square Garden takes these important conversations and makes them must-see events. Curtis got the NYC Mayoral Election heated up like no one else can.” Photo: Dan Hirshl
WGN, Chicago Names 2017 ‘Walk of Fame’ Honorees. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Tribune’s news/talk WGN, Chicago is announcing this year’s honorees who will join its “Walk of Fame.” They are: late, legendary WGN sportscasters Lou Boudreau and Vince Lloyd, current overnight personality Nick Digilio, news anchor Judy Pielach, sports producer Jack Rosenberg, crime reporter Larry Schreiner (posthumously), and traffic reporters Leonard Baldy (posthumously), Lincoln Hampton, Mike Mathis and Anne Maxfield. The Walk of Fame honors WGN staffers both past and present with bronze plaques in front of the Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue. This year’s ceremony takes place live on WGN at 10:00 am on May 25.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Dallas adult contemporary KDGE “Star 102.1” announces it is bringing Leigh Ann Adam aboard to host the morning drive program, effective April 3. The morning radio pro most recently was with CBS RADIO’s crosstown CHR KVIL, serving for 11 years. About her new gig with iHeartMedia, Adam says, “I love what I do and I’m so excited to wake up with ‘Star 102.1’ and the DFW community. Having the opportunity to host mornings is amazing and I can’t wait to put on my new headphones and get started!” During her career, Adam worked at KBIG, Los Angeles co-hosting mornings with Charlie Tuna…..Wilkes-Barre/Scranton alternative WFUZ tweaks its format – adding more new alternative music and trimming the gold from its library – and re-brands from the old “Fuzz 92.1” to “ALT 92.1.” The Times-Shamrock alt rock station first launched in 2010…..Townsquare Media’s country KATP, Amarillo, Texas re-brands, dropping its “BLAKE FM” moniker and adopting the “101.9 The Bull” handle. Program director and afternoon personality Braden Smith is adding Premiere’s Bobby Bones as the morning show…..WKTU, New York unveils the lineup of its annual ultimate summer dance party concert event, “KTUphoria 2017.” The June 3 show at Jones Beach Theater will feature: Backstreet Boys, Fifth Harmony, Nicky Jam, Jason Derulo, Shaggy, Daya, and Craig David.
By Holland Cooke
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow scored the biggest ratings in the history of her show as she displayed a copy of Donald Trump’s 2005 tax return, anonymously mailed to a reporter. Although many radio talkers – and some radio gurus – were quick to shrug it off as unsustainable, new news since is that Maddow has now beat rival Fox News Channel for a second straight week 25-54.
Admittedly, radio folk tend to do cartwheels when WE spike, and to diss other guys when THEY do. Still, the social media backlash – from media people — was discouraging. The unison damned Maddow for sustaining viewers’ attention for two whole quarter hours…as though that’s not how we too get paid. “Big hype! Big letdown! Only two pages!”
ESPN Moves Craig to Network PD; Ups Hurley to WEPN, New York PD. Sports programmer Justin Craig is promoted from PD of WEPN, New York to senior director, programming and operations for the ESPN Radio network. The sports giant says that Craig will be responsible for all aspects of ESPN Radio programming and production, including oversight of “Mike & Mike,” “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz,” “Russillo & Kanell,” and nighttime and weekend programming. Craig is now based at ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol and reports to David Roberts, vice president, ESPN Network Content. With Craig’s move to Bristol, WEPN APD Ryan Hurley is elevated to program director. Jonathan Winthrop, who has previously served as a producer at WEPN, adds APD duties and continues to produce the Stephen A. Smith show.
TALKERS Personality Profile: KSCO, Santa Cruz Owner, Michael Zwerling. One of the most colorful owner/operators of a local radio broadcasting company, Michael Zwerling, is the subject of an audio personality profile posted today (3/20) on Talkers.com. Since 1991, Zwerling (known to his friends and colleagues as “MZ”) has owned heritage news/talk 10k flamethrower KSCO-AM 1080. The station puts out a giant signal covering the Monterey Bay area as well as huge swath of Northern California territory. KSCO first went on the air in 1947. Zwerling has subsequently gained a national reputation for his unique ownership and management style that has turned KSCO into a dynamic combination of mostly locally produced content punctuated by carefully selected national programming. Under Zwerling’s guidance, KSCO is financially fueled by a potent combination of traditional advertising sales and the generation of non-traditional revenue. In the hour-and-a-half interview conducted by TALKERS founder Michael Harrison, Zwerling discusses what it has been like operating a conservatively oriented station (featuring Rush Limbaugh) in a predominantly liberal market. He talks about his early, quirky days in broadcasting, the nuts-and-bolts of local radio station ownership in the modern era, the pros and cons of carrying Limbaugh over the years, his late mother and locally beloved broadcaster, Kay Zwerling, and his remarkably lucrative relationship with the multi-level marketing health products company, Youngevity. To listen to this candid dialogue with the man described by Michael Harrison as one of the most interesting and eccentric owners in radio today, please click here.
‘The Big Talker’ Returns to Wilmington, NC. Talk show host Chad Adams is reviving “The Big Talker” on WFBT-FM, Wilmington, North Carolina (licensed to Carolina Beach) under an LMA from Carolina Christian Radio. His Red Wolf Broadcasting will operate the station and his regionally syndicated talk show – also heard in Charlotte and Greensboro – will be heard from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. It will follow the local “Mornings With Pam and John” program with husband-and-wife team John and Pam Dismukes. Other shows to air on the station include: Radio America’s Dana Loesch, the Dave Ramsey show, SRN’s Mike Gallagher, and Premiere Networks’ Sean Hannity and the overnight “Coast to Coast AM” with George Noory. Originally, “The Big Talker” was heard on WNTB-FM and WUDE-FM. WFBT-FM’s frequency is 106.7. It was formerly WMYT and was put on the air by Curtis Wright’s and George Bell’s Talk Media TV in 2013.
TALKERS News Notes. The morning drive show at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WGOW-FM, Chattanooga – hosted by Jeff Styles, Jim Reynolds and Bill Lockhart – expands by an hour to air from 6:00 am to 10:00 am, eliminating the Reynolds-hosted hour, “The Nth Degree.” At the same time, Styles – who had also been hosting the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program, “Fred The Show,” gives up that program to new host Brad Giese…..WGN, Chicago launched a new weekend program on Saturday (3/18). The two-hour show “On the Road with Dane Neal” airs from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. WGN says that this program is more than just a car show, “Neal will explore the relationship of people and their cars. Topics will include motorsports, day trips, cruise nights, technology in the car and more.” His first guests were Food Network’s Guy Fieri, Expedia’s Sarah Gavin, and NASCAR champion Kevin Harvick. Neal comments, “I’m excited to be able to take a radio road trip with listeners each week. We’ll share great stories about racing, innovation in driving and the great car culture of Chicago.”
Rising Country Music Star Pens and Records Inspirational Patriot Song for Both Music and Talk Radio. Singer/songwriter Dede Wedekind is a rising star in country music circles (Indie Music Channel’s 2016 Best New Female Artist, plus a number of other music industry honors) and she is now attracting the attention of talk radio hosts doing interviews about her new soul-stirring, patriotic release titled “America United.” The song was originally written by Wedekind and her husband in a flash of inspiration coming from the pulpit while attending church on a Sunday in 2012. Garnering attention across her fan base for years, the couple then tweaked the song in the wake of the 2016 presidential election, resulting in another IMEA Award for the independent artist. She tells CCM Magazine, “To me, everyone who hears ‘America United’ seems to like and relate to the overwhelming message of this song—which is the necessity of uniting all Americans once again. This song isn’t about a particular political party, being conservative or liberal, or even being Democrat or Republican—it’s about making America a great nation once again. ‘One nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.’” Wedekind continues, “In the original version written in 2012, it features President Ronald Reagan‘s message of making America great quoting the line, ‘Once again, make America Great. When President Donald Trump decided to run last year, my husband Larry and I had already decided to update ‘America United’ to make it a better song with a more concise message and better production. We then decided to also incorporate Trump’s slogan, which, again was completely based on Reagan’s original message. We repeated the slogan in the chorus of the 2016 version, since it was already a part of the original song, and more importantly felt strongly that God had given it to President Reagan, and now again to President Trump.” To listen to and download Dede Wedekind’s “America United” and obtain contact information to book an interview with her, please click here.
Trump’s Obama Wiretapping Accusations, Gorsuch Confirmation Hearings, GOP Health Care Bill, U.S.-Germany Relations, North Korea Missile Program, Rock Legend Chuck Berry Dies, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. President Donald Trump’s accusation that former President Barack Obama ordered wiretaps of Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign; Supreme Court judge nominee Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation hearings begin today; speculation about the fate of the GOP health care bill; President Trump’s belief that Germany owes the U.S. money for its NATO membership and his meeting last week with Angela Merkel; North Korea’s nuclear missile program and its threats to hit American targets; rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Chuck Berry dies at age 90; and the action during the first weekend of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Stephanie Miller Announces ‘Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour’ 2017. Progressive radio talk show host and comedienne Stephanie Miller is announcing the 2017 version of her Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour – this year titled the “Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour 2017.” On this tour will be Miller, John Fugelsang and Frangela. A press statement from Miller reads, “Touring for several years as the Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour, the election forced us to rethink early retirement and return to the stage for a multiple-city tour. We face Washington and laugh out loud at the tragic comedy of politics, to throw our finest, most scathing satire at the feet of our not-so-elected politicians. To fight on with comedy…to offer the real fake news…to offer true alternative facts.” The tour does 10 dates this year beginning in Madison on April 22 and ending in Maui, Hawaii on December 23. Cities include Phoenix, Albuquerque, Seattle, Denver, Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
SRN’s Tradup Promoting Brantley Rescue Documentary. Next Thursday night (3/30) is the one-night-only Fathom national movie theater screening of the film Facing Darkness. The film was the result of a trip to the Ebola virus “hot Zone” in Liberia last summer during which Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (pictured at right) accompanied a film crew from non-profit charity Samaritan’s Purse to chronicle the successful, high-tech rescue of Dr. Kent Brantley during the deadly 2014 outbreak. Tradup, who is actively promoting the film via social media, says, “The courage of the Samairtan’s Purse team (including Dr. Brantley) who risked their own lives as the Ebola outbreak claimed thousands of lives all around them, is a truly inspirational story that is the centerpiece of a stunning documentary.”
TALKERS magazine Publishes the 2017 Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk. On Monday, March 13, we published the fifth annual TALKERS Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk – formally known as the 100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America. This annual list is compiled and ranked by the editors of TALKERS magazine – with input from industry leaders. As with our publication’s “sister list,” the 100 Most Important Talk Radio Hosts in America, the criteria are a number of hard factors – including ratings and revenue – as well as such soft factors as talent, recognition, impact, service and more. Executive editor Kevin Casey states, “This annual ranking of the most important sports talk radio hosts is one of the most difficult – but enjoyable – projects we undertake at TALKERS. The reason for that is the partially subjective nature of the criteria combined with the enormous number of talented and successful sports talk hosts working in America. Paring that pool of talent down to 100 is no easy task!” Casey also notes that TALKERS will be publishing the 2017 Heavy Hundred of News/Talk Radio in April. See the 2017 Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Beginning this Friday (3/24), Entercom Austin is shifting its urban adult contemporary contemporary outlet to a new frequency as it changes translator K242CC from the 96.3 frequency to 95.9. Appropriately, the station’s new brand is “95.9FM RnB.” Entercom Austin VP/market manager Stephanie Callihan states, “We are looking forward to welcoming all of our loyal listeners at our new home on the dial. We continue to be committed to providing the unparalleled radio experience that our fans have come to expect from us and will keep delivering for our fans at our new frequency.”…..Bonneville’s country KYGO, Denver welcomes Guy David aboard as the new co-host of the morning drive show with current AM personality Tracy Dixon. David heads to Denver from his current position at RBH Enterprises-owned country WFON-FM, Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin “107.1 The Bull.”…..Wesley Miller returns to his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio to program adult contemporary WMXY “MIX 98.9” and CHR WAKZ for iHeartMedia. Miller was most recently with Forever Media’s WGYY, Meadville, Pennsylvania “Froggy 100.3” hosting the morning show and serving as program director…..CBS RADIO country outlet WDSY, Pittsburgh “Y108” is hosting its annual Wine & Boots Bash to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on Thursday, April 13 at The Twentieth Century Club in Oakland. The event will feature Warner Music Nashville country singer and songwriter Michael Ray. CBS RADIO Pittsburgh VP of programming Mark Anderson says, “Michael Ray was a part of Y108’s ‘Eight Man Jam’ concert two years ago. Michael’s career is on fire as he just achieved his second #1 hit single and we are thrilled to have him perform at Y108’s Wine and Boots Bash on April 13.” Ray broke into music as a contestant on The CW’s “The Next: Fame Is At Your Doorstep.” He co-wrote the 2015 Big & Rich hit “Run Away With You” and made his solo artist debut that same year with the #1 hit “Kiss You In The Morning.” He scored his second #1 hit just this week with his song, “Think A Little Less.”
Josh Turner Plays Stage 17 LIVE. The brand-new Cumulus Media New York performance space Stage 17 LIVE hosted country star Josh Turner on March 15. WNSH “NASH FM 94.7” air personality Jesse Addy spoke with Turner on the air the same day Turner spent his morning hosting the fourth hour of NBC TV’s “Today Show.” Pictured here are (from l-r): Jesse Addy, Josh Turner; WNSH program director John Foxx, and WNSH APD Mike Alan.
Salem Radio Network Makes Double White House Connection. On Tuesday (3/7), two Salem Radio Network personalities connected with the Trump White House. First, SRN’s Mike Gallagher welcomed Vice President Mike Pence to his nationally syndicated program to talk about the administration’s efforts to re-vamp the Affordable Care Act – what Pence termed “building a more effective, a more responsive healthcare system in America.” Then, SRN’s Michael Medved was one of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s Skype Session guests and asked the following question: “Obviously, today there was a big emphasis on ObamaCare, which is profoundly important to the American people. But it seems that too often in the last several weeks, the administration has gotten distracted – and media have gotten distracted – by talk of wiretapping at Trump Tower, or the president calling his predecessor a ‘bad and sick’ guy, or criticizing the ratings of ‘Celebrity Apprentice.’ Do you think the White House could do a better job of focusing on the issues that really matter – the reforms that matter to the American people?” Hear Spicer’s answer here.
Jim Gearhart Returns to ‘New Jersey 101.5’ for Weekly Podcast. For 25 years, Jim Gearhart was the morning drive personality on WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.” He retired from the station in 2015 after suffering a severe concussion received during a fall. Now, Gearhart returns to the stable of talent at the New Jersey news/talk station with his own eponymous podcast. In his debut podcast with the Townsquare Media station, he displays vintage Gearhart rhetoric when explaining how he’s been watching from the sidelines during his recovery. He says, “I could see through the cracks in my cocoon that New Jersey politicians were up to their traditional shenanigans, thumbing their collective nose at the public — milking the public trust, and the public treasury as well, for their own petty ambitions.”
Mike Carruthers Guests this Week on Harrison Podcast. Longtime independent radio syndicator, host and producer Mike Carruthers is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out” with Michael Harrison. Carruthers is widely known as the host and producer of the syndicated short-form radio feature “Something You Should Know,” a programming staple for the past 37 years on stations across the US and Canada. It features a different guest and subject each week from a wide array of better living tips wrapped in a neat 90-second package and has garnered a legion of loyal listeners. Tapping into that listenership and building upon it, Carruthers subsequently launched a long-form podcast version of “Something You Should Know” that has rocketed to the higher echelons on the iTunes charts and is generating significant revenue. Carruthers has been sharing his experience and knowledge about podcasting with other radio professionals as a coach, having launched a comprehensive podcast training program called “Perfect Your Podcast” dedicated to helping people start, grow and monetize their podcast products. He is also the author of the best-selling Amazon eBook “How to Launch a Perfect Podcast.” On this week’s installment of the Harrison podcast, the TALKERS founder and Carruthers discuss how they each originally were attracted to podcasting and explore some of the techniques and media theory that apply to the growing industry. To listen to it in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
Replacing ObamaCare, Trump’s Obama Wiretapping Accusation/Deep State Theory, WikiLeaks CIA Dump, Trump Campaign-Russia Connection, U.S.-North Korea Tensions, ‘Day Without A Woman’ Strike, and NBA/NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/7). The Trump Administration’s and the GOP’s efforts to overhaul the Affordable Care Act; President Donald Trump’s accusation that Barack Obama ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower, tied with the growing chatter about concerns over a “Deep State” that answers to no one; the latest WikiLeaks dump that purports to reveal CIA tapping techniques; ongoing scrutiny over the possible connection of the Trump campaign to Russian agents and the related question of whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions lied about his Russian Ambassador meetings; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, the U.S.’s anti-missile system and China’s warnings about an escalation on the Korean peninsula; today’s International Women’s Day and the related “A Day without a Woman” strike; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Longtime Oklahoma Media Figure and KTOK Host Mike McCarville Dies at 76. In addition to hosting a talk show on KTOK, Oklahoma City during the 1990s, Mike McCarville was columnist for numerous Oklahoma newspapers and an assistant news editor KWTV-TV, Oklahoma City. At the time of his death he was publishing his conservative blog The McCarville Report. The Oklahoman reports McCarville had been battling an illness.
TALKERS News Notes. The NAB and the NAB Education Foundation are presenting a forum on reporting on racially sensitive issues as part of its Awareness in Reporting series. It’ll take place next Tuesday (3/14) at the Newseum in Washington, DC. The first part of the program is the “Awareness in Reporting Panel: Lessons Learned From Reporting on the Frontlines.” NPR executive producer, newscasts Robert Garcia will sit on the four-person panel. The second part of the program is “Conversation with Community Leaders – Chief David Brown and Rev. Kenny Irby,” moderated by Westwood One News correspondent and news editor Jan Johnson…..NASCAR and SiriusXM renew their broadcasting and marketing agreement through 2022. With this, SiriusXM will continue to deliver 24/7 racing content via the SiriusXM NASCAR Radio channel…..The MLB’s Colorado Rockies will continue to be heard on iHeartMedia’s news/talk KOA, Denver after the station recently re-upped with the team to serve as flagship through the 2021 season. Now comes news that the station has reached an agreement to keep play-by-play personalities Jack Corrigan and Jerry Schemmel in the booth.
Chris Crowley Named KGON, Portland PD. Rock programming pro Chris Crowley is named the new program director for Entercom’s classic rock KGON, Portland. Crowley’s experience in radio covers 26 years at various radio companies, including programming and working with rock consultancy Jacobs Media. Speaking about his new gig, Crowley says, “Getting to work for Entercom Portland and having the opportunity to oversee heritage call letters like KGON is a once-in-a-career kind of deal. The chance to take this 48-year heritage station back to the top is one I just can’t pass up and I’m looking forward to forging new relationships in Portland.”
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. At iHeartMedia’s Raleigh country outlet WNCB “B93.9,” Carletta Blake is named program director. She moves to Raleigh from Greenville where she’s been programming WRNS for Alpha Media. She takes over for Todd Nixon, who recently exited to join Steel City Media’s country KBEQ, Kansas City…..WJXA, Nashville morning personality Kim Leslie is leaving the station – and the radio business – to become a full-time staffer at the non-profit organization she’s launched. Leslie has been with the Midwest Communications adult contemporary station for the past 10 years…..Cumulus Media is testing an iDitty interactive souvenir at next week’s LOCASH concert at 3rd & Lindsley in Nashville on March 14. The promotion arrangement between the company’s WSM-FM “95.5 NASH ICON” and iDitty will provide a “fully interactive VIP laminate that offers an enhanced concert experience for LOCASH fans, while connecting them with LOCASH, ‘95.5 NASH ICON’ and Reviver Records long after the event.” The iDitty souvenir (pictured at left) will be offered to the first 500 fans in attendance. After the show, the interactive laminates will provide concertgoers with a long-term experience with LOCASH through music, videos, real-time photos, tour updates, social links, and the ability to purchase tour merchandise through the free iDitty app and online e-commerce platform…..Today, Alpha Media’s KBAY, San Jose “94.5 Bay FM” is honoring females for International Women’s Day by playing nothing but female artists until 6:00 pm. KBAY program director Ronnie Stanton says, “International Women’s Day is a special day and we are celebrating at Bay FM all day with an all-female jukebox of hits from the 70s, 80s and 90s.”…..Cumulus Media’s WUHT, Birmingham “Hot 107.7” is taking a different tack on International Women’s Day – the station will “share the sound of ‘A Day Without a Woman’ by giving midday host Tasha Simone and station voice Jeannie Johnson the day off and will feature only music by men in order to help “tout the social, economic, cultural and political successes of women while urging more gender equality.”
