Tag: "Alpha Media"

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

| September 9, 2014

nagleraward14Radio Television Digital News Association Honors Nagler. This past Friday night (9/5) in Nashville, CBS Radio News vice president Harvey Nagler received the Radio Television Digital News Association‘s John F. Hogan Distinguished Service Award.  The honor recognizes an individual’s contributions to the journalism profession and freedom of the press. During his acceptance speech, Nagler stated, “Schools must be incubators for innovation in a field that desperately needs it.”  Many years ago, those in radio, television, and print, Nagler remarks, were “the messengers,” who decided what Americans would know.  “Today it is the reverse,” he opines.  “Everyone can publish – everyone can, at least, perceive themselves as journalists.  Content is ubiquitous.  It is often hard to discern the big picture from individual snapshots of information that flood our devices.  To place context on stories, many still seek out journalistic entities with traditional values.  In the end, it proves we still need to be able to turn to journalists and news organizations we can trust.”  Believing that the public’s “appetite for news has never been greater,” Nagler emphasizes, “It is our job, our responsibility, our mission to maintain that trust as we broaden our roles on new platforms, while continuing to serve our audiences on our traditional platforms.”  Prior to becoming vice president of CBS Radio News nearly 17 years ago, Nagler is credited with establishing the phrase, “traffic and weather together on the eights” when he was director of news programming for CBS Radio New York’s WCBS-AM.

neerrichardA Case for Accurate Headlines.  A story published today in TALKERS magazine by WFAN, New York sports talk host Richard Neer underscores the position talk hosts often find themselves in today when taking on a delicate – and complicated – issue.  Neer accurately points out that in today’s media culture, where all content must be immediate, fresh and provocative, there is little time for anything that isn’t black and white or that involves any depth.  Neer writes that for the talk host, “There is no tolerance for asking questions that have no easy answers.  Certain stories are reported from only one angle.  Anyone who carefully parses a statement that the press declares politically incorrect is defined as supporting the dark side.  Forget nuance, once you are attacked by the consensus bullies, you can only surrender and apologize, lest you lose your livelihood.”  He points to one of the culprits in this matter: the news headline.  Neer says so many headlines are misleading and are written purposely that way to tantalize to get people to read the story.  But often times, upon closer inspection, it becomes clear the headline is misleading or even the exact opposite of what the text of the story shows.  Still, what readers (assuming people actually go on to read the story) often come away with is a “glib conclusion based on the headline.”  Read his entire piece here.

joycebrianBrian Joyce Show Gets Permanent Billing on WGOW, Chattanooga.  Mid-afternoon talk show host Brian Joyce tells TALKERS magazine that the 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm time slot on Cumulus Media’s WGOW, Chattanooga “Talk Radio 102.3” is now officially called the Brian Joyce show.  Since he took over wgow logothe slot in April of 2012, the daypart had been called “Live & Local.”  Joyce also reports that since he began hosting his show, that daypart has gone from 10th in the market among Men 25-54, and 15th in the market among Persons 25-54, to among the top three in both demos, making it the first time in station history that this has been accomplished.

wgwg logoTribune Sports Talker WGWG-LP, Chicago Announces Changes.  A couple of changes to report at the sports talk outlet WGN Radio programs on low-power FM WGWG, branded “The Game 87.7 FM.”  In conjunction with Tribune Media, the station announces Chicago Bears’ cornerback Tim Jennings and safety Ryan Mundy will join as on-air contributors appearing on segments during the “Kap & Haugh” and the “Jarrett, Harry & Spike” shows, as well as Jennings co-hosting the weekly hour-long program, “The Jennings & Jarrett Show,” with The Game’s Jarrett Payton.  Jennings and Mundy will also provide updates on WGN-TV during the morning and evening news.  At the same time, as Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports, Howard Griffith goes to part time with his duties at the station, due to his workload at the Big Ten Network.  Griffith had been sharing equal billing with Alex Quigley and Ben Finfer on the station’s afternoon drive program.

clipinteractiveClip Interactive Announces Revenue Successes in Portland and Indy Markets.  Saying that it measures its success based on the new advertising dollars that its interactive radio apps bring to its station partners, Clip Interactive announces its apps developed for Alpha Media and Salem Broadcasting in Portland and Cumulus Radio in Indianapolis have generated more than $1 million in new revenue to date in 2014.  Further, the company says Clip Radio-powered stations are producing $100,000 of new revenue within 30-45 days of launch and Clip says this shows not only that radio advertising works, but also proves that an innovative and revenue-generating mobile solution is now available and radio advertisers embrace it.  Moreover, Clip says this net new revenue is coming from multiple sources including advertisers who are completely new to radio and returning advertisers who previously left radio for digital media.  Alpha Media’s president and CEO Bob Proffitt comments, “We are now able to attract advertisers that had previously abandoned the medium for alternative digital solutions.  Through the Clip Radio-powered apps, we are able to build a stronger relationship with both our listeners and our advertisers, providing both groups with compelling content that they cannot find anywhere else. We are eager to expand our interactive radio capabilities to our other Alpha Media markets.”

TALKERS Affiliate Roundup.  KNEI-FM, Cedar Rapids adds Envision Networks-distributed VirtualNWS Weather Reports featuring meteorologist Laura Huckabee…..The Sun Broadcast Group-syndicated Marilu Henner show joins the programming at KUSH-AM, Cushing, Oklahoma and KJFF, Festus, Missouri.

Obama ‘Theater of Being President’ Comment, Obama Drops Immigration Changes, Ray Rice Cut and Suspended by NFL, U.S. ISIS Strategy-Wednesday Press Conference, Global Warming Controversy, Midwestern Child Respiratory Virus Mystery, Bruce Levenson Scandal, and Joan Rivers Funeral Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/8).  Criticism of President Obama’s comment on “Meet the Press” that the “theater of being president” doesn’t come naturally to him; Obama’s decision to not pursue immigration law changes via executive order before the mid-term elections; the Baltimore Ravens cut Ray Rice and the NFL suspends him indefinitely after the full video of him punching out his wife in an elevator is revealed; Wednesday’s scheduled press conference during which President Obama will address the US’s ISIS strategy; increased scrutiny of the global warming theory; the mystery of a respiratory virus affecting thousands of Midwestern children; Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson’s admission of a racist email forces sale of team; and the weekend funeral of comedienne Joan Rivers were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

| September 3, 2014

businessrockstars logo‘Business Rockstars’ Aligns with Radio America.  Talk radio network Radio America is entering into a relationship with Business Rockstars.  A statement from the companies announces that Radio America will broadcast “Business Rockstars,” hosted by Ken Rutkowski, which airs live from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET Monday through Friday.  “Radio America will add the broadcast to their lineup in a multitude of new markets around the nation.  Additionally the show can be seen from the live video stream, andradioamerica heard through the show’s website businessrockstars.com.  Business Rockstars co-founder Steve Lehman states, “We are very excited about this alignment with Radio America.  Mike Paradiso, COO of Radio America, is a smart guy.  He and his team will play an important strategic role in the growth of our terrestrial platform from both a sales and affiliation standpoint.  Entrepreneurs are the new rock stars.  Our show provides the strongest elements from a “Shark Tank”-like environment, combined with big name CEOs, entrepreneurs and start-ups.  We deliver real solutions to starting, growing and funding a business, while sharing stories that inspire and motivate listeners, from billion dollar start-ups, to business train wrecks, and our host Ken Rutkowski is brilliant.”  Paradiso adds, “Business Rockstars has done a great job of thinking outside the box, producing a show that is engaging, entertaining and interesting not only to aspiring entrepreneurs but to anyone interested in what makes successful people tick.  I also love the aggressive social media and digital aspects of the show that engage younger listeners and provide affiliates with a great resource for integration into their digital media sales efforts.”

brady billSolutions to AM’s Problems.  Radio pro Bill Brady weighs in today with thoughts about what AM radio’s problems – and consequently, the solutions – are.  In this piece, Brady – president and CEO of Futures & Options, Inc. – writes that network and syndicated programming vendors must play an important role in a new model to give AM stations the chance to succeed.  Ever the realist, Brady notes that while “live and local” is a great mantra, it’s simply an unaffordable option for AM signals that are in medium and small markets and/or have been languishing for years.  Brady also suggests a new model for network-station partnerships that could benefit both.  Read his entire column here.

sabowalterFive Steps to Effective Hiring.  Over the course of his storied career, media consultant Walter Sabo has been responsible for hiring and/or recommending more than 1,000 people for companies ranging from ABC to SiriusXM to smaller firms such as Press Communications.  During that time, he’s learned how to best go about the hiring process and he offers five steps to bringing the best people into a company.  Read his column here.

nielsen logoRound One of August PPM Data Released.  The first of four rounds of August 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The survey period was July 17 through August 13.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

bubbaBubba the Love Sponge to West Palm Beach?  That’s the rumor being reported by GossipExtra columnist Jose Lambiet.  In his piece, Lambiet reports sources tell him New York-based JVC Media plans to create a rock station in the market, perhaps on WBGF, Belle Glade (40 miles inland from West Palm) or on one of the two translators it is buying – either W295BJ at 106.9 licensed to Jupiter or W240CI at 95.9 and licensed to North Palm Beach.  Lambiet also says the company has plans to create a new sports talk station built around CBS Sports Radio Network’s Jim Rome.  In the spring, JVC announced plans to purchase the translators and WSVU-AM, North Palm Beach from North Palm Beach Broadcasting for $850,000 and WBGF and sister station WSWN, Belle Glade from BGI Broadcasting for $555,000.

glasgowlindiGlasgow Appointed Alpha Media’s Corporate VP/NBD. Former Entercom San Francisco director of sales Lindi Glasgow joins Alpha Media as corporate vice president of new business development.  Alpha Media chairman Larry Wilson is “delighted” about the appointment.  “It goes hand in hand with our ‘live and local’ philosophy – concentrating on building relationships with our advertisers versus negotiation tactics,” he comments.  “Her stellar career and personal accomplishments make her the ideal candidate for the task.  Her creative thinking will be a huge addition to our sales strategy.”  President and chief executive officer Bob Proffitt notes that, “From the day I met Lindi as a rookie seller in Albuquerque 20 years ago, I was absolutely convinced she was destined for greatness.  She did not disappoint.  She has had a stellar career with amazing results.  I am delighted that she will help marry our ‘live and local’ philosophy in our 12 markets with new business development.  We are into relationships – much less into negotiation.  She has the skills, and our local markets have the content and audience to garner great results for our local advertisers; that is what I am most excited about.”  Glasgow remarks that she is “thrilled to join Alpha Media.”  She is returning to her “original radio roots that began with Larry and Bob, both of whom, I have enormous respect for.  I am passionate about the radio industry, how it engages with local communities and can play an essential part of growing local businesses.  I look forward to working with our local markets and am more than anxious to get started.”  Prior to working for Entercom San Francisco, Glasgow was corporate regional director of sales & marketing for Entercom Washington, DC; director of business development for Entercom Denver and Portland; and director of business development at Citadel Albuquerque.

komandopremiereTheatrical Premier.  The first feature film from Barry Young Entertainment premiered at the Landmark Theater in Phoenix recently and is set for release this Friday, September 5.  Barry Young – president and CEO of WestStar MultiMedia Entertainment – and wife Kim Komando – star of her eponymous nationally syndicated radio show and WestStar chairman and CFO – created the new division of their company to pursue film and television projects.  The company’s first venture, working in conjunction with OceanBlue Entertainment and Magnolia Pictures is Frontera, starring Ed Harris, Eva Longoria, Michael Peña, and Amy Madigan.  Pictured here are (from left to right): Madigan, Komando, Young, and Harris.

ISIS Beheads U.S. Journalist; U.S. Military Policy in Iraq; Russia-Ukraine Tensions; Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Prospects; Ebola Pandemic Threat; and Hacked Celeb Nude Photos Among Top Stories Yesterday (9/2).  The beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff by Islamic militants and the ISIS campaign in Iraq; the U.S. military policy in Iraq and Syria; military tensions between Russia and Ukraine; the coming mid-term elections and the prospects for the 2016 presidential campaign; the threat of an Ebola virus pandemic; and controversy over the hacked iCloud photos of celebrities were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

| August 27, 2014

bauerhankClear Channel Suspends Hank Bauer for One Broadcast.  After making an anti-Semitic joke during the San Diego Chargers-San Francisco 49ers pre-season game, Clear Channel is suspending radio color man and former Charger Hank Bauer for the final pre-season game tomorrow evening.  Chargers play-by-play airs on CC’s rock KIOZ and sports KLSD.  During the broadcast, noting that fans in the expensive seats were leaving the game early, Bauer’s partner Josh Lewin said he would stay for the entire game if he had those seats.  Bauer then quipped, “But then again you know how copper wire was invented?  Somebody dropped a penny between Josh and his family member.”  Bauer later posted an apology on Twitter, stating, “I made a hurtful insinuation that I regret and I would like to express how sorry I am.  My poor choice of words were unfortunately open for negative interpretation, please know it was never my intention to offend any of my listeners.  I hope you accept my apology.”

hannityPaul Ryan to Guest Host Sean Hannity Show August 28.  In a rare example of a sitting member of Congress occupying the host chair for Sean Hannity on his Premiere Networks nationally syndicated radio show, Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) – and former vice presidential candidate – will serve as guest host Thursday, August 28.  Premiere Networks says in a statement that Ryan will “weigh in on ISIS, the Ferguson tragedy, slain American journalist James Foley, and why Burger King should move to Canada.”

doingchadChad Doing Joins KGMZ, San Francisco.  After years at Alpha Media’s KXTG-AM, Portland, sports talk personality Chad Doing is lined up to become part of the air staff at Entercom’s KGMZ, San Francisco “95.7 The Game.”  The station isn’t announcing a specific role for Doing yet, but station PD Jason Barrett comments, “I couldn’t be more thrilled to bring Chad on to our team.  When you listen to Chad host a talk show, you can’t help but notice his passion, honesty and high energy.  He comes across as a genuine guy who truly loves sports but more importantly, you sense that he loves to connect with his audience.  I’m looking forward to getting Chad settled in and utilizing his abilities to help grow our radio station in the future.”

travisclayClay Travis to Exit WGFX-FM, Nashville.  After failing to come to terms on a contract renewal, Clay Travis will exit the “3HL” show on Cumulus Media’s sports talk WGFX-FM, Nashville after tomorrow’s program.  The show will continue with Blaine Bishop and Brent Dougherty.  Travis writes on his Fox Sports Outkick the Coverage blog that he wanted to remain with the station but that corporate would only approve a $5,000 raise.  He’ll continue to write for Outkick the Coverage and appear on Fox Sports TV.

