Tag: "Curtis Sliwa"

Thursday, October 19, 2017

| October 19, 2017

The State and History of Presidential Radio Rows.  This week’s Donald Trump White House talk radio row (10/17) created a huge buzz in the industry, sparking an interesting broadcast conversation last night between RT America TV evening host Ed Schultz and TALKERS founder Michael Harrison about the history and journalistic integrity of these events (pictured above).  Schultz, one of the longtime leading progressive host/commentators in talk media, criticized the event for its ideological one-sidedness, describing it as “propaganda,” and took the Democrats to task for not actively complaining about the use of taxpayer dollars to fund a media-targeted political rally within the Executive Office Building.  Harrison, one of the original creators and organizers of the presidential radio row concept back in the early 1990s, shared the history and evolution of these events over the years, explaining what they mean to talk radio, its hosts, and the national political discussion.  According to Harrison, they started out as bi-partisan events but as talk radio became increasingly ideologically targeted format-wise, the broadcast invitees reflected a political view friendly to the occupant of the White House at the time, left or right.  Harrison went on to say that the Trump presidency has provided fascinating “material” that has been good business-wise not just for talk radio, but talk television and newspapers as well.  He describes the Trump presidency as “the most compelling reality show of all time.”  To see the entire conversation, please click here.

Eboni K. Williams Leaves WABC Radio Gig.  Announcing her decision to leave Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York after just four months co-hosting the midday show with Curtis Sliwa, Eboni K. Williams told listeners that it is with a “heavy heart” that she leaves the station.  Williams told listeners she accepted the WABC gig at about the same time that she was made part of “The Specialists” show on FOX News Channel.  But the departure of FNC’s Eric Bolling in the wake of sexual harassment allegations and FNC’s decision to cancel the show “had a domino effect” on Williams.  Saying that she’s a television host and needs to find another TV job, she’s been talking about possible gigs but has not accepted anything yet.  Williams replaced longtime Sliwa co-host Ron Kuby back in June.

RTDNA Co-Sponsors First Amendment Event Tomorrow (10/20).  Tomorrow in Washington, DC the Radio Television Digital News Association is collaborating with the National Press Club Journalism Institute, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, and Reel Media Group to co-host a discussion on the First Amendment and reporters’ rights.  The event will take place at the National Press Club from 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm ET.  It’s being streamed on Facebook Live at https://www.facebook.com/RTDNA.RTDNF.  The panel includes: Vikram Bhagat, in-house counsel at American Public Media Group and Minnesota Public Radio; Ellen Crooke, VP of news for TEGNA and an RTDNA director-at-large; Scott MacFarlane, veteran investigative reporter for NBC Washington; Paul Safier of the prestigious Washington law firm Ballard Spahr.  Moderating the event will be Reel Media Group co-founders Stephanie Tsoflias Siegel and Bram Weinstein.  RTDNA notes that Free Speech Week is a yearly event to raise public awareness of the importance of free speech in America’s democracy and to celebrate that freedom.

Radio One Names Host of Philadelphia Public Issues Show.  At the Philadelphia station group of Radio One, Solomon Jones is appointed to the position of host for the new “Your Voice” talk show on Gospel-formatted WPPZ-FM.  The program, airs from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon Monday through Saturday.  Jones is a media pro who serves as a columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News and previously was the morning show host at WURD Radio-owned urban news/talk WURD-AM.  Radio One Philadelphia operations manager Karen Vaughn comments, “We want to engage our listeners with not only the inspirational music they love, but the information they need to be socially aware, community engaged and woke overall.  Solomon is a well-known local radio and media personality and is the perfect fit to provide this new music infused talk show format on ‘Praise.’”

Niger Ambush Aftermath, U.S.-China Relations, Trump Tax Reform Plan, Iran Nuclear Pact, North Korea Tensions, Weinstein Scandal-#MeToo Movement, Melania Body-Double Flap, Quebec Face-Covering Law, Richard Spencer University of Florida Appearance, MLB Playoffs, and NFL Protests-Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/18).  The controversy over the Niger ambush that left four U.S. soldiers dead and President Trump’s comments about consoling soldiers’ relatives; the tense relations between China and the U.S. over the South China Sea military installations and economic policy; the Trump Administration’s tax reform plan; the Iran nuclear deal and Trump’s intent not to recertify compliance; the military bluster from Kim Jong Un and concerns about the regime’s missile program; the fallout from the Harvey Weinstein sexual predation scandal and the related #MeToo movement; the social media-spurred suggestion that Melania Trump has a body double; Quebec’s new law making it illegal to cover one’s face in public; the controversial appearance at the University of Florida by white separatist Richard Spencer; the Major League Baseball playoffs; and the NFL anthem protests and game action 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.  After 23 years in the market, starting as the first general manager of hot AC KALC, Denver “Alice 105.9” and most recently as VP and market manager for Entercom’s cluster there, Amy Griesheimer exits the company.  Denver alt-weekly Westword reports her departure and reports that industry watchers are speculating that “the move was made because of ratings and revenue shortfalls in an industry that continues to struggle with the fallout from technological changes and shifting listener habits.”  The story says that current Entercom RVP Doug Abernathy will serve as acting market manager for the interim.  The Westword piece makes no mention of the pending Entercom-CBS RADIO merger.  Read it here…..In Columbus, alternative rock WWCD “CD 102.5” announces that staffer Lesley James is giving up her program director duties after eight years to focus on her afternoon drive program.  Taking over the PD role at the WWCD, LTD-owned station is evening personality Mason “Mase” Brazelle.  He’s served with alternative WKZQ, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and with iHeartMedia’s former crosstown alt rocker WXZX “105.7 The X.”…..Air talent and programmer Dylan Salisbury is named the new afternoon drive host at Entercom’s Indianapolis CHR WZPL.  He’ll also serve as music director.  He handled both duties at his most recent gig with iHeartMedia’s CHR KKDM, Des Moines “107.5 Kiss FM.”…..Buffalo Business First reports that Cumulus Media is planning to turn an 11-acre parcel of land close to its Buffalo studios into an open-air event space.  In that market, Cumulus operates WGRF-FM “97 Rock”, alternative WEDG “The Edge 103.3” and WHTT “Oldies 104.1.”  Cumulus Buffalo vice president and general manager Steve Bearance tells the publication, “We’re not talking about an amphitheater, but more of a place to do our special events.  It’s more like a festival grounds than anything else.”  As the article points out, for live events, stations cede control and add to their costs by having to rent space.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

| July 26, 2017

John McCain Latest Politician to Blame Media for Washington Gridlock. Returning from a medical absence in which he learned he has an aggressive form of brain cancer, Arizona Republican Senator John McCain lashed out at media commentators and chastised fellow legislators for kowtowing to them.  He concluded his speech on the Senate floor on Tuesday (7/25) saying, “Stop listening to the bombastic loudmouths on the radio and television and the Internet.  To hell with them.  They don’t want anything done for the public good.  Our incapacity is their livelihood. Let’s trust each other.  Let’s return to regular order.”  Talk radio hosts won’t be surprised by McCain’s language.  For many conservative talk radio hosts, McCain is seen as too liberal.  Even during his presidential runs, he was never a darling of the talk radio circuit.  Ironically, McCain’s daughter Meghan McCain is a Fox News Channel personality on the daily “Outnumbered” program.

Hewitt, Hannity and More Broadcast from Hillsdale College’s Washington Studio.  A number of high-profile talk show hosts broadcast from Hillsdale College’s Boyle Radio Studio in Washington, DC this week.  On Monday, Tuesday and today, Sean Hannity, Dennis Prager, Mike Gallagher, Michael Medved, Hugh Hewitt, and Eric Metaxas broadcast their nationally syndicated shows from the facility.  The Boyle Radio Studio is located in Hillsdale’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship.  Pictured above are Salem Radio Network morning personality Hugh Hewitt (left) speaking with Hillsdale College president Larry P. Arnn (right).  Hillsdale’s Boyle Radio Studio is available to radio hosts visiting Washington, DC.  It is a state-of-the-art facility and uses all commercial grade, industry standard high-end broadcast equipment.  It’s equipped with industry standard Comrex technology which allows visiting hosts to connect reliably back to their ‘home’ studios.  Matthew Spalding is the vice president and dean of educational programs for Hillsdale College at the Kirby Center and he says, “The Boyle Radio Studio and all that it does is an extension of the teaching mission of Hillsdale College.  The studio is available to host broadcasts to visiting radio personalities for no-cost, on an as-available basis.”

WABC’s Curtis Sliwa Arrested Serving Papers to NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio. The photo above is a still from video of WABC, New York talk show host and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa being arrested by security at Gracie Mansion.  Sliwa also serves as The Reform Party chairman and was attempting to serve Mayor De Blasio legal documents regarding the Working Families Party ballot line.  Sliwa – who co-hosts the “Curtis and Eboni Show” midday show on WABC with Eboni K. Williams – will be represented at his court appearance by Williams, who is a licensed attorney.  See the video of Sliwa’s arrest at wabcradio.com.

Jim Rome’s 23rd Annual ‘Smack-Off’ Airs Friday.  This Friday (7/28), the 23rd annual “Smack Off” will take place on the CBS Sports Radio Network-syndicated Jim Rome show.  The contest among callers was designed 23 years ago by host Jim Rome to see which caller can talk the best sports smack.  Rome says, “The first Smack Off came about because I wanted a day when only the best callers would be invited to call in to compete with each other to determine who was the best.  At that time, I had no idea it would become an annual tradition, let alone one that would last for more than two decades.  Every year, the callers get bigger, bolder, and more creative with their ideas, so I can’t wait to find out which caller will become the next legend.”  This year’s “Smack Off” will feature 25 contestants competing for a cash prize of $5,000.  MMA legend and 2012 “Smack Off” champion Chael Sonnen is hoping to win his second title this year, while Yahoo’s MLB columnist and New York Times bestselling author Jeff Passan will be making his “Smack Off” debut.

Burke Named Director of Digital Sales/Operations at Cumulus DC.  This is a newly created position at Cumulus Media and digital marketing pro Dahn Burke joins the company from TEGNA Media where she was digital sales manager.  She previously worked in radio in the Washington market as senior digital account executive for CBS RADIO.  She’ll apply her skills to the digital platforms of news/talk WMAL-AM/FM and hot AC WRQX-FM and represent the digital marketing solutions in Cumulus Digital C-Suite.  Cumulus DC vice president and market manager Jake McCann comments, “Dahn Burke has a proven track record of developing digital programs that deliver results for clients.  Prior to joining Cumulus, Dahn ran a digital team that was the market leader in performance.  We are thrilled to have her leading our new Cumulus Digital C-Suite products offering local marketers with the powerful reach, frequency and recall of radio, combined with comprehensive custom digital marketing solutions that effectively engage consumers.”

New ‘Regular Guys’ Show Launches on Atlanta’s ‘The Fan 2.’  Last week TALKERS reported the tease by “Regular Guys” show founder Larry Wachs that he’s putting the Atlanta radio show back together with new cast members.  Now, with the Monday launch of the show on Dickey Broadcasting’s sports talk WFOM-AM/W292EV “The Fan 2,” we know that his show partner is former Atlanta Falcon Bob Whitfield and the staff includes producer Brandon Joseph, and Kaitlyn Henderson.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho has the whole story here.

WGN, Chicago to Leave Tribune Tower Next Summer.  The lease at the venerable Tribune Tower for WGN, Chicago – soon likely to be part of the Sinclair Broadcast Group stable – runs out in June of 2018 and station officials have announced that they have signed a deal to move the news/talk station to new offices in a 28-story building across the Chicago River on Wacker Drive.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder has the story and reports that the station will join two other Tribune media units in the offices.  Yes, WGN will lose that cool street-level studio on Michigan Avenue, but the new owner of the building wanted to lease the valuable space to a retailer, anyway.  Read Feder’s story here.

TALKERS News Notes. Houston talk show host Sam Malone (left) is pictured here on Capitol Hill interviewing House Ways & Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) at Salem Media Group’s “Made in America” day broadcast event.  Malone, heard in morning drive on Salem’s KNTH, Houston, was one of 19 personalities to take part in the Washington remote…..California Bears football and basketball will continue to be heard on flagship KGO, San Francisco as Cumulus Media and Learfield’s Cal Bears Sports Properties sign a new deal.  Joe Starkey returns as play-by-play announcer for his 43rd season…..Kansas University is looking for a new Kansas City flagship after the school decided it wanted a flagship where it would not get bumped from live coverage by Kansas City Royals games.  Entercom’s KCSP, Kansas City “610 Sports Radio” had been the flagship and station VP/GM Dave Alpert said he understands the school’s point of view. “We certainly appreciate their desire to be on a station where they’re not going to be bumped by other sports…I certainly appreciate KU’s desire to have consistency on where their games air.”  September and October often saw conflicts between KU football and Royals baseball…..SiriusXM’s “NFL Radio Training Camp Tour” begins tomorrow (7/27).  NFL Radio personalities will visit and report from all 32 teams’ summer camps, presenting one-on-one interviews with players, coaches and franchise executives, expert breakdowns of every roster and reports on rookies and veterans.

Suicide by Commercial.  Radio sales maven Al Herskovitz writes today about current talk radio spots he’s hearing that are continuing to make the same creative mistakes that have dogged radio advertisers for decades.  Spots with too much information, unmemorable phone numbers, and copy read at the speed of light are just a few of the aural assaults that stick in Al’s craw.  Read his entire piece here.

GOP ObamaCare Repeal Strategy, Russian Sanctions, AG Sessions Status, Trump Boy Scouts Speech, Trump Ohio Rally, North Korea Nuclear Program, Scaramucci Firing Threat, Former Dem IT Staffer Arrested, Football Brain Injury Report, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/25).  Republicans’ attempts to move forward on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act; the House-approved sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea and Russia’s condemnation of the House action; President Trump’s criticism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and speculation about Sessions being ousted; the controversy over President Trump’s politics-laden speech at the Boy Scouts Jamboree; Trump’s Youngstown, Ohio rally; reports of North Korea’s progress producing ICBMs capable of hitting the U.S.; new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci’s threat of mass terminations if leaks to the press don’t stop; a former IT contractor for Democrats and Debbie Wasserman Schultz is arrested trying to illegally leave the country; a preliminary report indicating a majority of brains of football players donated to the research project show evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Renowned Ghostwriter Michael Levin Guests on Harrison Podcast.  Many talk media hosts are writing books as an invaluable supplement to their branding.  A book with a broadcaster’s name on it helps expand his or her media footprint and can be a viable source of non-traditional revenue.  Having a book can also help a host attain speaking engagements – in turn, another source of promotion and revenue.  It defines their area of expertise and establishes them as a go-to source in the marketplace of ideas.  Never before in history has it been simpler to publish a professional-quality book.  The digital age has delivered authors the convenience and economic efficiency of on-demand printing and modern platforms such as Amazon have evened the distribution playing field for independent publishers to compete with the big New York City-based houses.  Of course, writing a good book can be challenging in terms of the focus, organization, and time it requires to do it properly.  Michael Levin, one of the most established ghostwriters in the nation, joins Michael Harrison as this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out” to address the state of independent publishing in 2017.  This New York Times best-selling author is a veritable writing machine who has written, co-written or ghostwritten more than 550 books, of which 18 are national bestsellers.  He appeared on ABC’s “Shark Tank” in 2012 and has published with the biggest houses in the business.  His works have been optioned for film and TV by some of the industry’s most important studios. Harrison and Levin discuss a variety of aspects about the modern process of book publishing and its relevance to media practitioners.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.  Or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/26) with Dom Giordano, Dr. Daliah Wachs and Scott Lakefield.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are:

–          The “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein).

–          The special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo).

–          The special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard).

–          The special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell).

–          The first, second and third in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” featuring conversations between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan BearmanBold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto and DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum, and nationally syndicated host Dr. Asa Andrew and TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein.  All three sessions are facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter.

–          A “one-on-one” dialogue titled “Radio That Makes a Difference” featuring the SiriusXM Satellite Radio husband/wife team of host Joe Madison and executive producer Sharon Madison (introduced by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring former CBS Radio president/CEO and Broadcasters Foundation of America chairman Dan Mason being interviewed by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley (with introduction by BOB-FM, London morning host Graham Mack).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring Emmis Communications CEO/chairman Jeff Smulyan being interviewed by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey (with an introduction by Bentley University professor/TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman).

–          The first two in a series of four “one-on-one” dialogues titled “The Challenges of Doing Talk Radio in 2017.”  They feature a conversation between WYD Media syndicated host Thom Hartmann and Cumulus Media corporate PD/WMAL, Washington PD Bill Hess (introduced by Moceri Media president Greg Moceri), a conversation between morning co-host of WAQY-FM (Rock102), Springfield, MA  Mike “Bax” Baxendale and morning host of WOLB, Baltimore Larry Young, and a conversation between Cumulus Media EVP programming and content Mike McVay and Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott (facilitated by ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones).

