Tag: "Barry Gray"

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

| September 20, 2016

FCC Commissioner O’Rielly: Future of AM Decided by ‘Demands of Listeners.’  Speaking at a luncheon of the Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers, FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly addressed the issue of AM revitalization.  He noted that the changes allowing the relocation of FM oriellymichaeltranslators is something of which a number of AM operators are taking advantage.  However, he said there’s still more work to do.  “For instance, I’d personally like to see us split off the relief for the main studio rule from the FNPRM so as to complete it before year’s end, and you are likely to hear more from me on this soon.  In addition, I am carefully considering the Commission’s proposal to reduce the protected daytime primary service contour for certain AM stations, and of course when doing so, the actual areas and levels of additional interference are of primary interest.”  But, O’Rielly also said that, in the final analysis, the “future of AM radio will be decided in the market by stations seeking to meet the demands of listeners, as it should be.  No amount of Commission action or government involvement is going to save the medium from irrelevancy if listeners and advertisers abandon stations, although I don’t see that happening in the immediate term.  From my conversations with AM radio license holders, that’s exactly how they see it too: they just want the Commission to eliminate some of the barriers to competition so they have the tools to win the hearts and minds of listeners and then let the chips fall where they may.”

Kitchin to Consult The Mix Group.  Radio exec Kraig Kitchin is entering into a consultant relationship withkitchinkraig radio imaging and production firm The Mix Group.  Kitchin is co-president of SoundMind LLC, which manages the businesses of high-profile broadcast personalities and companies.  He’s also the chairman of the National Radio Hall of Fame.  On joining The Mix Group, Kitchin says, “Once stations discover The Mix Group, there’s no turning back.  Jason [Garte] and his team of talented producers create an exceptional sound that differentiates a station from all others in the market.  The individual attention to detail for each station client is really remarkable.”

TalkersRadio Launches New International Talk Show Hosted by Award-Winning British Host Graham Mack.  The name of the show is “London Calling with Graham Mack” and it is the newest featured program exclusively heard on the TALKERS magazine experimental radio platform, TalkersRadio.  Graham Mack hosts a daily morning program on BOB-FM in London’s “Home Counties” region.  In this new program, Mack tells talkersradio-logoTALKERS, “I will present a weekly look for American listeners at what’s happening across the Atlantic – from princesses to prime ministers, from ‘Dr. Who’ to ‘Downton’ and from Beckham to Brexit – things that matter and some things that just don’t.”  The debut installment of the show features an exclusive interview with the legendary English actor, comedian, writer, and film producer – John Cleese.   According tomackgraham TalkersRadio general manager David Bernstein, “We are very excited about this fabulous new show debuting on our experimental talk radio platform.  This show is totally major league right out of the box and I expect that it will have a major impact not only here in the states but around the world as well.  Graham Mack is an outstanding broadcaster and this show sizzles with information and entertainment.”  Mack has been awarded a number of honors over the years.  They include: “Best Radio Personality” New York Festivals International Radio Awards – 2013 Bronze;  “Best Talk Show Host” New York Festivals International Radio Awards – 2012 Finalist; “Breakfast Show of the Year” Sony Radio Academy Awards – 2011 Gold; and “Best Programme Presenter” Gillard Award – 2011 Gold among others.  TalkersRadio was launched several years ago to serve as an experimental workshop to develop new types of radio talk shows as well as provide a showcase for new concepts worthy of broadcast radio consideration.  “London Calling with Graham Mack” joins current TalkersRadio programs “Healed Planet with Alan Colmes” and “Good for You Radio with Claire Carter.”  Past TalkersRadio programs have included “Vox Animali with Lori Lundin,” “American Family Farmer with Doug Stephan,” and others.  To follow the latest “London Calling with Graham Mack” show info and guests on Twitter: @GrahmMack.  Got a question about life in Britain and Europe? Send your question as an MP3 to graham@mackmedia.co.uk.  To listen to “London Calling with Graham Mack,” click here.

