Tag: "AM 970 The Answer"

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

| September 23, 2014

mcmahonbillBill McMahon: Perhaps We Should Focus on What We are Good at and That Which the Public Still Wants and Needs.  In a new opinion piece posted in TALKERS today (9/23) by veteran radio consultant and talent coach Bill McMahon, the following questions are presented to radio broadcasters:  What business are you in?  Does your business have a future?  He says, “These seem like fundamental questions radio broadcasters should be asking themselves right now.”  In it McMahon adds his voice to the chorus of industry opinions supporting the preservation of audio-only media as one of — if not the — major products of “radio” in the emerging unified multi-media platform marketplace.  McMahon sarcastically says, “This vision for the future seems perfect for radio broadcasters who create precious little content of any kind. It makes total sense to go compete with everyone in the entertainment business.  Sure, why not? Go take on Disney and Live Nation.  You have all kinds of talent and experience creating video entertainment.  You’ll be great at creating and promoting massive concert events.  This is the kind of stuff your current customers have come to expect from you.  You have lots of resources ready to commit to these enterprises.  They’ll no doubt drive lots of additional listening to your AM and FM radio stations.  Like Nike says, you should ‘just do it!’”  He concludes on a serious note, “Yikes!  Let’s get real!  What’s wrong with the business you’re in right now?  What’s wrong with the audio entertainment business?  Doesn’t it have a future?  Audio entertainment is unique and powerful.  It involves the consumer in creating the experience it provides.  Sound generates pictures and emotions in minds and hearts.  The effect is deeper and more memorable than anything on a screen.  When you hear someone laughing or crying you don’t need to see them to fully experience their joy or sorrow.  Music can change your mood instantly.  The sound and the lyrics create a vibe.  Music is mind altering, heart penetrating, and memory making. Audio entertainment can be consumed while you’re doing other things like walking, running, driving, or making love.  Audio entertainment will never go out of style.  Americans spend more than four hours per day with audio entertainment according to the “Share of the Ear” study from Edison Research.  Audio entertainment has an enduring future as long as great audio entertainment is created.  Radio broadcasters are in the audio entertainment business.  Why not stay there?  Why not focus your limited resources on creating extraordinary audio entertainment? Why not be really good – even exceptional – at something, rather than average or mediocre at everything.  Your current consumers are predisposed to using and appreciating audio entertainment.  Why not concentrate on creating new audio entertainment content that surprises, amazes, and delights them.  Hire gifted artists who love creating content for the theater of the mind.  Create content in all shapes and sizes and distribute it on the platform that fits it best. That’s a future that makes sense for radio broadcasters.  To read Bill McMahon’s entire piece, please click here.

bloomberglogoiHeartMedia Goes Business Talk with Bloomberg on KNEW, San Francisco.  With the move of Premiere Networks talk shows Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck to Cumulus Media’s crosstown KSFO on Monday, September 29, the fate of the shows’ soon-to-be former affiliate station – KNEW, San Francisco – is now known.  The station will begin carrying Bloomberg Radio programming on Monday.  The station will also be simulcast on KOSF-FM’s HD2 channel.  Bloomberg Radio’s Al Mayers comments, “As part of Bloomberg’s new consumer media strategy, we’re excited about expanding Bloomberg Radio into the San Francisco Bay Area, a vital market for those who create, move global business and shape conversations about the innovations of tomorrow.”  iHeartMedia San Francisco market president Kathryn Wilcox adds, “Teaming up with Bloomberg was a natural fit.  It provides high-quality content and aligns nicely with the local business talk on KKSF 910.”

iheartmedia logoiHeartMedia Takes on More Debt.  The company formerly known as Clear Channel CommunicationsiHeartCommunications (and its radio-centric subsidiary iHeartMedia) – announces it is selling $250 million of 9.0% Priority Guarantee Notes (PGNs) that will come due in 2022.  Rating agency Fitch Ratings reports that the “notes are being issued as part of the same series as the $750 million of PGNs due 2022 that were issued on September 10, 2014, and rated ‘CCC/RR4′.  Proceeds from the offering are expected to be used to prepay $245.9 million in Term Loan B due 2016 and $4.1 million in Term Loan C due 2016 and to pay fees and expenses related to the offering.”  The iHeartCommunications debt stands at approximately $21.1 billion according to Fitch but the rating company reports it believes that the company has “adequate liquidity (including cash on hand, monetization of repurchased and outstanding notes, and asset sales) to meet its debt service obligations,” although it does foresee free cash flow to be negative over the next few years.

