Tag: "America Weekend"

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

| August 6, 2014

koy logoClear Channel Goes ‘Next Generation’ on KOY, Phoenix.  The business talk format on Clear Channel’s KOY, Phoenix is gone and the company is airing a news/talk format it has dubbed “KFYI 2 The Next Generation of Talk.”  The lineup for the station is: Armstrong & Getty (piped in from KSTE, Sacramento), the Radio America-syndicated Dana Loesch show, Casey Bartholomew, Portland-based “Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis” and Premiere’s “America Now” (which is seeking to replace Andy Dean as the permanent host), among others.  Certainly, these hosts are a bit younger than the majority of the news/talk radio personalities working today, but critics will argue that building a lineup to appeal to a younger audience faces almost impossible odds on an AM band station.  Although, the station is available via Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio platform.

thompsonburnieBurnie Thompson Show Exits WYOO, Panama City and WVFT, Tallahassee; Show to Continue Online.  The Florida talk show hosted by Burnie Thompson – based in Panama City and focused on state and regional issues – lost its last two affiliates as Magic Broadcasting II dropped the show citing low ratings.  The program had aired in afternoons on WYOO, Panama City “Talk Radio 101” and in Tallahassee on WVFT “Freedom 93.”  Thompson, who promises the show will re-emerge on Monday, August 11 at MyFreedomRadio.com, posted on his Facebook page the following comments about his departure: “They didn’t fire me as much as they took away your voice on the radio in Panama City and Tallahassee.  Now you can no longer express your support or criticism of elected officials by name on ‘Talk Radio 101.’  They will continue to pipe in a nationally syndicated show or find someone who follows the new rules that forbid editorializing on local elections.  I think they’ve underestimated how much this all meant to you and how many of you there are.  I know they’d rather upset you than Congressman Southerland, Gov. Rick Scott, or Jay Trumbull Jr.’s financiers.”

cumulus logoCumulus Media Q2 Net Revenue Up 2%.  That figure is pro forma – the actual net revenue is up 21.4% but that number is so high because it’s affected by the acquisition of Westwood One and the Townsquare transaction.  Breaking down the radio side of things for Cumulus Media, the numbers tell the story of a challenging second quarter.  The company reports “broadcast advertising revenue decreased by $4.0 million, primarily due to a $9.4 million decrease in network spot revenue, a $9.8 million decrease in local spot revenue and a decrease of $2.6 million in national spot revenue.  These decreases were partially offset by a $2.9 million increase in revenue from the addition of two radio stations being operated under a local marketing agreement in the Chicago market and the benefit from $14.9 million of reduced producer revenue shares at Westwood One.”

americaweekendlogoEnvision Adds Content to ‘America Weekend.’  The weekend programming block, “America Weekend,” designed for news/talk radio stations offered by Envision Networks announces more additions to its content.  Envision adds “Animal Radio” as part of the new “America Weekend” lineup.  The nationally syndicated “Animal Radio” show has been on the air for 14 years and is heard on 125 affiliate stations.  “America Weekend” also has added “Into Tomorrow with Dave Graveline,” “Smith and Sabatino,” and host Ed Kalegi.

ppmunitRound Two of July PPM Data Released.  The second of four rounds of July 2014 PPM 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 survey period was June 19 through July 16.  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.

jonesjimJim Jones Returns to Westwood One as Senior Director, News Affiliate Sales.  Just after the unveiling of its new news product – a collaboration with CNN Newsource – Westwood One announces that Jim Jones is named senior director, news affiliate sales.  The company says that in this new position, Joneswestwood one NEW will be overseeing affiliate sales for Westwood One’s news vertical and will be based in Washington and report to SVP of affiliate sales Dennis Green.  Jones worked for Westwood One for 15 years and was previously VP of affiliate sales, news/talk.  Most recently he was with Focus 360.  Green comments, “Jim has an extensive knowledge of the news product and has been involved in the affiliation of major news networks with a high level of success.  Our affiliates will have the benefit of Jim and his team’s knowledge of integrating our new white label news product into the station’s lineup as we find new audiences to bring news and information from around the world.”

stockKnesset“We Initially Went for a Vacation and Found a War.”  Talk show host and perennial Heavy Hundred member Alan Stock, heard mornings on KDWN, Las Vegas, joins what seems to be a growing list of prominent talk show hosts (Sean Hannity, Ethan Bearman, John Batchelor) who have taken their microphones to Israel for a closer perspective on the Gaza conflict.  However, in the case of Stock (who has broadcasted from Israel several times during recent years), the original plan was to take his family there on vacation – during which the violence broke out quickly, changing his agenda.  Stock interviewed a number of prominent Israeli figures including a wide array of Knesset Members (Israel’s Congress) such as conservative Likud Party leader Moshe Feiglin and liberal Labor Party leader Hilig Bar.  Stock tells TALKERS, “Both agreed that all tunnels had to be destroyed and all rocket launching sites had to be eradicated.  Both said that these things had to happen regardless of what it took to accomplish these goals.  While they have different views on domestic issues, they — and all other members of the Knesset I interviewed — agreed on the unified need for an effective defense.”  Stock adds, “I was able to call in with daily reports to my show.  Much of the information reported from the region focused on Israeli air attacks on Gaza, missing the other half of the story — the need for those attacks to put an end to rockets constantly being fired from Gaza into Israeli population centers.  If it wasn’t for Iron Dome, Israeli casualties would have been as great or greater than the Arab casualties.  In Las Vegas, at least, talk radio [KDWN] and FNC gave a more balanced picture of what was really going on in this latest war.”  Above, Stock (l) is pictured with Knesset Member Natan Sharansky (r), once a Soviet refusenik who spent time in the Soviet Gulag and who later moved to Israel.  On a completely separate note, Stock tells TALKERS that his one-time morning co-host at KXNT, Las Vegas, Kerri Kasem is going to co-host his show this Friday (8/8).  She’s visiting Las Vegas for a Nevada Broadcasters Association gala the following night where they will be giving special mention to her late father, Casey Kasem.  Stock reports she will also be meeting with Nevada legislators to get the same bill passed that’s working its way through the California legislature that would allow adult children of divorced parents the right to petition the court to have visitation rights if they are being prevented from doing so by the new spouse (as was the case with Kerri and her siblings regarding their father).

