Search Results for 'guy'

Hey Bad Guys – Watch Out!

| February 5, 2013

TALKERS Spotlight: THE WATCHDOGS

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief

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

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

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

Read More

Monday, April 16, 2018

| April 16, 2018

Remembering Art Bell. The somewhat eerie fact that 72-year-old Art Bell died on Friday the 13th (4/13 in Pahrump, Nevada) certainly could not go unnoticed or overlooked. Bell was the founder and original host of the paranormal-themed “Coast to Coast AM,” which Premiere Networks syndicated on hundreds of North American radio outlets. Part of a Bell retrospective on that program’s website details that, “His love of radio led him to working for an English-language station in Japan, where he set a Guinness world record for broadcasting 116 hours straight. This was no mere radio stunt, however, as it served to raise funds to rescue over 100 Vietnamese orphans left stranded by the conflict in their home country.  Upon returning to the United States, he entered the world of talk radio with an overnight program on KDWN, Las Vegas.  After noticing that episodes covering conspiracy theories and paranormal topics generated considerable interest from listeners, Bell transformed the show from political talk to discussion of these often-verboten realms. Syndicated nationally in 1993 [by Talk Radio Network], ‘Coast to Coast AM’ soon became a radio phenomenon.  During the 1990s, when ‘The X-Files’ had people wondering about the world of high strangeness, Art Bell was the voice of that world, introducing millions of radio listeners to a vast array of paranormal topics and the researchers that studied them. As he begins his journey on the ‘Other Side,’ we take solace in the hope that he is now finding out all of the answers to the mysteries he pursued for so many nights with all of us.”  The Jacksonville, North Carolina born former Air Force medic “semi-retired” from “Coast to Coast AM” 15 years ago but could be heard hosting the program on weekends from 2003 – 2007 and was an occasional guest host through 2010.  Bell called his show “absolute entertainment” and did not necessarily accept every guest or caller’s claims but offered a forum where they would not be openly ridiculed. SiriusXM debuted “Art Bell’s Dark Matter” in September 2013 on its “Indie Talk” channel, but that four-hour (7:00 pm – 11:00 pm, PT) Monday through Thursday venture ended after just six weeks. Approximately four-dozen stations carried his 9:00 pm – 12:00 midnight PT “Midnight in the Desert” show, which launched on the Internet in July 2015 on Bell’s Dark Matter Digital Network. Three months later in October of 2015, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison interviewed him for his weekly podcast. The following is a brief excerpt from that long-form conversation in which Bell assesses the state of the radio industry and its future.  To listen to the clip, please click 

      here
.  Five months later though, Bell exited, citing concerns about his family’s safety.  Bell was replaced as weekday host of “Coast to Coast AM” on January 1, 2003 by George Noory, who reacted emotionally on air last Friday night to Bell’s passing. “I’m trying to get my composure here, folks,” a shaken Noory admitted. “Art and I were not that close.  We had our differences, but he was one of those instrumental in me being where I am right now.  He was a very heavy smoker and was hospitalized a year or so ago because of [that].  I don’t know if that played a factor in [his death] or not.”  In 1996, KTRS, St. Louis’ Tim Dorsey hired Noory to be “The Night Hawk” and as Bell decided he needed an emergency replacement, Noory gained national exposure by doing his first “Coast to Coast AM” show in April 2001. “As Art’s back problems became more severe, I started doing more shows, until he decided to retire from fulltime work,” Noory told Inside Radio’s then special features editor/current TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian.  Equating the experience of substituting for – and eventually succeeding – Bell on a fulltime basis to pinch-hitting for Babe Ruth, Noory maintained, “It’s sometimes an unreal feeling. I never showed it on the air, but replacing Art Bell was overwhelming for me. I realized there was no way I could replace him. It wouldn’t work if I tried to duplicate him.” The first time Noory heard Bell was in 1996 when he was driving to work at heritage St. Louis news/talker KMOX. “I said to myself that I wanted to do that program,” Noory confided to Kinosian. “After I concentrated on the show, strange events occurred that made it all happen.  Whatever’s out there in the universe that makes things happen for people is real.”  Now living in Lexington, Kentucky, noted spoken-word consultant/programmer Gabe Hobbs is a former vice president/programming – news, talk, & sports for Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia). “What a special talent Art Bell was – truly unique,” Hobbs declares.  “He helped talk radio evolve from the Larry King-era into the modern era of our format.  He is the man that made overnights meaningful and profitable in radio.”  Longtime iHeartMedia Los Angeles adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103” air talent Ted Ziegenbusch notes on Facebook, “I did a late-night show for about 20 years in the 1980s and 1990s. On a family trip to central California one night, I heard Art on a tiny radio station. That was long before he became popular and I was fascinated with his stories about UFOs; ghosts; pyramids on Mars; climate change; and all sorts of quirky subjects. His shows were almost always riveting and impossible to leave for even a moment. When I returned from my trip north, I told my general manager that Art Bell would be perfect for our AM station. Nobody had ever heard of the guy, so my suggestion fell on deaf ears. Later, he would join our team and score enormous success. The story doesn’t end there. Sadly, there were some real ups and downs in Art’s life and his career; [however], he was sure a trailblazer and one-of-a-kind entertainer.” Brian Whitman, who does morning drive in Los Angeles on Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA, recounts, “Many years ago when I was younger and less experienced, I was doing some on-air work at Premiere Radio Networks. I asked the boss if he would consider me to be a substitute host on ‘Coast to Coast’ when Art Bell was absent. I took the opportunity to mention that when those crazy people called, I’d goof on them and do a really funny show. The boss made me smarter [by telling me], ‘Brian, you don’t understand. On ‘Coast to Coast,’ when someone calls to tell you an alien landed in their swimming pool, you don’t make fun. You say, ‘tell me more.’ [That was] the genius of Art Bell. I always say that the most important thing for a radio performer is to find his voice.  Art Bell’s singular voice, brilliant mind, and master showmanship came together to create his own brand. He understood the intimacy that radio can create [and] the lives it can touch.”  An executive producer at iHeartMedia Los Angeles news/talk KFI, Michelle Kube, comments that, “Even if I thought some of the stories were crazy, you couldn’t deny [Art Bell’s] talent.” He was “a true radio pioneer and a great storyteller. He created ‘Coast to Coast AM’ – it’s his legacy.”  For the past 14 years, Kurt Kretzschmar has been director of affiliate marketing – Premiere Networks. The former executive producer of Los Angeles sports outlet KSPN and cross-town news/talk KABC asserts that tapes of Bell’s shows “that air on Saturday nights are some of the highest-rated weekend hours on several affiliates.” Senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Northern Ohio region, which includes WHLO “640 Akron’s News Talk,” Keith Kennedy, was among programmers scheduling Art Bell tribute programming this past weekend. Kennedy wrote on Facebook, “Listen to ‘Somewhere in Time’ Saturday at 9:00 pm – we’ll rebroadcast one of his unique programs.”  Bell studied engineering at the University of Maryland in College Park, but dropped out to become a radio chief engineer/board op/occasional on-air talent.  In May 2008, he sold KNYE, Pahrump to station manager Karen Jackson for a reported $600,000. Inducted to the Nevada Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame (2006) and National Radio Hall of Fame (2008), Bell received Radio & Records’ “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2007. A July 2016 posting on Bell’s website indicated he was hospitalized for pneumonia and that he suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  Nye County (Nevada) sheriff Sharon Wehrly described Bell as a “longtime resident” of the area and said an autopsy to confirm the cause of death would be performed later this week. Geller Media International Broadcast Consultants president Valerie Geller proclaims, “May his journey continue in peace.”

WWJ, Detroit Names Brooke Allen PM Drive Co-Host. Detroit all-news WWJ-AM “Newsradio 950” announces that Brooke Allen (right) is returning to the station to co-host the afternoon drive daypart (2:00 pm to 6:00 pm) with current afternoon host Greg Bowman (left).  Allen was most recently the producer and local host of “Morning Edition” on public news/talk WKAR-AM/FM, East Lansing, Michigan.  Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “We are excited to welcome Brooke back to WWJ.  In addition to being an award-winning journalist, Brooke is devoted to our local community.   Her passion for the news and connection to the people of the metro Detroit area will be evident each and every day.”

Johnson Named VP of Sports Sales for iHeartMedia Denver. Denver sales pro Jeff Johnson is promoted at iHeartMedia to vice president of sports sales & partnerships.  In this new role, Johnson is charged with “growing and managing iHeartMedia Denver’s sports partnerships, including the Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies, as well as its Broncos-centric station, KDSP-AM ‘Orange & Blue 760.'”  iHeartMedia Denver SVP of sales Ryan Clune states, “I’m thrilled for Jeff.  Watching him grow over the years from senior account executive to director of sports sales, and now vice president of sports sales & partnerships has been a highlight of my career.  Jeff’s ability to align advertisers with our exclusive sports content, along with delivering unmatched reach, brand affinity, and ROI for our partners makes him the ideal leader to step into this key position.”

Price: Are You Ready for Atlantic Hurricane Season? Former longtime director of business continuity & crisis management for ABC’s news and technology & operations divisions, Howard B. Price, writes today in a piece for TALKERS magazine about the need to be prepared for the Atlantic Hurricane Season.  Price says that tropical researchers at Colorado State University have issued their predictions for this year and have concluded that there will likely be 14 named storms between June 1 and November 30. Of those, researchers expect seven hurricanes, with three of those likely to be major storms (Saffir/Simpson category 3-4-5, with sustained winds of 111 MPH – plus).  Price provides this nine-point preparedness checklist for broadcasters who could be affected by an Atlantic hurricane or any other natural disaster for that matter.  See it here.

Padres Executive Chairman Opens Up About KEGY Format Tweak.  As reported in the San Diego Union Tribune writer Bryce Miller, San Diego Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler says the team had “significant input and impact” on the format and branding changes Entercom made to KEGY, but not so much as to dictate which air talent should go where.  Union Tribune reports Fowler and the Padres had issues with KEGY’s programming as “97.3 The Machine” before air personality Kevin Klein’s promotional Tweet that referenced the city’s Coronado bridge and its history as a site of hundreds of suicides.  Miller quotes Fowler referencing the station’s programming as “shock-jock” radio.  See Miller’s story here.

Comey’s ABC Interview/Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S. Strikes on Syria, Starbucks-Philly Arrests, Mexico Border Issues, Barbara Bush Health Status, MLB and NBA Playoffs Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Former FBI director James Comey’s interview on ABC-TV in which he discussed the investigation into the Hillary Clinton email matter and opined on President Trump’s fitness for office and the related investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the weekend’s U.S. military strikes in Syria; the controversy over the arrest of two black men for trespassing at a Philadelphia Starbucks; the issue of security at the U.S.-Mexico border; former First Lady Barbara Bush’s failing health; and Major League Baseball and NBA playoffs action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes.  According to the most recent list published by The Hollywood Reporter, Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity and multi-media personality Ryan Seacrest are two of the 35 most powerful media people in New York. Regarding Hannity, THR says that he regularly commands the largest audience of any cable news host on television, in addition to reaching millions of listeners on his national radio show.  “He also has the ear (and the eyes) of the president…and has the power to make or break Republican political candidates.”  As for Seacrest, the publication says that since Kelly Ripa tapped him as her co-host in May, viewership of ABC’s “LIVE with Kelly & Ryan” has “risen nearly 15% to 3.2 million viewers each day.”  See the whole list here…..Westwood One announces a strategic partnership with American Public Media to increase sales and promotional opportunities for season two of the investigative podcast, “In the Dark.”  The first season of “In the Dark” has driven nearly 12 million downloads to date and continues to receive downloads more than a year later at roughly 465,000 per month.  In this new relationship, Westwood One is providing broadcast radio show promotion and exclusive ad sales representation…..Pictured below is former White House national security adviser Dr. Sebastian Gorka (left) reviewing documents with Ken Lormand (right), Washington bureau chief of Salem Radio Network News.  As a former Trump adviser, Gorka has insight into administration personnel moves, including CIA director Mike Pompeo’s nomination to become the next U.S. Secretary of State.

TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! to Feature Presentation by Salem VP Phil Boyce Titled, “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio.” There is no doubt that the ascendancy of Donald J. Trump to the U.S. presidency has greatly impacted news/talk radio and its associated platforms of talk media. Salem Media Group SVP of the spoken word format Phil Boyce will deliver an address, backed up by Harker Research data, exploring this phenomenon in detail during the morning sessions of TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! The presentation will be introduced by highly regarded programmer Greg Moceri, CEO of Moceri Media. The 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running, and most important convention takes place on Friday, June 8 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater in the Chelsea district of Manhattan. The day opens with back-to-back keynote “fireside chats” conducted by Michael Harrison with Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity and Beasley Broadcasting CEO Caroline Beasley. The conference will also include presentations by such industry notables as PodcastOne executive chairman, Norm Pattiz; former WFAN, New York sports talk superstar, Mike Francesa; Amplifi Media CEO Steve Goldstein, panel appearances by Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott, Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes and an afternoon keynote address by Infowars and GCN maverick Alex Jones. There will be panels on programming, sales, digital convergence and more featuring a total of 50-plus speakers from all aspects of the talk media industry. The convention is on a fast-track to being an advance sellout and there will be no registrations sold at the door. For more information and the complete up-to-the-minute agenda, read the story below.

TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Agenda Posted. The TALKERS editorial board is pleased to post the basic agenda for the 21stannual installment of the talk media industry’s longest running and most important national convention – TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! takes place on Friday, June 8 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception – all in a single, power-packed day! Full up-to-the-minute agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information can be seen here. If you are planning to attend, it would be wise to register NOW. This convention will be an early sellout.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Denver, iHeartMedia names Chelsea Thomas midday host for country KWBL “106.7 The Bull,” effective April 23.   iHeartMedia region SVP of programming JoJo Turnbeaugh says, “An on-air opening with iHeartMedia in Denver always generates strong interest from many talented personalities.  Chelsea was the clear winner. Her authenticity and unique ability to weave storytelling into her show made her the ideal match for the Bull Nation.”  Thomas was most recently music director and air personality at Alpha Media’s CHR WDJX, Louisville…..KAMP, Los Angeles “97.1 AMP Radio” music director and midday personality Michelle Boros exits her position with the Entercom CHR station after an eight-year stint…..Kristina Carlyle signs on with Albany Broadcasting’s country WKLI, Albany “100.9 The Cat” to co-host the morning show and serve as music director. Carlyle – most recently with Scripps’ KVOO, Tulsa – takes over for the departed Dana Race…..There’s a new morning host at California Radio Partners’ triple A KOZT, Fort Bragg “The Coast” as Dred Scott is tapped to work alongside news director Joe Regelski.  Station co-owner and program director Tom Yates says, “We did a job posting and got 41 responses in two days from some really good candidates.  But Dred is a really good fit with the ‘Coast’ crew.”…..At Ingstad Media’s country KXDD, Yakima, Washington, Lindsey Cleveland is promoted from part-time status to full-time as morning drive co-host with Brian Stephenson on “The Good Morning Gang with Brian & Lindsey.” Cleveland fills the role vacated recently by Carey Jacobson…..In Washington, DC, Kala Simmons is named morning show producer for WASH-FM’s “Toby and Chilli” morning show. Simmons has been with the iHeartMedia Washington cluster for the past three years as assistant digital producer for WIHT’s “The Kane Show.”

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

| April 10, 2018

KFTK-FM, St. Louis Morning Host Jamie Allman Leaves TV Show Gig After Controversial Tweet.  If you guessed that this involves Parkland, Florida student David Hogg, you are correct. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that KFTK-FM, St. Louis morning show host Jamie Allman Tweeted a statement regarding Hogg, who is seen as the face of the student-led movement to change gun laws in Florida in the aftermath of the deaths of 17 students at the hands of Nikolas Cruz.  He wrote, “I’ve been hanging out getting ready to ram a hot poker up David Hogg’s ass tomorrow.”  As the paper reports, the context of Allman’s Tweet is unclear as his account has been locked.  Allman, in addition to his radio show, hosted “The Allman Report” on Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KDNL-TV “ABC 30,” but The Hollywood Reporter states that he resigned that gig after the backlash that included a number of advertisers reportedly dropping their ad campaigns on the TV station.  Allman continues to host his morning show on news/talk KFTK-FM.  The station is being operated under an LMA by Entercom as it is buying the station from Emmis Communications.

Entercom’s ’97.3 The Machine’ in San Diego Goes All Comedy/Rock; Sileo and ‘The Men’s Room’ Off the Air.  Local sports talker Dan Sileo and the Seattle-based “The Men’s Room” were both off the air on Entercom’s KEGY, San Diego “97.3 The Machine” yesterday, and likely will be today as well, as the status of the erstwhile sports talk/hot talk hybrid remains in question.  As of this morning, the station continues to play comedy bits and rock music.  If you’ve been following this story, you know that the ill-advised Tweet by Kevin Klein – hired to host the morning show – that used a picture of San Diego’s Coronado bridge and poking fun at its history of being a site of many suicides left his status with the station up in the air.  The San Diego Padres – for whom the station serves as their flagship for play-by-play – were upset with the station and publicly questioned their desire to continue with KEGY.  The absence of Sileo and “The Men’s Room” from the air seems to indicate Entercom is planning an overhaul of the station, but what form the station will take when the smoke clears is not known.  There is speculation the station will emerge as a traditional sports talk outlet.  Stay tuned.

Andy Bloom Named Operations Manager at Entercom’s Twin Cities Cluster. Programming pro Andy Bloom is returning to his hometown(s) to serve as operations manager for Entercom’s Minneapolis-St. Paul cluster that includes news/talk WCCO-AM, country KMNB “Buz’n @ 102.9” and adult hits KZJK “104.1 JACK FM.” Entercom Twin Cities SVP and market manager Shannon Knoepke says, “Andy has a successful track record programming radio stations and we are looking forward to having him join our Twin Cities team.  He has a clear understanding of our operational vision and is skilled at implementing winning business strategies.”  Bloom is certainly well known to Entercom EVP of programming Chris Oliviero, with whom he worked at CBS RADIO.  Oliviero came over to Entercom with the acquisition of the CBS RADIO stations by Entercom.  Bloom was most recently programming CBS’ Philly stations, including sports talk WIP-FM and news/talk WPHT.

FOX News Radio to Launch Early Evening “Benson and Harf” Program.  This new nightly show from FOX News Radio will emanate from the company’s newly named Tony Snow Radio Studio in Washington, DC and will co-star Guy Benson and Marie Harf.  The 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET “Benson and Harf” show will feature nightly expert guests to “discuss the news of the day and engage in powerful debate, providing fast-paced, thoughtful discourse on relevant stories pertaining to politics, media and culture.”  Benson joined FNC in 2013 and provides political commentary across FNC and FOX Business Network’s daytime and primetime programming.  Harf joined the network in 2017 to offer national security and political analysis across FNC and FBN’s daytime and primetime programming.  Most recently, Harf served as the senior adviser for strategic communications to Secretary of State John Kerry and previously held the position of deputy spokesperson for the State Department from July 2013 until May 2015.

Michael Clemente Named CEO of Newsmax Broadcasting. The Newsmax Broadcasting segment of Newsmax Media, Inc. airs the Newsmax TV channel.  The company announces that television executive Michael Clemente is joining the fold as CEO of Newsmax Broadcasting.  Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy says, “Michael is one of the most accomplished executives and producers in television and digital news.  He is widely respected in the industry and has won accolades for his high journalistic standards.  It’s an honor for us to have him leading our team.”  Clemente was with FOX News Channel for the past seven years as EVP of news.  In that capacity he oversaw all news programming, including live events, breaking news, documentaries, and specials.  He’s also served as senior producer for ABC’s “World News Tonight” and was executive producer of live and breaking news at CNN.  Clemente comments, “Newsmax has demonstrated the ability to adapt and thrive in the highly transformative digital news world and was one of the first major online outlets to create a TV brand in cable and OTT.  I’m excited to take on this new role at Newsmax during an incredible period of change, in a country eager for truth, understanding, and engagement in the news process.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Next Monday (4/16), the simulcast of WPEN-FM, Philadelphia’s afternoon program – “The Mike Missanelli Show” – begins on NBC Sports Philadelphia.  The program airs on Beasley Media Group’s “97.5 The Fanatic” from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm daily, but the TV simulcast will end at 5:00 pm followed by the “Philly Sports Talk” show on NBC Sports.  Missanelli says, “I’m extremely excited to be joining forces with NBC Sports Philadelphia. ‘97.5’ led the way in town to bring sports talk radio to the FM airwaves and now we are so looking forward to bringing it to television.  The show will continue to provide the very best in sports analysis and fun, entertaining radio.  I can’t wait for everyone to become part of it.”…..Boston television news figure Tony Pepper died at age 79 in the Boston suburb of Newton after complications from diabetes and heart disease.  In addition to his years spent on WBZ-TV, he co-hosted a talk radio program with Janet Jeghelian on WRKO-AM, Boston for two years in the early 1980s…..In conjunction with NBC Sports and NBC Sports Radio, Westwood One is presenting live, play-by-play audio coverage of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, beginning tomorrow (4/11).  Kenny Albert – play-by-play – and Joe Micheletti – analyst – are serving as Westwood One/NBC Sports Radio’s lead broadcast crew and will call the 2018 Stanley Cup Final and select playoff games…..WPHT, Philadelphia morning host Chris Stigall is pictured at left in a screen grab of his most recent appearance on FOX News Channel.  Stigall says that in the Trump era, “FOX News knows one of the president’s most important constituency groups is talk radio.”  He’s been making regular appearances on FNC commenting on the Keystone State, how the 2018 mid-terms may play out, the special House race in PA-18, and how trade issues could affect Pennsylvania…..In the photo below, WGOW-FM, Chattanooga “Talk Radio 102.3” midday personality Brian Joyce is throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at the Chattanooga Lookouts-Birmingham Barons AA baseball game.  Joyce – who is also heard in afternoons on Cumulus Media’s sister Atlanta news/talker WYAY-FM “Talk 106.7” – says he warmed up a bit in the bull pen to avoid “air-mailing the first pitch.”  Coincidentally, Joyce played four years of Division 1 college baseball in his younger days.

‘Yappy Tour’ Rolls Into Academia.   Pictured above lecturing a college class in “journalism convergence” at Highpoint University in Highpoint, NC this morning (4/10) is Bernadette Duncan, author of one of the most-discussed radio books in the talk media industry, Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Boozers, Schmoozers and Losers (Talkers Books, 2016).  Duncan, a former producer, chronicles her 26 years as the woman behind the glass on shows hosted by such legends as Sally Jessy RaphaelLarry KingTom SnyderLou DobbsGil GrossCharles Osgood and others, covering a large swath of modern talk radio’s pre- and post-9/11 “golden era.”  Plus, she tells stories about behind-the-scenes encounters with hundreds of quirky guests from the worlds of show business, politics, media, business and literature including: Donald TrumpOmarosa ManigaultDavid LettermanJoe BidenMike HuckabeeGeraldo RiveraJoan Rivers and dozens more.  Due to the strong response by hosts around the world to both the subject and Duncan’s lively air presence, the “Yappy Tour” has continue to roll on into 2018, sponsored by TALKERS magazine.  Duncan has already appeared on more than 130 local and syndicated programs since the book’s release in September of 2016.  Now, based on the book’s success and positive recognition, she has been invited to guest-lecture at colleges and universities advising students how to break into the radio business and carve out a career in producing and journalism.  In the past two months, she has spoken at such schools as Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY; Asnuntuck Community College in Enfield, CT;  American International College in Springfield, MA; and Bay Path University in Longmeadow, MA.   Hosts, shows and schools interested in booking Bernadette Duncan can do so by calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

FBI Raids Trump Attorney Cohen’s Office, Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S.-Syria Military Policy/Chemical Attack, Zuckerberg Congressional Testimony, Rick Scott Senate Bid, Kimmel-Hannity Feud, Mexican Border Security, U.S.-China Tariffs, and MLB and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/9). The FBI executes warrants on Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen after receiving information from special counsel Robert Mueller; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the Trump administration’s military policy in Syria and the recent, deadly chemical attack on civilians; Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress on Cambridge Analytica data usage; Republican Florida Governor Rick Scott to challenge Democrat Bill Nelson for U.S. Senate seat; the war of words between Jimmy Kimmel and Sean Hannity over the former’s poking fun at First Lady Melania Trump; Trump’s plan to use the U.S. military to defend the Mexican border from illegals; the threat of a tariff war between the U.S. and China; and MLB and NBA 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. Country radio programming pro Lance Houston is named PD for iHeartMedia Chicago’s WEBG, Chicago “BIG 95.5.”  Houston – who joins the Windy City operations of iHM from the company’s WBWL, Boston “101.7 The Bull” – will also serve as midday personality.  Houston reports to Tommy Austin, SVP of programming for iHeartMedia’s Chicago Region…..Programmer John Richards is the new program director at iHeartMedia’s country WQIK, Jacksonville.  In this position, Richards is also taking on programming duties at the company’s WTNT, Tallahassee and WPAP, Panama City, Florida.   Richards says, “I’m excited to be back in Jacksonville at WQIK.  I have history with the brand, and now another opportunity to add something to its tapestry.  The management team is terrific, and the staff is passionate.  It really shows in the quality of the product.  I appreciate the opportunity to contribute.”  Richards was most recently market president and iHeartMedia’s Corpus Christi and Harlingen-Brownsville-McAllen, Texas markets…..Westwood One is launching a new, weekly syndicated Saturday program called “Jayde,” starring Jayde Donovan.  Donovan is well-known as co-host of the WPLJ, New York morning show, host for the “Westwood One Backstage” broadcasts and her various television endeavors.  WWO says the new, three-hour show is “an upbeat, fun, and empowering show built for Saturday mornings to target the fierce, fabulous women who are doing it all – even if that means they are still wearing yesterday’s make-up while driving carpool to soccer practice.  The show will be a mix of interviews with celebrity moms, real life stories that inspire, and great music, all creating the perfect cocktail for a young, fresh, and inspired female-driven radio show.”…..iHeartMedia Seattle radio personality Marty Riemer – morning show co-host at KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet,” is being featured in an upcoming episode of HGTV’s “House Hunters International.”  Riemer works on air from Germany to join co-host Jodi Brothers for the “Marty & Jodi Show.”  The HGTV program addresses the Riemer family’s decision to move to Berlin, Germany, Marty’s experience co-hosting a cohesive morning program from Germany, and how the family met their unique balance of needs – including a central city location, reliable internet connection, and proximity to their children’s school…..In honor of Elvis Duran being inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, Sierra Automated Systems presented the Premiere Networks syndicated morning host with a gold “Hall of Fame Edition” iSL console (pictured below) at the NAB Show in Las Vegas.  From left to right are: Elvis Duran, “Shotgun” Tom Kelly, and SAS president Eddie Fritz.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

| April 4, 2018

ABC Radio and Skyview Networks Expand Radio Syndication Efforts.  A statement from both companies says ABC Radio and Skyview Networks are “further aligning” their resources to “identify, develop and syndicate talent and programs to broadcast radio.”  For its part, ABC Radio will seek out talent syndication opportunities – for both music and news/talk formats – and will handle the affiliate sales angle, while Skyview Networks will take care of national sales and distribution.  ABC Radio VP/GM Steve Jones states, “We are building on the momentum and tremendous success we’ve already seen in our existing partnership.  ABC Radio has always represented creative and innovative programming and we are excited to offer programmers and talent a new, stable business environment to grow and monetize their brands.”  Skyview Networks president Ken Thiele adds, “The timing of our syndication partnership couldn’t be more perfect.  We’ve heard from a significant number of programs and clearly there is a need for another syndication option in the marketplace.  We’re growing and continue to make substantial investments in technology and our staff, and it’s paying off.  This new venture is really a reflection of the dynamic synergies between ABC Radio and Skyview, and our positive business trajectory.”  In July 2016, ABC Radio and Skyview Networks renewed their content, ad sales, affiliate sales and audio distribution agreement.

Cumulus and Merlin Strike a Deal for WKQX, Chicago.  On Tuesday evening, Cumulus Media announced that it has arrived at a deal to acquire Chicago alternative rock WKQX from Merlin Media.  Cumulus has been operating the station under a local marketing agreement, but when it filed to reorganize under Chapter 11, it asked the court to void a number of its prior agreements that it considered onerous.  The WKQX LMA included a “put-and-call” that would have allowed Merlin to force Cumulus to buy the station at a predetermined price (the “put”). The combo deal included WLUP-FM, but Merlin found another willing buyer in Education Media Foundation, which is acquiring WLUP for $50 million.  As part of this deal, Cumulus Media is also getting the intellectual property of “The Loop.”  The speculation in Chicago is that the company will transform classic hits WLS-FM into “94/7 The Loop.” Cumulus CEO Mary Berner says, “After operating the station for the past four years, we are delighted to be able to bring this beloved station under Cumulus’ ownership on economic terms that make sense for our business.  We look forward to continuing to deliver the best alternative rock programming to our devoted listeners in the Chicago area for years to come.”  Though no price for WKQX in included in the press release, media trade RBR-TVBR is reporting the price tag is $18 million.

Janet Bro Named COO at USA Radio Networks. Rising from vice president/general sales manager to chief operating officer at USA Radio Networks is Janet Bro.  The company announces that this promotion comes as the company completes its corporate relocation from Phoenix to its flagship station offices at KBDT-AM, Dallas. USA says that in this new position, Bro will lead the networks, including the company’s stations in Chicago, Dallas and Minneapolis, as well as five properties in Nevada.  USA says, “Bro comes from a distinguished career in media and advertising.  She began in radio/TV at Bradley University, has owned and operated three FM stations in Illinois and managed others before embarking on a two-decade adventure with Verizon’s Yellow Pages.”  USA Radio Networks CEO Fred Weinberg says, “Our goal is to create news and programming that we and our affiliates can be proud of. We’re not Democrats or Republicans, we’re Americans and that’s how we see the news.  Janet is the perfect person to push this forward.”  USA Radio Networks provides news and long-form talk programming for some 500 affiliates across the country.

Still No Kevin Klein at ’97.3 The Machine’ in San Diego.  Yes, Entercom’s KEGY, San Diego “97.3 The Machine” is still playing rock music and comedy bits during morning drive, five days after air personality Kevin Klein was to debut as host of the new station’s AM drive show.  He’s still listed on the station’s website, so it’s unlikely he’s been let go.  What is likely is that Entercom is still negotiating with the San Diego Padres over the station’s role as flagship for the MLB club.  The Padres either stay or they go.  If they stay, one line of thought is that the station veers from the guy talk/sports hybrid to a pure sports talk station (in order to assuage the team). But if the Padres take their play-by-play elsewhere, perhaps Kevin Klein takes to the air as morning host and the station keeps its “edge.”  It’s hard to imagine Entercom letting this go beyond this week and it must be very difficult to sell time on a station thats format is in question.  In case you’ve missed the backstory, Klein posted a promotional Tweet for his show that poked fun at the city’s Coronado Bridge and its history as a site of so many suicides.  That upset many San Diegans, as well as the Padres.  But, that wasn’t the only issue.  According to comments made to the San Diego Union Tribune by Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler, the club hasn’t been happy with the station’s general tone. Fowler told the paper that the team would get through the opening series of the season and then “sit down and evaluate it,” meaning the team’s relationship with the station.

Larry Kudlow to Do Regular Guest Spot on WABC’s John Batchelor Program. The new director of the National Economic Council – Larry Kudlow – is going to join John Batchelor each Tuesday evening at 9:00 as a guest on Batchelor’s WABC, New York radio program.  The station says that the Tuesday night guest spots “will include other colleagues and will cover topics including the economic health of the U.S. and its allies and trading partners.”  WABC program director Craig Schwalb states, “Kudlow and Batchelor have been working together on-air each week since 2004.  It is a joy to learn that the Trump administration is willing to make the country’s new economic adviser available to the national and global audience of ‘The John Batchelor Show.'”

Cooke: The Class of ’68 Turns 68.  Media consultant Holland Cooke writes today about the value of Baby Boomers to talk radio.  On the 50thanniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Cooke notes many of the cultural touchstones that affected the generation.  He says that while Millennials now outnumber the Boomers, the Baby Boom generation outspends the Millennials at retail.  That’s an important fact for radio sales people who are selling upper-demo radio formats like news/talk.  See his piece here.

TALKERS News Notes. We have a new date in the legal saga between Bubba the Love Sponge and Nielsen Audio.  After suddenly postponing Monday’s scheduled start of the courtroom proceedings, the two sides are being called in for a status conference on April 10.  Perhaps we’ll learn more about the trial schedule after that. Nielsen is suing Bubba for $1 million in damages for his part in a PPM ratings manipulation plot in the Tampa market…..Salem Media Group re-brands KDZR, Lake Oswego, Oregon from its former “Talk 1640” to “AM 1640 The Patriot.” Also, in Oregon, Salem rebrands KPAM, Portland – the station it’s operating under an LMA – to the familiar “AM 860 The Answer.”  Some programming adjustments take place on KPAM as the SRN-syndicated Dennis Prager grabs an hour from the local Tim Hohl and Terry Travis morning show.  Courtside Entertainment’s Laura Ingraham show replaces Clark Howard in middays, and the afternoon drive show featuring Michael Herrington and Eric Peterson changes from “Afternoon Northwest” to “The Afternoon Answer.”…..Today (4/4) Alpha Media is joining World Concern to raise funds to “Cure 1 Million Kids.”  As part of World Health Week, Alpha Media stations in 49 markets are working to raise money to cure children living in developing countries of parasites that can cause blindness, malnutrition, disease and even death.  Alpha Media CEO/president Bob Proffitt remarks, “We are so proud and honored to work with World Concern for this one-day push to help save children’s lives.  We are passionate to use the power of our Alpha community of listeners and business clients to do what we can to help those less fortunate.  World Concern is a wonderful organization that will take what we raise and make a difference in a young person’s life.”

Broadcasters Foundation of America Launches ‘Broadcasting Hope’ Campaign.  A new industry-wide campaign is being launched by the Broadcasters Foundation of America, called, “Broadcasting Hope.” The goal of the initiative is to reach broadcasters across the country with trade ads, social media, and more to ensure that broadcasters in acute need know they can apply for aid from the Broadcasters Foundation.  It is the only charity devoted exclusively to providing financial assistance to broadcasters whose lives have been devastated by illness, accident, or disaster.  BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “There are broadcasters in local markets across America who may qualify for aid, and it’s imperative that they know the Broadcasters Foundation can be a life support.  The radio and TV trade publications and members of the National Alliance of State Broadcast Associations have been very supportive in helping us expand awareness of the Foundation’s charitable mission.”

U.S.-China Trade War, Trump-Russia Probe, Ingraham-Hogg Feud, YouTube Shooter, U.S.-Mexico Relations/Illegal Immigration Battle, Spotify Stock Market Debut, Villanova Beats Michigan, MLB Action and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/3).  The brewing trade war between the U.S. and China as both countries impose tariffs; the investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents and Robert Mueller’s notice to President Trump’s lawyers that the investigation continues but the president is not a target right now; the feud between FOX News Channel’s Laura Ingraham and Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg; the woman shooter who injured four before taking her own life at the YouTube campus in California; the relations between the U.S. and Mexico and President Trump’s threat to use the military to guard the border; digital audio giant Spotify goes public; Villanova beats Michigan to claim the NCAA title; the first week of MLB action, and NBA 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.  Newly flipped country KNUC, Seattle re-brands as “The NEW 98.9 The Bull.”  Lisa Adams is the program director at the Hubbard Radio station and she says, “Welcome to the next evolution of 98.9, a personality all its own.  More BULL, more MUSIC, more FUN.”  She also says the station plans to make its final additions to the air staff soon…..Also from Hubbard Radio, the Chicago cluster announces that sales pro Nancy O’Brien is promoted to director of sales for hot AC WTMX, classic rock WDRV “The Drive,” adult contemporary WSHE, and in-house digital media services arm 2060 Digital.   O’Brien has most recently been serving as national sales manager Midwest region for the company…..Neuhoff Media tweaks CHR WWHX-FM, Bloomington, Illinois to a rhythmic CHR station with the new brand, “HOT 100 The Beat of BloNo.”  Neuhoff Media Bloomington vice president and general manager Danielle Outlaw says, “‘HOT 100’ is the only station designed specifically for the 18-34-year-old audience in Bloomington-Normal.  The music, the connection, the interactivity, the engagement and the beat.  Bloomington-Normal was ready for ‘HOT 100,’ we’re thrilled by the reaction, the future has arrived, it’s ‘HOT 100.’”

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

| April 3, 2018

Day Four of Where’s Kevin Klein?  The website for Entercom’s sports/guy talk/rock hybrid still lists Kevin Klein as morning drive host.  In fact, it says he’s on the air now.  But, he’s not; the station is still playing rock music as of this morning.  Klein was supposed to start his morning show stint on KEGY, San Diego “97.3 The Machine” last Thursday.  But, after the ill-fated Tweet poking fun at the city’s Coronado Bridge and its history as a site of so many suicides, Klein’s fate appears to be up in the air.  The station is the flagship for San Diego Padres baseball, but the team was upset with the Tweet as well as the station’s general tenor, according to recent local media reports.  Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler last week told the Union Tribune that the team would get through the opening series of the season and then “sit down and evaluate it,” meaning the team’s relationship with the station.  It seems safe to assume that Entercom and the Padres are still in discussions about their deal.  Programming execs may be re-evaluating the station’s image, or they could be waiting for the issue to blow over.

FNC Backs Laura Ingraham with Strong Statement. Despite reports of advertisers fleeing FOX News Channel’s “The Ingraham Angle” program starring Laura Ingraham, FNC co-president Jack Abernethy issued a strong statement in support of her.  As talk media watchers are aware, Ingraham’s social media comments about Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior David Hogg’s college applications drew criticism from some quarters.  Hogg posted a list of Ingraham’s advertisers, suggesting a boycott, and the feud gained momentum.  Ingraham is on a planned vacation this week, and Abernethy issued the following statement: “We cannot and will not allow voices to be censored by agenda-driven intimidation efforts.  We look forward to having Laura Ingraham back hosting her program next Monday when she returns from spring vacation with her children.”  Read Variety’s take on the matter here.

