Tag: "Comrex"

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

| February 8, 2017

Salem Radio Network Adds Nightly, Syndicated Joe Walsh Show to Lineup. The change takes place on February 20 when WIND, Chicago-based talk show host (and former Congressman from Illinois) Joe Walsh takes over the 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight ET show on the Salem Radio Network, bumping the Steve Deace syndicated show from the timeslot. Walsh hosts the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm show on WIND and will continue in that role, adding the syndicated, late night show to his duties. Salem SVP Phil Boyce comments, “We have been watching Joe work locally in Chicago and have seen outstanding development. His audience there continues to grow and we felt he would continue to do well on the national stage. Joe is a courageous and fearless warrior on the conservative side, who encourages his audience to take a strong stand for what is right.”

Casey Bartholomew to Program WFSX, Fort Myers-Naples.  Longtime New Jersey-based talk radio pro Casey Bartholomew announces he’s been named the new program director at Sun Broadcasting’s news/talk WFSX, Fort Myers-Naples “92-5 FOX News.”  He writes in a Facebook post, “This will, for a time, require me to give up being on the air on a daily basis.  But, I will still be able to do my fill-in work, and it may provide a chance for me to do a daily show on the station in the future.  This is an exciting, new opportunity for me and I hope it all works out the way I’m hoping.  But, nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

Brad Fanning Co-Hosts Afternoons at KCSP, Kansas City.  Kansas City sports talker KCSP “610 Sports” names Brad Fanning co-host of the afternoon program, “The Drive,” alongside Carrington Harrison and producer Ben Heisler.  Fanning takes over the slot vacated by Danny Parkins who moved to Chicago to co-host middays at WSCR “The Score.”  Fanning previously worked in the Kansas City market as a sports reporter for KCTV-TV.

Jeff Pantridge Assumes Afternoon Duties at ‘ESPN 94.1’ in Norfolk.  Norfolk sports talk outlet WVSP “ESPN Radio 94.1” names Jeff Pantridge afternoon sports talk personality, taking over the role vacated by Nick Cattles, who moved to Boston for a gig at WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub.”  During his career, Pantridge has served with CBS Radio at the former WHFS-FM, Tampa and he produced the WFLA-AM, Tampa show hosted by Todd Schnitt.  He’ll continue to work with Max Media staffers Matthew Steinberg and A.J. Risser, who’d been co-hosting the afternoon show after Cattles’ departure.

Scripps News/Talker WTMJ, Milwaukee Debuts ‘Mobile’ Podcast Network.  Milwaukee news/talk outlet WTMJ is unveiling its new “WTMJ Mobile” – a podcast network that includes popular WTMJ shows on-demand in addition to locally based podcasters from Milwaukee and Wisconsin.  The Scripps-owned station says this pilot program also includes exclusive podcasts for the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers and Milwaukee Bucks.  WTMJ and WKTI VP news, talk, and sports programming for radio Tom Langmyer states, “This uniquely Wisconsin platform expands our content offerings, builds strong third party partnerships and takes Scripps’ Milwaukee brands to new levels.”  WTMJ director of programming Eric Brooks adds, “‘WTMJ Mobile’ helps ensure our continued leadership position in spoken-word content.  Our live programming every day is valued content for our listeners.  With the podcast network, our audiences have full access to choose the unique, digital-first content they want and when.  Our diverse list of offerings will continue to increase the impact of WTMJ throughout the region.”  In addition to station-created content, WTMJ has partnered with Milwaukee organizations, including NEWaukee, the Milwaukee Brewing Company, Startup Milwaukee and many more to create a uniquely Wisconsin podcast experience.   Director of marketing and innovation J. Pat Miller says, “With podcasting, WTMJ has exponentially expanded the amount of content we provide, while championing more local voices to engage our connected, vibrant listeners.”

New Sales Roles Filled at CBS Radio in Chicago.  With the transition of John Cravens to a consulting role for CBS Radio in Chicago, the company announces that Chad Feldman is assuming the position of director of news and sports sales, in which he’ll oversee sales activities of all-news WBBM-AM, sports talk WSCR “The Score,” and play-by-play assets for Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bears broadcasts.  At the same time, the company names Joe Mackay director of music sales for CHR WBBM-FM “B96,” triple A WXRT, country WUSN “US99,” and classic hits WJMK.  Feldman – an 11-year CBS Radio Chicago staffer – was most recently GSM for WSCR.  Mackay was serving as national sales manager for CBS Radio’s Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh stations.  About his new role, Feldman comments, “After a career devoted to sports radio, it’s humbling for me to be given the good fortune to lead four of the most iconic Chicago radio brands ever.  Coming here from Washington, DC 15 years ago, I would never have imagined I would be given this opportunity.  I am grateful and excited about what is to come.”  The company also names general sales managers for four of its stations.  They are: Paul Agase for WBBM-FM, Dan Richman for WXRT, Carla Ross for WJMK, and Sheila Mulcahy for WUSN.

Now Playing on Talkers TV: ‘Needless to Say…’  Consultant Holland Cooke says, “Your voice is competing for attention with a barrage of noise, thousands of other messages that vie for your listeners’ attention every day.  To ‘break through,’ broadcasters and podcasters must ‘communicate clearly.’”  Check out the Talkers TV video in the upper right-hand of this page in which Cooke offers specific coaching advice.

Comrex to Display New IP Audio Gateway at NAB Show 2017.  This new product is called Opal – a portmanteau for Opus Portal – and it’s an IP audio gateway that creates a studio internet audio portal.  Install it in your studio and then anyone accessing it through a computer or Android device (with a microphone, earpiece, and browser) is able to broadcast from their computer or phone in high fidelity.  High quality return audio is also provided to the guest.  This product is optimal for audio programs and news departments that regularly use remote guests.  It allows them to deliver “studio quality” sound without the need for any special equipment on their end.  Comrex notes that “Opal is ideal for users who need to coordinate call-ins with non-technical remote guests – guests can simply click a link and connect instantly.  Opal establishes the link using the Opus encoder, for excellent fidelity and low delay.  Opal can support two connections at once and provides two independent professional audio I/O ports to the studio. Opal occupies 1/2U of rack space, and two can fit side-by-side in a 19” rack shelf. Connections to Opal can only be made from browsers that support WebRTC (Chrome and Firefox) at this time.  Check it out in Las Vegas April 22-27.

TALKERS News Notes. And the winner is… Motel 6!  The hospitality chain takes home the gold in the Westwood One Sports Sound Awards – the fourth annual contest to determine the most popular audio commercials aired the Super Bowl broadcast.  The winner was Motel 6’s ad in which spokesman Tom Bodett tries to incorporate millennial lingo to promote the hotel chain.  Bodett says the ad truly was “on fleek.”  In 2nd place was also Motel 6 with their ad “Disclaimer,” which found Bodett trying his best to not mention certain trademarked names that would land the hotel chain in legal trouble.  Finally, in 3rd place was Hagerty Insurance’s spot in which it pulled on the heartstrings of car lovers everywhere while taking listeners back to the first car they owned…..SiriusXM announces the appointment of political analyst and former Hillary Clinton aide Zerlina Maxwell as director of progressive programming.  In this new role, Maxwell is overseeing the editorial direction of the Progress 127 channel.  SiriusXM says, “With the addition of the progressive and feminist stalwart, the left-leaning channel has positioned itself with a renewed focus on both activism and resistance to the actions of the new Trump administration.”  Maxwell served as the Clinton campaign’s director of progressive media.  She’ll report to SiriusXM VP/GM of talk programming Dave Gorab…..Radio station operators currently using satellite AMC-8 (139 degrees West Longitude) have until June 30 to repoint their satellite dishes to migrate to the new AMC-18 at 105 degrees West Longitude.  There are five networks that use AMC-8 and are moving their service to AMC-18: Learfield, Orbital Media Networks (OMNi), Premiere Networks, Skyview Networks and Westwood One, in addition to syndicators who lease their satellite time from these five companies…..American Private Radio, distributor of “Our American Stories” to more than 40 U.S. radio markets is offering a Presidents Day special for radio stations that would like to air the program on Monday, February 20.  Host and APR CEO Lee Habeeb says the Presidents Day special will be “a beautiful tribute to arguably the most important historical figure in U.S. history, our first President George Washington.  We will weave together anecdotes, memoirs and biographical accounts of the public – and personal – life of Washington, including magnificent story-telling authentically narrated by two-time Pulitzer-Prize winning author and biographer David McCullough, who has written extensively about our nation’s first President.”  For information on securing this special presentation, contact Our American Stories at 239-470-9297 or via email affiliates@oanetwork.org.

