Tag: "Alan Colmes"

Shock & Awe(mus)

| December 30, 2019

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor

Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in TALKERS magazine in July of 2011.

NEW YORK — Picture the warm-and-fuzzy wakeup talent who oversees and nurtures a friendly environment.  That standard blueprint for eliciting a feel-good attitude has worked ratings wonders for years and is a cherished cornerstone for some of America’s top-tier heritage stations.

Now imagine pretty much the exact opposite with what some would insist is a cynical, bitter-sounding, often-mumbling personality who berates nearly everyone in his path (his bosses, co-workers, advertisers, guests and listeners are never exempt) and you have a reasonably good feel for “Imus in the Morning.”

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

| May 24, 2017

Senators Request Hearing on the State of the News Media. As reported at Multichannel.com, two U.S. senators – Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Tom Udall (D-NM) – have written to Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) and Ranking Member Bill Nelson (D-FL) requesting a hearing on the state of the news media.  The two also reached out to the FCC requesting information on the May 18 incident in which a reporter was roughly handled by a security guard for trying to ask an FCC commissioner a question after a public meeting.  The letter to Chairman Thune says, in part, “The journalism industry is grappling with a changing media landscape: from the changing dynamics of how people access news, to changing financial calculations, to the proliferation of so-called ‘fake news’ (both actual disinformation campaigns and the use of the term to slander legitimate news reporting), to a challenging relationship between news media and the Executive branch.  There have been a series of recent incidents in which hostility has been exercised against members of the press by members of the Administration, including just last week when a reporter was allegedly manhandled and threatened by security guards after a news conference at the Federal Communications Commission headquarters.”  The last time the Commerce Committee held a hearing on the state of the media was 2009.

PPM Analysis: Public News/Talk. Of all the subgenres of spoken-word talk radio, public radio news/talk appears to have benefitted the most from the election of Donald Trump, according to data from Nielsen Audio’s PPM surveys.  Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents this analysis of the performances of public news/talk stations based on data from the April 2017 PPM survey.  Kinosian notes, “Well over half the stations showing year-to-year (6+) growth do so by at least one full share, including Boston University’s WBUR (2.4 – 4.3, +1.9, 6+), which jumps by nine rankers (#17 to #8).”  Additionally, nine public news/talk stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets during the April survey.  See the whole report here.

Rob Whiteside Named Digital PD for iHeartMedia’s Virginia/Carolina Region. This is an internal move as iHeartMedia names Rob Whiteside digital program director for its Virginia/Carolina Region.  He’s been serving as digital operations director for the company’s Central Region.  In this new position, Whiteside’s responsibilities will include growing digital resources and reach for the region’s 54 radio station brands, as well as day-to-day digital programming for the Raleigh market.  Whiteside and his team “will work closely with the programming and sales departments to deliver key messages on digital platforms, including station and on-air personality websites, mobile and social media.”

Kuby Confirms Departure from WABC, New York a Budget Move.  As TALKERS magazine speculated yesterday, the firing of Ron Kuby from WABC, New York’s “Curtis & Kuby” show was financially motivated.  Kuby issued a statement that reads, in part, “Yesterday I was informed by WABC management, after my show, that I had just done my last show. Those of you who know the business know this is a standard (if unpleasant) way of discharging people.  I was told that the reason was budgetary, and I no reason to doubt that explanation.  I had already made the decision that this year would be my last, and I informed management in December.  The election of Trump and the threats he poses to civil rights and liberties requires more of me than being a part-time lawyer. I feel a moral compulsion to be the best and hardest working advocate I can be, using the skills I have been taught for over three decades.  Thanks to WABC management for giving me the opportunity that I have (mostly) enjoyed for the past three 1/2 years.”

Westwood One Brings Aboard Sales Pros Lang and Johnston. Two radio biz sales pros are joining Westwood One as director, national partnerships.  Delanne Lang was most recently with AdLarge as a national accounts manager.  She’ll be based in New York and will report to EVP of Northeast sales Ron RussoDiane Johnston comes to WW1 from Premiere Networks.  She’ll be based in Detroit and report to EVP of Midwest sales Doug Johnston.

TALKERS News Notes. Dallas sports talkers “The Musers” – George Dunham, Craig Miller and Gordon Keith – heard on Cumulus Media’s KTCK-AM/FM “Sportsradio 1310/96.7 FM The Ticket” – interviewed President George W. Bush on Monday’s program broadcast live from the Warrior Open at the Prestonwood Golf Club in Dallas.   The Warrior Open is a competitive golf tournament for America’s wounded warriors established by the Bush Institute in 2011 that honors U.S. service members and heralds the organizations that support men and women of the U.S. military and their families…..Tomorrow (5/25), WGN, Chicago will induct 10 honorees into the WGN Radio Walk of Fame.  The induction ceremony will be broadcast live with hosts Wendy Snyder and Steve Bertrand.  The inductees – three sports legends, four renowned traffic reporters, one story chaser and two present-day voices, consist of: Leonard Baldy, Lou Boudreau, Nick Digilio, Lincoln Hampton, Vince Lloyd, Mike Mathis, Anne Maxfield, Judy Pielach, Jack Rosenberg and Larry Schreiner.

TALKERS Institutes New Annual Award to Recognize College Radio Broadcasters.  The editorial board of TALKERS magazine has instituted a new annual award designed to shed light on the burgeoning world of college radio and emphasize the important role it plays in providing 21st century broadcasting with fresh talent and management prospects.  The award is titled “The Alan Colmes Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievements by a College Radio Broadcaster” – named after the late radio and TV talk personality Alan Colmes who passed away earlier this year.  Colmes was a student at Hofstra University in the late 1960s and is a charter inductee in the school’s WRHU Hall of Fame.  WRHU-FM/WRHU.org recently received the NAB Marconi Award as Best College Radio Station in the nation and is widely recognized by leading authorities as one of the leading outlets in American college radio year after year.  The first recipient of this award (also dubbed TALKERS “College Radio Broadcaster of the Year”) is Hofstra University student Maria Santana.  Santana is a sophomore who, as student station manager of WRHU, manages a staff of 277 at the radio station.  She hosts and produces a morning drive, magazine-style talk show and a weekly half-hour women’s topics talk show.  She also co-hosted a half-hour special talk show on education during Debate 2016 and produces news packages for the station’s live, local half-hour newscast, “Newsline.”  Her on-air work was recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists Press Club’s Long Island Chapter.  She earned the Jeffrey C. Kraus Endowed Radio Award for her leadership skills.  Her stellar work ethic helped her emerge from over 110 other staffers to be named WRHU rookie of the year in 2016.  Hofstra Entertainment Access TV named Santana its assistant general manager.  She currently holds the two highest student media leadership positions at Hofstra in both its radio and TV divisions.  WRHU operations manager John T. Mullen describes Maria Santana as “a true example of a young, converged media executive with a bright future.”  Maria Santana will be presented the award at TALKERS 2017: A New Era on Friday, June 2 in New York.

Joe Pyne the Subject of Smithsonian Magazine Piece. A story published in Smithsonian Magazine titled, “Joe Pyne Was America’s First Shock Jock,” tells the story of the man who set the stage for what would become the contemporary television and radio talk show that featured heated arguments led by an aggressive, name-calling host.  Joe Pyne’s vituperative style comes off as campy in this day and age, but most media historians agree that Pyne was the first in-your-face, issues-oriented conservative talk show host.  But more interesting to talk radio fans and industry insiders is the work being done by a man named Charles Churchman.  He’s currently attempting to digitally archive more than 100 episodes of the old Joe Pyne television show.  The shows were recorded on 2-inch videotape that is quickly decaying from age.  For a summary of Pyne’s career, a look at who was influenced by him, and the story of the preservation of the TV show tapes, read the Smithsonian piece here.

