Tag: "Arbitron"

Thursday, February 13, 2014

| February 13, 2014

cbsradio logoCBS Reports Radio Segment Down 4% in Q4 2013; Company Up 6%.  While CBS Corporation CEO, president and director Les Moonves spoke glowingly about the performance of CBS Corporation as a whole during yesterday’s Q4 conference call, the radio segment was not part of the celebration and loss of political advertising was given the lion’s share of the blame.  The company’s report indicates that after taking political out of the picture, CBS RADIO was flat compared to the same quarter in 2012.  Moonves was upbeat about the radio division saying, “In radio, we continue to put an emphasis on great, localmoonvesles programming, which is leading to bigger audiences.  During the most recent ratings period, we had double-digit ranking gains in the highly coveted 25- to 54-year-old demo in many of our major markets, and non-traditional revenue from special events was up double digits over one year ago.  Our strategy to combine the company’s local TV and radio websites into a single online presence in every market also continues to pay off.  In 2013, revenue was up 21% over the year before, and the momentum is continuing here in ’14, including a new record of nearly 57 million unique users in January.  I’m also very pleased with the success of our CBS Interactive business.  Revenue was up 14% during the quarter, and we continue to see very rapid growth in mobile ad revenue, which was up 118%, and it helped to increase profit substantially.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript.  Members can read the whole conference call here.

nielsen logoNielsen Q4 Revenue Up 11.8%; Rises 5.5% for 2013.  Media ratings giant Nielsen Holdings N.V. issues its fourth quarter 2013 and full-year financial reports and states that Q4 revenue was $1.6 billion, an increase of 11.8% over the same period in 2012.  For the full year of 2013, the company says its revenue was $5.7 billion, a jump of 5.5% over the full year of 2012.  The company reports its free cash flow for 2013 increased 34.5% to $573 million from $426 million in 2012 while cash flow from operations increased 14.9% to $901 million in 2013 from $784 million in 2012.  The result is the adjusted net income per share on a diluted basis for 2013 was $2.02, up 19.5% compared to $1.69 in the full year 2012.  Nielsen acquired radio ratings firm Arbitron during 2013 and the move paid off.  The Arbitron business helped add 9.3% to Nielsen’s Q4 revenue and 2.5% to its 2013 revenue.

krld logoCBS RADIO Dallas Ups Paul Mann to KRLD-AM PD.  At CBS RADIO’s Dallas cluster, news director Paul Mann is promoted to program director for KRLD-AM “NewsRadio 1080 KRLD” and the Texas Statemannpaul Networks (TSN), effective immediately.  Mann has served as news director for KRLD-AM and TSN since June 2006 and in this new role he will be primarily responsible for all programming and talent and will report to Gavin Spittle, vice president of news/talk/sports for CBS RADIO Dallas-Fort Worth.  Spittle comments, “Paul has shown tremendous leadership as news director with the sole focus on serving the North Texas community.  He’s helped put together a tremendous team which shares a great pride in this heritage station.”  Under Mann’s leadership, KRLD-AM has been honored with two national Edward R. Murrow Awards, in 2008 (spot news) and 2013 (newscast).

kuiperspradostellaStella Prado Kuipers Lands at Salem Los Angeles.  The successful, former KOST, Los Angeles program director joins Salem Communications to serve in the sales department working on multi-media marketing for Christian talk KKLA, Los Angeles.  Stella Prado Kuipers made her announcement on her Facebook page where she wrote: “A new chapter in my life has begun and I’m proud to announce as of March 3rd I am an employee of Salem Communications Radio Broadcasting company!  My position is multi-media marketing and I am thrilled to be a part of this company!  I’m sooooo excited!”  Kuipers had been with Clear Channel’s AC KOST for 20 years – eight as program director – before she was let go in December of 2012.

wctc logoProgramming Changes at WCTC, New Brunswick, New Jersey.  A shuffle in afternoons at Greater Media-owned news/talk WCTC, New Brunswick, New Jersey sees current 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm personality Tommy G move to the afternoon drive slot replacing Newsmax-syndicated host Stevetommyg Malzberg.  Into the early afternoon slot goes WestwoodOne’s Dennis Miller program.  WCTC program director Bert Baron states, “We’re excited to welcome Dennis Miller to the WCTC weekday lineup.  He’ll have Central Jersey laughing, thinking, and engaged on a daily basis.  I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have doing PM drive on WCTC than Tommy G, one of the most passionate and hard-working people I’ve ever known.  This is a BIG WIN for WCTC and for Central Jersey.”

delcollianojerryIs Nielsen “Lying” About Millennial Audiences?  Noted industry observer Jerry Del Colliano thinks so.  Del Colliano published a scathing indictment of the ratings research giant in his daily industry blog Inside Music Media (www.insidemusicmedia.com) this morning (2/12) referring to the Nielsen Audio (formerly Arbitron) report released earlier this week stating that “Millennials” (also known as “Generation Y”) are big fans of AM/FM radio and listen to it on average of 11.5 hours per week.  This, of course, flies in the face of what has to this point been conventional industry wisdom stronglynielsen logo suggesting that over-the-air radio is rapidly losing ground as a medium of choice for the millions of 20-something children born to Baby Boomers in the 1980s-90s and now coming of age in the millions – a widespread perception that broadcast business leaders openly fear threatens the future of what is increasingly being marginalized as “terrestrial radio.”  Del Colliano writes, “The company that now does PPM ratings which records listening that occurs by accident when meters randomly pick up an encoded radio signal is now weighing in on Millennials…an audience that clearly has no use for what consolidators put on the radio these days.”  He accuses the major corporate consolidators in radio of “paying hundreds of millions of dollars to report audience estimates that the company [Nielsen] itself admits in a legal statement are not reliable.”  Del Colliano is a veteran program director and radio personality who rose to prominence as the founder and publisher of the trade publication Inside Radio which he built to formidability as an independent journal prior to it being acquired by Clear Channel, which still publishes it.  Del Colliano has subsequently served a number of years as a member of the music department faculty at the University of Southern California (USC) teaching and writing courses on “Generational Media” specifically documenting and understanding the traits and habits of the rapidly maturing Millennial generation – a subject that he regularly shares with radio industry leaders via his blog and annual conference.

harrisonmichaelSpeaking of Jerry Del Colliano…  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison recently interviewed Jerry Del Colliano on the TALKERS magazine “experimental” talk radio station, TalkersRadio, (www.talkers.com/talkersradio) as a complete installment of the one-hour, media-talkersradio logodiscussion program he hosts.  The program, recorded two-weeks ago (prior to today’s provocative Del Colliano blog), presents the two industry observers in an in-depth discussion about the very subject of the delicate relationship AM/FM radio and Gen-Y.  In it, Del Colliano discusses such issues as Gen-Y’s obsession with authenticity as well as its consumer interest in non-over-the-air digital media.  To listen directly to the entire 58:00 installment of this first-time public conversation between Michael Harrison and Jerry Del Colliano, please click

 
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crummyjoeTalk Host Joe Crummey Publishes Non-Fiction Book.  Talk radio pro Joe Crummey has just published his first non-fiction book titled, Planking on Headstones: Your Future Outside of Time (School of Eddiness 2013).  The veteran of such historic signals as WABC, New York; KFI, Los Angeles; WNBC, New York; KABC, Los Angeles andcrummeybook KFYI, Phoenix penned this new book that “takes the reader on a journey through space-time that’s rich in love, loss, fear and contemplation.  With notes of his on-air, quick-wit persona, Planking on Headstones distills complex issues of religion and science into memorable anecdotes that elicit laughter, tears and a sense of connection.  Crummey openly shares about his life, from his brain tumor to the death of his parents, as he explains his theories, such as the ‘Fonzie Principle,’ the ‘Boston Market Revelation’ and the ‘Jesus Burger.’  He also explains why he believes the Big Bang is the most evil thing that has ever happened.”  Crummy states, “Throughout my career, I often discussed and challenged religious tenets on air with my audience.  But after going through the brain tumor experience, my quest for meaning in this life and beyond intensified.  I began to understand the importance of thinking outside of time and allowed myself to imagine the impossible while I explored this subject matter.”

cclogoClear Channel Renews Promotional Deal with Relativity.  In a statement, Clear Channel says that the renewed cross-media marketing collaboration between it and media company Relativity will include one-of-a-relativity logokind campaigns promoting upcoming movies on the part of Clear Channel and Relativity will provide exclusive content created by its filmmakers and talent that will be shared with listeners and viewers through various Clear Channel platforms.  “The programs will also include organic promotional support from popular radio personalities such as Ryan Seacrest, Elvis Duran, Dan Patrick and Steve Harvey; naturally integrated film imaging across local stations and iHeartRadio’s national digital and mobile ad units; homepage website takeovers; and national and local on-air commercial inventory.”  Clear Channel says previous successful collaborations between the companies included campaigns for the films “Limitless,” “Immortals,” “Act of Valor,” “Safe Haven” and “Free Birds.”

webbdavidOdds & Sods.  Talk media personality David Webb signs on to write a column for DC political publication The Hill.  His column will be available every other Wednesday in The Hill’s print edition, online at thehill.com and on The Hill’s app.  In addition to his daily SiriusXM talk show, Webb also appears frequently on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity” and “The Five.”…..Sports USA adds a podcast featuring former NFL star and TV personality Fred Dryer to its programming.  Sports USA president Bob Moore says, “Fred Dryer is a true NFL legend and a major TV star.  We are excited to add Fred’s show to our growing list of digital audio programs…..WNYC, New York names David Lewis its new metro editor.  Lewis taught journalism at CUNY for the past seven years.

rabNAB to Feature RAB Sales and Marketing Sessions.  The Radio Advertising Bureau will present five revenue- and growth-oriented presentations at this year’s NAB Show.  RAB president and chief executive officer Erica Farber explains that, “The RAB is in the business of helping sellers on the street close deals and help drive revenue for the radio industry.  These sessions will drive home key lessons and tools of the trade.  NAB Show attendees will find these sessions invaluable to their future success in the broadcast business.”  Specifically, the Radio Advertising Bureau’s focus will be “Lunch and Learn – A Discussion on Radio’s Four Significant Issues;” “Concentrating on Core Radio Revenues;” “Creative Radio Commercial Production and Imaging;” and “Rapid-Fire Revenue Generators for Small and Medium Market Radio.”  The NAB Show will be held April 5 – 10 in Las Vegas.

whamradiothonWDVI-FM and WHAM in Rochester Hold Radiothon to Benefit Children’s Hospital.  Today and tomorrow Clear Channel Rochester stations hot AC WDVI “100.5 The Drive” and news/talk WHAM are broadcasting the annual “Drive For Miracles Radiothon” to benefit Golisano Children’s Hospital live from the lobby of Strong Hospital.  Throughout the event, on-air personalities from each station will talk with current and former patients, their families, and the hard-working hospital staff that “creates miracles” every day.  Personalities including WHAM’s Chet Walker, Bob Lonsberry, Shari Smith, Joe Lomonaco, and Bob Matthews and WDVI’s Bill Moran, Julie, JP, and “The Mayor” Pete Kennedy will broadcast from the hospital.

bfoa logoBFoA Names 2014 Ward L. Quaal Leadership Awards Recipients.  This year’s recipients of the 2014 Ward L. Quaal Leadership Awards have been announced by the Broadcasters Foundation of America.  They will be presented at the Foundation’s annual breakfast on Wednesday, April 9, at the Wynn Hotel during the National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas.  This year’s recipients are: Jim Beloyianis, past president, Katz TV; Dan Mason, president & CEO, CBS RADIO; Deborah Norville, host, “Inside Edition”; Mary Quass, president & CEO, NRG Media; Perry Sook, chairman/president & CEO, Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc.; and Nick Verbitsky, chairman, United Stations Radio Networks.  The Leadership Awards are given annually by the Broadcasters Foundation in recognition of career contributions to the broadcast industry and the community at large, and are named in honor of iconic broadcaster Ward L. Quaal.

Winter Weather Hits South and Northeast, ObamaCare Rollout Criticism, Afghanistan Prisoner Release, Paul NSA Suit, Debt Ceiling Raised, the Sochi Olympics and Gay NFL Prospect Comes Out Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/12).  The unusually severe winter weather bearing down on the South and the Northeast; scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act and President Obama’s unilateral delay of the employer mandate; Afghanistan’s release of numerous “dangerous” inmates and the state of the U.S.’s relationship with Hamid Karzai; Senator Rand Paul’s suit against the NSA; the GOP’s signing on with Democrats to raise the debt ceiling; the Sochi Winter Olympic Games; and the coming out of NFL prospect Michael Sam were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, January 27, 2014

| January 27, 2014

holdtheirfeet2014FAIR Announces 2014 ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ DC Radio Event.  The 8th annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row from Washington, DC will take place on April 9 and 10.  The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is organizing the broadcast event in which talk hosts from across the country will broadcast live for two days from Capitol Hill debating immigration reform while interviewing members of Congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists and citizens who live along the border.  FAIR reports, “This electronic town hall has grown each year due to mounting public concerns about illegaldanebob immigration and because of talk radio’s expanding influence on the public policy process.  With legislation expected in spring in the House, this year’s event is expected to be the largest yet with 60 or more hosts attending.”  FAIR communications director Bob Dane adds, “We gather each year with a shared goal: To secure our borders and fight for principled immigration reform that puts American interests first.  As usual, the wants and needs of Americans will be dismissed unless talk radio once again speaks on their behalf.  Hoping that no one will notice, House Speaker John Boehner is planning to introduce the massive Senate amnesty bill in bits and pieces and massively increase foreign guest workers with no regard for unemployed Americans.  Moreover, President Obama will continue abusing his executive power to grant backdoor amnesty.  Both must be stopped.”  This year’s event is taking place at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill in Washington.  Reservations are required and hosts/producers should call now.  There is no cost to attend and all technical engineering and ISDN lines are provided by Silver Lake Audio of New York, the official engineering firm for “Hold Their Feet to the Fire.”  Congressional guests, activists, high-profile media personalities, and immigration experts will be in attendance and available throughout the event for wall-to-wall interviews.

podcastone logoGreenlee Named Chief Technical Officer at PodcastOne.  Joining PodcastOne in the newly created position of chief technical officer is Rob Greenlee, who most recently served with Microsoft as podcast content platform manager.  Greenlee will divide his time between Beverly Hills and Seattle and will report directly to CEO Norm Pattiz, who comments, “No one knows more about podcasts than Rob Greenlee.  Having him join our company is a huge boost to our brand, the credibility of the company and the future growth of the platform.  We’re all very excited about adding Rob to the executive team at PodcastOne.”  Greenlee adds, “I am excited to be joining PodcastOne and being offered the opportunity to help Norm and the PodcastOne team build a great online entertainment brand that gives much value to audiences and advertisers.  I see Norm Pattiz and PodcastOne’s entry into this space as a key catalyst to the recognition and respect this 10 year old medium deserves.”  Greenlee spent seven years at Microsoft overseeing the video and audio podcasts platform at Xbox Live, Windows Phone and Zune, as well as managing the business, content partner relations and strategy around the podcasts platform service for Microsoft.

foxnewsradioReinoso Joins Fox News Radio to Produce Alan Colmes Program.  Radio pro Albert Reinoso has been working with New York radio icon Alex Bennett since the latter was a part of the SiriusXM talk lineup.  After Bennett parted ways with SiriusXM, Bennett and Reinoso began producing daily internet radio shows hosted by Bennett and Reinoso under the banner of Bennett’s Great American Broadcast Network.  Now, Reinoso adds duties at Fox News Radio producing the nationally syndicated Alan Colmes program as well as some other programming.  Reinoso tells TALKERS magazine he will continue to work with Bennett’s company and host his own “I Apologize” internet radio show while working for Fox.  Reinoso’s program currently airs at 11:00 am ET, immediately following Bennett’s show which hits the internet at 10:00 am ET.

weei logoWEEI-FM, Boston Promotes Zarbano to Executive Producer.  At Entercom’s sports talk WEEI-FM, Boston, producer Joe Zarbano is upped to executive producer for the station.  Zarbano has been serving as producer for the evening show “Planet Mikey” hosted by Mike Adams and the midday “Mut and Merloni” program featuring Mike Mutnansky and Lou Merloni.  Zarbano reports to WEEI brand manager Kevin Graham who says, “Since I arrived in Boston last fall, Joe has served as a valuable resource.  He’s passionate about the product and is the ultimate team player.  I’m thrilled he will continue in an expanded role as we move the WEEI brand forward throughout New England.”

comscore logoPublic Comment Period Opens on Nielsen’s LinkMeter Sale to comScore.  When the deal for Nielsen to acquire radio ratings giant Arbitron was scrutinized by the Federal Trade Commission, one of the stipulations was that Nielsen would have to preserve the development of the LinkMeter technology being developed by Arbitron in conjunction with comScore and ESPN.  That technology seeks to measure use across multiple media such as radio, TV and internet.  With Nielsen developing its own service to accomplish the same goal, the FTC was concerned about the acquisition leaving just Nielsen developing cross-media measurement.  It was expected that Nielsen would arrange to sell the LinkMeter to comScore and that’s what’s happened.  The FTC states that the proposed order requires Nielsen to sell and license, for at least eight years, certain assets related to Arbitron’s cross-platform audience measurement services to an FTC-approved buyer.  Accordingly, in its petition Nielsen is seeking FTC approval to divest the LinkMeter assets, license certain assets and capabilities, and provide equipment and services, to comScore.  The petition details why Nielsen believes that comScore would be an appropriate party to acquire these assets.  Public comments may be submitted to the FTC through February 24.

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 Set for Friday, June 20.  The TALKERS magazine annual national talk media industry conference enters its 17th consecutive year as the date and site have been set for the next installment of the industry’s largest, longest-running and most important gathering.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “This will be the most important installment of this can’t-miss conference ever because it will deal with some of the most sensitive and existential issues facing not only the talk side of the business, but all of what we still call ‘radio.’  It should not be missed, plain and simple, by anyone or any company serious about their future in this industry.”  Registrations for the event are limited only to people who are members of the working media (meaning actively or recently employed in the industry or associated industries) and can only be booked by telephone with credit card.  Individual registrations for the entire event including all sessions, presentations, breakfast, lunch, refreshments and receptions are $249.  As usual, because of space limitations and the quality of this long-established event, an early sellout is expected.  Stand by for ongoing information about speakers, agenda and hotel suggestions in the days ahead.  For further registration and sponsorship information, please call 413-565-5413.

ramseydaveDave Ramsey Holds Down Afternoons at KSTE, Sacramento.  Nationally syndicated talk star Dave Ramsey is now heard live from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Clear Channel’s KSTE, Sacramento.  Clear Channel Sacramento VP of programming Ken Charles states, “I love Dave and I know our audience will too.  Anyone who can make our listeners smarter about their money is an important voice to hear in this turbulent economy.”  Ramsey show VP for broadcast Brian Mayfield adds, “Our fans in Sacramento have been asking for a place to listen and we are excited to be a part of the new lineup at KSTE.  It’s a great station with an awesome team, we could not be more thrilled.”

silversteinlouSouthwest Broadcasting Owner Lou Silverstein Dies at 87.  The longtime owner of news/talk KYCA and beautiful music KAHM in Prescott, Arizona passed away on January 18 after complications from pneumonia.  He was a lifelong radio pro who worked in sales and management prior to buying KYCA in 1970 and later putting KAHM on the air.  His obituary states he got his first radio job at KTUC, Tucson and did ad sales for KRIZ and KUPD before forming Southwest Broadcasting and buying KYCA.  He was inducted into the Arizona Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2002.

Russ Withers Passes at 76.  The Withers Broadcasting founder passed away at his daughter’s home in Mount Vernon, Illinois on Saturday from natural causes at age 76.  Withers’ company owned 30 radio stations and six TV stations.  NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton commented about him, “Russ Withers was a true original.  He was a stalwart in defense of local broadcasting, colorful with a quote, and comfortable in the halls of Congress and at the FCC advocating on NAB’s behalf.”

nielsen logoHoliday 2013 PPM Data Released.  The ratings for the Holiday 2013 PPM survey period are being released by Nielsen Audio.  The fourth and final round of PPM data for 12 markets including Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford are out and that information — along with Holiday 2013 PPM ratings for all 48 PPM markets — can be found at our sister publication RadioInfo.com right here.  Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian offers his “Ten Takeaways” from the fourth round of the Holiday PPM here.

radeltreyFormer WFSX-FM, Fort Myers Talk Personality Trey Radel to Resign from Congress.  After a bust for cocaine possession that came to light in November of last year, Republican Florida Representative Trey Radel will announce his resignation from Congress today.  Radel was a TV newsman who moved to radio as morning drive host at Sun Broadcasting news/talk station WFSX-FM, Fort Myers “92.5 Fox News” before running for the U.S. House in 2012.  Radel completed a 30-day rehab stint for alcohol and drug dependency after the arrest and was prepared to forge ahead with his political career but the Associated Press reports that pressure from GOP leaders and a looming House Ethics Committee investigation forced Radel’s hand.

parkernicoleariOdds & Sods.  At Saturday evening’s Radio & Television News Association of Southern California Golden Mike Awards, CBS RADIO all-news KNX picked up six awards.  The station won for Best News Broadcast Over 15 Minutes; Best Newscast Writing; Best Live Coverage of a News Story; Best Hard News Series Reporting; Best Light Feature Reporting; and Best News Special…..The nationally syndicated “Café Mocha” program announces that actress and entrepreneur Nicole Ari Parker joins the program as a special celebrity correspondent.  Parker – currently starring in NBC TV’s “Revolution” – has been a guest host on the program hosted by comedienne/TV host Loni Love, rap legend MC Lyte and radio veteran Angelique Perrin.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

| December 12, 2013

quinnandrose‘Quinn & Rose’ Honor Commitments, Forge Ahead in Post-WPGB Career.  Pittsburgh-based talk radio morning show “Quinn & Rose” – Jim Quinn and Rose Tennent – are not looking back after their 10-year relationship with Clear Channel’s news/talk WPGB, Pittsburgh ended last month.  As TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian notes in his story about the duo published today (12/12), not only are Quinn and Tennent continuing to operate their web base warroom.com, they are honoring commitments to listeners, charities and businesses made before their exit from the radio station.  They have also been keeping in touch via social media with many of their P1s who’ve rallied around the duo.  Tennent says, “I thought that I knew our audience was loyal – but I never knew just how loyal and passionate they were about the show. They really seem to care about what is happening to us personally. I am very moved by the response.”  Read more about Jim Quinn and Rose Tennent here.

cookehollandLife After Arbitron: Day One.  Media consultant and TALKERS magazine contributor Holland Cooke reports in from the first day of the Nielsen Audio Client Conference & Jacobs Media Summit in Baltimore.  Presentations focused on operating radio stations in a multi-platform universe; the importance of solving the problem of competing for ad dollars against media that can provide specific data; and the use of social media.  Check out Holland Cooke’s report here.

theblaze logoYear-End Special Available from Premiere and TheBlaze.  Premiere Networks announces the availability of an exclusive, three-hour radio special, “TheBlaze: The Year in Your Ear,” – a comprehensive review of 2013 featuring different perspectives from the hosts and writers of TheBlaze, Glenn Beck’s news, information and entertainment network.   The company states, “From the government shutdown and North Korea missile threats, to the Boston Marathon bombings and the George Zimmerman trial, listeners will be treated to a recap of the biggest national events, news headlines and stories that shaped America in 2013.”  Premiere reports the show is already cleared on KOA, Denver; WOAI, San Antonio; WPGB, Pittsburgh; KPRC, Houston; and KNRS, Salt Lake City, to name a few.  It’s available for air between 12/25 and 1/5/14.

sabowalterThe $1.4 Billion Mystery: What Do Women Want?  According to Sabo Media chairman Walter Sabo, the talk radio industry continues its modern era tradition of turning down a significant piece of the $1.4 billion advertising budget spent annually by the advertising community on female-targeted talk television.  In a newly-posted article, Sabo writes these TV programs discuss:

- Relationships

- Celebrity gossip

- Diet & exercise

- Personal finance

- Parenting

- Balancing home and work

- Shopping

To read Walter Sabo’s entire piece, please click here.

dryerfredFred Dryer to Appear in TV Series.  CRN Digital Talk Radio personality Fred Dryer (also a former pro football star and a seasoned actor) will appear in a recurring role in the NBC series “Crisis.”  Dryer hosts a weekly talk show for CRN called “The PM Show with Fred Dryer” that airs Wednesdays at 7:00 pm ET.  CRN CEO Mike Horn says, “Fred is such a talented, multi-faceted actor.  He’s also a great guy – so as fans of his work and him as a person, we’re very excited.”  Dryer plays Thomas Jefferson Smith, a powerful, confident and wise CIA agent who, despite being in his 60s, can still kick butt.  The Rand Ravich thriller centers on Washington’s most powerful players pulled into an international conspiracy.  To bring the most powerful people in the world to their knees, the conspirator must threaten what everyone holds most dear. The “Crisis” cast includes other stars such as Dermot Mulroney, Gillian Anderson, Rachael Taylor and James Lafferty.

salemcommunicationsSalem Communications Spotlighted by Bloomberg Businessweek.  The business-focused publication shines a spot on Salem Communications after its recently announced purchase of Twitchy.com from conservative media figure Michelle Malkin.  The piece notes that the company is using profits from its radio assets to fund acquisition of digital properties and that fits with its conservative political philosophy.  Felix Gillette writes, “The move may signal that the same forces currently driving consolidation in the digital news industry at large are starting to gain momentum among the ranks of conservative news publishers online.  Since the advent of the internet, a diverse constellation of conservative news outlets has sprung up across the country, creating a rich buffet for GOP-loving readers – and a major logistical challenge for the advertisers hoping to reach them.  In theory, bringing more of the sites under a smaller number of roofs will appeal to the ad buyers who oversee rising digital marketing budgets while simultaneously providing cost savings for the publishers. Thus, the increasing pressure to consolidate.”  The piece reports that in fiscal 2012 Salem “generated $108 million of gross profit on $229 million of revenue.  Of the company’s operating income, significantly more came from its radio group ($47 million) than from its websites ($3.7 million).”  It also points to Politico which says it hears Salem is in talks to buy Eagle Publishing – owner imprints Regnery Publishing, Regnery History, Eagle Financial Publications as well as digital destinations RedState.com and MarkSkousen.com.

ObamaCare Criticism, Budget Deal/GOP Stalls on Nominees, Mandela Tribute Sign Interpreter Controversy, and Obama Selfie-Flirting Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/11).  Scrutiny of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and criticism of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius; the budget deal and the Republicans’ stall tactics on President Obama’s judicial nominees; the controversy over the sign-language interpreter at the Nelson Mandela tribute; and criticism over President Obama’s taking a selfie and “flirting” with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Life After Arbitron: Day One

| December 12, 2013

Holland Cooke
Talkers/RadioInfo Contributor
Media Consultant

cookenielsenconference 200BALTIMORE — When you hear Kenny G Christmas music wafting through a Maryland hotel lobby, you must be at the annual Arbitron Client Conference.  But this year, a new “Nielsen Audio” logo welcomed curious attendees.  And in just the first few hours, the logic behind this change became apparent.

The recent TALKERS Los Angeles conference (10/10/13) began with Sean Hannity voicing a concern echoed by other on-air talent: “Radio” content we’re creating is no longer just transmitter-based.  Yet talent is evaluated, and advertising is priced, based upon consumption of transmitter-delivered work.

“You have to have a multi-platform strategy, and you need to tailor your content for each device.”

Nielsen Audio SVP of radio station services Gary Meo was among presenters detailing how consumers and technology and demographics are re-defining our medium, and how his company’s beyond-radio scope is aggregating consumption data beyond Arbitron’s AM/FM focus.  “The smartphone is clearly the device of choice for Millennials.” Another speaker told us that, the night before, in Washington, NPR had sold – yep, sold – 300 tickets to the taping of a podcast.

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Friday, November 15, 2013

| November 15, 2013

rhodesrandiPremiere Reverses Course; Keeps Randi Rhodes on Syndication Menu. There are no reports indicating just what happened between Randi Rhodes and syndicator Premiere Networks but the latter is confirming the widely reported news that Rhodes will continue to be syndicated by Premiere, at least through 2014.  Premiere SVP of affiliate relationspremierenetworks logo Peter Tripi emailed affiliates, “In a happy turn of events, we are pleased to announce that Premiere Networks will continue to produce and distribute the Randi Rhodes show.  In an industry of constant change, it’s a pleasure to provide good news about a talk talent we think so highly of.  We apologize for any inconvenience the previous announcement caused, but look forward to a very successful 2014 with the Randi Rhodes show.”  Several weeks ago, Rhodes began telling her audience she was foreseeing the end of her program and later Premiere notified affiliates the relationship would be ending.

kabclogoKABC and KLOS Could Fetch Roughly $90 Million. Before you start feverishly looking for loose change behind sofa cushions and envision putting together a consortium, that is the estimated price for (just) the real estate of the Cumulus-owned talk and rock combo.  For decades, KABC and KLOS have operated from a 45,000-square-foot broadcast facility that sits on a 10-acre Los Angeles site at La Cienega and Jeffersonkloslogo Boulevard.  It is close to a stop on the Expo Line rail route connecting downtown LA and Culver City.  In an article in yesterday’s (11/14) Los Angeles Times, Roger Vincent notes that, “The area is considered ripe for mixed-use development that might include apartments, offices and stores.  Real estate experts familiar with transit-oriented development say the Baldwin Hills site could command $200 a square foot, or more than $90 million,” although Cumulus reportedly has not officially set a price for the KABC-KLOS property.  The LA Times piece quotes an unnamed Cumulus spokesperson who indicates company officials feel the Los Angeles property is a “greatly underutilized asset.” Cumulus has decided to sell it “to free up cash to redeploy in other areas of the business.”  One option under consideration would be to have KABC and KLOS remain as tenants at the location following the sale.

nielsen logoNielsen Trims Payroll by as Many as 500 Positions.  The statement from Nielsen is vague company-speak – “As part of the integration of Nielsen Audio, Nielsen is implementing changes across the company to enhance growth and to align our resources to meet and exceed client needs. These changes will improve productivity and innovation for the benefit of our organization, clients and shareholders.”  However, unsubstantiated reports swirling through the industry are that as many as 500 former Arbitron staffers are being let go as Nielsen brings the radio ratings division fully into the parent company.  The move is not surprising – or shouldn’t be – to anyone who’s been in this business for a while.  Nielsen reported to shareholders that it would be able to realize $20 million in “synergies” and that money has to come from somewhere.  In late September, when TALKERS wrote that staffers at Arbitron are wondering how many jobs will be cut as a result of the acquisition, Nielsen was quick to issue a statement saying the company had, “no plans to reduce headcount at this time,” which we reported on October 2.  TALKERS sees the dismantling of the Arbitron brand and all that it stood for in this clandestine manner as a red flag that should not go by without at least comment.  Those who recall the sale of the iconic trade publication Radio & Records to Nielsen in 2006 will remember the company making similar statements about its intentions to use its formidable resources to grow the magazine and increase its services to the radio industry.  However, in 2009, Nielsen shut the publication down.  In a recent speech at the NAB Radio Show in Orlando, TALKERS and RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison stated that for radio to thrive, let alone survive, in his new digital era – it must celebrate and protect its “radio-ness,” and avoid being assimilated into the multi-media soup of the 21st century at the expense of its unique industry and cultural identity.  We hope that the powers-that-be at Nielsen show more respect for the specialness of radio in the days going forward and that they will be held accountable for significant discrepancies between their words and actions.

ordwayglennGlenn Ordway Lands Weekend Gig at SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio.  Longtime WEEI, Boston sports talk personality Glenn Ordway will begin hosting “The Big Weekend Show with Glenn Ordway” on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio channel this weekend.  Ordway’s show will air Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00 am to 11:00 am.  Ordway – who spent the early part of his radio career as a Boston Celtics commentator – was instrumental in the building of Entercom’s WEEI, Boston where he created “The Big Show” afternoon drive program.  His work in sports talk radio in Boston goes back to his days at talker WRKO where he hosted “Sportscall,” beginning in 1981.  He worked at WEEI from 1987 until leaving the station in the spring of this year.

duncanchrisWXOS, St. Louis Renews with Chris Duncan; Announces New Program Schedule.  Hubbard Radio’s WXOS, St. Louis “101 ESPN” announces it has signed a contract renewal with sports talk host – and former St. Louis Cardinals star – Chris Duncan.  The term of the contract was not announced.  Program director Chris “Hoss” Neupert states, “We are excited to have Chris continue with ‘101ESPN,’ he is a tremendously talented guy and a hard worker who prepares in great depth every day to entertain and inform the ‘101ESPN’ audience.”  At the same time, the station announces its new post-morning drive lineup effective 11/25: Kevin Wheeler, 9:00 am to 12:00 noon; “The Turn” with Chris Duncan and Anthony Stalter, 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm; and “The Fast Lane” with Randy Karraker and D’Marco Farr (with Brad Thompson joining the show on Monday, January 6th, 2013) from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

fccnewFCC Approves Hiking Foreign Ownership Limit; NAB Approves.  The mood at the Federal Communications Commission was ebullient as all five commissioners signed on to a policy change that would allow for foreign investment in U.S. broadcasting signals.  The new policy would not put a strict limit on the percentage of interest allowed but would only kick in the FCC’s scrutiny if the stake goes above 25%.  The days of concern over foreign control over content on American airwaves are long over and the NAB weighed in on the change, with president and CEO Gordon Smith stating, “NAB applauds the FCC for providing flexibility in commission rules allowing increased foreign investment in broadcast TV and radio stations.  We are especially pleased the FCC recognized that local broadcasters routinely provide ‘local news, Amber Alerts and public safety information’ to serve our communities.  Today’s vote provides broadcasters greater access to capital that will allow local stations to continue our indispensable role as the primary purveyor of news, entertainment and lifeline information to the American people.”

blairderricknowitsthenewsTalk Media Network Brings Weekly Satirical News Program into the Fold.  “Now It’s the News with Derrick Blair” joins the Josh Leng-led Talk Media Network.  The company says in a statement, “While many shows embrace talking points and are overly predictable, Derrick Blair brings a refreshing approach to ‘Now It’s The News,’ in the genre of ‘enlightened entertainment’ that includes ‘The Colbert Report’ found on Comedy Central.”  Blair adds, “In the truest spirit of bipartisanship, ‘Now It’s The News’ will continue to mock the left, the right, the center, and all points in between.”  Josh Leng comments on the one-hour, weekly program, “’Now It’s The News with Derrick Blair’ appeals to core radio listeners who love news and politics, but also to a much wider audience who simply enjoy a good laugh and quality entertainment.  Derrick’s show is 100% original, and serves as a perfect bridge between political and non-political programming, giving listeners a humorous transition. It’s also a great way to laugh off some of the stress that can build up during the week.”  The program has been in syndication since 2010.

cumulus logoCumulus-Townsquare Deal Closes.  Yesterday, Cumulus Media announced that it had completed the sale to Townsquare Media, LLC of 53 radio stations in 12 small and mid-sized markets for approximatelytownsquare logo $238 million in cash, and the swap with Townsquare of 15 radio stations in two small and mid-sized markets in exchange for five radio stations in Fresno, California (together, the “Townsquare Transaction”).  Cumulus reports in an 8-K filing that it intends to use the cash proceeds from the Townsquare Transaction to fund a portion of the purchase price payable to complete its previously announced acquisition of Dial Global, Inc., now known as WestwoodOne.  This acquisition is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2013.

marksidWPHT, Philadelphia Celebrates 57 Years of Sid Mark’s Broadcast Career. The Philadelphia broadcaster is best known these days for his nationally syndicated weekly program “The Sounds of Sinatra.”  Home base – news/talk station WPHT, Philadelphia – is celebrating the career of Sid Mark tonight at a special, sold-out event at Galdo’s in Philadelphia to celebrate his 57th year hosting “The Sounds of Sinatra.”  The evening will feature Bobby Rydell and the sounds of the 17-piece big band City Rhythm Orchestra paying tribute to Sid Mark.  CBS Radio Philadelphia SVP and market manager Marc Rayfield says, “Sid is not only a Philadelphia treasure, but a national treasure as well.  His legendary voice has insured that another legendary voice has remained quite legendary.  We are honored to have him as a member of our team at WPHT.”  Sid Mark launched “The Sounds of Sinatra” in Philadelphia 57 years ago after a caller suggested that Sid spin one hour of Frank Sinatra songs.  That tradition developed into “Friday with Frank,” as well as “Sunday with Sinatra” which presently airs on 1210 WPHT on Sundays from 9:00 to 1:00 pm.  “The Sounds of Sinatra,” now heard on more than 100 radio stations from coast to coast, is the only radio program of its kind to have been personally authorized by Frank Sinatra.

ramseygreenvilleDave Ramsey Fills the House in Greenville.  Nationally syndicated talk superstar Dave Ramsey is pictured here on stage in Greenville, South Carolina last night presenting his new “Legacy Journey LIVE!” The program discusses how to win with money, strengthen marriages and lead your children with confidence.  His daughter, Rachel Cruze, joined Ramsey on stage. Ramsey combined forces with local affiliate WORD, to promote the event.  Entercom Upstate director of news and programming Bob McLain states, “As a heritage partner with Dave Ramsey it’s a pleasure to be able to welcome Dave and Rachel Cruze to the Upstate…The opportunity for ‘WORD 106.3’ to partner with Dave in this venture, as we do on the air, just helps to cement the personal relationship our listeners have with Dave and the station.”  Also, on Wednesday, Ramsey hosted his “EntreLeadership 1 Day Event” in Birmingham, Alabama with speaker Chris Hogan addressing how to run a business using the same common sense principles that Ramsey practices in his own company of more than 350 employees.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Envision Radio Networks’ “America Weekend” featuring hosts Paul Harris, Turi Ryder and Rob Carson, is added to the program schedule at Blount Broadcasting Corporation’s talk WKVL and rock WNFZ in Knoxville, Tennessee…..Genesis Communications Networks-syndicated Dr. Daliah Wachs joins the program lineup at WZGM, Asheville, North Carolina.

ObamaCare Rollout Criticism Tops Talkers TenTM.  The ongoing criticism of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio for the fourth straight week.  At #2 this week was the GOP strategy for the 2014 and 2016 elections tied with analysis of the November 5 elections.  Following at #3 was President Obama’s declining poll numbers tied with the new Benghazi allegations and at #4 was the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.  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 chart here.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

| September 26, 2013

savagemichaelMichael Savage Makes It Official: Moves to PM Drive in January.  Cumulus Media Networks talk star Michael Savage confirmed to listeners to his Wednesday evening program that he will move to the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET slot for the live broadcast of his program beginning in January.  As Savage said to fans last month, he will take over the slot currently held by Premiere Networks’ Sean Hannity on 60 stations owned by Cumulus Media including a number of major market news/talk stations — WABC, New York; WMAL, Washington; WBAP, Dallas; KSFO, San Francisco; WJR, Detroit; and WLS-AM, Chicago.  Clear Channel is promising to clear Hannity in markets where Cumulus currently airs thehannitysean program.  At WLS, the local program “Roe & Roeper” featuring Roe Conn and Richard Roeper airs from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  If, indeed Savage moves to the 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm CT timeslot, something’s gotta give there.  At WJR, Detroit, Hannity currently airs from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm when local host Mitch Albom takes over from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Even during his long tenure with TRN, Savage’s afternoon broadcast time on the West Coast pushed his live program into the evening hours in the East.  This is his first opportunity for Savage to air live in PM drive in the East.  In an official statement from Cumulus, Savage says, “With this important time slot as well as the iconic Cumulus stations coveted by everyone in radio, I hope to edutain the world.  Politics will always be my mainstay but there is so much more to talk about.  Breaking news and science, religion, films, books have always been my calling cards.  With these new stations, I break out a new deck.”  Commenting on the forthcoming change, TALKERS magazine publish Michael Harrison states, “This move of Michael Savage to afternoon drive on a variety of Cumulus heritage stations coupled with the high-profile accent of Sean Hannity to an almost impenetrable national phalanx of heavyweight Clear Channel sticks such as the legendary WOR, New York, that will welcome his arrival with  major promotion and enthusiasm, is an exciting shot in the arm for news/talk radio in general across America.  Having a choice between Hannity and Savage on the dial during afternoon drive in every major East Coast market (and earlier elsewhere) is sure to increase overall listening and the image of the format for all concerned.”

cainepaulWestwoodOne CEO Paul Caine Speaks on Ad Week Panel.  Speaking on a panel discussion titled, Kings of Content, as part of the events surrounding “Advertising Week” in New York City on Wednesday, WestwoodOne CEO Paul Caine touted the expanding value of audio to advertisers as it moves beyond just the traditional AM/FM radio model.  Caine also echoed the statements made by RadioInfo/TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison during his speech at the NAB/RAB Radio Show last week when he noted that content without the proper platform is not “king,” that a respected and recognized platform is necessary to successfully deliver good content.  Caine stated that the industry needs to build both content and platforms that consumers want.  In explaining the growing nature of audio, Caine said the newer forms of content are those people use when they aren’t able to view a screen or read.  “We have to think about it as long-form, whether that’s an NFL game, which we broadcast, to short-form which is podcasting, to shorter-form which is social audio that can be put into bite-sized content and shared with your friends.”  Caine said the numerous ways in which audio content is now packaged is good for advertisers.  “Companies like ours have been growing in terms of our ability to reach more consumers.”

lm communications logoL.M. Communications Fights Back in Arbitron Copyright Infringement Suit.  Arbitron’s suit for copyright infringement of its radio ratings data against Lexington, Kentucky-based broadcaster L.M. Communications is under order by U.S. District Court Judge Karen K. Caldwell for both sides to meet to see if they can come to a settlement and then file a report with the court.  This comes as L.M. argues Arbitron does not have and cannot own copyright rights to the data.  L.M. states, “Plaintiff… has known, or should have known, that it does not, and cannot, own any copyright rights in any data, information, rankings, or other factual listings, and that it cannot prevent third parties including radio stations from receiving and using this unprotectable data.  Despite this knowledge, Plaintiff has attempted to impermissively extend the scope of any copyright rights it may have, in a calculated campaign to maintain its monopolistic stranglehold on the radio ratings market.  Plaintiff has done so through threats and filing of multiple lawsuits and by improperly manipulating its data to punish nonsubscribers.  This improper manipulation includes, among other things, threatening to gerrymander radio station markets to improperly force subscription to Arbitron’s services, and outright exclusion from the data rankings of non-subscriber stations as if they do not exist at all.  Arbitron has announced plans to implement additional discriminatory practices in the future including combining simulcast data for only subscribing stations to give them an advantage over nonsubscribers.  In doing so, plaintiff has made a mockery of the very ‘facts’ and ‘data’ it seeks to protect.  Plaintiff’s misconduct in engaging in acts of copyright misuse has the effect of rendering Plaintiff’s copyrights, to the extent valid at all, unenforceable.”  According to the judge’s orders, the two sides must have met by October 9 and filed a report by October 19.

boomercartonCBS Sports Network Enters into ‘Boomer & Carton’ TV Simulcast Picture.  The television simulcast of WFAN, New York’s “Boomer & Carton” morning drive show is currently aired on the local MSG Network but that deal ends on Monday.  The New York Daily News is reporting that joining the Yankees-owned YES Network in the bidding process is the show’s parent company-owned CBS Sports Network cable channel.  Although the exclusive negotiation period between the program and MSG has ended, MSG has the right to match any offer.  The Daily News says sources close to the situation say the fledgling cable sports channel was originally interested in simulcasting the CBS Sports Radio Network morning show with Tiki Barber, Brandon Tierney and Dana Jacobson but is now interested in Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton.  As the paper observes, Boomer & Carton are a local show and if they “go national” via CBS Sports Network, would they alter their content to appeal to a national audience?  We’ll probably have the answers to these and other questions before the current deal ends on Monday.

wproWPRO, Providence Takes a Look at Journalism in the Digital Age as Part of Live Debate Series.  The event takes place today from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm at Roger Williams University in Providence with WPRO’s Tara Granahan moderating the discussion.  It’s the fourth in the station’s debate series and it’s titled, “Reading Between the Lines,” andgranahantara examines the complexities of funding and producing journalism in the digital age.  It is being streamed live at 630WPRO.com and will be the center piece of a WPRO Special Report scheduled to air during the “WPRO Morning News with Gene Valicenti” the week of September 30.  Panelists include: Mark Patinkin, columnist for the Providence Journal; Linda Levin, former dean of URI’s Journalism Department; Barbara Meagher, URI professor and former TV reporter; John Howell, owner and publisher of the Warwick Beacon and Cranston Herald; Dan MacGowan, blogger and reporter from WPRI-TV; and Michael Skully, assistant professor of communications at Roger Williams University.

carlsongretchenOdds & Sods.  Fox News Channel unveils new program, “The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson,” to debut in the 2:00 pm ET slot on Monday, September 30.  Carlson left the “Fox & Friends” morning show to focus on this new program.  She was replaced by Elisabeth Hasselbeck.  Carlson says in a statement, “I am thrilled that Roger Ailes has given me the opportunity to host a signature show for Fox that will focus on the real stories of the day.  From in-depth interviews to social media interaction live during the show, I look forward to joining viewers in the afternoon for smart and straight-forward talk.”…..Synergy is going on at CBS Sports Radio Network where Boomer Esiason – co-host of WFAN, New York’s “Boomer & Carton” show and host of the network’s “Sports Minute” feature will call in to the network’s Jim Rome program every Friday at 12:20 ET during football season…..ESPN Radio’s Thursday night game this week is Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech with Bill Rosinski calling the action along with analyst David Norrie and sideline reporter Joe Schad.  Also ESPN Radio’s “SVP & Russillo” will broadcast live tomorrow from the set of ESPN TV’s College GameDay Built by The Home Depot at Myers Quad on the campus of the University of Georgia in advance of the Georgia vs LSU game on Saturday…..SiriusXM debuts a new 24/7 comedy channel called “Just For Laughs” that features over 30 years of stand-up comedy drawn from the comedy archives of the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal, including the work of established comedians, new faces, international superstars, and stand-up from comedians before they were stars…..The New York Times writer Carmen Wong Ulrich joins American Public Media to host the weekend program “Marketplace Money” beginning November 2.

entercomCool Job Opportunity.  Entercom San Francisco (96.5 KOIT, 95.7 The GAME, 102.9 KBLX, 98.5 & 102.1 KFOX) is looking for a web director who can immediately step in and be responsible for developing the voice for all aspects of the organization’s online presence. You must possess the skills to do web design and create and edit high quality video/graphics while maintaining our station’s websites on a daily basis.  In addition to writing, editing, and proofreading site content, this candidate will work closely with the corporate technical team to maintain site standards in regards to new development.  The web director will also be responsible for crafting site promotions, email newsletters and online outreach campaigns.  This job requires prior experience managing online marketing and outreach campaigns, strong attention to detail and an ability to work under tight deadlines.  The ideal candidate must have a STRONG knowledge and love of sports!  Additionally the web director should have an extensive knowledge and understanding of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), SEO, web analytics and digital marketing best practices.  Logistically, the web director implements web pages, maintains content including user clubs, web design, video editing, audio editing, digital and print ready and graphic.  The ideal candidate will be a brand evangelist who doesn’t just think outside of the box but can create a new one!  To be considered, please send your cover letter and resume to SCunningham@entercom.com and JBarrett@entercom.com. You can also find further details about the job responsibilities and skills required for this position in the careers section on http://www.entercom.com.  No phone calls please.  Entercom San Francisco is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

bfoagolfBroadcasters Foundation of America Raises $235,000 at Celebrity Golf Tourney.  The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces it brought in $235,000 to help broadcasters in need at its 2013 Celebrity Golf Tournament on Monday at the Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, New Jersey.  The organization says the funds come at a time when more broadcasters than ever are in need of assistance.  The Foundation expects to grant more than $850,000 in aid over the next year.  More than 150 broadcasters and celebrities turned out in support of the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation, including 30 sportscasters, athletes, and actors.  Celebrity golfers included Bruce Beck, WNBC-TV; Nick Buoniconti, NFL Super Bowl Champion; Craig Carton, WFAN; Duke Castiglione, Fox 5; Tina Cervasio, MSG Network; Howard Cross, NFL Super Bowl Champion; Maurice Dubois, WCBS-TV; John Franco, New York Mets Hall of Famer; Jay Harris, ESPN; Ann Liguori, WFAN Radio and ESPN; Otis Livingston, WCBS-TV; Sean McDonough, ESPN; Lonnie Quinn, WCBS-TV; Bill Raftery, CBS Sports; Sterling Sharpe, NFL Green Bay Packers Hall of Famer; Mike Woodson, New York Knicks; Chris Wragge, WCBS-TV, and more.

The Effort to Defund ObamaCare, Government Shutdown Threat, Climate Change Controversy, and U.S.-Iran Relations Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/25).  The attempt by members of the GOP to defund the Affordable Care Act; the threat of a federal government shutdown; the controversy over the science behind climate change; and the relations between the U.S. and Iran as the latter approaches completion of its nuclear program were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

| September 25, 2013

nielsenarbitronNielsen Says No Plans to Reduce Headcount.  In covering the Nielsen conference call with investors that took place on Monday, TALKERS took note of Nielsen CEO David Calhoun’s statement about realizing $20 million in synergies and, due to the fact that broadcasting companies often use that term to define the cost savings from elimination of duplicative positions and consolidation of duties after a merger or acquisition, interpreted his comment to mean the acquisition of Arbitron would mean exactly that for some of the Arbitron staff.  However, Nielsen tells TALKERS, “In fact, there are no plans to reduce headcount at this time, and as a growing business, we have many opportunities to redeploy talent.  Mr. Calhoun’s comment on a ‘logical and steady pace’ was related more to the pace of global expansion.”

wmyt logoTalk Media TV’s WMYT, Wilmington, North Carolina Holds ‘Ribbon Cutting’ Tomorrow.  News/talk outlet WMYT, Wilmington, North Carolina announces the “official ribbon-cutting ceremony” at its Wilmington broadcast studios — sponsored by the North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce – taking placewrightcurtis show logo Thursday, September 26 at 10:30 am.  The station is owned by Talk Media TV principals Curtis Wright and George Bell who put the station on the air on July 22.  The two say they built the station to appeal to conservative talk radio listeners whom they believe had lost a voice in Southeastern North Carolina.  They add, “WMYT 106.7 FM has returned America’s top syndicated conservative talk, subject talk and spoken-word shows to FM and the region.  Since the launch of WMYT 106.7 FM, five new locally produced shows have been added to its lineup, while expanding its audio streaming on the web.”  Wright hosts his “On the Beat” morning drive show from 6:00 am to 9:00 am.  The station also features Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck and Sean Hannity plus Courtside Entertainment’s Laura Ingraham.  George Bell is the former Brunswick County GOP chair and a life-long business professional in the region.  Talk Media TV’s business plan includes acquiring additional radio stations, expanding its internet broadcasting capabilities, and adding cable broadcasting over the next several months.

pittmanbobBob Pittman Stands Up for Radio at Goldman Sachs Ad Week Conference. Clear Channel chairman and CEO Bob Pittman is working the “Advertising Week” events in New York this week and today (9/25) he laid down the case for what he sees as radio’s rightful place in an advertising mix at the “Goldman Sachs Communacopia” investor conference.  The Hollywood Reporter’s Georg Szalai is covering the event and reports Pittman is saying (about radio), “’The sector is way under-represented’ while TV is over-represented in marketers’ media mix…‘TV is wonderful, is very effective, but doesn’t deserve quite as much money as it has.’”  Pittman argues that TV gets three times the rate that radio does but “all the studies show the impact is about the same.”  He then explains how advertisers could benefit by moving 15% of their ad spend into radio.  Clearly, when Pittman says, “There is a huge opportunity in radio…We need to monetize it better, sell it better,” he is trying to get the message through at the agency level, where an industry-wide sea change must take place.

mhNAB2013Michael Harrison’s NAB/RAB Radio Show Address Now Posted on TALKERS TV.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison’s annual address at the NAB/RAB Radio Show drew a standing-room-only crowd and rave reviews from those in attendance.  The speech which runs 56:33 includes an information-packed “countdown” of the 10 most important things AM/FM radio must do to remain culturally relevant and thrive in the digital age of the 21st century.  In this ambitious and far-ranging overview of the state of broadcast radio, the man dubbed by the mainstream press as “The Wise Old Owl of the Radio Industry” connected the dots between Edward R. Murrow broadcasting live on rooftops from World War II bombing raids over London — to Murray the K anointing himself the “Fifth Beatle” — to today’s transitional period between the “old country” of the 20th century to the “new world” of the digital age – to the potential emergence of 21st century “Homo Technicus” listening to internet broadcasts piped directly into the temporal lobes of the brain via nanotechnology.  Harrison fearlessly speaks his mind about today’s debt-soaked radio mega-corporations that have emerged as a result of consolidation – to the dangers of mindless, product-less “branding” that plays to the shortcut mentality crippling today’s creative process in broadcasting. The speech received an ovation and was later described on the air by WSOY, Decatur morning host and Marconi Award winner Brian Byers as “sensational.”  Byers told his listeners it was “smokin’” and a “barn burner” saying, “He fired me up.  I looked around and the rest of the room was electric.  You could feel it in the air.  I can’t tell you how good it was!” To see Michael Harrison’s speech please check out the TALKERS TV box at the top of the right-hand column of this page.

sabowalterWALTER SABO: The Return of the Neat Idea.  Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo celebrates what he says it’s going to take to get radio back in a forward-moving position: the return to creatively operating the business.  In this new column, Sabo writes, “The current economic depression celebrates ‘operators’ — executives with shrewd ‘operating’ skills who are known for their ability to cut costs, cut staffs, sell their story to Wall Street and keep their company within its COMFORT ZONE.  They do not have, nor are they required to have, vision.  Knowing what’s next is the key to growth in any industry.  No vision, no growth.”  Sabo offers five steps to establishing an environment for the birth and implementation of neat ideas with pragmatic results.   Read this important column here.

cookehollandRadio Sales Lead: ObamaCare.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke says forget what people on the radio are saying about ObamaCare, start thinking about how your marketing department can get some of the advertising that’s coming from it.  He recommends a video webinar available from the RAB.  In it, Cooke says veteran broadcaster Dave Burke shares some of his research into the impact of the law on the stakeholders.  Cooke writes, “AP estimates that $684 million will be spent on the initial activation period; and Burke reckons that 2014-2015 and beyond will be even bigger than 2013-2014: ‘I believe that this category, all-in, could be the biggest category on your stations.’”  Read Holland Cooke’s column here.

kassof coContinuing Concern for Radio to Placate Men 18 – 34.  Something new can now be added to the growing list for those who grumble, “They don’t make them like that anymore.” Unfortunately, that item is radio.  A Mark Kassof & Company-conducted research project indicates that more than half (53%) of U.S. radio listeners aged 18 – 64 agree that, “Radio is not as good as it used to be.”  Approximately four in 10 (41%) disagree, while 6% are not sure.  “The perception that radio is not as good as it used to be seems pervasive in the industry,” Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Kassof comments. “This research reveals that a majority of listeners agree.”  The most criticism regarding radio’s overall quality can be found among those 18 – 34, with more than six in 10 (61%) concurring that what they are hearing these days through their radio speakers has slipped; 31% however disagree and the remaining 8% are neutral.  Men tend to be more pessimistic about the current state of the medium than women are.  Consistent with the above-stated trend – and highly noteworthy – Men 18-34 are the most negative, as two of every three in that demo (67%) are of the opinion that radio has seen better days.  Results of this Kassof study are based on slightly less than 1,000 online interviews conducted among U.S. radio listeners earlier this month (9/12 – 9/15).  Reacting to the findings of the Kassof study, TALKERS magazine sister trade, RadioInfo’s  music editor/director Duane Doobie states, “It reminds me of the famous line in Bob Dylan’s ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’ that so powerfully says ‘you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.’”

wbenNo More FM Signal for News/Talk WBEN, Buffalo.  Entercom is dropping the simulcast on news/talk WBEN, Buffalo and will install a different format on WLKK 107.7 licensed to Wethersfield Township (some 30 miles southeast of downtown Buffalo) beginning Thursday, September 26 at 12:00 noon.  WBEN program director Tim Wenger tells Buffalo Business First that research tells the company 95% of the listening to WBEN is done on the huge 930 AM signal.

schnitttoddOdds & Sods.  Compass Media Networks syndicated and WFLA, Tampa-based talk host Todd Schnitt was in court on Monday suing his former attorney Phillip Campbell for legal malpractice.   Campbell was arrested for DUI while representing Schnitt in his defamation suit against Bubba the Love Sponge but the DUI case was dismissed in July after prosecutors agreed Campbell was set up.  Schnitt maintains it damaged his case.  Schnitt paid Campbell $1 million and owes another $1 million but he’s suing to get the first $1 million back, according to myfoxtampabay.com…..The Fourth Period continues its relationship with SiriusXM and the media site that calls itself “hockey’s only lifestyle destination” adds a program dubbed “The Players’ Lounge” to the SiriusXM NHL Network Radio channel airing Friday’s from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET.  This is an addition to “TFP Live” which returns to the channel airing from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm ET hosted by TFP editor-in-chief David Pagnotta and VP Dennis Bernstein.

