Tag: "98.5 The Sports Hub"

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

| July 24, 2019

PPM Analysis: Sports TalkTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s June 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk.  With baseball season in full swing and the NFL season still two months away, 57% of sports talk stations in PPM markets saw their weekly AQH share decrease from the May to June surveys.  Year-over-year, half of the sports talk stations in PPM markets are up and half are down.  Gainers include Beasley Media’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” (+1.3), Entercom’s WFAN (+1.3) in the Long Island market, and Union Broadcasting’s WHB, Kansas City (+1.0).   WFAN is the only sports talk station to rank #1 in a market – in this case, the Long Island market – but three other stations ranked #4 in their respective markets in June.  They were: Entercom’s WIP, Philadelphia; Beasley’s WBZ-FM, Boston; and Entercom’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Limbaugh’s ‘Stand Up for Betsy Ross!’ Shirt Raises $2 Million-Plus for Charity. A few weeks ago, TALKERS magazine reported that Premiere Networks nationally syndicated radio star Rush Limbaugh had launched a campaign to sell t-shirts with the message, “Stand Up for Betsy Ross!” in response to Nike’s decision to pull the flag-themed sneakers from its line after a complaint from former NFL star Colin Kaepernick.  Now, Limbaugh’s team reports that they have raised more than $2 million from the sale of the t-shirts to benefit the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. The charity was named after the New York City firefighter who lost his life on 9/11.  The money raised has paid off the mortgages on the family homes of six slain American heroes.  Tunnel to Towers CEO and chairman Frank Siller says, “Thanks to the generosity of Rush and Kathryn, and the listeners of ‘The Rush Limbaugh Show,’ six families who have lost their husbands and fathers, killed while they were protecting us at home and abroad, can rest a little easier knowing they own their homes free and clear.”  Beneficiaries of the donations are: Kissimmee, Florida, police officer Matt Baxter, killed in the line of duty on August 18, 2017, while responding to a call on patrol. He left behind his wife and fellow police officer, Sadia, and their three daughters; Appleton, Wisconsin, firefighter Mitchell Lundgaard, killed in the line of duty on May 15, 2019, shot by the person whose life he was trying to save. He left behind his wife, Lindsey, and three young sons; Auburn, Alabama police officer William Buechner, killed in the line of duty on May 19, 2019, after responding to a domestic disturbance call. He left behind his wife, Sara, and their two children; Kirkersville, Ohio, police chief Steven DiSario, killed in the line of duty on May 12, 2017, while responding to reports of an armed subject. He left behind his wife, Aryn, who was expecting their seventh child at the time of his death, and their six children; Arizona deputy U.S. marshal Chase White, killed in the line of duty on November 29, 2018, while serving a fugitive warrant. He left behind his wife, Sue Ellen and their four children; and U.S. Army chief warrant officer Jonathan Farmer, who was among four Americans killed in a suicide bombing on January 16, 2019, in Manbij, Syria. He left behind his wife, Tabitha, and their four children.  Information on the charity and to donate, visit: Tunnel2Towers.org.

Skyview Networks and Amplifi Media Partner to Provide Custom Audio Solutions. This new, strategic partnership between Skyview Networks and Amplifi Media will help “drive the development of custom audio solutions for brands seeking to reach consumers across all audio platforms and devices.”   The two firms say this new service “will be a strategic resource for agencies and clients looking to curate branded audio content through digital devices, allowing them to extend the conversation with millions of consumers.”  Amplifi Media CEO Steve Goldstein says, “What we know for sure in our work with radio, podcast, and smart speakers is that one-size-fits-all solutions rarely work. We are excited to be teamed with Skyview Networks to innovate, develop, and maximize audio content solutions for each platform.”  Skyview president and COO Steve Jones adds, “Branded podcasts are a rapidly emerging segment of podcast revenue, having grown more than 6X to $67 million from 2018-19, and are forecast to increase to $100 million by 2021.  Working with Amplifi Media, we’ll be better positioned to meet the developing needs of consumer brands that are seeking a voice strategy.”  Skyview says that under the new arrangement, chief marketing officers seeking to differentiate their brands with custom audio content will have access to its network of 5,000 radio stations to create awareness of their branded podcast and/or smart speaker initiatives.

Buck Sexton Interviews Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Pictured above is Premiere Networks personality Buck Sexton (left) speaking with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Mexico City during Pompeo’s Latin America tour aimed at strengthening U.S. partnerships.  Sexton traveled with Pompeo on Air Force One as he visited Buenos Aires, Argentina; Guayaquil, Ecuador; Mexico City; and San Salvador, El Salvador.  Sexton broadcast the interview on last night’s program in which the two discussed the migrant crisis, the Iran standoff, China and North Korea negotiations, and the Venezuelan leadership fight.  You can hear it here.

Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Videos Continue Posting Today with the Panel Discussion, “Talk Media: The Big Picture.”  TALKERS is continuing to post key speeches, presentations and sessions from the recent 22nd annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story.  Today’s (7/24) post: the Panel Discussion, “Talk Media: The Big Picture” featuring panelists (in alphabetical order) Justin Chase, EVP of programming, Beasley Media Group; Lee Harris, morning anchor, WINS, New York; Wayne Allyn Root, host, USA Network/Newsmax TV; and Walter R. Sterling, host, Westwood One.  The panel was moderated by Harry Hurley, host WPG, Atlantic City and introduced by Alex Fife, VP of regional operations, Total Traffic & Weather Network – Southeast.   Posted yesterday (7/23): the panel discussion, “Overcoming Distrust of the Media” featuring panelists (in alphabetical order) Thom Hartmann, host, WYD MediaJoe “Pags” Pagliarulo, host, the Joe Pags Show; Doug Stephan, CEO/host, Stephan Multimedia; and Rick Ungar, host, the Rick Ungar Program/editor-in-chief, TheDalyCentrist.com.  The session was moderated by Jim Bohannon, host, Westwood One.   Posted prior to that (7/22): the presentation of the TALKERS Freedom of Speech award to Brian Kilmeade of Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel.  Posted Friday (7/19): the discussion “Attracting Younger Demos to Talk Radio” featuring panelists (in alphabetical order) Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY (Rock 102), Springfield, MA; Greg Foster, VP/programming and national news/talk brand coordinator, iHeart Media/PD, KOA, Denver; John T. Mullen, operations manager, WRHU, Hofstra UniversitySid Rosenberg, morning co-host, WABC, New York; and Rich Zeoli, host, WPHT, Philadelphia. The session was moderated by Kevin Casey, VP/executive editor, TALKERS.   Also already posted: discussion “Talk Radio in the Era of Watch What You Say” featuring panelists (in alphabetical order) Michael Berry, host, Michael Berry Show; Grace Blazer, national brand coordinator of news/talk/sports programming and director of AM programming Miami/Fort Lauderdale, iHeart Media;  Karen Hunter, host SiriusXM Satellite RadioBrett Winterble, host KFMB, San Diego; Larry Young, host, WOLB, Baltimore; and Dan Yorke, host WPRO, Providence.  Also already posted: WPG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley saluting the Broadcasters Foundation of America and Vince Benedetto, CEO of Bold Gold Media Group receiving the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Talk Radio Broadcaster (“Humanitarian of the Year”); a special luncheon address by former Trump Administration advisor Sebastian Gorka, now a personality syndicated by Salem Radio Network; panel discussion “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” featuring Howie Carr, host of the Howie Carr Show (Howie Carr Radio Network and Newsmax TV), Jared Hart, former PD, WPHT, Philadelphia, and  Art Vuolo, president, Vuolo Video.  The session was introduced and facilitated by Scott Lakefield, APD, WOR, New York.   Also posted: special keynote address delivered by CBS Sports Radio syndicated host Jim Rome with an introduction from Yappy Days author/college professor Bernadette Duncan; the panel discussion, “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2019” featuring (in alphabetical order) Asa Andrew, host, AsaRx;  Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media Group;  Suzanne Grimes, EVP/marketing, Cumulus Media and president, Westwood One; and Dave Robinett, chief marketing officer, #250-America’s Mobile Speed Dial – moderated by Erica Farber, president and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and introduced by renown independent station owner Michael Zwerling of KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz, CA; the special keynote address by Key Networks syndicated personality Bill O’Reilly; the one-on-one discussion, “Sports Talk Radio’s Role in Popular Culture” featuring a conversation between Mark Chernoff, senior VP/programming WFAN/Entercom, NY and captain/sports format, CBS Sports Radio and Mike Thomas, PD, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Boston and brand manager/spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley Broadcasting with  Kate Delaney, host, GCN and correspondent NBC Sports Radio, serving as facilitator; the panel discussion, “Broadcasting and Podcasting,” featuring (in alphabetical order) Greg Batusic, chief operating officer, PodcastOneSteven Goldstein, founder/CEO Amplifi MediaMichael Czarnecki, program director, WONK-FM, Washington, DC and iHeartRadio Podcast Channel; and Craig Schwalb, former program director WABC, New York and WPRO, Providence with moderation by Mike Kinosian, managing editor/West Coast bureau chief, TALKERS; the keynote “fireside chat” in which TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison interviews Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity in a casual one-on-one conversation introduced by DC Radio Company executive director Victoria Jones; the opening address titled, “Telling the Story,” delivered by Lee Habeeb, host and producer of the successful syndicated program, “Our American Stories;” RAB president/CEO Erica Farber receiving the Woman of the Year award and SiriusXM Satellite Radio star “Cousin” Bruce Morrow receiving the Lifetime Achievement award. The convention took place in New York City on Friday, June 7 and was one of the most positively received in the event’s colorful history.  TALKERS plans to add one or two videos per day to those posted until all the major events of the conference are posted here at Talkers.com where they will remain on view for the rest of the year.  To see the videos and convention video page, please click here.

Mueller Testimony, 2020 Presidential Race, House Israel Boycott Vote, the Squad vs Trump, Puerto Rico Protests, Johnson Assumes British PM Role, Trump Sues NY AG, Russia-South Korean Skirmish, and Big Tech Anti-Trust Review Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/23).  Today’s testimony before the House judiciary and intelligence committees by special counsel Robert Mueller; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the House votes against Israel boycott measure; House Democrats Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and Ayanna Pressley and their battles vs President Trump; the ongoing protests in Puerto Rico over Governor Ricardo Rossello’s leaked chat messages; Boris Johnson wins the race for Prime Minister of Great Britain; President Trump sues New York’s attorney general to block access to his state tax returns; a Russian bomber crosses into South Korean airspace; and the U.S. Justice Department begins an anti-trust review of the big tech sector were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WLS-AM afternoon drive news anchor and fill-in host Lauren Cohn makes an appearance in the premiere of the Comedy Central television program “South Side” tonight at 10:30 ET.  The program is shot on location in Englewood on Chicago’s South Side.  Cohn’s appearance shows her as a TV news anchor on the set of “In The Loop,” a show she hosted on WYCC-TV.  Feder reports she’ll appear in about four or five episodes of the program…..Krantz Media Group Networks partners with bourbon expert Fred Minnick to create an array of audio programming.  Minnick is a best-selling author, editor-in-chief of Bourbon+ Magazine, a personality on the Spirits Network, and the curator for the annual “Bourbon & Beyond” music festival held in Louisville.  He says, “I couldn’t be more honored and thrilled to work with such a dynamic radio executive [KMG CEO Gary Krantz] and company like KMG to build an audio platform.  This partnership will help accomplish my goal of having a hand in every media for spirits.”…..The MLB’s Milwaukee Brewers and WTMJ-AM have signed an extension for the station to continue as the team’s radio play-by-play flagship. The station has been the team’s radio home for all but two years of its 49-year history in Milwaukee.  This is the first Brewers contract inked by WTMJ’s new owner, Good Karma Brands, which acquired the station from Scripps Media earlier this year…..At this fall’s NAB/RAB Radio Show in Dallas (9/24-26), leaders from the podcast industry will participate in the panel discussion “The Podcast Revolution,” on for Wednesday, September 25.   Panelists will include Carter Brokaw, president of iHeartMedia’s digital revenue strategy; Neal Carruth, National Public Radio’s general manager of podcasts; and Oren Rosenbaum, emerging platforms and podcasting agent at United Talent Agency, discussing podcasting trends and strategies with moderator Conal Byrne, president of the iHeartPodcast Network.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber says, “The business of podcasting is still so nascent with broadcasters experimenting and producing podcast networks that are leading the way.  This session will help any size broadcaster, audio specialist, and advertiser understand what’s working and what you can do to produce quality and revenue-generating podcast content in your local market.”…..Entercom’s Charlotte operations strikes a partnership extension with the NFL’s Carolina Panthers for news/talk WBT-AM/FM to continue serving as the team’s flagship for play-by-play broadcasts.  As part of the deal, sister sports talk WFNZ-AM will provide promotional support…..The “2019 SiriusXM NFL Radio Training Camp Tour” begins tomorrow (7/25) featuring live shows from all 32 NFL teams’ training camps.  The series will present one-on-one interviews with players, coaches and franchise executives, expert breakdowns of every roster and reports on rookies and veterans.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Emily West is named midday personality for Entercom’s hot AC WNEW-FM, New York.  West has been with Entercom since 2017 when she became a fill-in on-air personality on the “Scott Shannon in the Morning with Patty Steele” show on sister classic hits WCBS-FM and as a traffic reporter for sister all-news WCBS-AM.  She also currently serves as a fill-in traffic reporter for WNBC-TV, New York.  Entercom New York regional president and market manager Susan Larkin says, “Emily has held various roles and done an exceptional job for our collection of New York stations.  We’re thrilled to have her on board at WNEW hosting her own show, featuring shorter commercial breaks to better spotlight our advertisers and offering an improved listening experience for our audience.”…..iHeartMedia alternative WRFF, Philadelphia “Radio 104.5” announces the third lineup for its 10th Annual Free Summer Block Parties.  The Sunday, August 18 event will feature live performances by The Head and the Heart, Meg Myers, White Reaper, and The Dirty Nil…..Envision Networks’ “Full Metal Jackie Radio” is now airing on Stephens Media Group’s rock KHHK-HD3/K295BT “The X 106.9” on Sunday evenings.  Station PD Sean Knight says, “Our listeners wanted a metal show and having been familiar with Full Metal Jackie from previous stations I’ve worked at, it was the obvious choice.  Jackie knows her metal and the guests she has on are great!”

Friday, July 12, 2019

| July 12, 2019

President Trump Vents About Social Media’s Treatment of Conservatives; Michael Harrison Speaks with Attendee Sebastian Gorka. Yesterday’s White House “Social Media Summit” (7/11) provided a platform for President Trump to complain to numerous invited conservative social media commentators (and a few considered to be “notorious”) that conservatives aren’t getting a fair shake on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google.  The president wondered aloud whether Twitter is exerting influence to suppress the popularity of his own Tweets.  He also told the gathering that he would be bringing representative of those social media firms to the White House to talk with them about the problem.  The only person in attendance that TALKERS magazine can confirm has a connection to talk radio was Salem Radio Network’s Sebastian Gorka, himself a former Trump advisor.  (He was involved in a verbal spat in the Rose Garden with Playboy writer Brian Karem.)  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison spoke with Gorka moments after the meeting wrapped and got his thoughts on the summit.  Hear that conversation here.

WEEI, Boston Lets Longtime Morning Host Gerry Callahan Go; WAAF’s Greg Hill to Take Over Morning Duties. Big changes in mornings in Boston as Entercom let’s longtime sports talk WEEI, Boston personality Gerry Callahan go and moves Greg Hill over from sister rock WAAF to handle the morning show, effective July 29.  Callahan had been hosting the show with Mike Mutnansky, who returns to hosting the evening show.  Hill will be joined by co-host Danielle Murr and a rotating group of additional contributors.  Hill says, “I am thrilled to embark on the next chapter in my career in Boston.  WEEI is a legendary Boston station and one of the country’s first sports stations.  I am excited to anchor mornings moving forward.  I also want to thank WAAF and all of the listeners and co-workers who have made the last 28 years so amazing.”  Callahan tweeted the news of his departure Friday afternoon, writing:  “Well, that was fun. After 20 years in morning drive, I did my last show on WEEI this morning.  Thanks to all who listened.  Unfortunately, this ain’t a movie. Sometimes the bad guys win. Much more to come.” Callahan was originally partnered with John Dennis, who exited the station in 2016.  But the WEEI morning show’s best ratings versus Beasley’s WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” came with Callahan partnered with Kirk Minihane. He left the morning show last fall. The Boston Globe reports that the 2019 Spring Book (April, May, June) numbers from Nielsen for Men 25-54 saw “Mut & Callahan” garner a 6.5 share, compared to WBZ-FM crosstown competitors “Toucher & Rich,” who tallied a 9.1 share.  No word yet from WEEI about its plans for morning drive.

Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Videos Continue Posting Today with Sports Talk Superstar Jim Rome’s Keynote Address.  TALKERS is continuing to post key speeches, presentations and sessions from the recent 22nd annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story.  Today’s (7/12) post presents the special keynote address delivered by CBS Sports Radio syndicated host Jim Rome with an introduction from Yappy Days author/college professor Bernadette Duncan.   Posted yesterday: panel discussion titled “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2019” featuring (in alphabetical order) Asa Andrew, host, AsaRx;  Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media Group;  Suzanne Grimes, EVP/marketing, Cumulus Media and president, Westwood One; and Dave Robinett, chief marketing officer, #250-America’s Mobile Speed Dial.  The panel is moderated by Erica Farber, president and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and introduced by renown independent station owner Michael Zwerling of KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz, CA.   Also already posted: special keynote address by Key Networks syndicated personality Bill O’ Reilly; one-on-one discussion, “Sports Talk Radio’s Role in Popular Culture” featuring a conversation between Mark Chernoff, senior VP/programming WFAN/Entercom, NY and captain/sports format, CBS Sports Radio and Mike Thomas, PD, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Boston and brand manager/spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley Broadcasting with  Kate Delaney, host, GCN and correspondent NBC Sports Radio, serving as facilitator; panel discussion, “Broadcasting and Podcasting,” featuring (in alphabetical order) Greg Batusic, chief operating officer, PodcastOneSteven Goldstein, founder/CEO Amplifi MediaMichael Czarnecki, program director, WONK-FM, Washington, DC and iHeartRadio Podcast Channel; and Craig Schwalb, former program director WABC, New York and WPRO, Providence with moderation by Mike Kinosian, managing editor/West Coast bureau chief, TALKERS; keynote “fireside chat” in which TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison interviews Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity in a casual one-on-one conversation introduced by DC Radio Company executive director Victoria Jones; opening address titled, “Telling the Story,” delivered by Lee Habeeb, host and producer of the successful syndicated program, “Our American Stories;” RAB president/CEO Erica Farber receiving the Woman of the Year award and SiriusXM Satellite Radio star “Cousin” Bruce Morrow receiving the Lifetime Achievement award. The convention took place in New York City on Friday, June 7 and was one of the most positively received in the event’s colorful history.  TALKERS plans to add one or two videos per day to those posted until all the major events of the conference are posted here at Talkers.com where they will remain on view for the rest of the year.  To see the videos and convention video page, please click here.

Soren Petro Promoted to Afternoon Drive at WHB-AM, Kansas City. Midday host Soren Petro is taking his “The Program” to the afternoon drive daypart at Union Broadcasting’s WHB-AM, Kansas City, effective Monday (7/15).  Petro moves to the slot vacated by Kevin Keitzman, who left the station in the aftermath of his controversial comments about Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid’s family. Producer/host Kurtis Seaboldt and technical producer Jed Marshall will be part of the new afternoon show.  Union Broadcasting president Chad Boeger says, “Soren is the consummate professional and is one of the best sports radio talk show hosts in the country.  We are thrilled to have Soren move to the afternoon time slot to what we think is the best lineup of local sports talk anywhere.” The station plans to announce a new midday show in the near future.

New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap” for Week of July 8-12 Now Posted.  The recently launched, one-hour weekend radio show, “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation,” analyzing the hot talk media topics of this past week (July 1-5) is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia‘s WONK-FM, Washington, DC.  It currently airs on WONK-FM in the key position of Friday at 6:00 pm as a dynamic programming punctuation mark of the week’s conversation and is also heard on several other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz; the Virginia Talk Radio Network; and Pioneer Valley Radio in Western Massachusetts.  Hosted by TALKERS magazine’s iconic publisher, this week’s installment (titled “Heavy Traffic!”) features a lineup of guests that includes TALKERS executive editor Kevin Casey; radio talk show hosts Sebastian Gorka of Salem Radio NetworkMartha Zoller of WDUN, Athens, GA and Kate Delaney of GCN and NBC Sports Radio; and investigative reporter Petr Svab of the Epoch Times. The non-partisan-but-hard-hitting program explores multiple opinions along the spectrum of contemporary American political and social thought.  For more information about the program, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  To listen to it in its entirety, please click here.

Public Voting for Radio Hall of Fame Begins Monday. Voting in two categories for induction into the Radio Hall of Fame in which the public participates – Spoken Word Format On Air Personality and Music Format On-Air Personality – begins Monday (7/15) and runs through July 28.  The nominees for Spoken Word Format On-Air Personality are: Joe Madison, Scott Slade, Stephanie Miller, and Suzyn Waldman.  The nominees for Music Format On-Air Personality are: Hollywood Hamilton, Lon Helton, The Mark and Brian Show, and Ryan Seacrest.  The winners will be inducted in November.  Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig Kitchin says, “Listener engagement is an important part of this process as they’re given an opportunity to directly support their favorite on-air personality.”  There are four categories also being voted on by a panel comprised of nearly 1,000 industry professionals.  See more here.

TALKERS News Notes. The appearance at two events in Chicago by former Trump advisor Roger Stone with WLS-AM, Chicago morning host Mancow Muller is getting some attention from Chicago media writer Robert Feder.  He notes that in addition to the “STONE FREE: Mancow & Roger Stone – Uncensored” event taking place on Sunday July 21 (tickets range from $100 to $500), there’s a pricier, separate event happening. Mancow is hosting an already-sold-out, $1,000 per plate fundraiser for Stone’s legal defense.  (He’s been indicted on charges of lying to congress and obstruction of justice.)  Mancow says his motivation in hosting the event isn’t political but about freedom of speech…..Forever Media’s Wilmington, Delaware news/talk WDEL-AM/FM is named Best Station for News, Best Station for Sports in Delaware Today Magazine’s Best of Delaware Upstate awards.  Also, midday talk show host Rick Jensen won the Best Talk Show Host honors…..New York Times and Conde Nast-published travel writer Daniel Scheffler teams with iHeartMedia to debut, “Everywhere,” an iHeartRadio Original travel podcast that will take listeners on an adventure across the globe. The 26-episode series’ mission is to support travelers in their quest to overcome fears and ditch preconceptions about travel…..Westwood One and Subnation announce a new, original podcast called, “The Voice of Esports,” hosted by gaming legend Paul “ReDeYe” Chaloner. WWO says “The Voice of Esports” will “highlight the pioneers of one of today’s hottest lifestyle categories as famous esports industry expert and gameplay commentator ReDeYe entices legends of esports to lift the lid on what’s gone before and what’s to come.”…..SiriusXM and Netflix announce the first original program to broadcast exclusively on the newly launched Netflix Is A Joke Radio channel.  Popular comedians Tom Papa and Fortune Feimster are co-hosting, “What A Joke with Papa and Fortune,” weekdays from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm ET…..Cumulus Media’s sports talk KESN-FM “ESPN Radio Dallas” is “the new official radio broadcast home of the NFL in Dallas-Fort Worth” with the addition of the “Prime Time NFL Package” from Westwood One. The station is airing “Sunday Night Football,” “Thursday Night Football,” and “Monday Night Football.”  It is also airing every NFL playoff game and the 2020 Super Bowl.

Cool News Opportunity: FOX News Headlines 24/7 Seeks Freelance Writer. The job posting says: “We are looking for a freelance writer to join the Fox News Headlines 24/7 team. As a writer, you will be a crucial member of our broadcast team. You will write news for our national news network, conceptualizing, writing, compiling enterprise stories, fact checking, and building show content newscasts for “FOX News Headlines 24/7.”  You may be the right candidate if you have the right attitude and understand the level of commitment required to be successful in this role. Your passion for national and international news is bar none!  Please note this is a shift-based role, including overnight and weekend shifts. You will work some holidays and must be available off-hours in the event of major breaking news.”  See more information and apply here.

