Tag: "Chris Merrill"

Thursday, October 16, 2014

| October 16, 2014

westwood one NEWWestwood One to Cease Production of NBC News Radio. Affiliates received the word yesterday (Wednesday, 10/15) by way of a note from senior vice president of affiliate sales Dennis Green that NBC News Radio newscasts and other programming will no longer be produced/distributed by Westwood One.  As a substitute, Westwood One will soon provide its own CNN-powered branded news network.  Green writes that Westwood One News will offer stations “enhanced programming, correspondent reports and news features.  Westwood One News is designed to help stations integrate their local branding into newscasts with greater flexibility, including selecting one- to five-minute newscasts based on need and preference.” Westwood One will halt production/distribution of the NBC News Radio network as of 12:00 midnight (ET) Monday, December 15.

merrillchrisChris Merrill Moves to iHeartMedia’s KFYI, Phoenix.  It turns out that Chris Merrill – most recently morning drive host at iHeartMedia’s KOGO, San Diego – will not be banished to the evening slot there but will move to the company’s KFYI, Phoenix to take over the afternoon drive show being vacated by Mike Broomhead, who moves to mornings.  KOGO shifted to a newsier show format for its morning and afternoon drive dayparts and had slated Merrill to host the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm show.  But with Barry Young retiring from KFYI and Broomhead taking over his mid-morning slot, an opening on the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm show was created that Merrill will fill beginning November 10.  KFYI program director Neil Larrimore states, “We are beyond thrilled to bring Chris into town!  He is an up-and-coming superstar who understands the evolution of talk radio.  With Chris joining the team, KFYI is perfectly positioned for much success in 2015 and beyond.”

salisburyseanSean Salisbury Gets More Air Time in Houston.  According to a report by the Houston Chronicle’s David Barron, Sean Salisbury will replace Chronicle columnist Jerome Solomon on the KFNC, Houston “ESPN Houston 97.5” 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm program alongside station sports director Dave Tepper.  Salisbury also co-hosts the Yahoo! Sports Radio afternoon show with John Granato heard on KGOW in the market.  Solomon is leaving the radio show to focus on his news duties.

frantzbobBob Frantz Lands at Toledo Sports Talker.  After being ousted in July from iHeartMedia’s news/talk WTAM, Cleveland where he hosted the evening show, Bob Frantz finds a radio home at Cumulus Media’s sports talk WLQR, Toledo “106.5 The Ticket” on the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm show.  WLQR recently parted company with Norm Wamer who held down that daypart.  According to a story in the Toledo Blade, Frantz will broadcast from his home in Northeast Ohio as well as from the station’s Toledo studios.  The paper quotes Cumulus RVP and market manager Andy Stuart saying the program will be “a Northwest Ohio sports talk show” that will also cover Detroit, Cleveland and South Bend sports.

wtoplogoWTOP, Washington to Present Live Ebola Program from Newseum.  Washington all-news outlet WTOP is presenting a special town hall program on Monday, October 20 at 10:00 am live from the Knight TV Studio at the Newseum in DC.  The Hubbard station says it will examine the threat of Ebola in the U.S. and beyond.  The program will be hosted by WTOP anchors Bruce Alan and Debra Feinstein and will feature expert guests Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at National Institutes of Health, and Dr. Jesse Goodman, professor of Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center and active infectious diseases clinician at the Washington DC VA Medical Center and Walter Reed Medical Center.  The station also extended an invitation to the Centers for Disease Control to join the panel.  WTOP program director Laurie Cantillo says, “WTOP is pleased to facilitate an in-depth discussion on this important subject.  The town hall format gives everyone a chance to ask questions directly of two preeminent physicians on the forefront of the battle against this deadly disease.”  The Knight TV Studio will seat 150 people for this broadcast.

salemcommunicationsPerez Appointed VP/GM of Salem Miami.  At the Salem Communications Miami cluster, Felix Perez is tapped to be vice president and general manager.  Perez – who has nearly 23 years of experience in Spanish media – was most recently vice president and general manager of Univision New York.  Salem radio division senior vice president Allen Power comments, “We are excited about having Felix at the helm in Miami.  His years of leadership in media; his focus in Spanish radio; and his track record for exploiting new opportunities and solving problems make him uniquely qualified for this role.”  Perez remarks, “Salem’s values and mission are a great match for my own personal business philosophy.  The company’s record of delivering for all of its constituencies while holding true to its mission makes it unique.”  Salem’s Miami cluster consists of Christian talk WHIM “The Answer”; Spanish Christian talk WKAT “Radio Luz”; Spanish variety WOCN “La Nueva”; and business talk WZAB “The Biz.”

