Tag: "Chad Lopez"

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

| April 8, 2020

Cumulus Announces Furlough and Pay Cut Plans. It was the last of the large radio companies to take drastic measures, but Tuesday (4/7) Cumulus Media CEO Mary Berner made her employees aware of the company’s plans via a video message.  Berner told her workforce that the Covid-19 plan was temporary and will be implemented in the coming days.  As part of the plan, Cumulus’ salaried staffers will take three non-consecutive weeks of furlough over the course of 15 weeks that begins on April 20.  For the group of employees who don’t have supervisors or don’t have anyone else who can cover for them, they will work for 90-days without pay, beginning April 16.  For those employees whose duties have been reduced or eliminated, they are on a 90-day furlough, starting April 16.  Berner said the company intends to bring all furloughed employees back when full-scale business operations resume.  She is taking a 50% pay cut during this period and says the executive leadership team is taking a 25% cut and is giving up incentive compensation for the year.  She said, “Even though these are intended to be temporary actions, I know they are going to land hard – really hard – and that is in the emotional and financial toll that a furlough or salary cut will take on each of you, but also in terms of the increased workload the vast majority of you will have to take on during your co-workers’ furlough weeks.  I am truly sorry and sad about this announcement.  None of you deserves this.”  It’s unclear how the company is dealing with its union-represented air staffers.

‘The Mighty 990’ in Memphis Offering Week of Free Advertising. Memphis news/talk KWAM-AM/W300DE “The Mighty 990” is offering small businesses in the Memphis market a free week of advertising.  Starnes Media Group says, “It’s just one significant way the news/talk radio station is lending a helping hand to the community during the global pandemic.”  Company CEO Dalton Glasscock adds, “We’ve covered the stories of neighbors and small businesses in this community sacrificing to help in this fight against our invisible enemy.  These people, their businesses, and their stories have inspired us to do what we can to help them and other businesses that need an extra hand during this time.”  The company adds that Glasscock and president Todd Starnes are not taking their salaries during the pandemic and are committed to their staffers.

‘Cats Roundtable’ to Air on WABC, New York. The nationally syndicated “Cats Roundtable with John Catsimatidis” begins airing on “TALK RADIO 77 WABC” in New York at 9:00 am this Sunday (4/12).  Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Media recently closed on its purchase of the radio station and assumed operations.  Catsimatidis’ show features “A-list guests from politics, business, science, and more.”  Guests on the program have included: Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Senators Rand Paul, Richard Blumenthal, Kirsten Gillibrand, Charles Schumer, Secretary Hillary Clinton, and more.  Catsimatidis says, “It’s exciting for me to have my show on the legendary 77 WABC.  WABC is a staple in talk radio and a vital part of New York City.  I love New York, and I’m looking forward to welcoming all the new listeners from 77 WABC.”  Red Apple Media and WABC Radio president Chad Lopez says, “John’s personal relationships give him unprecedented access to world leaders and newsmakers.  We’re delighted to welcome ‘The Cats Roundtable’ to our lineup of great talk shows and to give our advertisers the opportunity to connect with John’s engaged listeners.”

TALKERS News Notes. The content creation deal between iHeartMedia and Aaron Mahnke is extended and includes two more years of new content for the popular “Cabinet of Curiosities” podcast, two new seasons of “Unobscured,” as well as an executive producer role for the newly launched hit “Strange Arrivals,” additional seasons of “Noble Blood” and a new scripted series set to launch this fall.  Additionally, the partnership will add a slate of five new podcasts to feature groundbreaking talent including Rabia Chaudry – attorney, advocate, and author of the New York Times bestselling book, Adnan’s Story…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that former WGN-AM evening host Justin Kaufmann is returning to his public radio roots at Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ-FM to host a two-hour, Saturday afternoon call-in show on the coronavirus pandemic.  Before joining WGN five years ago, Kaufmann worked for WBEZ for 21 years…..Entercom sports talk WFAN, New York announces the second season of the Travelers Insurance-sponsored Sunday morning program, “Talkin’ Golf with Ann Liguori,” is airing on the station through June 28.  Entercom programming SVP Mark Chenoff comments, “Ann is a WFAN original and continues to serve as our premier golf reporter, also covering the U.S. Open Tennis Championship and other special events for the station.  No one is more dialed into the sport than Ann and we’re looking forward to the return of her show, giving listeners an inside look at movers and shakers in the game, including players, celebrities, authors, broadcasters and other newsmakers in the world of golf.”…..iHeartMedia Cleveland’s news/talk WTAM and rock WMMS-FM and three local TV outlets joined together last Saturday for a broadcast fundraising effort to help raise more than $150,000 for United Way of Greater Cleveland and the Greater Cleveland Food Bank to assist families in need during the Covid-19 crisis.

U.S. Coronavirus Cases and Death Toll, the Hydroxychloroquine Debate, Trump WHO Criticism, Wisconsin Primary, Acting Navy Secretary Resigns, and Presidential Race Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/7). The number of Covid-19 cases in the U.S. and the death toll; the debate over prescribing the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to combat the coronavirus; President Trump’s criticism of the World Health Organization and his threat to withhold U.S. funds from the organization; the decision to go ahead with Tuesday’s Democratic primary in Wisconsin; acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly resigns from his post after his controversial badmouthing of the USS Theodore Roosevelt captain; and the state of the presidential race were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. International advocacy organization Global Citizen and the World Health Organization are presenting “One World: Together At Home” a program that will be globally televised and streamed in support of the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.  It’s taking place on Saturday, April 18, 2020 at 8:00 pm EDT on ABC, NBC, ViacomCBS Networks, iHeartMedia, and Bell Media networks and platforms in Canada.  “The virtual broadcast will show unity among all people who are affected by COVID-19 and will also celebrate and support brave healthcare workers doing life-saving work on the front lines.  At this critical moment in history, Global Citizen is also calling on philanthropists to join and support immediate COVID-19 response efforts as part of the organization’s Give While You Live effort. Investors, changemakers and foundation leaders are being urged to actualize their giving and invest quickly in related efforts like stronger health systems and vaccine development.”…..A casualty of the coronavirus-related programming changes at Entercom includes the end of “The TJ Show” on CHR WODS, Boston “103.3 AMP Radio.”  The program, hosted by TJ Taormina with co-hosts Loren and Producer Matt, has aired on the station since 2013.  Taormina served with iHeartMedia’s WHTZ, New York on the Elvis Duran program prior to joining WODS…..The Compass Media Networks-syndicated “DeDe in the Morning” program adds new affiliate stations: WLGZ, Rochester “105.5 The Beat,” KFXZ-FM, Lafayette, Louisiana; KJMP-AM,  Ft. Collins; KJMZ-FM, Woodward, Oklahoma; and KKST-FM, Alexandria, Louisiana.  DeDe McGuire states, “Our show is a family.  We share our laughs and reveal our personal stories about how we are coping with this pandemic and the new normal it’s creating in our lives.  We are all in this together.  Connecting to family, friends, and community is more important than ever.”…..Programming pro John Shomby exits his NASH director of programming position and WKDF, Nashville PD role with Cumulus Media.  He joined Cumulus in 2016 after serving as director of programming for Max Media’s Norfolk station group for 13 years.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

| April 7, 2020

FCC Shoots Down Request for Investigation into Broadcasters Airing Presidential Press Conferences. Last week, the activist organization Free Press filed an emergency petition with the FCC calling on it to “investigate the spread of false Covid-19 information via broadcast outlets across the United States.”  Free Press co-CEO Jessica J. González and senior policy counsel Gaurav Laroia state, “The FCC possesses both the authority and the responsibility to ensure the public airwaves are utilized in the public interest.  This duty is heightened in times of crisis.  Specifically, broadcasters are prohibited from knowingly airing false information about a catastrophe that causes ‘substantial public harm.’”  Yesterday (4/6), the Commission’s Office of General Counsel and Media Bureau wholly rejected the petition saying it “seeks remedies that would dangerously curtail the freedom of the press embodied in the First Amendment and misconstrues the Commission’s rules.  The decision also makes clear that the FCC will neither act as a roving arbiter of broadcasters’ editorial judgments nor discourage them from airing breaking news events involving government officials in the midst of the current global pandemic.”  FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is quoted saying, “Under my leadership, the FCC has always stood firmly in defense of Americans’ First Amendment freedoms, including freedom of the press.  And so long as I am chairman of this agency, we always will.  The federal government will not—and never should—investigate broadcasters for their editorial judgments simply because a special interest group is angry at the views being expressed on the air as well as those expressing them.  In short, we will not censor the news.  Instead, consistent with the First Amendment, we leave it to broadcasters to determine for themselves how to cover this national emergency, including live events involving our nation’s leaders.”

SportsGrid Shows to Air Across SB Nation Radio Network. Two of SportsGrid’s national talk shows – “Ferrall Coast to Coast” with Scott Ferrall and “Game Time Decisions” with Gabe Morency – will air on the SB Nation Radio schedule beginning April 14.  “Ferrall Coast to Coast” will air weekdays from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET and “Game Time Decisions” will air from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET.  Ferrall comments, “This new opportunity allows me to reconnect with my long-time loyal listeners all over the country across the SB Nation network of radio stations. I’m looking forward to changing sportscasting by including the sports betting perspective and commentary to the millions of engaged fans.”

Broadcasters Foundation of America Announces Emergency Grants. The Broadcasters Foundation of America’s executive committee of the board of directors held an emergency meeting recently to respond to broadcasters in financial need due to the coronavirus pandemic. The criteria for emergency grant qualifications has been revised to provide aid to broadcasters who meet the requirements and have been infected.  BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “Never in our history as broadcasters have we experienced an event that has caused this much hardship.  Thus, we have revised provisions to our emergency grant eligibility guidelines.”  For more information, broadcasters in need can email grants@thebfoa.org or visit www.broadcastersfoundation.org/coronavirus.