–          The first three in a series of four “one-on-one” dialogues collectively titled, “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?” featuring a conversation between WRHU, Hofstra University OM John T. Mullen and WRFH, Hillsdale College GM Scot Bertram; a conversation between The New Normal CEO/founder/host Tom Leykis and syndicated host Michael Berry; and a conversation between The Weiss Agency EVP Heather Cohen and Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel host Brian Kilmeade (facilitated by WOR, New York APD Scott Lakefield).

–          TODAY (7/26) we posted the fourth and final of four in the above series of “one-on-one” dialogues “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?” featuring a conversation between WPHT, Philadelphia host Dom Giordano and GCN syndicated host Dr. Daliah Wachs (again, facilitated by WOR, New York APD Scott Lakefield). At the conclusion, Dr. Wachs is presented the TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year” award by Michael Harrison.

Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

 

 

PPM Analysis: Hot AC.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the fourth-and-final format analysis of station performances based on 6+ data from the June 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  Today’s focus is hot AC. Kinosian reports that the qualifying sample of hot AC stations indicates “not quite half the stations on this panel (45%) are up May 2017 – June 2017; 38% are down; and the remaining 17% are flat.”  Looking at changes from a year ago, “virtually the same number of AC panelists falter year-to-year (49%) as improve (46%), while 5% are flat.”  iHeartMedia’s KBIG, Los Angeles “104.3 MYfm”; Connoisseur Media’s WALK, Long Island; and Alpha Media’s WRMF, West Palm Beach ranked #1 in their respective markets in June and another 13 hot AC stations ranked in the top 5.  See the whole report here.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Two moves take place at iHeartMedia’s hip hop WWPR, New York “Power 105.1 FM.”  First, Eddie Fennel is promoted to assistant program director for the station, moving up from his executive producer position with “The Breakfast Club.”  Next, midday personality DJ Prostyle is upped to music director.  He will retain his midday show.  Both will report to program director Thea Mitchem…..Programming pro Chuck Geiger is named program director for Alaska Broadcast Communications’ five-station Juneau, Alaska cluster that includes news/talk KJNO, country KYKU, hot AC KSUP, adult contemporary KINY, and classic hits KXXJ.  He was most recently with Cherry Creek Radio’s Wenatchee, Washington station group.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

| July 18, 2017

‘Our American Stories’ Acquires Three Big, New Affiliates.  Executive producer and host Lee Habeeb announces that the “Our American Stories” nightly program is added to new affiliate stations East Bay Broadcasting‘s KTRB, San Francisco; iHeartMedia‘s WBZT, West Palm Beach; and CBS RADIO‘s KMOX, St. Louis.  The program is syndicated by American Private Radio.  Habeeb states that the growth in these new top markets proves that radio “can embrace non-political programming that appeals to listeners across all demographic spectrums.  ‘Our American Stories’ reminds us that listeners still enjoy good, old-fashioned storytelling, and boy, do we need stories that make us feel good amidst all of the bad news that fills the airwaves.”  The show is currently airing in more than 50 U.S. markets.  For more information, visit OurAmericanNetwork.org.

Phil Valentine’s Latest Novel Published.  Nashville-based, Westwood One-syndicated talk show host Phil Valentine has published his most recent novel titled, The First Face of Janus (Oxley Durchville Publishing, 2017).  Valentine tells TALKERS that the publisher is offering the Kindle edition for free through the end of today (7/18).  The hard-cover edition is out August 15.  The Amazon description of this new thriller teases, “This is the story of a secret society dedicated to making sure Nostradamus’ predictions come true.  And a counterforce inside the Catholic Church that’s been trying to stop them for 500 years.  A sci-fi writer at a low point in his career comes across some odd quatrains that seem to predict another disaster.  He races against the clock to decipher the lines and stop the prophecy.  But both sides will murder anyone who gets in their way.  If you like The Da Vinci Code, you’re going to love The First Face of Janus.”

TALKERS News Notes. Author, life coach, relationship expert and co-host on the brand-new TLC series “The Spouse House,” Christine Hassler, is launching a new podcast called “Over It & On With It” on the PodcastOne platform.  PodcastOne says Hassler provides “inspiration and guidance for callers and listeners to heal their past, change their present and create what they really want. Topics covered on the show include: relationships, career, health, life transitions, entrepreneurship, parenting, finances, life purpose, spirituality and more.”…..CBS RADIO’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh “Sportsradio 93.7 The Fan” announces the return of the “Ben Roethlisberger Show” airing Tuesday’s at 11:00 am within the “Cook & Poni” show this fall.  This will be the fifth year Roethlisberger has appeared on the station.

The GOP Health Care Bill, the Trump Jr-Russia Investigation, Trump Approval Rating, White House ‘Made in USA’ Event, Minn. Cop Kills Woman, Ann Coulter-Delta Spat, Hannity-Scarborough Tiff, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/17).  The GOP’s failure to vote on its health care plan and the future of health care reform; the investigation into Donald Trump Jr’s meeting with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya; the recent poll indicating President Trump’s low approval rating; the White House’s pro-manufacturing “Made in USA” event; the unexplained shooting of a woman by a Minneapolis police officer; the social media spat between Ann Coulter and Delta Airlines after the writer was forced to move from her pre-paid seat; the social tiff between Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/18) with Mike “Bax” Baxendale, Larry Young and Steve Jones.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are the “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein); the special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan); the “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon); the “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo); the special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard); the special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell); and the first, second and third in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” featuring conversations between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan BearmanBold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto and DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum, and nationally syndicated host Dr. Asa Andrew and TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein.  All three sessions are facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter.  Yesterday (7/12) TALKERS posted a “one-on-one” dialogue titled “Radio That Makes a Difference” featuring the SiriusXM Satellite Radio husband/wife team of host Joe Madison and executive producer Sharon Madison (introduced by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab).  Yesterday (7/13), a “Fireside Chat” was posted featuring former CBS Radio president/CEO and Broadcasters Foundation of America chairman Dan Mason being interviewed by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley (with introduction by BOB-FM, London morning host Graham Mack).  On Friday (7/14) TALKERS posted a “Fireside Chat” featuring Emmis Communications CEO/chairman Jeff Smulyan being interviewed by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey (with an introduction by Bentley University professor/TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman). Yesterday 7/17), we kicked off the new week with the first in a series of four “one-on-one” dialogues titled “The Challenges of Doing Talk Radio in 2017.”  It features a conversation between WYD Media syndicated host Thom Hartmann and Cumulus Media corporate PD/WMAL, Washington PD Bill Hess, introduced by Moceri Media president Greg Moceri and facilitated by ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones.  Today (7/18) the second in that series is posted featuring a conversation between morning co-host of WAQY-FM (Rock102), Springfield, MA  Mike “Bax” Baxendale and morning host of WOLB, Baltimore Larry Young (facilitated by ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones). Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

Curtis Sliwa Throws First Pitch at Brooklyn Cyclones Game.  WABC, New York personality Curtis Sliwa – co-host of the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm “Curtis & Eboni” show – is pictured here (left) with the Brooklyn Cyclones’ community outreach and promotions ace Guy Zoda, a.k.a. King Henry (right).  Sliwa — who attended the game to throw out the first pitch — says his ceremonial first pitch was pretty good.  “Better than 50 Cent, a.k.a. Curtis Jackson, did at a Mets game at Citi Field a few years ago, but not as good as Bush 43 did at the old Yankee Stadium right after the attack on 9/11.”

 

 

iHeartRadio Music Festival Lineup Announced. The lineup for the seventh annual 2017 iHeartRadio Music Festival at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on September 22 and 23 will include performances by Coldplay, The Weeknd, DJ Khaled, Chris Stapleton, Lorde, Kings of Leon, Big Sean, P!NK, Miley Cyrus, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Niall Horan, David Guetta, Thomas Rhett, Harry Styles, special guest Ke$ha and moreRyan Seacrest returns as host for the entire weekend.  The event will also feature The Daytime Village at the Las Vegas Village across from the Luxor Hotel and Casino on Saturday, September 23 with performances by Migos, Halsey, Flume, Little Mix, French Montana, Niall Horan, Bleachers, Kelsea Ballerini, Judah & The Lion, Bebe Rexha, Noah Cyrus, Hey Violet, Cheat Codes, All Time Low, Khalid and Julia Michaels.  The CW Network will exclusively livestream both nights of the festival via CWTV.com and The CW App, and then broadcast a two-night television special on October 4 and 5 from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  On-air pro Shila Nathan is now with iHeartMedia in Philadelphia serving as the new co-host for “Chio in the Morning” on the classic hip hop and R&B WISX “Real 106.1.”  The Scranton, PA native was most recently with Cumulus Media at country WNSH, New York “NASH FM.”  She’s also served with CBS RADIO in Chicago at country WUSN.  She’s worked with Chio in the past.  She states, “It’s awesome to reconnect with my great friend and mentor Chio.  I look forward to coming back to Philly and I’m so excited to be playing the ‘throwback’ hip-hop I truly love at ‘Real 106.1.’ I’m excited to join the talented family at iHeartMedia Philadelphia and I can’t wait to start this new and exciting chapter in my life.”…..Cumulus Media Lafayette announces the promotion of  Robin Chapman to general sales manager of its four stations: urban contemporary KNEK “Magic 104.7,” hip hop KRRQ “Q95.5,” CHR KSMB-FM, and country KXKC “NASH FM 99.1.”  Chapman rises from her role as senior account executive for the stations.  Vice president/market manager Scott Chiasson comments, “I am very excited to elevate Robin to this position.  She is passionate about our business, our company, and will be a great asset to the leadership team.  Additionally, this will provide her a larger footprint in providing solutions for clients and the community we serve using our powerful brands.”.…..KLIF-FM, Dallas morning show personalities Scotty and Bret of the “Scotty K and Bret Mega Mornings” program are helping the family of a fallen police officer via the station’s “93 Days of Kindness” promotion. Southern Methodist University police officer Mark McCullers – a father of six children – lost his life during last August’s flash floods.  The morning show teamed with the Dallas Fallen Officers Fund to honor McCullers.  Joined by Bill Dickason from Southwest Kia, Scotty and Bret shopped for thousands of dollars in groceries and gift cards that they hand delivered to McCullers’ family…..United Stations Radio Networks announces that the Dee Snider-hosted “House of Hair” program returns to its fold.  USRN is now handling advertising sales for the show…..Milwaukee’s Lakefront Brewery partners with Milwaukee Public Schools-owned non-comm triple A WYMS “88Nine Radio Milwaukee” to produce the limited-release “88Nine Amplified Pale Ale.”   The station says that the beer is a “crisp session ale available now on draft at dozens of area taverns, restaurants and stores.”  It was created in recognition of Radio Milwaukee’s 10th anniversary.  It also coincides with Lakefront Brewery’s 30th birthday.

 

 

Round Four of June PPM Data Released. The fourth and final round of June 2017 PPM ratings information from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s June 2017 survey period covered May 25 – June 21. View all of the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin – Via six straight up or flat trends (3.0 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.1, 6+), Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM gains a cumulative +1.1 and inches up from tenth to ninth. Bouncing back from May 2017’s 7.4 – its softest 6+-stat in two years (7.4, as well, in June 2015, 6+), adult hits cluster-mate KBPA “Bob” trots out a +1.1 to erase all but six-tenths of April and May’s combined -1.7 (9.1 – 7.9 – 7.4 – 8.5, +1.1, 6+). Moreover, “Bob,” which returned to the top spot in January after being ousted in “Holiday” 2016, is #1 for the fifth successive sweep. Other than October and the “Holiday” 2016 report, KBPA held the lead each month in calendar year 2016. Still in that Emmis cluster, triple A KGSR “93.3 Radio Austin” (#17 to #16) is within 2.0 – 2.9 range for the 16th time in succession (2.2 – 2.4, +.2, 6+). Locked on 7.6 (6+) in January, February, and March, KUT followed with a 5.8 (April, 6+) and 6.2 (May, 6+). The University of Texas-owned outlet improves by six-tenths in June (6.2 – 6.8, 6+) and climbs from third to second. Off by nine-tenths and one-half-share, respectively, are Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ-FM “Majic 95.5” (6.3 – 5.4, second to fourth, 6+) and its urban AC HD3 side channel (#17 to #20). It is the lowest 6+share for “Majic” since last October’s 5.1, while KKMJ-HD3 is without an increase for the fourth straight time for a -.7 (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 1.7, 6+). Consistently registering a 6+-share between 4.1 – 4.6 in each of the last 11 sweeps, hot AC sibling KAMX “Mix 94.7 – Today’s Best Mix” sputters by seven-tenths (4.5 – 3.8, 6+) and departs the top ten (#8 to #11). Following three straight 4.6-showings (6+), iHeartMedia-owned KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” drops one-tenth to 4.5 (seventh to eighth, 6+), while similarly-programmed sibling KVET-FM “98.1 All Time Country Favorites” adds one-tenth (6.1 – 6.2, 6+), inching up from fourth to third. Having logged three consecutive increases for a combined +1.3 (5.4 – 5.5 – 5.7 – 6.4 – 6.7, 6+), KVET-FM was -.6 in May. The five most recent 6+-stats for the market’s other country FM – Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE “Austin’s Country Alternative” – are 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 (#20 to #19, 6+).

2) Raleigh – A +.6 in May by Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB halted three consecutive (modest) downward trends that accounted for a six-tenths’ loss (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+). Nearly doubling that May increase with a +1.1 (4.9 – 6.0, 6+), “96.1 BBB, Your Life – Your Music” zooms from ninth to sixth. It is tied there with Radio One urban contemporary WQOK, which had been without an increase in each of the past four sweeps for a loss of one full-share (6.1 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.1 – 5.1, 6+), but “K-97.5” answers with a +.9 (6.0, eighth to sixth, 6+). Not only is urban AC sibling WFXC +1.3 in three straight improvements (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1, 6+), “Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” progressives from third to first. Dislodged from the penthouse (and dropping to third) is Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5,” which had finished first the past four sweeps. Off by -1.3 in June, “Mix” is now without an increase for the fourth month in a row (8.8 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 7.1, 6+) for a combined -1.6. It shifted from first in January to #2, but bounced back in February to reclaim the top spot. Spiking by one-half share each are Curtis Media Group CHR WPLW “The Pulse,” which boasts its sixth straight gain for an overall +2.1 (2.8 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.4 – 4.9, 6+) and regional Mexican sibling WYMY “La Ley 101.1,” wiping out May’s half-share loss (2.6 – 2.1 – 2.6, 6+). “The Pulse” cracks the top ten (#11 to #8), while “La Ley,” which had been trending 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.6 (6+) since the “Holiday” 2016 report, remains at #15. As it extends its consecutive streak of up or flat trends to six, Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WRTP “HIS Radio” (#18 to #16) more than quintuples its 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016 (.4 – .6 – .7 – .7 – .8 – 1.5 – 2.2, 6+). This is the strongest 6+-share for “HIS Radio” since May 2016’s 2.2. Even though it’s down a collective eight-tenths in three straight dips (8.0 – 7.8 – 7.7 – 7.2, 6+), Curtis Media Group’s WQDR “94.7 – Today’s Best Country” continues at #2. After posting three straight increases for a combined +1.2 (4.8 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 6.0, 6+), Radio One gospel WNNL “103.9 The Light” plummets by -1.7 to 4.3 (6+) and exits the top ten (#6 to #12); 6.0 was the finest 6+-share for “The Light” since its 6.6 in “Holiday” 2016. Stuck on 6.0 (6+) in March and April, iHeartMedia FM news/talk WTKK falters by six-tenths (each) in back-to-back sweeps (6.0 – 5.4 – 4.8, seventh to ninth, 6+). Regressing by six-tenths as well is Capitol Broadcasting sports/talk WCMC “ESPN 99.9 – The Fan” (3.5 – 2.9, flat at #14, 6+), which has its lowest 6+-share since a 2.6 last August. Unchanged at #4, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s WUNC is -1.5 in three straight negative trends (8.5 – 7.9 – 7.2 – 7.0, 6+). WUNC notched a +1.9 in January to assume the lead, and it caught WRAL “Mix” at #1 in March.