Trump Travel Ban Court Fight, Elizabeth Warren vs. Jeff Sessions, Trump and U.S. Murder Rate, U.S.-Yemen Relations, Kremlin Demands Apology from FOX News, and Status of ObamaCare Repeal Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/7). The court battle over President Donald Trump’s order preventing travel from seven predominantly Muslim nations; Senator Elizabeth Warren is silenced for impugning a fellow senator in the debate over Jeff Sessions’ AG nomination; controversy over President Trump’s statement that the U.S. murder rate is the highest it’s been in 47 years; Yemen requiring permission for further strikes against Islamic State targets after its claim that civilians were killed in the recent U.S. raid; the Kremlin’s demand for an apology from FOX News after Bill O’Reilly called Vladimir Putin a killer during his Sunday Trump interview; and the administration’s and GOP’s plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

WFTL’s Rich Stevens Visited by an ‘Angel.’  Pictured above is WFTL, West Palm Beach late morning host Rich Stevens sitting in the studio with “Charlie’s Angels” star Cheryl Ladd.  The actress and 1970s icon made a rare, in-studio appearance with Stevens.  The two talked about her work on the classic TV program, golfing with O.J. Simpson and her being on the “Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson, among other things.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Program director Mike Preston is exiting Entercom’s country KKWF, Seattle “100.7 The Wolf” and rhythmic oldies KHTP “HOT 103.7” to pursue his next radio gig.  Preston says that, after seven years with the company in Seattle, he’s ready to move on.  “I’m very proud of what my teams have accomplished, making ‘The Wolf’ the top country brand in the market and putting our newest brand, ‘HOT 103.7,’ on the map in a big way.  I’m grateful to Jack Hutchison, Dave Richards, Pat Paxton, and Mike Moore for the opportunity to put country ‘under my belt’ and to pioneer the classic hip hop and R&B format.”  Entercom Seattle VP of programming Dave Richards will be in charge of the stations as a successor to Preston is sought…..The Adams Radio Group cluster in Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland has a new vice president and general manager.  Paul Burton joins the company from the crosstown iHeartMedia cluster where he was vice president of sales.  Adams CEO Ron Stone comments, “It is rare that you get an opportunity to partner with someone that literally can change your life.  I have spent the past several months as the interim GM while searching for the right person to lead our organization in Delmarva.  Paul is that person.  His excitement and commitment to excellence is second to none.”…..Afternoon personality and assistant program director Todd Michaels exits Beasley Media Group’s country KCYE, Las Vegas “102.7 The Coyote” after two years with the station.

New Documentary About ‘70s Rock Band Gunhill Road Showcased at Santa Barbara International Film Festival.  The early seventies NYC-based album rock band, Gunhill Road – best known for one big hit single ‘Back When My Hair Was Short” – got a lot of media attention a couple of years ago with the unexpected release of their reunion album “Every 40 Years.” Now a new documentary (also titled “Every 40 Years”) chronicling the group’s colorful story, spearheaded by the filmmaker son of one of the band’s members, had its world premiere Monday evening (2/6) as a special feature of the prestigious Santa Barbara International Film Festival. For 25 years, director Eric Goldrich knew close to nothing about his dad’s (Steve Goldrich) band Gunhill Road. A tribute concert to the band’s old manager and owner of the famous nightclub The Bitter End incited the band’s return to the stage. With the excitement of seeing his father play music with Gunhill Road again, Eric sought to document the performance. They were billed with Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey (of Peter, Paul and Mary) that night, along with many other legendary musicians, but what the future held was unknown.  Two years later, Gunhill Road reunited to record a brand new 19-track album, consisting of unrecorded songs that they had written in the ’70s and ’80s.  Eric convinced co-director Benjamin Friedberg to join him on the unique journey of creating a documentary following the return of Gunhill Road. Through Eric and Ben’s discovery, they learned how much Gunhill Road meant to its fans, and how close they got to breaking out as successful artists. They were the only band ever managed by The Bitter End’s owner, Paul Colby, and Kenny Rogers produced their second album. They opened for some of the greatest acts in history, including George Carlin, Bette Midler, Soupy Sales, Jim Croce, Lily Tomlin, Poco, the Carpenters, and many more. As a band, one could say they failed. They’re even called a “One Hit Wonder.”  Yet, in their 60’s, they came back to play together again 40 years after they broke up. A story of courage, doubt, regret, and liberation, the new film documentary “Every 40 Years” is described as being about chasing your dream down one more time.  The band played a special concert for its fans at the nearby Santa Barbara club, The Red Piano, following the screening of the film.  Eric Goldrich tell TALKERS that plans are in the works to showcase the documentary at other film festivals around the country and eventually find it a home on one of the cable or internet film channels.  To view the trailer for the film, please click here.

Gunhill Road stopped by heritage rocker KTYD-FM, Santa Barbara to do an interview on the station’s morning show in conjunction with the premiere of their documentary at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.  Pictured (back row l-r): Gunhill Road members Steve Goldrich and Paul Reich, and KTYD-FM morning co-hosts Lin Aubuchon and David Perry.  (Front row): Gunhill Road member Glenn Leopold.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

| February 7, 2017

CBS Radio Signs Jim Rome to Multi-Year Extension.  Sports talk personality Jim Rome and CBS Radio have come to terms on a new, multi-year deal.  Rome jumped from Premiere Networks back in January of 2013 to be one of the lead talents on the then-new CBS Sports Radio network.  CBS Radio EVP of programming Chris Oliviero says Rome was a key ingredient, “The Jim Rome show was the critical building block in the successful launch of CBS Sports Radio four years ago and brought immediate star power and credibility to the network.  We now look forward to writing the next chapter together in the storied history of Jim’s show, which has been and continues to be the standard by which all nationally syndicated sports shows are judged.”  As part of the deal, a one-hour highlight podcast of Rome’s show will continue to be available via CBS’ Play.it network.  He’ll also continue to anchor three editions of the early afternoon broadcast of the network’s flagship feature, the “CBS Sports Minute.”

Philly Sports Talker Signs with WIP-FM.  When Philadelphia sports talk radio personality Jon Marks exited Beasley’s crosstown WPEN-AM/FM after 10 years with the station last fall, there was speculation he would land at CBS Radio’s “SportsRadio 94WIP.”  Now, that’s a reality as Marks assumes the 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm air shift beginning this evening (2/7).  Additionally, Marks will anchor weekday Phillies pre-game and post-game coverage, provide content for CBSPhilly.com and contribute to WIP’s daytime lineup.  WIP-FM program director Spike Eskin comments, “Jon’s talent, relationship to Philadelphia sports fans, and history in the marketplace will be a huge addition to WIP.  We’re thrilled to have him aboard.”  Brian Haddad, who was hosting the evening show, remains with WIP-FM as creative services director.

SRN’s Hugh Hewitt Joins Washington Post as Columnist.  Conservative media figure Hugh Hewitt adds another gig – and media outlet – to his resume.  The Salem Radio Network talk host is signing on with The Washington Post as a regular opinion columnist.  In addition to his daily morning drive show on Salem Radio Network, Hewitt is a regular panelist on “Meet the Press,” is a contributor to NBC News, and teaches constitutional law at Chapman University Law School.  WaPo editorial page editor Fred Hiatt comments, “Hugh is one of the most influential and intelligent conservatives in political media, simultaneously thoughtful and provocative.  It’s essential to us that we offer readers a range of views, and we’re thrilled that Hugh has agreed to join our diverse team.”