Odds & Sods.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Eddie Volkman – half of the highly successful, former Windy City radio duo “Eddie & Jobo” – is leaving his talk show gig with suburban WCKG-AM.  Volkman’s been doing a 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm show on the station since earlier this summer but declares he’s ready to try to get back on the air on a big Chicago signal…..“Good Morning America” host Robin Roberts is producing a podcast series based on her book, Robin Roberts: Everybody’s Got Something (Grand Central 2014).  Her production company Rock’n Robin Productions and ABC Radio are working together on the project.  Each show will be a 45-minute episode in which listeners will hear Roberts and her guests share “their incredible, real-life challenges that will inspire everyone to face their ‘somethings’ and believe in the power of resilience.”…..Westwood One News is providing live, anchored coverage of all three presidential debates and the vice presidential debate in late September and October, plus is providing live, special reports on each night the debates are held.  Coverage will be anchored by Chas Henry, with on-scene reporting by correspondents Bob Costantini, Steve Kastenbaum, Jim Roope, and Karin Caifa.  The first presidential debate is September 26 at 9:00 pm ET from Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.

NJBA President Paul Rotella Reiterates Call to Activate FM Chip in Smartphones.  Citing the importance of receiving crucial information during emergencies, New Jersey Broadcasters Association president Paul Rotella is asking senators and congressman to again urge Verizon to activate the FM chips in njba-logosmartphones that it sells.  Referencing the bombings in New York and the bombs found in New Jersey over the weekend, he writes, in part, “One year ago to the day, I wrote to you to urge the adoption of a mandate to light up the FM chip in all smartphones. The tragic events this past week in our state and in New York now make this request a matter the highest urgency, as well as a matter of national security.  For almost a century, New Jersey’s radio broadcasters have been the primary source of critical information to the public in the event ofrotellapaul disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes, tropical storms, floods, snowstorms, earthquakes, tsunamis, solar storms, terrorist violence, mass transportation accidents, and industrial or technological catastrophes.  This important role can be both before an impending event, to warn the public as we did before Hurricane Sandy, or help law enforcement through life saving AMBER Alerts, but most importantly, after a catastrophic event.  In an emergency, the role of broadcasters is even more important because they serve local communities with essential, fact-checked, reliable information, and they distribute it to all within the broadcast signal.  Today, the most common battery operated device readily available to our citizens may be a smart phone, but it is useless without cell service.  However, with an activated radio chip, a smart phone will function similar to the time-proven reliable transistor radios found in emergency kits around the globe, providing our citizens with information essential for survival.  This includes where food, water and shelter are available; where FEMA and other humanitarian assistance are located.”  Rotella is asking that bill be filed to make chip activation a reality.

The Presidential Race, Terror Attacks in NYC/NJ/Minn., Syria Civil War/U.S-Russia Tensions, Sunday’s Emmy Awards, NFL Action and MLB Playoffs Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/19).  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the investigation of the terror bombings in New York, the pipe bombs found in New Jersey and the stabbings in St. Cloud, Minnesota; the resumption of violence in Syria and the military tensions between the U.S. and Russia in the region; chatter about the political speeches at Sunday’s Emmy Awards show; the weekend’s NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

The Best Talk Station Ever: What the Radio Industry Can Learn from WMCA, Circa 1980

| August 25, 2014

By Bill Brady
Futures & Options, Inc.
President/CEO

 

bradybillwmca - oldJUPITER, FL — WMCA was the “little engine that could.”  In the 60s, it battled WABC for “top 40” supremacy in New York.  By the 70s, WMCA was “New York’s Conversation Station” and was giving legendary talk and variety station WOR a run for its money.  As a 5,000 watt station at 570, WMCA was always punching above its weight class against 50,000 watt flamethrowers WABC and WOR in the sprawling New York metropolitan area.

In 1980, WMCA had assembled a veritable All Star team of talk talent in the prime of their careers.

The irascible Bob Grant did mornings followed by Sally Jessy Raphael (9:00 am -12:00 noon), Barry Gray (12:00 noon – 2:00 pm) and Bruce Williams (2:00 pm -4:00 pm) middays, Barry Farber in afternoon drive (4:00 pm – 7:00 pm), the CBS Mystery Theatre early evenings, Candy Jones, Mets baseball and Islanders hockey at night and Larry King overnight.  Art Rust, Jr. hosted Sports Talk on weekends.

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AM Radio — What Do We Do About It?

| August 20, 2014

By Bill Brady
Futures & Options, Inc.
President/CEO

 

bradybillJUPITER, FL — No entity has suffered more from the disastrous effects of radio consolidation than AM radio.  No format has suffered more than news/talk.  The fates of both are intertwined.

News/talk isn’t just a different format, it’s a different business.  News/talk stations used to be stand-alone operations managed by broadcasters who nurtured and cared for them.  They were sold by dedicated sales teams who knew well the format’s ability to bring customers through their client’s doors.

