Tag: "CBS Radio"

Monday, November 23, 2015

| November 23, 2015

Paris Attacks Aftermath and Brussels Tensions Top Weekend News/Talk Stories.  The aftermath of the terror attacks in Paris, the question of how to deal with Syrian refugees and specific threats to Brussels, Belgium were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.  The Paris aftermath and the Syrian refugee question ended last week as the top stories, landing atop the weekly Talkers TenTM chart, and they continued to be top points of discussion for news/talk outlets that featured live and local programs or carried live national shows over the weekend.

hessbillCumulus Expands Bill Hess’ Role in DC to Operations Manager.  Programming pro Bill Hess – currently serving as program director for news/talk WMAL-AM/FM, Washington and Cumulus Media corporate PD/talk – is adding operations manager duties for the Washington. DC cluster.  Hess’ 38-year radio career has provided him with experience across numerous radio formats.  In addition to his news/talk and sports radio programming experience, he’s also programmed ACs WSNE, Providence;cumulus logo WHYN-FM, Springfield, MA; and WASH, Washington and classic rock WBIG, Washington.  Cumulus SVP, content and programming Mike McVay says, “Bill is an exceptional programmer.  The growth that WMAL has experienced under his direction is nothing short of astounding.  He has excelled as a corporate PD and will continue in that role.  Bill is deserving of this recognition.”  Hess says of his new duties, “On the heels of our team’s success at WMAL, I’m thrilled to be working with Louie Diaz on the rebirth of Washington’s legendary ‘Mix 107.3.’  Thanks to Gary Pizzati, Mike McVay, Jake McCann and Beth Cohen for this opportunity.”

spadeabillBill Spadea Replaces Jim Gearhart on New Jersey 101.5 AM Drive Show.  Back in September, WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” morning drive personality Jim Gearhart suffered a severe concussion at his home while on vacation.  Recovery from the injury has been difficult, putting Gearhartgearhartjim on an extended leave of absence.  Now, Townsquare Media announces that Gearhart will not be able to return to his duties with the station and that Bill Spadea is assuming the role of host of the morning show.  Gearhart had been with the station for the past 25 years and is a member of the New Jersey Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.  Spadea has been Gearhart’s chief fill-in since 2014 and voices the station’s daily feature “Bill Spadea’s New Jersey.”  Spadea says, “I’ve always looked up to Jim Gearhart as a legend in New Jersey media. His shoes are too large for me to ever fill completely, but I am honored and humbled and will try my best to live up to his legacy of unequaled radio and service to the people of New Jersey.”

valentimikeDetroit Lions Deny Trying to Silence WXYT-FM’s Mike Valenti.  Usually when a radio station ceases to be a pro sports team’s flagship, it’s because of money – either the rights got too expensive or the station was outbid.  But CBS RADIO Detroit market manager Debbie Kenyon says in a statement that Lions management wanted to pressure the station into firing talk host Mike Valenti for his staunchwxyt-fm logo criticism of the team’s performance.  Kenyon issued the following statement, “CBS RADIO and the Detroit Lions are parting ways.  ‘97.1 The Ticket’ has served as the flagship station for the Lions for more than a decade.  CBS RADIO says it has been negotiating with the Lions a wjr logolong time.  It is sad to say goodbye, but in the end it came down to the integrity of CBS — the refusal to be censored in talking about the team and making honest assessments on the air about this team.”  Crain’s Detroit Business reports the team says that isn’t true.  It quotes Elizabeth Parkinson, Lions’ SVP of marketing and partnerships, saying the mandate to fire Valenti in order to get a renewal with the club is “categorically a lie” and that Cumulus simply offered a better deal.  But in the Crain’s piece, Valenti’s manager, Mort Meisner, said the team made Valenti’s firing part of the conditions for renewing with the team and that team officials were regularly calling Kenyon to complain about Valenti’s criticism of the team’s performance and its management.  Read it here.

Odds & Sods.  Conservative talk pro Steve Malzberg – seen nightly on Newsmax TV – is sitting in for Salemmalzbergsteve Radio Network’s Bill Bennett on his morning drive show, “Bill Bennett’s Morning In America” this Friday (11/27)…..The NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers will remain with iHeartMedia in the Steel City as the team and the company come to terms to keep games airing on rock WDVE and sports talk WBGG-AM/W292DH-FM.  The renewed deal extends through the 2018 season and contains elements of promotional support for the Steelers via iHeartMedia’s six Pittsburgh stations.

boonecharlieLegendary WCCO, Minneapolis Personality Charlie Boone Dies at 88.  As one half of the morning radio team “Boone and Erickson,” Charlie Boone was a fixture on Twin Cities radio for some 40 years, literally owning the daypart during the halcyon days of AM radio from the 1960s through the 1990s.  He died on Sunday (11/22) at the age of 88.  The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports he and Roger Erickson worked together for 37 years before Erickson’s retirement in 1998.  Boone continued to host a solo Saturday morning show from that point until 2010.  Boone arrived at WCCO from his previous gig in Fargo in 1959.  He and fellow air staffer Erickson hit it off personally and management put them together on the radio in 1961.

Bill Payne Dies at 76.  Oklahoma broadcaster Bill Payne passed away in Tulsa on Friday 11/20 at the age of 76.  Payne was the founder of the Oklahoma Academy of Radio.  Payne was a pioneer in the field of FM broadcasting putting KWHP-FM, Edmond, Oklahoma on the air in 1962.  His Payne Radio Group operates 13 stations across eastern Oklahoma.  The company continues to be led by Payne’s son Will Payne.

Friday, November 20, 2015

| November 20, 2015

cainhermanChanges Coming to the Herman Cain Show in January.  TALKERS sources hear there are some changes coming to the WSB-AM, Atlanta-based Herman Cain show with the New Year.  Cain will remain with Cox Media Group’s WSB hosting the late morning show but Westwood One will no longer serve as affiliate sales and ad sales rep for the national syndication of the show.  TALKERS hears WYM Media will serve as affiliate sales rep and there will be a new ad sales rep, but that deal has not been inked yet.

wjr logoCumulus Media’s WJR, Detroit to Serve as Lions Flagship in 2016.  Detroit Lions play-by-play has been heard on CBS RADIO’s sports talk WXYT-FM for the past 12 seasons, but starting next year, the games will be heard on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WJR.  The Detroit Free Press is reporting the story and says many of the details are not known at this time.  Dan Miller and Jim Brandstatter are expected to remain in the booth going into next season.

wwhp logoNew Talk Outlet to Debut in Bloomington-Normal and Champaign, Illinois Markets.  The classic hits format will disappear from Smash Hit Media’s WWHP, Farmer City, Illinois on Monday and a news/talk outlet will spring up in its place.  Former WRPW, Bloomington “Cities 92.7” morning drive personality Ian Bayne will serve as morning host on the new “Newstalk 98.3.”  WWHP’s primary signal covers the area directly between the centers of the Bloomington-Normal and Champaign markets.

bellart15Art Bell and KABC, Los Angeles Collaborate for Thanksgiving Special.  Los Angeles news/talker KABC and paranormal talk legend Art Bell are presenting “An Art Bell Out-Of-This-World Thanksgiving Special” on Thursday, November 26 from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm.  This 12-hour specialkabclogo features programs hand-picked by Bell, who says, “We are thrilled to be back on the great 790 KABC, where we had great success.  My loyal fans will love that I’m personally hand picking the best 12 hours of out-of-this-world radio.” Bell’s nightly program, “Midnight in the Desert with Art Bell” (syndicated by his own Dark Matter Radio), is airing on AM/FM outlets in addition to its internet home base.

Odds & Sods.  The Grammy Award-winning band Train will perform at the official opening of CBS RADIO’s new New York performance space on Tuesday (11/24).  The company announces the opening of the Adorama Livecbsradio Theatre in Hudson Square in Manhattan, saying it will “serve as a showcase for artists, newsmakers, top athletes and other special guests.” It will play host to events from its six New York market radio stations, including sports WFAN and all-newsers WCBS-AM and WINS.  The company says that in the coming weeks the theatre will present performances by Southside Johnny and Shaggy, as well as live interviews with Chris Martin from Coldplay and Charles Osgood, host of “CBS Sunday Morning” and the syndicated radio feature “The Osgood Files.”  Today’s announcement marks the launch of CBS RADIO’s 11th performance space, wwtn logojoining outlets in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Washington, D.C. and Detroit, among others…..Cumulus Media’s “SuperTalk 99.7 WTN” in Nashville is presenting its annual “From Hunger to Hope Radiothon” on Monday, November 23 to benefit the Nashville Rescue Mission.  The station will share stories and invite listeners to make donations to the Nashville Rescue Mission.  WTN says that through the years its listeners have raised more than $750,000 for cause.

2015SportsHH logoLGTALKERS Magazine Presents the 2015 Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk. Yesterday(11/19), the editors of TALKERS magazine present the fourth annual Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk – The 100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America. This list ranks sports talk hosts, duos or ensembles from #1 to #100, based upon a set of criteria that includes a combination of hard and soft factors. The genre of sports talk radio has evolved greatly and grown exponentially over the past 15 years to go from being a fringe format to an important sub-genre of spoken-word radio programming. With this in mind, the editors of TALKERS debuted the Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk in 2012 to acknowledge the hard-working air personalities on sports talk radio. The results of this list are, admittedly, subjective. Being true to the realities of the media business, ratings and revenue are two of the major factors – some would say they are the only factors worth considering – but the editors also took into account other qualities that help create a list that is reflective of the industry’s diversity and total flavor and still give credit where credit is due. Those qualities include: courage, effort, impact, recognition, service, talent and uniqueness. The other concrete qualification for inclusion is hosts must be working – that is, have a regularly scheduled professional show on the air at a minimum of one terrestrial or satellite radio station – at the time of publication. See the complete 2015 Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk here!

fantasyNXS logoNew Fantasy Sports Platform Provides Radio with Turnkey Method of Tapping into Booming DFS Industry. Tampa, Florida-based FantasyNXS is providing a custom-designed way for radio stations, networks, and personalities to generate revenue from the booming fantasy sports industry. FantasyNXS is the first online mall for daily fantasy sports (“DFS”). According to company president and CEO, David B. Hirsch, “Our platform enables radio stations, networks and personalities to get into the DFS business at no cost and provides them with a new and engaging way to monetize their audience.” Hirsch adds, “When a broadcast entity joins FantasyNXS as a partner, we create a customized hub or ‘storefront’ for them that features their branding, content and contests. It also has its own, easy-to-remember URL on our site, which facilitates off-line promotion and advertising.” What distinguishes FantasyNXS from the current big dogs in the fantasy sports business – DraftKings and FanDuel? Hirsch tells TALKERS that FantasyNXS provides a different business model, more game formats and free-to-enter promotional contests. He states, “Our business model is completely different. Think of us as the first online shopping mall for daily fantasy sports. Our platform enables third parties to get into the DFS business for themselves. We build a customized hub or storefront for our partners on our website. We then create contests for them designed to appeal to their target audience. These contests appear in their hub and in the general game lobby for all FantasyNXS members to play. Our partners promote their contests by driving prospects to their hub. We administer the contests and take care of all compliance and back-office operations. We then split the net proceeds we earn from each contest with our partners.” Hirsch explains, “We also offer more game formats than anyone in the business, including Salary Cap, No Cap and Top-X. We also offer all three of these formats in our proprietary ‘Beat the Pro’ setting, which is ideally suited for radio celebrities. In ‘Beat the Pro,’ all of the contest’s entrants compete head-to-head, but collectively against the celebrity show host. Everyone who beats the celebrity splits a portion of the prize pool. ‘Beat the Pro’ offers a fantastic way for radio personalities to personally engage their audiences.” How do participating broadcasters make money? According to Hirsch, “FantasyNXS works off of a revenue split. Our partners earn a portion of the net proceeds we earn from the contests they promote. Also, our partners are credited as the referring affiliate for all FantasyNXS members who sign-up through their hub. This means recurring revenue every time one of these members enters any cash-entry contest in FantasyNXS. Our turn-key system can put a station into the DFS business with no cost.” Hirsch advises, “We can put radio entities into the DFS business, but they will have to actively promote their contests and drive prospects to their hub. The more they promote, the more money they’ll make.” Broadcasters licensed to states that forbid DFS or have network listeners banned from playing due to their local state laws can become involved in another, non-monetary version of the FantasyNXS platform that specializes in “social gaming.” Has the recent negative news about some states’ stances on fantasy sports impacted the millions of people who regularly play fantasy sports? “Of course,” states Hirsch. “In particular, the recent cease and desist letter presented to FanDuel and DraftKings by the New York State Attorney General has left a lot of fantasy sports fans on the sideline. In the coming months, you’re going to see more of this type of activity as our society comes to grips with the daily fantasy sports phenomenon. We ultimately believe that DFS will continue to thrive, but in a regulated environment.” Broadcasters interested in learning more about FantasyNXS can email Brad Fain at brad@fantasynxs.com or click here for more information.

talkersten logoSyrian Refugee Debate Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of November 16-20.  The political debate over U.S. policy toward Syrian refugees was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week.  At #2 was the aftermath of the terror attacks in Paris.  Coming in at #3 was the battle against ISIS and following at #4 was the investigation of the bombing of the Russian airliner over the Sinai Desert.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallJesse Ventura Joins Michael Harrison for New Episode of ‘Up Close and Far Out.’ In this week’s installment of the PodcastOne international hit, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” posted today (11/17), TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is joined by former Minnesota governor and prolific talk media personality Jesse Ventura for a conversation described by Harrison as, “One of the up-closest and farthest-out episodes of this show ever.” Ventura currently hosts a weekly program on Ora TV titled, “Off the Grid with Jesse Ventura,” (www.ora.tv) in which he serves up an unfiltered dose of his opinions and commentaries on the issues of the day delivered in his trademark tell-it-like-it-is “wrestling rant” style. Ora TV is the trailblazing video platform launched several years ago by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim with Larry King as an internet platform upon which the legendary King could continue his post-CNN hosting career. Harrison – an admitted professional wrestling fan – and Ventura talk about the old days of the entertainment-sport when the future movie star andventurajesse governor was making his mark as a colorful “bad guy” in the ring and then as the first “heel” color commentator (prior to Ventura, all ring commentators were biased toward the fan favorites – known as “faces.”) Ventura broke new ground as an announcer who openly rooted for the bad guys – know in the profession as “heels.” The conversation moves on to some heavy, controversial and provocative subject matter. Ventura discusses how his high-profile, anti-defamation/unjust enrichment lawsuit against the late Chris Kyle of American Sniper fame (in which the court ruled in his favor) has led to him to presently being blackballed by the mainstream media. Ventura talks about his critical views on U.S. foreign policy, the George W. Bush Administration, hypocrisy, and several conspiracy theories surrounding 9/11 and the war on terror. He talks about his show, “Off the Grid,” and how the title is reflective of his current lifestyle in which he lives part of the year in Mexico, untethered to paved roads, government provided utilities and, to a large extent, the internet. He discusses his turning to atheism and pacifism…and leaves a tantalizing hint that he just might become involved in the forthcoming race for the presidential nomination of the Libertarian Party – which has shown interest in him as a possible candidate. To hear the conversation in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

| November 12, 2015

cookehollandCooke: C.T.A. in Santa’s Sleigh.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke reports for TALKERS from the Consumer Technology Association’s annual preview of the enormous Consumer Electronics Show scheduled for Las Vegas in January.  (Yes, the Consumer Electronics Association has changed its name to the Consumer Technology Association.)  As Cooke notes, the data from the CTA is instructive for radio people.  According to CTA research, the top five items being sought by consumers this year are (in order of desire): TVs, tablets, smartphones, notebook/laptop computers, and videogame consoles.  Read Cooke’s entire report here.

stenslanddawnWPHT, Philadelphia Adds Award-Winning Journalist Dawn Stensland to Rich Zeoli’s PM Drive Show.  Respected television journalist Dawn Stensland is joining CBS RADIO’s WPHT, Philadelphia, as part of the afternoon drive show with Rich Zeoli.  According to the company, she’ll join him to provide news, traffic and weather updates as well as her views on the day’s trending stories.wpht logo  Stensland joined CBS’ KYW-TV in 1997 and anchored afternoon and evening newscasts.  She hosted the “CBS News Saturday” morning network broadcast in New York and in 2001, she began an eight-year run as the anchor of WTXF-TV’s “Fox Philadelphia’s 10 O’Clock News Hour.”  She has numerous “Best of Philly” honors from Philadelphia Magazine under her belt.  Station OM Andy Bloom comments, “Dawn is a well-known voice and face to the Philadelphia public.  She has two decades of success in Philadelphia, New York and other major markets that will be an asset to ‘Talk Radio 1210 WPHT.’  In getting to know Dawn, I’ve been struck by her charismatic presence and infectious laugh.  I think the audience will truly enjoy what she brings to the ‘Rich Zeoli Afternoon Show.’”

cowherdcolinColin Cowherd Performing for FOX Sports.  The arrival of sports media personality Colin Cowherd at FOX Sports produced satisfying numbers in its first month for the company.  According to FOX Sports and radio syndicator Premiere Networks, “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” had a “total reach” of 19.5 million people between September 8 and October 9.  Here’s how FOX and Premiere break it down: video clips of the show drew 11.7 million video views via Facebook, YouTube, FOXSports.com, FOXSportsRadio.com, the live-streaming FOX Sports Go app and Twitter video player; on television, a combined 5.8 million viewers watched at least one minute of the program on FS1 and FS2 (based on Nielsen data); and program podcasts ranked #2 in the Sports & Recreation podcast category on iTunes, netting 1.2 million downloads.  On the radio, Los Angeles affiliate KLAC “experienced a 106% gain” in its time slot with Men 25-54 over the previous year.

Odds & Sods. Chicago radio legend Milt Rosenberg’s program at Kovas Communications-owned suburbanrosenbergmilt talk station WCGO, Evanston will end soon with the company citing financial reasons for canceling the two-hour afternoon drive program.  Rosenberg’s “Extension 720” program aired for years on Tribune’s WGN, Chicago…..iHeartMedia Denver extends its deal to broadcast University of Colorado sports for another four years.  The deal extends Buffalos play-by-play on KOA “NewsRadio 850 AM & 94.1 FM” with select games airing on sister station talk KKZN “Real Talk 760.”…..PodcastOne reports that the first episode of “Heather Dubrow’s World” – the new podcast from the “OC Housewives” star – debuted at #3 on the iTunes chart.  PodcastOne says that Dubrow trended on Twitter when the episode was released resulting in hundreds of thousands of downloads.

krokKrasinski15Chris Krok in ‘The Office.’  WBAP, Dallas evening personality Chris Krok (right) is pictured in this selfie with actor John Krasinski (left) at this year’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.  Krasinski was the race’s Grand Marshal.  Krok is celebrating his third year partnering with the track.  This year’s “Krok and His Flock” offered listeners a chance to get a tour of the Sprint Cup Series Garage, a concert with Sammy Hagar and the opportunity to hold the American Flag during the National Anthem, all before watching the race.

2016 Presidential Race/Debate Aftermath, Immigration Policy, Hillary Clinton Wig Flap, Climate Change Controversy, University of Missouri Racial Tensions, Veterans Day, Russian Airliner Crash Investigation, and Early Snow Hits Midwest Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/11).  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and discussion about Tuesday night’s GOP primary debate in Milwaukee; talk about the United States’ immigration policy; speculation about whether Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton is wearing wigs; the threat of climate change and the international climate talks scheduled for December in Paris; the racial tensions at the University of Missouri; the observance of Veterans Day; the ongoing investigation into the downing of a Russian airliner in the Sinai desert; and early snow hitting the Upper Midwest were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

| November 11, 2015

cookehollandCooke: Do What Cable Is Doing.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke clarifies that statement.  “I don’t mean do what cable news channels are doing, contrived political arguments.  That’s being done to death there, and has become an unfortunate ‘Talk Radio’ caricature… I’m saying do what you see on basic cable channels and so-called ‘Over The Top’ (OTT) TV such as Netflix.  And as I listened to Sony Pictures Television chairman Steve Mosko, the little voice in my kept whispering ‘podcasting.’”  Cooke is reporting from New York for TALKERS magazine from the NAB Show/New York where Mosko was interviewed by former New York Times media writer (now doing a show on SiriusXM) Bill Carter.   Read more of Cooke’s story from NYC here and watch for his report from the Consumer Electronics Association’s CES: Unveiled press event later this week.

wtmjDebate15WTMJ Provides Extensive Coverage of the Debate.  Last night’s GOP primary debate in Milwaukee was covered in depth by E.W. Scripps’ news/talk WTMJ.  The station held a listener event at its historic Radio City Studios.  Midday host and editor-in-chief of RightWisconsin.com Charlie Sykes interviewed candidates Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz on the air.  “Wisconsin’s Afternoon News” host John Mercure anchored special debate coverage including on-site reporting and an in-studio appearance from GOP chairman Reince Priebus.  Mercure is pictured here hosting one of the listener forums he conducted before, during and after the debate at the station.  After the debate, WTMJ weekend host and RightWisconsin.com managing editor Collin Roth hosted a two-hour on-air program featuring listeners’ reactions to the debate and analysis with a panel of experts.  The station says the WTMJ Voter Forum will be continued for future GOP and Democratic debates.

wscr logoCubs to ‘The Score’ Move Is Official.  Rumor from earlier this fall reported by TALKERS that CBS RADIO is moving the Chicago Cubs play-by-play broadcasts from all-news WBBM-AM to sports talk WSCR are confirmed in a press release by the company.  The Cubs began airing on WBBM-AM after an exclusive relationship with Tribune’s WGN ended.  With the Chicago White Sox’ move to Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM beginning next season, CBS decided to shift the broadcasts of the Cubs to “The Score.”  The Cubs made it to the National League Championship this season so continued success could be good news for WSCR.

Odds & Sods.  The Tulsa radio cluster of E.W. Scripps names David Abel the new vice president and general manager.  Abel moves to Tulsa from his most recent position with Apex Broadcasting’s Charleston and Hilton Head, South Carolina operations.  In Tulsa, Scripps operates country KVOO and KXBL, classic hits KBEZ, CHR KHTT and news/talk KFAQ…..Salem Radio Network “Morning in America” host Bill Bennett took part in thebennettBloomberg15 Bloomberg education conference “Workforce 2016 and Beyond: Innovative Approaches to Retraining Millions for the Jobs of Tomorrow” on Tuesday (11/10).  He spoke on a panel discussion (pictured here, Bennett at far left) addressing the education and workforce problems that exist in America today and expressed his belief that America needs to emphasize STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education in the early grades to train and prepare our students for the jobs of tomorrow…..Yahoo! Sports Radio cracks the Philly market with the addition of new affiliate WNJC which will begin airing the sports talk network’s evening, overnight and weekend programming, effective November 16…..Colorado-based WeedStream now airs on iHeartMedia’s iHeartRadio app.  WeedStream is an entertainment company focused on the legalized marijuana culture with WeedStream Radio, WeedStream TV and WeedStream Events.

wabc logoCumulus Media’s WABC Honor’s New York’s Veterans.  WABC, New York is honoring America’s veterans with a special series of Veterans Day features.  The special content features an interview with Kevin Lacz, an Iraq veteran and star of the award-winning hit film, American Sniper, and will air throughout the day today.  In the series, Lacz discusses the importance of Veterans Day, the issues Veterans face today, and other related topics.

armstronggettyArmstrong & Getty Holding Weeklong  Fisher House Foundation Fundraiser.  The KSTE, Sacramento-based news/talk morning team Armstrong & Getty – Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty – is hosting its 5th annual fundraiser for Fisher House all this week to commemorate Veteran’s Day week.  Over the past four years, Armstrong & Getty listeners have donated more than $1.7 million to Fisher House to help them build new Fisher homes on the grounds of VA and military medical centers to help bring military families together as their loved ones receive medical treatment.  This year, the goal is to raise an additional $500,000 for Fisher House and surpass the $2 million mark.

webyWEBY, Pensacola Presents Special Tribute Program to Vietnam Veterans.  This special 10-hour program chronicles the Vietnam era and honors Vietnam Veterans through the lens of the American Forces Vietnam Network – the Saigon-based radio and television operations that served the troops.  The program was aired on the Spinnaker License Corporation-owned WEBY, Pensacola in segments prior to today’s airing of the entire 10-hour program.  It features recordings of these historical broadcasts including combat correspondents’ interviews with servicemen; interviews with veterans of the Vietnam War that have interesting stories about their service; and, adding background and color to the broadcast, many of the program hosts who proudly served in those very difficult circumstances have been interviewed to share their memories and experiences.  The program was created by Mike Bates.  He can be reached at MikeBates@1330weby.com.

2016 Presidential Race/Milwaukee GOP Debate, University of Missouri Tensions, Veterans Day, Syria-Russian Military Alliance, Status of Obama Immigration Order, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/10).  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and the run-up to last night’s GOP primary debate in Milwaukee; the racial tensions on the University of Missouri campus and the resignation of the president and chancellor; the activities surrounding Veterans Day; the military relationship between Russia and Syria; the legal status of President Obama’s immigration order; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

| November 4, 2015

womentalkart15The State of Women on Talk Radio: Part 3.  Today (11/4), TALKERS magazine continues its multi-part story looking at the status of women on talk radio in 2015.  Written by special features correspondent Jeff McKay, it addresses one of the most-asked questions TALKERS editors hear: Why aren’t there more women on talk radio?  Today we explore the question: What does it take to make it?  Obviously, there are women working successfully in the news/talk genre as lead or solo host or part of an equal team.  Mandy Connell of KHOW, Denver and WHAS, Louisville says a lot of it is luck applying atconnell, mandy stations with open-minded programmers.  “I have been very fortunate to cross paths with great PDs who believed in my abilities and were not dissuaded by my gender.  Jim Watkins hired me first, then Kelly Carls, Dan Mandis and Greg Foster — none of whom cared that I was female.  They just cared that I was good at what I do.  I think as more women work their way through the talk radio landscape, the programming issue will solve itself.”  Susan Monday hosts the midday show at WXDE, Lewes, Delaware.  She mondaysusanbelieves women who want to succeed at talk radio should be aware how they sound on the radio.  “It’s also important — not fair, but important — that a woman’s voice is the right kind of voice.  Shrill is not a woman-in-radio’s friend.  Luckily years of cheerleading destroyed any hope of shrill for me, but I still counsel women to check their tone when they get upset.  Shrill makes me turn the dial.  Unless it’s Mark Levin, for whom shrill is a normal speaking voice.”  Also in this installment, hear from Salem SVP Phil Boyce, consultant Valerie Geller, WFTL, Fort Lauderdale’s Joyce Kaufman, Greater Media’s Phil Zachary, and TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison.  Read the entire piece here.

nielsen logoNielsen’s October PPM Format Report Shows Big Months for News/Talk and Sports Talk.  Reporting on the results of its October 2015 PPM survey, Nielsen Audio delivers some stats about listenership based on format, and it bodes well for news/talk and sports talk stations.  According to the ratings giant, “news/talk posted its best overall month in nearly two years — a 9.4% share of all listening, which was last matched in November 2013.”  For October, news/talk was the most-listened-to format (persons 6+ AQH share).  Country was second with 7.9 %, CHR came in tied for third with AC with 7.4%.  In the 25-54 demo, news/talk finished fifth with 6.3% of 6+ listeners.  Sports talk celebrated a huge jump in listening.  “Sports stole the show in October, jumping a full share-point among all listeners aged 6+ from 4.6% in September to 5.6%.  This marks a new record for the format.  In the 25-54 demographic, October’s 6% (up from 5.1% in September) tied the record set in October and November of 2014.”  See the Nielsen story here.

cbsradio logoCBS RADIO Division Revenue Dips 6% in Q3 Report.  The 2015 third quarter financial report for CBS Corp. was delivered on Tuesday (11/3) and the CBS RADIO division – part of the company’s Local Broadcasting segment that also includes CBS television stations – was down 6% compared to the same period a year ago.  What affected the radio division’s revenue from last year to this?  CBS attributes the drop to the generally soft radio advertising marketplace, the fewer radio stations it owns this year and less political advertising after last year’s mid-term elections.  Political and sports are also very important to the television sector.  The company reports the 7% decline in television revenue stems from fewer sports events and the decrease in political.

stuttering john‘Stuttering’ John Melendez Joins Stephanie Miller Program; Jim Ward Returns.  The move of executive producer “Boy Toy” Chris Lavoie to a new career in Palm Springs opens the door forwardjim former longtime Howard Stern cast member and “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” announcer “Stuttering” John Melendez to join the Stephanie Miller program as executive producer and co-host.  At the same time, Miller is pleased to welcome the return of Emmy award-winner Jim Ward – the man of 1,000 voices – as her new co-host, effective November 16.   Ward is known for his impersonations of political figures, celebrities, and newsmakers.  Melendez began his duties today (11/4).

Odds & Sods.  WOR, New York talk host and NY 1 TV personality Mark Simone will be teaching a master class onsimonemark Frank Sinatra on November 18 as part of Hofstra University’s two-week symposium on the legendary singer.  Simone hosted a long-running Sinatra show on ABC Radio and he’s been the host of numerous Sinatra specials on PBS…..Joining the menu of shows available from PodcastOne is actress Heather Dubrow, a star of the show “OC Housewives.”  The weekly program is called “Heather Dubrow’s World” and the first episode features her fellow “OC Housewives” stars Tamra Barney and Shannon Beador…..CBS RADIO all-news KNX, Los Angeles is producing “A Sandwich Generation Forum & Resource Expo” on Saturday, November 14 at the Burbank Airport Marriott Convention Center.  TV personality Leeza Gibbons, KNBC-TV weatherman Fritz Coleman, LA County District Attorney Jackie Lacey and prominent medical professionals, professors, attorneys, financial planners and authors are among the 25 speakers who will offer guidance for people facing the complex challenges of caregiving for aging parents and growing children.

2016 Presidential Race, Clinton Foundation Financial Questions, Russian Airliner Crash, U.S. and Russian Roles in Syrian Conflict, U.S. Immigration Policy, Troubled ObamaCare Co-ops, Chipotle E. Coli Outbreak, and Looming Paris Climate Summit Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/3).  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016; scrutiny of the Clinton Foundation’s finances; the investigation into the crash of a Russian airliner in the Sinai Desert; the Syrian civil war and the roles of the U.S. and Russian military; debate over the immigration policy in the U.S.; reports of troubled ObamaCare co-ops; the outbreak of E. coli poisoning at Chipotle restaurants in Washington and Oregon; and escalating discussion about climate change as the Paris climate summit approaches were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

siriusxmCool Job Opportunity.  SiriusXM Satellite Radio is seeking a producer for the Patriot Channel in its Talk Programming division.  The person in this producer position will be responsible for all aspects involved in producing a successful daily talk show on Sirius XM Patriot including studio/technical operations, promotion, production, guest booking, and research.  Requirements include a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience.  Previous production experience within radio and/or live studio environment preferred.  For more about this position and to apply, click here.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

| November 3, 2015

beasleymediagroupBeasley Seeing Red Over Second Straight Month of Delisting for WBRN, Tampa.  The Tampa talk/rock hybrid that features Bubba the Love Sponge in morning drive was delisted from the September PPM survey by Nielsen Audio after independent contractor Bubba (a.k.a. Todd Clem) admitted to tampering with the PPM panel.  WBRN “Bubba 98.7” owner Beasley Media Group absorbed that blow even though Nielsen Audionielsen logo admitted that the panelist in question did not affect the ratings because he was found out in time for the September report.  Now, however, Beasley is upset with Nielsen’s decision to delist WBRN from the October PPM survey as well.  BMG president Bruce Beasley states, “Since the initial incident was reported to Beasley Media, we have had a constructive dialog with Nielsen as we were beasleybrucealso victimized by Mr. Clem’s actions.  We instituted remedial actions against Mr. Clem which had been reviewed in advance by Nielsen.  As Nielsen itself acknowledged, we cooperated fully with Nielsen to ensure the accuracy of their past and forthcoming ratings.  Therefore, we were blind-sided and disappointed to learn today (11/2) that Nielsen Audio will exclude WBRN-FM from the October 2015 ratings. Nielsen has not shared with us, its longstanding client, any specific evidence of ratings distortion which could have had any impact on the October 2015 Ratings Report, thus suggesting that this action is related solely to the ongoing litigation between Nielsen and Mr. Clem.  The fallout from this dispute may inflict collateral damage on Beasley, which, indisputably, has done nothing wrong.”  The litigation Beasley refers to is Nielsen’s $1 million dollar suit against Bubba for “damages” suffered by Nielsen as a result of Bubba’s ratings tampering actions.  With the release of the Tampa October 2015 PPM data, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian’s “Takeaways” from the Tampa market are available here.

womentalkart15The State of Women on Talk Radio: Part 2.  Today (11/3), TALKERS magazine continues its multi-part story looking at the status of women on talk radio in 2015.  Written by special features correspondent Jeff McKay, it addresses one of the most-asked questions TALKERS editors hear: Why aren’t there more women on talk radio?  Today we explore the question: Is it blatant bias?  Karen Hunter, an author/journalist, Hunter College professor and SiriusXM Urban View talk personality, says culture is a large part of it.  “The men who are in charge of hiring primarily see women as only tackling topics that are women-oriented — domestic issues, relationships, child-rearing, shopping, cooking, etc.hunter, karen  When the reality is that many women are heads of households and are making the tough decisions daily that men make.  They are bosses and managers and leaders whose view of the world is as important as a man’s.”  WCRS, Greenwood, South Carolina owner and air personality Anne Eller adds more to the culture response.  Historically, “from station owners, to station managers to talk show hosts to disc jockeys, men were out eller, annefront and women were in support roles…I do believe all this is changing, but I believe our culture has been the reason.”  Eller says where she is in the South, the woman as the boss is a challenging role.  “In the South particularly, women that are leaders are not given the support they need by other women and in my role as a talk show host, quite often, I hear other women say, ‘Who does she think she is?’   It is a fine line between being ‘boss bitch’ and a female person.”  In this installment, we also hear from Greater Media Boston market manager Phil Zachary and Weiss Agency EVP Heather Cohen.  Read the entire piece here.

kdka95thKDKA-AM, Pittsburgh Celebrates 95 Years Today.  Today marks the 95th anniversary of the KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh broadcast of the 1920 presidential election results between Democrat James Cox and Republican Warren Harding.  The CBS RADIO-owned news/talk station is celebrating with a live broadcast from the Senator John Heinz History Center through 8:00 pm this evening.  Westinghouse Electric Company, KDKA’s original founder and owner, will sponsor the event.   The “KDKA Afternoon News,” hosted by Robert Mangino and Shelley Duffy will broadcast live from the Heinz History Center from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Current KDKA staff, talent and past personalities will attend the celebration.  KDKA host Mike Pintek, who came to KDKA in 1982, will serve as master of ceremonies during which Westinghouse SVP of communications Cassie Hagen will showcase the Westinghouse contribution to the radio industry.  Most radio people are aware that Westinghouse launched the world’s “first broadcast” delivering the 1920 election results.  Plans were finalized with the Pittsburgh Post to acquire election returns by telephone.  The election night broadcast began at 6:00 pm from a shack on the roof of the K Building of the Westinghouse Electric Company “East Pittsburgh Works” in Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania.

hillsdaleDCstudio15Champagne Toasts, Dinner and Big Names Turned Out Last Night (11/2) for the Dedication of the Hillsdale College Boyle Radio Studio in DC.  Talk radio is alive and well and ready for future generations — thanks, in large part, to Hillsdale College.  The Michigan-based liberal arts school is rooted in educating young people about the United States Constitution and the principles that give it meaning.  And it’s betting on talk radio to be a driving force for free speech for generations to come.  The independent college charted a course last night with the dedication of its new state-of-the-art Boyle Radio Studio, just a stone’s throw from the US Capitol on Massachusetts Avenue.  The full-service facility is now officially part of the school’s extension in Washington, DC – The Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship.  The Monday night celebration included some big names turning out to show their support.  Among them, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and US Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), who were also guests on Salem Radio Networks host Hugh Hewitt’s show.  Hewitt inaugurated the Boyle Radio Studio with a live broadcast of his three-hour nationally syndicated program.  With a lit up Capitol viewed from the school’s balcony, guests enjoyed a front row seat to Hewitt’s live broadcast, as well as dinner and tours of the facility.  The evening activities capped off a full day of events that included two key presentations – “America’s Crisis of Constitutionalism” by Matthew Spalding, associate VP and dean of educational programs, the Kirby Center; and “The Future of Political Journalism” by John J. Miller, director, Dow Journalism Program.  These were followed by a tour of the nearby Newseum in the nation’s capital.  Speaker Ryan was very upbeat as he breezed through the crowd and shook hands before and after his radio interview with Hewitt.  Ryan told the crowd he’s a huge fan of Hillsdale College and the Kirby Center stating, “They’re doing a fantastic job of teaching young Americans about our constitution and our founding principles.”  Also in attendance was Bold Gold Media Group’s dynamic president/chief executive officer Vince Benedetto, a man described by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison as “one of the most promising up-and-coming young radio group owners in the nation – the kind of individual who gives this industry hope for the future.”  An active supporter of Hillsdale College and its passion for promoting talk radio and the Constitution, Benedetto, whose foundation funded Hillsdale’s brand new on-campus low-power radio station, WRFH 101.7 FM, and is contributing toward the DC extension, sees talk radio as the modern day town hall.  He tells TALKERS, “I think the way to get more younglundinbenedettoHaeglin15cap people tuned into radio is to have more young people in radio.  And so that’s what this is all about.  It’s to create a ‘bench’ that we don’t have right now.”  The full-service studio in Washington, DC won’t only be a place for students to learn their skills, it will also serve as a venue for out-of-town radio hosts to broadcast their shows free of charge when they’re in Washington.  Details to come on how broadcasters can utilize this service to the industry.  TALKERS has also entered into an agreement with Hillsdale’s Kirby Center as a DC location to produce and present occasional forums for on-air personalities and political figures to discuss the hottest issues of public policy.  Harrison says, “We are thrilled to be able to look forward to re-instituting our series of Washington, DC-based forums that were so successful back in the 1990s with so distinguished a partner as Hillsdale College in 2016.”  Hewitt, a huge fan of the school’s mission and a longtime friend with the school’s passionate president Larry Arnn plans to spend a lot of time there as well, telling TALKERS, “Whenever I’m in town, this is where I’m going to be broadcasting from.  I’m very grateful to be a partner with Hillsdale College.”

DGitalMedia logoDGital Media Partners with Stand Up NY Labs to form Comedy Voices Audio Network.  The goal of this joint venture between Spencer Brown and David Landau-led DGital Media and Upper West Side comedy club Stand Up NY is to “produce, market and distribute original comedy programming.”  Stand Up NY Labs is already producing comedy podcasts with A-list comics and this deal means DGital “will now have full production facilities in New York and will be involved in the production, distribution, marketing, events and sales of the existing audio platform as well as developing new content and events with the Stand Up NY comedy club.”  Coming aboard DGital as vice president of the Comedy Voices division is John McDermott, who’s served as VP Comedy & Entertainment for SiriusXM.  DGital chief content officer Chris Corcoran states, “We intend to build the leading digital audio platform in comedy with Stand Up NY Labs, which was conceived literally on top of legendary comedy club Stand Up NY.”

mid-westfamilybroadcasting logoMid-West Family Broadcasting Buys Four in South Bend Market.  Through its affiliate WSJM, Inc., Mid-West Family Broadcasting is purchasing four radio stations and a translator in the South Bend, Indiana market from Gray Television Group for $5.5 million.  The four stations – adult contemporary WNSN-FM, news/talk WSBT-AM, classic hits WZOC-FM, country WHFB-FM and translator W241AD (96.1 FM) – are currently pending acquisition by Gray from Schurz Communications.

Odds & Sods.   Nationally syndicated radio star and founder of TheBlaze media platform Glenn Beck is askingbeckglenn the Republican National Committee to consider TheBlaze TV as host of the ninth scheduled GOP presidential debate on February 26, 2016 in Houston.  Beck says his network is “prepared to produce a new kind of debate, in both substance and distribution.”  Beck would host the debate and – instead of journalists asking questions of the candidates – he “would invite the greatest new conservative thinkers westbrianand media voices in the country to question the candidates.”…..There’s a change in corporate structure at Nielsen Holdings.  The company is eliminating the chief operating officer effective January 1, 2016 and current COO Brian West is resigning his post, effective December 31…..Salem Media Group acquires the financial website DividendYieldHunter.com.  The company issalemmediagroup logo adding that to its current portfolio of publications targeting investors under the Eagle Financial Publications banner.  Eagle currently publishes products and services written by investment experts Mark Skousen, Doug Fabian, Nicholas Vardy, serial logoBryan Perry and Chris Versace.  Eagle also has three other financial websites: EagleDailyInvestor.com, DividendInvestor.com and ETFU.com…..Internet audio service Pandora strikes a deal with American Public Media to serve as the exclusive streaming partner for the podcast “Serial.”  The relationship means not only will Pandora stream season two of “Serial,” but it will also stream APM’s “This American Life” and offer season one of “Serial” on demand.  The launch date for season two remains a secret.

lundgrenfredLundgren: A Laptop and a Mic Don’t Make You a Broadcaster.  KCAA, Loma Linda founder and owner Fred Lundgren says he’s not against digital technology — or even podcasting — but he bristles at the notion that uploading or streaming to the internet is equivalent to (or better than!) broadcasting via AM/FM radio.  Read Fred Lundgren’s opinion piece here.

stigallWS15WPHT, Philadelphia’s Chris Stigall and Co-Workers Enjoy Royals Series Win.  Even though he wakes up mostly Phillies fans each weekday morning on CBS RADIO’s WPHT, Chris Stigall is true to his hometown Kansas City Royals.  He tells TALKERS magazine that he and his WPHT co-workers enjoyed watching the clinching game five at Citi Field on Sunday night.  He says the Mets fans were gracious and they had a blast.  Pictured here (from l-r) are: Stigall, WPHT PD Jared Hart, program executive producer Michael Cerio and WPHT news anchor and Stigall sidekick Paige Powers (also a KC native).

Obama Deficit/New Budget Deal, Russian Airliner Crash, 2016 Presidential Race, European Migrant Troubles/U.S. Immigration Policy, U.S.-Russia Military Tensions, Syria-ISIS Violence, Fred Thompson Dies, NFL Action, and Royals Win World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/2).  The new, two-year budget deal and the Obama Administration’s raising the debt ceiling; the controversial crash of a Russian airliner in the Sinai Desert; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and the aftermath of last week’s GOP primary debate on CNBC; ongoing migrant issues in Europe and debate over immigration policy in the U.S.; military tensions between the U.S. and Russia; the Syrian civil conflict and ISIS activity; actor, politician and radio host Fred Thompson dies; the weekend’s NFL action and the Kansas City Royals’ victory over the New York Mets to win the 2015 World Series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

| October 22, 2015

ktar-fmKTAR-FM, Phoenix Names Sharpe, West New ‘Arizona’s Morning News’ Hosts.  The Bonneville-owed news/talk station is bidding Ned Foster a happy retirement after a 27-year stint with the station.  News anchor Connie Weber recently left the morningsharpejim program after a 10-year term.  So, effective November 30, longtime Valley news personality Jim Sharpe and award-winning news anchor Jayme West will be the new hosts of KTAR’s “Arizona’s Morning News.”  Bonneville Phoenix vice president of content and operations Ryan Hatch states, “With more than 40 years of combined local news experience, Jim and Jayme are the perfect pair to move the ‘Arizona’s Morning News’ product westjaymeforward on air, online and on social media.  We think their natural chemistry, insatiable curiosity and passion for our community will be warmly received by our audience, which counts on ‘Arizona’s Morning News’ to keep them informed and connected.”  Bonneville notes that Sharpe is a 2006 Associated Press Arizona Reporter of the Year and a war correspondent who most recently hosted a nationally syndicated news talk program on USA Radio Networks.  He’s also hosted the “Sharpe in the Morning” program on crosstown news/talk KFYI.  West is a five-time Arizona Associated Press Reporter of the Year winner and 19-year KTAR veteran who will move to mornings after previously anchoring the news in afternoon drive and hosting “Arizona’s Evening News.”

kogo 15KOGO, San Diego Announces New Programming Lineup: Hannity Joins for Middays, DeMaio to PM Drive.  San Diego news/talk outlet KOGO “Newshannity Radio 600” adjusts its program schedule, “with extended news programming, a new timeslot for Carl DeMaio and the addition of top-rated, nationally syndicated talk radio host Sean Hannity,” effective Monday, October 26.  iHeartMedia San Diego market president Melissa Forrest states, “We are extremely excited about demaiocarlour new lineup and the addition of Sean Hannity to our team.  ‘News Radio 600’ has experienced tremendous ratings growth in the past year and we anticipate these new changes will help evolve our programming to the next level.”  A year ago, the station launched new programming with an emphasis on news in morning and afternoon drive and reports the ratings indicate the audience is responding.  The daily lineup is: “San Diego Morning News with Ted Garcia & LaDona Harvey,” Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, “DeMaio Report,” and “KOGO Evening News with Ernie Brown.”

thompsonmikeESPN Layoffs Claim KSPN, Los Angeles PD Mike Thompson.  The layoffs at sports entertainment giant ESPN – confirmed yesterday by the company – have hit the radio ranks with ‘ESPNkspnlogo LA’ program director Mike Thompson learning that his position is being eliminated.  He stated in an email to the Los Angeles Metro Bugle, “It’s been a wonderful 12 years with the Walt Disney Company.  I am honored to have worked alongside talented broadcasters to build a record ratings winner among contemporary males never seen before in the format and AM radio in the No. 2 market.”  The company is laying off some 300 staffers across all company departments.  Although on-air talent is not expected to be affected, it’s unclear how many more behind-the-scenes radio people will be affected.

siriusxmSiriusXM Reports Q3 Earnings; Net Revenue Up 11%.  Satcaster SiriusXM reports its third quarter 2015 financial numbers announcing that revenue was up 11% year-over-year and net revenue was $167 million, compared to $136 million during the same period a year ago.  In a statement, Jim Meyer says, “With subscribers at an all-time high of nearly 29 million and record adjusted EBITDA and adjustedsternhoward EBITDA margin, our third quarter was one of the strongest performances in our company’s history.  We are confident of our continued success in the fourth quarter, and we are increasing our guidance for self-pay and total net subscriber additions, revenue, and adjusted EBITDA.”  The burning question before SiriusXM is will Howard Stern renew or leave the platform he’s been on for the past 10 years?  Meyer would only say in an investors’ conference, “I hope so.”  He went on to say, “You should assume we speak quite often and stay tuned for updates.  And of course, the best way to hear any news regarding its renewal is to tune into Howard’s show every morning, heck, that’s what I do.”

cookehollandFAQ: Is There a PD?  Radio consultant Holland Cooke writes today about the changing/disappearing role of program director.  As he notes in his column published today (10/22) that radio stations are not programmed anymore, they are managed.  There are two primary reasons: “Debt service compromises Quality Control. VERY few managers are responsible for a single station.  At many talk stations, this manager also does an air shift, before or after Rush.  Stations think they can get-away-with-it because… most programming is now non-local.  Who’s left to direct?   Most talk programming comes off the bird.  Music stations are voicetracked or downlinked from the mother ship.  Directing is a lost art.”  For those managers seeking a real, live PD, read Holland Cooke’s take on what qualities he/she must possess here.

Odds & Sods.  The decision is not set in stone yet, but Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that CBSwscr logo RADIO will likely move Chicago Cubs play-by-play from all-news WBBM-AM to sports talk WSCR “The Score.”  WSCR is losing Chicago White Sox play-by-play as Cumulus-owned crosstown news/talk WLS-AM will begin serving as that team’s flagship beginning next season…..John W. Pirkle-owned WNFZ-FM, Knoxville drops news/talk and goes alternative rock as “94Z.”  However, the “Rude Awakening” morning show with Mike Howard and Terry West remains on wilsonnickthe program schedule.  The station also aired a local afternoon show called “The Drive” with Russell Smith.  It’s not clear what his and producer Richard Daughtry’s fates are…..CBS RADIO gives Nick Wilson an evening sports talk show on WKRK, Cleveland “92.3 The Fan.”  Wilson has been a producer, part-time host and sports anchor at the station.  His rise to host of “The Nick Wilson Experiment” comeswspd logo after Ken Carman moved from that slot to co-host morning drive with Kevin Kiley…..Cumulus Media gives Toledo news/talker WSPD an FM presence in the market as the station is now simulcasting on new translator W221BG at 92.1 FM.  The translator is licensed to Rudolph, Ohio, about 25 miles south of downtown Toledo.

rekerbillKMOX, St. Louis’ Bill Reker Retires.  According to a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, KMOX, St. Louis news anchor Bill Reker is retiring from the station after a 20-year career there.  KMOX program director Steve Moore tells the paper, “He is a pro’s pro.  Whether it was severe weather or something going on in Ferguson, you knew you had a professional in the newsroom.  I’ll miss the level of calm he brought.”

Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi Testimony, Joe Biden’s ‘Won’t Run’ Announcement, 2016 Presidential Race, Russia-Syria Relationship, Paul Ryan House Speaker Bid, Chris Rock to Host Oscars, European Migrant Troubles, and MLB League Championships Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/21). Today’s Benghazi testimony by former Secretary of State and current Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton; Vice President Joe Biden’s announcement that he will not run for president; the activities of the rest of the candidates for president in 2016, notably Dr. Ben Carson’s poll-leading numbers in Iowa; the military relationship between Putin’s Russia and al-Assad’s Syria; Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan’s bid for the Speaker of the House post; comic Chris Rock set to host the next Academy Awards show; ongoing migrant problems in the European Union; and the Major League Baseball playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, October 16, 2015

| October 16, 2015

mccoysteve‘Newsradio 106.7’ Atlanta Dismisses Steve McCoy Over ‘Trump Interview.’  WYAY, Atlanta “Newsradio 106.7” morning co-host Steve McCoy has exited the Cumulus Media news/talkers after he pieced together an old interview with Donald Trump and presented it on the station’s morning drive show as an interview with the GOP presidential candidate done while he was in Atlanta last weekend.  The storywyay logo new first broke on Buzzfeed after the Trump campaign publicly stated that McCoy did not interview Trump and actually aired what was a years-old interview, edited and presented as recent.  McCoy admitted the facts to Buzzfeed.  Cumulus Atlanta general manager Sean Shannon issued a statement saying McCoy no longer works for the station and the morning show will continue with the rest of the current staff – co-host Cheryl White with Drew Nelson and Randy Wyles.  At the same time, it’s being reported that McCoy was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and had planned to share the news with his listeners earlier this week.  That comes from the Atlanta Journal Constitution which spoke with McCoy’s former WSTR, Atlanta co-host Vikki Lock.

nielsen logoNielsen Sues Bubba the Love Sponge in Ratings Fraud Case.  The ratings company has filed suit against Bubba the Love Sponge in United States District Court in Floridabubba after the morning drive radio personality admitted to tampering with the PPM ratings in the Tampa market.  Alleging fraud and violation of the state’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, Nielsen is asking for damages of not less than $1 million in a suit against both Bubba and his company Bubba Radio Network, Inc.  Nielsen says in the suit that Bubba paid people to distort the ratings.  Nielsen delayed the September Tampa PPM survey by a week.  If the case goes to trial the company would have to prove it suffered damages.

rogginfredLA’s ‘Beast’ Shifts Roggin to PM Drive. As of next Monday (10/19), current KFWB “The Beast,” Los Angeles mid-day talent Fred Roggin will take over afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm) on the sports outlet. According to program director Tom Lee, “The new timeslot allows Fred to reach a wider local sports audience with more people in their cars for the afternoonKFWB commute.” Roggin quips, “After eating lunch and spending the day at work with our listeners, we thought it would be fun to drive home with them. For the record, we fit into all cars.” In addition to his radio duties at “The Beast,” Roggin continues as sports anchor for KNBC-TV, Los Angeles (channel 4), where he has worked the past 30 years. In that time, he has won 30 local Emmy awards; two years ago, he received a Lifetime Achievement award from the Los Angeles Press Club. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio‘s PPM report for Los Angeles, “The Beast” ranks #40 (.2). The market’s other all-sports stations are KLAC (1.1, #27); KSPN (1.0, #30); and KLAA (.4, #37); iHeartMedia CHR KIIS “Kiss-FM” and CBS Radio classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101” are tied for first (both with 5.1, 6+).

Odds & Sods.  WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive talk host Simon Conway is pictured here with two puppies whoconwaypupsOct15 are being trained as service dogs for American military personnel wounded in action.  Two weeks ago, Conway hosted a BBQ and raised $6,000 in two hours for the Puppy Jake Foundation, which acquires and trains the dogs.  Conway says, “This incredible organization now has 34 dogs in training and it was so nice of them to bring two of the latest around for a visit – although I had to be careful because there were lots of people in the building that wanted to steal these cute and cuddly abcnewsMurrow15bundles of fur.”…..The national Edward R. Murrow Awards were presented by the Radio Television Digital News Association at a ceremony at Gotham Hall in New York City on Mondayhumphriesrusty (10/12).  Pictured here at left are staffers (led by VP/GM Steve Jones seen here holding the award) of ABC News Radio accepting the Edward R. Murrow Award for ‘Overall Excellence.’…..Talk radio personality Rusty Humphries joins Liftable – the company that recently acquired the USA Radio Networks from Cross Platform Media.  Liftable CEO Patrick Brown says Humphries will serve as SVP of programming.

browneharrisonBway15Harrison Finds Joy on Broadway. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (right) wraps up his tour of Big Apple media happenings this week by joining GCN nationally syndicated host Dr. Joy Browne (left) last night (10/15) at a showing of “The Gin Game” starring James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson.  In addition to her regular fare of relationships and psychology, Browne includes discussion and reviews of Broadway theatre and the latest movie releases on her program, podcast and website.  Harrison comments, “It is amazing how well known Dr. Browne is on Broadway.  Half the people in the theater knew her and came over to say hello, as well as on the street in front of the theater where she held court prior to show time.  She is truly Big Apple media royalty.”  Both Harrison and Browne gave thumbs up to the play starring the 84-year-old Jones and 91-year-old Tyson.

talkersten logoDemocratic Primary Debate Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of October 12-16.  The Democratic primary debate on Tuesday evening was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week.  At #2 was talk about the issues and the GOP candidates for president in 2016.  Coming in at #3 was the military campaigns by Russia and the U.S. in Syria and against ISIS targets followed by the Iran nuclear deal and that country’s reported military build-up at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

| October 14, 2015

riverssmokeyRivers Flows to Scripps Tucson As OM. Beginning next Monday (10/19), former seven-year iHeartMedia Phoenix vice president of programming Smokey Rivers takes over as operations manager of the Scripps-owned stations in Tucson. According to Scripps Tucson vice president and general manager Leon Clark, “It was a long and active search – we are very fortunate to welcome Smokey to Scripps. He is a creative idea generator with an extensive and varied background in several formats. His expertise is perfect for our [Tucson] stations. I am confident Smokey will continue to help grow these very important brands in the Tucson market.” In thanking Scripps management for being “provocative throughout the interviewing and hiring process,” Rivers states, “I look forward to this opportunity to help lead the Scrippsewscripps Tucson stations to even greater success.” Prior to joining iHeartMedia Phoenix in 2005, Rivers spent more than six years as CBS RADIO‘s vice president of adult contemporary programming. His vast resume also includes a stint as national vice president of programming for Stoner Broadcasting Systems. In addition, Rivers has been director of programming and operations for stations in New York City, San Francisco, Dallas, Washington (DC), St. Louis, Memphis, and Birmingham. He most recently was managing partner of Reeber Hospitality. Among persons 12+ in Nielsen Audio‘s summer 2015 Tucson book, Scripps Tucson adult contemporary KMXZ “Mix” ranks second (7.2) behind Cumulus Media country outlet KIIM (9.4). With their summer 2015 Nielsen  Audio 12+ shares/rankings in parentheses, the other Scripps Tucson stations are rhythmic hot AC KTGV “The Groove” (2.1, #11); talk KQTH (1.3, #17); and sports KFFN-AM “ESPN Tucson” (1.1, #19).

hewitthughSRN’s Hugh Hewitt to Be Panelist on December and March GOP Presidential Debates. For two of the upcoming Republican presidential primary debates, Salem Radio Network talk show host Hugh Hewitt will be part of the journalist panels. CNN and SRN are again working together with SRN handling audio distribution of the debates that will be televised on CNN. The two events are December 15 at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas and March 10 in Florida. Hewitt states, “I am excited by the opportunity to continue to help shape the conversation about which of the candidates ought to be the GOP nominee in 2016. My focus remains on posing questions that elicit answers GOP primary voters will find helpful in casting their ballots.”

armstronggettyArmstrong & Getty to Anchor Mornings on KEIB, Los Angeles.  The iHeartMedia news/talker KEIB, Los Angeles “The Patriot 1150” will feature KSTE, Sacramento-based morning duo Armstrong & Getty in the 5:00 am to 9:00 am daypart effective November 2.  The show – hosted by Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty and also heard on iHeartMedia stations in markets including San Francisco and San Diego – will bump Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck to the afternoon drive slot.

jvJV Inks New Deal with iHM; ‘The Doghouse’ to Air on ‘Talk 910.’  It’s a multi-layered deal for air personality JV, a.k.a. Jeff Vandergrift, as he and iHeartMedia/San Francisco come to terms on a new contract.  In part one, “The JV Show,” featuring Vandergrift and co-host Selena, continues on CHR KYLD, San Francisco “WiLD 94.9.”  Part two reunites Vandergrift with former partner Elvis, a.k.a. Dan Lay, for an afternoon talk show (4:00 pm to 6:00 pm) on sister station KKSF “Talk 910.” The two worked together at KYLD in the past – as well as at CBS RADIO’s WKRK, New York during the “Freedoghouse FM” format period.  iHeartMedia says JV will also “produce and distribute content through his production company.”  To make room for “The Doghouse” on KKSF, Gil Gross moves to 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, followed by Cory & Joel from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  iHeartMedia San Francisco SVP/programming Don Parker comments, “JV is one of the Bay Area’s best and consistently top-rated personalities.  We’re thrilled to have him extend his tenure on ‘WiLD 94.9,’ along with fulfilling his passion for talk radio with a new show on ‘Talk 910.’…he will not only continue entertaining the WiLD audience, but he and Elvis are part of a new and exciting generation of talk radio.”

meinersterryWHAS, Louisville Host Terry Meiners Prevails in Defamation Case.  The Kentucky Court of Appeals has ruled that WHAS, Louisville talk show host Terry Meiners did not defame Louisville police officer Sam Cromity when he discussed on his radio show the traffic citation Cromity gave him and compared Cromity to Don Knotts’ television character Barney Fife.   Meiners received a speeding ticket in 2011.  He spoke about the incident on his radio show and said he did not deserve a ticket and called Cromity a “troubled public servant,” an “out-and-out liar,” and referred to him as “Black Car Barney,” an allusion to the “Andy Griffith Show” character.  Not only did Meiners beat the traffic ticket, he won the first round of Cromity’s suit against him in 2013.  In the September 25, 2015 Appeals Court ruling, Judge Laurence VanMeter wrote, “Disparaging statements that are not so definite or precise to be branded false cannot support an action for defamation.”