KABC, Los Angeles Adds Tweeden to ‘McIntyre in the Morning’ Show.  Radio and television personality Leeann Tweeden was previously heard in the Los Angeles market at iHeartMedia’s sports talk KLAC “AM570 LA Sports” as one half of the “Roggin & Tweeden” show.  Now, she joins Cumulus Media’s news/talk KABC as news anchor for the “McIntyre in the Morning” show.  KABC operations director Drew Hayes states, “We are delighted to have Leeann sign on as the newest addition to the KABC on-air team.  She is not only a bright, high energy, and plugged-in broadcaster, she brings a broad reservoir of life experiences.  Leeann is a perfect fit for ‘McIntyre in the Morning’ and the big-personality lineup of News. Talk. Evolved. 790 KABC.”  Tweeden’s resume includes time spent as co-host of “UFC Tonight on FOX Sports” and FSN’s “The Best Damn Sports Show Period.”  Currently, she makes appearances presenting social and political commentary on FOX News’ “Hannity,” HLN’s “Dr. Drew,” and FOX News’ “Red Eye.”

Comrex to Unveil New Portable Audio IP Codec at NAB 2017.  This new portable audio IP codec is called the ACCESS NX, and it’s the latest version available from audio IP transmission leader Comrex.  This new unit (pictured at right), builds on the 10-year legacy of the ACCESS Portable.  However, this unit adds an audio channel, a larger touch screen, and a digital mixing stage.  The five-inch, capacitive touch screen doesn’t require a stylus, which simplifies set up and operation.  The ACCESS NX includes a dedicated stereo line input, in addition to a pair of XLR switchable audio inputs.  ACCESS NX is compatible with an ACCESS clip-on channel mixer (also pictured at right), a new accessory which adds four mic/line inputs and headphone outputs.  Comrex says that the new unit includes CrossLock, the company’s custom reliability layer that enables both powerful error correction and network bonding.  CrossLock intelligently monitors network connections and adjusts data allotment in real-time.  The features on the ACCESS NX include: Two USB jacks for 3G/4G and Wi-Fi connectivity, Ethernet port, and compatibility with POTS modem (sold separately); two stereo headphone outputs (¼” jacks) with individual controls; digital mixing and headphone busses; digital peak limiting; field-changeable internal lithium battery with built-in charger (5 hours of power); and serial data and four contact closures.   Comrex notes that the ACCESS has enabled broadcasters to transmit live programming from war zones, airplanes, bicycles, protests, and natural disasters – “its uniquely portable design has allowed for truly creative programming.”

TALKERS News Notes.  WRKO, Boston morning drive personality Doug “VB” Goudie has published a new historical book titled, ACK in Ashes: Nantucket’s Great Fire of 1846.  Goudie co-hosts the “Boston.com Morning Show” on the Entercom news/talk outlet with Kim Carrigan.  The book tells the story of the July 13, 1846 fire on the island of Nantucket and the challenges the whaling town faced rebuilding after the devastation…..iHeartMedia and partner Advertising Age launch their “Tagline” podcast with season one presenting sponsor Bulleit Frontier Whiskey on board.  iHM says, “As the presenting sponsor of “Tagline” season one, Bulleit Frontier Whiskey will work with AdAge and iHeartMedia to craft stories and experiences centered around the cultural frontier.  Bulleit and its family of high-rye, award-winning variants will provide inspired cocktails to ‘Tagline’ guests throughout the season and will work with award-winning mixologists to curate cocktails based on each episode’s discussion topic.  The premier episode features Jeff Bell, 2013 World Class American Bartender of the Year…..ABC News Radio is presenting a special series titled, “America’s Fentanyl Crisis,” in which senior justice correspondent Pierre Thomas reports on the crisis from New England, ground zero of the Fentanyl epidemic.  Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic pain killer that has become a popular street drug.  During this five-part investigation, Thomas goes inside a Drug Enforcement Administration drug lab, participates in law enforcement ride-alongs, and meets with survivors struggling to stay clean.

Travel Ban Court Battle, DeVos Education Secretary Nomination, O’Reilly vs Putin, Iran Missile Test, Melissa McCarthy’s Sean Spicer Spoof, and Patriots Win Super Bowl LI Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/6).  The looming court battle over President Donald Trump’s order stopping travel from seven predominantly Muslim nations; the slim margin of support for Michigan billionaire Betsy DeVos for Education Secretary; the Kremlin’s request for an apology from FOX News for Bill O’Reilly’s calling Vladimir Putin a killer; Iran’s bluster over its recent missile tests and the Trump Administration’s putting it “on notice”; the flap over Melissa McCarthy’s “SNL” performance as Press Secretary Sean Spicer; and the New England Patriots’ comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI 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.  At country WUBL, Atlanta “94.9 The Bull,” iHeartMedia names Jeremy “Otis” Maher afternoon drive personality and music director.  Otis is psyched about his new gig.  He says, “I am so excited to join Brian Michel and the iHeartMedia team on one of the biggest country stations in the nation!  I can’t wait to bring a high-energy, ultra-interactive show to The Bull’s listeners.”  Most recently, Otis worked as the program director and afternoon host at Alpha Media’s CHR WDJX, Louisville “99.7 DJX.”…..In Colorado Springs, Aaron Zytle exits the program director and afternoon drive personality roles at Bahakel Communications’ KRXP “The Alternative RXP @ 103.9.”…..The weekly, San Diego market Bob Marley program “Brunch With Bob and Friends” is now being heard on alternative XETRA “91X.”  The show has been produced in San Diego for the past 13 years and launched on “91X’ on Sunday – what would have been Markey’s 72nd birthday.  The show (airing Sundays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon) is hosted by “91X” morning personality Tommy Hough, who created the program in 2004…..CBS Radio CHR WBBM-FM, Chicago “B96” is presenting the “Lectric Leprechaun” EDM show on March 15 at the Aragon Ballroom.  The concert will feature Steve Aoki, Krewella, Cash Cash, and Grandtheft…..Beginning Thursday (2/9), Cumulus Media and Westwood One begin presenting an array of special programming, exclusive brand activations, and backstage performances in celebration of the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards.  The Westwood One Backstage Live at the GRAMMYS weekend will include live performances from Columbia recording artist and multiple GRAMMY Award-winners Train, Republic recording artist Marian Hill, and Hollywood Records recording artist Ocean Park Standoff. The events take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles Thursday from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET and Friday from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm PT.  More than 25 radio stations and Westwood One’s nationally syndicated Zach Sang and Adam Bomb shows will be backstage to capture the action as it happens…..The annual Super Bowl-related battle between Dick Broadcasting air personalities got even crazier this year.  Each year WKZL, Greensboro personality (and operations manager) Jason Goodman, a.k.a. “The Littlest Patriot” and WKRR, Greensboro personality Chris Kelly (half of the syndicated “2 Guys Named Chris” program)  compete to see whose home will host the biggest and greatest Big Game party.  Both jocks spent a small fortune trying to outdo each other. (Check out the billboard Goodman rented to park outside the WKRR studios!)  Goodman’s party featured door prizes and Oscar-worthy gift bags, while Kelly invested heavily in a state-of-the-art, surround-sound system.  The goal: Win the contest by having more friends and co-workers over than your opponent, thus proving Party Superiority!  Goodman was declared winner by acclamation…..The WNNX, Atlanta morning show “Bailey and Southside” is running the “Sucks for Bucks” promotion all this month.  The contest is simple: When listeners hear a cast member – Jason Bailey, Southside Steve, Brandi Britain or Digi-Dude Nate – on the show sucking (as in performing poorly), they phone in and call them out on it.  If a majority of the cast agrees with the caller, the caller wins $100.  WNNX says it has allocated “thousands of dollars” for this month-long promotion.

