Tag: "Asterisk Communications"

Thursday, January 16, 2014

| January 16, 2014

cclogoTerrible News:  Clear Channel Managers Slashing Another 5%.  Numerous reliable sources throughout the radio industry are saying Clear Channel Media + Entertainment market managers are under the gun to find another 5% of their budgets they can trim to come into compliance with the corporate dictate.  What was rumored just a week or so ago appears to be true and as positions at CC-owned stations are eliminated over the coming weeks and months we’ll see what departments are going to feel it the most.  Regular readers of TALKERS are aware of the on-air positions that have been cut and industry watchers say some of the most obvious solutions in the programming departments at stations are: double-duty for talk hosts (two shows per day), voice tracking multiple dayparts for jocks, and the importation of national shows such as Bobby Bones for country outlets and Elvis Duran for CHR stations, which greatly reduces the money spent on morning shows.

bubbaBubba the (Country) Love Sponge?  No name change is impending but Florida-based hot talk star Bubba the Love Sponge is reporting success as morning show host at Asterisk Communication’s country duo WTRS-FM, Dunnellon and WYGC, High Springs “My Country” in the Ocala and Gainesville markets, respectively.  Bubba reports he’s thankful to station management for taking a chance on his show on a country outlet.  His Bubba Radio Network reports “WTRS-FM moved from 12th to 4th place with Men age 25-54, an all-time high for the station.  Bubba was very excited and thankful that women have taken to his program so well.  ‘You ladies get what’s hot and new and we love you for that.’  The Bubba the Love Sponge syndicated morning show also proudly reports it currently ranks top three Men 25-54 and top five Persons 25-54 in all markets it currently airs.  Bubba expresses interest in working with additional program directors to bring his program to country and urban format stations.”

callahanthomSCBA Reports 6.3% Revenue Surge in December.  The latest figures from Miller Kaplan Arase are giving the Southern California Broadcasters Association reason to cheer and the organization announces the Los Angeles radio market “enjoyed a robust 6.3% growth rate for the month of December 2013.”  SCBA president Thom Callahan states, “December was a great month for our region as we were finally out from under the political comps from 2012 and the market flexed its true revenue muscles as only Southern California Radio can.  All key revenue segments posted impressive gains: local and national spot combined was up 3.6%; digital posted an impressive 20.7% gain; and NTR/network was up 19.6%.”  For the 12 months ending December 2013, total market revenue growth was 1%, according to Miller Kaplan Arase.  Callahan says he’s more optimistic about the region than the 1% hike indicates.  “In our view, our real growth rate for 2013 was 4.4%, when factoring out 2012’s huge political revenue of $20.5 million.  It’s more than fair to deduct those comps, which are never a true indicator of market growth or the health of our business.  Political revenue on a YTD basis is not an apples to apples comparison.  As any station will tell you, it’s impossible to replace $20.5 million in 12 months, yet these incomplete YTD revenue comparisons continue.  These lopsided revenue reports help feed the misguided narrative that radio is a legacy medium, and nothing, I repeat nothing, is further from the truth.”

nymrad logoNew York Market Boasts 6% Revenue Hike in 2013; 5% in December.  On the Right Coast, the New York Market Radio Association reports that not only was its December up – 5.3% for all revenue – the year was way up over 2012 notching a 6% increase in total revenue.  The NYMRAD says for the month of December 2013, total revenues, including total spot, digital, and network/NTR/other, were up 5.3%.  For the 12 months ending December 2013, market growth was up across all sectors: +5.6% for local spot, +5.1% for national spot, +5.5% for total spot and +6.0% for grand total market revenue.  NYMRAD executive director Debbie Beagan comments, “New York radio is healthy, vibrant, and strong.  Advertisers and their agencies are investing in our medium and utilizing radio’s audio, online, mobile, and social platforms to reach engaged and loyal listeners.  The robust revenue results for the 2013 and December position the market well as we head into 2014.”

sabowalterSabo:  HD Radio Is Going to Explode.  In a new opinion column posted today (1/16) in TALKERS, noted consultant Walter Sabo makes eight predictions pertaining to the radio industry for 2014.  They include his prognostication that it will be a good year for HD based on iBiquity’s claim of 16 million automobile installs, stating “HD is radio’s best real estate grab for the connected dash.”  He also comments on the immediate future of websites and social media as well as the difference between corporate debt and personal debt.  To read Sabo’s entire piece, please click here.