Deal for Statesboro, Georgia Stations Closes.  According to the Statesboro Herald, the $600,000 deal that has six stations in the market changing hands has closed.  Neal Ardman is operating Radio Statesboro, Inc. and will acquire the stations from Georgia Eagle Media.  That company will retain ownership of the towers which will be leased to Radio Statesboro.  The stations include: adult contemporary WPMX-FM “Eagle 102.9,” country WHKN, news/talk WMCD-FM, classic rock WZBX, news/talk WWNS and sports talk WPTB.  According to the story, the formats on WWNS and WPTB will flip in the near future and Radio Statesboro plans to drop classic rock on WZBX and go CHR.

radioshow14Radio Show Sets “Magic of Radio” Session. Renowned programmer/WCBS-FM, New York wakeup talent Scott Shannon, Cumulus Media syndicated morning drivers Bob (Kevoian) & Tom (Griswold), and Westwood One consumer expert Clark Howard will discuss ways that their fellow on-air personalities can effectively impact listeners in a positive manner.  The four noted talents will share their opinions at next month’s (9/10 – 12) Radio Show in Indianapolis in a Gary Berkowitz-moderated session, “The Magic – Radio’s Storytellers.”  Also on the agenda is the (Friday) 9/12 “Programming Masters Series,” which addresses the effect of the multi-platform media environment on radio programmers.  Panelists will include Marilu Henner; ABC News Radio vice president and general manager Steve Jones; Howard Cogan (the voice of Jack-FM); Kane; and HOCO Productions and The Blaze Radio Network vice president of programming Dom Theodore.  The Radio Show is produced by the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB)and National Association of Broadcasters (NAB).

Michael Brown Death Aftermath, American ISIS Fighter Killed, U.S. Military Policy in Iraq and Syria, Mid-Term Elections, Obama Climate Change Deal, Lois Lerner Emails Controversy, and IMF’s Lagarde Under Investigation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/26).  The aftermath of the shooting death of Michael Brown; the death of American Douglas MacArthur McCain killed in Syria while fighting for ISIS; the Obama Administration’s military policy in Iraq and Syria; the looming mid-term elections; President Obama’s reported plan to skirt the U.S. Senate for a global climate change treaty; new information about the status of Lois Lerner’s IRS emails; and investigation of IMF chief Christine Lagarde on fraud charges were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, August 22, 2014

| August 22, 2014

thomas mikeThomas Adds CBS Sports Radio VP Stripes. Three-year CBS Radio Boston vice president of programming Mike Thomas takes on additional responsibilities as vice president of sports programming for CBS Sports Radio. Among the Boston stations Thomas supervises is all-sports WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub.” Thomas and Mark Chernoff will oversee the company’s sports properties, as well as CBS Sports Radio; Chernoff is CBS Radio’s vice president of sports stations and vice president of programming for CBS Radio New York, which includes iconic sports outlet WFAN. CBS Radio executive vice president of programming Chris Oliviero states that, “Mike’s creativity and expertise in the format is evident by [WBZ-FM's] quick ascent in one of the most competitive and passionate sports towns in America. These skills will serve CBS Radio well as Mike joins Mark in guiding our continually growing, industry leading portfolio of both local and national sports brands which combined produces nearly 300 hours a day of original content.” Thomas has programmed CBS Radio Boston classic rocker WZLX the past eight years and “The Sports Hub” the last five. His prior programming credits include KGB, San Diego; WFBQ, Indianapolis; WTUE and WXEG, Dayton; and WYMG, Springfield, Illinois.

newsmax (3)mike rogersNewsmax Publishes Insightful Article About Mike Rogers and the Evolving Role of Politics in News/Talk Radio.  Senior editor David A. Patten of Newsmax Media (Newsmax.com and Newsmax Magazine) serves up an informative article that provides fairly objective insight into the recent announcement that at the end of his current Congressional term, U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) will begin a career with Cumulus Media as a radio talk show host.  The article presents reaction from outspoken conservative media practitioners who react to Rogers’ plan to approach conservative politics from a “kinder and gentler” perspective than the traditional presentations allegedly offered by the genre’s big players such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, and Michael Savage.  In the article, commentator (and former radio talk show host) Michael Reagan labels Rogers’ yet-to-debut new show “RINO radio” (Republican in Name Only.)  Conservative media watchdog L. Brent Bozell III charges that Rogers thinks conservative radio listeners are “knuckle-draggers unable to think for themselves, unable to be smart.”  Rogers explains to Newsmax TV why he is giving up his coveted chairmanship of the House Intelligence Committee to join the likes of Mike Huckabee as politicians who enlisted in the media, stating, “It gives me an opportunity to talk to people all over the country about American exceptionalism, the future of America, the issues of the day, national security, and foreign policy in a way I just don’t hear interjected into the public debate.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, known for his nonpartisan stance on political talk radio, is recruited for comment in the piece saying that Rogers is “more compelling than the average dry politician” — but perhaps not as interesting as the more successful radio talkers.  He adds that having a “flair for show business” is at least as important to success in talk radio as whatever policy knowledge a host brings to the table.  Harrison states, “Sometimes the goals of success in talk radio are different from the goals of success in politics which goes back to something I said before: Politicians do not make good talk-show hosts.”  Whether Rogers can succeed on the same battlefield where so many others from elective office have fallen really depends on how audiences react. And that, Harrison says, “Nobody can predict.” On the positive side of the ledger, Harrison says, “Rogers has savvy media instincts, and can talk credibly on a wide range of issues thanks to his insider knowledge.” The negative side of the ledger: Rogers is a politician.  “As a species,” says Harrison, “politicians don’t fully understand the show-business and human-element aspects of talk programming. They see it as another platform to further their political selves, as opposed to their personality selves.”  Harrison expounds, “What’s needed are spontaneous expressions that touch people on a human level. That’s not easy for most politicians, who by instinct and training learn to keep their reactions under wraps.  I’m not saying Rogers doesn’t have it.  I’m just saying we don’t know that he does.”  In the article, Harrison hastens to add that he’s rooting for Rogers to do well because his success would benefit the industry. He says that Cumulus “will have to show Rogers that it’s OK to flirt with controversy in expressing his opinion.”   The TALKERS publisher concludes, “On the radio dial, there’s no room for squishy Republicans. If he irritates the core of the right-wing that loves talk radio,” says Harrison, “and doesn’t generate interest among the people who want to hear a moderate, he may wind up with nothing.”  To read the entire Newsmax article, please click here.

Radio Statesboro, Georgia Eagle Media Close on Five-Station Deal. Neal Ardman‘s Radio Statesboro acquires a five-station Statesboro, Georgia cluster from Georgia Eagle Media. The transaction includes country WHKN, sports WPTB, adult contemporary WPMX, talk WWNS, and classic rock WZBX. Media Services Group‘s Eddie Esserman in the company’s St. Simons Island, Georgia office was the exclusive broker and represented Georgia Eagle Media (the seller) in this deal.

Pardon Me Governor. Even though Matt “Rookie” Michalski poured a bucket of ice and a drink pitcher’s worth of ice directly on Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, the dayton bucketproducer/sidekick of Hubbard Minneapolis KSTP-AM’s regionally syndicated “Garage Logic” with Joe Soucheray is (presumably) not in any hot water with the state’s chief executive. The extenuating circumstance is that it was pre-arranged as part of the ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge.” Governor Dayton accepted the dare to be showered with ice yesterday (Thursday, 8/21) at the Minnesota State Fair. Minnesota Twins owner Jim Pohlad nominated Dayton, who in turn, laid down the gauntlet to a fellow Democrat, Minnesota Senator – and former Air America talk host – Al Franken. The “Ice Bucket Challenge” went viral through social media the middle of this year. A common stipulation is that nominated people have 24 hours to comply or forfeit by way of a charitable financial donation to ALS. We have larson bucketseen numerous media personalities become involved such as Lars Larson, who does daily conservative talk shows on Alpha Media Portland’s KXL-FM and nationally on Compass Media Networks. Portland city commissioner Steve Novick challenged Larson to participate in this charitable soaking. Larson accepted and got drenched yesterday morning (Thursday, 8/21) outside downtown Portland’s PacWest Center. “It was cold, but I loved doing it,” Larson remarks. “ALS is a terrible disease and we raised [more than $700] for the cause. Doing the honors of dumping the ice water on Larson was Alpha Media adult alternative KINK morning drive co-host/news director Sheila Hamilton. The initial shock, Larson comments, “is so cold.” Two of Larson’s listeners did the deed to Novick, who acknowledges, “It was fun and it is great to see people all over the country drawing attention to fighting this disease.”

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klein jerryKlein Proves “You Can Go Home Again.” Twenty years ago, longtime Charlotte resident Jerry Klein was one of the first liberal hosts given the challenging task of trying to balance conservative talk radio, when he took over late-nights at heritage 50,000-watt, “Blowtorch of the South”-turned talker WBT-AM, Charlotte. A few years later, he moved up to a slightly earlier timeslot, but he was dismissed in October 1997. A short-lived self-syndication effort followed before Klein departed for Washington, DC. He landed at WMAL where he learned the business not just as a host, but also as senior producer, and assistant program and marketing director. He rubbed shoulders with many top politicians and media personalities. Three years ago, however, things took a horrific turn for the worse, when he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and serious liver disease. Klein was informed he had little chance to survive more than a year. Barely a month after a first unsuccessful surgery, Klein awakened one morning only to find his wife had unexpectedly passed away in their bathroom. One year later, unable to work, penniless, and close to homeless, he accepted an offer from friends in Charlotte to stay in a spare bedroom. Klein returned early last year, thinking he was going home to die. This time last year, things suddenly changed again – this time for the better – as Klein’s oncologist indicated Klein’s cancer had mysteriously vanished. Although still battling physical issues, Klein nonetheless began writing for Charlotte’s alternative news weekly, Creative Loafing, just as he did from 1987 – 2001. Moreover and quite astonishingly, one week from today (8/29), roughly 17 years after being fired from WBT, Klein returns to the now Greater Media-owned talker to fill-in for John Hancock (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm). He will do the same Labor Day (Monday, 9/1) for Keith Larson (9:00 am – 12 noon). “Take your pick of clichés,” Klein offers. “Either, ‘Lazarus is still rising,’ or ‘You can go home again.’ One year ago, I would never have dreamed this was possible – I didn’t think I’d be alive. Instead, I’ve been welcomed home in a way that rocks me to my core. People who screamed at me for my positions now come and hug me. I am constantly told how much I was missed. This proves you might have to leave home thinking you’re a failure, only to return to find out you might have been wrong.”

WZGC LogoFalcons Call an FM Flagship Audible. Effective with this weekend’s (third) pre-season tilt against the Tennessee Titans at the Georgia Dome, the NFL‘s Atlanta Falcons will move its FM flagship from Lincoln Financial Media hot AC WSTR “Star 94″ to CBS Radio sports outlet WZGC “The Game.” According to a post on the station’s website, “The Game” will be “airing the remaining preseason games and all regular season games for the 2014 – 2015 season.” Lincoln Financial Media’s WQXI “The Zone” continues as the team’s AM flagship station. It is a bit of an oddity that two competing broadcast companies are flagships for the same sports franchise.

Duquesne DukesThree Outlets to Carry Duquesne Sports. The official radio home of Duquesne football, men’s basketball and coaches’ shows throughout 2014 – 2015 will be Clear Channel Pittsburgh’s WBGG “ESPN 970″ and WWSW-HD2 “94.5 3WS, as well as iHeartRadio. It is a result of a pact with Learfield Sports’ DUQS Sports Properties, Duquesne’s exclusive multimedia rights holder. Market president Tim McAleer remarks, “We are very excited to team up with Duquesne University athletics to bring our listeners even more local sports coverage. The ability to broadcast their specialty sports programming both locally on [WBGG] and on ’3WS’ HD2, as well as on iHeartRadio allows them to reach fans everywhere.” Duquesne University director of athletics Greg Amodio opines, “It is a great time to follow the Dukes. We trust Learfield Sports with its years of experience in pairing university partners with respected quality broadcast outlets – this will be a terrific partnership with Clear Channel Pittsburgh. We want to create the best fan experience we can, including catering to our base which relies on catching our game action and coaches’ shows on the Duquesne Sports Network.” During the football season, the University’s new radio home for the “Dukes” will air the “Jerry Schmitt Show.” The “Jim Ferry Show” will be broadcast during men’s basketball season, while the “Dan Burt Show” will be carried during the women’s basketball season.

WMC-AM LogoMemphis University School, WMC-AM Continue Partnership. Tonight’s high school football game (Friday, 8/22) between Memphis University School and Brentwood Academy will kickoff the fifth year that Entercom Memphis sports WMC-AM “ESPN 790″ has been MUS’s broadcast partner. WMC-AM will air all of the school’s Friday night football contests. Vice president and market manager Dan Barron comments, “We are proud to be the broadcast home of MUS football and continue to bring high school athletics to Memphis and to the mid-south. MUS “Owls” games are called by Mike Lawhead, Bobby Wade, and Barr Ray. Memphis University School is a college-preparatory independent day school for boys in grades 7 – 12.

Odds & Sods. Starting next Monday(8/25) CBS Sports Radio‘s 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm (ET) “Doug Gottlieb Show” will be simulcast on the CBS Sports Network…..Owing to the station’s decision to abolish news programming, Inland Empire Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA, Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario news director David Wylie exits.