‘REAL 92.3’ Los Angeles Promotes DJ Carisma to Music Director.  Los Angeles DJ and mixer DJ Carisma has been with iHeartMedia’s hip hop KRRL “REAL 92.3” since 2015, serving as live DJ/mixer in afternoon drive and as part of the Saturday night “Young California Radio” collaboration with DJ Amen and Dre Sinatra.  Now, she’s been upped to music director and mix show coordinator.  She says, “I feel like I was born to be a part of the radio world, and the ‘REAL 92.3’ brand is the perfect fit for me.  I’m proud of my radio industry track record, and my promotion to music director is mind blowing.  I can’t wait to continue to better serve this station and community by doing what I love.”

PPM Analysis: Hot AC.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of hot AC-formatted stations based on the Holiday 2016 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  In this report, you can see the (6+) ratings battles between in-market competitors, how stations compared to their performances in the December PPM survey, as well as how they performed compared to the Holiday 2015 PPM survey.  See it all here.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

| January 28, 2014

wftl logoJames Crystal Radio Misses Payroll.  According to a report in Jose Lambert’s column in the Miami Herald, staffers at the James Crystal Radio Group stations in West Palm Beach – news/talkwmen logo WFTL and sports talk WMEN – have not been paid since January 1 due to the holder of a $17 million loan to the company freezing its account.  The company is operated by Jim Hilliard and when contacted by the paper, general manager Steve Lapa stated that Hilliard is working from “6:00 am to 10:00 pm daily to resolve the situation.”  Lapa reports the staffers have missed only one pay period up until this point.  Between the two stations it’s estimated there are approximately 75 employees.

davisdarrenClear Channel Creates Networks Group; Names Davis President.  In a corporate re-alignment move, Clear Channel Media + Entertainment creates a new unified Networks group to take full advantage of its “power, reach and scale to deliver more compelling content opportunities to its partners, affiliates, advertisers and consumers, as well as providing a unique platform to its content partners and talent.”  Darren Davis, most recently EVP and GM for the national programming platforms, will lead this effort as president, Clear Channel Networks Group.  The company says that in his new role, Davis will oversee and ensure the success and close integration of the networks — Premiere Networks, Total Traffic and Weather Network, the 24/7 News Network and the iHeartRadio Network.  This new position underlines Clear Channel’s continued commitment to further expanding and transforming its business, introducing innovative new products, moving onto exciting new platforms and delivering even more unique opportunities and content to its audiences and its talent.  Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman states, “This new unified Networks group will enable us to better capitalize on our powerful relationships, creative talent and unparalleled capabilities across all platforms and maximize our infrastructure in an entirely new way to take these networks to a higher level, as well as develop new ones.  Darren is an innovative and effective leader of teams and has been a success at every role he has played at this company from the beginning as a programmer through his role as EVP and GM for the National Programming Platforms (NPP) group with Tom Poleman.  His extensive and diverse experience makes him the perfect candidate for this important new leadership role.”

grandephilPhil Grande to Appear at Rumsfeld Book Event.  In conjunction with news/talk WLSS, Sarasota, Florida, nationally syndicated financial talk personality Phil Grande – host of the “Phil’s Gang” program – will make a presentation and appear with former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld at Rumsfeld’s special event and speech at the Hyatt Regency on February 13.  Rumsfeld is touring the country promoting his new book, Rumsfeld’s Rules: Leadership Lessons in Business, Politics, War and Life (Broadside 2013).

neerrichardSports Talk: How Important Is Civility?  Unlike the Seattle Seahawks’ Richard Sherman, sports talk hosts “need to be liked.”  That’s what WFAN, New York sports talk host Richard Neer says in his column published today (1/28).  Neer writes (while referencing the notoriety being enjoyed by Sherman in the aftermath of his recent rant), “If you are talented or lucky enough to win that lottery by catching the public imagination at precisely the right moment, you can thrive by being what polite society deems ‘uncivil.’  But you’re treading a narrow line and making a lot of enemies in the process.  One misstep could end your career as suddenly as a torn ACL could end Sherman’s.” Read Neer’s entire column here.

crninternational logoCRN International Debuts Events Division; Names Kelly Travers Director.  Integrated radio marketing solutions company CRN International is establishing a new Events Division for the growing number of live functions it manages as part of client campaigns.  The company says the move will allow it “to execute with optimum efficiency for the many events it coordinates for consumer brands, ranging from local radio station appearances to high-profile nightclub galas.”  To head up the new venture is Kelly Travers who is named director of retail strategies and activation.  CRN president and founder Barry Berman states, “Live events are used when they help solve a client objective, and they have to be well executed in every detail if they hope to deliver the expected business outcome.  Establishment of this new operating unit will allow our clients to sleep at night knowing all logistics are being addressed thoroughly.”  Travers notes that CRN International orchestrated more than 300 events as part of client marketing strategies last year alone.  Among the companies that have used live events engineered by CRN as an offshoot of their radio-triggered campaigns are Fiat and Petco, to name a few.

wxgiRed Zebra’s WXGI, Richmond to Simulcast on WZEZ-FM.  In a deal that will begin on February 1, Red Zebra-operated sports talk WXGI, Richmond “ESPN 950” will expand its reach by simulcasting on WZEZ at 100.5 FM.  The agreement between Red Zebra Broadcasting and Delmarva Educational Association gives “ESPN 950” reach to the northwest of the market.  General manager Buck Albritton states, “We could not be more excited to move our dynamic on-air lineup onto the FM frequency.  Most importantly, we are increasing our signal reach to serve more sports listeners.”  The stations will begin their relationship with the broadcast of Super Bowl XVLIII on Sunday.  Program director Mitchell Bradley states, “Not only is this an opportunity to serve a greater number of listeners, we will increase the number of games that we can broadcast.  We’ll be able to carry one play-by-play lineup on our AM station while featuring another program event on the FM signal.”  Red Zebra is controlled by Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder.

radiohealthjournal logoOdds & Sods.  The syndicated public affairs program “Radio Health Journal” is celebrating the airing of its 1,100th episode this week.  The program began in 1992 and is now heard on more than 480 stations across the country.  Produced by MediaTracks Communications and hosted by Reed Pence, the show provides listeners with a wide variety of health topics, including consumer safety, healthcare, drug abuse, mental illness, food safety, and youth at risk.  Pence states, “From the start, we cared about the information that we were providing to the listener.  We’ve always concentrated on providing important and useful information in a consumer friendly way.”…..SiriusXM talk host Joe Madison will attend tonight’s State of the Union Address as a guest of Congressional Black Caucus chair Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH).  On Wednesday, Fudge will appear on Madison’s program to discuss the president’s address…..The NFL’s Baltimore Ravens will be heard on Clear Channel’s classic rock WBIG, Washington, DC next season.  Last season the team’s games were heard in the DC market on Hubbard Radio’s WFED, Washington.

espnmikemikebradshawSports Talk Frenzy in NYC.  It’s Super Bowl week in New York City and ESPN – along with the other major sports radio networks including Fox Sports Radio Network, CBS Sports Radio Network and NBC Sports Radio Network – is there.  Pictured here is Fox Sports analyst Terry Bradshaw (right) on ESPN’s Mike & Mike show this morning with Mike Golic (center) and Mike Greenberg (left).  ESPN enjoys the advantage of its fabulous Times Square studios for this year’s Super Bowl.  All this week at the nearby Sheraton Hotel in Manhattan, some 90 radio stations are broadcasting from the Super Bowl XLVIII radio row.

millergovernorDown on Main Street.  Always getting out into the community, KIDO, Boise morning drive host Kevin Miller (center) takes his show out to Ed’s 50 Café where he hosts a roundtable breakfast chat with Idaho Governor Butch Otter (right) and EntreLeadership director of coaching and community John Felkins.  EntreLeadership is part of talk superstar Dave Ramsey’s organization.  Felkins’ job involves meeting with business leaders from across the country and helping them generate improvements to their companies by applying the EntreLeadership way of doing business.

comrexACCESSComrex Rolls Out Switchboard Traversal Server.  Don’t get freaked out by the engineer-speak, this is a very cool new feature for Comrex’s ACCESS and BRIC-Link IP audio codecs.  This major upgrade to the company’s popular BRIC Traversal Server (or BRIC-TS) service for ACCESS and BRIC-Link IP audio codecs allows for presence notification, status and connection help (NAT Traversal) via a cloud-based service which is free to use for Comrex ACCESS IP codec customers.  The feature is included in all Comrex ACCESS IP Audio codecs and can be unlocked on Comrex BRIC-Link codecs for a small license unlock fee.  The company states that it will be migrating all existing BRIC-TS accounts to the new Switchboard TS today (1/28) and the changeover will be seamless for existing users.  While customers will experience an improved graphical user interface, they should note two main improvements to the management tools in Switchboard.  Specifically, “Contact Lists” and “Shares” have simplified the task of managing a large fleet of ACCESS and BRIC-Link codecs.  What this all really means is that Switchboard TS is designed to allow your BRIC codecs (such as ACCESS) to connect with each other without having to have an IT guy onsite everywhere you go!  To contact Comrex by phone, call 800-237-1776.