Government Shutdown Threat, ObamaCare Defunding/Implementation, U.S.-Iran Talks, and Kenya Mall Massacre Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/24).  The looming threat of a government shutdown; the fight to defund the Affordable Care Act and the consequences of its implementation; relations between the U.S. and Iran; plus the ongoing stalemate after a massacre by militant Muslims at a mall in Nairobi, Kenya were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, September 23, 2013

| September 23, 2013

cbsbarclayslgCBS Radio Partners with Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center.  In what is being called “an exclusive multi-year entertainment and sports initiative,” CBS Radio announces a partnership with the Brooklyn Nets and the Barclays Center.  This sounds like a big sports deal from the language in the press statement but it also allows for non-sports entertainment that could benefit CBS music stations.  The companies say they have formed a “strategic alliance that combines the strengths of the powerful media and entertainment brands, resulting in increased coverage on WFAN Sports Radio 66AM and 101.9 FM of the popular NBA team, select college basketball games under the BROOKLYN HOOPS presented by Ticketmaster franchise, and select BROOKLYN BOXING powered by Golden Boy Promotions bouts, as well as the creation of first-class concert events, and exposure of the landmark arena to audiences across the country.”  Further they state, “A unique aspect of the agreement calls for Barclays Center and CBS Radio to develop and jointly program a new concert series and live events hosted at the arena. These events will be promoted using the nationwide scale of CBS Radio’s 126 stations, the majority of which are located in the top 50 radio markets.  These co-produced events will offer out of market consumers the chance to experience Barclays Center firsthand through customized promotions and fly-away contests.”

nielsenarbitronFTC Gives Thumbs-Up To Nielsen Acquiring Arbitron.  The much-discussed acquisition of Arbitron by Nielsen Holdings gets regulatory clearance from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  The deal now becomes subject to usual closing conditions, but it is expected to become reality next Monday (9/30).  According to a statement released by Nielsen, “The combined company will expand advertising effectiveness for radio clients and be better able to solve for unmeasured areas of media consumption, such as streaming audio and out-of-home.”  It was at this time last year (September 2012) when Arbitron – working with ESPN and comScore – announced a cross-platform project.  The FTC decision effectively means that project will continue.  Reuters reports that, “The cross-platform services tell advertisers in a holistic way what customers watch on television, listen to on the radio, look at online and see on their mobile devices.”  If an FTC-approved third-party agrees to licensing terms and other requirements, Nielsen would make available for license Arbitron PPM and related data as well as software and technology currently being used in the ESPN project for the sole purpose of cross-platform measurement for up to eight years.  Nielsen chief executive officer David Calhoun comments, “We are looking forward to providing all of the benefits of the combined company to our new clients in the radio industry and their advertisers, driving incremental value for them as well as our shareholders.  This is a highly acceptable outcome for us as it doesn’t change the market landscape.”  This past December, Nielsen agreed to acquire all of the outstanding common stock of Arbitron for $48 per share, for a total purchase price of $1.3 billion.

millerchrisNew Opportunities for Radio in Social Media Marketing.  Digital media consultant and Talkers columnist Chris Miller says he firmly believes that for radio sales people “a social media arrow in your quiver would help open doors to more potential interactive clients.”  Miller writes that it’s understandable that radio sales people are concerned with selling their own inventory but it’s important to realize that advertisers are concerned with moving their products or selling their services.  Most will admit to wanting to use social media but don’t know how to go about it.  That, says Miller, is where you should come in.  Read Chris Miller’s entire piece here.

radioshow2013RAB/NAB Radio Show a Success.  Six senior members of the TALKERS/RadioInfo editorial team attended and provided in-depth coverage of last week’s NAB/RAB Radio Show in Orlando, Florida. The consensus among them is that this year’s installment of the conference was one of the most successful and productive in recent history.  This report card is based on the following criteria: 1) significant attendance during difficult economic times, 2) a well-balanced agenda that covered the most important bases of interest to radio broadcasters – namely programming, marketing, sales, and technical concerns, and 3) a reasonably realistic attitude toward the challenges facing the medium and business of radio relatively undistorted by the wishful thinking or mindless cheerleading that often comes along with the territory at conferences presented by trade associations.  In assessing the convention, TALKERS/RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison states, “This was the best Radio Show we’ve attended in many years.  It wasn’t watered down by the interests of its sponsors but rather really focused on what was best for its attendees – plain and simple – and the most important achievement being that it was targeted like a laser on the radio industry taking into account its most pressing existential concerns.”  Harrison’s special address at the TALKERS-sponsored “info-session” discussing the 10 things radio needs to do to remain vital to 21st century popular culture was delivered to a standing room-only crowd. It will be re-broadcast on TalkersRadio as well as TALKERS TV and RadioInfo TV within the next several days.  Stay tuned for details.

cookehollandRadio Show Wrap-Up.  Radio consultant and Talkers columnist Holland Cooke offers some final thoughts from the Friday edition of the 2013 Radio Show in Orlando.  Included in this column are some salient tidbits from the “Adventures in Copyrightland” panel dealing with some of the industry’s most common legal questions as well as takeaways from the Radio Show Luncheon.  Read Holland Cooke’s piece here.

wwwl logoEntercom to Add Local Talk to Re-Imaged Sports Talk WWWL, New Orleans.  Entercom prepares to change the programming on WWWL, New Orleans from straight sports talk from ESPN to what it is calling “3WL 1350 – a hybrid sports and local talk station.  The company says it “is an extension of the Gulf South POWERhouse, WWL AM/FM.  3WL builds on the success of this legendary New Orleans station by offering a ‘branch’ focused on the passions of New Orleans. 3WL will go live Monday, October 14.”  Entercom New Orleans GM Chris Claus states, “3WL 1350 celebrates the three greatest passions of New Orleanians: sports, food and fun!  Think of 3WL as a radio station as tasty as gumbo, as fun as Mardi Gras and as passionate as Saints fans on Sundays.  3WL will build on the tremendous success of WWL, but have a focus all its own. This is an exciting time for Entercom New Orleans and our clients. There is no city like New Orleans in America and there will be no station like 3WL in New Orleans.”  WWL PD Diane Newman is programming the station that will feature: T-Bob Hebert and Kristian Garic in morning drive; NBC Sports Radio’s Erick Kuselias in late morning; “The Food Show with Tom Fitzmorris” from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm; “The Lighter Side of the Spud Show” with John “Spud” McConnell of sister WWL from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm; and NBC Sports Radio the rest of the evening and overnight.

djohnnyJohnny D. Exits WSPD, Toledo.  Talk show host Johnny D. took over the afternoon drive program on Clear Channel’s news/talk WSPD, Toledo on a part-time basis after the departure of Brian Wilson from the station last November.  In February, Johnny D. was named permanent host of the program.  Now, the station moves on without him as program director Scott Sands takes over the program.  Clear Channel regional market manager Kellie Holeman confirms Johnny D.’s exit from the station to the Toledo Blade and says the replacement show will be “a new talk show featuring lively conversations about pop culture, breaking news, money, politics, technology, and sports with host Scott Sands and a ‘think tank’ of regular contributors from the local and national stage.”

weei logoRumors Indicate WEEI, Boston is Courting Curt Schilling for On-Air Gig.  In published reports in both the Boston Herald and the Boston Globe, there are rumors in the Boston sports talk radio scene that Entercom is making overtures to former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling to bring him aboard as a host – possibly on the PMschillingcurt drive show.  The Globe states that the station may be seeking to pair Schilling up with PM drive co-host Mike Salk and that Salk’s co-host Michael Holley is looking to get out of his contract with the station to join ESPN.  But Holley’s statement to the paper doesn’t indicate he’s ready to leave.  He said, “I haven’t heard anything.  I haven’t been informed that they’re looking to move on or change the show.  I think when we started in March, I think the acknowledgment was, it takes a while.  It takes a while for the new show to get its identity and for the co-hosts to develop chemistry.  I had never met Mike before March. We’re getting to know each other on the air and off.  I’d be surprised [if Entercom made a change] based on what I’ve been told, but you never know.’’  Writer Chad Finn wonders if Schilling – who obviously knows baseball – would be comfortable talking football, hockey and basketball.  The paper also reports WEEI has been trying to bring Comcast Sports Net New England’s Joe Haggerty for on-air work at the station.

herskovitzalAL HERSKOVITZ: To Beat the Devil.  Sale maven and H&H Broadcasting president Al Herskovitz says that radio sales people can take their stations to higher revenue plateaus with a little creative thinking in the areas of marketing, remote events and contesting.  Herskovitz writes that, yes there are concerns for anyone working in radio because “we live in a fast-paced, quickly changing society.  But until the day the mountains erupt and bolts of lightning come crashing out of the sky simultaneously, there still are things under our control that can be done.  And sales reps have one such tool in their hands at which they are supposed to be the experts.  It’s called “ADVERTISING!”  Sales departments that strive to creatively put radio’s unique attributes to work for them will survive longer than those that forget about what radio does best.  Read Herskovitz’s column here.

hennermariluMarilu Henner Profiled in TALKERS Tomorrow.  Actress and healthy lifestyle advocate Marilu Henner’s new talk radio show is being produced and repped by Sun Broadcast Group as she ventures into the business.  TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian recently spoke at length with Henner about her acting career, her work as an advocate for healthy lifestyles and her new talk radio show initiative.  About the latter, Henner says, “I knew radio would feel intimate, but I had no idea just how intimate.  I never realized how much fun it would be.”  You can read Mike Kinosian’s profile of Marilu Henner tomorrow at Talkers.com.  You can also meet Henner in person if you’re already registered for the sold out Talkers Los Angeles 2013 conference taking place on Thursday, October 10 at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood as she will be addressing the industry there.  For information about the conference, including remaining sponsorship opportunities, please call 413-565-5413.  To see the latest updated agenda, please click here.

savagemichaelOdds & Sods.  Cumulus Media Networks nationally syndicated talk host Michael Savage is added to the schedule at Entercom’ WRKO, Boston in the 10:00 pm to 1:00 am ET time slot..  This is a return to the station for Savage whose show aired there until he left syndicator TRN last fall.  Savage says in a statement, “The people in Boston are realists, we understand each other.  I appreciate the city.”…..News director and program director Adam Chappelle exits Black Crow Media’s news/talk WVGA, Valdosta, Georgia…..WJR, Detroit-based weekend talk show host Glenn Haege – host of “The Handyman Show” – is publishing an expanded version of his Fix it Fast and Easy publication as an eBook.  Haege has published 11 books and writes a column for the Detroit News.

skywatchtraffic logoMel Wheeler’s Roanoke and Lynchburg Stations Add Skywatch Traffic.  The Mel Wheeler Radio Group stations – country WSLC, Roanoke; news/talk WFIR-AM & 107.3, Roanoke; urban contemporary WVBE, Lynchburg; CHR WXLK, Roanoke “K 92,”; and adult contemporary WSLQ, Roanoke “Q99” – add Skywatch Traffic for traffic reporting.  In a press statement, Skywatch Traffic CEO Chuck Johnson says, “Both areas have grown in population and with the construction going on up and down I-81, it warrants the need for this partnership between all of these companies.  This type of service is very common in all major and medium size radio and TV markets.  Now Roanoke and Lynchburg has the service in place.  SML Aviation who also serves both cities has also jumped on board.”  Skywatch Traffic says it is now the third-largest traffic reporting company in the United States behind Total Traffic/Clear Channel and Radiant Traffic/Cumulus and serves 157 radio stations and 4 television markets.

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

| September 11, 2013

wfan logoYankees to Remain with CBS Radio but Move to WFAN; Status of Mets Unclear.  In a story in The New York Times, an executive privy to the negotiations tells the paper that the New York Yankees have re-upped with CBSyankees logo Radio to the tune of $15 million per year for 10 years – a $150 commitment on the part of CBS Radio. (The current contract for the Yankees on WCBS pays the team $14 million per season.)  However, the company’s flagship sports talk station WFAN-AM/FM will be where fans will hear the Yankees and not the National League rival Mets as they have for the past 25 years.  Reports indicate the Mets are confirming they will not be on WFAN next year but there’s no indication which NYC outlets they may be talking to.  Obvious candidates would include ESPN O&O WEPN-FM, Clear Channel’s WOR and Cumulus Media’s WABC.  Mets COO Jeff Wilpon tells the Times he expects negotiations to be resolved in about six weeks.

hoffmanbillCox Media Group’s Bill Hoffman Loves TV-Newspaper-Radio Synergy; Says Data from Dayton and Atlanta Proves it Works.  In an interview with TVNewsCheck’s Harry Jessell, Cox Media Group president Bill Hoffman says the synergy of having a television outlet, daily newspaper and radio properties (specifically news/talk outlets) has been very good for the company.  So much so that when it had the opportunity to buy TV stations, it chose Jacksonville and Tulsa – markets where it operates successful news/talk stations WOKV-AM/FM and KRMG-AM/FM, respectively.  Hoffman tells TVNewsCheck its Dayton and Atlanta clusters – each with a news/talk radio station, TV outlet and a daily newspaper – wsb logoperform well as a result.  “We have really made Dayton kind of this incubation center for collaboration because it’s the market where all three media — newspaper, radio, TV — are all under the same roof.  Every single data point says that whio logogroup is performing outstandingly — the station and the individual entities altogether.  We just have a juggernaut of a media outlet there between newspaper, TV and radio.”  He adds, “Atlanta [where Cox owns the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, WSB-TV and WSB-AM/FM] is a much bigger market.  To listeners, readers, viewers in Atlanta, they feel like it’s three distinctive brands. But behind the scenes the kind of collaboration that’s going on in content, marketing, sales, back-room efficiencies is very robust.  It’s leading to better financial performance.  The brands are stronger by whatever use-metrics you can put against them.”  To read more of Harry Jessell’s interview with Bill Hoffman, click here.

nissan logoClear Channel Makes Inroads into the Digital Dash Via Nissan.  With today’s announcement that its iHeartRadio digital audio app will be available in-dash in select 2014 Nissan vehicles via its made-for-driving application – iHeartAuto – Clear Channel Media and Entertainment makes progress toward inclusion in the digital dashboard.  Beginning this fall, iHeartRadio will be available in select Nissan vehicles equipped with NissanConnect (available in SV and SL models) an in-vehicle global smartphone integration platform for Android and iPhone operating systems.  Once a user connects their compatible smartphone with the NissanConnect App, drivers can control and personalize their iHeartRadio listening experience directly through the dashboard or via steering wheel controls, allowing easy access for in-vehicle enjoyment.  There is no monthly fee or subscription to NissanConnect but the rates that apply to the user’s smartphone apply to use of the car’s system.  CC president of digital Brian Lakamp states, “Working with Nissan to integrate iHeartRadio into the NissanConnect platform allows our listeners to seamlessly access the stations they love in a way designed to minimize distraction.  Now, Nissan drivers will be able to tune into radio stations from anywhere in the country and keep connected to their favorite on-air personalities without having to worry about driving out of range.”

kroi logoDenise Bishop Exits Radio One’s ‘News92 FM’ in Houston.  Houston media blogger Mike McGuff reports that news director Denise Bishop has left the building at Radio One’s all-news KROI, Houston “News92 FM.”  McGuff further reports that Bishop’s position is being eliminated and that a staffer who wishes to remain anonymous told him, “I’m beyond stunned.  I’m heartbroken.  She’s a fine woman and a pro.”  Bishop was with the station since its inception in 2011 and came from a news background that includes having served as news director at KRIV-TV, Houston for 16 years.

TalkersLA2013Talkers Los Angeles 2013 Will Sell Out by End of Business Friday!  The third annual installment of TALKERS magazine’s West Coast convention set for Thursday, October 10 is shaping up to be a blockbuster.  The gathering is closing in on being an advance sellout some four weeks before the event so it is advisable for media professionals interested in attending to register now!  Due to space limitations at the intimate Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood reaching maximum capacity, reservations ($149 per person) will be sold out by the end of business (5:00 pm ET) this coming Friday (9/13).  The conference is again being presented in association with the Los Angeles Press Club at the historic Steve Allen Theater on Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm.  TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “We are very enthusiastic about the growth and positive impact of this Southern California gathering.  It started out three years ago as an experimental LA regional get-together and blossomed into an exciting companion to our big New York convention.”   The event - open only to members of the working media – will feature a power-packed day of panel discussions, keynote addresses, special presentations, technology and services exhibits by leading companies such as Comrex Corp. and Broadcasters General Store, tremendous networking opportunities and abundant food and refreshments lavishly catered by the Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Company (lunch is sponsored by Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity who will address the attendees from New York).  For registration or sponsorship information call 413-565-5413.  To see the latest agenda, click here.

phillipswaltWalt Phillips to Lead Cox Media Group’s Atlanta Sales Efforts.  Cox Media Group announces it has named Walt Phillips director of sales for its four Atlanta stations that include: news/talk WSB-AM and 95.5 FM; AC WSB-FM “B98.5 FM”; classic hits WSRV “97.1 The River”; and urban contemporary WALR “Kiss 104.1 FM.”  Cox Atlanta market manager Ben Reed says, “I am very pleased that we have an exceptional talent like Walt Phillips stepping in to lead radio’s best sales organization.  Walt is a proven, respected, talented and inspirational leader, and CMG Atlanta radio will rise to new levels under his leadership.”  Phillips most recently was director of sales at Citadel’s Nashville cluster.

talkersradio logoTalkersRadio Soft Launches Yesterday (9/10) with Two New Live Shows.  In what TalkersRadio general manager David Bernstein describes as “an extremely soft and gentle launch of a very different kind of radio station,” the brand new “TalkersRadio” internet stream, operating on the platform of Talkers.com, launched with four hours of original programming.  “The Robbie Student Show” originating in New York City (hosted by talk show host/record producer Robbie Student) streamed live between 1:00 pm ET and 3:00 pm ET.  It was followed by the launch of “The Brent & Meg Show” (hosted by the husband/wife team of Brent Seltzer and Megstudentrobbie McDonald pictured below) originating in Los Angeles which streamed live between 3:00 pm ET and 5:00 pm ET.  Both programs were re-streamed as repeats for the rest of the day.  Both will air again today with new live programs in their respective afternoon brentmegtime periods and will serve as limited engagement anchor shows for TalkersRadio as the rest of what will shortly be a full-time outlet is built around them during the next several weeks.  The next new program to join the lineup will be “Healed Planet with Alan Colmes,” (hosted by Fox News Radio personality Alan Colmes) scheduled to debut live from New York City this Sunday evening (9/15) between 8:00 pm ET and 9:00 pm ET.  According to Bernstein, “Industry people and the most ardent talk radio fans tuning in to TalkersRadio during these next few weeks will not only hear some reallycolmesalan interesting and creative programs un-self-consciously going through a public dress rehearsal, they will also hear a radio station being put together right out there on the bare stage of the internet.  It will be as if they arrived at the theater hours before the curtain rises and get to see how the sets and props and lighting all comes together.  This is truly going to be an experimental, no BS talk programming laboratory.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison adds, “We are delighted with the way this thing lifted off the ground.  I haven’t had this much fun being involved in a radio station since July 1, 1970 when we launched the legendary progressive rocker WLIR on Long Island.”  TalkersRadio is powered by a revolutionary new software system designed by Backbone Networks of Westborough, Massachusetts - the same system currently in place at Boston Herald Radio. The mission of TalkersRadio is to serve as a workshop for new and innovative talk programming concepts as well as numerous other functions not presently served by the commercial talk radio establishment.  To listen to TalkersRadio click here.

rdmusicmarketing logoLegendary Broadcaster/Promotions Expert Rich Piombino’s RD Music & Marketing Signs LM Communications as Client.  He was one of the most dynamic rock radio programming and promotions managers in the 1980s and 1990s working at such heritage outlets as KMET, Los Angeles and WMMS, Cleveland, among others.  He has gone on to establish Atlanta-based RD Music & Marketing as a force in the independent multi-media promotions arena working with a diverse roster of clients that includes such disparate entities as rising musical star Tora Fisher and NASCAR.  Now Rich Piombino announces that RD Music & Marketing has signed a consultant/client relationship as group promotions consultant with Lynn Martin‘s LM Communications. LM has six radio stations in Lexington, five in Charleston, WV (including the iconic WKLC “Rock 105,” and two in Charleston, South Carolina.  LM Communications also owns WBKI-TV in Louisville.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison says of Piombino, “Rich Piombino served as promotions director during my time as PD at KMET, Los Angeles in the early 1980s and I have to say that I have seldom seen anyone in this business in that capacity with his level of ‘clever energy’ — he is focused like a laser and one of the best in the business, indeed!”

raytomTOM RAY: What the Heck Is a Codec?  To some, the answer to that question is elementary, but others may simply know a codec as “one of those things in the studio rack that brings outside audio into the board.”  That’s mostly correct, but for those who’d like a concise and thorough explanation of what a codec is, how it works and what its relationship is to your audio chain, TALKERS technical editor Tom Ray is here to help.  Click here for Tom’s column.

arbitronLatest Arbitron RADAR: Radio Increases Reach.  Arbitron Inc. reports in its September 2013 RADAR 118 National Radio Listening Report that “radio’s audience again increased year over year, adding more than 500,000 weekly listeners.  Radio now reaches 242.2 million listeners, or 92% of persons, age 12 and older, on an average weekly basis.”  The ratings giant also states that its data indicates “daily time spent listening to radio among persons age 12 and older held steady versus the September 2012 RADAR report. People aged 12 and older who listen to the radio spend approximately 2 hours and 35 minutes a day with the medium.”  With regard to minority audiences, Arbitron reports several findings: 1) Radio’s Hispanic audience aged 12 and older added 468,000 weekly listeners versus the September 2012 RADAR report. Radio reaches 94 percent of Hispanic listeners aged 12 and older in an average week; 2) Young Hispanic teens aged 12 to 17 showed impressive gains versus last year, adding 265,000 weekly listeners. Radio now reaches 5.2 million Hispanic teens in an average week; 3) Radio now reaches nearly 31 million Black (non-Hispanic) listeners, age 12 and older, in an average week, or 92 percent of this demographic; and 4) Radio’s Black (non-Hispanic) teen audience aged 12 to 17 again remained steady versus the September 2012 report.  Arbitron RADAR (Radio’s All Dimension Audience Research) September 2013 is the standard currency for national network radio ratings and measures 45 individual radio networks. These networks are operated by American Urban Radio Networks, Crystal Media Networks, Cumulus Media Networks, Premiere Radio Networks, United Stations Radio Networks and WestwoodOne.

diminochrisOdds & Sods.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports Chris Dimino – one third of the former “Mayhem in the AM” show from WQXI, Atlanta “790 The Zone” – has been hired by Dickey Broadcasting’s crosstown sports talk WCNN “680 The Fan.”  Dimino appeared at a recent Atlanta Falcons press conference as a credentialed reporter for the station but he has a non-compete and won’t appear on the air on WCNN until that runs out in another six months.  Dimino, along with Steak Shapiro and Nick Cellini, were fired by WQXI after a bit which mocked former NFLer Steve Gleason who suffers from ALS…..Longtime WGN, Chicago host (and WGN-TV’s Emmy award-winning entertainment critic andrichardsdean reporter), Dean Richards, will be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at The Naperville Independent Film Festival’s 6th annual event on Saturday, September 21.  The award commemorates Richards’ contribution and dedication to the entertainment industry.  Richards can be heard talking entertainment on WGN daily at 8:20 am on “The Steve Cochran Morning Show” and also on his own show, Sundays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.  He has accumulated over 30 local and national awards during a career that has spanned more than three decades……Yahoo! Sports Radio adds a new Friday evening show hosted by Elissa Walker Campbell titled “The Big E Show” airing from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET.

Syria Chemical Weapons Deal, Iran Threatens U.S., 9/11 Anniversary, and New Miley Cyrus Video Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/10).  The proposal by Secretary of State John Kerry to have Syria give up its chemical weapons to avoid a U.S. strike; threats by Iran to attack the U.S. and its allies if Syria is struck; the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11; and controversy over Miley Cyrus’ latest video were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, August 26, 2013

| August 26, 2013

ktrsKTRS, St. Louis at Center of Skirmish Over Texas Governor Rick Perry’s Industry Recruitment Blitz.  CH Holdings-owned news/talk stations KTRS, St. Louis is making national news after station manager Mark Dorsey canceled an ad campaign bought by the state of Texas that sought to convince Missouri businesses they’d be better off moving to the more industry-friendly Texas where “businesses flourish and jobs are created.”  Dorsey posted a statement on the KTRS website saying, in part: “When the order was placed, KTRS was under the assumption these commercials were going toperryrick promote tourism to Texas.  Once we, the management of KTRS realized these commercials were instead focused on stealing locally owned companies away from St Louis, we suspended airing these commercials immediately.  We understand people have different viewpoints on public policy and we welcome that debate everyday on our airways.  But as one of the few remaining locally owned radio stations in the country, we feel the need to stand strong with other small locally owned businesses and defend our region.  Governor Rick Perry, Don’t mess with Missouri, and don’t mess with St Louis.”  In the ad, Perry criticizes policies of the Missouri governor and state legislature, accusing them of being less friendly to business.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the ads are running on radio and TV stations in St. Louis and other Missouri markets as Perry prepares to visit the region this week.

nielsen logoReport: ESPN at Center of Nielsen-Arbitron Deal.  The New York Post reports today that Disney-owned ESPN could be the media company that has the biggest say in whether the Federal Trade Commission approves Nielsen’s $1.26 billion purchase of Arbitron.  At issue here is the multi-media use of Arbitron’s PPM in which – via Project Blueprint – ESPN is licensing the technology to measure audience consumption of its product overarbitron television, radio, smartphones, tablets and computers.  The Post reports that sources tell it, “The license expires soon, and the ability of ESPN to squeeze a promise from Nielsen that it will be able to continue to license the software is likely integral to the merger getting federal approval.”  The FTC’s concern is that if the new Nielsen-Arbitron owns both the old set-top box methodology for rating television and the PPM technology for on-the-go measurement, there will be little ability for competitors to emerge.  The FTC is expected to decide this week whether to challenge Nielsen’s purchase of Arbitron.

digilionickNick Digilio New Overnight Host on WGN, Chicago.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that longtime WGN, Chicago part-time personality Nick Digilio will assume the overnight talk host position beginning September 4.  Digilio takes over for Bill Leff who moves to the daylight hours co-hosting the new 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program.  Digilio will also host the 8:00 pm to 12:00 midnight Saturday show.  As Feder reports, Digilio first appeared on WGN in 1985 on Roy Leonard’s midday show to talk about movies.  It developed into a regular segment and then into part-time work.  As a way of paying back his mentor, Digilio will have the now-retired Leonard on his Saturday program in a regular segment to talk about movies.  About his new position with Tribune’s WGN, Digilio tells Feder, “I couldn’t be more thrilled.  And I really want to thank everyone who has supported me through the years.”

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh Announces New Deal with Cumulus; Will Move to WOR, New York in January.  Confirming what many in the industry have been expecting all along, Rush Limbaugh announced on his radio program Friday that Premiere Networks, EIB and Cumulus Media agreed to terms earlier this week to renew his program for three more years beginning in January of 2014 and running through the end of 2016.  He told listeners that the one change would be his move from Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York to Clear Channel’s crosstown WOR, New York beginning in January.  Limbaugh’s program is currently heard on 35 Cumulus Media-owned stations.

laymandickWHO, Des Moines Newsman Dick Layman Dies Suddenly at 59.  Morning drive news anchor Dick Layman served with Clear Channel’s WHO, Des Moines for the past 16 years.  He died Friday, August 23 suddenly and at this time it is not known publicly what the cause of death was.  WHO news director Jim Boyd posted the news of Layman’s death on the WHO website and wrote about Layman, in part: “Dick was also from the old school of broadcast journalism.  The school that said ‘confirm and reconfirm the facts’ before they would be put into a story for you to hear.  He cared about content and quality.  But he also was someone who could take the most complicated of stories and boil them down to the bare fact so you could understand it…and to do so at times in 20 seconds or less…There is a hole right now in the WHO Radio Family…a hole that won’t close easily and there is a chair in our newsroom that will be very, very difficult to fill.  That’s what happens when you have a man the caliber of Dick Layman on your team.  Our prayers go out to his wife, Janet, and daughter Meredith.”

kxro logoTyler Media to Debut Sports Talk ‘107.7 The Franchise’ Today.  According to Oklahoma City online publication The Lost Ogle, Tyler Media’s plans to bring a new sports talk outlet to the city will become reality today around 2:00 pm when KRXO flips from classic rock to sports talk.  The lineup will be largely local and is reportedly as follows: “The Show” with Steely, Lump and (John) Rohde; “The Mid-day Mayes” with Sam Mayes; “The Gee Men” with Kelly Gregg and Erik Gee; and “Casillas & Company” with Tony Casillas and David Garrett in PM drive.  The station will be an NBC Sports Radio Network affiliate.  Oklahoma City has about seven other sports talk outlets in and around the market including Cumulus Media’s WWLS-FM “The Sports Animal.”

conwayetalWHO, Des Moines PM Drive Host Simon Conway Producer Changes.  Afternoon drive host Simon Conway (r) reports that his long-serving producer Andrew Downs (l) is moving to the cluster’s sister sports talk station KXNO where he’ll serve as assistant program director.  Taking over for Downs is Des Moines native Jenna Wizenburg who moves back to the market from Florida.  Conway states, “I always said I had the best producer in the building.  Andrew has rightly been recognized and although I will miss him, he richly deserves this opportunity.  I have worked with Jenna before at WFLA, Orlando and I’m excited as we begin this adventure together.”

gallagherannieMike Gallagher to Shave His Head for Fallen Officers Fund.  Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated talk host Mike Gallagher is preparing for his role in the South Carolina Children’s Theatre Production of “Annie” (he’s pictured here in the Greenville Journal with lead actress Georgia Kay Wise).  Gallagher decided that instead of going with a skull cap for the role as the chrome-domed Daddy Warbucks, he would shave his head on Wednesday at Frank’s Gentleman’s Salon on Coffee Street in Greenville if listeners put up $5,000 or more via his Gallagher’s Army Fallen Officers Fund which provides grants to families of police officers killed in the line of duty.  The goal was reached and Gallagher will play the role with an authentic pate when the show opens on September 6.  Photo courtesy of the Greenville Journal.

hendricksoncaseyOdds & Sods.  Retired NFL coach and executive Mike Holmgren will make regular in-studio appearances on KJR, Seattle’s Mitch Levy program this season.  Holmgren, who left his general manager position with the Cleveland Browns after the team changed owners, still resides in Seattle after coaching the Seahawks for 10 seasons…..Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch reports Federated Media’s WOWO-AM/FM, Fort Wayne adds the “Casey Hendrickson Weekend” program to its lineup in place of “Fox News Sunday.”  Hendrickson hosts the PM drive show on Federated’s WTRC-AM, Elkhart, Indiana and WTRC-FM, Niles, Michigan.

Monday, August 19, 2013

| August 19, 2013

mrc logoEight More Arbitron PPM Markets Gain Accreditation by MRC.  The Media Rating Council gives accreditation to eight more Arbitron PPM markets – making the total number of accredited markets 26.  In making the announcement, Arbitron notes that the MRC is not granting accreditation in the remaining 22 markets at this time.  The eight newly accredited markets include: Cleveland, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Denver-Boulder, Detroit, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood, Pittsburgh, Portland OR, and Nassau/Suffolk (Long arbitronIsland).  They join the 18 markets the MRC is voting to continue accreditation: Atlanta, Baltimore, Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, Chicago, Cincinnati, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Milwaukee-Racine, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Riverside-San Bernardino, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, St. Louis, and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater.  Arbitron executive vice president, service innovation and chief research officer Gregg Linder states, “MRC accreditation for our PPM markets is a company-wide priority at Arbitron, and we are pleased the MRC continues to recognize our ongoing efforts to improve Sample Performance Indicators and other quality metrics in our Portable People Meter ratings services.  Continuous improvement remains our watchword, for PPM and for all our ratings and software offerings and we are focused on earning accreditation for the balance of our PPM markets.”

theblaze logoFormer CNN Producer/Reporter Joins Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze.  Steve Krakauer – former CNN digital producer and media reporter – is named vice president of digital content for TheBlaze.  In his work at CNN, Krakauer oversaw the social and digital output of the CNN domestic U.S. television programs.  He also managed the team that ran @CNN — the network’s flagship Twitter account.  Krakauer joined CNN in November 2010 as the digital producer of “Piers Morgan Tonight.”  At TheBlaze, Krakauer will be responsible for growing the network’s presence across all digital media.  TheBlaze president and chief content officer Joel Cheatwood states, “Steve was one of the first people to truly recognize the growing relationship between digital media and traditional television and has built a remarkable track record integrating the two media.  We are excited to have Steve join TheBlaze as we continue to be at the forefront of creating a television network designed for the 21st century.”

schultzedEd Schultz Returns to Weeknights on MSNBC.  It hasn’t been quite five months since MSNBC moved “The Ed Show” from weeknights at 8:00 pm to a Saturday and Sunday 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot with Ed Schultz saying the move was for personal and professional reasons.  Now, the Hollywood Reporter writes that MSNBC president Phil Griffin asked Schultz to return to weekdays in the 5:00 pm slot replacing the first run of “Hardball with Chris Matthews.”  Matthews’ show will only air at 7:00 pm beginning August 26 when Schultz returns to weekdays.  Griffin told the publication, “Ed has proven himself no matter where we’ve put him.”

nprCEO Gary Nell to Exit NPR to Head Up National Geographic.  NPR CEO Gary Nell announces he’s leaving the public radio company after 21 months on the job.  In a letter to staff, he says, in part, “As president and CEO, supporting NPR’s success – your success – has been my highest ambition.  Working together, we have put NPR on more solid footing to continue to deliver the highest-quality journalism and programming.  We have launched innovative new platforms and made meaningful strides in attracting new audiences and new funding.  We have promoted a series of collaborations in news gathering, development, and a digital future.  And we have an exceptionally strong leadership team in place that is charting an ambitious path for our future.  We also face challenges, including the mandate to bring NPR to break-even cash operations.  We are completing a plan to focus our limited resources which support our essential services to stations and audiences.  We will present that plan to the Board soon, go over it carefully, and make it a reality.”  Nell took over the reins of NPR in December of 2011 after the high-profile departure of former CEO Vivian Schiller.  During her tenure, Juan Williams was fired after making comments on Fox News Channel admitting to feeling nervous when seeing people dressed in Muslim garb on airplanes.  Also, NPR fundraiser Ron Schiller (no relation) was recorded denigrating conservatives at a lunch meeting.

grahamkevinBoston Herald Reports Kevin Graham Will Succeed Jason Wolfe at WEEI-FM, Boston.  There is no confirmation from Entercom Boston market manager Jeff Brown about the Boston Herald’s recent report that KFNZ, Salt Lake City “1320 KFAN” program director and afternoon drive co-host Kevin Graham will take over the program director post at the station.  According to his bio on the KFNZ website, Graham was one of the key architects of KFNZ back in 1996 and has worked as programmer at KTAR-AM, Phoenix; WXYT, Detroit and other sports talk outlets.  In addition to programming KFNZ, Graham co-hosts the Gunther & Graham pm drive show with Kyle Gunther.  Longtime program director Jason Wolfe exited the station last week and the Boston media is rife with speculation about the status of the station’s air talent – especially morning duo John Dennis and Gerry CallahanCBS Radio’s crosstown WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub” has been topping WEEI-FM in recent ratings reports.  Still, the Herald also reports that Dennis and Callahan have been assured that they are not on the chopping block at this point.

talkersradio logoBrent Seltzer and Meg McDonald (“Brent & Meg”) Sign Up as Charter Members of TalkersRadio Lineup.  The married couple team of “Brent & Meg” (Brent Seltzer and Meg McDonald, pictured below) join the initial lineup of the soon-to-be-launched experimental internet talk station, TalkersRadio.  They will be hosting a Monday through Friday, two-hour Los Angeles-based program titled, “The Brent & Meg Show,” that will stream live between 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm ET with possible re-streams at other times during the following 24 hours.seltzermegbrent  According to TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein, “There never has been a ‘Brent & Meg Show’ prior to TalkersRadio.  They are coming together to do this specifically because the station is designed for these kinds of experiments.  Although they’ve been married for 28 years and have been in the media business doing everything from amazing short-form features to ground-breaking public relations campaigns for years, the idea of them being on the air live as a team hosting a long-form talk show is the brainchild of Michael Harrison who has been after them to do this for over two years now since hearing them bounce off each other in the ongoing short-form feature ‘Brent Seltzer, Still at Large.’  “I am excited about the potential of this show.  We envision it to be in the tradition of the classic husband/wife chat shows of the golden era – except with its focus fully planted on a 21st century foundation.”  The short-form feature “Brent Seltzer, Still at Large” — written, produced and performed by the couple — has accrued a dedicated multi-platform cult-following on Podjockey.com and XM Satellite Radio after having broken out in 2008 as a hot commodity at KSRO, Santa Rosa.  According to the couple, “Outraged by the cable TV political bloviates, we invented ‘Brent Seltzer, Still at Large’ as a panacea to the anger and complacency that radio was becoming.  We figured that since all the extreme right wingers and extreme left wingers were only preaching to their targeted choirs, we could have an extremely good time talking about anything to everyone.  It is our intention to continue that tradition on the ‘Brent & Meg Show.’  Absolutely no politician, celebrity, corporate business practice, social custom, anything or anybody will be safe from our scathing, biting and hopefully humorous and entertaining observations.  Hey, we just wanna have fun!”

Brent Seltzer is legendary in the annals of West Coast radio having worked as a personality “rock ‘n’ roll newsman” on two of the most storied signals in rock radio history – KMET, Los Angeles and KGB, San Diego — as well as  LA’s KZLA-FM/AM, KNX-FM, and KMPC. He has also been a popular radio writer working for years at companies such as Watermark (“American Top 40”) and its founder Tom Rounds’ celebrated international company, Radio Express.

Born into a Hollywood show business family, Meg McDonald’s mother was the popular character actress Elisabeth Fraser and her father was the dancer Ray McDonald.  Although a native of Santa Monica, her parents divorced when she was very young and her Mom moved to New York to co-star with Phil Silvers in his popular comedy, “You’ll Never Get Rich,” later known as “The Phil Silvers Show.”  As her mother went to work in many classic films, TV shows and Broadway shows, Meg found herself surrounded by gifted writers including Neil Simon, Norman Lear and Gore Vidal.  Returning to LA after a few years, Meg never thought of herself as a performer, so she majored in Journalism at LACC, but chose a career in public relations where she has forged an award-winning history as founder of her own shop, McDonald Media Services.  Strikingly beautiful with a big gorgeous voice, she always wanted to be on-air but was too shy to take the shot, until she met Brent Seltzer. “The Brent & Meg” show debuts on TalkersRadio Tuesday, September 10.  For more information about TalkersRadio call 413-565-5413 or email GM David Bernstein at david@talkers.com.  TalkersRadio streaming is powered by Backbone Networks.

wowoamshowWOWO-AM/FM, Fort Wayne Morning Show to Begin TV Simulcast.  Federated Media’s WOWO-AM/FM, Fort Wayne will begin a simulcast of one hour of “Fort Wayne’s Morning News with Charly Butcher on local NBC affiliate WISE-TV “NBC33″ on September 23.  The television outlet will air the 6:00 am hour of  Butcher’s program using several high definition cameras placed in the studio and newsroom at WOWO.  Program director Ryan Wrecker says, “What we’re doing is taking a historic show in the market and advancing it to a new medium.  Finding new platforms for our product is an important part of our station strategy, and we think this is going to make a big impact not only in the market but it’s what should be expected for news/talk stations looking for ways to gain a younger audience share.”  Butcher states, “We’re excited to bring a show we work very hard on every morning to NBC33.  It’s another way for listeners to get a behind-the-scenes look at what we do and get all the information they need every morning.  I’m not excited that I might need to start wearing make-up.”  Pictured above is the WOWO-AM/FM morning show in action (Butcher at right.)

MLB LogoSiriusXM and MLB Reach Six-Year Extension.  Satcaster SiriusXM and Major League Baseball have reached an agreement to extend their relationship for another six years.  As a result, every regular season and post-season game will be available on both Sirius and XM platforms through 2016.  The deal also includes select exhibition games and Spanish-language broadcasts.  SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein states, “Baseball has been an essential part of our programming lineup and we’re very happy to extend our relationship with MLB to deliver the games to our subscribers for many years to come.  We’re especially pleased to now offer the games to SiriusXM subscribers whether they listen through Sirius radios, XM radios, the SiriusXM App or online.”

NPR Producer Teshima Walker Dies at 44.  After a two-year battle with colon cancer, NPR executive producer Teshima Walker passed away on Friday morning.  Walker had been executive producer of the Michel Martin-hosted “Tell Me More” program since 2011.  She’d been with the show in various capacities for four years prior to that.  During her career she had worked at WBEZ, Chicago and served as a producer on the Tavis Smiley program.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

| August 15, 2013

wolfejasonBoston Shocker: Jason Wolfe To Exit Entercom, Boston. Twenty-two years ago, a then 24-year-old Jason Wolfe joined WEEI-AM, Boston’s first fulltime sports operation. As the greater-Boston native (Sharon, Massachusetts) writes today on his Facebook page, he “could not have been more excited” to work “on the blank canvas” he had in front of him. It was announced today that the vice president of programming and operations of Entercom, Boston sports WEEI AM & FM and talk WRKO is leaving the company. Entercom, Boston vice president/market manager Jeff Brown states that Wolfe not only “defined sports talk radio in Boston, but nationally as well,” adding, “There are very few people who have influenced an industry like Jason has. From his work with the Jimmy Fund [a charity that supports adult and pediatric cancer care/research at Boston's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute] and the Red Sox‘s historic championship run to WRKO’s engagement with politics, Jason’s behind-the-scenes work has made an impact few people will ever understand.” Syracuse University alum Wolfe reflects that his involvement in WEEI’s growth “has been a tremendous honor. WEEI went from a single radio station to a regional sports network and added a world-class digital platform. Today, it is one of the biggest radio brands in any format, anywhere in the country.” Wolfe notes that four-time Marconi Award-winner WEEI was, “#1 for six straight years through the fall of 2008.” Boston’s competitive radio landscape changed four years ago though when CBS Radio introduced WBZ-FM as “The Sports Hub,” giving WEEI a strong head-to-head challenger. Changes have followed at WEEI, including the recent departure of longtime afternoon drive co-host Glenn Ordway. In the 22 years Wolfe spent at WEEI, he chronicles that, “The Red Sox won two World Series; the Patriots won three Super Bowls and went to two others; the Celtics won one championship and went to a second NBA Final; and the Bruins won a Stanley Cup and returned to the Final this season.” Regarding his farewell from Entercom, a graciously philosophical Wolfe acknowledges on Facebook that, “This is a business and companies are always looking ahead to decide what’s best for their future. Entercom has an obligation to do what is in [its] best interest. I respect and accept that. I am thankful to everyone at Entercom for all they have done to support me. I wish them all the best in the future. It’s now time for me to move on and begin the next chapter of my career.” Word regarding a successor to Wolfe is expected to be announced soon.

TalkersRadio logo_200TALKERS Magazine Set to Launch TalkersRadio on Tuesday September 10.  After several months of technical testing and initial talent scouting, TALKERS magazine announces that it will be officially launching its experimental online talk radio station initiative  – TalkersRadio – on Tuesday September 10TalkersRadio is a 24/7/365 streaming spoken-word internet radio station that will be available to listeners on the trade publication’s website, www.talkers.com as well as TuneIn and will feature a unique brand of stationality that, as publisher Michael Harrison describes, “views the world through the lens of the talk media industry and expresses a love of the art of the medium, its participants and its listeners for their own sake.”  TalkersRadio’s mission will be to serve as 1) a laboratory for interesting new concepts and talent in talk; 2) a farm system to help develop deserving up-and-comers; 3) a real-time stage for talent to audition for specific jobs and opportunities; 4) a platform for “bridge shows” - a new device by which suddenly terminated AM/FM talk show hosts can do a series of final shows to say goodbye to their listeners and/or announce their upcoming plans within a radio show context; 5) a vehicle for “orphan shows” – programs that do not conveniently fit into prevailing AM/FM station format categories; 6) a showcase for new and adventurous programming concepts and ideas; and 7) a medium to exclusively broadcast TALKERS magazine live events. During the test period, TalkersRadio successfully broadcasted the entire Talkers New York 2013 live in June as well as “Talk Radio Day at the United Nations.”   TalkersRadio will also carry several regularly scheduled programs to give it, as Harrison describes, “the feel and consistency” of a real radio station…. But Harrison adds, “It won’t get hung up on its lineup.  These regularly scheduled shows will be more like ‘limited engagement’ runs of a show at a theater than forever-entities to which the station will be married and by which it will be defined.”  Some of these will be talk shows about the industry but most will just be talk shows about life and its endless spectrum of topics in general.  “The key,” according to Harrison, “is most of the programming will be of the types that are unavailable elsewhere…or at least YET unavailable. We most certainly want to get things rolling that will then go on to much bigger platforms in the business.”  TalkersRadio has been in development for the past year and a half and is a joint project between TALKERS parent company Talk Media, Inc. and Westborough, Massachusetts-based communications firm Backbone Networks Corporation.  It is featuring the leading-edge concept in broadcasting technology developed by Backbone (the system currently in place at the recently-launched Boston Herald Radio) that makes it extremely convenient and affordable for talk show hosts and organizations looking to “set up their own online sticks” to do a fully produced program – with live callers and guests – from an amazingly simple technical remote and portable set up.  According to Harrison, “Our partners at Backbone are technical wizards.  Having them power this operation gives us the flexibility and means to really make a significant contribution to talk radio as both a cultural art form and a 21st century-rooted business — the ongoing mission of TALKERS magazine.”  Look for information about the initial programming set for TalkersRadio being posted on Talkers.com this week and next beginning with the following story.

studentrobbieNoted Pop Music Producer and Talk Show Maverick Robbie Student Signs on to Host Midday Show on TalkersRadio.  As TalkersRadio prepares its official launch on Tuesday September 10, the experimental internet talk station’s general manager David Bernstein announces the signing of emerging talk radio personality Robbie Student to serve as host of his own charter talk show on the station which will air live weekday afternoons between 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm ET.  “Robbie Student” is the talk radio air name (although “Student” is his legitimate family name from an earlier generation) of noted record industry music producer and impresario Rob Stevens who, among his numerous credits, has executive produced (with Ms. Ono) all 10 of Yoko Ono’s recent number one hit singles in the burgeoning field of EDM (electronic dance music).  Bernstein says, “In his ‘daytime’ gig as Rob Stevens, this amazingly interesting guy has worked with some of the biggest name artists in rock and pop including Red Hot Chili Peppers and other greats and brings a pop culture sensibility to news/talk radio with a level of comfort for which others have reached but few have grasped.”  Frontier Fifty member Robbie Student came to the attention of Bernstein and TALKERS management last year while hosting a daily program on the fledgling internet stream of WOR, New York when it was still owned by Buckley Broadcasting.  Bernstein says, “It was amazing – whenever this guy was on the WOR stream, the internet metrics took a huge jump.  He consistently had more listeners online than some of the biggest players in AM/FM radio who were on at the same time.  Things like that stand out.  Most importantly, Robbie Student is just plain different.  He brings a no-nonsense, everyman approach to the mic and talks with great intelligence and insight about everything from music, television and movies to independent politics, economics, parenting, education and psychology – all with an enlightening level of evolved consciousness.  We are so pleased to let him run wild a couple of hours a day on this baby radio station and see where it goes.”  Student has a degree in Philosophy from Columbia University and has done significant community work in his home-town New York City with youth basketball programs helping kids from diverse backgrounds reach their goals.  More new signings for TalkersRadio will be announced tomorrow and next week.  For more information about TalkersRadio call 413-565-5413.  GM David Bernstein can be emailed at david@talkers.com.

PodcastOneAbacast LogoCourtside Entertainment Group’s PodcastOne Links Up With Abacast. The objective is to have Abacast‘s Clarity Digital Radio System place customized commercials for PodcastOne clients in specific markets. Among other things, the system provides campaign management, audience metrics and delivery for live and on-demand digital audio programming. Courtside Entertainment Group chairman/chief executive officer Norm Pattiz remarks, “This is another example of taking advantage of the latest technology to pattizprovide services that advertisers expect. This is consistent with our promise to have the best-targeted ad solution in an industry poised for rapid growth.” Abacast’s integrated service will be released in the fourth quarter and chief executive officer Rob Green notes that his company is, “making a commitment to podcasting by extending the Clarity Digital Radio System to the podcasting market.  We couldn’t be happier to be chosen by PodcastOne.” Introduced this past February, audio-on-demand PodcastOne hosts roughly 200 podcasts by, among others, Dr. Drew Pinsky, Jay Mohr, Adam Carolla, Steve Austin, Penn Jillette, Dennis Miller, Laura Ingraham, and Tom Green.  Norm Pattiz will be a featured speaker at the forthcoming Talkers Los Angeles 2013 set for Thursday October 10.  The event, open only to members of the working media, is nearing a sellout.  For more information or to register, call 413-565-5413.

smulyansmartphoneSprintSprint To Begin Installing NextRadio Application. It will transpire over the next few years and enables consumers to listen to local radio stations on their smartphones. Sprint‘s HTC One and HTC EVO 4G LTE models will be the first models with the app. NextRadio is Sprint’s smartphone app that delivers an interactive artist and ad experience to FM-enabled smartphones. Data for the application is supplied by TagStation, the cloud-based engine that offers stations the ability to upload branding images that display as default artwork in the NextRadio app, as well as call letters, format, station name, and slogan. Major and vocal proponent all along is Emmis chairman/chief executive officer Jeff Smulyan who declares the announcement is, “a credit to the entire radio industry, which has unified to make this happen. We set a new course as an industry, one that will bring exciting audience and advertiser engagement opportunities.” Emmis chief technology officer Paul Brenner is president of NextRadio, LLC and he explains that, “Whether the station is large market, medium market, small market, commercial or non-commercial, this free service will provide listeners with a visual radio listening experience. Radio stations no longer have to add the cost of internet streaming to get local FM radio on a mobile device.” Smulyan notes more than 1,500 stations signed up for TagStation’s free services; thousands more are expected following today’s news. Beasley, CBS Radio, Entercom, Greater Media, and Hubbard registered for additional services through TagStation. “Passionate, insightful vision of industry leaders like Jeff Smulyan helped to make this prospect a reality,” comments New Jersey Broadcasters Association president/chief executive officer Paul Rotella. “We will continue to support initiatives that promote the precious value of radio.” Also endorsing the concept of FM receivers in smartphones are The Radio Advertising Bureau and National Association of Broadcasters.

 ArbitronNielsenIs The Arbitron-Nielsen Transaction Hitting A Snag? The Federal Trade Commission reportedly wants more information before it decides whether to approve the $1.26 billion deal, whereby Nielsen would acquire Arbitron. It was believed the okay was further along in the process, however, The New York Post reports that the FTC is calling for additional particulars from television station owners affected by a potential Nielsen-Arbitron merger. Roughly two weeks ago, Nielsen officials felt that by the end of this month, they would have a good grasp of where the situation stood, but former New York assistant attorney general-antitrust lawyer Sally Hubbard tells The Post that, if the FTC is, “still currently talking to sources, it does make you wonder.” It was last December when Nielsen revealed it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire Arbitron for $48-per-share, however, the FTC several months later stymied the proposed union of the two ratings behemoths. On a call with investors, Nielsen chief executive officer David Calhoun said the company had complied with the FTC’s latest concern and he flatly states, “It is on them to come back to us.” Calhoun is optimistic this deal will be approved, in that, he says the companies operate in different media sectors. Once companies comply with such FTC requests, the commission has 30 days to complete its review and take action.

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hrt large 200Arbitron Releases “Hispanic Radio Today 2013.” Approximately 95% of Hispanic consumers in the United States tune to the radio in an average week and Arbitron summarizes those listening habits throughout a comprehensive 84-page overview. Numerous colorful charts, graphs, and tables are featured, with a ranking of formats by Hispanic audience share especially interesting. Stats are based on Hispanic audience share, Monday-Sunday, 6:00 am – midnight, AQH Hispanic Persons 12+, from spring 2012. As one might expect regional Mexican is a dominant #1 (19.2%) followed by Spanish Contemporary (10.7%). Three English-language music formats are next: CHR (9.8%), rhythmic CHR (7.7%); and adult contemporary (6.1%). Spanish adult hits is #6 (5.9%), but then come hot AC (4.0%); country (3.5%); classic hits (3.5%); and news-talk (3.3%) rounds out the top ten. The remaining seven formats in this particular breakout are: Spanish tropical (3.1%); classic rock (2.2%); Spanish news-talk (1.9%); Spanish variety (1.0%); Spanish religious (.9%); Tejano (.9%); and Spanish sports (.3%). In addition to Arbitron audience data for each format, “Hispanic Radio Today 2013″ features Scarborough consumer profiles. The full study is available exclusively to Arbitron clients.

raylizBuckley Brings in Ray as California Marketing Manager. It is a new position for Buckley Radio‘s California-based properties. Working from Fresno at the company’s rhythmic CHR KSEQ “Q 97,” Liz Ray will help oversee sales and marketing for sibling stations in Monterey, Bakersfield, and Merced. Buckley Radio president Joe Bilotta comments, “We are looking to partner with the advertising community in a joint effort to insure a respectable return-on-investment when they work with us. Liz will greatly assist and direct these efforts.” Executive vice president – west coast Kathy Baker remarks, “Liz Ray has an extensive 27-year sales, sales management background in the broadcasting industry and she has an outstanding reputation. We are thrilled to have her on-board.” Most recently, Ray was general sales manager of Fresno adult contemporary KJWL and that market’s KYNO-AM, when it was talk. She previously was local sales manager for the Fresno Bee. 

malikbreeannaClear Channel Moves Malik From San Antonio To Houston as VP/Sales. Transitioning from her role as president of the company’s cluster of stations in its San Antonio home base, Breeanna Malik becomes vice president of sales for the six stations that comprise Clear Channel, Houston. Clear Channel senior vice president of operations Kelly Kibler Owens observes, “Houston is a thriving market. Breeanna brings unique strategic insight, while also keeping many of her client relationships intact within Texas.” Clear Channel, Houston president/market manager Eddie Martiny notes, “Breeanna’s performance in San Antonio has been absolutely outstanding and we are excited to have her lead our sales efforts in Houston.” Malik comments that her “true passion is leading sales organizations” and “building new client partnerships through Clear Channel’s integrated multi-platform programs.” Prior to becoming Clear Channel, San Antonio market president last October, Malik was director of sales and general sales manager there.

Rotoworld 200NBC Sports Radio 125Rotoworld Becomes NBC Sports Radio’s Fantasy Sports Information Brand. Fantasy sports participation has grown more than 60% in the past four years. Estimates are that more than 35 million people in the United States and Canada actively engage in some form of this activity. The Rotoword-NBC Sports Radio union brings player updates and information, live interviews, and on-demand programming to rabid fantasy sports fans. On-demand specialty shows will be hosted by NBC Sports Radio (a joint venture between NBC Sports Group and Dial Dial Global 125Global) anchor/Rotoworld contributor Kay Adams, who appears weekly on NBC Sports Network’s “Fantasy Football Live – Thursday Night.” In addition to being Dial Global’s executive vice president/general manager sports programming, Chris Corcoran is a fantasy fan/player and he comments, “Rotoworld has always been my go-to fantasy source for news and information – I couldn’t be more excited to welcome this partnership. Our exclusive programming will help feed this extremely loyal fantasy fan base.” NBC Sports Digital/Rotoworld director of fantasy content Brett Vandermark remarks, “This is a natural extension for Rotoworld, as sports radio has long been a popular platform for fantasy sports players. This agreement allows fantasy players to access Rotoworld on virtually every platform.” Dial Global chief executive officer Paul Caine adds, “This [Rotoworld] partnership elevates our digital presence to a whole new level.” Programming begins the week after next (8/26). It will include interviews on NBC Sports Radio throughout the NFL season with Rotoworld writers and talent. Two 60-minute NFL-related fantasy shows per week (Tuesdays and Fridays) will be available on the NBC Sports Radio on-demand network.