Former WWTN-FM, Nashville Morning Host Ralph Bristol to Run for Nashville Mayor.  According to a report in The Tennessean, former WWTN-FM, Nashville “SuperTalk 99.7” morning host Ralph Bristol will run as a Republican in the August election for the Nashville mayoral position.  Megan Barry recently resigned from the mayor’s office after pleading guilty to felony theft over $10,000 in connection with her extra-marital affair with her former security chief.  The 68-year-old Bristol tells that paper that he left his gig with Cumulus Media’s WWTN due to and “editorial difference of opinions” with station management.  (Brian Wilson recently assumed AM drive duties at the station.)  Bristol is opposed to a $9 billion transit bill that is intended to alleviate Nashville’s traffic problems and is banking on his opposition to the controversial proposal to fuel his campaign.

Longtime Washington News Pro Connie Lawn Dies at 73.  News pro Connie Lawn died this morning at her home in Falls Church, Virginia at age 73 after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease.  Lawn was the longest-credentialed member of the White House press corps, having served for 50 years.  Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup says Lawn served with him during the 1990s at USA Radio Network and, more recently, worked for SRN News on a part-time basis.  Tradup says he told his staff, “All of us at SRN News and TOWNHALL News send our condolences to Connie’s husband, Dr. Charles Sneiderman, and to her many friends and colleagues throughout the radio news industry.  She was one-in-a-million.”

TALKERS News Notes. Tomorrow (4/4), SiriusXM is honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King on the anniversary of his assassination in Memphis 50 years ago.  SiriusXM host and human rights activist Joe Madison will broadcast his daily show live from Ben’s Chili Bowl.  The popular D.C. restaurant was frequented by Dr. King during his life and remained open during the riots that ensued following his assassination.  Other programming will take place across the satcaster’s Progress and POTUS channels…..Westwood One is presenting coverage of the 2018 Masters Tournament this Thursday through Sunday.  In addition to hole-by-hole coverage, Westwood One will present hourly updates and a nightly, half-hour preview and recap show, “The Masters Tonight.”  Bob Papa and Charlie Rymer are the anchors for live coverage from Augusta National Golf Club…..ESPN Deportes Radio (WEPN-AM, New York) launches a new, local afternoon show called “Zona NYC,” airing from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm, hosted by Tenchy Rodriquez and Nestor Rosario.   ESPN says the show will focus on the sports themes most relevant to the New York City Hispanic community.  Rodriquez brings years of experience as a reporter in the Dominican Republic covering MLB and Dominican League Baseball.  Rosario serves as Spanish-language color commentator for the New York Mets and as play-by-play announcer for the New York Giants.

Trump Mexico Criticism, U.S.-China Tariffs, Financial Markets Activity, Trump-Russia Investigation, Ingraham-Hogg Feud, Iran Nukes Deal, Steven Bochco and Winnie Mandela Die, NCAA Championship Game, and MLB and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/2).  U.S. immigration policy and President Trump’s criticism of Mexico’s policing of illegal immigration; China slaps tariffs on U.S. goods in response to President Trump’s tariffs on Chinese exports; Monday’s sharp Dow drop and the financial markets’ responses to U.S. policy; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the feud between FOX News Channel personality Laura Ingraham and Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg; criticism of the Iran nuclear deal from Israel and Saudi Arabia; the deaths of television producer/writer Steven Bochco and Nelson Mandela’s ex-wife Winnie Mandela; Monday night’s NCAA championship game between Villanova and Michigan; and MLB and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERSmagazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Detroit on-air and programming pro Jessica Tyler adds music director duties for Cumulus Media’s hot AC WDVD to her responsibilities at the cluster.  Tyler continues to serve as APD, music director, and midday jock at sister country outlet WDRQ-FM “NASH FM 93.1.”  Cumulus Detroit director of programming Robby Bridges says, “Jessica’s passion for music and her relationships with artists and the label community is unparalleled.  I’m pleased she’ll work with me, APD Kendall Taylor, and our corporate team on the sound of Detroit’s 96.3 WDVD going forward!”…..At Connoisseur Media’s Connecticut operations, Allan Lamberti is named morning host at rock WFOX, Stamford/Norwalk “95.9 The FOX.”  He’s been with the cluster since 2003 in a variety of positions.  Station PD Kevin Begley says, “Allan is a walking trivia night.  He knows more about pop culture and music than anyone I’ve ever met.  Being a lifelong resident of Fairfield County, Allan is a perfect person to entertain ‘FOX’ listeners on their way to work in the morning.”  Begley adds that Lamberti leads a re-tooled lineup that includes the addition of Keith Dakin in afternoons…..Cumulus Media promotes programming pro Dayton Kane to operations manager and program director for country WPKR-FM and alternative WWWX-FM “96.9 The Fox.”  Kane was most recently program director for the company’s classic rock WKRU and classic hits WOGB in Green Bay.  Cumulus VP and market managerJohn Rowe says, “Dayton has demonstrated strong programming leadership qualities and produced outstanding results within Cumulus Wisconsin. We’re excited to expand his role and take advantage of his success and experience.”

West Coast Jock John Mack Flanagan Dies at 71.  As reported in LARP.com, John Mack Flanagan, who spent most of his career at KFRC, San Francisco – but also did part of 1975 at KHJ, Los Angeles – passed away after a battle with congestive heart failure on March 31.  In addition to his work at KFRC, he also worked on air at KWSS, San Jose; KSFO, San Francisco; KYA, San Francisco; and KBGG-FM, San Francisco.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

| March 27, 2018

Sid Rosenberg Tells TALKERS, ‘The [NYC] Market is Ripe for the Taking.’   Big Apple AM drive shows beware, Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg (“Bernie & Sid”) are fired up and ready for their WABC morning show debut this Monday (4/2) that replaces the retiring Don Imus.  Both broadcasters have strong roots and ties to Imus, playing various side-kick and producer roles with the legend over the years.  Rosenberg tells TALKERS, “I think it’s fair to say that in our almost-20-year relationship, Imus and I are closer now than we’ve ever been.  I think that’s the case on and off the air.  It’s been special walking with Imus down memory lane these past few months.”  What about the program’s targeting and positioning?  In an exclusive TALKERS interview, Rosenberg says, “I think our new morning show will appeal to a wide range of audience.  It’s fair to assume the 40-year-old male and female will enjoy our brand.  WFAN’s morning show targets the enthusiastic sports fan.  WOR?  Well, I’m not sure whom they target.   Politics – local and national – news, sports, pop culture, and entertainment will all take center stage daily on our new show.  We’ve already received commitments from big name guests from all the arenas I just mentioned.  Plus, the competition can’t come close to contending when you include the daily laughs Bernie and I will provide.”  Rosenberg confidently concludes, “With Imus saying goodbye, Howard Stern on satellite radio and Craig Carton off mornings on WFAN, the market is ripe for the taking.  Bernie and I have talked about and waited for this opportunity for the better part of 18 years.  We have a decidedly better product than the competition and we expect to win!”

WRKO, Boston and Howie Carr Sign Long-Term Extension.  There was probably no one happier than Boston-based talk show host Howie Carr when it was announced iHeartMedia was acquiring Boston talk station WRKO.  He’d always expressed admiration for the company’s dedication to the news/talk format and he’d certainly butted heads with previous owner Entercom over the years.  As Carr and iHeartMedia announce the signing of a new long-term agreement, Carr is quoted in the presser saying, “iHeart is the gold standard of talk radio in America.  I am so happy to be associated with the best company in the industry.”  iHeartMedia Boston Region president Alan Chartrand says, “We are so glad to have Howie with our iHeart family here in Boston.  Howie is a staple in this market and we are excited to have his brand be a part of the iHeartMedia Boston team.”

Cumulus Names New Market Managers – John Lewis to Lead Huntsville; Steve Chessare to Manage Bridgeport.  In the Huntsville, Alabama and Bridgeport, Connecticut markets, Cumulus Media names new market managers.  Most recently with USA Today/Gannett, John Lewis assumes the vice president and market manager role at the company’s Huntsville cluster that includes news/talk WVNN and sports talk WUMP.  This is a return to the company for Lewis who had served with Cumulus in Albany, Georgia; Pensacola; Lexington, Kentucky; and Memphis.  He takes over for Ray Nelson, who is retiring.   Stephen Chessare joins Cumulus Bridgeport, Connecticut as vice president and market manager from his most recent role as market manager for Greater Media Detroit. In Bridgeport, Cumulus operates news/talk WICC and adult contemporary WEBE.

‘Ben & Woods’ New Morning Hosts on San Diego Sports Talk ‘The Mighty 1090.’ Since previous morning personality Dan Sileo exited the morning daypart on Broadcast Corporation of the Americas’ XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090” to join Entercom’s new crosstown sports/guy talk KEGY “97.3 The Machine,” the station has been searching for his replacement.  Now, management reveals Ben Higgins and Steve Woods are hosting the new “Ben & Woods” morning show, starting today (3/27).  Higgins is the sports director and evening sports anchor at KGTV-TV, San Diego.  Woods has served at a number of San Diego stations.  Most recently he was with iHeartMedia as a weekend, fill-in host on rock KIOZ.  He co-hosted the “Cantore + Woods” morning show on alternative KBZT “FM 94.9” with Chris Cantore.  XEPRS vice president of programming Mike Shepard says, “These guys really are the ‘Odd Couple’ of San Diego radio.  It’s super-nice, straight-arrow Ben along with loud, opinionated and funny Steve Woods.  They really have chemistry and genuinely like each other.  It’s going to be fun.”

Nielsen Providing Monthly Insights Reports for Diary Markets. This new set of reports is available to diary market subscribers of PD Advantage and Arbitrends.  Nielsen says the Diary Monthly Insights Reports will “provide audio clients with more granularity and specificity about diary listening behavior and trends and will be delivered to subscribers on a monthly basis.”  Nielsen Audio managing director Brad Kelly says, “In today’s hyper-competitive environment, it’s vital for radio stations to be able to detect changes in their listening audience as early as possible.  Radio stations require faster, more granular insights to understand their listeners.  The Diary Monthly Insights Reports are an advanced new tool offering users the programming edge that comes with a quicker, more discrete read on the radio listening marketplace.”

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk hosts Hugh Hewitt and Mike Gallagher are hosting “Overtime with Hewitt & Gallagher” on Sunday, April 29 in Minneapolis.  The live event is presented by Salem Media Group-owned news/talk WWTC “AM 1280 The Patriot” and features Salem Radio Network personalities Hewitt and Gallagher discussing the current political climate and the upcoming mid-term elections in Minnesota with moderator Ed Morrissey of HotAir.com…..WGN, Chicago is inducting a new class into its Walk of Fame on Friday, May 18 at the Tribune Tower on North Michigan Avenue.  This is the fifth class to be inducted and will include: Pierre Andre, David Kaplan, Chuck Swirsky, Roger Triemstra, and Mary Van De Velde.  WGN Radio station manager Todd Manley says, “In this year’s class, we give tribute to two prominent Chicago sports personalities, an affable weatherman, an announcer from the ‘golden days of radio,’ and a trusted voice in morning drive for over two decades.”…..Bristol Broadcasting promotes Jason Reed, a.k.a. Chris Arnold, to the operations manager position at the Bristol-Johnson City-Kingsport cluster that includes news/talk WFHG…..Westwood One continues its coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament with the Final Four live from the Alamodome in San Antonio this weekend, followed by the National Championship game on Monday night.

Stormy Daniels ’60 Minutes’ Interview, Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S. Expels Russian Diplomats, Bolton National Security Adviser-Designate, Trump Approval Rating Up, Ryan Resignation Rumor, FTC Facebook Investigation/British Cambridge Analytica Probe, Kim Jong Un in China, March Madness, NFL Free Agency, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/26).  Sunday night’s “60 Minutes” interview with Stormy Daniels; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; President Trump expels 60 Russian diplomats in the aftermath of the poisoning of a former Russian spy in the U.K.; former Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, is named Trump’s National Security Adviser-Designate; a CNN poll shows President Trump’s approval rating is at 11-month high; the rumor that House Speaker Paul Ryan will resign within “three to six months”; the Federal Trade Commission reveals it is investigating Facebook and Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie’s testimony before a British Parliamentary committee; reports that North Korea’s Kim Jong Un may be visiting China; the weekend’s NCAA Men’s tournament games; the NFL’s free agency period; and NBA 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. Miami country outlet WKIS “Kiss Country 99.9” names John O’Connell program director.  Entercom SVP and market manager Keriann Worley says, “We are looking forward to having John join the ‘Kiss Country 99.9’ team.  His expertise and passion for country radio, along with knowledge of Miami listeners, will be an asset to the team.  John is a remarkable leader and we are confident he will take on this heritage brand with vigor.”  O’Connell adds WKIS programming duties to his current responsibilities as program director for alternative WSFS “104.3 The Shark.”…..WDRV, Chicago “97.1 The Drive” midday personality Bob Stroud re-ups with Hubbard Radio to continue his duties with the classic rock station.  WDRV program director Rob Cressman comments, “Bob is not only an exemplary brand ambassador for ‘The Drive,’ he is an iconic brand in Chicago.  His experience with classic rock’s artists and his deep understanding of what makes the genre timeless have ensconced him as one of Chicago’s premiere sources for music curation.  His contributions to the classic rock format have been widely celebrated throughout his career.  We are thrilled to know that the daily companionship Bob provides the Chicago community will endure for many years to come.”…..Beasley Media Group appoints programming pro John Candelaria program director for rhythmic oldies WMGC, Detroit “105.1FM The Bounce.”  Candelaria is the company’s urban format captain and has most recently been the operations manager for rhythmic oldies KOAS and hot AC KVGS in Las Vegas.  Beasley Detroit VP and market manager Mac Edwards says, “John’s proven track record as a strategic programmer and tactician makes him the perfect choice to lead our very talented air team.  He ‘gets’ this format and is bringing the ideas and energy to fuel the next phase of growth for ‘105.1 The Bounce.’  This should be fun!”

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

| March 13, 2018

iHeartMedia and Consenting Lenders Extend Deadline by 24 Hours.  This is the second extension of the Forbearance Agreements between debtor iHeartMedia and the Consenting Lenders.  The first was signed on March 4 and the second on March 7.  This extension ends at midnight tonight (3/13).  The 8-K filing with the SEC notes that “As previously disclosed, iHeartCommunications has been engaged in ongoing discussions with its stakeholders with respect to the restructuring of its capital structure. In connection with such discussions, iHeartMedia and iHeartCommunications have been working on a proposed draft restructuring support agreement and related proposed draft restructuring term sheet with advisors to groups of iHeartCommunications’ noteholders, lenders and equity holders.”  One would have to assume that progress is being made toward a solution to the company’s debt problem that avoids putting it all in the hands of a bankruptcy judge.  The latest term sheet still calls for the spinning off of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, a senior secured asset-based revolving credit facility, new secured debt of $5.75 billion, and equity issued to holders of Term Loan Credit Facility Claims, PGN Claims, 2021 Notes Claims, Legacy Notes Claims, and various holders of Equity Interests in iHeart.  See the 8-K filing here.  Meanwhile, Gene Ely writes in Forbes about what possibilities exist for the future incarnation of iHeartMedia.  Read that here.

Townsquare Media Releases Q4 2017 Financial Data; Net Revenue Flat.  The company says its 2017 fourth quarter net revenue figure for the Local Marketing Solutions division (that includes radio) was good.  Townsquare Media co-CEO Bill Wilson says, “We are pleased to announce another strong result in our Local Marketing Solutions segment, which delivered net revenue growth of 0.4% in the fourth quarter of 2017, and 1.9% for the full year, despite the loss of political revenue.  This was the 16th consecutive quarter of positive, organic net revenue growth for this segment of our Company.  Excluding political revenue, Local Marketing Solutions net revenue increased 5.2% in the fourth quarter of 2017, our strongest quarter of the year, and 3.9% for the full year.”  The Entertainment division (live events) did not perform well in either Q4 or the year as a whole.  Fourth quarter 2017 Entertainment net revenue was down 17.4% and, for the year, was down 8.6%.  Townsquare did repay $6.7 million of long-term debt.

WEEO, Chambersburg-Hagerstown Unveils ‘Live Eye in the Sky.’  Pictured above is Magnum Broadcasting general manager Patrick Ryan launching WEEO, Chambersburg-Hagerstown’s new drone, “The Live Eye in The Sky.”  Ryan says “NEWS TALK 1037 FM” is using the drone to fly over Tri-State events and provide play-by-play sound on air and video on Facebook Live.  “Forget cutting edge, we’re cutting through the skies and on air with news events, community activities, business celebrations and more.  As far as we know, it’s the first of its kind combination of live radio and live social media!”

Mark Levin Interviews Netanyahu on ‘Life, Liberty & Levin.’  Talk media star Mark Levin – nationally syndicated on radio via Westwood One – is pictured above (left) on Sunday’s FOX News Channel program, “Life, Liberty & Levin,” interviewing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) during Netanyahu’s visit to America.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Stormy Daniels Case, Kudlow Trump’s Economic Adviser Choice, PA House Race, Trump PA Rally, O.J. Simpson Interview, Black Panther/A Wrinkle in Time, March Madness, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/12). The House Intelligence Committee issues statement denying Trump campaign-Russia collusion in 2016 election; Donald Trump’s lawyers’ battle to keep porn star Stormy Daniels’ “60 Minutes” interview from airing; CNBC host and former Wall Street economist Larry Kudlow named Trump’s choice for economic adviser; the close special election race between Democrat Conor Lamb and Republican Rick Saccone in Pennsylvania; the 2006 O.J. Simpson interview that was aired by FOX TV over the weekend; the Black Panther and A Wrinkle in Time films; the NCAA tournament bracket; and NBA action were some of the most-talked about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS magazine’s 2018 “100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America” to Be Published Tomorrow (3/14). This year’s edition of the “100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America” – also known as the Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk Radio – will be the sixth edition of this list. It is compiled by the editors of TALKERS magazine with input from industry leaders based on a number of hard factors, such as ratings and revenue, as well as soft factors including impact, recognition, and talent. This annual list makes no distinction between local personalities or nationally syndicated hosts – the requisite being that the host, duo, or team is working on a regularly scheduled show on a terrestrial radio station or on satellite radio at the time of the list’s publication. TALKERS magazine will publish the 2018 list tomorrow (March 14) at 12:00 noon EDT.

KHTE, Little Rock’s Dave Elswick Broadcasts from Branson.  Little Rock talk show host Dave Elswick – afternoon drive host on Salem Media Group’s news/talk KHTE, Little Rock “96.5 FM The Answer” – is pictured above broadcasting live from Sight and Sound in Branson Missouri for the grand opening of the musical production of Samson.

TALKERS News Notes.  Chicago media personality William J. Kelly, a.k.a. Citizen Kelly, is returning to Evanston Broadcasting’s WCGO, Chicago to host “The Citizen Kelly Show” from 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight, effective March 19.  Kelly says, “The Citizen Kelly radio empire is not only growing but thriving.  We do Chicago TV and radio successfully because we are from Chicago, we know Chicago people, we know Chicago attitudes, and we know Chicago humor, unlike these failed, bankrupt radio stations with their fake personalities and forced laughter.”  Kelly is a frequent contributor to the Daily Caller, Newsmax, and the Washington Times…..Curtis Media Group’s WPTF, Raleigh announces program schedule changes that include the addition of Radio America’s Dana Loesch program and FOX News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade show.  Loesch’s show is taking over the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot and Kilmeade’s show airs live from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.  The Raleigh News Observer quotes Curtis VP of news and information programming Rick Martinez saying there will be more news programming, including from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm and 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm with Scott Briggaman, as well as the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show hosted by Martinez and his wife, Donna…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that changes are coming to Entercom’s sports talk WSCR “The Score,” including the exit of Jason Goff from the afternoon show and a possible return to the station of Dan McNeil, partnered with Dan Bernstein.  McNeil left “The Score” back in 2014, subsequently co-hosted mornings on classic rock WDRV, and recently returned to WSCR to host a Sunday morning show…..Fishnet Syndication is named to handle marketing and advertising sales for USA Radio Network, effective immediately.  In October 2015, Anthem Broadcasting acquired the USA Radio Network.  Anthem Broadcasting LLC, is a subsidiary of the Phoenix-based media company Liftable Media Inc…..In the aftermath of Sunday’s airing of “O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession?” on FOX TV, publisher Judith Regan spoke exclusively to several Cumulus Media radio stations, including WMAL-AM/FM, Washington; WLS-AM, Chicago; WYAY-AM, Atlanta; WABC-AM, New York; WPRO-AM, Providence; WJR-AM, Detroit; KABC-AM, Los Angeles; KGO-AM, San Francisco; KMJ-AM, Fresno; and WWTN-AM, Nashville.  Regan told WYAY’s Shannon Burke Simpson showed “not a speck” of remose, adding, “I think he’s a psychopath and he has no conscience.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Alt rock KROQ, Los Angeles announces Miles Anzaldo is joining the station to serve as music director.  Entercom SVP and market manager Jeff Federman says, “After an extensive search for the next music director, I am beyond thrilled to welcome Miles Anzaldo to KROQ.  Miles grew up in the music and radio business in Southern California and is extremely passionate and knowledgeable about our business.  His understanding of digital and social content will certainly help the station continue to expand beyond broadcast.”…..In Kansas City, Cumulus Media names air personality Dave Fogel midday jock at classic hits KCMO-FM.  Fogel, who most recently was in Chicago at WJMK and WLS-FM, started his radio career at KMXV, Kansas City.  He is the son of Kansas City television legend Jerry Fogel.  KCMO-FM program director Joe Russo comments, “Dave is a superstar and a Kansas City guy through and through.”…..Local Media San Diego brings “The Moug Show” to alternative XETRA, San Diego “91X.”  Program hosts John Moug and Jared Dey – most recently with CHR KLUC, Las Vegas – join XETRA’s Danielle for the new show…..Woodward Radio Group agrees to acquire CHR WBJZ, Berlin, Wisconsin “B104” from Caxambas Corporation.  Woodward general manager Kelly Radandt states, “This additional signal will fit nicely into our long-term strategic goals for our radio division.  It will also allow us to better serve our Northeast Wisconsin communities.”…..YEA Networks is launching the national syndication of “Tino Cochino Radio.”  The program is hosted by Tino Cochino, co-host Milli Rodriguez.

Monday, March 5, 2018

| March 5, 2018

iHeartMedia Gets Breathing Room to Settle Debt Issue.  Industry watchers were expecting iHeartMedia to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection over the weekend as the default on a missed $103 million payment on 14% Senior Notes was about to kick in.  That didn’t happen and iHeart announces that yesterday (3/4) it “and certain lenders party thereto (the ‘Consenting Lenders’) entered into a Forbearance Agreement (the ‘Forbearance Agreement’), with respect to the Credit Agreement, dated as of May 13, 2008, as amended and restated as of February 23, 2011 (as further amended or supplemented from time to time, the ‘Credit Agreement’), among iHeartCommunications, as the parent borrower, the subsidiary co-borrowers and foreign subsidiary revolving borrowers party thereto, iHeartMedia Capital I, LLC, as a guarantor, Citibank, N.A., as administrative agent, swing line lender and letter of credit issuer, and the other lenders from time to time party thereto.  The Consenting Lenders constitute the lenders required under the Credit Agreement to grant a forbearance.  Pursuant to the Forbearance Agreement, the Consenting Lenders agreed to temporarily forbear from accelerating the obligations under the Credit Agreement or otherwise exercising any rights or remedies thereunder as a result of any actual or prospective event of default under Section 8.01(e) of the Credit Agreement resulting from iHeartCommunications’ failure to make an interest payment beyond the applicable grace period with respect to its 14.00% Senior Notes due 2021 that was originally due on February 1, 2018.  The forbearance became effective upon all parties’ execution thereof and will terminate immediately and automatically upon the earliest to occur of (i) March 7, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. Central time and (ii) an event of default under the Credit Agreement other than those that resulted in the entry into the Forbearance Agreement (the ‘Forbearance Period’).”

Erick Erickson Signs New Deal with WSB, Atlanta.  Afternoon drive personality Erick Erickson has signed a new contract with Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta to continue his work with the station through 2020.  Erickson joined the station in 2011 and moved into a prime daypart in less than one year.  WSB director of branding and programming Pete Spriggs states, “We are excited to have Erick as part of our radio family for the long term.  He came into radio having never expected to be on radio and has thrived.  The contacts in his phone are a ‘Who’s Who’ of newsmakers and power brokers.  Atlanta is genuinely listening to the most connected man in radio.”  In addition to hosting “Atlanta’s Evening News with Erick Erickson,” weeknights from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, he also provides political analysis for “Atlanta’s Morning News” and occasionally fills in for WSB’s Herman Cain.  Erickson says, “I fell into radio by accident, and it has been fun to really move from being a blogger and TV pundit into the role of talk radio host.  These last couple of years were not at all what I expected, but I get up every day excited to keep Atlanta entertained and informed with what is happening locally, nationally, and around the globe.”

Entercom Officially Announces Launch of ’97.3 The Machine’ in San Diego; Kevin Klein to Host Morning Drive.  Last week, TALKERS magazine reported Entercom’s plans for former CHR KEGY, San Diego – to turn it into a hot talk/sports hybrid with former XEPRS sports talker Dan Sileo in middays and the KISW, Seattle-based “The Men’s Room” show in afternoon drive.  Now, Entercom sends out an official presser announcing former alternative KITS, San Francisco personality Kevin Klein will be morning drive host, effective March 29.  Until that time, the station will air rebroadcasts of “The Men’s Room” in mornings.  As previously reported, the station will be the flagship for San Diego Padres baseball.  Entercom says the station will present a “unique mix of compelling personalities, comedy, sports and curated classic rock music…evenings and weekends when not broadcasting Padres baseball, ‘97.3 The Machine’ will provide music fans in San Diego with a true classic rock curated playlist ‘That Rocks,’ framed by entertaining comedy.”

Author Suing Sid Rosenberg and WFAN for Fraud.   Today’s New York Post is reporting that author Joseph DeBlasi is suing WABC, New York talk show host Sid Rosenberg and WFAN, New York for $20 million.  DeBlasi alleges in his complaint that Rosenberg was paid $5,000 to get DeBlasi interviews on the radio to promote his book, Polarized: Sex, Lies and Family Betrayal.  Rosenberg’s lawyer says the allegation is a lie and that Rosenberg was never given any money.  DeBlasi’s complaint states that the June 2014 deal was supposed to get DeBlasi on Geraldo Rivera’s program on WABC.  It further states that after Rosenberg attempted to get him the interview, DeBlasi learned that the deal with Rosenberg was illegal, violating payola laws.  DeBlasi did appear on WFAN three times when Rosenberg was filling in on the morning show.

‘The Conservative Cartel’ Now Syndicated by USA Radio.  Beginning today (3/5), “The Conservative Cartel” – co-hosted by Matt Locke and Chris X – is being syndicated by USA Radio.  The Fort Worth-based program airs live from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET daily.  The program continues to be distributed via TheBlaze Radio Network for weekends.  The program will debut in 15-plus markets.  USA Radio general manager Janet Bro says, “We’re extremely excited to announce the addition of ‘The Conservative Cartel’ to the daily lineup of shows available from USA Radio.  Matt Locke and Chris X are the perfect addition to syndicated radio and the USA Radio family.”

WBEN, Buffalo Airing 12 Hours of Talk About School Safety and Guns.  Calling it “#12Voicesin12Hours,” WBEN, Buffalo program director Tim Wenger says in a blog post that today’s 6:00 am to 6:00 pm broadcast addressing school safety and guns may “make you uncomfortable at times…But to advance change, meaningful and helpful change, you need to understand those who disagree with you and hear them out.”  Wenger says, “The hard part about this ‘conversation’ is that while most people want to have it, most walk away from it as soon as ideas are presented that go against their own personal thoughts and beliefs on the issues.  Most ‘cable news’ conversations go ‘ugly’ in a hurry and simply build a brick wall between two warring sides.  Unless that changes, nothing changes…this broadcast is, by design, not laden with politicians who are looking for a spotlight.  But it will, in the end, include some thoughts from some willing members of our Congressional delegation who may well be charged with advancing legislation that could impact us all.”  Wenger notes that each hour of the broadcast will be saved as a podcast for listeners to check out later.

TALKERS News Notes. In New York, Salem Media Group is launching a news weekly program featuring John Catsimatidis called “Cats At Night” on WNYM “AM 970 The Answer.”  The show debuts on Wednesday (3/7) and airs from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Catsimatidis also hosts a Sunday morning interview program called “The Cats Roundtable” that airs on WNYM and six other stations.  Catsimatidis says, “I love doing radio.  It’s the most enjoyable hour of my week.  I am excited about expanding my radio presence to drive time with ‘Cats at Night’ and the opportunity to share my views on what’s really going on in New York and the world.  My thanks to Jerry Crowley and his team at WNYM for their ongoing support.”…..WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley tells TALKERS magazine that he recently had the pleasure of interviewing Atlantic County resident Helen Turner, who will turn 111 on April 1.  Hurley says he reached out to Atlantic County executive Dennis Levinson live, on the air requesting he make April 1, 2018 Helen Turner Day and he agreed.  Turner is also a huge fan of FOX News Channel star Tucker Carlson.  Hurley reached out to Carlson to see if he would announce Turner’s birthday on FNC and provide an autographed photo for her and he also readily agreed…..WTMJ, Milwaukee’s WTMJ Cares “Game Night for Stars and Stripes Honor Flight” recently raised a total of $54,758 to fund WTMJ Honor Flights for 150 veterans to see their memorial in Washington, DC.  The unique partnership with the NBA‘s Milwaukee Bucks featured a pre-game party at historic Turner Hall where guests met Vietnam Veterans.  After the party, the group enjoyed the Bucks game against the Washington Wizards.  The event was the finale of a three-week on-air campaign led by WTMJ Radio afternoon host, John Mercure.  Mercure’s “WTMJ Cares” fundraising project told stories of the service of Vietnam Veterans in the area. To complete the fundraising, WTMJ held a radiothon where WTMJ listeners donated $32,758 in three hours…..TribLive.com is reporting that the new owners of KQV, Pittsburgh hope to restore the all-news format that aired on the station prior to the previous owner’s shutting it down and selling it.  Robert and Ashley Stevens – principals of Broadcast Communications Inc. – are paying $55,000 for the station and its assets.  Stevens tells the news outlet, “We would like to be able to do the news.  I would like to be able to do it as a news station very similar to the way it was.  We just need to make sure we can do it in a way that would be financially feasible.”…..Northpine.com is reporting that WRRD, Milwaukee majority owner Michael Crute has entered into a deal with Good Karma Broadcasting to lease WTTN, Columbus, Wisconsin (Madison market) in order to air the “Resistance Radio” progressive talk format currently airing on WRRD.  WTTN’s primary signal is northeast of Madison but Crute has applied for an FM translator at 92.7 that would cover much of Madison.  Crute also has a construction permit for a 250-watt translator at 101.7 in the Milwaukee market.

Trump Tariffs/Trade War Talk, Trump Admires Xi Jinping, NRA Membership Spikes/Gun Control Issues, Russian Election Hacking, Sunday Night’s Oscars Awards, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  Reactions to President Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum and the related issue of trade wars; President Trump’s comments about Chinese president Xi Jinping’s elimination of term limits for his position and suggestion that the U.S. should do the same; the NRA reports a spike in new memberships and the related issue of gun control measures; the allegations of Russian hackers targeting U.S. elections; Sunday night’s Academy Awards ceremony; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. After last week’s departure of afternoon drive personality Cara Carriveau from Hubbard Radio’s adult contemporary WSHE, Chicago, the company announces the new afternoon team and several other air talent moves.  Former FOX TV Chicago personality Jenny Milkowski, a.k.a. Jenny Milk, is teaming up with Jay Styles to host the 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm program.  Styles moves from his role as the Chicago producer of the “Brooke & Jubal Morning Show” on WSHE.  Filling his shoes there is evening jock Robb Rose.  His 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight shift is now being hosted by station weekend personality Brian Middleton…..After moving country KIIX from the 96.1 frequency in Spokane to KZFS-AM/K257FX, iHeartMedia launches new alternative rock outlet “ALT 96.1.”  The station is airing Premiere Networks’ Los Angeles-based “The Woody Show” in morning drive…..The nationally syndicated Tino Cochino program is airing in evenings on Alpha Media’s CHR WNGY, Peoria “G 102.3.”  Cochino comments, “I’ve been a fan of the ‘G’ brand from the beginning.  Alpha took a different, much needed approach and it’s clearly working.  To partner our show with ‘G 102.3’ is beyond exciting to say the least!  I appreciate the opportunity and look forward to extending our brand in the Peoria market.”.….iHeartMedia announces Taylor Swift will present the world premiere of her new video for the hit single “Delicate” at the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards this Sunday (3/11).  The event will simulcast live on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8:00 pm ET in addition to airing on numerous iHeartMedia radio stations…..The sale of four radio stations from MTS Broadcasting to Draper Media closes.  Draper acquires Maryland stations country WAAI-FM, Hurlock; oldies WTDK-FM, Federalsburg; adult standards WCEM-AM, Cambridge; and adult contemporary WCEM-FM, Cambridge for $700,000.  Greg Guy of Patrick Communications was the exclusive broker…..Premiere Networks and Viacom’s CMT announce a multi-year extension of their deal that syndicates CMT personality Cody Alan’s “CMT After MidNite” country music show.  As part of the deal, CMT and Premiere Networks will continue to collaborate and develop programs and events for multiple platforms.

PPM Analysis: Rhythmic CHR.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on rhythmic CHR.  In this report, Kinosian compares 6+ share fluctuations from the Holiday 2017 survey to January 2018, January 2017 to January 2018, and more.  See the whole report here.

Friday, March 2, 2018

| March 2, 2018

iHeartMedia Bankruptcy Filing Likely This Weekend.  That’s what industry and financial business watchers are saying as the grace period on iHeartMedia’s February 1 non-payment of $103 million in interest runs out.  For example, Bloomberg’s Emma Orr says that advisers working with iHeartMedia senior creditors have been made privy to bankruptcy papers designed for the first day of bankruptcy court proceedings.  Orr writes, “Despite a year of negotiations on a restructuring plan, a formal support agreement still isn’t in place with the most-senior lenders, and the creditors aren’t in restricted talks with the company…Creditors typically agree to restrict some of their activities in exchange for non-public information when talks heat up.”  iHeartMedia and senior creditors have been unable – so it seems at this late hour – to come to terms on a pre-packaged bankruptcy plan making it likely that a Chapter 11 bankruptcy will take place that could, in Orr’s words, “turn into a free-fall, with some of the biggest and most contentious specialists in distressed companies potentially tussling for years over about $20 billion of debt.”

Entercom Flips CHR KEGY, San Diego Hot Talk/Sports Hybrid.  Or so it would seem as Entercom dropped the CHR format on KEGY, San Diego yesterday afternoon at 2:00 pm and began stunting with rock songs.  A website for the station indicates it’s being branded “97.3 The Machine, Talk That Rocks” and displays a program schedule that includes the KISW, Seattle-based afternoon drive show “The Men’s Room” (Miles Montgomery, Steve The Thrill Hill, Mike Hawk, and Thee Ted Smith) in both morning drive and afternoon drive.  Sandwiched between in middays is former crosstown sports XEPRS morning host Dan Sileo.  The site lists “music & comedy” to air from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  Though the site doesn’t mention San Diego Padres baseball, a previous presser from the MLB club indicated games would air on 97.3 FM this season.  A number of industry watchers – including TALKERS magazine – expected the station to flip to sports talk.  Time will tell if this stunting is a bit of misdirection or if Entercom is really going go with a hot talk/sports hybrid.  Stay tuned!

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from the January 2018 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, today focusing on news/talk.  Historically, the format experiences a ratings dip during the Holiday survey period and rebounds in January and things are no different this year.  Kinosian writes that “more than eight of 10 of these news/talk panelists are up between Holiday 2017 – January 2018 (82%, 6+), while only one in 10 (10%) of the qualifiers listed here are down; the remaining 8% are flat.”  But, comparing January 2017 to January 2018, “roughly three of every five stations on our news/talk sample register a year-to-year decrease (61%, 6+), while approximately one in three (32%) improve; the remaining 7% are unchanged.”  Two talk stations managed to rank #1 in their respective markets in the January survey – Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  Twelve other news/talk outlets ranked in the top five in their respective markets.  See Kinosian’s entire report here.

Gun Control Debate Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 26 – March 2.  The debate over gun control in the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida school shooting and the related televised White House meeting in which President Trump favored raising the minimum age for gun ownership was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week.  At #2 was the resignation of White House communications director Hope Hicks the day after her testimony before the House Intelligence Committee.  Coming in at #3 was Trump’s public criticism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions over the FISA abuse allegations, followed by the Trump-Russia probe at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

USA Radio Network Refutes Industry Scuttlebutt.  The radio syndication firm says rumors that it is canceling its “Daybreak USA” morning talk program are untrue.  USA Radio Network says the show is continuing with new hosts RoddWilliam Stowell and his wife Rachael Marie.  Company general manager Janet Bro states, “There are always rumors in this industry, but this one is unfounded and obviously unconfirmed with USA Radio Network.  We have made several changes in other shows and will soon be adding other programming opportunities for you.  Canceling Daybreak is not even a consideration.”

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago sports talker WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” is adding ESPN Radio’s “Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz” to air in the 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight slot, beginning Monday (3/5)…..CBS News Radio’s “WORLD NEWS ROUNDUP” celebrates 80 years on the air on March 13.  CBS notes that the program is America’s longest-running newscast program.  On March 13, special programming “will explore the first broadcast in 1938, its significance to the history of radio at the time, and how the ‘WORLD NEWS ROUNDUP’ has evolved to remain relevant today.”  CBS News Radio general manager Craig Swagler says, “People have lots of choices for news, so achieving 80 years on the air is an incredible landmark.  We are proud that millions of Americans rely on the reporting of CBS News every day.”…..SiriusXM is launching two news sports talk channels on Monday (3/5), one each dedicated to a college sports conference.  SiriusXM ACC Radio will super-serve fans of the Atlantic Coast Conference with programming including “ACC This Morning,” hosted by Mark Packer and Wes Durham.  The afternoon “ACC Today” show is hosted by Chris Spatola and Jac Collinsworth.  The SiriusXM Pac-12 channel focuses on Pac-12 Conference sports, including a morning drive show hosted by Guy Haberman and former Washington State quarterback and Pac-12 Player of the Year Ryan Leaf.  The afternoon “Pac-12 Today” is being hosted by Kate Scott, Utah alum Sean O’Connell, and former Oregon lineman Geoff Schwartz.