Odds & Sods.  The NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves and CBS RADIO news/talk WCCO-AM ink a new multi-year radio partnership for the station to continue as the team’s flagship radio station.  Under the terms, Alan Hortonwcco logo returns for his ninth season as the Wolves play-by-play announcer and will team up with studio host John Focke to produce the 30-minute pre- and post-game shows…..Cumulus Media extends its deal with IMG to continue as the exclusive flagship radio station for University of Tennessee athletics through Knoxville stations country WIVK-FM and sports talk WNML-AM/FM.  The stations are continuing a 40-year relationship with the IMG Vol Network, one of the oldest and largest collegiate radio networks in the country…..Westwood One and client The National Pork Board are presenting content called “daily porkcasts” across the network’s programming.  WW1 says “the daily ‘porkcast’…is a fun and engaging consumer brand integration that reminds listeners to create pork-inspired meals to complement the changing season.  The campaign, which includes commercials running in Westwood One’s NFL and country programming, will also feature live read spots from CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki Barber during his ‘Tiki & Tierney’ morning radio show. The radio ads will prompt listeners to search for recipes that fit their local, real-time weather forecast based on location.  Consumers will be driven to a website where recipes for all seasons are available step-by-step.”

Democratic Candidates Debate/2016 Presidential Race, Russian Syria Military Campaign, U.S. Syria-ISIS Policy, Israel Violence, GOP House Speaker Issue, European Migrant Problems/U.S. Immigration Policy Controversy, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/13).  The first Democratic presidential candidates’ debate and the activities of the GOP presidential candidates; Russia’s military campaign in Syria; the United States’ military policy in Syria and with regard to ISIS; the recent violence in Israel; the process of replacing outgoing GOP House Speaker John Boehner; migrant problems affecting European nations and the related U.S. immigration policy debate; and the MLB playoff games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, October 12, 2015

| October 12, 2015

cookeholland‘Typical Is Your Enemy.’ Those are the words of radio consultant Holland Cooke, who writes today in TALKERS about the dangers of not standing out in the modern media era.  He says, “Someone JUST-tuning-in at 14 past the hour on a cloudy morning hears the announcer assure that the next Traffic & Weather Together On-the-Threes update is just nine minutes away.  Or “WHAT A NIGHT AT WRIGLEY!” teases a sportscast into spots.  Are we naïve enough to think people aren’t toting smartphones?”  What used to keep people tuned in to your station now tells them there’s something they need to know and busy people can use your tease to get the news from a digital source instantly.  Whether you program a talk station or a music station – or both – read Holland Cooke’s warnings about typical-ness and what to avoid here.

kfi logoKFI, Los Angeles Makes Midday Changes; Mark Thompson and Elizabeth Espinosa Exit.  While iHeartMedia-owned news/talker KFI, Los Angeles has not issued an official statement about the status of its 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show, the Facebook page of the Mark Thompson and Elizabeth Espinoza show confirms that the duo has exited the station – although Thompson will continue to make regular appearances on the station’s Tim Conway Jr. show.  TALKERS sources in Los Angeles report KFI news anchors Gary Hoffmann and Shannon Farren will assume hosting duties for the early afternoon show.

namb logoNational Association of Media Brokers Announces New Officers; Glenn Serafin Named President.  Professional organization the National Association of Media Brokers, serving those who represent buyers and sellers of radio and television stations and relatedserafinglenn businesses, elected a slate of officers at its semi-annual meeting during the recent Radio Show in Atlanta.  Re-elected to a new two-year term as president is Glenn M Serafin, director of Tampa, Florida-based Serafin Bros., Inc.  Eddie Esserman, a director of Media Services Group, is the new vice-president.  Roger Rafson – owner of CMS Station Brokerage – continues serving as secretary for another two years.  Greg Guy will serve another two years as treasurer.  He is a managing partner of Patrick Communications.

musicindustryreunion15Second Music Industry Reunion Planned for New York Takes Place this Wednesday (10/14).  There are still a handful of free tickets left for a very popular informal annual gathering that brings together several generations of music and radio industry professionals in a fun, warm and fuzzy atmosphere.  By popular demand, a second “Music Industry Reunion” has been set by its organizers to take place in New York, following the tremendous recent successes of its first three installments in Los Angeles and its debut in New York last year.  The informal event is open to all members, past and present, of the music and music-related industries free of charge, including a huge turnout from radio.  It will take place at El Original Tex Mex (735 10th Ave. NYC) on Wednesday, October 14 between 6:00 pm and 11:00 pm.  The reunion is again being organized by veteran record executive Jon Scott and a committee of music industry veterans, past and present. These events have become tremendously successful, with each of the first four drawing a larger crowd of colorful legends on both coasts than its organizers originally anticipated.  And now, according to Scott, “The demand for a fifth (the second in NYC) necessitates that we do it again.  Not only do past attendees want to come back, but we are hearing from great folks around the country who, upon learning about our first four events, want to participate going forward.”  Last October’s Big Apple installment of the Music Industry Reunion drew more than 250 people including luminaries such as Ron AlexenburgJohnny BarbisDanny BuchHarvey LeedsJim DelBalzoPaul RappaportJudy LibowRoxy MyzallTony BerardiniPatty Martin and many more.  Scott explains, “I really thought the first Los Angeles Music Industry Reunion would just be a one-time event, but it was a smash and the two follow-ups in Los Angeles and the first one in New York were successively bigger.  Now even more people keep asking, ‘When is the next one?’  I am thrilled that old music friends attend these events and have a wonderful, rare opportunity to connect with colleagues they haven’t seen in years.”  Scott adds, “The next night, Tony Martell will be honored at the 40th anniversary of his wonderful charity, The T.J Martell Foundation and hopefully we’ll see you there, too.”  The party is free with no host food and bar – but because of space limitations, it is important to make reservations as early as possible.  Members of the Music Industry Reunion NYC organizing committee include: Jon Scott, Greg Lee, Johnny Barbis, Judy Libow, Roxy Myzal, Ted UtzWayne McManners, Harvey Leeds, Steve LeedsPete Gidion, Jim DelBalzo and Jesse Scott. Organizer Jon Scott sums it up: “Keep in mind, this is not an ‘official’ convention or seminar being put on by an industry trade association or publication.  There is no charge, no fee, and no agenda, except for seeing each other!”  Scott continues, “Lots of laughs, stories, and the amazingly positive synergy of just hanging with each other!  By the way, on October 14th, 1947, the sound barrier was broken. I know many of us have broken some kind of sound barrier in our career!  A perfect night to have a party!”  For more information about the forthcoming second Music Industry Reunion New York, call Jon Scott at 818-981-9876 or via email at jon@jonpaulscott.com.  To register click here.  Music Industry Reunion New York is being made possible by a grant from RadioInfoRadioInfo/TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison says, “This is one of the most teary, huggy, and emotionally touching industry gatherings for anyone who has made friends in the business over the years.  I am so pleased that RadioInfo has been able to contribute to it happening and we can’t wait to see everyone this Wednesday evening in New York.

Odds & Sods.  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, WGN, Chicago evening personality Justinkaufmannjustin Kaufmann is off the air at the station “indefinitely” dealing with a “private and personal matter.”  Kaufmann joined the station in April of this year after a 21-year career as a producer at Chicago Public Media…..Detroit Red Wings hockey and Detroit Tigers baseball will be head on CBS RADIO’s sports talker WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” for years to come.  The station and Olympia Entertainment have inked a comprehensive multi-year agreement that includes play-by-play rights to both teams, as well as marketing and promotional activities across CBS RADIO’s Detroit stations.  Dan Dickerson, will continue to host abcnewsComiconnyc15the Tigers pre- and post-game shows, as well as weekly off-season show “Hot Stove.”  Red Wings announcer Ken Kal will host “Inside Hockeytown” weekly throughout the hockey season.  Plus, all-news WWJ will add three new, one-hour shows including “Inside The Arena,” to keep fans up-to-date on the development of the new Detroit Red Wings hockey stadium; “Inside The Ballpark,” which will include the latest news and information about the Detroit Tigers upcoming season, and “Inside District Detroit” focusing on all things related to the expansion of “The District.”…..New York Comic Con invaded the Javits Center last Thursday through Sunday and ABC Radio was on the scene.  Pictured here at left with a couple of the attendees is ABC Radio entertainment producer Steve Iervolino.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

| October 8, 2015

bellart15BigLoyal Fans of Art Bell Pool Resources and Invest in TALKERS Ad Campaign for their Radio Hero.  An international group of extremely loyal fans of legendary radio talk show host Art Bell (left) have pooled their financial resources and invested in a major trade publication advertising campaign (see box and banner ads on every page of Talkers.com and the TALKERS email newsletter) on behalf of their favorite broadcaster.  The purpose is to let broadcast radio owners, managers and programmers know that the iconic champion of cosmic consciousness, the paranormal and metaphysical subject matter is back in action doing a nightly (12:00 midnight – 3:00 am ET) online radio program via the Dark Matter Digital Network titled “Midnight in the Desert” – and, most importantly, that it is immediately available for syndication on AM and FM radio stations. Launched this past summer, the show is already carried on more than 35 terrestrial stations across the US and Canada. The group, organized largely through social media, issued the following statement:

Art Bell, the legendary king of late night radio, has always had a unique and surprising relationship with his listeners. For us, it’s personal. A pioneer of interactive radio since the 90s, Art has a long history of connecting directly with his fans in ways few, if any, other radio hosts have. Through Art’s early embrace of internet bulletin boards, IRC chats, and even HAM radio, he created a devoted following. These days, Art is a constant presence to his fans through more modern social networking tools, such as message boards, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. He has continued to maintain direct contact with his fans even during the years when he wasn’t on the air, whether updating them on family matters or giving them his observations on the world.

That personal touch allowed Bell to retain tens of thousands of hardcore fans years after his retirement from national broadcasting. That listener loyalty was bolstered by such things as Art calling into fan podcasts, or granting an exclusive two hour fan interview, hosted in his home and posted online for all to hear. Ever active on the pages of the various fan message boards, Art has always gone to his fans and interacted directly.

Now Art is back with a new show, “Midnight in the Desert,” and in true Art Bell fashion he’s bringing his loyal fans with him.

The genesis of the show was a true grassroots effort. Through modern social media, Bell connected with his fans and built the new show from the ground up. The fans chose the name of the show, as well as the show’s theme music, a song composed especially for Art Bell by Crystal Gayle. It turns out that she’s a fan, too. Art also recruited his staff from his fan base, most famously his webmaster of many years Keith Rowland, but also his current producer. A fan runs his official YouTube channel, and fans created no less than 10 commercial trailers to promote the upcoming show. A dedicated group of fans even got an advertisement for the show on an electronic billboard in Times Square. Art Bell doesn’t just broadcast, he inspires his fans through his interactivity with them.

That loyalty continues with this ad campaign on Talkers.com. Art’s fans include everyone from housewives to astrophysicists.  It was brought to the fans’ attention by one of their members in the broadcasting profession that TALKERS was the most effective place to get the word out to radio stations that Art Bell is back and many tens of thousands of listeners are waiting to hear him on their local radio stations once again. Because, if there’s one thing Art Bell has in common with all of his fans, it’s their shared passion for good radio.

Please watch a special video from Art by clicking here.

TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “In the 25 years that we have been publishing TALKERS, we have never witnessed this type of display of fan loyalty.  It is remarkable and tremendously inspirational for all of us who love radio and have a vested interest in the proliferation of the viability of the FM/AM paradigm.  Thank you Art Bell for continuing to be a trailblazer and to his very special fan base for showing us that people will certainly care if we simply ‘do our jobs’ the way we are supposed to.”  For affiliate information, interested stations should contact  Amy Martin at affiliates@artbell.com.  Art Bell is scheduled to be Michael Harrison’s guest on a forthcoming installment of the international PodcastOne hit, “Up Close and Far Out.”  Stay tuned for details.

emmis logoEmmis Reports Q2 Radio Revenue Flat.  Reporting that its net radio revenue was flat at $47.6 million, Emmis Communications releases figures from its second fiscal quarter, which ended August 31.  In a press statement, the company notes that “second quarter radio revenues were down 0.5% compared to local radio market revenues [which were] down 1.9%.  Our Newnextradio logo York cluster performed much better in the second quarter (up 4.3% in a market down 3.4%).”  Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan states, “Despite our outperformance, the markets where we operate remain challenged.  While we are outperforming in a difficult marketplace, the radio industry is clearly in need of a catalyst and we think we have it with NextRadio.  The addition of AT&T and T-Mobile during the quarter continues the momentum for NextRadio, the Emmis-led industry initiative to make FM broadcast radio available on smartphones and tablets.  I’m most pleased by the broad industry support we have garnered for the effort, which we believe will revolutionize radio.”

bellmikeCBS RADIO Suspends 92.9 The Game Atlanta Personality Mike Bell for Jessica Mendoza Tweet.  Even though he’s apologized for his ill-advised Tweet about ESPN MLB playoff game analyst Jessica Mendoza, CBS RADIO has suspended the WZGC, Atlanta host until Monday (10/12), according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney HoMike Bell, who co-hosts the afternoon drive show with Carl Dukes on “92.9 The Game,” used a reference from a line in the movie Anchorman to express his displeasure with ESPN’s call to have the U.S. Women’s Softball gold medalist serve as color analyst for the Astros-Yankees game.  He Tweeted: “yes tell us T*ts McGhee when you’re up there hitting the softball you see a lot of 95 mile an hour cutters.”

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: MLB Flagships.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his fourth 2015 PPM analysis of the ratings performances (6+, Mon-Sun 6a-12mid) of stations that serve as flagships for MLB franchise play-by-play.  This report is based on the September 2015 PPM data (survey period August 13-September 9).  Since this report is not based on ratings from actual game time dayparts, it reflects the overall movement of a station with baseball listening as one possible factor.  In this report see charts illustrating the AQH shares of stations from August 2015 to September 2015, from September 2014 to September 2015, as well as the market ranks and how the flagships stacked up based on MLB divisions.  Click here to read more.

siriusxmSiriusXM Renews with the NFL Through 2022.  There’s no mention of the price satcaster SiriusXM is paying the National Football League for the just-announced six-year extension of the satellite broadcasting and marketing agreement, but SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer and his team obviously value the play-by-play programming.  As the Official Satellite Radio Partner of the NFL, SiriusXM will continue to “feature every NFL game live nationwide from the preseason through Super Bowl LVI in 2022 as well as SiriusXM NFL Radio – SiriusXM’s 24/7 radio channel dedicated entirely to the NFL.”

Clinton Gun Control Plan, 2016 Presidential Race, Hillary Clinton Email Server Case, Russia’s Syria Military Campaign, Obama’s TPP Trade Deal, New House Speaker Vote, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/7).  Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton announces her gun control plan if elected; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the ongoing matter of Hillary Clinton’s private email server allegedly used for State Department business; the Russian military campaign in Syria and the U.S.’ role in the battle against ISIS; controversy over President Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal; the pending votes on a new GOP House Speaker; and the action in the MLB playoffs were some of the top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, October 5, 2015

| October 5, 2015

beasleymediagroupBeasley Addresses Bubba the Love Sponge’s Guilt in Ratings Tampering Matter.  A press release from Beasley Media Group reports that Nielsen Audio determined that Bubba the Love Sponge (a.k.a. Todd Clem) – who provides his show to the company’s WBRN, Tampa as a program supplier – was contacted by abubba Tampa market PPM panelist and that he “attempted to influence the listening habits of the PPM holder.”  A statement from Beasley Media Group president Bruce Beasley indicates the Beasley and Bubba will continue to do business, but is vague about action to be taken against Bubba.  “Beasley strongly condemns the actions of Mr. Clem, who has provided syndicated programming to radio broadcasters for many years and is not a company employee. We are taking appropriate steps to ensure that such conduct does not occur in the future.  These steps include, but are not limited to, compliance training for Mr. Clem and his employees and the distribution of guidelines reiterating the importance of avoiding conduct that could cause ratings distortion, to all Beasley employees.”  WBRN will have to do without the September PPM figures because, while Nielsen confirms Bubba’s conduct “has no impact on the Tampa Bay radio market ratings because the improper activity was discovered in a timely manner and it [Nielsen] moved quickly to remove the PPM holder’s results from the survey,” the station will not be included in the September 2015 Tampa ratings report.

Nielsen LogoSeptember PPM Data and RadioInfo‘s ‘Twelve Takeaways.’ Rather than distributing ratings information for 12-PPM markets apiece over a four-day period as it generally does, Nielsen Audio doubled up its September 2015 schedule. It released data from 23 markets Tuesday (Tampa was delayed) and 24 markets the following day (Wednesday, 9/30).  You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations in those 47 markets here.  Simultaneous with that, TALKERS magazine’s sister radio trade pub RadioInfo enthusiastically unveils an augmented modification of our already powerful ratings coverage as managing editor Mike Kinosian expands his “Top Ten Takeaways” to encompass all markets every month.  In this “Twelve Takeaways” overview, we focus on noteworthy happenings in Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Middlesex-Somerset-Union, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. The September 2015 survey period covered August 13 – September 9.  Check ’em out here.

harrisheidiDrivetime Talent Changes at CBS RADIO’s KXNT, Las Vegas.  Two former KXNT personalities return to the CBS RADIO news/talker after periods away from the station.  Alan Stock and Heidistockalan Harris had worked at KXNT both separately and partnered together.  Today (10/5), they return with Harris hosting the morning drive show and Stock assuming the afternoon drive program.  Harris takes over for Dayna Roselli who exits for a gig in local television at KTNV-TV, Las Vegas.  Stock replaces Jim Villanucci, who exits the station.  In addition to their previous work at KXNT, both Harris and Stock have also served with Beasley’s crosstown news/talk KDWN.

podcastone bPodcast One Debuts Three New Podcasts from Tony Bruno, Brian Howie and Grant Cardone.  Sports talk radio pro Tony Bruno is one of three personalities to launch new shows on PodcastOne.  Bruno exited CBS RADIO’s WIP-FM, Philadelphia this summer after becoming “disillusioned with the dumbingbrunotony down of terrestrial radio, decided to take control and give listeners what they want.”  New York Times bestselling author, business expert and motivational speaker Grant Cardone debuts the “Cardone Zone” which “features insight, advice and tips to help the middle class achieve true freedom in business, career growth and finance, while inspiring people to take control of their lives.”  Finally, The Great Love Debate creator Brian Howie, along with actress/writer Jill Bartlett and dating and social media expert Kate Edwards try to answer the question, “Why is everyone still single?”

Odds & Sods.  Former New York Times TV reporter and current CNN contributor Bill Carter is hosting a weekly interview show on SiriusXM beginning tonight at 6:00 pm ET and his first guest is Jimmy Kimmel. Next week he’ll speak with Jimmy Fallon.  The new program will feature Carter sitting down for one-hour interviews with major names in entertainment, current events, and beyond.…..Radio pro Jim Watkins retires from his position as national affiliate and marketing director at Oregon-based Talk Radio Network, a post he’s held since 1999.  He states, “It has been an honor for me to be a part of what can only be described as a thrilling experience.  Having worked with such talk radio giants as Michael Savage, Laura Ingraham, Jerry Doyle, Phil Hendrie, Mancow Muller, Rusty Humphries, Monica Crowley, Barry Farber, Phil Boyce, Mark Masters and the excellent news anchors of ‘America’s Radio Network,’ to name a few, is humbling.”

conwaypuppy15Simon Conway Raises $6,000 for Puppy Jake Foundation.  WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive personality Simon Conway is pictured here with a puppy named after American Sniper Chris Kyle at a fundraiser for the Puppy Jake Foundation, which trains dogs to serve physically and mentally wounded American veterans.  This is the second year Conway has held a remote broadcast fundraiser for the charity.  Last year $4,000 was raised and this year the total was $6,000.  Conway, who enlisted a local market to donate more than 200 pounds of meat and a baker to donate 500 buns, tells TALKERS, “Once again my audience has stood up in a huge way to help Veterans in our community.  We were non-stop with people driving through, picking up ‘free’ sandwiches and throwing heaps of cash in the donation buckets.  Not only did loads of people come out to support us, we even had a Navy SEAL team turn up!  Also on hand were dogs — lots of them — including the first dog to have been given to a veteran, the original Puppy Jake himself, my own chocolate lab, Reagan, and a couple of eight-week-old puppies.”

Friday, October 2, 2015

| October 2, 2015

cookenab15Cooke: NAB Radio Show Wrap Up.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke wraps his coverage of the 2015 NAB Radio Show in Atlanta with this report.  In it find HC’s takeaways from sessions that addressed radio commercial creative, selling radio in the multi-media world, consumers’ views of the state of the automobile dashboard, plus AM revitalization and the FCC.  Republican FCC commissioner Michael O’Reilly was the only commish to attend and, regarding the contentious issue of an open window for FM translator applications by current AM station owners, he said, “The AM translator solution is the #1 solution.  How could it be left out of any package of reforms?”  Read Cooke’s report here.

potterdanNews and News/Talk Well Represented in NAB’s 2015 Marconi Awards.  All-news KYW, Philadelphia picked up the 2015 Marconi Award for Legendary Station, announced last night (10/1) at the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show held at this year’s Radio Show in Atlanta.  Hubbard Radio’s all-newsbyersbrian WTOP, Washington grabbed the Marconi for Major Market Station of the Year and Cox Media Group’s news/talk KRMG-AM, Tulsa was honored with the Medium Market Station of the Year award.  On the talent side, KRMG morning personality Dan Potter picked up the Medium Market Personality of the Year and WSOY, Decatur, Illinois morning host Brian Byers won the Small Market Personality of the Year honor.  In the spoken-word format categories, Cox’s WSB-AM, Atlanta won News/Talk Station of the Year and CBS RADIO’s WFAN, New York was honored with Sports Station of the Year.  See all the winners here.

Nielsen LogoSeptember PPM Data and RadioInfo‘s ‘Twelve Takeaways.’ Rather than distributing ratings information for 12-PPM markets apiece over a four-day period as it generally does, Nielsen Audio doubled up its September 2015 schedule. It released data from 23 markets Tuesday (Tampa was delayed) and 24 markets the following day (Wednesday, 9/30).  You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations in those 47 markets here.  Simultaneous with that, TALKERS magazine’s sister radio trade pub RadioInfo enthusiastically unveils an augmented modification of our already powerful ratings coverage as managing editor Mike Kinosian expands his “Top Ten Takeaways” to encompass all markets every month.  In this “Twelve Takeaways” overview, we focus on noteworthy happenings in Riverside, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, Columbus, San Jose, and Austin. The September 2015 survey period covered August 13 – September 9.  Check ’em out here.

cowgercaidenWest Virginia-Based Host Caiden Cowger Becomes ‘Youngest’ Syndicated Talk Personality.  Via his own Cowger Nation Media Network, 17-year-old Caiden Cowger embarks on a venture syndicating his eponymous talk show.  The program airs on WBUC, Buckhannon, West Virginia; WFSB, Quitman, Georgia; and newest affiliate WXMB, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and others.  Cowger says his interest in becoming a talk radio host began at an early age.  “When I was around seven or eight, I recall going with my grandpa into a bookstore and picked up a book titled, It’s My America Too, by Ben Ferguson (generally recognized as the youngest talk host – at age 20 – to be nationally syndicated ).  I remember thinking, ‘Wow, it would really be neat if I could do something like that.’ About five years later, I began my radio career.”  Cowger names Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin as his influences and also recognizes American Family Radio host Bryan Fischer and Fisher’s producer Jeff Reed as being supportive mentors for his talk radio career.  See Cowger’s website here.

Odds & Sods.  New York City sports pro Jared Max joins the FOX News organization.  FOX News Headlinesmaxjared 24/7 brings the radio pro aboard to serve as a sports reporter and provide up-to-the-minute sports coverage for the new SiriusXM satellite radio channel that launches on October 5.  Max’s resume includes time working for CBS RADIO’s all-news WCBS-AM, New York; ESPN O&O WEPN, New York; WFAN, New York, and Bloomberg Radio…..The newly partnered Ryen Russillo and Danny Kanell russillo&kanell15are getting a video simulcast for their ESPN Radio sports talk show.  Effective Monday, October 5, the Russillo & Kanell show will be simulcast from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm on the sports giant’s ESPNEWS channel…..A note from E.W. Scripps-owned news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee – the station announces it has re-signed with the NBA’s Bucks to continue to serve as the flagship station for the Bucks Radio Network.  Station vice president and general manager Tom Langmyer comments, “The Milwaukee Bucks organization is in a tremendous building and growing phase, and is a vital part of our community.  WTMJ has been a proud partner with the Bucks for many years and we’re excited to continue to serve as the Bucks radio home for years to come.”…..In observance of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Entercom’s news/talk WORD,kochenauerjenna Greenville, South Carolina is presenting a two-hour special program on Tuesday, October 6.  The program is being hosted by the station’s Jenna Kochenauer – herself a victim of domestic abuse – with special guest panelists Sharon Totherow, director of local non-profit Domestic Violence Assistance; Judy Munson, assistant solicitor, domestic violence division, 13th Circuit Court; and Carl Smith, a local counselor with experience working with batterers through an intensive treatment and counseling program.

talkersten logoU.S.-Russia Syria Tensions Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of Sept 28 – Oct 2.  The military action begin taken in Syria by Russia and President Obama’s meeting with Vladimir Putin over the matter was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week.  At #2 was a tie between Donald Trump’s tax plan and the activities of the candidates for president in 2016.  Coming in at #3 was the aftermath of Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S., including his reported meeting with Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, followed by the House hearing with Planned Parenthood exec Cecile Richards at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Cooke: 2015 Radio Show Report

| October 1, 2015

“Radio is in a position to grow profoundly in years to come.”
NAB/RAB Radio show coverage by consultant Holland Cooke


By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

cookewriterATLANTA — That statement, from Entercom’s David Field, underlines this year’s Radio Show theme, “Bold Ideas: Turn it UP.”  Field was among oh-so-quotable CEOs at Wednesday’s opening session…

“Pillsbury’s Financing the Future of Radio”

That’s Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, the Washington law firm.  But make no mistake, this session packed a well-catered ballroom with dough boys.

Read More

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

| September 23, 2015

rathertbrandonRathert Named Morning Host at KSSZ, Columbia, Missouri.  Taking over the morning drive program on Zimmer Radio & Marketing Group-owned news/talk KSSZ, Columbia, Missourikssz “HotTalk 93.9 The Eagle” is Branden Rathert.  He was most recently afternoon drive personality at ADX Communications’ WNRP, Pensacola “Newsradio 1620.”  Zimmer director of programming Jamie Mac states, “We are excited to welcome Branden to ‘Wake Up Columbia’ on ‘93.9 The Eagle.’  We feel Branden’s unique perspective, where he is able to take a specific topic and come at it in a non-traditional way, will translate very well in the Columbia market. His passion for making great radio, strong work ethic and creativity make him a great addition for our station and the talk radio community here locally.”

anselmomickCBS RADIO’s Mick Anselmo to Retire.  Senior vice president and market manager for CBS RADIO’s Minneapolis cluster, Mick Anselmo, announces he’s retiring from the company at the end of the year.  Anselmo has been managing radio stations in the Twin Cities for more than 20 years – for iHeartMedia and the old AM/FM and Chancellor groups – with the last seven spent working for CBS RADIO.  The company is searching for Anselmo’s replacement to oversee news/talk WCCO “Newsradio 830,” country KMNB “BUZ’N @ 102.9” and adult hits KZJK “104.1 Jack FM.”

podcastone bJeanine Pirro Podcast Debuts on PodcastOne.  A new, weekly program featuring FOX News personality and former New York District Attorney Jeanine Pirro is launching on PodcastOne.  Titled “Due Process,” the podcast will “provide the legal insight behind breaking news, high profile court cases and political issues, in addition to welcoming analysts and experts on these topics.”  The show will also include TED speaker and content strategist Terri Trespicio joining Pirro each Monday.  PodcastOne founder Norm Pattiz comments, “Jeanine has the intellect and the energy to do a great podcast.  It will be entertaining, interesting, and deal with exciting subjects.  It’s great to add her to our lineup, and it’s always good to know a judge.”

Odds & Sods.  Southeastern radio pro Dave Cobb is named the general manager for MARC Radio’s seven-station Gainesville, Florida cluster that includes news/talk WRZN “NewsRadio 980.”…..Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania-based Forever Media is buying sports talk WGET “ESPN Sports” and country WGTY in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania from the Times and News Publishing for $4.2 million.

romeWBHOTampa15CBS Sports Radio’s Jim Rome Visits Tampa.  Nationally syndicated sports talk personality Jim Rome visited affiliate WHBO, Tampa “Sports Talk 1040 The Team” recently, taking part in a meet-and-greet during a live remote at Beef O’ Brady’s Restaurant.  The Genesis Communications-owned station says, “Hundreds of Rome fans attended, giving Jim a standing ovation as he entered the restaurant.  Jim made it a point to talk to every fan, sign autographs, and take photographs.  People were lined up for hours to talk with him.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Rome show producer Kyle Brandt, Genesis president Bruce Maduri, Rome, and Sound Mind LLC chief Kraig Kitchin.

Nielsen-Logo3Nielsen Calls Audible to Publishing September Stats. Rather than spreading out the release of ratings information over four days as it typically does with its monthly data, Nielsen Audio is opting to consolidate its September PPM results into two – next Tuesday (9/29) and Wednesday (9/30). The first batch of markets is unaffected by the decision and will get their September numbers next Tuesday as originally planned. Those markets are New York City; Los Angeles; Chicago; San Francisco; Dallas; Houston; Philadelphia; Atlanta; Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island); Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario (Los Angeles’ Inland Empire); San Jose; and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). The second group not only moves up one day, it will join group one – meaning 24 (rather than 12) markets will have data released next Tuesday. Group two consists of Washington, DC; Boston; Detroit; Miami; Seattle; Phoenix; Minneapolis; San Diego; Tampa; Denver; Baltimore; and St. Louis. Stations from the remaining 24-PPM markets (groups three and four) get to see the outcome of the September 2015 sweep next Wednesday. Group three is Portland; Charlotte; Pittsburgh; Sacramento; San Antonio; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Salt Lake City; Las Vegas; Kansas City; Orlando; and Columbus. Comprising group four are facilities in Austin; Milwaukee; Indianapolis; Providence; Raleigh; Norfolk; Nashville; Greensboro; West Palm Beach; Jacksonville; Memphis; and Hartford.

Ben Carson Muslim Controversy, Walker Drops Out/2016 Presidential Candidates, Pope Francis’ U.S. Visit, Russia’s Military Support of Syria, Muslim Migrant Issue, VW Emissions Scandal, Afghan Child Abuse Claims, David Petraeus’ Congressional Testimony, and Xi Jinping Visits U.S. Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/22).  The controversy over GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson’s statement he would not support a Muslim for president; Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker drops out of the presidential race tied with the activities of the rest of the 2016 presidential candidates; Pope Francis’ visit to the United States; reports of military support for Syria’s Assad regime by Russia; the issue of Muslim immigrants in Europe and the U.S.; the emissions scandal plaguing Volkswagen; the controversy over allegations the U.S. military instructs personnel in Afghanistan to ignore sexual abuse of young boys by Afghan military commanders; former CIA director David Petraeus’ apologizes for relaying sensitive material to former mistress; and Chinese president Xi Jinping visits the United States were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

| September 16, 2015

kinosianmikeProfile: America Now’s Meghan McCain.  She’s new to Premiere Networks’ “America Now” program but she’s hardly new to media.  Author, TV contributor, blogger and now radio talk show host Meghan McCain is the subject of a TALKERS magazine personality profile by managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian.  Stepping into this role is bound to being with it criticism, but as the daughter of Senator John McCain, Meghan McCain says she’s used to it by now.  “My response ismccainmeghanNoCap15 that I take it very seriously.  It is an incredible opportunity and if everyone in talk radio were doing it correctly, there would be no need for me.  There would be no need for a young, single, Republican woman [hosting this show].  If you want to listen to old, angry, white men putting down America, plenty of people out there fill that niche.  I am obviously a woman and I have a young, feminine voice – but I like the challenge of winning over people.  It is a difficult job and I have a completely new respect for the medium.”  In this profile, McCain discusses her media pedigree, what she brings to the talk radio “table,” and how she’s handling the wild, GOP primary race.  Read it here.

cbssportsroundupCBS Creates Streaming Station Featuring Content from Sports Talk O&Os and National Network.  This addition to CBS RADIO’s digital platform features live content from its 14 local sports stations plus the CBS Sports Radio Network.  It’s called “CBS Sports Radio Roundup” and the company says it “combines the best commentary and programming” and “provides fans with real-time access to breaking news, live interviews and opinionated analysis from CBS RADIO’s award-winning sports properties across the U.S.”  The product is produced by CBS Local Digital Media and anchors for the 6:00 am to 6:00 pm ET programming are: DJ Sixsmith (6:00 to 10:00 am ET), Greg Larnerd (10:00 am to 2:00 pm ) and Bryan Foti (2:00 ppm to 6:00 pm.)  Content from such outlets as WFAN, New York; WSCR, Chicago; WJFK-FM, Washington; WBZ-FM, Boston; WXYT-FM, Detroit and others is featured.

hewitthughGOP Debate Simulcast Puts Salem Radio Network, Hugh Hewitt into Spotlight.  Tonight’s GOP primary debate from Simi Valley, California is being broadcast on CNN on cable TV and simulcast on AM/FM radio via Salem Radio Network.  Additionally, SRN personality Hugh Hewitt is serving as one of the three journalists (alongside CNN’s Jake Tapper and Dana Bash) questioning the candidates.   Salem is presenting pre-and post-debate programming surrounding the actual debate.  Also, SRN personality Mike Gallagher is on site at Hillsdale College in Michigan hosting an exclusive focus group with undergraduates and graduate students who will offer their perspectives on the debate. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “The presence of and role being played by Donald Trump in this presidential cycle has the potential to really establish talk media careers – or at least significantly elevate them – as we witnessed in the case of Megyn Kelly and now, potentially with Hugh Hewitt, who has already gotten well-deserved attention for not cowering in the face of the mega-reality star’s bullying tendencies.  The further Trump goes in this circus, the more opportunities for talk hosts to emerge as having backbones and pertinence.”

geffertkiernanKiernan Assumes GSM Role at KCBS-AM, San Francisco.  Twenty-four year KCBS, San Francisco sales staffer Kieran Geffert is promoted to general sales manager for the CBS RADIO all-newser, making her responsible for all KCBS revenue.  Geffert worked as an AE for the station for 19 years before joining the management ranks in 2012.  CBS RADIO San Francisco VP/director of sales Greg Nemitz states, “Kieran has proven herself as one of the master sellers and strategists for spoken-word radio.  Her leadership and deep knowledge of our brand will carry us into the future.”

barrettdanaDana Barrett Show Expands at ‘biz 1190’ in Atlanta.  The mid-morning Dana Barrett show on Salem Media Group’s financial talker WAFS, Atlanta “biz 1190” is expanded by and hour and will air from 9:00 am to 11:00 am, effective September 28.  The station recently announced it would add the Eric Holtzclaw program to the lineup to follow Barrett’s show at 11:00 am.  Barrett comments, “I love what I do.  Getting to help companies, big and small, get the word out about what they’re doing AND keeping my listeners up to date on the latest local and national business stories is the best job in the world.  I’m so grateful for the amazing reception of the show by the business community, and honestly, there are so many stories to tell, we really need the second hour just to fit it all in!”

mesnikdenyseDenyse Mesnik to Leave VP/ Corporate Communications Role at Beasley; Soni Dimond Takes Over.  Longtime Beasley vice president of corporate communications Denyse Mesnik isn’t leaving the company, she’s transitioning from her current role to that of consultant, according to her announcement.  The press statement says, “Denyse will remain active in Beasley’s corporate officedimondsoni through the end of September, after which time she will assist Beasley Media Group’s corporate office, portfolio of radio stations and the Beasley Family with special projects.  Mesnik’ VP post will be filled by Soni Dimond, who joined BBG in May.  Mesnik states, “Soni shares our company’s fundamental professional values and I am impressed with her commitment to ensure our continued success in this ever-evolving radio industry.  We welcome her depth of experience, her proven track record and her deep respect for the art of communication.”  Dimond operated her own Soni Dimond Media for the past 16 years.  For many years prior to that she worked on camera in television news in Pennsylvania.  Regarding Mesnik, BBG chairman and CEO George Beasley comments, “Denyse has been one of the most loyal and capable persons with whom I have had the pleasure of working during the past 25 years.  We could always depend on her competency, uplifting smile and her willingness to complete any project given, without a complaint.  Fortunately, Denyse has agreed to work with us as a consultant going forward.”

Odds & Sods.  The CEO of Galaxy Communications will be honored as part of the Newhouse School at Syracuse University’s “50Forward” gala on October 29 in NYC.  Ed Levine will be one of 50 accomplishedlevineed professional alumni honored at the event…..SiriusXM and the Pro Football Hall of Fame are teaming up to create a weekly show that will air nationwide on the SiriusXM NFL Radio channel.  “Pro Football Hall of Fame Radio” is being hosted by Pro Football Hall of Fame EVP Joe Horrigan and SiriusXM’s Howard Balzer.  Each Saturday, the two will be joined by a Hall of Famer who will co-host the show…..The 32nd annual “NewsRadio 1020 KDKA Spaghetti Breakfast” takes place on Friday, September 18 at the Heinz Hall Garden Plaza in downtown Pittsburgh.  The free event features a broadcast of the “KDKA Morning News with Larry Richert and John Shumway.”  The event benefits The Little Sisters of the Poor.

Trump Dallas Speech/GOP Debate, Hillary Sexual Assault Survivor’s Ad, 2016 Presidential Candidates, European Migrant Crisis/U.S. Immigration Policy, Russia-Syria Military Connection, and Western Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/15).  GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s address to a Dallas crowd at the American Airlines Center and tonight’s GOP primary debate; criticism of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s ad reaching out to victims of sexual assault; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the migrant crisis affecting European nations and the related topic of the United States’ immigration policy; allegations Russia is supplying Syria with weapons; and the devastating wildfires in the Western U.S. were some of the top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

bernierWillGeorge15Where There’s a Will.  Columnist and political analyst George Will (right) appears on stage at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach with WNDB afternoon drive talk host Marc Bernier (left).  Will’s timely appearance at the school – the night before the second GOP candidates’ debate – was part of the college’s President’s Speaker Series.  Bernier says Will spent 95 minutes discussing the candidates, ISIS, Iran, education, health care, the economy, baseball and public policy.  Photo: David Massey.

Thursday September 10, 2015

| September 10, 2015

francesamikeWFAN’s Mike Francesa Show to End Fox Sports Cable Simulcast.  New York sports talk legend Mike Francesa told his WFAN listeners on Wednesday that his show would cease being simulcast on Fox Sports’ cable channel after this Friday.  As the New York Post reports, Francesa had problems with the relationship almost from the beginning and griped to listeners about being pre-empted by soccer or moved to the FS2 channel.  Francesa said, “First, let me say that the blame is mine.  I tried to do something a little different.  The Fox guys were eager and I’m not going to say money wasn’t an issue, because it was the biggest.  I had some trepidation, but I saw some promise and it just didn’t work.”  The Post reports that Francesa is beginning to look for a new cable simulcast partner and MSG Network is a possible destination.


corralangelaCorral Named News Director at KGO, San Francisco.  This is a promotion from assignment editor to news director for Angela Corral.  She’s been with Cumulus Media’s KGO since October of 2013.  She’s worked in news in the Bay Area for the past 17 years, having joined CBS RADIO’s crosstown all-news KCBS in 1998 as a production assistant.  On her new gig, Corral comments, “It’s a true honor to be selected as news director of this legendary station.  I’m looking forward to working with an amazing staff of dedicated journalists as we move KGO forward.”

fairRadio Pro Bob Dane Rises to Executive Director at FAIR.  The Federation for American Immigration Reform announces Bob Dane is promoted to executive director of the organization after approval from the board of directors.  Dane, whose years of experience in network radio, marketing and communications led him to join FAIR in 2006 as director of communications, will be just the fourth executivedanebob director of FAIR since its founding in 1979.  In this new role, Dane will oversee the organization’s Washington, D.C.-based and national operations.  FAIR president Dan Stein comments, “With nearly a decade of experience in FAIR’s media department, Bob has spearheaded valuable and unique initiatives, bringing to light the public’s often-overlooked concerns about immigration.”  Chairman of the Board Donald Collins Jr. adds, “For many years, Bob has continually demonstrated media expertise, innovative ideas and able management.”  During his career, Dane also served in a policy and budgeting position within the Reagan administration.  He received a degree in public administration and management from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

Odds & Sods.  After retiring from full-time work at Chicago all-news outlet WBBM-AM in 2004 after a 35-year career, Sheman Kaplan returned to the station on a freelance basis, according to Chicago media writer Robert Feder.  In a column today, Feder reports that Kaplan is again retiring from the station where he was co-anchoring midday newscasts and “The WBBM Noon Business Hour” alongside Kris Kridel…..Los Angeles-based talkelderlarryNEW1-15 personality Larry Elder will host presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson on his show today (9/10).  Elder’s program airs on CRN Digital Talk Radio at 3:00 pm ET and on Salem-owned KRLA, Los Angeles at 9:00 pm PT…..United Stations Radio Networks is now offering a sports radio prep service called Total Sports Prep.  USRN says it is intended for use by air personalities in sports talk or any krntprogramming that delves into sports content…..Bob Kempf  joins TV and online public media producer WGBH Boston as vice president for digital services.  Kempf was previously VP/general manager of digital services for NPR…..Saga Communications drops adult standards on KRNT, Des Moines and goes sports talk as “ESPN Des Moines.”  In addition to carrying ESPN Radio programming, it will carry Chicago Cubs baseball, Drake University play-by-play, and be an affiliate of the Green Bay Packers Radio Network…..Entercom flips from business talk on KWOD, Kansas City to sports talk using both CBS Sports Radio and Fox Sports Radio.

wipRadiothon15WIP, Philadelphia’s Eagles Radiothon Raises $200,000.  Another Eagles Radiothon is in the books and the event organized by the NFL club and CBS RADIO’s WIP-FM, “SportsRadio 94WIP raised $200,000 for the Eagles Youth Partnership.  As part of the annual radiothon, Eagles fans and 94WIP callers were provided the opportunity to bid on exclusive experiences involving their favorite Eagles players and 94WIP radio personalities.  Eagles Youth Partnership, Eagles Social Responsibility president Christina Weiss Lurie says, “We continue to be amazed each year by the generous contributions and devoted support from our fans during the Eagles Radiothon.  As an organization, we are always looking to deliver one-of-a-kind experiences for our fans.  The annual Radiothon provides us with the opportunity to do that, while also supporting the vital health and education programs of Eagles Youth Partnership.  On behalf of EYP, I would like to express a heartfelt thank you to 94WIP for their steadfast commitment and support of this event.”

tradupBosworth15Salem Radio Network at 90 Minutes in Heaven Premiere.  The new film 90 Minutes in Heaven – based on the New York Times bestselling book by Don Piper – opens this weekend and Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (left) was in Atlanta this week for the media premiere of the film.  Tradup says that on the heels of the Christian-themed film War Room being tops at the Labor Day weekend box office last week, fans of faith-based movies are also expected to turn out this weekend for the nationwide opening of 90 Minutes in Heaven.  Tradup is seen here speaking with actress Kate Bosworth (right) who plays Piper’s wife Eva Piper.  In a story based on Don Piper’s own experiences, she helps him recover from a car crash after being pronounced legally dead for 90 minutes.  The film also stars Hayden Christensen and Fred Thompson.

ewscrippsConspiracy Theory Gets Two Suspended from Scripps Springfield, MO Stations.  The host and the on-air producer of the Sunday morning “Cracker Barrel” show have been suspended by E.W. Scripps after suggesting the on-air slayings of Roanoke TV crew Alison Parker and Adam Ward were a hoax designed to spur stricter gun control laws.  Host Joe Rios and producer Rick Masters are heard on the both company’s country KTTS and news/talk KSGF-AM/FM.  Station manager Rex Hansen apologized to the station’s listeners for the commentary.  It’s not known how long the two will be suspended from the weekly community forum program.

Hillary Clinton Emails Apology, Trump Candidacy, 2016 Presidential Candidates, European Migrant Crisis, Brandon Marshall’s Brady vs NFL Racism Charge/ESPN Spygate Story, Iran Nuclear Deal, and Russia-Syria Military Connection Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/9).  Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton apologizes for use of private email server for State Department business; the criticism and analysis of the top-polling Trump for President campaign; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the migrant crisis affecting European nations; the aftermath of the Tom Brady vs the NFL case and Brandon Marshall’s charge that Tom Brady is treated different because he’s white, plus the related ESPN Spygate story; the controversy over the Iran nuclear deal; and reports of Russia sending military aid to Syria were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

| August 29, 2015

iheartmediaHardin, Zellner, Maynard Receive iHeartMedia Promotions. The “National Programming Platforms” group of iHeartMedia appoints Brad Hardin executive vice president/general manager; Jon Zellner executive vice president of programming operations; and Maynard executive vice president of programming strategy. All three will be New York City-based and report to National Programming Platforms president Tom Poleman, who states, “iHeartMedia’s strength is built on our great programmers working together to develop great content and experiences for our listeners utilizing our unmatched scale. Brad, Jon, and Maynard each have a remarkable amount of hands-on experience programming some of the best local radio stations in the world, making them uniquely qualified to lead our company-wide programming initiatives.” Hardin comments, “I am looking forward to working more closely with the amazing people on our National Programming Platforms team as well as programmers throughout our markets. They are the very best in content creation and live event marketing. I am excited to have the opportunity to further contribute to our future growth, and continuing to demonstrate the power of iHeartMedia’s local and national brands.” Zellner remarks, “iHeartMedia continues to set the industry standard for innovation and one-of-a-kind content. I am honored and very excited to have the opportunity to work with Tom and the programming team on implementing new ideas and strategies for our incredible brands.” Maynard notes that he has “had an incredible experience since joining iHeartMedia. It is extremely motivating to work with a company that is committed to exceeding expectations both internally and with our millions of listeners. The people in this company are what make it great, and I am truly grateful for this opportunity and even more excited for what lies ahead.” Most recently the executive vice president of programming and company-wide active rock/alternative brand manager, Hardin has been with iHeartMedia (and the former Clear Channel) for over 15 years. He was senior vice president of programming for west major markets and has programmed in Tampa, Cincinnati, Dayton, and Louisville. Zellner joined iHeartMedia in 2009 as senior vice president of programming and he is being promoted from executive vice president of programming. His resume includes senior management positions at SiriusXM and CBS Radio. Maynard will work with iHeartMedia’s programmers and oversee the company’s on-air creative directors; he joined iHeartMedia in late-July 2014.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

| August 13, 2015

Mark Levin Plunder Deceit2Levin (Again) Lands At #1. Syndicated talk host Mark Levin’s “Plunder and Deceit” will reportedly debut at #1 on The New York Times bestseller list across all three categories of hardcover nonfiction, e-book nonfiction, and the combined list. This will be his fourth consecutive #1 New York Times bestseller. One of Levin’s previous books, “Liberty and Tyranny,” spent 38 weeks on that bestseller list and sold over one million copies. In a statement to Breitbart News, however, Levin emphasizes that he doesn’t “write books for The New York Times – I write them for people who love their country, want to learn about their country, and want to save their country. ‘Plunder and Deceit’ is a particularly important book. It is intended to stir the citizenry, particularly younger people, to understand what big government is doing to them and how its policies are destroying their liberty and prosperity.” TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison asked Levin, “What is the key to your success as a best-selling author so we can share it with other talk hosts who write books.”  Levin immediately acknowledged that he is not the only accomplished author among the ranks of radio talk show hosts – then added, “It takes me a year or more to write a book.  It involves extensive research and scholarship.  You have to be willing to commit a lot of time to it — most weekends, early mornings, and late nights. I don’t have ghostwriters or co-authors, etc.  There’s a difference between being an author and having your name on a book.”     Landmark Legal Foundation president Levin is syndicated through Cumulus Media‘s Westwood One; “Plunder and Deceit” was released last Tuesday (8/4).

Cowherd, ColinHoping His Herd Heads with Him to Fox, Premiere. Speculation has become reality now that one of the worst-kept secrets in recent history is official: After a 12-year association with ESPN (the last two days there being controversial owing to his on-air comments questioning the intelligence of Dominican ballplayers), Colin Cowherd will indeed join Fox Sports and Premiere Networks in just over three weeks (Tuesday, 9/8). That is when he will begin hosting “The Herd,” a three-hour program, which will air simultaneously on Fox Sports Radio Network and Fox Sports1 (12:00 noon – 3:00 pm, Eastern). Fox Sports Radio is produced/distributed by Fox Sports and iHeartMedia subsidiary Premiere Networks. “Colin is one of the most powerful and talented personalities in sports media today,” asserts PremiereFox Sports Radio Networks president Julie Talbott. “His addition to Premiere’s lineup demonstrates our continued commitment to reaching diverse audiences with the best talent the industry has to offer. We are excited to join with Fox Sports in bringing Colin’s passionate and engaging brand of sports entertainment to millions of people across multiple platforms. By leveraging our combined reach, we’ll have the opportunity to connect with more sports fans than ever before, while delivering unmatched results for our partners.” Cowherd states that, “It is hard to put into words how much fun it is for me, as a broadcaster, to build something with really smart, talented people. I cannot wait for this next chapter in my career to start. Fox Sports is the perfect spot for me at this time in my life.” On Sunday mornings during the NFL season, Cowherd will be part of the Fox-TV “NFL Kickoff” crew. According to Fox Sports national networks president Jamie Horowitz, “Colin is the first person I hired for my first daily studio show at ESPN, so it’s fitting that he’s the first one I’m hiring at FS1. Colin is a unique voice in sports media with a loyal following of fans. We are looking forward to building our daytime programming around him.” Before joining ESPN, Cowherd did a morning drive sports show on KFXX, Portland; was sports anchor at WTVT-TV, Tampa; and sports director of Las Vegas TV station KVBC. He began his career as the play-by-play voice for the Pacific Coast League’s Las Vegas Stars.

Robbins & MarkleyAlpha Media and Robbins & Markley Ink Multi-Year Renewal. Heard weekdays on talk siblings KXL, Portland (9:00 am – 12:00 noon) and WMBD, Peoria, Illinois (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm), Scott Robbins and Jamie Markley extend their deal with parent company Alpha Media. Executive vice president of programming, Scott Mahalick states, “Robbins and Markley bring a contemporary style and entertaining flare that connects with the audience in a big way – we are proud they are on our winning team.” Alpha Media Portland senior viceAlpha president/market manager Milt McConnell notes, “Robbins and Markley have made a tremendous showing in Portland. Scott and Jamie are two of the best communicators in our business, and we are thrilled to have them for years to come.” Meanwhile, Alpha Media Peoria market manager Mike Wild remarks, “Scott and Jamie reflect real-life, day-to-day; they are [two] of the most genuine personalities anywhere. Their chemistry is unique and they both have an amazing sense for content. The show is a completely fresh approach to talk radio.”

National Radio Day Cake2Circle Next Thursday as National Radio Day. Especially when considering that some offbeat things – including specific foods – somehow garner their own special day, it is rather odd that there has not heretofore been a border-to-border celebration dedicated to the medium of radio. That will change one week from today (Thursday, 8/20) when non-commercial radio stations in more than 30 U.S. cities will participate in Seattle-based “not-just-for-profit social enterprise” Brown Paper Tickets’-formulated “National Radio Day.” This year, the FCC has awarded construction permits to nearly 2,000 low-power FMs and as National Radio Day “lead organizer” Sabrina Roach explains, “This is a great opportunity to get to know the new low-power stations by working on a common project together. A low-power FM is like community glue. These new media outlets can become powerful resources that help neighbors to organize, share, and find solutions together. I wanted to introduce an opportunity for all kinds of non-commercial stations to work together and to engage their communities by celebrating radio with listeners and independent producers.” Stations can promote National Radio Day (August 20 is also “National Lemonade Day”) on social media using the hash tag “#NationalRadioDay.” Brown Paper Tickets will provide promotional assistance and support for National Radio Day events organized by all participating U.S. stations. By the way, the significance of choosing August 20 as National Radio Day (which has actually been observed since the early-1990s) is to honor the day in 1920 that Detroit news station 8MK (now CBS Radio-owned WWJ – and still all-news) was licensed by the FCC. On August 31, 1920, 8MK aired the first news radio broadcast featuring local election results. WWJ’s Pittsburgh sibling KDKA-AM debuted on November 20, 1920 and, of course, has long claimed to be the “world’s first commercial radio station.”

Seacrest, RyanNBC Selects Seacrest to Host Late-Night Rio Coverage. With less than a year to go until the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, NBC-TV announces that its host of live late-night coverage will be KIIS “Kiss-FM,” Los Angeles morning personality/”American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest. During the 2012 London Games, Seacrest was a correspondent and he co-hosted the closing ceremony. NBC Olympics executive producer Jim Bell promises that, “The late-night atmosphere will be electric. We are thrilled to have Ryan Seacrest in the middle of it all capturing Rio’s unique flavor, talking to Olympic athletes, and telling the NBC 2016 Rio Olympics Logo 2stories of the day.” Seacrest reflects, “Joining the NBC Olympics team at the 2012 London Games was an exhilarating experience. I appreciate Jim Bell’s confidence, along with everyone at NBC Sports. I can’t wait to reunite with the team of broadcasters and producers for the 2016 Rio Olympics, and I look forward to hosting the live late night show.” Bob Costas hosted NBC’s primetime and late-night Olympic coverage at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games and he has been primetime host for every NBC-covered Olympic Games since 1992. Mary Carillo previously hosted Olympics late-night coverage. The Summer Games from Rio begin August 5, 2016.

Elswick-Cruz 2Answers From a Presidential Hopeful. During his visit to Arkansas’ GOP headquarters, Republican presidential  candidate/junior Texas senator Ted Cruz did on on-air interview with KHTE “The Answer,” Little Rock afternoon drive host Dave Elswick. The two commemorate the occasion with a selfie.

