Tag: "chapter 11"

Monday, November 19, 2012

| November 19, 2012

Tribune Gets FCC Cross-Ownership Waivers; Chicago Market Granted Permanent Waiver.  The Federal Communications Commission granted the cross-ownership waivers in five markets that the media company needs to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.  In a statement, Tribune CEO Eddy Hartenstein says, “We are extremely pleased with today’s action by the FCC.  This decision will enable the company to continue moving forward toward emergence from Chapter 11, a process we expect to complete over the course of the next several weeks.”  The commission granted a permanent waiver in Chicago while allowing one-year waivers in Los Angeles, New York, South Florida and Hartford.  Technically, the one-year waivers in the four markets cited mean Tribune will have to sell either its newspaper or broadcast outlets there within the year but the FCC is working on loosening the restrictions against cross-ownership in the top 20 media markets and industry observers seem to believe the change will take effect soon.  The permanent waiver in Chicago means Tribune is not necessarily forced to sell a media outlet – many suspected its lone radio property news/talk WGN would be the first to go on the block.  However, what Tribune’s plans are after it exits bankruptcy are unknown and a sale of WGN, Chicago and/or any of its newspaper and TV holdings are a distinct possibility.

Arbitron Releases Report Clearly Showing Increase in Radio Listenership During Super Storm Sandy.  Radio listening data released by Arbitron for the New York Metro during hurricane Sandy shows how strong radio listening is during a natural disaster and the ability for radio to keep communities informed even when the power goes out.  The report provides data for the entire New York Metro as well as a breakout of counties hardest hit by the storm as it made landfall during the evening of Monday, October 29.  It shows a 70% general increase in listening as the storm hit the coast and an even greater percentage of increase along the coastal communities hardest hit.  When the lights went out, when TV and desktop PCs were no longer available, many New York area residents turned on their battery powered radios.  Many radio stations along the path of the storm, regardless of their regular format, revamped their programming to provide their listeners with weather updates, news and emergency information.  In the wake of the storm, radio remained an information lifeline to the residents of New York, particularly in the coastal areas of the market.  Average radio listening on Tuesday, October 30 in New York was 1,525,500 persons in any given quarter hour between 6:00 am and 12:00 midnight, up 8% from 1,406,700 persons 6-plus the week before.  The average audience in the NY coastal communities (Monmouth, Fairfield SN, Nassau-Suffolk, Staten Island and Middlesex) totaled 670,200 on the Tuesday (6a-Mid) following landfall (10/30) which is 38% higher than the average of all Tuesdays year to date.  The Average in the NY coastal communities (Monmouth, Fairfield SN, Nassau-Suffolk, Staten Island and Middlesex) totaled 651,200 on the Wednesday (6a-Mid) following landfall (10/31) which is 35% higher than the average of all Wednesdays year to date.  For full details on this important story click here.

Clear Channel Ends FM Simulcast on KOGO, San Diego.  The former country outlet “U.S. 95.7” flipped to a simulcast of Clear Channel’s news/talk KOGO, San Diego a year ago. Now, that ends with the FM side going all Christmas music and the word on the street is that after the holidays the station will return to a music format of some sort.  Adding an FM signal to a news/talk station – especially a venerable one such as KOGO – generally gives the station a ratings boost.  It appears that hasn’t been the case with KOGO and Clear Channel San Diego management must see an opening in the music landscape it’s willing to target.  We’ll see where it goes after the holidays.

KSCJ, Sioux City Talk Host Randy Renshaw Retires.  Talk show host and newsman Randy Renshaw retires from his long-time gig at Powell Broadcasting’s KSCJ, Sioux City, Iowa.  Renshaw has been with the station twice – the first time back in 1983.  He tells the Sioux City Journal that turning 62 on November 18 was a good reason to end his radio career and that he’d been contemplating retirement since age 55.  In addition to news duties, Renshaw hosted the 8:00 am to 11:00 am “Open Line” program.  With his departure, Mark Hahn takes over hosting the local talk show.