Manchester Terror Bombing, Trump Visits The Vatican, the Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump Budget Proposal, Philippines Martial Law, Seth Rich Controversy, Roger Moore Dead at 89, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/23). The aftermath of the Manchester terror bombing; President Donald Trump visits Pope Francis on his international tour; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia; the Trump administration’s federal budget proposal; Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s martial law order and his praise from President Trump; controversy over theories that murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich leaked information to Wikileaks; actor Roger Moore dies at the age of 89; and MLB, NBA, and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS magazine Publishes 2017 Heavy Hundred. The 2017 edition of TALKERS magazine’s “100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America” – known as the “Heavy Hundred” – has been published.  This 23rd edition of the Heavy Hundred consists of a ranking of radio talk show hosts by the editors of TALKERS magazine based on a number of hard and soft factors, including: ratings, revenue, courage, effort, impact, longevity, potential, recognition, service, talent, and uniqueness.  Regular TALKERS readers and talk radio aficionados will recognize a number of personalities who are perennial members of the list.  But there are some newcomers as well as some hosts who’d made the list in years past and are making a return.  Yes, this list – like many that are created by editors of industry publications – is subjective to some degree or another.  It will raise questions as to who is on the list, who is not, and where those on the list are ranked.  But, that’s part of the fun of it!  Regardless, TALKERS editors take this project very seriously and wish to congratulate all the members of the 2017 TALKERS Heavy Hundred.  See it here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Chicago, CBS RADIO’s triple A WXRT officially names John Farneda music director.  He’s been serving in the post in the interim since early last month, succeeding Kelly Ransford after she moved to iHeartMedia Denver.  This is a return to WXRT for Farneda who worked at the station from 1983 through 2014 – the last 13 years as music director.  WXRT OM/PD Greg Solk says, “Christmas has come early to WXRT.  John’s rich history here and his unequalled knowledge of the Chicago rock market make him the perfect programming partner.  John is WXRT.”…..At Mountain Dog Media’s WFON, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin “107.1 The Bull,” afternoon personality Big Al moves to morning drive to co-host with incumbent morning jock Stef Z for the newly renamed “The Morning Radio Rodeo” show…..Cumulus Media’s New York hot AC WPLJ is presenting the Pepsi Summer Kick Off at Jenkinson’s Pavilion in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey this Friday (5/26).  The event will feature live performances from Andy Grammer, The Band Perry, LP and Wrabel.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

| February 28, 2017

AP Sues Ingraham’s LifeZette Inc. for Non-Payment.  In a suit filed in the District of Columbia Superior Court, the Associated Press has filed suit against the Laura Ingraham-operated LifeZette Inc. alleging the company defaulted on payments for providing it with its news service.  In its suit, the AP documents that LifeZette agreed to pay $4,200 per month for 12 months for a digital current news license.  After not receiving timely payments, AP suspended the service to LifeZette.  LifeZette did remit a payment of $42,611.71 but the check was returned for insufficient funds.  AP is seeking a total of $49,267.39 plus interest from the date of judgement at 18%, as per the contract.

New Shows Hit Air at KTXX, Austin.  There are a few programming changes at Genuine Austin Radio-owned sports talk KTXX “104.9 The Horn.”  Geoff Ketchum returns to the station – he hosted a show there from 2008 through 2012 – to handle the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show.  Additonally, weekend shows are joining the program schedule.  Former Longhorns and NFL players Kasey Studdard and Lyle Sandlein are hosting a Saturday morning show called, “The Big Ugly Outdoors.”  Also on Saturdays, the station adds Texas Motor Speedway’s “Total Access” with hosts Rich Phillips and Katie Tull.

10th Annual Hersky Awards.  Today, TALKERS magazine presents the winners of the 10th Annual Hersky Awards, as determined by talk radio sales maven (and H&H Communications president) Al Herskovitz.  Regular TALKERS readers are aware that each year, Herskovitz gives a nod – no statuette – to those broadcasters and advertisers that stand out among the crowd in the world of talk radio advertising.  To read about this year’s winners, click here.

Longtime ABC News Radio Correspondent Bill Diehl Publishes Memoir.  Radio pros who worked at stations that carried ABC News Radio know the name Bill Diehl.  He was a correspondent for the news organization for almost 50 years, covering the world of entertainment and, during that time, interviewed some of the biggest names in showbiz, including Cher, Tom Hanks and Jane Fonda.  Serving as chief entertainment reporter, he also covered all the major awards shows: The Emmys, Grammys, Oscars, and Tonys.  Now, he’s published his memoir titled, Stay Tuned: My Life Behind the Mic.  Diehl says, “I have a great love for covering the world of entertainment, a passion, really.  And while I still periodically contribute celebrity interviews to the ABC News Radio ‘Perspective’ program, those award-show days are getting smaller and smaller in my rearview mirror.  So, I decided to reminisce ‘out loud,’ if you will, sharing favorite remembrances with others through a book that’s filled with photos and excerpts of some of my most memorable interviews – including those with Oscar nominees or Oscar winners I’ve put my mic in front of on a few red carpets over the years.” Check it out at bdiehl.com.

Trump’s Address to Congress, ObamaCare Overhaul, Trump Budget Plan, Trump vs News Media, White House Leaks Crackdown, North Korea Executions, Oscar Snafu, Tourists to Circle Moon, and NBA/NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/27).  The build-up to this evening’s address to Congress by President Donald Trump; the anticipation of an overhaul of the Affordable Care Act by the GOP and the Trump Administration; Trump’s budget plan that includes ramping up military spending by $53 billion; Trump’s ongoing war against the news media, including last week’s exclusion of several news organizations at a press conference; the Trump Administration’s concerns about leaks, including Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s searching of staffers’ phones; the execution of five national security staffers by North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; the envelope mix-up at Sunday night’s Academy Awards ceremony; Elon Musk’s announcement a couple will take a trip around the moon and back next year; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Jackson Blue Partners with Hannah Byrom for AMs on WKLB, Boston.  Moving over from his afternoon drive show on Beasley Media Group’s urban contemporary WBQT “HOT 96.9” is Jackson Blue, who is joining Hannah Byrom to host the morning show on WKLB “Country 102.5.”  Beasley Boston director of programming Cadillac Jack comments, “I’ve had the pleasure of having a ‘front row seat’ to watch Jackson’s growth over the past 15 years and feel proud to promote such a talented personality from within our Beasley Boston cluster to this key position.  Here’s to the success that Jackson and ‘Country 102.5’ will undoubtedly enjoy for years to come!”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Spanish language broadcaster SBS announces that its New York City outlet WSKQ-FM “Mega 97.9” has achieved an historic milestone, claiming the #1 ranking for two major demos — A 18-34, A 18-49 — in Nielsen‘s January PPM survey among all radio stations serving the Tri-State area, regardless of language or format.  SBS says that the recent ratings rank WSKQ-FM as not only the most-listened-to station in the New York metro but as the #1 ranked Latino station in the nation…..In San Diego, Zach Van Lue assumes the afternoon drive daypart at Local Media San Diego’s alternative XETRA “91X.”  Van Lue comes to San Diego from Seattle where he’s been the evening host for the past three years at Entercom’s alternative KNDD “107.7 The End.”…..Cumulus Media and rock WAQX, Syracuse “95X” afternoon air personality Big Smoothie, a.k.a. Jamie Hantke, part ways after an eight-year relationship.  Hantke tells Syracuse.com that the move was not his choice, but refused to elaborate.   The station is also not commenting…..Morning drive personality Sean McMaster announces his exit from Townsquare Media’s country WGNA, Albany.  He posted on Facebook: “Today was my last day at WGNA.  After more than 20 years of sharing my life with the greatest listeners of all time, this even to me, seems to be unbelievable.  I have taken my role as an advocate of my listeners very seriously through the years and I hope that you will all support me in what was the hardest decision I have ever made.”…..In Bend, Oregon, Horizon Broadcasting adds Danni K., a.k.a. Danielle Keys, to the morning show alongside Kit Mann on its hot AC KWPK “The Peak 104.1.”

