Tag: "Bill Press"

Monday, January 30, 2017

| January 30, 2017

Entercom Announces Launch of Content Innovation Group.  This new division is part of the company’s “commitment to delivering the best curated music, news, talk and sports content in the markets it serves.  This new group will focus on providing listeners with a deeper, richer experience both on and off air via exclusively developed digital and social content and national syndication of locally curated content.”  Entercom president of programming Pat Paxton adds, “The launch of this new team underscores our continued commitment to investing in best-in-class content and syndication tools and delivering the top-notch listener experience that our fans across the country have come to expect.”  The Content Innovation Group will be led by managing editor Kyle McCann.  He’ll report to Liana Huth, vice president of programming innovation.  McCann was most recently with Townsquare Media in New Jersey leading content development.  McCann’s team will consist of three content managers: Lauren Hoffman, previously a country music blogger and an entertainment reporter for The Journal magazine in New Jersey; Joe Hyer, formerly a member of Townsquare Media’s digital content team responsible for development of format-specific content for Townsquare markets across the country; and Maura O’Malley, former senior content editor and social media community manager for Main Street Hub in Austin, Texas.  The group will be spearheaded by Paxton.  Liana Huth says, “With the creation of this new team, we will be focused on pushing out exclusive and original new content, as well as  pulling compelling and engaging local content to enhance the local listener experience.  This is a strategic effort to leverage the great content that is created at the local level in each of our 28 markets across the country and maximize our broadcast, digital and social media platforms to provide a comprehensive and engaging experience for our listeners.”

Progressive Talk Personality to Buy Milwaukee Signal WRRD.  Striking a deal with Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma Brands, progressive talk host Michael Crute – one half of the Madison-based show “Devil’s Advocate Radio” with partner Dominic Salvia – is buying WRRD-AM, Waukesha, Wisconsin.  The details of the deal are not being disclosed yet.  The progressive talk radio show “Devil’s Advocate Radio” aired on iHeartMedia’s WXXM-FM, Madison for years before leaving the station last fall.  Now, the show is being syndicated by WYM Media Management and airs on 16 affiliate stations.  Crute says in a statement, “This is not simply a business deal.  My mission is to offer Milwaukee and Wisconsin a new voice and change our political dialogue.  Our state and our nation need more fact-based political conversations, more speaking truth to power, more inclusive voices, and less partisan rhetoric.  Wisconsin needs a dynamic, commercial alternative to the right and far-right voices that peddle propaganda and alternative facts.”  WRRD-AM is airing Spanish sports talk.  Crute will begin operating the station on Wednesday (2/1).  The programming will include “Devil’s Advocate Radio” starting at 2:00 pm.  The 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm hours will be the nationally syndicated portion of the show with a replay of the Wisconsin show from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Other shows to air on the station will be the WYM Media-syndicated Stephanie Miller, WYD Media-syndicated Thom Hartmann, the Bill Press show, and “Free Talk Live” with Ian Freeman and Mark Edge.  Milwaukee talk host Earl Ingram will host a Saturday afternoon program.

KABC, Los Angeles Celebrates Golden Mike Awards.   The news team at Cumulus Media’s news/talk KABC, Los Angeles poses for a pic at the Universal Hilton in Universal City, California on Saturday at the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California’s 67th Annual Golden Mike Awards Dinner.  KABC was honored with three Golden Mike Awards – one for “Best Newscast Writing” for “The 8 AM News on KABC”; Westwood One reporter Jim Roope won for excellence in reporting in the “Best News Reporting by a Radio Network or Content Syndicator” category (Roope provides news reports for KABC); and sportscaster Randy Wang was honored with a Golden Mike for “Best Sports Segment” that airs on the “McIntyre in the Morning” program.  Pictured above (from l-r) are: Bill Thomas, John Wolf, Dave Alpert, Doug McIntrye, Jeff Whittle (kneeling), Randy Wang, Sandy Wells (kneeling), news director Nathan Baker, and operations director Drew Hayes.

51 YEAR OLD CASE:  Manhattan DA Launching Probe into the Mysterious Death of Legendary WOR Radio Host.  According to a story by Susan Edelman reported in yesterday’s (1/29) edition of the New York Post, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office is looking into the mysterious death 51 years ago of newspaper writer, WOR radio talk show host and “What’s My Line?” star Dorothy Kilgallen, who was investigating the John F. Kennedy assassination.  The stunning development comes after a new book, The Reporter Who Knew Too Much (Post Hill Press/Simon and Schuster, 2016) written by attorney, former radio talk show host and investigative reporter Mark Shaw, provides evidence that Kilgallen was murdered to shut down her relentless pursuit of a Mafia don, Carlos Marcello, linked to JFK and Lee Harvey Oswald.  The newspaper reports Joan Vollero, a spokeswoman for DA Cyrus Vance Jr, confirmed that a staffer has read the book and reviewed a letter from author Mark Shaw citing new leads, medical evidence, and witnesses overlooked when Kilgallen, 52, died suddenly on Nov. 8, 1965 at the peak of her career.  “I’m hopeful DA investigators will probe any records available and interview witnesses still alive today who can shed light on what happened to this remarkable woman,” Shaw told The Post. “Victims have rights whether their name is Dorothy Kilgallen or Dorothy Doe, and Kilgallen was denied justice in 1965.  That’s why I’m fighting for her.”  Obviously, if Shaw’s findings are true, this information holds what could be the key to important new insights and understanding of who was really behind the murder of the president – a nagging question that has lingered for a half-century in the minds of a growing number of Americans.  Kilgallen – one of the most influential media figures of the mid-20th century – is famous for her powerful syndicated newspaper column and long-running stint as a regular panelist on the popular TV game show, was also a significant force in radio, hosting a live morning talk show with her husband, actor/producer Richard Kollmer from 1945 to 1963. The show, titled, “Breakfast with Dorothy and Dick,” emanated live each day from the couple’s posh NYC apartment.  Mark Shaw’s first major interview upon the release of this book was on the PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” posted back on 11/15/16.  To hear it in its entirety please click here. His first major terrestrial radio interview, also conducted by Harrison, took place on WRKO, Boston a few days before the anniversary of JFK’s assassination.  Harrison says, “It is amazing how few people in today’s media know just how important Dorothy Kilgallen was to our understanding of the First Amendment – let alone her role as a broadcasting and print pioneer for women in the business.  This is especially true today as First Amendment issues are the dominant thread running through so many of the current news stories with which we are regularly bombarded.  If Kilgallen was snuffed out for ‘knowing and telling too much’ that is something we should all know as if it happened last week.”  To read the New York Post story, please click here.

WOR, New York’s Len Berman and Todd Schnitt Celebrate Second Anniversary.  Pictured here is the staff of WOR, New York’s “Len Berman and Todd Schnitt in the Morning” program on the occasion of the program’s second anniversary.  Pictured are (from l-r):  Natalie Vacca, executive producer; Scott Lakefield, WOR assistant program director; Ray Martel, associate producer; Joe Bartlett, morning drive news anchor; Len Berman; Todd Schnitt; Terry Trahim, news editor; Alice Stockton-Rossini, street reporter; Tom Cuddy, WOR program director; and Skipper Presson, morning drive board operator.

Trump Travel Ban/Airport Protests, U.S. Raid on al Qaeda in Yemen, Deadly Quebec City Mosque Attack, Sunday Night’s SAG Awards, and Actor John Hurt Dead at 77 Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily banning travel from seven predominantly Muslim nations and the ensuing protests at major U.S. airports; the raid on al Qaeda operations in Yemen that claimed the life of one U.S. SEAL member; the deaths of six people after an attack at a mosque in Quebec City; Sunday evening’s Screen Actors Guild awards and the politically charged speeches; and the death of legendary actor John Hurt at age 77 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes.  It’s a change for University of Texas radio play-by-play personality Craig Way as he leaves iHeartMedia’s sports talk KVET-AM, Austin where he was afternoon drive host to join crosstown Genuine Austin Radio’s KTXX-FM “104.9 The Horn” for sports director duties…..Brent Musberger is leaving his role with ESPN but he’s not retiring.  One project he’s involved with is a new channel on SiriusXM in conjunction with Vegas Stats & Information Network or VSiN.  The channel will be headlined by Brent Musburger and Al Bernstein, who will each host shows dedicated to providing exclusive and proprietary news, analysis and data to fans…..CBS RADIO Pittsburgh’s “Giant Eagle Kid-a-palooza” returns this Saturday (2/4) at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh.  The promotion features exciting entertainment and adventures for the whole family.  It will also include the KDKA Health Fair, presented by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallInnovative Talk Content Creator Lee Habeeb Guests on This Week’s Harrison Podcast.  In an era when radio programmers and content providers are often accused of doing the “same old same old,” Lee Habeeb is doing something quite innovative.  He produces and hosts an ambitiously written, researched and designed, nightly two-hour syndicated show that draws upon one of the most basic processes found in successful communications – story telling!  The program titled, “Our American Stories,” is reaching its one-year anniversary and is nowhabeeblee heard on 25 terrestrial stations across the nation with more about to be cleared on its independent Our American Network (www.ouramericannetwork.org).  Habeeb describes the project as “an innovation in the audio sphere. No politics, no opinions, just stories.  We tell a story and the audience tells us their stories — LIVE, with raw emotional power.”  The stories run the gamut of American history and present-day popular culture focusing on the most fascinating people from politics, the military, industry, science and the arts.  Habeeb himself is an extremely interesting individual.  An Arab-American of Lebanese descent and a 1991 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, he was the executive producer of his law school buddy Laura Ingraham’s original Westwood One syndicated show back in 2001. Since 2007, he has maintained an executive position at Salem Radio Network as director of strategic content. He has written columns for USA TodayThe Washington Examiner and the National Review, and is a columnist for Townhall.com.  Habeeb joins Michael Harrison as this week’s guest on PodcastOne’s award-winning series “Up Close and Far Out.”  Harrison and Habeeb talk about a variety of topics ranging from his perspective on being a Christian American with Middle Eastern roots to his insights on Laura Ingraham’s brief flirtation with becoming Donald Trump’s presidential press secretary… and of, course, the state of talk radio.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  The WMMS, Cleveland-based “Rover’s Morning Glory” show is now airing on iHeartMedia’s WZZR, West Palm Beach “Real Radio 94.3, Real Talk for the Palm Beaches,” and WCZR, Vero Beach “Real Radio 101.7.”  Shane “Rover” French says, “The Palm Beaches are home to Rush Limbaugh and Mar-a-Lago, high-end shopping on Worth Avenue and now ‘Rover’s Morning Glory’ – we can’t wait to get involved with the community and its listeners.  We’re thrilled and humbled to be on Real Radio, a radio station brand with a long history of great, entertaining talk shows.”…..Westwood One partnered with Big Machine Label Group and sponsor Advance Auto Parts for a multi-pronged promotional campaign for Brantley Gilbert’s new album, The Devil Don’t Sleep.  The album was released on Friday (1/27) and Gilbert appeared across all 82 of Cumulus Media’s country stations for the “Advance Auto Party!” album launch that aired from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm in all U.S. time zones.  At left is the ad that appeared on Facebook on Friday…..R Dub!, creator, host and producer of the syndicated weekend radio show “Sunday Night Slow Jams” is partnering with non-profit Water 4 Kids International to launch a global charitable initiative called “Slow Jams 4 Kids,” with the goal of raising $10,500 to provide a village in Africa with a water well and clean water.  R Dub! was inspired to take action after his first trip to Africa in December.

iHeart80s Party Rocks SAP Center in San Jose.  Pictured above are the members of the New Kids on the Block with original MTV VJ Martha Quinn, emcee of Saturday’s second annual iHeart80s Party at the SAP Center in San Jose.  In addition to NKOTB, other performers from Saturday’s event included: UB40, Colin Hay of Men At Work, Rick Astley, Starship, Eddie Money, and Night Ranger.  The iHeart80s Party broadcasted live on iHeartMedia AC, hot AC and adult hits radio stations nationwide.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Jordan Knight, Donnie Wahlberg, Danny Wood, Quinn, Joey McIntyre and Jonathan Knight.

Legendary New York DJ Herb Oscar Anderson Dies.  New York media pro David Hinckley writes in The Huffington Post about the passing of Big Apple radio legend Herb Oscar Anderson, who died on Saturday in Bennington, Vermont.  As Hinckley writes, Anderson was a radio performer who cut his teeth in the big band era but transitioned to rock ‘n’ roll radio.  He worked at WABC during the late 1950s and 1960s – leaving in 1968.  He was known for singing “Hello Again” to his audience as his show intro.  He most recently hosted a standards show on WOSC, Vero Beach, Florida.  Read Hinckley’s piece here.

San Diego Radio Legend Jack Vincent Dies at 99.  Radio’s Best Friend – Art Vuolo – informs TALKERS that Jack Vincent – a personality on KCBQ, San Diego during the 1950s and 1960s.  Vincent had reportedly been in hospice care since last summer.  He was 99 when he died on Sunday morning (1/29).