word logoCool Job Opportunity.  Incredible talk show talent needed.  WORD 106.3, the news/talk leader in Greenville, SC, has a rare and immediate opening for an exceptional talk show personality.  The ideal candidate will be an excellent communicator able to connect with the conservative values of our on-air and social media audiences and will have the skills and desire to become a trusted talent that WORD 106.3 listeners can depend on for local, state and national topics.  You will have a team of like-minded professionals, with on-air skills.  You will work in a fast-paced, challenging environment and you will have unbridled desire to dominate your time slot and make your brand iconic in the 59th largest market.  You’ll work at the largest cluster in the State of South Carolina for Entercom, the best broadcaster in the radio space.  You’ll live in beautiful Greenville, South Carolina and have the support and tools you need to be successful and create a powerful local brand.  Is this you?  You have experience preparing and executing an interactive, engaging, successful talk show.  You are a master of creativity, imagination and professional judgment in writing, producing, interviewing and creating content.  You are wired to what’s important to your audience and know how to deliver it to your audience on air and with social media.  Required Experience: A demonstrated track record of on-air success that will translate to success at WORD 106.3.  Please submit your resume to greenvillejobs@entercom.com.  Entercom Greenville is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Ebola Pandemic Threat/CDC Criticism, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Prospects, Financial Markets Activity/Falling Oil Prices, Battle Against ISIS, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/15).  The threat of an Ebola pandemic, criticism of the Obama Administration’s and CDC’s handling of the matter and concerns over the lack of travel bans from countries with Ebola outbreaks; the looming mid-term elections and talk about the prospects for the 2016 presidential race; the tumultuous global financial markets and falling oil prices; the battle against ISIS, and the two MLB championship series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

| October 14, 2014

bridgeratings logoNews/Talk Radio and the Oversaturated News Cycle – Study Reveals Listener Fatigue.  Highly respected media research firm Bridge Ratings has been annually monitoring the consumption patterns of news/talk radio and has just released its latest findings which shed light on the perceived softening of listenership to this format that remains one of the most popular broadcast radio formats among Americans.  The study, which analyzed perceptions and behavior from a national news/talk listener panel, uncovered a significant level of listener FATIGUE – not only with the format but with news coverage; more specifically, talk radio topics related to politics and the frequency with which they air.  To read the entire report on the study and how a general national news coverage malaise has affected American radio listening, please click here.

kogo-am logoKOGO, San Diego Gets Newsier.  The programming at iHeartMedia’s KOGO, San Diego was tweaked on Monday to reflect its “commitment to news programming,” according to program director Brian Long.  To accomplish that, the station shuffles some of the talk shows to different dayparts and moves talent accordingly.  LaDona Harvey leaves her midday talk show and is paired up with Ted Garcia to host “San Diego’s Morning News.”  Moving out of morning drive is Chris Merrill who is now heard from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.  In afternoon drive, Bob “Sully” Sullivan vacates that daypart and is now heard from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm and Ernie Brown and Marilyn Hyder are hosting “KOGO’s Afternoon News.”  Premiere’s Rush Limbaugh remains in the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot.  Finally, former longtime program director Cliff Albert is back at the station hosting the 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm “KOGO’s News at Noon” program.  Brian Long comments, “We have assembled a fantastic lineup that will keep our audience informed on-air, online and through social media platforms.”

tantarosandreaTantaros and Talk Radio Network Settle.  The terms of the settlement will remain confidential as they almost always do in cases such as these, but a US District Court in New Jersey has dismissed the suit brought by Fox News Channel personality Andrea Tantaros against Talk Radio Network with prejudice after the two sides settled the matter.  Tantaros had claimed in her suit that Talk Radio Network had breached its contract with her and that it had misrepresented its operations – including its ability to market her radio talk show – and that it had neglected to make her aware of its suit against ad rep firms working with it when it wooed her to begin hosting a nationally syndicated program.  Tantaros is a host of “The Five” on Fox News Channel.

hancockjohnWBT, Charlotte’s John Hancock Videos Bold Look at Legal Pot.  The experience of WBT, Charlotte talk show host John Hancock buying weed at a legal marijuana shop in Colorado while on vacation has been chronicled on video and the Greater Media news/talk outlet posted the video on its site here.  TALKERS asked Hancock, who does a tremendous job walking the viewer through the process of buying legal pot and asking questions of the proprietor in the video, how his decidedly conservative audience has responded to his posting a video of himself buying marijuana to consume.  He says, “My older demo is either ‘disappointed’ in me, or vowing to quit listening.  The majority seem intrigued by the process of buying weed legally.  Many wonder how I enjoyed ‘experimenting’ again!  Bill Clinton may have never inhaled, I still haven’t exhaled…”  Hancock laughs when he tells TALKERS that a listener called in to say, “Can’t wait for the video of your trip to Nevada,” joking about exploring legal prostitution!