Saga Communications Reports Net Revenue Up 4.7% in Q4; Radio Segment Rises 2.6%. The company operates both radio and television stations and the 4.7% net revenue increase on $37.3 million is for the company as a whole. The radio segment’s fourth quarter net revenue was $30.3 million – an increase of 2.6%. For the whole of 2016, the radio segment was up 6.2% on net revenue of $119 million.
Radio One Fourth Quarter Revenue Rises 3.8% on Strength of Television and Political Advertising. Of the four major categories of revenue that Radio One reports – radio advertising, political advertising, digital advertising, and cable television advertising the latter three saw healthy increases while radio advertising dipped 8.5% in the fourth quarter of 2016. It’s far and away the biggest category with net revenue of $51.02 million. Cable television advertising was up 18.1% on net revenue of $22.67 million. For the year of 2016, Radio One’s radio broadcasting net revenue was down 1.5% on $194.5 million.
DGital Media and Essence Partner for ‘Yes, Girl!’ Podcast. A new collaboration between audio entertainment firm DGital Media and Essence results on the new podcast “Yes, Girl!” The weekly podcast – available via iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn and more – “allows Essence editors to marry two things that they love: podcasts and buzzworthy interviews with bold, beautiful and brilliant women of color.” The show is hosted by Essence editors Cori Murray and Yolanda Sangweni — along with relationships editor and resident “love guru” Charli Penn. “Yes, Girl!” will also feature conversations with celebs and influencers.
TALKERS News Notes. A group of podcast producers is working together throughout the month of March to promote podcast listening to the public. Dubbed #trypod, the movement includes the hosts of hundreds of podcasts encouraging listeners to seek out friends who aren’t podcast listeners to get them to try it. Listeners are encouraged to share their favorite podcasts and why they listen with the hashtag #trypod. Content creators and platform operators involved include: NPR, WNYC, iHeartRadio, Midroll, ESPN, and others…..United Stations Radio Networks names Neil Barry to its advertising sales department as executive director/brand sponsorships. Barry has spent the past 25 years in the media industry serving with companies including: CBS RADIO, CBS Local, Cox Digital Solutions and ABC Radio Networks…..Emmis Communications adds another FM signal to its sports talk radio brand “The Fan” originating from WFNI, Indianapolis. Translator W298BB at 107.5 FM will begin airing the station, effective March 30. Emmis says that it is working with the FCC to resolve the interference problem from translator W228CX at 93.5, the signal that’s been the format’s FM presence…..Westwood One EVP of News & Talk Bart Tessler announces that Westwood One News renews some of its key top 10 market client stations and adds a couple more. The company says it renews with CBS RADIO all-newsers WINS, New York; KYW, Philadelphia; WBZ, Boston; and adds WWJ, Detroit. Now, also carrying Westwood One News are the Bloomberg major market stations WBBR, New York; WDCH, Washington; WXKS-AM, Boston; and KNEW-AM, San Francisco. Westwood One News is also airing on SiriusXM’s POTUS and Progress channels.
ObamaCare Overhaul, North Korean Missile Threat, Trump’s Obama Wiretapping Allegations, Ben Carson Speech Flap, New Travel Ban Signed, Sessions-Russia Case, and NBA-NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/6). The Trump Administration’s and the GOP’s plans to alter the Affordable Care Act; North Korea’s aggressive development of its missile program and the U.S.’ moving forward with installing an anti-missile defense system in South Korea; The Trump Administration’s continuing charge that President Obama ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower; the reactions to HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s allusion to slaves as immigrants; President Trump signs the new travel order; Attorney General Jeff Sessions statements that he did not mislead the confirmation committee by not disclosing his meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. By splitting KDEY-FM, Ontario, California off the simulcast of Los Angeles urban signal KDAY, Meruelo Media re-launches hip hop KDEY-FM as “The New Wild 93.5” in the Riverside-San Bernardino market. Meruelo Media president and COO Otto Padron says, “This much-awaited Riverside metro launch comes after a long process of engineering, design and market studies. It adds a key radio asset to our growing portfolio of highly recognized media brands in one of the fastest-growing markets. The saving and growing of heritage Los Angeles radio station KDAY has been a thrilling, three-year ride – we owe it to our music fans to keep innovating and expanding – Riverside is key.” Program director Adrian “AD” Scott adds, “Los Angeles loves KDAY – Riverside will love ‘WILD!’ This is the Inland Empire’s new home for hip hop and R&B, listeners in the ‘I.E.’ will know the difference and love the sound that the new ‘Wild 93.5’ brings.”…..Longtime KNCN, Corpus Christi “C101” rock radio personality Dan Rios returns to the iHeartMedia rock station where he had been half of the “2 Guys in the Morning” show with Rex Gabriel from 1996 through 2006, reuniting with Rex for the new “2 Guys” show. Rios had been hosting afternoons at Withers Family Texas Holdings’ crosstown alternative KYRK “106.5 The Shark.”…..On the heels of Sean McMasters’ recent exit from its Albany country outlet WGNA, Townsquare Media brings market pros Brian Cody and Chrissy Cavotta aboard to host the “Brian and Chrissy” morning drive show. The pair was most recently at Pamal’s crosstown CHR WFLY…..Entravision Communications chief strategy officer Esteban Lopez Blanco is named the recipient of Borrell Associates’ 2017 Award of Merit for outstanding leadership and innovation in local media. The award was presented yesterday (3/6) before the more than 300 media executives at Borrell’s 8th annual Local Online Advertising Conference at the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan. Borrell Associates CEO Gordon Borrell comments, “Esteban is one of those internal guiding forces that any company would be lucky to have. His work with Entravision’s TV and radio group has made the company a shining example among not only Hispanic media, but all local media, about how to embrace the future and make it their own.”
Art Bell and Michael Savage/Westwood One Agree to Settle Defamation Suit. Back in December, Art Bell and his wife Aryn Ruiz Bell, filed suit against talk host Michael Savage and Westwood One for defamation after Savage said the following on his nationally syndicated program: “I generally avoid gun questions. I know this from the first day in radio. I learned you never do certain topics where you can destroy your show. Third rail… You say UFOs, you wind up in the Philippines with a 10-year-old hooker and you are off the radio after a number of years. You can’t do UFOs. That’s an in joke, by the way, for people who even understand the business. There are other topics you can’t do…” Now comes word from Bell’s attorneys that the two sides have agreed to a settlement, saying they are “currently in the process of memorializing the terms of the agreement and should be in a position to dismiss this matter with prejudice within thirty (30) days. This settlement will resolve this matter in its entirety.” We’ll never know the terms of the settlement, but if all goes as planned in the next 30 days, the matter should be resolved.
Variety Piece Spurs Industry Chatter about iHeartMedia’s Future. The recent Variety story by Gene Maddaus has renewed media industry speculation about the health of debt-laden iHeartMedia – or more accurately – speculation about not if but when the company enters bankruptcy reorganization. As Maddaus points in his story, iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman has been working to transform the company into a digital-era media force as the same time he’s been trying to refinance some of its $20.5 billion in debt. iHeartMedia has $8.3 billion in debt coming due in 2019 and, as Maddaus writes, “no realistic way to pay it off.” Industry icon Irving Azoff sits on the iHeartMedia board and – though he’s not officially speaking for the company – says something has to give in the near future, telling Maddaus, “There will be a deal of some kind, at some point, that is the best that can be achieved under the circumstances. You’re correct that a day of reckoning appears to be coming. That’s no secret.” Read the Variety story here.
Legendary Detroit Sports Figure Eli Zaret to Host Feature for WJR, Detroit. Sports broadcaster and author Eli Zaret begins hosting a daily sports feature airing on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WJR, Detroit during the Guy Gordon show weekdays at 4:36 pm. The new program is called “After Further Review.” Zaret comments, “I’m excited about the opportunity to play a role at one of America’s legendary radio stations that features a cast of hall-of-fame broadcasters. Before starting in television at WDIV in 1980, I loved writing radio sports commentaries. Now, over 40 years later, to be able to do them at WJR alongside my longtime friend and colleague Guy Gordon is a very cool thing. I feel like I’m going back to my roots in radio.” Zaret is known for his coverage of the Detroit Pistons as a sideline reporter. He started in 1974 at WABX-FM. Detroit. He became the lead sports anchor for NBC affiliate WDIV-TV in the 1980s and served a similar role at WABC-TV in New York. He’s also served as sports director for rock outlets WCSX-FM and WRIF-FM, as well as WJBK-TV.
Trump’s Obama Wiretapping Allegations, Trump Rally Clashes, Trump-Russia Allegations, Immigration/Deportation Policies, Concerns Over North Korea’s Missile Program, ‘Logan’ Film Opens, SNAP IPO, and NBA/NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Trump Administration’s allegation that the Obama Administration ordered a wiretapping of its campaign and the call for an investigation; clashes between pro-Trump forces and protesters in Berkeley, St. Paul, and Nashville; the allegations of Donald Trump’s connections to Russia and Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak; questions about the Trump Administration’s immigration and deportation policies; North Korea launches more test rockets as concerns over its nuclear missile program deepen; the opening of the latest X-Men film “Logan”; the initial public offering for SNAP, the company that developed Snapchat; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Cooke: Are We Really THAT Angry? Media consultant Holland Cooke writes today about the media tempest that is the Trump Administration. He says that he sends memos to the talent he coaches saying, “Donald Trump is the best thing that ever happened to talk radio. There are spontaneous statements at Executive Order photo ops, Alternative Facts, SNL, botched calls with friendly foreign leaders, Ivanka Inc., the Russia flap. Twitter! Wiretapping? Expect a-story-a-day, and assume NO topic burnout at this time. As ‘the Trump channel,’ we can enjoy tune-in from giddy supporters AND appalled or scoffing resisters.” Read more about Cooke’s take on the impact of the new administration here.
PPM Analysis: Classic Rock. Today, managing editor Mike Kinosian takes look at the performances of classic rock-formatted stations based on data (6+) from Nielsen Audio’s January 2017 PPM survey. Two classic rock outlets – iHeartMedia’s WRFX, Charlotte and Cumulus Media’s KCFX, Kansas City – ranked #1 in their respective markets in the January PPM survey, but classic rock ranks well with 14 other signals landing in the top five in their markets. For a complete analysis comparing performances from Holiday to January, from January 2016 to January 2017, and much more, click here.
iHeartRadio Music Awards Televised from the Forum in Los Angeles Last Night. The 2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards were televised via TBS, TNT and truTV last night (3/5). Ryan Seacrest hosted the “fan-fueled” music awards show that saw Drake win seven awards, including Hip Hop Artist of the Year, R&B Song of the Year, Hip Hop Album of the Year, Hip Hop Song of the Year, Best Collaboration, Most Thumbed Up Artist of the Year and Most Thumbed Up Song of the Year. The Chainsmokers followed Drake’s lead in wins with five awards including Best New Artist, Best New Pop Artist, Dance Album of the Year, Dance Artist of the Year and Dance Song of the Year. Pictured above backstage at the awards are (from l-r): actor Ansel Elgort, model Karrueche Tran, Drew Taggart of The Chainsmokers, singer Halsey, and Alex Pall of The Chainsmokers.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Oxnard, California-based Lazer Broadcasting announces that Joshua Mednick is named the company’s chief operating officer. Lazer president and CEO Alfredo Plascencia states, “With Joshua’s immeasurable expertise with 30 years in radio broadcasting and an extensive knowledge of the Hispanic market for 16 years, we are confident that he is the right fit to lead our operations. We are very excited to have Joshua at Lazer Broadcasting and looking forward to his innovative ideas.” Prior to joining Lazer Broadcasting, Mednick served as EVP for Casa Media Partners and has held senior leadership positions for radio broadcasting companies across the United States…..In the Appleton/Oshkosh, Wisconsin market, Cumulus Media names Chuck Lakefield the host of the morning show on classic hits WVBO. Lakefield moves from middays to mornings after current WVBO morning ghost Dan “Skip” Willis announced his impending retirement from the business after a 45-year career. Lakefield takes over on March 20…..Press Communications’ WWZY, Long Branch, New Jersey re-brands as “107.1 the Boss” with a gold-based mélange of “classic rock of the ‘70s, ’80s and more,” named with a tip of the hat to native son Bruce Springsteen.
The Band Perry Launches Pop Career in Atlanta. Grammy-winning country trio The Band Perry is pictured here with Cumulus Media’s SVP of content & programming Mike McVay at Terminal West in Atlanta where it kicked off its series of nine pop-up shows to officially launch the band’s pop career. The group recently released “Stay in the Dark,” the first single off of its forthcoming pop album, My Bad Imagination, to be released later this year. Pictured above are (from l-r): Sharon Kilgo, Cumulus Media VP/Music & Label Relations John Kilgo, Reid Perry, McVay, Kimberly Perry and Neil Perry.
By Phil Valentine
Talk Show Host
NASHVILLE — Love him or hate him, we in talk radio can learn a great deal from Donald Trump. Since he blasted onto the political scene, he’s been a ratings juggernaut. Even the news media have to admit this guy is ratings gold. The assumption in talk radio is that being rah-rah Trump equals big ratings. That would be completely missing the point. The Trump factor is not whether you support him or oppose him. It’s what you learn from him.
I will admit that I was never a big fan of Donald Trump dating back to the ‘80s. Like many, I found him cocky and obnoxious. After he announced his candidacy, I quickly realized he had mastered the art of entertainment. And, let’s face it, as much as we’d like to elevate our format to something more noble, we’re in the entertainment business. That doesn’t mean we can’t produce meaningful, insightful, and provocative shows, but if it’s not entertaining we’re simply talking to ourselves.
iHeartRadio Names Michael Berry News/Talk Personality of the Year. This award for best news/talk personality is a first and the competition was open only to talk hosts who work for iHeartMedia stations. KTRH, Houston-based, independently syndicated talk personality Michael Berry is named the iHeartRadio News/Talk Personality of the Year. Berry says, “We’re on live for five hours a day, so our approach is not to be the loudest screamer in the political market. Our listeners seem to enjoy talking about parenting, food, culture, with a mix of politics as well. It’s entertainment, and hopefully it’s engaging. That’s the goal, rather than getting pigeonholed into ‘political talk.’” Speaking about his show’s success, Berry says, “First, we draw back the curtain and let the listener join us in our lives. We open up, we share our medical ailments, we brag on our kids, we discuss our fears and worries, we are usually the butt of our own jokes. Relatability is key. They can identify with what we’re going through, because it’s what they are going through. The second factor is that we are a team, rather than just one guy talking. We draw material and parodies from our board ops, show producers, and even a few listeners, to look more like the ‘SNL’ writing team than an AM talk show. It makes for a show that dares to be funny, which makes for better entertainment.”
WUTQ, Utica Flips to Talk. After a weekend of stunting, Roser Communications Network-owned WUTQ-FM changes formats from adult contemporary to news/talk. The station keeps its “Talk of the Town” morning show with personalities Dave Coombs, Jay Aiello, and Beth Coombs. It had also been simulcasting three hour-long newscasts from NBC affiliate WKTV-TV, and continues to air those at 5:00 am, 12:00 noon and 5:00 pm. Joining the program lineup are: Premiere Networks’ Glenn Beck from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon; Courtside Entertainment’s Laura Ingraham from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm; Dave Ramsey from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm; Premiere’s Buck Sexton from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm; Westwood One’s Michael Savage from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight; and “Red Eye Radio” for overnights.
Cumulus Re-Fi Plan Shot Down by Manhattan Judge. On Friday, Cumulus Media got bad news from U.S. District Court Judge Katherine Polk Failla who ruled that Cumulus cannot use a revolving credit line from JPMorgan Chase to help reduce a portion of its debt. In December, a majority of the holders of $610 million in unsecured senior notes voted to approve the plan that would have reduced that debt to $305 million and granted them a portion of the equity. JPMorgan Chase disagreed that the revolver could be used for this purpose and the judge agreed. Cumulus issued the following statement after receiving the news. “While we are certainly disappointed by the court’s decision, we will continue to review all available options to address our balance sheet issues. We are making solid progress in our turnaround and remain focused on exploring strategies that would give us the runway needed to fully execute our plan.”
TALKERS News Notes. Orlando hot talk outlet WTKS “Real Radio 104.1” adds the evening syndicated relationships show “CONNECTIONS” to its programming schedule. The program is hosted by Al “Blackjack” Spry, Glenda “G-Love” Chauncy, and Melissa Foxx. WTKS program director Jack Bradshaw comments, “For nearly quarter of a century, ‘Real Radio 104.1’ has been at the forefront of live entertainment talk radio and we are happy to welcome ‘CONNECTIONS’ to our evening lineup, marking the return of live late-night talk radio to the airwaves of Central Florida.” “CONNECTIONS” is consulted by Sabo Media…..Focus 360 and Envision Networks renew their deal for the latter to continue serving as affiliate sales representative for Focus 360’s “Powered by Jelli” Networks. Focus 360 uses Jelli’s cloud-based ad platform to transform broadcast radio into a real-time medium by providing national advertisers with increased accountability and campaign analytics on par with the latest digital platforms. Envision Networks president and CEO Danno Wolkoff states, “The successful partnership between Focus 360 and Envision Networks has delivered exceptional results to affiliated radio stations. Focus 360 affiliates are reaping revenue-generating benefits and relieving the stress on their traffic departments. We are delighted to continue offering this opportunity to radio stations.”
Trump vs News Media, Muhammad Ali Jr. Detained at Airport, Kansas Bar Slaying, Sunday Night’s Oscars Awards, Actor Bill Paxton Dies, and NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. President Donald Trump’s ongoing battle with the news media and last week’s shutting out of several news organizations by the White House press office; the son of boxing legend Muhammad Ali is detained by authorities at a Florida airport for having an “Arabic-sounding” name; an Indian man is slain at a Kansas bar; the build-up to Sunday’s Oscar Awards show; actor Bill Paxton dies at age 61; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Live from the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Orlando. Pictured above at this morning’s opening session of the National Religious Broadcasters 2017 convention in Orlando are Salem Radio Network host Hugh Hewitt (left) with Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel personality Sean Hannity (right) as the two discuss politics, last night’s Oscars, and the new film Let There Be Light (for which Hannity served as executive producer). Also broadcasting this week from the NRB are SRN hosts Mike Gallagher, Eric Metaxas and Larry Elder.
Snell Appointed SVP of Programming for iHeartMedia Augusta, Georgia. At its Augusta, Georgia cluster, iHeartMedia names Tim Snell, a.k.a. Minnesota Fattz, senior vice president of programming. He’s one half of the “Fattz and Cher Morning Show” on urban AC WKSP “96.3 Kiss FM.” He also is PD for the station and sister hip hop outlet WPRW “Power 107.” In this role, Snell will also be responsible for the day-to-day programming operations of the cluster’s four other stations – adult contemporary WBBQ, classic rock WEKL “Eagle 102.3,” country WLUB “105.7 The Bull,” country WLUB-HD/W292EE.