Jeffrey Epstein Case Top News/Talk Story for Week of July 8-12. The sex trafficking charges leveled against Jeffrey Epstein and who in his circle of friends might get caught up was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Southern border crisis and the planned ICE raids.  Coming in at #3 was the U.S. Women’s Soccer victory and the related issues of gender, equal pay and more, followed by the 2020 presidential race and race relations at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

News/Talk Radio Consultant Greg Moceri Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  One of the most influential programmers of the modern era in the news/talk radio format, Greg Moceri, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Moceri is the founder and owner of the Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Moceri Media, a national consultation firm that for the past 20 years has provided programming advice and talent coaching to a number of clients including Cox Media.  Prior to being a consultant, Moceri served eight years as program director of Cox Media’s WSB-AM, Atlanta.  For a couple of years before that he was news and program director of WTIC-AM, Hartford where he and Michael Harrison met and worked together in the early 1990s.  In this long-form conversation, Harrison and Moceri go deep into the nuts and bolts of the talk format (as well as their own backgrounds) discussing the direction and future of spoken word radio, the state of journalism, the role of podcasting as it relates to broadcasters, the care and nurturing of talent and more.  Don’t miss this!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A new CHR station debuts in the West Palm Beach market as Hubbard Radio unveils “Party 96.3” on WMBX-HD2 and translator W242CI. The station is being anchored in mornings by the Seattle-based, syndicated “Brooke and Jubal” show.  Core artists include: Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Drake, Ariana Grande, Shawn Mendes, Post Malone, Khalid, Billie Eilish, and more…..Fort Myers adult contemporary WJPT has a new program director as Beasley Media Group bestows that title upon Matt Mangas, who also program the company’s rock WRXK and hosts the midday program there. Beasley Fort Myers operations manager Adam Star says, “Matt has been serving as program director for both stations in the interim and has been doing a tremendous job.  It was an easy decision for us.”  Also, at WJPT, the company names Ralph Marino assistant program director and morning drive personality, effective July 15.  Marino recently exited AC WQRC, Cape Cod where he’d been hosting the morning show…..At Stephens Media Group’s 80s-formatted KTSO, Tulsa, Josh Venable is named program director.  He continues his programming and morning show duties on sister alternative rock KMYZ “Z104.5 The Edge.”  Stephens SVP of programming Bob Thornton comments, “Josh has been involved in the ‘Totally Awesome 80s’ brand since its inception in 2016, so this promotion was an easy one for us.  Josh is smart, passionate, and one of the best programmers in the country.”…..Tampa Bay radio personality Mason Dixon is pictured below (seated) signing a new, multi-year deal to continue hosting the morning show on the company’s classic hits WRBQ “Q105.”  Assisting him with his signature are (from l-r): program director Ted Cannarozzi, VP/market manager Steve Triplett, and operations manager Travis Daily.

June 2019 PPM Data – Round Two. June 2019 ratings information has been released for Washington (D.C.), Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s June 2019 survey period covered May 23 – June 19. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets.

Washington, DC

Spoken-Word Formats – The collective +2.5 that Cumulus Media news/talk WMAL accrued through three straight “Holiday” 2018 through March 2019 improvements (4.3 – 5.7 – 6.6 – 6.8, 6+) virtually vanishes (-2.4) in three successive March through June decreases (6.8 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 4.4, fifth to seventh, 6+). Nonetheless, March’s 6.8 is WMAL’s best 6+-stat in the PPM-era. After posting a .2 (6+) in August 2018, Radio One’s WOL “News Talk – Where Information Is Power” is unlisted for the 11th sweep in succession.

Recapturing three-tenths of the eight-tenths squandered in May (3.1 – 3.4, 6+), Entercom sports talk/Nationals flagship WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” jumps from #16 to #13. In four straight sweeps without a loss, Radio One’s similarly-formatted WTEM “980 The Team” nearly doubles (+.4) its 6+ AQH share (.5 – .7 – .8 – .8 – .9, 6+) and cracks the top twenty (#22 to #20).

Setting the pace in the Nation’s Capital the sixth straight time, Hubbard Broadcasting all-news WTOP nevertheless falters for the fifth month in a row and is an overall -2.2 in that January 2019 through June 2019 stretch (10.4 – 9.8 – 9.7 – 8.7 – 8.7 – 8.2, 6+). January 2019’s 10.4 is its best 6+-performance since March 2018 (10.4, as well). The March 2019 through June 2019 topline for Entercom business news WDCH is: .4 – .5 – .4 – .5 (#25 to #24, 6+).

Although down nine-tenths via three successive slips (8.9 – 8.7 – 8.4 – 8.0, 6+), American University-owned news/talk WAMU continues in the runner-up slot. Prior to gaining three-tenths in March, “The Mind Is Our Medium” was -2.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +2.5 (January 2019); and -1.2 (February).

Washington, DC Music Formats – In addition to being an overall +1.4 through three gains in succession (3.2     – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.6, 6+) and progressing from ninth to sixth, iHeartMedia CHR WITH “Hot 99.5” has its best 6+-showing in nearly two years (4.6, as well in August 2017). Co-owned adult contemporary WASH “97.1 – Washington’s Variety” logs its third straight sweep without a loss for a collective gain of nine-tenths (4.4 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 5.3, seventh to fifth, 6+) and has its strongest 6+-performance (5.3) since “Holiday” 2018 (10.4). Still in that iHeartMedia cluster, WMZQ “98.7 Today’s Best Country” is +1.3 through four consecutive improvements (2.8 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 4.1, 6+) and enters the top ten (#11 to #9). Owing to four straight gains, Entercom rhythmic CHR WPGC is up seven-tenths (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.7, 6+) and continues in tenth-place. When the sale of Cumulus Media hot AC WRQX “Mix 107.3 More Music – More Variety” to Educational Media Foundation was finalized, the station transitioned to contemporary Christian (now WLVW “Positive & Encouraging K-Love”). In its final sweep (May 2019) before the hot AC-to-contemporary Christian transition, “Mix” added six-tenths (3.5 – 4.1, 6+) and exited as a top ten station (#11 to #8). Its January 2019 through May 2019 topline was 3.5 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 4.1 (6+). WLVW erodes by -1.9 (4.1 – 2.2, #8 to #17, 6+), the largest (6+) May 2019 – June 2019 falloff by any station in the 24 PPM-markets we’ve analyzed thus far. When Atlantic Gateway Communications contemporary Christian WGTS dropped one-tenth in May, it halted four straight bumps that yielded an overall +1.8 (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 4.6 – 5.3, 6+). Now in June, however, “91.9 Christian Music Radio” plummets by -1.0 (5.2 – 4.2, fifth to eighth, 6+). WGTS wiped away four straight September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 declines that resulted in a -1.4 (4.9 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.5, 6+). While it is locked at #3 for the seventh time in a row, Radio One urban AC WMMJ is down a cumulative seven-tenths in three consecutive dips (8.2 – 7.8 – 7.7 – 7.5, 6+). Immediately prior to this skid, “Majic” cobbled together six successive increases that yielded a +1.8 (6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.4 – 7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2, 6+). After dropping one-tenth in back-to-back reports (6.5 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+), Howard University’s similarly-programmed WHUR regained that deficit with a May pickup of two-tenths but falters by four-tenths in June (6.5 – 6.1, 6+) and repeats in fourth-place. Its March loss of one-tenth suspended three successive increases that accounted for a +1.2 (5.3 – 6.2 – 6.4 – 6.5, 6+). Maryland-licensed Manning Broadcasting classic hits-oldies WWEG surfaced in print in January and reeled off four straight up or flat trends for a net gain of four-tenths (.6 – .9 – .9 – .9 – 1.0, 6+), but “106.9 The Eagle” returns one-tenth to .9 (#19 to #20, 6+).

Boston

Spoken-Word Formats – Steady at #12, iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” has an overall gain of six-tenths in six successive up or flat trends (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+). November 2018’s 3.2 is its best 6+-stat since 3.3 in November 2014). Down or flat the past four monthlies for a loss of two-tenths (.6 – .5 – .4 – .4 – .4, 6+), co-owned WXKS-AM “Talk 1200” is up one-tenth to .5 (#27 to #26, 6+).

Eight recent shifts for Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” include +.9 (October 2018); +.8 (November); -1.0 (December); +.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.6 (January 2019); -.8 (February); +.8 (May); and now -1.4 in June (7.0 – 5.6, third to fourth, 6+). “The Sports Hub” is the lead station of the Stanley Cup runner-up Bruins; Super Bowl champion New England Patriots; and the Celtics. A combined eight-tenths in April/May (3.2 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom-owned sports talk WEEI-FM is off one-tenth (4.0 – 3.9, 6+) and carries on in eighth-place. The flagship of the 2018 World Series champion Boston Red Sox has been -.5 (September 2018); +.5 (October); +.6 (November); -2.0 (December); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.7 (January 2019); -1.0 (February); -.5 (March); and +.6 (April).

This marks the fourth successive month that WBZ-AM has logged a 5.0 (6+); “News Radio 1030” is anchored in sixth-place. The iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid was +1.3 in January/February (4.3 – 5.5 – 5.6, 6+).

Flat at #11, Boston University news/talk WBUR forfeits half of the two-tenths it picked up in May (3.5 – 3.4, -.1, 6+). Similarly, WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH, which gained four-tenths in May, relinquishes 50% of that margin in June (2.4 – 2.2, -.2, #15 to #16, 6+).

Boston Music Formats – In 6.1 – 6.4 range in each of the last five sweeps (6.1 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 6.2, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WMJX “Magic 106.7 – Today’s Hits/Yesterday’s Favorites” (fourth to third, 6+) breaks out a June  improvement of seven-tenths to 6.9, its highest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2018’s 14.5. May’s first-place tie is broken as Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WROR “105.7 – 80s & More” gains six-tenths (7.6 – 8.2, steady at #1, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned CHR WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” falters by four-tenths (7.6 – 7.2, first to second, 6+). By dropping two-tenths in May, WROR snapped at four a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a +2.2 (5.6 – 6.2 – 6.8 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). A one-half share increase in May took “Kiss 108” to 7.6, its strongest 6+-performance since August 2018’s 7.8. Boston’s (6+) pacesetters thus far this calendar year have been: WXKS-FM (January, 7.3, 6+); WXKS-FM (February, 7.4, 6+); WROR (March, 7.8, 6+); WROR (April, 7.8, 6+); WROR and WXKS-FM (May, 7.6, 6+); and WROR (June, 8.2, 6+). Meanwhile, WXKS-FM’s format rival, Entercom’s WODS “103.3 Amp Radio,” is down or flat the fifth straight time for a net loss of four-tenths (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+) yet advances from #19 to #17. While off one-half share (6.0 – 5.5, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WZLX “Classic Rock 100.7” continues in fifth-place. In the market’s country contest, Beasley Media Group’s WKLB regains all but one-tenth of May’s -.4 (4.4 – 4.7, +.3, 6+) and remains in seventh-place. “Country 102.5” was a cumulative +1.3 in four straight bumps (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 4.8, 6+). Six successive sweeps without a loss by iHeartMedia-owned WBWL netted six-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 2.4, 6+), but “101.7 The Bull Boston’s #1 For New Hit Country” sputters by three-tenths to 2.1 (#15 to #17, 6+). May’s 2.4 is the highest 6+-share for “The Bull” since July 2018’s 2.5. Up seven-tenths in five successive positive or flat trends (1.3 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+), Cumulus Media hot AC WXLO ends the streak by surrendering three-tenths to 1.7 (flat at #20, 6+). The 2.0 that “104.5 XLO” posted in May is its best 6+-stat since November 2014 (2.0, as well). Falling from #18 to #19, iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WJMN “Jam’n 94.5” cedes a collective -1.1 in five straight down or flat moves (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+).

Miami

English-Language Spoken-Word Formats – Repeating May’s 2.6 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” falls from #17 to #18.

In seven successive sweeps without a loss, Entercom’s WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” nets three-tenths (.6 – .6 – .6 – .7 – .7 – .8 – .9 – .9, 6+) and continues at #25. Flat at #29, co-owned WQAM “Sports Radio 560” has a January 2019 through June 2019 topline of .6 – .5 – .7 – .5 – .6 – .5 (6+).

Up two-tenths in four straight up or flat reports (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+), Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN remains at #20.

Miami Music Formats – Completely erasing April/May’s combined -.6 (7.4 – 7.3 – 6.8, 6+) with a June increase of eight-tenths to 7.6 (6+), WFEZ “Easy 93.1” is #1 the sixth consecutive ratings period (including a three-way tie at #1 in February). Eight-tenths is a common fluctuation for the Cox Media Group-owned adult contemporary outlet as it was down eight-tenths in February and then up by that magnitude in March (7.4 – 6.6 – 7.4, 6+). Entering the “Holiday” 2018 sweep, “Easy 93.1” finished on top seven straight times. On the positive side, Entercom’s similarly-formatted WLYF is in third-place the fourth month in a row. The downside is that “101.5 Lite FM” is an overall -1.2 in four straight sweeps without an increase (6.6 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.1 – 5.4, 6+). Adult contemporary outlets “Easy” and “Lite” traded places with each other in January, as WFEZ went from second to first and WLYF segued from first to second. Consequently, an adult contemporary controls or has a share of Miami’s lead position (6+) for the 14th straight ratings period. Not only is iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WZTU -1.7 in four straight drops (5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+), “Tu 94.9” fades from the top ten (#7 to #12) with its weakest 6+-stat since October 2017 (3.4, as well). By gaining four-tenths in May, Spanish Broadcasting System’s WCMQ interrupted four successive down or flat moves that resulted in a -1.0 (6.1 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.1, 6+). “Zeta 92.3” falters by six-tenths in June (5.5 – 4.9, 6+) but stays in fifth-place. Co-owned Spanish tropical WXDJ is off nine-tenths in four straight down or flat trends (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+) as “El Zol 106.7” falls from a three-way tie at #7 to #8. Still in that SBS cluster, Spanish contemporary WRMA “Ritmo 95.7” falters by seven-tenths in four consecutive sweeps without an increase (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.7, 6+) but actually climbs from #16 to #15. Repeating in seventh-place, Cox Media Group urban contemporary WEDR “99 Jamz” is a collective -1.1 through five straight negative or neutral moves (5.2 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). Its format challenger, iHeartMedia-owned WMIB “103.5 The Beat,” hasn’t had an increase the last three ratings periods and is down three-tenths in that March through June stretch (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.6, #17 to #16, 6+). Up a cumulative nine-tenths in three straight up or flat trends (2.9 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+), Cox Media Group CHR WFLC “Hits 97.3” advances from tenth to ninth with its best 6+ showing (3.8) since its 4.0 in December 2017. “Hits 97.3” responded to March’s one-tenth loss with an April increase of six-tenths. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia-owned/similarly-formatted WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which posted a half-share increase in May, returns 80% of that improvement (3.0 – 2.6, -.4, 6+) and slips from #15 to #16. When “Y-100” added one-tenth in March, it curtailed five straight reports without an increase for a collective loss of nine-tenths (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.5, 6+).

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – Unchanged in fifth-place, Bonneville news/talk KIRO-FM has a March 2019 through June 2019 topline of 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.9 – 4.6 (6+); this follows February 2019’s 5.9 (6+). Co-owned KTTH lost roughly 43% (-.9) of its 6+-stat due to three straight down or flat trends (2.1 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), but “Conservative Talk Radio” picks up two-tenths to 1.4 (#23 to #22, 6+). This is the fourth straight down or flat report for Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI “Talk Radio 570,” which has lost one-half share since February (1.6 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1, #23 to #24, 6+).

Having plummeted by nine-tenths in May, Bonneville sports talk/Mariners’ flagship KIRO-AM “ESPN 710” levels off by repeating May’s 6+ AQH share (3.4) and market rank (#13). With its 6+ stat sliced by more than 50% (-.8) via three setbacks in succession (1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2 – .6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” slumps from #23 to #27.

Off four-tenths in April/May (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.7, 6+), Sinclair Broadcast Group all-news KOMO adds one-tenth to 2.8 (#17 to #16, 6+).

It is a May-only stay at #1 for Northwest Public Radio news/talk KUOW, which sputters by one-half share (6.1 – 5.6, 6+) and segues from first to third. In May, KUOW rebounded from March/April’s combined -2.3 with a gain of four-tenths. KUOW shifted to #2 in April after three months in a row at #1.

Seattle Music Formats – A collective -1.0 in four successive down or flat trends (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting CHR KQMV “MOViN’ 92.5 – Seattle’s #1 Hit Music Station” ends the slide with a gain of one-tenth to 6.1 (6+) and advances from second to a first-place tie. “MOViN’” made it to #1 in April, the first time it reached the lead spot since November 2018. As noted, KQMV isn’t alone in the pacesetter position. It is sharing the penthouse with iHeartMedia-owned KZOK “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station,” which is +2.4 as a result of seven straight upticks (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.1, second to first, 6+). Immediately in advance of this positive run, KZOK was -1.6 in four consecutive ratings periods without an increase (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 3.7, 6+). Just as they were in May, Entercom adult contemporary KSWD “94.1 The Sound” (flat at 4.5, seventh to sixth, 6+) and Hubbard Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted KRWM “Warm 106.9” (unchanged at 4.4 and #9, 6+) are separated by one-tenth. “The Sound” was an overall +1.5 through three consecutive increases (3.7 – 3.8 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+) before eroding by -1.1 in April. Prior to the May sweep, “Warm 106.9” recorded a 4.8 (6+) in three of the previous four reports (4.8 – 4.0 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+) and was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2018. The five most recent shifts for Classic Radio, Inc.-owned KING “98.1 Listener-Supported Classical Music” are +.9 (February); -.5 (March); +.7 (April) -.6 (May); and +.7 in June (2.5 – 3.2, #19 to #14, 6+). By way of contrast, its October 2018 through January 2019 topline was a consistent 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 2.0 (6+). After being an overall -1.1 via four straight sweeps without an increase (4.7 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+), Entercom alternative KNDD “107.7 The End” pulls the plug with a +.4 to 4.0 (steady at #12, 6+). On the heels of posting a +.9 in May (4.1 – 5.0, 6+), Entercom’s KKWF “100.7 The Wolf – #1 For Country” surrenders one-half share to 4.5 (fourth to sixth, 6+). Prior to April, when it regressed by six-tenths, “The Wolf” was a cumulative +1.4 as a result of three straight upticks (3.3- 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+). Just three-tenths behind “The Wolf” is Hubbard Broadcasting’s KNUC “New Country 98.9 The Bull,” which has exactly doubled (+2.1) its 6+ AQH share in seven successive up or flat sweeps (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 4.0 – 4.2, #10 to #11, 6+). In three consecutive positive or neutral trends, co-owned adult standards KIXI almost doubled (+.6) its 6+-stat (.7 – .7 – .7 – 1.3, 6+), but “AM 880” drops one-tenth to 1.2 (#22 to #23, 6+). In six straight sweeps without an increase, Sinclair Broadcast Group hot AC KPLZ  is a collective -2.2 (5.1 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+) but “Star 101.5 Today’s Best Mix” advances from #16 to #15.

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – This is the fifth straight sweep in which Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” has recorded a negative or neutral trend and is -1.1 since the first of the year (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.1 – 2.6, #16 to #17, 6+).

Locked on 5.0 (6+) in February and March and then on 5.4 (6+) April and May, Entercom sports talk/Tigers flagship WXYT-FM“97.1 The Ticket” falters by seven-tenths to 4.7 (sixth to ninth, 6+).

For the third time in the last four sweeps, co-owned WWJ “News Radio 950” erodes by eight-tenths (6.2 – 5.4, fourth to fifth, 6+). It did so in both March and April (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.1, 6+). Even with the -.8, WWJ had a March-only stay in first-place.

Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM regains the one-tenth it dropped in May (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+) and remains at #20. May’s -.1 ended four consecutive fluctuations of three-tenths (1.6 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.6, 6+). This is the third time in the last four ratings periods that Wayne State University news/talk WDET has had a shift of one-tenth (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.2, #22 to #21, 6+).

Detroit Music Formats – At the same time that Entercom adult contemporary WDZH “98.7 The Breeze” improves by seven-tenths and cracks the top ten (#12 to #8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNIC “The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” forfeits six-tenths (6.5 – 5.9, second to third, 6+). In early-November (2018), CHR WDZH “Amp Radio” became adult contemporary “98.7 The Breeze” and it has more than doubled (+2.5) its 6+ AQH in eight successive reports without a loss (2.3 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.6 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.8, 6+). After its 6+ AQH share eroded by nearly two-thirds (-11.8) in four successive sweeps (17.9 – 7.1 – 6.6 – 6.2 – 6.1, 6+), WNIC answered with a May increase of four-tenths. Its “Holiday” 2018 17.9 is the largest 6+ AQH share by any Detroit station in the PPM-era. On top in December 2018 and “Holiday” 2018, WNIC more than tripled (+12.2) its 6+-share via four straight increases (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.6 – 12.2 – 17.9, 6+). In addition to “The Breeze,” Entercom classic hits-oldies WOMC “104.3 Detroit’s Greatest Hits” notches a May 2019 – June 2019 increase of seven-tenths (5.9, seventh to third, 6+), thus halting three consecutive down or flat reports that resulted in a loss of two-tenths (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 5.2, 6+). In the country tussle, Entercom-owned WYCD “99.5 – Detroit Country Music” is a combined +.4 in May/June (4.9 – 5.1 – 5.3, eighth to seventh, 6+), while Cumulus Media’s WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM” is +1.2 through four consecutive bumps (1.6 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8, #17 to #16, 6+). This is the best 6+-showing for “Nash FM” since June 2018 (2.8, as well). Ever since iHeartMedia debuted WLLZ as “106.7 – Detroit’s Wheels,” the classic rocker has had a (6+) February 2019 through June 2019 topline of 1.5 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 4.3 (#13 to #11, 6+). Down or flat the past three months for a -1.4 (7.8 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.4, 6+), Beasley Media Group-owned WCSX “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock” ends the slide with a +.1 to 6.5 (third to second, 6+). In March, WCSX eroded by -1.3 to shift from first to second. Its March/April decline of -1.5 followed back-to-back gains of nine-tenths (6.0 – 6.9 – 7.8, 6+). “Detroit’s Classic Rock” spent four straight months at #1 before being dislodged in September 2018. Without a loss the fourth time in succession for an overall +1.4 (5.5 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.9 – 6.9, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WMXD “Mix 92.3” repeats at #1. Its format challenger, Radio One-owned WDMK “105.9 Kiss-FM,” which was +1.0 in four straight improvements (2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), drops one-tenth to 3.6 (#13 to #14, 6+). In May, “Kiss” had its best 6+-stat since June 2018 (3.7, as well). Unchanged at #9, Beasley Media Group’s WRIF “Rocks Detroit,” which faltered by -1.5 in four successive down or flat sweeps (6.0 – 5.9 – 4.9 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+), pulls the plug with a +.2 to 4.7 (6+). While it is flat at #15, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WJLB “97.9 – Detroit’s Hip-Hop and R&B” is a collective -1.0  through three straight declines (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 3.1, 6+).

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – A hefty loss of eight-tenths (4.0 – 3.2, 6+) nudges Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM out of the top ten (#10 to #12). Four-tenths behind KTAR-FM is iHeartMedia’s KFYI “News Talk 550,” which is off three-tenths following May’s half-share increase (3.1 – 2.8, #14 to #13, 6+).

Following three straight gains for a collective +1.1 (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 3.1, 6+), Bonneville sports talk/Arizona Diamondbacks flagship KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” forfeits nine-tenths to 2.2 (#14 to #20, 6+); May’s 3.1 was its strongest 6+-showing since September 2018 (3.1, as well).

For the fourth straight sweep, Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ has a fluctuation of one-tenth (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.6, #12 to #11, 6+).

Phoenix Music Formats – The wild ride continues for iHeartMedia adult hits KYOT, whose six most recent shifts are -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.6 (January/February); -.8 (March); +.7 (April) -1.2 (May); and +1.2 in June (5.4 – 6.2, 6+). Moreover, “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything” progresses from third to first. “The Mountain” had been at #1 three ratings periods in succession before being ousted in May. It takes over from Hubbard Broadcasting’s KSLX “Classic Rock 100.7,” which has a May-only stay at the top (flat at 6.1, first to third, 6+). An April +1.2 fully erased its January – February – March -1.2 (6.5 – 5.4 – 5.3 6+). A collective +1.2 via three straight upticks (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 6.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ remains in the runner-up slot. Progressing from fifth to fourth, Entercom classic hits-oldies KOOL “94.5 Phoenix Classic Hits” is a combined +1.3 in three positive spikes in succession (4.0 – 4.1 – 5.0 – 5.3, 6+). Off nine tenths in three straight decreases (5.1 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KNIX “102.5 Today’s Best Country” halts the skid with a +.1 to 4.3 (eighth to seventh, 6+). After being up one-half share in May (2.8 – 3.3, 6+), Entravision regional Mexican KLNZ “La Tricolor 103.5” relinquishes eight-tenths to 2.5 (#13 to #16, 6+). Sputtering by seven-tenths each are iHeartMedia CHR KZZP “104.7 Kiss-FM” (5.3 – 4.6, fourth to fifth, 6+) and Maricopa County Community College classical KBAQ “89.5 K-Bach,” which loses more than half (-1.3) its 6+ AQH share in four straight drops (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 1.8 – 1.1, #26, 6+). In each of the last 13 sweeps, “Kiss” was between a 5.0 – 5.7 (6+). The three latest shifts by Entercom rhythmic CHR KALV “Live 101.5” are -.6 (April); +1.2 (May); and -.6 in June (4.5 – 3.9, seventh to eighth, 6+). April’s loss curtailed three successive up or flat sweeps that accounted for a gain of nine-tenths (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.9, 6+).

