Tag: "Alpha Media"

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

| February 14, 2017

Alpha Media to Buy WFTL and WMEN in Palm Beaches.  This deal brings two spoken-word formatted AMs into Alpha Media’s West Palm Beach station group, joining current holdings adult contemporary WEAT “Sunny 107.9” and hot AC WRMF.  News/talk WFTL, West Palm Beach and sports talk WMEN, Royal Palm Beach are being sold by Mark Jorgenson’s ACM JCE IV B, LLC to Alpha for $ 2 million.  Jorgenson’s firm acquired the stations from James Crystal in a 2015 bankruptcy auction.  Alpha begins operating the two stations under an LMA until closing.

Westwood One and Entercom Partner to Syndicate ‘Beyond Reality Radio.’  Last August, Entercom launched the “Beyond Reality Radio” program across a number of its news/talk stations.  Now, the company is partnering with Westwood One to put the program into national syndication.  “Beyond Reality Radio” airs weeknights live from 12:00 midnight to 2:00 am ET and is co-hosted by Jason Hawes, co-founder of The Atlantic Paranormal Society and the creator and star of Syfy’s hit “Ghost Hunters,” and JV Johnson, a long-time paranormal investigator and former publisher and editor of TAPS’ ParaMagazine.  Entercom stations airing the show include: KJCE, Austin; WRKO, Boston; WBEN, Buffalo; KEZW, Denver; WSKY, Gainesville; WYRD, Greenville; WBZU/WKZN/WILK, Wilkes-Barre; KMBZ, Kansas City; WWL, New Orleans; WBT, Charlotte; and KNSS, Wichita.  Westwood One will roll out syndication to stations nationwide and represent ad sales as it launches on March 6.

TALKERS News Notes. In the Triangle market, Capitol Broadcasting’s sports talk WCMC, Raleigh “99.9 The Fan” and its affiliate digital platform WRALsportsfan.com partners with contributor Lauren Brownlow to present a special, eight-episode podcast investigating the “supernatural history” of North Carolina State University and the legendary “curse” that haunts Wolfpack Nation.  Brownlow says, “Growing up in North Carolina and covering the area teams for over a decade, I’ve long been fascinated with the dedication of NC State fans in spite of a recent string of bad luck, which contrasts sharply with a rich and successful overall athletic history.  When I learned about the recently conceived concept of ‘NC State Stuff – What can go wrong for NC State will go wrong,’ and that it had a name, I knew I had to learn more about it. I’ve never believed in it, but I kept an open mind going into this podcast and wanted to figure out, once and for all, if there’s anything to it.”…..Entertainment consulting firm Paragon Media Strategies names Michelle Conrad as social+mobile+digital consultant.  Paragon CEO Mike Henry said, “It’s great to add a true Millennial to Paragon’s consulting ranks.  Michelle Conrad is a native digital user and lifelong social media explorer.  Michelle brings hands-on experience working with entertainment brands, including ABC, Nickelodeon and GoPro.  She is uniquely suited to ensure that the social, mobile and digital experience is completely in synch with the overall brand experience.”…..Westwood One reports the results of a Nielsen study it commissioned to examine the return on investment for advertisers using WW1’s coverage of NFL football and NCAA basketball play-by-play.  WW1 says some of the key findings of the study include that, 1) radio elevated key brand perceptions.  For example, those exposed to Westwood One’s NCAA basketball audio were 37% more likely to indicate the motorcycle manufacturer was the brand for people like them versus those who were not exposed to the campaign; 2) the radio campaign had significant advertiser recall among key demographics for the brand.  Among those who have ever owned a motorcycle, those exposed to Westwood One’s NCAA basketball audio were 72% more likely to recall the brand’s ads; and 3) radio had a stunning impact on every stage of the purchase funnel, including purchase intent: Compared to those who had not heard the campaign, those exposed to the radio campaign had a 63% increase in plans to purchase the brand.  See more of the results in WW1 chief insights officer Pierre Bouvard’s blog post here…..The Radio Advertising Bureau names 17-year RAB staffer Tiffiney Wyatt to the newly created position, business development & insights associate.  At the same time, joining the membership team at the RAB is Rita Landells.

Trump’s Travel Ban Battle, North Korea Missile Incident/Trump Security Questions, Michael Flynn Under Fire-Resignation, California Dam Concerns, ‘SNL’ Trump Sketches, Tumultuous GOP Town Halls, and Sunday’s Grammy Awards Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/13).  The court battles over his original travel ban and potential new executive travel orders from President Donald Trump and related protests over his perceived anti-immigration stance; North Korea’s weekend test of an ICBM and related questions about presidential and national security after Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe learned of and discussed the matter in the Mar-A-Lago dining room; National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn resigns after ongoing questions about his improper communications with Russian diplomats; the status of a Northern California dam spillway as it threatens the residences of some 200,000 evacuees; the flap over the series of Trump Administration spoofs aired on “Saturday Night Live”; the raucous town hall receptions some GOP lawmakers are receiving in their districts; and Sunday night’s Grammy Awards were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Music radio pro Zakk Babb stays in the Entercom family in his new position as afternoon drive personality and imaging director for CHR WZPL, Indianapolis.  Babb has been hosting evenings at Entercom’s hot AC WSTR, Atlanta “Star 94.1” – a position he’ll continue to hold as he’ll voice track the show from Indy…..Due to his ongoing cancer treatment, John Thomas is stepping away from his SVP of programming role at iHeartMedia’s Springfield, Massachusetts cluster in which he oversees programming at news/talk WHYN-AM, hot AC WHYN-FM, and country WRNX.  In a Facebook post, Thomas writes, “After a lot of prayer, weighing the pros & cons and deep soul-searching – I’ve decided to resign from my position @ iHeart in order to FOCUS 100% on my HEALTH! Over the course of the next several weeks – I’ll be transitioning in order to put myself in the BEST possible position to benefit from the clinical trial that I started a few weeks back.”…..Cumulus Media announces that the nationally syndicated Kidd Kraddick show – starring Kellie Rasberry, Big Al Mack, J-Si Chavez and Jenna Owens – is the new morning program on its CHR KBIU, Lake Charles “HOT 103.3.”…..In the Lafayette, Louisiana market, programming pro Tyrone Davis exits Delta Media’s urban contemporary KFXZ “Z105.9” where he’d been serving as program director and music director.  His duties will be assumed by operations manager Erik Tobias.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

| February 9, 2017

Bubba the Love Sponge Lands at WWBA, Tampa-St. Pete.  The Genesis Communications-owned station WWBA-AM, Tampa-St. Petersburg “NewsTalk Florida” announces the Bubba the Love Sponge morning show will debut there on Monday (2/13).  Bubba’s show most recently aired in the market on Beasley Media Group’s former rock station WBRN (now AC “B98.7”).  The station says it will be the new flagship for the regionally syndicated program.  WWBA program manager Tom Paleveda says, “We are extremely excited to enter into a partnership with the Bubba the Love Sponge show.  The show has an incredibly engaged audience across West Central Florida and we felt we could serve that audience exceptionally well with our distribution platform.  We have assurances that Bubba will do his best to be a good boy while providing his unique brand of content.”  Bubba Clem is currently in a legal battle with Nielsen Audio.  The ratings giant is suing him claiming it suffered damages as the result of Clem’s attempts at manipulating the market’s PPM survey.  Clem has filed countersuits.

Nielsen Reports 2016 Revenue Up 2.2%; Net Income Down 12.5%.  Ratings giant Nielsen Holdings N.V. is releasing its financial numbers for the fourth quarter of 2016, and for the year as a whole.  Nielsen reports 2016 Q4 revenue of $1.6 billion – an increase of 2% over the same period in 2015 – and revenue for all of 2016 topped $6.3 billion, up 2.2% over the year 2015.  Net income for Q4 of 2016 was $160 million, down 45% from the same period in 2015.  For all of 2016, net income was $507 million, down 12.5% compared to 2015.  Nielsen CEO Mitch Barns states, “While 2016 was a challenging year, our results reflect the resiliency of our business.  We remain focused on our key strategic initiatives and we continue to drive productivity and efficiency in our operations.  In our Watch segment, our Total Audience Measurement initiative continued to excel, and we saw significant growth in adoption of its many components by both media buyers and sellers.  With the approach of the 2017 Upfronts, our Total Audience system is ready to play a key role for our clients.  In our Buy segment, emerging markets continued to deliver solid growth.  In developed markets, especially the U.S., trends in the fast-moving consumer goods industry put pressure on our business.  In response, we’ve accelerated investment in our Connected System initiative, designed to drive speed and efficiency for our clients.  We expect this to lead to a stronger, higher-margin business for Nielsen over time.”

Chris Matthews to Emcee RTDNF First Amendment Awards.  When the Radio Television Digital News Foundation’s 2017 First Amendment Awards Dinner gets underway at the Grand Hyatt in Washington on March 14, MSNBC host Chris Matthews will be serving as emcee for the program.  RTDNF chair Kathy Walker says, “When it comes to American politics, Chris Matthews has seen it all and he’s done a remarkable job of explaining it all to a generation of viewers.  We’re delighted to have him as our master of ceremonies as we honor champions of the First Amendment and support the work of our Foundation.”  This year’s honorees include: Bill Whitaker, CBS News – Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award; Steve Jones, ABC News Radio – First Amendment Service Award; Stanley S. Hubbard, Hubbard Broadcasting – First Amendment Leadership Award; Mark Halperin/John Heilemann – First Amendment Award; and Nina Totenberg, NPR – RTDNF Lifetime Achievement Award.

Jeff Sessions AG Confirmation/Sen. Warren Silenced, Trump Travel Ban Battle, Gorsuch on Trump Judge Comments, Yemen Raid Criticism, U.S.-Iran Tensions, Trump Nordstrom Criticism, and Christie Brinkley SI Cover Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/8). The confirmation hearings for attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions and the related rebuking of Senator Elizabeth Warren for violating senate rules against impugning a fellow senator; the court and public opinion battle over President Donald Trump’s order restricting travel from seven predominantly Muslim nations; Supreme Court justice nominee Neil Gorsuch’s comments about Trump’s attack on Judge James Robart; the political and military fallout from the recent U.S. raid on Islamic State targets in Yemen; Iran’s latest missile test, the U.S.’ putting Iran “on notice,” and the possibility of designating the Islamic Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization; Trump’s public criticism of Nordstrom for severing its ties with Ivanka Trump’s lines; and chatter about 63-year-old Christy Brinkley’s posing with her daughters in the new SI swimsuit edition, were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Houston Talk Host Matt Patrick In Remission and Winning His Fight Against Cancer.  “News Radio 740” KTRH, Houston-based talk show host Matt Patrick continues to show his determination to beat cancer, with 2017 off to a strong start.  Patrick recently shared with his “Houston’s Morning News” audience and his syndicated afternoon program audience (KPRC, Houston and KFXR, Dallas/Ft. Worth) that the latest test results have shown that he is now in remission with no detectable cancer.  In September 2015, Patrick announced that he was receiving treatment for metastatic melanoma at the world-renowned M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.  The 37-year radio pro underwent brain surgery in late 2015, followed by multiple rounds of chemo, immunotherapy, and radiation in 2016.  Patrick has continued to work while undergoing additional treatments, including making his regular television appearances on Houston’s “FOX 26 News,” covering the 2016 GOP National Convention from Cleveland for iHeartMedia, and making public appearances delivering his “Overcoming Obstacles in Life” presentation.

TALKERS News Notes.  The nationally syndicated “Radio Night Live” show with host Kevin McCullough – a radio-television “supercast” – picks up new radio affiliates KKFT, Reno and legendary Atlantic City signal WWPG-AM (plus its FM simulcast on 104.9).  New TV affiliates include: WLLC-TV, Nashville; Adjuntas (Puerto Rico), KMRF, Reno; KPVT-TV, and Las Vegas…..SiriusXM is bringing actress, model, and best-selling author Brooke Shields aboard to host a new, weekly one-hour talk show on its Stars channel for a limited-run series.  The “Brooke Shields Now” show will feature “inspiring, passionate conversations between Brooke, experts and celebrity guests as they discuss topics and issues ranging from parenting and relationships to fashion, the arts and more.”  Guests already booked include: InStyle editor-in-chief Laura Brown and “TODAY” show hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb.

The Dana Show Invades the Skype Studio in Portland.  The Radio America-syndicated program “The Dana Show” is pictured above during last Friday’s broadcast from Alpha Media’s Skype Live Studio in Portland.  Dana Loesch’s show is heard on the company’s news/talk stations KXL-FM and KUFO and her appearance at the Portland affiliates included a meet-and-greet with listeners.  Pictured above with Loesch (right) is Todd Hoffman (left), star of Discovery Channel’s “Gold Rush.”

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At New York country outlet WNSH “NASH FM 94.7,” Cumulus Media promotes Katie Neal to middays.  She’s been with the station for the past four years serving as a weekend/swing talent (she also was an AE for sister hot AC WPLJ).  She first joined Cumulus in Bloomington, Illinois as evening host at CHR WBNQ.  WNSH program director John Foxx comments, “Katie’s skill set, love for country music, passion for this city and understanding of the ‘NASH FM 94.7’ brand create the perfect alignment.  There’s a lot of creativity in Katie’s execution.  The investment that Katie has made in this product and in the relationships she has built on the dial, digital and social spaces have been explosive!”…..With the recent exit of afternoon personality and APD Todd Michaels, Beasley Media Group country outlet KCYE, Las Vegas “102.7 The Coyote” makes some changes.  First, morning personality Kris Daniels again takes up the program director duties – a position she asked to relinquish back in July of last year in order to focus on her morning show.  She will remain co-host of the “Kris & Mad Dog” morning show.  Daniels says, “Now that I have a seasoned, experienced support team around me, I am excited and rejuvenated about the opportunity to lead the ‘Coyote!’”  The station welcomes 13-year market pro Emmanuel “Ransom” Garcia as afternoon personality and music director.  Daniels says, “Ransom Garcia’s music scheduling and social media skills are incredible and he will be enormously helpful!”  Also joining the “Coyote” is Paul Knight, who returns to the station to host the 10:00 am to 3:00 pm daypart.  Knight recently took an 18-month break from radio.  He says, “‘The Coyote’ is in my blood!  I miss the energy, listener interaction, events, and concerts. Let’s face it, I wanted to come home and be a part of my ‘102.7 Coyote’ family.”…..Cumulus Media Nashville announces that Sunday “Gospel Diva” program host Connie Denell is leaving urban contemporary WQQK “92Q” at the end of this year after three decades on the air.  Denell has been with WQQK since 1983 and has been hosting her “Gospel Diva” program since 1987.  She has won numerous awards for her community efforts including a Stella Award and an NAACP Award…..At the Sunrise Broadcasting station group in Wilmington, North Carolina, Max Miller moves from nights at CHR WAZO “Z107.5” to sister alternative WRMR “Modern Rock 98.7” to host the “Max in the Morning Show.”  Miller fills the daypart vacated by Vaughn, a.k.a. Zach McHugh, who exited last September to join Entercom’s WSFS, Miami “104.3 The Shark.”…..Westwood One says it will be a “red, white, and blue celebration” when the syndicator’s “Red Eye Radio” lobby booth once again becomes the premier celebrity rendezvous spot at the March 23-25 Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville.  WW1 says “This year’s star-studded event features live appearances and musical performances from country artists Lee ‘God Bless the USA’ Greenwood, Shane Owens, Jayne Denham, Tony Justice and a celebrity appearance by Edgar Hansen from “Deadliest Catch.”  “Red Eye Radio” host Eric Harley will be on site at the convention that draws some 70,000 attendees to introduce the lineup of country music artists.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

| January 24, 2017

It’s Official: Trump Names Pai FCC Chairman.  On the heels of news reports suggesting that President Donald Trump would name Republican Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai the new chairman, he’s done just that.  Pai will lead the three-member commission consisting of Pai’s fellow Republican Michael O’Rielly fccnewand Democrat Mignon Clyburn until two more commissioners are named to the body by Trump.  Pai’s statement was simple: “I am deeply grateful to the President of the United States forpaiajit designating me the 34th Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.  I look forward to working with the new Administration, my colleagues at the Commission, members of Congress, and the American public to bring the benefits of the digital age to all Americans.”  While Pai has been a friend to the radio industry, serving as a commissioner who is sensitive to efforts such as AM revitalization, the speculation is that this FCC will reverse Tom Wheeler-era policies on net neutrality, broadband subscriber data privacy and others.

Rhode Island Talk Host John DePetro Returns to Radio on WADK, Newport.  A little more than a month after exiting Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM, Providence, longtime Rhode Island talk radio personality John DePetro returns to the airwaves via 3G Broadcasting’s WADK, Newport, Rhode Island for a show that launchesdeptrojohn tomorrow (1/25) from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  In announcing the news, DePetro states, “I am now the exclusive owner of the ‘John DePetro Show,’ which gives me full ownership of the content of the show and the freedom in the future to syndicate my popular, highly rated, entertaining program.  My listeners should get ready for the most entertaining radio I have ever done, and I will continue to tell it like it is.”  DePetro’s deal with the station includes a two-hour Saturday “John DePetro Show Week in Review.” Station owner Bonnie Gomes comments, “John DePetro and I have known each other since the late 80s when we worked together at a Providence radio group.  John has a well-known, entertaining program and it matches with our goal of making 1540 AM WADK completely live and local.  We are excited to welcome John to our broadcasting family and know that he will bring a new, exciting, entertaining twist to our current programming lineup.”

DGital Media and The Players’ Tribune Partner for Podcast Network.   Sports-themed media platform The Players’ Tribune partners with DGital Media to release its first podcast.  The Derek Jeter-founded podcast network will feature “oral histories, athlete-hosted podcasts, a flagship show and other topical series.”  The theplayerstribunefirst show is “Giant Steps,” an oral history podcast that chronicles the rise of the New York Giants’ first Super Bowl championship in 1986.  The 60-minute episode, narrated by Michael Strahan, features first-person accounts from Carl Banks, Harry Carson, Pepper Johnson, Leonard Marshall, George Martin, Elvis Patterson, Lawrence Taylor and Bill Parcells.  The Players’ Tribune president Jaymee Messler comments, “‘The Players’ Tribune’ has become a destination for thoughtful, insightful storytelling related to topics both on and off the field.  We’re excited to introduce another medium for athletes to share stories and discuss important issues through a unique and intimate listening experience.  DGital Media is a terrific partner on the launch of this newest extension of our premium content offerings.”

Trump Withdraws US from TPP, Women’s Marches Aftermath, Trump Federal Hiring Freeze, Deadly Southeastern Tornadoes, ‘SNL’ Writer Suspended, Parliament to Vote on Brexit, and Super Bowl LI Matchup Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/23).  President Donald Trump signs executive order withdrawing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal; the aftermath of the Women’s March in DC and in cities across the world; Trump enacts federal government hiring freeze; the deadly tornadoes that tore through the Southeast U.S.; a “Saturday Night Live” writer Katie Rich is suspended for her tweet targeting Barron Trump; Britain’s Parliament prepares to vote on the country’s exit from the European Union; and the Super Bowl matchup between New England and Atlanta were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods. WABC, New York late morning hosts Sid Rosenberg (left) and Bernard McGuirk (right) are both re-signingbernieandsid17 with the Cumulus station for new, three-year deals.  McGuirk and Rosenberg both still have their roles on the “Imus in the Morning” program.  The new deals pertain to their “Bernie & Sid” 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program.  Rosenberg tells TALKERS magazine, “I’m excited to spend the next few years at WABC!  [Market manager] Chad Lopez and [program director] Craig Schwalb have been a joy to work for and I’m blessed with the best, funniest and most talented partner in the business!”…..Philadelphia sports talker WIP-FM announces the schedule for its Phillies program “The Hot Stove” with Phillies play-by-play team Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen.  The hour-long show will air four consecutive Wednesdays at 6:00 pm beginning February 1.

McintyreMartin17Doug McIntyre and Steve Martin Sell Out Four Nights in Southern California.  Pictured above are film and comedy legend Steve Martin (left) and KABC, Los Angeles morning personality Doug McIntyre (right) on stage during one of four performances that took place January 8-11.  McIntyre hosts the Distinguished Speakers Series and Martin recently joined him at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills, the Redondo Beach Center for the Performing Art in Redondo Beach, the Thousand Oaks Civic Art Plaza in Thousand Oaks, and the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena.  Previous guests in the series have included John Cleese, Betty White, Ron Howard and Robert Redford among others.  Photo: Sue Swan.

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RadioInfo Web bannerWestwood One Names Switzer VP/GM of Music & Entertainment – Country.  This is a return to the Westwood One fold for Bryan Switzer.  He served with then-ABC Radio Networks,switzerbryan Citadel Media and Cumulus Media Networks from 2006 through 2014 overseeing Nashville marketing, promotion, and affiliate sales for “American Country Countdown,” the 24-hour formats and more.  He returns to the media biz from his most recent executive post with JennsCo Chemical Solutions.  As vice president/general manager, music & entertainment-country for Westwood One, he’ll be in charge of the marketing and operations of all owned and represented country shows.

Renda Broadcasting Appoints Steve Granato PD for Fort Myers-Naples Cluster.  Taking over for Randy Savage, who left the program director position with Renda Southwest Florida to join Cumulus’ Wilkes-Barre cluster, is Steve Granato.  He’ll program the company’s four-station cluster including country WWGR “Gator Country 1019,” adult hits WJGO “1029BOBfm,” hot AC WSGL “Mix 104.7,” and news/talk WGUF “98.9 Naples FM Talk.”  Granato previously served with Renda Broadcasting programming the company’s Pittsburgh properties in the early 1990s.

WMMR, Philly Names Brent Porche Overnight Jock.  Philadelphia heritage rock outlet WMMR announces Brent Porche is named the station’s new overnight personality.  The Beasley Media Group-owned station notes porchebrentthat “it’s rare a radio station that goes eight years between full-time hires. It’s rarer still that the position is for a full-time, overnight air talent.”  Porche takes over for Jacky Bam Bam who recently was promoted to the 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show.  Porche says of his new gig, “It’s like a lifelong fan rooting for the Eagles and getting hired to play on the team – with all his favorite players!  I’m honored to join Preston & Steve, Pierre Robert, Jaxon, Jacky and all the DJs on such a legendary station.”

Jenkins to Lead Alpha Media’s Moberly-Macon, Missouri Station Group.  Thirty-year radio pro Mikejenkinsmike Jenkins is named market manager for Alpha Media’s Moberly-Macon, Missouri station group that includes, country KRES-FM, oldies KIRK-FM, Christian contemporary KTCM-FM, and news/talk KWIX-AM/FM.  Alpha Midwest Region EVP George Pelletier says, “We are pleased to welcome Mike Jenkins to our Alpha operations in Moberly.  Mike has a terrific track record of success everywhere he has worked.  His reputation of being a great leader, inspired broadcaster and client-oriented sales champion convinced us that he was the right kind of person to lead the Alpha team in Moberly, Missouri.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  San Diego CHR KHTS-FM “Channel 93.3 FM” names Ethan Cole evening personality.  Cole stays with iHeartMedia having spent that past two years producing the “Matty in the Morning” show for WXKS-FM, Boston “Kiss 108 FM.”.…..Saga Communications names Mark the Shark afternoon drive personality at classic rock WKLH, Milwaukee WKLH-FM “Rock 96-5.”  It’s a return to Brew City for The Shark.  He served with former rock outlet WQFM (now AC WLDB) during the 1980s and 1990s…..The Cantore + Woods morning show with Chris Cantore and Steve Woods exits Entercom’s alternative KBZT, San Diego “FM 949” after 15 months in the daypart.  No word on the new morning drive show yet…..WNKS, Charlotte “KISS 95.1”wnksAMshow intern Whitney Thore and the “Maney, Roy and LauRen Show” are back on television for tonight’s (1/24) season premiere of the TLC Network show, “My Big Fat Fabulous Life,” starring Thore.  The show follows Thore, a passionate dancer on her way to maintaining a healthy life style through dance and a “No Body Shaming” policy…..iHeartMedia’s Fresno country outlet KHGE “102.7 The Wolf” is hosting the 2017 Acoustic Kick-Off Concert featuring live performances by country music recording artists Hunter Hayes, Casey Donahew and Lucas Hoge tomorrow night (1/25) at the Tower Theater in Fresno.  The Wolf program director Nick Cash says, “We love to connect our ‘102.7 The Wolf’ listeners with the hottest new country artists in a live and intimate setting.  Hunter has a big, young following in the Central Valley and we can’t wait to sing along with them in the crowd at Acoustic Kick-Off Concert!”

AC Augments Audience in Philly, Tampa, Dallas

| January 9, 2017

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

kinosian-2LOS ANGELES Just over two weeks after Christmas and nine days into the new year, admittedly, doesn’t provide much of a sample to gauge an industry “trend.”

At the very least though, it is worth noting three interesting top 20 market developments that contain a common thread.

The last time a major market station transitioned to adult contemporary was in April 2016, when iHeartMedia San Francisco’s urban-rhythmic oldies KISQ became “The Breeze.

Now that the all-Christmas music has come to an end, however, there are three new players under the AC banner.

Read More

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

| December 21, 2016

WJR, Detroit Brings Motor City Broadcast Pro Guy Gordon Aboard for New Talk Show.  Longtime market television journalist Guy Gordon will debut a new talk show on Cumulus Media’s WJR, Detroit fromwjr 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm beginning January 3.  Cumulus notes that Gordon has been a fixture on Detroit television news gordonguyfor more than 30 years and was recognized with two Emmy Awards for Best Anchor and six Emmy Awards for Best Writing, Reporting, and Documentary.   Cumulus Detroit VP/market manager Tom O’Brien states, “We are thrilled to have a media professional of Guy’s caliber join the WJR team and to kick off 2017 with this vibrant new program.  Guy has covered many of the biggest stories affecting Metro Detroit and its residents over the past three decades and has experienced the triumphs and challenges of our great city from a truly unique perspective and vantage point.  WJR listeners will be captivated by what is sure to be a lively and provocative two hours with Guy and his guests each weekday afternoon.”  Gordon’s show replaces “The Savage Nation” with Michael Savage.

WTMJ, Milwaukee Announces New Year Lineup.  With the New Year come changes at E.W. Scrippsjaglerjohn news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee.  With the retirement from radio of longtime WTMJ personality Charlie Sykes, the station moves midday personality Jeff Wagner to the 8:30 am to 12:00 noon daypart.  Hosting the “WTMJ Today” show from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm on an interim basis will be WTMJ alumnus John Jagler, who is now serving as a Representative for Wisconsin’s 37th State Assembly District.  Previously, Jagler co-hosted “Wisconsin’s Morning News” with Gene Mueller until 2010.  Jagler will work on air with WTMJ’s Erik Bilstad.

‘Brock & Salk’ Show to Air on Alpha Media’s KXTG-AM, Portland.  The KIRO-AM, Seattle-based sports talk show “Brock & Salk” – featuring Brock Huard and Mike Salk – is  branching out to another Northwestsalkhuard market as the show begins a run on Alpha Media’s Portland sports talker KXTG-AM “750/102.9 The Game,” effective Monday, January 2.  The show will air from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon and lead into KXTG’s “The Bald-Faced Truth with John Canzano.”  Dave Pridemore, who manages KIRO-AM “710 ESPN” for owner Bonneville International, comments, “We are excited to expand our Seattle Sports Radio Network into the greater Portland area.”

Cumulus Pays Bonuses to Execs John Abbot and Richard Denning.  Two of Cumulus Media’s executives have received one-time bonuses, according to a filing with the SEC.  The Cumulus board of directors approved one-cumulus-logotime, discretionary bonuses for EVP, treasurer and CFO John Abbot ($421875) and SVP and secretary and general counsel Richard Denning ($165,000).  The filing notes that the bonuses are for “exceptional efforts and contributions made by those executive officers during 2016, both individually and as members of the management leadership team, in the initial phase of the company’s operational turnaround plan and ongoing operational and financial restructuring.”

ppmunitNielsen Audio Releases Round Two of December 2016 PPM Data.  The second of four rounds of December 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The December 2016 survey period covered November 3-30.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

‘Dogma Debate’ Launches on PodcastOne.  The popular podcast produced by author and media figure David Smalley is joining the offerings at PodcastOne.  “Dogma Debate” is described by Smalley as “fast-paced with a liberal slant…featuring discussion and debate on topics like atheism, science, politics and civil rights” and “priding itself on respectful debates, the show will make you laugh, cry and, most importantly, think, as you dive into taboo territory with Smalley and his guests each week.”  Smalley comments, “For years, I’ve been aware of the quality and growth Norm Pattiz delivers, so I’m very excited about the future possibilities ‘Dogma Debate’ can have with PodcastOne.”