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Weekend and fill-in personality Cody Whistler is promoted to full-time jock handling the evening show at Entercom’s alternative KNDD, Seattle “107.7 The End.” Whistler began his career with the station in the promotions department and started his on-air work three years ago…..iHeartMedia promotes Rob Scorpio to regional SVP of programming for the San Diego and Riverside markets. Scorpio has been serving as SVP of programming for the Riverside cluster and program director for hip hop KSSX, San Diego “Jam’n 95.7.” He takes over for John Peake, who recently became PD for KOST and KBIG in Los Angeles…..Also at iHeartMedia, Kid Jay is promoted from his music director role at KGGI, Riverside to program director for the station. Kid Jay also hosts the evening air shift at the rhythmic CHR station…..WRNS, Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, North Carolina morning host Jim Mantel is being inducted into the Country Radio Hall of Fame. Mantel has worked in radio for 35 years, beginning in West Texas at KNFM, KRYS, and KKBQ. He spent 18-plus years hosting the morning show at WGAR, Cleveland. During his career, he’s won the CMA Personality of the Year award and is an inductee in the Ohio Radio and Television Broadcasters Hall of Fame…..Milwaukee non-commercial triple A celebrated its 10th anniversary as “88Nine Radio Milwaukee” on Sunday (2/26). The self-supporting, non-profit station acknowledged that it has become “recognized for its unique mix of new and Milwaukee music; its ‘community stories’ features; and for fostering community engagement and positive change. It announced a number of activities to commemorate the 10th anniversary including: an all-day free street concert outside its studios on June 24; the unveiling of April 14 as “414 Day,” a new feature to connect Milwaukee music to listeners everywhere; plus a new narrative audio and video series, “In The Wings: Bringing Our Community to Center Stage,” that each month this year will highlight the positive work of Milwaukee individuals in a variety of categories.
Round Four of January PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s January 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s January 2017 PPM survey period covered January 5 – February 1. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets.
1) Austin – Down by one share in “Holiday” 2016, iHeartMedia’s KASE “101 FM Today’s Country” answers with a +1.6 (4.9 – 3.9 – 5.5, 6+) as it leaps from ninth to a fourth-place tie with co-owned KVET-FM “98.1 All Time Country Favorites” (5.4 – 5.5, +.1, unchanged at #4, 6+). The latter is coming back from a -.8 in “Holiday” 2016. Back at #1 after being ousted in “Holiday” 2016 from the top spot it held in November and December, Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob” rings up a +1.1 (7.7 – 8.8, 6+). KBPA had been in the lead each month in calendar year 2016, before seguing to second in October. By gaining four-tenths in June, “Bob” halted three successive downward trends that produced a combined -1.3 (9.4 – 9.1 – 8.6 – 8.1, 6+). “Bob” regressed by -.5 in July; rebounded with a +1.1 in August; and declined -.8 in September. It succeeds Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5” (12.6 – 7.4, -5.2, 6+), which drops to #3. Over the course of five straight up or flat trends, “Majic 95.5” nearly tripled its 6+-share (4.3 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 12.6, 6+). Furthermore, with the 12.6 in “Holiday” 2016, KKMJ outdid its own mark for Austin’s highest-ever 6+ PPM stat (previously 11.4). Powered by a +1.2, KUT (6.4 – 7.6, 6+) bumps up from third to second. The University of Texas at Austin outlet was a combined -2.6 in December and “Holiday” (9.0 – 7.4 – 6.4, 6+), falling from the runner-up slot it occupied the previous five ratings periods. Significant month-to-month swings are common for KUT, which was +1.2 (December 2015); -.1.0 (April 2016); +.7 (July); +1.3 (August); -.9 (September); +1.3 (October); -1.6 (December); -1.0 (“Holiday” 2016); and now +1.2 in January 2017. Prior to August, the last time KUT crossed the eight-share barrier (6+) was February 2011 when it reached 8.5. With a +.9 (1.3 – 2.2, 6+), Univision Radio’s KLJA “Mas Variedad 107.7” (#22 to #17) reaches the two-share level (6+) for the first time since May 2016 (2.3), while co-owned regional Mexican KLQB “Que Buena 104.3” picks up seven-tenths to 3.9, halting three straight downward trends (4.5 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+) as it enters the top ten (#11 to #9). Adding one-half share are Emmis’ KROX “101-X Alternative Austin” (3.2 – 3.7, #11 to #10, 6+) and triple A cluster-mate KGSR “93.3 Radio Austin” (2.0 – 2.5, #17 to #16, 6+). Remaining in that Emmis cluster, while talk KLBJ-AM is up by six-tenths (3.6, 6+), KLBJ-FM “93.7 The Rock of Austin” and their regional Mexican sibling KLZT “107.1 La Z” (5.4 – 4.9, fourth to seventh, 6+) drop one-half share. This marks the eighth straight sweep without an increase for “The Rock of Austin” which is -2.1 in that stretch (5.7 – 5.7 – 5.5 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+). Meanwhile, KLBJ-AM ends three consecutive downward moves that accounted for a -.8 (3.8 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.0, 6+); KLBJ-AM and KLBJ-FM are tied at #11.
2) Milwaukee – Having regressed by a combined -1.6 in four straight down or flat trends (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” recaptures all of it and another one-tenth to spare (5.7, +1.4, 6+), jumping from #12 to a three-way tie at #6. Talk cluster-mate WISN rebounds from a -.9 in “Holiday” 2016 to a +1.2 (5.5 – 4.6 – 5.8, 6+), as it zooms from ninth to fifth. Elsewhere in the talk arena, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee-owned WUWM is up seven-tenths (2.6 – 3.3, 6+) to progress from #15 to #13. Locked on 5.9 (6+) in October 2016 and November, Entercom hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix” gained two tenths in December; stumbled by -1.2 in “Holiday” 2016; and now breaks out a +.8 (6.1 – 4.9 – 5.7, 6+) to climb from seventh to that three-way logjam at #6. Advancing in December 2016 by one-half share to 6.3 for its best 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2015’s 6.5, Saga Communications-owned WKLH returned all of that +.5 in “Holiday” 2016 only to bounce back with a +.7 in January 2017 (5.8 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+); “96.5 – Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” jumps from fourth to second. More than two full-shares ahead of it is iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits,” which – despite a -2.4 (11.2 – 8.8, 6+) – is #1 for the 22nd consecutive sweep. Recent (6+) fluctuations for “Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” include +1.7 (October 2015); -.7 (November 2015); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2015); -5.7 (January 2016); +1.3 (February); +1.1 (April); -.6 (May); -1.1 (August); -.6 (September) +1.2 (November); -.5 (December); +2.1 (“Holiday” 2016); and January 2017’s -2.4. After four straight progressive trends that netted a +4.6 (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 8.3, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance’s adult contemporary-turned hot AC-turned adult contemporary (again) WLDB “B-93.3 The 80s to Today” forfeits roughly 80% of that gain (4.6, -3.7, 6+) and freefalls from #2 out of the top ten (#11). The third member of the aforementioned three-way tie at #6 is iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Jams” (down from #5), which is without an increase in four consecutive sweeps for a collective loss of one share (6.7 – 6.6 – 6.3 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+).
3) Indianapolis – Eight-tenths of a share separates the top six Indy stations in this survey period (6+). Unlisted for nearly five years (March 2012), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “K-LOVE” returns in dramatic fashion with a +1.7 (5.6 – 7.3, 6+) to land in third-place. Dusting itself off from a -1.1 in “Holiday” 2016, Entercom’s WZPL responds with a +1.3 (7.3 – 6.2 – 7.5, 6+) leaping from fourth to a first-place tie. Its running-mate at #1 is Cumulus Media‘s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5,” which had its string of consecutive up or flat trend gains that netted a combined +.7 (7.1 – 7.4 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+) end in “Holiday” 2016 with a -1.4. “Classic Hits 104.5,” regains all but three-tenths of that deficit (7.8 – 6.4 – 7.5, +1.1, 6+), moving from third to that penthouse tie. After six successive positive trends for a collective +1.7 (5.3 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 6.0 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 7.0, 6+), co-owned WFMS was off by -1.1 in “Holiday” 2016 but “95.5 The Country Station” recaptures all but one-tenth of that loss (70 – 5.9 – 6.9, 6+) and carries on at #5. December’s 7.0 was the highest 6+share for WFMS in more than three years (7.6, 6+, November 2013). A December drop of two-tenths by Emmis’ similarly-formatted WLHK “97.1 Hank” concluded three straight sweeps without a decline for a combined +.6 (4.7 – 4.7 – – 5.2 – 5.3, 6+). “Hank” was off by one full-share in “Holiday” 2016 and rebounds with a +1.1 (5.1 – 4.1 – 5.2, 6+), yet backslides from eighth to ninth. When it added one-tenth in October, “Hank” ended four successive down or flat sweeps for a combined May through September -1.6 (6.3 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 4.7, 6+). Exiting the top spot after back-to-back sweeps and seguing to #6 is adult contemporary sibling WYXB “Soft Rock B-105.7” (17.7 – 6.7, -11.0, 6+). Its loss of 11 shares comes after a +.9 in “Holiday” 2016. “B-105.7” improved in three straight sweeps (August – September – October) for a cumulative +1.1 (6.4 – 6.6 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+), before declining by one-half share in November. Still staying in that Emmis cluster, talk WIBC (3.7 – 4.7, steady at #10, 6+) and sports WFNI “The Fan” (2.3 – 2.8, #13 to #14, 6+) improve by one share and one-half share, respectively. Steady between 5.4 – 5.7 (6+) for five straight sweeps, iHeartMedia’s WFBQ “Q-95 Indy’s Classic Rock” sputtered by nine-tenths in “Holiday” 2016 to 4.6 only to bounce back with a +.7 in January 2017 (5.3, flat at #7, 6+). Within 2.1 – 2.8 range (6+) the past ten survey periods, including 2.1 (#14) in “Holiday” 2016, Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting’s WFYI disappears from print.
4) Providence – Albeit flat at #5, iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3” erases its “Holiday” 2016 -.8 with an increase twice that magnitude (4.6 – 6.2, +1.6, 6+). Floundering by one share in “Holiday” 2016, Cumulus Media CHR WPRO-FM “Today’s Hit Music 92 PRO FM” reels it all back with a +1.0 (8.7 – 7.7 – 8.7, 6+) and remains in the runner-up position. Jumping by nine-tenths each are Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” (6.6 – 7.5, unchanged at #4, 6+) and Entercom sports outlet WVEI (3.7, 6+), which advances from eighth to seventh. “Cat Country” was off by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2016, while WVEI recaptures the nine-tenths it has lost since November (3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+). Owing to an increase of seven-tenths (to 4.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB “B-101” applies the brakes to four straight declines that yielded a -1.4 (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 3.9, 6+) and continues in sixth-place. A collective +8.5 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (9.5 – 10.6 – 18.0, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” erodes by -7.3 (10.7, 6+), but is #1 for the sixteenth successive ratings period. “Lite Rock 105” registered three straight progressive trends (July – August – September) netting one-half share (9.4 – 9.6 – 9.7 – 9.9, 6+) and was a cumulative -.4 in October and November (9.9 – 9.8 – 9.5, 6+). Unchanged at #9, rhythmic CHR sibling WWKX “Hot 106” records a +.3 (to 2.3, 6+), thus curtailing three consecutive sweeps without an increase that accounted for the loss of one share (3.0 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.0, 6+).
5) Raleigh – Entering the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s WUNC notched a 7.7 (6+) in three of the previous four sweeps and was in 7.6 – 7.8 range the past six monthlies, but it floundered by nine-tenths. Not only does the public outlet more than double the size of that loss with an increase in January 2017 (6.8 – 8.7, +1.9, 6+), it marches from third to first. Displaced from the lead and shifting to the runner-up slot is Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5,” whose 15 recent (6+) fluctuations include +.5 November 2015; +.6 December 2015; +5.7 Holiday 2015; -7.2 January 2016; +.6 February; +.6 March; -.6 April; +.5 May; +.5 July; +.9 September; +1.0 October; -.5 in November 2016; +.9 December; +5.2 “Holiday” 2016; and now a -5.3 in January 2017. In an October 2015 – December 2016 timeframe, “Mix 101.5” was in sole possession of first-place eight times and shared top honors three times. Locked on 5.7 (6+) in November and December, iHeartMedia talker WTKK dipped by -1.3 in “Holiday” 2016 but wipes out that loss with a +1.9 (4.4 – 6.3, 6+), climbing from eighth to sixth. A -1.1 in “Holiday” 2016 by Curtis Media Group’s WQDR ended at five its streak of consecutive progressive trends which netted a +1.5 (5.6 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 7.1, 6+). “94.7 Today’s Best Country,” however, bounces back with a +.9 (6.0 – 6.9, 6+) and moves from sixth to fourth. Gaining seven-tenths each are adult hits sibling WBBB “Radio 96.1” (4.9, tenth to ninth, 6+) and Radio One urban contemporary WQOK “K-97.5” (5.4 – 6.1, steady at #7, 6+). “Radio 96.1” halts three straight declines that produced a -1.0 (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.5 – 4.2, 6+). Spiking by six-tenths and one-half share, respectively, are its classic hits-oldies and CHR cluster-mates WKIX “Kix 102.9 Carolina’s Greatest Hits” (4.0, flat at #11, 6+) and WPLW “Pulse FM” (2.8 – 3.3, #14 to 313, 6+). The +.6 by “Kix 102.9” ends three consecutive negative trends that produced a -.8 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+). Conversely, owing to a -1.5 to 5.1 (6+), Radio One gospel WNNL (fourth to eighth) sees its successive string of up or flat trends conclude at seven (3.8 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 6.1 – 6.6, 6+); “103.9 The Light” netted a cumulative +2.8 in that stretch.
6) Norfolk –Over and above marching from fifth to third by notching its third consecutive increase netting a combined +1.7 (5.3 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 7.0, 6+), Saga Communications’ WNOR “FM 99 Rocks” reaches the seven-share level (6+) for the first time in its history as a PPM subscriber. On the strength of a +1.2 to 5.5 – its best 6+-share since July 2016’s 5.9 – classic rock cluster-mate WAFX “106.9 The Fox” advances from sixth to fifth. After being #1 for 55 straight ratings periods, Entercom urban AC sibling WVKL “Smooth R&B From Yesterday & Today” was bumped to second in “Holiday” 2016 by adult contemporary sibling WWDE “101.3 2WD.” It’s time for them to switch places in January 2017 though as WVKL registers a +.7 (11.0 – 11.7, second to first, 6+), while “2WD” (+7.1 in “Holiday” 2016) erodes by -6.4 (13.4 – 7.0, first to second, 6+). This is the ninth time in the last ten sweeps that “Smooth R&B From Yesterday & Today” is in 11.0 – 12.7-share range. In fact, the last time WVKL was not in double-digits (6+) was when it registered a 9.8 three years ago – January 2014. WWDE gained a collective one-half share in back-to-back sweeps (4.8 – 5.2 – 5.3, August – September – October, 6+) before slumping by eight-tenths in November to 4.5, its lowest 6+-share since June 2015’s 4.4. Off eight-tenths via three successive (slight) negative moves (2.4 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.6, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WNOH “Now 105” regains six-tenths to 2.2 (6+) and inches up from tenth to eighth. It is tied there with rhythmic hot AC sibling WMOV “MOViN 107.7,” which sputters by roughly 70% (7.4 – 2.2, -5.2, 6+) and drops from third. Its combined +5.5 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (1.9 – 4.0 – 7.4, 6+) curtailed three straight downward trends resulting in a loss of eight-tenths (2.7 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.9, 6+).
7) Nashville – The top six January 2017 finishers are separated by nine-tenths of a share (6+). Just as WVKL, Norfolk was unseated in “Holiday” 2016 by a cluster-mate after more than 50 consecutive ratings periods at #1 (see above), the same fate happens this sweep in “Music City USA.” Specifically, the successive reign at the top spot ends at 59 for Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9,” which has its 6+-share basically slivered in half and shifts to third (13.1 – 6.6, -6.5, 6+). “Mix” was up four shares in “Holiday” 2016 and returned to double-digits for the first time since February 2016. A +.2 back in August 2016 stymied seven straight downward trends that yielded a net loss since the “Holiday” 2015 report of -7.4 (15.6 – 10.7 – 10.2 – 9.7 – 9.6 – 9.1 – 8.3 – 8.2, 6+). Knocking “Mix” from first – and vaulting from sixth – is co-owned adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack FM Playing What We Want.” Its +1.6 to 6.9 (6+) stops at three WCJK’s consecutive string of down or flat trends (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.3, 6+). This is the best 6+-performance for “Jack” in exactly one year (7.1, January 2016). After sputtering by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2016, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU “Positive and Encouraging K-LOVE” turns around with an approximately 80% increase (1.9 – 3.4, +1.5, #16 to #13, 6+). Posting a one-share gain, iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98” (eighth to sixth) extends its streak of up or flat trends to four and a net +1.6 (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 6.0, 6+). One of its country rivals – Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM – improves by eight-tenths (5.6, 6+). “95.5 Nash Icon” moves from tenth to eighth and ends three consecutive downward moves (6.0 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 4.8, 6+), which accounted for a -1.2. In addition to “Nash Icon,” urban AC cluster-mate WQQK “92-Q” (5.6 – 6.4, flat at #5, 6+) and iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat” (5.9 – 6.7, third to second, 6+) are up by eight-tenths as well. Prior to a -.5 in “Holiday” 2016, “92-Q” was without a decrease in the previous five sweeps for a cumulative +.9 (5.2 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 6.1 – 6.1, 6+). By losing one-share to 4.9 (6+) in December, “The Beat” (which was up one-share in “Holiday” 2016) broke an August to November pattern of 6.1 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 5.9 (6+) and sent WUBT below a five-share (6+) for the first time since July 2013 (4.8). A string of three consecutive progressive trends by Cumulus Media’s WWTN produced a combined +.8 (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+). “Super Talk 99.7” (flat at #7) forfeited that eight-tenths entirely in “Holiday” 2016 but rebounds in January 2017 with a +.6 (5.2 – 5.8, 6+). After each declined by one-half share in “Holiday” 2016, Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN (4.9, unchanged at #11, 6+) and iHeartMedia talker WLAC (1.7, #19 to a three-way tie at #16, 6+) improve by seven-tenths and one-half share, respectively. WPLN returned December’s +.5 in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to “Holiday” 2016’s -.5, WLAC had been up the previous three ratings periods (.8 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+) for a combined +.9. Up or flat for the sixth consecutive time (0.5 – 0.6 – 0.6 – 0.6 – 0.6 – 0.9 – 1.6, 6+), Cromwell Group’s WQZQ “Classic Hits 93.3” has more than tripled its 6+-share since September and cracks the top 20 (#19). Not only does Cumulus Media’s WGFX plummet from third to tenth, sports “104.5 The Zone” has its third straight decrease for a combined -2.3 (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.3, 6+). When WGFX lost two-tenths in November, it ended a string of three consecutive improvements which resulted in a +4.1 since July (3.7 – 4.0 – 5.4 – 7.8, 6+).