SunStardome 100Sun To Serve As CNN en Espanol Radio and Fox Deportes Radio’s Ad Sales Rep. The national sales representation agreement between Sun Broadcast Group and Stardome Radio Networks commences immediately; partnership between Stardome and new generation national broadcast network Sun expands Spanish products offered by Sun’s Spanish Language Division, Sun Latino. According to Sun’s chief executive officer Jason Bailey, SBG’s goal has “always been to be the leader in offering top quality programming” to its affiliate and agency partners. “This partnership with Stardome and the addition of CNN en Espanol Radio and Fox Deportes Radio to our sales lineup are clear examples of our continued commitment to the powerful U.S. CNN 100Fox Deportes 100Hispanic market.” Stardome Radio Networks managing director/chief executive officer Anthony Hernandez comments, “The Sun Broadcast Group team has demonstrated that they represent a growing trend of highly specialized network advertising sellers. The selection of Sun Broadcast Group to focus on selling U.S. ad sales inventory was a strategic move to focus and pair our network radio sales products with specific partners with specialized areas of proficiency.”

elleranneewcrs 2South Carolina Broadcasters Association Bestows Show of the Year STAR Award to “Meet Me at the Diner.” Hosted by WCRS-AM, Greenwood, South Carolina owner Anne Eller, the daily 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm program features interviews with personalities having local, statewide, or national interest. Victors were announced at a combination dinner/presentation ceremony this past Saturday (8/10) at Columbia’s Metropolitan Convention Center. This was WCRS’ first-ever entry; no first timer had won the category before. In addition to owning WCRS-AM and doing the daily “Meet Me at the Diner” program, Eller is a regular South Carolina Radio News contributor.

Talkers LA 2013_125_62413Talkers Los Angeles 2013 Nearing Sellout – More Speakers Named to Agenda. The third annual installment of TALKERS magazine’s West Coast convention set for Thursday, October 10 is shaping up to be a blockbuster.  The gathering is already closing in on being an advance sellout some seven weeks before the event so it is advisable for media professionals interested in attending to register now.  It is again being presented in association with the Los Angeles Press Club and held at the historic Steve Allen Theater on Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm.  TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “We are very enthusiastic about the growth and positive impact of this Southern California gathering.  It started out three years ago as an experimental LA regional get-together and blossomed into an exciting companion to our big New York convention.”  The event - open only to members of the working media – will feature a power-packed day of panel discussions, keynote addresses, special presentations, technology and services exhibits, tremendous networking opportunities and abundant food and refreshments lavishly catered by the Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Company (lunch is sponsored by Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity who will address the attendees from New York).  Speakers already set now include (in alphabetical order):  David Bernstein, GM, TalkersRadio;  Robin Bertolucci, PD, KFI, Los Angeles; Phil Boyce, VP spoken word format, Salem Communications; Kevin Casey, VP/executive editor, TALKERS; Bill Carroll, host, KFI, Los Angeles; Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss Agency; Holland Cooke, radio consultant; Skip Essick, PD, KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno; Erica Farber,CEO/president, RAB;  Michael Harrison, publisher, TALKERS; Ron Hartenbaum, president, WYD/WYM Media; Phil Hendrie, WYD Media; Rusty Humphries, host, Talk Radio Network;  Frank Kramer, morning co-host (Heidi & Frank), KLOS, Los Angeles/founder of Toad Hop Network;  Mike Kinosian, managing editor, TALKERS; Kraig Kitchin, CEO, Sound Mind, LLC; Tom Leykis, president, The New Normal; Andy Ludlum, director of news programming, KNX/KFWB, Los Angeles; Leslie Marshall, WYM Management; Don Martin, senior VP sports programming, Fox Sports Radio/Clear Channel Media and Entertainment; Kevin McCullough, CEO, XtreMedia; Mike McVay, senior VP programming, Cumulus Media; Harvey Nagler, VP, CBS Radio News; Norm Pattiz, CEO, Courtside Entertainment/Podcast One; Chris Pendl, creative director, Bonneville Seattle; Walter Sabo, CEO, Sabo Media; Eric Stanger, VP of operations and affiliate marketing, The Sean Hannity Show/Premiere Networks; Alan Stock, host, KDWN, Las Vegas; Chuck Tyler, PD, KRLA/KKLA, Los Angeles; Paul Vandenburgh, president/GM/host, WGDJ, Albany; Bill White, PD, KQTH-FM/KFFN-AM/FM, Tucson  and Michael Zwerling, owner, KSCO, Santa Cruz with many more and complete agenda details to be announced in the coming days.  The latest broadcasting equipment and remote gear will be on display as presented by Broadcasters General Store and Comrex Corporation. Registrations – $149 per person – can only be taken over the phone and, AGAIN the event is approaching  a very early sellout which is projected to happen within about a week.  So don’t wait – avoid being shut out. For sponsorship information or to register, call 413-565-5413.

AFFILIATE ROUNDUP. Free Talk Live Adds WCKG, Chicago to Affiliate Roster.  Free Talk Live (FTL) is now heard live every weeknight on Chicago’s WCKG-AM.  FTL co-hosts Ian Freeman and Mark Edge tell TALKERS, “It’s a major addition to our affiliate lineup and it’s great to be on live in such a big market.  Thanks to station manager Matt Dubiel for making it happen.  We’re excited!”  That along with several other new stations brings the maverick show out of New Hampshire that has become a staple of the TALKERS Heavy Hundred up to a total of 125.  New ones include: WBAT-AM, Marion, IN; KENT-AM, Parowan, UT; WRSB-AM, Canandaigua, NY; WASB-AM, Bridgeport, NY, W286AE-FM, Fairport, NY, and WNZS-AM, Bangor, ME.  Also, existing affiliate WAVH-FM, Mobile, AL has expanded FTL to weeknight overnights and existing affiliate WGAN-AM, Portland, ME has added a simulcast on WMGX-HD2.

Friday, August 2, 2013

| August 2, 2013

cclogoClear Channel Posts 2% Revenue Increase in Q2.  That’s for the Media and Entertainment division – the radio stations, Premiere Networks and Total Traffic Network – on revenue of $805.6 million for the second quarter of 2013 compared to the same period a year ago.  During yesterday’s investors’ conference call, chairman and CEO Bob Pittman spoke positively about the growth of iHeartRadio and SVP of investor relations Gregory Lundberg noted that it has 34 million registered users and that represents growth of 162% year-over-year.  Regarding the makeup of the company’s revenue, he stated, “National sales for the stations grew 5%, with local up 1%.  Excluding the impact of political advertising, in both quarters, national sales rose 7% and local was up 2%.  Our strongest performing ad categories remained financial services, retail and telecom.  Digital sales continue to grow in the double digits as we monetize our station’s online presence and keep growing iHeartRadio, where total listening hours were up to 36% in the second quarter.  We also saw good year-over-year growth at Premiere Networks.  Partially offsetting this growth rate were revenue declines in the traffic business from lost contracts and from lower sales resulting from integration activities.  Operating expenses increased $42 million or 9%, reflecting a $21 million expense credit from one of our performance rights organizations, which we received in the second quarter of last year.”  He stated pacing for the third quarter for the stations was up 3% and up 1% for the division as a whole.  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript.  Members can read it all here.

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xmradio logoClear Channel Sells Its SiriusXM Interests for $135.5 Million.  Way back in 1999 when XM Radio was gearing up its operations, Clear Channel was an initial investor putting in $83.1 million and getting the right to program some of the satcaster’s music and talk channels.  Now, CC sells its interest in the company for $135.5 million – the value of the stock – and that means most of the CC-programmed content will disappear from the XM Radio platform.  That’ll include some of the company’s music FMs such as hip hop WGCI, Chicago; country signal WSIX, Nashville and hot AC WLIT, Chicago.  But two of the CC-radio channels are expected to stay on the XM platform – WHTZ, New York and KIIS, Los Angeles.  It also means the talk radio channel on the XM platform will see talent like Glenn Beck, Bob & Tom, Todd Schnitt as well as Fox Sports Radio programming go away.

arbitronArbitron Reports Q2 Revenue Rises 2.9%.  As it prepares to be acquired by ratings giant Nielsen, Arbitron issues its 2013 second quarter financial reports and states that on revenue of $107.4 million dollars it is reporting net revenue of $7.1 million or $0.26 per share.  The cost of the potential Nielsen deal ate into the company’s earnings before interest and income tax expense (EBIT) as it shelled out $6.1 million during the quarter in preparation for the acquisition.  President and CEO Sean Creamer states, “In the second quarter, we maintained focus on our long-term priorities: investing in and growing our core radio services, evaluating and implementing quality initiatives to enhance the value and utility of our offerings, and exploring emerging opportunities with an emphasis on those that allow us to highlight the power and advantages of radio.  As the media and advertising marketplaces continue to evolve and new technologies permit consumers to consume content virtually anytime and anywhere, it is important we keep pace with these changes to ensure radio gets full credit for its audience – regardless of the delivery platform.  Radio is growing and vibrant – and we are committed to helping the radio industry tell and validate its complete and compelling story.”

sabowalterThe Job of the Program Director in Five Years.  According to noted consultant and TALKERS columnist Walter Sabo, if you want to know which way the job of PD is heading in radio, just take a look at what has happened to the same titled position at television stations.  In a new column posted today (8/2) Sabo writes “As more on-air content decisions are made at the corporate level and delivered from a central source, the program director job will morph to meet the demands of the tasks that must be completed.  Smart companies will evolve the position to one that has been desperately needed: ‘Program and Public Relations Director.’”  Sabo goes on to list other combinations of tasks and responsibilities that will be added to the title “Program Director” on the radio station level.  To read his entire column, please click here.

kbme logoKBME, Houston Ousts Adam Wexler and Matt Jackson from AM Drive; Adds Fox Sports Radio’s Jay Mohr to Middays.  In a realignment of programming at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s sports talk KBME, Houston, Adam Wexler and Matt Jackson have been let go from the station and their morning drive gig and Lance Zierlein and Adam Clanton take over the AM show.  Zierlein co-hosted the afternoon show with Charlie Pallilo but, as the Houston Chronicle notes, had also worked on the morning drive show alongside Wexler and Jackson in the past.  Adam Clanton has hosted sports talk radio in the market at CBS Radio’s crosstown KILT as well as having worked at KPRC-TV.  The addition of Fox Sports Radio’s nationally syndicated Jay Mohr to the lineup from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm forces some other changes.  Greg Koch and N.D. Kalu now air from 9:00 am to 11:00 am; Charlie Pallilo hosts solo from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm; and Matt Thomas is on the air from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

radioshow2013Michael Harrison to Speak at NAB Radio Show.  In what promises to be a riveting and inspirational hour, TALKERS and RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison will address the forthcoming NAB Radio Show in Orlando (September 18-20) on “Radio’s Evolving Role in Popular Culture.”  Harrison, fresh off a rousing keynote speech at the Conclave, will further elaborate on the theme of the challenges facingharrisonmichael radio in its quest to remain societally iconic in the digital age of the 21st century at a specially scheduled Info-Session sponsored by TALKERS.  Harrison says that for radio to remain competitive with all the emerging “exotic” competition of this “wildly new era,” it must maintain “ownership” of the scenes it addresses whether they are music, politics, news, sports or any other expression of the human condition.  He says radio should maintain a foreground, active position that protects it from being marginalized as a passive delivery system and discusses options and opportunities to carry out the mission.  (To see a brief clip of Michael Harrison’s Conclave keynote speech addressing these subjects please click here.  The full speech will be posted to both RadioInfoTV and TalkersTV shortly, stay tuned.)  Consultant Holland Cooke introduces this popular annual NAB Radio Show session featuring the venerable programmer, air personality, entrepreneur and trade magazine publisher who has been accurately describing radio and popular media’s road ahead for the past 45 years.  The Info-Session is scheduled on Thursday, September 19 between 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm and is open to all attendees of the NAB Radio Show.

davisbobClear Channel Makes Morning Changes at KTCN, Minneapolis.  Morning drive talk show host Bob Davis and Clear Channel Minneapolis part company and the station fills the morning drive slot with former evening hosts Jack Tomczak and Ben Kruse, at least for now.  Bob Davis had been paired up with Tom Emmer for mornings but Emmer exited the station in June to make a run for the congressional seat being vacated by Michele Bachmann.  Davis made national news when, during a discussion about gun control, he said on the air he would tell the Newtown families to “go to hell” for their role in shaping the gun debate.  He later apologized for the tenor of his comments.

radiatemedia logoRadiate Media Promotes Ivan Shulman to President.  Seven months after joining Radiate Media as executive vice president of sales and chief revenue officer, the company promotes Ivan Shulman to president.  CEO Chris Rothey states, “Ivan has a deep shulmanivanbackground in sales, marketing and media, and his leadership experience makes him a great fit for us.  Since joining us in November of 2012, we have experienced quarter-over-quarter revenue growth, including the launch of Radiate360 – our integrated marketing platform to drive hyper-local business.  Ivan will continue to lead that initiative as well as overseeing the day-to -day activities of our broadcast radio, TV and digital lines of business.”  The company is bullish on its new product Radiate360 which it describes as “an easy-to-use, online platform that empowers businesses to expand their reach and connect with their customers.  With Radiate360’s revolutionary suite of tools, businesses can establish an online presence, engage customers through social and mobile media, and promote to the local audience that matters most.”  Shulman says of his promotion, “I joined Radiate because I was excited about future opportunities.  Our growth on both the broadcast and digital side has been phenomenal and I look forward to working with broadcasters to help bridge the gap between digital and traditional media.”

sileodanDan Sileo Takes Over Midday Program at WMEN, West Palm Beach.  Florida sports talk personality Dan Sileo – most recently midday host at WQAM, Miami – moves into the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm slot at JCE Licenses’ WMEN, West Palm Beach “640 Sports” effective Tuesday, August 6.  Sileo – who worked for years at WDAE, Tampa prior to his stint with WQAM – is filling in for Travis Rodgers on KLAA, Los Angeles today and on August 5.  Sileo is, by his own admission, an edgy personality whose willingness to push the envelope has gotten him fired from his last two radio gigs.  He maintains he achieved excellent ratings while with Clear Channel at WDAE and that the station pulled in a lot of revenue from his program.

deggansericEric Deggans to Leave the Tampa Bay Times for Gig at NPR.  Journalist Eric Deggans has covered first music, then media for the Tampa Bay Times for the past 18 years.  Now, he exits the Times to become a TV critic and correspondent for NPR News.  Deggans has been a contributor to NPR in the past but joins the organization full time.  He states in a press release, “For many years, I have been a fan of NPR’s super-smart journalism and I often fantasized of what it might be like to join their ranks as a contributor.  A position like this one is beyond my wildest dreams; I’m honored and excited by the opportunity to help shape NPR’s coverage of television and pop culture.”  Deggans has been an excellent reporter covering the Tampa Bay media scene over the years but also could be viewed as a polarizing writer.  He’s been a critic of talk radio on a number of levels as indicated in his recent book Race-Baiter: How the Media Wields Dangerous Words to Divide a Nation (Palgrave Macmillan 2012).  Photo by Carrie Pratt.

jacksonkevinOdds & Sods.  Dial Global announces it has signed an exclusive terrestrial, three-season deal with London-based talkSPORT to broadcast live coverage of Barclays Premier League, FA Cup and Capital One Cup.  The partnership includes play-by-play commentary of nearly 400 soccer matches per year, in both English and Spanish…..  “The Black Sphere” talk show host Kevin Jackson joins the advisory board of the Steamboat Institute, an institution that “defends freedom and advocates for liberty.”  Jackson says, “Witnessing the progress of the organization first hand, I am overjoyed to be part of the advisory board and play a role in the future direction of the Steamboat Institute, an organization that will undoubtedly mold political discussions and policy in the future.”

gillemdennyTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Update.  Statewide syndicated sports talk host Bill Michaels is added to the lineup at WOZN, Madison, Wisconsin…..Kevin Jackson’s “Black Sphere Radio” show is now airing on WEZO, Augusta, Georgia…..Talk Media Network announces affiliate additions for three of its programs: “Fat Guys At The Movies with Kevin Carr & Kristin Dreyer Kramer” joins WKVL, Knoxville; “The Financial Fitness Show with Chip Cummings & Tony Rubleski” is added to WRSB, Rochester, New York; and “Frontlines of Freedom with Lt. Col. Denny Gillem” joins the lineup at WZFG, Fargo.

ObamaCare Implementation Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of July 29 – August 2.  The implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the cost of the program was the top news/talk topic during the week.  Following at #2 was the Anthony Weiner sexting case and the political fallout.  At #3 was the 2016 presidential race followed by the Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity contracts flap at #4.  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.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

| July 24, 2013

iheartradiotalkClear Channel Moves Full-Steam Ahead into Digital Talk with iHeartRadio Talk.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment announces its newest digital platform – actually a custom feature of the existing iHeartRadio – dubbed iHeartRadio Talk.  The company calls it “the first mass-market audio platform with the ability to offer on-demand, listener-created talk content alongside popular news, celebrity and entertainment ‘audiosodes.’”  The company also says iHeartRadio Talk will feature “Daily Pulse,” a customizable talk channel featuring the most up-to-date news and culture highlights, which allows users to add content that is most important to them.  Clear Channel president of digital Brian Lakamp states, “Talk radio listeners are some of the most dedicated and engaged listeners in the world, and now with iHeartRadio Talk, we are giving those listeners access to their favorite talk content anywhere they are.  Plus, for the first time ever, listeners who have been accepted into the iHeartRadio Talk library will be able to record and instantly share their perspective on any topic they choose – it’s basically like offering ‘audio Twitter.’  We are giving a voice to the everyman, and at the same time are enabling iHeartRadio users to discover and enjoy thousands of ‘audiosodes’ from the best talent around the country – something only Clear Channel is able to offer.”  As part of the initiative, Clear Channel has struck a deal with ABC TV to have the new feature include audio from “Good Morning America,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and “The View.”

courtsidelogoCourtside Entertainment Brings Greg Batusic Aboard as COO.  Norm Pattiz’s Courtside Entertainment Group announces former Westwood One executive Greg Batusic joins the company in the newly created position of chief operating officer.  Batusic will be based in Los Angeles and report to Pattiz where he’ll be in charge of day-to-day operations of both Courtside Entertainment Group and Launchpad Digital Media/Podcast One.  Norm Pattiz comments, “In the early years of Westwood One, Greg helped lead the way to the multi-billion dollar network radio business.  Now, while we do the same thing to on-demand audio, Greg’s expertise and leadership will be invaluable.  He knows what it takes to build a company and an industry from the ground up and I’m happy to be working together again.”  Batusic spent 15-plus years with Westwood One.  During his career he has also served as executive vice president of global sales for Gibson Guitar.  Prior to Gibson, he co-founded The Promotional, L.L.C. and served as the managing partner of the promotion company.  He oversaw all operational business, marketing development and revenue generation through high profile promotional programs.  Batusic says, “It’s my great pleasure to be working with Norm again.  The vibe at Courtside is very much the same as it was at Westwood One – a lot of life, contagious energy and innovative ideas.  I’m excited to be a part of it.”

raytomCASE STUDY:  How to Launch an Independently Syndicated Talk Show.  In a highly informative column posted today (7/24) noted radio engineering consultant and TALKERS technical editor Tom Ray outlines a step-by-step guide to launching an independently syndicated talk show using “Ron Ananian: The Car Doctor” as a case study.  In it, Tom ananianrondiscusses every detail: from building a studio to purchasing satellite time; covering details such as getting the audio from the studio to the satellite, acquiring a toll-free, call-in line; launching an affiliate relations campaign, handling sales and audio production; as well as offering podcasts and building an accompanying website.  Ray says, “Going into independent syndication, while not simple to do, will give you a great sense of satisfaction.”  Actually, if you have a good show, launching an independently syndicated program is quite do-able.  To read Tom Ray’s entire column, which is sure to help you get started, please click here.

sabowalterFive Tips to Instant Cume Growth.  Since the advent of PPM, many programmers have ceased worrying about certain elements that were deemed vital to the diary method but are now considered unimportant in the age of PPM.  They are especially ignoring past-proven, cume-builders based on the premise that once people are listening — you already got ‘em.  This is a huge mistake.  Unless you have a major billboard, TV and newspaper advertising campaign in place you cannot afford to waste the power of your own air in generating cume.  In a new column posted today, noted radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Walter Sabo addresses the AM radio problem of cume shrinkage and offers five tips to turn this negative trend around.  To read the column, please click here.

entercomEntercom CEO David Field Addresses Employees in ‘Midyear Update.’  In a companywide memo, Entercom CEO David Field delivers what’s termed a “midyear update” that serves as both a pep talk for the immediate future and a slap on the back for what the company has achieved thus far.  Field states that coming fielddavidout of the company’s management meetings in Minneapolis last week where they heard presentations on the state of the business and what the company can do to grow he believes, “We have terrific content, large audiences, outstanding personalities, great ratings, and powerful listener engagement.  I found the meetings extremely motivating and informative and really enjoyed the time with our team of top-notch programming leaders.”  Field then goes on to address numerous items under the subheadings Investing in Our People, Investing in Our Future, Making Entercom a Better Place to Work, and Why We Matter.  Finally, he waxes positive about the radio business, “And radio is thriving.  More people listen to AM/FM radio than ever before in history.  And AM/FM radio has more than 9x the combined listening of all satellite and internet radio combined.  The addition of our digital platforms has enabled us to engage our audiences and serve our advertisers in unprecedented ways.  We have generated hundreds and hundreds of case studies demonstrating our effectiveness in delivering results for our customers.”  To read David Field’s entire memo, click here.

kkoblogoKKOB, Albuquerque Records 52nd Straight #1 Book.  Cumulus Media’s news/talk KKOB, Albuquerque notches its 52nd straight Arbitron ratings book at the top of the heap for Persons 12+ in the Spring ’13 ratings clarkbobperiod.  AM operations manager Pat Frisch tells TALKERS magazine the station is #5 in the market with Men 25-54 (Mon-Sun 6A-Mid) and notes “TSL is driving KKOB up to nine hours, two hours more than the Winter ’13 book.”  Frisch also states, “The station is being driven by the king of mornings, Bob Clark (6:00 am to 10:00 am), and midday giant Rush Limbaugh (10:00 am to 1:00 pm).  Both had over a nine-share in their time slots in the Spring book.  I am finishing up my 14th year here at KKOB and 13 of those years have been at #1 and all of this is accomplished because of a great staff that gets it.”

wdmt logoEntercom to Flip WDMT, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to Sports Talk.  Speaking to the local Times-Leader, Entercom general manager Ryan Flynn says that although the adult alternative format heard on WDMT “The Mountain” had done “OK from a ratings standpoint” over the past 10 years, the company has not been able to monetize the format.  With that, the station will become “The Sports Hub 102.3” on August 5.  It’ll use NBC Sports Radio Network programming but will air a local, three-hour sports talk show in afternoon drive.  The host(s) for that program have not been named.  It’s interesting to note that the “Sports Hub” moniker is also used by CBS Radio in Boston on WBZ-FM which is in vicious competition with Entercom’s WEEI.

mccluresaraSara McClure Named VP of Sales at CC Sacramento.  Sara McClure is a veteran of Northern California radio sales, most recently serving with Entercom in numerous sales capacities.  Now she joins Clear Channel Media and Entertainment as vice president of sales for its six-station Sacramento cluster that includes: news/talk KFBK-AM/FM, talk KSTE classic hits KHLX “Classic 93.1,” adult hits KQJK “93.7 Jack FM,” and rhythmic oldies KHYL “V101,” .  McClure worked with a Bay Area ad agency beginning in 1995 and has also served with CBS Radio.  She says, “With my background in multimedia integrated selling, I know the timing is right to make my move to Clear Channel.  I am looking forward to teaming up with [market president] Dave Milner to lead the Sacramento cluster and leverage the company’s industry-leading capabilities.”

wfsx-wnog logoThom Abraham to Host AM Drive on Fort Myers Sports Duo.  As TALKERS reported on July 23, Sunabrahamthom Broadcasting is splitting the two AM signals off its news/talk trimulcast WFSX-AM/FM and WNOG-AM “92.5 Fox News.”  The sports duo “The Fan” will feature Nashville-based Thom Abraham in the 6:00 am to 9:00 am slot.  Abraham – whose show is heard in Nashville on WNSR as well as on WNTC, Drakesboro, Kentucky and WZZN, Huntsville, Alabama – was heard in the Fort Myers market on former sports talk WJBX from 2001 to 2004.

Celebrity Promotion for ObamaCare, Zimmerman Verdict Aftermath, IRS Scandal, MLB Suspends Ryan Braun, Detroit Bankruptcy Fallout, and Anthony Weiner Internet Sex Issues Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/23).  The implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the Obama Administration’s use of celebrities to promote the controversial law; issues of crime and race relations in the wake of the George Zimmerman verdict; the IRS policy targeting conservative groups and individuals; MLB suspends Ryan Braun for PEDs – A-Rod believed to be next; the fallout from Detroit’s bankruptcy filing; and the new allegations of sexual dalliances by New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

How Much is a Listener Worth? Here’s How to Figure it Out (Using, Ugh, Math!)

| July 2, 2013

Chris Pendl
Bonneville Seattle
Creative Director

SEATTLE — What if you knew how much an average listener contributed in daily, monthly, or even annual revenue to your station?  And what if you could use that data to help drive decisions in what promotions make sense for existing listeners and which marketing channels are best for new listeners?  You can, and here’s how to do it.

The ratings data used in the example below is standard for all Arbitron subscribers.  The revenue figures are fictional.

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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

| July 2, 2013

carmichaeldaveCBS Radio Makes Changes to Programming at Sports Talk KHTK, Sacramento.  The big change here is the move of Don Geronimo from AM drive to middays – airing from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm and the return of Carmichael Davegeronimodon to the station.  Carmichael Dave – who exited the station in May of last year and was recently hosting an internet program – is being paired up with Keith Brooks for the new morning show that will debut on July 8.  It appears the station will re-brand itself as “KHTK Sports 1140” from its current “CBS Sports Radio Sacramento.”  The station also notes that “Jason Ross will rejoin the afternoon sports desk in the ‘KHTK Sports 1140’ update studios and continue to fill in for Grant NapearDave ‘Deuce’ Mason will continue to be an important part of Sports 1140 and local sports programming for KHTK.”  Don Geronimo has been a successful personality on KHTK in the midday slot going back to the days of the old Westwood One-syndicated Don & Mike show.

boylespeterLegal Snag Hits Salem’s Attempt to Bring Peter Boyles to KNUS, Denver.  Longtime KHOW, Denver radio personality Peter Boyles – recently fired by Clear Channel after a physical altercation between Boyles and his producer Greg Hollenback – was supposed to resurface on Salem Communications’ crosstown news/talk KNUS on July 1.  But it appears a legal complication – probably a non-compete in his contract with Clear Channel – is preventing that from happening for the time being.  Local reports said Boyles may be hosting the morning show as early as Wednesday (7/3) but as of today the morning drive show is being hosted by regular KNUS fill-in host Jimmy Sengenberger.

pendlchrisValuable Formula to Determine the Financial Value of Each Listener Measured by Arbitron.  What if you knew how much an average listener as measured in your Arbitron ratings contributed in daily, monthly, or even annual revenue to your station? And what if you could use that data to help drive decisions in what promotions make sense for existing listeners and which marketing channels are best for new listeners?  You can, and in a new article posted today (7/2), Chris Pendl, the brilliant creative director of Bonneville Seattle and TALKERS columnist, shows you how to do it. All it takes (ugh) is a little math.  To read this valuable information, click here.

cochransteveSteve Cochran Fills in for Jonathon Brandmeier on WGN, Chicago.  As Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports, longtime WGN personality and former crosstown WIND host Steve Cochran (who exited WIND just last week) is sitting in for the vacationing Jonathon Brandmeier today (7/2) on the morning show – possibly adding fuel to the speculation that Cochran will return to WGN.  But WGN president and general manager Jimmy de Castro is either being coy or truly is still considering the future of the station’s lineup when he tells Feder, “We haven’t even talked about an agreement because he’s just doing fill-ins.  I know Cochran really well.  I love him.  I’d love to figure out if there’s a way to have him in WGN’s family.  I don’t know.  I’m doing research and looking at a lot of stuff.  I want him to fill in on different dayparts — mornings, middays, afternoons — and hear what happens.”  The two worked together at WLUP-FM and WLUP-AM (now sports WMVP) in the 1990s.

wgnlogoWGN, Chicago Officially Comments on Staff Changes.  TALKERS reported the exit of WGN, Chicago late night talk host Turi Ryder last week as she addressed her departure from the station on her radio program – by the way a classy move for management to allow her to say “good-bye.”  Now, WGN announces the evening sports show content and news staff changes confirming “the David Kaplan show will air from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight with a focus on the Chicago sports scenekaplandavid and national sports landscape.  Listeners will hear a variety of sports topics discussed by Kaplan and various guests from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm, followed by an hour of sports talk from Mark Carman and Jordan Bernfield.  Kaplan is a staple in the Chicago sports industry, having joined WGN Radio in 1995.  He most recently held the position of afternoon drive sports reporter and host of various shows including, ‘WGN Sports Night’ and ‘Cubs Insider.’ Bernfield is the current host of ‘Cubs Weekly’ and Northwestern basketball and football broadcasts.  Carman comes to WGN radio from Yahoo! Sports Radio, where he was previously the afternoon co-host since August of 2012.”  The new schedule also includes a lineup shift for news anchors Andrea Darlas and Steve Bertrand.  Darlas will anchor mornings and Bertrand returns to the afternoons/evenings.  WGN president and general manager Jimmy deCastro states, “We’re making changes in an effort to give Chicagoans more of the things they want to hear.  Thank you to our WGN Radio listeners, the most loyal and attentive family, for helping us navigate through this and stay tuned for the best of the old and new coming soon.”

kilmeadebrianBrian Kilmeade’s Fox News Radio Show to be Featured on his Fox News Channel TV Show.  In what promises to be a creative and interesting piece of cross-platform promotion tomorrow morning between 6:00 am and 9:00 am (7/3), multimedia talk star Brian Kilmeade‘s midday Fox News Radio show “Kilmeade and Friends”  will be featured in “realty show” style on Fox News Channel‘s “morning show “Fox and Friends” (in which Kilmeade is a co-host).  The behind the scenes package will show Brian’s transition as he goes from TV to radio — the cameras followed him and stayed in the radio studio for the three hours where some of Brian’s regular “friends” stopped by and had a little fun with him.

nymrad logoNYMRAD Touts Positive New York Market Revenue Data.  Based on numbers from Miller, Kaplan, Arase and Co., the trade group New York Market Radio is announcing spot revenue is up 7.6% for the first five months of 2013.  NYMRAD executive director Deborah Beagan says, “It’s quite a story to see New York Radio Market revenues up by over 7% year-to-date through May, 2013…The key to New York Market Radio’s success is live-and-local content that engages the audience.  For the 92% of New Yorkers who listen to radio, this is their hometown and their favorite stations.  In addition, New York Market Radio stations have significantly invested in the digital arena to provide multi-platform options to advertisers.  The future of effective advertising lies in the smart integration of traditional and digital media.  I am extremely enthusiastic about the second half of 2013.”

carlsonsusanWLS-AM, Chicago Brings Susan Carlson Aboard for PM News Duties.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS, Chicago is hiring former WBBM-TV “CBS 2” morning news anchor Susan Carlson to serve as news anchor for the afternoon drive show hosted by Roe Conn and Richard Roeper.  She replaces Jim Johnson who recently retired from the station after 45 years.  Carlson is no stranger to WLS having served as a news and traffic reporter from 1998 to 2002, also working with Roe Conn.  Feder reports Carlson is under contract to WBBM-TV until July 18 and will join WLS-AM after that.

neerrichardSports Reporting: Dealing with Prickly Coaches.  WFAN, New York sports talk host and TALKERS columnist Richard Neer offers advice to sports reporters and talk hosts who interview sports coaches as part of their jobs.  Neer’s experience dealing with some of the top coaches leading New York sports teams has taught him a few lessons, especially about dealing with skippers who don’t enjoy post-game press conferences.  Neer writes about the tactics of asking questions during post-game pressers and eliciting useful responses from reluctant managers.  Read his piece here.

bergmansandiMEDIA BROKER SPOTLIGHT: Burt Sherwood of Burt Sherwood & Associates.  In this week’s installment of Media Broker Spotlight, Sandi Bergman of RadioTVDeals.com interviews media broker Burt Sherwood of Burt Sherwood & Associates.  Sherwood brings years of experience (he was one of the early WMCA Good Guys) to his brokerage firm optimistically stating, “Station sales should be strong, ethnic operators will grow, youth will be served by over-the-air stations which will have apps for their iPhones and iPads, and the audience will grow proportionately — I think better than 30%.  You will be able to track listeners and TV viewers and get them to respond directly…broadcasting and the internet will be partners.”  To read the entire installment of Media Broker Spotlight, click here.

wbaplogoVeteran Talk Show Host Mark Wainwright Dips Toe in On-Air Water After 16 Year Hiatus.  He was one of the big players in talk radio back in the 1990s doing stellar airwork – perhaps most notably at WBAP, Dallas – before leaving the industry in 1997 to pursue other endeavors.  Now Mark Wainwright is back, at least temporarily as a fill in, returning to WBAP this Friday, July 5 subbing in the 9:00 am to 11:00 am slot.  He’ll also be heard doing fill-in during morning drive on WGY, Albany next Thursday and Friday (7/11-12) and morning drive on WSYR, Syracuse the week of August 12-16 and August 19 and 20.  Welcome back to the game, Mark – we hope we get to hear even more of you in the coming days.  For old friends looking to reconnect, Mark Wainwright can be emailed at thatvoice@verizon.net.

kmzq logoKMZQ, Las Vegas Re-Brands as ‘Fox Sports 670AM Las Vegas.’  Kemp Communications’ sports talk KMZQ picks up Fox Sports Radio Network programming and re-brands as “Fox Sports 670AM Las Vegas.”  The station is airing “Fox Sports Daybreak,” “Jay Mohr Sports,” “Fox Sports Primetime featuring Pat O’Brien with Steve Hartman,” “Petros & Money,” “Fox Sports Tonight,” J.T. The Brick and the network’s complete weekend lineup.  It will continue to air TRN-FM’s “Mancow in the Morning” on the station from 7:00 am to 10:00 am.  General manager Deirdre Palmer states, “We are very excited to add Fox Sports Radio programming to 670AM.  We’re confident the Fox Sports brand, combined with the Network’s quality programming, will elevate KMZQ-AM to the next level in Las Vegas.”

galantykatherineKatherine Galanty Joins Yahoo! Sports Radio.  Yahoo! Sports Radio has a new vice president of affiliate relations as Katherine Galanty joins the company.  Galanty’s resume includes stints with Sports USA, ISP Sports, and Westwood One.  Yahoo! Sports Radio program director and chief operating officer Craig Larson states, “Katherine brings a wealth of affiliate relations experience in sports talk radio.  We expect her to play a critical role as we continue to emerge in the years ahead.”

tornadoimageNAB Spotlights Importance of ‘First Informers’ in Moore, Oklahoma Video.  The National Association of Broadcasters, in an effort to highlight the importance of “first informers” in saving lives during natural disasters and weather emergencies, has posted a condensed version of a documentary by University of Oklahoma media arts professor Scott Hodgson and his students that features interviews and never-before-seen footage on broadcasters’ efforts before, during and after the storm.  The video is on the blog post page by NAB vice president, communications, Ann Marie Cumming.  See it here.

Arizona Firefighters Deaths, U.S. Spying Program/Edward Snowden Case, Egyptian Violence, Western Heat Wave, Student Loan Rate Hikes and ObamaCare Promotion Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/1).  The deaths of 19 firefighters battling the Arizona wildfire; the ongoing issue of the United States’ spying program and the fate of Edward Snowden; the anarchy in Egypt as protests demand Mohamed Morsi’s ouster; the scorching heat affecting the Western United States; the debate over government-backed student loan rates; and promotion of ObamaCare by libraries in the U.S. were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

| June 27, 2013

dahlsteveSteve Dahl and Garry Meier to Be Inducted into National Radio Hall of Fame.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that the Chicago-located National Radio Hall of Fame is announcing the class of 2013 feature Chicagomeiergarry radio personalities and former partners Steve Dahl and Garry Meier in addition to other inductees Blair Garner, John Lanigan, Paul W. Smith, Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo, Charley Steiner, and (posthumously) radio manufacturer Powel Crosley, Jr.  Dahl, currently busy with his own podcast venture, and Meier, hosting afternoon drive at Tribune’s WGN, Chicago, were superstars in morning drive at WLUP-FM for 14 years before an acrimonious breakup in 1993.  Dahl continued to work with other cast members while Meier eventually partnered with Roe Conn at WLS before joining WGN.  The Radio Hall of Fame states, “They became the most-talked-about radio team in the city’s history, representing a generation and ushering in an era of content envelope-pushing that was imitated nationwide.”  Blair Garner is hosting “America’s Morning Show” at Cumulus Media’s country WNSH, New York.  Paul W. Smith hosts the morning program on news/talk WJR, Detroit.

whfs logoStaff Additions at CBS Radio’s ’98.7 The Fan’ in Tampa.  WHFS, Tampa “98.7 The Fan” program director John O’Connell announces additions to the staff at CBS Radio’s Tampa Bay sports talk station.  First, veteran sports announcer Jim Lighthall joins Justin Pawlowski on “Fan Interference with Justin Pawlowski and Jim Lighthall” from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon and that show is now being produced by Jeff “Pants” Pantridge who moves up from his position producing the “Kirk and Dinger Morning Show.”  Lighthall is a 1990 graduate of the University of South Florida and has been a sports announcer for over 21 years.  He is the play-by-play voice of USF men’s basketball, a member of the USF Football broadcast team and has been the station’s 20/20 sports update reporter since the station’s launch.  Taking Pantridge’s place producing the AM show is Ed “Special Ed” Grube who joins the station from CBS Radio’s sister hip hop outlet WLLD “WiLD 94.1.” to be head producer for the program featuring Kirk McEwen, Chris “Dinger” Dingman and Roxanne Wilder.  O’Connell states, “We are very excited about these additions and what Ed brings to the table.  His quick wit, creativity and great sense of humor will bring a new dimension to the ‘Kirk and Dinger Morning Show.’ Ed has the ability to help take the show to the top of the ratings, and like Jim, he’s a big basketball fan who offers a unique perspective.”  Also producer Bryan Drake shifts from production duties in middays to the evening “Fabulous Sports Babe Show” airing from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

newsjunkie logoMidday Changes at WTKS, Orlando.  Shawn Wasson “The News Junkie” takes over the 11:00 am to 3:00 pm show at Clear Channel’s hot talk WTKS, Orlando “Real Radio 104.1” after Jason “Buckethead” Bailey exits the station.  Bailey commented on his departure via Facebook saying he has nothing bad to say about the people or the station.  “Can I explain the whole thing and how it panned out? Nope…not right now.  It’s not as easy as some people seem to think it is.  Will I miss ‘Real Radio?’  More than anyone will ever know.  The ‘Real Radio’ gig was a dream come true for me…”

wbtlogoGreater Media’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte Named Station of the Year by NCAB.  Greater Media Charlotte announces WBT-AM/FM was named the 2013 Station of the Year award (large market category) this past week during the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters (NCAB) Annual Convention in Greensboro.  The winners of this year’s top station awards were determined by a distinguished panel of out of state media executives. The Station of the Year Award was given to radio stations with achievements during 2012 that highlight innovative programming, with an emphasis on audience involvement and promotion, and a commitment to their local community.  Greater Media Charlotte vice president and station manager Trip Savery states, “It is fitting that North Carolina’s first and most legendary radio station, WBT would win the inaugural NCAB station of the year award.  We are very proud to receive this honor from NCAB.”

trn logoTRN Files New Suit Against Courtside Entertainment and Dial Global.  In the original suit TRN filed against numerous radio syndication and ads sales organizations alleging antitrust violations Courtside Entertainment was a defendant but a California judge removed Courtside from that complaint ruling it was not connected to the antitrust allegation.  Now, TRN files a complaint in United States District Court District of Oregon Portland Division against Courtside and Dial Global alleging tortious interference with both TRN’s contract with Michael Savage and Laura Ingraham.  The suit seeks unspecified damages plus legal fees other and further relief.

nhl logoArbitron Releases NHL Radio Play-By-Play Stats.  Outside of Canada, NHL hockey on the radio has never been considered a radio goldmine in broad terms.  But a strike-shortened season may have been a factor in increased interest where the mindset is that every game counts, according to analysis from Arbitron.  The ratings company released average game cume (6+) and average game share (Men 25-54) data and draws some conclusions about the sport’s effect on radio audience.  Probably most notable is that the teams that performed best for their flagship stations are largely East Coast and Midwest teams that have a long tradition in the league and their fan bases go generations deep in the markets.  For example, the top seven teams in terms of average game share (Men 25-54) were (in order): Pittsburgh Penguins, St. Louis Blues, Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins, Minnesota Wild, Detroit Red Wings, and the Philadelphia Flyers.  Pittsburgh, whose flagship is Clear Channel’s alternative rock WXDX-FM, was far and away in first with a 33.3 average game share in that demo.  Arbitron notes that the young male-skewing alternative flagship station helped achieve this.  Also keep in mind that the top two teams, Pittsburgh and St. Louis, have no NBA franchise in their markets with which to compete for audience during the winter months.  Arbitron also wonders where the help for radio flagships is from the NHL.  “Try finding any radio information on the teams web pages and it’s almost nonexistent.  Download a schedule for Outlook, or an Apple product and TV information is everywhere…radio is likely nowhere to be found.”

DM&MDrew Lane Begins Podcast Venture.  One half of the former WRIF, Detroit Drew & Mike morning drive show – Drew Lane – has partnered up with producers Mike Wolters and Marc Fellhauer to begin producing a podcast called DM&M podcast.  Lane’s and Mike Clark’s contracts were not renewed at the Greater Media rock station and former alternative CIMX, Windsor, Canada duo Dave and Chuck the Freak were brought in to take over mornings last month.  So far, Mike Clark is not part of the podcast venture.

archerrobOdds & Sods.  Rob Archer is the new midday news anchor at Clear Channel’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles after the exit of Chris Lane…..At Advanced Media Partners’ Peoria, Illinois stations that includes sports talk WZPN, Stephanie Blue is the new production director…..SiriusXM Radio and Rural Radio LLC announce the debut of Rural Radio, a 24/7 channel devoted to providing a wide variety of programming for and about rural American life, the western lifestyle and agribusiness interests.

rutherforddaveCalgary Talk Host Fired After Criticizing Station Flood Coverage.  CHQR, Calgary talk show host Dave Rutherford, about whom TALKERS wrote yesterday regarding the looming end of his long-running radio program, was taken off the air on June 25 after criticizing the Corus-owned station for its coverage of the local floods.  Rutherford tells the Calgary Sun he’s still not sure of his status but says he was told his program will not return after he lashed out at management for not broadcasting locally on CHQR when the station was evacuated due to flooding and instead piped in programming from CHED, Edmonton.

SCOTUS Gay Marriage Rulings, Obama Climate Change Policy, George Zimmerman Trial, Aaron Hernandez Case, NSA Surveillance/Snowden Asylum, and Obama Africa Trip Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/26).  The striking down of the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8 by the Supreme Court; the emissions limits to be set by the EPA under the president’s direction; the trial of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin; the case against former Patriots player Aaron Hernandez; the NSA surveillance program and the case of Edward Snowden; and President Obama’s African trip were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

| June 25, 2013

arbitronJacksonville Judge to Arbitron: Try Again…or Else.  Or else the complaint against Renda Jacksonville will be dismissed.  U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard struck Arbitron’s complaint that Renda Jacksonville illegally used its property – PPM ratings data it had allegedly acquired from a local ad agency – calling it an impermissible “shotgun pleading” and giving Arbitron until July 26 to file an amended complaint or it will be dismissed.  The court writes “A shotgun complaint ‘contains several counts, each one incorporating by reference the allegations of its predecessors, leading to a situation where most of the counts . . . contain irrelevant factual allegations and legal conclusions.’…Consequently, in ruling on the sufficiency of a claim, the Court is faced with the onerous task of sifting out irrelevancies in order to decide for itself which facts are relevant to a particular cause of action asserted.”  To be clear, this not a judgment about the legitimacy of Arbitron’s claim but it’s a smack down of the way the complaint was written and the judge was clearly not happy about it.  Paraphrasing what the TALKERS legal department tells us, “Judges hate it when litigants waste the Court’s time.”

dingleyglenMEDIA BROKER SPOTLIGHT: Glen Dingley of Kingtron, Inc.  In this week’s installment of Media Broker Spotlight, Sandi Bergman of RadioTVDeals.com interviews media broker Glen Dingley of Texas-based Kingtron, Inc.  Dingley brings years of experience as a chief engineer to his brokerage firm stating, “So much equipment is outdated and incompatible out there.  My clients really respect my insights and advice.  When you are buying or selling a station, you are mainly purchasing equipment with which to broadcast.  Station personnel, policies, and other assets can change, but without good equipment, you are not competitive.”  Dingley’s advice to first-time buyers, many of whom are currently displaced station managers, is to try to connect with an investment firm or individual.  He says, “There is still a lot of glamour involved with owning a station, but investors need direction and guidance.  Go locate those people and show them what you know and how you can assist them in the industry and help them make money in the broadcasting business.  Also try to stay in the media-related industry to keep your pulse on the state of the business and the changes it will take in the next 10 years.”  To read the entire installment of Media Broker Spotlight, click here.

shafferjohnAPKDWN, Las Vegas PD John Shaffer Named President of APTRA.  That’s the Associated Press Television and Radio Association and it means that Beasley programmer John Shaffer will spend the next year heading the organization that represents 13 western states including: California, Nevada, Hawaii, Arizona, Idaho, New Mexico, Washington, Colorado, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Alaska and Oregon.  The passing of the gavel took place at APTRA’s annual Mark Twain Awards Banquet, held Saturday, June 22 at the Pasadena Convention Center, in Pasadena, California.  Shaffer has served as vice president of the APTRA Board of Directors for the last two years and as the Nevada Radio representative on the board for the past four years.  Beasley Las Vegas market manager Tom Humm says, “John serves as program director and news director for KDWN and is perfect for this position.  He is a perfectionist, and believes in the importance of both maintaining integrity and getting information out to our communities in a timely manner.  These skills will serve him well as president of APTRA.”

NYSBAawardsNew York State Broadcasters Association Recognizes Outstanding Achievement at Annual Ceremony.  The New York State Broadcasters Association held its 47th annual “Awards for Excellence in Broadcasting” on Monday evening at the Sagamore Resort Hotel in Bolton Landing.  Winners in radio included: WNOW-FM, a CBS station, received recognition for “Outstanding Commercial” (Guiffre Auto Group — Forget About It), “Outstanding Promotion Announcement or Series” (We’re All Sandy Hook) and “Outstanding On-Air Broadcast Personality Or Team” (Zann On 92.3 NOW).  Emmis Communications-owned WQHT-FM picked up an award for “Outstanding Station Sponsored Event” (Hot 97’s Summer Jam 2012 Nicki Minaj) and WNYM-AM was singled out for “Outstanding Sportscast” (Al Gattullo Sports Report).  WFUV-FM, the region’s NPR member station, collected awards for “Outstanding Public Service Announcement/Campaign” (Striking a Chord), “Outstanding Public Affairs Program Or Series” (Cityscape), “Outstanding Spot News” (Sandy’s Aftermath), “Outstanding Feature Story” (Big Andy, Little Andy, And The Gift of Hope”) and “Outstanding Commentary/Editorial” (Roommating 101).

wqxilogoGeorgia Tech Football and Hoops Off WQXI, Atlanta.  IMG College – the agency that negotiates the rights to play-by-play for Georgia Tech (and many other schools) announces that the school’s football and men’s basketball will not air on Lincoln Financial Media’s sports talk WQXI, Atlanta this season as they have since 2001.  Games are also broadcast on Cumulus Media’s FM all-news WYAY and the signal more than covers the area, according to Georgia Tech athletic director Mike Bobinski.  He states,  “We will continue to maintain a relationship with WQXI as a significant local sports talk station, but the flagship designation, by mutual agreement, will come to an end.”

villanuccijimWith a Little Help from My Friends.  KXL, Portland mid-morning host (and longtime TALKERS Heavy Hundred host) Jim Villanucci tells TALKERS that he survived the trauma of not having his contract renewed after 14 years of service as afternoon drive host at Cumulus‘s heritage talk outlet KKOB, Albuquerque because of a little help from his friends in the industry – some of whom he had never even met in person.  The best way to describe Villanucci – who admits that upon losing his position at the Albuquerque talker he was “scared” and went through some “rough stuff” emotionally – is grateful.   He tells TALKERS he is grateful and “happy” to now be working with a new team at Larry Wilson‘s Alpha Broadcasting hosting the late morning show on news/talk KXL, Portland, giving praise to Wilson as well as Scott Mahalick, Milt McConnell and Bob Profitt and mentions a bunch of “random names” in the industry who rose to the occasion of giving him support – even if it just meant “listening” and giving him encouragement during the dark days between jobs.  These include Laurie Cantillo, Andrew Paul, Tom Becka, Mark Davis, Joe O’ Neil, Heidi Harris and Marc Germain, among others.

wiou logoWIOU, Kokomo, Indiana to Flip to Sports Talk.  The Hoosier AM/FM, LLC news/talk WIOU, Kokomo will flip to sports talk beginning July 1 using content from ESPN Radio including “Mike and Mike in the Morning,” Colin Cowherd, SVP & Russillo and “Coach & Company.”  Longtime WIOU staffer and current program director Rob Rupe keeps his position with the station.  According to a piece in the Kokomo Tribune, station manager Ernie Caldemone says, “I feel as long as we continue to be local in our community, we’ll do extremely well.  I think we’ve been known as the sports station, because we already carry a half-day schedule.  I just felt like with the sports we already have, why not go to all sports, 24/7?”

cookehollandConnectivity Is the Watchword at CE Week in NYC.  Radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Holland Cooke reports from New York City where the Consumer Electronic Association is hosting CE Week.  He says the buzzword everyone is using is “connectivity” as more and more consumers expect the electronics they purchase to be able to connect to the internet.  “Thus Blu-ray has flatlined.  It’s the highest-quality hardware for viewing hard-copy software.  But as we spend more time watching Hulu and Netflix and other streaming video, physical video disks seem to be going the way of audio CDs obsoleted by iTunes and other download depots.”  Read Holland Cooke’s complete report here.

wfed logoOdds & Sods.  CBS Radio announces the CBS Sports Radio Network hits the 300-affiliate mark just nine months after launching the network.  CBS Radio SVP of programming Chris Oliviero states, “Hitting the 300-affiliate mark in less than a year is a significant milestone and testament to the overwhelming love of, and support for sports radio in this country.”…..Media and advertising analysis firm BIA/Kelsey announces the expansion of its executive team with the promotions of analyst Michael Boland to vice president, content, and analyst Jed Williams to vice president, consulting.  In addition, veteran digital media executive Warren Kay has joined the firm as executive-in-residence…..Hubbard Broadcasting’s WFED, Washington “Federal News Radio” debuts a new logo that celebrates it as a multimedia source of federal news and information.  Program director Lisa Wolfe says, “I’m very happy with our new logo.  It gives appropriate recognition to our two major distribution platforms and streamlines our public-facing image.  Our new branding more accurately reflects the multimedia news organization we always have been.”

fisherhouselogoFisher House PSAs and Public Affairs Show Available for Fourth of July Programming.  Bloomquist Media reports that stations interested in airing PSAs and public affairs programming that makes an emotional connection with listeners can conveniently get them from a Dropbox link right here.  The Fourth of July-themed PSAs and the 30-minute Fisher House public affairs program help promote the Fisher House Foundation which builds comfort homes at military and VA hospitals where the families of wounded warriors can stay at no cost while their hero is recovering.  Radio stations across the country continue to help Fisher House and their mission to support military families in their time of greatest need.