3) Indianapolis – Advancing from sixth to third, iHeartMedia-owned WFBQ “Q-95 Rocks” posts its sixth successive improvement that accounts for an aggregated uptick of +2.1 (4.6 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.4 – 6.7, 6+). By replicating May’s seven-tenths’ increase (3.9 – 4.6 – 5.3, 6+), Emmis news/talk WIBC reaches the five-share level (6+) for the first time since February 2016’s 5.0 – “Indy’s News Center” carries on at #8. Right behind it unchanged at #9 is Entercom hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix – Better Variety for a Better Workday,” up or flat for the fifth straight sweep for a collective +1.5 (3.5 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 5.0, +). As the result of adding one-tenth to May’s +.4, co-owned CHR WZPL matches its highest 6+-stat since December 2015 and is #1 for the sixth consecutive sweep. Having notched three straight upward moves for a combined +1.7 (6.2 – 7.5 – 7.8 – 7.9, 6+), WZPL was off two-tenths in April; -1.1 in “Holiday” 2016; and then +1.3 in January (7.3 – 6.2 – 7.5, 6+). As the result of three straight January through April downward trends (7.3 – 6.9 – 6.6 – 6.3, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU was off by one full-share. “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” bounced back with a +1.1 in May only to falter by -1.2 in June (6.3 – 7.4 – 6.2, 6+) as it slides from second to sixth. Sputtering by -2.8 as the result of five consecutive down or flat trends (7.1 – 6.2 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+), Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM “Indy’s R&B Leader” slips from ninth to tenth.

4) Milwaukee – Putting up an alternating (6+) line of 6.5 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 6.2 since February, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 – Milwaukee’s Only Hip-Hop and R&B” explodes with a +1.2 to 7.4 (6+), jumping from fourth to second. In addition to posting a gain of seven-tenths (4.4 – 5.1, 6+), Saga Communications urban AC WJMR “Jammin’ 98.3 – Today’s R&B and Old School” enters the top ten (#11 to #8). Even though it is off by a combined -1.6 in back-to-back sweeps (11.5 – 10.3 – 9.9, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” is #1 for the 27th consecutive time. It had been in double-digits (6+) in four of the last six ratings periods, including each of the last three. On the heels of chalking up a May gain of eight-tenths to stay at #2 (6.7 – 7.5, 6+), co-owned news/talk WISN surrenders -1.1 to 6.4 (6+), dropping from second to fourth. Trailing WISN in May by 1.2-shares (6+), Scripps Broadcasting’s similarly-programmed WTMJ “Newsradio 620 – Wisconsin’s Radio Station” picks up three-tenths (6.3 – 6.6, 6+) and now has a two-tenths advantage over WISN. After floundering by -1.4 in February – Milwaukee Brewers’ flagship WTMJ recovered all of it in March and April (6.4 – 5.0 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+). Prior to February, WTMJ had been within 6.0 – 6.9 range (6+) the previous 15 ratings periods. With a loss of seven tenths (5.3 – 4.6, 6+), Saga Communications’ WKLH “96.5 – Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” drifts from fifth to tenth and is under a five-share (6+) for the first time since February 2015’s 4.9. Not higher than 1.5 (6+) or lower than 1.1 (6+), the line for public triple A WYMS (steady at #17) over the course of the last 17 sweeps – which covers March 2016 through June 2017 – is 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.4 (6+).

5) Nashville – Down in each of the last three survey periods for an overall -1.3 (5.4 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+), Nashville Public Radio-owned WPLN recaptures approximately half the loss (4.8, +.7, 6+) and enters the top ten (#11 to #8). It is tied with Cumulus Media’s WWTN “Super Talk 99.7,” which led WPLN in May by six-tenths (4.7 – 4.8, +.1, flat at #8 and -.6 in May, 6+). As part of a three-way logjam for the runner-up slot, Midwest Communications’ adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack-FM – Playing What We Want” (up from fifth in May) regains all but one-tenth of the seven-tenths it squandered this time last month (7.1, +.6, 6+). Prior to the May 2017 ratings period, Nashville’s “Jack” was up or flat the previous four months gaining +1.9 (5.3 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 7.2 – 7.2, 6+). In addition to registering its third straight improvement for a collective +1.4 (6.4 – 6.7 – 7.3 – 7.8), iHeartMedia-owned WNRQ “105.9 – Nashville’s Classic Rock” proceeds from second to first. The station “Nashville’s Classic Rock” supplants at #1 – CHR sibling WRVW “107.5 The River” – falls to second. With a -.6, “The River” halts at three its consecutive string of increases which netted a +1.8 (5.9 – 6.6 – 7.2 – 7.7, 6+). The 5.9 it registered in February was the first time “The River” had been below a six-share (6+) since June 2011 (5.9, as well). Contrasted to the -.6 by “The River,” Midwest Communications’ similarly-formatted WNFN “106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” records a gain of one-half share (2.8 – 3.3, #14 to #13, 6+). The market’s (6+) share for the sports talk format decreases by -1.1 as Cromwell Group’s WPRT “The Game,” which had been up or flat the previous four sweeps more than doubling its 6+-stat (1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 2.4, 6+), drops six-tenths to 1.8 but stays at #16 (6+), while Cumulus Media’s WGFX “104.5 The Zone” returns May’s +.5 (3.3 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+) and is flat at #13 (6+). Prior to May’s +.5, “The Zone” plummeted by more than four full-shares in six successive decreases (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+). When WGFX lost two-tenths in November, it ended a string of three consecutive improvements which resulted in a +4.1 since July (3.7 – 4.0 – 5.4 – 7.8, 6+). Logging a 1.6 (6+) in three of the last five monthlies, Cromwell Group’s WQZQ “93.3 Classic Hits” flounders by six-tenths (1.6 – 1.0, 6+) and moves from #17 to #20. After notching three consecutive progressive trends for an overall +1.0 (3.3 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+), Cumulus Media’s “Nash FM 103.3” forfeits half of it (3.8, 6+) and drops out of the top ten (#10 to #11). Elsewhere in the mainstream country format, iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98” bounces back from May’s -.8 with a +.2 (5.3 – 5.5, 6+) and stays at #7, while Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” dips from ninth to tenth (4.6 – 4.4, -.2, 6+).

6) Providence – Within 7.0 – 7.8 range (6+) in ten of the last eleven survey periods, Hall Communications’ WCTK (unchanged at #4) flashes a gain of eight-tenths to 8.4, the first time “Cat Country 98.1” reaches the eight-share level (6+) since July 2016’s 8.2. Showing an overall increase of seven-tenths since January, Boston public news/talk WGBH-FM (steady at #10) is up or flat for the fifth month in a row (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+). Stymied at 7.7 (6+) in “Holiday” 2016 and January, and then on 8.2 (6+) in February and March, iHeartMedia-owned WHJY “Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” (third to second) picks up a combined nine-tenths in three consecutive progressive trends (8.2 – 8.3 – 8.6 – 9.1, 6+). This represents the highest 6+-share for WHJY in just over one year (9.2, May 2016). It is tied in the runner-up slot with Cumulus Media CHR WPRO-FM “Today’s Hit Music,” which follows May’s massive +1.5 with a loss of seven-tenths (8.3 – 9.8 – 9.1, 6+). In advance of the May ratings period, WPRO-FM had been trending 8.7 – 8.5 – 8.6 – 8.3 (6+); 9.8 was its highest 6+-share since February 2015 (also 9.8). Seven-tenths ahead of “Today’s Hit Music” is adult contemporary sibling WWLI “Lite Rock 105,” which – despite dropping six-tenths in both May and June (11.0 – 10.4 – 9.8, 6+) – is #1 for the 21st successive ratings period. Having eroded by more than seven full-shares in January to 10.7 (6+), WWLI was a combined -.4 in February and March (10.7 – 10.6 – 10.3, 6+). “Lite Rock” was a collective +8.5 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (9.5 – 10.6 – 18.0, 6+), following a cumulative -.4 in October and November (9.9 – 9.8 – 9.5, 6+); it was up by seven-tenths in April. After four consecutive positive or flat trends that netted +1.1 (.5 – .5 – 1.1 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+), The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH is now off by a combined full-share in May and June (1.6 – 1.4 – .6, 6+), slipping from #11 to #12. With a net loss of just three-tenths, WELH was without an increase between August and the “Holiday” 2016 report (.8 – .8 – .8 – .7 – .7 – .5 – .5, 6+).

7) Norfolk – Either up or flat for the sixth time in a row for an overall increase of +1.2 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.9, 6+), Entercom hot AC WPTE “94.9 The Point” continues in seventh-place. Bouncing back from a loss of seven-tenths in May with a gain of two-tenths in June (12.5 – 11.8 – 12.0, 6+), urban AC cluster-mate WVKL is in 11.0 – 12.7-territory for the 14th time in the last 15 ratings periods. Furthermore, “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” is #1 for the sixth successive sweep; it earlier had a stint of 55 consecutive ratings periods on top. For the third straight month, co-owned adult contemporary WWDE “2WD” (fifth to sixth) registers a decrease and is -1.7 since March (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.3, 6+). In the runner-up slot for the fifth month in a row, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz – Norfolk’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” is trending 8.1 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 7.3 (6+). Owing to a +.1 to 1.7 (6+), CHR sibling WNOH “Now 105 – Hampton Roads’ #1 Hit Music Station” (flat at #10) snaps at four its consecutive skein of negative trends that yielded a loss of six-tenths (2.2 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+). Coming off its strongest 6+-share since last December (1.1, as well), Saga Communications adult standards WJOI “1230 AM – Great Songs, Great Memories” falters by one-half share to .6 (#12 to #13).

8) Greensboro – Five of the top ten June 2017 finishers are iHeartMedia properties; four are owned by Entercom; and Curtis Media Group owns the other. Unchanged at #7, iHeartMedia rocker WVBZ “105.7 – Man Up!” is an overall +1.7 via six consecutive increases (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.7, 6+). Over and above achieving double-digits (6+) for the seventh straight sweep, Entercom urban AC WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” hauls out a mammoth +1.5 (10.1 – 11.6, 6+) and marches from second to first, a position it occupied in January, February, and March, as well. Up or flat in four consecutive ratings periods accounting for a +1.2 (9.7 – 9.7 – 10.1 – 10.5 – 10.9, 6+), WQMG surrendered six-tenths in March. This is its most potent 6+-share in over three years (11.9, March 2014). After three straight improvements for a combined +1.2 (9.5 – 9.9 – 10.1 – 10.7, 6+) rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WJMH dips by three-tenths (each) in May and June (10.7 – 10.4 – 10.1, 6+), as “102 Jamz” swaps places with WQMG at #2. Despite the downward move, “Jamz” is in double-digits (6+) for the tenth time in the last twelve survey periods. Winning ways continue for iHeartMedia’s WTQR “New Country Q-104.1,” which is without a decrease for the sixth sweep in succession for a +2.5 (4.7 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 7.2, 6+) and climbs from fifth to fourth. When it picked up three-tenths in November, WTQR ended three successive down-trending monthlies that produced a collective loss of more than two shares (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.5 – 5.1, 6+). A cumulative +1.5 in January and February (4.8 – 5.6 – 6.3, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” eroded by seven-tenths in March, but bounced back with a combined +1.0 in April and May (5.6 – 6.0 – 6.6, 6+), only to lose three-tenths in June (6.3, fourth to sixth, 6+). Back in September, WTQR “Q-104.1” enjoyed a 1.9-share lead over WPAW “The Wolf.” A gain of eight-tenths to 6.5 (sixth to fifth, 6+) by iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Mix” pulls the plug on three straight negative trends that accounted for a -1.1 (6.8 – 6.7 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+). Locked on 4.7 (6+) in March and April, after notching a 4.6 (6+) in February, co-owned FM news/talk WPTI is a combined -1.4 in May and June (4.7 – 4.2 – 3.3, eighth to tenth, 6+).

9) West Palm Beach – Down six-tenths since March (2.2 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WJNO “1290 – The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” improves by twice that margin (1.6 – 2.8, +1.2, 6+) and enters the top ten (#11 to #10). It is more rollercoaster action for WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” (#8 to a three-way tie at #5) which – in the last seven survey periods – is +.5 (“Holiday” 2016); -1.1 (January); +.5 in February; -.7 (March); +1.4 in April; -.5 in May; and now +.7 in June (4.3 – 4.8 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 3.5 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 5.1, 6+). The overall result is a net gain of eight-tenths. Under a one-share (6+) since the first of the year, Moody Bible religious teaching WRMB “Moody Radio South Florida” notches a one-half share increase to 1.1 (6+) and climbs from #16 to #14. Gaining one-tenth (each) in back-to-back sweeps (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5, 6+), Alpha Media hot AC WRMF ranks first for the sixth consecutive month. Having improved by six-tenths in January, WRMF more than tripled that gain in February with a +1.9 to 10.2, its best 6+-performance since December 2015 (10.2 as well). Prior to “Holiday” 2016, WRMF was #1 the previous five ratings periods. It fell to second in July 2016, after 23 successive sweeps at #1. The market’s (6+) adult contemporary share spirals by over two full-shares, as WRMF cluster-mate WEAT “Sunny 107.9” erodes by -1.1 (6.5 – 5.4, second to third, 6+); iHeartMedia-owned WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” is off by eight-tenths to 4.3 (seventh to eighth, 6+); and JVC Media’s WSVU “South Florida’s 95.9 – The Palm,” which was trending 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 (6+), drops three-tenths to .9 (#13 to #16, 6+). This is the softest 6+-share for “Sunny” since November 2015 (4.6). Following three successive months without a gain in which it lost more than two full-shares (6.6 – 5.9 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+), “Today’s Kool 105.5” was a combined +.6 in April and May (4.5 – 4.6 – 5.1, 6+). Prior to January, “Kool” had been up the previous three ratings periods for a +1.8 (4.8 – 5.7 – 6.5 – 6.6, 6+). In addition to WOLL, Alpha Media-owned WIRK “103.1 – South Florida’s Country Music” stumbles by eight-tenths as well (5.9 – 5.1, third to fifth, 6+). A collective +1.3 in three straight gains (4.3 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WLDI “Wild 95.5 – The Palm Beaches’ #1 Hit Music Station” falters by one-half share to 5.1 (6+) and is part of that three-way tie-up at #5 (with WIRK and WAYF).

10) Jacksonville – While Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL-FM “96.9 The Eagle” registers a gain of nine-tenths (8.7 – 9.6, steady at #2, 6+), its urban contemporary HD2 side channel flounders by one-half share for the second consecutive month (2.9 – 2.4 – 1.9, flat at #14, 6+). After recording a -.6 in May, iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” responds with a gain of three-tenths (12.5 – 11.9 – 12.3, 6+) and is the market pacesetter for the sixth straight time. A January +2.1 to 12.8 produced its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. Owing to December’s +4.5 (6.8 – 11.3, 6+), “Jacksonville’s Country” jumped from fifth to first, but with a -.6 in “Holiday” 2016, it fell to second. Prior to November’s one-tenth gain, WQIK was down two full-shares as a result of being without an increase since February 2016 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.4 – 8.2 – 8.1 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 7.3 – 6.7, 6+). Owing to May’s +.9 to 7.2 (6+), urban contemporary sibling WJBT “93.3 The Beat” halted three straight sweeps without an increase (6.6 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+), but “The Beat” plummets in June by -1.6 to 5.6, slipping from fifth to sixth (6+). Prior to May, “The Beat” last reached the seven-share level (6+) in October (7.0). Ups and downs continue for co-owned urban-rhythmic oldies WSOL, whose April loss of six-tenths put an end to its 4.9 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 4.9 (6+) sequence. “V-101.5,” bounced back with a +.8 in May, only to surrender all but one-tenth of that gain in June (5.1 – 4.4, -.7, flat at #7, 6+). Faltering by two-tenths to 3.9 (6+), adult hits sibling WWJK “107.3 The River – We Play Anything” (unchanged at #10) curtails at five its consecutive string of positive trends that accounted for a +1.3 (2.8 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 4.1, 6+). Off by one-half share each are Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “99.9 Gator Country” (4.4, eighth to seventh, 6+) and Cox Media Group-owned WXXJ “X-102.9 Jacksonville’s New Alternative (unchanged at #11, 6+). “X-102.9” had been up or flat in each of the last five sweeps netting seven-tenths (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+), while “Gator Country” had displayed a 4.9 (6+) in three of the previous four ratings periods.