ISIS Beheading, Ferguson Civil Unrest, 2016 Presidential Race, US Ecomomic Indicators, Rick Perry Indictment and Israel-Gaza Warfare are the Top News/Talk Radio Stories for the Week of August 18-22.  Although the Ferguson tragedy brought a wide variety of hot issues to the foreground and was the dominant story for most of the past two weeks, the horrific execution of American journalist James Foley at the hands of ISIS extremists captured the top spot collectively at midweek and has dominated conversation since.  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 chart here.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

| August 21, 2014

Ferguson Provides News/Talk Radio with Red Meat on Controversial Issues for Both Left and Right.  The tragic events that have unfolded in Ferguson, MO have provided talk radio opinion leaders from the left, right and in-between with more than enough fresh material on mainstay topics around which to build their cases.  Some see it as another horrific indication of unjust racial inequality in America and the troubling expansion of a militarized police state.  Others see it as further infuriating evidence of the rise of crime, unwarranted traduptomplaying of the race card and growing disrespect and lack of support for law enforcement.  Almost all are concerned about its reflection of the declining state of journalism and increasing suppression of the press and First Amendment rights.  Asked by Salem Radio Network VP news & talk programming, Tom Tradup (for a forthcoming article in September’s Townhall Magazine) his take on talk radio’s role in the matter and whether he sees it as negative or positive, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Ferguson contains a tempest of pressing and controversial American issues. There’s red meat for both the left and right in this tragedy.  Talk radio – collectively – has played a positive role in responding to and covering it by airing all the different ideologies, including those that are politically incorrect, and moving the vital discussion forward.  Some hosts have gone directly to the scene putting local people on the air to present  real life perspectives, thus bringing the public closer to the disturbingly obscured truth.”  The article will contain comments from Sean Hannity, Mike Gallagher, and SiriusXM personality David Webb who went to Ferguson where he interviewed a wide variety of residents including African American businesspeople.  Tradup tells TALKERS, “I’m proud of our industry leading the national conversation on this issue, and look forward to highlighting the great work many shows did inviting audience members to experience the story-behind-the-headlines.”

gallagher mikeMike Gallagher: “I Can – and Will – Do Better.”  On his Salem-syndicated talk program yesterday (Wednesday, 8/20), Mike Gallagher became embroiled with one of his callers (“James”). The two discussed James’ opinion that releasing surveillance video of 18-year-old Michael Brown robbing a convenience store prior to the shooting that took Brown’s life was, in and of itself, a “violent act.” There was considerable shouting between host Gallagher and caller “James” with the latter hanging up. Gallagher maintains the on-air exchange bothered him the rest of the day and it prompted him to write on Facebook Wednesday night, “Today on my radio show, my emotions got the best of me. I have been bothered by that exchange all day and I wanted to formally apologize. While I steadfastly disagree with [caller James'] contention that the surveillance video of Michael Brown robbing a convenience store was not a ‘violent act,’ I should not have interrupted James as I did. I will give a more detailed and specific apology on the air tomorrow, but I wanted to put it in writing tonight. I should not have reacted the way I did, and I certainly should not invite people to call my show and then disagree so passionately that I don’t give them much of a chance to talk. I am sorry. I can – and will – do better.”

mason danDan Mason To Cox Media Group Tampa As OM. To clarify, the Dan Mason appointed operations manager for three Cox Media Group Tampa facilities is the former WODS, Boston program director – not the CBS Radio president and chief executive officer with the same name. CMG vice president and market manager Keith Lawless comments, “Dan’s approach to programming is firmly in line with ours and he is a welcome addition to our team. I am confident his contributions will help us continue to compete and win.” Cox Media Group vice president of programming Steve Smith explains, “We took our time searching for the right fit, and Dan is that guy. He will add his expertise in management and talent development to some of our other super-brands in Tampa. We welcome Dan to the CMG family.” Mason – who begins his new assignment in about two weeks (9/8) – states that he is “thrilled” to join the “fantastic team” in Tampa on “three of the most exciting and unique brands not just within Cox Media Group, but the country. I am grateful to Keith Lawless and Steve Smith for the opportunity to lead the team.” Mason’s Tampa OM duties involve alternative WSUN “97-X,” CHR WPOI “Hot 101.5,” and talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone.” He will also be director of branding & programming for “Hot 101.5.” Mason’s previous programming background includes Clear Channel Miami CHR WHYI “Y-100″; Entercom Sacramento outlets CHR KDND-FM “107.9 The End” and hot AC KBZC “Star 106.5″; and Clear Channel Cleveland CHR WAKS, “96.5 Kiss-FM.”

loesch danaCMG Talkers Clear “The Dana Show.” The agreement for Radio America‘s “The Dana Show” includes Cox Media Group talk outlets in Atlanta (WSB-AM); Orlando (WDBO-FM); Jacksonville (WOKV-AM/FM); Dayton (WHIO-AM/FM); Tulsa (KRMG-AM/FM); and Athens, Georgia (WGAU). Cox Media Group vice president of marketing/news-talk-sports format leader Nick Roberts comments that, “Cox Media Group strongly believes in growing new talk talent — people who can be the next superstars. We believe Dana has the ability to reach the next generation of listeners.” Radio America chief operating officer Mike Paradiso states, “The growth of ‘The Dana Show’ has been outstanding. Dana and all of us at Radio America are excited about her success across the country. It is a privilege to be working with a great company like Cox and their heritage stations.” Host Dana Loesch originates her daily program from Emmis St. Louis’ KFTK.

sabowalterWhen Broadened Aspirations Deserve a Thank-You. For well over one-half century (1926 – 1983), New York City’s female-targeted WOR was America’s #1 rated radio station and the country’s top-biller. Similarly-programmed talkers KABC, Los Angeles and WGN, Chicago were typically second and third. Partnership pioneer Tom O’Neil understood that his business was show business and grew the crown jewel of the RKO Radio Network - WOR – by hiring major stars from other media. Nowadays though, when topflight radio personalities seek to broaden their horizons in other media, most radio managers try to quash such plans. Tipping his cap to the O’Neil model, Sabo Media chief executive officer Walter Sabo strongly suggests that when on-air personalities possess the ambition to do more than radio, management should reward them with a hearty “Thank-You.” Click here to read Sabo’s exclusive TALKERS article.

donahue harryDonahue to Retire from KYW. After a five-decade Philadelphia broadcasting career, Harry Donahue is retiring. Tomorrow (8/22) is the last day on the job for the morning drive co-anchor at CBS Radio-owned all-news KYW. CBS Radio Philadelphia senior vice president and market manager Marc Rayfield states, “Harry’s voice is one of Philadelphia’s most familiar. His contributions to KYW are immeasurable. He is a consummate professional and will be sorely missed by those who have worked with him all these years, as well as our many listeners who set their alarms to 1060 each morning.” Donahue reflects that when he was hired at KYW, “I couldn’t believe it. It was, and remains, the preeminent radio station in Philadelphia. I have done what I always wanted to do. To work in my hometown and having been part of this iconic radio station – it just doesn’t get any better.” Donahue joined KYW in 1973. He began his career as an announcer for Philadelphia’s former WPBS (now WUSL) and as a manager of media relations for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Donahue is the longtime play-by-play voice for Temple University athletics – men’s football and basketball. The latter is heard on KYW’s talk sibling WPHT; he will continue those responsibilities.

hartmann thomTree Media Releases Climate Crisis Film “CARBON.” Production company Tree Media is supported by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (DiCaprio is the film’s narrator). Made in collaboration with nationally syndicated, WYD Media progressive talk host (and recipient of the 2014 TALKERS Freedom of Speech Award) Thom Hartmann, CARBON explores crucial issues related to the climate crisis. Hartmann stresses, “We need serious action to address the most pressing issue of our time. Communities across the world have taken action in the most direct and effective ways possible by taxing and trading carbon. For us to beat this crisis, many more need to join.” According to DiCaprio, “97% of climate scientists agree: Climate change is happening now and humans are responsible. We cannot sit idly by and watch the fossil fuel industry make billions at our collective expense.  We must put a price on carbon — now.” This is the first film in the “Green World Rising” series that will include three additional ones covering solutions to the climate crisis. Director Leila Connors explains, “This film is meant to be an asset for the climate movement and to generate momentum for the global reduction of carbon emissions. We must move toward renewable energy and to create a real solution.” CARBON was produced by George DiCaprio, Mathew Schmid, Roee Sharon and Earl Katz, and presented by Thom Hartmann.

Mark Hochman 250Return of the Hochman Burger. For the second year, Beasley Broadcast Group Miami’s WQAM “Sports Radio 560″ afternoon (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) driver Marc Hochman can go into a certain Boca Raton establishment – Red’s Backwoods BBQ – and order a burger that is named after him. “As a guy, I don’t think there is a bigger honor than [that],” he contends. “In my radio career, I have interviewed everyone from Hulk Hogan and Mike Tyson to Pat Sajak and Al Roker. As a program director, I have been nominated twice for ‘Sports Radio Station of the Year’ for the Marconi Awards, but I have never been more proud of anything than [this]. For the record, the “Hochman Burger” is accompanied with cheddar cheese, barbeque sauce, and is topped with Funyuns.

NFL LogoTrojans Live 125Los Angeles’ KFWB to Air NFL and NCAA Slate. Set to launch the station’s all-sports format early next month, KFWB, Los Angeles newly-named program director Owen Murphy reveals KFWB will carry a complete schedule of NFL and NCAA play-by-play. In addition, the hour-long USC sports spotlight “Trojans Live” will return for its second season. The Tuesday evening (6:00 pm – 7:00 pm) program devoted to USC sports features men’s head football coach Steve Sarkisian. This is KFWB’s fifth year as flagship of the NBA‘s Los Angeles Clippers and it becomes the exclusive Los Angeles home for Westwood One‘s coverage of all NFL Sunday night, Monday night and Thursday night games. That schedule begins in two weeks (9/4) when Green Bay takes on reigning champion Seattle. Murphy states, “With rumors swirling about the NFL draft coming to Los Angeles in 2015, and maybe an NFL team as well, we could not be more excited to deliver great Westwood One football programming to a football hungry town so deserving of its own team. There is no better product than Westwood One’s March Madness play-by-play and we are proud to have the opportunity to present it to the most passionate and knowledgeable hoops fans in America.” The station’s broadcast schedule will include the NFC and AFC Championship games, Pro Bowl, and next February’s Super Bowl.

ragozino mike“Ragz” To Program Portland’s “Game.” Alpha Media Portland sports outlet KXTG “750 The Game” names Mike “Ragz” Ragozino program director and afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) host. Executive vice president of programming Scott Mahalick comments, “‘Ragz’ is uniquely qualified to lead the staff of ‘The Game’ and practice what he preaches everyday on the air. He ‘gets’ the entertainment factor in sports radio like no one else in this business.” Ragozino reflects that ever since he got into the radio business, “It was always about taking a new challenge head on, without fear of failure, having fun and most importantly, entertaining the audience. Joining Alpha Media – and more specifically ’750 The Game’ – offers me a chance to do what I love for an incredible company in a beautiful city that has the same passion for sports as I do.” The Queens, New York native has 12 years of classic rock programming/on-air experience at WNNJ, Sussex, New Jersey and WAOR, South Bend, Indiana. When WAOR flipped to sports in May 2012, it enabled “Ragz” to accomplish his dream of programming an all-sports station. In addition to programming it, he co-hosted a weekly one-hour show with Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown. Ragozino begins his Portland assignment in just over two weeks (Monday, 9/8).

BOB Logo 125BOB-FM to the Romantic Rescue. “You’ll hear all sorts of stuff” is the way BOB-FM positions itself and a recent audio clip from the station underscores that positioning statement. This particular BOB-FM though is not an adult hits outlet here in the United States, but a radio station broadcasting at 106.7 and 106.9 in Knebworth, Hertford, Ware, Hatfield, Stevenage, Hitchin, Letchworth Garden City, Welwyn Garden City and Watton-at-Stone. Knebworth most likely gave away the location as the United Kingdom. Reminiscent of something syndicated personality “Delilah” or Karen Sharp on her nightly “Love Songs” show on Los Angeles adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103″ might do, BOB-FM morning talents (or “breakfast presenters,” as they are more elegantly called) Graham Mack and Amy Stevenson came to the aid of a young woman (“Sarah”) yearning to reconnect with her dream man (“Sam”). The back-story is that Sarah met Sam at a music festival that featured Justin Timberlake and it was love at first sight. The snafu was that Sarah didn’t get Sam’s number, so she did what was only logical – call BOB-FM to track him down. Her email to Mack and Stevenson recapped that part of the story and stated her desire to meet the 25-year-old, 6′ 5″ Hertfordshire dog trainer. It took Mack and Stevenson all of two days to locate him. Especially if you are a hopeless romantic, click here to listen to the complete interchange.

marshall robin“Proactive” Patient Will Overcome Ovarian Cancer. That is what Robin Marshall optimistically writes on her Facebook page. Cumulus Media‘s “Sound Solutions” production manager states that, “Short and sweet,” she has stage two or slight stage three Ovarian cancer but “all was removed.” Doctors “did snippets” from her other organs for biopsy purposes and regardless of the results,” Marshall will be treated with “a very strong regiment of chemo.” As she laments, “It is nothing that anyone looks forward to.” Realizing she has a difficult road ahead, Marshall will remain in the hospital until this Saturday (8/23), but she declares, “I have hope.” At the “end of the day,” however, Marshall stresses, she will survive Ovarian cancer because, “I was proactive. There are no options – I want to live.”   

ISIS Beheading, Ferguson Turmoil, Rick Perry Indictment, Gaza Crisis and ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Among Top Talk Stories Yesterday (8/20).  The stories listed in this headline were some of the most talked about on news/talk radio yesterday  However the breaking story of ISIS beheading American journalist James Wright Foley was by far the most-dominating conversation on American talk radio according to the ongoing research from TALKERS.  Check here tomorrow for the complete top stories and most-talked-about people listings for the entire week.

Le3007_texas_a&m_aggies-alternate-2012arfield Launches Spanish Network for Texas A&M Football. Beginning with next week’s (8/28) season opener against South Carolina, fans of the Texas A&M Aggies will hear complete Texas A&M pigskin game coverage in Spanish on Univision Radio Houston’s KLAT; Salem Espanol San Antonio’s KRDY; KAMA, El Paso; and MBM Radio McAllen’s KVJY. Aggies games will also be on SiriusXM Deportes en Vivo Channel 551. Chancellor John Sharp of The Texas A&M University System explains, “It is important we share the Texas A&M brand across the state, To do so, we need a Spanish language option for our fans. We believe this is a real step forward for Aggie sports as we begin our third season in the SEC.” The Texas A&M Spanish Network will feature Pedro Vela Almaguer on play-by-play and Alberto Rodriguez doing color commentary. There are 55 English-language radio affiliates on the Texas A&M Sports Network. All 12 Aggies’ regular season and any postseason games will be carried on the Texas A&M Spanish Network.