Christopher Nixon Cox Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. He is the son of Tricia Nixon Cox and New York State Republican Party chairman Edward F. Cox and the grandson of the 37th President of the United States, Richard M. Nixon and First Lady Pat Nixon. Attorney, international businessman, and GOP strategist, Christopher Nixon Cox is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Harrison and Cox discuss the state of politics in America, the first year of the Donald Trump presidency, his memories of growing up in a major American political family, and his involvement in talk radio in the US and abroad. Harrison describes Cox, who served as New York State executive director of U.S. Senator John McCain‘s 2008 presidential campaign and is a former congressional candidate as “a bright and articulate young man with an extraordinarily colorful past and an extremely bright future.” Don’t miss this! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on “The Michael Harrison Interview” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Hillsdale College Students Reported from CPAC.  At last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland, students from Hillsdale College conducted more than 50 interviews over two days.  WRFH, Hillsdale “Radio Free Hillsdale” general manager Scot Bertram guided students Ben Dietderich, Shad Strehle, and Ryan Murphy through interviews with an array of personalities, from conservative thinkers to celebrities to college alumni.  This was the first time the college hosted a booth on CPAC’s media row.  Above left is Strehle interviewing former UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage and at right, Murphy files a video report.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Seattle, Entercom names Emily Raines co-host of the morning show on country KKWF “100.7 The Wolf.”  Raines joins “The Morning Wolfpack with Matt McAllister” on Monday (3/5).  Entercom Seattle SVP and market manager Jack Hutchison says, “We are excited to welcome Emily to our ‘Morning Wolfpack’ show alongside Matt McAllister.  She is a very talented personality, compelling storyteller and has a competitive spirit that understands what it takes to play at the highest level of major market radio.”…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that WSHE afternoon drive personality Cara Carriveau’s last shift on the Hubbard Radio adult contemporary station is today.  In a statement, Carriveau  says, “I am so appreciative of all of the wonderful opportunities Hubbard Radio Chicago has given me.  To have hosted afternoons on WSHE after hosting middays on WTMX makes me extremely proud of the past decade in my career.  I will deeply miss the amazing people I have worked with for so many years.”…..The Premiere Networks-syndicated Bobby Bones morning show re-ups with Adams Radio Group’s country WBTU, Fort Wayne “US99.3” through 2024.  Bobby Bones comments, “I am pumped to be staying with ‘US93.3.’  No station has been more supportive.  And in return I’ve tried to show my support back by going to Fort Wayne multiple times to do shows for my awesome listeners.  Shout out to everyone at Adams Radio Group and PD Randy Alomar for fiercely promoting the show every day.”

Thursday, March 1, 2018

| March 1, 2018

iHeartMedia Moves News/Talk Programming to New Signal in Boston.  The lineup of predominantly Premiere Networks-syndicated news/talk shows moves from WKOX to WXKS-AM in Boston.  WXKS-AM had been leased to Bloomberg for its news radio format, but that deal is not renewed and iHeartMedia elects to shift the conservative talk format from WKOX’s 1430 AM to WXKS-AM’s 1200.  The station continues to be simulcast on WJMN-HD2.  iHeartMedia SVP of programming for Boston Dylan Sprague comments, “We are proud to have the best talent in talk radio on ‘TALK 1200.’  With a more powerful signal, we can now reach a wider audience.”

Michael Holley Exits WEEI, Boston.  Thirteen-year WEEI, Boston personality Michael Holley leaves Entercom’s sports talker for a larger role on cable’s NBC Sports Boston.  His emotional farewell announcement on yesterday’s program probably shocked fans.  The “Dale & Holley Show with Rich Keefe” has been a consistently high-performing show for the station and Holley was offered a multi-year contract extension, but he elected to focus on an expanded role on TV.  For now, the afternoon drive show on the station will be co-hosted by Dale Arnold and Rich Keefe while Entercom seeks a replacement for him.

Cumulus’ WJOX-FM, Birmingham Replaces AM Drive Show with Midday ‘JOX Roundtable’ Program.  “The Opening Drive” show starring Jay Barker, Al DelGreco and Tony Kurre has been canceled by Cumulus Media’s WJOX-FM, Birmingham and is being replaced by the midday “JOX Roundtable” program that features Jim Dunaway (center), Lance Taylor (right) and Ryan Brown (left).  The shift takes effect on Monday (3/5).  Cumulus Media Birmingham VP and market manager David Walls says, “We are extremely excited and pleased to be able to put our most successful show in the mornings and introduce this fantastic program to more JOX listeners. These guys know how to win and with their work ethic and talent, we are expecting great things.”  Program director Ryan Haney adds, “The listener response to the ‘JOX Roundtable’ has been exceptional over the years.  We look forward to continuing to build upon the momentum and passion shared by both the show and its loyal fan base.”

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio.  It’s not surprising that 77% of stations in the panel saw their 6+ shares increase following the Holiday 2017 PPM survey that is so dominated by Christmas music listening.  Comparing January 2017 to January 2018, 61% of stations enjoyed an increase in their 6+ shares.  Just one sports talk station in PPM markets was ranked #1 (6+) during the January survey and that honor went to Entercom’s WIP, Philadelphia – flagship of the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.  New England Patriots flagship WBZ-FM, Boston “The Sports Hub” ranked #2 in its market as did Minnesota Vikings flagship KFXN, Minneapolis “K-FAN.”  See the entire report here.

iHeartMedia Misses More Interest Payments.  Because it is expecting to enter into some form bankruptcy protection very soon, iHeartMedia has elected not to make interest payments totaling $138 million.  That total is from outstanding 11.25% Priority Guarantee Notes due 2021 — $59.1 million due – and outstanding 9.0% Priority Guarantee Notes due 2021 — $78.8 million due.  This kicks in a 30-day grace period before default, but as the company’s filing with the SEC indicates, it is in continuing negotiations with debt holders over a comprehensive debt restructuring to reduce its more than $20 billion in debt.  This is the second non-payment of interest for the company.  It’s February 1 non-payment on $106 million goes into default after tomorrow (3/2).

TALKERS News Notes.  A new conservative television talk show will hit the airwaves on PBS – at least for an eight-week trial run.  The program, called “In Principle” and starring columnist Michael Gerson and commentator Amy Holmes, debuts on April 13.  As reported by AP, the program “will take its cue from William F. Buckley’s ‘Firing Line,’ which aired from 1966 to 1999.”  It goes on to say that each show will feature interviews with two guests for in-depth discussions about such issues as race, gun control, and more.  Gerson is quoted saying, “I think the Trump era has been a very difficult time for traditional conservative discourse.  I think a lot of institutions and places have been co-opted in this era.  I view conservatism not only as a belief but a state of mind, a respect for tradition but also a respect for facts.”…..Beasley Broadcast Group chief financial officer Marie Tedesco is presenting at next week’s Deutsche Bank Media, Telecom & Business Services Conference in Palm Beach, Florida.  In addition to the presentation, Tedesco will meet with institutional investors at the conference…..iHeartMedia and entertainment industry publication Variety are teaming up to produce a new podcast titled, “PLAYBACK,” a film-focused program hosted by Variety awards editor Kris Tapley.  The weekly podcast will be available on the iHeartRadio platform and feature exclusive, in-depth interviews with the talents behind many of today’s hottest movies.

Hope Hicks Resigns, Trump’s Televised WH Meeting, NRA vs Delta, Trump-Russia Investigation, Parkland Shooting Investigation, FISA Abuse Matter, Oprah Presidential Bid, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/28). White House communications director Hope Hicks’ announcement she’s resigning from her position; President Trump’s televised White House meeting during which he proposes new gun restrictions; the NRA’s battle with Delta over the termination of their business relationship and threats by Georgia politicians to punish the airline; Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the ongoing investigation into the police response to the Parkland, Florida school shooting; President Trump’s attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions for asking the Inspector General’s office to look into allegations of FISA abuse; Oprah Winfrey’s statement she’s waiting for a sign from God whether to run for president; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

BFoA to Honor Urban One’s Cathy Hughes.  At the Broadcasters Foundation of America annual breakfast at the NAB Show in Las Vegas on April 11, the organization will honor Urban One founder and chairperson Cathy Hughes as recipient of the 2018 Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award.   The Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award is bestowed annually upon an individual in broadcasting whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.  It salutes its namesake Lowry Mays and is underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation.  Hughes’ unprecedented career has spawned a multi-media conglomerate across radio, television, and digital media.  In 1980 she founded Radio One (now Urban One), which became the largest African-American owned and operated broadcast company in the nation.

Michael Harrison Discusses Podcasting.  TALKERS founder Michael Harrison appears as a guest on this week’s installment of the popular podcast, “Viral Podcasting,” hosted by media/financial consultant Kerry Lutz.  Harrison and Lutz discuss the rise of podcasting and its relationship to terrestrial radio.  Harrison says that podcasting (originally a term that originally related to the Apple iPod) is just a word that in a broader sense means “programming on demand.”  He explains how the internet and digital age are undoing the culture of “mass media” that grew out of 20th century technology.  He suggests that to be successful at podcasting “you can’t just mail it in as you could when consumers had fewer choices in terms of media products and platforms.”   To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Three air personalities are returning to Westwood One’s 24/7 Formats division.  The company announces that rock personality Marconi – who’s served with WKQX, Chicago; KUFO, Portland; and KNDD, Seattle – returns to the Rock 2.0 format.  Well-known Los Angeles jock Jay Coffey returns to host middays on the classic hits service.  Tony Scott, who has worked at KLOS, KRTH, and KSWD in Los Angeles, is returning to host the evening show on the classic rock service.  Westwood One also announces that Lynn Briggs is taking on the afternoon daypart on its adult contemporary service.  Westwood One president of programming Kirk Stirland says, “Hundreds of our affiliates, along with their listeners coast-to-coast, are hearing their old friends on radio once again, on a multitude of formats here at Westwood One.  Marconi, Jay, Tony and Lynn are deeply experienced radio pros and I am very pleased to welcome them to the 24-Hour Format where they will bring great value to our customers.”

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

| February 28, 2018

Colin Cowherd Launches ‘The Herd Podcast Network.’ This new podcast network is a cooperative effort by sports talk personality Colin Cowherd, radio syndicator Premiere Networks, and digital business consultancy Red Seat Ventures.  The Herd Podcast Network launches today and features Cowherd’s daily and weekly podcasts, plus other podcasts hand-picked and curated by Cowherd.  One of the first podcasts to join Cowherd’s new platform is “3 and Out with John Middlekauff,” an “unfiltered perspective on the top stories in the NFL and college football, as well as interviews and conversations with the biggest names in the game.”  Beginning in March, sports media figure Doug Gottlieb will host a college basketball and NBA podcast.  Both Cowherd and Gottlieb host nationally syndicated radio shows for FOX Sports Radio.  Cowherd’s show is simulcast on cable’s FOX Sports 1.  The Herd Podcast Network is available on iHeartRadio and other podcast platforms.  Cowherd says, “I’ve said it before – I’ve chosen to work with the best people in the industry and I couldn’t be more excited about this new venture with Premiere Networks and Red Seat Ventures.  This is a unique opportunity for ‘The Herd’ audience to dive deeper into the sports they crave.  If you like what we do on our show, you will like what John, Doug and the other podcast hosts bring to the table.  I’m incredibly lucky to launch this platform for the fans whenever and wherever they happen to be listening.”

PPM Analysis: All-NewsTALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s just-released January 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on all-news outlets.  On the heels of the Holiday 2017 survey, 75% of all-news stations saw their 6+ shares increase from the Holiday 2017 to the January 2018 survey.  But, year-over-year, almost three quarters of all-newsers were down (6+) from January 2017 to January 2018.  However, six of the 14 all-news stations in the survey ranked in the top five (6+) in their respective markets in the January PPM survey.  Hubbard’s WTOP, Washington and iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento both ranked #1 in their respective markets, while Entercom’s WINS, New York and KCBS-AM, San Francisco ranked #2 in their markets (KCBS-AM also ranked #2 in the adjacent San Jose market).   See the whole report here.

Scripps Reports 2017 Q4 Financials; Radio Stations in ‘Discontinued Operations.’ The 2017 fourth quarter financial numbers for E.W. Scripps have been released but the exact details of the performance of its radio division is unclear as the company classifies its 34 stations as “held for sale” and their data is part of the “discontinued operations” line item.  As it stood in the fourth quarter, the net income from “discontinued operations” was a loss of $6 million compared to the income of $2.03 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.  For the year as a whole, the category lost almost $2.6 million compared to the gain of $7.3 million for all of 2016. In January, the television-focused Scripps retained Kalil & Co. to sell its radio stations.

Cox Media Group Appoints Commodore Integrated News Director for Tulsa.  News director Tina Commodore has been with Cox Media Group in Tulsa since November 2016 serving TV station KOKI-TV, Tulsa.  Now, she becomes news director for the converged Tulsa market, driving news content for news/talk KRMG-AM/FM.  CMG Tulsa market VP Cathy Gunther comments, “This new role will be responsible for integrating two powerful news brands across all platforms.  Tina is a talented leader and will have a unique opportunity to take a fresh look at the way we gather and cover news across our radio, TV and digital platforms in Tulsa.”  Prior to joining CMG Tulsa, Commodore was managing editor for the company’s WSB-TV, Atlanta. In that role, she helped lead daily operation of the newsroom and coverage of breaking news events.

Mike Gallagher Chats with Vice President Mike Pence.  Pictured above is Salem Radio Network talk show host Mike Gallagher (right) interviewing Vice President Mike Pence (left) at the 75th National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville.  The two are old friends going back to Pence’s days hosting a radio talk show on WIBC, Indianapolis.

TALKERS News Notes. Sports talk WWBA-AM/W252DF, Tampa recently partnered with the Lou Piniella Celebrity Golf Classic to help raise funds for Score International, which helps bring about awareness of human trafficking.  Air personality Erik Kuselias broadcast his daily afternoon show live from the event…..ABC-TV is ordering a total of nine episodes of Alec Baldwin’s new talk show.  The program is called “Sundays With Alec Baldwin” and features Baldwin interviewing people from the world of entertainment and politics.  It’s a television version of his WNYC podcast.  His first guests are comedian Jerry Seinfeld and “Saturday Night Live” cast member Kate McKinnon.  The first episode airs this Sunday night after the Academy Awards broadcast…..AdLarge Media’s cabana division is expanding its podcast offerings with the new Parents on Demand (POD) Network.  This curated collection of podcasts focus on parent-friendly topics ranging from pregnancy, infancy, and adoption to nourishing meals, childcare, and the teen years.

Serving Up Drinks for Charity.  “Man about town” Brad Shepard, GM and morning host of hyper-local online radio station Pioneer Valley Radio (www.PioneerValleyRadio.com) in Western Massachusetts, served as a celebrity bartender at the local chapter of Junior Achievement’s fundraiser held at Plan B Burger in Downtown Springfield last night (2/27).  All the tips for the bartenders go to Junior Achievement for local youth K-12.  Shepard is a scheduled speaker at TALKER 2018: Full Speed Ahead! on June 8 in New York City.  Photo by Hoang ‘Leon’ Nguyen.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Hicks Testimony, Kushner Security Status, NRA vs Delta, North Korea Chemical Weapons Allegations, Xi Jinping Power Grab, Papa John’s Ends NFL Sponsorship, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/27).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents and White House communications director Hope Hicks’ testimony before the House Intelligence Committee; the shaky status of Jared Kushner’s security clearance; Delta’s ending of its business relationship with the NRA and Georgia Lt. Governor Casey Cagle’s threat to punish Delta; the UN report suggesting North Korea is providing Syria with materials for chemical weapons; Chinese president Xi Jinping’s elimination of term limits for himself; Papa John’s ends its NFL sponsorship; and NBA 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. In Seattle, Hubbard Radio announces that Tori Dunn is appointed the new promotions and marketing director for KNUC “Country 98.9.”  Dunn says of her new gig, “To be a part of such a special brand like ‘Country 98.9’ is an extreme honor and I am incredibly appreciative of the support of Lisa Adams, Marc Kaye and the Hubbard Radio Seattle family.  My dreams are coming true being able to walk through the doors each day with Country 98.9!”…..Envision Networks and Kroeger Media Inc. announce that Neuhoff Media’s WBBE, Bloomington, Illinois is joining the BOB FM family, adding the adult hits format to the station.  Kroeger Media president Howard Kroeger says, “In Panama City, Florida, BOB FM recently hit number one in Persons 12+.  The format is in touch with the current listening trends and methodology to take a station to the top of the ratings.  ‘BOB FM 97.9’ is ready to take its rightful place in Bloomington.”

Thursday, February 15, 2018

| February 15, 2018

KNBR, San Francisco Cuts Ties with Patrick Connor After Host’s Comments About Teen Olympian.  Sports media personality Patrick Connor has been let go by Cumulus Media’s KNBR, San Francisco after his sexualized comments about U.S. Olympic snowboarder Chloe Kim.  Connor hosted the daily “The Shower Hour with Patrick Connor” at 5:00 am on KNBR but he didn’t make his comments on KNBR.  He did that on SiriusXM’s Barstool Sports channel calling in to the “Dailed In with Dallas Braden” program.  Connor’s radio bit revolved around his opinion of the 17-year-old athlete’s looks and that she would soon be 18.  Connor apologized for his words, calling them “lame and gross.”  Obviously, this latest incident comes as fellow broadcaster Entercom is dealing with the blowback from two recent errors in judgement by talk hosts and will suspend live programming on WEEI, Boston tomorrow (2/16) so the entire staff can attend mandatory sensitivity training.

John Patrick Joins WGAC, Augusta Morning Show.  At Augusta, Georgia news/talk WGAC-AM/FM, Beasley Media Group names John Patrick as a new co-anchor of the station’s morning show.  He joins Steve Smith and Mary Liz Nolan for wake-up duties.  Patrick was most recently hosting the “Buzz on Buzz” show at sister sports talk WRDW-AM “ESPN Augusta 1630.”  Among Patrick’s achievements in his 40-plus-year career is the 2008 creation of “The Augusta Golf Show with John Patrick.”  It will now air on WGAC-FM on Saturday afternoons.  Beasley Augusta VP and market manager Kent Dunn comments, “To have a guy like John with 40-plus years in radio leading the way on the WGAC morning show is quite an honor.  We look forward to what John brings to WGAC and the Beasley Media Group of Augusta.”

Pub Talker Tom Ashbrook Exits WBUR, Boston for ‘Creating Abusive Work Environment.’ Host of the WBUR, Boston talk program “On Point” – Tom Ashbrook – had been on leave from the Boston University-owned public radio news/talk outlet since the school launched an investigation into his behavior back in December.  Now, the school has let him go, citing actions he was reported to have taken that created an “abusive work environment.”  According to a report of his dismissal in Deadspin, “The university said it had conducted two separate reviews after allegations were made by 11 former staffers claiming Ashbrook ‘created a work environment that included verbal assaults, intimidating actions, consistent bullying, and unwanted touching.’ A second probe, conducted by a law firm, determined that the alleged unwelcome conduct was not sexual in nature, and was not sexual harassment under BU’s Title IX polices.”  See the Deadspin piece here.

Atlanta’s ‘The Sports X’ Gets a New Midday Show.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that another local show has been added to Dickey Broadcasting’s WOFM-AM/W292EV, Atlanta “The Sports X.”  The station pairs up Jerry “Tug” Cowart with former University of Georgia quarterback Hutson Mason for the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show.  Cowart also works as a jock at iHeartMedia’s crosstown country outlet WKHX “Kicks 101.5.”  Station owner David Dickey has been retooling the station – a sister station to WCNN “The Fan” – in an effort to draw in younger listeners.  He recently added Mark Zinno to host the afternoon program and the late morning “Hometeam & Hamilton” show with Brandon Leak and Joe Hamilton.

WAXY, Miami Signs Deal for University of Miami Baseball. South Florida sports talker WAXY, Miami “AM 790 The Ticket” enters into a multi-year agreement with University of Miami sports rights holder Learfield to air the school’s baseball games and ancillary baseball programming.  As part of the partnership, ‘The Ticket’ will broadcast at least 15 regular season games, all postseason baseball and various ‘Canes baseball-focused programs throughout the season.  Entercom South Florida SVP and market manager Keriann Worley says, “We’re excited to begin a new partnership with Miami Athletics and are ready to air Canes baseball game broadcasts and various shows for fans this spring.  There’s not a better time than right now to be associated with the University of Miami and as part of our commitment to our listeners, we are always looking to bring them the excitement of the games they love.”  Joe Zagacki – in his 29th season as the voice of the ‘Canes – will continue calling games this season.

Deadly Florida School Shooting, FBI’s China vs US Warning, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Russian Election Interference, Trump-Stormy Daniels Case, PyeongChang Winter Games, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/14). The Florida school shooting that took the lives of 17 and wounded numerous others; the FBI warns that all of Chinese society is focused on surpassing the U.S. as the world’s foremost global power; the legal status of DACA and the Trump Administration’s immigration policy; intelligence officials’ warning about Russian interference in the 2018 U.S. mid-term elections; the case of porn star Stormy Daniels’ alleged romp with President Trump and Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s claim he paid her $130,000 to stay quiet; the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea; and NBA 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.  In Chattanooga, Entercom brings market radio pro Boner, a.k.a. Randy Smith, aboard to host the “Boner in the Afternoon” program on rock WRXR “Rock 105.”  Entercom Chattanooga SVP and market manager Nicole Hartman says, “Boner is a longtime, local on-air personality and we are thrilled to reunite him with the ‘Rock 105’ listeners.  Boner has been a part of the fabric of the ‘Rock 105’ brand in many roles over the years and we’re excited that he will now be hosting afternoon drive.”  He first joined WRXR when it was owned by then-Clear Channel in 2001 and hosted the morning show and programmed the station for 15 years…..Hubbard Radio Seattle announces the new morning show cast for country KNUC “Country 98.9” is Tim Leary, Claire Beverly and Karen (Red) Daiss (pictured at left).  The three come to the Pacific Northwest from their most recent gig hosting mornings at Alpha Media’s WUBB, Savannah, Georgia “Bob 106.9.”  Hubbard Seattle market manager Marc Kaye comments, “I fell in love with Tim, Claire and Red in the first few minutes of meeting them.  I know the Seattle radio audience will find them entertaining and refreshing, we are in for one heck of a run.”…..Elvis Duran show cast member Bethany Watson is leaving the Premiere Networks-syndicated program to pursue other challenges in the New York entertainment industry.  She says she’s making “the scariest, riskiest decision I’ve ever made.”  She says she’s interested in writing, acting and producing, among other things…..Programming and on-air pro Dave Fields exits Townsquare Media’s country WKDO, Evansville, Indiana where he held the brand manager and morning show host positions to host the morning show at the company’s adult contemporary WMSX, Buffalo “MIX 96.”  That leaves Townsquare seeking a new morning host and brand manager for WKDO…..Sales pro Lindsay Lazar is named general sales manager for iHeartMedia in Chicago.  She will oversee sales at country WEBG “BIG 95.5” and adult contemporary WLIT “93.9 LITE FM.”  iHeartMedia Chicago SVP of sales Adam Kurtz states, “Lindsay has an impeccable reputation in the Chicago market and a glowing track record of success.  She is a proven leader with an exceptional ability to deliver solutions to the advertising community and I am thrilled to welcome her to our team.”…..SiriusXM is adding a new show to the Underground Garage rock channel, hosted by legendary musician, producer and songwriter Lenny Kaye.  The show will air weeknights from 8:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  In addition to being a member of the Patti Smith Group, Kaye also produced the Nuggets garage rock anthologies that were released on vinyl during the 1970s.

Monday, February 12, 2018

| February 12, 2018

Beasley Media Group Reports Pro Forma Q4 Net Revenue Down 6.9%.  Due to the number of recent acquisitions, sales and asset swaps Beasley Media Group has been involved in, the company’s financial reports can be a bit confusing.  It is reporting a $4.8 million, or 9% year-over-year, increase in net revenue during the three months ended December 31, 2017.  That figure reflects the inclusion of stations acquired from Greater Media in Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit and New Jersey (announced in the summer of 2016), partially offset by the disposition of the Charlotte and Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations (to Entercom, announced in the fall of 2016) and strong non-recurring political advertising revenue recorded in the year ago fourth quarter.  But the 6.9% dip in net revenue in the fourth quarter of 2017 is pro forma and reflects the company’s legacy Beasley Broadcast Group operations, the Greater Media stations, and the recent acquisition of sports WBZ-FM, Boston (exchanged with Entercom for WMJX-FM, Boston and $12 million), while excluding the Charlotte and Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations and WMJX-FM, as if all transactions had been completed on January 1, 2016.  In a press release, CEO Caroline Beasley states, “Throughout 2017, we continued to actively manage our station portfolio to extract operating and financial synergies from the acquired Greater Media stations, while implementing our proven strategies across our platform, which are focused on delivering strong local programming, diversifying our operations, managing risk and improving financial results.  On a GAAP basis, fourth quarter net revenue rose 9.0% compared to the prior year, primarily reflecting the acquisitions and divestitures to our platform on a year-over-year basis.  Pro forma net revenues for the three months ended December 31, 2017 declined 6.9% compared to the prior year period, reflecting $3.9 million in non-recurring political advertising revenue and softer national advertising revenue. The year-over-year decline was partially offset by a 6.5%, or $3.5 million, reduction in pro forma station operating expenses. As a result, Beasley’s fourth quarter pro forma SOI declined 7.8% year over year while SOI margins were relatively flat compared to the prior year period…Looking ahead to 2018, we intend to continue our strategic priorities of realizing synergy targets, reducing debt and leverage, taking advantage of political revenue opportunities, improving top and bottom-line performance and returning capital to shareholders through our quarterly cash dividend. With enhanced opportunities to monetize our strong core programming and local brands, we remain confident in the radio industry and in Beasley’s growing broadcast and digital platform. We look forward to realizing the strategic benefits of the WBZ transaction in 2018 and remain confident that our ongoing initiatives to drive sales, productivity and efficiency across our platform, combined with prudent management of our capital structure, is a proven formula for sustained long term financial growth and the creation of shareholder value.”

Dennis Miller Back in the Westwood One Fold. Comic, TV star, “SNL” alum, and former radio talk show host Dennis Miller is back with Westwood One, this time delivering two daily, one-minute programs to affiliate stations.  Miller hosted a daily, midday talk show on WW1 for eight years.  Now, he returns to the company with commentaries that present “his idiosyncratic take on topical issues, the culture, and what Americans are talking about in two distinct 60-second programs, Monday through Friday.”  Westwood One EVP of News & Talk Bart Tessler says, “Dennis Miller is a multi-talented, multimedia comic icon and we are thrilled to have him back on Westwood One.  Even with all his success, ‘The Miller Minute’ may be the best format yet for Dennis to entertain and inform listeners with his humor and idiosyncratic style.  He can’t wait to re-engage with his radio audience, affiliates, and advertisers.”

WGR-AM , Buffalo to Roast Bills’ Fred Jackson.  Buffalo sports talker WGR-AM is honoring former Buffalo Bills player Fred Jackson at the 4th Annual WGR Celebrity Roast this Thursday (2/15).  The event is being hosted by WGR morning show host Howard Simon and will feature an all-star panel of former teammates, including: Eric Wood, Aaron Williams, Bryan Scott and Ryan Fitzpatrick, as well as Jackson’s own twin brother, Patrick Jackson.   Entercom Buffalo SVP and market manager Greg Ried states, “The city of Buffalo is incredibly passionate about their hometown Buffalo Bills and Fred Jackson is a respected and beloved figure in the community.  Jackson was a unanimous decision by the WGR team.  For his determination, compassion and drive, on and off the field, we are excited to honor him at this year’s WGR Celebrity Roast.”  The WGR Celebrity Roast has become a signature event in the Buffalo community.  Former WGR Celebrity Roast honorees include former Buffalo Sabres players Marty Biron, Mike Robitaille and Rob Ray, as well as former Buffalo Bills player Andre Reed.

TALKERS News Notes. Former New England Patriots tight end Christian Fauria – now one-third of the WEEI, Boston midday show with Glenn Ordway and Lou Merloni – was suspended from the Entercom station for a week and issued an apology after a bit aired in which Fauria used a stereotypical Asian accent to imitate sports agent Don Yee.  During the bit, Fauria was reading phony texts purported to be from Yee to Boston Herald sportswriter Ron Borges regarding Tom Brady’s contract situation with the Patriots…..In Philadelphia, “SportsTalk 94WIP” personality (and former Eagles player) Jon Ritchie was off the air last Friday (2/9) after being arrested for DUI and simple assault.  According to Philly.com, Ritchie was arrested early Friday morning, hours after the parade in Philly celebrating the Eagles’ Super Bowl victory.  The paper does not explain the circumstances surrounding Ritchie’s arrest.  Ritchie co-hosts the midday show with Joe DeCamara…..Dayton sports talk station WING-AM has a new program director as Justin Kinner is promoted from the interim PD position.  Alpha Media says that Kinner previously worked as the afternoon drive host at WING-AM.  He also has experience as an account executive in the market.  Alpha Media Dayton OM Bo Matthews comments, “It was clear from the moment I arrived that Justin was the guy to become the new PD of WING-AM.  I wish I could bottle up his passion and excitement and pass it around.”…..Twin Cities sports media figure Patrick Reusse is leaving KSTP-AM’s “Saturday Morning Sports Talk” program that he’s been co-hosting with Judd Zulgad.  His role on the program will be taken over by KSTP Vikings reporter Matthew Coller.  Reusse – who also writes for the Minneapolis Star Tribune – continues to host afternoon drive and the one-hour “SportsTalk” show he co-hosts with Joe Soucheray at 3:00 pm on the Hubbard Brodcasting station.

Rob Porter Resignation/#MeToo Movement, Trump-Russia Probe, Dow Selloff, North Korea Diplomatic Overtures, Iranian Drone Case, PyeongChang Winter Olympics, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The aftermath of the resignation of White House aide Rob Porter over allegations of domestic violence and President Trump’s Tweet that the #MeToo movement is ruining careers; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the big Wall Street selloff that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average lose more than 2,000 points; North Korea’s use of the Olympic games for diplomatic overtures and criticism of the America media’s “fawning” coverage of Kim Jong Un’s sister’s appearance at the Olympic Games; Israel’s shooting down of an Iranian drone modeled after a U.S. drone Iran captured several years ago; the athletic events at the Winter Olympics; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In Birmingham, Cumulus Media appoints Phillip March program director for urban AC WUHT “Hot 107.7.”  He was previously director of urban programming for Alpha Media’s Louisville, Kentucky stations.  Cumulus Media Birmingham VP and market manager David Walls says, “We are elated that Phillip is joining our team.  He brings experience, passion, knowledge and leadership to our team.  He is a true leader and an outstanding teacher.  It is a huge win for Cumulus Birmingham and for our community as well.”…..Program director Lauren MacLeash exits Entercom’s country KMNB, Minneapolis “BUZ’N” after a stint of more than three years with the former CBS RADIO cluster.  The company is beginning a search for her replacement…..Beasley Media Group inks Terrie Carr to a multi-year deal to continue serving as program director and midday personality at WDHA-FM, Dover, New Jersey.  Carr was elevated to program director last summer.  She says, “I am both energized and honored to continue my career with my Beasley and WDHA family and for the opportunity to help lead the greatest air staff a person could ask for.  The challenges, new pathways to technology, and sheer madness of our business keep me inspired beyond my wildest dreams every day!”…..Keith Barton is succeeding Dave Paulus as general manager for Max Media’s Norfolk cluster…..Curtis Media announces Max Miller and Amy Kay are teaming up for the “Max & Amy in the Morning” program on hot AC WMGV, Greenville-New Bern “V103.3.”  Their program replaces the syndicated “Kidd Kraddick Morning Show.”

Thursday, February 8, 2018

| February 8, 2018

Nielsen Holdings Announces Q4 Up 6.3%; Audio Ratings Sector Rises 9.2%.  As a whole, Nielsen Holdings plc reports that its fourth quarter 2017 revenue was $1.76 billion, an increase of 6.3% (or 4.2% on a constant currency basis) compared to the same period in 2016.  For the full year of 2017, revenue was $6.5 billion up 4.2% (or 3.8% on a constant currency basis) compared to 2016.  Nielsen calls its ratings segment Watch and within that is the audio ratings business.  Nielsen reports audio rating revenue was up 9.2% in Q4.  Nielsen CEO Mitch Barnes states, “In Watch, we had a strong year.  Our teams were relentless in their efforts to enhance our Total Audience Measurement system and drive client adoption across all of its components.  As the market further evolves due to ongoing media fragmentation, Total Audience Measurement will serve as the foundation for our future, providing the measurement capability, scale, and flexibility necessary to best meet our clients’ needs.”

Talk Host Paul Harris to Do ‘Last Show’ Tomorrow on KTRS, St. Louis.  For the past five years, talk radio pro Paul Harris has been doing the Friday afternoon show on KTRS, St. Louis.  But, that gig will wrap tomorrow (2/9) as former KYKY, St. Louis morning personality Guy Phillips will take over the afternoon drive show (Frank O. Pinion exited the Monday through Thursday role last fall).  Harris says he was offered the gig but does not want to work full time.  He says, “Having done this for my entire adult life, I know the stress that comes from waking up every day and immediately thinking, ‘What am I doing to talk about today?’ It may not seem like it, but hosting and planning a well-executed, informed, entertaining radio show takes an enormous amount of preparation and brain power.  Since moving into semi-retirement a few years ago — working only one or two days a week – I’ve had a lot less of that stress, and have welcomed those mornings when I didn’t have to worry about developing enough content to fill three hours of airtime.”  See his full comments on his last show here.

WCTC’s Bert Baron Nabs Regular Show with NJ Speaker of the Assembly.  New Brunswick, New Jersey morning host and program director Bert Baron is announcing he’s arranged to host New Jersey Assemblyman Craig Coughlin every month for a one-hour, live call-in show on Beasley Media Group’s news/talk WCTC.  The show will take place the second Tuesday of each month at 9:00 am, beginning February 13.  Baron says, “This monthly show will serve as a platform for Speaker Coughlin to engage not only the residents of the district he was elected to serve, but also to provide real, honest information on all things Jersey politics.  A Central Jersey lawmaker, appearing regularly on Central Jersey’s heritage radio station, is community synergy at its finest.”

iHeartMedia Seattle Announces Changes to KFNQ, Seattle and KHHO, Tacoma.  Both stations have been sports talk outlets that complement KJR-AM, Seattle “Sports Radio 950” for iHeartMedia.  Now, KHHO, Tacoma becomes “South Sound Talk 850, Tacoma’s Voice” and KFNQ re-brands from “1090 The Fan” to “1090 KJR, Seattle Sports Radio.”  KHHO’s talk lineup will feature: Glenn Beck in mornings, “Armstrong and Getty” in late mornings, “The Schnitt Show” in early afternoons, “America Now with Buck Sexton” in afternoon drive, and “Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis” in evenings.  KFNQ’s new lineup is: Dan Patrick in mornings, “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” in late mornings, Doug Gottlieb in early afternoons, “Reiter Than You” with Bill Reiter in afternoon drive, and CBS Sports Radio programming from 7:00 pm through the overnights.

TALKERS News Notes.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Tribune’s WGN, Chicago is making a few changes to its weekend staffing.  The station is adding Joe Brand as Saturday morning sports anchor during Lou Manfredini’s “Mr. Fixit Show” and the John Williams show.  Also, the station is putting Andy Masur in the sports anchor role during the Sunday morning Dean Richards show.  Feder also notes that Tribune is negotiating for the rights to Chicago White Sox baseball.  But, the price is going to have to be right as WGN let the Chicago Cubs go because the station could not justify the expense…..According to a report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, iHeartMedia’s KFXN, Minneapolis “KFAN” is adding a new, Friday evening program hosted by Carly Zucker – wife of Minnesota Wild player Justin Zucker – called “Overtime” that will delve into the personal and philanthropic lives of professional athletes.  Zucker makes regular appearances on the station’s morning program and previously hosted on the Minnesota Timberwolves Entertainment Network and reported for CBS Sports and FOX Sports North…..iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati re-ups with Learfield to continue serving as the flagship for Xavier University men’s basketball through the 2022-23 season.  As part of the deal, the weekly “Chris Mack” coach’s show will air on sister sports talk WCKY.  In the event of a conflict, games will air on sister news/talk WKRC.

New Budget Proposal, Pelosi Marathon Speech-Immigration Policy, Dow Activity/Bitcoin Value Swings, Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump Requests Military Parade, Trump Approval Ratings Rise, White House Aid Resigns, FBI Texts Issue, Tesla Shot into Space, Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/7).  The congressional budget proposal that would add $500 billion in spending; House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaks for eight hours in effort to force a vote on immigration policy affecting “dreamers”; this week’s Dow activity and the related fluctuating value of Bitcoin; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives; President Trump’s request for a military parade; President Trump’s approval ratings rise; White House aide Rob Porter resigns over allegations of spousal abuse; the release of the Nunes FBI surveillance memo and the suggestion that the FBI texting scandal involved Barack Obama; Elon Musk shoots a Tesla Roadster into space with successful launch of SpaceX rocket; the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

New Jersey Ex-Governor Chris Christie Chats on ABC Radio Podcast. New Jersey ex-Governor Chris Christie (left) is pictured here with “Powerful Politics” co-host Rick Klein (right) as the two discussed the Nunes memo, the Russia investigation, the Rob Porter resignation, and more on the weekly ABC Radio podcast.

Comrex Releases New Firmware for Opal Including Support for Mac OS and Safari.  Broadcasters who are also Mac users will rejoice as Comrex announces it has released a new firmware version for IP audio gateway Opal that includes native Safari support for macOS and iOS11.  Comrex says that once installed, Opal serves a web page to anyone who accesses it through an Internet browser on any device with a microphone and speaker.  This web page allows a user to click a button and broadcast from their computer or phone in high fidelity.  High quality return audio is also provided to the guest.  Prior to the release of Opal 1.1, Opal was only compatible with Chrome, Opera, Edge, and Firefox browsers.  Now, Opal users can connect using Safari, making it even easier to operate for Apple users.  Comrex technical director Tom Hartnett says, “Up until this point we could support iPhone users with an app.  But as simple as we made it, there was still a concern that even this step was too much for some guests.  Now users can connect in studio quality from their iPhone without installing anything at all.”  Opal users can download firmware v.1.1 for free from the Comrex website.