lionelLionel to Make Return Appearance at The Cutting Room in New York City.  Multimedia talker Lionel of LionelMedia.com has again been booked to play an evening of what he calls “Outspoken Word” sprinkled with bluegrass music at New York City’s famous nightclub, The Cutting Room.  The iconoclastic radio performer presents his difficult-to-categorize brand of stand-up commentary/observations along with several musical numbers by his Americana roots trio, Lock-n-Load in a program described by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison as “fascinatingly original and intelligently eclectic to the core.”  The booking is set for Saturday, October 11 at 7:30 pm at the mega-hip showcase venue located at 44 East 32nd Street in the Big Apple.  Tickets are on sale, $30 in advance, $35 day of show, with a $20 food/drink minimum.  To reserve tickets, call 212-691-1900.  To view a video of Lionel discussing the forthcoming performance, please click here.

salemNYChostsyachtCelebrating Success.  Getting together to celebrate a year of success at Salem Communications’ New York properties news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” and Christian talk WMCA (and to celebrate the latter’s anniversary as a Christian talk station) are four talk hosts heard on the stations (from left to right): talk personality and XtreMedia CEO Kevin McCullough; Salem Radio Network host Mike Gallagher; GCN-syndicated host Dr. Joy Browne; and WNYM morning personality Joe Piscopo.  McCullough comments, “While the style and content of the shows couldn’t be more different nor come from more diverse perspectives, the camaraderie instilled by GM Jerry Crowley and VP Phil Boyce could not be more clear!  Fun people, doing fun radio, and having fun doing it!”

hughespatOdds & Sods.  Houston sports talk personality Barry Warner joins Yahoo! Sports Radio where he’ll serve as a national contributor and host of the “Barry Warner Classic Minute” daily feature heard on KGOW and KFNC-FM in Houston…..WGN, Chicago announces the WGN Radio Walk of Fame Induction Ceremony honoring Chicago Cubs broadcaster Pat Hughes to take place on Wednesday, September 24 from 3:30 pm – 4:00 pm.  The ceremony will include a live broadcast interview with Hughes conducted by host Dave Eanet…..Internet talk radio platform LA Talk Radio announces it is adding live streaming video to its content options.  Founder Sam Hasson says LA Talk Radio “has waited until it could define how to deliver a polished radio broadcast that also appeals to the audience visually, with professional studios and eye-popping graphics.  The results are great-looking as they are streamed smoothly in high-definition to any computer or mobile device.”  The video function debuts October 1.

White House Intruder Case, Hillary Clinton 2016 Prospects, Mid-Term Elections/Congressional Majority, NFL Domestic Violence Troubles, U.S. ISIS Policy, Iran Nukes Talks, Ebola Pandemic Threat, and Lois Lerner Politico Story Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/22).  The man with a criminal past who hopped the White House fence and entered the building before being stopped; the prospects for a presidential bid by Hillary Clinton in 2016; the looming mid-term elections and discussion about the potential for majority changes in Congress; the NFL’s domestic violence issues; the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS, Secretary of State John Kerry’s nuclear talks with Iran; the threat of an Ebola virus pandemic; and the Lois Lerner Politico interview addressing the IRS scandal were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, May 2, 2014