Cool Job Opportunity. Heritage News/Talk station in the northeast has a rare opportunity in a top 100 market.  Now accepting applications for a combo News Director/Program Director.  Great company and a great opportunity for the right person with strong forward thinking programming ideas and strategies.  Must have experience in both news and programming with a multi-platform distribution approach to include on-air, online and mobile.  Please email a resume along with any supporting materials to Gabe Hobbs at gabe@gabehobbsmedia.com.  Or you can place your materials in my DropBox at https://www.hightail.com/u/GabeHobbsMedia. No calls please.  EOE/MF

State of the Union Address, NSA Spying Controversy, Hillary Clinton in 2016, More Icy Winter Weather, 56th GRAMMYs, and Super Bowl XLVIII Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/27).  The president’s annual State of the Union address to be delivered tonight; more revelations about the extent of the NSA spying operations; speculation about Hillary Clinton’s 2016 political ambitions; the next round of frigid winter weather set to hit the Midwest, East and South this week; the 56th GRAMMY awards held Sunday; and the run-up to Super Bowl XLVIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Review: The Incredibly Good (and Affordable) Audio-Technica AT2005USB Cardioid Dynamic Mic

| January 7, 2014

By Michael W. Dean
The Freedom Feens
Genesis Communications Network
Co-Host

deanmichael2CASPER, WY — Remember that toy advertised on TV in the 1970s called “Mr. Microphone?”  It was a cheap plastic mic with a built-in low-power FM transmitter.  You could project a tinny rendition of your voice over any portable radio within oh…about 30 feet.

The Audio-Technica AT2005USB mic kind of reminds me of the Mr. Microphone except that the AT2005USB sounds incredibly good.  And instead of reaching every radio within 30 feet, it reaches every radio in America, or at least every radio in America that’s in a city where your show has an affiliate.

This would be a great mic for hosts who travel a lot, and don’t want to bring a mixer and a whole bag of gear or an engineer.  It’s a regular-sized dynamic mic that sounds fairly amazing.  It has a built-in USB interface, and comes with a nifty collapsible tripod table stand and a USB cable.  You could fit that all in a netbook case with a small laptop. Add a set of earphones or even ear buds and you could do your show from anywhere.  You could fit all that in a briefcase or purse.

Read More

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

| January 7, 2014

cainepaulCEO Caine Set to Depart WestwoodOne.  As WestwoodOne becomes a fully integrated Cumulus Media division, chief executive officer Paul Caine will leave later this month. According to Cumulus chief executive officer Lew Dickey, “Paul is an extremely talented media executive and did an excellent job of guiding WestwoodOne during a period of change.  He positioned the company for future growth and played an instrumental role in driving awestwoodone logo constructive transaction, which delivered value for his shareholders.  We look forward to working with Paul in the next chapter of his impressive career.”  Caine is “so proud of the team we’ve built and what we’ve accomplished” at the company.  “In such a short time, we have proven the power of sound and its impact on the future of the audio industry,” he remarks.  “I am confident that this great momentum will continue under Cumulus and the strong talent and leadership of Lew Dickey.”  Less than one year ago (April 2013), Caine was announced as chief executive officer of Dial Global (now WestwoodOne) and as a member of the company’s board of directors.  He previously spent nearly 25 years at Time Inc., where he led the development of digital formats.

cookehollandNew Media Expo and CES Update.  “If I were Howard Stern I would go to a subscription podcasting model.”  Those were the words of Courtside Entertainment Group and PodcastOne CEO Norm Pattiz speaking at yesterday morning’s keynote address at 2014 New Media Expo (formerly Blogworld).  Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas reporting for TALKERS magazine and he has more from Pattiz.  Also check out his notes from the first day of the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show where he reports back on the new technology that is relevant to the radio and content business.  Check it out here.

paulsenrouhierGrant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier Host Middays on WJFK-FM, Washington.  Speculation that Don Geronimo would re-surface during the day on CBS RADIO’s sports talk WJFK-FM, Washington “106.7 The Fan” have been squelched as the station debuted its new midday show co-hosted by Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier (Geronimo remains with the station hosting the evening show).  Rouhier had been working with Holden Kushner during the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm slot previously.  Kushner remains with the station hosting weekends and participating in the station’s Washington Nationals coverage.  Paulsen has been serving as the station’s Redskins beat reporter for the past four years.

deptrojohnWPRO, Providence Talk Host John DePetro Returns to Air; Critics Remain Steadfast.  Providence talk show host John DePetro – host of the late morning show on Cumulus Media’s WPRO, Providence – returned to the air on Monday after being off for the month of December.  DePetro and local union leader Maureen Martin – chairwoman of the anti-DePetro organization For Our Daughers RI – appear fated to continue their battle over DePetro’s employment with the station.  DePetro recently rankled Martin and other Rhode Island union members after he referred to some of them as “parasites,” “cockroaches,” “hags” and “whores” during a rant about their participation in a protest.  DePetro apologized for his choice of words but Martin is not backing off her campaign to oust DePetro from his position via boycott of the station’s advertisers and a petition drive.  The latest news in the skirmish is Martin publicly claiming DePetro was accused of sexual assault in 2013.  The Providence Journal-operated PolitiFact.com reports that it researched the matter to discover DePetro was accused of sexual harassment in 2012.  After connecting with Martin, PolitiFact.com reports the organization changed the date – from 2013 to 2012 – on its petition but has not altered the accusation to harassment.  Although harassment is a civil matter and assault is a felony, Martin insists to PolitiFact.com that an unwanted sexual advance is assault, according to the U.S. Department of Justice – which the news organization disputes.  Regardless, DePetro appears ready for battle, addressing the issue upon his return Monday saying, “Politicians and unions should not interfere and try to silence public opinion.  Period.  That’s it…They want to silence the people.  The last time I checked, this is still America.”

comrexComrex Names Raul Hun Latin America Sales Manager.  Comrex Corporation announces the appointment of Raul Hun to manage Latin America sales for the company.  Hun, a native of Panama, brings over 15 years of experience in providing studio and transmission solutions to broadcasters throughout Central and South America.  He most recently worked for the Telos Alliance and Broadcast Electronics.  Comrex director of sales Chris Crump comments, “Raul is one of the most well-liked gentlemen in our industry and we are thrilled to have him on our team.  The great work that Jim Godfrey has done for us in the region will certainly be strengthened by the strong dealer and customer relationships that Raul has developed over the years in Latin America.”

deanmichaelwReview: The Audio Technica AT2005USB Microphone.  Whether you record podcasts or take your talk show on the road (or both!), a good portable USB mic is a very handy thing.  Talk show host Michael W. Dean offers this thorough review of the Audio Technica AT2005USB mic.  He writes, “This would be a great mic for hosts who travel a lot, and don’t want to bring a mixer and a whole bag of gear or an engineer.  It’s a regular-sized dynamic mic that sounds fairly amazing.  It has a built-in USB interface, and comes with a nifty collapsible tripod table stand and a USB cable.  You could fit that all in a netbook case with a small laptop.”  For the entire review, pics and a sound sample, click here.

summersrichOdds & Sods.  Rich Summers is the new operations manager for Townsquare Media’s news/talk KIDO, Boise and its sister sports talk station KFXD “Sports Radio 630 The Fan.”  Summers joined the station group as program director of country KAWO…..At Yahoo! Sports Radio, there’s been a lineup change: “Hit ‘Em Up with Geoff Ketchum” moves to the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET slot and a new afternoon drive program, “Prime Cut featuring Sean Salisbury and John Granato,” launches in the 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET timeslot…..In addition to yesterday’s news that the Clear Channel Media + Entertainment digital audio platform iHeartRadio will be available on some new car entertainment and information systems, the company is promoting the service will soon be available on Qualcomm’s multi-media AllPlay smart media platform, the new AT&T Drive auto platform and others.  The announcement was made at day one of the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show.