With the dawn of consolidation, news/talk stations suddenly found themselves in big station clusters with managers who were preoccupied with their other stations.  Often, these were music station GMs without news/talk backgrounds — and they weren’t at all prepared for the cranky, petulant, expense-laden news/talk AMs they were suddenly forced to deal with.

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Industry Mourns Talk Pioneer Bob Grant

| January 2, 2014

NEW YORK — Bob Grant, who ranked eleventh in TALKERS magazine’s 20th anniversary Heaviest Hundred (published in 2010), which lists “the 100 most important radio talk show hosts of all time,” died on December 31 at  84 years old after a brief illness.

grantbobGrant, whose signature opening line in New York radio was “Let’s be heard!,” drove his rollercoaster career through numerous stations in New York City where listeners followed some of the more racially-charged issues in town.

Brash and confident for a guy who stood 5-foot seven, Grant was described by TALKERS in the July/August 2010 issue as an “infamous watchdog of public figures, 40-plus years in New York radio.”

Upon learning of Grant’s death, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison stated, “He was a founding father of modern talk radio whose influence on broadcasting technique, style and societal role go way beyond the boundaries of conservative broadcasting.”

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

| August 9, 2012

Pioneering Radio Owner Peter Straus Dies at 89.  His Straus Communications owned WMCA, New York when it was a part of the golden age of rock ‘n’ roll radio and after it became a talk radio outlet in 1970 until the time it was sold in 1986.  From a talk radio perspective Straus’ WMCA employed legendary talk hosts including Barry Gray, Barry Farber, Bob Grant and Bruce Williams.  The station is now owned by Salem Communications and broadcasts a Christian format.  Salem Radio Network vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup tells TALKERS he has fond memories of working for Straus as executive producer of the talk shows in the early 1980s.  “I worked with Peter at a time when WMCA was a petri dish of talk radio creativity.  Legendary hosts like Barry Gray, Bob Grant, Bruce Williams and Barry Farber were all local hosts on WMCA…and our 5,000-watt station (albeit in the middle of Midtown Manhattan!) was the home of every important New York politician including NYC mayor Ed Koch, New York Lt. Governor (and later Governor) Mario Cuomo, New York city clerk (and future mayor) David Dinkins and many more.  The hallways of WMCA were always full, and it was a rare day one didn’t run into a guest like Marlon Brando or Woody Allen or Tony Randall or Robert Vaughn.”  Tradup says the station was “vibrant but challenged” during his time there as it battled WOR and WABC but Straus was “one in a million.  Peter instituted a ‘first radio in New York’ policy, meaning if an author appeared on another NYC station before WMCA, we wouldn’t book him.  And son of a gun, we started getting all the big authors first because publishers knew he meant it.  This taught me a lesson I’ve never forgotten: If you act as if your radio station is #1, people will treat you like #1.  Peter was a winner, an exceptional leader, and the talk radio industry owes him respect and gratitude.”

Howard Stern Appeals Suit Dismissal in Beef with SiriusXM.  Talk radio legend Howard Stern and agent Don Buchwald are not going to let one dismissal get in the way of their goal of getting some $300 million in stock bonuses they say is due them as the result of the satcaster’s success.  According to the New York Daily News, Stern and Buchwald – through Stern’s 112 Inc. production company – filed suit in the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division.  The Daily News reports the suit hasn’t even been processed yet so the documents aren’t available but we have a pretty good idea what Stern is claiming: That he is owed the $300 million in stock bonuses because his program is responsible for a large degree of SiriusXM’s success, even the success that came after the merger of Sirius and XM.  In April of this year though, New York Supreme Court Justice Barbara Kapnick disagreed with Stern’s logic and dismissed the case ruling the language in Stern’s contract is “clear” and “unambiguous.”  In other words, he’s gotten everything the contract promised him.

Howard Eskin Returns to TV Sports Anchor Role.  Longtime WIP, Philadelphia sports talk personality Howard Eskin goes back to the little screen as sports anchor at WTXF-TV Fox 29 in Philadelphia.  The station says Eskin helped launch its 10:00 pm news back in 1986 and now he’ll be behind the sports desk for the Fox News 29 at 5:00 pm, 6:00 pm and 10:00 pm newscasts as well as “Fox 29 Sports Sunday,” “Game Time Live,” and he’ll contribute to “Good Day Philadelphia.”  After leaving his full-time talk show position at WIP, Eskin continued to work with the station as part of the Eagles pre- and post-game shows and as a sideline reporter.  Eskin will remain with WIP to host programs, the Eagles pre-game show and handle sideline reporting for the station.