Austin American-Statesman Launches New Streaming Talk Station. Former KLBJ-AM, Austin personality Jeff Ward is one of the Austin market radio pros to join the newest streaming venture from the Austin American-Statesman.  The new station – called the Statesman News Network – joins the news organization’s streaming music station Austin360 Radio as the paper’s next audio venture.  Ward will host the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program.  He says, “There will be plenty of common-sense rants.  But the goal of the show is always the same: I want you to find it compelling, and I want you to feel forced to think.”  The paper says that other shows lined up for the stream include: “From the Newsroom” featuring interviews from the staff of the newspaper; “512 Tech and Business Report,” a daily update on local business and technology news from Amy Edwards; “Longhorn Confidential,” breaking news, interviews and updates on the Texas Longhorns; “Austin Found,” in which Statesman reporter and Austin history buff Michael Barnes and radio personality JB Hager share the stories behind the making of the Texas capital; plus more.

PPM Analysis: February 2020 Extra. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents and “extra” look at Nielsen Audio’s February 2020 PPM survey.  In this report, he presents a rank of the PPM markets based on weekly, 6+ AQH share for all spoken-word stations; a rank of the highest market-wide gains in spoken-word listening; a rank of the markets that lost the most 6+ share; and more.  See it all here.

Radio Pros, ‘Sterling On Sunday’ Keeps You on the Air.  The national radio show “Sterling On Sunday” invites laid off radio performers to participate in their on-air comedy routines and dramas.  “We have had a stunning array of top talent in our sketches such as Charlie Van Dyke, JJ Wilson, but mostly people who wish to remain anonymous due to their alimony situation.  If you can cut an mp3, we can write a part for you.”  “Sterling On Sunday” is aired (10:00 pm to 1:00 am) on major stations live such as KMBZ-FM, Kansas City; KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh; WPHT, Philadelphia; KFBK, Sacramento; plus about 100 more.  “Broadcasting from home is nothing new to us.  It’s the right way.  We will give you credit, script approval, and generally talk you up. Hear past shows at www.waltermsterling.com so you know what you’re getting into. No broadcaster should be off the air, it’s unnatural.  C’mon let’s make a show.  We also have a plan to pay you for helping our team clear the show…cash!”  Contact waltermsterling@gmail.com.

U.S. Coronavirus Cases and Death Toll, the Hydroxychloroquine Debate, Trump Fires Whistleblower, Financial Markets Activity, Boris Johnson in ICU, Wisconsin Primary, 5G-Coronavirus Conspiracy, USS Theodore Roosevelt Controversy, Chinese Journalist at WH Presser, and Presidential Race Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/7). The number of Covid-19 cases in the U.S. and the death toll; the medical and political debate over the effectiveness of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine in treating coronavirus; the aftermath of President Trump’s firing of intelligence community Inspector General Michael Atkinson; the world’s financial markets react to coronavirus news; British Prime Minister Boris Johnson moves to the ICU for Covid-19 treatment; the battle between Wisconsin’s governor and the state Supreme Court over the primary elections; the conspiracy theory that 5G is exacerbating coronavirus symptoms; the captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt is removed for pleading for help for his coronavirus-infected crew; a Chinese journalist is admitted to the White House press briefing; and the November presidential election were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Former KRBZ-FM, Kansas City Morning Host Sues Entercom for Discrimination.  Former KRBZ-FM, Kansas City “96.5 The Buzz” morning host Afentra Bandokoudis has filed suit against Entercom Kansas City for “discrimination and retaliation in violation of the Equal Pay Act.”  She’s seeking back pay, benefits, bonuses, and more.  Bandokoudis’ complaint alleges that she was paid less than her male counterparts despite outperforming their shows.  She was paid a base salary of $100,000 and her PD/afternoon host Scott Geiger, a.k.a. Lazlo, made $185,000.  (Bandokoudis and Geiger were married from 2005 through July of 2018, a month before Bandokoudis was fired from the station.)  She alleges Johnny Dare, morning host on sister rock station KQRC, made more than $185,000 despite her show outperforming his.  Bandokoudis goes on to claim that after she complained about the par disparity, she was subject to retaliatory actions before ultimately being let go in 2018.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At iHeartMedia’s Chicago hip hop WGCI, Zach Boog is named the new evening host, taking over for DJ MoonDawg, who exited during the company’s January restructuring.  He’d been filling in on the daypart along with other WGCI staffers.  Station PD Johnnie D. Glover says, “It is an honor to promote Zach to nights on 107.5 WGCI.  He is extremely entertaining, works hard to produce compelling content, and has a very organic way of connecting with Chicago listeners.  Zach has a bright future and I look forward to working with him to create many exciting memories with 107.5 WGCI’s audience.”…..Griffin Communications CHR KHTT, Tulsa “106.9 K-Hits” brings Kacy Termini aboard as co-host of the new “Chubbs & Kacy Show” to debut on Monday (4/13).  She comments, “I’ve been so impressed with what ‘K-Hits’ and the Griffin brands have been able to do in our community.  Every time something happens, they step up to help their neighbors and keep them safe and informed.  Especially at such a trying time for many.  I’m excited to work with Chubbs and do our part to make Green Country even more special.  We still need to laugh – in both the hard times and the good ones!”…..Condolences to the family and friends of programming pro John Roberts, who passed away recently after a esophageal cancer.  He’d been serving as regional operations manager for Townsquare Media in Tyler, Texas.  Townsquare SVP of programming Kurt Johnson says, “John was a true pro, one of the best our business has ever seen.  But more importantly he was a great friend to everyone, and he made a huge impact on his family, his staff, his community, and basically with everyone he met.”

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

| March 11, 2020

WABC PD David LaBrozzi Added to Bold “Super Panel” Designed to Address Existential Industry Question at TALKERS Convention. The TALKERS editorial board is pleased to announce the addition of WABC, New York/Red Apple Media, Inc. director of programming, content & branding David LaBrozzi to what is being described as a “bold super panel” to tackle the existential industry question, “Can Radio Be Saved and, If So, How?” at the forthcoming TALKERS Convention in New York on Friday June 5. TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey says, “This 90-minute session will feature an extraordinary lineup of seven individuals reflecting a wide perspective on the past, present and potential future of radio’s role in society.” In addition to LaBrozzi, the panel consists of (in alphabetical order): MediaVision CEO, Lee Abrams; RAB president and CEO, Erica Farber; Radio Hall of Fame chairman and Soundmind LLC partner, Kraig Kitchin; SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, Joe Madison; and former CBS Radio/Entercom executive VP of programming, Chris Oliviero. One more panelist will be named shortly along with an introducer. Michael Harrison will serve as moderator. For more information about the forthcoming TALKERS Convention see story below.

Sean Hannity to Head All Star Lineup of Speakers at 23rd Annual TALKERS Convention Set for NYC on Friday June 5. In what has become an annual tradition, Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel superstar Sean Hannity will reprise his role as one of the key speakers at the forthcoming TALKERS Convention. He will also again host the morning networking event, “Breakfast with Hannity.” Hannity will engage in the popular presentation, “A Fireside Chat with Sean Hannity” hosted by Michael Harrison.” VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “This year’s 23rd annual convention is a celebration of TALKERS magazine’s 30th anniversary and we are pleased to report that we’ve lined up an extraordinary roster of about 60 speakers and a powerful agenda to make it a truly meaningful life changing and career enhancing event for each and every one of our attendees. Details about the agenda and sponsorship opportunities will continue to be posted here on Talkers.com daily. This year the event is titled, Talkers 2020: The Rise of the Media Station, and takes place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. Speakers are being recruited from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry — including talent, programmers, managers and owners and the agenda focuses on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age including fundamental changes in the platforms upon which it is carried and distributed. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person. Attendance is only open to members of the media industry and communications students and an advance sellout is expected. Non-refundable registrations can only be obtained via telephone with credit card. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. To make reservations at the “official” hotel of the event, the Hilton New York Fashion District (located across the street from the venue) and receive a discount (while rooms last) please click here.

Unique Trophy: Red Apple Launch Party for WABC at NYC Opening of ‘Cats.’  The 77WABC launch party to celebrate the much-anticipated closing on the former Cumulus Media-owned station by John Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Media took place Monday evening (3/9) at the legendary outlet’s studio in New York City.  During the packed event that included 77WABC air personalities and executives as well as representatives from the ad buying community, Catsimatidis was welcomed into radio industry ownership with the presentation of the “Beacon” – a recently replaced 77WABC tower obstruction light.  During a brief speech, Catsimatidis reassuringly told the gathering, “We only buy companies, we do not sell them.  We are here to stay!”  Pictured above are (from l-r): John Catsimatidis Jr., John Catsimatidis, the “Beacon,” Red Apple Media/77WABC president Chad Lopez, and Margo Catsimatidis. Photo: Jillian Nelson