Bligh, JimReady for his Close-up. Part of the enjoyment industry people derive when watching television shows or movies is trying to identify an announcer’s voice when the radio plays in the background, or spotting radio talents used as “extras.” In the country’s #7 film this week, “Rikki and The Flash,” Meryl Streep’s rock singer character struggles and fumbles operating a cash register as a part-time checkout clerk. The camera catches fellow employee “Chris” grimacing at the next register. Portraying “Chris” is Salem Radio Network east coast affiliate relations manager Jim Bligh, who shot his scenes in Westchester County, New York. Advanced film buffs might recognize Bligh from his appearances in “A Beautiful Mind,” Cloverfield,” and “Man on a Ledge.”

Sirius-XM-Logo 2Odds & Sods. Two sports programming notes from SiriusXM that take effect next Tuesday (8/18). Former University of Michigan head football coach Brady Hoke will host – alongside Mark Packer – SiriusXM “College Sports Today” twice a week (9:00 am – 12:00 pm ET) throughout the college football season. In addition, former PGA tour professional/television analyst Mark Lye will join radio personality Bruce Murray on the satcaster’s weekly “Let It Fly with Murray & Lye.” The one-hour (8:00 pm – 9:00 pm) program will air every Tuesday night, starting next week. Lye has previously been an analyst on SiriusXM’s pre- and post-round coverage.

Donald Trump Surpasses POTUS as Most Talked About Person on News/Talk Radio Yesterday (8/12).  Top topics include the Presidential Race, the Iran Nukes Deal, Immigration Reform and the Chinese Devaluation of the Yuan.  According to TALKERS research, fallout from last week’s audience record-breaking GOP debate on Fox News Channel continues to dominate conversation on news/talk radio across America this week and people (and the media) remain fixated on Donald Trump.  Very rarely does anyone top the President of the United States as the most-talked-about person for a day, let alone a week.  We will know how Trump fares versus Barack Obama by tomorrow morning (8/14) in terms of this week’s survey.  Other hot topics include the presidential election in general, Hillary Clinton’s email controversy and the global economic impact of China’s devaluation of its currency.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

| August 12, 2015

National Radio Hall of FameNational Radio Hall of Fame Voting Starts Today. After a five-year hiatus, listeners again have the opportunity to participate in selecting National Radio Hall of Fame inductees. For the next two weeks (through Wednesday, 8/26), voters can text 36500 with their one vote for the four nominees (each) in the “Music Format On-Air Personality” and “Spoken Word On-Air Personality” categories. National Radio Hall of Fame chair Kraig Kitchin declares, “These eight personalities are beloved by their listeners. Giving the audience an opportunity to participate in the process of acknowledging their favorite hosts for their contributions over the years just makes sense.” Nominees and text info for the “Music Format On-Air Personality” are Delilah (text “DELILAH” to 36500); Elvis Duran (text “ELVIS” to 36500); Steve Harvey (text “STEVE” to 36500); and Ryan Seacrest (text “RYAN” to 36500). Nominees and text info for the “Spoken Word On-Air Personality” are Sean Hannity (text “HANNITY” to 36500); Clark Howard (text “CLARK” to 36500); Jim Rome (text “ROME” to 36500); and Dr. Laura Schlessinger (text “DR. LAURA” to 36500). Listener-chosen winners will be announced at the end of this month (8/31), and we cannot forget that all-important fine print that “message and data rates may apply.” In addition to the two listener-voting categories, four categories are being voted on by a panel of 400 industry professionals. The induction ceremony takes place November 5 at the Museum of Broadcast and Communications in downtown Chicago.

Interactive Advertising BureauIAB Gears Up For Debut Podcast Upfront Showcase. The one-day marketplace for advertisers and media buyers to preview podcast programming will be held next month (9/10) in New York City. Scheduled to present at Interactive Advertising Bureau‘s inaugural podcast upfront showcase include representatives from AdLarge Media, Midroll, NPR, Panoply, Podtrac, and WNYC. Industry Initiatives, IAB vice president Carl Kalapesi explains, “More and more advertisers are incorporating audio programming into their digital marketing strategies. The individual and intimate listening experience enjoyed by podcast listeners provides a unique vehicle for brands to connect with consumers. IAB is excited to bring so many digital audio leaders together to discuss their upcoming programming and the wide array of advertising opportunities available through podcasts.” Invited executives will get to preview content developments from each presenting company in 20-minute segments.

Cassell, RussCassell (Posthumously) Wins SCBA Radio Personality of the Year Award. The “State Television And Radio” (STAR) awards of the South Carolina Broadcasting Association honor “exceptional accomplishments of the state’s stations and their broadcast professionals.” Entercom-owned talk WYRD-FM, Greenville-Spartanburg host Russ Cassell (left), who passed away last year, won the “Radio Personality of the Year” award. Entercom market vice president and generalEntercom Upstate manager Steve Sinicropi declares, “The broadcasting legacy of Russ Cassell lives on; our entire team is grateful for the SCBA recognizing Russ with this important award.” The cluster’s production director Stan Fisher received STAR recognition for best production-multi spot campaign on rock WTPT “93.3 The Planet” for local attorney Rob Ianuario. In the station’s first year in the format, WYRD-AM “ESPN Upstate” sports broadcaster Greg McKinney was recognized with a “Sportscaster of the Year award of merit at the event, which was held in Columbia, South Carolina over the weekend.

McCollim, JasonMcCollim Heads to Colorado Springs as iHeartMedia’s Senior VP/Programming. Transferring from Spokane where he programmed iHeartMedia talker KQNT and KKZX “The Classic Rock Station,” Jason McCollim is appointed senior vice president of programming for the company’s Colorado Springs and Pueblo stations. Senior vice president of programming/regional markets Tony Coles states, “McCollim is one of our rising stars. He has done an incredible job for us iHeartMediain Spokane. His leadership skills and passion for programming will allow him to ramp up quickly and build immediate relationships with the programming and sales teams.” Colorado-Pueblo market president Darci Ewell comments, “Jason’s proven track record in Spokane and his versatile experience will make him an incredible asset to the Colorado Springs-Pueblo cluster. Jason brings a high level of energy and creativity that will greatly benefit our team.” McCollim remarks, “I am very excited about working with the fantastic iHeartMedia team in both Colorado Springs and Pueblo; thanks to Tony Coles and Darci Ewell for the opportunity to work in one of the most beautiful parts of our country.” McCollim spent more than 14 years at KQNT and KKZX; he is vice president of the Inland Empire Bloodhounds Search & Rescue. The Colorado Springs stations he will oversee are rhythmic CHR KIBT “The Beat”; hot AC KVUU “My-99.9”; adult contemporary KKLI “Sunny 106.3”; country KCCY “Y-96.9; and classic rock KDZA “Z-107.9.” The three Pueblo facilities are classic hits KPHT; KCCY “Fox Sports 1350″; and talk KCSJ.

rdio-logoRdio Debuts Live Broadcast Radio. The global music streaming service begins with nearly 500 U.S. stations. Listeners can mark songs they like as a favorite, share the song, start a custom station based on the song or view more music by the artist. Paying subscribers to Rdio’s $3.99 and $9.99 plans can download songs for unlimited listening, add it to a custom playlist, listen to related songs from that artist or recently played songs on that station as often as they want. Rdio chief executive officer Anthony Bay comments, “We are committed to providing Rdio customers around the world with easy access to the audio content they want to hear through innovative features that enhance listening. Broadcast radio brands and talent continue to be the dominant tastemakers in music, so integrating live broadcast radio into Rdio’s critically acclaimed customer experience is an exciting development that we are thrilled to introduce.” Through a September 2013 partnership with Cumulus Media, Rdio has access to Cumulus’ programming and is promoted on Cumulus stations. Cumulus Media chief executive officer Lew Dickey states, “Bringing our national platform of stations to Rdio allows us to instantly create broader access for our listeners and new opportunities for advertisers to reach their target audiences. The combination of our premier broadcast assets with Rdio’s acclaimed user experience and music discovery features creates a full-service listening experience that is unparalleled.” In addition to music, live broadcast programming includes sports content from local stations as well as through Cumulus Media’s Westwood One. Featured stations include Cumulus Media-owned country WNSH, New York; rock KLOS, Los Angeles; triple-A KFOG, San Francisco; urban-rhythmic oldies WRWM, Indianapolis; and country WSM-FM, Nashville. Additional stations will launch later this year.

WOWOWOWO Producing 90-Year Retrospective. The Fort Wayne (Indiana) talk outlet is observing its 90th anniversary and – appropriately enough – is putting together a 90-minute documentary. Station executives are in the process of gathering interviews from former employees for the special, which will cover WOWO’s impact and reach. In addition to audio samples of historic and comical moments, Bob Sievers, Jack Underwood, Jay Gould, and Bob Chase are among those who will be featured. Program director Ryan Wrecker (Wrecker@WOWO.com) is seeking station memorabilia that can be displayed during the ongoing celebration, as well as memories past staffers or listeners would like to share. Those contributing will receive a preview edition of the special, which is scheduled to air on Federated Media-owned WOWO (Thursday) November 19.

KNX 2KNX Schedules Second Annual Blood Drive. In light of the fact that blood donations typically dip during summer months, KNX, Los Angeles is joining the American Red Cross for the CBS Radio all-news outlet’s second annual blood drive. The five-day event at participating Red Cross blood centers starts two weeks from Saturday (8/29) and concludes the following Wednesday (9/2). CBS Radio vice president/Los Angeles market manager Dan Kearney American Red Cross 2comments, “KNX is proud to team up with the Red Cross once again as we expand our blood drive effort. We know summer is a challenging time for people to think about donating blood, and we hope to raise awareness so our listeners will lend their support and help the Red Cross maintain a safe and stable blood supply.” American Red Cross Southern California blood services external communications manager Tony Briggs notes that although many donors stepped up to give following a pressing call issued earlier this month, “The American Red Cross continues to have an urgent need for blood donors of all blood types to give before Labor Day.” Last year’s inaugural two-day KNX blood drive produced 834 pints of blood, which helped 2,502 patients. Greater Los Angeles/Southern California donation locations include Arcadia, Glendale, Santa Monica, Claremont, Downey, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Granada Hills, Los Angeles, Laguna Hills, Long Beach, Pasadena, Pomona, Rancho Cucamonga, Santa Ana, Santa Clarita, Thousand Oaks, Torrance, West Covina, Woodland Hills, and Yorba Linda. As an incentive (and while supplies last), blood drive sponsor – The Southern California Gas Company – will give blood donors a KNX emergency preparedness guide; two tickets to Hollywood’s Laugh Factory; a ticket to Madame Tussauds Hollywood; and a sample of Hawaiian Host chocolates.

Maranville, TimMaranville Departs USA Radio Networks. One-year USA Radio Networks chief content officer-director of channel development Tim Maranville exits. He expresses thanks to “everyone at USA for all the hard work, especially show hosts Steve Deace, Kevin Jackson, Steve Noble, Jim Sharpe, Joe Messina, Chris and Emilee, Angie Austin, and Tony Perkins. The future is bright and I hope to have one, maybe two, announcements about my next contribution to the planet by mid-September.” Maranville joined USA after a nearly six-year run as vice president of programming at Westwood One. He previously was vice president and director of operations of the Denver Radio Company; vice president and director of operations of Sun City Communications; director of operations at KFRC, San Francisco; and director of operations of Phoenix stations KMLE, KOOL, and KZON. In addition, he owns/operates Mutations Media and he co-owns The Show Must Go On, an independent syndication consulting and affiliation company.

Donald Trump Continued to be the Second Most Talked About Person on News/Talk Radio Yesterday — a VERY close second to Barack Obama (8/11).  Top topics include the Presidential Race, the Iran Nukes Deal, Immigration Reform and the Chinese Economy.  According to TALKERS research, fallout from last week’s audience record-breaking GOP debate on Fox News Channel continues to dominate conversation on news/talk radio across America and people (and the media) remain fixated on Donald Trump.  Other hot topics include the presidential election in general, Hillary Clinton’s email controversy and the global economic impact of China’s devaluation of its currency.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

| August 11, 2015

Crowder, ChanningFor WQAM – Three’s A Crowd in PM Drive. Today’s arrival (Tuesday, 8/11) of Channing Crowder will transform the afternoon drive program (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm) of CBS Radio-owned WQAM “Miami Sports Radio 560” into a three-person affair, as the former Miami Dolphins linebacker joins Marc Hochman and Zach Krantz. Regarding Crowder, program director Ryan Maguire comments, “His insight as a former college and professional football player – as well as his one-of-a-kind brand of humor – will be a great addition to what MarcWQAM and Zach bring to the table every day. This is going to be a very unique, locally focused program that will be entertaining and insightful.” Crowder remarks, “I am excited for the opportunity to work with ‘Hoch’ and Zach. We are going to bring listeners a different kind of show they won’t be able to find anywhere else.” A former all-South East Conference player at the University of Florida, Crowder began at WQAM in 2009 as a contributor. Prior to becoming part of “Hochman, Crowder, & Krantz,” he co-hosted the station’s mid-day (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm) program.

Vassilaros, DimitriPittsburgh Broadcaster in Online “Crowd-funding” Campaign. The “Don’t Spy on Me” project, which began last Monday (8/3) and ends in three weeks (9/1), creates an internet show for Pittsburgh talk host Dimitri Vassilaros. Online programs, of course, are not subject to Federal Communications Commission regulations, so callers are able to speak freely. Vassilaros tells TALKERS, “Forgoing short-term revenue to create long-term value has helped many internet startups become desirable to investors. This new radio show will provide people with a platform where they can express their thoughts, amplify their voices, and talk back to all authoritarians. Internet freedom means unlimited choices, not government restrictions. Your right of privacy is worth fighting for.” Vassilaros’ background includes being a talk show host on Pittsburgh stations KDKA-AM and WTAE, as well as a columnist/reporter for The Pittsburgh Tribune Review.

Rogers, Mike“Something To Think About” Notes Affiliate Benchmark. Seven months after its debut, the weekday vignettes that its syndicator – Westwood One – labels a “slice of Americana” eclipse the 150-station mark. In fact, the station count for the segments voiced by former Michigan congressman/ex-FBI agent Mike Rogers that stations air thrice daily is up to 156. Westwood One senior vice president of affiliate sales Dennis Green states, “We have been searching for a strong voice that provides a common sense and thought-provoking take on relatable topics that concern all Americans. Mike Rogers brings that home in his commentary, which gives listeners a chance to pause and reflect on the ideals that are important to us all and are without any political bias.” Outgoing House IntelligenceWestwood One Committee chair Rogers remarks that surpassing the 150-station mark so fast is “really exciting” and that listener feedback is inspiring. “It truly is an honor to be welcomed into cars, homes, and businesses of so many people across the country.  Sometimes, it is the simplest message that has the greatest impact.” Among those airing the commentaries are Cumulus Media New York talker WABC; co-owned Chicago talker WLS-AM; San Francisco talk sibling KSFO; iHeartMedia-owned Miami talk outlet WIOD; and CBS Radio Pittsburgh talker KDKA-AM.

McGraw-Milhaven-PicOdds & Sods. The lucky guy who is all smiles is McGraw Milhaven. The KTRS, St Louis morning man recently took 40 listeners on a 12-day, six-country, 11-city tour of Europe including stops in Berlin, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and London. Milhaven is seen here capturing a memory at the Tower Bridge over the Thames.

Glenn Beck2Beck in the War Room. Sporting an orange ball cap, Premiere Radio Networks host Glenn Beck was among hundreds who turned out last night (Monday, 8/10) in Dallas for the world premiere of the Kendrick Brothers’ film “War Room.” Salem Radio Network vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup (on Beck’s left) interviewed Beck, as well as area dignitaries and “War Room” cast members. The red carpet event was held at Dallas’ Majestic Theatre.

Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Megyn Kelly were the Most Talked About People on News/Talk Radio Yesterday (8/9).  Top topics included GOP Debate(s) on Fox, the Iran Nukes Deal and Immigration Reform.  According to TALKERS research, fallout from last week’s audience record-breaking GOP debate on Fox News Channel continues to dominate conversation on news/talk radio across America.  Other hot topics include the presidential election in general – especially Bernie Sanders’ encounters with the Black Lives Matter movement, Hillary Clinton’s email controversy and Jeb Bush’s problems gaining (or holding onto) traction.

Friday, August 7, 2015

| August 7, 2015

LoganCumulusLogan adds WFTW Programming Duties. One-year hot AC WNCV “Coast 93.3” program director and morning talent “Logan” takes on similar responsibilities within the Cumulus Media Fort Walton Beach (Florida) cluster for talk WFTW. Cumulus Media regional vice president Pete DeSimone comments, “Logan has done an outstanding job since joining the Fort Walton Beach/Destin cluster. It has been a pleasure watching him work to make a significant impact in both ratings and revenue with WNCV. I am very excited we are recognizing his talent and affording him additional opportunities to grow with our company.” Corporate program director for news-talk-sports Jim Mahanay remarks, “I am excited anytime we can have a programmer with a fresh perspective enter the news/talk format. Logan has proven himself as a strong music PD and he now has that opportunity in news/talk.” Logan offers a “big thanks” to DeSimone, Mahanay, and Cumulus Media senior vice president of content and programming Mike McVay. “Cumulus has given me opportunities – I am going to grow with them,” Logan states. “I am a huge fan of the news-talk format, and I cannot wait to get audio from Michael Savage.” Prior to joining WNCV, “Logan” spent eight years as morning host/assistant program director/music director for Philadelphia hot AC WISX “Mix106.1.” His resume also includes stops in New York City at CHR WHTZ “Z-100” and in Dallas at hot AC KDMX.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases Final Round of July 2015 PPM Data. The fourth and final round of Nielsen Audio July 2015 PPM ratings data has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. The July 2015 survey period covered June 18 through July 15.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here. In addition, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

levinmark (2)Odds & Sods: This past Monday (8/3), Westwood One host Mark Levin surpassed the one-million level of Facebook “Likes.” His book, “Plunder and Deceit,” was released the following day (Tuesday, 8/4) and it has reached #1 on Amazon‘s “Best Seller” list…..In an October 13 simulcast with CNN, Westwood One will be the exclusive radio provider of coverage from the first Democratic primary debate of the 2016 presidential race. The debate will take place in Nevada, with exact location details to be announced later. CNN will serve as moderator and exclusive national broadcaster of that debate.

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Rick Lewis Hits Quarter Century Mark Hosting “Talky” Mornings at Classic Rocker, KRFX, Denver.  For over two decades the “Lewis & Floorwax Show” dominated the morning airwaves on iHeartMedia’s KRFX-FM (The Fox), Denver. The show was an excellent example of the widespread genre of music radio morning shows that lean heavily on pop cultural talk content. Suddenly in January of 2014, co-host Michael Floorwax retired from the airwaves, by his own choosing, due to an ongoing chronic health issue that began acting up. His co-host Rick Lewis was encouraged to keep the show going as it had a very loyal fan base and was an extremely dependable “revenue machine.”  Lewis re-tooled the mostly spoken word show (that plays approximately two songs per hour), renamed it “The Rick Lewis Show” and forged ahead. Fans were happy and relieved that the show continued. Advertisers continued their support and The Rick Lewis Show has more than survived, it has thrived. Nielsen Audio spring PPM numbers indicate that “The Fox” is the market’s top station among adults 25-54. Ratings are up from 2014 and so is revenue.  On July 31, 2015 Rick Lewis celebrated 25 years as the morning radio host at the station – a rarely achieved milestone in the radio industry.  Lewis tells TALKERS, “I have many people to thank including my long-time friend and radio partner Kathy Lee who really stepped up her game.  Thanks to my long-time partner Michael Floorwax for a helluva run, you are missed!”  Lewis adds, “Also the support of the rest of the crew in the morning, Colfax, Dragon Redbeard and Robbyn Hart has been significant. Thanks also to Michael Harrison, a visionary man who gave me my first big break at KMET, Los Angeles in 1984.  I was just out of college, working at that heritage radio station with some legendary radio performers. Mike believed in me and gave me my first full time job in LA.”  Harrison recalls, “I recognized immediately that this earnest young man was the total package.  He had movie star looks, a command of album rock and its culture, and most importantly the ability to adeptly punctuate his jock work with listener calls and artist interviews – a quality I always looked for in DJs during my rock PD days.”  KRFX is the FM home of the NFL’s Denver Broncos and the multi-faceted Lewis also hosts the official Denver Broncos pre-game show every week during the football season.  And if that isn’t enough Lewis has a band, The Rick Lewis Project, featuring some of the most acclaimed musicians in the region. As a drummer for the band, Lewis has played as opening act with legends such as BB King, James Brown, ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Def Lepard, and The Who among others.  When he is not on the radio or playing in his band, Lewis finds time to perform in the Denver area as a stand-up comic.  He also recently shot a TV pilot called “Ride Away,” a motorcycle adventure show. The show is currently being shopped and produced by reality TV’s famous bounty hunter Duane “Dog” Chapman and his wife Beth. Lewis believes “the secret to longevity in the business is to have many irons in the fire.”  He tells TALKERS, “I still get up every morning and can’t wait to get behind the microphone and entertain the fans in Denver.  For years, I always thought KMET in LA would be the pinnacle of my radio career, man was I wrong!”

Beasley Media GroupBeasley Broadcast Group Reports Q2 Results. Second quarter net revenue is up $1.1 million ($25.9 million to $27 million), but Beasley Broadcast Group‘s net income is off by $500,000 ($3 million to $2.5 million). This past December, Beasley and CBS Radio completed a 14-for-five swap involving three markets. CBS Radio acquired two Philadelphia stations (WRDW and WXTU), as well as three Miami outlets (WKIS, WPOW, and WQAM). In exchange, Beasley picked up one Philadelphia station (WIP-FM); six Tampa facilities (WHFS-AM, WHFS-FM, WLLD, WQYK, WRBQ, and WYUU); and seven Charlotte properties (WBAV, WBCN, WFNZ, WKQC, WNKS, WPEG, and WSOC). According to Beasley chair and chief executive officer George Beasley, the company’s second quarter results “reflect a continuation of recent overall industry and market trends.” On a pro forma basis, net revenue decreased 6.0% while SOI declined 8.4%. “The decline in pro forma revenue is primarily attributable to overall weakness in Charlotte, Las Vegas, and Wilmington [Delaware], which resulted in reduced operating leverage and ultimately impacted SOI,” Beasley comments. “We were able to partially offset the revenue decline, however, through cost reductions that resulted in a 4.9% – or $1 million – reduction in station operating expenses. We also made further progress on our debt reduction efforts during the quarter, while continuing our commitment to return capital to shareholders.” Addressing the station swap with CBS Radio, Beasley remarks, “It substantially broadened and diversified our local radio and marketing solutions platform. Since closing, we have been initiating strategies to extract operating and financial synergies. We are actively implementing integration, cost efficiency and operating plans while remaining true to our value proposition by focusing on targeted localism and delivering quality programming, effective online marketing solutions and dedicated service to listeners and advertisers in these markets.” As far as the future is concerned, he notes the company remains “focused on operating our station clusters to match or exceed their market’s revenue performance while further strengthening our balance sheet. We believe our integration, programming, personnel, cost-efficiency and operating changes are now showing progress.”

week headerBarack Obama and Donald Trump were the Most Talked About People on News/Talk Radio this Week.  GOP Debate(s) on Fox, the Iran Nukes Deal and Immigration Reform Lead the Topics Discussed.  According to TALKERS research, the just-concluding week of August 3-7, 2015 has been dynamic to say the least as the brewing interest in the presidential race of 2016 reached its first major boiling point with yesterday’s (8/6) long anticipated GOP debate(s) on the Fox News Channel and Fox News Radio gathering enormous attention and conversation. Other hot topics included the Iran nuke deal, ISIS activity, immigration reform, race relations, the Planned Parenthood funding issue, Hillary Clinton’s emails, and the Nashville theater attack.  To see the entire list of the week’s most talked about topics and people, please click here.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Chats with Former FEMA Director (and Current KHOW, Denver Talk Host) Michael D. Brown as 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina Approaches. It was almost a decade ago (August 23-31, 2005) that Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast of the United States with winds of up to 175 mph and flood waters of biblical proportions rising from the ocean and falling from the sky — leaving in its wake almost 1,900 fatalities, $108 billion in damages, and countless casualties and lives upended. Michael D. Brown – the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at the time and Under Secretary of Homelandbrownmichael Security (“Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job”) became the official poster boy for everything that went wrong with the federal government’s too-little-too-late response to one of the greatest disasters in American history. Some of the criticism that fell upon Brown was deserved – but much of it wasn’t. After all, it was an epic crisis and involved numerous overlapping agencies, governments, and politicians charged with making things right. Brown took a severe beating from the media as well as a proverbial bullet for the team and stepped down from his position with the Bush Administration. A lawyer by trade, Brown went on with his life, taking away an enormous amount of wisdom and experience from the episode. Undaunted, he began speaking to groups around the country about the insidious side of politics, and the human complexity of management and team play. He wrote a candid book about his role (and responsibility) in Katrina — Deadly Indifference: The Perfect (Political) Storm, Hurricane Katrina, the Bush White House, and Beyond (Taylor Trade, 2011). He also began a successful talk show hosting career in Denver – first at KOA and then at KHOW, where he presently presides over a daily program 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm MT. In the newly posted installment of the weekly international hit podcast “Up Close and Far Out” (8/4), Brown is interviewed by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison about inside-Washington politics, the war on terror, the nature of the political mind, the psychological profile of presidents, the general state of media and journalism as well as what his life is like as a big market talk show host 10 years after Katrina. To hear this must-listen conversation, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player located in the right hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

salemmediagroup logoCool Job Opportunity. Salem Radio in New York is looking for a dynamic individual to join the sales team for “AM970 The Answer,” which is news/talk format, and the legendary WMCA “AM570 The Mission, New York’s Christian Talk.” Compensation is commensurate with degree of experience and skills. This is a fabulous career opportunity for the right individual with one of the finest broadcasting companies in America. Salem Media Group is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Sales experience involving media is a must. Undergraduate degree required. A unique opportunity to work closely with Jerry Crowley and Phil Boyce, two proven winners and innovators. For more information and to apply, click here.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

| August 6, 2015

Tidwell, LanceTidwell Tapped as iHM San Antonio SVP/Programming. Inbound from Tucson where he was iHeartMedia‘s senior vice president of programming, Lance Tidwell transfers to San Antonio for similar duties. Executive vice president of programming for iHeartMedia major markets Brad Hardin comments, “I am extremely pleased to welcome Lance to the iHeartMedia San Antonio family. Tidwell is a strong talent and has had much success in his tenure with iHeartMedia. His programming acumen and depth of experience will allow him to ramp up quickly and build immediate relationships with the programming and sales team.” San Antonio market president Marlene Trevino remarks, “I am excited that our San Antonio programming operations will be led by Tidwell. He understands our company¹s vision to be innovative with every move. Lance¹s experience collaborating with programming and sales teams will provide us and our partners with unbeatable forward momentum in the continued evolution of our brands in the San Antonioiheartmedia logo small2 market.” Tidwell notes that he is “grateful” to Trevino and Hardin “for the chance to work with these great brands and team in San Antonio. I am eager to get started and lead the market to continued growth and success.” In addition to having programmed in Seattle, Memphis, Hartford, Monterey-Salinas, and New Haven (Connecticut), Tidwell was chief operating officer for Southern Star Broadcasting. With 6+ share/market ranks from the most recent Nielsen Audio PPM sweep in parentheses (July 2015), iHeartMedia’s San Antonio cluster consists of country KAJA “KJ-97” (6.0, #3); mainstream CHR KXXM “Mix 96.1” (4.8, #5); adult contemporary KQXT “Q-101.9” (4.7, #6); talk WOAI (4.2, #10); rhythmic CHR KZEP “Hot 104.5” (2.1, #19); regional Mexican KQXT-HD3 (1.8, #20); sports KTKR “The Ticket” (.6, #26); and classic country KRPT “B-Buc” (.2, #27).

CBS Radio LogoCBS Radio Q2 Revenue Off 5%. While second quarter revenue for CBS Corp. increased 1% to $3.22 billion from $3.19 billion in 2014, CBS Radio revenue declined 5%. Executive chair Sumner Redstone states, “CBS is at the center of the action during an extremely exciting time in media. We continue to succeed as a result of our world-class content.” According to president and chief executive officer Les Moonves, “This quarter underscores the key steps we are taking to build out our long-term growth strategy. Our premium content remains the cornerstone of our success, and I am confident this fall’s new primetime lineup will lead us to another victory next season.” The company’s local broadcasting revenue was down 2% to $654 million from $665 million, as television station revenue was up 1%, and local broadcasting operating income (OI) fell 8% to $198 million from $215 million. The company posted net earnings of $332 million, down from $439 million in the year-ago period.

Nielsen LogoNielsen Audio Releases Third Round of July 2015 PPM Data. The third of four rounds of July 2015 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 July 2015 survey period covered June 18 through July 15.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

National Radio Hall of FameNational Radio Hall of Fame Nominees Announced. The 24 candidates in six categories were determined by the organization’s steering committee. National Radio Hall of Fame chair Kraig Kitchin brings back public engagement through social media balloting in the “Music Format On-Air Personality” and “Spoken Word On-Air Personality” categories. This is the first time that will be done in the last five years. “This impressive list of nominees represents the best examples of talent with commendable audience relationships past and present,” Kitchin declares. “Each individual and show was selected after extensive deliberation by the steering committee. We are all looking forward to seeing the results as determined by our industry peers and listeners nationwide.” The four nominees to be voted on by a participant panel in the “Longstanding Local/Regional (20 years or more)” category are Tom Barnard (Minneapolis); Johnny Dare (Kansas City); Johnny Holliday (Washington, D.C.); and Ronn Owens (San Francisco). Those in the “Active Local/Regional (10 years or more)” category are “Big Boy” – real name Kurt Alexander (Los Angeles); Preston Elliot and Steve Morrison (Philadelphia); Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart (Chicago); and Garland Robinette (New Orleans). The four candidates in the “Networks/Syndication (10 years or more)” category include Tom Kent (Cleveland); Dave Ramsey (Nashville); Diane Rehm (Washington, D.C.); and Michael Savage (San Francisco). Those in the “Longstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more)” category are Bob Kevoian & Tom Griswold (Indianapolis); Bob Kingsley (Weatherford, Texas); “Marketplace” (Los Angeles); and Harry Shearer (Los Angeles). Nominees to be voted on by listeners nationwide in the “Music Format On-Air Personality” category are Delilah (Seattle); Elvis Duran (New York); Steve Harvey (Atlanta); and Ryan Seacrest (Los Angeles). In the “Spoken Word On-Air Personality” category, the nominees are Sean Hannity (New York); Clark Howard (Atlanta); Jim Rome (Los Angeles); and Dr. Laura Schlessinger (Los Angeles). Voting begins today; names of the winners will be revealed in just over three weeks (8/31). The induction ceremony will be held in three months (11/5) at the Museum of Broadcast and Communications in downtown Chicago.

NextRadio LogoCollege Broadcasters Inc LogoNextRadio, CBI Team To Find Best Radio Spot. College students are encouraged to create/submit a 60-second radio spot, as NextRadio and College Broadcasters Inc. (CBI) join forces to find the “best-of-the-best in radio spot ads.” According to NextRadio president Paul Brenner, there are currently 50,000 – 70,000 radio spots that run each month supporting the NAB National Awareness Campaign, which launched in February; “this is a huge opportunity for students to have their radio spot played nationally among thousands of broadcast stations and heard by millions. We will get the opportunity to showcase rising talent for the radio industry.” CBI president Greg Weston comments, “CBI is thrilled to team with NextRadio to offer students from our media outlets this unprecedented opportunity to have their work appear in front of millions of listeners. Not only will the winners get national exposure for their talent, they will be able to take advantage of the educational opportunities available to them at the National Student Electronic Media Convention.” First-place winner will have his or her 60-second spot included in “flight four” of the NAB National Awareness Campaign, which starts October 1. The contest begins one week from next Monday (8/17) and will run through September 18; winners will be announced September 28.

Westwood OneWhistling StraitsWestwood One, PGA of America In Multiyear, Multiplatform Deal.  Live hole-by-hole coverage of the PGA championship returns to Westwood One for the first time in a decade. In addition, Westwood One will provide short-form updates, as well as a Brad Heller-anchored recap show, “The PGA Championship Tonight.” Senior vice president of sports for Westwood One (and parent company Cumulus Media) Bruce Gilbert remarks, “Westwood One is proud to present the 2015 PGA championship. It is a very exciting time in professional golf with so many terrific stories this year. Our team is prepared and excited to describe the remarkable performance of the world’s best players live from the PGA championship for the next few years.” PGA of America chief commercial officer Jeff Price states, “Westwood One and SiriusXM are synonymous with live, major sports event broadcasting. The PGA of America is delighted that we will partner with these two world-class radio partners to bring the drama and excitement of the PGA championship to fans.” Broadcast coverage from the PGA championship at Whistling Straits Golf Course in Kohler, Wisconsin begins one week from today (Thursday, 8/13). It will run through (Sunday) the 16th and can be heard on SiriusXM, Westwood One Sports affiliates, and WestwoodOneSports.com. SiriusXM PGA tour radio host Earl Forcey will anchor the joint coverage from the 18th tower, while former pro golfer/Golf Channel host Charlie Rymer will be lead analyst. Westwood One’s Ted Emrich will anchor short-form reports from the course, and provide leader board updates during the long-form coverage. Looking ahead, Westwood One Sports will provide PGA championship coverage next year from Baltusrol Country Club in Springfield, New Jersey and, in 2017, from the Quail Hollow Country Club in Charlotte.

2016 Presidential Candidates-GOP Debates, Nashville Theater Attack, Iran Nuclear Deal, Immigration Policy Debate, Hillary Clinton Email Investigation, Baltimore Gets Help with Violence, MH370 Debris Confirmed, and Deflategate Flap Among Top News Stories Yesterday (8/5). The activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and tonight’s GOP debates; the thwarted attack on a cinema in Nashville on Wednesday; the political battle over the proposed nuclear deal with Iran; the ongoing controversy over America’s immigration policy; the Feds supply help to Baltimore’s police in battling the explosion of murders in the aftermath of the Freddie Gray slaying; the plane debris found last week is confirmed to be from Malaysia Airlines flight MH370; and the NFL’s deflategate case were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

The Importance of Talk Radio

| July 30, 2015

By Chris Stigall
WPHT, Philadelphia
Talk Show Host


stigallchris writerPHILADELPHIA — A listener called the show today to define talk radio as he saw it.  He called it a place where average Americans of all means, politics and professions can discuss and explore important issues.  It’s not a matter of being famous, or being a member of an editorial board or Congress.   It’s not a nightly news anchor reading the teleprompter, delivering their version of the news.  Talk radio is of the people, by the people, and for the people, he said.

Simply, it’s the purest form of honest dialogue available in all of media.

Earlier this week at a live event, a listener explained the importance of talk radio in her life.  Not only does it help her through her days as her parents’ full-time caretaker, but she honestly believes there would be no publicly available opposing view to most media coverage today.

Read More

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

| July 29, 2015

benztimBenz To Depart WEEI-FM. Revealing on Twitter that he “underestimated the difficulties that go along with working a job in one city while trying to maintain a home and marriage in another,” Entercom sports WEEI-FM, Boston mid-day “MFB” co-host Tim Benz will return to Pittsburgh early next month. Boston-born Benz joined WEEI-FM approximately 14 months ago fromWEEI-FM iHeartMedia Pittsburgh. In addition to being sports director of that company’s six-station “Steel City” cluster, Benz did morning drive on alternative WXDX “The X.” According to Benz, Boston was “every bit the city” he wanted to experience; however, he notes that it is best for him “personally and professionally” to be back in Pittsburgh with his wife Kate. No details were released about his new assignment in Pittsburgh, where the two sports outlets are iHeartMedia’s WBGG “970 ESPN” and KDKA-FM “The Fan,” owned by CBS Radio – the parent of WEEI-FM format rival WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub.” Benz – who angered many locals by remaining partial to the Pittsburgh Steelers – will do his final “MFB” show tomorrow (Thursday, 7/30). The other members of “MFB” are former Boston Red Sox super-sub Lou Merloni, and ex- New England Patriots tight end Christian Fauria. Benz’ father is Dr. Edward Benz Jr., the president and chief executive officer of Boston’s renowned Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

bouvardpierreWW1’s Bouvard: What If Brand Advertising Were Based on ‘Cost Per Awareness?’  In the current edition of his regular blog post, Westwood One chief marketing officer Pierre Bouvard uses recent data from an Ipsos study of the media campaign for the July 15 Amazon Prime Day Sales event to illustrate the effectiveness of radio versus TV and online in this campaign.  Bouvard notes (aswestwood one NEW TALKERS published last week) that Ipsos reports “radio advertising was the most effective at converting awareness into Prime Day purchases when compared to TV and online.  Of those exposed to radio ads, 52% made a purchase versus TV (39%) and online (48%).”  He goes on to say that, contrary to what one might expect, radio did a better job of targeting 18-34s than TV or online.  But what Bouvard really gets at is how much was spent by Amazon on each medium and he posits that if brand advertising were sold on cost-per-awareness basis, radio would have come out on top in this case.  Here’s why: Amazon spent $6 million on TV for a 34% ad recall (among 18-34s), resulting in a $177,000 cost-per-awareness point, while it spent $1.4 million on the radio campaign for a 14% ad recall that results in just $100,000 for each cost-per-awareness point.  Read Bouvard’s entire piece here.

Odds & Sods.  Radio consultant Kipper McGee’s new book, Brandwidth: How Big Broadcasting Missed thebrandwidth cover Mediamorphosis, is out and ready for shipment.  McGee describes the book saying he “reveals the common traits of the biggest failures and offers powerful takeaways for ANY brand planning to thrive in the ever-changing digital world order.”…..Former North Carolina State tight end and NFL player Mark Thomas is leaving sports talk WCMC, Raleigh “99.9 FM The Fan” after almost eight years to join the marketing and ad firm Krash Creative.  Thomas hosts the Mark and Mike show with Mike Maniscalco…..The NHL’s Florida Panthers radio play-by-play broadcasts will continue to be heard on flagship WQAM, Miami after CBS RADIO reached an agreement to extend their deal.  “Red Deer” Randy Moller will continue to call the action from the booth.  As part of the partnership, WQAM will air a 30-minute pregame show and a 15-minute postgame show.  The station will also broadcast weekly updates, and exclusive interviews with Panthers head coach Gerard Gallant, Panthers players and other hockey personalities.  A 60-minute “Panthers Insider” program hosted by Moller will air on Saturday mornings.  The Panthers will also receive comprehensive promotion on CBS RADIO stations country WKIS and hip hop WPOW…..Greater Media sports talker WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic” will be the radio outlet for the Arena Football League’s 2015 East Division Champion Philadelphia Soul as it enters the playoff round of competition.  The station’s Joe DeCamara and Soul general manager Tom Goodhines will provide color commentary…..Univision takes over Spanish-language broadcasts of Chicago Bears games from SBS as its WVIX and WVIV simulcast and WRTO-AM have acquired the rights in a new multi-year deal.  Hector Lozano and Omar Ramos will be in the booth for play-by-play duties.

trevigneandreFormer WWL and WRNO, New Orleans Host Andre Trevigne Dead at 66.  Longtime New Orleans TV and radio personality Andre Trevigne got her start in radio in Chicago but rose to prominence after moving back to her hometown of New Orleans and shifting from radio to television.  She worked at WWL-TV where she partnered with Eric Paulsen to co-host that station’s morning news program.  She went back to radio as a talk show host at WWL-AM in 1999 and stayed there through 2004.  She hosted a radio talk show on WRNO from 2006 through 2009.  Trevigne died in hospice after a long illness.

kmoxcleanup15KMOX, St. Louis’ Charlie Brennan Spearheads Ferguson Clean-Up.  As the one-year anniversary of the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri approaches, KMOX, St. Louis mid-morning personality Charlie Brennan came up with the idea of a community clean-up to help the community bounce back.  Almost 400 volunteers turned out for a massive clean-up of West Florissant, the street that became ground zero for the protests, looting and fighting that would occupy the area for weeks.  Pictured here is Brennan (standing) broadcasting from the station’s remote base during the clean-up.

2016 Presidential Candidates-Trump Criticisms, Obama’s ‘Could Win Third Term’ Comment, Planned Parenthood Videos Scandal, Bill Cosby Rape Allegations, Minnesota Dentist Lion Hunt Controversy, Iran Nuclear Deal, Immigration Policy-Syrian Refugee Influx, Tom Brady Suspension Upheld Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/28). The activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and the intense scrutiny of Donald Trump; President Obama’s statement that if he could run again, he’d win; the ongoing controversy over the videos showing Planned Parenthood doctors haggling over the price for body parts from aborted fetuses; the ballooning allegations of rape against Bill Cosby; the case of a Minnesota dentist who paid to kill and African lion; the uncertain state of the nuclear deal with Iran; ongoing debate over America’s immigration policy and concerns over an influx of Syrian refugees; and the upholding of the four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, July 24, 2015

| July 24, 2015

cbsradio logoCBS RADIO Announces Market Manager Changes. Taking over for Marc Rayfield at the CBS RADIO Philadelphia cluster as SVP/market manager is current director of sales David Yadgaroff.  Rayfield was recently named market manager for the New York market.  Elsewhere in the company, current Boston SVP/market manager Mark Hannon adds the same duties for Hartford, replacing the retiring Suzanne McDonald.  CBS combines the SVP/market manager post for both Miami and Orlando and appoints Steve Carver, who replaces Joe Bell in Miami and Dave Robbins in Orlando.  They both exit the company.  Director of sales Tony Perlongo is promoted to SVP/ market manager in Las Vegas, taking over for the exiting Jerry McKenna; and Mike Valenzuela rises from VP/director of sales in the Riverside cluster to SVP/market manager, replacing Harvey Wells who’s returning to the Chicago area to be closer to family.

orban logoOrban Addresses Nielsen-Voltair Issue.  Audio processor competitor Orban has been very quiet during the industry-wide discussion about 25-Seven’s Voltair processor but breaks that silence with a press statement released on Thursday (7/23).  The statement says, in part, “Some have argued that Voltair is ‘just another form of audio processing.’  However, we believe that there is an essential and fundamental difference between audio processing (like that done by our Optimods) that increases the opportunity of the Nielsen encoder to insert audibly undetectable watermark tones and processing that directly manipulates the level of the watermark, potentially breaking Nielsen psychoacoustic masking model and allowing the tones to become audible.  Based on their testing, Nielsen concluded that Voltair can degrade perceptual quality.  In an environment where traditional radio is suffering ever-increasing competition from new media, we believe that it is unwise for radio to degrade its audio in an internecine battle whose ultimate winner could be non-broadcast providers.  Because Nielsen is a large, global business that depends on producing credible audience measurements, we expect that it will soon solve any problem (if it actually exists) by making improvements to its encoder.  Accordingly, we have decided not to add processing to Optimods that directly manipulates the Nielsen watermark signal because we expect that any such effort would degrade audio quality and would soon be rendered obsolete by Nielsen’s encoder improvements.  Moreover, we trust the Media Rating Council to thoroughly evaluate any such improvements, as they have already done for the Nielsen PPM system in its current form.  While it is true Orban’s Optimod processors are compatible with Voltair, we urge caution.”

kfi logoDoug Steckler Ends Friday Appearances with Tim Conway Jr. on KFI, Los Angeles.  For the last four years, Doug Steckler has been co-hosting the Friday evening edition of Tim Conway Jr.’s show on iHeartMedia’s KFI, Los Angeles.  But that is ending and Steckler says in a statement, “I am leaving the Tim Conway Jr. show on KFI where I enjoyed sharing Fridaystecklerdoug evenings with the funniest, nicest guy in radio.  We had more fun than should be legal.  All good things must come to their finish and it’s always better (if still difficult) to get out while you can still hear the laughter.  I want to wish everyone connected with the Tim Conway Jr. show the very best in every way.  I would like to especially express my profound gratitude to Sheron Bellio, our executive producer, whose creativity, original thinking, laser wit, and supernatural administrative abilities made every Friday a wonderfully conspiratorial caper.”  Conway and Steckler co-hosted a talk show on the old hot talk-formatted KLSX-FM, Los Angeles (now CHR KAMP) from 1996 through 2005.  Doug Steckler is represented by Jason Insalaco’s Kelton Agency.

hoffmancraigWTEM, Washington Adds Craig Hoffman for Redskins Beat Reporter Gig.  This will be a year-round gig at Red Zebra Broadcasting’s Washington Redskins flagship WTEM “ESPN 980” for Craig Hoffman as he is named the new Redskins beat reporter.  Hoffman was most recently with ESPN O&O KESN, Dallas “103.3 FM ESPN” as a host and update anchor.  Red Zebra says he has experience “covering both professional and college teams along with reporting from large national events like the NCAA Final Four.  Craig will cover the Redskins year-round and will contribute content to the station’s local shows.  He will also be part of the game-day broadcasts on the Redskins Radio Network while producing content for ESPN 980’s website and social media outlets.”

vandenburghpaulPaul Vandenburgh Takes Top Talk Show Honors in Metroland ‘Best Of.’  WGDJ, Albany owner, general manager and morning talk host Paul Vandenburgh’s daily show was named the Best Talk Radio Program in the market by Albany alternative weekly Metroland.  Here’s how the entry reads: “This is the show for local issues.  Special mention must be made of the must-listen interviews he conducted with local reporters on scene in Dannemora during the prison break.  Standard disclaimer: We’re a bunch of liberals and disagree with 75 percent of his opinions, but so what?  Who didn’t enjoy it when he went after Troy’s City Hall clown show during the frozen pipes scandal?”

Odds & Sods.  Los Angeles-based talk legend Tom Leykis is streaming his program live from the Maximum Yieldleykistom Indoor Gardening Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center tomorrow (7/25) from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm PT from the Aqua Camel booth.  What is Aqua Camel?  It’s a self-watering plant pot system that uses 65% less water.  The company is co-founded by Tim Sabean, former Sirius Satellite Radio and CBS RADIO programmer…..Hearst-owned WBAL, Baltimore  “NewsRadio 1090” agrees to a new multi-year partnership with the Naval Academy Athletic Association to continue serving as radio flagship for Navy football.  This will be the 11th consecutive year WBAL has broadcast Navy football.

blackstoneaudioGot Old Radio Shows? Opportunity to Monetize Content in Your Basement.  One of the largest independent audiobook companies in the world, Blackstone Audio, is looking to expand its product offerings beyond audiobooks into spoken-word, including comedy, opinion pieces, soundtracks (non-musical), old-time radio and TV shows, sports broadcast highlights, and any other forms of spoken-word or subject matter that would be interesting to the audio-listening public.  Blackstone would offer the content owners of recorded audio programs that they choose to license or distribute an arrangement under which the content owners would receive the majority of the net revenue from the sale of their content to the public by Blackstone.  If you have recorded spoken-word content and would be interested in having Blackstone Audio consider it for licensing or distribution contact Larry Harris at talkharris@olypen.com.

talkersten logo2016 Presidential Candidates and Trump Criticisms Tie for Top Spot on Talkers TenTM.  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and the criticism of Donald Trump’s recent statements tied for the top spot on the Talkers TenTM for the week of July 20-24.  At #2 this week was the Iran nuclear deal.  Coming in at #3 was talk about the U.S, immigration policy and the sanctuary city concept followed by threats from ISIS at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Monday, July 20, 2015

| July 20, 2015

cbsradio logoScott Herman Promoted to COO of CBS Radio.  President Andre Fernandez announces EVP of operations Scott Herman has been promoted to chief operating officer for CBS RADIO.  The company says that in this new role, Herman will continue to report to Fernandez and lead local operations across the division’s 117 major market stations.  CBS RADIO’s market managers will now report to Herman.  Fernandez states, “Scott has ahermanscott tremendous reputation in the industry, and is a distinguished representative for radio.  He understands CBS RADIO’s vision for the future and will provide strength to our senior leadership team as we move forward with a variety of key growth initiatives.  Having someone with Scott’s experience collaborating directly with our station management will result in new value for CBS RADIO and our partners.”  The company notes that, because of this experience, Herman “works particularly close with the division’s news and talk stations, and his expertise in this area has allowed CBS RADIO to retain its leadership position in the format.”  Herman was promoted to EVP, Eastern Region for CBS in 2003.  Prior to that, he was senior vice president, market manager for the division’s New York properties, including all-newsers WINS and WCBS plus sports talk WFAN.  Herman was vice president and general manager of WINS from 1994-2003 and WNEW-FM on two different occasions during the 1990s.

trn logoTRN Loses Appeal of Back Pay Judgement in Savage Case.  The appeal of the ruling by an arbitration panel that the Original Talk Radio Network Inc. owes talk host Michael Savagesavagemichael $800,000 in back pay is unsuccessful after the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco ruled Friday in Savage’s favor.  A small victory for TRN, though, as the Court denied Savage’s request for sanctions against TRN for filing a “frivolous appeal.”  This latest court action stems from Savage’s original suit against TRN to void his contract with the syndicator after the relationship between the two parties had soured and Cumulus Media’s Westwood One pursued Savage’s services.

espnradioEarly Line on Cowherd’s Replacement at ESPN Radio: Le Batard.  According to TALKERS sources, there are two scenarios for filling the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm slot on ESPN Radio after Colin Cowherd does his final show for the network before departing for FOX Sports.  The first is that Dan Le Batardlebatarddan moves to the slot and Jorge Sedano slides down from his 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm show to assume Le Batard’s 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot.  The second possibility is that ESPN keeps Le Batard where he is and moves Sedano into the midday program.  TALKERS sources also say ESPN is high on Bomani Jones, who hosts sedanojorgethe 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm show and potential talent shuffles could involve a better daypart for his show.  As for Cowherd, reports indicate that he was making about $2.5 million with ESPN and that FOX Sports will pay him approximately $6 million per year.  Just what FOX Sports’ plans are for Cowherd are not set in stone and the company hasn’t been specific, but it’s expected he’ll host a nationally syndicated radio show and host a TV show on Fox 1, possibly at 6:00 pm to compete with ESPN’s “SportsCenter.”

wibclogoEmmis’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis Adds Radio America’s Chad Benson Show for Evenings.  Saying the show has a “Gen-X perspective,” WIBC-FM, Indianapolis programbensonchad director David Wood announces the Radio America-syndicated Chad Benson show joins the station’s lineup for the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot.  Wood says, “I was looking for something unique and contemporary for evenings.  I found it in Chad Benson.  Chad’s show has a great energy and Gen-X perspective, but still with conservative sensibilities.  Plus he’s got the best set of tattoos in talk radio.”  Radio America says Benson’s sense of showmanship and entertainment was developed from years in music radio and has had a huge influence on him as a talk host.

digilionickWGN, Chicago’s Nick Digilio Returns to the Air; Explains Stomach Ailment Exacerbated by Alcohol.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports on the return to the WGN airwaves of overnight personality Nick Digilio, who was back hosting his show today (7/20) after an absence of a month.  Digilio explained to his listeners that he landed in the hospital after complicating existing stomach troubles by consuming too much alcohol being unable to eat much food.  He explained that he came down with a stomach ailment in May that made it difficult to eat.  His overconsumption of alcohol caused him to spend five days in the hospital. Now, he says he’s done drinking.  He admits it was a stupid thing to do and blames no one but himself.  Read Feder’s piece here.

pasacritawalterWalter Pasacrita to Host Local Show on Sports Talk KONO-AM, San Antonio.  The station had been an oldies outlet before flipping to sports talk in January of 2014.  Now, the Cox Media Group-owned station is adding a local show by market pro Walter Pasacrita, who previously co-hosted a sports talk show with Jeff Vexler on iHeartMedia’s crosstown KTKR.  Pasacrita will host the afternoon drive show on KONO-AM.  He tells the San Antonio ExpressJeanne Jakle he is prepared to take on the competition on crosstown sports talkers KTKR and KZDC.  “I have more experience on the radio in San Antonio than the rest of those people.  I’m more passionate about sports than the rest of those people.  I don’t sugarcoat anything. . .and don’t let relationships get in the way of what should be stated.  I tell it like it is.”

kvet-am logoSean Adams and Chip Brown to Host Mornings on KVET, Austin.  A new, local sports talk show replaces ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike on iHeartMedia’s KVET, Austin.  Sean Adams moves from his early afternoon “Adams Theory” show to the morning slot alongside Chip Brown for “The Bottom Line with Sean Adams and Chip Brown.”    Brown was most recently with crosstown Total Austin Sports Radio-owned KTXX-FM.  The two worked together from 2007-2010.

talkersradio logoTalkersRadio’s “Vox Animali with Lori Lundin” Posts Second Installment.  The second installment of the groundbreaking, experimental talk show, “Vox Animali” hosted by award-winning radio journalist Lori Lundin is posted today (7/20) after receiving widespread positive response to its pilot episode last month.  The series – the latest offering of TalkersRadio’s “laboratory” workshop – is dedicated to raising awareness of the plight of animals that are institutionally abused and tortured at the hands of humans and foster respect for the dignity of all earthly creatures.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “I am so pleased that we are able to address a deeply important cause that hardly gets its due share of attention in the media – including talk radio – and when it does get attention, it is usually in the form of ridicule.”  Harrisonlundinlori continues, “We are very happy to have a brilliant and talented radio journalist of Lori Lundin’s caliber spearheading this project.”  Lori Lundin – who has received a number of prestigious industry honors including a Gracie this year – is an anchor with WTOP, Washington, DC and a reporter/podcaster with the Washington Examiner.  Harrison adds, “Lori, who is a breast cancer survivor and an all-around inspirational human being, brings a level of intelligence, sensitivity and empathy to her work that takes it beyond today’s typical newsroom fare in connecting to the heart as well as the brain.”  TALKERS general manager of broadcast operations, David Bernstein adds, “This is a heck of a show.  It has the potential to become a very influential vehicle for consciousness-raising for the animal rights movement, one of the fastest growing areas of public sentiment in America today.  And that’s what TalkersRadio is all about – developing spoken-word programs that address issues and interests outside the rigid boundaries of everyday broadcast radio.”  The new installment of “Vox Animali” features a look at the abuse and suffering of chimpanzees and presents an interview with Laura Bonar of Animal Protection of New Mexico.  Another current show under development on the TalkersRadio platform is “Healed Planet” hosted by Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel personality Alan Colmes that explores the human consciousness movement.  A recent “graduate” of TalkersRadio is the weekly “American Family Farmer” hosted by Doug Stephan.  Its mission is to champion the beleaguered small farmers of the nation being pushed out by the alliance of Big Agriculture and Big Government.  It has now cleared about 30 stations and is adding new ones daily on the GCN and Radio America platforms.  Bernstein says, “TalkersRadio is not set up to compete with broadcast radio or develop long-term hit shows for its own sake… but rather, as an experimental theater… a laboratory… to help new ideas develop to the point that they find a regular home on broadcast media.”  To listen to TalkersRadio, please click here.  For more information, contact David Bernstein at 413-565-5413.

Odds & Sods.  There’s a new, two-year contract for some 400 NPR staffers represented by SAG-AFTRA.  The union announces the new pact will provide 2 ½ % salary increases at the start of each of the next two years.  Other provisions include NPR paying 70% of health care benefits and a contribution of 7% of workers’ pay into the retirement plan…..Hubbard Broadcasting donates $5 million to the Newseum in Washington, DC and gets naming rights to the concourse level of the building.  Hubbard chairman and CEO Stanley Hubbard comments, “Our family has always been a strong advocate of a free press.  Because it is the only institution solely devoted to educating the public about the fundamental value of First Amendment freedoms and free expression, the Newseum is a great gift to the nation and the world.  It’s an honor for our family and our company to help support this noble cause.”