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite being +2.1 via three consecutive upticks (3.3 – 4.8 – 5.2 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom-owned/Twins flagship WCCO “News Radio 830” backslides from eighth to ninth. Four straight decreases by Hubbard Broadcasting’s KTMY account for a net loss of -1.1 (3.4 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.3, #14 to #17, 6+); “My Talk 107.1” was a combined +1.2 in January/February (2.2 – 3.3 – 3.4, 6+). It is tied with iHeartMedia’s KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130,” which is -1.0 in five straight down or flat trends (3.3 – 3.3 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3, flat at #17, 6+).

Repeating May’s 4.1 (6+), iHeartMedia’s KFXN “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” continues at #12. Likewise, Hubbard Broadcasting sports talk KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” echoes its May stats of .7 (6+) and a #24 ranking.

A combined -.4 in April/May (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW roars back with a robust +1.2 to 5.5 (6+) and leaps back into the top ten (#11 to #7).

Minneapolis Music Formats – Anchored at #13, Entercom’s country-formatted KMNB“102.9 The Wolf,” which lost eight-tenths in four successive down or neutral trends (3.7 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), halts the skid with a gain of four-tenths to 3.3 (6+). Albeit flat at 6.7 (6+), Hubbard Broadcasting’s KSTP-FM vaults from third to first. “KS-95,” which faltered by eight-tenths in May, held or shared the top spot in January, March, and April. This calendar year, “KS-95” has been +1.9 (January); -.8 (February); +.6 (March); +.5 (April); and -.8 (May). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia-owned/similarly-programmed KTCZ “Cities 97.1,” which lost two-tenths in May, is flat at 4.5 (6+), but departs the top ten (#10 to #11). Shifts this calendar year for “Cities 97.1” include +1.2 (January) -.5 (February); +.2 (March); +.5 (April); and -.2 (May). Dislodged by KSTP-FM from the top spot are iHeartMedia-owned classic hits-oldies outlet KQQL “Kool 108” (6.8 – 6.6, -.2, first to second, 6+) and Cumulus Media-owned KQRS “Minnesota’s Classic Rock” (6.8 – 5.9, -.9, first to fifth, 6+). After approximately 54% (-6.8) of its 6+ AQH share vanished through four straight negative or flat trends (12.6 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 5.8, 6+), “Kool 108” logged a +1.0 in May. Meanwhile, entering the June sweep, “Minnesota’s Classic Rock” was +1.3 in three straight upticks (5.5 – 5.6 – 6.7 – 6.8, 6+). Prior to April’s 6.7, KQRS had been within five-share range (6+) in each of the previous 13 sweeps. May’s 6.8 was the best 6+-stat for “Minnesota’s Classic Rock” since December 2016’s 6.9. Down or flat the fourth time in a row for an overall -1.5 (7.0 – 7.0 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.5, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KDWB “101.3 The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” skids from fifth to seventh. A loss of eight-tenths (2.2 – 1.4, 6+) by KBEM not only forces “Jazz 88 FM” out of the top twenty (#18 to #21), it takes the Minneapolis Public Schools outlet to its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2018 (1.4, as well).

San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – Following a +1.0 via three straight increases (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO “News Radio 600” relinquishes two-tenths to 4.8 (6+) yet advances from sixth to fifth. An overall +.9 as a result of four successive increases (1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+), Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760” is now a combined -.5 in May/June (2.5 – 2.3 – 2.0, #17 to #19, 6+). The (ultra-consistent) December 2018 through June 2019 San Diego topline for iHeartMedia Los Angeles’ similarly-formatted KFI “AM 640” is: 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.2 -1.0 – 1.1 – 1.0 (#22 to #23, 6+).

Immediately after tripling (+1.4) its 6+ AQH share in three straight advances (.7 – .9 – 1.7 – 2.1, 6+), Entercom-owned/Padres flagship KWFN “97.3 The Fan” loses one-tenth to 2.0 (6+) but remains at #19.

Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” falters by two-tenths to .8 (#24 to #25, 6+), thus suspending three consecutive improvements that yielded six-tenths (.4 – .5 – .8 – 1.0, 6+).

Significant ups/down continue for San Diego State University-owned news/talk KPBS, which has been -.6 (December 2018); -1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +2.1 (January 2019); -1.7 (April); +.9 (May); and now -.7 in June (6.9 – 6.2, 6+). Nonetheless, KPBS is #1 for the sixth month in a row.

San Diego Music Formats – A mere one-tenth from the lead, Entercom classic hits-oldies KXSN “Sunny 98.1 – San Diego’s Greatest Hits” is a collective +1.4 in four successive improvements (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.1, steady at #2, 6+). By registering a gain of seven-tenths to 4.2 (#14 to #11, 6+), adult contemporary cluster-mate KYXY applies the brakes to three straight negative or neutral trends that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.5, 6+). Still in that Entercom cluster, in four upticks in succession, KBZT “Alt 94.9 – San Diego’s Alternative” nets +1.3 (2.6 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 3.9, #11 to #12, 6+). Steady at #3, iHeartMedia CHR KHTS “Channel 93.3 – San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” is a combined +1.2 in four consecutive sweeps without a loss (4.3 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), directly after a cumulative -2.3 as a result of four straight decreases (6.6 – 6.0 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). Meanwhile, co-owned KGB “San Diego’s Classic Rock” is -1.6 in four drops in a row (5.9 – 5.3 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3, flat at #10, 6+), following three consecutive improvements that yielded a +2.2 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.5 – 5.9, 6+). A combined +.7 in May/June (2.9 – 3.3 – 3.6, 6+), urban contemporary sibling KSSX “Jam’n 95.7” regresses by nine-tenths to 2.7 (#12 to #15, 6+). Without an increase the fourth time in a row, Entercom-owned KSON “103.7 San Diego’s #1 New Country” is a collective -1.6 since February (6.1 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.5, sixth to seventh, 6+). Local Media San Diego-programmed CHR XHTZ “Z-90.3 Today’s Hit Music” (eighth to seventh) continues an alternating up/down pattern that commenced in “Holiday” 2018 (3.8 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 4.7 – 4.5, 6+).

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – Slipping from #14 to #15, iHeartMedia-owned WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” is a collective -1.5 in three straight sweeps without an increase (4.5 – 3.6 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+), immediately after three successive gains led to a +1.4 (3.1 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+). Four-tenths behind WFLA is Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio,” which rebounds from May’s -.8 with a June increase of three-tenths (2.3 – 2.6, #16 to #17, 6+).

The flagship of the Rays – iHeartMedia-owned WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” – has been -.4 (March); +.9 (April); -.4 (May); and now +.5 in June (2.2 – 2.7, #17 to #16, 6+).

Following three straight declines in which it lost six-tenths (2.1 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+), University of South Florida news/talk WUSF picks up two-tenths to 1.7 (flat at #20, 6+).

Tampa Music Formats – Owing to three straight improvements (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 5.4, ninth to fifth, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC WMTX “Mix 100.7” is +1.4 and reaches the five-share level (5.4, 6+) for the first time since February 2018’s 5.2. By gaining seven-tenths to 6.1 (third to second, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WQYK “99.5 Tampa Bay’s New Country Hits” suspends three consecutive setbacks that accounted for a -1.0 (6.4 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.4, 6+). Notwithstanding that it falters seven-tenths (9.3 – 8.6, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” is #1 for the 82nd straight time but is below a nine-share (8.6, 6+) for the first time since October 2018’s 8.9. Its May gain of three-tenths curtailed four straight negative trends that resulted in a -4.7 (13.7 – 11.8 – 11.6 – 10.6 – 9.0, 6+). WDUV’s 13.7 in “Holiday” 2018 is the highest 6+-stat for any Tampa station since WDUV’s 14.9 in “Holiday” 2015. Co-owned WXGL “107.3 The Eagle – Tampa Bay’s Classic Hits” is an overall -1.8 in three straight negative or neutral moves (7.5 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 5.7, second to third, 6+). Prior to the March report, “The Eagle” was an overall -1.5 in five successive sweeps without an increase (6.9 – 6.6 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). Up three-tenths in May, iHeartMedia CHR WFLZ “93.3 Tampa Bay’s #1 Hit Music Channel” surrenders one-half share (4.3 – 3.8, #12 to #13, 6+). Its format foe, Cox Media Group’s WPOI “Hot 101.5 – Tampa Bay’s New Hit Music,” is off four-tenths to 4.1 (seventh to tenth, 6+), thus curtailing three straight bumps that produced a +1.3 (3.2 – 3.4 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+). A collective +1.2 through three consecutive increases (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WXTB “98 Rock” forfeits four-tenths to 4.0 (6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #12). Unchanged at #9, urban contemporary cluster-mate WBTP “95.7 The Beat,” which was +1.3 in seven successive sweeps without a loss (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+), loses two-tenths to 4.2 (6+). Beasley Media Group classic rocker WPBB “98.7 The Shark” is up an overall nine-tenths in three straight sweeps without a loss (1.6 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.5, steady at #18, 6+) and has its highest 6+-showing (2.5) since “Holiday” 2018’s 4.6. Having more than doubled (+.7) its 6+ AQH share in four straight sweeps without a loss (.5 – .6 – .7 – .7 – 1.2, 6+), The Diocese of St. Petersburg-owned contemporary Christian WBVM “90.5 Spirit FM – Tampa Bay’s Hit Christian Music” falters by three-tenths to .9 (6+) but stays at #21.

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – Regaining May’s loss of three-tenths (5.2 – 4.9 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk and Colorado Rockies flagship KOA “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” progresses from sixth to fifth. Co-owned KHOW “Talk Radio 630” has a “Holiday” 2018 through June 2019 topline of 1.1 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.1 (#23 to #21, 6+).

After posting a May gain of four-tenths to halt three straight decreases accounting for a -1.5 (4.1 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6, 6+), Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” regresses by six-tenths (3.0 – 2.4, #16 to #18,  6+). KSE Radio Ventures’ KKSE-FM nearly tripled (+.5) February’s 6+ stat in three consecutive bumps (.3 – .4 – .6 – .8, 6+) but “Attitude Sports Radio 92.5” has May’s .8 (6+) sliced in half to .4 (#26 to #29, 6+).

A massive -1.6 (6.2 – 4.6, 6+) sends Colorado Public Radio news/talk KCFR tumbling from first to sixth. A combined +1.2 in January/February (6.4 – 7.1 – 7.6, 6+), KCFR was #1 in September 2018, October, and November before segueing to #2 in December. Community Radio for Northern Colorado news/talk KUNC, which logged a 1.5 (6+) in three of the last four ratings periods (1.5 – 1.8 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), is off four-tenths to 1.1 (6+) and exits the top twenty (#19 to #21).

Denver Music Formats – After netting +1.4 in four straight up or flat trends (4.3 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), KYGO regressed by seven-tenths in May. The Bonneville country outlet roars back in June though with a +1.0 (5.0 – 6.0, 6+) and storms from fifth to first with its highest 6+-stat since September 2018 (6.0, as well). It is a similar scenario for iHeartMedia’s KRFX. In four straight sweeps without a loss, “Classic Rock 103.5 The Fox” was +1.4 (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 5.2 – 5.4, 6+). It dropped one-half share in May only to roar back in June with a +.9 (4.9 – 5.8, sixth to second, 6+). “The Fox” is two-tenths behind frontrunner KYGO and two-tenths ahead of Entercom’s similarly-programmed KQMT “99.5 The Mountain,” which has gained nine-tenths in three straight up or flat sweeps (4.7 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.6, flat at #3, 6+). Immediately after erasing its +.7 in four successive up or flat moves (2.6 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+) with a May loss of seven-tenths, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLDV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” posts a half-gain increase (2.6 – 3.1, #18 to #17, 6+). A combined +.6 in April/May (4.6 – 4.9 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia triple A KBCO “97.3 World Class Rock” flounders by eight-tenths to 4.4 (6+) and drifts from third to tenth. A loss of six-tenths (1.5 – .9, 6+) forces Colorado Public Radio classical KVOD off the top twenty (#19 to #24). Owing to five straight up or flat trends (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.8 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), KQKS was a collective +1.7, but the Entercom rhythmic CHR forfeits four-tenths to 4.2 (6+) and departs the top ten (#8 to #12).

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – The heretofore consistent January 2019 through May 2019 topline (2.7 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+) for Hearst Television news/talk WBAL “News Radio – Expect More” is jolted owing to a loss of seven-tenths to 2.1 (#11 to #12, 6+). Off by seven-tenths as well is independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News,” which is a collective -1.9 in five straight sweeps without an increase (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.2 – 1.5, #13 to #15, 6+). Even though it gains one-tenth (.3 – .4, 6+), Cumulus Media Washington, DC news/talk WMAL backslides from #28 to #29.

Returning May’s one-tenth increase (4.4 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom sports talk/Orioles flagship WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” continues at #9.

On the heels of April/May’s +1.0 (.9 – 1.6 – 1.9, 6+), co-owned business news WDCH coughs up 50% of that increase (1.4, -.5, #15 to #18, 6+).

Down one-half share (each) in back-to-back reports (3.4 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+), Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” is now a combined +.9 in May/June (2.4 – 2.6 – 3.3, #12 to #11, 6+). American University-owned news/talk WAMU recaptures the one-tenth it lost in May (1.2 – 1.1 – 1.2, #20 to #19, 6+).

Baltimore Music Formats – Not only does an increase of eight-tenths (7.3 – 8.1, 6+) propel Radio One urban AC WWIN-FM to its best 6+-stat (8.1) since January 2019’s 9.0, “Magic 95.9” advances from second to first. It  displaces urban contemporary sibling WERQ “92 Q Jams,” which had been the market leader the past four sweeps but trades places with “Magic.” Immediately after posting a +2.2 in March/April (7.6 – 8.3 – 9.8, 6+), “92 Q Jams” slumps to a -1.8 in May/June (9.8 – 8.8 – 8.0, 6+). In May, it reached the nine-share level (9.8, 6+) for the first time since July 2016’s 9.2. As noted above in the Washington, DC summary, Cumulus Media hot AC WRQX “Mix 107.3 More Music – More Variety” is now Educational Media Foundation-owned contemporary Christian WLVW “Positive & Encouraging K-Love.” In its debut contemporary Christian report, the former hot AC – which reached a 1.4 (6+) in May – erodes by nine-tenths to .5 (6+) and fades from Baltimore’s  top twenty (#18 to #27). Shamrock Communications-owned WZBA regresses by nine-tenths as a result of four straight down or flat moves (6.2 – 5.8 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 5.3, 6+) but “100.7 The Bay – Baltimore’s Classic Rock Station” progresses from seventh to sixth. Dropping from fifth to eighth, Hearst Television’s WIYY “98 Rock” (-.6 in June) continues a down/up pattern it started in December 2018 (4.3 – 4.0 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 5.4 – 4.8, 6+). In four straight down or flat moves (6.3 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 5.8 – 5.8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WPOC “93.1 Today’s Best Country” has lost one-half share and slips from third to fourth, while co-owned CHR WZFT “Z-104.3 Baltimore’s #1 Hit Music Station” is off seven-tenths in four sweeps in a row without an increase (4.6 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.9, flat at #10, 6+). This is the tenth sweep in a row that Peter and John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM is unlisted; “95.1 Shine FM – Baltimore’s Positive Hits Station” was #13 in August 2018 (2.6, 6+).

St. Louis

Spoken-Word Formats – April’s gigantic +2.2 by Entercom news/talk KMOX “The Voice of St. Louis” has been whittled by 50% (-1.1) in May/June (7.3 – 6.6 – 6.2, 6+) but the flagship of the Cardinals and Stanley Cup-winning Blues advances from a three-way tie at #3 to #2. KMOX had an April-only stay at #1. Flat at #18, co-owned KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1” wipes away May’s increase of two-tenths (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+.

After back-to-back losses of one-half share (4.1 – 3.6 – 3.1, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting sports talk WXOS is a combined +.6 in three straight upticks (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.7, steady at #15, 6+). Starting later this year, “101 Sports” becomes the flagship of the Blues.

University of Missouri news/talk KWMU repeats May’s 6+ AQH share (3.3) and market rank (#16).

St. Louis Music Formats – The eight most recent shifts for Hubbard Broadcasting’s KSHE  are +.5 (December); -.7 (Holiday” 2018); +2.0 (January 2019); -.5 (February); +1.3 (March); -1.6 (April); +.1 (May); and now +.9 in June (7.4 – 8.3, 6+) as “95 Real Rock Radio” repeats at #1. KSHE was tied for February’s top spot with iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU, and, in March, took sole possession of first-place. Then, in April, KSHE again had to share the lead – on that occasion with Entercom news/talk KMOX – but has had sole possession of the top spot in May and June. In each of the last 20 ratings periods, iHeartMedia urban AC KATZ-FM has been within two-share territory (6+), but “100.3 The Beat” gains six-tenths to 3.2 (flat at #17, 6+) and reaches the three-share level for the first time since November 2017’s 3.0 (6+). In a bit of a reversal from what happened in May, iHeartMedia’s KSD “93.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” is up one-half share (4.2 – 4.7, #12 to #10, 6+), while Hubbard Broadcasting’s WIL “New Country 92.3” erodes by eight-tenths (6.6 – 5.8, third to sixth, 6+). Compare that to this time last month when KSD regressed by seven-tenths and WIL improved by eight-tenths. The five most recent fluctuations for “The Bull” are +.5 (February); -.5 (March); +.9 (April); -.7 (May); and +.5 (June). The alternating (6+) December 2018 through June 2019 down/up pattern for WIL includes: 6.1 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 6.1 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 5.8. A cumulative -2.0 via four straight decreases (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8 – 6.2 – 5.9, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU “103.3 St. Louis’ Greatest Hits” ends the slide with a +.1 to 6.0 (#6 to the three-way scrum at #3, 6+). In six straight sweeps without a loss, co-owned KLLT “Alt 104.9” nets two-tenths (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9, flat at #19, 6+). After extending its consecutive string of upticks to five – and more than doubling (+2.6) its 6+ AQH share in that timeframe (2.5 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+) – Entercom CHR WNOU surrenders nearly half (-1.2) that increase (3.9, 6+). “Now 96.3 All The Hits” spirals from the top ten (#9 to #14). Even though its May increase of six-tenths is erased in its entirety (6.0 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting’s KPNT “105.7 The Point – Everything Alternative” remains in third-place. It is tied there with Gateway Creative Broadcasting contemporary Christian KLJY “99.1 Joy FM,” which is a combined -1.2 in May/June (7.2 – 6.7 – 6.0, second to third, 6+). By dropping three-tenths to 5.3 (seventh to eighth, 6+), Entercom hot AC KYKY “Y-98” suspends three straight bumps that netted a +1.0 (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+).

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

| July 9, 2019

iHeartMedia Flips ‘Orange and Blue 760’ to ‘Freedom 93.7.’  Denver’s KDSP-AM changes calls to KDFD-AM and – with the addition of FM translator K229BS, Lakewood – flips to news/talk as “Freedom 93.7 Real News, Real Talk.”  The station had been a Denver Broncos-centric sports talk station for the past two years. It began stunting Monday (7/8) with a rotation of pop and rock songs with the word “freedom” in the title.  iHeartMedia has not issued a press release on the changes and it’s unclear exactly what the lineup will be but there’s been speculation that Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh program will move from sister news/talk KOA to anchor the lineup.

BIA Advisory Services Revises 2019 U.S. Local Ad Forecast; Radio Projected to Get $14.5 Billion. Media consulting firm BIA Advisory Services updates its 2019 U.S. Local Advertising Forecast, predicting that the total local media marketplace in 2019 will be “slightly stronger than expected earlier in the year, with ad revenue reaching approximately $148.8 billion.”  The firm cites “a strong economy, an early start to the 2020 election, and most notably, increases in mobile and mobile-social advertising” as causes for the improved projections.  As usual, direct mail leads the pack with an estimated 25% share of that ($37.2 billion). Local radio is expected to get 9.8% of the total, or about $14.5 billion, thanks to online efforts by radio stations.  BIA SVP and chief economist Mark Fratrik comments, “It can be surprising to see that direct mail continues as such an important medium.  However, it directly targets more households than any other channel and mobilizes local consumers to make purchases, especially when combined with campaigns that make use of digital platforms.  The key for revenue growth (and protection) today is not just to look at the media in your sector, but across all local media because you compete across all ad channels today.”

Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Videos Continues Posting Today with “Sports Talk Radio’s Role in Popular Culture” One-On-One Discussion.  TALKERS is continuing to post key speeches, presentations and sessions from the recent 22nd annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story.  Today’s (7/9) post presents the one-on-one discussion titled, “Sports Talk Radio’s Role in Popular Culture” featuring a conversation between Mark Chernoff, senior VP/programming WFAN/Entercom, NY and captain/sports format, CBS Sports Radio and Mike Thomas, PD, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub”, Boston and brand manager/spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley Broadcasting.   Kate Delaney, host, GCN and correspondent NBC Sports Radio, serves as facilitator.  Posted yesterday: “Broadcasting and Podcasting,” featuring (in alphabetical order) Greg Batusic, chief operating officer, PodcastOneSteven Goldstein, founder/CEO Amplifi MediaMichael Czarnecki, program director, WONK-FM, Washington, DC and iHeartRadio Podcast Channel; and Craig Schwalb, former program director WABC, New York and WPRO, Providence.  The discussion is moderated by Mike Kinosian, managing editor/West Coast bureau chief, TALKERS.  Already posted: The convention’s keynote chat in which TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison interviews Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity in a casual one-on-one conversation.  The two discuss a variety of topics including Hannity’s special relationship with President Donald J. Trump; what it takes to be successful on both radio and television talk media; the challenges facing talk radio in terms of ratings and marketing; Hannity’s feelings about his life and career; plus more.  The session is introduced by DC Radio Company executive director Victoria Jones.  Also already posted on the page:  The convention’s official opening address titled, “Telling the Story,” delivered by one of the industry’s great storytellers, Lee Habeeb, host and producer of the tremendously successful syndicated program, “Our American Stories” as well as RAB president/CEO Erica Farber receiving the Woman of the Year award and SiriusXM Satellite Radio star “Cousin” Bruce Morrow receiving the Lifetime Achievement award. The convention took place in New York City on Friday, June 7 and was one of the most positively received in the event’s colorful history.  TALKERS plans to add one or two videos per day to those posted until all the major events of the conference are posted here at Talkers.com.  To see the videos and convention video page, please click here.

‘98.5 The Sports Hub’ Adds FOX Sports Radio Shows for Overnights.  The Beasley Media Group sports talker announces it is adding FOX Sports Radio’s “The Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon” for the 12:00 midnight to 2:00 am slot and “The Ben Maller Show to air from 2:00 am to 6:00 am, effective July 18.  WBZ-FM, Boston will also air overnight programming from FOX Sports Radio on weekends.  Beasley national spoken-word brand manager Mike Thomas says, “For the second time in our 10-year history, ‘The Sports Hub’ will partner with FOX Sports Radio for late-night programming.  We’re happy to have FSR’s compelling brand of sports talk back on ‘The Sports Hub’ to keep our listeners informed and entertained.”

Sutterfield Appointed GSM for Cox Media Group’s Tulsa Cluster. Sales pro Phillip Sutterfield is promoted to general sales manager for Cox Media Group’s Tulsa station group that includes news/talk KRMG-AM/FM three music brands and Cox’s three television stations in the market.  CMG Tulsa director of sales Joe Muller states, “Phillip has been an integral part of the CMG sales team for many years and has always been one of the most consistent leaders on the team.  He has built outstanding relationships in the community and is a creative force for our clients.  I know Phillip will thrive in this new role and help guide us through the next phase of our sales growth.”