11) Memphis – This Tennessee market’s (6+) country share enjoys a boost of +1.5 as Cumulus Media’s WGKX “Kix 106 – Today’s Best Country” improves by seven-tenths (5.2 – 5.9, steady at #7, 6+) and Entercom’s WLFP “94.1 The Wolf” gains eight-tenths (2.4 – 3.2, #13, to #11, 6+). As the result of three straight increases (6.5 – 7.4 – 7.5 – 8.3, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WHRK is a collective +1.8 and “K-97 Memphis’ Only Hip-Hop and R&B” carries on in third-place. Trending 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.2 (6+) since March, Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WKIM “98.9 The Vibe” adds one-half share to 3.7 and cracks the top ten (#11 to #9, 6+). Over and above being without a loss for the sixth straight time for a collective gain of +1.1 (8.8 – 9.0 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 9.5 – 9.9, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101” is #1 as it has been since February. At #1 for ten consecutive monthlies before sliding to #2 in “Holiday” 2016, “V-101” was up by two-tenths in February to halt nine consecutive down or flat trends that yielded a -3.7 since May 2016 (12.5 – 11.6 – 10.7 – 10.5 – 10.2 – 9.9 – 9.9 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 8.8, 6+). In April, “V-101” was tied at #1 with Cumulus Media’s WRBO “Soul Classic and Today’s R&B.” After logging back-to-back increases totaling two full-shares (1.7 – 3.0 – 3.7, 6+), co-owned WEGR “Rock 103” returns 65% of that increase (2.4, -1.3, 6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #13). Unchanged at #4, Entercom hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100 – Today’s Best Mix” regresses by eight-tenths to 6.2, its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 2.0. Slipping by seven-tenths and six-tenths, respectively, are iHeartMedia gospel and urban-rhythmic oldies siblings WHAL “Halleluiah 95.7” (6.2, 6+) and WDIA “1070 – The Heart and Soul of Memphis” (4.3 – 3.6, ninth to tenth, 6+). The loss of seven-tenths ends at three WHAL’s consecutive string of increases that produced a +1.5 (5.3 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 6.8, 6+), but “Halleluiah 95.7” actually improves from fifth to fourth. In seven straight down or flat sweeps, CHR cluster-mate KWNW “101.9 Kiss FM – All the Hits” (flat at #17) has lost one full-share (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, 6+).

12) Hartford – A combined +1.7 in four consecutive sweeps without a decrease (7.1 – 76 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 8.8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WWYZ reaches the eight-share level (6+) for the first time since last December’s 8.2; “Country 92-5” advances from third to second. By adding three-tenths in May, Connecticut Public Broadcasting’s WNPR curtailed three successive downward moves that accounted for a -1.4 (5.7 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 4.3, 6+). Steady at #9, WNPR follows with a +.6 in June (4.6 – 5.2, 6+). Owing to a +.3 (to 10.0, 6+), CBS Radio adult contemporary WRCH returns to double-digits (6+) for the eighth time in the last nine sweeps. Moreover, “Lite 100.5” is #1 for the tenth successive ratings period. It was up by a cumulative nine-tenths in February and March (10.2 – 10.5 – 11.1, 6+) and down by an overall -1.4 in April and May (11.1 – 10.0 – 9.7, 6+). Entering the September sweep, WRCH was on top for 15 straight ratings periods and 23 of the previous 24; however, it decreased by -1.1 and dropped to second-place. Its online stream remains at .5 (6+) and continues at #15. Up exactly three full-shares in four successive improvements (4.6 – 5.6 – 5.9 – 6.5 – 7.6, 6+), rhythmic CHR sibling WZMX “Hot 93.7” slips by three-tenths to 7.3 but remains at #4; 7.6 in May marked the first time it crossed the seven-share level (6+) since last September’s 7.4. Eroding by eight-tenths (8.6 – 7.8, 6+), co-owned hot AC WTIC-FM “Hartford’s Best Variety” segues from second to third. When “Hartford’s Best Variety” was off by four-tenths in May, it stopped at six its consecutive string of positive or flat trends that produced a cumulative +2.1 (6.9 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 8.3 – 8.6 – 9.0, 6+). News/talk cluster-mate WTIC-AM (flat at #5) drops two-tenths and has its fifth consecutive decline for a collective loss of over two full-shares (8.8 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.3 – 6.9 – 6.7, 6+). This is its lowest 6+-share since last April’s 6.5. Similarly-formatted/Connoisseur Media-owned WDRC-AM, which had been without an increase in each of the past six sweeps for a -1.0 (1.3 – .7 – .7 – .7 – .6 -.6 -.3, 6+), gains three-tenths to .6 (#15 to #14, 6+).

Thursday, June 15, 2017

| June 15, 2017

Ted Nugent Tells ‘Curtis & Eboni’ Americans Must Tone It Down. On WABC, New York’s midday Curtis & Eboni show with Curtis Sliwa and Eboni K. Williams, legendary rocker and prominent Second Amendment advocate Ted Nugent called for toning down the violent political rhetoric in the country, vowing he will do the same.  In the wake of yesterday’s shooting at the GOP baseball practice for the Congressional Baseball charity game, Nugent appeared on WABC and spoke about the matter.  Hear that audio here.  Nugent has a history of over-the-top rhetoric, including referring to President Obama as a “subhuman mongrel.”  He also has used language inviting political opponents to “put their lips on my machine gun.”

Deportes Media Sues Over Sale of KTRB, San Francisco to East Bay Broadcasting.  KTRB-AM, San Francisco had been operated as a Spanish sports talk station since it entered into an LMA with station Receiver Susan L. Uecker in May of 2011.  In June of 2015, the former Pappas Telecasting station was sold to East Bay Broadcasting, operated by the managing partners of Salem Media Group.  Now, Deportes Media is suing East Bay, Salem, Uecker, Media Acquisition Trust, and broker Kalil & Co in District Court in San Francisco over the sale.  Deportes claims that it wanted to buy the station; that Uecker knew the company wanted to buy it and there were clauses in their LMA deal to give it the first opportunity to acquire the station.  Deportes notes in its suit, “A number of conditions were built into the lease to discourage other potential suitors from acquiring the station out from under Plaintiff, robbing it of the hard work it had invested in building the station.  For example, the agreement contained a no-shop provision that prevented anyone from offering the radio station for sale.  Additionally, the contract specified that any buyer would have to honor the full term of Plaintiff’s lease, meaning it would likely be years from the time of acquisition until a new owner could begin making its own programming decisions or trying to integrate KTRB into any other media plays or other strategies.  Most importantly, the contract contained a “Programmer’s Right of First Refusal” clause.  This Right of First Refusal explicitly gave Plaintiff the right to match any competitors purchase offer within ninety (90) days so that KTRB could not be bought out from under it.”  It’s suing Uecker for breach of contract; Media Trust, Kalil and Salem for tortious interference with contract; and all for violation of California’s unfair competition law.  It is seeking actual and compensatory damages.

Tony Matteo Named iHM’s RSVPP for California-Nevada. Programmer Tony Matteo moves from iHeartMedia’s Omaha Region – based in Wichita, Kansas — to a new post with the company as region senior vice president of programming for the  Central California/Nevada Region.  Matteo will work with on-air personalities and program directors from the 36 radio station brands in that area.  He comments, “I’ve been fortunate to be a part of a group of incredibly talented programmers, on-air talent and managers in the Wichita market and Omaha Region and together we’ve accomplished much.  The outstanding brands built by the iHM Central California/Nevada team have a ton of momentum.  I’ll be proud to join and help continue the region’s winning streak.”

TALKERS News Notes. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Windy City sports blogger and podcaster Dan Katz, a.k.a. Barstool Big Cat, is joining WMVP, Chicago “ESPN Radio” as a weekly contributor to Tom Waddle and Marc Silverman’s afternoon drive “Waddle & Silvy” show.  Katz tweeted that he’ll be on each Thursday around 4:00 pm…..Also from Robert Feder, WMVP personality Jordan Cornette – who co-hosts the midday show with David Kaplan – is one of three co-hosts (alongside Felicia Lawrence and Danielle Robay) of a new Chicago morning television show slated to start later this summer titled, “The Jam.”  Cornette is a former Notre Dame basketball star who also serves as color commentator for CBS Sports Network and Fox Sports 1…..SiriusXM is presenting live coverage of the 2017 NCAA Men’s College World Series starting Saturday (6/17).  The play-by-play is produced and provided by Westwood One and airs on SiriusXM’s College Sports Nation channel…..Architecture firm V Three Studios recently designed new facilities for Native Broadcast Enterprise’s properties in St. Michaels, Arizona.  KTNN “The Voice of the Navajo Nation” and KWRK “Capital Country” recently moved its operations to a new state-of-the-art, 7,352-square-foot facility.  The new facility features eight studios supporting AM/FM radio and digital broadcast capabilities reaching listeners beyond reservation lines, providing Navajo people across the country, and even overseas, with a connection to home.  V Three worked with Native Broadcast Enterprise to create a facility that celebrates the Navajo culture and reflects the station’s mission of educating, informing and entertaining the Navajo people, many of whom rely on the station as the only source of news and entertainment.  Navajo-owned design/build firm LAM Corporation developed the building shell and site work…..Mediabase promotes Minal Patel to project manager.  Patel joined Mediabase in 2008 as the director of client services and has advanced through various departments in the company…..Regional Reps Corp. signs Falls Media LLC’s KWFB-FM, Wichita Falls, Texas to an exclusive representation agreement.

Cooke: Car Money Moving Back to Radio.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke says that not too long ago, Detroit wanted dealers to move ad money from radio to digital.  Now, some of that money is moving back.  But, the radio auto ad needs to be effective in order for dealers to be glad they re-invested in radio.  He’s got some tips here.

Veteran Radio/TV Newswoman/Talk Show Host Donna Francavilla Returning to NYC via WCBS.  She’s a “Jersey girl” who has been in the talk media business for more than three decades building a stellar reputation among those in the know for her solid talent, media flexibility, entrepreneurial resilience and downright intelligence.  And now, she was just hired at WCBS “Newsradio 880” as a part-time news anchor/reporter – a development that has prompted her after all these years to pick up stakes in Birmingham, Alabama and move back to the Big Apple to spend more time close to her parents, children and friends in the Northeast.  For those who wonder where she’s been all these years, Donna Francavilla spent the last 16 years covering major national news stories in Alabama, Mississippi and the Florida Panhandle as a freelancer for CBS Radio News.  She also served as a television reporter at WBMA and WVTM-TV as well as filling-in as a talk show host on WAPI, Birmingham “Talk 99 FM.”  She has also run her own multi-media services company, Frankly Speaking Communications (franklyspeakingcommunications.com) which still serves as an umbrella company for her many activities ranging from air talent and voice actor to public speaker; from talent coach and consultant to public relations strategist.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison says, “Donna Francavilla is one of the most talented, hardworking people in all of talk media.  I’ve had the pleasure of following her career since the first year we published this trade journal.  An extremely likable individual, she has always done it the hard way, never had an easy ride or a long-term, high-profile job.  Yet everyone knows how much quality – on so many levels – she brings to the table.  The fact that she is risking her established lifestyle in Birmingham to return to the Northeast and go into ‘training’ for a part-time gig at WCBS is one of the most compelling radio human interest stories to come down the pike in a long time.  Go Donna – we are all pulling for you!”  Francavilla brings a boatload of experience with her to WCBS.   She was named the 2016 Communicator of Achievement by Alabama Media Professionals, has worked in the newsrooms and on air at stations KYW, Philadelphia; Tunnel Radio, Boston; WTOP, Washington, DC; as well as WINZ, Miami and she is also a former director-at-large for the RTDNA.

GOP Baseball Practice Shooting, Sessions Senate Testimony/Trump-Russia Investigation, Megyn Kelly-NBC Criticism, Warmbier-North Korea Case, Bachelor in Paradise Scandal, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/14). The politically motivated shooting of U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise and others at a practice for the congressional charity baseball game; the testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the related special counsel investigation into possible links between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the criticism of NBC and Megyn Kelly over her scheduled interview with Alex Jones; North Korea’s release of comatose U.S. student Otto Warmbier; the flap over the cessation of production of ABC-TV’s “Bachelor in Paradise”; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Former KNOX, Grand Forks Owner Hoberg Dies.  One-time owner of news/talk KNOX-AM Grand Forks, North Dakota Justin Hoberg died last Friday at age 87.  Hoberg started his career at KNOX as an account executive and purchased the station in 1966.  He sold that station – along with others – to Peoria Journal Star in 1972 and stayed with the stations as Peoria’s VP and general manager.  According to the Grand Forks Herald, he is credited with transforming the station into a talk radio outlet.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Country KNIX, Phoenix appoints Lois Lewis assistant program director and music director, effective July 17.  Lewis previously served with iHeartMedia in the same capacity at KWNR, Las Vegas “95.5 The Bull.”  She’ll host middays – including the 90’s @ Noon feature – plus be responsible for record label relations, concert booking, as well as on-air content and music programming.  iHM EVP of programming for the West Division Steve Geofferies says, “I’ve worked with Lois for over four years and have always appreciated her tremendous attention to detail and great relationships.  She’s quickly becoming one of the best on-air talents we have in the country format.  Plus, I love the amazing energy she brings to the building.”…..On-air pro Bill Dollar transfers from Cumulus Media’s Montgomery, Alabama cluster to the company’s Albany, Georgia station group to serve as its operations manager.  In addition to his operations duties, Dollar will host the midday show on country WKAK “NASH FM 104.5” as well as the afternoon drive show on rock WJAD “Rock 103.5.”  In Albany, Cumulus also operates classic country WNUQ “NASH Icon 102.1,” AC WEGC “Mix 107,” urban contemporary WQVE “V101.7,” news/talk WALG-AM, and sports talk WGPC-AM “1450 The Fan.”…..Alpha Media promotes Crystal Legends to program director of country WRNS, Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, North Carolina.  Alpha EVP of programming Scott Mahalick says Legends brings 20 of experience to the position.  “It is great to have bench strength and promote from within Alpha Media.  Crystal has the chops, passion, and love of people to drive WRNS every day.”…..American General Media is agreeing to buy four Albuquerque stations from Univision.  The stations – hip hop KKSS, classic rock KIOT, regional Mexican KJFA, and hip hop KKRG – will be added to the company’s existing holdings in the market.  However, due to FCC ownership rules, AMG will divest some of its properties.  It will sell hot AC KAGM-FM to VCY America Inc.; CHR KDLW-FM to BB Broadcasting LLC; KJFA-FM to Vanguard Media LLC; and will donate classical KHFM-FM to KHFM Community Partners, which will convert the broadcasting license to non-commercial.  Kalil & Co., Inc. is the exclusive broker for the transactions.

 

 

Round Three of May PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s May 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s May 2017 PPM survey period covered April 27 – May 24. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 markets below.

 TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Portland – This time last month, KMHD had its 6+-share erode by just over 50% (1.8 – .8, -1.0, 6+), but the Mount Hood Community College jazz outlet recoups 90% of the loss with a +.9 to 1.7 (#23 to #21). The January through April (6+) trends for Entercom’s KNRK have been 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.5, but “94.7 Alternative Portland” posts a gain of eight-tenths to 3.3 (6+) to advance from #16 to #14. It is the first time “Alternative Portland” reaches the three-share level (6+) in just over one year ago (3.0, 6+, April 2016). Without a loss for the fourth straight time for a collective +2.1, (3.2 – 4.0 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.3, 6+), classic rock sibling KGON climbs from sixth to fourth. When KGON registered a +.8 in February, it brought to an end eight straight sweeps without a gain that resulted in a combined -1.7 dating back to last June (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+). Prior to these last three sweeps, KGON last crossed the five-share threshold (6+) in March 2015 (5.5). Off by one-half share in April, iHeartMedia-owned KLTH “106.7 The Eagle – Portland’s Classic Hits Station” bounces back with a gain of six-tenths (6.2 – 5.7 – 6.3, 6+) and carries on in third-place. Adult contemporary cluster-mate KKCW regains the three-tenths it dropped in April and one-tenth more (8.6 – 8.3 – 8.7, +.4, 6+) as “K-103” is #1 for the 36th time in the last 38 ratings periods. The razor-thin one-tenth advantage it had in April over Oregon Public Broadcasting’s KOPB expands to 1.3 shares, with KOPB sputtering by eight-tenths (8.2 – 7.4, steady at #2, 6+). Both stations gained nine-tenths in March. “K-103” was off by nine-tenths in February; KOPB declined by one full-share, completely surrendering January’s +1.0, after a -.7 in “Holiday” 2016. The last time KOPB crossed the eight-share level (6+) was in March 2016 (8.0, 6+). After registering four straight gains for an overall +1.7 (4.7 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+), Entercom-owned KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf – Great Country for the Great Northwest” is now a combined -1.8 in March and April (6.4 – 5.5 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+). Nonetheless, it actually progresses from eighth to seventh (6+), overtaking (by one-tenth) Alpha Media’s similarly-formatted KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” (4.5, fourth to eighth, 6+). In April, “The Bull” halted three straight months of notching a 4.2 (6+) by busting out with a +1.3 to 5.5 – its strongest 6+-showing since last July’s 5.5 – but surrenders all but three-tenths of the increase (-1.0). A January +.9 ended three straight decreases for “The Bull” that resulted in a combined -1.8 (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 3.3, 6+). Up or flat the past three sweeps for a combined +.7 (1.9 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.6, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS returns the entire seven-tenths as “104.1 The Fish” is back at 1.9 (#15 to #18). Following April’s full-share increase to 4.5 (6+), iHeartMedia’s KFBW “105.9 The Brew – Portland’s Rock Station” surrenders 60% of it (4.5 – 3.9, -.6, 6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #11). In April, Alpha Media rhythmic CHR KWEE regained the four-tenths it lost in March (2.3 – 1.9 – 2.3, 6+) but now “WE – 96.3” falters by one-half share to 1.8, slipping from #19 to #20.