 

 

Round Four of Holiday PPM Ratings Released. The final round of Holiday 2016 PPM ratings information from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2016 survey period covered December 1, 2016 – January 4, 2017.  View all the (6+) numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin – Not only has Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ nearly tripled its 6+-share over the course of five straight up or flat trends (4.3 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 12.6, 6+), “Majic 95.5” progresses from third to first. Moreover, with the 12.6 in “Holiday” 2016, KKMJ shatters its own mark for Austin’s highest-ever 6+ PPM stat – previously 11.4. Ousted from the top spot it held in November and December, Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob” (9.6 – 7.7, -.9, 6+) drops to second-place. KBPA had been #1 each month in calendar year 2016, before seguing to second in October. By gaining four-tenths in June, “Bob” halted three successive downward trends that produced a combined -1.3 (9.4 – 9.1 – 8.6 – 8.1, 6+). “Bob” regressed by -.5 in July; rebounded with a +1.1 in August; and declined -.8 in September. Picking up six-tenths each are Capitol Broadcast Association classical KMFA “89.5 Classically Austin” (.8 – 1.4, #21, 6+) and University of Texas at Austin triple A KUTX “The Austin Music Experience” Conversely, “Austin Music Experience” sibling KUT plummets by a combined -2.6 in December and “Holiday” (9.0 – 7.4 – 6.4, 6+). It falls from the runner-up slot it occupied the previous five ratings periods before advancing from third in October to first. Significant month-to-month swings are common for KUT, which was +1.2 (December 2015); -.1.0 (April 2016); +.7 (July); +1.3 (August); -.9 (September); +1.3 (October); -1.6 (December); and now -1.0 in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to August, the last time KUT crossed the eight-share barrier (6+) was February 2011 when it reached 8.5. The market’s country share drops by a cumulative two shares, with iHeartMedia siblings KASE “101 FM – Austin’s #1 For New Country” (4.9 – 3.9, -1.0, sixth to ninth, 6+) and KVET-FM “98.1 All Time Country Favorites” (6.2 – 5.4, -.8, unchanged at #4, 6+) absorbing the majority of the decrease. Flat at #18, Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE “Austin’s Country Alternative” drops two-tenths (2.1 – 1.9, 6+).

2) Milwaukee – Approximately 11 months ago, Milwaukee Radio Alliance hot AC WLDB began transitioning back to its previous adult contemporary format; this holiday season, “B-93.3 The 80s to Today” began playing all-Christmas music earlier than in the past. In its fourth straight progressive trend (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 8.3, 6+), WLDB chalks up a +3.8 and rockets from tenth to second. Ahead of “B-93.3” by nearly three full-shares and on top for the 21st successive time is iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits.” Recent fluctuations for “Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” include +1.7 (October 2015); -.7 (November 2015); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2015); -5.7 (January 2016); +1.3 (February); +1.1 (April); -.6 (May); -1.1 (August); -.6 (September) +1.2 (November); -.5 (December); and now +2.1 in “Holiday” 2016 (9.1 – 11.2, 6+). WRIT posts its strongest 6+-share in exactly one year (14.4, “Holiday” 2015). Entering the December sweep, Saga Communications’ WHQG “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks” was without a loss the previous four ratings periods for a collective +1.4 (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 6.0, 6+). It then sputtered by eight-tenths but now bounces back with a +.5 (6.0 – 5.2- 5.7, 6+), climbing from eighth to fifth. Following back-to-back showings of +.7 in November and December (2.3 – 3.0 – 3.7, 6+), Scripps Broadcasting‘s WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” falters by eight-tenths to 2.9 (6+), but remains at #13. The five latest trends for “94.5 KTI Country” have been -.6 (September); -.5 (October); +.7 (November); +.7 (December) and “Holiday” 2016’s -.8. Prior to September’s -.6, “KTI Country” had been positive or flat the previous four sweeps (2.6 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+); 3.7 in December 2016 was the strongest 6+-showing for WKTI since 4.0 in December 2014. Down one-half share in December, its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” – regresses by eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2016 as well and departs the top ten (#9 to #12). As was the case in December, this is the closest WKTI has been to WMIL since WKTI transitioned to country from adult hits WLWK “The Lake” in late-May 2014. In four straight down or flat trends, “FM 106.1” is a combined -1.6 (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 4.3, 6+). Locked on 5.9 (6+) in October and November, WMYX “99.1 The Mix” gained two tenths in December but the Entercom hot AC stumbles by -1.2 (6.1 – 4.9, 6+) and slides from fourth to seventh. In addition to declining by -1.1 to halt three straight sweeps without a decrease (4.9 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), co-owned CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” leaves the top ten (#6 to #11). A combined -1.2 between September and November (3.9 – 3.1 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WRNW improved by one-half share in December but surrenders that entire margin (2.7 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+); “97.3 Now – Milwaukee’s #1 For All The Hits” carries on at #14. Also in that iHM cluster, talk WISN (5.5 – 4.6, sixth to ninth, 6+) and urban contemporary WKKX “V-100.7 Jams” (second to fifth, 6+) slip by nine-tenths and six-tenths, respectively. “V-100.7” is down one full share in three straight downward trends (6.7 – 6.6 – 6.3 – 5.7, 6+). After advancing by one-half share to 6.3 for its best 6+-stat since 6.5 in the “Holiday” 2015 report, Saga Communications’ WKLH “96.5 – Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” returns all of it and is back at 5.8 (third to fourth, 6+).

3) Indianapolis – While Bonneville Salt Lake City adult contemporary KSFI boasts the highest “Holiday” 2016 6+-share of any station in the 48-PPM markets (20.6), Emmis’ similarly-programmed WYXB “Soft Rock B-105.7” claims top honors for greatest December 2016 – “Holiday” 2016 (6+) increase (8.3 – 17.7, +9.4, 6+) and repeats at #1. It improved in three straight sweeps (August-September-October) for a cumulative +1.1 (6.4 – 6.6 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+) before declining by one-half share in November – “B-105.7” is in double-digits (6+) for the first time in exactly one year (15.4, 6+, “Holiday” 2015). Within three-share range the past seven survey periods, Radio One CHR WNOW “Now 100.9” busts out a +1.6 to 5.0 to leap into the top ten (#12 to #6). After six successive positive trends for a collective +1.7 (5.3 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 6.0 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 7.0, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” is off by -1.1 to 5.9 (6+, fourth to fifth, 6+). December’s 7.0 was the highest 6+share for WFMS in more than three years (7.6, 6+, November 2013). Posting a +1.3 in November, WNOW gospel cluster-mate WTLC-AM “1310 The Light” follows with a combined -1.9 in December and “Holiday” (2.6 – 1.8 – .7, 6+), slipping from #14 (December) to #19 (“Holiday”). December’s -.8 ended its string of five straight sweeps without a loss that netted two full-shares (6.- .7 – .7 – .9 – 1.3 – 2.6, 6+). The previous sweep, “The Light” doubled October’s 1.3 and nearly tripled September’s .9. In addition to WFMS and WTLC-AM, also deflating by -1.1 are WNOW’s CHR rival – Entercom’s WZPL (7.3 – 6.2, third to fourth, 6+). The string of consecutive up or flat trend gains that netted Cumulus Media’s WJJK a combined +.7 (7.1 – 7.4 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+) ends at four as “Classic Hits 104.5” collapses by twice that increase (7.8 – 6.4, -1.4, 6+), moving from second to third. A December drop of two-tenths by Emmis’ country WLHK “97.1 Hank” concluded three straight sweeps without a decline for a combined +.6 (4.7 – 4.7 – – 5.2 – 5.3, 6+). Off by one full-share (5.1 – 4.1, 6+), “Hank” dips from seventh back to eighth. When it added one-tenth in October, “Hank” ended four successive down or flat sweeps for a combined May through September -1.6 (6.3 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 4.7, 6+). Within 5.4 – 5.7 range (6+) the past five sweeps, iHeartMedia’s WFBQ “Q-95 Indy’s Classic Rock” sputters by nine-tenths to 4.6 (sixth to seventh, 6+). Owing to three straight June through September increases, co-owned WOLT was a combined +1.2 (4.4 – 4.5 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+). “Alt 103.3 Indy’s Alternative,” however, relinquished three-quarters of that gain in October (-.9); answered with a +.8 in November; -1.1 in December; and is -.8 in “Holiday” (5.6 – 4.7 – 5.5 – 4.4 – 3.6, 6+). “Alt 103.3” departs the top ten (#8 to #12). This is the tenth straight time that Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting’s WFYI (2.8 – 2.1, -.7, #13 to #14, 6+) is in 2.1 – 2.8 range (6+). Down one-half share (4.2 – 3.7, 6+) and slipping from ninth to tenth, Entercom hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix” – Better Variety for a Better Workday” concludes its consecutive string of registering a 6+-share between 4.0 – 4.9 at 20.

4) Providence – A collective +8.5 in December and “Holiday” (9.5 – 10.6 – 18.0, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” is #1 for the fifteenth successive ratings period. “Lite Rock 105” registered three straight progressive trends (July – August – September) netting one-half share (9.4 – 9.6 – 9.7 – 9.9, 6+) and was a cumulative -.4 in October and November (9.9 – 9.8 – 9.5, 6+). At this time last year, WWLI was #1 as well with an 18.6 (6+, “Holiday” 2015). Trending 4.1 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 5.0 (September-October-November-December, 6+) talk sibling WPRO-AM spirals by -1.6 to 3.4, moving from sixth to seventh. CHR cluster-mate WPRO-FM “Today’s Hit Music 92 PRO FM” flounders by one full-share (8.7 – 7.7, 6+) and is caught in the runner-up position by iHeartMedia’s WHJY “94-HJY Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” (8.3 – 7.7, -.6, 6+). In December, “Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” returned more than half of the eight-tenths it gained in November (8.8 – 8.3, -.5, 6+). Off by eight-tenths each are WHJY’s hot AC and classic hits-oldies siblings WSNE “Coast 93.3” (5.4 – 4.6, flat at #5, 6+) and WWBB “B-101,” which has its fourth straight decline for a net loss of -1.4 (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 3.9, 6+) yet bumps up from seventh to sixth. Unchanged at #4, Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” falters by seven-tenths (7.3 – 6.6, 6+), while Cumulus Media rhythmic CHR WWKX “Hot 106” registers its third consecutive sweep without an increase (3.0 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.0, 6+) but remains at #9.

5) Raleigh – Fourteen (14) recent (6+) fluctuations for WRAL “Mix 101.5” include +.5 November 2015; +.6 December 2015; +5.7 Holiday 2015; -7.2 January 2016; +.6 February; +.6 March; -.6 April; +.5 May; +.5 July; +.9 September; +1.0 October; -.5 in November 2016; +.9 December; and now a +5.2 in “Holiday” 2016. The Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary repeats at #1 (8.0 – 13.2, 6+) and enjoys its finest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2015’s 14.3. In an October 2015 – December 2016 timeframe, “Mix 101.5” has been in sole possession of first-place eight times and shared top honors three times. Not only does Radio One gospel WNNL climb from sixth to fourth, “103.9 The Light” extends its successive string of up or flat trends to seven (3.8 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 6.1 – 6.6, 6+) for a cumulative +2.8. Stuck on 5.7 (6+) in November and December, iHeartMedia talker WTKK sinks by -1.3 to 4.4, dipping from seventh to eighth. Falling from fourth to sixth (6.0, -1.1, 6+), Curtis Media Group’s WQDR “94.7 Today’s Best Country” sees its streak of consecutive progressive trends – which netted a +1.5 – end at five (5.6 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 7.1, 6+). Registering a 7.7 (6+) in three of the last four sweeps and in 7.6 – 7.8 range the past six monthlies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s WUNC (#2 to #3) deflates by nine-tenths (7.7 – 6.8, 6+). Off by one-half share each are iHeartMedia’s WRDU “Classic Rock 100.7” (4.9 – 4.4, ninth to eighth, 6+) and Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WPTK “Just Right Radio” (1.1 – .6, flat at #19, 6+).

6) Norfolk – There is genuinely major news in this Virginia market and it happens within the Entercom cluster as adult contemporary WWDE “101.3 2WD” logs a massive +7.1 (6.3 – 14.4, 6+) to storm from third to first. That means “2WD” unseats urban AC sibling WVKL (12.3 – 11.0, -1.3, first to second, 6), which had been in the driver’s seat the past 55 ratings periods. Even so, “Smooth R&B From Yesterday & Today” is in 11.0 – 12.7-share range for the eighth time in the last nine sweeps. The last time WVKL was not in double-digits (6+) was when it registered a 9.8 in January 2014. As for “2WD,” it gained a collective one-half share in back-to-back sweeps (4.8 – 5.2 – 5.3, August – September – October, 6+) before slumping by eight-tenths in November to 4.5, its lowest 6+-share since June 2015’s 4.4. By way of comparison, WWDE was in second-place in “Holiday” 2015 with an 11.8 (6+). Having notched three straight downward trends resulting in a loss of eight-tenths (2.7 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.9, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV “MOViN 107.7” rebounds with a combined +5.5 in December and “Holiday” (1.9 – 4.0 – 7.4, 6+), jumping from seventh (in December) to third. Regressing by one full-share each are urban contemporary cluster-mate WOWI “103 Jamz” (7.1 – 6.1, 6+) and Entercom rhythmic CHR WNVZ “Z-104 All The Hits” (3.2, fifth to seventh, 6+). Segueing to fourth, “Jamz” had occupied the runner-up slot the past twelve sweeps; it was -.9 in December. Following a +.6 in August and a -.7 in September, “Jamz 103” answered with a 1.1 in October (6.7 – 7.3 – 6.6 – 7.7, 6+). In four-share range (6+) for the 13th straight time, “Z-104” has May through December (6+) trends of 4.2 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.2. This marks the sixth consecutive sweep that Max Broadcast Group Norfolk stations are no longer Nielsen Audio subscribers. With data cited from the June 2016 ratings period, they are classic hits-oldies WVBW (#3, 6.0); country WGH-FM (5.0, #7); CHR WVHT (#9, 3.8); sports WVSP (#12, 2.3); and gospel WGH-AM (#15, 1.9).