TALKERS Affiliate Roundup. Rich Beem & Sandy McIlree-hosted “Beemer & the Bald Guy” welcome Cumulus Myrtle Beach, South Carolina’s WSEA “100.3 The Team” as an affiliate to its Nineball Radio Networks-distributed Sunday morning golf show.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

| July 22, 2014

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 Videos Being Posted.  Up Today: Joyce Kaufman of WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale Receives the TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year” Award.  Today (7/22) marks the sixth business 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 part 1 of the event’s traditional “Talkers Awards Ceremony” emceed by legendary Westwood One talk show host Jim Bohannon and featuring the presentation of the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community kaufmanMarksNYC14Service by a Radio Broadcaster by Talk Media, Inc. CEO Carole Marks (pictured here at left) to WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale personality Joyce Kaufman (pictured here at right).  Kaufman gives a powerful acceptance speech in which she expresses her humble appreciation and encourages her fellow talk show hosts to exercise their radio programs’ full potential as a service to their communities, which she says are becoming increasingly disconnected due in part to the very technology of the modern era.  She states, “If not us – who?  If we don’t move people from merely talking into actually doing, we are missing the blessing that this platform gives us.  If we don’t help the people who deserve our help, we will feed into the notion that we are a dispassionate nation that needs government to take care of us.”  View the video of the award presentation here.  Coming tomorrow:  part 2 of the Talkers Awards Ceremony in which last year’s recipient of the Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Radio Industry by a Woman (also known as the “Woman of the Year” award), Heather Cohen EVP, The Weiss Agency presents the honor to this year’s recipient, Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks. The TALKERS conference videos were recorded by Art Vuolo.

mancowMancow Sues Maverick Radio Partners.  From a story in today’s Chicago Tribune, Chicago-based talk show host Erich “Mancow” Muller is suing Maverick Radio Partners – led by Rodney Rainey – for allegedly trying to defraud him of $50,000 purported to be targeted to radio station investments.  The Tribune story relates that Muller was approached by Rainey in December 2011 to be an investor in a project that would acquire a number of radio stations — beginning with WFRE and WFMD in Frederick, Maryland – and that the company had financial backing from Spartacus Partners Group.  Based on a verbal deal, Mancow transferred $50,000 to Maverick with the understanding it would be held in escrow until Mancow was provided with documented proof that the additional funding for the station purchases was secured.  That never happened and when Mancow sought his money back from Maverick, he alleges he received promises the money was on its way but it was never returned.  Mancow is suing Maverick for fraud and breach of contract and is seeking the $50,000, plus interest and attorneys’ fees.  See the Tribune story here.

dibiasechristaChrista Dibiase Named GM of Clark Howard Brands.  Accepting the promotion from executive producer of the Clark Howard show to general manager of Clark Howard Brands is Christa Dibiase.  Effective immediately, Dibiase will be responsible for overseeing the Clark Howard nationally-syndicated radio show, television products, and all digital products, including ClarkHoward.com and consumer apps.  In addition, she will continue to oversee the operation of The Consumer Action Center, a national service outreach that advises the public on money, financial and consumer questions via phone and internet.  CMG Atlanta VP/market manager Ben Reed says, “We know Christa was the perfect person to take on this role.  She led the radio show to become the most prominent consumer talk show in the country, and has repeatedly demonstrated her leadership abilities.  She has been a key collaborative player in our organization over the years, working with radio, digital, television, and newspaper on many successful projects.”  Dibiase comments, “I’m grateful for this opportunity to work with Clark and showcase what CMG is all about – collaborating with TV, radio, digital, and newspaper to create and distribute excellent content for our audience.  In addition, the assistance provided by the Consumer Action Center is right in line with Clark and CMG’s commitment to serving others in our communities.  I’m amazed every day by the 80-plus volunteers who give their time and energy to help others with their consumer dilemmas.”

adamsseanKVET, Austin Names Sean Adams Midday Personality.   Sports talk radio pro Sean Adams lands a daily gig on Clear Channel’s sports talker KVET-AM, Austin “Sports Talk AM 1300 The Zone” where he’ll hold down the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm show beginning August 4.  In addition to hosting “The Adams Theory,” he’ll also have a prominent role in game day broadcasts for University of Texas football. KVET-AM is the flagship station for radio play-by-play.  Adams says, “I’m really excited to join the team at ‘AM 1300 The Zone.’  To cover the Texas Longhorns, and sports in general, on the official Longhorn station — backed by the power of Clear Channel Media and Entertainment — is a tremendous opportunity.”

patrickPortlandDan Patrick Broadcasts Live from KXTG-AM, Portland.  The shot of Fox Sports Radio/DirecTV personality Dan Patrick is from the Bing Lounge in Portland where Patrick did his show live for Alpha Media affiliate KXTG-AM “750 The Game” on Friday, July 18.  In addition to the live broadcast, Patrick and The Danettes also held a listener meet and greet at Buffalo Wild Wings in Beaverton, Oregon from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm where the crew took pictures and signed autographs.  Alpha Media EVP of programming Scott Mahalick says, “We were thrilled to be able to bring Dan and the Danettes to the Pacific Northwest.  They took time to genuinely connect with the listeners.  This is definitely an experience all of us will remember for a long time.”  The sports talk station recently began simulcasting on its new translator K274AR at 102.7 FM in the market.

giordanodomWPHT, Philadelphia Presents Live Event as Part of Speaker Series.  Midday talk show personality Dom Giordano will host WPHT, Philadelphia’s next speaker series event tomorrow evening as he’ll conduct a sit-down interview with former Marine Colonel Tom Manion about his book, Brothers Forever.  The interview will take place aboard the Battleship New Jersey in Camden, New Jersey.  Manion’s book details the courageous lives of his son, Marine 1st Lieutenant Travis Manion who died in the Al Anbar province of Iraq in 2007 and Travis’ former roommate U.S. Navy Seal Brendan Looney who also perished in battle.  Manion will sign copies of his book for attendees.

nbcsportsromanonealonHangin’ with the Stars in Lake Tahoe.  Pictured here is NBC Sports Radio weekend personality Brian Webber (left) with comic and television star Ray Romano (center) and SNL alum and movie and TV celeb Kevin Nealon (right) at the recent American Century Celebrity Golf Championship in Lake Tahoe.  NBC Sports Radio broadcast from the charity tournament on Thursday and Friday and throughout the weekend.

Downing of Flight 17/Russian Responsibility Question, Gaza Strip Violence, Illegal Child Immigrants Crisis, NYPD Choke Hold Death Controversy and Clinton, Inc. Book, and Tony Dungy’s Michael Sam Comments Among Top Stories Yesterday (7/21).  The continuing global controversy over the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight 17, Russia’s connection to the crash and the United States’ role in determining responsibility; the escalating violence in the Gaza Strip and Secretary of State John Kerry’s role in brokering peace; the influx of illegal child immigrants in the Southwest and the larger topic of immigration reform; the death of a New York City man who was put in a choke hold by police; the new Clinton, Inc. book; and Tony Dungy‘s comment he would not have drafted openly gay football player Michael Sam in order to avoid controversy were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, July 14, 2014

| July 14, 2014

astorinorobFormer New York Radio Host and Programmer Rob Astorino Under Fire in Gubernatorial Race for Townsquare Media Consulting Income.  Before leaving the radio business full time to run for public office – he’s now the Westchester County Executive – Republican Rob Astorino worked at WFAS, Westchester hosting a sports talk show and also worked at ESPN Radio New York where he was part of the team that transitioned WEVD to sports as WEPN.  Astorino is running for governor and incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo’s campaign is making a deal about Astorino’s side job in which he collects $30,000 to consult Townsquare Media.  According to a piece in the New York Daily News, the governor’s campaign is contending Astorino is violating the Westchester County charter by accepting outside income but Astorino’s camp states the money he earns is not in violation of county rules.  Townsquare VP Alex Berkett tells the Daily News, “Mr. Astorino serves as one of a number of programming consultants that work with Townsquare Media.  This role allows Townsquare to benefit from Mr. Astorino’s considerable professional expertise in radio programming.”  Read the whole Daily News piece here.

cclogoClear Channel Announces Corporate Additions and Promotions.  From Clear Channel president national programming platforms Tom Poleman comes news that former Clear Channel programming executive Marc Chase has rejoined the company.  Chase will serve in the national programming platforms division as VP/strategic services, marketing & innovation.  Chase worked with Tribune during the Randy Michaels years and most recently was with Nuvoodoo.   Other moves at CC include Darren Pfeffer being promoted to senior VP/music & entertainment marketing where he’ll continue to be in charge of CC’s promotions and events, including the iHeartradio Music Festival, the iHeartradio Jingle Ball Tour and the iHeartradio Country Festival.  Also promoted are Marissa Morris and Adellyn Polomski who are VP/artist relations and director of artist relations & programs, respectively.  At the same time as these announcements comes news that Zena Burns is exiting her position as the company’s first digital program director to pursue other interests.

essickskipSkip Essick Exits Cumulus Media’s KMJ-AM and KMJ-FM.  For the past seven years, radio programming pro Skip Essick has been serving as PD at KMJ-AM and KMJ-FM in Fresno.  Essick oversaw the splitting of the two stations into separate news/talk stations while they were owned by Peak Broadcasting.  Last August, Townsquare Media agreed to purchase the stations from Peak and proceeded to sell them to Cumulus Media as part of a deal that saw Townsquare get Cumulus’ Dubuque and Poughkeepsie stations.

schwartzjeffreySchwartz Joins Yahoo! Sports as EVP Corporate Strategy.  This is a newly created position at the Houston-based Yahoo! Sports Radio and the company’s CEO, David Gow, says the arrival of Jeffrey Schwartz “will provide unmatched opportunities for our affiliate and advertising partners to thrive.”  Schwartz is charged with overseeing “business growth and partnerships, in addition to working withyahoosportsradiologo management to advance programming strategy, multi-platform marketing and promotional opportunities, and affiliate and talent relations.”  Schwartz comments, “I look forward to working with the Yahoo! Sports Radio team and the quality sports product they have developed to enhance the brand, as well as opportunities for our partners. Yahoo! Sports, one of the top sports sites in the world, will be a great asset to our strategic plans.”  Schwartz’s experience includes serving as manager of sales and promotion at classic rock WLUP-FM, Chicago “The Loop,” director of operations at sports talk WSCR, Chicago “The Score,” and director of operations at WMVP, Chicago “ESPN 1000.”  Concurrent with Schwartz’s arrival, the company announces Amanda Deutchman joins in the new position of director, marketing and business development.   She most recently was marketing and communications manager for Premiere NetworksFox Sports Radio Network.

simonsjoeSimons New PM Anchor at KXL, Portland.  Joining co-anchor Val Stouffer at Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM, Portland “FM NEWS 101” for the “Portland’s Afternoon News” program is Joe Simons.  He joined KXL last year as a weekend morning news anchor.  Simons previously served as the voice of the University of Idaho Women’s Basketball team for two seasons and hosted TV and radio shows in Idaho while also serving as a field reporter for KQQQ, Pullman, Washington.     Simons says of his new gig, “I’m thrilled to be part of the incredible team at KXL. The amount of experience and talent our staff has is second to none.  I hope to bring my unique perspective and enthusiasm to ‘Portland’s Afternoon News.’”

jacksonkevinKevin Jackson Joins WBOK, New Orleans.  Conservative media personality Kevin Jackson – executive director of The Black Sphere LLC – joins the daily lineup at Bakewell Media-owned urban talk/gospel-formatted WBOK, New Orleans.  Jackson has been producing a program that airs on weekends on Salem Communications-owned Florida outlets WGUL, Tampa and WLSS, Sarasota.  Now his show will air nightly after the Al Sharpton program.  Jackson says, “I’m happy to follow Al Sharpton, because there couldn’t be a bigger difference in thought.  I believe black stations need to allow their listeners varying points of view, and I’m excited about the opportunity to have a predominantly black audience compare my viewpoint to Sharpton and Martin.”

ppmunitRound Four of June PPM Data Released.  The fourth and final round of June 2014 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 May 22 through June 18.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page of RadioInfo.com here.

horizonbroadcastingHorizon Broadcasting Re-Launches Local News and Information Site.  What the company calls “the region’s most comprehensive website for local news and community information” – MyCentralOregon.com – has been re-launched by Horizon Broadcasting Group.  The company owns five stations in the Central Oregon region and operates mycentraloregonnews/talk KBNW via an LMA with station owner SummitMedia.  Horizon CEO Keith Shipman says, “We are excited to provide Central Oregon residents with a reliable option for real-time local news and community information.  We found that over 90% of our past visitors to the site were primarily interested in viewing local and national news content, which is where we will place our emphasis.  Local weather forecasts are a prime driver and we will rely on the expertise of AccuWeather to provide forecasts for communities throughout Central Oregon, complete with a 5 day outlooks and satellite radar images.  Visitors to MyCentralOregon.com will find breaking local news from the KBNW news team featuring Glenn Vaagen and Kellen Pierce.  Our national, international, political, entertainment, health and business news content will be robust thanks to our alliances with ABC News and The Wall Street Journal.  Visitors will also be able to get the latest traffic information, including mountain pass conditions, road reports featuring cameras from the Oregon Department of Transportation, school closures and the latest gas prices throughout Central Oregon.”

Odds & Sods.  When the 25th Annual American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament begins this week, NBC Sports Radio Network will broadcast live from Edgewood and Harrah’s Lake Tahoe.  The Westwood One/NBC Sports Group-run networks will broadcast its sports talk shows from the site on Thursday, Friday and throughout the weekend…..KSCO, Santa Cruz announces the addition of the “Wagner & Winick On the Law” program to the station’s weekend lineup.  Monterey College of Law Dean Mitchel Winick and Law Professor Stephen Wagner began hosting the weekly, one-hour radio program last Saturday, July 12…..AL.com reports that South Alabama sports is moving from longtime home Dot Com Plus LLC-owned WNSP-FM, Mobile to Clear Channel’s Mobile station group where Jaguar football games will air on adult contemporary WMXC while Men’s Basketball and Baseball will air on news/talk WNTM.

drakebillSpartanburg-Greenville Personality Bill Drake Dies at 73.  South Carolina radio personality Bill Drake died on July 11 from complications after successful surgery to treat esophageal cancer.  Although Drake also worked in Green Bay and Milwaukee during his career, he spent 29 years as morning host at WSPA, Spartanburg and then did mornings at WOLT-FM for seven years.  His “Awake with Drake” program was last heard on WOLI, Spartanburg.

ausfeldbobAlbany Broadcaster Bob Ausfeld Passes Away.  After years of heart troubles that required longtime Albany broadcaster Bob Ausfeld to have a heart pump implanted, Ausfeld went into surgery last week after a donor heart became available.  Ausfeld did not survive the recovery from the surgery and died over the weekend.  Ausfeld began his broadcasting career in the market at WPTR.  He worked for Townsquare Media through 2011 and joined Albany Broadcasting as general manager for the company.

hochman de la hoyaDe la Hoya Visits Marc Hochman Show.  WQAM, Miami afternoon drive host Marc Hochman (center), and co-host Zach Krantz (right), pose for a pic with fight promoter and Hall of Fame boxer Oscar de la Hoya (left) in Las Vegas.  Hochman brought his show to Las Vegas for a special broadcast last week in anticipation of the Canelo vs. Lara fight at the MGM Grand.