2) Charlotte – An increase of one-full share (3.9 – 4.9, 6+) enables Entercom hot AC WLNK “107.9 The Link – Charlotte’s Best Mix” to record its best 6+-share in nearly a year (4.9, 6+, June 2016) and return to the top ten (#11 to #8). Down the past three sweeps for a collective -.8 (2.3 – 2.2 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” regains all of it and is back at 2.3 (#18 to #17). With its third successive increase for a net +1.1 (4.9 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 6.0, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV “V-101.9” rises from sixth to third, recording its best 6+-stat since last October’s 6.3. On the heels of April’s +.8, co-owned WSOC “Country’s Hottest Hits” adds six-tenths (5.2 – 6.0 – 6.6, 6+) and remains in second-place. Prior to April, “Country’s Hottest Hits” was a cumulative -1.8 in three successive downward moves dating back to the “Holiday” 2016 report (7.0 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 5.2, 6+). Moreover, 5.2 in March was the lowest 6+-share in its PPM-history. It has an eight-tenths lead over its format rival, iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat” (5.8, -.1, third to fourth, 6+). In “Holiday” 2016, “The Kat” trailed “Country’s Hottest Hits” by three full-shares (7.0 to 4.0, 6+). Albeit off by one-half share since March (7.7 – 7.6 – 7.2, 6+), classic rock cluster-mate WRFX “99.7 The Fox” is #1 for the fifth month in a row. Immediately in advance of that, “The Fox” posted three consecutive positive trends that accounted for a +1.3 (6.4 – 7.2 – 7.3 – 7.7, 6+). Its +.8 in January curtailed a series of three consecutive downward moves that yielded a -1.5 (7.9 – 7.3 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). Owing to a -.4 to 5.4 (6+), Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG snaps at four its consecutive string of up or flat trends that yielded a gain of six-tenths (5.2 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 5.8, 6+); “Power 98” drops from fourth to sixth. The market’s (6+) CHR share erodes by six-tenths as Beasley Media Group’s WNKS “Kiss 95.1 – Charlotte’s #1 Hit Music Station” is -.2 (4.6, eighth to ninth, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WHQC “Channel 96.1” is -.4 (4.7 – 4.3, ninth to tenth, 6+). “Kiss” had been up or flat the past four sweeps netting a full-share (3.8 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+). With a -.2 in April, “Channel 96.1” had its string of consecutive increases that produced a cumulative +1.4 snapped at three (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.9, 6+).

3) San Antonio – As the result of three straight increases – the latest by a robust +1.3Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX nearly doubles its 6+-share (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.5 – 3.8, 6+) and rockets from #17 to #12. It had been almost two years (August 2015, 3.0, 6+) since KSTX reached the three-share level (6+). In a somewhat similar vein, iHeartMedia’s KZEP had notched three straight modest gains for a net of one-half share (1.8 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+), but “104.5 Latino Hits” erupts with a +1.2 (3.5, 6+) to bump up from #18 to #16. This represents the best 6+-showing for “Latino Hits” since “Holiday” 2014 (3.8, 6+). Trending 2.6 – 2.2 – 2.3 (6+), Univision Radio’s KMYO “Latino Mix 95.1” dials up a +1.1 to 3.4 (#18 to 17). Up two-tenths to 5.2 (6+), regional Mexican sibling KROM “Estereo Latino 92.9” ends at three its consecutive skein of downward trends that accounted for a -2.4 (7.4 – 6.4 – 5.4 – 5.0, 6+) and jumps from fifth to third. It was a combined +2.2 in “Holiday” 2016 and January (6.2 – 7.4, 6+). In three straight improvements (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.7, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZLV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” is up one full-share; KZLV began appearing in print this past December and moves from #16 to #14. Alpha Media regional Mexican KSAH-FM has logged a 3.2 (6+) in three of the last four sweeps, but “Las Estacion de la Raza” improves by six-tenths to 3.8 (6+), climbing from #15 to #12. By gaining four-tenths in April, iHeartMedia’s KXXM ended at six its string of consecutive down or flat trends that produced a -1.1 (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+). Now in May, “Mix 96.1 – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” tacks on another half share to 4.2 (#12 to #11, 6+). Recent (6+) fluctuations for Cox Media Group-owned classic hits-oldies KONO-FM are October 2016’s -1.0; November’s +.9; December’s -1.1; “Holiday” 2016’s -1.3; January’s +1.1; April’s +.8; and now May’s -.6 (7.6 – 7.0, 6+). Even so, “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” occupies the top spot for the fourth successive time; KONO-FM departed the lead position in October after nine straight sweeps there. The rollercoaster ride continues for iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT, which lost one full-share (-1.0) in February; was a collective +1.5 in March and April (5.2 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 5.6, 6+); but regresses by -1.0 in May (5.6 – 4.6, 6+). It drifts from second to seventh. With an 11.8 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2016 report, “Q-101.9 – San Antonio’s Best Variety” finished at #1. Stuck on 3.7 (6+) in March and April, Univision Radio’s KXTN “Tejano and Proud” returns its March +.9 and is back at 2.8, plummeting from #12 to #19. Dropping six-tenths in both April and May (6.1 – 5.5 – 4.9, third to fourth, 6+) is Cox Media Group’s KISS “Rocks San Antonio,” which – prior to April – had been up or flat the previous three sweeps for a +.7 (5.4 – 5.4 – 6.0 – 6.1, 6+).

4) Pittsburgh – More than halting a brief slide that produced a -.4 (8.3 – 8.1 – 7.9, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WKST dials up an increase three times that margin (9.1, +1.2, 6+) and “96.1 Kiss – Pittsburgh’s #1 Hit Music Station” remains in third-place. On the heels of April’s gain of eight-tenths (3.3 – 4.1, 6+), alternative sibling WXDX piles on another full-share to 5.1 (6+), as “The X at 105.9” moves from ninth to seventh. In the market’s country matchup, CBS Radio-owned WDSY “Pittsburgh’s Country Y-108” improves by one-half share (3.9 – 4.4, unchanged at #10, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WPGB “Big 104.7 Pittsburgh’s #1 for New Country” slumps by nine-tenths (3.8 – 2.9, flat at #11, 6+). Without a decrease in January, February, and March, “Y-108” was +.8 in that stretch (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+), but it lost six-tenths in April. By adding two-tenths this time last month, “Big 104.7” halted three straight declines that accounted for a -1.2 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.6, 6+). In addition to posting its third consecutive increase netting a +1.3 (9.1 – 9.9 – 10.3 – 10.4, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” repeats at #1. Immediately before picking up eight-tenths in March, “3WS” was -4.6 since “Holiday” 2016 (13.7 – 9.3 – 9.1, 6+). Owing to three straight increases (4.9 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.3, 6+), CBS Radio news/talk KDKA-AM was +1.4, but now in back-to-back sweeps (April and May) “News Radio 1020” is a combined -1.6 (6.3 – 5.7 – 4.7, 6+) to drop from seventh to eighth. Although it remains at #4, Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “Bob” has faltered by nearly two full-shares in four consecutive declines (8.5 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.5 – 6.7, 6+).

5) Sacramento – A combined -.6 in back-to-back monthlies (9.2 – 9.0 – 8.6, 6+, February – March – April), CBS Radio adult contemporary KYMX “Mix 96” recaptures all of it to 9.2 (6+) and is #1 for the fourth successive time. Ranked third for five straight sweeps before reaching #1 in “Holiday” 2016, KYMX rebounded from January’s -4.8 with a full-share February increase (13.0 – 8.2 – 9.2, 6+). After eing a combined +2.4 in November and December, “Mix” was +5.2 in “Holiday” 2016. Registering a 2.1 in five of the last eight ratings periods (2.1 –   2.5 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), Entravision Spanish adult hits KXSE “Jose 104.3” (#17 to #19) sputters by one-half share to 1.6, its lowest 6+-stat since last August (1.6, as well). Owing to a -.1 to 3.3 (6+), co-owned country KNTY “101.9 – The Wolf” (#9 to #11) witnesses its streak of successive increases which generated a +1.5 (1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.4, 6+) end at five. Prior to April, the last time Sacramento’s “Wolf” reached the three-share level (6+) was November 2014 (3.0, 6+). Another positive streak in the format continues though as iHeartMedia’s KBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 For New Country” puts together its third straight improvement for a +.8 (2.3 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1, 6+). Remaining at #14, “The Bull” had been within 2.1 – 2.9 range (6+) the previous seven ratings periods. Unchanged at #5, co-owned KYRV “The River” is off by one-tenth to 4.9 (6+), thus halting at four the frequency’s string of consecutive gains that netted almost three full-shares (2.1 – 2.5 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 5.0, 6+). Several days into the April ratings period (4/3), adult hits KQJK “Jack FM” became classic rock KYRV “The River,” which improved KQJK’s March numbers by +1.5. The switch was made when “Jack” ranked ninth. Not only does Entercom’s KRXQ depart the top ten (#9 to #13), “98 Rock” is without an increase for the seventh successive ratings period for a collective -2.6 (5.8 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+). Flat at #16, iHeartMedia news/talk KSTE has its fourth straight negative trend and is -1.5 since January (3.9 – 3.6 – 3.0 – 2.6 – 2.4, 6+).

6) Salt Lake City – Independent country KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” (eighth to sixth, 6+) and classic country sibling KSOP-AM “AM 1370 – Utah’s Home for Classic Country” (1.1, #24, 6+) log gains of eight-tenths and one-half share, respectively. It is the third straight uptick for “Z-104” (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 5.3, 6+) for a combined +1.3 and its strongest 6+-stat since July’s 5.9. “Classic Country” registered a .6 (6+) in three of the last four sweeps. Elsewhere in the mainstream country format, Cumulus Media’s KUBL “K-Bull 93” (flat at #3) drops four-tenths to 5.5 (6+), thus ending four straight upward moves that netted a +2.6 (3.3 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 5.4 – 5.9, 6+). In advance of January’s +1.0, “K-Bull” sputtered for five consecutive months and was a combined -2.2 since August (5.5 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+). For the fifth straight ratings period, KYMV “Rewind 100.7” is either up or flat and has more than doubled its 6+-share in that timeframe (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.3 ,6+). Moreover, the Broadway Media adult hits outlet reaches a two-share for the first time since last October’s 2.0 and enters the top twenty at #18. The market’s CHR tussle has an interesting scenario as “Rewind” cluster-mate KUDD “Mix 105.1 – All the Hits” forfeits 60% of its combined March and April +1.5 (3.5 – 4.0 – 5.0 – 4.1, -.9, 6+), drifting from fifth back to tenth. Prior to March, “Mix” was trending 3.5 – 3.9 – 3.5 (6+); April’s 5.0 was its best 6+-stat since last July’s 5.3. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KZHT lost eight-tenths in April to curtail three straight progressive trends that yielded a +1.3 (4.4 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), but “97.1 – Salt Lake City’s #1 Hit Music Station” regains 75% of April’s decrease (4.9 – 5.5, +.6, 6+), moving from #6 to a three-way tie at #3. Co-owned KAAZ “106.7 – Everything That Rocks” (#13 to #11) ends its 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.4 (6+) trending with a gain of one-half share to 3.9, its best 6+-performance in exactly one year (4.5, 6+, May 2016). Even though it picked up six-tenths in April – shaking off March’s massive -1.7 – Bonneville’s KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day” remained at #2. Ironically, it drops four-tenths in May (6.9 – 6.5, 6+) yet advances to #1. Following three straight sweeps at #1, “FM 100.3” shifted to #2, having dropped 12.3 shares in January (20.6 – 8.3, 6+). Until that massive January spiral, “FM 100.3” didn’t have a decrease since April (5.3 – 5.7 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.0 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 11.4 – 20.6, 6+), nearly quadrupling its 6+-stat since then with a staggering +15.3. The station it dislodges at #1 is its news/talk cluster-mate KSL (6.0, 6+), which shifts to the runner-up slot. Recent KSL fluctuations include +2.0 (October), -.9 (November), +1.1 (December), -1.5 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.1 (January); -2.1 (February); +.6 (April); and now a -1.1 in May. Broadway Media rhythmic CHR KUUU “U-92” (2.3 – 2.4, +.1, #17 to #16, 6+) is within 2.0 – 2.8 range (6+) for the 12th straight time.

7) Las Vegas – Three-tenths of a share separates May 2017’s top three finishers. Down or flat in four straight sweeps for a -.7 (4.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KISF rolled out a +1.2 in January, but followed with three straight losses: -1.6 in February; -.6 in March; and -.5 in April (5.0 – 3.4 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+). It adds two-tenths in May though to shift from #19 to #17 (2.5, 6+). At this time last month, iHeartMedia’s KWNR “95.5 Las Vegas’ New Country Leader” enjoyed a 1.7-share advantage over Beasley Media Group-owned KCYE “The Coyote – We Are Country.” Fast-forward to May results where “The Coyote” dials up a +1.4 (#11 to #5, 6+), while KWNR drops six-tenths (5.2 – 4.6, third to seventh, 6+), giving KCYE a three-tenths lead over its format foe. This is the third straight gain for “The Coyote” for a collective +1.8 (3.1 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.9, 6+). Consistent with its three most recent trends of 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.2 (6+), co-owned KOAS urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” erupts with a +.8 to 6.0 (6+). It carries on at #3, one-tenth behind classic hits-oldies sibling KKLZ (6.4 – 6.1, -.3, 6+). Off by a combined four-tenths the past two sweeps (.8 – .7 – .4, 6+), news/talk sibling KDWN logs a one-half share gain to .9, its best 6+-share since last November’s 1.1, and checks in at #24. There continues to be some wild moves for iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5,” which has recently been +1.8 in March; -1.1 in April; and now -1.2 in May (6.8 – 8.6 – 7.5 – 6.3, 6+). Nevertheless, “Sunny” is on top for the seventh consecutive time. Five straight up or flat trends generated a +8.3 for “Sunny” (6.4 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 8.1 – 14.0, 6+) before January’s -.7.3 to 6.7 (6+). Following three successive downward trends (8.1 – 7.4 – 6.0 – 5.7, 6+), KSNE was +.7 in September and +.6 in October, climbing to first – where it had been for 22 ratings periods in a row. In addition to KWNR, Lotus Communications’ KOMP “92.3 The Rock Station” (seventh to ninth, 6+) and Beasley Media Group hot AC KVGS “Star 107.9” (#16 to #20, 6+) are down by six-tenths. “The Rock Station” had been without a decrease the past four sweeps for a +1.6 (3.1 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.7, 6+), while “Star” is a combined -1.0 in three straight decreases (3.0 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.0, 6+).

8) Cincinnati – In 4.2 – 4.7 territory (6+) the past four sweeps, Hubbard rhythmic hot AC WREW “Mix 94.9 – Cincinnati’s Best Mix” matches the 5.3 (6+) it posted last June by unfurling a full-share increase to march from eighth to sixth. A gain of eight-tenths by Cumulus Media classic rocker WOFX takes “The Fox” to 6.0 (sixth to fifth), its finest 6+-showing since November 2015 (6.0, as well). Chalking up gains of one-half share each are iHeartMedia CHR WKFS “Kiss 107 – Cincinnati’s #1 Hit Music Station” (4.1 – 4.6, tenth to seventh, 6+); Hubbard hot AC WKRQ “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” (6.8, steady at #4, 6+); and its country cluster-mate WYGY “97.3 The Wolf” (1.4, #21 to #17, 6+). Prior to May, the three most recent trends for “Q-102” were 6.3 – 6.4 – 6.3 – 6.3 (6+); the increase by “The Wolf” curtails three straight downward trends that produced a loss of one full-share (1.9 – 1.6 – 1.5 -.9, 6+). For the first time since last August, iHeartMedia news/talk WLW can be found at #1. As with KSFI, Salt Lake City though (see above) “The Big One” (#2 in April) backs into the top spot as it is down three-tenths (9.3 – 9.0, 6+). Moreover, the Cincinnati Reds flagship must share the lead with Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies outlet WGRR (9.5 – 9.0, -.5, 6+), which has actually been #1 every month this calendar year. In April, WLW answered a combined -1.2 in February and March (8.4 – 8.1 – 7.2, 6+) with a +2.1 to 9.3, its finest 6+-showing since last June’s 10.8. Conversely, March’s 7.2 was the lowest 6+-stat in its PPM-history. Co-owned, fellow news/talker WKRC erodes by one full-share (5.3 – 4.3, 6+) and drifts from fifth to tenth. Meanwhile, WGRR posted a full-share gain in April, after a -.7 in March (9.2 – 8.5 – 9.5, 6+). Prior to the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, WGRR occupied the top spot for four straight months. A +.8 in January ended four successive down or flat sweeps that produced a -1.6 (9.8 – 9.8 – 9.6 – 8.8 – 8.2, 6+) as WGRR progressed from second to first. Backsliding by one-half share each are Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies WOSL “100.3 R&B + Old School,” off for the third straight time (3.9 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 2.9, #12 to #13, 6+) and co-owned WDBZ “Soul 101.5” (1.9 – 1.4, #16 to #17).