‘The Union Edge’ Talk Show Partners with the League of Women Voters. The nationally syndicated labor-oriented radio talk show “The Union Edge” announces a new partnership with the League of Women Voters that union-edge-logowill mean League leaders will participating in regular radio segments to discuss voting rights, public policy issues and advocacy.  Program host Charles Showalter says, “We are excited to partner with the League of Women Voters for their strong commitment to voter engagement, voter protection and education.  Union members are Democrats, Republicans and Independents; all should have the unimpeded chance to vote their conscience.  As a non-partisan organization, the League always brings a fresh perspective on the critical issues facing working people across the country.”

Talk Personality Rob Carson Building Digital Platform.  Since recently exiting Cumulus Media’s KCMO, Kansas City, radio personality Rob Carson has been building his own digital platform for his various projects basedcarsonrob out of his new home-based broadcast studio.  He tells TALKERS that in addition to his digital content, he’s doing talk radio fill-in work (he’ll be on WTMJ, Milwaukee and WLS-AM, Chicago next week).  “I now have a fully functional broadcast studio in my home.  Since leaving KCMO a month ago, I was able to crowd-fund a new studio, complete with a Comrex Bric II.  I have built a podcast and am working on a one-stop website for my podcasts, syndicated comedy, social media and dozens of comedy/lifestyle/cooking videos.  As things grow, I’ve already started to talk to food processors and distributors about food products of my design to sell in stores and over the air.”  Check out some of his cooking videos here.

Odds & Sods.  January’s East-West Shrine Game – the nation’s longest-running college all-star football game – is airing on more than 100 stations via SB Nation Radio.  Program director and COO Craig Larson states, “It’s a great honor to air the East-West Shrine game on SB Nation Radio.  I have long supported the amazing work of Shriners Hospitals.  This is a wonderful opportunity to spotlight many outstanding student-athletes and aconwaysimon tremendous organization.”…..One of the busiest talk radio hosts in America is at it again.  WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive personality Simon Conway will host that show, his regular morning show on WMT, Cedar Rapids as well as subbing in morning drive on iHeartMedia sister station WFLF, Orlando today (12/21) through Friday…..The GCN nationally syndicated Dr. Daliah Wachs show is added to the program schedule at D.J. Broadcasting’s WKDE, Altavista, Virginia…..Sports media personalities Woody Paige and Jay Mariotti are launching a daily, 30-minute podcast titled, “Unmuted: The Daily Sports Podcast.”  Paige and Mariotti are well known for their work on ESPN’s “Around The Horn” program.

Trump Transition, Obama Drilling Ban, Berlin Terror Attack, Russian Diplomat Assassination Aftermath, U.S. Embassy in Israel Move, Pulse Victims’ Families Sue Social Media, and NFL Pro Bowl Players Announced Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/20).  The transition of the Trump Administration and President-Elect Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees; President Obama issues order banning drilling in Arctic and Atlantic Oceans; the search for the person responsible for the deadly truck attack in Berlin; the assassination of Russian diplomat Sergey Lavrov in Ankara and its effect on international relations; controversy over the Trump plan to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; the planned suit against Facebook, Twitter and Google by families of the victims of The Pulse nightclub massacre; and the announcement of the NFL’s 2016 Pro Bowl players were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, December 16, 2016

| December 16, 2016

susan-karisHubbard Radio Phoenix Names Karis VP/Sales. It marks a return to the day-to-day radio business for Susan Karis, who is appointed vice president of sales for Hubbard Radio Phoenix. She has spent the last nearly four years as group publisher of Cities West Publications and will begin her new duties in several weeks. Hubbard Radio Phoenix market manager Trip Reeb comments, “Having someone of Susan’s stature and background join our cluster and company is an incredible opportunity.” Karis remarks, “Every once in a while, an opportunity comes along that you just know is right – joining Hubbard Radio Phoenix is one of them. I am excited to come back to radio with Trip and his team, and to become part of Hubbard Radio.” For seven years, Karis was Phoenix-based executive vice president of operations for iHeartMedia (Clear Channel); one year as senior vice president of operations; and six years as market manager/director of sales. Prior to that, the Arizona State University grad logged 13 years (1985 – 1998) as general sales manager for Nationwide Communications. Karis replaces Jeff England, who became market manager of Hubbard’s stations in Chicago. The Hubbard Radio Phoenix cluster consists of classic rock KLSX (6.0, #2, 6+, Nielsen Audio PPM, November 2016); KUPD “Arizona’s Real Rock” (5.1, #3, 6+); KDKB “93.3 Arizona’s Alternative” (2.4, #19, 6+); KAZG “Oldies 1440 & 92.7” (1.2, #26, 6+); and KDUS “AM 1060 NBC Sports Radio” (.1, #32, 6+). The market leader is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ (6.3, 6+).

karolyn-johnstonJohnston Joins Beasley Las Vegas As GSM. After five months as senior account executive at crosstown Cox Business, Karolyn Johnston is appointed general sales manager of Beasley Media Group’s five-station Las Vegas cluster.  Beasley Las Vegas director of sales Mark Sturcken states that years ago, he “had the pleasure working alongside Karolyn. Her energy, enthusiasm, relationships in the Las Vegas market, knowledge and passion for our business are second to none. With more than two decades of media experience, Karolyn brings tremendous value to our leadership team.” According to Johnston, she is “so happy to be on board. There are great things on deck for us [owing to] Beasley Media Group’s reputation in Las Vegas, along with the smart, seasoned roster of media professionals that make up this group. I simply could not be more delighted to be a part of this team as we move into the new year.” Johnston previously was integrated marketing specialist at iHeartMedia Las Vegas; account executive for Cumulus Media Atlanta; senior account manager for Atlanta’s WQXI-AM “The Zone”; and an account executive for Seattle’s KIRO-TV. From November 2002 to March 2009, she was an account executive at Cox Media Group Las Vegas. With their November 2016 Nielsen Audio PPM (6+) average quarter hour share and market rank in parentheses, Beasley Las Vegas consists of classic hits-oldies KKLZ (7.2, #1); urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” (4.8, #4); country KCYE “The Coyote” (2.5, #15); hot AC KVGS “Star 107.9” (2.3, #19); and talk KDWN (1.1, #24).

nick-figueredoFigueredo Named WOKV Director/B&P. Most recently assistant director of branding and programming for Cox Media Group Orlando talker WDBO-FM, Nick Figueredo transfers to similarly-programmed Jacksonville sibling WOKV as director of branding and programming. Cox Media Group Jacksonville director of radio operations Todd Shannon remarks, “After working closely with Nick over the past three months as we interviewed for the position, it became very apparent that he has the passion, vision, and leadership to take WOKV to even greater ratings success.” Figueredo – who has worked for the company’s Orlando cluster the past seven years – notes, “I am very excited and thankful for this amazing opportunity. From the day I was hired at WDBO-FM, I knew my future was with Cox Media Group. I am now taking the next step in my career.” Powered by a hefty October 2016 – November 2016 gain of +1.7 (7.2 – 8.9, 6+), WOKV finishes first in Nielsen Audio’s November 2016 Jacksonville PPM report.

mason-markMason to Mark KEX Homecoming. After leaving KEX, Portland three years ago, Mark Mason will return to the iHeartMedia talk facility for a daily three-hour air-shift beginning next month (1/23). Along with the late Dave Anderson, Mason co-hosted “The Mark & Dave Show” on KEX. He notes that Anderson’s passing and his own health issues involving a blood clot in his leg changed his perspective on life. “It has been such a tumultuous ride that when I found myself able to breathe again, I felt an overwhelming need to take control of my life again,” he writes. “My decision to come back home to KEX was part of it.” Most recently, the public-address announcer for the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers was an on-air talent at crosstown Pamplin’s KPAM-AM. Just over three weeks ago (11/23), Michael Castner departed KEX to begin a podcast. Among persons 6+ in the November 2016 Nielsen Audio PPM, KEX finishes in a four-way tie at #17 (2.1), while Alpha Media talker KXL-FM is at #6 (4.9, 6+). KEX adult contemporary sibling KKCW “K-103” and public KOPB are tied for the lead (7.7, 6+).

crowleymonica-2Crowley Chosen As NSC Senior Director/Strategic Communications. Immediately rumored to be in line for a position in the Trump administration, former syndicated radio host Monica Crowley will be senior director of strategic communications for the National Security Council. “I am deeply honored, humbled, and grateful to be asked by the president-elect to join the extraordinary national security team he is assembling,” the Fox News Channel commentator and Washington Times columnist comments. “With vision, courage, and moral clarity, he is committed fully to re-establishing America’s singular place in the world. He is also committed to selecting the best people for the jobs of keeping the American people safe and the country secure. It will be a great privilege to serve with them.” Prior to her combined 10 years of doing syndicated talk radio for Westwood One and Talk Radio Network, Crowley spent four years as an on-air host in New York City on Cumulus Media talker WABC.

nick-pintoPinto Promoted to BMG VP/Information Technology. Two-year Charlotte-based information technology director for Beasley Media Group – Nick Pinto – is bumped up to vice president of information technology. The company’s chief technology officer Mike Cooney comments, “Nick has proven himself over the past several years and he was invaluable during our recent Greater Media acquisition. Nick will be overseeing the capital budget for IT and supervising the IT managers in the local markets. His strong customer service skills made him the obvious choice for this new corporate position.” Pinto remarks, “I am honored to join our dedicated Beasley corporate team. I have always believed that working hard will you give you many rewards – this promotion is one of them. My thanks to Mike Cooney for his faith in my abilities and to market manager Bill Schoening for his constant support for more than a decade.” Pinto has been overseeing the IT infrastructure in Beasley Media Group’s Charlotte cluster since 2004.

stephanie-colombini

Public WUSF Adds Colombini as Producer. Former WCBS-AM, New York City reporter Stephanie Colombini is named producer of “Florida Matters,” the public affairs show of University of South Florida-owned WUSF, Tampa. In addition, Colombini will contribute to state and local news coverage as part of the “Health News Florida” team. WUSF Public Media general manager JoAnn Urofsky states, “Stephanie will be a wonderful addition to our news team. She has a wide variety of skills, and I know she will play a major role in enhancing ‘Florida Matters’ and many other WUSF programs; we are fortunate to have her here.” New York native/Fordham University graduate Colombini comments, “It is a real honor to join such an esteemed group of journalists. I am excited to start covering news in the Sunshine State.” WUSF ranks tenth (4.1) among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s November 2016 PPM report, while Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” is the pacesetter with a 9.4 (6+).

knx logoOdds & Sods. Budget cutbacks at KNX result in the departure of three familiar voices. Exiting the CBS Radio Los Angeles all-news operation are mid-day anchor Linda Nunez, who had been with the station the past 26 years; sports director Steve Grad (23 years with KNX); and reporter Ed Mertz who transitioned to KNX in 2009 from former news cluster-mate KFWB where he had been since 2000 ….. Word out of the Windy City via reliable source RobertFeder.com is that after three years on Chicago’s WLS-AM, Westwood One’s Michael Savage will disappear from the Cumulus Media talker at the end of the year. WLS-AM had been delay-broadcasting Savage from 9:00 pm – 12:00 midnight ….. Ordinarily, an item about a forthcoming movie wouldn’t warrant much of our attention. In this case,kfi logo however, it is he identity of the executive producer of “Let There Be Light,” a film about an atheist finding religion, that is noteworthy as it is none other than … Premiere Networks’ host and Fox News Channel talent Sean Hannity ….. In its sixth annual, 17-hour, December 1 “Pasta-thon,” iHeartMedia Los Angeles talker KFI raised over $320,000 and collected 90,000 pounds of food for “Caterina’s Club.” Throughout the KFI “Pasta-thon,” station personalities Bill Handel, Aron Bender, stevens-richJennifer Jones Lee, Gary Hoffman, Shannon Farren, John Kobylt, Ken Chiampou and Tim Conway Jr. were on-site, encouraging listeners to donate packaged pasta, jars of pasta sauce, and money to help feed underprivileged children. Everything gathered helps provide a balanced meal every night to more than 1,800 low-income children in over 15 cities in Los Angeles and Orange County ….. Earlier this month (12/3), Alpha Media talker WFTL, West Palm Beach helped to raise more than $40,000 as part of the city’s “Walk to Cure Arthritis.” Station on-air talent Rich Stevens comments, “My mom has been affected by this awful disease and I see the pain it causeshurley, harry her. Now that I have been involved, I know it has nothing to do with age. It can affect anyone at any age, which is why I wanted to be part of this great cause to help find a cure.” Arthritis Foundation development manager Lisa Roeberg remarks, “It was truly inspiring to see so many of our arthritis champions taking another step toward victory.” ….. When Townsquare Media-owned WPGG “Talk Radio 104.1,” Atlantic City (New Jersey) morning man Harry Hurley learned that 100 children who attend Pleasantville’s Christian Ministry Impact of God Church were not going to have Christmas this year, he thought “that was unacceptable” so, the “Hurley in the Morning Charity” is writing a cash grant for the church today (Friday, 12/16). Hurley tells TALKERS, “I have partnered with Atlantic County Toys for Kids program and, we have obtained 100 new children’s toys for the church. I am also going to help raise $500 more in cash donations on-air this morning.”

beasley-christmas-2‘Tis The Season. Celebrating last night (Thursday, 12/15) at the Beasley Media Group Las Vegas Christmas party are Las Vegas-based GNC Network syndicated personality Dr. Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP; market general manager Tom Humm; and KDWN program director-news director-morning anchor John Shaffer.

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Trump Transition/Cabinet Nominees Top News Talk Stories for Week of December 12-16.  The transitioning of the Trump Administration and President-Elect Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM for this week.  At #2 was the allegation the Russian government was responsible for hacking the DNC computers, tied with the CIA’s refusal to testify before congress on the matter.  Coming in at #3 was Donald Trump’s meeting with Silicon Valley executives, followed by the Federal Reserve’s raising of interest rates and the record high Dow Jones industrial average at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com View this week’s entire chart here.

Monday, October 31, 2016

| October 31, 2016

Entercom CEO David Field Issues Statement on KDND License Review.  On Friday, TALKERS magazine reported on the FCC’s order for a Hearing for Renewal for Entercom’s KDND, Sacramento as a result of the 2007 death of “Hold your wee for a Wii” contestant Jennifer Strange.  On Friday, Entercom CEO David Field issued thefielddavid following statement: “What happened at KDND in 2007 was a terrible tragedy that pains us deeply.  Throughout our 48-year history, we have had a steadfast commitment to being a caring and entercomresponsible corporate citizen, firmly committed to public service.  We take great pride in all of the work we have done to serve our communities.  Nonetheless, we fully recognize that all of our good work cannot undo that tragic event nine years ago.  We do believe it is important to note that the jury that heard this case concluded that Entercom Communications Corp. was not negligent.  What happened was the result of unauthorized and appalling actions by certain station employees who violated corporate procedures.  None of that diminishes our sadness and we remain committed to continuous improvement in our efforts to serve the public.”

Radio talk Shows to Be Simulcast on C-SPAN2 This Week.  In this week leading up to next Tuesday’shewitthugh pressbillelections, C-SPAN2 will be simulcasting four talk radio programs as they discuss the issues.  C-SPAN will simulcast the Bill Press show on Tuesday from 6:00 am to 9:00 am ET; on Wednesday, Salem Radio Network’s Hugh Hewitt show will air from 6:00 am to 9:00 am ET; on Wednesday, the Thom Hartmann program will be featured from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET; and on Friday, SRN’s Mike Gallagher show will be simulcast from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET.  Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup notes that Gallagher will be traveling with GOP candidate Donald Trump and Gallagher’s show will emanate from Eau Claire,hartmann gallaghermikeWisconsin and other stops during the week.  Tradup adds, “The stunning FBI discovery of 650,000 new e-mails and their securing of a warrant to review them was the latest – but surely not the last – bizarre turn in Campaign 2016.  We’re honored that C-SPAN is turning to Mike Gallagher and Hugh Hewitt, who have followed every step of this groundbreaking campaign, to share their perspective with C-SPAN’s TV audience nationwide.”

Alpha Media Promotes Milt McConnell to National Sales Role; Lisa Decker Joins Portland Stationmcconnellmilt Group.  This promotion of the company’s Portland, Oregon market manager necessitates new faces in deckerlisathat cluster to assume vacant positions and that’s exactly what’s happened in the market that serves as the company’s corporate base.  Portland SVP and market manager Milt McConnell is upped to the corporate role of VP, national and group sales strategy.  Radio sales and management pro Lisa Decker – who’s served with CBS RADIO and iHeartMedia in addition to her most recent post as director of corporate sponsorships at classical KING-FM, Seattle – joins Alpha Media as SVP and market manager.  Amy Leimbach moves up from her regional director of business development post at the cluster to VP sales, Portland – Live Performanceleimbachamy Lounges.  Company president and CEO Bob Proffitt comments, “This is an exciting time for Alpha Media.  With our major growth in 2016, we have been focused on recognizing key players and evolving to the next level.  Milt has always been a high performer, even back in the Citadel days.  In his new role, he will work closely with our national rep firms as well as our business development team.

Odds & Sods.  Former U.S. Rep Mike Rogers sat in for WJR, Detroit’s Frank Beckman today from 9:00 am torogersmike 12:00 noon ET.  Rogers hosts the “Something to Think About” feature distributed by Westwood One and also serves as CNN national security commentator…..JVC Media’s Long Island news/talk outlet WRCN, Patchogue, New York is covering next Tuesday’s elections with a remote broadcast from Ristegio’s Restaurant & Lounge starting at 7:00 pm.  Station personality Jay Oliver and the “LI News Radio” team will be broadcasting live and presenting local, state and national election bohannonjimresults…..Westwood One News is providing comprehensive election night coverage on Tuesday, November 8 that includes anchored continuous coverage and special reports every 15 minutes from 7:00 pm ET through at least 1:00 am ET Wednesday, November 9.  Live continuous election night coverage will be anchored by Westwood One News correspondent Jim Bohannon, with reporting by correspondents Steve Kastenbaum and Bob Costantini with the Trump and Clinton campaigns, and their other correspondents in the field.  Westwood One News will also provide regular updates on senate and house races and major referendums across the country.

The Presidential Race, New Clinton Emails Case, Acquittal of Oregon Protestors, Dakota Pipeline Protests, Bob Dylan and Nobel Prize, the World Series, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The race for president between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; FBI Director James Comey’s announcement of potential new emails investigation into Hillary Clinton; chatter about the effects of the recent acquittal of the Oregon national park protestors; the status of the protest by native Americans and others of the Dakota pipeline project; Bob Dylan beaks his silence on winning the Nobel Prize for Literature; the World Series between the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs; and the weekend’s NFL Action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, October 14, 2016

| October 14, 2016

hillsdalelogouseHillsdale College/TALKERS Magazine Presidential Election Talk Radio Debate in DC Aired Live on CSPAN2; Available on Talkers TV Soon.  The Hillsdale College/TALKERS magazine Presidential Election Talk Radio Debate that took place in Washington, DC earlier today was aired live on CSPAN2.  For those who wish to see the event, the video will be featured on Talkers TV in the coming weeks.  The debate was moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and the panel of participants included: (in alphabetical order): Thom Hartmann, syndicated host, WYD Media; Hugh Hewitt, syndicated host, Salem Radio Network; Joyce Kaufman, afternoon host, WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale/Miami; Joe Madison, morning host, SiriusXM “Urban View” channel; Larry O’ Connor, morning co-host, WMAL, Washington, DC; and Chris Stigall, morning host WPHT, Philadelphia.  The event took place at Hillsdale’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship at 227 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Washington, DC.

Alpha Media Sells Salina-Manhattan, Kansas Cluster to Rocking M Radio.  This divestiture of stations is the first on record for Alpha Media, as far as TALKERS can tell.   The company is selling its stations in the Salinaalphamedia and Manhattan, Kansas markets to local operator Rocking M Radio for an undisclosed price.  The five stations in the deal are: news/talk KSAL-AM, Salina; classic hits KSAL-rockinmmediaFM, Salina; standards KABI-AM, Abilene; country KYEZ-FM, Salina; and adult contemporary KBLS-FM, North Fort Riley.  Alpha Media CEO/president Bob Proffitt comments, “We’re happy for our employees in Salina to be joining such a great company. Rocking M Media is a strong force in Kansas radio and media.”  Because Rocking M already owns three signals in the market, it goes over the FCC cap and is announcing that it will spin KBLS-FM to Manhattan Broadcasting Company for an undisclosed sum.

emmisEmmis Finds Buyer for Texas Monthly.  Just two days after Emmis Communications’ announcement that it found buyers for its stations in Terre Haute, Indiana, the company reports it has signed a deal with Genesis Park to sell the assets of Texas Monthly for $25 million, subject to working capital adjustments.  The press release indicates that “Genesis Park is a regional private equity firm that has built successful communications and technology businesses in Texas for many years.  Examples includetexasmonthly CapRock Services, Alpheus Communications and Vivante GMP.”  It was founded by Paul Hobby.  Emmis chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan states, “Texas Monthly has been a member of the Emmis family for 18 years, so today is bittersweet.  We want to thank all of our employees for their dedication and hard work.  This transaction allows us not only to de-lever our balance sheet, but puts TM in the capable hands of one of Texas’ great families, the Hobbys.” Emmis is still exploring opportunities to sell four other publications and New York radio signal WLIB-AM.

talkersten-logoThe Presidential Race and Related Stories at Top of Talkers TenTM for Week of October 10-14.  The presidential race was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week.  At #2 was the Donald Trump hot-mic incident followed by the Wikileaks Hillary Clinton document dump at #3.  Coming in at #4 was the Fox News report that FBI and CIA staffers questioned James Comey’s decision not to indict Hillary Clinton over the private email server matter.  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.

Odds & Sods.  Chicago sports talk personality Terry Boers will be back on CBS RADIO’s WSCR “The Score” onboersterry October 24.  Boers – the longtime on-air partner of Dan Bernstein – has been off the radio since June dealing with an undisclosed health issue…..After CBS RADIO elected not to re-up its deals with the NHL’s Washington Capitals and the NBA’s Washington Wizards, Hubbard Radio signs up its WFED, Washington “Federal News Radio” to serve as the flagship station for the teams…..Speaking of hockey, with the start of the NHL season, fans can hear hockey action via TuneIn’s NHL radio station all season long with no subscription fee.

WBT, Charlotte Seeks Talk Host and Digital Content Editor.  Charlotte’s heritage news/talker WBT-AM/FM is seeking a talk show host and management has clear ideas about what it wants and what it doesn’t want.  Here’s what the station says: “Charlotte’s News Talk 1110 and 99.3 WBT is looking for personalities that can lead a wbtlogoconversation while being entertaining.  Be serious when needed.  Embrace the Carolina lifestyle.  Someone who is not angry at the world.  If you want to talk politics for 3 hours a day please don’t waste your time applying for this role.  If you have to lean on guests to get through 3 hours a day we don’t want you.  If you get your show prep from Drudge you won’t fit in.  This is the perfect opportunity for you if you’re stuck on a cookie-cutter talk station or if you’re a music personality looking to extend your career.  Show us what you got. Email your resume and a short aircheck to hired@wbt.com now.  No phone calls please.  Simultaneously, the station is also seeking a digital content editor.  It says: “What do you get when you mix part writer, editor, news and political junky, student of social media and add a dash of video creator?  The making of News Talk 1110 & 99.3 WBT’s newest Digital Content Editor.  Our new team member will be a self-starter that creates, aggregates and maintains content, including text, video, photos and graphics, driving traffic and conversations to our news-talk radio station website, social and mobile efforts and builds communities. Writing and editing succinct, fact-filled content in a compelling and active tone for wbt.com are at the core of this positions duties.”  Also apply for that position at hired@wbt.com.

A Snapshot of Where the Radio Industry Is At

| September 22, 2016

By Holland Cooke
Media Consultant

 

cookewriterNASHVILLE — Even after a night-before in Music City, the double Omni meeting room was packed for Wednesday’s Broadcast Finance Forecast 2016 Leadership Breakfast.  Sponsored by Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, this perennial session always buzzes.  And Wells Fargo Director of High Yield Media, Cable and Telecommunications research Davis Herbert didn’t disappoint as he ticked-off data and surmise:

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

| August 17, 2016

WTMJ, Milwaukee to Air Two-Hour ‘Community Conversation.’  In the wake of the violence and protests over the shooting death of an armed black suspect by Milwaukee police last weekend, Scripps’ news/talk WTMJ is presenting a community conversation on the city’s social unrest this afternoon (8/17) from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.Radio 620 WTMJ - WRS (662c)  Station VP/GM Tom Langmyer says the special will create a forum for local residents, clergy, politicians and police to gather in the same studio to talk about life in the most challenged areas of the city.  “The violence that erupted this week is a reminder of the struggles many face in our community.  WTMJ Radio will lead the way for a productive listening session, where leaders can get together and offer solutions.  Now is not a time for finger pointing, it’s a time to listen.”  “Wisconsin’s Afternoon News” host John Mercure will moderate the program.  In addition to being aired on WTMJ, it will be streamed at wtmj.com and via “Facebook Live” at Facebook.com/wtmj.

Dave Hooker Joins WGOW-FM, Chattanooga’s ‘SportTalk.’  Back on July 4, Chattanooga market sports media legend Gary Haskew, a.k.a. Doctor Basketball, died unexpectedly.  Now, Cumulus Media introduceshookerdave air personality Dave Hooker, who is joining the “SportTalk” show to fill the void left by Haskew’s passing.  WGOW interim program director Bill Lockhart says Hooker joins “SportTalk” hosts Scott McMahen, a.k.a. Quake, and Joe Varner, a.k.a. Cowboy, on the show.  “It’s rare to find someone of Dave’s talent that perfectly meshes with the existing on-air chemistry of the show.  Tennessee and SEC athletics are key components of ‘SportTalk’ and Dave will add a fresh new dimension to a show that’s been an afternoon destination for Chattanooga listeners for more than 27 years.  Dave’s knowledge and contacts, plus his radio, print, and digital experience will usher in a new era in Chattanooga radio.”

greggbigdrewjim16iHeartMedia Launches Re-Tooled Afternoon Show on WDFN, Detroit and WMAX, Grand Rapids.  Detroit radio pro Gregg Henson is partnered up with Big Drew and Jim Costa (co-hosts of the former “It Is What It Is” show on WMAX) for the new “Gregg, Big Drew and Jim” show on iHeartMedia’s WDFN, Detroit and WMAX, Grand Rapids “ESPN 96.1.”  The show airs in afternoon drive effective today (8/17).  Henson also serves the company programming its sports talk WBGG, Pittsburgh.

MSG Acquires 12% of Townsquare Media.  The acquisition doesn’t put any cash into the hands of Townsquare Media, but The Madison Square Garden Company’s purchase of 3.2 million shares of GE Capital’s Class C Common Stock in a private transaction means MSG now has approximately 12% common equity msgTownsquareinterest in Townsquare.  Upon closing, the stock immediately converted to Class A shares.  Townsquare chairman and CEO Steven Price says, “We are thrilled that MSG has elected to become a shareholder of our company and we look forward to collaborating with them in the future.  MSG is a leading provider of live entertainment with world-class venues and there is no doubt that we will benefit from having their support.”  In addition to New York’s Madison Square Garden and The Theatre at Madison Square Garden, MSG also operates Radio City Music Hall and the Beacon Theatre; the Forum in Inglewood, California; The Chicago Theatre; and the Wang Theatre in Boston.  MSG president and CEO David O’Connor comments, “Using its diversified portfolio of radio stations, digital assets and live events, Townsquare creates compelling content that brings people together and builds communities.  We understand and share their belief in the value of exceptional, live experiences, and look forward to working together through this new partnership – which is another opportunity that our partner, Irving Azoff, brought to our attention – to drive additional value and growth for both businesses.”

mattaunieFlag16WAPI, Birmingham Presents Signed Flag in Support of Dallas Police Department.  In the photo here, WAPI, Birmingham morning show personalities Matt Murphy and Andrea Lindenberg of the “Matt and Aunie Show” present an Alabama state flag signed by hundreds of listeners and Birmingham police officers to representatives of the Dallas Police Department in support of the force after the shooting deaths of five Dallas officers last month.  Matt and Aunie also broadcast their program live from Cumulus Media Dallas studios on Monday (8/15).

nationalradiohalloffameScott Shannon to Emcee National Radio Hall of Fame Induction in November.  Just two months after emceeing the NAB’s Marconi Radio Awards, legendary WCBS-FM, New York morning personality Scott Shannon will host the 28th Annual National Radio Hall of Fame Induction ceremony at the Museum ofshannonscott Broadcast Communications in Chicago on November 17.  National Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig Kitchin says, “Scott Shannon adds a whole lot of fun and energy to an already electric and emotion filled evening.  He’s a 2006 National Radio Hall of Fame Inductee himself, so he knows just how meaningful this evening is for our Class of 2016 Inductees and will bring the perfect tenor to the ceremony.”  This year’s inductees include: George G. Beasley, Delilah, Jeff & Jer (Jeff Detrow & Jerry Cesak), Eric & Kathy (Eric Ferguson & Kathy Hart), Steve Harvey, Bob Kingsley, Kidd Kraddick, Tony Roberts, Neil Rogers, and Michael Savage.