How to Get a Radio Brand-Building Website.  TALKERS columnist and noted digital radio consultant Chris Miller serves up a new article offering powerful tips on how radio web designers can create sites that contribute toward building their station’s or program’s brand without distracting from it or diluting it.  He covers the process on four basic but vital fronts: layout, content, graphics and interaction.  Miller asks, “What’s the difference between your site and Google, YouTube and Facebook?”  He states, “Those sites have a clear reason for being, and clean, well-organized content.”  He strongly suggests, “Get your page looking more Facebookish, or YouTubeEsque, and you’ll go a long way toward building your website numbers.”  Miller offers some nuts-and-bolts actions to get more people back more often and clicking on more content.  Read the entire article here.

Opinion: Talk Radio Must Expand Beyond Politics to Survive.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Doug Stephan responds to the effects of the Rush Limbaugh-Sandra Fluke incident and the recent news involving Dial Global and its citing Limbaugh’s comments in a SEC filing.  Stephan says the March incident has cost him “hundreds of thousands of dollars” and that the industry must do a better job of convincing agencies and advertisers that all talk radio should not be lumped together.  Read Stephan’s piece here.

Filling in This Week.  At Tribune’s WGN, Chicago, longtime St. Louis radio veteran and Chicago native JC Corcoran fills in on Garry Meier‘s PM drive slot on the station on Wednesday and Thursday.  He’ll also sub for WGN’s Mike McConnell on Monday, November 26.  Corcoran can be reached at jc@jcontheline.com.

Lotus Communications Donates $50,000 to Los Angeles Boys and Girls Club.  The cash donated to the Los Angeles Boys and Girls Club was not a fundraiser of contributions from listeners but a gift from Spanish sports talk KWKW, Los Angeles owner Lotus Communications.  The station recently launched a major partnership with the Los Angeles Boys & Girls Club.  After KWKW’s community service personnel learned that the Club was in desperate need of funds in order to provide after school programs, station management decided to step in with a $50,000 check.  The money wasn’t raised by listeners.  Station president James Kalmenson decided to make a difference in the community KWKW serves by adding a line item to its operating budget.  “One of the founding principles of our company has been to be of service to our community.  As a result of the donation, the Los Angeles Boys & Girls Club was able to greatly expand its services for the local community.  Word quickly spread and the attendance immediately tripled and continues to thrive today.”  KWKW has also launched a PSA campaign this month that will continue throughout 2013.  Additionally, the station will sponsor the Club’s annual Thanksgiving Dinner, which typically feeds more than 300 people.  In December, KWKW will donate 500 toys to the Club’s Christmas Toy Drive.  They’ll also broadcast live at the Club on December 7 to encourage people to drop off toys, all of which go to children ages 2-16 at the Club’s annual Christmas event.  KWKW personalities Armando Aguayo, Mario Amaya, Halim Zadat and Erika Garza will attend both the Thanksgiving and Christmas events.  Pictured here with kids from the club are KWKW PD/OM Juan Rodriguez (l) and KWKW president James Kalmenson (r).

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

| March 20, 2012

Peak Broadcasting Emerges from Chapter 11.  The pre-packaged Chapter 11 restructuring plan Peak Broadcasting entered into in January has been executed and the company comes out of it with new owners: Oaktree Capital Management and GE Capital.  CEO Todd Lawley and CFO Tim Lyons remain in their management positions.  In a statement, Lawley says, “By significantly reducing the amount of debt outstanding on our balance sheet, this transaction provides Peak with the flexibility to invest in our business to ensure that we continue to provide best-in-market audio programming to our consumers and marketing solutions to our clients.”