We Dialed Up AC for Hot Topics

| February 24, 2017

Remembering Alan Colmes

 

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

 

NEW YORK — Easily accessible and always highly informative, Alan Colmes was an automatic “go-to” guy for a juicy news item quote, long-form industry piece, or as a convention panelist.  Quick wit he displayed was rooted in his days as a standup comedian and Alan Colmes was indeed a “standup” individual.

Bright, friendly, and entertaining barely scratch the surface in describing this progressive voice who competed – and succeeded – in a largely conservative talk radio world.

Sadly, that distinctive voice and message was silenced yesterday (Thursday, 2/23) as Colmes died at the age of 66.

Numerous times over the last roughly 30 years, he graciously chatted with me on- and off-the-record. The following is an edited version from my long-form personality profile of Alan when I was Inside Radio’s special features editor.

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Friday, February 3, 2017

| February 3, 2017

Profile: FOX Sports’ Colin Cowherd.  Seventeen months into his deal with FOX Sports – one that puts him on television, in national radio syndication and makes him part-owner of his own content – Colin Cowherd speaks with TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian in  a profile published today (2/3).  Cowherd tells Kinosian that the change from ESPN to FOX Sports was moving from “one great company to another.” But he’s happier with the vibe at FOX.  “The reality is that radio should be more dangerous.  It is unedited, ad-libbed, and free-form. There’s a little stand-up, a little ranting, a little painting and you are going to spill a little on the canvas.  I think my personality fits the FOX ecosystem a little better than the current ESPN ecosystem, which has gotten much more politically correct in the last several years.”  Read the whole piece here.

Beasley to Unload Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, North Carolina Cluster for $11 Million.  The buyer is CMG Coastal Carolina and Beasley Media Group says it will use the cash to pay down debt.  The stations affected are: blues WNCT-AM, Greenville; classic hits WNCT-FM, Greenville; classic rock WSFL-FM, New Bern; hip hop WIKS-FM, New Bern; adult contemporary WMGV-FM, Newport; and rock WXNR-FM, Grifton.  CMG Coastal Carolina, which is affiliated with Curtis Media Group, intends to spin off WNCT-FM to Inner Banks Media, LLC.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “Since the Company’s founding in 1961, Beasley has established a long-term record of successfully optimizing its station portfolio through both strategic acquisitions and divestitures to drive returns for our shareholders.  Last November we completed the accretive acquisition of Greater Media, adding 17 stations (net of divestitures) and four attractive new markets to our operating footprint.  We are making continued progress with the integration of the new stations as we apply our proven strategies that focus on strong core programming and targeted localism to support ratings and market leadership.  We are confident that the stations being divested will continue to offer listeners in Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville great local programming.”

2016 Banner Year for SiriusXM.  The financial figures from the fourth quarter of 2016 and the entire year are being reported and SiriusXM says it beat its guidance “on all metrics.”  The satcaster’s net income for the fourth quarter of 2016 was $205 million – up 52% from the same period in 2015.  For the year, net income was $746 million – up 46% from 2015.  As for its subscriber numbers, SiriusXM reports a net subscriber growth of 1.75 million for the year.  It now reports more than 31 million subscribers with nearly 26 million self-paying subscribers. CEO Jim Meyer comments, “Last year was a phenomenal year for SiriusXM’s business, and we expect continued success in 2017.  We finished ahead of our guidance across the board, with record revenue, adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow.  With more than 31 million subscribers, SiriusXM has never had more paying customers. We’ve issued guidance for continued growth in 2017, and we expect a record adjusted EBITDA of more than $2 billion.”

Michael Harrison Says a New Golden Age of News/Talk Radio is at Hand – IF Broadcasters Rise to the Challenge.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison addressed this month’s meeting of the magazine’s editorial board with optimistic observations about the news/talk format’s future as the world enters the Donald Trump era.  But he also pointed out that the format’s inherent multi-genre potential can only be reached if broadcasters have the vision and courage to significantly alter the current paradigm and “take advantage of the political passions that have engulfed a wide swath of the American population, way beyond the traditional conservative core audience.”  Harrison was clear that he thinks traditional conservative news/talk radio is here to stay although “enthusiasm for Trump has bent some of the tried-and-true guidelines that provided a dependable ideological template for hosts connecting with their audiences way beyond what were once considered to be their breaking points.”  Harrison explains, “Conservative listeners will remain extremely loyal to their brand of talk radio because they fear opposition to Trump will water down the changes he promised to bring America in ‘making it great again,’ adding, “There is indeed room within conservative talk radio for hosts to be critical of Trump on occasions that warrant nuanced alternative perspectives… but then again, that has always been the case.  Conservative news/talk has never been as monolithic as its political critics have implied.”  However, it is the new potential of progressive talk radio or as Harrison puts it, “resistance talk” that is truly exciting in expanding the boundaries of spoken word strategies on the commercial radio dial.  “Intense, passionate and obsessive opposition to Trump has galvanized and ignited a hitherto non-focused target audience for news/talk hosts, programs and stations,” states Harrison.  “The door is open for performers such as Thom Hartmann, Stephanie Miller, Joe Madison, Alan Colmes and countless others of the progressive perspective to tap into a potentially vast audience of listeners who, since the election of Trump, deeply care about their message – as long as these messengers are talented by radio standards.  The Trump era offers the talk radio industry the opportunity to double its reach by providing a platform for both the ‘revolution’ (Trump) and the ‘resistance’ (anti-Trump) passions that are clearly exploding in the American marketplace of ideas.  Both sides feel embattled.”  Harrison adds, “If radio misses this opportunity, it would be the equivalent of missing the British Invasion of the sixties, the disco craze of the late seventies, and the rise of conservatism in the nineties.”