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: MLB Flagships.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of stations that serve as flagships for Major League Baseball based on data from Nielsen Audio’s July 2016 PPM survey.  In this report you’ll find charts listing: stations by format and (6+) AHQ share; ratings fluctuations from June 2016 to July 2016; ratings fluctuations from July 2015 to July 2016; and how stations ranked in their respective markets.  See it all here.

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Mike Gallagher Joins Michael Harrison on Weekly Podcast.  This week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” posted today (8/16), features a wide-ranging, intimate interview with Salem Radio Network syndicated star Mike Gallagher.  Harrison and Gallagher get into an array of subjects guaranteed to fascinate the program’s growing audience of “media freaks” around the world.  These include the changing nature of the human nervous system in the increasingly frenzied digital era, the impact of Donald Trump on American political discussion, the dark side of political bias in today’s left/right debate, and both men’s lifelong love affair with the theater.  Gallagher talks about balancing hisgallaghermike tremendously successful radio career with his accomplishments on the professional stage.  In a segment about the decline of politeness in contemporary society, Gallagher touchingly reveals the personal anguish he suffered after a momentary lapse in judgement resulted in him fat-shaming singer Kelly Clarkson on the air.  According to Harrison, “Mike Gallagher is not only one of the most talented and durable news/talkers in the business – he is also one of the nicest.  Whether or not you agree with his political stance, his warmth and love of humanity are universal qualities with which any human being of decency can relate.  I thoroughly enjoyed interviewing him on this podcast and am proud to share it with our listeners.”  To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Odds & Sods.  Veteran college football analyst, talk show host and former UNLV head football coach Harvey Hyde begins hosting a new mid-week college football talk show on KLAA, Los Angeles effective September 7.  “College Football Mid-Week Review” will air Wednesdays at 7:00 pm and will focus on USC, UCLA, the Pac12 Conference and the College Football Playoff selection committee process…..Alpha Media’s rock WFXH, Savannah-Hilton Head “Rock 106.1” is airing Carolina Panthers football this season, including the Monday night “Panther Talk” show featuring head coach Ron Rivera…..ABC Radio is offering three news/talk-oriented programs for airing during Labor Day weekend.  They are: “ABC News Radio’s Powerhouse Politics: 5 Things to Know” with Brad Mielke, “Back to School Survival Guide” with Alex Stone, and “ABC Radio’s 10% Happier with Dan Harris.”…..Entercom sports talk station WAXY, Miami “AM 790 The Ticket” is bringing University of Miami and NFL star DJ Williams to the airwaves to appear on three of the station’s shows.  Williams will be heard on Mondays from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm alongside Ethan Skolnick and Chris Wittyngham; Tuesdays from 7:00 am to 8:00 am with Zaslow, Romberg and Amber; Wednesdays from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm with Beast and Leroy; and Sundays from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm on The Ticket’s “Aqua and Orange Pre-Game Show.”…..New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker will appear on WEPN “ESPN New York 98.7” every Tuesday during the NFL season with Alan Hahn and Rick DiPietro on “Hahn & Humpty,” beginning August 30.

The Presidential Race, Milwaukee Protests, Louisiana Floods/SoCal Wildfire, Aetna to Exit Many ObamaCare Exchanges, France Burkini Controversy, Ellen DeGeneres’ Usain Bolt Tweet, London Muslim Cleric Convicted, John McLaughlin Dies, Rio Oylmpics, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/16).  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the aftermath of the police killing of an armed black man in Milwaukee; the devastating floods affecting Louisiana and the wildfires in Southern California; insurer Aetna’s decision to exit 11 of the 15 health care exchanges in which it’s currently participating; France outlaws the burkini claiming its use has the potential to cause disturbances; Ellen DeGeneres receives flak for her posting of and image of her riding on Usain Bolt’s back; London Muslim cleric Anjem Choudary is jailed for his ties to Islamic State; conservative TV talk host John McLaughlin – creator of “The McLaughlin Group” – dies at 89; the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

levinbarkpark16Annual ‘Bark in the Park’ Events Finds Homes for 20 Dogs.  The 6th annual “Bark in the Park” promotion from Cumulus Media’s news/talk WABC, hot AC WPLJ, and country WNSH, New York took place on Saturday (8/13) at New Jersey’s Overpeck Park, hosted by WABC’s Mark Levin and personalities from all three stations.  The day featured a wide array of vendors, services, great food, agility courses, doggie pools, demonstrations, a cooling station, and activities for families and dog lovers alike – including the always popular “My Dog Looks Like Me” contest!  More than 20 dogs were adopted on site during the event from North Shore Animal League America and other area rescue organizations.  Pictured here are (from l-r): WABC’s Ron Kuby, Levin, and WPLJ’s Jayde Donovan.

Monday, July 11, 2016

| July 11, 2016

radiooneMultilogosUrban Media Corporation Radio One to Use Platforms to ‘Promote Peace’ and ‘Demand Justice.’  In a statement from Radio One, Inc., the company says it is “deeply saddened and troubled by the recent events in our country.  There is no doubt, this is a critical moment in our history.  From Baton Rouge, LA and Minneapolis, MN to Dallas, TX, the outcry of Black people is reverberating throughout this country.  Our prayers and condolences are with the bereaved families of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Dallas officers Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, Michael Smith, Brent Thompson and Patrick Zamarripa. We pray for your peace and comfort.  Though the chain of events this week is unprecedented, the sound of frustration and outrage are all too familiar.  Black lives matter because ALL lives matter.  Martin Luther King said, ‘The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.’  The killing must stop.  It doesn’t serve anyone.  Certainly there is a better solution.  We are not anti-police.  We are anti-police misconduct, abuse and excessive force.  We must protect the civil rights and lives of Black Americans and we must protect law enforcement officers who serve our communities.  Both of these goals can co-exist and equally be served. Unfortunately, when these ideals aren’t aligned nor remembered, we are forced to live with the greatest loss of all – life.  Acknowledging the significance of this moment, all this week, we have leveraged our multi-media platforms of local radio, TV One, Interactive One and Reach Media to encourage our community to lift their voices and be heard; promote peace in the street; and demand justice, accountability and reform in our police and justice systems.  From exclusive coverage on TV One’s ‘News One Now with Roland Martin‘ to stopping the music and opening the phone lines for listener expression on our 56 urban radio stations and syndicated shows such as the ‘Tom Joyner Morning Show,’ ‘Rickey Smiley Morning Show,’ ‘Russ Parr Morning Show’ and ‘DL Hughley Show,’ we’ve served our community.  We’ve produced numerous public service announcements and created empowering and informative content that spanned our national digital platforms such as NewsOne.com and HelloBeautiful.com to the millions of people we touch through our social media network. And we won’t stop here.  We will do more to educate and mobilize our community.  As a communications company, we are obligated to tell the stories others won’t and to amplify the voices of our hurting community. We won’t be silent.”

coxmediagroupCox Media Atlanta Holds Roundtable Simulcast on News/Talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM and Urban Contemporary WALR.  On Friday evening (7/8), Cox Media Group’s Atlanta news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM and urban contemporary WALR “Kiss 104.1” hosted a live roundtable discussion that was simulcast on both stations about the shooting of two black males by police and killing of five police officers in Dallas after a peaceful protest there.  The roundtable was hosted by WSB personality Mark Arum and panelists included radio hosts: Monica Pearson, John Pearson, Condace Pressley, Jennifer Keitt, and Herman Cain.

iHeartMedia’s 24/7 News Network Partners with NBC News.  There appears to be a number of angles to this newly announced deal between iHeartMedia and NBC News.  The relationship will allow affiliates of 247NewsiHeartMedia’s 24/7 News Network to have access to a wide variety of audio content from NBC News products.  An hourly radio newscast will be available around the clock, and the iHeartRadio platform will feature an NBC News Radio channel.  24/7 News Network SVP/GM Chris Berry says, “We couldn’t be more excited to partner with NBC News in providing our affiliates and listeners with award-winning news coverage along with the global reach of this powerful news organization.  Plus, the addition of NBC News Radio on iHeartRadio showcases both our companies’ commitment to providing our consumers with the most credible news wherever they are, whenever they want it.”

Dallas Cops Slain/Weekend Cop Protests, The Presidential Race, Hillary Clinton Email Case Aftermath, and Wimbledon Tourney Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The majority of discussion on news/talk radio over the weekend centered on the slaying of five police officers in Dallas and the deaths of two black men at the hands of police in Baton Rouge and Minneapolis.  Other topics included the presidential race, the aftermath of the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for State Department business, and the Wimbledon tennis tournament.

Max Kellerman Gives Up KSPN, Los Angeles Gig for Role ESPN2’s ‘First Take’ Gig.  Rising to the permanent role of co-host of ESPN2’s “First Take” alongside Stephen A. Smith and Molly Qerim is Maxkellermanmax Kellerman, who will depart his radio show with Marcellus Wiley on ESPN O&O KSPN, Los Angeles.  Kellerman is also giving up his role on the Los Angeles-based “SportsNation” show on ESPN2.  Kellerman says, “I’m thrilled to join the excellent team at ‘First Take.’ Years back, on-the-air and in the hallways of ESPN Radio New York, Stephen A. and I would engage in detailed and thoughtful discussions on sports and every other topic you can imagine.  To do that again, now for the ‘First Take’ audience, is going to be a lot of fun.”  Kellerman’s last show on KSPN is Friday (7/15).

Bram Weinstein Replaces Tony Kornheiser on WTEM, Washington.  Sports media pro Bram Weinstein interned at Red Zebra Broadcasting’s WTEM, Washington “ESPN 980” while attending American University.  weinsteinbramThen he served as a show host and Redskins beat reporter from 1999 through 2008.  Since then he’s been working at ESPN.  Now, he returns to DC to host the 11:00 am to 1:00 pm show, replacing Tony Kornheiser.  Weinstein says, “I always knew my career would bring me back to Washington.  What I never envisioned was getting this particular opportunity. It’s a surreal honor. I can’t wait to get the show started.”

ppmunitNielsen Audio Releases Fourth Round of June 2016 PPM Data.  The fourth of four rounds of June 2016 PPM ratings 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 June 2016 survey period covered May 19 to June 15.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

nrhofNRHOF 2016 Inductees Announced.  The National Radio Hall of Fame announces the results of the voting for the class of 2016.  There were 24 nominations in six categories.  The first four categories below were decided by a panel of 400 industry professionals.  The last two categories — Music Format On-Air Personality and Spoken Word On-Air Personality — were voted on by the public.  The 2016 inductees are: Eric & Kathy (Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart), WTMX, Chicago — Active Local/Regional, 10+ years; Jeff & Jer (Jeff Detrow and Jerry Cesak), KYKY, San Diego — Longstanding Local/Regional, 20+ years; Steve Harvey, Premiere Networks — Active Network/Syndication, 10+ years; Delilah, Premiere Networks — Longstandingsavagemichael Network/Syndication, 20+ years; Bob Kingsley, Westwood One — Music Format On-Air Personality; and Michael Savage, Westwood One — Spoken Word On-Air Personality.  Additionally, the National Radio Hall of Fame nominating committee voted to induct four individuals for their contribution to the industry.  They are: George G. Beasley, Chairman/CEO/Founder of Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc; Kidd Kraddick, the late syndicated air personality; Tony Roberts, former sportscaster and play-by-play announcer for Notre Dame Football; and Neil Rogers, the late South Florida air personality.  NRHOF chairman Kraig Kitchin says, “This year’s class of inductees represents the diversity that makes radio so personal, entertaining and impactful.  We all very much appreciate everyone who participated in this process as we welcome the very best in our business into the National Radio Hall of Fame.”  The induction ceremony takes place at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in downtown Chicago on November 17.

KXL, Portland’s Clyde Lewis to Host Controversial Science Figure Marshall Barnes in Live Demonstration of ‘Time Machine.’  This Friday evening, “Ground Zero” host Clyde Lewis will welcome lewisclydeMarshall Barnes to Alpha Media Portland’s Skype Live Studio where Barnes will present two experiments before a live audience that KXL says “will have a major impact in the field of theoretical physics.”  According to a press release, “the first experiment will demonstrate retrocausality, cause after effect.  Done usually with single particles of light called photons, Marshall has achieved it with manybarnesmarshall photons at once from a laser and causes a portion of the beam to appear out of nowhere after the laser has been turned off.  The second experiment, and most spectacular, will demonstrate the first and only time machine – the Verdrehung Fan. The Verdrehung Fan appears to open micro wormholes through which the infra-red pulses of a hand held remote control will disappear and fail to emerge out the other side to activate a TV.”  Barnes – who calls himself an R&D engineer – is a controversial figure in the scientific world.  Lewis says, “Marshall Barnes is the real deal – he’s been on ‘Ground Zero’ a few times and has blown away the listeners and myself with his innovative, scientific concepts and multi-dimensional perspective about the universe.  I believe these upcoming experiments Marshall conducts are going to provide us with profound insights and expand our consciousness with regard to the mysterious multi-verse.  Enjoy the ride!”

Odds & Sods.  The independently syndicated “Joe Walsh Program” adds new affiliate stations KSEV, Houston; WXLW-AM/WFDM-FM, Indianapolis; and WYDE-FM, Birmingham.  This brings Walsh’s affiliate roster to seven stations for the syndicated program.  Walsh also hosts a separate show on Salem Media Group’s WIND, Chicago…..Brian Roth returns to the play-by-play role in the radio booth for Colorado State University football and men’s basketball.  He’ll also serve as host for the coaches’ shows.  Roth was color commentator for the past threeloeschCops16 years.  Learfield’s Rams Sports Properties hold the rights to games and Townsquare Media’s KARS-FM, Fort Collins “Rock 102.9” is serving as flagship for the network…..The nationally syndicated “America’s Healthcare Advocate Show” moves to a 12:00 noon Saturday (CT) start time on KMBZ-FM, Kansas City…..On the day that the nation learned about the five police officers killed in Dallas, Radio America nationally syndicated talk host Dana Loesch thanked the Indianapolis officers who helped provide security during her stop in the market to promote her new book, Flyover Nation.  She said via social media, “They put their lives on the line every day.”  Loesch was visiting local affiliate WIBC-FM as part of the book tour.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

| May 12, 2016

Talkers2016 logo lgGOING, GOING… TALKERS Convention Registrations Close Today.  The 19th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important convention is on the verge of being an early sellout.  Registrations will not be taken after 5:00 pm ET today.  The event – TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations – will take place one week from tomorrow on Friday, May 20 on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.  TALKERS EVP Kevin Casey states, “This installment of the historical and colorful conference will be extremely contemporary in its focus in terms of talk media’s need to open the tent to younger demos, expand its menu options, become indispensable to the public and strategically integrate both its old and new media platforms into an effective, symbiotic system.”  Casey will personally moderate the panel, “The Millennials and the Media.”  The conference will feature a power-packed day of non-stop panels, presentations, addresses, live broadcasts, technology exhibits and tremendous networking opportunities at the “Breakfast with Hannity,”  “Salem Luncheon” and “Radio Hofstra University Closing Reception.”  More than 65 industry leaders from programming, sales, technology, research, management and ownership will be participating in speaking roles.  Registrations ($299 per person and open only to media industry professionals) can only be taken over the phone with credit card by calling 413-565-5413 before 5:00 pm ET today.  For complete agenda, hotel, sponsorship and travel information, please click here.

latzerjonAlpha Media Appoints Latzer Regional Interactive Sales Manager.  Media sales pro Jon Latzer is named to the regional interactive sales director position with Alpha Media.  The company’s VP of business development, Lindi Glasgow, says, “We are excited about this new position to better serve our Alpha markets and clients.  Digital and mobile are key to our 360 approach to drive ROI for our customers.  Jon’s radio, digital and start-up experience make him the perfect fit for the job and Alpha culture.”  Latzer has served in sales and management capacities at media firms including CBS, iHeartMedia, Katz Radio Group, TuneIn and Rovi.

The Presidential Race, Iran Nukes Deal, MIT Islamophobia-Global Warming Lecture, Facebook Anti-Conservative Allegations, Brazil President Impeachment/Looming Summer Olympics,  and NBA-NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/11).  The activities of the candidates for president and Donald Trump’s scheduled meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan; the fallout over former Obama Administration staffer Ben Rhodes’ comments that it purposely mislead the media in order to secure a nuclear deal with Iran; controversy over Australian professor’s MIT lecture suggesting a connection between Islamophobia and global warming; the charge that Facebook’s trending topics are manipulated by people averse to conservative topics; the impeachment of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and the related concerns over public safety at the this summer’s Olympic Games; and the NBA and NHL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases Third Round of April 2016 PPM Data.  The third of four rounds of April 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The April 2016 survey period covered March 24 to April 20.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

drasaProfile: America’s Health Coach, Dr. Asa.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian profiles talk show host and “America’s Health Coach” Dr. Asa in a piece published today (5/12).  Ten years ago, Dr. Asa Andrews hosted a one-hour, late Sunday evening show in Nashville.  Now, Dr. Asa is preparing to celebrate the decade mark and his show is heard nightly from 9:00 pm – 12:00 midnight.  In addition, he hosts a daily 10:30 am – 11:00 am syndicated television program that is seen in 300 markets.  Dr. Asa comments, “I have always been a big believer that, if you serve people, and give them hope and practical help, you can impact their lives.  Ratings and revenue will come if you do that with great programming.  It is through a very conscious effort that we do not ‘hawk’ products or become an info-mercial.  We have been successful because the show’s focus is our desire to help people, stations, and communities thrive.”  Read more here.

ramseySalt16Dave Ramsey’s Smart Money Tour Stops in Salt Lake City.  Nationally syndicated talk radio star Dave Ramsey brought his Smart Money event to Salt Lake City’s Abravanel Hall (home of the Utah Symphony!) on Wednesday (5/11).  The program, focusing on how to win with money, get out of debt and invest for the future, was promoted with the help of local affiliate KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9.”  KNRS general manager Joyce Wirthlin says, “Another Dave Ramsey Salt Lake event created a tremendous opportunity for us.  In addition to generating sponsorship revenue, it provided an opportunity for our current and potential endorsement clients to see firsthand the powerful influence of the Ramsey brand.  Listeners of the show are incredibly engaged and loyal and there is nothing more telling of that connection Dave has than looking around a room full of thousands of people that are a part of his tribe.”  On Tuesday (5/10), Ramsey also hosted his EntreLeadership 1 Day event along with best-selling author Chris Hogan and Ramsey personality Christy Wright.  Pictured here are (from l-r): iHeartMedia regional vice president Stu Stanek, KNRS program director and personality Rod Arquette, Rachel Cruz, Wirthlin, and Ramsey.

Odds & Sods.  Chicago radio legend Garry Meier is launching a daily podcast that will feature interviews with “ameiergarry wide range of guests from authors to Academy Award winners and everyone in between.”  Meier states, “All of the growth in broadcasting appears to be in the digital arena.  As that migration happens more and more every day, week, month and year, I’m happy to be riding that wave.”  Meier says that Howard Stern, Richard Lewis and Chicago Blackhawks president and CEO John McDonough will be among his first guests…..Radio personality and XtreMedia founder Kevin McCullough reports that his weekend talk show “Radio Night ‘Live’” – a talk radio/television simulcast – has acquired its 300th affiliate station with the addition of KOTK, Omaha “AM 1420 The Answer.”  “Radio Night ‘Live’” is a show that was launched with an adjusted format after McCullough’s eight-year run with former radio partner Stephen Baldwin.  McCullough says the show’s current success is the result of work with “amazing partners like Salem Media Group, depetroRaimondorally16GCN, and BizTV/Radio.”…..WPRO-AM, Providence talk show host John DePetro (pictured here with mic) joined Rhode Island State Representative Patricia Morgan in a recent rally at the Rhode Island State House against Governor Gina Raimondo.  Critics of the governor say her efforts to market Rhode Island by going outside the state to a New York design shop indicates she is “out of touch” with Rhode Islanders.  Interestingly, the rally drew supporters ofgravelineShanghai16 both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders who are critical of Raimondo.  See a video news report about the rally here…..Checking in with TALKERS magazine from Shanghai is “Into Tomorrow” host Dave Graveline, pictured here with the city’s iconic skyline behind him.  Graveline has been reporting from the giant CES Asia ellerFM16show but says he’ll be back in the states in time to join fellow broadcasters at the TALKERS 2016 Bridging the Generations conference at Hofstra University on Friday, May 20…..Local, independent station owner Anne Eller announces the addition of an FM translator signal to her station, WCRS, Greenwood, South Carolina.  She says she was blown away by the response to the addition of the 98.5 FM signal.  “It is fantastic.  Of course the signal goes further and doesn’t drop off in the evening.  Businesses are calling me!”

Friday, April 29, 2016

| April 29, 2016

WEEI-FMRed Sox-WEEI Streak Continues. While financial terms of the highly expected deal were not disclosed, Entercom Boston sports outlet WEEI will carry on its role as the radio flagship of the Boston Red Sox through (at minimum) the 2023 MLB season. WEEI and the Red Sox have been partners since 1995. Entercom chief operating officer David Field states, “WEEI and Entercom are delighted to be extending our outstanding relationship with the Boston Red Sox well into the future. It is a true privilege to be partnered with this extraordinary, iconic organization and their world-class team of professionals, both on and off Boston-Red-Soxthe field. Red Sox fans across the country will continue to hear outstanding Sox play-by-play broadcasts and 24/7 team coverage on WEEI and WEEI.com, the home of Red Sox baseball.” Red Sox president Sam Kennedy comments, “We are pleased to extend our partnership with WEEI for another seven seasons. We look forward to this new phase of our partnership and sharing more winning baseball through the airwaves with our fans across New England.” The WEEI play-by-play crew consists of Red Sox Hall of Fame announcer Joe Castiglione and Tim Neverett, who this year succeeded Dave O’Brien (now doing Red Sox telecasts on NESN); Hamden, Connecticut native Castiglione is in his 34th year in the Red Sox radio booth. In addition to WEEI, the Red Sox Radio Network consists of 55 affiliates throughout the six New England states. To see how WEEI-FM and 28 other MLB radio flagships performed in Nielsen Audio‘s March 2016 PPM sweep, please read today’s exclusive TALKERS special features piece which appears below.

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian introduces Major League Baseball‘s 2016 radio flagships with a ratings overview based on data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2016 PPM survey period. Highlighted are each key station’s 6+ share; 6+ market rank; month-to-month and year-to-year fluctuations; and a special breakout chart featuring the flagships by league/division. See the first of Mike’s exclusive special feature pieces about MLB flagships here.

Talkers2016 logo lgTALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations Is Nearing a Sellout!  If you haven’t made your reservations to attend the forthcoming 19th annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention, now is the time to do so.  It is nearing an early sellout and there will be no registrations sold at the door. TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations will take place three weeks from now on Friday, May 20 on the fabulous campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY (on Long Island, just outside of NYC).  Featuring a powerful lineup of more than 60 luminous speakers, panel discussions, presentations, breakfast, lunch, closing reception, techno exhibits, live broadcasts and more – this is shaping up to be the most exciting and productive industry networking events of its kind in years.  Registration cost is $299 per person and can only be arranged with credit card over the phone. The event is only open to media professionals and communications students.  Please call 413-565-5413 for registration, sponsorship, and hotel information.  Complete up to date agenda info can be found by clicking here.

Knapp, GregKnapp, KCMO-AM Cut Ties. After more than five years as KCMO-AM, Kansas City’s afternoon drive host, Greg Knapp departs the Cumulus Media talk outlet. Regarding his dismissal, Knapp writes on his Facebook page, “I was told repeatedly it was not about my performance. My general manager was very kind in telling me how much she appreciated my show and my work [but] corporate decided it was cheaper to run syndicated programming than it was to pay me a salary. I have consistently had the highest ratings on the station; everyone at Cumulus Kansas City has been very good to me. The good news is I learned a long time ago to always have more than one source of income. I am now ramping up my personal development business [but] I am also looking for new opportunities in radio.” Knapp previously did afternoon drive on KLIF, Dallas; was a syndicated Radio America talk talent; and owned a guest-hosting service. Down or flat for the fourth successive sweep (1.9 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), KCMO-AM ranks #21 in Nielsen Audio‘s March 2016 PPM report for Kansas City; Entercom hot AC KZPT “The Point” is the market leader (6.5, 6+).

Talkers Ten LogoPresidential Race Tops “Talkers Ten” for Week of April 25 – 29. Activities of the presidential candidates and the battle for delegates were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 were the European terrorism investigations and the arrest of Salah Abdeslam, tied with the United States’ Syria military policy.  Coming in at #3 was the controversy over state laws affecting public restroom use and gender identification, followed by North Korea’s recent missile tests at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

KXLRobbins & Markley” Becomes “Markley & van Camp.” Owing to health concerns that have sidelined Scott Robbins since late-August (2015), there is a title change for the weekday program on Alpha Media Portland’s KXL “FM News 101” and co-owned WMBD, PeoriaWMBD (Illinois). David van Camp will permanently join Jamie Markley for the “Markley and van Camp Show,” which airs 9:00 am – 12:00 noon on KXL and from 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm on WMBD. Alpha Media executive vice president of programming Scott Mahalick comments that, “David van Camp brings a unique perspective to the show and a great balance to Jamie Markley; together, they are magical.” The first official day of the newly-named “Markley and van Camp Show” will be next Monday (5/2).

Sirius-XM-Logo (2)SiriusXM Q1 Revenue Rises 11%. The increase is to a record $1.2 billion, with SiriusXM net income up 62% to $171 million; adjusted EBITDA improves 11% to $441 million. The satcaster adds nearly one-half million new subscribers, ending with almost 30.1 million. First quarter results exceeded expectations of chief executive officer Jim Meyer who comments, “I am especially pleased we were able to add 465,000 net new subscribers, leading to an 8% increase in subscribers over the prior year. With excellent subscriber growth so early in the year, we are raising our guidance for full year net subscriber additions to 1.6 million. We set first quarter records for revenue, adjusted EBITDA, and free cash flow, and we are on track to achieve all of our financial goals this year. With a new full-time music channel from Kenny Chesney, live broadcasts from major music festivals, special popup channels for David Bowie, and Billy Joel, as well as new talk shows, and unmatched coverage of the presidential primaries, SiriusXM continues to be the leader in audio entertainment. We are always looking to deliver new, compelling content to our subscribers.” Chief financial officer David Frear notes that during the first quarter, “We reduced our outstanding share count by about 3%, spending $588 million to repurchase 159 million shares of our common stock. Our debt to adjusted EBITDA remained low at just 3.4 times, leaving plenty of flexibility to continue capital returns to our stockholders or make acquisitions while also making investments in our technology, content, and new satellite infrastructure.”

NYMRADState of the New York Market Report Released. Among the findings from a New York Market Radio Association (NYMRAD) overview is that several industries expanded their footprint in the New York area contributing to a strong first-quarter start. NYMRAD executive director Debbie Beagan remarks, “With luxury retailers and department stores opening locations across the Tri-State area, radio offers high-end businesses an engaging environment for reaching consumers with household incomes of $250,000 and higher. New York market radio reaches 91% of high-income households, $250,000+, [as well as] over 90% of those who own a second home; those planning on buying a luxury car; dined in upscale restaurants; purchased fine jewelry in excess of $500; and vacations in excess of $10,000.” The report addresses latest information about New York’s economy, commuting information, radio and politics, and national radio advertising/usage. Analysis of the New York marketplace is designed to help advertisers understand radio’s impact on consumers and its role in the local advertising landscape. NYMRAD’s “State of the Market Report” provides business trends as well as local information from a variety of sources including Nielsen Audio, Media Monitors, and The New York Times.”