Beasley Philadelphia Honors Top Account Executives.  Pictured above are members of the sales staff of Beasley Media Group’s Philadelphia station group at the January 31 President’s Club Dinner. At this event, the company’s monthly Philadelphia President’s Club winners, many of whom were also annual budget achievers, were recognized by their sales managers for their outstanding performance and dedication. At the same time, account executive Steve Simons was named the 2017 Annual President’s Club Champion for his commitment to excellence and for exceeding his goals throughout the year.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Providence morning duo Paul Fuller and Al Matthews sign a new, three-year deal with iHeartMedia’s active rock WHJY.  According to WHJY, this new contract will take the two through their 30-year anniversary with the station.  Operations manager Rob Anthony says, “‘94HJY’ continues to dominate Southern New England and Paul and Al have always been a major factor in its success.”  Program director Doug Palmieri adds, “It’s a great day for ‘HJY.  I’ve known them since 1993 and to see them continue to love what they do and do it this well is truly inspirational.  We’re proud to bring three more years of live, local mornings to Southern New England.”…..The syndicated “2 Guys Named Chris” show – co-hosted by Chris Kelly and Chris Demm – is added to the program schedule at Alpha Media’s alternative rock WKZQ, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  The morning show is based at Dick Broadcasting’s WKRR, Greensboro-Winston Salem-High Point.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

| January 23, 2018

End of Imus Show a Corporate Decision.  Following yesterday’s report of the end of the WABC, New York-based “Imus in the Morning” program, today we learn a little more about why Cumulus is shutting down the program on March 29, even though Imus is under contract through December.  As reported in the New York Daily News, Don Imus himself says that the company – in the midst of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization – can save millions by cancelling the program.  During a bankruptcy reorganization a company must do its best to contain costs wherever it can.  Imus understands the position Cumulus is in, saying he has no intent to speak ill of the company.  He said on the air, “The agreement they had me sign was full of language about, ‘He can’t disparage the company.’  Well I wasn’t going to do that.  I don’t feel like that.”  The program is syndicated nationally via Westwood One.

Sean Hannity Set to Headline TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead!  In keeping with what has become a tradition at the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention, Sean Hannity will be one of the keynote speakers at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead!  The event is set for Friday, June 8 in New York City at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan.  The syndicated Premiere Networks talk radio star and prime-time host of the FOX News Channel will host the convention’s “Breakfast with Hannity” morning networking social which will be followed by a one-on-one “fireside chat” with TALKERS founder Michael Harrison.  (NOTE:  Harrison will also conduct a one-on-one chat that same morning with a major radio group CEO to be announced tomorrow.)  Harrison states, “It’s going to be a spectacular start to what promises to be another very special conference.  For me, it’ll be like pitching a double header – interviewing Sean who is arguably the most important host in talk media today and, then, having a dialogue with one of the most influential captains of industry in the radio business.”   The conference will feature top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry with a focus on talk radio and its role in the new digital age and dawn of a rapidly accelerating era.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals.  The event will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception.  Harrison adds, “Good things happen at this convention.  We pack three days’ worth of content and activity into one dynamic day in a comfortable space.  It is not to be missed!”  Complete agenda and hotel details will be posted in the coming days and weeks.  As is customary with TALKERS conventions, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students.  Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card.  Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person.  However, an early bird special ($279 per person) is available for those who register before 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 2.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

KMOX, St. Louis’ Mark Reardon Scoops Radio Competition with Governor Greitens Interview.  St. Louis talk radio host Mark Reardon was the only radio broadcaster that embattled Missouri Governor Eric Greitens spoke with over the weekend, in which he talked publicly about his admitted extra-marital affair while vowing not to resign his position over it.  The story is, obviously, a big deal in Missouri.  There have been allegations of blackmail and other sordid aspects associated with the governor’s affair, all of which he denied to Reardon.  Mark Reardon hosts the mid-afternoon 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm program on Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis and he played the entire interview for his listeners on Monday’s program.

Premiere Network’s Buck Sexton Launches New Podcast on iHeartRadio.  Conservative media figure and Premiere Networks syndicated radio talk host Buck Sexton launches a new podcast titled, “Shields High,” that “explores the epic struggles that could have extinguished the Western world as we know it.”  In the podcast, Sexton features stories of valiant last stands of armies led by champions from Charles Martel to Don Juan of Austria where the West fought back and won. The series explores those heroes and the momentous battles that reverberate from ancient times to the present.”  Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott comments, “Premiere Networks is dedicated to providing audiences with a wide variety of audio content and programming across multiple platforms, so we’re excited to partner with Buck on this new podcast showcasing his passion for history and storytelling.  We think listeners will enjoy hearing Buck share these epic tales of the quest for freedom and knowledge, which continue to influence the world we live in.”

WXOS, St. Louis Inks Bernie Miklasz to New Deal; Michelle Smallmon Returns to St. Louis Sports Talker.   St. Louis sports media pro Bernie Miklasz signs a contract extension with Hubbard Radio’s WXOS “101 ESPN” to continue hosting his 7:00 am to 10:00 am program.  At the same time, the station welcomes Michelle Smallmon back to work on air with Miklasz and as an online contributor to the station’s 101sports.com.  Hubbard St. Louis Radio vice president John Kijowski says, “With all of his accomplishments, awards, and honors from his on-the-air show hosting and sports writing, we’re thrilled to extend Bernie’s contract with ‘101 EPSN.’”  Smallmon got her start working with Miklasz producing and doing some on-air appearances.  She also produced the afternoon drive “Fast Lane” show.  In 2015, she moved to Bristol, Connecticut to work for ESPN.  Smallmon started as a producer for the weekday evening radio show “Jorge & Jen,” and most recently was producing the Ryen Russillo show.

Television News Pro Lauren Sivan Joins Dr. Drew Radio Show.  The “Dr. Drew Midday Live” program – heard on Cumulus Media’s KABC, Los Angeles and KGO, San Francisco – adds TV news pro Lauren Sivan (right) to the show as co-host.  She’s recently made regular appearances as a fill-in co-host with Dr. Drew Pinsky (left), KABC afternoon host John Phillips, and has anchored news during the “McIntyre in the Morning” show on KABC.  Sivan’s TV news resume includes on-air work at KTTV-TV, Los Angeles and FOX News Channel in New York.  About her new gig, she says, “I am thrilled to join Dr. Drew as co-host and to launch the next generation of this dynamic and engaging show.  As a broadcast journalist, I love being able to talk with Dr. Drew and our listeners every day about issues that are relevant and topical – and often controversial.  It’s a great pleasure to not only tell stories on the show, but to break them down and hear what people are really thinking and what really matters to them.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Chicago news/talker WGN revives the “Sports Central” program on its digital platform, wgnradio.com and the WGN Radio app.  The program – for years an evening show hosted by David Kaplan (who’s now at crosstown WMVP) on WGN – will stream from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm daily and will be hosted by Adam Hoge.  He says, “Listeners can interact with ‘Sports Central’ live while also having the freedom to consume it on-demand throughout the day.  There’s no better place to launch than from radio row at the Super Bowl.  I can’t wait to get started!”…..Salem Radio Network host Mike Gallagher is pictured at left at the annual SHOT Show in Las Vegas today (1/23) broadcasting his talk show.  The sportsmen/hunter/outdoor trade show is being held at the Sands Expo Center.  Gallagher says “As an ardent supporter of the Second Amendment, I can’t think of a better — or safer — place to be this week than with friends from 111 countries at the biggest event in outdoor sports.”…..Independent sports website RealGM, teams with PodcastOne to debut the long-running “RealGM Radio” on PodcastOne’s SportsNet lineup.  RealGM Radio features “conversations with the NBA’s best thought leaders, along with in-depth analytics on the sport.” The podcast is hosted by RealGM, The Athletic, and Sporting News writer Danny Leroux…..After five years at their Trinity Centre location in the Financial District of New York City, Sun Broadcast Group announces it has relocate to Midtown Manhattan.  The new, multi-year lease, signed in December, has the network occupying the entire second floor of 363 Seventh Avenue, just steps away from Madison Square Garden.

Report: Mancow in Limbo at ‘The Loop.’  Chicago media writer Robert Feder writes about his chat with WLUP-FM, Chicago morning host Erich “Mancow” Muller and what his status is now that Cumulus has made it known it wants out of its LMA of the station (and sister WKXQ) and it doesn’t want to have to buy the stations from Merlin Media for $50 million.  On the heels of Friday’s report in TALKERS that Cumulus has asked the bankruptcy judge to let it out of a number of financially onerous contracts, including the Merlin deal in Chicago, Mancow talks about possibly working for Merlin chief Randy Michaels.  Read what Mancow – who made a second career out of being a political talk host in the news/talk genre before returning to morning rock radio – told Feder here.

Government Shutdown Ends, DACA Status, Trump-Russia Probe/FBI Texts Issue, Pence in Middle East, Eagles-Patriots Super Bowl Matchup, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/22).  The federal government shutdown ends with Democrats accused of caving to the GOP; the debate over the status of the Dreamers Act and the Trump Administration’s immigration policy; the investigation into possible connections between the Donald Trump campaign and Russian operatives and the related investigation into missing text messages from alleged pro-Hillary Clinton FBI agents; Vice President Mike Pence’s trip to the Middle East and the process for peace talks; the Super Bowl LII match-up between the Eagles and Patriots; and NBA 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. Chicago country outlet WUSN “US*99” names Kenny Jay program director.  He comes to Chicago from his most recent position as program director for Entercom’s former country KMPS, Seattle.  He’s also programmed KMNB, Minneapolis.  Jay will report directly to Entercom Chicago VP of programming Todd Cavanah, who will continue as program director of CHR WBBM-FM “B96.”…..In Miami, Entercom’s adult contemporary WLYF “101.5 LITE FM” names Tamara G., a.k.a. Tamara Gant, co-host of the morning program alongside Julie Guy.  Entercom South Florida SVP and market manager Keriann Worley says, “We are incredibly excited to partner with Tamara G. and bring back together two of South Florida’s most popular radio personalities.  Their chemistry is unmatched and our listeners will benefit from a fun, family-friendly morning show every morning.”  The two previously worked together co-hosting mornings on crosstown WFLC, Miami.  Most recently, Tamara G. was a cast member on the nationally syndicated Michael Baisden show.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

| January 16, 2018

New KGO, San Francisco Lineup Follows Ronn Owens Move.  On the heels of Friday’s announcement of San Francisco talk legend Ronn Owens’ transition from hosting his daily talk radio show to now hosting the 10-minute “Ronn Owens Report” at 12:50 each weekday, the new talk show schedule is confirmed.  Cumulus Media announces the changes that include the move of the Ethan Bearman program from its previous 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm slot to the 10:00 am to 12:50 pm daypart.  KGO brings medical expert and media personality Dr. Drew Pinsky aboard to host the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show, and expands the afternoon drive Chip Franklin program by an hour to air from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Adam Gold Celebrates 20th Anniversary in Triangle Sports Talk Radio.  WCMC-FM, Raleigh sports talk personality Adam Gold is celebrating his 20th year in Triangle sports talk radio this month.  Gold arrived in Raleigh 20 years ago to host afternoons at “850 The Buzz.”  As Capitol Broadcasting notes, Gold has transitioned through various ownership changes and sports talk signal shuffles during his time in the market.  He currently co-hosts the “Adam & Joe” show with his partner of seven-plus years, Joe Ovies.  WCMC general manager Brian Maloney says, “Adam literally showed up on our doorstep at the radio station one afternoon, we gave him a shot and loved what we heard.  Sports talk and hosts giving their opinions about teams and players was a new concept to the area.  Adam has never been shy or afraid to give his honest opinion and that’s one of the reasons he’s been so successful.”

Four Promoted at Westwood One. At syndicator and sales firm Westwood One, four affiliate sales directors are promoted to vice presidents.  Senior vice president of affiliate sales Dennis Green announces that Neal Bird, Rich Burg, Stuart Greenblatt, and Jim Jones are now wearing VP stripes.  Green says, “Neal, Rich, Stuart, and Jim lead the charge each and every day to make sure our affiliates and station partners have the best products available and customer service possible.  We are proud to elevate them as a result of their tireless efforts in helping to make Westwood One America’s largest radio network.”  Neal Bird is in Los Angeles and is responsible for all music and entertainment affiliations, Rich Burg is in New York and is in charge of all sports affiliations, Stuart Greenblatt is in New York and handles all talk affiliations, and Jim Jones is Washington, DC and oversees all Westwood One News affiliations.

Red Wolf Buys Connoisseur Signals in Connecticut for $8 Million.  The big signal in this deal is Hartford classic rock WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale,” but Red Wolf is also acquiring three of the four stations that Connoisseur Media has been using for the “Talk of Connecticut” talk radio format.  Those stations are WDRC-AM, Hartford; WSNG, Torrington; and WMMW, Meriden.  The price tag for the Bergner & Co-brokered deal is $8 million.  The deal also includes translator W272DO that Connoisseur had been using as an alternative rock outlet.  Red Wolf flips that to Spanish tropical and helps protect its longtime Hartford alt-rocker WMRQ (licensed to Waterbury).

TALKERS News Notes. In the Jackson, Tennessee market, Grace Broadcasting flips classic hits WHPP “Hippie Radio 105.3” to talk as “The Talk of Jackson” and changes the calls to WTJK.  Steve Bowers – pictured at right – continues to host the “Blue Suede Forever” morning show live from the Dixie Café on the new format…..Comedy Central is debuting a live, daily show on its SiriusXM channel – Comedy Central Radio.  “You Up with Nikki Glaser” will launch in February and air from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET Monday through Thursday…..Tribune’s news/talk radio outlet WGN, Chicago is changing its Sunday programming lineup and is adding the new “Karen Conti Show,” airing from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.  The Chicago attorney has 25 years of TV and radio experience.  She’s been a permanent guest on the Steve Cochran show and the Brian Noonan show where she discusses current legal topics and fields listeners’ legal questions.  Conti comments, “I have been part of the WGN family for 10 years and I’m very excited to host my own show.  Now, with two hours, I can cover legal issues and other topics that are informational and entertaining to WGN listeners.”…..Georgia meteorologist George Wetherbee has been added to this Thursday’s “Coffee with Envision” webinar titled “Weathering the Storm with Hyperlocal Coverage.”  There’s still room to sign up for the Envision Networks-sponsored event here.

Trump DACA Policy-“Shithole” Comment, Hawaii Missile False Alarm, North Korea Nuke Threats, Government Shutdown Threat, California Captive Family, Soaring Dow, MLK Jr. Day, Baghdad Suicide Bombings, and NFL Playoff Games Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/15).  The Trump Administration’s DACA policy and the continuing controversy over allegations of President Trump’s use of the word “shithole” describing Caribbean and African nations; the missile false alarm in Hawaii that caused panic over the weekend; North Korea’s nuclear weapons threats against the U.S.; the possibility of a U.S. government shutdown; the case of a California couple’s shackling of 12 children in their home;  the soaring Dow Jones industrial average and the potential for it to hit 26,000 for the first time; Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. holiday; a double suicide bombing in Baghdad kills 27 and wounds more than 60; and the weekend’s NFL playoff games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

‘Survivor’ Winner Joins KIDO, Boise’s Kevin Miller.  Pictured above are KIDO, Boise morning drive talk host Kevin Miller (left) with season 35 “Survivor” winner Ben Driebergen (right) after talking on the program about how to win “Survivor” and win $1 million.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The nationally syndicated “Tom Joyner Morning Show” is back on the air in the Atlanta market on Radio One’s FM translator W275BK – fed by WUMJ-HD2 – that’s branded “Classix 102.9 FM, Atlanta’s Classic RnB.”  The company says that, as part of the change, market pro Mitch Faulkner joins Radio One Atlanta as the morning show local producer, as well as hosting his “Classic RnB Show” Saturdays from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  Faulkner says, “I’m proud to join the team at Radio One Atlanta.  ‘Classix 102.9’ plays the music I grew up with and it’s refreshing to work with a company that ‘gets’ urban radio – and they do it right!  Plus, to work with a management team I have known and watched over the years, I feel this year will be the best of my career.”…..Speaking of Tom Joyner, Reach Media says he’s “signed on” for 2018 as host of the “Tom Joyner Morning Show.”  It also says Joyner introduced the “Funny Chair” last year, bringing all-star comedic personalities to the radio show lineup each day.  For 2018, Joyner will feature Guy Torry and Sherri Shepherd as co-hosts…..The “Ace & TJ Show” promotes longtime show producer Rob Miller to the newly created role of vice president of affiliate relations.  Miller says, “There is nowhere else I’d rather be.  When the people you work with become family, it makes growth like this even more special.  Thank you to Ace & TJ for this amazing opportunity.”…..iHeartMedia promotes Adam Kurtz to SVP of sales for the Chicago Region.  With iHeartMedia since 2001, Kurtz has most recently been VP of sales for the six-station cluster.

Friday, January 12, 2018

| January 12, 2018

Most Talk Radio Programmers are Avoiding Use of the Term “Shithole” in Wake of Presidential Sh*tstorm.  Once again, President Donald J. Trump – for better or worse – has shaken up the standards of traditional broadcasting and journalism.  This time, with his controversial remark about immigration using the term “shithole” to describe countries from which he considers immigration particularly undesirable.  The controversial racist aspect of this story notwithstanding, FCC-regulated broadcasters have had to make the quick decision to directly utter the term on the airwaves or buffer it with less offensive and non-potentially rule-breaking words.  This decision has been made more difficult by the fact that many traditional, so-called mainstream cable outlets and online/print news media have chosen to use the word as the President said it.  In conversations around the industry this morning TALKERS has learned that the prevailing tact on terrestrial talk radio has been NOT to use the word directly.  Cumulus Media/Westwood One EVP Mike McVay tells TALKERS, “Despite cable television taking great joy in saying the ‘S’ word on TV, we are not saying the actual word on over the air radio. We recognize it as one of the seven words we cannot say. That has not stopped us from using it on our digital platforms.”   Salem Radio Network senior VP, Phil Boyce says, “The word ‘shit’ is one of the FCC-banned words and our hosts should never use it, no matter if the president did or didn’t.  My morning guy in Los Angeles, Brian Whitman, will be using the word “BLANK hole.”  We want our shows to be safe for the whole family.  No need to have listeners turn off the radio because kids are in the car.”  Bold Gold Media Group CEO Vince Benedetto – owner of a number of stations in Pennsylvania and upstate New York – adds, “We haven’t changed our policy – we still do not say anything on air that violates George Carlin’s ‘Seven words you can’t say on television.'”  ABC Radio VP/GM Steve Jones tells TALKERS, “ABC News Radio anchors and reporters are not speaking that word on air as it could be considered an FCC violation and it also might offend local community standards.  Instead, we are referring to the phrase as an ‘expletive’ or ‘profanity.’   We have 1,650 affiliates and the majority use our ABC ‘Newscall’ service – which provides on-demand audio of reporters and actualities.   We are more permissive in what we provide on that service because it is the decision of the station whether to run the audio – whereas as we control the newscast content and therefore have unilateral decision-making.  If audio existed of any president using a profanity, we would put it on ‘Newscall’ and let stations decide its usage.   If we determined language was so newsworthy we felt obligated to include it in a newscast, we would probably warn stations in advance.  But, that’s hard to effectively control and I don’t recall it being done in many years.”  Although the consensus is to avoid using the word directly on the airwaves, not everyone in talk radio fully agrees that the way to go.  Nationally-famous, station owner/operator (and industry maverick) Michael Zwerling of KSCO/KOME, Santa Cruz tells TALKERS that he will use the word on his own show (“The Saturday Special”) but respects the rights of his air personalities to make their own decisions, “My position is to use the word on the air since it is a bona fide news story – but I just checked with the ‘Good Morning Monterey Bay’ staff [the station’s morning show] and was told they opted to say ‘s-hole’ and to play the Haitian national anthem.”  Zwerling continues, “Trump apparently has denied using that word (which is one of my favorites) but even if he was falsely accused of using it by the news media almost universally out to get him – it has nonetheless become a legitimate news story and therefore would fall into my category of okay to use on the air.  Besides, it moves our industry in the direction of parity with the ‘paid’ services that have been and are allowed to use profanity with impunity!”  Media consultant/TALKERS columnist/and RT America host Holland Cooke says, “It is a big topic with heavy phones at my client stations this morning.  My advice:  Ask listeners, ‘If he said that word, should we, here on the radio?'”  TALKERS legal editor and Bentley University law professor Steven JJ Weisman says, “It is my opinion that the use of the word ‘shithole’ in the context of discussing the president’s comments would be allowed.”  For Weisman’s full comments, please read the story below.

Steve Weisman’s Legal Take on Terrestrial Radio’s Use of Term “Shithole.”  TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman offers his educated view on the terrestrial radio “shithole” issue prompted by President Donald J. Trump’s use of the term.  To read the piece in its entirety, please click here.

Save the Date! Talkers 2018 Set for Friday, June 8, 2018 in New York City.  The editorial board of TALKERS magazine is pleased to announce the date and location of the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention.  Titled TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead!, the power-packed, one-day event will take place on Friday, June 8, 2018 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan in New York City.  This marks the second year in a row that the convention will be held at this very popular venue.  The conference will feature top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry with a focus on talk radio and its role in the new digital age and dawn of a rapidly accelerating era.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals.  The event will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch and a closing cocktail reception.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “As has always been the case with this annual gathering, all the way back to its days as ‘The New Media Seminar,’ TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will focus on the future.  There is no doubt about it; we are at the dawn of an exciting new era – full of both daunting challenges and fabulous opportunities.  Good things happen at this convention.  We pack three days’ worth of content and activity into one dynamic day and comfortable space. It is not to be missed!”  Complete agenda and hotel details will be posted in the coming days and weeks.  As is customary with TALKERS conventions, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students.  Because seating is limited and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card.  Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person.  However, an early bird special ($279 per person) is available for those who register before 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 2.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Gwiazdon Goes to Beasley Media Group Las Vegas as VP/MM. Most recently vice president and market manager of Midwest Communications’ Nashville adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9”; adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack FM”; and CHR WNFN “i106.7,” Dennis Gwiazdon began similar duties yesterday (1/11) for Beasley Media Group Las Vegas. According to Beasley Media Group executive vice president and chief operating officer Brian Beasley, “It is a privilege to welcome Dennis to the Beasley Media Group family. His proven track record and leadership skills are the perfect fit for our Las Vegas cluster as we continue to grow and expand our business in the market.” Gwiazdon, who was president of the Nashville Area Radio Association, states, “I am absolutely thrilled about joining the Beasley team. There is tremendous potential for us in Las Vegas and I’m grateful [to be given] the opportunity to make a difference.” Prior to his Nashville duties, Gwiazdon was president of San Diego-based Sales Insights. He previously held the vice president/general manager title at Seattle’s KRWM; San Diego’s KGB-FM and KPOP-AM; San Diego’s KMCG and KXGL; and Salt Lake City’s KKAT. With their Nielsen Audio December 2017 6+ AQH share and market rank in parentheses, Beasley Media Group’s Las Vegas cluster includes classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 70s, 80s, and More” (6.3, #2); urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” (4.0, #6); country KCYE “102.7 The Coyote” (3.7, #9); hot AC KVGS “Star 107.9” (2.8, #15); news/talk KDWN “AM 720” (.7, #26); and KCYE-HD2, which did not appear in the December 2017 sweep. The Las Vegas market leader is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5” (10.6, 6+), while Midwest Nashville’s WJXA “Mix” is on top (6+) with a 9.9.

WBUR, Reddit Debut “Endless Thread.” That’s the name of the weekly Ben Brock Johnson-hosted podcast done in partnership with Boston University-owned news/talk WBUR and Reddit, “the front page of the internet.” Starting today (1/12), weekly installments will be available every Friday to stream or download. According to Johnson, “Reddit is one of the most formidable communities online. Its lifeblood is people from all over the world sharing and organizing around every imaginable topic, making it an incredibly valuable resource for anyone trying to understand our world. As a journalist, I’ve been fascinated by Reddit for years, but I’ve also become an avid ‘redditor.’ I’m always surprised at what a mystery Reddit is to people who don’t use it. I’m looking forward to solving that mystery for the uninitiated, and helping ‘redditors’ share their incredible, real life stories with the world.” Reddit creative development manager Michael Pope remarks, “Reddit is home to the most authentic conversations on the internet and we know there is a massive opportunity to host thoughtful conversations about these stories in audio form. As one of the leading NPR affiliates in the country, we can’t wait to see what happens when we pair the production polish and talent at WBUR with the most compelling stories online.” The first episode, “No No No No Yes,” explores harrowing tales through first-hand interviews with ‘redditors’ who lived to tell their stories.

TALKERS News Notes. After a brief hiatus from a national platform, Dave Ross returns next Monday (1/15) with a daily, 90-second, CBS News Radio commentary, originally scheduled for a February 5 start date. Heard weekdays (“Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross”) on Bonneville-owned KIRO-FM, Ross is a five-time Edward R. Murrow award winner for best writing … This time next month (2/12), previous morning host of St. Louis hot AC KYKY “Y-98” Guy Phillips begins doing afternoons at news/talk KTRS “Big 550 The Talk of STL”; Julie Buck will be his co-host … Five Entercom Chicago stations – sports talk WSCR “670 The Score,” all-news WBBM-AM, CHR WBBM-FM “B-96,” triple A WXRT “93 XRT,” and country WUSN “US-99” – will be broadcasting from this year’s “Cubs Convention” today (1/12), tomorrow (Saturday, 1/13), and Sunday (1/14). Entercom Chicago senior vice president/market manager Jimmy de Castro comments, “We look forward to this event where our brands can interact with fellow Chicago Cubs fans. We are grateful for our continued partnership with the Chicago Cubs organization as the exclusive radio home of the Chicago Cubs.” This weekend’s event is taking place at Chicago’s Sheraton Grand Hotel. WSCR continues as the team’s radio flagship ….. Former Tribune Broadcasting White House correspondent and Long Island television news anchor/reporter Drew Scott joins JVC Media news/talk WRCN “Long Island News Radio 103.9” as a reporter. JVC Media president/CEO John Caracciolo comments, “Having someone like Drew is a complete win for us. His job will be to use the contact list he has developed over the years to help us open doors; get the story; and get the info Long Islanders need and want. This is live, local and hometown radio the way it is supposed to be.” WRCN operations director Frank Brinka notes, “Drew is a great addition to our staff. His wealth of news reporting and knowledge of the Long Island landscape will be an asset to the station. He will deliver a wealth of information to our listening audience.” Scott adds, “I am thrilled to be part of such a dynamic, live and local radio news organization. I am looking forward to helping ‘LI News Radio’ and JVC continue to grow and prosper.” ….. The flagship of MLB’s Minnesota Twins from 1961 – 2006, Entercom Minneapolis’ WCCO “News Radio 830,” returns in that capacity this year. The first of its 15-game spring training broadcast schedule will be (Thursday) February 22 when the Twins play the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. Cory Provus, Dan Gladden, and Kris Atteberry comprise WCCO’s on-air team ….. Launching on SiriusXM next Wednesday (1/17) is “Barstool Radio,” the 24/7 channel for Barstool’s unfiltered approach to covering sports, men’s lifestyle, and popular culture. Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy remarks, “We are excited to launch our Barstool channel. It has been a wild ride to get to this point and this is another big step in our plan for total world domination.” SiriusXM senior vice president of sports programming Steve Cohen comments, “In today’s crowded media landscape, Barstool stands out as a unique and compelling voice. Live radio thrives on the kind of spontaneous and entertaining content that Barstool delivers every day. We don’t know what they are going to say next, but Barstool Radio on SiriusXM will be the place to hear it live and talk about it.” Weekday call-in shows will include: “The Barstool Radio Show” with Portnoy and Kevin “KFC” Clancy (4:00 pm – 6:00 pm, ET); “The Heartland Radio Showwith former NFL punter Pat McAfee (10:00 am -1:00 pm, ET); and “The Evening Yak with Dan “Big Cat” Katz (6:00 pm – 7:00 pm, ET). Barstool Radio will be on SiriusXM’s “Power 85” and on the SiriusXM app ….. For over three weeks, Alpha Media Bakersfield (California) news/talk KNZR AM & FM “News-Talk-Dodgers,” mainstream CHR KLLY “Energy 95.3,” and urban-rhythmic oldies KKBB “Groove 99.3” collected food and water for fire victims in Ventura and Santa Barbara. KLLY program director Danny Hill comments, “I am very proud of my community and I love the support they always show. Bakersfield constantly gives to others and is at the forefront of a lot of charity events.” A local veterans chapter helped to deliver the supplies.

British Talk Show Host and TalkersRadio Personality Graham Mack Forced to Apologize for On Air Statement that PM Theresa May “Has No Balls.”  It is always fascinating to compare and contrast American radio with broadcasting in other English-speaking countries when it comes to tolerance, freedom of speech and political controversy.  Well-known English talk show host Graham Mack, host of the popular BOB-FM, Herfordshire (greater London) breakfast show got himself into a sticky situation on Wednesday (1/10) by boldly stating that British Prime Minister Theresa May “has no balls.”  According to a report in the Hertfordshire Mercury, The comment came on yesterday’s (January 10)  breakfast show during a lengthy rant about May’s recent Cabinet reshuffle, in which he also claimed that she was the “weakest Prime Minister” the country had ever seen. Mack went on to berate the reshuffle, saying that not enough women and ethnic minority MPs had been promoted to justify promises made by the Prime Minister in the preceding days. However, the maverick radio host appeared to backtrack on his claims this morning (January 11), telling listeners that he had to “correct” his comments. Mr. Mack said that although his remark about Mrs. May’s lack of balls was “anatomically correct,” he should not have made it.  He also clarified that he could not be sure that May was the weakest Prime Minister the country had ever seen, as Clement Attlee or William the Younger could conceivably be weaker.  In a statement, Mr. Mack said: “We received a serious complaint yesterday about what I’d said on the air.  “Someone in a very senior position told me to make an apology. “I cannot reveal who made the complaint. The seriousness of the complaint did take me by surprise because a regular listener would realise that I take a swipe at all politicians regardless of which political party they represent.”  Mr. Mack concluded his on-air correction by issuing an apology directly to the Prime Minister, saying that as the leader of the nation she must be respected.  To listen to the segment of the program that got Graham Mack in trouble, please click here. Graham Mack also hosts “London Calling” a weekly program on TalkersRadioTALKERS publisher Michael Harrison describes Mack as “one of the best radio talk show aahosts in the English-speaking world.”

iHeartMedia, MoviePass Announce Media Partnership. The agreement includes a marketing campaign across iHeartMedia’s multiplatform network to help build further brand awareness of MoviePass and target new subscribers in select United States metros. In addition, iHeartMedia will be an authorized reseller of ad inventory across the MoviePass website and mobile app. According to iHeartMedia Ventures president Joe Robinson, “We have the capability to build significant brand awareness for MoviePass through our unparalleled scale and reach of more than 270 million monthly listeners across the country and our multiplatform assets. We see a unique opportunity with MoviePass, and its ability to understand and analyze audience trends and behavior which is a great asset for our advertisers, especially those looking to further engage with millions of movie-goers.” MoviePass chief executive officer Mitch Lowe comments, “We expect that our partnership with iHeartMedia will fuel our continued growth by targeting more profitable subscribers in low-cost markets, while also opening up a new revenue stream with digital advertising. We also expect that this relationship will be beneficial to movie exhibitors because we hope to drive more traffic into theaters and to advertisers through our strong working intelligence on the preferences and behaviors of a substantial amount of movie-goers. Our subscribers are going to twice as many movies a month as other consumers and are buying one in every 50 movie tickets in the U.S.” MoviePass launched its current $9.95 per month subscription plan this past August.

 

 

Wynter Boosted to iHM EVP Urban/Hip-Hop. Los Angeles urban contemporary KRRL “Real 92.3” program director Doc Wynter adds corporate iHeartMedia duties as executive vice president urban/hip-hop. President/chief operating officer/chief financial officer Rich Bressler states, “No one understands urban and hip-hop programming like Doc. We are thrilled that he is expanding his role leading iHeartMedia’s programming strategy for those key formats. He has been instrumental in launching several of our urban and hip-hop stations nationwide and we’re excited for him to be even more hands-on with all of our urban brands in our over 150 markets.” Wynter adds, “Urban radio has been my passion for as long as I can remember. Having worked with iHeartMedia for almost three decades, I know we have some of the best programmers and on-air personalities in radio. I can’t wait to help our region and market presidents provide their local urban and hip-hop music fans with one-of-a-kind listening experiences that only a company like iHeartMedia can create.” In this newly-created position, Wynter – most recently the company’s senior vice president of urban programming/urban brand manager – will report to chief programming officer Tom Poleman. Wynter began overseeing the company’s urban radio stations in late-1999 and launched several iHeartMedia brands such as “Power 105.1 FM” in New York City (on WWPR); “Real 92.3” in Los Angeles (on KRRL); “V101.5” in Jacksonville (on WSOL); and “The Beat” in various cities.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. After doing four years of night duty on iHeartMedia Los Angeles mainstream CHR KIIS “102.7 Kiss-FM,” Freddy Rivera transfers to co-owned Dallas hot AC KDMX “102.9 Now” for afternoon drive (2:00 pm – 7:00 pm). KDMX program director Jay Shannon comments, “Freddy is an outstanding on-air talent and we are very fortunate to add him to our lineup. Freddy is very much looking forward to calling DFW his home.” Rivera, who starts at KDMX in a little over three weeks (2/5), notes, “I am very excited to write the next chapter in my radio career with ‘102.9 Now.’ I have heard so much about the food, nightlife, and community – I can’t wait to jump right in.” Los Angeles-born/Inland Empire-raised Rivera began his radio career as an intern for former “Kiss-FM” wakeup talent Rick Dees and worked on-air at Riverside-Bernardino-Ontario rhythmic CHR KGGI ….. Changes at Merlin Media-owned/Cumulus Media-operated alternative WKQX, Chicago find morning driver Brian Phillips handling mornings by himself as his former co-host – Lou Lombardo – segues to evenings. In addition, Lombardo adds “digital content captain” duties. Former WKQX evening talent “Marconi” left the station about two weeks ago ….. Two-year KMLE, Phoenix morning show host Chris Matthews departs the Entercom country outlet, but Nina D and producer “Badger Gabe” remain in place ….. Steve Guittari departs Cumulus Media Indianapolis; Guittari was operations manager of the cluster and program director of the company’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” ….. Also in the “Circle City,” according to the Indianapolis Business Journal, iHeartMedia Indianapolis sports talk WNDE pulls the plug on the Dave “Gunner” Gunn and Don Stuck-hosted morning show “Flagrant Foul.” Gunn (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) and Stuck (7:00 pm – 10:00 pm) continue though on classic rock sibling WFBQ “Q-95.” Clay Travis’ syndicated “Outkick the Coverage” returns to WNDE’s morning drive slot ….. Added to the weekend lineup of iHeartMedia-owned New York City rhythmic CHR WKTU “103.5 KTU” is Astra – who formerly did afternoon drive on cross-town mainstream CHR WBMP “Amp 92.3.”

Odom Out at WRXQ. The evening talent on Coal City, Illinois-licensed WRXQ “100.7 Q-Rock,” Ray “Crazy Ray” Odom, is pink-slipped by the Alpha Media station for remarks he made on CNBC’s “The Profit.” On a promo for that cable television show, Odom said, “I’m a sexist, egotistical, racist pig on the radio.” Alpha Media market manager Brian Foster notes, “We do not condone the views he expressed in the program. The feelings portrayed are that of his own and not of Alpha Media or ‘Q-Rock.’ After an internal review, we have decided to cut ties.” Odom is co-owner of Rayjus Outdoors, but he was placed on leave from that Morris, Illinois business, the subject of Marcus Lamonis-hosted “The Profit,” which offers financial help to struggling businesses. Lamonis acknowledges that Odom had, “a side job. I thought it may be a distraction, but I didn’t realize that the focus of it was to demonize minorities and degrade women.” Odom confirmed the firing, saying he worked hard to keep his radio persona separate from his business. “What I said got taken out of context completely – now I don’t have a radio job over it.” A Rayjus statement on Facebook reads, “Unfortunately, we cannot allow these statements to go unchecked. While an integral part of our organization, Ray will be taking a leave of absence to spend time with his family and reflect on what is in the best interest of his family and company.” Regarding what he has said on radio, Odom tells the (Joliet, Illinois) Herald-News, “Everybody has a different sense of what is funny and not funny.”

Entravision Expands La Suavecita. The Grupero/Cumbia La Suavecita format will be heard in 11 more markets, in addition to its Los Angeles area simulcast of KSSE, KSSC, & KSSD. Entravision president and chief operating officer Jeffery Liberman remarks, “Since its launch a year ago, La Suavecita has built an incredible following of loyal listeners and received strong advertising support in Los Angeles. We are excited to share this unique and exciting format with listeners in 11 new markets and to bring a powerhouse line-up of some of the most recognized on-air personalities in radio to La Suavecita. Los Angeles is the largest Hispanic radio market in the U.S. We believe our format, programming, and talent changes will allow us to better connect with our audiences, and in turn, our advertisers with their customers. La Suavecita is backed by a strong slate of on-air personalities that will drive engagement across our radio and digital platforms.” Coinciding with the national rollout of the La Suavecita format, El Genio will be heard 4:00 am – 10:00 am; “Piolin” (Eddie Sotelo) 10:00 am – 2:00 pm; Armida y La Flaka 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm; and Mayra 7:00 pm -12:00 midnight. Targeting women 25 – 49 and adults 25 – 54, La Suavecita surfaces in Houston (KGOL); Phoenix (KVVA and KDVA); Denver (KJMN and KMXA); Sacramento (KXSE); Las Vegas (KRRN); McAllen (KNVO); El Paso (KINT-FM); Stockton (KTSE); Modesto (KCVR); Palm Springs, California (KLOB); and El Centro, California (KSEH).

Cutbacks at Dick Broadcasting’s Three New Clusters. Back in September, Dick Broadcasting announced it would acquire Alpha Media’s 18 stations and two translators in Kinston-New Bern-Jacksonville (North Carolina); Myrtle Beach (South Carolina); and Savannah (Georgia) for $19.5 million. Staffing cuts have been made in all three markets. Exiting WXQR “Rock 105,” Kinston-New Bern-Jacksonville are program director/afternoon talent Tina Smash and night host Ryan Daniels. Departures at the Myrtle Beach cluster include production director/WXYY “G-100.1” afternoon driver Mark ‘Shark’ Eddis and WFXH “Rock 106.1,” Hilton Head Island assistant program director/night talent Ryan Koch. The business manager position has been eliminated in the three aforementioned markets.