weststarbarryyoungWestStar MultiMedia Enters Film Business.  The company founded by computer expert and nationally syndicated radio host Kim Komando and Barry Young is branching out into the film business as WestStar MultiMedia’s Barry Young Entertainment division announces it’s working in conjunction with OceanBlue Entertainment and Magnolia Pictures to present the film Frontera — starring Ed Harris, Eva Longoria, Michael Peña, and Amy Madigan – which is set for theatrical release September 5, 2014.  Barry Young says, “We are very excited to have quietly watched the progress and development of Frontera over the past 18 months.  Frontera provides a careful and thoughtful look at the issue of America’s border disarray with a superb cast.  As we push our company and efforts even further into the development of digital programming with such projects as ‘The Kim Komando Show’ now being produced not only for radio, but also as a full television production, shooting live with 10 HD cameras, we are actively but very selectively perusing additional film projects.”  Young adds, “We will not consider film projects with violent and meaningless content, but rather look only at thought-provoking projects that can make a difference in the lives of its audience, such as a new Christmas production for release in 2015 and another major production based on the best-selling Anne Rice novel, Christ The Lord: Out of Egypt, the story of Jesus Christ at age 7 as he and his family depart Egypt to return home to Nazareth.”

Odds & Sods.  Saying it is focusing on the fan this NFL season, Westwood One is collaborating with its 500-plus AM and FM station partners to promote its prime time Monday, Thursday, and Sunday Night NFL broadcasts with exclusive content, special features, and local tune-in promotion.  Every Monday, Thursday, and Sunday, NFL-affiliated stations will be able to access a Game Day package featuring game-specific audio highlights, on-air vignettes, special features, and customized tune-in promos featuring Westwood One Sports’ lineup of NFL announcers, including Kevin Harlan, Scott Graham, Kevin Kugler, Ian Eagle, and James Lofton…..Former St. Louis Rams player Will Witherspoon becomes part of the St. Louis Rams radio broadcast team for games heard on flagship WXOS, St. Louis “101ESPN.”  Witherspoon joins the booth team of Steve Savard and former Rams star D’Marco Farr.

levinsliwakubyCumulus Media New York’s ‘Bark in the Park’ a Succcess.  The trio you see here are WABC, New York personalities (from l-r) Curtis Sliwa, Mark Levin, and Ron Kuby (plus Kuby’s pooches) at last weekend’s 4th Annual “Bark in the Park” at Overpeck Park in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey.  Levin served as the host for the event.  It was presented in conjunction with The North Shore Animal League America & Bergen County Animal Shelter/Adoption Center and Cumulus is proud to note that the adoption mission was a success as 19 dogs and 4 cats were adopted.  Also taking part in the event were WPLJ’s Todd Pettengill and Race Taylor, “NASH FM 94.7″ personality Kelly Ford, “Radio 103.9″ host Roxie, plus WABC’s Geraldo Rivera.

Gaza Violence, Ebola Threat/Treatment Controversy, Immigration Policy/Southwest Border Crisis, Army General Killed in Afghanistan, ISIS Campaign/Threat to Christians, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Race, and Russia’s Ukraine Aggression Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/5).  The ongoing strife in the Gaza Strip and the West’s Israel policies; the threat of an Ebola pandemic and controversy over a new treatment for the virus; the U.S.’s immigration policy and the border crisis in the Southwest; the assassination of U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Harold Greene in Afghanistan; the ISIS campaign to create a caliphate in Iraq and Syria and the group’s threat to Christians; the primaries for this fall’s mid-term elections and the 2016 presidential race; and Russia’s bolstering of troops along the Ukraine border 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.

Friday, February 28, 2014

| February 28, 2014

salemcommunicationsSalem Communications Posts Q4 2013 Revenue Increase of 3.4%; Broadcast Up 1%.  Digital was the key to Salem Communications’ 2013 fourth quarter revenue increase of 3.4% for the company as a whole.  The broadcast sector was up 1% on revenue of $47.4 million and broadcast makes up about 60% of the company’s revenue.  The company’s publishing sector was flat while internet and e-commerce was up 16.6%.  Salem’s outlook for the first quarter of 2014 projects “total revenue to increase 9% to 11% over the first quarter 2013 total revenue of $55.6 million.  The company is also projecting operating expenses before gains or losses on the sale or disposal of assets, impairments and stock-based compensation expense to increase 13% to 16% as compared to the first quarter of 2013 operating expenses of $48.2 million.  This guidance includes the impact of the hiring of two new senior executives and the financial performance for the recent acquisition of Eagle Publishing.  The guidance for the first quarter contemplates a loss of $0.4 million due to the assumption of some unfavorable contracts that will rapidly unwind and the fact that the first quarter is always a soft quarter in the book publishing business with the big titles being released in the spring and in the fall.”

nielsen logoNielsen Study Ties Station Choice to Buying Behavior.  In a release from Nielsen about its recent major market pilot test, the company says that “for the first time, a connection can be drawn between what consumers listen to on the radio and how they spend.  This solidifies radio’s place as a valuable marketing platform for advertisers and media planners.  The major market pilot test combined proprietary Nielsen data with anonymized panelist credit and debit card purchasing behavior covering more than 24 billion transactions and $2 trillion in annual sales primarily from the retail, travel, digital, restaurant, entertainment, financial services and telecom categories.”  Results from the Dallas market, for example, show that listeners to pop radio spend more per buyer annually on casual dining than those listeners who prefer other formats.  In the same market, rock and alternative listeners spend more per buyer annually in retail locations than listeners who prefer other formats.  News/talk listeners, the study showed, go to the movies more each year that do listeners of other formats.  Nielsen SVP of local media product leadership Farshad Family says, “The ability to determine how radio listeners among different formats like pop, news or rock are spending their dollars creates a unique opportunity for radio broadcasters to make a case for the value of their audience.  We are just beginning to tell the story about the value of radio’s audience.  As we make progress on conducting more links between listening data and purchase data, we will continue to share more insights with the marketplace.”