TALKERS News Notes. Former White House aide to President Obama (and current executive producer of Funny or Die D.C.) Brad Jenkins teams up with PodcastOne to create a new podcast titled, “Fired Up!” PodcastOne says, “Jenkins and his guests will dig deep to explore political issues and other things that get them fired up to love, laugh, and inspire.”  PodcastOne CEO Peter Morris says, “Brad is a dynamic, outspoken, intelligent ball of fire!  His passion for igniting high energy and intelligent conversation is perfect for the podcast format, and is sure to get both his guests and listeners as fired up as he is when it comes to politics and other topics we all care about.”…..Skyview Networks and The Howard Hughes Corporation’s Triple-A baseball club the Las Vegas Aviators, announce today a multi-year contract for the team to use Skyview’s inventory management and live read capture software, AdView.  The Aviators – an affiliate of the Oakland A’s – play in the Pacific Coast League…..Voice and audio content provider SpokenLayer announces that Andy Lipset joins the company as CEO.  He takes over for SpokenLayer founder Will Mayo, who continues with the company as chief strategy officer.  Lipset served for the past six years with Pandora.

CORRECTION: Yesterday, TALKERS magazine reported on the programming changes at Forever Media’s WXDE-FM, Lewes “Delaware 105.9.”  In doing so we wrote that Ed Tyll’s early afternoon show was cancelled by the station.  Program director Dan Gaffney tells TALKERS that Tyll was not let go but resigned from his program.

2020 Presidential Race, Epstein Arrest, Trump Tax Returns, UK Ambassador Leak, Immigration Policy/Detention Facilities; Iran Nuclear Ambitions, California Earthquakes, Women’s Soccer Pay Issue Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/8). The 2020 presidential race and the Democrats running for their party’s nomination; the arrest of billionaire hedge fund managerJeffrey Epstein on charges of sex trafficking; New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signs a law allowing Congress access to President Trump’s New York tax returns; the leak of a cable from UK Ambassador Kim Darroch calling President Trump “inept” and “clumsy”; the Trump Administration’s immigration policies and the controversy over conditions at border detention centers; Iran’s continuing progress in enriching uranium; the Southern California earthquakes; and the issue of pay disparity between the men’s and women’s U.S. Soccer team 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. Tallahassee has a new music station as iHeartMedia turns WTLY-AM/W243EG into classic hip hop and R&B as “Throwback 96.5.”   The station will feature hip hop and R&B from the 80s, 90s and early 2000s.  Station program director D – Strong says, “Throwback hip hop and R&B is what’s hot right now and I’m glad that we’re the ones that get to bring that to Tallahassee!”.…..Some new acts are being added to the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Festival taking place Friday, September 20 and Saturday, September 21 at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.  Hootie & The Blowfish, Marshmello, and Steve Aoki with special guests Darren Criss and Monsta X have been added to the lineup…..Westwood One’s syndicated “Country Gold with Terri Clark” hits the 165-station affiliation mark with the addition of WCCQ-FM, Crest Hill, Illinois (Chicago market); WDRQ-FM, Detroit; WNKN-FM, Cincinnati; WSM-FM, Nashville; WPUR-FM, Atlantic City; KTJJ-FM, Farmington-St. Louis; and KXKC-FM, Lafayette, Louisiana.

Friday, December 21, 2018

| December 21, 2018

The Top News/Talk Radio Stories of 2018.  Today, TALKERS magazine presents its annual year-end feature ranking the most-talked-about news/talk radio stories and people of the year.  Not surprisingly, the Trump-Russia investigation was at the top of the stories list this year and President Donald Trump was the most-talked-about person.  Immigration issues, mass shootings, the midterm elections, and the Kavanaugh confirmation rounded out the top five stories on this year’s chart while Robert Mueller, Vladimir Putin, Mitch McConnell, and Nancy Pelosi followed President Trump as the most-talked-about people on the chart. In all, there are 20 stories and the people related to those stories listed on this year’s chart.  See it in its entirety here.

iHeartMedia Announces Deal to Split from Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings. The separation of iHeartMedia – the radio and digital business – from billboard segment Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings is part of iHM’s Fifth Amended Plan for reorganization.  Today the companies announce they’ve agreed to terms for the separation.  iHeartMedia currently owns 89.1% of CCOH’s outstanding common stock.  William Eccleshare – currently as chairman and CEO of Clear Channel International – will become chief executive officer of CCOH. Eccleshare joined CCI in 2009 and went on to lead Clear Channel Outdoor, including full operational responsibility for CCI and Clear Channel Outdoor Americas, before assuming his current role. Eccleshare will be based in London and will also continue to lead CCI as part of his new role.  Scott Wells will continue to lead CCOA as CEO.  iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “Today’s announcement is recognition that while iHeartMedia and CCOH are both very strong in their respective areas – iHeartMedia is America’s number one audio company and CCOH is one of the world’s largest outdoor advertising companies – their key constituencies have little strategic overlap. We believe that the separation of the two businesses makes strategic and financial sense and will allow each company to better achieve their individual missions.”  CCOH’s current leadership and board of directors will remain in place until iHeartMedia exits its restructuring process, at which time the new executives and board will assume their responsibilities.

TODAY IS THE LAST DAY to Register as an Early Bird for Talkers 2019 Convention!   The opportunity to save $50 in registering for Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will end TODAY Friday, December 21 at 5:00 pm ET.  The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place again 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, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story 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 agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story 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, those registering before 5:00 pm ET on December 21, 2018 pay only $279. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh Announces New Program Schedule. Pittsburgh news/talk KDKA-AM announces its new lineup for 2019 with the addition of Wendy Bell and Lynne Hayes-Freeland as afternoon drive host and midday host respectively.   The Entercom station says it is also expanding its local weekday news coverage to 8:00 pm and will add local morning newscasts on the weekends.  KDKA is moving current afternoon drive host Robert Mangino to the 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot (with weekend duties as well). It moves current late morning host Marty Griffin to the afternoon drive daypart with new co-host Wendy Bell.   It combines the late morning and early afternoon shows into one 10:00 am to 2:00 pm program hosted by Lynne Hayes-Freeland.  Bell – a 21-time Emmy and five-time Edward R. Murrow Award winner – says, “KDKA is a powerhouse radio station and Marty Griffin is a trusted friend who, like me, loves helping people.  Spending four hours a day with a team that truly cares about this city is a tremendous honor and I look forward to the opportunity to serve our listeners.” Hayes-Freeland began her career with KDKA-AM as a producer back in 1976.  She worked at KDKA-TV as a reporter, producer, and talk show host since 1977.  She comments, “Radio is a perfect place to learn, explore, and grow, and I look forward to the chance to do just that with listeners just as curious as me every day. It feels great to be back home on KDKA.” The station lost longtime early afternoon host Mike Pintek back in September. He passed away after a battle with cancer.

Beasley Inks 98.5 The Sports Hub’s ‘Toucher and Rich’ to Contract Extension. Morning drive duo Fred Toucher (right) and Rich Shertenlieb (left) re-up with Beasley Media Group to continue hosting their morning program on sports talk WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub.”  They have been the hosts of the morning show since the station launched as a sports talk outlet in 2009.  Station program director Mike Thomas (who also serves Beasley as national format brand manager for spoken-word programming and esports) says, “‘Toucher & Rich’ are the most creative guys I know with real raw talent that you cannot teach.  ‘Toucher & Rich’ will always be one of the biggest success stories in the history of ‘The Sports Hub.’

Gonzalez to Lead Sales at iHeartMedia Wilmington. Sales and management pro Steve Gonzalez is returning to iHeartMedia to take on the senior vice president of sales position at the Wilmington, Delaware station group that includes heritage news/talk WILM-AM, sister news/talk WDOV-AM, and sports talk WWTX-AM. Gonzalez was most recently an EVP with Target Media.  He previously served with iHeartMedia as a general sales manager in the Philadelphia cluster.  He says, “I truly appreciate the opportunity to come back to iHeartMedia.  I look forward to leading the strong team [retiring SVP] Martha [Masters] has developed and trained over the past years and my goal is to continue to provide the Delmarva business community with the numerous iHeart assets and platforms that will increase consumer engagement and grow their business.”

CMG Unveils Cox Trading Desk. This new service comes from Cox Media Group’s CMG Local Solutions and provides its clients with programmatic advertising technologies and a team of traders to eliminate charges for fraudulent advertising impressions.  Vice president of digital media Joe Weir explains, “At Cox Media Group, we understand the importance of avoiding fraudulent impressions and providing a transparent ecosystem for our clients.  The Cox Trading Desk is designed to protect our clients by delivering the highest quality of inventory that translates into an industry-leading return on investment.”  Cox says in its press release, “Because Cox owns and operates newspaper, television, radio and digital assets across the country, CMG Local Solutions knows the current landscape of premium publishers and the challenges this industry faces with malicious activity.  Senior director of data and programmatic Joseph Naylor adds, “With CMG being TAG registered and an active member of the IAB, it is our publisher-centric mindset that compels us to make this pledge to all of our advertising clients.

Neely Joins Entercom Board. Chairman, president and CEO David Field says that Susan K. Neely “brings an outstanding breadth of expertise to the board and we look forward to having her join us at such an exciting time in our company’s growth and transformation.”  Neely is the president and chief executive officer of the American Council of Life Insurers and she brings an impressive set of credentials with her.  She served as special assistant to President George W. Bush and helped create the U.S Department of Homeland Security.  She later became the first DHS assistant secretary for public affairs.  Neely led the American Beverage Association for 13 years as president and CEO before joining ACLI in September 2018.  Neely’s appointment is an expansion as the board now is comprised of nine people.

TALKERS News Notes.  Today (12/21) is the final Steve Dahl show on Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM, Chicago. As previously announced, Dahl is leaving the news/talk station where he’s been hosting the afternoon drive show, although he’ll continue to do his regular podcast with co-hosts Dag Juhlin and Brendan Greeley.  Chicago media maven Robert Feder writes about it here…..Entercom’s WSCR, Chicago, “670 The Score” announces that the MLB’s Chicago Cubs and Pat Hughes have signed a multi-year contract extension for him to remain in the play-by-play booth beginning with his 24th season with the team in 2019.  Ron Coomer serves as color analyst. Entercom Chicago SVP and market manager Jimmy de Castro says, “Pat is the iconic voice of the Chicago Cubs. We are both proud and honored to have him on our team at ‘670 The Score’ and Entercom Chicago.  Pat is the eyes and ears for so many Cubs fans both in Chicago and worldwide.  We are thrilled he will continue as the radio voice for multiple years to come.”…..CBS News Radio is distributing “Eye On Travel” with host Peter Greenberg.  “Eye On Travel” is a new series of short- and long-form shows featuring CBS News senior travel advisor Peter Greenberg.  CBS News Radio general manager Craig Swagler comments, “We’re delighted to offer Peter Greenberg’s insightful programs and expertise to our affiliates and listeners.  Peter brings a unique perspective to the world of travel and empowers listeners so that they may make informed decisions when traveling throughout the world.”

Wade and Abel Join National Radio Talent System.  The National Radio Talent System names Taylor Anne Wade and Aimee Abel to the newly created position of institutes director.  Wade has worked with Don Anthony’s Morning Show Boot Camp and Talk Show Boot Camp, was a volunteer at the Country Radio Seminar, and was a Student Scholar at the NAB/RAB Radio Show.  Abel moves from part time to full time.  She was previously an anchor for iHeartMedia’s Total Traffic and Weather Network.  National Radio Talent System president Dan Vallie says, “Both Taylor Anne and Aimee completed the Kellar Radio Talent Institute when they were students at Appalachian State University.  They bring a passion for the industry and for helping people.  We wanted them to be on the team and they wanted to be here.  Things worked out well.  I’m thrilled they are on the team.”  The National Radio Talent System is currently producing eight Radio Talent Institutes annually.

Trump-Russia Investigation Top News/Talk Story Again This Week. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents remained the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the battle over the border wall and the related short-term spending bill. Coming in at #3 was President Trump’s order to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, followed by activity on the world’s financial markets and the Fed’s decision to raise interest rates at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Armstrong & Getty Are This Week’s Guests on Harrison Podcast.  Syndicated morning show hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty are this week’s guests on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  They started out as a couple of music radio DJs who joined forces in the early 90s in Wichita and worked their way up to landing a big-time slot in 1998 as the morning team on news/talk station KSTE in Sacramento.  They quickly developed a reputation throughout the radio industry for their freshness and youthful dynamics.  Their show became a huge success in the California state capital and began to spread into regional syndication up and down the west coast where today – 20 years later – it still emanates from KSTE but is also heard in the mornings on such major radio stations as KGO, San Francisco; KFMB, San Diego; KHHO, Seattle; KEX, Portland; KMJ, Fresno; KKAT, Salt Lake City, and KTBL, Albuquerque, not to mention stations in Eugene, Monterey-Salinas, Palm Springs, Reno, Riverside and Ventura.  And now, as we enter 2019, the show is being offered to stations around the country as a full-fledged nationally syndicated radio show.  Michael Harrison says, “When I first heard Armstrong & Getty, they sounded to me more like the kind of talk show hosts one would expect to hear on a rock station than on a ‘serious’ news outlet.  They were funny and irreverent and surrounded with a cast of characters that gave their show more of the feeling of a morning zoo than a roundtable of stuffy panelists.  But even though they were zany and played the goofball roll to a certain degree, their antics were offset by obvious intelligence, keen insight, biting satire, excellent interviewing skills and a ton of information about what was happening in the news.”  Harrison caught up with Jack and Joe last week to discuss their fabulous radio partnership… where it’s been, where it’s at, and where it hopes to be going – set against the backdrop of turbulent political times and extraordinary social/technological change.  Don’t miss this!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. He’s been away from Entercom country outlet WDSY, Pittsburgh “Y108” for five years, but Stoney Richards (center)is making his return to a full-time air shift on the station.  He begins co-hosting the morning show – titled “Y’d Awake” – with co-host Kristen Buccigrossi (left) and producer Cowboy Curt (right).  Entercom Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “Stoney Richards means country in Western PA.  He’s beloved by Pittsburgh country fans and the Nashville hitmakers alike.  We are thrilled to bring Stoney back home to ‘Y108’ every weekday.”  Richards has been serving with the station (and sister news/talk KDKA-AM) as a fill-in personality…..iHeartMedia Asheville unveils new alternative rock outlet “ALT 101.1” The station is heard on translator W266CP but it’s not immediately clear which station is feeding the translator. Senior vice president of programming Brian Hall states, “There is a huge appetite for alternative music in Asheville. So many of the artists that you will hear on ‘ALT 101.1’ have already performed live in Asheville and I’m excited to know that local fans now have a radio station to listen to their favorite musicians and to call their home.”…..Entercom’s “Hot 92.9” (WWWL-AM, WEZB-HD2, and W225 CZ) announces the addition of the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner show to its program schedule in morning drive.  Senior vice president and market manager Kevin Cassidy comments, “We are absolutely thrilled to have legendary morning man Tom Joyner on ‘The New Hot 92.9.’  Tom is already well known to listeners across New Orleans and we look forward to expanding his audience in 2019 and beyond.”

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

| November 6, 2018

Entercom Q3 Report: Revenue ‘Improved Significantly.’ It was almost a year ago that Entercom closed on its acquisition of the CBS RADIO stations and the addition of that group of stations pushes Entercom’s net revenue from $122.3 million in the third quarter of 2017 to $378.5 million in the third quarter of this year.  But, on a same-station basis, net revenue was down from $395.2 million – a decrease of 4.3%.  Pro forma adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $86.7 million, compared to $89.7 million in the third quarter of 2017.  Entercom president and CEO David Field says, “As we close in on the one-year anniversary of our transformational merger with CBS RADIO, we are very pleased with our progress and excited about the momentum we are building across multiple growth initiatives.  Revenues have improved significantly since the first half of the year and the fourth quarter is on track for significant growth, currently pacing up 4%.  Expenses are down significantly, driven by synergies, and we anticipate solid double-digit EBITDA growth in the fourth quarter.  In addition, we have now completed all of our previously announced divestitures and land sales, generating roughly $200 million in cash proceeds.”

Townsquare Media Reports ‘Another Strong Quarter.’ The company reports its 2018 third quarter financial results, stating net revenue was $114.1 million – up 1.9% from the same period in 2017 – but was basically flat, excluding political revenue.  Excluding live events net revenue, which was budgeted to decline in 2018, net revenue increased $8.7 million, or 9.5%, to $101.1 million, as compared to $92.3 million in the same period last year.  Townsquare Media co-CEO Dhruv Prasad says, “We are pleased to announce another strong quarter at Townsquare, our fourth since Bill Wilson and I started our partnership as co-chief executive officers one year ago.  We implemented a strategic plan focused on the stability and profitable growth of Townsquare’s local branded media, marketing solutions, and live events businesses, and that plan has helped yield three consecutive quarters of revenue and EBITDA growth so far in 2018.”

Mike Thomas Promoted to National Format Brand Manager for Spoken Word Formats. WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” program director Mike Thomas is elevated to the position of national format brand manager for spoken word formats, including sports talk, talk, podcasting, and Esports content for Beasley Media Group.  He will continue to serve as PD for WBZ-FM.  At the same time, the company makes a similar move upping David Corey – PD of WKLB, Boston – to national format brand manager for country.  Beasley Media Group EVP of programming Justin Chase says, “Mike Thomas and David Corey will join our existing national format brand managers, John Candelaria (urban) from Detroit, Cadillac Jack (AC/CHR) from Boston and Bill Weston (rock) from Philly to round out a first-class programming team to further support and elevate our stations.”

Prosecution Rests in Carton Fraud Trial. According to coverage in Newsday, the feds have rested their case against former WFAN, New York morning personality Craig Carton.  Carton’s defense attorney Robert Gottlieb told U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon that they are having “serious conversations” about Carton taking the stand in his defense but have not reached a decision.  Carton is being charged with fraud, accused of using money from investors in his ticket re-sale business to pay off personal expenses – including alleged gambling debts – as well as to pay off earlier investors.  Carton denies he set out to defraud anyone and argues he was a victim of former partner Joseph Meli, who is serving 6 ½ years after pleading guilty to a previous event tickets Ponzi scheme.

KABC, Los Angeles’ Jillian Barberie Reveals Cancer Diagnosis.  As reported by LARadio.com, KABC, Los Angeles afternoon drive personality Jillian Barberie has announced via social media that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer and is beginning aggressive treatment. She writes, “Results back.  It’s cancer in my right breast but also it has spread to my lymph node.  Appointment at Bedford Breast to assess everything.  I’m going to be super aggressive and do double mastectomy and they said I need chemo for the lymph.  Thanks for coming on this journey with me!”  Barberie hosts the KABC show with John Phillips.  In her absence, Steve Edwards is filling in.

News Pro Mike Parker Dies at 75. Former KFI, Los Angeles news director Mike Parker passed away on Sunday (11/4) at the age of 75.  He spent the last 35-plus years of his career at WBBM-TV, Chicago, but worked in radio in Los Angeles prior to that.  LARadio.com notes that Parker graduated from Los Angeles City College and began working at KBBQ-AM as a newscaster.  He moved to KFI in 1969 and served as news director from 1973-77.

Former SiriusXM Chairman and CEO Joe Clayton Passes at 69.  Media executive Joe Clayton died on Saturday (11/3), three years after retiring from his last position as CEO of Dish Network.  He was the first CEO of Sirius Satellite Radio, serving from 2001 through 2004, and became chairman from 2004 through 2008, exiting after the merger of Sirius and XMSabo Media chairman Walter Sabo tells TALKERS magazine, “Sirius exists because of what Joe did.  Joe got the radios out of the factories and into cars.  He made those consumer electronics deals. He worked that board to get Howard Stern the deal he has and he never relented. He knew Howard was the ticket. Over and over he pulled that company out of the fire and gave it the foundation of success.”  Read the Variety obit here.

Midterm Elections, Migrant Caravan, Post-Election Administration Changes, New Iran Sanctions, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/5).  Today’s midterm elections and the battle for control of the House and the Senate; the caravan of Honduran migrants headed for the U.S. border; chatter about changes in some key Trump Administration posts after the election; the U.S. reimposes sanctions on Iran that were lifted as part of the 2015 nuclear pact; 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.

Doing His Civic Duty. TalkersRadio general manager David Bernstein is pictured above at his polling place at St. Cloud Elementary School in West Orange, New Jersey where he’s volunteering helping voters, putting up signs and making sure the process is going smoothly for voters.  Bernstein says activity was brisk there this morning, calling it a “heavy turnout, a packed house from opening at 6:00 am until 10:00 am.”

Meg Strikes Again!  Dynamic personality Meg McDonald, host of the increasingly popular short-form TalkersRadio series “MEG!” made yet another splash within the Southern California civics community this past Sunday (11/4).  The Studio City Beautification Association hosted a booth at the Studio City Farmers Market giving away free succulents as a thank you to the community.  McDonald (pictured left) is an active board member of both organizations and held down the 11:00 am to 2:00 pm shift telling TALKERS, “We gave away 150 succulents and everyone was so appreciative.  It was a warm sunny 81-degree day so, of course, I wore my favorite Broadcasters General Store cap.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Tulsa, Griffin Communications names Amber Glaze afternoon drive personality and music director for country KVOO-FM. Glaze was most recently with Signal Media’s country KHLR, Little Rock “106.7 The Ride” as host of the “Hot Mess in the Morning” program.  KVOO program director Brian Jennings says, “Amber brings ideas and energy, along with her passion for country music.  We waited for the right candidate to come along and we’re so excited she’s finally here.  Her bright demeanor, silly sense of humor, and trademark boisterous laugh make for an invaluable addition to the KVOO team.”  Griffin recently acquired KVOO and four other Tulsa stations from Scripps Media…..Alpha Media re-brands CHR WDLD-FM Hagerstown, Maryland “Live 96.7.”  The station drops the “Wild 96.7” moniker.  Alpha Media Hagerstown VP and market manager Ed Dorsey says, “We are thrilled to be evolving the station into the ‘Live and Local’ brand that Alpha Media Hagerstown-Chambersburg stands for, to better serve the Hagerstown community.  We are excited about this new image, a ‘fresh coat of paint’ on the WDLD 96.7 brand that the community has learned to know and love over the past 16 years.”…..iHeartMedia alternative WRFF “Radio 104.5” is presenting the “Radio 104.5 Miller Lite Mystery Show presented by Xfinity Live!”  The mystery show will take place on Monday, November 19 at Xfinity Live! in Philadelphia featuring a surprise performance from a top performing artist.  Attendees won’t know who the act is until the show begins.  Tickets can only be had by listening to “Radio 104.5” or via the next free ticket download that will take place on Thursday, November 15 at 12:00 noon.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

| August 28, 2018

News/Talk WGOW-FM, Chattanooga Cuts Ties with Jeff Styles. The longtime WGOW-FM, Chattanooga morning drive personality had been suspended by Cumulus Media after his arrest on aggravated assault charges stemming from a road rage incident on June 15.  Now, after the station’s internal investigation, Jeff Styles has been let go from the news/talk outlet.  A portion of the station’s statement says, “There is nothing more we can say about it because we do not know the specific considerations and scope of the internal investigation nor the specific findings of the internal investigation.”  Styles recently launched a website dedicated to telling his side of the story.  During the incident, Styles was shot in the arm by motorist Nickolas Bullington.  On the JeffStylesAmerica.com site, he lays out his explanation of what happened during the confrontation with Bullington and displays Bullington’s history of court appearances and motor vehicle violations.  Styles’ attorney had argued that there was no probable cause to charge Styles but the judge eventually bound the case over to a grand jury.  WGOW-FM’s “The Morning Press” show is being hosted by Jim Reynolds and program director Kevin West.

WABC, New York Launches ‘Sid Sports Sunday’ Program.  Beginning September 9, WABC, New York personality Sid Rosenberg debuts his new, weekly sports talk show, “Sid Sports Sunday” from 8:00 am to 10:00 am on Cumulus Media’s news/talk 77 WABC Radio.  Rosenberg co-hosts the station’s “Bernie and Sid in the Morning” program with Bernard McGuirk.  The station says the show “is created with the listener’s sports needs at its epicenter – from expert fantasy picks, to incredible player interviews, to live look-in’s at stadiums across the country.”  Cumulus Media New York VP/market manager Chad Lopez adds, “Our listeners and our advertisers have been begging for Sid to contribute to New York’s explosive sports conversation with more regularity.  ‘Sid Sports Sunday’ will cover it all every week.”  Rosenberg says, “I’m so proud of the work we do daily on the ‘Bernie and Sid in the Morning’ show. There is no better variety show in the country. But it is no secret that I wanted to get back to my roots and host a serious sports show. I want to thank Chad Lopez and [program director] Craig Schwalb for this wonderful opportunity.”