The BlazeExecs Named to Build Digital Content Network for TheBlaze. Three digital media industry veterans have been added to TheBlaze‘s leadership team. Former Core Media Group chief marketing officer Chris Gannett joins as senior vice president of marketing; previously with CNN and the weekend edition of ABC-TV‘s “Good Morning America,” Matt Frucci is appointed senior vice president of content & programming; and Lisa Fowler – from BET Networks – joins as vice president of talent and culture. TheBlaze president Stewart Padveen notes, “TheBlaze is investing heavily in our mission to redefine the way digital media is delivered and consumed. Chris, Matt, and Lisa are a significant part of a new high-performing culture and a diverse lineup of superstar talent.” Ironically, the additions at Glenn Beck‘s TheBlaze come after cuts across offices in New York, Los Angeles, Washington (D.C.), and Columbus, where a documentary group had been based. Sources tell TVNewser, between 35-45 staffers have been pinkslipped. These layoffs follow what a source calls a “brain drain” of talent over the last year. Chief executive officer Betsy Morgan left the company last summer and her interim replacement, former Premiere Networks chief operating officer, Kraig Kitchen, exited earlier this year. According to The Daily Beast, the latest cuts are meant to “satisfy the requirements of a multi-million dollar bank loan taken out recently to keep Beck’s revenue-challenged enterprise running.” TheBlaze is consolidating the company’s operations to its Irving, Texas headquarters.

Friday, March 25, 2016

| March 25, 2016

talkersten logoThe Presidential Race Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 21-25.  The activities of the candidates for president and the primary races were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Brussels terror attacks.  Coming in at #3 was the battle against Islamic State followed by President Obama’s trips to Cuba and Argentina at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

hurleyharryWPGG, Atlantic City’s Harry Hurley Gets National Attention for Governor Christie Interview.  The fiscal crisis being faced by Atlantic City, New Jersey – the city will run out of money on April 8 – is a regional issue but Governor Chris Christie has national visibility, so the media pays attention when he speaks.  Christie did a 40-minute interview with WPGG morning host Harry HurleychristieWPGG on March 24 that was reported on by the Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press, The Washington Times, the Philadelphia Enquirer, and a New Zealand-based organization called Foreign Affairs, in addition to the New Jersey media.  Christie has proposed a state takeover of the city that has support in the New Jersey legislature but New Jersey Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto opposes the plan.  Hurley tells TALKERS magazine Christie appeared on his show without interruption from 7:35 to 8:15 and was followed by a 40-minute interview with Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian, who responded to the governor.  Hurley says he’s amazed at how the interview went viral.  Harry Hurley was recently named the 2016 recipient of the prestigious Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Radio Talk Show Host (“Humanitarian of the Year”).  It will be presented to him during the Awards Ceremony at the forthcoming TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations conference set for Friday, May 20 on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.  Hurley is one of more than 60 speakers set for what promises to be a memorable and productive day.  The conference will be an early sellout.  For information, please click here.

kxl logoKXL, Portland Hosting Democratic Presidential Primary Debate.  This primary election debate will be between representatives from the Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders camps who will discuss the issues along with local student campaign supporters.  A media panel comprised of KXL talk host Lars Larson, KXL morning news anchor Rebecca Marshall, and KOIN-TV news reporter Jeff Gianola will moderate.  It will take place at Alpha Media’s Skype Live Studio on March 29 from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm with a social hour from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Alpha EVP of programming Scott Mahalick says, “‘FM News 101 KXL’ owns the leadership position with the presidential debate coverage so this Skype Live Studio debate is a natural extension of our election coverage strategy.”  The debate is open to the public.

sykescruz16WTMJ, Milwaukee’s Charlie Sykes Hosts Ted Cruz at Annual ‘Insight’ Event.  This year’s version of the annual “Charlie Sykes Insight” live event featured GOP candidate Senator Ted Cruz as he launched his campaign to win the Wisconsin GOP Primary.  He took part in a one-on-one interview with WTMJ, Milwaukee talk show host Charlie Sykes on Wednesday (3/23).  Cruz and Sykes spoke for an hour.  As the station has done in past years, audio from the event was broadcast on Sykes’ midday show.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Cruz, Sykes and Heidi Cruz.

nielsen logoNielsen Investigates Millennials.  The Holy Grail of advertising in 2016 is to reach the Millennial generation – defined roughly as those ages 18-35 (as of 2015).  But as the Nielsen Insights report highlights, not all Millennials (nor Boomers nor Gen-Xers for that matter) are at the same points in their lives – and that matters when trying to understand their media behavior.  In looking at technology penetration and media usage, Nielsen breaks the Millennial generation into three types: Dependent Adults (living in someone else’s home), On Their Own (living in their own home without children) and Starting a Family (living in their own home with children).  Obviously the three types have different lifestyles and, consequently, different media habits.  Much of the report explains differences in digital device penetration and usage, but about radio it has this to say: “The report found that radio reaches 90% of Millennials who are Dependent Adults and 89% of Millennials who are On Their Own. But that number rises to 92% among Millennials who are Starting a Family. This group contains a higher percentage of Hispanics, who tend to be heavy users of radio.”  See the whole report and more here.

kohanskireneeNarcissism and Talk Radio.  Forensic psychiatrist Dr. Renee Kohanski writes in a piece for TALKERS magazine about the topic of narcissism.  The presidential campaign has brought this subject front-and-center as commentators analyze political candidates and media figures.  But it’s important to understand what the terms mean as they apply to personality types.  Read this enlightening article to learn about the difference between narcissism and self-esteem and the gray areas in between.  Click her for here.

rihalloffameRhode Island Radio Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2016.  The Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame was created in 2008 to “to celebrate the storied history of the industry in Rhode Island, and to honor the men and women who have played a part in its growth.”  This year’s class of inductees includes regular TALKERS magazine/RadioInfo contributor Holland Cooke who began his radio career at WPRO-AM, Providence as a disc jockey and served as program director for WSNE, Providence.  Other inducteescookeholland include: Bob DeCarlo, Bill George, Mike Gorman, Bruce Palmer, and Debbie Rich.  Additionally, the Shepard Award – created to recognize the founders of radio in the Ocean State (John and Robert Shepard, owners of the Shepard Department Stores) and to honor present-day contributors to the industry through leadership, dedication, achievement, innovation and spirit – goes to Karen Kutniewski.  The Distinguished Service Award will be presented to Denise Laprise to celebrate her more than 25 years as support staffer for Providence media.  This year’s induction ceremony will also include recognition for the Legacy Station of the Year.  Created to recognize outstanding Rhode Island radio stations of the past, their formats, and their personnel on and off the air, this year they remember “JB 105.”  Proceeds from the May 12 ceremony will benefit Special Olympics of Rhode Island.

Odds & Sods.  The GCN-syndicated “Doctor Daliah” show – hosted by Dr. Daliah Wachs – is added to the program lineup at Florida Talk Radio-owned WSRQ, Sarasota, Florida…..Author, voice-over artist, audio producer, and cancer survivor Robin Marshall is collaborating with Flatlands Avenue Productions for marketing and promotion of her exclusive, “Sugar Mom Podcast.”  Debra Grobman and Rita Rich, principals at Flatlands, describe in the podcast, how Marshall encourages women to step out of their comfort zone and be all they can be!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

| March 23, 2016

schnitttoddSchnitts Involved in Legal Action with Former Lawyers.  The suit that talk show host Todd Schnitt and his wife Michelle filed against fellow radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge for defamation was colorful, to say the least, even including bizarre misconduct on the part of Bubba’s legal team.  Now, the Schnitts’ former lawyers are suing the Schnitts for not paying all of their legal bills and the Schnitts are countersuing.  FOX News 13 Tampa has the story here, but the thumbnail version is that the Schnitts are countersuing because they allege their case was unwinnable and that they were egged into pursuing legal action that their team should have known was futile.  Further, the Schnitts say another legal defense that they hired to replace the lawyers with whom they are now in dispute was able to ultimately mediate a détente between them and Bubba.  The case is currently going on in Tampa.

Brussels Terror Attack-Battle Against Islamic State, The Presidential Race, Obama’s Cuba Visit, and Former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/22).  The terrorist attacks on the airport and subway in Brussels and the related battle against Islamic State; the activities of the candidates for president and yesterday’s primaries in Idaho, Arizona and Utah; President Obama’s diplomatic visit to Cuba; and the death of the controversial former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

ftllogoFBI Raids ‘Free Talk Live’ Studios in Keene, NH.  Early on Sunday morning (3/20), a warrant was executed on the studios of the nationally syndicated talk program “Free Talk Live.”  FBI and Keene police personnel removed approximately 10 computers from the residence that serves as the program’s offices and studios as part of a child pornography investigation, according to a report by WMUR-TV, Manchester.  The FBI is only telling news outlets that an investigation is ongoing and that no one has been arrested.  “Free Talk Live” co-host Ian Freeman is an organizer in the libertarian group Free Keene.  Fellow liberty activists tell the Concord Monitor that a public break between Freeman and another group, Free State Project (a movement to encourage liberty-minded individuals to re-locate to New Hampshire), could have sparked the investigation.  Over a period of time, a philosophical debate within the libertarian community in New Hampshire over such issues and age-of-consent laws has drawn divisions and created factions.  But Free State Project’s disassociation from Freeman broadened that awareness.  Without knowledge of the details of the warrant, it’s impossible to know what, specifically, authorities are investigating.  Read the Concord Monitor story here.

Gracie Awards – The Complete List.  TALKERS magazine has been publishing the names of many of the winners in the radio categories for local and national Gracie Awards from the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation in an attempt to keep up with the numerous press releases being received from stations, companies and talent citing individual accomplishments. However, in order to make it convenient for readers to see all the winners, you can find a link to the complete list of 2016 Gracie Winners from the television, radio and interactive categories here.

franklinjoeJoe Franklin’s Celebrity Memorabilia Up for Auction.  Legendary New York talk personality Joe Franklin amassed a pretty big collection of celebrity memorabilia during his long career hosting radio and television programs.  Franklin passed away at age 88 back in January of 2015.  The New York Daily News is reporting that Franklin claims to have interviewed more than 300,000 guests during his lengthy career but he was also an avid collector and his trove includes some rare items, such as a baseball glove used by Babe Ruth, a leather jacket once owned by Steve McQueen, and a fedora worn by Frank Sinatra.  The Maine-based Saco River Auction will begin selling the collection on April 2.  See the Daily News story here.

kxl logoCool Job Opportunity.  News/Talk KXL, Portland seeking an experienced program director.  Alpha Media seeks someone with experience programming winning news/talk stations that thrive with content and entertainment in the digital world.  The ideal candidate must possess an extremely good work ethic and be a self-starter who is highly organized with the ability to work in a fast-paced environment.  Send airchecks, cover letter and resume to myfuture@alphamediausa.com.

Friday, February 26, 2016

| February 26, 2016

AlphaAlpha Media Closes on Digity Purchase. This is no ordinary acquisition as Alpha Media balloons to approximately 250 stations in 50+ markets by closing on in excess of 110 Digity properties. Over and above that, Alpha Media becomes the country’s third-largest broadcast company in terms of number of markets and fourth-largest regarding station count. Alpha Media chair Larry Wilson comments, “We are very pleased to get this remarkable transaction done. In our fold is now an exceptional stable of diversified stations and markets, serving not only their towns but surrounding areas and communities. It has been a tremendous pleasure to work with respected broadcaster [Digity chief executive officer] Dean Goodman and his management team. We look forward to joining forces with the phenomenal people at Digity doing radio the right way.” Goodman remarks, “I have been honored to work with the great broadcasters of Digity. They know their roots are in live and local and their future is dynamic. They will excel with Alpha as individual and collective entrepreneurs. We hand off a thriving company, up this year at the top of the industry. I wish Larry [Wilson] and his team all the best; they have assembled a great platform.” Only two of the 28 Digity markets are PPM-metros – San Jose and West Palm Beach. The other facilities are in Missouri: (Bethany-Cameron, Clinton, Farmington-Festus, Moberly-Macon, and Waynesville-Lebanon); Iowa (Fairfield, Fort Dodge, Grinnell-Newton, and Mason City); Minnesota (Albert Lea-Austin, Luverne, Mankato, and Redwood Falls); South Dakota (Brookings, Madison, and Watertown); Illinois (Aurora and Joliet); Nebraska (Columbus and Lincoln); Michigan (Saginaw-Bay City-Midland); North Carolina (Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville); Ohio (Canton); South Carolina (Myrtle Beach); Texas: (North Dallas-McKinney); and Wisconsin (Kenosha-Waukegan). When this deal was first announced in August 2015, the purchase price was reported to be $264 million.

CBS Radio LogoWFAN and Brooklyn Nets Extend Broadcast Rights Agreement. The multi-year deal between CBS Radio New York sports outlet WFAN “The Fan” and the NBA‘s Brooklyn Nets goes beyond NBA basketball to cover other parts of the business at Barclays Center, including select college basketball games, concerts, and live events. As it has since the 2004 – 2005 season, WFAN will continue as the team’s radioBrooklyn Nets Logo flagship. According to CBS Radio president Andre Fernandez, “CBS Radio is proud to continue our association with the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center. We have defined our position in sports broadcasting by delivering the most extensive coverage of local programming and events. We continue to make aggressive investments in exclusive content our audiences can’t find anywhere else.” Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment chief executive officer Brett Yormark comments, “Our relationship with CBS Radio continues to give us a major voice in the nation’s largest market. This new agreement comes on the heels of our recent extension with YES Network, providing the team with premium exposure on two of the country’s most popular sports outlets.” WFAN news sibling WCBS-AM will be the Nets’ secondary radio outlet. Prior to relocating to Brooklyn, the team was called the New Jersey Nets. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s January 2016 PPM report for New York City, WFAN ranks ninth (3.8, 6+); iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “Lite FM” leads the field with a 6.7 (6+).

hyde, coreyHyde Heads to Entercom Sacramento as GSM. Fourteen-month Pandora account executive Corey Hyde joins Entercom Sacramento as general sales manager. Vice president and market manager Lance Richard comments, “It is exciting to add Corey to our team. He has an impressive track record of success and Entercom_Communications_logohe brings experience in developing dynamic, integrated campaigns and long term partnerships for local clients. His leadership skills and experience in this market make him the perfect fit for Entercom Sacramento.” Hyde remarks, “I am thrilled to be joining Lance Richard and the team at Entercom Sacramento. Radio is stronger than ever, and we have the best local stations in the market. I look forward to using our wide array of marketing assets to drive real results for our clients.” In his 13-year radio career, Hyde spent nearly 10 years with CBS Radio Sacramento as a senior account executive and three years with iHeartMedia Sacramento as an AE. Entercom Sacramento consists of KCTC “ESPN 1320″; CHR KDND “The End”; alternative KKDO “Radio 94-7”; KRXQ “98 Rock”; classic rock KSEG “The Eagle”; and hot AC KUDL “Star 106.5.”

baldwin, stephenBaldwin Exits Weekend “Baldwin/McCullough LIVE.”  Effective immediately, actor Stephen Baldwin departs “Baldwin/McCullough LIVE.” The two-hour syndicated weekend program carried by approximately 250 affiliates on Kevin McCullough‘s eight-year-old XtreMEDIA and simulcast on BizTV is rebranded “Radio Night LIVE.” As Baldwin’s work schedule increased the past few months, McCullough explains, “The more difficult it has become for him to make the show. For the past eight years, we have enjoyed the liveliest and – on most nights – the funniest weekend radio broadcast in America. Our listeners will mccullough, kevinimmediately feel the impact of Stephen’s absence from the talk radio airwaves. To be realistic, however, because of his filming schedule in 2015, his workload severely prevented him from being with us even one out of two weeks. This is great for him because his passion is acting. Our staff, our sponsors, and listeners will miss Stephen’s unique humor and spunk. His personality is one-of-a-kind and Stephen will always be welcome to a microphone we have named in his honor; we are thrilled though at this chance to take our broadcast to another level. ‘Radio Night LIVE’ will take the signature humor we have developed over the years, add cutting edge ‘next generation’ guests, experts, and entertainers and explode Saturday night in ways previously unseen.” Baldwin comments, “God has been so good to me and all I want to do is to follow where He is leading me. My time doing the show is something I will always remember. Our listeners brought much laughter and insight into my life.” It is possible that McCullough will utilize a series of rotating guest hosts such as KRLA, Los Angeles’ Elisha Krauss; Karol Markowicz of The New York Post; YouToo America‘s Gina Loudon; as well as Ashley Papa and Kayleigh McEnany. McCullough continues hosting his weekday 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm “After Hours” show on Salem Media Group New York’s WNYM “AM 970 The Answer”; the “Kevin McCullough Show” for Salem Media Group; and “News That Makes You Think.”

WGN LogoFour More Years: WGN, Northwestern Extend Rights Agreement. The union between 50,000-watt WGN, Chicago and Northwestern University will keep Wildcats football and men’s basketball on the Tribune talker through the conclusion of the 2019 – 2020 season. In addition, the voice of Wildcats football since 1990 and men’s basketball since 1996 – Dave Eanet – signs a four-year contract. WGN Radio presidentNorthwestern Wildcats and general manager Jimmy de Castro comments, “We are proud to present Northwestern basketball and football anchored by Dave ‘Mr. Cat’ Eanet. We look forward to bringing our listeners the excitement of Chicago’s Big Ten team in the years to come.” According to Northwestern vice president for athletics and recreation Jim Phillips, “The Northwestern Wildcats and WGN Radio have forged a special relationship over the last two decades. WGN not only is a broadcasting force, but a true Chicago institution. We have shared many thrilling moments through the years, and we look forward to many more memories with WGN Radio as the home of Chicago’s Big Ten team.” Eanet was inducted into the WGN Radio Walk of Fame last year. Former Chicago Bear Ted Albrecht is WGN’s football analyst on Wildcat broadcasts, while former college and pro head coach Joey Meyer provides analysis on basketball broadcasts. WGN has been the radio home of the Wildcats since 1996. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s January 2016 PPM report for Chicago, WGN ranks fifth with a 4.2 – its best showing since last June’s 4.3; CBS Radio‘s all-news WBBM-AM is on top with a 6.8 (6+).

walter, maryLouisville Lineup Changes at WHAS, WKRD. Starting next Monday (2/29), former WKXW “New Jersey 101.5,” Trenton personality Mary Walter will oversee a weeknight 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm program on iHeartMedia Louisville talker WHAS. Of Walter, director of iHeartMedia Louisville’s AM programming Kelly Carls comments, “She is always prepared; keeps her finger on the pulse of the news; and she does a great job connecting with listeners. We are delighted she will be offering her unique perspectives every day.” A WHAS fill-in beginning in 2009, Walter remarks, “I am so excited to be with the WHAS audience on aWKRD regular basis. I have grown to love the local listeners over the years. They are so engaged and informed that it makes the job fun.” She previously worked at radio stations in Washington, DC; Phoenix; Denver; and Omaha. Meanwhile, at co-owned all-sports WKRD “790 KRD,” Howie Lindsey is named 7:00 am – 10:00 am host; contributors Matt Willinger and Katie George will join him. Another change there will find TheCardinalConnect.Com founder Nick Coffey taking on 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm duty. “We are very excited to expand our local sports coverage on WKRD,” notes Kelly Carls. “Mornings, mid-days and afternoons, we now have local sports fans covered with updates, insights, and compelling conversation about the teams and games that really matter.” Lindsey and Coffey will debut one week from Monday (3/7). Among persons 12+ in Nielsen Audio‘s winter 2016 book, WHAS ranks #1 (7.4) and WKRD is #12 (1.2).

Cumulus Media Dallas Sets Fourth Spring Job Fair. Jobseekers and hiring companies will come together in less than Cumulus Media Dallastwo weeks (3/9) as Cumulus Media Dallas presents its fourth annual Putting Texans Back to Work Spring Job Fair at the Plano Centre. In attendance will be representatives from over 100 companies in search of quality candidates from the Dallas, Collin, and Denton County areas of North Texas. No registration is required for job seekers; however, registration deadline for companies looking for qualified individuals is one week from Monday (3/7). The Cumulus Dallas cluster includes sports KESN “ESPN Radio 103.3”; talk KLIF-AM; CHR KLIF-FM “Hot 93.3”; country KPLX “The Wolf”; KSCS “New Country 96.3”; sports KTCK “The Ticket; and talk WBAP.

BTC LogoBTC Begins HD Radio Data Services in Canada. A partnership between the Broadcaster Traffic Consortium (BTC) and exclusive mapping and technology data partner HERE leads to Canada’s first in-vehicle HD Radio Traffic service. Honda is the first brand to offer the service to its customers on certain 2015 and 2016 models. Broadcaster Traffic Consortium president Paul Brenner comments, “The BTC and all of our member stations are excited to be the first to market for HD Radio data services in Canada. Honda and HERE are valued partners that expect constant innovation and quality services regardless of our borders or radio station ownership. Unified broadcasters, collaborating to deliver a common service, bringing innovation solutions to automakers is better for the strategic and long-term viability of the broadcast radio industry. BTC is proud to be a leader in this space.” HD Radio Traffic enables drivers and passengers to view detailed information on local traffic conditions in real time on their vehicle’s audio display screen. The BTC has stations providing coverage in most areas within greater Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary; the service is expected to expand to additional Canadian markets. Originally founded in 2007 with eight broadcast groups – Beasley Broadcast Group; Bonneville International Corporation; Cox Radio; Emmis Communications; Entercom Communications; Greater Media; NPR; and Radio One – BTC has grown to include 23 broadcast groups in the United States and Canada. It builds a nationwide terrestrial broadcasting network to distribute local traffic and other map-related data via FM and HD Radio technology.

talkersten logoPresidential Race Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of February 22-26.  Primary races and activities of presidential candidates were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Coming in at #2 was Apple’s refusal to hack the phone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists.  At #3 was the battle over the timeline for replacing Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, followed by Islamic State’s reported threats against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week; it is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  View this week’s entire chart here.

fritts, eddieBFA to Fete Fritts with “Excellence in Broadcasting” Award. Former 23-year National Association of Broadcasters president and chief executive officer Eddie Fritts is named this year’s Broadcasters Foundation of America‘s recipient of the Lowry Mays “Excellence in Broadcasting” award. Underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation, the award is given each year to a broadcaster, “whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.” Fritts’ past recognitionBroadcasters Foundation of America includes “Broadcaster of the Year” awards at both the New York State Broadcasters Association and the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters. In addition, he is the past recipient of the Broadcasters Foundation’s “Golden Mike” and “Chairman’s” awards. Inducted into the Giants of Broadcasting’s Hall of Fame in 2010, he received the NAB’s “Distinguished Service” award one year later. Fritts – who launched The Fritts Group in March 2006 – will be honored with this particular acknowledgement in approximately two months (4/20) during the NAB Show in Las Vegas. The Broadcasters Foundation has distributed millions of dollars to thousands of broadcasters and their families. Individual donations can be made to the Guardian Fund. Corporate contributions are accepted through the Angel Initiative; bequests can be arranged through the Legacy Society.

Cumulus 2Cumulus Media Florida Outlets Aid in Tornado Recovery. Personal and household items, as well as monetary donations, are being collected by 14 Cumulus Media stations in Fort Walton Beach-Destin, Mobile, and Pensacola (Florida) for those affected by this week’s tornadoes in Century and Pensacola. Radio station staffers will be at various locations for six hours today (Friday, 2/26), nine hours tomorrow (Saturday, 2/27), and four hours on Sunday. Listeners are being asked to help tornado victims with water, personal hygiene items, household cleaning items, tarps, laundry detergent, diapers, wipes, book bags, crayons, pens, pencils, paper, clothing, and non-perishable food items. Cash donations should be directed to the Gulf Coast recovery effort through the American Red Cross and the United Way.

cbsradio-logoCool Job Opportunities at CBS, Los Angeles.  TALKERS has learned that CBS Radio Los Angeles is now looking to fill the following positions as soon as possible at all-news KNX 1070:  news reporter, writer, and news production assistant. For more details and to apply, please click here: WWW.CBSRADIO.COM/CAREERS.

union edgeOdds & Sods. Pittsburgh-based “The Union Edge” adds suburban Minneapolis talker KTNF “AM 950 The Progressive Voice of Minnesota” as its 27th affiliate. KTNF president Chad Larson comments, “KTNF has been a longtime union advocate, covering labor issues since 2004 in the Twin Cities. We look forward to carrying another program focused on the many accomplishments labor has made for our nation as well as the modern threats facing working families and our ability to collectively bargain in the workplace.”

Thursday, November 19, 2015

| November 19, 2015

canzano logoCanzano’s ‘Bald Faced Truth’ Show Renewed with KXTG-AM, Portland.  Sports talk personality John Canzano inks a contract extension with Alpha Media’s Portland sports talk outlet KXTG-AM “750/102.9 The Game.”  The two parties say the new, multi-year pact will allow Canzano’s “The Bald Faced Truth” to continue in the daily 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm time slot.  Alpha Media EVP of programming Scott Mahalick comments, “Renewing a seasoned professional varsity multi-media broadcast talent like John Canzano is the perfect centerpiece to The Game’s talent roster.”  Canzano has been with “The Game” since its launch in 2008 and also serves as the lead sports columnist at The Oregonian and a sports commentator at Portland NBC affiliate KGW-TV.

cookehollandWestwood One’s State of American Podcasting.  Today, radio consultant Holland Cooke reports for TALKERS on yesterday’s webinar presented by Westwood One titled, TheWW1StateofPodcasting15 State of American Podcasting.  The webinar featured Cumulus Media/WW1 chief marketing officer Pierre Bouvard with guests Stuart Last, VP of popular podcast and on-demand platform audioBoom; Jenna Weiss-Berman, director of audio at the pop culture website Buzzfeed; and Brendan McDonald, co-creator and executive producer of the podcast “WTF with Marc Maron.”  The growth of podcasting is predicted to continue and the average age of podcast P1s is much younger than the average age of radio users (45) and television (57), according to Edison Research data.  Read Holland Cooke’s takeaways from the webinar here.

Odds & Sods.  Nashville-based, Westwood One-syndicated talk show host Phil Valentine was recently honored with another award for his screenplay, Derek Dickens & The Dream.  The screenplay is the story of one man’s mid-valentinephillife crisis that turns him into an international pop sensation when he takes on an imaginary persona through which he lives out his lifelong dream. The 50-year-old fabricates a 20-something British band, with himself at the lead, and it takes the world by storm.  Valentine just won first place at the Nevada International Film Festival in Las Vegas.  Not long ago, he took home top honors at the Colorado Film Festival and placed third in the Atlantic City Cinefest.  Valentine comments, “I had no idea this little stephandougmovie script would be so well received.  I’m really delighted to see it’s doing so well.  Maybe some Hollywood producer is paying attention and will bring this screenplay to the silver screen.”…..Nationally syndication morning show “Good Day with Doug Stephan” is offering a holiday “gift” to talk stations bywachstoilet making his program available to non-affiliates on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Day and New Year’s Eve and Day.  Stephan says the program will be live on these morning and stations carrying the show will not be required to sign a contract, just call Bob K. at 774-643-6450…..Nationally syndicated talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs (pictured at right) reports that 2.4 billion people worldwide do not have regular access to safe, public restrooms.  She says, “Not only are they exposed to unsanitary conditions but also many women and children are vulnerable to assault when they’re trying to use makeshift, unsecured stalls.  We’re raising awareness by posting pics of us on the toilet and reminding people how blessed we are to have safe sanitation.”  Donations are being accepted at www.worldtoilet.org.