Trump Travel Order/Protests Top Talk Story for Week of Jan. 30-Feb. 3.  The travel order banning people coming into the U.S. from seven predominantly Muslim nations and the protests over the presidential order was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the nomination of Neil Gorsuch for the vacant seat on the Supreme Court.  Coming in at #3 was the violent protests at UC-Berkeley over the planned speech by Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, followed by the U.S. putting Iran “on notice” over its test of a missile at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Rick Thomas to Oversee Operations at CMG Tampa.  Most recently with CBS Radio’s CHR WBMP, New York “92.3 AMP Radio” as program director, Rick Thomas heads south to Tampa to serve as operations manager for Cox Media Group’s six-station cluster there and to program CHR WPOI “HOT 101.5.”   Thomas will oversee operations for adult contemporary WWRM “Magic 94.9,” alternative WSUN-FM “97X,” hot talk WPHT “102.5 The Bone,” adult contemporary WDUV “105.5 The Dove,” and classic hits “107.3 The Eagle,” plus all digital content.    CMG Tampa VP and market manager Keith Lawless says, “CMG is very fortunate to have Rick join our Tampa team.  Rick is a successful and innovative leader in our business with an exceptional track record.  I’m proud to partner with Rick and I have no doubt that his contributions will help Tampa compete and win, even more.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Mike Gallagher (pictured here) poses for a photo with a young Guatemalan girl during his trip to the Central American Nation.  The Salem Radio Network personality is there this week with fellow SRN hosts Larry Elder and Mark Davis in the company of international relief agency Food For The Poor…..New Yorkers won’t have to miss the sound of Mike Francesa’s voice when the WFAN afternoon personality finishes his contract with the CBS Radio sports talk station at the end of this year.  The “Pope” told former partner Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, on the latter’s SiriusXM program, that he’ll be doing something on January 3, 2018.  “I’m not promising it’ll be conventional.  It’s something new,” he said.  Read the New York Post’s take on it here.

Longtime ABC News Radio Staffer Bob Benson Passes.  News radio pro Bob Benson passed away on Sunday (1/29) after a four-decade career in radio.  Benson started in radio while still in high school.  In 1966 he joined ABC as news director at WLS, Chicago, then moved to the company’s KGO, San Francisco.  In 1974, Benson launched AP Radio in Washington.  He returned to ABC as vice president of ABC News, managing the news and sports for the radio networks.

Is It Possible to Teach Media and Politics in Today’s Environment without Expressing (or Being Accused of) Expressing a Significant Degree of Bias?  This is just one of several key questions that are explored in an extremely candid conversation between TALKERS founder Michael Harrison and veteran talk radio programmer David Bernstein posted today (1/31) on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Bernstein’s stellar career in radio includes stints as program director of such politically diverse powerhouses as WTIC in Hartford, WPRO in Providence, WRKO and WBZ in Boston, and a 10 year run at WOR in New York.  He even served for a brief period as VP/programming at Air America.  Today, he is the general manager of the experimental “workshop” platform TalkersRadio and going into his second full year as an adjunct professor of media studies at Caldwell University in New Jersey.  Harrison and Bernstein explore the characteristics, habits and challenges facing Millennials with a focus on those considering careers in the media. The discussion includes an analysis of the public’s across the board obsession with politics inspired by the rise of Donald Trump permeating all aspects of daily American life.  Don’t miss this one!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click the “Up Close and Far Out” player box  located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Zannie K. Named PM Drive Host at ‘105 The Vibe’ in Twin Cities.  In the Minneapolis market, Cumulus Media announces that on-air pro Zannie K. is the new afternoon personality and assistant program director at classic hip hop outlet WGVX “105 The Vibe.”  He also hosts the weekend “Zannie K’s Throwback Theory” Saturday nights at 10:00 pm.  Additionally, he’s going to host the Sunday midday show for Westwood One’s 24/7 AC, hot AC and CHR affiliates.  Cumulus Media Minneapolis OM (and corporate VP of classic rock) Scott Jameson comments, “We’ve seen consistent growth with ‘The Vibe,’ and adding Zannie to afternoon drive will no doubt sustain the positive momentum for our listeners and advertisers.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  On Monday (2/6), married morning show personalities “Chadd & Kristi” (at right) debut their program on Beasley Media Group’s newly launched adult contemporary WBRN “B98.7.”  The station was formerly a rock outlet and the Tampa affiliate of the Bubba the Love Sponge show, but Beasley flipped it to AC on January 5…..Country superstar Luke Bryan chatted with Westwood One Sports NFL host Scott Graham on Thursday (2/2).  Bryan appeared as part of Westwood One’s nightly “The Road to Super Bowl LI” broadcast that aired live.  On Sunday, Bryan will sing the national anthem before the Super Bowl LI broadcast…..Townsquare Media launches the new KAMM, Missoula, Montana as an alternative rock outlet branded “ALT 101.5.”  The brand manager for the new station is Angel Hughes, who will also serve as the station’s morning personality…..Rock radio jock Spam joins Sun Broadcasting’s alternative WXNX, Fort Myers “93X” as host of the morning show.  Spam comes to Sun from his most recent gig at Entercom’s cross-state alternative rocker WSFS, Miami “104.3 The Shark.”  Spam was a longtime personality at CBS Radio’s WHFS, Baltimore/Washington…..In Reading, Pennsylvania, Jimmy Steele exits iHeartMedia’s hot AC WRFY and Spanish AC WRAW after a restructuring of the cluster’s staff.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

| September 8, 2016

beasley-logoBeasley Presents to Lenders Regarding Greater Media Acquisition; Expects $6.2 Million in Combination Synergies.  After the acquisition of Greater Media is consummated, Beasley Broadcast Group will jump from the 17th largest radio operator (by station count) to 9th largest with 73 stations (before the divestiture of three signals in Charlotte).  In a presentation to lenders, Beasley executives are reporting that after the deal is completed, the company expects to realize $6.2 million in synergies from the combined companies.  Specifically, Beasley believes it will save $4.7 million with the elimination of Greater Media executive staff and duplicative corporate departments, as well as other consulting, legal and Board of Director fees.  At the station level, it expects to save $1.5 million in group benefit costs for employees and $900,000 in elimination of duplicative research, consulting and outside labor and advertising costs.  It will, however, add about $1 million in costs in the operating expenses column.  One specific item Beasley is budgeting for is about $300,000 to staff newly re-formatted classic hip hop WMGC, Detroit.   You can see the whole presentation here.

Doug Stephan Re-Tools Syndicated Morning Show; Re-Branded ‘On Air with Doug, Jen and Victoria.’  In addition to now being distributed by Envision Networks, Doug Stephan re-brands his former “Good Day” nationally syndicated morning program “On Air with Doug, Jen and Victoria.”  Envision says the show stephanlogo16“delivers passionate discussions on items affecting listeners the most in their daily lives.  Hosts Doug Stephan, Jen Horn and Victoria Keelan each bring a distinctive perspective to their highly entertaining conversations.  Additional contributors round out each hour by providing listeners with news they can use on pop culture, entertainment,stephanhoststrio16 astrology, health, technology, pets, travel, finances, home improvement and much more.”  Moreover, each discussion in the program is self-contained so stations can opt to air all three hours or less and listeners won’t miss out on any part of the conversation.  The show is delivered via satellite or FTP download to allow stations to broadcast it live or tape delayed based on their programming needs.  Envision also says the show can be tailored to fit multiple formats including talk, adult contemporary, classic hits, hot AC, oldies and more.  Stephan says, “I’ve done a lot of radio and have never had as much fun as I am now.  And I know listeners love it.”

Cumulus Announces Staff Moves at Montgomery Cluster.  There are three career moves to report at Cumulus Media’s Montgomery, Alabama station group.  First, Rick Hendrick is promoted to operations manager for six-station cluster.  He’ll continue to serve as program director for rock hendrickrickWXFX.  Greg Thomas, who’s spent the last 14 years with Townsquare Media’s Tuscaloosa station group, joins Cumulus Montgomery to program country WLWI-FM.  Joe Hunk moves from WJOX, Birmingham to Montgomery to program sports talk WMSP and news/talk WLWI-AM.  Hunk will also serve as afternoon drive personality on WMSP.  Vice president and market manager Marvinhunkjoe Kopman says, “The passion, energy and talent of these three programming professionals are undeniable and together, they will create a strong force for programming excellence in Montgomery radio.  Rick was a natural choice to lead our cluster operations as operations manager, with his leadership skills and experience within our cluster and community.  Both Greg and Joe are tremendous additions to our programming team, and we welcome them and look forward to their contributions.”