‘Gang of 8’ Amnesty Bill, IRS Scandal, NSA Surveillance/Snowden Asylum Issue, Obama Climate Change Policy, George Zimmerman Trial, and SCOTUS Rulings Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/24).  The immigration bill that would give amnesty to illegals already in the U.S.; the ongoing investigation into the IRS scandal; the battle over extradition of Edward Snowden and the NSA surveillance program; President Obama’s move to sidestep Congress to push his climate change policy through; opening arguments in the trial of George Zimmerman and the Supreme Court rulings were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

| June 20, 2013

theblaze logoGlenn Beck’s Mercury Radio Arts Purchases Irving, Texas Studios Serving as Headquarters for TV and Radio Productions.  Since 2012, Glenn Beck’s Mercury Radio Arts – the parent company of TheBlaze – has been renting The Studios at Las Colinas in Irving, Texas.  Now, the company announces it is purchasing the former television and movie studio to serve as the network’s flagship television and radio facility.  Mercury Radio Arts says the 72,000 square foot facility, which will now be known as Mercury Studios, features three sound stages that are up to 14,500 square feet.  TheBlaze produces six hours of live programming every day from Irving. TheBlaze also currently leases a studio inbeckglenn Midtown Manhattan.  Beck states, “We are proud to call Texas our home and be part of the local community in Irving.  We are building a world-class facility that provides TheBlaze with the highest quality talent and top-of-the-line production capabilities so American stories can be told to viewers across the country.”  TheBlaze president and chief content officer Joel Cheatwood comments, “TheBlaze has quickly built up the capacity to produce over 43 hours of original programming per week and we are excited to now have our own multi-media base as we continue to grow.”  The facility was built in 1982,  and has been the site of the production of movies and television shows including “Robocop,” “JFK,” “Silkwood,” “Prison Break” and “Walker Texas Ranger.”

cbssportslineatlantaCBS Atlanta Puts “Sportsline” TV Show on Hold After Firing Steak Shapiro, Chris Dimino and Nick Cellini.  It was only a matter of time that in the wake of the highly publicized cancellation of the “Mayhem in the AM” morning show on WQXI, Atlanta that the weekend TV sports talk show the trio did for CBS Atlanta would also see its end.  After the Steve Gleason bit that caused the three to lose their jobs at the radio station, the TV station’s general manager Trey Fabacher announced the “CBS Atlanta Sportsline” show would go on hiatus and the relationship between the station and the three co-hosts would end.  CBS issued the following statement regarding the incident: “Our employees, our partners and sponsors in no way support the content that was aired by this radio team on Monday morning.”

raytomTOM RAY RECOMMENDS:  Check Out the “Alert FM” App.  Engineering consultant and TALKERS technical editor Tom Ray writes in a new column posted today (6/20), “I just found an app that is a helluva lot more useful than what FEMA has mandated on your cell phone in regards to weather warnings. And, it has great potential to be a tool for your broadcast operation, whether you’re on the street reporters, newsroom, or just the announcers and jocks are equipped with it.  The app is available for iPhones and Android devices, and is called Alert FM.”  Check out Tom Ray’s entire column by clicking here.

chasejustinBeasley Broadcasting Names Justin Chase to New Corporate VP of Programming.  The promotion of Justin Chase from operations manager for Beasley’s three Las Vegas music outlets – KCYE, KKLZ and KOAS (as well as GGB Las Vegas-owned KVGS) – to the new corporate post of vice president of programming gives Chase the charge of overseeing all programming responsibilities for the company’s portfolio of 40-plus radio stations located in 11 radio markets across the country.  The company adds other duties to the position with Chase being charged with “developing creative campaigns that extend the radio stations’ on-air brands to the digital space.”  Chase reports to president and COO Bruce Beasley.  The company lauds Chase for the ratings and revenue growth the stations have experienced since he came aboard in 2009 – from CBS Radio’s crosstown AC KMXB — making Las Vegas one of the company’s top-performing markets.  Bruce Beasley states, “Justin possesses all the traits and strengths we were we looking for in a vice president of programming when we decided to create the position at Beasley’s corporate level.  Over the last four years with our company, he has demonstrated his ability to program numerous formats, develop and maintain strong relationships within the industry and create campaigns that extend stations’ on-air brands to digital platforms.  We believe Justin is the perfect fit for this new position.”

barefootcoyCharlottesville Talk Host Coy Barefoot Jumps Across Town to WCHV-FM.  Talk media personality Coy Barefoot leaves Saga Communications’ WINA, Charlottesville, Virginia to join Monticello Media’s WCHV-FM for the 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot.  Barefoot also hosts a weekly Sunday morning program on Newsplex-owned TV in the market called “Inside Charlottesville” and his radio show at WCHV-FM takes the same name.  Barefoot began his program on WINA in 2006.  The move to Monticello Media’s news/talk simulcast of WCHV-AM/FM means the station separates programming for the two hours when Barefoot’s show is head on the FM and Premiere’s Sean Hannity continues to be heard on the AM signal.

norrisedWJZ-FM, Baltimore Morning Co-Host Ed Norris Returns to Air After April Motorcycle Accident.  Former cop Ed Norris who now works as morning drive co-host at CBS Radio’s sports talk WJZ-FM, Baltimore “105.7 The Fan” returned to the air on June 19 after almost two months off the air.  Norris was involved in a motorcycle accident in which he swerved to avoid a truck. He suffered broken ribs, a broken arm and head injuries but has healed well enough to be back on the radio – although he tells WJZ-TV he’s still injured and still in some pain.  Norris co-hosts the morning show with Steve Davis.

nab logoNAB Files Comments with FCC Requesting Indecency Policy Provide Clarity.  The National Association of Broadcasters has filed a 42-page report containing its comments in regard to the FCC’s request for such on Adopting Egregious Cases Policy.  The crux of the NAB’s comments is that the commission’s policy on indecency needs to be clear and contain examples.  “The Commission’s broadcast indecency policies must, at the very least, adhere to the constraints of Pacifica — and thus, unlike the 2004 Golden Globe decision and its progeny, they must be limited and restrained.  Golden Globe and subsequent decisions focusing on fleeting expletives and isolated nudity led to unpredictable, arbitrary and unconstitutional enforcement of indecency rules and policies that chilled broadcaster speech.  Any policies going forward not only must be cautious and restrained, as Pacifica requires, they also must be as predictable, consistent and clear as possible.”  The NAB also states it believes: 1) the commission should no longer treat fleeting or isolated expletives and images as actionably indecent; 2) that, to be actionably indecent, challenged material must fall within the scope of its indecency definition —that is, the material must describe or depict sexual or excretory organs or activities.  The NAB also asks that the commission must use language that is as precise as possible and provide relevant examples and context in its policies and decisions.  If the commission cannot establish sufficiently clear indecency regulations so that broadcasters know what is expected of them, then broadcasters cannot be subject to liability for alleged violations of those standards.

arbitronArbitron Modifies TLR Policy Affecting Out-of-Market Streaming.  Arbitron announces a modification to its Total Line Reporting policy beginning with the Summer Diary Survey and the July 2013 PPM.  Arbitron explains: Over-the-air stations and streams that simulcast have been eligible for Total Line Reporting (TLR) for a number of years.  Combos that receive TLR are reported with a combined total line using the “primary” station’s call letters, selected by the combo from among the over-the-air stations.  Until May 2013, in order to be eligible for TLR, a stream had to simulcast 100% with its over-the-air partner, including any commercials, throughout the stream’s reach. Starting May 2013, Arbitron introduced a change in the policy that enables a stream to receive TLR while substituting commercials outside the home market of its over-the-air partner, subject to certain restrictions. After carefully reviewing this policy and with input from the Radio Advisory Council, Arbitron is modifying this policy to provide greater flexibility to stations that stream.  Starting with the July 2013 PPM report month and Summer 2013 Diary survey, a stream is eligible for TLR as long as the stream simulcasts all content 100%, including commercials, in the home Metro and DMA of its over-the-air partner. Under this new policy, the stream is not required to simulcast any content outside the over-the-air station’s home Metro and DMA. The 100% simulcast requirement for streams will remain in effect in the over-the-air station’s Metro and DMA. Over-the-air stations requesting TLR with one another will also need to simulcast 100% without exception, as required under the long-standing Arbitron TLR policy.

rtdnaRTDNA/Hofstra Survey of Radio and TV News Directors Paints Unclear Picture of State of Radio News.  The annual survey of radio and television news directors and general managers by Hofstra University professor emeritus Bob Papper in conjunction with the RTDNA was released on Wednesday and regarding radio news, Papper states, “Overall in the survey, 77.7% of radio stations run local news — 78.8% of AM stations and 77.2% of FM stations.  The overall percentage is up a surprising 8.8% from last year, with AM stations up 9.8 points and FM stations up 4 points.  As I do each year, I would urge caution on those numbers.  The numbers are based on stations that return the survey, and since it’s a news survey, stations that run news could well be more likely to return the surveys than stations that do not.  It’s possible those percentages are too high.”  Papper reports that regarding changes in radio news and plans for the future veered from past years.  “Historically, these numbers have tended to be pretty consistent, but this year is different.  The percentage of stations reporting an increase in news fell from 30.1% last year to 22% this time around.  The percentage reporting a drop edged up from 4.9% to 6.7%.  Non-commercial stations were a little more likely to increase the amount of news; so were stations in the biggest markets.”  You can see the summary of the entire study here.

Obama Nukes Plan/Berlin Speech, ‘Gang of 8’ Amnesty Deal, NSA Surveillance Program, DOJ News Organization Monitoring, and FBI Domestic Drones Policy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/19).  President Obama’s nukes reduction plan and his speech in Berlin; the “Gang of 8” illegal immigrant amnesty deal; controversy over the National Security Administration’s surveillance program; the effect of the Department of Justice’s monitoring of phone and email records of news organizations on sources; and the FBI’s admission to using drones in the United States were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Arbitron Ratings for All Would be Good for All

| June 17, 2013

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
Chairman

 NEW YORK — Please take a moment to click through to this website:
tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com.

TV By the NumbersYou see TV Nielsen ratings. Nielsen as you know is the TV and radio (in Australia) ratings company that is merging with Arbitron and has cool offices in lower Manhattan.  TV BY THE NUMBERS breaks out the TV ratings any way you could imagine: By demo, show, cable, syndication, network. If you want a number you don’t see, simply email the site’s founders and they’ll get it for you.

What is the source of their information? “Various data sources” it says in their ABOUT section.

Read More

Monday, June 17, 2013

| June 17, 2013

farbernmslgThe State of Radio Advertising and Sales.  See it now on TalkersTV! It was one of the most important panels at the recent Talkers New York 2013 convention (6/6) receiving coverage in numerous newspapers and blogs across the country and sparking a major industry buzz.  Moderated by RAB CEO /president Erica Farber (pictured at left), the panel of heavy hitters includes Jana Cosgrove, president, CBS Radio Sales/Entercom Radio Sales; Jerry Crowley, VP/GM, Salem‘s WNYM, New York; Dan Metter, SVP, sales, Premiere Networks; John Murphy, EVP, sales, Dial Global; and Jeff Smulyan, CEO, Emmis Broadcasting.  The discussion tackles a variety of key issues affecting the industry including comments about the resilience of advertising on the Rush Limbaugh show in the aftermath of the campaign to influence a sponsor boycott of the program (and news/talk radio in general) resulting from the Sandra Fluke incident.  See the entire panel discussion by clicking the TalkersTV box on the top of the column on the right side of this page.

daschlenathanNathan Daschle Joins Clear Channel as EVP of Political Strategy.  Political strategist, attorney and Ruck.us founder Nathan Daschle is recruited by Clear Channel to take the newly created position executive vice president for political strategy.  The company states that Daschle “will develop and oversee a Washington, D.C.-based team that will focus on working with political and issue advertisers and advertising agencies to develop custom strategies and campaigns that leverage the unique reach and power of Clear Channel Media and Entertainment.  He will lead efforts to fully utilize Clear Channel’s unmatched national reach and local activation through its radio, digital, mobile and outdoor assets, as well as its event capabilities, to provide political and issue advertisers targeted, effective, affordable and powerful ways to deliver their messages.”  Daschle reports directly to CEO John Hogan who says, “Having Nathan Daschle on board sends a clear message that we intend to seriously invest in this arena and to continue to provide more and better options for political and issue advertisers through our multiplatform offerings.  His extensive political background makes him the perfect person to grow the Clear Channel political strategy team as well as lead our ‘class of one’ offerings to political and issue advertisers.”  About joining Clear Channel, Daschle comments, “Political and issue advertising, marketing and events is a $7-billion business, and I’m looking forward to making Clear Channel front-and-center with politically focused advertisers and agencies.  The future of effective campaign advertising lies in the smart integration of traditional and digital media, and no company does this better than Clear Channel Media and Entertainment.  Clear Channel is reinventing the way organizations – and campaigns – communicate with their audiences, and I look forward to building a strong, bipartisan team at Clear Channel that will effectively market its extraordinary assets.”

kjrlogoClear Channel Flips Sports Talk KJR’s FM Signal to Hot AC.  Clear Channel sports talk outlet KJR-AM, Seattle enjoyed an FM simulcast for the past year and half on sister signal KNBQ at 102.9 but the simulcast ended on Friday as the company made KNBQ a hot AC branded “The New 102.9 NOW.”  Sports talk remains on KJR-AM.

wjbx logoBeasley Broadcasting Goes FM Sports in Fort Myers.  Beginning Thursday, June 20, Beasley Broadcasting’s rock WJBX, Fort Myers “99X” flips to a simulcast of the company’s AM sports talk station WWCN as “99.3 ESPN.”  The company is directing rock fans to its other rock outlet WRXK “96 K-Rock.”

arbitronKansas City Website Raises Issues Regarding Radio Ratings and the Law.  By now you’ve probably heard about the reportedly independent website www.listenlonger.com operating in Kansas City that had been seeking out PPM holders in an effort to save its “favorite Kansas City radio station through education about the ratings system.”  The site reports it has been in contact with Arbitron – in fact the ratings company sent a cease and desist letter to the operators and they’ve tweaked their strategy but are not shutting down the site.  Now the site operators say they will no longer ask to be contacted by PPM holders but will continue to keep the site going and it appears the operation is not violating any laws.  For its part, Arbitron has sent a letter to Kansas City subscribers to assure them the May 2013 PPM data has not been tainted that reads, in part: “During the May report period, a third-party website encouraged Kansas City radio listeners to support an unnamed local station, posted general information about ratings methodology and ratings data, and solicited information on PPM panelists.  We want to assure subscribers that the website is not affiliated or endorsed by Arbitron and that Arbitron has taken substantial steps to ensure the integrity of the Kansas City PPM panel and all Arbitron audience estimates for the market…Arbitron monitors social media sites daily, interacts with panelists on a regular basis, and has confidential processes in place to help identify panelists who may have disclosed their participation.  We have also taken special measures in light of the Kansas City website to protect the integrity of in-tab panelists included in the recently-released May 2013 Kansas City data.”  After being contacted by Arbitron, the following (an excerpt) was posted on the site: “Arbitron has demanded we provide the name of anyone who contacted us regarding this issue, and the names of anyone to whom we passed that information along.  ListenLonger.com would like to use this update as written notice to Arbitron that no one has ever contacted us saying they had a PPM except a reporter who posed as a PPM holder in an attempt to surreptitiously gather information…In short, please whatever you do, don’t tell us if you have a PPM.  Really.  We don’t want to know.”  The site operators are fans of an Entercom station in the market as they encourage people to sign up for the “Get My Perks” program Entercom employs and although the site operators say Wilks Broadcasting had questioned the integrity of the May 2013 PPM data as a result, Arbitron ensures subscribers the data was not affected.

millerchris“How Many Social Media Followers Should I Have?”  That question is one of the more commonly asked of digital radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller.  In a column posted today (6/17) Miller answers that question, as well as some of the most frequently asked, including: “We’re on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest.  What other hot new sites should we be on?” “How often should we post?  I’m not sure we’re posting enough.” “I have many times more listeners than followers.  Why should I waste time with social media?” “I can sell ads on my own air and on my website.  There’s no way to monetize Facebook and Twitter.  I don’t want to get too involved in it for that reason.”  Check out Chris Miller’s answers to these questions and concerns by clicking here.

sabowalterSABO SEZ:  It Would be Good for Radio if Arbitron Ratings Were More Openly Available to the Industry and the Public.  In an article posted today (6/17) media consultant and TALKERS columnist Walter Sabo compares how TV ratings are an open book while radio ratings are secretive and inaccessible – a difference that he thinks significantly works to the disadvantage of radio as both a business and an institution. To read Walter Sabo’s column, click here.

hoganjohnClear Channel Moves John Hogan to New York City.  Most of the company’s high-level executives are already stationed in the Big Apple and not the company’s legal headquarters in San Antonio.  Now, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment CEO John Hogan is moving to New York as well.  In a filing with the SEC, the company notes that Hogan is also getting a pay increase to make his base salary $1,125,000 in addition to moving expenses and a housing allowance for the next year and a half.

carrhowieWRKO, Boston’s Howie Carr Schedules Weekly Remotes for Whitey Bulger Trial.  Entercom Boston talk show host Howie Carr – heard daily in PM drive on WRKO – has reported on the activities of New England mobsters for most of his career.  He’s written several books about Boston gangland characters, including James Whitey Bulger titled The Brothers Bulger: How They Terrorized and Corrupted Boston for a Quarter Century, and now as Bulger goes to trial in a South Boston courthouse, Carr will do a weekly live remote from The Barking Crab restaurant and pub next door to the courthouse.

magna global logoMagna Global Releases International Ad Revenue Forecasts for the Rest of ’13 and for 2014; United States Radio to Be Flat.  Looking at the really big picture first, Magna Global predicts global ad spending to be up 3% in 2013 and rise to 6.1% in 2014.  That said, in the United States, those figures are up just 0.4% for ’13 due to the missing Olympics and political ad spending that occurs in even-numbered years.  For 2014 the figure is expected to rise. As for radio, Magna Global predicts 2013 will be flat but for those radio companies also selling digital, there is a ton of opportunity as that category is expected to rise 11.5% and is boosted by the mobile aspect of the category, predicted to go up 61.7%.

oconnorlarryOdds & Sods.  WMAL, Washington “Mornings on the Mall” co-host Larry O’Connor (and Breitbart.tv editor-in-chief) is sitting in for Cumulus Media Networks’ nationally syndicated Geraldo Rivera this week…..Dave Graveline’s “Into Tomorrow” nationally syndicated program is taking two lucky listeners to this year’s IFA Consumer Electronics and Appliance Show in Berlin Germany in celebration of the program’s 10th anniversary covering the event.  Graveline is providing airfare, four nights lodging and other perks to the two winners…..Talk media personality Ernest Istook is filling in for KTOK, Oklahoma City’s Lee Matthews in afternoon drive four days this week.

Friday, June 14, 2013

| June 14, 2013

francesany13Mike Francesa Tells Industry: Change the Sports Talk Demo to 35-69.  Appearing at the Talkers New York 2013 conference last week, WFAN, New York afternoon drive legend Mike Francesa said the industry should change their sales strategies to sell to the Men 35-69 demo “because guys 60 to 69 have all the money.  And guys who are 25 live at home and can’t pay their rent.  25 -54 is dumb!  I’ve been yelling that one for years.”  Francesa also argued with the notion that hosts like him are content machines and they should put their content everywhere.  He states, “If I’m on for five and half hours every day from 1:00 pm to 6:30pm, why do I want an interview that I do at 1:30 on the damn internet at 3:30 competing with myself? It’s not rated!”  He says he wants people to tune in to his show between 1:00 and 6:30 because that where he makes his living.  Being on someone else’s show to give his take on a sports issue or put it on the internet means the listener won’t have to tune in later that day and that goes against the fundamental rules of radio.  View Mike Francesa’s entire speech from Talkers New York 2013 by clicking here.

infinitedial logoArbitron and Edison Research’s Infinite Dial Looks at News/Talk/Sports P1s.  The breakdown of news/talk/sports P1s from the Arbitron and Edison Research Infinite Dial 2013 study has been released and offers some insight into the digital media habits and perceptions of the aforementioned subset.  Some of the notable conclusions from the study:

  • News/talk/sports P1s are very aware of digital music services such as Pandora and iHeartRadio although they are far less likely to be regular users than are P1s of other radio formats.
  • They are slightly more likely to have listened to a podcast in the last month compared to the larger group of all radio users 12-plus (15% versus 12%).
  • News/talk/sports P1s are big YouTube users with 43% saying they watched a YouTube video in the last week compared to 37% for all radio users 12-plus.
  • News/talk/sports P1s are far less likely to wake up to a cell phone (19%) than are all radio users 12-plus (30%).
  • News/talk/sports P1s are fans of tablet devices with 34% claiming to own one versus 29% for all radio users 12-plus.
  • They are less likely to follow a radio station on Facebook (2%) than are all radio users 12-plus (9%).
  • And they are also less likely to be frequent social media users (“several times per day”) with 20% saying they do so compared to 27% for all radio users 12-plus.

freemanianFree Talk Live Co-Host Ian Freeman Has Video Arrest Case Dismissed; Receives Settlement.  Nationally syndicated talk radio host Ian Freeman, who co-hosts “Free Talk Live” with partner Mark Edge, reports his charge of disorderly conduct and violation of a town ordinance in Palmer, Massachusetts for attempting to videotape a proceeding in the community’s town hall was dismissed and he received a $5,000 settlement.  Freeman, who is well known forftllogo championing personal freedoms and the right to a free press calls the result “a total win for press freedom, except for the fact that it happened in the first place.  It could happen to you or a staff member at your station next.”  Freeman says as he was recording a proceeding at the town hall, a uniformed officer told him to turn off his video recorder.  When he refused, citing freedom of the press, he was arrested and charged.  Freeman was represented by the ACLU and he states, “Eventually, the misdemeanor was dropped and the town ordinance violation changed from criminal to civil.  The ACLU of MA came on board to take the case, and they knocked it out of the park.  Palmer crumbled and agreed the charges should be dismissed ‘with prejudice’ (meaning they can’t be brought again) and also agreed to a $5,000 settlement with no gag order preventing me from talking about it.”  With more and more radio news departments using video for their web content, the issue of where and when civil servants can be recorded doing their jobs is one that is very real and may become more high profile as time goes on.

radioshow2013The 2013 Radio Show to Feature Two-Pronged Program Agenda.  The National Association of Broadcasters and the Radio Advertising Bureau announce the 2013 Radio Show – scheduled for September 18-20 in Orlando – will feature two new conference tracks, the Programming Masters Series and Sales Consultants’ Corner, both on Friday, September 20.  According to a release from the organizations, “The power tracks, which will run concurrently on Friday morning, are designed to provide radio programming and sales professionals a comprehensive training opportunity in a consolidated format.  Attendees will learn strategies and best practices that can be immediately employed to increase station revenue and enhance programming content.”  The fast-paced Programming Masters Series will address how today’s multi-platform media environment impacts radio programmers as they juggle the demands of programming multiple stations and cultivating talent.  Sessions include: “The Art of Story Telling;” “The Next Gen Programmer,” featuring tips from college radio on how mainstream radio can connect with diverse audiences; and “What’s Working at Work,” featuring unique research on media consumption.  Panelists include Evan Harrison, executive vice president, content and entertainment, Univision Radio; Laurie Cantillo, program director, WTOP; Buzz Knight, vice president, program development, Greater Media; and Steve Reynolds, The Reynolds Group.  During the four-hour Sales Consultants’ Corner, radio’s top sales trainers and consultants will discuss effective strategies for training salespeople, prospecting new leads and growing revenue.  Sessions include “The Seven Steps for Selling Success,” “Getting the Appointment” and “Addressing Objections and Closing.” Additionally, RAB will provide resources and tools stations can use to support the sales process.  Panelists include Paul Weyland, president, Paul Weyland Communication Strategies; Marijane Milton, international director of revenue innovation and training, MultiBrand Media International; Michael Guld, president, The Guld Resource Group and author of “The Million Dollar Media Rep;” and Susan Novicki, president, Morrison and Abraham.

NSA Data Collection Program Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 10-14.  The controversy over the National Security Agency’s widespread telephone and internet tracking program and contractor Edward Snowden’s leaking of information was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the DOJ’s investigation of journalists.  Coming in at #3 was the immigration amnesty legislation followed by the IRS scandal at #4.  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.

schiffpeterTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The Peter Schiff show, syndicated nationally by Radio America, announces the show is added to the program lineup at the following stations: WLOE, Eden, North Carolina; WMYN, Mayodan, North Carolina; KLEY, Wellington, Kansas; KKLE, Winfield, Kansas; WRJM, Charleston, Illinois; KXAR, Hope, Arkansas; KTPA, Prescott, Arkansas; and WLBK, DeKalb, Illinois…..“Free Talk Live” featuring Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is added to the air schedule at WBLF, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania; WEEO, McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania; and KOMY, Santa Cruz, California…..“Stuart Vener Tells It Like It Is” adds the following stations to its roster of affiliates: WTAN, Clearwater, Florida; WDCF, Dade City, Florida; WZHR, Zephyrhills, Florida; KCAA, Loma Linda, California; and WRGC, Sylvia, North Carolina.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

| May 28, 2013

burnsgenePioneering Talk Radio Host Gene Burns Dead at 72.  Longtime talk radio host and broadcasting pioneer Gene Burns has died, succumbing to a long illness marked by a series of strokes.  In the words of TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison, “Gene was one of the greatest of the great and classiest of the classy – a true ‘wordsmith’ and gentleman who symbolized everything good about talk radio and served as one of the major engines that drove the ascent of its modern era.”  Until recently forced by illness into retirement from on-air performing, Burns had spent a decade and a half as a key host on KGO, San Francisco where he did a general news/talk program as well as a very popular restaurant and entertainment show.  The veteran of a number of great stations, he made his mark in the late-1980s and early-1990s as a member of the legendary lineup at WRKO, Boston that also included the late Jerry Williams. That was followed by a brief but high-profile stint at WOR, New York and national syndication on the WOR Radio Network.  Harrison adds, “Gene Burns practiced a brand of libertarian-based, intellectual populism in his approach to political news/talk that set the standard for the format’s emergence as a voice for the average person to stand up to big government, big business, big media and big anything.  Although ‘conservative’ in his orientation, he eschewed blatant partisanship, avoided banal cookie-cutter left-versus-right talking points and dealt with each issue in an academically probing and credible manner.”  Burns’ ground breaking work in the early-1990s stood as the inspiration for TALKERS magazine’s annual Freedom of Speech Award and the tradition of the annual State of the First Amendment Address delivered at the publication’s conventions. He is ranked the 23rd most important radio talk show host of all time by TALKERS in its “Heaviest Hundred” feature which is updated twice a decade.  Harrison concludes, “His rich, baritone voice coupled with the artistry of his word selection and ability to construct a logical argument was about as close to music as one could hear within a spoken word context.”  A special honoring the life and work of Gene Burns aired on Sunday, May 26 on KGO hosted by David Weintraub and a special tribute will be presented honoring his legacy at Talkers New York 2013 on Thursday, June 6.

millerchrisAdult Contemporary is a Relatively Low-Involvement Format on Facebook.  According to digital radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller, “There are several major-market adult contemporary stations on Facebook who have a ton of followers, but very little interaction going on.  As a former AC programmer, I absolutely feel their pain; AC is a low-involvement format.  At the same time, most of these stations have fallen into a rut about what they post.  The quality of the post is in the level of engagement you get from it.  When thousands or tens of thousands follow you, and you get two or three ‘Likes’ on your posts, you gotta shake up your thinking.”  In a new column posted today (5/28) Miller suggests that although consistency is basically a good and necessary thing, there is a dark side to it and to avoid falling into a rut, radio broadcasters of all formats should make changes to approximately 10% of their posts on a regular basis.  To read the details and Miller’s entire piece, click here.

sterlingkentKent Sterling Returns to Indy on Sports Talk WFNI.  News/talk and sports radio pro Kent Sterling re-surfaces on the air at Emmis’ sports talk WFNI, Indianapolis for a weekend program with Chris Hagan called, “Ahead of the Curve with Hagan and Sterling.”  He most recently served with Bonneville at its St. Louis sports talker WXOS but exited that post to return to Indianapolis.  Prior to his work at WXOS, Sterling served as program director at Emmis’ news/talk flagship WIBC-FM, Indianapolis.  Sterling’s and Hagan’s weekend program airs from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturdays.

nba logoNBA on Radio Is a Different Breed of Sports Play-by-Play.  Major League Baseball is the sport that could be called radio’s best friend and the NFL’s astounding popularity makes its games and surrounding programming popular with listeners.  While the NBA’s regular season games are not generally thought of as “programming gold” across the country, it appears that having even a moderately successful team combined with a flagship station with a strong nighttime signal, can be a recipe for success with basketball play-by-play.  According to information from Arbitron based on PPM data from 27 NBA teams in 25 PPM markets, certain places are simply basketball towns – the Los Angeles Lakers rule Los Angeles on KSPN with average game estimates larger than the Dodgers, Angels, Kings and Ducks grabbing a 4.0 share with Men 25-54 (average of all 82 games).  And perennial contenders the San Antonio Spurs dominated on WOAI with a 9.8 share with Men 25-54.  However, less successful teams on strong flagships performed well during the regular season:  the Milwaukee Bucks just squeaked into the playoffs but on heritage WTMJ garnered a 10 share with Men 25-54; the Cleveland Cavaliers missed the playoffs yet grabbed a 9.7 share (M 25-54) on WTAM; and the Detroit Pistons also missed the playoffs but notched an 8.0 (M 25-54) share on the highly rated WXYT-FM.  Considering games in the East and Midwest air in the evenings, numbers for the stations cited above – and others not cited here – are impressive nighttime ratings.

pendlchrisFlagship Stations Should Capitalize on Cross-Promotional Opportunities within Baseball PBP.  According to Bonneville Seattle creative director Chris Pendl, “If you’ve made the investment on play-by-play sports on your station, it’s important to maximize the return on your investment by trying to recycle that audience to another daypart on your station.”  Arbitron reports that MLB drives cume increases as much as 50% to 65% during baseball season.  Pendl tells TALKERS, “This influx of audience is one of the reasons we pay rights fees, share revenue, or give up inventory to carry this programming.  In a climate with little or no external marketing dollars, I’ve often joked that our promotional time within baseball play-by-play is the closest thing we’ll get to an interstate billboard or TV campaign.”  In an exclusive article posted today (5/28) Pendl describes and shares a production/promo technique conducted by Bonneville to cross-promote the station via the baseball audience that he calls “situation baseball return liners.”  To read the entire piece and hear examples of its execution, click here.

kyzz logoBuckley to Sell KYZZ, Salinas, California to Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters.  Buckley Communications announces it is selling sports talk KYZZ, Salinas, California to Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters.  The price is yet to be announced.  KYZZ is the FM side of the sports talk simulcast that also airs on Buckley’s KIDD, Monterey and Buckley says it will continue with its ESPN Radio affiliation on KIDD.  Mt. Wilson has not announced its format plans for KYZZ.  Saul Levine’s Mt. Wilson also owns country KKGO, Los Angeles and classical simulcast KMZT-AM, Beverly Hills and KMZT-FM, Big Sur, California.

weismanstevenWTOP Hacking: Why You Should Worry.  TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes about the recent hacking of the websites of Hubbard Broadcasting’s WTOP, Washington and its sister WFED “Federal News Radio.”  Weisman is one of the nation’s foremost experts on scams, he operates the website Scamicide that presents up-to-date information about scams, fraud and identity theft, and is the author of The Truth About Avoiding Scams (FT Press 2008).  In this column, Weisman explains the methods used by the WTOP hackers and explains the steps users can take to avoid becoming the victim of similar attacks.  Read Weisman’s entire piece here.

Odds & Sods.  Martz Communications’ WPDM, Potsdam, New York flips from a simulcast of FM sister WSNN to sports talk using CBS Sports Radio Network…..Wilks License Company’s sports talk WZOH, Columbus becomes part of the Cleveland Browns radio network based at CBS Radio’s WKRK, Cleveland…..WTOP, Washington crowns Nathan Stanford from Harrington, Delaware the 2013 winner of “Commuter Idle” – an “extreme commuter” competition for listeners experiencing the daily horrors of commuting in and around Washington.  Stanford’s commute begins with a 3:00 am alarm and a one-hour drive.  He then boards a commuter bus for a 90-minute ride from Kent Island to Foggy Bottom, rides the Metro, and hustles on foot to his office in Rosslyn.  Stanford’s travels from Delaware to Virginia average more than five hours a day, though the commute can be much longer in the summer months with Friday beach traffic.  He receives $1,000 in gas money and will enjoy a limo ride to and from work from Reston Limousine.  WTOP program director Laurie Cantillo says, “The question that we hear most often is, ‘Why do these people do it?’  It’s fascinating to hear their personal stories and accompany them on their crazy commutes.  We feel their pain, and as DC’s traffic authority we’re here to help.”

koilmulberryKOIL, Omaha’s Mulberry Lane Meets the Beach Boys and John Stamos.  Musical act Mulberry Lane opened for the Beach Boys (which includes actor and musician John Stamos) in Council Bluffs, Iowa on Saturday, May 25.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Bo Mulberry, Bruce Johnston, Rachel Mulberry, Mike Love, Allie Mulberry, and John Stamos.  The Mulberry sisters – based in Nebraska – also host a weekend talk show on NRG Media’s KOIL, Omaha called the “Mulberry Lane Radio Show.”  The station describes the ladies’ program saying the sisters “decided to bring their busy lives to live radio with a show based on sisterhood, womanhood, motherhood, and the humor and mishaps of trying to juggle it all – woven together with music, harmony and a dash of wit.”  It airs Saturdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.

Longtime KNX, Los Angeles Anchor Harry Birrell Dies.  Longtime Los Angeles news personality Harry Birrell died on May 26 after a battle with lung disease at age 85 in Thousand Oaks, California.  Birrell was an anchor at all-news KNX, Los Angeles for more than three decades – beginning in 1968 when the station flipped to the all-news format and ending with his retirement in 1999.  Birrell switched from his anchor role at the station to Ventura County correspondent in 1993.

millerbeckKevin Miller Stops By TheBlaze.  KIDO, Boise morning drive talk show host Kevin Miller was visiting Dallas – home of Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze – and took some time to stop by the studios to check out the production of the Glenn Beck program.  Here’s a shot of Beck (l) and Miller (r) inside the spacious former movie/TV studios that are home to Beck’s Mercury Radio Arts production facility.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

| May 21, 2013

oktornadoRadio Goes into Emergency Mode in Oklahoma City.  The EF5 tornado that moved through the Oklahoma City area on Monday reportedly has taken at least 24 lives, including 9 children trapped in an elementary school in the suburb of Moore.  But officials are saying the death toll could have been worse had it not been for the local radio stations that went into action warning residents about the storm almost 30 minutes before the tornado touched down.  As the twister approached and cell service began to overload, local radio outlets remained on air.  Reports to TALKERS indicate most stations went into wall-to-wall storm mode using either audio from a news/talk outlet or by using audio from a local TV station.  Radio’s role has just begun as many of those who are seeking information about emergency services will rely on radio.  Numerous broadcasting companies are already organizing relief efforts for those affected by the tornado.  As storms moved across the Plains states on Sunday, Pottawatomie County Sheriff Mike Booth was cited in an Associated Press story crediting local TV and radio stations’ wall-to-wall broadcasts covering the storms for keeping the death toll low.

malonesamTVKNTH, Houston’s Sam Malone Goes Multi-Platform.  Morning drive host Sam Malone, heard daily on Salem Communication’s news/talk KNTH, Houston “AM 1070 The Answer,” is now broadcasting his program in multi-media fashion, making it available to fans in a video format.  Malone partnered with Houston-based tech company Phonoscope to develop the web-based video component.  As you can see in the photo here, Malone’s set is able to deliver some of the aspects of a television broadcast that news/talk audiences can use: a news crawl, the ability to identify guests/callers via chyron, a backdrop for photos/video, and other promotional messages.  For example, today (5/21) he’s able to constantly provide the toll-free number to donate to victims of the Oklahoma tornado.  From a sales perspective, the format obviously allows for still photos and video in commercial spots.

MLB LogoPlay Ball: Fun with Flagships.  Baseball season is well underway and the recent April 2013 PPM data from Arbitron gives TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian the opportunity to delve into the numbers and get a glimpse of where the flagship stations for most of the Major League Baseball teams stand at this point.  As Kinosian notes, baseball is a very important programming element for many stations, “Sandwich a typical three-hour game between pre-game and post-game programming and a station can devote approximately 20% of its 24-hour broadcast day to being a MLB flagship.”  Baseball has a reputation of being a cume-builder and baseball fans certainly know where their team can be heard on the radio.  Check out Mike Kinosian’s analysis of the nation’s baseball radio broadcast flagship stations here.

sabowalterFive Secrets to Hiring Excellent Digital Sellers.  “Made you look!” teases Sabo Media chairman and TALKERS magazine columnist Walter Sabo.  The truth is that finding effective digital media sellers is exceedingly difficult and anyone who’s tried to hire digital sales pros knows this.  Walter Sabo writes that the reason is digital buyers don’t know how to buy digital advertising.  Who’s fault is that?  According to Sabo, the rules for return on investment for a digital ad do not exist – or at least there’s no industry-wide agreement on how to measure ROI.  Read more about this vexing problem that is hampering the sale of digital ads here.

NAB Announces Ginny Morris to Receive National Radio Award.  The National Association of Broadcasters announces that Ginny Hubbard Morris, chair of Hubbard Radio LLC, will receive the National Radio Award during the Radio Show morrisginnyLuncheon on Friday, September 20 at 2013 Radio Show in Orlando.  NAB EVP of radio John David states, “Ginny Morris is highly regarded for her leadership and success.  It is a tremendous honor to recognize Ginny for her continuous dedication to radio and for her many accomplishments and contributions to the business.”  The NAB notes that Morris has more than 30 years of broadcast industry, business and general management experience.  As chair of Hubbard Radio LLC, Morris is responsible for managing the strategic direction for Hubbard’s 21 radio stations throughout Chicago, Washington D.C., Minneapolis/St. Paul, St. Louis and Cincinnati.  As part of the company’s growth strategy, in 2011, Morris led Hubbard’s acquisition of 17 radio stations from Bonneville International Corporation, strengthening Hubbard’s national reach and significantly expanding its industry footprint.  Morris originally joined her family’s broadcasting business in 1982 and worked her way to management positions before becoming president and general manager of KSTP-FM and KSTP-AM in 1995.

sportsusaOdds & Sods.  Cumulus Media sports talk WNKT, Columbia, South Carolina “107.5 The Game” re-ups with IMG College on a new four-year deal to serve as the flagship for University of South Carolina Gamecocks play-by-play.  The package includes football, men’s and women’s basketball and baseball…..Sports USA announces the first five games of its 2013 NFL broadcast schedule.  The season will kick off with the Cincinnati Bengals at the Chicago Bears on September 8.  Sports USA president Bob Moore says, “We are thrilled with the first part of our schedule.  These matchups are second to none.  Additionally, Sports USA will be the only Sunday afternoon NFL broadcasts to feature a sideline reporter at every game in order to offer insights and quicker access to injury reports.”…..Cumulus Media’s WPRO and 99.7 FM in Providence announce a series of summer radio shows hosted by New England area tradesmen Dean Marsico and Derek Stearns – both nationally known for their TV shows “Rock Solid” and “Indoors Out” on the DIY Network and their appearances on the PBS Series “Victory Garden.”  The duo will host a monthly program, the first episode airing on Sunday, May 26.

Oklahoma Tornado, IRS Targets Conservatives, Benghazi Investigation, and DOJ Investigates Fox News Channel Journalists Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/20). The devastation from the EF4 tornado that ripped through the Oklahoma City area yesterday; the allegations of the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS; the ongoing investigation into how the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was handled; and the Department of Justice’s investigation of Fox News Channel journalists were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

wachssingsRhythm & Shmooze.  Las Vegas based-nationally syndicated medical talker Dr. Daliah Wachs of KDWN, SiriusXM Satellite Radio and GCN is known to occasionally get up on the stage during musical performances, grab the mic, and belt out a tune.  True to form, she is pictured here doing exactly that at her son Stone‘s recent Bar Mitzvah.  Wachs (l) is singing Def Leppard‘s “Pour Some Sugar on Me” with the band Vegas Underground.  Wonder if they do the Electric Slide.

Self-Syndication is Berry, Berry Good

| May 15, 2013

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief

Meet Michael Berry

Michael Berry #1LOS ANGELES — Granted, it doesn’t quite convey the magnitude of Howard Stern’s “King of All Media” bravado, but “Czar of Talk Radio” is the tongue-in-cheek manner Michael Berry refers to himself. “If President Obama can name a czar for everything, then I’m the ‘Czar of Talk Radio,’” Berry reasons.

The moniker took off when he started it four years ago and Berry has capitalized on it. “Other talk hosts say they wish they branded it before I did.”

Read More

Thursday, May 9, 2013

| May 9, 2013

emmisEmmis Reports Fiscal Q4 Results; Smulyan “Significantly Outperformed Our Markets.” Emmis Communications reports the results of its fiscal fourth quarter (which ended February 28, 2013) for 2013 with net revenue up 2%.  Chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan stated up front during the investor’s conference call, “I could not be more proud of what happened last year and I could not be more proud of what’s happening now. Because of our unique reporting structure, we have a pretty good handle on what the first quarter of our nextsmulyanjeff fiscal year will look like and we’re equally pleased with that.  I think it was a transformative year for Emmis for a couple of reasons.  I think we solved this industry’s most vexing problems with capital structure and we did it because we have a unique culture here and a culture that I think stands out and I think people are starting to understand that their culture makes a difference.”  Chief financial officer and COO Pat Walsh broke down the financials a bit, stating, “Pro forma for our station divestitures, radio net revenues consisting solely of our domestic stations grew 3%.  Revenues in markets where Emmis competes, excluding barter revenues, grew 2.8% during the quarter.  Emmis’ pro forma radio revenues reported on the same basis to Miller Kaplan grew 4.2%…automotive was once again our largest category, representing 11% of revenues, with the category growing nearly 20% as U.S. auto sales continued to accelerate.  Wireless and financial services also exhibited strong growth at approximately 20%. Education and pandoralogomedia also showed high mid-single-digit growth, high – mid to high single-digit growth.  Other top ten categories such as restaurants, entertainment, healthcare and retail showed flattish growth with beverages off during the quarter.”  During Q&A, Smulyan answered a question about whether IP-based services are sapping AM/FM audience.  Smulyan responded, “We’ve been streaming like most of our brethren for almost 17 years and we haven’t cracked the code.  We know Pandora hasn’t cracked the code.  We know TuneIn hasn’t cracked the code or Spotify, so we know that that’s a challenge.  I have one friend in the industry who says, let’s be honest.  When we take a terrestrial listener at a 35% or 40% margin and we can convert that same listener to an IP-based stream, that listener goes from a 30% or 40% margin to zero.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript.  Read the entire call here.

entercomEntercom Reports Revenue Down 2% in Q1.  Entercom announces financials for the first quarter of 2013 and reports net revenue down 2% on $78.4 million.  Station operating income was flat at $20.5 million and free cash flow increased from $1.2 million to $3.9 million.  Entercom CEO David Field noted the drop in net revenue was offset by a 3% decline in station expenses. fielddavid Regarding sales during the first quarter, Field said, “Local and national revenues were essentially the same with both down low-single digits.  Our best-performing markets were Indianapolis, Kansas City, Memphis and New Orleans.  Top-performing categories were financials, travel, telecom, home improvement and drugstores.”  Looking at the company’s status in general, Field stated, “It is important to reiterate that our efforts to pursue smart ways to reinvent our business model have not come at the expense of reinvesting in our future.  To the contrary, we continue to boost our investment in new brands and content, expanded distribution, better operating systems and enhanced digital platforms to strengthen our value proposition to our listeners and customers and create new revenue opportunities.  And we are very pleased with the state of our brands.  We had a very solid set of winter ratings results and like how we are positioned in our markets across the country.”  Again, thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript.  You can read the entire conference call here.

arbitronArbitron Releases ‘Radio Today 2013’ Study to Clients; News/Talk #1 PPM Format.  The full study is only available to Arbitron clients but here are some of the takeaways from “Radio Today 2013”:  “News/Talk/Information and Talk/Personality remained the number one format in PPM markets and was number two in the rest of the U.S.  The 2,121 rated AM, FM, HD Radio, and streamed stations in these formats far exceed any other format.  Like other spoken word formats, they rank prominently in highly educated, high-income listeners.”  And relative to TALKERS magazine’s analysis of the shared audience between news/talk and country in Jeff McKay’s piece above, the Arbitron report notes that “country and new country, already number one in our report last year, grew again to remain in first place and reach another record audience share. The format benefited most from an influx of listeners aged 18-24 and is even number two among teen listeners nationally.”

wtmjOdds & Sods.  Journal Broadcast Group’s WTMJ, Milwaukee (along with its sister TV station with the same calls) was honored at this past weekend’s Wisconsin Broadcasters Association annual “Awards Gala” for broadcast excellence.  WTMJ won radio news station of the year and radio station of the year.  The station also won nine other awards including best radio show for “Midday with Charlie Sykes.”…..Andrew Marcus, director of the new film “Hating Breitbart,” which explores the life and impact of the late media guru Andrew Breitbart, will debate Wade Rathke, the founding organizer of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) on Rathke’s radio show.  The show will air on May 17 at 10:00 am ET on KABF-FM, Little Rock, Arkansas, where ACORN was founded…..Entertainment Weekly editor Jess Cagle will moderate a Town Hall special on SiriusXM with film star Hugh Jackman on May 28 at 7:00 pm ET.  Entertainment Weekly operates its own channel on the satellite radio service.

brownejoyRadio America’s Dr. Joy Browne Program Adds 10 Affiliate Stations.  The nationally syndicated Dr. Joy Browne program – now distributed by Radio America – picks up 10 new affiliate stations for the longest-running radio show of its kind.  New to the program are: WWRL, New York; WSNO, Montpelier-Barre-St. Johnsbury, Vermont; KHGG, Ft. Smith, Arkansas; WNIX, Greenville, Mississippi; KWBW, Hutchinson, Kansas; WIMS, Michigan City, Indiana; WFEB, Sylacauga, Alabama; and KVPI, Ville Platte, Louisiana.

sanchezmariaInternet Talk Station, LA Talk Radio, Continues to Grow – Adds Maria Sanchez to Daily Line Up.  Veteran talk radio host Maria Sanchez is now part of the growing LA Talk Radio team as the host of her own daily live radio program, “The Maria Sanchez Show.”  The show covers current events, newsmakers and lifestyles.  As a woman, a mother, and a Hispanic, Maria is being presented by LA Talk Radio as having “a unique perspective that is not represented in most of radio.”  A 20+ year career in radio, she developed her skills in the medium as a talk radio talent at KFI, Los Angeles, a weekend host and substitute host for such personalities as Bill Handel, John & Ken, and Phil Hendrie.   “I am thrilled to be back behind the mic and to be working with LA Talk Radio!  The ability to be relevant, topical, and without commercial interruption is a fabulous opportunity to really explore topics and guests” says Maria.  Sam Hasson, owner of LA Talk Radio, tells TALKERS, “We look forward to a long and storied relationship with Maria, a true pro in the radio industry.”

imusdon24th Annual Imus Radiothon Airs on WABC, New York Next Week.  WABC, New York-based Don Imus will broadcast the 24th annual “Imus Radiothon for the Imus Cattle Ranch for Kids with Cancer” next Tuesday and Wednesday, May 14 and 15.  The radiothon will also be broadcast to Imus show affiliates and be seen on Fox Business Network from 6:00 am to 10:00 am ET.

gahofnom13The Georgia Radio Hall of Fame Announces Candidates for Career Achievement Awards.  The Georgia Radio Hall of Fame announces the Career Achievement candidates.  Members will cast their votes in July and eight Georgia radio professionals selected will be announced in October. The 7th Annual Induction Awards Ceremony will be held Saturday October 19, 2013 at the Atlanta/Marietta Hilton Hotel and Conference Center.  The 2013 candidates (some positions are former) are: Harry Beadle, newsman at WGST, Atlanta; Tom and Paul Collins, The “Tiger Twins” on WQXI, Atlanta; Bill Edwards, host of “Good Morning Savannah” on WTKS, Savannah; Robert “Flash” Gordon, morning host on WKZK, Augusta; Steve Goss, host of “Morning Edition” on WABE, Atlanta; Charlie Hill, announcer at WCEH, Hawkinsville; Kaedy Kiley, morning host on WRVR, Atlanta; Greg McClure, program director at WFOM, Marietta; Kelly McCoy, afternoon host on WSB-FM, Atlanta; Nelle Reagan, host of “Talk of the Town” on WRGA, Rome; Bill Rice, host of “Soul Session” on WLET, Toccoa; Mike Roberts, owner WQMJ, Macon; Deborah Richards, news director, WKHX, Atlanta; and Mark Summers, mornings at WBBQ, Augusta.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

| May 8, 2013

cumulusCumulus Q1 Revenue Drops 1.3%.  The 2013 first quarter revenue numbers for Cumulus Media were $232 million – a decrease of $3.1 million or 1.3% compared to the same period a year ago.  In its filing with the SEC, the company attributes the drop to “lower political revenues and general lower advertising spending in some of our markets.”

dickeylewLew Dickey Says Underperforming Stations Improving But Not Fixed; Syndicated Talk ‘Continues to Be Challenged.’  During the Tuesday conference call with investors announcing Cumulus Media’s 2013 first quarter revenue figures, CEO Lew Dickey addressed the syndicated talk division’s performance as well as six of its major market news/talk stations.  Quick to address the 10 major market stations he’d blamed for pulling down the entire company’s previous revenue totals, he said, “Several of our big news/talk stations are now growing, including: WABC – which is leading the pack in New York, KABC in Los Angeles, WLS in Chicago, KSFO in San Francisco, WMAL in Washington, D.C. and WJR in Detroit, all are growing.  Our team is working very hard, and we’ve adapted to ad market changes. And again, these stations are nowlimbaughrush posting revenue growth.”  He only vaguely touched on the Rush Limbaugh controversy during Q&A saying network sales has been challenged but is starting to pick up.  Dickey praised the company’s heritage AM talkers for their potential and stated, “Our charge over the next five years is to continue to expose our audience and all of these major markets to the industry’s most talented performers while developing the next generation of talk radio superstars.  By the way, this is true for our sports talk stations as well.”  Dickey said that original group of 10 trouble franchises is down to six.  “And we confirm our earlier statement that this original group of 10 stations would be negative in the first quarter, flat in Q2 and then rebounding in the back half of the year to post positive full year growth in 2013. And in fact, we can say that we’re actually a little ahead of that schedule right now.”  But he also noted that while WBAP, Dallas is starting to come around, KGO, San Francisco – which it turned to largely a news station – is still not where they want it to be.  Regarding the company’s deal with CBS Radio and the CBS Sports Radio Network, Dickey reports the rollout has reached almost 300 affiliates and is surpassing expected revenue targets.  “We are highly encouraged by our early success and expect CBS Sports Radio to be a material growth driver in 2014 and beyond.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the conference call transcript.  You can read the entire transcript here.

hendriephilTalk Radio Network and Phil Hendrie to End Syndication Effort.  Talk Radio Network announces that it will cease syndication of the Phil Hendrie radio program as of June 25, 2013.  TRN began syndicating the program in 2007 after it had been parted from its original syndicator – Premiere Networks – for about a year.  TRN CEO Mark Masters states, “I believed in Phil then, and I still think he is a comic genius on air.  He will always be a radio icon to me.  We are proud to have rebuilt the Phil Hendrie show by adding over 100 stations, along with creating robust growth to Phil’s online presence, but, due to world events, the economy, and the state of radio in this country, we have decided to go in another direction in that daypart – we wish Phil all the best in his future endeavors.”  From his perspective, Hendrie issues the following statement: “Phil Hendrie has elected not to pursue any further association with Talk Radio Network.  As he delves deeper into his successful digital platform and ongoing television and film work, Hendrie remains open to terrestrial radio opportunities, but only those with strong sales, marketing and programming support.”

guthriekimCox Media Group Promotes Kim Guthrie to EVP Radio; Jane Williams to EVP Television and Marian Pittman to VP of News & Marketing for TV.  Cox Media Group announces several promotions.  Kim Guthrie, who had been serving as senior vice president of radio, overseeing all of the company’s radio stations, is promoted to executive vice president of radio and she reports to new CMG president Bill Hoffman.  Guthrie joined Cox Radio in 1998 as VP and GM for its Long Island, properties and has been Regional VP for Cox Radio, where her stations have won multiple honors – including Marconi awards, Crystal Awards, New York Air Awards, AWRT Gracie Awards – for programming excellence and outstanding community service.  Hoffman says of Guthrie (and EVP of television Jane Williams), “Both are proven CMG leaders and are highly respected throughout the media industry.  Kim and Jane, along with our local leadership, have ensured our broadcast stations’ ongoing success, and I am honored to have them in these vitally-strategic executive positions.”  At the same time, Marian Pittman is promoted from her post as station manager of WSB-TV, Atlanta to vice president of news & marketing for television for the company.

chapmanjJ Chapman Heads Up Woof Boom Radio to Buy Indiana Stations.  The Backyard Broadcasting Muncie, Indiana market stations that Woof Boom is buying include: hot AC WLBC, oldies WERK, sports talk WXFN, news/talk WHBU, and classic rock simulcast WMXQ and WMQX “Max.”  Jerry “J” Chapman’s Woof Boom Radio is made up of a group of local investors, headed by Chapman, who have formed Woof Boom Radio, a nod to the longtime dominance of WFBM in Indiana broadcasting from the beginnings of radio in the 1920s until the mid-1970s.  The other owners include: Ray Kennedy, Conormara Investments;  Jason Farmer, managing director of WestBridge Investments; and Aaron Reitz.  In a statement, Woof Boom says of Chapman, “A 17-year radio woofboom logoexecutive with Indianapolis-based Emmis and most recently with Maverick Media of Rockford, Illinois, Chapman is a graduate of Hanover and literally grew up in the broadcasting industry.  His father led Indianapolis WFBM Radio & TV for three decades, and J got an early start in the media business when assigned by his father to mow the grass at the TV station’s north side Indianapolis transmitter site.”  Chapman says of his new venture, “I’m very excited to come home and put my years of experience in the vibrant radio industry to good use back in Indiana.  The stations we’re acquiring are vital links between listeners and the local community.  We intend to utilize those radio resources to help grow our customers’ businesses and to improve the quality of entertainment and information in our new communities.  Best of all, the management of this group of stations will be local to serve local needs.  We want to make a great thing even better, and Woof Boom Radio intends to start off on the right foot.”

sabowalterThe Secret of Managing Controversy.  As the talk radio industry grapples with the dilemma of balancing the two realities of controversy (on the plus side, it attracts loyal audience – on the downside, it attracts enemies and scares advertisers) noted media consultant and TALKERS columnist Walter Sabo offers a simple solution.  In an article posted today (5/8) he cites a simple but powerfully effective method used by some of the greatest talk radio managers of all time:  Let the hosts be opinionated, controversial and even outrageous – but keep the station itself absolutely neutral!  He goes on to explain why this is key to a successful operation.  To read Walter Sabo’s entire piece, click here.

kion logoMark Carbonaro Remains with KION, Salinas in News Capacity.  Yesterday, TALKERS reported that Mark Carbonaro was out at Clear Channel’s KION, Salinas, California as the company was importing KSTE, Sacramento-based Armstrong & Getty for morning drive.  We learn via The Californian that Carbonaro remains with the station handling the morning drive news operations and other news department duties.  General manager Rhonda McCormack tells the paper, “We are continuing to evolve our product with new and compelling offerings that will complement Mark’s contributions and allow him more time and flexibility to cover local news and events.  It was a business decision.  We think Armstrong & Getty will resonate well with the audience on KION.  Mark Carbonaro is on Monday – Friday, 6:00 am to 9:00 am with Armstrong & Getty.  Mark reports on the local news, sports, weather and traffic, plus expert segments that will run throughout the day, Monday through Friday and on Saturday mornings in the 10:00 am hour, ‘The Saturday Insider with Mark Carbonaro.’”

winercherylCheryl Winer Named National Account Manager for Sun Broadcast Group.  Radio sales pro Cheryl Winer is named national account manager for Sun Broadcast Group where she’ll work from the company’s New York City office assisting in servicing the company’s fast-growing roster of agency and client partners.  Founder and CEO Jason Bailey states, “2013 has been such an exciting time in our company’s growth.  With the addition of Cheryl to our first-class sales team I truly believe we send a clear message to the industry that Sun Broadcast Group is, and will continue to be, the leader in a very new kind of service for network radio advertisers and program suppliers.”  Speaking about her new position with Sun, Winer says, “Over the past several years I have been searching for an entrepreneurial environment, which would replicate my experience at Premiere in the early days.  I am so very excited to say that I have found that in Sun Broadcast Group!  I look forward to participating in the growth of this fast-paced, cutting edge company.”

arbitronArbitron Reports Q1 Revenue Up 5.1%.  Income for the ratings firm was down to $0.60 per share for the first quarter of 2013, compared to $0.64 per share during the same period in 2012.  However, income was up 5.1% on revenue of $111.8 million compared to the same period a year ago.  The company states that costs and expenses increased 8.3% from Q1 2012 to Q1 2013.  “In addition to the $3.2 million of expenses related to the pendingcreamersean Nielsen transaction, costs in the quarter increased as a result of planned incremental investments in Arbitron Mobile panels, costs associated with address-based sampling, in-person recruiting, and cell-phone household recruiting.”  President and CEO Sean Creamer states, “In the first quarter, we continued to pursue our long-standing objectives: maintaining our investments in the quality of our radio ratings services, growing our core revenue, and entering new markets such as digital radio, cross-platform, and mobile.  Our focus on the quality of our core services helped us achieve Media Rating Council accreditation of four additional Portable People Meter markets in February.  Our goal remains achieving or maintaining accreditation in all our syndicated radio markets.  We continue working to leverage our investment in the PPM technology and consumer panels utilizing our platform in new initiatives such as advertising and promotion effectiveness studies, while enhancing our measurement capabilities for radio and across platforms.”

sagaSaga Communications Q1 Net Revenue Down 1.3%.  To use the words of Saga Communications SVP, treasurer and CFO Sam Bush, the first quarter of 2013 was “challenging” for the company.  In a conference call with investors, Bush reports that the company saw a dramatic decline in political advertising from the first quarter of 2012 to the same period in 2013.  Gross national revenue was also down by more than $500,000 but a good quarter for local revenue helped combat that drop.

salemcommunicationsSalem Communications Sees 1.3% Revenue Dip in Q1.  That’s across the board for all of Salem’s platforms and comes largely because Salem had such an outstanding 2012 in the political advertising category.  Breaking things apart a bit, CEO Ed Atsinger reports that the company’s business news segment is doing well, increasing 4% while the news/talk radio division was down 7%.  The Christian teaching formats were down 3% though the Christian contemporary group was up 5% compared to the same period a year ago.  The Salem Radio Network was down 10% from Q1 in 2012.

wtoplogoWTOP, Washington Site the Victim of Hacking.  Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington and its sister WFED had their websites hacked earlier this week.  The attacks may have affected visitors using Internet Explorer but not other web browsers.  A message on WTOP.com states, “WTOP.com is currently dealing with a malicious cyber attack.  We are working diligently to contain and stop the attack, and apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.”  The Washington Post reports that an internet security expert says the hackers installed two types of malware – one designed to look like an anti-virus software service that would get the subscriber’s credit card number, the other designed to control clicks from the user’s computer to inflate the number of actual clicks on digital ads.

Benghazi Whistleblower, Cleveland Women Freed from Captivity, Sanford South Carolina Race, Immigration Amnesty Issue and North Korea Threats Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/7).  The testimony about the deadly attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi; the case of the Cleveland women freed from captivity after 10 years; the South Carolina race for House seat between Mark Sanford and Elizabeth Colbert Busch; the amnesty for illegal immigrants issue; and North Korea’s military threats were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Can the Radio Station Overcome Smothering Debt and Become
a Viable Business Again?

| May 2, 2013

Mike Kinosian, Managing Editor
RadioInfo and Talkers

LOS ANGELES — Chalk it up to misreading the economic tealeaves or perhaps to good old-fashioned avarice, but several radio groups have fallen victim to the, “(S)he who has the most toys, wins” hypothesis.

Debt #1Monopoly Board“Winners” managing to run the board in today’s all too real game of Radio Monopoly are rewarded by becoming further ensconced in deeper, darker, debt.