| May 2, 2014

2014 NYC logo 150Movers and Shakers to Tackle Radio’s “Big Picture” at Talkers New York 2014.  In what has become a popular tradition at TALKERS conferences, a diverse group of industry heavyweights will tackle radio’s “big picture” in a panel session covering industry economics, technology, changing business models, programming challenges and trends, the relationship between talk and music radio, and radio’s role as a first responder during emergencies among other key subjects.  Panelists include (in alphabetical order):  Steve Goldstein, EVP, Saga Communications; Tom Langmyer, VP news/talk programming Journal Broadcast Group and VP/GM, Milwaukee radio operations; Tom Leykis, CEO, The New Normal; Mike McVay, SVP, programming, Cumulus MediaHoward B. Price, director business continuity and crisis management, ABC News.  The session will be introduced by rising talk star Dana Loesch, KFTK, St. Louis and Radio America; moderated by Michael Harrison, publisher, TALKERS; and sponsored by ABC News Radio.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “This session is always a crowd pleaser at our conferences with lots of valuable take-aways.  Its free-wheeling, quick pace touches upon a wide variety of the broad-strokes themes that run throughout today’s radio concerns.”  Talkers New York 2014 takes place on Friday, June 20 at the historic India House on Hanover Square in the heart of NYC’s historic financial district.  More than 65 industry leaders are scheduled to speak.  It is on the verge of a sellout with registrations only open to professionals working in the radio and associated media industries. Registrations ($249) are only booked over the phone with credit card.  Call 413-565-5413.  For more up-to-the-minute agenda and sponsorship information, please click here.

kleinaaronAaron Klein Show Moves to ‘AM 970 The Answer’ in NYC.  After four years airing on Sunday evenings on Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York, the Tel Aviv-based “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” program debuts on Salem Communications-owned crosstown news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” Sunday, May 4.  In a press release, Salem says the Klein show “deals with the hotbed of Muslim extremists, and how they are trying to bring down the state of Israel.”  Klein exited WABC when the station made the decision to focus on locally driven programming.  Salem VP/director of spoken word format Phil Boyce says, “After years of competing with Aaron Klein and his program on WABC we now have grabbed him to join our new and re-vamped lineup on ‘AM 970 The Answer.’  I have had so many people ask me if we could bring Aaron over to our station and it is a pleasure to do so.  He fits our station and our attitude just fine, and I can’t wait to see what he is going to break next.”  Klein comments, “I am thrilled to be joining Salem Radio and ‘AM 970 The Answer’ to bring energetic, news-driven, live talk radio to the Sunday night lineup.  Together, we will prove there is a major audience for weekend talk radio if the content is compelling enough.”

worldbeatdaily logoTalk Hosts Lynn Woolley and Ben Barrack Debut News/Talk Site.  KTEM, Temple-Killeen, Texas-based talk media personalities Lynn Woolley and Ben Barrack announce their collaboration on a new national website called “The World Beat” at www.WBDaily.com.  The duo say “the new site will feature material from the Lynn Woolley show (also heard on KBBW, Waco; KWBC, Navasota, Texas; KCRS, Midland, Texas; and KVOP, Plainview, Texas) and the Ben Barrack Show (heard Sunday mornings on KTEM), but will not be devoted to any specific talk show.  WBDaily will feature cutting-edge opinion on national stories, often with a Texas flavor and occasional breaking news stories.  In fact, WBDaily will be a great source for show prep.”

wcar logoMichigan Family Sues Sima Birach, Jr. in Case Involving Sports Talk WCAR, Livonia.  A Michigan family is suing Sima Birach, Jr. claiming the operator of sports talk WCAR, Livonia, Michigan (suburban Detroit) bilked them out of almost $1 million.  The Detroit News reports that the station is leased to Birach, Jr. by his father (for $1 a year) whose Birach Broadcasting operates 23 stations in 14 states.  Sima Birach, Sr. tells the paper his son has no right to sell anything but commercial time.  He also says he’s been sued as the result of bad business decisions made by his son in the past and adds, “He’s been involved with some shysters before.  He’s 37-years old.  What am I going to do?”  The family suing Birach, Jr. is Drago and Jadranka Mihajlovski and their son Zive.  The trio allege they gave Birach, Jr. $500,000 on August 12, 2012, for a 10% interest in the station and on October 9, 2012, they say they invested $450,000 more for an additional 15% share in the station.  Their attorney says they were promised $50,000-per-year lifetime jobs as well and that after a few pay periods, the money stopped coming in and Birach, Jr. told them they had no interest in the station and their investment would not be returned.

