Tag: "all news"

Friday, March 24, 2017

| March 24, 2017

TALKERS 2017: A New Era to Present Blockbuster Agenda.  The agenda for the rapidly approaching 20th annual installment of the talk media industry’s biggest and most important national convention – TALKERS 2017: A New Era – is coming together and its organizers are saying that it is one of the best in the colorful history of the storied event.

The power-packed, one-day event will take place in New York City on Friday, June 2 at the Helen Mills Theater and Event Space in the Chelsea district of Manhattan.

Speakers include a variety of industry figures from talk media ownership, management, programming, sales, talent, and technology and the topics will focus on the key issues, challenges and opportunities facing the medium at the dawn of what TALKERS founder Michael Harrison describes as “a dynamic new chapter in the history of human communications and the limitless potential of talk media’s position within it.”

It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Exhibitors displaying the latest innovations of importance to both on air and online broadcasters include (in alphabetical order):  Backbone Networks, Broadcast Bionics, Broadcasters General Store, Comrex Corporation and Wheatstone among others.

The event will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch and a closing cocktail reception.

Convention Faves Hannity and Francesa Return

Reprising their traditional roles at this event as morning kickoff speakers will be Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity and WFAN, New York afternoon drive icon, Mike FrancesaTALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey says, “These giants of talk are extremely popular attractions for the attendees of this convention.  Each year, they bring to the table their insights into the leading edge action on the news/talk and sports talk fronts as they consistently maintain their positions as two of the most important platers in the game.”

Jeff Smulyan to Keynote

Emmis Communications chairman/CEO/founder Jeff Smulyan will participate in a keynote fireside chat with Michael Harrison discussing his views of audio media’s past, present and future as one of the most visionary leaders in the radio industry.  Smulyan is the leading advocate of getting FM-enabled wireless devices in smartphones. He shepherded the unification of the radio industry behind the installation of the Emmis-created NextRadio application in a broad array of FM-enabled wireless devices, allowing consumers to listen to their local radio stations without data charges.  He also was the original architect and creator of the all-sports talk format.

Pattis on Podcasting

Westwood One founder and PodcastOne executive chairman Norm Pattiz will deliver an address about optimizing the relationship between local radio and podcasting, covering programming, sales and promotion.

A Tribute to Dr. Joy Browne, Alan Colmes and Tom Marr

Westwood One syndicated legend Jim Bohannon will deliver a special memorial tribute to three of the industry’s most notable talk show hosts (and popular participants in the TALKERS Convention) who passed away this past year – Dr. Joy Browne, Alan Colmes and Tom Marr.

Heavyweights and Star Power

In addition to the above, TALKERS 2017: A New Era will feature a star-studded roster of more than 50 key industry figures in various speaking roles including (in alphabetical order): Dr. Asa, Dr. Asa Network; Mike “Bax” Baxendale, Rock 102, Springfield, MA; Ethan Bearman, KGO, San Francisco; Vince Benedetto, Bold Gold Media Group; David Bernstein, TalkersRadio; Michael Berry, iHeartMedia; Phil Boyce, Salem Media Group; Howie Carr, Howie Carr Radio Network; Kathy Carr, Howie Carr Radio Network; Kevin Casey, TALKERS; Heather Cohen, The Weiss Agency; Holland Cooke, Holland Cooke Media; Ron Hartenbaum, Dgital Media; Bill Hess, WMAL, Washington, DC; Harry Hurley, WPGG, Atlantic City; Brian Kilmeade, Fox News Channel/Fox News Radio; Mike Kinosian, TALKERS; Tom Leykis, The New Normal; Graham Mack, BOB-FM, London, UK; Mike McVay, Cumulus Media; John T. Mullin, Radio Hofstra University; Craig Schwalb, WABC, New York; Doug Stephan, Stephan MultimediaChris Stigall, WPHT, Philadelphia; Julie Talbott, Premiere Networks; Steven JJ Weisman, Esq., Bentley University; and Larry Young, WOLB, Baltimore.  More speakers will be announced in the days ahead.

The complete agenda 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.  For hotel information please click here.

Nielsen: Non-Commercial News/Talkers Gaining Younger Listeners Faster. Listenership to all-news and news/talk radio increased during the buildup to the 2016 election and has remained high during the first couple months of the Trump Administration, according to Nielsen Audio’s PPM survey data.  A deeper dive into the data indicates that non-commercial news/talk outlets are benefitting more than their commercial brethren when it comes to younger listeners.  Nielsen reports on that trend today, saying, “Commercial news/talk stations have a significantly larger share of the overall audience and older listeners, while non-commercial stations score slightly better with younger, Millennial listeners.  And when you compare the year-over-year growth of these two groups, those public stations are gaining ground faster than their commercial counterparts.”  Nielsen reports there are 66 non-commercial news/talk stations in the PPM markets versus 205 commercial news/talk outlets.  Comparing PPM ratings from last February to February of 2017, non-com stations saw a 22% increase in listeners 18-39, compared to a 5% increase for commercials stations.  In the 25-54 demo, non-coms gained 18% year-over-year and commercial outlets were up 6%.  See the Nielsen story here.

GOP Health Care Bill Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of March 20-24.  The Trump Administration and GOP health care bill designed to replace the Affordable Care Act was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week.  At #2 was the Neil Gorsuch confirmation hearings.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump Tower wiretapping allegations, and following at #4 was the investigation into former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s possible Russia connections.  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.

TALKERS News Notes.  During the 2017 baseball season, 2016 World Series stars Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber of the Chicago Cubs will make weekly appearances on WMVP, Chicago “ESPN 1000.”  The station says Rizzo will reprise his Tuesday segment on the David Kaplan-hosted “Kap & Co.” program starting April 4.  Schwarber will join the afternoon drive “Waddle & Silvy” program…..iHeartMedia New Hampshire news/talk outlets WGIR, Manchester “News Radio 610” and WQSO, Portsmouth “News Radio 96.7” raised more than $140,000 to benefit the charity Veterans Count during its third annual “Make 12 Hours Count” radiothon on Wednesday (3/22).  The organization provides financial assistance and resources to New Hampshire veterans, service members and their families.   “New Hampshire Today” personality Jack Heath led the broadcast effort, interviewing a variety of service members, ranging from World War II veterans to active members of the military.

KIDO, Boise Morning Host Kevin Miller Guests on Harrison Podcast.  This week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” is the hard-working morning host and brand manager of Townsquare Media’s 580 KIDO, Boise – Kevin Miller.  Miller is a seasoned veteran who paid his dues in the trenches of local radio in such markets as Pittsburgh, Nashville, Raleigh, Birmingham, Nashua and more before landing in Idaho’s Treasure Valley where he has dug deep and meaningful roots into the community for the better part of a decade.  Harrison and Miller discuss the nuts and bolts of doing local radio with all its many challenges and rewards in the era of Donald Trump…and then some.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Providence Talk Host John DePetro Skypes with White House. The image above shows WADK, Providence afternoon talk show host John DePetro taking part in Wednesday’s Skype Session with White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.  DePetro asked how the president feels about Democrats stating the president should be president of all the people at the same time some of them are using the Neil Gorsuch confirmation process to “grandstand.”

 

 

Detroit’s ‘105.1 The Bounce’ Adds Big Boy to AM Drive Show.  Air personality Big Boy joins Shay Shay on Beasley Media Group’s classic hip hop and R&B WMGC, Detroit “105.1 The Bounce.”  Program director Al Payne says, “This is a big throwback to ‘good times’ for our city!  I have been a huge fan of Big Boy for a long time, yet being able to add him to this station and our cast of ‘Bounce Ambassadors’ is epic!  Out of everywhere he’s been, he says that there’s no love like Detroit love!  If you partied with Big Boy from ’06 to ’09 – wait ‘til you hear him and Shay Shay now!”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. KIIS, Los Angeles morning personality Ryan Seacrest announces the lineup for the CHR station’s annual “WANGO TANGO” pop music festival, this year taking place at StubHub Center in Carson, California on Saturday, May 13.  The artists performing this year include: Katy Perry, Maroon 5, Niall Horan, Machine Gun Kelly, Camilla Cabello, Hailee Steinfeld, Noah Cyrus, Halsey, Julia Michaels, plus a special guest performance from Alessia Cara.  Seacrest and the entire KIIS-FM air staff will host the show, with special celebrity guest host appearances to be announced…..Envision Networks and Kroeger Media Inc. welcome Alexandra Communications’ KQFO-FM, Yakima to the list of stations airing the BOB FM format.  Envision reports that with the launch of “BOB 100.1,” roster of affiliates grows to more than 125.  Envision adds, “BOB’s unique mix is best described as one big mix tape for adult listeners who are too young to be considered full-fledged baby boomers and too old to be considered as part of generation X.”

 

 

Round Four of February PPM Data Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s February 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s February 2017 survey period covered February 2 – March 1. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin – After eight straight sweeps without an increase accounting for a loss of more than two shares (5.7 – 5.7 – 5.5 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+), Emmis’ KLBJ-FM “93.7 The Rock of Austin” cuts the deficit by one-third, posting a +.7 to 4.3 (6+). As a result, “The Rock of Austin” cruises from #11 into the top ten at #7. Regional Mexican sibling KLZT bounces back from January’s one-half share loss with an increase of twice as much (5.4 – 4.9 – 5.9, +1.0, 6+), with “107.1 La Z” rising from seventh (now occupied by KLBJ-FM) to fourth. Format rival – Univision Radio’s KLQB – surrenders nine-tenths to 3.0 (6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #13). In January, “Que Buena 104.3” picked up seven-tenths to halt three straight downward trends that produced a -1.3 (4.5 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+). Co-owned KLJA drops one-half share to 1.7 (6+, #17 to #19). With a +.9 this time last month (1.3 – 2.2, 6+), “Mas Variedad 107.7” reached the two-share level (6+) for the first time since May 2016 (2.3). A gain of seven-tenths by University of Texas-owned KUTX (#20 to #17) lifts the triple A to 2.2, the first time it has crossed the two-share level (6+) in nearly two years (2.2, March 2015). Down by more than five full-shares in January (12.6 – 7.4, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5” picks up six-tenths, advancing from third to second (8.0, 6+). Over the course of five straight up or flat trends before January’s -5.2, “Majic 95.5” nearly tripled its 6+-share (4.3 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 12.6, 6+). Furthermore, by posting a 12.6 in “Holiday” 2016, KKMJ outdid its own mark for Austin’s highest-ever 6+ PPM stat (previously 11.4). One-half share ahead of it at #1 and down three-tenths (8.8 – 8.5, 6+) is Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob,” which returned to the top spot in January after being ousted in “Holiday” 2016 by “Majic.” With the exception of October (and the “Holiday” 2016 report), “Bob” held the lead each month in calendar year 2016. While iHeartMedia’s KVET-FM “98.1 All Time Country Favorites” notches its second consecutive modest increase for a combined +.3 (5.4 – 5.5 – 5.7, fourth to fifth, 6+), the market’s two other country FMs are off by a collective -1.8. Specifically, co-owned KASE “101 FM – Austin’s #1 For New Country” returns all but three-tenths of January’s +1.6 (3.9 – 5.5 – 4.2, -1.3, flat at #4, 6+), while Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE “Austin’s Country Alternative” declines by one-half share (2.2 – 1.7, #17 to #19, 6+). Unlisted for the second straight month is Capitol Broadcast Association’s KMFA “Classical 89.5” (1.4, #21, “Holiday” 2016, 6+).

2) Milwaukee – The fourth successive increase (4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 6.3, 6+) by Saga Communications urban AC WJMR is by +1.4 as “Jammin 98.3 Today’s R&B and Old School” is up two full-shares since November, zooming from ninth to fourth. Moreover, this is the first time in WJMR’s printed PPM-history that it has crossed the six-share level (6+). In late-May 2014, adult hits WLWK “The Lake” became country WKTI.  The Scripps Broadcasting outlet dials up a +1.3 to 4.4 (#14 to #11), the first time “94.5 KTI Country” has reached the four-share threshold (6+) since December 2014’s 4.0. Meanwhile, down three-tenths to 5.4 (6+), iHeartMedia-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” slips from a three-way logjam at #6 to a tie at #7. Having regressed by a combined -1.6 in four straight down or flat trends (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 4.3, 6+) “Milwaukee’s Best Country” posted a +1.4 in January to 5.7 (6+). In addition to this country battle, a head-to-head talk battle exists here involving these same two companies with iHeartMedia’s WISN jumping from fifth to second (5.8 – 7.1, +1.3, 6+) and Scripps’ WTMJ tumbling from third to ninth (6.4 – 5.0, -1.4, 6+). WISN rebounded from a -.9 in “Holiday” 2016 with a +1.2 in January; WTMJ had been within 6.0 – 6.9 range (6+) the past 15 ratings periods. Down or flat in four consecutive sweeps for a collective loss of one share (6.7 – 6.6 – 6.3 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Jams” jumps from sixth to third on the strength of a +.8 to 6.5 (6+). Even though it drops one-tenth (8.8 – 8.7, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling WRIT is #1 for the 23rd consecutive sweep. A minor month-to-month move for “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” is actually noteworthy as some of its recent (6+) fluctuations include +1.7 (October 2015); -.7 (November 2015); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2015); -5.7 (January 2016); +1.3 (February); +1.1 (April); -.6 (May); -1.1 (August); -.6 (September) +1.2 (November); -.5 (December); +2.1 (“Holiday” 2016); and January 2017’s -2.4. Trending 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.8 – 4.9 (6+) since October, Milwaukee Radio Alliance alternative WLUM “102.1 Sounds Different” falters by eight-tenths to 4.1 and departs the top ten (#9 to #13). Declining by seven-tenths and six-tenths, respectively, are Saga Communications-owned cluster-mates WHQG “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks” (6.1 – 5.4, fourth to seventh, 6+) and WKLH “96.5 – Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” (5.9, second to fifth, 6+). Advancing in December 2016 by one-half share to 6.3 – its best 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2015’s 6.5 – WKLH returned all of it in “Holiday” 2016 only to bounce back with a +.7 in January (5.8 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+).

3) Indianapolis – One-half of a share (6+) is the difference among Indy’s top three February 2017 finishers. Powered by a +.6 (6.7 – 7.3, 6+), WYXB “Soft Rock B-105.7” leaps from sixth to third. In January, “B-105.7” exited the top spot after back-to-back sweeps there. Its January loss of 11 shares (17.7 – 6.7, 6+) came after a +.9 in “Holiday” 2016. The Emmis adult contemporary outlet improved in three straight sweeps (August – September – October) for a cumulative +1.1 (6.4 – 6.6 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+), before declining by one-half share in November. Both stations that were tied for the lead in January improve in February but Entercom CHR WZPL does so by three-tenths (7.5 – 7.8, repeating at #1, 6+), whereas Cumulus Media‘s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5” does so by two-tenths (7.5 – 7.7, first to second, 6+). WZPL was -1.1 in “Holiday” 2016 and then +1.3 in January (7.3 – 6.2 – 7.5, 6+). WJJK had its string of four consecutive up or flat trend gains that netted a combined +.7 (7.1 – 7.4 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+) end in “Holiday” 2016 with a -1.4. Following three straight sweeps without a loss that accounted for a +.7 (6.4 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+), Radio One-owned urban AC WTLC-FM “106.7 Indy’s R&B Leader” regresses by nine-tenths to 6.2 (6+), slipping from fourth to sixth. Also in that cluster, rhythmic CHR WHHH “Hot 96.3” (4.3 – 3.7, unchanged at #11, 6+) and CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” (4.8, seventh to eighth, 6+) are off by six-tenths and one-half share, respectively. In three straight increases immediately prior to February’s -.5, “Now” was a combined +2.3 (3.0 – 3.4 – 5.0 – 5.3, 6+). Eroding by seven-tenths are Emmis talk and sports siblings WIBC (4.7 – 4.0, flat at #10, 6+) and WFNI “The Fan” (2.8 – 2.1, #14 to #16, 6+). In January, WIBC and WFNI improved by one share and one-half share, respectively. Country cluster-mate WLHK “97.1 Hank” sputters by one-half share (4.7, 6+) but remains at #9. A December drop of two-tenths concluded three straight sweeps without a decline for a combined +.6 (4.7 – 4.7 – – 5.2 – 5.3, 6+). Off by one full-share in “Holiday” 2016, “Hank” rebounded with a +1.1 in January (5.1 – 4.1 – 5.2, 6+). When “Hank” added one-tenth in October, it ended four successive down or flat sweeps for a combined May through September -1.6 (6.3 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 4.7, 6+). Unlisted for the second successive month is iHeartMedia urban contemporary WZRL “Real 98.3” (1.4, #16, “Holiday” 2016, 6+).

4) Providence – More than doubling January’s 6+ share (.5 – 1.1, +.6, 6+) public WELH “RI NPR” climbs from #13 to #11 and has its best 6+-performance since registering a 1.1 in May 2014. Albeit the net loss since last August was just three-tenths, The Wheeler School’s WELH had nevertheless been without an increase in the past six survey periods (.8 – .8 – .8 – .7 – .7 – .5 – .5, 6+). Down or flat in three straight sweeps for a combined -1.1 (8.8 – 8.3 – 7.7 – 7.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WHJY “Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” recoups one-half share to 8.2 and remains in third-place. Having eroded by -7.3 in January to 10.7 (6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” stabilizes with a -.1 to 10.6 (6+) and is #1 for the seventeenth successive ratings period. “Lite Rock” was a collective +8.5 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (9.5 – 10.6 – 18.0, 6+), following a cumulative -.4 in October and November (9.9 – 9.8 – 9.5, 6+). Entercom sports outlet WVEI forfeits seven-tenths of the nine-tenths it gained in January (2.8 – 3.7 – 3.0, 6+) as it segues from seventh to eighth. While it remains at #13, Bryant University classical WJMF is down by one-tenth to .4 (6+), thus bringing to a close six straight sweeps without a decrease (.1 – .2 – .3 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .5, 6+).

5) Raleigh – Ousted from the penthouse in January and moved to the runner-up slot, WRAL “Mix 101.5” bounces back in February with an 8.8 (6+) to reclaim the top spot. The Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary property’s most recent (6+) fluctuations include +.5 November 2015; +.6 December 2015; +5.7 Holiday 2015; -7.2 January 2016; +.6 February; +.6 March; -.6 April; +.5 May; +.5 July; +.9 September; +1.0 October; -.5 in November 2016; +.9 December; +5.2 “Holiday” 2016; -5.3 January 2017; and +.9 in February. In an October 2015 – December 2016 timeframe, “Mix 101.5” was in sole possession of first-place eight times and shared top honors three times. It has a three-tenths advantage over the station it succeeds at #1, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s WUNC (8.7 – 8.5, -.2, first to second, 6+). Entering the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, WUNC had notched a 7.7 (6+) in three of the previous four sweeps and was in 7.6 – 7.8 range for six monthlies, before floundering by nine-tenths. It logged a massive +1.9 in January to assume the lead. By picking up one-half share (4.6 – 5.1, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WRDU “Classic Rock 100.7” climbs from tenth to eighth. Stymied on 5.7 (6+) in November and December, talk sibling WTKK dipped by -1.3 in “Holiday” 2016; wiped out that loss with a robust +1.9 in January; but sputters by one-half share in February (4.4 – 6.3 – 5.8, 6+), dipping from sixth to seventh. Unlisted in January, public WCPE “Great Classical Music” (2.4, #15, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) returns with a 2.0 (#17).

6) Norfolk – Powered by a +1.2 to 7.6 – its strongest 6+-stat since November’s 8.0 – iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI climbs from fourth (back) to second. Prior to finishing fourth in January and “Holiday” 2016, “Jamz 103” was at #2 for 12 straight sweeps. Via three consecutive uptrends (4.1 – 4.3 – 5.5 – 6.2, 6+), Saga Communications classic rock WAFX “106.9 The Fox” (fifth to fourth) is a combined +2.1. For an extended period, WAFX was a nonsubscriber to Nielsen Audio. In the time WAFX did appear in print, however, this is its best 6+-share since a 6.6 in July 2010. Stuck on 1.9 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2016, iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies WHBT “92.1 The Beat” dropped one-tenth in January but picks up one-half share in February to 2.3 (6+), as it proceeds from tenth to ninth. The leader of the pack in Norfolk for 55 straight ratings periods, Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B From Yesterday & Today” was bumped to second in “Holiday” 2016 by adult contemporary sibling WWDE “101.3 2WD.” The two swapped places in January 2017 though as WVKL registered a +.7, while “2WD” (+7.1 in “Holiday” 2016) eroded by -6.4. The situation in February finds WVKL again at #1, although down one-half share (11.7 – 11.2, 6+). Nonetheless, it is the tenth time in the last eleven sweeps that “Smooth R&B From Yesterday & Today” is in 11.0 – 12.7-share range and it’s been in double-digits (6+) in each survey since notching a 9.8 in January 2014. As for “2WD,” it slumps by -1.8 to 5.2 and tumbles to fifth. WWDE gained a collective one-half share in back-to-back sweeps (4.8 – 5.2 – 5.3, August – September – October, 6+) before dropping eight-tenths in November to 4.5, its lowest 6+-share since June 2015’s 4.4.

7) Nashville –Consistency at #1 in the PPM-era was a given in this Tennessee market, as Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9” held that honor for 59 straight reports. That ended in January, however, when co-owned adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack FM Playing What We Want” took over at #1. It proves to be a short-lived stay though as iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat” gets its turn at the top, adding eight-tenths to January’s +.7 (5.9 – 6.7 – 7.5, second to first, 6+). Thus, “The Beat” becomes the third different Nashville station at #1 in the last three sweeps. By losing one-share to 4.9 (6+) in December, “The Beat” (which was up one-share in “Holiday” 2016) broke an August to November pattern of 6.1 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 5.9 (6+) and sent WUBT below a five-share (6+) for the first time since July 2013 (4.8). Flat at 6.9 (6+), “Jack” shifts from first to second. A whopping +1.6 in January stopped at three WCJK’s consecutive string of down or flat trends (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.3, 6+); 6.9 marks the best 6+-performance for “Jack” since a 7.1 in January 2016. Owing to a +1.1 (5.4 – 6.5, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WNRQ “105.9 – Nashville’s Classic Rock” registers its best 6+-showing since last April’s 7.0 (6+) and vaults from ninth to third. Faltering by one-half share in “Holiday” 2016, Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN rebounded in January with a +.7 and now tacks on one-half share (4.9 – 5.4, 6+) and breaks into the top ten (#11 to #9); WPLN returned December’s +.5 in “Holiday” 2016. Without a decrease for the seventh consecutive time (.5 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .9 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+), Cromwell Group’s WQZQ “Classic Hits 93.3” has more than tripled its 6+-share since September and bumps up from #19 to #18. As the result of four straight decreases – this one a -1.4 – Cumulus Media’s WGFX “104.5 The Zone” (#10 to #11) is a combined -3.7 (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 3.9, 6+). When WGFX lost two-tenths in November, it ended a string of three consecutive improvements which resulted in a +4.1 since July (3.7 – 4.0 – 5.4 – 7.8, 6+). Off by six-tenths (6.5 – 5.9, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” dips from fourth to sixth. It is the first time that “The River” has been below a six-share (6+) since June 2011 (5.9, as well). Returning half of January’s full-share gain, country sibling WSIX “The Big 98” (5.5, sixth to seventh, 6+) curtails at four its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a +1.6 (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 6.0, 6+). While “The Big 98” and the market’s other two country FMs – Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” and co-owned WKDF “Nash FM 103.3” – usually draw significant attention, classic country WSM-AM is often overlooked. Although down in each of the past three sweeps (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.7, 6+), “The Most Famed Country Music Station in the World” erases that combined -.5 with a +.6 to 2.3 (6+) and is steady at #16.

8) Greensboro – A cumulative +1.5 in January and February (4.8 – 5.6 – 6.3, 6+), Entercom’s country-formatted WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” jumps from seventh to fifth, reaching the six-share level (6+) for the first time since November 2015’s 6.0. “The Wolf” bypasses iHeartMedia’s WTQR “New Country Q-104.1” (5.7 – 5.9, +.2, steady at #6, 6+), which was up one full-share in January. In “Holiday” 2016, “Q-104.1” and “The Wolf” were each down by four-tenths. November’s +.3 by “Q-104.1” ended three successive down-trending monthlies that produced a collective loss of more than two shares (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.5 – 5.1, 6+). Prior to reaching 5.0 in October, “The Wolf” had been in 4.2 – 4.8 range (6+) the previous eight sweeps. Back in September, “Q-104.1” held a 1.9-share lead over “The Wolf.” Three straight declines by Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH accounted for a -2.9 (12.4 – 11.7 10.5 – 9.5, 6+), but “102 Jamz – The Hip-Hop Station” applies the brakes with a +.4 to 9.9 (6+), elevating it from third to second. Following four successive sweeps in the lead, WJMH dropped to second in “Holiday” 2016. A -.7 in December concluded five straight increases that generated a collective +3.8 since June (8.6 – 9.8 – 10.0 – 10.1 – 10.6 – 12.4, 6+); 12.4 in November 2016 was the best-ever (6+) showing for “102 Jamz” in its PPM-history. When WMAG plummeted by nine full-shares in January, it ended three consecutive upward moves which netted a +8.3 (6.9 – 7.3 – 9.7 – 15.2, 6+), with the iHeartMedia adult contemporary facility dropping from first to fourth. While still at #4, WMAG posts a six-tenths gain to 6.8 (6+). Its most recent 12 (6+) fluctuations are -.9 (March); +.5 (April); +.9 (May); -.3 (June); -.7 (July); -.5 (August); +.7 (September); -.6 (October); +.4 (November), +2.4 (December); +5.5 in “Holiday” 2016; -9.0 (January 2017); and now +.6 (February). Over and above achieving double-digits (6+) for the third straight sweep, Entercom urban AC “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” repeats at #1 and is up or flat for the fourth consecutive ratings period (9.7 – 9.7 – 10.1 – 10.5 – 10.9, 6+), netting a +1.2. In two-share range (6+) the past 18 sweeps, Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” improves by six-tenths to 3.5 (6+) as it inches up from tenth to ninth. Completely wiping out its collective +1.3 via three consecutive increases (4.9 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.2, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WMKS “100.3 Kiss FM” flounders by -1.9 to drift from fourth to eighth. It is a yoyo effect for Entercom adult hits WSMW, whose last three moves have been by -1.1 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.0 (January); and now -.6 in February (9.4 – 8.3 – 10.3 – 9.7, 6+) with “Simon” moving from second to third; January’s 10.3 was its strongest 6+-performance since August 2016’s 10.5.