iHeartMedia Issues Coronavirus Memo to Staff. Company CEO Bob Pittman and COO Rich Bressler sent a memo to the entire iHeartMedia staff regarding the coronavirus epidemic.  Here’s what it said: Team, at iHeart, our two most important priorities are serving the communities across America in which we live and work and protecting the health and safety of our employees. iHeart reaches nine out of 10 Americans – more than any other media company — and our reach comes with the responsibility to be a voice for information, context and trusted companionship.  Like you and like our listeners nationwide, we see increasing daily media coverage about the coronavirus (COVID-19), and as a company we want to make sure we do the right thing.  In addition to the work we do around the specific health risk, as media industry leaders we are also concerned that anxiety and excessive worry over the virus can have its own negative impact.  We also know that some of you and your family members are feeling this anxiety personally.  The latest information suggests that coronavirus can be very serious if you’re older or sick, just as the flu can.  But, like the flu, its effects seem to be relatively mild for the majority of people who catch it, with the exception of older people, those with respiratory ailments or those with compromised immune systems.  To put the coronavirus into some perspective, the country did not experience the same anxiety-fueled reaction around diseases like measles, Zika, SARS, West Nile, Ebola or Bird Flu, to name a few examples, and health professionals say those were all likely more dangerous than the coronavirus although maybe not as widespread.  For your own personal health and the health of those around you, if you’re sick, please stay home and don’t expose yourself to others; that’s the same request we have if you have the flu or a bad cold or any other contagious disease – plus wash your hands often and follow CDC recommendations about disease prevention and guidelines about when to stay at home after travel to any “hot spot” countries or contact with anyone who has a confirmed case of coronavirus.  Right now, the potential for panic is an additional concern we need to address.  We know that for people to remain calm they need information on a continuing basis about what’s going on.  We also need to make sure we disseminate accurate and timely information to help the health professionals manage this outbreak, and to that end we will also be airing daily coronavirus updates on our stations to help supply that necessary information to our communities.  At iHeart, we will continue to operate with our usual business practices, and we will adjust them as needed.  Because we want to make our workplaces as safe as possible, we ask that you quickly contact HR4U@iheartmedia.com or (855) 722-4748 if you or anyone in your offices has contracted, or come into direct contact with, coronavirus and we will deal with each situation individually and appropriately.  As a company we adapt and react quickly, and in this situation, that’s never been more critical.  Our focus is on serving our communities, our listeners and our employees, and we are dedicated to using our assets for the public good in every single community we serve.  As leaders in our communities and in media we have a responsibility to help put the coronavirus in perspective by disseminating information and context for our listeners, and we feel this will have the additional benefit of calming anxiety and the ill effects on society that could result from that.  We’re monitoring the situation closely, and as we learn more, we’ll keep you informed.  Thanks for your strong commitment to serving our communities, our listeners and our partners at a time when they need us more than ever.

Tom Gresham’s ‘Gun Talk’ Celebrates 25 Years in Syndication. The nationally syndicated weekly program “Gun Talk,” hosted by Tom Gresham, is celebrating its 25th year on the air.  Gresham says of his guns and shooting sports program, “‘Gun Talk’ radio is perhaps more important today than when it started 25 years ago.  Whether it’s helping the first-time gun buyer sort out what she needs to buy or exposing politicians who claim to be supporters of the Second Amendment while putting restrictions on this right, there’s plenty to talk about.  Responsible gun ownership is strong, and I’m glad to be part of the movement.”  “Gun Talk” airs live each Sunday from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm ET.  In addition to his radio show, Gresham has created and hosted “Personal Defense TV” and “Gun Talk TV” and has written magazine articles and books about firearms safety and training.

PPM Analysis: Ratings ‘Extra.’ TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents this “extra” look at radio station performances based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2020 PPM survey.  Which stations gained the most weekly, 6+ AQH share compared to the Holiday 2019 survey and which stations lost the most shares?  See it all here.

The Coronavirus Epidemic, the Democratic Primary, Financial Markets React to the Coronavirus, Putin Power Grab Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/10). The status of the COVID-19 epidemic and the debate over the best policies to contain it; Tuesday’s primary elections and Joe Biden’s lead in the Democratic primary race; the world’s financial markets’ reactions to the coronavirus epidemic; and Vladimir Putin’s move to secure his role as leader of Russia through 2036 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. The “Jalen & Jacoby” podcast from ESPN Audio, starring Jalen Rose and David Jacoby, is planning another live recording of the program at the historic Gramercy Theatre in New York City on Tuesday, April 21.  ESPN says the “Jalen & Jacoby” podcast first began as a passion project for the guys under ESPN’s Grantland banner.  As the podcast developed into a hit in the summer of 2011, it grew to include a YouTube show, then to a national ESPN radio show.  From the radio show, “Jalen & Jacoby” grew – yet again – into a late-night TV show before landing in the afternoon on ESPN2 and, where it airs currently at 4:00 pm ET on ESPN.…..The University of Washington athletics department and exclusive multimedia rightsholder Huskies Sports Properties, announces today a new, five-year broadcast agreement with iHeartMedia sports talk KJR-AM, Seattle to run through the 2024-2025 athletic season.  The deal means KJR will provide comprehensive coverage for all Huskies sports including men’s basketball, women’s basketball and football game broadcasts.  Promotional support will happen on KJR-AM and sister stations classic hits KJR-FM, adult hits KJAQ-FM “96.5 JACK-FM,” and sports talk KFNQ-AM…..The “Joy on Paper” radio show hosted by Patzi Gil and dedicated to the world of books, celebrates its 5th anniversary on March 17.  Last year, on the program’s fourth anniversary, Gil’s guests were the writing couple Andrew Grant and Tasha Alexander, both popular authors.  This year they’ll return with breaking news that Andrew Grant is now two writers in one – the talented author of the Paul McGarth series will join his brother Lee Grant (a.k.a. Lee Child) to carry on the Jack Reacher series.  Gil says, “I don’t know how I will introduce him now.  But, whether he is Andrew Grant or Andrew Child, he is a fabulous writer and I am proud that he and Tasha will be joining me.  Tasha is the New York Times best-selling author of the ‘Lady Emily’ mystery series.”

Emmis Communications Announces Non-Broadcasting Acquisition. The acquisition of Lencore Acoustics Corporation – a Long Island-based business in the sound masking industry – gives Emmis Communications Corporation a foothold in a non-broadcasting business.  According to the press release, “Sound masking technology introduces barely perceptible background sound into a space to make environments more comfortable, ensure speech privacy, and increase workplace productivity.”  It adds that Lenore does business in nearly every U.S. state, and Europe (London).  Lencore’s 33 employees become Emmis staffers immediately.  Emmis chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan says, “Today’s announcement is the product of a long process, looking for the right place to infuse the Emmis hallmarks of sales and marketing excellence.  Emmis’ experience in building best-in-class operations, coupled with its unique people-first culture is the perfect fit to complement the talented Lencore team, and will give them the resources and support necessary to grow the business.  We believe that the continued move toward open-concept offices makes effective sound masking solutions more and more important.  We’re excited about where this business can go.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Multimedia pro Joey Fortman is named morning drive personality and digital media specialist for Bonneville’s adult contemporary KOIT, San Francisco.  In addition to her past experience as a radio personality, Fortman is the founder of “Reality Moms,” a multimedia digital influencer agency.  Bonneville Bay Area director of programming operations Brian Figula says, “Joey Fortman is a very unique talent who excels at both on-air and digital content creation.  She is the perfect fit to connect our listeners to our advertisers and sell their products on-air and via our fast-growing digital channels.”…..The husband-and-wife duo of Robby Bridges and Rochelle Gagnon are joining MacDonald Garber Broadcasting’s CHR WKHQ, Traverse City, Michigan to host the morning show. Additionally, Bridges will serve as station program director and Gagnon will take on promotions director duties.  The duo recently served at iHeartMedia’s WDVD, Detroit.  Bridges says, “We’d like to thank Trish and Peter Garber, Diane Hansell and Gary Berkowitz for this awesome opportunity to join their team to create big, fun, live and local radio in one of America’s premiere vacation cities.”…..Central Florida Educational Foundation promotes Dean O’Neal to vice president of operations in which he’ll oversee the organization’s seven Christian radio stations.  O’Neal was most recently program director for non-commercial Christian contemporary WPOZ-FM, Orlando “Z88.3.”  As the same time, Therese Romano is named PD for WPOZ.

Monday, March 2, 2020

| March 2, 2020

JVC Media’s ‘Florida Man Radio’ Makes Lineup Changes. The Orlando simulcast of WDYZ-AM and W288CJ – ‘Florida Man Radio’ – makes some changes to its daily lineup.  Scott Ledger exits the midday slot and the station moves Attorney Justin Clark’s “You Have Power Radio” to 10:00 am to 12:00 noon and adds an hour to “The Ed Tyll Show” (now airing 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm) to fill the daypart.  “The Shannon Burke Show” is now heard in PM drive from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  JVC Media Florida director of programming Stevie Demann says, “As this unique radio station continues to grow across the state, we will continue to find new ways to ensure we’re delivering the most off-the-wall, creative, and exciting ways to discuss today’s most relevant and relatable topics.  Moving Justin to middays, giving Ed Tyll an extra hour, and Shannon Burke moving to 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm to super serve the busy afternoon commute, ‘Florida Man Radio’ will be better positioned to make our listeners laugh, cringe, think – and of course be ‘Unfiltered and Unafraid’!”  ‘Florida Man Radio’ is also heard on WYGC-FM, High Springs in the Gainesville market.

Connoisseur Media Expands Digital Business. The expansion of Connoisseur Media’s digital business comes as the company acquires the digital marketing staff, a substantial portfolio of accounts, and key management platforms from Scorpion.  Connoisseur says the combined digital operations will be known as Ferocious Media going forward.  The assets purchased by Connoisseur are a portion of Scorpion’s 2017 acquisition of Driven Local, a nationally recognized, award-winning digital marketing agency and Google Ads Premier Partner.  Kevin Szypula, Driven Local’s co-founder and most recently chief advertising officer of Scorpion, joins Connoisseur as COO of Ferocious Media.  Connoisseur CEO Jeff Warshaw states, “This is a significant step for our company, it allows us to bring a crackerjack operating team and hundreds of additional accounts into Connoisseur.  We started a digital marketing services company 10 years ago, then merged with Driven Local.  We are so happy to welcome Kevin back to the family.”  Connoisseur says Ferocious Media is a full-service marketing company that provides “cutting edge website design, search engine optimization, search engine marketing, media buying, display, video and audio advertising, social media content and more.”