What Have You Learned Doing Television?

| January 2, 2018

By Holland Cooke
Media Consultant

 

WASHINGTON — Ever the interviewer, Jim Bohannon asked me, “What have you learned from doing television?”

I had guested often, as a talking head on cable news shows.  And I logged 10,000 hours hosting radio.  But I only began hosting a TV show several months ago, when I took over Thom Hartmann’s program “The Big Picture” on RT.  I’m on Friday nights, after Larry King and before Jesse Ventura.

Read More

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

| January 2, 2018

Holland Cooke and Michael Harrison Present TALKERS 2017 in Review on RT America.  Noted media consultant and TALKERS correspondent/columnist Holland Cooke was joined by Michael Harrison during a special year-end wrap up of 2017 on Cooke’s RT America show, “The Big Picture.”  The two counted down the 10 most-talked-about topics and people on talk radio in America during 2017 according to TALKERS, offering personal insights and commentary along the way.  To view the entire segment, please click here.

CMG, Mike Calta and Matt Loyd Sued by Hulk Hogan in Sex Tape Case.  The infamous Hulk Hogan sex tape is back in the news in Florida as the former pro wrestler (real name Terry Bollea) is suing Cox Media Group, WHPT, Tampa air personality Mike Calta, and former WHPT staffer Matt Loyd for unspecified damages.  According to a report by WFTS-TV, Tampa, the defendants had asked that the case be dismissed, but a Pinellas County court judge has ruled the case can move forward.  If you remember, Hogan sued Gawker over its posting of a video of him having sex with Bubba the Love Sponge’s then-wife Heather Clem and won a $100 million judgement.  But Gawker’s subsequent bankruptcy declaration and sale make it unlikely he’ll collect on that.  So, now Hogan is going after CMG, Calta, and Loyd, claiming that the defendants are guilty of “stealing, disseminating, using and exploiting illegally-recorded video.”

Mike Felger Re-Ups with Beasley’s ‘98.5 The Sports Hub.’  Boston sports media personality Mike Felger – co-host of the afternoon drive “Felger and Mazz” show on WBZ-FM – signs a multi-year contract extension with Beasley Media Group to continue his duties with the station.  Beasley EVP and COO Brian Beasley says, “We are thrilled to have Mike continue entertaining Boston’s loyal and dedicated sports fans.”  The company says the afternoon show – co-hosted by Tony Massarotti – has finished #1 with Men 25-54 for the 22nd consecutive quarter.

Sports Talk Host Dan Sileo to Leave ‘Mighty 1090’ San Diego.  Sports talk personality Dan Sileo announces he’s exiting the morning drive show at Broadcast Company of the Americas’ sports talk XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090” for a new, yet-to-be-announced gig.  Sileo says, “It’s with GREAT sadness that I informed the ‘Mighty 1090’ that I will be moving on to a great opportunity! But, I want to thank the folks at 1090 for SAVING my career.  Mike Shephard has been amazing to work for! JT I see why Jim Rome had so much success.  I love the on-air guys like Scott Kaplan and Darren Smith…amazing lineup.  Once again SD, Sileo is NOT going anywhere.  Stay tuned!”

Great Stock Market Gains For 2017; But Not in Radio.  In 2017, Wall Street had its best year since 2013 with the Nasdaq jumping 28% and the Dow Jones gaining 25%.  However, those stellar double-digit gains didn’t extend into the radio sector as the majority of radio stocks saw double-digit decreases, led by Cumulus Media, whose stock has evaporated following the company’s late-2016 8-for-1 reverse stock split and subsequent bankruptcy filing.  Stock in Entercom (ETM) – despite its buyout of CBS RADIO, Townsquare Media (TSQ) and Salem Media Group (SALM) all slid about 25% in 2017.   E.W. Scripps (SSP) and Saga Communications (SGA) sank nearly 20% for the year.  Shares of Urban One (UONE) underperformed, losing more than 40% last year, and Pandora (P) plummeted from a closing high of $13.58 on February 17 to $4.82 on December 29.  Shares of Emmis Communications (EMMS) were basically flat, closing at $3.52 on December 29 – which was 10 cents higher than the stock closed for trading on January 3, 2017.  There were two noticeable radio winners, however.  Radio’s bright light was Beasley Broadcast Group (BBGI), which opened at $6.15 on the first day of trading of 2017 and closed at $13.55 on the last day of trading for the year.  SiriusXM (SIRI) delivered a gain of more than 20% in 2017.

TRN Receives Permission from Appeals Court for Extension; Status of Programming Uncertain.  Just before Christmas, a number of affiliates of Talk Radio Network reported that they were receiving no programming from the syndicator and had received no notice relative to the missing programming.  At this point, it’s still unclear what the status of the company’s operations is, but the appeal of its suit against Cumulus, Westwood One, Lew Dickey, and Charles Steinhauer is continuing.  TRN was granted an “extension of time to file” its brief to January 26.  As you may recall, TRN sued Cumulus/WW1 and others alleging anti-trust practices.  That suit was dismissed.  TRN’s second suit against many of the same parties was dismissed because the claims were almost identical to the previous, already-dismissed suit.  Back on September 20, TRN filed an appeal.  But, because of the November Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by Cumulus/WW1, those parties have been granted stays.

What Have You Learned Doing Television?  That’s the question recently put to media consultant Holland Cooke a couple months into his gig hosting “The Big Picture” Fridays on RT America.  Ever the consultant, Cooke happily offers his thoughts on what the medium has taught him relative to the talk radio business.  He says his first lesson is the importance of scripting his opening monologue – something he’s had a difficult time selling to talk radio hosts who prefer to “wing it.”  Check out his thoughts on that and six other items he’s taken away from his television talk hosting experience here.

TALKERS News Notes.  Los Angeles news/talk outlet KFI raised more than $462,000 last month during its seventh annual “KFI PastaThon.”  The iHeartMedia station’s on-air fundraising event to help feed local children in need benefits Caterina’s Club, a charitable organization that feeds 3,500 underprivileged children five days a week in more than 15 cities in Los Angeles and Orange Counties.  During the 17-hour, live broadcast on December 8, KFI personalities Bill Handel, Jennifer Jones Lee, Gary Hoffman, Shannon Farren, John Kobylt, Ken Chiampou, Tim Conway Jr. and Aron Bender were on site at the Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove encouraging listeners to donate packaged pasta, jars of pasta sauce and money to help feed underprivileged children that live in motels without access to a kitchen.  KFI program director Robin Bertolucci comments, “Over the past seven years ‘KFI PastaThon’ has raised over $1.8 million dollars and 347,000 pounds of pasta and sauce.  We are honored to join our listeners in support of chef Bruno Serato and his outstanding organization, Caterina’s Club that helps thousands of children in Southern California.”…..Beginning on January 8, the nationally syndicated Steve Sanchez show expands to a daily program via Genesis Communications Network.  Sanchez says, “I still will be hosting my Sunday night live flagship show but GCN wanted me to expand and utilize my large social media platform and live stream as I do the show.”…..The nationally syndicated “Free Talk Live” program – hosted by Ian Freeman and Mark Edge – announces new affiliate stations WCGO-AM, Chicago and KLAY-AM, Tacoma are both airing the weekday program…..Entercom Communications names Gene Vidler director of sales for the New Orleans station group that includes news/talk WWL-AM/FM and CHR WEZB “B97,” classic rock WKBU “Bayou 95.7,” urban contemporary WWWL-AM/W297DF “HOT 103.7,” and AC WLMG “Magic 101.9.”  has joined the New Orleans cluster as the Director of Sales for B97 (WEZB-FM), BAYOU 95.7 (WKBU-FM), HOT 103.7 (WWWL-AM), MAGIC 101.9 (WLMG-FM) and WWL AM-FM.  Vidler was most recently VP of sales for Tyler Media’s nine-station cluster.

Iran Protests, North Korea Nukes, Trump Pakistan Criticism, the New Year Holiday, Frigid Winter Weather, NFL Playoffs, and College Football Championship Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The violent protests taking place in Iran; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and Kim Jong Un’s overture to South Korea; President Trump criticizes Pakistan’s efforts to combat terrorism; the New Year holiday; the unusually cold weather affecting much of the U.S.; the NFL playoffs scenario; and the College Football Playoff games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the holiday weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  A new adult hits station takes to the airwaves in Oklahoma City as Cumulus Media launches KQOB “ALICE 96.9 FM.”  Cumulus OK City VP/market manager Jay Davis says, “We created ‘ALICE’ for the listeners who wanted something compelling and different from the traditional radio fare.  ‘ALICE 96.9 FM’ lives by the mantra ‘We Play Anything,’ and surrounds the great music it plays with a playful, clever, and authentic persona.  While ‘ALICE 96-9 FM’ does not have traditional ‘announcers,’ listeners will find plenty of personality on the station.”…..Entercom re-brands alternative KITS, San Francisco ‘The New ALT 105.3, The Bay Area’s New Alterntive.”  The move marks the end of the “Live 105” moniker after 31 years.  At the same time, Michael Martin is named program director for the station…..Cumulus Media appoints radio programming pro Paul Horton program director and morning show host for adult contemporary WMXS, Montgomery “Mix 103.3.”  Horton joins Cumulus from Back Door Broadcasting’s crosstown Christian contemporary WVRV Montgomery…..Cumulus flips WRWM, Indianapolis from classic hip hop to CHR as “ENERGY 93.9.”  The on-air lineup will be: the nationally syndicated “The Bert Show,” (PD) Jay Michaels from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, Rachel Ryan from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, Justin Luvv from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm, and the syndicated Zach Sang from 9:00 pm to 2:00 am…..Cumulus Media appoints programming pro Gary Nolan program director and midday host for KQHN, Shreveport “Q97.3.”  He was most recently with iHeartMedia’s WMAG, Greensboro…..Alpha Media launches adult hits KSAJ, Topeka “98.5 Jack FM.”…..iHeartMedia alternative WRDA, Atlanta “ALT 105.7” adds “The Woody Show” for mornings, effective tomorrow (1/3)…..Cumulus Media Amarillo will flip the frequencies of country stations KPUR-FM “The Armadillo” and KARX.  KPUR moves from 107.1 on the dial to the more powerful 100,000-watt signal 95.7.  KARX-FM will segue to its new home at 107.1 as “NASH Icon 107.1 FM.”

Round One of December PPM Ratings. Information for the December 2017 ratings period has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union. Nielsen Audio’s November 2017 survey period covered November 9 – December 6.  More often than not, sharp November 2017 – December 2017 improvements are attributable to stations playing all-Christmas music (usually about a week before Thanksgiving). View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – In four straight gains, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW is a collective +2.8 (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 8.8, 6+). On top for the fourth straight time, “106.7 Lite FM” has its best 6+-share since 13.3 in “Holiday” 2016 and is one-half share ahead of December 2016’s 8.3. After finishing at #1 for three consecutive months, “Lite FM” dropped to #2 in August. Its loss of seven-tenths in that sweep (6.7 – 6.0, 6+) completely erased three straight gains that yielded that exact margin (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+). Co-owned rhythmic CHR WKTU, which had been off one full-share over its last three sweeps (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.0, 6+), regains half that loss and carries on at #11 (3.5, +.5, 6+). One-tenth ahead of it and remaining at #10 is its format rival, Emmis-owned WQHT “Hot 97” (3.6, +.2, 6+). When “Hot 97” picked up one-tenth in November, it ended three consecutive dips that resulted in a cumulative loss of nine-tenths (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.3). The market lost one of its two CHR players on November 9, as Entercom transitioned WBMP “Amp” to “Alt 92.3 – New York’s New Alternative.” The station’s June 2017 through December 2017 6+ topline is a very consistent 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.1; WBMP slips from #17 in November to #18. Former top 40 rival – iHeartMedia’s WHTZ “Z-100” – is down a combined six-tenths in November and December (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+) but moves up from eighth to seventh. In the all-news arena, Entercom’s WCBS-AM picks up one-half share (2.6 – 3.1, #13 to #12, 6+), while co-owned similarly-formatted WINS declines by that same margin to 5.8 (6+) and remains in second-place. Immediately prior to this ratings period, WINS was a cumulative +1.6 via four straight upticks (4.7 – 4.9 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.3, 6+); its 6.3 in November 2017 represents the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history. By recording a +.2 in August, WINS halted four straight dips that resulted in a collective -1.1 (5.8 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). In two-share range (6+) in each of the last 14 sweeps, WCBS-AM reaches the three-share threshold (6+) for the first time since its 3.0 in October 2016. Without an increase the past four sweeps for a combined -1.1 (6.6 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling WCBS-FM “New York’s Greatest Hits” gains two-tenths to 5.7 (6+), inching up from fourth to third. It exited the #1 spot in September after only a one-month stay there. A one-half share dip in August curtailed at four a streak of successive up or flat trends that generated a combined seven-tenths (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.6, 6+). Prior to August, the last time “New York’s Greatest Hits” was at #1 was in May. Also in that Entercom cluster, sports talk WFAN-FM plummets by -1.3 to 3.9 (fifth to eighth, 6+). “The Fan” had been without a loss since June for a collective +1.7 (3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.6 – 5.2 – 5.2, 6+). The 5.2 that it registered in October and November is the station’s best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era and first time above the five-share level (6+). On two prior occasions, “The Fan” dialed up a 4.5 and it reached a 4.6 (6+) in September 2017. Down or flat for the sixth straight time for a combined loss of one full-share (5.5 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” remains in sixth-place.

2) Los Angeles – So, how did the transition to all-Christmas music affect KOST “Coast 103” in sunny Los Angeles? The iHeartMedia adult contemporary nearly doubles October’s 4.4 (8.7, +4.3, 6+) to march from third to first and is 2.3 shares better than its 6.4 (6+) in December 2016. As a result of “Coast 103” picking up two-tenths in October, it halted three consecutive off-trends that resulted in a combined decrease of one-half share (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). Ousted from the top spot after a run of ten (10) straight months there is co-owned hot AC KBIG “My-FM,” which is flat at 5.9 (6+) and shifts to second-place; KBIG was down one-half share in November (6.4 – 5.9, 6+). In October, “My-FM” regained in its entirety the four-tenths squandered in September (6.4 – 6.0 – 6.4, 6+). Prior to September’s -.4, KBIG posted four successive up or flat trends that netted eight-tenths (5.6 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 6.1 – 6.4, 6+). Remaining in sixth-place, news/talk cluster-mate KFI is without a decrease for the sixth time in a row for a collective +.8 and is trending 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1 since January (6+). Having recorded a 1.9 in three of the last four sweeps (1.9 – 1.7 – 1.9, 1.9, 6+), Pasadena Area Community College news/talk KPCC “89.3 Southern California Public Radio” breaks out a gain of six-tenths to 2.5, reaching the two-share level (6+) for the first time since February’s 2.1 (6+) and cracks the top twenty at #15. Tied at #13 are iHeartMedia-owned KYSR-FM “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” (2.6, -.1, flat at #13, 6+) and its format rival, Entercom’s KROQ (2.6, +.2, three-way tie at #18 to #13, 6+). With a gain of two-tenths in November, “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” ended eight consecutive down or flat trends for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+). After nine monthlies in a row for without a loss for an overall gain of one full-share (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), KROQ regressed by two-tenths in both October and November (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.4). September’s 2.8 was its strongest 6+-showing since June 2016’s 2.9. One week into the December ratings period (11/16), Entercom classic rock KSWD “The Sound” became Educational Media Foundation-owned contemporary Christian KKLQ “Positive & Encouraging K-Love.” In its final ratings performance, “The Sound” notched a 2.8 to finish at #12 (November 2017, 6+). The last song played by “The Sound” was The Beatles’ “The End.” Meanwhile, Los Angeles’ version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” debuts in December by forfeiting more than half of November’s 2.8 (1.2, -1.6, 6+), freefalling to #28. Following five successive sweeps without an increase for a net loss of seven-tenths (5.1 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101” bounces back with a gain of four-tenths to 4.8 (6+) and is steady at #3. At the same though, smooth AC cluster-mate KTWV “The Wave” is a collective -1.7 in four successive down or flat trends (5.9 – 5.2 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+) but stays at #5; “The Wave” occupied the runner-up slot from March through September. Even though it is down three-tenths to 1.0 (6+) to end at seven its streak of up or flat trends that yielded a net gain of one-half share (.8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+), KSPN “ESPN LA 710” – the flagship of the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Lakers – improves from #30 to #29. After trotting out a +.7 to 1.7 (6+) in November, matching the audience draw in Vin Scully’s swan song after 67 consecutive years as the play-by-play announcer for the Los Angeles Dodgers (1.7, 6+, November 2016), iHeartMedia sports talk KLAC “AM 570 Sports” falters by -1.2 to .5 (#25 to #36, 6+).

3) Chicago – The noteworthy accomplishment of iHeartMedia Los Angeles adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103” doubling its November 2017 stat (see above) is taken one step further by its “Windy City” hot AC sibling WLIT “93.9 My-FM,” which more than triples November’s 2.8 to 8.5 (6+). In the process, “93.9 My-FM” rockets from a four-way logjam at #12 all the way to #1 and is 2.2 shares in front of December 2016’s 6.3 (6+). WLIT fell off the top twenty in October (2.5 – 2.2, -.3, #21, 6+), but recovered in November with a gain of six-tenths. Knocked out of the penthouse where it resided in October and November is its hot AC foe, Hubbard’s WTMX “101.9 The Mix,” which segues to #3. After registering six straight improvements for a collective +1.7 (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.8 – 6.3, 6+), WTMX surrenders eight-tenths to 5.5 (6+). Prior to November, the last time “Mix” reached the six-share level (6+) was in May 2013 (6.4). “Mix” finished in the runner-up slot in July, August, and September. Stuck on 2.4 (October, November, 6+) and within 2.4 – 2.9 range (6+) the past nine sweeps, Entercom’s WBMX “104.3 Jams” explodes with an increase of two full-shares to 4.4 (6+) and catapults from #22 to #5. Up until November 9, Chicago’s 104.3 dial position was the home of classic hits-oldies WJMK “K-Hits,” but that’s when Entercom transitioned “K-Hits” to WBMX (the calls formerly used by its new Boston sibling); “The Long & Winding Road” (Beatles) and “Changes” (David Bowie) were the last two songs played by WJMK before the format flip. The last time the former WJMK reached a four-share (6+) was in July 2015 (4.1). It is a tough sweep for the market’s sports talk outlets. Not only is Entercom-owned Chicago Cubs flagship WSCR a combined -2.8 in November and December (4.9 – 3.6 – 2.1, 6+), “670 The Score” sinks from #6 to #21; WSCR posted a full-share gain in October (3.9 – 4.9, 6+). Meanwhile, after being a collective +1.1 via three straight gains (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.4, 6+), WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” is off by nine-tenths to 1.5 (#22 to #24, 6+). Regressing by six-tenths each are iHeartMedia urban contemporary WGCI-FM “Chicago’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” (3.3 – 2.7, #9 to #14, 6+) and Merlin Media alternative WKQX (#12 to #20, 6+). This is the lowest 6+-stat for WGCI-FM (2.7) since March (2.6); WKQX is a cumulative -.8 in four straight down or flat trends (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.2, 6+). Off for the fourth straight sweep for an overall loss of one full-share (4.1 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WKSC “103.5 Kiss FM – Chicago’s #1 Hit Music Station” slips from seventh to ninth. With a +.1 in November, Entercom-owned WBBM-FM ended five consecutive down or flat trends for a collective -.7 (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+) but “Chicago’s B-96” returns that one-tenth and is back at 3.3 (seventh to eighth, 6+).

4) San Francisco – A November 2017 – December 2017 increase of +2.3 (4.5 – 6.8, 6+) elevates Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM “Better Music for a Better Workday” from third to second. December 2017’s 6.8 (6+) is two full-shares better than its 4.8 in December 2016 and represents the station’s highest 6+-share since 9.2 in “Holiday” 2016. As a result of KOIT-FM finishing second, it ends 11 straight months of KCBS-AM occupying that runner-up slot, as KOIT-FM’s all-news sibling shifts to #3. Up eight-tenths in October, KCBS-AM is a combined -.4 in November and December (6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). October’s 6.8 was its strongest 6+-performance since February (6.8, as well). When KCBS-AM added two-tenths in September to 6.0 (6+), it ended four consecutive down or flat monthlies that yielded a loss of one-half share (6.3 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.8, 6+). Down one-tenth in each of the last four ratings periods (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.6, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary KMEL “#1 For Hip-Hop and R&B” ends the pattern with a gain of six-tenths to 3.2, its best 6+-showing in San Francisco since 3.3 in “Holiday” 2016, and jumps from #14 to #7. From October 2016 through November 2017, the 6+ high/low variance for KMEL was just seven-tenths. Up one-half share (1.3 – 1.8, 6+), Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” checks in at #21. While this marks the 12th successive time that KQED-FM sets the pace in San Francisco, the Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk outlet erodes by nine-tenths to 7.7 (6+). A gain of four-tenths in July halted at four a successive streak without an increase that produced a -1.0 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+). It added one-half share in August (7.1 – 7.6, 6+), but relinquished 60% of that increase in September (7.3, -.3, 6+). At this time last month, KQED-FM hung out a +1.3 (7.3 – 8.6, 6+). After picking up three-tenths in November to halt six straight down or flat trends for a cumulative -1.4 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+), Cumulus Media sports talk KNBR “The Sports Leader” regresses by seven-tenths to 2.4 (6+) and again exits the top ten (#9 to #14). Having doubled its 6+ stat via four straight positive spikes (1.7 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+), news/talk cluster-mate KSFO surrenders four-tenths in December (3.0, 6+), falling from seventh to ninth. Locked on 2.9 in October and November (#11, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” slips one-half share to 2.4 and is tied with KNBR at #14. A collective +.9 as the result of six straight up or flat moves (1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.7, 6+), University of Southern California classical KDFC gives back one-tenth in December to curtail the streak (2.6, #12 to #13, 6+). For the ninth month in succession, KUFX “98.5 K-Fox – The South Bay’s Classic Rock” is unlisted in San Francisco, but it still appears in print in San Jose. The station’s March 2017 6+-San Francisco stat was 1.5.

5) Dallas – Not only does KDGE “Star 102.1 – More Music, More Variety” nearly double its 6+-share (2.6 – 5.0, +2.4, 6+), the iHeartMedia adult contemporary outlet zooms from #17 all the way to #4 with its strongest 6+-stat since 7.7 in “Holiday” 2016. Seven-tenths of a share separates the top seven December 2017 finishers. Included in that scrum (in addition to “Star”) is Entercom classic hits-oldies KLUV “98.7 K-LUV,” which bounces back from November’s half-share decrease with a December gain twice that margin (4.2 – 5.2, +1.0, 6+); November’s 4.2 was its lowest 6+-stat since January 2015 (4.2, as well). In the process, KLUV vaults from seventh to a first-place tie with iHeartMedia classic rocker KZPS “Lone Star 92.5, which is an overall +.7 in three consecutive increases (4.5 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.2, 6+). After four straight gains that netted nine-tenths (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+), KZPS was down or flat the next four ratings periods for an overall loss of one full-share (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 4.9 – 4.5, 6+). “Lone Star” repeats as a co-occupant at the top spot. Its November partner, however, was Cumulus Media country outlet KPLX “The Wolf” which after 11 successive months on top, tumbles to fifth. “The Wolf” posts its fourth straight negative trend for a collective loss of one full-share (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.8, 6+). On the heels of trending 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.5 (6+), Entercom adult hits KJKK “100.3 Jack FM” notches a gain of six-tenths to 4.1 (6+) and continues at #8. This is the sixth month in succession that iHeartMedia’s KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks’ is either up or flat for an overall gain of eight-tenths (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.8, ninth to tenth, 6+). Once a heritage adult contemporary facility, KVIL in recent years repositioned itself to hot AC and then to CHR as “Amp.” Simultaneous with Entercom officially closing on its ownership of KVIL (11/9), the station became “Alt 103.7 DFW’s New Alternative.” In PPM’s 12 reports covering calendar year 2017, KVIL notched a high of 2.9 (February) and a low of 2.1 (April). Down an overall half-share in back-to-back sweeps (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.3, 6+), KVIL moves from a four-way logjam at #17 in November to #20. Meanwhile, steady at #3, iHeartMedia CHR KHKS “Kiss” improves in back-to-back sweeps by a cumulative seven-tenths (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+). Following nine straight up or flat trends that more than doubled its 6+-share (1.4 – 1.5 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.1, 6+), co-owned sports talk KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” returns six-tenths of that +1.7 (2.5, #14 to #17, 6+). In 13 monthly reports since “Holiday” 2016, co-owned news/talk KRLD-AM (#21 to #19) has been within a high of 2.4 and a low of 2.0 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+). A collective -1.1 in November and December (3.9 – 3.3 – 2.8, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” slumps from #11 to #15.

6) Houston – The significant up/down pattern continues for iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1,” which gained eight-tenths in August; lost it all in September; picked up one-half share in October; surrendered eight-tenths in November; and now logs a whopping +2.8 in December (6.4 – 7.2 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 6.1 – 8.9, 6+). After back-to-back stays at #2, “Sunny” cruises to #1. Immediately prior to September’s -.8, KODA was a collective +1.7 via four straight up or flat monthlies (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+). This is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3; KODA was 7.3 in December 2016. Trading places with “Sunny” is Radio One urban AC KMJQ, which is actually up one-tenth to 7.5, but shifts to #2 after three straight months at #1. When “Majic 102.1 The People’s Station” was off three-tenths in November, it ended three straight gains that netted seven-tenths (7.0 – 7.1 – 7.2 – 7.7, 6+). “Majic” spent six consecutive months on top before segueing to #2 in August. It was +1.4 in May; -.6 in June; and -.7 in July. Somewhat similar to its AC sibling KODA, cluster-mate KTBZ has a bit of a yoyo effect, as “94.5 The Buzz – Houston’s Rock and Alternative” was up a combined full-share in September and October (3.6 – 4.3 – 4.6, 6+); dropped eight-tenths in November to 3.8 (6+); and now regains six-tenths in December (4.4, tenth to eighth, 6+). Having entered the top twenty in November with a gain of eight-tenths (1.3 – 2.1, 6+), co-owned Houston Astros flagship KBME “Sports Talk 790” forfeits nearly twice that increase (.6, -1.5, #20 to #26, 6+). Following October’s +1.6, Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN is a combined -1.8 in November and December (4.7 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 4.5, 6+) and dips from third to sixth. It was -.5 in March; +.7 in April; -1.1 in June; -.7 in July; +.7 in August; -.5 in November; and now -1.3 in December. Following three straight negative trends that yielded a combined -1.5 (8.0 – 7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5, 6+), KLTN brought back 60% of that deficit in January (+.9), jumping from third to first. It was a very quick stay there though as KLTN surrendered -1.3 in February (7.4 – 6.1, 6+) and dropped to third. A loss of one-half share by Entercom adult hits KKHH (fifth to ninth) takes “95.7 The Spot” to 4.3, its lowest 6+-showing since 3.5 in January.

7) Atlanta – A November decrease of one-tenth by Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH curtailed at four its string of successive trends without a loss that netted a +1.8 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+); however, “104.7 Fish” answers in a big way with a December +1.6 (5.6 – 7.2, 6+), swimming from fourth to second. This marks the first time that Atlanta’s “Fish” has reached the seven-share level (6+) since “Holiday” 2016’s 7.1. Even though it replicates November’s increase of seven-tenths (5.1 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+), Cox Media Group urban AC WALR “Kiss 104.1” backslides from a second-place tie to third as it is leapfrogged by WFSH. Its gain of seven-tenths in November ended four consecutive declines that resulted in a cumulative -1.1 (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 5.1, 6+). Steady at #6, Radio One-owned and similarly-formatted WAMJ “Majic – The Real Sound of Atlanta” drops two-tenths (4.9 – 4.7, 6+) following a November improvement of six-tenths. “Majic” was a combined -.5 in September and October (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+). By chalking up a one-half share uptick (5.8 – 6.3, 6+), Entercom urban contemporary WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station” records its best 6+-stat since May’s 6.5, yet must settle for a fourth-place finish (down from November’s #2 tie with WALR). Having notched three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (8.6 – 8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM is now a combined -1.1 in November and December (10.0 – 9.1, 6+), but is #1 for the 24th successive ratings period. Prior to June’s +.2, WSB-AM had been down or flat the previous four sweeps for a combined -2.1 (10.7 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5 – 8.6, 6+); January 2017’s 10.7 represents WSB-AM’s best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. Elsewhere in the news/talk arena, City of Atlanta Board of Education-owned WABE surrenders one-half share (4.9 – 4.4, sixth to seventh, 6+). As a result of declining by seven-tenths (3.8 – 3.1, #12 to #15, 6+), Entercom hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1 – Today’s Hits” has its lowest 6+-share since April (3.1, as well). Down or flat in four straight ratings periods for a net loss of four-tenths (4.3 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WWPW picked up two-tenths in November, but “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” forfeits one-half share in December to 3.7, its softest 6+-share since 3.6 in March, and departs the top ten (#9 to #11). Its format rival – Cumulus Media’s WWWQ – is down or flat for the third straight time for an overall loss of six-tenths (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+) as “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” slips from eighth to ninth. Having lost roughly 70% of its 6+-stat in five successive down or flat trends since June (1.8 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.0 – .7 – .5, 6+), Woman’s World Broadcasting-owned WTSH “Georgia Country” adds one-tenth to .6 (#30 to #28, 6+). Elsewhere in the format, iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull – Atlanta’s #1 For New Country” returns to the top ten with its third straight modest increase (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2, #11 to #8, 6+), while Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits” returns November’s +.3 but remains at #13 (3.4 – 3.7 – 3.4, 6+). Without an increase for the fifth consecutive sweep, Cox Media Group adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” is an overall -.8 (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.9, 6+) and drops from ninth to tenth.

8) Philadelphia – Ousted from #1 in November, Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary WBEB roars back with a gain of five full-shares as it returns to the top spot from #2. In four straight increases, “Today’s 101.1 More FM” is a collective +6.1 (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 12.8, 6+) and has its highest 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016; WBEB logged an 11.1 in December 2016. It is the only station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted here to reach double-digits (6+). Prior to September, the last time “More FM” occupied the top spot was February when it ended a seven-straight month run there. Owing to a gain of one-half share (1.1 – 1.6, 6+), University of Pennsylvania triple A WXPN “88.5 Vinyl at Heart – Rhythms, Not Algorithms” registers its highest 6+-share since August (1.6, as well) and it enters the top twenty (#20). In five straight sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia-owned WRFF was a modest +.3 (3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+), but “Radio 104.5 – Philadelphia’s Alternative Rock” spirals by one full-share in December to 3.0, fading from #7 to #13 (6+). The market’s (6+) sports talk share erodes by -1.4 as two positive streaks come to an end. Specifically, Entercom-owned WIP forfeits nine-tenths (7.1, first to second, 6+) and Beasley Media Group’s WPEN “97.5 The Fanatic” regresses by one-half share (2.7 – 2.2, #15 to #18, 6+). Philadelphia Eagles flagship WIP was a combined +3.5 as the result of four straight increases (4.5 – 5.3 – 6.4 – 7.5 – 8.0, 6+) and reached #1 in November for the first time in the PPM-era by recording its best-ever 6+-stat (8.0). Off a collective full-share in June and July (5.5 – 4.7 – 4.5, 6+), WIP gained eight-tenths in August. Prior to December, “97.5 The Fanatic,” the key station of the Philadelphia 76ers, notched five straight up or flat trends for a collective +1.1 (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.7, 6+). Following five consecutive up or flat trends that netted an overall +1.5 (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies WISX “Real 106.1 – Philly’s Real #1 for Throwbacks” returns one-third of that increase (3.0, -.5, 6+) yet actually improves from #14 to a tie at #13 (with WRFF). Immediately before the November sweep, WISX was within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) in each of the previous 18 survey periods. Although unchanged at #5, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL declines for the fifth straight month for an overall -2.2 (7.5 – 7.4 – 6.6 – 6.2 – 5.6 – 5.3, 6+).

9) Long Island – Over and above repeating at #1, Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM is a whopping +3.3 in November and December (5.4 – 6.7 – 8.7, 6+), following an October loss of nine-tenths. “Real Variety 97.5” was on top between June and September, as well. After three consecutive increases that generated a +2.1 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.3, 6+), WALK-FM dropped one-tenth in July; bounced back with a +.7 in August; but surrendered six-tenths in September. In five successive sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW has nearly doubled its 6+-share (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 4.5, 6+) as New York City’s “Lite FM” soars from #13 to #4 with its strongest 6+-showing in Long Island since 7.8 in “Holiday” 2016. In addition to being up or flat for the fourth month in a row more than doubling its 6+-share since August (1.2 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.5, 6+), public news/talk WNYC-FM breaks into the top twenty at #15. After four straight increases that produced an overall +1.9 (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 5.3 – 5.9, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN “The Fan” relinquishes all but four-tenths of that increase (4.4, -1.5, 6+), skidding from second to sixth. In November, Cox Media Group-owned WBAB gained one-half share to 5.5, its best-ever 6+ PPM-performance, but “Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” falters by twice as much as that +.5 (4.5, -1.0, 6+) to slip from third to fourth. Although within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 37th consecutive ratings period, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” falters by seven-tenths (2.7 – 2.0, 6+) and drifts from #14 to #18. Its urban AC cluster-mate, WBLS “107.5 – #1 For R&B,” is within 3.0 – 3.9 range (6+) for the 15th sweep in a row but is down two-tenths and departs the top ten (3.7 – 3.5, #9 to #11, 6+). Recording a negative trend for the fourth time in succession Cox Media Group CHR WBLI is an overall -2.1 since July (6.2 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.1, sixth to seventh, 6+). Ending at 13 its consecutive string of three-share showings (6+) in Long Island, Entercom all-news WCBS-AM has its third straight decrease for an overall loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8, #12 to #13, 6+).

10) Riverside – On top for the 26th consecutive ratings period, Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” recaptures all but one-tenth of November’s -.8 (6.9 – 7.6, +.7, 6+). When “Jose” gained three-tenths in August, it ended six consecutive decreases for a net loss of -2.7 (9.4 – 9.2 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.9 – 6.7, 6+). It was in that stretch that “Jose” fell below a seven-share for the first time since May 2016’s 6.5. Winning ways continue for Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 Family Friendly,” which is a combined +1.1 in five successive ratings periods without a decrease (1.6 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.7, 6+). Climbing from ninth to seventh, KSGN, in September, reached the two-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2015’s 2.0. Albeit that it slips from fourth to fifth, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA “Zona MX 101.9” notes its fourth straight monthly without a decrease (3.2 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+), repeating its best 6+-share in the Inland Empire since April’s 4.9. It is tied with Spanish contemporary cluster-mate KLVE “K-Love 107.5,” which is an overall -1.2 in four straight survey periods without an increase (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.1 – 4.1, fourth to fifth, 6+). Having doubled its 6+-share in November (1.2 – 2.4, +1.2, 6+), All-Pro Broadcasting’s KHTI forfeits all of that increase and two-tenths more (1.0, -1.4, 6+) as “Hot 103.9 – Move to the Music” falls out of the top ten (#8 to #14). Prior to November, “Hot” was off a collective nine-tenths in six straight down or flat trends (2.1 – 1.8 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+). Four consecutive up or flat moves by LC Media urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE netted an overall gain of six-tenths (3.3 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.9, 6+), but “Old School 104.7” coughs up more than twice that increase with its 6+-share cut by one-third (2.6 -1.3, sixth to eighth, 6+).

11) San Jose – It has been a rollercoaster ride for Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits,” which was a combined +2.3 in August and September (3.7 – 4.8 – 6.0, 6+); a collective -2.0 in October and November (6.0 – 4.9 – 4.0, 6+); and now +1.6 in December to 5.6 (6+). September’s 6.0 was its strongest 6+-stat since 8.0 in the “Holiday” 2016 report. It is tied in third-place with Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM “Better Music for a Better Workday,” which has an identical 4.0 – 5.6/eighth to third November 2017 – December 2017 profile. KOIT-FM’s adult contemporary rival – iHeartMedia’s KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” – tacks on nine-tenths to the one-half share it added in November (3.6 – 4.5, 6+) to zoom into the top ten (#11 to #6). Prior to November, “The Breeze” had been -1.3 in three straight negative or flat trends (4.4 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+). A gain of seven-tenths boosts Universal Media Access world ethnic KSJO “Bolly 92.3 – The Bay Area’s Bollywood Station” to 1.0 (6+, #28). Doubling its 6+-share since October (.9 – 1.2 – 1.8, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KRZZ “93.3 La Raza” checks in at #23. When Univision Radio’s similarly-formatted KSOL lost one-tenth in November, it ended at four a consecutive string of up or flat trends that generated a +1.1 (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.9, 6+). Ironically, “Que Buena” is -1.1 in December (3.8 – 2.7, 6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). October’s 3.9 was its best 6+-share in San Jose since last December’s 4.1. Likewise, as a result of returning 90% of November’s full-share increase (4.2 – 3.3, -.9, 6+), Entercom CHR KMVQ “99.7 New Hit Music Now!” exits the top ten (#6 to #11). While it is on top in San Jose for the fifth straight time, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED-FM slips by one-tenth to 8.1 (6+), thus halting three consecutive gains that produced an overall +1.3 (6.9 – 7.3 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+). Back in July, KQED-FM recaptured 80% of the cumulative -1.5 it lost in four straight downward moves (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+) to advance from #3 to #1. Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED-FM returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and had been on top through April; November’s 8.2 was its highest 6+-share since reappearing the first of this year. Eroding by eight-tenths each are Entercom all-news KCBS-AM (7.2 – 6.4, steady at #2, 6+); iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3 – More Music, More Variety” (4.5, third to sixth, 6+); and Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “100.3 Mas Variedad,” which was off six-tenths in November (5.4 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+) and drifts from fourth to ninth. Entering the December sweep, “Star” netted +1.8 in four successive increases (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.3, 6+). At the same time, as a result of four straight upticks, Entercom sports talk KGMZ nearly tripled its 6+-share (.4 – .5 – .5 – .6 – 1.1, 6+), but “95.7 The Game” is off in December by one-tenth to 1.0 (6+, #28). For the third straight time, Cumulus Media’s similarly-programmed KNBR has a fluctuation of one-half share (3.2 – 2.7 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+), yet “The Sports Leader” actually climbs from #13 to a three-way tie at #12. With a -.1 in November, co-owned KSFO ended three straight up or flat trends that accounted for a cumulative +.7 (1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.2, 6+) and now the news/talk slips by another seven-tenths (2.1 – 1.4, 6+), tumbling out of the top twenty (#20 to #26).