New York Festivals Radio Program & Promotion Awards Extends Entries Deadline.  The world-renowned New York Festivals Radio Program & Promotion Awards is extending the deadline for entry submissions for the 2012 contest through April 2.  The 30-year-old competition honors the most innovative work in radio broadcasting, with entries from radio stations, networks and independent producers from around the globe.  Executive director Rose Anderson says, “Even as distribution platforms multiply across the airwave spectrum, one thing remains constant: the power of the individual voice.  Just this past year, winners in our talk categories – a diverse group from Howard Stern to Marvin Kalb in the U.S. to Radio Pasfarda (Iran) and Writers & Company (Canada) – engaged their audiences’ curiosity with intensity.  We here at New York Festivals are very proud to recognize the creativity, innovation and quality exhibited around the world in radio today.”  Categories in the talk radio realm include: Best Regularly Scheduled Talk Program, Best Talk/Interview Special, Best Radio Personality: Local Market, Best Radio Personality: Network/Syndicated, Best Talk Show Host, Best Information/News Talk Show (AM drive), Best Two-Way Telephone Talk/Interview Show (AM drive), Best Online Talk Program, Best Satellite Talk Program, Best Satellite Radio Personality, Best Radio Personality (student), Best Artist Interview/Performance (student), Editorial or Viewpoint Program, plus numerous awards in the radio news and sports categories.  Find complete information about the awards, categories and how to enter by visiting http://www.newyorkfestivals.com/.  New York Festivals Radio Program & Promotion Awards Grand Jury enlists jurists from all over the world, representing some of the most recognizable voices and captivating programming producers in the industry.  Entries are judged on production values, organization, presentation of information, creativity and use of the medium.  The International Radio Program & Promotion Awards will honor 2012’s winning entries on June 18 at an awards ceremony at Manhattan Penthouse in New York City.

Michael Smerconish Visits Boston Affiliate WTKK-FM for Movie Premiere.  Dial Global nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Smerconish is bringing his ‘Book Club’ live event series to the silver screen and he’s in Boston today for a premiere screening for Greater Media affiliate WTKK-FM.  “Book Club with Michael Smerconish featuring Chris MatthewsJack Kennedy: Elusive Hero” premieres at the Showcase Cinema De Lux in suburban Dedham.  Smerconish will welcome the crowd and conduct a curtain call speech prior to the movie.  Smerconish states, “Over the last several years, I have hosted many A-list authors for live gatherings of what I call my ‘Book Club.’  Never have any of these made it to the big screen.  My interview with Chris Matthews concerning his New York Times bestseller Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero was recorded in High-Def and I am thrilled it will be shown on screens all across the country on March 20.  Where can you find me that night?  Boston!”

CCME Names Radha Subramanyam EVP of Sales and Marketing ResearchClear Channel Media and Entertainment chairman and CEO John Hogan says Radha Subramanyam is “recognized as an industry leader in consumer insights and research and I am excited to have her on our team.”  She previously served as senior vice president of media and advertiser insights and analytics as a thought leader across media forms for The Nielsen Company.  In her new role with CCME, Subramanyam will be responsible for “developing, aggregating and analyzing consumer data to help illustrate and support the unique ability Clear Channel Media and Entertainment has to provide advertisers with national reach and local activation.”

WHAS, Louisville Talk Host Terry Meiners Sued by Local Cop for Slander.  Longtime Louisville talk radio personality Terry Meiners is facing a civil suit for slander by the Louisville Metro Police officer who gave him a speeding ticket in March of last year.  Meiners contested the ticket and was found not guilty in October.  The officer, Sam Cromity, alleges Meiner took to the airwaves where he called him “Black Barney,” he played belittling songs about the highway patrol and called him a liar at least 15 times.  Meiners says Cromity was threatening during the traffic stop – something Cromity denies.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s WHAS is also named in the suit.

C-SPAN Founder and CEO Brian Lamb Steps Down from CEO Post.  The man who founded C-SPAN 33 years ago is stepping down from his day-to-day role as chief executive officer of the cable TV federal government news channel that reaches some 100 million homes.  Brian Lamb, who was honored with TALKERS’ Freedom of Speech Award, will become executive chairman of the board at C-SPAN and will still host the weekly “Q&A” interview show.  He will hand over the CEO reigns to Rob Kennedy and Susan Swain effective April 1.