Annual WEEI-NESN Jimmy Fund Radiothon Raises More Than $4.4 million.  This year’s fundraiser was the 16th annual to benefit the Boston-based Jimmy Fund that supports adult and pediatric cancer care and research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  WEEI launched the fundraiser in 2002, regional sports cable channel NESN joined the cause in 2003.  This year’s event helped raise more than $4.4 million and, to date, the “WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon” has raised more than $53 million.  Entercom Boston regional president and market manager Mark Hannon says, “The Jimmy Fund makes significant contributions to those battling cancer in the Boston area and we are proud to support its efforts through this yearly event.  It is an honor for our team to give back to the community by raising funds on behalf of the organization and we are blown away by the incredible generosity of WEEI listeners who make this event so successful year in and year out.”

Rich Brody to Wrap 45-Year Sales Career This October.  Currently serving as an account executive for Beasley Media Group’s classic hits WROR-FM, Boston, Richard Brody will retire from the radio business on October 26 after 45 years of service to the Boston radio industry.  The company says that in addition to being an “extraordinary and award-winning sales professional,” Brody is known as “a great mentor and friend, and fierce advocate for the radio industry as a whole.” During his career, Brody hosted a jazz program on WCAS, Cambridge and worked in the sales department at Boston stations including: WCOZ, WBCN, WVBF, WXKS “Kiss 108,” Mix 98.5 (now Mix 104.1), WZLX, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” and, of course, WROR.  Beasley Media Boston GSM Jesse Carbone says, “When Richard Brody walked into my office a couple of weeks ago and said he was ready to retire, at first I didn’t believe him.  I didn’t think Rich would ever stop working, but after a few minutes I realized it was in fact true.  The guy who had spent more than four decades becoming a legend in the radio industry was finally ready to travel, visit family and friends, and hopefully sleep past 3:00 am.  Throughout his career, Rich not only sold the stations for which he worked but he also championed the medium with unmatched passion.  The radio industry will not be the same without him.”

Edison Research: 54% of Radio Listeners Hear Medium ONLY in the Car.  This data point is one of a number from Edison Research’s “Share of Ear” study that will be revealed during the company’s presentation at the NAB/RAB’s Radio Show in Orlando.  As you can see in the infographic above, the younger a consumer gets, the more they only hear radio in the car.  Find out more from Edison Research at its “Miles Different: In-Car Audio 2018” presentation on September 27 at 1:30 pm at the Radio Show.

NextRadio Available on New Samsung Galaxy Note9. The inclusion of an FM chip and the support for NextRadio by Samsung on its new Galaxy Note9 is thrilling for NextRadio, says NextRadio president Paul Brenner.  “The launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note9 is especially exciting, as this model is a showcase for premium technology and industry-defining innovation. We look forward to the Galaxy Note9 being available to millions of users who will be able to listen to free radio on their phone in North America…Through the free NextRadio app, Galaxy Note9 consumers can listen to live, local radio stations.  Also, when cellular coverage is congested or unavailable, the FM chip will provide life-saving information from local radio stations.”

iHeartMedia’s AUTOFLYTE EDGE Launched to Assist Auto Dealers in Marketing Decisions. This marketing tool for auto dealerships is a collaborative effort between iHeartMedia and AUTOFLYTE that features daily sales and market share data throughout each region to help dealerships market smarter and faster.  iHeartMedia says, “In an age when real-time analytics and insights are vital to a business’ success, dealerships have been confined to analyzing OEM reports and 60- to 90-day-old registration data to guide their sales and marketing strategies.  Now, for the first time, auto dealerships will be able to utilize iHeartMedia’s AUTOFLYTE EDGE tool to receive up-to-date, daily automotive sales insights from their surrounding area, allowing them to completely customize and quickly update their sales and marketing strategies based on current market dynamics and trends.” iHeartMedia EVP of automotive business developments & partnerships John Karpinski says, “We are committed to technology-driven innovation and having the ability to offer even more targeting solutions for our advertisers that leverage the unparalleled local reach of radio.  AUTOFLYTE has partnered with the industry authority for automotive sales statistics to create the most powerful and credible insights tool available and we have partnered with AUTOFLYTE to bring this revolutionary technology to the market. With the new AUTOFLYTE EDGE platform, we will provide our auto partners the ability to break free from previous automotive marketing confinements and use timely information to precisely target new buyers.”

TALKERS News Notes. WPEN-FM, Philadelphia executive producer Eric Camille is promoted to assistant program director for the Beasley Media Group sports talker. Camille joined “97.5 The Fanatic” in 2009.  Program director Eric Johnson says, “Eric Camille cares deeply about ‘The Fanatic.’  It shows in everything he does…whether it’s creating compelling imaging, making sure of all our on-air schedules are coordinated, or acting as a programming, sales and promotions liaison.  It’s a privilege to have him on our team.”…..The Federal Communications Commission is getting into the podcast game with a new series called, “More Than Seven Dirty Words,” designed to educate and, as the press release says, “maybe even do the impossible: make telecom interesting.” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai comments, “One of the wonderful things about the digital age is the many ways to share information, so we’re excited to launch this new FCC podcast.  What really has struck me during my time at the agency is the dedication that our staff has for the mission of the FCC, and I’m glad we’re able to shine a light on their efforts to make America a better, stronger place.”  The podcast is hosted by FCC policy advisor Evan Swarztrauber.  Guests will share their personal stories behind some of the headline-making news from the commission and break down issues across the spectrum of the FCC…..There are two management announcements from Midwest Communications as the company brings former NRG Media Omaha market manager Kurt Luchs aboard to oversee its five-station Kalamazoo cluster that includes news/talk WKZO and sports talk WQLR.  Also in Michigan, Midwest appoints Mark Jaycox manager of the four-station Lansing group that includes sports talk WQTX-FM.  Most recently, Jaycox was with Adams Outdoor’s Lansing office…..Kevin Gabbay joins news/talk 77 WABC, New York and the rest of the Cumulus Media New York cluster as director of marketing & promotions…..According to a report in Variety, ESPN is making some changes to the “Get Up!” morning program hosted by Mike Greenberg, Michelle Beadle, and Jalen Rose.  The story says Beadle is exiting the show and re-locating to Los Angeles to focus on her other ESPN duties, including hosting “NBA Countdown.”  Jalen Rose will continue to appear on “Get Up!” when his “NBA Countdown” duties allow.  Greenberg exited the successful ESPN Radio “Mike & Mike” show to take on the role hosting mornings on the company’s flagship cable channel…..SiriusXM is broadcasting live coverage of the 2018 US Open Tennis Championships from the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York…..Westwood One is continuing to urge all major commercial broadcast radio stations to register their existing C Band downlinks with the FCC before the Commission evaluates the 3.7-4.2 Ghz C Band for additional mobile broadband data services. These potential services could create insurmountable interference to programming that thousands of stations receive by satellite. The deadline for registration is now October 17, 2018.  Typically, registration requires a Frequency Coordination Study ($1,500) plus a $435 filing fee. During the 90-day window, the FCC waived the first fee and only the $435 filing fee applies. It is possible the FCC will later charge the $1,500 study fee. Westwood One’s satellite provider, SES, has set aside a pool of funding to reimburse those broadcasters for whom the $435 registration fee is a hardship. This reimbursement is subject to the terms set by SES for earth stations registered between July 25, 2018 and October 17, 2018 in the continental United States.  For questions, contact SES directly at FCCregistration@ses.com

John McCain’s Passing, Trump-Russia Investigation, Lanny Davis-CNN Story Controversy, Trump Announces U.S.-Mexico Trade Deal, Deadly Jacksonville Shooting, NFL Pre-season, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/27). The passing of Arizona Senator John McCain, the White House’s reaction, and speculation about who will fill his seat; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; Michael Cohen attorney Lanny Davis admits to being source of CNN story that claimed Trump had knowledge of Trump Tower-Russia meeting; President Trump announces steps toward new trade deal with Mexico; the aftermath of the deadly shooting at an egame competition in Jacksonville; the NFL’s pre-season; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

Chuck Fredrick to Lead Cumulus Indianapolis. Former iHeartMedia Cincinnati market manager Chuck Fredrick is joining Cumulus Media as vice president and market manager for its Indianapolis cluster that includes CHR WYRG, country WFMS, and classic hits WJJK.  Fredrick comments, “Grateful to Mary Berner and Dave Milner for giving me the opportunity to do what I love to do.  I am especially excited about joining and partnering with the Indianapolis team, giving our best in all that we do.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Kansas City hot AC KZPT “99.7 The Point” announces its new morning show will be “Ponch & Nikki in the Morning” featuring Brian “Ponch” Hudgens and Nikki Vivas.  Ponch joins the Entercom station after working for 17 years at Steel City Media’s crosstown CHR KMVX “MIX 93.3.”  He says in a Facebook post, “I’m coming back to morning radio in Kansas City on ‘99.7 The Point!’  I will also continue my journey with Strange Music.  Managing, promoting, and developing some of the best artists on the planet!  Music and radio are two of my BIGGEST passions.  Being able to do both, I am literally living my dream.  As a bonus I get to do a morning show with one of my dearest/closest friends, Nikki Vivas!!!”…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that Lou Lombardo is the new midday jock at Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s rock WXRX, Rockford, Illinois.  Lombardo previously worked at Cumulus Media’s alt rock WKQX, Chicago…..News about the new morning show at Community Broadcasters-owned alternative WZLB, Fort Walton Beach “103.1 The Blaze” is expected soon as station program director Wes Styles announces the station has ended its carriage of the “Bubba the Love Sponge” program.  Styles comments, “We’re excited about the evolution of the station.  A new logo, voice, and morning show.  Things are happening at ‘THE BLAZE!’  And we are confident these changes will create a better listening experience for our devoted fans and an enhanced advertising environment for our clients.”…..Chicago radio pro LaMont WattsFuture Vision Entertainment is buying two FM translators from Windy City Broadcasting for $3.5 million.  They will be fed by an HD signal of SBS’ WLEY-FM and will air Watts’ “Clubsteppin” R&B format that currently airs online.  The translators are W236CF, Chicago (atop the Willis Tower) and W236BF licensed to suburban Bolingbrook.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

| July 17, 2018

iHeartMedia Releases May Financial Figures; Net Income in the Black.  As iHeartMedia winds its way through Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, it is releasing monthly financial statements with a bunch more information than the privately-owned company used to reveal in its quarterly reports.  Although iHM’s revenue dipped from $417.9 million in April to $318.7 million in May, net income went from a loss of $139.8 million to a gain of $57.7 million.  Operating income also rose from April to May – going from $63.9 million to $80.9 million.

‘Rip City Sports Radio’ Announces New Programming. Portland, Oregon sports talker KPOJ “Rip City Radio 620” and collaborator NBC Sports Northwest announce a new weekday lineup starting Thursday (7/19).  Changes include sports talk radio pro Brian Noe taking over for “The Dwight & Aaron Show” in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart and the re-launch of the evening program, “The Bridge,” hosted by Serena Winters.  Noe has been a national host at FOX Sports Radio since 2013 during which he hosted a Saturday evening show with Ephraim Salaam and a Sunday morning show with Andy Furman.  Noe has also hosted shows with Rob Parker, former ESPN NBA insider Chris Broussard, former NBA slam dunk champion Cedric Ceballos, and former Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn.  Aaron Fentress and Dwight Jaynes will return to NBC Sports Northwest as digital contributors, taking on bigger roles covering all sports on NBCSportsNorthwest.com.  Serena Winters was previously co-host of “The Bridge” and has been elevated to primary host. She’ll be accompanied by a variety of expert contributors.  Rich Moore is PD for the iHeartMedia station and he says, “We are excited to be adding Brian Noe to the team and our daily lineup at ‘NBCSNW Rip City Radio 620.’ He’s a great young talent and will help us strengthen our platform with NBC Sports Northwest and for the Portland fans.”

FOX Sports Radio and Clay Travis Extend Deal. Nationally syndicated sports media personality Clay Travis and FOX Sports Radio (a division of Premiere Networks) announce they’ve come to terms on a new, multi-year agreement.  The deal will keep Travis in his current role as host of the network’s morning drive (6:00 am to 9:00 am ET) program, “Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis.” Premiere SVP sports programming Don Martin and VP sports programming Scott Shapiro say, “We’re excited by what we’re building with this network and ‘Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis’ is an integral piece of the puzzle. We’re proud to have Clay leading our lineup every weekday morning with his bold, opinionated, and entertaining brand of sports talk, which continues to drive positive results for our affiliates and advertising partners.  We look forward to working together for many years to come.”

Sweet New Studios. Pictured above are WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” personalities (from l-r) Mike Felger, Marshall Hook, and Matt McCarthy in the station’s new studios.  The station began broadcasting from Beasley Media Group Boston’s new facilities in Dorchester this week.

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post: Panel Discussion, “Programming News/Talk Radio.”  Today (7/17), TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each business day, another session or activity will be posted in the order that they originally took place.  Today’s 15th installment is the panel discussion titled “Programming News/Talk Radio.”  It is moderated by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian; introduced by KFBK/KSTE, Sacramento PD, Bill White; and featuring panelists CFRB, Toronto PD and Bell Media national news/talk format head, Mike BendixeniHeartMedia national brand coordinator, news/talk/sports programming and director of AM programming Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Grace Blazer; WOR, New York assistant PD, Scott Lakefield; WBAL, Baltimore PD, Scott Masteller; and WABC, New York PD, Craig Schwalb.  Already posted: the panel discussion titled, “Talk Media: The Big Picture.”  It is moderated by ABC News Radio VP/GM, Steve Jones; introduced by “The Cats Roundtable” host, John Catsimatidis; and featuring panelists iHeartMedia SVP news/talk/sports programming Chris BerryBeasley Media Group EVP programming, Justin ChaseWeiss Agency EVP, Heather CohenCumulus Media EVP content & programming Mike McVay; and Premiere Networks president, Julie Talbott.  Already posted: the panel discussion titled “Hosting a Talk Show in 2018.”  It is moderated by Cumulus Media VP of news/talk and PD of WMAL, Washington, DC, Bill Hess; introduced by iHeartMedia VP programming/national news/talk brand coordinator and PD KOA, Denver, Greg Foster; and featuring panelists Howie Carr Radio Network host, Howie Carr; WPGG, Atlantic City host, Harry HurleyFox News Radio/Fox News Channel host, Brian KilmeadeWestwood One host Chris PlanteTalk Media Network host Tom Sullivan; WPRO, Providence host, Dan Yorke; and KTSA, San Antonio host, Jack Riccardi; the panel discussion titled “Attracting Younger Demos to Talk Radio.”  It is moderated by Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY-FM (Rock 102), Springfield, MA; introduced by WPHT, Philadelphia host Rich Zeoli; and featuring panelists Armstrong & Getty Show co-hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty; WRKO, Boston PD, Michael Czarnecki; WRHU-FM/WRHU.org, Hofstra University OM, John T. Mullen; WABC, New York host Sid Rosenberg; and Compass MediaNetworks/Newsmax host, Todd Schnitt;  a video of the donation given by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley to the Broadcasters Foundation of America and accepted by its president Jim Thompson;  convention luncheon greetings by WNYM “970 AM The Answer,” New York morning host Joe Piscopo with an introduction by Salem SVP Phil Boyce along with the posthumous presentation of the “Humanitarian of the Year” award to the late Texas and Ohio radio talk show host Matt Patrick by Michael Harrison with an acceptance by his widow and show producer, Paula Ryan;  the panel discussion titled “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” moderated by Livestream head of news, Clayton Rose and featuring panelists Krantz Media Group CEO, Gary Krantz and KTRS, St Louis host, McGraw Milhaven; the panel discussion titled “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2018” moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor, Kevin Casey; introduced by Crossover Media Group managing member, Ron Hartenbaum; and featuring panelists Asa RX host, AsaBold Gold Media Group CEO, Vince BenedettoHowie Carr Radio Network president, Kathy CarrWestwood One president, Suzanne Grimes; WBAL, Baltimore president/GM, Cary Pahigian; and KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz owner, Michael Zwerling;  the special presentation by Amplifi Media CEO, Steven Goldstein titled “Radio Broadcasters and Smart Speakers with an introduction by GCN personality, Dr. Daliah Wachs ;  a special presentation by PodcastOne chairman and CEO, Norm Pattiz titled “Radio Broadcasters and Podcasting” with an introduction by Voice of America and National Public Radio anchor/reporter, Lori Lundin;  a special presentation by WFAN personality, Mike Francesa titled “Sports Talk’s Role in Media and Popular Culture” with an introduction by author and former radio producer, Bernadette Duncan;  Salem SVP, Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”; the fireside chat between TALKERS publisher, Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO, Caroline Beasley including Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley; Harrison’s fireside chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star, Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host, Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity; opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan; KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivering the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduction of Bearman; and the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor, Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

NAB Announces Marconi Finalists.  The finalists for the National Association of Broadcasters’s 2018 Marconi Awards have been announced.  The winners will be revealed at the NAB Radio Show at the Awards Dinner & Show on September 27 in Orlando.  Of the five stations nominated for Legendary Station of the Year, four are spoken-word outlets: iHeartMedia’s KOA-AM, Denver; Cumulus Media’s WBAP-AM, Dallas; and Cox Media Group’s WHIO-AM, Dayton and WOKV-AM/FM, Jacksonville.  News/Talk Station of the Year Nominees are: CMG’s KRMG-AM, Tulsa; Entercom’s KYW-AM, Philadelphia; Tribune’s WGN-AM, Chicago; Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton; and Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington.  See the whole list here.

Cohen Victim Joe Walsh Says He’s ‘Gotta Own’ What He Said.  The list of politicians and media pros who’ve been fooled by comedian and producer Sacha Baron Cohen for his new Showtime program “Who Is America?” is lengthy.  Last Friday, TALKERS pointed to a THR piece in which WGAC-AM, Augusta personality Austin Rhodes detailed his experience being taped (and fooled) for the program.  Former congressman and Salem Radio Network syndicated talk host Joe Walsh was also a victim and he – like Rhodes – is taking it in stride.  Borat – who tricked Walsh into traveling to Washington to receive an “award” from an Israeli TV network as a “friend of Israel” – got Walsh to read phony ad copy for a “course” that trains kids to wield guns. Walsh says, “I gotta own what I said.”  Read the CBS piece here.

Bill Handel (Reluctantly) Celebrates 25 Years at KFI, Los Angeles. As reported by LARadio.com, Bill Handel – who apparently hates studio decorations and celebrations – was forced to recognize his quarter-century mark at iHeartMedia’s KFI, Los Angeles as an air talent. Handel started in 1993 on weekends doing his legal show.  He moved to morning drive and has been one of the most successful news/talk morning personalities in American radio.

Trump-Putin Meeting, Trump-Russia Investigation, Illegal Immigration Policy, Sacha Baron Cohen Show, U.S.-China Trade War, Brexit Complications, Elon Musk-Cave Rescuer Spat, and MLB All-Star Week Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/16). Monday’s meeting between President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents, including the indictment by special counsel Robert Mueller of 12 Russian agents for hacking; the Trump Administration’s illegal immigration policies; the duping of numerous guests on Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Who Is America?” TV show; the Trump tariffs and concerns about a U.S.-China trade war; British Prime Minister Theresa May’s attempts to craft a strategy for leaving the EU; the public spat between Elon Musk and Thailand cave rescuer Vernon Unsworth; France beats Croatia for the soccer World Cup; and the Major League Baseball All-Star week 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. A shocker in San Diego as Shelly Dunn of KFMB-FM’s “Dave, Shelly and Chainsaw” morning program announces she will retire from the show and the radio biz after a 36-year radio career and 28-and-a-half years on the program.  Adding spice to this news are reports in San Diego that the morning show’s contract comes up next month and there’s speculation about the status of negotiations as some industry watchers wonder if TV-centric Tegna wishes to continuing owning the radio stations it got in the Midwest TV deal that also landed it KFMB-TV.  If the station is for sale, it may not want to burden a new owner with a lucrative talent deal – even for a show that is as successful as “Dave, Shelly and Chainsaw.” Others wonder if Entercom will try to woo the show over to handle mornings on embattled, fledgling sports talker KWFN “97.3 The Fan.”…..iHeartMedia announces Rachel “Rach” Viggiano is the new midday personality at CHR WIOQ, Philadelphia “Q102.”  Station PD Jared Fallon says, “On the search for our next star, I was looking for someone who’s passionate about our brand and engaged in the lifestyle of our audience, so as soon as I met Rach I knew she was exactly what ‘Q102’ Philly needed!  Between her upbeat energy and humor, she is the perfect fit for our listeners.”  Rach joins the Philadelphia market from WPUR-FM, Atlantic City, New Jersey where she was morning host…..Air personality and programmer Toni Marie is leaving Buck Owens Broadcasting’s country KRJK, Bakersfield “The Bull 97.3” where she was PM drive host and music director for an opportunity yet-to-be-disclosed.  This was her second tour with Buck Owens Broadcasting.  She was music director for country KUZZ from 2009 through 2015…..In Santa Rosa, California, Carey Edwards is the new program director and morning personality at Redwood Empire Stereocasters-owned country KBBL “106.5 The Bull.”  Edwards was most recently morning host at Riviera Broadcasting’s adult contemporary KOAI, Phoenix…..Morning personality John Balginy exits Sandhill Media’s country KUPI, Idaho Falls, Idaho as Jeff Roper joins the station as program director and morning host.  Balginy says in a Facebook post, “For the first time in 27 years, I will not be waking up listeners in Southeast Idaho.  The ‘99 KUPI ‘Breakfast Boys’ are no longer!  I would like to thank my co-hosts for going on this ride with me – Dennis Carlson, Phillip Moon, Kenny Mac, Brother Dale & Jess Jennings, and Cory Daniels.  It’s time for this old man to sleep in for the first time in over a quarter of a century.  A big thank you to all of the great listeners who have tuned in all these years.”…..The second episode of the “iHeartRadio Presents: Inside the Studio’ podcast has been released and features an exclusive interview with Dave MatthewsRolling Stone contributor Joe Levy interviews Matthews, hitting subjects including the six-year gap between records, the year he took off from music, and the secret connection between his band and Black Sabbath.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

| December 20, 2017

Beasley WMJX-WBZ-FM Exchange Is Complete.  The asset exchange between Beasley Broadcast Group and Entercom Communications, in which Beasley gave hot AC WMJX, Boston and $12 million cash to Entercom in exchange for sports talk WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub,” is complete.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “The addition of WBZ-FM to our broadcast portfolio highlights Beasley’s focus on premium local programming and content and is complementary to our five other radio stations and digital operations in the Boston market.  Throughout Beasley Broadcast Group’s 56-year history, we have actively managed our station portfolio with the goal of serving the communities where we operate with the best local programming and brands, diversifying our operations, managing risk and improving financial results.  The addition of WBZ-FM to our portfolio addresses all of these strategic objectives as it strengthens our company’s presence and commitment to locally originated content in the Boston market.”

WABC, New York’s Curtis Sliwa Says Goal Is to Be on the Radio for Christmas. The WABC, New York radio personality recently underwent an eight-hour surgical procedure for Crohn’s disease that resulted in the removal of half of his small intestines and half of his large intestines.  Curtis Sliwa tells TALKERS magazine, “I am now taking fentanyl for the pain relief – which is 10 times more powerful than morphine.  The goal – as I continue to receive blood transfusions and get fed through an IV – is to be home for Christmas.  The surgeons all said that they would be home for Christmas with their families and they agreed that the goal for me should be likewise.  Many of our listeners on Christmas have only their terrestrial radio as their friends.  Many are older, single, or are shut-ins.  Without radio they would be super-depressed.  It is for some their only friend.  This Christmas will mark 27 years in talk radio for me.  I will do a live program with my family on air and in the WABC studios. I’m lucky to be alive and I want to share my Christmas with all those who have no one to share their Christmas with.”

CBS Sports Radio Network to Launch New ‘Taz and the Moose’ Morning Show.  The new “Taz and the Moose” show will replace the current “Gio and Jones” program in the 6:00 am to 9:00 am daypart on the network.  CBS SPORTS RADIO says the new block of “entertaining, energetic, and engaging sports talk” will be anchored by professional wrestling world heavyweight champion and popular podcast host Taz, a.k.a. Pete Senerchia, and CBS SPORTS RADIO talent and TV host Marc “The Moose” Malusis.   Gregg Giannotti of “Gio and Jones” is joining Boomer Esiason for mornings on WFAN, New York, effective in January.  CBS SPORTS RADIO director of programming Eric Spitz states, “We’re extremely excited for the debut of ‘Taz and the Moose.’  As the host of an extremely successful podcast, Taz has done an amazing job of transitioning from a successful career as a professional wrestler into sports broadcasting.  Moose has hosted two popular weekend shows on CBS SPORTS RADIO since our launch five years ago.  I know he is ready for this opportunity.”