7) Nashville – Powered by an improvement of four full-shares (9.1 – 13.1, 6+), Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9” returns to double-digits for the first time since February 2016’s 10.2 (6+) and is #1 for the 59th consecutive ratings period. This is the best (6+) performance for “Mix” since its 15.6 in “Holiday” 2015. A +.2 back in August stymied seven straight downward trends that yielded a net loss since the “Holiday” 2015 report of -7.4 (15.6 – 10.7 – 10.2 – 9.7 – 9.6 – 9.1 – 8.3 – 8.2, 6+). When WUBT “101.1 The Beat” lost one full-share in December to 4.9 (6+), it not only broke an August to November pattern of 6.1 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 5.9 (6+), it sent the iHeartMedia urban contemporary to below a five-share (6+) for the first time since July 2013 (4.8). By bouncing back and recapturing that one-share in its entirety though, “The Beat” jumps from tenth to third (4.9 – 5.9, 6+). Stuck on 1.0 (6+) in four of the last six sweeps and on .9 (6+) in the other two, Cromwell Group’s WPRT “ESPN Nashville 102.5 The Game” adds one-half share (1.0 – 1.5, 6+) to inch up from #19 to #17. When Cumulus Media’s similarly-programmed WGFX “104.5 The Zone” lost two-tenths in November, it ended a string of three consecutive improvements which resulted in a +4.1 since July (3.7 – 4.0 – 5.4 – 7.8, 6+). Now in back-to-back monthlies, the Tennessee Titans flagship is a combined -1.7 (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9, 6+) but remains in third-place. Albeit off by one full share, iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” (7.2 – 6.2, 6+) repeats in the runner-up slot. It trailed “Mix” by 1.9 shares (6+) in December but “Mix” has widened the gap to 6.9 shares. After a string of three consecutive progressive trends that produced a combined +.8 (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+), sibling WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” surrenders that eight-tenths completely and is back at 5.2 (6+, fifth to seventh). Sputtering by seven-tenths each are country cluster-mate WSM-FM “Nash Icon” (5.5 – 5.0, seventh to eighth, 6+) and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU “Positive and Encouraging K-LOVE” (2.6 – 1.9, #15 to #16, 6+). Without a decrease in the past five sweeps for a cumulative +.9 (5.2 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 6.1 – 6.1, 6+), Cumulus Media urban AC WQQK “92-Q” (fourth to fifth) is down by one-half share to 5.6 (6+). Two talkers – Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN (flat at #11, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WLAC (1.2, #17 to #19, 6+) – decrease by one-half share as well, with WPLN returning December’s +.5 (4.2 – 4.7 – 4.2, 6+). WLAC had been up the past three ratings periods (.8 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+) for a combined +.9.

8) Greensboro – On the strength of its third straight gain, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG marches from second to first and matches the 15.2 (6+) it logged exactly one year ago (“Holiday” 2015). Its last 11 (6+) fluctuations are -.9 (March); +.5 (April); +.9 (May); -.3 (June); -.7 (July); -.5 (August); +.7 (September); -.6 (October); +.4 (November), +2.4 (December) and now this robust +5.5 in “Holiday” 2016. A gain of one-half share (2.2 – 2.7, 6+) propels Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” into the top ten (#11 to #10, 6+). It is the 17th straight time that “La Ley” is in two-share range. Following four successive sweeps in the lead, Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 Jamz The Hip-Hop Station,” a combined -1.9 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (12.4 – 11.7 10.5, 6+), shifts to #2. The -.7 by WJMH in December halted five straight increases that generated a collective +3.8 since June (8.6 – 9.8 – 10.0 – 10.1 – 10.6 – 12.4, 6+); 12.4 (November 2016) is the best-ever (6+) showing for “102 Jamz” in its PPM-history. Unchanged at #4, adult hits sibling WSMW “Simon” spikes by -1.1 (9.4 – 8.3, 6+). A combined +1.1 in October and November (3.9 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia talker WPTI (flat at #8) forfeits all of it in December and “Holiday” (5.0 – 4.5 – 3.9, -1.1, 6+), while co-owned WVBZ is down seven-tenths (3.7 – 3.0, 6+) and is unchanged at #9. The market’s country rivals are each down by four-tenths and remain separated by one-tenth: Entercom’s WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” is 5.2 – 4.8, (steady at #6, 6+) while iHeartMedia’s WTQR “New Country Q-104.1” is 5.1 – 4.7 (flat at #7, 6+). The +.3 “Q-104.1” posted in November stopped three successive down-trending monthlies that produced a cumulative loss of more than two full-shares (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.5 – 5.1, 6+). In September, “Q-104.1” held a 1.9-share lead over “The Wolf.” Prior to reaching 5.0 in October, “The Wolf” had been in 4.2 – 4.8 range (6+) the previous eight sweeps.

9) West Palm Beach – Taking advantage of a +2.7 (6.4 – 9.1, 6+), Alpha Media adult contemporary WEAT “Sunny 107.9” (ranked third in December) leapfrogs hot AC sibling WRMF to cruise into the top spot. December’s +.4 by “Sunny” curtailed a three-month slide for a cumulative -1.9 (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.3 – 6.0, 6+). Its 9.1 in “Holiday” 2016 is two-tenths ahead of what “Sunny” posted one year ago (8.9, 6+, “Holiday” 2015). On top the past five ratings periods, WRMF takes over at #2, fully relinquishing the one-half share it picked up in December (7.7 – 8.2 – 7.7, 6+). A collective +1.9 in August and September, WRMF followed October’s -.8 with a loss of another six-tenths in November. It fell to second in July, after 23 successive sweeps at #1. The previous sweep, WRMF gained three-tenths to end four successive decreases yielding a cumulative -2.2 (9.5 – 9.3 – 8.2 – 8.1 – 7.3, 6+). September’s 9.1 was its strongest 6+-stat since February’s 9.3. Consecutive increases in October and November (3.8 – 4.3 – 4.7, 6+) gave co-owned WMBX a collective +.9, but “X-102.3” returned seven-tenths of it in December. The urban AC recaptures that seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2016 (4.0 – 4.7, 6+) as it carries on at #8. As WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF gains one-half share (4.3 – 4.8, seventh to sixth, 6+), public WLRN slips by that margin (2.8 – 2.3, 6+) but stays at #9. The fact that WLRN records a decrease is rather significant as it had avoided one in the last ten sweeps (1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), yielding one full-share.

10) Jacksonville – Energized by a +.5.8 (8.9 – 14.7, 6+), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WEJZ “Lite 96.1 – Today’s Variety” returns to double-digits (6+) for the first time since July’s 10.2 as it surges from second to first. One year ago at this time (“Holiday” 2015), “Lite 96.1” was #1 with a 19.7 (6+). Owing to December’s +4.5 (6.8 – 11.3, 6+), iHeartMedia WQIK jumped from fifth to first. With a loss of six-tenths, however, “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” takes over in the runner-up slot vacated by “Lite 96.1” Prior to a modest one-tenth gain in November, “Jacksonville’s Country” was down two full-shares as a result of being without an increase since February (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.4 – 8.2 – 8.1 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 7.3 – 6.7, 6+). Not only was 11.3 the best-ever 6+-stat for WQIK, it is the eighth-highest 6+-share of any Jacksonville station in the PPM-era. “Lite 96.1” has the top seven 6+-showings, including 14.7 in “Holiday” 2016. Among other Jacksonville outlets impacted by WEJZ’s +5.8 is Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WEZI “Easy 106.5,” which deflates by -1.3 (3.4 – 2.1, #13 to #14, 6+). Returning to third from fifth with a gain of three-tenths to 7.4 (6+), co-owned WJGL “Eagle 96.9 Jacksonville’s Classic Hits” pulls the plug on three consecutive monthlies without an increase (9.3 – 8.1 – 8.1 – 7.1, 6+) that produced a -2.2; 7.1 was its lowest 6+-share since 5.8 in the “Holiday” 2014 report. A combined +2.4 in October and November (6.5 – 7.2 – 8.9, 6+), talk sibling WOKV is a collective -2.3 though in December and “Holiday” 2016 (8.9 – 8.1 – 6.6, 6+), tumbling from third to fifth; November 2016’s 8.9 was the highest 6+-stat for WOKV since November 2012 (9.9). Locked on 3.8 (6+) in November and December, iHeartMedia adult hits WWJK “107.3 Jack FM” regresses by one full-share to 2.8 (6+) and departs the top ten (#10 – #12). Within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the ninth successive sweep, CHR sibling WKSL “97.9 Kiss FM” drops one-half share (4.5 – 4.0, 6+) to slip from eighth to ninth.

11) Memphis – On the strength of a hefty gain of five full-shares (7.1 – 12.1, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WRVR “104.5 The River” busts out of a fourth-place tie and sails to #1. When “The River” added one full-share in December, it ended three straight downward moves that accounted for a -1.6 (7.7 – 7.1 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). This is the strongest 6+-showing since 14.0 in Holiday 2015 for “The River,” which dislodges iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101” from the lead. Without an increase for the eighth straight time (12.5 – 11.6 – 10.7 – 10.5 – 10.2 – 9.9 – 9.9 – 9.3 – 9.3, 6+), “V-101” is -3.2 in that stretch. It had been #1 the past ten monthlies but slides to #2. Down a combined eight-tenths in consecutive sweeps (5.8 – 5.3 – 5.0, October-November-December, 6+), gospel cluster-mate WHAL “Halleluiah” answers with a +1.3 (6+, seventh to fifth) and has its best 6+-stat (6.3) since March (6.6). Despite posting a gain of one-half share (8.6 – 9.1, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WRBO “Soul Classics & Today’s R&B,” which had been in the runner-up spot the past seven survey periods, moves to #3. WRBO regains the one-half share it lost in December, following November’s +.8 (8.3 – 9.1 – 8.6, 6+). Back-to-back modest declines by “Soul Classics” in August and September produced a combined loss of seven-tenths (8.5 – 8.2 – 7.8, 6+), but WRBO wiped out most of it with a one-half share gain in October. Deflating by -1.1 each are iHeartMedia talker WREC (4.3 – 3.2, 6+) and Entercom hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” (6.0, fourth to sixth, 6+). Flat at #10, WREC was off by one-tenth in November, ending four consecutive progressive trends which netted a +.9 (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.6, 6+) but was then +.8 in December. Immediately prior to the -1.1 in “Holiday” 2016, “FM 100” put together six successive improvements netting over two full-shares (5.0 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 6.0 – 6.4 – 6.6 – 7.1, 6+). Co-owned country WLFP was up by one-half share in December as well (2.9 – 3.4, 6+), having its finest 6+-performance since August 2014 (3.5); however, “94.1 The Wolf” sputters by six-tenths to 2.8 (6+, flat at #11. Its format rival, Cumulus Media’s WGKX, relinquished all but one-tenth of November’s eight-tenths’ gain in December (5.1 – 4.4, -.7, 6+) and now “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” further erodes by one-half share to 3.9 moving from an eighth-place tie to ninth. October’s +.3 curtailed three successive negative trends by “Kix 106” that produced a -.7 (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+).

12) Hartford – Over and above being #1 for the fourth consecutive ratings period, CBS Radio adult contemporary WRCH “Lite 100.5” trots out a whopping +7.6 for its fourth straight increase (9.3 – 9.6 – 10.1 – 10.8 – 18.4, 6+), producing a cumulative +9.1 (nearly doubling September’s 9.3). Lite” eclipses the 17.8 (6+) it logged in “Holiday” 2015.  In November, Lite 100.5” returned to double-digits (6+) after a two-month hiatus. It had been in double-digits (6+) for 13 straight ratings periods before posting a 9.3 in September and a 9.6 in October; 9.3 was its lowest 6+-showing since August 2015, when “Lite” recorded an 8.7. Entering the September sweep, WRCH was on top for 15 straight ratings periods and 23 of the previous 24 but it declined by -1.1 and dropped to second-place. Up three-tenths to 5.1 (6+), rhythmic CHR sibling WZMX “Hot 93.7” (eighth to sixth) pulls the plug on four consecutive negative trends that accounted for a loss of nearly three full-shares (7.5 – 7.4 – 6.2 – 5.9 – 4.8, 6+). After posting a gain of one-half share in December, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WHCN “105.9 The River” (fourth to fifth, 6+) spirals by -1.5 to 6.6 (6+). This decrease completely erases the cumulative +1.5 “The River” picked up in four straight improvements (6.6 – 7.3 – 7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1, 6+). Floundering by -1.4 each are co-owned WWYZ “Country 92-5” (8.2 – 6.8, third to fourth, 6+) and public WNPR (4.4, seventh to eighth). After three straight regressions producing a collective -2.3 and the station’s lowest 6+-share since March (10.1 – 9.7 – 9.2 – 7.8, 6+), “Country 92-5” picked up four-tenths in December. It took over the top spot from WRCH in September with a decrease of four-tenths, which halted five straight positive or flat monthlies (7.2 – 7.9 – 7.9 – 9.0 – 9.5 – 10.1, 6+). This constitutes the first decrease for Connecticut Public Broadcasting‘s WNPR in the last six ratings periods where it accumulated a +2.7 (3.1 – 3.3 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.8, 6+). Slipping by six-tenths each are Connoisseur Media talker WDRC-AM (#12 to #13) and the HD2 channel of Red Wolf Broadcasting’s WMRQ (2.5 – 1.9, flat at #11). WDRC-AM had been up or flat in each of the last five sweeps (.4 – .4 -.5 – .7 – .8 – 1.3, 6+) and in December, it crossed the one-share threshold (6+) for the first time since a 1.4 in the “Holiday” 2015 report. Unchanged at #9, co-owned WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” is without an increase for the seventh straight sweep accounting for a -2.6 (6.0 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+). In addition to WDRC-FM, iHeartMedia CHR WKSS “Kiss 95.7 – All the Hits” drops one-half share as well (5.2 – 4.7, 6+). As a result of December’s +.2, “Kiss” curtailed five successive down or flat trends that produced a collective -1.5 since June (6.5 – 6.3 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+).

Monday, October 31, 2016

| October 31, 2016

Entercom CEO David Field Issues Statement on KDND License Review.  On Friday, TALKERS magazine reported on the FCC’s order for a Hearing for Renewal for Entercom’s KDND, Sacramento as a result of the 2007 death of “Hold your wee for a Wii” contestant Jennifer Strange.  On Friday, Entercom CEO David Field issued thefielddavid following statement: “What happened at KDND in 2007 was a terrible tragedy that pains us deeply.  Throughout our 48-year history, we have had a steadfast commitment to being a caring and entercomresponsible corporate citizen, firmly committed to public service.  We take great pride in all of the work we have done to serve our communities.  Nonetheless, we fully recognize that all of our good work cannot undo that tragic event nine years ago.  We do believe it is important to note that the jury that heard this case concluded that Entercom Communications Corp. was not negligent.  What happened was the result of unauthorized and appalling actions by certain station employees who violated corporate procedures.  None of that diminishes our sadness and we remain committed to continuous improvement in our efforts to serve the public.”