ramseydaverachelRamsey-Cruze Book Debuts at #1.  The latest book by financial talk superstar Dave Ramsey – this time with his daughter Rachel Cruze – is called Smart Money Smart Kids (Lampo Press 2014) and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list (week ending 4/26) for “Advice, How-To and Miscellaneous.”   The book is promoted as providing “practical steps parents can take to teach their kids about money basics like working, spending, saving and giving, as well as how to deal with bigger challenges such as avoiding debt, paying for college and battling discontentment.”

radioioRadioIO and Bubba the Love Sponge Team Up for Digital Delivery.  Nationally syndicated, Tampa-based morning drive talk host Bubba the Love Sponge and RadioIO agree to terms on a deal that will allow the latter to continue to deliver Bubba the Love Sponge and his shows exclusively over the Internet on Bubba Army Radio through December 31, 2016.  RadioIO will have the exclusivebubba right to distribute archived and newly produced internet-only content of the Bubba Radio Network over the internet and the non-exclusive right to broadcast the Bubba the Love Sponge show live.  RadioIO will pay periodic fees based on subscription and advertising revenue received by the company relating to the Bubba programming.  In addition to the daily Bubba show, other programming consists of “Bubba Army Radio Uncensored,” “The Shannon Burke Show,” “Dangerous Conversations with Scott Ledger,” and a daily specialty show.  Bubba the Love Sponge’s radio show is heard on formats including: hot talk, country, rock, classic hits and sports talk.

townsquare logoKJOC, Quad Cities Returns to Sports Talk.  After an 11-year period airing non-sports content (including the most recent format using Scott Shannon’s True Oldies Channel), Townsquare Media’s KJOC, Davenport flips to sports talk as “ESPN 1170.”  The Quad Cities Times reports station operations manager Darren Pitra saying, “We looked at a variety of things, but the decision was to go with ESPN.”  The station will carry the entire ESPN Radio lineup plus Chicago Cubs baseball and Iowa State football and basketball.  Pitra says of local sports talk, “It’s not something that’s completely [out of the realm of possibility] down the road.”

costa logoDino Costa Digital Platform to Debut Monday.  As TALKERS reported last month, former longtime SiriusXM sports talk personality Dino Costa is going the entrepreneurial road with his sports talk program and making it available via a digital platform on a subscription model.  Costa says the show will be accessible from anycostadino computer or mobile device and offer visitors access to a variety of digital and written news and commentary, including a live, three-hour video broadcast each weekday; pre-recorded interviews with today’s sports leaders and newsmakers; behind-the-scenes features; and exclusive news articles covering the top sports stories making headlines each week.  Costa says, “The new Dino Costa show is something that will redefine sports-based commentary and opinion, and I’m delighted to be back to serve as the conduit for a sports radio crowd across North America that is extremely frustrated with the meager sports talk offerings of today.  Our platform allows for the most refreshingly candid commentaries available.  We have no partnerships with leagues, officials, or any alliances that will prevent us from delivering the most unequivocal and straightforward opinion and views on a regular and consistent basis.  The era of corporate-driven news media is more than a huge problem that people of all walks are contending with these days.  We are the radical departure from this awful status quo…I cannot wait to get going.”   Emanating from Costa’s Cheyenne studios, his talk show airs live daily at 4:00 pm ET.

beard awardWABC, New York to Cover 2014 James Beard Awards.  When the 24th James Beard Awards are handed out on Monday, May 5, Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York will provide coverage of the festivities.  The James Beard Awards recognize excellence in cuisine, culinary writing, and culinary education in the United States.  They were established in 1990.  This year’s ceremonies will take place at New York’s Lincoln Center.  WABC says that starting today, listeners can watch video interviews with some of New York’s top chef’s including Gramercy Tavern’s Michael Anthony and Betony’s Bryce Shuman.  Also, 77 WABC chats with Food Network host and James Beard Award emcee Ted Allen about the importance of the awards to New York and the country.  Monday, 77 WABC will provide live streaming coverage of the awards presentation from New York’s Lincoln Center.