bergensamCreative Advisory Council Scholarship Winner Announced.  The Berlin School of Creative Leadership and Clear Channel Media + Entertainment are announcing Sam Bergen, SVP and creative director of Deutsch Inc., is the winner of the Berlin School’s “Clear Channel Scholarship for Leadership in Audio Innovation” program.  Bergen will receive a full-tuition scholarship (worth 53,000 Euro) to attend the Berlin School’s prestigious Global Executive MBA in Creative Leadership Program starting in March of this year.  The Berlin School and Clear Channel’s recently formed Creative Advisory Council (CAC), featuring advertising thought leaders who focus on the development of innovative approaches to the audio and out-of-home media landscape, reviewed over 40 entrants from more than 20 countries around the world, based on their professional and academic profile, as well as their response to a special essay question about innovative audio strategies.  Berlin School of Creative Leadership founding president Michael Conrad states, “We are pleased to welcome Sam Bergen into our Executive MBA program.  Focused on leading radio and audio commerce to the forefront of media thinking, the Berlin School-Clear Channel scholarship drew an amazing amount of high-quality applications from around the world.  We were extremely impressed by the caliber of applications as well as the many compliments applicants had of our young school.  We thank Clear Channel for this exciting and collaborative opportunity.”  CC’s Bob Pittman adds, “Driving education and awareness on the value audio advertising offers is a key initiative for us.  We are proud to work with the Berlin School and our new Creative Council to award this scholarship to the audio industry’s next creative innovator.  Sam Bergen distinguished himself among a very elite group of applicants and I am confident that with his continued development at the Berlin School, Sam will be a trailblazer on the media landscape for both audio and out-of-home.”

radioioDigital Pure Play Radioio Takes RDIO Stock Ticker in Post-Merger Organization.  The digital music service Radioio – operated by Radioio Inc. – is being traded under the new stock ticker RDIO on the OTC market.  The merger resulted in the company’s name being changed from ioWorldMedia, Incorporated to Radioio, Inc.  In a statement, the company’s board of directors says it believes that the name change is consistent with the direction of the company. President and CEO Zach McAdoo says, “Radioio is a marquee name and brand of great distinction.”  He added that RDIO is a fitting ticker symbol for the company’s new name.

14mirrorawardsDeadline for Newhouse School’s ’14 Mirror Awards is February 14.  The Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University’s ’14 Mirror Awards is accepting entries through February 14.  The Mirror Awards competition for “media covering media” – established in 2006 by the Newhouse School – “honor the reporters, editors and teams of writers who ‘hold a mirror to their own industry’ for the public’s benefit.  They are the most important awards for recognizing excellence in media industry reporting.”  The competition is open to anyone who conducts reporting, commentary or criticism of the media industries in a format intended for a mass audience.  Eligible work includes print, broadcast and online editorial content focusing on the development or distribution of news and entertainment.  All entries must have been published or broadcast between January 1 and December 31, 2013.  Entries are evaluated based on three criteria: Excellence of craft; framing of the issue; and appropriateness for the intended audience. Winners are chosen by a group of journalists and journalism educators.  An awards ceremony will be held in June 2014 in New York City.  For more information, click here.

russochrisChris “Mad Dog” Russo to Host History of New York NFL Championship Games Special.  For those who are critical of the NFL’s decision to locate the Super Bowl in chilly New York (okay, New Jersey) this year, some may not be aware that this will not be the first championship that ever took place in the New York area.  SiriusXM’s Chris “Mad Dog” Russo will host “Deep Freeze: A History of NFL Championship Games in New York,” a special broadcast to air first on Tuesday, January 21 with encore airings to follow.  Special guests on the program will include NFL greats Frank Gifford, Paul Hornung, Jerry Kramer, Raymond Berry, plus more.  The three-hour special will focus in-depth on four of the most memorable championships in NFL history – played in 1934, 1956, 1958 and 1962.