Syrian Refugees Issue/Immigration Policy, Paris Terror Attacks Aftermath, 2016 Presidential Race, Minneapolis Police Protests, Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson Controversy, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/18).  The controversial debate over the handling of refugees from Syria in the U.S. and the larger issue of the nation’s immigration policy; the ongoing search for those responsible for the Paris terror attacks and debate over how to try to prevent further attacks; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the protests in Minneapolis after the shooting death of a black man at the hands of local police; demands by Princeton students that Woodrow Wilson’s name and image be disassociated from the school because of his racist policies; and action in the NFL were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

wbtwlnk duo logoCool Job Opportunity.  Greater Media Charlotte is seeking a continuity and traffic assistant.  Ideal characteristics for candidates include: Enjoys analytics and puzzles, innately curious, meticulous with details, thrives in a fast-paced environment, works calmly and effectively under pressure, reacts quickly to meet tight deadlines, and diplomatic & determined with solid people skills.  Position requires knowledge of computer skill and experience with broadcast inventory management and traffic software including Marketron, V-Creative, and Efficio is a plus.  Email your cover letter and resume to director of sales  Sandra Szoke at: hired@gmclt.com or sszoke@gmclt.com.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

| September 22, 2015

hewitthughMichael Harrison and Hugh Hewitt Talk About Last Week’s GOP Debate.  Last Wednesday’s CNN broadcast of the Republican presidential debate was one of the most-watched non-sports cable television programs in history (although Michael Harrison describes the spectacular as a cross between “American Idol,” “Sunday Night Football,” and “Meet the Press” on steroids) with an audience of some 24 million viewers.  Salem Media Group participated in the production as CNN’s “partner” and the company’s syndicated talk star Hugh Hewitt (describing himself as a presidential debate’s first “designatedharrisonUpCloseFarOutsmall conservative”) had a coveted place at the panelists’ table as one of the three questioners.  What was it like to be there?  Was he nervous?  Were the questions all prepared and rehearsed in advance?  Did the candidates know what to expect?  What were the candidates like from an up close perspective?  How did the technical operation of the production go?  How did Salem achieve the partnership and how did Hewitt land in one of the panel chairs?  What’s the real story behind his relationship with Donald Trump?  These questions and more are posed to Hewitt by Michael Harrison and he answers them in candid detail on the newly posted (9/22) installment of Podcast One’s international hit, “Up Close and Far Out.”  Harrison says, “Hewitt’s role in this widely watched forum was of tremendous importance to the talk radio industry, as well as the conservative movement, and being the steady, seasoned pro that he is, he rose to the responsibility and opportunity like a champ.”  To listen to the entire conversation between Harrison and Hewitt, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

damicorafeTwo Sales SVPs Join Westwood One.   These two positions are newly created ones the company calls multi-platform sales efforts.  Rafe Damico and Payton Raymond join the company as SVPs, National Sales, East Coast and West Coast, respectively.   They will manage East and West Coast nationalraymondpayton sales operations.  They will also work with the complete Westwood One platform, including the Westwood One network and Rdio. Damico is based in New York City and Raymond is based in San Francisco.  Damico was most recently with Beasley Media Group where he was VP of strategic partnerships.   Raymond comes to Westwood One from his most recent gig as director of national and regional sales for Entercom Communications in San Francisco.

saliernoralphAlpha Ups Salierno to Market Manager in Fredericksburg.  The four-station Alpha Media-owned cluster in Fredericksburg, Virginia promotes Ralph Salierno from director of sales to market manager in which he’ll oversee the overall strategic, managerial, programming and sales functions in the market.  Salierno has been with the Fredericksburg cluster that was purchased by Alpha from Free Lance-Star Publishing for the past three years in his DOS position.  During that time, the company says he “grew revenue, instituted a sales training and strategic account management system, and developed the first ever cross media sales program, the Sports Animal.  Salierno comments, “We are all thrilled to be part of the Alpha Media group of stations and I’m really excited to have the opportunity to lead a great group of programming, sales and business professionals.  Our plans are to continue to serve the community and provide top-notch entertainment and advertising choices for the Fredericksburg market.”  The cluster consists of country WFLS-FM, news/talk/sports WNTX-AM, CHR WVBX-FM “99.3 The Vibe” and classic rock WWUZ-FM “96.9 The Rock.”

nielsen logoNielsen’s Q2 Total Audience Report: Radio Wins 7:00 AM Hour.  According to data from Nielsen’s Total Audience Report for the second quarter of 2015, radio captures the largest audience during the 7:00 am hour.  When tracking the media usage of persons 18+ (May 2015), radio leads the percentage share of audience with 39.8% compared to television’s 36.3%.  Smartphone use comes in third with 12.3%.  Not surprisingly, television dominates the evening and overnight periods.  Nielsen audience insights VP Glenn Enoch states, “Knowing how many consumers are connecting to both traditional and digital platforms, as well as the share these platforms have during each hour of the day, really highlights the fact that ALL of them are put to use.  Consumers don’t see media use as an ‘either/or’ proposition.  They leverage all ways to connect with content at different times of the day.  Knowing these usage patterns this can really give the industry a clear line of sight on being able to take advantage of these patterns.”  Read the whole report here.

futuri logoTopLine Matters Inc. Acquired by Futuri.  Cleveland-based Futuri Media acquires sales organization TopLine Matters Inc. and the founder of the Washington-based company – Tracy Gilliam – joins Futuri as senior vice president of sales.  Futuri president and CEO Daniel Anstandig announces a number of industry pros have also joined his company or been promoted.  Here’s the rundown: VP/development & support Craig Bowman is promoted to SVP/technology; Laura Griffith is upped from director/finance to SVP/finance; joining the company is former Comcast Spotlight senior manager/digital traffic and longtime broadcast executive Todd Thomas who becomes SVP/operations; Jason Robinaugh is named VP/support; Jamie Arseneault moves from director/mobile development to director/TopicPulse product development; Joe Tranchita shifts from creative technologist to director/user interface development; and president/broadcast services Victor Caballero and operations manager/TopicPulse Sarah Davis have transitioned to a newly formed operations team reporting to Thomas; and joining Futuri are Tim Loughry as TopicPulse operations manager and Amanda Williams as assistant development manager.  Anstandig states, “Tracy Gilliam’s company provides the sales excellence and the continuity we’ve depended on in our partnership for the past five years, and we’re thrilled to have her organization as a permanent part of our company.”

Odds & Sods.  The next round of presidential debates will take place in October and Westwood One is the exclusive radio partner.  The third GOP primary debate will take place in Boulder, Colorado and CNBC is the cable TV partner.  The first Democratic primary debate will air on CNN and happen on October 13 in Las VegaswachsBIBOaward15 with the cable channel’s Anderson Cooper moderating…..Nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs (right) is pictured receiving her BIBO Award from Beauty In/Beauty Out at the 2015 Las Vegas Awards.  Beauty In/Beauty Out’s mission is to “provide true beauty education (not just limited to external attributes) and to celebrate and honor the great works, community contributions, and entrepreneurial successes of real female role models in local communities nationwide.”  Upon receiving her award, Dr. Wachs told TALKERS, “I was so honored to win a BIBO award.  Obviously I could have only won for the ‘in’ so I’m grateful to my sexy intestine!”

2016 Presidential Candidates, Pope Francis Visits U.S., Afghanistan Child Rape Controversy, Alarm Clock Case, Volkswagen Emissions Scandal, and Russian Syria Military Activities Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/21).  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and the flap over Ben Carson’s statement he couldn’t support a Muslim president; Pope Francis’ visit to the United States; the controversial case of two U.S. servicemen ousted from their post in Afghanistan for trying to prevent the systematic rape of boys by Afghan military commanders; President Obama and Hillary Clinton reach out to the Muslim boy whose home built alarm clock caused authorities to suspect it was a bomb; the emissions scandal plaguing Volkswagen; and Russia’s ramped up military involvement in Syria were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, September 11, 2015

| September 11, 2015

levinmarkMark Levin Comments Cited in Atlantic Piece About Trump-GOP Relationship.  The story by David Frum in The Atlantic is titled, “The Republican Revolt,” and addresses the “frustration” rank-and-file GOPers are having with longtime party leaders and how that’s affected Donald Trump’s candidacy.  In the piece, WABC, New York-based and Westwood One nationally syndicated talk host Mark Levin is quoted from a segment on his radio show.  Levin is quoted, in part, saying, “Senator Mitch McConnell and Representatives John Boehner and Karl Rove and their ilk …. You’re sick of them.  You’re sick of them not doing what you elected them to do.  You’re sick of them lying to you.  You’re sick of them attacking everybody who doesn’t agree with them through their surrogates.  You’re sick of how they treat people who dare to challenge them in Republican primaries… You’re tired of so-called conservative commentators on TV and elsewhere who serve as their surrogates… You don’t feel you have a home and you don’t feel that there’s a party that stands up for you.”  This consternation within the GOP has been an underlying theme on conservative news/talk radio since before Donald Trump announced his candidacy, although talk hosts who broach this topic and reference Trump now that the nation is in campaign mode, are often labeled in the consumer media as “Trump supporters.”  Read The Atlantic piece here.

bouvardpierreWW1 Podcast Study Cited in AdAge Piece.  A story in Advertising Age by Felicia Greiff cites a study commissioned by Westwood One titled, “State of American Podcasting.”  The piece notes that WW1’s study consisted of data from an Ipsos custom study and Edison Research’s “Share of Ear” quarterly study.  Edison created “a cross tabulation of 500 podcast listeners using three recent studies  that showed the audio source, time of day, demographic profile, devices used to listen and types of content used by consumers.”  WW1’s Pierre Bouvard says the study confirmed that podcast listening is led by Millennials as it concluded the median age of podcast users is “30, versus 45 for AM/FM radio and 57 for broadcast television networks.”  Further, “personalities and talk shows are the leading content consumed by podcast listeners, taking up 66% of total podcast listening, followed by news podcasts with 22%.”  Read the whole AdAge story here.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Announces 2015 Radio Market Survey Rankings.  Some of the changes in rank for radio markets as defined by Nielsen Audio include major markets Atlanta and Philadelphia swapping positions – Atlanta slides up to #8 and Philly drops to #9.  Las Vegas makes another leap, moving from #38 to #31.  Raleigh-Durham moves up from #42 to #40.  Milwaukee slides back to #41 and Oklahoma City dips from #48 to #50.  Another diary market – the growing Chattanooga area – jumps from #110 to #88.  See the entire Nielsen report here.

podcastone bPodcastOne Adds Six New Shows to Menu.  On-demand audio content giant PodcastOne announces six new programs that are being added to its menu of shows.  New sports programs include: “Name Dropping with Ian Fitzsimmons,” “Total Soccer Show,” and “Mohr Sports Los Angeles” with Jay Mohr.  Two new programs in the fitness category are: “Bulletproof Radio” and “Ben Greenfield Fitness.”  The final addition is a podcast called “NRP” featuring celebrity blogger Nik Richie.  All six shows will be available at PodcastOne.com, the PodcastOne app and iTunes.

harringtonjoeyJoey Harrington Assumes PM Drive Co-Host Gig at ‘750 The Game’ in Portland.  Former Oregon Ducks and Detroit Lions quarterback Joey Harrington joins Alpha Media’s KXTG-AM” 750 The Game” (also heard on K275CH at 102.9 FM) to co-host the afternoon program from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm alongside Fletcher Johnson.  Alpha Portland SVP/market manager Milt McConnell comments, “We are thrilled to add Joey’s Ducks and NFL expertise and analysis to our afternoon drive show.”  About his new gig, Harrington adds, “I’m excited for the opportunity to join the ‘750 The Game’ team and Alpha Media.  What a perfect way for me to be able to share my passion for all things football and Portland, than over the airwaves on the best station in town.”

Odds & Sods. More additions to the CBS RADIO podcast platform Play.it are announced.  New shows include “Cosmo Happy Hour” hosted by Elisa Benson of Cosmopolitan.com; a weekly one-hour show from comic Tom Green; “The Brouhaha with Ana Marie Cox” from the Wonkette founder; a weekly football podcast hosted by Jason Fitz; and “The Global Travel Conspiracy” with Gary Arndt, who has been traveling non-stop since 2007 and has visited more than 100 countries across all continents…..WGN, Chicago legend Orion Samuelson will gomikemikeJets15 in for heart valve surgery on Monday (9/14), according to Chicago media writer Robert Feder.  The 81-year-old Radio Hall-of-Famer says he hopes to be back on WGN by September 25, his 55th anniversary with the station…..ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike kicked off their 4th annual Fall Football Tour today with a live broadcast from the New York Jets training center.  In honor of the anniversary of 9/11, New York City first responders were in attendance for the closed-door broadcast, and hosts Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic welcomed attendees at a special brunch after the show.

talkersten logoDonald Trump Candidacy Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 7-11.  The top-polling presidential candidacy of Donald Trump was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the Hillary Clinton emails controversy and her apology.  Coming in at #3 was the activities of the rest of the 2016 presidential candidates followed by the Iran nuclear deal at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

| August 26, 2015

nab logoNAB Issues Statement on Virginia TV Slayings.  In response to the shooting deaths of WDBJ-TV Roanoke’s Alison Parker and Adam Ward this morning, the following statement was issued by NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith: “Today’s news of the tragic murders of broadcast journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward is heartbreaking and horrifying.  These were two young journalists who were simply trying to serve and inform their communities.  Our broken hearts go out to the families of Alison and Adam, to the staff at WDBJ, and to the employees of Schurz Communications.”  Obviously, today’s attack and the subsequent search for the alleged killer and his relationship with the victims and the television station has been the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio today, according to TALKERS magazine.

podcastone bPodcastOne Adds Five to Sales and Marketing Staff.  In the aftermath of the recently announced deal with Hubbard Radio in which the broadcasting company acquired a 30% share in the Norm Pattiz-founded podcast platform PodcastOne, the latter announced five additions to its sales and marketing team.  In a press statement, PodcastOne says “now that the recent investment from Hubbard Broadcasting is in the bank,” it is wasting no time as it welcomes Lori Spencer and Linda McHugh in the Los Angeles offices, Keith Goldstein in New York, Dave Boretti in Chicago and Joe Laffey in Dallas.  At the same time, Dana Senit – who joined the company in February – is promoted to West Coast general sales manager.  McHugh comes to PodcastOne from programmatic audience targeting platform Netmining, previously with GoldSpot Media and Maxim.  Spencer joins the team after working with TargetSpot and Sirius XM.  Goldstein held posts at ESPN Audio and Jelli and brings an entertainment and technology sales background.  Boretti was most recently in an executive position at Spanish Broadcasting Solutions.  He’s also previously held executive posts at Westwood One and Univision Radio.   Laffey joins from EFG Companies, where he served as SVP, strategic partnerships.  Previously, Laffey was a sales executive at Westwood One/CBS Radio Networks, and a partner in digital advertising agency, Slingshot, LLC.  PodcastOne president Kit Gray comments, “I am excited to welcome our newest team members to PodcastOne.  We’ve put together a talented and experienced group of people and I look forward to working with Greg Batusic, our COO, in leading the team to the many successes ahead.”

carneyforsterBeasley Names Dave Carney and Chad Forster KDWN, Las Vegas Morning Hosts.  The official name of the show is “Live in Las Vegas with Dave and Chad” and it’s heard daily from 6:00 am to 9:00 am on KDWN “News Talk 720.”  Dave Carney and Chad Forster have been on the air since the station parted ways with longtime Vegas talk radio pro Alan Stock several weeks ago, but now the station makes their appointmentkdwnlogo official.  KDWN program director John Shaffer states, “Dave and Chad are two high-energy, creative talents, who are merging their terrific track records with a lively, diverse talk radio format that ‘asks the questions most dare not to ponder’ and our listeners respect and enjoy that kind of talk.  These two are combining their experience, insight, wisdom and witty remarks, with large doses of comic relief, mixed with controversial commentary on issues ranging from sports to politics to breaking news!”  Carney is a Las Vegas radio pro who’s also worked as the voice of the Las Vegas Wranglers pro hockey team and with ESPN Radio on the Jim Fassel show.  Forster has worked in Las Vegas radio as a producer, air talent, and ops manager.

robbinsmarkleyKXL, Portland and WMBD, Peoria Talk Host Scott Robbins Suffers Heart Attack, Awaits Open Heart Surgery.  According to his radio show partner Jamie Markley (right), Scott Robbins (left) had a heart attack early Monday morning, was resuscitated by CPR and is currently in the hospital while doctors are stabilizing him for open heart surgery.  Markley writes on the show’s Facebook page, “He’s pretty much sedated and out of it.  While we could talk with him on Monday, yesterday he could only acknowledge different people’s presence but was not able to talk.  The docs will keep him in this state until his condition improves to where he’s ready for open heart surgery.”  Robbins and Markley co-host the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show on KXL-FM, Portland that is also heard on Alpha Media’s news/talk WMBD, Peoria from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  The duo recently inked a multi-year renewal with the company.

kitrosersharonKitroser to Gen Media Partners As VP/Integrated Sales. Regional director of corporate partnerships for The American Red Cross Sharon Kitroser – joins Gen Media Partners as vice president of integrated sales. Gen Media Partners chief executive officer Kevin Garrity states, “I know the developmental work that Sharon does will deliver higher ROI for advertisers and new business for our media partner clients. She is known across radio and advertising circles for her innovative marketing programs. Programmatic buying is imminent;Gen Media Partners traditional avails are dwindling; and radio is too often being packaged as a commodity. Gen Media Partners is the only national representation company that monetizes localism across radio, high school sports, community events, shopping malls, and more. I am delighted that [Sharon] is bringing her talent to Gen Media Partners and Gen Media Connect.” According to Kitroser, “Today’s advertisers need to reach and connect with consumers at multiple touch-points throughout their day. With the wide swath of options in the Gen Media Partners’ suite of platforms, we have an opportunity to produce integrated campaigns that meet those needs and deliver results for advertisers and client partners.” Prior to working at American Red Cross, Kitroser was director of sales for ABC Radio/Disney (Interep), CBS, and Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia), as well as director of strategic alliances for Daniels & Roberts; Kitroser and Garrity worked together at ABC Radio/Disney.

EntravisionEntravision’s CMNH Radio-thon Sets Record. Raising just shy of $2.9 million, Entravision Communications boasts the most successful Spanish-language radio-thon to benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in 2015; the actual total ($2,856,182) surpasses last year’s $2.1 million tally. Entravision chief operating officer Jeffery Liberman remarks, “Now in our eighth year of collaborating with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, we are thrilled to have broadcast this phenomenal 72-hour radio-thon. We are very happy to know that its success will benefit more hospitals and children than ever before. The overwhelming accomplishments achieved in thisChildrens Miracle Network Hospitals year’s radio-thon reflect the vast reach of Entravision’s national radio platform, our growing digital presence, and our on-air talent and staff who rallied the great force of our Spanish-language listeners.” Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals vice president of Hispanic programs Joe Trevino declares, “We are once again extremely proud of the great partnership we enjoy with the entire Entravision team. This year’s radio-thon success is a testament to the personal dedication, creativity, and commitment by everyone involved to engage Entravision listeners to participate with the radio-thon. It was a comprehensive team effort by Entravision.” Entravision’s “Jose,” “Super Estrella,” and “La Tricolor” network formats kicked off the event, broadcasting from Children’s Hospital Orange County and the following day from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The event concluded from Children’s Hospital Phoenix. Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals raises funds for 170 children’s hospitals.

kravitzpinkyPinky Kravitz Retires from WOND, Atlantic City After 57 Years.  His last live program on Longwood Media’s WOND, Atlantic City was back on May 14, just before his open heart surgery.  Now, 88-year-old Pinky Kravitz is officially retiring from the station at which he’s worked since 1958.  Kravitz, host of “Pinky’s Corner,” decided to retire after careful consultation with his family following a prolonged recuperation from the surgery.  Longport Media president Dave Coskey comments, “We’re obviously sorry to see Pinky leaving our air, but we support him in this decision.  Pinky has always been instantlywond logo identified with Atlantic City, South Jersey and WOND.  Pinky may be leaving our air physically, but he will always possess a special place here at WOND and in the hearts of his many listeners throughout South Jersey.”  Kravitz became a fixture on South Jersey radio and television beginning in 1956, when he began hosting a live call-in program on WLDB-AM, now WBSS.  Two years later, he found a new home at WOND.  Kravitz also hosted a weekly television program, “WMGM presents Pinky!” for many years on WMGM-TV, and for years he wrote columns for a variety of publications, most recently for The Press of Atlantic City.  WOND has not announced a permanent replacement for Kravitz on the station.

Trump Debates Hispanic Journo in Iowa, Immigration Policy Debate, Obama Blesses Biden Presidential Run, Hillary Clinton Email Server Investigation, Volatile Global Financial Markets, and Caitlyn Jenner Halloween Costume Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/25).  GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s Iowa press conference at which he first ejected, then debated a Univision reporter; the ongoing debate over America’s immigration policy; Vice President Joe Biden gets approval from President Obama to run for the office; the investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for State Department business; investor nervousness over the global markets sell-off and concerns about another recession; and the flap over a Halloween costume based on the Caitlyn Jenner Vogue magazine cover were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

| August 13, 2015

Mark Levin Plunder Deceit2Levin (Again) Lands At #1. Syndicated talk host Mark Levin’s “Plunder and Deceit” will reportedly debut at #1 on The New York Times bestseller list across all three categories of hardcover nonfiction, e-book nonfiction, and the combined list. This will be his fourth consecutive #1 New York Times bestseller. One of Levin’s previous books, “Liberty and Tyranny,” spent 38 weeks on that bestseller list and sold over one million copies. In a statement to Breitbart News, however, Levin emphasizes that he doesn’t “write books for The New York Times – I write them for people who love their country, want to learn about their country, and want to save their country. ‘Plunder and Deceit’ is a particularly important book. It is intended to stir the citizenry, particularly younger people, to understand what big government is doing to them and how its policies are destroying their liberty and prosperity.” TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison asked Levin, “What is the key to your success as a best-selling author so we can share it with other talk hosts who write books.”  Levin immediately acknowledged that he is not the only accomplished author among the ranks of radio talk show hosts – then added, “It takes me a year or more to write a book.  It involves extensive research and scholarship.  You have to be willing to commit a lot of time to it — most weekends, early mornings, and late nights. I don’t have ghostwriters or co-authors, etc.  There’s a difference between being an author and having your name on a book.”     Landmark Legal Foundation president Levin is syndicated through Cumulus Media‘s Westwood One; “Plunder and Deceit” was released last Tuesday (8/4).

Cowherd, ColinHoping His Herd Heads with Him to Fox, Premiere. Speculation has become reality now that one of the worst-kept secrets in recent history is official: After a 12-year association with ESPN (the last two days there being controversial owing to his on-air comments questioning the intelligence of Dominican ballplayers), Colin Cowherd will indeed join Fox Sports and Premiere Networks in just over three weeks (Tuesday, 9/8). That is when he will begin hosting “The Herd,” a three-hour program, which will air simultaneously on Fox Sports Radio Network and Fox Sports1 (12:00 noon – 3:00 pm, Eastern). Fox Sports Radio is produced/distributed by Fox Sports and iHeartMedia subsidiary Premiere Networks. “Colin is one of the most powerful and talented personalities in sports media today,” asserts PremiereFox Sports Radio Networks president Julie Talbott. “His addition to Premiere’s lineup demonstrates our continued commitment to reaching diverse audiences with the best talent the industry has to offer. We are excited to join with Fox Sports in bringing Colin’s passionate and engaging brand of sports entertainment to millions of people across multiple platforms. By leveraging our combined reach, we’ll have the opportunity to connect with more sports fans than ever before, while delivering unmatched results for our partners.” Cowherd states that, “It is hard to put into words how much fun it is for me, as a broadcaster, to build something with really smart, talented people. I cannot wait for this next chapter in my career to start. Fox Sports is the perfect spot for me at this time in my life.” On Sunday mornings during the NFL season, Cowherd will be part of the Fox-TV “NFL Kickoff” crew. According to Fox Sports national networks president Jamie Horowitz, “Colin is the first person I hired for my first daily studio show at ESPN, so it’s fitting that he’s the first one I’m hiring at FS1. Colin is a unique voice in sports media with a loyal following of fans. We are looking forward to building our daytime programming around him.” Before joining ESPN, Cowherd did a morning drive sports show on KFXX, Portland; was sports anchor at WTVT-TV, Tampa; and sports director of Las Vegas TV station KVBC. He began his career as the play-by-play voice for the Pacific Coast League’s Las Vegas Stars.

Robbins & MarkleyAlpha Media and Robbins & Markley Ink Multi-Year Renewal. Heard weekdays on talk siblings KXL, Portland (9:00 am – 12:00 noon) and WMBD, Peoria, Illinois (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm), Scott Robbins and Jamie Markley extend their deal with parent company Alpha Media. Executive vice president of programming, Scott Mahalick states, “Robbins and Markley bring a contemporary style and entertaining flare that connects with the audience in a big way – we are proud they are on our winning team.” Alpha Media Portland senior viceAlpha president/market manager Milt McConnell notes, “Robbins and Markley have made a tremendous showing in Portland. Scott and Jamie are two of the best communicators in our business, and we are thrilled to have them for years to come.” Meanwhile, Alpha Media Peoria market manager Mike Wild remarks, “Scott and Jamie reflect real-life, day-to-day; they are [two] of the most genuine personalities anywhere. Their chemistry is unique and they both have an amazing sense for content. The show is a completely fresh approach to talk radio.”

National Radio Day Cake2Circle Next Thursday as National Radio Day. Especially when considering that some offbeat things – including specific foods – somehow garner their own special day, it is rather odd that there has not heretofore been a border-to-border celebration dedicated to the medium of radio. That will change one week from today (Thursday, 8/20) when non-commercial radio stations in more than 30 U.S. cities will participate in Seattle-based “not-just-for-profit social enterprise” Brown Paper Tickets’-formulated “National Radio Day.” This year, the FCC has awarded construction permits to nearly 2,000 low-power FMs and as National Radio Day “lead organizer” Sabrina Roach explains, “This is a great opportunity to get to know the new low-power stations by working on a common project together. A low-power FM is like community glue. These new media outlets can become powerful resources that help neighbors to organize, share, and find solutions together. I wanted to introduce an opportunity for all kinds of non-commercial stations to work together and to engage their communities by celebrating radio with listeners and independent producers.” Stations can promote National Radio Day (August 20 is also “National Lemonade Day”) on social media using the hash tag “#NationalRadioDay.” Brown Paper Tickets will provide promotional assistance and support for National Radio Day events organized by all participating U.S. stations. By the way, the significance of choosing August 20 as National Radio Day (which has actually been observed since the early-1990s) is to honor the day in 1920 that Detroit news station 8MK (now CBS Radio-owned WWJ – and still all-news) was licensed by the FCC. On August 31, 1920, 8MK aired the first news radio broadcast featuring local election results. WWJ’s Pittsburgh sibling KDKA-AM debuted on November 20, 1920 and, of course, has long claimed to be the “world’s first commercial radio station.”

Seacrest, RyanNBC Selects Seacrest to Host Late-Night Rio Coverage. With less than a year to go until the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, NBC-TV announces that its host of live late-night coverage will be KIIS “Kiss-FM,” Los Angeles morning personality/”American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest. During the 2012 London Games, Seacrest was a correspondent and he co-hosted the closing ceremony. NBC Olympics executive producer Jim Bell promises that, “The late-night atmosphere will be electric. We are thrilled to have Ryan Seacrest in the middle of it all capturing Rio’s unique flavor, talking to Olympic athletes, and telling the NBC 2016 Rio Olympics Logo 2stories of the day.” Seacrest reflects, “Joining the NBC Olympics team at the 2012 London Games was an exhilarating experience. I appreciate Jim Bell’s confidence, along with everyone at NBC Sports. I can’t wait to reunite with the team of broadcasters and producers for the 2016 Rio Olympics, and I look forward to hosting the live late night show.” Bob Costas hosted NBC’s primetime and late-night Olympic coverage at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games and he has been primetime host for every NBC-covered Olympic Games since 1992. Mary Carillo previously hosted Olympics late-night coverage. The Summer Games from Rio begin August 5, 2016.

Elswick-Cruz 2Answers From a Presidential Hopeful. During his visit to Arkansas’ GOP headquarters, Republican presidential  candidate/junior Texas senator Ted Cruz did on on-air interview with KHTE “The Answer,” Little Rock afternoon drive host Dave Elswick. The two commemorate the occasion with a selfie.

Bligh, JimReady for his Close-up. Part of the enjoyment industry people derive when watching television shows or movies is trying to identify an announcer’s voice when the radio plays in the background, or spotting radio talents used as “extras.” In the country’s #7 film this week, “Rikki and The Flash,” Meryl Streep’s rock singer character struggles and fumbles operating a cash register as a part-time checkout clerk. The camera catches fellow employee “Chris” grimacing at the next register. Portraying “Chris” is Salem Radio Network east coast affiliate relations manager Jim Bligh, who shot his scenes in Westchester County, New York. Advanced film buffs might recognize Bligh from his appearances in “A Beautiful Mind,” Cloverfield,” and “Man on a Ledge.”

Sirius-XM-Logo 2Odds & Sods. Two sports programming notes from SiriusXM that take effect next Tuesday (8/18). Former University of Michigan head football coach Brady Hoke will host – alongside Mark Packer – SiriusXM “College Sports Today” twice a week (9:00 am – 12:00 pm ET) throughout the college football season. In addition, former PGA tour professional/television analyst Mark Lye will join radio personality Bruce Murray on the satcaster’s weekly “Let It Fly with Murray & Lye.” The one-hour (8:00 pm – 9:00 pm) program will air every Tuesday night, starting next week. Lye has previously been an analyst on SiriusXM’s pre- and post-round coverage.

Donald Trump Surpasses POTUS as Most Talked About Person on News/Talk Radio Yesterday (8/12).  Top topics include the Presidential Race, the Iran Nukes Deal, Immigration Reform and the Chinese Devaluation of the Yuan.  According to TALKERS research, fallout from last week’s audience record-breaking GOP debate on Fox News Channel continues to dominate conversation on news/talk radio across America this week and people (and the media) remain fixated on Donald Trump.  Very rarely does anyone top the President of the United States as the most-talked-about person for a day, let alone a week.  We will know how Trump fares versus Barack Obama by tomorrow morning (8/14) in terms of this week’s survey.  Other hot topics include the presidential election in general, Hillary Clinton’s email controversy and the global economic impact of China’s devaluation of its currency.