Shara Fryer Added to KTRH, Houston AM Drive Show.  Longtime Houston market television news personality Shara Fryer will join Matt Patrick as co-host of KTRH’s “Houston’s Morning News.”  Fryer is currently director of the World Affairs Council of Houston but served as co-anchor of KTRK-TV, Houston’s 6:00 pm and 10:00 pm evening newscasts for more than 25 years.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s Houston president and market manager Eddie Martiny says, “Over 25 years of major-market broadcast excellence combined with her commitment to numerous charities in Houston make Shara the perfect choice for mornings on KTRH.”  Fryer says, “I’m excited by the energy and raw spirit of radio.  It’s a brand new world for me…There’s a spark with Matt and the entire KTRH team that I hope listeners will feel and join us weekday mornings.”  She begins her new duties on September 4.

Al Gore to Anchor Current TV’s Convention Coverage.  Former Vice President Al Gore – founder of the cable news/talk channel Current TV taps himself to anchor the channel’s coverage of the two political conventions.  Current TV states, “Gore will be joined by former Michigan governor and ‘The War Room’ host, Jennifer Granholm, former New York governor and ‘Viewpoint’ host, Eliot Spitzer and ‘The Young Turks’ host, Cenk Uygur.  Additionally, California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom will join the panel for the RNC coverage.”  Current TV hosts Joy Behar and John Fugelsang will also assist in the coverage of the RNC beginning August 27 and the DNC beginning September 4.  In a statement, Gore says, “I’m pleased to be participating in Current TV’s impressive lineup throughout the Republican and Democratic National Conventions.  Cenk, Jennifer and Eliot provide the keen insight and spot-on analysis our viewers have come to expect, combined with decades of experience in public service and a deep understanding of politics.  I have no doubt that our coverage will be innovative and informative, and I look forward to working with them.”

Olympian Brings Home the Gold.  Bethesda, Maryland teen Katie Ledecky (pictured here with WTOP, Washington program director Laurie Cantillo) stopped by WTOP to talk with the news organization about her experiences at the London Olympics.  The gold-medal-winning 15-year-old won the 800-meter freestyle and spoke with WTOP anchors Shawn Anderson and John Aaron about the games and answered her critics who predicted she swam too fast in the beginning of the race and would tire before the end.  Obviously, she didn’t.

Odds & Sods.  SiriusXM’s Opie & Anthony bring their program to Chicago for a live remote broadcast tomorrow from the 115 Bourbon Street Bar in suburban Merrionette Park.  The special afternoon edition of the program kicks off at 3:00 pm CT…..CBS Radio names Laura Gonzalez local sales manager for sports talk WJFK, Washington, DC…..Cumulus Media splits off the AM side of sports simulcast WLQR, Toledo to go talk using all Cumulus Media Networks programs: Imus, Geraldo, Mike Huckabee, Mark Levin, John Batchelor and “Red Eye Radio”…..Clear Channel’s sports WPOP, Hartford will carry Central Connecticut State football and basketball play-by-play for the next four seasons…..Attorney Eddie Gadrix begins hosting a Monday hour-long program focused on senior issues on WVNJ, Washington Township, New Jersey (Philadelphia market) on Monday mornings at 9:00.  Gadrix has been hosting the “Divorce & Custody Show” on Fridays at 9:00 am on the station and continues that program…..Talk host Matt Bruce fills in on the AM drive show on the simulcast of WWJB, Brooksville and WXJB, Homosassa Springs, Florida today through August 14.

A Sign of the Times.  WRKO, Boston talk host Barry Armstrong – Boston-area financial advisor and host of the daily “The Financial Exchange” program – is pictured here during one of the presentations that was part of the two-day financial seminar event on the economy, social security and estate planning.  More than 1,000 people attended the seminars that were only promoted on Armstrong’s show on WRKO.  Many listeners decided to also get an inside look into the production of Armstrong’s program as he conducted the entire program in front of a live audience.

Presidential Campaign Ads, Neo-Nazi Hate Groups, London Olympics, Mars ‘Curiosity’ Mission and Randy Travis Arrest Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/8).  The state of the presidential campaign ads in the 2012 election; neo-Nazi groups and the aftermath of the Wisconsin Sikh temple shootings; the London Olympics; the ‘Curiosity’ mission on Mars; and the arrest of country star Randy Travis were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.