Obama Executive Order Threat, Chris Christie Scandal, ObamaCare Criticism, GOP IRS Investigation Push, New Mexico School Shooting/Indiana Grocery Slayings, and ‘Duck Dynasty’ Returns Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/15).  The statement from President Obama about using executive orders to accomplish his administration’s goals; the aftermath of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s lane closure scandal; criticism of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act; the effort by GOP members of Congress to investigate the process by which the IRS is being scrutinized for allegedly targeting conservative organizations; the school shooting in New Mexico and the double murder at a grocery store in Indiana; and the debut of the new season of “Duck Dynasty” were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

| May 16, 2013

berrymichael2TALKERS Spotlight on Michael Berry: Gaining Traction in Self-Syndication.  With tongue in cheek, KTRH, Houston-based talk show host Michael Berry calls himself “The Czar of Talk Radio” – an apt title that reflects both his dab of self-deprecating irreverence and the fact that his self-syndicated show has been somewhat of an empire-in-the-making as it spreads now to 10 formidable talk stations across the country with no end to its growth in sight.  Berry was a high jumper on this year’s TALKERS “Heavy Hundred” (2013) rocketing from #95 last year to #67.  Michael Harrison calls this former Mayor pro tem of Houston-turned-talk radio host “one of the most promising and intriguing up-and-comers in the business today” and often cites his name when asked from where the next wave of talk radio superstars is coming.  Interested in learning more about this 42-year-old rising star?  Read TALKERS managing editor/West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian‘s in-depth profile of Michael Berry posted today (5/15) by clicking here.

belk logoDepartment Store Chain in Middle of Talk Radio Ad Storm.  The Charlotte-based department store chain Belk found itself in the eye of a partisan politics storm after an ad for one of its vendors that mentions Belk found itslimbaughrush way onto a local station airing the Rush Limbaugh program.  Activist groups monitoring conservative talk radio with the goal of harassing advertisers into deserting the format quickly began targeting Belk with requests to end the campaign.  However, Belk spokesperson Jessica Graham told the Charlotte Observer it doesn’t advertise on talk radio and the ad was through a vendor.  She also explained the vendor was being made aware of the company’s policy.  But the fire had already been started with conservative Belk shoppers and those sympathetic to the anti-talk radio crusade squaring off on social media and communicating with Belk about their feelings.  Graham told the paper in the aftermath of the flap, “This is why we don’t advertise on talk radio.”

jvcbroadcasting logoJVC Media to Buy Asterisk Communications’ Florida Stations.  Long Island-based JVC Media announces it has entered into an agreement to purchase five Florida FM stations from Asterisk Communications.  The stations include: country WTRS, Dunnellon (Gainesville/Ocala market); hot AC WMFQ, Ocala “Q92”; smooth jazz WXJZ, Gainesville; news/talk WBXY, Gainesville; and sports talk WYGC, High Springs (Gainesville market) “104.9 The Game.”  JVC Media CEO John Caracciolo says, “We are honored and privileged to welcome these top-performing radio stations into the JVC family.  The prior owner of these stations was committed to community service, high-quality broadcasting and creating an excellent work environment for its staff, and we are proud to be able to continue the tradition that Asterisk started in this great market.”  JVC chief operating officer Victor Canales adds, “We love this radio market, and we are excited to continue the trend of fun, local radio in North Central Florida.  We plan on adding staff in Florida and New York and to make a big splash with marketing and programming when we begin operating the stations.”  JVC Media owns four FM radio stations on Long Island, dance music WPTY, Spanish WBON, country WJVC, and rock WRCN and operates Long Island Events, which manages the 7,000 seat outdoor entertainment venue known as the Pennysaver Amphitheater.  JVC was formed by broadcasting veterans John Caracciolo and Victor Canales and is backed by Northwood Ventures.

dialglobal logo USEChristina Albee Named Chief Marketing Officer at Dial Global.  Dial Global brings Christina Albee to the company from Condé Nast where she was most recently managing The Studio at Condé Nast, a division producing a wide range of digital campaigns.  She also supervisedalbeechristina event marketing, strategic alliances, and operations at the Condé Nast Media Group.  In Albee’s new role as chief marketing officer at Dial Global, she’ll be responsible for the company’s positioning and branding.  On her new position, Albee states, “I am thrilled to assume the chief marketing officer role at Dial Global.  I look forward to working closely with Paul Caine to innovate and advance our marketing initiatives surrounding Dial Global’s premium programming and unique assets.  There’s an incredible amount of opportunity to redefine the category and I’m happy to be a part of Dial Global’s extremely smart team at the forefront of this industry.”  Prior to Albee’s work with Condé Nast, she held associate publisher positions at Style.com, and Time Inc.’s In Style Weddings and TEEN PEOPLE.  She was also part of multiple successful brand launches, including PEOPLE en Español, In Style, TEEN PEOPLE and All You.