8) Greensboro – Roaring back from a -1.1 in “Holiday” 2016, Entercom adult hits WSMW “Simon” dials up a two-share increase (8.3 – 10.3, 6+) to jump from fourth to second. Moreover, “Simon” registers its strongest 6+-performance since August 2016’s 10.5. Four-tenths ahead of “Simon” is co-owned urban AC “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School,” which records its second straight +.4 (9.7 – 10.1 – 10.5, 6+), moving from third to first with its best 6+-share since May 2016’s 10.7. Departing the top spot and seguing to fourth-place is iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG (6.2, 6+), which ends three consecutive upward moves which netted a +8.3 (6.9 – 7.3 – 9.7 – 15.2, 6+). Its most recent 12 (6+) fluctuations are -.9 (March); +.5 (April); +.9 (May); -.3 (June); -.7 (July); -.5 (August); +.7 (September); -.6 (October); +.4 (November), +2.4 (December); +5.5 in “Holiday” 2016; and now -9.0 (January 2017). Over and above inflating the format’s (6+) share by +1.8, the market’s two country FMs swap positions: WMAG cluster-mate WTQR “New Country Q-104.1” is +1.0 (4.7 – 5.7, seventh to sixth, 6+), while Entercom’s WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” is +.8 (4.8 – 5.6, sixth to seventh, 6+). In “Holiday” 2016, “Q-104.1” and “The Wolf” were each down by four-tenths. November’s +.3 by “Q-104.1” ended three successive down-trending monthlies that produced a cumulative loss of more than two shares (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.5 – 5.1, 6+). Prior to reaching 5.0 in October, “The Wolf” had been in 4.2 – 4.8 range (6+) the previous eight sweeps. Back in September, “Q-104.1” held a 1.9-share lead over “The Wolf.” Forfeiting the +1.1 it gained in October and November (3.9 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+) with a -1.1 in December and “Holiday” (5.0 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+) iHeartMedia talker WPTI gains nine-tenths to 4.8 (6+) but stays at #8. Inching up from fifth to fourth, CHR sibling WMKS “100.3 Kiss FM” is a collective +1.3 via three consecutive increases (4.9 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.2, 6+). Following four successive sweeps in the lead, WJMH “102 Jamz The Hip-Hop Station” dropped to second in “Holiday” 2016. Now in three straight declines (12.4 – 11.7 10.5 – 9.5, 6+), the Entercom rhythmic CHR is -2.9 and falls to third. A -.7 in December halted five straight increases that generated a collective +3.8 since June (8.6 – 9.8 – 10.0 – 10.1 – 10.6 – 12.4, 6+); 12.4 in November 2016 was the best-ever (6+) showing for “102 Jamz” in its PPM-history. This is the 18th successive sweep that Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” is in two-share range (2.7 – 2.9, +.2, flat at #10, 6+).
9) West Palm Beach – Entering the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, WLRN racked up ten consecutive up or flat trends netting a +1.0 (1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). The public station (Dade County School Board) lost one-half share but rebounds in January 2017 with a +1.0 (2.8 – 2.3 – 3.3, 6+) and remains in ninth-place. Steady at #4, Alpha Media’s WIRK “103.1 South Florida’s Country Music” gains six-tenths and is without a decrease for the fifth straight time for a combined +1.3 (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.7, 6+). Improving by six-tenths as well is hot AC sibling WRMF (7.7 – 8.3, 6+), which returns to the top spot from #2. Prior to “Holiday” 2016, WRMF was #1 the previous five ratings periods. A collective +1.9 in August and September, WRMF followed October’s -.8 with a November loss of six-tenths. It fell to second in July, after 23 successive sweeps at #1; September 2016’s 9.1 was its strongest 6+-stat since February 2016’s 9.3. Adult contemporary cluster-mate WEAT “Sunny 107.9” surrenders its +2.7 (and two-months more) from “Holiday” 2016 (9.1 – 6.2, -2.9, 6+) and trades places with WRMF. December’s +.4 by “Sunny” curtailed a three-month slide for a cumulative -1.9 (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.3 – 6.0, 6+). Off by seven-tenths and steady at #3 (5.9, 6+) is iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5,” which had been up the past three sweeps for a +1.8 (4.8 – 5.7 – 6.5 – 6.6, 6+). Following a “Holiday” 2016 increase of one-half share, WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF relinquishes more than twice that gain (4.8 – 3.7, -1.1, 6+), sliding from sixth to eighth.
10) Jacksonville – The combination of a +2.1 by iHeartMedia’s WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” (10.7 – 12. 8, 6+) and a -.6.6 by Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WEJZ “Lite 96.1 – Today’s Variety” (14.7 – 8.1, 6+) eventuates in WQIK advancing from second to first and WEJZ sliding from first to third. This is the best-ever 6+-performance by WQIK in its PPM-history. Owing to December’s +4.5 (6.8 – 11.3, 6+), “Jacksonville’s Country” jumped from fifth to first, but with a -.6 in “Holiday” 2016 it fell to second. Prior to a modest one-tenth gain in November, WQIK was down two full-shares as a result of being without an increase since February (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.4 – 8.2 – 8.1 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 7.3 – 6.7, 6+). On the strength of a +.8 to 5.6 (eighth to seventh, 6+), its format rival – Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “99.9 Gator Country” – wipes out its recent combined -.7 (5.3 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+). A +.5.8 in “Holiday” 2016 (8.9 – 14.7, 6+) returned AC cluster-mate WEJZ to double-digits (6+) for the first time since July 2016’s 10.2. Sandwiched between WQIK and WEJZ in the runner-up slot (up from #5 in “Holiday” 2016) is Cox Media Group talker WOKV, which posts a +1.7 (to 8.3, 6+). That follows a collective -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (8.9 – 8.1 – 6.6, 6+). November 2016’s 8.9 was the highest 6+-stat for WOKV since November 2012 (9.9). With a one-half share improvement to 6.6 (6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WJBT “93.3 The Beat” (sixth to fifth) has its best 6+-showing since October’s 7.0. In four successive declines (9.1 – 7.9 – 7.8 – 7.4 – 5.9, 6+), Cox Media Group CHR WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” erodes by -3.2, tumbling from third to sixth. Co-owned WJGL “Eagle 96.9 Jacksonville’s Classic Hits” falters by one-half share (7.4 – 6.9, 6+) and slips from third to fourth. By gaining three-tenths in “Holiday” 2016, “The Eagle” pulled the plug on three consecutive monthlies without an increase that produced a -2.2 (9.3 – 8.1 – 8.1 – 7.1, 6+).
11) Memphis – Down a cumulative -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (5.1 – 4.4 – 3.9, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WGKX “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” breaks loose with a +1.9 to 5.8 (6+), climbing from ninth to seventh. October’s +.3 curtailed three successive negative trends by “Kix 106” that produced a -.7 (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). Even though co-owned WXMX improves by six-tenths (4.8, 6+) to halt three successive sweeps without an increase that produced the loss of one share (5.2 – 5.2 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+), “98.1 Max FM Maximum Rock” actually backslides from eighth to ninth. On the flipside, a one-tenth decline notwithstanding (9.1 – 9.0, 6+), urban-rhythmic oldies sibling WRBO “Soul Classics & Today’s R&B,” which was up one-half share in “Holiday” 2016, advances from third to first. “Soul Classics & Today’s R&B” had been in the runner-up spot for seven successive survey periods prior to “Holiday” 2016. Back-to-back modest declines in August and September produced a combined loss of seven-tenths (8.5 – 8.2 – 7.8, 6+), but WRBO wiped that out with a one-half share gain in October and a +.8 in November. It was just a one ratings period residence at #1 for Entercom adult contemporary WRVR, which segues to third-place. “104.5 The River” surrenders in its entirety the five shares it gained in “Holiday” 2016 (7.1 – 12.1 – 7.1, 6+). When “The River” added one share in December, it ended three straight downward moves that accounted for a -1.6 (7.7 – 7.1 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). Sputtering by -1.1 in “Holiday” 2016, iHeartMedia talker WREC responds with a +.7 (3.2 – 3.9, 6+) and carries on at #10. WREC was off by one-tenth in November, ending four consecutive progressive trends which netted a +.9 (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.6, 6+) but was then +.8 in December. A gain of one-half share to 5.5 (6+) by urban-rhythmic oldies sibling WDIA “1070 The Heart & Soul of Memphis” pulls the plug on four straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a +.9 (5.9 – .9 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+). Elsewhere though in that iHeartMedia cluster, urban contemporary WHRK “K-97.1” (7.3 – 6.5, flat at #4, 6+) and urban AC KJMS “V-101” regress by eight-tenths and one-half share, respectively. On top for ten consecutive monthlies before sliding to #2 in “Holiday” 2016, “V-101” is without an increase for the ninth consecutive time and is -3.7 since May 2016 (12.5 – 11.6 – 10.7 – 10.5 – 10.2 – 9.9 – 9.9 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 8.8, 6+).
12) Hartford – Going into the “Holiday” 2016 report with six straight increases netting a +2.7 (3.1 – 3.3 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.8, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting‘s WNPR wound up forfeiting approximately half that increase (4.4, -1.4, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues as the public outlet dials up a +1.3 to 5.7 (6+) and moves from eighth to seventh. Bouncing back from a one-half share dip in “Holiday” 2016, iHeartMedia CHR WKSS “Kiss 95.7 – All the Hits” is +1.1 (5.2 – 4.7 – 5.8, 6+) to inch up from seventh to sixth. As a result of December’s +.2, “Kiss” curtailed five successive down or flat trends that produced a collective -1.5 since June (6.5 – 6.3 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+). Posting a gain of one-half share in December, co-owned classic hits-oldies WHCN “105.9 The River” was -1.5 in “Holiday” 2016 but bounces back with a +1.0 (6.6 – 7.6, 6+ (6+) and climbs from fifth to third. The -1.5 in “Holiday” 2016 completely erased the cumulative +1.5 that “The River” picked up in four straight improvements (6.6 – 7.3 – 7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1, 6+). After slipping by six-tenths the HD2 channel of Red Wolf Broadcasting’s WMRQ improves by nine-tenths (2.5 – 1.9 – 2.8, #11 to #9). Even though it gains back one-half of the -1.4 from “Holiday” 2016 (8.2 – 6.8 – 7.5, +.7), iHeartMedia’s WWYZ “Country 92-5” backslides from fourth to fifth. After three straight regressions producing a collective -2.3 and the station’s lowest 6+-share since March (10.1 – 9.7 – 9.2 – 7.8, 6+), “Country 92-5” picked up four-tenths in December. Albeit that is off by more than eight shares (18.4 – 10.2, -8.2, 6+), CBS Radio adult contemporary WRCH is #1 for the fifth consecutive ratings period. “Lite 100.5” had been up September through “Holiday” 2016 (9.3 – 9.6 – 10.1 – 10.8 – 18.4, 6+), producing a cumulative +9.1 (nearly doubling September’s 9.3). In November, “Lite 100.5” returned to double-digits (6+) after a two-month hiatus. It had been in double-digits (6+) for 13 straight ratings periods before posting a 9.3 in September and a 9.6 in October; 9.3 was its lowest 6+-showing since August 2015, when “Lite” recorded an 8.7. Entering the September sweep, WRCH was on top for 15 straight ratings periods and 23 of the previous 24 but it decreased by -1.1 and dropped to second-place. A gain of three-tenths in “Holiday” 2016 by rhythmic CHR sibling WZMX pulled the plug on four consecutive negative trends that accounted for a loss of nearly three shares (7.5 – 7.4 – 6.2 – 5.9 – 4.8, 6+), but “Hot 93.7” regresses by one-half share to 4.6 (6+, sixth to eighth). Gone from print are Connoisseur Media WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” (#9 in “Holiday” 2016), which was without an increase for the past seven straight sweeps accounting for a -2.6 (6.0 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+) and co-owned talk WDRC-AM (.7, #13 in “Holiday” 2016).
Remembering Alan Colmes
By Mike Kinosian
NEW YORK — Easily accessible and always highly informative, Alan Colmes was an automatic “go-to” guy for a juicy news item quote, long-form industry piece, or as a convention panelist. Quick wit he displayed was rooted in his days as a standup comedian and Alan Colmes was indeed a “standup” individual.
Bright, friendly, and entertaining barely scratch the surface in describing this progressive voice who competed – and succeeded – in a largely conservative talk radio world.
Sadly, that distinctive voice and message was silenced yesterday (Thursday, 2/23) as Colmes died at the age of 66.
Numerous times over the last roughly 30 years, he graciously chatted with me on- and off-the-record. The following is an edited version from my long-form personality profile of Alan when I was Inside Radio’s special features editor.
By Mike Kinosian
Now in his mid-50s, the Lafayette, Indiana native and roughly quarter-of-a-century Madison, Wisconsin broadcaster is an ardent Frank Sinatra devotee.
Profound, palpable influence the “Chairman of the Board” has had on Henck’s present professional path is probably best summarized through a two-word 1969 Paul Anka-penned Sinatra anthem.
KMOX, St. Louis Extends Calhoun and Ackerman. St. Louis heritage news/talk KMOX announces it has signed staffers Michael Calhoun and Tom Ackerman to new, multi-year contracts that include some new duties for both. Calhoun and Ackerman are part of the CBS RADIO station’s “Total Information AM” morning drive program – Calhoun as co-host and news reporter and Ackerman as a personality and the station’s sports director. KMOX program director Steve Moore states, “Tom and Michael are talented personalities who play integral roles at the station. Tom was born and raised in St. Louis so reporting the news and sports in the city he loves is a natural progression for him. Michael is an award-winning field reporter who brings a unique voice to KMOX that instantly connects with listeners.” Ackerman expands his role to serve as co-host of “Total Information AM” alongside Debbie Monterrey and Calhoun. Calhoun adds field and spot news reporting to his responsibilities. Calhoun will also continue to serve as KMOX’s lead reporter on St. Louis’ “Start Up, Entrepreneurs and Innovation” initiatives and continue to host “Nothing Impossible,” a show that informs listeners about how innovators are transforming and revitalizing the St. Louis region.
Grayson Exits KMOX; Headed for Crosstown KTRS? A report by Joe Holleman in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says that Jon Grayson has exited CBS RADIO’s news/talk KMOX where he was hosting the 12:00 midnight to 4:00 am show. Grayson’s “Overnight America” show had been syndicated nationally in a deal with Westwood One but that was shut down at the end of 2016. Now, after 16 years at KMOX, Grayson may be headed across the street to news/talker KTRS. Holleman reports that’s the industry chatter. KTRS reportedly has an opening for the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm show. The station also recently hired former KMOX personality Doug McElvein.
Madison Talk Host Mitch Henck Moves Forward on Digital Platform. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian writes about Madison talk radio personality Mitch Henck – one of a number of personalities cut free with the demise of the progressive talk format on iHeartMedia’s WXXM, Madison last fall. Henck has recently launched the web-based platform MadisonTalks.com, where his program and others continue to provide the market with “outside the box” digital content. Though he was heard on WXXM for years, Henck says his political leanings are not so easily qualified. “I am center-right on economics and more libertarian on social issues. I like splitting hairs and challenging callers to make their argument.” Read the whole story here.
11th Annual ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Radio Row Scheduled for June 28-29. This year’s 11th annual Hold Their Feet to the Fire/Let’s Make America Great Again radio row broadcast will take place on June 28 and 29 at the Phoenix Park Hotel in Washington. The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is again producing the event at which talk hosts from across the country will broadcast live, debating immigration policy while interviewing members of congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists, White House officials and those who live and work along the southern border. FAIR executive director Bob Dane states, “This event has always been about holding our elected leaders accountable and educating the public. In particular, this year, lawmakers must be reminded that Americans strongly support President Trump’s immigration policies. Otherwise, the noise made by vocal special interests – which the mainstream media loves to amplify – will dominate. Talk radio remains the bullhorn of the ‘silent’ majority.” Reservations are required and hosts/producers should contact event manager Cassie Williams at 202-328-7004 or email@example.com to reserve their spot. There is no cost to attend and all technical engineering and expenses are taken care of by FAIR. Congressional guests, activists, high-profile media personalities, and immigration experts will be in attendance and available throughout the event for wall-to-wall interviews with an expected crowd of 60 talk hosts.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Touts AM Revitalization at NABA Symposium. The new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission addressed the attendees at yesterday’s “Future of Radio and Audio” symposium presented by the North American Broadcasters Association. Among the topics he discussed was AM revitalization. He kicked that off by stating, “It’s no secret that many stations in the AM band are struggling. The band’s overall listenership has declined, and advertising revenues along with it. This stems mainly from the band’s technical problems. Every day, it seems harder to get a quality AM signal.” Pai boiled his solution down to the two-pronged approach of making it easier for AM operators to acquire FM translators and encouraging the activation and use of FM chips in smartphones. Regarding FM translators, Pai said AM station owners have complained that it can be difficult finding a location for translators. “That’s why we’ve proposed a new reform that my fellow Commissioners and I will vote on next week. This measure would give AM stations greater flexibility in siting their translators. It’s a small step that would be a big help to AM broadcasters. This year, we also plan to open two new windows in which AM stations that still don’t have an FM translator can apply directly to the FCC to get one authorized. And we’ll keep working on ways to improve signal quality on the AM band and reduce AM broadcasters’ operating costs.” As for FM chips in smartphones, Pai said he’s against mandating those chips be activated – he’s a free-market guy who doesn’t approve of such a heavy-handed approach, and he thinks it’s outside of the FCC’s purview. He noted that in the U.S., “only about 44% of the top-selling smartphones in the United States have activated FM chips, and the percentage is lower in Canada. By comparison, in Mexico that number is about 80%…[but] despite the low numbers, we are seeing progress; in the last two years, the percentage of top-selling smartphones in the United States that have activated FM chips has risen from less than 25% to 44%.”
Andy Pollin Joins WJFK-FM, Washington for Weekends and Fill-Ins. Washington, DC sports talk personality Andy Pollin is no longer a free agent. The market sports media figure was recently set free by Red Zebra’s WTEM “ESPN 908” after almost 25 years at the signal. Now, he’s being heard on CBS RADIO’s crosstown WJFK-FM on weekends and in fill-in situations. The Washington Post reports that Pollin will host a regular Saturday show with (also former WTEM) personality Thom Loverro from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon starting February 25. WJFK-FM program director Chris Kinard tells the Post, “It just gives us more great talent. You can never have enough good people, and to have someone the caliber of Andy Pollin available is a pretty rare thing. He hasn’t been available for 25 years, because he’s done such a good job. So to have someone like that available, we’d be crazy not to work something out with him.”
WQAM, Miami Re-Ups with the Miami Hurricanes. Miami sports talker WQAM inks a new multi-year deal to continue serving as the flagship station for University of Miami football and men’s basketball. Pictured at the contract signing in Coral Gables on Thursday (2/16) are (from l-r): WQAM program director Ryan Maguire, “The Voice of the Hurricanes” Joe Zagacki, WQAM host Curtis Stevenson, Miami football coach Mark Richt, Miami athletic director Blake James, and WQAM host Joe Rose.
Nielsen: 2016 Election Year Good for News Radio. Ratings giant Nielsen issues data – illustrated in the graphic above – showing the rise in listenership to news radio during the 2016 election year. Nielsen notes that just as in the previous election year of 2012, the number of people tuning in to all-news stations, news/talk stations and public radio NPR affiliates spiked, making it the most-listened-to radio format by persons 6+ in PPM markets during 2016.
Allegations of Trump Campaign’s Russia Connections and Michael T. Flynn’s Resignation Top News Talk Stories for Week of February 13-17. The allegations that members of the Trump campaign were in contact with Russian agents prior to Donald Trump’s inauguration and the subsequent resignation of National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn tied for the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 was the Trump travel ban issue and the related Mexican wall matter. Coming in at #3 was President Trump’s contentious relationship with the news media, followed by Andrew Puzder’s withdrawal as nominee for labor secretary at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that Windy City radio programming pro Patty Martin is joining digital platform AccuRadio to program its world music and Celtic channels. He says she’ll also be involved in programming adult rock and adult alternative formats. Martin – who served in the market programming Hubbard’s classic hits WDRV and CBS RADIO’s triple A WXRT – tells Feder, “It’s all the fun of radio programming without the headaches!”…..KSWD, Los Angeles “100.3 The Sound” midday personality “Uncle Joe” Benson signs a new contract to continue with the Entercom classic rock station. Program director Dave Beasing says, “Joe is the best-known and most-loved classic rock DJ in Los Angeles. The reason is simple. He’s literally written the book on classic rock, and he’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.”…..A new Sunday night show dedicated to the women of alternative rock is launching on Cumulus Media’s alternative KCJK, Kansas City “X1015” featuring host Lauren O’Neil…..iHeartMedia Fort Myers announces media personalities Lulu and Lala are joining hot AC WZJZ “Y100.1, 90s to Now” as 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight hosts effective immediately. The station says, “The ‘Y100.1’ night show with Lulu and Lala will feature the dynamic pair’s unique take on pop culture news and fun antics with listeners, along with special celebrity guest interviews and Y100.1’s unique blend of today’s hits and 90’s throwbacks.”