Radio talk Shows to Be Simulcast on C-SPAN2 This Week.  In this week leading up to next Tuesday’shewitthugh pressbillelections, C-SPAN2 will be simulcasting four talk radio programs as they discuss the issues.  C-SPAN will simulcast the Bill Press show on Tuesday from 6:00 am to 9:00 am ET; on Wednesday, Salem Radio Network’s Hugh Hewitt show will air from 6:00 am to 9:00 am ET; on Wednesday, the Thom Hartmann program will be featured from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET; and on Friday, SRN’s Mike Gallagher show will be simulcast from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET.  Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup notes that Gallagher will be traveling with GOP candidate Donald Trump and Gallagher’s show will emanate from Eau Claire,hartmann gallaghermikeWisconsin and other stops during the week.  Tradup adds, “The stunning FBI discovery of 650,000 new e-mails and their securing of a warrant to review them was the latest – but surely not the last – bizarre turn in Campaign 2016.  We’re honored that C-SPAN is turning to Mike Gallagher and Hugh Hewitt, who have followed every step of this groundbreaking campaign, to share their perspective with C-SPAN’s TV audience nationwide.”

Alpha Media Promotes Milt McConnell to National Sales Role; Lisa Decker Joins Portland Stationmcconnellmilt Group.  This promotion of the company’s Portland, Oregon market manager necessitates new faces in deckerlisathat cluster to assume vacant positions and that’s exactly what’s happened in the market that serves as the company’s corporate base.  Portland SVP and market manager Milt McConnell is upped to the corporate role of VP, national and group sales strategy.  Radio sales and management pro Lisa Decker – who’s served with CBS RADIO and iHeartMedia in addition to her most recent post as director of corporate sponsorships at classical KING-FM, Seattle – joins Alpha Media as SVP and market manager.  Amy Leimbach moves up from her regional director of business development post at the cluster to VP sales, Portland – Live Performanceleimbachamy Lounges.  Company president and CEO Bob Proffitt comments, “This is an exciting time for Alpha Media.  With our major growth in 2016, we have been focused on recognizing key players and evolving to the next level.  Milt has always been a high performer, even back in the Citadel days.  In his new role, he will work closely with our national rep firms as well as our business development team.

Odds & Sods.  Former U.S. Rep Mike Rogers sat in for WJR, Detroit’s Frank Beckman today from 9:00 am torogersmike 12:00 noon ET.  Rogers hosts the “Something to Think About” feature distributed by Westwood One and also serves as CNN national security commentator…..JVC Media’s Long Island news/talk outlet WRCN, Patchogue, New York is covering next Tuesday’s elections with a remote broadcast from Ristegio’s Restaurant & Lounge starting at 7:00 pm.  Station personality Jay Oliver and the “LI News Radio” team will be broadcasting live and presenting local, state and national election bohannonjimresults…..Westwood One News is providing comprehensive election night coverage on Tuesday, November 8 that includes anchored continuous coverage and special reports every 15 minutes from 7:00 pm ET through at least 1:00 am ET Wednesday, November 9.  Live continuous election night coverage will be anchored by Westwood One News correspondent Jim Bohannon, with reporting by correspondents Steve Kastenbaum and Bob Costantini with the Trump and Clinton campaigns, and their other correspondents in the field.  Westwood One News will also provide regular updates on senate and house races and major referendums across the country.

The Presidential Race, New Clinton Emails Case, Acquittal of Oregon Protestors, Dakota Pipeline Protests, Bob Dylan and Nobel Prize, the World Series, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The race for president between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; FBI Director James Comey’s announcement of potential new emails investigation into Hillary Clinton; chatter about the effects of the recent acquittal of the Oregon national park protestors; the status of the protest by native Americans and others of the Dakota pipeline project; Bob Dylan beaks his silence on winning the Nobel Prize for Literature; the World Series between the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs; and the weekend’s NFL Action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

| September 1, 2016

Rare Air Talent Changes Hit WXYT-FM, Detroit.  Motor City sports talker WXYT-FM is one of the most stable and highly rated stations in the format, so talent changes there have been exceedingly rare.  Now, CBSsamuelsenjamie RADIO announces that evening personality Jamie Samuelsen moves from that daypart – where he co-hosted with Bob Wojnowski – to AM drive where he’s partnering up with Mike Stone and Sara Fouracre for the “Jamie and Stoney Show.”  The station does not mention the departure of Stone’s longtime partner Bill McAllister, but it seems pretty clear he’s been let go since his bio has been removed from the station’s website.   For now, it appears Wojnowski will go solo in the evenings on “97.1 The Ticket.”

Cort Webber Rises to PD at KEX, Portland.  After serving as assistant program director for KEX – among other positions at the iHeartMedia Portland station group – Cort Webber is named program director for the webbercortnews/talk station.  Webber’s been with iHM Portland since 2010 and the station says Webber is well known to Portland radio listeners having served as a co-host of “The Gina, Cort and Rebecca Show” on KXJM, formerly “The Beat 107.5,” and as longtime afternoon host of KUFO’s former “Cort and Fatboy Show.”  He’s currently on-air at sister rock KFBW “105.9 The Brew” and serves as that station’s APD.

bradenfitzWPRTWPRT, Nashville Adds Braden & Fitz for Mornings.  Gone from the daily schedule as of Tuesday (9/6) is ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike and in is the new local duo of Braden Gall and Jason Fitz.  WPRT “ESPN 102.5 The Game” says Gall has “an impressive resume that includes stints at WNML in Knoxville, Rivals Radio, Athlon Sports and SiriusXM.”  Fitz is a multi-talented performer who is best “known as the fiddle player and musical director for The Band Perry.  Fitz has performed in front of tens of millions of fans live and on television and has played on records totaling over 20 million units in sales.  Fitz currently co-hosts ‘College Football Daily’ on ESPNU with Mike Golic, Jr. on Monday nights.”

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases Third Round of August 2016 PPM Data.  The third of four rounds of August 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The August 2016 survey period covered July 14 through August 10.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

Odds & Sods.  The nationally syndicated “Free Talk Live” with hosts Ian Freeman and Mark Edge adds new affiliates WFJX, Roanoke and KENN-AM/FM, Farmington, New Mexico to its roster of stations……“Motley Fool Money” partners with Amazon to provide a daily stock market update for the millions of people who own an Amazon Echo.

The Presidential Race/Trump Meets Enrique Peña Nieto, SCOTUS NC Voter ID Law Ruling, Kaepernick ‘Anthem’ Protest Aftermath, Iran Nuclear Deal, Brazil Impeaches Dilma Rousseff, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/31).  The activities of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, including Trump’s visit with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto; the Supreme Court’s ruling against North Carolina’s voter ID law; the ongoing aftermath of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protest of the National Anthem; new information coming out alleging “secret” aspects of Iran’s nuclear deal with the West; Brazilian senate votes to impeach President Dilma Rousseff; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

brownejoyBluenocapIndustry Memorial Event Being Planned for Dr. Joy Browne in NYC.  Services for Dr. Joy Browne will be a small family-only gathering set at an undisclosed time in Denver.  However, a “memorial event” honoring the life and times of the iconic media psychologist who passed away unexpectedly this past Saturday (8/27) is now in the planning stages by a radio industry group loosely calling itself “Friends of Dr. Joy.”  Group spokesman Michael Harrison states, “We will be announcing the date, time and location of a low-key gathering in New York City that will take place sometime during the next few weeks. The purpose will be to simply honor the memory of this great woman as people who worked with her or knew her in the business join together to share stories and reminisce about her role in our industry and our lives.”  Those interested in participating can contact Harrison at michael@talkers.com.  Specific details will be posted here at Talkers.com as they develop.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

| August 30, 2016

Dr. Joy Browne Dead at 71.  This report – confirmed by a Facebook post by her sister Alannah Sinclaire and a conversation today between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and her brother David Oppenheim – indicates that talk radio star Dr. Joy Browne died on Saturday, August 27 at age 71.  The exact cause is unknown at brownejoythis time, but Sinclaire writes that she was on the phone speaking with Dr. Joy “chatting about movies reviews, recipes, and favorite memories from a recent birthday party for our 95-year-old mom when the phone suddenly disconnected; her heart had stopped as well.”  At the time of her death, Browne’s long-running talk show had been syndicated to stations across the country by Genesis Communications Network.  Browne received her M.A. and a Ph.D. from Northeastern University in Boston.  It was in Boston that she got her start in talk radio but she launched into national syndication from New York’s heritage WOR in the early 1990s and built a strong roster of affiliate stations all across the country.  After the demise of the WOR Radio Network, Browne continued to host her syndicated program via various independent distributors, finally working with GCN.  Browne was also the author of numerous self-help books and well known for her love of theater and movies.  Dr. Joy Browne was ranked at #25 on the TALKERS magazine 2016 Heavy Hundred – The Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America.  Memorial services are pending.  Friends and admirers of Dr. Joy Browne will likely be encouraged to make donations in her memory to her international charitable foundation, the Joy to the World Foundation. In a statement, released moments ago Michael Harrison says, “I am personally devastated, Joy was one of the greatest talents in the history of radio, a humanitarian and wonderful human being. All of us in radio and her vast listening audience have suffered a terrible loss.”

Conservative Talk Hosts Debate Their Role in the Rise of Donald Trump.  Several weeks ago, TALKERS magazine published a story about a coming piece in Business Insider by Oliver Darcy in which WTMJ, Milwaukee conservative talk host Charlie Sykes wondered if decades of mainstream media bashing by he and his colleagueshannity has created a “monster” – an ultra-conservative constituency that won’t believe anything that doesn’t beckglenncome from Fox News, Breitbart, or Drudge.  The full piece was recently published and you can read it here.  Quoted in the story are talk hosts Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and John Zeigler, as well as a few political operatives, and, of course, Sykes.  TALKERS editors are not prepared to conclude that conservative media alone created Trump’s presidential campaign success.  After all, it likely took more than just conservative media junkies to get Trump the nomination.  But the piece is an interesting read and certain to be the subject of debate among talk radio people and media theorists.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases First Round of August 2016 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of August 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The August 2016 survey period covered July 14 through August 10.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

KFTK-FM, St. Louis Weekend Host to Appear in NRA Documentary.  From a story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is the news that KFTK-FM weekend personality Stacy Washington will be part of a recently filmedwashingtonstacy National Rifle Association documentary.  Washington is host of the Sunday evening “Stacy on the Right” program and makes appearances on the station’s morning drive program hosted by Jamie Allman.  Washington tells the Post-Dispatch that the filming consisted of her answering questions about guns and gun rights.  She is an Air Force veteran who also appears on the “NRA News” show that airs on SiriusXM.

TTWN Looks to Bolster Services with Baron Partnership.  This cooperative effort between iHeartMedia’s Total Traffic & Weather Network and “weather intelligence” firm Baron is a multi-year, data-collaboration partnership.  The technological agreement will combine TTWN’s real-time traffic incident and flow data, with totaltraffic logoBaron’s expertise in location-specific weather products, including the patented Baron Telematics Weather safety solution.  In a press release, the companies say that this partnership will “create the next generation of integrated traffic and weather solutions offering enhanced road and weather safety capabilities to automotive manufacturers, tier-one suppliers, insurance companies, media and public safety markets.  The first integration is designed to enhance the connected car driving experience providing better road guidance, smoother commutes and increased safety, and will be immediately available for all TTWN automotive traffic and weather partners.”

Odds & Sods.  As reported by Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch, today (8/30) Kayla Blakeslee rejoins Federated Media’s news/talk WOWO, Fort Wayne as news director.  She’s been serving with the Ohio Department of Transportation…..A new golf show launches on Emmis’ news/talk KLBJ-AM, Austin with hosts Ed Clements and Scotty Sayers.  Titled, “The Fifteenth Club,” the program airs Saturdays from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm and will involve the hosts taking calls and interviewing golf pros and celebrities…..SiriusXM is airing live coverage of the 2016 US Open Tennis Championships from the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York.  Coverage began yesterday and runs through the Women’s and Men’s Finals on September 10 and 11…..Just because broadcasting legend Charles Osgood is retiring from his Sunday morning television program after 22 years doesn’t mean he’s leaving his radio gig.  Westwood One assures stations Charles will still “see you on the radio” with his daily “Osgood File” programs delivered four times a day, five days a week.