Monday, August 10, 2015

| August 10, 2015

Fox_News_Channel_logoMonday Trivia Question. Granted, this deals with television, but it most definitely could have talk radio implications. Here goes: What is the most-watched cable news telecast in history? Your hint is that viewership for this broadcast is estimated to have been 24 million. Give yourself a pat on the back if you guessed last week’s GOP presidential debate on the Fox News Channel. Among adults 18-49, the roughly two-hour debate drew 7.9 million. More than 20 million debate-related interactions appeared on Facebook. According to The Hollywood Reporter, by way of perspective, the first Republican primary debate in 2011 attracted 3.2 million viewers to FNC, and that channel’s coverage of the final 2012 presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney reached 11.5 million.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison comments, “The amazing numbers attracted by the Fox debate certainly underscore the power and potency of politics as an area of interest in America.  Those who are loudly touting the death of politics, in general, as a viable genre within the talk radio universe are missing the point.  The question should not be IF politics belongs as a mainstay topic of news/talk radio – but HOW it should be done going forward.”  Harrison adds, “And that, of course, is not to say that talk radio cannot benefit by tapping into so many other topics of concern to people today beyond politics… but this election is proving that politics is here to stay and to abandon it would be throwing the proverbial baby out with the bathwater.”

iheartmedia-logo-small22KFI, KLAC Add HD2 Coverage. Sports KLAC “AM 570,” Los Angeles will simulcast on the HD2 channel of co-owned iHeartMedia alternative cluster-mate KYSR “Alt 98.7,” while talker KFI will simulcast on the HD2 channel of adult contemporary sibling AC KOST “Coast 103.5.” Senior vice president of programming Andrew Jeffries comments, “Exposing our premiere talk brands of KFI and KLAC to a wider audience on HD is an exciting progression for our programming. It is in our listeners’ best interests to have these stations on every platform they desire, from the AM frequencies, on the iHeartRadio app, and now HD2.” No HD channel for any company appears in Nielsen Audio‘s July 2015 PPM report for Los Angeles. Among persons 6+ in July, KOST’s main “Coast 103.5” channel places #1 overall (5.4); KFI is #8 (3.4); KYSR is tied for #19 (2.4); and Los Angeles Dodgers‘ flagship KLAC is #31 (.9).

Radio OneNet Q2 Radio One Revenue Grows to $119.8 million. That represents a gain of 10.5% from $108.4 million in 2014. Meanwhile, station operating-income shows a 14.3% improvement (from $41 million) to $46.9. Radio One president and chief operating officer Alfred Liggins, however, comments, “Core radio advertising business was soft for the quarter, although in line with our expectations, and partially offset by the strong performance of our network and syndication business – Reach Media. On a combined basis, radio plus Reach Media revenue was +8.6% versus Q2 2014, or -3.2% after adjusting for the timing of major events. Third quarter core radio advertising revenue is currently pacing down mid-single digits, but we expect this decline to be more than offset by the continued strong performance of TV One; we are working diligently to turn around radio performance in our key markets.”  Television advertising for the company was up 13.7% for the quarter, and affiliate revenues were +27%. Compared to $10.8 million or 23 cents per share a year ago, Radio One’s net earnings grow to $13 million – or 27 cents per share.

GiffordRemembering Frank Gifford. He wore #16 for the New York Football Giants and was one of the NFL‘s premier players in a career that spanned a dozen years (1952 – 1964). Owing to his rugged good looks, Frank Gifford transitioned to broadcasting when his playing days were over. Perhaps seen by some as a pretty boy, the University of Southern California All-American – who died today (Sunday, 8/9) of natural causes in his Connecticut home – constantly burned and embarrassed defenses as a halfback, receiver, or he could even run the option. Not only was Gifford on the Giants’ 1956 championship team, he was the league’s MVP that year and the Pro Bowl MVP two years later. In 2008, Gifford, along with Peter Richmond, wrote “The Glory Game: How the 1958 NFL Championship Changed Football Forever.” The Baltimore Colts beat Gifford’s New York Giants in that game, 23-17. Several particular things worth noting about Santa Monica-born “Faultless Frank” are that, while virtually everyone recalls him for his fame in television, he actually cut his media teeth in radio. Moreover, while most former athletes-turned-broadcasters did (and do) so in the capacity of analyst, Gifford adroitly took charge in the play-by-play role. Others did it before and since, but Gifford was one of the very first who looked and sounded like a professionally-trained broadcaster. In addition, in the overwhelming number of cases, ex-athletes in the booth tend to be one-trick ponies, covering only the sport they played. Not Gifford: He handled multiple sports and was an integral part of ABC-TV‘s “Olympics” coverage. During his playing days, he worked at CBS Radio in several capacities and would go on to anchor a nightly CBS Radio Network sports roundup. Gifford continued his relationship with CBS, doing sports on New York City owned & operated WCBS-TV (channel 2), ultimately graduating to calling Sunday games on CBS-TV. Many would say the huge break for Gifford was shifting to ABC-TV for that network’s “MNF” games. He replaced Keith Jackson in 1971, joining Howard Cosell and “Dandy” Don Meredith. His wife of 29 years, “Today Show” host Kathie Lee Gifford (Frank & Kathie Lee at right), is among those who survive Gifford and she took to Twitter to note she is “deeply grateful to all [for your]Frank & Kathy Lee Gifford outpouring of grace.” CBS Radio Los Angeles CHR KAMP “Amp” morning personality/host of NBC-TV‘s “The Voice” Carson Daly tweets, “My heart breaks for the loss of Frank; we are praying and thinking of [his family] today.” Kathie Lee’s “Today Show” co-host, Hoda Kotb, writes she is “heartbroken.” Also in “The Today Show” family, Al Roker notes that he will “always remember Frank Gifford’s grace, self-deprecating wit and love of his family – so much to so many.” Frank Gifford met Kathie Lee when they guest-hosted “Good Morning America.” That show’s former co-host Joan Lunden writes, “Great guy, great couple.” According to Kendall Jenner, it is a “very sad day. Rest in peace to my Godfather – the legend, Frank Gifford.” Frank and Kathie Lee Gifford have a son and daughter; the 1977 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee had three other children from a previous marriage. This coming Saturday (8/16), Frank Gifford, would have turned 85 years old.

FCC LogoOver $4 Million Generated From FCC FM Auction 98. Results after 10 days and more than 50 rounds find 59 qualified bidders scoring 102 permits, with the FCC taking in slightly more than $4.1 million. It is all part of FM Auction 98, as the FCC auctions FM construction permits. The Erie Company, LLC boasts top bid honors ($714,000) for a Westfield, New York permit, while Iris Media, LLC proposes $421,000 for a Columbia, Missouri permit. Alpha Media remains active by offering more than $400,000 for a permit in Harper, Texas.

WGN LogoTribune Tower Continues Its Brick Collection. When he was Tribune‘s publisher and company president (1911-1955) Robert R. McCormick requested that his correspondents bring back stones from their travels to add into the base of Chicago’s Tribune Tower. That tradition lives on this Friday (8/14) at 11:30 am when bricks from Wrigley Field (home of the Chicago Cubs) and Comiskey Park (Chicago White Sox) will permanently be installed into the limestone exterior of Tribune Tower. WGN-AM host Bob Sirott will host the ceremony, which will include interviews with Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney and White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. The bricks will join 148 stones from around the world and all 50 states that are already part of the Tribune Tower’s façade. Artifacts included are from The Alamo, Great Wall of China, Taj Mahal, and Abraham Lincoln’s original tomb. Last added to the building were tiles from the Sydney Opera House in May 2006. Tribune-owned talker WGN-AM, of course, was the longtime radio flagship of the Cubs, whose games – as of this year – air on CBS Radio‘s news-formatted WBBM-AM; CBS Radio-owned WSCR “The Score” is the White Sox flagship, but that will change next year when the pale hose shift to Cumulus Media talker WLS-AM.

KOIL-AMOdds & Sods. KOIL “The Mighty 1290,” Omaha joins the Kansas City Chiefs’ 65-affiliate radio network. Executive producer Dan Israel notes, “Eastern Nebraska is a vital part of the ‘Chiefs Kingdom’ and we are very excited to welcome KOIL as the new exclusive home of Chiefs coverage for Omaha.” KOIL operations manager Dave Tepper states, “We are honored to join one of the NFL’s most passionate fan bases in cheering on the Chiefs.” The NRG Media talker begins its coverage by airing the team’s first preseason game this Saturday (8/15) against the Arizona Cardinals.

Westwood One HOF Pic 2Eight Inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame. The ceremony from Canton, Ohio’s Pro Football Hall of Fame was held this past Saturday (8/8). Those honored were Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown, Charles Haley, Junior Seau, Will Shields, Mick Tingelhoff, Bill Polian, and Ron Wolf. Westwood One Sports had live coverage and then continued by airing the Hall of Fame Game the next day between the Minnesota Vikings (14) and Pittsburgh Steelers (3). Shown here are Westwood One’s Scott Graham, 2015 inductee/six-time Pro Bowl selection Jerome Bettis, and Westwood One analyst, Hall of Famer James Lofton.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Chats with Former FEMA Director (and Current KHOW, Denver Talk Host) Michael D. Brown as 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina Approaches.  It was almost a decade ago (August 23-31, 2005) that Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast of the United States with winds of up to 175 mph and flood waters of biblical proportions rising from the ocean and falling from the sky — leaving in its wake almost 1,900 fatalities, $108 billion in damages, and countless casualties and lives upended.  Michael D. Brown – the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at the time and Under Secretary of Homelandbrownmichael Security (“Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job”) became the official poster boy for everything that went wrong with the federal government’s too-little-too-late response to one of the greatest disasters in American history.  Some of the criticism that fell upon Brown was deserved – but much of it wasn’t.  After all, it was an epic crisis and involved numerous overlapping agencies, governments, and politicians charged with making things right.  Brown took a severe beating from the media as well as a proverbial bullet for the team and stepped down from his position with the Bush Administration.  A lawyer by trade, Brown went on with his life, taking away an enormous amount of wisdom and experience from the episode.  Undaunted, he began speaking to groups around the country about the insidious side of politics, and the human complexity of management and team play. He wrote a candid book about his role (and responsibility) in Katrina — Deadly Indifference: The Perfect (Political) Storm, Hurricane Katrina, the Bush White House, and Beyond (Taylor Trade, 2011).  He also began a successful talk show hosting career in Denver – first at KOA and then at KHOW, where he presently presides over a daily program 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm MT.  In the newly posted installment of the weekly international hit podcast “Up Close and Far Out” (8/4), Brown is interviewed by RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison about inside-Washington politics, the war on terror, the nature of the political mind, the psychological profile of presidents, the general state of media and journalism as well as what his life is like as a big market talk show host 10 years after Katrina.  To hear this must-listen conversation, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player located in the right hand column on every page of RadioInfo.com.

SagaCool Job Opening for News Reporter/Anchor.  Award-winning news/talker WSVA in Harrisonburg, Virginia has an opening in its news department.  They are looking for a hard working reporter/anchor to be part of their afternoon drive show and cover and report on local news.  Send audio and resume to fwilt@harrisonburgradiogroup.com or mail to Frank Wilt, WSVA Radio, 1820 Heritage Center Way, Harrisonburg, VA  22801.   Harrisonburg Radio Group.  EOE.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

| August 5, 2015

alphamedia logoAlpha Media Announces Intent to Purchase Digity Radio Stations.  This deal has been rumored for some time so it’s not a big surprise.  The proposed acquisition of Digity LLC’s 116 stations in 26 markets, after approval from the DOJ and the FCC, will bring Portland, Oregon-based Alpha Media’s station total to 251 in 54 markets.  Alpha Media chairman Larry Wilson says, “We aredigity extremely pleased to be acquiring from exceptional operators and management who truly understand radio.  Dean [Goodman] and his team have done a tremendous job with these stations.  They will be a great addition to our live-and-local vision across the country.”  Digity CEO Dean Goodman comments, “Larry Wilson and I have a shared vision for the radio renaissance in progress now.  Radio is live, local media enhanced by digital delivery and community focused events.  Our success is the result of an employee environment of collaboration, transparency and innovation.  I am honored to have worked with the great broadcasters at Digity and the dynamic growth they’ve created.  Digity and Alpha are a perfect match.”  Digity has focused on medium and small market operations.  The largest of its 26 markets are Palm Beach, San Jose, Canton, and Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, North Carolina.  It also operates 11 outlets in suburban Chicago markets.  For a complete station list, click here.

townsquare logoTownsquare Media Q2 Up 10.6% Powered by Live Events.  The company went public just last summer – on July 24 – and financial data from the second quarter of 2015 indicates Townsquare Media’s 10.6% net revenue increase compared to the same period a year ago, comes on the strength of its live events sector.  Live events net revenue was up 50.4% while localpricesteven advertising revenue rose just 0.6% (1.5% ex political).  Townsquare chairman and CEO Steven Price states, “We believe our second quarter net revenue growth of 10.6% highlights the strength of our diversified revenue strategy.  We saw growth in each of our operating segments in the second quarter, particularly within our live events segment, which grew over 50% over the prior year.  Local advertising net revenue increased primarily as a result of an increase in non-political local advertising net revenue of $1.2 million, which was partially offset by decreases in political local advertising net revenue of $0.7 million.  Live events net revenue grew primarily as a result of increases in attendance and revenue per attendee of our live events, including three new music festivals.  Other media and entertainment net revenue grew primarily as a result of increases within our digital marketing services offering.”

vertical bridge logoTownsquare to Sell 43 Towers to Vertical Bridge.  At the same time as it reports its 2015 Q2 numbers, Townsquare Media announces it has entered into an agreement to sell 43 towers to a subsidiary of Vertical Bridge Holdings, LLC for approximately $22.8 million in cash, subject to closing adjustments (the Tower Sale).  Townsquare will retain ownership of more than 250 towers following this sale.  The towers being divested are located on 41 sites in 28 markets and not only house the company’s radio station antenna but are rented by third parties for similar uses.  Townsquare has a 35-year deal (an initial term of 20 years and three optional five-year renewal periods) during which it will pay $41 of rent per annum ($1 per site per annum) to Vertical Bridge for the right to house its existing antenna on the divested towers.  Townsquare has also entered into an agreement with Vertical Bridge for Vertical Bridge to serve as the exclusive marketing agent for the towers retained by the company.

giroccodawnDawn Girocco New LA Market Manager for Cumulus Media.  Longtime Los Angeles radio sales pro Dawn Girocco has worked for iHeartMedia as GSM and CBS RADIO as VP/director of sales in the City of Angels.  Now she crosses the street to serve as vice president and market manager for Cumuluskabclogo Media’s classic rock KLOS and news/talk KABC.  Cumulus Media SVP of operations Tom Schurr says, “I’ve known and respected Dawn for years.  We competed in Houston and worked together at Clear Channel, and I couldn’t be more excited to be partnering with her again. She’s going to be a great leader for Cumulus LA.”  Girocco comments, “I appreciate the opportunity to step up to the role of market manager for Cumulus in Los Angeles and the confidence that Tom and Lew [Dickey] have placed in me to drive results with these incredible properties.”

scottdrewDrew Scott Named Executive Producer of Bubba the Love Sponge Show.  The Bubba the Love Sponge program officially announces that Drew Scott is the new executive producer of the Tampa-based, syndicated program.  “The revered morning show is looking to make some changes, and they feel Scott’s well-rounded radio career, experience working with affiliates, and contacts make him a perfect fit.”  He’s been in the position since June 17.  Scott is a Central Florida native who’s been working for Mid-West Family Broadcasting in Benton Harbor, Michigan at rock WIRX “Rock 107.”  Scott says, “This opportunity would not have been possible without the management and staff at ‘Rock 107.’  I have grown as a programmer and professional during my time in Michigan and I am grateful to my on-air teams – Dave Doetsch, Gayle Olsen, Jim Gifford, Paul Layendecker, Tom Walker, Randy Hawke, and Tim Moore – for allowing me express my creativity on and off the air.”

stapletonjasonUSA Radio Network Adds Jason Stapleton to Weekend Programming.  He founded his eponymous talk show that’s been available via YouTube, iTunes, and Stitcher Radio but now USA Radio Networks adds the Jason Stapleton program to its weekend lineup, airing live Saturdays at 3:00 pm ET, effective August 15.  Stapleton is a former force reconnaissance Marine, entrepreneur, speaker andusaRadioNetworks investor who has been a professional trader for over a decade.  USA chief content officer Tim Maranville says, “Jason’s perspective and background are unique and impactful to listening audiences everywhere which makes him an excellent addition to our ever growing lineup of shows.”  USA says that Stapleton’s “experience has led Jason to become a highly sought after authority on everything from military strategy and politics to economics. This makes him a rare expert whose unconventional insights offer a perspective not heard in mainstream political and economic discourse.”

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases Second Round of July 2015 PPM Data.  The second of four rounds of July 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The July 2015 survey period covered June 18 through July 15.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

hubbardradio logoHubbard Radio Signs Up for Shazam for Radio.  The Shazam for Radio service is described by Shazam and radio partner Sun Broadcast Group as “the first-ever interactive radio service designed for every station’s unique content.”  The deal between Hubbard Radio and SBG means Shazam for Radio is being deployed on 19 stations in all seven Hubbard markets.  Hubbard president and COO Drew Horowitz says, “All of us here at Hubbard Radio are thrilled to be partnering with the great team at Sun Broadcast Group and Shazam for Radio.  As we continue to look to the future and new ways of connecting our great brands and the advertisers we serve with millions of our loyal listeners, we believe Shazam for Radio is a game changer.”  SBG COO Julio Aponte says, “We are so pleased to be working with Hubbard Radio in bringing another level of interactivity to their great radio properties.  Shazam For Radio will allow them to engage directly with their audience by giving them real-time access to all their content, personalities, promotions and advertisers.  We look forward to working with Drew Horowitz and his great team of programmers and sales people.”

Odds & Sods.  On Thursday (8/6), Salem Radio Networks personality Hugh Hewitt will host a special two-hewitthughhour program titled, “SRN Presidential Debate Special,” airing from 11:06 pm to 1:00 am ET.  SRN says Hewitt will provide analysis of both the “undercard” debate on FOX News Channel — featuring candidates who polled outside of the “Top 10”— as well as the “main event” debate featuring the “Top 10” contenders as determined by public opinion polls.  Guests expected to appear on the show include: GOP presidential contenders Carly Fiorina (R-CA) and Dr. Ben Carson (R-MD); Dan Balz of The Washington Post; Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard; Guy Benson, news editor of Townhall.com; Karen Tumulty of The Washington Post; Eliana Johnson of National Review; Mary Katherine Ham, editor-at-large of HotAir.com; and others…..The Denver operations of iHeartMedia announce Crystalyn Portwood is named director of sports sales.  The cluster serves as the flagship for play-by-play for the NFL’s Denver Broncos, MLB’s Colorado Rockies and the University of Colorado Buffalos…..FOX Sports Radio’s “Jay Mohr Sports” hits the road for a series of three remotes from NFL training camps.  Mohr’s show visits the Denver Broncos on Friday (8/7); the San Diego Chargers on Monday, August 17; and the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday, August 20.

2016 Presidential Candidates-Donald Trump Criticisms, Planned Parenthood Videos Scandal, Immigration Policy Debate, Battle Against ISIS and al Qaeda, Hillary Clinton Email Server Case, and California Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/4).  The activities of the candidates for president, Thursday’s GOP debate and criticism of Donald Trump; the ongoing controversy over the Planned Parenthood videos showing doctors discussing the price of tissue from aborted fetuses; the debate over America’s immigration policy; the military efforts to combat ISIS and al Qaeda; the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server; and the devastating wildfires in California were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, July 31, 2015

| July 31, 2015

cumulus logoCumulus Media’s 2015 Q2 Report: Net Revenue Dips 8.8%.  That negative number is not so surprising because Cumulus had issued forward-looking statements that predicted results pretty much in line with what the final numbers turned out to be.  Net revenue for the quarter was just shy of $300 million, accounting for the 8.8% decrease compared to the same period a year ago.  Broadcast advertising was down 8.4% and the digital advertising category was off 19.5%.  Further breaking down the broadcast advertising category, network and national sales took the biggest hits – down 16% and 10.8%, respectively – and local ad sales slipped 3.9%.

cookehollandCooke: Local Radio Still an Opportune Career Path.  In a brand new installment of Talkers TV, media consultant Holland Cooke calls “this latest round of corporate cutbacks real scary.”  And he predicts there are more firings to come saying, “financially, it’s inevitable.”  Still, Cooke reckons, “This can be an opportune time for on-air talent,” because, in his view, “so much of what now comes out the speaker has been automated and voicetracked and has become so ‘un-local,’” and because “listeners and advertisers can hear the difference.”  In a two-part series in his monthly newsletter, HC outlines where employment opportunity lies and what salaries are typically being paid.  And Cooke stresses two skills imperative for today’s job-seekers: digital production savvy, and, as he puts it, “knowing how to actually get hired.”  He emphasizes that “simply knowing how to do your job won’t GET you your job.”  If you attended Talkers New York 2015, you already have part one, in the June issue of Holland’s newsletter, which was distributed at the conference.  Part two is in the August issue, which is available even to non-subscribers.  Click here for download instructions. To view Cooke’s presentation on Talkers TV please click on the Talkers TV box in the upper right hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

espnradioESPN Radio Announces August Lineup for Former Cowherd Slot.  With the recent benching of soon-to-be-exiting personality Colin Cowherd, ESPN Radio goes to its O&O stations as well as the network for talent to fill the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm ET network time slot.  Next week, KEPN, Los Angeles “ESPN LA 710” afternoon drive hosts Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley will be heard nationally.  The weeks of August 10 and 17 belong to network personality Michelle Beadle and ESPNLA’s Ben Lyons.  For the week of August 24, WMVP, Chicago afternoon drive duo Tom Waddle and Marc Silverman – a.k.a. “Waddle & Silvy” – will be featured on the network program.  ESPN Radio has not yet announced a permanent show to fill the spot where “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” aired.

fosternedKTAR-FM, Phoenix Newsman Ned Foster to Retire.  After a career that has spanned 40 years in radio news, “Arizona’s Morning News” anchor Ned Foster will retire from the station at the end of November.  The Boston native is enshrined in the Arizona Broadcast Hall of Fame.  Foster, who has worked at such heritage signals as WBZ-AM, Boston; KFWB, Los Angeles; and WOWO, Fort Wayne, says, “It’s hard for me to believe how fortunate I’ve been and how much fun I’ve had.  I am humbled and gratified beyond words that so many people over so many years found it worth their while to tune in.  Thank you!”  Bonneville Phoenix VP of content and operations Ryan Hatch adds, “Ned is the consummate newsman and he’s had an absolutely remarkable career.  We can’t thank him enough for helping Arizona commuters get to work informed and on-time each morning.”

Odds & Sods. A joint effort between Alpha Media Portland and Seattle’s Feedback Media is bringing the business talk radio show “Business Briefing” with Brian Bushlach to Sinclair Radio’s news/talk KVI, Seattle.  The show – a popular Portland market program for the past 10 years – will air on Saturday mornings at 8:00.bushlachbrian  Bushlach says, “Seattle is the epicenter of American business.  Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks, Costco, Nordstrom, Expedia and Alaska Airlines have become household names, but think about companies like Tommy Bahama, Trident Seafoods, REI and others who are also leaders in their sector.  We’re looking forward to featuring companies big and small, with execs and owners sharing jacksonraynardtheir stories each weekend.”…..Media commentator and public relations expert Raynard Jackson is sitting in for Roland Martin on his nationally syndicated midday talk radio show (7/30 and 31).  Jackson’s guests include actress/entrepreneur Erika Alexander, hip hop artist BriaMarie and former NFL player Mike “Scooter” McGruder…..ABC Radio announces some of the special Labor Day programming it is offering.  The three one-hour specials are: “The Election Show: 16 Things to Know Before 2016,” co-hosted by ABC News correspondent Cheri Preston and ABC News political director Rick Klein; “Back to School Survival Guide,” hosted by Michelle Franzen; and “Streamline and Simplify Your Life,” hosted by Scott Goldberg…..Football season is upon us and FOX Sports Radio says its continuing a partnership with Big Ten Network to present an audio simulcast of the latter’s “BTN Live” television show to radio station affiliates.  Beginning August 10, the program will be available for air Monday through Friday from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET.  The show is hosted by Big Ten Network personalities Dave Revsine, Mike Hall and Rick Pizzo, with Big Tenzookdoug Network analysts Gerry DiNardo, Howard Griffith and other special guests…..Woof Boom-owned news/talk WHBU-AM, Anderson-Muncie, Indiana (also heard on translator W279CL, Anderson at 103.7 FM) moves local personality Doug Zook to the 7:30 am to 9:00 am slot and begins airing Premiere NetworksSean Hannity in the afternoon drive daypart.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The sports talk show “Jay Mohr Sports” from Premiere Networksmohrjay and FOX Sports Radio Network is added to the lineup at the following stations: KVET, Austin; KHKA, Honolulu; WOLF-AM, Syracuse; KQWB, Fargo; and WKGN, Knoxville…..The Envision Networks-syndicated Sunday night talk show “The John and Leah Show,” featuring hosts John Ziegler and Leah Brandon, is added to the lineup at WPGP, Pittsburgh “AM 1250 The Answer.”…..The GCN-syndicated “Freedom Feens” show is added to the program schedule at KTKK, Salt Lake City.

hochmanMeyer15WQAM, Miami Covering College Football.  Pictured here (from l-r) are: Miami Hurricanes play-by-play voice Joe Zagacki, WQAM afternoon drive host Marc Hochman, and Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer at the Big 10 media days in Chicago.  Hochman tells TALKERS that the station partnered with the Capital One Orange Bowl to broadcast from all of the major college conference media days.