9) West Palm Beach – After improving by six-tenths in January, Alpha Media hot AC WRMF more than triples that gain in February (7.7 – 8.3 – 10.2, +1.9, 6+) and repeats at #1. Moreover, it is the best 6+-performance for WRMF since December 2015 (10.2 as well). Prior to “Holiday” 2016, WRMF was #1 the previous five ratings periods. With a collective +1.9 in August and September, WRMF followed October’s -.8 with a November loss of six-tenths. It fell to second in July, after 23 successive sweeps at #1. Either up or flat for the sixth straight time (including back-to-back gains of six-tenths) for a combined +1.9 (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.7 – 6.3, 6+), co-owned WIRK “103.1 South Florida’s Country Music” marches from fourth to second with its highest 6+-share since last May’s 6.6. In the last three survey periods, WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF (unchanged at #8) has been +.5 (“Holiday” 2016); -1.1 (January); and now +.5 in February (4.3 – 4.8 – 3.7 – 4.2, 6+). Off by seven-tenths in January, iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” erodes by twice that margin in February (6.6 – 5.9 – 4.5, -1.4, 6+) and shifts from third to sixth. Prior to January, “Kool” had been up the previous three sweeps for a +1.8 (4.8 – 5.7 – 6.5 – 6.6, 6+).

10) Jacksonville – This time last month, iHeartMedia’s WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” (#1) enjoyed a 4.7-share (6+) advantage over Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WEJZ “Lite 96.1 – Today’s Variety” (#3). WQIK remains at #1 and WJEZ moves from third to second, but the lead is cut to 3.5: “Jacksonville’s Country” (+2.1 in January to 12.8, the best-ever 6+-performance in its PPM-history) is down one-half share (12.3, 6+), while “Lite” (-6.6 in January) improves by seven-tenths (8.1 – 8.8, 6+). A +.5.8 in “Holiday” 2016 (8.9 – 14.7, 6+) returned WEJZ to double-digits (6+) for the first time since last July’s 10.2. Owing to December’s +4.5 (6.8 – 11.3, 6+), “Jacksonville’s Country” jumped from fifth to first, but with a -.6 in “Holiday” 2016, it fell to second. Prior to a modest one-tenth gain in November, WQIK was down two full-shares as a result of being without an increase since February 2016 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.4 – 8.2 – 8.1 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 7.3 – 6.7, 6+). Its format rival – Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “99.9 Gator Country” – forfeits more than half of January’s +.8 (4.6 – 5.4 – 4.9, -.5, 6+) and slips from seventh to eighth. At the time, January’s +.8 wiped out a recent combined -.7 (5.3 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+). A one-half share improvement to 4.1 (6+) by iHeartMedia CHR WKSL “97.9 Kiss FM – #1 For Commercial-Free Hit Music” (steady at #9) pulls the plug on three straight negative trends that accounted for a -1.1 (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.6, 6+). Flat at #6, format foe – Cox Media Group’s WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” – records its fifth successive decline (9.1 – 7.9 – 7.8 – 7.4 – 5.9 – 5.8, 6+) that has resulted in a collective -3.3. For the second consecutive month, contemporary Christian WMUV “100.7 The Promise” (.7 in “Holiday” 2016, 6+) is unlisted.

11) Memphis – No sooner than it posted a monstrous +1.9, Cumulus Media’s WGKX “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” follows with a +.8 (3.9 – 5.8 – 6.6, to advance from seventh to fifth. “Kix” was down a cumulative -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (5.1 – 4.4 – 3.9, 6+); October’s +.3 curtailed three successive negative trends that produced a -.7 (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). “Holiday” 2016 proved to be just a one ratings period residence at #1 for Entercom adult contemporary WRVR, which slipped to #3 in January when “104.5 The River” surrendered in its entirety the five shares it gained the previous sweep (7.1 – 12.1 – 7.1, 6+). It bounces back in February though with a +.6 (7.1 – 7.7, 6+) and remains at #3. When “The River” added one share in December, it ended three straight downward moves that accounted for a -1.6 (7.7 – 7.1 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). Swapping places at the top and separated by two-tenths are iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101” (9.0, +.2, second to first, 6+) and Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO “Soul Classics & Today’s R&B” (first to second, 6+). On top for ten consecutive monthlies before sliding to #2 in “Holiday” 2016, “V-101” applies the brakes to nine consecutive down or flat trends that yielded a -3.7 since last May (12.5 – 11.6 – 10.7 – 10.5 – 10.2 – 9.9 – 9.9 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 8.8, 6+). Up one-half share in “Holiday” 2016, “Soul Classics & Today’s R&B” is down a collective three-tenths since (9.1 – 9.0 – 8.8, 6+). Prior to “Holiday” 2016, it had been in the runner-up spot for seven successive survey periods. Back-to-back modest declines in August and September produced a combined loss of seven-tenths (8.5 – 8.2 – 7.8, 6+), but “Soul Classics & Today’s R&B” erased that with a one-half share gain in October and a +.8 in November. Plummeting by -1.2 and -1.0, respectively, are iHeartMedia cluster-mates gospel WHAL “Halleluiah 95.7 – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” (6.5 – 5.3, fourth to seventh, 6+) and urban-rhythmic oldies sibling WDIA “1070 The Heart & Soul of Memphis” (5.5 – 4.5, eighth to ninth, 6+). When WDIA gained one-half share in January, it halted four straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a +.9 (5.9 – .9 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+).

12) Hartford – Down one-half share in January, CBS Radio rhythmic CHR WZMX “Hot 93.7” posts an increase twice that margin in February (4.6 – 5.6, +1.0, 6+) to progress from eighth to seventh. A gain of three-tenths in “Holiday” 2016 drew to a close four consecutive negative trends by “Hot” that accounted for a loss of nearly three shares (7.5 – 7.4 – 6.2 – 5.9 – 4.8, 6+). Not only does hot AC cluster-mate WTIC-FM extend its consecutive string of positive or flat trends to five for a cumulative +1.4 (6.9 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 8.3, 6+), “Hartford’s Best Variety” proceeds from third to second, crossing the eight-share threshold for the first time since October 2014’s 8.9. Conversely though, co-owned talker WTIC-AM, which was up or flat the past three sweeps for a +.7 (8.1 – 8.4 – 8.4 – 8.8, 6+), falters by one-half share to 8.3 and is tied at second with WTIC-FM. Still in that CBS Radio cluster, adult contemporary WRCH “Lite 100.5” (10.2 – 10.5, +.3, 6+) is #1 for the sixth consecutive ratings period. Up between September and “Holiday” 2016 (9.3 – 9.6 – 10.1 – 10.8 – 18.4, 6+), producing a cumulative +9.1 (nearly doubling September’s 9.3), “Lite” forfeited 8.2 shares in January. Entering the September sweep, WRCH was on top for 15 straight ratings periods and 23 of the previous 24 but it decreased by -1.1 and dropped to second-place. The rollercoaster ride continues for iHeartMedia’s classic hits-oldies WHCN “105.9 The River,” which was +.5 in December; -1.5 in “Holiday” 2016; +1.0 in January; and now -1.3 in February (8.1 – 6.6 – 7.6 – 6.3, 6+), reverting back to fifth from third. The -1.5 in “Holiday” 2016 completely erased the cumulative +1.5 that “The River” picked up in four straight improvements (6.6 – 7.3 – 7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1, 6+). Without an increase for seven straight sweeps accounting for a -2.6 (6.0 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+), Connoisseur Media’s WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” dials up back-to-back 4.9 showings (6+) and finishes ninth.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

| March 2, 2017

PPM Analysis: Commercial News/Talk. Yesterday, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presented an analysis of the performances of all-news stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January PPM survey. Today, Kinosian takes a look at commercial news/talk stations. Rebounding, from the Holiday 2016 survey in which news/talk stations have historically seen a dip in ratings, more than nine of every 10 stations improve (92%); only 4% are down; and the remaining 4% are flat. If the implication is that the new Trump Administration is having a positive effect on the size of the audience tuning in to news/talk (and all-news) stations, comparisons to the January 2016 survey could support that. Kinosian notes that “only about one of every three of our qualifying commercial talk panelists is down year-to-year (34%), while 62% improve; the other 4% are flat.” See all the data in the full report here.

Dave Ramsey’s Smart Money Tour Hits Sacramento.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey brought his Smart Money event to Sacramento last night (3/1).  Ramsey packed the Adventure Christian Church with fans who learned how to “win with money, get out of debt and invest for the future.”  Best-selling author and speaker Rachel Cruze joined Ramsey on stage.  iHeartMedia-owned talk station KSTE “Talk 650” partnered with Ramsey to promote the event.  KSTE and KFBK program director Bill White states, “Each time Dave and the Ramsey team come to Sacramento it’s an exciting, special, and positive experience for KSTE listeners to take the principals from his daily radio show and expand them even further into managing their money and their lives.”  The tour stop in Sacramento continues today as Ramsey joins nationally recognized speaker Christy Wright for the Business Boutique 1 Day event – a brand-new event designed to equip attendees with what they need to successfully start and run their own business.  Pictured above are (from l-r): White, iHM Sacramento SVP of sales Ann Postell, Cruze, Ramsey, and iHM Sacramento VP of sales Darren Mounts.

NRHOF Is Open to Suggestions.  This coming November, the 2017 class of the National Radio Hall of Fame will be inducted at a ceremony at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago.  The NRHOF nominating committee announces that it is accepting suggestions for 2017 nominees.  This year people can visit www.radiohof.org and click on the nominate tab to submit their picks for consideration.  National Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig T. Kitchin comments, “It’s always our priority to engage as many people possible in this process because there’s such a wealth of talent to be represented.   By streamlining the communication through the website, we’re anticipating more feedback than ever.”

Trump’s Congressional Address, Obama Administration’s Preservation of Russian Intel, Sessions-Russia Allegations, U.S. Immigration and Deportation Policy, French Obama Petition, Status of Affordable Care Act, Oscars Snafu Fallout, and NBA/NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/1).  Praise and criticism of President Donald Trump’s Tuesday night address to a joint session of Congress; reports that the Obama Administration moved to preserve intelligence on the Trump campaign’s connections with Russian agents; allegations that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had conversations with a Russian diplomat while working with the Trump campaign; the state of U.S. immigration policy and how far the Trump Administration will go with its deportation program; a petition circulating in France requesting Barack Obama to run for president there; the status of the Affordable Care Act and the GOP’s plans to overhaul the law; the aftermath of the “Best Picture” snafu at Sunday’s Academy Awards show; 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.

Making Battle Plans in Fight Against Cancer.  Pictured here in the Oval Office with President Trump (center) are former Ambassador Nancy Brinker (left), who is also founder of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, and Newsmax TV CEO Christopher Ruddy (right).  Brinker hosts an interview program on Newsmax TV and longtime Trump friend Ruddy helped organize the meeting to discuss initiatives for cancer research and finding a cure.

Compass Media Networks Presents Exclusive Coverage of Big Ten Men’s Hoops Tourney.  This will be the 9th consecutive season that Compass Media Networks has broadcast exclusive, national audio coverage of The Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament.  This year’s tourney is at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC and begins Wednesday, March 8 and concludes with the championship game at 2:30 pm ET on Sunday, March 12.  Thirteen games will be broadcast over five days.  The rotating play-by-play crews will be Matt “Money” Smith & Rick Mahorn and Drew Bontadelli & Mike Wozniak, along with studio host Tim Cates.

‘The Raven Effect’ Podcast Moves to the ‘Jericho Network on PodcastOne.’  Former WWE star Scott “Raven” Levy is bringing his podcast to Chris Jericho’s The Jericho Network on PodcastOne.  “The Raven Effect” will feature discussions about “current events, conspiracies, pop culture, politics, pet peeves and anything else Raven thinks of.”  PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “Chris has brilliantly mastered the balance of wrestling content with other topics like music and sports, and even a great new show, ‘Beyond the Darkness,’ that focuses on the paranormal.  We expect ‘The Raven Effect’ to be another winner for The Jericho Network on PodcastOne.”

 

 

Brown University Likely to Sell Alternative WBRU, Providence.  This past weekend, the station membership of Brown University’s alternative rock WBRU, Providence voted in a straw poll to follow a resolution by the university board of directors to begin the process of selling the license and assets of the station.  An official vote of the station membership will take place on March 11.  Station general manager Kishanee Haththotuwegama says in a letter to Brown alumni that the reason for the probable sale is economics and changing media habits.  “Despite extensive efforts to remain sustainable, we’ve reached this point due to a decade of decline in the Providence radio market compounded with national decline in standalone radio stations…We’ve arrived at this point only after exploring a wide range of financial options, yet the challenges we face are more than just financial.  We’re also faced with the reality that broadcast radio may not be the most engaging content distribution technology for the student workshop in the 21st century.”  WBRU is a class B FM at 95.5.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Digital platform iHeartRadio has a general manager of digital programming.  Kavi Halemane takes on the role, moving there from his recent post as vice president of Premiere Digital Media.  In this position, Halemane will work with iHeartRadio’s marketing, editorial and sales teams to connect music fans, partners and artists with exclusive iHeartRadio Original Stations, playlists and podcasts.  He will report to Chris Williams, chief product officer for iHeartRadio…..As the result of corporate restructuring at Entercom’s Charlotte cluster, hot AC WLNK “107.9 The Link” program director Darla Thomas exits the station as her position is being eliminated…..At Beasley Media Group’s Central New Jersey hot AC WMGQ “Magic 98.3,” morning personality Joel Katz gets a co-host as Maryann Morgan joins the program…..When the iHeartRadio Music Awards air on TBS, TNT and TruTV this Sunday night, viewers will see the American television debut of the Chris MartinChainsmokers collaboration “Something Just Like This.”  Celebrity award presenters for the “fan-fueled” music awards will include: Ansel Elgort, Daya, Demi Lovato, DJ Khaled, Florida Georgia Line, Halsey, Jason Derulo, Joe Jonas, John Legend, Karrueche Tran, Kelsea Ballerini, Macklemore and Miley Cyrus…..Yesterday, Red Bow Records artist Brooke Eden (center) paid her first in-studio visit to Cumulus Media’s “NASH Nights Live” program.  She chatted with show hosts Shawn Parr (left) and Elaina Smith (right) about her new song, “Act Like You Don’t.”

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

| March 1, 2017

Nielsen: News/Talk Grabs Highest Millennial Ratings in Five Years.  Radio ratings giant Nielsen Audio presents some data from the January 2017 PPM survey that indicate the news/talk format (more on that to follow) registered its best numbers in the 18-39 demographic since November of 2012.  Nielsen reports that AQH share in the demo was 4.9% in the January survey.  That beats January 2016’s 4.1%, and as you can see in the accompanying graphic, it’s easily the best in the last seven January surveys.  Nielsen writes, “Much has been said about resetting norms in the political sphere, but Nielsen’s unique insight into total audience behavior across a variety of platforms allows for more macro trends to emerge.  When it comes to media consumption, and in this particular case, radio listening, 2017 could turn out to be a year where traditional patterns and results don’t repeat in the ways we’ve seen in the past.”  One caveat to consider here is that, for Nielsen, the news/talk format in the PPM markets also includes some 50 public radio NPR affiliates, a factor that likely heightens the number of Millennial listeners who may identify themselves as progressive or liberal.  Read the whole report here.

PPM Analysis: All-News.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian takes a look at the performances of all-news stations based on data from the January 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  As Kinosian notes, the end of the holiday season (and the accompanying all-Christmas music bonanza for some music formats) and the anticipation of a new presidential administration – and a highly controversial one at that – made for positive ratings results for most of America’s all-news radio stations.  According to Nielsen’s data, three stations ranked #1 in their respective markets (6+) – WBBM-AM, Chicago; WWJ, Detroit; and KFBK, Sacramento.  Additionally, four stations ranked #2 in their markets.  See which stations they were, plus all the rest of the comparative data here.

Talk Radio Can Learn from Trump.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Phil Valentine says, in a piece written for TALKERS magazine, that talk radio can learn some valuable lessons from President Donald Trump.  No, it’s not a lesson in politics, but a lesson in entertainment value.  Valentine writes, “I will admit that I was never a big fan of Donald Trump dating back to the ‘80s.  Like many, I found him cocky and obnoxious.  After he announced his candidacy, I quickly realized he had mastered the art of entertainment.  And, let’s face it, as much as we’d like to elevate our format to something more noble, we’re in the entertainment business.  That doesn’t mean we can’t produce meaningful, insightful, and provocative shows, but if it’s not entertaining we’re simply talking to ourselves.”  Read Valentine’s entire piece here.

Drew Olson to Host Midday Show on WOKY, Milwaukee.  Brew City sports media figure Drew Olson is taking over the midday show at iHeartMedia’s sports talk WOKY “The Big 920,” effective today (3/1).  Olson – a former Milwaukee Journal Sentinel sports reporter and former president of the Baseball Writers Association of America – has been with WOKY since August of last year, serving as co-host of the afternoon drive Mike Heller show.  Olson takes over the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show from Mitch Nelles (who transitions to a sales role for the iHM cluster) and will continue to co-host with Heller.  The station says Olson’s show will feature regular guest appearances from OnMilwaukee.com writers and Olson’s longtime friends, including Milwaukee Journal Sentinel baseball writer Tom Haudricourt and Fox Sports Wisconsin commentator Bill Schroeder.  Prior to joining WOKY, Olson spent 12 years with Good Karma’s crosstown sports talker WAUK “ESPN Milwaukee.”

Beasley Media Group Names Kalinowski EVP of Digital.  Named to this new, corporate position for Beasley Media Group is Brian Kalinowski.  The company says that he’ll be based at its Charlotte offices.  Prior to joining Beasley as executive vice president of digital, Kalinowski was leading the digital strategy firm XMark Consulting that he founded in 2015.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley states, “Brian’s track record for growing and developing profitable businesses within the digital landscape make him the ideal person for this new role.  As we expand Beasley’s national reach, a progressive digital strategy will be imperative for our company.  We are confident Brian will lead that charge.”

Fisher to Remain with Entercom – At Least for a While.  Last fall, Entercom announced that company chief financial officer Steve Fisher would be leaving the company when his contract expired on February 28, 2017.  Now, given the amount of work that’s popped up due to the merger with CBS RADIO, Fisher will remain with the company for a while, maybe as long as the end of this year.  The company announces that Fisher will remain CFO through April at a salary of $55,344 per month.  After that he’ll assist CEO David Field with transitional services and be paid $36,111 per month.  He’ll also be eligible for a bonus of up to $650,000 for services rendered this year.

New Cannabis Show Airing on Biz Talk Radio.  Radio pro and health and consumer advocate Frankie Boyer is now hosting “Cannabis Talk A to Z” Fridays at 11:00 am ET on Biz Talk Radio.  Boyer says the program “pioneers the science-driven landscape of the emerging cannabis industry featuring medical, legal and educational professionals, along with practical and published expert research on the health benefits of dietary phytocannabinoids.  In addition, the show includes CEOs, cannabis investors, growers, and more.”  Boyer is also host of her eponymous talk show on Biz Talk Radio Network and host of the “Frankie Boyer Health Show” on WCRN, Worcester, Massachusetts.  She says, “I created this show to address the dramatic growth in the cannabis industry since some form of legalization has taken place in over 40 US states.  As awareness grows, the old stigmas associated with cannabis are fading.  My objective is to completely lift the veil and to inform, entertain and educate.  I see myself as a responsible advocate for both the industry and its new consumers.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Joining CBS Radio News is Bill Rehkopf, who’ll serve as a correspondent based in Washington, DC.  His duties will include anchoring CBS Radio newscasts and special reports, as well as reporting on Washington newsmakers.  Rehkopf was most recently with The Hill.  Prior to that he was a news anchor and political reporter at WNEW-FM in Baltimore/DC and an anchor and talk host at KDKA, Pittsburgh…..Former Chicago Blackhawks player Brent Sopel is joining Tribune’s WGN, Chicago as a hockey analyst and show host.  The station says he’ll appear on the weekend sports show “The Beat,” with hosts Mark Carman, Adam Hoge and Jarrett Payton.  He’ll also contribute to the station’s weekday shows.  WGN VP of programming and content Todd Manley says, “With Brent Sopel joining our sports conversation, we can ramp up for more expanded Blackhawks coverage.  As a mentor to some of today’s biggest stars, Brent brings a depth of knowledge in the past, present, and future of this great game.”…..It appears that Cumulus Media may have taken sports talk KFNZ-AM, Salt Lake City dark.  The station ceased broadcasting yesterday (2/28) and as yet there has been no filing for Special Temporary Authority with the FCC, however the company has 10 days to file such a request.

Trump Congress Address, Future of the Affordable Care Act, Trump Blames Obama for Leaks, Rise in Colorectal Cancers in Young Americans, Uber PR Troubles, Kellyanne Conway WH Photo Flap, Obamas Ink Book Deal, and NBA/NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/28).  The anticipation of and coverage of Tuesday evening’s address to Congress by President Donald Trump; debate over the fate of the Affordable Care Act; Trump blames former President Barack Obama for leaks from government agencies to the press; the report of the stunning rise in colorectal cancers among Americans in their 20s and 30s; Uber’s public relations troubles stemming from allegations of systemic sexual harassment within the company and video of CEO Travis Kalanick arguing with one of his drivers; the flap over an Oval Office photo of Kellyanne Conway sitting with her feet on the couch; the Obama’s sign book deals with Penguin Random House; 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.

A Podcast Tribute to Alan Colmes. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison produces and hosts a special installment of his weekly PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out,” paying tribute to FOX News radio and TV personality Alan Colmes. Colmes, a multi-talented broadcaster whose half-century career intersected popular culture and impacted broadcast media at several historical junctures, died last week at the age of 66 after battling a brief illness. Harrison opens the 50-minute podcast with a deeply personal eulogy to his friend and colleague whom he met when they were students at Hofstra University and weekend DJs on WGSM, Huntington, Long Island. It is followed by a 2015 segment from the first installment of an experimental show about human consciousness titled “Healed Planet” that Colmes hosted and on which Michael Harrison guested on TalkersRadio – a workshop/lab for professional broadcasters to develop new programming concepts outside the box of traditional talk radio. Although Colmes is famous for his work on Fox as a progressive political media voice, his personal background and interests stretched way beyond that playing field to include comedy, music, philosophy and the farthest boundaries of science. His interest in human consciousness and metaphysics are amply on display (as are Harrison’s) in this fascinatingly candid conversation between two old friends throwing programming restrictions to the wind. That is followed by a dialogue between Harrison and TALKERS managing editor and noted radio historian Mike Kinosian analyzing the unique role Colmes played while at Fox as one of talk media’s rare progressives – a position that put him in the cross-hairs of critics in both the conservative and liberal camps. To listen to this podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Broadcasters Foundation Raises $280,000 at Golden Mike 2017.  At Monday evening’s 2017 Golden Mike Award ceremony at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, $280,000 was raised to help the Broadcasters Foundation of America assist broadcasters in need.  At the event, Meredith Broadcasting Group president and CEO Paul Karpowicz was presented with the Golden Mike Award.  More than 250 radio and television executives attended the black-tie gala.  Pictured above are (from l-r): retired president of Cox Media Group Bill Hoffman (who received the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award), singer-songwriter Andy Grammer (who performed at the event), and Karpowicz.  Photo: Wendy Moger-Bross

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  It was an apparently very close call for the crew of Cumulus Media’s syndicated “America’s Morning Show” as you can see by the remains of the car in which they were traveling at right.  On Monday, personalities Ty Bentli, Kelly Ford, Chuck Wicks and producer Glenn Johnson were driving from an appearance at an affiliate station in Columbus, Mississippi to New Orleans where they were to serve as grand marshals for a Mardi Gras parade when their vehicle hit water during heavy rains, hydroplaned and flipped twice.  Fortunately, it appears all will be well. Bentli, Ford and Johnson were treated and released and Wicks was kept overnight for “additional observation” at the hospital in Hattiesburg, Mississippi…..The on-air lineup at iHeartMedia’s hip hop WJMN, Boston “JAM’N 94.5” sees some changes.  With the departure of longtime night jock Geespin, DJ Pup Dawg takes over the evening show.  Premiere Networks’ “The Breakfast Club” is the morning show, Maverick moves from afternoon drive to middays, and Ashlee jumps from mornings to afternoon drive…..Phil Rossi joins Equity Communications-owned CHR WAYV, Atlantic City to host the 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm show.