Michael Harrison Says “Radio Is Now a State of Mind” in TechRepublic Video.  According to TALKERS founder Michael Harrison, the culturally iconic paradigm of “radio” being a closed system consisting of a production company that produces and broadcasts a linear procession of scheduled programs in standardized parcels of time from a local building via a transmitter and tower to a specialized appliance with the capacity of AM/FM reception on a specific frequency licensed by the government is a limited and archaic definition of the term as it applies to the process of popular news, sports and entertainment audio broadcasting in the modern era.  In an exclusive video interview conducted by CBS Interactive senior reporter Dan Patterson for Tech Republic posted yesterday (12/19), Harrison says the aforementioned system still has some life in it in terms of audience and revenue but it is increasingly fading on both counts with each passing year in the digital era.  It is being replaced by the digital extensions of the original concept that include podcasting, on demand programming and a multi-channel array of branded programs that enjoy the non-standardized and unlimited manipulation of space and time.  Harrison says the traditional concept of “radio” that most of its practitioners and fans grew up with is now basically “a state of mind” that simply influences the spirit and flavor of a far more diverse set of products and listening methods.  The challenge facing the radio business at this time is dealing with stifling debt accrued during the waning years of the analogue era while comfortably transitioning into a digital revenue model.  “The digital age has made it difficult for all media that sells advertising to evolve into the new business model,” Harrison says. “It’s much more difficult to sell advertising for the same amount of money.”  He adds, “We haven’t really come up with a way yet to comfortably embed advertising into the digital space. It’s very obtrusive. It’s annoying.”  Harrison suggests, “For radio shows to be successful in today’s digital age, they must target an audience that is underserved and passionate about a particular topic and then gain credibility with them.  All of the content must be pertinent, good, and credible for people to believe in it.”  Harrison sums it up, “The good news for people looking to get into the radio business is that it’s easier than ever to get your foot in the door with the technology that is available today.  However, the bad news is that it’s much more difficult to fight through the noise to make your voice heard and brand gain traction.  For just engaging an audience, the bar has never been higher.”  To view the interview in its entirety, please click here.

GOP Tax Reform Plan, Amtrak Crash, North Korea Nukes/WannaCry, Trump Approval Rating/Hillary Favorable Rating, Jerusalem Capital Recognition, Sexual Misconduct Cases, California Wildfires, and NFL and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/19).  The Senate passes the Republican tax reform plan; the investigation into the deadly Amtrak crash in Washington state; North Korea’s nuclear threats and the U.S. government’s blaming the hermit kingdom for the WannaCry computer virus; President Trump’s approval rating sinks to 35% and Hillary Clinton’s favorability rating dips to 36%; U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley warns nations U.S. is “taking names” of those voting for resolution against U.S. recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital; the ongoing discussion about sexual misconduct; the status of the Southern California wildfires; and NFL 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.  Programming changes take place at Radio One’s Philadelphia operation as urban contemporary WRNB adds new drive time shows.  Beginning January 4, “The Quincy Harris Morning Show with K Foxx” and “The DL Hughley Show” join the roster for mornings and afternoons, respectively.  Radio One says Quincy Harris is returning to radio after 15 years.  He’s been serving with WTXF-TV, Philadelphia “FOX 29” on the “Good Day Philadelphia” show.  Now, after two seasons on that program, Harris is hosting his own “FOX 29” show “The Q” weekdays at 12:00 noon.  A statement from the company says, “For the past two years, WRNB programming has ranked 13th to 16th in the 25-54 demo.  Although we share in our listeners’ admiration for our impacted talent, as this change wasn’t easy for us either, it is critical that we take calculated risks to re-imagine and reposition this station for long-term success.  Radio One’s commitment to the Black community is unwavering.  In fact, it is the impetus for our changes and the passion that drives our work daily.”…..At Riviera Broadcasting’s adult contemporary KOAI, Sun City West/K235CB, Chandler “Oasis 95.1 & 94.9” (Phoenix market), Monica Nelson returns to the station to host the 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm show.  Director of operations Marc Young comments, “We are excited to welcome Monica back to our company after a brief hiatus.  Monica is beloved for her sincere connection to the community and her fans.  Her wit, humor, and real-life experiences will once again be enriching the Phoenix radio airwaves.”…..WAY-FM, Louisville adds Ben Smith as community impact director/operations coordinator.  Smith has most recently served with Thy Word Radio Network in Evansville, Indiana…..iHeartMedia names Pedro Javier González has been SVP of programming for iHeartLatino.  González reports to Enrique Santos, chairman and chief creative officer for iHeartLatino and Brad Hardin, EVP and general manager for iHeartMedia’s national programming group.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

| September 5, 2017

CBS RADIO VP Sports Programming Mike Thomas Signs Contract Extension.  Programming pro Mike Thomas signs a multi-year contract extension with CBS RADIO to continue his roles with the company as corporate vice president of sports programming and VP of programming for the Boston cluster.  CBS RADIO EVP of programming Chris Oliviero states, “Mike is an accomplished programming executive whose outstanding talent has led our company to success across both music and spoken word formats, which is a rare feat in our industry.  I look forward to partnering closely with Mike for years to come on growing our Boston properties along with our industry leading sports platform coast to coast.”  Thomas’ almost-20-year management resume includes work as PD for classic rock WZLX, rock WBCN and sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub.”

The Triad’s WSJS Officially Launches as Sports Outlet.  The change from news/talk sports to full-on sports talk on Curtis Media’s WSJS, Winston-Salem officially took place on Friday (9/1).  Curtis Media Triad general manager Al Bunch comments, “Local sports fans have been asking for a forum like this.  ‘WSJS SPORTS’ is the Triad’s new destination for sports talk.  Our roster of a local afternoon sports talk show, local high school football, NC college sports, NASCAR, and popular FOX Sports Radio hosts is unmatched.  We’re excited to offer this untapped audience to local businesses market-wide.”  The program schedule includes “Outkick the Coverage with Clay Travis” for mornings, followed by Dan Patrick.  The regionally syndicated David Glenn show airs from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm, followed by local personality Kyle Schassburger in PM drive.  “WSJS SPORTS” airs on four stations and their FM translators: WSJS, Winston-Salem/W267AM; WMFR, High Point/W285EU; WCOG, Greensboro/W229CH; and WSML, Graham/W283BT.

Binnie Media and Gen Media Partners Announce Strategic Alliance.  Station owner Binnie Media announces it is shifting its national ad sales representation to Gen Media Partners.  The companies state that this move is “part of a unique strategic alliance to drive regional and national ad revenue.”  As part of the agreement, Binnie Media’s Boston office will handle all national business for Gen Media Partners, giving both companies, as well as Gen Media Partners’ other station partners, expanded Boston and New England presence and increased regional opportunities.  Binnie president Lee Kinberg comments, “Considering where national and regional business has been heading, we were looking for a partner open to a new kind of relationship that would capitalize on each company’s platforms to grow revenue.  We needed a sales and marketing team that was open to breaking down the lines of the traditional rep-station relationship without the inherent conflicts of interest that sometimes arise in the national representation business.”  Sales pro Jimmie Vereault will handle national ad sales for Gen Media Partners out of their Boston office and use the combined Binnie Media-Gen Media Partners’ platforms to drive regional as well as national business.

KJR-AM, Seattle Sports Talker Mitch Levy Nabbed in Prostitute Sting.  A prostitution sting in Bellevue, Washington netted 110 “Johns” – among them was KJR-AM, Seattle morning drive sports talk personality Mitch Levy.  According to The Seattle Times, Bellevue Police and the King County Sheriff’s Office orchestrated the sting in a condominium complex.  Levy, who was arrested and charged with misdemeanor patronizing a prostitute, told the detectives he’d been playing golf earlier in the day was there to receive a massage.  iHeartMedia has not issued a public statement on the matter.

TALKERS News Notes.  The 2017 NFL regular season begins on Thursday and NCAA football season is already underway.  This year, Focus 360 and Sports USA are again offering a slate of  NCAA football games to affiliate stations.  Focus 360 announces that it has partnered with Gen Media Partners for national ad sales.  The Sports USA schedule includes 16 regular season games plus four bowl games: Sun, Outback, Las Vegas, and Independence…..Westwood One is airing this Thursday night’s matchup between the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs.  In the booth are Kevin Harlan and Boomer Esiason with Tony BoselliJim Gray hosts the pregame and halftime with contributions from Pats’ quarterback Tom Brady and Cardinals’ wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald…..SiriusXM is offering subscribers comprehensive coverage of the NFL season, featuring live broadcasts of every game.  In addition to live play-by-play, subscribers get daily NFL talk on SiriusXM NFL Radio.

North Korea Bomb Test, Threat of Hurricane Irma, Utah Nurse Arrest Incident, Trump’s ‘Dreamer’ Decision, Harvey Aftermath, Senator Menendez Trial, Elon Musk’s WWIII Prediction, Labor Day Holiday, MLB Action, and NFL Roster Cutdowns Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  North Korea’s detonation of its largest nuclear warhead yet and threats to launch another ICBM test; Florida braces for a possible hit from Hurricane Irma; the viral video of a Utah nurse being arrested for following hospital procedure; President Trump to end DACA or the “Dreamer” act within six months; the aftermath of Hurricane/tropical storm Harvey; U.S. Senator Robert Menendez’s corruption trial; Elon Musk predicts World War III in the race to develop the most powerful artificial intelligence; the Labor Day holiday weekend; Major League Baseball action; and the cutdown to 53 for NFL clubs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to research from TALKERS magazine.

National Radio Hall of Fame Recognizes 100 Years of American Radio.  The National Radio Hall of Fame announces that it will debut its “100 Years of Radio” exhibit housed in Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications in fall 2019 – the year leading up to the official anniversary in 2020.  A press release says, “To create a tribute worthy of the medium, the current space will undergo renovation, creating an interactive experience through emerging technologies and architecture. Patrons of the museum will have access to audio performances and histories of inductees as well as valuable artifacts ranging from microphones of iconic personalities to instruments from live radio theater productions.”  National Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig T. Kitchin adds, “This is an exciting time as we get to innovate and modernize the presentation of our medium’s rich history.  Plus, we’re looking forward to bringing the ceremony to New York City, especially since we received great feedback when we brought it to Los Angeles in 2014.”

Deep in the ‘Hot’ of Texas.  Broadcasters and netcasters are in Austin this week for the NAB + RAB Radio Show, and today’s RAIN Summit.  TALKERS magazine conventionista contributore Holland Cooke (pictured above) reports all this week.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Chicago radio personality Gary Spears revealed to his listeners on CBS RADIO’s classic hits WJMK, Chicago “K-Hits 104.3” that he’s leaving the station in mid-October to relocate to Florida.  He’s been with WJMK since 2011 and had worked at a number of Chicago stations during his career, including CBS’ CHR WBBM-FM…..iHeartMedia names Nikki Corl marketing director for the Charlotte market and the Carolinas.  She was most recently with the company’s Richmond, Virginia cluster as promotions director.  iHeartMedia EVP of programming for the Northeast Division Meg Stevens says, “Nikki is a proven leader.  She is the right choice to lead a very diverse and creative team in The Queen City.”…..iHeartMedia’s KVDU, New Orleans shifts from classic hits to adult hits as “104.1 The Spot.”  The station says its core artists created hits during the 70s, 80s and early 90s and include: Madonna, Boston, Bon Jovi and Duran Duran.  KVDU program director Joseph Sergio comments, “New Orleans has a classic rock station and we have an easy listening station, but ‘104.1 The Spot’ will take the best from those worlds, sprinkle in some more recent favorites and play all of the hits, non-stop, 24/7.”…..Alpha Media Dayton installs the “Jack FM” format on former adult contemporary WGTZ as “92.9 Jack FM.”  WGTZ had been airing a soft rock AC format. Alpha Media VP of programming Ronnie Stanton says, “What a fun day for Dayton!  Turning on a new ‘Jack’ is always a happy day and we have high hopes for this one.  A great new radio station in one of America’s great cities.”…..Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch reports that DLC Media drops sports talk and the ESPN Sports Radio affiliation on WFNF, Brazil, Indiana/W258BA, Terre Haute, and begins airing the adult standards format from Westwood One.  DLC changes the call letters of WFNF to WAMB and begins using the new brand, “Timeless 1130 and 99.5 WAMB.”…..Programming pro Deon Cole joins Music Choice as manager, urban programming.  During his career, Cole has served with urban contemporary WGIV, Charlotte “Streetz 103.3”; hip hop WPEG, Charlotte; and Beasley Media Group in Charlotte.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

| January 4, 2017

ESPN Confirms Reports of Stephen A. Smith’s Return to the Company; LeBatard Show Bumped to ‘ESPN Deportes’ in NYC.  Yesterday, numerous media reports predicted sports media personality Stephen A. Smith’s exit from Mad Dog Sports on SiriusXM and his return to the ESPN Radio platform.  Today, ESPNsmithstephena confirms the matter, stating he’ll bring his current two-hour radio show from Mad Dog Sports to ESPN Radio where it will also air on one of the sports giant’s SiriusXM channels.  In addition to being available nationally in radio syndication, it will air on ESPN Radio O&Os WEPN, New York from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET and KSPN, Los Angeles from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon PT, effective Tuesday, January 17.  It will originate from ESPN Audio’s headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut.  The move bumps WEPN’s “Hahn & Humpty” show to the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm timeslot.  But, this addition also pushes the “Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” off WEPN-FM and over to WEPN-AM “ESPN Deportes” (12:00 noon to 2:00 pm).  Also, back on SiriusXM, the first two hours of Russillo & Kanell (1:00 pm to 3:00 pm) will move to the ESPN Xtra channel while the third hour will remain on the ESPN channel.

Retiring WSCR, Chicago Personality Terry Boers to Host Farewell Toast.  “670 The Score” operations manager Mitch Rosen tells TALKERS that the CBS RADIO sports talk station will bid adieu to retiring Windy boersterryCity sports personality Terry Boers during a special broadcast tomorrow (1/5) from 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm at the Blue Cross Blue Shield Performance Stage inside the CBS RADIO Chicago offices.  Boers is retiring after 25 years with WSCR (the station celebrated its 25th anniversary as a sports talk station on Monday), and he’s hosting the “Toast To Terry” that will include past and present hosts at “The Score.”  A limited amount of fans are able to win tickets while listening to the station.

ces-logoAnalysis: 2017 Consumer Electronics Show.  Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas at the gigantic 2017 Consumer Electronics Show reporting for TALKERS magazine.  True, this isn’t a media show, but a lot of what is being displayed at the mega-convention affects the radio business – mostly because of the relationship between the Internet and high-tech automobiles.  Cooke writes, “Cars we’re test-driving here talk to each other…the cars, not the drivers. ‘Texting each other’ actually.  2017 Cadillac CTS Sport Sedans can share information about driving conditions — weather, speed, sudden braking, and accidents.  The term is ‘V2V,’ meaning vehicle-to-vehicle communication, your car’s sensors feeding, and reading, the cloud, to tell you what’s beyond your line of sight. With real-time information, instantly updated, why wait until the 8s for an old-school radio traffic report?”  Read more from Las Vegas here.

Nick Cattles Leaves WVSP, Virginia Beach for Gig at ‘98.5 The Sports Hub’ in Boston.  Sports talkcattlesnick personality Nick Cattles is leaving Max Media’s Newport-Virginia Beach sports station WVSP “ESPN 94.1” to return to his native New England to take an on-air position with CBS RADIO’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub.”  His last show on WVSP will be Monday, January 9.  WVSP VP/GM Mark McKay tells his staff the station will be “methodical” in its search for Cattles’ replacement and will use fill-in hosts during the interim.  Interested hosts should see the application details below.  Meanwhile, CBS RADIO has not announced Cattles’ arrival yet, so it’s unclear in which daypart he’ll work.

Darnell to Program iHeartMedia’s Connecticut N/T and Sports Stations.  Programmer Ben Darnell joins iHeartMedia Connecticut to handle programming duties for the company’s news/talk and sports talk stations there.  He’s now in charge of programming news/talkers WPOP, Hartford and WELI, New Haven and sports talk outlets WUCS-FM, Hartford “97.9 ESPN” and WAVZ, New Haven “ESPN Radio 1300.”  Darnell was most recently serving with Sunrise Broadcasting’s sports talk WMFD, Wilmington, North Carolina.

hallmarkverleiKCRS-AM, Midland’s Hallmark and Verlei Morning Hosts Retire.  Today (1/4) was the last “Morning Drive” program for co-hosts Robert Hallmark and Kurt Verlei at Ica Radio Ltd.’s news/talk KCRS-AM, Midland, Texas.  The duo is retiring after 14 years on the air together waking up West Texans.  Hallmark has been with the station since 1992, serving in numerous positions including as program director.  The “Morning Drive” show launched in the spring of 2001.  The station has not announced the morning show’s replacement host.

New Affiliates for Stephanie Miller and Thom Hartmann.  The new year brings new affiliates for WYMmillerstephanie Media Management’s Stephanie Miller show and the Thom Hartmann show.  Miller’s program is now heard on KTMS, Santa Barbara; KBZZ-AM, Reno; KTOX, Needles, California; KKNW, Seattle; and KEVT-AM, Tucson.  The Thom Hartmann show also joins KEVT-AM, Tucson as well as KSZL, Barstow, California.

envisionnetworks-newDecember Brings 23 New Affiliates to Envision Networks.  Content and service provider Envision Networks announces it inked 23 new affiliate stations during the month of December for programming and services across numerous formats.  In the talk realm, WKXO, Lexington, Kentucky added “On Air with Doug, Jen, and Victoria.”  Envision also formed a partnership with Sun Broadcast Group to offer Shazam for Radio.  Additionally, it launched new programming including: Today’s Comedy Network, Drive By Funny, and Collin Raye’s Rewind Country.

Obama Lame Duck Actions, GOP Ethics Office About-Face, GOP ObamaCare Strategy, Russian Hacking Allegations, Megyn Kelly Exits Fox News Channel, Jeff Sessions Protests, Trump vs Ford and GM, and NFL Playoffs Chatter Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/3).  The moves being taken by President Barack Obama to prevent President-Elect Donald Trump from undoing some of his legislation; Republican House leaders elect not to try to eliminate the Independent Ethics Office on the advice of Trump; the GOP’s potential strategies for altering the Affordable Care Act; ongoing debate over the allegations of Russian hacking of the DNC’s emails; FNC personality Megyn Kelly announces she’s leaving Fox for NBC; the protests over Trump’s nomination of Jeff Sessions for attorney general; Trump’s fight with Ford and General Motors over expansion of plants abroad versus investment in U.S. facilities; and the NFL playoffs and coaching vacancies were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

wvspCool Sports Talk Gig.  “ESPN Radio 94.1,” a locally owned and operated, top 50 market radio station located in Virginia Beach, VA, is searching for a full-time afternoon sports talk host.  Qualified candidates will have the ability to host solo but also be a strong team player, must be a champion across all social media platforms and go beyond the headlines to create unique and compelling content.  This individual will have relationships with key local and national contacts, as well as the ability to develop and grow new associations.  If this is you, please send resume, air check – mp3 demos of your latest work and anything else to support your qualifications to midatlanticradiojobs@gmail.com.  EEO.

2017-talkers-conference-navySave the Date! Talkers 2017 Set for Friday, June 2, 2017 in New York City.  The editorial board of TALKERS magazine is pleased to announce the date and location of the 20th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention.  Titled, Talkers 2017: A New Era, the power-packed, one-day event will take place on Friday, June 2, 2017 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan in New York City.  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 at the dawn of the Trump 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 2017: A New Era 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, Talkers 2017: A New Era 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.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

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radioinfo-web-banneriHeartRadio Music Awards Nominees Announced.  The list of nominees for this year’s 2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards is announced by iHeartMedia and Turner.  The winners will be announced on Sunday, March 5, at a broadcast event at the historic Forum in Los Angeles.  It will be televised live on TBS, TNT and truTV and will be simulcast on iHeartMedia stations and iHeartRadio.  See the complete list of nominees here.

iHeartMedia Names DZL Program Director for ‘XL102’ in Richmond.  Programmer Chuck “DZL” Thompson is the new program director and midday host for alternative WRXL,thompsonchuck Richmond “XL102.”  iHM Richmond SVP of programming Zac Davis says, “‘XL102’ is an extremely valuable heritage station in our iHeartMedia Richmond market.  We needed to find the right fit to oversee its day-to-day operations – someone who had good relationships with our label partners and had experience in coordinating and managing large-scale events.  ‘DZL’ stood out as someone who possessed this unique skill set and we’re looking forward to having him lead our ‘XL102’ brand.”  Thompson most recently spent eight years at WEND, Charlotte as APD/MD and afternoon personality.

KSHE, St. Louis to Unveil the ‘KSHE 50th Anniversary Real Rock Museum.’  St. Louis rocker KSHE “Real Rock Radio” – which just celebrated its 50th anniversary as an FM rock station – announces it is opening its vaults of rock history to listeners in the form of “The KSHE 50th Anniversary Real Rock Museum” to be launched on January 9 at kshe95.com.  The Emmis station says there are eight wings in the museum: The KSHE 95 Audio Wing is filled with KSHE audio history, including air-checks of air personalities from throughout the decades, fascinatingksherealrockmuseum interviews and listener favorite audio clips; each gallery in The KSHE 95 Photo Wing has a theme such as Air Personalities, Rock Stars and St. Louis Concerts; the KSHE 95 Hall of Fame is made up of videos that each focus in on an artist or band that has had a very special long-standing relationship with the station. In each video, these rock stars share KSHE and St. Louis memories.  The KSHE 95 Video Wing is an amazing collection of videos ranging from moments with rock stars caught backstage at concerts to KSHE events through the years and old KSHE TV commercials.  In the KSHE 95 Essentials Wing, you’ll find what have been selected as albums and songs that rise to the top of all the great rock that has been played on the station since the beginning.  The KSHE 95 John “U-Man” Ulett Wing is a toast to this 40-plus year KSHE air talent.  The KSHE 95 You-seum Wing is dedicated to KSHE listeners.  Listener submitted photos include themes such as Generations of Rock, World Famous KSHE and Show Us Your Schtuff.  The KSHE 95 Collections Wing is a wide array of Real Rock Radio history including: magazine and newspaper articles highlighting KSHE, early KSHE playlists, and unmistakable KSHE humor on display in Sweetmeat’s Gallery.  Station PD Rick Balis says, “So many talented people have contributed, throughout our 50 years, to make KSHE 95 what it is today.  It’s actually, amazing.  More amazing, though, is the incredible listeners that we have had and have today.  It’s rare.  And, we cherish those relationships.  The relationships are ‘generational.’  Grandparents, their kids and the kids of those kids are listeners today.”

Townsquare Media Renews with Compass Media Networks for Syndication of Weeknight Music Radio Shows.  The four evening music shows are produced by Townsquare Media and are affiliated with their namesake websites, also owned by Townsquare.  Under the terms of the multi-year extension, Compass Media Networks will continue to provide advertising sales and affiliate marketing for the rock program “Loudwire Nights,” CHR show “PopCrush Nights,” “Taste of Country Nights,” and “Ultimate Classic Rock.”

More Career Moves and Music Radio News.  In Philadelphia, market radio pro Marilyn Russell joinsrussellmarilyn classic hits WOGL as part of the “Breakfast Club” morning show alongside co-hosts Frank Lewis and Bill Zimpfer.  WOGL program director Anne Gress says, “Marilyn’s got tons of enthusiasm and a rich history of delivering compelling Philadelphia morning radio.  I’m excited about the fresh, new perspective she’ll bring to the show alongside Frank and Bill, and look forward to her contributions both on-air and at our many events.”   The Philly native started her radio career in 1993 at modern rock WDRE…..Chicago radio pro Robin Rock is back hosting middays on iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WLIT “93.9 MYfm.”  Rock takes over for Brooke Hunter, who exits.  Rock hosted middays at the station until June of 2013 when the company re-branded the station from “LITE FM” to the “93.9 MYfm” and made across-the-board talent changes…..Former news/talk station WOBM-AM, Lakewood Township, New Jersey is now an oldies outlet as Townsquare Media re-brands the station as “BEACH RADIO 1160/1310.”  Townsquare says the format change was made to better serve the influential adult audiences in Monmouth and Ocean Counties…..In the Los Angeles market, Entravision Communications the official launch of its new radio format: La Suavecita.  The company calls is a regional Mexican format focused on playing a mix of grupero and cumbia music from the 80s and 90s.  The format airs on KSSE-FM.