buerkleannmarieFormer Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle to Host Show on WSYR, Syracuse.  The Clear Channel news/talk station is bringing former U.S. Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle aboard to host a one-hour Saturday program airing from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon.  The one-term rep made the announcement about her new program on the station’s Bob Lonsberry program and said it will debut on Saturday, May 25 – Memorial Day weekend.  She says given the holiday, her program will be dedicated to the nation’s military.

pagliarulojoeOdds & Sods.  Former Jacksonville Jaguars great and current Dial Global football analyst Tony Boselli moves into the radio broadcast booth for Jaguars play-by-play alongside Brian Sexton and Jeff LagemanCox Media Group’s WOKV-AM/FM serves as the flagship for Jaguars broadcasts…..It’s a busy week for talk host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo who, in addition to his daily show on home base WOAI, San Antonio, is sitting in on the AM drive show on KTRH, Houston.  Next week, Pags does double duty on WOAI filling on for Charlie Parker who’s out on medical leave…..Monday, May 20 will be a full one for ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith as he sits in with Mike Greenberg on the “Mike & Mike” AM drive show on the radio and on ESPN2.  Immediately following, Smith will take his regular turn on ESPN2’s “First Take with Skip Bayless and Cari Champion” and, to further meld the two shows that day, Bayless will join Mike & Mike at 9:30 am for a group discussion on the events of the day.  Greenberg will then join “First Take” for a segment at 10:15 am. Whew!…..Viacom’s Comedy Central inks a pact with SiriusXM to begin airing content on the satellite service under its brand.  And to kick off the launch of Comedy Central Radio, the cable channel will go dark and simulcast the audio feed of the historic launch, which goes live at 12:00 midnight ET on Sunday, May 19.  Virgin Mobile and Monster DNA headphones will sponsor the opening minute of Comedy Central Radio, which marks only the second time that the channel has gone dark in its illustrious history, the first being May 22, 1992 when it did so for the entirety of Johnny Carson’s final broadcast of “The Tonight Show.”

cookehollandThree Old Movies for New Radio Managers.  Noted radio consultant (and TALKERS columnist) Holland Cooke says, “Forget those boring management training videos!” and recommends three old flix to today’s upcoming crop of radio managers for a valuable bit of advice and inspiration.  He suggests viewing “Disclsoure” for input of sexual harassment, “Bridge on the River Kwai” for leadership training, and “Glengarry Glen Ross” for sales do’s and don’ts.  To read more, click here.

malzbergrummyDonald Rumsfeld Visits Steve Malzberg.  Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was Steve Malzberg’s guest on Wednesday (5/15) on his Newsmax Media-produced and syndicated talk show.  Rumsfeld is promoting his new book Rumsfeld’s Rules: Leadership Lessons in Business, Politics, War, and Life (Broadside Books 2013).  In addition to promoting the new book, Rumsfeld and Malzberg talked about the big issues of the day – responsibility for the Benghazi attacks, the IRS scandal and the tensions in the Middle East.  Malzberg’s program airs live from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.

whitefredIndustry Mourns Fred White.  The broadcasting industry and Major League Baseball is mourning the passing of Kansas City Royals director of broadcast services (and long-time Royals play-by-play voice) Fred White, who passed away after a battle with cancer one day after retiring from the organization.  White worked in the broadcast booth with Denny Matthews from 1973 through 1998 before he left that role to move into managing the broadcasting services.

IRS Scandal, Benghazi Attack Probe, Justice Department AP Phone Records Audit and Israel-Syria Tensions Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/15).  The scandal involving the IRS and conservative groups; the ongoing investigation into the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi; the Justice Department’s audit of AP phone records and Eric Holder’s appearance before the House Judiciary Committee; and Israel-Syria tensions were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.