Friday, April 1, 2016

| April 1, 2016

kgo logo newRonn Owens Move from KGO to KSFO the Tip of Iceberg of Changes at Cumulus San Francisco.  The company has not issued an official statement about the changes other than to announce KGO legend Ronn Owens’ move from late mornings there to the afternoon driveksfo slot at sister KSFO, effective Monday (4/4).  But there is much more going on, including what is reported be the dismissal of the majority of the news staff at KGO.  One can assume the expense of KGO’s news department was one of the big reasons for the new programming direction.  Nielsen Audio’s February PPM ratings saw armstronggettyCBS RADIO’s all-news KCBS-AM finish #1 with a 6.2 share (6+) compared to KGO’s 1.8 share.  There are more changes soon to be announced as Cumulus re-builds KGO and the addition of KSTE, Sacramento-based Armstrong & Getty to the KGO morning slot is one.  The duo is moving from iHeartMedia’s crosstown KKSF, San Francisco where it’s been heard for the past few years.  On the music side, Cumulus also let the air staff at triple A KFOG go, and is running without jocks as that station announces it is entering a “transformational time.”  The station is expected to remain some sort of rock outlet.

millerstephanieStephanie Miller to Assume Mornings at KKSF; Station Positioned as Progressive Talker.  With the departure of Armstrong & Getty from the morning daypart at iHeartMedia’s KKSF, San Francisco “Talk 910” for mornings at KGO, the company announces WYD Media-syndicatedkksf logo Stephanie Miller is the new morning drive personality.  Speaking about the changes, iHM San Francisco SVP of programming Don Parker says, “The Bay Area is arguably the most progressive market in the nation.  This move aligns ‘Talk 910’ with the predominant sentiment of the region in all prime dayparts, delivering compelling progressive or lifestyle content throughout the day.”  The new lineup is: Stephanie Miller from 6:00 am to 10:00 am, kellymoGil Gross from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, Cory (Callewaert) and Joel (Riddell) from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm, “The Doghouse with JV & Elvis” (a.k.a. Jeff Vandergrift and Dan Lay) from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm, Los Angeles-based Mo’ Kelly from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm and Fox News Radio’s Alan Colmes from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm.  Mo’ Kelly, a.k.a. Morris W. O’Kelly, hosts on weekends at iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles where he’s heard from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

talkersten logoThe Presidential Race Tops the Talkers TenTM for Week of March 28-April 1.  The activities of the candidates for president were once again the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the aftermath of the Brussels and Pakistan terror attacks.  Coming in at #3 was the battle against Islamic State followed by European migrant troubles 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.

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: News/Talk.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of news/talk-formatted stations in PPM markets based on Nielsen Audio’s February 2016 survey.  Yesterday, we published a report on the all-news format.  IN this report, see how news/talk stations have progressed since the beginning of the presidential primary season last February.  Last month, there were 15 news/talk outlets that ranked in the top 5 (6+) in their respective markets – four ranked #1: WSB-AM, Atlanta; WLW, Cincinnati; KSL, Salt Lake City; and WKXW, Trenton (Middlesex-Somerset-Union market).  See charts showing fluctuations from February 2015, market share over the past six surveys, and comparing all-news and news/talk stations.  Read it here.

hallwells’97.1 The Fan’ in Columbus Adds Local Show with Tim Hall & Beanie Wells.  Columbus sports talker WBNS “97.1 The Fan” is moving former Ohio State and NFL running back Beanie Wells (right) into daylight to co-host the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show with Tim Hall (left).  The duo had been hosting “The Buckeye Show,” airing evenings from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  Program director Jay Taylor tells WBNS-TV, “This is a great opportunity for our loyal and craving audience for get more local sports talk.  It also brings another exciting layer to our team on the highest-rated ESPN affiliate in the country.”

lundberggolicjrNew Early Morning Show Makes ESPN Radio Live 24 Hours on Weekdays.  Monday’s launch of “First and Last with Lundberg & Golic Jr.” means the ESPN Radio schedule will be live round the clock on weekdays.  The 4:00 am to 6:00 am show co-hosted by Robin Lundberg and Mike Golic Jr. will “recap the previous night’s highlights and delve into the coming day’s stories and will be preceded by a two-hour edition of ‘SportsCenter AllNight’ (2:00 am to 4:00 am).”  ESPN audio network content VP David Roberts says, “We are constantly looking for new, aggressive ways of serving sports fans.  Providing sports talk and information live, around the clock during the week underscores our commitment to offering our listeners another opportunity to engage with our network through a strong opinion-based program.  Robin Lundberg and Mike Golic Jr. will set the table perfectly for our flagship franchise, ‘Mike and Mike.’”

robertsonwillieFOX News Radio to Launch Willie Robertson Podcast.  Reality television star Willie Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” fame is the host of a new podcast series debuting on Monday (4/4).  FOX News Radio says the weekly program will focus on faith and family along with occasional celebrity guest interviews.  Robertson will also serve as a FOX News contributor.  In conjunction with his role as CEO of Duck Commander, Robertson acts as both a television personality and executive producer for A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” and The Outdoor Channel’s “Buck Commander.”  He has also co-written a New York Times bestseller titled, The Duck Commander Family with his wife, Korie Robertson.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

| March 31, 2016

owensronnRonn Owens to Move to KSFO in Afternoons; Rumors of KGO Shakeup Rampant.  Longtime KGO, San Francisco talk show host Ronn Owens is leaving his late morning show at the heritage news/talk outlet and is moving across the hall to sister KSFO to host the afternoon drive program.  KSFO program director Mike Anthony states, “With Ronn Owens taking over afternoons from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm, KSFO is now live and local in both drive times.  This is also a great opportunity for a whole new audience to hear the brilliance that has made Ronn a legend in San Francisco radio.  We couldn’t be more excited to have Ronn driving afternoons on 560 KSFO.”  Meanwhile, rumors are running wild through the Bay Area radio community that bigger changes are afoot for KGO.  Stay tuned.

wolfejasonJason Wolfe Named Network Manager for Howie Carr Show.  Former WEEI and WRKO, Boston VP of programming and operations Jason Wolfe joins The Howie Carr Radio Network in the newly created position of network manager.  President and CEO Howie Carr says, “Jason has been working with us for several months and has been doing a great job in getting the show noticed bycarrhowie show logo numerous new markets.  I know that he will build on that success in his new role as our network manager.”  Wolfe will be in charge of building and expanding the reach and brand of the program, in addition to managing the day-to-day operation of the network, which will include helping to develop new marketing and business partnerships.  Wolfe adds, “I’m very excited to be able to work with Howie in a more formal capacity again.  He is a truly great talk show host, which is why he’s in the Radio Hall of Fame.  I’m looking forward to helping him continue to build, what is, already, an incredibly strong regional network.”  In addition to this new role, Wolfe serves as chief media and marketing strategist for The Financial Exchange Radio Network.

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: All-News.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of all-news stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s February 2016 PPM survey.  Just how much of an effect has the 2016 presidential race had on the ratings of all-news stations in PPM markets?  It’s impossible to know just why certain panelists tuned in to all-news outlets when they did but some industry observers suggest news stations are seeing the same trend they experience every four years when the executive office is up for grabs.  Of the 18 markets served by at least one all-news station, 13 markets saw all-news outlets increase their (6+) AQH shares from January 2016 to February 2016.  However, when comparing February 2015 data and February 2016 numbers, only six markets saw all-news stations increase their (6+) ratings and 12 saw some degree of decline between the two periods.  See Kinosian’s entire report here.

salemradionetworkNew Salem Radio Network Lineup Takes Effect Monday.  The new lineup for the Salem Radio Network begins on Monday (4/4).  The changes that take effect include Hugh Hewitt’s move from the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET slot to morning drive,hewitthugh taking over for Bill Bennett who leaves his role as daily morning show host to become senior correspondent.  In that role, Bennett will appear on SRN shows as an expert guest, he’ll have a morning feature called “The Bill Bennett Interview…Making America Work” and that will be elderlarryproduced as a one-hour special each weekend.  Southern California talk personality Larry Elder takes over Hewitt’s 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET slot.  Salem SVP Phil Boyce states, “If we are going to shake things up, this is the perfect time.  Hugh is on fire and is the new ‘go-to guy’ for the presidential campaign.  His new morning show will be fast-paced, and news-packed.  I want to thank Bill Bennett for his 11 years of service waking up America for Salem.  He has been a class act all the way, and we will miss him.  But he will always be a part of the Salem family.  Larry Elder is a true gem who will be the perfect complement to the other hosts on Salem’s all-star lineup.”

cardillojohnProfile: Entertainment Is Cardillo’s Driving Force.  In a personality profile published today (3/31), TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian digs into the personal history and life experiences that have motivated CRN Digital Talk Radio-syndicated personality John Cardillo in developing his radio talk show style.  The born-and-raised New Yorker who now calls South Florida home served as a cop in the Bronx before he left that job to launch his own firm specializing in tracking and removing sexual predators from online communities.  The unapologetic conservative says that the public image of conservative talk radio scares Millennials away and he’s trying to fix that.  “Rather than ‘lecturing’ listeners who are stuck in their cars, Cardillo opts for an alternative of booking ‘entertaining’ guests.   ‘The audience loves to hear me bring on conservatives living behind enemy lines in Hollywood.  My on-air competitors are not doing that.  They stick to wonky, content-and-policy-driven topics.  My show has to be about politics, entertainment, and pop culture – but not necessarily in any order. There is no substitute for working on the street and I have that going for me.’”  Read Kinosian’s profile of John Cardillo here.

fernandezandreCBS RADIO President Andre Fernandez Issues Memo Regarding Future of Radio Division.  Employees never like to hear that their company or division is up for sale.  And sale is certainly one of the possibilities for the CBS RADIO division or possibly some of it radio stations or clusters.  In a memo to the radio staff, CBS RADIO president Andre Fernandez seeks to put some perspective on CBS Corp. chairman Les Moonves’ previous announcement that the company iscbsradio logo seeking “strategic options” for its radio stations.  In part, Fernandez tells staffers that splitting the radio division off via an IPO is the preferred move (for tax purposes, although Fernandez doesn’t use those words).  Fernandez states that operating the radio division independently would heighten the importance of staffers’ value to the company.  “Our contributions to the organization would become even more important as we build the framework for our new company, and chart our pathway to the future.  That is a pretty incredible opportunity for those of you who have dedicated your careers to the business, and for the new generation of employees who are helping diversify our portfolio to compete in a digital world.”  Fernandez does admit that a sale is possible and asks employees to continue to work hard in light of these distractions.

foxsportsradio logoFOX Sports Radio Announces New Weekend Programming.  Beginning his weekend, several new personalities join the program schedule at FOX Sports RadioFS1 host Joy Taylor teams up with FOX Sports Radio’s Mark Willard for the 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET program.  NBA great Cedric Ceballos is being partnered with Brian Noe for the Saturday 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm show, and FS1 NBA analyst and former NBA star Jim Jackson is co-hosting with Ryan Field for the Sunday 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm program.  Premiere Networks VP of sports programming Scott Shapiro comments, “FOX Sports Radio cements its standing as the best place for sports talk radio with the addition of these three talented personalities.  I couldn’t be more proud of the opinions, credibility and creativity that have been assembled in this weekend lineup.  There is no better destination for timely and entertaining takes on the biggest stories in sports than FOX Sports Radio.”

The Presidential Race, Obama’s Nuclear Summit, Battle Against Islamic State, Brussels and Pakistan Terror Attacks Aftermath, North Korea Famine Warning, NFL vs The New York Times Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/30).  The activities of the candidates for president; President Obama’s nuclear summit taking place in Washington today and tomorrow; the ongoing battle against Islamic State; the aftermath of the terror attacks in Brussels and in Pakistan; North Korea’s warning to its citizens to prepare for a famine; and NFL’s war of words with The New York Times over the paper’s criticism of the league’s handling of head injury research were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

morrisginnyLgHubbard Radio CEO Ginny Morris Named 2016 TALKERS Woman of the Year.  The TALKERS editorial board announced today (3/29) the selection of Hubbard Radio, LLC chair and CEO Ginny Morris as the 2016 recipient of “The Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Radio Industry by a Woman.”  The award is also referred to as the “Woman of the Year.”  While still in college in 1982, Morris began working in the promotion department of their flagship TV station, KSTP-TV, Minneapolis. She started with special projects and promotional events and eventually became the manager of that department in 1985.  In July 1990, she was asked to take on the challenge of managing KSTP- AM, Minneapolis/St. Paul, the original holding of the Hubbard Family’s broadcasting business (originally licensed as WAMD in 1923). It was in that role that Morris developed her true passion for and interest in the radio business. In May 1995, she added KSTP-FM (KS95) to her duties, becoming president and general manager of both KSTP radio properties.  Having had success with developing local talent for KSTP-AM, the company began syndicating its talent on a regional basis and formed a new company, the Hubbard Radio Network in August 1999. The Hubbard Radio Network works with 26 affiliates throughout the Upper Midwest and continues to add stations.  Hubbard Radio purchased WIXK-AM/FM in New Richmond, Wisconsin, in December 2000. In June 2002, WIXK-FM was moved to the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The format was changed to a new type of talk radio, and is now referred to as myTalk107.1. MyTalk107.1 is one of the first, if not the only, FM talk station in the country building talk programming specifically targeted for women.  A former chair of the NAB Radio Board, Morris currently serves on the Executive Committee of the RAB (Radio Advertisers Bureau) and serves on the board of BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.) and the Library of American Broadcasting.  In 2000, Ginny Morris was named president of Hubbard Radio, delegating much of the day-to-day operations to others in the growing organization.  In speaking on behalf of the TALKERS editorial board, publisher Michael Harrison states,Talkers2016 logo lg “We are delighted to name Ms. Morris as the recipient of this year’s ‘Woman of the Year’ award.  In an industry where the breakdown of personnel percentages by gender remains at an awkward imbalance, she shines as a beacon of inspiration for women in the business – as well as all broadcasters –  on a number of fronts.  She is the CEO of one of radio’s most highly-respected companies that performs as role model to be emulated by organizations seeking to be responsibly effective in the reality of today’s broadcasting business environment.  Add to that the impressive, steadfast accomplishments of Hubbard’s myTalk107.1 in the Twin Cities market and that alone deserves industry applause.  Finally, she has earned a stellar reputation over the years as an outstanding human being respected by her co-workers and colleagues all across the radio industry.”   Ginny Morris will be presented the “Woman of the Year” award during the Awards Ceremony at the forthcoming TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations conference on Friday, May 20 on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.  For more information about the conference, please click here.

harrisonMHpodcastParis16REFLECTIONS FROM PARIS:  Michael Harrison Discusses the Three Parts of the Body That Must Be Stimulated for Something/Anything to Become a ‘Hit.’  In a tour de force inspired by his recent speech delivered to the international radio community in Paris titled, “Lessons Learned by American Radio at the Dawn of the Digital Era,” (as well as a feverish flu), TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison (pictured here at the recent Radiodays Europe conference) explores a variety of esoteric media concepts in the latest installment of the international PodcastOne hit series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” posted today (3/29).  In the intimate, one-on-one monologue, Harrison takes the listener on a journey through the human body’s “seats of consciousness” that he explains should be “targeted and touched” by artists and their creations if they are to stand a chance of becoming successful.  Whether it is a song, a show or a talent – or any number of entities in between – Harrison opines an artist or an artistic creation must effectively stimulate one, two or all three of the following zones within the human body in order to be successful:  the cerebral zone, the cardiac zone, and the testicular zone.  Set against the backdrop of chilly, terrorism-sensitive Paris, leading up to and immediately following the Brussels airport bombing, this uncompromisingly concept-dense podcast covers a wide spectrum of ideas following radio’s evolution from the one-to-many medium of Walter Winchell to today’s personal, screen-less mainline via the auditory nerve into the human psyche.  This podcast is sure to captivate the imaginations of “media freaks” both inside and outside the radio industry.  To hear it 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 and RadioInfo.com.

Monday, January 25, 2016

| January 25, 2016

Michael Bloomberg Considers Presidential Run/Presidential Race, Motion Picture Academy Diversity/Oscars Boycott, East Coast Winter Storm, and NFL Conference Championships Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The news that former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is considering a third-party bid for the White House plus the activities of the rest of the candidates for president; the Motion Picture Academy’s promise to become more diverse in the wake of planned protests of this year’s Oscars ceremony by Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee; the huge winter storm that dumped feet of snow on the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states; and the National Football League’s Sunday conference championship games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

bannonstephenkStephen K. Bannon to Host Rand Paul at SiriusXM Town Hall.  The taping of the SiriusXM “Town Hall” program featuring guest Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) takes place today (1/25) and the one-hour show will debut tomorrow at 8:00 am on the Patriot Channel.  Stephen K. Bannon – host of the “Breitbart News Daily” program (6:00 am to 9:00 am ET) – will interview Senator Paul before an audience of SiriusXM subscribers.  The senator will discuss his campaign for the highest office in the land and what his expectations are for the upcoming races in Iowa and New Hampshire.   SiriusXM says Bannon will ask the candidate for his thoughts on the biggest issues America faces, his positions on breaking domestic news, his plans to keep the country safe from global security threats, and how a Paul administration would differ from those of his Republican opponents.

ppmunitRound Four of Holiday PPM Data Released.  The fourth and final round of Holiday 2015 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The survey period was December 3 – December 30.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Twelve Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

bubbaBubba the Love Sponge Legal Team Asks Court for Permission to Respond to Nielsen in Pending Motion to Dismiss.  In the case of Nielsen Audio v. Bubba Clem, the latter’s lawyers are asking the U.S. District Court for the opportunity to “file a short reply brief in support of their pending motion to dismiss the amended complaint” filed by Nielsen Audio.  Nielsen is suing Bubba Clem for damages related to his tampering with the PPM ratings in the Tampa market.  Bubba’s legal team is promising the Court a short (five pages) and concise reply brief to assist the court in ruling on its motion to dismiss.  Neither side in this case seems willing to settle and if it indeed goes to trial, it’s expected to do so next January.

wtmjMilBizstaffsCelebrating Co-Branded News Efforts.  Milwaukee news/talker WTMJ “Newsradio 620” and the Milwaukee Business Journal recently formed a content partnership that includes team reporting, co-branding, digital content and on-air/live reports.  Pictured here on January 22 celebrating the partnership are (from l-r): J. Pat Miller, director of marketing and innovation for WTMJ/WKTI; Todd Bragstad, managing editor & print editor – Milwaukee Business Journal; Mark Kass, editor-in-chief – Milwaukee Business Journal; Olivia Barrow, reporter – Milwaukee Business Journal; John Mercure, “Wisconsin’s Afternoon News” host; Eric Brooks, WTMJ program manager; Rich Kirchen, senior reporter – Milwaukee Business Journal; Sean Ryan, reporter – Milwaukee Business Journal, and Tom Langmyer, VP/general manager – Scripps Radio/Milwaukee.

gaffneydanWXDE, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware’s Dan Gaffney Show Begins TV Simulcast.  The television simulcast of Dan Gaffney’s morning drive show on WXDE “Delaware 105.9” is a joint effort between station owner Delmarva, WRDE-TV, and production company Catch It Live to bring a portion of the show to TV.  WRDE-TV airs the show on its MyCoziTV channel.  Gaffney states, “The TV station is airing the early 5:30 am to 7:00 am portion of my show, which gives me great exposure on all the local cable companies in multiple counties, so I am very excited about it.  The local content with heavy caller interaction should be a welcome bit of fresh air for morning TV viewers.  I just hope they’re not mad I’m pre-empting reruns of ‘McHale’s Navy!’”  Catch It Live is owned and operated by Colin Walls.  He handles the daily production and live delivery from the Gaffney studios using four cameras and on-screen graphics.

harrisonmichael16Michael Harrison Discusses Podcasting. TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison is interviewed by veteran radio broadcaster Mike Carruthers (of “Something You Should Know” fame) about podcasting on this week’s installment of “Perfect Your Podcast” at Carruthers’ websitecarruthersmike Perfectyourpodcast.com. Although podcasting has been around for approximately a decade, Harrison has had digital radio and podcasting on his radar and agenda for about 18 years. As a longtime radio broadcaster and trade journal publisher, Harrison has been a proponent of podcasting and has been encouraging people in the radio industry to embrace it going back to the 1990s. Today, Harrison hosts a rapidly growing and highly acclaimed weekly podcast on Norm Pattiz’s industry-leading PodcastOne platform – “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” – that is targeted to a segment of the population that Harrison describes as “media freaks around the world.” So why have many radio companies and broadcasters been slow to embrace podcasting? That is one of the topics he discusses in this episode. Other topics include:
• The opportunities and challenges facing podcasters.
• The important differences between the professional and hobbyist podcaster.
• How podcasting differs from radio.
• What it is like working with PodcastOne.
• The growing culture of podcast listeners.
• How podcasting will impact radio and other 20th century media

To listen to this podcast in its entirety, please click here.

kizartshermanMadison Avenue Minority Media Summit Scheduled for February 26 in NYC.  Madison Avenue Minority Radio Summit will take place at The New York Times Building in New York on February 26.  The event is being hosted by media buying giant MediaVest USA.  The company – led by CEO Brian Terkelsen – boasts such global marketer clients as Honda, P&G, and WalmartKizart Media Partners managing director Sherman Kizart has been working with Terkelsen and other global media agency CEOs and senior executives to create expanded and greater inclusion of minority-owned and minority-targeted media companies in the media plans and activation of the global media agency’s clients.  Kizart states, “The Madison Avenue-Minority Radio Summit is a historic networking opportunity created by MediaVest USA CEO Brian Terkelsen that will foster a unique dialog and foundation between the global media agency community and minority radio community.”  More than 20 additional global media buying agencies are expected to attend and participate at this historic Madison Avenue Minority Radio Summit.

Odds & Sods.  Nationally syndicated late night host Jim Bohannon is addressing the state of politics inbohannonjim Washington on his Westwood One program as he speaks tonight (1/25) with former senate majority leaders Tom Daschle (D-SD) and Trent Lott (R-MS).  The focus will be on “the polarization crisis on the Hill and other important issues facing the country.”…..Over the weekend, 77 WABC New York kennerellenpolitical editor Rita Cosby spoke with three GOP presidential candidates.  Jeb Bush, Rand Paul and Mike Huckabee all joined Cosby on her weekly, Sunday evening program, “Election Central with Rita Cosby.”…..Syndicated radio personality, romance author and clinical psychologist Dr. Ellen Kenner is celebrating her radio program’s anniversary on Saturday, February 6.  It will be her 19th anniversary show and the start of her 20th year on air…..Nationally syndicated “Free Talk Live” with hosts Ian Freeman, Darryl W. Perry, and Mark Edge joins the program lineup at Viper Communications-owned WENG, Port Charlotte, Florida for Saturday evenings.

knxawards16KNX, Los Angeles Grabs Five Golden Mikes.  At the 66th annual Golden Mikes awards dinner by the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California – held January 23 in Universal City – CBS RADIO all-news KNX, Los Angeles won five awards.  The awards are presented annually for excellence in radio, TV and Internet broadcast journalism.  KNX won in the following categories: Best News Broadcast Over 15 Minutes; Best Live Coverage of a News Story for “Studio City Gunman”; Best Documentary for “KNX Spotlight: Age of Drones”; Best Traffic Report; and Best Business and Consumer Reporting for “KNX Money Hour.”  Also, recently retired KNX reporter Mike Landa – who spent 46 years with the station – was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award.    Pictured here at the Saturday awards are: Front row (l-r) anchor Mike Simpson; producer David Singer; anchor Chris Sedens; anchor Jim Thornton.  Backrow (l-r) anchor/reporter Charles Feldman; traffic reporter Jeff Baugh; producer Laraine Herman; news director Julie Chin; reporter Pete Demetriou; anchor Diane Thompson; and anchor Frank Mottek.

Friday, January 15, 2016

| January 15, 2016

raineyjodiCMG Raises Rainey to Radio Division Director/National Sales. Regional national sales manager for Cox Media Group stations in Tampa and Jacksonville Jodi Rainey adds corporate duties as the director of national sales of the radio division’s 60 stations. Cox Media Group regional vice president Susan Larkin comments that, “Jodi is a proven leader in our company. In this role, she will be able to collaborate with our national sales team and partners at Katz Radio Group to execute our strategic goals with laser focus.” Rainey remarks, “I am looking forward to working closely with our talented group of national sales managers and our Katz partners. CMG continues to put forth great traditional radio products as well as new offerings in client research, events, and the digital space. We have a great opportunity to further develop our relationships and bring value to national advertisers.” Rainey previously was general sales manager for the company’s Tampa alternative outlet WSUN and account executive for CMG’s Atlanta and Tampa clusters. Before joining Cox Media Group in 1999, Rainey worked for Katz Television Atlanta.

jayedarlaDarla Jaye Leaves KMBZ-AM, Kansas City.  After more than 10 years in the market, talk personality Darla Jaye exits the morning show at Entercom’s news/talk KMBZ-AM “Talk 980.”  Jaye’s show was the only live-and-local program heard during the weekdays on KMBZ-AM.  The station is simulcasting the “Kansas City’s Morning News” program with E.J. Becker and Ellen Schenk from sister news/talk KMBZ-FM.

talkersten logoPresidential Race Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of January 11-15.  The activities of the candidates for president were the most-talked-about story of the week on news/talk radio, landing at the #1 spot on the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the expanding FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for state department business.  Coming in at #3 was President Obama’s final State of the Union address followed by the Iran-U.S. Navy incident 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.

beadlemichelleRadio Part of New Deal for Michelle Beadle’s ESPN.  Sports giant ESPN announces company personality Michelle Beadle has inked a new, multi-year contract to continue her co-hosting duties on the cable TV channel’s “SportsNation” with Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley.  The company says, “In addition to her ‘SportsNation’ duties, Beadle will join ESPN senior writer — and ‘SportsNation’ and espnW contributor — Ramona Shelburne for their new national radio show called ‘Beadle & Shelburne.’  The new radio show will premiere February 14, airing 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm ET from ESPNLA 710’s Los Angeles studios.”  ESPN original content SVP Connor Schell comments, “Michelle is truly one of the most authentic voices in sports and the connection fans have with her is something she has earned through the enthusiasm and insight she brings to her job every day.  Michelle is a tremendous talent within the ESPN family and will play an important role in the evolution of ‘SportsNation’ going forward.”