Monday, July 7, 2014

| July 7, 2014

murphyjohnWYD Media Ad Sales Debuts.  The New York-based sales venture being launched by WYD Media Management is called WYD Media Ad Sales, LLC and former Westwood One EVP of talk sales John Murphy takes the helm as president.  WYD CEO Ron Hartenbaum announces the company will focus on personality-created spoken word content that’s distributed across multiple platforms such as audio, digital, video and more.  He adds, “Based on his 30-year track record of success in national radio ad sales, specifically in the spoken word format, John is the ideal sales and marketing executive to build WYD Media Ad Sales.”  Murphy, who spent more than a decade with Westwood One, comments, “This is the best time to start a new venture that focuses on monetizing spoken word content as the format expands across numerous distribution platforms.  I look forward to working with WYD’s existing clients as well as creating new partnerships and content opportunities.”  During his career Murphy has repped such talent as: Charles Osgood, Laura Ingraham, Stephanie Miller, Ed Schultz, Clark Howard, Herman Cain, Mark Levin, Dennis Miller, John Gibson, John Tesh, Brian Kilmeade, Thom Hartmann, Lars Larson, Neal Boortz and more.

morrisginnyGinny Morris Transitions to CEO of Hubbard Radio; Bruce Reese to Special Advisor Role.  Since 1996, Bruce Reese had been serving Bonneville as president and CEO prior to the acquisition of the Bonneville stations by Hubbard in 2011.  He kept his president and CEO role and joined Hubbard.  Ginnyreesebruce Morris has been chair of the Hubbard board since 2011.  Now, Reese will step back into a special advisor role and Morris will become chief executive officer.  The company states that Reese has been “instrumental in the transition when the 17 Bonneville radio stations across four markets (Washington, D.C., Chicago, St. Louis and Cincinnati) were purchased by Hubbard Radio.  The acquisition also meant the addition of 547 Bonneville employees.”  Morris says, “Working with Bruce over these last three-and-a-half years on the integration, first on the Bonneville assets and subsequently those we bought from Sandusky and merged into a new Hubbard Radio, has been a great experience.  Bruce is smart and strategic and he shares hubbardradio logomany of the values that our family holds dear — a commitment to localism, honesty and integrity.  He has helped to establish a great foundation for the company and we are grateful to still have the benefit of his wise counsel.”  Reese comments, “Over the last two decades, I’ve had the opportunity to run two great radio companies.  After Bonneville was brought into Hubbard Radio, we all worked to preserve the values and spirit of both organizations while creating one corporate identity and culture.  The success of the transition has exceeded my hopes, and I am grateful for the trust shown to me by Ginny and the entire Hubbard Radio family.  Our company is performing well, and the time is right for Ginny to step into this role.  I look forward to continuing to work with the Hubbard team in an advisory capacity while eagerly looking forward to the next chapter in my life.”

opieanthonyO&A Fans in ‘Watch and Wait’ Mode After Anthony Cumia’s July 3 Firing.  Fans of the Opie & Anthony show on SiriusXM are waiting to see if co-host Gregg “Opie” Hughes continues the show without longtime partner Anthony Cumia after Cumia was fired from the satcaster on Friday, July 4.  By now you’ve probably heard about Cumia’s vulgar rant about his confrontation with an African American woman in Times Square who was reportedly upset she was in his camera’s field of view as he took photos on the street.  An altercation took place during which Cumia says the woman began punching him.  Police were not called to the scene.  Cumia took to Twitter to talk about the incident and used foul language while making the woman’s race part of the issue.  After being fired, he Tweeted that SiriusXM “decided to cave” and fired him for something that didn’t happen on air and wasn’t illegal.  TALKERS is not aware of the content of Cumia’s contract with SiriusXM but it appears the satcaster was within its rights to terminate him.  He’s neither the first nor will he be the last radio personality to lose his gig after a Twitter rant.  The advice seems obvious: Your employer will ultimately see what you do in the digital world; consider how the company would view your actions before posting.

bearmanethanEthan Bearman Produces and Performs One-Hour Independence Day Special on WPHT, Philadelphia.  Rising talk star Ethan Bearman, who is regularly heard weekends on Cumulus O&O KSFO, San Francisco and nationally on Genesis Communications Network (GCN), has expanded his broadcasting footprint to include CBS O&O WPHT, Philadelphia.  Bearman was smartly recruited by WPHT, PD Jared Hart to do a live hour of Independence Day content last Friday between 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm ET on Philly’s 50k flamethrower and reports from the TALKERS monitoring corps indicate that it was a provocative, informative and powerful hour of spoken word radio.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “Bearman analyzed the historical, cultural and political fabric of the American institution of the 4th of July in a meticulous and precise manner that had a number of ‘aha!’ moments.  He took intelligent calls and made a number of really relevant points that left the audience thinking.  I especially like the way he compared the leaders of that period – those folks we call the ‘Founding Fathers’ – to today’s crop of politicians asking the question, “Are there any political leaders today who would sign a document supporting an issue and campaign in which they believed at the significant risk of their lives?”  Bearman was part of a larger WPHT July 4th salute in which station morning and midday hosts Chris Stigall and Dom Giordano broadcasted their shows from the Independence Hall Visitors Center.

lewisjasonJason Lewis to End GCN Syndication Run.  As tipped by “Free Talk Live” host Ian Freeman, nationally syndicated talk show host Jason Lewis will cease his syndication efforts with Genesis Communications Network effective August 1.  Lewis first ventured into syndication from his Twin Cities home base several years ago with Premiere Networks.  After his relationship with Premiere Networks ended, he joined GCN for national syndication three years ago.  There’s no indication whether Lewis will leave flagship station KTLK, Minneapolis at that time.

krantzwhitmireBrad and Britt Debut Podcast Today from Branded Studio.  Following up on last week’s report about the new podcast project being produced by talk radio personalities Brad Krantz and Britt Whitmire, the two inform TALKERS that when they begin their podcast show – available for download by 3:00 pm ET today – they will be doing so from their sponsored studio: The Brad and Britt Tarheeldentist.com Studio.  In a piece about the duo’s exit from WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte in the Greensboro News & Record, Krantz says they believe that money is starting to flow in the direction of audio on demand and are excited about the new venture.

p'poolrandiAlpha Media Promotes Portland Cluster Marketing Pro Randi P’Pool to Corporate Position.  This promotion for Portland market director of marketing Randi P’Pool comes shortly after the completed merger of Alpha Broadcasting, L&L Broadcasting and Main Line Broadcasting.  P’Pool’s new title is corporate VP of marketing and promotions.  Alpha Media president/CEO Bob Proffitt states, “I’m very happy Randi has accepted this position, as she has proven to be an invaluable asset to our Portland cluster and now will be true resource to the Alpha Media markets.  She is creative, intelligent, and relentless – perfect qualifications for a corporate VP of marketing and promotions.”  P’Pool comments, “I owe much gratitude to Bob Proffitt, Scott Mahalick and Larry Wilson for giving me the opportunity to be part of this exciting journey not only in radio but within our company.  I look forward to continuing to grow and promote the live and local brand across all of our markets.”  Prior to joining Alpha Broadcasting three years ago, P’Pool served with Citadel Broadcasting in the Salt Lake City market.

flemingtomAdLarge Ups Tom Fleming.  Adding more duties at AdLarge Media is Tom Fleming who is promoted to vice president, Midwest sales and sports sales.  In this expanded role, Fleming will be responsible for the AdLarge repertoire of live, play-by-play NFL and NCAA football offerings, Yahoo Sports Radio, and all Midwest sales, including the Detroit office.  Fleming had been serving as vice president, Midwest sales since joining AdLarge in October, 2013.

Pascagoula, Mississippi Radio Personality Walter Thornton Dead at 53.  The Pascagoula-Moss Point community is mourning the death of local morning radio host and sportscaster Walter Thornton, who died over the holiday weekend of an apparent heart attack.  The SunHerald reports the 53-year-old broadcaster was a standout high school athlete who remained involved in the local sports scene and became a sports talk host covering the prep scene in the area.  Most recently he hosted the morning show and sports talk programs at Tri City Radio-owned WPMO, Pascagoula-Moss Point and sister station WVGG, Lucedale.

ftlPorcfest14Will It Be “Governor Freeman?”  Probably not, as “Free Talk Live” host Ian Freeman admits he’d have trouble “governing” anyone even if he beat the odds and is elected.  But the co-host of the New Hampshire-based, GCN nationally syndicated show says his goal with the campaign is two-fold: “First, to needle the current governor, Maggie Hassan, on her refusal to decriminalize or legalize cannabis in NH, while admitting she smoked it in college; second, to promote the idea of NH declaring independence from the United States.”  Freeman says he’s available for interviews from interested broadcasters about these issues.  Contact him at ian@freetalklive.com.  Freeman is pictured here at far right while broadcasting from the recent Porcfest 2014 – the yearly camping gathering of libertarians that drew over 1,500 attendees, many of them FTL listeners.  Also pictured are (from left to right) Free Talk Live’s Mark Edge, Nick Gillespie of Reason.com, and Jeffrey Tucker of Liberty.me.

millerfaithgodfestReaching Out to His Peeps.  KIDO, Boise morning drive personality Kevin Miller rouses the crowd at the 48th annual Treasure Valley God and Country Festival.  Miller tells TALKERS he was honored to fire up the crowd of some 9,000 that attended the festival to honors “faith and the military in Idaho.”

Cool Job Opportunity.  Station Group in Little Rock Arkansas is looking to hire a General Manger to oversee all station operations for news/talk and sports talk.  Sales acumen and experience in news and sports talk field a plus.  Contact Steve Renfro at 479-287-4211 or by email at srenfro@capitalcb.com.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

| July 2, 2014

alphamedia logoAlpha Broadcasting, L&L Broadcasting Become Alpha Media; Main Line Deal Closes. Portland-based L&L Broadcasting operates 43 stations in seven markets; the merged company’s corporate headquarters will continue to be in Portland, where Alpha Broadcasting owns six radio facilities.  In addition to this merger, L&L’s $57 million deal to purchase 19 Main Line Broadcasting stations has been finalized.  Alpha Media chairman Larry Wilson states, “The merger of Portland’s Alpha operation into our newly created Alpha Media results in one company operating all markets.  Our ‘Live and Local’ vision continues to be our focus.  By adding the former Main Line markets, we can continue to develop ourmain line broadcasting footprint with attractive markets operated by great radio people.  We are excited to add them to our growing company.” L&L Broadcasting president and chief executive officer Bob Proffitt remarks, “From the day we visited each Main Line market, we knew they were full wilsonlarryof talented radio broadcasters who understand our vision and how we operate.  We feel our live and local approach will enhance each market’s rating and revenue potential.  Having Portland in the fold allows us to liberally use some of the best brains in the radio business to help listeners, clients, and employees at our other markets throughout the country.”  According to Main Line Broadcasting chief executive officer Marc Guralnick, “It has been a great nine years at Main Line Broadcasting.  I have had the pleasure of working with some of the best people in the industry.  I am excited to have our talented broadcasters now under the leadership of Larry Wilson, Bob Proffitt, and the Alpha-L&L team.  I wish L&L and this tremendous staff much continued success.”  The four markets for Philadelphia-based Main Line are Louisville, Dayton, Richmond, and Hagerstown, Maryland-Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.  The company was represented in the transaction by Media Venture Partners.

katztonyTony Katz Assumes Morning Drive Role at WIBC-FM, Indianapolis.  Monday (6/30) was the first day on the job for new WIBC-FM, Indianapolis morning show personality Tony Katz.  He replaces Steve Simpson who recently exited the station after 22 years.  Katz had been hosting the 9:00 pm to 12:00wibclogo midnight show at WIBC-FM from his home in Los Angeles but is moving to Indy for this new role.  Emmis market manager Charlie Morgan recently told the Indianapolis Business Journal the move to replace Simpson with Katz was the result of the station wanting a more opinionated, commentary-driven show than the newsy approach Simpson was comfortable with.  “He’s just not the right guy for what the role of host now requires.  What we’re asking our hosts to do is offer opinion and perspective, and [Simpson] was not comfortable with that.  He was more comfortable in a more traditional news role.”

gottliebdougCBS Sports Radio Network’s Doug Gottlieb Show Gets Cable Simulcast.  Beginning August 25, the Doug Gottlieb show will be seen on cable’s CBS Sports Network in addition to being heard on the CBS Sports Radio Network.  The program will be simulcast live from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.  CBS Sports SVP of programming Dan Weinberg says, “Adding the Doug Gottlieb show greatly strengthens our afternoon lineup adding three hours of live and relevant content each day.  Doug’s show is high-energy, insightful and entertaining and we are excited to extend the reach of his radio show to the CBS Sports Network television audience.”

kfbk logoKFBK Boosts Murray to News Director.  Assistant program director Mike Murray is elevated to news director at Clear Channel Sacramento talker KFBK.  Vice president of programming Ken Charles – who programs KFBK and sibling talker KSTE – comments, “In determining the needs of our department, and wanting to make sure there is one vision and voice between programming and news, Mike rose to the top as the right candidate for the role.”  In the next few weeks, there will reportedly be some news/programming restructuring associated with Murray’s promotion.

keiperjenniferKeiper Returns to WLS-AM, Chicago as News Anchor.  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Jennifer Keiper is back with news/talk WLS-AM, Chicago after a six-year absence during which she worked as Midwest correspondent for Fox News Radio.  Keiper will anchor the news during afternoon drive, where Roe Conn and Richard Roeper are currently heard.  Keiper is taking over for Susan Carlson who resigned two months ago to join WMAQ-TV.  Read Feder’s column here.