The Presidential Race, Weiner-Abedin Separate, Hacking of Election Systems, Shooting Death of Dwayne Wade’s Cousin, Colin Kaepernick National Anthem Protest, ObamaCare Troubles, Gene Wilder Dies, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/29).  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; Clinton aid Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner separate after Weiner’s latest sexting incident; elections systems in Arizona and Illinois are breached by hackers; the aftermath of the Chicago shooting death of NBA star Dwayne Wade’s cousin, Nykea Aldridge; the response to Colin Kaepernick’s statements about not standing for the National Anthem; the troubles facing ObamaCare exchanges; the death of actor Gene Wilder; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

| December 5, 2013

weineranthonyRumor: Anthony Weiner to Try Talk Radio.  Here we go again! Another disgraced politician – this time it’s former congressman and former NYC mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner – is rumored to be in the running for a talk show on one of two New York City radio signals.  The New York Daily News is reporting that sources say Weiner is in talks to begin hosting a show on either Cumulus Media’s WABC (where the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET slot is opening in the New Year) or on Clear Channel’s WOR.  WABC operations manager Tony Mascaro tells the paper they are looking at a lot of candidates for the slot but denies Weiner is one of them.  The track record of former politicians – especially disgraced ones – succeeding in talk radio is not good.  Most managers and programmers are either aware – or find out very quickly – that the tradeoff for hiring such a person is not usually worth it.  Yes, one gets instant recognition of the person from the public, but the long hours, challenging work, glamorless working conditions and time needed to get traction in the ratings usually turns off former pols who are used to a different sort of workday.  Oh, and then there’s the fact that they almost always have no broadcasting skills whatsoever.  Stay tuned, the Weiner-watch is on!

cumulus logoCumulus Media Holdings to Refinance $2.23 Billion in Debt.  According to a Reuters report, Cumulus Media Holdings has set terms on a new $2.23 billion loan that would serve to reduce its interest payments over the course of the loan.  The company is marketing a $200 million, five-year revolver and a $2.025 billion, seven-year, first-lien term loan.  The proceeds would refinance Cumulus’ current first- and second-lien loans.  Moody’s Investor Services VP and senior credit officer Carl Salas is quoted saying, “It’s a meaningful improvement in their annual debt service.  They will save upwards of $30 million to $35 million in interest costs which adds nicely to their free cash flow generation.”

rouhierdannyCBS Radio’s WJFK, Washington Hears It from Redskins About Game Broadcast Parodies.  NFL fans are aware that the Washington Redskins – owned by the litigious and sensitive Dan Snyder – are having a tough season (3-9 right now) after making the playoffs last year.  That’s been the source of much frustration on the part of fans and the source of material for WJFK host Danny Rouhier and producer Ajay Atayee who’ve been producing bits that are mock-ups of game broadcasts.  Rouhier does the voices of Redskins radio play-by-play announcers Larry Michael and Sonny wjfkfmJurgensen and splices in actual drops of color man and former ‘Skin Chris Cooley.  The hysterically funny bits have been critical of the team’s play, the fan experience at FedEx Field and Snyder’s public image, so much so that, according to the Washington Post, WJFK Redskins beat reporter Grant Paulsen was told by team spokesman Tony Wyllie that the bits are so malicious that they could prompt legal action.  This may be water under the bridge since the Post reports Wyllie says after talking with the station and being assured it’s all in good fun, the team has no problem with the station’s content.  Since the station has no intention of stopping Rouhier from producing more similarly themed bits, we’ll see how the rest of the season plays out.

kennedyKYSR, Los Angeles Morning Personality Kennedy to Host Fox Business Net Show.  Former MTV VJ and current morning drive host at Clear Channel’s alternative KYSR, Los Angeles, Lisa Kennedy Montgomery, will begin a new nightly current events talk show on Fox Business Network titled “The Independents” that will premiere on Monday, December 9.  The Hollywood Reporter states that Kennedy will co-host with Reason magazine’s Matt Welch, America’s Future Foundation’s Kmele Foster and a rotating panel of money experts.  Kennedy herself writes on her KYSR blog that the show will be “aimed at all the mealy-mouthed, partisan faithful out there.  Has the 2 party system totally failed you?  Yeah, me too!  Tune in 4 nights a week on FBN, and just remember, music and politics go hand in hand. I will always hold hands with you.”  Kennedy has been a contributor to FBN making regular appearances on “Stossel.”

ohana logoVali Named Interim GM of Ohana Broadcast, Hawaii.  The name Austin Vali is widely-known in Hawaii radio and, as Ohana Broadcast Company‘s interim general manager, he will oversee four Oahu stations and five Kauai facilities.  Owner/president Jason Wolff comments, “Austin brings a wealth of experience, knowledge, and relationships in the Honolulu market.  He will be a tremendous asset as we strive to produce the best possible radio for our listeners and clients.”   Recently, Vali was vice president/general manager of Cox Media Group‘s three-station Long Island cluster.  During his 40-year radio career, he has worked in Pittsburgh, Norfolk, and Louisville; however, Vali is perhaps best known for his experience in Hawaii.  Since arriving there in 1978, he worked at Honolulu’s KIKI and KQMQ and he co-owned KRTR-FM and KXME in that market.

runningwithnaturePodcastOne Adds Mariel Hemingway Program to Stable.  Titled after her best-selling book  Running with Nature, actress and author Mariel Hemingway, along with her partner, stuntman, actor, health and wellness expert, Bobby Williams, are launching their new podcast via PodcastOne.  The podcast invites listeners to “join them on their adventures; from Hollywood to Holistic healing…transforming relationships to finding the most meaningful ways of living every day, Mariel and Bobby are here bringing laughter, wonder and awe with some great advice.”  The first podcast episode “features nutrition tips, a review of her just released documentary called ‘Running from Crazy,’ and exercise tips from Bobby and Mariel’s ‘Meditation Moment.’”  PodcastOne COO Greg Batusic says, “Mariel and Bobby offer a refreshing and unique take on life that their fans and new listeners will surely benefit from.  We’re happy to have them join our stellar lineup.”

madiganbobWTOP, Washington’s Bob Madigan to Retire.  Drive time news anchor Bob Madigan will retire from his position at Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington, DC at the end of the year.  Outgoing vice president of news and programming Jim Farley (also retiring, see next story) says in a memo to his DC staff, “Bob has been in this crazy business of ours for 50 years, 20 of them here at WTOP and WASH when both stations were co-owned.  He and I worked for 11 years at NBC News….I have been inflicted on Bob for 27 of his 50 years in the business.  By the way, if you are wondering how he got in 50 years ago, he started working in radio during high school.”  Farley goes on to say that as WTOP’s “Man About Town,” he “was a one-person ‘good news’ department covering everything from charity galas to scholarship awards and chili cook-offs for a good cause.  Bob covered so many events, that in less than a year on the beat, he was emcee, announcer or celebrity judge at many of them.  He became a one-man marketing machine for WTOP, getting our name out there in a positive way that was priceless!  He was chosen to announce the Inaugural Parade along Pennsylvania Avenue for both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.  At the Bush Inaugural Parade he was paired with…Meat Loaf.  For years he announced the start of the Race for the Cure live on WTOP.  He has a long, long list of awards and honors including a (rare for a journalist) RAMMY Award, “The Duke Zeibert Capital Achievement Award.”  RAMMY’s are awarded by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington.

cookefarleyA Farewell to Jim Farley.  Radio consultant and TALKERS contributor Holland Cooke (right) poses for a selfie with outgoing vice president of news and programming Jim Farley at a retirement bash for the longtime WTOP, Washington programmer at the Newseum in Washington, DC.  After 17 years with the station, Farley is “slowing down but not retiring” as he’ll step down from his current post but consult WTOP for the next two years. He’s also open to consult others with their news and/or digital strategies.  Current WTOP program director Laurie Cantillo is stepping into the post at year’s end.  Cooke reports that modern-day WTOP-ers, Hubbard execs and many alumni toasted Farley at the bash.  Among other things said at the farewell party, Farley told staffers, “What a crowd!  YOU did it.  YOU GUYS do all the heavy lifting, and I got all the credit.  I’m gettin’ out before they catch me.”

kmbzGood Fences Make Good Neighbors.  Usually that’s the case but at the Entercom AM transmitter site in Westwood, Kansas, just how a good fence is defined appears to be the issue.  The towers for KMBZ and KUDL are surrounded by residential neighborhoods – that wasn’t the case in the 1930s when the towers went up.  According to the Prairie Village Post, now neighbors are challenging the renewal of Entercom’s special use permit for the site claiming they want improvements there.  After meeting with residents, a plan commission sub-committee is suggesting the current chain-link fence with barbed wire makes the property look “blighted” and recommends removal of the perimeter fence and replacement with fencing that complies with current code.  Entercom fears liability issues without a perimeter fence.  In 2008, a trespassing teenager was killed after falling from a tower on the site.  Expect some sort of compromise on this issue since moving the station towers would be very difficult yet protection of the transmitters and towers needs to continue for obvious reasons.

junkiesCredit to WJFK-FM, Washington’s “Junkies” for Nabbing Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Segment.  He’s been one of the hot talk radio topics for the past several weeks (as documented in TALKERS magazine’s weekly top topics chart The Talkers TenTM), so why not book him as a guest?  CBS Radio’s “The Junkies” did just that and got a cool 25-minute segment with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford on WJFK-FM, Washington today.  Ford, who’s obviously been in the news a bit lately and doesn’t seem to be very mic-shy, talked with the Junkies about football (he offered his NFL picks for the week), the drug use allegations against him, President Obama, and his run for re-election next fall (which he says he’ll win because he has the support of the people).

kgmzlogoOdds & Sods.  Entercom’s KGMZ, San Francisco is preparing to begin a listener giveaway of tickets and cool memorabilia for its six area pro sports teams.  “95.7 The Game” is calling the promotion “The Six Teams of Christmas” and will give listeners a chance to win game ticket packages to see the Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers, San Francisco Giants, Oakland As, Golden State Warriors and San Jose Sharks…..CBS Radio’s New York stations (including sports WFAN-AM/FM and all-news WINS and WCBS) are announcing a new promotion: The Firehouse Chili Cook-Off.  After entries were submitted from all across the tri-state area, semi-finalists will compete to see whose chili recipe cbsfirehousereigns supreme.  At establishments in New Jersey and New York, the staple food of firefighters will be cooked, tasted and judged by local sports figures, and one fire company at each event will move into the final round of the competition.  The grand prize winner will receive VIP tickets to a 2014 New York Yankees game…..Entercom’s Boston Red Sox flagship WEEI, Boston is broadcasting from the MLB Winter Meetings in Orlando next week.  Live coverage of the meetings will begin with Salk & Holley from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm Monday through Wednesday.  The Mut & Merloni show will also originate from the Swan and Dolphin Resort from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm Tuesday through Thursday.

kirofmhollidaymagicHoliday Magic at KIRO-FM, Seattle.  Pictured here is KIRO-FM, Seattle afternoon drive duo Ron & Don manning the tote board at last year’s “Holiday Magic Radiothon.”  The Bonneville news/talk station, in partnership with Treehouse (a non-profit agency that ensures that kids in foster care have access to the essential services required to help them make it to high school graduation and beyond), are hosting the 25th Annual Foster Child Holiday Magic Radiothon today.  The station set a record last year raising more than $500,000.  The 12-hour “Holiday Magic Radiothon” helps local foster kids by raising money to provide each child in the program with one significant holiday gift along with support programs and services throughout the year.

humphriesdamian2Rusty Humphries on the Set in Bucharest.  That’s talk show host and actor Rusty Humphries (left) with actor Michael Damian (right) on location in Bucharest, Romania on the set of the romantic comedy Love By Design.  Humphries says he plays a reporter covering a big fashion show in New York City.  He notes that Bucharest is a popular location to shoot NYC scenes since it can be made to look like the streets of New York and the production costs are much less.  The movie also stars Jane Seymour.  Humphries was in Bucharest for seven days filming.  He tells TALKERS, “I had a blast.  I love the fact that I’m having the opportunity to really live out my dreams: radio, TV and film.  This is my third major motion picture, and it’s always an honor to be involved with a project as special as this.”

ObamaCare Criticism, NSA Cell Location Database, Obama Millennial Support Diminishing, Detroit Bankruptcy, Bashir Resignation, and Fast Food Minimum Wage Effort Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/5).  Analysis of the implementation and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the NSA policy that reportedly gathers the location of cell phone users; the loss of support from Millennials for President Obama; the Detroit bankruptcy case ruling; Martin Bashir’s resignation from MSNBC after his Sarah Palin comments; and the move by organized labor to push for a national minimum wage for fast food workers were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

| April 19, 2012

Entertainment Industry Mourns Passing of Dick Clark.  The music, television and radio industries are mourning the passing of pioneer broadcaster Dick Clark, who died on Wednesday after suffering a massive heart attack at age 82.  In addition to his numerous other contributions to the entertainment industry, Clark co-founded United Stations Radio Networks with Nick Verbitsky in 1981.  Verbitsky says, “Dick was an icon to many, but a true friend, partner and mentor to those of us who worked closely with him.  His impact on broadcasting is immeasurable, and his entrepreneurial spirit will be a part of our world at United Stations forever.”

Talk Host Scott Hennen to Purchase WZFG, Fargo.  The conservative talk-formatted WZFG, Fargo – positioned as “1100 AM The Flag” – will return to the control of talk host and station manager Scott Hennen upon FCC approval and the closing.  Hennen announces he’s struck a deal with Great Plains Integrated Marketing to buy back the station he founded in 2008.  Hennen was fired by his investors as president and CEO of GPIM in the fall of 2010.  His program remained on the air at WZFG until May of 2011.  Hennen is currently hosting a nationally syndicated radio show but is not heard in the Fargo market at this time.  His program will return to the station when the new deal begins.

Internet and Terrestrial Radio Are Different Businesses When it Comes to Non-Competes.  That’s the ruling of Stark County (OH) Common Pleas Court Judge Charles E. Brown in the case of two Canton jocks who started a radio show on the internet and were sued by their former employer for violating the non-compete.  Radio hosts Patrick DeLuca and Charlotte DiFranco (pictured here) left their highly rated morning program at WDJQ-FM, Canton after failing to agree to terms on a contract renewal with station owner Don Peterson III.  They started their own station at www.theradiosucks.com and began broadcasting three shows per week after exiting in February and Peterson sued, claiming they violated the non-compete.  Attorney Steve Okey argued his clients were prevented from operating a business that was “the same or essentially the same as a radio station” and their venture does not fit that description.  The judge agreed.  Peterson tells the Youngstown Vindicator he’s disappointed with the decision and will review his options.  This is a case others in the radio and internet radio businesses will be watching closely.

Red Zebra’s WTEM, Washington Inks Deal for Sports Content with Dial Global.  Red Zebra Broadcasting announces it has signed a two-year deal with Dial Global Radio Networks to have exclusive rights to March Madness, the NFL package, the NFL playoffs, the Super Bowl, the NFL Draft, Golf’s Majors and the Olympics in the Washington, DC market. Vice president of programming Chuck Sapienza says of the deal, “We want to thank Greg Leader and Sean Thompson of Dial Global for being such great partners.  We could not be more pleased with the relationship and all the great programming Dial Global brings to our listeners.  When you team the Redskins Radio Network with Dial Global’s NFL Package, NFL fans in DC will receive extensive, exclusive coverage of the National Football League on ESPN980.”