MSNBC-Romney Controversy, Winter Cold Snap/Global Warming, Kerry’s Iran-Syria Solution, Colorado Pot Law Effects, Chicago Gun Ban Overturned, and SCOTUS Utah Gay Marriage Ruling Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/6).  MSNBC’s forced apology after a program aired in which comedians made fun of Mitt Romney’s adopted, African-American grandson; the bitter winter weather affecting much of the United States and the controversy over its cause; criticism over John Kerry’s reaching out to Iran in an effort to solve the civil unrest in Syria; the effects of the new marijuana laws in Colorado; the overturning of Chicago’s ban on the purchase and sale of guns in the city; and the Supreme Court’s overturning of Utah’s gay marriage law were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, February 25, 2013

| February 25, 2013

nms2013logoMike Francesa to Address Industry at Talkers New York 2013.  The list of major speakers continues to grow as WFAN, New York afternoon drive sports talk goliath Mike Francesa joins the roster of industry leaders who will be speaking at “TALKERS New York 2013,” the 16th annual installment of talk radio’s longest-running and most important francesamikeannual convention.  Francesa will deliver a solo keynote address titled, “The Sports Talk Radio Phenomenon.”  He will discuss how sports talk fits into the general radio industry, where it is going both locally and nationally and how it operates within the business model of the PPM world.  Francesa, who has been a major host on WFAN since the late 1980s, is also seen across the nation on the YES Network simulcast of his radio show and hosts a syndicated weekend program “The NFL Now” in addition to participating in numerous other sports broadcasting projects.  He is currently ranked number one on the TALKERS Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk Radio Hosts holding the position as the Most Important Sports Talk Radio Host in America.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “The addition of Mike Francesa as the sports talk radio keynote speaker at this year’s conference puts it over the moon.  One of the big buzzes of the business is the relentless growth of this exciting branch of the talk radio universe.  Who better than the king of the format to give insights into the genre’s place in the scheme of things?  We are delighted!”  More headliners will be named in the coming days along with the 50-plus speakers that will be participating in the conference.  The event is set for Thursday, June 6, 2013 at the Concierge Conference Center on Manhattan’s East Side.  Registration for the day including all activities and food service is $199 per person.  An advance sellout is expected due to space limitations.  Registration is limited to members of the working media and can only be taken via telephone.  For registration and sponsorship information call 413-565-5413.  Complete agenda details are being posted daily.  Stay tuned.

schnitttoddTodd Schnitt Not Giving Up on Bubba the Love Sponge Lawsuit.  The Tampa Bay Times reports talk show host Todd Schnitt has fired his legal team, hired a new lawyer and is continuing to pursue legal action against former crosstown rival Bubba the Love Sponge (Todd Clem).  The first trial ended in a victory for Bubba as the jury decided not to awardbubba Schnitt and wife Michelle damages for defamation over a series of criticisms and accusations Bubba leveled at Schnitt when he competed with Bubba in morning drive as MJ Kelli.  Now, Schnitt has fired C. Phillip Campbell and Jonathan J. Ellis and has hired Wil Florin to represent him and his wife.  Regular TALKERS readers are aware of the bizarre elements of the previous trial:  Campbell being pulled over for DUI while driving the car of a young paralegal who, unbeknownst to him, worked for Bubba’s lawyer’s firm; the tip-off to police that Campbell was driving the car was made by someone from that same firm; and Bubba’s lawyers had possession of Campbell’s briefcase for 18 hours (though they say they didn’t open it).  That missing briefcase is the basis for the new suit.  How this will end is anybody’s guess, but one thing is for sure: Both Schnitt and Clem are spending a lot of money on legal fees.  Yes, they are getting a lot of publicity for their radio programs but it is very expensive publicity.

ingrahamlauraLaura Ingraham Added to American Forces Network.  Courtside Entertainment Group announces today that the Laura Ingraham show is being added to the American Forces Network with the opportunity to be heard by more than one million U.S. service members and their families.  Ingraham states, “It is fantastic to be back on the air – and it feels even more special knowing that all of our friends listening on Armed Forces Network can hear us around the globe.  The energy and enthusiasm from listeners, affiliates and advertisers since I returned to the airwaves has been overwhelming.  From Tucson to Jacksonville, from Washington, DC to Seattle, Americans are energized and enthusiastic about our daily conversation about our country’s past, present and future.  Politics is important – but so is the culture around us.  As a single parent of young children and a cancer survivor, I have a unique perspective that connects me with listeners of all political stripes.  Our conversation is a fun-filled ride that moves beyond the Beltway to the real-life ups and downs we all face.”

constantinilynneVeteran Media Executive Lynne Constantini Joins Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze.  The former EVP of affiliate sales and marketing at Scripps Networks Interactive and SVP of programming at Time Warner Cable joins TheBlaze as president of business development.  In her new position Lynne Constantini will oversee the growing network’s content distribution efforts, as well as affiliate marketing, advocacy, business affairs and business development initiatives.  She previously negotiated TheBlaze’s successful carriage deal with DISH as an outside consultant.  Constantini says, “As a cable industry executive and consultant, I have been attracted to the rare independent network that has strong, unique content and a passionate engaged audience that drives results for operators and that is what I have found with TheBlaze.  TheBlaze is unlike other start-up networks; it has a built-in loyal audience, a full slate of live, original programming, speaks to an underserved and growing conservative audience and has extensive marketing reach through affiliated media assets including on radio and on the web.  I am excited to work with Glenn, Chris Balfe and the rest of the team on building TheBlaze and continuing the network’s success in improving the businesses of its distribution partners.”

cookehollandListeners Are Busy and Talent Is Spooked.  That’s the assessment of radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Holland Cooke who asks broadcasters the provocative question:  “RU@Speed-of-Life?’  In today’s article, Cooke says radio programmers must get up to speed (literally) with the intense pace of modern life which, when coupled with the PPM, puts tremendous pressure to manage air time in a way that is in keeping with today’s breakneck tempo.  For example he advises hosts not to begin their shows by listing all the things they’ll be doing before the show ends.  He says programming clock designers should go the extra step in designing transitions between programming elements (such as newscaster to talk show host segments) in a completely seamless manner.  Never stop the action through over-explanation.  Don’t miss this timely and informative piece.  Read it here.

baileyralphTalk Host Ralph Bailey Begins KERN, Bakersfield Program Next Monday.  After quitting his talk show at Buckley Broadcasting’s crosstown KNZR on Thursday after an eight-year stint, Ralph Bailey will take over the PM drive program on American General Media’s KERN.  Bailey wrote on his Facebook page, “It is official!!!  I signed a contract today to join American General Media.  I’ll be Scott Cox‘s guest today at three and begin my own 3-6 p.m. drive time show on Monday, March 4.  I could not be happier!  I have security in a business that is not that secure and for the first time in my life I’m making a little scratch!  I’d like to thank Rogers Brandon and Toni Snyder.  It is great to feel wanted and appreciated.”