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2020 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio.  Almost 70% of sports talk stations in PPM markets saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share improve from the Holiday 2019 survey.  Big gainers included iHeartMedia’s KXFN, Minneapolis, which shot up 1.6 shares to post an 8.4 share and the #1 rank in the market; and Entercom’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh, rising 1.5 shares to finish the survey with a 7.9 share good for the #4 rank.  Comparing year-over-year, 53% of sports talkers were up while 35% were down and 12% were flat.  KXFN, Minneapolis gained 3.5 shares from January 2019 to January 2020, rising from #8 to #1 in the market.  Meanwhile, Cumulus Media’s KNBR, San Francisco added 1.9 shares to finish January 2020 with a 4.8 share; and Capitol Broadcasting’s WCMC-FM, Raleigh also added 1.9 shares to finish January 2020 with a 3.9 share.  KFXN was one of three sports talkers to rank #1 in its market in January.  The other two were Entercom’s WIP-FM, Philadelphia and WFAN in the Long Island market.  See the entire report here.

Supporting the Prez at CPAC.  Pictured above is Salem Radio Network syndicated talk radio host Sebastian Gorka with the social media stars “Diamond & Silk” – outspoken supporters of President Trump – at CPAC 2020 in National Harbor, Maryland.  The sisters – Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson – have close to 2 million Facebook followers and more than 250,000 YouTube subscribers.

Monday Memo: “On YOUR One Day…?”  In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke outlines a call-in topic that has never failed to explode the phone lines.  Warn your screener.  Read about it here.

Coronavirus, Presidential Race/Buttigieg Drops Out, Financial Markets Activity, Selma March Anniversary, the Israeli Election Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The status of the coronavirus pandemic and how nations are dealing with it; Joe Biden’s win in Saturday’s South Carolina primary and Pete Buttigieg’s exit from the race for the Democratic nomination; the coronavirus’ effect on the world’s financial markets after the Dow loses almost 11% of its value in a week; Sunday’s anniversary march commemorating the 1965 “Bloody Sunday” Selma, Alabama march; and the latest Israel election were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing  research from TALKERS magazine.

Premiere Networks and Dan Patrick Renew. Sports media personality Dan Patrick and Premiere Networks announce they have signed a renewed and expanded long-term agreement for Premiere to serve as the exclusive, global audio distribution partner for the Marconi Award-winning program.  “The Dan Patrick Show” – heard on some 360 affiliate stations – will continue as part of FOX Sports Radio and is also available on FOX Sports Radio’s channel on the iHeartRadio platform, FOXSportsRadio.com, and other platforms.  Patrick says, “I’m thrilled to extend my partnership with Premiere Networks, FOX Sports Radio and iHeartRadio.  This really isn’t a job for me, it’s a passion and I love working with the Danettes and the rest of my team to create a great experience for our fans.  We never take for granted the loyalty our fans have shown us over the years, and I’m honored to keep at it for many years to come. I want to thank Julie Talbott, Bob Pittman and Darren Davis for their continued belief in the show, and a special thank you to my agent, Paul Anderson of Workhouse Media for doing his job to get this deal done while I focused on doing mine for our fans.”

TALKERS News Notes. Former WEEI, Boston morning drive personality Kirk Minihane announces he’s taking time off from his Barstool Sports podcast to enter a treatment program for depression.  On Saturday, he tweeted, “The last month or so I’ve really been struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts.  I’m going to enter a treatment program to fight this, so the show will be on hiatus.  I’m scared that these thoughts and feelings are back, but this is life with depression.  It’s a hard fight.”  Minihane took leave from his WEEI show on two occasions in 2018 to seek mental health treatment…..Broadcasting executive Mitch Dolan, currently chief operating officer of Great Lakes Media Corp., is being honored with induction into the Rhode Island Radio & TV Hall of Fame at a ceremony that will take place in Providence on April 30.  Dolan is well known for his time as president of the ABC Radio Station Group.  Earlier in his career, he rose through the ranks at then-ABC-owned WPRO-AM and WPRO-FM in Providence to become general manager.  Dolan was the general manager as WPRO-AM flipped from hit radio to news/talk…..SiriusXM announces that its Doctor Radio channel and NYU Langone Health’s medical experts will launch 24/7 programming, live and on demand, dedicated to the latest news and updates surrounding the coronavirus.  All programming will be presented by NYU Langone’s team of world-class infectious disease and medical authorities and curated by SiriusXM’s Doctor Radio channel programmers.  The channel and NYU Langone Health have created a special informative guide titled, “Coronavirus: Everything You Need To Know,” that is available as a podcast on Pandora and an On Demand selection through SiriusXM’s app and streaming platform.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Lynn Barstow is adding programming duties for Waterloo Media’s Austin City Limits Radio to his responsibilities.  The format airs in the Austin market on KGSR-HD2.  Barstow serves as program director for Waterloo’s alternative KROX “101X.”  Barstow takes over for Emily Parker, who exited the role for a position outside of the radio business…..Air personality and programmer Nathan Fast joins Iliad Media Group to lead the digital content and distribution efforts for its seven-station Boise cluster that includes country KQBL “101.9 The Bull,” CHR KWYD “Wild 101,” hot ACT KZMG “My 102.7,” and adult hits KSRV “96.1 BOB-FM.”  Fast was most recently morning host at Cumulus Media’s country KPLX, Dallas “99.5 The Wolf.”…..Cox Media Group promotes Angelina Rosario director of sales for its Miami station group.  Rosario was most recently general sales manager.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

| June 4, 2019

Lars Larson Inks New Deal with Alpha Media’s KXL-FM, Portland. Talk radio star Lars Larson signs a new deal to continue hosting his daily program on Alpha Media’s KXL-FM, Portland “FM News 101” through 2024.  As part of the deal, Larson’s 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm PT show is also broadcast to 21 stations in the Pacific Northwest via Alpha Media’s Radio Northwest Network.  Larson’s national radio show airs live on some 125 affiliate stations from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm PT via syndicator Compass Media Networks (with whom Larson also holds a multi-year contract).  Alpha Media SVP and market manager Lisa Decker says, “With the biggest local talk radio audience in the region, ‘The Lars Larson Show’ reaches more than 3.5 million listeners.  All of us at Alpha Media Portland, our listeners, and our advertisers are excited to extend our relationship with Lars for the next five years.”  Larson comments, “I’m thrilled to renew my relationship with a station I’ve been with through half a dozen presidents, a dozen NW governors, a live volcano eruption, and more than 25 years as a reporter, anchor, and now talk host.”

Cumulus Makes WABC Programmer Change Official. Yesterday (6/3), TALKERS magazine reported that former hot AC WPLJ, New York program director Dave LaBrozzi has taken over the programming reigns of Cumulus Media’s heritage news/talk WABC, New York, replacing Craig Schwalb.  Now, the company makes it official with a press release. LaBrozzi joined WPLJ in May of 2018.  Prior to that he was VP of programming for what is now Entercom’s Baltimore cluster (when it was owned by CBS RADIO) that includes sports talk duo WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” and WJZ-AM “CBS Sports Radio 1300.”  He previously served as regional vice president of programming for iHeartMedia (back when it was Clear Channel) overseeing stations in Pittsburgh; Wheeling, West Virginia; and Johnstown, Pennsylvania.  Cumulus New York VP and market manager Chad Lopez says, “Dave will be an incredible asset to 77 WABC and Radio 103.9/WNBM-FM, and brings experience in both the news/talk and urban AC formats to his new role with Cumulus New York.  We are looking forward to continuing to grow these stations and to giving their passionate listeners even more of the content and community connection that they rely on and enjoy every day.”

The Thompson Family’s Big Radio to Acquire Two More in Janesville, Wisconsin. Two historical Janesville, Wisconsin radio stations are changing hands as Skip BlissSouthern Wisconsin Broadcasting (a subsidiary of Bliss Communications) agrees to sell heritage news/talk WCLO-AM and country WJVL-FM to Ben Thompson-led Big Radio for an undisclosed sum.  Buyer Big Radio operates eight stations in the Southern Wisconsin markets of Beloit, Freeport, Monroe, and Janesville.  Skip Bliss’ father put WCLO on the air in 1930 and WJVL-FM launched in 1947.  Meanwhile, Big Radio was founded by Ben’s father Scott Thompson in 1996 with the purchase of two Monroe stations.  The sale announcement states that “[u]nder Ben’s leadership, Big Radio remains committed to its founding ideals, providing superior coverage of the community’s local news, sports, entertainment, and information.  Big Radio provides local news 365 days a year and its sports department broadcast over 350 regional high school sporting events last year.  Ben Thompson and Big Radio believe the future of radio is local, and aggressively pursue this strategy to the benefit of its listeners and advertisers.”  Kalil & Co., Inc. represents the buyer in this transaction.

New York’s WOR to Present Live Event Speaker Series. Big Apple news/talk WOR is launching an event series called “WOR Live” that will feature in-depth interviews and compelling speakers.  iHeartMedia announces that for the first event, station morning personality Len Berman will moderate a panel that will analyze the news business in 2019.  Joining Berman will be New York news personalities Rosanna Scotto – co-host of WNYW-TV’s “Good Day New York” – and Ernie Anastos, news anchor at WNYW “FOX News 5.”  The event also features networking opportunities and lunch and takes place at the Cutting Room on June 19 at 11:30 am.