Current TV to Add Show Hosted by California Lieutenant Governor.  Former San Francisco mayor and current California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom will debut a new talk show on the Al Gore-founded Current TV network beginning in May.  The New York Times reports the move is designed by Current TV to “keep its progressive agenda on track.”  In a statement announcing the move, co-founder Al Gore states, “He touches many worlds – business, politics, entertainment and activism.  We are honored that Current TV will be bringing his curiosity, intelligence, insights and enthusiasm to television.”  Newsom will continue to serve as lieutenant governor of California.  Current TV is rebounding from the high-profile battle – now in the courts – with former “Countdown” host Keith Olbermann.  It also recently added video simulcasts of talk radio stars Stephanie Miller’s and Bill Press’ nationally syndicated morning radio programs.

TALKERS Publishes 2012 Heavy Hundred.  The 2012 installment of TALKERS magazine’s signature feature, “The Talkers 250 featuring the Heavy Hundred,” is officially posted.  This long-running talk radio industry institution also titled, “The 250 Most Important Talk Radio Hosts in America,” is compiled by the TALKERS editorial board based upon a compilation of both objective and subjective elements including (in alphabetical order):  courage, effort, impact, longevity, potential, ratings, recognition, revenue, service, talent and uniqueness.  Although the list is traditionally drawn from a wide variety of genres representing the breadth of spoken word radio from commercial to public and including everything from traditional news/talk to specialty programming, this year’s installment of the popular feature marks a departure from the custom of including sports talk hosts.  According to TALKERS VP/managing editor Kevin Casey, “Because of the explosive growth of sports talk radio and the number of excellent hosts participating in it across the country, TALKERS will be publishing the genre’s own Heavy Hundred beginning in 2012.”  The TALKERS Sports Talk Heavy Hundred is scheduled for publication this coming June.  To see this year’s entire “Talkers 250 featuring the Heavy Hundred” click here.

23rd Annual Imus Radiothon Begins Today.  77WABC, New York-based Don Imus broadcasts the 23rd Annual Imus Radiothon beginning today and running through tomorrow.  The Radiothon is airing on 77WABC, radio affiliates around the country and on the Fox Business Network.  The two-day event benefits the Imus Ranch for Kids with Cancer, the Tomorrows Children’s Fund and the CJ Foundation for SIDS.  Guests on the program for the Radiothon will include various sponsors and children/siblings who have visited and experienced the Imus Ranch in Ribera, New Mexico.

Warren Ballentine Interviews First Lady Michelle Obama.  Syndication One nationally syndicated talk host Warren Ballentine is pictured here at the White House on April 16 interviewing First Lady Michelle Obama.  Ballentine visited the White House as part of the Summit on Entrepreneurship for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority-Serving Institutions.  The White House Summit offered the opportunity for Ballentine to provide a national African-American audience for small business owners, government experts and leaders from a variety of HBCUs/MSIs to discuss their numerous opportunities and facilitate solutions to challenges in underserved communities.  Ballentine states, “Doing my show from the White House was such a great honor for me.  The staff was outstanding and the chance to interview First Lady Michelle Obama was truly a blessing and honor.  The First Lady is not only gracious, she is wise, funny, empathetic and truly in tune with the people of America.  This is an experience that I will never forget!”  Ballentine’s interview with the First Lady will be highlighted on his program today (4/19).

2012 Presidential Campaign, U.S. Soldiers Photos Scandal, North Korea Military Ambitions, Trayvon Martin Case Developments and Ted Nugent Comments Concern Secret Service Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/18).  The 2012 presidential campaign; the problems being caused by U.S. soldiers taking photos with the bodies of dead Taliban insurgents; ongoing concerns over North Korea’s military ambitions; judge steps down from Trayvon Martin case; and Ted Nugent’s comments to NRA group draws concern of Secret Service were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, March 26, 2012

| March 26, 2012

Cumulus Makes Changes at KLIF, Dallas.  The move toward more news in commercial spoken-word radio continues.  Cumulus Media Group announces talk station KLIF, Dallas will add morning and afternoon drive news blocks and changes its slogan to “News & Information 570 KLIF.”  The AM drive news block begins today (3/26) and features Amy Chodroff (from sister WBAP) and Dave Williams co-anchoring the program.  Williams most recently worked at Merlin Media’s all-newser in Chicago.  The PM drive news block is expected to begin on April 2.  The changes mean morning drive talk host Jeff Bolton is out and PM drive talk host Chris Krok will move to sister WBAP-AM/FM for an evening talk show.

Current TV’s Bill Press and Stephanie Miller Simulcasts Debut Today.  The new one-two punch of progressive radio talk stars hitting the air at Al Gore-founded Current TV begins this morning (3/26) as Dial Global syndicated talk hosts Bill Press and Stephanie Miller air TV simulcasts of their morning drive radio programs on Current TV.  “Full Court Press: The Bill Press Show” airs from 6:00 am to 9:00 am ET and “Talking Liberally: The Stephanie Miller Show” follows from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm ET.  The network announces that Senator Chris Coons, (D-DE); Nia-Malika Henderson of the Washington Post; Faiz Shakir of Think Progress; and Lara Setrakian of ABC News and Bloomberg are all scheduled to appear during the premiere week of “Full Court Press.”  The first week of “Talking Liberally” will feature Senator Byron Dorgan (ND – Former U.S. Senator and Chairman of The Senate Committee on Energy), as well as comedienne Kathleen Madigan.

Hubbard Broadcasting Names Emily Kopp WFED Morning Anchor.  Hubbard Broadcasting announces a permanent addition to the morning drive show on WFED, Washington – the station dedicated to serving the many federal government workers living in the region.  Emily Kopp joins host Tom Temin on the morning drive program.  Kopp joined Federal News Radio in 2011 after living in the Netherlands where she reported on a freelance basis for various radio network and print outlets.  Prior to her promotion, Kopp served Federal News Radio as a federal workforce reporter.  Since July 2011, Kopp has produced several compelling series that focused on key human aspects of working for the federal government.  WFED program director Lisa Wolfe states, “Emily had been filling in as co-anchor while we’ve been conducting our talent search for the next morning anchor.  Her talents were obvious and when we got together to discuss the possibility of making it permanent, it just made sense.  I look forward to Emily bringing her well-crafted interview style to mornings.  I think she will uncover a lot of news.”

WTEM, Washington Launches New Afternoon Sports Talk Show Today.  Red Zebra-owned WTEM, Washington announces the debut of “Inside the Locker Room with Doc Walker and Brian Mitchell” today (3/26).  The show teams up former Washington Redskins Doc Walker and Brian Mitchell along with broadcast pro Scott Jackson.  Walker continues with the station after 15 years, most recently serving as co-host of the John Thompson show.  Both Mitchell and Jackson return to WTEM after several years’ absence.  VP of programming Chuck Sapienza states, “With Doc and B-Mitch, ESPN 980’s lineup includes the two most prominent former players in Washington, DC media today.  Listeners of the show will receive opinions and insight from professional athletes that is rarely offered on local radio.  In addition, Jackson gives the show a ‘point guard’ that every successful program needs.”  The show airs from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

KXTG, Portland Re-Signs John Canzano.  “The Bald Faced Truth” host re-ups with Alpha Broadcasting’s sports KXTG on a multi-year deal to remain with the station.  John Canzano also writes a column for the Daily Oregonian and is a commentator for KGW-TV, Portland.  Upon announcing the deal, Canzano commented, “Sports talk listeners of ‘The Bald Faced Truth’ radio show are smart, educated, good looking, influential and relevant.  I love my audience, my sponsors and this station.  I’m staying right here because ‘The Game’ is the place to be. Period.”

Southern California Public Radio Names Melanie Sill Executive Editor.  The former editor at the Sacramento Bee and the Raleigh News and Observer takes over the executive editor role at Southern California Public Radio.  Her duties include overseeing the daily news gathering operations across KPCC, Pasadena’s broadcast, digital and social media platforms.  KPCC VP for content Russ Stanton states, “Sill brings a wealth of news and managerial experience to this new position.  Most importantly, she has been a force of change in two newsrooms, leading efforts to restructure staffs to better compete in the digital age.”  The Southern California Public Radio website announces the non-profit is aggressively working to build out its online news service with ambitions to become the region’s pre-eminent source for information across multiple media.

Jacksonville Gets FM Simulcast for Sports WJXL.  Seven Bridges Radio LLC buys the former Gospel WFJO-FM, Jacksonville (a class A FM signal at 92.5) from receiver Scott Savage for $1.95 million and begins an LMA immediately simulcasting its sports station 1010 XL (WJXL).  The station was formerly owned by Tama Broadcasting.

Smerconish Visits Boston.  Dial Global nationally syndicated talk host Michael Smerconish (center, standing) chats with WTKK-FM, Boston listeners at a private meet & greet on March 20 prior to the national screening of his movie, “Book Club with Michael Smerconish Featuring Chris MatthewsJack Kennedy: Elusive Hero.”  In addition to the meet & greet, Smerconish conducted a curtain call speech before the showing of the film at the Cinema De Lux in Dedham, Massachusetts before a sold out theater.  The film appeared at more than 100 theaters across the country on that evening.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

| March 6, 2012

Progressive Talk Stars Stephanie Miller and Bill Press Become Featured Current TV Content.  The progressive cable and satellite TV channel founded by former Vice President Al Gore is adding Dial Global radio talk show hosts Stephanie Miller and Bill Press to its lineup.  Miller’s and Press’ programs will be simulcasts of their radio shows – Miller airing from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET and Press from 6:00 am to 9:00 am ET – beginning early this spring.  In a statement, Current TV chairman Al Gore says, “I’ve followed Stephanie and Bill for years.  They provide the kind of smart, insightful news analysis that our viewers want to hear.  Bill brings a vital perspective directly from the heart of the Beltway, and Stephanie’s fresh take on politics and news has a decidedly outsider flair.  We’re really looking forward to bringing their voices to our viewers.”  WYD Media president Ron Hartenbaum, executive producer of Stephanie Miller’s program, says, “We at ‘The Stephanie Miller Show’ are excited to participate in another radio-based video simulcast program.  The bottom line is entertaining talk radio makes great and engaging tune-in programming for video.”  Other political talk shows seen on Current TV include: “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” “The Young Turks with Cenk Uygur,” and “The War Room with Jennifer Granholm.”

Rush Limbaugh Addresses Sandra Fluke Issue, Loss of Advertisers at Beginning on Monday Program.  Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk star Rush Limbaugh began yesterday’s program speaking about his apology issued over the weekend to Georgetown University Law student Sandra Fluke for using the terms “slut” and “prostitute” to describe her.  Limbaugh stated that he “descended to their level” – meaning liberal political opponents – when he used the two words.  “I became like them and I feel very badly about that.  I’ve always tried to maintain a very high degree of integrity and independence on this program.  Nevertheless, those two words were inappropriate.  They were uncalled for.  They distracted from the point I was actually trying to make.  And I, again, apologize to Ms. Fluke for using those two words to describe her.”  Limbaugh addressed the loss of advertisers without going into specifics but appeared not overly concerned about the matter stating he turns down advertising on his program regularly for various reasons and said companies advertise with him to have access to his large audience – that everything about the program is for the audience.  Without the audience, Limbaugh said the whole enterprise would be academic.  Limbaugh slapped back at exiting advertisers a bit when he said, “They don’t want you or your business.”  We don’t expect Premiere Networks to announce which advertisers have dropped their advertising – whether temporary or permanent – but it’s being reported that as many as 13 sponsors have left but eight are being widely reported: Carbonite, Citrix, Go To Meeting, Legal Zoom, Pro Flowers, Select Comfort, Sleep Train and Quicken Loans.  For her part, Sandra Fluke appeared on ABC TV’s “The View” and said of Limbaugh’s apology, “I don’t think that a statement like this issued, saying that his choice of words was not the best, changes anything, and especially when that statement is issued when he’s under significant pressure from his sponsors who have begun to pull their support.”  So far, two affiliate stations are confirmed to have dropped Limbaugh’s show as a result: KPUA, Hilo, Hawaii and WBEC, Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

Progressive Talk Host Mike Malloy Mocks Tornado Victims on Radio Program.   Longtime progressive talk host Mike Malloy self-syndicates his program and in some quarters he’s taking heat for mocking the victims of the tornados that swept through the Midwest late last week.  Malloy is quoted by several sources on his Friday program saying, “Their God, if this is the way they want to look at it, keeps smashing them into little grease spots on the pavement, in Alabama, in Mississippi, Arkansas, Georgia and Oklahoma – you know, the Bible Belt…where they ain’t gonna let no g*dd*mn science get in the way, it says in the bible, blah blah blah, so according to their way of thinking, y’know, God with his omnipotent thumb, and so far tonight, has smashed so far 20 people on Highway 12, or whatever the hell highway they live next to.”  With the controversy being raised by Rush Limbaugh overshadowing the consumer media, it’s unlikely Malloy’s comments – which could certainly be deemed insensitive to the people affected by the storms – will get enough attention to catch the national media’s eyes.  There’s also the fact that Limbaugh’s program is dominating in terms of presence and Malloy’s is not.  Regardless, there are media analysts who are pointing to the use of hyperbole, name calling and insensitive language as a sign that more civility is needed in America’s public discourse.

Compass Media Networks to Syndicate Bob Vila Radio Features.  Iconic home improvement figure Bob Vila and Compass Media Networks are agreeing to work together to distribute daily home improvement features voiced by Vila exclusively for radio beginning May 1.  Of course, Vila is well known for his television programs – “This Old House(1979-1989), “Bob Vila’s Home Again” (1990-2005), and “Bob Vila” (2005-2007).  He now heads up his own home improvement site, BobVila.com.  Vila says of the venture, “Radio offers an incredible opportunity to connect with the American homeowner.”  Compass Media Networks CEO Peter Kosann says the project hopes to take advantage of the nearly $112 billion spent annually on home improvement.  “Bob Vila is truly an American treasure.  Radio stations and advertisers will leap at the chance to associate their brands with Bob Vila.”