Industry Mourns Death of Retired KCBS Anchor Al Hart.  The voice of Al Hart was well known to news radio listeners in the Bay Area.  He worked at KCBS, San Francisco for 34 years, starting in 1966 – two years before the station flipped to all-news – and retired in 2000.  Hart died on Thursday (1/14) at the age of 88 after a long illness.  KCBS morning anchor Stan Bunger says, “Al was the broadcaster I wanted to grow up to be.  His positive energy and his passion for serving the audience were an inspiration every day.  I’m very, very lucky to have had him as a mentor and friend.”

Friday, December 18, 2015

| December 18, 2015

bloomberglogoBloomberg and CBS RADIO Partner to Make WNEW-FM, Washington into ‘Bloomberg Radio.’  A new agreement between CBS RADIO and Bloomberg results in the launch of “Bloomberg Radio” on WNEW-FM, Washington.  The transition from CBS RADIO-programmed all-news to Bloomberg’s programming means the station will deliver “business and financial newswnewlogo along with non-partisan coverage of politics, policy, power, and influence to Washington, D.C.”  The programming will also be heard on WJZ-HD2 at 105.7.  In a press statement, Bloomberg says this deal “marks the launch of Bloomberg Radio on its first FM station.  Led by Bloomberg’s Washington bureau and the company’s global news operation, Bloomberg 99.1 will draw upon the strength of reporting from 2,400 journalists in 150 news bureaus across 73 countries.  Bloomberg News, one of the world’s leading financial news organizations, produces 5,000 stories a day and has received more than 800 awards since it was founded in 1990, including the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting.”  The station will also air an audio simulcast of Bloomberg TV’s “With All Due Respect” with hosts Mark Halperin and John Heilemann.  Global head of Bloomberg Television & Radio Al Mayers comments, “As we enter this critical election year, there’s no better time to introduce Bloomberg Radio to Washington.  On the heels of recent expansions in Europe and Asia-Pacific, this launch marks an important step in our mission to extend the reach of Bloomberg Radio into the most important regions of the world.  We will tap into the deep expertise of our Washington bureau to provide insights and analysis on policy and politics that listeners cannot easily find elsewhere.”

cosbyritaWABC, New York Names Rita Cosby Political Editor.  This new title comes with expanded duties for Emmy-winning journalist Rita Cosby at Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York.  As political editor, Cosby will “cover the 2016 U.S. presidential race and other major political stories, bringing the freshest angles and key newsmakers to WABC Radio, including exclusive interviews with the most important andwabc logo intriguing candidates.”  WABC says Cosby will continue to host her eponymous Sunday morning show and will debut a new weekly election round-up show, “Election Central with Rita Cosby,” on Sunday, December 20, at 7:00 pm.  Her first guests will include GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.  She’ll oversee a weekly political column for “Election Central,” 77 WABC Radio’s weekly political e-newsletter, and contribute interviews to Westwood One News Network.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb says, “Rita’s vast political experience and unparalleled access to the major political players continue to make her a huge asset to 77 WABC in this expanded position.”

biakelseyBIA/Kelsey Releases 2016 Local Media and Advertising Predictions.  Advertising and marketing research and advisory firm BIA/Kelsey is releasing its predictions about local media advertising for 2016.  The company says that this report “contains more than 20 predictions for the year ahead, offering insights for BIA/Kelsey’s key coverage areas, including mobile, social media, online media, search, online video, programmatic advertising, software, print media, small-business marketing, local media sales, broadcast media, publishing and the on-demand economy.  As a teaser, the firm offers its Top 10 predictions (the whole report can be purchased) for 2016.  The Top 10 highlights selected nuggets on the impact on local media and advertising by millennials, mobile payments, Facebook, Google, data-driven ad sales, yellow pages, ad attribution, programmatic advertising, the on-demand economy and online video.  Some of the highlights investigated in the report include predictions that: Millennials will drive the next wave of marketing innovation; data-driven local ad sales becomes the new normal; the march of programmatic continues; and more.  See more here.

mikeandmike‘Mike & Mike’ to Be Inducted into NAB Broadcasters Hall of Fame.  At the NAB Show Radio Luncheon in Las Vegas next April 19, Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg, hosts of ESPN Radio’s daily morning show “Mike & Mike,” will be inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Broadcasting Hall of Fame. The program celebrate its 15th anniversary in March of this year.  NAB EVP of Radio John David comments, “Golic and Greenberg, with their mix of sports savvy and humor, have been informing and entertaining fans for more than 15 years.  The two have seamlessly combined their passion for sports with radio, and we are honored to add them to our distinguished Hall of Fame.”

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Medved Discusses His Battle Overcoming Throat Cancer and Other Compelling Issues.  Nationally syndicated Salem Radio Networks talk star Michael Medved gets “Up Close and Far Out” with Michael Harrison on the new installment of the hit PodcastOne series posted today (12/15).  In a touching, candid conversation, Medved talksmedvedmichael about his battle against throat cancer this past year that threatened not only his voice, but his life as well – including how it opened a whole new vista of understanding and appreciation to his thought processes and philosophy.  In addition, Medved and Harrison talk about Donald Trump and his impact upon the Republican Party and the conservative movement in America.  They also get into a broader conversation about Medved’s alternate career as a movie critic including the role he played in bringing awareness of Ed Wood’s “Plan 9 from Outer Space” to historic infamy as the worst picture of all time.  To listen to this not-to-be-missed media freaks’ delight in its entirety please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player boxes located in the right-hand column of every page on Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

foxsportsradio logoKGMZ, San Francisco Adds FOX Sports Radio Programming.  San Francisco sports talk outlet KGMZ “95.7 The GAME” is adding FOX Sports Radio show to its program schedule.  The Entercom sports talker will add the Ben Maller show to its late-night daypart airing from 11:00 pm to 3:00 am as well as “FOX Sports Daybreak with Andy Furman & Mike North” airing from 3:00 am to 6:00 am.  Additionally, KGMZ is airing FOX Sports Radio weekend programming from personalities including: Anthony Gargano, Lincoln Kennedy, Michael Harmon, Jason McIntyre and others.

talkersten logo2016 Presidential Race/GOP Debate Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of December 14-18.  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and Tuesday’s GOP primary debate tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 were the terror threats school districts including New York, Los Angeles, and Houston received.  Coming in at #3 was the battle against Islamic State, followed by the U.S.’ refugee and immigration policies 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.

Friday, October 2, 2015

| October 2, 2015

cookenab15Cooke: NAB Radio Show Wrap Up.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke wraps his coverage of the 2015 NAB Radio Show in Atlanta with this report.  In it find HC’s takeaways from sessions that addressed radio commercial creative, selling radio in the multi-media world, consumers’ views of the state of the automobile dashboard, plus AM revitalization and the FCC.  Republican FCC commissioner Michael O’Reilly was the only commish to attend and, regarding the contentious issue of an open window for FM translator applications by current AM station owners, he said, “The AM translator solution is the #1 solution.  How could it be left out of any package of reforms?”  Read Cooke’s report here.

potterdanNews and News/Talk Well Represented in NAB’s 2015 Marconi Awards.  All-news KYW, Philadelphia picked up the 2015 Marconi Award for Legendary Station, announced last night (10/1) at the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show held at this year’s Radio Show in Atlanta.  Hubbard Radio’s all-newsbyersbrian WTOP, Washington grabbed the Marconi for Major Market Station of the Year and Cox Media Group’s news/talk KRMG-AM, Tulsa was honored with the Medium Market Station of the Year award.  On the talent side, KRMG morning personality Dan Potter picked up the Medium Market Personality of the Year and WSOY, Decatur, Illinois morning host Brian Byers won the Small Market Personality of the Year honor.  In the spoken-word format categories, Cox’s WSB-AM, Atlanta won News/Talk Station of the Year and CBS RADIO’s WFAN, New York was honored with Sports Station of the Year.  See all the winners here.

Nielsen LogoSeptember PPM Data and RadioInfo‘s ‘Twelve Takeaways.’ Rather than distributing ratings information for 12-PPM markets apiece over a four-day period as it generally does, Nielsen Audio doubled up its September 2015 schedule. It released data from 23 markets Tuesday (Tampa was delayed) and 24 markets the following day (Wednesday, 9/30).  You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations in those 47 markets here.  Simultaneous with that, TALKERS magazine’s sister radio trade pub RadioInfo enthusiastically unveils an augmented modification of our already powerful ratings coverage as managing editor Mike Kinosian expands his “Top Ten Takeaways” to encompass all markets every month.  In this “Twelve Takeaways” overview, we focus on noteworthy happenings in Riverside, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, Columbus, San Jose, and Austin. The September 2015 survey period covered August 13 – September 9.  Check ’em out here.

cowgercaidenWest Virginia-Based Host Caiden Cowger Becomes ‘Youngest’ Syndicated Talk Personality.  Via his own Cowger Nation Media Network, 17-year-old Caiden Cowger embarks on a venture syndicating his eponymous talk show.  The program airs on WBUC, Buckhannon, West Virginia; WFSB, Quitman, Georgia; and newest affiliate WXMB, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and others.  Cowger says his interest in becoming a talk radio host began at an early age.  “When I was around seven or eight, I recall going with my grandpa into a bookstore and picked up a book titled, It’s My America Too, by Ben Ferguson (generally recognized as the youngest talk host – at age 20 – to be nationally syndicated ).  I remember thinking, ‘Wow, it would really be neat if I could do something like that.’ About five years later, I began my radio career.”  Cowger names Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin as his influences and also recognizes American Family Radio host Bryan Fischer and Fisher’s producer Jeff Reed as being supportive mentors for his talk radio career.  See Cowger’s website here.

Odds & Sods.  New York City sports pro Jared Max joins the FOX News organization.  FOX News Headlinesmaxjared 24/7 brings the radio pro aboard to serve as a sports reporter and provide up-to-the-minute sports coverage for the new SiriusXM satellite radio channel that launches on October 5.  Max’s resume includes time working for CBS RADIO’s all-news WCBS-AM, New York; ESPN O&O WEPN, New York; WFAN, New York, and Bloomberg Radio…..The newly partnered Ryen Russillo and Danny Kanell russillo&kanell15are getting a video simulcast for their ESPN Radio sports talk show.  Effective Monday, October 5, the Russillo & Kanell show will be simulcast from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm on the sports giant’s ESPNEWS channel…..A note from E.W. Scripps-owned news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee – the station announces it has re-signed with the NBA’s Bucks to continue to serve as the flagship station for the Bucks Radio Network.  Station vice president and general manager Tom Langmyer comments, “The Milwaukee Bucks organization is in a tremendous building and growing phase, and is a vital part of our community.  WTMJ has been a proud partner with the Bucks for many years and we’re excited to continue to serve as the Bucks radio home for years to come.”…..In observance of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Entercom’s news/talk WORD,kochenauerjenna Greenville, South Carolina is presenting a two-hour special program on Tuesday, October 6.  The program is being hosted by the station’s Jenna Kochenauer – herself a victim of domestic abuse – with special guest panelists Sharon Totherow, director of local non-profit Domestic Violence Assistance; Judy Munson, assistant solicitor, domestic violence division, 13th Circuit Court; and Carl Smith, a local counselor with experience working with batterers through an intensive treatment and counseling program.

talkersten logoU.S.-Russia Syria Tensions Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of Sept 28 – Oct 2.  The military action begin taken in Syria by Russia and President Obama’s meeting with Vladimir Putin over the matter was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week.  At #2 was a tie between Donald Trump’s tax plan and the activities of the candidates for president in 2016.  Coming in at #3 was the aftermath of Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S., including his reported meeting with Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, followed by the House hearing with Planned Parenthood exec Cecile Richards 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.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

| September 16, 2015

kinosianmikeProfile: America Now’s Meghan McCain.  She’s new to Premiere Networks’ “America Now” program but she’s hardly new to media.  Author, TV contributor, blogger and now radio talk show host Meghan McCain is the subject of a TALKERS magazine personality profile by managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian.  Stepping into this role is bound to being with it criticism, but as the daughter of Senator John McCain, Meghan McCain says she’s used to it by now.  “My response ismccainmeghanNoCap15 that I take it very seriously.  It is an incredible opportunity and if everyone in talk radio were doing it correctly, there would be no need for me.  There would be no need for a young, single, Republican woman [hosting this show].  If you want to listen to old, angry, white men putting down America, plenty of people out there fill that niche.  I am obviously a woman and I have a young, feminine voice – but I like the challenge of winning over people.  It is a difficult job and I have a completely new respect for the medium.”  In this profile, McCain discusses her media pedigree, what she brings to the talk radio “table,” and how she’s handling the wild, GOP primary race.  Read it here.

cbssportsroundupCBS Creates Streaming Station Featuring Content from Sports Talk O&Os and National Network.  This addition to CBS RADIO’s digital platform features live content from its 14 local sports stations plus the CBS Sports Radio Network.  It’s called “CBS Sports Radio Roundup” and the company says it “combines the best commentary and programming” and “provides fans with real-time access to breaking news, live interviews and opinionated analysis from CBS RADIO’s award-winning sports properties across the U.S.”  The product is produced by CBS Local Digital Media and anchors for the 6:00 am to 6:00 pm ET programming are: DJ Sixsmith (6:00 to 10:00 am ET), Greg Larnerd (10:00 am to 2:00 pm ) and Bryan Foti (2:00 ppm to 6:00 pm.)  Content from such outlets as WFAN, New York; WSCR, Chicago; WJFK-FM, Washington; WBZ-FM, Boston; WXYT-FM, Detroit and others is featured.

hewitthughGOP Debate Simulcast Puts Salem Radio Network, Hugh Hewitt into Spotlight.  Tonight’s GOP primary debate from Simi Valley, California is being broadcast on CNN on cable TV and simulcast on AM/FM radio via Salem Radio Network.  Additionally, SRN personality Hugh Hewitt is serving as one of the three journalists (alongside CNN’s Jake Tapper and Dana Bash) questioning the candidates.   Salem is presenting pre-and post-debate programming surrounding the actual debate.  Also, SRN personality Mike Gallagher is on site at Hillsdale College in Michigan hosting an exclusive focus group with undergraduates and graduate students who will offer their perspectives on the debate. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “The presence of and role being played by Donald Trump in this presidential cycle has the potential to really establish talk media careers – or at least significantly elevate them – as we witnessed in the case of Megyn Kelly and now, potentially with Hugh Hewitt, who has already gotten well-deserved attention for not cowering in the face of the mega-reality star’s bullying tendencies.  The further Trump goes in this circus, the more opportunities for talk hosts to emerge as having backbones and pertinence.”

geffertkiernanKiernan Assumes GSM Role at KCBS-AM, San Francisco.  Twenty-four year KCBS, San Francisco sales staffer Kieran Geffert is promoted to general sales manager for the CBS RADIO all-newser, making her responsible for all KCBS revenue.  Geffert worked as an AE for the station for 19 years before joining the management ranks in 2012.  CBS RADIO San Francisco VP/director of sales Greg Nemitz states, “Kieran has proven herself as one of the master sellers and strategists for spoken-word radio.  Her leadership and deep knowledge of our brand will carry us into the future.”

barrettdanaDana Barrett Show Expands at ‘biz 1190’ in Atlanta.  The mid-morning Dana Barrett show on Salem Media Group’s financial talker WAFS, Atlanta “biz 1190” is expanded by and hour and will air from 9:00 am to 11:00 am, effective September 28.  The station recently announced it would add the Eric Holtzclaw program to the lineup to follow Barrett’s show at 11:00 am.  Barrett comments, “I love what I do.  Getting to help companies, big and small, get the word out about what they’re doing AND keeping my listeners up to date on the latest local and national business stories is the best job in the world.  I’m so grateful for the amazing reception of the show by the business community, and honestly, there are so many stories to tell, we really need the second hour just to fit it all in!”

mesnikdenyseDenyse Mesnik to Leave VP/ Corporate Communications Role at Beasley; Soni Dimond Takes Over.  Longtime Beasley vice president of corporate communications Denyse Mesnik isn’t leaving the company, she’s transitioning from her current role to that of consultant, according to her announcement.  The press statement says, “Denyse will remain active in Beasley’s corporate officedimondsoni through the end of September, after which time she will assist Beasley Media Group’s corporate office, portfolio of radio stations and the Beasley Family with special projects.  Mesnik’ VP post will be filled by Soni Dimond, who joined BBG in May.  Mesnik states, “Soni shares our company’s fundamental professional values and I am impressed with her commitment to ensure our continued success in this ever-evolving radio industry.  We welcome her depth of experience, her proven track record and her deep respect for the art of communication.”  Dimond operated her own Soni Dimond Media for the past 16 years.  For many years prior to that she worked on camera in television news in Pennsylvania.  Regarding Mesnik, BBG chairman and CEO George Beasley comments, “Denyse has been one of the most loyal and capable persons with whom I have had the pleasure of working during the past 25 years.  We could always depend on her competency, uplifting smile and her willingness to complete any project given, without a complaint.  Fortunately, Denyse has agreed to work with us as a consultant going forward.”

Odds & Sods.  The CEO of Galaxy Communications will be honored as part of the Newhouse School at Syracuse University’s “50Forward” gala on October 29 in NYC.  Ed Levine will be one of 50 accomplishedlevineed professional alumni honored at the event…..SiriusXM and the Pro Football Hall of Fame are teaming up to create a weekly show that will air nationwide on the SiriusXM NFL Radio channel.  “Pro Football Hall of Fame Radio” is being hosted by Pro Football Hall of Fame EVP Joe Horrigan and SiriusXM’s Howard Balzer.  Each Saturday, the two will be joined by a Hall of Famer who will co-host the show…..The 32nd annual “NewsRadio 1020 KDKA Spaghetti Breakfast” takes place on Friday, September 18 at the Heinz Hall Garden Plaza in downtown Pittsburgh.  The free event features a broadcast of the “KDKA Morning News with Larry Richert and John Shumway.”  The event benefits The Little Sisters of the Poor.

Trump Dallas Speech/GOP Debate, Hillary Sexual Assault Survivor’s Ad, 2016 Presidential Candidates, European Migrant Crisis/U.S. Immigration Policy, Russia-Syria Military Connection, and Western Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/15).  GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s address to a Dallas crowd at the American Airlines Center and tonight’s GOP primary debate; criticism of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s ad reaching out to victims of sexual assault; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the migrant crisis affecting European nations and the related topic of the United States’ immigration policy; allegations Russia is supplying Syria with weapons; and the devastating wildfires in the Western U.S. were some of the top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

bernierWillGeorge15Where There’s a Will.  Columnist and political analyst George Will (right) appears on stage at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach with WNDB afternoon drive talk host Marc Bernier (left).  Will’s timely appearance at the school – the night before the second GOP candidates’ debate – was part of the college’s President’s Speaker Series.  Bernier says Will spent 95 minutes discussing the candidates, ISIS, Iran, education, health care, the economy, baseball and public policy.  Photo: David Massey.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

| June 4, 2015

charleskenKen Charles to Program All-News KNX, Los Angeles.  Longtime iHeartMedia news and talk programmer Ken Charles joins CBS RADIO as the new program director of the company’s KNX, Los Angeles “1070 Newsradio.”  Charles, who exited his post as iHeartMedia Sacramento’s vice president of programming and national brand manager for news, talk and sports earlier this year, says of his new post,knx logo “I can’t wait to begin working for CBS RADIO, a company committed to local news, and the team of award-winning professionals at KNX, L.A.’s heritage home for local news and traffic.  I’m thankful to Chris Oliviero, Scott Herman, [CBS RADIO Los Angeles SVP/market manager] Dan Kearney, and Kevin Weatherly for giving me this incredible opportunity.”  Kearney adds, “You’d be hard-pressed to find a programmer with as much experience and success in the news format as Ken.  He is one of the most respected managers of news operations in the country and during this seminal, fast-changing period of how people get their news, he is uniquely qualified to build upon KNX’s reputation as Southern California’s news, traffic and information authority.”

steelejimmySteele Surfaces in Salisbury-Ocean City as Senior VP/Programming. One week from Monday (6/15) is Jimmy Steele‘s start date as iHeartMedia Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland’s senior vice president of programming. Regional market president Chris Walus states, “Jimmy has an extraordinary record of success in leading operations, developing formats, and coaching top-tier personalities. This – coupled with his remarkable skill for driving breakthrough revenue growth – set Jimmy apart from the pack. Our team is excited and eager for him to start.” Steele remarks that he is “truly grateful and excited for the opportunity to reunite with iHeartMedia” and is looking forward “to working with Chris Walus, along with senior vice president of programming Jon Zellner and regional programming manager Dave Symonds, in advancing our strong and diverse brands in the Salisbury-Ocean City market.” Not to be confused with Emmis vice president ofiHeartMedia programming/rhythmic CHR KPWR “Power 106,” Los Angeles program director Jimmy Steal, Jimmy Steele previously was operations manager for iHeartMedia San Diego, and Columbus’ regional vice president of programming. The company’s Salisbury-Ocean City operation consists of urban AC WSBY “Magic 98.9”; WJDY “Newsradio 1470”; CHR WKZP “Kiss 95.9”; adult contemporary WQHQ “Q-105”; WTGM “Fox Sports 960”; and country WWFG “Froggy 99.9.”

wbnslogoColumbus’ Wolfe Family to Sell Print Assets, Retain Broadcast Properties.  The publishers of the Columbus Dispatch (part of the Dispatch Printing Company) are selling the Columbus, Ohio daily along with 24 suburban weeklies and seven magazines to New York-based New Media Investment Group.  The Wolfe family will remain in the broadcasting business with its two television stations – WBNS-TV, Columbus and WTHR-TV, Indianapolis – as well as its RadiOhio subsidiary that operates sports talk radio simulcast WBNS-AM/FM, Columbus.  As reported in The Dispatch, chairman and publisher John Wolfe states, “We are proud of our 110-year legacy of family ownership of The Dispatch, and the newspaper’s heritage of quality journalism and community involvement.  However, the past two decades of accelerating and challenging change in the newspaper industry made it clear to us that maintaining a single-city, family-owned paper in this environment was untenable long-term.”

NPRNPR’s Lesher Succumbs to Stomach Cancer. Staffers received word yesterday (Wednesday, 6/3) that NPR associate editor for news operations Jim Lesher lost his battle against stomach cancer; he was just 46 years old. NPR managing editor Chuck Holmes explains, “Jim’s value to this newsroom was so apparent that I once joked with him that I was going to make up a wanted poster with his photo: ‘Jim Lesher: Most Wanted Man at NPR.'” Executive producer for newscasts Robert Garcia states, “There is an entire news organization full of heavy and broken hearts. If the measure of a man is how much he is loved and appreciated by others, Jim was successful beyond his wildest dreams.” Washington, D.C.-area native Lesher joined NPR as an intern soon after graduating from Catholic University in 1990. His parents; a sister; and two nephews are among his survivors.

Odds & Sods. San Antonio-based talk show host Adam McManus is sitting in for Iowa talk personality Simonmcmanusadam Conway on WMT, Cedar Rapids Monday, June 8 through Wednesday, June 17 from 9:00am to 11:00 am…..Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will make weekly appearances on CBS RADIO’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh “Sportsradio 93.7 The Fan” this season.  Roethlisberger will appear Tuesdays at 11:00 am on the “Cook & Poni Show.”…..KOIL, Omaha held its “Bob Bruce Experience 4 Blue” rally in support of the police in honor of officer Kerrie Orozco, who died in the line of duty on May 20, a day before she was to take maternity leave.  The “Bob Bruce Experience 4 Blue” was a two-week appreciation campaign during which KOIL broadcast free commercials for merchants providing complimentary services to Omaha law enforcement officers on June 3.

madisonrisingstillPatriotic Rock Band Madison Rising forms Non-Profit ‘Shows for Heroes.’  Industry pros attending the Talkers New York 2015 conference on Friday, June 12 will see the new video from the patriotic rock band Madison Rising (pictured here).  The band just announced that is has formed a 501(c)3 chartered organization that will assist in covering the costs associated with having the group perform at military bases, veteran organizations and first responder events.  Madison Rising has an especially strong following among military personnel, veterans and first responders, and is often asked to do performances around the country by organizations that simply cannot afford to cover the costs associated with travel and production.  With the creation of Madison Rising Shows For Heroes, tax-deductible contributions from individual and corporate donors will allow Madison Rising to provide more live performances for the men and women who have given so much of themselves.

ISIS Military Progress, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Sinking Obama Approval Ratings, Baltimore Murder Rate Soars, Obama Trade Deal, Duggar Family Scandal, Police Kill Boston Terror Suspect, Texas Open Carry Challenge, Caitlyn Jenner Story, FIFA Corruption Case, and NBA-NHL Finals Amoong Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/3).  Concern over ISIS’ military success in Iraq and Syria and the U.S. military’s Iraq policy; the potential candidates for president in 2016 and the entrance of Republican George Pataki and Democrat Lincoln Chafee into the races; chatter about the dip in approval ratings for President Obama; the escalating murder rate in Baltimore in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death; the state of the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal; the sexual scandal plaguing the Duggar family, stars of ’19 Kids and Counting’; the police shooting death of a terror suspect in Boston; the challenge of Texas’ open carry law; Bruce Jenner’s gender transition and new Caitlyn identity; the far-reaching effects of the FIFA corruption case; and the finals in both the NBA and the NHL were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Opinion: Getting Back to the Basics

| March 31, 2015

Talk Radio in 2015

By Bill Brady
Futures & Options, Inc.
President/CEO

bradybillwriterJUPITER, Fla. — Over the last year, the Nielsen Audio PPM ratings have shone a light on the struggles of the talk format.  It’s not a pretty picture.