12) Middlesex – In addition to notching its fifth straight Middlesex-Somerset-Union gain for an overall whopping +4.2 (4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.9 – 8.5, 6+), iHeartMedia New York City’s WLTW “Lite-FM” marches from third to first as it practically doubles its 6+-share. Moreover, 8.5 is its best 6+-showing in this New Jersey market since “Holiday” 2016’s 8.7. It displaces WKXW, which had been #1 the past 11 ratings periods. The Townsquare Media news/talker surrenders all nine-tenths of November’s +.9 – and one-tenth more – to segue to #2 (7.2 -1.0, 6+). November’s 8.2 was its strongest 6+-stat since 8.2 in September 2016. As a result of a “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 increase of one-full-share (6.8 – 7.8, 6+), “New Jersey 101.5” returned to #1 following one month in the runner-up slot. A +1.5 (2.3 – 3.8, 6+) enables Pillar of Fire contemporary Christian WAWZ “Star 99.1” to reach the three-share level (6+) for the first time since April’s 3.0. Moreover, “Star” rockets from #20 all the way into the top ten at #8. Having registered a 2.2 (6+) in three of the last five sweeps (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+), Entercom all-news WCBS-AM breaks out a +.6 to 2.8 (6+), entering the top twenty in a three-way tie at #15. By dropping two-tenths to 5.0 (6+), sports talk sibling WFAN-FM concludes three straight increases for an overall +1.4 (3.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+), but “The Fan” manages to inch up from fifth to fourth. Having logged a 2.8 (6+) eight times in the previous ten sweeps – including the past four – iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU picks up one-tenth to 2.9 (6+, #15 top #13). On the heels of dropping one full-share in November, Spanish Broadcasting System-owned Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” sputters by another nine-tenths (5.3 – 4.3 – 3.4, 6+) to exit the top ten (#6 to #11). After three straight increases for a collective +1.1 (2.5 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1 New York’s Hip-Hop and R&B” surrenders seven-tenths to 2.9 (6+) and – likewise – departs the top ten (#10 to #13). Faltering by one-half share each are co-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock,” a combined -1.2 in three straight sweeps without a gain (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.8, fourth to fifth, 6+) and Univision Radio Spanish tropical WXNY “X-96.3,” which was off by eight-tenths in November (3.2 – 2.4 – 1.9, 6+), fading from #16 to #22.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

| December 7, 2017

WNYC Suspends Lopate and Schwartz During Investigation into Sexual Impropriety.  Two of New York Public Radio’s most storied voices are currently on leave from its WNYC, New York while the company investigates allegations of sexual impropriety, reports The New York Times.   Leonard Lopate – host of the WNYC 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm interview program – and American standards expert Jonathan Schwartz are both being investigated by NYPR.  Though the details of allegations against both are not public knowledge at this point, New York Public Radio chief Laura Walker says the company “takes these kinds of allegations very seriously and is reviewing these matters promptly.”  WNYC host Mary Harris hosted the 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm show yesterday (12/6) and NYPR has not announced who might be handling Schwartz’s duties in the interim.

Stephen K. Bannon Returns to Breitbart’s SiriusXM Show.  Before he was part of the Donald Trump campaign and then White House chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon was hosting the morning drive “Breitbart News Daily” radio program on the SiriusXM Patriot channel.  Now, the Breitbart executive chairman is getting back behind the microphone alongside Breitbart editor-in-chief Alex Marlow to again host the program.  In a statement, Bannon says, “As I have said all along, everything I brought to the Trump campaign came directly from the listeners I spoke with every morning on ‘Breitbart News Daily’ on SiriusXM’s Patriot channel.  From the moment I left the White House, getting back behind the microphone was very important to me. To get on the road outside the Beltway and to spend time with the great men and women of America is an honor.”

New Talk Station Debuts on Guam.  As Choice Broadcasting managing partner Ray Gibson says, “Guam is where America’s talk radio day begins!”  Choice Broadcasting announces the re-launch of KUSG, Tamuning, Guam as “ThePOINT” with new programs joining the lineup.  Those new shows include Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh and “Coast to Coast AM.”  Gibson says, “We’ve also signed up Sean Hannity, ‘The Tech Guy with Leo Laporte,’ and we’re really excited about putting ‘Coast to Coast AM’ with George Noory back on the island’s airwaves.”  The new shows add to the lineup that already consisted of hourly FOX News Radio news updates, “Brian Kilmeade & Friends,” John Gibson, and Tom Shillue.  Gibson notes that since acquiring the license for KUSG, Choice Broadcasting has made a number of improvements to the signal, including the addition of dynamic RDS, which allows most radios to display what show is on the air, weather, promotional announcements and breaking news.

TALKERS News Notes.  San Antonio news/talk WOAI “News Radio 1200” raised more than $200,000 during its annual radiothon and silent auction last Friday and Saturday (12/1-2).  The effort benefits the “The Elf Louise Christmas Project,” a local non-profit organization that purchases and delivers toys during the holiday season for Bexar County’s less fortunate children. To date, iHeartMedia’s WOAI has helped raise more than $4.2 million to benefit “The Elf Louise Christmas Project.”  Program founder Louise Locker states, “I can’t begin to thank ‘News Radio 1200 WOAI’ and their listeners enough.  The spirit was amazing and kept everyone going.  So many children will have a happier Christmas this year, thanks to this radiothon.”…..Earlier today (12/7), Salem Radio Network host Larry Elder was honored with the annual “Beacon Of Light” award from the Thousand Oaks, California Republican Women Federated.  The gala took place at the Thousand Oaks Country Club…..SiriusXM announces the launch of “Stanford Legal,” a bi-weekly show that “will get to the core of some of the legal issues making headlines today.”  “Stanford Legal,” part of SiriusXM’s programming arrangement with Stanford University, will premiere on SiriusXM Insight starting Saturday, December 9.  It’s co-hosted by Stanford Law professors Pam Karlan and Joe Bankman.  The series will feature conversations with attorneys, legal scholars, and leading experts on the news-making topics of the day, including the commercialization of marijuana, the power of prosecutors, President Trump’s travel ban, and more…..ABC Radio is offering a slate of end-of-year programming in both long- and short-form formats.  The long-form shows include: “Playback 2017,” a one-hour special looking at the biggest stories of the year and the newsmakers behind those stories; “2017: As It Happened,” a three-hour retrospective of some of 2017’s top stories, as told through highlights of ABC News Radio’s breaking news coverage; “Powerhouse Politics 2017 in Review” features interviews with the top political newsmakers of the year; “Perspective,” a special year-end edition of ABC News Radio’s award-winning weekly news magazine; and “World News This Year,” taking a look back at the major news events of the past year in 2017’s final edition of the weekly show.

Franken Pressured to Resign/Conyers Resignation, Trump Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital, Roy Moore Campaign, Trump-Russia Investigation, California Wildfires, Looming Government Shutdown, North Korea Bangs War Drums, NFL Suspensions, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/6).  The pressuring of Senator Al Franken to resign his seat in the wake of sexual impropriety allegations and the resignation of Congressman John Conyers; President Trump recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; the U.S. Senate campaign of former Alabama judge Roy Moore and allegations of sexual predation against him; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the devastating wildfires in Southern California; the possibility of a shutdown of the federal government; North Korea’s statement that war on the Korean peninsula is inevitable; the various suspensions levied against NFL players; and NBA 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.  Four programming pros are promoted at the Detroit cluster of Cumulus Media.  In no particular order, Matt Laurenic rises from producer to executive producer of the “Blaine Fowler Morning Show” on hot AC WDVD.  Mike Gagliano is named FM production director and programming coordinator.  He moves up from his production director position.  Adam Ficorelli moves from the cluster’s “Street Team” to promotions manager/swing air talent for country WDRQ “NASH FM 93.1.”  Finally, Kendall Taylor is appointed the permanent midday personality and APD at WDVD.  She’s been interim midday jock and a weekend personality.  Taylor will also serve as a host on Westwood One’s 24-hour hot AC format…..Russ Parr re-ups with Reach Media to continue hosting the nationally syndicated “Russ Parr Morning Show.”  Urban One’s CEO of Radio One’s stations and Reach Media David Kantor says, “Reach Media is excited that Russ has extended his run as one of our premier syndicated talents and as a vital building block for our stations and Radio One’s position as the country’s ‘urban radio specialist.’”  Parr leads the show that includes cast members Alfredas, Supaken, Priya, Vic Jagger, and Albert…..Entercom Communications names former CBS RADIO VP and director of sales Claudia Menegus SVP and market manager for the Orlando cluster that includes alternative WQMP, classic hits WOCL “1059 Sunny FM,” and hot AC WOMX “mix 105.1.”  Entercom regional president Doug Abernethy states, “Claudia is an experienced radio executive who continues to impress us with her business acumen, client relationships and leadership.  We’re confident that she’ll lead Orlando stations to new heights.”…..In the Chattanooga market, Entercom names Nichole Hartman SVP and market manager, overseeing the cluster that includes: CHR WKXJ “103.7 Kiss FM,” adult hits WLND “98.1 The Lake,” rock WRXR “Rock 105,” country WUSY “US 101.”  Hartman comes to Entercom from her previous position as general sales manager for Cox Media Group’s Jacksonville cluster.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

| December 6, 2017

BIA/Kelsey Releases Annual U.S. Local Ad Forecast; Radio Stagnates Under Weight of Digital Competition.  In its just-released “U.S. Local Advertising Forecast 2018,” BIA/Kelsey indicates that radio’s local ad revenue for 2017 will be $15.5 billion, with $14.1 billion coming from over-the-air ads and $1.3 billion coming from online advertising.  It’s not going to get much better over the next four years as the firm predicts that 2018 ad revenue for radio will be $15.7 billion – an increase of just $200 million over 2017.  By 2022, radio’s total ad revenue will be $16.7 billion and radio’s “slice of the pie” will have dipped to 9.6%.  BIA/Kelsey’s Mark Fratrik says, “Increased streaming audio competitors and increased competitors for advertisers has basically kept the over-the-air advertising stagnant, with online efforts by stations continuing to help support a slight overall revenue growth.”  Where does radio stand in the big picture?  It ranks #4 in revenue behind #1 direct mail (projected to garner 25.4% of the U.S. ad spend in 2018), #2 local TV with 13.8%, and #3 mobile’s 12.6%.  Radio’s slice will be 10.4%.  (Newpapers are predicted to be #5 at 10.2%.)  Fratrik says this year (2017) was “a year of basically no growth in radio over-the-air advertising, with future years also only showing small increases of less than 1% annually…many radio groups are continuing their efforts in online activities which bolster the overall revenue of these stations, as station operators recognize that future revenue growth must come from these sources.”  He also offers that the best region of the country for radio ad growth will be the Southeast which he predicts to grow by 1.1%.

Angelo Cataldi Re-Ups with WIP, Philadelphia.  He’s been the morning drive personality on WIP, Philadelphia for the past 27 years and he’s not stopping anytime soon.  Angelo Cataldi and Entercom Communications are agreeing on a contract extension for him to continue hosting the “Angelo Cataldi and the Morning Team” program.  The program includes cast members Al Morganti, Rhea Hughes, Keith Jones and Joe Conklin.  Recently, Morganti and Jones also renewed their contracts with the station.  Cataldi says, “I’m honored to remain at WIP.  For almost three decades this has been my only home on the radio and I have a great debt of gratitude to everyone associated with the station.  This also keeps alive my dream of being at WIP when the Eagles win a Super Bowl. Go, Eagles. And go, WIP.”  Cataldi transitioned from print to radio.  Prior to joining WIP he earned two Pulitzer Prize nominations as the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Eagles beat writer.  He is also the architect of the now-enormous annual Wing Bowl eating contest.

NRG Media’s Chuck DuCoty to Retire.  After a 53-year career in radio Chuck DuCoty is retiring from the business and his position as chief operating officer of NRG Media, though he’ll continue to work with NRG on special projects in the future.  DuCoty worked his way through the programming ranks, rising to station manager at Hearst’s WIYY, Baltimore “98Rock.” He worked in the news/talk world when he was named vice president and general manager at then-Hearst’s WISN, Milwaukee and sister AC WLTQ.  He joined NRG Media in 2005.  DuCoty says, “I have been blessed with a career in an industry I have loved and have had the opportunity to work with some amazingly talented people.  It has been said if you truly love what you do for a living, you will never work a day in your life, which has certainly been true for me.  At the beginning of my broadcasting journey, if I had been asked to write down what I hoped I would be able to experience and what my life would look like I would have massively shortchanged myself.  I leave the industry and NRG Media with mixed emotions but after 53 years, it is time for the next chapter in my life and for enjoying time with my family and friends.  And I’m living proof that occasionally some of us do get out alive.”

Westwood One and Charles Osgood Extend Partnership.  The daily feature “The Osgood File” has been on the radio since 1967 and with today’s news, it will continue for some time to come.  Westwood One and Charles Osgood announce that the two sides have signed an extension to continue the program.  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “Charles Osgood is one of the most revered and adored icons in our industry, and since retiring from television in 2016, Westwood One is his exclusive broadcast home.  His massive appeal and ‘theater of the mind’ storytelling style has engaged and entertained both listeners and advertisers for five decades!  As one of his biggest fans, I am thrilled to continue our partnership with Charles and consider him an invaluable member of the Westwood One family.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Taking over the morning drive show hosting duties at Entercom’s news/talk WRVA, Richmond is John Reid.  The position opened back in August when 16-year morning host (and PD) Jimmy Barrett exited the station to assume the morning host duties at iHeartMedia’s KTRH, Houston.  Remember that the Richmond cluster of iHeartMedia stations was recently transferred to Entercom in an asset swap.  Reid has worked on SiriusXM’s Patriot channel and at local television outlet WRIC-TV, Richmond as a news anchor…..At the Salem Media Group Atlanta operations, Aaron Williams leaves his role as program director for the cluster that includes news/talk WGKA “AM 920 The Answer” to take on the brand coordinator role for the local Monday Night Brewing Company.  He is also co-host of “The Beer Guys Radio Show” that airs on Saturdays on WGKA…..Cape Cod Broadcasting Media was recently recognized by the Massachusetts Broadcasters Association for excellence in the categories of news, commercial production and special event/local programming.  In the category of Spot News, the company was recognized for excellence with a Merit Award for its ongoing coverage of the opiate and fentanyl crisis on Cape Cod.  News director Matt Pitta says, “This is a critical issue that we strive to cover accurately and with compassion on a regular basis. This award is a recognition of the work so many in the healthcare, public safety and social service sector are doing to combat the epidemic.”…..Riviera Broadcasting closes on the sale of translator K270BZ, Phoenix at 101.9 FM to Farmworker Educational Radio Network, Inc.  Riviera Broadcasting is headed by Michael Cutchall and owns stations in Phoenix.  Farmworker Educational Radio Network, Inc owns and operates stations in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Washington.  Kalil & Co. was the exclusive broker…..SiriusXM is broadcasting live from the Baseball Winter Meetings in Orlando starting this Sunday (12/10) through Thursday (12/14). Two of SiriusXM’s sports talk channels – MLB Network Radio and Mad Dog Sports Radio – will broadcast live from the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort where club owners, front office executives, managers and many others from the major and minor leagues will be gathered to discuss offseason baseball business.

Conyers Resigns from Congress, GOP Tax Reform Plan, Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital, Roy Moore Candidacy, Russia Banned from Winter Olympics, North Korea Nuclear Program, SoCal Wildfires, Fox-Disney Deal, NFL Action-Ryan Shazier Injury, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/5).  Michigan Congressman John Conyers resigns his seat in the wake of sexual misbehavior allegations; the status of the Republican-authored tax reform bill; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents; President Trump’s recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the backlash from the Muslim world; the U.S. Senate candidacy of Roy Moore and accusations of sexual predation against him; the IOC bans Russia from participating in the Winter Olympics due to systemic doping among its athletes; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and threats against the U.S.; the wildfires scorching Ventura County, California; the potential deal between 21st Century Fox and Disney for the latter to acquire several of Fox’s assets; the weekend’s NFL action and the spinal injury suffered by Pittsburgh’s Ryan Shazier on Monday night; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

‘WBBM Newsradio’ Chicago to Hold 22nd ‘Good Neighbor Radiothon.’  This is the 22nd year in a row for the “Good Neighbor Radiothon” broadcast on Entercom all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago.  It takes place this Friday (12/8) live from the Woodfield Mall and benefits the Salvation Army and its Bed and Bread Club.  WBBM director of news and programming Ron Gleason states, “This annual fundraiser is a beloved event for our team as it is a chance for WBBM’s entire news team to report about the positive work being done to provide food, clothing and shelter to neighbors in need within our own community.  Our listeners are among the most informed, caring and generous of Chicagoans and their support each year is a testament to this.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At the Miami operations of Entercom, Andy Holt is named program director for adult contemporary WLYF “101.5 Lite FM” and classic hits WMXJ-FM “102.7 The Beach,” effective January 2.  Entercom South Florida market manager and SVP Keriann Worley says, “I couldn’t be more excited to bring Andy Holt back to Entercom.  His coaching style, leadership skills, and proven track record with the adult contemporary format will ensure WLYF ‘Lite FM’ and WMXJ-FM ‘The Beach’ continue to dominate the Miami market.”  Holt was with Entercom from 2000 through 2013. He was most recently program director at Bonneville’s AC KOSI, Denver…..iHeartMedia’s alternative WRDA, Atlanta re-brands, taking on the “ALT” brand employed by so many of the company’s alt-rock stations.  It’s full brand name is “ALT 105.7, Atlanta’s Rock Alternative.”…..Radio One’s hip hop WKYS, Washington, DC appoints Khalia “Little Bacon Bear” Canty host of the evening show.  The station says the Topeka, Kansas native has “become one of the DMV’s most coveted young DJs” and it “wants to use her platform to promote the continued significance of terrestrial radio in the eyes of artists, DJs, and listeners, while being an example of a successful woman in media.”…..iHeartMedia’s alternative KDXA, Des Moines “ALT 106.3” adds “The Woody Show” to its lineup for the morning drive daypart.  The KYSR, Los Angeles-based show is syndicated via Premiere Networks.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

| November 21, 2017

FOX News Channel Taps Mark Levin for Sunday Evening Program.  The name of the new program is “Life, Liberty & Levin” and will debut in February and air at 10:00 pm ET on Sunday nights.  FOX News Channel says Mark Levin’s show “will explore the fundamental values and principles undergirding American society, culture, politics, and current events, and their relevance to the nation’s future and everyday lives of citizens.  The hour-long program will feature Levin’s lively, in-depth and long-form interviews and powerful debate style with consequential guests covering history, philosophy, and economics.”  FNC president of programming Suzanne Scott adds, “Mark’s passion for the principles found in the Constitution and success in talk radio has made him a distinct figure in the media landscape.  We look forward to adding this spirited program to our weekend lineup.”  Levin says, “I am honored to join FOX News, a network I have enjoyed appearing on as a guest for quite some time.  As a proud citizen of the United States, I am delighted to share the significance of American values with such a wide audience and look forward to engaging with important guests about crucial topics.”

Jim Blasingame Celebrates 20 Years of ‘The Small Business Advocate.’  The nationally syndicated “The Small Business Advocate” program, hosted by Jim Blasingame, debuted on November 17, 1997 and is still the only syndicated, live weekday program “dedicated to Main Street businesses.”  Blasingame says, “When we began, we wanted to provide Main Street entrepreneurs with the information, resources and inspiration they need to start, run and grow a small business.  Thanks to the support of our audience, Brain Trust members and corporate partners, we’ve accomplished that goal and continue to deliver multi-media resources for small businesses, including a mobile site and a video series.”  In addition to his radio work, Blasingame is a prolific writer with three books to his credit (plus, one due out next year!) and a weekly, syndicated column that’s appeared in newspapers and business journals, plus online publications, including Forbes.com, BizJournals.com, Manta.com and Nasdaq.com, plus his own weekly ezine.  Forbes Media chairman Steve Forbes comments, “Congratulations to Jim Blasingame on his 20th anniversary.  I’ve been a regular guest on Jim’s show for years.  He really knows Main Street business, is a great interviewer, and his peerless commitment to serving small businesses and promoting entrepreneurship comes through in everything he does.  Well done, Jim.”

Salisbury Gives Up Local Show on KFNC-FM, Houston to Focus on Network Program.  Sports talk personality Sean Salisbury is leaving his post at Gow Media’s KFNC-FM “ESPN 97.5” where he co-hosts the “Unfiltered: with Sean Salisbury & John Granato” to “focus his energies exclusively on his national radio and TV show.”  His eponymous sports talk show is heard from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET on the SB Nation Radio Network.  The program is also simulcast from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm on beIn Sports TV.   Gow Media CEO David Gow says, “The Sean Salisbury show is on a really strong trajectory with a ton of momentum.  The show has recently picked up new radio station affiliates in Lubbock, Phoenix and Atlanta.  And we are excited to have Sean focus his efforts on the next wave of growth for the show.”

Dickey Broadcasting Drops ‘The Regular Guys’ on ‘The Fan 2.’  The four-month experiment with Larry Wachs’ new version of “The Regular Guys” hosting mornings at WFOM, Atlanta “The Fan 2” is over.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that station chief David Dickey says the company is going to focus on an all-sports lineup on the station.  Both Dickey and Wachs tell Ho that everyone put in a good effort to get the show off the ground but, in the end they agreed that it just wasn’t going to work.  Read Ho’s piece here.

Schieffer Faces Daytona Beach. Pictured above is former “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer (left) being interviewed by WNDB, Daytona Beach afternoon drive personality Marc Bernier (right).  The two appeared at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University last night (11/20) as part of the school’s Speaker Series.  The two discussed the current state of reporting and Schieffer’s new book, Overload: Finding the Truth in Today’s Deluge of News (Rowland & Littlefield, 2017).  Photo: David Massey.

Roy Moore Case, New Sexual Misconduct Allegations, Sanctuary Cities Ruling, GOP Tax Plan, Charles Manson Dies, Putin-Assad Meeting, Trump vs Marshawn Lynch, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/20). The allegations of sexual predation against Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore; the latest round of allegations of sexual misconduct against Charlie Rose, Senator Al Franken, and NYT reporter Glenn Thrush; a federal judge rules against President Trump’s order to withhold funding from “sanctuary cities”; analysis of the possible effects of the Republican tax reform plan; Charles Manson dies at age 83; Vladimir Putin meets with Bashar al-Assad over Syria’s civil war; President Trump’s criticism of Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch for standing during the Mexican national anthem; 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.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Detroit country outlet WDRQ “NASH FM 93.1,” Cumulus Media appoints Jessica Tyler midday personality, APD and music director.  Tyler comes to Detroit from her most recent post with Summit Media at country WQNU, Louisville “Q103.1” where she was morning drive co-host and APD.  Cumulus Detroit director of FM programming Robby Bridges states, “I’ve known Jessica a long time and the special bond she creates with listeners on and off the air, the friendships she develops with the artists, songwriters and managers, plus the relationships she has with the record community in Nashville are second to none.”…..Madison radio pro Sara Freeman is giving up her full-time afternoon drive show on Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s adult contemporary WMGN “Magic 98” to take a position with her husband’s real estate firm.  She’ll continue to handle weekend shifts.   Coming aboard the station is former WKTI, Milwaukee personality Jillene Kahn.  She’ll host middays until Freeman exits, then take over afternoon drive.  On tap to fill the midday slot after that is Julie Jacobs…..Former WBMP, New York “92.3 AMP Radio” weekend personality Mike McGinn joins Beasley Media Group to host the afternoon drive show on WMGQ, New Brunswick, New Jersey “MAGIC 98.3.”  WMGQ program director Debbie Mazella says, “I am really excited to have Mike on the air and make ‘MAGIC 98.3’ his home.  He’s got the energy we are looking for in afternoon drive.  Take a listen and you will hear what I mean!”…..In Jacksonville, Cox Media Group swaps frequencies between alternative WXXJ and adult contemporary WEZI.  WXXJ moves to the class A signal at 106.5 and WEZI slides down to the class C frequency at 102.9.  CMG Jacksonville market vice president Dan Lawrie states, “Our ‘Easy’ listeners told us they wanted a larger signal and we listened!”…..iHeartMedia’s Detroit adult hits WDTW flips to alternative rock as “ALT 106.7.”…..Sun Broadcast Group announces  Shelby Wood Wasicki joins the company as national account manager.  In this role, she’ll forcus on products including: Shazam For Radio, The Hit List with Fitz, Country Fried Mix with DJ Sinister, Sun Select RADAR, Sun Latino Networks, and many others.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

| November 15, 2017

It’s Official!  Carlin, Scott & Gray to Replace Francesa; Giannotti Takes Over Carton Role Beside Boomer at WFAN.  Yesterday’s widely reported news about the new WFAN, New York afternoon program turns out to be true and it’s now official as the station announces programming changes to its morning and afternoon dayparts.  First, it will be Chris Carlin (recently of WIP, Philadelphia – see story below), former New York Jets player and WEPN, New York personality Bart Scott, and SI.com and CBS Sports Radio staffer Maggie Gray taking over for NYC sports talk legend Mike Francesa.  That show is being called, “The Afternoon Drive with Carlin, Bart and Maggie.”  Also, Gregg Giannotti has been co-hosting the “Gio and Jones” show with Brian Jones on the CBS Sports Radio Network – and he’s also been filling in on the WFAN morning show this fall.  Now, he moves into the permanent morning co-host seat with Boomer Esiason for the “Boomer & Gio” program.  Both changes officially take effect on January 2, 2018.  Francesa is leaving WFAN at the end of his contract on December 15.  Craig Carton resigned from his position on the “Boomer & Carton” show after being indicted on federal fraud charges.  VP of programming, WFAN and CBS RADIO New York Mark Chernoff says, “With the addition of Gregg to the WFAN morning show alongside Boomer, and with Chris, Bart and Maggie joining us in the afternoon, we’ve assembled a stellar lineup that we’re proud to showcase on WFAN.  New York sports fans are about to be entertained, challenged and engaged like never before.”

WIP, Philadelphia Names Jon Marks New PM Drive Co-Host; Giglio Takes Over Evenings.  With the now-official move of Chris Carlin from WIP, Philadelphia to WFAN, New York to take over for Mike Francesa in place, Philly sports talker WIP names current evening host Jon Marks (right) new co-host of the afternoon drive show alongside incumbent personality Ike Reese (left).  The open evening slot is being filled by Joe Giglio (he’ll also anchor weekday Phillies pre- and post-game shows).  WIP program director Spike Eskin states, “We’re lucky to have Jon Marks here and moving into afternoons on WIP.  He’s honed his craft and worked for this for a long time and we’re excited to have him team with Ike and take us into the future.  He’s the real deal.  Having Joe Giglio in evenings gives us a guy who is smart, informed, funny and has a fantastic work ethic.  I’m glad we can finally give Joe the chance he deserves to shine on a nightly basis.”

Mancow Sues New Boss at WLUP-FM, Chicago.  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder here, Mancow Muller has filed suit against Marv Nyren, his new boss at Cumulus Media’s classic rock WLUP-FM.  Muller sued Nyren a decade ago, a year after Nyren fired him from the morning show position at then-Emmis’ WKQX.  Muller alleged a pattern of “malicious acts” on the part of Nyren toward him.  That suit reportedly ended in an undisclosed settlement.  Now, Mancow’s lawyer says this action is to “prevent the pattern of retaliation that has occurred in the past from continuing in the future…Mancow is extremely pleased with his position at Cumulus, he feels the show is as good as it’s ever been, and he just loves his job. Then this [Nyren’s hiring] happened.”  Muller assumed the WLUP-FM morning show in 2015.  He’d been syndicated as a talk show host for years via TRN-FM.

Premiere Networks and Glenn Beck’s Mercury Radio Arts Renew. This is the 15th year of national syndication for the Glenn Beck program and syndicator Premiere Networks and Beck’s Mercury Radio Arts are today announcing the renewal of their syndication and ad sales deal.  Premiere says Beck’s radio show “has experienced year-over-year audience gains in markets including: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Minneapolis, Denver, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Columbus, Norfolk and Memphis in the key demo of Adults 25-54. (Source: Nielsen Audio, PPM, OCT’17 vs. OCT’16, Exact Times, AQH, A25-54).”  As part of the deal, Premiere and Mercury have renewed their longstanding digital partnership in which Premiere provides ad sales representation for the fan portal GlennBeck.com, the daily Glenn Beck Newsletter, as well as the Glenn Beck program podcast and stream.  Beck says, “Premiere remains the gold standard in the industry.  We’ve now been working together for 15 years, and I couldn’t be happier to extend and renew our relationship.  These are increasingly chaotic times. I’ve never been more excited to help the audience cut through the noise by focusing on the things that matter most.”

WPGG, Atlantic City’s Harry Hurley Named to InsiderNJ 100 Power List. The New Jersey political publication InsiderNJ has just released its “InsiderNJ 100 Power” list, in which it ranks “the most muscular players in New Jersey politics across a broad spectrum of industries and disciplines.”  Among media people on the list, WPG, Atlantic City morning drive personality Harry Hurley is ranked #56 this year.  His entry says, “The conservative WPG talk radio show host loves politics and outshines most hosts with his uncanny ability to break news himself – not just opine on what other reporters write about first.  He remains very influential in South Jersey political circles and is right now at the top of his game.  He broke one of the bigger stories of the year when he reported on the 2018 retirement of U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-2).”

ObamaCare Repeal-Tax Reform Plan, Roy Moore Allegations, Sessions Russia Testimony, Deadly NoCal Shooting, Clinton-Uranium One Case, North Korea Nuclear Program, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/14).  The GOP move to tie the elimination of the individual mandate with its tax reform plan; Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore’s fight against charges of pursuing minor girls in the past; Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ testimony before the House Judiciary Committee regarding the Trump campaign’s Russian connections; the Tuesday shooting in Northern California that took the lives of four; questions about Hillary Clinton’s role in the Uranium One deal; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and the rhetoric between President Trump and Kim Jong Un; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Caroline Beasley Honored at Women Who Lead Luncheon. Among those recognized at Tuesday’s “2017 Women Who Lead Luncheon” presented by the Alliance for Women in Media was Beasley Media Group chief executive officer Caroline Beasley.  She says, “I am humbled to be recognized by AWM with this distinguished honor.  It is a privilege to work with all of the outstanding women who lead on a daily basis at Beasley Media Group.  I am proud to be on THEIR team.”  Pictured above are Beasley (left) and Christal Radio president and AWM chair-elect Christine Travaglini.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Lisa Worden leaves CBS RADIO’s alternative KROQ, Los Angeles to join iHeartMedia in LA to serve as vice president of programming for KYSR “ALT 98.7” and as alternative rock brand manager for the company’s national programming group.  iHeartMedia says that Worden “will work alongside Mike Kaplan, who will continue to serve as program director at ‘Alt 98.7,’ where under his leadership, the station has set new record ratings performances.”  iHM chief programming officer Tom Poleman states, “Lisa is widely regarded as an outstanding leader in the alternative rock world.  Her relationships are fantastic.  She’ll play a key role in helping artists maximize iHeartMedia’s unmatched alternative footprint.”…..Alpha Media announces that KLGR, Redwood Falls, Minnesota is flipping formats from hot AC to adult hits with the JACK FM format.  Alpha Media VP of content Ronnie Stanton commented on the announcement, “What a thrill to bring the iconic, fun and winning JACK FM brand to Redwood Falls.  Great radio has a name, and its name is Jack!”

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

| November 14, 2017

New Entercom Names Format Captains; Newman, Butler and Chernoff to Lead Spoken-Word Formats.  When the EntercomCBS RADIO merger closes – as early as this Friday (11/17) – format captains for the new company will be in place.  The spoken-word formats will continue to be led by Diane Newman (talk), Steve Butler (all-news), and Mark Chernoff (sports).  Newman is the longtime operations manager and program director for Entercom’s WWL, New Orleans.  Butler is director of news and programming at KYW, Philadelphia and vice president of news radio for CBS RADIO.  Chernoff is the longtime program director at WFAN-AM/FM, New York who also holds the vice president of programming title.  Other format captains include: Jimmy Gonzalez –  Spanish Language, Brian Kelly – Top 40, Michael Martin – Alternative, Mike Moore – Country, Nikki Nite – Adult Contemporary, Dave Richards – Rock/Classic Rock, Reggie Rouse – Urban, Jim Ryan – Classic Hits, and Steve Salhany – Hot Adult Contemporary.  Michael Martin will continue in his role as SVP of programming and music initiatives in the new organization.  Format captains will report to president of programming Pat Paxton and EVP of programming Chris Oliviero.  Paxton comments, “We are excited about the best-in-class programming team we are building at Entercom.  This talented team of experts has the skills and experience to take our live, original and local audio content to new heights and compete at the highest level in the media industry.”

Report: Trio of Carlin, Scott and Gray to Take Over Afternoons on WFAN. The stories in the New York media – Newsday and the New York Daily News – indicate an official announcement from WFAN, New York could come today (11/14) regarding the fate of the afternoon drive show after Mike Francesa’s departure next month.  They are reporting that current WIP-FM, Philadelphia afternoon personality Chris Carlin and former New York Jets player Bart Scott will team up with SI.com and CBS Sports Radio staffer Maggie Gray for the new show.  WFAN program director Mark Chernoff had no comment on the reports, according to both papers.  The stories also indicate that NBC SportsChris Simms and the NFL Network’s Kimberly Jones both turned down offers by the station to be part of the new program.

Michael Savage Pens New Book: God, Faith and Reason.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Savage says this new book is a result of his own spiritual journey and his belief that God wants us to question things.  On his website, Savage says that publisher Hachette asked him to write another book after his last release, Trump’s War: His Battle for America.  He says he agreed on the condition that he could “dedicate my next book to God, who has given me everything.”  He also says, “I’m not a holy guy, I’m not a holy roller, I’m not an evangelist.  I’m not better than the next man, I’m just really talking about my odyssey.  I’m still questioning myself and my existence.  What’s it all about?  I believe God wants us to question.”  See more here.

Roy Moore Allegations, Uranium One/Clinton Foundation Investigation, GOP Tax Plan, North Korea Nukes/U.S. Carrier Exercises, Saudi Arabia-Iran Tensions, Roger Goodell-Jerry Jones Battle, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/13).  The allegations of contact with underage girls against Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore; Republicans’ request to investigate possible connections between the Uranium One deal and the Clinton Family Foundation; the details of the Republican tax reform plan; North Korea’s nuclear program and the presence of U.S. aircraft carriers in the region participating in drills with South Korea and Japan; tensions in the Middle East as Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of fomenting war; speculation that Jerry Jones leaked NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s new contract requests in an effort put him in a bad light; 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.

Democrats Request Probe into FCC’s Treatment of Sinclair.  With the proposed acquisition of Tribune Media’s 42 television stations by Sinclair Broadcast Group (owner of 193 TV stations) hanging in the balance, U.S. Reps. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Elijah Cumming (D-MD) are asking the FCC’s inspector general to look into whether FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is giving favor to Sinclair because of its perceived conservative slant.  As Reuters reports, the advocacy group Free Press stated in an FCC filing that Sinclair’s stations “air pro-Trump propaganda” and then seek favors from the administration.  Politico published a piece purporting that Sinclair struck a deal with then-candidate Donald Trump to get access in exchange for favorable coverage from its news departments.  While this is largely a TV story, Sinclair owns three radio stations in Seattle it acquired in the Fisher deal.  Two of them are all-news KOMO-AM/FM and news/talk KVI.  Tribune owns Chicago news/talk WGN-AM.

KIDO, Boise’s Kevin Miller Talking Turkey. For the sixth consecutive year, KIDO, Boise morning drive personality Kevin Miller is living outside a local Walmart for an entire week to raise awareness of homelessness and hunger and to get donations to benefit the Boise Rescue Mission.  Pictured above, Miller is dressed in a turkey suit while being interviewed by KTVB-TV’s Larry Gebert.  Over the past six years, Miller has helped raise more than $400,000 in cash, food, and clothing.

TALKERS News Notes. In recognition of the current “Saturday Night Live” exhibition at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago, Tribune’s WGN Radio will be doing a series of live broadcasts from the museum.  Next Tuesday (11/21), the Steve Cochran morning show will produce a remote broadcast that will include special guests and former “SNL” cast members Nora Dunn, Tim Kazurinsky and Julia Sweeney.  Later in January and February, “The Bill and Wendy Show,” “The John Williams Show,” and “The Roe Conn Show with Anna Davlantes” will also originate live broadcasts from the “SNL” exhibit at the museum…..Crawford Broadcasting Company announces the addition of WMUZ-AM, Taylor, Michigan “1200 The Salt” to its lineup of Christian stations in the Detroit area.  The company says the station will be ministry talk, featuring local and national pastors and teachers, including Alistair Begg and Dr. David Jeremiah…..The Coffee With Kenobi podcasting network is joining BlogTalkRadio, moving some four years of shows to the platform.  Creator of the Star Wars-themed podcast outfit Dan Z says, “We are thrilled to bring members of our Coffee With Kenobi family network to BlogTalkRadio.  If you love analysis and Star Wars conversation, this is the podcast you’re looking for!”

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  On-air and programming pro Rich DeSisto is appointed to the program director position at Beasley Media Group’s adult contemporary WJBR-FM, Wilmington, Delaware.  DeSisto has been serving Beasley as APD and afternoon personality at adult hits WBEN-FM, Philadelphia and as a weekend jock on classic rock WMGK (a role he’ll continue).  The company says that DeSisto has spent most of his 30-year radio career in the region, working at such stations as WYSP-FM, Q104.3-FM, WPST-FM, WZXL-FM and WSJO-FM.  In addition, DeSisto served as the director of programming of the WMGM-FM/WJSE-FM/WTKU-FM cluster in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  Beasley VP/market manager AJ Lurie says, “I have learned to hire people brighter than myself, and Rich is one of those people!”…..iHeartMedia promotes Jacob “Tight Pants” Bowling to assistant program director, music director and afternoon personality for alternative rock KTHR, Wichita “ALT 107.3,” effective November 20.  iHeartMedia Wichita SVP of programming Jim Dorman says, “We are very excited at what ‘Tight Pants’ will be bringing to Wichita.  His work ethic and passion for music is second to none and I am looking forward to working with him on ‘ALT 107.3.’  He truly deserves this promotion.”…..Curtis Media Group brings Morgan Thomas back to the Raleigh market to host the morning show on adult hits WBBB-FM “96.1 BBB.”  Thomas co-hosted the successful “Mike & Morgan” show on the company’s country WQDR from 2001 through 2004.  She left the market to take on the morning co-host role at KSON, San Diego, working there until 2010.  Station SVP/general manager David Stuckey says, “Morgan is a proven major market personality and I am very pleased to welcome her back to Raleigh on ‘96.1 BBB.’”…..This year’s “The Night Before” show at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul (the night before Super Bowl LII) will feature the Dave Matthews BandCBS RADIO and On Location Experiences are co-producing the show…..Content producer and syndicator Westwood One is presenting 12 holiday-themed, weekend music specials for affiliate stations to air from Thanksgiving weekend through Christmas weekend.  The first is the four-hour “A Thanksgiving Weekend Celebration with Chris Young.”  Christmas-themed shows are being hosted by such stars as Brett Eldredge, Gwen Stefani, Josh Groban, Kelly Clarkson, Dave Koz, and more…..iHeartMedia’s Phoenix adult contemporary signal KEZ brings the Premiere Networks syndicated “Delilah” show back to the program schedule for the evening daypart.