sutherlandrachelOdds & Sods.  A programming and branding change takes place at Entercom’s WMC-AM, Memphis as the station becomes “ESPN 790 AM” and adds ESPN Radio programming.  It is keeping the CBS Sports Radio-syndicated Tiki Barber, Brandon Tierney and Dana Jacobson morning drive show…..Rachel Sutherland  – most recently with Cumulus Media’s WMAL-AM/FM, Washington – joins Fox News Radio to serve as a reporter based in Washington.  Sutherland has also worked with TRN as an anchor for America’s Radio News Network and for Metro Networks in DC…..CBS RADIO’s sports talk WIP-FM and news/talk WPHT in Philly in conjunction with the Philadelphia Phillies’ “Phillies Charities” are offering fans a chance to win cool up-close-and-personal Phillies prizes like a kid’s sleepover in the Phillies Clubhouse, playing a video game on PhanaVision against A.J. Burnett, enjoying lunch with Ryne Sandberg in his office, or having a private hitting clinic with Chase Utley.  It’s called the “Phantastic Auction” on phillies.com and runs today through May 15.  Proceeds from the auction benefit Phillies Charities.  Last year’s event raised $129,000.

edisonresearchEdison Research Offers ‘Moms & Media’ Webinar.  Extracting more data from its Infinite Dial 2104 research study, Edison Research is presenting a free webinar on May 8 at 2:00 pm ET titled “Moms and Media 2014: Mobile Is a Must.”  Edison says, “Moms are the target for most readers’ radio stations.  And for those moms, mobile has become a priority over the last 12 months.”  The presentation “features fresh tracking data about social networking, mobile device ownership, and simultaneous media consumption.  The report highlights how moms are adapting radio to make it more suitable to their mobile lifestyle.”  See more info here.

americaweekendlogoTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The Envision Networks program “America Weekend” is added to the program schedule at WRJN, Racine, Wisconsin (Milwaukee market)…..BizTalkRadio programming is added to WWWE, Atlanta as the station picks up the following shows: “Investor’s Edge,” “Executive Leaders Radio,” “Speak Up and Stay Alive,” “Equity Strategies” and the weekend show “Animals Today.”

Sterling-Clippers Controversy/Race Relations Top News/Talk Story for Week of April 28-May 2.  The recorded racist rant by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, his subsequent lifetime ban from the NBA and talk of race relations in the U.S. were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the weak economic growth report and its effect on the Obama Administration’s image.  Following at #3 was speculation about candidates in the 2016 presidential race and the possible outcome of this year’s mid-term elections, and at #4 was President Obama’s Asia trip.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

| January 8, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

| April 30, 2013

nms2013logoEntercom Boston VP of Programming Jason Wolfe to Present Closing Keynote at Talkers New York 2013.  In what promises to be a timely, pertinent and compelling conclusion to one of the most important industry conferences in modern memory, Entercom Boston VP of programming Jason Wolfe will deliver the closing keynote address.  The address is titled “Reflections on a Tragedy and the Fundamental Role of Radio.”  It will provide insight and first-hand recollections of the Boston Marathonwolfejason bombings from the local perspective of a Boston radio group that found itself in the thick of the national crisis.  In accepting the assignment, Wolfe tells TALKERS, “It was such a remarkable, emotional and dramatic situation that it is taking me weeks to sort out my thoughts and feelings on the experience.  Our group was just one of a number of fine Boston-area radio stations that did an excellent job of being there for the people of the region with news and information about the unfolding drama.  It was a remarkable time of sharing, of pooling resources among competitors, for the good of the  community.”  Wolfe, whose Entercom Boston outlets include news/talk WRKO and sports talk WEEI, continues, “…but it isn’t just about the presentation of news and information – talk radio provides a more complex and deeper service during times like this.  And this includes many music stations that stopped playing songs and became, for all intents and purposes, talk stations themselves during the crisis.  Talk radio provides the opportunity for people to vent and share feelings…to plug in directly to the human condition.  It provides the opportunity for people to become connected into a community of fellow human beings linked together by common fears, pain, and confusion during a tragedy.  Talk radio provides hope.  Or at least, it should.”  Wolfe sums it up: “I believe that we as broadcasters share a deeper more fundamental responsibility to the public than just being entertainers.  We must use this precious opportunity we have to actually serve the public good on every level within our power.”  Wolfe is one of more than 50 outstanding industry leaders who will be speaking at Talkers New York 2013 on Thursday, June 6.  The event will be sold out by the close of business on Wednesday of this week.  Registrations ($199) are only open to members of the working media and can be booked by phone with credit card at 413-565-5413.  For the complete agenda and more details, click here.