Since 2008, same station ratings in a select group of top 50 markets have declined by 39%.  While some stations still earn respectable ratings, many have lost significant audience share and fallen dramatically in rank.  A drop of that magnitude is likely to have a significant impact on the revenue side and endanger a station’s pricing structure and advertiser demand levels.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

| November 20, 2014

brandmeierjonathonChanges at Tribune Media as ‘The Game 87.7’ to End; Garry Meier and Jonathon Brandmeier Exit.  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Tribune Media will soon announce that its nine-month old sports talk venture on WGWG-LP “The Game 87.7”meiergarry will shut down by the end of the year.  At the same time, Feder reports that Chicago radio legends Garry Meier – whose program was heard only on wgn.com – and Jonathon Brandmeier, heard in mornings on WGWG-LP, are both out effective immediately.  Brandmeier and Meier were both moved off WGN-AM when president and GM Jimmy de Castro began re-tooling the heritage news/talker with personality changes.  Steve Cochran was brought in for mornings and Meier was replaced by Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder in afternoons.  It remains to be seen how the other WGWG-LP staffers will be affected by the change.

bauerletomRadio Rising to Occasion as Snow Buries Tight Knit Buffalo Community.  No doubt, the Winter of 2014-15 is off to a quick start and no region has felt its fury this past week more than Buffalo, New York where “lake effect” bands of snow have piled up more than eight feet of the white stuff in some parts of the city leaving others relatively unscathed.  TALKERS is receiving reports that Buffalo radio stations and personnel have been rising to the occasion helping those directly impacted by the harsh weather conditions with information and support.  WBEN afternoon drive host Tom Bauerle is a longtime market icon who recognizes the important role radio plays during such challenging situations.  He tells TALKERS, “One of the great aspects of live, local programming during a weather emergency is that we often help people in the here and now.  Our host David Bellavia [an Iraq war hero] took a stranded motorist named Liza under his wing last night, and even after his show made sure that rescue workers reached her and her small children.  Buffalo is a city of longtime residents, generally, and our roots run deep.  Western New York, in my opinion, is blessed with genuinely caring people who show their best attributes during a common calamity.  Frankly, many of our listeners were desperate to volunteer to help remove, shelter and feed stranded motorists, but seem to have been rebuffed by the authorities.  It really is an honor to host during a time when we can actually make a difference in real-time safety.”

hurleyharryWPGG, Atlantic City Helps Raise Funds for Thanksgiving Relief.  At Townsquare Media-owned news/talk outlet WPGG, Atlantic City, morning personality Harry Hurley led yesterday’s effort to raise money to feed Thanksgiving dinner to more than 950 families in the area with the “Feed a Family Radiothon.”  The company’s five radio stations brought in more than $23,000.  The station notes that with more than 12,000 people out of work because of the recent casino closing debacle in Atlantic City, this emergency fundraising campaign was even more important.

bryantjamesHubbard Expands ‘2060 Digital’; Names James Bryant President.  Cincinnati VP and market manager James Bryant is heading up Hubbard Radio’s new in-house, digital company called 2060 Digital, LLC.  The new digital media services company will expand from Hubbard Interactive in Cincinnatihubbardradio logo and begin serving Hubbard Radio clusters in the Chicago, Washington, Minneapolis-St. Paul, St. Louis, Seattle, Phoenix and Cincinnati markets.  2060 Digital will “provide digital solutions for clients, including website and mobile site build out, SEO, SEM, retargeting, social media management, content and video.”  Two years ago, Bryant was instrumental in launching 2060 Digital in Cincinnati.  Hubbard chair and CEO Ginny Morris comments, “We have long looked to Jim for leadership in this space and we feel fortunate that his full attention will be focused on helping us find comprehensive solutions for our advertising partners.  We look forward to bringing Jim’s entrepreneurial approach to 2060 Digital to the rest of our company.”  At the same time, with the promotion of Bryant, Hubbard announces Mike Fredrick also moves up from his VP/general manager/DOS for the Cincinnati operations to VP and market manager.

wwjCrainsCBS RADIO Detroit One of Motor City’s “Best Places to Work.”  The annual feature from Crain’s Detroit Business names CBS RADIO Detroit one of the best places to work in the city.  Some of the reasons for the local station group being such a great employer include: Annual company party, tickets to local events, rewards site to allow employees to send thank you and birthday cards and award nominations, and child care assistance.  Pictured here in the all-news WWJ studio delivering a newscast is anchor Jackie Paige.  The still is from a video created by CBS Detroit that is found on the Crain’s Detroit Business website.  You can check out the cool video here.

Odds & Sods.  TALKERS SoCal sources notice iHeartMedia’s KFI, Los Angeles has stopped using the “More Stimulating Talk” slogan that’s been part of the station brand for so many years and simply refers to itself as “KFI640.”…..Former “Judge Alex” television personality Alex Ferrer is beginning a legal analysis program on the digital platform ConnectPal….. The NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals re-sign with iHeartMedia in the Queen City for another five-year run airing its games on news/talk WLW, sports talk WCKY “ESPN 1530,” and rock WEBN…..CBS RADIO Tampa sports talker WHFS-FM “Sports Radio 98.7 the Fan” is presenting “Tickets for Turkeys” to benefit Feeding America Tampa Bay.  Listeners who donate a turkey will pick from sealed envelopes which contain tickets to Tampa’s hottest events and attractions such as: Busch Gardens, The Who, Black Keys, Tampa Bay Lightning, Universal Studios, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, WWE, Monster Jam, Arena Cross, Tampa Bay Rays and more.  The live broadcast takes place tomorrow (11/21).

carrWBZshotCBS Boston Addresses Political Relevance of Talk Radio in Recent Election.  In a piece published online by WBZ-TV political analyst Jon Keller, whether talk radio in Boston had something to do with the state getting its firstreadanTV Republican governor in eight years is the topic.  Keller writes that some local talk show hosts, including market ratings king Howie Carr (left) and WBZ-AM evening personality Dan Rea (right), say their shows were part of the reason Charlie Baker won the race and an automatic gas tax increase was defeated.  The piece comes at a time when the news/talk format is taking its punches for being anything from “predictable” to “only relevant to old white men.”  It also comes after an election cycle that political ad buyers will be analyzing to more accurately apportion among the various media the next campaign’s ad buy.  Believers in the news/talk format as one that attracts a large percentage of those who actually vote will be eager to see if ratings data confirms the effectiveness of the format.  Read the WBZ-TV piece here.

goldenmike15Golden Mike Award Ceremony Moved to March 16.  The annual Golden Mike Award fundraiser presented by the Broadcasters Foundation of America will take place at the Plaza Hotel in New York on March 16.  Next spring, NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith is being honored with the award.  Earlier this week the announcement was made but the date has moved from February 23 to March 16.

Obama Immigration Action, ObamaCare-Gruber Controversy, Ferguson Tensions, Battle Against ISIS, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Buffalo Record Snowfall/Early Chill, and Bill Cosby Rape Allegations Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/19).  The promise by President Obama to enact amnesty for illegal aliens by executive order; the simmering controversy over ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber’s video-taped speeches; the growing tensions in Ferguson, Missouri as the grand jury decision on whether to indict officer Darren Wilson is awaited; the battle against ISIS and the U.S. military’s need for more drones; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the record eight feet of snow received in Buffalo and the early cold snap much of the country is experiencing; and renewed allegations of rape against Bill Cosby were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

| September 17, 2014

hamburgjoanJoan Hamburg to Host Weekend Show on WABC, New York.  After a long career at crosstown heritage AM news/talker WOR, Cumulus Media announces that New York radio personality Joan Hamburg is joining its news/talker 77 WABC to host a weekly Saturday program to air from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.  Cumulus says on the show Hamburg “will continue discussing the most important social, economic and political issues that impact listeners’ lives each week.  Hamburg will also interview major celebrities and powerful political figures on the program.”  In addition, the deal calls for Hamburg to produce weekly features and exclusive programs available in digital formats.  Hamburg comments, “How excited I am to join legendary WABC radio and work with Kim Bryant, Craig Schwalb and the rest of the Cumulus family. And what a treat to join their roster of the best talk talent in the country.  New York get ready — the conversation is about to begin.”

villanuccijimTalk Host Jim Villanucci Resigns from KXL, Portland.  There is little known at this time about what has transpired to cause midday talk show host Jim Villanucci to resign from his position with Alpha Media’s KXL, Portland but a Tweet from KXL’s Lars Larson states simply that Villanucci has resigned for “personal reasons” and that Larson wishes him well.  Filling in during the daypart is Victoria Taft.

francesamikeTension Between WFAN’s Mike Francesa and Management Over Fox Sports Simulcast.  According to a story by Neil Best in Newsday, WFAN, New York afternoon drive superstar Mike Francesa has been ordered by CBS RADIO management – under threat of lawsuit – not to gripe publicly about the simulcast of his show being bumped from cable’s Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 for live sporting events.  Best reports that while Francesa didn’t talk specifically about the Fox Sports simulcast issues, he said on his radio show that in contrast to a corporate statement to the contrary, he has been threatened with legal action if he speaks publicly about anything that costs the company money, with the implication being the Fox Sports arrangement.  In other words, he could be held liable for any income CBS loses if the Fox Sports relationship dissolves.  Read Best’s piece here.

cottociscoCisco Cotto Joins CBS RADIO’s WBBM-AM, Chicago.  Newsman and talk show host Cisco Cotto is becoming part of the staff at CBS RADIO’s all-news WBBM-AM and WCFS-FM, Chicago, according to Chicago media writer Robert Feder.  Cotto has worked in the Chicago market his entire career.  He started at CBS’ former all-news WMAQ and has served as news anchor at Cumulus Media’s crosstown WLS-AM (where he also went on to host a talk show) as well as at Salem’s news/talk WIND, and the Moody Bible Institute’s Christian talker WMBI.  His position at WBBM and WCFS is anchor/reporter.   Read Feder’s entire column here.

krennjimKDKA-AM, Pittsburgh Adds Comic Jim Krenn to Friday Program.  Joining the “KDKA Morning News with Larry Richert and John Shumway” each Friday is Jim Krenn, a popular Pittsburgh radio personality and comedian.  KDKA-AM program director Jim Graci says, “KDKA is delighted to have Jim Krenn on the station each Friday morning.  It’s like adding another big bat to an all-star lineup, and will give KDKA listeners another reason to smile heading into the weekend.”  Krenn is a Pittsburgh native who worked successfully in Steel City radio for 24 years.  He is currently producing a weekly podcast titled, “Jim Krenn: No Restrictions.”

nrglogoDreyer Named Director of Integrated Media for NRG.  Appointed to the newly created position of director of integrated media for NRG Media is Erica Dreyer.  In making the announcement, NRG president and CEO Mary Quass noted that Dreyer recently served in the same post for both Maverick Media of Rockford, Illinois and Mid-West Family Broadcasting of Rockford for the past seven-plus years.  Quass states, “Digital media offers the greatest potential revenue growth for radio today.  Erica Dreyer has earned seven awards for excellence in the digital arena.  Dreyer’s the maverick we need to lead this new department.”  In this position, Dreyer will be responsible for infusing new inventory and pricing techniques into NRG’s interactive portfolio.  Dreyer will also train and educate sales departments in the station group to produce more sophisticated, high-value integrated solutions for clients and help educate advertisers about integrated solutions for their business needs.  Dreyer starts with NRG on September 30.

wpht logoWPHT, Philadelphia Speaker Series Hosts Senator Ted Cruz.  Tonight’s event at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia is the latest in the WPHT Speaker Series and will feature Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) discussing the First and Fourth Amendments.  The program takes place in observance of Constitution Day and WPHT morning drive personality Chris Stigall is moderating the discussion.

espnwomenThe Big Issue of the Day.  Pictured here are ESPN personalities (from left to right) Jemele Hill, Jane McManus and Cari Champion in the studio during the production of the podcast “espnW Presents: The State of the NFL on ESPN Radio.”  The show was a joint effort by espnW and ESPN Radio.  Also appearing on the program were espnW personalities Kate Fagan and Sarah Spain.  ESPN host Keith Olbermann and National Organization for Women president Terry O’Neill joined the conversation as guests.

The NFL and Domestic Violence, U.S.-Led Coalition Against ISIS, Mid-Term Elections, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Presidential Run, New Benghazi Investigation,  Ebola Virus Pandemic Threat, Scotland Succession Referendum, and Obama Amnesty Issue Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/16).  The ongoing furor over the domestic violence issues plaguing the NFL; debate over the potential effectiveness of the U.S.-led coalition to combat ISIS; the looming mid-term elections and how they may affect majorities in Congress; Hillary Clinton’s weekend appearance in Iowa and her possible run for president in 2016; the new Benghazi investigation; the status of the Ebola outbreak in Africa and the potential for a pandemic; Thursday’s referendum on whether Scotland breaks away from the U.K.; and Senator Ted Cruz’s effort to prevent amnesty action by President Obama were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, August 25, 2014

| August 25, 2014

napaquakemapLocal Radio Responds to Napa Earthquake. The most severe earthquake to hit Northern California in 25 years registered a 6.0 and was centered in Napa, California on Sunday morning. Local media responded and – although knocked off the air for about 30 minutes — Wine Country Broadcasting’s news/talk KVON, Napa (and sister hot AC KVYN, St. Helena) did return to the air to serve the region. Farther south in San Francisco, sources tell TALKERS magazine that local television went wall-to-wall with its coverage. As for radio, KSFO weekend personality Ethanbearmanethan3 Bearman says that competition KCBS-AM covered it “like a quality news network” while sister news/talk KGO covered the event and took calls until San Francisco 49ers football began. Bearman says, “I had my producer, Leigh Wolf, toss aside what we had planned. We started the show interviewing a rep from PG&E about power and gas in Napa, took a couple of callers, then interviewed Ross Stein, a geophysicist from the USGS about earthquakes and this one in particular. We had more callers sharing stories, then an interview with CHP officer Daniel Hill about safety and road closures, followed by more callers sharing stories. We also interviewed Yountville councillor Richard Hall about the damage in his town up the road from Napa, then many more callers.” Bearman tells TALKERS that what KSFO was able to do was use its two-way nature to do what TV couldn’t. “TV doesn’t provide more than a 10-minute loop. Straight news on KCBS-AM is just talking to the listener while we provided that human contact, that outlet of expression, that connection with others. It was really powerful and received a lot of positive feedback.”

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theblaze logoBeck’s TheBlaze Negotiated with CNN for HLN Partnership.  But, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal by Keach Hagey, the two sides could not come to an agreement on terms.  Hagey’s report states that CNN executives recently held talks with agents from Glenn Beck‘s TheBlaze about a partnership that would change the programming on the struggling HLN channel that would have seen TheBlaze content replace the current shows on HLN.  It’s being reported that CNN is in talks with Vice Media about a similar partnership.  The WSJ reports that HLN’s total viewership has declined 22% for the season to date, and dipped 19% in the 18 to 49 demo, based on Nielsen numbers.

kfwbKFWB Accelerates Talk-to Sports Transition. Los Angeles talker KFWB was expected to conduct its transition to all-sports early next month; however, this past Sunday at midnight, CBS Sports Radio Network programming took over the 980 AM dial position.  Word quickly spread and there was plenty of activity/reaction on social media.  Included in the commentary are two classy postings from people who have worked at KFWB.  On-air talent Lisa Osborne writes on her Facebook page: “It is KFWB’s last weekday as a news/talk station – format flip next week to all sports.  Tune in if you can today to this heritage news station.  If you grew up in LA, you can sing the jingle – that is what everyone does when they find out I work here.  I’ve worked with some real pros here including: Penny Griego, Phil Hulett, Bret Lewis, Rhonda Kramer, Ken Jeffries, Elaine Perkins, Bill Nesbitt, Paul Lowe, Michael Shappee, Maggie McKay, Philip Luther Nash, Michael Knight, Russ Spears, Donna Page, Andy Ludlum, Joe Guimond, Cyndee Maxwell, and plenty more.  Iconic Los Angeles traffic reporter Kramer comments, that she was “only 26 years old” when she began reporting traffic on the station.  “It has always been home and I have worked with some of the most talented individuals in the news broadcast business.  It has been an honor to work with pros like Dan Avey, Charlie Brailer, Don Hurbert, Bob Howard, John Brooks Jack Popejoy, Judy Ford, Andy Ludlum, and most recently, Maggie McKay, Michael Shappee, Lisa Osborne, Penny Griego and Phil Hulett. Working here has been extremely rewarding, affording me the opportunity to win 18 Golden Mikes.  I am proud of my work on KFWB and have made friends here who will be in my life forever.  I wish nothing but the best for the new sports format.  Thanks KFWB for the wonderful memories.  You will always be a part of me.”  Quite a few industry personnel who did not work at the station were partisans.  “I was your biggest fan,” New Normal entrepreneur/talk host Tom Leykis writes.kfwbfinalcast  “Seriously. I grew up in New York listening to ‘1010 WINS.’  When I came to live in LA in the 1980s, KFWB, clearly modeled after WINS, became my new best friend…As a lifelong radio guy, I wanted to let you all know that, for me, you all were the best.”  On one hand, advanced timing of the format flip is a bit of a surprise, yet on the other, there is considerable logic to it.  The station has already secured a program director – Owen Murphy (from Seattle) – and it has cleared CBS Sports Radio programming.  That lineup includes a well-known local quantity, Jim Rome, who will be heard 9:00 am – 12:00 noon.  One more major piece to be added though is a locally originated morning show, which will likely debut in two weeks (Monday, 9/8).  A format change was practically inevitable, as the station’s 6+ PPM shares thus far in calendar year 2014 have topped out at .3 (January, February, and May) and included .2 showings in March, April, June, and July. KFWB’s July ranking was #42.  One year ago (July 2013), it ranked #39 (.5), still significantly lower from its all-news days.  It actually would be ironic (or perhaps purposefully intended) if a morning show is installed September 8, as that will mark the five-year anniversary KFWB switched from all-news to all-talk.  When CBS Corporation acquired KCAL-TV, Los Angeles (Channel 9) in 2002 (to go along with KCBS-TV Channel 2), it put them over the limit of radio and television properties in the same market.  Three years ago, CBS Radio placed KFWB into a Diane Sutter-headed trust, under the name The KFWB Asset Trust.  Director of news programming at CBS Radio Los Angeles’ all-news KNX – and formerly (and simultaneously) holding that same title for KFWB – Andy Ludlum posts on his Facebook page, “After 46 years of delivering news to the people of Southern California, the news watch has stopped for KFWB.  I have been fortunate to have spent the past 25 years of my life working there with some of the most talented people to ever open a microphone or write a news story.”  Ludlum posted the photo above showing the final minute of the final full newscast with Maggie McKay (right), Ted Sobel (center), and Michael Knight (left).

ktar-fmKTAR-FM, Phoenix Re-Brands; Tweaks Programming.  The Bonneville news/talk station announces it is re-branding at the same time it is making programming changes and unveiling its new website designed specifically for mobile users.  The station is now “KTAR News…on 92.3 FM and KTAR.com.”  Bonneville Phoenix market manager Scott Sutherland states, “This re-brand and website re-launch lets the community know that our commitment to live and local news has never been stronger.  And it also signals that KTAR News is a multi-platform media brand that distributes audio news and talk show content on FM Radio, KTAR.com and the KTAR App, as well as written, audio and video story content online across all devices.”  Programming changes include more news content in middays with “Arizona’s Noon News and Karie Dozer” (from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm) and an earlier start (2:00 pm) for afternoon drive team Mac and Gaydos.  Bonneville Phoenix VP of content and operations Ryan Hatch comments, “Our ‘mobile-first’ design will deliver a powerful, multi-media user experience on smartphones, where our online audience continues to migrate.  Using the very latest technologies, the site also seamlessly adapts to tablets and desktops to deliver the same quality experience across all platforms.”

nrglogoNRG Media, Woodward in Four-Station Transaction.  The price for the latest NRG Media purchase – the quartet of Woodward Communications facilities in Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Iowa – is $3.55 million.  NRG Media chief executive officer Mary Quass is “delighted to have the opportunity” to add the stations to her company’s platform.  “We continue to look for great radio properties that are located in the Midwest and are an integral part of the communities they serve,” she comments.  “Regarding NRG, Woodward Communications president and chief executive officer Tom Woodward states, “It is a well-known, community-oriented radio broadcast company with a great Midwestern culture and presence.  Our strategic plans and related growth goals positioned the sale of the Waterloo properties.  We salute the loyal, talented and dedicated staff we were fortunate to work with.  We will continue to operate, grow and enhance our award-winning, seven-station radio group in the Appleton-Green Bay, Wisconsin markets which we’ve owned since the late-1970s.”  The deal is for KFMW “Rock 108”; KOKZ “Iowa’s Classic Hits”; KWLO “1330 ESPN“; and KXEL “Iowa’s News & Talk Station.”  Woodward Communications has operated these outlets the past two years. Prior to that, Bahakel Broadcasting owned KXEL for 54 years (1958 – 2012); it owned the other three from 1996 – 2012.

WSCRgregolesjohnFound: WLS-AM’s “Next Talk Star.” If you wonder where the next generation of talk radio personalities is coming from, the answer might be professional wrestling.  John Chase Gregoles (pictured here) emerges as the winner of WLS-AM, Chicago’s “Next Talk Star” competition and the Lake Geneva, Wisconsin resident is a day trader who has a background in … sports entertainment.  This represents the Cumulus Media-owned talk station’s third such promotion, with WLS-AM program director/operations manager Peter Bolger pointing out, “Our last two winners are still on the air with a weekend show and occasional fill-in.  It is certainly possible we will be as fortunate with this year’s winner.  What the finalists had to say about talk radio and the passion they have for it was instructive and extremely energizing.”  Gregoles comments that he “wants to broaden the audience of talk radio.”  Wannabes submitted auditions via the station’s website. WLS-AM narrowed the submissions to 10 semifinalists; the top five were then determined by online voting. Bolger; WLS-AM’s (9:00 am – 11:00 am) Kass & Cohn co-host Lauren Cohn; 2012 winner Stephanie Trussell; and 2013 winner Laura Kelly were among those judging the competition.  Gregoles gets to host a two-hour WLS-AM show, receive a limo ride to/from the studio, and a trip for two to Mexico.

kinosianmike

MLB Baseball Continues to Give Boost to Most Flagship Stations.  TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian presents his second analysis of the performances of MLB flagship stations this season – this time based on July PPM data.  Again, the flagships in markets where baseball has traditionally been good to its radio outlet and in markets where the team is performing well continue to benefit from increased listenership.  In this report Kinosian tracks how flagship stations have performed over the past five PPM surveys, compared to July 2013, how they rank in their respective markets, and how the stations stack up based on MLB divisions.  Check out Mike Kinosian’s analysis here.

sabowalterSabo: It Is a Widespread Myth That “Ours Is a Very Big Sports Town.”  As a globetrotting media consultant, Walter Sabo reports, “There is noticeable bravado in every city about the local level of sports fandom.”  In a new opinion piece certain to spark disagreement on the part of many TALKERS readers, Sabo makes the case that even though most radio markets claim to be “big” on sports or even the “biggest” sports city in America, the “facts don’t match the roar of the crowd.”  He writes, “According to the data presented from the major league national teams, every city is pretty much the same.”  To read this informative and provocative piece in its entirety, please click here.

hamiltonhacksawLee ‘Hacksaw’ Hamilton Hangs Out Fill-In Shingle.  West Coast sports talk pro Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton, most recently with Broadcast Company of the Americas-owned XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090,” announces he’s making himself available as a “radio free agent” for freelance work as “Hacksaw & Company,” as he says, “sports talk radio designed for your market, when you need a pinch-hitter.”  Hamilton’s daily content can be seen at (www.leehacksawhamilton.com).  He can be emailed at hacksaw5555@gmail.com.

Arkansas Stations Swap Frequencies; AC Turns Conservative/Christian Talk.  A pair of Arkansas FMs are swapping positions on the dial – John M. Dowdy-owned hot AC KKTZ moves from 93.5 up to 107.5 while AC KOMT moves to the 93.5 frequency.  KKTZ will remain hot AC but KOMT flips to conservative/Christian talk using content from Salem Radio Network, Westwood One and Premiere Networks.  The new talk station will air: Bill Bennett in AM drive followed by Mike Gallagher, Dennis Miller, Michael Medved, Mark Levin, Janet Mefferd and “Coast to Coast AM” with George Noory.