Monday, August 17, 2015

| August 17, 2015

T-MobileT-Mobile Will Activate FM Chip. The decision by T-Mobile was issued Friday (8/14) via Twitter by president and chief executive officer John Legere, whose actual “tweet” reads, “Hey @NextRadio app – We heard you! We’re saying yes to FM and will push our OEM partners to support!” Expanding his remarks, Legere states, “We are excited about T-Mobile joining Sprint and AT&T as the first carriers to officially request their handset makers activate FM radio chipsNextRadio with NextRadio in their device specifications. Activating the FM chip, already present in every Smartphone in America, allows users to download the NextRadio app and engage in a visually compelling, interactive experience with local radio stations, without the data charges and battery drain of streaming.” NextRadio/Tag Station president Paul Brenner instantly and directly replied to Legere with a video message by commenting, “Hey John, we saw your ‘tweet’ and you made our day. It was so great to see T-Mobile say ‘yes’ to the FM chip. The American radio industry is excited to be behind this effort and to work with T-Mobile going forward to make this a great experience for your customers. We have tens of thousands of T-Mobile customers respond to this program. Just like you always said you would do, you listened to those customers. Thank-you and we look forward to working with you in the future.” T-Mobile’s parent company is Deutsche Telekom.

carrhowieThe Howie Carr Northeast Regional Juggernaut Rolls On — Adds WPOP, Hartford.  The independent Howie Carr Radio Network, just over a year old, has added iHeartMedia outlet WPOP, Hartford to its ever-growing roster of affiliates in New England and the Northeast.  That raises the total to 23 with more reportedly about to be signed.  The network is built around the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET daily program of legendary broadcaster/newspaper columnist/author Howie Carr who tells TALKERS, “We have a lot of listeners in Hartford and now they have an easier way to hear the show on 1410 WPOP.”  The network’s VP/sales and marketing Kathy Carr adds, “We are excited to add WPOP in Hartford.  WPOP is a great addition to the network and will greatly benefit our sponsors.”  Stand by.  More affiliates to be added shortly.

wpop logoWPOP Flips to News/Talk.  It was the flip from sports talk to news/talk that opened up the door for Boston-based Howie Carr to get his show cleared on WPOP, Hartford as noted in the story above.  The iHeartMedia station returns to news/talkpennvinnie after almost 18 years away from the format.  Morning drive features “The Vinnie Penn Project” with host Vinnie Penn – a Connecticut broadcasting pro, comic, and writer who’s worked in local radio on CHR WKCI, New Haven “KC101” and news/talk WELI, New Haven as well as on SiriusXM.  The rest of the station’s lineup includes: Boston-based “The Financial Exchange” with Barry Armstrong; Bloomberg Radio; Westwood One’s Mark Levin; and Premiere Networks’ “America Now with Meghan McCain.”

inc5000 logoSun Broadcast Group Recognized by Inc. Magazine for Second Year in a Row.  The company will be honored at Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 5000 Conference and Awards Ceremony in Orlando later this year for being one of the fastest-growing companies in America.  Sun Broadcast Group also is receiving recognition as the fastest-growing company in the broadcast radio industry and the 11th fastest-growing company in all of media.  The annual list ranks the country’s fastest-growing privatebaileyjasonsun companies according to percentage of revenue growth over three years.  Sun reports during that time its revenue jumped more than 629%.  It also has added 18 full-time positions between its New York City and Boca Raton offices.  SBG CEO Jason Bailey comments, “When we were given the honor of making the Inc. Magazine list in 2014 you could have knocked me over with a feather.  Making the list for a second year and being in the top 20% among some of the most incredibly innovative companies in this country is absolutely mind blowing.  I’m so proud of the incredible team here at Sun and so thankful to the clients, producers and agency partners who have supported us over the last seven years.  The journey has been a mighty one but we always have and will continue to do it our way for the better of our partnerships and for this incredibly industry.  Onward!”

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: MLB Flagships.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents this year’s second analysis of the performances of stations serving as flagships for MLB play-by-play – this time based on data from Nielsen Audio’s July 2015 PPM survey (6+).  As is often the case, MLB teams thatMLB Logo appear to be headed for playoff contention (even in June and July) tend to boost ratings for their flagships.  The continuing resurgence of the Kansas City Royals has certainly been good for KCSP – the station performed three full shares better in 2015 than during the same period a year ago.  Although interestingly, the division leading Houston Astros have only nudged flagship KBME up 0.3 share (1.3 share, 6+) from a year ago.  View Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

toucher&rich names‘98.5 The Sports Hub’ Morning Show Now Seen on Comcast SportsNet New England.  The WBZ-FM, Boston morning show “Toucher & Rich” – hosted by Fred Toucher and Rich Shertenlieb – is now being simulcast on regional cable channel Comcast SportsNet.  The CBS RADIO sports station currently has an agreement with Comcast to simulcast the station’s afternoon drive show, “Felger & Mazz.”  Comcast has sold the title sponsorship to UNO Pizzeria & Grill.  Comcast SportsNet New England president Bill Bridgen says, “‘Toucher & Rich’ have been incredibly successful by mixing sports and pop culture into one creative daily show.  We are thrilled to expand our relationship with ‘The Sports Hub’ into the morning and further establish Comcast SportsNet as the go-to television source for Boston sports programming.”

Odds & Sods.  Late Friday afternoon (4:00 pm, 8/14), Cumulus Media Minneapolis flipped trimulcast WGVX,wgvx logo WRXP, WGVZ, “Sports Talk 105 The Ticket” to classic hip hop as “The Vibe 105.”  The latest (July 2015) Nielsen Audio PPM figures for the Twin Cities indicate that “Sports Talk 105 The Ticket” ranked #25 of the 25 stations listed with a .1 (6+).  Locked on .3 from January to May, “The Ticket” dipped to .2 in June and then to .1 in July.  The other two sports stations in Minneapolis-St. Paul are iHeartMedia‘s KFXN “K-Fan” (4.2, #11) and Hubbard‘s KSTP-AM “1500 ESPN” (1.1, #19)…..ESPN Audio announces the return of its “Fantasy Focus” podcast for a ninth season.  Field Yates joins as the new co-host with Matthew BerryStephania Bell continues her role as a contributor to the podcast, which is produced daily throughout the NFL regular season.  “Fantasy Focus” has also accumulated almost 30 million downloads – second all-time among ESPN podcasts.

townsquare logoTownsquare Media to Add to its Live Events Business with NAME Acquisition.  The 2015 second quarter net revenue figure for Townsquare Media, Inc. rose 10.5% on the strength of its Live Events division, which saw a year-over-year increase of 50.4%.  Now, the company announces it has entered into a definitive purchase agreement to acquire North American Midway Entertainment, LLC (NAME) for approximately $75.5 million (subject to certain working capital and other adjustments).   In a press statement, Townsquare says, “NAME entertains more than 15 million people on an annual basis as the owner and operator of amusement attractions, including over 200 state-of-the-art rides, custom-designed food concessions and family-oriented games at approximately 150 fairs per year across the United States and Canada.”  NAME’s management team will join Townsquare and become part of its Live Events division.  Townsquare chairman and CEO Steven Price states, “We are excited to partner with NAME’s management team and add NAME’s market-leading mobile amusement parks to our Live Events portfolio.  Nearly half of NAME’s current events are within 100 miles of a Townsquare market and fit squarely within our core stated strategy of providing affordable, family-friendly entertainment content.”

Friday, February 13, 2015

| February 13, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brian Williams Case Tops Talkers TenTM This Week.  The controversy surrounding Brian Williams’ embellishment of his experience covering the Iraq War and his subsequent six-month suspension from NBC News was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of February 6-13.  At #2 was the 2016 presidential prospects.  Coming in at #3 was the ISIS violence and the death of hostage Kayla Mueller followed by Jon Stewart’s announced departure from “The Daily Show” at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

| January 13, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

| April 2, 2014

theblaze logoGlenn Beck’s TheBlaze.com Claims Increased Unique Visitors.  The website that’s a part of Glenn Beck’s digital efforts is growing rapidly, according to the company.  TheBlaze.com reports that, according to data from Omniture, it had its best month ever in March, attracting more than 35 million unique visitors and becoming the 43rd most trafficked site in the U.S.  Further, the company claims the site generated 198.7 million page views in one month.   TheBlaze president and chief content officer Joel Cheatwood comments, “TheBlaze.com’s mix of original reporting and curation has quickly made it one of the leading sites in America.  Editor-in-chief Scott Baker and his team have done a tremendous job and we are proud of how the site continues to grow alongside our TV network.”

opieanthonyOpie & Anthony to Celebrate 20 Years Together at Carolines on Broadway.  The hot talk duo of Greg “Opie” Hughes and Anthony Cumia will celebrate 20 years together on the radio as Opie & Anthony with a special edition of its “Unmasked” comedy series broadcast live from Carolines on Broadway – New York City’s premier stand-up comedy nightclub.  The program – “O&A20: Unmasked” – will air on SiriusXM live at 4:00 pm ET.  SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein says, “We want to toast Opie & Anthony on reaching this milestone and for being one of the most outrageous and daring duos in all of talk radio. SiriusXM has been proud to give Opie & Anthony the freedom to give fans and listeners their intense, edgy talk and uncensored comedy.  We are thrilled to have SiriusXM listeners across the country celebrate their decades in radio with an evening that will be without a doubt an outrageous and unpredictable show.”

daleholley picWEEI, Boston to Stick with Dale Arnold and Michael Holley in PM Drive.  Well, for as long as anything is stuck with in radio these days.  Those are our words, not those of Entercom Boston vice president and market manager Phil Zachary, who tells the Boston Globe that the station is “going forward with Dale and Holley” several weeks after parting ways with Mike Salk, who returned to his adopted hometown of Seattle to serve as program director at KIRO-AM.  Salk and Holley were paired up in afternoon drive for almost a year after Glenn Ordway was ousted from the station (Ordway has subsequently begun his own digital venture SportsTalkBoston that features his “The Big Show Unfiltered” also airing live in PM drive).  Michael Holley and Dale Arnold had been partners in middays on WEEI for almost six years before their show was broken up in 2011 to bring Lou Merloni into middays.  Boston radio observers speculated that WEEI management felt the knowledgeable-but-not-very-hip Arnold is the antithesis of what CBS is doing successfully at rival WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” so they took him out of the daily lineup.  Arnold stuck around WEEI hosting weekend shows, sports pre-game programs and doing fill-in work.  Now, Zachary tells the paper, “We will continue to evaluate and enhance the program as we start to get some Nielsen feedback.”

sabowalterSABO: Introverts Are Taking Over the Business World.  Media consultant Walter Sabo asks what kind of workforce are you building with respect to the personality types of staffers?  Are they introverts or extroverts?  Or a mix of the two?  According to Sabo, the different personality types prefer to communicate in different ways – extroverts, verbally and introverts, with the written word.  “An interesting fact about radio stars is that they are shy as hell.  They thrive working alone in a room where they have absolute control of their environment.  They hate to meet new people.”  With emails and texting taking over the way people – yes, especially young people – communicate, it may just be that introverts are taking over the business world.  Read Sabo’s entire column here.

topicpulse logoLDR Interactive Adds Two to TopicPulse Executive Team.  The growing firm LDR Interactive announces two executives join its TopicPulse leadership team.  Hank McMonigle is named vice president, sales for TopicPulse and Dana Hall joins as TopicPulse support and client services manager.  The company says in a statement that McMonigle and Hall will lead client development and service for TopicPulse, its real-time, social media monitoring system for local newsrooms and content producers.  TopicPulse scans social media including Twitter and Facebook, blogs, comment/message boards, and news sources to track trending topics in a local market.  McMonigle comes to LDR Interactive with more than 30 years of experience in the media industry, most recently serving as vice president/general manager at NextMedia Group in Dallas.   Dana Hall is a broadcast and music industry journalist who’s covered formats ranging from urban, hip-hop, gospel, rhythmic, and top 40 for Radio & Records, Billboard, Airplay Monitor, and RadioInfo.  She also programmed urban outlet WILD, Boston.  LDR Interactive CEO, Daniel Anstandig comments, “Hank and Dana bring exceptional talent and perspective to our growing team.  They are media industry thought leaders and relationship builders.  Their enthusiasm for innovation and forward-thinking mindset is already driving TopicPulse’s growth in the days since they’ve joined our team.”

herskovitzalThe 2014 Hersky Award Winners Are Announced.  For the 7th year running, TALKERS magazine is proud to deliver news of the winners of the annual Hersky Awards for talk radio advertising excellence.  Okay, so maybe the Herskys aren’t as big as some other industry awards, but radio pro Al Herskovitz is an accomplished sales pro and a serious observer of today’s radio advertising landscape and, even though we have a little fun with it, his accolades are delivered with utmost sincerity.  Check out his story and why Fox Sports Radio’s Jay Mohr, Compass Media’s Todd Schnitt, Cumulus Media and others are being recognized this year by clicking here.

Lionel largeCatching Up with Lionel:  One of Talk Radio’s True Originals Performing at the Top of His Game in Experimental Radio Space.  One of the most unique and original performers to grace the airwaves during talk radio’s modern era is a quirky former trial lawyer, prosecutor and talk show caller from Tampa, Florida named Michael William Lebron who is known in his many media-related activities (radio, television, books, live performances) by the professional name “Lionel.”  As Lionel, he has enjoyed a stellar career as a talk show host on such great call letters was WABC and WOR in New York, WFLA, Tampa as well as in national syndication on such networks as the WOR Radio Network and Air America.  He even hosted a cool show on Court TV.  These days he is familiar to New York television viewers as a commentator and legal analyst for WPIX-TV Channel 11 and to the elite audience of industry professionals and hard core talk show fanatics glued to TalkersRadio – the “experimental talk radio space” operated by TALKERS magazine on its website (www.talkers.com) as a laboratory for new ideas and formats for the industry.  It is within this endeavor that Lionel has begun raising eyebrows and is receiving praise fortalkersradio logo having delivered some of his most remarkable spoken-word performances to date.  In the words of TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “When Lionel is left to his own on-air devices and not squished into an existing talk ‘format,’ ‘formula’ or cookie-cutter political ideology, he is capable of creating a level of compelling content the quality of which we haven’t heard since the days of Jean Shepherd.  All we have done at TalkersRadio is encourage him to do whatever he wants and as a result we have benefited from the brilliant results of that strategy.  What he does for us would fit any talk format out there today if the programmers didn’t ‘try to make it fit’ what they think is the only way to make talk radio work.”  In a new feature story written by TALKERS managing editor/West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian posted today (3/31), we look back at the amazing career of this most unusual talk show host, tap into his views and opinions about the state of the format, and reveal his hopes for the future.  To read the entire piece, please click here.

comrexpilotComrex to Unveil New Streaming Appliance at NAB Show.  For broadcasters involved in streaming content and who may be attending the NAB Show in Las Vegas, a visit to the Comrex Corporation booth will be informative.  There, the company will introduce the new P1L0T IP Streaming Server.  The company states that P1L0T is a dedicated streaming appliance designed with hardened Linux-based hardware and software.  There are no moving parts…not even a fan. AES3 and analog balanced inputs, special audio processing options enhanced for streaming and an intuitive web-based interface are included.  P1L0T can deliver your source stream to any SHOUTcast/lcecast-based streaming server and, given enough bandwidth, can deliver 100 streams directly to listeners.  Listeners connecting to your audio stream have a choice of formats, either HE-AAC, Opus or MP3 because P1L0T is capable of encoding in each mode simultaneously.  P1L0T is a compact unit occupying 1/2 U of rack space, at a very low cost.  The Comrex booth will be #C2221 in the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

foxCDBOdds & Sods.  A new album featuring the songs of Bob Dylan has been released by the Charlie Daniels Band titled Off the Grid and Charlie Daniels visited the Fox News Radio studios in New York City to promote the record.  Daniels (right) is pictured here with Fox News Radio morning anchor Dave Anthony (left) who is sporting Daniels’ hat for the photo…..Last week TALKERS announced CBS News Radio was recognized with National Headliner Awards.  This week, we have two more to announce.  Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington wins seven National Headliner Awards including first place in the Newscast, News Series and Website categories.  Also The Wall Street Journal Radio Network is honored with two National Headliner Awards.  “Wall Street Journal This Morning with Gordon Deal” takes 3rd place in the Breaking News Category and MarketWatch.com Radio is recognized with a 2nd place finish in the Radio Affiliated Website category…..Chicago Public Media, which operates WBEZ, Chicago, announces Goli Sheikholeslami is named the new president and CEO of the organization.  She most recently served as chief product officer at Everyday Health but also served with the Washington Post, leading the digital division.

kars4kidsSometimes It Is Fool’s Gold.  Despite how perceptive you might think you are, or the conscientious pains you take to be aware, there is still a better-than-average chance you were duped about something yesterday – even if it was for a split-second.  It is a national pastime and we are not talking about the beginning of the baseball season.  Hopefully, the intention is always harmless, yet inevitably, something a bit wonky can happen when the calendar flips to the first day of April.  Okay – more specifically – countless on-air April Fool’s Day pranks were hatched yesterday; here is a quick look at two of them – one nationally and the other on a local level. Registered 501(c)3 nonprofit car donation charity Kars4Kids changed their long-running radio jingle, although listeners of more than 50 stations in 14 markets wondered if they were hearing correctly when they heard the new “message.”  The radio spot indicated Kars4Kids is launching a new division – Kids4Kars.  The kid donation program supposedly provides free pickup of all donations of kids and offers a free lifetime vacation to donors in return.  Kars4Kids spokesperson Morris Franco alleges that, “We had been getting requests for this service on social media and from callers for years. People would call up saying they have a kid they would like to donate and wondered what they can get in return.  After we got enough of these parents calling, we realized that there was a real need for kid donation that wasn’t being filled by anyone else, so we decided to step up to the plate.”  Prospective donors were directed to the charity’s website, where they could “submit a donation” by using an online form.  The website stated the program could “accept kids up to age 12 in any condition, provided the donor is the child’s legal parent.” Anyone getting to the confirmation part would receive an “April Fool’s” statement, followed by, “Your kids are worth more than you think.”  According to a Boston Medical Center study, 73% of parents pay more attention to their mobile phones than to their children during mealtime.  The Kids4Kars campaign encourages parents to ignore their devices during times reserved for their children.  “We felt we needed to hit hard to get the gravity ofchazandaj the message across,” Franco states. “With the increasing temptations of our mobile devices, it is harder and harder to stay focused on our children.  The shock value of an April Fool’s prank allowed us to wake parents up to the damage they can do to their children by focusing on their devices instead of their kids.”  It is estimated that this particular stunt reached at least 50 million people.  Meanwhile in Connecticut, Chaz & AJ – the morning team at Connoisseur Media‘s WPLR, New Haven “Connecticut’s #1 Rock Station” and co-owned classic rock WFOX, Stamford-Norwalk “The Fox,” reported that state taxpayers could double their tax rebate check from $55 to $110 by registering with a new database program instituted by the Department of Revenue Service.  According to Chaz, it was difficult to establish the exact number of calls the stations received, especially since, “The high volume that came in ultimately caused the phone system to crash.  We did not think it would generate that many calls.”  Shortly after 9:00 am, the morning duo fielded a call from the Governor’s office and Chaz points out, “They complained that the revenue department was overwhelmed with phone calls – they were not happy.”  A voicemail message declared it was an April Fool’s Day joke, but the Department of Revenue Services received calls about the supposed “rebate” throughout the day.

ObamaCare Criticism, Global Warming Debate, Ryan Budget Cuts, Benghazi Hearing, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Investigation, Russian Aggression, and MLB Season Opens Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/1).  Scrutiny of the White House’s claim that the Affordable Care Act has reached its stated goals; renewed debate over the theory of man-made climate change; Rep. Paul Ryan’s proposal to cut $5 trillion from the proposed federal budget; today’s House Intelligence Committee hearing at which former deputy CIA director Michael Morell will testify on the Benghazi case; new conflicting information about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370’s last communications and a renewed criminal investigation; Russia’s aggression in Ukraine; and the opening of the 2014 Major League Baseball season were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

| January 8, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

| November 12, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

| August 21, 2013

wgnlogoBig Changes Coming to WGN, Chicago; Cochran to AM Drive and an FM Signal in Tribune’s Future.  The Chicago Tribune lays out some of the changes that will take place at Tribune Company’s legendary radio property on September 3.  With the hiring of radio executive and former WLUP-FM chief Jimmy de Castro in the spring of this year, cochransteveindustry watchers knew changes were afoot.  De Castro wasn’t hired to run things as they were.  And now we know some of the ideas de Castro has been considering over the summer.  Former midday host Mike McConnell – a WLW, Cincinnati alum brought in by former bosses Randy Michaels and Kevin Metheny – has already moved to the company’s online decastrojimmyeffort WGN-2.  Now, Tribune reveals that air personality Steve Cochran – ousted from the station in 2010 – will return to host AM drive.  Current AM drive host Jonathon Brandmeier will move to a digital property dubbed wgnfm.com until the company can acquire an FM signal on which to build a new station.  The paper reports that husband-and-wife team Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano will likely host the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show and overnight host Bill Leff will be partnered with a player-to-be-named-later for the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show.  Garrybrandmeierjonathon Meier remains in the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot but is expected to take on a name partner soon.  Another return of talent from the pre-Randy Michaels days are Kathy O’Malley and Judy Markey (former midday “Girlfriends”) who will do a weekend program on WGN.  The AM radio property will also build using blocks from its WGN-TV sibling, starting with the branding slogan “Chicago’s Very Own.”  De Castro says the station will use WGN-TV personalities more often, including Dean Richards and Tom Skilling.  As for the future FM property that will start as a digital station, de Castro says, “We’re going to create it as a radio laboratory.  We’re going to build it up until we get an FM and then we’re going to put them all on a talk FM.”  The story notes that any purchase of an FM will come after the company sheds its newspaper division.  That may happen in 2014 if a buyer (or buyers) can be found.

trn logoJim Watkins Returns to Talk Radio Network.  Radio pro Jim Watkins served with Talk Radio Network for 13 years as director of affiliate relations and executive producer for the syndication company.  Now, TRN Syndications, Ltd. announces it is engaging Watkins “to spearhead several new projects within TRN and to assist in the growth of the existing affiliate base of the multiple TRN networks and many radio stars that TRN watkinsjimsyndicates.”  The company states Watkins will oversee new business development and growth-strategy projects for the TRN Networks that distributes Andrea Tantaros, Jerry Doyle, Rusty Humphries, Erich “Mancow” Muller, Monica Crowley, “America’s Morning News,” Michio Kaku, Louie Anderson, Roy Masters and America’s Radio News Network, and a complete weekend lineup of a variety of talk programming.  CEO Mark Masters says he’s thrilled to have Watkins leading his affiliate department at this most crucial time.  “Jim is deeply entrenched in talk radio and has developed alliances with key programmers across the country.  As the country ramps up into the mid-term elections, talk radio has never been more vital to facilitating the national debate.  Jim really understands the vitality of talk radio better than most people in the industry today.”  Watkins previously programmed news/talk stations for Clear Channel, as well as South-Florida based Meridian Broadcasting, and also served as producer for some of the top air talent in the country, including Michael Savage, Mike Gallagher, Barry Farber, and others.  He adds, “Talk radio reaches the most affluent and loyal audience of any format, and it does so by allowing for a free exchange of ideas which can and does influence public policy in a big way.  To have one of the best rosters of talent to be found anywhere gives me a great sense of pride.”

hartmannNationally Syndicated Host Thom Hartmann Debuts Daily Caller Column.  Liberal talk media star Thom Hartmann begins writing a weekly column for the conservative digital publication Daily Caller in which he addresses an issue from his own perspective followed by a conservative or libertarian rebuttal.  In his first column – dubbed “Liberally Yours” – Hartmann asks the question: Should the Post Office be in charge of your e-mails?  You can read the piece here.  Hartmann – whose radio program is syndicated by WYD Media Management – was recently honored by TALKERS magazine ranked at #7 on the Frontier Fifty 2013 – A Selection of Outstanding Talk Media Webcasters (see that entire feature here).  In addition to his AM/FM radio program, Hartmann’s digital efforts have earned him recognition by TALKERS for his forward-thinking business model that pushes his content into exciting new areas.

beasleyScott Webb Joins Beasley South Florida as Production Director.  Beasley Broadcast Miami announces the appointment of Scott Webb as production director for its three-station cluster that includes hip hop WPOW “Power 96,” country WKIS “99.9 Kiss Country” and sports talk WQAM “560 Sports Radio.”  In this new post, Webb will be responsible for overseeing the voicing and production of commercials for the stations.  Webb owns Scott Webb Radio Imaging based previously in Washington/Baltimore that he founded in 2001.  Prior to launching his own firm, he was creative services director and morning co-host at WJMO, Washington, D.C.  He has also served as creative services director at WHUR, Washington, WMMJ, Washington and KRBV, Dallas.  WKIS operations manager Ken Boesen states, “Scott brings exceedingly strong production skills, top-quality voiceover abilities and a fun work ethic to Beasley Miami.  He’ll be a great addition to the team and will help make our production department the strongest in South Florida.”

celtics logoBoston Celtics and WEEI/WRKO Part Company; Will CBS Radio Swoop In?  The Boston Globe’s Chad Finn reports that Entercom and the NBA’s Boston Celtics have ended negotiations to continue airing games on sports talk WEEI-FM and news/talk WRKO this season after being unable to come to terms.  Now the question is will CBS Radio’s WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” be able to secure the play-by-play rights?  In the ongoing and bloody battle between the two sports talk stations, a snare of Celtics hoops would give WBZ-FM three of the four major sports in town:  Patriots football, Bruins hockey and Celtics basketball – leaving WEEI-FM with Red Sox baseball (no small potatoes, obviously).  As Finn notes in his piece, CBS Radio owns enough stations in the market to cover any conflicts between the several teams’ games.  Finn writes that Entercom and the Celtics had a revenue-sharing agreement under the old deal but it’s unknown if there was also a rights fee.  Historically, CBS Radio has been willing to pay big dollars for play-by-play rights if it believes it can justify the expense down the road.

wknrlogoGood Karma Lets Three Go at WKNR, Cleveland.  In a report on Cleveland.com, Good Karma trims its staff by three as sports talk outlet WKNR “ESPN Cleveland” says goodbye to sports talk host Kenny Roda, Browns beat reporter Will Burge and Indians beat reporter T.J. Zuppe.  Burge tells the news outlet that although he was a little surprised by the changes, he says, “I guess you can never be too surprised in this business when they say they want to meet with you about some big-picture changes.”  Roda Tweeted to fans, “Thanks to all who have made the last 21 years at WKNR a remarkable, unforgettable & amazing journey. I enjoyed sharing it with you all.”

versnickartArt Versnick Named GM at WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  Resort Broadcasting news/talk WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware “The Talk of Delmarva” announces Art Versnick joins the station to serve as general manager.  In making the announcement, company president David Schoumacher states, “Art is a seasoned broadcast professional who brings great knowledge to our very important heritage radio station.  It was imperative to secure the future of this franchise with a pro, and we’ve done that by bringing his talent to work with our staff.”  Versnick comments, “I’m thrilled to be joining this heritage station – with its local air staff – almost unheard of today in news/talk radio.  The dedication of this staff and ownership to provide Sussex County with quality and local programming will continue and move to the next level in providing listeners and advertisers a local forum.”

wtmjweloveJournal’s WTMJ, Milwaukee Begins Sponsored Live Broadcast Series.  Journal Broadcast Group’s news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee announces the debut of the “We Love Wisconsin Tour” that will see the morning show broadcast live from sites across the state.  Sponsored by All American Window & Door, the first live broadcast event will be Friday, August 23, at the Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend where “Wisconsin’s Morning Newslangmyertom with Gene Mueller” will broadcast from 5:00 am to 8:30 am.  The tour will continue in Wauwatosa in September, Madison in October and Green Bay in November.  Journal Broadcast Group vice president of news/talk programming Tom Langmyer says, “As ‘Wisconsin’s Radio Station,’ WTMJ is excited to celebrate individual communities that make our region so special as a whole. Gene Mueller and his team will explore the history of each town, introduce listeners to special people and discover fun things to do along the way.  We’re pleased to partner with All American Window & Door on this adventure.”  During the live broadcast event, Terri Lodwick, owner of All American Window & Door, will present a $1,000 donation to a local charity.