Monday, November 13, 2017

| November 13, 2017

Longtime ‘New Jersey 101.5’ PD Eric Johnson Joins Beasley for Philly Sports Talk Role.  After spending the last 19 years as brand manager and program director at Townsquare Media’s talk station WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5,” Eric Johnson is joining Beasley Media Group to take on the director of sports content position at the company’s Philadelphia operations, effective December 4.  In this role, Johnson will be responsible for programming sports talkers WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” and WTEL “610 Sports,” as well as managing the related digital platforms.  Beasley Media Philly VP and market manager Joe Bell states, “Eric Johnson has the perfect skill set and experience to help continue the growth of ‘97.5 The Fanatic.’  He’s a Philly guy who understands that Philly sports fans are the best in the country and he can deliver a product with as much passion and knowledge as they have.”

Frank Rush Exits WIBQ, Terre Haute.  As reported by Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch, program director Frank Rush exits Midwest Communications’ news/talk WIBQ/W250BZ in Terre Haute (also simulcast on WBOW, Paris, Illinois).  The move appears to be budget related.  In a story in the Terre Haute Tribune-Star, Dave Taylor reports that Midwest is producing news content for WIBQ at its Evansville operations.  Read the Tribune-Star piece here.

Trump in Asia/Putin Election Meddling, North Korea Nuclear Program, Roy Moore Pedophile Allegations/Hollywood Sexual Assaults, GOP Tax Plan, Roger Goodell Contract Demands, College Football Games, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The president’s trip to Asia and his statement about believing Vladimir Putin’s claim he did not meddle in the U.S. election in 2016; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and the rhetoric between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un; the allegations Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore pursued several minor women when he was in his 30s and the expanding allegations of sexual harassment against Hollywood players; the nuts and bolts of the Republican tax plan; NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s reported demands for his new contract; the weekend’s college football games; and Sunday’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

WRKO Raises $90k for Disabled Veterans.  On Friday (11/10), news/talk WRKO, Boston presented a live radiothon from the Seaport Hotel from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm to benefit the Disabled American Veterans.  “Boston’s Morning Show” with Kim Carrigan and Doug “VB” Goudie, “The Financial Exchange with Barry Armstrong,” The Kuhner Report,” and the Howie Carr show highlighted inspirational stories from veterans of all ages and the DAV members who assist them.  Pictured above are WRKO PD Michael Czarnecki (second from right) and marketing director Adam Ralston (right) presenting the ceremonial check for $90,642.  Czarnecki says, “The passion the WRKO listeners have for our veterans continues to amaze me year after year!  It was an incredible day filled with energy and emotion and I am so thankful to the DAV and WRKO staff for all of their hard work.”

Broadcasting Veteran Dwight Douglas Pens Another Novel.  Longtime radio programmer and marketer turned author Dwight Douglas has just written and published a new, topical media-related novel that makes great fodder for talk radio conversation.  The book titled, If God Could Cry: The True Meaning of Mercy tells the story of a famous (fictitious) cable TV talk show host, Jonas Bronck, who leaves New York on his quest to find truth.  He finds himself in the middle of terror and personal torment in the name of journalism.  He once again asks, “If God Could Cry, would he be crying for us, or with us?”  Since retiring from his 17-year stint as vice president of marketing at broadcasting software giant, RCS, Douglas penned If God Could Talk… The Diary of a Broadcast Journalist followed by Donald Trump: Repeal, Replace, Impeach.  This new book is his third.  Many TALKERS readers will remember Douglas from his days in album rock radio when he programmed several major market AOR stations and served as president of the radio consulting firm Burkhart-Abrams & AssociatesTALKERS founder Michael Harrison says, “I used to work with Dwight back in the golden days of FM rock radio and always though he was extremely clever and very much in touch with the nuances of popular culture.  He was instrumental in the early career and rise of Howard Stern.  Now many decades later, it is exciting to read his books and see how his keen feel for the issues and culture of the times has matured into touching and powerful insights.  He makes a superb talk radio interview.”  For more information and to book an interview with Dwight Douglas, please click here.

MIW Accepting Applications for 2018 Mentoring Program. The window to apply for the 2018 Mildred Carter MIW Group Mentoring Program is open now through January 12, 2018.  This program from the Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group “pairs up-and-coming women who currently work in the radio industry with female professionals recognized as leaders in all aspects of radio broadcasting and media.”  MIW says that Beasley Media Group is committing to provide support as the lead sponsor of the 2018 initiative.  A total of four candidates from the radio broadcasting industry – within the sales, marketing, programming and digital disciplines – will be selected for the 2018 program.  Of those, at least one spot will be designated for a programming candidate and one spot designated for a digital candidate. For mentee criteria and instructions on how to apply, click here.   WSCR, Chicago/Chicago Cubs Radio Network general sales manager Lindsay Cerajewski says, “This unique initiative provides a wonderful opportunity for mentees to gain valuable insight, knowledge and access to some of the most influential women in radio.  It is very rewarding to watch our mentees grow professionally throughout the year.”

FOX Radio/TV Star Brian Kilmeade Guests this Week on Harrison Podcast.  Multi-platform talk show host and best-selling author Brian Kilmeade of FOX News Radio and FOX News Channel is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”   Harrison and Kilmeade discuss a variety of current topics including the NFL’s struggles with controversial politics and the resurgence of baseball as well as the view of the Donald Trump administration from inside the president’s “favorite” cable TV news talk show, “Fox and Friends” (co-hosted by Kilmeade).  They also talk about the early decades of the fledgling American republic as chronicled in Kilmeade’s new history book, co-written with Don Yaeger, titled, Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle that Shaped America’s Destiny (Sentinel, 2017). 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.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Weekend and fill-in jock Juline Jordan is promoted to midday personality at Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WCSX, Detroit.  Beasley Detroit vice president and market manager Mac Edwards comments, “Juline is an outgoing personality who thrives on listener engagement on-air and in live settings.  She impressed us with an eagerness to share and assist in generating ideas for promotions and features that will continue to strengthen the WCSX classic rock brand!  Additionally, her creative digital and writing chops will help grow our social platforms in midday and beyond.”  Jordan has worked in the Detroit radio market for the past 20 years.  She’s also been heard on sister rock outlet WRIF.  She adds, “It’s my extreme pleasure to be given this opportunity and I’m more inspired than ever to give Detroit my very best.  I would like to thank my program director Jerry ‘JT’ Tarrants and our market manager Mac Edwards for believing in me and giving me this opportunity to rock Detroit every day!”…..At Entercom’s Denver cluster, oldies KEZW “Cruisin’ 1430” program director and morning personality Rick Crandall signs a new deal to remain with the station through 2020.  Entercom Denver VP of programming Mike Peterson states, “Rick is one of the best broadcasters in the business, with an undeniable passion for the community.  We’re lucky to have him!”

PPM Analysis: Urban AC. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the 6+ performances of urban AC-formatted stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2017 PPM survey.  Comparing the stations’ September and October numbers 6+ weekly totals, Kinosian notes that “for all practical purposes, half of this urban AC sample declines between September 2017 – October 2017 (51%); 43% of these stations are up; and the remaining 6% are steady.”  However, looking at October 2016 numbers and comparing them to October 2017, “these urban ACs virtually flip the month-to-month stats, as 53% of them are up year-to-year, while 41% decline; the remaining 6% remain steady.”  Seven urban AC stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in the October 2017 survey – all of them in southern cities – they were: KMJQ, Houston; WHQT, Miami; WWIN-FM, Baltimore; WFXC, Raleigh; WVKL, Norfolk; WQMG, Greensboro; and KJMS, Memphis.  See Kinosian’s entire report here.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

| November 9, 2017

FCC Grants Approval of Entercom-CBS Merger. The Federal Communications Commission has issued its decision approving the merger of Entercom and CBS RADIO.  “We have reviewed the proposed merger, the applications for its approval, and related comments. We conclude that the applicants are fully qualified and that grant of the Merger Applications and the Trust Applications, subject to the conditions set forth herein, will serve the public interest, convenience, and necessity.”  In the 20-page decision, the FCC explains its denial of the Petition to Deny filed by longtime Entercom adversary Edward R. Stolz II (and Deborah J. Niaman).  It also reminds Entercom that CBS officers Leslie Moonves and Joseph Ianniello may serve as Temporary Directors for the new corporation for only six months.

Cumulus Media Reports Flat Net Revenue for Third Quarter; WW1 Up 5.5%.  Net revenue for the third quarter of 2017 was up just a little over $1 million, resulting in a 0.4% increase from the same period a year ago.  For the first nine months of 2017, Cumulus Media’s net revenue was flat at $841 million.  President and CEO Mary Berner comments, “As we noted when we announced our preliminary results in October, our strong third quarter performance plainly demonstrates that our operational turnaround plan is working.  The entire Cumulus team has shown great commitment to maintaining our momentum.  By executing our foundational operating initiatives and continuing to develop growth opportunities, we are confident that we can build on our success despite the challenging industry environment.  We are also focused on addressing our excessive debt load on a parallel track to our operational turnaround plan.  As previously disclosed, we are working with our advisors to proactively explore a range of alternatives to restructure our balance sheet and we are continuing productive discussions with our creditors. Regardless of the path forward, we have ample cash to operate our business.  Our goal remains to reduce our debt so we can focus our time and resources on investments in our people, key technologies, and initiatives that will ultimately drive sustainable, long-term growth.”  Cumulus breaks its operations in to two segments, Radio Station Group and Westwood One.  The Radio Station Group’s net revenue was down 1.6% while Westwood One was up 5.5% from the same period in 2016.  For the first nine months of this year, the Radio Station Group was down 1.3% and Westwood One was up 3% compared to the first nine months of 2016.

Dave Ramsey’s ‘Smart Money’ Live Event in Phoenix.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey brought his “Smart Money” live event to Phoenix on Tuesday (11/7) where he presented at the sold-out Christ’s Church of the Valley.  The program was also streamed live online to attendees across the country.  Ramsey combined forces with local affiliate KTAR “News 92.3 FM” to promote the event.  Ryan Hatch, vice president of content and operations Bonneville Phoenix, says, “It is no surprise to us that both Dave’s radio show and his events continue to be in high demand.  His passion and commitment in helping others is unmatched.”  Pictured above (from l-r) are: Ilene Thompson, director of partner and community services; Dave Zadrozny, KTAR sales manager; Paul Ihander, KTAR news director; Ramsey; Becky Kaiser, “Arizona Sports” sales manager; and Connie Drushel, HR director.

PPM Analysis: NFL Flagships. Managing editor Mike Kinosian takes a look at station ratings (6+) based on the latest PPM data from Nielsen Audio for stations that serve as flagships for play-by-play for NFL clubs.  Among the comparisons presented in this report are how stations fared from the September PPM survey to the October PPM survey.  Kinosian says, “Slightly more than three of every four of these particular NFL flagships (76%) improve between September 2017 – October 2017, with one in 10 holding steady (10%) and the remaining 14% of the sample is down from September.”  Looking at year-over-year comparisons, the sample of flagship stations was split about 50-50, with half seeing 6+ ratings increases and the other half seeing declines.  Check out Kinosian’s entire report here.

Craig Carton Officially Pleads Not Guilty.  Former WFAN, New York morning drive co-host Craig Carton was in federal court in Manhattan yesterday (11/8) at which time he pleaded not guilty to fraud charges.  The feds allege that Carton and a partner committed securities and wire fraud when they solicited investors to contribute millions to their concert ticket re-sale business.  The feds allege that those investments were made based on the belief that Carton had deals in place to acquire blocks of tickets but that no such deals existed.  During a statement to reporters yesterday, Carton said, “The real fact is that my business was licensed by the State of New York to sell tickets.  The real fact is that I bought and sold thousands of tickets at arenas no more than a few miles from where I stand right now and had pending deals in place to buy and sell many more.  The real fact, that you guys couldn’t possibly know, is that about a week and a half ago the government conceded to my lawyers that I had a legitimate ticket-selling business, and that I’ve been selling tickets for a long time.”  Carton resigned from his position with WFAN shortly after being indicted.  Read the Bergen Record’s story here.

Scott Fitzgerald MIA from WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte.  The 9:00 am to 12:00 noon talk host at Entercom’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte is missing from his show and his bio has been scrubbed from the station website.  Today (11/9), former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory sat in with WBT morning host Bo Thompson for the 9:00 am to 10:00 am hour, then weekend host Vince Coakley hosted the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show.  There’s no official word from Entercom on permanent plans for the daypart.

TALKERS News Notes.  Affiliates of FOX News Radio have Thanksgiving programming in the form of a special show hosted by Brian Kilmeade.  The “FOX & Friends” and “Brian Kilmeade Show” host recently published “Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle That Shaped America’s Destiny (Sentinel, 2017) and the program addresses that story.  FOX says, “Brian, along with the top experts in history and politics, will give you the play-by-play into how, against all odds, General Andrew Jackson defeated the British from capturing New Orleans in a pivotal battle that helped make America into what she is today.”  The special will be available for download on the FOX News Radio affiliate website the week of November 19th…..Entercom Buffalo promotes account executive Adam Haker to the local sales manager position for the cluster that includes news/talk WBEN-AM, sports talker WGR and WWKB, as well as hot AC WTSS “Star 102.5,” CHR WKSE “Kiss 98.5,” alternative WLKK “Alt Buffalo,” and rhythmic oldies WWWS…..Salem Radio Network talk star Hugh Hewitt is pictured at left addressing the Indiana Hospital Association – a gathering of doctors and administrators – at their annual conference on the future of healthcare and the role of hospitals in infrastructure spending.  Hewitt originated his SRN show from Indianapolis, then returned to Washington to tape his weekly, Saturday morning program that airs on MSNBC…..This Saturday, CBS RADIO launches the “Eye on Veterans” radio program that aims to provide military veterans and their families with “relevant and useful information about finance, healthcare, and transitioning back into civilian life.”  The weekly, two-hour program is produced by CBS RADIO’s ConnectingVets.com, a national, multi-media resource linking military veterans and their families to relevant information, resources, solutions and, most importantly, each other.  It will air on CBS News Radio affiliates, including CBS RADIO all-news and news/talk stations WCBS-AM, New York; KNX-AM, Los Angeles; WCCO-AM, Minneapolis; and WTIC-AM, Hartford.

Trump in China, North Korea Nuclear Threats, GOP Tax Reform Plan, Virginia and New Jersey Democrat Governor Victories, Mueller Trump-Russia Investigation, Donna Brazile Clinton Campaign Critique, Texas Church Massacre Aftermath, Twitter’s 280 Character Limit, CMA Awards, Sexual Assault Cases Fallout, Roy Halladay Death, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/8).  The presidential trip to China; the rhetoric between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program; the GOP tax reform plan; Democrat victories in the Virginia and New Jersey governor races; Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents; the blowback from Democrats against Donna Brazile for her criticism of the Clinton campaign; the aftermath of the Texas church massacre; Twitter ups its character limit to 280; last night’s Country Music Association awards; the expanding number of sexual assault accusations and the effects on careers; former star pitcher Roy Halladay dies in a plane crash; and NBA 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.  At iHeartMedia’s Phoenix cluster, Lady La moves from her evening show on hot AC KMXP “MIX 96.9” to the company’s CHR KZZP “104.7 KISS FM” to host the afternoon drive program.  Taking over the evening show at KMXP is Reid Spivey, who continues to host weekends on KZZP and serve as music director for both stations…..Premiere Networks announces that Suzette Rodriguez joins “The Johnjay & Rich Show” as a co-host, effective immediately.  The syndicated program – hosted by Johnjay Van Es and Rich Berra – is based at KZZP, Phoenix.  Rodriguez says, “When I was asked to be a fourth member on ‘The Johnjay and Rich Show,’ I freaked out!  I’ve always listened to the show, and everyone I know listens to the show.  I’m beyond grateful and excited to join an amazing team.  I’m ready to learn from the best and start a new journey.”…..Tomorrow (11/10) at 7:00 pm ET on SiriusXM’s Hits 1 channel, Taylor Swift will perform an exclusive acoustic performance in front of a select group of SiriusXM subscribers in celebration of the release of her sixth studio album, reputation.  SiriusXM chief content officer Scott Greenstein says, “We are delighted to welcome Taylor Swift back to SiriusXM on the day of reputation’s release.  A true, one-of-a-kind artist, Taylor will be performing to a special group of SiriusXM listeners in a wonderfully intimate setting.  We can’t wait to hear songs from her new album reputation and share this experience with our lucky subscribers.”…..Next Thursday (11/16), iHeartMedia’s nationally syndicated urban morning show “The Breakfast Club” – hosted by DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne Tha God – will present an all-day radiothon called #Change4Change to benefit The Gathering for Justice, a charity that sponsors movements such as The Women’s March, Justice League NYC and Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp.

Monday, November 6, 2017

| November 6, 2017

iHeartMedia Puts Three Stations in Divestiture Trust.  The deal that iHeartMedia struck with Entercom to swap stations in the Seattle and Boston markets is forcing iHM to put three stations in the newly created Ocean Station Trust LLC in order to comply with ownership caps.  Those stations are: alt rocker KFOO, Centralia, Washington (Tacoma market); rhythmic CHR KUBE, Eatonville, Washington (Tacoma market); and news/talk WKOX, Everett, Massachusetts (Boston market).

iHM Will Not Assume WBZ-AM, Boston’s SAG-AFTRA Contracts.  This is not the news that union staffers at CBS RADIO’s all-news WBZ-AM, Boston want to hear as they prepare to become part of the iHeartMedia family, under an LMA until the deal closes (probably in January).  That LMA could happen as soon as the 17th of this month.  According to a piece in the Boston Globe, SAG-AFTRA has received notice from iHeartMedia that not only will staffers at WBZ-AM have to interview for their current jobs, but iHM says it will not assume the two collective bargaining agreements between SAG-AFTRA and CBS RADIO.  SAG-AFTRA’s Boston-based official Tom Higgins tells the paper that iHM officials who visited the station said they want a “seamless” transition, but says that contract issue “doesn’t sound like seamless.”  Higgins says the union plans to meet with iHeartMedia officials this week. Read the Globe piece here.

Salem Names Ed Martin Afternoon Host at ‘The Answer’ in St. Louis.  He’s the co-author of The Conservative Case for Trump (Regnery 2016) and the former Missouri Republican Party chairman.  Salem reports that Ed Martin will assume the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm show on KXFN-AM/K287BY “1380 AM and 105.3 FM The Answer” next Monday (11/13).  It’ll be called “The Ed Martin Movement” and Salem St. LouisVP/GM Greg Lhamon states, “We looked at a lot of options for afternoons, but no other talk host had their finger on the pulse of national, statewide, and local politics like Ed Martin.  He’s smart and savvy and will force politicians to stay on their toes.  And as a CNN political contributor, he brings a global perspective to talk radio that is sorely missing in St. Louis.”  The press release also states: “Formally trained as a lawyer and ethicist, Ed is the hand-picked successor of Phyllis Schlafly as head of her ‘Eagles.'”

Bill Handel Records Apology to Rep. Wilson.  Under fire for referring to U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson (in connection with the TrumpMyesia Johnson story) as a “cheap, sleazy Democrat whore” on his KFI, Los Angeles morning radio show, Bill Handel recorded an apology that has aired on the station.  But lead critic Janmyne Cannick – a self-described commentator – says it’s too little, too late.  In a story published by LA Weekly, Cannick – who’s been leading the efforts to see Handel punished for his use of the word “whore” in connection with Wilson – tells the paper, “If KFI can suspend afternoon drive hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou (John and Ken) for one-week following their calling Whitney Houston a ‘crack ho,’ then Bill Handel – KFI’s prized morning drive host who called a sitting member of Congress a ‘cheap, sleazy, Democrat whore’ on live air – should get nothing less.”  Read the LA Weekly piece here.

‘Florida Sports Talk’ Duo Re-Brand as ‘Gainesville Ocala All Talk.’  The sports talk multi-cast that Florida Sportstalk LLC is operating in the Gainesville-Ocala market is re-branding and will take on a more “talk radio” approach.  The stations that made up “Florida Sports Talk” are” WMOP, Ocala; WGGG, Gainesville; translator W221DX at 92.1 FM; and WGOT-LP, Gainesville.  The station is now called Gainesville Ocala All Talk “The GOAT FM.”  On its Facebook page, the company says the change is being made “in response to [the stations’] growing voice in the region pertaining to news and social events and based on the feedback from followers and the fan base…[to assure that] our branding more accurately reflects our voice, impact, and prominence in the communities we serve.”  Former WSKY, Ocala talk host Chip Morris is being added to the programming lineup for morning drive.  Stations OM Don DePew Jr. comments, “We were thrilled to see our voice and impact grow as we provided a voice of calm and grace through recent social issues that crossed from sports to everyday life.  Our adjustment in brand to this new reality is a step forward in this regard.  We are further excited to have Chip Morris bring his experience and influence in our region to our team.  We look forward to the days ahead as we bring Gainesville Ocala All Talk to you, our listeners.”

iHeartMedia Promotes Ashlock and Adkins.  Executives Greg Ashlock and Hartley Adkins have been promoted by iHeartMedia in what the company calls “the next step in the evolution of the iHeartMedia Markets Group.”  Ashlock, who has been president of iHeartMedia Markets Group West Division, is upped to president of the iHeartMedia Markets Group.  Adkins, who most recently served as president of Northeast Division and Corporate Operations for the iHeartMedia Markets Group, is now president of Integrated Revenue Strategy.  Ashlock is now managing the entire iHeartMedia Markets Group, including the company’s more than 850 radio stations in over 150 markets.  The company says the consolidation under one leader will allow iHeartMedia to move quicker, be more responsive, communicate more clearly and best serve both listeners and advertisers based on each market’s unique needs.  In his newly created role, Adkins will join the corporate group in New York and will be responsible for working with group heads and other corporate leaders to help develop innovative revenue initiatives that scale across multiple platforms, as well as new strategic solutions specifically for the Markets Group that utilize the unique assets of iHeartMedia.

Beasley Broadcasting Group Reports Q3 Net Revenue.  The company says that its net revenue for the third quarter of 2017 at its legacy stations was “comparable to the net revenue for the same period in 2016” – so we can read that as “flat.”  However, Beasley’s acquisition of the Greater Media stations that took place in November of last year boosts the company’s revenue figures.  Third quarter net revenue jumped from $27.7 million in 2016 to $58.9 million in 2017 because of the 21 new stations in the Boston, Charlotte, Detroit, Charlotte, Philadelphia and New Jersey markets (it also takes into account the stations it sold to Entercom and CMG Coastal Carolina).

Traffic Pioneer Rod Carson Dies at 75.  Longtime KYW, Philadelphia traffic reporter and Shadow Traffic co-founder Rod Carson died over the weekend at his home in Pennsylvania at the age of 75.  CBS Philadelphia reports that “before getting into traffic reporting, [Carson] was one of the ‘Wibbage Good Guys’ on the former WIBG, and also did the ‘Rock and Roll Roots’ show on WMMR.”  Carson marked his 50th year in radio in 2007.

National Radio Hall of Fame Class of 2017. Pictured above at the November 2 induction ceremony for the National Radio Hall of Fame at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago are (from l-r): NRHoF chairman Kraig Kitchin, inductees John Records Landecker, Joseph Field, Bobby Bones, Tom Barnard, Bill Handel and MBC founder Bruce Dumont.  Not pictured is inductee Sean Hannity, who did not travel to Chicago for the ceremony.

Donna Brazile Hillary Criticism, Mueller Investigation-Possible Michael Flynn Indictment, Trump in Japan, GOP Tax Reform Plan, Kevin Spacey Sexual Assault Investigation, Texas Church Slayings, Saudi Purge, Rand Paul Assault, Kaepernick Collusion Suit, NFL Attendance-Protests Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  Former interim DNC chair Donna Brazile’s criticisms of the Hillary Clinton campaign in her new book; the Robert Mueller investigation and the possibility of charges against former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn; President Trump’s trip to Japan and statements about strong rhetoric regarding North Korea; the details of the Republican tax reform plan; the UK authorities’ investigation of sexual assault charges against actor Kevin Spacey; the Sunday slaying of 26 at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas; Saudi Arabia arrests 15 ministers and princes in anti-corruption efforts; Senator Rand Paul suffers cracked ribs in assault at his home; Colin Kaepernick’s collusion suit against the NFL; the NFL anthem protests, declining game attendance, and Sunday’s action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wendell Potter is this Week’s Guest on the Harrison Podcast.  Former health insurance spin doctor Wendell Potter, who upon experiencing a “crisis of conscience” in 2008 became one of that industry’s most outspoken critics, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  In June 2009, Potter made national headlines with his scorching testimony before the Senate panel on health care reform. The former senior VP and head of PR at Cigna testified that health insurers make promises they have no intention of keeping, flout regulations designed to protect consumers, and skew political debate with multibillion-dollar PR campaigns to mislead the press and public.  Potter was a former journalist who walked away from a six-figure salary and two decades as an insurance executive because he could no longer abide the routine practices of an industry where he believes “the needs of sick and suffering Americans take a backseat to the bottom line.”  Since then, Potter has been active as an author and consumer advocate warning Americans of the danger inherent in corporate big money corrupting the nation’s democratic process.  Now, he is launching a non-profit, reader/listener/viewer funded, Philadelphia-based news organization called Tarbell (www.Tarbell.org) that will focus on non-partisan, investigative journalism.  Can such a venture succeed in today’s money-driven, politically polarized society where the quest for victory regularly obscures the search for truth?  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.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air radio pro Brian Peck is named midday personality at CBS RADIO’s adult hits WJMK “K-Hits.”  CBS RADIO Chicago has appointed Brian Peck to host middays at WJMK, 104.3 “K-Hits.” The opening became available when current midday jock Jeffrey T. Mason moved to afternoons with Gary Spears’ exit and relocation to Florida.  WJMK program director Greg Solk states, “Adding Brian to ‘K-Hits’ gives us a unique opportunity to re-set our on-air lineup with three veteran Chicago voices, all perfectly suited for their dayparts.”  The company says Peck joins “K-Hits” with a history of entertaining Chicago radio fans since 1992 when he co-hosted mornings with former MTV veejay Mark Goodman.  Other Chicago radio stops have included WSHE and WTMX…..Next Wednesday (11/15), Envision Networks is announcing another session of “Coffee With Envision Webinar: Program A Winning Morning Show.”  The free webinar takes place at 1:00 pm ET.  Envision president and CEO Danno Wolkoff states, “Mike Marino and Jason Hillery are experts at producing a winning morning show.  They consult, program, manage and write prep for radio talent daily so Mike and Jason literally wrote the playbook for morning shows to follow.”  Early registration is encouraged as space is limited.  Stations can register for the webinar by clicking here…..Gen Media Partners appoints radio executive Chuck Bortnick to the newly created position of SVP, integrated platforms.   Bortnick’s previous experience includes serving as COO of Westwood One; COO and president of Metro Networks; and regional vice president for Cumulus Media.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

| October 24, 2017

FCC Votes to Eliminate Main Studio Rule on Party Line.  The Democrats on the Federal Communications Commission are not happy about it but broadcasters are cheering the Commission’s 3-2 vote today (10/24) that eliminated the broadcast main studio rule.  The Order retains the requirement that stations maintain a local or toll-free telephone number to ensure consumers have ready access to their local stations.  The 80-year-old rule was designed to “facilitate input from community members and the station’s participation in community activities.”  But, Republicans argued that the rule was outdated and an unnecessary burden.  They argue that the repeal of the rule should “produce substantial cost-saving benefits for broadcasters that can be directed toward such things as programming, equipment upgrades, newsgathering, and other services that benefit consumers.  It will also make it easier for broadcasters to prevent stations in small towns from going dark and to launch new stations in rural areas.”

MacGunnigle Named APD at WPRO-AM, Providence.  At the Providence Cumulus Media cluster, staffer Doug MacGunnigle is promoted to assistant program director for “NewsTalk 99.7 FM and AM 630” (WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM) and sister business talk station WPRV.  Previously, MacGunnigle had been serving as producer and digital content director.  MacGunnigle has produced talk shows at WPRO for Steve Kass, Ron St. Pierre, Arlene Violet, and Dan Yorke.  MacGunnigle started his career at WPRO in 2002.  After stints at other media outlets in the area, he returned to WPRO in May 2015 and has served as producer of the Matt Allen show.  WPRO and WPRV program director Neil Larrimore says, “Doug has been an integral part of WPRO-AM and WPRV-AM for many years and has served as a backbone through a particularly tough period of change over the last 24 months.  It’s the perfect time to start him on the next step of his career.  I’m proud to name him as assistant program director.”

Industry Luminaries to Induct National Radio Hall of Famers.  When this year’s inductees are enshrined in the National Radio Hall of Fame on November 2, they’ll be presented by leaders in the industry.  The 29th Annual National Radio Hall of Fame Induction ceremony takes place at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago (it will also be broadcast commercial free via TuneIn).  This year, Entercom president and CEO David Field will induct his father, Entercom founder Joseph Field; on-air legend Scott Shannon will induct Premiere Networks superstar Sean Hannity; iHeartCountry chief Rod Phillips will induct Premiere’s country morning star Bobby Bones; Cumulus Media VP of classic rock Scott Jameson will induct KQRS, Minneapolis morning icon Tom Barnard; Chicago media star Bob Sirott will induct pioneering disc jockey John Records Landecker; iHeartMedia West president Greg Ashlock will induct KFI, Los Angeles morning personality Bill Handel; and St. Louis talk host Ryan Wrecker will accept induction for the late Bob Sievers.  National Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig T. Kitchin says, “We’re pleased to have such talented and accomplished presenters joining us on this special night and happy that those who can’t attend won’t miss a beat thanks to TuneIn.”

TALKERS News Notes. The new ESPN2 television show “Barstool Van Talk” – from Barstool Sports – has been canceled after its first airing, but not because of the show itself.  The TV program was based on the podcast “Pardon My Take” starring Barstool Sports’ Dan “Big Cat” Katz and PFT Commenter.  But the connection to Barstool Sports – known for misogynistic humor – was too much for ESPN president John Skipper, who stated in a press release, “Effective immediately, I am cancelling ‘Barstool Van Talk.’  While we had approval on the content of the show, I erred in assuming we could distance our efforts from the Barstool site and its content.”…..Pictured at right is Salem Radio Network v.p./News & Talk Programming Tom Tradup (center) on the set of the film, God’s Not Dead 3 in Little Rock, Arkansas.  He’s standing with actor and producer David A.R. White (left) and John Corbett (right) best known as co-star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding…..A live radio broadcast of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat,” – a tale of murder and supernatural revenge – is being produced for Husson University’s WHSN-FM, Bangor, Maine.  It will be performed live from the Gracie Theatre on Thursday, October 26 at 7:30 pm.  The program is billed as “Tales of Mystery and Imagination” and features a cast of Husson University students and local residents and it’s free and open to the public…..At left is famed director Rob Reiner (left) sitting with ABC News chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl (right) and ABC News political director Rick Klein (center) recording their “Powerhouse Politics” podcast.  The program was video-streamed live as Reiner joined the program to talk about his latest film, the historically themed LBJ…..iHeartMedia announces the addition of “The Fatherly Podcast” to the iHeartRadio digital platform.  The program is hosted by veteran journalist, children’s book author, and father of two, Joshua David Stein and is a weekly show about raising children and the lives of men who take on that responsibility.  Each episode is built around a wide-ranging interview with a notable father.  Guests include Emmy Award-winner Sterling K. Brown, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, and NFL Hall of Famer Michael Strahan.

Trump Tax Plan, North Korea Nuclear Threats, Sessions Announces MS-13 Efforts, Niger Ambush Investigation, Uranium One Probe, Sexual Harassment/O’Reilly-Weinstein Cases, California Wildfires, Xi Jinping Cements Power, World Series, and NFL Ratings, Protests, and Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/23).  The Trump Administration’s plan for tax reform; North Korea’s stockpiling of weapons and talk of nuclear war; Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement that the DOJ is using more legal weapons to prosecute MS-13 gang members; the investigation into what when wrong at the Niger ambush of U.S. forces; allegations that the Obama Administration’s deal with Russian firm Uranium One benefitted the Clinton Foundation; sexual harassment in the workplace and the high-profile Harvey Weinstein and Bill O’Reilly cases; the destruction from Northern California’s wildfires and the struggle to contain them; “Xi Jinping Thought” is enshrined into China’s communist constitution, ensuring he’ll rule as long as he’s healthy; the Dodgers-Astros World Series; and National Football League ratings, anthem protests and 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.  Programming pro Bobby Novosad is promoted to program director for Cumulus Media’s country KXKC-FM, Lafayette, Louisiana “NASH FM 99.1.”  Novosad continues his duties as brand manager and morning host at sister CHR KSMB.  Cumulus Media Lafayette vice president and market manager Scott Chiasson says, “I am very excited to promote Bobby to program director of KXKC ‘NASH FM 99.1.’  Bobby has been a generational staple in the Lafayette metro area and is a fantastic radio guy.  His deep experience and understanding of the way a winning station should sound is already having an impact.  This is great for Bobby, Cumulus, our loyal listeners and the community we serve.”…..Thirty-one year radio pro Darrel Eason is appointed to the program director position at Salem Media Group’s urban Gospel KXFN/K236CS, St. Louis “Praise 95.1.”  Eason is also hosting “The Morning Praise” from 6:00 am to 10:00 am.  Eason was previously the programmer at iHeartMedia’s crosstown KATZ-AM “Hallelujah 1600.”…..Former WGNA, Albany personality Marissa Lanchak announces via Facebook that she’s the new night jock at Beasley Media’s country WKLB, Boston.  She wrote, “It’s taken a lot of bumps in the last couple of years to get to this spot.  But I’m proud to say that I’ve accepted the night show position at Country 102.5 Boston’s Hottest Country!”…..Beasley Media Group’s adult hits WBEN-FM, Philadelphia announces Twister Sister lead singer Dee Snider will be the guest host of “95.7 BEN FM’s Halloween Hair Ball” on Saturday, October 28.  Snider will play the top 50 greatest hair band hits of the 80s as chosen by the 95.7 BEN FM listeners – all commercial free!  Station program director Chuck Damico comments, “We came up with the idea of letting listeners choose their favorite scary, hairy hits of the 80s and running them back countdown style for people’s Halloween parties.  There’s only one perfect host that makes sense for that – Dee Snider!  He’s an 80s rocker, a radio pro and Philly loves him!  We’re thrilled to have Dee party with ‘95.7 BEN FM’ for the Halloween weekend.”

Luke Bryan Chats with Shawn and Elaina. It was a big day for country stars in person at Cumulus Media’s NASH Campus in Nashville as Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, and Chris Lane all stopped by to chat on the “NASH Nights Live” program.  Pictured above is Bryan (left) with show co-stars Elaina Smith (center) and Shawn Parr (right).

CBS’ ‘We Can Survive’ Concert Rocks Hollywood Bowl.  Pictured above is pop star Kesha performing onstage at the Hollywood Bowl at CBS RADIO’s We Can Survive 2017 benefit concert on Saturday (10/21).  Other performers included: Alessia Cara, Harry Styles, Khalid, Lorde, Macklemore, P!nk, Sam Hunt, and Sam Smith, plus a surprise performance by Niall Horan. The show was hosted in support of breast cancer awareness and benefits the Young Survival Coalition, the premier organization dedicated to the critical issues unique to young women who are diagnosed with breast cancer.  Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for CBS RADIO.

Monday, October 23, 2017

| October 23, 2017

FCC Commissioner: It Is Time to Update Our Rules to Reflect the Current Media Marketplace.  Those are the words of Republican FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly in his FCC blog post titled, “Thoughtfully Modernizing the Commission’s Media Ownership Rules.”  In the post, O’Rielly points to reforms already made under current Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and names the reforms he thinks should be adopted next.  He writes, “If a form is not needed, it should be eliminated.  If a study is duplicative or useless, it should be junked.  When public notice requirements are outdated, at the very least they should be modified.  And when FCC rules are no longer necessary, they should be removed from our books.”  Noting that for almost 10 years the FCC has failed to adequately complete the Quadrennial Review, O’Rielly states, “It is time we fulfilled not only a congressional mandate but the congressional intent of keeping our rules current.  And this can and should be done thoughtfully, consistent with the fundamental propositions of localism, diversity, and competition.  We owe this not only to our broadcasting industry but more importantly, to the American people, who are paying for – in one form or another – market inefficiencies resulting from our rules.”  Among the five principles he outlines for media ownership reform are the elimination of the cross-ownership bans.  “As consumers demand innovative platforms and seamless experiences to consume content, the FCC imposes bans preventing broadcasters and newspapers from delivering synergies that could result in innovative products and more, not less local content.  Eliminating the restrictions on newspaper/radio, radio/television, and newspaper/television combinations is a crucial step.  Previous commissions and bipartisan legislation from Congress already recognized the need for an update.  It’s time to act.”  Read O’Rielly’s entire post here.

NYT: Former FOX News Channel Star Bill O’Reilly Paid $32 Million to Settle Sexual Harassment Case.  In an expose published in The New York Times over the weekend, it’s being reported that former FOX News Channel star Bill O’Reilly in January agreed to pay $32 million to longtime network analyst Lis Wiehl to settle sexual harassment allegations, a month before the network agreed to a contract renewal with O’Reilly that was to pay him $100 million over four years.  The paper reports that O’Reilly settled five other harassment allegations in years prior.  FNC tells the Times it was aware of Wiehl’s allegations against O’Reilly but says it was unaware of the amount of the settlement as that was a matter between O’Reilly and Wiehl.  The NYT piece notes that News Corp chief Rupert Murdoch and sons Lachlan and James had been working to convince both staffers and the public that they were trying to clean up the cable news channel’s image and had recently fired FNC president Roger Ailes in the wake of his sexual harassment troubles, and would let O’Reilly go as well.  This latest matter of workplace sexual harassment in the entertainment world comes as Hollywood is reeling from the Harvey Weinstein harassment scandal.  See the Times piece here.