Administer sodium pentothal to a cross-section of radio managers and the overwhelming majority will vociferously state that, owing to its cookie-cutter nature and mounting pressure to deliver grossly unrealistic percentages to the bottom line, the business is no longer fun. Countless executives at high-billing, strong ratings performing outlets have been unduly placed in the gut-wrenching position of laying off personnel and making other vital cutbacks – forced to share the load of paying for what could be considered out-of-control acquisition sins at the corporate level.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

| April 17, 2013

arbitronArbitron Shareholders Approve Acquisition by Nielsen Holdings N.V.  At yesterday’s special meeting of stockholders, Arbitron’s shareholders voted to approve the acquisition of the company by Nielsen Holdings N.V.nielsen logo with 98.99% of the shares voting in favor of the agreement and plan of merger.  These shares represented approximately 77.11% of total outstanding shares of Arbitron common stock as of the March 8, 2013 record date for the Special Meeting.  As previously announced on December 18, 2012, Arbitron Inc. and Nielsen Holdings N.V. entered into a definitive agreement for Nielsen to acquire all of the outstanding common stock of Arbitron for $48.00 per share in cash.  The deal remains subject to certain regulatory approvals, including expiration of the Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust waiting period, and customary closing conditions.

DG-logoHorizontalDial Global Closes on Recapitalization.  Dial Global first announced plans to enter into recapitalization of its existing credit facilities, other obligations and equity interests back on March 4.  Now, it reports it has entered into an Amended and Restated Credit Agreement with General Electric Capital Corporation, as administrative agent and collateral agent on a “First Lien Credit Agreement,” which, after taking into account a $15 million paydown, consists of a term loan of $136 million and revolving credit commitments of approximately $23 million, $18 million of which is drawn.  The maturity date for that is October 21, 2016.  DG also states it has entered into a Priority Second Lien Credit Agreement with Cortland Capital Market Services, LLC, as administrative agent and collateral agent, Blackrock Kelso Capital Corporation, as syndication agent and as the lender party for an additional $31.5 million term loan facility, with a maturity date of July 21, 2017.  The Company issued to Blackrock penny warrants to purchase 7.5% of the Dial Global common stock.  The Second Lien Credit Agreement was a restructuring of the existing approximately $93 million in second lien obligations and was accomplished by amending and restating the Second Lien Credit Agreement to provide for a $30 million term loan with a maturity date of April 16, 2018 and exchanging approximately $63 million in remaining obligations under the prior Second Lien Credit Agreement for a new Series A preferred stock of the Company.  Lenders received penny warrants to purchase 12.0% of the Company’s common stock and 12.0% of the outstanding shares of Series B preferred stock, Series C preferred stock and Series D preferred stock.  Those will be subject to forfeit, in whole or in part, if the Dial Global retires all or a portion of the $30 million second lien term loan and the Series A preferred stock held by such 2L lenders prior to certain specified dates.  As part of these agreements, stockholders of preferred stock and warrants were granted certain corporate governance rights, including the right to elect three directors to the Dial Global’s new eight-person board of directors.  The three newly-elected directors are Brian Pope, Marshall Merriman and Ethan Underwood.

smerconishmichaelWashington Post’s Erik Wemple Examines Smerconish Departure from WPHT.  In a piece in the Washington Post, media writer Erik Wemple takes a look at Michael Smerconish’s exit from longtime home base WPHT, Philadelphia for his new employer SiriusXM and, more specifically, Smerconish’s unwillingness to be defined as a dyed-in-the-wool conservative Republican and the CBS Radio station’s move to remain true to the conservative talk radiowpht logo philosophy.  Smerconish debuted this week on the satcaster’s POTUS channel – politics of the United States – that serves those interested in politics in general as opposed to the conservative and liberal talk channels the service also offers.  Smerconish is not afraid to criticize what he believes are faults with both the news/talk format or the country in general, telling Wemple, “The problem for the country, I think, is that too many [people] cannot differentiate between entertainment and substance.  The country is paying a price for this brand of polarized media…Too many politicians are taking their cues from people with microphones.”  Wemple spoke with WPHT GM Marc Rayfield who says Smerconish’s philosophical change over the past few years veered from the station’s objective.  He says there’s little passion for “middle-of-the-road.”  He also says Smerconish “didn’t serve our core values.  We wanted to remain conservative…We had been talking about the direction of the radio station for some time and we came to a mutual conclusion that we were not necessarily the best fit for each other.”  Michael Smerconish will deliver the State of the First Amendment address at the Talkers New York 2013 conference in New York on Thursday, June 6.  Read Wemple’s piece here.

bohannonjimRadio Legend Jim Bohannon Celebrates 30 Years in Syndication.  The lifelong radio broadcaster has been in national syndication with Dial Global and its predecessors for 30 years as of Friday, April 19 when he celebrates that mark.  Jim Bohannon began with the old Mutual Radio Network as a reporter and then started filling in for Larry King on his nationally syndicated program.  The network was acquired by Westwood One and Bohannon took over for King’s late night slot in 1993.  Bohannon recently re-signed with Dial Global (which acquired Westwood One) and will be honored with the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from TALKERS magazine at the Talkers New York 2013 industry convention in New York City on Thursday, June 6.

stephandougDoug Stephan Adds a Dozen Affiliates.  Doug Stephan’s Stephan Multimedia reports the company has picked up a dozen new affiliates for the company’s radio offerings including Stephan’s “Good Day” nationally syndicated morning program, the weekend “Talk Radio Countdown Show” and others.  New affiliates include: WNZS, Bangor, Maine; KTPA, Prescott, Arizona; WLBK, DeKalb, Illinois; KLEY, Wellington, Kansas; KMAS, Shelton, Washington; KVPI, Ville Platte, Louisiana; KXAR, Hope, Arkansas; KKLE, Winfield, Kansas; KOAL, Price, Utah; KUGN, Eugene, Oregon; WICO, Ocean City, Maryland; and WTIM, Taylorville, Illinois.

mmgradionet logoMedia Management Group Expands into Network Syndication; Warren Eckstein’s Pet Show Joins Initiative.  Longtime WOR, New York and WOR Radio Network personality Warren Eckstein returns to national syndication via Media Management Group’s new MMG Radio Network division.  The syndicator reports Eckstein’s “The Pet Show” launched on Saturday, April 6 on more than 100 stations. ecksteinwarren Additionally, Warren’s “Pet Tip” can be heard daily on more than 200 stations.  MMG also announces the new network will be led by Alan Eisenson, MMG’s EVP of business development.  MMG states, “Eisenson has a 23-year background successfully programming news/talk radio stations in New York, Denver, Las Vegas and, most recently, Clear Channel’s news/talk properties in Sacramento and San Francisco.”  On the new initiative, Eisenson says. “As the industry environment continues to evolve, the opportunity presented itself to acquire some of the format’s top talent in various niches.  We’re thrilled to have seized that opportunity.  We’re honored to be working with an accomplished pro like Warren Eckstein, and excited by the array of top caliber talent to come as we expand the network.”  The MMG Radio Network says it will eventually include 12 hours of programming produced weekly and tailored for stations’ weekend lineups.  The programs will also include a broad roster of digital elements, making them completely customizable for listeners to consume exactly when and how they wish.

schruckwindremSeton Hall University Radio Station Honors Alumni Glenn Schuck and Bob Windrem.  Two alumni of Seton Hall University’s radio station WSOU, South Orange, New Jersey “The Loudest Rock” were honored at the station’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony this past Saturday.  WINS, New York reporter Glenn Schuck (left) and NBC News producer Bob Windrem (right) were inducted during WSOU’s 65th anniversary dinner, which drew more than 200 people together to celebrate the station’s birthday.  Some of the attendees included station alumni Bob Ley, Anthony Delia, Bill Rock, Full Metal Jackie, Pete Tauriello, Christina Stoffo, Frank Garrity, Mike DePippa, Joe Guzick, Mark Mitchell, and Gary Susalis, among others.

Boston Marathon Bombing Aftermath, Gun Legislation Proposals, and Teen Rape/Suicide Cases Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/16).  The aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing was the dominant story on news/talk radio across the country on Tuesday.  Other stories that registered included proposals for gun legislation and the high-profile cases of young teens allegedly raped who then committed suicide.  The top stories are the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

| April 16, 2013

Boston Marathon Tragedy Sparks Immense Coverage and Conversation on Talk Radio and Music Radio Morning Shows.  One never knows when the next big news story will break and yesterday’s horrific tragedy in Boston is yet another example of the world being one way, one moment — and another way, the next.  The Boston Marathon bombing has consumed radio conversation across the board on all-news, talk, sports and music radio morning shows and will likely play a major role as a content generator for days and weeks to come.

cookehollandBoston Bombing: How Radio Can Help…Or Hurt.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke analyzes the media impact of Monday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon as well as what radio can do well and what it should avoid trying to do during tragic breaking news events like these.  Cooke writes, “One way radio can help is to ask ‘Could YOU be Boston’s Zapruder?’  Radio everywhere should ask, because people come from everywhere, from all around the world, to this event.  And because the internet and that-thing-in-our-pocket-we-used-to-call-a-phone makes everywhere ‘here.’  You don’t even need to be a friend of a friend in the social media age.  Radio should ask everyone to ask everyone: ‘Were you in Boston?  Look carefully, at all your pictures and videos.  Someone saw something.’”  For radio station programmers, Cooke advises what he believes radio can do very well that Twitter can’t.  Read his entire piece here.

arbitronArbitron Settles Copyright Infringement Suit Against Gannett.  Ratings company Arbitron announces it has settled a copyright infringement suit against Gannett-owned television station WKYC in Cleveland.  The suit was filed on January 25 of this year and alleged that WKYC-TV copied and distributed Arbitron’s copyrighted audience estimates without Arbitron’s permission, and that WKYC-TV improperly used Arbitron’s federally registered trademarks to create the false impression that non-Arbitron audience estimates for internet radio service Pandora were genuine Arbitron products.  This stems from WKYC teaming up with Pandora for a co-operative sales venture that went awry.  Sales kits were distributed that used Arbitron’s AQH data for a number of radio stations in the Cleveland market.  The idea was to show Pandora’s reach by comparison.  In the initial suit, Arbitron was seeking $150,000 per copyright infringement.  The terms of the settlement are not being disclosed so we’ll never know how much Gannett paid to make this mistake go away.

williamsgreggoKRLD, Dallas Fired PM Drive Team of Greg Williams and Richie Whitt.  The Dallas Morning News confirms that both Greg Williams and Richie Whitt – co-hosts of the “RAGE” PM drive show – have been let go from the station for poor ratings performance.  Program director Gavin Spittle is quoted in the paper saying, “We need to be more whittrichiecompetitive in that time period.”  Shortly after being let go, “Greggo” Williams Tweeted that he’d been fired by the CBS Radio sports talker “The Fan” stating:  “Attention FanFans…I just got fired by station…not much reason given…but now I’ve been fired by all three sports stations.”  The paper also reports that in the March 2013 PPMs the program came in third behind KTCK’s “Hardline” with Mike Rhyner and Corby Davidson (8.9 share Men 25-54) and KESN-FM’s “Galloway and Company” (3.0 share Men 25-54).  There’s no announcement who will take over the PM drive slot on “The Fan” but the Morning News mentions Ben & Skin – Ben Rogers and Jeff “Skin” Wade – recently exited KESN-FM and the paper calls them “Spittle favorites.”

haegeglennGlenn Haege Celebrates 30th Anniversary in Radio on Saturday.  WJR, Detroit-based nationally syndicated talk show personality Glenn Haege – host of “The Handyman Show” – celebrates his 30th anniversary in radio on Saturday, April 20.  Haege began his broadcast career in 1983 as host of “Ask the Handyman” on WXYT-AM, Detroit and also has hosted his radio show on Detroit stations WDFN and WXDX before landing on WJR in 2006.  His program is heard on more than 140 affiliates across the country.  WJR program director Kevin Metheny says of Haege, “As a Glenn Haege listener, I felt as if he knew me, my life, and my unique homeowner challenges before we ever met.  I believe speaking to thousands of neighbors one-on-one in simultaneous, personal conversations on which we can all eavesdrop is a lost art and a key to Glenn’s amazing record of success.  At WJR we’re all proud to be the radio flagship of ‘America’s Master Handyman’ and look forward to 30 more years.”

herskovitzeileenIndustry Mourns Eileen M. Herskovitz.  The radio industry mourns the passing of longtime broadcasting figure Eileen M. Herskovitz who died early morning yesterday at her home in Bradenton, Florida.  She was the wife of veteran radio executive Al Herskovitz, president of Florida-based marketing firm, H&H Broadcasting, and marketing director of TALKERS.  Eileen Herskovitz served as executive VP of H&H. After attending Ithaca University, Eileen entered the media field as a commercial copywriter for Goldman & Walter advertising agency of Albany, NY where she advanced to become its VP and media director. She also worked at several radio stations during her early career.  The Herskovitz’s had recently celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Eileen Herskovitz was an immensely bright radio professional and a truly marvelous human being.  All of us at TALKERS consider ourselves blessed to have known her and we will sorely miss her.”

Boston Marathon Bombing, Immigration Reform, Gun Legislation, North Korea Missile Threats, Jay-Z Cuba Trip, Trayvon Targets Case, and Justin Bieber-Anne Frank Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/15).  The bombing at the Boston Marathon; the debate over amnesty in potential immigration legislation; the move to pass gun and ammunition restriction legislation; ongoing threats to use long-range missiles against the U.S. by North Korea; Jay-Z’s trip to Cuba and the Obama White House connection; the Trayvon Martin practice targets case and the firing of the police official involved; and the stir caused by Justin Bieber’s notes in the visitor’s log at the Anne Frank house were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

2013 NAB Show: “Metamorphosis:
The Changing Face of Media & Entertainment”

| April 9, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

cookeConnectedMediaWorld 150LAS VEGAS –  Even before 90,000 attendees step into the sprawling Convention Center, they expect change.  The Las Vegas Monorail robo-voice invites them to visit The Cloud Computing Pavilion.

Metamorphosis 200Atop the escalator, more evidence of the “Metamorphosis” that is this year’s NAB Show theme: Publication bins stacked with hard copies are being replaced by a wall-o-magazine covers.  Scan the QR code, and you get the digital version.

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

| April 3, 2013

infinitedial logoArbitron/Edison Research’s Infinite Dial 2013 Indicates Radio Still Dominates In-Car Listening; the Smartphone Is the Hot Delivery Tool.  Tuesday’s webinar from Arbitron and Edison Research provided a treasure trove of data for radio execs and sales personnel wishing to prove that radio is still a relevant medium in today’s world.  But much of the data also showed that over the course of the past 15 years, it’s been easy to see the leaps and bounds by which digital media is gaining on the traditionals – AM/FM and broadcast television.  Some of the key takeaways for talk stations:

  • Of those surveyed (18+) who’ve ridden/driven a car in the past month, 84% used AM/FM radio; 63% used the CD player; 29% an iPod or mp3 player; and 12% used online radio.

Obviously, the online radio usage (defined as AM/FM stations over the internet as well as pure plays) will continue to rise as that technology becomes more available and easier to use.

  • 58% of those surveyed report AM/FM radio as the medium used “almost all of the time” or “most of the time.”
  • 72% of respondents do not have a Bluetooth connection in their car.  A technology that would aid online usage in the vehicle.  That will change quickly as manufacturers make them standard in new cars.

The Smartphone.  Reaching potential listeners via smartphone technology is crucial to the future of content providers.  Fifty-three percent of Americans (estimated to be 139 million) own a smartphone – up from 44% just last year.

  • About 75% of persons 18-34 own smartphones
  • Of all people (12+) who own smartphones, 44% have ever listened to online radio.  Expect that number to grow rapidly.
  • Although just 18% of smartphone owners listen to online radio daily, that’s still a big number – more than 25 million Americans (12+) – and that is also likely to grow exponentially.

Podcasting.  Although podcasting listening has leveled out over the past two or three years – about 12% or 32 million Americans have listened to an audio podcast in the last month – more than 25% of weekly podcast users have listened to six or more during that period.  The takeaway for stations/talk hosts/content providers producing podcasts is that loyal podcast users consume a lot of them.  That’s good for sales to know.  Also, the goal of converting P1s into podcast users is a worthwhile one since it appears they often become hooked on the format.

Some of the key observations by Arbitron’s Bill Rose and Edison’s Tom Webster from this year’s Infinite Dial research project include:

  • Over the population, digital platforms do not appear to replace traditional media usage, they tend to enhance them;
  • The smartphone is the most important device media businesses are dealing with and the smartphone is functioning as a “two-way” radio today;
  • Online radio reaches 86 million people per week for an average of 12 hours, with so many choices it is imperative to have a strategy that cuts through the clutter;
  • 66% of those surveyed who wake up to a smartphone use the alarm sound, not music to talk content, convince them to do otherwise!

hunnicuttclayClay Hunnicutt to Receive 2013 “Humanitarian of the Year” Award at Talkers New York 2013.  The 2013 recipient of the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Radio Broadcaster (also referred to as “Humanitarian of the Year”) has been selected by the TALKERS editorial board.  This year’s recipient is Clear Channel Media & Entertainment EVP of programming, Clay Hunnicutt.  The 25-year veteran of radio broadcasting has been selected for this important honor in recognition of the key role he has played in paving the way for the Fisher House Foundation to become one of the radio industry’s most actively spotlighted charities, thus providing invaluable support in the form of free housing to the families of service men and women injured in combat during their visits to them at the hospital.  To learn more about Fisher House Foundation visit www.fisherhouse.org.  While serving as CC’s SCP/Community Engagement he arranged for a company-wide 2010 Veterans Day initiative in support of Fisher House.  Every CC station spotlighted Fisher House on that day and urged listeners to donate online or via text.  That event was repeated in 2011.  These campaigns alone (2010 and 2011) raised a total of $1.2 million for Fisher House.  In addition, the company donated $3 million in PSA airtime around Veterans Day 2012.  Fisher House representatives inform TALKERS that Hunnicutt has also helped them make vital connections at the local level.  Hunnicutt tells TALKERS, “If you’ve never been to a Fisher House – you must go!  Just one visit will change your life because they are making the lives of so many soldiers and sailors better.  They took the challenge of helping the men and women that put their lives on the line for our freedom every day to a whole new level.  It is a world class organization that delivers on everything they say they will do, and that always puts the needs of other first.  This is something we should all aspire to do, and make a priority with our individual time and our stations.”  Hunnicutt will be presented the award on Thursday, June 6 at Talkers New York 2013 during the afternoon “Freedom of Speech Award Ceremony.”  The event, which is nearing a sellout, is open to members of the working media.  Registrations can only be booked over the phone at 413-565-5413.

millerdennisDennis Miller Celebrates 6th Radio Anniversary.  It’s been six years since comedian and Saturday Night Live alum Dennis Miller began a daily radio talk show on the old Westwood One radio network.  On Friday, March 29, Miller celebrated his 6th anniversary on the Dial Global network hosting some friends from the old days.  Fellow SNL cast members Dana Carvey and Kevin Nealon, along with Seth Meyers appeared on the program as did fellow television star Tim Allen.

duemigsteveWDAE, Tampa’s Steve Duemig Returns to Air with New Deal.  Tampa sports talk host Steve Duemig was taken off the air at Clear Channel’s WDAE, Tampa last week after the two sides hit some sort of snag in their contract negotiations.  According to the Tampa Bay TimesEric Deggans, Duemig said he was asked to sign a new contract before the window that would allow him to speak with other companies opened.  When he refused, he was taken off the air.  Now, Duemig says he’s back with a three-year deal that, according to the paper, includes no new money.  He tells the Times, “But am I happy? I won’t answer that.”

raytomProof of Performance, Transmitter Control and Other Technical Stuff Radio Station Staffers Should Understand…at Least a Little.  In a page out of the Engineer’s Truth is Stranger than Fiction files, renown engineering wizard and TALKERS technical editor Tom Ray cites a couple of “strange but true” examples of how crazy things can get in to today’s radio station environment when it comes to “little” things like which buttons to press when the transmitter goes haywire and avoiding trouble with the FCC by staying within compliance.  In the process he sheds light on standard concepts like “proof of performance” and “turning a transmitter on and off” that programming-types really should know and in language that they can actually understand…we hope!  To read Tom Ray’s column, click here.

francesamikeMike Francesa Signs Long-Term Renewal with WFAN, New York.  American sports talk radio icon Mike Francesa inks a deal to remain the afternoon drive host on CBS Radio’s WFAN-AM/FM, New York for years to come.  The exact term of the contract is not being disclosed but CBS Radio president Dan Mason states, “Mike has earned his place inwfan logo radio history as a great broadcaster and we’re thrilled to continue our relationship with sports radio’s most celebrated host.  WFAN and Mike Francesa are synonymous with the absolute best in sports programming excellence.  These two powerful brands have endured the test of time, and remain a very relevant force in the industry nearly three decades after they first went on the air.”  As part of the deal, Francesa’s long-running Sunday morning “The NFL Now” show will be aired on the CBS Sports Radio Network beginning this fall.  Vice president, sports programming, CBS Radio Mark Chernoff states, “Mike represents the heart and soul of WFAN, and we’re proud he will continue to make the station his long-term broadcast home.  Like no one else, Mike can take a story to the next level and involve his listeners in thought provoking ways with topical and opinionated conversation.  He has set the standard for what represents an entertaining and informative radio program.”  Francesa says, “I’m very proud of what we have accomplished at WFAN.  I am also honored and thankful to CBS Radio for its continued commitment, and most of all to the listeners for their enduring loyalty.”  Mike Francesa will be the sports talk keynote speaker at Talkers New York 2013 on Thursday, June 6.  The event, which is nearing a sellout, is open to members of the working media.  Registrations can only be booked over the phone at 413-565-5413.

zpolitics logoOdds & Sods.  WGAU, Gainesville, Georgia-based talk show host Martha Zoller announces the coming debut of her Georgia politics website called Zpolitics.  Zoller states, “I am thrilled to announce the launch of my new website, Zpolitics.  We created this online hub to satisfy the desire for relevant news, smart political commentary, and sharp analysis from Georgia’s top pollsters, strategists, and grassroots activists.”….. The “Mo’Kelly Show” celebrates its one-yearokellymorris anniversary on Clear Channel’s KFI, Los Angeles this Saturday, April 6 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  Show host Morris O’Kelly reports that over the past 12 months, guests have included NAACP president Ben Jealous, Pleasanton Tea Party president Dr. Bridget Melson, members of Congress, state leadership from both the Democratic and Republican parties and entertainment guests such as actresses Gabrielle Union and Tamara Tunie, comedian Cedric the Entertainer and musicians Joe Sample, Will Downing and Eric Benét.  O’Kelly also hosts various mornings on sister progressive talk station KTLK and serves as American political correspondent for the BBC…..Sunrise Broadcasting flips oldies WGNY-AM, Newburgh, New York to sports talk using ESPN Radio.  The company also plans to flip country WZAD, Wurtsboro, New York (Poughkeepsie market) as a simulcast soon.

GAcompositeThe Georgia Radio Hall of Fame Announces 2013 Legacy Inductees.  The following Georgia broadcasters will be honored at the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame 7th Annual Induction Awards on October 19, 2013 at the Atlanta/Marietta Hilton Hotel and Conference Center.  The Class of 2013 includes (in alphabetical order): Palmyra Braswell, the first black female disc jockey in Macon, Georgia (WBML ) and educator; George Crumbley, sales manager at WSB, Atlanta and father of The Peach Bowl; Jimmy Dunaway, WSB, Atlanta farm director and news anchor; Al Evans, Jr., WVLD, Valdosta owner, on air known as Danny Dee; John Holliman,  WSB reporter and Peabody Award recipient; Don Kordecki, WKRW, Cartersville owner and civic leader; Royal Marshall, WSB, Atlanta talk show host and producer; Leonard Postero, creator and voice of weekly sports program “Leonard Losers”; and Annie Lee Small, WYTH, Madison co-owner and Atlanta’s first female announcer.  The Legacy inductees join other honorees: James “Alley Pat” Patrick, 2013 Founders and Directors Award and Jim Woodruff, Jr., 2013 Elmo Ellis Spirit Award.  Pictured here are: Top row (l-r): Palmyra Braswell, George Crumbley, Jimmy Dunaway, Al Evans, Jr., John Holliman. Bottom row (l-r): Don Kordecki, Royal Marshall, Annie Lee Small, Leonard Postero.

North Korea Threats, Gun Legislation, ObamaCare Effects, Illegal Immigration, and Rutgers Basketball Coach Fired Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/2).  The ongoing concern over North Korea’s threats of military action against South Korea and America; the myriad gun legislation proposals; the effects of the Affordable Care Act; chatter over illegal immigration and amnesty legislation; and the firing of Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice after a video goes viral were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

| March 27, 2013

pittmanbobBob Pittman to Take Over Chairman of the Board Role at Clear Channel.  CC Media Holdings, Inc., in an SEC filing announcing the annual meeting of stockholders on May 17, moves to replace Mark Mays as chairman of the board with current board of directors member and company CEO Bob Pittman.  The filing states, “We believe that having the chief executive officer also serve as our chairman of the board provides us with a clear leadership structure.  As our chairman and chief executive officer, Mr. Pittman will continue to provide our board with insight into our operations and help facilitate the flow of information between management and the board.  Subject to his re-election as a director, Mr. Mays will remain a member of our board and we will continue to benefit from his experience as our previous chief executive officer.”

browns helmetGood Karma’s WKNR and CBS Radio’s WKRK Team Up to Grab Cleveland Browns Football from Clear Channel.  The Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting that Cleveland Browns football – for years heard onwknrlogo Clear Channel’s rock WMMS and news/talk WTAM – will air on WKNR “ESPN Cleveland” and WKRK “92.3 The Fan” beginning this fall.  Obviously, the unusual aspect of this is WKNR is owned by Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma and WKRK is CBS Radio’s sports outlet in Cleveland – both stations competing for the same listeners.  According to the piece, games will also air on CBS’ classic rock WNCX.  The Plain Dealer reports thatwkrklogo CC, CBS and Good Karma were all bidding for the rights when the latter two decided to work together.  Here’s how it is supposed to happen in the fall: a Rob Chudzinski coach’s show will air (on which station it’s not yet known) and the “Cleveland Browns Daily Show” on WKNR will expand from one hour to two.  Game days will see WKNR broadcast a four-hour pre-game show and WKRK will broadcast a two-hour post-game program.  It is expected that the booth team of Jim Donovan and Doug Dieken will remain in place.

kramerweezieEntercom Ups Weezie Kramer to Station Group President.  Weezie Kramer has been with Entercom as a regional president since 2005.  Now, the company promotes her to station group president putting her in charge of all 121 Entercom radio stations.   In this post she will supervise  Entercom regional presidents Michael Doyle and Deborah Kane and chair the company’s operating committee.  She’ll also continue to be in charge of a number of the company’s 23 markets and report directly to Entercom president and CEO David Field, who says, “For years we have operated with three wonderfully talented regional presidents, but the time has come to align our station group under a single operational leader to drive stronger organizational cohesiveness and effectiveness. In elevating Weezie to this role, we will enhance our coordination and clarity and drive faster decision-making. She will continue to work closely with Deborah Kane and Michael Doyle, providing an outstanding leadership team for our markets.”

stephandougDoug Stephan’s “Good Day Crowdfunding Show” to Put Entrepreneurs in Front of Giant Audience.  Doug Stephan’s nationally syndicated morning radio program – now in its 25th year – is inviting entrepreneurs to the largest crowdfunding pitchfest ever.  In a statement, Doug Stephan says, “‘The Good Day Crowdfunding Show’ brings the buzz of a broadcast radio reality series and pits crowdfunders in a contest judged by crowdsourcing industry thought leaders. hayesmike Entrepreneurs and businesses interested in raising capital, social lending and fundraising websites for their products, charity projects and creative ideas are invited to ‘pitch the experts’ on the first crowdfunding radio reality series.”  Good Day Crowdfunding has launched its own pre-launch to build community where crowdfunders can engage at http://GoodDayCrowdfunding.com.  Inside the community is a unique incubator project, Startup America Crowdfunding, where participants are guided from start to finish through successful money-raising campaigns.  The release continues, “As part of the project, creators of the best ideas will get a shot on the ‘Good Day Crowdfunding Show,’ to pitch their idea to millions in a fast-paced reality format.  The incentive is simple: The better the idea, the more promotion and airtime to over 3 million daily listeners across the US and online.”  The addition of the crowdfunding segment to Stephan’s program comes as the program begins working with Mike Hayes, current host of “StartUp America News” and an expert in entrepreneurship.  Hayes states, “This new reality based radio program is the ‘American Idol’ of crowdfunding.  Our intention is to help boost the impact of crowdfunding on America’s economy by creating and supporting crowdfunding success stories across any available platform.  We want to enable anyone, anywhere to follow, and fund their dream projects.”  Others joining Good Day for this project include: PR expert Ronjini Mukopadhyay, who has been central to several highly successful crowdfunding campaigns including StickNFind; entrepreneur Danny Kastner, a contestant on ‘The Apprentice’ and developer of Crowdjammer, a crowdfunding community solution designed to drive campaign backers to any crowdfunding project; and social impact marketer Robin Eschler, host of “Socially Conscious Investing” online radio and a pro in social lending, impact investing and online marketing.

cookehollandDentists are Prime Prospects for Radio Advertising.  Have you noticed when you visit your friendly family dentist lately that the office has likely evolved from projecting a serious “professional” environment to more “commercial” one with signs promoting elective cosmetic procedures (such as teeth whitening), electric toothbrush sales, awards programs for recruiting new patients and “like us on Facebook” display cards? The fact is, dentistry has changed over the years and today’s young crop of dentists find themselves in a business that requires far more media promotion than their cavity-filling forebears ever thought about (or would consider appropriate).  In a helpful article posted today (3/27) noted radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Holland Cooke sinks his canines into a potentially lucrative sales lead category.  Read it here.

madisonjoeWashington-Based Talker Joe Madison Exits WOL, Washington.  Talk radio personality Joe Madison’s program has been based at SiriusXM for several years and the show was carried by Radio One’s WOL, Washington after the latter had served as Madison’s base for more than a decade.  Now, Madison’s program is off WOL and solely available on SiriusXM’s “The Power” channel.  Radio One doesn’t appear to have a permanent AM drive replacement for Madison yet as midday host Ron Thompson has been sitting in.

finebaumpaulBirmingham Sports Media Personality Paul Finebaum Inks Book Deal.  Former WJOX, Birmingham sports talk host Paul Finebaum has signed a deal with Harper Collins that, according to SBNation.com, will tell the story of his radio show and its effect on the SEC.  Finebuam tells Al.com, “Primarily, it’s about the culture of the show and how the culture of the show interacts with the SEC.  But it does quickly go through my career and how we got to this point.  There will be commentary on why the SEC is better than everyone else.  It will certainly talk about the dominance of not only Alabama, but the conference.  The radio show will be woven in and out of the book, featuring little vignettes on the callers.”  Harper Collins plans to officially announced the deal this week.  Finebaum’s regionally syndicated radio show – now off the air after he left Cumulus Media’s WJOX and is sitting out a non-compete period – was also heard on SiriusXM.  It is expected that once the non-compete period elapses in late April, Finebaum will cross the street and base his program from WZNN, Birmingham “ESPN 97.3 The Zone” which is in the process of being sold by Cox Media Group to SummitMedia.

biakelseyBIA/Kelsey Sees Radio Station Online Growth Rising at Faster Pace.  The media advisory firm reports that, according to its first 2013 Investing in Radio Market Report, “Radio industry over-the-air revenues inched slightly upwards in 2012, increasing to $14.3 billion, a 1.5% change fratrikmarkfrom the year before.”  The company goes on to say that the “slight change is due in large part to the sluggish overall economy for 2012 and the increased competition radio faces in the local media market.”  It notes “station revenue mix will continue to shift somewhat and income from online advertising is expected to rise at a rate of about 10.8% annually over the next five years versus 2.5% from over-the-air.”  For 2013, BIA/Kelsey forecasts over-the-air radio revenues should see 2.3%, or $14.7 billion, again due to the slightly stronger economy.  BIA/Kelsey forecasts radio’s online revenue growth will reach $818 million by 2017, while the industry’s combined total revenue will reach $17 billion by 2017.   Vice president and chief economist Mark Fratrik states, “As the digital marketplace continues to rise in all sectors of advertising, radio is improving its listener engagement online and benefitting from the value of its web and mobile assets.  Overall, the industry is still recognized as an important part of the media mix as it continues to meander around, rising slightly with the rate of inflation but not keeping up with the economy.”

narvaezmonicaArbitron Names Monica Narvaez Hispanic Broadcaster Account Specialist.  In a role newly created, Arbitron Inc. appoints Monica Narvaez Hispanic broadcaster account specialist.  The company reports her duties will include: promoting the power of Spanish-language radio; generating solutions to help address Hispanic radio group needs; and developing programs for Spanish radio group training initiatives.  Narvaez has been with Arbitron for 10 years.  Prior to joining Arbitron she served with Nielsen as a web trainer, working with TV station research directors and sales executives using Scarborough Research.

millerdennisOdds & Sods.  Dial Global’s Dennis Miller interviews former Massachusetts Governor and former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on his nationally syndicated show today (3/27)…..Legendary actor and CRN Digital Talk Radio personality Robert Conrad says he is doing fine despite rumors on the internet this week that he has passed away.  Conrad, who hosts his own show on the network on Thursdays from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm PT, says, “I’m feeling well and in good health so I’m very surprised to hear that I’ve passed away, I must’ve missed that memo.”  The CRN studios received numerous calls from his listeners about the report…..Current.org reports that University of Alabama Birmingham-owned non-commercial WBHM, Birmingham news director Tanya Ott is moving to Georgia to take on the vice president/radio for Georgia Public Broadcasting.

waxylogoThe FCC Approves Move of WAXY-FM, Miami Signal.  Lincoln Financial Media’s acquisition of CBS Radio’s former AC WEAT, West Palm Beach was executed with the intent of bringing the now-WAXY sports talk FM simulcast signal closer to the Miami market.  After Clear Channel objected to the move, the FCC overruled that objection and LFM gets the okay to move the signal to its new city of license Miramar.  The 104.3 signal has been simulcasting WAXY since LFM took control.

njba logoNew Jersey Broadcasters Association Backs FM in Smart Phones.  The New Jersey Broadcasters Association passed a resolution on Tuesday, March 26 at its board meeting in support of the Sprint FM Chip proposal, reaffirming the absolute need to enable all cell phones within the United States to include (and activate) FM receiver capabilities in smartphones and other consumer electronic  devices.   NJBA president Paul Rotella states, “This is a rotellapaulmatter of vital importance to inform and protect our citizens especially in times of natural disaster, severe weather or other emergencies that require the unequalled power of radio to reach the public.”  The NJBA believes that because of the strength of broadcast and the power of the airwaves, local radio and TV stations are often the only available communications medium during disaster situations.  Rotella continues, “New Jersey Broadcasters see the value of making radio receivers available and installed in all telecommunications devices owned and used by the public, foremost of those is the ‘smart phone’ and, therefore, the New Jersey Broadcasters Association supports the agreement with Sprint to produce and sell over 30 million smart phones in three years with fully functional FM radio receivers as part of their ‘smart Phones’ and service for same.”

SCOTUS Gay Marriage Arguments, Costs of ObamaCare, North Korea Threats, Euro Zone Jitters, Dow Continues to Soar, and Amanda Knox Re-Trial Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/26).  The debate over the legality of gay marriage as the Supreme Court hears arguments; the costs of the Affordable Care Act; North Korea’s military threats; uncertainty in the euro zone after the Cyprus affair; the still-soaring Dow; and the Italian court’s ruling to re-try Amanda Knox were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

| March 19, 2013

DG-logoHorizontalMore Big Changes at Dial Global as Spencer Brown and Ken Williams Resign; Time, Inc. CRO Paul Caine to Take Over as CEO.  Dial Global announces that Paul Caine has resigned his post as chief revenue officer at Time, Inc. to become the chief executive officer of Dial Global and become a member of the cainepaulboard of directors.  Spencer Brown resigns his post as CEO and Ken Williams does the same as president.  The two will stay on until April 4 when the change takes place.  The company says, “Caine joins to create a new opportunity for Dial Global to expand the marketing and monetization of audio, starting with the Company’s lineup of premier sports, entertainment and news content that includes the NFL primetime games (including the Playoffs and Super Bowl), the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, CBS Radio News, NBC News Radio, the brownspencerNBC Sports Radio Network, and the Grammys. As mobile platforms continue to multiply the occasions for listening, the demand for premium digital audio content is growing fast. This represents a substantial, undeveloped opportunity for content providers, distribution partners and marketers alike.”  Paul Caine says of joining the company, “Dial Global will propel the growth of audio as the essential medium for the mobile experience.  We have premium content, top-tier distribution, and prestigious live event assets.  Our opportunity is to expand these experiences for consumers, broaden our repertoire of content partners, and integrate our on-air, digital and live event offerings to create compelling engagement for advertisers.”  In a statement from the company, Spencer Brown comments on his exit, “Along with our former partner David Landau, Ken and I have taken Dial Global a long way.  Now the company needs a chief executive with a different skill set to steer it through its next phase of growth.  We believe Paul is uniquely well-qualified to do just that.”

Cumulus Reports 2012 Q4 Net Revenue Up 1% on Strong Political.  Cumulus Media announces 2012 Q4 numbers and financial figures for the whole of 2012.  For the fourth quarter of 2012, Net revenue was up $2.9 million – 1% — on revenue of $284.2 million, compared to $281.3 for the same period a year ago.

cumulusLew Dickey Says with Promised Synergies in Place, ‘Cumulus Optimizes’ and ‘Invigorates’ Radio Networks Division.  During Monday’s conference call with analysts, Cumulus Media chairman and CEO Lew Dickey explained some of the company’s strategies and recognized the programming effortsdickeylew that included “launching shows with Governor Mike Huckabee, Geraldo Rivera, Sanjay Gupta and Michael Savage as well as some other initiatives that we have focused on.  We also announced the launch of, huckabeemikeimportantly, the CBS Sports Radio Network in collaboration with CBS, and the launch of Right Now Traffic in partnership with Radiate Media. These give us strong ownership positions going forward into two key verticals, sports and traffic.”  Lew Dickey reiterated the company’s happiness with the purchase of the former WFME, Newark, calling it “a tremendous value at just $40 million.”  As expected he promoted Cumulus’ country music strategy, saying the new WNSH, New York “enabled us to bring the country format back to New York for the first time since the mid-90s…with a very strong brand, ‘NASH FM.’  The NASH brand was extremely well received by listeners, advertisers, general media and particularly the Nashvillenashbashsheltonsmall entertainment community, and we further capitalized on this with a three-day concert for our advertisers and listeners last savagemichaelmonth, which was the ‘NASH BASH’ at the Roseland ballroom.  NASH FM will become the flagship for our larger national country initiative that we are in the process of rolling out throughout the rest of this year. It will ultimately be a multimedia platform brand for Cumulus, targeting that key audience segment, which is about 85 million Americans.  It will be through our O&O group as well as syndicated through our network…as well as through a mult-imedia platform.”   Dickey told analysts he expects the NASH FM, traffic, CBS Sports and digital platforms to break even in 2013 and be poised for profit in 2014 saying they are, “in essence, startup businesses, new entrants into respective arenas such as sports, and traffic in particular.”  Dickey was asked about the network business, the talk business in particular and he referenced, without naming names, the Rush Limbaugh-Sandra Fluke incident.  “Clearly, it’s been well documented that the talk side has been challenged – most of that due to some of the issues that happened a year ago.  So there has been residual hangover on the talk side in terms of advertisers sitting out and not placing there…that’s had an impact not only on our network business but it’s had an impact on some of the news/talk stations in the top markets in our O&O group.”  Dickey reported that business that is typically placed in the first quarter was, in many cases not placed until the late part of the first quarter of this year and a lot of that business “is now starting to come back into the marketplace.”  The Cumulus Media conference call details come courtesy of Seeking Alpha.  See more at SeekingAlpha.com.

kprc logoKPRC, Houston Re-Brands; Adds Janine Turner for Daily PM Drive Show.  Clear Channel Houston talk outlet KPRC finalizes its shift from a more “hot talk” format to a more traditional news/talk format and swaps turnerjaninebranding, leaving behind the “9-5-0 Radio Mojo” and implementing the new “Houston’s More Stimulating Talk Radio” positioner.  The lineup includes: Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo in morning drive; Premiere’s Glenn Beck; local host Michael Garfield; local personality Matt Patrick (who’s also heard in AM drive on sister KTRH); and Janine Turner.  Texas-based Turner – the actress known for her work on the 1990s TV show “Northern Exposure” – has been producing her own radio show for a couple of years now and is added to the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot on KPRC.

greatermediaGreater Media Philly Honored with Top Workplaces Accolades for Second Straight Year.  In a survey of employees conducted by Workplace Dynamics for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philly.com, Greater Media’s Philadelphia cluster of stations was named among the Top Workplaces again this year.  VP and market manager John Fullam says, “Great companies start with great employees.  We believe the workplace environment is an essential part of creating a successful organization.  We are fortunate to have such an outstanding team dedicated to serving Philadelphia, our listeners and advertising partners every day.”  Greater Media operates rock WMMR, classic rock WMGK, adult hits WBEN-FM and sports talk WPEN-FM.

arbitronArbitron Releases the RADAR March 2013 Radio Network Ratings.  Arbitron reports that the RADAR (Radio’s All Dimension Audience Research) March 2013 “is the standard currency for national network radio ratings and measures 46 individual radio networks.”  The networks are operated by American Urban Radio Networks, Crystal Media Networks, Cumulus Media Networks, Dial Global Inc., Premiere Networks, and United Stations Radio Networks.  The survey concludes “that nearly 180 million Persons 12 and older, or approximately 68% of this demographic, heard one or more network radio commercials in an average week of the survey period.”  Further, the survey states commercials that aired on the 46 radio networks measured reached: 68.2 % of Persons aged 12+ (179,923,000 Persons); 68.6% of Persons aged 18+ (163,738,000 Persons); 68.1% of Persons aged 35+ (113,417,000 Persons); 70.9% of Persons aged 18-49 (95,091,000 Persons); and 71.7% of Persons aged 25-54 (89,654,000Persons).

premiere networks 2Premiere Networks Touts ‘Strong Rankings’ in RADAR 116.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment-owned Premiere Networks sells 17 of the 46 networks included in Arbitron’s RADAR 116.  In this survey, Premiere lays claim to having “earned the number one spot in rankings for AQH and Cume among all 46 measured RADAR networks in RADAR 116 for Persons 12+.  Premiere FOX News Advantage ranked number one on an AQH basis for Persons 12+ (All Broadcasts, Monday-Sun 5AM-12M, AQH) and Premiere Spectrum debuted in RADAR 116 as the highest-reaching network for Persons 12+ (All Broadcasts, Monday-Sunday 12Midnight-12Midnight broad daypart, Cume).  Premiere also points to the performance of its networks based on lifestyle groupings, stating, “Young Influencers and Premiere Super Moms ranked number one and two, respectively, in reaching Moms 25-54 (Women 25-54 with children under 12).  Premiere Super Moms took the lead position followed by Premiere Young Influencers in reach for Working Women 25-54 (work status: full time/part time) among all 46 measured RADAR networks in RADAR 116 (All Broadcasts, Monday-Sunday 12Midnight-12Midnight broad daypart, cume audience).  The RADAR 116 sample consists of 395,844 diary keepers/PPM panelists/respondents.  PPM panelists comprise approximately 53% of the total respondent listening sample.

Effects of Sequester/Budget Battle, State of the Republican Party, Cyprus Bank Deposit Tax, Steubenville Rape Case, and Tom Perez Named Labor Secretary Nominee Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/18).  The budget battle in Washington and the effects of the sequester; analysis of the state of the Republican party and its future; the Cyprus bank deposit tax and its effect on world markets; the guilty verdicts in the Steubenville, Ohio rape case; and President Obama’s nomination of Tom Perez as labor secretary were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, March 18, 2013

| March 18, 2013

wtmjFormer WGN and KMOX Exec Tom Langmyer to Consult Journal’s WTMJ, Milwaukee.  The Business Journal of Milwaukee reports that former WGN, Chicago vice president and general manager Tom Langmyer haslangmyertom been hired to consult Journal Broadcast Group’s news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee as it transitions from programmer Joe Scialfa, who has left the post.  WTMJ EVP Steve Wexler tells the publication, “I can confirm that we have made a change and are recruiting for a new program director.  Tom Langmyer is working with us during the transition to help recruit a new program director and work with our staff.”  Langmyer worked his way up from program director to general manager of KMOX, St.Louis.  After years in that post he moved to Tribune’s WGN, Chicago where he served as VP/GM until last October.

schnitttoddTodd Schnitt and Bubba the Love Sponge Settle in Mediation.  After a jury found Bubba the Love Sponge (Todd Clem) not guilty of defamation in the case brought against him by former crosstown rival Todd Schnitt, Schnitt got a new lawyer and prepared to take Bubba back to court claiming misconduct on the part of Bubba’s attorneys as a result of the DUI and misappropriated briefcase of his former lawyer, Phillip Campbell.  But, after a 12-hour mediation sessionbubba before mediator Jim Murman, the sides have agreed to end their spat – sort of.  According to TampaBayOnline, Bubba has agreed to leave Schnitt’s wife and children out of any future radio attacks, incurring a $5,000 fine per mention if he fails to keep his word.  Schnitt himself is fair game.  Bubba had intended to go after Schnitt to recoup his nearly $1 million in legal fees from the first trial but will withdraw that bid.  Bubba is heard in morning drive on WHTP, Tampa and was a rival of Schnitt’s when Schnitt – as MJ Kelli – held down mornings on WFLA-FM.  Now, Schnitt does only the PM drive show on news/talk WFLA-AM in the market. But there is still some acrimony and possible legal action – between Phillip Campbell and Schnitt.  After Schnitt fired Campbell, the latter went to court seeking about $1 million in legal fees from Schnitt.  But Schnitt’s new lawyer, Wil Florin, tells TampaBayOnline that Schnitt should not have to pay the money and that Campbell should have to refund almost $1 million previously paid because Campbell assured the Schnitt’s, after a 2008 DUI, that it would not happen again.

nbcsportsradio logoNBC Sport Radio Network Names Newy Scruggs Midday Host.  As the NBC Sports Radio and Dial Global 24/7 sports talk radio format is prepared for its round-the-clock debut on April 1, the networkscruggsnewy announces that KXAS-TV, Dallas sports director and former KRLD-FM, Dallas personality Newy Scruggs will host the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart with his program, “Voices of the Game with Newy Scruggs.”  The theme of the show is Scruggs will be joined each day by a major renowned and recognizable sports joneschipper“voice” during the entire second hour of the show.  Personalities will include Chipper Jones, Adrian Wojnarowski, Stan Van Gundy, Bobby Valentine and Chris Mannix.  Jones will begin baseball season in this hourly role on Tuesdays and then move into a weekly major contributor role as NBC Sports Radio’s MLB senior analyst once baseball season is fully underway.   Mannix, Valentine and Van Gundy are already part of the NBC Sports Radio roster and are expanding their roles.  Dial Global EVP and general manager Chris Corcoran states, “Hands down, ‘Voices of the Game’ is going to be special.  Not only is Newy one of the smartest and most reputable personalities around, but our unmatched and incredible daily guest hosts are going to deliver such a unique and informative show for affiliates, listeners and advertisers.”

werenumber1News/Talk Format Back to Place as Leading Format in February PPMs.  With Arbitron’s February PPM data set to be released after 5:00 pm today (3/18), some of the conclusions we can draw are that the news/talk format is coming back from its usual holiday lull and – across all 48 PPM markets, not any market in particular – the format is back to its spot as the leading format.  Industry pros who’ve been watching the performance of stations by format over the years are aware that formats in general can be said to be affected by seasonal factors.  The biggest and most obvious is how AC stations are buoyed by the public’s affection for Christmas music during the holiday period.  News/talk has historically – going back to the days prior to the PPM as well – performed well in the fall and spring periods and dipped a bit in the winter and summer periods.  Obviously, baseball tends to help news/talk stations avoid the summer drop.  With the recent uptick of concern about news/talk’s future – being aired in both the consumer and trade press – no doubt market managers and corporations will be eager to see how their individual news/talk stations performed in the PPM markets during the February period.

canzano logoKXTG-AM, Portland’s John Canzano Re-Ups with Alpha Broadcasting.  Midday sports talk personality John Canzano, host of “The Bald-Faced Truth” signs a multi-year extension with Alpha Broadcasting’s “750 The Game.”  He currently airs in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot.  Canzano is a popular sports media figure in the market serving as lead columnist for The Oregonian and as a regular commentator on KGW-TV.  He is also the co-founder of the Bald Faced Truth Foundation, a 501(c) 3 non-profit that helps children participate in music, art, sports and other co-curricular activities.  Alpha Broadcasting director of programming Scott Mahalick states, “John’s deep connection to the community through his Bald Faced Truth Foundation is just one of many reasons we are proud to have him on board with Portland’s premiere sports radio ‘750 The Game.’”

sabowalterSabo Says Radio Stations Are Becoming More and More Like TV Stations.  In a provocative article posted today in TALKERS (3/18), noted radio consultant Walter Sabo points out that the radio station of the not-too-distant future will appear similar in many ways to the television station of today.  As a matter of fact, this is a trend that is already becoming quite apparent.  To read Sabo’s column – which also includes insights into the danger of radio’s economic dependency on retail, the importance of bringing back research, and (for music programmers) the pitfalls of letting labels tell you when the songs they promote are at the peak of their hit potency – click here.

adamschadChad Adams to Exit Wilmington, North Carolina Talk Duo.  Hometown Wilmington Media general manager Beau Gunn announces morning drive personality Chad Adams will leave his position as morning host on March 29.  Adams is heard on WLTT, Bolivia, North Carolina and WNTB, Topsail Beach – stations branded “The Big Talker.”  Gunn states, “Chad has served the community and our company with hard work and dedication for the past three years.  We are sad to see him go and wish him the best in all of his new endeavors.”  In addition to hosting the morning show, he has appeared as a regular featured commentator on local cable news channel News 14 Carolina‘s ‘Capitol Tonight’ and as a guest political analyst on WWAY-TV.

kjfk logoAmericom Las Vegas Shutters Progressive Talk KJFK, Reno.  After eight years as a progressive talk outlet, Americom Las Vegas announces it has been losing money on the station for some time – “thousands of dollars a month” – and its hand is being forced.  The station says on its website, “Since we launched the station with an appearance by Al Franken in 2005, when nearly 500 people joined us at the Atlantis for now-Senator Franken’s appearance just days after we hit the air, we’ve known a passionate audience has been with us all along.  Unfortunately, this station was never able to generate the revenue necessary to sustain, and we simply cannot absorb the financial loss any longer.”  The station will continue to make some shows available online for now.

seltzerbrentBrent Seltzer, Still at Large” Syndicated Short-Form Series Picked Up by XM.  The quick-witted, two-minute commentary series hosted by legendary Southern California-based news personality Brent Seltzer is now heard daily on XM Satellite Radio talk channels 165, 166 and 168 in all dayparts.  Premiere Networks brokered the deal and describes the series as ‘funny, informative, creative and well-produced’.  The series, designed to air on both talk and music formats, is heard on KSRO, Santa Rosa, CA and is one of the most popular features on PodJockey.com.

bernierflaOdds & Sods.  Talk about being in the right place at the right time, pictured here is WNDB, Daytona Beach talk show host Marc Bernier (right) interviewing Florida State Senate President Don Gaetz during his annual “Legislative Listening Tour” from the Capitol in Tallahassee on the very day Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll resigned amidst a federal probe of internet cafes statewide…..Hubbard Broadcasting’s WTOP, Washington this week begins a special series called “Spy In The Sky” – an exclusive multimedia series that takes an in-depth look at the use of drones worldwide.  A federal appeals court has ruled that the CIA must provide a more detailed response to a lawsuit filed by the ACLU, seeking records about drone attacks.  This decision from a three-wtoplogojudge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia is part of an ongoing national debate about the use of drones.  “Spy In The Sky” is a 10-part series that’s airing on WTOP this week.  Each report is also available on WTOP.com accompanied by exclusive photos and video.  In the piece, WTOP focuses on the use of drones both abroad and at home and how policy makers, police, and civil rights advocates are shaping their future…..In sunny Arizona, “Rosie on the House,” the home improvement talk show that has reached out to Arizona homeowners for almost 25 years, has added another radio station affiliate KGVY, Green Valley, south of Tucson.  The show was founded by Rosie Romero and his son Romey in 1988 and is heard on KTAR-FM, Phoenix; KNST, Tucson and several others across the state.  It’s syndicated by the Skyview Network.

ludlumawardKNX, Los Angeles Director of News Programming Andy Ludlum Honored.  CBS Radio’s Andy Ludlum was honored at the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists’ 2013 awards banquet on March 14.  The KNX director of news programming is pictured here (right) alongside KNX news anchor and longtime friend Bill Polish (left) who presented the award to Ludlum.  SPJ/LA presents the Distinguished Journalist awards to members of the profession who demonstrate good news judgment, a strong sense of ethics and a passion for getting the story right.  Honorees are journalists who have achieved a record of accomplishments over the course of several years.