9) Orlando – The third successive increase by Cox Media Group’s WMMO (unchanged at #3) is by a hefty +1.2 and enables “98.9 – Orlando’s Classic Hits” to cross the eight-share threshold (6.6 – 6.8 – 7.0 – 8.2, 6+). The December 2016 – March 2017 6+-line for iHeartMedia’s WJRR was 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 3.7. With back-to-back one-half share increases, “Orlando’s Rock Station” is 3.7 – 4.2 – 4.7 (6+) and it climbs from ninth to eighth. A one-half share gain is also logged by Cox Media Group rhythmic CHR WPYO (3.7 – 4.2, 6+), sending “Power 95.3” into the top ten (#11 to #10). While the (Spanish contemporary) HD2 channel of co-owned WCFB improves by one-half share and remains at #17 (1.2 – 1.7, 6+), urban AC WCFB “Star 94.5” surrenders nine-tenths (6.4 – 5.5, fifth to sixth, 6+). Within 2.0 – 2.9 range for the 32nd straight time, Community Communications news/talk WMFE (flat at 2.5, 6+), climbs from #14 to #13. Continuing its steady pace, Entravision-owned Spanish tropical WNUE advances for the sixth straight ratings period – this time, by two-tenths to 2.5 (#15 to #13, tied with WMFE). The five previous gains in this WNUE streak were by one-tenth (1.8 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+). On top for the fifth consecutive month, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WRUM “Rumba 100.3” drops six-tenths to 12.2 (6+). The 12.8 it registered in April was the best-ever 6+-share in its PPM-history, eclipsing by two-tenths the previous record (12.6, 6+), set in March. Prior to January, “Rumba” was on top in October, November, and December. A collective +2.7 via four consecutive progressive trends (7.2 – 8.0 – 9.0 – 9.7 – 9.9, 6+), CHR sibling WXXL “XL-106.7” stumbles by -1.1 to 8.8, but carries on in the runner-up slot; April’s 9.9 was its strongest 6+-share since September’s 10.4. As the result of three consecutive decreases (3.6 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.2, 6+), FM news/talk sibling WTKS is a collective -1.4 and moves from #13 to #15. Not only does the University of Central Florida’s WUCF have its consecutive streak of up or flat trends conclude at five (.7 – .8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1, 6+), “89.9 – Jazz & More” exits the top twenty (#18 to #21).

10) Cleveland – The top six May 2017 finishers are separated by nine-tenths of a share. Unchanged at #6, iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM is up or flat for the fifth successive sweep (5.4 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 7.0 – 7.0, 6+), with the Cleveland Indians’ flagship +1.6 in that stretch. Following four straight negative trends that yielded a loss of nearly five shares (10.4 – 6.2 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+), CBS Radio adult contemporary WDOK “Cleveland’s Star 102” picks up three-tenths to 5.8 (6+) and inches up from ninth to eighth. A combined +1.3 in March and April (6.8 – 7.3 – 8.1, 6+), co-owned WNCX relinquishes two-tenths 7.9 (6+). Mirroring what we have detailed in Salt Lake City and Cincinnati (see above), however, a loss isn’t necessarily a bad thing at the front-end of the rankers. In this particular case, “98.5 Cleveland’s Classic Rock” backs into #1 (from #3 in April). Departing the penthouse is iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” (8.4 – 7.7 -.7, 6+), which had been #1 each month this calendar year and now segues to #2. A +.2 in April snapped at three WMJI’s consecutive string of downward moves that accounted for a collective -1.6 (9.8 – 8.5 – 8.3 – 8.2, 6+). Prior to December’s +.1, “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” was off by nearly three full-shares in three straight downward trends (11.5 – 10.8 – 9.6 – 8.6, 6+) and slipped to #2. September’s -.7 ended five straight gains for a cumulative +1.2 (10.3 – 10.7 – 10.9 – 11.3 – 11.4 – 11.5, 6+) and marked the first time in the previous 17 ratings periods that WMJI was not in double-digits (6+). WMJI was +1.1 in “Holiday” 2016. Tied with WMJI at #2 is Radio One urban AC WZAK, which is off by one-half share (8.2 – 7.7, 6+). Counting the May sweep, the five most recent trends for co-owned WGAR “99.5 – Cleveland’s Country” are 7.3 – 7.3 – 7.1 – 7.3 – 7.1 (6+); it is unchanged at #5. Up one-tenth (3.8 – 3.9, 6+), CBS Radio’s WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” is anchored at #12 for the 17th successive sweep. Behind it at #13 for the 14th time in a row is Ideastream’s WCPN, which returns the three-tenths it gained in April (3.1 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+). Prior to a -.2 in February, WCPN was without a decrease for eight consecutive ratings periods netting a combined +1.8 (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.8, 6+).

11) Kansas City – Owing to a +.8 (3.9 – 4.7, 6+), Cumulus Media urban AC KMJK not only has its best 6+-performance since last October’s 4.9, “Magic 107.3 – Kansas City’s Best Mix of R&B” cracks the top ten (#13 to #7). Co-owned classic rock KCFX “The Fox,” which bounced back from a -.8 in March with a full-share gain in April, adds two-tenths (8.5 – 8.7, 6+) and is #1 for the fifth straight time.       Before its +1.0 in April, “The Fox” registered three consecutive declines accounting for a -1.5 (9.0 – 8.5 – 8.3 – 7.5, 6+). On top from May through September and then in December, KCFX had five straight uptrends prior to January’s -.5 for a cumulative +1.8 (7.2 – 7.3 – 7.6 – 7.7 – 8.9 – 9.0, 6+). After six straight down or flat trends in which it eroded by more than three full-shares (7.2 – 7.0 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom alternative KRBZ “96.5 The Buzz” gains four-tenths to 4.4 (6+) and carries on at #10. By regaining the one-tenth it lost April (5.7 – 5.6 – 5.7, 6+), Steel City Media’s KFKF “Country 94.1” progresses from fifth to third. As the result of three consecutive increases prior to April’s -.1 “Country 94.1” was a collective +2.1 (3.6 – 4.1 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+). It entered the December 2016 sweep with four consecutive up or flat trends that accounted for a +1.1 (3.8 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+), but was a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (4.9 – 4.3- 3.6, 6+). This time last month, Entercom’s similarly-formatted WDAF-FM “106.5 The Wolf” improved by four-tenths to 4.0 (6+), thus curtailing its 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.6 (6+) trending. Now, “The Wolf” adds another one-half share (4.5, 6+), shifting from a three-way tie at #10 to #8. It is one-tenth ahead of Steel City Media’s KBEQ “Q-104 – #1 For New Country,” which forfeits half of the six-tenths it gained in April (4.1 – 4.7 – 4.4, -.3, 6+) to tumble from seventh to tenth. Turning to the market’s CHR battle, the format’s 6+-share spikes by -1.2. Specifically, after posting four straight improvements for a nearly two-share cumulative gain (3.8 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+), Steel City Media’s KMXV “Mix 93.3 – Kansas City’s #1 Hit Music Station” falters by seven-tenths to 5.0 (6+) and slips from fourth to fifth. At the same time, Cumulus Media’s KCHZ, which had been without a loss in each of the past six survey periods netting a +1.2 (2.6 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 3.8, 6+) surrenders nearly half that increase (3.3, -.5, 6+) but “95-7 The Vibe – All the Hits” remains at #14. Down one-tenth, University of Missouri-owned news/talk KCUR (flat at #15) is without an increase for the fourth successive time for a -.9 (3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+).

12) Columbus – Steady at #11, Ohio State University’s WOSU adds two-tenths to 3.0 (6+), thus pulling the plug on three straight negative trends that accounted for a -1.1 (3.9 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.8, 6+). Similarly, Radio One urban AC WXMG “Magic 95.5 – Columbus’ Best R&B” (unchanged at #12) is up one-tenth to 2.8 (6+), halting three successive downward sweeps (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+) that yielded a -.9. The game of musical chairs for the top spot, principally between iHeartMedia CHR and country siblings WNCI “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music” and WCOL, continues. Taking its turn this month with back-to-back gains of one-half share (following a -.9 in March) is “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music” (8.9 – 9.4 – 9.9, second to first, 6+). Its one-half share improvement, coupled with a massive -1.3 by WCOL (10.5 – 9.2, 6+), sends the latter to the runner-up slot. With a combined improvement of two full-shares over the January and February sweeps (7.8 – 9.1 – 9.8, 6+), WNCI advanced from second to first in February. Prior to January, however, the CHR outlet was down or flat in each of the previous six surveys for a collective -4.4 (12.2 – 12.1 -11.1 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 7.8, 6+). In calendar year 2016, “Columbus’ Hit Music” was on top in January, February, March, August, September, and December. After regaining the top spot from WNCI in March, WCOL not only repeated in April but added four-tenths (10.1 – 10.5, 6+). WCOL was +2.2 in January; -1.2 in February; +.8 in March; and now -1.3 in May (10.5 – 9.3 – 10.1 – 10.5 – 9.2, 6+). In 7.1 – 7.9 range (6+) the past four ratings periods, Saga Communications’ WLVQ “Q-96 Iconic Rock” (third to fifth) spirals by -1.2 to 6.1, its lowest 6+-share since last October’s 5.5. Unlisted for the fifth straight month is Radio One gospel WJYD “Joy 107.1” (1.0, #15, “Holiday” 2016, 6+).

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

| May 24, 2017

Senators Request Hearing on the State of the News Media. As reported at Multichannel.com, two U.S. senators – Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Tom Udall (D-NM) – have written to Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) and Ranking Member Bill Nelson (D-FL) requesting a hearing on the state of the news media.  The two also reached out to the FCC requesting information on the May 18 incident in which a reporter was roughly handled by a security guard for trying to ask an FCC commissioner a question after a public meeting.  The letter to Chairman Thune says, in part, “The journalism industry is grappling with a changing media landscape: from the changing dynamics of how people access news, to changing financial calculations, to the proliferation of so-called ‘fake news’ (both actual disinformation campaigns and the use of the term to slander legitimate news reporting), to a challenging relationship between news media and the Executive branch.  There have been a series of recent incidents in which hostility has been exercised against members of the press by members of the Administration, including just last week when a reporter was allegedly manhandled and threatened by security guards after a news conference at the Federal Communications Commission headquarters.”  The last time the Commerce Committee held a hearing on the state of the media was 2009.

PPM Analysis: Public News/Talk. Of all the subgenres of spoken-word talk radio, public radio news/talk appears to have benefitted the most from the election of Donald Trump, according to data from Nielsen Audio’s PPM surveys.  Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents this analysis of the performances of public news/talk stations based on data from the April 2017 PPM survey.  Kinosian notes, “Well over half the stations showing year-to-year (6+) growth do so by at least one full share, including Boston University’s WBUR (2.4 – 4.3, +1.9, 6+), which jumps by nine rankers (#17 to #8).”  Additionally, nine public news/talk stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets during the April survey.  See the whole report here.

Rob Whiteside Named Digital PD for iHeartMedia’s Virginia/Carolina Region. This is an internal move as iHeartMedia names Rob Whiteside digital program director for its Virginia/Carolina Region.  He’s been serving as digital operations director for the company’s Central Region.  In this new position, Whiteside’s responsibilities will include growing digital resources and reach for the region’s 54 radio station brands, as well as day-to-day digital programming for the Raleigh market.  Whiteside and his team “will work closely with the programming and sales departments to deliver key messages on digital platforms, including station and on-air personality websites, mobile and social media.”

Kuby Confirms Departure from WABC, New York a Budget Move.  As TALKERS magazine speculated yesterday, the firing of Ron Kuby from WABC, New York’s “Curtis & Kuby” show was financially motivated.  Kuby issued a statement that reads, in part, “Yesterday I was informed by WABC management, after my show, that I had just done my last show. Those of you who know the business know this is a standard (if unpleasant) way of discharging people.  I was told that the reason was budgetary, and I no reason to doubt that explanation.  I had already made the decision that this year would be my last, and I informed management in December.  The election of Trump and the threats he poses to civil rights and liberties requires more of me than being a part-time lawyer. I feel a moral compulsion to be the best and hardest working advocate I can be, using the skills I have been taught for over three decades.  Thanks to WABC management for giving me the opportunity that I have (mostly) enjoyed for the past three 1/2 years.”

Westwood One Brings Aboard Sales Pros Lang and Johnston. Two radio biz sales pros are joining Westwood One as director, national partnerships.  Delanne Lang was most recently with AdLarge as a national accounts manager.  She’ll be based in New York and will report to EVP of Northeast sales Ron RussoDiane Johnston comes to WW1 from Premiere Networks.  She’ll be based in Detroit and report to EVP of Midwest sales Doug Johnston.

TALKERS News Notes. Dallas sports talkers “The Musers” – George Dunham, Craig Miller and Gordon Keith – heard on Cumulus Media’s KTCK-AM/FM “Sportsradio 1310/96.7 FM The Ticket” – interviewed President George W. Bush on Monday’s program broadcast live from the Warrior Open at the Prestonwood Golf Club in Dallas.   The Warrior Open is a competitive golf tournament for America’s wounded warriors established by the Bush Institute in 2011 that honors U.S. service members and heralds the organizations that support men and women of the U.S. military and their families…..Tomorrow (5/25), WGN, Chicago will induct 10 honorees into the WGN Radio Walk of Fame.  The induction ceremony will be broadcast live with hosts Wendy Snyder and Steve Bertrand.  The inductees – three sports legends, four renowned traffic reporters, one story chaser and two present-day voices, consist of: Leonard Baldy, Lou Boudreau, Nick Digilio, Lincoln Hampton, Vince Lloyd, Mike Mathis, Anne Maxfield, Judy Pielach, Jack Rosenberg and Larry Schreiner.

TALKERS Institutes New Annual Award to Recognize College Radio Broadcasters.  The editorial board of TALKERS magazine has instituted a new annual award designed to shed light on the burgeoning world of college radio and emphasize the important role it plays in providing 21st century broadcasting with fresh talent and management prospects.  The award is titled “The Alan Colmes Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievements by a College Radio Broadcaster” – named after the late radio and TV talk personality Alan Colmes who passed away earlier this year.  Colmes was a student at Hofstra University in the late 1960s and is a charter inductee in the school’s WRHU Hall of Fame.  WRHU-FM/WRHU.org recently received the NAB Marconi Award as Best College Radio Station in the nation and is widely recognized by leading authorities as one of the leading outlets in American college radio year after year.  The first recipient of this award (also dubbed TALKERS “College Radio Broadcaster of the Year”) is Hofstra University student Maria Santana.  Santana is a sophomore who, as student station manager of WRHU, manages a staff of 277 at the radio station.  She hosts and produces a morning drive, magazine-style talk show and a weekly half-hour women’s topics talk show.  She also co-hosted a half-hour special talk show on education during Debate 2016 and produces news packages for the station’s live, local half-hour newscast, “Newsline.”  Her on-air work was recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists Press Club’s Long Island Chapter.  She earned the Jeffrey C. Kraus Endowed Radio Award for her leadership skills.  Her stellar work ethic helped her emerge from over 110 other staffers to be named WRHU rookie of the year in 2016.  Hofstra Entertainment Access TV named Santana its assistant general manager.  She currently holds the two highest student media leadership positions at Hofstra in both its radio and TV divisions.  WRHU operations manager John T. Mullen describes Maria Santana as “a true example of a young, converged media executive with a bright future.”  Maria Santana will be presented the award at TALKERS 2017: A New Era on Friday, June 2 in New York.

Joe Pyne the Subject of Smithsonian Magazine Piece. A story published in Smithsonian Magazine titled, “Joe Pyne Was America’s First Shock Jock,” tells the story of the man who set the stage for what would become the contemporary television and radio talk show that featured heated arguments led by an aggressive, name-calling host.  Joe Pyne’s vituperative style comes off as campy in this day and age, but most media historians agree that Pyne was the first in-your-face, issues-oriented conservative talk show host.  But more interesting to talk radio fans and industry insiders is the work being done by a man named Charles Churchman.  He’s currently attempting to digitally archive more than 100 episodes of the old Joe Pyne television show.  The shows were recorded on 2-inch videotape that is quickly decaying from age.  For a summary of Pyne’s career, a look at who was influenced by him, and the story of the preservation of the TV show tapes, read the Smithsonian piece here.