WachsWalkerDr. Daliah Wachs Welcome’s Scott Walker.  Nationally syndicated talk host and practicing physician Dr. Daliah Wachs (right) welcomes Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (left) to Las Vegas.  Walker – a just-announced candidate for president in 2016 – visited the Silver State a day after announcing his candidacy.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

| July 15, 2015

EntercomMajor Market Swapping Among Entercom, LFM, Bonneville. Official settlement has been reached between Entercom Communications and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding Entercom’s acquisition of Lincoln Financial Media. The proposed transaction involving LFM properties in three markets was announced last December. Another player entered the mix, and as part of the DOJ resolution, Entercom gains entry into the second-largest market by exchanging four Denver stations with Bonneville. Somewhat resembling an MLB mega-swap conducted prior to baseball’s July 31 trading deadline, Entercom is cutting ties with adult contemporary KOSI “Continuous Lite Rock,” KYGO “#1 For New Country,” KKFNLincoln Financial Media “Sports Radio – The Fan,” and sports KEPN “The Zone” in exchange for Bonneville Los Angeles classic rocker KSWD “The Sound” and $5 million in additional consideration. After the dust settles, Entercom will have facilities in four (new for them) top 20 markets – Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami, and San Diego. Leading their respective stations there – and all having the Entercom title of vice president and general manager are: Peter Burton (Los Angeles); Mike Fowler (Atlanta); Doug Abernethy (Miami); and Bob Bollinger (San Diego). Amy Griesheimer remains in place as vice president and general manager of Entercom Denver; she has been with the company since 2002. Entercom president and chief executive officer David Field comments, “We are delighted to be moving forward on our long-delayed acquisition of Lincoln Financial Media and adding their terrific brands, markets, and people to our organization. We are also very excited to be acquiring ‘The Sound,’ the fastest growing radio station in Los Angeles, through our station exchange with Bonneville. Adding Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, and San Diego to our footprint will meaningfully enhance our ability to serve our listeners, customers, employees, and shareholders. This is a great day for Entercom that will enhance our competitive position and bolster our growth potential well into the future.” According to Entercom chief operating officer Weezie Kramer, “Lincoln Financial Media, Bonneville, and their teams have built world-class brands. We are excited about the opportunities to continue to grow these stations and to provide our listeners and customers with the best compelling local content and dynamic, integrated marketing solutions. I am excited to welcome Doug, Bob, Mike, and Peter to Entercom. They are great leaders and managers with a proven track record of success. As we enter these vibrant markets, we are thrilled to have such talented and experienced media veterans at the helm. Amy has been a tremendous leader for Entercom Denver. We know her experience, leadership, and vision will continue to drive ratings, revenue, and audience engagement for our stations [there].” BonnevilleMeanwhile, Bonneville president Darrell Brown remarks, “Denver is a vibrant, growing area where we see great opportunity. The stations we are acquiring are legacy brands and provide a powerful cluster in this market. They align well with our existing portfolio, allowing us to expand our regional footprint. Bonneville’s core mission is building and lifting the communities where we own broadcast properties. We have a commitment to provide quality sports, news, and entertainment products and we are thrilled to serve the Denver market.” After spending seven years as director of sales for Lincoln Financial San Diego, New York native Burton joined Bonneville seven years ago. Entercom Los Angeles will consist of KSWD “The Sound,” which in 12 of the last 13 Nielsen Audio PPM ratings periods, has been in the 3.0 – 3.9 range. In the most recent sweep (June 2015), it ranks sixth (3.7, 6+); “The Sound” registered a 3.9 in March, April, and May. Fowler most recently was director of sales for ESPN Chicago. The LFM cluster that Entercom is acquiring in Atlanta is comprised of hot AC WSTR “Star 94,” which has back-to-back increases (3.0 – 3.2 – 3.8, April-May-June, 6+) to finish #11, and WQXI “ESPN 790 The Zone” (.2, 6+). Abernethy joined Entercom three months ago, following ten years as a Radio One regional vice president. Among the three Miami stations Entercom is picking up from LFM is adult contemporary WLYF “Lite-FM,” which – in May – finally unseated Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT at #1. With consecutive up-trends (6.8 – 7.1 – 7.3, April-May-June, 6+), “Lite” remains at #1. The other two Miami stations Entercom is acquiring are classic hits-oldies WMXJ “Magic 102.7” (4.4, #7, 6+, June 2015) and sports WAXY “The Ticket” (1.9, #20). It was just last week that Bolinger exited CBS Radio San Diego as senior vice president and market manager. As is the case in Miami involving adult contemporary WLYF, Entercom is getting a #1 station (6+) in San Diego with adult contemporary KIFM “Easy 98.1” (5.5, #1, 6+, June 2015). In addition to “Easy,” the San Diego cluster-mates Bolinger will oversee are KSON “New Country” (4.5, #6) and alternative KBZT “It’s About the Music” (2.6, #16). June 2015 (6+) ratings performances for the properties leaving Entercom and joining Bonneville are 5.3, #4 (fourth successive up trend) for KYGO; 4.7, #6 for KOSI; and 2.0, #19 for KKFN; KEPN does not appear in the June sweep. Stations remaining under the Entercom Denver banner are June 2015 pacesetter classic rock KQMT “The Mountain” (6.6, #1, 6+); hot AC KALC “Alice” (4.0, #9); and adult standards KEZW “Studio 1430 – Timeless Music” (.5, #28). They will be joined by Lincoln Financial Media additions rhythmic CHR KQKS “KS-107.5” (3.5, #12, 6+, June 2015); KYGO-HD2 “Comedy 103.1” (#18, trending 1.7 – 1.8, 1.9 – 3.0, 6+); and KRWZ “Cruisin’ Oldies – AM 950” (1.5, #23). Purchase price for Entercom’s Lincoln Financial Media acquisition is $105 million. Approximately three-quarters of it – $77.5 million – is in cash and the remaining $27.5 million in “Series A” perpetual convertible preferred stock held by Lincoln Financial Group. Time Brokerage Agreements will enable Bonneville and Entercom to operate the swapped properties immediately upon closing of the Lincoln Financial Media acquisition. It is anticipated that closing of the Lincoln Financial Media acquisition and beginning of the Bonneville-Entercom TBAs will occur within several business days. Entercom expects the Bonneville transaction will be finalized by fourth quarter.

connoisseur media logoConnoisseur Media Bought by Management and Petrus Holding Company.  Westport, Connecticut-based Connoisseur Media has been bought in a joint effort by the company’s management and Petrus Holding Company, LP, a Perot Company.  In a statement issued today, Petrus says existing management team will continue to operate the stations, with Petrus as their financial partner.  Connoisseur Media operates 42 radio stations and digital assets in 12 markets across the U.S.  Connoisseur CEO Jeffrey Warshaw states, “We are very excited to partner with The Perot Companies to continue our focused and disciplined growth strategy.  It is important for us to have a partner who shares our values and supports our long-term growth strategy.” Perot Companies chairman Ross Perot, Jr. says, “The Perot Companies and Connoisseur share common values, an entrepreneurial culture and a long-term approach to operating and building world-class companies.  Our investment will allow Connoisseur to continue investing in its people while ensuring it can remain prudently financed, locally focused and innovative.”

mccainmeghanPremiere Networks Names Meghan McCain Host of ‘America Now.’  A new, young host has been named for Premiere Networks’ nationally syndicated radio talk show “America Now.”  Media personality and author Meghan McCain takes over the role of permanent host of the show that first featured Andy Dean as host.  He left the program in July of 2014 to focus on his ConnectPal digital platform.  (San Antonio-based personality Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo has been hosting the show on an interim basis.) Premiere says the show will continue to be based in Los Angeles and air live from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET.  McCain comments, “I can’t wait to engage listeners across the country as we shine a spotlight on the stories and issues thatamericanow logo affect us all.  Creating a dialogue to inform, inspire and entertain people is what’s always driven me, and hosting ‘America Now’ is an exciting opportunity to help drive the national conversation.  I’m excited to be joining a network with such an amazing lineup of hosts.”  Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott states, “Meghan is smart, enthusiastic and outspoken, and we’re excited to have her join our roster of industry-leading programs reaching diverse audiences across America.  As talk radio continues to connect with and engage millions of people across multiple platforms, we’re confident Meghan’s unique perspective and experience in politics will resonate with America Now’s national audience and create powerful marketing opportunities for our partners.”

rossfredaRoss Promoted to News Director at WBAP and KLIF in Dallas.  Moving up from her assistant news director position at Cumulus Media’s WBAP and KLIF in Dallas, Freda Ross is the new news director for the stations.  Ross has been with WBAP since 1994 and added KLIF duties after Cumulus acquired the station.  She is heard daily on KLIF as midday news anchor.  Operations and program manager Tyler Cox says, “Freda has earned the respect of her colleagues and is a long-standing, influential leader in the WBAP/KLIF news department.  She was the natural choice for this promotion to news director.”  Ross comments, “I’m excited to take on the responsibilities of being news director for WBAP and KLIF.  Both are well-respected heritage stations that have served the DFW community for decades. I look forward to the opportunity to continue bringing honest, thought-provoking news coverage to our listeners.”

coxmediagroupCox Media Group Makes ‘Major Senior Leadership Changes.’  These executive moves affect the National Ad Platforms, radio and digital businesses of Cox Media Group.  They include: Kim Guthrie being named EVP of National Ad Platforms and president of CoxReps,guthriekim the country’s largest television advertising rep firm based in New York City; Bill Hendrich takes over for hendrichbillGuthrie as EVP of radio and CMG research, based in Atlanta; and Marian Pittman becomes the company’s EVP of digital strategy and will oversee digital’s content and sales from her base in Atlanta.  Guthrie’s assumption of the CoxReps presidency comes as Jim Monahan retires from the company after 35 years.  The company says new radio EVP Bill Hendrich joined CMG Radio in 1996 in Orlando and has led countless award-winning teams that have produced outstanding creative content for CMG’s radio audiences, quantifiable sales results for customers, and internal and external customer service satisfaction for CMG’s employees and clients.  The company’s Orlando VP/GM Susan Larkin is promoted to regional VP of Jacksonville and Orlando Radio.   Finally, Pittman makes her move after serving with the company as VP of news and marketing for television.

nbcsportsGyllenhaalJake Gyllenhaal Visits NBC Sports Radio’s Amani Toomer and Dan Schwartzman.  The two co-host “Going Deep with Amani & Dan” from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am ET on the NBC Sports Radio Network and recently hosted actor Jake Gyllenhaal in the studio about his new movie, Southpaw.  The film is the story of a boxer who fights his way to the top only to find his life falling apart around him and features Rachel McAdams and Forest Whitaker.  Pictured here (from l-r) are: Schwartzman, Gyllenhaal, and Toomer.

Obama Strikes Nukes Deal with Iran, Prison Escape of Mexican Drug Lord, 2016 Presidential Candidates, Bill Cosby Rape Allegations, Illegal Immigration Policy-Kate Steinle Death, Greek Debt Issue, Caitlyn Jenner ESPYs Appearance, the MLB All-Star game, and NASA’s Pluto Mission Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/14).  The West’s deal with Iran to end economic sanctions on the nation and allow its nuclear program to proceed; the controversial “escape” from prison of Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the renewed chatter about allegations Bill Cosby drugged and raped women; the controversy over the U.S.’s illegal immigration policy, the sanctuary cities, and the death of Kate Steinle; the Greek debt solution and its effect on world financial markets; Caitlyn Jenner’s appearance on the ESPYs tonight and her receiving the Arthur Ashe Award; the MLB All-Star game; and NASA’s New Horizons flies by Pluto were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

| June 30, 2015

2015 NYC 150Talkers New York 2015 “Programming Talk Radio in 2015” Video Posted Today. One of the most important panel discussions of the Talkers New York 2015 mega-conference (held on June 12) is posted today on Talkers TV. Skillfully moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey and introduced by Radio America syndicated host Dana Loesch, the take-away-packed session includes (in alphabetical order): Carl Anderson, EVP, programming, iHeartMedia; Mike Bendixen, PD, Newstalk 1010, CFRB, Toronto; Valerie Geller, CEO, Geller Media International; Scott Masteller, PD, WBAL, Baltimore; and Mike McVay, SVP, content & programming, Cumulus Media. Subjects covered include keeping the news/talk format fresh and modern, the primacy of content, the relationship today between programming and sales, overcoming widespread negativity about the news/talk format, the benefits and pitfalls of branding, the challenge of hiring good talent, the effective utilization of social media and more. To view the video in its entirety, please click here.

hunnicuttclayHunnicutt Exits iHeartMedia to Head New Record Label.  A shocker in the radio biz as longtime iHeartMedia exec Clay Hunnicutt leaves his EVP and general manager of national programming platforms position to become president of the new record label Big Loud Records.  The move was announced to iHeartMedia staffers via a memo from national programming platforms president Tom Poleman.  He writes, “After more than 15 years here with us, Clay Hunnicutt has decided to leave iHeartMedia to become president of Big Loud Records, a record label startup. Clay has not only been a great partner to me in the day-to-day operations of national programming, he’s also become a great friend; I know you all feel the same.  He’s been a pioneer and leader in shaping the great company that we are today, and for that I’ll always be thankful.”

courtemanchejasonCumulus Media Los Angeles Courts Courtemanche as VP/Sales. Former iHeartMedia Chicago vice president of sales Jason Courtemanche relocates to Los Angeles for a similar position with Cumulus Media talker KABC-AM and classic rocker KLOS. Cumulus Media senior vice president of operations Tom Schurr comments, “I am thrilled to be working with Jason again. He is a smart, competitive, experienced broadcast executive who attracts top talent and produces results for partners and stations. We are excited to have a leader of his caliber joining the team.” Courtemanche remarks, “I am looking forward to this excitingCumulus opportunity on the west coast with these two legendary radio stations and the highly respected sales team. I am committed to getting in the trenches and helping make Cumulus the place to be in Los Angeles media.” Prior to his stint at iHeartMedia Chicago, Courtemanche was sales manager for CBS Radio Chicago all-news operation WBBM-AM; general sales manager for iHeartMedia San Diego; and director of sales for San Diego-based MVS International Communications.  In pro hockey for six years (1993 – 1999), Courtemache played for various teams in the ECHL, IHL, AHL, WCHL, and CHL.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallBridging the Generational Divide – 17 Year Old Talk Radio Rising Star, Pavlina, Meets Michael Harrison on “Up Close and Far Out” Podcast.  It starts out light and chatty but quickly develops into an insightful dialogue that spans the generational divide.  Seventeen-year-old, multi-platform talk radio host Pavlina Osta is interviewed by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison on this week’s installment of the international hit Podcast One production “Up Close and Far Out.”  “Pavlina” has been remarkably active as a self-motivated “celebrity journalist” since the tender age of 11 — racking up archives of more than 450 interviews with famous figures in show business, music, sports and public policy.  She hosts a weekly radio show called “Pavlina’s Kidz Place” heard on Florida stations WAPN, Holly Hill; WAPB, Madison; and WELE, Ormond Beach plus a number more across the Sunshine State and scattered around the country — as well as maintaining a very active website and YouTube presence. She is already a two-time Gracie Award winner and holds the Guinness world record for the most radio interviews conducted in 24 hours.  She conducted 347 interviews, each being a unique set of at least five questions. The entire 24-hour periodPavlinaMHselfie15 was broadcast live on Ustream.tv and via Live365.  Pavlina, a published author and tireless charity volunteer, has attended a number of industry conferences including the last two TALKERS events in New York City where her irrepressible personality, charisma and unique flair for fashion caught the attention of industry leaders – many of whom have begun championing her career.  She served a summer internship with Premiere Networks star Sean Hannity in 2014 and is working this summer with Salem stations (WNYM and WMCA) in New York City under the direction of Phil Boyce.  She has also received vigorous talent coaching by David Bernstein. Pavlina recently made an appearance on Newsmax TV as a guest of Steve Malzberg further fueling her rocketing profile as a media figure to be reckoned with.  Upon interviewing Pavlina for “Up Close and Far Out,” Michael Harrison states, “What this remarkable young woman lacks in polish and sophistication, she more than makes up for in sheer likability.  She oozes positive energy, remarkable charisma, unmistakable style and indelible authenticity.  Plus, and most important, just under the surface of her ‘contemporary teenage girlishness’ lies an uncommon intelligence and wisdom that are clearly fueling this young woman’s self-motivated juggernaut to stardom.  I didn’t treat her like a kid – but, rather, the amazing young woman into which she is clearly developing.  I gave her the respect of asking her tough questions. We talked about kids today – sex, drugs, peer-pressure, education, even tattoos and body piercing, plus more.”  On being interviewed by Michael Harrison, Pavlina states, “We actually covered more than I’ve ever done in an interview. This was a lot of fun.  I appreciate it.”  To hear the entire conversation between Michael Harrison and Pavlina, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player located in the right hand column of every page on Talkers.com. (Pictured here are Michael Harrison and Pavlina in a selfie taken at Talkers New York 2015 on June 12.)

ppmunit altVoltair and PPM Controversy Getting Play in Consumer Press.  The digital publication FiveThirtyEight.com (published by ESPN) just posted a story by Carl Bialik that brings the industry’s concern about the reliability of the PPM technology used by Nielsen Audio to lightvoltair image with more of the public.  The piece uses the demise of the smooth jazz format as the primary case against the ratings technology – though it does point out that the talk and classical formats are likely adversely affected by alleged inadequacies in the PPM, as well.  Though the piece doesn’t go into detail about how Voltair works, it offers a summary of the processor’s recent history, including the moratorium on it in Canada.  The piece also poses the question: If this controversy turns the radio ratings on its head, isn’t that a potential death knell for the entire industry?  One anonymous industry executive replies, “When you’re buying on a flawed system, nobody’s winning.”  Read the entire article here.

tacinelliglenGlen Tacinelli Named 77WABC General Sales Manager.  Heading up the sales efforts at Cumulus Media-owned news/talk WABC, New York is Glen Tacinelli, who begins his role as general sales manager on July 13.   Tacinelli comes to WABC from Eastman Radio’s New York office, where he’s repped radio stations in more than 137 markets across the United States for the past seven years.  Prior to that he served at CBS RADIO’s WCBS-FM, New York.  He began his radio career at Arbitron (now Nielsen Audio).  Cumulus New York VP/market manager Chad Lopez states, “We are thrilled to welcome Glen Tacinelli as the GSM to the iconic, legendary WABC brand.  Glen’s outstanding talent, knowledge of the New York radio market and expertise in selling some of the top AM stations across the country is exactly what we were looking to add to the Cumulus New York team.”

Odds & Sods.  Taking home two awards from the Virginia Association of Broadcasting is Monticello Media’s news/talk WCHV-AM/FM, Charlottesville, Virginia.  The station was honored with the “Outstanding Newscast” and “Outstanding News Series” awards.  Program director Joe Thomas says, “Less than eight years since taking over a station with no local news content, I am so proud of news director John Peterson, his news team and our afternoon drive host Coy Barefoot and their efforts to both inform and entertain our community!”…..Delta Media Corporation welcomes Ben Love to the station’s permanent program lineup on sports talk KLWB-FM, Lafayette, Louisiana “103.7 The Game.”  Love, who hosts “Bumper to Bumper Sports with Ben Love,” is an award-winning sports media pro who recently was honored with the Best Website Feature, Best Website Column awards and finished second for Best Website Game Story by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association…..SiriusXM plans regular coverage of Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S. in September on The Catholic Channel.  SiriusXM says it will feature around-the-clock coverage each day, including live broadcasts of all of the major events during the Pope’s visit, including his appearance at the World Meeting of Families and Papal Mass in Philadelphia, his speech at the United Nations, the mass at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC, and more.

masondanMason Elected BFA Co-Vice Chair, Treasurer. Recently retired CBS Radio president and chief executive officer Dan Mason is elected co-vice chair and treasurer of the Broadcasters Foundation of America. Broadcasters Foundation chair Phil Lombardo declares that, “Dan is one of the Foundation’s most ardentBroadcasters Foundation of America ambassadors and he gives tirelessly of his time. The entire board is grateful that he is taking on these additional responsibilities to advance our charitable mission of helping broadcasters in need.” As CBS Radio’s president/CEO, Mason oversaw more than 125 stations in 27 markets. The National Association of Broadcasters’ executive committee honored him as its 2012 “National Radio Award” winner for his outstanding leadership in the industry.

SCOTUS Gay Marriage and ObamaCare Rulings, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Trump-NBC Fallout, Iran Nukes Negotiations, NY Prison Escape Aftermath, Greece-EU Tensions, and ISIS Atrocities Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/29).  Last week’s rulings by the Supreme Court supporting federal subsidies for the Affordable Care Act and making same-sex marriage legal in all states; the potential candidates for president in 2016; Donald Trump’s skirmish with NBC over the Miss America and Miss Universe pageants; the negotiations between the West and Iran over its nuclear program; the capture of the second escapee from a New York prison and the aftermath of the ordeal; the economic tensions being created by Greece’s inability to pay its debt to the IMF and talk of its exit from the EU; and the ongoing atrocities being perpetrated by ISIS were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

| June 25, 2015

wrkologoWRKO, Boston Unveils New AM Drive Show and Partnership with The Globe’s Boston.com.  It’s been no secret that Entercom’s WRKO, Boston would move morning talk personality Jeff Kuhner to the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot after declining to renew Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh show, but the station is now announcing its new morning drive programming.  Leading the show will becarrigankim Boston media pro Kim Carrigan.  Former crosstown sports WEEI personality Jon Meterperel will join Carrigan along with show producer David Cullinane.  Still more interesting is the station’s joint venture with the Boston Globe Media Partners-owned online platform Boston.com.  WRKO says the new show – the “Boston.com Morning Show” – will consist of “four hours of rapid-cadence news, talk and trending live from the newsroom at Boston.com.  The show will lean heavily on contributing writers and columnists from the highly-trafficked, regional website as well as national correspondents from ABC News.”   The new lineup will be live and local from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm (Barry Armstrong’s Financial Exchange airs from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon and Boston talk legend Howie Carr’s show holds down PM drive) for the first time in more than 20 years, according to the station.  Entercom Boston VP/market manager Phil Zachary says this is a logical evolutionary step for the talk format.  “On the cusp of the 2016 election cycle, it’s very clear traditional talk radio is facing strong headwinds.  As ideological lines blur and new technologies afford almost limitless tractability in audio news options, now is the time to deliver highly targeted, local content that’s unavailable to consumers anywhere else.  This new lineup, anchored by our alliance with New England’s second largest news website, squarely positions WRKO for the next decade.”  The lineup debuts Monday, June 29.

talkersNYC15BigPictureTalkers New York 2015 “Big Picture” Panel Video Posted Today.  “The Big Picture,” one of the major panel discussions at the recently concluded (6/12) Talkers New York 2015 mega-conference, is posted today on Talkers TV.  The session covers a range of important issues pertaining to the state of talk media from a wide variety of perspectives.  Introduced by TALKERS legal editor (and Bentley University law professor) Steve Weisman and moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (both not pictured here), the panel includes (from left to right): Chris Oliviero, EVP programming, CBS RADIOJoe Sciacca, editor-in-chief, Boston Herald/Boston Herald Radio;  Craig Schwalb, PD, WABC, New York; Karen Hunter, host, SiriusXM Satellite RadioAlan Colmes, host/commentator, FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel; Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks; and Holland Cooke, consultant, Holland Cooke Media. The session covers the position and future of the stick; the psychology of being a talk host; the challenges of local, independent station ownership; the broadening of the news/talk menu as it relates to partisan politics, preserving major market heritage radio brands; the role of urban talk; the glass ceiling in spoken-word radio; the emerging new relationship between radio and newspapers and more.  To view the video in its entirety please click here.

podcastone logoNew Shows Debut on PodcastOne.  Comedian, actress and bestselling author Heather McDonald debuts “Juicy Scoops with Heather McDonald” on PodcastOne, beginning today (6/25).  The network says McDonald “asks the questions everyone wants to know and discusses the hottest and most controversial topics each week.”  Also “The Fraze & Bentley Podcast,” hosted by radio personality, actor and comedian Frazer Smith, and actor, magician and comedian Jim Bentley launches.  PodcastOne says, “The duo is serious about comedy, but it’s all fun and games as they invite podcast regular and burlesque dancer Harper Rose to the mic each week, in addition to a myriad of their famous friends.”  Jon Lovitz is the duo’s first celebrity guest.

klz logoThree Hosts Quit KLZ, Denver Over Disagreement with Management.  Denver talk outlet KLZ is without three of its hosts after Ken Clark, Kris Cook, and Randy Corporon resigned from the Crawford Broadcasting station.  According to a story in the Denver Post by Lynn Bartels, The three – who hosted separate shows on the station – had given 30-day notices of their resignation but exited before that period had elapsed after they were instructed not to book former Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo as a guest.  Tancredo is playing a role in controversy surrounding Colorado Republican Party Chairman Steve House and station manager Don Crawford Jr. told the hosts he didn’t want Tancredo booked as a guest until Crawford could determine for himself what Tancredo’s role in the call for House to resign was all about.  Read Bartels’ story here.

Odds & Sods. It’s being called “a new national headline news service and full-time satellite radio channel produced by a dedicated team of FOX News journalists and contributors.”  The joint effort from SiriusXM and FOX Newsfoxnewsradio will launch this fall and is part of a multi-year agreement between the two.  SiriusXM says the channel, under the watch of FOX News senior vice president of news Jay Wallace, will be “staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year” to “deliver the day’s top stories at any time.”…..Kevin Radich joins CBS RADIO-owned all news KCBS, San Francisco “All News 106.9 FM/740 AM” as weekday sports reporter.  Radich served as afternoon sports reporter on Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk KGO until earlier this year…..The Radio Television Digital News Association’s Edward R. Murrow Award winners are being announced and there are several to report today.  ABC News wins a total of five awards, including the Overall Excellence in Television and Overall Excellence in Radio awards for the second year in a row.  ABC News president James Goldston comments to his staff, “I want to extend a abcnewsStaff15special congratulations to [ABC News] Radio for a banner year – winning three more Murrow awards.  Radio stations count on ABC News Radio when news breaks.  The radio team works tirelessly with unmatched production and groundbreaking reporting every day.”  RTDNA recognized  the radio division for Breaking News – The Shooting at Fort Hood, Brad Mielke for Sports – Spartan Racing and Writing – Scott Goldberg.  (pictured at left is the ABC News Radio staff celebrating its honors.)  At the local level, all-news WCBS, New York “Newsradio 880” is honored with “Overall Excellence in Large Market Radio.”  The winning entry included coverage of the east Harlem gas explosion, New York City police protests, and the murders of New York Police Department officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.  Also, Rivet Radio – a multi-bowermikeplatform media company that produces customized audio news and feature stories – was recognized for “Best Use of Sound by a Small Online News Organization.”  News reporter and producer George Drake Jr. conceived, wrote and produced the piece, “The Story of Marvin the ‘Street Greeter’,” which profiled a Chicago resident spreading joy within the bustling metropolis…..Former WUCS, Hartford and Maxim Radio personality Michael Bower sits in on iHeartMedia‘s sports talker WINZ, Miami for Andy Slater tomorrow from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Obama’s TPP Trade Deal, Charleston Church Slayings Aftermath/Confederate Flag Issue, 2016 Presidential Prospects/Bobby Jindal, Freddie Gray Autopsy Results Revealed, OPM Hack, Iran Nukes Negotiations, and Obama LGBT Pride Event Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/24).  The U.S. Senate votes to give President Obama fast-track authority over the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement; the aftermath of the Charleston Church slayings and the matter of flying the Confederate flag on public property; the growing list of 2016 presidential prospects grows as Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal enters the GOP primary race; the results of the Freddie Gray autopsy are acquired by the Baltimore Sun; questions about how much information was available to hackers into the Office of Personnel Management; The U.S.’s offer to provide Iran with nuclear technology; and talk about the scene at President Obama’s LGBT pride event at the White House were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

| June 18, 2015

weismanstevenUpdate: The Glenn Beck Defamation Suit.  TALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman reports on the status of the defamation suit in which Premiere Networks talk host Glenn Beck is defending himself.  Saudi Arabian national Abdulrahman Alharbi is suing Beck for defamation after Beck continued to talk about his belief that Alharbi had a role in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing after authorities had investigated him and cleared him of any involvement in the crime.  Now, Weisman says the case has taken another legal step after Judge Patti B. Saris allowed Alharbi to amend his defamation lawsuit by adding a count for unjust enrichment.  In allowing this count to be added to the complaint, Judge Saris has significantly upped the amount of a possible judgment.  Weisman says the case is a long way from trial and that it’s in the discovery phase right now.  Read more here.

wccoaward15WCCO Honored by NAB for Service to Community.  On Tuesday (6/16), CBS RADIO heritage news/talk station WCCO-AM was honored by the NAB with the National Association of Broadcaster’s Education Foundation’s “Service to Community Award” for the station’s year-round outreach to help the hungry.  For the campaign, WCCO engaged listeners, celebrities and charity groups to collect food and replenish food shelves across 59 counties.  Pictured here are (from l-r): U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, CBS RADIO Minneapolis SVP and market manager Mick Anselmo, WCCO program director Bob Shomper, and U.S. Rep. Keith EllisonPhoto: CBS.

stigallCoulter15WPHT, Philadelphia’s Chris Stigall Hosts Sold-Out Book Event with Ann Coulter.  Philadelphia morning drive host Chris Stigall (right) brought author and conservative media icon Ann Coulter (left) to the Colonial Theatre near Philadelphia for a sold-out event on Monday, June 15 to talk about, among other things, her latest book, Adios America! (Regnery Publishing 2015).  Stigall reports to TALKERS that the conversation touched on a wide variety of topics including Coulter’s friendship with Bill Maher, and her real concern about the state of free speech in comedy and commentary today.

carrhowieLGHowie Carr: Presidential Kingmaker!  It is no secret that every four years in the weeks and months leading up to the high-visibility New Hampshire presidential primary, radio talk show hosts in the state take on an importance and influence in national affairs that exponentially outweighs what their market size and audience reach would normally deliver.  Taking that fact into consideration, regionally syndicated host Howie Carr, whose recently launched, independent Howie Carr Radio Network covers the six New England states like a blanket (and is starting to leak into neighboring New York), has become a potential presidential “king maker.”  Carr’s immensely popular afternoon drive program is now affiliated in seven top New Hampshire markets with an eighth reportedly on the way — giving him an unprecedented level of “local” presence in the strategic primary battleground that makes him a must-visit by all candidates hoping to have a shot at winning the crucial election.  Carr, who ranked 15th in this year’s TALKERS Heavy Hundred, is considered by many industry observers familiar with his impact in the Northeast as somewhat of a “sleeping giant of news/talk radio” just waiting to invade the nearby Empire State and beyond.  To hear a promo currently running on Carr’s network referring to his role in the primary, please click

      1. here

bernsteindanWSCR, Chicago’s Dan Bernstein Suspended for Tweet.  The Chicago sports talk host sat out yesterday’s show (without pay) and will return to the “Boers & Bernstein” show today.  This, reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, came after Dan Bernstein revisited rumors that WLS-TV meteorologist Cheryl Scott was romantically involved with one or more Chicago Blackhawks players when he Tweeted: “And the real award for this year’s close connection to the @NHLBlackhawks is @CherylScottWX!!”  Scott had vehemently denied the rumors via social media and after Bernstein’s Tweet, Feder reports that WSCR was contacted by WLS-TV management and Scott’s agent protesting the Tweet.  This is the second recent Tweet that’s got Bernstein into trouble.  Earlier this year he apologized for sexist comments made about Comcast SportsNet Chicago anchor Aiyana Cristal.

zieglerbrandon‘The John and Leah Show’ Lands on WHAS, Louisville.  It’s a return to WHAS, Louisville for talk host John Ziegler, whose new Envision Networks-syndicated weekend show with co-host Leah Bandon is being heard every Sunday night at 10:00.  Ziegler was a daily personality on the station earlier in his career and iHeartMedia Louisville senior vice president of programming Kelly Carls says, “John Ziegler is already well known to many fans around Kentuckiana.  We’re glad they’ll once again get to hear his well-thought-out, unique take on major events and the news.”

Odds & Sods.  The nationally syndicated political weekend show “Beyond the Beltway with Bruce DuMont” celebrates its 35the anniversary next weekend (6/28) with a special program on Sunday preceded by a private gathering on June 24 with frequent program guests from over the years.  The show began in 1980 as a 13-week experiment on WBEZ-FM, Chicago to cover the 1980 presidential campaign.  In 1991 it went into syndication on public radio.  In 1992 it switched to commercial WLS-AM, Chicago and its national profile grew.…..Financial talk host Robert “Bob” Hardcastle – host of the weekend “Money Talk” program on KTRS, St. Louis – has written a memoir of his days as a college baseball player at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in 1959 titled, College Baseball and Other Shenanigans.  Hardcastle is an honored SIUC alumnus from the Class of 1962 and a member of the St. Louis Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame.

2016 Presidential Prospects/Trump Enters Race, Rachel Dolezal Case, Pope Francis’ Global Warming Encyclical, U.S.-Russia Tensions, SCOTUS ObamaCare Subsidies Case, Woman to Be on $10 Bill, ISIS Military Progress, EU Uncertainty Over Greek Debt, and Golden State Warriors Win NBA Title Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/17).  The candidates for president in 2016 and Donald Trump’s entrance into the GOP primary; the ongoing talk about former Spokane NAACP head Rachel Dolezal’s “identifying” as black; the leaked encyclical in which Pope Francis calls for global governmental action on climate change; the military tensions between Russia and the U.S.; the Supreme Court to hear arguments over federal ObamaCare subsidies; the Treasury Department’s announcement that a woman will replace Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill in 2020; the progress of ISIS in Iraq and the U.S. military’s policy there; the state of the European Union as Greece warns it can’t pay its debts; and the Golden State Warriors’ victory over Cleveland in the NBA Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

| June 4, 2015

charleskenKen Charles to Program All-News KNX, Los Angeles.  Longtime iHeartMedia news and talk programmer Ken Charles joins CBS RADIO as the new program director of the company’s KNX, Los Angeles “1070 Newsradio.”  Charles, who exited his post as iHeartMedia Sacramento’s vice president of programming and national brand manager for news, talk and sports earlier this year, says of his new post,knx logo “I can’t wait to begin working for CBS RADIO, a company committed to local news, and the team of award-winning professionals at KNX, L.A.’s heritage home for local news and traffic.  I’m thankful to Chris Oliviero, Scott Herman, [CBS RADIO Los Angeles SVP/market manager] Dan Kearney, and Kevin Weatherly for giving me this incredible opportunity.”  Kearney adds, “You’d be hard-pressed to find a programmer with as much experience and success in the news format as Ken.  He is one of the most respected managers of news operations in the country and during this seminal, fast-changing period of how people get their news, he is uniquely qualified to build upon KNX’s reputation as Southern California’s news, traffic and information authority.”

steelejimmySteele Surfaces in Salisbury-Ocean City as Senior VP/Programming. One week from Monday (6/15) is Jimmy Steele‘s start date as iHeartMedia Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland’s senior vice president of programming. Regional market president Chris Walus states, “Jimmy has an extraordinary record of success in leading operations, developing formats, and coaching top-tier personalities. This – coupled with his remarkable skill for driving breakthrough revenue growth – set Jimmy apart from the pack. Our team is excited and eager for him to start.” Steele remarks that he is “truly grateful and excited for the opportunity to reunite with iHeartMedia” and is looking forward “to working with Chris Walus, along with senior vice president of programming Jon Zellner and regional programming manager Dave Symonds, in advancing our strong and diverse brands in the Salisbury-Ocean City market.” Not to be confused with Emmis vice president ofiHeartMedia programming/rhythmic CHR KPWR “Power 106,” Los Angeles program director Jimmy Steal, Jimmy Steele previously was operations manager for iHeartMedia San Diego, and Columbus’ regional vice president of programming. The company’s Salisbury-Ocean City operation consists of urban AC WSBY “Magic 98.9”; WJDY “Newsradio 1470”; CHR WKZP “Kiss 95.9”; adult contemporary WQHQ “Q-105”; WTGM “Fox Sports 960”; and country WWFG “Froggy 99.9.”

wbnslogoColumbus’ Wolfe Family to Sell Print Assets, Retain Broadcast Properties.  The publishers of the Columbus Dispatch (part of the Dispatch Printing Company) are selling the Columbus, Ohio daily along with 24 suburban weeklies and seven magazines to New York-based New Media Investment Group.  The Wolfe family will remain in the broadcasting business with its two television stations – WBNS-TV, Columbus and WTHR-TV, Indianapolis – as well as its RadiOhio subsidiary that operates sports talk radio simulcast WBNS-AM/FM, Columbus.  As reported in The Dispatch, chairman and publisher John Wolfe states, “We are proud of our 110-year legacy of family ownership of The Dispatch, and the newspaper’s heritage of quality journalism and community involvement.  However, the past two decades of accelerating and challenging change in the newspaper industry made it clear to us that maintaining a single-city, family-owned paper in this environment was untenable long-term.”

NPRNPR’s Lesher Succumbs to Stomach Cancer. Staffers received word yesterday (Wednesday, 6/3) that NPR associate editor for news operations Jim Lesher lost his battle against stomach cancer; he was just 46 years old. NPR managing editor Chuck Holmes explains, “Jim’s value to this newsroom was so apparent that I once joked with him that I was going to make up a wanted poster with his photo: ‘Jim Lesher: Most Wanted Man at NPR.'” Executive producer for newscasts Robert Garcia states, “There is an entire news organization full of heavy and broken hearts. If the measure of a man is how much he is loved and appreciated by others, Jim was successful beyond his wildest dreams.” Washington, D.C.-area native Lesher joined NPR as an intern soon after graduating from Catholic University in 1990. His parents; a sister; and two nephews are among his survivors.

Odds & Sods. San Antonio-based talk show host Adam McManus is sitting in for Iowa talk personality Simonmcmanusadam Conway on WMT, Cedar Rapids Monday, June 8 through Wednesday, June 17 from 9:00am to 11:00 am…..Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will make weekly appearances on CBS RADIO’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh “Sportsradio 93.7 The Fan” this season.  Roethlisberger will appear Tuesdays at 11:00 am on the “Cook & Poni Show.”…..KOIL, Omaha held its “Bob Bruce Experience 4 Blue” rally in support of the police in honor of officer Kerrie Orozco, who died in the line of duty on May 20, a day before she was to take maternity leave.  The “Bob Bruce Experience 4 Blue” was a two-week appreciation campaign during which KOIL broadcast free commercials for merchants providing complimentary services to Omaha law enforcement officers on June 3.

madisonrisingstillPatriotic Rock Band Madison Rising forms Non-Profit ‘Shows for Heroes.’  Industry pros attending the Talkers New York 2015 conference on Friday, June 12 will see the new video from the patriotic rock band Madison Rising (pictured here).  The band just announced that is has formed a 501(c)3 chartered organization that will assist in covering the costs associated with having the group perform at military bases, veteran organizations and first responder events.  Madison Rising has an especially strong following among military personnel, veterans and first responders, and is often asked to do performances around the country by organizations that simply cannot afford to cover the costs associated with travel and production.  With the creation of Madison Rising Shows For Heroes, tax-deductible contributions from individual and corporate donors will allow Madison Rising to provide more live performances for the men and women who have given so much of themselves.

ISIS Military Progress, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Sinking Obama Approval Ratings, Baltimore Murder Rate Soars, Obama Trade Deal, Duggar Family Scandal, Police Kill Boston Terror Suspect, Texas Open Carry Challenge, Caitlyn Jenner Story, FIFA Corruption Case, and NBA-NHL Finals Amoong Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/3).  Concern over ISIS’ military success in Iraq and Syria and the U.S. military’s Iraq policy; the potential candidates for president in 2016 and the entrance of Republican George Pataki and Democrat Lincoln Chafee into the races; chatter about the dip in approval ratings for President Obama; the escalating murder rate in Baltimore in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death; the state of the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal; the sexual scandal plaguing the Duggar family, stars of ’19 Kids and Counting’; the police shooting death of a terror suspect in Boston; the challenge of Texas’ open carry law; Bruce Jenner’s gender transition and new Caitlyn identity; the far-reaching effects of the FIFA corruption case; and the finals in both the NBA and the NHL were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

| May 14, 2015

levinmarkCumulus/Westwood One Star Mark Levin Continues to Gain Syndication Steam.  Dubbed “The Great One” by Sean Hannity, Cumulus/Westwood One syndicated host Mark Levin continues to grow in stature as one of the elite stars in the talk radio industry.  Levin, who has written a number of best sellers and is respected as an outstanding constitutional attorney and scholar, has added over a dozen new stations to his affiliate roster of 300-plus in the last quarter alone including KRLA, Los Angeles; WPGP,westwood one NEW Pittsburgh; WREC, Memphis; WRVA, Richmond; KTSM, El Paso; KWSX, Stockton; KFIV, Modesto; WBUV-FM, Biloxi; WPGG, Atlantic City; WTKS-AM, Savannah; KWHN, Ft. Smith; WDAK, Columbus, GA; and WFEA, Manchester, MA.   According to Michael Harrison, “Levin doesn’t always get the credit he deserves as the true heavyweight he is – but the numbers don’t lie.  He has one of the largest audiences of all the political news/talkers in America and is positively adored by the millions of individuals and organizations that make up the heart of the fundamentalist, Constitutionalist core of the conservative movement.”  Levin is ranked by TALKERS as #6 on the Heavy Hundred (the 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America) and tied with Glenn Beck as the fourth most-listened-to radio talk show host in the nation.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases Third Round of April 2015 PPM Data.  The third of four rounds of April 2015 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 April 2015 survey period covered March 26 through April 22.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

2015 NYC 150Talkers New York 2015 Will Be Sold Out Today. Based on the diminishing number of registrations still open and the rate at which they are being filled, Talkers New York 2015 – the 18th annual installment of the talk media’s longest-running and most important national convention — will be declared sold out at the end of business today (5:00 pm EDT), a day earlier than anticipated earlier this week.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “We are gratified by the strong response this event is receiving and we clearly do not like to turn folks away – however, we must abide by New York City’s building codes, not to mention be sensitive to the comfort and safety of our attendees.”  Casey continues, “There will be no general registrations sold after 5:00 pm EDT today Thursday, May 14.”  The event will be located at the historic India House Club dramatically situated at One Hanover Square in the heart of Manhattan’s financial district.  It is an all-day event – 8:45 am to 6:15 pm.  Registrations, priced at $299 per person and only open to professionals currently or recently employed in media-related industries, include all sessions, presentations, exhibits and breakfast/lunch/refreshment/and social networking activities.  The heavyweight, non-stop agenda will include approximately 65 speakers and 500 attendees will be the allowed limit.  Registrations can only be taken over the phone and paid for by credit card.  They are not refundable or transferable.  For registration, sponsorship and hotel information, please call 413-565-5413.  To see the latest agenda, please click here.

vaccanatalieVacca Upped to Executive Producer at WOR, New York.  Promoted from producer to executive producer of the “Len Berman and Todd Schnitt In The Morning” show at iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR, New York is Natalie Vacca.  Vacca has been on the WOR staff for the past 18 years, producing such personalities as John Gambling, Barry Farber, Joan Hamburg and Alan Colmes.  She says of her new gig, “I have had the honor to work with some of the best talent in talk radio over my career.  To add Len Berman and Todd Schnitt to the list couldn’t be more exciting.”

srnlogoSalem Radio Network to Participate in Conservative DC Conference.  The annual “Road to Majority” conference is organized by the Faith and Freedom Coalition and this year Salem Radio Network will broadcast from the event that takes place in Washington, DC June 18-20.  SRN personalities Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher and Michael Medved will host a special VIP “preview dinner” on the eve of the conference and will broadcast their talk shows from Washington’s Omni Shoreham Hotel during the conference.  The political event will include appearances from 2016 presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio as well as Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, Texas Governor Rick Perry plus Gary Bauer, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and FOX News Channel contributor Todd Starnes.  SRN VP news & talk programming Tom Tradup states, “The mission of the Faith and Freedom Coalition – that, in essence, the greatness of America lies not in the federal government but in the character of our people…the simple virtues of faith, hard work, marriage, family, personal responsibility, and helping the least among us – dovetails perfectly with the values we hold at SRN.  We are proud to partner with Ralph Reed and his team.”

Odds & Sods. This evening (5/14), CBS RADIO SVP and market manager Marc Rayfield will be honored by therayfieldmarc Philadelphia Police Athletic League as one of the city’s most distinguished business leaders.  Along with SugarHouse Casino general manager Wendy Hamilton and PECO SVP and COO Michael Innocenzo, Rayfield will be feted at PAL’s awards dinner for his “extraordinary contributions in support of PAL’s mission of ‘Cops Helping Kids.’”…..Westwood One News correspondent Bob Costantini is serving as the radio pool reporter today (5/14) from the Camp David Summit as President Obama convenes with six Gulf state leaders to discuss the nuclear deal with Iran.

galuskijoeWSYR, Syracuse’s Joe Galuski Loses Battle with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.  Off the air at iHeartMedia news/talk WSYR, Syracuse since last fall as he battled non-Hodgkin lymphoma, longtime morning host Joe Galuski has died, the station announced this morning.  Galuski, 64, had been with WSYR since 1988 and served as the station’s morning drive host since 1998.

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia Recognized at Festival of Media Global Awards. Two honors are bestowed upon iHeartMedia at the Festival of Media Global Awards 2015 – a media industry event that recognizes innovation and leadership in the global advertising field.  The awards ceremony took place on May 12 at the Rome Cavalieri in Italy.  iHeartMedia was honored with the “Best Media Vendor of the Year” award, which recognizes the creative efforts of a media owner to connect advertiser clients with their audiences, for its work with Diet Coke and Taylor Swift.  The multi-platform campaign simultaneously launched Diet Coke’s “Get a Taste” advertising campaign and Taylor Swift’s 1989 album. The program generated approximately 500 million press impressions and 200 million on-air, digital and social impressions for Diet Coke. Taylor Swift’s album 1989, predicted to sell 800,000 units before the iHeartMedia campaign, sold nearly 1.3 million albums in just the first week, and became the No. 1 best-selling album of 2014.  iHeartMedia was also named the Silver Winner in the “Best Media Owner Sales Team Initiative” category, which honors a media owner’s local or regional sales teams for their innovative and creative sales packages implemented within the market.  In this category iHeartMedia was recognized for its partnership with Bank of America for World AIDS Day.  iHeartMedia’s comprehensive cross-platform program across radio, digital, social and outdoor delivered more than 100 million media impressions in 24 hours for “A (RED) Thank You,” a special World AIDS Day event that took place in New York’s Times Square.  Additionally, iHeartMedia drove on-air and social conversation, helping to generate over 10 million views of the YouTube (RED) concert video, the most views on (RED)’s YouTube channel in its history, ultimately raising $1 million in donations to (RED) on one day.

Obama Georgetown Speech, Philadelphia Amtrak Crash, Baltimore Riots and Protests Aftermath, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Obama Trade Bill, Iran Nukes Program, and ‘Deflategate’ Penalties Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/13).  The scrutiny of President Obama’s speech at Georgetown, including his statements about changing how the media reports; the continuing investigation into the cause of the Philadelphia Amtrak derailment; the ongoing political and legal effects of the Baltimore riots and protests; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the divisiveness in Congress over President Obama’s Pacific Rim trade bill; concern in the Middle East over the Iran nuclear program negotiations; and criticism of the NFL’s sanctions against the Patriots and Tom Brady over the “deflategate” matter were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

| May 13, 2015

price howardPrice: Covering Breaking News at the Worst Time.  Last night’s deadly Amtrak train crash in Philadelphia caught many news outlets by surprise and, according to ABC TV director, business continuity Howard B. Price, even the big networks that were on the scene late into the evening made plenty of mistakes.  But, he says, local stations need to prepare for the unexpected.  “Regardless of the size of your station, or its resources, you simply have to be ready to cover it in a timely, comprehensive and authoritative way.  It’s why you have a license.  If you were watching cable news last night, you saw waaaay too much speculation as to cause…and more than anything else, you saw talent talking more than they were listening.  You also saw stunning displays of what happens when you thrust ill-prepared anchors into continuous coverage and not give them much substance to work with.”  Preparing to cover such a news event, especially for a smaller station, takes plenty of foresight and hard work.  Price provides some detailed advice for strategizing this preparation.  Read his entire story here.

brownchrisChris Brown to Be Syndicated in Ramsey-Salem Partnership.  The new Christian financial radio program starring pastor and speaker Chris Brown is called “Chris Brown’s True Stewardship” and will launch in June.  The joint effort by Dave Ramsey’s Ramsey Solutions and Salem Media Group willramseydave debut the show on Salem-owned Christian teaching outlets in 20 markets including Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia and Atlanta.  Dave Ramsey says, “Creating a Christian radio show, hosted by Chris Brown, allows Ramsey Solutions to help even more Americans take control of their money.  Chris has been speaking to crowds in excess of 10,000 attendees with an incredibly positive response.  He is the perfect person to host this new half-hour show!”

beckerjodiJodi Becker to Leave WTMJ, Milwaukee for Family Reasons.  In a memo to staff at Scripps Milwaukee, VP/GM Tom Langmyer praises news anchor Jodi Becker for her work with news/talk WTMJ as he announces she’ll be resigning from the station on May 29 in order to spend more time with herwtmj logo young children.  Langmyer writes, “Jodi Becker has been a part of the WTMJ family since 2009.  She’s been a leader in our newsroom and a strong voice at WTMJ.  During the past few years, Jodi continued to grow greatly as she moved into Wisconsin’s ‘Morning News with Gene Mueller.’  When the structure of the program changed to have more of Gene and Jodi, the news content was broadened and a more conversational approach was added – Jodi excelled even further.  Jodi and the ‘Wisconsin’s Morning News Team’ are a big reason for the incredible growth in WTMJ’s overall ratings in the past year or so.

espnScott Van Pelt to Leave ESPN Radio Show for SportsCenter Gig.  Announced at the ESPN Upfront presentation in New York City on Tuesday was the news that ESPN personality Scott Van Pelt will exit the SVP & Russillo show (co-hosted by Ryen Russillo) later this summer as he transitions to his new role with the sports giant hosting the midnight edition of the cable network’s iconic “SportsCenter” show.  ESPNvanpeltscott signed him to a new, multi-year extension in the process and says “Van Pelt will put his own, unique spin on the day’s news and highlights while offering the commentary, guests, interviews and insight fans have come to expect from the host of ESPN Radio’s SVP & Russillo.”  Van Pelt comments, “It was going to take something remarkable for me to consider a day that didn’t include radio, and this would qualify.  To be allowed and empowered to bring some of the sensibility of radio to this space is fantastic.”  ESPN Radio has made no comment about what will appear in place of SVP & Russillo on the network.

ppmunitNielsen Audio Releases Second Round of April 2015 PPM Data.  The second of four rounds of April 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The April 2015 survey period covered March 26 through April 22.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

welikeitloud logoNew Sleeping with Sirens Podcast to Launch on Podcast One.  The Norm Pattiz-founded audio-on-demand platform Podcast One is bringing a new music-oriented program to its stable with the new “We Like It Loud” podcast from Sleeping With Sirens frontman Kellin Quinn.  Quinn is also co-founder of the clothing line Anthem Made.  Podcast One notes that the band has “102 million streams, 83 million music video views and a debut at #3 on Billboard’s Top 200,” and now the band will being this podcast from the road on its “We Like It Loud” summer tour.  Podcast One CEO Norm Pattiz states, “Kellin and Sleeping with Sirens are in the center of the rock scene and continue churning out hits, while focusing heavily on their fans through social media.  It will be very exciting to give music fans an insider look at their favorite bands, while incorporating the unique dynamic of taking fans on the road with Quinn and SWS’ upcoming summer tour.”

Odds & Sods.  The new vice president of programming for Genesis Communications is Tom Paleveda.  He comes to Genesis’ Florida operations from his most recent post with Galaxy Communications of New York and assumes the role vacated by Len Weiner who became PD at Lincoln Financial Media’s sports talker WAXY, Miami in March…..Chicago news pro Robin Robinson adds a new three-hour Monday evening show titledrobinsonrobin “Robin’s Nest” on urban talker WVON, Chicago to her radio duties.  The longtime WFLD-TV, Chicago news anchor recently signed on with CBS RADIO to serve as fill-in anchor on all-news WBBM-AM…..Singer Josh Groban addressed his concerns over alleged ticket price gouging by a Philadelphia stigallchrisvenue on Chris Stigall’s WPHT morning show.  Groban is appearing in Philly in September and claims he switched venues after learning the first theater was adding $20 to each ticket…..SiriusXM announces that two of the head writers for the David Letterman show will join the satcaster to serve as creative contributors to the “Opie and Jim Norton” show as well as other programming.  Brothers Eric and Justin Stangel are Emmy Award-winning writers who’ve been with the Letterman show since 1997…..The Detroit News reports that Cumulus-owned WJR is getting into the bidding process for the play-by-play rights to Detroit Tigers baseball.  Currently, CBS RADIO’s WXYT-FM “The Ticket FM 97.1” and WXYT-AM have the rights that end in 2015.  The paper also reports that Greater Media sports outlet WMGC “Detroit Sports 105.1” is interested in bidding for the rights.  CBS has owned the broadcast rights since 2001.

kevtTucson Talker to Attempt Guinness Record.  The record talk host Jim Parisi of KEVT, Tucson “PowerTalk1210” is shooting for is the Most Interviews in a 24-Hour Period, and he hopes to crack the 350 mark between 10:00 am on May 24 through 10:00 am on May 25.  Because it’s Memorial Day Weekend, the One Mart Corporation-owned talk station is attempting the record in honor of America’s veterans who sacrificed for their country.  Money will be raised for local veterans’ groups during the attempt.  The first 50 or more interviews will be with local veterans, face-to-face in the PowerTalk studios.  Parisi says, “Our veterans lay down their lives for us.  They sacrificed so that we may enjoy freedoms, one of which is freedom of speech, and broadcasters should never forget that.  So a handful of dedicated people at our station will be slightly uncomfortable trying to function for 24-hours without sleep, honoring our servicemen and women, past and present.  It’s a simple gesture and the least we can do.”