ordwayglennOrdway’s ‘Big Show Unfiltered’ to Begin Next Month.  Longtime Boston sports talk radio host Glenn Ordway is returning with a daily, 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm program (“Big Show Unfiltered”), which will be heard via his SportstalkBoston.com website and on mobile devices.  “I am so thrilled to once again be talking local sports in my hometown with the best fans in America,” comments Ordway, who presided over “The Big Show” for 27 years on Entercom-owned Boston sports outlet WEEI.  “I look forward to presenting an alternative in the market that will feature the best of the past with some new, innovative elements and voices.  There is no reason to hold anything back anymore – it is all unfiltered.”  The renamed “Big Show Unfiltered” is set to begin in about two weeks (Monday, March 17) and it will include similar components from his WEEI program, such as “The Whiner Line.”  It is believed that down the road, Ordway is planning to have his program air on a terrestrial radio network comprised of New England affiliates.  Boston native Mike Salk, who co-hosted a program on Seattle’s KIRO-AM since 2009, replaced Ordway in afternoon drive on WEEI-FM alongside Michael Holley.  Ordway’s final show on WEEI-FM was in mid-February of last year.

loganleeLogan Exits Shane Media.  Stating on his Facebook page that he thought he’d “spend the rest of my working days in this chair at Shane Media,” Lee Logan says the fiscal realities of the industry have him exiting the consulting company and looking for his next great opportunity.  Logan had been with Shane for the past seven years and was instrumental in assisting Radio One put its all-news format on KROI, Houston “News 92 FM.”

aalderstimFreedom’s Voice Broadcasting to Purchase Dark KPTO, Pocatello for $75K.  The principal of Freedom’s Voice Broadcasting is Tim Aalders who hosts the “Freedom’s Voice” talk show heard on United Broadcasting Company’s KTKK, Salt Lake City.  Ted Austin’s Main Street Broadcasting is the seller for the signal that is currently dark.  Aalders plans to expand the reach of his programming into the southeastern Idaho market.  This is no announced timetable for KPTO going back on the air.

sabowalterIf Weekends Were Weekdays?  Hey, They Are!  That so many talk-formatted stations air infomercials on weekends is not news – nor is the programming-versus-sales paradigm so prevalent at many of these stations.  Media consultant Walter Sabo says a little-known truth in the business is that Saturday midday is an indicative daypart and the second highest Homes Using Radio daypart.  What could this mean to your talk station?  Read Walter Sabo’s latest column here to find out.

hcsmithOdds & Sods. The New York Festivals World’s Best Radio Programs announces the appointment of Michael Freedman, senior vice president and professor at University of Maryland University College to the New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards Advisory Board and GrandJury panel.  NYF executive director Rose Anderson comments, “Michael Freedman brings over 35 years of broadcast journalism experience to his role as Advisory Board and GrandJury member.  His creative vision and reputation within the industry will be a tremendous asset.”…..ESPN O&O WEPN-AM, New York “ESPN Deportes Nueva York” will continue to air New York Mets play-by-play in Spanish as the team and rights owner Clear Channel (English-language games will be heard on WOR) agree to continue the broadcasts through the 2016 season…..Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington announces the addition of an entertainment section to its WTOP.com site with WTOP.com staffer Alicia Lozano named editor for the section.  Director of digital media John Meyer comments, “As WTOP evolves into a digital news operation, we are continuing to dedicate resources to original digital content that will feed not only our website but also our radio and mobile platforms.  The Washington area is rife with local stories concerning the arts, music, movies and more.  Our entertainment section will bring these stories to life online and on-air.”…..Media consultant Holland Cooke (pictured above at left in the WABC, New York studios with host Laura Smith) is appearing on WABC, New York this weekend on “Saturday Café with Laura Smith.”  Cooke, who also blogs at his SurvivalSpeech.com, will offer “9 Tips For YOUR Academy Awards Acceptance Speech.”

herskovitzmediaroundtableThe Media Roundtable.  TALKERS and RadioInfo sales and marketing specialist Al Herskovitz (standing) was a recent speaker at the Media Roundtable in Sarasota, Florida.  His subject was “The Current State of Radio Broadcasting.”  The Media Roundtable conducts a monthly meeting that brings together media executives and active participants from all types of media: radio, TV, cable, internet, newspapers, magazines, publishing, motion pictures, theatre arts.  The purpose of the group is to review current and future news and developments in the media with an interchange of opinions and questions by those in attendance.  The Media Roundtable originated in 1950 in New York City and moved to Florida in 1991 and is unique in the United States.  It currently is chaired and managed by longtime TV executive Irwin Starr.  While there are some 300+ active members, the luncheon sessions are limited to the first 50 who make reservations.  Pictured here with Herskovitz are Starr at far left and media broker Burt Sherwood, second from left.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The Envision Networks-syndicated “America Weekend” talk show featuring Paul Harris, Turi Ryder, Rob Carson and other personalities, is added to the program schedule at Ohana Media Group’s KAST, Astoria, Oregon.