Odds & Sods.  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, radio pro Mike Stephen is joining WGN, Chicago for a weekend show called “Outside the Loop Radio” that will air from 6:00 am to 7:00 am Sunday mornings, effective October 4.  The eight-year-old show is promoted as “Chicago’s Almost Above-Ground Audio Magazine,” and promises “interviews with local newsmakers on everything from arts and politics to the environment and food.”…..Sitting in for Jimmy Barrett on Clear Channel’s WRVA, Richmond in morning drive all this week is Mark Wainwright…..CBS RADIO’s sports talker WJFK-FM, Washington “106.7 The Fan” and IMG Sports Network agree to an extension that will allow Virginia Tech football and men’s basketball  play-by-play to be heard on the station through the 2018 season.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

| July 16, 2014

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 Videos Being Posted.  Up Today:  Mike Francesa’s Sports Talk Keynote Address.  Today (7/16) marks the second day of TALKERS magazine’s video posting of speeches, sessions and presentations made during last month’s 17th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention – Talkers New York 2014.  The presentation of these informative and historic recordings is sponsored by WYD Media Sales, LLC., the rep firm recently launched by Ron Hartenbaum and headed by John Murphy, that specializes in the advertising sales of spoken-word media on all popular platforms. The worldwide showing of these very special videos continues today with the event’s powerful sports talk keynote address delivered by WFAN, New York sports talk radio legend, Mike Francesa.  The focus of Francesa’s speech consists of 1) his opinion that the current lack of ratings for online “re-purposed” radio content is damaging radio; 2) the benefits of being live andfrancesaNYC2014 still local; and 3) the burgeoning role of sports in American life.  Francesa states, “I have done the same show at the same time on the same station for 28 years. I never wanted to be syndicated.  I believe in live and local.”  Although respecting the importance of digital and social media, he believes that radio broadcasters place too much emphasis on it to the detriment of their on-air content and performance stating, “I take a limited approach to the new technology…I don’t have a Twitter account.”  Regarding sports, itself, as a subject and field of interest to the media, he advises, “I think we are at the beginning of a sports explosion the likes of which you haven’t seen yet.  If you’re in the communications business, you’d better get on board.  Sports today is what Hollywood was in the 40s and 50s.”  To see the entire session, please click here.  Coming tomorrow (7/17): RAB, CEO/president Erica Farber moderating the panel, “The State of Radio Advertising and Sales” with Ron Furman, CRO, Westwood One; Kraig Kitchin, CEO, Sound Mind, LLC; Joe Puglise, president/market manager, Clear Channel, New York; and Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks.   The TALKERS conference videos were recorded by Art Vuolo.

elswickdaveDave Elswick Show Expands to Searcy, Arkansas Market.  Longtime Little Rock talk radio personality Dave Elswick’s KHTE “96.5 The Voice”-based show will be heard on KSMD, Searcy, Arkansasksmd logo starting July 21 as the show begins efforts to network across the state.  Elswick states, “This is exciting as I will now reach the North Central part of the state.  My goal is to touch all Arkansans and keep them informed about what is happening in their state.”  Additionally, Elswick tells TALKERS magazine he is in the process of launching a 24/7 online TV station as he explores new platforms.

sayreUSSAlbuquerqueKKOB, Albuquerque Personality Rides on Soon-to-Be-Deactivated Sub.  The market’s namesake nuclear sub USS Albuquerque is being de-activated after 30 years of service to the U.S. Navy.  Last week, KKOB, Albuquerque weekend personality Terrie Q. Sayre – pictured here at the periscope of the sub – was able to take a voyage on it.  The sub is based in San Diego and during Sayre’s visit, she went out to sea in it and was able to dive to 600 feet, take sharp angle maneuvers, take part in periscope viewing and more.  Sayre reports they even did a burial at sea involving a three torpedo salute.

cbssportsradiologoCBS Sports Radio Morning Show Gets Online Video Simulcast.  Beginning immediately, the morning drive show hosted by Tiki Barber, Brandon Tierney, and Dana Jacobson on the CBS Sports Radio Network – heard from 6:00 am to 9:00 am ET – is available in a live, online video simulcast, especially targeting consumers using mobile and tablet devices.  Network director of programming Eric Spitz says, “We are excited to launch yet another way to expose our programming to audiences nationwide.  Tiki, Brandon and Dana prove every day to be dynamic and passionate sports hosts, and providing additional access to the show follows the trend of listeners spending more time with the program.”

fantownhall’99.9 The Fan’ in Raleigh Holds ‘Fan Town Hall.’  Tomorrow morning Capitol Broadcasting-owned sports talk WCMC-FM, Raleigh “99.9 The Fan” is presenting the first-ever “Fan Town Hall” with four of the most influential people in Triangle college sports today at Full Frame Theater in nearby Durham.  Panelists will include: Duke athletic director Dr. Kevin White; North Carolina Central athletic director Dr. Ingrid Wicker-McCree; NC State athletic director Debbie Yow and North Carolina athletic director Bubba Cunningham.  The 90-minute, commercial-free event will be moderated by WCMC-FM afternoon drive host Adam Gold and WRAL-TV sports anchor Jeff Gravley.  Topics to be addressed include the state of college athletics, successes and challenges athletic departments are experiencing and much more.  Station program director and OM Dennis Glasgow states, “This is a historical event that’s never been done before in the Triangle, and to bring together these four remarkable people will be a fascinating 90 minutes inside the looking glass of college sports.  Our Town Hall format will be less traditional in that we’re encouraging conversation among our special guests, and its unique format will allow social media questions throughout the event.”

golloherjessicaGolloher Joins Fox News Radio as Correspondent.  Former freelancer Jessica Golloher – who’s been based in Moscow for the past six years – joins Fox News Radio as a correspondent based in New York. foxnewsradio small In this new role, Golloher will report on breaking news and provide daily live reports while covering stories in the Northeast and across the country.  During her time in Moscow, Golloher provided live coverage of stories, including Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the crisis in Ukraine, and the Winter Olympics in Sochi.  Golloher previously worked at radio stations in Washington, Boston, Tulsa, and Los Angeles.

knx logoOdds & Sods.  All-newser KNX, Los Angeles is tackling the Western drought story as it relates to Southern California on July 31 during a day-long program titled, “Running on Empty: Our Epic Drought.”  The CBS RADIO station says KNX’s news staff, “led by producers Charles Feldman and Laraine Herman, will look at the impact the worsening drought will have on” the population.  KNX will detail what sets the current drought apart from those the state has experienced in the recent past.  Among the questions to be answered are what food products might disappear from shelves and which ones will get costlier, who decides who’ll be able to tap into the eroding water supply and what will the long-term effects be on the local environment and wildlife?  Seven KNX reporters have conducted more than 50 interviews with California Governor Jerry Brown, representatives from the Metropolitan and Orange County Water Districts, climatologists,theridehome logo environmentalists, farmers and others…..Cumulus Media news/talk WABC, New York reports a coup as former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson appeared on “The Ride Home with Pat Kiernan and Rita Cosby” on Wednesday afternoon to “address publicly for the first time” her departure from the paper.  She talked about her reaction to Arthur Sulzberger saying she was let go because of her management style, her feelings about  the current state of journalism and more…..Thirty-two year NPR veteran Margaret Low Smith is leaving the public radio network where she’s been serving as senior vice president/news to become a VP at The Atlantic.  Smith will also be the president of the publication’s AtlanticLIVE Events division…..CRN Digital Talk Radio announced the winners of its 2014 Food & Wine Awards during an appearance at the 33rd Annual Kapalua Wine & Food Festival at the Kapalua Resort in Hawaii.  CRN president & CEO Michael J. Horn and CRN personality “Sommelier of the People” Michael Jordan made the presentations on a special live broadcast of the network’s nationally syndicated “What’s Cookin’ on Wine” show.  Michael Browne of the Kosta Browne Winery and Robert Cabral of Williams Selyem shared the Winemaker of the Year honor.  Dean Fearing of Fearing’s Restaurant in Dallas, Texas was named Chef of the Year.  Zimzala Huntington Beach, California was crowned Restaurant of the Year.  Sommelier of the Year honors went to Troy Smith at Montage in Laguna Beach, California.  CRN listeners selected the winners from a list of nominees.

pragerdeathrowSRN’s Dennis Prager Visits Death Row.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Dennis Prager is pictured here (right) with an unidentified death row inmate at Angola State Prison in Louisiana – the nation’s largest prison.  Prager spent Monday, July 14 at the prison as part of the annual “Returning Hearts Celebration,” organized by the Christian organization Awana.  Among that organization’s projects is work with prison inmates.  Prager has been lecturing to evangelical pastors all over the country about the American Renewal Project.  Prager shared his experiences at the prison with listeners on his programs yesterday and today.  During a meeting with the inmate pictured here, Prager asked the man if he felt sorry for himself.  “No,” he responded.  “But I do regret the things I’ve done.”

geraldosimoneNYC Competitors Get Together at Big Fundraiser.  These two New York City talk radio personalities – Geraldo Rivera from Cumulus Media’s WABC (left) and Mark Simone from Clear Channel’s WOR (right) – usually compete against each other in the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon time slot.  But they are pictured here together as they attend and speak at a fundraiser luncheon for the city’s 100-year-old charity The Police Athletic League of New York City.

Child Immigrant Crisis-Immigration Policy Reform, Eric Holder Racism Comments, Middle East Turmoil, Possible Warren 2016 Presidential Run, Hookah Craze, and Western Drought and Summer ‘Polar Vortex’ Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/15).  The ongoing child immigration crisis in the Southwest and debate over who’s responsible and how to fix it; Attorney General Eric Holder’s comments that criticism of the Obama Administration are race-based; the violence between Israel and Hamas and the ISIS campaign in Iraq and Syria; Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren’s recent travels and speculation she’s gearing up for a ‘stealth’ 2016 presidential bid; chatter about the health issues surrounding the current hookah craze; plus the Western drought and the summer ‘polar vortex’ affecting the Midwest were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

| June 17, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, June 16, 2014

| June 16, 2014

warginsusieKOA, Denver Changes PM Drive Programming to Newsy Bent.  Longtime Clear Channel Denver personality Dave Logan remains on KOA, but he loses former Denver Post sports columnist Dave Krieger (who exits the station) and the content will turn away from sports as KUSA-TV, Denver “9News” part-time reporter Susie Wargin joins Logan for the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm talk show portion of “Colorado’s Afternoon News.”  From 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm Susan Witkin and Mike Rice co-anchor the all-news part of the show.

entercomEntercom Adds Platforms to Rochester ESPN Sports Talker.  The new Rochester market sports talk outlet “ESPN Rochester” debuts on multiple platforms from Entercom Communications.  The broadcast is heard on translator W239BF as well as on original signal WROC-AM, an HD2 channel, and several online destinations.   Entercom Rochester VP and market manager Susan Munn says, “This is an exciting day for our brand, our clients and, most importantly, our listeners.  Since we launched ESPN Rochester in 2008, our goal has been to deliver the most compelling and entertaining brand of national and local sports talk to Rochester.  From FM to AM to HD and online streaming, we are putting the best sports content where sports fans demand and access it.  ESPN media reaches 58% of men and 81% of avid sports fans nationally and ESPN Rochester has the biggest brands and names in sports from the Bills and Sabres to the #1 sports morning show in the country with Mike & Mike.  With ESPN Rochester now on FM, it makes our already powerful cluster of stations an even better advertiser choice to serve the important male audience.”

kfnskxfnKFNS-AM, St. Louis GM Marshall Resigns; Sports Talk Stations in State of Flux.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Dan Caesar is reporting that Grand Slam Sports general manager Dan Marshall has resigned his post a week after an altercation between him and KXFN morning host Brian McKenna landed Marshall in the hospital and McKenna in police custody.  There are still more questions than answers about what happened and who will be held responsible for the incident.  Although McKenna was taken into custody and Marshall was injured, no charges have been filed against McKenna, who took umbrage at being ridiculed on the air by fellow station personality Nick Trupiano.  The incident that resulted in fisticuffs happened after McKenna went to the station offices to confront Marshall about what was being said about him on the air.  Station operations manager Mike Calvin says there have been no decisions made about on-air talent or whether McKenna – who was fired after the incident – will be offered his position back.  Read Caesar’s story here.

beck not conformGlenn Beck Teams with Fathom Events to Produce National Cinema Event.  The name of the July 22 and July 29 “night of action against Common Core” is being called “We Will Not Conform,” and involves nationally syndicated Premiere Networks star Glenn Beck teaming with Fathom Events.  It’s a live broadcast direct to cinemas across the country and here’s how Beck and Fathom describe it: “This isn’t a typical show –it’s an interactive experience and a rare opportunity to make a real difference in America’s education system. ‘We Will Not Conform’ is your chance to not only hear from experts like Michelle Malkin, David Barton, and others but to join LIVE with fellow theatergoers across the country to develop tangible strategies in the pursuit of enacting real change in our schools.  By the end of the night, the brainpower, experience, and passion of cinema audiences nationwide will be captured in a unified plan of action distributed to all participants.”  Tickets for adults are $20.

stephandougDoug Stephan Breaking New Ground with Experimental Farm Show.  His reputation as a major player in syndicated news/talk radio has been forged by longevity, the ability to change with the times and consistent success.  Doug Stephan’s national general issues morning program, “Good Day,” is the second-longest-running weekday syndicated show in talk radio, having launched in October of 1988, with only Rush Limbaugh beating him out during this past quarter century-plus by a mere handful of months (Rush debuted in August of 1988).  In addition, Stephan’s program, “The Talk Radio Countdown Show,” is one of the longest running and most successful weekend programs in news/talk radio.  Now, in addition to his traditional mainstream talk radio accomplishments, Stephan has been cooking up an experimental show on the platform of TalkersRadio that has been gathering significant interest by industry players and observers alike.  The show is a one-hour-per-week information and advocacy forum titled, “American Family Farmer,” and it is targeted specifically to the beleaguered sector of the talkersradio logoAmerican agriculture industry that is comprised of small, independent operators.  What makes Stephan qualified to host such a specifically targeted program?  The answer: In addition to being a dedicated lifelong radio broadcaster, he is also a dedicated lifelong family farmer!  Stephan is the owner/operator of several dairy farms in the Boston suburb of Framingham, Massachusetts under the umbrella of Eastleigh Farm. Stephan tells TALKERS, “I have been around cows all my life. I spent all my free time around the animals as a young boy, sort of an island of solitude for me growing up. I went to the farm when I was afraid to be home, or anywhere else.  I have kept an alliance with cows over the years on several farms that I have owned — raising heifers and milker replacements for various farms and dealers in Massachusetts.”  Stephan continues, “I have become more involved on a wider scale, to the point now where I have several hundred Jersey dairy cows, which provide us with the raw milk we sell, along with cheeses, ice cream and various other diary-related products that have meaning to those in the locavore movement [people who choose to eat locally grown and raised food].”  On “American Family Farmer” Stephan takes a position quite different from the affable generalist that is heard hosting his traditional news/talk programs.  He is a tell-it-like-it-is advocate of the political and economic interests of the farmers his new program is designed to serve.  He explains, “The family farmers in America, of which I am one, have a tenuous relationship with Big Government and Big Ag.  It is obvious to most that the many problems we are trying to solve have come about as a result of too much government meddling in the affairs of the American family farm.   We are aggressively addressing these problems with solution-based discussions each week.  We are dedicated to becoming the voice for these hard-working people who play such an important role in the economic and nutritional well-being of our nation and are basically being stepped on by Big Government in cahoots with Big Business.”  According to TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein, “During the four months or so that this amazing program has been on our experimental platform, we have received non-stop inquiries from small market and rural stations around the country asking if it is available in syndication.  We have had to turn them away, explaining that it is just an experimental program still in development and that we do not have an infrastructure set up to be able to offer it in syndication.  It seems that this show would be a wonderful venue for a wide variety of advertisers that are specifically interested in reaching the people who buy equipment, feed, and other products that support the effort of running a small farm.  It is also a sure-fire, powerful one-hour per week place to park local advertisers seeking this audience as well.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison adds, “Giving birth to an ‘out-of-the-box’ program like American Family Farmer has been exactly what we designed TalkersRadio to do.  It is especially exciting to see this vehicle being productively utilized by seasoned professionals such as Doug [Stephan], Alan [Colmes] and Lionel to create properties different than what they are generally known for in the industry.”  Harrison adds, “Now we have to identify a good home for American Family Farmer out there among established syndicators to partner in the effort of creating a new rural network for the terrestrial dial – or place it on an existing farm-oriented syndicator.”  American Family Farmer airs on TalkersRadio (on Talkers.com) Saturday mornings between 8:00 am and 9:00 am ET.  Interested syndicators can find out more by emailing Michael Harrison at michael@talkers.com or calling 413-565-5413.  Look for a major announcement involving another TalkersRadio program coming later this week. TalkersRadio, powered by Backbone Networks, is an experimental talk radio laboratory run by TALKERS magazine to support the development of new programs and programming ideas for talk radio.

epictimes logoTRN’s Jerry Doyle Launches Kickstarter Campaign for Relaunch of EpicTimes.com.  Talk show host Jerry Doyle, whose daily radio program is syndicated nationally by Talk Radio Network, announces the beginning of a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the relaunch and expansion of his flagship website, Epictimes.com.  Doyle says money raised through this campaign will support the growth of EpicTimes.com – currently a news curation and aggregation site.  He says the updated EpicTimes.com will be a one-stop shop for news-related audio and video content for the politically independent “middle majority” that is currently underserved by the left- and right-leaning news media.  The site will also featuredoylejerry podcasts of his radio program as well as other well-known contributors.  Doyle comments, “We are trying to create a news outlet that represents the real needs and interests of the American people, which is something that I am very passionate about.  EpicTimes.com has always been a place where people can find the news and information they are looking for, not what the media thinks they want or need to hear.  Expanding the site allows us to offer more information and give more power to the individual.”  Doyle brings aboard Elaine Kunda as CEO of EpicTimes.com.  Kunda previously served as CEO of women’s lifestyle digital network B5Media and has worked in various digital media companies since 1998.  She adds, “EpicTimes.com presents an exciting opportunity for me.  To be involved basically from the ground floor and build a media network of this kind during a time of such frustration by the American people is exactly the kind of challenge I’ve been looking for.  Jerry’s passion for this company, his fans and his listeners is infectious.  I am looking forward to working with him to make EpicTimes.com a household name.”  With the support of contributions from this Kickstarter campaign, the new EpicTimes.com is scheduled to relaunch in September 2014.

giordanodomOdds & Sods.  In recognition of Flag Day this past Saturday (6/14), WPHT, Philadelphia midday personality Dom Giordano and his listeners joined forces with the local VFW to provide flags for the 1,200 veterans whose graves are located in Forest Hills Cemetery in Huntingdon Valley.  The VFW and Montgomery County officials were at odds about the oversight that would have left the soldiers’ graves without flags.  Giordano’s program was flooded with calls from listeners willing to donate money and flags…..ABC News Radio is offering three one-hour specials ahead of the coming Fourth of July weekend, including: “Second Tour: Military Vets Making a Difference,” “Red White & BBQ” and “Car Crazy: America’s Love Affair With Cars.”  ABC’s Aaron Katersky hosts “Second Tour: Military Vets Making a Difference,” which tells the amazing stories of the continued selflessness and strength from men and women who have returned home from war.  Scott Goldberg anchors “Red White & BBQ,” featuring all of the best tips to make your summer BBQ the best on the block. And Alex Stone hosts “Car Crazy: America’s Love Affair With Cars,” a show that dishes on the latest technology and safety trends influencing the auto industry today…..NPR appoints Jonathan Hart as its new chief legal officer and general counsel. Hart, who currently serves as a partner in Cooley LLP’s Technology Transactions practice group, joins NPR on July 1.

weismanstevenWEISMAN: The Limits of the First Amendment.  TALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes in an article published today (6/16) about the pending legal case involving Premiere Networks syndicated talk host Glenn Beck, who is being sued by Saudi Arabian student Abdulrahman Alharbi for defamation.  Alharbi was, for a time accused of being involved in the Boston Marathon bombing by Beck even after local authorities had cleared him of any suspicion.  Beck’s attorneys are pointing to the First Amendment as part of Beck’s defense.  But Weisman says the result may rest on whether Alharbi qualifies and as a public figure, limited public figure or not a public figure at all.  Read Weisman’s analysis of the case here.

Monday, May 12, 2014

| May 12, 2014

wyay logo newIt’s Official: Cumulus Shifts WYAY, Atlanta to News/Talk.  As you can see, the official brand still employs the word “news,” but the all-news format is gone as Cumulus Media’s WYAY, Atlanta becomes “Newsradio 106.7.”  The change comes with the debut of the Michael Graham show in the 8:30 to 12:00 noon slot today (5/12).  The other shows that are part of the station’s talk lineup include Cumulus Media’s John Batchelor show which airs from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am and “Red Eye Radio” in thegrahammichael overnight slot.  Both morning drive and afternoon drive will remain news programs.  The station is the home of Atlanta Braves baseball and partners with WAGA-TV “Fox Five” and The Atlanta Business Chronicle.  Cumulus EVP and co-COO John Dickey says, “‘Newsradio 106.7’ is Atlanta’s best resource for in-depth news and compelling, entertaining talk about the things that matter most in our lives.  Our five-star news team, in partnership with ‘Fox Five,’ tells listeners what’s happening locally, nationally and around the world.  Our fresh talk personalities, including Michael Graham and Kim Peterson, help the audience understand, respond and sometimes even laugh about those events.”

kkzn logoProgressive Talk to Disappear from KKZN, Denver.  The story from Clear Channel’s Denver station group is that the progressive talk format on KKZN is ready to be dumped, although an official announcement has yet to be made and what will take its place is not yet known.  KCNC-TV personality Gloria Neal had hosted the evening show on KKZN until last week when she was let go.  She posted on her Facebook page that the format would change and all current hosts would be gone from the station.

rutkowskikenSecond of Two-Part Special on “Business Rockstars” – Meet Quintessential “Connected” Host, Ken Rutkowski.  The second of our two-part series on “Business Rockstars” centers on the host of this daily, two-hour program who has a somewhat similar style to Charlie Rose and adroitly produces the same meaty results, although the centerpiece guests he gets to “hang out with” each day are “very cool people” who — in the business world — turn nothing into something.  “That is the angle I like,” comments “Business businessrockstars logoRockstars” host/co-founder (with Steve Lehman)/co-owner/president Ken Rutkowski.  “How many people can say that almost every one of the 1,500 people they have talked with in the last two years is ‘amazing’?  We have three or four ‘amazing’ guests on every day.”  Some have entire chapters of their life they have never shared, yet Rutkowski — named in 2009 as an intelligence analyst at the Oprah Winfrey Network — elicits nuggets from them.  “They have tips to help people,” he remarks. “By listening to the show, it is almost like getting a nice degree in business — but in a fun way.”  To read part-two of the TALKERS special feature on “Business Rockstars with Ken Rutkowski” by managing editor Mike Kinosian posted today (5/12), please click here.

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh Salutes U.S. Military with Tractor Giveaway.  With Memorial Day 2014 as the backdrop, Premiere Networks talk star Rush Limbaugh is teaming up with Mahindra USA to give away one Mahindra Max 22 tractor to an active duty or veteran of the U.S. military.  The winner will be selected in a random drawing on May 26.  Mahindra USA is an active supporter of the military and offers the “Mahindra Pride Military Appreciation Program,” recognizing the commitment of members of the armed forces.  The Military Appreciation Program offers an extra $200 rebate for active and retired U.S. military personnel with the purchase of a new Mahindra tractor and qualifying implement.  It also supports Operation Finally Home with its “Build To Rise” program, which provides custom-built, mortgage-free homes to our heroes and their families.  Limbaugh states, “I’d like to thank Mahindra, the world’s number-one-selling tractor, for their generosity.  And God bless all of you who protect our freedom.  We are pleased to join with Mahindra USA in giving away one of their spectacular tractors to a deserving active duty or veteran of our military.”

gallaghermikeCrowd-sourced Film Hits Goal on Mike Gallagher Show.  The drive to raise funds by a group of independent filmmakers to produce a film about controversial Philadelphia abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell hits its goal of $2.1 million – three days before their deadlineduring the Mike Gallagher show on Friday, May 9.  Gallagher says,I am so grateful and proud of our listeners who contributed literally tens of thousands of dollars today to help make this important movie a reality.”  Listeners to Gallagher’s program—as well as audiences of fellow Salem Radio Network hosts Bill Bennett, Hugh Hewitt and others—were asked to contribute start-up funds for the projectIf the $2.1 million had not been raised by midnight on May 12, all donations would have been returned to listeners and the film would not have been produced.

merlonilouWEEI-FM, Boston Tweaks Midday Talent.  A change in the midday lineup at Entercom’s sports talk WEEI-FM, Boston as Mike Mutnansky exits the “Mut & Lou” show and will stay with the company in another capacity to be announced later.  Joining Lou Merloni for the new midday show, dubbed “Middays with MFB,” is former NFL tight end Christian Fauria and New England native, 970 ESPN Pittsburgh sportsbenztim personality and Clear Channel Pittsburgh sports director Tim Benz.  The new lineup takes place later this month.  WEEI program director and brand manager Kevin Graham says, “We are thrilled with the new team we have assembled.  This show will be the only sports radio program in New England that offers listeners insight from a former major leaguer and a former NFL player.  When you add in fauriachristianthe sports radio experience of New England native Tim Benz, listeners will hear a brand new sound in the market.”  Fauria played four seasons with the Patriots earning Super Bowl rings at Super Bowl XXXVIII and XXXIX.  More recently Fauria has worked as a college football analyst for CBS, does color commentary for Patriots preseason games locally on WBZ-TV and hosts a pre-and-post-game show during the NFL regular season.  Benz was born in Boston and is a graduate of Syracuse University.  He served as a radio beat reporter for the Pittsburgh Steelers and also worked at stations in Columbus, Salt Lake City and Syracuse.

mohnjarlMohn Moving to NPR as President/CEO.  Current Southern California Public Radio (SCPR) chairman Jarl Mohn is appointed president and chief executive officer of NPR.  When Mohn begins his NPR term in July, he will be succeeding Paul Haaga Jr., who has been acting president/chief executive officer since last year.  NPR board chair/ideastream Cleveland chief operating officer Kit Jensen remarks, “We are delighted to welcome Jarl.  His background as a successful media executive and innovator makes him ideally suited to lead NPR as it continues to expand its reach and play a unique role in public service journalism and cultural programming. Jarl has a deep commitment to the public radio system, love of radio and passion for quality journalism.  He has demonstrated throughout his career a keen ability to identify media and consumer trends.  He has exhibited a strong track record on diversity and fairness.”  According to Mohn, “This is not a job for me – it is a mission.  I love public radio and NPR.  It is a national treasure and it is more important now than ever.  I want to make sure that the NPR staff, the member stations, and the others who make it happen have everything they need to do their best work.”  Mohn was the founding president and chief executive officer of Liberty Digital; president and chief executive officer of E! Entertainment Television (January 1990 – December 1998); executive vice president and general manager of MTV and VH1 (1986 – 1990); and was a WNBC-AM, New York on-air talent in the 1970s.

harrisheidiOdds & Sods.  Las Vegas talk show host Heidi Harris returns to the airwaves in the market hosting a daily, one-hour show on Silver State Broadcasting’s KBET, Las Vegas.  Harris tells TALKERS magazine the show begins this evening (5/12) at 6:00 pm…..At Kirkman Broadcasting’s news/talk WQSC, Charleston, South Carolina, the Bryan Crabtree show expands, adding the 7:00 am hour.  As of June 2, Crabtree’s program will air from 7:00 am to 10:00 am.  He says, “I have spent the past 15 years informing listeners how to solve our communities’ problems and find solutions to society’s challenges.  The response has been incredible andcrabtreebryan humbling.  We will continue to grow our audience in Charleston by focusing on the stories that matter to citizens of the Lowcountry of South Carolina.”…..Beginning July 1, Compass Media Networks becomes the exclusive advertising sales agent for the on-demand audio programming of CBS Radio News.  The programming includes audio podcasts of “60 MINUTES,” “FACE THE NATION,” “Weekend Roundup,” “CBS EVENING NEWS,” “What’s In The News,” “Tech Talk,” “Not Just Another Story” and “Reporters Notebook.”…..CBS RADIO news/talk outlet WCCO-AM, Minneapolis announces an extension in its partnership with the broomheadmikeUniversity of St. Thomas to broadcast Tommie football through the 2016 season.  WCCO-AM’s Dave Lee will continue to provide play-by-play for the Tommies, along with WCCO-AM’s Eric Nelson doing color commentary…..KFYI, Phoenix afternoon host Mike Broomhead partnered with U.S. Senator John McCain to hold a Town Hall meeting on May 9 at which they welcomed Arizona veterans and their families to discuss the Phoenix VA Health Care System and how it has recently affected them.  Case workers from McCain’s staff were on hand to answer questions and to help get veterans the services they need.

katzparadeBonAirKatz Serves as Grand Marshall.  WRVA, Richmond PM drive talk show host Jeff Katz is pictured here with his ride for the Bon Air Victorian Day Parade.  On Saturday, May 10, Katz served as the Grand Marshall for one of the oldest civic parades in Richmond.  Katz tells TALKERS magazine that although the official Grand Marshall’s hat was rather Victorian…the Grand Marshall’s ride, this cool 2014 Mustang convertible, was anything but.