Cumulus Media Partners with Radiate Media to Produce National Traffic Reporting Service.  The combined effort is going to be called “Right Now Traffic” and will be available to stations in April in the top 75 markets.  The reports will be powered by the world’s largest traffic flow network, which includes government sensors, toll tag monitoring and billions of GPS data points.  Radiate Media’s premier traffic data comes in part from Nokia (formerly NAVTEQ) – a source also used for GPS navigation devices, in-vehicle navigation systems, mobile devices and hundreds of radio and television stations.  Cumulus Media CEO Lew Dickey states, “We’re excited about launching ‘Right Now Traffic’ with Radiate Media.  Americans are spending more than 1,000 hours per year in their cars.  Our listeners, advertisers and network affiliates all demand accurate and timely traffic information and this partnership enables us to address that need with a best-in-class service.”

Dial Global Amps Up Producers Department for Programming.  Dial Global promotes Scot Kirk to the newly created position senior production director and brings James Harness aboard as a producer.  The company says Kirk will oversee the creative direction and imaging for all of Dial Global-owned formats, shows and programs.  Both Kirk and Harness will be located in Valencia, California and report directly to VP Programming, David Felker.  EVP of programming Beau Phillips says, “Since merging with Westwood One, Dial Global now produces a tremendous amount of content.  While our programming sounds strong, we’re investing in producers who will set the vision and boost the quality across all DG products.”  Scot Kirk brings more than two decades of radio production expertise to his new role, including positions at Jones Radio Networks, KISW-FM and KMTT-FM in Seattle, and KXPK-FM in Denver before joining Dial Global in 2009.  James Harness is best known for guiding the creative imaging for KROQ-FM in Los Angeles as well as 92.3 NOW, WXRK-FM and FREE-FM in New York.

Salem Radio Network Holds Urgent Drive for Help for Tornado Victims.  The talk hosts syndicated nationally by Salem Radio NetworkBill Bennett, Mike Gallagher, Janet Mefferd, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved and Hugh Hewitt – mounted a daylong appeal yesterday (3/5) to gather donations for food, blankets and other essentials for the people of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee and the other states affected by the tornados that swept through the region over the weekend.  The storms caused dozens of deaths and millions of dollars worth of destruction.  Oklahoma City-based FEED THE CHILDREN is facilitating and administering the aid.

Sirius XM Beefs Up Election Programming on POTUS Channel.  The satcaster ramps up its 2012 presidential election coverage with new programming on its Politics of the United States – POTUS – channel.  “Showdown 2012” will air Thursdays from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm with veteran White House and Washington, D.C. correspondents including Jon Decker, Chris Core, Dick Uliano and Louise Schiavone.  “CQ Roll Call” airs Wednesdays from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm hosted by CQ Roll Call senior editor Morton Kondracke, editor David Hawkings, and others.  “The Flacks” airs Mondays from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm hosted by veteran communications strategists and MSNBC political analysts Karen Finney and Robert Traynham.

Money Radio 1200 Debuts in Palm Springs.  CRC Media West’s KPSF, Palm Springs financial talk radio outlet signed on yesterday (3/5).  The station was constructed by CRC Media West principals Ronald Cohen and Brian DuBose and modeled after the company’s “Money Radio” outlet serving the Phoenix market.  The Palm Springs station features a mix of syndicated and local/regional programming.

WTOP, Washington, DC Names Washington Regional Transplant Community Charity of the Month.  The Hubbard Broadcasting media organization says that as part of WTOP’s ‘Charity of the Month’ program, Washington Regional Transplant Community will receive more than $30,000 in free air time and in-kind contributions, including on-air promotions, as well as content on WTOP’s social media platforms and on WTOP.com throughout the month.  The WRTC serves as the federally-designated organ procurement organization (OPO) for the Washington metropolitan area.  As one of 58 OPOs nationwide, WRTC is the organization that facilitates all deceased organ, eye and tissue donation in our area, serving more than five million residents.  WTOP public relations and marketing specialist Robin Newton says, “WTOP is proud to support Washington Regional Transplant Community during the month of March.  WRTC has a direct effect on the health of our local community and helping them means strengthening an invaluable resource for our neighbors.  Our hope is to spread awareness and garner attention for their work.”

 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

| January 3, 2012

Walter Sabo Leaves COO Position at Merlin Media.  Noted radio consultant Walter Sabo has parted ways with Randy Michaels Merlin Media, the heavily venture capital-backed firm that acquired a majority share of three radio stations this past summer from Jeff Smulyan’sEmmis Broadcasting including WEMP-FM, New York and WWWN-FM, Chicago and is in the process of picking up a fourth from Harold Camping’s Family Broadcasting – WKDN-FM, in the Philadelphia market.  Merlin launched a relatively experimental all-news format at these stations targeted to what Sabo described as “working families” with an emphasis on the 25-54 female demographic.  The stations (FM News 101.9 in New York and FM News 101.1 in Chicago) received a tremendous amount of attention (and intense scrutiny) in the media before, during and after their launch prompted by former Tribune Company CEO Michaels’ negatively colorful and controversial profile, in addition to the fact that they were taking a startlingly innovative and youthful approach to delivering the all-news format.  Sabo was recruited to serve as architect of this approach due to his impeccable reputation as a longtime champion of the concept of targeting female listeners on FM and proven track record for success with spoken word on FM as a longtime consultant for WKXW-FM, Trenton (New Jersey 101.5).  When a notable rise in ratings failed to materialize in immediately subsequent survey periods coupled with widespread criticism by radio industry observers of the stations’ formats and execution – further exacerbated by Michaels receiving negative publicity in the midst of all this for being arrested on DUI charges – the heat was on and Michaels began facing enormous internal and external pressure to modify the programming approach.  He succumbed and the Merlin stations began moving in a more traditional all-news direction putting them in head-to-head competition with CBS’s long-established, traditional and wildly successful all-news outlets in New York and Chicago (WINS, WCBS and WBBM).  With this repositioning, the challenge of competing against successful, established news outlets has not produced increased ratings and the Merlin all-news initiative has become prematurely tagged throughout the industry as a monumental failure.  Sabo’s withdrawal from day-to-day operational and programming decisions, including his subsequent departure from Merlin, has been quietly happening below the radar for some time now.  Up until this article’s publication (1/2), there has been no official press release, acknowledgement or statement from either Merlin or Sabo confirming or commenting on his exit.  However,TALKERS sources inside Merlin and close to Sabo confirm that it is indeed true with Sabo telling TALKERS,“At this time my work with Merlin is complete.  The primary job was to build the most competitive team on and off the air – Merlin has the best.  Our initiatives gave investors the confidence to buy a station in a third market and grow the company.  GTCR deserves enormous credit for investing in the radio medium.  FM spoken-word is so hot that the demand for Sabo Media services has never been greater.  Our clients find that our decades of experience in the FM talk format protects their investment and shortens the profit horizon.  More importantly my beautiful wife Katie is seven months pregnant during the holidays.  That’s the news.”  Sabo will continue to serve as CEO of his consulting firm Sabo Media and internet branding and marketing company, HitViews.

Fox Sports Radio Network Debuts New Morning Program Featuring Andy Furman and Artrell Hawkins.  Today is the debut of Fox Sports Radio Network’s new morning show – “Fox Sports Daybreak” – heard from 6:00 am to 9:00 am ET and featuring former Cincinnati sports talk host Andy Furman and retired NFL defensive back Artrell Hawkins.  Furman’s resume includes an 18-year run hosting “Sports Talk” at WLW, Cincinnati and, recently, the PM drive show at WQRT, Cincinnati.  Hawkins is a contributor to the Cincinnati Bengals Radio Network.  Furman has been hosting a weekend show with former NFL star Lincoln Kennedy for more than a year and that Sunday evening program with Furman and Kennedy will continue.  Fox Sports Radio VP/GM Don Martin states, “We couldn’t be happier to have Andy and Artrell hosting our new morning drive program.  The combination of a sports talk pro like Andy and a former professional football player like Artrell will be a great addition to our weekday lineup.”  Fox Sports Daybreak replaces the Zakk and Jack program on the FSRN schedule.

Cumulus Media Flips WMTI-FM, New Orleans from Oldies to Sports Talk.  The Big Easy gets a new sports talk outlet as Cumulus Media drops the oldies on WMTI-FM and goes sports talk with programming from Fox Sports Radio Network, Premiere NetworksJim Rome and a PM drive show hosted by New Orleans Hornets broadcaster Gerry Vaillancourt.

New FM Talk Outlet for Little Rock.  Crain Media Group drops the active rock on KKSP-FM, Bryant, Arkansas (located to the Northwest of Little Rock) and debuts a talk format it’s calling “Fresh Talk 93.3.”  The lineup includes market news personality Neal Gladner in morning drive, Talk Radio Network’s Laura Ingraham, Dial Global’s Clark Howard, Premiere Networks’ “Coast to Coast AM” and more.

Progressive Talk Appears on WVKO, Columbus.  The station at 1580 AM is owned by Bernard Ohio LLC and its website indicates it’s doing business as Clear Conscience Communications.  The progressive talk lineup that debuted on January 2 includes Dial Global’s Stephanie Miller, Ed Schultz, Thom Hartmann and Bill Press plus Mike Malloy and Leslie Marshall.

Chris Schoenewald Exits Virginia-Based “Daily Constitutional” Program.  The regionally syndicated “Daily Constitutional” – based out of WCHV-AM/FM, Charlottesville, Virginia and co-hosted by Joe Thomas and Chris Schoenewald – is undergoing changes as Schoenewald is leaving the program to run for office.  He plans to announce which office he’ll seek soon.  Thomas tells TALKERS the program will continue.  “Adam Forster of Virginia Living Television and private investigator/TV anchor Nikki Lewis will be purchasing Schoenewald’s share and we’re hopeful to continue to grow and help stations in this area program locally oriented talk while freeing up their resources for news and marketing efforts.”  The “Daily Constitutional” airs live from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.  In addition, Thomas hosts the morning drive program on WCHV-AM/FM.

Sam Malone in Israel.  KSEV, Houston morning host Sam Malone is pictured here inspecting the cockpit of an Israeli F-16 during a tour of the Hatzor Air Force Base while on a trip to Israel.  Malone broadcast his program live back to his Houston audience (via the very capable technology of the Comrex ACCESS) during which he interviewed numerous Houstonians serving in the IDF, important Israeli media figures and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.  Malone tells TALKERS magazine his audience loved the content and his marketing department was able to get the broadcast event sponsored.

Iowa Caucuses, Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions, Holiday Sports Action and New Year Retrospectives Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/2).  Today’s Iowa Caucuses for GOP candidates, the nuclear ambitions of the Iranian leadership, college and pro holiday sports action and 2011 retrospectives were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

| December 14, 2011

Mark Levin Attacks Michael Savage Over Gingrich Offer; Raises Question of Legality of Savage’s Actions.  In response to Talk Radio Network star Michael Savage’s offer of $1 million to Newt Gingrich to drop out of the GOP race for the presidential nomination, Cumulus Media Networks talk host Mark Levin broadcast an offer to Savage to quit his radio program for good for the sum of $100,000.  Now, clearly Levin is toying with Savage in the spirit of a good old fashioned radio war – according to the Daily Caller, he stated on his program, “Let me tell you, that’s extremely generous on my part because he’s already going nowhere…That’s right — he’s losing affiliates left and right.  That’s what happens when you take your audience for granted and take your affiliates for granted.”  But Levin also asked if Savage’s offer to Gingrich was a “legal bribe.”  TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman says the federal government generally leaves the policing of elections to the states but that some states have statutes prohibiting this behavior.  South Carolina, for example, specifically prohibits offering or accepting or attempting to offer or accept money or other forms of compensation to induce a person to file or withdraw from an election.  Violation could mean a fine of $10,000 or up to a year in jail but Weisman says the likelihood of a South Carolina prosecutor seeking charges in this instance would be slim.  They would probably interpret it as a radio stunt and not what the statute was intended to prohibit.  Nonetheless, at least in South Carolina, Savage’s offer is technically illegal.

Cumulus Media Networks Partners with Benztown Branding.  This partnership brings together two of the industry’s largest production and imaging operations.  Under the terms of the deal, Cumulus will manage the affiliation and ad sales for all of the Benztown Branding imaging and production libraries and in return, Benztown will manage the production of Cumulus’ stable of production services.  Additionally, Cumulus will handle ad sales for Benztown programs including: “Roundtrip with Dave O,” “Dr. Bruce Hensel,” “The Storm Report,” “Old Farmer’s Almanac,” “The Todd N Tyler Radio Empire,” “The Bring It Minute with Tony Horton” and “Race Report Update.”  Cumulus inked a deal to manage ad sales for Benztown’s “Melissa Etheridge Radio Show” earlier this year.”  Cumulus Media Networks production libraries and imaging services affected by this deal include: Adrenaline, Ambush, Horsepower, Goldmine, Avalanche and Turbulence.  Cumulus SVP of affiliate sales and broadcast services Dennis Green says, “This partnership is an outstanding opportunity to enhance the portfolios of both companies by combining some of the most talented and creative producers and designers in radio with our dedicated sales and affiliation teams.  Benztown brings tremendous category knowledge to the table and has an extremely successful track record of delivering innovative services for stations.  Working together allows us to broaden the scope of our collective efforts.”

Cincinnati Talk Host Andy Furman Resigns from WQRT.  Andy Furman has hosted the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm talk show on Christian Broadcasting System’s WQRT, Florence, Kentucky for the past two years.  He tells the Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Kiesewetter that his last broadcast is Friday, December 16 but that he can’t say more because he’s “in a precarious situation.”  Kiesewetter surmises Furman has a new deal that he can’t talk about just yet.  Furman was a longtime sports talk host at Clear Channel’s WLW, Cincinnati but exited that station three years ago.  He’s been hosting some weekend programming for Fox Sports Radio Network in addition to his work in Cincinnati.