Michelle Obama Racism Speech, Baltimore Aftermath, Patriots and Tom Brady ‘Deflategate’ Sanctions, Bush-Christie Iraq War Flap, North Korea Executions, Nepal Aftershock, Kerry Visits Putin in Russia, Obama Trade Bill, and South China Sea Military Operations Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/12).  First Lady Michelle Obama’s commencement address at Tuskegee University in which she discussed her racism experiences; the political and legal aspects of the aftermath of the Baltimore riots and protests; the controversy over the NFL’s sanctions against the Patriots and Tom Brady after the “deflategate” issue; New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s criticism of Jeb Bush’s statement he would have approved Iraq War; the recent spate of executions of government officials in North Korea by Kim Jong Un; Nepal’s suffering a large aftershock to the quake that hit two weeks ago; Secretary of State John Kerry visits Russia and Vladimir Putin; the rancor over President Obama’s trade bill; and the U.S. military’s pondering action in the South China Sea to counter China’s military activities there were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, May 8, 2015

| May 8, 2015

beasley logoBeasley Q1 Revenue Down 10.3% on Pro Forma Basis.  The asset exchange between Beasley Broadcast Group and CBS RADIO last fall makes the financial report for the former less cut and dried, but on a pro forma basis, net revenue was down 10.3%.  BBG chairman and CEO George Beasley comments, “On a reported basis, first quarter net revenue from continuing operations rose 87.2% and station operating income increased 92.3%.  However, given the required accounting treatment for discontinued operations following last December’s asset exchange, the results exclude the stations we gave up inbeasleygeorge the transaction.  As such, we continue to believe the pro forma presentation, which assumes the asset exchange occurred on January 1, 2014, better reflects the first quarter operating results.  On a pro forma basis, first quarter net revenue decreased 10.3% while SOI declined 12.2%.  The pro forma revenue decline is primarily attributable to overall market weakness in Charlotte and Tampa-St. Petersburg and softer ad sales at our Wilmington cluster during the first quarter, our reduction in spot units at the newly acquired stations and revenue in last year’s first quarter in Charlotte and Tampa-St. Petersburg related to the CBS affiliation that did not recur due to the change in ownership.”  Beasley adds, “In addition to our initiatives during the quarter to extract financial and operating synergies from the asset exchange, we made further progress on debt reduction while returning capital to shareholders.  During the first quarter we made credit facility repayments totaling $1.5 million, reducing borrowings to $96.2 million at March 31, 2015 and declared our sixth consecutive quarterly cash dividend.”

cbslogoCBS Corp. Q1 Revenue Dips 1.9%; Radio Segment Down 7%.  Radio is a very small part of the $3.5 billion that CBS Corp. billed during the first quarter of 2015.  CBS includes it in the Local Broadcasting segment (along with its television O&Os) and that division’s revenue for the quarter was $596 million, down from $626 million during the same period a year ago (a decrease of 5%).  But the radio portion of that sector fared a bit worse, dipping 7%.  Operating income for the Local Broadcasting segment was down 10.5%.

cookehollandCooke: Moms & Media.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke presents this analysis of the Edison Research “2015 Moms & Media” data from that company’s ongoing Infinite Dial project.  Cooke reports that, as previous data from numerous research sources has indicated over the years, “Mom is Secretary of the (family) Treasury to-the-tune-of $1.2 TRILLION a year in the USA.”  Moms are also tech savvy and their busy lifestyle welcomes new media.  Some takeaways from the study include: Mom spends more time per day (3 hrs 7 min) on the Internet than the survey population in general (2:51); 84% own a smartphone (69% last year); vs. 71% total respondents; and 64% of Moms surveyed own a tablet computer (47% last year).  For more data, see Cooke’s entire report here.

maylisaMay’s May 11 Return. Particularly in Los Angeles – perhaps the most commuter-centric market in the country – an on-air traffic reporter can become an integral component of a morning drive ensemble. Numerous notable examples exist in the City of Angels, including Lisa May, who will join the 6:00 am – 10:00 am “Heidi & Frank Show” on Cumulus Media rocker KLOS next Monday (5/11). Program director Keith Cunningham explains, “Lisa May is not just a traffic reporter or female sidekick; she is a radio brand and she is beloved by Southern California radio listeners. She will be doing a lot more than traffic – we can’t wait to get her in the building.” May admits that, “Joining a twosome can be tricky business. Usually you have to set up some ground rules and have a ‘safe word,’ [but] not with Heidi & Frank. That is what makes hooking up with them on KLOS so exciting. There is no telling what’s going to happen.” While her traffic reports the past two-plus decades have been heard on a number of Los Angeles outlets such as KACE, KGIL, KLAC, KMPC, KNX, KPCC, KPWR, and KABC-TV, May is best known for her lengthy tenure with “Kevin & Bean” on CBS Radio alternative KROQ. Among persons 6+ in Los Angeles’ latest Nielsen Audio PPM report (March 2015), KLOS (2.0) and KROQ (2.9) rank #23 and #13, respectively; iHeartMedia CHR KIIS “Kiss-FM” (5.3) leads the market (6+) for the third successive survey (including a February tie at #1 with adult contemporary sibling KOST “Coast 103”).

price howardHoward B. Price Named 2015 Recipient of the TALKERS Freedom of Speech Award.  The editorial board of TALKERS magazine has named the ABC Television Network director of business continuity, Howard B. Price, CBCP/MBCI as this year’s recipient of the prestigious Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech.  Price is being honored for his vigorous work and pro-active leadership in encouraging, inspiring and teaching the radio and television industries to be prepared to serve the public in times of emergency and crisis.  In announcing the naming of Price the recipient of the award, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Howard B. Price is an industry hero who inspires us to rise to our highest purpose – and that is to serve and protect the public well-being.  He reminds terrestrial broadcasters that they have the potential (and are arguably obligated) to be in the same societal role as first responders such as firefighters, police, emergency medical teams and rescuers of all sorts.”  Harrison adds, “As a publisher, I am deeply proud of the numerous articles he has contributed to TALKERS and RadioInfo instructing our readers how to deal with civil unrest, acts of terrorism, and natural disasters such as earthquakes, perfect storms and historic blizzards – all of which have occurred on a seemingly regular basis in recent times. His presentations in print, at conferences and numerous speaking engagements clearly show stations how to stay on the air and mobilize their resources in a positive and productive manner when the community is under siege.”   Harrison concludes, “This is a bit of a departure from our usual focus in presenting an industry individual with this award designed to raise awareness of the First Amendment in action – but nothing could be more important for licensed broadcasting facilities than to be able to provide the public with vital information when needed, especially in life and death situations, thus protecting the platform’s reputation and credibility as a place to turn for truth when the chips are down.”  Price is a 40-year veteran of radio, television and newspapers, he is a two-time EMMY Award winner, and a two-time recipient of The George Foster Peabody Award. He has worked domestically and internationally as a news producer, assignment editor, bureau chief, reporter and anchor, covering some of the biggest stories of our time, including the 9/11 attacks, the 2003 Northeast blackout and Superstorm Sandy.  A certified business continuity professional (CBCP), Howard is charged with maintaining the operational resilience of all ABC News platforms around the globe. He also serves as an in-house consultant to the ABC Owned Television Station Group. Howard holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University, and an MBA in management and marketing from New York University.  A guest lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he has been a featured speaker at numerous professional conferences and workshops (including TALKERS), and a contributor to many trade publications. He is a member of the Disaster Recovery Institute International (DRII), the Business Continuity Institute (BCI), the Association of Contingency Planners (ACP), the Contingency Planning Exchange (CPE), the Northeast Disaster Recovery Information Exchange (NEDRIX), the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) and the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS).  Howard is the founder of the website, MediaDisasterPrep.com, and writes its companion blog, MediaDisasterPrep.wordpress.com. Price is fond of telling anyone who’ll listen that events are disasters only if you haven’t planned for them.  He can be reached via email at Howard.B.Price@abc.com.  Howard B. Price will be presented the Freedom of Speech Award at Talkers New York 2015 on Friday, June 12.   For registration, hotel and sponsorship information, please call 413-565-5413.

ramseyLasVegasstaff15Dave Ramsey Brings Smart Money Event to Las Vegas.  The Smart Money live event from talk radio superstar and best-selling author Dave Ramsey was presented to a packed house at Canyon Ridge Christian Church last night (5/7).  He discussed how to win with money, strengthen marriages and lead your children with confidence, working with local affiliate KXNT to promote the event.  Financial expert and speaker Chris Hogan joined Ramsey on stage.  CBS RADIO Las Vegas vice president of programming Cat Thomas says, “Dave has become a staple in growing our talk audience on the FM dial.  Dave is positive, upbeat, real and listeners get that.”  During the same visit to Las Vegas, Ramsey also hosted his EntreLeadership 1 Day Event on Wednesday in which he spoke about how to run a business using the same common sense principles that Ramsey practices in his own company of more than 450 team members.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Carlos Diaz, co-host of “Carlos and Dayna” on KXNT; Thomas; Ramsey; Maureen Pulicella, general sales manager; and Jerry McKenna, SVP/market manager.

ellergolferOn the Green in Greenwood.  Station owner/host Anne Eller (left) of WCRS (1450 AM), Greenwood, SC  has been out on The Links at Stoney Point in Greenwood every afternoon this week, broadcasting live from the scene of the Self Regional Classic leg of the Symetra Tour, a tour for professional and amateur golfers seeking to gain their LPGA card.  Eller has spent the past few days interviewing both the men and women behind the event, as well as many of the women competing for the $30,000 cash purse, the largest of the Symetra Tour.  One of the golfers Eller had on the show is rookie Michelle Piyapattra (right).

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Update.  The Radio America-syndicated “Dana Show” hosted by Dana Loeschloeschdana announces new affiliate stations:  KSEV, Houston; KSGF-AM/FM, Springfield, Missouri; KBYR-AM, Anchorage; KGNC-AM, Amarillo; WVFT, Tallahassee; WYOO-FM, Panama City; KCNR, Redding, California; and WBLF, Johnstown-Altoona-State College, Pennsylvania.

talkersten logoBaltimore Unrest Aftermath Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of May 4-8.  The social, legal and political ramifications of the violent protests in Baltimore were the several aspects of the most-talked-about story of the week.  At #2 was the entrance of three more candidates into the 2016 presidential race.  Coming in at #3 was scrutiny of the Clinton Family Foundation followed by the deadly prophet drawing contest in Garland, Texas at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

| May 7, 2015

2015 NYC 150HEADS UP:  Talkers New York 2015 Is Nearing Sellout.  Based on the diminishing number of registrations still open and the rate at which they are being filled, Talkers New York 2015 – the 18th annual installment of the talk media’s longest-running and most important national convention — will be sold out sometime next week.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “We are gratified by the strong response this event is receiving and we clearly do not like to turn folks away – however, we must abide by New York City’s building codes, not to mention be sensitive to the comfort and safety of our attendees.”   Casey continues, “There will be no registrations sold after 5:00 pm EDT next Friday May 15, if not sooner.  That will be the absolute cut off point.”  The event will be located at the historic India House Club dramatically situated at One Hanover Square in the heart of Manhattan’s financial district.  It is an all-day event – 8:45 am to 6:15 pm.  Registrations, priced at $299 per person and only open to professionals currently or recently employed in media-related industries, include all sessions, presentations, exhibits and breakfast/lunch/refreshment/and social networking activities.  The heavyweight, non-stop agenda will include approximately 65 speakers and 500 attendees will be the allowed limit.  Registrations can only be taken over the phone and paid for by credit card.  They are not refundable or transferable.  For registration, sponsorship and hotel information, please call 413-565-5413.  To see the latest agenda, please click here.

emmis logoEmmis Reports for Fiscal Q4 and Full Year; Net Revenue Flat in Q4, Up 1.6% on the Year. Reporting on its past fiscal year, Emmis Communications Corporation states radio net revenue for the fourth fiscal quarter was $38.8 million, up from $32.3 million from the prior year, an increase of 20%.  On a pro forma basis, Emmis’ revenue reported to Miller Kaplan in the markets where Emmis competes (excluding barter and syndication revenue) were up 0.8% in markets down 2.5%.  For the full year, radio revenues were $176.3 million, compared to $145.3smulyanjeff million in the prior year, an increase of 21%.  On a pro forma basis, Emmis’ revenues reported to Miller Kaplan in the markets where Emmis competes (excluding barter and syndication revenue) were up 1.6% in markets down 3.7%.  Emmis likes to frame its revenue in the context of how it performed against the markets.  It goes on to say, “February marked the 15th consecutive month in which Emmis outperformed the markets in which it competes.  Every measured Emmis market outperformed for full year fiscal 2015.  Emmis stations in New York, Los Angeles and Austin all outperformed their markets in the fourth fiscal quarter.”  President and CEO Jeff Smulyan comments on the company and the NextRadio platform.  “Despite weakened markets and a challenged industry, Emmis once again outperformed.  The radio industry needs a catalyst for growth, and we are convinced we have it with NextRadio, the Emmis-developed free smartphone app that marries over-the-air local FM broadcasts with visual and interactive features.  The radio industry’s consumer awareness campaign for NextRadio has had remarkable results, further validating the promotional power of radio.  Consumers exposed to NextRadio overwhelmingly love it.  Average Time Spent Listening (ATSL) per session on NextRadio is nearly double traditional listening, all major radio companies are supporting the effort, and we are adding 350,000 activations each month.  The momentum is tremendous.”

townsquare logoTownsquare Media Q1 Net Revenue Up 2.5%.  That’s compared to the same period one year ago.  The company’s 2015 first quarter net revenue was $81,118,000.  The press release also notes Local Advertising net revenue was flat; Live Events net revenue increased 5.1%, and 59.7% excluding non-recurring festivals; and Other Media and Entertainment net revenue increased 29.%.  Townsquare Media chairman and CEO Steven Price states, “In the first quarter of 2015, we delivered net revenue growth of 6.5% excluding political revenue and non-recurring festivals.  We are pleased with our first quarter performance, in the face of challenges presented by harsh weather conditions which particularly affected our Northeastern markets.  These challenges impacted our Local Advertising segment and were offset by the strength in our Live Events segment and in Other Media and Entertainment.”

salemmediagroup logoSalem Media Group Flat for First Quarter of 2015.  As a whole, Salem Media Group reports flat net revenue – down 0.8% revenue of $61.9 million — for the first quarter of 2015 compared to the same period a year ago.  Breaking it down by sector, the broadcasting division saw net revenue dip 0.5% to $46.5 million from $46.8 million.  The digital sector also reversed course and dropped 4.6% on revenue of $10.8 million.  Publishing, on the other hand, rose 6.2% to $4.5 million from $4.3 million.

advantagesystems logoSchatz Back with Advantage Systems.  The sales consultancy firm Advantage Systems Inc. brings Jeffrey A. Schatz back into the fold as director of integrated sales.  Schatz comes to the company from Digity Companies where he was director of revenue development.  Prior to that he was vice president of total marketing solutions forschatzjeffrey Townsquare Media from 2009-14.  Schatz comments, “I am excited to be joining Advantage Systems Inc. again!  I’ve spent the last seven years helping broadcast companies generate revenue through integrated selling.  Advantage offers a variety of integrated sales platforms, which align perfectly with my experience in helping media companies maximize their sales efforts in broadcast, online, digital, and interactive.  These platforms will generate an annual revenue base for our media partners in their local markets.  I’ve also been involved with Musical Images and Custom Creative and am excited to be able to offer these services through Advantage Systems Creative to enhance local clients’ existing marketing efforts.  It’s the perfect marriage!”  Advantage president Mike Loconte says, “We are ecstatic to have a veteran like Jeff back on our team.  Jeff knows the challenges experienced by our media partners first hand.  He knows the ins and outs and he’s worn every hat, so he can relate to our clients in a very unique way.  His experience in traditional and digital sales along with his creative experience makes him the perfect fit for this position.”

Robert SanchezSanchez Adds WLZL OM Duties. WNEW-FM, Washington, D.C. program director Robert Sanchez takes on further responsibilities as operations manager of CBS Radio Spanish tropical sibling WLZL “El Zol 107.9 FM.” He succeeds Pete Manriquez, who was the program director of “El Zol.” Senior vice president and market manager Steve Swenson comments, “We have a lot of talented people at ‘El Zol’ who will work with Rob in taking the station to new heights. The experiences of everyone will be of great help to Rob as the team works together. Rob is a straight shooter, he knows CBS Radio, and he is a winner. I would like to thank Pete for his work as one of the executives on my team.” Sanchez remarks, “Pete did a great job in creating a radio station that sounds wonderful. He has been incredibly supportive of his programming staff and it has shown in what comes out of the speakers.” Ever since all-news WNEW-FM debuted in November 2011, Sanchez has been the station’s only PD. Among persons 6+ in Washington, D.C.’s latest Nielsen Audio PPM report (March 2015), WLZL (1.9) and WNEW-FM (1.7) finish at #19 and #20, respectively; meanwhile, Hubbard all-news WTOP (9.1) is the market’s (6+) pacesetter for the third successive survey.

wansleytyChicago News, Talk and Urban Radio Pro Ty Wansley Dead at 63.  A week after being admitted to a Chicago hospital suffering from congestive heart failure, Ty Wansley has died.  Wansley’s career in Chicago spanned more than three decades and included success in urban, news, and talk formats.  Wansley had been serving as the news and information director for iHeartMedia’s three urban outlets: hip hop WGCI, urban AC WVAZ and gospel WGRB.  He began his career in his native St. Louis.  He became news director at the old WBMX, Chicago, served as a talk host on urban talk outlet WVON and was famously paired up with former Chicago Alderman Ed Vrdolyak on news/talk WLS-AM in 1993 – a show that became a ratings smash.  That show continued its success on crosstown WJJD.

Baltimore Aftermath, Prophet Drawing Contest Attack, Clinton Family Foundation Scrutiny, Tsarnaev Penalty Phase, Gay Marriage SCOTUS Case, Obama Trade Deal, Amnesty Issue, and Patriots Deflategate Report Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/6).  The political repercussions of the Freddie Gray death in Baltimore; controversy over the Garland, Texas prophet-drawing contest that was attacked by purported ISIS sympathizers; the ongoing scrutiny of the Clinton Family Foundation operations; the penalty phase of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev; the case of four states with anti-gay marriage laws that went before the Supreme Court; President Obama’s foreign trade deal; the controversy over amnesty for illegal aliens in the U.S.; and the NFL’s report on the Patriots’ deflation of game balls were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, May 4, 2015

| May 4, 2015

entercomEntercom 2015 Q1 Revenue Flat.  Net revenue for the first quarter of 2015 was $78.4 million – up just a tick from the $87.2 million reported during the same period a year ago.  Entercom says station expenses increased 2% to $59.2 million while station operating income decreased 6% tofielddavid $19.2 million.  President and CEO David Field states, “Entercom’s first quarter revenues were up slightly over the prior year as significant market share gains were offset by sluggish advertising conditions.  We are very much looking forward to completing our acquisition of Lincoln Financial Media and adding its terrific new markets and brands to our lineup.  In the meantime, we are complying with the Department of Justice’s review of this transaction which would provide us with a second-place position with a 32% pro-forma share of the Denver radio market.”

wtic logoWTIC-AM, Hartford Lays Off News Director Dana Whalen.  At the local level, CBS RADIO’s WTIC-AM, Hartford is taking a bit of flak from news junkies and those who’ve worked in the business in the market for the dismissal of longtime station news director Dana WhalenHartford Courant columnist and one-time WTIC-AM air personality Colin McEnroe writes an eloquent piece praising Whalen for her professionalism during her long career.  He writes, “I’ve heard from many of my former colleagues, all of them shaking their heads over this one.”  You can read that piece here.

halemanekaviHalemane Joins Premiere Networks. Vice president of digital media is the title Kavi Halemane is being given. In defining that role, Premiere Networks’ chief product officer Chris Williams comments, “Kavi will be responsible for managing Premiere’s digital media product, editorial, and social strategy. His mission is to grow loyalty and engagement between our talent and audience by delivering a compelling digital platform to extend their brands. Kavi’s previous experience creating world-class digital communities for marquee artists has him perfectlyPremiere Networks positioned to excel in this role.” According to Halemane, “I’m very excited to be returning to the New York City area to join [Premiere parent] iHeartMedia under Chris Williams. Premiere Networks has a pedigree for great content. I look forward to expanding their brands in digital through this leadership role by infusing new strategic solutions, partnerships, and innovation.” Most recently Beverly Hills-based, Halemane was executive vice president of digital for The Collective. His past credits include marketing-digital strategist for Interscope, Geffen, and A&M Records; head of new media and digital production for PE-KO International Records; and co-founder of howellbands.com.

2015 NYC 150John Dickey and Michael Harrison to Conduct “Fireside Chat” at Talkers New York 2015.  The agenda for Talkers New York 2015  is shaping up to be one of the most powerful in its colorful history.  One of the highlights of what promises to be a stimulating day of relevant discussions, presentations, and addresses will be a conversation between Cumulus Media executive vice president of content & programming, John Dickey and TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison.  The presentation will be conducted in the informal, one-on-one “fireside chat” format.  John Dickey is responsible for Cumulus’ sales, programming, marketing, promotion and engineering and will offer comments, opinions and information about adickeyjohn wide variety of issues presently facing talk radio, as well as the entire spectrum of radio formats.  Conference director Michael Harrison states, “There are few people as ‘plugged in’ to both the day-to-day operations as well as the big picture of commercial radio in America today than John Dickey.  He has extensive, first-hand knowledge about what’s happening in the business and plays an enormous role in influencing policy – plus he has a true passion for radio and its position in our society.  I look forward to this session with enthusiasm and plan on it providing our attendees with a lot of valuable takeaways.”  The 18th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important annual convention will take place on Friday, June 12, 2015.  It will be located at the historic India House Club dramatically situated at One Hanover Square in the heart of Manhattan’s financial district.  The all-day event – 8:45 am to 6:15 pm — is on the verge of selling out within a matter of days.  Registrations, priced at $299 per person and only open to professionals currently or recently employed in media-related industries, include all sessions, presentations, exhibits and breakfast/lunch/refreshment/and social networking activities.  The heavyweight, non-stop agenda will include approximately 65 speakers and 500 attendees will be the allowed limit.  Registrations can only be taken over the phone and paid for by credit card.  They are not refundable or transferable.  For registration, sponsorship and hotel information, please call 413-565-5413.  Again, an early sellout is days away, so avoid being shut out by registering now!  To see the latest agenda, please click here.

riverapeterIconic Rock Singer Is Available for Talk Radio Interviews. News/talk radio hosts seem to enjoy occasionally changing the tempo of their shows by interviewing interesting guests from the world of pop culture.  Especially names from the golden era of music and radio that are still actively going strong.  Such is the case with Peter Rivera — the legendary original lead singer and drummer for the eternally classic songs “I Just Want to Celebrate” and “Get Ready” by the legendary band Rare Earth. Still in heavy rotation on classic rock radio and strategically placed in many TV commercials, any baby boomer rock aficionado will remember that booming voice and those powerful drums on the group’s long series of hits.  During their reign of stardom, Rare Earth sold more than 25 million records with five top 10 singles.  (Seven gold, one double-platinum, and two platinum albums.) Peter’s story is one of those all-American classics; a kind of “rags to riches” tale in which an obscure white boy, growing up in a red-brick row house in Detroit, Michigan, finds his way out of the grimy, blue-collar neighborhood that spawned a whole generation of factory workers, dock hands, and “tough-guy” bar brawlers to the big time glitz and glam of the pop music industry.  Rare Earth was the first all-white band signed to Motown Records that broke through with hit records.  Now at 70, Rivera still puts out a powerful sound and is a striking figure in concerts perched behind his drums and belting out tunes from a brand new album, It Is What it Is.  To download the album and set up an interview, please click here.

Odds & Sods.  In Chico, California, Chris Singleton takes over the program director duties at talk KYMC from Bob “The Fish” Fischetti.  Singleton also programs Huth Broadcasting’s co-owned alternative KVXX…..A new daily feature targeting women is being produced by ABC News Radio.  “Your Body,” hosted by ABC News senior medical contributor Dr. Jennifer Ashton, is a new daily audio report geared towards helpingabcnewsradio women achieve better health and wellness.  It debuts on May 26.  Dr. Ashton is also seen on ABC TV’s “Good Morning America.”…..In advance of today’s presentation of the 2015 James Beard Awards (for culinary excellence), Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York presented interviews with a selection of New York’s James Beard Award Nominees including: Barbuto’s Jonathon Waxman, Cosme’s Enrique Olvera, and Sullivan Street Bakery’s Jim Lahey.  A radio special aired on Sunday night and videos were available via wabcradio.com.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb says, “New York’s restaurant business is extremely competitive and the James Beard Award is coveted.  These chef nominees give WABC’s audience a rare peek into their businesses and their craft.”

ozmehmetDr. Oz Hooks On with iHM. Well that didn’t take long. Just this past Thursday (TALKERS, 4/30), we reported that Harpo Productions is pulling the plug on Westwood One-syndicated “The Daily Dose with Dr. Oz.” Now comes word that Dr. Mehmet Oz is entering into partnership with iHeartMedia. According to iHM Networks president Darren Davis, “We have been great fans of Dr. Oz and we are thrilled to be able to give him this much larger platform – from broadcast to digital and mobile. We could not be more excited to be working with him.” Dr. Oz comments, “I have always seen radio as a terrific way to reach people in their daily routines and deliver health information in a way that is fun and easy-to-understand. After many years of visiting iHeartMedia studios all over the country, they were the obvious partner for my brand – given their wildly successful brands, amazing on-air talent, and commitment to the wellness of America.” The Harpo Productions-Westwood One news came shortly after at least 1,000 doctors stated they believe Dr. Oz should resign his faculty position at New York City’s Columbia University. Earlier, 10 doctors sent a letter calling for him to be replaced as Columbia’s cardiothoracic surgeon. It is the doctors’ contention that Dr. Oz has promotediHeartMedia products and made claims unsubstantiated by medical evidence. Results of a poll of 1,300 doctors conducted by doctors’ social network SERMO indicate 57% feel he should resign from Columbia; 4% are calling to have his medical license revoked; and 22% opine he should resign and have his license taken away. Doctors have criticized Dr. Oz for his “disdain for science” and for manifesting “an egregious lack of integrity by promoting quack treatments and cures in the interest of personal financial gain.” Late last month (4/23), Dr. Oz answered back by stating he never promotes treatments for his own financial benefit. Dr. Oz was in hot water last June during a Senate hearing for making claims about “miracle” cures and weight-loss supplements. The final Westwood One version of “Daily Dose with Dr. Oz” will be fed to affiliates in approximately four weeks (Friday, 5/29); his iHeartMedia commitment takes effect “the latter part” of this year.

westoncharlieAltoona, Pennsylvania Talk Personality Charlie Weston Dead at 65.  Just weeks after being diagnosed with cancer, Altoona, Pennsylvania market talk radio personality Charlie Weston has died at age 65.  Weston worked for more than 30 years in the market at news/talk stations WRTA and WFBG.  In addition to his talk show work, Weston also called local high school sporting events.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

| April 29, 2015

pricehowardPursuing Truth Amid Civil Unrest.  Media outlets have experienced a number of situations recently that qualify as true “danger zones” in which to send their reporters and tech crews if they choose to cover the event first hand.  ABC TV director of business continuity Howard B. Price writes today about the hazards radio news staffers are facing in situations similar to what’s been happening in Baltimore and – not too long ago – Ferguson, Missouri.  He presents a plan for broadcasters to follow in preparing for coverage of such news events in the future.  Read his entire piece here.

dickeylewLew Dickey, Cumulus, Agree to Continuation. The co-founder of Cumulus Media will be remaining in-place for at least another three years: Lew Dickey extends his employment agreement as the company’s president and chief executive officer. In addition, he will carry on as a board member through 2018. According to board member Jeff Marcus, “We are grateful that Lew Dickey, who has built Cumulus into a leading national media business, has renewed his commitment to lead the company into the future. I look forward to continuing to collaborate with Lew to build value for our shareholders.” In other news at the Atlanta-based company, Ridgemont Equity PartnersRobert “Trey” Sheridan, III, will retire from Cumulus’ board when his termCumulus ends at this year’s annual stockholders meeting; Association of Magazine Media (MPA) president and chief executive officer Mary Berner will be nominated to fill Sheridan’s vacated seat. Dickey comments, “We are fortunate to be adding Mary Berner to our board. Her insights and experience will be valuable as we continue to position the company for long-term success in the changing media landscape.” Elsewhere, Cumulus lead director, Jeffrey Marcus, is appointed non-executive board chair. Marcus has been a Cumulus board member since 2011. He is a partner with Crestview Partners, Cumulus’ largest stockholder.

zampillodanRed Zebra Officially Names Dan Zampillo to PD WTEM, Washington.  The company owned by Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder announces former WXYT-FM, Detroit and SiriusXM program director Dan Zampillo is taking over the programming reigns at its sports talk WTEM, Washington “ESPN 980.”  The PD position opened up after Chuck Sapienza exited in the middle of the on-off-on again addition of the new “Man Cave” morning show hosted by Chris Paul and Jason ReidRed Zebra Broadcasting CEO Rick Carmean says, “When it comes to sports, we have the best on-air talent in the area.  We look forward to having Dan join our team.  He brings great leadership, experience and fresh insight.”


What News/Talk Fans Are Doing When They’re Not Listening To Your Station.  In a piece prepared for TALKERS magazine by Jacobs Media based on data from the company’s recently released Techsurvey 11, company president Fred Jacobs presents a media and tech profile of news/talk P1s.  He notes that while news/talk P1s tend to lag behind younger demos in the tech and social media areas, that’s changing.  “Fans of the format are more likely to own a tablet, listen to podcasts, and subscribe to satellite radio.  They are less apt to be social networkers.  Compared to just a few short years ago, news/talk devotees are catching up tech-wise with their kids.  The data show that six in 10 stream video at least weekly while nearly eight in 10 own a smartphone.”  See how news/talk P1s choose to use social media and why they turn to broadcast talk radio.  Read the entire piece here.

Odds & Sods.  From the podcast genre comes news that PodcastOne is unveiling a new series featuring TV personality and entertainment reporter Katie Wagner, and international celebrity psychic Voxx Voltair.  Dubbed, “InnerView with Katie and Voxx,” it promises to combine “the hottest news in Hollywood with astrology, clairvoyance, numerology, and Tarot readings and features the latest gossip, fashion trends, and secrets from celebrity guests.”…..At the same time CBS RADIO and CBS Local Digital Media announce some new on-demand programming on its Play.it platform.  New shows include podcasts from SHOWTIME Boxing Commentator Paulie Malignaggi, ELLE Style correspondent Alia Ahmed-Yahia, TED.com speaker Julian Treasure, former CNN senior executive producer Michael Schulder’s “Wavemaker Conversations,” “The Marilu Henner Show”; and “Boomer & Carton” producer Al Dukes’ interview series with media moguls called, “Al’s Boring Podcast.”…..SiriusXM is launching “Let’s Talk with Abby and Ari,” a live, one-hour weekly, call-in show hosted by MSNBC The Cycle’s Abby Huntsman and Ari Melber.  The show will entail Huntsman and Melber examining the news of the day first, and welcoming tastemakers and newsmakers for interviews in a relaxed, casual style.  “The show will be a conversation at the cross-section of current events, politics and entertainment.”…..ESPN 2 “First Take” moderator Cari Champion is now hosting a new weekly ESPN Audio podcast called, “espnW Presents: Be Honest with Cari Champion.”  It will feature the “straight-shooting, always-honest Champion talking sports and more with A-list athletes and celebrity guests.”

srnlogoSalem Radio Network to Organize Aid Drive for Nepal Earthquake Victims.  Via its Washington-based SRN News, Salem Radio Network launched a campaign on its 1,600-plus affiliates nationwide to encourage donations on behalf of victims of last Saturday’s earthquake in Nepal.  The network is working with Oklahoma City-based nonprofit relief organization Project HOPE.  SRN will generate funds to rush food and emergency supplies to the stricken area.  The effort includes Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated talk hosts Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, Eric Metaxas and Hugh Hewitt.

fisherhouselogoFisher House Foundation Offers Memorial Day Special to News/Talk Outlets.  As it has done in the past, Fisher House Foundation is offering news/talk radio stations a three-our Memorial Day Weekend program titled, “A Hero’s Best Medicine.”  Fisher House says this year’s program contains “all-new, compelling and diverse storytelling.  The show shares the role that Fisher House plays in military heroes’ recovery, giving family a safe place to stay just steps from their hospital rooms.”  Some of the stories told include that of Marine Cpl. Kyle Carpenter, a Medal of Honor recipient, and his family in South Carolina. Carpenter threw himself on a grenade in Afghanistan to save a fellow Marine’s life. His parents spent nearly three years in a Fisher House; and Marine Cpl. Jake Schick, a wounded warrior who attracted the attention of Clint Eastwood and landed a role in the blockbuster film “American Sniper.”  Schick met his wife in a military hospital.  Throughout his recovery she stayed in a Fisher House.  The program is hosted by KARN, Little Rock afternoon host Doc Thompson.  For affiliation details on “A Hero’s Best Medicine,” news/talk stations should send an email to radio@fisherhouse.org with the word “radio” in the subject line.

Baltimore Protests, SCOTUS Gay Marriage Arguments, Clinton Foundation Scrutiny, Nepal Quake Aftermath, 2016 Presidential Prospects, and Iranian Navy Intercepts U.S. Ship Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/28).  The tactics to curb the violent protests in Baltimore and the political aspects of the event; the Supreme Court’s hearing of arguments in the case challenging the anti-gay marriage laws in four states; the ongoing scrutiny of the financial operations of the Clinton Foundation; the aftermath of the earthquake that’s taken more than 5,000 lives in Nepal; the potential candidates for president in 2016 including new possibilities Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley; and the interception of a U.S-flagged ship in the Strait of Hormuz by an Iranian Naval vessel were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, April 27, 2015

| April 27, 2015

joedgreshWTIC-AM, Hartford Goes Sports Talk in PM Drive.  The CBS RADIO-owned news/talk station calls it a “game-changer” in afternoon drive as it will debut the “Joe D and Gresh” sports talk program this afternoon at 3:00 pm ET.  Joe D’Ambrosio is a New York sports fan and Andy Gresh favors the Boston teams.  D’Ambrosio – an award-winning sportscaster – has been with WTIC for 23 years, serving as the “voice” of the UConn Huskies.  Gresh most recently worked at the company’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” in middays.  WTIC-AM OM Steve Salhany says, “We are excited to begin this next chapter of afternoon drive on WTIC.  Sports has always been a huge part of WTIC Radio and now we are dedicating time every afternoon for sports fans, regardless of where their loyalties lie, to come together and talk about their teams.”  The station’s previous full-time afternoon host was former Connecticut Governor John Rowland recently sentenced for election law violations, his second federal conviction.

clarkjayClark Joins CÜR Media as CCO. Former executive vice president of programming for Sirius Satellite RadioJay Clark – is named CÜR Media‘s chief content officer. Founder and chief executive officer Tom Brophy comments, “We are excited to have Jay on the team in this important role, essentially as our chief curator. His vast experience in building content for disruptive technologies has helped shape the initial design work for CÜR Music. Now, as our chief content officer, we believe he will help us change the course of music streaming in the same way Sirius changed the course of radio. Jay has led several notable programming radio turnarounds in tier one markets, and has decades of major market programming successes with leading broadcast companies. His experience will be invaluable.” Clark remarks, “I am extremely excited to take on this important role at CÜR Media as they move toward the launch of this dynamic mobile and web musicCUR Media experience. Much like Sirius was for radio, CÜR Music is a truly disruptive streaming product that, when complemented with a line of unique programming, will offer a comprehensive music experience at a very compelling price point. I look forward to driving that development as we work toward our product launch later this year.” Clark has been consulting the company for roughly the past year (May 2014). Prior to Sirius, his past credits include being program director of Los Angeles talker KLSX (now CBS Radio CHR KAMP “Amp Radio”); WABC, New York; program director of Orlando FM talker WTKS; Comedy World‘s vice president and general manager of radio; and Winstar Communications’ vice president of radio.

ellerannelogoProfile: Anne Eller of WCRS, Greenwood, South Carolina.  These days, small-town radio operators know better than anyone how challenging it can be to keep the business going.  Today, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian introduces readers to WCRS, Greenwood, South Carolina owner Anne Eller, who not only tells an interesting tale of how she got into the talk radio and radio ownership business, but also shares her programming philosophy for operating a standalone AM in a small rural market.  She says, “All the big shows are hitting the same issues but they are missing that there are so many good stories out there on the local level.  We are becoming too homogenized.  Every area is different and we have to hit on that.”  Read Mike Kinosian’s entire profile here.

2015 NYC 150Talk Talent to Discuss Strategies for Successful Career at Talkers New York 2015 on June 12.  A diverse panel of seven talk show hosts will discuss their careers in the talk radio business and their strategies for success in the current business climate.  Moderated by WMAL-AM/FM, Washington program director (and former successful air talent) Bill Hess, the session will explore the varied careers and employment situations the panelists bring to the table and get insights into their philosophies about the business and what it takes to be anhessbill effective host and valuable brand.  Taking part on the panel will be (in alphabetical order): KTRH, Houston-based syndicated host Michael Berry; WRKO, Boston-based syndicated host Howie Carr; Mandy Connell, KHOW, Denver/WHAS, Louisville; McGraw Milhaven, KTRS, St. Louis; Todd Schnitt, WOR, New York and Compass Media Networks; David Webb, SiriusXM; and Dan Yorke, WPRO, Providence.  TALKERS magazine VP/executive editor Kevin Casey says, “This panel of working talk hosts really brings the different ways in which a personality operates in today’s radio climate together in one room.  Michael Berry and Howie Carr enjoy similar syndication situations, Dan Yorke and McGraw Milhaven are locally focused hosts dedicated to one market.  Mandy Connell now works in two markets for the same company and brings the perspective of being a female in a male-dominated industry to the table.  Todd Schnitt is doing both a major market local morning show and a nationally syndicated afternoon program while David Webb works within the satellite radio business model.  Each of these broadcasters will have valuable experiences and stories to share with the attendees.”  Talkers New York 2015 is nearing a sellout.  For registration and sponsorship information, please click here.

conwaykasemWHO, Des Moines Host Simon Conway Helps Get Adult Visitation Law on Books in Iowa.  After meeting Casey Kasem’s daughter Kerri and hearing first-hand the details of her family’s struggle just to get the opportunity to visit Casey as his health declined, WHO, Des Moines afternoon personality Simon Conway promised her he would help her achieve her goal of getting adult visitation laws on the books in every state.  So he worked to get a bill moving through the system in Iowa and on Friday, April 24, Governor Terry Branstad signed it into law making Iowa the first state to have such a law.  After the signing, Kasem (left) joined Conway (right) in the WHO studios.  Conway tells TALKERS, “She was just so excited and a little tearful.  We all were.  Radio can get things done.  And a 50,000-watt blowtorch like WHO can perhaps get more things done.  Now we’ve helped change the law.”  Conway contacted state politicians from both aides of the aisle and soon a bill drafted.  Conway adds, “It was certainly fast.  Just under three months from start to finish.  Kerri came on my show and I found ways to remind various lawmakers that this was important.  I’m so proud to have played a role in getting this on the books in Iowa.”  The bill passed the Iowa Senate 50-0 and the Iowa House 97-0.

jonesbrian chicago‘Jones and Mike Show’ Added to WCGO, Chicago.  Two Chicago radio pros are hosting a new show that’s been added to the weekend schedule at Kovas Communications’ WCGO, Evanston, Illinoisnoonanmike (Chicago market).  Brian Jones and Mike Noonan tell TALKERS magazine their program was developed “to target 35 to 54-year-old listeners who like talk radio but have grown tired of strictly sports and political talk programming.”  Jones says the program, available in syndication on a barter basis, “is different because we don’t follow the template that talk radio has seemingly fallen into where there’s this angry, confrontational, even contrived feel to the show.  Who’s fighting and what for?”  Jones is a graduate of The Second City Conservatory and worked as a writer/producer/cast member of the A&E paranormal reality series, “Paranormal Cops,” and has worked as a producer at WLS-AM and WYLL.  Noonan has previously worked on air at WLUP-FM and in production at WUSN.  He is former president of Broadcast Barter Radio Networks.

genmediapartnersGen Media Partners with School Sports Media to Develop Potential of Prep Athletics.  In an effort to expand the potential value of high school sports for advertisers, Gen Media Partners is partnering with School Sports Media – a national school representation firm that delivers hyperlocal, community-based marketing solutions with cause-related benefits, hypertargeting mobile capabilities, and robust customization abilities.  Gen Media CEO Kevin Garrity states, “High school sports are embedded in the culture of America and ignite strong passion in local communities across the country.  The synergies with radio allow us to create unique local and regional advertising packages and draw revenue from promotional budgets that are earmarked for local sports marketing.  Our alliance with Schools Sports Media enriches the multi-level Gen Media national/regional/local approach to ad sales representation and gives us another opportunity to introduce radio to new advertisers that have not used the medium previously.”  School Sports Media creates customized brand engagement opportunities at high school and collegiate games, concerts, graduations, and other events with 65% of every sponsorship dollar going directly to the school, enhancing the brand’s connection with the passion of school sports’ fans.  School Sports Media president Dave Shamberger comments, “We are committed to keeping kids playing sports in schools and delivering community marketing that matters to each of our brand partners.  Aligning ourselves with Gen Med Partners will allow us to better serve schools across the entire country, while also expanding our local media platform capabilities.”

abcnewsWHCD15Compton Honored at White House Correspondents Dinner.  One of the features of the annual White House Correspondents Dinner is paying tribute to the journalists who’ve recently retired from the business of covering the White House.  Pictured here at last Saturday’s event is former ABC News White House correspondent Ann Compton (second from left) standing alongside (from l-r) ABC News’ Steve Jones, Compton’s husband Dr. Bill Hughes and ABC News’ Andrew Kalb.

Friday, April 24, 2015

| April 24, 2015

swansonjackJack Swanson to Lead KCBS, San Francisco Programming.  Legendary spoken-word programmer Jack Swanson is named director of news and programming for KCBS “All News Radio 740AM and 106.9FM.”  CBS RADIO SVP and market manager Doug Harvill says, “Jack has a distinguished track record of leading iconic radio stations.  He’s a terrific leader with a deep understanding of how a marketkcbs-am logo leading station such as KCBS can be a trusted and active member of its community.”  Swanson served for years as vice president of programming at Cumulus Media’s KGO and KSFO, San Francisco.  He began his radio career as a news anchor/reporter for WLS, Chicago before becoming the news and program director for KGO, San Francisco.  From there he became president and general manager for KING-FM, Seattle.  He says, “Being asked to lead one of the best news teams in the country is one of those rare situations that don’t present themselves often.  I’m looking forward to contributing to the amazing growth of this legendary station in the years ahead.”

CBS RadiFruge, Thomas Involved in CBS Radio Programming Changes. Concurrent with CBS Radio Las Vegas vice president of programming Charese Fruge transferring to Houston for similar duties (and to be operations manager there), the company promotes Cat Thomas to succeed Fruge in Las Vegas. Thomas will continue as day-to-day programmer of Las Vegas’ KXTE “X107.5 – Alternative First”; talk KXNT AM & FM; and KXST “CBS Sports Radio 1140.” Senior vice president and CBS Radio Houston market manager Sarah Frazier comments, “Charese is a talented programmer and leader. Her longstanding relationships in the music industry, passion for radio, and ability to create special experiences for the listener are an integral part of why she is such a great fit for Houston. We are thrilled to have her join the Houston team, as we continue to grow and build upon our brands under her guidance.” Frugefrugecharese remarks, “This role is the opportunity of a lifetime and a chance to finally be back in the south. I am honored and am looking forward to working with the Houston team to help take these amazing brands to the next level. I have made lifelong friends in Las Vegas and appreciate them always making me look good.” Meanwhile, senior vice president and CBS Radio Las Vegas market manager Jerry McKenna states, “Cat Thomas is a veteran programming executive whose experience in this market is unmatched. He has thomascatsuccessfully programmed [CHR] KLUC for the better part of two decades and most recently, has been the driving force behind the success of our spoken-word brands. Our stations are in very capable hands.” According to Thomas, “This is a dream come true. We have the biggest brands in the market. I have loved this group since we put these stations together in 1996. None of this would be possible without the passion of our staff. As [the late Ohio State University football coach] Woody Hayes said, ‘You win with people,’ and we have great people from top to bottom.” A member of the Nevada Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame, Fruge will oversee programming for hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5”; sports outlets KIKK-AM and KILT-AM; country KILT-FM “The Bull”; CHR KKHH “Hot 95-7”; and Spanish contemporary KLOL “Mega 101.” She starts her new assignment – which will include day-to-day PD responsibilities for “Mix” and “Hot” – one week from Monday (5/4). Her resume includes on-air and programming stops in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, San Diego, Denver, and New Orleans. In addition to KXTE, KXNT AM & FM, and KXST, Ohio State University alum Thomas will oversee CHR KLUC “Las Vegas’ #1 Hit Music Station” and hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1.” Eight years after being night personality at KLUC, Thomas was elevated to program director (1996); he became PD of KXNT AM & FM, KXST, and KXTE last year. Similar to Fruge, Thomas’ first day on his new job is one week from Monday (5/4). Elsewhere at CBS Radio Las Vegas, KLUC assistant program director John “J.B. King” Bernard is promoted to program director and “Mix” assistant program director/music director Jonathan “J. Love” Campbell is boosted to PD of that station. Bernard joined KLUC 17 years ago and has been APD since 2001. He previously worked in San Francisco, Phoenix, and Sacramento. With CBS Radio Las Vegas the past three years, Campbell formerly programmed in Providence, Oxnard-Ventura (California), and Reno (Nevada).

carrhowieThe Howie Carr New England Juggernaut Rolls On.  In a remarkable display of just how potent an independent regional talk radio network can be, radio/newspaper/author phenomenon Howie Carr continues to expand the reach of his Howie Carr Radio Network north into New Hampshire and southeast into Connecticut.  Bringing the growing lineup to 22 radio stations (including flagship WRKO, Boston) are WASR, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire as well as Connecticut’s WMRD, Middletown and WLIS, Old Saybrook.  On penetrating the Nutmeg State, Carr tells TALKERS, “I’ve always had a sizable audience inwliswmrd logo Connecticut, and I’m happy that my listeners there can now find me even more easily.  As a kid, I wanted to go to Wesleyan, and now I’m in Middletown — and Old Saybrook.”  Don DeCesare, president/GM of WLIS/WMRD adds, “We’re thrilled to have Howie Carr as part of our onair lineup.  Howie has been New England’s voice for years.  We’re proud to add that voice now and be his stations in Connecticut.”  Regarding this latest expansion of Carr’s network, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “It is only going to be a matter of months before the flood dam bursts and Howie Carr becomes a major national host eventually heard in all 50 states.  He is at the top of his game.”  Meet Howie Carr at Talkers New York 2015 on Friday, June 12.  The annual conference is on the verge of a sellout.  For registration and sponsorship information call 413-565-5413 or click here.

medvedmichaelSalem Radio Network Welcomes Michael Medved Back. It’s a gradual return to his daily, syndicated talk radio show, but Michael Medved is slowly working his way back after treatment for throat cancer.  Medved announced his hiatus from the program back on January 30.  Now, SRN VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup says, “We are SO grateful to have Michael Medved transitioning back into his SRN talk show.  Monday he appeared by phone, and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday he has been in his Seattle studio, hosting guests like U.S. Senator John McCain for discussion of today’s Obama apology for U.S. raids killing two hostages, plus the Senate confirmation of Loretta Lynch as Attorney General of the United States.”  Medved has been a nationally syndicated host for the past 18 years.

nj1015BattleshipNJJim Gearhart and New Jersey 101.5 Morning Show to Broadcast from Battelship New Jersey.  In recognition of Memorial Day, WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” morning host Jim Gearhart and the rest of the morning show will broadcast from the deck of the Battleship New Jersey on May 22.  In a letter inviting listeners to attend the broadcast, Gearhart writes, in part, “While the nation celebrates the start of summer this year, I invite you, your family and friends to honor the service and sacrifice of our veterans and active military during a special live broadcast of the ‘New Jersey 101.5 Morning Show’ aboard America’s most decorated battleship.  The morning show team will be on the deck of Battleship New Jersey, located on the waterfront in Camden on Friday, May 22 joined by veterans, honor guards, military agencies and state dignitaries for patriotic music, discussions and storytelling…As a Naval veteran and the father of two enlisted men, it is my privilege to commemorate our military this Memorial Day Weekend, and I encourage all active and retired servicemen and women, as well as civilians, to come enjoy the show and share their appreciation for those who make America the land of the free and home of the brave.”

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Update.  The Genesis Communications Network-syndicated Dr. Joy Brownebrownejoy show is added to the program schedule on WOMI, Owensboro, Kentucky…..Tom Gresham’s greshamtom“Gun Talk” adds new affiliate stations WCGO, Evanston, Illinois; WMXI-FM, Laurel, Mississippi; KFEQ, Saint Joseph, Missouri; and KELY, Ely, Nevada to its roster…..AdLarge Media reports “The National Marijuana News” program is added to the lineup at: WHIG, Colorado Springs; WPEK-AM, Asheville, North Carolina; and WNOS, New Bern, North Carolina…..Christian radio offering “The HopeLine with Dawson McAllister” is two months into syndication and already heard on nearly 100 stations including recent new affiliates: WGEN-FM, Chicago and the MyGen Radio Network; WTRJ-FM, Jacksonville; and WCLN-FM, Fayetteville, North Carolina.

talkersten logoIran Nuclear Negotiations Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of April 20-24.  The negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the ISIS violence tied with the military action taking place in Yemen.  Coming in at #3 was the 2016 presidential prospects tied with the scrutiny of the operation of the Clinton Foundation, followed by the death of two hostages at the hands of American drones at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Monday, April 20, 2015

| April 20, 2015

garganoanthonyAnthony Gargano Officially Named WPEN-FM, Philly Morning Host.  Last week Philly.com called it the “worst-kept secret in Philadelphia sports talk radio” – and it turns out that was true.  As reported almost everywhere, former longtime WIP-FM, Philadelphia personality Anthony Gargano is the new lead morning drive talent on Greater Media’s sports talker WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic.”  Gargano – who left CBS RADIO’s WIP-FM recently after failing to come to terms with the company on a contract renewal – will be joined on “Anthony Gargano in the Morning” by co-host Jon Marks, sports update anchormarksjon Maureen Williams and producer Jamie Lynch.  The station had been airing ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike in the Morning” which can now be heard in the market on Beasley Media Group’s WTEL-AM.  Greater Media Philly SVP/market manager John Fullam comments, “We are thrilled to have Anthony join ‘97.5 The Fanatic.’  He is the perfect lead-off man for Philly sports talk every weekday morning.  It is great to provide Philly sports fans an all-star lineup for their drive times with Anthony in the morning and Mike Missanelli in the afternoon.  We are also proud to continue our long-standing affiliation with ESPN and our outstanding contributors including Sal Paolantonio, Ron Jaworski and Jayson Stark.”

mcculloughLateNightposterNew Kevin McCullough-Hosted Show Debuts on WNYM, New York Tonight.  Syndicated talk host and XtreMEDIA principal Kevin McCullough adds another talk program to his busy schedule as he debuts “Late Night with Kevin McCullough” airing on Salem Media Group’s WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer” from 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  McCullough says the show will be him “rounding out the talk radio day with an irreverent look at the news, the talk radio industry, and everything else in life,” and says it’s a joint endeavor between his company and Salem New York.  McCullough says the show will “in some ways be a throwback to the greatest era of radio where the steaks always sizzled and the beverages are always cold!  Newsmakers, icons, and listeners will drive the conversation.  ‘The Ladies Lounge’ will feature some of the most important but not-yet-amplified voices of ladies in talk media – plus a ‘house band’ called The Hot Sardines.”  The program debuts tonight (4/20).

metaxasposterSalem Rolls Out Metaxas Show.  The radio syndication of popular author and TV personality Eric Metaxas by Salem Radio Network was announced back in late February but today the show celebrates its national debut.  Although Metaxas is well known in the Christian community, Salem says it believes his program will crossover into the news/talk format as well.  The show will launch in 26 of the top 30 markets, mostly on Salem O&Os.  Salem SVP Phil Boyce says, “This is the biggest rollout for Salem Radio Network in 10 years.  Eric’s show will be different, and a little bit about everything.  His personality and sense of humor will shine through.”  The show airs live from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET.

hopeckscottScott Hopeck Named President of iHeartMedia New York.  This is a move from the market president position at iHeartMedia’s Phoenix station group for Scott Hopeck.  Prior to his work in Phoenix, Hopeck was SVP/sales for the company in Atlanta where he was also general manager of the Braves Radio Network.  Hopeck will report to EVP of operations Hartley Adkins, who says, “Scott’s unique skills and experience in digital and technology are perfect for the evolution of this market from traditional media to world-class, multiplatform media with a tremendous impact on advertisers.  Additionally, his sports and MLB experience are ideal for the important and unique opportunities we have in New York.”

richardlanceEntercom Sacramento Raises Richard to VP/Market Manager. The vacancy in that position in California’s capital city was created this past week when Sean Shannon was named to replace the retiring Jon Pinch at Cumulus Media Atlanta (RadioInfo, 4/17). Entercom Sacramento immediately promotes vice president of sales Lance Richard to be Shannon’s successor. According to Entercom station group president Weezie Kramer, “Lance has helped to improve our sales organizations, our coaching ability, and our ability to deliver multi-platform programs that work for advertisers. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to reward that success with a promotion to vice president and market manager in Sacramento.” Richard comments, “We have the best brands in the market, great local talent and content, strong ratings, and an excellent team in-place. I look forward to continuing our momentum and leading Entercom Sacramento’s market leading portfolio of brands.” The Auburn University graduate has beenEntercom with Entercom since 2009, previously as its corporate vice president of integrated sales. His resume also includes two years as regional sales director for Monster MediaWorks; four years as director of sales for Emmis Chicago; and two years as executive vice president of sales and strategic marketing at IP2M. Entercom Sacramento consists of KCTC “ESPN 1320″; CHR KDND “The End”; alternative KKDO “Radio 94-7”; KRXQ “98 Rock”; classic rock KSEG “The Eagle”; and hot AC KUDL “Star 106.5.”

andersoncarlIndustry Programmers to Take Part in ‘Programming Talk Radio in 2015’ at Talkers New York Conference.  On Friday, June 12 at the India House in Manhattan’s Financial District, the talkbendixenmike media industry will gather for the 20th annual edition of the TALKERS magazine-presented conference.  One of the nine panel discussions and presentations will be titled, “Programming Talk Radio in 2015” and will feature panelists: Carl Anderson, EVP, Programming, iHeartMedia; gellervalerieMike Bendixen, Program Director, Newstalk 1010, Toronto; Valerie Geller, CEO Geller Media International; Scott Masteller, Program Director, WBAL, Baltimore; Mike McVay, SVP,mastellerscott Content & Programming, Cumulus Media; and Paul Vandenburgh, owner and GM, WGDJ, Albany.  It will be moderated by TALKERS magazine VP and executive editor Kevin Casey.  Issues addressed will include: integrating digital into news/talk programming; dealing with resistance to advertising; the challenge of keeping the format fresh; mcvaymikefinding the next generation of talent; allocating resources to the actual program and to social media; seeking alternative ways to monetize the format; balancing the levels of local and syndicated talk content; and more.  Casey says, “I’m really looking forward to talking about the state – andvandenburghpaul the future – of the format with this outstanding panel of industry heavyweights.  These questions are on the minds of industry programmers and it will be enlightening to hear what our panelists have to say.”  Registrations for Talkers New York 2015 are moving fast.  To reserve your place, call 413-565-5413.  For more information about the event, click here.

Odds & Sods. At the Salem Media Group’s New York news/talk outlet WNYM “AM 970 the Answer,” the new walshjoeEric Metaxas show being syndicated nationally by the company’s Salem Radio Network (see story above) bumps Chicago-based Joe Walsh from the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot on the station.  Walsh had been heard there since January of 2014.  Walsh remains on WIND, Chicago…..In Boston, market news pro Henry Santoro leaves his gig with streaming station RadioBDC (operated by the Boston Globe and Boston.com) to join pubcaster WGBH as midday anchor.  Prior to joining RadioBDC, Santoro had spent almost 30 years with the old alternative outlet WFNX.

masonscottLongtime CBS RADIO Engineer Scott Mason Dead.  Details are few but a statement from CBS RADIO Los Angeles SVP/market manager Dan Kearny was made public earlier this morning.  Kearny writes: “The entire CBS RADIO family is grieving today over the passing of Scott Mason, who has been part of CBS since 1979.  With his spirited passion for radio and unwavering dedication to his work, Scott’s accomplishments were numerous, from being an on-air personality at KROQ to hosting diverse programs like the popular “Loveline” and “OpenLine,”a long-running public affairs show, to overseeing the design and construction of CBS RADIO LA’s state-of-the art facilities on the Miracle Mile.  Our thoughts today are with his family and all those who knew and worked alongside Scott during his amazing life and career.  Due to Scott’s wishes, no funeral services will be held. A memorial will be planned in the weeks to come.”

Thursday, April 16, 2015

| April 16, 2015

kdkaKDKA-AM, Pittsburgh Names Mangino and Duffy Afternoon Hosts.  Pittsburgh news/talker KDKA-AM announces two new personalities will lead its “KDKA Afternoon News” program beginning April 27.  Current KDKA-AM evening talk show host Robert Mangino will team with Shelleymanginorobert Duffy, who moves across the hall from her current gig as co-host of sister hot AC’s Bubba Show.  Duffy has been a part of morning shows with CBS RADIO Pittsburgh for the past 25 years.  The station says, duffyshelley“The paring of Mangino and Duffy will augment the award-winning news and information programming on Pittsburgh’s news/talk leader.  Mangino and Duffy join veteran newscaster Rose Ryan-Douglas, field reporter Joe DeStio and sports director Jeff Hathhorn on a fast-paced afternoon news magazine format that features traffic and weather together on the fives and business reports at :20 and :50 past the hour every week day.”  KDKA-AM program director Jim Graci comments, “Robert is a great quarterback to tie it all together while Shelley has a unique perspective about life in Pittsburgh.”

wqamlogoRyan Maguire Named WQAM, Miami Program Director; Jim Graci Adds Pittsburgh Sports Talker Programming Duties.  Moving from CBS RADIO’s Pittsburgh sports talker KDKA-FM “Sportsradio 93.7 The Fan,” programmer Ryan Maguire takes overmaguireryan the PD role at WQAM, Miami, effective May 4.  CBS RADIO acquired WQAM as part of a swap of stations between it and Beasley Media Group.  CBS RADIO VP of programming Rob Morris comments, “Ryan is passionate about radio, competitive, a terrific strategic thinker and possesses great leadership skills.  We very much look forward to Ryan joining WQAM and our CBS RADIO Miami team.”  Maguire states, “I’m thrilled at the opportunity given to me by CBS RADIO to take this leadership role at one of the greatest gracijimheritage sports stations in America.  I can’t wait to get working with our diverse and dynamic team in South Florida as we shape and build on a leading sports brand.”  The company says that during Maguire’s tenure in Pittsburgh, KDKA-FM “set ratings and revenue records in 2012 and 2013, reaching #1 P6+, and was also nominated for a National Association of Broadcasters‘ Marconi Radio Award in 2014.”kdkafmlogo  Simultaneously, the company announces that sister news/talk KDKA-AM program director Jim Graci will serve as program director for “The Fan” and KDKA-AM news director and executive producer PJ Kumanchik will also serve as executive producer for “The Fan.”  CBS RADIO Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Young says, “Jim and PJ are a strong and very competent managerial team.  They have performed very well in developing and executing the programming vision of KDKA-AM.  With much synergy already existing between KDKA-AM and KDKA-FM, I believe their expanding programming roles at ‘Sports Radio 93-7 The Fan’ are a natural progression, and will benefit our various audiences.”

connellmandyMandy Connell Adds New Show to Duties in Return to Louisville.  Talk show host Mandy Connell will continue to host the morning program on iHeartMedia’s KHOW, Denver but she’s also taking on another program responsibility when she begins hosting the 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm show on her alma mater WHAS, Louisville.  Starting May 18, Connell’s new show will replace Lachlan McLean’s evening sports talk show.  Connell joined iHeartMedia in 2010 from her morning gig at WINK, Naples/Fort Myers when she took over the midday show on WHAS previously occupied by the late Francene Cucinello.

huckabeemikeMike Huckabee to End Daily Talk Radio Features; SRN’s Mike Gallagher to Assume Host Duties.  The decision to stop producing his daily talk radio feature, “The Mike Huckabee Report,” is being confirmed by Huckabee’s production partner WYM Media Management.  Though WYM offers no specific reason for the end of the programming, speculation is that Huckabee intends to focus on hisgallaghermike possible run for president in 2016.  In a memo to affiliate stations, WYM states that the last report hosted by Huckabee will air on May 1 and, effective May 4, Salem Radio Network personality Mike Gallagher will begin as host of the daily feature with the new title, “Gallagher Online.”  The show will be syndicated by WYM, the affiliate sales division of by Ron Hartenbaum’s WYD Media,  which also had the rights to “The Huckabee Report.”  Gallagher comments, “I’m honored to be walking on the commentary path blazed by Governor Mike Huckabee.  I just hope this doesn’t mean folks will expect me to run for president myself!”

cookehollandCooke: Report from Las Vegas – Day 4.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke files his final report from Sin City where he’s been covering the NAB Show and the co-located NMX for TALKERS magazine/RadioInfo.  In today’s report, there’s plenty of advice for podcasters from Grant Baldwin; some notes from the standing-room-only keynote from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and some chilling realities about your smartphone’s ability to spy on you from security software baron John McAfee.  Read Holland Cooke’s report here.