By Mike Kinosian
Uniquely intriguing is an albeit slight paradox present in what some could consider a reasonably simplistic industry concept (“not exactly rocket science”) currently gaining traction that happens to be spearheaded by someone whose voluminous, ultra-impressive roots are in … rocketry.
Situated 11 miles east of Worcester/34 miles west of Boston in Worcester County, Westboro (Massachusetts)-based Backbone Networks proclaims that a Mac and a mic are all one requires for “the only completely integrated radio station service comprising live production, automation, storage, streaming, syndication, live assist, and call-in phone system.”
CBS Radio Signs Jim Rome to Multi-Year Extension. Sports talk personality Jim Rome and CBS Radio have come to terms on a new, multi-year deal. Rome jumped from Premiere Networks back in January of 2013 to be one of the lead talents on the then-new CBS Sports Radio network. CBS Radio EVP of programming Chris Oliviero says Rome was a key ingredient, “The Jim Rome show was the critical building block in the successful launch of CBS Sports Radio four years ago and brought immediate star power and credibility to the network. We now look forward to writing the next chapter together in the storied history of Jim’s show, which has been and continues to be the standard by which all nationally syndicated sports shows are judged.” As part of the deal, a one-hour highlight podcast of Rome’s show will continue to be available via CBS’ Play.it network. He’ll also continue to anchor three editions of the early afternoon broadcast of the network’s flagship feature, the “CBS Sports Minute.”
Philly Sports Talker Signs with WIP-FM. When Philadelphia sports talk radio personality Jon Marks exited Beasley’s crosstown WPEN-AM/FM after 10 years with the station last fall, there was speculation he would land at CBS Radio’s “SportsRadio 94WIP.” Now, that’s a reality as Marks assumes the 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm air shift beginning this evening (2/7). Additionally, Marks will anchor weekday Phillies pre-game and post-game coverage, provide content for CBSPhilly.com and contribute to WIP’s daytime lineup. WIP-FM program director Spike Eskin comments, “Jon’s talent, relationship to Philadelphia sports fans, and history in the marketplace will be a huge addition to WIP. We’re thrilled to have him aboard.” Brian Haddad, who was hosting the evening show, remains with WIP-FM as creative services director.
SRN’s Hugh Hewitt Joins Washington Post as Columnist. Conservative media figure Hugh Hewitt adds another gig – and media outlet – to his resume. The Salem Radio Network talk host is signing on with The Washington Post as a regular opinion columnist. In addition to his daily morning drive show on Salem Radio Network, Hewitt is a regular panelist on “Meet the Press,” is a contributor to NBC News, and teaches constitutional law at Chapman University Law School. WaPo editorial page editor Fred Hiatt comments, “Hugh is one of the most influential and intelligent conservatives in political media, simultaneously thoughtful and provocative. It’s essential to us that we offer readers a range of views, and we’re thrilled that Hugh has agreed to join our diverse team.”
KABC, Los Angeles Adds Tweeden to ‘McIntyre in the Morning’ Show. Radio and television personality Leeann Tweeden was previously heard in the Los Angeles market at iHeartMedia’s sports talk KLAC “AM570 LA Sports” as one half of the “Roggin & Tweeden” show. Now, she joins Cumulus Media’s news/talk KABC as news anchor for the “McIntyre in the Morning” show. KABC operations director Drew Hayes states, “We are delighted to have Leeann sign on as the newest addition to the KABC on-air team. She is not only a bright, high energy, and plugged-in broadcaster, she brings a broad reservoir of life experiences. Leeann is a perfect fit for ‘McIntyre in the Morning’ and the big-personality lineup of News. Talk. Evolved. 790 KABC.” Tweeden’s resume includes time spent as co-host of “UFC Tonight on FOX Sports” and FSN’s “The Best Damn Sports Show Period.” Currently, she makes appearances presenting social and political commentary on FOX News’ “Hannity,” HLN’s “Dr. Drew,” and FOX News’ “Red Eye.”
Comrex to Unveil New Portable Audio IP Codec at NAB 2017. This new portable audio IP codec is called the ACCESS NX, and it’s the latest version available from audio IP transmission leader Comrex. This new unit (pictured at right), builds on the 10-year legacy of the ACCESS Portable. However, this unit adds an audio channel, a larger touch screen, and a digital mixing stage. The five-inch, capacitive touch screen doesn’t require a stylus, which simplifies set up and operation. The ACCESS NX includes a dedicated stereo line input, in addition to a pair of XLR switchable audio inputs. ACCESS NX is compatible with an ACCESS clip-on channel mixer (also pictured at right), a new accessory which adds four mic/line inputs and headphone outputs. Comrex says that the new unit includes CrossLock, the company’s custom reliability layer that enables both powerful error correction and network bonding. CrossLock intelligently monitors network connections and adjusts data allotment in real-time. The features on the ACCESS NX include: Two USB jacks for 3G/4G and Wi-Fi connectivity, Ethernet port, and compatibility with POTS modem (sold separately); two stereo headphone outputs (¼” jacks) with individual controls; digital mixing and headphone busses; digital peak limiting; field-changeable internal lithium battery with built-in charger (5 hours of power); and serial data and four contact closures. Comrex notes that the ACCESS has enabled broadcasters to transmit live programming from war zones, airplanes, bicycles, protests, and natural disasters – “its uniquely portable design has allowed for truly creative programming.”
TALKERS News Notes. WRKO, Boston morning drive personality Doug “VB” Goudie has published a new historical book titled, ACK in Ashes: Nantucket’s Great Fire of 1846. Goudie co-hosts the “Boston.com Morning Show” on the Entercom news/talk outlet with Kim Carrigan. The book tells the story of the July 13, 1846 fire on the island of Nantucket and the challenges the whaling town faced rebuilding after the devastation…..iHeartMedia and partner Advertising Age launch their “Tagline” podcast with season one presenting sponsor Bulleit Frontier Whiskey on board. iHM says, “As the presenting sponsor of “Tagline” season one, Bulleit Frontier Whiskey will work with AdAge and iHeartMedia to craft stories and experiences centered around the cultural frontier. Bulleit and its family of high-rye, award-winning variants will provide inspired cocktails to ‘Tagline’ guests throughout the season and will work with award-winning mixologists to curate cocktails based on each episode’s discussion topic. The premier episode features Jeff Bell, 2013 World Class American Bartender of the Year…..ABC News Radio is presenting a special series titled, “America’s Fentanyl Crisis,” in which senior justice correspondent Pierre Thomas reports on the crisis from New England, ground zero of the Fentanyl epidemic. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic pain killer that has become a popular street drug. During this five-part investigation, Thomas goes inside a Drug Enforcement Administration drug lab, participates in law enforcement ride-alongs, and meets with survivors struggling to stay clean.
Travel Ban Court Battle, DeVos Education Secretary Nomination, O’Reilly vs Putin, Iran Missile Test, Melissa McCarthy’s Sean Spicer Spoof, and Patriots Win Super Bowl LI Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/6). The looming court battle over President Donald Trump’s order stopping travel from seven predominantly Muslim nations; the slim margin of support for Michigan billionaire Betsy DeVos for Education Secretary; the Kremlin’s request for an apology from FOX News for Bill O’Reilly’s calling Vladimir Putin a killer; Iran’s bluster over its recent missile tests and the Trump Administration’s putting it “on notice”; the flap over Melissa McCarthy’s “SNL” performance as Press Secretary Sean Spicer; and the New England Patriots’ comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. At country WUBL, Atlanta “94.9 The Bull,” iHeartMedia names Jeremy “Otis” Maher afternoon drive personality and music director. Otis is psyched about his new gig. He says, “I am so excited to join Brian Michel and the iHeartMedia team on one of the biggest country stations in the nation! I can’t wait to bring a high-energy, ultra-interactive show to The Bull’s listeners.” Most recently, Otis worked as the program director and afternoon host at Alpha Media’s CHR WDJX, Louisville “99.7 DJX.”…..In Colorado Springs, Aaron Zytle exits the program director and afternoon drive personality roles at Bahakel Communications’ KRXP “The Alternative RXP @ 103.9.”…..The weekly, San Diego market Bob Marley program “Brunch With Bob and Friends” is now being heard on alternative XETRA “91X.” The show has been produced in San Diego for the past 13 years and launched on “91X’ on Sunday – what would have been Markey’s 72nd birthday. The show (airing Sundays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon) is hosted by “91X” morning personality Tommy Hough, who created the program in 2004…..CBS Radio CHR WBBM-FM, Chicago “B96” is presenting the “Lectric Leprechaun” EDM show on March 15 at the Aragon Ballroom. The concert will feature Steve Aoki, Krewella, Cash Cash, and Grandtheft…..Beginning Thursday (2/9), Cumulus Media and Westwood One begin presenting an array of special programming, exclusive brand activations, and backstage performances in celebration of the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards. The Westwood One Backstage Live at the GRAMMYS weekend will include live performances from Columbia recording artist and multiple GRAMMY Award-winners Train, Republic recording artist Marian Hill, and Hollywood Records recording artist Ocean Park Standoff. The events take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles Thursday from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET and Friday from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm PT. More than 25 radio stations and Westwood One’s nationally syndicated Zach Sang and Adam Bomb shows will be backstage to capture the action as it happens…..The annual Super Bowl-related battle between Dick Broadcasting air personalities got even crazier this year. Each year WKZL, Greensboro personality (and operations manager) Jason Goodman, a.k.a. “The Littlest Patriot” and WKRR, Greensboro personality Chris Kelly (half of the syndicated “2 Guys Named Chris” program) compete to see whose home will host the biggest and greatest Big Game party. Both jocks spent a small fortune trying to outdo each other. (Check out the billboard Goodman rented to park outside the WKRR studios!) Goodman’s party featured door prizes and Oscar-worthy gift bags, while Kelly invested heavily in a state-of-the-art, surround-sound system. The goal: Win the contest by having more friends and co-workers over than your opponent, thus proving Party Superiority! Goodman was declared winner by acclamation…..The WNNX, Atlanta morning show “Bailey and Southside” is running the “Sucks for Bucks” promotion all this month. The contest is simple: When listeners hear a cast member – Jason Bailey, Southside Steve, Brandi Britain or Digi-Dude Nate – on the show sucking (as in performing poorly), they phone in and call them out on it. If a majority of the cast agrees with the caller, the caller wins $100. WNNX says it has allocated “thousands of dollars” for this month-long promotion.
‘REAL 92.3’ Los Angeles Promotes DJ Carisma to Music Director. Los Angeles DJ and mixer DJ Carisma has been with iHeartMedia’s hip hop KRRL “REAL 92.3” since 2015, serving as live DJ/mixer in afternoon drive and as part of the Saturday night “Young California Radio” collaboration with DJ Amen and Dre Sinatra. Now, she’s been upped to music director and mix show coordinator. She says, “I feel like I was born to be a part of the radio world, and the ‘REAL 92.3’ brand is the perfect fit for me. I’m proud of my radio industry track record, and my promotion to music director is mind blowing. I can’t wait to continue to better serve this station and community by doing what I love.”
PPM Analysis: Hot AC. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of hot AC-formatted stations based on the Holiday 2016 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio. In this report, you can see the (6+) ratings battles between in-market competitors, how stations compared to their performances in the December PPM survey, as well as how they performed compared to the Holiday 2015 PPM survey. See it all here.
By Mike Kinosian
LOS ANGELES — Aside from an admittedly significant asterisk, the Boston Red Sox from 1939 to 1988 (and about one-third of 1989) utilized just three leftfielders – Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, and Jim Rice. The fine print, of course, would exclude several years of Williams’ military service in both the second World War and the Korean War.
Trades have always been omnipresent in sports with the biggest superstars not exempt. Consider the long-circulated rumor, for instance, that the Red Sox and Yankees contemplated a Ted Williams-Joe DiMaggio deal. Years earlier, the two rival organizations were involved with the historic transaction that moved the contract of “The Bambino” himself, Babe Ruth, from Beantown.
Owing to free agency though, it is increasingly rare to see ballplayers such as “The Splendid Splinter” Williams, “Yaz,” and Rice (all Hall of Famers) spend their entire career with the same team.
On the flipside, broadcasting is notorious for having talent bounce around from place to place with non-compete clauses, if applicable, the lone – albeit temporary – barrier.
With several more fulltime national sports radio networks on the scene, we have recently witnessed monumental free agent shifts on that level, including Jim Rome and Dan Patrick exiting ESPN to CBS Sports Radio and FOX Sports Radio, respectively.
CBS RADIO to Merge with Entercom; Move Creates 244-Station Company, Second Largest Based on Revenue. The rumors of a CBS Radio–Entercom merger turn out to be true as the two firms announce a stunning deal to make Entercom the second largest radio company – based on revenue – in the nation with 244 Stations, including 23 of the top 25 markets. CBS Corp’s plans for spinning off the radio division via an IPO never really took off, probably due to the fact that radio is not viewed by investors as a growth industry. This merger will be tax free for CBS as it’s being accomplished through a Reverse Morris Trust. Here’s how it will work: CBS shareholders will have the opportunity to exchange all, some, or none of their CBS shares for CBS Radio shares. Immediately following the completion of this exchange offer, CBS Radio will merge with an Entercom subsidiary, with the new CBS Radio shareholders receiving Entercom shares in exchange for their CBS Radio shares in the transaction. After completion of the merger, CBS Radio shareholders will receive approximately 105 million Entercom shares, or 72% of all outstanding shares of the combined company on a fully diluted basis. Existing Entercom shareholders will own 28% of the combined company on a fully diluted basis. The big question for CBS Radio staffers at the corporate level is how this merger – expected to close sometime during the second half of this year – affects their positions. Obviously, there will be redundancy at the corporate level, but how Entercom will ultimately choose to organize its corporate staff remains to be seen. Media consultant Holland Cooke monitored this morning’s investors conference call during which Entercom president and CEO David Field stated that the company expects to realize “$25 million in synergies [cost cuts] within 12-18 months,” mostly in corporate administration. Field noted that there will be 15 divestitures in markets where CBS and Entercom together own more stations than permitted under the FCC ownership cap. As for the news/talk and all-news stations soon to be owned by Entercom, Field called them “trusted pillars of their local communities” and “seven of the most-trusted all-news stations in the U.S.” He referred to the local, on-air talk talent as “major influencers with strong connections to their audiences.” From today’s press release we know that Andre Fernandez will remain president of CBS Radio through the closing. The presser also stated that the combined company will be known as Entercom and will be headquartered in Philadelphia, “with a significant ongoing presence in New York.” Upon closing, the company’s Board of Directors will consist of nine members: five current Entercom directors, including David Field as Chairman of the Board, and four directors nominated by CBS Radio. Entercom president and CEO Field states, “These two great companies, with their impressive histories, complementary assets, and premier content and brands, are a perfect strategic and cultural fit, enabling us to deliver local connection on a national scale and drive accelerated growth. We look forward to welcoming our talented new colleagues at CBS Radio, and we have the utmost respect for their significant contributions to the industry. Radio reaches more Americans than any other medium, and offers advertisers outstanding ROI and local activation. This transformational transaction creates scale-driven efficiencies and opportunities to compete more effectively with other media to better serve our listeners and our advertisers. The combination of a compelling strategic fit, an excellent balance sheet, and robust free cash flow generation, position us to create significant shareholder value for our investors.”
Cumulus Names Brian Joyce PM Drive Host at ‘NewsRadio 106.7’ in Atlanta. Beginning Monday, February 13, talk radio personality Brian Joyce will begin hosting the afternoon talk show on Cumulus Media’s WYAY, Atlanta “NewsRadio 106.7.” Joyce is currently the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm host at the company’s WGOW, Chattanooga “Talk Radio 102.3.” He will continue in that role as well. It’s unclear if Joyce will move to Atlanta or remain in Chattanooga and do the WYAY show from there. The current afternoon show is “Atlanta News” featuring news pro Cheryl Castro and station program director Greg Tantum. It’s unclear if Castro will remain with the new show. Cumulus Media Atlanta vice president and market manager Sean Shannon states, “We live in a world where dialogue on matters of substance has become increasingly difficult, with politically slanted news/talk outlets and social media platforms that feed consumers with stories that confirm their existing political belief systems. ‘NewsRadio 106.7’ breaks that confounding and polarizing mold. We are committed to delivering a forum ruled not by any agenda or by an algorithm, but by the unique value we can create for our listeners. We present multiple sides of the story when we’re delivering the news, ensuring we both inform existing opinions and provoke opposing opinions on every side of the story. In the process, we create a rare media experience facilitating respectful and spirited discourse where there is as much value in listening as there is in talking.” Speaking about this new position, Joyce says, “I’m looking forward to joining [hosts] Shannon [Burke], Kimmer and the rest of the team at ‘NewsRadio 106.7!’ These guys have built a unique and entertaining lineup for the listeners of Atlanta, and it’s my hope that my show will continue to build on the great programming and strong ratings they’re known for.”
CNN Dips into a Slice of Conservative Talk Radio to Get a Read on Caller Opinion About Trump Moves. Last night’s installment of CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” presented a string of listener calls on WPHT, Philadelphia talk host Dom Giordano’s show presenting an array of opinions about Donald Trump’s moves as president focusing on the role of key strategist Stephen K. Bannon. To view the segment, please click here.
Stephanie Miller Show Joins WMLB, Atlanta. WMLB, Atlanta is owned by JW Broadcasting, airs a variety format and is branded “AM 1690 The Voice of the Arts.” Beginning February 20, the WYM Media Management-syndicated Stephanie Miller show begins airing from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon. Miller’s program aired on the station in the past when it was an Air America affiliate. WMLB general manager Jeff Davis comments, “Given recent events, the timing is perfect for a progressive voice on Atlanta radio. We’re thrilled to have a recognized professional who’s built a reputation for standing up for liberal causes.” On a related note, Stephanie Miller is preparing to embark on her second consecutive year touring as the headline of the Stephanie Miller Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour. The 2017 tour is titled, “The Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour.”
Cody Welling to Lead Cumulus Media’s Shreveport Cluster. This move takes sales and management pro Cody Welling from Cumulus Media’s Toledo cluster where he’s been serving as director of sales to the company’s Shreveport, Louisiana station group consisting of sports talk KRMD-AM/K264AS “The Ticket,” hip hop KMJJ, CHR KQHN “i97.3,” urban contemporary KVMA “Magic 102.9,” and country KRMD-FM. Cumulus regional vice president Mark Sullivan says, “This is a terrific move for the company and for Cody. Cody’s strong track record of success and dynamic management style are already paying dividends in Shreveport and I look forward to his success and professional growth as our VP/market manager.”
TALKERS News Notes. This year’s 5th annual “Larry Richert Honors our Hometown Heroes,” presented by the KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh morning drive personality, takes place on Thursday, March 2, at the Lexus Club at PPG Paints Arena. Each year, the event honors five individuals who are giving back to the local community in extraordinary ways. The keynote address will be presented by CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garrett. This is Garrett’s second appearance at “Larry’s Heroes.” In 2015, Garrett was scheduled to appear but a late winter storm kept him in Washington, D.C. Instead, he addressed attendees via video from the snow-covered White House lawn. Richert states, “It’s our fifth year to shine the spotlight on ordinary individuals in the community doing extraordinary things. This year’s edition may be one of our strongest collections of heroes assembled. Their contributions to our community are awe inspiring.”…..This is the fourth consecutive year that Westwood One is presenting the Westwood One Sports Sound Awards in which it challenges its advertisers to push their creative boundaries to create the best commercials to air during its Super Bowl LI broadcast. WW1 is driving fans and a panel of advertising professionals to TheSoundAwards.com to vote for their favorite ads, all leading up to the big reveal of the top five the day after Super Sunday. Voting runs through Monday, February 6…..WIP-FM, Philadelphia’s Wing Bowl 25 gets underway tomorrow (2/3) at 6:00 am at the Wells Fargo Center and will feature an appearance by special guests professional wrestler Ric Flair and Grammy Award-winning artist Coolio. Wing Bowl 25’s “Legends Division” (with legendary Wing Bowl eaters returning from the past) will feature a head-to-head competition between five-time champ El Wingador and two-time champ Molly Schuyler for a prize of $5000. National recording artist and retired Navy Petty Officer First Class Generald Wilson will perform the National Anthem. WIP morning show host Al Morganti, who co-founded Wing Bowl 25 years ago with radio partner Angelo Cataldi says, “Trust me. Just be here. That’s all I can say. Be here.”