Manchester Terror Bombing, Trump Visits The Vatican, the Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump Budget Proposal, Philippines Martial Law, Seth Rich Controversy, Roger Moore Dead at 89, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/23). The aftermath of the Manchester terror bombing; President Donald Trump visits Pope Francis on his international tour; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia; the Trump administration’s federal budget proposal; Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s martial law order and his praise from President Trump; controversy over theories that murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich leaked information to Wikileaks; actor Roger Moore dies at the age of 89; and MLB, NBA, and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS magazine Publishes 2017 Heavy Hundred. The 2017 edition of TALKERS magazine’s “100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America” – known as the “Heavy Hundred” – has been published.  This 23rd edition of the Heavy Hundred consists of a ranking of radio talk show hosts by the editors of TALKERS magazine based on a number of hard and soft factors, including: ratings, revenue, courage, effort, impact, longevity, potential, recognition, service, talent, and uniqueness.  Regular TALKERS readers and talk radio aficionados will recognize a number of personalities who are perennial members of the list.  But there are some newcomers as well as some hosts who’d made the list in years past and are making a return.  Yes, this list – like many that are created by editors of industry publications – is subjective to some degree or another.  It will raise questions as to who is on the list, who is not, and where those on the list are ranked.  But, that’s part of the fun of it!  Regardless, TALKERS editors take this project very seriously and wish to congratulate all the members of the 2017 TALKERS Heavy Hundred.  See it here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Chicago, CBS RADIO’s triple A WXRT officially names John Farneda music director.  He’s been serving in the post in the interim since early last month, succeeding Kelly Ransford after she moved to iHeartMedia Denver.  This is a return to WXRT for Farneda who worked at the station from 1983 through 2014 – the last 13 years as music director.  WXRT OM/PD Greg Solk says, “Christmas has come early to WXRT.  John’s rich history here and his unequalled knowledge of the Chicago rock market make him the perfect programming partner.  John is WXRT.”…..At Mountain Dog Media’s WFON, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin “107.1 The Bull,” afternoon personality Big Al moves to morning drive to co-host with incumbent morning jock Stef Z for the newly renamed “The Morning Radio Rodeo” show…..Cumulus Media’s New York hot AC WPLJ is presenting the Pepsi Summer Kick Off at Jenkinson’s Pavilion in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey this Friday (5/26).  The event will feature live performances from Andy Grammer, The Band Perry, LP and Wrabel.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

| May 23, 2017

Ron Kuby Exits WABC, New York.  So far, there’s no explanation from Cumulus Media about the sudden departure of Ron Kuby from the Curtis & Kuby midday show on news/talk WABC, New York.  The WABC website indicates Curtis Sliwa is staying on to host the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show solo and it appears likely that Kuby’s departure is the result of budget cuts.  Sliwa and Kuby returned to WABC after a six-year absence back in 2014.  The liberal Kuby and conservative Sliwa had worked together successfully at WABC from 2000 until 2008 when their show was canceled.  Sliwa hosted a solo show at Salem’s crosstown WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” for a number of years between 2008 and 2014.

Clark Howard Suffers Near-Fatal Medical Episode.  Nationally syndicated consumer issues talk host Clark Howard tells WSB-TV, Atlanta that his doctors have a working theory that the antibiotic ciprofloxacin combined with his cholesterol medication may have been responsible for the life-threatening illness he recently suffered. Howard was prescribed the antibiotic as a precautionary measure to ward off infection after a routine biopsy to monitor his prostate cancer.  However, days later he was admitted to the hospital and ultimately diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis – and affliction that he says results in your muscles basically eating themselves.  Doctors flushed his system with IVs and he’s recuperated.

Three Fox News Staffers File Discrimination Suits.  Responding to the suits filed in District Court in New York, Fox News says, “We believe these latest claims are without legal basis and look forward to proving that Fox News at all times has acted appropriately, and lawfully, in connection with these matters.”  The suits were filed by the New York employment law firm Wigdor LLP on behalf of claimants Kathleen Lee, currently a shift editor at Fox News Radio, former accounts payable coordinator Naima Farrow, and former accounts receivables specialist Vidya Mann.  Lee claims that she suffered retaliation after reporting sexual harassment. Farrow alleges she was fired after notifying her supervisor that she was pregnant.  And Mann – who was not a full-time staffer – says she was let go after having her baby.  You can see the Bloomberg account here.

Joe Madison Re-Ups with SiriusXM. Talk radio pro Joe Madison is staying on with SiriusXM after signing a new, multi-year contract to continue hosting the 6:00 am to 10:00 am ET program on the satcaster’s Urban View channel.  SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein comments, “Joe is the foundation of our Urban View channel, a tireless campaigner for social change and one of the best interviewers working in radio today.  We are thrilled to have him exclusively on SiriusXM and look forward to many more years of great radio with Joe.”

Alpha Media Closes on Purchase of WFTL and WMEN in West Palm Beach.  The company had been operating news/talk WFTL and sports talk WMEN in the West Palm Beach market under an LMA from ACM JCE IV B LLC for almost two years.  Earlier this year, Alpha Media agreed to purchase the stations for $2 million.  The stations were acquired by ACM JCE IV B LLC from the bankruptcy restructuring of James Crystal Enterprises in 2013.  Alpha Media chairman Larry Wilson states, “We are delighted to add WFTL and WMEN to our dynamic group of stations in South Florida.  Elizabeth Hamma and her outstanding team are the best in the business and this acquisition represents our confidence in their ability to continue to dominate the Palm Beach market.”  Alpha also operates hot AC WRMF, AC WEAT “Sunny 107.9,” country WIRK, urban contemporary WMBX “X102.3,” and hip hop W242CI “Beatz 96.3.”

TALKERS News Notes. It’s a milestone for Compass Media Networks’ “Mike Lupica Podcast” as it passes the one million download mark.  The longtime New York sports writer and media figure was recently nominated for a 2017 Webby Award for Best Sports Podcast.  Lupica comments, “Doing this podcast has been even more fun than I thought it would be.  We’re a year in and already we’ve had really insightful conversations with some of the biggest names in sports, media and politics.”…..Edison Research announces it appoints Dr. Nino Japaridze to the new role of vice president for public affairs research.  Japaridze will be based in Washington to lead Edison’s public affairs and international research practice.  She more than 20 years of experience in the fields of public affairs and international research, most recently as vice president of public affairs at Ipsos North America where she led global media research and political risk practice areas and was responsible for partnering with technology-based companies to extend research capabilities across digital platforms…..WSGW, Saginaw, Michigan news director Ann Williams is named president of Michigan Associated Press Media Editors.  Williams was installed at the APME banquet in Lansing last month.  At the same event, the Alpha Media station was honored with three first place awards by the organization for Best Sportscast, Best Digital Presence, and Best Use of Photography.  WSGW program director Dave Maurer comments, “We are so proud of Ann.  She has done an outstanding job with her great attention to detail and her mentoring skills in our news department and now she will share her talents on a statewide basis in this top leadership position.”…..Capitol Broadcasting’s WCMC-FM, Raleigh “99.9 The Fan” is hosting its 3rd Annual Sports Radio Open golf tournament on June 20 to benefit the Helene Foundation, which provides immediate support for mothers fighting cancer to positively impact their families.

New York Festivals Announces Finalists for International Radio Program Awards. The finalists have been announced for The New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards for 2017.  The Grand Jury selected 336 finalists from entries submitted from 32 countries across the globe.  Entries were judged on production values, organization, presentation of information, creativity and use of the medium.  All entries achieving finalist status proceed to the medal round.  Entries from the U.S. moving on to the medal round come from companies including: ABC Radio Network, CBS RADIO Boston, ESPN, iHeartMedia, SiriusXM, Westwood One, and more.  The World’s Best Radio Programs will be announced at the 2017 awards ceremony on Monday June 19 Manhattan Penthouse in New York City.  See all the finalists here.

Trump in the Middle East, Trump Budget Proposal, British Concert Bombing, Trump-Russia Investigation, Ford CEO Fired, NC Redistricting Ruling, Confederate Monuments Removal, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/22). President Donald Trump’s visits to Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Palestinian territory; President Trump’s budget proposal and GOP leaders’ reactions; the deadly terror attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England; the investigation into possible links between Trump campaign operatives and Russia; Ford fires CEO Mark Fields and installs Jim Hackett; SCOTUS throws out North Carolina redistricting ruling it was based on racial gerrymandering; the tensions in the South over the removal of Confederate monuments; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Beasley Media Group Announces New Format Captains. Four Beasley Media Group programmers are adding format captain to their business cards.  The company is promoting WMMR-FM and WMGK-FM, Philadelphia program director Bill Weston to format captain for rock; Boston OM and WMJX-FM and WBQT-FM PD Cadillac Jack to format captain for CHR and AC; Las Vegas OM and KOAS-FM and KVGS-FM PD John Candelaria to format captain for urban; and WSOC-FM and WBCN-FM, Charlotte OM and PD DJ Stout to format captain for country.  Beasley EVP of programming Justin Chase, “Not only will these programmers offer additional insight and assistance for our other PDs, they will also create more synergy and leverage in order to better compete in the markets we serve.  We feel this team, with its unique strengths, will provide incredible support when situations arise.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. WLNK, Charlotte afternoon duo Matt Harris and Ramona Holloway sign a new, multi-year contract to remain with Entercom Charlotte’s hot AC station.  Entercom Charlotte VP and market manager Matt Hanlon states, “Matt and Ramona’s commitment to our listeners and the community set them apart from any other afternoon entertainment in Charlotte.  That is precisely why they continue to be the dominant ratings leader for WLNK-FM.  Their commitment to community, brilliant entertainment and passion for our listeners make them an ideal program for the culture we foster at Entercom Communications.”…..iHeartMedia Nashville is bringing market legend Gerry House back to the station to serve as its official voice talent for classic country W252CM “The BIG Legend at 98.3,” effective May 26.  House says, “The truth is, the good times, the spirit and the hits we played back when the House Foundation morning show was on the air will be on The BIG Legend at 98.3.”  House was heard on WSIX-FM, Nashville from 1983 to 2010…..Radio pro Jay Philpott is making a move within Cumulus Media to move from rock WNNX, Atlanta “Rock 100.5” to his hometown of Minneapolis to join rock KQRS “Q92” to host the evening show.  Philpott says he’ll exit WNNX on June 2 and start at KQRS on June 12.  He will continue to host his national show on the Westwood One network.….Myra Ellison announces she’s leaving her director of promotions, marketing & web gig at Entercom’s Madison cluster due to health issues…..Westwood One is kicking off the summer season with two exclusive Memorial Day Weekend music specials.  One is called “Get Out and Play” and is hosted by Ed Sheeran.  It celebrates the beginning of summer with four hours of music, information on this summer’s hottest tours, plus talk about the beach, summer vacation spots and new box office releases.  “Memorial Day Mania” is hosted by Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy and “ignites the summer season with tour and summer music festival talk, new music coming out this summer, road trips, and more.”

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

| April 11, 2017

O’Heron Rises to SVP, Live Entertainment & Events for iHeartMedia. Prior to his new position, Dennis O’Heron was iHeartMedia’s national event brand manager for national programming in addition to being the VP of marketing for the iHeartMedia Boston cluster.  The company says he’s been “an instrumental contributor to many of iHeartMedia’s marquee events for several years, including working very closely with us on the very first iHeartRadio Music Festival in 2011.”  Now, O’Heron joins the company’s national programming group as the SVP, Live Entertainment & Events.  iHM adds, “Dennis brings many years of experience and has a proven track record in the Boston market, including being part of the team that created the initial idea of a multi-band radio show at ‘KISS 108,’ which eventually led to the inception of the Jingle Ball concerts and many others.  Dennis is already a well-respected leader and his extensive programming, event planning, digital and marketing experience make him the perfect person for this critical role.”  He reports to national programming group president Tom Poleman.

Nielsen Seeks Dismissal of Bubba Counterclaim.  In a motion filed in District Court in Tampa, Nielsen is asking the court to dismiss the counterclaim filed against it and Cox Media Group by Bubba the Love Sponge Clem, arguing that it’s a “classic shotgun pleading.”  Bubba Clem’s counterclaim alleged that Nielsen and Cox Media Group conspired to entrap Bubba into trying to manipulate Nielsen’s PPM panel in the Tampa market with the help of a “double agent” panelist.  Nielsen is suing Bubba Clem for $1 million, claiming previous attempts to tamper with the Tampa PPM panel caused it to suffer damages.  Nielsen states that Bubba’s counterclaim is merely “wild and far-fetched accusations” and that it should be dismissed because it “fails to provide any plausible claim for relief under the standards the U.S. Supreme Court.”

WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte Commemorates 95 Years on Air with Inductions into Station Hall of Fame. On Monday (4/10), Entercom’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte celebrated the heritage station’s 95th anniversary with the airing of special programming highlighting important moments in the station’s history, as well as inducting three broadcasters – Ray Gooding, Henry Boggan and John Hancock into the WBT Hall of Fame.  Hancock currently is the station’s afternoon drive personality.  He joined the station in 1990.  WBT calls him a “passionate community leader” who “raises awareness and funds for community issues through his annual Pancake Breakfast and Bike Drive events as well as his continued partnership with the Kid’s First Charity.”  Gooding was one of the first African American on-air personalities in Charlotte.  He began his career in 1960 and joined WBT 1110 AM in 1971 as the host of the “The Sunday Night Hall of Fame.”  He also served as WBT’s director of public affairs for more than 10 years.  Boggan joined WBT in 1979 as the host of the nighttime talk show, “Hello Henry,” that featured celebrities and special guests as well as listeners from the local community and became a staple in the city of Charlotte.  His program was on air for 17 years until Boggan’s retirement in 1996.  Check out the station’s 95th anniversary tribute here.

‘Pubs and Politics’ Live on 77WABC from The Cutting Room.  Pictured above, WABC, New York personality Rita Cosby hosts the sold-out “Pubs and Politics” live broadcast event from The Cutting Room in Midtown Manhattan on April 6.  The “lively discussion” by WABC talk show hosts revolved around the Trump Administration’s first 100 days.  Pictured (from l-r) are: Curtis Sliwa, Lionel, Ron Kuby, Rita Cosby, Sid Rosenberg, and Bernard McGuirk.

KFI, Los Angeles Host Dr. Wendy Walsh Goes Public with Bill O’Reilly Claim. Southern California psychologist, professor and radio host Dr. Wendy Walsh went public on April 3 with her claim of an inappropriate advance by embattled FOX News Channel personality Bill O’Reilly.  Walsh hosts an eponymous 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm program on Sundays on iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles.  She’s billed as a “thought leader on relationships and the authority on love, sex and romantic relationships.”  She and her attorney revealed her claim that during dinner in a Los Angeles restaurant in 2013, O’Reilly invited her to his hotel room.  Walsh says she assumed the dinner meeting was about her segment on his “The O’Reilly Factor” and the possibility of a great role with FOX.  After she turned down O’Reilly’s offer, her appearances on O’Reilly’s show ended.  FOX has stated that the segment was dropped by O’Reilly because of poor ratings.  Read the Washington Post account here.