FAIRHold2015DC Radio Row Addresses Complex Immigration Issues.  The ninth annual Hold Their Feet to the Fire radio row produced by the Federation for American Immigration Reform moves into the second and final day today.  Taking place at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill, the event has drawn some 45 radio talk show hosts to the Nation’s Capital for live broadcasts addressing the topic of U.S. immigration policy.  Appearing on the radio programs are members of Congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists and citizens who live along the border.  Attending the event and appearing as a guest on numerous shows discussing talk radio’s role in the immigration issue and the relative First Amendment component is TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison.  From the scene in WashingtonharrisonLarsKaufmanHTF15 Harrison says this year’s radio row was an interesting blend of well-known hosts and newcomers to the scene.  “Everyone with whom I spoke on air was extremely thoughtful and solutions-oriented in dealing with this complex and sensitive issue.”  Harrison (right) is pictured here with WFTL, Fort Lauderdale personality Joyce Kaufman (center) and KXL, Portland and Compass Media Networks-syndicated host Lars Larson (left).

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases Third Round of March 2015 PPM Data.  The third of four rounds of March 2015 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 March 2015 survey period covered February 26 through March 25.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

wkxw‘New Jersey 101.5’ Finds Pirate Radio Operator; Authorities Shut Station Down.  After receiving complaints from listeners about interference with its signal, Townsquare Media talk station WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” investigated on its own and discovered the illegal signal was operating at 101.3 FM out of a home in Linden, New Jersey.  According to a story at NJ.com, after being told by the FCC that an investigation could take a couple of weeks, the station appealed to local authorities.  The homeowner subsequently was told of complaints and the zoning codes being violated and the 20-plus foot antenna was removed and the station ceased to operate.

Odds & Sods.  This year’s National Headliner Awards have been announced and CBS Radio News picked up four first-place finishes.  CBS Radio News was honored in four categories: Broadcast Radio Networks and Syndicators Breaking News or Continuing Coverage — First place, “Police Killings,” CBS Radio News staff; Broadcast Radiocbsradionews logo Networks and Syndicators Newscast — First place, “CBS World News Roundup,” Steve Kathan and Paul Farry; Broadcast Radio Networks and Syndicators Feature and Human Interest Story — First place, “Beatles 50th Anniversary,” Dave Barrett; Broadcast Radio Networks and Syndicators News Series — First place, “Midterm Election,” Barry Bagnato…..Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington and sister station WFED, Washington were honored with National Headliner Awards in the radio wtop logo NEW 1-15station categories.  WTOP was recognized in four categories: Radio stations Newscast, all markets – First Place for “September 4th, 6 p.m.”; Radio stations Breaking News or Continuing Coverage of a Single News Event – Second Place for “Gaithersburg Plane Crash”; Radio stations Feature and Human Interest Story, all markets – Second Place for “If This Violin Could Talk” by Jamie Forzato; and Radio affiliated Website:  – First Place for WTOP.com.  WFED was honored in two categories: Online-Only Writing – First Place, Mike Causey; and Best Radio-Affiliated Website – FederalNewsRadio.com…..The new producer for the Salem Radio Network-syndicated Eric Metaxas show is Chris Himes.  SRN calls him “a seasoned digitalhimeschris media producer with a passion for curating world-class content.”  Prior to joining SRN, Himes served as supervising digital producer at NBC, working 7 seasons on “Saturday Night Live,” managing the show’s digital footprint on NBC.com and on their social media platforms.  In 2010, he began overseeing “Late bayneianNight with Jimmy Fallon” as well and eventually would supervise web production operations for “30 Rock,” “Grimm,” “Law and Order: SVU” and several other prime time shows…..Illinois talk radio personality Ian Bayne makes his Chicago debut tomorrow (4/17) when he fills in for Joe Walsh on his afternoon show on Salem‘s WIND “AM 560 The Answer.”  Bayne hosts the morning program on WRPW, Bloomington, Illinois “Cities 92.9.”

2016 Presidential Prospects, the Obama Administration Amnesty Order, Tax Day, ISIS Activity in Iraq, Aaron Hernandez Guilty Verdict, Spring Break Gang Rape Case, Obama’s Cuba Policy, Iran Nuclear Negotiations Controversy, and Gyrocopter Capitol Lawn Landing Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/15).  The potential candidates for president in 2016; the effects of the amnesty order signed by President Obama; chatter about the taxes Americans pay each year; the report that ISIS is close to taking control of Ramadi, Iraq; former NFL star Aaron Hernandez is convicted of murder and sentenced to life without parole; the case of a gang rape on a Panama City, Florida beach during spring break, President Obama’s changing policy toward Cuba; the controversial negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program; and the case of a retiree landing a gyrocopter on the lawn of the Capitol building in Washington were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, April 10, 2015

| April 10, 2015

lawrencebobSaga Looks to Lawrence as VP/Group PD. Former Pinnacle Media Worldwide president and chief executive officer Bob Lawrence succeeds Steve Goldstein as vice president and group program director of Saga Communications. Goldstein left Saga late last month after nearly 30 years with the company to start Amplifi Media. Saga president and chief executive officer Ed Christian comments, “We have worked with Bob Lawrence and Pinnacle for years, and have always been impressed with his radio knowledge, analysis, and solutions to problems. He already understands the Saga culture [so] this will be a seamless transition for him and us. I welcome Bob as a member of our team.” Lawrence states, “I am so very honored and thrilled that Ed Christian has invited me to join the many talented managers and programmers at one of the most respected and successful media companies in the industry. Leaving such a labor of love as Pinnacle Media after so many years is indeed difficult. I haveSaga Logo created so many wonderful lifelong friendships, but I am very blessed and grateful for this new and exciting chapter with Saga.” Lawrence initiated Pinnacle Media Worldwide at the end of 2000. He previously programmed KIOI “K-101,” San Francisco and, for 10 years, was senior vice president of Broadcast Architecture. His on-air career includes a stint at Philadelphia’s WCAU-FM (now CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WOGL) in 1981.

westwood one news logoWestwood One News Celebrates 100-Day Mark with Growing Affiliate Base.  It’s been 100 days since Cumulus Media’s subsidiary Westwood One debuted its eponymous news service, and the syndicator says to date it has more than 700 affiliate stations.  WW1 calls the service a “next-generation, full-service news network powered by CNN. Westwood One News is filling a void in the marketplace by catering to stations looking to leverage customized news content with greater flexibility and local branding opportunities.”  SVP of affiliate sales Dennis Green says, “We are proud to be bringing the news from around the world to stations in an innovative manner.  In a short period of time, over 700 stations have joined our growing network and can now provide their listeners with news that offers greater flexibility than any other national radio new network.  The future truly is now, and we look forward to welcoming more stations in the next 100 days and beyond!”

stephanAmFamFarmerDoug Stephan Launches ‘American Family Farmer’ Show.  Talk radio industry insiders may be aware that nationally syndicated talk show host Doug Stephan has a second career as a dairy farmer, operating the Eastleigh Farm in the suburban Boston town of Framingham.  As a dedicated lifelong family farmer, Stephan is more than qualified to discuss matters germane to the family farming community, and he does so on his new, weekly talk show, “Doug Stephan’s American Family Farmer.”  The show will be produced in addition to his news/talk radio program, “Doug Stephan’s Good Day.”  American Family Farmer providesstephandoug information and an advocacy forum targeted specifically to the beleaguered sector of the American agriculture industry comprised of small independent operators – just like Stephan.  On American Family Farmer, Stephan is a tell-it-like-it is advocate of the political and economic interests of the farmers his program is designed to serve.  Stephan explains, “The family farmers in America have a tenuous relationship with Big Government and Big Ag.  It is obvious to most that the many problems we are trying to solve have come about as a result of too much meddling in the affairs of the American family farm.  We are aggressively addressing these problems with solution-based discussions each week.”  Stephan continues, “We’re dedicated to becoming the voice for hard-working people who play such an important role in the economic and nutritional well-being of our nation and are basically being stepped on by the combined partnership of Big Government and Big Business.”  In addition to hosting his new show, Stephan is available for interviews to discuss how American Family Farmer will continue the discussion of the current and future of Big Agriculture and the effect it will have on future generation of American family farmers.  For more information on the show, contact Bob K & Associates Radio Consultants at 774-643-6450 or bobk@dougstephan.com.

medvedmichaelMichael Medved Updates Fans on Throat Cancer Treatments.  Speaking to his listeners for the first time in more than two months, Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated talk host Michael Medved said the chemotherapy and radiation treatments he received to treat his throat cancer appear to have been entirely successful but they come at a cost.  That cost, he says is that one has to recover from these treatments and that’s why he’s been off the air for the past couple of months.  Still, Medved says his doctors say he is ahead of schedule for recovery and he hopes to be back on the radio as soon as possible.

Odds & Sods.  Philadelphia news pro Tony Hanson is retiring today (4/10) after a 37-year career at CBS RADIO’s KYW, Philadelphia…..Word comes from Louisville that WHAS afternoon talk personality Terry Meiners just inked a deal to continue hosting his show on the iHeartMedia-owned heritage talk station.

kallen jackieForthcoming Fight Subject of Interest on Talk Radio.  The upcoming welterweight championship boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao (May 2) has become a hot topic for the entire talk media, beyond just sports/talk, points out Jackie Kallen, boxing expert and commentator for BoxingInsider,com.  Kallen (pictured here) is one of boxing’s first and most successful female managers as well as a seasoned journalist.  Since Ali, Tyson, and the quartet of Herns, Hagler, Duran and Leonard, there haven’t been a lot of marquee names in the business.  Kallen says that Mayweather has been dubbed the villain because of a dubious past personal history which includes a prison stint for domestic violence, and Pacquiao as the hero, admired in his native Philippines and for his honorable personal and professional behavior here in the US.  “Pacquiao is a quiet family man, adored by everyone in his homeland and Mayweather is crass and boastful and flaunts his wealth and is easy to peg as the one in the black hat.”  This colorful fight has found its way out of the sports sections and shows and into the front pages and headlines.  Talk show hosts seeking to find subjects other than the current political scene are finding this vastly promoted and covered match-up a topic that is engendering lots of general listener interest.  Talk hosts and producers interested in booking experts on boxing and this particular fight can find them in the TALKERS Expert Guests section by clicking here.

talkersten logoIran Nuclear Negotiations/Obama-Netanyahu Relationship Tie for #1 Spot on Talkers TenTM.  The ongoing controversy over Iran’s nuclear program and the related tensions between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tied for the most-talked-about stories during the week of April 6-10.  Coming in at #2 on the chart was the religious freedom acts in several states and the case of the Indiana pizza joint being targeted by activists for supporting that state’s law.  At #3 was the shooting death of an unarmed black motorist by a South Carolina police officer.  Following at #4 was the Rolling Stone rape story case.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from Talkers magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

wbtwlnk duo logoCool Job Opportunity.  Greater Media Charlotte is seeking a production/imaging director with WBT and WLNK.  The ideal candidate is experienced directing voice talent and must work well in a fast-paced environment and effectively juggle multiple projects.  The production/imaging director must possess exceptional imaging and commercial production skills and use creativity to enhance station brands.  Concept development, voiceover, and copywriting skills required. Strong communication and interpersonal skills and should possess: Ability to create original ideas and see them though the production process; Extensive experience with digital editing equipment; Skill at developing marketing concepts; Experience in coaching and directing voice talent; Ability to develop systems for organizing production elements; Knowledge of VCreative,  Adobe Audition, Audiovault, and Marketron or similar systems; Sense of time management and ability to meet regular deadlines; Basic knowledge of traffic processes and the capacity to interface with traffic and continuity directors; A minimum five years major market production and imaging experience preferred.  Charlotte Market experience a plus. Send resume and mp3 to: Greater Media Charlotte, WBT/WLNK Human Resources, One Julian Price Place, Charlotte, NC  28208. hired@gmclt.com.  704-338-3079 (fax).  No Phone Calls Please.  EOE.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

| March 31, 2015

mitchinsondaniHeartMedia Brings News Pro Dan Mitchinson to Mornings at KFBK, Sacramento.  Saying that Dan Mitchinson “brings a unique combination of experience and success in the news/talk format, along with a passion to evolve our appeal to the next generation of listeners,” iHeartMedia Sacramento SVP of programming Don Parker announces the radio and TV news pro will join Amy Lewis as co-host of the KFBK Morning News, effective Monday April 6.  In a press statement, the station notes thatkfbklogo “Mitchinson’s radio work has been heard on the FOX and CBS networks.  His TV credentials include stories appearing on ‘ABC‘s World News Tonight’, ‘Nancy Grace’ and ‘Geraldo.’  He’s covered presidential visits, natural disasters as well as some of the biggest names in Hollywood.  Mitchinson has received the Edward R. Murrow Award for ‘Best Newscast,’ a Golden Mic award for Best News Special, and the Best Newscast and Single News story award from the Oregon Association of Broadcasters.  KFBK program director Bill White adds, “We’re very fortunate to have someone of Dan’s talent and his credentials speak to his passion for covering and delivering news.  He’ll be a great partner with Amy Lewis as the ‘KFBK Morning News’ continues to inform Sacramento and Northern California.”

kcmo logoLooking to the Future at KCMO, Kansas City.  TALKERS magazine observes that heritage news/talk outlet KCMO, Kansas City has been gradually adjusting the “attitude” of its programming to reflect the style of issues-oriented talk that a younger audience are reported to be demanding these days.  Just two months ago, the station brought in Rob Carson to host the daily morning show.  Carson’s hiringcarsonrob knappgregappears to dovetail well with Greg Knapp’s afternoon drive show, the nationally syndicated Dave Ramsey show in early afternoons and the late morning Chris Plante program.  Carson (who’s been in and around the business for the past 26 years, ironically writing for Rush Limbaugh during a portion of those years) tells TALKERS, “I really believe there is a quantum shift happening in talk radio, and it involves a move away from purely political monologue and phone call talk shows and more towards a conservative-style ‘The Daily Show.’”  Note that Carson uses the word conservative.  He adds, “Some are moving completely away from politics and I believe they do so at their own peril as plantechrispolitics is such a massive part of the popular culture.”  Still, Nielsen Audio’s PPM survey tells the tale of the tape and KCMO-AM ranked 18th (1.7 share, persons 6+) in the February PPM survey, well behind talk leader KMBZ-FM (10th place with a 4.2 share, persons 6+) and non-com runner-up KCUR-FM (12th place with a 3.9 share, persons 6+).  Only time will tell if KCMO’s programming strategy will pay off, but it’s apparent that Rob Carson is going to keep swinging from his position in morning drive and that something new and interesting is afoot.

brady billOpinion: Radio in 2015 – Getting Back to the Basics.  Radio sales and management pro Bill Brady writes in an opinion piece published in TALKERS magazine today (3/31) that owners and operators must deal with the fact that it’s not 1988 anymore and adjust their programming accordingly.  Brady writes, “For the most part, the talk format has devolved into a niche within a niche within a niche.  Today’s talk product is not mass appeal ‘topic A’ stuff.  It’s not even mass appeal politics – just conservative politics which severely limit the format’s appeal.  The answer to the problem is very simple: play the hits.”  Read more from Bill Brady here.

ackermanchrisAckerman Retires from Coleman Insights. Vice president Chris Ackerman exits Coleman Insights following a 22-year run at the Raleigh-area research company. President and chief operating officer Warren Kurtzman comments, “Chris is going to be missed on so many levels. Our clients will miss his advice and counsel. We will miss his presence as a fabulous mentor to employees at every level of our organization. Most of all, however, I am going to miss having my good friend for the last 20 years down the hall. Everyone at Coleman Insights wishes nothing but the best for Chris and we thank him for his incalculable contributions to the success of our company.” Ackerman remarks, “[My wife] Kathy and I are deeply grateful for the opportunity [founder and chief executive officer] Jon Coleman and Warren Kurtzman have provided us, and for the support and friendship of all our Coleman colleagues. I am also grateful for the many clients I’ve had the honor and privilege to serve through the years.” Prior to joining Coleman in August 1992, Ackerman was vice president and general manager of Capitol Broadcasting Orlando’s WSTF “Star 101.” The Miami University (of Ohio) graduate previously held the same vice president and general manager title at Renda Broadcasting Pittsburgh; WJYE, Buffalo; and WKQQ, Lexington, Kentucky.

blumhagenlarryCBS Radio Transfers Blumhagen to Los Angeles. Nine-year general sales manager of CBS Radio San Francisco hot AC KLLC “Alice@97.3” and CHR KMVQ “Now 99.7” Larry Blumhagen will relocate in three weeks (4/20) to become vice president and director of sales for the company’s six-station Los Angeles cluster. CBS Radio Los Angeles senior vice president and market manager Dan Kearney states, “Larry has been successful since the day he joined the company in 1992. He has developed great relationships internally as well as throughout the advertising community. We are very fortunate that Larry is bringing his strategic and creative expertise to Los Angeles.” Blumhagen remarks that he is “very excited” to have the opportunity “to work with some of the most legendary brands in broadcasting,” and that he is “fortunate to continue to work with CBS Radio.” Past credits for University of Oregon alum Blumhagen include being general sales manager of Portland adult alternative KINK (2001 – 2006). CBS Radio Los Angeles properties include mainstream CHR KAMP “Amp Radio”; adult hits KCBS-FM “Jack-FM”; all-news KNX; alternative KROQ; classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101”; and smooth AC KTWV “The Wave.”

Odds & Sods.  Last weekend, Virginia Associated Press Broadcasters presented its annual awards at a luncheon in Charlottesville and Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington picked up five honors – four superior and one meritorious.  WTOP reporter Andrew Mollenbeck was awarded superior in the Best Documentary or In-wtop logo NEW 1-15Depth Report category for “New Arrivals,” reporter Megan Cloherty meritorious in the Best Feature or Human Interest category for “A Typical Day Turned Deadly,” and Chris Core superior for “Core Values” in the Best Editorial or Editorial Series category.  The WTOP Newsroom also received superior awards for the following: Best Coverage of a Spot News Story – “The Bob McDonnell Verdict”; and Best Coverage of a Continuing News Story – “The Search for Hannah Graham.”…..The Philadelphia Eagles and CBS wiplogoRADIO-owned sports talker WIP, Philadelphia “SportsRadio 94WIP” renew their deal for the station to serve as flagship for Eagles play-by-play for years to come.  The agreement also includes new elements such as an HD Radio station devoted exclusively to the Eagles 24/7 with year-round programming.  CBS RADIO Philadelphia stations have carried play-by-play coverage of the Eagles since 1992.  Eagles radio announcers Merrill Reese, the NFL’s longest tenured play-by-play announcer, and former Eagles All-Pro wide receiver Mike Quick will continue to provide commentary of the games…..All-Pro receiver Steve Smith, currently with the Baltimore Ravens – is joining the roster of expert hosts on SiriusXM NFL Radio.   Smith will host “The Opening Drive” alongside co-host Bob Papa every other Wednesday live from 7:00 to 11:00 am ET.

koh logoCool Job Opportunity.  KKOH, Reno needs a full-time talk show producer and on-air operator with mad skills who can do it all: run the studio, screen calls, schedule guests, research topics, locate/edit audio, post content to social media, update the website, maintain podcasts, create promos and work with a well-established team.  The ideal candidate has on-air experience and passion for the news and important issues of the day, plus the ability to multi-task, handle stress and deadlines.  We’re a conservative talker, but it isn’t just about politics.  It helps if you don’t mind crazy hours, too.  Reply with resume and air check to renoradio.jobs@cumulus.com. EOE.

wltl logoWCKG, Elmhust, Illinois Teams with High School Station to Create ‘Study Hall Radio.’  An award-winning Chicago-area high school radio station – WLTL, La Grange (serving Lyons Township) – is working with commercial talk radio station WCKG, Elmhurst to produce: Study Hall Radio” that will air on WCKG on Saturdays at 2:00 pm.  Student broadcasters, under the guidance of faculty advisor Chris Thomas, will feature student reporters, interviewers and more.  Thomas says, “WLTL’s student broadcasters are generating the topics, researching and reporting the stories and conducting the interviews.  I am just the person helping to put all of the pieces together and making connections for the listening audience as to why adults should care about what is on the minds of students today.”  The April 4 premiere episode will focus on driving and teenagers.  Additional programs are planned to cover topics such as prom and dating, graduation and summer plans, jobs and activities for teenagers.  The purpose of each program will be to inform Suburban Chicago listeners of what is happening at the high school level, and how and why it affects our community.

Religious Freedom Act Controversy, Obama-Netanyahu Relationship, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Iran Nuclear Program Negotiations, Hillary Clinton Email Case, ISIS Violence, Germanwings Flight 9525 Investigation, and NCAA Hoops Tourney Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/30).  The political controversy in Indiana over the implementation of that state’s religious freedom act; the strained relationship between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the ongoing negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program; the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of her private email for State Department business; the battle against ISIS; the state of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz and the downing of Germanwings Flight 9525; and March Madness were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

| March 22, 2015

Ed ShaneShane Succumbs to Cancer. Chief executive officer of Houston-based Shane Media Services, and publisher of the music magazine Best in Texas – Ed Shane – has lost his battle against colon cancer. Shane and his wife/business partner/former country programmer (KILT, Houston, WIL, St. Louis) Pam Shane revealed his diagnosis on social media less than four weeks ago (2/24). In that posting, Pam Shane noted, “This will be an interruption for Ed and me during the next few months. Shane Media clients are aware of this, and know that I will be keeping their projects moving forward. We appreciate the support from friends and colleagues at this difficult time.” Outpouring of sympathy and exceptionally kind comments permeated social media. For example, renowned sports broadcaster (Boston Red Sox radio play-by-play, among others) Jerry Trupiano declares Shane was, “a true giant in the industry and one of the best people I ever worked with.” Among the many others “heartbroken” to hear the news of Shane’s passing is CBS Radio country KFRG “K-Frog,” Riverside on-air talent Heather Froglear, who comments, “We were so fortunate to have [him] on our team for many years. I will be forever grateful for [his] guidance on the air. He always encouraged this young gal just starting in country radio. I considered [him] a mentor – but mostly a friend. My heart goes out to Pam and the rest of Ed’s friends and family. You will be missed – terribly.” Longtime group program director Frank Bell recollects that during his tenure at Keymarket/Sinclair, “Ed Shane helped us launch many great country stations, including KFRG; WGGY, Wilkes Barre-Scranton; and WOGY, Memphis. His handiwork in news-talk helped shape the sound of WWL, New Orleans; WBEN, Buffalo; and WLAC-AM, Nashville. Ed’s clarity of thought made him a welcome addition to every conference call and strategic planning meeting. He was one of those rare consultants who ‘talked the talk’ and ‘walked the walk.’ In Texas terms, he wore a big hat and had lots of cattle. Thoughts and prayers today go out to his life and business partner, Pam, and that talented group of Shane Media programmers, both past and present.” Distinguished programmer Ed Scarborough (Lieblick) declares, “We have lost a true ‘gentle’ man. Condolences to Pam and Ed’s family, and to Ed’s extended family. He touched many lives and leaves aEd Shane #2 wonderful legacy.” According to Brent Clanton, “Ed gave me my first job in Radio at Paul Taft‘s KODA, Houston and he taught me so much more than the business. I was privileged to work with him on two [Houston] start-ups, KIKK-AM ‘Business Radio 650’ with the equally-legendary Dickie Rosenfeld, and more recently, the launch of Radio One‘s ‘News 92 FM’ [KROI]. Ed was a gentleman, a perfectionist, and was always thinking ahead on ways to make a radio station’s product better. He made me a better broadcaster, and planted in me an appreciation of how to bring up the next generation of radio professionals.” Intersat‘s manager of media product strategy (and former programmer) Chuck Dickemann comments, “Ed’s influence on me and my career went far beyond broadcast and radio. His support, confidence, and mentorship permeated everything I did. Beyond that, he was a friend – a true friend.” Programmer John Roberts mentions that, “Ed was a pro’s pro for sure, but more importantly, he was simply a great guy. Plenty of people in radio, including me, owe significant career steps to Ed & Pam’s generous advice and help. Stories about change in our business, real or perceived, seem to hit us between the eyes daily. The idea of consultant Ed Shane not being around is one legit ‘change’ I wish we did not have to face.” Mardit Media Consulting president Barry Mardit notes that Shane was a “familiar face at CRS. He always greeted me with a warm smile and a hearty handshake. I always looked forward to our brief chats as well as his in-depth presentations. The consummate professional and true champion who so believed in the power of radio. Ed was a vast storehouse of the knowledge and expertise needed to harness and unleash its full potential. Our industry has lost a giant and those who have known Ed have lost a giant of a friend.” SeniorNet Dallas president Dan Halyburton states, “Ed Shane was a great radio man and a good friend. Ed played an important role in the efforts at KPLX, Dallas in the 1990s to fight one of the toughest country battles ever. His knowledge and commitment to winning were unequaled. Ed always had such energy and presence.” Country consultant Joel Raab notes, “Ed Shane was a great guy and solid professional. He was always generous with his thoughts and advice. He gave me lots of encouragement – even though we were competitors. For that I will always be grateful.” Ron Parker recalls that his “very first radio job was at WPLO-FM, Atlanta and Ed was the operations manager of the station for Plough – thoughts and prayers to Pam and the Shane family.” Ed Shane – who founded Shane Media in 1977 – entered hospice care early this past week. He previously was station manager of Houston’s KRBE and programmed talk KTRH in that market. He also was the former program director of KKDJ, Los Angeles (now iHeartMedia CHR KIIS), as well as a number of other major market stations.

Friday, March 6, 2015

| March 6, 2015

beasley logo longBeasley Reports 2014 Q4 Pro Forma Net Revenue Dips 4.3%.  Getting an accurate picture of the fourth quarter – not to mention the total of 2014 – is a bit dicey because of the asset exchange between Beasley and CBS RADIO.  But as Beasley chairman and CEO George Beasley says in the press release, “On a reported basis, fourth quarter net revenue from continuing operations rose 23.5% and SOI [station operating income] increased 14.6%, while operating income of $1.8 million was impacted by $1.7beasleygeorge million of transaction and termination expenses related to the Asset Exchange and otherwise would have compared favorably with the $2.8 million in the comparable year ago period.  However, given the required accounting treatment for discontinued operations, the results include only one month of operations from the stations we received in the asset exchange, while excluding the results of the stations we gave up in the transaction.  As a result, we believe a pro forma presentation, which assumes the asset exchange occurred on January 1, 2013, better reflects the operating results.  On a pro forma basis, fourth quarter net revenue decreased 4.3% to $28.9 million while SOI declined 8.0% to $9.2 million.  Importantly, while the fourth quarter pro forma presentation allows for a comparison of the same stations during both periods, it does not reflect our recently initiated and planned format and personnel changes in Tampa as well as expense reductions in Tampa and Charlotte, the benefits of which we expect will be reflected in our results as we move through 2015 and into 2016.”

kkfn logo20 Years of KKFN Sports Talk in Denver Being Recognized.  This Monday (3/9), Lincoln Financial Media will celebrate 20 years of sports talk in Denver on KKFN.  The format is now heard on KKFN-FM “104.3 The Fan,” but debuted in 1994 on KKFN-AM.  The special broadcast will feature several former personalities and athletes who have been part of the two-decade history.  The station’s original lineup included: the Fabulous Sports Babe (Nanci Donnellan), Woody Paige & Todd Mansfield, Doug Moe & Tom Green and Jeff Reckard.  On Monday the station will welcome back former Fan personalities Woody Paige, Tom Green, Dan Issel, Charles Johnson, Irv Brown and Joe Williams.  They will be joined by Rockies radio announcer Jerry Schemmel.  The station’s current lineup is: “The Fan Morning Show with Mike Evans, Nate Lundy and Vic Lombardi” (5:30 am to 9:00 am), Dan Patrick (9:00 am to 12:00  noon), Sandy Clough and Scott Hastings (12:00 noon to 3:00 pm), “The Drive”­ with Alfred “Big Al” Williams and Darren “D-Mac” McKee (3:00 pm to 9:00 pm) and “The Fan Late Night” with Ryan Edwards and Shawn Drotar (9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight).  “The Fan” will also hold an anniversary party on Thursday, March 26, at the Sports Column in downtown Denver.  Listeners will get the chance to celebrate with members of “The Fan” on-air staff and celebrities.

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia Names Charlie Wilkinson Dallas Market President.   Moving to Texas from his most recent position with the company as regional president overseeing Charlotte and Raleigh, Charlie Wilkinson becomes market president of iHeartMedia’s six Dallas properties.  EVP of operations – Texas majors Kelly Kibler comments, “Charlie has exceeded expectations and consistently raises the bar.  He has proven his ability to create and lead winning teams.  I’m confident he will continue to deliver consistent integrated revenue growth for the Dallas cluster.”  Former market president, Deidre Richter, will join iHeartMedia’s national sales team and will report to Jeff Howard, president of national sales.  Richter will lead the South Central Connections Team.

Odds & Sods.  At the Cromwell Group’s Nashville sports talk duo “94.9 The Game 2” — WQZQ-AM and W235BW – morning drive co-host Joe Dubin leaves the station and partner Greg Pogue to return to television sports as sports anchor on WSMV-TV, Nashville, effective March 30…..This weekend begins Westwood One Sports’ presentation of a slate of exclusive women’s college basketball broadcasts this month.  It gets underway Sunday with the Pac-12 Women’s Championship game andwestwood one sports culminating with the Women’s Final Four and National Championship in Tampa on April 7.  On Tuesday, March 10, WW1 broadcasts the Big East Women’s Championship, live from Allstate Arena in Chicago.  CBS Sports Radio talk-show host Amy Lawrence has the play-by-play, along with former University of Connecticut All-American Swin Cash as the analyst…..Salem Media Group New York brings Chief of Robotic Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital, Dr. David Samadi, to the staff serving as chief medical correspondent for news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” and Christian talk WMCA “AM 570 The Mission.”  Additionally, Dr. Samadi will host the new program “World Health News with Dr. Samadi,” airing Sundays from 10:00 am to 11:00 am.

curtiskubyroast15Curtis & Kuby Roast Takes Place Monday in NYC.  Gotham Comedy Club will be the site of the Curtis & Kuby Roast on Monday, March 9 at 7:00 pm.  The duo – heard daily in middays on Cumulus Media’s WABC – will be in attendance as Roast Master Rich Vos (featured on Comedy Central, HBO, and Showtime) hosts a night of no-holds-barred comedy in honor of talk radio odd couple Curtis Sliwa and Ron Kuby.  Comedians Kurt Metzger, Bonnie McFarlane, Geno Bisconte, Aaron Berg, and The Stone Brothers will all come out to roast the duo. Limited tickets are still available at www.wabcradio.com. The event is produced by Jeffrey Gurian in conjunction with Gotham Comedy Club and 77 WABC.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The sports programming from Yahoo! Sports Radio is now being heard on Word Broadcasting’s WVHI, Evansville, Indiana…..The Genesis Communications Network-syndicated “Freedom Feens” show is now being heard on affiliate stations WRMN, Elgin, Illinois (Chicago market) and on WPNN, Pensacola, Florida.

Netanyahu Speech/Iran Nukes Top Talkers TenTM for Week of March 2-6.  The speech before Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the issue of a pact to allow Iran’s nuclear program to expand were tied for the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week.  At #2 was the Supreme Court’s hearing a challenge to the Affordable Care Act. Coming in at #3 was the probe of Hillary Clinton’s use of private email for State Department business, followed by the Homeland Security Department funding battle and President Obama’s amnesty order at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio this week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

| March 3, 2015

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: Sports Talk.  TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian presents a report on the performances of sports talk-formatted stations based on data from the January 2015 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  In this analysis is a chart of the performances of subscribing stations in shares over the past six surveys; fluctuations from the previous Holiday 2014 survey; comparisons from January 2014; market rank over the past three surveys; plus a comparison including the all-news format.  View this entire report here.

lopezchadLopez Relocates to Cumulus New York as Market Manager. Fourteen-year general sales manager of CBS Radio New York all-news siblings WCBS-AM and WINS Chad Lopez is appointed vice president and market manager of the cross-town cluster owned by Cumulus Media. “Chad is a highly talented and experienced sales leader behind several legendary brands in New York City radio,” comments Cumulus senior vice president Gary Pizzati. “Relationships he has built and the respect he has developed with the ad community over the last 15 years are unprecedented. This was clearly the next and natural step in his career. We are extremely excited to have Chad on our team and as a member of the Cumulus family.” According to Lopez, “Cumulus presented me with a tremendous opportunity to further my career and run an iconic group of stations in my hometown. I couldn’t be more excited and ready to take on this challenge.” A former U.S. Navy officer, Lopez previously was director of sales for CBS Radio New York, and for five years was Dom Camera and Associates’ senior media buyer. Among the stations comprising Cumulus Media New York are hot AC WPLJ (1.9, #18, 6+, January 2015 Nielsen Audio PPM), talk WABC (1.6, #19), and country WNSH (1.5, #20).

cumulus logoCumulus Q4 Revenue Flat; Up 1.4% for Whole of 2014.  The release of fourth quarter and 2014 financial numbers and president and CEO Lew Dickey’s investor’s conference call took place yesterday.  While the fourth quarter started out pretty good for Cumulus Media, Dickey notes that – much like the rest of the industry – revenue began to tail off leading up to Thanksgiving and stayed that way through December.  Net revenue (pro forma) for the fourth quarter was up 0.3% and up 1.4% for the entire year of 2014.  Dickey also said during the call that the company has ceased its search for an EVP of radio after determining that it does not need to fill that position.  Jon Pinch held the title until he left to run the company’s Atlanta station group.

FAIRHold2015Ninth Annual ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Event Scheduled for April 15 and 16 – Broadcast Spaces Filling Up Fast.  The annual Washington, DC radio row produced by the Federation for American Immigration Reform will take place on Wednesday and Thursday, April 15 and 16 at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill.  As in the eight years prior, the event will consist of talk hosts from across the country broadcasting live, debating immigration policy while interviewing members of Congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists and citizens who live along the border.  FAIR says that “this year’s event will focus on the aftermath of President Obama’s amnesty and his continued abuse of executive power, the GOP’s internal battle over how to tackle immigration and the ongoing border crisis with its implications for national security risks.”  Event general manager and FAIR spokesman Bob Dane comments, “Politicians fear and respect the amplitude of talk radio.  Hold Their Feet to the Fire speaks for millions of radio listeners and, this year, will prove that the mic is mightier than Obama’s pen.”  For talk show hosts wishing to take part in this year’s radio row, reservations are required and hosts/producers should call now.  There are only a handful of spaces left and they will go quickly.  There is no cost to attend and all technical engineering and ISDN lines are provided by Silver Lake Audio of New York, the official engineering firm for Hold Their Feet to the Fire.  Congressional guests, activists, high-profile media personalities, and immigration experts will be in attendance and available throughout the event for wall-to-wall interviews.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison will also be on hand presenting a non-partisan perspective on the First Amendment.  Contact Bob Dane or Anna Giaritelli for more information at 202-328-7004 or bdane@fairus.org or agiaritelli@fairus.org.

kiroKIRO-AM, Seattle Announces Lineup Changes.  At Bonneville’s Seattle sports talker KIRO-AM “710 ESPN Seattle,” the weekday lineup is being tweaked to add new talent to the daytime programming.  The station announces a new late morning program called Justin & Gee Show with co-hosts Justin Myers and Gee Scott.  Myers has co-hosted “The Nightwatch” since July 2014 and Gee is best known for his tenure as co-host of “The Barbershop.”  At the same time, Tom Wassell makes the transition from nights as he teams up with Bob Stelton and Dave “The Groz” Grosby on the newly re-titled “Bob, Groz & Tom Show.”  Wassell has been serving with the station as producer of several KIRO-AM shows over the past three years.  Program director Mike Salk adds that Scott will continue to host “The Barbershop” with former Seahawks cornerback Marcus Trufant and ex-Husky running back Terry Hollimon in its new timeslot at 7:00 pm.  The station’s programming, dubbed Seattle Sports Radio Network, is also heard on stations in Eastern Washington including KGA, Spokane; KJOX, Kennewick (Tri-Cities market); and KBBO, Yakima.

TNM news logoPot Is Hot.  From a radio listener’s standpoint, the angles that can be addressed with regard to the changing attitudes about marijuana in the U.S. include the medical, business/industrial, recreational, and legal, to name a few.  One such radio show – “The National Marijuana News” – has been doing that since June of last year and is gaining traction in the audio media realm.  The producers of TNMNews call it “an unbiased and balanced one-hour, weekend show that delivers information that is of interest to the U.S. public…TNMNews helps audiences discern fact from fiction to help listeners unscramble the often perplexing details.”  The program was developed by seasoned news producers and media industry professionals and “takes a deep dive beyond the headlines to explore breaking cannabis news, including field segments, interviews, and roundtable discussions.  Guests who are experts in alternative health, yoga, the law, and more generate compelling discussions that not only clarify misconceptions but also present an opportunity for listeners to become more knowledgeable.”  The producers of the show have teamed with AdLarge Media to market the radio show.  AdLarge’s Jessica Sherman, senior director, affiliate marketing, says, “In addition to the many legal marijuana-related products and retailers, there are a plethora of ancillary advertising categories, such as holistic practitioners, yoga instruction classes, green grocers, green products, fast food restaurants, and more.  TNMNews is like aficionado or hobby programs that focus on cigars, cars, travel, etc.”  For broadcasters confused about how to present unbiased news about marijuana to radio audiences and how to maximize revenue opportunities from this fastest growing industry in America, TNMNews executive producer Martin Wagmaister says, “It’s no longer a debate ‘for or against.’  Americans are looking for answers that will help them with their personal decisions.  Our goal at TNMNews is to present all the accurate information available, and to explore every viewpoint out there.”  For broadcasters who may be a bit skittish about the topic in general, the show producers say TNMNews and its topic are fully acceptable under the laws that govern radio through the FCC.  TNMNews producers conducted extensive research and as long as the show does not promote the selling or buying of marijuana and is focused on disseminating news and information around the topic, TNMNews has the legal right, and the freedom, to talk about marijuana.  Recent affiliates of the show include KBYR-AM, Anchorage and KFAR-AM, Fairbanks.  Check out show demos here.

Mark Wainwright Subbing for WSYR’s Joe Galuski During Latter’s Recuperation.  WSYR, Syracuse morning personality Joe Galuski is still on the mend battling Non-Hodgkins Lyphoma and talk pro Mark Wainwright is scheduled to continue subbing for him through April 17.  Also filling in for Galuski when Wainwright is now available is George Kilpatrick.  Wainwright says Galuski is “in good spirits and thoroughly expects to be back on the air in the coming months.”  Wainwright can be reached at thatvoice@verizon.net.

Odds & Sods.  Multi-media star Lionel takes the stage this Saturday, March 7, at 7:30 pm for his show at The Cutting Room in New York City.  It’s an evening of Lionel’s patented (out)spoken word and “the immaculate twanglionel of bluegrass” with his trio Lock ’n Load.  For tickets and more information click here…..Nationally syndicated morning show Mike & Mike – ESPN Radio’s Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg – will celebrate their 15th anniversary from the Downtown Disney stage at Walt Disney World in Orlando on Friday, March 6.  The live show will be open to the public and doors will open at 5:00 am…..KFWB, Los Angeles “The Beast 980” reaches an agreement to carry the MLS’ LA Galaxy games.  In addition to streaming every game on “The Beast 980” mobile app, a minimum of 20 games will be broadcast on the station beginning this Friday, March 6, the Galaxy opens the season at the StubHub Center against the Chicago Fire…..Genesis Communications-owned Sports Talk Florida enters into an agreement with the NASL Jacksonville Armada FC to share content and live play-by-play audio streaming.

patrickTXdanpatrickTalking to Texas’ Top Elected Officials.  Texas talk show host Matt Patrick – heard on iHeartMedia’s KTRH and KPRC, Houston and KFXR, Dallas – is pictured here having lunch with Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick (who is a talk radio pro himself and owner of KSEV, Houston).  During his two-day visit to Austin, Matt Patrick also interviewed Texas Governor Gregg Abbott and other Texas lawmakers.

Netanyahu to Address Congress, Iran Nuclear Program, Net Neutrality Issue, Homeland Security Department Funding, President Obama’s Amnesty Order, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Hillary Clinton Email Probe, LAPD Skid Row Killing, and Leonard Nimoy Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/2).  The controversy over Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress; the growing threat of Iran’s nuclear program; ongoing debate over the potential effects of the FCC’s net neutrality policy; the issue of funding the Department of Homeland Security beyond this week; the political battle over President Obama’s amnesty order; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of personal email for State Department business; the shooting death of a man by LAPD in the city’s Skid Row district; and the death of actor Leonard Nimoy were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Cool Job Opportunity.  We are looking for a quick-witted, comedic-minded entertainer who has natural observational skills and a background in stand-up comedy, comedic acting, improv and natural timing.  If your friends think you’re hysterical, you’re the funniest person at any event, or you have a twisted view of life, this job’s for you.  Send video links of your work and resume to: comedysearch15@gmail.com.  An Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO).

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

| February 25, 2015

2015 NYC 150Nielsen Audio VP of Client Service Brad Kelly to Appear on Talkers New York 2015 ‘State of Radio Ratings’ Panel.  Joining the star-packed panel addressing the State of Radio Ratings at the June 12 Talkers New York 2015 conference from Nielsen Audio is vice president of client service Brad Kelly.  He’ll discuss how Nielsen has its eye on both terrestrial listening and the ever-evolving digital options.  He will also update conference attendees onkellybrad Nielsen’s improvement programs for its basic ratings service in both PPM and Diary markets.  This hour-long panel will be moderated by Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel superstar Sean Hannity and will analyze the changing relationship between talk radio (as well as radio in general) and audience measurement methodology as we move further into the digital age.  It is no secret that determining the methodology to properly and fairly balance (and credit) listenership to radio programming on both terrestrial and online platforms has been a bumpy transition creating challenges for radio programmers and sellers alike.  Joining Hannity will be a stellar panel including:  Erica Farber, president/CEO, Radio Advertising Bureau; Phil Boyce, SVP/Spoken Word Format, Salem Media Group and Salem Radio Network, operations VP, New York Region; Steve Goldstein, EVP, Saga Communications; Tom Langmyer, VP/GM, Milwaukee radio operations, VP/news-talk programming, Journal Broadcast Group, and Greg Moceri, CEO, Moceri Media.  The session will be held as part of the power-packed, day-long “Talkers New York 2015” on Friday, June 12 at the India House Club in the Big Apple’s historic Financial District.  This marks the 18th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention.  It will also celebrate the 25th anniversary of TALKERS magazine which was launched by Michael Harrison in the summer of 1990.  Registrations are priced at $299 per person with an early bird, discounted cost of $249 available until 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 27.  Registrations, which are only open to professionals currently or recently employed in media-related industries, include all sessions, presentations, exhibits and breakfast/lunch/refreshment/and social networking activities.  The heavyweight, non-stop agenda will include approximately 65 speakers and 500 attendees are again expected.  Registrations can only be taken over the phone and paid for by credit card.  For registration, sponsorship and hotel information, please call 413-565-5413.  Again, an early sellout is expected, so avoid being shut out by registering now!  More speakers, panelists and agenda updates will be announced here in the coming days.

cbsradio logoReport: CBS Under Pressure to Sell Radio Assets to Cumulus.  In a story in The Deal by Chris Nolter, hedge fund Sandell Asset Management Corp is lobbying CBS Corp to divest of its radio station group and merge it with Cumulus Media.  Nolter reportscumulus logo that the two companies have been advised to “pursue a reverse Morris Trust merger of their radio businesses.  By spinning off the radio stations to shareholders, CBS would divest an asset with a low tax basis without incurring a large bill from the IRS.  It could also collect a nearly $900 million dividend.”  The story suggests that if CBS’ radio stations merged with Cumulus, they would pull in about $2.4 billion in sales.  Nolter writes that executive chairman Sumner Redstone controls 79.6% of CBS Corp’s shareholder vote so any move would require him being on board.  Read Nolter’s piece here.  CBS has said repeatedly that it likes radio as a cash flow business.

iheartmedia logo smallExecutive Changes at iHeartMedia as Lakamp to Exit Digital Division; Kaminsky Moves Up and Market Managers Become Presidents.  In a company-wide memo, iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman announces president of technology and digital ventures Brian Lakamp has left the company in order to pursue “entrepreneurial endeavors.”  Pittman thankskaminskybrian Lakamp for his time with the company and credits him for iHeartRadio’s registered user growth as well for some of the sales-related technologies and partnerships Pittman says will “increase the importance of our platforms for our advertising partners and make our sales process more lavenmicheleefficient.”  Pittman is reconfiguring the technology and digital ventures team with iHeartRadio COO Brian Kaminsky rising to president of programmatic and data operations.  Simultaneously, Michele Laven – currently iHeartMedia president of partnerships and local activation – is now the president of business development and partnerships.  Finally, the company announces that all market managers are now market presidents.

kaufmanadamAdam Kaufman Named WBZ-AM, Boston Morning Sports Anchor.  Veteran sports reporter Adam Kaufman is promoted to morning sports anchor for CBS RADIO’s Boston news station WBZ-AM.  The company says that Kaufman is “a multi-platform sports journalist for more than a decade” who will continue to be a show host at sister sports talker WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” and CBS Sports Radio, in addition to being a columnist for Boston.com sports and serve as a regional television anchor on Comcast SportsNet New England.  During his career, the Syracuse University grad has worked as the lead play-by-play voice of the Boston College men’s hockey team and spent five years doing radio play-by-play of the Providence Bruins minor league hockey team.

herskovitzalThe 8th Annual Hersky Awards Announced.  It’s the time of the year when radio sales maven and H&H Broadcasting president Al Herskovitz pronounces what he deems to have been the best in talk radio advertising over the course of the past year.  While these “awards” are delivered tongue-in-cheek, the winners are named by Herskovitz as excellent examples of quality and effective talk radio advertising.  To find out the winners in the categories of Best National Host Doing a Local Commercial; Best Jingle Spot; Best Live Spot Reader; and Commercial of the Year, click here.

boomercartonAllessandroIt’s a Tough Job, But Somebody’s Got to Do it.  Morning duo Boomer Esiason (left) and Craig Carton (right) pose for a shot with supermodel and Victoria’s Secret Angel Alessandra Ambrosio (center) after her guest shot on WFAN, New York to promote tomorrow night’s “Victoria’s Secret Swim Special” airing on the CBS Television Network at 10:00 pm ET.  In addition to a bevy of bathing beauties, the show will also feature GRAMMY Award-wining artists Maroon 5 and Juanes.

Obama’s Amnesty Order, Bill O’Reilly Falklands Report Controversy, the FCC’s Net Neutrality Mandate, Department of Homeland Security Funding Battle, Keystone Pipeline Veto, Continued ISIS Brutality, Feds Choose Not to Charge George Zimmerman, Chris Kyle Trial Conviction, and Ukraine Tensions Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/24).  The state of President Obama’s amnesty order; the controversy over Fox News Channel star Bill O’Reilly’s Falklands War reporting in the early 1980s; the “net neutrality” proposal by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler; the battle over funding the Department of Homeland Security before the Friday deadline; Obama vetoes the resurrected Keystone Pipeline project; the ongoing brutality being perpetuated by ISIS; the Justice Department decides not to prosecute George Zimmerman; Eddie Ray Routh is convicted in the slaying of fellow former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield; and the ongoing tensions in Ukraine and Russia’s involvement.

hopeline‘The HopeLine’ with Dawson McAllister Goes into Syndication.  Radio pro Dawson McAllister recently returned to Christian on WAY-FM with “The HopeLine with Dawson McAllister,” and is now offering clearance of his new show to the general Christian market, focusing on contemporary Christian radio stations.  For 17 years Dawson McAllister was heard Sunday nights on more than 300 Christian radio stations with “Dawson McAllister Live,” before transitioning exclusively to top 40/mainstream stations in 2007 in a syndication agreement with Premiere Networks.  After years of requests from Christian stations and former listeners for Dawson to return, along with the recent opportunity presented by WAY-FM, he made the decision to launch this new Saturday night show.  He comments, “The unique thing about this show is that I have the opportunity to challenge my audience to make a difference in their world by having an impact on the lives of their friends – I love the idea of partnering with teenagers and young adults to change the world one life at a time.”  The show is described as “a three-hour, interactive call-in show where 13-29 year olds can call and talk to Dawson about all the issues in their lives.  In return, Dawson and his co-host Sarah Lee offer trustworthy Biblically based common-sense advice and encouragement that is truly life-changing.   Christian stations wishing to air “The HopeLine with Dawson McAllister” or CHR stations wishing to air “Dawson McAllister Live” can contact Ike Wingate at Wingate Media at ike@wingatemediagroup.com.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

| February 19, 2015

weismanstevenPayola: What Every Broadcaster Should Know.  TALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes in a piece published today (2/19) that the Payola laws are something all broadcasters should be aware of, regardless of format.  While the Payola “scandal” of the late 1950s causes many people to associate Payola with playing records for consideration, any content that’s paid for must be identified.  Weisman writes, “The [Federal Communications] Commission has noted that the Sponsorship Identification Laws are ‘grounded in the principle that listeners and viewers are entitled to know who seeks to persuade them.’”  Read Weisman’s entire piece here.

mcmahonbillMcMahon: Listen to Your Creative Voice.  Talk radio consultant Bill McMahon says that all of us are born creative.  “From a very young age we all have a quiet little voice in our head that comes from somewhere deep inside.  It whispers unique and amazing thoughts and ideas to us.  In the beginning, we all hear these ideas, get excited, and do something about them. Unfortunately, the bigger and more unusual the ideas, the more resistance we encounter when we try to bring them to life.  Eventually, most of us stop listening to that quiet little voice, dismiss its thoughts and ideas, and just try to fit in because it’s too damn hard to do otherwise,” he writes.  McMahon believes that the successful content creators are the ones who still, not only listen to that creative voice, but act on some of the ideas it provides us.  Read more about his thoughts on creativity here.

goffjasonGoff Replaces Mannelly at ‘The Score’ in Chicago.  The new co-host at CBS RADIO’s sports talk WSCR, Chicago “670 The Score” is Jason Goff.  He’ll be working alongside Matt Spiegel on the 9:00 am to 1:00 pm show.  The former producer and reporter has also hosted at the company’s Atlanta sports talker wscr logoWZGC “92.9 The Game” and SiriusXM.  “The Score” operations manager Mitch Rosen says, “I’m excited to have Jason back on our team.  I believe the combination of Matt Spiegel and Jason Goff will be a great winning combination that the Chicagoland audience will love.  The show will be interactive through all of our digital platforms.”  Former Chicago Bears long snapper Patrick Mannelly worked as co-host with Spiegel after Dan McNeil exited the same position last June after a long career with WSCR.  McNeil recently joined crosstown classic rock WDRV “The Drive” as AM drive co-host.

businessrockstars radio‘Business Rockstars’ to Be Heard on 11-station Mississippi ‘SuperTalk’ Network.  The “Business Rockstars” radio show adds to its affiliate roster by being carried across the 11-station TeleSouth Communications-owned SuperTalk Mississippi network.  Saying that this new deal pushes its affiliate tally “well past the 100 U.S. radio mark,” Business Rockstars CEO Steve Lehman comments, “Radio is an important part of our multi-media and social platform.  We couldn’t be more excited to add SuperTalk.FM to our rapidly growing list of affiliate stations…Business Rockstars is an entrepreneurial business show that brings together some of the world’s biggest and most accomplished CEOs as well as successful small business owners and entrepreneurs.  We look forward to adding new listeners in Mississippi that will benefit from Business Rockstars content.”  TeleSouth president and COO Kim Dillon states, “‘Business Rockstars’ is a great show and we’re certain the listeners across the SuperTalk Mississippi network will benefit from their insightful commentary and tips.  Entrepreneurship is alive and well in our state.  We look forward to inspiring current and future business owners throughout our long and prosperous relationship with the Rockstars team.”

sternhowardDigital Start-Up Whalerock Gets Attention After Inking Howard Stern to Deal.  From a piece in The New York Times comes news that Howard Stern has agreed to a deal with Whalerock to have the latter create a “personal network” to handle digital distribution of his content.  This is a separate deal from Stern’s SiriusXM contract and Whalerock owner Lloyd Braun tells the paper he is conscious of the existing contracts of his talent and doesn’t want to get into legal disputes.  It appears Whalerock will differ from other digital platforms in that it is targeting established celebrities and designing “personal networks” for each as opposed to providing “space” for content creators on a larger, menu-type platform.  As usual, terms of all deals are confidential but other celebs reported to be on board are the Kardashian sisters and rapper Tyler, the Creator.  In the piece, Braun says celebs are eager to work with Whalerock because it cuts out the “middleman” of traditional media platforms.  The TimesBrooks Barnes astutely points out that there is still a middleman in these deals – that middleman is Whalerock.  Still, it certainly appears that Whalerock’s work handling the aspects of distribution, sales, etc., that celebs don’t want to get involved in themselves is what they get in return for some consideration.  Read the entire Times piece here.

ppmunit altRound Two of January PPM Data Released.  The second of four rounds of January 2015 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The survey period was January 1-28.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

Latest Obama Approval Ratings, Battle Against ISIS, Stay of Obama Amnesty Order, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Sunday’s Academy Awards, and Frigid Winter Weather Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/18).  Recent approval ratings for President Obama and the economy; the battle against ISIS and the controversy over publicly connecting violence with Islam; a Texas court’s stay of President Obama’s amnesty order; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the films and actors nominated for this Sunday’s Academy Awards; and the freezing and snowy weather affecting much of the country were some of the most-talked-about stories on news talk radio yesterday.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

| February 10, 2015

dixonjasonJason Dixon Exits ‘Detroit Sports 105.1.’  After a year and a half as the only program director WMCG, Detroit has known since flipping to sports in August of 2013, Jason Dixon announces he’s resigned from the station effective immediately.  Greater Media’s “Detroit Sports 105.1” debuted 16 months ago to challenge the sports talk dominance of CBS RADIO’s crosstown WXYT-FM.  Dixon tells TALKERS magazine he’s available for new opportunities and can be reached at: 919-999-6096 or via email at JasonDixonPD@Gmail.com.

podcastone logoVinny G Show Comes to PodcastOne.  Former “Jersey Shore” cast member Vinny Guadagnino is hosting a weekly podcast to be made available via PodcastOne.  Dubbed, “Get Into It with Vinny G,” the show will feature the host, “alongside his crazy friends and family members, celebrity guests, and other people from all walks of life, as they ‘get into’ every topic imaginable, including sports, pop culture, politics, self-help, food, comedy, dating and relationships, and more.  It debuts Thursday (2/12) and features a reunion with The Jersey Shore’s Pauly D.  PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz says, “Though I’ve never been to the Jersey Shore, a heck of a lot of people have, and most of them are Vinny fans.  That’s because he’s a unique guy who’s open about who he is and gives back to the community.  He’s a really interesting guy with a huge social following, which usually means success when launching a new podcast.  We’re delighted to add ‘Get Into It with Vinny G’ to the PodcastOne lineup.”

shepardbradWestern Massachusetts Radio Star Brad Shepard Launching Pioneer Valley Radio.  Longtime Springfield, Massachusetts-area talk radio personality, commentator and prominent local arts & entertainment figure, Brad Shepard has announced the launch of Pioneer Valley Radio – an online platform designed to present talk shows and conversations specifically geared to “serving the civic and cultural interests of Western Massachusetts.”  Pioneer Valley Radio – located at www.PioneerValleyRadio.com – will serve as a free online home for what Shepard describes as “a wide variety of talk shows and informative conversations about what’s happening here in Western Massachusetts.”  According to Shepard, “There are so many things to talk about in the Pioneer Valley that are not being addressed today in contemporary on-air broadcasting.  Hot issues like the casino.  The economy.  Public safety,  Education. Race relations. Health services.  The arts.  Public transportation.  The list is endless.  This platform will fill a dangerously huge void and be dedicated to serving the public good.  We will be doing audio shows (and some video) about politics, civics, health care, high school sports – you name it.  The key ispioneervalleyradioLG localness and the goal is to serve the interests of the people of this region across the board.  We will not embrace or ‘target’ any specific political ideology or bias.  We can leave that to traditional, on-air talk radio.”  Shepard – who was heard the past 12 years in morning drive on iHeartMedia’s heritage outlet, WHYN-AM (and a number of local stations for years before that) will serve as general manager of the new “media station.”  He will also personally host a variety of talk shows (available on demand 24/7) that will include interviews with a wide array of prominent local figures and every day folks, as well as his own commentaries — plus calls from listeners.  Pioneer Valley Radio will also provide live coverage of special events considered too niche or “small” to be given time on traditional over-the-air stations.  The station will also feature a variety of programs produced and hosted by other voices in the community including former radio, television and newspaper personalities who’ve been squeezed out of their jobs for reasons having nothing to do with their talent, skill or performance.  Shepard tells TALKERS, “It is no secret that budget cutbacks have forced many of the local traditional media outlets in this area to cut back on programming which has tragically resulted in the loss of jobs for some mighty fine talents, not to mention live and local discussion programs.  We will do our best to rectify that unfortunate situation.”  Pioneer Valley Radio is being designed and powered by Michael Harrison’s Massachusetts-based, multimedia firm Goodphone Communications, Inc.  Pioneer Valley Radio will be free to listeners and funded by local advertising.  Shepard says, “Because we are online and not restricted by enormous technical and regulatory burdens, we will make amazingly affordable and effective advertising packages available to local businesses seeking to get their messages out to the public in a manner that won’t clutter up the programming while giving these good businesses clear sailing in really getting their full stories and services valuable exposure.  This is the kind of thing to which intelligent, creative use of the internet lends itself.”

brandwidth coverKipper McGee Authors Book on Digital Disruption.  Radio pro Kipper McGee is publishing a new book this spring in which the programmer and consultant examines broadcasting’s experience with the “digital disruption.”  Titled, Brandwidth: How Big Broadcasting Missed the Mediamorphosis, McGee says the book “offers 7 ways YOUR brand(s) can avoid their mistakes…We live in a time when broadcasters are being attacked in ways not even dreamed about a decade ago.  Many operators insist on acting penny wise and PPM foolish.”  He says the book “reveals common traits of the biggest winners and losers and offers powerful takeaways for ANY brand planning to thrive in the ever-changing digital world order.”

connecticut broadcastersSnowy Winter Puts New England Stations in Consistent Emergency Mode.  Much of the Northeast has been battered by the series of winter storms affecting the region, and broadcast outlets have been in storm coverage mode pretty steadily over the past month.  The Connecticut Broadcasters Association reports how some of its member stations have been serving their markets.  Some examples from the January 26-27 blizzard, in particular, include: CBS RADIO’s news/talk WTIC-AM, Hartford made sure its generator was ready for multiple days of service.  It arranged for announcers to broadcast from home and for staff to stay in nearby hotels in order to keep the station on the air; in Eastern Connecticut, Hall Communications‘ six radio stations provided storm updates twice an hour, carried the governor’s press conferences, and had the New London mayor and local Emergency Management directors on several times.  Staffers stayed overnight at local stations or nearby hotels to remain on the air; WLAD-AM, Danbury put staffers up in a nearby hotel and expanded local programming with live weather and traffic information, and interviews with officials from Danbury, Ridgefield, Bethel and Brookfield; in the Connecticut River Valley, WMRD-AM and WLIS-AM stayed on the air by having someone sleep at the stations.  They provided hourly weather updates and interrupted programming with storm-related news and information.  Among other stories, they were able to report on a local power outage caused by a snowplow knocking down a power pole; WINY, Putnam gassed up an all-wheel-drive vehicle to get radio personnel to work, contacted local police to serve as potential back-up transportation, tested station generators and fuel levels, and provided meals for staff in nearby hotels.  One employee stayed with his grandmother who lives two miles from the station.

cohenheatherHeather Cohen Named to Alliance for Women in Media Board of Directors.  Named to the Alliance for Women in Media board of directors for 2015 is The Weiss Agency EVP Heather Cohen.  The 1998 Hofstra University graduate, who also serves on that college’s Herbert School Advisory Council, joins the organization that is dedicated to advancing women in media and entertainment.  The group also administers the national Gracie Awards, which recognize and honor excellence in programming by and about women.