KWTX, Waco, Texas Hosts Debates for Local Races.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment-owned KWTX, Waco reports the recent debates it sponsored and broadcast drew some 450 citizens to the University High School auditorium on March 7.  The races were the GOP primaries for McLennan County Sheriff and the Texas House of Representatives, District 56.  Morning drive host Shane Warner moderated the debates and states, “To have this many people show up in the middle of the week to hear some local politicians talk about local issues is quite an accomplishment.  We were hoping for a good turnout but the interest from the community was beyond anything we could have imagined – and this was just for a primary election!  As the only local talk show in the Waco market, I felt this was the kind of event that only News Talk 1230 and talk radio could pull off.  This illustrates the power of local talk radio to help inform the community about what’s going on in their own backyard and bring voters and listeners access they otherwise wouldn’t have.”

Dave Ramsey Live in Orlando…and Beyond.  Nationally syndicated financial talk sensation Dave Ramsey is pictured here at the University of Central Florida arena delivering his “Total Money Makeover Live” program before 7,500 people on March 17.  This was also simulcast to 200 other locations.  Ramsey spent the weekend in Orlando and presented his “EntreLeadership 1-Day Event” to nearly 1,000 business leaders.  He also met with sponsors of the event and affiliate WFLA staff.  Clear Channel Orlando market manager Linda Byrd says, “The personal attention and customer service we get from Dave Ramsey and his team is nothing short of stellar.  It’s amazing that in spite of having 500+ affiliates he makes us feel so special. Truly feels like he’s a member of our local team.  Dave does syndication the right way.”

Phil Hendrie Distributes Content Via Pandora.  Talk Radio Network nationally syndicated radio personality Phil Hendrie can now be heard on Pandora.  Hendrie’s bits, including characters Jay Santos, Chris Norton, Bobbie Dooley, David G. Hall and Ted Bell, are now available on the content distribution service.  Hendrie joins Premiere NetworksBob & Tom, Steve Harvey’s Nephew Tommy and The Jerky Boys, all of whom rotate in the user-created “Phil Hendrie Radio” station.  Hendrie’s tracks will also come up on user-created stations for morning radio artists, comics and political satirists.

GOP Primary/2012 Presidential Race, Afghanistan Tensions, Iran Nuclear Weapons Program, Syria Violence, and Peyton Manning to Denver Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/19).  The GOP primary race and the issues in the 2012 presidential race, the continuing tensions in Afghanistan after a U.S. soldier is charged with killing 16 civilians, Iran’s nuclear weapons program, continuing Syrian violence and Peyton Manning’s joining the Denver Broncos were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Talk Hosts Sound Off on TALKERS TV About the Importance of the Election

| January 12, 2012

14 diverse talk radio personalities from industry superstars to college hosts share their candid views about the impact Election 2012 is having on their shows and talk radio in general in a new montage recorded directly on the floor of the New Hampshire Primary Radio Row produced by TALKERS magazine and Talk Radio News Service earlier this week. They also discuss the growing importance and sophistication of social networking tools such as Twitter and Facebook in the talk broadcasting communications process. Participants include syndicated national hosts Neal Boortz, Roger Hedgecock, Kate Delaney, Scott Hennen and Jeff Santos; local hosts Dan Mitchell, George Russell, Paul Westcott, Steve West, Brian Tilden, Phil Paleologos, and Lee Davis; and college radio up-and-comers Joe Horigan and Emma Bisogo. According to Neal Boortz, “We have to convince people out there that politics is as important to them as Dancing with the Stars.”

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

| January 12, 2012

Talk Hosts Sound Off on TALKERS TV About the Importance of the Election.   14 diverse talk radio personalities from industry superstars to college hosts share their candid views about the impact Election 2012 is having on their shows and talk radio in general in a new montage recorded directly on the floor of the New Hampshire Primary Radio Row produced by TALKERS magazine and Talk Radio News Service earlier this week.  They also discuss the growing importance and sophistication of social networking tools such as Twitter and Facebook in the talk broadcasting communications process.  Participants include syndicated national hosts Neal Boortz, Roger Hedgecock, Kate Delaney, Scott Hennen and Jeff Santos; local hosts Dan Mitchell, George Russell, Paul Westcott, Steve West, Brian Tilden, Phil Paleologos, and Lee Davis; and college radio up-and-comers Joe Horigan and Emma Bisogo. According to Neal Boortz, “We have to convince people out there that politics is as important to them as Dancing with the Stars.”  See this TALKERS TV exclusive video in the TALKERS TV box on this page.