Jeff Weber to Resign from Blue Star Media Post.  Blue Star Media owns and operates the Business TalkRadio Network and the Lifestyle TalkRadio Network as well as stations in the Stamford/Norwalk, Connecticut market and in Las Vegas, Pittsburgh and Boston.  Jeff Weber has served as executive vice president of the company for the past 10 years but says he’ll step down at the end of the year.  “I am extremely proud of our company’s growth since I joined it.  It’s been very gratifying to see us increase the affiliate base of 112 stations airing BTRN’s programming to more than 1,000 now carrying the shows of LTRN and BTRN.  In addition, the acquisition of our four radio properties helped round out a solid company.”

Clear Channel Brings Progressive Talk to Milwaukee on an HD-3 Channel.  One of the country’s more successful progressive talk outlets is Clear Channel’s WXXM-FM, Madison, Wisconsin – 92.1 The Mic.  Now, the company announces it’s simulcasting the station to the larger Milwaukee market on the HD-3 channel of Hip Hop WKKV-FM.  Operations manager Tim Scott says, “92.1 The Mic is arguably one of the most successful progressive talk stations in the country.  The upcoming presidential election and the political atmosphere in this state makes now the perfect time for progressive talk to expand its message to Wisconsin’s largest market.”  It’s interesting to note that WXXM-FM almost flipped from progressive talk several years ago but a strong outcry from fans of the station convinced CC management that Madison was a market worthy of keeping the format.  92.1 The Mic features a stable of syndicated talk including Dial Global’s Bill Press, Stephanie Miller, Thom Hartmann and Ed Schultz plus Fox News Radio’s Alan Colmes, Premiere NetworksRandi Rhodes plus local talk host Doug Cunningham.

WTDY, Madison Gets FM Simulcast.  Mid-West Family Stations takes the 106.7 frequency licensed to Mount Horeb, Wisconsin west of Madison and airs news/talk WTDY on the signal to complement its 1670 AM signal.  WTDY-FM at 106.7 is a class A FM situated pretty far to the west of Madison.  Fortunately, that part of Wisconsin is pretty flat.

 

TALKERS Offers Free Ads for Open Jobs.  As a service to the talk media industry, TALKERS is making its online Jobs section available to any and all legitimate employers with positions to fill beginning immediately.  Broadcasters and talk media-affiliated businesses with job openings should send position descriptions, requirements and contact information to TALKERS managing editor Kevin Casey at: kevin@talkers.com.  Also, be sure to let us know when the position is filled so we can pull the ad off our site.  TALKERS keeps all job posting information strictly confidential and reserves the right to reject any ad for any reason.

2012 Presidential Race, Iran/U.S. Drone Case, End of U.S. Iraq Involvement and Euro Zone Debt Crisis/Markets Reaction Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/13).  The ongoing battle between GOP candidates for president in 2012, the case of the U.S. drone Iran claims to possess, the coming end of U.S. military involvement in Iraq, the euro zone debt crisis and the reaction by the world’s financial markets were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research by TALKERS.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

| December 1, 2011

KTRS, St. Louis Personality JC Corcoran Suspended for Twitter Activities.  There’s no official word from CH Holdings’ news/talk KTRS, St. Louis but the reports from St. Louis-area media seem to confirm that afternoon host JC Corcoran has been suspended from the station for two weeks after engaging in a back-and-forth Twitter argument with listener-followers in which he used foul language.  The incident started when Corcoran declared Cardinals star Albert Pujols would re-sign with the team by November 18.  When that didn’t happen, Corcoran was taken to task for his prediction on Twitter and his responses including questionable language went out on the internet.  This case illustrates that even though the “letter” of FCC rules applies specifically to over-the-air language on terrestrial radio, the “spirit” of the law can now extend to social media activities as well giving the morals clause found in most talent employment contracts expanded relevance.  Talk show hosts beware – you are what you tweet!

News/Talk KFBK, Sacramento Gets FM Signal.  As the historic AM station prepares to celebrate its 90th anniversary early next year, Clear Channel announces it is ending the Hot AC on KGBY-FM and begins simulcasting news/talk KFBK on the signal as FM NewsTalk 92.5 today (12/1).  Vice president and market manager Jeff Holden states, “Today is a milestone for Sacramento broadcasting as KFBK expands to the 92.5 FM frequency to better serve the local community.  The void for quality, local and full service news and talk on FM has now been filled.  This will give a younger audience access to one of the most influential stations in, not only, Sacramento but all of Northern California.  KFBK has demonstrated leadership over the past 90 years and it continues with the same dedication and progressive nature that makes it unique.   KFBK will now reach the nearly 70 percent of the market that doesn’t tune into the AM band.”

WFLA, Tampa Adds Jock Corey Dylan to AM Drive Program.  Former WPOI-FM, Tampa DJ Corey Dylan is now part of the morning show at Clear Channel’s WFLA, Tampa.  The St. Petersburg Times reports Dylan joins Jack Harris and Tedd Webb as co-host on the “AM Tampa Bay” program and will serve as a lifestyle reporter for the station as well.  Program director Steve Versnick tells the paper, “We wanted to change the co-host role and Corey seemed a perfect fit.  She’s got a sterling reputation in the market and a broadcast journalism degree.  So while it might seem like stretch to go from an ’80s station to news/talk, her background and interest seem perfect.”

Georgia Talk Host Martha Zoller Zeroes in on Congressional Seat.  WXKT-FM, Gainesville, Georgia talk host Martha Zoller is preparing to take leave of her talk radio career to run for Congress in Georgia’s newly created 9th Congressional District.  Zoller is still heard on Cox Media Group’s WXKT-FM but has exited the Georgia News Network from which she was syndicated across the state.  Zoller says Cox attorneys say she can stay on the air until she’s officially qualified as a candidate in May but realistically expects to have to leave her program prior to that time.  Zoller reports she has excellent name recognition in the district – 62% of likely primary voters in the conservative district have heard of her – as she will face a battle against State Representative Doug Collins and possibly others in the Republican primary election.

Dial Global’s Bill Press to Remain on San Francisco Affiliate.  Yesterday we reported Clear Channel’s plans for its AM talk stations in San Francisco that include the end of progressive talk outlet Green 960 (KKGN).  Dial Global notes that although much of the progressive talk that’s currently heard on that station will be relegated to the KKSF-FM HD-2 signal and online, the Bill Press show will be heard in the early morning daypart prior to Premiere’s Glenn Beck on KNEW 960 in the new year.

WGN, Chicago’s John Williams Organizes Holiday Food Drive.  Upon learning that food banks and pantries across the country are reporting a shortage of peanut butter, WGN talk host John Williams is organizing the “Peanut Butter & Jolly” drive to rally his listeners to donate peanut butter to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.  Peanut butter is sought after because of its protein content, appeal to children and long shelf life.  All day today (12/1), Williams will encourage listeners to donate to one of the many participating locations around Chicagoland that will be delivered to the depository tomorrow.  Williams says, “Everyone wants gifts at Christmas, but these people just need food.  If you give to this campaign, we can all say Merry ‘Chrithmath!’”

2012 Presidential Race, European Debt Crisis, Occupy L.A. Ousted and Penn State Abuse Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/30).  The GOP candidates for president in 2012, the ongoing efforts to deal with Europe’s debt crisis, the clearing of the Occupy Los Angeles protesters and additional allegations in the Penn State sexual abuse case were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday.  Pictured here is ABC Radio News correspondent Alex Stone covering the Los Angeles Police Department’s breakup of the Occupy L.A. camp.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

| September 15, 2011

Cumulus-Citadel Merger Gets DOJ and FCC Approval; Shareholder Vote Takes Place Today.  The merger of radio companies Citadel and Cumulus has passed federal muster as both the FCC and the Department of Justice give their approval and the creation of the new radio company rests on shareholder votes today (9/15).  To make the deal happen, Cumulus is forced to put three stations in a trust.  Those are: Citadel’s country WCAT-FM, Carlisle, Pennsylvania; Cumulus’ CHR WWKL-FM, Palmyra, Pennsylvania and classic rock WRSR-FM, Owosso, Michigan in the Flint market.  WRSR-FM goes into the Potential Broadcasting trust and must be programmed by the trust’s operators.  WCAT-FM and WWKL-FM were being moved to the Volt Radio trust and will be reassigned to the Potential trust and also must be programmed by that trust’s operators.

Bloomberg and ESPN Join in Partnership for New York Morning Sports Reports.  At first blush it seems like an unlikely pairing but many of the men Bloomberg’s flagship station business news WBBR, New York reaches are sports fans as well.  ESPN’s WEPN, New York will provide WBBR with live reports specifically targeted to the New York market by WEPN’s Jared Max beginning at 5:00 am on “The First Word” hosted by Ken Prewitt and “Bloomberg Surveillance” with hosts Prewitt and Tom Keene.  Bloomberg Radio’s Al Mayers states, “”We’re pleased to offer our listeners in the New York City metro area with morning sports coverage by ESPN’s flagship station.  In partnering with ESPN, we’re combining the best brand in business with the best brand in sports.”

“Troubleshooter” Tom Martino Files for Personal Bankruptcy Protection.  Martino’s consumer advocate show is heard daily on KHOW, Denver.  The filing lists assets of $1.37 million against liabilities of $78.6 million.  Martino tells the Denver Post that his financial issues center on his real estate investments that have been affected by the economy.  “There are so many people in this same boat.  You’ve got millions of dollars in lost value and all of a sudden you can’t refinance your loans and you are just upside down.  I just don’t know what I could have done.”  Martino says his debt comes from taking on additional loans over the past few years to save his real estate investments and that his Troubleshooter Network, consulting business and the radio show are not affected by the bankruptcy filing.

Leslie Marshall Show Contracts with AdLarge for Sales Representation.  The independently syndicated Leslie Marshall show signs a deal with AdLarge for the company to be the exclusive national marketing rep firm.  AdLarge co-founder and CEO Gary Shonfeld states, “Leslie is a highly renowned pundit who knows how to engage both the left and the right.  We are thrilled to have her show on our growing content platform and to represent her with the biggest national advertisers in the country.”  Marshall, whose program is fed live nightly from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET, says of the new deal, “Gary has done this before and very successfully.  At AdLarge, I’m not just another show in a large roster of programs.   My show is given personalized attention and the AdLarge team seems to have my best interest at heart.  They work hard for me.”

Bill Press Show Adds Video Component.  Bill Press’ Dial Global-syndicated radio show begins a video stream today (9/15) from his Capitol Hill studios.  Press tells TALKERS the video will stream live via Ustream and then key excerpts will be posted on YouTube but he’s quick to note they are still doing a radio show, not a TV show.  As a credentialed Washington correspondent and a nationally syndicated columnist (Tribune), Bill Press brings a unique level of journalistic credibility to his radio show that makes it stand out from most talk shows on either the left or the right.

KIRO, Seattle Debuts New Football Show.  710 ESPN (KIRO), Bonneville’s Seattle sports talk station debuts a new live football show tonight (9/15).  The new weekly show airs live tonight from Joey Restaurant in Bellevue, Washington from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm hosted by ESPN football expert John Clayton and co-hosted by former Seattle Seahawk players Dave Wyman and Mack Strong.  Joining the trio on tonight’s show is current Seahawks player John Moffitt.

CBS Radio’s KDKA-FM Gets Pirates Baseball Back.  That’s what the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting.  After five years at Clear Channel’s FM talk WPGB, the paper says sources close to the deal indicate Pirates baseball, which aired for so many years on heritage news/talk KDKA, will come back to CBS but this time on its KDKA-FM sports outlet, “Sports Radio 93.7 The Fan.”

WBZ, Boston Prepares to Celebrate 90th Anniversary.  CBS Radio’s venerable WBZ, Boston will celebrate its 90th anniversary on Monday, September 19 and will commemorate its place in broadcasting history as the first commercially licensed radio station in America.  The station will air a number of 15-minute vignettes that chronicle and honor the station’s history.  The station will also host a WBZ Hall of Fame induction ceremony.  CBS Radio Boston SVP and market manager Mark Hannon states, “For nine decades WBZ NewsRadio has led the way in reporting historic news events on both a national and local stage, and the station has offered a forum for the community to discuss the news of the day and evaluate what it means to them.  We are extremely proud of the staff’s reporting and programming over the years, as well as the station’s community outreach, and we look forward to being a positive influence in the market for many years to come.”

Early Ratings for Anderson Cooper’s Daytime Show Soft.  The new, daytime TV talk show “Anderson” is not yet a week old but analysis of the early ratings is inevitable and so far the critics are not impressed.  The Los Angeles Times reports the Monday premiere garnered a 1.1 household rating that put it behind the pack of such shows as “Regis & Kelly,” “Ellen,” “Dr, Oz,” and “The Talk.”  But the syndicated show is expected to take time to build and Telepictures – the Warner Bros. arm syndicating the show – says the program was pre-empted in some markets and had to compete with coverage of the U.S. Open tennis tournament.

Insurgent Attack in Kabul, Obama’s Green Jobs Controversy, 2012 GOP Presidential Field and European Financial Crisis Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/14).  The violent attack on American interests in Afghanistan, the investigation into the Obama Administration’s support of a solar power company, the GOP field of candidates for president in 2012 and the tenuous state of the European economy were some of the most-talked-about topics on news/talk radio yesterday.

KDKA Feeds Pittsburgh.  Well, at least several thousand Pittsburghers.  That’s how many residents station officials say enjoyed the 28th KDKA Spaghetti Breakfast held recently in the Steel City.  Pictured here are KDKA talk host Johnna Pro (l) and traffic reporter Kathy Berggren (r) as they prepare to feed the masses.  This year, the station honored the late KDKA talk personality John Cigna who is credited with starting the popular local tradition as a station promotion 28 years ago.