missanellimikeOdds & Sods.  At the Toledo operations of Cumulus Media, Norm Wamer exits his positions as host of “The Front Row with Norm Wamer” heard on sports talker WLQR-FM, and as program director for sister news/talk WLQR-AM, the latter a post he’d held for the past 14 years…..WPEN-FM, Philadelphia host Mike Missanelli is catching flak from the media, football fans and more after his Tweet following the season-ending knee injury of Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz.  Missanelli Tweeted, “Hey Giants Fans: Victor Cruz is over.  Dance to that.”  Missanellli removed the Tweet minutes later and apologized claiming he thought Cruz just dropped the ball and that he was unaware Cruz was injured on the play.

U.S. Ebola Cases/Pandemic Threat, Battle Against ISIS, Financial Markets Activity, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Prospects, Oregon ‘First Fiancee’ Scandal, NFL and MLB Playoffs Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/13).  The heightened concern over the CDC’s and U.S. hospitals’ ability to combat Ebola in America; the battle against ISIS and the Obama Administration’s ability to build a coalition of nations in the region to fight the organization; the dipping U.S. stock market and the state of the global financial markets; the looming mid-term elections tied with the prospects for the 2016 presidential race; the scandal plaguing Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber and his fiancée; and the weekend’s NFL and MLB playoffs action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, September 16, 2013

| September 16, 2013

merrillchrisKOGO, San Diego Debuts New Lineup; Chip Franklin Exits AM Drive.  After a six-year run at KOGO, San Diego, Chip Franklin exits the station as the programming lineup is tweaked at the Clear Channel news/talker.  Moving into AM drive is former afternoon personality Chris Merrill.  He’s followed by Rush Limbaugh.  At 12:00 noon, LaDona Harvey – who had been partnered with Franklin in AM drive – is on air solo from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm and Bob “Sully”franklinchip Sullivan moves from the early afternoon slot into PM drive.  Franklin came to San Diego after a long and successful run at Hearst’s WBAL, Baltimore.  He tells the San Diego Union Times he has no hard feelings about the change. “I had a great run at KOGO, and they have and continue to treat me in a highly professional manner.  Believe it or not, I have been very lucky.  I still have a lot of great friends there and I sincerely wish them the very best.  The new morning guy, Chris Merrill, is a friend and a tremendous talent.  Don’t underestimate him.”

wnymlogoSalem Communications to Move New York Stations into Current WOR Facilities.  Salem Communications announces it will move its two New York properties – news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” and Christian talk WMCA – from their current New Jersey location to Lower Manhattan into what is now the studios of Clear Channel’s news/talk WOR in the Trinity Building next to Trinity Church at 111 wor710Broadway where WOR has been located since 2006.  Since Clear Channel bought WOR from Buckley Broadcasting more than a year ago, plans have been made for WOR to move into CC’s larger New York studios.  Salem VP director of spoken word format and regional VP for New York Phil Boyce says, “Salem has a major commitment to winning in New York and this move will help us take both stations to the next level.  We know for years great radio came out of this building when it housed WOR and now we have the opportunity to continue that tradition with both WMCA and ‘AM 970 The Answer.’  As an added plus, WMCA, known as ‘New York’s Christian Talk,’ will be re-locating next door to historic Trinity Church, founded in 1697,  as the oldest church in New York City.  There is some divine providence going on here,  as WMCA,  which is licensed to the city of New York now moves next door to the oldest church.”  The move is expected to be completed before the end of this year.

pendlchrisCHRIS PENDL: Help Your Best Clients Thrive in Local Searches.  Bonneville Seattle creative director Chris Pendl writes that some of radio’s best advertisers can be the most difficult to find when it comes to mobile-based local searches.  What’s more, there can be a huge difference between how one of your clients rates on a desktop search and where they rate – if at all – on a mobile search.  Pendl notes, “With smartphone ownership now 56% among American adults, searching on smartphones is increasingly becoming a part of the consumer’s journey before making a purchase.  A recent local search study revealed, there’s an 87% increase in local searches via mobile apps.  It is in this mobile space where some of radio’s best advertisers, local and regional businesses, have poor visibility and are often non-existent.”  Pendl offers simple solutions to help your valuable advertisers appear where they should in mobile searches.  Read his column here.