Peak Broadcasting Enters into Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Reorganization.  Peak Broadcasting – owner of 11 radio stations in Fresno, California and Boise, Idaho – is entering into voluntary Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Reorganization after coming to terms with senior lenders. The original financing was led by GE Capital Markets.  Peak lists assets of between $50 million and $100 million and debt of a similar amount.  The good news for staffers is there appears to be no signs the company needs to take drastic steps from an operational standpoint in order to turn the company around.  In a statement, CEO Todd Lawley says, “Operationally, Peak has improved its position in the markets it serves during one of the most difficult periods in radio broadcasting history.  I am confident that Peak will emerge from the restructuring with a stronger financial foundation which complements our market-leading radio positions and allows us to continue to provide premier radio programming in the communities we serve together with the uninterrupted support of our customers, employees, and vendors.”  Peak operates news/talk KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno; news/talk KIDO, Boise; and sports KFXD, Boise in addition to seven music-formatted stations in the two markets.  Upon approval of the plan, Peak Broadcasting will be owned by senior lenders that could include Oaktree Captial and Rabobank.

Rachel Crowson Named Co-Anchor at ARNN.  America’s Radio News Network announces news pro Rachel Crowson becomes part of the news network’s on-air staff as a co-anchor.  Crowson is a 20-year news pro who’s worked mostly in the Washington, DC market at operations including Metro Networks, Voice of America and ABC News Radio.  ARNN CEO Mark Masters says, “We welcome Rachel into our exclusive news organization.  Her background and demeanor are a perfect match for our non-partisan, long-form news programming.  Stations continue to tell us they love the long-form news blocks so much they want more.  We have been stunned by the high demand!”

WGN, Chicago’s Studio Moves Up in Tribune Tower.  Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder reports that Tribune Company is relocating WGN’s offices and studios – all except the showcase studio that faces Michigan Avenue – from the ground floor to the 7th floor.  WGN has been on the ground floor of Tribune Tower since the station moved there in 1986 from the West Bradley Place studios it shared with WGN-TV since 1961.  VP/GM Tom Langmyer tells Feder, “Our new location in the building will include a fresher and brighter workspace (as the relocated offices, sales area, news department and studios will have windows as well) and the technical operation and new studios will be fully digital, replacing the current analog equipment, much of which has been in service since WGN moved to the Tower 25 years ago.”  Tribune Company plans to lease the current space to a new restaurant to be opened in 2013.  The showcase studio that faces Michigan Avenue will still be the place from which personalities such as AM drive host Jonathon Brandmeier broadcast their shows.

Talk Host Phil Valentine Premiers New Film Attacking Global Warming Theory.  Nashville-based nationally syndicated talk host Phil Valentine announces the premier of “An Inconsistent Truth” – the film he and Rocky Mountain Pictures produced to take on the theory of anthropogenic global warming.  The film will receive a special showing on January 26 at the Regal Hollywood 27 Theatres in Nashville and opens to the public on the following day.  Valentine stars in the film as he sets off in his bio-fueled car Bennie the BioBenz to discover why “a record number of Americans are now skeptical of man-made global warming.”  Valentine says that, while making the film, “What I found is the belief in anthropogenic global warming is wide but shallow.  People who believe in it have no idea why they do.  It’s just what they’ve been spoon‐fed.”  The documentary features noted scientists such as Dr. John Christy, a lead author of the 2001 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on global warming.  Valentine also talks with Dr. Roy Spencer, the lead scientist on NASA’s Aqua Satellite which measures surface temperatures around the globe.  Other scientists in the film include Dr. Fred Singer and Dr. Ken Green.  Valentine also explores the economic ramifications of cap‐and‐trade legislation with current and former policymakers including Speaker Newt Gingrich, Senator James Inhofe, Senator Jim DeMint and U.S. Rep. Greg Walden.  For information on the film or to speak with Phil Valentine, contact Brian Wilson at 615-312-3481.