Gorsuch SCOTUS Nomination, DeVos Nomination Status, Tillerson New Secretary of State, Iran Missile Test, Beyonce Pregnancy Pic, and Super Bowl LI Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/1). President Donald Trump’s nomination of U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court and speculation about how Democrats will handle it; two senators announce they will not support Betsy DeVos for Education Secretary, possibly endangering her chances of assuming the post; Rex Tillerson is confirmed and sworn in as the new Secretary of State; the U.S. puts Iran “on notice” for its latest missile test; Beyonce posts a nude photo of herself to announce she’s pregnant with twins; and the build-up to Super Bowl LI were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Tucson.com reports that Tucson market radio pro Bobby Rich was let got from his afternoon drive gig with Scripps Broadcasting’s hot AC KMXZ “94.9 MIXfm.” Rich posted a Facebook message explaining that he “made a big mistake and said something I should not have said. Even though I regret it and apologized, I own it, and now it becomes necessary for my association with ‘MIXfm’ and Scripps Tucson to conclude.” Rich would not elaborate on what he said – or in what context…..Curtis Media Group brings Jud Heussler aboard to program CHR simulcast “Pulse FM” – WWPL, Goldsboro/WPLW, Hillsboro, North Carolina (Raleigh-Durham market). Heussler has been with Entercom’s Bufflo CHR WKSE “KISS 98.5” serving as APD, music director and afternoon personality…..In the Corpus Christi, Texas market Convergent Broadcasting II, LLC announces its intent to sell CHR KKPN, classic rock KPUS, and classic hits KAJE to ICA Radio Ltd. for a sum yet to be announced…..iHeartMedia’s urban contemporary WKKV, Milwaukee “V100.7” is presenting the 6th Annual Family Affair Expo on Saturday, March 11at The Wisconsin Center. The event will feature local exhibitors in the areas of health & wellness, finance, education, small business, and recruitment to help make a positive impact on Milwaukee families. Station PD Bailey Coleman says, “I love our Family Affair Expo because it’s fun and free, plus it brings our listeners together with the resources their families need to succeed.”
NOW PLAYING: A Video Tribute to Herb Oscar Anderson. “Radio’s Best Friend” Art Vuolo produced a wonderful tribute to the recently departed New York City radio legend Herb Oscar Anderson, who died on Saturday (1/28) in Bennington, Vermont. Anderson was a radio performer who cut his teeth in the big band era but transitioned to rock ‘n’ roll radio in the 1950s. He worked at WABC during the late 1950s and 1960s – leaving in 1968. He most recently hosted a standards show on WOSC, Vero Beach, Florida. View Vuolo’s video tribute in the Talkers TV box in the upper right-hand of this main page.
Report: ESPN to Break Up ‘Mike & Mike.’ According to a report in SI.com by Richard Deitsch – and picked up by numerous other news outlets – ESPN is moving ahead with plans to move Mike Greenberg from the ESPN Radio morning show he’s co-hosted with Mike Golic since 1998 and place him at the helm of the new morning show on cable TV’s ESPN. If true, what the sports giant does with the longtime – and reportedly revenue-producing – morning show includes a couple of options. Deitsch’s piece speculates that the odds-on candidate to move to mornings is current ESPN personality Trey Wingo. He could partner with Golic or – if Golic is not retained – head up a new morning show. Golic’s son, Mike Golic Jr., is a staffer with ESPN and it’s being reported that Golic Jr. could join a re-tooled version of the morning program. Deitsch reports that it’s not known when these moves will happen but his sources say the changes will happen sooner rather than later. Read the SI.com piece here.
WYM Media to Syndicate Devil’s Advocates Radio. The Devil’s Advocates Radio Show – co-hosted by Dominic Salvia and Mike Crute formerly aired on iHeartRadio’s progressive talk WXXM, Madison “Mic 92.1” prior to the station’s format flip late last year. Now, the issues talk show is going into national syndication via WYM Media with distribution by Westwood One. WYM says the show is launching on 16 affiliates in the Northeastern, Midwest, West, and Southwestern, as well as on the Armed Forces Radio Network. It airs live from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET. WYM adds, “The Devil’s will take their show back on the road, broadcasting events and protests from Donald Trump’s Inauguration week in Washington D.C. January 18-20. Additionally, the Devil’s will provide an anchored livestream from the Women’s March on Washington, on Saturday January 21.” The Devil’s Advocates is an independent production of DC Communication, LLC, based in Wisconsin.
Four New Shows to Launch on ‘Forbes on PodcastOne.’ Building on the recent partnership with the Norm Pattiz-founded digital platform PodcastOne, Forbes Media is preparing to debut four new podcasts on the “Forbes on PodcastOne” network. The new shows are: “The Forbes Interview,” “Forbes Under 30,” “Forbes Lists” and “Forbes Sports Money,” and will launch this month and next. Forbes Media chief product officer Lewis D’Vorkin says, “Our focus this year is about taking Forbes content off domain and monetizing those experiences. Podcasts represent yet another avenue for us to diversify our revenue streams.” PodcastOne executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “Forbes’ initial conversation podcast will feature Adam Carolla, the most downloaded podcaster of all time, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Adam will discuss his own personal journey, the building of Carolla Digital, and a lot of other extremely interesting things from questions put forth by ‘The Forbes Interview’ podcast host, Steve Bertoni. Future shows will include leaders from business, technology, entertainment and sports – the kinds of people that you would likely see on the cover of Forbes. We couldn’t be more excited about this partnership.”
Ryan Wrecker Exits WOWO, Fort Wayne. Fort Wayne’s Federated Media makes changes in the management structure at heritage news/talk WOWO and program director Ryan Wrecker exits after more than four years at the programming helm. During his time at WOWO, Wrecker was instrumental in creating the station’s podcast platform. WOWO won a Marconi Award from the National Association of Broadcasters in 2014.
Trump Press Conference Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 9-13, 2017. President-Elect Donald Trump’s first press conference after winning the November election was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 was the allegations of Russia’s hacking the DNC emails tied with the Trump ‘dossier’ purported to detail his bizarre sexual behavior while visiting Moscow. Coming in at #3 was the Trump cabinet nominee hearings, followed by the Justice Department’s announcement it would investigate its own and the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email server matter at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.
WNDB, Daytona Beach’s Marc Bernier Hosts FOX News’ Brett Baier at Embry-Riddle. Pictured above are FOX News Channel personality Brett Baier (left) and WNDB, Daytona Beach talk show host Marc Bernier (right) at the more recent installment of the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Speaker Series. Bernier serves as the director for the series. At the event, Baier conducted his nightly “Fox Report” from the school’s campus before sitting down for a town hall-style interview with Bernier.
Michael Harrison and Sid Rosenberg Talk About Sports, News/Talk, Radio, Personal Demons, Redemption and Life. In a powerfully candid conversation, WABC, New York mid-morning co-host Sid Rosenberg is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” For the past year, Rosenberg has been successfully co-hosting the station’s 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program with his old friend, Don Imus show executive producer, Bernard McGuirk. The daily news/talk program, “The Bernie and Sid Show,” has done so well in attracting an audience and creating positive buzz in its first 11 months that WABC has just expanded it by an hour to a 9:00 am start. Rosenberg came up through the ranks of NYC and South Florida sports talk radio, recently making the transition to news/talk – although he still serves as a sports commentator on the Imus show that precedes the mid-morning program. Rosenberg has a colorful track record of landing big jobs based on his sheer talent and enthusiasm…and then losing them due to highly-publicized issues he’s faced battling personal demons. It seems that Rosenberg has gained control over these problems and as Harrison puts it, “is on a healthy track to redemption and success.” Harrison continues, “Sid Rosenberg is one of the most authentic, vibrant and ‘human’ radio personalities on the air today. He exudes infectious energy and captures the very essence of being a New Yorker – thus contributing greatly to WABC’s local flavor. What a great radio story! I’m rooting for him to stay on his present path and go all the way.” To listen to the entire podcast in its entirety, please click here or click the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
Legendary Louisville Talk Host Milton Metz Dies at 95. The Louisville Courier-Journal writes in its obituary for Milton Metz that, according to former WHAS colleague Wayne Perkey, Metz was “a role model and father figure for a younger generation of broadcasters” that included himself, Terry Meiners, and Jack Fox. Metz began his lengthy career on WHAS in 1959 and the “Juniper 5-2385” show (named after the phone number) ran until 1993. His son, Perry Metz, is quoted saying, “If civility is old-fashioned, you could say he was old-fashioned.” Read the Courier-Journal obit here.
Odds & Sods. In the Hickory, North Carolina market, Long Communications adds an FM translator to the signal of news/talk WHKY. The station’s programming is now also heard on W272DU at 102.3 FM…..SiriusXM is announcing that in the lead-up to next month’s Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, it will broadcast a special series titled, “The Road to CPAC 2017” with hosts Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, and his wife Mercedes Schlapp, columnist and FOX News contributor on its Patriot Channel. The inaugural show will feature the Schlapps in conversation with Steve Bannon, senior counselor to President-elect Trump and former host of “Breitbart News Daily” on SiriusXM.
Cool SoCal Talk Gig. This position is in Los Angeles. Conservative SoCal fast growing blowtorch KRLA and KTIE are looking for ‘Morning Answer’ replacement for exiting Ben Shapiro. Must be a conservative for this particular slot on the morning show. Knowledge of politics/news/events required. Talk radio experience preferred but not required. Must be able to peacefully co-exist with other ‘Morning Answer’ show members. If you’re not interested in being part of a team environment, please look elsewhere. The “Morning Answer” focuses on today’s highest interest news and events, and the hosts opinions and commentary. It’s a fast-paced and generally upbeat take on mornings in Los Angeles. Now’s a great time for conservative radio…help us ride the wave and reflect the sentiment that ushered in unprecedented political change. Materials to: firstname.lastname@example.org. EOE.
‘Bootleg Kev’ Named Night Jock at ‘LIVE 101.5’ in Phoenix. Air personality Kevin Ratliff, a.k.a. “Bootleg Kev,” is named the new evening personality on CBS RADIO’s Phoenix CHR KALV “LIVE 101.5.” Phoenix vice president of programming Tim Richards states, “Kev is a radio vet and an incredible personality who brings a breadth of experience to ‘LIVE 101.5.’ He is a hometown guy who was born and raised in Phoenix – he knows the market and what our listeners want. We are excited to have him join the ‘LIVE 101.5’ family.”
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. The Hibbing, Minnesota country outlet KGPZ – owned by Midwest Communications – adopts the Envision Networks and Kroeger Media classic country format “DUKE FM” and takes on the brand “96.1 DUKE FM.”…..In San Diego, 23-year “Jeff & The Showgram” staffer Randy Hoag announces via Facebook that he’s been let go by the CBS RADIO hot AC KYXY…..Triple A KMMS, Bozeman, Montana brand manager Michelle Wolfe announces she’s leaving the Townsquare Media station to take time off from her career to pursue personal goals…..Cumulus Media Charleston, South Carolina parts ways with programmer Terry Base, who’s been with the company for the past 19 years. He served as PD for hip hop WWWZ “93Jamz,” and urban adult contemporary WMGL “Magic 107.3.”
Ed Sheeran Visits with CBS RADIO New York. Pictured above with artist Ed Sheeran (right) is CBS RADIO SVP of programming Jim Ryan (left). Sheeran appeared at CBS RADIO New York’s Adorama Live Theatre to chat WNEW-FM and WBMP-FM hosts about his new album, Divide. Sheeran spoke with “Fresh 102.7” morning show hosts Jeffrey Jameson and Karen Carson and “92.3 AMP Radio” personalities Shoboy and Nina. Photo: CBS RADIO New York.
Attention is currency. So short sentences rock. And sentence fragments. See?
On a normal day in Las Vegas (oxymoron), it’s already a wall of enticements:
- “100X odds craps!”
- A rib joint touts “The Best Rack on The Strip!”
- Guy Fieri’s restaurant serves up “In Your Face Food & Booze.”
- “Fire a Machine Gun!”
- “Girls! Girls! Girls!”
Now, fly-in 165,000 of us, for-whose-attention 20,000 new products compete, and you’re in the graduate school of messaging. Yours will drown in the din unless it’s “SQUIRREL!”
Radio has never had more competition for listeners’ attention, and advertisers’ do-re-mi.
So, as I navigate a Las Vegas Convention Center the size of FIFTY football fields, I am struck by how well exhibitors distill their messages, something radio hosts and commercial and promo copy should strive to do.
- BACtrack is “The World’s First Wearable Alcohol Monitor.”
- Mevo, The Live Event Camera, enables you to “Edit on the fly. Stream live or share later.”
- ThinOptics assures that you will “never be without your reading glasses again.” Their “stick anywhere, go everywhere” sleeve adheres to the back of your smartphone.
- Rem-Fit’s Zeeq Smart Pillow “Streams Music, Stops Snoring, Analyzes Sleep.”
- You’re “always connected, never apart” with Petcube’s “interactive cameras bringing pets and people closer than ever.”
- Tablo is “The DVR for Cord Cutters.”
- Assure Lock by Yale lets you “Lose your keys for good;” and “Answer your door. Anywhere. Anytime.”
- MightyPURSE “charges your phone.”
- Without a live demonstration in the booth, we’ll take Willow’s word that their “wearable breast pump” has “no external tubes, cords, or dangling bottles.”
Get the picture? Yes, we see.
“Make America Great Again.”
We just elected a most unlikely president whose gift of brevity plays Twitter like a Stradivarius. “Drain the swamp,” “Crooked Hillary,” “Jeb Bush is weak,” “Little Marco,” “Build a wall, and Mexico will pay for it,” and other bumpersticker-length catch-phrases were utterly digestible. Is your message?
Holland Cooke (www.HollandCooke.com) is a media consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet, and he covers industry conferences for Talkers. Follow him on Twitter @HollandCooke; and look for his new TalkersTV video “Choose Your Words Carefully” next week at Talkers.com
SiriusXM Ends 2016 with More Than 31.3 Million Subscribers. Satellite broadcaster SiriusXM will release its 2016 fourth quarter financials early next month, but it announced yesterday that it beat its guidance on net subscriber additions by adding more than 1.7 million during the year to pass the 31.3 million mark. It also says it expects to meet or exceed its 2016 guidance for revenue, adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow. CEO Jim Meyer comments, “We continue to make substantial investments in new products, content and technologies, including investments in new satellites, our next-generation 360L platform, wideband chipsets, and new marketing capabilities. In 2017, we expect to continue our never-ending focus on bringing our customers the best content bundle available, and our strong record of delivering cost-effective growth and returning substantial capital to stockholders through stock buybacks and our recently introduced dividend.” SiriusXM also issued 2017 guidance for self-pay net subscriber additions (1.3 million), revenue ($5.3 billion), adjusted EBITDA ($2.025 billion) and free cash flow ($1.5 billion).
PodcastOne Debuts Laila Ali Show. Women’s boxing champ Laila Ali is launching a new show called “Laila Ali Lifestyle” on the PodcastOne platform. The daughter of the late boxing legend Muhammad Ali joins the Norm Pattiz-founded entertainment company to offer a show in which fans can join Ali “on her journey to holistic greatness, as she balances mind, body and soul, and shares her passion for helping people achieve their personal best in every aspect of life.” She will invite guests to appear each week, with new episodes every Thursday. Pattiz comments, “We’re happy to have someone of Laila’s esteem, experience and class on our network. She’s a legend in her own right, and it will be great for fans to see a different side of her through the podcast.”
Chris Mack to Host Pirates Pre-and Post-Game Shows. At CBS RADIO’s Pittsburgh sports talker KDKA-FM “Sports Radio 93-7 The Fan,” station personality Chris Mack will begin hosting the pre and post-game shows for Pittsburgh Pirates baseball beginning in the spring. Mack currently hosts the station’s weekly “Bucco Talk” program in addition to a number of shows. Jack Zduriencik, a former Pirates director of scouting and former Seattle Mariners general manager will work alongside Mack during the shows. ‘Fan’ program director Jim Graci comments, “Chris is a seasoned talk show host and well versed in the Pittsburgh sports scene. Elevating him to host our pre- and post-Pirates game broadcasts was a natural progression for him, ‘The Fan’ and our scores of loyal listeners. We’re excited to have Chris take on this expanded role and look forward to his color commentary and analysis this spring.”
Russian Hacking Controversy Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of January 2-6. The debate in Washington over whether Vladimir Putin’s Russia is responsible for hacking the DNC’s email was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was President Obama’s lame duck actions. Coming in at #3 was the GOP’s strategy to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, followed by the Chicago Facebook torture case at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.
Beasley’s WBRN, Tampa Goes AC; Chadd & Kristi Thomas Named Morning Hosts. The former “Bubba Radio Network”-branded rock station ditched that moniker last year and transitioned to the “No Rules Rock!” brand. Then, late last year, Beasley Media Group dropped the Bubba the Love Sponge show in anticipation of a format change. Yesterday, the company unveiled the new adult contemporary format for WBRN and its new brand “The New B98.7.” After a 10,000 songs-in-a-row launch, the station will feature Chadd and Kristi Thomas as its morning team, beginning Monday, February 6. The duo is well known in the market after years on Cox Media Group’s crosstown AC WWRM “Magic 94.9.” Kristi Thomas says, “Chadd and I are absolutely delighted to be part of creating a new radio station! We are excited about our new home for our special brand of radio in Tampa Bay, which is a place we cherish and where we have chosen to raise our family!” Beasley EVP of programming Justin Chase adds, “For nearly two decades, Chadd & Kristi have developed a deep relationship with the Tampa listening audience and we are thrilled they decided to join us in the process of building a new and great AC brand in the market.”
Johnnie D. Upped to PD of WGCI, Chicago. In Chicago, iHeartMedia promotes WGCI and WVAZ assistant program director Johnnie D. to program director for WGCI. iHeartMedia Chicago director of urban programming Derrick Brown says, “Johnnie has made a significant impact since joining WGCI in 2015. His passion and vision for our brand has enhanced our signature concert events like Big Jam and Summer Jam, plus his work in helping launch the city’s only live-and-local urban morning show has made the ‘Chicago Morning Takeover’ a dominant force in the market. It’s a pleasure to recognize Johnnie’s hard work with this promotion and it certainly comes with great expectations as he manages all facets of the 107.5 WGCI-FM brand.”
Radio One Jumps on CHR Opportunity in Houston. With CBS RADIO’s move away from CHR on KKHH to adult hits, Radio One’s only other CHR competition for KROI “92.1 RADIO NOW” will be Cumulus Media’s KRBE. A format change for KROI was not unexpected after Radio One CEO Alfred Liggins recently commented that classic hip hop and R&B is not a “sustainable format.” The station is being programmed by cluster operations manager Terri Thomas, who says, “The ‘New 92.1 Radio Now’ will reflect emerging music, trends and culture for the NOW generation of 18-34 year old millennials here in Houston.” Radio One senior vice president of programming Jay Stevens adds, “We’re excited about this opportunity to bring a fresh innovative approach to top 40 radio in H-Town.”
KBAY, San Jose Names Bruce Scott Morning Host. Former KOST, Los Angeles personality Bruce Scott joins Alpha Media as morning drive host for classic hits KBAY, San Jose, effective January 17. Alpha Media VP of programming and “Bay FM” program director Ronnie Stanton states, “It’s very exciting to add Bruce to the refreshed sound of ‘Bay FM.’ He brings years of experience and a great radio brain to create an upbeat and fun morning show with the greatest hits of all time for the Bay Area.”