californian logoKERN, Bakersfield’s Scott Cox to Anchor The Californian-AGM Morning Show Endeavor.  Talk radio personality Scott Cox is moving away from the PM drive slot that Ralph Bailey is taking over in order to host a new morning program that is a joint effort of American General Media and The Bakersfield Californian.  The show – “First Look with Scott Cox” – will emanate from The Californian newsroom in which a radio studio has been built.  While KERN will coxscottprovide the producers and technical expertise, the newspaper’s reporters will be regular guests during talk segments.  Californian CEO Richard Beene says of the initiative, “The Bakersfield Californian has always prided itself about being on the cutting edge of technology (our website bakersfield.com was launched back in 1995) and we are keenly aware that readers and advertisers are finding new ways to obtain content and reach their advertisers.  That’s why change is part of our company culture, and serving our readers and advertisers on multiple platforms is something we talk about every day.”  The program will also be streamed live in high-definition video on the paper’s website.  Beene writes in his editorial in the paper, “’First Look’ will add to The Californian‘s existing video programming, which includes ‘BVarsity Live,’ live local sports and breaking news.  The Californian plans to expand its live video programming later this year.  So yes, newspapers are alive and well, changing and evolving.  Join us in March for ‘First Look.’”

millerchrisNot All That Glitters is Gold.  According to radio digital consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller, broadcasters should avoid falling under the spell of Facebook “likes” and the impulse to “go viral” — which he describes as “shiny, distracting objects.”  He advises, “The number of Facebook ‘likes’ you have is almost completely without meaning.  In addition, working to have something go viral is probably taking you away from what you should be doing!”  Read Chris Miller’s informative and valuable article here.

benandskinESPN O&O KESN, Dallas Parts Company with Ben & Skin.  Sports talk KESN, Dallas and midday personalities Ben Rogers and Jeff “Skin” Wade were not able to come to terms on a new contract and the duo have left the station.  They wrote on their Facebook page. “We have declined a final offer from ESPN on a new deal.  We’re parting ways with them for now.  Future is unwritten.  Thank you for your support throughout the years.  We are eager to write the next chapter of our adventure.  Stay tuned.”

sweeneyjohnJohn Sweeney Exits WGDJ, Albany.  The former Republican congressman from New York began a one-hour daily talk show at Capital Broadcasting’s “Talk 1300” two weeks ago but has left the station.  The Albany Times-Union reports John Sweeney’s exit comes after it became apparent that the 11:00 am to 12:00 noon time slot was too much for the attorney and political consultant.  Owner and GM Paul Vandenburgh told the paper too many unforeseen scheduling conflicts have made the show untenable.

raytomTECHNICAL WATCH: Radio Moves Beyond ISDN to Deliver Studio Quality Remote Audio.  Welcome to the Age of the IP Codec.  Back in the “good old days,” if you wanted to get audio from point A to point B you had basically two choices: a dedicated land line from good old Ma Bell (a.k.a, the phone company) or you sent a tape.  Then, Ma Bell decided to get rid of dedicated equalized services – at least interstate.  These days, it’s very difficult if not impossible to get a dedicated broadcast service even in the same city.  This prompted devices like the Comrex two-line and three-line frequency extender systems.  These allowed someone to utilize two or three dial-up lines to get audio from one place to another with reasonable audio quality.  The next step was ISDN – a digital dial-up service.  With the development of devices such as the Telos Zephyr, FM quality audio was easily passed, with very little audio delay, between two locations.  This has been the norm now for close to 20 years.  Enter the IP codec – essentially ISDN on steroids.  IP codecs utilize the internet as the transport medium.  Now, for just the cost of the internet service you already have installed, you can literally transport audio all around the world – in many instances with slightly more round-trip delay than with ISDN, but that is easy to work around using mix minus.  Noted radio technical consultant and TALKERS columnist Tom Ray brings us all up to speed on this new era in remote audio delivery in a must-read clear and concise article, here.

tradupguatemalaSalem Radio News Series Spotlights “The Poorest of the Poor.”  SRN vice president/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (pictured here in Guatemala) spent the last week in that Central American country as Salem Radio News prepared a news series titled, “The Poorest of the Poor.”  Speaking about his experience there, Tradup tells TALKERS, “Guatemala is only a few hours by plane from the U.S., but living conditions for youngsters are light years away.  And the statistics take on heartbreaking new meaning when you actually spend time with children there.  We embedded with the American relief agency Food for The Poor to cover both the tragedy and the hope for impoverished children in Guatemala.”  Tradup says Guatemala has the highest malnutrition rate of any country in the Western Hemisphere.  The week-long SRN News special series will profile the challenges facing government and private agencies targeting ways to reverse the grim statistics on malnutrition and infant mortality in Guatemala.

bloomlisaOdds & Sods.  Lisa Bloom – daughter of former radio and television talk show host (and high-profile attorney) Gloria Allred – is joining NBC’s “Today” show as a legal analyst says TVNewser.  Bloom hosted the CourtTV show “Lisa Bloom: Open Court” from 2001 to 2009…..Arbitron’s Carol Hanley is named to the Allliance for Women in Media board of directors.  Hanley serves as SVP, chief sales officer for Arbitron.

kdkaharlemshakeHarlem Shake Takes Over KDKA.  The YouTube phenomenon “Harlem Shake” invades the newsroom at CBS Radio’s KDKA, Pittsburgh.  This still shot is from a video posted on the KDKA-TV website and shows late morning talk host Marty Griffin (in the Santa hat) leading the rest of the crew – including morning hosts Larry Richert and John Shumway and Shelley Duffy, PM drive host Bill Rehkopf, midday host Mike Pintek, sports reporter and weekend host Rob Pratte and creative services director Kelly Pidgeon – in boogeying to the tune.

Beyond ISDN: Welcome to the Age
of the IP Codec

| February 25, 2013

By Thomas R. Ray, III CPBE, AMD, DRB
Tom Ray Consulting
President
TALKERS
Technical Editor

NEW YORK — I made a Facebook posting last week regarding a radio program I am involved with – Ron Ananian, The Car Doctor.  A friend who has a voice over business posted that he’s heard the show through one of his clients and thought it was a good show and sounded really good.  I posted back that I bet he never would have guessed we deliver the audio to the satellite uplink via an IP codec.  Another voice over friend chimed in wanting to know what codec we were using.  My first friend then said, “what’s an IP codec?”  Uh, oh.

Back in the “good old days”, if you wanted to get audio from point A to point B you had basically two choices: a dedicated land line from good old Ma Bell (aka, the phone company) or you sent a tape.

Then, Ma Bell decided to get rid of dedicated equalized services – at least interstate.  These days, it’s very difficult if not impossible to get a dedicated broadcast service even in the same city.

Read More

Friday, January 18, 2013

| January 18, 2013

diloretodanielBubba-Schnitt Trial: Day Two.  On day two of testimony in the Hillsborough County, Florida courtroom where nationally syndicated talk host Todd Schnitt is suing Bubba the Love Sponge (Todd Clem) for defamation, thebubba questioning surrounded Bubba’s on-air language calling for the “death” of Schnitt – who was hosting mornings at WFLZ, Tampa as MJ Kelli.  Schnitt’s attorney focused on Bubba’s statements that included: “We seek and destroy,” “I will not be happy until I have an MJ funeral in the streets in Tampa, Florida,” and “MJ, that’s the only person I really want to die, seriously.”  On the witness stand for part of the day was former Clear Channel Tampa market manager Daniel DiLoreto who said on the stand that he was “stunned” by Bubba’s comments about schnitttoddwanting Schnitt “to die.”  Schnitt’s attorney is trying to convince the jury that Bubba’s language went beyond typical radio disc jockey feuding to putting Schnitt and his family in fear for their safety at the hands of members of the “Bubba Army,” as Clem’s fans are known.  Clem’s attorney is trying to paint all the on-air talk as simply the words of feuding disc jockeys with no real threat to anyone’s safety.  When questioned by Clem’s attorney if he ever heard Clem actually ask anyone to hurt Schnitt, DiLoreto replied he had not.