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.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

| March 6, 2013

nielsen logoAcquiring Arbitron Adds to the Total Media Mix for Nielsen.  At day two of the Deutsche Bank DbAccess 21st Annual Media and Telecom Conference, Nielsen president of Global Media Products & Advertiser Solutions Steve Hasker says that the acquisition of Arbitron will add another two hours per day to its understanding of the media to which consumers arehaskersteve exposed.  “If you think about media consumption here in the U.S. as one geographic example, we cover about five hours per day for the average consumer through television audience measurement…That is the bedrock of our ‘Watch’ business.  To that, we hope to add radio, which is another two hours of consumers’ time.  And we felt that this was a very important part, both of understanding the media exposure and what consumers watch and what they listen to, but also a very important part of the overall media mix particularly for local advertisers.  And so the ability to capture this data and combine it with our TV data and our digital information, which is online and mobile through products like ‘Online Campaign Ratings,’ ‘Brand Effect’ and the ‘Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings,’ put it all together and we’re covering around about eight hours of a consumer’s time per day exposed to media…think about that as coverage of everything except for print and we think that those are the most valuable parts of the media mix and are central to our proposition of understanding consumer behavior at a very, very deep level.”

walshjoeSalem’s WIND, Chicago to Air Evening Show with Former Congressman Joe Walsh.  Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder reports that one-term Tea Party congressman Joe Walsh will begin a two-hour early evening talk show on Salem Communications’ WIND, Chicago on March 18.  Although Salem was not commenting officially, Walsh spoke openly to Feder.  The “Joe Walsh Unplugged” show will air from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm and will often emanate from locations around the state as he indicates his recent travels to push the Tea Party ideals are part of his desire to create a movement.  He tells Feder, “We are going to make this a real grass-roots push and advocacy thing, and the radio show is going to be a key part of that.”  Feder reports the show is expected to be officially announced on March 14 when Walsh appears at “Obama 2.0: The Road Ahead,” a public event sponsored by WIND.  Expected to be there with Walsh will be WIND afternoon host Steve Cochran, Salem Radio Network host Michael Medved and Illinois Policy Institute’s John Tillman.

shawsteveCumulus Media Names Steve Shaw SVP of National Sales.  In his new role with Cumulus Media, the former president of Katz Radio Group will be based out of New York.  Steve Shaw most recently served as president of Cox Digital Solutions where he founded the digital rep group Cox Cross Media.  Cumulus executive vice president and co-COO Jon Pinch says, “Having run Katz Radio for years, Steve is the natural choice for this position.  He understands the national marketplace, has key relationships with buyers and sellers, and is well known for high integrity and an intense work ethic.  Steve will work closely with our team of national sales managers, our partners at Katz, Mike Pallad, myself, and other senior management at Cumulus.”  On his new position, Shaw states, “I am thrilled to be joining Cumulus Media – they operate some of the best brands in radio and I look forward to helping design and implement great solutions for our national advertising partners.  Our combination of scale and quality programming will allow us to deliver great results that drive our customers’ businesses.”

trisselbrookeRAB Names Brooke Trissel Senior Vice President, Membership.  The Radio Advertising Bureau announces that, as part of its mission to serve its members, it is appointing Brooke Trissel senior vice president, membership.  In this position Trissel will partner with the RAB’s Membership team to enhance and communicate the organization’s core membership benefits to existing and new members.  She’ll report to president and CEO Erica Farber and will be based at RAB Dallas.  Farber states, “I’m thrilled for Brooke to join the RAB in this capacity where she brings her vast experience in radio broadcasting to super-serve our growing membership.  Brooke is the consummate radio executive who will work closely within the organization and our members to meet their needs in a changing radio and media landscape.”  Trissel grew up in a radio family that owned and operated Oklahoma-based Omni Media Group.  She served in many roles within the company including sales manager for KWOX-FM/KMZE-FM and station manager for KOMI-TV in Woodward, Oklahoma.  Most recently, she has been overseeing marketing and sales as the vice president of News/Talk/Sports MediaOnline with prior experience selling advertising and sponsorships at Radio & Records.  Trissel also worked in affiliate sales with ABC Radio Networks in Dallas.  She says, “I’ve long been a fan of the RAB’s products and services and I’m excited to partner with Erica and the Membership team to share all the exciting enhancements taking place at the organization with our members.”

boortzbookNeal Boortz Pens Talk Radio Memoir.  The title of the book is Maybe I Should Just Shut Up and Go Away (Carpenters Son Publishing 2013).  In it, iconic formerly Atlanta-based talk radio legend Neal Boortz looks back at his 42 years on the radio as a talk show host.  The promotion for the book says, in part, Boortz “shares the often-hilarious reality of what happens behind the scenes when you’re a talk radio icon.  Longtime friend with national radio greats Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, he tells how those relationships began in the hot seat of competition…Though early predictions by those who knew him in his youth cast Boortz as a sure prospect to become a preacher, he took a different route to educating the masses.  Longtime listeners are certain to become enthusiastic readers as Boortz finally tips his hat to more than four decades of teeing up controversy, political education and general entertainment for audiences across the country to enjoy—and tells all they’ve been wanting to know but couldn’t get anyone to share until now.”

nms2013logoArbitron to Present “Special PPM Report on the State of the Spoken Word” at Forthcoming TALKERS Conference.  The agenda for the forthcoming “Talkers New York 2013″ continues to grow as Arbitron, Inc. has joined the roster of presenters with a special in-depth statistical insight into the research company’s findings about the news/talk, sports talk, all-news, and NPR formats’ performance in a PPM world.  It will also include a special look at listening habits and listener direction trends on the AM dial.  The presentation will be delivered by Arbitron’s director of programming services Jon Miller who spearheaded a similar presentation analyzing country radio at the recent CRS inmillerjon Nashville.  In making the announcement, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison says, “We were so impressed with the extraordinary value of the country conference presentation we checked out to see if they have a similar study pertinent to talk radio.  As it turns out they do and we are delighted to make it available to our attendees.”  Talkers New York 2013 is the 16th annual installment of the industry’s longest-running and most important national talk radio convention.  It will take place on Thursday, June 6 and is open only to members of the working media.  Registration is $199 per person which includes all sessions, attractions and food services.  An advance sellout is expected.  For registration (phone only) and sponsorship information call 413-565-5413.  Stay tuned to Talkers.com for more exciting agenda details to be announced in the coming days.

wxos logoWXOS, St. Louis Crowns ‘Sportscaster Factor’ Winner.  Hubbard Broadcasting’s WXOS, St. Louis “101 ESPN” announces it finished its first-ever “Sportscaster Factor” competition on Saturday, March 2 and has named Brett McMillan winner of the inaugural competition for which he gets bragging rights and a weekend show on the station.  McMillan, a student at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri, beat out 175 other competitors in the competition.  During Saturday’s final round at the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, 101ESPN’s Randy Karraker, PD Kent Sterling and APS Chris “Hoss” Neupert trimmed the 38 semi-finalists down to 16 finalists, and then to the eight who competed for the coveted spot.  Sterling says of the promotion.  “This was a great competition.  We never had any inkling that there were so many talented broadcasters in St. Louis.  Everyone knows this is a great sports town, but it’s also a great broadcasting city.  When this started, we would have been really happy with any of the final eight – and most of the rest of the sixteen finalists.  In Brett, we think we have found exactly what this competition was designed to find – a host that is really good today, will be better down the road, and someone we would not have found otherwise.  I fully anticipate doing this again.  It was fun for the contestants and for us.  Not only did we find a solid host, we found several who might end up working for 101ESPN one day.”

flintaaronOdds & Sods.  Montana talk host Aaron Flint gets props from the Washington Post for his political blog “The Flint Report” as part of the paper’s “Best State-Based Political Blogs” piece.  Flint, who broadcasts a daily talk radio show that airs on 17 stations across Montana, including Connoisseur Media’s KYYA, Billings, is an officer in the Montana Army National Guard and served three tours in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa.  Of his media work, he says, “Every day, I hope to take a wide range of experiences to show audiences the bigger picture, or to give them a side of the story they won’t get anywhere else.”…..Programmer Peter Bolger is promoted to director of AM programming at Clear Channel’s San Antonio cluster.  Bolger has served as program director for news/talk WOAI and sports talk KTKR since joining the cluster inkatzjeffspeaks 2007……CBS Sports Radio Network’s John Feinstein debuts a weekly hour-long segment called “One-On-One” as part of his late morning show on the network in which he interviews a sports newsmaker.  The first installment is today from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon with Bob Costas.  Upcoming guests for the segment include sports figures and celebrities such as NBA Commissioner David Stern, professional golfer Tom Watson and NBA champion Steve Kerr…..Talk radio pro Jeff Katz sits in for Compass Media Networks nationally syndicated host Todd Schnitt on his Monday, March 11 and Wednesday, March 13 programs.

sliwacubaCurtis Sliwa Boasts Five-Hour ‘Commemoration’ of Hugo Chavez.  WNYM, New York “970 The Answer” talk personality Curtis Sliwa tells TALKERS magazine his was the only station to “commemorate” the late Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez yesterday.  Sliwa states, “We got the news yesterday afternoon and did two hours on the “Curtis & Jeffrey” show from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm and then continued this morning from 6:00 am to 9:00 am on my solo show.  Additionally, we discussed his career as a TV and radio talk show host as the host of “Alo Presidente.”  You may think that we were comrades in arms because of our red berets and our battles with cancer.  That couldn’t be further from the truth.”  Pictured here is Sliwa in Cuba several years ago leading an anti-Castro and anti-Chavez chant among like-minded Cuban citizens.

Sequester Impact, Hugo Chavez Dies, Iran/North Korea Nuclear Threats, and High-Flying Dow Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/5).  The impact of the sequester and the ongoing battle over federal budget issues; the death of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez; Iran’s and North Korea’s nuclear threats; and the still-soaring Dow were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

| February 6, 2013

mrc logoChicago, San Francisco, San Diego and Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill Join Arbitron PPM’s MRC-Accredited Markets.  The list of Media Rating Council-accredited markets for Arbitron’s PPM ratings service jumps to 18 with the addition of Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego and Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill.   Arbitron EVP, service innovation and chief research officer Gregg Lindner says, “MRC accreditation for our PPM markets is an important priority for Arbitron, and we are pleased the MRC continues to recognize the progress we are making.  Continuous improvement in our PPM, diary and other information services is our objective, and we remain focused on our efforts to maintain the MRC double checkmarks in our currently accredited PPM markets and to achieve service-wide accreditation for all PPM markets.”  The MRC chose not to issue accreditation for the remaining 30 PPM markets.

tylerchrisChris Tyler Assumes Brand Manager Post at Cumulus Media’s WSBA and WGLD, York.  The Harrisburg, Pennsylvania radio pro becomes program director and brand manager for Cumulus Media’s news/talk WSBA and sports talk WGLD in nearby York.  Tyler was the longtime program director and morning host at Clear Channel’s rock WRVV, Harrisburg “The River” before exiting in August of 2011.  He then served as general manager, program director and morning host at crosstown rock WTPA – a Cumulus station the Department of Justice demanded the company spin off.  Tyler fills the programming role vacated by Jim Horn who retired from WSBA as morning co-host and PD last year.

wqzqWQZQ, Nashville Flips to Sports Talk.  Cromwell Radio Group drops the gospel on WQZQ, Nashville and begins simulcasting FM sports talker WPRT “102.5 The Game.”  The station is being used to air conflicting programming beginning with the 3:00 pm hour of its George Plaster-led “Sports Night” program that got bumped from WPRT when the station became the local home of financial talker Dave Ramsey.

morganjoeSports USA’s Joe Morgan Show Re-Brands.  The weekend sports talk show hosted by baseball and broadcasting legend Joe Morgan re-brands as “Conversations with Joe Morgan” to reflect the nature of the program.  Sports USA states that the show “will continue to focus on Joe’s unique conversations with iconic legends and celebrity personalities.  Previous guests have included Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax, former President George H. W. Bush, Jim Brown, Bob Costas, Charlie Sheen, Tom Seaver, John Madden, Al Michaels, and Johnny Bench.  These conversations take listeners well beyond what they think they may know about the subjects.”  Morgan says about his style, “These are conversations, not interrogations.”  Sports USA indicates there will be added digital aspects to “Conversations with Joe Morgan” as well.

crn mag logoCRN Digital Talk Radio Launches CRN Digital Mag.  Content provider and distributor CRN Digital Talk Radio is launching CRN Digital Mag, its own entertainment and lifestyle online magazine this week.  The magazine launch coincides with CRN’s 30th anniversary celebration.  CRN CEO and founder Mike Horn says, “Embarking on our 30th year is a major milestone for us.  We are proud of all that we have accomplished and look forward to our future endeavors, including CRN Digital Mag.  Our listeners have asked for more access to their favorite personalities, in-depth pieces on the topics we touch on CRN and CRN Digital Mag keeps your favorite shows going on your schedule.”  The all-new magazine will include exclusive stories written by CRN personalities Fred Dryer, Barry Farber, Karel, Larry Manetti and many others who will write about recent shows, upcoming guests and other popular topics.  Horn, who is also host of CRN’s highly popular “What’s Cookin’’ program, will also write a regular column on food, wine and the good life as featured on his show.

wjpzstudioThe Next Generation(s).  Seated at the control board of Syracuse University’s student-run CHR WJPZ is general manager Corey Crockett.  The studios will soon bear the name Envision Radio Networks Broadcast Center after Envision CEO Danno Wolkoff and COO Laura Orkin made a donation to acquire the naming rights to the newly renovated studios at the school’s Watson Hall.  Wolkoff states, “There is no better classroom in the world than ‘Z-89’ and I’m thrilled the legacy will continue.  Students who work at the station will benefit from learning the industry in a brand new space outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment including a new console, audio boards, touchscreen monitors and two new production studios.”  Wolkoff is an alumnus of the school and he helped sign the FM station on the air in 1985.  He began his career in radio as one of the original members of the “Cra-Z Morning Crew” and was inducted into the WJPZ Hall of Fame in 2009.  The official opening ceremony for the Envision Radio Networks Broadcast Center will take place on March 1 in conjunction with the station’s 28th birthday banquet and annual WJPZ Hall of Fame induction ceremony on March 2.

WRKL, New York Goes on the Market.  Owner of currently Spanish Christian WRKL, New York (class B AM at 910) Polnet Communications is retaining Media Services Group to “to identify, examine and consider a range of strategic options available including a possible sale of WRKL.  The asking price for the station is $3 million.  Polnet Communications Ltd. owns radio stations WEEF, WNVR, WPJX and WKTA and television station WPVN in the Chicago area.  It also owns WRKL and WLIM in the New York City area and WRXB and WTMY in the greater Tampa-Sarasota, Florida area.  Bob Heymann of the Chicago office of Media Services Group is the contact.

Budget Cuts/Tax Hikes Debate, Gun Legislation, Iran/North Korea Nuke Threats, and Deadly Force Drones Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/5).  The debate in Washington over budget cuts and possible tax hikes; proposals for new gun legislation; the threat of nuclear weapons use from Iran and North Korea; and President Obama’s use of drones for deadly force on U.S. citizens were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Radio’s Biggest Star: Baseball

| January 25, 2013

By Holland Cooke
News/Talk/Sports Radio Consultant

St. LOUIS — Do the math. For six months when habitual listening dips as listeners vacation and otherwise alter their lives, baseball brings:

• Long-TSL tune-in (“vertical maintenance” in Arbitron-speak), to…

• 162 three+ hour shows (“horizontal maintenance”), by…

Read More

Thursday, January 10, 2013

| January 10, 2013

crowleyjerrySalem Communications Ups Sean O’Neil in NYC; Names Jerry Crowley VP/GM of WNYM and WMCA.  Former WOR, New York general manager Jerry Crowley joins the Salem Communications New York operations as vice president and general manager of news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” and Christian WMCA “New York’s Christian Talk.”  Sean O’Neil is promoted from GM to market manager for the NYC cluster.  Crowley, who had been with Buckley Broadcasting until late December when Clear Channel assumed control of WOR, reports to Salem Communications vice president and director of spoken word format Phil Boyce.  He states, “With Jerry’s longtime tenure running one of the nation’s leading talk radio stations, we could not have found a better match for our stations in New York.  I admired Jerry’s work across town during my 14 years programming WABC.  To get him on my new team at Salem is a huge opportunity to grow the station’s revenue and make an impact in New York radio.”

gillsteveTalk Host Steve Gill to End Radio Program.  Nashville, Tennessee-based talk host Steve Gill announces he will end his nationally syndicated talk program – including the local appearance on Clear Channel’s WLAC from which he operates – and focus his energy on his Gill Media enterprise that provides consulting and has seen him an increasing amount of public speaking.  Gill reports to TALKERS that “as part of the expansion plan under the Gill Media umbrella, his Gill Report published at www.gillreport.com will broaden its platform as the ‘go-to’ source for news and commentaries while introducing a variety of new ventures and service offerings.  The media company strives to enable its clients to better utilize both traditional and new media opportunities to communicate more effectively within various mediums.”  Speaking about leaving his talk show, Gill states, “While I have truly enjoyed my tenure at Radio America and WLAC, the commitment and restrictions associated with a daily, weekday morning show limit my ability to thrive in the areas where I can truly ‘give back’ in a more hands-on, one-on-one format.  Our time on the air has allowed us to make a difference, particularly in the political arena.  Rather than simply talking about the problems we face, I am excited to redirect our focus from radio to support clients, small businesses and individuals in a creative, results-oriented environment.”

kkoblogoKKOB, Albuquerque Notches 50th Straight Arbitron Book at #1 12-Plus.  Cumulus Media’s news/talk KKOB, Albuquerque garnered a 7.6 share in the Fall 2012 Arbitron book (Mon-Sun 6:00 am to 12:00 midnight) and hitting the top spot in the market for the 50th straight ratings period.  Operations manager Pat Frisch tells TALKERS, “When you think about it, that’s a long time – 12 ½ years at #1.  I hear it is the longest streak of any talk station in the top 70 markets.  I have been here 13 ½ years now.  And Rush and Hannity blew away the competition in middays 12-plus with an 11.2 share.”

DG-logoHorizontalBig NFL Divisional Playoff Weekend for Dial Global.  The play-by-play of this weekend’s NFL playoff games is carried exclusively on radio by Dial Global.  The schedule is as follows: on Saturday the Baltimore Ravens take on the Denver Broncos.  Kevin Kugler has the play-by-play, along with analyst Mark Malone and sideline reporter Scott Kaplan.  The action continues when the Green Bay Packers meet the San Francisco 49ers.  Kevin Harlan serves as play-by-play announcer, along with Hall of Famer Dan Fouts as analyst and Hub Arkush as sideline reporter.  On Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks go head-to-head with the Atlanta Falcons.  Dave Sims has the play-by-play, with Hall of Famer James Lofton as analyst and sideline reporter Tony Boselli.  Following the conclusion of that game, the Houston Texans face the New England Patriots.  Ian Eagle has the play-by-play, along with analyst Trent Green and sideline reporter Lewis JohnsonScott Graham hosts the pregame, halftime and postgame shows for all four broadcasts.

rodriguezmattMatt Rodriguez Named General Sales Manager at KFWB, Los Angeles.  He comes to the KFWB Asset Trust news/talk station from Amaturo Group Ltd.’s Southern California cluster where he served as general manager.  Matt Rodriguez will be in charge of the sales efforts for its news and talk programming as well as Los Angeles Clippers basketball.  General manager Valerie Blackburn says, “Putting Matt in charge of our overall sales and sports efforts is a great win for KFWB.  He has raised the bar in generating sales wherever he’s worked and is a valuable addition to our team.”

robelotjaneAward-Winning Journalist Jane Robelot Anchors WMUU, Greenville, South Carolina Morning News.  Former CBS News correspondent and anchor Jane Robelot begins her position with Salem Communications’ WMUU, Greenville, South Carolina “Conservative Talk 94.5” today (1/10).  Robelot worked for CBS News in New York from 1995 through 1999 where she co-anchored “CBS This Morning.”  While at CBS News in New York, she won two national Emmy awards for journalistic excellence, and a national Emmy nomination.  Robelot returned to her hometown of Greenville in 2006 where she and her husband, Mario DeCarvalho, created their own production company, Carolina Zoom Productions.  She is a contributing anchor and reporter for Hearst-owned NBC affiliate, WYFF-TV in Greenville.  In 2009, Jane and her team won the prestigious Peabody Award for “Chronicle: Paul’s Gift,” a documentary about organ donation.  She also co-hosts a nationally syndicated Christian radio program, “Leading The Way with Dr. Michael Youssef.”

KKSPlogoCrain Media Moves Little Rock Talk Station; Adds Full Time Sports Outlet.  Little Rock-based Crain Media announces it is moving the news/talk programming on KKSP — “Fresh Talk” — from its 93.3 FM dial position to the 96.5 position currently occupied by CHR KHTE beginning today (Thursday, January 10).  The station will add Cumulus Media’s Mike Huckabee and Dial Global’s Dennis Miller in the midday where sports talk shows currently air.  At the same time, the company is debuting a new full-time sports talk station branded “Fox Sports Radio FM93.3 Little Rock” using Fox Sports Radio Network programming as well as local shows “Game On with Wess and Michael” and Bo Mattingly’s sports talk show.  Station president Tatum Owenby says, “Our goal is to provide the Little Rock metro area with the most relevant and entertaining sports talk programming.  We are confident that Fox Sports Radio’s first-class lineup, combined with quality local content, will be a perfect fit for the sports fans in our market.”

wntb logoWNTB and WLTT, Wilmington, NC Combo Adds Local Shows.  The Wilmington, North Carolina simulcast of WNTB, Topsail Beach and WLTT, Bolivia – owned by Hometown Wilmington Media and branded as “The Big Talker 93.7 & 106.3” – announces two new local programs.  Port City Daily sports writer and local media personality Joe Catenacci will begin hosting a one-hour daily sports talk show from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm on Monday, January 14.  Also, local community leader L.S. “Bo” Dean Jr. debuts the Saturday morning “Hometown Solutions” show dedicated to featuring citizens, organizations and businesses that are agents of change in the local community focused on generating success for health and wellness, education, employment, economic development and other facets impacting quality of life in the Cape Fear region.  Program director Aimee Bowen states, “We are very excited to launch these two new programs that highlight the regional citizens and organizations working toward a better tomorrow and our incredible local sports scene.”

wxos logoWXOS, St. Louis Debuts New Weekend Programs.  Hubbard Broadcasting’s WXOS, St. Louis “101 ESPN” announces three new weekend programs: “The Hot Corner” airs Saturdays from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm hosted by 101 ESPN’s Cardinals insider Brian Stull and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Cardinals columnist Derrick Goold will be talking all things Cardinals baseball; “MMA Hit Squad” a show dedicated to mixed martial arts/ultimate fighting starts January 19 and airs from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm on Saturdays.  It will be hosted by Jesse Finney and Chad Range; and, with the return of NHL hockey, “St. Louis Faceoff Today” begins airing Sundays from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm hosted by Fox Sports Midwest St. Louis Blues play-by-play voice John Kelly and St. Louis Post-Dispatch Blues beat reporter Jeremy Rutherford.  WXOS program director Kent Sterling states, “The next step in the growth of 101 ESPN will be in the weekends.  St. Louis is a seven-day-a-week sports town, and where there is hunger for unique content, 101ESPN will provide it.”

osgoodawardHappy Birthday, Charles Osgood!  Respected veteran Dial Global radio personality Charles Osgood, host of the popular “Osgood File” broadcasts, celebrated his 80th birthday on Tuesday. He’s pictured here posing for a photo in his newly revamped studio.  He’s holding a plaque presented by Dial Global executives and featuring a rhyme by his late father, “Early to bed, early to rise.  Work like a dog and advertise.”

Biden Gun Control Meeting/Executive Order Threat, Morgan-Jones CNN Debate, Obama Afghanistan Troop Withdrawal Proposal, and ‘All My Babies’ Mamas’ Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/9).  Vice President Joe Biden’s gun control meeting and threat of executive order to change gun laws; the contentious debate over gun laws between CNN’s Piers Morgan and talk host Alex Jones; the proposal to draw down the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and the flap over the Oxygen channel’s “All My Babies’ Mamas” program were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

“I Knew You’d Like This, and that No One Else Would Show It to You”

| January 7, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS –People sometimes pooh-pooh the power of social media because of the relatively small number of followers we have.  However, did you know that you can turn a thousand Facebook “Likes” into a reach of a million over a year’s time?  That kind of reach can then deliver millions of impressions in a year, too.

Every good programmer has a solid knowledge of what tactics work to deliver better Arbitron numbers over time.  If you’re a PD, that’s just part of your job.  Well, Facebook has a similar set-up that you can take advantage of to create more engagement, which then drives your social media stats up … and creates more brand usage for you.  If you’re doing it right, that is.

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December Sports Scoreboard

| January 4, 2013

Conclusion of a Three-Part Special Feature

By Mike Kinosian
Talkers
Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief

LOS ANGELES — It has been an exciting and historic week in sports radio.

In a special feature series, we have outlined what has been taking place and detailed some possible ramifications.

Our look at the ever-expanding sports format concludes with a December 2012 ratings overview.

Spoken-word stations were particularly vulnerable in the December sweep when at least one station per market generally started playing all-Christmas music.

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Eight Reasons Cain Will Click

| January 3, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Talk Radio consultant

cainhermanBLOCK ISLAND, RI — January 21 is Inauguration Day, for both our president, and his outspoken campaign opponent Herman Cain, whose nationally syndicated radio show debuts that morning.

Here’s why I predicted Cain’s success oh-so-publicly at the recent Arbitron Client Conference:

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

| January 3, 2013

johnkenKFI, Los Angeles’ John and Ken Appear on WOR, New York.  New WOR, New York owner Clear Channel Media and Entertainment has begun airing talk radio duo John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou in the evenings on the station.  On Wednesday night, a simulcast hour from the final hour of the pair’s highly rated KFI, Los Angeles wor710program aired at 9:00 pm followed by a 10:00 pm hour of custom programming for the New York station.  John and Ken are no strangers to the region having grown up in the New York area and having gotten their start on radio stations in the Tri-State Area.  They rose to prominence during their stint at Trenton-based “New Jersey 101.5” (WKXW).  John and Ken have been syndicated in the past.  During a brief period in the late 1990s, the duo began a national syndication effort under Fisher Entertainment but that ended when they moved to KABC, Los Angeles to take the morning drive slot.

nbcsportsradioPeacock Sports Network Playing the Hits.  In TALKERS magazine’s second part of its three-part series on the new sports talk radio players (and the growing field in general), managing editor/West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian gets inside the heads of those involved in the new NBC Sports Radio Network that is launching its weekend programming this weekend and its full daily slate in April.  NBC Sports Radio kinosianmikeprogrammer Jack Silver tells TALKERS his network is focusing on finding talent it believes is the next generation.  “The weekday and weekend lineups mirror the network’s mission statement, which is to be a new wave of sports talk.  We did not hire the more traditional names.  The developmental mindset we have is to find new sports talk talent.  CBS Sports Radio has veterans like Jim Rome and Scott Ferrall.  We are looking for the next versions of people like that, as well as Dan Patrick and [ESPN Radio morning personalities] ‘Mike [Greenberg] & Mike [Golic].’  We are producing this sports network like a rock station, with in-your-face production.  To my ear, it feels like an FM talk station – which is my specialty. It is based on opinions and talk show topics.”  Read Mike Kinosian’s entire piece here.

cumulusCumulus Media Returns 44 Markets to Arbitron Diary Service.  After three years with no Arbitron diary ratings service, Cumulus Media-owned stations in 44 markets will resume subscription to the service effectivearbitron immediately.  Cumulus Media and Arbitron announce they have agreed to a multi-year contract that brings Cumulus stations in the 44 markets back into the fold and renews the company’s PPM ratings service deal in the 17 PPM markets in which it operates.  Arbitron states that the deal covers all 450 Cumulus stations in the 100 Cumulus radio markets currently surveyed by Arbitron.  It also renews ratings agreements in 39 diary markets.  In addition to diary and PPM local market ratings, the agreement also provides Cumulus with access to Arbitron software applications, Scarborough consumer profile services, dickeylewand national and network radio ratings for Cumulus Media Networks.  Cumulus has also agreed to collaborate with Arbitron on cross-platform services that would quantify the total impact of the Cumulus radio brand.  Cumulus chairman and CEO Lew Dickey says, “With this agreement, Arbitron and Cumulus are demonstrating a long-term commitment to collaborate for the benefit of the radio industry.  We will work closely with Arbitron on its ongoing quality and service enhancement initiatives.  Specifically, we look forward to participating in the development of an integrated, total radio audience service that gives broadcasters full credit for our audiences regardless of how listeners access our content.”

cainhermanHerman Cain is Coming and Consultant Holland Cooke Predicts Success.  Businessman, talk show host and one-time presidential candidate Herman Cain is prepping to take over the WSB, Atlanta and Cox Media syndication of the Neal Boortz program when Boortz retires this month.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke predicts Cain will succeed and offers eight reasons why, beginning with: “He’s a radio natural, as we heard when he filled-in for Sean Hannity last summer.  Even if Cain’s primary run hadn’t made it so familiar, his voice jumps-out-of the speaker.  And he speaks in sound bites that are made for AM radio.”  There’s more.  Read Cooke’s piece here.

mendtelarryLarry Mendte Exits Merlin’s WWIQ, Philadelphia.  Announcing his departure from the Philadelphia talk outlet via his Facebook page, talk personality and former market TV news anchor Larry Mendte states the reason was not due to ratings as his show was “by far the highest-rated local show.”  But Mendte, who joined the station in May of last year, says in his post that he believes his exit will spur rumors the station is for sale.  He says he hopes that’s not true as he believes the station “fills an important void.”  Mendte was hired to work the morning show alongside programmer and co-host Al Gardner.  Earlier in the fall, New York-based multi-media star Lionel was brought in to work with Gardner for a portion of the morning program.  WWIQ’s website lists both Gardner and Lionel as co-hosts of the 5:00 am to 9:00 am program.

woky logoClear Channel to Flip WOKY, Milwaukee to Sports Talk.  Beginning Monday, January 7, Clear Channel-owned classic country WOKY, Milwaukee will become a sports talk outlet as “The Big 920.”  The station will feature regional sports talk personalities as well as Fox Sports Radio Network syndicated programming including Dan Patrick and Jay Mohr.  According to a report in The Business Journal, the station will run the same programming that airs on CC’s Madison sports talk station WTSO “The Big 1070.”  The station will air a talk show featuring morning drive hosts Mike Lucas and Matt Lepay from 6:00 am to 8:00 am.  It will be in competition in the market with Good Karma’s WAUK and Entercom’s WSSP.

wqrtlogoWQRT, Cincinnati to Drop Talk; Station Will Go Dark, Launch New Format in February.  The Cincinnati market sports and talk station WQRT “Real Talk 1160” will go dark after the broadcast of the BCS National Championship game on January 7 and take the rest of the month to prepare for a new format.  Christian Broadcast System owner Jon Yinger tells the Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Kiesewetter the station did not perform as the company had hoped despite hiring numerous local personalities over the course of the past few years to challenge competitors in the market.  Local staffers including morning host Dean Miuccio, news staffer T.C. Summers, afternoon sports talk hosts Dennis “Wildman” Walker and Jeff Piecoro have been let go and the station will air syndicated programming until it signs off.  The station recently lost operations manager Rob Williams and sports talk host and producer Rick Ucchino who left to join Cumulus Media’s crosstown WCFN which debuted the CBS Sports Radio Network format on Wednesday, January 2.

currenttvAl Gore’s Current TV Bought by Al Jazeera.  The Al Gore- and Joel Hyatt-owned Current TV cable news/talk channel has been purchased by the Qatar-based Arab world cable news operation Al Jazeera for a reported $500 million.  Bloomberg reports Gore and Hyatt paid $60 million for the media outlet in 2004.  Bloomberg notes in its report that Time Warner Cable Inc., the second-biggest U.S. cable company, said it would stop carrying Current TV with the ownership change.  “Our agreement with Current has been terminated and we will no longer be carrying the service…We are removing the service as quickly as possible.”  Time Warner Cable currently carries the Al Jazeera English-language programming in New York City however it does not offer Al Jazeera in the Los Angeles market.  The Associated Press reports the acquisition will give Al Jazeera access to about 40 million more homes.  It also states that Al Jazeera – owned by the government of Qatar – plans to gradually transform Current TV into a network called Al Jazeera America by adding five to 10 new U.S. bureaus beyond the five it has now and hiring more journalists.  More than half of the content will be U.S. news and the network will have its headquarters in New York City.

mohrjay

Fox Sports Radio Network’s Jay Mohr Debuts on 70-Plus Stations.  The new late-morning program on the Fox Sports Radio Network hosted by long-time FSRN fill-in host, comedian and actor Jay Mohr hit the ground running with about 70 affiliates yesterday.  Fox Sports reports the show aired in markets including: Los Angeles, Atlanta, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Portland and Pittsburgh.  Mohr’s program fills the slot held for so many years by Jim Rome who left Premiere Networks for the new CBS Sports Radio Network.

keelerbillBill Keeler to Host Mornings on WIBX, Utica.  Local media personality Bill Keeler will begin hosting the morning drive program on Townsquare Media’s news/talk WIBX, Utica, New York on Monday, January 14, according to WKTV-TV, Utica.  Keeler, who has been hosting a restaurant program on WKTV-TV, has also worked in the market in radio at CHR WSKS and rock WXUR.  He says, “I am so excited about doing mornings on WIBX.  This is a heritage radio station that’s been around for 87 years and it remains one of the top stations in the market.  I can’t wait to get on the air and get started.”  Keeler will be joined by news anchor Kristine Bellino.

mcmichaelsteveWMVP, Chicago Personality Steve McMichael Pulled from Broadcasting After Equal Time Request.  Former Chicago Bears great and WMVP, Chicago sports talk personality Steve “Mongo” McMichael was yanked from Sunday’s program prior to the final Bears game of the season after the mayor of Romeoville, Illinois filed an equal time request with the station.  McMichael filed papers on December 26 to get on the ballot to run for mayor of Romeoville in April and one of his opponents, current Mayor John Noak, filed the request citing equal time regulations.  McMichael tells the Chicago Tribune, “I was ready to go on and talk football.  I by no means used that pre-game show as a political platform this year.  But if that’s the law, it’s the law and I have to accept it.”

wtmjJournal’s WTMJ, Milwaukee Announces Record Results for Holiday Toy Drive.  WTMJ, Milwaukee program director Joe Scialfa announces the Journal Broadcast Group station collected more than 19,000 toys during its 2012 “Kids to Kids Christmas”  Scialfa says more than 50 schools in the region participated in the charity drive that encouraged children to shop with their parents for toys to donate to those less fortunate.  Scialfa states, “The listeners of Newsradio 620 WTMJ are amazing.  Again this year, they have shared the message of giving with their kids in a record setting way!  We couldn’t be prouder to come to work each day to inform and entertain this great audience.”

‘Fiscal Crisis’ Bill Signed, Hurricane Sandy Aid Controversy, Financial Markets Activity, Hillary Clinton Health Status and Gun Control Debate Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/2).  The aftermath of the bill signed to avert the “fiscal crisis”; the anger over Congress’ bypassing Hurricane Sandy aid; financial markets respond to “fiscal crisis” legislation; the health status of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; and ongoing debate of gun laws in the United States were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

| December 20, 2012

obamabarackPresidential Election Tops List of Most-Discussed Stories on News/Talk Radio in 2012.  Obama is Most Talked-About Person.  According to TALKERS magazine’s tabulations, the Presidential Election ranks as the most-talked-about story of 2012 on the nation’s news/talk radio stations and programs.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “It isn’t even close.  The election stood out far and away as a topic in its own right, as well as a catalyst for so many of the other subjects that comprise the meat and potatoes of news/talk conversation ranging from economics to foreign policy to personality gossip.  It is difficult to track and calculate a list of this nature because stories and subjects overlap and play into and off of each other.  The presidential race is both an ongoing process and then a climactic event that brings so many different issues into play; it permeates the very fiber of what this format is all about.”   Casey adds, “Interestingly, there is so much overlap and interplay between stories that even with the effort to sort them out individually certain stories are so connected that we list them as ties in the Top 10 – such as the connection between the so called Fiscal Cliff and Euro Zone Troubles, or the Benghazi Attack and the Petraeus-Broadwell Scandal.”

The following are the 10 most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio in 2012:

1)      2012 Presidential Election

2)      ‘Fiscal Cliff’/Euro Zone Troubles

3)      SCOTUS ObamaCare Decision

4)      Benghazi Attack/Petraeus-Broadwell Scandal

5)      Newtown Massacre/Aurora Theater Slayings

6)      Syria Revolt/Egypt Instability

7)      Rush Limbaugh “Slut” Controversy

8)      Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Ambitions

9)      Trayvon Martin Case

10)    Hurricane Sandy

Other major news/talk radio topics worthy of mention include the Wisconsin Recall Election, the “Fast and Furious” Investigation, the Sandusky Trial and the Facebook IPO.

President Barack Obama tops the TALKERS list of the most-talked-about people on news/talk radio in 2012 which according to limbaughrushKevin Casey is no surprise: “The President of the United States has topped this survey in all of the 22 years that TALKERS magazine has been conducting it – election year or not.  This includes George Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.”  It is interesting to note that Rush Limbaugh is on this year’s list – not the first time it has happened – indicating what a huge newsmaker the format’s most-listened-to-player is in addition to being someone who talks about key figures.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “The colorful people who perform on this great stage love to talk about the medium itself.  Limbaugh, of course, is constantly in the news and has long been an ongoing topic as well as talker.  Others who fit this bill over many years include Howard Stern, Michael Savage, Don Imus and Dr. Laura Schlessinger to name the standouts. They sure do bring a lot to the table.”

The following are the 10 most-talked-about people on news/talk radio in 2012.  Note, in cases in which two people are intrinsically connected in terms of the story in which they were co-players, they are listed as tied for their position:

1)      Barack Obama

2)      Mitt Romney

3)      John Boehner

4)      Hillary Clinton

5)      John Roberts

6)      David Petraeus/Paula Broadwell

7)      Christopher Stevens/Susan Rice

8)      Adam Lanza/James Holmes

9)      Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman

10)    Rush Limbaugh/Sandra Fluke

tantarosandreaTRN Entertainment Debuts the Andrea Tantaros Show in January.  National talk programming syndicator Talk Radio Network Entertainment announces it is bringing political commentator, syndicated columnist and Fox News Channel personality Andrea Tantaros to the radio for a three-hour program to air live in the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET slot formerly held by Laura Ingraham.  Tantaros is a co-host of the popular FNC program, “The Five.”  TRNE describes the program saying it “will engage listeners who want to be informed and entertained with smart, edgy, and funny but matterajasonresponsible commentary on politics, pop culture, Wall Street and entertainment.  The show is designed to attract the broadcast spectrum of listeners profitably for its station affiliates.”  Tantaros will be joined by Jason Mattera, a two-time New York Times best-selling author, the youngest editor of a national periodical, Human Events, and the host of “The Jason Mattera Show” on weekends at WABC in New York.  TRNE CEO Mark Masters says, “In a post 2008–2009 economy, we have been seeking shows that are highly entertaining, yet responsible and profitable for our station affiliates and advertisers.  Andrea has the ability to do both.  She’s a fresh voice who will inject new energy to the airwaves.”  Tantaros says she’s delighted to partner with TRN on this project.  “They’re the best in the business at making sure affiliates and audiences get hard-hitting and informative commentary that keeps them coming back for more.  I promise you this: it’s going to be fun.”

DG-logoHorizontalLaunchpad Digital Media and Dial Global Partner for Podcast Programming.  This deal gives Dial Global an avenue for podcasting from its talent pool – Dennis Miller, “Loveline,” Billy BushCharles Osgood, country programming, DG Sports and NBC Sports Radio – via the Courtside Entertainment digital division Launchpad Digital Media.  Dial Global co-CEO Spencer Brown states, “Defining great media means delivering the highest quality content to the largest launchpad logobrownspenceraudience.  This new partnership with Launchpad Digital Media significantly augments Dial Global’s capability to do both by opening new creative avenues for top talent and new doors for advertisers to access the widening on-demand podcast audience.”  Courtside Entertainment founder and Launchpad chairman Norm Pattiz says, “Since we announced our move into podcasting the response has been off the charts.  The partnership between Kit Gray and Courtside establishes Launchpad with a proven track record of revenue generating success.  We have now added new programming which is currently delivering over 90 million downloads per month, including our deal with Dial Global.  We are excited to partner with Dial Global to bring some of the most well-known and trusted brands in sports, news and entertainment to the growing roster of Launchpad podcast offerings.”

kinosianmikeNovember Was Very Good to All-News Radio.  Arbitron’s November PPM data was, in general, very good to the nation’s all-news outlets.  Recently, TALKERS managing editor/West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian detailed his analysis of news/talk’s November PPM data, concluding it was generally a very good month for that format.  Here, Kinosian runs the numbers for major all-news outlets and gives four-month trends for those stations.  See his analysis of the nation’s all-news stations here.

kmjlogoKMJ-AM/FM, Fresno Names John Broeske and Jennifer Lipp Midday Partners.  Peak Broadcasting’s KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno announces a new local talk program that will air from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm on both KMJ-AM and KMJ-FM, beginning January 2.  The John and Jen show will feature current KMJ-FM morning drive host Jennifer Lipp (who will continue to host the 6:00 am to 8:00 am program) and longtime Fresno market radio lippjenpro John Broeske.  A release from KMJ says Broeske has been a talk host, programmer, manager and consultant.  He led the station from 1987 to 2007, “directing it to the leadership position that continues to this day.”  KMJ and Peak Broadcasting SVP Patty Hixson says, “There is simply no better choice for this important time slot than the merger of two of the biggest names in Central California radio…they will bring their extensive experience and name recognition to a broad-based, advertiser-friendly show that will be a big success on KMJ for years to come.”  Operations manager Skip Essick adds, “The John and Jen show will be a fast-paced, topical, entertaining view of life in Central California as lived by two people who know the area very well.  From politics to pop culture, local or national, if it matters to the Central Valley, it will be covered by John and Jen on KMJ every day.”

pinkusgeoffWCKG, Chicago Adds Geoff Pinkus for Middays.  Suburban talk outlet WCKG, Elmhurst, Illinois announces local personality Geoff Pinkus will host the midday show on “The Voice of DuPage County” beginning January 7.  In a press release, Pinkus states, “For years I was told I’d get a daily show ‘when hell freezes over!’  The Twinkie is gone.  The Mayan calendar is ending…and now WCKG finally decides to hire me?  Coincidence?  Maybe.  All I know is I’ve got some storable food, water stockpiles, good cigars, and a microphone ready.  Starting January 7, 11:00 am, we’re rockin’ the suburbs.  We’re going to have fun on the radio again with real people.”  WCKG airs “Mancow in the Morning,” and Dan Patrick among other syndicated programs.

jonesadamCBS Radio’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” Tabs Adam Jones for Evening Show.  With the departure of Damon Amendolara to CBS Radio Sports Network to host his “D.A. Show” in the overnight slot on the network, CBS Boston woos Adam Jones away from ESPN to take over the 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm program on “98.5 The Sports Hub.”  Jones had been working for ESPN Radio handling a fill-in role and hosting the online Adam Jones show.  Before that he had been working with WBZ-FM as a fill-in host and co-hosting a weekend show with Boston sports writer Dan Shaughnessy.  CBS Radio Boston vice president of programming Mike Thomas says, “It’ll be great to have Adam back at ‘The Sports Hub.’  We had a lot of very good candidates apply for this job, but with his previous work here and the experience he gained after leaving ‘The Sports Hub,’ Adam was the clear choice.  Damon did a fantastic job coming into this market and hosting the evening show.  I’m confident Adam can pick up where D.A. left off and continue to grow the audience.”

nielsen logoNon-Subscriber Station Exec Speaks His Mind on Arbitron/Nielsen Merger.  Fred Lundgren, CEO of talker KCAA, Yoma Linda, California, hopes that Nielsen will change what he describes as thearbitron “exclusionary methodology” of Arbitron.  In an opinion piece posted today (12/20) in TALKERS, Lundgren writes, “Moreover, let’s hope Nielsen’s acquisition will lead to comprehensive listener surveys across all platforms, which will add value to our industry, rather than further draining resources from traditional media already stagnated by the economy and over-consolidation.”  In a biting commentary, Lundgren asks, “According to Arbitron, nobody listens to KCAA.  Are we to believe that KCAA has no listeners to any of 50-plus locally produced, weekly programs on subjects ranging from a vegan lifestyle to marijuana legalization?  According to Arbitron, no one listens to any broadcaster on KCAA, not even Roseanne Barr, Joyce Riley, Don Imus, Dave Ramsey, Alex Jones or Ed Schultz.   Read Fred Lundgren’s article here.

noorygeorgePremiere Networks’ George Noory Hosts “End of the World” Show Friday.  With the ancient Mayan calendar possibly predicting the end of the world on Friday the 21st, “Coast to Coast AM” personality George Noory is hosting a special “End of the World” edition of his program.  The show will feature a number of special guests and experts, including author/prophecy expert John Hogue and author/lecturer/aerospace engineer Mike Bara, who will share their predictions, in addition to conversations with listeners.  Noory shared his own doomsday prediction in a December 19 Huffington Post story in which he states, “Any calamity that might occur doesn’t affect one, it affects all of us, and we’ll get through it together as a team, one way or another.”

hayworthjdTalk Host J.D. Hayworth Keeps Busy This Holiday Season.  Former Arizona Congressman and talk radio pro J.D. Hayworth is all over the radio this holiday season on a series of fill-in gigs.  Hayworth tells TALKERS magazine he’s sitting in on the morning show at Clear Channel’s “Rush Radio” in North Carolina – WPTI, Greensboro and WRDU, Raleigh – December 26 – 31.  He’ll be in afternoon drive on Cumulus’ KABC, Los Angeles December 24 – 28 (with a break on Christmas Day).  Plus, he’ll sit in for Mike Huckabee on his national program December 26 – 28 and January 2 – 4.  Additional appearances include guest stints at KSFO, San Francisco; WLS, Chicago; and WMAL, Washington…as well as continuing fill-in work in Philly on WPHT.

tuneinlogoTuneIn Adds 18 Broadcasters to the Service.  Digital content aggregator TuneIn announces it has signed deals with 18 more broadcasters to distribute their programming via TuneIn’s global digital application.  New broadcasters include Doug Stephan’s “Good Day” program, Motley Fool Radio, Progressive Voices and others.  The company states, “This news comes at a period of continued growth and momentum for TuneIn, which has 40 million monthly active listeners, 70,000 AM, FM, HD and Internet radio stations and more than two million on-demand programs streaming from every continent.  As part of these alliances, TuneIn will provide each broadcaster with access to free, industry-leading tools, such as analytics through TuneIn Amplifier, and access to the audio service’s ad platform.”

Gun Law Changes, Mental Health Care System, ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Debate, Benghazi-State Department Report, and Mayan ‘Doomsday’ Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/19).  The debate over changes to America’s gun laws; discussion about mental health care and screenings in the U.S.; the debate in Washington over avoiding the “fiscal cliff”; the report on the State Department’s handling of the Libya situation; and the Mayan calendar’s “end of the world” prediction were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

November News Nuggets

| December 20, 2012

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief

LOS ANGELES — Given the extraordinary nature of what has been happening of late, it is highly appropriate to follow up our recent massive talk radio overview with a similar piece on all-news operations.

There is however one obvious difference: Talk can claim tonnage honors, whereas news is one of radio’s most sparsely-represented formats.

Each PPM market has at least one talk outlet within in its top 20 (6+, November 2012), compared to news accomplishing the same feat in only 15 of the 48 electronically measured metros for a conversion rate of just over 30%.

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Will Nielsen’s Acquisition of Arbitron Benefit our Industry?

| December 20, 2012

By Fred Lundgren
KCAA Radio, Loma Linda, California
CEO

lundgrenfredLOMA LINDA, CA — The inaccuracy of Arbitron surveys have been a pet peeve of mine for many years.  So, when The Nielsen Company announced the purchase of Arbitron, I decided to celebrate the event with a little punditry.  Initially, the announcement made me think of this quote by Winston Churchill…

“The only recorded instance in history of a rat swimming towards a sinking ship.”

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Arbitron Client Conference: Format Facts and Forecasts

| December 10, 2012

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

ANNAPOLIS — Now THIS is worth a meeting.  If your station is an Arbitron subscriber, you should download, devour, and discuss the just-released “Radio Today 2012,” an uncanny mash-up of Scarborough consumer profiles and Arbitron audience data.  What you will read about people-who-listen-to your format really fleshes-out the folks you want as heavy listeners, and will send you in specific directions to seem relevant and relatable and habit-forming to ‘em.

And that’s all I’m allowed to say!  Because this information is THAT valuable!  Read the legal hear-ye-hear-ye at arbitron.com, and you’ll understand that I’m not being coy.  But I can share some useful headlines from the Executive Summary Arbitron has released, which follow.

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Arbitron Client Conference Day Two: Scary Talk About In-Car, Straight Talk About Sports, Plain Talk About Politics

| December 7, 2012

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

ANNAPOLIS — Recently, one auto maker announced that it will no longer factory-install AM radios.  In this case, it’s because the high-end car’s high-tech composite body material would interfere with reception.  Still, the specter of AM’s fade was jarring, particularly to those in news/talk/sports radio, now actively migrating to FM, but still predominantly AM formats.

Again this week, another such harbinger, this one a whack-on-the-side-of-the-head to FM broadcasters too…

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Friday, November 30, 2012

| November 30, 2012

November PPMs Generally Good to Talk Radio.  You can call it the “election bounce” if you like but some of the news/talk stations that did well in Arbitron’s November 2012 PPMs were ramping up in October and before.  Plus, the fall has traditionally been a good ratings period for news/talk whether there’s an election or not.  Of course, Hurricane Sandy played a major factor for stations in the New York and Middlesex-Somerset-Union markets.  Some of the stations worth noting include CBS Radio’s New York all newsers WCBS and WINS which jumped from a 3.8 to a 5.3 and a 4.0 to a 4.8, respectively.  Clear Channel’s Los Angeles talk juggernaut KFI continues to thrive inching up to a 5.3 from a 5.1 the month prior.  Cumulus Media’s Chicago news/talker WLS bounced back up to a 4.1 after posting a 3.7 in October.  Likewise in Dallas-Fort Worth for Cumulus as WBAP-AM/FM pops up a half share to a 3.9.  Clear Channel’s KTRH, Houston rose from a 3.4 in October to a 4.1 in November.  In Washington, DC Cumulus’ WMAL-AM/FM jumped from a 3.4 to a 4.2.  In Philadelphia, Merlin Media’s WWIQ hopped from 2.7 in October to a 3.6 in November.  Cox Media’s WSB, Atlanta – which has been maintaining healthy numbers in the PPM for some time – vaults from a 6.8 to an 8.3 this month.  Cumulus’ Detroit talker WJR rose more than a full share from a 4.8 to a 5.9.  Public radio outlet KUOW, Seattle claimed the top spot in the November PPMs with a 5.5 share.  Clear Channel’s KFYI, Phoenix went up a full share from a 4.9 to a 5.9.  Mixed results in Baltimore as Hearst’s WBAL fell from a 5.7 to a 5.0 while WCBM rose from a 3.0 to a 3.8 share.  Good news for pubcaster KOPB, Portland which went from a 5.3 to a 6.2 while Alpha Broadcasting’s KXL jumped from a 4.8 to a 5.5 share.  Clear Channel’s WPGB, Pittsburgh leaped a full share from a 6.9 to a 7.9 share while its Sacramento sister KFBK also enjoyed a significant rise from a 5.6 to a 6.8 share.  In the New Jersey market of Middlesex-Somerset-Union, Townsquare Media’s New Jersey 101.5 (WKXW, Trenton) posted an outstanding 8.6 – up from a 6.2 in October – with help, no doubt, from Hurricane Sandy.  TALKERS’ sister publication RadioInfo has all the PPM data including Mike Kinosian’s analysis of the numbers.  You can find that here.

Laura Ingraham Back on Radio “Soon.”  That’s what the author, pundit and talk show host told Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly.  During one of Laura Ingraham’s regular appearances on Fox News Channel with O’Reilly, he questioned her status in the talk radio world and she told him she will be back on the radio with another syndicator (she left Talk Radio Network at the end of her contract on Tuesday) very soon.  “I’m close to signing a new deal.  I’m very, very close.  But I’ll be back on the air probably in the next several days.”  Ingraham told O’Reilly she informed TRN she would be “terminating the deal” months ago and that it was time to move on.

Talk Host Tom Becka to Exit KRWK, Fargo “101.9 Talk FM.”  Talk radio pro Tom Becka has been serving as program director and talk show host at KRWK, Fargo since it flipped from rock to talk in March of this year.  Becka tells the Fargo Forum he’s returning to Omaha where he’s worked for years and has family.  Becka says any notion his departure has anything to do with the performance of the new format is not correct.  “The station has grown every month.  My experience with Radio Fargo-Moorhead was great and I’m proud of what we accomplished here in a short time. To say I’m leaving because of ratings would be erroneous.”  Radio Fargo-Moorhead is selling its cluster of stations to Midwest Family Communications.  The FCC has approved the license transfers but according to one source, the actual takeover may not happen until the spring.

Todd Schnitt Show to Leave Flagship WFLA, Tampa.  Compass Media Networks nationally syndicated talk host Todd Schnitt Tweets that his program – airing live from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm – will be off longtime flagship WFLA, Tampa after the December 18 program.  Schnitt further Tweets that the national syndication continues and is expanding under syndicator Compass.  No word what CC has in mind for afternoons at WFLA.  Currently, it delay-broadcasts Premiere NetworksSean Hannity from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm but may have plans to move Hannity to the live PM drive slot.

Jim Isabella Named Evening Host at WNIR, Akron.  Journalist Jim Isabella has been doing fill-in work for WNIR for the past two years.  He now takes over the evening show formerly hosted by the late Tom Erickson who died on November 3 after a long illness.  Isabella most recently worked for the Akron Beacon Journal.   Station owners Bob and Bill Klaus note in a press release that Isabella, who was a frequent caller to the show hosted by the late Howie Chizek who passed away suddenly in June, made them more aware of his talents during his fill-in time in addition to receiving positive response from the station’s listeners.

Odds & Sods.  Watch for Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk host Andy Dean from the network’s “America Now with Andy Dean” on Fox News Channel’s “America’s News HQ” this Sunday at 4:45 pm ET as he sits in a panel discussing the latest headlines in news and politics…..SiriusXM brings the Major League Baseball winter meetings to listeners via its MLB Network Radio and SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio channels.  The meetings take place in Nashville December 2 through 6 and the satcaster will have front office experts Jim Bowden, Jim Duquette and Steve Phillips there hosting various programs with other special expert guests including former pitcher Jeff Nelson.

Bubba the Love Sponge Offers Reward for Arrest of Animal Abuser.  After hearing about the case of a dog found in the Bradenton, Florida area  that had been attacked by someone with an axe, radio star Bubba the Love Sponge put up $1,000 of his own cash on top of the $500 being offered by the Animal Network for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible.  After hearing about the case, Tampa-area philanthropist Gary Kompothecras of the legal and medical referral service 1-800-ASK-GARY added another $1,000 to the reward to make the total $2,500.  Bubba reports to TALKERS that the dog, named Axel, is recovering from his injuries and will be available for adoption once he is healthy again.

Los Angeles Broadcaster David Courtney Dies at 56.  The Southern California radio community is mourning the loss of omnipresent “big voice” David Courtney, who passed away on Thursday, November 29.  Many considered Courtney the voice of Los Angeles sports, since for the past 23 years, he was the public address announcer of the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings.  He performed similar duties for MLB’s Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for 18 years and NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers since October 2008.  Greater Los Angeles area radio listeners knew him for his frequent traffic and sports updates as part of the Total Traffic Network.  Over the last 20 years, Courtney was heard on a number of major Los Angeles radio outlets including KABC and KSPN, as well as KOLA in the Inland Empire.  His other radio background included stints at Houston’s KULF as executive producer of sports programming and that market’s KTRH, where he was weekend news anchor before landing a nightly, three-hour news/talk program.  New York City-born Courtney moved to Los Angeles in 1963 when his father, Alan, became president of MGM Television.  According to Courtney’s Twitter feed, he needed to miss Wednesday night’s Clippers game against Minnesota owing to the fact he was in the hospital awaiting an angiogram.  The 56-year-old Courtney is survived by his wife, Janet Fisher-Courtney.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Cumulus Media NetworksMichael Savage is picked up at Cumulus O&Os WABC, New York and WMAL-AM/FM, Washington for the 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm shift.

‘Fiscal Cliff’ Battle Remains Top Talk Radio Topic for Second Straight Week.  The struggle between the Obama administration and GOP congressmen to deal with impending tax hikes and spending cuts was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Benghazi investigation tied with the Susan Rice-GOP leaders meetings.  Following at #3 was the Israel-Gaza tensions with the clean-up of Hurricane Sandy at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

| October 4, 2012

September PPM Numbers Continued: Highlights of Talk and Sports Stations.  TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian reports on the September PPM numbers rolling in and writes about the movement of some talk and sports stations.

  • In market # 11 Detroit…this is the second straight month that CBS Radio controls the top four spots; however, country WYCD (+.5 from August) trades places with sports sibling WXYT-FM, which is down one full share.
  • In market # 13 Seattle, Bonneville’s talk KIRO-FM remains in the top three with a slight jump (+.1 from August) to a 4.8 share while sister sports talk KIRO-AM slides (- .4 from August) to a 3.8.
  • In Phoenix – market #14 – Clear Channel’s news/talk KFYI rises nicely one full share to a 5.3 while Bonneville’s KTAR-FM slides (- .4 from August) to a 3.2.
  • In market #16 Minneapolis, news/talk WCCO tumbles seven-tenths to 6.4 (#3 to #5).  The last time the CBS Radio talk powerhouse had a 6+ stat that low was in July 2011 (6.4, as well).  Also, tied in August at 3.1, sports rivals Clear Channel-owned KFXN (+.3, #13) and Hubbard‘s KSTP-AM (-.4, #16) are now separated by seven-tenths.

For more PPM data and ratings analysis, visit our sister publication RadioInfo’s ratings section here.

KDWN, Las Vegas Talk Host Alan Stock to Host Special Election Season TV Program.  Morning drive host Alan Stock also hosts a nightly interview and news show produced for Vegas TV (cable 14/HD1014) airing at 9:30 pm called “Eye on Vegas with Alan Stock.”  This month, Stock will add a special weekly show to his work on Vegas TV called “News & Views 2012” set to air Wednesdays at 5:30 pm.  Stock tells TALKERS, “It is a special series for the election season only on during the month of October.  The great news is it is already sold out from an advertising standpoint.  The show includes a panel of four people – two liberals and two conservatives.  The first show aired on Wednesday the 3rd on the topic of the economy.  Other topics will include civil rights (gay marriage, etc.), illegal immigration, foreign policy and Obamacare/medical care in general although the topics might be modified depending on what news is breaking.”

WTKK, Boston Sells Out ‘Ultimate Town Hall Meeting.’  Greater Media news/talk outlet WTKK, Boston “News Talk 96.9” announces its “Ultimate Town Hall Meeting” set for Saturday, October 13 at Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall has sold out all 800 seats but the station will give away five Presidential Packages (including front row seats, exclusive meet-and-greets, and more) to listeners starting next week.  The “Ultimate Town Hall Meeting” is moderated by WTKK morning hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan and includes a prominent panel of WTKK’s on-air hosts and contributors including local personality Michael Graham, WYD Media’s Michael Smerconish, Cumulus Media Network’s John Batchelor, Compass Media NetworksRon Insana and the Boston Globe’s Brian McGrory.  Program director Grace Blazer states, “News Talk 96.9’s all-star panel will debate the ‘state of the state’ of the 2012 presidential election and the hotly contested Scott Brown-Elizabeth Warren Massachusetts Senate race.  Our entire team is looking forward to engaging in smart and entertaining debate for our audience and our advertisers.”

WGN, Chicago Honored at 2012 Radio Mercury Awards.  Tribune’s news/talk WGN, Chicago won a 2012 Radio Mercury Award in the “Radio Station Produced” category for the “Shifty Eyes” spot created for local business Oak Park Natural Pet & Fish.  The commercial was written and produced by WGN Radio commercial services manager Jason Skaggs.  WGN vice president and general manager Tom Langmyer says, “We’re honored as a station and proud to have such a talented person in Jason on our team.  Jason creates unique and memorable messages that deliver real results for our advertisers.  He gets it.”  The 2012 Radio Mercury Awards are part of the 2012 Advertising Week Conference in New York.  The Radio Mercury Awards, the only competition exclusively devoted to radio, was established in 1992 to encourage and reward the development of effective and creative radio commercials.  For more on other winners, see the coverage at our sister publication RadioInfo’s site here.