WJR, Detroit Brings Motor City Broadcast Pro Guy Gordon Aboard for New Talk Show. Longtime market television journalist Guy Gordon will debut a new talk show on Cumulus Media’s WJR, Detroit from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm beginning January 3. Cumulus notes that Gordon has been a fixture on Detroit television news for more than 30 years and was recognized with two Emmy Awards for Best Anchor and six Emmy Awards for Best Writing, Reporting, and Documentary. Cumulus Detroit VP/market manager Tom O’Brien states, “We are thrilled to have a media professional of Guy’s caliber join the WJR team and to kick off 2017 with this vibrant new program. Guy has covered many of the biggest stories affecting Metro Detroit and its residents over the past three decades and has experienced the triumphs and challenges of our great city from a truly unique perspective and vantage point. WJR listeners will be captivated by what is sure to be a lively and provocative two hours with Guy and his guests each weekday afternoon.” Gordon’s show replaces “The Savage Nation” with Michael Savage.
WTMJ, Milwaukee Announces New Year Lineup. With the New Year come changes at E.W. Scripps’ news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee. With the retirement from radio of longtime WTMJ personality Charlie Sykes, the station moves midday personality Jeff Wagner to the 8:30 am to 12:00 noon daypart. Hosting the “WTMJ Today” show from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm on an interim basis will be WTMJ alumnus John Jagler, who is now serving as a Representative for Wisconsin’s 37th State Assembly District. Previously, Jagler co-hosted “Wisconsin’s Morning News” with Gene Mueller until 2010. Jagler will work on air with WTMJ’s Erik Bilstad.
‘Brock & Salk’ Show to Air on Alpha Media’s KXTG-AM, Portland. The KIRO-AM, Seattle-based sports talk show “Brock & Salk” – featuring Brock Huard and Mike Salk – is branching out to another Northwest market as the show begins a run on Alpha Media’s Portland sports talker KXTG-AM “750/102.9 The Game,” effective Monday, January 2. The show will air from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon and lead into KXTG’s “The Bald-Faced Truth with John Canzano.” Dave Pridemore, who manages KIRO-AM “710 ESPN” for owner Bonneville International, comments, “We are excited to expand our Seattle Sports Radio Network into the greater Portland area.”
Cumulus Pays Bonuses to Execs John Abbot and Richard Denning. Two of Cumulus Media’s executives have received one-time bonuses, according to a filing with the SEC. The Cumulus board of directors approved one-time, discretionary bonuses for EVP, treasurer and CFO John Abbot ($421875) and SVP and secretary and general counsel Richard Denning ($165,000). The filing notes that the bonuses are for “exceptional efforts and contributions made by those executive officers during 2016, both individually and as members of the management leadership team, in the initial phase of the company’s operational turnaround plan and ongoing operational and financial restructuring.”
Nielsen Audio Releases Round Two of December 2016 PPM Data. The second of four rounds of December 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. The December 2016 survey period covered November 3-30. You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here. Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.
‘Dogma Debate’ Launches on PodcastOne. The popular podcast produced by author and media figure David Smalley is joining the offerings at PodcastOne. “Dogma Debate” is described by Smalley as “fast-paced with a liberal slant…featuring discussion and debate on topics like atheism, science, politics and civil rights” and “priding itself on respectful debates, the show will make you laugh, cry and, most importantly, think, as you dive into taboo territory with Smalley and his guests each week.” Smalley comments, “For years, I’ve been aware of the quality and growth Norm Pattiz delivers, so I’m very excited about the future possibilities ‘Dogma Debate’ can have with PodcastOne.”
‘The Union Edge’ Talk Show Partners with the League of Women Voters. The nationally syndicated labor-oriented radio talk show “The Union Edge” announces a new partnership with the League of Women Voters that will mean League leaders will participating in regular radio segments to discuss voting rights, public policy issues and advocacy. Program host Charles Showalter says, “We are excited to partner with the League of Women Voters for their strong commitment to voter engagement, voter protection and education. Union members are Democrats, Republicans and Independents; all should have the unimpeded chance to vote their conscience. As a non-partisan organization, the League always brings a fresh perspective on the critical issues facing working people across the country.”
Talk Personality Rob Carson Building Digital Platform. Since recently exiting Cumulus Media’s KCMO, Kansas City, radio personality Rob Carson has been building his own digital platform for his various projects based out of his new home-based broadcast studio. He tells TALKERS that in addition to his digital content, he’s doing talk radio fill-in work (he’ll be on WTMJ, Milwaukee and WLS-AM, Chicago next week). “I now have a fully functional broadcast studio in my home. Since leaving KCMO a month ago, I was able to crowd-fund a new studio, complete with a Comrex Bric II. I have built a podcast and am working on a one-stop website for my podcasts, syndicated comedy, social media and dozens of comedy/lifestyle/cooking videos. As things grow, I’ve already started to talk to food processors and distributors about food products of my design to sell in stores and over the air.” Check out some of his cooking videos here.
Odds & Sods. January’s East-West Shrine Game – the nation’s longest-running college all-star football game – is airing on more than 100 stations via SB Nation Radio. Program director and COO Craig Larson states, “It’s a great honor to air the East-West Shrine game on SB Nation Radio. I have long supported the amazing work of Shriners Hospitals. This is a wonderful opportunity to spotlight many outstanding student-athletes and a tremendous organization.”…..One of the busiest talk radio hosts in America is at it again. WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive personality Simon Conway will host that show, his regular morning show on WMT, Cedar Rapids as well as subbing in morning drive on iHeartMedia sister station WFLF, Orlando today (12/21) through Friday…..The GCN nationally syndicated Dr. Daliah Wachs show is added to the program schedule at D.J. Broadcasting’s WKDE, Altavista, Virginia…..Sports media personalities Woody Paige and Jay Mariotti are launching a daily, 30-minute podcast titled, “Unmuted: The Daily Sports Podcast.” Paige and Mariotti are well known for their work on ESPN’s “Around The Horn” program.
Trump Transition, Obama Drilling Ban, Berlin Terror Attack, Russian Diplomat Assassination Aftermath, U.S. Embassy in Israel Move, Pulse Victims’ Families Sue Social Media, and NFL Pro Bowl Players Announced Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/20). The transition of the Trump Administration and President-Elect Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees; President Obama issues order banning drilling in Arctic and Atlantic Oceans; the search for the person responsible for the deadly truck attack in Berlin; the assassination of Russian diplomat Sergey Lavrov in Ankara and its effect on international relations; controversy over the Trump plan to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; the planned suit against Facebook, Twitter and Google by families of the victims of The Pulse nightclub massacre; and the announcement of the NFL’s 2016 Pro Bowl players were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
BRADENTON, Fla. — Some years ago there was a popular TV sitcom about funny doings at a radio station. It was called “WKRP in Cincinnati” and was created and written by a radio guy. So it had a pretty good handle on the internal goings on. The series pops up now and then on one of those old-show cable stations.
The characters included a grumpy general manager, a beleaguered program manager, a sexy receptionist, a nerdy news director, a couple of on-the-air personalities and a wacky salesman. I’d like to focus on the salesman. Not only was he way-off-the-wall, but he wore loud, mismatched clothing – shirt, tie, sports jacket and ill-fitting pants, and he didn’t seem to understand fully what was happening at his radio station.
By Holland Cooke
Internet-based innovation is disrupting every legacy industry.
Ask an insurance agent or travel agent or stock broker or bookstore owner, if you can find one. Or the record labels or TV networks or cable companies. Or stores. This year, Black Friday happened on smartphones. Most AM/FM broadcast hours are now automated.
In today’s Gig Economy, the cabbies’ cartel was ripe for disruption. Now, hacks who haven’t yet defected to Uber (or Lyft) give you an earful. NOT making this up: As a New York cabbie crabbed that “there are 11,000 taxi drivers in the city and 14,000 Uber drivers!” an ad recruiting Uber drivers came on the radio!
Will Art Bell’s Suit Against Michael Savage Be Successful? On Friday (12/2), TALKERS magazine reported that talk show host Art Bell and his wife are suing fellow talker Michael Savage in U.S. District Court in Northern California for defamation after Savage said the following on his Westwood One nationally syndicated program: “I generally avoid gun questions. I know this from the first day in radio. I learned you never do certain topics where you can destroy your show. Third rail… You say UFOs, you wind up in the Philippines with a 10-year-old hooker and you are off the radio after a number of years. You can’t do UFOs. That’s an in joke, by the way, for people who understand the business. There are other topics you can’t do…” For his take on Bell’s chance of success, we turned to TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman. He says, “It is hard for public figures to win defamation lawsuits because they have to prove actual malice or a reckless disregard for the truth. More telling in this case, however, may be for Bell to prove that he was harmed. Rodney Dangerfield once won a defamation case against a tabloid that said he snorted cocaine with hookers in a hot tub. He won the case, but only was awarded a dollar because the judge said his reputation wasn’t harmed.”
Former Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver Joins WGAC Talk Host Lineup. Nine-year Augusta, Georgia Mayor Deke Copenhaver exited the mayor’s office in 2014. Now, he’ll join the on-air staff at Beasley Media Group’s news/talk WGAC, Augusta to host “There It Is” from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daily. The station says that Copenhaver “will bring an exciting brand of talk radio through his relationships with local, regional and national government officials, as well as high-level executive decision makers throughout the Southeast and beyond. Beasley Augusta VP/market manager Mark Haddon comments, “We are delighted to have Deke join us on the air at WGAC. He brings a fresh approach to the current issues of the day that are important to our local community. We think Deke will have a little something for everyone, so it should be enlightening and entertaining…a great way to keep up with what’s going on in the Central Savannah River Area.”
Trans-Atlantic Conversation on the American Election and Brexit. TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison engages in an in-depth discussion about the election of Donald Trump and the UK’s recent public vote approving Brexit with award-winning British talk show host Graham Mack. The two compare notes on both the American and English points-of-view regarding the surprising state of world affairs as we wrap up the politically and culturally mind-bending year of 2016 on both sides of the Atlantic. It takes place on the latest installment of the hit PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Harrison states, “My dear friend Graham Mack really has his finger on the pulse of British public opinion and brings a refreshing objectivity and honesty to the discussion about the complex events taking place there following the Brexit referendum. He also offers a fascinating look at the election of Donald Trump from the English perspective.” Harrison adds, “This installment of the podcast also gives me the opportunity to express my own personal assessment of this past election and the impact it is having upon politics, journalism and the media in the US.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.
Chiasson to Lead Cumulus Lafayette. At the Lafayette, Louisiana cluster of Cumulus Media, Scott Chiasson is named vice president/market manager. The company says Chiasson is a Lafayette native with 18 years’ experience in broadcast sales and operations management. He’s previously served with E.W. Scripps in Wichita, iHeartMedia in Colorado and Florida, Metro Networks in Orlando, Cox Media in Lafayette, and CBS RARIO in Tampa/St. Pete. Cumulus Media SVP Jeff Brown states, “Scott is a great radio guy and a Lafayette native. That combination is a terrific match for our powerful brands and our talented team.”
Beasley Media Group Names Jami Beasley Associate General Counsel. Attorney Jami Beasley joins the family business as associate general counsel for Beasley Media Group. Beasley has most recently been serving as partner in Kopelowitz Ostrow P.A.’s Ft. Lauderdale office, where she focused on commercial and complex litigation, as well as her previous experience in real estate litigation. She comments, “It’s an honor to serve Beasley Media Group as associate general counsel. This is an exceptional opportunity and I am eager to contribute to the corporate team.” General counsel Joyce Fitch adds, “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Jami to Beasley’s corporate headquarters. Jami’s experience will greatly enhance the legal department and I will rely on her talent and skills as we move forward in our dynamic, growing company.”
WMAL, Washington Raises $491,000 for Fisher House. The 13th Annual WMAL Fisher House Radiothon, benefiting Fisher House Foundation, raised a record-setting $491,064 from the station’s generous listeners in the Washington, DC area over the past weekend. The two-day event concluded with a live broadcast from The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City. WMAL program director and Cumulus VP of news/talk Bill Hess states, “I remain in awe of WMAL listeners. They have generously donated some $5.4 million over the last 13 years in support of this wonderful organization and its mission.” Fisher House Foundation provides homes away from home for the families of injured servicemen and women while their partners are undergoing treatment and rehabilitation. Pictured above are (from l-r): WMAL morning co-host Larry O’Connor, mid-morning personality Chris Plante, and morning co-host Brian Wilson.
Steve Deace Book Gets Movie Deal. Talk show host and conservative media figure Steve Deace is getting a movie deal for his novel, A Nefarious Plot (2016 Post Hill Press). Believe Entertainment principals Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman – producers of the film “God’s Not Dead” – have purchased the film rights to Deace’s book and will begin developing the story for a film to be released in 2018. Konzelman states, “We’ve been looking for the right story to expand into the imaginative and compelling horror-thriller genre and we knew it was Deace’s book as soon as we read it. We’re into developing movies with spiritual themes, and A Nefarious Plot represents a way to explore those themes in a whole new way for the faith-and-values audience.” Deace, who writes about issues exclusively for Conservative Review, says of this project, “My goal with A Nefarious Plot was to literally scare the hell out of people. I’m very excited to see how Believe Entertainment will do exactly that.” A Nefarious Plot centers around a demonic force which has long sought to manipulate American history to the ruination of the world’s lone superpower.
Trump Names Carson HUD Secretary, Al Gore Visits Trump Tower, Trump Calls Taiwan President, Fake News/DC Pizzeria Incident, Iran Nuke Deal Status, Mistrial in Cop Shooting Death of SC Man, Deadly Oakland Warehouse Fire, Dakota Access Pipeline Case, College Football Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/5). The Trump Administration transition and the naming of Ben Carson as nominee for HUD Secretary; Vice President Al Gore’s controversial visit to Trump Tower in New York; President-Elect Donald Trump breaks protocol and speaks with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen; the ongoing controversy over “fake news” and the incident in which a North Carolina man fired a gun in a DC restaurant that he believed may have been operating a child sex ring run by Hillary Clinton; Iran’s concern over the status of its nuclear deal with Trump soon to be president; a mistrial is declared in the case against former officer Michael Slager, who shot unarmed black motorist Walter Scott to death in South Carolina; the aftermath of the deadly warehouse fire that took the lives of 36 people; the Dakota Access pipeline controversy and the recent Army Corps of Engineers’ ruling requiring the pipeline be re-routed; the four-team college playoffs tournament; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Northwest Missouri State to Host Radio Talent Institute. The Missouri Broadcasters Association is working with six radio companies to bring the Radio Talent Institute to Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville July 31 through August 9, 2017. The Institute is a 10-day radio immersion program bringing broadcasting students together with more than 30 broadcast professionals for on-air training in music radio, news and sports, as well as digital/social media, production, promotion, sales and more. Students will also become certified Radio Marketing Professionals by the Radio Advertising Bureau. Missouri will be one of six states in the country hosting an institute with the National Radio Talent System. Other locations are the Kellar Radio Talent Institute Appalachian State University in North Carolina, Confer Radio Talent Institute Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania, KBA WKU Radio Talent Institute Western Kentucky University, GAB Radio Talent Institute University of Georgia, and Hubbard Radio Talent Institute Central Washington University. Missouri Broadcasters Association president Mark Gordon states, “We are pleased to bring in a program taught by industry professionals that will help fill job openings at broadcast stations with quality employees who have a true understanding of how fun and rewarding a career in our industry can be.” Broadcasting companies taking part include: Hubbard Radio, Eagle Communications, Emmis Communications, Zimmer Radio and Marketing Group, iHeartRadio, and Mid-West Family Broadcasting.”
Sunday Night at CBS RADIO Philadelphia. On Sunday evening, WPHT, Philadelphia talk host Walter Sterling spoke with guests about Satan and the history of rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are (from l-r): Sterling, former WYSP program director Tim Sabean, classic hits WOGL program director Anne Gress, and Get the Led Out author Denny Somach.
By Bill Brady
Futures & Options Inc.
As a young radio guy on the East Coast, I sought out talk talent across the AM band. Guy Mainella, Paul Benzaquin and Larry Glick from WBZ in Boston. Mike Miller and Paul Sutton on WTIC in Hartford. All excellent hosts with unique and distinctive styles.
When the sun goes down, AM radio waves can be pretty tricky. Engineers refer to the phenomenon as “skip” as AM signals bounce off the ionosphere and travel incredible distances. Most nights where I was in Western Massachusetts, you could get WBZ pretty well 90 miles from its transmitter location in Hull on the Massachusetts coast.
Salem Third Quarter Net Broadcast Revenue Up 3.2%. Chief executive officer Edward Atsinger said on the Q3 conference call that Salem Media Group’s total revenue was up 5.6% but expenses were up 7.3%, “resulting in a 1.5% decrease in adjusted EBITDA.” Atsinger said the expenses increase was almost entirely the result of increased health care costs. Back to the numbers, in the Broadcast segment, net broadcast revenue was $51.1 million, an increase of 3,2% over the same period a year ago. However, station operating income decreased by 2.1%. Atsinger reported that although they booked $1 million of broadcast political revenue during the quarter, that was down about 20% from the same period during the 2012 campaign. However, Atsinger adds, “Network revenue was up 29.2% for the quarter. Obviously, this extraordinary political year is a major driver in this revenue growth, and our nationally syndicated hosts have significantly increased their profile beyond the exposure of their own radio programs, which has resulted in an increased time spent listening to their shows and better response for advertisers, all of which has led to higher renewals, higher rates of renewals, and additional advertising clients.”
Townsquare Media Net Revenue Flat in Q3. On a pro forma basis, Townsquare Media’s Local Marketing Solutions segment – the one that includes broadcast and digital – saw net revenue increase 3.8% over the same period a year ago. It was the Entertainment segment – live events – that had a tough quarter and drew the company down to a net revenue decrease of 0.8%. Townsquare Media chairman and CEO Steven Price says, “On a pro forma basis, our Local Marketing Solutions segment continued its positive momentum by delivering another quarter of solid growth, with net revenue increasing approximately 4% over the prior year period. These results were offset by a decline in our Entertainment segment due primarily to exceptionally poor weather at four of our largest fairs. Excluding those fairs, Townsquare’s pro forma net revenue and Adjusted EBITDA increased approximately 2% and 3%, respectively.” For the first nine months of the year, Townsquare’s (pro forma) net revenue is up 2.2% and the Local Marketing Solutions segment is up 5.1%.
Saga Communications Q3 Net Revenue Rises 6.8%. Reporting financial data for the third quarter of 2016, Saga Communications’ net revenue was $36.1 million – an increase of 6.8% over the same period a year ago. Breaking the radio segment out from the television segment, radio’s net revenue was $29.8 million – an increase of 4.6% over 2015’s third quarter. For the year so far, Saga’s net revenue is $105.3 million – up 8.3% over the first nine months of 2015.
WABC, New York Officially Names Sid Rosenberg Imus Sports Anchor. A press release from Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York officially announces that Sid Rosenberg is returning to the “Imus in the Morning” show to serve as sports anchor, however the presser makes no mention of Warner Wolf, who exited the show suddenly on Friday (11/4). WABC program director Craig Schwalb comments, “Sid’s triumphant return to ‘Imus In The Morning’ has reunited him with an incredibly gifted cast. Their collective chemistry is exceptional.” Rosenberg adds, “I’m really excited to be back with Imus and the guys in the same role where it all started for me nearly 17 years ago.” Rosenberg will continue to co-host the late morning show with now-fellow Imus cast member Bernard McGuirk.
NAB to Sue FCC Over Quadrennial Review. This suit must be filed by Monday and that is presumably what the National Association of Broadcasters will do as EVP of media relations Dennis Wharton says it’s difficult to believe the Federal Communications Commission could recommend (on a 3-2 party line vote) going forward with decades-old policy when technology is moving the industry ahead at the speed of light. The cross-ownership rules seem particularly out of date considering what’s been going on in other sectors of the media, says Wharton, who tells Broadcasting and Cable, “Broadcasters want to compete in the digital age and continue being a trusted source for local news and information, but FCC rules need to reflect 2016 and not the 1960s. It defies belief that the FCC allows AT&T/DirecTV and Charter/Time Warner mergers while barring two Topeka TV stations from combining, or a radio station from buying a newspaper.”