kaminskybrianClear Channel Names Brian Kaminsky EVP of Operations for Digital.  Coming over to Clear Channel from his most recent position as COO and general manager of The Huffington Post, Brian Kaminsky will join the company’s digital division as executive vice president of operations, effective immediately.  Kaminsky will report to CC president of digital Brian Lakamp and will be based out of New York City.  Kaminsky’s charge will be to oversee digital advertising operations, customer support, product analytics and partner operations across the suite of Clear Channel’s digital products including iHeartRadio, Clear Channel’s industry leading digital radio service, and its vast network of station websites.  His responsibilities will also include setting best practices for the management and modernization of digital ad inventory, and working with sales and product teams to define and develop new ad products.  Lakamp states, “Having Brian on board as the EVP of operations illustrates Clear Channel’s commitment to hiring exceptional, innovative talent that will continue to strengthen our position as a market leader.  His business management skills and experience in optimizing the use of digital advertising inventory within technology-driven organizations will be a great asset to both our advertisers and the Clear Channel digital team.”  Prior to his work at The Huffington Post, Kaminsky was vice president of global revenue operations at Reuters Media, where he supervised yield management systems for desktop, video, mobile and digital out-of-home advertising products.

meyerjimSiriusXM Names James Meyer CEO.  James Meyer has been serving as interim chief executive officer for SiriusXM Satellite Radio since Mel Karmazin resigned from the position last fall.  Now, the company gives him the job officially.  SiriusXM chairman Gregory Maffei states, “After a thorough search of excellent candidates, we are delighted to name Jim as the CEO of SiriusXM, where he will continue to lead a very strong executive team.  Jim is a highly qualified leader and operator and we look forward to working with him to build on SiriusXM’s position as the innovator in audio entertainment.  He has been a vital part of SiriusXM for close to a decade, and his extensive knowledge of SiriusXM’s business and significant industry experience will be invaluable assets in the highly competitive market within which SiriusXM is thriving.  Jim’s leadership, strategic vision and operating focus are exactly what SiriusXM needs today and in the future.”

car radioDebate of Future of Dashboard Front and Center in Detroit.  In a piece published in the Detroit News on April 29, the topic of the future of the AM/FM radio in the automobile dashboard was addressed and Gartner Inc. vice president Thilo Koslowski says he believes that by the year 2020 “I feel very confident that many consumers will consume radio content through avenues other than terrestrial broadcast.”  Right now, the big three are still providing AM/FM radios in new cars and plan to do so for the foreseeable future but, obviously, they are also adding the digital technology that people want.  Ford’s Jim Buczkowski says, “We’re trying to give them lots of different options.”  As the piece points out, it costs money to listen to internet audio – it comes from the users’ data plans.  Though Koslowski says he believes that it just makes more sense to listen via Wi-Fi or data plan and that carriers will “get more creative with their data plans”  allowing people to listen more cheaply.  When Detroit Electric unveils its first model in August of this year, it will not have an AM/FM radio.  Users will plug in their smartphones.  Still, other analysts say the free and simple nature of AM/FM radio is something that carmakers will be conscious of before they take the drastic step of eliminating it from the dash and risk alienating customers.   Read the Detroit News piece here.

sliwalichtmanWNYM, New York’s Curtis Sliwa and Jeffrey Lichtman Debut Remote Mayoral Candidate Roundtable.  Tonight is the first in a series of mayoral candidate roundtable broadcasts produced by Salem Communications’ WNYM, New York “970 The Answer” and hosted by the station’s Curtis Sliwa (right) and Jeffrey Lichtman (left).  This evening’s program will emanate from the Statler Grill on 33rd and 7th from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Sliwa states, “This is the first mayoral election in over a decade that has a wide open primary contest on both sides of the aisle, along with a viable independent candidate.  Folks need to know what’s going on and it’s our duty as broadcasters and New Yorkers to bring it to them.  All the viable mayoral candidates are invited.”  WNYM vice president and general manager Jerry Crowley states, “It is this kind of live and local broadcasting that sets AM970 apart in the market.  Curtis Sliwa is the quintessential New York broadcaster on New York’s radio home for live and local broadcasting.”