Cool Job Opportunity.  Midwest Communications seeks news directorBelieve it or not there are still rewarding jobs in radio news. WHBL, Sheboygan, Wisconsin is looking for a news director who will be given the freedom to create and the tools to win.  You’ll spend as much time in the field as you do in the newsroom.  Wewhbl logo need someone who is a triple-threat: strong on-air skills, a good reporter, and a good writer.  We set the news standard in our market.  It’s on-air and on our website before it’s in the newspaper.  We do some enterprise reporting.  We do some investigative work.  If you have a passion for news, whether on the radio or online, we want to talk with you.  We offer a competitive salary and a full benefits package.  Send your resume and mp3 to WHBL brand manager Kelly Meyer at: kelly.meyer@mwcradio.com or snail mail to Kelly’s attention at: 2100 Washington Avenue, Sheboygan, WI 53081. No phone calls, please.  Midwest Communications is an Equal Opportunity Employer by choice.  Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

scanlandanRadio News Pro Dan Scanlan Dies.  Radio news pro Dan Scanlan died over the weekend after suffering a heart attack on Saturday morning at his northern Virginia home.  He was 74.  Scanlan’s career included stops at such storied radio news franchises as WINS, New York, AP Radio, Mutual/Westwood One (as both anchor and Senate correspondent), as well as freelance work for CBS Radio and WCBS, New York.  Most recently he was weekend anchor on NBC News Radio.  Earlier in his career he worked at WHYN-AM, Springfield, Massachusetts.

conwaysimonWHO, Des Moines’ Simon Conway Grabs Charity Drive Honors.  In a contest among a number of radio talk show hosts to see who could help raise the most cash for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society sponsored by talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs, WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive personality Simon Conway came in first after raising almost $4,500.  Wachs dubbed her talk host challenge FROST (fundraising radio host).  She says hosts wishing to considered for the next round of FROST, write to her at: doctordaliah@hotmail.com.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

| May 8, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, April 21, 2014

| April 21, 2014

2014 NYC logo 150Agenda Taking Shape for Talkers New York 2014.  The 17th annual installment of the talk radio and media industry’s largest and most important national convention – Talkers New York 2014 — is taking shape with most speakers and sessions already scheduled (for up-to-the-minute agenda, click here).  The one-day, power-packed conference will feature approximately 65 industry speakers participating in two keynote address, two special presentations, five panel discussions, an awards ceremony, the Talk Rumble, an exhibition, gala luncheon, and closing cocktail reception.  Talkers New York 2014 will be held on Friday, June 20 at the India House located at One Hanover Square in the cultural heart of New York City’s downtown Wall Street financial district.   The event – as usual — is expected to be an early sellout.  Registrations ($249 for all activities) are only open to professionals working in radio, communications and associated business and can only be obtained via telephone with credit card.  Please call 413-565-5413 to register or obtain a sponsorship.  Because New York City has so many hotels from which to choose, there is no “official” conference hotel – but several nearby recommended facilities include: Holiday Inn Express (click here), Hilton Millennium (click here), Marriott Downtown (click here) and Hilton Doubletree (click here).

cbsradio logoCBS RADIO to Move Washington Operations into DC.  According to a story in the Washington Business Journal, CBS RADIO has signed a lease for a 33,000 square foot second floor in a 10-story office building on Half Street SE and the stations will relocate from their current site in Lanham, Maryland.  In addition to the second floor, CBS will also lease about 3,000 square feet of space on the ground floor to serve as a performance space.  Washington DC Mayor Vincent Gray is expected to announce the deal at a press conference today that will include CBS RADIO president Dan Mason and senior vice president Steve Swenson.  CBS operates sports talk duo WJFK-FM and WJFK-AM, all-news WNEW-FM, hip hop WPGC, adult contemporary WIAD and Spanish WLZL.

relm networkRELM Network Offers Free Don Geronimo Podcasts.  Radio personality Don Geronimo began hosting a daily two-hour program on the RELM Network on April 1 after years working on CBS RADIO outlets – most recently KHTK, Sacramento and WJFK-FM, Washington.  Beginning today, RELM isgeronimodon offering a free, weekly “best of” Don Geronimo show podcast.  RELM says it will be 20 to 30 minutes in length and will contain highlights from recent episodes.  It will be available at relmnetwork.com, dongeronimopodcast.com and iTunes.  Geronimo’s show airs live from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm with a recorded version available shortly after each live show ends.  RELM is charging $9.99 per month to subscribe to the show ($26.99 per quarter or $99.99 for a year).   The cast of the show also includes co-host Drew Hoffar, their sidekick, Joe Ardinger, and features regular appearances by longtime pal and newsman Buzz Burbank.

tombarnardshowRoster Growing at Tom Barnard Network.  Twin Cities radio personality Tom Barnard is adding a number of new podcasts to Tom Barnard Network – the digital venture that operates independently of his KQRS, Minneapolis morning show.  According to the Pioneer Press, Barnard is distributing podcasts from Kailen Rosenberg, Rusty Gatenby and Tommy Mischke.  Rosenberg is a relationship expert and author who hosts the show “Lovetown, USA” on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network.  Her podcast is titled, “The Love Happy Hour,” which is produced with the assistance of Kelly Guest.  Gatenby is an entertainment reporter – formerly with KSTP-TV – who is producing a video podcast with fellow broadcaster Melinda Jacobs called “The Rusty Gatenby Review.”  Longtime Twin Cities radio show host Tommy Mischke debuts “The Mischke Roadshow” on May 12.  Mischke previously hosted shows on WCCO and KSTP-AM.  Barnard’s nephew Sean Barnard, who serves as general manager for the venture, tells the Pioneer Press, “We saw that there were a lot of talented people out there looking for an outlet, and it’s a very unique, fun and creative way to do things.”

cclogoAE Sues Clear Channel New Orleans.  Another sales staffer at Clear Channel’s New Orleans cluster is suing the company claiming management conspired to dismiss her in retaliation for testifying in the cases of other African American AEs suing the company.  Caucasian sales staffer Michelle Killian alleges in her suit that market manager Dick Lewis, sales manager Rob Hasson and director of sales Joshua Mednick attempted to create reasons to terminate Killian through assigning unattainable sales goals.  She also alleges the company began giving her smaller value sales leads in order to affect her income.  Further she alleges this came about after she testified in the cases of Prixie Montgomery and other black AEs suing the company for violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Killian states in her complaint that the atmosphere created at the cluster was such that black and white AEs only spoke to each other when business demanded it and that she was also targeted by management for interacting and socializing with African American co-workers.

siriusxmSiriusXM and NBC Agree to New ‘TODAY’ Show Channel.  In an agreement announced on today’s edition of the “TODAY” show on NBC TV, it was announced that the network and SiriusXM will produce the “TODAY” Show Radio channel that will carry audio from the morning television program live.  The channel will also air replays of the show.  SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein says, “Listeners will for the first time be able to take the ‘TODAY’ show with them on their busy morning routine and throughout the day during their daily drive.  TODAY’s unparalleled and timely content is another great example of working with an iconic brand to provide great programming to our millions of subscribers.”

Former WJBO, Baton Rouge Sportscaster Walter Hill Dies.  For years, Walter Hill teamed up with John Ferguson to call Louisiana State University football games on WJBO, Baton Rouge.  Hill died in Lafayette, Louisiana on Saturday (4/21) at age 86.  Hill later served as sports director at WBRZ-TV.  He retired from that station in 1986 after 25 years.

envisionnetworks newCool Job Opportunity.  Affiliate Sales Manager.  Sales Experience Required.  Base salary plus Uncapped commission.  The position is based in Cleveland, Ohio.  Envision Networks is looking for salesperson to join a growing company and a fun team.  The successful candidate will be responsible for aggressively growing and maintaining the number of affiliated radio stations in their regional territory.  We use salesforce.com for our CRM and marketing.  We use social media as a sales tool.  Additional responsibilities: maintain affiliate relationships and handle affiliate questions or concerns in a timely manner; attend regional trade shows and entertain clients; attend affiliate events and broadcast industry functions to learn, laugh and live the dream; work closely with the director of affiliate relations to develop and relay new sales/marketing programs, products and services; provide innovative customer service and sales; maintain and track territory sales initiatives.  Qualifications & Requirements: 1) Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of training and experience; 2) Previous broadcasting industry experience is a plus, but not required; 3) Strong computer/technical skills; must have knowledge and experience with CRM, Word, Excel, and Outlook; 4) Ability to work well independently and as part of a positive team; 5) Good oral and written communication skills. Attention to detail is critical; 6) Exceptional organizational and time management skills; 7) Ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously; 8) Ability to prioritize and meet deadlines.  Spanish language skills a plus.  Salesforce.com a plus.  Microsoft Office Suite Required.  Envision Networks (www.goenvisionnetworks.com) offers profit sharing as well as competitive benefits and compensation package plus organization funded 401k retirement plan in a fast-paced entrepreneurial environment.  Please send cover letter, resume and salary requirements in MS Word or ASCII text to Laura Orkin, Chief Operations Officer or e-mail LauraO@envisionradio.com, or via fax to 216-514-4699.  No phone calls PLEASE.

conwaysimonBBQConway Goes Live from BBQ Joint for Good Cause.  WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive personality Simon Conway took his talk show on the road on Good Friday to the local Jethro’s BBQ ‘n’ Pork Chop Grill in order to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Conway reports that the local eatery gave him a percentage of its take for the afternoon for the cause and it even named a drink after him called the Simon Shandy.  The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society got $2 from each drink sold!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

| April 3, 2014

wbzlogoWBZ, Boston and WBZ-TV Win Peabody Award for Marathon Bombing Coverage.  The CBS-owned television station and all-news radio outlet are being honored with a 2013 George Foster Peabody Award for overall excellence for their combined coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings.  The citation from the Peabody Awards states: “Out in force to cover the annual marathon, both WBZ-TV and Newsradio 1030 had a journalistic advantage when the bombs detonated.  Neither gave it up as their reporters spent hour after hour on the air providing wide-ranging, enterprising, non-sensational coverage of the casualties, the suspects and the intense, nerve-wracking manhunt.  They become crucial sources not just to their city but to a stunned nation.”  The awards will be delivered during the ceremony to take place in New York on May 19.

wabcWABC, New York Covers Final Four.  As the battle to claim the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship title continues this weekend, Cumulus Media news/talker WABC, New Yorkladennoam covers it from Dallas with Geraldo show regulars Noam Laden and Jared Max sitting in for Geraldo live from radio row on Friday and Monday from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET.  They will also maxjaredproduce a special wabcradio.com only broadcast slated for Saturday April 5 at 10:00 am ET.  WABC also partnered with WestwoodOne for a series of March Madness promotions including the Greatest Moments in Tournament History vignettes and an exclusive fly-away promotion to the Men’s National Championship game.  Program director Craig Schwalb says, “Working with WestwoodOne on these opportunities is a huge win for our listeners and clients.  Our audience is into the excitement, the personalities, and the stories surrounding the Final Four, and so is 77 WABC!”

cowhead‘102.5 The Bone’ Tampa Personality Cowhead to Drop Nickname; Seek Syndication Deal.  In a piece in the Tampa Bay Times, WHPT, Tampa afternoon drive personality Mike Calta – who goes by the nickname Cowhead on the radio – says he will give up the sobriquet and begin the next phase of his career using his real name as of April 14.  In fact, he’ll host an on-air funeral for the moniker.  He tells the paper, “When I started at the ‘Power Pig,’ everybody had those types of names.  I was Big Mike for a while but that didn’t really stick.  Then they asked me if I ever had any nicknames in high school and I remembered that a few people called me Cowhead and it sort of stuck.  The minute I said it I immediately regretted it…I think times change.  Even the ‘Power Pig’ changed its name.  As times change and you age, it just gets silly.”  Calta also tells the Times that his contract with Cox Media is up in June and he’s looking to have a syndication deal be part of negotiations.

radiocom logoCBS Revamps Radio.com.  Calling it part of the evolution of CBS Local Digital Media, the company announces the debut of the new Radio.com.  The company says in a statement, “Four years ago, we launched our new digital media business, rethinking the way CBS’s radio and television stations operate online and in the mobile space.  Since then, we have evolved into the largest digital business in local broadcast media.  There are few companies that have the radio, television, digital, out-of-home, and events platforms we do, and as a result we’re able to better leverage our local market properties with national scale.  As leaders in integrating digital and traditional media into experiences that resonate with consumers, we take our next step forward in that regard with the debut of the new Radio.com website and streaming player.cbslocalmedia  More than just live audio and video simulcasts of our stations, Radio.com presents original programming, live webcasts, exclusive editorial features and storytelling, and interviews with some of the biggest artists and personalities in the world.  Indeed, we have taken a different strategy than others in the industry by recognizing that this ‘other’ content has tremendous value to our audiences.  The popularity of our programs has demonstrated our thinking is correct.”  Highlights of the new Radio.com include: a fresh look and feel, with improved interactivity; ability to be embedded on other sites; improved ad insertion capabilities; better-quality playback and streaming; program schedules available in real-time; expanded social media opportunities; play history; artist and track information integration; simple song purchase; and enhanced station guide and navigation experience.  CBS promises updated mobile apps in the coming months.

theblazetv logoBeck’s TheBlaze TV Added to Cable ONE Menu.  It’s another cable company addition for Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze TV.  His 24/7 news, opinion and entertainment network channel is being added to Cable ONE.  A statement from TheBlaze says Cable ONE is America’s 11th largest cable operator.  This addition gives the TheBlaze TV “distribution on 54 television providers nationwide including seven of the top 30.”  Cable ONE serves customers in 42 markets in 19 states, including Biloxi/Gulfport, Boise, Phoenix/Prescott, and Sioux City, among others.  Cable ONE vice president of marketing Joe Falbab says, “We are very excited about adding TheBlaze to the Cable ONE lineup.  Our customers have requested this channel and we are happy to be able to respond to that request.  We are committed to listening to our customers and will continue to deliver to them the best possible programming.”

emmisEmmis Reports Q4 Revenue Up 11%.  Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications Corporation operates on a fiscal year calendar and its fiscal 2014 fourth quarter ended February 28, 2014.  The company reports that its Q4 revenue jumped to $32.4 million from $29.1 million a year prior.  If you cut out WEPN, New York (which is being operated by ESPN under an LMA), revenue was up 12% for the quarter.  For the full year fiscal 2014, net radio revenue hit the $145.4 million mark realizing an increase in net revenue of 5% over 2013.  In a press release this morning, the company reports “these results also outperformed Emmis’ local radio markets in which revenue growth improved 3% for the year.”  President and CEO Jeff Smulyan comments, “Fiscal 2014 marked the fourth consecutive year we have outperformed our local radio markets and the radio industry as a whole.  Our strong operating performance is the result of sound strategy and its execution by a phenomenal workforce that makes me so proud.  We are very excited about the addition of WBLS and WLIB in New York and the momentum behind NextRadio as we head into fiscal 2015.”

nab logoNAB Radio Board Election Results.  The results of the NAB Radio Board election are in and the members who will serve two-year terms beginning in June are: Pete Booker, president and CEO, Delmarva Broadcasting Company; Steven Cutler, EVP business development and corporate strategy, Clear Channel; Gary Exline, general manager, Eagle Communications, Inc.; Kim Guthrie, EVP, Cox Media Group; Erik Hellum, EVP, Townsquare Media; Deon Levingston, SVP/market manager, Emmis Communications; Margaret Perkins, president and CEO, First Natchez Radio Group; Mary Quass, president and CEO, NRG Media, LLC; Joe Schwartz, president and CEO, Cherry Creek Radio; Jose Valle, president, Univision Radio; Thomas Walker, president, Mid-West Family Broadcasting.

wint logoOdds & Sods.  The WPHT Speaker Series – produced by CBS RADIO news/talk WPHT, Philadelphia – continues this evening (4/3) as station personality Dom Giordano interviews Tea Party leader, former Florida Congressman and veteran Lt. Col. Allen West at Valley Forge Military Academy and College.  West is the author of the new book Guardian of the Republic…..Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP, Washington is sponsoring its “Click for a Cause” online contest that will give Washington, D.C. non-profits the chance to win cash and free commercial air time on WTOP.  There will be three grand prizes of $10,000 each with runners up winning $5,000 worth of commercials to advertise their cause on WTOP…..WELW, Willoughby, Ohio changes its calls and brand.  The Spirit Broadcasting-owned station is using the WINT calls and has branded the station “1330 WINTegrity Radio.”  Station president Ray Somich says the change comes ahead of a major expansion to take place this summer.  The station has served communities to the east of Cleveland for the past 50 years.

Deadly Fort Hood Shooting, ObamaCare Criticism, SCOTUS Campaign Donor Limits Ruling, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Race, Russian Aggression and House Benghazi Hearing Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/2).  The shooting at Fort Hood that claimed the lives of four and the preliminary investigation; scrutiny of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and criticism of the White House “victory” presser; the Supreme Court ruling killing limits on personal campaign donations; speculation about political power shifts after the mid-term elections and the possible candidates for president in 2016; worries over Russia’s plans for Ukraine and other former Soviet bloc nations and President Obama’s tactics versus Vladimir Putin; and the Congressional hearings on the Benghazi incident were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

| January 9, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 19, 2013

| December 19, 2013

lujacklarryFarewell: Legendary Larry Lujack.  Notwithstanding words such as “legendary” and “iconic” are grossly overused, Larry Lujack was nonetheless an unquestionable legendary, iconic Chicago personality.  The radio world lost a quintessential on-air talent Wednesday night when the 73-year-old “Super Jock” passed away at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Especially in the Midwest, countless air personalities hoping to advance to the biggest of the big timekinosianmike when AM radio was king would talk up vocals on audition tapes, liberally using signature slogans like “The Big 89,” “The Rock of Chicago,” and “Music Radio, W-L-S.”  Radio pro Mike Kinosian, who serves as managing editor and West Coast bureau chief for TALKERS and its sister publication RadioInfo, wrote a beautiful tribute to the life and career of Lujack.  Kinosian interviewed Lujack in 2003 and Kinosian shares some of Lujack’s thoughts about top 40 radio, the state of the industry at the time and, of course, his own career.  Read Kinosian’s story on RadioInfo here.

shapirobenBen Shapiro Named Afternoon Host at KTTH, Seattle.  Rising young talk radio personality Ben Shapiro joins Bonneville Seattle’s conservative news/talk station KTTH to host the afternoon drive program.  The New York Times best-selling author, Harvard Law School grad and talk media personality will continue his current position with Salem Communications co-hosting the morning drive show at KRLA, Los Angeles alongside Brian Whitman and Elisha Krauss in addition to his new position in Seattle.  Shapiro comments, “I couldn’t be more excited about joining the stellar lineup at AM 770 KTTH.  What I love most is the opportunity to enrich the public discourse.  It’s not often that hosts get that freedom.  Thanks to KTTH’s forward thinking approach, I’m overjoyed to have that opportunity.”  KTTH is now airing live programming in both morning and afternoon drive.  David Boze hosts the morning show.

macnowglenGlen Macnow Remains with WIP-FM, Philadelphia but Rob Ellis Is New PM Drive Co-Host.  As had been predicted by Philadelphia media watchers, including Kyle Scott of CrossingBroad.com, sports talk personality Glen Macnow will move off the afternoon drive show on WIP-FM “SportsRadio 94 WIP” where he’s been co-hosting with Anthony Gargano and remain with CBS Radio Philadelphia in a different capacity.  At the same time, the stationellisrob announces evening host Rob Ellis will join Gargano as co-host of the PM drive show.  Taking over Ellis’ evening show role is Josh Innes who comes to WIP-FM from the company’s KILT, Houston where he’s been hosting PM drive.  CBS Radio Philadelphia SVP and market manager Marc Rayfield announces that Macnow’s new responsibilities will include appearances on all-news KYW and news/talk WPHT while he continues to host his long-running Saturday program from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm WIP-FM with Pro Football Hall of Fame writer Ray Didinger.   Rayfield adds, “I’m pleased we have reached an agreement with Glen that supports his relationship with WIP, and also allows us to increase his presence within the CBS Radio Philly family of stations.  Being able to use his expertise across more of our platforms is a real win for our stations, the listeners and Philadelphia’s passionate sports fan base.”  Beginning in January 2014, Macnow will be heard on KYW’s afternoon broadcast of the “Reporter’s Roundup,” and, during football season, with Harry Donahue on the station’s top-rated morning show.  Additionally, he will be featured during Phillies pre- and post-game shows on WPHT, flagship broadcaster for the local team.

levinmarkCumulus Syndicated Star Mark Levin to be Featured on C-SPAN’s BookTV.  Perennial Heavy Hundred personality Mark Levin will be the featured guest author on C-SPAN‘s extremely popular and prestigious literary program “BookTV’s In Depth” on Sunday, January 5.  Not only is Levin a top-rated radio talker but he is an attorney and nationally recognized expert on Constitutional Law as well as a best-selling author.  The syndicated radio talk show host and former Reagan administration official will spend three hours taking viewers’ calls, Facebook comments,cspanbooktv emails and tweets on topics such as the role of the federal government, recent Supreme Court decisions and the upcoming 2014 elections, among others.  The president of the Landmark Legal Foundation, Levin is the author of five non-fiction books, including “Rescuing Sprite” “Liberty & Tyranny” and his 2013 release, “The Liberty Amendments.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison says, “Mark Levin is the quintessential example of a radio talk show host who is also a very successful author who actually sells a ton of books time after time.  Talk talent from all sides of the ideological spectrum can learn from his precise way of explaining complex issues from both historical and contemporary perspectives and putting forth his opinions in a compelling and credible manner.”  The live airing of Mark Levin will be Sunday, January 5, from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET on Book TV on C-SPAN2.  Archived on demand editions will be available after the airing at http://booktv.org/.

romanogeneGene Romano Takes on Talent Development Duties with Clear Channel.  There’s a sort of re-alignment going on within the executive ranks of Clear Channel Media + Entertainment’s programming department.  As National Programming Platforms EVP Darren Davis explains in a memo to company staff, some execs are getting more duties and Gene Romano is the latest to take on more.  Davis writes: “You’ve seen over the past several days we’ve been announcing some expanded duties for several of CCM+E’s senior programmers.  It’s all part of an overall strategy to closely link the E/SVPP Team with NPP — so that our local efforts and national efforts are totally in sync.  And today, I have another bit of great news to share.  EVPP Gene Romano will have expanded duties effective today.  In addition to the East Major Markets he oversees, Gene will also oversee Programming Talent Recruitment and Development for CCM+E.  CCM+E has attracted best-in-class programming talent over the past couple of years from a variety of companies and industries.  Gene will lead our efforts to accelerate our recruitment of the very best into our company.  Gene will also work with our E/SVPPs, Brand Managers and VPPs to identify the future stars already inside the company to mentor, grow and provide the tools and resources for their continued advancement with CCM+E.”