mathenysamMatheny Named EVP/Chief Technology Officer for NAB.  Joining NAB from Capitol Broadcasting to serve as the new EVP and chief technology officer is Sam Matheny.  His work as part of the corporate staff involvement in several Capitol Broadcasting media ventures: general manager at News Over Wireless, which provided the first local television news applications for wireless carriers; manager of Digital Cinema at Microspace Communications, deploying digital cinema as a viable market for satellite delivery; and vice president & general manager at DTV Plus, which developed and launched the nation’s first DTV datacasting service.  Matheny is currently a member of the FCC Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council and is a member of the Academy of Digital Television Pioneers.  NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith states, “NAB is thrilled to have Sam Matheny joining the team as our new CTO.  Sam’s roots are in broadcast localism and service to the community, but he is also a technology strategist determined to push broadcasters to embrace digital and Internet opportunities that generate revenue.  Today, tens of millions of our listeners and viewers are legally accessing broadcast programming on platforms and devices that are IP-based, portable and mobile. We believe Sam is the right choice to press these digital strategies forward and lead our industry’s technology future.”

joycebrianpanelWGOW, Chattanooga Host Brian Joyce Moderates Panel on Democracy and Human Rights in Geneva.  Tennessee talk radio personality Brian Joyce (pictured here, bottom, far right) was recently in Geneva, Switzerland at the invitation of the Geneva Press Club to moderate a panel discussion on democracy and human rights.  Among the members of this panel were Egyptian MP and Secretary General of Egypt’s Industry & Energy Committee Hatem Azzam (second from right, standing).  Joyce is going abroad this weekend to speak at a public rally in Istanbul, Turkey in Alfatih Square in Istanbul to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the military coup in Egypt, which took place on July 3, 2013.  He was invited by a Turkish organization called Union of NGOs of the Islamic World, in cooperation with the Egyptian Solidarity Movement. Joyce says the Turkish government and Turkish people have been strong, vocal critics of military rule in Egypt, as well as of violations of democracy and human rights across the Muslim world.

pavlinahannityPavlina Interviews Sean Hannity on Talkers TV.  Sixteen-year-old talk media prodigy, Pavlina Osta, host of the syndicated radio show “Pavlina’s Kidz Place,” conducted an interview with Premiere Radio and Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity at the recent Talkers New York 2014 convention. That 15 minute interview is currently playing on Talkers TV located at the top of the upper right hand column of boxes on every page on Talkers.com.  Pavlina has been broadcasting since she was 11 years old and has an amazing track record of conducting exclusive interviews with more than 300 stars from the fields of entertainment, sports, politics and media.  David Bernstein, GM of Talkers broadcasting operations says, “This young woman is going to be a huge media star.  She has everything going for her – even a local Gracie Award to her credit.  Watch out world, Pavlina is coming!”

marconiawardMeet This Year’s NAB Marconi Radio Award Finalists. They are listed below and the list encompasses 21 categories.  The Marconi Radio Awards are given by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) to honor excellence in broadcasting. “Legendary Station”:news KCBS-AM, San Francisco; talk KXLY-AM, Spokane; sports WFAN, New York; country WIL-FM, St. Louis; and adult contemporary WLEN-FM, Adrian, Michigan. “Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year”:Bob & Tom, Westwood One; Elvis Duran, Premiere Radio Networks; Rush Limbaugh, Premiere Radio Networks; Ryan Seacrest, Premiere Radio Networks; and Rickey Smiley, Radio One/REACH Media. “Major Market Personality of the Year”:Carter Alan of WZLX, Boston; Big Boy of KPWR, Los Angeles; Kevin & Bean of KROQ, Los Angeles; Preston & Steve of WMMR, Philadelphia; and (Fred) Toucher & Rich (Shertenlieb) of WBZ-FM, Boston. “Large Market Personality of the Year”:Bo Matthews of WIL-FM, St. Louis; Dr. Don (with Rachael and Grunwald) of WYCD, Detroit; Jim “JJ” Johnson of WOMC, Detroit; Larry Richert of KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh; and Ryan & Shannon of KSTP-FM, Minneapolis. “Medium Market Personality of the Year”:Brent Johnson of WTCB, Columbia, South Carolina; Cole Johnson of WNVZ, Norfolk; Kevin Miller of KIDO-AM, Boise, Idaho; Chris Kelly & Chris Demm of WKRR, Greensboro; and Jeff Walker of WKRZ, Wilkes Barre-Scranton. “Small Market Personality of the Year”:Bill Barrett, Tim Fox & Tracy Berry of KKNU-FM, Eugene, Oregon; David Gustafson of KJSK-AM, Columbus, Nebraska; Dottie Ray of KXIC-AM, Iowa City, Iowa; Brian Egan, Rusty Bumper & Amanda Walton of WKWS-FM, Charleston, West Virginia; and Brian Lee & Chris Wolfe of KZOQ-FM, Missoula, Montana. “Major Market Station of the Year”: country KKBQ, Houston; urban AC WBLS, New York; rock WMMR, Philadelphia; hot AC WTMX, Chicago; and country WUSN, Chicago. “Large Market Station of the Year”:adult contemporary KRWM, Seattle; CHR WBLI, Long Island; talk WCCO, Minneapolis; talk WTMJ, Milwaukee; and sports WXYT-FM, Detroit. “Medium Market Station of the Year”:rock KAZR-FM, Des Moines; hot AC KSTZ, Des Moines; country WIVK-FM, Knoxville; talk WOWO-AM, Fort Wayne, Indiana; and country WUSY-FM, Chattanooga, Tennessee. “Small Market Station of the Year”:talkKFGO-AM, Fargo, South Dakota; CHR KNDE-FM, Bryan-College Station, Texas; full-service adult contemporary KYNT-AM, Yankton, South Dakota; country WFRE-FM, Frederick, Maryland; and adult contemporary WLEN-FM, Adrian, Michigan. “Adult Contemporary Station of the Year”:KIFM, San Diego; WBEB, Philadelphia; WILV, Chicago; WMEE-FM, Fort Wayne, Indiana; and WVAF, Charleston, West Virginia. “CHR Station of the Year”:KQKS, Denver; WBBM-FM, Chicago; WNVZ, Norfolk; WPOI, Tampa; and WVAQ, Morgantown, West Virginia. “Country Station of the Year”:KCYY, San Antonio; WIL-FM, St. Louis; WKLB, Boston; WLHK, Indianapolis; and WOKQ, Portsmouth, New Hampshire. “News-Talk Station of the Year”:KCBS-AM, San Francisco; KRLD-AM, Dallas; KTMY, Minneapolis; WGCV-AM, Columbia, South Carolina; and WLW, Cincinnati. “(Classic Hits-) Oldies Station of the Year:”WJMK, Chicago; WMJI, Cleveland; WSRZ, Sarasota; WXGL, Tampa; and WOGL Philadelphia. “(Contemporary Christian) Religious Station of the Year”:KKJM, St. Cloud, Minnesota; KKLA, Los Angeles; KLTY, Dallas; KNOM, Nome, Alaska; and WMHK, Columbia, South Carolina. “Rock Station of the Year”:KROQ, Los Angeles; KSWD, Los Angeles; WBAB, Long Island; WDRV, Chicago; and WSUN, Tampa. “Spanish Station of the Year”:KLZT, Austin; WNUA, Chicago; WYUS-AM Milford, Delaware; WYUU, Tampa; and WXSH, Georgetown, Delaware. “Sports Station of the Year”:KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh; KFXN-FM, Minneapolis; WBZ-FM, Boston; WIP-FM, Philadelphia; and WXYT-FM, Detroit. “Urban Contemporary Station of the Year”: KPRS, Kansas City; WGCI-FM, Chicago; WHQT, Miami; WQHT, New York; and WVKL, Norfolk. “Noncommercial Station of the Year”: KPCW, Park City, Utah; KUNV, Las Vegas; WEAA, Baltimore; WRHU Long Island; and WSDP,  Canton, Michigan. Winners will be announced in two months (9/11) at the awards dinner in Indianapolis during this year’s NAB Radio Show.

kgy logoKGY Inc. Sells KGY-AM, Olympia to Catholic Broadcaster.  Sports talk KGY-AM, Olympia, Washington is being sold to Sacred Heart Radio for $250,000, according to The Olympian.  The station has been in the Kerry family since current KGY Inc. business manager Nick Kerry’s grandfather Tom Olsen purchased it in 1939.  KGY Inc. will continue to operate country outlet KYYO-FM “96.9 KAYO” and translator K237FR at 95.3 FM.

SCOTUS Hobby Lobby Ruling, Obama Executive Actions, Illegal Immigrant Influx-Amnesty Proposal, Global Warming Debate, Israeli-Palestinian Tensions, Sarkozy Investigation, and World Cup Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/1).  The backlash over the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Hobby Lobby contraceptive case; John Boehner’s threat to sue President Obama over the executive actions issue; debate over amnesty as the Southwest deals with an influx of minor illegal immigrants; continuing disagreement over the issue of man-made climate change; high tensions in Israel following the deaths of three Israeli teens and a Palestinian youth; the corruption investigation of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy and the U.S.’s exit from the World Cup were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

| June 19, 2014

2014 NYC logo 150Two Big Days for Talk Radio in the Big Apple.  Today (6/19) kicks off a big couple of days for talk radio in New York City starting with the ninth annual installment of “Talk Radio Day at the United Nations” – the massive radio row at the iconic headquarters of the World Organization — produced by TALKERS magazine in association with the Talk Radio News Service and the United Nations Foundation.  Tomorrow is the power-packed day of “Talkers New York 2014” — the 17th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longestcolmesUN14 running and most important national convention.  More than 25 hosts, shows and networks are participating in the United Nations initiative which is already underway at the time of this posting.  They are interviewing international policy experts, ambassadors, newsmakers and UN department leaders.  Tomorrow, more than 55 industry leaders will address hundreds of attendees from radio stations, networks and broadcast-oriented organizations from across the country in an anticipated event that was been sold-out two weeks in advance.  Look for full coverage of both exciting events right here in the days ahead.  Meanwhile, from today’s broadcasts from the United Nations, pictured here is Fox News Radio personality Alan Colmes (left) interviews UN deputy general secretary Jan Eliasson (right).

millerkevinARKKARN-FM, Little Rock Announces New Programming Lineup.  Arkansas news/talker KARN-FM, Little Rock “Newsradio 102.9” has new morning drive and afternoon programming as the Cumulus Media station names Arkansas native Kevin Miller morning drive host and Doc Washburn afternoon talkwashburndoc personality.  The station says Miller is a longtime market veteran who has worked at such stations as adult contemporary KURB “B98.5” and CHR KLAL “Alice 107.7.”  Beginning Monday, July 7, Doc Washburn begins hosting the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm program.  Washburn comes to Little Rock from his most recent gig at Greater Media’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte.  He’s also worked in the Savannah, Georgia; Panama City and Fort Walton Beach, Florida markets.  KARN-FM program director Adam Thomas states, “Kevin and Doc bring passion, experience and a love of local radio to mornings and afternoons on Arkansas’ legendary news radio station.”

edisonshareofearEdison Research: Broadcast Radio Grabs 52% of Audio Listening.  According to a new study of 2,096 Americans ages 13+ that the company calls the “Share of Ear” measurement, Americans spend more than four hours per day listening to audio from all sources and AM/FM broadcast audio (heard on all of its platforms) has a 52% audience share of listening.  The study asked the panel about its audio listening habits including radio, internet delivered radio, pure-play digital services, and consumers’ own music collections.  The study is based on a 24-hour listening diary recorded last month.  Edison Research president Larry Rosin comments, “Edison’s ‘Share of Ear’ study is a response to the many requests from all corners of the audio industry and investment community for ‘total share of everything’ figures that did not previously exist.  Edison reported last September that America is in a ‘golden age of audio consumption.’  Seeing that Americans spend roughly a fourth of their waking day listening to some sort of audio confirms it.”

alphamedia logoAlpha Media’s Portland Stations to Use Clip Interactive Technology.  Calling it a first for the Portland, Oregon market, Alpha Media announces it signs on with Clip Interactive to have the company’s technology allow listeners to be “interactive” with its six stations that include: talk KUFO-AM “Freedom 970,” CHR KBFF “Live 95.5,” country KUPL “98.7 The Bull,” sports talk KXTG-AM “750 The Game,” news/talk KXL “FM News 101” and triple A KINK.  The station says that new apps loaded with the Clip technology have been pushed out and that with “Clip Interac-tive’s technology, these apps now enable our listeners to access a live feed of what’s playing, listen to the stations streams and browse the content aired in the past hour.  Users can also interact with what they hear by rating music, entering contests, accessing special offers and more.”  Alpha SVP and market manager Milt McConnell adds, “Clip Interactive has been an important partner of Alpha Broadcasting and we are excited to implement their new technology, which greatly benefits our listeners, advertisers and other partner companies.  These apps will enable us to further engage our listener base while quantifying the effectiveness of our advertisers’ campaigns.”

cookehollandNJBA Convention Report.  Media consultant Holland Cooke reports from Atlantic City where the New Jersey Broadcasters Association just wrapped its annual convention.  Among the topics covered: The Great Debate – Internet Pure-Plays versus AM/FM Broadcasters; the still-high consumption of audio content in a multi-media universe; and selling audio content in the current era.  Cooke reports that while Connoisseur chief Jeff Warshaw admits that “radio hasn’t been its own best friend lately,” many radio people believe that digital audio services are hot not necessarily because they are good, but because they exist on the “shiny new object” that is the smartphone or tablet, thereby making them de facto “cool.”  Read more of Holland Cooke’s NJBA report here.

justiceborderGetting the First Look.  KQTH, Tucson morning drive personality Jon Justice (pictured at left wearing lanyard) stands outside the Nogales Border Patrol facility where child immigrants are being quartered.  Justice is credited with breaking the story that went national after receiving a tip from insiders about the conditions in which the children were being kept.  Here, Justice is part of the first group of media allowed to tour the facility.  TALKERS hears that it was Justice’s tenacity in requesting the media be allowed to see the site that, in part, led to the Border Patrol opening the facility to the media.