Changes at the Top at Blue Star Media Group.  Effective immediately, Blue Star Media Group president and CEO Michael Metter exits to pursue interests outside the radio business and former executive vice president Jeff Weber returns to the company to lead it as consulting operations executive.  Blue Star owns and operates Business TalkRadio Network; Lifestyle TalkRadio Network; WLFP, Pittsburgh; WGCH, Greenwich, Connecticut and recently sold KNUU, Las Vegas.  Weber, who resigned from Blue Star in December of 2011 after 10 years of running the operations, says, “What a great opportunity to return to work with our exceptional staff and the fine content product we provide our more than 1,000 affiliates and the outstanding programs our owned stations air for their listeners.”

Breaking with Your Church on a Secular Talk Station.  KDKA, Pittsburgh weekend talk show host Johnna Pro writes about a recent discussion about contraception on her program that led to, as she calls it, a crisis of faith.  Pro’s experience is one many religious talk show hosts who work on secular stations face – agreeing with or breaking with Church teachings in the course of discussing the issues and having an opinion – something talk show hosts must have to survive in this business.  Read Pro’s story of how one Catholic talk show host handled a real on-the-air conflict here.

Kuhner in Boston.  Washington Times columnist and host of “The Kuhner Report” on Entercom’s WRKO, Boston (airing from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon daily) Jeff Kuhner is pictured here in the Boston studios of WRKO.  Kuhner visited the station earlier this week.  WRKO assistant program director Bill Cooksey says, “The response to Jeff has been overwhelming.  He’s going to be a star in no time at all, and I’m glad he’s with us.”

Presidential Debate, Libya Consulate Attack Investigation, Obama ‘Race Speech,’ and Iran Nukes Program Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/3).  Anticipation of last night’s presidential debate; the ongoing analysis of the fatal attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya; controversy over the video of a 2007 Barack Obama campaign speech in which he questions why largely African-American Katrina victims were treated differently than other disaster victims; and Iran’s nuclear weapons program were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

| October 3, 2012

Talkers New Media Seminar LA set for Thursday, October 11 is Sold Out!   The agenda is basically set and most of the sponsors announced for the forthcoming Los Angeles installment of TALKERS magazine’s two-part New Media Seminar 2012 (the first part took place in New York on June 7).   According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “The venue is intimate and even kind of funky making for a very relaxed and informal environment – conducive to the kind of communicative and networking environment we hope to achieve.  The problem, however, is that unlike industry events that are held in convention centers and big hotels, we are working with a finite amount of seating and space which we are obligated by city regulations not to exceed.”  TALKERS New Media Seminar LA is scheduled for Thursday, October 11 between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm in association with the Los Angeles Press Club at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood.  Registration has only been open to working media. A registration “stand-by” list is being maintained until this Friday (10/5) for those willing to take a chance. Some sponsorships however are still available.  For stand-by registration and sponsorship information call 413-565-5413.  The agenda for the event is as follows:

9:00 am – 9:50 am
Bagel Breakfast Party
Sponsored by Brent’s Deli 

9:50 am – 10:00 am
Welcoming Remarks

Speaker:  Michael Harrison, Publisher, TALKERS

10:00 am – 10:15 am
Morning Keynote

Speaker:  Norm Pattiz, CEO, Courtside Entertainment

10:20 am – 11:00 am
Panel Discussion

“The Big Picture: Spoken Word Radio”

Moderator:  Michael Harrison, Publisher, TALKERS

Panelists (in alphabetical order):

Phil Boyce, VP/Director, Spoken Word Format, Salem Communications

Ron Hartenbaum, President, WYD Media

Kraig Kitchin, CEO, Sound Mind, LLC

Don Martin, VP Programming, Fox Sports Radio/OM KLAC, Los Angeles

Mike McVay, Senior VP Programming, Cumulus Media

Harvey Nagler, VP, CBS Radio News

11:05 am – 11:20 am
Special Presentation

“Interactivity and Video: The Key to Your Business Future”

Speaker:  Walter Sabo, Chairman, Sabo Media

11:25 am – 11:35 am
Special Presentation

“The Radio Personality as Entrepreneur”

Introduction:  Jeff Wasserman, President, Life Coach Media

Speaker:  Ken Rutkowski, host, “Business Rock Stars,” KFWB, Los Angeles

11: 40 am – 12:20 pm
Panel Discussion

“The Challenges of Hosting a Talk Show in 2012”

Moderator:  Mike Kinosian, Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief, TALKERS

Panelists:

Jerry Doyle, Host, Talk Radio Network

Heidi Harris, Host, KRLA, Los Angeles

Lars Larson, Host, Compass Media Networks/ KXL, Portland

Doug Stephan, Host, “Good Day”

Alan Stock, Host, KDWN, Las Vegas

Eric Weiss, president, The Weiss Agency

12:25 pm – 12:40 pm
Special Presentation

“Woman of the Year Award”

Introduction:  Carole Marks, CEO, Talk Media, Inc.

Presenter:  Stephanie Miller, Host, WYD Media

Recipient:  Robin Bertolucci, PD KFI/KTLK, Los Angeles

Sponsored by TuneIn

12:45 pm – 1:00 pm
Special Presentation

“Database Your Tribe…Now!”

Speaker, Holland Cooke, Consultant, Holland Cooke Media

1:00 pm – 1:50 pm
Lunch
Sponsored by Brent’s Deli 

1:50 pm – 2:20 pm
Panel Discussion

“Making Money in Talk Radio:  Challenges and Opportunities”

Introduction: Michael Zwerling, President, Michael Zwerling Media/Owner KSCO, Santa Cruz

Moderator:  Brent Seltzer, Host, Podjockey

Panelists:

Bob Moore, President, Courtside Entertainment

Rusty Humphries, Host, Talk Radio Network/WGST, Atlanta

Michael Zwerling, President, Michael Zwerling Media/Owner KSCO, Santa Cruz

More TBA

Sponsored by Michael Zwerling Media

2:25 pm – 3:05 pm
Panel Discussion

“The State of Talk Programming”

Moderator:  Kevin Casey, VP/Executive Editor TALKERS

Panelists (in alphabetical order):

Skip Essick, PD, KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno

Kevin LaRue, PD KSL, Salt Lake City

Andy Ludlum, PD, KNX, Los Angeles

Garret Lewis, PD/morning host, KNST, Tucson

Dave Sniff, PD, KFMB, San Diego

Chuck Tyler, PD, KRLA/KKLA, Los Angeles

Sponsored by Premiere Networks

3:10 pm – 3:45 pm
Panel Discussion

“The Modern Day Pioneers”

Moderator:  Patt Morrison, Host/Interviewer, KPCC, Los Angeles; Columnist, Los Angeles Times

Panelists (in alphabetical order):

Ian Freeman, Co-Host, Free Talk Live

Sam Hasson, President/Founder, LATalkRadio.com

Michael Horn, CEO, CRN Digital Talk

Tom Leykis, President/Host, The New Normal

Shadoe Stevens, Host, Mental Radio, Sirius/XM Satellite Radio

Sponsored by CRN Digital Talk

3:45 pm – 4:20 pm
Panel Discussion

“The Art of the Show”

Moderator:  Bill Moran, President, Bill Moran & Associates

Panelists (in alphabetical order):

Jerry Doyle, Host, Talk Radio Network

Bill Handel, Host, KFI, Los Angeles

Karel, Host, KGO, San Francisco

Neil Larrimore, PD, KFYI/KGME, Phoenix

Eric Stanger, VP Operations, The Sean Hannity Show, Premiere Networks

Sponsored by TRN

4:20 pm – 5:00 pm
Afternoon Sessions and Keynote

TBA

SPONSORS

Americans for Limited Government, BMX/XtreMedia, Brent’s Deli, Christie Communications, Comrex Corporation, CRN Digital Talk, Federation for American Immigration Reform, Focus Communications, Inc., Free Talk Live, LATalkRadio.com, Life Coach Media, Podjockey, Premiere Networks, Talk Radio Network, Talk Radio News Service, TuneIn, WYD Media, Michael Zwerling Media.

September PPM Numbers: Some Talk and Sports Highlights.  TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian reports on the September PPM numbers rolling in and notes the movement of some stations of interest to talk and sports radio watchers.

  • In market #7 Washington, DC, a nine-tenths August-September improvement helps propel American University‘s WAMU to #1, unseating Hubbard‘s WTOP-FM (#3), which slides -1.1 to 7.1, the news outlet’s lowest point since April’s 6.5.
  • For the sixth straight month, Washington Nationals’ flagship WJFK-FM (CBS Radio‘s “The Fan”) bests Red Zebra format rival WTEM (“The Team”), however, WTEM (#20) gains one-half share and WJFK-FM (#18) is down one-tenth.
  • In market #8 Philadelphia, gaining one-half share are CBS Radio’s “Sports Radio 94 WIP-FM” (3.7, #12) and public news/talk WHYY (3.5, #13).
  • For the seventh straight month, “Newsradio 1060 KYW” is in the 6.1 – 6.7 range (6.5, -.2 from August) and, as in August, the CBS Radio-owned facility is #1.
  • In market #9 Atlanta, in August, WSB-AM had a 4.8, which was its lowest 6+ share since registering a 4.2 in September 2010.  The Cox Radio talk outlet bounces back though with a +.9 to 5.7 and ranks fifth, versus #9 in August.
  • In market #10 Boston, remember “Rush Radio” on WXKS-AM?  That was how the Clear Channel talk station positioned itself for about one year, beginning in March 2010.  In mid-August of this year, Rush Limbaugh surfaced on cross-town WRKO and the Entercom talker gains nine-tenths to 2.4, its strongest 6+-share since March (2.5).
  • For the first time in the last seven monthlies, New England Patriots flagship WBZ-FM (CBS Radio-owned “The Sports Hub”) overtakes Entercom format competitor WEEI-FM.  The two sports properties were tied in March (3.5) with WEEI-FM holding the upper hand from April through August.  In September though, WBZ-FM gains eight-tenths (4.5, #8) while Red Sox flagship WEEI-FM drops two-tenths (4.1, #9).

For more PPM data and ratings analysis, visit the ratings section at our sister publication RadioInfo’s site here.

FCC to Consider Liberty Media Control of Sirius.  The FCC is calling for public comment on Liberty Media Corp.’s application to take de jure (legal) control of Sirius XM Radio.  Sirius did not sign that application, filed in August, but the Commission is deciding to move forward anyway.  Back in May, the FCC turned down a request for de facto (effective) control by Liberty, which now has an effective 48% stake in the satellite radio company.   Petitions to deny are due November 1, initial opposition due November 13, and final rebuttals by November 20, likely to be followed by several weeks of FCC deliberation.  The two companies have been at odds for a long time with John Malone’s Liberty looking to takeover Sirius.  In 2009, Sirius received a $530 million loan from Liberty to avoid bankruptcy.  There’s much speculation about Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin’s plans if Liberty gains control. His contract with Sirius is up at end of this year.  As reported yesterday, Karmazin is speaking at Liberty’s 2012 investor conference in New York on October 10, just two weeks before the first public comments are due at the FCC.

Saga Declares Special Cash Dividend.  The Saga board announces a special cash dividend of about $7 million — a dividend of $1.65 per Class A or B Common Stock.  Shareholders of record on November 15 receive the dividend, funded by cash on the company’s balance sheet, on December 3.  Ed Christian’s Saga, headquartered in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, owns or operates radio and TV stations in 26 markets and four regional radio networks.

Upgrade to FREE.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke’s latest piece for TALKERS is about some of the tools of the media trade – namely netbooks and tablets.  But it’s about more than that if you step back and look at the big picture.  He points to digital app expert Beth Ziesenis – AskBethZ – as someone who cuts through with her message (and her business) because she’s clearly focused on her objective.  Read what Holland Cooke has to say about these issues here.

 

Odds & Sods. SiriusXM will feature “Pete Dominick’s Electoral College Tour” on its POTUS channel prior to each presidential debate, beginning this evening in Denver.  Dominick is a stand-up comedian and regular on the POTUS channel and his special shows will emanate from the University of Denver, Hofstra University and the University of Virginia in which he’ll host a special one-hour forum with students and faculty – before the presidential debate and live from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET – to talk about the issues that matter most to them in this election…..Chicago Bulls home basketball games will be heard in Spanish on Univision’s WRTO, Chicago “La Tremenda 1200” through the 2014-2015 season.  Omar Ramos and Matt Moreno have the play-by-play.

Benghazi Security Request Controversy, Presidential Debate Preview, Pennsylvania Voter ID Rule Blocked, and Iran Nukes Threat Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/2).  Controversy over a report the U.S. consulate in Benghazi requested more security but was denied prior to the attack on the Libyan embassy; Wednesday’s coming presidential debate; a part of Pennsylvania’s voter ID law is struck down; and Iran’s nuclear weapons program were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

| September 26, 2012

Ronn Owens Disputes Reports of His Demise at KGO.  Addressing yesterday morning’s lead story on the TALKERS magazine morning headlines, attributed to San Francisco media blogger Rich Lieberman, KGO talk show host Ronn Owens tells TALKERS there is no truth to the report that his contract will be bought out before it ends on December 31 and that the station will replace him with a newsy program.  Owens also tells TALKERS he has no knowledge of Cumulus Media’s plans beyond his contract but says, “Cumulus has been totally nice to me.”  Owens says Lieberman “has been attacking me for over a year for the changes that have taken place at KGO,” referring to the dismissal of other talk show hosts and staffers that took place after Cumulus assumed control of the station.  Owens says Lieberman’s blog story is “totally made up.”  He says, in fact, his agent is not Don Buchwald but is David Katz.  He also says he does not make a seven-figure salary and never said that his ego is too big to be paid $300,000, as Lieberman reported.  Regarding his future at KGO, Owens tells TALKERS, “San Francisco is the crown jewel of places to live and whatever happens after December 31 happens.”

CBS Radio’s Atlanta Sports FM Will Be “SportsRadio 92.9 The Game.”  Set to debut in mid-October, CBS Radio’s new FM sports talk outlet – the soon-to-be-former Triple A WZGC, Atlanta will take the handle “SportsRadio 92.9 The Game.”  Media chatter around Atlanta is that the station may reveal its lineup as early as next week in order to give the sales staff something concrete to pitch to clients prior to the launch.  Earlier media reports alluded to the possibility that “Two Live Stews” Doug and Ryan Stewart – recently dropped from crosstown WQXI “790 The Zone” – might pop up on the station but TALKERS sources indicate that will not be the case.  The programming philosophy we’re hearing about for this station is being termed as “fresh.”  Stay tuned!

Nation’s Biggest Talk Hosts Sign On to Petition Against TV Networks for Biased Election Coverage.  The missive detailing a complaint against ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN for “rigging this election and taking sides in order to pre-determine the outcome,” is penned by the conservative Media Research Center’s L. Brent Bozell III but it is signed by some of the country’s top nationally syndicated talk show hosts.  Premiere’s Rush Limbaugh, TRN’s Laura Ingraham and Cumulus Media NetworksMark Levin signed the open letter.  In it, Bozell writes, in part: “A free and balanced media are crucial to the health of this country.  It is your duty as journalists – as outlined in the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics – to ‘distinguish between advocacy and news reporting,’ while simultaneously ‘seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues.’  There is a reason why the media are viewed with such disdain by the American public, as evidenced by every recent poll on the issue.”

Armstrong & Getty Reportedly Suspended for Call to Criticize Islam.  The suspension has not been confirmed by Clear Channel Sacramento management but the duo of Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty were off their KSTE, Sacramento flagship station as well as KKSF, San Francisco (where the show is simulcast) on Tuesday morning after the show sent out a press release promoting its call to listeners to post videos and photos critical of Islam and the prophet Muhammad to “flood the world with cartoons, movies and songs saying bad things about Muhammad until they finally grow up.  In other words, free speech,” stated Jack Armstrong.  The political blog The Right Perspective is reporting the duo have been suspended though it doesn’t state a period or confirmation of the sanction.  KTXL-TV, Sacramento produced a piece on the controversy and also was unable to get a comment on record from Clear Channel’s Sacramento management.

Radio’s Strengths in the Media Landscape.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke says the best session he attended at the recent 2012 Radio Show in Dallas was by Arbitron senior VP/marketing Bill Rose and highlighted how “Radio provides opportunities to reach consumers when advertising is relevant to what they are doing.”  Cooke says, “This document [the study cited] is a powerful selling tool, and real instructive to programmers and on-air talent…especially on-air talent that sells (and smart on-air talent does).”  The data Rose used in his presentation was from USA Touchpoints, a national sample that captures media usage, shopping behavior, emotional mindset, via smartphone app, every half hour, from 10-day panelists.  Read Holland Cooke’s report and analysis here.

WWNC, Asheville AM Drive Co-Host Jerri Jameson Moves On.  Morning drive co-host Jerri Jameson announces she will exit the Clear Channel station October 12 to pursue other interests.  Jameson writes on her station blog, “After more than 10 years with Clear Channel Asheville, it is time for me to move on from radio.  It was a difficult decision.  I have gotten to know some truly wonderful people in our great community and for that I will always be grateful.  Waking up each morning to share the daily goings on around town, the state and the world with you has truly been an honor I will treasure forever.”

The Young Guns of Talk Radio.  Ask anyone, especially those working for the consumer media, and they’ll tell you that personalities working as hosts on news/talk stations are all old, white men.  Radio’s general lack of a “farm system” doesn’t help that misconception much, but the truth is there are young people – some men and some women – working in news/talk radio today.  Tomorrow at Talkers.com, executive editor Kevin Casey writes about some of those broadcasters and their thoughts on being young and on the air in the news/talk business.

Willie Geist to Join NBC’s “Today.”  According to Brian Stelter’s Media  Decoder in The New York Times, MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” cast member Willie Geist will become co-host of the 9:00 am hour of NBC’s “Today” program.  The deal has not been officially announced and Stelter reports Geist will still appear on “Morning Joe,” probably during the 6:00 am hour but will give up the “Way Too Early” 5:30 am newscast he’s been anchoring.  It’s also believed Geist will fill in for Matt Lauer when he is absent.

Rumors of Big Names Being Sought to Run CNN.  Sony chairman Howard Stringer is one of the executives rumored to be on the list of those being sought to take charge of struggling CNN when current chief Jim Walton leaves at the end of the year.  The New York Post reports a source inside CNN states, “We should know something in a month, perhaps before the elections. Unlike CNN International, we just don’t have someone with a mission.  We need our Roger Ailes.”  Other media execs reportedly being considered are former NBCUniversal president and CEO Jeff Zucker, former ABC News president David Westin, and former NBC News chief Neal Shapiro.

Odds & Sods. CBS Radio’s all-news KNX, Los Angeles takes its “KNX on Your Corner” live remote series to Glendale, California on October 19.  The day of programming will include features about Glendale’s history, current issues and plans for future growth. Coverage will include live interviews with city officials and other special guests.  The station will continue the series in Beverly Hills on December 7…..SiriusXM will present live coverage of the 2012 Ryder Cup golf tournament.  The biennial event pits the US against Europe and is being played this year at Medinah Country Club in Illinois.

Part of the Skyline.  CBS Radio’s all-news KYW, Philadelphia is now a part of the city’s skyline after the station put up a new, lit call letter sign atop its offices at 400 Market Street in downtown Philly.  The KYW logo and the iconic CBS “eye,” were hung over this past weekend and faces east, making it visible from Camden, New Jersey, I-95 and the Ben Franklin Bridge.  The station notes this was not a simple building procedure.  “The difficult process of hanging an illuminated sign above street level, particularly in the downtown area, took five years before receiving city zoning and art commission approval.  KYW is now the only radio station in Philadelphia County to be granted this right.”

Obama on ‘The View’ and at the UN, Iran’s Bluster, Criticism of Religious Figures, Libya Aftermath, and NFL Replacement Officials Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/25).  President Obama’s Appearance on ‘The View’ and his speech at the United Nations; Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s blustery speech at the UN and his appearance on Piers Morgan; criticism of religious figures; analysis of the aftermath of the Libya attack and furor over the NFL’s replacement officials were some of the most-talked-about-stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Where Radio Fits: Radio’s Strengths
in the Media Landscape

| September 26, 2012

by Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

DALLAS — This was the best session I attended at the NAB/RAB Radio Show.  A summary is available for free download on Arbitron’s client website.  This document is a powerful selling tool, and real instructive to programmers and on-air talent…especially on-air talent that sells (and smart on-air talent does).

The presenter was Arbitron senior VP/marketing Bill Rose: “Radio provides opportunities to reach consumers when advertising is relevant to what they are doing.”

The sample for this study is “the buying demographic of 25-54, because that’s where the money is,” per conventional wisdom.  Data Bill presented was from USA Touchpoints, a national sample that captures media usage, shopping behavior, emotional mindset, via smartphone app, every half hour, from 10-day panelists.

Read More

Can Terrestrial Radio Thrive in the Digital Era?

| September 19, 2012

By Michael Harrison
TALKERS Magazine
Publisher

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Survival is not enough.

Survival is already happening and it isn’t as much fun as it’s cracked up to be as a spectator sport on the Discovery Channel.  In the reality show called terrestrial radio, sooner than later, survival will run out of gas.  For terrestrial radio, “survival” is simply a slower form of imminent death.

It should be the goal of terrestrial radio to thrive in the digital era.

Thrive?  Is that even possible?

Read More

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

| September 18, 2012

ESPN Radio Extends Michael Kay’s Contract with WEPN-FM, New York.  “ESPN New York 98.7” announces Michael Kay signs a three-year contract to remain the PM drive host on the ESPN O&O.  Station VP/GM Dave Roberts says, “We’re very happy to have extended Michael’s contract for multiple years.  He’s been a mainstay at the station and in the New York sports scene for more than a decade.  Having him continue to anchor our afternoon drive programming alongside Don La Greca is a huge plus for ESPN New York.”  Kay has worked at the ESPN sports talk station for the past 11 years and also serves as the play-by-play announcer for Yankees baseball on the YES Network.

The James T. Harris Show Moves to PM Drive on KQTH, Tucson; Jon Justice Gets TV Simulcast.  Talk show host James T. Harris moved from Journal Broadcasting’s Milwaukee news/talk flagship WTMJ – where he did weekend and fill-in shows – to the company’s KQTH “104.1 The Truth” last October to begin hosting the two-hour midday show.  Now, program director Ryan McCredden reports Harris is taking over the PM drive slot and he says that change in the lineup “will give ‘The Truth’ listeners an unprecedented seven hours of local talk, and the only live and local FM talk show in the afternoons.  By moving James T. to our afternoon drive time, we’re continuing our commitment to providing the best local talk programming in Tucson.  His energy, passion and dedication is the right fit for the top-rated talk station in Southern Arizona.”  In other KQTH news, the Jon Justice morning drive show is now being seen in addition to being heard in Tucson.  KWBA-TV “CW 58” simulcasts the 7:00 am to 9:00 am hours of Justice’s program.  Justice says, “I’m very excited to be able to expand on the success of the show and be able to offer the listener another dimension to what we do on ‘104.1 The Truth’ every day.”

Careful What You Say.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke says radio personalities – especially those in PPM markets – should remember there are some words and phrases that will cause parents with kids in the car to dump your show.  “If you’re in a PPM market, awareness drives use.  So, either way, being thought of as R-rated will cost you what Arbitron calls Occasions of Listening and Time Spent Listening.”  Find out what Cooke says is one of the most “offensive” phrases to parents in today’s piece.  But wait, there’s more.  Perception is reality and if you or your talent are using some of the incorrect words or pronunciations Holland lists here, you could be jeopardizing your reputation and, yes, listenership.  Don’t be punished by Arbitron and choose your words carefully.  Read Holland Cooke’s entire story here.

Bidding War for Indians Baseball in Cleveland Pits CC Against CBS.  A story in the Cleveland Plain Dealer illustrates the bidding going on between CBS Radio and Clear Channel Media and Entertainment for the radio broadcast rights to Cleveland Indians baseball.  The story quotes the Indians senior director of communications Curtis Danburg saying, “We are in the bidding process for our radio rights.  We are making strides, but it’s hard to put a date on when we’ll get a deal done.  Nothing is imminent.”  Clear Channel’s WTAM currently has the broadcast rights but it’s believed that the team wants the winning bidder to commit to a longer deal than the current two-year contract Clear Channel is finishing up.  CC has had the Indians since 1998 but CBS Radio would like to put the Tribe on its new FM sports talk WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan.”  How important the FM signal is to the team is now known since it is playing the negotiations very tight-lipped but one has to assume CBS will play the FM card very seriously.  The Plain Dealer reports that not only do the Indians sell the broadcast rights, the deal allows the team to keep revenue garnered from game broadcasts.

Michael Smerconish Announces “Book Club” Live Events.  Philadelphia-based WYD Media nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Smerconish has been bringing high-profile authors to the Philadelphia area for live events that draw his book-consuming P1s to venues for several years.  He is announcing his fall lineup that begins with the September 27 appearance of two-time Pulitzer Prize winners Donald Barlett and James Steele to the historic Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope in support of their provocative new bestseller, The Betrayal of the American Dream (PublicAffairs 2012).  Smerconish says, “There could not be a more timely read in the midst of the 2012 election from the men who two decades ago wrote America: What Went Wrong.  In a methodical assessment, Barlett and Steele drill down on the confluence of economic policy and politics that has jeopardized the American middle class.  One wishes that Messrs. Obama and Romney would be in attendance to hear what Barlett and Steele have to say!”

TuneIn Announces New Partnerships Bringing News, Talk and Music Content to the Web.  Digital content aggregator TuneIn announces a number of partnerships with terrestrial and digital radio companies that expand the company’s slate of content.  Some of the companies that are providing their audio to TuneIn for listeners to hear include: Public Radio International; C-SPAN Radio; ABC Australia; the Hearst Corporation; myvradio; WFMU, East Orange, New Jersey; WSM, Nashville; KDHX, St. Louis; KXT, Dallas-Fort Worth; Wu-Tang Radio; Israel Sports Radio; My Cool Inventions Radio; and others.  TuneIn CEO John Donham says, “After reaching the 40 million monthly active listener milestone earlier this month, we are more committed than ever to serving our growing listener base by offering as many quality content options as possible.  Aligning with renowned and respected news organizations like C-SPAN and PRI will be a fantastic and effective way for both TuneIn and these broadcasters to continue to build and expand our audiences.”

Presidential Campaign, Obama China Complaint, Anti-Muslim Film Violence, Occupy Wall Street Anniversary, Chicago Teachers Strike and iPhone 5 Mania Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/17).  The 2012 presidential campaign; the Obama Administration’s complaint about illegal Chinese subsidies; the repercussion in the Islamic world from the now-infamous anti-Muslim internet film; the anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street protests; week two of the Chicago teachers strike begins; and records sales of Apple’s new iPhone 5 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Say WHAT? Arbitron and advertisers will punish you if you don’t choose your words carefully

| September 18, 2012

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — At the risk of validating the worst consultant stereotype, here’s a whole list of don’t-say-this-don’t-say-that.  And the first one’s big…

Please don’t say “PISSED OFF.”

Why?  Picture the listeners your advertisers want to meet the most: parents with children living at home, retail super-consumers.  Sure, soccer mom and her mister might talk to each other differently when the children aren’t listening.  But when kiddos are in the car, potty mouth like “PISSED-OFF” is an AQH-killer.  Instant tune-out, stimulus-response.

As for potty mouth generally, you’ll never get hurt erring on the side of prudence.  Why say “ASS,” when “KEESTER” or “BEE-HIND” makes the same point, and sounds more memorable?  If you’re in a diary market, ratings are a memory test.  If you’re in a PPM market, awareness drives use.  So, either way, being thought-of as R-rated will cost you what Arbitron calls Occasions of Listening and Time Spent Listening.

Read More

Monday, July 30, 2012

| July 30, 2012

KABC, Los Angeles Adds John Phillips to AM Drive.  Radio-Info’s Tom Taylor is reporting Cumulus Media’s KABC moves talk host John Phillips to the “McIntyre in the Morning with Terri Rae Elmer” program with host Doug McIntyre and news anchor Elmer.  Phillips had been the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon host at KABC until the company began developing Geraldo Rivera in the late-morning slot on WABC, New York and then adding him to KABC.  For a while, Phillips was doing just the 9:00 am hour and a lot of fill-ins around the schedule.  Now, it looks as though Phillips becomes a morning drive cast member at KABC.  Earlier in his radio career, Phillips was sports anchor and executive producer for KABC’s “McIntyre in the Morning Show” and he also produced the station’s Al Rantel program.  He also served as a newswriter at crosstown KNX, Los Angeles.

Beasley Broadcast Group Q2 Revenue Down 2.8%.  Total revenue was down to $24.8 million for the second quarter of 2012 – a drop of 2.8% compared to the same period in 2011.  Beasley Broadcast Group attributes the lower revenue to declines at its Fayetteville, North Carolina cluster.  However, station operating income was up 11.6% for the period reflecting declining station operating expense and more than offsetting the lower revenue.  Chairman and CEO George Beasley says, “Our second quarter revenue performance principally reflects overall industry weakness in the first month of the quarter, a revenue decline at our Fayetteville cluster partially related to lower levels of auto advertising and lower revenue in the Ft. Myers market due to the fact that in the year-ago period we hosted a concert.  While net revenue was down mid-single digits in April, low single-digit revenue growth resumed in May and June and extended through July.  The company’s streamlined operating structure and ongoing expense management initiatives combined with a music license fee settlement drove the $1.1 million rise in 2012 second quarter station operating income.”

Estate of the Late Neil Rogers Settled; Feds Take the Balance.  According to Jose Lambiet’s “Gossip Extra,” the late Miami talk host had about $4 million to his name four years ago but he loved to play the ponies and was not a very savvy personal finances guy, so after the lawyers get paid and the IRS takes about $500,000, there’s basically nothing left in his estate.  Longtime friend, agent and estate executor Norman Kent tells Lambiet Rogers basically spent his money.  He cashed in taxable annuities prior to his 2010 death from multiple medical issues at age 68.  The piece also notes Rogers spent about $700,000 on a home in Toronto where he lived with a 21-year-old man when he wasn’t in South Florida or Amsterdam.  Several of Rogers’ friends had been contesting his wills – apparently there were more than one that conflicted – but ultimately, there appears to have been little left over which to fight.

Compass Media Networks Expands and Extends Relationship with Learfield Sports.  This is for college basketball and football play-by-play – the arena in which Compass Media Networks has been expanding so rapidly.  Learfield Sports is the exclusive broadcast and sports marketing partner to more than 50 of the nation’s leading colleges and universities including Alabama, Boise State, Indiana University, Iowa, NC State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon State, Purdue, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, University of North Carolina, Wisconsin and the Big Ten Conference.  Under the terms of the extension Compass retains first right of refusal to broadcast any Learfield Sports home football and men’s basketball  games, retains the exclusive national radio rights to broadcast The Big Ten Football Championship Game and the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament, and will broadcast expanded coverage of regular season men’s basketball and football games.  The exact number of games Compass will broadcast has yet to be determined but the new agreement calls for a minimum of 20 football and 20 men’s basketball games to be broadcast.  Compass Media Networks will then produce a unique, national, play-by-play broadcast of these games available to radio outlets across the country.  Compass CEO Peter Kosann states, “Learfield Sports has been a wonderful partner.  We are honored to continue this partnership and will continue to expand the breadth and depth of our coverage.”

Journalist and Radio Host Indicted on Felony Wiretapping Charges.  “Free Talk Live” co-host Adam “Ademo” Mueller faces three counts of felony wiretapping after recording on-duty public officials while preparing a vlog about a case of alleged police misconduct, according to “Free Talk Live” host Ian Freeman.  The comments were part of a video report posted on the site CopBlock.org.  He tells TALKERS, “A public official who is on duty and in a public space has no expectation of privacy, the First Circuit Court of Appeals has already ruled on this in Glik v. Cunniffe.  The person who should face consequences is the officer who threw that poor kid into a table during lunch at the school cafeteria, not the journalist who reported about it.”  Freeman says each charge of felony wiretapping could carry seven years, meaning Mueller faces up to 21 years in prison if convicted.

NPR and WWNO, New Orleans Partner for Non-Profit News Source.  University of New Orleans-owned classical and news/talk WWNO is entering into a partnership with NPR to staff and operate the “non-profit multimedia newsroom” neworleansreporter.org.  The site plans to create reports for WWNO and will be available on a mobile app and for other local and national outlets free of charge.  NPR president and CEO Gary Knell states, “NPR is honored to join with the University of New Orleans and WWNO as they launch this ground-breaking news service. We are excited about the opportunity to provide national support for this critically important local effort to serve the public in creative and new ways.”

CNN Worldwide President Jim Walton to Resign at Year End.  Saying he believes “CNN needs new thinking,” Jim Walton will end his 30-year career at the cable news broadcaster when his contract expires in December, according to TVWeek.  Walton says the new thinking “starts with a new leader who brings a different perspective, different experiences and a new plan, one who will build on our great foundation and will commit to seeing it through.  And I’m ready for a change.  I have interests to explore and I want to give myself time to do it.”  Walton has been in the leadership role at CNN Worldwide for almost 10 years.  Turner Broadcasting CEO Phil Kent leads the search for Walton’s successor.

Odds ‘n’ Sods.  KFAQ, Tulsa morning drive host Pat Campbell fills in for late-morning talk host Charlie Sykes on Journal Broadcast Group’s WTMJ, Milwaukee August 1-3…..Talk show host and former Congressman J.D. Hayworth sits in for WPGB, Pittsburgh-based Quinn & Rose every day this week except Wednesday.  On that day, he’s filling in on the KCMO, Kansas City AM drive program…..Federated Media’s news/talk WOWO, Ft. Wayne, Indiana adds Notre Dame football to its fall sports schedule…..Britain’s UTV Media announces its talkSport network acquires exclusive rights to broadcast Football Association’s FA Cup in the UK and the worldwide rights to talkSport International scheduled to launch on August 18…..KTRB, San Francisco – 860 AM ESPN Deportes – will carry Spanish-language play-by-play of San Francisco 49ers football through the 2018 season.

Chicken: Banned in Boston?  That’s WRKO, Boston PM drive host Howie Carr (l) with, well…a chicken (r).  Carr is wearing a t-shirt with a caricature of Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and holding a Chick-fil-A sandwich – both of which Carr and staff gave out to people on the streets in front of Boston City Hall after Mayor Menino jumped on the anti-Chick-fil-A bandwagon and threatened to prevent the company from opening a restaurant in the neighborhood after the company’s president publicly supported those campaigning against gay marriage.  Menino has since backed off the threat to stop the restaurant from opening the Boston store.

 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

| July 19, 2012

Lessons Learned from the Merlin Meltdown.  Consultant and former all-news programmer (WTOP) Holland Cooke offers several key reasons why Merlin Media’s all-news FMs in New York and Chicago failed to gain listeners as well as lessons to be learned from the story by all spoken-word radio management and talent alike..  He writes the operators made some crucial mistakes during the startup and ignored the primary aspect of how audiences use news radio.  Read Holland’s piece here.

Arbitron Gets Accreditation for the PPM in Five Markets.  Three of those markets are new: Los Angeles, Baltimore and San Antonio.  The other two markets – Tampa/St. Petersburg and Riverside/San Bernardino – had accreditation at one point but lost it in January of this year.  This gives Arbitron the Media Rating Council “seal of approval” for 14 markets being served by the Portable People Meter.  Arbitron’s EVP of service innovation and chief research officer Gregg Lindner states, “We are pleased the MRC has recognized the progress we have made; at the same time we understand there is still work to be done.  We will continue our efforts to maintain the MRC double checkmarks in our currently accredited PPM markets and to achieve service-wide accreditation for all PPM markets.”

Hubbard Radio Signs on with TuneIn.  Minneapolis-based Hubbard Radio will make its 21 major market radio stations – including all-news giant WTOP, Washington; sports KSTP-AM, Minneapolis; and sports WXOS, St. Louis – available via the internet through aggregator TuneIn.  Hubbard Radio president and CEO Bruce Reese says, “With their listener-first approach, TuneIn is the obvious fit for us as we continue to build upon our nearly 100 years of broadcasting excellence.  Through this strategic alignment, all our great programming can be heard by anyone from anywhere around the country.  With TuneIn, we’ve made a great leap onto the digital stage and look forward to inviting new listeners to our stations.”

WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware Morning Host/PD Dan Gaffney Exits.  He tells WBOC-TV his sudden departure is not a stunt and that he has no issues with the Resort Broadcasting station or its management.  But he says he’s been in discussions with the company for more than a year and their differences are not about money.  Either way, program director and morning drive host Dan Gaffney leaves the news/talk station and Andrew Murr is the interim morning drive host.

Odds ‘n’ Sods.  SiriusXM adds DirecTV/Premiere Networks’ “Nick & Artie Show,” featuring Nick DiPaolo and Artie Lange, to its sports channels on both the Sirius and XM platforms…..ESPN’s total donations for The V Foundation for Cancer Research tops $1.8 million.  The “Don’t Give Up ESPYs V Foundation Auction” raised $766,606 from the more than 250 items and experiences auctioned either online from July 1-11 or as part of the ESPN Radio 16-hour radiothon on July 11. That figure is added to the $1 million raised from the recent Celebrity Golf Classic…..Scott Lindy is promoted to operations director at Lincoln Financial Media’s Atlanta cluster that includes sports talk WQXI and the Atlanta Falcons Radio Network…..CNSNews White House correspondent Fred Lucas has just published his book, The Right Frequency: The Story of the Talk Radio Giants Who Shook Up the Political and Media  Establishment (History Publishing 2012).  In it Lucas delves into the depth, reach and power of the talk radio giants in the American political landscape and provides some insight into the personalities of those larger than life figures.  Lucas is currently doing media interviews promoting the book and commenting on talk radio’s potential impact on the 2012 presidential election.

Good Old-Fashioned Book Burning!  That’s the Alan Cox show crew from WMMS, Cleveland — (from l-r) Erika Lauren, Alan Cox and Chad Zumock – standing in the volleyball pit at a local bar preparing for a tongue-in-cheek burning of the popular adult novel 50 Shades of Grey (image from WKYC-TV).  The idea came after a discussion of the improbably popular book prompted men to call Cox’s PM drive talk show and complain their wives and girlfriends are more thrilled by the book than they are by them.  So, Cox responded with a good old-fashioned book burning to allow men (and some women) to express how they feel about the book.

Congressional Debate in Boston.  WXKS, Boston – Talk 1200 – morning drive host Jeff Katz (r) moderates the live radio debate between three Republican candidates for Congress at the Clear Channel Boston studios on Wednesday, July 18.  The three Republicans (from l-r) – David Steinhof, Elizabeth Childs and Sean Bielat – are battling in the Republican primary to face the Democrat candidate for the seat long held by retiring Congressman Barney Frank.

2012 Presidential Campaign, Bernanke Economy Testimony, Arpaio’s Obama Birth Certificate Conclusion, and Syrian Officials Killed Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/18).  The Mitt Romney-Barack Obama battle for the White House; Fed chair Ben Bernanke’s testimony before Congress about the nation’s economy; Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio’s conclusion that President Obama’s Hawaii birth certificate is a fake; and the assassinations of major officials in the Syrian regime were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, June 29, 2012

| June 29, 2012

Programmer Jack Silver Exits Cumulus Los Angeles Post.  The KLOS and KABC program director tells Radio-Info’s Tom Taylor that he’s leaving the position with “solid numbers” at the classic rock FMer KLOS.  And it sounds as though he’s ready for his next opportunity as he says, “I’ve got many miles left on my odometer.”  KLOS is facing a big change in the fall as one half of the quarter-century old AM drive team of Mark and BrianMark Thompson – will retire in August leaving a challenge for the station’s next programming team.  As for news/talk KABC, Arbitron’s May PPM has the station in 22nd place (persons 6+) with a 0.9 share and a cume of 349,500.  Bringing KABC back to ratings (and presumably) revenue relevance is considered one of the most formidable challenges in talk radio since the station faces competition in the form of Clear Channel’s perennial crosstown juggernaut KFI, whose May PPM numbers put the station in third place with a 4.5 share (persons 6+) and a cume of 1,105,300.  There’s been no announcement by Cumulus Media about Silver’s replacement although industry observers speculate that the program director position will continue to be one person overseeing both outlets just as Silver had been doing and as the company recently instituted at its NYC combo, CHR FMer WPLJ and AM news/talker WABC.

Howard Stern to Be Inducted into Radio Hall of Fame.  Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder reports the Radio Hall of Fame steering committee voted to induct the legendary but controversial broadcaster into the Chicago institution at its November 10 ceremonies in the Windy City.  As Feder writes, “The most conspicuous and embarrassing omission to the Radio Hall of Fame finally will be corrected this fall when Howard Stern takes his place in the Chicago-based shrine to radio’s all-time greats.”  Chairman Bruce DuMont tells Feder, “There wasn’t any great controversy involving Howard’s induction because I think everyone has believed for a long time that he deserved to be inducted.”  Feder says, don’t bet on Stern showing up to accept his award as he’s been outspoken in condemning the Hall as a “sham” and griped about being passed over four times in the past.  Other 2012 inductees include: Gary Burbank, Ron Chapman, Art Laboe, Luther Massingill, Jack Cooper (posthumously), and NPR’s “Fresh Air, hosted by Terry Gross.

WFAN, New York Hosts, Execs to Ring Closing Bell on the NYSE Today.  As CBS Radio’s sports talk WFAN, New York prepares to celebrate its 25th anniversary (and the founding of the sports talk radio format) on Sunday, July 1, representatives of the station are being honored by being asked to ring the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange this afternoon at 4:00 pm ET.  Morning drive hosts Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton, and evening host and 25-year WFAN veteran Steve Somers will ring the closing bell.  They’ll be joined at the podium by CBS Radio president and CEO Dan Mason, CBS Radio COO Anton Guitano, CBS Radio SVP of programming Chris Oliviero, and CBS Radio New York SVP and market manager Don Bouloukos.

Pollster Scott Rasmussen to Debut TV Show in September.  Rasmussen Reports founder Scott Rasmussen – whose daily features are syndicated to radio stations across America via the WOR Radio Network – will begin production of a weekly TV show titled “What America Thinks with Scott Rasmussen” in September.  So far, stations committed to airing the program include: WCBS-TV, New York; KCBS-TV, Los Angeles; KYW-TV, Philadelphia; WADL, Detroit and others.

Financial Talk Host Chris Markowski to Host Daily Program on Salem’s WGUL/WLSS, Tampa.  Talk host and financial expert Chris Markowski – whose weekend talk show “The Watchdog on Wall Street” is syndicated on weekends by Talk Radio Network to more than 100 markets – returns to a daily talk program on Salem Communications’ Tampa-area simulcast of WGUL and WLSS.  The show will air daily from 5:00 am to 6:00 am beginning Monday, July 2.

Odds ‘n’ Sods.  The 8th annual “Don’t Give Up ESPYS V Foundation Auction” is being held Sunday, July 1 to Wednesday, July 11.  The 11-day online and on-air public auction will feature hundreds of items and experiences for bid to raise money and awareness for The V Foundation for Cancer Research. Last year’s ESPN Radio “Don’t Give Up ESPYS V Foundation Auction” raised $810,000 in net proceeds for The V Foundation for Cancer Research.  The event has raised more than $4.9 million in its seven years…..Greater Media’s WTKK-FM, Boston announces Jim Braude and Margery Eagan will host the only radio debate between Republican U.S. Senator Scott Brown and Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren.  The date and time for the debate are being worked out…..SiriusXM is offering comprehensive coverage of MLB’s All-Star Week featuring Cal Ripken Jr. and Bill Ripken’s “Ripken Baseball” live from the MLB All-Star FanFest live on July 9.

Best of the Best.  Townsquare Media’s New Jersey 101.5 (WKXW, Trenton) was honored with the “Best of the Best” award by the New Jersey Broadcasters Association for its “Ask the Governor” program that features New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.  The Governor was presented the award by the NJBA president and CEO Paul Rotella after the production of the June 28 edition of the program.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Governor Christie, NJ 101.5 executive director news Eric Scott, Paul Rotella, and NJ 101.5 program director Eric Johnson.

Supreme Court Upholds ObamaCare Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 25-29.  The Supreme Court’s ruling upholding President Obama’s Affordable Care Act – and the anticipation leading up to Thursday’s ruling – was the most-talked-about story of the week landing atop the Talkers TenTM chart.  Coming in at #2 was the 2012 presidential race.  At #3 was the Arizona illegal immigration law ruling and following at #4 was the Eric Holder contempt vote.  The Talkers TenTM is a chart of the week’s top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio according to ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published each Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliation Roundup.  Premiere Networks’ “At Home with Gary Sullivan” weekend home improvement show hits the 200-station mark with recent affiliate additions that include WWIQ-FM, Philadelphia; WTAM, Cleveland; and KPHX, Phoenix…..The Kevin McCullough show adds new affiliates WMCA, New York; KCBQ, San Diego; and KKVV, Las Vegas.  XtreMedia reports the addition of these affiliates pushes the Kevin McCullough show to the 245-affiliate mark…..Dial Global’s “Jill on Money” adds WCCO, Minneapolis to its affiliate roster.  It also reports the CBS Radio-produced “Overnight America” with Jon Grayson is now heard on WAVH, Mobile, Alabama…..KFMB, San Diego adds CBS News Radio to its programming…..The Steve Deace show is added to the programming schedule at WNTP, Philadelphia.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

| June 21, 2012

CBS Radio Announces Plans to Put Sports Talk on FM in Tampa.  This one’s been long-anticipated with industry watchers speculating about which signal CBS Radio would use to put sports talk on FM in the market.  So Hot AC WSJT-FM, will be replaced by sports talk in August as “SPORTSRADIO 98.7 The Fan.”  Currently, CBS operates WQYK – 1010 Sports – with Mike Pepper serving as assistant PD and co-host of the “Hooters Nation Morning Show” with Lynne Austin.  He is promoted to program director for the new combo.  CBS Radio SVP and market manager Ben Hill states, “Never before has there been a station for Tampa Bay’s passionate sports fans with such reach and ties to the community as SPORTSRADIO 98.7 The Fan.  Locally based on-air personalities and a programming team with years of experience in Tampa will help shape the station as a place listeners can trust for the most honest, engaging and interactive sports talk.”  A release from CBS states hosts and reporters for the station will be announced at a later date.  Currently, 1010 Sports airs DirecTV/Fox Sports Radio’s Dan Patrick; “The Commish with Justin Pawlowski”; J.P. Peterson in PM drive and Toby David in evenings in addition to the morning drive show.  It’s not clear how or if CBS will integrate the current programming heard on 1010 Sports.  About the new FM signal, Pepper says, “Being this closely involved in a radio first for Tampa listeners has been one of the most exciting opportunities in my career.  Our sports landscape has changed dramatically over the last 10 years highlighted by a Super Bowl Championship for the Buccaneers, a Stanley Cup for the Lightning, and an American League title for the Rays, as well as the rise of USF football.  The timing couldn’t be better for the launch of SPORTSRADIO 98.7 The Fan.”

Glenn Beck Visits Dave Ramsey Show.  It’s pretty unusual for talk show hosts of their stature to be guests on one another’s shows but that’s what happened yesterday as Premiere Networks star (and multi-media pioneer) Glenn Beck was a featured guest on the nationally syndicated Dave Ramsey show.  Beck appeared to speak with Ramsey about his new book, Cowards: What Politicians, Radicals, and the Media Refuse to Say (Threshold Editions 2012).  The two friends complimented each other on their success and Beck told Ramsey he constantly hears from fans of his who also listen to Ramsey and tell him how he’s helped them.  Beck said, “You have changed millions of peoples’ lives…I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met who said, ‘You know, I was out of control, started listening to Dave and thank God, he has changed my life.  Congratulations.”

Listener Driven Radio Buys Out Mike McVay.  Cumulus Media senior vice president of programming Mike McVay was one of four founding members and a shareholder of LDR – Listener Driven Radio.  Now, in an effort to make sure the company is not confronted with issues of conflict of interest, the company has bought the shares McVay owns back from him.  McVay left his seat on the board of directors when he took the Cumulus post last fall.  In a statement, president and CEO Daniel Anstandig said, “Our LDR team is often involved in strategic discussions with our station partners.  We want to be beyond reproach with our clients when it comes to confidential and proprietary information.  Our move to buy out Mike McVay eliminates potential conflicts for McVay in his role as a senior manager for Cumulus.”  LDR has created software that allows listeners to stations to have a say in the actual programming of the music as well as software that provides hot topic data for spoken-word stations.

Arbitron Shows Efforts to Satisfy Agencies’ Desire for ROI Data.  Due to the nature of the way radio has always been rated, it’s been very difficult to give advertisers who bought time via agencies the data they desire about the effectiveness of their ads.  Arbitron has been working on using its PPM technology to improve advertisers’ marketing mix models with what it calls more “granular” data.  Arbitron’s Bill Rose told clients in a webinar yesterday, “Buyers want more specific information – granular – about who is listening when their spots aired.”  Arbitron is working with Media Monitors to provide exact times spots aired.  Using marketing mix models, advertisers analyze how effective their marketing is and Rose showed three case studies of specific products or services conducted over relatively long periods of time in which granular PPM data was able to improve the scores of radio ads relative to their impact on sales.  Rose also notes that in the past, any attempt to provide marketers with data on radio’s performance was time consuming and labor intensive.  PPM’s granular data changes that.  “After two years of intense study and experimentation, we’re happy to see that the more granular radio data can improve our ability to evaluate radio’s contribution in marketing mix models.”

Talk Radio Mobile Service Aggregator Stitcher Unveils Redesigned App.  The new Stitcher app for iPhone and Android operating systems includes some new functions – the coolest of which is what it calls “Smart Station.”  The Smart Station function makes recommendations for shows to check out based upon the programming to which you’re already listening – sort of like a Pandora for spoken-word shows.  Stitcher CEO Noah Shanok says, “Stitcher Smart Station is designed to give our listeners more tools for discovery and personalization.  Our goal is to make talk radio more accessible than ever, and listeners are responding.  Since our launch of the Stitcher Election Center in May, we’ve seen an increase in listening by an average of an hour per month.  We’re hoping Stitcher Smart Station gives listeners just as much, if not more, access to new, relevant content within the app.”

Salem Radio Network News Covers Plight of Dalits.  Salem Radio Network vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup is pictured here in a slum in Hyderabad, India getting a close-up look at the nation’s dalits – or “untouchables.”  Tradup tells TALKERS magazine that, beginning next week, SRN News will present a weeklong series on the challenges these people – especially the children – face that include malnutrition, filthy living conditions and India’s sex-trafficking trade.  SRN worked with the Dalit Action Network to cover this story.  Tradup says, “The most amazing thing about these children is that with so little going for them in material terms their faith nevertheless remains strong and they are some of the most outgoing, loving youngsters I’ve ever met.”

2012 Presidential Race, ‘Fast and Furious’ Battle/Executive Privilege, Trayvon Martin Case/Police Chief Fired, and Obama’s DREAM Act Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/20).  The 2012 presidential campaign; the Congressional battle over Attorney General Eric Holder’s contempt charges and President Obama’s declaring executive privilege in the ‘Fast and Furious’ case; the firing of Sanford, Florida police chief Bill Lee in the Trayvon Martin case; and President Obama’s DREAM Act and the expected Supreme Court decision on Arizona’s illegal immigration law were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

| May 22, 2012

Arbitron Releases Spring 2012 Edition of ‘Radio Today by the Numbers.’  The research-based brochure published by Arbitron with data from Scarborough Research, 2012 USA TouchPoints and the Radio Effectiveness Program, Ipsos OTX 2010-2011 that quantifies the reach and value of radio as an advertising tool is being released to clients.  The study is packed with slides designed for use by stations and groups to demonstrate to broadcasters, agencies and advertisers in presentations the effectiveness of the medium.  For example, the slide seen here indicates American adults ages 18-64 spend 69% of their audio entertainment time with radio compared to 11% with iPods/mp3s, 9% with satellite radio, 6% with CD players and 5% with streaming internet.  Arbitron states the data also makes a case for radio advertisings’ brand awareness and purchasing intent and more.

Morning Show Changes at KSEV, Houston; Sam Malone Out, ‘Mack’ Machowicz In.  Houston radio personality Sam Malone is out as morning drive host at Dan Patrick’s KSEV, Houston after two years as morning drive host.  Malone tells the Houston Chronicle owner Dan Patrick told him he wants to take the morning show “in another direction.”  KSEV general manager Marc McCoy tells the paper “topic selection, the way the topics would be discussed and the interaction with the audience would be better served with Mack.”  That’s Richard “Mack” Machowicz, new morning host and former Navy SEAL and television host who’s produced shows including Discovery Channel’s “FutureWeapons” and Spike TV’s “Deadliest Warriors.”  He’s also contributed to History Channel’s “America: The Story of US.”  Prior to his work at KSEV, Malone had worked at crosstown music-formatted KRBE-FM for 12 years.

Gregg Hersholt Returns to Seattle to Co-Host AM Drive at Fisher’s KOMO.  For 25 years Gregg Hersholt was a morning drive voice on crosstown KIRO, Seattle.  He left KIRO-FM in 2010 and spent time at Alpha Broadcasting’s KXL-FM, Portland as PM drive anchor and managing editor.  Now, he’s back in Seattle alongside Manda Factor on KOMO-AM/FM’s morning show.  He replaces Bill Yeend who recently retired.  KOMO program director Paul Duckworth tells Radio-Info’s Tom Taylor Hersholt has a lot of equity in the market.  “Bill Yeend is one-of-a-kind, but I’m excited to hear Gregg team up with Manda Factor, who I think is one of the very best in this business.”  Hersholt starts on June 11.

WDAE, Tampa Names Tom Jones and Rick Stroud AM Drive Hosts.  Clear Channel’s Tampa-market sports talk outlet announces the permanent replacements for former AM drive host Dan Sileo who exited the station in March.  Tampa Bay Times sports writers Tom Jones and Rick Stroud begin hosting the station’s morning show today (5/22).  In a statement, CC Tampa president and market manager Sam Nein says, “Tom Jones and Rick Stroud are Tampa Bay sports experts and we’re excited to have them host mornings on 620 WDAE.  Their wealth of knowledge, relationships and history in the market will make mornings on 620 WDAE the place for Tampa Bay sports fans to start their day.” Jones and Stroud have worked together in Tampa sports journalism for more than 20 years.

Talk Host Neal Boortz Nominated for Seat on Georgia Supreme Court.  The Cox Media nationally syndicated talk host is one of almost three dozen Georgia attorneys nominated for an opening seat on the state’s highest court.  Neal Boortz practiced law until 1992 before making talk radio his sole full-time gig.  In order to be considered for the judicial post he must complete the Judicial Nominating Commission’s application packet, something Boortz has indicated he will do.  The sheer volume of candidates – including several sitting judges – seems to indicate Boortz is a longshot for the post even if he’s serious about being considered.  Nonetheless, it’s a pretty cool piece of PR for the Atlanta-based talk superstar.

Howard Stern Show’s Robin Quivers to Have Surgery for Tumor.  The longtime co-host of the Howard Stern program announced to the show’s listeners that she will undergo surgery for a tumor in the near future.  Robin Quivers, Stern’s sidekick since 1981, stated on the SiriusXM show that doctors say she has a large tumor pressing against her bladder – whether the tumor is cancerous or not is not known – and that she has a surgery date scheduled.

Odds ‘n’ Sods. Premiere Networks talk host George Noory is the narrator in the film “Joplin, Missouri,” being released today (5/22) on the first anniversary of the tornado that decimated the town.  Noory states, “After witnessing the horror of that Joplin tornado, friends from Missouri asked me if I’d participate in this documentary, and without hesitation, I said ‘Yes!’”  Noory (r) is pictured here with the film’s producer and director Chip Gubera (l) at Smith-Lee Studios in St. Louis.  The documentary premieres today in Columbia, Missouri with two screenings at Ragtag Cinema…..Thursday evening at 6:00 pm ET, SiriusXM’s Book Radio presents “A Conversation with Conan O’Brien” from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.  The satcaster states the award-winning television host, comedian, writer and producer will discuss the art of comedy, his fascination with presidential history and politics and his connection to President Kennedy…..Hubbard Broadcasting announces the web portal GovEvents.com will power the events section of Washington, DC station WFED’s website.  GovEvents delivers news of government and military-related events worldwide and, says WFED, “Federal News Radio listeners now have access to federally-focused conferences and events happening in the DC-metro area.”…..Cumulus Media’s WPRO and 99.7 FM News in Providence wins the Associated Press’ News Station of the Year award.  The news/talk outlet also won for Best Coverage of Breaking News, Best Continuing Coverage, Best Website and Investigative Reporting.