Today’s Presidential Election; the U.S. House and Senate Races; Voter Fraud and Poll Hacking Concerns; UVA Administrator Awarded $3 Million in Rolling Stone Rape Story Case; Hillary Clinton’s Emails Troubles; and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/7). The presidential race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the down-ticket races for U.S. House and Senate seats; concerns over voter fraud and the possibility of hacking the electronic polls; a jury awards a University of Virginia administrator $3 million in her case against Rolling Stone and the author of a discredited story about a gang rape at the school; the private email server case surrounding Hillary Clinton’s campaign; and the weekend’s NFL Action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Ginny Morris to Chair RAB Board of Directors. The Radio Advertising Bureau announces the new slate of officers recently to its board of directors and new, incoming directors. Chairperson and CEO of Hubbard Radio Ginny Morris is elected chair of the RAB board of directors. Cox Media Group RVP Susan Larkin is the vice chair. The finance chair is Steve Newberry, president and CEO of Commonwealth Broadcasting. The secretary is Mike Hulvey, COO, Neuhoff Communications, and immediate past chair is Hartley Adkins, president, Northeast Division & Corporate Operations, iHeartMedia. Newly elected directors are: Brian Beasley, EVP, chief operating officer, Beasley Media Group; Jonathan Brewster, CEO/president, Cherry Creek Radio LLC; Mike Tarter, president/CEO, Forcht Broadcasting; and Sabina Widmann, VP, general manager/director of sales, radio, Univision Radio. RAB president and CEO Erica Farber says, “We are excited to have Ginny Morris at the helm of the RAB board of directors. With Ginny’s tremendous experience and passion for this industry, the organization is well-positioned to continue to lead and advocate for radio.”
Beasley Broadcast Group Reports Q3 Net Revenue Up 5.6%; Caroline Beasley Named CEO. Today’s third quarter financial report comes the day after Beasley Broadcast Group closed on its acquisition of Greater Media’s stations. Beasley estimates that going forward, the acquisition will “more than double Beasley’s revenue base.” This quarterly report reflects the operation of the 52 stations owned as of September 30. Net revenue for the quarter was $27.7 million, an increase of 5.6% over the same period a year ago. At the same time as this report is being released, the company announces that, effective January 1, 2017, B. Caroline Beasley will begin serving the company as CEO, removing the interim from her title. Caroline Beasley takes over for her father, George Beasley, who’s been on medical leave. He maintains his role as chairman of the board. Also, Marie Tedesco, who presently serves as the company’s vice president of finance, will assume Caroline Beasley’s chief financial officer position, effective January 1, 2017. Speaking about the Greater Media deal, Caroline Beasley says, “The transaction immediately and significantly broadens our local radio broadcasting and digital platform, geographic footprint and revenue base by adding leading stations and great brands that are complementary to our existing operating base, while presenting the opportunity for synergies with the company’s existing station portfolio. Specifically, the transaction increases our broadcast portfolio by approximately 33% and more than doubles our audience reach as we enter four new markets with nine stations – Detroit; Middlesex, Monmouth, and Morristown, New Jersey – and adds nine other stations in Philadelphia and Boston where we already operate… Looking forward, we plan to apply our historical focus on strong core programming and targeted localism to the newly acquired stations as these strategies support strong ratings and market leadership. While we’ll record initial contributions from the new stations in the fourth quarter, Beasley will realize the value of the transaction beginning in 2017 as we extract operating and cost synergies, enhance sales practices, and apply our proven operating disciplines.”
Porth Upped to PD at WPRT, Nashville. Nashville sports talk duo WPRT “ESPN 102.5 The Game” and WBUZ-HD3/W235BW “94.9 The Game 2” names Ryan Porth program director for the stations. Porth has been serving as assistant PD and rises with the recent departure of Jeremy Bennefield. The Cromwell Group general manager Jana Hampton states, “It’s great when you can hire from within. Ryan Porth has exceeded expectations as the APD and has proven himself worthy of the elevated role.” Porth comments, “There’s a lot of talent with our newly constructed weekday lineup on ‘102.5 The Game’ and I’m looking forward to being a part of the continued growth of our stations.”
WFNZ, Charlotte’s Jim Celania Retires from Sports Talker. Nineteen-year WFNZ, Charlotte air personality Jim Celania retired from the station on Monday, telling the Charlotte Observer he doesn’t want to be one of “those guys” who hangs around too long. The 67-year-old media pro tells the paper, “I’ve seen it in TV and in radio – those guys who hang around too long. I didn’t want to be one of them. That’s the truth. It was time to get off the bus.” Celania (pictured, left) retired the day before Entercom took control of the station under an LMA as it prepares to close on acquisition of the station from Beasley Broadcast Group. Celania, who worked on several shows at the station over the years, most recently co-hosted “The Mac Attack” morning show with Chris McClain (center) and T-Bone (right). He worked for WCNC-TV prior to joining WFNZ in 1999.
Galaxy Names Pam Levine Chief of Galaxy Events. Recently Galaxy Communications announced the creation of a new division – Galaxy Events. Now, we learn that Pam Levine – the wife and longtime business partner of Galaxy Communications president and CEO Ed Levine is heading the division as president/CEO. Ed Levine says, “Pam Levine started this division 10 years ago with a vision of what it could become. A decade of many successful events later, the vision has become reality. As we now expand across New York State and soon the entire country, this new title is overdue.” Galaxy Communications owns 14 radio stations in Syracuse and Utica-Rome and also owns many of the area’s biggest community events including Wine and Chocolate Festivals, K-Rockathon, Taste of Syracuse and many more.
Odds & Sods. WABC, New York personality Sid Rosenberg – co-host of the daily “Bernie & Sid” show – is hosting the promotion “Sid, Sports, ‘n Stuff” at NYY Steak on West 51st Street in New York City on Monday, November 28. The 7:00 pm event will consist of a night of sports, sports trivia, steak, guest athletes, special surprise guests, and prizes…..Digital audio service TuneIn is offering play-by-play of all of this season’s NBA games live via its TuneIn NBA station. It will offer original shows such as “NBA Gametime,” “Open Court,” and “The Starters,” plus is partnering with the Golden State Warriors to launch the “Warriors Sound” radio station. TuneIn is working with additional teams to create similar stations as a destination for free, unique, team-specific content to fans wherever they are…..SiriusXM is launching a new show hosted by Florida State golf coach Trey Jones on its SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio channel. The show is called “Beyond the Tips” and will feature co-host Jeff Cameron and Jones each Wednesday at 9:00 pm ET for an hour covering NCAA golf.
Rick Jakle Selling Three Signals to William Pollock. Broadcaster (and banker) Rick Jakle is selling his three radio stations to William Pollock for an undisclosed sum. The stations are: WRMN, Elgin, Illinois; WBIG, Aurora, Illinois; and KSHP, Las Vegas. The move marks Jakle’s 50 years of serving the Elgin community. Jakle comments, “The greatest privilege in my professional life was coming to WRMN as a young 24-year-old broadcaster in 1966. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to build and operate great local radio facilities and I am proud to have created and developed the Radio Shopping Show concept 34 years ago. None of what we have accomplished would have been possible without my team of dedicated broadcasters. If there’s any secret to our success — simply stated, it’s our remarkable people.” William Pollack’s companies own radio stations in Missouri as well as TV stations in California and Louisiana. He also owns movie theaters in various markets.
The Presidential Race, Hillary Clinton Emails Investigation, U.S. House and Senate Races, U.S.-Philippines Relations, the World Series, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/1). The presidential race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the FBI’s renewed investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server; the down-ticket races for U.S. House and Senate seats; the state of U.S.-Philippines relations as the result of Rodrigo Duterte’s mercurial behavior; the Cubs-Indians World Series; and the weekend’s NFL Action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
‘Too $hort’s Boombox’ at Popfest in LA. The photo above captures the PodcastOne show “Too $hort’s Boombox” being recorded live last Saturday (10/29) at Entertainment Weekly’s Popfest in Downtown Los Angeles. Also recording their PodcastOne show at the podcast stage on Saturday was “LadyGang,” hosted by the Insider’s Keltie Knight, Glee’s Becca Tobin and fashion designer Jac Vanek. Pictured above are (from l-r): Bobby “Loco” Spencer, Leli Hernandez, Evelyn Gonzalez, Michael Rapaport and Too $hort.
“Legendary Station of the Year”: CBS Radio New York all-news WINS
“Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year”: Premiere Networks‘ Deliah
“Major Market Personality of the Year”: Fred Toucher & Rich Shertenlieb (“Toucher & Rich”) of CBS Radio Boston’s WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub”
“Large Market Personality of the Year”: Brooke Fox & Jubal Flagg (“Brooke & Jubal”) of Hubbard Broadcasting Seattle rhythmic CHR KQMV “MOViN 92.5”
“Medium Market Personality of the Year”: Chaz & AJ of Connoisseur Media New Haven rocker WPLR
“Small Market Personality of the Year”: Brent Carl Fleshman of Cookeville Communications’ Cookeville, Tennessee talker WHUB-AM “1400 The Hub” & W299BY “107.7 FM”
“Major Market Station of the Year”: Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary WBEB “101.1 More FM,” Philadelphia
“Large Market Station of the Year”: Hearst talker WBAL, Baltimore
“Medium Market Station of the Year”: Cox Media Group Dayton country WHKO “K-99.1”
“Small Market Station of the Year”: Ham Broadcasting Cadiz, Kentucky country outlet WKDZ
“Adult Contemporary Station of the Year”: Lewanee Broadcasting‘s WLEN, Adrian, Michigan
“CHR Station of the Year”: Zimmer’s KTXY “Y-107,” Columbia, Missouri
“Classic Hits Station of the Year”: CBS Radio Los Angeles’ KRTH “K-Earth 101”
“Country Station of the Year”: Cox Media Group Houston’s KKBQ “The New 93-Q”
“News-Talk Station of the Year”: Hubbard’s WTOP, Washington, D.C.
“Noncommercial Station of the Year”: Seton Hall University rock WSOU, South Orange, New Jersey
“Religious Station of the Year”: Salem Media Group Dallas’ KLTY
“Rock Station of the Year”: Zimmer’s KCMQ, Columbia, Missouri
“Spanish Station of the Year”: CBS Radio Houston’s KLOL “Mega 101”
“Sports Station of the Year”: CBS Radio Detroit’s WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket”
“Urban Station of the Year”: Howard University-owned WHUR, Washington, D.C.
NAB/RAB Radio Show: Final Day Wrap-Up. Radio consultant Holland Cooke is in Nashville covering the NAB/RAB Radio Show for TALKERS and he presents a compact report of some of day two’s key takeaways. Among them are sound bites from radio’s captains of industry and key players from the “Radio Show Advertiser Breakfast.” Also included are Cooke’s notes from a variety of digital media- and marketing-oriented sessions, including those run by Dave Ramsey, Gordon Borrell and more. See it all here.
“Heard” In Nashville. While noted media consultant Holland Cooke is providing our exclusive coverage of panels and presentations taking place at this week’s NAB/RAB Radio Show in Nashville, special features correspondent Jeff McKay is talking to attendees about what is being said at the events. Click here to see what people are telling him.
Nelson Named VP/MM For Cumulus Huntsville. Former vice president/general manager/cluster director of sales for Cox Radio Birmingham, Ray Nelson, is appointed vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media‘s cluster in Huntsville (Alabama). Cumulus Media senior vice president Jeff Brown comments, “Ray’s track record of success speaks for itself. Adding him to our team of market managers was an absolute no-brainer. I am excited for Ray and for our talented team in Huntsville.” Nelson notes, “I am thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to lead the Cumulus Huntsville cluster; Huntsville is a fabulous growth market. I appreciate the confidence that Jeff Brown and the entire Cumulus management team have demonstrated in selecting me to champion Cumulus Huntsville.” Nelson’s previous background includes vice president and market manager for Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia) Ann Arbor (Michigan) and general manager/general sales manager/national sales manager for Fritz Broadcasting Saginaw (also Michigan). Among persons 12+ in Nielsen Audio’s spring 2016 book for Huntsville, Cumulus Media-owned CHR WZYP is #2 (7.7); WHRP “Today’s Best Variety of R&B” ranks #3 (4.8); AM-FM talk combo WVNN finishes #5 (3.1); country WWFF “Nash Icon 93.3” is #8 (1.3); and AM-FM sports duo WUMP “The Ump” ranks #10 (.6). Leading the field is iHeartMedia country outlet WDRM (11.1, 12+).
Carr, “Joe Pags” Picked Up For Simulcasts by Newsmax TV. Boca Raton, Florida-based conservative Newsmax TV adds weekday afternoon simulcasts of Howie Carr and Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo. According to Newsmax TV chief executive officer Christopher Ruddy, “The addition of both these shows not only give us important new voices to our diverse lineup of thoughtful, informative broadcasters, they help us expand our broadcasting footprint into the late afternoon hours. Our audience tells us they are hungry for useful, intelligent, and independent programming. Howie and Joe provide just that.” Carr comments, “I have always had the greatest respect for the entire Newsmax team. I now look forward to reaching a whole new TV audience every afternoon with my show. I couldn’t be more pleased to be joining Newsmax TV.” Pagliarulo remarks, “I am thrilled to be a part of the Newsmax TV team. Having my show in a prime slot on this amazing, growing network is an honor I cherish as it adds a new dimension to the show for my listeners and now viewers.” National Radio Hall of Famer – and author of “The Brothers Bulger” and “Hitman” – Carr originates his four-hour conservative talk show from Entercom-owned WRKO starting at 3:00 pm; “Joe Pags” begins his three-hour syndicated program at 5:00 pm from iHeartMedia‘s WOAI, San Antonio. Carr – syndicated on the Howie Carr Radio Network – is #14 on the TALKERS 2016 “Heavy Hundred” and Pagliarulo – whose national show is distributed by Compass Media Networks – is #23.
SB Nation Radio Enhances Its Football Programming. Seventeen-year NFL player Keenan McCardell signs-on with SB Nation Radio as an NFL analyst. The former receiver joins the network on “Prime Cut” with Sean Salisbury and Steve Bunin each Wednesday at 5:00 pm (ET). Gow Media chief executive officer David Gow comments, “Keenan is as impressive in the broadcast booth as he was on the playing field. He is an exceptional talent who can break down the nuances and subtleties of the game without alienating any of the audience. Whether you played football or are just a casual observer, you’ll love his insights.” Meanwhile, former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf will host a two-hour (8:00 am – 10:00 am, ET) weekly show (Saturdays) on SB Nation Radio. The onetime #2 draft pick states, “I am so honored and grateful for the opportunity that Mr. Gow and SB Nation has afforded me.” In addition, SB Nation Radio will premiere “The Kayce Smith Show,” a two-hour (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm) college football program that will air Monday nights. Smith opines, “One thing missing from the sports industry is the opportunity for women to take strong stances on-air and give their opinions without hesitation. I am so excited to be a part of the SB Nation Radio family and to be able to share this crazy journey with our loyal listeners across the country.” SB Nation Radio chief operating officer and program director Craig Larson declares, “I have never been more excited about the state of our radio network. From top to bottom, there is no doubt in my mind that we have the strongest lineup of personalities in sports radio. The addition of Keenan, Kayce, and Ryan reinforces the idea that SB Nation Radio is truly the next generation of sports talk.” Gow Media has been operating as Yahoo Sports Radio since 2011 and it was rebranded as SB Nation Radio last month (8/1).
WMFS to Add Martin & Smith to Mid-Days. Starting next month, John Martin and Jason Smith will be inserted into the weekday lineup (11:00 am – 2:00 pm) at Entercom Memphis sports combo WMFS-AM “ESPN 680″ & WMFS “92.9 FM.” Entercom vice president and market manager Dan Barron states, “We are thrilled to bring this show to Memphis. Jason and John are highly skilled and bring unique insight. I believe listeners will enjoy this fresh, informative, and entertaining show.” Program director Brad Carson comments, “This is a significant day in this market. We couldn’t be more excited about the reporting and entertainment perspective dynamic that John and Jason both bring.” Smith remarks, “I am so pumped to be with my guy John Martin again. I am so grateful to the folks at WMFS. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I cannot wait to get started.” With WMFS since 2013, Martin is reportedly the youngest sports host in a top 50 market. Smith spent the last six years at The Commercial Appeal as the University of Memphis’ basketball beat writer. The two worked together at The Commercial Appeal. Unchanged at 2.2, WMFS ranks #14 (Nielsen Audio PPM, August 2016, 6+); iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101” sets the pace in August 2016 with a 10.5 (6+).
Odds & Sods. As part of its coverage of the first presidential debate from Hofstra University, ABC News Radio will provide a preview program anchored by correspondent Aaron Katersky. There will be post-debate analysis until 11:00 pm (ET). Joining Katersky will be Brad Mielke, Karen Travers, and ABC News Radio political analysts Steve Roberts and Trey Hardin ….. To note the signing of a three-year broadcast extension with the NHL‘s Columbus Blue Jackets, Radiohio-owned WBNS-FM “The Fan,” Columbus director of programming & operations Jay Taylor and president/general manager Dave Van Stone are presented an official Columbus Blue Jackets personalized jersey by the CBJ’s Stinger. “The Blue Jackets have been part of our programming since day one and we’re excited to be able to continue this relationship,” states Stone.
KMJ Fundraiser Aids Fresno’s Community Food Bank. A day-long broadcast that featured Cumulus Media Fresno talk KMJ on-air talents John Broekse, Christina Musson, Ray Appleton, and Chris Daniel netted more than $154,000. For each dollar raised, however, Gar Tootelian Inc. kicked in 50 cents, thus elevating the total for the Community Food Bank to $231,000. KMJ vice president and general manager Patty Hixson comments, “I am overwhelmed by the support of our community. We can always count on the generosity of our highly-valued KMJ listeners. A special thanks to the hard work of our talented on-air team.” Money raised will provide more than 1.5 million meals for the less fortunate residents of the Central Valley. Seventeen (17) stations appear in Fresno’s spring 2016 book (Nielsen Audio) with KMJ finishing second (6.0, 12+), three-tenths behind iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KBOS “B-95” (6.3, 12+).
Presidential Race Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 19-23. Landing atop the Talkers TenTM again this week is the presidential election. At #2 on our list of the top news/talk radio stories was killing of black men by police in Tulsa and Charlotte and the riots that happened in Charlotte. Coming in at #3 was the aftermath of the NYC/NJ/Minn. terror attacks; following at #4 was the Syrian Civil War/U.S.-Russia Tensions. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.
Michael Harrison Chats with the ‘First Lady of New York Radio’ – Joan Hamburg. She is one of the most-honored, longest-running, and dazzlingly colorful talk radio personalities in the Big Apple – the quintessential live-and-local host. Joan Hamburg’s career in NYC goes back to the legendary WMCA in the early 1970s where she replaced Bob Grant. From there, she moved over to WOR as a featured personality on the historic “Rambling with Gambling” show. She quickly had her own daily midday show where she stayed for more than three decades covering a wide spectrum of topics that included consumer advocacy, shopping, dining, arts & entertainment and “soft” politics. Joan Hamburg was a pioneer in modern remote broadcasting and regularly performed her show from, among many locations, the storied Broadway celebrity hangout, Sardi’s. For the past few years, Hamburg, now in her eighties, has been holding court live on-air every Saturday afternoon on WABC in addition to producing special features and stories for the station… and she still does remotes from Sardi’s. The conversation between Harrison and Hamburg is a radiophile’s delight – covering remarkable history including such names as Sally Jessy Raphael, the three John Gamblings, Arlene Francis, Dorothy Kilgallen, Rick Buckley, Barry Gray, Dr. Joy Browne and many, many more. Harrison states, “It was an honor and privilege having this true ‘grand dame’ of radio on the podcast. We cover so much wonderful history including the golden era of Broadway. She harkens back to the day when talk radio offered a wide variety of lifestyle topics beyond politics and sports. I am really proud of this interview – it will always be a treasured addition to the amazing audio library of media history that I am gathering in this podcast series.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.