Obama Administration’s Iraq Policy, Washington Redskins Decision, Global Warming Debate, Benghazi Suspect Testimony, Primary Races/State of the GOP, IRS Scandal/Missing Lerner Emails and World Cup Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/18).  The political turmoil in Iraq and the Obama Administration’s military policy there; the cancellation of the Washington Redskins’ trademark and debate over the team’s name; the ongoing discussion over man-made climate change and proposals to limit carbon emissions; the Benghazi suspect’s story about the attack on the U.S. consulate; mid-term primary races and the state of the GOP; the missing emails from Lois Lerner and the IRS scandal; and World Cup action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

| May 29, 2014

newsmaxtv logoNewsmax TV to Launch on DirecTV Next Month.  Wider distribution is ahead for Newsmax Media Inc’s Newsmax TV channel as the conservative news and talk outlet will be available on DirecTV beginning in mid-June.  Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy says the deal that will put Newsmax TV in the homes and businesses of 20 million subscribers will start with nine hours of live programming.  Currently, Newsmax TV is available online at Newsmax.com.  Ruddy states, “Our launch will benefit from the existing Newsmax.com audience that is already in place.  This audience will naturally be drawn to our brand of news, features and useful information and consist of one of the highest concentrations of baby boomers on the web.  We will immediately plug into that audience to participate in the development and the evolution of the channel prior to a national launch.”  Newsmax says that in addition to planned cable and satellite distribution, the new channel will be available via a wide range of “TV Everywhere” platforms just as the “crucial 2014 mid-term election coverage commences.”  Ruddy adds, “Newsmax was born online and as the lines between TV and the web blur, we will attract a growing audience that doesn’t differentiate between the two.  As a result, we are also well positioned to maximize the opportunities provided by ‘TV Everywhere’ platforms to reach tens of millions of Americans.”

beckerphilBecker Becomes L&L Broadcasting’s VP/Programming.  Former Oasis Radio Fort Wayne, Indiana general manager Phil Becker is appointed vice president of programming for L&L Broadcasting.  “As a continuation of our rapid growth, we have been searching for the ideal candidate to help our programming teams execute strategies for on-air, online, and mobile audience growth,” comments L&L Broadcasting president and chief executive officer Bob Proffitt.  “Phil is the absolute perfect fit for us and will not only be a dynamic addition to our corporate structure, but a welcoming face to our markets as he helps them continue to evolve.” Senior vice president/director of programming Scott Mahalick states, “We are thrilled to have such a alphamedia logovisionary programmer join our team with a winning track record; great passion for the art of the product; business sense; and stellar leadership traits.”  Becker remarks that the L&L Broadcasting team is “truly focused on their brands, as well as hiring the best people.  The direction and vision of the entire corporate team is an exciting and refreshing approach to the industry that I love.”  Prior to becoming Oasis Radio Fort Wayne’s GM, Becker was its operations manager and director of programming.  His previous background includes programming tenures at Cox Radio Group Orlando rhythmic CHR WPYO “Power 95.3″; CKEY, Fort Erie Ontario (Buffalo-Niagara Falls); and in Dothan, Alabama for New South Communications.  In April, Larry Wilson announced that Alpha Broadcasting and L&L Broadcasting would merge into one company – Alpha Media.  When that merger is complete, the company will operate 68 stations.

itunesradio logoApple-Beats Deal Overshadows iTunes Radio’s Non-Music Deals.  The just announced deal that Apple is acquiring Beats Music and Beats Electronics for $3 billion is the subject of a lot of chatter in the financial and music/radio sectors.  While the music angle is what Apple CEOespnradiologo Tim Cook appears to be focused on, spoken-word audio programming is not escaping Apple’s eye.  Almost buried under the Beats acquisition news is Apple’s announcement that it is creating an ESPN channel for iTunes Radio that will make its ESPN Radio content – Mike & Mike, Colin Cowherd, SVP & Russillo, and SportsCenter – available to iTunes Radio listeners.   This comes on the heels of the March addition of the NPR channel to the service.  Also, 9to5Mac is reporting that the ESPN station will carry this year’s World Cup live.  While analysts are speculating largely about how this will affect SiriusXM, obviously this is another platform to compete with AM/FM radio, as well.

jamesmarcMarc James Moves from Charlotte to Atlanta for CBS RADIO.  The sudden disappearance of afternoon drive sports talk host Marc James from the lineup at CBS RADIO’s WFNZ, Charlotte “The Fan” is explained as he moves southwest to Atlanta to partner up with Carl Dukes on WZGC “92.9 The Game” to wzgc logoco-host “Game Time” from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm effective Monday, June 2.  The station also brings Mark Zinno in from its WJZ-FM, Baltimore “105.7 The Fan,” as TALKERS reported yesterday.  WZGC program director Terry Foxx states, “Both Marc James and Mark Zinno bring unique perspectives to the Atlanta radio market.  Marc James’ strong opinions will be a solid addition to Carl Dukes’ ability to objectively deliver content and Mark Zinno provides a global vision and a powerful punch to the Night Show.”  Back in Charlotte, local blogger Randy Inman writes on his Panther Lair blog that he hears the candidate most likely to replace James on the PM drive show at WFNZ is Chris Kroeger.

midwestcomm logoSouth Central Properties Dealt to Midwest Communications.  Some extremely successful sticks are about to exchange hands as Wausau, Wisconsin-based Midwest Communications is acquiring South Central Communications’ radio stations.  (SummitMedia had announced intentions to buy the group for a rumored price somewhere in the range of $75 million, but that obviously fell apart.)  Among the facilities involved are adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9″ and adult hits WCJK “Jack-FM” (both in Nashville); adult contemporary WJXB “Today’s Soft Rock,” rock WVRX “The X,” and classic rock WIMZ (all inwjxa logo Knoxville); and adult contemporary WIKY, country WLFW “The Wolf,” CHR WSTO “Hot 96,” and classic rock WABX (all in Evansville, Indiana).  According to South Central chief executive officer J.P. Engelbrecht, “We have found a great steward for our radio stations in Midwest Communications.  They are good broadcasters who will build upon the legacy created by our outstanding team.”  Midwest Communications chief executive officer Duke Wright comments, “We feel extremely fortunate to be acquiring one of America’s best-run radio groups.  South Central and Midwest are entirely family-owned with both families being in the radio business for well over 50 years.  We feel there is a lot of commonality between the companies – I am certain we will have much to share with each other.”  Nashville AC “Mix 92.9″ is that market’s perennial top-ranked powerhouse (6+): In April’s PPM, it registers an 11.8 (#1, 6+).  A similar ratings prowess exists for Evansville AC WIKY, which was #1 (12+) in the fall 2013 book with a robust 16.3.  WSTO finished third (9.1); WABX was fifth (5.0); and WLFW ranked seventh (4.1).  Nashville’s WCJK ranks eighth in April (6+) with a 5.1.  South Central did not subscribe for the latest Knoxville numbers, so its three stations there are not listed.  The Wright Family formed Midwest Communications in 1958.  Midwest Communications presently owns 63 radio outlets in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.  Terms of the transaction – for which Kalil & Company was the exclusive broker – were not disclosed.

jenkinsjudithJenkins to Enter New Mexico Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.  News pro Judith Jenkins will be inducted into the New Mexico Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame on June 7.  The longtime KKOB, Albuquerque morning news anchor also worked at KKOB-TV during her career.  In addition to her duties on KKOB’s morning program alongside Ed Hartley, Jenkins also handles news duties for Cumulus’ FM stations in the Albuquerque cluster.  She will be the first African American elected to the New Mexico Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.

2014 NYC logo 150Madison Rising Official National Anthem Performer for Talkers New York 2014.  When the Talkers New York 2014 conference opens on June 20, at the India House in the Financial District, the band Madison Rising will serve as the official performer of the national anthem.  You can check out this band’s rendition of the Star Spangled Banner in the Talkers TV box on the upper right side of this page.  Talkers VP/executive editor Kevin Casey says, “Not since Jimi Hendrix laid down his iconic (and controversial!) rendition of the national anthem at Woodstock in 1969 has such a tremendously soul-stirring version of this song, performed in the rock idiom, been recorded.  Not only is Madison Rising an extremely talented band, their version of the Star Spangled Banner puts you on the edge of your seat!”  For more information about Talkers New York 2014, click here.

beckatomOdds & Sods.  Omaha talk show host Tom Becka says he’s not looking for a fight with SiriusXM but says, contrary to the satcaster’s claim that host Maggie Linton did the last radio interview with author Maya Angelou before her death on Sunday, he actually did.  The KOIL talk host tells TALKERS magazine he did what he believes is her last radio interview on May 13.  You can hear that

 
…..As part of a promotion to operations manager for Great Plains Media’s Lawrence-Topeka, Kansas clusters, programmer and air talent Tabatha Levrault gains operations manager duties for news/talk KLWM…..Sports USA is announcing its 18-game college football schedule for the 2014 season.  Defending National Champion Florida State, Auburn, Michigan State, Alabama, Ohio State, Oregon, LSU, Stanford, and UCLA will be among the teams featured this year.  Sports USA president Bob Moore states, “We are pleased to offer college football’s biggest matchups to our 400-plus affiliates, advertisers, and fans nationwide.  Our schedule is second to none.”…..“This American Life” will be distributed by Public Radio Exchange when the show’s deal with PRI expires on July 1.  Host and executive producer Ira Glass says in a press statement, “They’ve been a huge innovative force in public radio, inventing technologies and projects to get people on the air who’d have a much harder time without them.  They’re mission-driven, they’re super-capable and apparently they’re pretty good with computers.”

hartmannthomThom Hartmann to Receive 2014 Freedom of Speech Award.  The TALKERS editorial board has named progressive radio and television talk show host Thom Hartmann as the 2014 recipient of The Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech.  The award recognizes broadcasting achievement in raising consciousness and awareness of the First Amendment, displaying courage and commitment in exercising First Amendment rights and contributing to the viability of the First Amendment through deed and example.  The award, one of the most prestigious and high-profile honors presented to individuals in the talk media industry, has a colorful (and often controversial) history that goes back to the early 1990s when the modern era of talk radio emerged and the format became recognized as an influential forum of public policy and social change following the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine.  It was re-named in honor of talk radio pioneer Gene Burns upon his death in May 2013. TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “Gene Burns was the model by which the Freedom of Speech Award and the Annual State of the First Amendment Address delivered at our national conventions were developed.  It is only 2014 NYC logo 150fitting that this institution bears the name of this great champion of the ideals and foundation upon which contemporary spoken-word radio is built.”  Last year’s recipient of the Freedom of Speech Award was Glenn Beck.  Recent recipients include Rush Limbaugh, Al Franken, Sean Hannity, Alan Colmes, Jim Farley, Juan Williams, Joe Madison, Michael Savage, Norm Pattiz, Bill O’Reilly, Matt Drudge, G. Gordon Liddy and Brian Lamb among many others.  Upon making the announcement of Thom Hartmann’s selection as this year’s recipient, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “It is about time the industry recognizes the enormous contributions Thom Hartmann makes in keeping our industry representative of the spectrum of legitimate political ideologies at play in the American marketplace of ideas.  Not only has he effectively kept the voice of liberalism alive in this arena with intellectual clarity, poise and civility for more than a decade — he has, in the process, developed and pioneered effective new, multi-media platform models and has amazingly bridged the artificial programming and business gap between commercial and public broadcasting.”  The Thom Hartmann Program, launched in 2003 and represented by WYD Media, is on the radio live weekdays 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm ET, and is syndicated by WestwoodOne, Pacifica, and CRN Digital Talk.  It’s heard nationally on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio, American Forces Radio, and is simulcast as television on the Free Speech TV network – which airs on both Direct TV and the Dish satellite TV systems, and several hundred cable systems, from Manhattan Neighborhood Networks to smaller systems from Burlington, Vermont to Seattle, Washington. The show is carried online by Progressive Voices on the TuneIn app, by NetRootsRadio, and streams live on its own YouTube and LiveStream channels.  Close to 200 commercial and non-commercial radio stations carry Thom Hartmann’s show in the U.S., Ghana, Aruba, and Canada.  In addition to radio, this entrepreneurial broadcaster also hosts “The Big Picture” TV show, that is owned and produced by Thom Hartmann and represented by WYD Media.  It airs live nationwide on cable and satellite TV at 7:00 pm ET and 10:00 pm ET in an estimated 60 million-plus U.S. households via his licensing agreement with Free Speech TV, and is available in 107 countries in more than 600 million homes around the world via his licensing agreement with RT TV.  The Big Picture is also carried by 200-plus community cable systems.  It’s also available on Hulu and via Roku on the internet, and has its own YouTube channel.  Hartmann’s website this year has had over a million unique visitors, and has an active community with its own user blogs, message board, and chat room.  He has over 65,000 Facebook followers, and 37,000 Twitter followers, and over 15 million YouTube views just this year with over 60,000 subscribers to his YouTube channels.  He’s the New York Times bestselling, four-time Project Censored Award winning author of 24 books in print in 17 languages on five continents.  TALKERS named Thom Hartmann as the eighth most important talk show host in America in 2011, 2012, and 2013 (10th the two previous years), and for three of the past five years the #1 most important progressive host, in its “Heavy Hundred” ranking.  The Freedom of Speech Award will be presented to Thom Hartmann at Talkers New York 2014. There will be more than 65 industry leaders in speaking roles at the conference which takes place on Friday, June 20 at the iconic India House in the heart of New York City’s historic Financial District.  Registration is only open to professionals (and broadcasting students) working in radio and related media.  The cost is $249 per person which includes all sessions, receptions, food and refreshments.  Registrations can only be booked over the phone with credit card.  Call 413-565-5413.  Again, a sellout is expected shortly.  For up to the minute agenda information and further details please click here.

hobbsjailGabe Hobbs Arrested!  Noted media consultant Gabe Hobbs is appealing to friends and colleagues to help rescue him from the MDA lockup – he needs $3,500 to be set free.  Hobbs tells TALKERS he’s dedicating his efforts to return to civil society to late Clear Channel Omaha/Lincoln operations manager Jim Steel who was lost to ALS in 2007.  He says he’s been humbled by the number of people who actually want to see him on the outside and have donated.  “But I need more.  Prison life just doesn’t suit me and I have no idea how to make a shiv so the best thing would be for me to make bail.”  To free Gabe and donate to the MDA click here.

UCSB Killings/U.S. Gun Laws, VA Hospitals Scandal, Prince Charles Anti-Capitalism Speech, Marine Held in Mexico Case, Kerry-Snowden Spat, U.S. GDP Dips, and NBA-NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/28).  The aftermath of the deadly shootings at the University of California Santa Barbara and discussion about gun legislation; the continuing investigation into the scandals reported at VA hospitals; reaction to Prince Charles’ speech in which he advocates a new “inclusive capitalism”; the case of the U.S. Marine being held in Mexico on gun charges; Secretary of State John Kerry’s reaction to the Edward Snowden interview; the dip in the U.S. gross domestic product; and the NBA and NHL playoff action were among the top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

| May 13, 2014

brennanjohnJohn Brennan Upped to Director of Branding and Programming at ‘102.5 The Bone’ in Tampa.  The promotion lifts John Brennan from his content manager position to director of branding and programming at Cox Media Group’s WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone, REAL.RAW.RADIO.”  In this post he’ll be responsible for all programming operations for WHPT, including talent selection, coaching,whptlogo scheduling, imaging, brand development, digital strategy and more.   Cox Tampa VP and market manager Keith Lawless states, “In his previous role as content manager for WHPT, John demonstrated his clear understanding and vision for this unique format.  I am confident in his leadership capabilities and proud to have John in this important role.”  Brennan comments, “I am extremely excited to be named the director of branding and programming for ‘102.5 The Bone.’  ‘The Bone’ is one of the most unique stations in radio, with some of the most polarizing and talented personalities in the world, and I get to work with them every day.  I am honored that Kim Guthrie, Steve Smith and Keith Lawless have such confidence in me to continue the great success of this station.  I feel genuinely lucky to be working for a company that encourages such originality and creativity!”  In addition to his previous content manager position, Brennan was also executive producer of the Mike Calta show.

wgn 90WGN, Chicago Celebrates 90th Anniversary with ‘Walk of Fame.’  As Tribune Company’s WGN, Chicago celebrates its 90th year of service to the market, the station will spend the month of June honoring its history with several commemorative projects, videos, “Throwback Thursday” social media posts, and on-air programming featuring highlights throughout the decades.  The station says the anniversary celebration culminates on Friday, June 27 when Tribune Media unveils the “WGN Radio Walk of Fame.”  Plaques will be installed outside the Allstate Showcase Studio at the Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue.  The 2014 induction will recognize 10 beloved and legendary hosts from the station’s long list of distinguished talent including: Jack Brickhouse, Bob Collins, Roy Leonard, Judy Markey, Spike O’Dell, Kathy O’Malley, Wally Phillips, Milt Rosenberg, Quin Ryan and Orion Samuelson.  Bios and career highlights of the inductees can be found at wgnradio.com.  The ceremony will broadcast live from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm followed by an anniversary special broadcast, “90 years in 90 minutes” from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm.  WGN VP of content Todd Manley says,Our inaugural Walk of Fame class represents all nine decades of WGN Radio’s life in ChicagoWe look forward to honoring even more names who have helped make us the fencepost of conversation for 90 years.”

pittmanbloomberg2Bob Pittman Explains Radio’s Resilience to Bloomberg.  In a piece for Bloomberg TV, Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman says the reason 92% of Americans tune in to radio at least once per week is because good radio operators know the audiences they are trying to reach and present the content in a way that attracts them.  In the piece, he asks Bloomberg’s Cristina Alesci, “Do you think we’re so dumb that we spend hundreds of millions of dollars per year to program radio stations versus just playing the music if that would work?”  The piece also features media experts who address radio advertising and how that is evolving to try to keep revenue coming in as more and more advertisers move ad dollars to digital.  View the three-minute segment here.

wilcoxkatieCC Ups VP of Sales Wilcox to SF Market President Post.  After yesterday’s announcement that longtime market manager JD Freeman would be retiring from the Clear Channel Media + Entertainment San Francisco cluster, the company announces it is promoting vice president of sales Katie Wilcox to the market president position.  Wilcox has been VP of sales since 2009 leading a team of more than 50 sellers, managers and staff to identify opportunities for the seven station cluster.  She comments, “Although I have big shoes to fill, my past experience with my partners in programming and operations give me great confidence that this talented team will continue to thrive in the future.  I am energized by the challenge ahead and look forward to serving the expanding needs of our listeners, clients and staff.”

sheehankevinRed Zebra Inks Kevin Sheehan to Three-Year Extension at ‘ESPN 980’ Washington.  Midday show co-host Kevin Sheehan re-ups with Red Zebra’s WTEM, Washington, DC “ESPN 980” for another three years.  Sheehan works with Thom Loverro on “The Sports Fix” that airs from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm.  VP of programming Chuck Sapienza says,Kevin has become a fixture in Washington, DC radio and his ratings dominance is a testament to his hard work and preparation.”  Sheehan will also continue to host the Official Redskins Pre-Game Show, contribute to the Tony Kornheiser show and co-host “Monday Morning Quarterback” after each Redskins football game.  Red Zebra CEO Rick Carmean adds, “Kevin Sheehan, Thom Loverro, Doc Walker and Brian Mitchell give us one of the strongest midday lineups in the industry.  We are ecstatic to have Kevin in the fold for the next three years.”

larsonlarsAn Open Letter to Michael Smerconish from Lars Larson.  Nationally syndicated and regional talk radio personality Lars LarsonCompass Media Networks and Alpha Media’s KXL, Portland – writes an open letter to SiriusXM and CNN talk media personality Michael Smerconish, criticizing him for  “bashing fellow talk hosts as routinely and regularly lying to listeners.”  Larson writes in response to Smerconish’s recent appearance on CBS TV in which he promotes his new book called Talk: A Novel, the protagonist of which is a conservative talk host who ignores his conscience to get a big syndication deal.  Read Larson’s open letter here.

nielsen logoFirst Round of April PPM Data Released.  PPM data from the first of four groups of 12 markets for the April 2014 period (March 27 – April 23) has been released by Nielsen Audio.  Those markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication, RadioInfo, has all the (subscriber) numbers here.  Managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian offers his “Ten Takeaways” from the report at RadioInfo.com here.

malibuThe Connected Car Ain’t Cheap!  As advertisers attempt to follow the consumer to the next hot destination – mobile – the saving grace for traditional media just may be the expense of data.  The Wall Street Journal’s Tom Gara writes about GM’s new option for 4G LTE connectivity in some models that turns your vehicle into a Wi-Fi hot spot.  But it’s not cheap.  Certainly consumers with lots of disposable income may splurge but others are likely to balk at paying up to $50 a month for 5 GB of data on top of their smartphone data plans and other monthly media bills.  There are other options: $5 per day for 200 MB – not good enough for video but fine for surfing the web.  Still, while its possible data may get less expensive down the road, providers are showing no signs of dropping those prices in the near future.  Even though advertisers are feverishly trying to figure out how to reach all those 25-39 year olds glued to their smartphones, the fact that radio is free and easy to use is still what keeps many people tuning in.

dresdalesantanaGetting to the Heart of it with Carlos Santana.  While appearing on ABC’s “Good Morning America” to promote his latest album Corazon, guitar legend Carlos Santana (right) spent some time backstage talking with ABC News Radio’s Andrea Dresdale (left) whose report was available to affiliates.

Timothy Geithner Book, Boko Haram Mass Kidnapping, Ice Melt Prediction/Climate Change, New Benghazi Hearings, NFL Draft, and Donald Sterling CNN Interview Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/12).  Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s memoir and the controversy over interpretations that Geithner was asked to twist the truth about the factors contributing to the federal deficit; the kidnapping of Christian schoolgirls by militant Islamist organization Boko Haram and its request for a prisoner swap with jailed fellow militants; predictions about Antarctic ice melt and the debate over climate change; the effort to hold new hearings on the Benghazi attack; the NFL draft; and the interview Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling gave to CNN’s Anderson Cooper were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

wtmj logoCool Job Opportunity.  Journal Broadcast Group is seeking a part-time producer for WTMJ, Milwaukee’s midday show with Charlie Sykes.  Education:College degree in related field preferredSkills:Excellent verbal and social communication skills; strong radio news background; effective problem-solving abilities; high work ethics, news judgment and production skills; ability to meet deadlines and detail orientation; ability to read and decipher news source material; operate studio equipment; follow program logs; computer proficiency in digital audio programs.  Minimum of one year experience in broadcasting, preferably news/talk radio.  Duties:Assist show planning for midday with Charlie Sykes – including show prep materials, audio production and guest booking; develop and maintain extensive contacts; help communicate show material and coordination with Right Wisconsin staff; maintain station commercial log; facilitate breaking news, severe weather and traffic coverage for southeast Wisconsin.  Send resume and cover letter to: Eric Brooks, Newsradio 620 WTMJ, 720 E. Capitol Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53212Email to: ebrooks@jrn.com.

Friday, April 18, 2014

| April 18, 2014

main line broadcastingLarry Wilson’s Alpha Broadcasting and L&L to Merge; Company to Buy Main Line Broadcasting for $57 Million.  A big two-pronged announcement from Larry Wilson’s Alpha Broadcasting and L&L Broadcasting: First, the two companies will merge into one to be named Alpha Media.  Second, the company will purchase 19 stations in four markets from Main Line Broadcasting for $57 million.  Here’s what the companies announce.  “The current corporate team for Alpha Broadcasting and L & L Broadcasting will remain and operate the company from the corporate headquarters in Portland, Oregon.”  Alpha operates six stations in Portland while L&L operates 43 stations in sevenalpha logo markets.  L&L has been overseeing the operation of the Portland stations for the last year pursuant to a management agreement with Alpha.  Chairman Larry Wilson states, “The merger will be the culmination of a long term plan to ultimately combine the two companies and will allow us to streamline our oversight of all 49 stations to take advantage of the many synergies.”  But wait, there will soon be more than 49 stations.  The announcement that L & L Broadcasting is entering into an agreement to acquire 19 radio stations from Main Line Broadcasting for $57 million will expand L&L logothat to 68 stations.  Main Line Broadcasting is headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and operates in the Louisville; Richmond-Petersburg, Virginia; Dayton; and Hagerstown, Maryland-Chambersburg, Pennsylvania markets.  L & L Broadcasting president and CEO Bob Proffitt comments, “We’ve worked hard to maintain strong community involvement and an intimate connection with our listeners and advertisers in all of our markets.  I’m confident that we’ll be able to implement our mission of live and local radio in the Main Line markets.”  Main Line CEO Marc Guralnick adds, “I am extremely proud of all of Main Line Broadcasting’s employees who have done a phenomenal job over the years.  I am pleased to have these great broadcasters now under the leadership and vision of Larry Wilson and Bob Proffitt.  There’s not a better company than L&L Broadcasting to ensure this continued success.”

rhodesrandiRandi Rhodes Calls it Quits.  Progressive talk show host Randi Rhodes, according to a press statement from syndicator Premiere Networks, “has decided to end her show” as of May 16.  The presser says, “We wish Randi well and thank her for her years of incredible creativity and unique voice.”  Rhodes – a native New Yorker – was a very successful, longtime local talk host at WJNO, in West Palm Beach who went into syndication with Air America during the early 2000s and moved over to Premiere after Air America’s demise.  Last November it was reported that Premiere would be dropping the Randi Rhodes show but two days later that was reversed.  There’s been no official statement about today’s news from Rhodes herself.

talksmerconishTalk Personality Michael Smerconish to Be Interviewed at Own Book Club Event.  Fans of talk host Michael Smerconish are aware of his regularly scheduled book club events that go back to his days hosting morning drive on WPHT, Philadelphia.  The setup was simple: Smerconish would invite an author he enjoyed to come to town and be interviewed by him in front of a live audience.  The author would then sign books and mingle with fans.  Now, the tables are turning as Smerconish prepares to release his first novel titled, Talk: A Novel (Cider Mill Press 2014), and he will be the one interviewed.  On Wednesday, May 7, at the Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, Pennsylvania, Smerconish will sit down with Larry Kane to be interviewed about his new book that deals with “the inner workings of conservative talk radio and campaign politics.”

ppmunitThird Round of March PPM Data Released.  PPM data from the third of four groups of 12 markets for the March 2014 period (February 27 – March 26) has been released by Nielsen Audio.  Those markets include: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all the (subscriber) numbers here.  Managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian offers his “Ten Takeaways” from the report at RadioInfo.com here.

sextonbuckOdds & Sods.  Sitting in for Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh today (4/18) is TheBlaze national security editor Buck Sexton.  The former CIA officer and NYPD Intelligence Division analyst says of sitting in for Limbaugh, “If you told me when I started doing radio in 2013 that by 2014 I would be sitting in for Rush Limbaugh, I would have laughed.  Today, it is happening, and what would have sounded like a joke then is the realization of a dream now.  I couldn’t be more excited, or more thankful, for the opportunity.”…..NFL dierdorfdanbroadcasting icon Dan Dierdorf switches to the college ranks after retiring from CBS.  He’ll become the color man in the radio booth for University of Michigan football alongside play-by-play man Jim Brandstatter (who makes the shift from his color analyst position after 34 years).  Both Dierdorf and Brandstatter played at Michigan during the 1969 and 1970 seasons…..Sports talk personality Jason Goff exits CBS RADIO’s WZGC, Atlanta “92.9 The Game” where he’s been the evening host…..Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace is staying put at the cable news/talker as he’s inked a multi-year renewal that will keep him hosting “Fox News Sunday” and involved with the news operation’s political and elections coverage…..ABC News Radio’s “Perspective” program produces a special Earth Day edition titled, “Going Green,” and is available to affiliate stations today (4/18).  ABC says Iron Chef and host of ABC’s “The Chew” — Michael Symon — shares his gardening tips, the benefits of growing your own vegetables and the many ways you can turn your backyard space into a culinary destination. Experts will also be on hand to debunk common food labels and share their green grocery shopping tips.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “Armed American Radio” with host Mark Walters is added to the program schedule at KBIM, Roswell, New Mexico…..The Genesis Communications syndicated “Freedom Feens” with Michael W. Dean and Neema Vedadi joins the lineup at KLID, Poplar Bluff, Missouri and WQXL, Columbia, South Carolina.

Russian Aggression in Ukraine Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of April 14-18.  The continuing aggression by Vladimir Putin’s Russian troops in Ukraine and reports of Jews being targeted with neo-Nazi tactics tied atop the Talkers TenTM chart as the most-talked-about topics on news/talk radio this week.  At #2 was criticism of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act.  Following at #3 was income tax return day tied with talk of statistics indicating the number of Americans receiving benefits, and at #4 was speculation about candidates for president in 2016.  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.