Entercom’s New York All-News Stations Win Big at NYSAPA. WCBS-AM and WINS-AM – both all-news outlets operated by Entercom Communications – won a total of 16 2018 New York State Associated Press Association Awards. WCBS 880 received first place in seven categories, including top honor for “Outstanding News Operation for Radio.”  Sister station 1010 WINS was recognized with top honors in three categories, including for Best Newscast and Best Weathercast.  The stations collectively received second place finishes in six categories.  Winners were honored at NYSAPA’s annual awards dinner on June 1 in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Trump’s UK Visit, 2020 Presidential Race, Deadly Virginia Beach Shootings, U.S.-China Tensions, Mexican Tariff Proposal/Immigration Issues, Big Tech Anti-Trust Investigation, and Holzhauer’s ‘Jeopardy!’ Run Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/3). The official state visit to the U.K. by President Trump; the Democrats vying to challenge Trump in 2020; the aftermath of the shootings in Virginia Beach that left 12 dead; the diplomatic and economic tensions between the U.S. and China over the tariffs the U.S. has slapped on Chinese exports; the Trump Administration’s plan to place tariffs on Mexican exports and the Southern border immigration issues; the House Judiciary Committee’s investigation into possible Big Tech anti-trust activity; and James Holzhauer’s improbable “Jeopardy!” run were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Detroit, iHeartMedia names Bill Black director of urban programming for hip hop WJLB and urban contemporary WMXD “MIX 92.3,” taking over for Nate Bell, who left that position earlier this year.  Black comes to Detroit from his most recent position with Radio One in Cleveland programming hip hop WENZ and urban contemporary WZAK.  He says, “I am really thrilled to join the iHeartMedia team and be able to do what I love. The talented programmers that I get to collaborate with, coupled with these legendary Detroit urban stations are unmatched and I’m excited to get to work.”…..iHeartMedia appoints Dustin “Fletcher” Matthews program director for alternative WEND, Charlotte “106.5 The End,” effective June 10.  Matthews moves from the company’s St. Louis region where he was director of alternative rock programming.  iHeartMedia Virginia-Carolina Region SVP Chadwick “A.J.” Hausknecht says, “Dustin is one of the best alternative format programmers in the country.  His unmeasurable creativity and distinctive out-of-the-box thinking will be a great addition to our super passionate and strategic programming family here at iHeartMedia Charlotte.”…..Alpha Media announces that programmer Brown is moving from his PD position in Louisville to Columbia, South Carolina where he’ll serve as operations manager.  He continues as format captain for the company’s urban, urban AC, and gospel brands.  Alpha Media regional president Mike Hartel says, “Brown is a natural leader and he has been a star in our company for a while now.  We can’t wait to bring his big ideas and his big heart to our organization and our community in Columbia!”…..This past weekend, Premiere Networks-syndicated personality Delilah (left) appeared on the Food Network program,  “Trisha’s Southern Kitchen,” hosted by country star Trisha Yearwood (right).  Yearwood also sat down for an interview with Delilah for her podcast “Love Someone with Delilah.”  The three-time Grammy Award-winner discussed her life and career, including her first full-length studio album in more than 10 years, Let’s Be Frank: A Tribute to Frank Sinatra…..Entercom expands its LGBTQ+ Talk Radio Network CHANNEL Q to new markets, including: Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Kansas City, San Diego, and Washington D.C.  The network now brings the latest in LGBTQ+ news and information, pop culture, and new music to listeners in a total of 19 local markets and via the RADIO.COM app nationwide…..WAQX, New York morning personality Shelli Sonstein – longtime co-host of Q104.3’s “Jim Kerr Rock & Roll Morning Show” – led her fundraising team in the 2019 NYC Tunnel to Towers Climb that benefits the families of first responders and military personnel killed in action.  Sonstein led her team (pictured below) in their age group with a record time climbing the 104 stories of the World Trade Center.  She says, “I would like to thank Elvis Duran and my co-host Jim Kerr for their very generous donations, and of course, ‘Q104.3’ and iHeartMedia for supporting my efforts.  My entire team finished this very difficult climb and vows to be back again next year to raise even more funds and awareness of this great organization.”

Friday, April 26, 2019

| April 26, 2019

Mark Levin to Air Interview with President Trump. Nationally syndicated talk radio host Mark Levin is presenting an exclusive interview with President Trump on his Westwood One program later today (4/26).  In the segment, the president tells Levin he’ll be proud to run on a position that continues prohibiting felons from voting and accuses Democrats of moving to the far left.  Trump also weighed in on the Mueller Report.  Check out some of the audio from the interview here.

NJBA to Induct Class of 2019 into Hall of Fame.  At this summer’s New Jersey Broadcasters Association convention in Atlantic City, the state broadcasters organization will induct seven into its Hall of Fame.  Being enshrined this year will be: Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley (who will also present a keynote address at the convention), iHeartMedia Networks Group president Darren DavisTownsquare Media CEO Bill Wilson, Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce, Emmis Communications founder and chairman Jeff Smulyan, WFPG-FM, Atlantic City “Lite Rock” morning host Eddie Davis, and late national syndication and WCTC-AM, New Brunswick talk radio legend Bruce Williams.  Also at this year’s event,TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison will address the conference as a featured speaker.

Jim Bohannon Helps WDUN Celebrate 70th Anniversary. Pictured above is Westwood One nationally syndicated late night personality Jim Bohannon (right) with WDUN, Gainesville, Georgia EVP and general manager Bill Maine (left).  Bohannon visited his affiliate station in the market yesterday (4/25) to attend its 70thanniversary celebration luncheon.

Kellie Holeman Named Market President at iHeartMedia Greensboro. Radio executive Kellie Holeman is moving from iHeartMedia’s Toledo operations to the Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point cluster to serve as market president.  The station group consists of news/talk WPTI-FM and seven music formatted stations.  iHeartMedia area president Bill McMartin says, “I am very excited to have Kellie Holeman lead the iHeartMedia team in the Triad and the Virginia-Carolina region.  Kellie has an extensive track record and brings over 25 years of experience managing iHeartMedia stations in a competitive Ohio media environment.  Our Greensboro team is looking forward to Kellie’s strong leadership, positive enthusiasm, and competitive drive to further lead a best-in-class team at iHeartMedia Greensboro.”  Holeman served as market president for a seven-station market for iHeartMedia Toledo for the past seven years.

Detailed Agenda for Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Posted.  Although speakers and sessions are still being added, the basic detailed agenda for the forthcoming 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most important annual gathering of the talk media industry is now posted and can be accessed here.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “The sheer quality of this convention’s lineup of speakers is a testimony to the present-day vibrancy of talk radio and the associated talk media industry. This is the place to be for anyone who is serious about their career and business in the field of talk shows.”  The event will take place on Friday, June 7 in New York City at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan.  The conference will feature more than 55 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including influential talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, fast-paced day!  As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. A full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. To take advantage of the hotel discount available to TALKERS convention attendees, contact the Hilton Fashion District Hotel located directly across the street from the venue at 152 W. 26th St, New York, NY 10001 by clicking here.

TALKERS CONVENTION SPOTLIGHT:  Panel Discussion to Address Talk Radio’s Challenges and Opportunities Generating Revenue in 2019.  One of the many highlights planned for the forthcoming Talkers 2019: Telling the Story on Friday, June 7 in New York City will be an extremely useful and pertinent panel discussion focusing on the challenges faced by and opportunities available to talk radio in 2019 in advertising sales, digital marketing, and the generation of non-traditional revenue.  Titled, “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2019,” the session will feature panelists (in alphabetical order) Asa Andrew, host, “AsaRx”; Vince Benedetto, CEO Bold Gold Media GroupSuzanne Grimes, EVP/marketing, Cumulus Media and president, Westwood OneChad Lopez, VP/market manager, Cumulus Media New York; Dave Robinett, chief marketing officer, #250 – America’s Mobile Speed Dial; and Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks. The discussion will be moderated by Erica Farber, president/CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB).  The session will be introduced by Michael Zwerling, owner, KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz.  The panel will identify problems as well as solutions inherent in the sales and marketing of talk radio as the medium integrates its multi-platform assets into the rapidly evolving digital era.   Don’t miss this session!  The TALKERS convention is rapidly heading toward being an early sellout.  To see the entire up-to-the-minute agenda and registration/hotel information, please click here.

WMVP’s Zederman Launches Fitness-Nutrition Podcast. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports some podcast news out of the Windy City. Danny Zederman, who serves ESPN sports talk O&O WMVP-AM as executive producer of the late morning “Kap & Co.” with host David Kaplan, is striking out into the podcast space with the health, nutrition, and fitness-focused “The Armchair Nutritionist” program.  Zederman tells Feder, “I target a demographic that usually goes unserved in the health and nutrition marketplace: the newbies trying to figure out health and nutrition in order to get themselves on track in life with the limited time they have in the day.”

Mueller Report Aftermath/Impeachment Talk Top News/Talk Stories for Week of April 22-26.  The reaction to the release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report and Democrats’ calls for impeachment of President Trump were the top news/talk stories this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Trump Administration’s plan to ignore subpoenas from House leaders.  Coming in at #3 was the 2020 presidential candidates and their political strategies, followed by the Southern border migrant issue 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.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programmer Dave Numme is promoted to format captain for hot AC and rock brands for Alpha Media.  Numme serves as content director for hot AC KEZR and classic hits KBAY in San Jose, positions he will continue to hold.   Numme says, “Alpha Media is progressive in building a culture that empowers our people to initiate new ideas to grow our brands and audience.  It’s exciting to be asked to help share best practices and collaborate with all of our content managers to have fun and win.”…..In Rhode Island, Hall Communications appoints April Shibley to the position of promotions manager for WCTK-FM, Providence “Cat Country 98.1.”  She previously served with Cumulus Media New York as promotions director.  Hall Communications VP of programming Bob Walker says, “April is a true industry pro and we are thrilled to have her join us in Providence.”…..WCMF, Rochester midday personality Dave Kane is the subject of a feature piece in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle this week.  The piece reveals Kane’s thoughts on classic rock from the late 1960s and the 1970s and why it still resonates with people.  Kane is being honored by the Rochester Music Hall of Fame for his 38 years of work on the rock station at a ceremony on Sunday (4/28).