2016 Presidential Candidates and Trump Criticisms Tie for Top Spot on Talkers TenTM for Week of July 27-31. The activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and the extreme media attention Donald Trump is receiving tied for the most-talked-about news/talk radio stories of the week.  At #2 was the case of the hunting and killing of Cecil the lion by a Minnesota dentist.  Coming in at #3 was the Planned Parenthood videos scandal and following at #4 was the debate over immigration policy in the United States.  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 chart here.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

| July 14, 2015

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Gets ‘Up Close and Far Out’ with Legendary KGO, San Francisco Talkmeister Ronn Owens.  This week’s new installment of Podcast One’s international hit podcast for media freaks, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” is posted today (7/14).  It features a compelling conversation between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and legendary radio talk show host Ronn Owens.  Owens is about to mark his 40th anniversary with the heritage San Francisco outlet KGO – having survived numerous regimes and ownership changes during that four-decade period, including the controversial 2011 reorganization of the station from aowensronn news/talk format to an all-news direction that left Owens the station’s only full-time talk show host.  In addition, Owens recently disclosed publicly that he has been privately dealing with the challenges of Parkinson’s Disease for the past 13 years that has progressed to the point that he will be undergoing a leading-edge form of surgery called Deep Brain Stimulation.  This aggressive procedure, when successful, has been shown to alleviate the incurable neurological disorder’s movement-prohibiting symptoms.  Owens – ranked by TALKERS as one of the 25 most important radio talk show hosts of all time — discusses his career and views on talk radio, including the power of local programming, options beyond the left/right paradigm, the disastrous simulcast of his show on KGO and KABC, Los Angeles in 1997-98 and the impact of cell phones on the format, plus more.  He also candidly talks about his quiet battle with advancing Parkinson’s Disease, his decision to open up about it and details of the exotic form of brain surgery that he will be facing in August.  Harrison says of Owens, “This man is truly one of the giants of the industry.  Just like all the truly great performers of the talk radio arts, he rises above technique and has made it big simply based upon his unique brand of ‘personhood’ – an elusive quality that the Dickey Brothers obviously recognize – and speaks volumes about their nuanced awareness factor.  Add to that, his backbone is of figurative steel as he faces an experimental form of invasive surgery.  Ronn Owens is an inspiration to us all, professionally and personally.  I am so darned pleased to be able to present this podcast to the industry and the world.”  This is a must-listen for members of the professional radio community.  To hear the entire podcast, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player located in the right hand column of every page of Talkers.com.

legrettkevinLeGrett Lands iHeartMedia LA Market President Slot. Currently senior vice president of operations for approximately 225 iHeartMedia stations in roughly 50 northeast and midwest markets, Kevin LeGrett is shifting to market president for the company’s eight-station Los Angeles cluster. Executive vice president of operations for iHeartMedia – and the company’s Southern California president – Greg Ashlock (to whom LeGrett will report) comments, “Kevin has a successful track record leading operations and accelerating growth across multiple regions. He has earned the right to lead our largest market. His vast experience managing talent and revenue across so many diverse markets and stations will allow him to bring a unique perspective to our Los Angeles portfolio – a portfolio that I have been blessed to directly manage for the last decade that hosts the most compelling on-air talent and most innovative leaders in the business.” LeGrett states that he is “thrilled” at the “opportunity to lead” the “extremely talented” Los Angeles team. He further states, “iHeartMedia Los Angeles has some of the most iconic brands and beloved personalities in the country. With the instantaneous success of [urban contemporary KRRL] ‘Real 92.3’ and the continued stellar ratings and thriving pop culture events such as ‘Wango Tango’ and ‘Jingle Ball,’ it is an exciting time foriheartmedia logo small the market. I look forward to the opportunity to further build on the team’s already enormous success.” LeGrett, who begins his new duties in three weeks (8/3), joined iHeartMedia five years ago as vice president and market manager for the company’s Rochester stations. He will be leading a Los Angeles group of properties that includes hot AC KBIG “My-FM” and adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103.5,” tied for second in Nielsen Audio‘s June 2015 PPM, each with 5.1 (6+). Also in the top ten this June are iHM CHR KIIS “Kiss-FM” (#4, 4.9) and talk KFI (#8, 3.5). The rest of the company’s Los Angeles cluster consists of aforementioned urban contemporary KRRL “Real 9.2.3” (formerly urban-rhythmic oldies KHHT “Hot 92.3,” #11, 3.1); alternative KYSR “Alt 98.7” (#20, 2.3); and sports/Los Angeles Dodgers’ flagship KLAC and talk KEIB (both with .9, tied at #30).

cumulus logoCumulus Media Expands Brand Partnerships Team.  This move includes promotions for two current Cumulus Media staffers.  The company says that in expanding the Brand Partnerships team, it has named Leslie Slender vice president, Brand Partnerships and Events, and Leslie Caraccilo, vice president, Brand Partnerships.  The Brand Partnerships division is responsible for developing “unique experiential opportunities for Cumulus and Westwood One, connecting advertisers to itsslenderleslie listening audiences and leveraging its integrated radio, digital, social and live events platform.”  Slender has been serving as Cumulus New York’s corporate director, events and marketing.  She’ll continue to caracciloleslieoversee marketing and events for Cumulus New York stations.  Caraccilo has been with the company for five years as was most recently senior director of digital monetization.  She’ll continue to oversee digital sales strategy for Cumulus.  Cumulus SVP of Brand Partnership Tommy Page states, “We are excited to welcome these two talented professionals to the Brand Partnerships team.  Leslie Slender is a rare example of a marketer that is not only outstanding at producing and executing live events, but also knows how to package these opportunities for advertisers.  Leslie Caraccilo has done an incredible job of creating custom digital and content solutions for our advertisers across the Cumulus platform. Her understanding of artist programming and deep knowledge of the digital space make her a natural fit for our Brand Partnerships team.  With these strong additions to our already stellar Westwood One events group, all Cumulus and Westwood One partners and advertisers will benefit from this powerhouse team’s expertise.”

familyleadershipsummit15USA Radio Network Helps Sponsor Broadcast of Family Leadership Summit.  A live, five-hour broadcast from the Family Leadership Summit on Saturday, July 18 is being made available for free to broadcasters from USA Radio Networks in cooperation with Truth Radio Network.  The Ames, Iowa event will originate from Iowa State University and be anchored by nationally syndicated host and political commentator Steve Deace and American values expert Steve Noble.  The live broadcast will give voters the opportunity to hear from top conservative leaders and Republican presidential candidates, including: Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Dr. Ben Carson, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, and Bob Vander Plaats.  USA Radio Networks SVP of news operations Russ Jones says, “Iowa is a key battleground state for any presidential candidate.  The Family Leadership Summit is the first major platform the electorate will get to hear how candidates would lead the nation.”

bellartArt Bell Returns to Airwaves in Portland on Monday.  We’ve known for some time now that Art Bell has been preparing to return to hosting a nightly program via his Dark Matter Digital Network, but now Alpha Media announces the originator of “Coast to Coast AM” will bring his new show – “Midnight in the Desert” – to KXL-FM, Portland beginning Monday, July 20.  The show will air from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am local time and will follow Clyde Lewis’ “Ground Zero.”  Alpha Portland SVP/market manager Milt McConnell comments, “Art is an American original in terms of putting the paranormal on the radio landscape.  We are so proud to extend his coverage to the Northwest where there is a rabid appetite for his unique brand of communication.”

2015 Marconi Finalists Announced.  The 2015 Marconi Award finalists have been announced by the NAB.  The annual awards, to be given out during the NAB Radio Show in Atlanta on October 1, are divvied up into 20 categories.  Legendary Station of the Year finalists include: news/talk outlets KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa; WHIO-AM, Dayton; and all-news KYW, Philadelphia.  Major Market Personality of the Year finalists include: Felger & Massarotti from sports talk WBZ-FM, Boston and Hal Jay from news/talk WBAP, Dallas.  View all the finalists here.

malcolmoutloudWYM Media to Distribute Malcolm Out Loud Features.  Through WYM Media Management, radio news commentator Malcolm Out Loud is expanding his daily radio presence with three new features.  “Out Loud News and Comment” is the news of the day with Malcolm’s unique twist; “Out Loud America” is a “relevant and timely commentary from Malcolm”; and “Brink Thinking Out Loud” is “motivational content and inspiring stories and positive events shaping our world.”  Malcolm Out Loud is a motivational speaker, innovator and creator of the popular websites OutLoudAmerica.com and BrinkThinking.com.

kcmo logoKCMO, Kansas City Holds Drive to Assist Mother of Six Caught Shoplifting.  The case of homeless widow and mother-of-six Sarah Robinson was the focus of attention for Cumulus Media’s Kansas City radio stations, led by news/talk KCMO on Saturday as it held a donation drive Saturday for the family.  Robinson was cited for shoplifting at a local Walmart but the officer who responded, Mark Engravalle, decided to pay for the diapers and wipes for her twin two-year-olds and bought shoes for her other girls.  After hearing the woman’s story of desperation, the stations planned a two-hour donation drive that netted cash, diapers, baby wipes, clothing, blankets, food, toiletries and other items.  KCMO morning host Rob Carson hosted both Robinson and Officer Engravalle on his show on Monday.  Officer Engravalle remains touched that he’s changed someone’s life for the better and he is in constant touch with Sarah, who is off the street with her girls in temporary lodging, while something more permanent is being arranged.  The generosity continues with a local law firm offering her a job.

Odds & Sods.  Texas-based talk show host Lynn Woolley is celebrating the 20th anniversary of his talk show.  Woolley says his days as a talk show host go back to 1995 when he and two partners operated KTEM, Kileen-Temple…..The NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes and Capitol Broadcasting Company have reached a multi-year agreement for WCMC, Raleigh “99.9 The Fan” to continue serving as the team’s flagship station through the 2019-20 season.

nbcsportsradio logoCool Job Opportunity.  NBC Sports Radio in Culver City, California is looking for the next great sports talk producer!  Are you totally immersed in all things sports?  Can you oversee and manage a top-notch, daily sports talk show and book compelling guests and newsmakers?  Can you handle show/talent/guest prep, organize formats and rundowns, develop content, fact-check and research, and distribute social media and digital content across platforms?  Do you have excellent live and studio production skills using multiple software programs, including Adobe Audition and Pro Tools?  If you can do all this and have 3-4 year’s major market or network experience, we want to talk to you!  Send a link to work materials, including resume and audio samples, to Jack Silver, Program Director, at jsilver@westwoodone.com.  No calls, please.

WBAPbushmanMurrowWBAP, Dallas’ Bushman Recognized with Regional Murrow Award.  WBAP, Dallas-Fort Worth news staffer Eric Bushman was recently honored with Regional Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association for his reporting on the U.S. Ebola outbreak last year.  Dallas was “Ground Zero” for Bushman’s story, and he was lead reporter from start to finish.  This is the second consecutive year Bushman has been honored with a Murrow Award.  Last year, he received one for his comprehensive coverage of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. WBAP, Dallas operations and program manager Tyler Cox comments, “Eric’s work represents the type of reporting that is the signature of the WBAP news staff: comprehensive, in-depth, and sticking with the story from start-to-finish.”

sandlerGuitarNicole Sandler Auctioning Cool Radio Memorabilia for Radio Or Not.  Progressive talk personality Nicole Sandler is opening up her archives of radio memorabilia for an auction to help support her Radio Or Not digital platform.  Sandler says she’s always vowed to not put her content behind a paywall and this auction – which starts tomorrow (7/15) – will help her costs of operation.  Sandler is not the only radio pro who’s been collecting cool radio and music artifacts oversandlerBillHillary the years.  In fact, TALKERS editors believe one of the interesting, untold stories in the radio biz is just what these personal treasure troves contain.  Sandler’s has some pretty fun items that come from her days producing for Jim Kerr at WPLJ, New York and for Mark & Brian at KLOS, Los Angeles.  Note the autographed guitar pictured above that’s been signed by Johnny Cash, BB King, Les Paul, James Taylor, Roger Daltrey, Todd Rundgren and others.  Then, for political wonks, the Bill and Hillary corkscrew-nutcracker pair pictured here at right make the perfect election year gift!  Sandler’s auction site is: radioornot.com/auction.

2016 Presidential Candidates/Scott Walker Joins Race, Mexican Drug Lord Prison Escape, Iran Nuclear Talks, NYC Eric Garner Settlement, Immigration Policy-Sanctuary Cities, Greek Debt Deal, and MLB All-Star Break Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/13).  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s entering the primary race; the escape from prison of Mexico’s most notorious drug lord; the conclusion of negotiations between Iran and the West over its nuclear program; New York City’s settlement with the family of Eric Garner over his death at the hands of an NYC cop; the ongoing controversy over the nation’s illegal immigration policy and the country’s sanctuary cities; the Greek debt solution and the effects on the EU; and the Major League Baseball All-Star festivities were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, July 10, 2015

| July 10, 2015

kvilogoLars Larson’s Radio Northwest Network Show Added to KVI, Seattle Lineup.  Portland-based talk pro Lars Larson is getting an affiliate in Seattle for his regional talk show.  Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI “Talk Radio 570” is adding the program to its lineup in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot, effective July 20.  The station also carries Larson’s nationallarsonlars show syndicated via Compass Media Networks (that one airs from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm) but the regional show is distributed to 18 affiliates in the Pacific Northwest via Alpha’s Radio Northwest Network.  KVI, Seattle program director Rick Van Cise states, “We’re excited to bring Lars Larson’s northwest edition to America’s pioneer conservative radio station!  Lars has been a big part of KVI’s programming with his daily national show and frequent morning fill-ins.  Adding the northwest show is another way we’re boosting KVI’s commitment to covering local and regional issues with news and views you can’t get anywhere else!”  Larson comments, “KVI is a fantastic addition to the Radio Northwest Network.  I look forward to including the Seattle metro area, its people and its left-wing politicians to the conversation I have every day…and naysayers go to the head of the line on the Lars Larson show.”

hubbardPhoenixnewstudioHubbard Breaks Ground on New Phoenix Facility.  The company recently broke ground on a new, 20,000-square-foot broadcasting complex (see architect’s image in the graphic here) that will serve as the home of the company’s Phoenix operations that includes rock KUPD, alternative KDKB “93.3 Alt AZ,” classic rock KSLX, sports talk KDUS, and oldies KAZG “AZ Gold.”  The company says the new digs will include an outdoor deck and performance promenade for visiting artists as well as 13 audio studios and a video studio.  Hubbard Phoenix VP and market manager Trip Reeb says, “I can’t think of a more significant way for Hubbard Radio to commit to the Phoenix market and its community.  We have a great team of people whose passion and commitment is being rewarded with a home that is a reflection of all the hard work that we do.”

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases Third Round of June 2015 PPM Data.  The third of four rounds of June 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The June 2015 survey period covered May 21 through June 17.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

Odds & Sods.  Los Angeles all-newser KNX “Newsradio 1070” is presenting a special program today (7/10) as part of its KNX Spotlight series titled, “How Lo-tech Is Our Hi-tech?”  The CBS RADIO-owned station sets the stage,knx logo asking, “Was it a cyber-attack or just coincidence when the New York Stock Exchange, United Airlines and the Wall Street Journal suddenly had tech failures all on the same day?”  KNX says the show will bring together some of the best cyber experts in the country to look at what happened on Wednesday, what could happen next and how it affects you.  The program is being hosted by KNX anchor Tom Haule and chief investigative reporter Charles Feldman…..The Glenn Beck-led TheBlaze Radio Network adds a new weekly, two-hour podcast to its offerings featuring Rabbi Daniel Lapin…..FOX Sports Radio will be on site in Cincinnati for the 2015 Major League Baseball All-Star Game providing affiliates with interviews with players, Hall-of-Famers and special guests, as well as baseball insiders and experts leading into and surrounding the 86th annual event.  Talent will include FOX Sports 1 MLB analyst Dontrelle Willis and network host Ryan Field…..Satcaster SiriusXM is also broadcasting from the MLB All-Star game.  It will carry the national broadcast of both the game on Tuesday, July 14 and the Gillette Home Run Derby on Monday…..ESPN Radio’s 11th Annual ESPY Day Auction to benefit The V Foundation and its new Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund is officially underway on eBay and will continue through Wednesday, July 15.  This year’s auction of more than 150 items includes tickets to prime sporting events, autographed memorabilia, unique experiences with athletes, celebrities and ESPN personalities like Scott Van Pelt and behind-the-scenes experiences with ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike, Colin Cowherd, Stephen A. Smith and more.  To date, the ESPN Radio ESPY Day Auction has raised more than $7.7 million.

barberdaveA Tribute to Dave Barber.  The recent death of talk media pro Dave Barber at the all-too-early age of 60 elicited sorrow from those who knew him and those who knew his work.  City of Pawtucket, Rhode Island economic & cultural affairs officer Herb Weiss writes a career-spanning tribute to Barber, published today at Talkers.com.  Weiss recounts Barber’s entrance into the radio business, his decision to leave Flint for Providence and his transition to host of the Rhode Island state government’s “Capitol TV” platform.  Read Weiss’ piece here.

talkersten logoChina’s Market Plunge and Global Markets Reactions Top Talkers TenTM for Week of July 6-10.  The stock sell-off pulling China’s stock market down and the effects on world financial markets tied for the top spot on the Talkers TenTM this week.  At #2 was the Greek debt crisis.  Coming in at #3 was the illegal immigration and sanctuary cities issues followed by the activities of the 2016 presidential candidates at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Friday, May 29, 2015

| May 29, 2015

zieglerbrandonProfile: John Ziegler of the ‘John & Leah Talk Show.’  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a profile of talk radio pro John Ziegler, whose weekend program with co-host Leah Brandon is busting out on stations across the country (recent adds include WNYM, New York; WNTP, Philadelphia; and WHAS, Louisville).  In this piece, the Envision Networks-syndicated personality talks about his frustrations with the corporate radio business, his work producing documentary films as well as his philosophy of radioJohnandLeahShow logo entertainment.  Ziegler says about this new program, “Our show is about what Leah and I can add to the public conversation that particular week and we are completely unafraid.  All we care about is providing three hours of informative entertainment.  Our business model allows us the freedom to do things other shows would never do.  I am the CEO of the corporation, so this time I cannot get fired and that gives us a huge advantage.  No one is over my shoulder telling me not to do something, or that I have to do something a certain way.”  Read the entire piece here.

brockstefanAlpha Media Names Stefan Brock Corporate VP, Interactive.  There’s a corporate vice president now in charge of the digital space for Alpha Media as the company announces Stefan Brock is named corporate VP of interactive.  Alpha says Brock will “oversee digital strategy, initiatives and the current corporate digital team.  Brock’s experience includes time working for Disney Interactive Media Group, Disney ABC Television Group and most recently, Super Mackerel where he served as executivealphamedia logo director of product and operations.  Alpha says the award-winning exec “has a passion for development of original cross platform digital media products and experiences that unite classic storytelling, original video and the latest in interactive social media technologies.”  Alpha Media CEO/president Bob Proffitt adds, “After a long search, we are very lucky and excited to have Stefan relocate to Portland and join our team.  Stefan’s experience, intelligence and customer focus was a perfect fit for our live and local strategy, and also the continued evolution of our interactive choices for listeners and customers.”

foxnewsradioMonday Marks 10-Year Anniversary of FOX News Radio.  On June 1, the FOX News Radio service will be 10 years old.  The company says, “When FOX News Radio launched our full-service network on June 1, 2005, we had 24 stations, half a dozen reporters and a plan to bring ‘Fair and Balanced’ news coverage to radio.  Now, a decade later, that same full-service network has almost 600 affiliated stations.  We have 11 full-time radio reporters spread across the country and around the world, and our podcasts and our presence on the social networks are unmatched by any commercial radio network.  And we are still growing.”

Odds & Sods. Beginning Monday, June 1, Radio Spokane-owned KJRB-AM, re-launches as “FOX Sports 790AM.”  The station will carry the network’s 24/7 lineup including: “Jay Mohr Sports,” Dan Patrick, Rich Eisen, “Steve Gorman SPORTS!,” “FOX Sports Daybreak with Andy Furman & Mike North,” and JT “The Brick,” as well as the network’s weekend programming…..Beasley Broadcast Group is declaring a $0.045/share quarterly dividend payable July 10 for shareholders of record as of June 30.

njba logoJudge Andrew Napolitano to Be Honored at NJBA Conference.  At the New Jersey Broadcasters Association conference June 17-18 at Caesars in Atlantic City, FOX News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano will receive the Howard L. Green Humanitarian of the Year Award.  Napolitano has been the senior judicial analyst for FOX News since 1998.  He appears regularly on both FOX News Channel and on FOX News Radio.  The NJBA says Napolitano is “a fierce champion of the First Amendment, particularly freedom of speech, and is nationally known for watching and reporting on the government as it takes liberty and property.”  NJBA president Paul Rotella adds, “To be sure, Judge Napolitano’s impressive career and public service include several major accomplishments, but I am most proud of his fearless defense of our industry, the First Amendment, and his ability to bring the law to life for his audience.  The Judge will receive this honor at our Awards Luncheon during our Annual Conference in Atlantic City on June 18.”

talkersten logoISIS Progress in Iraq Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 25-29.  The success of ISIS in taking the Iraqi city of Ramadi and the Syrian city of Palmyra and questions about the U.S.’s military policy in Iraq was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Coming in at #2 was the 2016 presidential prospects and former New York Governor George Pataki’s entering the race.  At #3 was the Clinton Family Foundation’s finances tied with the FIFA corruption scandal followed by the Hillary Clinton emails probe and the Benghazi case at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on talk radio during the week.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

| May 27, 2015

recode logoFormer Dial Global/WW1 Execs Launch Program Sales and Distribution Firm. Former Dial Global and Westwood One executives Spencer Brown and David Landau announce they are partnering with Michael Rolnick to form the firm DGital Media.  They describe it as “an audio engagement company that partners with media brands to create, distribute, and monetize spoken-word audio products.”  The company’s first venture will be the creation of the Re/code Radio network in partnership with Revere Digital LLC.  Re/code is a tech news web destination founded by journalists Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher.  The first program to be rolled out will be “Re/code Decode” with host Kara Swisher, expected to go live in June.  Revere Digital COO Lorenzano Kennett comments, “With the proliferation of mobile devices and the popularity of podcasts, we want to make sure our content is available to our audiences wherever they are – in the car, in the office, etc.  By partnering with DGital Media, Re/code will be able to leverage our authoritative content and brand with outstanding audio programming, distribution and monetization.”  DGital Media co-founder David Landau adds, “Partnering with Re/code as a brand accomplishes exactly what we set out to do – which is to amplify media brands through audio.  The Re/code Radio network will bring the same excellence in reporting and analysis to readers through the spoken word.”  Also joining the company as chief content officer is Chris Corcoran, former EVP for content at Dial Global/Westwood One, and as executive vice president for sales and strategy, Grace Carrick, formerly vice president of sales at Dial Global/Westwood One.

2015 NYC 150Talkers New York 2015 to Mark 25th Anniversary of TALKERS Magazine.  The forthcoming 18th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention – Talkers New York 2015 – will also serve as the publication’s 25th “birthday party.”  TALKERS was launched by publisher Michael Harrison in June of 1990 with the first issue of TALKERS: The Information-Radio Newspaper hitting the streets on July 23rd of that year.  TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “This is an important milestone, not only for us, but for the talk radio and media industries as well.  That little trade publication provocatively named ‘Talkers’– that dared to refer to the relative handful of spoken-word stations that existed at the time as an ‘industry’ — has chronicled, championed and inspired one of the most colorful and historically significant chapters of American broadcasting ever gathered and archived in one continuous collection.  This year’s conference will serve as a milestone honoring that achievement and rich body of work.”  Casey adds, “Not only will Talkers New York 2015 have features that make note of this history but we will be publishing a number of retrospectives looking back at the past quarter-century in the days and weeks surrounding the conference and leading up to the official anniversary date in July.”  Talkers New York 2015 is sold out but a few choice sponsorship opportunities remain available.  For information, please call 413-565-5413.  To see the latest updated agenda, please click here.

alphamedia logoAlpha Media to Pay $38,250,000 for Morris and JMJ Stations.  From a filing with the FCC, we learn the price for the 36 stations that Morris Communications and JMJ operate in Topeka and Salina, Kansas; Amarillo, Texas; Palm Springs and Victor Valley, California; Anchorage and Wasilla, Alaska; Grays Harbor-Hoquiam, Washington and Wenatchee-Columbia River, Washington: $38,250,000.  This is not an all-cash deal.  Morris will receive $20 million worth of Alpha Holdings private stock (8,196,722 units in the aggregate), $6,585 worth of Alpha Holdings II private stock, and $18,250,000 in cash.

delaneykateKate Delaney Joins NBC Sports Radio for Weekend Shows.  Sports and news/talk radio pro Kate Delaney is adding weekend talk duties at NBC Sports Radio to her plate as she takes over the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm Saturday and Sunday shows from Anita Marks, who left the network to join WEPN-FM, New York “ESPN New York 98.7FM.”  During the week, Delaney is host of the GCN-syndicated “America Tonight” late night news/talk show.  NBC says Delaney’s show will feature “players, coaches, experts and analysts…from the locker room to the playing fields and beyond.”  Delaney’s sports pedigree includes being the first woman to host a solo sports radio talk show on WFAN, New York City and KRLD, Dallas.  She’s covered 15 Super Bowls, 10 U.S. Opens, and 15 Final Fours.  She has also been to the Kentucky Derby 10 times along with the other two Triple Crown races, the Preakness and the Belmont.  NBC Sports Radio program director Jack Silver comments, “It’s a major coup for us to have Kate with us on the weekends.  She connects really well with sports fans.  She’s smart, funny, and she knows her way around the world of sports.  Kate brings great energy, insight, and opinion to our weekend lineup.”

Odds & Sods. Joining the lineup of weekend talk shows at Talk Media Network is the “Into Tomorrow withgravelinelogo Dave Graveline” program.  In welcoming the almost-20-year-old program to the company’s roster, Talk Media Network CEO Josh Leng says, “The ‘Into Tomorrow’ team travels the globe to deliver the most comprehensive technology discussion available on radio, each and every week.  Talk Media mcpheemicheleNetwork is proud to offer radio stations this valuable program via satellite, for easy automation and scheduling.”…..Journalist and talk show host Michele McPhee – formerly with Entercom’s WRKO, Boston – is the new afternoon drive personality at WMEX, Boston, the daypart held briefly by Howie Carr before WRKO again became his syndicated program’s Boston affiliate.

2016 Presidential Prospects, ‘Is FOX News Bad for GOP?’ Flap, Hillary’s Role in Benghazi, Clintons Finances Scrutiny, ISIS Successes in Iraq and Syria, Amnesty Order Loses Round in Court, Obama Accuses Russia of Aggression, FIFA Scandal, Deadly Texas and OK Floods, and NBA/NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/26).  The activities of the potential candidates for president in 2016; reaction to historian Bruce Bartlett’s contention that FOX News is “self-brainwashing” conservative voters; more debate over Hillary Clinton’s role in the deadly Benghazi attack; ongoing scrutiny of the Clintons’ financial dealings and income reporting; the success of ISIS in Iraq and Syria and questions about America’s Iraq policy; President Obama’s amnesty order loses round at the Appeals Court level; Obama accuses Russia of military aggression; a report of widespread corruption at FIFA – soccer’s governing body; the deadly flooding in Texas and Oklahoma; and the NBA and NHL playoff action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

| May 20, 2015

donovanjohnnyJohnny Donovan Retires from WABC, New York.  Capping a WABC, New York career that goes back to 1972, legend Johnny Donovan is retiring from the Cumulus Media-owned news/talk station.  He’s been handling daily announcing and production director duties at WABC.  In a press release announcing his retirement, the company notes that Donovan was a music jock during the influential WABC top 40 era.  When the station flipped to talk in 1982, he remained on as staff announcer and productionwabc logo director – a position he held for more than 30 years.  An amateur radio operator in his youth, Donovan became a DJ on WHVW in Hyde Park, New York after helping build the station in 1963.  He went on to work at radio stations in Kingston (WBAZ) and Binghamton (WENE), New York, with a stop at Atlantic City, New Jersey’s WMID.  In 1968, Donovan arrived in New York City as an overnight music host on WOR-FM. Four years later, Donovan brought his talent to the AM band and WABC.  Cumulus SVP content and programming Mike McVay states, “Johnny Donovan was THE sound of 77 WABC.  He joins the ranks of legends like Don Pardo, Ed McMahon and Ernie Anderson.  His production and imaging skills are legendary.  He will be missed at WABC, but more than that, he will be missed in our industry.”  Donovan will continue to be heard as the voice of the Rush Limbaugh show – a position that he’s held since 1988 – and will continue his own voice-over business.

stigallchrisGoodbye, Mr. Letterman.  And Thanks!  Philadelphia morning drive personality Chris Stigall says farewell to his professional inspiration in a column published at TALKERS today (5/20).  Tonight will air the final new episode of “Late Night with David Letterman” and the WPHT, Philadelphia talk host shares his personal admiration — perhaps even obsession – with one of the undisputed legends of late night talklettermandavid wide television.  In the piece, Stigall explains his attraction to Letterman as a performer.  “I was a high school kid with big dreams of hosting his own show one day, but never felt like I was attractive or popular enough to make it.  David Letterman taught me there’s something very good, right, and rewarding about being an individual.  The more I watched and read about Letterman, the more fixated I became.  Not just his comedy – which I loved.  It was his ‘damn the torpedoes’ approach to this hallowed thing called television.  It was everyday people from his shows’ staff cast in bits.  It was random souvenir shop and deli owners turning into unintentional comedy stars.”  Read Stigall’s entire piece here.

herskovitzalCreative Promotions Lead to New Sales.  Radio marketing pro Al Herskovitz writes in a column published today that a radio sales pro worth his or her salt should never overlook the value of a creative radio promotion to solidify current clients and attract new ones. He says commonplace ticket giveaways and the like are fine but do little to make a client’s goods or services memorable, and such prizes usually go to station P1s anyway.  How about having your morning host attempt to give a lion a bath?  Sound too dangerous?  Read Herskovitz’s entire column here for the details and his thoughts about using the promotion as a sales tool.

boldgoldfounationBold Gold Foundation Inaugural Event Draws Hundreds.  The inaugural fundraising and awards event for the Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation took place over the weekend at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Northeast Pennsylvania and drew hundreds of supporters who gathered to cheer on and support the organization’s efforts to help prepare tomorrow’s broadcast and media leaders.  The Foundation celebrated broadcast radio’s legacy, while positioning to help lead the effort to bring new recruits into the news and talk ranks.  Bold Gold president Vince Benedetto laid out the Foundation’s mission, explaining, “Broadcast radio continues to be the modern day town square where the news and issues of our times are related, debated and discussed in communities across America.  The power of this medium, now amplified and synergized with the power of mobile and social media, can be positioned to influence the local and national narratives in more powerful ways than ever before.  Our work will be focused on helping the best and brightest get the education and resources they need to write the next chapters of communication history.”  Honored at the event was Northeast Pennsylvania entrepreneur and philanthropist Bob Tambur.  He was presented the 2015 Atlas Award for Citizenship.  Benedetto says Tambur is “an example of someone who builds and creates, sees problems and boldly sets out to fix them.  He shows what is possible to achieve in a free society and is the standard by which all future recipients will be measured.”  Special guest speaker, citizen-journalist James O’Keefe of Project Veritas, provided a riveting audio and video presentation showing his past and ongoing efforts to expose corruption and hypocrisy in government and media.  Benedetto says, “James shows what just one person, armed with the courage to report the truth is able to accomplish.”  The event was emceed by David Madeira, morning show host of Bold Gold’s Scranton-based talk station, WTRW “94.3 The Talker.”

Odds & Sods.  An extension of the affiliation deal just completed between ABC Radio News and Tribune’s WGN-AM, Chicago includes an expansion of shared editorial resources in the Chicago market.  Simultaneously, WGN’s Ryan Burrow will be a contributor to ABC News Radio and report from Chicago and around the country.  ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones comments, “Ryan Burrow is a talented, award-winning reporter who understands how to tell stories that capture an audience’s interest.  Through ABC News Radio’s expanded partnership with WGN, Ryan will cover stories of interest to our national audience from across the Midwest region and around the country.”…..Washington-based political consultant Raynard Jackson sits in for Roland Martin on his nationally syndicated radio show “News One Now” airing from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm ET…..Joe Ligotti is named morning host at WMEX, Boston, replacing the syndicated “Dr. K Show.”

podcastone logoDee Snider Podcast to Launch on PodcastOne.  Musician and media personality Dee Snider is debuting a new, weekly podcast called, “Snider Comments,” on the PodcastOne Network.  The program promises to “pull back the curtain on the world of rock and expose the raw and untold stories of current and past rock ‘n’ roll superstars.”  PodcastOne CEO Norm Pattiz states, “This is the latest music insider podcast on the PodcastOne Network.  There are plenty of places for consumers to listen to their favorite music, but very few to get a more personal, behind-the-scenes view from the artists that live in that world every day.  Dee is not only a rock star and an icon, he’s a great personality and a terrific communicator.  I couldn’t be more pleased to have him on our network.”

romejimKXTG-AM15Jim Rome Visits Portland’s KXTG-AM.  Appearing in the Portland market from affiliate KXTG-AM “750 & 102.9 The Game” was CBS Sports Radio’s Jim Rome.  He hosted his national syndicated sports talk show from Alpha Media’s SKYPE LIVE STUDIO on Friday, May 15.  Guests joining Rome in the studio included Oregon Ducks head football coach Mark Helfrich, Portland Trailblazers president Chris McGowan, and Fox Sports analyst Joey Harrington.  Pictured here (from l-r) are: Alpha Portland SVP/GM Milt McConnell, KXTG-AM promotions director Derek House, Rome, and KXTG-AM program director Mike Ragz.

Hillary Clinton Email Controversy, Stephanopoulos Clinton Donation Scandal, 2016 Presidential Prospects, ISIS Takes Ramadi, California Oil Spill, N. Korea Nuke Threats, Saudi Beheadings Controversy, and ‘Deflategate’ Matter Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/19).  The ongoing talk of Hillary Clinton’s private emails that are alleged to have been used for State Department business; the scandal involving George Stephanopoulos’ donations to the Clinton Family Foundation; the potential candidates for president in 2016 including talk of Democrat Martin O’Malley officially entering the race; the taking of Ramadi, Iraq by ISIS; the coastal California oil spill; North Korea’s saber-rattling and talk of its new nuclear technology; the increase in beheadings in Saudi Arabia; and the latest on the NFL’s “Deflategate” case were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, April 3, 2015

| April 3, 2015

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian provides another thorough ratings assessment, as he updates the status of all-news outlets. You might recall that in January, the format – albeit with a qualifying database of approximately 20 stations in PPM markets – managed to do something rather astounding: It kept all of them out of negative “Holiday” 2014 – January 2015 territory. The natural question now is: Did the format keep this incredible momentum going? Using data from Nielsen Audio‘s February 2015 PPM survey, Mike examines the performances of all-news facilities in sweep-to-sweep and year-to-year comparisons, as well as charting them in terms of 6+ rank andPPM Monitor 6+ market share. Additionally, we have a side-by-side look of the format’s ultra-impressive January numbers and – in some cases – ironically similar February stats. See the exclusive all-news analysis and overview here.

demaiocarlKOGO Adds DeMaio For Midday Duty. San Diego talker KOGO is pairing Carl DeMaio and  Bob “Sully” Sullivan as co-hosts of the 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm “DeMaio – Sullivan Report.” KOGO program director Brian Long comments, “We are thrilled to welcome Carl DeMaio to our lineup. I have no doubt that, with his experience as a government watchdog and his inside knowledge of politics, this will be the most talked about show in San Diego.” According to DeMaio, “Our show will give San Diegans a vehicle to learn not only about important issues, but to get involved in making a difference and advancing solutions.” In addition to focusing on local news, the three-hour weekday program on theKOGO  iHeartMedia-owned station will combine investigative journalism to examine stories behind the stories. The 40-year-old, Dubuque, Iowa-born DeMaio (Republican and openly gay) previously served four years (2008 – 2012) on San Diego’s city council representing district five. DeMaio lost to former congressman Bob Filner in San Diego’s 2012 mayoral contest and he was defeated by incumbent Scott Peters two years later in a race for California’s 52nd congressional district seat. He is a Georgetown University alum.

mohrjayMohr Wins Big By Horsing Around. As part of its March Madness “Celeb Pick ‘Em” series, USA Today‘s “For the Win” featured an interview with Fox Sports Radio host Jay Mohr. Within the piece, the star of the 2008 – 2010 CBS-TV sitcom “Gary Unmarried” (which co-starred Paula Marshall) revealed how a bet he made on the NCAA men’s basketball tournament netted him an unusual payoff. It was 16 years ago (1999) and St. John’s was making a run to the “Elite Eight” under head coach Mike Jarvis. Mohr was wagering with a friend who kept saying, “Double or nothing.” His friend – a jockey at Santa Anita racetrack – eventually ran out of money. If St. John’s went another round in the tournament, the friend told Mohr he’d give Mohr the horse on which he (the jockey) was sitting. St. John’s – and Mohr – won but since the actor/comedian had a small yard, the horse was not with him very long. For the record, the St. John Red Storm beat Maryland 76 – 62 in the infamous game-winning bet for Mohr, but lost to Ohio State in a squeaker (77 – 74) the next round. According to Mohr, the primary excuse someone should offer for missing work to watch the Final Four should simply be that you are going to watch the tournament. “If you are not in a sports-friendly work environment,” he says, “I would fake a birth.” It is Mohr’s contention that talk radio show callers should push the envelope and “make the hostFox Sports Radio uncomfortable. The crazier they are, the more fun we have when we play it later when we run out of ideas of our own.” So – how did Mohr do with his NCAA brackets this year? Not bad. He correctly has Kentucky and Michigan State in the Final Four, but also included Iowa State and Ohio State, rather than Wisconsin and Duke. He had Duke losing to San Diego State in the third round and Wisconsin falling to Ohio State in the Elite Eight. His prediction for the final game is that Kentucky’s Wildcats will beat Michigan State’s Spartans.

wfan logo (2)francesamikeNewsday Reports Tense Relations Exist Between WFAN Sports Talk Legend Mike Francesa and CBS Brass.  According to a report yesterday in Newsday (4/2), sports talk WFAN, New York afternoon star Mike Francesa says his relationship with executives at the station’s parent CBS Radio have “never been worse.”  In a story written by Neil Best, the iconic media figure who will be delivering the welcoming keynote at the forthcoming Talkers New York 2015 on Friday, June 12, has described his relationship with company brass as “very poor,” “awful” and “terrible.”   According to the story, speaking during a break in his show at the Hard Rock Cafe in Manhattan, Francesa said that for legal reasons he cannot go into detail about the nature of the dispute. But he acknowledged one source of tension is his ongoing frustration over his often pre-empted simulcast on Fox Sports 1 and 2, and CBS’ inability or unwillingness to find a contractual solution.   The story goes on to report, Francesa did not name the executives with whom he is at odds, but he specifically excluded CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves, who was a target of harsh criticism from him after Moonves fired Don Imus in 2007.  What does Moonves make of Francesa’s status with CBS in 2015? “We love Mike,” he said. “He’s done a great job . . . Let him keep doing what he’s doing and getting the ratings he’s doing and I’m very happy with him.”  TALKERS magazine’s annual feature “The 100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America” (also known as the “Talkers Sports Talk Heavy Hundred”) lists Francesa consistently as being THE most important radio sports talk host in the business  — local or national – and has been described by Michael Harrison as “one of the treasures of the talk media industry, sports talk or otherwise.”  Ironically, Harrison has also described the executives that run CBS Radio, with whom Francesa is likely at odds, as “among the smartest and classiest in the business.”  So it would be to the benefit of all parties concerned, including Francesa’s legion of devoted fans and detractors alike, that this dispute is soon settled.  To read the entire Newsday piece, please click here.

proffittProffitt to Pacifica Foundation Radio as Executive Director. In just over five weeks (6/11), former KUHF, Houston chief executive officer and general manager John Proffitt will take over as executive director of Pacifica Foundation Radio. Pacifica national board chair and interim executive director Margy Wilkinson states, “We have spent much of the past year stabilizing Pacifica after a turbulent time. Bringing on permanent, experienced leadership is the next step. While Pacifica still faces significant challenges, I am confident that John can see us through them and put our network back on a path of growth.” National board vice chair Lydia Brazon remarks, “John’s significant experience in radio broadcasting speaks for itself, but it is his recognition of Pacifica’s unique place in today’s media landscape that impresses most. I fully trust John Proffitt can and will rise to the challenge.” Proffitt comments, “I deeply admire the Pacifica commitment to independent news and feature reporting that tell the stories other media outlets frequently ignore or soft-pedal. Its leadership in broadcasting and promoting local art andPacifica Foundation Radio performance is second-to-none, as is its grassroots support from the community. I consider Pacifica to be a national treasure and feel honored to work for its success.” Recording engineer and producer Proffitt spent 25 years at KUHF; more recently, he was a volunteer fundraiser/host (“Thresholds” and “Open Journal”) at Pacifica Houston’s noncommercial KPFT. He will be based in Pacifica’s Berkeley, California headquarters. The five noncommercial stations Pacifica operates are WBAI, New York; KPFK, Los Angeles; KPFA, San Francisco; KPFT, Houston; and WPFW, Washington, DC.

WABC LogoWABC to Report from the Final Four. In harmony with Cumulus Media sibling Westwood One, New York City talker WABC will have a presence during this weekend’s “Final Four.” Sports reporter Mike Gunzelman will broadcast from radio row in Indianapolis with extended sports reports within “[Don] Imus in The Morning,” “The Geraldo Rivera Show,” and “Right Now with Doug McIntyre.” According to program director Craig Schwalb,”With the continuing dialoguePrint surrounding the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and all the excitement that is college basketball, it is an important intersection; WABC will be in Indianapolis for all of it.” Reports will be featured in newscasts as well as in social media. WABC will produce two live streaming programs, which will debut tomorrow (Saturday, 4/4) and Sunday (4/5) at 12:00 Noon. Live sports streams are separate from the station’s main WABC Radio stream.

KFWBKFWB, Clippers to Host Fan Appreciation Night. Flagship outlet of the NBA‘s Los Angeles Clippers – all-sports KFWB “The Beast” – will present a fan appreciation night one week from Monday (4/13) when the Clippers play the Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles’ Staples Center. Various prizes and merchandise will be distributed throughout the game, and a halftime presentation willLos Angeles Clippers acknowledge “Beast” on-air personalities and station executives. Performances from the Clippers Spirit will tap things off as part of a 5:30 pm fan festival. Among the prizes is an MVP package that includes Clippers playoff tickets in the private suite of “The Beast” and a meet/greet with a Clippers’ broadcaster.

NAB LogoNAB Reveals Radio Board Election Results. Those voted to the National Association of Broadcasters’ radio board include: Bill Coleman, owner, Team Radio Marketing Group of Ponca City, Oklahoma. Bruce Goldsen, president and general manager, Jackson Radio Works of Jackson, Michigan. Randy Gravley, president and chief executive officer, Tri-State Communications of Jasper, Georgia. Bill Hendrich, vice president and market manager, Cox Media Group Jacksonville. Ed Henson, president, Henson Media of Louisville. Beth Neuhoff, president and chief executive officer, Neuhoff Communications of Springfield, Illinois. Bob Proffitt, president and chief executive officer, Alpha Media of Portland (Oregon). Their two-year terms will begin in two months (June).

KXKSAlbuquerque Picks Up A Sports Outlet. Newcomer to the format in Albuquerque is KXKS, which transitions to sports from a religious teaching format. According to general manager Eddy Aragon, “We are excited to bring the premier Fox Sports network to the most powerful sports radio signal in the Albuquerque market. Listeners will be able to tune to the 10,000-watt signal of KXKS [at 1190 AM], plus the simulcast signal on 107.5 FM.” Rock of Talk LLC operates KXKS under an LMA with licensee Wilkins Communications. The religious format that previously aired on KXKS moves to Wilkins’ KKIM. KXKS was not among the 21 stations listed in Nielsen Audio‘s fall 2014 ratings book.

KRFTcorcoranSt. Louis Sports Outlet Augments On-Air Lineup. Leased by web-based programming provider TalkSTL.com, sports talk KRFT, St. Louis brings in J.C. Corcoran for 7:00 am – 9:00 am duty and Kevin Slaten for 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm chores on the AM day-timer. In just over two weeks (4/20), former East St. Louis, Illinois-licensed WQQX talents Howard Balzer and Charlie “Tuna” Edwards will begin doing a daily 11:00 am – 1:00 pm program. TalkSTL.com co-owner and operator Scott Gertken comments, “We could not be more excited about the lineup we were able to finalize. We have done a whole lot in 10 days.” According to Corcoran, his morning drive show “will be exactly the same thing I have been doing. Anybody who listens to the show is going to hear J.C. Corcoran – they know what they are going to get. It will be a general interest talk show, entertainment, and a heavy dose of my twisted mind.” Gertken says he hopes to have KRFT as a 24-hour operation by next month.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The SBG-syndicated Marilu Henner program is added to the program schedule at: KINX-FM, Great Falls, Montana; WLAD, Danbury, Connecticut; WTHU, Thurmont, Maryland; and WOMI, Owensboro, Kentucky.

talkersten logoReligious Freedom Act Controversy Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of March 30-April 3.  The chatter about Indiana’s religious freedom legislation and Governor Mike Pence’s promise to “fix” the law – along with Arkansas’ vow to pass a similar law – was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week.  Coming in at #2 was the Iran nuclear program negotiations.  Following at #3 was the investigation into the downing of Germanwings Flight 9525, followed by the 2016 presidential prospects at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It’s published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Monday, March 9, 2015

| March 9, 2015

carrhowieHowie Carr to Return to WRKO, Boston.  As Entercom puts it – “one of the more public divorces in Boston media history turns out to have been just a trial separation” – as Howie Carr resumes his talk radio career on the company’s WRKO effective March 16 hosting the afternoon drive show from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm and replacing interim host Mike Siegel.  After exiting WRKO at the end of December, the Howie Carr show was heard on Blackstrap-owned WMEX, Boston.  Entercom Boston VP and market manager Phil Zachary comments, “As the weeks passed, it became obvious to me that WRKO and Howie belongwrkologo together.  It’s that quirky relationship that everyone says will never last but ends up enduring longer than most because both partners enhance the other’s strengths and talents.”  Carr began his radio talk career on WRKO in 1994 and it is now syndicated via his own Howie Carr Radio Network (HCRN) throughout the Northeast.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “Howie Carr is one of the most potent local hosts in talk radio today bringing an extremely loyal and active listenership with him no matter what station he’s on.  He is so popular in New England that his appeal has spread from the Hub [Boston] to almost 20 major stations across the six-state region making his network a model example of regional syndication.  There is no question, however, that Howie Carr and the legendary WRKO are a natural fit – I am so pleased to see they’ve worked out their differences.”  Howie Carr and his dynamic wife Kathy Carr, who serves as VP of sales and marketing for HCRN and is one of the chief architects of his network, will be among the 65 speakers appearing at the forthcoming Talkers New York 2015 on Friday, June 12.

mcmahonbillThe Artist’s Secret: The Force that Guides Successful Radio Personalities.  Talk radio consultant and TALKERS contributor Bill McMahon says that in his 25-plus years of coaching talent, he has discovered a force common to successful radio personalities, as well as all outstanding artists.  He calls it “The Artist’s Secret” and it consists of three basic elements:  1) instinctive reactions – the inspiration for their ideas which come from inside; 2) audience of one – their focus on pleasing themselves, first and foremost; and 3) “I matter” – the belief that what they think and do actually can make a difference.  In an advice piece posted today (3/9) in TALKERS, McMahon cites three (of many) examples he’s collected of well-known creative figures and shows how they embody these principles.  They include controversial actor/film maker, Mel Gibson; the genius behind Pixar’s success, John Lasseter; and radio icon, Howard Stern.  To read McMahon’s piece, please click here.

theblaze logoFormer Glenn Beck Execs to Launch Own Digital Venture.  Two of the former executives involved in the building of Glenn Beck’s Mercury Radio Arts and its subsidiary TheBlaze, are partnering up to launch a new digital venture but are mum on just what it will be.  Regular TALKERS readers remember that Chris Balfe was CEO of Mercury Radio Arts and that he left in December of last year.  Betsy Morgan was promoted to CEO.  Now, come reports that president and chief content officer Joel Cheatwood quietly left the company last month.  Beck’s camp issued a statement from Beck praising the two men.  “Chris and Joel helped me build one of the industry’s first truly independent multi-media companies.  I am sad to see them go but they left our company with an incredible foundation.  I am truly grateful that we remain friends and am very excited to see what they do next.”  CNN reports that TheBlaze has been working to get carriage on the nation’s largest cable and TV systems but have not been able to secure deals with Comcast (the largest cable operator) or DirecTV (the top satellite provider).

cookehollandCooke: Weekend Call Screener Tips.  Media consultant Holland Cooke provides this quick primer for call screeners to weekend talk shows.  Among some of the advice included are:
“Prepping callers before they go to the host on-air is real important.  Not-doing-so is where lots of shows drop the ball on the one yard line.”; “Our goal is to keep…listeners…listening…by coming-to-the-point, at-the-speed-of-life.  So help the caller boil-it-down to an opening statement that communicates his/her point succinctly.”  And there’s much more advice that is crucial for weekend call screeners helping to improve the show.  You can either read more here, or view the video in the Talkers TV screen on the upper right-hand side of this main page at Talkers.com.

mennutotonyMennuto to CBS RADIO for Marketing Post.  Joining CBS RADIO as vice president, branded content solutions, is marketing pro Tony Mennuto.  The company says he’s being charged with developing “unique audio and video marketing opportunities for advertisers that can be distributed across a variety of platforms, building awareness and increasing brand recognition.  Among his responsibilities will be to create entertaining and experiential storytelling programs that leverage the broadcast reach and expertise of CBS RADIO.”  Mennuto will report to Rich Lobel, executive vice president and CMO, Altitude Group, CBS RADIO’s team of local engagement experts tasked with helping Fortune 500 brands connect with consumers using its 117 stations and live events platform, along with assets from CBS Television Stations, and CBS Local Digital Media.  Previously, Mennuto was founder and CCO of MisterFace.

piolineddie‘Piolin’ Joins PodcastOne Roster. The first Hispanic entertainment program available on-demand via PodcastOne is that of Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo. PodcastOne chairman and chief executive officer Norm Pattiz comments, “It is very exciting to be entering the high-demand Hispanic marketplace with one of the most popular personalities in Spanish entertainment. ‘Piolin’ leads the way in his field with a massive, loyal audience. Building off PodcastOne’s proven history of results, this opens an additional demographic reach for new and existing advertisers across our digital platform.” Sotelo (“Piolin”) remarks that he is “thrilled and podcastone logohonored” to be part of the company’s initial Spanish-language podcasting venture. “I am incredibly excited to make ‘El Show de Piolin’ available to listeners on demand through our new podcasts on PodcastOne. It will strengthen my connection with listeners and give them another way to access the show whenever they want to listen. I know how much it will mean to the industry that Norm Pattiz chose our show to be a part of [this] forward-thinking, trailblazing platform.” In 2002, HBC hired “Piolin” to do mornings on KCSA, Los Angeles. The Mexico native was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame 16 months ago and the NAB has named Sotelo “Top Spanish Format Personality” in 2006, 2008, and 2010. He formed Los Angeles-based production/syndication company Alliance Radio Networks, which launched “El Show de Piolin” this past January. The program airs in approximately 40 markets in the United States. Effective immediately, PodcastOne has exclusive rights to advertising sales and distribution of the podcast, with new episodes available weekdays on PodcastOne.com and iTunes.

smithjakeWGMD, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware Personality Gone After Islam Rant.  It’s actually been more than three weeks since Jake Smith was Mike Bradley’s on-air partner on the morning drive show on Resort Broadcasting’s news/talk WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  Smith did not return to the air after the February 20 program during which he went on an anti-Muslim diatribe that included the statement, “As far as I’m concerned, not every Muslim is guilty, but every Muslim is suspect.”  For his part, Smith is unapologetic and tells DelawareOnline that the company treated him well and had the right to dismiss him.

krebsjoelKrebs Upped to LSM of Portland Quartet. Two-year Alpha Media Portland account executive Joel Krebs is boosted to local sales manager of FM talker KXL, sports KXTG AM & FM “The Game,” and talk KUFO “Freedom 970.” Senior vice president and market manager Milt McConnell remarks, “Joel has distinguished himself as both a leader and mentor; he is very deserving of this promotion.” Director of sales Amy Leimbach comments, “Joel Krebs has been a very positive asset to the Alpha sales organization. I am confident that his leadership skills will generate great success with our talk properties in Portland.” Krebs notes, “I am excited to continue the growth of this solid sales department and stations with our rapidly growing company.” Prior to joining Alpha Media Portland, Krebs had a 13-year tenure – five of which as sales manager – with the Portland stations owned by Entercom.

Odds & Sods. Joining the BlogTalkRadio podcast community is the Pac-12 Conference. BlogTalk Radio announces the conference produces two podcasts focusing on the football and basketball seasons. They are hosted by Mike Yam and feature analysts Kevin O’Neill and Rick Neuheisel…..Greater Media Boston announces co-hosts Candy O’Terry and Sue Tabb will receive Gracie Allen Awards from the Alliance For Women in Media in the categories of Portrait/Biography series and Best Soft News feature for “Love Is All Around,” a series about three Boston-based charities: Love Lane Special Needs Horseback Riding Program, Lucy’s Love Bus and Lovin’ Spoonfuls.

Monday, February 23, 2015

| February 23, 2015

radioamerica newHedgecock Gives Way to Benson on Radio America.  After many successful years in national syndication – which followed a long reign as the king of talk radio in San Diego, Rodger Hedgecock is ending his daily long-form radio show to focus on hishedgecockroger work as a TV commentator and elections coverage specialist for KFMB-TV, San Diego “CBS 8” and his production of the two daily reports he does for KFMB, San Diego.  Radio America COO Mike Paradiso states, “Roger has been a strong leader in Radio America’s lineup for years bensonchadand I want to thank him for his hard work and dedication.  He will be missed.”  Taking over Hedgecock’s nationally syndicated program is Chad Benson, whom Radio America describes as “a rising star from the Next Generation of talk hosts.”  Benson debuts on March 30 from home base at Alpha Media-owned KUFO, Portland “Freedom 970.”  About Benson, Radio America says the 44-year-old is “an accomplished talk show host boasting over 22-years-experience in the entertainment industry.  He started in music radio in the 1990s at the legendary KRTH, Los Angeles as the executive producer of the Robert W. Morgan show and has also been featured on Los Angeles radio stations such as KZLA-FM and KNCI-FM and KWOD-FM in Sacramento.  Chad has also honed his skills as a voice artist for several Hollywood productions, as fans of ‘Droopy the Dog’ hear Chad’s voice as the signature Hanna-Barbera character.”  Alpha Media San Antonio OM/PD Greg Martin says, “Chad Benson is not the usual talk host.  His entertaining style and passion for talk radio helped develop him into a great talent.  He’s not afraid to go places the average talk host will not tread.  Very unique.”  Benson’s show will air 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET.

cookehollandWeekends: Healing Talk Radio’s Achilles Heel.  In a new article posted today in TALKERS, radio consultant Holland Cooke boldly states: “At too many stations – some with once-proud call letters – weekends are an embarrassment.  Through utter neglect, stations injure ratings and leave money on the table.”  He goes on to offer advice and insights designed to help programmers and management maximize weekends – including brokered programs – to improve station ratings, revenue and image in the community.  He also appears on the latest installment of TalkersTV (upper right column box on every page of Talkers.com) with valuable information about how talk stations can make their Saturday and Sunday programming truly “Solid Gold Weekends.”  To see TalkersTV, please check out the upper right box on every page of Talkers.com.  To read Cooke’s new column, please click here.

mcmahonbillMcMahon: Determining How Long it Will Take for a Radio Show to Succeed.  Just how long to give a new radio show to “take off” has been a debate in the radio business almost since the medium debuted.  All parties would love the answer to be, “almost instantaneous,” but that’s not realistic.  Bill McMahon, CEO of The Authentic Personality, writes in a column published in TALKERS magazine today that programmers must get realistic expectations from their superiors.  But once the timeline is known, there are things that can be done to make success happen as quickly as possible.  “Coaching focused on perfecting talents and strengths and highlighting appealing personal traits will significantly speed up the development process.  Nothing slowed the development of the superstars of radio, true originals, like Howard Stern, Rush Limbaugh, and Larry Lujack more than bad coaching from PDs and management that didn’t recognize and support their unique talents and strengths.  Each was fired multiple times.  All were told to fit into some current standardized success model and be anything but themselves.  They refused.  Each had his own instincts and ideas about the kind of show he wanted to do.”  Read the rest of this enlightening piece here.

2015 NYC 150John Dickey and Michael Harrison to Conduct “Fireside Chat” at Talkers New York 2015.  The agenda is being set for Talkers New York 2015 and one of the highlights of what promises to be a power-packed day of relevant discussions, presentations, and addresses will be a conversation between Cumulus Media executive vice president of content & programming, John Dickey and TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison.  Thedickeyjohn presentation will be conducted in the informal, one-on-one “fireside chat” format.  John Dickey is responsible for Cumulus’ sales, programming, marketing, promotion and engineering and will be able to offer comments, opinions and information about a wide variety of issues presently facing talk radio, as well as the entire spectrum of radio formats.  Conference director Michael Harrison states, “There are few people as ‘plugged into’ both the day-to-day operations as well as the big picture of commercial radio in America today than John Dickey.  He has extensive, first-hand knowledge about what’s happening in the business and plays an enormous harrisonmichael2015role in influencing policy – plus he has a true passion for radio and its position in our society.  I look forward to this session with enthusiasm and plan on it providing our attendees with a lot of valuable takeaways.”  Save the date and register early.  The 18th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important annual convention will take place on Friday, June 12, 2015.   It will be located at the historic India House Club dramatically situated at One Hanover Square in the heart of Manhattan’s financial district.”  The all-day event – 9:00 am to 6:00 pm — is again expected to be a quick sellout.  Registrations are priced at $299 per person with an early bird, discounted cost of $249 available until 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 27.  Registrations, which are only open to professionals currently or recently employed in media-related industries, include all sessions, presentations, exhibits and breakfast/lunch/refreshment/and social networking activities. The heavyweight, non-stop agenda will include approximately 65 speakers and 500 attendees are again expected.  Registrations can only be taken over the phone and paid for by credit card.  For registration, sponsorship and hotel information, please call 413-565-5413.  Again, an early sellout is expected, so avoid being shut out by registering now!  Speakers, panelists and agenda updates will be announced here in the coming days.

ppmunit altRound Four of January PPM Data Released.  The fourth of four rounds of January 2015 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The survey period was January 1-28.  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.

salemmediagroup logoSalem Incorporates ‘Media’ into New Corporate Name.  As a corporation with multiple media platforms, Salem Communications Corporation decides to change its name to Salem Media Group to better reflect “the dynamic growth” of its multi-media business.  Salem CEO Ed Atsinger says, “Salem’s mission has always been to serve our two core audiences – Christian and conservative – with engaging and meaningful content.  That mission brought us into radio, and it has guided our growth ever since.  As more and more of our audience seek new ways to get information and inspiration, we have added new media platforms to our traditional radio offerings.  Now nearly one-third of our total revenue comes from non-broadcast sources.  This rebranding of Salem acknowledges our evolution and confirms our commitment to serve our market.”  Salem says that in addition to its 106 radio stations and syndicated programs, it “owns several of the most influential brands in the Christian and conservative media space, including Crosswalk.com, GodVine.com, Christianity.com, BibleStudyTools.com, TownHall.com, HotAir.com, RedState.com, Human Events.com, the Conservative Book Club, and Regnery Publishing.

floresreneeFlores Appointed High Desert Broadcast