Odds & Sods.  Hubbard Broadcasting’s WTOP, Washington teams up with Allbritton Communications’ WJLA-TV, Washington “ABC7” on a joint traffic reporting partnership.  Under the arrangement, WTOP will become the exclusive morning traffic home to ABC7.  ABC7 reporter Amanda Meadows will be reporting live for ABC7 from the WTOP “Glass-enclosed nerve center” duringbaldwinadam ABC7’s “Good Morning Washington.”  The reports will air six times an hour from 5:00 am to 7:00 am and two times an hour from 7:00 am to 9:00 am weekday mornings.  Meadows’ reports will be produced by veteran traffic reporter/producer Rob Woodfork…..KYW, Philadelphia account executive Adam Baldwin is promoted to local sales manager for the CBS Radio all-news outlet.  Vice president and director of sales Jim Loftus states, “Adam has excelled as an account executive at KYW, and in his pointing key clients across the CBS platform.  He brings a fresh perspective to our management team.  We look forward to his insight and talent in growing our family of advertisers, and further developing our sales team.”

miller7bestKIDO, Boise’s Kevin Miller Gets Local Accolades.  Morning drive talk host Kevin Miller – heard daily on Peak Broadcasting’s KIDO, Boise – was named best radio host by local television station KTVB as part of its “7’s Best” awards.  Miller tells TALKERS magazine his program topped all of the other radio stations and their morning shows in the market.  Miller (right) is pictured here in a piece that aired during KTVB’s news.  KTVB’s Larry Gebert interviewed Miller and the two spoke at length about the community work Miller’s program has done including assisting local non-profits that aid the homeless as well as keeping the community aware of the plight of local Army soldier Bowe Bergdahl – the only American still held captive from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

Boston Marathon Bombing Aftermath, Middle East Turmoil, Cold Spring Weather, and NBA Player Comes Out Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/29).  The ongoing investigation into the Boston Marathon bombing; military activity in Syria and Israel; the cold spring weather affecting much of the U.S.; and the coming out of NBA player Jason Collins were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

| January 15, 2013

stephanjewelDoug Stephan Breaks New Jewel Song on National Radio Show.  Nationally syndicated “Good Day” host Doug Stephan (r) is pictured here broadcasting his program from Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas.  Area resident and international music star Jewel (l) joined the program as co-host for the day.  She treated Doug and his listeners to a live, public debut of a new song that will be included on her coming Greatest Hits album.  Tarleton State University president Dr. F. Dominic Dottavio (c) is seated between the two and held up the lyric sheet as Jewel performed the new song.

omearashowMike O’Meara Show Airs on WTNT, Washington.  Longtime Washington, DC radio personality Mike O’Meara takes his program to Metro Radio’s WTNT, Washington for the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm show.  O’Meara, who partnered with Don Geronimo for more than a decade at WJFK, Washington and in syndication via Westwood One, has been producing his program as a podcast.  Now the show that includes newsman Buzz Burbank, Robb Spewak and Oscar Santana is airing on WTNT.