PPM Analysis: Mainstream Rock.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian takes a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on mainstream rock.  Based on weekly 6+ AQH share, about half the rock stations in PPM markets saw their ratings go up and about half saw them go down.  Comparing March 2018 to March 2019 slightly more than half (56%) of rock stations saw ratings improve year-over-year.  Three rock stations ranked #1 in their respective markets during the March survey: Hubbard Radio’s KSHE, St. Louis; and iHeartMedia’s WDVE, Pittsburgh and WHJY, Providence.  See the whole report here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

| August 28, 2018

News/Talk WGOW-FM, Chattanooga Cuts Ties with Jeff Styles. The longtime WGOW-FM, Chattanooga morning drive personality had been suspended by Cumulus Media after his arrest on aggravated assault charges stemming from a road rage incident on June 15.  Now, after the station’s internal investigation, Jeff Styles has been let go from the news/talk outlet.  A portion of the station’s statement says, “There is nothing more we can say about it because we do not know the specific considerations and scope of the internal investigation nor the specific findings of the internal investigation.”  Styles recently launched a website dedicated to telling his side of the story.  During the incident, Styles was shot in the arm by motorist Nickolas Bullington.  On the JeffStylesAmerica.com site, he lays out his explanation of what happened during the confrontation with Bullington and displays Bullington’s history of court appearances and motor vehicle violations.  Styles’ attorney had argued that there was no probable cause to charge Styles but the judge eventually bound the case over to a grand jury.  WGOW-FM’s “The Morning Press” show is being hosted by Jim Reynolds and program director Kevin West.

WABC, New York Launches ‘Sid Sports Sunday’ Program.  Beginning September 9, WABC, New York personality Sid Rosenberg debuts his new, weekly sports talk show, “Sid Sports Sunday” from 8:00 am to 10:00 am on Cumulus Media’s news/talk 77 WABC Radio.  Rosenberg co-hosts the station’s “Bernie and Sid in the Morning” program with Bernard McGuirk.  The station says the show “is created with the listener’s sports needs at its epicenter – from expert fantasy picks, to incredible player interviews, to live look-in’s at stadiums across the country.”  Cumulus Media New York VP/market manager Chad Lopez adds, “Our listeners and our advertisers have been begging for Sid to contribute to New York’s explosive sports conversation with more regularity.  ‘Sid Sports Sunday’ will cover it all every week.”  Rosenberg says, “I’m so proud of the work we do daily on the ‘Bernie and Sid in the Morning’ show. There is no better variety show in the country. But it is no secret that I wanted to get back to my roots and host a serious sports show. I want to thank Chad Lopez and [program director] Craig Schwalb for this wonderful opportunity.”

Annual WEEI-NESN Jimmy Fund Radiothon Raises More Than $4.4 million.  This year’s fundraiser was the 16th annual to benefit the Boston-based Jimmy Fund that supports adult and pediatric cancer care and research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  WEEI launched the fundraiser in 2002, regional sports cable channel NESN joined the cause in 2003.  This year’s event helped raise more than $4.4 million and, to date, the “WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon” has raised more than $53 million.  Entercom Boston regional president and market manager Mark Hannon says, “The Jimmy Fund makes significant contributions to those battling cancer in the Boston area and we are proud to support its efforts through this yearly event.  It is an honor for our team to give back to the community by raising funds on behalf of the organization and we are blown away by the incredible generosity of WEEI listeners who make this event so successful year in and year out.”

Rich Brody to Wrap 45-Year Sales Career This October.  Currently serving as an account executive for Beasley Media Group’s classic hits WROR-FM, Boston, Richard Brody will retire from the radio business on October 26 after 45 years of service to the Boston radio industry.  The company says that in addition to being an “extraordinary and award-winning sales professional,” Brody is known as “a great mentor and friend, and fierce advocate for the radio industry as a whole.” During his career, Brody hosted a jazz program on WCAS, Cambridge and worked in the sales department at Boston stations including: WCOZ, WBCN, WVBF, WXKS “Kiss 108,” Mix 98.5 (now Mix 104.1), WZLX, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” and, of course, WROR.  Beasley Media Boston GSM Jesse Carbone says, “When Richard Brody walked into my office a couple of weeks ago and said he was ready to retire, at first I didn’t believe him.  I didn’t think Rich would ever stop working, but after a few minutes I realized it was in fact true.  The guy who had spent more than four decades becoming a legend in the radio industry was finally ready to travel, visit family and friends, and hopefully sleep past 3:00 am.  Throughout his career, Rich not only sold the stations for which he worked but he also championed the medium with unmatched passion.  The radio industry will not be the same without him.”

Edison Research: 54% of Radio Listeners Hear Medium ONLY in the Car.  This data point is one of a number from Edison Research’s “Share of Ear” study that will be revealed during the company’s presentation at the NAB/RAB’s Radio Show in Orlando.  As you can see in the infographic above, the younger a consumer gets, the more they only hear radio in the car.  Find out more from Edison Research at its “Miles Different: In-Car Audio 2018” presentation on September 27 at 1:30 pm at the Radio Show.

NextRadio Available on New Samsung Galaxy Note9. The inclusion of an FM chip and the support for NextRadio by Samsung on its new Galaxy Note9 is thrilling for NextRadio, says NextRadio president Paul Brenner.  “The launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note9 is especially exciting, as this model is a showcase for premium technology and industry-defining innovation. We look forward to the Galaxy Note9 being available to millions of users who will be able to listen to free radio on their phone in North America…Through the free NextRadio app, Galaxy Note9 consumers can listen to live, local radio stations.  Also, when cellular coverage is congested or unavailable, the FM chip will provide life-saving information from local radio stations.”

iHeartMedia’s AUTOFLYTE EDGE Launched to Assist Auto Dealers in Marketing Decisions. This marketing tool for auto dealerships is a collaborative effort between iHeartMedia and AUTOFLYTE that features daily sales and market share data throughout each region to help dealerships market smarter and faster.  iHeartMedia says, “In an age when real-time analytics and insights are vital to a business’ success, dealerships have been confined to analyzing OEM reports and 60- to 90-day-old registration data to guide their sales and marketing strategies.  Now, for the first time, auto dealerships will be able to utilize iHeartMedia’s AUTOFLYTE EDGE tool to receive up-to-date, daily automotive sales insights from their surrounding area, allowing them to completely customize and quickly update their sales and marketing strategies based on current market dynamics and trends.” iHeartMedia EVP of automotive business developments & partnerships John Karpinski says, “We are committed to technology-driven innovation and having the ability to offer even more targeting solutions for our advertisers that leverage the unparalleled local reach of radio.  AUTOFLYTE has partnered with the industry authority for automotive sales statistics to create the most powerful and credible insights tool available and we have partnered with AUTOFLYTE to bring this revolutionary technology to the market. With the new AUTOFLYTE EDGE platform, we will provide our auto partners the ability to break free from previous automotive marketing confinements and use timely information to precisely target new buyers.”

TALKERS News Notes. WPEN-FM, Philadelphia executive producer Eric Camille is promoted to assistant program director for the Beasley Media Group sports talker. Camille joined “97.5 The Fanatic” in 2009.  Program director Eric Johnson says, “Eric Camille cares deeply about ‘The Fanatic.’  It shows in everything he does…whether it’s creating compelling imaging, making sure of all our on-air schedules are coordinated, or acting as a programming, sales and promotions liaison.  It’s a privilege to have him on our team.”…..The Federal Communications Commission is getting into the podcast game with a new series called, “More Than Seven Dirty Words,” designed to educate and, as the press release says, “maybe even do the impossible: make telecom interesting.” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai comments, “One of the wonderful things about the digital age is the many ways to share information, so we’re excited to launch this new FCC podcast.  What really has struck me during my time at the agency is the dedication that our staff has for the mission of the FCC, and I’m glad we’re able to shine a light on their efforts to make America a better, stronger place.”  The podcast is hosted by FCC policy advisor Evan Swarztrauber.  Guests will share their personal stories behind some of the headline-making news from the commission and break down issues across the spectrum of the FCC…..There are two management announcements from Midwest Communications as the company brings former NRG Media Omaha market manager Kurt Luchs aboard to oversee its five-station Kalamazoo cluster that includes news/talk WKZO and sports talk WQLR.  Also in Michigan, Midwest appoints Mark Jaycox manager of the four-station Lansing group that includes sports talk WQTX-FM.  Most recently, Jaycox was with Adams Outdoor’s Lansing office…..Kevin Gabbay joins news/talk 77 WABC, New York and the rest of the Cumulus Media New York cluster as director of marketing & promotions…..According to a report in Variety, ESPN is making some changes to the “Get Up!” morning program hosted by Mike Greenberg, Michelle Beadle, and Jalen Rose.  The story says Beadle is exiting the show and re-locating to Los Angeles to focus on her other ESPN duties, including hosting “NBA Countdown.”  Jalen Rose will continue to appear on “Get Up!” when his “NBA Countdown” duties allow.  Greenberg exited the successful ESPN Radio “Mike & Mike” show to take on the role hosting mornings on the company’s flagship cable channel…..SiriusXM is broadcasting live coverage of the 2018 US Open Tennis Championships from the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York…..Westwood One is continuing to urge all major commercial broadcast radio stations to register their existing C Band downlinks with the FCC before the Commission evaluates the 3.7-4.2 Ghz C Band for additional mobile broadband data services. These potential services could create insurmountable interference to programming that thousands of stations receive by satellite. The deadline for registration is now October 17, 2018.  Typically, registration requires a Frequency Coordination Study ($1,500) plus a $435 filing fee. During the 90-day window, the FCC waived the first fee and only the $435 filing fee applies. It is possible the FCC will later charge the $1,500 study fee. Westwood One’s satellite provider, SES, has set aside a pool of funding to reimburse those broadcasters for whom the $435 registration fee is a hardship. This reimbursement is subject to the terms set by SES for earth stations registered between July 25, 2018 and October 17, 2018 in the continental United States.  For questions, contact SES directly at FCCregistration@ses.com