Odds & Sods. Hubbard Radio Washington D.C. properties WTOP and Federal News Radio are honored with the 2013 Alfred P. Sloan Award for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility for the use of flexibility and other aspects of workplace effectiveness as a workplace strategy to increase business and employee success…..Hubbard Radio’s WXOS, St. Louis “101 ESPN” agrees to a deal through Learfield Sports to carry University of Illinois football play-by-play for this season…..NFL Hall of Famer Joe Namath guests on Sports USA’s “Conversations with Joe Morgan” this week.  Morgan’s program is heard on some 80 affiliates across the country.  Namath’s podcast, produced by Sports USA, debuts next week…..Indiana Radio Watch tips TALKERS that Zach Bonahoom exits Federated Media’s news/talk WOWO-AM/FM, Fort Wayne where he hosted a Saturday talk show.

NSA Surveillance Program/UK Threatens Guardian, Egypt Violence, ObamaCare Implementation, OK Ballplayer Slaying, and Clinton Foundation Expenses Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/20).  The scope of the NSA surveillance program and the UK’s threats against the Guardian paper; continuing violence in Egypt and the U.S.’s relationship with its government; the implementation of the Affordable Care Act; the killing of an Australian baseball player by teens in Oklahoma; and the report of the Clinton Foundation’s travel expenses were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, February 11, 2013

| February 11, 2013

DG-logoHorizontalSpencer Brown to Sole Dial Global CEO Post; David Landau Resigns.  In a major top-level management move, Dial Global ditches its three-person CEO structure and Spencer Brown becomes the sole CEO of thebrownspencer corporation.  Former co-CEO David Landau resigns and former co-CEO Ken Williams takes on the president title and reports to Brown.  In a statement, Dial Global says the reason for the changes are to “sharpen the company’s strategic focus and provide greater clarity to its advertising clients, station affiliates, producer partners and stockholders.”  Spencer Brown states, “Along with me and Ken, David has led Dial Global since its formation in 2002, and he has been a cornerstone of the williamskencompany’s growth and success.  I am personally grateful for his significant contributions over the years, and I know that the entire organization feels the same.  While David will certainly be missed, I am excited to lead the company forward and am convinced that Dial Global’s best days lie ahead.”  David Landau adds, “Working with Spencer, Ken and many of the other talented executives at Dial Global over the last 10 years has been one of the most gratifying experiences of my life, both personally and professionally.  I have tremendous respect for Spencer and believe that he has the necessary qualifications and passion to lead the company through its next stage of growth.  I remain a meaningful shareholder of Dial Global and its most ardent supporter.”

weei logoEntercom’s WEEI, Boston Gets Attention in Hometown Media Over Focus Group.  The Boston Globe is reporting that Entercom’s sports brand WEEI, Boston conducted a focus group of 15 young men – believed to be on the younger side of the 25-54 demo – in late January.  The key aspect of this is the subjects are reported to have been converts from WEEI to CBS Radio’s WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub.”  The questions by the moderator of the focus group zeroed in on the perceptions about the morning and afternoon drive personalities, how they discovered WBZ-FM and what they think of various WEEI contributors and co-hosts. WEEI PD Jason Wolfe responded to a question from the Globe in an email simply stating, “These things are common.  All companies do market research from time to time to gain insight into how they can improve.”  Globe writer Chad Finn goes on to give his opinions about the WEEI personalities in the piece.  That WEEI-AM/FM and WBZ-FM are locked in a battle in a lucrative sports town is not news, nor is the fact that WBZ-FM tends to beat WEEI in the younger demos while the strength of Boston Red Sox baseball pumps up WEEI during baseball season.  Clearly each station has its own sound and one doesn’t have to listen very long to hear why they appeal to different demographics.  The question for WEEI is, do they want to re-tool their lineup and alter their programming philosophy to go head-to-head with WBZ-FM for the younger demos or stick with the programming that has made them iconic in the region and sell the fact that they appeal to an older demo that has more disposable income.  Decisions, decisions…

cookehollandAttention Radio Managers:  Time Cannot be Managed – but Tasks Can!  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison once described the job of managing an active radio station as feeding human time and energy into a black hole in space.  No matter how much you shovel in, it keeps demanding more and wants to be fed quicker and quicker.  In today’s frenetic world of inter-connective multi-tasking, this observation rings truer than ever and it impacts all levels of communications industry management.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke offers several valuable ways to navigate the time demands placed upon today’s radio managers.  First of all, he says, “Time cannot be managed – don’t even try!  But tasks can!”  Read Cooke’s strategy for staying on top of the mountain of tasks facing today’s radio manager while avoiding the pitfalls and wipeouts of the non-stop stream of distractions, interruptions and nightmarish disorganization by clicking here.

wvonlogoMidway Broadcasting’s urban talk WVON, Chicago to Address City’s Deadly Violence.  The market’s urban talk outlet is hosting and broadcasting a special live forum this evening addressing the ongoing violence that is plaguing the young African American population.  Station personality Kendall Moore willmoorekendall host the event in front of a live, selected audience.  Appearing on the program will be: Nathaniel Pendleton, father of Hadiya Pendleton; Tio Hardiman, director for Cure Violence Illinois; the Rev. Dr. Michael Pfleger, senior pastor of The Faith Community of Saint Sabina; Richard Wooten, member of the Chicago Police Department; Che’ Rhymefest Smith, recording artist, writer and community activist; Harold “Noonie G” Ward, former high-ranking Gangster Disciple gang leader and members of the Guardian Angels; Chicago’s Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy has also been invited.  The broadcast will air tonight from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

giffordlarryLarry Gifford to Exit Bonneville Seattle.  Programmer Larry Gifford has been at the helm of news/talk KIRO-FM and conservative talker KTTH in Seattle for the past two years.  But Gifford says that after some soul searching, he’s decided to resign from the post.  In a memo to the staff he writes: “I am a big fan of Bonneville Seattle, the brands, philosophies, purpose, and the people who breathe life and personality into our products.  I believe KIRO-FM and KTTH are positioned for success.  I also recognize the stations have both evolved greatly in the two years I’ve been here.  As stations evolve, their leaders need to evolve as well.  As I’ve considered where we are and the road ahead, it has become clear to me that the type of leadership needed to keep moving these stations forward requires someone with different strengths and passions than mine.  So, with mixed emotions, I have resigned my position at Bonneville Seattle.  At Carl’s [GM Carl Gardner] request, I will be here through March 1 to help both stations through this transition.  As to what comes next?  I don’t know.  Though, Becci, Henry and I are planning to go on a month-long RV adventure this Spring to visit friends, favorite places and make some memories.”

raytomTom Ray Resigns from Engineering Post at WOR, New York; Will Launch Consulting Business. After a 15-plus year career based at the former Buckley Broadcasting facility in Manhattan, engineer Tom Ray announces his resignation from the station via Facebook.  He writes in a press release:  After 15-1/2 years, Tom Ray is leaving WOR Radio in New York City. During Tom’s tenure at WOR, he had taken the station from an older analog facility into the digital world, culminating in the move of the WOR studio facility to downtown Manhattan.  This was the world’s first large scale Axia deployment.  Subsequently, he built WOR a new state-of-the-art transmitter facility in the New Jersey Meadowlands, retiring the former Lyndhurst, NJ facility that had served WOR for 40 years…Tom has been on the Board of Directors of the Society of Broadcast Engineers, was Chairman of SBE Chapter 15 in New York City for 9 years, has been on the NAB’s Broadcast Engineering Conference Committee several times, serving as Chairman of the Committee twice. Until the acquisition of WOR by Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, he was corporate director of engineering of Buckley Broadcasting and chief engineer of WOR Radio.  Tom’s immediate plans are to consult as Tom Ray Broadcast Consulting. He can be reached at tomray@tomrayconsulting.com, or at 845-418-5065.

oconnellseanKGMZ, San Francisco Adds Sean O’Connell to Midday Show.  Entercom sports talk KGMZ, San Francisco “95.7 The Game” names college footballer and current MMA fighter Sean O’Connell to the midday program alongside Matt Steinmetz.  O’Connell hosted AM drive and middays at Cumulus’ KFAN, Salt Lake City.  In college, O’Connell played for the University of Utah, where he was a teammate of San Francisco 49ers QB Alex Smith and was coached by Urban Meyer (now with Ohio State).  He was part of the undefeated 2004 team, which won the Fiesta Bowl and finished the season ranked #4 overall.  After finishing his playing days, O’Connell began competing in MMA and was part of the cast of the UFC’s “Ultimate Fighter” Season 8 on Spike TV.  KGMZ PD Jason Barrett says, “To say that Sean O’Connell is a unique talent would be a tremendous understatement.  Bay Area sports fans are going to love his passion, plus, now we also have a guaranteed bodyguard at future events, which will come in handy since our hosts have a tendency to fire up the fan base.” O’Connell begins his duties February 21.

curtiscraigSCPR’s Craig Curtis to Leave Pubcaster.  Program director Craig Curtis will exit his role with Southern California Public Radio at the end of this week.  LA Observed reports it’s not known if Curtis has a new position lined up or if recent turbulence at SCPR (the demise of Patt Morrison’s show and the matching of A Martinez with Madeleine Brand on the KPCC morning show and the popular Brand’s departure soon thereafter) had anything to do with Curtis’ exit.  In other recent news about SCPR, the newsroom staff voted to unionize with SAG/AFTRA.  Curtis received accolades from VP of content Russ Stanton in an email to staffers.  He wrote, in part, “Craig has played an integral role in the growth and success of SCPR.  From his then-perch as program director at Minnesota Public Radio, Craig oversaw the transformation of KPCC’s programming from its music and news format into the 24/7 news and information programming we deliver today.  He also has been involved in the hiring of virtually all of our on-air talent, as well as the broadcast production staff.  He is responsible for KPCC’s distinctive on-air sound which, among other things, boasts a core audience loyalty of 74%, a remarkable achievement.”

katzsnowJeff Katz Reports from the Heart of Nemo!  Talk radio pro Jeff Katz didn’t waste the opportunity to take a few minutes from shoveling the two-plus feet of snow from his Boston-area driveway to appear on radio stations across the country on Friday.  Katz shared his observations with the Compass Media Networks nationally syndicated Todd Schnitt show; Simon Conway’s WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive program and on the Kitty O’Neal and Pat Walsh morning show on Clear Channel’s KFBK, in snowless Sacramento.  We couldn’t help noticing that, in the heart of Boston Bruins country, Jeff is sporting a Montreal Canadiens jacket.  He is truly fearless!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

| September 5, 2012

Day One from the Democratic National Convention.  WYD Media’s Stephanie Miller (c) is pictured here in an “action” shot that shows the expansive media center in Charlotte from which she is broadcasting her nationally syndicated morning drive program.  In this photo, she’s joined by Fox News Radio personality Alan Colmes (l) and Stephanie Miller show regular Jim Ward (r).  There are more than 100 talk show hosts joining the news organizations covering the DNC in Charlotte that wraps up Thursday with President Obama’s evening speech accepting his party’s nomination for the ticket.

Greater Media’s WTKK, Boston Makes Brand Change and Boost to News Product Official.  As TALKERS magazine reported yesterday, Greater Media news/talk outlet WTKK has re-branded itself and is rededicating itself to providing Bostonians with more news and information and program director Grace Blazer makes that official.  She says the station “will provide listeners in the Boston Metropolitan area with consistent ‘live and local’ news, traffic, and weather reports around the clock on-air, online and on their mobile devices.   Through a partnership with Total Traffic, Greater Media Boston’s News Talk 96.9 FM-WTKK will deliver newscasts at the top and bottom of the hour 24 hours a day and traffic and weather reports every 15 minutes.  In addition, WTKK will refer to itself as NEWS TALK 96.9 both on air and online to more accurately reflect its product.” Blazer says, “We are proud to be the only FM radio station with a 24 hour live and local staff of newscasters delivering timely, local and breaking news, accurate traffic reporting, and dependable weather forecasts.  The addition of services to our already strong talk lineup makes News Talk 96.9 FM unique within the Boston market and also presents immediate opportunities for our advertisers.”  Total News Source VP Chris Berry says of the new relationship, “An amazing amount of news is generated daily in Boston and New England.  We are very pleased to be working around the clock with the team at News Talk 96.9 to assist in gathering and delivering news and information.”

Glenn Beck Gets Apology from American Airlines After Rude Service.  The Premiere Networks-syndicated radio host told his audience he was treated rudely by a flight attendant on a weekend flight from Newark to Dallas – ostensibly for his political views – and would never fly American again.  Beck told his national radio audience the male flight attendant “fawned over” the other passengers but slammed a can of soda down in front of him and “barked” at him, treating him as “subhuman.”  The airline tweeted an apology and went further issuing the following statement, “We are sorry for the experience Mr. Beck had on a recent flight.  The comfort and satisfaction of our customers are very important priorities to us and we take these matters seriously.  We have reached out to Mr. Beck’s office and are actively looking into the situation.”

Matt Fox Exits NextMedia’s WHBC, Canton.  The morning show at NextMedia’s WHBC, Canton, Ohio will consist of co-host Pam Cook and Canton Repository sports columnist Todd Porter for now as Matt Fox exits the station to take a position outside the radio business.  The Repository reports Fox cited the early morning hours – a 3:45 wakeup call – as one of the reasons he’s choosing to leave the show he’s been co-hosting with Cook since February of 2011.  He took over for Fred Chenevey at that time and the program was his first full-time radio gig.  He continues to co-host the “Around the House with Matt and Shari” home improvement show that airs on the local PBS TV outlet.

Big Changes at Chicago Public Media; Big Shoes to Fill at WBEZ.  Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder reports on the announcement that afternoon talk host Steve Edwards is leaving his “The Afternoon Shift” talk show on CPM’s WBEZ, Chicago to take a new post at the University of Chicago.  Edwards has been with Chicago Public Media for 14 years, serving in a number of capacities during that time, including as director of content development and program director.  It was just last February that the 41-year-old public media pro returned to the air to host “The Afternoon Shift.”  On his new position as deputy director, programming at the University of Chicago’s new Institute of Politics, a public policy and public service institute led by David Axelrod, Edwards tells Feder, “What motivates me is trying to create a deeper understanding of the world around me and trying to share that with people.  How do I touch and transform people and communities?  How do I uncover insights and share them with others?  Journalism has been an amazing place where those values and skill sets intersect.  And I think my new role at the Institute of Politics represents another place where they do as well.”  Meanwhile, CPM has retained Livingston Associates to help find Edwards’ successor.  Read Robert Feder’s full story here.

Clear Channel Takes Aim at CNN with Its ClearVision In-Airport TV Network.  Providing what it calls an alternative to CNN’s news-only airport network with a debut at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, Clear Channel Outdoor’s Clear Channel Airports division unveils ClearVision.  The company says it’ll provide content to travelers from numerous sources, including:  “CBS with offerings from CBS News, CBS Entertainment, CBS Daytime, and CBS Interactive, among others; NBC, with shows including The Today Show, Smash, The Voice, Grimm, America’s Got Talent and The Office; daily headlines from around the world from The Wall Street Journal’s WSJ Live; and sports  from the Tennis Channel with original programming like the travel series Destination Tennis and highlights from major tournaments like the French Open and US Open.”  This is a partnership with connectVISION Digital Networks and CCO says it “provides airports, content partners, and advertisers with an unparalleled ability to reach and engage air travelers – through customized content ranging from local news to top network shows and live events.  Airports ultimately will be able to leverage WiFi services to provide travelers accustomed to on-demand content access to the ClearVision network on their smartphones, iPads, and laptops.”  There’s no word from Clear Channel on what other American airports with which it’s negotiating but the company sounds very dedicated to this market and you can bet there will be more airport deals announced in the near future.

Sports Biz Today Produces Daily Updates.  Sports Biz Today is launching a new daily product called “Sports Biz Update” – a two-minute feature in which host Fred Wallin gives listeners the headlines of what is going on in the world of sports business.  Fred Wallin is a veteran of sports talk radio, both locally in Southern California and nationally.  Wallin has hosted ‘Dodger Talk,” “Angel Talk,” “Kings Talk,” and “Bruins Talk” on various Southern California radio stations.  He has hosted programs on KABC, KFI, KLAC, KIEV, KFOX and 1150 AM in Los Angeles.  Nationally, Wallin has hosted programs on The Sports Radio Network, The American Sports Radio Network, Prime Sports, The Sports America Radio Network, and the Cable Radio Network, and presently on Sports Overnight America, Fox Sports Radio Las Vegas and KCAA Riverside, California.

Odds & Sods.  Clear Channel names Melissa Forrest market manager for the San Diego cluster.  Forrest most recently served with CC at the Atlanta cluster where she was president and market manager in charge of the company’s radio stations, the Total Traffic Network and the Georgia News Network…..TRN and WGST, Atlanta talk show host Rusty Humphries is putting his passion for cigars together with his own brand and is working with Cuban-born cigar-making legends to create his own limited-edition El Presidente cigar.  Working with Don Lino creator Nestor Miranda and master blender José “Pepin” Garcia – both Floridians now – Humphries made 300 boxes of the cigars.  He says, “It’s not made to be an everyday smoke.  There’s not that many of ‘em.  I only wanted to do a limited amount.  I wanted to honor a president each time.  When they’re gone, they’re gone.  So each cigar is a collector’s item in its own right.”  Humphries is pictured here with U.S. Senator Marco Rubio who declared the cigar “bueno.”…..Nationally syndicated home improvement radio show “The Money Pit” partners with TuneIn to create a 24/7 home improvement channel on the audio service.  “Money Pit” co-host Tom Kraeutler says, “We’ve experienced rapid growth of our program through our existing online assets.  But with over 40 million monthly active listeners, TuneIn has the infrastructure and leadership to help us expand that listener base in ways never before possible and we’re thrilled with the opportunity to share our home improvement insights with this new audience.”…..Dr. Michio Kaku – renowned theoretical physicist, best-selling author and host of Talk Radio Network’s “Science Fantastic” – has been selected through a vote of IPC members to keynote the trade group’s biggest electronics industry event next spring in San Diego.  “Kaku’s keynote will present a vision of life in the year 2100 culled from ideas of 300 of the country’s most influential scientists.  He will explore revolutionary advancements in medicine, energy production, artificial intelligence and aeronautics that will forever change our way of life – including innovations like internet-enabled contact lenses, cars that will drive (or even fly) themselves and brain sensors that will let us move objects using only the power of our minds.”…..Mike Rosso joins Continental Electronics as vice president of sales and marketing, where he’ll be responsible for maintaining and developing Continental’s global market presence.  Continental bills itself as a “global leader in broadcast transmitter equipment.  It is the foremost supplier of advanced RF transmission technology and the world’s most experienced designer and builder of the highest power radio broadcast equipment.”

Fox Sports Radio Network Launches Daily Big Ten Football Show.  The new show, an extension of the weekly Big Ten show, debuted yesterday on affiliates including WDFN, Detroit, KFXN, Minneapolis and WSSP, Milwaukee.  Dubbed “BTN Live,” the show airs live daily from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET and is hosted by Big Ten Network personalities Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo, Howard Griffith and others.

WEEI, Boston Announces Patriots and NFL Coverage.  The Entercom sports talk brand – heard throughout New England on numerous company-owned stations and affiliates – announces its fall football programming.  VP of programming and operations for Entercom Boston Jason Wolfe reports coverage of Patriots football features the return of Patriots Friday and Patriots Monday that includes exclusive interviews with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.  Its “Gameday” broadcasts on home game days will emanate from Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill at Patriot Place in Foxborough.  WEEI has also secured a number of current and former Patriots players as well as NFL experts – including (WFAN, New York and “NFL Today” host) Boomer Esiason who chats with morning hosts Dennis & Callahan each Monday – to join coverage of the team on its shows throughout the week during the football season.  Wolfe states, “We’ve made it a priority to provide Patriots fans with the most compelling and comprehensive coverage of the team that we can.  With Patriots Monday and Friday and our slew of NFL Insiders, WEEI will be the place to be to keep up with the Pats throughout the season.”  Actual game play-by-play rights are owned by WEEI’s crosstown competitor – CBS Radio-owned WBZ-FM, Boston 98.5 The Sports Hub.

Are Hard Times Hitting Television Talk, Too?  The New York Post reports on rumors that Comcast’s NBC is taking a serious look at morning television talk’s “Today” for possible budget cuts in the wake of its “ratings woes.”  With the story of Jay Leno’s recent voluntary pay cut to help save staffer jobs at “The Tonight Show,” the story questions whether “Today” co-host Matt Lauer will take the same path there to save the positions of lower-level staffers such as makeup artists and writers.  In the piece, one person is quoted saying, “It will be the little people who go first — the makeup people, writers, but these people have families, and it will put pressure on Matt to do the right thing.”  Lauer reportedly makes $25 million per year.  Commenting on the rumors, a rep for “Today” states there will be “absolutely” no staff cuts at the program.

Michael Strahan Officially Named Kelly Ripa’s Co-Host.  The former New York Giants football great is officially named the permanent co-host of the “Live!” show, replacing Regis Philbin, who retired from the show late last fall.  Kelly Ripa has been hosting the show solo and with a parade of potential co-hosts doing live auditions since then.  But, according to People, Ripa made the announcement official that Strahan would be her new co-host.

Presidential Campaign/Democratic National Convention, National Debts Hits $16 Trillion, and Syria Violence Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/4).  The presidential campaign and the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte; the national debt hitting the $16 trillion mark; and the ongoing violence in Syria were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.