Bruce Kelly Joins Grenax Broadcasting’s Flagstaff, AZ Cluster.  Radio pro Bruce Kelly is named director of programming and operations at Grenax Broadcasting’s Flagstaff, Arizona station group that includes news/talk KBTK “97.1 The Big Talker” and music outlets classic hits KFLX “Rewind 92.5/104.1,” country KSED “107.5 Kolt Country,” and classic rock KWMX “96.7 The Wolf.”  Grenax general manager Stan Pierce says, “[Kelly] is a talented programmer with a long history of on-air success and a creative thinker on the marketing front.  Bringing in someone of Bruce’s caliber reflects our commitment to provide our community of Northern Arizona with top-quality radio.”

Changes at WFOM, Atlanta ‘The Fan 2.’  According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho, the pairing of Larry Wachs and Bob Whitfield on Dickey Broadcasting-owned sports talker WFOM, Atlanta “The Fan 2” has ended with owner David Dickey stating he’s looking for a new show partner for Wachs on the newly reconstituted “Regular Guys” show on WFOM (2:00 pm to 4:00 pm).  He also says he wants to build a show around Whitfield with the possibility of adding local programming to WIFN “The Fan 3.”  Read Ho’s piece here.

Westwood One Unveils Kurt Warner Podcast.  New to the Westwood One Podcast Network is a weekly show featuring NFL great and football analyst Kurt Warner, titled “The Kurt Warner Quarterback Podcast.”  The program is delivered fresh every Tuesday morning during the NFL season and features Westwood One play-by-play voice Kevin Harlan.

North Korea War Talk, Trump Tax Plan, McCain-Trump Feud, New O’Reilly Settlement Allegation, Carter NYT Interview, Potential Uranium One Probe, James Toback Harassment Accusations, Mueller Investigates Podesta Group, Astros Win AL Pennant, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The saber rattling between North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump; the Trump Administration’s tax reform plan; the ongoing feud between Trump and John McCain and McCain’s shot at the president over Vietnam War draft deferments; new allegations of a $32 million settlement between Bill O’Reilly and a sexual harassment accuser; Jimmy Carter’s New York Times interview; Robert Mueller’s investigation into an Obama-era deal with Russian firm Uranium One; director James Toback is accused of sexual harassment by numerous actresses; the Houston Astros beat the Yankees to win the American League pennant; and Sunday’s NFL action and poor attendance at a number of stadiums were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Sally Quinn Guests on This Week’s Harrison Podcast.  Longtime Washington Post journalist, columnist, television commentator, Washington insider, author and legendary social hostess, Sally Quinn is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  She candidly discusses her Watergate-era, wildly romantic, extra-marital love affair, and subsequent enduring marriage of more than four decades to legendary Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee, as well as her idiosyncratic relationship with religion, sexual harassment in politics as well as media… and much more.  (She claims the late U.S. Senator John Tower tried to rape her in the back of a taxi.)  Quinn is currently promoting her new book, Finding Magic: A Spiritual Memoir (HarperOne, 2017) and Harrison was granted one of her first interviews.  To hear this fascinating 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.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At Cumulus Media’s Detroit country station WDRQ “NASH FM 93.1,” Jessica Poxson exits her role as midday personality, assistant PD and music director…..There’s a new CHR station in the Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, North Carolina market as Curtis Media Group flips modern rock WXNR “99X” to rhythmic CHR as “HOT 99.5.”…..The morning duo of Jake and Tanner are back together at Woodward Radio’s WKSZ, Appleton, Wisconsin “95.9 Kiss FM,” effective today (10/23).  Jake Kelly and Tanner Jay joined E.W. Scripps’ country WKTI, Milwaukee for mornings in October of 2015.  Tanner Jay left the program earlier this year for family reasons and Kelly stayed on solo for a while before exiting the station as well.  The two were hosting the morning show on WIXX, Green Bay prior to joining WKTI…..Radio One celebrated the 40th career anniversary of legendary Washington, DC radio and television personality Donnie Simpson last night (10/22) at the Warner Theatre.  The star-studded concert featured Simpson’s favorite regional and national artists, including: Doug E Fresh, Big Daddy Kane, BBD, Chante Moore; and Rare Essence…..The Cumulus Media “neXt2rock 2017” national search for the nation’s newest rock star has so far drawn more than 1,800 submissions.  Emerging artists are being rated by Cumulus listeners through October 25.  Ultimately, the winner of this four-month-long competition will receive a record deal with Big Machine/John Varvatos Records and exposure via Cumulus radio stations nationwide.  Mentor judges for the competition’s finale include Big Machine Label Group president & CEO Scott Borchetta; musician, songwriter and producer Desmond Child; record producer Bob Ezrin; Sex Pistols guitarist and host of “Jonesy’s Jukebox,” Steve Jones; and Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

| October 11, 2017

16 More Station Divestitures Named in Entercom SEC Filing – Boston’s News/Talk WRKO, All-News WBZ-AM, and Sports Talk WBZ-FM Being Sold.  Which stations will not be part of the new Entercom after its merger with CBS RADIO has been one of the most eagerly awaited radio news stories since the deal was first announced.  And now, with Entercom’s SEC filing, we know of 16 more stations – in addition to the three being sold to the Educational Media Foundation – that will go to new owners.  When all the deals are consummated, Entercom will realize $264.8 million in proceeds from the divestitures that CEO David Field says will be used to pay down debt and, maybe, buy more stations.  No one thought Entercom would be allowed to keep two FM sports talk giants in Boston, so it’s not surprising that WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub” is being divested (Entercom will keep its longtime sports talkers WEEI-FM and WEEI-AM “ESPN Radio 850”) along with heritage all-news WBZ-AM and classic rock WZLX.  Those are the CBS stations.  Entercom will also divest its own news/talk WRKO and urban contemporary WKAF.  In the Pacific Northwest, CBS Seattle signals adult hits KJAQ, classic rock KZOK, and sports talk KFNQ-AM are headed for divestiture.  Down the coast in San Francisco, Entercom will shuck its own adult contemporary KOIT, urban contemporary KBLX, and classic rock KUFX (San Jose) as well as CBS’ CHR KMVQ.  In the Sacramento market, CBS stations country KNCI, adult contemporary KYMX, hot AC KZZO, and sports talk KHTK will go to new owners.  The filing does not indicate who the prospective new owners are.  What David Field does say is that he still expects the deal to close before the end of the year.

PPM Analysis: All-News.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the first of four analyses of the performances of radio stations based on data from the September 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  Today’s report looks at all-news-formatted stations.  As Kinosian notes in the story, all but three of the all-news stations in this report are CBS RADIO-owned properties.  The last PPM survey was good to all-news with “three of four stations on this particular news panel up August 2017 – September 2017 (75%); roughly one in five are down (19%) and the remaining 6% remain flat (6+).”  Comparing year-over-year ratings, “two of three stations on our eligible all-news sample improve September 2016 – September 2017 (67%, 6+), while one in three shows a decrease (33%).”  All-news outlets generally do well in the 6+ ratings and September was no different with seven stations finishing in the top five in their respective markets.  One, Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington, finishing #1.  Read the whole report here.

Salem’s KRLA/KTIE Keeps Whitman for Mornings.  Morning personality Brian Whitman inks a new contract with Salem Media Group to continue anchoring the morning drive show on news/talk stations KRLA, Los Angeles and KTIE, Riverside/San Bernardino.  The Southern California radio pro has worked at such stations as KABC and the old KLSX-FM.  He started with Salem in April of 2012.  Currently, Whitman and Jennifer Horn co-host “The Morning Answer” that’s simulcast on the conservative news/talk stations.  KRLA program director Chuck Tyler comments, “Brian is a one-of-a-kind talent.  I’m thrilled to know that he will be anchoring the ‘Morning Answer’ for years to come.”

TALKERS News Notes.  The Virginia-based John Fredericks show begins airing on Salem Media Group’s WWRC, Washington “AM 1260 The Answer” in the 8:00 am to 10:00 am slot, effective Monday (10/16).  Fredericks’ program airs live from 6:00 am to 10:00 am and is also heard on WHTK, Hampton Roads; WNTW, Richmond; and WBRG, Lynchburg…..At William Pollack-owned, suburban Chicago talk station WCGO, Evanston, “The Citizen Kelly Show” moves from middays to the 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight slot.  Show host William J. Kelly made news locally after recently announcing he plans to challenge Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner in the 2018 Republican primary race…..Syndicated Solutions, Inc announces that the nationally syndicated travel radio show “Rudy Maxa’s World with the Careys” has added 60 new radio affiliates through the first three quarters of 2017.  Robert and Mary Carey say, “We’re truly delighted and thankful for the strong support our program enjoys from network affiliates, leading sponsors and a loyal audience across our various platforms.  Our radio program is unlike anything found or heard out there – and it’s rewarding to realize so many people enjoy and respect what we do.”…..Pictured at right is a scene from last Friday’s fundraising event for the Puppy Jake Foundation – a charity founded by WHO, Des Moines afternoon talk host Simon Conway that acquires, raises, and trains service dogs for physically and mentally wounded veterans.  Friday’s fourth annual, free sandwich giveaway raised more than $28,500 for the charity.

Trump-Corker Feud, Weinstein Scandal, Iran Nuclear Deal, N. Korea Hacks U.S. War Plans, GOP Tax Plan, California Wildfires, MLB Playoffs, NFL Action/Anthem Protests Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/11).  The war of words between President Trump and Senator Bob Corker; the accusations of sexual predation and rape against entertainment mogul Harvey Weinstein; the allegations that Iran’s nuclear weapons program has not been halted and President Trump’s indication he will not certify Iran’s compliance; reports that North Korean agents hacked joint U.S.-South Korea military plans involving the North; the GOP’s formulation of its tax reform plan; the deadly California wildfires that have killed at least 17; the Major League Baseball playoffs; and NFL action and the ongoing controversy over national anthem protests 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.  Programming pro Scott Jameson signs a multi-year contract extension with Cumulus Media to continue as vice president of classic rock and operations manager for its Minneapolis stations and program director for classic rock KQRS.  The company’s other music stations in the Twin Cities are active rock KXXR “93X” and classic hip hop trimulcast, WGVX/WRXP/WWWM “105 The Vibe.”  Jameson says, “I have a great job in a city I love, a wonderful family and a dream team staff at KQRS who impress and inspire me daily.  I’m a very lucky guy.  Thanks to all who have helped me along the way.  Special thanks to Mike McVay for his motivational leadership.”…..At Cumulus Media’s alternative WNNX, Atlanta “99X,” the original three hosts of “The Morning X” program that aired on the station from 1993 through 2003 are coming back for a special broadcast on October 26 – the station’s alternative format 25th anniversary.  Steve Barnes, Leslie Fram and Jimmy Baron will return to the Atlanta airwaves for the first time in more than a decade as part of the station’s celebration.  WNNX says listeners can expect a healthy dose of laughter and gags, celebrity interviews and nostalgic banter from the trio, who “ruled Atlanta’s morning airwaves from 1993 to 2003.”…..E.W. Scripps’ country WKTI “94.5 KTI COUNTRY” launches a nationwide search for a superstar country morning show host to fill the slot left vacant by the departure of Jake Kelly.  The station notes that most recently, it added Milwaukee icon and Country Radio Hall of Fame host Karen Dalessandro for afternoons.  WKTI program director Ryan Wild says, “We’re looking a fun, entertaining morning show that loves country music.  To help us complete the job of winning in Milwaukee, the right show will run for office with our listeners every day, and embrace living in Wisconsin.  Very few people understand how to be a great local host, we are looking for someone that does!” To apply, visit www.scripps.com/careers.  Local radio pro Carol Vonn is handling the morning show until a permanent host is named.

Monday, October 9, 2017

| October 9, 2017

Moskowitz, Siegel Named VP/Sales for iHM New York. The appointment of Todd Moskowitz as vice president of sales of iHeartMedia New York City news/talk WOR “The Voice of New York” and the promotion of Marc Siegel from sales manager to VP/Sales of co-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock Station” are effective immediately. Both will report to senior vice president of sales for iHeartMedia New York Bernie Weiss who states, “Marc and Todd are proven sales leaders with a long track record of delivering results for clients, teams and stations. They have the talent and experience to coach their teams in coming up with the most effective marketing solutions to maximize the ROI for their clients.” Moskowitz remarks, “I am excited to lead sales for one the most legendary radio stations in New York City and work with some of the best and brightest people in our business.” Siegel comments, “Classic rock is a format that transcends time and is as popular as it has ever been. I am very excited for this opportunity and I look forward to the next step in the journey with my iHeartMedia colleagues.” Moskowitz most recently was market president for Townsquare Media’s Danbury, Connecticut cluster. He began his career with CBS Radio Hartford, before joining Cumulus Media Bridgeport, Connecticut and eventually CBS Radio New York City all-news WINS. Before arriving at iHeartMedia New York at the end of 2016, Siegel was head of global audio sales at Bloomberg Media, and was local sales manager for New York public outlet WNYC, where he managed radio, podcasting, digital, and events sales.

TALKERS Founder Michael Harrison Guests on Debut Holland Cooke Show on RT America.  Says Donald Trump Has Been A Boon to Talk Media Business.  As reported last week in TALKERS, noted media consultant and TALKERS correspondent Holland Cooke was named to fill the big shoes of Thom Hartmann as host of television network RT America’s long-running “The Big Picture” program.  His debut installment of the half hour weekend show aired this past Friday (10/6) and is being met with positive reviews.  Cooke divides the opening show into two segments.  In the first, he welcomes panelists Brian Keane and Harvey Wasserman to discuss renewable energy… which could be the silver lining as Puerto Rico recovers from Hurricane Maria. And in the second segment, he asks TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison and talk media pundit Steve Malzberg, “Are we really THAT angry?” referring to the tone of today’s conversation in talk media.  Asked if Donald Trump is the best thing that could happen to talk radio and television, Harrison replies, “From a purely business standpoint – getting ratings, giving us material to use, creating interest, keeping people tuned to their radios and TVs – he’s the best thing that’s happened in years. I don’t remember anything like it.”  To view the entire program, please click here

Sirott Selected to Call Bruins Action. Inbound from Tribune Chicago news/talk WGN-AM, where he was studio host for the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks, Judd Sirott becomes the game caller for the Boston Bruins, whose NHL games are carried on CBS Radio Boston sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub.” CBS Radio Boston vice president of programming/CBS Radio vice president of sports programming Mike Thomas comments, “We are very excited to have someone with the exceptional reputation and experience that Judd has join our team at ‘The Sports Hub.’” Sirott adds, “I am incredibly fortunate, privileged, and humbled to be the radio voice of the Boston Bruins on ‘98.5 The Sports Hub.’ I didn’t just hit the lottery – I hit the Powerball. [The Bruins are] an ‘Original Six’ [NHL] team in a spectacular hockey market and one of the world’s greatest cities.” He succeeds Dave Goucher, who left last summer to become the television play-by-play voice for the Vegas Golden Knights, and joins analyst Bob Beers. An interesting note about Bruins’ radio play-by-play announcers: The only ones serving in that capacity going back to 1924 are Frank Ryan (28 years); Bob Wilson (25.5 years); Goucher (16 years); Fred Cusick (13 years); Bob Neumeier (five years); Bill Harrington (three years); Jim Laing (one year); and Dale Arnold (one-half year).

Cumulus DC Combo Arranges Blood Drive for Vegas Shooting Victims. Coordinated by Cumulus Media Washington D.C. news/talk and hot AC cluster-mates WMAL “Where Washington Comes to Talk” and WRQX “Mix 107.3,” the “Vegas Victims’ Blood Drive” will be held this Wednesday (10/11) from 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner in suburban Washington D.C. (McLean, Virginia). WMAL program director Bill Hess states, “The injured – including some from our area – face a lengthy recovery. This is one thing we can come together and do to help in our own individual way. We invite our friends and listeners to roll up their sleeves and join us in this effort.” WRQX program director Rob Roberts notes, “Distance doesn’t lessen the impact of what happened in Las Vegas. This is our chance to help someone and it costs nothing but a little time. We’re proud to do our part.” On a side note, “Mix” assistant program director/music director/mid-day talent Ashley Nickels is a Las Vegas native. Excluding the shooter, 58 people were killed last Sunday night (10/1) in Las Vegas. The dead included 36 women and 22 men; the oldest was 67, the youngest 20. Six of the dead were from Nevada, 35 from California, 13 from other states, and 4 from Canada. An additional 489 people were injured. The attack became the deadliest mass shooting committed by an individual in the United States, having surpassed the death toll of the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, where 50 died, including the gunman.

Broadcast Station Mergers, Acquisitions Hit $4.47 billion in Q2. The top radio deal was the $82.8 million sale of Emmis Communications’ Los Angeles rhythmic CHR KPWR “Power 106” to Meruelo Media. According to estimates from Kagan, a media research group within S&P Global Market Intelligence, the transaction was the largest single radio station sale since 2012 and represents nearly 34% of the quarter’s $245 million radio deal total. The second-largest radio transaction was the radio portion of Sinclair’s acquisition of Tribune Media with an estimated value of $58.4 million for news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago and the programming of one additional FM station. That was followed by Educational Media Foundation‘s purchase of three FMs from Entercom for $57.5 million – classic rock KSWD “100.3 The Sound,” Los Angeles; KSOQ-FM, which simulcasts KSON-FM “New Country,” San Diego; and WGGI, which simulcasts WGGY “Today’s Best Country – Froggy,” Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Next was the sale of four Alpha Media AM stations, 14 FM outlets, and two FM translators to Dick Broadcasting Company for $19.5 million. Saga Communications sold its six-remaining owned-and-operated television stations and three LMAs to Morgan Murphy Media for $66.6 million, while at the same time, expanded its radio business with the third-largest radio deal of the quarter, paying $23 million to Apex Media for seven FM stations, one AM, and four translators.

Levy Exits KJR-AM. Related to his August 26 arrest for soliciting a prostitute, KJR-AM morning show host Mitch Levy departs the iHeartMedia Seattle sports talk outlet after a 23-year tenure there. According to a report in The Seattle Times, Levy entered which is known as an “Alford plea,” an acknowledgment of enough evidence for conviction without a formal guilty plea. He was sentenced to two years of probation plus a deferred sentence that will be dismissed if he completes probation without being charged with another crime. Levy was one of 110 men arrested in an undercover operation called “Operation on Demand.” The 50-year-old Levy reportedly placed $160 in cash on a bedside table in anticipation of a half-hour of sex. On Twitter, he wrote, “As most of you realize by now, my 23-year tenure at KJR is over. I am fully aware that I have disappointed so many from the loved ones closest to me to all of you who have given me the opportunity to entertain you on weekday mornings. I’m deeply sorry. I’d like to thank KJR and iHeartMedia for the golden opportunity that was never taken for granted. Now, I must continue tending to me, my emotional demons and my family. Some day I hope you’ll allow me the opportunity to earn back your trust and respect.”

CPR’s Wycisk Sets Retirement Plans. It won’t become effective for another eight months, but 40-year Colorado Public Radio (CPR) president Max Wycisk is announcing he will retire on June 30 (2018). Board chair Dean Salter remarks, “On behalf of the CPR board of directors, we thank Max for his service and for the many notable accomplishments achieved during his tenure. Max is recognized as a pioneer in public broadcasting and his vision set CPR on the path to its current success. He leaves one of the strongest public radio organizations in the country with a sound financial base, a talented and committed staff, and loyal listeners. We look forward to an orderly transition to ensure the continued success of CPR.” According to Wycisk, “While the world has undoubtedly changed over the past 40 years, CPR’s mission has remained steadfast and our importance has grown. The organization is stronger than it has ever been – a testament to our dedicated staff, the donors who support us, and the hundreds of thousands of people who rely on us each and every day. It has been an honor to lead the development of a vital community resource that’s uniquely positioned to have an even greater future ahead.” Prior to becoming CPR’s president, Wycisk was a program director and an on-air announcer there. Among other things, he is responsible for transforming CPR from a single-signal station to a statewide network, which includes CPR News, CPR Classical, and CPR’s triple A Open Air, which are broadcast on 34 statewide signals and online.

WGN Slots Chicago Inno Tech Briefs. Starting today (10/9), Tribune Chicago news/talk WGN-AM adds “The Inno Minute,” a 60-second breakdown of Chicago’s top tech news. Airing weekdays in the 5:00 am hour on “The Opening Bell with Steve Grzanich,” the segment is a snapshot of topics covered at ChicagoInno.com. WGN-AM vice president of programming & content Todd Manley notes, “The stories that the team at Chicago Inno chases and shares are so powerful we wanted them on WGN every day.” Reporter Katherine Davis and Chicago Inno associate editor Jim Dallke will serve as producers. “Chicago Inno is incredibly excited to be working with WGN radio on ‘The Inno Minute,’” Dallke comments. “Chicago’s entrepreneurship scene is thriving, and we are thrilled to be able to work with WGN to inform Chicagoans on the innovation that is driving the city forward.” Elsewhere on the station, former Chicago Bears head coach Mike Ditka will appear for football commentary each Monday in morning drive with Steve Cochran and every Friday with afternoon driver Roe Conn. Ditka formerly had a similar radio arrangement in the market on WMVP “ESPN 1000.”

Salem Talk Hosts Headed Back to the White House. Approximately two and a half months ago (7/25), Salem Radio Network talk hosts Mike Gallagher and Hugh Hewitt conducted day-long broadcasts from the White House. The two will return to the Nation’s Capital next Tuesday (10/17) for live “Tax Reform Day” broadcasts from the White House. Hewitt (right) and Salem Radio Network vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup are planning for invited guests including treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin and commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, as well as other senior White House and administration staff.

Cavaliers, Monsters, iHM Cleveland Sign Multi-Year Extensions. As part of the new pact, all 82 regular-season contests, as well as five preseason and all playoff games of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers will air on iHeartMedia Cleveland news/talk WTAM and co-owned rocker WMMS. In addition to these two flagships, the Cavs are on a 30-station radio network. John Michael returns for his seventh season as the franchise’s play-by-play announcer, while Jim Chones is back for his eighth year as analyst. The Cavs have reached an extended agreement with Murray Hill Broadcasting to continue broadcasting all of its games in Spanish. Meanwhile, for the second consecutive year, all 76 regular-season games of the AHL Cleveland Monsters will be broadcast on iHeartMedia Cleveland alternative WMMS-HD2. Tony Brown returns for his third season as the radio and television play-by-play voice of the Monsters. Brown spent two years in the NAHL as the voice of the Odessa Jackalopes; one season in the USHL with the Omaha Lancers; became the radio voice of the Indy Fuel in the ECHL; and then came to the Monsters in their Calder Cup-winning season of 2015-2016.

Osgood As It Gets. The longtime host of Westwood One’s “The Osgood File” – Charles Osgood – was presented with the “Lifetime Achievement Award” last night (Sunday, 10/8) from the News and Documentary Emmys. Celebrating with Osgood (in the center with his trademark bowtie) backstage were his family and colleagues, including Westwood One executive vice president of news and talk Bart Tessler, and senior vice president of Affiliate Sales Dennis Green.

 

TALKERS News Notes. Fill-in host Rob Carson – who will be on iHeartMedia Phoenix news/talk KFYI and CBS Radio Las Vegas’ similarly-formatted KNXT next week – recently joined the conservative-leaning LibertyOne TV/video podcasting network and he explains, “My experience as an audio/video podcaster and live Facebook/YouTube podcaster is propelling my career forward in many ways. I hope to consult talk hosts about the new digital platforms. I’ve only been on for two weeks and my LibertyOneTV.com show attracted 18,000 viewers last Friday [10/6]. After two months, my daily podcast on PodcastRadioNetwork.com is their second-biggest podcast. This journey beyond terrestrial radio is incredible.” ….. The appointment of Karen Wishart as an Urban One executive vice president becomes official on January 1, 2018, when she replaces Linda Vilardo as chief administrative officer. In the meantime, those two will work together to transition Vilardo’s duties. According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Wishart will be paid a base salary of $425,000 with an opportunity to make up to $150,000 in bonuses ….. The official charity of iHeartMedia Des Moines news/talk WHO afternoon drive talent Simon Conway is The Puppy Jake Foundation, which acquires, raises, and trains service dogs for physically and mentally wounded veterans. Last Friday (10/6), the fourth annual, two-hour free sandwich giveaway to benefit The Puppy Jake Foundation raised more than $28,500. The event brought in $4,000 in year one; $6,000 the second year; and $23,000 last year. Conway remarks, “People drove long distances and handed over huge sums of money. My show’s sponsors stepped up too, one of them called in and doubled his initial $1,000 donation.” Over 200 pounds of meat, buns, and sauce were all donated. So far, 22 service dogs have been provided to veterans; five more dogs will graduate the program in March ….. As of next Monday (10/16), Genesee Media Brockport-Rochester, New York sports talk WRSB “97.5 The Team” will transition to Spanish variety as “Mi 97.5.”

 

 

Delilah Taking Leave of Absence Following Her Son’s Suicide. On Saturday (10/7), the 7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight host posted on Facebook about the suicide, which occurred early Tuesday morning (October 3). “I will be absent from the radio and on social media for a time as I grieve and try to process this loss with my family,” Delilah (Rene) wrote as she grieves the loss of her teenage son Zachariah, who battled a long bout against depression. In what reportedly will be the only statement at this time by the Premiere Networks’ personality, Delilah states, “My dear friends, I need to share some devastating news with you. My son, Zachariah, took his life. He was being treated, counseled, and embraced fiercely by family and friends while battling depression. My heart is broken beyond repair and I cannot fathom how to go on, but I have to believe he is at peace with the Lord and that God will get us through. We will be playing some of my favorite shows from the recent past. I’ll look forward to my return, as you all lift me up so very much. Please pray for my beloved Zacky, and I will pray for all suffering from this debilitating disease called depression.” In a Facebook post earlier this year, Delilah revealed that Zack was autistic. The mother of 13 children, including ten she adopted, Delilah previously lost a son, Sammy, who died in 2012 from complications of sickle-cell anemia. According to The New York Daily News, Sammy’s death came two years after he was adopted from a Ghanaian refugee camp in West Africa. Delilah’s nightly show is heard on 180 (mainly adult contemporary) stations and on the American Forces Network. She was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Broadcasting Hall of Fame in April, following her November 2016 induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame. Delilah has updated her Facebook home page to include the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255), which offers free, 24-hour emotional support for people in distress, as well as resources that provide aid.

iHeartMedia Philadelphia Taking Bids to Beat Breast Cancer. The cluster is doing so in its annual “Bid for Breast Cancer” fundraiser to benefit the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). It begins today (10/9) and will include an auction through next Monday (10/16). According to iHeartMedia Philadelphia vice president of programming Brian Check, “We have again pulled together all the resources of our six stations to collect one-of-a-kind autographed items to benefit a cause that affects many women in our community. AACR is known for bringing together the greatest minds in cancer research and helping patients worldwide, as well as right here in the Philadelphia area.” AACR Foundation executive director Mitch Stoller explains that this year, “More than 300,000 women will hear the words, ‘You have breast cancer.’ The AACR’s mission is to prevent and cure all cancers, including breast cancer which is the second-most common cause of cancer-related death among women in the United States. We are grateful to iHeartMedia Philadelphia and the community for their support in this ‘Bid for Breast Cancer.’ Proceeds will enable the AACR to fund groundbreaking cancer research that will lead to more cancer discoveries, saving more lives.” Auction items include an Ed Sheeran-autographed guitar; a guitar autographed by Brad Paisley; a Green Day-autographed guitar; jacket autographed by Bruno Mars; Rolling Stone Magazine autographed by Harry Styles; and a Red Hot Chili Peppers-autographed guitar. In a similar “Bid for Breast Cancer” event last year, iHeartMedia Philadelphia raised over $15,000.

Chicago’s “B-96” Reveals “Jingle Bash” Lineup. The 18th annual Pepsi “Jingle Bash” from CBS Radio Chicago CHR WBBM-FM “B-96” is roughly two months away (12/7) and will be headlined by Taylor Swift, along with Backstreet Boys, Fifth Harmony, Khalid, Logic, and Sabrina Carpenter. Vice president of programming for CBS Radio Chicago/WBBM-FM program director Todd Cavanah states that the “B-96” “Jingle Bash” has been a “must-see holiday event in Chicago for almost two decades. This year, we are thrilled to have the world’s biggest superstar – Taylor Swift – as our headliner. In the holiday season, the ‘Jingle Bash’ is a wonderful way for our community to come together and celebrate an exceptional night of pop music.” Breaking the news on-air was “B-96” afternoon air talent “Tyler.” The station’s December 7 “Jingle Bash” will be held in Rosemont (Illinois) at the Allstate Arena. In other station concert news, Emmis New York rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” will present “Hot for the Holidays” on December 14 at the Prudential Center. Scheduled to appear are Chris Brown, 21 Savage, Meek Mill, Cardi B, and Dave East & Tee Grizzley. Meanwhile, CBS Radio San Francisco CHR KMVQ “99.7 Now” will have Taylor Swift headline its December 2 “Poptopia” concert at San Jose’s Sap Center. Slated to perform as well are Ed Sheeran, The Chainsmokers, Fifth Harmony, Niall Horan, Khalid, Logic, and Dua Lipa.

WDVE Radio-thon Raises $814,000. Easily surpassing last year’s total of $605,000, iHeartMedia Pittsburgh’s WDVE “102.5 Rocks” raised just over $814,000 during the tenth annual “DVE Rocks for Children’s Radio-thon.” The beneficiary is Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation, which is the fundraising arm of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. WDVE morning show personalities Randy Baumann, Bill Crawford, Val Porter, and Mike Prisuta, as well as Michele Michaels and Sean McDowell, shared stories from patients, families, and staff from Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh during the two-day radio-thon. Market president for iHeartMedia Pittsburgh – West Virginia Tim McAleer comments, “The ‘DVE Rocks for Children’s Radio-thon’ continues to exceed our expectations. WDVE has terrific listeners who rally for the kids. I am in awe of the dedication and efforts of our on-air talents to raise funds for the children in our Pittsburgh community.” Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation president Greg Barrett adds, “It is truly unbelievable to witness the generosity of WDVE, their loyal listeners, the corporate sponsors and partners, and this amazing Pittsburgh community who have supported the radio-thon over the past ten years. Without this remarkable support each and every year, providing this level of expert, compassionate care to our patients and their families simply would not be possible.” Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, comedian Billy Gardell (“Mike & Molly”), and WWE chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon made donations by phone. The “DVE Rocks for Children’s Radio-thon” has raised nearly $5 million to benefit Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, leading provider of pediatric care in the Pittsburgh community.

Duran Supports Third Annual “Carney Awards.” A joint production between The Elvis Duran Group and Radcliffe Road Pictures, the third annual “Carney Awards” will be held in approximately three weeks (10/29) at Santa Monica’s Broad Stage. Named in honor of the Oscar and six-time Emmy winning actor Art Carney, the Carney Awards were created by Elvis Duran Group CEO David Katz, his brother – Emmy-winning producer Jim Katz, and Carney’s son – actor voice-over artist, Brian Carney. Duran is morning personality on iHeartMedia New York CHR WHTZ “Z-100” and syndicated by Premiere Networks. “I never understood why the hardest-working actors in Hollywood were almost always excluded from receiving awards and recognition for the great work that they do,” Duran comments. “We created the Carney Awards to rectify that injustice. Character actors are the backbone of almost every movie and television show ever made. It’s time for them to get the recognition they so deserve. I don’t want people pointing anymore saying ‘Hey, it’s that guy.’” David Katz notes, “Elvis is the first to admit that his co-hosts are the backbone of his radio show. Our desire to celebrate those in supporting roles has picked up great momentum and has caught the attention of Hollywood, which is always good for radio.” This year’s honorees are Xander Berkeley, William Fichtner, Richard Kind, William H. Macy, and Wendie Malick. Past honorees include Bob Balaban, Steve Buscemi, Gary Cole, Conchata Ferrell, Dan Hedaya, and David Paymer. Tom Bergeron of ABC-TV’s “Dancing with the Stars” will host the awards program. Tickets are complimentary to radio industry members.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. The guest emcee at the 73rd annual Congressional Correspondents Dinner in just over two weeks (10/25) at the National Building Museum will be Bobby Bones, whose eponymous weekday morning show originating from iHeartMedia Nashville’s country WSIX-FM is heard on more than 100 affiliates. In addition to his Monday through Friday Premiere Networks’ syndicated morning program, Bones hosts a weekend “Country Top 30” countdown and authored “Bare Bones: I’m Not Lonely If You’re Reading This Book.” The event’s headline entertainer will be “Daily Show with Trevor Noah” correspondent Roy Wood, Jr.; house speaker Paul Ryan will deliver keynote remarks ….. General sales manager of iHeartMedia Pittsburgh classic rock WDVE and country WPGB “Big 104.7” Bobbie Loesch is promoted to regional senior vice president of sales for the Pittsburgh-West Virginia region. The company’s region president Tim McAleer remarks, “Bobbie’s extensive experience in our region makes her the perfect fit to oversee sales for our robust media and entertainment assets. We are lucky to have her; she is an expert at multiplatform sales and consistently helps our partners reach their goals.” Loesch – who begins her new duties next Monday (10/16) – adds, “I have worked with the iHeartMedia Pittsburgh team for over a decade, so I am excited to lead such a talented group. It is great that we are such a tight-knit team and that we are all passionate about helping our partners succeed.” ….. Starting next Monday (10/16), Cameron Moore takes over 10:00 am – 3:00 pm duties on Beasley Media Group Charlotte CHR WNKS “Kiss 95.1.” Operations manager/program director John Reynolds comments, “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Cameron to Beasley’s Charlotte team. [Her] expanded experience in every aspect of radio programming will help ‘Kiss’ continue the solid growth we have been having all year. Cameron is a great example of our goal to mentor and groom excellent talent within our company.” Moore adds, “It is an honor to be part of the ‘Kiss’ team. I look forward to playing all of the hottest hit music and getting out on the streets to meet all of [our] loyal listeners.” Winston-Salem native Moore most recently worked at Midwest Family Broadcasting’s Springfield, Missouri cluster ….. The yearly signature event for CBS Radio Chicago triple A WXRT “93-XRT” is its Goose Island Holiday Jam. The ninth such event will feature performances by Spoon with special guest Real Estate and takes place in two months (12/10) at the Chicago Theatre. WXRT program director and operations manager Greg Solk explains, “The WXRT Goose Island Holiday Jam was created to showcase some of the most dynamic talents around, and to offer a memorable annual holiday event for Chicago music fans. This year’s fabulous double bill of Spoon and Real Estate will certainly accomplish that goal.” ….. As of today (10/9), 2016 Texas Radio Hall of Fame inductee Gary Lee Love joins John Walton classic country KXXF “105.3 Free,” Beaumont (Texas) for afternoon drive duties. Station owner John Walton states, “It is quite a coup for [us] to acquire a partnership with the Gary Lee Love Show. Gary is a bigger-than-life personality who is a household name in Southeast Texas and a great entertainer. Love most recently did a similar shift on cross-town Cumulus Media-owned KAYD “Nash-FM.”

Hundreds Attend “The House FM” and “My Praise FM” Kid DJ Day. The sixth annual “Kid DJ Day” was held over a week ago (9/30) at the 89.7 “The House FM Where Christian Hits Live” and 88.7 “My Praise FM” studios. More than 550 Kid DJs and 888 total family members attended the free event. “The House FM” and “My Praise FM” founder and chief executive officer Doyle Brewer remarks, “We had such a great day hosting 888 guests. The families were making such great memories with the petting zoo and so many other activities. Our ministry has always been focused on supporting families on the air with our programming and any other way we can.” Kids were invited to be DJs for a day, receiving a tour of the radio station and having a turn on-air. They were asked to discuss a variety of different topics, prompted by the DJ; parents received an email recording of their child’s on-air time. Listener-supported Christian radio network “The House FM” broadcasts from Oklahoma City to Wichita; sister network “My Praise FM” broadcasts in northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas.

Austin’s September 2017 Report to be Re-Released. Owing to audience estimates being inadvertently omitted for Austin subscribing HD-multicast KKMJ-HD3, Nielsen Audio will issue a revised September 2017 PPM ratings report for that Texas market this Wednesday (10/11) at 12:00 noon. Reporting for Entercom urban AC KKMJ-HD3 apparently had not been entered into one of Nielsen Audio’s internal systems. Audience estimates for other Austin stations will reportedly not be affected. Prior to August’s +.1 to 1.6 (#19, 6+), KKMJ-HD3 hadn’t had an increase in five consecutive sweeps for a net loss of nine-tenths (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+) but disappeared from print in the September sweep that was released last week.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

| September 28, 2017

FCC Chairman Pai Asks Apple to Activate FM Chips.  In a statement issued today (9/28), Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is asking Apple – the lone major smartphone manufacturer holdout – to agree to activate the FM chips installed in phones.  Pai says, “When wireless networks go down during a natural disaster, smartphones with activated FM chips can allow Americans to get vital access to life-saving information.  I applaud those companies that have done the right thing by activating the FM chips in their phones.  Apple is the one major phone manufacturer that has resisted doing so.  But I hope the company will reconsider its position, given the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.  That’s why I am asking Apple to activate the FM chips that are in its iPhones.  It is time for Apple to step up to the plate and put the safety of the American people first.”  There has been no public response to Pai’s statement by Apple.

Price Tag for Entercom-EMF Deal: $57.75 Million. We know the price for the three Entercom radio stations sold to Educational Media Foundation after Entercom filed with the FCC.  These three stations are the first of the divestitures required to facilitate the merger of Entercom and CBS RADIO.  Educational Media Foundation is paying Entercom $57.75 million for KSWD, Los Angeles; KSOQ, Escondido (San Diego market), and WGGI, Benton, PA (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton market).

WSB, Atlanta’s Condace Pressley Receives Local Honor.  The Atlanta Business League has just announced its 2017 list of “Atlanta’s Top 100 Black Women of Influence” and WSB Radio manager of program operations and community affairs Condace Pressley is honored as a