John McCain’s Passing, Trump-Russia Investigation, Lanny Davis-CNN Story Controversy, Trump Announces U.S.-Mexico Trade Deal, Deadly Jacksonville Shooting, NFL Pre-season, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/27). The passing of Arizona Senator John McCain, the White House’s reaction, and speculation about who will fill his seat; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; Michael Cohen attorney Lanny Davis admits to being source of CNN story that claimed Trump had knowledge of Trump Tower-Russia meeting; President Trump announces steps toward new trade deal with Mexico; the aftermath of the deadly shooting at an egame competition in Jacksonville; the NFL’s pre-season; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

Chuck Fredrick to Lead Cumulus Indianapolis. Former iHeartMedia Cincinnati market manager Chuck Fredrick is joining Cumulus Media as vice president and market manager for its Indianapolis cluster that includes CHR WYRG, country WFMS, and classic hits WJJK.  Fredrick comments, “Grateful to Mary Berner and Dave Milner for giving me the opportunity to do what I love to do.  I am especially excited about joining and partnering with the Indianapolis team, giving our best in all that we do.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Kansas City hot AC KZPT “99.7 The Point” announces its new morning show will be “Ponch & Nikki in the Morning” featuring Brian “Ponch” Hudgens and Nikki Vivas.  Ponch joins the Entercom station after working for 17 years at Steel City Media’s crosstown CHR KMVX “MIX 93.3.”  He says in a Facebook post, “I’m coming back to morning radio in Kansas City on ‘99.7 The Point!’  I will also continue my journey with Strange Music.  Managing, promoting, and developing some of the best artists on the planet!  Music and radio are two of my BIGGEST passions.  Being able to do both, I am literally living my dream.  As a bonus I get to do a morning show with one of my dearest/closest friends, Nikki Vivas!!!”…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that Lou Lombardo is the new midday jock at Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s rock WXRX, Rockford, Illinois.  Lombardo previously worked at Cumulus Media’s alt rock WKQX, Chicago…..News about the new morning show at Community Broadcasters-owned alternative WZLB, Fort Walton Beach “103.1 The Blaze” is expected soon as station program director Wes Styles announces the station has ended its carriage of the “Bubba the Love Sponge” program.  Styles comments, “We’re excited about the evolution of the station.  A new logo, voice, and morning show.  Things are happening at ‘THE BLAZE!’  And we are confident these changes will create a better listening experience for our devoted fans and an enhanced advertising environment for our clients.”…..Chicago radio pro LaMont WattsFuture Vision Entertainment is buying two FM translators from Windy City Broadcasting for $3.5 million.  They will be fed by an HD signal of SBS’ WLEY-FM and will air Watts’ “Clubsteppin” R&B format that currently airs online.  The translators are W236CF, Chicago (atop the Willis Tower) and W236BF licensed to suburban Bolingbrook.

Friday, February 16, 2017

| February 16, 2018

Warner Wolf Files Suit Against Imus, Cumulus, and Others.  According to a story in today’s New York Post, Warner Wolf is suing Don Imus and several Cumulus Media and WABC, New York managers for age discrimination.  Warner Wolf served as the sports reporter on the “Imus in the Morning” program until he exited the show at the end of 2016.  According to the complaint, Wolf – who was 78 at the time of his departure from the show – says he was replaced by the younger Sid Rosenberg.  That move followed what Wolf claims was a number of comments from Imus about his age, including such Imus-like quips that Wolf needed “to be put out to pasture” and “shoot him with an elephant dart gun.”  Wolf also names Cumulus EVP of content and programming Mike McVay, Cumulus New York market manager Chad Lopez, and WABC program director Craig Schwalb.  Wolf says in the complaint that he took a large pay cut as part of a deal to work from his home in Florida and that Imus didn’t like the arrangement.  He also says he was denied his due severance.  He’s seeking $97,500 in severance plus damages.  Cumulus and WABC have not commented publicly about the suit.

Ryan Maguire to Leave WQAM to Program KIRO-FM, Seattle.  After spending the past three years in South Florida programming Entercom’s sports talk WQAM, Miami, program director Ryan Maguire is heading to the Pacific Northwest to take the PD role at Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle.  Maguire announced the news via social media, saying, “Starting March 12th, I will be taking over as Director of News and Programming at @KIRORadio in Seattle. @angelblas17 and myself are excited to become part of the community. Thank you to everyone from @560WQAM for letting me share in your successes over the last 3 years.”  No word from Entercom yet about its plans to fill the program director post at WQAM.

WTIC-AM, Hartford Ends Relationship with UConn Sports.  This is surprising news out of Hartford, but Entercom Hartford SVP and market manager Phil Zachary says the bottom line is the company could not reach an agreement with University of Connecticut sports rights holder IMG Sports that made fiscal sense.  The current deal between IMG and WTIC ends at the conclusion of this college basketball season.  Zachary says, “I have the highest respect for UConn athletic director David Benedict and his goals for the university.  Having grown up in Connecticut, there’s a special place in my heart for UConn Basketball.  However, I couldn’t justify what they were seeking when compared to more successful partnerships Entercom enjoys with elite Power 5 institutions.”  Zachary says WTIC will continue to place a high priority on local sports coverage and will sharpen its focus on the Boston Red Sox, New York Giants, and New England Patriots, all of whose games are broadcast on the station.

TALKERS News Notes. Through a joint effort of AXS TV and KMG Networks, a radio version of “The Big Interview with Dan Rather” is being offered to stations.  Westwood One is handling sales efforts.  A press release from KMG says stations will receive an audio version of the series; a corresponding video segment to post on station websites, mobile apps, and social media channels; and custom liners and promos featuring Rather.  AXS TV CEO Jeff Cuban adds, “Stations around the country now have access to an impressive roster of unique, insightful, and candid conversations Dan had with some of the most influential figures in rock, including:   Crosby Stills & Nash, Gene Simmons, Carlos Santana, Pat Benatar, Heart, Gregg Allman, Bryan Adams, John Fogerty, Sammy Hagar, Neil Young, Billy Gibbons, and Roger Waters.”…..Two NPR personalities move into prime positions with the public radio network’s drive time news programs.  Noel King is joining “Morning Edition” and Ailsa Chang is now part of the “All Things Considered” air staff.  Both King and Chang have been serving as reporters for the “Planet Money” podcast…..Entercom sports talk WIP, Philadelphia is giving Eagles fans some programming with which to relive the NFL team’s Super Bowl championship.  The station is rebroadcasting Super Bowl LII in its entirety on Sunday (2/18) at 2:00 pm.  Immediately following the game, the station will air a one-hour special titled, “Long Time, First Time: The Story of the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles,” hosted by 94WIP’s Rob Charry.

Florida School Massacre Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 12-16.  The assault on students and faculty at a high school in Florida that took the lives of 17 people was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the status of the DACA Act and the Trump Administration’s immigration policy.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Russia investigation being conducted by Robert Mueller, and U.S. intelligence sources’ reports that Russian agents are trying to meddle in the 2018 mid-term elections was #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.