Odds & Sods.  Tax season is here and ABC News Radio is launching its annual Tax Tips series.  The news service says the series tackles “all the tough tax topics to provide listeners with a wide range of helpful information when filing for returns this year.”  ABC News correspondent Richard Davies and chief business and economics correspondent Rebecca Jarvis anchor the 30-part series…..Journal Broadcast Group and IMG have entered into a new radio partnership in Omaha that will expand the reach of University of Nebraska Cornhuskers sports, broadcast more games across the university’s entire sports lineup, and increase exposure for all Nebraska sports.  Journal says the new, five-year Omaha affiliate agreement with KXSP, KKCD, and KEZO will provide better coverage for Huskers sports through a strong AM signal on an all-sports format radio station and additional new FM affiliates.

Brian Williams Case, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Battle Against ISIS/Bobby Jindal Flap, Bruce Jenner Saga, Snowy Northeast Winter, Net Neutrality Proposal Controversy, Fighting in Ukraine, and GRAMMY Awards Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/9). The status of Brian Williams at NBC after his apology for fabricating an Iraq War coverage incident; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the fight against ISIS and the flap over comments by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal about radical Islam; the gender transformation of Bruce Jenner and his involvement in a deadly auto accident in Malibu; the record snowfall being experienced by parts of the Northeast; the FCC’s proposal to regulate the internet; the ongoing fighting in Ukraine and Russia’s role in the unrest; and Sunday’s 57th GRAMMY Awards were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, February 9, 2015

| February 9, 2015

wmal logoWMAL, Washington Tower Site Up for Sale.  Perhaps more valuable than the signals and the radio formats themselves, is the real estate upon which sit so many of the towers of America’s heritage AM stations.  A report in The Sentinel, says Cumulus Media is now accepting offers on the Bethesda, Maryland site of its WMAL, Washington transmitter through March 12.  Local real estate experts tell the paper the 75-acre piece of land in one of the toniest suburbs of DC should fetch “hundreds of millions” of dollars.  The brokerage firm CBRE Group, Inc.’s SVP John Sheridan says, “Seventy-five acres in Bethesda.  You don’t need to say anything more than that.  It is a huge parcel of land with some of the highest income demographics.  There’s the potential to build 300 or more homes.”  In 2014, Cumulus put the 10-acre parcel of land occupied by KABC and KLOS transmitters in Los Angeles up for sale and that is going to command $125 million.

businessrockstars radioBeers Becomes Equity Partner, Board Member at Business Rockstars.  Saying that his arrival will “bring the attention of the television and media community to the company’s broadcast, mobile and social platforms,” Business Rockstars announces multimedia CEO Thom Beers joins the board of directors for the company as well as making an equity investment in it.  Beers is CEO of FremantleMedia North America.  He’s a two-time Emmy beersthomAward-winning producer who brings 25 years of experience and success to Business Rockstars, producing some of the most recognizable TV shows such as: “American Idol,” “America’s Got Talent,” “The Price is Right” and “Family Feud,” plus multiple shows on the Discovery Channel and the A&E family of networks.  Beers joins Steve Lehman, chairman of Business Rockstars and former CEO of Premiere Networks, lehmanstevealong with co-founder and president Ken Rutkowski, as well as their recent addition, Andy Schuon, co-founder of REVOLT Media & TV.  Beers comments, “People like to follow ‘smart money,’ and my investment is a strong endorsement and recognition of the platform, and partners of Business Rockstars.  By leveraging television content and major media relationships, Business Rockstars will surely continue to grow and reach their goals.  I’m glad to be part of their bright future.”  The company says that Beers’ investment presents much opportunity to Business Rockstars as it plans to align with a major TV company for possible future content.  Steve Lehman adds, “Thom Beers is a Rockstar.  He is one of the brightest guys in TV today.  He’s intuitive, smart and will be a huge asset in helping to expand our TV and Over-the-Top content platform.”

rollinsrussWTKS-FM, Orlando’s Russ Rollins Served Divorce Papers on the Air.  The “Monsters in the Morning” program heard on iHeartMedia’s WTKS “Real Radio 104.1” has been headed by ringmaster Russ Rollins since its inception and the show’s cast members have always “lived their lives on the air.”  A classic example of that was when Rollins was recently served divorce papers while on the air.  Whether Rollins knew about the coming papers or not is in question – the process server indicates Rollins chose the time and place to receive the papers – but the show has posted video of the papers being served on its website and Rollins appears surprised.  Although Rollins’ estranged wife claims in the papers that Rollins physically abused her, his attorney tells WFTV-TV, Orlando that the police were called to Rollins’ home at one point but they investigated and have filed no charges.

triplettsteveTriplett Named DOS at Beasley Tampa Bay Cluster.  The newly acquired Beasley Media Group Tampa Bay cluster names Steve Triplett director of sales.  The cluster consists of: WYUU “92.5 MAX!MA”; WBRN, “BUBBA 98.7”; WQYK, “Tampa Bay’s Country Station 99.5”; WRBQ “Q105”; WLLD “WiLD 94.1”; and WHFS-AM, “Money Talk 1010.”  Triplett comes to Beasley from his most recent gig as president and founder of the marketing firm Contact Media Inc.

Odds & Sods.  At iHeartMedia’s Des Moines sports talker KXNO, a realignment of personalities takes place with Chris Williams and Ross Peterson being named the afternoon drive team.  The new “Morning Rush” show will consist of Heather Burnside and Travis Justice…..Meanwhile, across town at Cumulus Media’s sports talker KBGG “The Champ,” Marty Tirrell and Ken Miller – as has been reported in recent weeks – will reunite to host the afternoon drive program beginning today (2/9).  Tirrell and Miller first began working as a team at KXNO in the mid-1990s…..Mark Grote is named host of the pre- and post-game shows for Chicago Cubs broadcasts on all-news WBBM-AM.  Grote, who has been with the CBS RADIO Chicago station group since 2002 and is sports anchor on WSCR’s “Mully & Hanley” program, is also expected to appear on sports talk WSCR regularly as a Cubs reporter, according to a story in the Chicago Tribune.

Friday, January 30, 2015

| January 30, 2015

drexDreX to Host New KGO, San Francisco Talk Show.  Music radio personality DreX crosses into the news/talk realm with his new gig as evening host at Cumulus Media’s KGO, San Francisco.  The station notes that DreX worked in the market in the past at KSJO, San Jose – now “NASH FM 92.3.”  DreX crafted successful CHR night shows in markets including San Antonio, Dallas and Philadelphia.  He then shifted to mornings at signals such as WHYT, Detroit and WKSC, Chicago “Kiss FM.”  Cumulus SVP of programming Mike McVay comments, “Drex brings a unique perspective to the news/talk format and an uncanny ability to entertain and inform in his own engaging style.”  San Francisco VP/market manager Justin Wittmayer adds, “DreX brings his unique voice to KGO nights for a highly compelling program that is fresh, live and local.  The Bay Area is in for quite an experience with DreX.”

malzbergsteveMalzberg and Newsmax TV Extend Relationship.  The new three-year deal keeps talk media pro Steve Malzberg hosting his Newsmax TV daily news and talk program that currently airs from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.  Newsmax says in a statement that Malzberg is “a veteran TV and radio personality, [who]newsmaxtv logo attracts a star-studded roster of news-breaking guests and delivers insightful commentary around topical, often-contentious issues that connect with audiences.”  Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy says, “Steve Malzberg is a key member of our on-air team who brings a fearless and informed approach to news/talk programming.  Our growing audience is truly responding to him and he will no doubt continue to deliver provocative talk and engagement with his guests as we enter into the pivotal, upcoming presidential election period.”

levinmarkMark Levin Show to Air on KRLA, Los Angeles.  The Westwood One-syndicated Mark Levin show is moving to a prime spot in Los Angeles, airing live from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm PT on Salem Communications-owned news/talk KRLA, effective February 3.  With the change, Salem Radio Network’s Hugh Hewitt will move to the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm timeslot.  Salem SVP of spoken word format Phil Boyce comments, “Rarely do you have the chance to add somebody of Mark’s quality in market #2, and we decided it was an opportunity we could not pass up.  Hugh Hewitt is also a class act, so running these two back-to-back makes this lineup even stronger.”  Levin states, “It’s an honor to join the wonderful lineup at KRLA.  I know my great listeners, who include two of my biggest fans in the LA area (my kids, who live and work there!) will appreciate hearing the show LIVE, too!”

worobchandWNDB, Daytona Beach Producer Arrested on Child Porn Charges.  According to a story by WKMG-TV, Orlando, WNDB, Daytona Beach executive producer Chand Worob has been taken into custody by Daytona Beach police on charges of receiving and distributing child pornography.  The story reports police had been investigating the 25-year-old radio station staffer since October.  They arrested him at the radio station where he works on the Marc Bernier morning show and served a warrant at his home where they reported finding a laptop with some 500 images on it.

zeisepaulCBS RADIO Ups Zeise at ‘Sportsradio 93.7 The Fan’ in Pittsburgh.  The new evening personality at CBS RADIO sports talker KDKA-FM “Sportsradio 93.7 The Fan” is Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sportswriter Paul Zeise.  He’s been hosting programs at the station on a part-time basis since 2011.  Program director Ryan Maguire says, “Paul has truly developed as a personality and we’re happy we could make him a larger member of our on-air team.  Paul has strong ties within the local sports community and will provide unique insight and hard-hitting opinions that will resonate with our listeners.”

imusbroadway logoFifth Annual ‘Imus on Broadway’ Happens on February 9.  On Monday, February 9, New York radio legend and WABC morning drive personality Don Imus will present the fifth annual “Imus on Broadway” at the Hard Rock Café in Times Square.  Ticket sales from the one-night only performance will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.  New York Post theatre columnist Michael Riedel will join Imus as emcee.  The evening will showcase live performances from some of Broadway’s top musicals including: Kinky Boots, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, It Shoulda Been You, Honeymoon In Vegas, The Lion King, Cabaret, Into The Woods, Les Miserables, Chicago and more!

wfanfantasyphenom5WFAN, New York to Begin 5th ‘Fantasy Phenom Challenge.’  Next Sunday (2/8), CBS RADIO sports talker WFAN, New York kicks off the 5th “Fantasy Phenom Challenge” at the Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station, New York in which contestants will have the chance to earn on-air shifts on “The Fan.”  The station will register the first 100 contestants online and those will audition before a panel of judges at area shopping malls around the region.  A change in this year’s competition will allow for finalists to receive personal coaching from one of WFAN’s on-air hosts!  Up to 12 participants will move on to round two, where online voting will determine the top six contestants for the final.  The finalists will be part of a special St. Patrick’s Day remote broadcast featuring WFAN’s Boomer and Carton show and simulcast on CBS Network.  The Finals will be held in late March or early April on Mike Francesa’s afternoon drive show.  “Fantasy Phenom” year 4 winner, Dimitri Adrahtas, is completing his one-year stint with the station broadcasting his show to Tri-State area listeners.

Odds & Sods.  Longtime Los Angeles talk radio personality Marc Germain, formerly “Mr. KABC,” will host the evening show on CBS RADIO’s KXNT, Las Vegas all next week, February 2-6.  Germain has been making his home in Sin City for the past five years and has been hosting a nightly live show and podcast from his TalkRadioOne.com base…..Agermainmarc new, four-year renewal between USC and ESPN O&O KSPN, Los Angeles “ESPNLA” means the station will continue to serve as the flagship radio outlet for Trojan football through the 2018-19 season.  The deal also means approximately one-half of USC’s men’s basketball games will also air on “ESPNLA.”…..CBS RADIO’s sports talk WFAN, New York begins its inaugural year of broadcasting the New York City Football Club with Tom Kolker, Glenn Crooks and Roberto Abramowitz handling the announcing duties.  For English-language broadcasts, Tom Kolker is the new play-by-play voice and Glenn Crooks will provide in-game analysis.  For Spanish-language broadcasts airing on WADO, they will be led by Roberto Abramowitz.  A Spanish-language analyst will be named at a later date.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup. The Dr. Joy Browne program – distributed nationally by Genesis brownejoyCommunications Network – is added to the program schedule at: WPTF, Raleigh; WDXR, Paducah, Kentucky; and WVFT, Tallahassee…..As noted earlier in the week, Premiere NetworksSean Hannity joins the program schedule at Beasley Media Group’s KDWN, Las Vegas while Dave Ramsey moves to a live airing at CBS RADIO’s KXNT, Las Vegas…..The Kim Komando weekend “digital lifestyle” program is now airing on: Entercom’s WRKO, Boston; Townsquare Media’s simulcast KCHH and KBUL-AM, Billings, Montana; and WNBF, Binghamton, New York.

Northeast Blizzard Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of January 26-30.  Winter storm Juno and the criticism of forecasters and government officials anticipating the event was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week.  Coming in at #2 was the 2016 presidential race followed by ISIS threats tied with Taliban 5 developments at #3.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

| January 28, 2015

hannitySean Hannity Show to Air on KDWN, Las Vegas.  Moving across the street from CBS RADIO’s KXNT, Las Vegas to Beasley Media Group’s KDWN is Premiere Networks nationally syndicated superstar Sean Hannity.  The change takes effect on Monday, February 2.  KDWN program director John Shaffer says, “We are very excited that Sean Hannity is joining our lineup at KDWN.  His show will help solidify our position as the news and talk leader in Las Vegas.”  Hannity’s show will air live in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot, replacing the “Live in Las Vegas” show hosted by Dave Carney and Chad Forster.  Back at KXNT, the station moves financial talk star Dave Ramsey from a delayed broadcast in the evening to the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart.

omalleypaulO’Malley Upped to Westwood One Senior VP, Strategic Sales Partnerships. Trading in the title of Cumulus vice president of brand solutions, Paul O’Malley becomes Westwood One’s senior vice president of strategic sales partnerships. According to Westwood One president Steve Shaw, “Bringing Paul over to run our new strategic sales division was a no-brainer. His wealth of experience in new business development, world-class reputation among agencies, and vast knowledge of our assets make him the prefect partner to lead this new team. We are building an impressive and outstanding sales force and Paul is a top-tier player on the team.” O’Malley comments that he is “excited by the opportunity” to “deliver experiential solutions which will encompass national scale and local engagement. The best brands in the U.S. are asking for new, innovative, and measured programs. Westwood One and Cumulus have assets and capabilities that are unparalleled in the industry and that deliver results for advertisers.  I look forward to growing our client base and driving revenue across our platforms.” Atlanta-based O’Malley previously (2004 – 2011) was Citadel’s regional president of sales.

westwood one NEWWestwood One to Vacate Montfort Drive Offices in Dallas.  With the looming expiration of Westwood One’s lease at the Dallas offices – located at 13725 Montfort Drive – later this year, the company announces it will move those operations to other facilities.  Westwood One will build out some new broadcast facilities at the TM Studios operations on Academy Lane in Dallas, and will move programming, production and affiliate sales there.  The company reports that back-office functions (traffic and affiliate service/affidavit management) will be relocated to an existing Cumulus facility in nearby Arlington.  “Other than some duplicated facility support positions, there will be no other changes to staffing related to the relocations.”

ww1lofton-kearseWW1 at Media Week for Super Bowl XLIX. Broadcasting from the annual media week at the Super Bowl here is Westwood One NFL analyst and Pro Football Hall of famer James Lofton (right) as he interviews Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (left).

‘Juno’ Storm Controversy, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Obama Tax Plan/529 Plans, ISIS Prisoner Swap Issue, ObamaCare Repeal Vote, ‘American Sniper’ Flap, Low Oil Prices/Financial Markets Activity, and Super Bowl/DeflateGate Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/27).  Winter storm Juno and the chatter about overblown predictions and mandatory shutdowns; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the Obama Administration’s plan to hike taxes on top earners and its backing off the elimination of the 529 college savings plan; the possible ISIS deal to swap prisoners; the GOP’s plans to vote on repeal of the Affordable Care Act; lower oil process and the activity on the world’s financial markets; and the looming Super Bowl and talk about the DeflateGate issue were among the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, January 26, 2015

| January 26, 2015

limbaugh logoLongtime Rush Limbaugh Staffer Kit Carson Dies After Battle with Cancer.  TALKERS magazine has learned from Sound Mind LLC principal Kraig Kitchin that longtime Rush Limbaugh staffer Christopher “Kit” Carson passed away this morning (1/26), in New Jersey.   The cause was brain cancer.  Kitchin says Carson had suffered a bout of cancer four years ago but found his way to recovery two years later and was given a clean bill of health.  In the last several months, the cancer returned.  Kit Carson was the “chief of staff” of Limbaugh’s program since the early 1990s.  He became part of the program’s staff in 1989.  Kitchin says Carson wanted to be an actor, but fell in love with his work on the program.  He screened calls, opened and answered the mail, and he took every opportunity to be invaluable.  And he became invaluable.  Later, he was nicknamed “H.R.” with Limbaugh naming him after Nixon Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman.  A clearly shaken, limbaughrushtearful Rush Limbaugh announced the news at the top of his radio program today (1/26).  He said, “We are all experiencing a huge void in all of our hearts here today.”  Limbaugh praised Carson as never having a bad word to say about anyone and was always a mediating force for good and harmony among the staff.  Limbaugh said that Carson was the longest-running employee of the show and quickly proved himself to be the new program’s number one defender, champion and evangelist.  Limbaugh also credited Carson with coming up with many ideas and angles that he used as his own on the air—and was also a tremendous force for Rush maintaining optimism and positivity in his work and attitude about life.  Clearly he was the one guy who Limbaugh never once doubted – “I had total trust in him.”  Limbaugh said, “Even at 58 he had an innocent exuberance about him.”  Carson is survived by his wife, Theresa, and two sons.

cookeTalkersTVNow Showing on TalkersTV: Writing Commercial Copy That Produces RESULTS.  Just try not to flinch when you hear The Six Most-Dreaded Words in Radio Sales: “We tried radio, it didn’t work.”  Even when the retail business and the station fit-like-a-glove — AND the client buys enough frequency — the campaign can flop, and the disappointed advertiser gives up on radio entirely.  WHY?  Consultant and TALKERS contributor Holland Cooke explains, “Too often, it’s because the commercial copy was ineffective.  Not surprisingly, this can happen because cutbacks have cost the station a creative department and reps are writing their own spots… too often banging out scripts quickly, so they can get back on the street to close new business — which they’re under pressure to do, because of churn.  Why does this often happen?  You guessed it: Because clients cancel…because they didn’t get results…because the copy didn’t work.  It’s a vicious cycle.”  Cooke adds, “Ironically, the same problem is common at stations that HAVE a creative person or department.”  And he cites three reasons:

1.  The conveyor belt is out of control.  With four, five or six stations under one roof, the writer gets overwhelmed.

2.  ESPECIALLY this time of year, when stations stage the annual first quarter “one day sale,” piling even more work on the writer; in many cases spots that will air long-term (or until the disappointed client cancels).

3.  The writer, back at the station, didn’t share the rep’s in-person contact with the prospect during the important Needs Assessment step.  Cooke figures that “account executives are, potentially, better writers than…writers, because they know clients’ stories first-hand.”

“Potentially,” Cooke stipulates, “because account executives need to speak to the listener (the advertiser’s client) the same way they approached the advertiser.  Reps are natural sellers, but don’t always apply their persuasive talent to copy writing.”  In a video now showing on TalkersTV, Cooke outlines what he calls “the dance steps of a 60-second commercial script,” based on his work helping client station reps craft copy for local retailers.  See Cooke relate what he terms “The Five Steps of Selling Anything to Anybody” (how reps got the order) to the copy-writing process.  See the TalkersTV box at the top right-hand column of this page and every page of Talkers.com.

mussonchristinaKMJ-AM/FM, Fresno Names Musson Co-Host.  The new late morning show at Cumulus Media’s Fresno news/talker KMJ-AM/FM launches today as “Broeske & Musson.”  KMJ program director Blake Taylor announces the station promotes Christina Musson from station executive producer to co-host of the program alongside John Broeske.  Taylor says, “We tried out dozens of potential co-hosts for John, but we only needed to look down the hall for the perfect answer.  ‘Broeske & Musson’ is going to be a dynamic show with tons of energy.  They’ll continue to deliver the hard-hitting and fun topics of the day that our listeners expect.”  Musson has been executive producer the past six years.  Her resume also includes production and reporting work at Fresno’s KMPH-TV KGPE-TV as well as KAPP-TV in Yakima, Washington.  She says, “I’m excited to take the next step in my career at such an amazing station and to partner with John Broeske – someone I admire and respect.  I grew up listening to KMJ, so it’s a dream come true.”

knxawards15Radio & Television News Association of Southern California Presents Awards.  The 65th annual Golden Mike awards were presented by the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California (RTNA) on Saturday evening (1/24) in Universal City.  The awards are presented annually for excellence in radio, TV and Internet broadcast journalism.  CBS RADIO’s all-news KNX, Los Angeles was recognized with seven Golden Mike awards in the following categories: Best New Broadcast Over 15 Minutes – “KNX Morning News”; Best Live Coverage of a News Story – “LAX Shooting”; Best News Reporting – “Nanny Nightmare” by Charles Feldman; Best Spot News Reporting – “The Great UCLA Flood of 2014” by Desmond Shaw, Ed Mertz, and Pete Demetriou; Best News Public Affairs Program – “Ask the Mayor”; Best Trafficgregorysteveawards Report – KNX Traffic at 6:15 am; and Best Sports Reporting – “Watts Bears”  by Ed Mertz.  Pictured above left are (from l-r) KNX staffers Ron Kilgore, Frank Mottek, Kathy Kiernan, James Tuck, Ric Schroeder, Wendy Thermos, and Pete Demetriou accepting the award for Best Live Coverage of a News Story.  iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk KFI and reporter Steve Gregory also took home seven Golden Mike awards (see photo at right) in the following categories: Best Radio News Special – “Breaking Down The Border Crisis” by Steve Gregory and Oswaldo Borraez; Best Radio Investigative Reporting – “Mold School” by Steve Gregory and Oswaldo Borraez; Best Radio Light Feature (less than a minute) – “Valentine’s Day Flower Inspection” by Steve Gregory; Best Radio Serious Feature (less than a minute) – “Operation Boo” by Steve Gregory; Best Radio Hard News Series – “Trial Of Jailed Marine In Mexico”; Best Radio Internet News Reporting – “Operation Boo” by Steve Gregory and David Perez; and Best Radio Newscast (under 15 minutes).  KFI program director Robin Bertolucci comments, “We have the best news team here at KFI, these folks rock and Steve is a prime example of the caliber of talent that makes us so proud!”

ppmunitRound Four of Holiday PPM Data Released.  The fourth of four rounds of Holiday 2014 PPM data 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.  The survey period was December 4 to December 31.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

franklinjoeNew York Talk Legend Joe Franklin Dies at 88.  The New York talk television and talk radio icon who was famously parodied by Billy Crystal on “Saturday Night Live,” died after a long battle with cancer on Saturday (1/24).  Joe Franklin hosted a television program interviewing celebrities and offbeat characters beginning in the early 1950s.  He worked in radio later in his career at such stations as WOR, New York and most recently on the Bloomberg Radio Network.  Franklin ranked 71st in the 2010 TALKERS magazine 20th Anniversary Heaviest Hundred list (which ranks “the 100 most important radio talk show hosts of all time”) and appeared a number of times as a special guest speaker at the annual TALKERS Convention in New York City.  Publisher Michael Harrison would introduce him to the attendees from out of town as a famous New York City “tourist attraction as legendary as the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and Central Park.”  Franklin juggled so many careers in the media that it’s a good thing he stopped to write a book every few years – in fact, 23 in all — to capture his amazingly colorful life.  His autobiography Up Late With Joe Franklin (Scribner, 1995) is jam-packed with celebrity-rich-anecdotes — from Eddie Cantor and Rudy Vallee to Howard Stern, for example.  According to the Library Journal, “He actually knew those early entertainers and knew many of those currently entertaining.”  What originally made him a household name — even before the highly touted “Saturday Night Live” parodies by Billy Crystal — was Franklin’s late night variety program “The Joe Franklin Show,” which ran from 1950 through 1993.  The Guinness Book of World Records lists it as the longest running TV talk show in history manned by one host.   And what a show it was!  Much like visiting your favorite neighborhood hardware store, you never knew what unexpected gems would pop up among the variety and clutter.  A sample show would feature a sculptor, belly dancer, an up-and-coming comic, a podiatrist and then maybe a famous actor or singer.  According to Publisher’s Weekly (1994), his program’s “total guest list ran between 200,000 and 300,000.”  and included such names as Frank Sinatra Jr., Bing Crosby, Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Vincent Price, Howard Stern, Buddy Hackett, — as well as first TV exposure for eventual stars like Sammy Davis Jr., Bill Cosby, Woody Allen, Barbra Streisand and Julia Roberts.  “It would be easier to list the few who did not appear than to catalogue those who did,” PW says. Franklin started and ended his long show business career in radio.  His first job, at 16, was working behind the scenes at WNEW, New York where he became “the record librarian,” (or really “the record picker”) for Martin Block’s popular “Make Believe Ballroom” radio program.   Once station management recognized his unique expertise in vaudeville and entertainment trivia, they offered him a 15-minute program dedicated to nostalgia.  Eventually that became his calling card and part of the schtick he’d weave into shows, whether radio or television.  The self- proclaimed “King of Entertainment” had an encyclopedic knowledge of “all things entertainment” from the first half of the 20th Century:  silent films, Broadway stage shows, musicians and singers.  With that, he also earned the title the “king of nostalgia.”  After his television show ended, Franklin focused on his long-running “Memory Lane” radio program, which ran on WOR on weekend overnights.  He’d tell stories about many of the entertainers whose records he would play.  In recent years, up until the time of his death, he hosted a weekends-only series of six-minute segments on Bloomberg Radio Network called ‘The Business of Show Business.’  Audio podcasts are still available at Bloomberg.com.  Throughout his career, the round-faced, jovial Franklin was commonly called back to television to do guest spots on the big late night and daytime talk shows such as those hosted by Regis Philbin and David Letterman.   Considered a good luck charm for the start of a new talk show due to the length of his show’s run, Franklin often kicked off day one of a show – and did so on the first broadcasts of “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and “This American Life.”  Though Franklin may never have wanted to act in movies – like his childhood friend Tony Curtis – he did appear as himself in “Ghostbusters” and “Broadway Danny Rose,” just to name two of the 34 titles that IMDb lists.   Franklin was born in 1926 in the Bronx, New York.  He met his model/actress wife when she was a secretary and he was “a kid of 24 just doing radio… and we were married on the TV show called ‘Bride and Groom,’” where real-life couples tied the knot after being quizzed about their relationship on national television.  Perhaps what sums Joe Franklin up best is his favorite personal quote: “It’s nice to be important, but it’s even more important to be nice.”

Odds & Sods.  Former “Regular Guys” personality Eric Von Haessler begins hosting his “The Von Haessler Doctrine” show on Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB, Atlanta airing Sundays at 1:00 pm.  Since exiting his “Regular Guys” co-host position at Cumulus Media’s crosstown rock WNNX “96 Rock” in June of 2014, Von Haessler has been doing fill-vonhaesslerericin work at WSB and podcasting…..Boston sports talk personality Danny Picard launches his new eponymous podcast at the same time he debuts his new website and celebrates the opening of his new studio inside Beantown Athletics in Dorchester, Massachusetts.  Picard is a weekend personality on Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston and is part of the “Patriots Pre-game and Post-Game Live” shows on Comcast SportsNet New England…..Westwood One is picarddannyannouncing some of the details of its Super Bowl programming as the official network radio partner for the National Football League.  It will feature a full schedule of game day programming leading up to kickoff.  Westwood One’s live game coverage features Kevin Harlan, handling the play-by-play duties for the Super Bowl for the fifth straight year, and Boomer Esiason, serving as the color analyst.  Hall of Famer James Lofton and Mark Malone will once again report from the sidelines.  Emmy Award-winning host Jim Gray will anchor the pregame and halftime coverage…..FOX Sports Radio is also on the scene in Glendale, Arizona this week leading up to the Super Bowl.  FSRN announces that as part of its continuous coverage “Jay Mohr Sports” news anchor Dan Beyer and J.T. The Brick will broadcast live from radio row while the Dan Patrick show and the Rich Eisen show will broadcast from the DIRECTV Super Fan Festival at the Pendergrast Family Farm in Glendale’s Sports and Entertainment District across from Phoenix Stadium.  Also, former NFL player Lincoln Kennedy will broadcast a special edition of the network’s Saturday morning program Gargano & Kennedy…..CBS Sports Radio’s plans for coverage of the big game include live-from-Glendale broadcasts all week by the network’s Jim Rome, Doug Gottlieb and the Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney program.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

| January 20, 2015

bermanschnittTodd Schnitt and Len Berman to Host Mornings on WOR, New York.  Legendary New York news/talk station WOR announces it will debut the new morning program, “Len Berman and Todd Schnitt in the Morning,” effective January 26.  iHeartMedia says the program will “focus on New York and feature interactive programming, showcasing what local listeners are talking about in news, sports, entertainment and pop culture.”  Both Berman and Schnitt are native New Yorkers.  Schnitt has been based in Tampa and currently hosts his nationally syndicated, eponymous talk show via Compass Media Networks, which he’ll continue to do in addition to the New York morning show.  Berman is an “Emmy-Award winning sportscaster and New York Times best-selling author who has covered just about every majorwor logo sports event including multiple Super Bowls, World Series and Olympics during his 40-year career in broadcasting.  He was a long-time sports anchor for WNBC-TV, New York.”  Regular TALKERS readers are aware that Schnitt, in addition to his syndicated talk show, hosted the “MJ Morning Show” on CHR WFLA-FM, Tampa for many years.   iHeartMedia market president Joe Puglise says, “Len is a well-known sports reporter and this opportunity will also showcase his other skills and personality.  Listeners will immediately engage with Todd’s quick wit and creative take on the things that impact New Yorkers.”  Schnitt adds, “Len Berman is the perfect co-host, he is a well-known New Yorker and brings a ton of wit, wisdom and street smarts to the microphone.   Together we are very excited to construct a new local, engaging and entertaining morning show for New York.”  iHeartMedia tried simulcasting WWDC, Washington “DC 101” morning personality Elliot Segal on WOR after parting company with longtime morning host John Gambling, but that lasted only a month, ending in February of 2014.  Regarding his move to NYC, Schnitt adds, “Locating our [Compass syndicated] show in the heart of New York City will be a huge benefit to our national listeners and help drive ratings for our affiliates.  I look forward to continuing to work with Compass Media Networks, our affiliates and sponsors.”

shapiroscottPremiere Names Shapiro VP – Sports Programming. Former ESPN Radio program director Scott Shapiro joins Premiere Networks in a newly created position of vice president of sports programming. His duties will include overseeing daily execution of sports content, including the Fox Sports Radio Network. Premiere Networks senior vice president of sports programming Don Martin comments,premierenetworks new “Scott’s experience producing some of the most successful, multi-platform sports programming speaks for itself. I am excited for the opportunity to team up with such a class act. His addition reaffirms our commitment to providing the best sports entertainment content the industry has to offer, along with unique and valuable opportunities for our partners.” Shapiro remarks, “I greatly look forward to working with the talented team in place. There is tremendous growth potential and a real opportunity to develop outstanding sports content. The sky is the limit in terms of the talent, infrastructure, and resources available.” In addition to programming ESPN Radio, Shapiro’s resume includes being producer of that sports network’s “Mike & Mike” morning show; he previously was assistant program director/executive producer of WQXI “The Zone,” Atlanta.

daunaisjimDaunais, Walker Get Westwood One EVP – Regional Sales Stripes. Atlanta-based Jim Daunais and Dallas-based Tim Walker are appointed executive vice presidents in Westwood One‘s network sales division.  Daunais’ responsibilities are in the southeast region – Walker’s duties are in the southwest. Westwood One president Steve Shaw comments, “Hot off the heels of promoting Kim Bryant to lead west coast sales, we are on an accelerated path to building an exceptional, preeminent sales organization. Jim and Tim are uniquely qualified to lead our southeast and southwest regions. Their respective abilities to manage, strategize, and effectively deliver client solutions will drive more revenue success across our platforms.” Daunais iswalkertim “excited for the opportunity to continue” his more than 10-year Westwood One career, where he works “alongside Steve and the rest of our incredibly talented management team, and to build upon the company’s rich history as the leader of all things audio.” Walker states he is looking forward “to leading the southwest region and bringing integrated solutions to our clients and agencies.” It is a promotion for Daunais, who joined the company in 2004. Most recently, he was Westwood One’s senior vice president, sales and vice president of southeast sales. His prior background includes being an account executive for MLB‘s New York Mets. Walker is rejoining Westwood One. He spent the last three years as Cumulus Media‘s director of national sales for the southwest region. Prior to that, Walker was national sales manager for Cumulus-owned stations in Dallas and Houston; he had a similar title for CBS Radio Dallas; and he was a Westwood One account executive (2000 – 2002) in the company’s Dallas office.

mcconnelljohnJohn McConnell Named EVP at Workhouse Media.  Radio management pro John McConnell is named executive vice president for talent and content management company Workhouse Media.  In this role, McConnell will oversee Workhouse Media’s East Coast offices and he will serve in a new senior management role for the company.  A longtime ABC Radio executive, McConnell has been managing his own firm for the past six years.  Workhouse Media principal and CEO Paul B. Anderson comments, “John comes to Workhouse Media with a powerful combined background in programming, syndication and strategy.  His track record is both broad and deep, and the industry recognizes his impeccable reputation for integrity and results.”

Odds & Sods.  Today (1/20) begins Steve Deace‘s relationship with the USA Radio Networks.  With the move from Genesis Communications Network, Deace’s program moves from an evening live airing (9:00 pm to 12:00deacesteveNEW14 midnight) to live in afternoon drive, Eastern Time…..Following the path of New York’s Christian talk WMCA, New York, Salem Communications-owned KKMS, Minneapolis takes on “The Mission” brand.  Salem rolled out “The Answer” as the brand for its news/talk stations and it appears likely most if not all of the company’s Christian talk stations will become “The Mission.”…..Tomorrow (1/21) marks the fifth anniversary of the internet program the Nicole Sandler show at radioornot.com.  Sandler began her digital program after the demise of Air America Radio in 2010.

kcsn logoNon-Comms Rocking the Boat.  For those interested in bold, new developments in music radio, check out Jeff McKay’s piece in our sister publication, RadioInfo, exploring the non-comm stations creating targeted-yet-daring rock and pop formats for hungry audiences.  Many listeners still see public radio as either left-leaning news/talk or jazz- and classic music-oriented.  But stations such as KCSN, Los Angeles; WXPN, Philadelphia; KCMP, Minneapolis; and KKXT, Dallas are bucking that trend and drawing in younger audiences.  Read more here.

younglarryMLKtreeMartin Luther King, Jr. Day Resonates Throughout News/Talk Radio.   As reported yesterday (1/19), news/talk radio hosts, programs, stations and networks buzzed with conversation inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – memorializing the birthdate of the slain civil rights leader of the turbulent 1960s.  Shows covering the spectrum of political and ideological approaches including urban, progressive and conservative positions all found pertinent subject matter for discussion to commemorate the annual Federal holiday, lifting race relations to the most-talked-about topic of the day.  Pictured here is WOLB, Baltimore morning legend Larry Young (third from right) at a ceremony in Baltimore held last week on the actual birthdate of the historic activist.  Young – a longtime member of the TALKERS Heavy Hundred – tells TALKERS,“One of my proudest moments was to have planted in 1985 the only MLK Jr. tree on state house property in the USA.  On his actual birthdate on January 15 we did a re-dedication and I said, ‘King put before us a serious vision that we would be one nation under God and indivisibly one America.’  And I want to believe that even today I can still believe in his vision.”

State of the Union/Obama Tax Plan, ‘American Sniper’ Film, MLK Jr. Day/‘Selma’ Film, ISIS Violence/Two Japanese Hostages Held, 2016 Presidential Prospects, and NFL Conference Championships Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/19).  This week’s State of the Union Address and President Obama’s expected announcement of his tax proposal; the political arguments surrounding the film “American Sniper”; the observation of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday and the concurrent release of the film “Selma”; the ongoing violence perpetrated by ISIS and its threat to execute two Japanese hostages; the potential candidates for president in 2016; and the weekend’s NFL conference championships were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, January 12, 2015

| January 12, 2015

howellbigjohnCumulus Names Big John Howell Morning Host at WLS-AM, Chicago.  The arrival of longtime Chicago market personality Big John Howell at Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM, Chicago had been rumored for some time and now it becomes official as Howell will assume the morning show duties effective next Monday (1/19).  Most recently, Howell was morning host at Salem Communications’ news/talk WIND “AM 560 The Answer.”  He also was a jock at CBS RADIO’s country WUSN for many years as well as morning personality on CBS’ WCKG.  For seven years he hosted the Westwood One-syndicated “Country Gold” request show.  Howell comments, “I’m looking forward to joining WLS-AM.  It has been a longtime professional, as well as personal, goal. Growing up in West Michigan and listening to WLS influenced my initial decision to give the radio business a try.  Now, all these years later, and on the heels of many WLS broadcast legends, including Larry Lujack and Don Wade, it is truly an honor and a privilege.  I’m also looking forward to sharing the WLS airwaves with Steve Dahl, who taught all of us to ignore management and hate disco.”   Howell takes over for the team of Dan Proft and Bruce Wolf.

connroeRoe Conn to PM Drive at WGN, Chicago.  There’s no official word from Tribune Media on this…yet, but Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that former longtime WLS-AM afternoon host Roe Conn will take over the afternoon drive show on WGN, Chicago from Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder – both of whom have been in the post since last May.  Conn even appeared on WGN’s Steve Cochran show this morning (1/12), but chatted about issues and there was no mention of his joining the station.  The hiring of Leff and Snyder was part of the makeover of the station orchestrated by president Jimmy de Castro.  Feder reports that it’s expected that Leff and Snyder will stay on in some capacity.

rothlaurieDr. Laurie Roth Show Joins USA Radio Networks.  As part of a series of program rollouts, the USA Radio Networks announces Dr. Laurie Roth becomes part of the syndicated lineup, airing from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET effective February 2.  USA Radio Networks describes the show as an “issues-driven program known to tackle politics, crime and corruption.  Dr. Roth often visits with survivors and family membersusaRadioNetworks affected by crimes and conspiracies.  How do they survive and come back after losing a family member, being smeared or a being a victim of crime in some way?  Listeners learn the answers to such questions.  Roth says, “I expose the bad guys, stand for the good guys and don’t get caught in-between.”  Tim Maranville is chief content officer at USA’a parent company – Cross Platform Media Group – and he comments, “Dr. Roth covers the issues driving the conversation in America like no other radio host.  Her life experience brings a realness to the radio that, sadly, is uncommon in the network industry.  She is a welcome breath of fresh air.”  Recently, USA Radio Networks announced the launch of new shows including “AMERICA CONTINUES with Jim Sharpe,” and the syndication of the Steve Deace show, “DAYBREAK USA with Angie Austin,” and the hourly USA Radio News.

brooksericBrooks Promoted at WTMJ, Milwaukee.  At the Journal Broadcast Group-owned news/talker WTMJ, Milwaukee, Eric Brooks is upped to assistant program director.  WTMJ VP/GM Tom Langmyer says, “Eric has grown tremendously as a leader at WTMJ.  As producer of ‘Wisconsin’s Afternoon News with John Mercure,’ Eric has helped the program leapfrog into the top news/talk position with both listeners 6+ and 25-54.  Eric has also deftly handled many day-to-day responsibilities in the programming department in his role as executive producer of WTMJ programming.”  Brooks joined WTMJ in 2011 as a news anchor and producer before being elevated to executive producer, WTMJ programming in 2013.

Odds & Sods.  This Friday (1/16), New Jersey Broadcasters Association president and CEO Paul Rotella will sit in for morning drive personality Harry Hurley on Townsquare Media’s Atlantic City, New Jersey news/talker WPGG…..Here’s an interesting show, now available to radio stations across the country that draws on Americans’ interestrotellapaul in the Old West: Dakota Livesay’s “Chronicle of the Old West.”  It’s both a three-and-a-half minute show delivered five days per week and a weekly, one-hour show that features friends, authors and experts who chat with host Livesay about this romanticized period of American history.  Check out OldWestRadio.com…..The WYD Media-syndicated “Huckabee Report” with Mike Huckabee and the Stephanie Miller program are both joining the lineup at CRN Digital Talk Radio.  CRN states that “The Huckabee Report” will air throughout the day on CRN effective today (1/12) and CRN 4 channel will broadcast encore presentations of the Stephanie Miller show Tuesday through Saturday, beginning January 13.

beckaliveeventTalk Pro Tom Becka Does ‘Friday Night Live.’  Longtime Omaha (not to mention Kansas City and Fargo) talk radio personality Tom Becka rhetorically asks TALKERS magazine, “What does a talk show host do when he’s on the beach?  He keeps talking…”  And that’s what you see in this photo.  Recently let go from KOIL, Omaha in a cost-cutting move, Becka reports on his latest venture – a live version of the Tom Becka Radio Show.  He says, “We set up a stage at a local watering hole, charged admission, and did an interactive audience participation show just like it was on the radio.  A sold-out crowd came to talk about the hot issues of the day with ‘Honesty, Integrity, and a Sense of Humor.’  It was spirited, entertaining, and profitable.  I used social media and my daily podcasts to promote the event and it turned out great.  I’ll be doing these on a regular basis.”  Becka can be reached at: 402-321-9590 or via Tom@TomBecka.com.

ferraranickRemembering Nick (Bazoo) Ferrara. Word and condolences spread throughout social media on Saturday, January 10 about the passing of noted CHR programmer Nick Ferrara. Conspicuously absent though were specific details of when, where, or even if Ferrara had indeed passed. The Harrison County (Mississippi) coroner though has unfortunately confirmed that 59-year-old Gulfport resident Ferrara was killed Friday (1/9) in a two-vehicle accident on Interstate 10. According to officials, Ferrara was not wearing a seatbelt while driving his 2013 Honda Accord sedan; he died at the scene from blunt-force trauma. According to a report in the Biloxi-Gulfport Sun Herald, police responded at 6:05 pm to a report of a crash with injuries. Ferrara’s car apparently rear-ended another vehicle. The Gulfport Fire Department and American Medical Response were at the crash scene. Eerily, a Friday Facebook posting ostensibly made by Ferrara – known to many from his earlier top 40 programming days as Nick Bazoo indicated simply that at approximately 5:30 pm, he was at Biloxi’s Bubba Gump Shrimp Company.  The previous day (Thursday, 1/8), Ferrara made 17 original Facebook posts. Tony Gray had the most succinct – yet possibly the most powerful comment on Ferrara’s home page, with the noted consultant simply writing, “B-97 New Orleans.” Specifically, WEZB “B-97” is the New Orleans station (then owned by EZ Communications) at which operations manager Ferrara (Bazoo) rose to prominence in the early-1980s.  He was famously linked to that Louisiana metro.  NBC Sports Radio programmer Jack Silver though first met Ferrara in Mill Valley, California in 1984. “He was coming in to flip KMEL from rock to top 40,” Silver recalls. “He and Keith Naftalyhad the vision – I was in the right place to help them as well.  Heaven is full of great program directors who touched us all – God rest your soul.”  Media Monitors music manager Anita Bonita writes, “Godspeed Mr. Bazoo – you will be missed.” Renowned talk radio consultant Valerie Geller is “so sorry to hear this news – RIP.”  According to Giant Records vice president Jean Johnson, Ferrara was, “The consummate Facebook poster. I shared many of your hilarious posts. Rest in peace Mr. Bazoo – taken way too soon.” Legendary voiceover/imaging talent Howard Hoffman sums it up perfectly by stating, “This hurts. Selfless, strong, and just a real honor to work with you, Nick.  One of the best field marshals ever and you deserved so much better. I am glad you knew that before leaving us way too soon. Godspeed, friend – thanks for everything.” Longtime industry executive Rob Sisco laments, “Oh my dear sweet Bazoo. I am so profoundly sad to hear this news. You were one of the true good guys. I am proud and honored to have called you friend. You will be missed forever. Rest in peace, Nick.” Former New Orleans programmer Pat Matthews recalls, “Met you when you were just 18 and starting out at WIXO. A funny, talented, caring guy – wow, this is so unbelievable.” Veteran programmer Joel Burke remarks, “You were one of the smartest radio people I knew and had such a contagious laugh – RIP.” Consultant Dan Vallie comments, “Good man – good heart. Rest in peace my friend. Heaven is going to enjoy your sense of humor and big smile.” Yet another twist: A “Life Event” posted on Ferrara’s Facebook page less than two weeks ago – New Year’s Eve (12/31) – states he “started working at retired.” Commencing in 2001 and lasting approximately through 2013, Ferrara was an operations manager in State College, Pennsylvania at Forever Broadcasting and then doing similar duties at cross-town Results Radio (2006 – 2013). In addition to WEZB “B-97,” Ferrara (Bazoo) held the operations manager title at several other New Orleans outlets, including WLMG, WLTS, and WWL. In the mid- and late-1980s, he spent time in California as an OM for KMEL, San Francisco and then Gannett Broadcasting‘s properties in San Diego. Sandwiched between those stops was a two-year stint as operations manager in Pittsburgh for EZ’s WBZZ “B-94.” Information is not yet available regarding Ferrara’s funeral arrangements.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

| January 7, 2015

bloomquistrandallRandall Bloomquist Exits Cumulus Corporate PD Post.  News/talk pro Randall Bloomquist exits his corporate programming position with Cumulus Media due to “personal family reasons.”  Bloomquist – who has programmed such news/talk stations as WMAL, Washington; WGST, Atlanta; WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte; and WRVA, Richmond during his career – joined Cumulus in the fall of 2013 to oversee the company’s news/talk programming.  Bloomquist also served time as news/talk editor at the now-defunct Radio & Records trade magazine.

cristinajudgeKABC, Los Angeles Launches Judge Cristina, Dr. Drew Midday with New Schedule.  The addition of “Dr. Drew Midday with Mike Catherwood” to the daily program schedule on KABC, Los Angeles was announced late last year.  What wasn’t known was the addition of Judge Cristina Perez to the daily schedule for the “Live @ Nine” program.  Also, with the departure of Larry Elder from the station, Cumulus Media moves Jillian Barberie and John Phillips from middays to the afternoon drive slot.kabc logo  The company says, “‘Judge Cristina Live @ 9’ will focus on topical news throughout the region.  Judge Cristina has become a household name as one of the most influential syndicated television hosts from her work hosting court shows on network television, including ‘Justice for All with Judge Cristina Perez,’ (airing mornings on KCAL-TV in Los Angeles), ‘Cristina’s Court’  (FOX) and ‘La Corte de Familia’ (Telemundo).  She is the first Hispanic television judge to cross over from Spanish-language television to English-language television.  ‘Cristina’s Court’ won three consecutive Emmy Awards.  Cumulus EVP of content and programming John Dickey says, “Our live, local and topical programming has been incredibly well received by Los Angeles listeners.  We have attracted some of the top talent in the country and continue to bolster the station’s lineup in order to meet the interests of our widening audience.”  KABC operations director Drew Hayes adds, “KABC’S goal is to build a radio station that reflects the climate and attitude here.  KABC is a sunny and up-tempo station discussing the news of the day, populated with the nation’s leading personalities.  With these additions, we have successfully evolved the station to a compelling, entertaining, true Southern California station.”

tylerjeffJeff Tyler Assumes iHeartMedia Minneapolis Market President Post.  Longtime iHeartMedia executive Jeff Tyler is named the market president for the company’s Minneapolis cluster.  Tyler has been serving as regional market manager for the company overseeing the Madison and Milwaukee markets as well as operations in Grand Rapids/Muskegon, Michigan; Eau Claire, Wisconsin; and Rochester, Minnesota.  He comments, “I am excited to join a tremendous Minneapolis team in one of the best markets in the country.  It will be an honor to represent the historic call letters and franchises of the Twin Cities.  At the same time, it’s also bittersweet to leave teams in Madison and Milwaukee which have been a big part of my career and life.”

schnackejerrySchnacke Joins iHeartMedia Chicago as VP/Sales. After 17 years with the Chicago cluster now owned by Hubbard (previously by Bonneville), Jerry Schnacke joins crosstown iHeartMedia as vice president of sales.  iHeartMedia Chicago market president Matt Scarano comments, “I am thrilled to have Jerry as part of our team.  Jerry brings a wealth of expertise, high-level management experience, and a tremendous track record of success to our cluster.  I am looking forward to working closely with Jerry in his new role.”  Schnacke – who was vice president and market manager of the Hubbard Chicago facilities – remarks, “I am excited to be joining these iconic brands and honored to be on the iHeartMedia Chicago team with Matt Scarano.  I am looking forward to working closely with the staff and our clients.” Prior to his Hubbard-Bonneville Chicago tenure, Schnacke was vice president and general manger of the stations Lakeshore Communications owns in Springfield, Illinois. The “Windy City” iHM cluster is comprised of urban contemporary WGCI-FM, gospel WGRB “Inspiration 1390,” CHR WKSC “Kiss-FM,” hot AC WLIT “My-FM,” WNUA “Chicago’s Hit Country,” urban AC WVAZ “V-103,” and the company operates urban talk outlet WVON “The Talk of Chicago” under an LMA.  Hubbard Chicago consists of classic rock WDRV “The Drive,” adult contemporary WILV “Chicago’s 100.3,” and hot AC WTMX “The Mix.”

podcastone logoPodcastOne Names Kris Smith Chief Technical Officer.  Credited with starting one of the first podcast production companies in 2005, Kris Smith joins Norm Pattiz-founded PodcastOne to serve as chief technical officer.  The company says, “Smith has over a decade of experience in the medium, and has spent his career designing and developing digital products.”  Pattiz says, “Kris is a pioneer podcaster and innovator.  He has been creating podcasts and associated technology well before the medium ever went mainstream.  Having him join our team and lead the technological growth of our company is of the utmost importance as we continue to play a larger part in the growth of the industry.”  Smith replaces Rob Greenlee who will be starting his own consulting firm, with PodcastOne as its first client.

kleinaaronIsrael-Based Talk Host Aaron Klein Joins ConnectPal for Digital Platform.  Currently heard in New York City on Salem-owned WNYM “AM 970 The Answer,” New York Times best-selling author Aaron Klein joins ConnectPal.com with daily audio updates.  ConnectPal states that “in addition to moving hisconnectpal podcasts exclusively to ConnectPal.com, Klein will distribute a new investigative audio feature throughout the week focused on the hottest breaking news stories.  Plus, Klein will launch a ‘Reporter’s Notebook’ for his subscribers on ConnectPal, bringing listeners inside his daily investigative reporting, including his unique style of Middle East reportage.”  Klein comments, “I have been searching for the best platform to launch regular audio and insider content throughout the week and have finally found an exciting, highly user-friendly marketplace in ConnectPal.com.  I’m thrilled to be joining the portal and look forward to providing invigorating, newsy, exclusive additional content to my growing audience.”

cookehollandCES 2015: The Connected Car Accelerates.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke is reporting from the enormous International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas all this week and today’s report focuses on the connected car.  Cooke writes, “The last several years’ conversation about radio’s position in the new-tech dashboard remains largely academic.  As new non-AM/FM audio competitors appear there – and drivers’ attention is shared with so many non-audio apps now factory-installed – draconian radio cutbacks continue to dilute the localism that would continue to make stations unique among competitors.”  Read more from Sin City here.

playit logoCBS Launches ‘Play It’ Podcast Platform.  Providing a podcast platform for the company’s talent, CBS RADIO and CBS Local Digital Media announced the debut of Play.it.  The company says the “new podcast network brings together digital-exclusive programming from major brands and publishers as well as content from CBS RADIO shows on demand.”  The service “offers more than 300 premium content podcasts at launch, including podcasts from well-known CBS RADIO personalities like Boomer Esiason & Craig Carton, Carson Daly, and Kevin & Bean, as well as content from leading news, lifestyle, sports and media brands including 48 HOURS, 60 MINUTES, CBS Sports Radio, Vox, Deadspin, Simon & Schuster and Foursquare, among others.”