Compass Media Networks’ “Free Beer & Hot Wings” Morning Show Adds Saturday Program.  The younger, male-demo-targeted “Free Beer & Hot Wings” AM drive show syndicated nationally by Compass Media Networks adds a Saturday morning program to the daily offering for affiliate stations.  The WGRD-FM, Grand Rapids-based program is co-hosted by Gregg Daniels and Chris Michaels along with cast members Eric Zane and producers Joe and Steve and airs on more than 35 affiliate stations across the country.  The program also announces it will be broadcasting live from the Super Bowl radio row in Indianapolis in February.

Florida Syndicated Talk Host Burnie Thompson Hosts “Freedom Rally.”  Florida talk show host Burnie Thompson – who is independently syndicated throughout the state on nine stations – is hosting a “Freedom Rally” in Jacksonville on January 19 he says “is intended to galvanize voters to participate in the upcoming January 31 state primary, and to focus on true limited government and the protection of civil liberties.”  Thompson’s event is co-sponsored by affiliates WBOB, Jacksonville and WYOO-FM, Panama City.  The rally is being held at the Omni Hotel in downtown Jacksonville and will feature country artist Todd Allen Herendeen, WYOO-FM morning host Darrel Day and Fox News Channel contributor Dan Arias.

Compass Media Marketing Announces New Rep Deal with Point-of-Purchase Radio.  The marketing firm newly founded by Compass Media Networks CEO Peter Kosann and managed by president of sales & marketing Paul Gregery lands a deal to exclusively rep POP Radio – a leading in-store audio platform.  Gregery says, “Tens of millions of Americans hear POP Radio’s advertisements every day and it is our mission to leverage the reach of POP Radio for the benefit of our sponsors.”  Compass says it commissioned Edison Research to calculate audience exposure.  “Through actual store visits and face-to-face interviews, Edison Research’s methodology has very accurately measured POP Radio’s listenership by including time spent shopping (a network radio TSL equivalent) and physically counting the shoppers present when the messages air.”  Peter Kosann states, “POP Radio has a huge audience, unique platform and strong brand with national advertisers.  We are appreciative and grateful that POP Radio has joined our growing company.”

Hutchinson Newsmaker Network Launches to Syndicate Weekly Program.  Founded by “Hutchinson Report Newsmaker Hour” host Earl Ofari Hutchinson to syndicate the weekly news program, the new network says it is the first “African-American, West Coast-operated national broadcast network.”  Hutchinson describes his weekly program as featuring “in-depth conversations with the nation’s top elected officials, political leaders and opinion makers in the White House, on Capitol Hill, as well as the nation’s leading political and social issue writers and commentators across the political spectrum. They fully air their views on controversial, topical, and crucial public policy issues, initiatives and legislation.”  The program is heard on affiliates across the country including: KTYM, Los Angeles; WWNL, Pittsburgh; KCNW, Kansas City; WVTJ, Pensacola; and KXKS, Albuquerque.

Southern California Talk Host Given Local Honor.  Captain Mike Whitehead, host of “The Boathouse Radio Show” on the CRN Digital Talk Radio Network, is honored by the Costa Mesa Daily Pilot by being included on its annual “103 Most Influential People of Newport Beach and Costa Mesa.”  Whitehead is a fixture in the community and a boating columnist for the Newport Beach Independent.  CRN Digital Talk CEO Mike Horn says, “Captain Mike has been a big part of Newport Beach and Costa Mesa for many years and we’re thrilled to see him receive this outstanding honor.”

GOP Primary Race, Iran’s Military Ambitions and U.S.-Taliban Talks Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/11).  The race to secure the GOP nomination for president, Iran’s military ambitions and nuclear weapons program and talk of discussions between the U.S. and the Taliban were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio according to ongoing research from TALKERS.