2012 Presidential Race, Catholics Challenge ObamaCare in Court, G8/NATO Summits, Facebook Stock Sinks and Rutgers Student Verdict Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/21).  The 2012 campaign for president; the suits by various Catholic organizations against the Obama Administration over its health care law reproductive medicine stipulations; the weekend’s G8 and NATO summits and the resulting Afghanistan policies; the criticism over the NASDAQ Facebook IPO; and the sentencing of a former Rutgers University student in the suicide of his former roommate were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

KIDO, Boise’s Kevin Miller Visits Fort Hood.  KIDO, Boise morning drive host Kevin Miller recently visited Fort Hood, Texas to see off members of the Idaho Army National Guard’s 168th General Aviation Battalion as they deploy to Afghanistan.  Miller says he delivered “stories of training, patriotism and sacrifice” as the soldiers prepared to leave the country.  He also visited with Idaho Army National Guard staff sergeant Jason Rzepa (pictured here at right with Miller).  Rzepa is a double amputee who is rehabbing at Fort Sam Houston after being injured in an IED attack that killed two fellow Idaho National Guard soldiers and cost him his legs.  Miller tells TALKERS magazine he is proud of the multi-platform efforts of the Peak Broadcasting station in supporting the troops.

Monday, April 23, 2012

| April 23, 2012

Tom Leykis’ Return to Talk Draws Loyal Audience to Web-Based Content.  Off the radio for more than three years after CBS Radio blew up KLSX-FM, Los Angeles and his contract kept him from working for anyone other than CBS, Tom Leykis returned to the microphone on April 2 for an internet-delivered talk show.  The show is broadcast live at www.blowmeuptom.com at 3:00 pm PT and on a 24/7 streamed replay via major media players – Tune In, Windows Media Player, iTunes, iPhone, Shoutcast and Winamp.  Leykis says the numbers for the first week of the show were impressive: The total number of listeners from April 2 to Monday, April 9 was 401,180.  The average number of show listeners for that week in any 15 minute period totaled 1,575 and the average time spent listening by each listener was a half hour each day in the seven-day week.  “These numbers are way higher than what we’d anticipated.  We’re way farther along in our progress than I ever could have imagined.  Kind of makes you wonder what competing alternative content like this will ultimately mean for radio.”  Leykis, who will be speaking at the New Media Seminar in New York City on June 7, tells TALKERS that the combination of doing a daily show and running his own business has made him “more focused than ever” stating, “Now is the time for talk talent to think of themselves as more than employees…they must think entrepreneurially for their own survival.  The way to start is by developing a healthy relationship with your advertisers.”

Act Quickly!  Word just in from Bob Dane, event manager for this year’s annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row is that due to larger than expected demand, they expanded the number of broadcast booths.  As of 10:00 am ET this morning (Monday, April 23), Dane reports there is now one remaining, fully equipped booth in morning, midday and afternoon drive left.  And it’s first come, first serve.  This event is a must-attend-and-no-reason-not-to given that everything is turnkey and at no cost for the convenience of the participating broadcasters…and if you act fast, possibly a hotel room can be part of the package – but availability is extremely limited.  Hold Their Feet to the Fire 2012 is staged annually by the Federation for American Immigration Reform, this year, May 8-9 in Washington, DC focusing on immigration issues facing the candidates in this heated election year.  Contact Bob Dane at 202-328-7004.

Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly Close to Re-signing with Fox News Channel.  The New York Times reports it has confirmed through anonymous sources that Fox News Channel superstars Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly are ready – as early as next week – to sign contract extensions with News Corp.’s cable news/talk network that would keep them in the fold through the 2016 elections.  FNC is declining to comment on the story but the sources seem to indicate that the deals to keep the two most-watched personalities on the network in place for four more years are being cemented quickly and should be announced within the next week or so.  Sean Hannity’s national talk radio show is syndicated by Premiere Networks and Bill O’Reilly’s daily commentary is syndicated to talk radio stations across the country via Courtside Entertainment Group.

NOW Attempts to Inject Life into Anti-Rush Limbaugh Campaign.  The National Organization for Women is firing up a campaign called “Enough Rush” aimed at getting the Premiere Networks talk superstar’s show cancelled.   As these things usually do, the blowback suffered by Rush Limbaugh from his Sandra Fluke comments has all but disappeared.  But NOW – working in conjunction with the anti-conservative organization Media Matters for America – is reigniting its efforts to end Limbaugh’s program.  NOW president Terry O’Neill states, “For more than two decades, Rush Limbaugh has degraded women, people of color and anyone who doesn’t look or think like him.  Like bullies everywhere, Limbaugh uses the age-old tactic of savaging one woman for the purpose of intimidating all women away from the public square.  Rush’s hostile, hateful speech is destructive to our public discourse, our communities and our democracy.”  NOW is organizing rallies in a number of cities designed to build momentum for the campaign.  Meanwhile, PPM ratings for the month of March indicate publicity generated by the campaign against Limbaugh has actually increased his ratings in many markets.

Arbitron Drops Diary-Based Ratings in Seven Markets.  Lack of enough subscribers to make it profitable can be credited for Arbitron Inc.’s decision to eliminate the diary-based ratings in Saginaw-Bay City-Midlands, Michigan (market #139); Ann Arbor, Michigan (#155); Wilmington, North Carolina (#162); Dubuque, Iowa (#237); Columbus-Starkville-West Point, Mississippi (#261); Sebring, Florida (#276); and Mason City, Iowa (#283).

WPRO, Providence Talk Host and Former Mayor Buddy Cianci’s Daughter Dies.  The colorful two-time former mayor of Providence – and PM drive talk host at Cumulus Media’s WPRO/WEAN-FM, Providence – Buddy Cianci has lost his daughter to an apparent drug overdose.  Nicole Cianci’s death at her home in the city was reported Friday and Cianci issued the following statement, “This is a tragic and emotional time for Nicole’s mother and I.  Our entire family appreciates your thoughts, prayers and sentiments.  We ask that our family’s privacy be respected during this difficult time.”  Nicole Cianci was Buddy Cianci’s only child and the mother of his three grandchildren.

TALKERS to Publish Four-Part Series by Walter Sabo on FM Talk this Week.  Sabo Media president Walter Sabo, one of the earliest and most accomplished proponents of FM talk, has written a powerful and informative four-part series on the hot topic that will run exclusively in TALKERS this week.  In the series, one of radio programming’s most prolific visionaries delves into such areas as mistakes to avoid, finding and inspiring great hosts, methods to develop cume, topic management, the differences between AM and FM “share”  and much more.  The series begins tomorrow (Tuesday, April 24) and will run every day this week through Friday.  Sabo will be a featured speaker at the forthcoming New Media Seminar in NYC on June 7.

WFLA-FM, Tallahassee AM Drive Show’s Eggers Exits to Join Think Tank.  Eric Eggers is producer and on-air co-host of the WFLA-FM, Tallahassee’s morning drive show hosted by Preston Scott.  He announces he’s leaving the Clear Channel Media and Entertainment station and the program he’s been producing for the past seven-plus years to join the Government Accountability Institute – a non-profit think tank based in Tallahassee and founded by conservative author Peter Schweizer.  Eggers tells Tallahassee.com, “Peter wrote his last book about insider trading in Congress.  And so it’s going to be more projects along the same vein in terms of focusing on corruption, cronyism, looking at some of the ways the current federal government system is broken and failing us — not looking out for the little guy.”

Ed Tyll Begins Regular Web-Based Talk Show Tonight.  Longtime talk radio host Ed Tyll begins a new regular talk program broadcast via the internet at TalkRadioX (http://talkradiox.com/) at 8:00 pm ET.  TalkRadioX was co-founded by Dan Delgado and Antubert Johnson – two personalities who’ve made the TALKERS “Frontier Fifty” list of internet talk show hosts blazing a trail in the world of web-based programming since the list began being published three years ago.  (The 2012 “Frontier Fifty” list will be published at Talkers.com in September.)  Tyll says TalkRadioX is “a 24-hour streaming talk station that boasts an original line up of enthusiastic talkers, reminiscent of when talk radio was both fun and informative.”  Dan Delgado tells TALKERS, “Getting someone of Ed Tyll’s caliber and stature in the industry is something we at TalkRadioX had been looking to do for some time.  We’re thrilled to be getting someone with his experience on the station.  What he brings in terms of talent and energy is something that will bring all of us to the next level.”  Tyll states, “TalkRadioX represents a key moment in the history of a format that I love hosting.  It’s the perfect place for what I do on the air.  I’m convinced that my success with the Casey Anthony trial in Orlando will be eclipsed by the enormous potential of this network’s unique combination of terrestrial radio and world wide web radio listenership.”  During his career, Ed Tyll has worked at numerous major market talk stations as well has having been nationally syndicated.

The Fight for Freedom in Afghanistan.  WNDB, Daytona Beach talk show host Marc Bernier (l) is pictured here interviewing author and former Army Ranger Captain Sean Parnell (r) as the two discuss his new book Outlaw Platoon: Heroes, Renegades, Infidels and the Brotherhood of War in Afghanistan (William Morrow 2012).  The interview was conducted before a live audience at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and is the 78th such event – broadcast live on WNDB – in Bernier’s live interview series.

Friday, April 20, 2012

| April 20, 2012

Ed Schultz Added to Growing Lineup of Movers, Shakers and Stars at New Media Seminar.  “Big Eddie,” star of MSNBC’s nightly “The Ed Show” and nationally syndicated progressive talk radio sensation has been named to deliver the annual “State of the First Amendment” address at the forthcoming New Media Seminar in New York City on Thursday, June 7.  The speech, which has a rich history dating back more than two decades, is a longtime tradition in the talk show industry and will take place during the Freedom of Speech Ceremony at this year’s event.  WTOP, Washington VP of news and programming, Jim Farley will be this year’s recipient of the prestigious Freedom of Speech Award.   This year’s NMS/NY will feature a lineup of more than 50 industry speakers addressing a variety of topics including the state of programming in talk radio, methods of generating revenue during tough times, the challenge of selling controversy, designing successful digital and social media strategies, the changing role of news, the continuing growth of sports talk, and lots more.  A detailed agenda for the June 7 event will be posted at Talkers.com this coming week.  This year’s New Media Seminar marks the innovative launch of an updated model sensitive to the tough economic and stressful conditions of the times.  Significant restructuring has been applied to lower the costs of registration (only $99), accommodations and travel as well as moving the event from the weekend to a weekday. According to TALKERS founder Michael Harrison, “Both conferences will be national in scope and regional in flavor, a recipe that worked amazingly well at last year’s successful experiment, the Los Angeles Regional Talkers Forum.”  NMS 2012 will consist of two one-day conferences.  The first will be held in New York City on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at the Concierge Conference Center on Manhattan’s East Side.  According to its organizers it is on the verge of a sellout.  The second – presented in association with the Los Angeles Press Club – will take place on Thursday, October 11 in Los Angeles at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood.  Harrison says, “We learned a tremendous amount at last year’s ‘happening’ in L.A. There is something very exciting, fulfilling and productive about one single, power-packed day with no time-wasting fat or money-wasting frills.  It was executed purposefully under the radar to test the waters for this new model on a national scale and it succeeded beyond our wildest expectations, reaching maximum registration capacity in a matter of days.  Although the New Media Seminar has actually grown consistently larger and has been a sell-out every year of its existence, we recognize that conditions are such that a change would eventually be necessary as well as beneficial to the working person in our business – at least during this stressful period of tight budgets and high industry economic uncertainty.  At TALKERS we insist on being ahead of the curve.  Industry conferences need to include and be accessible to professionals in the trenches as well as the corporate elite.  This new model is a gift to the business.”  Because quick sell-outs for each event are expected, registration is limited to working media. (As indicated, New York is on the verge of a sellout.)  For registration and sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413 or e-mail her at barbara@talkers.com.

UPDATE!!!  HOTEL INFORMATION FOR NEW YORK ATTENDEES.  The Doubletree by Hilton Metropolitan New York at 569 Lexington Avenue (3 blocks away) has rooms available for $359 per night for a limited time.  You may register online via www.dtnewyork.com. On the main page, click on reservations and type the letters TNM in the group code box.  Or you can call 800-222-8733 and give the code TNM when speaking to the guest services staff. 

Arbitron Reports Q1 Revenue Up 5.5%.  The first quarter of 2012 has been good to Arbitron Inc. as the company states net income increased 9.6% on revenue growth of 5.5% during the period that ended March 31.  Total revenue for the quarter was $106.4 million and it came primarily from annual rate increases, including the continued phase-in of price increases for the PPM.  Arbitron CEO Bill Kerr states, “Our results and our activities in the first quarter are well aligned with our long standing priorities for enhancing our core services and for generating revenue growth.  We unveiled our marketing mix modeling service at the recent Advertising Research Foundation convention.  We expect to have the complete service up, running and ready to improve radio’s visibility among the top agency media planners by the middle of the summer.”  Kerr also said, “Digital radio remains a key priority as we continue our work to follow radio onto its new digital platforms in order to quantify this growing audience segment thereby enabling customers to monetize it.”  Guidance for the rest of 2012 indicates Arbitron expects revenue to be up between 5% and 7%.

Cox Media Announces Talent Lineup for New Tampa FM Talker “The Bone.”  Last week Cox Media Group announced it would drop the rock music on WHPT-FM, Tampa – “The Bone” – built around the success of AM drive talent Bubba the Love Sponge and PM drive counterpart Cowhead.  Now, the company announces the rest of the lineup consisting of talent already working in the Cox stable.  Following Bubba from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon is former WTKS-FM, Orlando – Real Radio 104.1 – personality Drew Garabo, who currently is AM drive host on the Cox Tampa cluster’s rock WSUN-FM.  From 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm Cox imports Billy Madison and his KISS-FM, San Antonio morning show crew for a midday talk program.  Following Cowhead in PM drive is Bubba cast member Matt “Spice” Lloyd who’ll host the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm program.  Cox Radio Tampa vice president and market manager Keith Lawless says of the new direction of The Bone, “The top-rated performance on our current shows clearly tells us that Tampa Bay likes what they hear and is asking for more.  We have worked hard to insure we are giving them what they want with these compelling new shows.  This is an exciting time in Tampa Bay radio.”

Clark Howard Sponsors 46th Habitat for Humanity House.  Cox Media nationally syndicated financial and consumer issues talk host Clark Howard announces he’s challenging the Tulsa community to help him build a Habitat for Humanity house in the city.  Howard is putting up half the money it’ll take to build the house — $35,000 – and is asking listeners to Tulsa affiliate news/talk KRMG-AM/FM to donate the rest.  The Tulsa Habitat build will be parallel to a build in Joplin, Missouri that Clark is also sponsoring on the one-year anniversary of the devastating tornado as part of his on-going “Project Home” campaign.  The Tulsa home will be the 46th Habitat for Humanity home that Howard has helped sponsor.

Odds ‘n’ Sods.  New York talk radio personality Loose KannonRob Stevens – is heard on the WOR, New York internet stream from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm daily beginning Monday, April 23.  Stevens previously was heard on Salem Communications’ WNYM, New York internet stream.  He tells TALKERS he’ll be heard between former New York Governor David Paterson and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee on the stream…..Main Street Radio Network president Jane Silk is publishing a new book on May 5 titled The Poetic Gourmette (Changing Lives Press 2012).  The book is billed as a “compilation of uniquely formed recipes inspired by emotional challenges experienced by the author at the time of creation.”  Silk says, “I would move on to cooking and experimenting with various ingredients, which to me were like words.  Every time I mixed an ingredient, I was expressing another feeling.  When I completed my recipes, I felt that I had dealt with whatever the world had sent my way.”…..ESPN Radio and USC agree to a multi-year deal to allow the sports giant the exclusive national broadcast rights to Trojans home football games…..The Automotive Journalism Society of America names talk host Jeff Shade’s syndicated, KRKO, Seattle-based “Talk About Cars” the “Best Automotive Radio Show” for 2012.  Shade’s program is heard on KRKO, Seattle; WIXC, Melbourne, Florida; and WAMT, Orlando to name a few and is gaining new affiliates each week…..KYKN, Salem, Oregon talk host Bill Post’s program is expanded from two to three hours daily, now airing from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm.  General manager and station owner Mike Frith states, “I’m delighted with the way in which Bill Post has taken the show from a compelling hour to a second hour and now a third hour of great local, Oregon oriented talk.  He has consistently kept the show topical, fun and informative and our listeners have responded very positively to the show.”

2012 Presidential Campaign Top News/Talk Story for Week of April 16-20.  The ongoing 2012 presidential campaign returned to the #1 spot on the Talkers TenTM chart of the week’s most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio.  Following at #2 this week was President Obama’s proposed oil industry regulations.  At # 3 was ongoing debate in Washington over the federal budget deficit and the death of the ‘Buffett Rule’ in the Senate.  And at #4 was the scandals involving the Secret Service and the Government Services Agency.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is published each Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Revolution on the Hill.  That was the name of the first event held on the Capitol Hill lawn on Monday, April 16 and sponsored by former presidential candidate Herman Cain.  The purpose of the rally was to draw attention to tax reform, fiscal responsibility and the importance of electing true conservatives in government and included such speakers as Dick Morris, Ralph Reed and Grover Norquist.  Also taking part were some important talk show hosts.  Pictured here at the event are (from l-r): Cox Media’s Neal Boortz; Talk Radio Network and WGST, Atlanta’s Rusty Humphries; and WLAC, Nashville-based Radio America-syndicated host Steve Gill.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliation Roundup.  “Free Talk Live” featuring Ian Freeman and Mark Edge adds WRHL, Rochelle, Illinois and Montana tri-mulcast KYLW, Billings; KBSR, Laurel; and KHDN, Hardin…..Better Health Network’s Dr. Bob Martin health talk program is added to the weekend lineup at KFWB, Los Angeles.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

| April 12, 2012

Cox Media Group Goes Hot Talk in Tampa on “The Bone.”  The rock music stops on Cox Media Group’s WHPT-FM, Tampa – The Bone – on Monday, April 23 as the company builds a hot talk station around morning drive star Bubba the Love Sponge and PM drive personality Cowhead.  Cox will add the DirecTV-produced Nick DiPaolo and Artie Lange show for late nights and is considering programs for middays and early evenings.  Cox Tampa VP/market manager Keith Lawless says, “‘The Bone’ dominates the morning and afternoon drive talk shows and has room to grow in the midday and evening classic rock shows.  Evolving this station into an all-talk station is an obvious move.  Bubba plays no music and is clearly the market’s leader in mornings.  Filling in the other dayparts with compelling talk and removing all music from the already successful Cowhead show will make ‘The Bone’ dominant with men and adults all day long.”

KNBR, San Francisco Parts Company with Ralph Barbieri After 28 Years.  Ralph Barbieri – the Razor – has been a part of sports talk on KNBR, San Francisco since 1984 but he’s been let go by Cumulus Media as the result of a “management decision,” according to the San Jose Mercury News.  Barbieri’s co-host Tom Tolbert – Mr. T – continues as solo host of the PM drive show.  Barbieri wrote for Sport magazine before joining KNBR in 1984 and became one of the pillars upon which KNBR was built.  Last fall, Barbieri revealed to the San Francisco Chronicle that he’d been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2005 and that he disclosed the diagnosis to Cumulus as the two sides began negotiating a contract renewal.  Barbieri said he believed it was only fair to Cumulus.  He also reported that CEO Lew Dickey told him the company wanted him back.  Barbieri wrote to the Mercury News stating: “…All I can say is that I’m weighing my options, which are considerable.  I’ll have more to say later on.  For now, I just want to say that I’ve seen a couple of articles that have characterized this as an amicable parting.  Well, that’s not exactly the case.  I came to work (Tuesday) morning with no idea that anything of this nature was afoot, especially since my contract does not expire until November 1.  I was immediately told that the general manager wanted to see me.  I went to his office and the program director was there as well.  I was told that I was being terminated and that April 10, was to be my last day at KNBR.”

All-News WBBM Top Biller in Chicago in 2011.  Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder reports data from BIA/Kelsey that indicates all-news has been good for CBS Radio in the Windy City.  The most recent quarterly “Investing in Radio Market Report” from BIA/Kelsey ranks the top five radio billers in Chicago and ranks WBBM – with its recent FM simulcast addition – at the top with $48 million in billing in 2011 (an increase from $42.5 million in 2010).  Hubbard Broadcasting’s AC WTMX-FM is in second place followed by Tribune’s news/talk WGN in third ($35.5 million).  Univision’s Regional Mexican WOJO-FM comes in fourth and CBS Radio’s country WUSN-FM is in fifth place.

Tribune’s WGN, Chicago Jumps on Board iHeartRadio.  Stating that the new platform provides listeners with greater access to WGN, station VP/general manager Tom Langmyer announces Tribune Company’s news/talk WGN will be heard on Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio digital platform.  “This additional platform provides even greater access to WGN, and exposes new listeners to one of America’s premier personality-based talk, news and sports stations.”  Clear Channel Digital president Brian LeKamp says, “Adding a station like WGN to iHeartRadio further delivers on our mission to be wherever our listeners are with the products and services they expect, expanding our ability to offer our users an even more diverse and exciting listening experience.  As one of the top stations in Chicago, WGN features news, information, entertainment and sports and is an excellent addition to our platform.”

Jorge Sedano Leaves Post as AM Drive Host at WAXY, Miami.  South Florida sports talk host Jorge Sedano tweets to his fans that he’s left Lincoln Financial Media’s sports talk WAXY, Miami’s morning drive show:  “After four great yrs at 790 THE TICKET I’ve decided 2 move on effective immediately.  W/ all the new projects I’m working on its just too hard 2 do it all.  I want to thank all wonderful people I worked with in my time there.  Also, thank you the audience for some great radio.  Without you guys, I wouldn’t be in this great position to make this move.  I’m looking forward to the next chapter & hoping u all come along.  Thanks again for all your support.  You have no idea what it means to me. All the best. Love JORGE.”  Chatter in the sports talk world is that Sedano, who has previously worked at Fox Sports Radio Network, is developing a show to air on the new CBS Sports Network – possibly as a lead in to Jim Rome’s new show on the cable channel.  For now, Brandon Guzio is hosting the morning show at WAXY.

Salem Communications Partners with TuneIn.  Camarillo, California-based Salem Communications is the latest broadcaster to partner with internet audio company TuneIn to broadcast its stations via the web.  Salem makes its almost 100 radio properties available to listeners everywhere via the service.  Salem Radio president David Santrella says in a statement, “Through our partnership with TuneIn, we have expanded the number of access points to our content.  We have made it easier for our current listeners to access our programming from wherever they are and have opened up our broadcasts to new audiences.  Overnight we’ve expanded our footprint in digital and have gained a suite of first-of-their-kind analysis tools from TuneIn that help us further tailor programming to our listeners everywhere.”

Arbitron CFO Richard Surratt to Leave the Company.  A press release from Arbitron headquarters in Columbia, Maryland says Richard Surratt is leaving his role at the ratings giant for personal reasons and that EVP/COO Sean Creamer will take over the CFO role when Surratt’s exit takes place in May.  Meanwhile, the company has hired Crist Kolder Associates to search for a new CFO.

2012 Presidential Race, Charges Filed Against George Zimmerman, Obama Care Status, Tepid U.S. Jobs Creation and European Economic Tensions Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/11).  Mitt Romney’s apparent capturing of the GOP nomination and the 2012 presidential campaign, second degree murder charges filed against George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin, the legal status of President Obama’s Patient Accessibility and Affordable Care Act, meager job growth in the U.S. and economic tensions in the Euro zone were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Bonneville Seattle Gets Behind Fisher House Campaign.  Bonneville Seattle – which includes news/talk KIRO-FM, talk KTTH, and sports talk KIRO – is supporting a campaign to upgrade the Fisher House at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, Washington.  The current house – which provides lodging for the families of American service personnel recovering from treatment after being wounded in the line of duty –  has been in use since 1992 and there is a need for a larger facility.  Bonneville VP/market manager Carl Gardner states, “Healing our wounded warriors and caring for their families is a mission all of us in the Pacific Northwest want to join.  At Bonneville, we’re excited to pull together our community of friends and bring this new Fisher House to life, to give something back to the soldiers and their families who have given us so much over these past ten years.”  Pictured here are Bonneville Seattle staffers and military personnel from the base.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

| March 27, 2012

Jim Graci Named Program Director at KDKA, Pittsburgh.  CBS Radio announces the new program director for its news/talk KDKA, Pittsburgh several months after it chose not to renew its contract with former PD Marshall AdamsJim Graci – who previously programmed crosstown WEAE – comes north from Cumulus’ KLIF where he’s been serving as PD.  Also at KDKA, longtime KDKA news staffer P.J. Kumanchik is promoted to news director at the station.

WAXY, Miami Announces Tod Castleberry Takes PD Role at Station.  Program director and Dan LeBatard show executive producer and cast member Marc Hochman is probably almost as happy about this hire as Tod Castleberry is.  Hochman’s been handling both roles and agreed with Lincoln Financial Media to continue in both until a successor for his PD position could be found.  Hochman wants to put his total concentration on the Dan LeBatard show and now he can do that.  Tod Castleberry has worked at Red Zebra’s sports WTEM, Washington and most recently has been working as partner and executive producer of the John Riggins internet show.

ABC News Radio to Produce Special Program Sparked by Trayvon Martin Death.  The special one-hour broadcast will take place tomorrow night (3/28) at 7:00 pm ET and will be hosted by “Good Morning America’s” Robin Roberts.  Titled, “Race and Justice: A National Conversation,” the show will focus on the national dialogue that’s been spurred by the shooting death of Trayvon MartinABC News Radio says the show will feature “Robin Roberts leading a town hall discussion with prominent newsmakers and an audience of high school students and parents. The program will further the national discussion involving all racial and ethnic groups stirred by the circumstances of Trayvon Martin’s death.”  The show is available to ABC News Radio affiliates.

TRN’s Michael Savage to Publish New Non-Fiction Book.  Nationally syndicated talk sensation Michael Savage’s new book hits the bookstore shelves on April 3 – with major booksellers currently taking pre-orders.  In Trickle Down Tyranny: Crushing Obama’s Dream of the Socialist States of America (Harper Collins 2012), Savage examines the state of the nation and especially how he believes the Obama Administration is on the wrong path.  He writes, “Obama is actively creating a populace ever more slavishly dependent on the federal government.”  Other topics include punishing success, “The president has openly declared war on those who have worked hard all their lives to achieve the American dream.”  Savage discusses how we treat our enemies and allies, “He treats radical Islamists in the Middle East as friends, then stiffs Israel and our Western European allies.”  He says that the military is used like pawns, “While Obama uses proud Navy SEALs for a publicity stunt, and the overall strength of the military has been decimated.”  Other topics including the Southern border chaos and corporate cronyism are covered in a way that only Michael Savage could reveal.   Savage is the author of 26 books including four New York Times bestsellers.

Arbitron and California Agree to Settlement in PPM Suit.  The State of California and the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco are settling their suit against Arbitron for its practices regarding the Portable People Meter that the entities alleged underrepresented minorities and minority-targeted radio stations.  Arbitron states, “As part of the settlement, Arbitron has agreed to continue a number of measures already an integral part of the company’s current PPM methodology and of its continuous improvement program for the Portable People Meter ratings services in all markets.  These measures include the already completed transition to address-based sample frames, cell-phone-only sampling rates, reporting country of origin for Hispanic households and certain other sample performance and demographic information to subscribers by individual zip code, continuing efforts to maintain or achieve specific in-tab rates and Sample Performance Indicators, and continuing the company’s commitment to using all reasonable measures to achieve Media Rating Council accreditation for the data produced by the PPM ratings service in all California markets.  These commitments are generally consistent with the company’s agreements with other states and are in force through December 31, 2014, or until MRC accreditation is granted, whichever comes first.  The Company also agreed to pay a total of $400,000 in settlement of all claims and costs.”  Arbitron states the settlement is not an admission of fault.

Dennis Miller Celebrates His 5th Anniversary Week with Special Guests.  Dial Global talk show host Dennis Miller is celebrating his 5th anniversary hosting his nationally syndicated talk show this week and he’s scheduled some high-profile guests for the event.  GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney joins the show today (3/27).  Other guests this week include: AMC’s “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner, National Review editor Rich Lowry and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. On Thursday’s special anniversary show, good friend and “Saturday Night Live” alumnus Jimmy Fallon of NBC’s “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” will join Miller. Also coming on the show that day will be actor/comedian David Spade, who’s currently on CBS’s “Rules of Engagement” and Adam Carolla, who’s on NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice.”  Dial Global EVP of news and talk programming Bart Tessler states, “Dennis consistently brings together such an eclectic and interesting group of guests.  Only he could seamlessly switch from a compelling political conversation with a presidential candidate to tapping into the zeitgeist with a late night comic.”

Cumulus Media Networks to Syndicate Medical Feature with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.  The vignettes to begin distribution in May through Cumulus Media Networks are broken into two target demos: one style for news/talk stations and another for a younger audience on music and entertainment stations.  Two features per day for each variety will be available.  Cumulus chairman, president and CEO Lew Dickey says, “Dr. Sanjay Gupta is a unique and profoundly talented individual.  His insights and experience will bring compelling content to our affiliates and create powerful new vehicles for our advertisers.  We look for Dr. Gupta to be an important component in our overall content strategy.”  Dr. Gupta is a practicing neurosurgeon and serves as chief medical correspondent for CNN.

WOR, New York’s Former Governor David Paterson to Host Political Roundtable Event.  Afternoon drive host former Governor David Paterson will moderate a special roundtable discussion from the famous Russian Tea Room broadcast live on WOR, New York on April 5.  Taking part in this “State of the Tri-State” three-hour expanded edition (to be broadcast from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm on WOR) of the Governor’s show are: former New York Lieutenant Governor Betsy McCaughey, United Federation of Teachers president Michael Mulgrew, New York City Councilman Robert Jackson, New Jersey Association of School Administrators executive director Dr. Richard Bozza, Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), national security expert K.T. McFarland, and Abdur-Rashid, religious and spiritual leader of the Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood in Harlem.  WOR VP/GM Jerry Crowley states, “There is no one more uniquely qualified than Governor Paterson to bring together these top names on one radio broadcast to discuss the issues that are most important to our listeners and our community.  Headlines are sure to be made during this very special program.”  The broadcast is open to members of the press but not to the public.

Salem Communications Buys Detroit-Area Translator for News/Talk WDTK.  Salem Communications is paying $250,000 for the FM translator currently at 97.5 and licensed to Harrison, Michigan.  The seller is Tim Martz’s Radio Power and there’s currently a construction permit to move the translator to Detroit proper and to the 92.7 frequency.  Salem intends to use the FM signal to assist its news/talk WDTK, Detroit.

ObamaCare Goes Before Supreme Court, Pressure Heightens for Charges in Trayvon Martin Case, GOP Primary Race and Obama-Medvedev Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/26).  The first day of arguments at the Supreme Court over aspects of President Obama’s 2010 Affordable Care Act; the growing pressure on authorities to arrest George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin; the GOP primary race; and the flap over President Obama’s remarks to Russian president Dmitry Medvedev were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

| February 15, 2012

Arbitron Reports 2011 Revenue Increase of 6.8%; Expects 5%-7% Growth in 2012.  That’s the news from Arbitron’s release of its financials from 2011.  The company realized a fourth quarter revenue increase of 7.6% over the same quarter the year prior, telling radio operators who subscribe to the PPM what they probably presumed – the high cost of PPM is largely responsible for those numbers.  “The increase was primarily due to increased cost of revenue associated with providing PPM and Diary services, operating costs incurred by Arbitron Mobile, as well as year-over-year increases in performance and share-based compensation,” Arbitron stated in its report.  CEO William T. Kerr says, “For 2012 and beyond, we see our basic strategies as unchanged.  We will pursue opportunities to improve performance and deliver compelling returns by leveraging our existing PPM and diary platforms, by continuing to seek out cost efficiencies and by deploying our financial and other resources to cultivate new markets.  We will pursue these strategies with the goal of building long-term value for our customers, our employees and our shareholders.”  The other aspect of the business the PPM and Diary services are paying for is the development of new products.  The company is developing a digital measurement service that would track usage of services like Pandora and iHeart Radio but there is no timetable on when such a service would be available.  Meanwhile, in Tuesday’s conference call, CFO Sean Creamer admitted the loss of accreditation for the five PPM markets that it announced recently was disappointing but Creamer says the company is determined to work with the Media Rating Council to earn accreditation for as many PPM markets as possible.

KRLD-FM, Dallas Sports Talk Host and Baseball Announcer Josh Lewin Named New Mets Play-By-Play Broadcaster.  The New York Mets and WFAN, New York announced Josh Lewin will take his place in the broadcast booth alongside Howie Rose this season as the play-by-play announcer.  Lewin has been part of Fox Sports baseball coverage since 1996.  He was the Texas Rangers TV play-by-play man from 2002 through 2010 and most recently has been co-hosting the midday sports talk show at CBS Radio’s KRLD-FM – The Fan in Dallas.  Lewin says, “It’s exciting to be part of the Mets broadcast team with Howie Rose, who is one of the best in the business.  It’s a thrill to be able to come back to my roots in New York and call games for the team I rooted for as a kid on the pre-eminent sports talk radio station in the country.”

WDRC, Hartford PM Drive Talk Host Dan Lovallo Exits in Budget Move.  Dan Lovallo has been with the Buckley Broadcasting outlet since 1996 and has been hosting his own PM drive talk show since 2006.  He tells the Hartford Courant he was told by management that it is going in a different direction as part of a budgetary move.  WDRC offers a simple statement to that effect on its Facebook page, noting it wishes Lovallo well.  WDRC is part of Buckley’s four-station “Talk of Connecticut” simulcast that includes WMMW, Meriden; WWCO, Waterbury; and WSNG, Torrington.

A Bowlful of Dollars.  The recent Super Bowl broadcast was again the annual bacchanal of ad spending: $3.5 million for a 30-second spot this year.  But it’s the largest single-event audience in American media although it’s really a showcase – not so much a campaign.  H&H Broadcasting president Al Herskovitz explains that talk radio sales pros should be able to turn this extravaganza on its head and be inspired to illustrate the economy and effectiveness of the reach, frequency and flexibility of a talk radio ad campaign.  Read more here.

WOYK, York Sports Talk Host Adam McAllister Resigns from Afternoon Show.  Telling the York Dispatch that his decision to resign from the four-month-old PM drive sports talk show  stems from his “frustrations” with management, Adam McAllister says he plans to be back on radio somewhere else but he’s not sure where.  McAllister was part of the M&M morning show with Jim Marlin that began in 2010.  Last year the program moved to afternoons but in October, McAllister went solo.  WOYK president Doug George tells the paper, “He sent me a message late last week saying he was resigning and his vision with the radio station didn’t agree with others.  Things like that happen.  I told Adam he’s certainly entitled to his own belief.  I’m not sure there is a whole lot more for me to say.”  WOYK will fill the slot with content from Yahoo! Sports.

Noted Radio Consultant Valerie Geller to Write Weekly Trade Piece.  Leading talk radio consultant Valerie Geller – president of Geller Media International – begins writing the weekly News Talk Edge column for Radio-Info.com this Thursday.  Geller is respected throughout the radio industry for her programming credentials, her consulting work with news, talk and personality radio as well as for her popular broadcasting books, including her latest, Beyond Powerful Radio – A Communicator’s Guide to the Internet Age (Focal Press 2011).  Recently, Geller worked with the Independent Documentary Series advising the producers of the recently aired PBS documentary film, “Daisy Bates – First Lady of Little Rock.”  TALKERS asked Geller about her involvement consulting a documentary film and she replied it’s a natural connection.  “Filmmakers tell stories just as talk show hosts, news writers and good radio personalities do.”

Journal Broadcasting Names Michael Gay VP of Interactive.  Michael Gay most recently served as corporate executive producer for digital media with Hearst Television.  Now he joins Journal Broadcasting as vice president of interactive where he’s charged with designing and implementing the company’s digital initiative across its TV and radio properties.

KDWN, Las Vegas Talk Host Alan Stock’s Local TV Show Adds Evening Broadcast.  Longtime Las Vegas talk show host Alan Stock – now heard from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon on Beasley’s Broadcasting’s news/talk KWDN – announces his local TV show on KTUD-TV is airing at 1:00 pm and 10:00 pm PT.  Stock tells TALKERS the evening broadcast of the program is getting ratings as he’s been interviewing all the movers and shakers – political, social, cultural and entertainment –in the Las Vegas and Nevada community.   The program is taped in the KDWN studios and also serves to cross-promote the radio show.

Obama Budget, Iran Sanctions, GOP Primary Race, U.S. Syria Policy and Whitney Houston Funeral Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/14).  The 2013 budget submitted by President Obama, the threat of new sanctions on Iran, the GOP primary race, the ongoing violence in Syria and questions about the U.S.’s role and the funeral of singer Whitney Houston were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, February 3, 2012

| February 3, 2012

Talk Radio Pro Phil Boyce Named VP/Director Spoken Word Format for Salem Communications.  Former WABC, New York program director Phil Boyce joins Salem Communications in the newly created position VP/director spoken word format.  As such he’ll be in charge of the company’s programming on its news/talk, Christian teaching, talk and business talk O&Os.  Boyce most recently served as president of programming for Talk Radio Network.  He says, “The more I learn about Salem Communications, the more impressed I am with this great company.  I could not be more thrilled to be joining them as we work together to make their stations even better.  This company has become one of the best places to work in radio, exhibiting class, integrity, and a true dedication to great programming.  Ed Atsinger and Dave Santrella have created a position that perfectly fits my skill set, and I am grateful for their trust and support.”

Liz Aiello Out at Merlin Media’s FM News 101.9.  Sources are telling TALKERS that the staff at FM News 101.9 was notified about VP of programming Liz Aiello‘s departure yesterday and that Al Gardner (most recently morning host at WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte and pegged to program Merlin’s coming Philadelphia station) is the acting PD.  Sources tell TALKERS VP of digital Rich McLaughlin and VP of production Jerry Rohira have also left the building.  Liz Aiello had served as general manager of the radio end of Martha Stewart Living and her experience creating and managing programming for women was probably a big factor in her joining Merlin when the all-newser was taking a female-tilted focus.  Now that the station’s going straight news, management may not feel she’s the right fit.

Today is the 20th “Wing Bowl” Promotion for CBS Radio’s WIP-AM/FM, Philadelphia.  A traditional promotion that began 20 years ago timed to take place alongside the Super Bowl hits Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center today.  The chicken wing-eating contest has grown into a showcase of professional and amateur eaters that offers huge prizes — $20,000, a ring and a gold medal from local jeweler Steven Singer for the overall winner and many other prizes including a car, a motorcycle and more to various other winners – and all proceeds going to local charities including the Police Athletic League.  The event sold out the almost 20,000 seats available but fans can follow it on sports talker WIP, of course, and it’s being streamed on the web.  Morning drive host Angelo Cataldi, who co-founded the Wing Bowl 20 years ago with partner Al Morganti, states, “The stage is set for our greatest ‘Wing Bowl’ ever. Never have we had such a spectacular array of contestants, beautiful girls, incredible floats, off-the-wall personalities and a true legend — Takeru Kobayashi — all rolled into one madcap morning of jaw-dropping entertainment.  There will never be another event like Wing Bowl 20.”

2nd Annual “Imus on Broadway” Raises Money for Imus Ranch for Kids with Cancer.  WABC, New York morning drive legend Don Imus hit the stage at the Hard Rock Café in Times Square Monday evening to present entertainment from the best musicals on Broadway.  The sold-out fund raising event was hosted by New York Post theater columnist Michael Riedel and included performances from numerous Broadway musicals including: “Anything Goes,” “The Book of Mormon,” “Chicago,” “Jersey Boys,” “Mamma Mia,” “Memphis,” “Million Dollar Quartet,” “Priscilla Queen of the Desert,” “Rock of Ages,” “Spider Man Turn Off the Dark” and “Stomp.”

Cumulus Media’s KKOB, Albuquerque Nabs 46th Consecutive #1 Arbitron Book.  Station officials believe this is a record as news/talk KKOB comes in #1 in the 2011 Fall Arbitron book for persons 12+ for the 46th time in a row.  AM operations manager and program director Pat Frisch says during this time the station has also numerous #1 positions with persons 25-54.  KKOB general manager Milt McConnell says, “Albuquerque is one of the most over-radioed markets in America.  It is absolutely incredible in a market with 32 competitive stations that KKOB has remained the #1 station for over a decade.  Having the largest number of live personalities, the largest news department, being the EAS alert station for the state, the flagship property for UNM, and literally being ‘the mouthpiece’ of the market – all are factors in our success.”  Pat Frisch says consistency is the key and notes that during this time the station has also been the top biller in the market.  “Who says ratings and revenue don’t tie in together?”

Financial Expert George Jarkesy Launches Syndicated Radio Show.  Noted Wall Street investor and self-described “serial entrepreneur” George Jarkesy has launched “The George Jarkesy Radio Show.”  The one-hour daily, independently syndicated program has reportedly received such favorable reaction from its charter roster of affiliates that it will shortly be expanded to three-hours per day.  The Houston-based financial/political show hosted by the conservative money maven is initially being heard on  KSAC-FM, Sacramento; KTEK, Houston; WAFS, Atlanta; WBZW, Orlando; KKOL, Seattle, and WBZS, Providence among others, airing live 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm ET.  Jarskey, who is also the chairman of The National Eagles and Angels Association, is a regular guest and market commentator on Fox Business Network, Fox News Channel‘s “Fox & Friends” and CNBC.  He tells TALKERS he started the show because “I have a passion for America and think everyone deserves a fair shake.  Unfortunately a large percentage of people have no idea what is truly going on in Washington or why we have the issues with a struggling economy.  A broad understanding of how various events affect economics and finance needs to be considered when investing.  I am building a platform so millions of people can stay better informed on social, geo-political, financial and economic issues in an entertaining format.”  For more information, visit www.georgejarkesy.com.

Talk Radio Network Entertainment Weekend Host Dr. Michio Kaku on Book Tour.  Hitting the East and West Coasts to promote the paperback edition of his New York Times bestseller Physics of the Future: How Physics will Change Daily Life by 2100 (Doubleday 2011) is renowned physicist Dr. Michio Kaku.  In addition to his television work hosting “Science IQ” on the Science Channel, Dr. Kaku hosts the radio show “Science Fantastic” nationally syndicated by Talk Radio Network Entertainment and heard on more than 125 affiliates nationwide.

Nationally Syndicated Weekend Talk Host Dr. Ellen Kenner Celebrates 15th Anniversary.  Clinical psychologist Dr. Ellen Kenner is the host of the weekly program “The Rational Basis of Happiness” that began 15 years ago on news/talk WHJJ, Providence.  The show went into national syndication later that year and Dr. Kenner has been broadcasting nationally every weekend since.  The program is currently heard on some 30 affilliates.

Romney-Gingrich Battle Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 30 – February 3.  The primary season race between GOP frontrunners Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich landed atop the Talkers TenTM chart of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week.  Following at #2 was the 2012 presidential race, encompassing all the issues the GOP contenders – and the media – are raising.  At #3 was the dim U.S. economic report delivered to the U.S. House Budget Committee by the Congressional Budget Office director.  And at #4 was the news of a long-awaited Facebook initial public offering and the company’s first public earning report.  The Talkers TenTM is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS into the stories and people discussed on news/talk radio across America.  It is published each Friday at Talkers.com.  View the entire chart here.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Dial Global talk host Clark Howard’s “Clark Howard Minutes” feature is added to Merlin Media’s all-news WEMP-FM, New York (FM News 101.9) and WIQI-FM, Chicago (FM News 101.1)…..Premiere Network’s Jim Rome returns to the air schedule at Alpha Broadcasting’s KXTG, Portland…..Dial Global’s Thom Hartmann is added to WNSW, Newark, New Jersey; WPWC, Dumfries-Triangle, Virginia; and WZHF, Arlington, Virginia…..Independently syndicated inspirational talk show host David Essel is added to the schedule at Sirius XM for a Saturday evening program…..Vivid Edge Media Group’s David Pakman show is added to WPWC, Dumfries-Triangle, Virginia; WPRR, Grand Rapids, Michigan; and WMNF-FM, Tampa.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

| February 2, 2012

Overnight: The Underexploited Daypart.  Consultant Walter Sabo suggests more talk radio operators should take advantage of the overnight daypart – the one it wins by default.  Citing a Media Audit report indicating talk radio has the largest overnight audience, Sabo contends that – contrary to conventional wisdom – there is money to be made there and other opportunities on which to capitalize.  Read his exclusive TALKERS article here.

 

Can Radio Afford to be Rated Accurately?  That’s really the question that should be asked as Arbitron loses accreditation for five PPM markets.  The Media Rating Council is informing Arbitron, Inc. that accreditation for the Portable People Meter in five markets – Cleveland; Portland, Oregon; Riverside-San Bernardino; Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo; and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater – is being withdrawn.  The MRC says its board of directors “reached this decision upon consideration of a recommendation from an MRC audit committee based on its review of the 2011 Arbitron PPM service audit results, which showed certain issues related to internal controls of the service and declines in service performance metrics.”  Arbitron EVP, service innovation and chief research officer Gregg Lindner says, “Consistent with our long-standing priorities, we will work to retain accreditation where we have it, to regain accreditation where it was withdrawn and to achieve accreditation in our remaining PPM markets.  As always, we will continue our work with the MRC in order to address their concerns.”  Arbitron says it intends to have all 48 PPM markets undergo MRC audits this year.  Currently, nine markets remain accredited: Atlanta, Cincinnati, Houston (DMA), Kansas City, Milwaukee-Racine, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and St. Louis.  Although details remain vague, TALKERS suspects the problem faced by Arbitron in getting PPM off and running comes down to sample size – a two-fold challenge at this point.  First: To get enough radio listeners to participate in the program and follow it diligently while busy and distracted; second, to expend the money required to have enough units and participants per market needed to achieve statistical accuracy – an investment that ultimately falls on the back of the financially strapped radio business.

CBS Radio Alters WINS, New York Top-of-the Hour Slogan.  Some observers will call it a win for Merlin Media CEO Randy Michaels who challenged CBS Radio’s use of the “New York’s One and Only News Station” for all-news WINS.  After a back-and-forth of letters from lawyers regarding station slogans and positioning statements in which CBS Radio first asked Merlin to stop using a permutation of its “Give us 22 minutes and we’ll give you the world” slogan, it seems both sides may be moving forward with the business of doing news.  That’s probably best since we’re assuming neither desire to spend more on lawyers than necessary.  TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman says each side could have made a case.  Weisman says CBS could reasonably argue that Merlin was infringing upon its trademark and Merlin could make a good argument that CBS’ use of the “one and only” phrase regarding its all-news radio product violated the Lanham Act (false advertising) in light of WEMP-FM’s existence.

Radio Pros Lee Abrams and Steve Saslow Plan Reinvention of TV News.  Radio programming legend Lee Abrams and marketing and network radio pro Steve Saslow are teaming up with attorney Brandon Davis to form THINK TeleVisual Network, Inc.  In a statement, the trio say they will “elevate the television news playbook into the digital age with a radical reinvention of the way news and information is produced and delivered.”  THINK states its programming will be “designed to present one unified televisual news experience across every device category.   It represents a profound rewriting of the news/information blueprint where a completely new style of presentation will merge with the magic of 21st century technology and modern American culture.”  Lee Abrams says, “News and information is what is steering our 21st century America, the equivalent of what rock ‘n roll was forty years ago.  THINK will merge this passion for information, knowledge and insight with the revolution in technology to create an interactive multi-media experience that will redefine how people are informed and enlightened.”  Initially funded by the three principals, the venture is currently going through another round of fundraising in collaboration with the Boston-based investment firm Kaufman & Company.

Clear Channel’s KFBK Celebrates 90 Years of Serving Sacramento.  News/Talk KFBK-AM/FM, Sacramento is celebrating 90 years on the air serving the people of the region.  As part of the commemoration, the station is unveiling an online museum “that will showcase and honor the station’s rich and storied history.  The museum will include audio clips, photos and videos that will transport listeners back in time to relive KFBK’s evolution.”  Other events throughout the day include Premiere Networks superstar  Rush Limbaugh joining KFBK morning news anchors Amy Lewis and Ed Crane live at 8:00 am where Limbaugh will reminisce about his time at KFBK.  At 11:00 am, station staff will open a time capsule left by a past generation of KFBK employees and longtime KFBK talk host Tom Sullivan – now syndicated by Fox News Radio but still heard on the station – joining Kitty O’Neal during the KFBK Afternoon News to commemorate the occasion.  VP/market manager Jeff Holden states, “The celebration today is recognition and confirmation that the commitment of the employees – past, present and future – is exactly what Sacramentans, at each point in time over the past 90 years, have so welcomingly accepted into their lives.  I couldn’t be more proud to be part of such an illustrious and valuable asset to the region and a part of the team that is making history.”

Clear Channel Quad Cities AM Duo Moves to News/Talk WOC; Piped to WMT, Cedar Rapids.  Morning show hosts Mark Manuel and Steve Ketelaar have been hosting the morning drive show on Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s oldies KUUL-FM, East Moline, Illinois for the past four years.  Beginning February 20, the duo moves across the hall to handle the morning show on the cluster’s news/talk WOC, Davenport and will be simulcast at CC’s Cedar Rapids news/talker WMT.  They’ll replace WOC program director Dan Kennedy as morning host.  Kennedy stays in his PD post and will remain on the program as news anchor.  Kirk Marske will produce the WOC morning show.  According to the Quad City Times, WMT will provide its own news anchor during news cutaways. Clear Channel Davenport operations manager Jim O’Hara tells the paper, “A big thing with us over the past year with Clear Channel in general has been making the best use of our strongest people, our strongest programs.  As I’ve thought about that over the last several months, it dawned on me that WOC is one radio station that needs more help, more people.”

Florida Primary Aftermath, Facebook IPO and Earnings Report, U.S. Afghanistan Combat Withdrawl Plan, and Syrian Violence Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/1).  The aftermath of Mitt Romney’s victory in the Florida primary, the announcement of a pending Facebook IPO and its first public earnings report, plans for an end to the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan and ongoing violence in Syria were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

| December 8, 2011

Arbitron Client Conference: “Radio Retains 93% of Audience Through Spot Breaks.”  That good news comes from the study, “What Happens When the Spots Come On?” from Arbitron, Coleman Insights and RCS/Media Monitors.  But what it means is not that 93% of listeners stay through a whole stop set.  Some go away and some new ones come in with the aggregate being that only 7% of the listenership disappears during a given spot break.  The study analyzed 17.9 million spot breaks and 61.9 commercial minutes in the 48 markets using the Portable People Meter.  But programmers and sales managers are being cautioned not to interpret the data as meaning that people aren’t bothered by too many spots and that 93% will sit through anything.  One thing the study appears to confirm is that spoken-word radio such as sports, news/talk and all-news do a better job of keeping their audiences through stop sets.

KDKA, Pittsburgh Program Director Marshall Adams Exits.  After six years with CBS Radio’s legendary KDKA, Pittsburgh, program director Marshall Adams announces his contract with the station is up and he is leaving for other opportunities.  Adams states, “It has been a privilege working for this heritage station which, as a child, gave me my first impressions of radio.  It was a dream come true every time I was able to crack the mic for a KDKA newscast.  I am very grateful to CBS Pittsburgh market manager Michael Young for giving me this terrific opportunity. I am going to miss the staff very much. They’re an incredibly talented group of people and each one of them has enriched my life.”  There’s no word from CBS Pittsburgh who will take over the PD position at KDKA.

Cox Media Group Adds Sports Content to WXKT-FM, Gainesville, Georgia.  Cox Media Group removes much of the syndicated news/talk programming from WXKT-FM, Gainesville, Georgia and re-positions the station as “Bulldog 103.7 North Georgia’s News, Sports & Information Station.”  Premiere NetworksJim Rome is added for middays and Yahoo! Sports programming fills in the evening and overnights.  Martha Zoller’s news/talk program moves from the 7:00 am to 11:00 am slot to 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.  The morning news program with Tim Bryant expands to 6:00 am to 9:00 am.  America’s Radio News Network’s all-news block airs in the PM drive slot.

Clear Channel Names Two to Management Roles in Spokane.  Clear Channel announces Dan Manella is the new market manager for the Spokane, Washington cluster and Michael LaCrosse takes on the operations manager for the cluster that includes news/talk KQNT.  Manella most recently served with CBS Radio in Chicago as general sales manager at WXRT-FM and as senior AE at sports WSCR.  LaCrosse most recently served as operations director at Cumulus’ WLS-FM, Chicago.

On the Set of Modern Family.  Talk Radio Network and KFI, Los Angeles radio personality Phil Hendrie recently taped an episode of the hit TV show “Modern Family” in which he plays the character “Boots.”  Hendrie is pictured here on the set of the program (from l-r) with actor Ed O’Neill, director Michael Spiller, Hendrie, and actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson.  On appearing on the program, Hendrie says, “It’s not hard to figure out why ‘Modern Family’ is a hit show.  Everyone, Ed O’Neill, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, all of the crew, they were kind, complimentary and helpful.  Very, very positive people to be around.  I’m so grateful for the experience.  Thanks ‘Modern Family!’”

2012 Presidential Race, Payroll Tax Cut Issue, Jerry Sandusky Arrested on New Charges, Iran’s Nuclear Program and Blagojevich Sentenced Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/7).  The GOP field of candidates for president, the debate over the payroll tax cut extension, former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky arrested on more sexual abuse charges, Iran’s nuclear weapon ambitions and the lost CIA drone and former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s 14-year sentence on corruption charges were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

| December 7, 2011

Merlin Media Enters the Philly Market.  The Randy Michaels-led Merlin Media is not deterred by slow starts in New York and Chicago and will bring what many suspect is an all-news FM outlet to Philadelphia after agreeing to buy Family Stations Inc.’s class B WKDN-FM, Camden, New Jersey.  Merlin announces in a release that it is searching for radio pros with the line – “Merlin Media is now actively looking for staff that can pronounce Schuylkill, Wissahickon, Manayunk, Tredyffrin, Gwynedd, Pennsauken and Bryn Mawr.”  If Merlin does go with a news format, CBS Radio’s KYW is currently news leader in Philly topping the recent Arbitron PPM for November with a cume of more than 1 million and a 7.4 AQH (persons 6+).  The sale price has not been announced.  Harold Camping’s Family Stations Inc. recently agreed to sell WBGR-FM, Annapolis, Maryland to CBS Radio which will debut an FM news station there in the New Year.  The price for that station was $8.5 million and although there’s no official word on the price Merlin is paying for WKDN, reports are circulating it’s in the $22 million neighborhood.

Cumulus Media Networks Names Gary McNamara and Eric Harley New Co-Hosts for “Red Eye Radio.”  This is a consolidation of two late-night radio shows owned by Cumulus Media: the “Red Eye Radio” show founded by talk host Doug McIntyre and the WBAP, Dallas-based “Midnight Radio Network” (known to many fans over the years as the “Midnight Trucking Radio Network”) program hosted by Eric Harley and Gary McNamara.  Cumulus SVP of affiliate sales and broadcast operations Dennis Green says, “Adding Eric and Gary to our versatile lineup of talk programming is a fantastic opportunity for the network and provides two dynamic personalities to our affiliates.  This is another daypart where we can offer high-quality solutions to stations looking for relevant content that connects with local audiences.  We truly appreciate the road map Doug has created for delivering overnight listener engagement with ‘Red Eye Radio’ and we’re proud that he will continue to be part of our company.”  The company isn’t prepared to say what McIntyre’s new duties will be but reiterates he will remain with Cumulus.  He also hosts the 5:00 am to 6:00 am hour on WABC, New York.  The combined affiliate bases will put the new “Red Eye Radio” program on about 150 affiliates and airs live from 1:00 am to 6:00 am Monday through Sunday beginning January 3, 2012.

Courtside Entertainment Group/Dial Global’s “Loveline” Adds Simone Bienne to Show.  The long-running “Loveline” late-night radio show co-hosted by Dr. Drew Pinsky and Mike Catherwood adds British sex and relationship therapist Simone Bienne to the program.  Bienne works with Pinsky on the CW Network program “Life Changers.”  Courtside Entertainment Group managing partner Norm Pattiz says of the addition, “Since taking over the program six months ago, we have committed ourselves to increasing its audience and broadening its appeal while maintaining its edgy, entertaining and irreverent approach.  ‘Loveline’ is an advice show like no other and the addition of Simo