Radio Tribute Show for Dr. Joy Browne Set for Tomorrow (9/9) on GCN.  A group of industry figures who have worked with or knew the late Dr. Joy Browne have organized a live tribute show in her memory to air tomorrow (9/9) on her regularly scheduled program between 12:00 noon ET and 3:00 pm ET.  It will be carried bybrownejoy the Genesis Communications Network (GCN) on Dr. Joy Browne’s roster of approximately 100 affiliates in addition to streaming live at www.gcnlive.com.  Participants include (in alphabetical order):  gcn-logoDavid Bernstein, GM, TalkersRadio; Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss Agency; Alan Colmes, host, Fox News Radio; Bernadette Duncan, author, Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers (AuthorHouse/Talkers Books, 2016); Jerry Crowley, VP/GM, Salem Media Group, New York; Ron Hartenbaum, Managing Partner, DGital Media; Mike Kinosian, managing editor, TALKERS; and Doug Stephan, president, Stephan Multimedia. The program, consisting of personal anecdotes and commentary, will be moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison.  The conversation will focus on the significance of Dr. Joy’s career and its important place in talk radio history as well as a look at her life and times.

careytrevornation16Fresno’s ‘Powertalk 96.7 and 1400’ Having Fun with ‘Trevor Nation World Tour.’  Afternoon drive personality Trevor Carey has been in that daypart on iHeartMedia’s news/talk simulcast “Powertalk 96.7 and 1400” (KALZ-FM, Fresno and KRZR-AM, Visalia) since February after moving from the company’s Stockton-Modesto talk combo.  Now, Carey is setting out to “meet and thank every listener” he has on the “Trevor Nation World Tour.”  The “World Tour” will stop at a variety of locations throughout the Valley, with Carey meeting his fans and listeners face-to-face during his live broadcasts.  The first stop is the Elbow Room in Fig Garden Village this Friday, September 9.  The tour will continue at Vino & Friends in Fresno on Friday, September 16.  Carey adds, “I hear the voices of callers, I read emails and social media posts, and I want to shake hands with all of my listeners.”

nielsen-logoNielsen: August PPMs Good to News/Talk. According to research from Nielsen Audio, its August PPM survey (July 14 – August 10) indicates that as a format, news/talk listening was up compared to the same period in 2015.  Not only was 6+ listening up from an 8.7 to a 9.6 (AQH share), but in both Persons 18-34 and Persons 25-54, AQH share was up 3.5 to 4.3 and 6.1 to 7.1, respectively.

The Presidential Race/Wednesday’s Candidate’s Forum, Iran Cash Payment Controversy, U.S.-Philippines Relations, iPhone 7 Reveal, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/7).  The activities of the candidates for president including the buildup to last night’s candidate’s forum; the controversy over the U.S.’ payment of $1.7 billion to Iran at the same time four hostages were released by the country; President Obama meets with Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte days after Duterte threatened to curse at Obama; Apple reveals details about the new iPhone 7; 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.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallNewspaper Media Columnist and Former Television Producer Dave Berg is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.   In what can be described as a media freak’s delight, Orange County Register and USA Today media columnist Dave Berg and Michael Harrison engage in a multi-faceted dialogue about the evolving history of late-night television in America and its role in reflecting, as well as influencing, societal change.  It all happens on this week’sbergdave installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” posted today (9/6).  Berg served 18 years as co-producer of NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and wrote the best-seller Behind the Curtain: An Insider’s View of Jay Leno’s Tonight Show (Penguin Publishing, 2014).  In his career he has served as a producer for Fox News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor, a writer for NBC News and the Los Angeles bureau chief for CNBC.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Monday, July 25, 2016

| July 25, 2016

Jack Tomczak Exits KTLK, Minneapolis.  Morning drive personality Jack Tomczak exits iHeartMedia‘s Twin Cities news/talk KTLK where he co-hosted the morning show with PD Andrew Lee.  In a post on the station’s tomczakjackwebsite, Lee writes about Tomczak’s departure, although he declines making public the reason, statingktlklogo that’s between Tomczak and the company.  For now, it appears Lee will host the “Up and At ‘Em” show solo.  Tomczak had been with the station for the past five years.  Lee wrote, in part, “I’m sad to announce that Jack is no longer a part of the KTLK morning show. Many have suspected as such, but I have not been able to address this publicly until now…This has been one of the most challenging weeks in my entire radio career. I hate knowing that the listeners are out there wondering what’s going on and I really hate not being able to be forthcoming on the air. I hope you understand.”

iHeartMedia Leases KKSF, San Francisco to Deportes Media for Spanish Sports Outlet.  It was just three months ago during the re-alignment of Cumulus Media’s KGO and KSFO that Armstrong & Getty left kksfiHeartMedia’s crosstown talker KKSF for mornings at KGO.  That prompted the move-in of syndicated progressive talker Stephanie Miller to AM drive on KKSF.  Now, the progressive programming is gone and iHM is leasing the signal to Deportes Media and it is airing ESPN Deportes programming on the station.  Along with Miller exiting the station’s lineup are: Gil Gross, Cory (Callewaert) and Joel (Riddell), “The Doghouse with JV & Elvis” (a.k.a. Jeff Vandergrift and Dan Lay), Los Angeles-based Mo’ Kelly, and Fox News Radio’s Alan Colmes.

KLWB, Lafayette Sports Talk Host Jordy Hultberg Arrested on Domestic Battery Charge.  Louisiana sports media personality Jordy Hultberg has been arrested on counts of domestic abuse battery and simplehultbergjordy battery in East Baton Rouge, Louisiana after an alleged incident involving his estranged wife, according to the Lafayette Advocate.  Hultberg hosts the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm show on Delta Media Corp.’s KLWB “103.7 The Game.”  The paper reports that 59-year-old Hultberg is accused of pushing his wife into a dresser.  According to the account, Hultberg’s estranged wife went to the house to check on him after his daughter expressed concern for his well-being.  Hultberg was allegedly discovered in the bedroom with another woman.

morrisVideo16WOMAN OF THE YEAR VIDEO POSTED – Talkers 2016: Bridging the Generations.  Another video recording of a key event at the recent Talkers 2016: Bridging the Generations, that was held at Hofstra University on Long Island May 20, has been posted today (7/25) on Talkers.com.  It is the finale of the four-part Awards Ceremony during which the Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions Made to the Radio Industry by a Woman award (“Woman of the Year”) was presented to Ginny Morris, chair/CEO of Hubbard Radio.  The award is presented to Morris by Danielle Lin, C.N., host of the nationally syndicated Danielle Lin Show.  To view this video in its entirety, plus the convention videos already posted, please click here.  Stay tuned to Talkers.com for more videos from Talkers 2016: Bridging the Generations that will be posted in the days and weeks to come.