oconnelldanielJohn O’Connell Named PD at CBS Radio’s Tampa Sports Stations.  Programmer John O’Connell moves to the Tampa cluster of CBS Radio stations from the company’s West Palm Beach operations where he most recently served as OM and PD.  O’Connell will program WHFS-FM, Tampa “Sports Radio 98.7” and WHFS-AM “CBS Sports Radio 1010.”  O’Connell came to South Florida after spending 15 years working in the Boston market at such outlets as Kiss 108, WBMX and WEEI.  He became program director for alternative rocker WPBZ-FM in 1996 and later increased his responsibilities to oversee several stations in the region.  CBS Tampa SVP and market manager Ben Hill says, “I have complete confidence in John’s experience and leadership, having worked closely with him over the years.  He is confident and ‘walks the walk’ when it comes to achieving results.  And the fact that no one can match what we offer when it comes to sports programming will enable John to create a listener experience that is completely driven by the fans.”

paynesethSeth Payne Joins Midday Show at KILT-AM, Houston.  Former Houston Texan Seth Payne becomes part of the “Mad Radio” midday show at CBS Radio’s sports talk KILT-AM, Houston “SportsRadio 610” beginning Monday, January 21.  Payne replaces Brad Davies who remains with the station on a part-time, fill-in basis.  He’ll co-host the program with Mike Meltser.  KILT-AM program director Gavin Spittle says, “I can’t thank Brad enough for being a part of ‘Mad Radio.’ In one year, we have seen a 100% increase in this time slot and while we will miss him on a daily basis, I’m glad that he wants to remain on the team in a part-time capacity.  Seth is a natural fit and from day one, he’s impressed us. We’re really excited about the all-new ‘Mad Radio.’”  Payne states, “I’m grateful to Gavin Spittle for this opportunity and I appreciate all the guidance I’ve received from him and the talented people at ‘SportsRadio 610.’  I especially look forward to working with Mike Meltser.  He is an extremely talented and intelligent individual, and I know we’ll have a lot of fun.”

johnsonisraelCelebrating in the Holy Land.  XtreMedia nationally syndicated talk host Dani Johnson (pictured here at left with Israeli comic Yisreal Campbell) celebrates her one-year anniversary in talk radio with a trip to Israel.  Johnson, along with fellow XtreMedia talk hosts Kevin McCullough and Stephen Baldwin, were invited by representatives of the Israeli government to come and witness Israel’s progress in agriculture, culture, and technology.  Johnson is producing her weekly radio program from Israel and Campbell will appear on the edition of her program that airs live on Sunday, January 20 from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm.  Johnson’s program is heard on more than 85 affiliate stations.

kucinichdennisFox News Channel Brings Dennis Kucinich Aboard as Contributor.  Liberal ex-Congressman Dennis Kucinich – who served eight terms in the House of Representatives – becomes part of the cable news/talk channel’s contributor corps.  In a statement about his new endeavor, Kucinich says, “Through 16 years in Congress and two presidential campaigns, Fox News has always provided me with an opportunity to share my perspective with its enormous viewership.”

noorytvshotGeorge Noory Debuts On-Demand Video Show.  The Premiere Networks nationally syndicated late-night talk star begins his new weekly internet television program titled, “Beyond Belief with George Noory.”  The program is a project with GaiamTV.com and delivers new episodes every Friday evening at 7:00 and on demand daily.  As you might expect, the program is billed as “dynamic discussions on paranormal phenomena, conspiracies and all things unexplained.”  Noory is pictured here on the set interviewing Dr. Katherine Albrecht for a show about privacy and RFID chips.

kirofm logoKIRO-FM, Seattle Debuts Weekend Pet Show.  Dubbed, “It’s Raining Cats and Dogs with Shawn Stewart,” the program has its premiere airing Sunday, January 20 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm on Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle.  The show features pet experts from the Ahimsa Dog Training Center who will take listener questions regarding everything they need to know about raising their beloved best friends.  “In this case, the tail does wag the dog,” says KIRO Radio’s assistant program director Jason Antebi. “I’ve never seen a city more in love and obsessed with their companions than Seattle! This show is the perfect addition to the KIRO Radio weekends.”

comrexliveshotComrex Moves Full-Force into Digital Video Delivery Market.  Devens, Massachusetts-based Comrex Corporation announces it is shipping its new LiveShot Video IP Codec – the first video product for professional broadcasters in the company’s 51-year history.  Comrex says the new technology provides high-quality, low-latency, full-duplex video and audio over both wired and wireless IP data services, including challenging internet links such as 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi with end-to-end delay as low as 200ms.  Comrex managing director Kris Specht states, “Our core customer for the past several decades has been the radio broadcaster.  It was in response to requests from some of our longtime customers that had worked in radio — and who had subsequently moved over to television — to create a product that would do for TV what our ACCESS IP Audio Codecs have done for radio.  LiveShot provides the small form factor, unmatched reliability, high-quality performance and easy operator experience that Comrex customers have come to expect.”  The LiveShot Video IP Codec system consists of the LiveShot Portable, a small, lightweight, camera-mounted unit that attaches to the camera’s 3-stud or V-mount battery mount with the battery attaching to the outside of the LiveShot Portable.  On the studio side, the LiveShot Studio rack-mount unit interfaces with the facility’s audio/video router or switcher.  The units connect via an IP data connection and utilize Comrex’s CrossLock™ VPN which provides a one-button connection from either the studio or the field once the units have an internet connection.  CrossLock also provides data encryption and intrusion protection for added reliability.  Complete details on the LiveShot Video Codec’s features and specifications can be found by visiting www.comrex.com.

wexlerdrdrewFace Time with Dr. Drew.  WFAS-AM, Westchester personality Lisa Wexler appeared on HLN’s “Dr. Drew on Call” to discuss the case of Jodi Arias – accused of stabbing her boyfriend 29 times – and the Steubenville, Ohio rape case.  In addition to her work as a talk show host on WFAS, Wexler is an attorney and an author.

Filling In.  WFED, Washington afternoon drive host Francis Rose subs for Cumulus Media NetworksJohn Batchelor on his WABC, New York-based program this Sunday evening from 9:00 pm to 1:00 am ET.

allianceforwomeninmediaThe Alliance for Women in Media Announces 2013 Board of Directors.  With Kay Olin, president of Local Focus Radio serving as the National Chair, the 2013 board of directors of the Alliance for Women in Media will convene on January 25 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, for its first board meeting and then will participate in judging the 2013 Gracie Awards on January 26 and 27.  The following individuals will serve as Directors at Large:  Christina Anderson from Silver Spring, MD; Lori Conkling, executive vice president, distribution, A+E Networks, New York; Cyndee Everman, vice president, DW/BI, care and marketing tools, Time Warner Cable, Charlotte; Nancy Giles, contributor, CBS Broadcasting, Inc., New York; Sandy Girard, vice president, brand management and development, SiriusXM Radio, New York; Carol Hanley, chief sales officer, Arbitron Inc., Chicago; Annie Howell, executive vice president, corporate communications and media relations, Crown Media Family Networks, New York; Kimberly Maki, vice president, corporate communications and web strategies, Bright House Networks, Orlando; Janet Noll, national sales director, Rural Media Group – RFD-TV & Rural TV, Omaha; Deborah Parenti, executive vice president of radio, Radio Ink, New York; Roni Selig, senior executive producer/director, health, wellness and medical unit, CNN, New York; Keisha Sutton-James, vice president, Inner City Broadcasting Corporation, New York; Christine Travaglini, president, Christal Radio, New York; and Dr. Nicol Turner-Lee, president and chief executive officer, NAMIC, Inc., New York.

Obama Executive Gun Actions Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 14-18.  President Obama’s executive gun actions landed atop the Talkers TenTM this week as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio.  Coming in at #2 was the legislative arms debate.  At #3 was the debt ceiling tied with the tax cut battles and following at #4 was the American hostages in Algeria tied with the Mali Violence.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people of the week as discussed on news/talk radio.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.