hannityseanClear Channel’s Denver News/Talkers Tweak Program Schedules; Hannity and Limbaugh to Air Live.  Program schedule adjustments at Clear Channel’s KOA and KHOW in Denver will take effect in January.  Some of the noteworthy moves are bringing Premiere Networks syndicated star Sean Hannity from an evening delayed broadcast to the live 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm shift on KHOW.  Tom Martino will air from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm and an hour is trimmed off Michael Brown’s afternoon show which will air from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Across the hall at KOA, the morning program with Steffan Tubbs and April Zesbaugh expands by an hour to 5:00 am to 10:00 am followed by live carriage of Rush Limbaugh from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.  Local personality Mike Rosen moves from late mornings to the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm shift.

kdkafmlogoOn-Air Lineup Modifications in Store for Pittsburgh’s “Fan.”  CBS Radio Pittsburgh sports outlet KDKA-FM “The Fan” afternoon drive talent Josh Miller will shift to 6:00 am – 10:00 am; Andrew Fillipponi will co-host 10:00 am – 2:00 pm; and Colin Dunlap will succeed Fillipponi at 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm.  Program director Ryan Maguire comments, “This is an exciting step forward in the evolution of ‘The Fan.’  We are eager to showcase this new lineup that highlights the incredible talents of Pittsburgh’s foremost sports experts.  Josh’s unique sense of humor and insight will set the tone for the remainder of the day.  Andrew is a solid, thought-provoking sports talk show host who has shown he can deliver an informative and opinion-driven program.  Colin has grown both as a talk show host and writer in the past year; his work has scored big with our audiences.”  Former Pittsburgh Steelers punter Josh Miller spent 12 seasons in the NFL.  He joined “The Fan” in 2010 as a talk show host and football analyst.  Fillipponi has been with “The Fan” since the station debuted nearly four years ago.  Onetime Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sports writer Dunlap began as a part-time “Fan” host in 2010.  Lineup changes on “The Fan” go into effect Monday, January 6.

kfsq logoPalm Springs’ KFUT Becomes “Fox Sports 1270.”  Yesterday at noon (12/18), MCC Radio transitioned Spanish oldies KFUT, Palm Springs, California to “Fox Sports 1270.”  The station’s lineup includes “Fox Sports Daybreak” with Andy Furman and Mike North (6:00 am – 9:00 am); “Jay Mohr Sports” (9:00 am – 12:00 noon); “Fox Sports Primetime” (12:00 noon – 4:00pm); “TMZ Sports” (4:00 pm – 5:00 pm); and “Petros and Money” (5:00 pm – 7:00 pm). “Fox Sports Radio programming originates in Southern California,” program director Mike Oakes points out.  “We are thrilled to bring it to the desert, serving Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley.  I am especially excited to launch two rising shows in the sports talk universe, ‘Jay Mohr Sports’ and ‘TMZ Sports.’  These are the cutting-edge of the sports talk genre.” Associated with the format flip, the station has changed calls from KFUT to KFSQ.

kdkaNews Staff at KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh Affected by Cuts.  Details aren’t complete but TALKERS hears that lead reporter and morning drive news anchor Adam Kirk has exited CBS Radio’s news/talk KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh as part of the budget-related cuts taking place at the company’s stations across the country.  There are reports that Kirk is not the only news staffer to be let go and that the station is adjusting its news presentation and will eliminate local news in the late night and overnight hours.

wbez logoWBEZ, Chicago Staffers Vote to Join SAG-AFTRA.  The 49 staffers who produce content for Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ, Chicago and its digital properties will be represented by SAG-AFTRA following the staff’s 40-7 vote in favor of the change.  WBEZ criminal and legal affairs reporter Rob Wildeboer says in a statement, “Chicago Public Media is a valuable resource to all Chicagoans.  The staff of CPM cares deeply about this organization and its mission.  Public radio is more than a job.  Staff at CPM are deeply committed to the station and we love our work.  We have great leaders and a committed board and we believe organizing as staff members is an important step to achieving the goals we all share here: producing excellent journalism that serves the public and making this important local institution even stronger than it is today.”

savagemichaelOdds & Sods.  Cumulus Media Networks announces the number of stations carrying the Michael Savage show when it moves to PM drive in Eastern Time and debuts on Cumulus news/talk outlets in the New Year will be more than 200.  Savage says of the move, “This is the culmination of two decades in talk radio.  I was born for drive time where my pace matches that of America.  Everyone dreams of being on the Cumulus powerhouse signals. This is my dream come true.”…..PodcastOne earns props from the iTunes editorial team as two podcasts it makes available are named tops. pattiznorm The “Adam & Dr. Drew Show” is named best new audio podcast of 2013 while the Steve Austin show was selected as the top pick in the sports/recent debuts category.  PodcastOne chairman Norm Pattiz says, “We thank the editorial team at iTunes for selecting these programs.  We will proudly display the ‘iTunes Best of 2013’ badge prominently when presenting and promoting these programs.  Our lineup of the best-of-the-best in podcasting is validated with recognition like this.”…..Motley Fool’s Chris Hill also wins accolades from the iTunes editorial team as his “Investor Beat” podcast has been included among the iTunes Best of 2013.

hdradio logoRadio Companies Get Extension in HD Radio Patent Infringement Case.  As tipped by Radio World, the major radio companies who are being targeted by Delaware Radio Technologies and affiliated company Wyncomm LLC have won an extension for filing replies to the allegations leveled at them in connection with their HD radio transmissions.  They now have until February 24, 2014.  Industry watchers call Wyncomm a patent troll, nonetheless it is seeking damages via a jury trial for what it says are infringements of the patents it holds with regard to voice and data transmission over in-band, on-channel digital broadcasts.  The radio companies being sued include: Beasley Broadcast Group, CBS Radio, CC Media Holdings, Cox Media Group, Cumulus Media, Entercom, Entravision, Greater Media, Hubbard Radio, Radio Disney, Radio One, Saga Communications, Townsquare Media and Univision.

gamblingdinnerA Farewell Party for John Gambling.  As John Gambling prepares to wrap his legendary New York City radio career with his final show on Clear Channel’s WOR tomorrow (12/20), Gambling and former co-workers gathered at a New York eatery to congratulate him on his colorful career.  Gambling is pictured here (second from right) between former news anchor Babita Hariani (right) and former producer Jill Vitale (third from right).  Also in attendance were former WABC colleagues Curtis Sliwa and Ron Kuby, former engineer Frank D’Elia, former call screener Andre Lelong, former intern and current WABC staffer Mike Gunzelman, and WNYM producer and talk host Frank Morano.

carrjagcontest‘Win Howie’s Jag’ Contest Wraps with Live Broadcast.  The holiday contest taking place at Entercom’s WRKO, Boston entered the finalist stage on Wednesday as afternoon drive talk host Howie Carr (right) broadcast live from The Fairways at Woburn Country Club as part of Happy Howie Days.  During the show, Carr and WRKO gave 20 pre-determined qualifiers the chance to “Win Howie’s Jaguar!”  Each of the 20 qualifiers received a $50 gift card to The Green’s Grill and Pub at Woburn Country Club and a gift package, courtesy of Perfect Smiles of Nashua, New Hampshire.  Finalist, John Treggiari of Salem (left), unfortunately was not able to drive off in the 2013 Jaguar XF, courtesy of Jaguar Exeter.  However, he did win a two-night stay at The Old Harbor Inn in Chatham, located on Cape Cod.

Indian Diplomat Incident, ObamaCare Criticism, NSA Spying Program, Rodman Visits N. Korea, Budget Deal, ‘Duck Dynasty’ Patriarch on Hiatus over Gay Comments, and Limbaugh-Pope Francis Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/18).  Tensions between the U.S. and India over the arrest and treatment of an Indian diplomat in New York; criticism of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act; scrutiny of the NSA’s spying policies; former NBA star Dennis Rodman’s return visit to N. Korea; the recently passed congressional budget deal; A&E puts “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson on hiatus after gay criticisms in GQ article; and the continuing flap over Rush Limbaugh’s calling Pope Francis a Marxist were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

| December 18, 2013

sanchezrickRick Sanchez Joins WIOD, Miami in New Lineup.  Clear Channel Media + Entertainment news/talk WIOD, Miami announces a new program lineup that includes cable news/talk veteran Rick Sanchez in the latewiod logo morning slot.  Program director Grace Blazer says on the station’s website, “Our new lineup reflects 610 WIOD’S strengthening commitment to high-quality local news, accurate weather, important traffic conditions, and the perfect balance of highly talented local and national personalities.  The result will be a topical, informative and entertaining listener experience for the residents and businesses of South Florida.”  The lineup includes “South Florida’s First News with Jimmy Cefalo” in morning drive, Sanchez from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon followed by Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck.  The new program schedule takes effect on January 6.

grzanichsteveCuts at CBS Chicago Leave Anchor/Reporter Steve Grzanich Out.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder has been writing about budget-related cuts at the CBS Radio cluster in Chicago for several days and now we know more about who’s been affected.  At all-news WBBM-AM, anchor/reporter Steve Grzanich exits after 20 years with thewbbmlogo station.  ChicagoRadioandMedia.com tips us that Grzanich posted the following message on his Facebook page: “Dear Friends: I have breaking news…about me!  After 20 years, I am signing off at WBBM Newsradio to explore other opportunities.  I am hungry for a new challenge and must embark on the journey to find it starting now.  But don’t go away!  I’ll still be here in Chicago and on Facebook with news, weather and other stuff…just not on the 8s.  Thank you for listening!  Stay tuned for news about my next chapter.”  The cluster also saw the release of longtime production/imaging staffer Michael Horn who worked for sister CHR WBBM-FM “B96.”  Horn has been working with Killer Hertz since May of 2012 and ChicagoRadioandMedia.com reports he will continue to do freelance imaging work while he looks for his next opportunity.  Feder reports that a number of sales staffers have been let go from the cluster.

cbsradio logoOther CBS Radio Cuts Hit Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Atlanta.  According to sources in Southern California, there have been four layoffs at CBS stations there including KTRH news anchor Bob Malik and KNX traffic reporter Tommy Jaxson.  The two others are believed to be front office staffers.  In Pittsburgh, changes come to sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” as Vinnie Richichi exits the Vinnie & Cook midday program and Paul Alexander leaves the morning drive show.  The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Bob Smizik reports that Richichi and Ron Cook never got along, it was obvious on the air and that led to Richichi’s departure, plus morning host Gregg Giannotti was not happy working with Alexander.  Finally, in Atlanta Kendra G. and Christopher “Crash” Clark exit the Ryan Cameron morning show at urban contemporary WVEE “V103.”

foxsportsradio logoLineup Changes at Fox Sports Radio Network in the New Year.  The national lineup from Fox Sports Radio Network will look a little different come January 5, 2014.  Gone from the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET slot will be Pat O’Brien and Steve Hartman from “Fox Sports Primetime” with replacement(s) to be announced later.  J.T. the Brick moves from the overnight slot to the 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET slot accompanied by sidekick Tomm Looney, displacing the current Petros & Money show.  Petros Papadakis and Matt “Money” Smith will continue to be heard on Clear Channel’s KLAC, Los Angeles.  Rob Dibble and Amy Van Dyken leave “Fox Sports Tonight” and the NFL Network’s and Fox Sports Network’s Jason Smith takes over that show airing from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am ET while Fox Sports Radio weekend personality Ben Maller becomes the 2:00 am to 6:00 am host.

dyerjohnCox Enterprises Promotes Dyer to President/CEO.  Current chief operating officer John Dyer will be elevated to Cox Enterprises president/chief executive officer when he officially succeeds retiring CEO Jimmy Hayes on Wednesday, January 1.  Cox Enterprises is the parent company of Cox Media Group. According to Cox Enterprises chairman Jim Kennedy, “In the 36 years John has worked at Cox, he has always done a terrific job and always risen to meet every new challenge he was presented.  He has been an incredible chief operating officer and he understands all our businesses.  He is committed to our employees and our customers.  I am excited to work with [him] as he leads our company in an exciting future.”  Dyer comments, “Cox is a company that values its employees, delivers superior products and services to its customers, and strives to be a responsible and sustainable corporate partner in the communities in which we operate.  I am excited about the ways we will continue to grow our existing businesses and invest in future opportunities.”  In addition to Cox Media Group, Dyer will be responsible for Cox Communications, Manheim, and AutoTrader Group, as well as corporate functions including financial operations, human resources and administration.

murraybobBob Murray Takes Leave from WTAX, Springfield to Battle Brain Tumor.  “Morning Newswatch” host Bob Murray tells listeners in an open letter that he is taking time from the Saga Communications news/talk outlet to focus on “getting better and being with loved ones.”  Murray writes: “As you have probably heard, I have decided to elect for an extended medical leave of absence from my post as the host of the ‘WTAX Morning Newswatch’ due to newly discovered health concerns.  Many people have enquired (sic) into what is going on, and I thought it would be best you hear it from me.  I have been diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer and will be taking this leave from work as an opportunity to focus my time on getting better and being with family and loved ones.  While this is far from an ideal situation, we are remaining positive and focusing on staying strong.  In the days following the announcement, it has been so incredibly humbling to feel the outpour of prayers and support from all directions, and I am pretty positive I will never be able to properly express how much that means to my family and me.  I also want to thank the WTAX family and central Illinois area for their many years of loyal listenership.  It has truly been an honor to start each day with you, tackling the issues that matter to us.  I hope to be back in the capital soon, focusing on what I love, delivering the news, sports, entertainment and important local happenings to you.”

jaybradley‘Jay Talking’ Permanent Overnight Show on WBZ-AM, Boston.  Bradley Jay’s “Jay Talking” program is now the official overnight program on CBS Radio’s news and talk WBZ-AM, Boston.  Jay has been working in the news and talk realm for some time (he also serves as the executive producer for “Nightside with Dan Rea”) but he got his start in music radio and worked at the legendary rock outlet WBCN.  In fact, he hosted the last show at “The Rock of Boston” before a frequency swap and format change ended the station’s run.

daviscrashNRG, Omaha Names Davis KOOO Brand Manager.  In addition to being appointed brand manager of NRG Media, Omaha adult hits KOOO “Big O 101.9,” talk host Crash Davis takes on marketing director duties for that Nebraska market’s entire NRG cluster.  Operations manager Jeff Lynn comments, “Crash has been an integral part of our team for the past year.  He is very versatile and has a keen sense of what the Omaha listener wants and loves about ‘Big O.’  He brings many of the talents and skill sets we need to propel ‘Big O’ to new heights in the ratings and to drive results for our advertisers.”  Davis remarks, “I am delighted to have a more prominent role on a station I have watched evolve over the past several years.  I have great respect for [morning talent] Dave Wingert and the rest of the on-air team.  Our great variety of music and the content we talk about resonates with listeners.  I will do my part to enhance our reputation with the listeners and advertisers.”  Davis has been in Omaha radio the past 15 years, including as a host on NRG talk outlet KOIL “The Mighty 1290” and as the afternoon drive talent on cross-town Clear Channel-owned talk station KFAB.

wrightfrankdrSalem Selects Dr. Frank Wright As President/COO.  Eleven-year National Religious Broadcasters president/chief executive officer Dr. Frank Wright will join Salem Communications Corporation on Wednesday, January 1 as president/chief operating officer.  Dr. Wright will report directly to Salem chief executive officer and director Edward Atsinger.  “Frank has more than 20 years of experience working in – and with – broadcast media organizations,” Atsinger comments.  “He has also developed a robust network among DC-based public policy organizations, as well as DC-based political organizations.  Frank is an effective leader and team-builder with a strong entrepreneurial background, and he has extensive executive experience in strategic planning and organizational structure.  I expect him to hit the ground running and work closely with me in executing our business strategies.”  Before joining the NRB, Dr. Wright spent seven years as executive director of the Center for Christian Statesmanship; he has a doctorate in finance.

eaglepub logoWill Salem Purchase Eagle Publishing on January 15?  The story that Politico reported late last week is a done deal, according to BuzzFeed which states staffers at Eagle Publishing have been told the sale will take place on January 15.  According to the BuzzFeed piece, Salem Communications will add to its conservative print and digital assets with the acquisition and that as many as 90% of staffers will remain with the Eagle division; it’s the upper management positions that will be eliminated due to redundancy.  Eagle operates RedState.com, Human Events and Regnery Publishing.  Salem recently acquired Twitchy.com from conservative pundit, columnist and author Michelle Malkin.

hannityrcmhstudioSean’s New Digs!  Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk star Sean Hannity (right) is pictured here with pundit and author Ann Coulter (center) and fellow Premiere star Glenn Beck (left) at Hannity’s new Premiere Networks studios at Radio City Music Hall in New York.  Hannity leaves his longtime home base at WABC, New York at the end of the year and his program will emanate from flagship WOR, New York beginning in January.

Budget Deal, NSA Data Mining Ruling, ObamaCare Criticism, Mega Millions Jackpot, and Limbaugh-Pope Francis Marxism Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/17).  The battle in the U.S. Senate over the details of the Congressional budget deal; the aftermath of a judge’s ruling the NSA data mining program “probably unconstitutional”; scrutiny of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act; the $636 million Mega Millions jackpot; and the continuing flap over Rush Limbaugh’s comments about Pope Francis’ “Marxist” economic philosophy were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, November 18, 2013

| November 18, 2013

milhaventornadocoverageTornado Damage Reported Via Multi-Media on McGraw Milhaven Show.  The series of tornadoes that swept across the Midwest on Sunday left serious damage in New Minden, Illinois – about an hour East of St. Louis.  The photo you see here is from the video component of KTRS, St. Louis morning host McGraw Milhaven’s online platform.  Since the spring, Milhaven has been partnering with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s StlToday.com site to present his program in a video format.  Today, he used that medium to his advantage as reporter Michael Golde was able to report back to the studio via Skype and show viewers scenes from the storm-damaged town and converse with Milhaven and news anchor Kelly Jackson.  In posting the video on YouTube, Milhaven comments, “KTRS Radio in St Louis is the only radio station in the country to show live video of storm-damaged areas of Ill. to listeners on laptops, desktops and smartphones as well as the radio.”

wrcnlogoJVC Media to Flip Rock WRCN, Long Island to News/Talk After Christmas.  Longtime rocker WRCN, Riverhead, New York has stopped playing “everything that rocks” and has gone Christmas music through the holidays.  But after Christmas, the station will emerge as a news/talk outlet dubbed “LI News Radio 103.9.”  JVC Media president and CEO John Caracciolo explains the company’s thinking in a statement: “WRCN has a long history and heritage on Long Island – many of us have grown up with the station and it has become an intricate part of our lives.  But as our lives change so does our soundtrack.  What we listened to growing up is not necessarily what we listen to now and what was important to us as teenagers maybe doesn’t seem so important anymore.  That’s why we made the decision to change WRCN and develop and program a radio station that fits the needs of Long Island…Long Islanders are starving for local news and information.  Why should we have to wait 22 minutes to hear about the world when all we really want is Islip to Southampton?  What’s the traffic like on the 347 merge or Sunrise Highway in Oakdale?  This station will not only serve as your information source but it will be your sounding board for issues that influence your life, your community and your business.”  Talent that has been announced to be part of the new format includes Premiere Networks nationally syndicated star Sean Hannity and Cumulus Media Networks personality Mark Levin as well as local hosts Ernie Fasio, Vic Fusco, John Gomez, Kevin Law, Steve Levy, Frank McKay, and Jay Oliver.

thomaslindaLinda Thomas to Exit KIRO-FM, Seattle.  Morning news anchor and reporter Linda Thomas announces she will be leaving Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle at the end of the year for a new opportunity that, as she says, “doesn’t involve being at work by 2:00 am.”  In a blog post at the company’s Mynorthwest.com, she writes, “My Bonneville Seattle bosses understand and support my decision too, even though they don’t want me to leave.  That’s what family members do.  I’ll always be grateful for them, and for you.”  Thomas first worked at KIRO in 1988 as an overnight editor and became morning drive anchor in 1993.  She left the station to work as a freelancer but returned to KIRO-FM as morning anchor in 2010.  She adds, “KIRO’s news, talk and online teams are the best in the business.  It’s been an honor to work alongside amazing talent.  I’ve learned a lot from all my co-workers.  They encourage me, challenge me, and make me laugh on a daily basis. I really do love them.”

wrightmichelleMichelle Wright Let Go from All-News WYAY, Atlanta.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho tips us that morning drive co-anchor Michelle Wright has been let go from Cumulus Media’s all-news WYAY, Atlanta “All-News 106.7.”  Andy Rose remains in AM drive solo.  The speculation is that the recent hiring of Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson to host a talk show in middays and the acquisition of Atlanta Braves baseball required some cuts in other areas of the station and Wright was the unfortunate victim.  She was one of the original staffers when Cumulus decided to turn WYAY into an all-news station in May of 2012.  She had previously worked at Atlanta-based CNN Radio before joining Cumulus.

pittmanbobCEOs Make the Grade.  Clear Channel’s Bob Pittman and EmmisJeff Smulyan were both the subjects of feature stories in newspapers over the weekend – Pittman in The New York Times and Smulyan in thesmulyanjeff Indianapolis Star.  In a Q&A titled, the Value of Dissent, Pittman says he encouraged dissenters in his organization because they serve a valuable purpose.  “I want us to listen to these dissenters because they may intend to tell you why we can’t do something, but if you listen hard, what they’re really telling you is what you must do to get something done.  It gets you out of your framework of the conventions of what you can and can’t do.”  Read that piece here.  Jeff Smulyan tells the Star in his Q&A that the best piece of advice he’s received has to do with employer-employee relationships, “Attract the best people, treat them well, and let them do their job.  If you want people to go through walls for you, you have to go through more walls for them.”  Read that story here.

millerchrisThe View of Radio from the Digital World’s Perspective.  Noted radio digital consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller writes, “Those of us in digital media know that our world will continue to change drastically, over and over again.  We also know that we will be bigger and better three years…five years…10 years from now.  Plus, we hear how radio compares itself to online listening choices, and we see how you use your digital platforms.  And here’s what we think.”  In a new column posted today (11/18) Miller goes on to state that digital-only people still have “transmitter envy” and that even though more and more people and media are moving online, the stick is still a formidable asset.  Regardless, he points out that many digital-only professionals think that over-the-air radio companies are “crazy” for cutting talent, still selling 60-second commercials, and not being cognizant of just how much entertainment is changing.  He clearly explains what digital pros see as radio’s “dangerous assumption.”  He observes, “I look at a lot of different radio social media, websites, database emails and texting programs, and it’s clear you’re making some dangerous assumptions.  Digital content doesn’t work like you think it should.  It doesn’t work like you wish it did.  It works like it works.  We see you on Facebook and Twitter talking about almost anything…except what people really love about you.  Your websites are a mish-mosh of broad-based content, but if you look at your web stats, there are fewer than half-a-dozen features at your site that, combined, get the lion’s share of your page views.  There is nothing special or exclusive about the emails you send your listeners, and your open rates prove it.  Radio people know a lot about how people use radio.  Meanwhile, you are using all these other media as if knowing how they work doesn’t matter.  One key thing we’re doing to drive our online success is to track everything we can to see what really makes a difference.  We don’t have the luxury of having opinions about what should work.  Either the clicks are there, or they aren’t.  What we do either works, or it doesn’t.  If it doesn’t, you dig in, diagnose the problem, and adjust.”  To read Chris Miller’s entire column, please click here.

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

herskovitzalIt’s Pop-Up Time.  No, not the kind of pop-up we associate with websites – pop-up ads – but those retail stores that “pop up” in vacant storefronts during the holiday shopping season.  Sales maven and H&H Communications president Al Herskovitz writes about getting these seasonal businesses advertising on your station this year.  He notes that many of these retailers are big name brands that choose to expand their physical space during this time of year and they include Vera Bradley, Louis Vuitton and the National Football League.  Read Al Herskovitz’s entire column here.

abcnewskennedyABC News Radio Offers Kennedy Assassination Programming.  As the nation marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, ABC News Radio is offering a two-hour special broadcast, “Three Shots Rang Out: An ABC News Special – The JFK Assassination 50 Years Later,” anchored by ABC News’ Diane Sawyer.  It’s an audio-only program that will be heard by ABC News Radio affiliates.  In addition, a special expanded show will be available via download at Audible.com as part of a new digital audio relationship between ABC News Radio and Audible.  The Audible.com version of this program will include an additional 40 minutes of historical audio available exclusively to Audible listeners.

ruthronRon Ruth Passes.  Former 19-year Radio Advertising Bureau executive vice president of stations Ron Ruth died early Saturday (11/16) in Florida of a heart attack.  The 75-year-old Ruth had been struggling with health issues the past two months.  CBS Radio president and chief executive officer Dan Mason was among those quickly noting their sympathies regarding Ruth’s passing. “I just spoke with him at the Radio Show this past September in Orlando,” Mason writes on Facebook. “He was so up and happy – I am sad tonight.”  Also on that social media platform, Tom Birch notes, “Ron lived life to its fullest and was a joy and inspiration to everyone who had the opportunity to know him.  Ron was the midwife to Birch Research.  He opened doors for me, encouraged me and guided me.  I am deeply honored to have worked for Ron at WQAM, Miami in the 1970s, and to have remained friends with him for the next three decades.” According to former RKO General eastern vice president Perry Ury, “Ron Ruth was a friend and our house skeptic at RKO.”  Former Tele Media Broadcasting vice president and chief operating officer Ira Rosenblatt adds, “We’ve lost a friend and true broadcaster.”  Doing afternoon drive in Boston early in his radio career, Ruth roomed with two other on-air talents who went on to stardom – George Carlin and Jack Burns of Burns & (Avery) Schreiber.  He held sales manager positions for Unistar Radio Networks, as well as at the local level in markets such as New York (WOR-FM), Chicago (WNUS), Washington, DC (WGMS), and Buffalo (WYSL).  Ruth left Unistar to join the RAB in 1992.  Most recently, he was consulting the Radio Advertising Bureau.