CURB YOUR DOGMA! Podcaster David Smalley Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Speaker, activist, author, publisher, comedian, humanist, former evangelical Christian-turned-atheist and successful podcaster David Smalley is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Smalley hosts a long-running podcast series titled, “Dogma Debate,” in which he expresses his passion for skepticism and truth by respectfully challenging well-known, highly opinionated guests to defend their dogma. In this installment, Harrison presents another deep-dive interview into the rabbit hole between media and culture as he and Smalley discuss the age-old debate between science and religion, as well as number of contentious contemporary issues. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box for “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Comrex to Debut New EarShot IFB at NAB 2018.  This update in interruptible fold back technology was, according to Comrex sales director Chris Crump, something that needed to happen.  “We’d visit TV stations and see banks of old telephone auto-couplers connected to expensive analog phone lines.  Most other phone tech has transitioned to Voice-over-IP, but remote IFB audio remains stuck in the last century.”  Interruptible fold back is used by television and radio production facilities to allow producers to break into (interrupt) a talent’s audio feed – the fold back – and give direction.  The new Comrex EarShot IFB provides telephone-based, live studio program and IFB audio to field-based remote broadcasts.  Up to 30 users can listen to program or IFB feeds by calling into EarShot IFB with a mobile phone.  EarShot IFB can handle up to four program feeds, or two IFB feeds.  For higher fidelity, smartphone apps can be used to pull the audio in studio quality.  EarShot IFB can be connected to low-cost cloud-based VoIP service, or tied to a station’s VoIP PBX.  Comrex technical director Tom Hartnett adds, “With our years of experience in putting VoIP calls on air, it was a no-brainer to provide a simple hardware solution to the IFB problem.  The folks we talked to were sick of paying for a dozen or more POTS lines to provide this function.  EarShot IFB will pay for itself within a couple of months in phone service savings alone.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Texas radio pro Al Farb is named APD and afternoon drive personality at Cumulus Media’s country KSCS, Dallas.  Farb comes to Dallas from the Cox Media Group operations in Houston where he was most recently an executive producer and air talent at KKBQ-FM and KTHT-FM.  KSCS program director Mac Daniels states, “After a very extensive search, I’m confident that Al is the right fit for this position. KSCS will benefit greatly from his passion for radio, his knowledge of the format and his skill set. I’m very excited to have him as part of this team.”…..Upstate New York classic rocker WOUR, Utica is changing hands as Townsquare Media agrees to pay $3.95 million to Galaxy Communications.  Townsquare already owns classic hits WODZ “96.1 The Eagle,” adult contemporary WLZW Lite 98.7,” country WFRG “Big Frog 104,” and news/talk WIBX-AM in the Utica-Rome market…..On-air pro Marty Young is recruited by Scripps-owned country outlet KVOO, Tulsa to join “The Voo Crew” morning show, taking over the role vacated by Rowdy Yates, who exited last September.  Young was most recently part of the morning show at Curtis Media’s country WQDR, Raleigh-Durham…..Nationally syndicated morning radio personality Tom Joyner announces that the annual Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage cruise is welcoming family dining chain Denny’s as a presenting sponsor.  The Carnival Breeze cruise sets sail from Galveston April 29 through May 6, 2018.  The Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage will feature more than 60 live entertainment acts, including “An Evening with Anita Baker” and performances from popular artists Chris Brown, Tamar Braxton, The O’Jays, The Isley Brothers, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, En Vogue, 112, SWV and more. The cruise raises funds to support students in school at Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the country…..Pictured below are the cast of KLOS, Los Angeles’ Frosty, Heidei & Frank morning show celebrating after the station raised $725,218 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the “St. Jude Rocks” event held Thursday, February 8, through Friday, February 9. The two-day live broadcast in Los Angeles capped Cumulus Media’s inaugural “St. Jude Rocks” fundraising partnership across 14 of its rock-formatted stations in markets across the U.S.  Below are (from l-r): Patrick Wesson, KLOS programming assistant; Frosty Stilwell; Heidi Hamilton; Frank Kramer; Sammi Marino, associate producer; Erik Scott Smith, executive producer; Lisa May, entertainment reporter and co-host; and Anthony Annese, Frosty, Heidi & Frank social media.

 

Monday, November 30, 2015

| November 30, 2015

wabc logoGeraldo Exit from WABC, New York Appears Official.  There’s been no announcement from Cumulus Media and we don’t really expect one.  All of the information on this story comes from Geraldo Rivera himself.  As TALKERS reported last Thursday, Rivera first said on his Facebook page that he was informed by new Cumulus CEO Mary Berner and Cumulus NYC market manager Chad Lopez that the company will not be honoring “theriverageraldo handshake deal I made with ousted company chief John Dickey, an agreement to extend my current contract for a year.  The decision to renege on our deal on the eve of Thanksgiving is especially upsetting coming in the wake of my emotionally charged and highly rated coverage of the Paris massacre and frantic efforts by authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice.  Last year, The Village Voice named me the ‘2014 Best AM Radio Host in NYC’, writing in part, ‘Geraldo Rivera actually has something to say.  The guy understands the issues of the day and has enough confidence in his opinions to call bullshit on blowhards,’ which I’m doing here.”  Since then, Geraldo added to his post, writing that he intends to make this difficult for the company.  “That slight will not go unanswered.  Trust me on this; it is not about the money.  I have enough and give away to various charities more than most.  But because of their unforgivable disrespect I will fight them and they will end up costing their battered company far more in damages than they expect to save in my salary.”  Geraldo goes on to write about the value of his show to the New York audience.  “The pity is this misguided management has deprived my loyal New York audience a program that they have followed and engaged with during a turbulent time of crucial interest…”  Whether Geraldo can prevail in court remains to be seen, but of course it’s within Cumulus’ right to fire or hire talent as the company sees fit.

bozedavidDavid Boze Exits Bonneville’s KTTH, Seattle.  Saying that he’s leaving the station to pursue “ventures that can only be done in presidential years,” morning drive personality David Boze leaves Bonneville International’s KTTH, Seattle after 13 years with the station.  He says, “I leave the stationktth I helped found in the hands of a great company and good people.  I am incredibly grateful for the loyalty and kindness of my listeners.  It is a wonderful thing to meet them and realize we are already friends thanks to the power of radio.  I’m also exceptionally grateful for my show sponsors, who have invested in my show year after year. Bonneville has been a great company to work for, and I will miss the people who have become such a meaningful, daily part of my life.”  The company has not named a permanent replacement for Boze.

hammerleeLee Hammer Adds KGO and KSFO OM Duties.  Already serving as operations manager and PD for sports talk outlets KNBR and KTCT, Lee Hammer is promoted from interim ops manager for sister talk stations KGO and KSFO to permanent OM for the pair.  Cumulus San Francisco VP and market manager Justin Wittmayer says, “Lee has been instrumental in leading KGO and KSFO over the past year while continuing to deliver record breaking ratings for KNBR.  We are confident that with his considerable expertise in the talk format, he will take our news/talk stations to new heights.”

Odds & Sods.  Former longtime KVI, Seattle talk personality Kirby Wilbur is soon to be back with the iconicwilburkirby conservative talker.  It’s not known at this point what daypart Wilbur will be hosting.  He was part of the original lineup of KVI as a conservative news/talk station.  It’s for this period in history that it’s considered by many to be the first talk station to be purposely programmed as an all-conservative talk outlet…..Nationally syndicated talk host Kevin Jackson announces he is leaving USA Radio Networks and will self-syndicate his daily 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm talk show.

nielsen logoRound Three of November PPM Data Released.  The third of four rounds of November 2015 PPM 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 survey period was October 8 – November 4.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Twelve Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

hickenlooperjohnSome Talk Radio Pros Take Issue with Colorado Governor’s Placing Blame for Shooting on Media and Campaign Rhetoric.  Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, in addressing the deadly shooting at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs over the weekend, hinted that talk show hosts and bloggers are in some way to blame for the deaths of the three victims and the nine people wounded.  The governor said, in part, “Certainly it’s a form of terrorism, and maybe in some way it’s a function of the inflammatory rhetoric we see on so many issues now, there are bloggers and talk shows where they really focus on trying to get people to that point of boiling over.  Just intense anger.  Maybe it’s time to look at howtraduptom do we tone down that rhetoric.  No one is going to try to reduce free speech in this country but that rhetoric — if people are in some way emotionally unstable or psychologically unbalanced – that intensity of rhetoric sometimes seems to pull a trigger in their brain that they lose contact with what reality is.”  Salem Radio Network VP of news & talk programming Tom Tradup tells TALKERS magazine, “Public officials who fail in their primary responsibility to protect the lives and property of the men and women who elect them should not use the free and open exchange of ideas and opinions on talk radio to scapegoat their own inadequacies.”

seltzerbrentHosp15Legendary News and Talk Personality Brent Seltzer Recovering from Brain Tumor Surgery.  Veteran radio personality Brent Seltzer, known most recently for his work on the nationally syndicated (GCN) “Brent & Meg Show” that he co-hosted with his wife Meg McDonald, is recovering from major surgery that took place in September at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Burbank to remove a cancerous, golf ball-sized Glioblastoma Tumor Grade 4  from the front-left section of his brain.  This is the part of the brain that controls memory and language.  Seltzer’s colorful career dates back to the golden days of FM rock radio when he was a pioneer in the development of “rock ‘n’ roll radio style news” at such outlets as KGB, San Diego and KMET, Los Angeles among others.  He has also achieved considerable critical praise for his modern-era, short-form and podcast series, “Still at Large.”  Attendees at TALKERS conferences over the past four years will remember Brent & Meg as the events’ charismatic official greeters.  This past June, they served as emcees of Talkers 2015.  Seltzer (pictured here mugging for the camera after his surgery) tells TALKERS, “I have apparently been experiencing symptoms since September 2014 but it wasn’t until 11:15 am PT on Thursday, September 24, 2015 that my symptoms resulted in a seizure while sitting at my computer.  I crashed like a small bird out of a big tree.  If our ‘Brent & Meg’ radio show had not been on hiatus by that point, I would have had my seizure on the air.  In the months prior to the seizure, I was apparently doing some things without a clear memory.  My typing began to deteriorate and my quick recall for names, places and events often failed me.  I ignored symptoms that were bothersome but seemed innocuous and unrelated at the time.  But in truth, they were actually symptoms of a much bigger problem.”  Seltzer, who is now recovering at home while undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy, adds, “I share these things to let everyone know that I have begun what we hope will be a stunning return.  My recovery is an uphill battle which I’m very eager to face as I prepare for alerting everyone as to what has happened and what will come next  and as much pain and discomfort I am in… I’m Popeye and nothing is gonna get me down!”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “I have known Brent all the way back to my radio days in San Diego in the early 1970s.  He is one of the nicest, smartest and most talented guys I’ve ever met in this business.  He and Meg are beloved members of our TALKERS family and we pray for his speedy and full recovery.”  Brent Seltzer can be contacted via email at: brent@mcdonaldmediaservices.com.

Colorado Springs Shooting Dominates Weekend Talk Stories.  The deadly shooting in Colorado Springs and the related debate over gun control were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend on stations that air live and local shows and/or live national talk shows.  Other topics included the Thanksgiving holiday, Black Friday, and college and pro football, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

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).

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