komovoiceofevilKOMO-AM/FM, Seattle Scores Exclusive Interview with ‘Green River Killer.’  This morning, Sinclair Radio’s KOMO-AM/FM, Seattle begins broadcasting an exclusive interview series with serial killer Gary Ridgway, conducted by the station’s Charlie Harger.  Titled, “Voice of Evil,” it begins with a special preview at 7:15 am (PT) on ‘KOMO Newsradio.’  Reports will be broadcast at 7:15 am, 12:15 pm and 5:15 pm all this week and mark the culmination of a near year-long investigation.  The station says “Harger spoke exclusively with Ridgway on six separate occasions in what are the killer’s only media interviews since his incarceration in 2001.  Ridgway was convicted on 49 counts of murder but reveals to KOMO that he committed many more.  In his conversation with Harger, Ridgway shares frightening details of his crimes, tells detectives where to look for additional remains and even explains why he did it.  Is he sorry?  KOMO posed that question to the man serving a life sentence at Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla and his answer stunned the veteran reporter.”  Harger adds, “I think it’s important that people understand just why we’re giving voice to a guy like this.  People deserve answers and the families deserve some kind of closure.”  KOMO-AM/FM program director Paul Duckworth adds, “It’s also about justice.  There are a number of unsolved cases and we’re hopeful that our investigation will prompt the task force to reopen its investigation.”

knx logoKNX, Los Angeles to Present Health Care Town Hall.  CBS Radio all-news KNX, Los Angeles “1070 NEWSRADIO” is presenting an “unprecedented town hall event and day-long series of special reports, titled ‘KNX 1070 Healthcare Uncovered,’ on Thursday, October 3 giving Californians a broad range of information about choosing health insurance under the newly enacted Affordable Care Act.”  The station reports that more than a dozen guest speakers representing various entities involved with healthcare reform, from federal, state and local officials to health professionals and consumer advocates, will appear at the town hall forum at The Autry in Los Angeles from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm.  Guests will include Peter Lee, the executive director of Covered California, the state’s overseer and marketplace for health insurance coverage beginning in January 2014.  Also scheduled to appear are Herb K. Schultz, regional director for the Department of Health and Human Services; Carmen Balber, executive director of Consumer Watchdog; Victor Parker, district director for the U.S. Small Business Administration, Janice Rocco, California’s deputy insurance commissioner; Rocky Delgadillo, CEO of the L.A. County Medical Association, and many others including doctors and consumers of different demographics.  The event will be hosted and moderated by KNX news anchors Diane Thompson, Bob McCormick and Frank Mottek and investigative reporter Charles Feldman who is co-producing the event with Laraine Herman.  Feldman states, “This is the biggest change to our healthcare system since Medicare was rolled out in 1966 and a lot of people are confused.  Because this law is so new, we’re bringing together panelists with knowledge covering a wealth of issues so that whether you’re self-employed, a business owner, the head of household or just entering the workforce, we’ll provide answers to questions you’ve never had to think about before.”

nprHaaga Gets Nod As NPR’s Acting President/CEO.  Two-year NPR board member Paul Haaga, Jr. is named acting president/chief executive officer.  The appointment takes effect at the end of this month for Haaga, who most recently was vice chair of the board and finance committee chair.  He will succeed Gary Knell, who leaves for similar duties at thehaagapaul National Geographic Society.  “Paul has made many valuable contributions to NPR during his tenure on the board,” comments NPR board chair Kit Jensen.  “His intimate knowledge of our organization, his unwavering commitment to the highest quality of journalism and programming, and his financial acumen make him particularly well-suited to lead NPR as we begin our search for a permanent chief executive.”  The retired chair of the board of Capital Research and Management Company, Haaga is the former chair of the Investment Company Institute, and he was a senior attorney for the Securities and Exchange Commission.  “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead one of the world’s leading providers of news, music, and cultural programming on an interim basis,” he remarks.  “I look forward to working with my colleagues on the board and senior leadership team to help this great organization build on its success.”  The former National Public Radio renamed itself NPR in July 2010.

wrso logoStar Over Orlando Retakes Control of WRSO, Orlovista, Florida; Doubles Transmitting Power.  Star Over Orlando operators Carl Como Tutera and his son Carmine announce they have taken back WRSO, Orlovista which operates as a sports talk outlet carrying CBS Sports Radio Network programming.  The Tuteras also announce that they have received FCC approval to increase the daytime power to 20 kw and the night-time power to 1 kw — double the power of its original license.  Earlier in the week, the FCC placed the Carl Como Tutera FM Translator application for Channel 226 in Orlando on a ‘singleton’ list for the operation of an FM on 93.1 with 250 Watts of Power.  The pair built the AM station in 2005 and it began operations in early 2006.  WRSO operates from a studio location in Altamonte Springs and at a tower site in Orlando.  They say CBS Sports will continue to be an affiliate and be heard on both the AM and FM.

sharelljerryJerry Sharell Stable After Being Held Hostage, Stabbed. The Los Angeles radio and music communities remain stunned this morning following news that broke last night involving former five-year (1987 – 1992) Westwood One senior vice president of talent marketing Jerry Sharell, who was reportedly held hostage and attacked in Woodland Hills (San Fernando Valley – Los Angeles).  Sharell was with his girlfriend when her ex-husband was said to have arrived with flowers and a machete at approximately 8:00 am yesterday (Sunday, 9/15).  He apparently held the couple hostage for more than three hours.  “Sometime during that time, [Sharell] had been stabbed repeatedly,” Los Angeles Police Department sergeant Jeff Nuttal told KABC-TV, Los Angeles.  The woman was injured when she tried to halt the attack, but was able to escape and called authorities.  Police say that owing to a history of domestic violence, she had a restraining order against her ex-husband.  Sharell, who hosts “Sundays with Sinatra” on Los Angeles public outlet KKJZ “KJazz” – is in critical, but stable condition at Northridge Medical Center with injuries to his head and neck.  The unidentified attacker turned the weapon on himself; his condition is listed as critical as well but both he and Sharell are expected to survive.  The alleged attacker is in police custody at the hospital.  Sharell was co-executive producer of Ronnie Milsap‘s 2004 Grammy-nominated “Just for a Thrill” album.  He began his career as a Mercury Records promotion rep, before joining Main Line Distributors in 1962.  Sharell held executive positions at Buddah Records and A&M Records.  He has helped the careers of artists such as Herb Alpert, Jackson Browne, Carpenters, Cars, Joe Cocker, Eagles, Curtis Mayfield, Joni Mitchell, Queen, Linda Ronstadt, and Carly Simon.  He is past president of City of Hope, Entertainment Division, and is on the advisory board of MusiCares.  From 2002 – 2010, he was president/CEO for the non-profit Society of Singers.  Sharell’s wife of 48 years, Joanne, recently died after losing her fight against cancer.

boomercarton‘Boomer & Carton’ Off MSG Network as Contract Expires.  Last week TALKERS reported that the Yankees-owned YES Network is in talks with WFAN, New York’s Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton to do a cable TV simulcast of their AM drive show on the CBS Radio sports talk station.  Up until last week, the duo had been seen on the Madison Square Garden Network (MSG), but that deal elapsed on Friday and for now, Boomer & Carton are only available on the radio.

weei logoOdds & Sods.  Entercom’s WEEI, Boston adds ESPN “Monday Night Football” play-by-play voice Mike Tirico to its stable of football experts.  Tirico will call in to the Salk & Holley show every Thursday afternoon at 4:30 throughout the season…..Plain Talk Radio Network’s internet radio show “Talk Live with Peter Gantenbein” – a “weekly news and commentary program that engages in straight talk not for the faint of heart,” has been recognized as must-hear radio with an “Editor’s Pick” recognition from Windows Media Guide…..Good Karma flips WEFL, Tequesta, Florida to Spanish–language sports talk using ESPN Deportes.  The company had been simulcasting English-language sports on WEFL and WUUB-FM, Jupiter and the latter remains English-language sports talk…..CRN Digital Talk Radio‘s popular wine dinners return to Los Angeles on Tuesday, September 17.  Tobin James of Tobin James Winery in Paso Robles pairs a variety of wines with a prixabcdwtsradio fixe menu at Colombo’s Italian Steak and Jazz Club at 1833 Colorado Blvd. in Eagle Rock.  CRN CEO and president Michael Horn says, “People still talk about our Tobin James wine dinner from a few years ago.  Toby brings a world-class selection of wines people enjoy.  He’s also a fun, down-to-earth person that everyone relates to.  Colombo’s provides a great atmosphere and delicious food that will make the night all that more special.”…..Today ABC Radio re-launches its popular “Dancing with the Stars” station on Slacker, providing fans with behind-the-scenes access to the ABC hit reality TV show. Now in its third season, “Dancing with the Stars” Radio will deliver an on-demand audio experience and unlimited access to key moments throughout the competition.  Each week “Dancing with the Stars” Radio will follow the Season 17 cast as they battle it out on the dance floor for the coveted Mirror Ball trophy.  Season 17 of “Dancing with the Stars” premieres on tonight on the ABC Television Network.

newhouse logoNewhouse School Presents Audio Industry Summit.  The half-day event will take place in New York City on Friday, September 27 and will feature two panels of experts from 8:30 am to 12:00 noon at Syracuse University Lubin House, 11 E 61st St.  The event is free and open to the public but seating is limited.  RSVP with your name and professional affiliation to Ed Gorham at ejgorham@syr.edu by Wednesday, September 18.  Newhouse Dean Lorraine Branham states, “Given the seismic shifts in radio and newer audio platforms, much attention is being paid to the medium’s future.  It is crucial that we understand where the industry is headed so we can appropriately prepare our students.  We want to hear from thought leaders in management, programming and other key areas so we can get a better handle on best practices in radio moving forward.”  Industry players attending will include: Jeff Smulyan, founder and CEO of Emmis Communications; Dan Mason, president and CEO of CBS Radio; Buzz Knight, vice president of program development for Greater Media; Chris Oliviero, executive vice president of programming for CBS Radio; Deon Levingston, vice president and general manager at WBLS Radio (New York); Kevin Straley, vice president of programming at TuneIn; and Ed Levine, president and CEO of Galaxy Communications, among others.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

| April 25, 2012

Feature Series – Part 2:  Walter Sabo on Finding and Nurturing FM Talk Talent.  In the second of a four-part series for TALKERS on building a successful FM talk station, Sabo Media president Walter Sabo writes that the best FM talk hosts come from the ranks of successful music jocks.  “I look for talent who have invested their time doing excellent radio taking advantage of a strong format.  A great CHR jock has remarkable broadcasting skills.  He/she is taught the importance and necessity of getting to the next event.”  Sabo says talent must be willing to prep two hours for every hour they are on the air and that matching this type of host with a skilled radio programmer presents the best opportunity for great success with targeted talk on the FM band.  Read part 2 of this series here.

KMBZ, Kansas City Names Jonathan Weir Late Morning Host.  The search for a new late morning talk host at Entercom’s KMBZ, Kansas City began when Chris Merrill took a talk host position at Clear Channel’s KOGO, San Diego earlier this year.  Merrill’s been doing double duty while the search was on.  Now, KMBZ program director Jack Landreth announces Jonathan Weir comes aboard to host the 9:00 am to 11:00 am show.  “Jon’s enthusiasm and unique approach to his audience instantly drew me in as a listener first.  His ability to weave his life experiences into the fabric of the show is a real quality that endears him to his listeners.”  Weir comes from Entercom’s WSKY, Gainesville, Florida where he was producer and co-host of “The Drive Time Happy Hour” program.  Weir, a St. Louis native, states, “I couldn’t be happier to be joining such a landmark station in the Midwest.  I’m inspired and so thankful to everyone at KMBZ for giving me this incredible opportunity.  I look forward to the challenge of living up to the incredible standards set by KMBZ, and the chance to be close to my family again is a great bonus.”  Weir begins his new gig on April 30.

Talk Legend Barry Farber to Receive TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award.  Talk show host Barry Farber, still heard regularly on both Talk Radio Network and CRN Digital Talk, has been named the 2012 recipient of TALKERS magazine’s annual “Lifetime Achievement Award.”  The venerable host, named in 2002 and 2010 by TALKERS as one of the most important radio talk show hosts of all time, has been performing regularly scheduled talk shows on radio since 1960 when he started a groundbreaking program on WINS, New York.  He is credited by historians as being one of the seminal pioneers and architects of today’s talk radio.  Farber, also a prolific and accomplished author, has a new book coming out this summer titled Cocktails with Molotov: An Odyssey of Unlikely Detours (WND Books).  The award will be presented to Barry Farber by Michael Harrison at the forthcoming New Media Seminar in New York City on Thursday, June 7.  This event, nearing a sellout, is open to members of the working media only.  For registration information call 413-565-5413.

Merlin Media LMAs Third Chicago FM Signal.  Merlin Media is agreeing to lease the signal of Venture Technologies Group-owned WLFM-LP, Chicago at 87.7 on the dial to program and sell advertising on it.  Of course there’s a ton of speculation about what Merlin will do with the low-power smooth jazz outlet.  According to the Chicago Tribune, the station has been faring well with the smooth jazz format – garnering a 1.6 share in the March PPM.  Since the deal was announced, news from Merlin’s FM News 101.1 has begun airing on the station.  Though the Tribune notes Randy MichaelsRadioactive LLC has applied for the WKQX-FM call letters of the former alternative rock station (now FM News 101.1) and that’s leading to rumors the station will flip to alternative rock.  Program director and midday host Rick O’Dell confirms via the station website that a format change will take place Monday (4/30) but doesn’t say to what.

Rodney King Visits Rev. Al Sharpton.  The 20th anniversary of the verdict in the case of the Los Angeles police officers accused of beating motorist Rodney King is Sunday, April 29.  The acquittal of the four officers sparked the riots that consumed part of the city for days.  King (pictured here at left) visited Syndication One talk show host Rev. Al Sharpton to discuss the historic event and his new book, The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption (HarperOne 2012).

Steve Dahl Reduces Staff at Podcast Venture.  New-tech broadcasting models are subject to the same economic forces that affect terrestrial radio and Chicago’s Steve Dahl is making changes to keep his podcast initiative going.  Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder reports the Chicago radio legend let three staffers go recently — technical producer Pete Zimmerman, assistant technical producer Jim Ruffatto and assistant Stephanie Fallara – in order to continue operating in a way that works for him.  Dahl wrote on his blog, “It was not a decision I came to easily, but I think that it was the right move for the show.  I know when I am not growing as an entertainer and I know what I need to do to keep that process moving forward.  It’s ‘The Steve Dahl Show, and that at some point is the brand that I need to protect, not only for my own creative integrity, but in order to support my family.”  Dahl recently added two staffers – Dag Juhlin, director of creative services and Eric Drogoszewski, marketing/operations director – to his subscription-supported venture.

Backstage in Phoenix.  Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk star Glenn Beck (third from right) poses for a photo with KFYI, Phoenix hosts and staffers backstage at the Phoenix stop on his “Unelectable Tour II” on Friday, April 20.  Beck is hitting the road this spring bringing his standup comedy routine to audiences in Southern and Southwestern cities.  Pictured here with Beck are (from l-r): KFYI GSM Jim Wilson, KFYI early morning host Jim Sharpe, KFYI PM drive host Mike Broomhead, Beck, KFYI program director Neil Larrimore, and Mike Broomhead show executive producer Andrew Fountaine.

2012 Presidential Race, North Korea Nukes Test, Euro Zone Jitters, Secret Service Scandal and SCOTUS Hears AZ Illegal Immigration Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/24).  The presidential campaign and Mitt Romney’s Northeastern states primary sweep; North Korea’s threat to test nuclear weapons very soon; economic sluggishness in the euro zone; more dismissals in the Secret Service hooker scandal; and the Supreme Court’s hearing of the Arizona illegal immigration legislation were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

| February 21, 2012

No-Holds-Barred Opinion:  WDAE, Tampa Morning Sports Talk Phenomenon Dan Sileo Says Your Show Is About You!  According to Dan, too many sports talk hosts are putting bad callers on the radio, conducting long, boring interviews and emulating bad radio.  He boldly proclaims the best thing a host can do is listen for bad radio, recognize it for what it is and make sure you’re NOT doing it on your show.  Read more here.

KOGO-AM/FM, San Diego Adjusts Program Schedule; Bryan Suits Exits Station and Chris Merrill Comes Aboard.  Talk show host Bryan Suits had been hosting the midday show from Seattle and he tells his fans via his Facebook page that he and Clear Channel Media and Entertainment could not agree on the terms to bring him back to Southern California in order to move into the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm program slot so they’ve parted ways.  The new lineup is LaDona Harvey from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm; Chris Merrill from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm and Bob “Sully” Sullivan from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.  Merrill’s “The Voice of Merrill” show airs on Entercom’s KMBZ, Kansas City daily from 9:00 am to 11:00 am.

Plans Being Set for 15th Annual New Media Seminar.  Full details will be announced later this week, as TALKERS prepares to announce plans for the 2012 installment of the talk industry’s longest running and most important national conference.  According to TALKERS VP/managing editor Kevin Casey, “This next conference will be extremely innovative – not just in content, but structure as well — and will be specifically geared to the nature of these economically challenging times.  All I can say at this moment is it will again take place in New York City in early June – but this version of the event will be a significant departure from and improvement over traditional radio business conferences in terms of accessibility to the hard-working folks of our industry.  Stand by!”

Stitcher Integrates News and Talk Programming with Facebook’s Timeline Feature.  Stitcher is an app that allows iPhone and iPad users to listen to news and talk audio content in much the same way Pandora does for music.  Stitcher says users have access to more than 6,000 programs and podcasts ranging from talk titans like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity to news from CNN and NPR.  Now, according to CNET, Stitcher has integrated with Facebook’s Timeline feature which essentially allows Timeline users to see what their friends are listening to.  Stitcher CEO Noah Shanok tells CNET this means the ability to discover new programs and share favorites with friends has become even easier.  “We have a huge selection of NPR content but there’s other content like NPR that you might like that could be exposed through a social integration and viewing the listening habits of a friend who you know has similar habits as you do.”