‘102.5 The Bone’ in Tampa Adds Beckles for Sunday Show.  Tampa talk pro Ian Beckles is being brought aboard Cox Media Group’s hot talk WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone” to host a Sunday sports and pop culturebecklesian show, beginning August 7.  CMG Tampa director of branding and programming John Brennan says, “At ‘The Bone,’ we have the luxury to cover every possible topic throughout the week, from politics and news, to pop culture, entertainment, and sports.  Ian Beckles is one of the best sports talkers out there and he brings with him credible sports analysis, with the talent to cover all the other topics.  He is a perfect fit, and I’m very excited to work with him.”  Off the air since 2015, Beckles previously worked at iHeartMedia’s crosstown sports talker WDAE.

cookehollandCooke: Making Your Station’s Image Great Again.  Media consultant Holland Cooke writes in a column posted today at Talkers.com about how important it is that your station’s P1s associate what you do with what they want – just as Donald Trump’s supporters recognize him as the one who wants to “Make America Great Again.”  Noting that perceptual studies are expensive, Cooke recommends using SurveyMonkey and illustrates how station operators can gauge how they’re doing with P1s by asking for their opinions.  Read more here.

Odds & Sods.  Charlotte sports outlet WFNZ has an FM frequency in the market as Beasley Media Group is now simulcasting the WFNZ-AM programming on translator W272DP at 102.5 FM…..Sports talker Matt Jones exits the 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm show on Signal Media of Arkansas’ KABZ-FM, Little Rock “The Buzz.”  Program director Justin Acri is hosting the show until a full-time replacement can be named…..AdLarge Media adds another podcast to its roster with an exclusive national ad sales agreement to represent the “Completely Unnecessary Podcast” (#CUPodcast), hosted by writer and gamer, Pat Contri and fellow gaming expert, Ian Ferguson…..NBC Sports Radio broadcast live from the 27th American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament at Edgewood Tahoe South in Lake Tahoe, Nevada over the weekend.  Athletes and celebrities competed all weekend forschwartzmannMannixToomer big money prizes.  Some of the players this year included Justin Timberlake, Stephen Curry, Alfonso Ribeiro, Marcus Allen, Jerome Bettis, AJ Hawk, Ray Romano, Terrell Davis, Marshall Faulk, Bode Miller, Jerry Rice, Willie Robertson, Abby Wambach, Emmitt Smith, and more.  Pictured here are (l-r): NBC Sports Radio hosts Dan Schwartzman, Chis Mannix, and Amani Toomer.

The Presidential Race/RNC Aftermath/This Week’s DNC, Germany Concert Explosion, Police Violence Against Blacks/Cop Killings/Black Lives Matter Movement, Rio Olympics Troubles/ Russian Doping Scandal, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The presidential race including chatter about last week’s Republican National Convention and this week’s Democratic National Convention; the suicide bombing outside a concert event in Germany; various violent/deadly encounters between police and black men, the slayings of police officers, and the Black Lives Matter movement; the troubles facing the Rio De Janeiro Olympic games and the related Russian doping scandal; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

| July 7, 2016

WCBM, Baltimore’s Tom Marr Dead at 73.  Longtime Baltimore talk radio and sports radio personality Tom Marr died early today (7/7) at the age of 73 after suffering a stroke as a result of complications from back surgery.  WCBM posted the following on its website: “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce Thomas A. Marr has marrtompassed away today due the severity of his stroke.  Please keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers!”  Marr had been with WCBM since 1988 when he joined the station as a reporter and political commentator.  He later became a talk show host.  Prior to joining WCBM, Marr worked at WFBR (now WJZ-AM) as a reporter and news director.  While there, he also served as part of the Baltimore Orioles play-by-play team for a number of years.  WCBM program director Sean Casey says, “He helped to build this news/talk radio station into the force that it is today.  He had a successful career while informing and entertaining listeners in Baltimore and worldwide.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison issued the following statement:  “All of us at TALKERS are devastated over the loss of our dear friend and broadcasting treasure, Tom Marr.  Tom was one of the true greats and a perennial member of the Heavy Hundred.  His accomplishments in radio go back well before the modern era of talk radio that he played such an important role in building.  He was an outstanding, kind, compassionate man who cared deeply about his fellow human beings – qualities that he brought to the airwaves day-after-day, decade-after-decade.  The radio industry has lost one of its greatest players.”  Marr is survived by his wife Sharon, five children and 10 grandchildren.

Emmis Radio Division Q1 Net Revenue Flat.  Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications is reporting financial numbers from its fiscal first quarter for 2016.  As a whole, the company’s net revenue was down 4.2% — but the radio division was up a tick to $42.7 million from $42.6 million in the same quarter one year ago.  In a statement, emmis logoEmmis says, “Excluding the company’s radio station in Los Angeles, which is being negatively affected by a recent format competitor, Emmis’ radio net revenues would have been up 5% in the quarter.  Per Miller Kaplan reporting, radio revenues in Emmis’ markets were up 3% in the quarter with and without Los Angeles.  For the first fiscal quarter, operating income was up 13%, from $7.6 million to $8.6 million, primarily due to cost reductions the company implemented in January 2016.”  Chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan adds, “Our New York radio stations had asmulyanjeff stellar first quarter, growing revenues 11% and beating a healthy New York radio market that was up 4% in the quarter.  Compared to last year, Emmis’ ratings are up across our portfolio, and we are optimistic this will help drive revenue growth in the second half of the fiscal year.  I continue to be amazed and encouraged by the progress the radio industry is making with NextRadio, the radio industry’s initiative to make FM broadcast radio available on smartphones and tablets.  The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge will soon be NextRadio compatible across all major wireless carriers in the United States, and with the support of handset makers BLU, Alcatel, and others, we have launched NextRadio in Canada and Peru.”

talkers16BigPictureTALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations – ‘The Big Picture Panel’ Video Posted Today.  The Livestream video recording of the panel discussion titled, “The Big Picture,” one of the many highlights of the recent TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations convention, has been posted today (7/7) to Talkers.com. The 19th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important convention took place on Friday, May 20 on the fabulous campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.  Introduced by Radio Hofstra University general manager Bruce Avery and moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, the panel members include (in alphabetical order):  Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss Agency; Alan Colmes, host, Fox News Radio/commentator, Fox News Channel; Evan Cornog, Ph.D., dean, Hofstra University’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication; Mike McVay, SVP/content & programming, Cumulus Media & Westwood One; Chris Oliviero, EVP/programming, CBS Radio; Joe Sciacca, editor-in-chief, Boston Herald; and Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks.  The video opens with a brief appearance by convention emcee, Dr. Joy Browne, host, Genesis Communications Network.  “The Big Picture” panel is a traditional favorite of the annual TALKERS convention and covers the spectrum of broad-strokes topics facing the radio and talk media industries. To view this video in its entirety, please click here.

The FBI’s Hillary Clinton Email Investigation, The Presidential Race, Baton Rouge and Minneapolis Police Shootings, U.S. Immigration Policy, UK Iraq War Report, and Rio Olympics Troubles Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/6).  The FBI’s decision not to pursue criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for using a private email server for State Department business; the activities of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump; the deaths of black men in confrontations with police in Baton Rouge and Minneapolis; US immigration policy including the Senate’s failure to begin debate over a bill to de-fund “sanctuary cities”; the UK report on its involvement in the Iraq War and former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s decision to join the coalition; and the reports of the numerous problems Rio De Janeiro is dealing with preparing to open the Summer Games in August were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

ppmunitNielsen Audio Releases Second Round of June 2016 PPM Data.  The second of four rounds of June 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The June 2016 survey period covered May 19 to June 15.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

Former WABC and WOR, New York Manager Steve Borneman Named COO of Pamal Broadcasting.  Management pro Steve Borneman is the new COO at Albany-based Pamal Broadcasting.  He exits his generalbornemansteve manager role at Times Shamrock Communications’ Scranton station group to take the Pamal gig.  Previously in his career Borneman served as general manager for news/talk WABC and hot AC WPLJ in New York.  He also managed talk WOR, New York for iHeartMedia after the company acquired the station from Buckley Broadcasting.  Borneman will be based in White Plains, New York.