‘Religious Rights’ Legislation Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 24-28.  The story of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s veto of a “religious rights” bill that would have allowed businesses to discriminate against customers based on religious beliefs was the most-talked-about issue of the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act.  Following at #3 was the political unrest in Crimea and Ukraine and the U.S.-Russia tensions accompanying it.  And at #4 was the 2016 presidential race, Hillary Clinton’s prospects and the looming mid-term elections this fall.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

| September 12, 2013

sullivantomTaking Care of Business: Fox News Radio’s Tom Sullivan.  Thirty-three-year media pro Tom Sullivan is heard daily across the nation on Fox News Radio, seen daily on TV’s Fox Business Network, and still has an enormous presence in his “home” market of Sacramento on heritage signal KFBK.  TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureaufoxnewsradio chief Mike Kinosian digs into the mind of the broadcaster who may surprise some in the industry when he says, “I can do political ‘sound,’ without doing a show on just politics.  If a presidential election campaign is going in full swing, of course we will talk about what the candidates did and said, but I do less politics than most other talk show hosts do.  It is what many PDs say they want, but I honestly do not know why more talk radio talents are not taking my approach.”  Sullivan says perceptions about talk radio in general and his show in particular can be changed to be appealing to different demographics.  That’s why he gives preference to young women callers. He states, “If women hear other women on a show, they will think it is a show for them.  When a young person hears another young person on the show, they will think it is a show for them.  I want younger listeners – particularly women – to know that this is a show made for them.”  Read Mike Kinosian’s entire piece on Fox News’ Tom Sullivan here.

wfan logoIt’s Official: Yankees Move to WFAN-AM/FM, New York Next Season.  Though the reported terms — $15 million per season over 10 years – is not indicated in the press release from the New York Yankees, the fact that the Bronx Bombers will be heard on both WFAN-AM and WFAN-FM for the foreseeable future is a fact.  It also lays to rest any speculation that CBS Radio would try to keep the Mets and air one team’s games on one station and the other’s game on the other.  As Yankees general partner Hal Steinbrenner notes, the huge 660 AM signal will be good for the team, “We are extremely excited to have reached an agreement with CBS Radio.  The paramount consideration was how our fans would best be able to hear our games.  Having the Yankees on WFAN-AM/FM provides listeners in the New York metropolitan area and beyond with superior broadcast quality and vast territorial signal strength.”  As part of the deal, CBS Radio has acquired Spanish-language Yankees broadcasts rights on a multi-year basis.

crawfordbillBill Crawford Resigns from TRN COO Post.  As the reorganization of Talk Radio Network continues, chief operating officer Bill Crawford submits his resignation to CEO Mark Masters and the board.  Stating that he understands the nature of the immediate tasks that face the Talk Radio Network companies and that decisions must be implemented quickly with board approval and without delay, Crawford leaves his positions as board member and corporate officer immediately.

americaweekendlogo‘America Weekend’ Adds Rob Carson to Saturday Broadcasts.  Envision Radio Networks’ “America Weekend” nationally syndicated live news/talk weekend program announces radio personality and comedy writer Rob Carson becomes part of the program hosting the Saturday 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm portion of the program starting Saturday, September 14.  Carson joins veteran broadcasters Paul Harris and Turi Rydercarsonrob along with Chief Stormcaster John Wetherbee for what the network is billing “the next generation of weekend talk” — designed to maintain revenues from ‘old school’ brokered programming while giving listeners fast-paced live content each weekend.  Washington, DC-based Carson has worked at Cumulus Media’s hot AC WRQX where he was a high-profile afternoon personality.  He’s also appeared on news/talk WMAL, Washington; WIBC, Indianapolis; KMOX, St. Louis, and has served as a comedic contributor to hundreds of hosts across America including Rush Limbaugh.  Carson states, “I’m thrilled to be a part of ‘America Weekend.’  Weekend talk radio needs to be more of a destination covering the headlines and relevant events talk radio leaves on Friday afternoon and picks up Monday morning.”  Program executive producer and creator Kipper McGee adds, “Rob’s insights, quick wit and comedic skills will be a great addition to the ‘America Weekend’ family.  With Paul, Turi and now Rob, we are well on our way to defining profitable weekend talk radio.”

kilmeadebrianOdds & Sods.  Fox News personality Brian Kilmeade did a special broadcast on his Fox News Radio program “Kilmeade & Friends” today at 11:00 am ET.  Kilmeade’s show aired a simulcast with London radio host Iain Dale of LBC Radio.  The two discussed Syria and fielded questions from both UK and US callers…..WINS, New York news anchor Brian Carey was attacked Monday night by a homeless man he had befriended.  The New York Daily News reports Carey suffered broken bones in his jaw and eye socket but that he is recovering and expects to return to work soon.  The man, still being sought by police, may have taken Carey’s cell phone and wallet…..CBS Radio puts its New York TV and sports radio outlets together for a special program before this evening’s Jets-Patriots game.  CBS 2 and WFAN-AM/FM will present “Rivalry Renewed,” a live one-hour pregame show on CBS 2 that will airboomercarton prior to the station’s local broadcast of the game.  It will be hosted by CBS 2 sports anchor Otis Livingston in Foxboro, Massachusetts, as well as WFAN morning show hosts Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton (pictured at right), who will join CBS 2 sports anchor Steve Overmyer in the CBS 2 studio in New York…..ESPN Radio kicks off its “College GameDay” tour this Saturday, September 14 in College Station, Texas, for the highly anticipated SEC matchup of the two-time defending national champion Alabama, ranked #1 in the country, against Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel and #6 Texas A&M.  Coverage from College Station on ESPN Radio begins at 12:00 noon ET with hosts Ryen Russillo, Trevor Matich and Brad Edwards…..New Jersey Broadcasters Association president and CEO Paul S. Rotella, Esq., starts his sixth year as the association’s chief executive.  Rotella says, “I still feel the enthusiasm and excitement of my first day on the job.  It has been a wonderful experience working with our great New Jersey broadcasters and I am blessed to have the dedicated leadership and guidance of a diverse and talented Board of Directors, as well as the loyalty, hard work and experience of my staff. I continue to be very grateful to the Board of Directors for placing their faith in me and for allowing me the privilege to represent them.”

Syria Chemical Weapons Deal, Iran Threats, ObamaCare Implementation, 9/11 Anniversary, and Weiner Loses NYC Primary Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/11).  The Syria chemical weapons issue and the U.S. case for military action; threats to the U.S. and the West from Iran; the implementation of the Affordable Care Act; the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11; and former congressman Anthony Weiner’s loss in the New York City mayoral primary were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday.

Friday, June 21, 2013

| June 21, 2013

cclogoFemale AEs Sue Clear Channel Jacksonville Charging Age and Gender Bias.  The suit against Clear Channel filed in United States District Court Middle District of Florida Jacksonville Division alleges that three account executives – Angela Myhand, Monique Blue and Jessica Downs – had accounts taken from them by management and given to Caucasian and/or male sales staffers without explanation, without hearing of complaints by clients and without receiving any discipline by management for mishandling the accounts.  The plaintiffs also alleged they were given no reason for the actions.  After contacting the EEOE, they allege listening devices were installed on their offices phones but not on telephones in other sales staffers’ offices.  The three are charging management violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, allege retaliation for involvement in a protected activity plus other allegations and are seeking unspecific damages plus attorneys’ fees.

americaweekendlogoEnvision Radio Networks Adds Meteorologist John Wetherbee to ‘America Weekend’ Program.  Citing the need to provide information to listeners across the nation about extreme weather, the nationally syndicated “America Weekend” program enlists the expertise of American Meteorological Society-sealed,wetherbeejohn National Weather Association-certified meteorologist and 30-year radio veteran John Wetherbee as chief stormcaster.  Envision says Wetherbee “will be keeping an eye on the skies to provide live reports on major severe weather developments and how they may impact travel, business and our nation.”  Program executive producer Kipper McGee states, “As we have learned, many significant weather events happen on weekends.  John adds a unique national perspective that is absent from most weekend news/talk programming.”  “America Weekend” airs live each Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm ET and is hosted by Paul Harris, Turi Ryder, and other top talk talent.

nj1015nnjbaawards‘New Jersey 101.5’ Honored with Two Awards at NJBA Convention.  Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” was honored at this week’s New Jersey Broadcasters Association convention with “Best of” awards in two categories: 1) “Best Public Affairs” Award for the station’s monthly show “Ask the Governor.”  The award was presented to Eric Scott (left) and his team of Christopher Knight, Chris Swendeman and Matthew White; and 2) “Best Promotions” Award for the “Big Joe Jersey Talent Show.”  The award was presented to Ray Handel (right) and his team of Big Joe Henry and Dan Specht.

More Station Honors from State Broadcasters Associations.  This is the time of the year when state broadcasters associations hold their annual awards ceremonies and there are two more to report:  In Illinois, Tribune Company’s WGN, Chicago took top honors at the 2013 Illinois Broadcasters Association Silver Dome Awards, held June 19 in Peoria.  For the sixth year in a row, the IBA recognized WGN Radio as the Chicago Market Station of the Year at its annual best-in-state awards ceremony.  In addition to being named Chicago Market Station of the Year, WGN Radio also earned first placewgnlogo honors in five categories:  major market personality for Mike McConnell, best newscast for Judy Pielach, best station website for wgnradio.com, best play-by-play team for Chicago Cubs broadcasters Pat Hughes and Keith Moreland, and best humorous commercial for “Chicago Food and Wine,” produced by Jason Skaggs.  WGN president and general manager Jimmy de Castro says, “It is a great honor to receive the award for Chicago Market Station of the Year by the Illinois Broadcasters Association.  To be recognized by our industry peers is a reflection of the tremendous talent and dedication from our staff to continue to provide the quality of programming our community expects from WGN Radio.”

wgacawardIn Georgia, Beasley Broadcast Group’s WGAC-AM/FM, Augusta, for the 12th consecutive year, was named the Georgia Association of Broadcasters “Radio Station of the Year.”  New this year is the fact that WGAC was honored in the large-market category, which includes Atlanta.  For the past eleven years, WGAC was awarded Radio Station of the Year in the medium-market category.  Pictured here are (l-r) Beasley Augusta VP/market manager Kent Dunn, news director Mary Liz Nolan, and WGAC program director Harley Drew with the “Gabby” Award.  Dunn comments on the victory, “I am extremely proud of the WGAC-AM/FM staff for bringing home our 12th consecutive Gabby for ‘Radio Station of the Year.’  This year is even more special due to the added competition of being placed in the division that includes stations in Atlanta.”

herskovitzalThe Sale Doesn’t End When the Client Signs the Contract.  According to H&H Communications president, TALKERS columnist and highly regarded industry sales maven Al Herskovitz, the subject of “making commercials work effectively so the client is more likely to renew” was one of the buzzes of conversation in the halls at the recent Talkers New York 2013.  In a column posted today (6/21) Herskovitz writes about the deadly consequences of hosts that rush through live reads, spots that are overloaded with too many words, six-minute spot sets of boring ads that seem interminable to the listener and sales reps who don’t pay attention to the process after the deal is signed.  He does, however, offer praise to those hosts who ARE doing a good job serving the advertisers and names names.  To read Herskovitz’s entire column, click here.

raytomTOM RAY:  Listening to Your Syndicated Show on an Affiliate is Different than Listening in the Studio.  That’s a good piece of advice from one of the industry’s most respected engineering consultants.  In a new column posted today (6/21) by TALKERS technical editor and columnist Tom Ray, he points out that timing in the real world of an actual on-the-air radio station — in terms of commercial breaks and liners – can be a different thing than running the show in the studio or looking at its elements on paper. He says by listening to the show on an affiliate you will most likely learn something that will help you avoid all-too-common mistakes in timing that create sloppy and embarrassing audio pileups and make the show better for both you as a syndicator and the affiliate carrying your program.  To read it, click here.

allengaryliveWOOD, Grand Rapids Morning Host Gary Allen Hosts Last Show Today; Retires After 32 Years at Station.  On Thursday, Clear Channel Grand Rapids declared it “Gary Allen Day” as the legendary Grand Rapids radio personality broadcast live from the market’s Celebration Cinema North in recognition of his 32 years on the air at WOOD and his retirement from the station after today’s broadcast.  Allen announced his retirement eight months ago stating that at age 65 there are still some things he wants to do.  He tells WOOD-TV, “I want to be remembered as the guy that people woke up to on the radio in the morning, you have fun, we gave them the news, we gave them the weather, we gave them the traffic and between the group at WOOD, we gave them some laughs, too.”  Photo: WOOD-TV

Odds & Sods.  WMAL, Washington morning drive co-host Larry O’Connor is sitting in for Dial Global nationally syndicated talk host Dennis Miller on June 24 and 25…..And in another WMAL-related note, former Congressman Ernest Istook will host the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm program tomorrow (6/22)…..Sports USA will syndicate the Little League World Series radio broadcasts again this summer.  The company will offer the US Championship Game on August 24 and the International Championship on August 25.

koznpearlmanChancellor Perlman in the House.  NRG Media’s KOZN, Omaha “1620 The Zone” hosted University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Harvey Perlman on the “Sharp & Benning in the Morning” program for a full hour on Thursday, June 20 to discuss college athletics.  Topics covered included pay for athletes, Nebraska in the Big 10 Conference, athletic department salaries and numerous others.  Pictured here are (from l-r) Gary Sharp, Perlman and Damon Benning.

NSA Surveillance Program Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 17-21.  The National Security Agency’s surveillance of phone and email activities, its ties to stopping terrorist attacks and the making public of the program by former contractor Edward Snowden were the top stories discussed on news/talk radio this week, landing the issue atop the Talkers TenTM.  Following at #2 was the “Gang of 8” amnesty deal for illegal immigrants.  At #3 was President Obama’s Berlin speech and his nukes reduction proposal broached at the G8 summit in Belfast earlier in the week.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

daveramsey logoCool Assistant Engineer Job Opportunity! The Dave Ramsey Show has a really good job opportunity for an assistant engineer at the company’s headquarters in Brentwood, Tennessee.  If you have experience running a radio type console, have knowledge of ISDN Codecs, are experienced using video and video router/matrix, have knowledge of level3/Vyvx lines and have the ability to learn and take directions — then this job might be for you.  For full details about the position and its requirements/opportunities, click
http://www.daveramsey.com/company/view-all-jobs/ and then click on the Assistant Engineer.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “The Freedom Feens” featuring Michael W. Dean and Neema Vedadi and syndicated by Genesis Communications Network is added to the program schedule at KDGO, Durango, Colorado…..Good Parts Media reports the acquisition of its 100th affiliate.  The parent company of “The Hookup,” Mr. Prep and The Locker Room prep services reports it has hit this milestone in only its second year of doing business…..The national syndicated “My Cool Inventions” show with Akos Jankura and John Cremeans is added to the program schedule at WRSB, Rochester, New York and KMET, San Bernardino.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

| March 13, 2013

americaweekendlogoRick Roberts Joins Envision Radio Networks’ ‘America Weekend.’  Longtime San Diego news/talk personality Rick Roberts becomes part of the talent at Envision Radio Networks’ weekend talk radio programming “America Weekend.”  The six hours of live news/talk radio airs from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm onrobertsrick Saturdays and Sundays and Roberts will host the Saturday 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm portion of the program.  Most recently at KFMB, San Diego, Roberts’ career has also taken him to such legendary stations as KOA, Denver; KCMO, Kansas City; KRLD, Dallas; and KOGO, San Diego.  Roberts states, “I’m extremely pleased to be a part of ‘America Weekend’ and I look forward to bringing 19 years of major market talk radio experience to radio stations across America.  The next great step in talk radio begins right here every weekend.”  Envision describes “America Weekend” as “the new ratings-friendly programming alternative to low-rated brokered shows and “Best Of” programs.”  Executive producer Kipper McGee says of Roberts, “Breakthrough programming needs breakthrough talent.  ‘America Weekend’ will provide the perfect showcase for Rick’s versatility and considerable talents, and we are thrilled to have him on the team.”  Roberts joins radio pros Paul Harris and Turi Ryder as hosts of the program.

conclavegamedayThe Conclave Adds Sports Component.  Dubbed “Game Day,” the Conclave announces a new aspect of the radio gathering at this July’s 38th Annual Learning Conference by presenting a day exclusively devoted to sports broadcasting.  “Game Day” will be held on Friday, July 19, at the Doubletree Park Place Hotel inshannonbob Minneapolis, site of the 2013 Learning Conference.  Conclave executive director Bob Shannon states, “Our line up starts with Bruce Gilbert, senior vice president of sports operations for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment.  Bruce built ‘The Ticket’ in Dallas, was recruited by ESPN to create their national radio brand, and has just joined Clear Channel.  Clearly, he is one of our nation’s sports programming experts.”  The day will conclude with a reception at the Minnesota Twins flagship station, Northern Lights’ new adult contemporary KTWN, which is just a short walk across the street from Target Field in downtown Minneapolis followed by a ballgame between the Twins and the Cleveland Indians.

hendriephilPhil Hendrie Accelerates Podcast and Social Media Initiatives with LEG Digital and Launchpad Digital Media Partnerships.  Media personality Phil Hendrie – nationally syndicated on radio via Talk Radio Network – recently entered into partnerships with creative agency LEG Digital and Launchpad Digital Media for his strategic efforts in digital content and social marketing platforms.  Launchpad is representing LEG Digital for advertising sales.  LEG Digital reports that to date, results have shown that in the last four months, Hendrie’s Twitter followers are up 28%, his Facebook audience is up 667% and his daily podcast monthly downloads are up 500%.  The company also launched the weekly “Phil Hendrie’s Mmm-Hmm, The Bobbie Dooley Podcast” on its podcast network, TheSideShowNetwork.com, Hendrie’s own PhilHendrieShow.com, iTunes and Launchpad’s PodcastOne.com.  The first Dooley podcast garnered more than 15,000 downloads in three days.  LEG Digital managing partner Darrin McAfee states, “I’ve been a huge fan of Phil’s for the last 15 years.  Knowing and enjoying the magnitude of his talent, it’s obvious to me that he’s well on his way to the next plateau of his career.”

arbitronArbitron Issues Social Media Guidelines for Dealing with Respondents.  Calling this a list of “Dos and Don’ts,” Arbitron notifies broadcasters of the potential pitfalls that can cause ratings trouble if the company’s rules are violated using the ubiquitous social media.  Arbitron states up front: “Ratings data can be among the most valuable tools broadcasters have for programming and sales.  It’s important to protect the integrity of your station’s ratings by following Arbitron’s guide to using social media.  While these platforms create more personalized communication with listeners, social media can also lead to rating bias or rating distortion if not managed properly.”  Some of the “Dos” include: Notify Arbitron if a respondent reaches out to the station via social media (or any other means); remind station staff that social media comments are subject to the same guidelines as on-air comments; contact Arbitron for a confidential pre-review if you are unsure about comments you wish to post; contact Arbitron if your staff sees posted comments directed to an Arbitron respondent; and contact Arbitron if the station learns the identity of an Arbitron respondent (by any means).  The “Don’ts” are pretty obvious to broadcasters who’ve been aware of Arbitron’s rules prior to the advent of social media but bear repeating:  Don’t attempt to learn the identity of Arbitron respondents.  The station may be delisted, even if the attempt doesn’t succeed; don’t address comments to panelists or diarykeepers; don’t discuss ratings (even ratings success) on social networking sites.  Doing so may prompt respondents to disclose their participation; don’t post comments encouraging listeners to participate as panelists or diarykeepers; don’t offer anything of value to self-identified panelists or diarykeepers.

sagaSaga Communications Reports 2012 Q4 Net Operating Revenue Up 10.3%.  For the whole of 2012, Saga reports its net operating revenue was up 4% on earnings of $130.3 million compared to $125.3 million for all of 2011.  Free cash flow increased 9.5% to $25.1 million for the year of 2012.  Station operating expense decreased approximately 1.0% to $90.3 million (station operating expense includes depreciation and amortization attributable to the stations).  Net income for the period was $17.9 million ($3.16 per fully diluted share) compared to net income of $12.6 million ($2.23 per fully diluted share) for the same period last year.

townsquaremediaCool Job Opportunity.  Townsquare Media has an incredible opportunity for the position of Brand Manager and morning show host for a news/talk station.  You must have a proven track record in programming a news/talk station. In addition to a strong ratings background, candidates should be digitally savvy and demonstrate a deep, rich understanding of interactive branding, including social media, loyalty programs, content creation, e-commerce, streaming platforms, mobile and texting.  In addition, you should feel comfortable being on-air in the news/talk format and understand what it means to be the local voice in your community. You are able to keep a morning show entertaining and energetic while delivering relevant and interesting information to your audience.  Candidates need to possess outstanding verbal and written skills as well as being highly organized and driven. As Brand Manager, you must also be willing to do any job within the station. Teamwork is a must as you will be working in unison with the digital, sales, promotion and engineering staff. It is essential that you have a strong working knowledge of digital audio systems and online media platforms, and be prepared to develop production and schedule all on-air content.  In addition to the above, you will work to build the identity of the station within the community.  As you can tell, this isn’t your typical 9-5 job. But don’t worry, we work hard and we have fun doing it! If you’re a fun, dynamic, creative and proven winner, send all of your materials, including references, to Chuck Armstrong at chuck@townsquaremedia.com. Townsquare Media is an equal opportunity employer.

hubbardstanleyThe Broadcasters Foundation of America Announces Stanley S. Hubbard to Receive Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award.  The chairman of Hubbard Broadcasting, Inc. will be the recipient of this year’s “Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award.”  The Award will be presented to Stanley Hubbard during the BFoA Breakfast on April 10, at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, in conjunction with the National Association of Broadcasters Show.  The BFoA notes that “Hubbard Broadcasting has stayed on the industry’s cutting edge, pioneering innovations in radio, television and satellite broadcasting.  The company owns 13 television and 17 radio stations, F&F Productions REELZCHANNEL – TV About Movies, and is the controlling shareholder of Ovation TV.”  The Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award honors an individual in broadcasting whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.   It salutes its namesake Lowry Mays and is underwritten by The Clear Channel Foundation and Wiley Rein, LLP.   The Broadcasters Foundation has provided millions of dollars in aid to colleagues who lost their livelihood through a catastrophic event, debilitating disease, or unforeseen tragedy that left them unable to work or support themselves.  Individual membership is only $150 a year.  Donations also can be made to the Guardian Fund, and corporate contributions are accepted through the Angel Initiative.

DC Sequester Battle, Ryan Budget Plan, ‘Killing Jews is Worship’ Ad Controversy, Obama Approval Rating Down, Papal Conclave, and ‘Fat Lesbians’ Study Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/12).  The effects of and debate in Washington over the sequester; Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal; the controversial San Francisco bus ad campaign featuring quotes from militant Muslims; the Washington Post’s latest poll showing President Obama’s approval ratings sinking; the conclave in the Vatican; and NIH-funded study on the cause of obesity in lesbians were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, November 16, 2012

| November 16, 2012

Rush Limbaugh’s Sandra Fluke Comments Cited in Dial Global’s SEC Filing.  Talk radio has long been saddled with the label of “controversial programming” that makes it a difficult sell on the national level.  Agencies have numerous other marketing options through which clients can get out their message.  Especially for family-oriented goods and services, why take a chance on “controversial programming?”  But Rush Limbaugh’s Sandra Fluke comments last March brought renewed bad PR to the format and, as was discussed at both of TALKERS magazine’s New Media Seminars this year (June in NYC and October in Los Angeles), the scarlet letter weighs heavy upon the talk radio business.  So much so that Dial Global – in reporting to the SEC – cited Limbaugh (not by name) as part of the reason the company is taking a $67.2 million impairment charge.  Here’s what the company says: “We normally perform the required impairment testing of goodwill on an annual basis in December of each year.  As a result of several factors, which had a significant impact on our fourth quarter bookings and sales, we performed an interim analysis of our goodwill carrying value as required by ASC 350, Intangibles-Goodwill and Other.  We believe our 2012 results were adversely impacted by, among other things, late cancellations in ad buys (which we believe was a by-product of the election and renewed economic uncertainty), competitive factors, such as a greater diversity of digital ad platforms (into which ad budgets have flowed) and increased competition from our major competitors, and advertisers’ response to controversial statements by a certain nationally syndicated talk radio personality in March 2012.”  Talk radio is unlikely to become “family friendly” in the eyes of agencies anytime soon and talk sellers appear resigned to having to carve out new niches of advertisers and work hard to get and keep them.  For big corporations with a lot of debt, that’s not a comforting thought.

Dial Global Voluntarily De-Lists from the NASDAQ.  As a result of the company’s low volume of trading combined with other factors, including the associated costs of maintaining its listing on the NASDAQ, Dial Global announces it will undertake the delisting process beginning on or around November 26 and be completed on or around December 6 of this year.  Dial Global will remain a publicly traded company – it reports no plans to go private – but the stock will be traded on the OTC Pink Sheets.

Envision Radio Networks Develops “America Weekend” Program.  Calling it the “next generation of weekend talk radio,” Envision Radio Networks says the new “America Weekend” program is “a break from the usual brokered programming and rerun political fare of most news/talk stations, ‘America Weekend’ covers the lighter side of news and lifestyle issues facing today’s on-the-go talk listeners while maintaining revenues from paid hosts.”  Envision states the show provides six hours of live programming on both Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm EST and accommodates up to four local expert slots per hour, with frequent break-away points for sports, weather or other local programming. Since the programming is broadcast live via satellite, ‘America Weekend’ is able to stay current by addressing breaking and developing stories of national interest as they happen.  Anchoring the show will be “top-level, nationally recognized” hosts joined by high-profile guests.  Programmer and consultant Kipper McGee is executive producer of the show and he states, “It’s been said that ‘weekdays are for ratings, weekends are for revenue.’  However, now we’re seeing the damage that poorly rated weekend programming is causing weekday shows.  Listeners are forced to find other weekend options, and increasingly are not finding their way back to the radio station.”  Envision president and CEO Danno Wolkoff says, “‘America Weekend’ is all about maintaining revenue opportunities for radio stations from long-form brokered programs in a new and innovative way.  We have always believed that there is a better way for radio to monetize its Saturday and Sunday programming without sacrificing quality.  Finally, ‘Content is King’ again on weekends.”  Interested stations can visit www.envisionradio.com or contact Melissa Bachtel at 216-831-3761 or melissab@envisionradio.com.

CBS Sports Radio Network Names Damon Amendolara Overnight Host.  When CBS Radio’s new national sports network debuts on January 2, WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” evening host Damon Amendolara — “D.A.” — will be the network’s overnight host manning the 2:00 am to 6:00 am shift.  Amendolara has been with the Boston sports talker since it debuted in 2009.  He is also the sideline reporter for the New England Revolution on Comcast and a frequent guest and fill-in host for CSN’s Sports Tonight/Sports Sunday.  He serves as an anchor on CSNNE’s “Pregame Live” and “Postgame Live,” appears on Fox 25 Boston, while contributing to NFL Films and the NFL Network’s Top 10 series, ESPN News’ Air Check and NFL Films Presents on ESPN.  CBS Sports Radio director of programming Eric Spitz says, “D.A. is an all-star in Boston and his energy and understanding of the sports world will no doubt translate to a national platform.  Damon is certainly the man to keep listeners engrossed overnight, and his work at stations across the country, covering a multitude of different sports, will be beneficial to our listeners.  His success and following on our local radio station and his charitable endeavors in the community prove he will make a great addition to our already outstanding lineup at CBS Sports Radio.”

WTOP Newsman Donates iPhone to Newseum.  It’s unclear whether WTOP, Washington news reporter Neal Augenstein was the first American radio news reporter to use the iPhone as his “sole” reporting tool, but Augenstein sure has attracted a lot of interest after it became known how he was using the device.   Poynter.org reports the donation to the Washington, DC museum of news and related technology.  Newseum Curator of Collections Carrie Christoffersen tells Poynter.org, “We collect all sorts of things that relate to changes in news technology.  It was really interesting to us, since he’s doing all of his audio interviews, editing, video work, all on his iPhone, with some supplement from an iPad.  He’s enabled himself to be very, very on-the-go.”  There are no immediate plans to display the device but Christoffersen says their exhibits are always changing.  Augenstein is pictured here being interviewed recently for Talkers TV about his use of the iPhone for reporting.  Check out the cool five-minute video here.

Odds & Sods.  Radio pro Turi Ryder fills in on Tribune’s WGN, Chicago for midday talk host John Williams today…..Filling in today for Talk Radio Network’s Rusty Humphries is KDWN, Las Vegas morning drive host Alan Stock.

Inside the Locker Room.  In the photo here, KLAC, Los Angeles and Fox Sports Radio Network hosts Petros Papadakis (l) and Matt “Money” Smith (r) interview Los Angeles Lakers greats Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (second from left) and Jerry West (second from right) at a recent live listener event.  Abdul-Jabbar and West offered Lakers faithful their takes on the team’s new coach and the team’s prospects for the 2012-13 season.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Tom Gresham’s “Gun Talk” weekend program is added to the lineup at KAVA-AM/FM, Pueblo, Colorado; WEZS, Laconia, New Hampshire; and KOHI, St. Helens, Oregon…..“America Tonight” with Kate Delaney is picked up by WLSC, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina…..Fox Sports Radio Network programming is added to new affiliate KOPJ, Portland…..ESPN Radio programming is picked up by Cox Media’s WDBO-AM, Orlando.

Petraeus-Broadwell Scandal Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of November 12-16.  The ever deepening scandal involving ex-CIA director David Petraeus and biographer Paula Broadwell was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.  At #2 this week was the Benghazi attack investigation.  At #3 was the “fiscal cliff” Washington lawmakers are facing followed by Obama Administration Cabinet changes at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly ranking of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio.  It is published at Talkers.com every Friday.  View this week’s entire chart here.