CBS Radio, Bloomberg Join Forces. The arrangement calls for Bloomberg Radio to be the primary supplier of business reports for CBS Radio’s owned-and-operated radio stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Boston, Detroit, and three other markets. CBS Radio executive vice president of operations/CBS Radio New York market manager Scott Herman comments, “This partnership will greatly raise the level of our business coverage, enhancing our product incbsradio cities from coast to coast.  Bloomberg reporters will offer expertise and depth to local business stories of interest, reaching audiences of our individual radio stations.”  Bloomberg Radio station manager Al Mayers states, “Partnering with CBS Radio was a natural fit that brings together the leader in news radio with the global leader in business news.  It’s an important milestone for Bloomberg as we expand our audience of business decision makers.”  United Stations Radio Networks is Bloomberg’s marketing partner, and it will handle advertising usrnsales and sponsorships, as well as distribution. USRN president and chief operating officer Jim Higgins remarks, “With the addition of these great CBS Radio stations to our existing Bloomberg lineup, it clearly makes Bloomberg the preeminent business radio network for advertisers seeking an association with this extremely attractive and desirable audience. We are thrilled to be working with two of the most respected names in journalism.” Bloomberg Radio reporters are providing business news updates twice an hour on CBS Radio all-news stations, and at designated times on other CBS Radio properties.

kidd logoBuckley Shuts Down Sports Talk KIDD, Monterey.  According to a story in the Monterey Herald, Buckley Broadcasting took sports talker KIDD, Monterey “ESPN Central Coast” dark on New Year’s Eve and will try to sell the frequency.  Station EVP Kathy Baker confirmed the move and the paper reports that cost was the factor in the decision to shut down the station.  Issues related to tower maintenance of the almost 60-year old station appear to have been paramount.  The towers reside in a coastal wetland and the company says it will take down the towers.

Odds & Sods.  Named to the permanent afternoon drive daypart at iHeartMedia’s Fresno news/talk simulcast of KALZ-FM and KRZR “PowerTalk 96.7 and AM 1400” is Christopher Gabriel.  He comes to the market from his most recent gig as morning personality at WDAY, Fargo and begins his new post on January 19…..CBS RADIO all-news KNX, Los Angeles takes a special look at the hacking of the entertainment industry with the program “Lights, Camera, Terror: Hacking Hollywood,” to air on January 13 at 10:00 am PT.  Hosted by KNX anchor Tom Haule and chief investigative reporter Charles Feldman, the show will feature guests including: Sharon Waxman, editor-in-chief & CEO, The Wrap entertainment website; Matthew Belloni, executive editor, The Hollywood Reporter; Jonathan Handel, entertainment/technology attorney, Troy Gould; and Ross Crystal, KNX entertainment correspondent.

cnbc logoCNBC To Cease Nielsen Ratings Relationship. In a television development that might be of some interest to radio operators, CNBC becomes the first-ever cable outlet to end its ratings relationship with Nielsen. As of the fourth quarter of this year, Cogent Reports will measure CNBC’s business day. CNBC president Mark Hoffman states that throughout the network’s 25-year history, “Traditional measurement companies have struggled to capture CNBC’s audience of business executives, decision makers, and affluent investors who watch our network from their corner offices, trading floors, five-star hotel rooms, country clubs, restaurants and health clubs. We are excited to begin to provide our marketing partners with a more complete understanding of the power and quality of our prestigious audience.” Downplaying the decision of its rival, Fox Business Channel executive vice president of advertising Paul Rittenberg tells The Wall Street Journal, “Only using the numbers you like is a little tough to sell.” Another business player – Bloomberg Television – has never been measured by Nielsen. According to a Nielsen spokesperson quoted in The Wall Street Journal, “For networks with niche audiences like CNBC, pure age and gender-based ratings are not always the best means against which to sell.” The spokesperson notes that Nielsen will continue to measure CNBC’s evening programs. Market Strategies International‘s Cogent Reports will be measuring a television network’s audience for the first time. It will survey over 1,000 investors and financial advisers on their daily media habits; that data will provide CNBC’s ratings. Nielsen figures indicate CNBC’s average 9:30 am – 5:00 pm audience in 2014 was 177,000, which is down 13% from 2013 and off 17% from 2004.

GOP Takes Over Congress/Boehner Vote, Keystone Pipeline Legislation, Sinking Oil Prices/Financial Markets Activity, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Cold Snap, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/6).  The official swearing in of the new Congress and the political storm over a contentious vote to return John Boehner to Speaker of the House; the potential fate of the Keystone Pipeline legislation the GOP Congress is promising to revive; sinking oil prices, the state of the euro and the effects on the world financial markets; the potential candidates for president including speculation about Rick Santorum’s possible run; the bitter cold affecting much of the nation; and the NFL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

| January 6, 2015

mcmahonbillBill McMahon: 14 Traits Inherent in Top Radio Personalities.  In a piece published today (1/6) in TALKERS magazine, The Authentic Personality CEO Bill McMahon outlines what he calls “reasoned approach to evaluating talent.”  McMahon says that in creating this list of traits he “wanted to create a framework to have a meaningful and productive conversation about why a prospective air personality will succeed or fail.”  The traits fall into three categories: Personal, content, and performance.  The personal traits predict listener appeal and talent motivation.  The content traits predict the ability to generate distinctive, appealing and memorable content.  The performance traits predict the ability to present attractive content with impact.  Read McMahon’s full explanation here.

rogersmikeNew Year’s Debuts from Westwood One and NBC Sports Radio.  The first full week of the New Year marked the launch of new daily feature from former congressman and House Intelligence Committee chair Mike Rogers.  Produced by Westwood One and titled, “Something to Think About with Mikefloriomike Rogers,” the three, daily, one-minute features “provide listeners with an insider’s way of understanding critical issues and the most-talked-about topics of the day.”  On the sports side, the new midday show on the NBC Sports Radio Network hosted by Mike Florio launched Monday.  “ProFootballTalkLive with Mike Florio” airs from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm and, as its name implies, features Florio’s “critically acclaimed NFL insight and all-encompassing coverage of the league with the most current news, analysis, and thought-provoking debate.”  Debut show guests included Denver Broncos EVP of football operations John Elway, NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino, and Tom Curran of CSN-New England.


WTMJ, Milwaukee Adds Daily Business Show.  The program airs from 4:00 am to 5:00 am and is called “Wisconsin Business Today.”  Hosted by Danny Clayton, the new program covers news on national and local business with special focus on agribusiness.   Journal Broadcast Group Milwaukee Radio Operations VP Tom Langmyer says, “WTMJ is Wisconsin’s Radio Station and waking up to the business of our state and community is a good way to start the day.  WTMJ is excited to add yet another hour of live and local programming to our daily lineup.”  Clayton also serves as morning host at WTMJ sister classic hits outlet WLWK “94.5 The Lake.”

Odds & Sods.  As tipped by Chicago media writer Robert Feeder, three of the former WGWG-LP, Chicago sports talk hosts – Jarrett Payton, Connor McKnight and Adam Hoge – have been given a weekend show on Tribune’s news/talk WGN.  “The Game” airs from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.  Tribune shut down the sports talker after a year on the air…..SiriusXM announces the debut of a new channel called “SiriusXM Insight” that the satcaster says will be a “groundbreaking news, information, and entertainment radio channel offering listeners inspiring ideas and intelligent conversation with an edge.  Designed to reach fans that enjoy the eclectic subject matter of publiclewislori radio, SiriusXM Insight will feature an array of fresh, diverse voices addressing a new era of issues in a lively, smart, and sometimes humorous approach.”  Personalities appearing on the channel include: Pete Dominick, Margaret Hoover, John Fugelsang, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Karen Hunter, Dean Obeidallah, Alan Dershowitz, Perri Peltz, Bob Roth, and many more…..The Conclave board of directors elects Lori Lewis board chairperson.  Lewis is director of digital & social strategies for Jacobs Media.  She takes over for Mark Bolke who served as chair since 2009…..Former Connecticut governor and WTIC-AM, Hartford talk show host John Rowland’s sentencing on campaign law violations has been postponed as he mounts the claim that prosecutors withheld evidence.  Read the story in the Hartford Courant here.

cookehollandReport from the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show.  The big, international trade show taking place in Las Vegas this week officially opens today and radio consultant Holland Cooke is on the scene reporting back for TALKERS magazine.  Cooke says two major keynoters are Ford Motor Company CEO Mark Fields, who can be expected to provide an update on the “connected car,” and CBS Corp CEO Les Moonves.  Read Holland Cooke’s story here.

NYPD-De Blasio Standoff, Bill Clinton/Prince Andrew Palm Beach Pedophile Controversy, Hoodie/Mask Ban Proposal, 2016 Presidential Prospects, New Congress, Mario Cuomo Dies, Winter Cold Spell, Sinking Oil Prices/Eurozone Fears, and NFL Playoff Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/5).  The ongoing feud between the NYPD rank-and-file and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio; allegations of Britain’s Prince Andrew and former President Bill Clinton being involved with underage girls in connection with accused pedophile Jeffrey Epstein; the proposal to outlaw the wearing of hoods or masks in public; chatter about the potential presidential candidates in the 2016 race; the influx of 71 new members of Congress; the death of liberal standard bearer Mario Cuomo; the blast of arctic air hitting much of the U.S. this week; the effects of sinking oil prices and the tumbling euro on the world’s financial markets; and the weekend’s NFL playoff action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

| December 24, 2014

top stories - generic BTop News/Talk Stories of 2014.  As is the tradition at TALKERS magazine, the end of the calendar year provides the opportunity to look back and present the industry with a list of talk radio’s most-talked-about stories and people of 2014.  Regular TALKERS readers are aware that we present the Talkers TenTM each week – a chart that shows the top stories and people of the week as discussed on news/talk radio based upon ongoing research from TALKERS.  This year-end chart uses that data.  The accompanying graphic presents the charts for 2014.

howellbigjohnBig John Howell to Exit WIND, Chicago.  According to a report from Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Big John Howell is exiting his morning drive gig with Salem Communicatons’ news/talk WIND, Chicago “560 The Answer.”  Feder writes that Howell was offered a contract renewal but he turned it down.  Feder says Howell’s contract runs out at the end of this month but Howell may work into January while the company decides how to replace him.  But the rumor is that Howell may jump across the street to join Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM.  Howell has hosted the morning show for the past eight years and currently works with Amy Jacobson as co-host.

garganoanthonyAnthony Gargano Exits WIP-FM, Philadelphia.  Tweeting that his contract offer from CBS RADIO to remain afternoon host on sports talker WIP-FM in Philly was a “lowball” offer, Anthony Gargano exits.  He Tweets, “Thanks to WIP and all of the Philadelphia fans for 15 great years! On to the next chapter.”  It’s rumored that the station’s Josh Innes will assume Gargano’s role in afternoons where Gargano had been co-hosting with Rob Ellis.  There are also rumors that Gargano may pop up at Greater Media’s crosstown competitor WPEN-FM “The Fanatic.”

ppmunitRound Two of December PPM Data Released.  The second of four rounds of December 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The survey period was November 6 through December 3.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

Odds & Sods.  According to Jose Lambiet’s Gossip Extra, the Rick Sessa-hosted “American Biker Talk Radio” show is moving from its current station – WSVU, West Palm Beach – to rock-formatted WBGF, Belle Glade, Florida “93.5 The Bar” beginning in January.

medvedElwesInconceivable Guest Appearance!  Nationally syndicated Salem Radio Network talk star Michael Medved (right) poses for a photo outside the studio after interviewing actor Carey Elwes (left) – star of the classic film, The Princess Bride.  Elwes stopped by the show’s Seattle studios to chat with Medved – a noted film critic as well as talk personality – about his new book, As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride (Touchstone 2014).

marketwatchfarewellStaff Recognizes End of MarketWatch Radio Network.  The air staff of the MarketWatch Radio Network held a farewell party last week to celebrate one last time together.  Dow Jones’ exit from the AM/FM radio business at the end of the year spells the end for the business news network founded by Frank Barnako in 1999.  Barnako made a special appearance at the party joining staffers (from left to right, also noting stations they served) back row: Tracy Johnke (WBZ-AM, Boston), Andrew O’Day (WINS, New York and WBZ-AM), Alisa Parenti (WBZ-AM and WBBM-AM, Chicago), Joan Doniger (WBBM-AM), Steve Potisk (KNX, Los Angeles and KYW, Philadelphia), Adrienne Mitchell (WBBM-AM, KRLD-AM, Dallas and KCBS-AM, San Francisco), Ann Cates (WCCO, Minneapolis, WBBM-AM, KCBS-AM). Front row: Barnako and WSJ Radio executive editor John Wordock.

bfoa logoBFoA Creates Bill Burton Memorial Fund.  The recent passing of beloved radio pro Bill Burton is recognized by The Broadcasters Foundation of America as it establishes the Bill Burton Memorial Fund.  Burton, known for his trademark words of encouragement, “Be Fabulous,” died last weekend from head injuries suffered after a fall at his home.  He was 85.  Former BFoA executive and long-time friend and colleague Carl Butrum states, “Bill’s influence inspired countless individuals in the radio business.  Radio owes Bill our gratitude for his wisdom and for imparting to us his boundless positive attitude, which infected everyone who came into contact with him.  We mourn his loss, but remember the great man with The Bill Burton Memorial Fund.”  Donations to the Bill Burton Memorial Fund are being accepted at the Broadcasters Foundation website at www.broadcastersfoundation.org, or by calling 212-373-8250, or emailing info@thebfoa.org.

Sony to Release ‘The Interview,’ New York Police Killings Protests/Obama Racism Remarks, Potential 2016 Presidential Candidates, Joe Cocker Dies, Christmas Holiday, ISIS Violence, and NFL Playoffs Push/Possible Coaching Changes Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/23).  The decision by Sony to go ahead and release the movie “The Interview” on Christmas day after all; ongoing police killings protests in New York City and the slaying of two NYC cops over the weekend, plus President Obama’s comments on racism in America; chatter about the potential candidates for president in 2016; the death of rock icon Joe Cocker; the coming Christmas holiday; ISIS violence in Iraq; and the NFL playoff scenario and talk of potential coaching changes after the season were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

| December 9, 2014

stephandoug“American Family Farmer” Hosted by Doug Stephan Graduates from Experimental Lab to Terrestrial Platform.   For the second time in its first 15 months of operation, TalkersRadio – the experimental talk radio platform launched in September, 2013 by TALKERS magazine – has spawned a program that has been picked up by terrestrial radio.  The first TalkersRadio program to be acquired by terrestrial radio was “The Brent & Meg Show” hosted by the husband/wife team of Brent Seltzer and Meg McDonald.  Now, “American Family Farmer,” hosted by highly accomplished talk show host Doug Stephan, will launch in January 2015 on two terrestrial syndication platforms — Washington, DC-based Radio America and Minneapolis-based Genesis Communications Network (GCN) – and be available for general radio affiliation.  According to Stephan, the show is specifically geared to stations located in small- to medium-sized rural markets with signals covering locally owned-and-operated family farms.  Although the program is a spoken-word presentation it would fit any number of music-formatted outlets as well as talk because it is only an hour per week and can run any time deemed convenient and appropriate for the station.  “American Family Farmer” is an information and advocacy forum targeted specifically to the beleaguered sector of the American agriculture industry that is comprised of small, independent operators.  What makes Stephan qualified to host such a specifically targeted program?  The answer: In addition to being a dedicated lifelong radio broadcaster, he is also a dedicated lifelong family farmer!  The program’s producers emphasize that this show is being marketed and produced as an entity completely separate from the other Doug Stephan properties.  “American Family Farmer with Doug Stephan” is now available by barter on a market-exclusive basis.  Interested stations should contact Bob K.  Telephone: 774-643-6450.  Email: bobthek@comcast.net.   For the complete details written by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, please click here.

talkersradio logoWhat’s Next for TalkersRadio?  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “The graduation of ‘American Family Farmer’ and ‘The Brent & Meg Show’ to solid terrestrial platforms within the first 15 months of TalkersRadio’s existence is extremely gratifying – especially considering that both programs were conceived as ‘out-of-the-box’ concepts and never would have had the chance to develop into such special properties if it were not for this experimental platform.”  According to Harrison, TalkersRadio will go on a one month “hiatus” for technical updates and improvements and come back in early January, 2015 with a new roster of programs headlined by “Healed Planet,” hosted by Alan Colmes, and “The Lionel Show,” hosted by Lionel.  Harrison says, “‘Healed Planet’ – which deals with the leading edge of the human consciousness movement – shows a side of Alan Colmes’ wide realm of interests and journalistic skills that most people have not yet had a chance to experience.  It’s a truly great radio show ‘in the bud’ and I am enthusiastic about its potential for development.  ‘The Lionel Show’ presents the legendary and iconoclastic broadcaster – Lionel – in an unbridled format totally geared to his verbal genius.  Although what he says neither breaks the rules of taste nor the bounds of legitimate clear thinking, I don’t think there has been a tightly wound terrestrial operation out there with the courage to put him on the air and let him run free without tinkering with the brilliant product that just oozes from his fertile mind… at least not up until now.  I suspect that is about to change and the industry will catch up this year with and gain the benefits of what the ‘real’ Lionel has to offer.”  TalkersRadio is powered by Boston-based Backbone Networks.  Readers interested in learning more about TalkersRadio should contact Michael Harrison at michael@talkers.com.

entercomLincoln Financial to Exit Radio Biz; Entercom to Acquire LFM Assets in Four Markets.  The deal announced this morning will see Entercom Communications Corp. acquire Lincoln Financial Media from Lincoln Financial Group for $105 million plus working capital.  Entercom expects to take over operation of the LFM stations in late January and should close on the purchase in the second quarter of 2015.  The agreement includes 15 radio stations in the Atlanta, Denver, Miami and San Diego markets, and it will expand Entercom’s station portfolio to more than 130 stations in 26 markets.  The deal allows Lincoln Financial to get out of the media business and focus on its “core lines of business.”  Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “We are excited to announce the acquisition of Lincoln Financial Media and welcome thelfm logo addition of their outstanding brands and talented broadcasters to Entercom.  LFM is a great organization that has done an excellent job serving its listeners, customers and communities over many years and we look forward to building on that tradition.  LFM is a perfect fit for us as it bolsters our position in Denver and expands our footprint into Atlanta, Miami and San Diego with terrific brands that have significant growth potential.  Furthermore, it fulfills our disciplined acquisition criteria as it enhances our company’s competitive position and growth and should be accretive to shareholders in 2015 while having a minimal impact on leverage.”  The stations to be acquired include: Atlanta outlets hot AC WSTR and sports talk WQXI; Denver stations country KYGO, rhythmic CHR KQKS, oldies KRWZ, sports talk KEPN and KKFN, and comedy-formatted translator K276FK; San Diego signals alternative KZBT, country KSON and KSOQ, and adult contemporary KIFM; and Miami outlets AC WLYF, classic hits WMXJ, and sports talk WAXY-AM/FM.  The transaction is structured as an acquisition of the stock of LFM with a tax election that allows Entercom to receive a step-up in the tax basis of the station tangible and intangible assets providing additional future tax shields and enhancing future free cash flow.  The $105 million purchase price will be paid in the form of $77.5 million in cash and $27.5 million in new perpetual cumulative convertible preferred stock that will be issued to Lincoln.  Entercom expects to finance the cash portion of the purchase price through a combination of its existing $50 million revolver, cash on hand, and through other financing sources, if necessary.

napabroadcasting2Napa Valley Radio Promises New Local Content, Music in 2015.  The new digital audio platform Napa Valley Radio – a service of Napa Broadcasting – is promoting new local content plus curated music streaming coming to the site in 2015.  Napa Valley Radio is being led by longtime broadcasting executive Jeff Schechtman.  The station marked its three-month anniversary with a message to listeners touting its local content – local election coverage including long-form interviews with candidates, local arts & music happenings, and promotion of the area’s wine industry – plus promises of the content to come.  In what TALKERS editors consider a creative move, the station has partnered with Napa Community College to bring an infusion of youth to the project.  Napa Valley Radio says the New Year will see more content originate by students at NCC and will also bring music shows of various genres to the station.  It will be interesting to watch this local media venture as music rights fees are added to the station’s expenses but, regardless, this local approach to the digital audio service is one to watch and Napa Broadcasting appears to be dedicated to serving a broad spectrum of the community with a relevant mix of news, talk and music.

sternhowardHoward Stern to Return to “AGT.”  As tipped by the Hollywood Reporter, SiriusXM star Howard Stern will return to NBC TV’s “America’s Got Talent” as a judge.  The show is entering its 10th season.  In a Facebook post, Stern writes, “I decided that a life without ‘AGT’ is not worth living.  America needs a caring, compassionate and wise judge, and who am I to deny the people what they want?  It would be selfish of me to walk away.”

brunotonySports Talker Tony Bruno Heard on BlogTalkRadio.   Philadelphia native Tony Bruno – most recently heard on AM/FM radio on Greater Media’s WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic” in middays – is podcasting via BlogTalkRadio.  In a statement from BlogTalkRadio, Bruno comments, “Deciding who to partner with was an exhaustive process.  BlogTalkRadio is the ONLY company out there with a fully portable stream and call screener system built into one application and when they approached me with their new PRO STUDIO in full HD hosting platform, the choice was clear.  I am excited to be a part of a company that is striving to bring both innovation and quality content directly to the fans.”  Bruno is producing new shows twice per week, on Mondays and Thursdays.

wipwingbowl15CBS RADIO Announces Wing Bowl 23.  The competitive chicken wing eating event that CBS RADIO’s sports talker WIP, Philadelphia debuted as a promotional prelude to the Super Bowl is in its 23rd year and will be held at the Wells Fargo Center on Friday, January 30 at 6:00 am.  The station is presenting the now-nationally famous contest in conjunction with sponsors Steven Singer Jewelers and SugarHouse Casino.  The station will broadcast the contest on WIP-FM as well as online via CBSPhilly.com.  The $10 ticket price will help benefit the Philadelphia Police Department Survivor’s Fund, The Police Athletic League, the Comcast-Spectacor Charities and other beneficiaries to be named soon.  CBS RADIO says that this year’s competition promises to be the biggest party and the prizes have a different twist.  The overall winner of Wing Bowl 23 wins a 2015 Harley-Davidson FLSTF Softail Fat Boy Motorcycle courtesy of Barb`s Harley Davidson, along with $10,000 in cash and a Wing Bowl 23 Championship ring both courtesy of Steven Singer Jewelers.  For the first time ever, SportsRadio 94WIP and Steven Singer Jewelers will give $10,000 cash to the Overall Runner Up as well. This makes it a $20,000 grand total of cash provided by Steven Singer Jewelers. Once again, WIP has two cars up for grabs: one for the top Local Eater and one for the top College Eater.  The Wing Bowl 23 Local Winner has the chance to win a Chrysler 300 and the Collegiate Eater will win a Chrysler 200 both from Barbera`s on the Boulevard.  The Wingette of the Year walks away with $5000 cash courtesy of Rumer Cosmetic Surgery and a Riviera Spas, Orchid 5 Person Hot Tub from Diamond Pools. PJ Whelihan’s is the official supplier of wings for WIP Wing Bowl 23, their eighth consecutive year as sponsor and supplier.

rathertQatarImportant Guest.  Pensacola talk radio personality Brandon Rathert (left), is pictured here with Qatar Ambassador Mohamed Jeham Al-Kuwari (right) in the WNRP “NewsRadio 1620” studios.  Rathert tells TALKERS magazine that his program was graced with the presence of the Qatar ambassador through the work of the Panhandle Tiger Bay Club and Edward Howard (pictured here at center).  Rather says he and Ambassador Al-Kuwari discussed the differences between the two countries and the similarities of its peoples.  The ambassador shared some thoughts on relations between the Arab nations and the U.S.  Al-Kuwari also made a $10,000 donation to a local charity.

Police Killings Protests, Potential Government Shutdown, CIA Interrogation Report, Rolling Stone-UVA Rape Story, Battle Against ISIS, Gruber and the ObamaCare Hearings, 2016 Presidential Prospects, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/8).  The continuing protests against police killings of black Americans; the looming threat of a government shutdown; the controversy surrounding the CIA interrogation report expected to be released today; the flap over the Rolling Stone story about an alleged gang rape at a UVA fraternity house; the ongoing battle against ISIS; Jonathan Gruber’s appearance before a House committee on the Affordable Care Act; the list of potential presidential candidates in 2016; and the weekend’s NFL action were among the top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

| December 2, 2014

milhavenmcgrawKTRS, St. Louis Morning Host McGraw Milhaven Faults Google for Temporarily Terminating Show’s YouTube Account.  St. Louis morning personality McGraw Milhaven tells TALKERS magazine that, as far as he can tell since it’s hard to talk to an actual person at Google, complaints about his show’s video segments dealing with the Michael Brown slaying in Ferguson must have forced the hand of YouTube and it responded by closing the show’s account – at least temporarily since the videos in question have returned to the KTRS550TV account.  Milhaven says his show had some 1,700 videos on the site that he thought were gone forever.  He says, “We had a police officer on yesterday talking about this Ferguson story and they terminated ouryoutube logo account.  Censored.  All of it.  Gone.  Taken down, and nothing from YouTube except an email saying we are not allowed to ever post again.”  Milhaven posted to his Facebook page a plea for help from fans since CH Holdings – owner of KTRS – is a family business without the resources to fight Google.  He wrote, in part, “We, at the McGraw Show on KTRS, admittedly have been sympathetic to the police officers’ story, but we have had all types of guests defending all sides to this very important story.  Our videos, which serve as a St. Louis archive over the last two years and have been used by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, CNN, MSNBC, FOX News as well as hundreds of other media outlets, are now lost forever.  YouTube has arbitrarily decided they don’t like our current and past content and has cut off our voice.”  Google did not respond directly to requests for further clarification of the termination but, as stated at the beginning of this story, the videos are back online.

jacobsonamyWIND, Chicago Morning Co-Host Amy Jacobson Loses Suit Against CBS.  Former television reporter Amy Jacobson was let go by NBC-owned WMAQ-TV, Chicago in 2007 after she was videoed poolside at the home of Craig Stebic – a man who was deemed a person of interest in the disappearance of his wife Lisa.  Competing WBBM-TV “CBS 2” caught her on video and broadcast it.  Jacobson then sued CBS for libel for $1 million claiming that she was not a public person at the time the video was taken since she was off duty and not in public.  Last year, a judge ruled that Jacobson’s team failed to show CBS fabricated unfavorable content about her, but Jacobson and her lawyer appealed.  Now, an Illinois Appeals Court has ruled against Jacobson.  Jacobson has been co-hosting the morning show on Salem-owned WIND, Chicago “AM 560 The Answer” since 2010.  Lisa Stebic has never been found and although Craig Stebic is still considered a person of interest, no charges have ever been filed against him.

podcastone logoPodcastOne to Distribute and Rep theCHIVE Show.  In a deal between Norm Pattiz-founded PodcastOne and “the world’s largest photo entertainment website and app theCHIVE,” the former will exclusively distribute, market and sell advertising for the new weekly podcast produced by theCHIVE.  The show – which will focus on theCHIVE’s “fresh, hot, funny and viral male-interest news, lifestyle and social content” – will be produced and hosted by theCHIVE editors John Resig and Bob Phillipp.  It will debut on January 22.  Pattiz comments, “This is the first of several upcoming announcements about PodcastOne merging editorial and audio media through partnerships with major digital brands.  We can’t think of a better partner than theCHIVE to kick off this effort.”

cumulus logoCumulus Names Dave Milner SVP of West Coast Markets.  Moving from iHeartMedia’s Sacramento cluster where he was market president to Cumulus Media is Dave Milner who will serve as senior vice president for West Coast markets.  In this role, Milner will report directly to president and CEO Lew Dickey.  Milner comments, “I am extremely honored to have been given the opportunity to join Cumulus at the senior vice president level.  The company has been assembling top assets in order to provide the best multi-platform solutions and results for its clients, making this a tremendous time to join Cumulus.”

cbsradioCBS RADIO-Beasley Swap Closes.  As expected, the assets swap between CBS RADIO and Beasley Broadcast Group, announced earlier this fall, closed yesterday (12/1).  Beasley takes ownership of: sports talk WIP-AM, Philadelphia; in the Tampa market it gets sports talk duo WHFS-AM and WHFS-FM, hip hopbeasley logo WLLD, country WQYK, classic hits WRBQ, and Spanish WYUU-FM; in the Charlotte market it acquires urban contemporary WBAV, sports talk duo WBCN-AM and WFNZ-AM, AC WKQC, CHR WNKS, hip hop WPEG, and country WSOC-FM.  In exchange, CBS RADIO takes ownership of five major market outlets including: hip hop WPOW, country WKIS and sports talk WQAM in Miami and Philadelphia outlets country WXTU, and hip hop WRDW.  As CBS RADIO notes, this is the first time it will operate radio stations in Miami where it already owns two television stations.

morrisrobRob Morris Named VP of Programming for CBS Miami.  With yesterday’s closing on the CBS RADIOBeasley Broadcast Group station swap, CBS announces Rob Morris is named vice president, programming for the Miami stations – hip hop WPOW, country WKIS and sports talker WQAM.  Company SVP and market manager Joe Bell comments, “Today marks a new beginning for our cluster of stations in Miami and I’m thrilled to be working with Rob and the great management team at CBS RADIO.  We have built a solid foundation in the market with a history of community service and programming excellence.  We look forward to the extensive array of assets and expertise that CBS RADIO brings to our operations which will ultimately benefit the listener and our advertisers.”  Morris moves southeast from his most recent post as VP of programming for CBS in Tampa where he’s been since July after moving south from CBS’ Minneapolis station group.

kxl logoKXL, Portland to Use Drones for News Coverage.  When news breaks in the Pacific Northwest, consumers of Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM, Portland “FM NEWS 101” may get their coverage thanks to drone technology.  Alpha Media has entered into an exclusive partnership with Aerial Technology International to use drones for breaking news coverage.  Alpha Media EVP of programming Scott Mahalick says, “KXL continues to innovate by launching the world’s first radio news drone.  I’m proud to be working with such a visionary team of people leading the news/talk industry in America.”

ppmunitRound Four of November PPM Data Released.  The fourth of four rounds of November 2014 PPM data 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.  The survey period was October 9 through November 5.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

shermanjessicaAdLarge Media Recruits Sherman to Head Up Affiliate Marketing.  Network radio pro Jessica Sherman is joining AdLarge Media to serve as senior director, affiliate marketing, signaling the company’s expansion into affiliate sales.  Sherman has worked at such network radio organizations as Westwood One, Dial Global, Bloomberg, Jones MediaAmerica, SW Networks, and MediaAmerica.  AdLarge Media co-founder and president Cathy Csukas says, “Doing a great job for our national advertisers, their agencies, and for our partners was our first priority when we launched AdLarge Media in 2010.  We have solidified that core competency, allowing us to extend our services to include affiliate marketing.  It’s a natural progression in our growth and our goal of providing our partners a full-service experience.”

dunlapcoliinShuffle at KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh Predicted for January.  The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that former Post-Gazette sports writer Colin Dunlap – currently hosting the 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm show on CBS RADIO’s sports talker “93.7 The Fan” – will move to morning drive host in January when Gregg Giannotti moves from the station to the CBS Sports Radio Network where he’ll host the morning show.

Odds & Sods.  A partnership between Yahoo News and SiriusXM will include the launch of “Yahoo News on POTUS,” – a live, weekly show on the POTUS channel dedicated to the Politics of the United States.  Yahoo News chief White House correspondent Olivier Knox will host the show that features “live interviews with national leaders in politics and public life as well as special guests tackling current events and more.”  The program will debut tomorrow (12/3) at 2:00 pm ET…..Radio sales pro David Bailin joins Sun Broadcast Group as vice president of sales.  Bailinandersongreg most recently was VP of sales in the New York offices of Westwood One.  He’s also served with CBS RADIO, Emmis Communications, and Citadel Broadcasting/Impact Marketing Group…..Salem Radio Network president Greg Anderson and his wife Linda were honored by SRN/Dallas staff and management Monday night (12/1) at a surprise dinner at the LaCima Club in Las Colinas.  The evening was to recognize Anderson’s work over the years at SRN as his retirement from the company on December 31 approaches.

TimConwayJrC. Crane Publishes New Catalogue for 2015.  One of the nation’s leading companies in the manufacturing and distribution of radios and radio-related devices, C. Crane Company, Inc., has published the latest in its annual series of catalogues detailing the firm’s brand-new offerings as well as the tried-and-true products for which it has achieved a stellar reputation.  The Fortuna, California-based company that has maintained a close working relationship with the radio industry for almost three decades, is also planning a physical move in 2015 to a larger location that will combine its warehouse and office storefront as a single facility.  C. Crane president Bob Crane tells TALKERS, “Our company has always been about the best reception and accurate, legible audio tailored for the human voice.  By focusing on what we do best we have established a brand and product line that continues to allow us to service the radio listening community.”  Set to arrive before Christmas is the new CC Skywave ($89.95) travel radio with AM, FM, shortwave, weather and aviation bands.  According to Crane, “Seldom, if ever, has a small, high-performance travel radio been combined with an intuitive layout.  You can listen to pilots while they land and perhaps find out why your plane is late.”  Another groundbreaking new device offered this year is the CC WiFi-2 internet radio that uses the TuneIn service which has extensive searchable listings and thousands of stored podcasts in a convenient desktop WiFi receiver that also comes with an FM radio built in and can be used as a Bluetooth® receiver.  Crane also states, “We feel our top of the line CC Radio-2E ($169.95) has the best reception and audio of any radio made today.  It comes with the standard AM and FM bands along with weather and 2-meter ham band for emergency situations.  The audio circuit is accurately tuned for the human voice and can now be adjusted for warm musical performance with enhanced bass.”  Pictured above is KFI, Los Angeles personality Tim Conway, Jr. trying out the CC Solar Observer ($54.95) specifically designed for emergency use.  It can be powered in four different ways including a crank and can charge many different USB type devices including cell phones. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison remarks, “I am a longtime admirer of the C. Crane folks for both their ongoing support of the radio industry and their championing the cause of the radio medium as well.  I love their products but believe it or not, my favorite is the simple CC Pocket.  It is an elegant little device that picksccpocketsmall up where the old Walkman product left off.  In an age of complicated gizmos that stand between the listener and instant audio gratification, it features ease of use, great reception, and sharp, well-defined audio.”  The CC Pocket (pictured at right) is a little jewel of an AM/FM/weather radio that can be listened-to on a built in speaker or the CC Buds that are tuned to the spoken word.  The $64.95 device has five easy-to-use, one-touch memory buttons for each band and stands upright for best audio.  Rubber coated sides help with the grip and it has a belt clip, display light, sleep timer, clock and alarm as well as battery and signal strength meters, FM stereo or mono switch.  It runs on two AA batteries.  Harrison says, “It would be a blessing for the radio industry if somehow 50 million or so of these things suddenly fell out of the sky and into the hands of consumers – after all, one of the primary problems facing AM and FM radio today is the increasing lack of plain ol’ radios out there in the world.”  Harrison jokingly adds, “Perhaps they would sell more if they contained an internet/cell phone chip.”  C. Crane can be reached via www.ccrane.com.

Ferguson Grand Jury Aftermath, Obama Amnesty Executive Order, Battle Against ISIS, ObamaCare Controversies, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Ray Rice Suspension Overturned, Bill Cosby Rape Allegations, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/1).  The issues of racism, crime and police action in minority communities in the wake of the Ferguson grand jury decision; President Obama’s executive order providing a plan for amnesty for illegal aliens; the ongoing battle against ISIS and the reported capture of the ISIS chief’s wife in Lebanon; simmering controversies over the implementation of the Affordable Care Act; the overturning of Ray Rice’s suspension from the NFL; the fallout from the renewed allegations of rape against Bill Cosby; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

| November 26, 2014

limbaughrushDCCC Attorney Responds to Rush Limbaugh’s Demand for Apology.  Though the full text of the letter from an attorney for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has not been released (or leaked!) yet, it’s clear from DCCC spokesperson Emily Bittner’s statement to the Washington Post’s Erik Wemple saying, “Our attorney sent a response letter noting that Limbaugh’s claims are absurd.”  If you remember, Limbaugh – who rarely responds to critics in this way, unless it’s fodder for show content – through attorney Patricia Glaser demanded an apology and a retraction for what she termed civilly actionable defamation for using part of Limbaugh’s discussion of campus sexual assault out of context to bring in donations to the committee.  Whether Limbaugh’s camp takes any further action remains to be seen.  TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman commented recently about what Limbaugh’s lawyers would need to do in order to prevail in court in a defamation case.  He said, “Specifically, as a public figure, in order to be successful in a defamation action, Limbaugh would have to prove that the DCCC acted with malice – that is that they knew what they were saying was a lie or that they acted with a reckless disregard for its truth. Even more problematic for Limbaugh would be that he would have to prove that he was harmed by the comments. In order to be successful in his lawsuit he would have to show that he lost sponsors and/or listeners.”

dunnkentBeasley Begins to Fill Management Roles in CBS Markets.  The transfers of the following Beasley Broadcast Group managers to the soon-to-be-acquired CBS RADIO properties in Tampa will be effectivegentrytee upon the closing of the assets exchange agreement between the two companies.  First, Kent Dunn will leave Beasley’s Augusta, Georgia cluster to serve as the vice president and market manager for the new Tampa-St. Petersburg station group.  At the same time, Tee Gentry becomes operations manager for the five-station cluster that includes: sports talk duo WHFS-AM and WHFS-FM, hip hop WLLD, country WQYK, classic hits WRBQ, and Spanish WYUU-FM .  Dunn has been VP and market manager in Augusta while Gentry’s been serving as operations manager in Augusta.

okelleychrisO’Kelley Moves Up to OM a Beasley Augusta.  With the above-mentioned promotion of Tee Gentry from the Augusta, Georgia station group to Beasley’s future Tampa cluster, Chris O’Kelley is upped to OM from his current music director and APD post for country WKXC.  The Augusta station group also includes: news/talk WGAC, “580 AM and 95.1 FM News Talk,” CHR WHHD, “HD 98.3, WDRR, adult hits “93.9 BOB FM” WDRR-FM; rock WCHZ-AM and W238AU, “95 Rock,” WGUS-FM “The Southern Gospel Station at 102.7 FM and 93.1 FM,” and news/talk WRDW.  He’ll report to new VP and market manager Mark Haddon.

ppmunitRound Two of November PPM Data Released.  The second of four rounds of November 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The survey period was October 9 through November 5.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

sternbillboardHoward Stern Turns Over SiriusXM Channel to Graham Nash.  This afternoon at 3:00 pm ET (11/26), Howard Stern will break the format of his SiriusXM channel “Howard 101” to present a special show, “Howard Stern Presents: Graham Nash.”  Nash will be playing music from the live boxed set, CSNY 1974, and will “share personal stories and memories about the group’s historic 1974 summer tour.  The special will also include an exclusive in-studio acoustic set by Nash, including a performance of ‘Teach Your Children,’ and a new song written in tribute to The Band’s late drummer, Levon Helm.”  The program will be re-broadcast over the course of the holiday weekend.

Grand Jury Decision/Ferguson Rioting, Executive Amnesty Order, Obama Ozone Emissions Plan, 2016 Presidential Prospects, and Iran Nukes Negotiations Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/25).  The protesting and rioting in Ferguson and across the country after the grand jury’s decision not to charge officer Darren Wilson in Michael Brown’s death; controversy over President Obama’s executive order for amnesty for illegal aliens; the new proposal from the Obama Administration for cutting ozone emissions; the potential candidates for president in 2016 and the nuclear negotiations with Iran were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

| November 18, 2014

rosenmitchRosen Rises to OM of Chicago’s WSCR, WXRT. Ten-year WSCR “The Score” program director Mitch Rosen is boosted to operations manager of the CBS RADIO Chicago sports outlet, as well as co-owned triple A WXRT.  In a memo to the stations’ staff, CBS RADIO Chicago senior vice president and market manager Rod Zimmerman writes, “Mitch’s organizational skills, management style, and sales focus will help grow the great [WXRT] brand.”  Rosen previously programmed the Windy City’s similarly-programmed WMVP “ESPN Radio 1000″ and was Paragon Marketing Group’s vice president of broadcast representation. Norm Winer continues as WXRT program director.

kfkalogoChad Peterson Named Morning Host at KFKA, Greeley, Colorado.  Weld County Colorado native Chad Peterson is the new morning drive host at Broadcast Media LLC’s KFKA, Greeley, Colorado.  He’ll anchor the newly re-imaged “Advantage Bank’s Morning Drive” program.  Peterson says he’s excited to return to his roots, “Returning to the heritage station in the market – the one I grew up listening to – is a privilege and an honor.  I’m excited to serve the community.”

carrhowieHowie’s Back – Actually He Never Left – Carr Continues on Boston Airwaves with New Flagship and Ownership of 15-Affiliate Regional Network Set for National Expansion.  Last week TALKERS reported New England radio legend Howie Carr’s departure from his longtime radio home WRKO, Boston after two decades upon the termination of his most recent employment contract.  It was no secret that the relationship between Carr and WRKO owner, Entercom Communications, had been a stormy one with the air personality/Boston Herald columnist and prolific best-selling author likening his departure from the facility to being “sprung from prison.”  Beginning today (11/17) Carr brings his 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm daily program up the dial to WUFC 1510 AM as the evolving news/talk outlet also kicks off a return today to branding itself by its original, legendary handle, WMEX.  The station, owned by Blackstrap Broadcasting is under thewmex logo management of Kevin Wallis’s Wallis Communications which reportedly has signed a purchase and sale agreement to take over ownership of the outlet during the first quarter of 2015.  More importantly, Carr exits Entercom taking ownership and control with him of his 15 station New England regional network – the Howie Carr Radio Network (HCRN) which includes such heritage outlets iHeartMedia’s WHYN, Springfield, Saga Communications’ WGAN, Portland and WCRN, Worcester owned by Kurt Carberry who will manage affiliate relations and distribution for HCRN.  Known for succeeding on both the ratings (adults 25-54) and revenue fronts, Carr has developed a reputation for being extremely listener and affiliate-friendly in terms of live appearances, sales promotions and production services – qualities he says he intends to keep intact as he expands the scope of the network to a larger segment of the Northeast and ultimately across the nation.  On joining the new 1510 AM outlet, Carr tells TALKERS, “It’s a real pleasure to finally be working again with people who are truly committed to radio, and to the talk format in particular.  Boston remains a great market for talk radio, and WMEX is where it all began, with Jerry Williams talking to James Michael Curley, Malcolm X and so many others.  It’s also the station where I started, in 1980, occasionally hosting the Herald Bulldog Edition.  I know the new WMEX is going to be a great success for all concerned.”  The heritage WMEX calls in Boston go back to 1934 (first at 1500 AM, then 1470 AM before taking up 1510 AM in 1941) and the station was home to many radio greats over the years including Arnie “Woo Woo” Ginsburg.  In addition to Carr, the new incarnation of WMEX includes such national personalities in its line-up as Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Dennis Miller, and Alex Jones as well as local shows including the daily “Morning Meeting” provided by Boston Herald Radio.  Sales and marketing for the Howie Carr Show and HCRN are being handled by the company’s vice president Kathy Carr who can be emailed at Kathy@howiecarrshow.com.

sullivangarySullivan Honored by Habitat for Humanity of Ohio. At its annual conference, Habitat for Humanity of Ohio last week awarded the 2014 Volunteer of the Year award to the 13-year host of Premiere Networks’ “At Home With Gary Sullivan” program.  Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati president and chief executive officer Ed Lee notes, “Gary Sullivan is always willing/eager to share/leverage his knowledge and contacts to help expand the reach of Habitat for Humanity in the Greater Cincinnati region.  He has truly made a difference in our community and helped transform lives through decent, affordable home ownership.  The Habitat mission is brought to life by our volunteers – none do it better than Gary.”  Sullivan remarks that he is “embarrassed and humbled by this award, but proud to accept it on behalf of all the hard working Habitat volunteers.”  His Saturday and Sunday Premiere Networks radio show is heard in 240 markets.  In addition to being a longtime Habitat volunteer, Sullivan is a board member and serves on the “executive” and “development” committees. He has been active in the non-profit Christian housing ministry for over 20 years.  He created/hosted “The Hardware Store,” which aired on HGTV for four years in the mid-1990s.

ghazaljonathanSales Management Moves at Greater Media Detroit. At the Detroit station group, Greater Media announces Patti Taylor is promoted to general sales manager of classic rock WCSX and rock WRIF.  At the same time, Jonathan Ghazal is named sales manager for WMGC “Detroit Sports 105.1.”  Taylor has been serving as GSM for WCSX since February of 2013.  Ghazal joined Greater Media Detroit as an account executive in October of 2012.  Ghazal takes over for Cindy Senkbeil who remains with the WCSX sales team.  She’d been sales manager of WMGC since November of last year.

Odds & Sods.  Small business expert Jim Blasingame celebrates his 17th year on air hosting “The Small Business Advocate.”  The show began as a two-hour daily program on November 17, 1997…..WGN, Chicago promotes Scott Miller to supervising producer.  Miller is the executive producer of the Pete McMurray show.  His new duties will mean he hasblasingamejim oversight of the booking for all of the Tribune radio shows…..The price tag on Hubbard Radio’s purchase of Omni Broadcasting’s 16 Minnesota stations is $8 million dollars.  The deal, announced last week, must pass FCC muster…..CBS RADIO Pittsburgh is the media sponsor of the 16th Santa Spectacular taking place at Point State Park this Friday (11/21).  The CBS RADIO Pittsburgh stations – including news/talk KDKA-AM and sports talk KDKA-FM – are helping to present the afternoon’s activities that culminate in the lighting of Duquesne Light Tree and fireworks-to-music finale.

knxonyourcornerKNX, Los Angeles Continues ‘On Your Corner’ Series with Holiday Charity Component. The “KNX On Your Corner” on CBS RADIO’s all-news KNX, Los Angeles continues in December as the station profiles Cerritos on the 12th from Mimi’s Café .  Dick Helton and Vicky Moore will anchor the live broadcast from 5:00 am to 9:00 am, Frank Mottek will host the “KNX Business Hour” from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm and Jim Thornton and Diane Thompson will anchor the news from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Listeners can participate on Twitter and Facebook using #KNX OnYourCorner.  Mimi’s Cafe will also serve as a drop-off point for KNX’s annual “CHiPs For Kids” holiday toy drive in conjunction with CBS 2 and KCAL 9. New, unwrapped toys will be collected for distribution locally to less fortunate children by the California Highway Patrol.

freeebookBackbone Networks Offering TALKERS Readers Free eBook, “16 Tickets to Starting a Talk Radio Station.”   Boston-based, digital radio tech firm Backbone Networks – the state-of-the-art broadcasting solutions company that played an important role in the successful launch of TalkersRadio, has published an eBook designed to show talk broadcasters aspiring to set up their own internet talk stations the key steps to take in order to make it happen.  According to Backbone president Richard Cerny, “Every successful radio personality can now easily afford his/her own 24/7 station.”  Cerny tells TALKERS, “The future of radio is bright but targeting a single distribution medium to reach listeners has many challenges.  The future is an integrated view of your listeners.  One that encompasses AM, FM, satellite and the internet.  The barriers to entry for starting a digital station have been lowered, especially compared to the cost of running a traditional terrestrial radio station.  The difference between surviving and thriving depends on your station as a platform, your programming and the fan base you build and maintain.”  The newly published eBook is available at no cost to TALKERS readers.  To obtain a copy, please click here.

Ferguson Tensions, Latest Hostage Execution/Battle Against ISIS, Net Neutrality, GOP vs ObamaCare, 2016 Presidential Prospects, and DEA Raids NFL Teams Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/17).  A state of emergency is declared in Missouri as the decision by the grand jury whether to indict officer Darren Wilson is awaited; the execution of aid worker Peter Kassig over the weekend and the ongoing battle against ISIS in Iraq and Syria; the controversy over net neutrality and the Obama Administration’s support of it; talk of the GOP’s plans to take on the Affordable Care Act; the potential candidates for president in 2016; and the weekend raid of three visiting NFL teams by the Drug Enforcement Agency were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, November 3, 2014

| November 3, 2014

ramseySmartconf14Ramsey Packs ‘Smart Conference’ in Los Angeles.  The photo you see here shows nationally syndicated talk radio superstar and best-selling author Dave Ramsey on the stage at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles at the sold-out “Smart Conference” that took place on Saturday (11/1).  During the day-long conference, Ramsey, along with his daughter Rachel Cruze, Andy Andrews, Dr. Henry Cloud, Dr. Emmerson Eggerichs, Joy Eggerichs, and Dr. Meg Meeker, provided attendees with “essential information on how to win with money, strengthen their marriages, build parenting skills and excel in their careers.”  To help promote the event, Ramsey partnered with local affiliate KEIB “The Patriot.”  Program director Robin Bertolucci comments, “Dave Ramsey’s listeners are engaged and passionate.  They connect with Dave at a very personal and emotional level.  The Dave Ramsey show is clearly impacting people’s lives and building powerful bonds with the Patriot audience and our clients.”

steinhauercharlesSteinhauer Inks Multi-Year Renewal with Westwood One.  Syndication giant Westwood One agrees to terms for a multi-year contract renewal with chief operating officer Charles Steinhauer.  He’ll continue to oversee the management of the company’s day-to-day operations, including programming, technology, distribution, sports, marketing, affiliate services, research, compliance and strategy, and will report directly to Lew Dickey, chief executive officer for Cumulus Media.  In addition to his role at Westwood One, Steinhauer serves as a director on the board of the Media Ratings Council and was chair of the Network Radio Research Council (NRRC).  He is also an ARF Ambassador, a member of the RAB Council, and serves on the Nielsen Advisory Board.  Lew Dickey says, “Charles is an exceptional talent and a key member of our executive leadership team.  We’re excited to extend his contract and look forward to his important contribution as we build Westwood One into the world’s leading audio content company.”

eisenrichThe Rich Eisen Show Debuts Today.  The new Rich Eisen program debuts across the Fox Sports Radio Network – clearing some 120 stations that carry the network’s programming.  The addition of the DirecTV-produced program in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET slot affected the network’s lineup, most notably bumping “Jay Mohr Sports” into the afternoon drive slot, Eastern Time.

Odds & Sods.  More election coverage to announce from TheBlaze Radio NetworkDoc Thompson and Skip Lacombe are set to host the Glenn Beck-founded network’s election night coverage from Mercury Studios in Dallas from 7:00 pm until key races are decided.  Jay Severin and TheBlaze TV’s Laurie Dhue and Amy Holmes will be contributing to coverage.  TheBlaze notes that this coverage is multi-platform with TheBlaze TV and TheBlaze.com theblaze radio networkproviding complementary coverage and analysis…..United Stations Radio Networks names Willis Damalt the newest rep in the company’s affiliate relations department.  In his new role, Damalt will specialize in the affiliate marketing efforts of the company’s offerings for news/talk and sports formats…..This Thursday, CBS RADIO’s KNX, Los Angeles presents a special program called “Ebola Uncovered” from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  The program is being co-hosted by KNX news anchor Tom Haule and investigative reporter Charles Feldman, who is co-producing the special with Laraine Herman.  Reporter Margaret Carrero will contribute to the program which will also stream live on cbsLA.com.  Listeners will have the piscopojoeopportunity to ask questions on the radio by calling 866-569-1070 or through Twitter using #knxebola.  The guests will include a doctor who is an infectious disease specialist from UCLA, a sociologist from UC Irvine and a local doctor who recently treated Ebola patients in Liberia…..Filling in for morning personality Joe Piscopo on Salem Communications’ WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer” are: PBS anchor, syndicated columnist and former New Jersey state legislator Steve Adubato; WNYM Sunday morning host (and former New York mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis; WNYM midday host John Gambling; and Brian Whitman and Elisha Krauss, co-hosts of “The Morning Answer” on the company’s KRLA, Los Angeles.

entercomEntercom Announces Q3 Net Revenue Up 1%.  On revenue of $99.8 million during the third quarter of 2014 Entercom is reporting the figure amounts to a 1% increase compared to the same period a year ago.  The quarter also saw station expenses increasing 3% and stationfielddavid operating income dipping 3%.  Entercom president and CEO David Field states, “Entercom’s performance accelerated during the third quarter, highlighted by a robust September during which revenues increased 7%, up 5% excluding political.  Overall, third quarter revenues were up 1.4%, overcoming a weak August.  We continue to focus on working to enhance our value to listeners and customers and to increase our growth potential for the future.  To that end, we believe our competitive position, execution, and capabilities have all significantly improved over the past year and should enable enhanced performance in the year ahead.”  Entercom is presenting an investor’s conference call today.

leykisLaughFactoryTom Leykis Sells Out LA’s Laugh Factory with Show titled “Be Funny Live.”  Internet radio maverick Tom Leykis brought a live version of one of his online program’s most popular features, “Be Funny,” to the stage of LA’s famous comedy club, the Laugh Factory this past Thursday evening (10/30) and RadioInfo’s West Coast correspondents report the sold-out event was a hilarious success.  The program consists of a parade of characters culled from regular listeners and callers to his daily (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm PT) New Normal show performing parody songs and bits inspired by the news events of the day.  Leykis is quoted in an article in the Orange County Register stating, “Every time there is a national tragedy such as the Boston bombing, the Malaysian airliner, Ray Rice, Ebola…every time something happens, these people go to the drawing board and figure out how to make a parody song about all of this horrible stuff. It’s hysterically funny and you wouldn’t want to be caught laughing at it but, people laugh at it because it is off-the-charts funny.  A lot of them are full-on productions.  We picked a bunch of people that the audience knows to go in and play their hits and then we balanced it out with people who maybe have never called or are relatively new to the show.  We picked some people who are great and then some who are unbelievably bad and don’t know it but, they’ll find out the night of the show! [Laughs.]” Leykis’ show can be heard at www.BlowMeUpTom.com.

bernierlebouthillierBuild-Up to the Mid-Term Elections.  At Embry-Riddle University in Daytona Beach, Florida, WNDB, Daytona Beach talk show host Marc Bernier (left) hosted Fox News political analyst and host of “Political Insiders,” John LeBoutillier (right) at the college’s President’s Speakers Series.  The live event on October 31 was broadcast live on WNDB.  During the program, LeBoutillier “handicapped” the tight election battles going on around the country.

CORRECTION: TALKERS magazine’s just-released 2014 Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk is updated after a technical glitch led an incomplete version to be initially published.  The list now includes Mike Missanelli, WIP-FM, Philadelphia tied at #14; Adam Gold & Joe Ovies, WCMC, Raleigh tied at #55 and Orlando Alzugary, WQAM, Miami at #97.  We regret any inconvenience this error might have caused.  See the 2014 list here.

Friday, October 31, 2014

| October 31, 2014

2014hhsports-header only 200TALKERS Magazine Presents 2014 Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk.  Today (10/31), the editors of TALKERS magazine present the third annual Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk – The 100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America.  This list ranks sports talk hosts, duos or ensembles from 1 to 100, based upon a set of criteria that includes a combination of hard and soft factors.  The genre of sports talk radio has evolved greatly and grown exponentially over the past 10 years to go from being a fringe format to an important sub-genre of spoken-word radio programming.  With this in mind, the editors of TALKERS debuted the Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk in 2012 to acknowledge the hard-working air personalities on sports talk radio.  The results of this list are, admittedly, subjective.  Being  true to the realities of the media business, ratings and revenue are two of the major factors – some would say they are the only factors worth considering – but the editors also took into account other qualities that help create a list that is reflective of the industry’s diversity and total flavor and still give credit where credit is due.  Those qualities include: courage, effort, impact, recognition, service, talent and uniqueness.  The other concrete qualification for inclusion is hosts must be working – that is, have a regularly scheduled professional show on the air at a minimum of one terrestrial or satellite radio station – at the time of publication.  Now you know the criteria, so who’s #1 this year? Number two, and three?  Click here to find out.

ppmunitRound Four of October PPM Data Released.  The fourth of four rounds of October 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartfor