AP Sues Ingraham’s LifeZette Inc. for Non-Payment. In a suit filed in the District of Columbia Superior Court, the Associated Press has filed suit against the Laura Ingraham-operated LifeZette Inc. alleging the company defaulted on payments for providing it with its news service. In its suit, the AP documents that LifeZette agreed to pay $4,200 per month for 12 months for a digital current news license. After not receiving timely payments, AP suspended the service to LifeZette. LifeZette did remit a payment of $42,611.71 but the check was returned for insufficient funds. AP is seeking a total of $49,267.39 plus interest from the date of judgement at 18%, as per the contract.
New Shows Hit Air at KTXX, Austin. There are a few programming changes at Genuine Austin Radio-owned sports talk KTXX “104.9 The Horn.” Geoff Ketchum returns to the station – he hosted a show there from 2008 through 2012 – to handle the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show. Additonally, weekend shows are joining the program schedule. Former Longhorns and NFL players Kasey Studdard and Lyle Sandlein are hosting a Saturday morning show called, “The Big Ugly Outdoors.” Also on Saturdays, the station adds Texas Motor Speedway’s “Total Access” with hosts Rich Phillips and Katie Tull.
10th Annual Hersky Awards. Today, TALKERS magazine presents the winners of the 10th Annual Hersky Awards, as determined by talk radio sales maven (and H&H Communications president) Al Herskovitz. Regular TALKERS readers are aware that each year, Herskovitz gives a nod – no statuette – to those broadcasters and advertisers that stand out among the crowd in the world of talk radio advertising. To read about this year’s winners, click here.
Longtime ABC News Radio Correspondent Bill Diehl Publishes Memoir. Radio pros who worked at stations that carried ABC News Radio know the name Bill Diehl. He was a correspondent for the news organization for almost 50 years, covering the world of entertainment and, during that time, interviewed some of the biggest names in showbiz, including Cher, Tom Hanks and Jane Fonda. Serving as chief entertainment reporter, he also covered all the major awards shows: The Emmys, Grammys, Oscars, and Tonys. Now, he’s published his memoir titled, Stay Tuned: My Life Behind the Mic. Diehl says, “I have a great love for covering the world of entertainment, a passion, really. And while I still periodically contribute celebrity interviews to the ABC News Radio ‘Perspective’ program, those award-show days are getting smaller and smaller in my rearview mirror. So, I decided to reminisce ‘out loud,’ if you will, sharing favorite remembrances with others through a book that’s filled with photos and excerpts of some of my most memorable interviews – including those with Oscar nominees or Oscar winners I’ve put my mic in front of on a few red carpets over the years.” Check it out at bdiehl.com.
Trump’s Address to Congress, ObamaCare Overhaul, Trump Budget Plan, Trump vs News Media, White House Leaks Crackdown, North Korea Executions, Oscar Snafu, Tourists to Circle Moon, and NBA/NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/27). The build-up to this evening’s address to Congress by President Donald Trump; the anticipation of an overhaul of the Affordable Care Act by the GOP and the Trump Administration; Trump’s budget plan that includes ramping up military spending by $53 billion; Trump’s ongoing war against the news media, including last week’s exclusion of several news organizations at a press conference; the Trump Administration’s concerns about leaks, including Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s searching of staffers’ phones; the execution of five national security staffers by North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; the envelope mix-up at Sunday night’s Academy Awards ceremony; Elon Musk’s announcement a couple will take a trip around the moon and back next year; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Jackson Blue Partners with Hannah Byrom for AMs on WKLB, Boston. Moving over from his afternoon drive show on Beasley Media Group’s urban contemporary WBQT “HOT 96.9” is Jackson Blue, who is joining Hannah Byrom to host the morning show on WKLB “Country 102.5.” Beasley Boston director of programming Cadillac Jack comments, “I’ve had the pleasure of having a ‘front row seat’ to watch Jackson’s growth over the past 15 years and feel proud to promote such a talented personality from within our Beasley Boston cluster to this key position. Here’s to the success that Jackson and ‘Country 102.5’ will undoubtedly enjoy for years to come!”
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Spanish language broadcaster SBS announces that its New York City outlet WSKQ-FM “Mega 97.9” has achieved an historic milestone, claiming the #1 ranking for two major demos — A 18-34, A 18-49 — in Nielsen‘s January PPM survey among all radio stations serving the Tri-State area, regardless of language or format. SBS says that the recent ratings rank WSKQ-FM as not only the most-listened-to station in the New York metro but as the #1 ranked Latino station in the nation…..In San Diego, Zach Van Lue assumes the afternoon drive daypart at Local Media San Diego’s alternative XETRA “91X.” Van Lue comes to San Diego from Seattle where he’s been the evening host for the past three years at Entercom’s alternative KNDD “107.7 The End.”…..Cumulus Media and rock WAQX, Syracuse “95X” afternoon air personality Big Smoothie, a.k.a. Jamie Hantke, part ways after an eight-year relationship. Hantke tells Syracuse.com that the move was not his choice, but refused to elaborate. The station is also not commenting…..Morning drive personality Sean McMaster announces his exit from Townsquare Media’s country WGNA, Albany. He posted on Facebook: “Today was my last day at WGNA. After more than 20 years of sharing my life with the greatest listeners of all time, this even to me, seems to be unbelievable. I have taken my role as an advocate of my listeners very seriously through the years and I hope that you will all support me in what was the hardest decision I have ever made.”…..In Bend, Oregon, Horizon Broadcasting adds Danni K., a.k.a. Danielle Keys, to the morning show alongside Kit Mann on its hot AC KWPK “The Peak 104.1.”
KFWB, Los Angeles Reportedly Sold. According to Los Angeles radio maven Don Barrett, there is finally a buyer for KFWB and it involves Charlie Banta-led Mercury Capital Partners. The Los Angeles Times also reports the story but does not name a buyer. The Times writes that staffers were told about the sale on Tuesday (1/5). As many TALKERS readers are aware, KFWB has been in the KFWB Asset Trust (while still benefitting CBS RADIO’s bottom line) for a long time. Some in the market have griped that CBS hasn’t been trying very hard to sell it and was basically getting away with violating the ownership limit. Regardless, in September of 2014 the station flipped from news/talk to sports talk as “The Beast 980” and is serving as the flagship for the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers, as well. Barrett Tweets that the new owners will assume control in February and since Mercury’s M.O. is ethnic programming and brokered radio, we’re likely to see a format change next month. That would put local sports talk personalities Fred Roggin, Bill Plaschke, Jeanne Zelasko, Chris Myers, Wes Clements and more out on the street. The Times reports that a format change is a certainty.
‘The Mighty 1090’ in San Diego Names Kevin Acee Evening Host. San Diego sports talk outlet XEPRS “The Mighty 1090” is naming San Diego sportswriter Kevin Acee the host of its evening program, “Trending Now.” Acee is a columnist for the San Diego Union Tribune, a position he will continue to hold. Acee also spent seven years as the San Diego Chargers beat writer and two years covering San Diego State football. Station VP of programming and operations Mike Shepard comments, “Kevin is a multi-media sports voice in San Diego who has the unique ability to connect and provide insight to sports fans on a variety of platforms. ‘Trending Now’ is the perfect showcase of his many talents, and we enthusiastically welcome Kevin to the full-time, all-star lineup on San Diego’s Sports Leader.”
Associated Press Offers 2016 Radio Campaign Kit. A new service for this year’s presidential election is being offered by the Associated Press. It’s called the 2016 Radio Campaign Kit, and AP calls it “a turnkey advantage that gives radio members election returns and AP journalists’ digital and on-air reporting on the presidential campaign in the months leading to Election Day and the inauguration of the 45th president in January.” AP has already inked Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP, Washington, among other stations. AP says that subscribers will receive verified vote counts in their home state and surrounding areas in primaries and the November 8 general election up to 12 times an hour via online maps and other modules. The modules will show delegate counts for both political parties, the popular vote, Electoral College totals for U.S. president and the balance of power in the U.S. Congress. In addition to dynamic election-night maps, the 2016 Radio Campaign Kit provides a suite of embeddable white-label interactives for use on AP members’ digital and on-air properties, optimized for display on mobile devices, desktops and tablets. AP director of election services Brian Scanlon comments, “The AP’s 2016 Radio Campaign Kit represents an important step for us as we continue to push to make our services responsive to our members’ needs around big-event stories such as the presidential campaign.” Interested stations can contact Paul Memoli at AP via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 212-621-6923.
Odds & Sods. Springfield, Illinois talk personality Ray Lytle exits Saga Communications-owned news/talk WTAX in a budget-related move. Lytle had been with the station for the past two years after previously serving with Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s crosstown news/talk WMAY…..CFRA, Ottawa legendary personality Lowell Green is retiring from his daily radio show at the Bell Media talk station. The 79-year-old Green began his career in the news department at CFRA in 1960. He became a talk host six years later and has been hosting the Lowell Green show on the station since 1993. He won’t be in full retirement mode as he’ll continue to make appearances on the station…..Weekend technology talk show “Into Tomorrow with Dave Graveline” announces the addition of some new affiliate stations as WGKA, Atlanta “AM 920 The Answer”; WRKO, Boston; and CKLW, Windsor, Ontario/Detroit are now carrying the program.
New York Festivals 2016 International Radio Program Awards Opens Entry Process. In addition to the announcement that the New York Festivals 2016 International Radio Program Awards are open for entries, comes news that there are three new categories this year. Those include: Biography/Profiles, Climate Change & Sustainability, and Music. The worldwide competition honoring the World’s Best Radio Programs℠ has been taking place since 1982 and receives entries from radio stations, networks, and independent producers from 32 countries around the globe. Radio program awards executive director Rose Anderson states, “New York Festivals recognizes the ever-evolving nature of the radio industry. Time does not stand still in the radio industry – new ways of reaching listeners and new ways of telling the important stories of our day drive change. So, every year, we work with our advisory board and we update some categories as well as create new ones. It is an organic ecosystem. We embrace the new while keeping the best practices of what has come before.” Anderson says the three new categories will provide a platform for those with a distinctive voice and point of view regarding issues and topics of interest. Anderson continues, “In our ever-changing world, radio is the original social media. There is a universal language of radio which connects us all – giving us the ability to meet directly in each other’s imagination and guided by the textures of sound to understand each other.” New York Festivals Radio Awards enlists jurists from all over the world to become members of the Grand Jury. The Grand Jury includes some of the most recognizable voices and captivating programming producers in the industry. Entries are judged on production values, organization, presentation of information, creativity, and use of the medium. The ceremony for the World’s Best Radio Programs takes place at the Manhattan Penthouse in New York on June 20. The deadline for entries is March 18. To enter, log in here and find all the information you need. Inquiries can go to Gayle Mandel at: email@example.com.
Obama Gun Control Plan, Presidential Race, ‘White Anger’ Report, Saudi-Iran Diplomatic Break/Shiite-Sunni Tensions, Oregon Armed Protestors Standoff, Battle Against Islamic State, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/5). The executive order gun control plans announced by President Obama; the activities of the candidates for president; the Esquire/NBC News “American Rage” poll determining white Americans are the “angriest”; the diplomatic break between Saudi Arabia and Iran and the reported growing rift between Shiite and Sunni countries in the Middle East; the case of the armed protestors occupying an Oregon wildlife preserve; the recent military actions against Islamic State-held parts of Iraq; and this weekend’s NFL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.
CES 2016: Home and Health. Radio consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas reporting from the enormous Consumer Electronics Show and today he files a story tipping us to some of the new technology and gadgets that some believe will be ubiquitous in both our homes and our cars in the not-too-distant future. Cooke writes that many of the technological helpers for around the home can be operated from the “remote” device most of us already carry – the smartphone – and that device is where “smart broadcasters are also publishing.” Read today’s full report here.