Odds & Sods.  At the Norfolk, Virginia Max Media cluster, Mark McKay is named program director for sports talk WVSP “ESPN Radio 94.1.”  McKay currently serves as program director for the company’s country WGH “97.3 THE EAGLE.”…..Hearst’s WBAL, Baltimore “NewsRadio 1090” picks up an Edward R. Murrowwbal National Award for Continuing Coverage of the Freddie Gray story.  The award is for the station’s coverage of the case, including Gray’s arrest and death, the unrest that followed, and the first trial of the six Baltimore police officers charged in Gray’s death.  The award is for nearly eight months of coverage by the station…..ESPN’s radio hosts are taking over ESPN2’s “First Take” show.  Next week (7/11-15), a new duo or trio from ESPN Radio will sit down at the First Take desk to give their takes on the day’s top stories from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET.  Molly Qerim will host all week.  Radio hosts and teams appearing on the show include: Steve Mason and John Ireland from KSPN, Los Angeles; Tom Waddle and Marc “Silvy” Silverman from WMVP, Chicago; Peter Rosenberg, Don La Greca comptonKatersky16and Rick DiPietro from WEPN, New York’s Michael Kay show and the Hahn & Humpty show; and ESPN Radio personalities Freddie Coleman, Bomani Jones, Jalen Rose and David Jacoby…..ABC News Radio is offering affiliate stations live, anchored coverage of the RNC and DNC conventions Monday through Thursday of the respective weeks (July 18-21 and July 25-28).  Correspondent Aaron Katersky (right) will anchor nightly coverage joined by special contributor Ann Compton (left), political analysts Steve Roberts and Trey Hardin, correspondents Alex Stone, Jim Ryan, Cheri Preston, Brad Mielke, Rick Klein and Shushannah Walshe.

Friday, June 17, 2016

| June 17, 2016

wjbxBeasley Builds News/Talker WJBX in SW Florida.  Flipping Spanish sports talk WJBX-AM, Fort Myers and adding translators W268AH, Bonita Springs at 101.5 and W282BY, Fort Myers at 104.3, Beasley Media Group creates “WJBX News Talk and More” to serve Fort Myers, Naples and Marco Island.  The station is airing national superstar Dave Ramsey and a lot of FOX News Radio content – Kilmeade & Friends, John Gibson, Tom Sullivan, and Alan Colmes – plus the Compass Media-distributed morning show “This Morning – America’s First News with Gordon Deal.”  The station will use CBS Radio News for hourly newscasts.  Beasley SW Florida market manager Brad Beasley states, “We’re ready to deliver thought-provoking topics that inform, educate and inspire our audience.  Our listeners will hear from a top selection of influential national voices.  We’re excited to add WJBX to our incredible lineup of stations here in Southwest Florida!”

wgan logoWGAN, Portland Morning Host Mike Violette Resigns from Station.  Off the air since June 2, WGAN, Portland listeners now know where morning drive co-host Mike Violette has been – riding his motorcycle and playing golf.  The 12-year morning personality announced via Facebook earlier this week that he asked to be let out of his contract with the Saga Communications station and the station agreed, giving him a “nice severance package.”  Violette implied he was getting a little burned out and now that his kids are done with college and on their own, he wants to see what else is out there.  The station will announce his replacement on Friday afternoon during Howie Carr’s live broadcast of his syndicated show as he does the program from WGAN.  See the Portland Press Herald story here.

saverytripCurtis Media Promotes Trip Savery to President and Chief Operating Officer.  North Carolina operator Curtis Media Group promotes Trip Savery to president and COO, what CEO and chairman Donald W. Curtis calls a formality.  “We have actually been working this way for the past year.”  Savery was SVP and general manager of country WQDR, Raleigh.  Savery says, “I am honored to continue my career at Curtis Media Group in this role, and want to thank Don Curtis and the many talented people I have the privilege of working with every day for our continued success.”  Savery is a native of Chapel Hill and serves on the board of directors of the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters as vice president of radio.  In addition, he serves on the board of visitors of the UNC Children’s Hospital, as well as the board of advisors of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce.

podcastone bJim Berk Named CEO of PodcastOne.  Media industry executive Jim Berk is appointed to the PodcastOne board of directors and will serve as the company’s CEO.  PodcastOne founder and chairman Norm Pattiz says, in making the announcement, “We have created an unmatched footprint in the podcast space and now are building a more robust executive team to allow PodcastOne to take full advantage of our organic growth and strategic opportunities.  Jim has done tremendous work in transitioning companies to their next stage of growth, and with him joining the PodcastOne leadership team, our possibilities are endless.”  Pattiz, who was CEO, retains his post as executive chairman.  Berk comes to PodcastOne from his most recent position as CEO of Participant Media – a “global entertainment company focused on socially relevant film, television, publishing and digital media.”  Berk also was president & CEO of Hard Rock Cafe International, Inc. during which the company embarked on a “record expansion of locations with record revenue and profits, while also making Hard Rock a music and television entertainment brand.”  Berk was also the founding executive director of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences Foundation (The Grammy Foundation).  Berk comments, “It’s exciting to enter this media space during a time of unprecedented expansion as consumer interest for the audio format in on-demand programming is experiencing rapid growth…PodcastOne is already demonstrating impressive year-on-year growth.  I look forward to working closely with Norm, Kit, Gary, Greg and the entire executive team to build on their success.”

talkersten logoOrlando Club Massacre Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 13-17.  The murders of 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando by a man claiming to support Islamic State was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the senate filibuster and talk about changing gun laws; at #3 was the presidential race and the activities of the candidates; followed at #4 by the slaying of British MP Jo Cox and next week’s vote by Britons on whether to exit the European Union.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

allwoodamandaAllwood Appointed Promotions Director at CMG Atlanta.  Promotions pro Amanda Allwood is heading to Atlanta to serve as promotions director for Cox Media Group’s cluster there.  Allwood will oversee promotions and event marketing for adult contemporary WSB-FM “B98.5,” classic hits WSRV “97.1 The River,” urban contemporary WALR “Kiss 104.1 FM” and news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM.  Allwood was most recently with SiriusXM in New York as senior manager of promotions and event marketing.  She’s also worked in promotions for CBS RADIO in Tampa and CMG in Tampa and Orlando.  CMG programmer Chris Eagan says, “Amanda has the critical eye that we need to take our events and promotions efforts to the next level.  She understands how crucial it is to integrate sales, programming and digital into one superpower to make these radio brands sparkle!”

mcdanielkelseyAlpha Ups McDaniel to Director of Marketing Post.  KBFF, Portland promotions director Kelsey McDaniel is promoted by Alpha Media Portland to director of marketing for the entire cluster.  The company says McDaniel is “known by most for her enthusiasm for the music industry, amazing event execution and overall hard work but, she’s also known for her competitive Sunday night BINGO addiction and searching endlessly for the love of her life, a golden retriever puppy.”  Alpha Portland SVP/market manager Milt McConnell says, “This is a well-deserved promotion for Kelsey as she is about to celebrate her seventh year with us.  She has demonstrated outstanding leadership of our promotions team and has elevated our interaction with listeners and clients on all levels.”  If addition to CHR KBFF, Alpha Portland also operates triple A KINK, country KUPL, news/talk KXL-FM, sports talk KXTG-AM/FM, and talk KUFO-AM.