jacksonmichaelRetired Talk Legend Michael Jackson Makes Guest Appearance on WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer.”  WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” full-time morning show producer and part-time weekend talk show host Frank Morano interviewed legendary talk show host Michael Jackson on the Salem-owned Big Apple signal this past weekend.   The two discussed Jackson’s historic career which centered mostly around his pioneering work in Los Angeles during themoranofrank pre- and early-days of consolidation – mostly on KABC during its heyday – in addition to some national syndication.  When asked how he feels about today’s radio scene and talk radio in general, Jackson bemoaned the state of consolidation and the massive debt that today’s big licensees have incurred.  He blamed it on one word - “greed” – and expressed serious pessimism about the industry recovering from its present condition.  When asked how he was able to accrue such an impressive roster of guest interviews on his show (presidents, world leaders, movie stars, and a wide array of legendary figures) Jackson offered today’s crop of talk show hosts the following advice:  “Make the calls yourself!”  He suggested that hosts do not get into the position of having “my people talk to your people.”  He strongly endorsed the idea of maintaining a personal connection with all contacts.  Michael Jackson is presently ranked #16 on the TALKERS “Heaviest Hundred: The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts of All Time.”  To hear Frank Morano’s interview with Michael Jackson click here.

foxsportsmattinglyFox Sports Los Angeles Hosts Don Mattingly.  Los Angeles Dodgers field manager Don Mattingly (c) sits down with Fox Sports Radio’s Petros Papadakis (l) and Matt “Money” Smith (r) for an hour to talk about spring training, why he left the game to move into management, and Tommy Lasorda’s love for Dodger blue.  During this Los Angeles local hour of the program, 50 lucky listeners were invited to watch the show live and participate in a meet-and-greet with Mattingly following the interview.  Photo by Varon Panganiban.

wachsfncfluDr. Wachs Talks Flu Shots on FNC.  Nationally syndicated talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs (whose program is distributed nationally via Genesis Communications Network) is pictured here on Fox News Channel discussing the flu epidemic and flu shots.  The Las Vegas-based Dr. Wachs is not only getting more national exposure due to her radio program but hits like this on FNC are pushing her national profile even higher.

katzjeffspeaksJeff Katz Sits in for Todd Schnitt.  Talk radio pro Jeff Katz will be sitting in for nationally syndicated talk host Todd Schnitt tomorrow (Wednesday, January 16) on his WFLA, Tampa-based and Compass Media Networks-syndicated program.

ESPN Obtains Rights to 2013 and 2017 World Baseball Classic.  The coverage will include a lot of Spanish-language broadcasting for ESPN.  The sports giant’s multiyear, multimedia agreement with World Baseball Classic, Inc. to present the World Baseball Classic in both 2013 and 2017 includes exclusive Spanish-language rights, audio rights and extensive coverage across ESPN’s studio programming and digital platforms.  Under the agreement, ESPN Deportes will provide comprehensive coverage as the Spanish-language home for both events, with live telecasts of all 39 games beginning with the three opening games on Saturday, March 2.  In addition, ESPN Deportes Radio and ESPN Radio will broadcast games in Spanish and English.  Other World Baseball Classic coverage highlights include: Rights to qualifying games for the 2017 event; Rights to simulcast select games in Spanish-language on ESPN and/or ESPN2; Rights to broadcast games across ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes  Radio, with digital simulcasts permissible and more.  ESPN Deportes general manager Lino Garcia says, “We have been the Spanish-language home of the World Baseball Classic since it started in 2006, and we are thrilled to be once again working with World Baseball Classic, Inc. to continue bringing coverage of the event.  Baseball is one of the most-followed sports among the U.S. Hispanic market and the success of the 2006 and 2009 tournaments on ESPN Deportes proved this is a must-see event for these emerging, passionate fans. In addition, our coverage across ESPN Audio strengthens our extensive baseball content for our listeners on both ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes.”

gravelineCES2013In the Belly of the Technology Beast.  Nationally syndicated weekend talk host Dave Graveline (r) hosts his “Into Tomorrow” consumer technology program from the recent 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.  Graveline, whose program uses the latest technology to deliver content in a multi-media fashion, kicked off his 18th year broadcasting the program to his 180-plus affiliates at the CES.

Debt Limit Hike Debate, Gun Legislation Controversy, Mali Violence Escalates, Golden Globe Awards, and Iran Responds to ‘Argo’ Film Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/14).  The political battle in Washington over the debt ceiling and taxes; heated controversy over passing new gun legislation; France ramps up military efforts in Mali in response to terrorist group activity; Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards; and Iran responds to the film “Argo” about the 1979 revolution were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.