Clear Channel Media Holdings Reports 2011 Financials Today; Positive News for Media and Entertainment Division Expected.  The parent company of Clear Channel Media and Entertainment holds a conference call with analysts this morning and although the company’s financial structure is very different from the days when it sold common stock like other publicly traded broadcasting companies, the industry is always interested in hearing from Clear Channel about its performance as a bellwether for the media industry as a whole.  The industry can expect an announcement coming from this conference call that CC’s radio revenue was up 4% in 2011.  According to the Clear Channel-owned, in-house radio trade publication Inside Radio: “Propelled by the addition of Westwood One’s traffic division in April and higher digital radio billings, Clear Channel Media & Entertainment revenue swung to $6.16 billion in 2011, a 4% increase from 2010. Like most of the industry, fourth quarter revenue was softer, growing 2% to $15 million.”  Today, Clear Channel Media Holdings and subsidiary Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings will give 2011 fourth quarter earnings and revenue numbers for the whole of 2011 as well as guidance for the current year.

Houston Police Looking into Investigation of Hit-and-Run Incident Allegedly Involving KTRH, Houston Host Michael Berry.  Last week TALKERS reported on the story out of Houston in which KTRH talk host – and former Houston City Councilman – Michael Berry is alleged to have hit a car outside a well-known gay bar in the city and left the scene.  At that time, local news reports indicated Berry was also seen inside the bar prior to the incident.  At this time Berry has not been charged with anything but the Houston Chronicle is reporting that Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland is ordering an investigation into his department’s handling of the case.  At issue here appears to be whether police, who initially offered little evidence to the district attorney’s office to charge Berry, may have ignored other testimony from the scene clearly linking Berry’s SUV to the incident.  Berry has said on his radio show that he can’t talk about it but asks people to hold their judgment until all the facts are out.  Berry’s attorney, Dick DeGuerin, tells the paper, “It’s much ado about nothing, it seems to me.”

Independently Syndicated George Jarkesy Show picked up by CRN Digital Talk Radio.  An hour of the recently launched independently syndicated Houston-based program, the George Jarkesy Show recently featured at Talkers.com has added CRN Digital Talk Radio as one of its distribution platforms carried on the Mike Horn-owned venue’s “CRN 5” airing Mondays at 1:00 pm.   A money manager and successful professional investor, respected financial and corporate advisor, George Jarkesy has founded, invested in and helped to build companies engaged in a broad range of industry sectors, including financial consulting, media, real estate investing, natural resources, and healthcare.  He also appears as a regular guest commentator on most of the major cable news/talk channels where he gained talk media industry attention as a solid information resource for the common sense blending of money matters and politics geared to the middle class investor and entrepreneur.  Jarkesy’s daily show runs Monday through Friday 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm with plans in the works to expand to three hours per day.  For more information, visit www.GeorgeJarkesy.com.

GOP Primary Race/2012 Presidential Race, Iran Oil Blockade Threat, Rising Gas Prices, Greece Bailout and Lin/ESPN Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/20).  The battle among GOP primary contenders and the larger 2012 presidential race; Iran’s threat to block oil out of the Persian Gulf and rising gas prices in the U.S.; the Euro Zone’s approval of another bailout for Greece; and the controversy over a racial slur used by ESPN staffers referencing Knicks player Jeremy Lin were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Charlotte Talk Media Personality to Moderate Debate.  Charlotte, North Carolina talk media personality and regular WBT, Charlotte fill-in host Wayne Powers is set to moderate today’s 8th Congressional District Republican Debate.  The debate, sponsored by the Cabarrus Republican Women, takes place tonight at 7:00 pm at the Vintage Motor Club in Concord, North Carolina.  All six candidates vying for the opportunity to challenge incumbent Democrat Larry Kissell will take part in the debate.

Live from L.A. Plaza.  ESPN Deportes stepped outside its studios to celebrate the first anniversary of Spanish-language sports talk show “Nacion ESPN.”  Pictured here are co-hosts Adriana Monsalve and David Faiteslon.  The two were joined on the program by ESPN’s Rafa Ramos and Bernardo Osuna, Mexican-Brazilian soccer star Luis Alberto Zaque, renowned Mexican soccer stars Ramon Ramirez and Claudio Suarez, and boxing legend Julio Cesar Chavez.  On a state-of-the-art set, Adriana and David welcomed the crowd and its special guests presenting several surprises, heated debates and friendly competitions.