johnnyblondieliveTestimony Continues in Cumulus vs Johnny Burke & Blondie.  According to a report from MLive.com, the testimony continued in a federal courtroom in Michigan this week in Cumulus Media’s suit against former WHNN, Saginaw-Bay City morning team Johnny Burke and Bonnie Belger-Holzhei, a.k.a. Blondie.  Cumulus attorneys are trying to show that Burke and Belger-Holzhei violated the terms of their contracts by soliciting the radio station’s clients for the Internet radio show they launched after being fired by the station.  This week, station operations manager Scott Stine testified that the pair are also using bits and prep service products they used when they worked at WHNN.  Stine said they had access to a “shared drive” with station client information but the pair’s attorney argued Cumulus has no proof they ever used the information.  Read the MLive.com account here.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

| April 19, 2016

NABShow16Analysis: NAB Show – Day 1.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke is reporting from the 2016 NAB Show for TALKERS magazine/RadioInfo.  From day one of the broadcasting mega-confab in Las Vegas, Cooke reports on the radio-centric panels he attended.  NAB CEO Gordon Smith declared in his opening keynote, “No other media industry is as dedicated to supporting our local communities – not Google, not Apple, not Pandora, not cable or satellite.”  That sentiment ran through a number of panels during which operators told attendees that in radio’s current era, stations have to be marketing experts for their clients and information and entertainment experts for their local communities.  For more about how operators are encouraging creativity in sales and programming, read Holland Cooke’s report here.

murphmacCumulus Re-Ups ‘Murph and Mac.’  Sports talk duo Brian Murphy and Paul McCaffrey will continue to host the morning drive show on Cumulus Media’s sports talk KNBR, San Francisco after signing a contract renewal.  Beginning April 25, the program will move up an hour and be heard from 6:00 am to 10:00 am.  KNBR operations manager Lee Hammer states, “I’m thrilled to be able to announce that ‘Murph and Mac’ will continue their morning show on KNBR 680. Their show, which blends sports talk and the perfect balance of pop culture and musical references, is the ‘go-to’ destination every morning for sports fans in the Bay Area.”  The two have been partners on KNBR for the past 10 years.

The Presidential Race/ New York Primary, SCOTUS Hears Obama Illegal Aliens Executive Order Case, $20 Bill Controversy, Afghanistan Taliban Activity, and Biden Netanyahu Criticism Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/19).  The activities of the candidates for president and today’s New York primary election; the Supreme Court’s hearing of arguments in the case challenging President Obama’s executive order protecting some illegal aliens from deportation; the flap over removing Andrew Jackson from the $20 bill and replacing him with a female historical figure; concern over increased violence by the Taliban in Afghanistan; and Joe Biden’s criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

ericksonerickWSB-AM, Atlanta’s Erick Erickson Takes Time Off After Pulmonary Issues.  The host of “Atlanta’s Evening News” on WSB-AM, Atlanta – and RedState.com editor-in-chief Erick Erickson – is taking time off from his afternoon drive program to recover from a serious illness.  Erickson posted on TheResurgent.com that over the past few weeks his lungs have been filling up with blood clots.  Breathing difficulties sent him to see doctors on several occasions before his was diagnosed.  Though still in the hospital, Erickson says he is healing and hopes to return to work soon.

zieglerbrandonJohn Ziegler Discusses the State of His Syndicated Show (‘John & Leah’) and the Radio Industry in Candid TALKERS Audio Interview.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian recently spoke with Envision Networks-syndicated talk personality John Ziegler about the progress his Sunday evening show is making a year into its national distribution effort that resulted in a major personality profile posted in TALKERS on March 8.  The three-hour show that features co-host Leah Brandon (who also serves as WERC, Birmingham morning news anchor) is currently heard on 22 affiliate stations – 15 of which are in the top 28 markets.  Ziegler has an impressive set of talk radio credentials that include stints at WHAS, Louisville and KFI, Los Angeles among others.  He also has a colorful history in the business that includes its share of controversial, high-profile episodes.  In a brand new audio conversation with TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison conducted yesterday (4/18), Ziegler says having a wife, child and a female co-host serve to keep him more cautious and mature when it comes to recklessness and stepping over the line – but that hasn’t dampened his edginess and reputation for delivering strong opinions.  Ziegler and Brandon are included in the 2016 edition of the TALKERS “Heavy Hundred” and Ziegler will be a participant in the “Talk Rumble” at the forthcoming TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations convention set for Friday, May 20 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.   To listen to the entire conversation between Ziegler and Harrison, please click here.  To read the March 8 feature story by Mike Kinosian please click here.

Odds & Sods.  Entering the business of podcast distribution is the America Out Loud News Portal which debuts six new shows including, “This is Real Life Radio with Host Malcolm Out Loud.”  Malcolm Out Loud is the founder of the platform and he says programming pro Gabe Hobbs will consult with the network and providemargarellacarolinaMarathon talent resources for hosts…..iHeartMedia Denver and the Colorado Rockies agree to a five-year extension of their radio broadcast agreement that’ll keep Rockies baseball on KOA, Denver “NewsRadio 850 AM & 94.1 FM” through the 2021 season.  Jack Corrigan and Jerry Schemmel will continue as the voices of Colorado Rockies play-by-play…..WCNN, Atlanta “Sports Radio 680 The Fan” account executive Carolina Margarella (pictured at right) took yesterday off from her duties at the Dickey-owned station to run in the 120th Boston Marathon.  This year’s race also marked the 50th anniversary of women being allowed to run.  Margarella finished the race in 3:25:57, which averages out to a very impressive 7:51 per mile.

brentmegIn Memoriam: Brent Seltzer. Just over four weeks from now (5/20), the annual TALKERS convention will take place on the campus of Hofstra University. There will be one sadly missing element there, however, following the passing yesterday afternoon (4/18) of our colleague Brent Seltzer (right). The 68-year-old golden-voiced on-air talent/writer/voice over artist died in his sleep at a Los Angeles-area long-term care facility. Always debonair and engaging, Seltzer is survived by his wife, Meg McDonald (left). For the last several years, Seltzer and McDonald served as “official greeters” at the TALKERS New York City and Los Angeles confabs and last year they served as emcees of the NY event.  Seltzer succumbed to complications following major surgery. TALKERS founder/publisher Michael Harrison states, “We all mourn the loss of a great broadcaster, wonderful friend, and outstanding human being.”   McDonald encourages a celebration of her late husband’s life, stating, “We hope you will raise a glass and toast Brent Seltzer.”  Instead of a formal funeral service, Seltzer will be cremated and buried at sea.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests that those so inclined make a donation to their favorite animal shelter or animal charity.  Seltzer had a legendary career in radio dating back to the late 1960s that included pioneering work in the field of FM rock radio news at such outlets as KGB, San Diego and KMET, Los Angeles among others.  His long-running podcast, “Still at Large with Brent Seltzer” had a significant national following early in the podcasting movement and, in recent years, he co-hosted a daily GCN nationally-syndicated husband/wife “chat” program, “The Brent & Meg Show” with McDonald.  Those interested in contacting Meg McDonald can do so via email at meg@mcdonaldmediaservices.com.  Approximately two years ago, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian profiled both Brent and Meg. Please click here to read that June 2014 special feature piece in its entirety.

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