TALKERS News Notes.  KIRO-AM, Seattle “710 ESPN” sports talk host (and former Seahawks and University of Washington quarterback) Brock Huard and Bonneville Seattle Media Group are launching a new, original podcast, “Above and Beyond – The Intersection of Faith and Sports.”  The first episode drops today (4/11) featuring former Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.  Huard says, “I am thrilled to get to share my life and faith in a way I never have before, through the medium of podcasts, and even more so through relationships that have shaped my journey.  Through my years as an athlete, in real estate and now in the media world I have always thirsted for deep rooted relationships.  These podcasts will dig into those encounters with athletes like you’ve never heard before.  I’m grateful for the support I’ve received from both Bonneville and Compassion International.”…..WTMJ, Milwaukee talk show host Jeff Wagner is heading up the station’s “Jeff Wagner Insight 2017” event on April 19 at Country Springs Hotel.  Special guests are expected to include Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel and others.  Wagner says, “Insight 2017 is my opportunity to go one-on-one with the state’s leaders to get past the headlines and find out what is really going on in Wisconsin.”  WTMJ will broadcast the entire three-hour event the following day…..Oink Ink announces the winner of its 18th annual Dead Radio Contest – the annual contest that “aims to give a second chance to great radio scripts that clients deemed too risqué, too zany or were simply overlooked.”  This year’s winning submission from Emmanuel Torres, an art director at Cundari’s Toronto offices, is a 60-second spot called “PUSH” for client fixauto.com.  Interestingly, Torres had the idea for the script seven years ago in his first advertising class in college.  Through the years, he has pitched it numerous times but was never able to convince a client to take such an edgy approach.  Oink Ink co-founder Dan Price comments, “Emmanuel’s story – how he actually wrote his script while at ad school – is exactly what this contest is all about.  We’re thrilled to have been able to rescue 18 spots that belonged on the air but for various reasons hadn’t been given the chance.”  See Oink Ink here…..Talk host Patzi Gil just celebrated the 2nd anniversary of her book-related radio show “Joy on Paper” (www.radio-joyonpaper.com) that originally launched on WTAN, Clearwater, Florida.  The program will soon be featured on the Starcom Radio Network in more than 40 markets across the country.  Gil says she expects the show to clear on more than 100 stations by the end of the year.
Syria-Russia Alliance/U.S. Syria Strikes, North Korea Nuclear Program, United Passenger Removal Video, San Bernardino School Shooting, New York’s Free College Plan, FOX News-Bill O’Reilly Scandal, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/10). The alliance between Vladimir Putin and Bashar al Assad and the responses to the U.S. strikes on a Syrian air base; the movement of U.S. warships near the Korean peninsula in response to North Korea’s nuclear missile program; the viral video of a passenger being pulled off a United Airlines flight; a murder suicide at a San Bernardino elementary school that also claimed the life of a student; analysis of the plan by the state of New York to offer tuition-free college to qualifying families; the allegations by several women of sexual harassment by FOX News Channel star Bill O’Reilly; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Dayton radio personality Gina Ferraro moves from iHeartMedia’s hot AC WMMX “MIX 107.7,” where she was part of the morning show, to sister CHR WCHD “Channel 999” to serve as program director and afternoon drive host…..iHeartMedia alternative rock WRFF “Radio 104.5” is again presenting its popular Summer Block Parties starting Sunday, June 18 at Festival Pier featuring live performances by The Revivalists, Missio, July Talk, Irontom, and The Vital Stats.  The series of Block Parties continues on June 18, July 23 and August 20 and culminates with Radio 104.5’s new “Endless Summer Show” at XFINITY Live! on September 16 with artists TBA…..Alpha Media rocker WIIL, Waukegan-Kenosha raised a total of $127,385 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation during the station’s 10th annual fundraising event held March 4 at The Legendary Brat Stop in Kenosha.  The “Tom and Emily Morning Show” broadcast live, during which host Tom Kief shaved his head and personally raised almost $34,000.  St. Baldrick’s is a volunteer-powered charity that funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization except the U.S. Government.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

| March 29, 2017

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of sports talk stations based on data from the February 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  The period of time between the Super Bowl and the start of the MLB season is traditionally soft for sports talkers.  The NHL, NBA and college hoops haven’t historically provided the same level of fan attraction to sports talk radio as have football and baseball.  This year seems no different.  Kinosian notes that “roughly three of every four stations (76%) on this sports panel are down January 2017 – February 2017; only 16% are up; and the remaining 8% of the sample is flat (6+).”  However, comparing February of 2016 to February of this year, “just over six of 10 stations from our eligible sports sample are down year-to-year (62%, 6+) while 27% improve; the remaining 11% are steady.”  See the entire analysis here.

Lyons Joins Cumulus Appleton-Oshkosh.  At its five-station cluster in the Appleton-Oshkosh, Wisconsin market, Cumulus Media names Jeff Lyons promotions/marketing director.  Lyons comes to Cumulus from iHeartMedia’s Modesto, California station group where he held a similar position.  Cumulus Appleton-Oshkosh operations manager Guy Dark comments, “Jeff’s experience in various markets made him an easy choice to fill our promotions slot.  Coming from California, he’ll need to invest in some Badgers and Packers winter gear!”  In the market, Cumulus operates news/talk WOSH-AM, classic hits WVBO, alternative WWWX “96.9 The Fox,” country WPKR “NASH 99.5,” and standards WNAM.

TALKERS News Notes.  Former alternative KBZT, San Diego morning personality Chris Cantore is launching his podcasting career after being let go from the Entercom station – along with former partner Steven Woods.  Via his new company YEW Media, Cantore and co-owner Chris Cote are seeking funding as they continue to produce podcasts.  You can read a piece about his plans to grow from a local, San Diego platform to a national one in the San Diego Union Tribune here…..TVWeek is reporting that Fox News Channel made cable news history in the first quarter of 2017.  “Delivering its most-watched quarter ever in total day viewers, FNC averaged 1.7 million viewers (up 27%) and 359,000 (up 32%) in the 25-54 demo.  In primetime, FNC marked its second highest-rated quarter with 2.8 million total viewers (up 20%) and 576,000 (up 19%) in the 25-54 demo.  For the quarter, FNC dominated cable news competition in both primetime and total day combined in total viewers.  This quarter, FNC claimed 13 of the top 15 cable news programs in total viewers and eight out of the top 10 in the 25-54 demo. Additionally, all FNC programs were up double-digits in both viewers and demo compared to the same quarter last year.  Read more about it here.

Philly Talk Radio Legend Mary Mason’s Grandson to Be Arraigned on Charges Related to Theft of Her Estate.  Longtime WHAT, Philadelphia talk show host Mary Mason – a legend to the city’s urban radio audience – is currently wheelchair-bound and battling dementia.  Now, the 86-year-old’s grandson, Calvin Steven Turner IV, is being charged with theft relative to the disappearance of her estate.  Philly.com reports that authorities are alleging that Turner squandered $843,000 of Mason’s savings and investments.  David A. Jaskowiak, the lawyer appointed last year to handle Mason’s finances, tells Philly.com, “Suffice it to say that had she had the resources she had when she retired without any dissipation by her grandson, she would have more than ample resources to afford her good care for the rest of her life.”  Jaskowiak was able to recover $62,000 of Mason’s money.  Read Jenice Armstrong’s column here.

GOP to Try Again on Health Care Bill, Trump Campaign-Russia Investigation, O’Reilly’s Maxine Waters Comment, Trump Reverses Obama Energy Policies, Gorsuch SCOTUS Nomination, U.S. Airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, Congress Nixes Internet Privacy Regs, and NFL League Meetings Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/28).  Reports that the GOP will begin working on a new health care bill sooner rather than later; the investigation into connections between Trump campaign personnel and Russian agents; Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly apologizes for criticizing Rep. Maxine Waters’ appearance; President Trump announces his directive reversing Obama Administration energy policies; speculation about whether the Democrats will filibuster the Neil Gorsuch SCOTUS nomination; claims that U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria have been causing civilian casualties; Congress votes to eliminate FCC regulations that limit Internet providers’ abilities to share users habits and personal information; and this week’s NFL league meetings in Phoenix were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Reform Party Forum at Cumulus Media’s Stage 17.  Pictured here at Cumulus Media’s Stage 17 at 2 Penn Plaza in New York City in Monday (3/27) is WABC, New York personality Curtis Sliwa (on stage, far left) hosting the Reform Party Mayoral Candidate Forum.  On stage (from l-r) are NYC mayoral hopefuls Sal Albanese, Michael Faulkner, Rocky De La Fuente, Mike Tolkin, Kevin Coenen, and Bo Dietl.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb states, “Our Stage 17 space above Madison Square Garden takes these important conversations and makes them must-see events.  Curtis got the NYC Mayoral Election heated up like no one else can.” Photo: Dan Hirshl

WGN, Chicago Names 2017 ‘Walk of Fame’ Honorees.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Tribune’s news/talk WGN, Chicago is announcing this year’s honorees who will join its “Walk of Fame.”  They are: late, legendary WGN sportscasters Lou Boudreau and Vince Lloyd, current overnight personality Nick Digilio, news anchor Judy Pielach, sports producer Jack Rosenberg, crime reporter Larry Schreiner (posthumously), and traffic reporters Leonard Baldy (posthumously), Lincoln Hampton, Mike Mathis and Anne Maxfield.  The Walk of Fame honors WGN staffers both past and present with bronze plaques in front of the Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue.  This year’s ceremony takes place live on WGN at 10:00 am on May 25.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Dallas adult contemporary KDGE “Star 102.1” announces it is bringing Leigh Ann Adam aboard to host the morning drive program, effective April 3.  The morning radio pro most recently was with CBS RADIO’s crosstown CHR KVIL, serving for 11 years.  About her new gig with iHeartMedia, Adam says, “I love what I do and I’m so excited to wake up with ‘Star 102.1’ and the DFW community.  Having the opportunity to host mornings is amazing and I can’t wait to put on my new headphones and get started!”  During her career, Adam worked at KBIG, Los Angeles co-hosting mornings with Charlie Tuna…..Wilkes-Barre/Scranton alternative WFUZ tweaks its format – adding more new alternative music and trimming the gold from its library – and re-brands from the old “Fuzz 92.1” to “ALT 92.1.”  The Times-Shamrock alt rock station first launched in 2010…..Townsquare Media’s country KATP, Amarillo, Texas re-brands, dropping its “BLAKE FM” moniker and adopting the “101.9 The Bull” handle.  Program director and afternoon personality Braden Smith is adding Premiere’s Bobby Bones as the morning show…..WKTU, New York unveils the lineup of its annual ultimate summer dance party concert event, “KTUphoria 2017.”  The June 3 show at Jones Beach Theater will feature: Backstreet Boys, Fifth Harmony, Nicky Jam, Jason Derulo, Shaggy, Daya, and Craig David.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

| January 10, 2017

Matt Smith to Lead Philly Station Group’s Sales Efforts for Beasley.  Sales and management pro Matt Smith moves up from Beasley Media Group’s Wilmington, Delaware operations, where he was market manager, to Philadelphia where he’s now vice president and general sales manager.  In Philly, Beasley operates sports talkersmithmatt wpen-fmWPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic,” WTEL-AM “610 M Sports,” and brokered/ethnic WWDB-AM.  Smith says, “I’m a proud Philadelphia sports fan, and a ‘97.5 The Fanatic’ P1!  I’m thrilled to be back in the most passionate sports town in America leading a top sales team, and working with some of the top professional and collegiate sports brands in the country.”   Philly market manager Joe Bell states, “I’m very impressed with the enthusiasm and management capabilities of Matt Smith.  His history with Beasley has been stellar and he will be instrumental in the continued growth of Beasley’s Philadelphia cluster!”

Chad Benson Show Added to KSTE, Sacramento in Middays.  The program is syndicated nationally bybensonchad Radio America and announces it is now airing in the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot at iHeartMedia news/talker KSTE, Sacramento “Talk 650” KSTE.  KSTE program director Bill White says of the Chad Benson show, “Chad’s experience abroad and here at home, along with his Sacramento roots, makes him a great addition to the Talk 650 KSTE lineup.”  Radio America COO Mike Paradiso adds, “Chad is the next generation of talk and the perfect fit following ‘Armstrong and Getty’ on ‘Talk 650’ KSTE.  We’re excited to be working with iHeart’s great team in Sacramento.”

Townsquare Appoints Andy Meyer to New Video Content Position.  The new title television and digital media pro Andy Meyer has is vice president/original programming and head of video for Townsquare Media.  The company says that in this role, Meyer will oversee its video programming on all digital platforms, as well as for meyerandylinear TV and branded entertainment.  Townsquare senior vice president of digital Jared Willig says, “We are thrilled that Andy has joined Townsquare to lead video programming and production.  Andy’s executive experience, his creativity as a producer, and his proven track record in creating compelling programming will enable us to grow our already thriving slate of original video franchises.”  In addition to radio stations, Townsquare operates the music and entertainment brands, XXL, Taste of Country, Loudwire, Ultimate Classic Rock, ComicsAlliance, PopCrush, Diffuser, and ScreenCrush, plus numerous live events including, “Mountain Jam,” “Taste of Country Music Festival,” and We Fest.”

DGital Media Partners to Launch ‘Pod Save America.’  On-demand entertainment creator DGital Media is partnering with actor and filmmaker Jon Favreau, former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett, former Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor, and former Obama senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer to launch a new podcast titled “Podpodsaveamerica Save America.”  DGital Media says, “The twice-weekly show brings together some of the most influential voices in politics, journalism and entertainment for a freewheeling conversation designed to inform and inspire listeners to become more active in the political process.”  DGital Media chief content officer Chris Corcoran adds, “Talent of this level, both in their influence on the world of politics combined with their skillful and entertaining style of communicating with each other, is rare.  There is probably no better time in American history to have informed, fun and intelligent conversation around the world of politics, and this series will consistently raise the bar and deliver all of that and more.  DGital Media is honored to be partnering with this unmatched team and compelling series.”

CBS RADIO News Now on Amazon’s Alexa.  The company says it’s the first commercial news network to make its product available via Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service.  CBS Radio News listeners are now able to hear full five-minute newscasts and one-minute news briefs on all Alexa-enabled devices such as the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Tap and Amazon Fire TV.  Listeners can get the latest news updated hourly through the Flash Briefing on those devices.  By going to the settings menu on the Amazon Alexa app and selecting Flash Briefing, listeners will be able to activate both five-minute newscasts and shorter one-minute news briefs to play on demand.

Golden Globes Anti-Trump Speeches, Russian Hacking Allegations, Jeff Sessions AG Hearings, GOP ObamaCare Plans, Trump Names Kushner to WH Post, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/9/).  The controversy over Meryl Streep’s and other celebrities’ anti-Trump speeches at Sunday’s Golden Globes Awards; the ongoing talk of allegations Russia hacked the DNC’s emails and President-Elect Donald Trump’s disagreement with the intelligence community on the matter; anticipation of today’s confirmation hearings for attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions; the Trump Administration’s and the GOP’s plans to overhaul the Affordable Care Act; Trumps names son-in-law Jared Kushner to White House staff, raising questions about violation of the anti-nepotism law; and the weekend’s NFL playoff games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods.  WABC, New York talk show host Curtis Sliwa announced to his audience on the “Drive at Five”sliwacurtis show on the Cumulus Media news/talk station that he’s re-upped with the station for another two years.  He dedicated his announcement to his late hero and mentor, legendary New York talk host Bob Grant…..Las Vegas-based GCN-syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs celebrated her 8th year on the air as a radio talk personality on Monday, January 9…..ESPN Audio is launching a weekly podcast titled, “Adam Schefter’s Know Them from Adam” that’s an interview series featuring long-form conversations with individuals who have a connection to pro football.  ESPN says the show will “touch upon football topics and go much deeper, exploring life lessons, philosophies, what motivates the interview subjects, and more.”  His first guest is Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones…..Audio sales firm Skyview Networks promoted three of its national audio sales managers to vice president positions.  Those affected are: Lloyd Hyman, Kim Ball and Karen Henderson.   Skyview specializes in play-by-play sports and ABC Radio sales.  The company says the three will be given heavy responsibilities in their new roles…..Pubcaster WBUR, Boston – the markets NPR news station – names Yasmin Amer to the position of “Morning Edition” field producer.  She joins WBUR after six years at CNN…..CBS RADIO Pittsburgh holds its fourth annual gastro fest “eat.drink.PITTSBURGH” on February 18.  News/talk KDKA-AM, sports talk KDKA-FM, and its hot AC and country sister stations are producing the promotion at Rivers Casino that allows attendees to “experience a culinary escape as they enjoy tasty food and beverage samples from some of Pittsburgh’s hottest restaurants and bars.”

kpamCool Office Gig.  Oregon’s “Radio Station of the Year,” NEWS TALK 860 KPAM, Portland and sister station Sunny 1550, has an immediate opening for a traffic manager to manage all phases of commercial traffic and billing for two radio stations.  The successful candidate will have at least four years’ experience in radio or television broadcast traffic.  Experience using Marketron traffic software is preferred, but not mandatory.  We offer comprehensive compensation and benefits plans in a locally owned and employee-focused environment.  Please send resume to: General Sales Manager, radiosales@kpam.com  No phone calls please.  EOE.

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Jonesy’s Book and More Programming News from KLOS, Los Angeles.  A number of news items from Cumulus Media’s Southern California classic rocker KLOS.  Former Sex Pistols guitarist and current host of the midday “Jonesy’s Jukebox” show, Steve Jones, is releasing his memoir titled, Lonely Boy: Tales from A Sex Pistol (Dakloslogo Capo 2017).   The U.S. release of the book comes at the time of the 40th anniversary of the Sex Pistols’ debut album, Never Mind the Bollocks.  Jones is on a nationwide press tour for the next two weeks, including an appearance on “Late Night With Seth Meyers,” and two Los Angeles stops for a sold out Q&A and signing at the Grammy Museum tonight (1/10).  On the programming side, KLOS is creating “The Frosty, Heidi & Frank Night Shift” that airs Monday through Thursday from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm.  It features a mix of “best of” material from the KLOS morning show, plus new content never before heard from the show.”  Finally, comic and comedy writer Greg Beharrell joins KLOS for weekends and as a key writer and digital/social content creator.  Beharrell was previously at KITS, San Francisco “Live 105.”  He’ll continue to do his radio shows in Canada, in addition to holding down duties as the Canadian voice of JACK-FM.

Ron Parker Tapped for Afternoons at WLS-FM, Chicago.  New afternoon drive personality Ron Parker hosts his first shift at Cumulus Media’s classic hits WLS-FM, Chicago today.  The station announces that Parker as parkerronmost recently on air at the company’s country WNSH, New York “NASH FM 94.7.”  He also achieved #1 ratings at two different dayparts at CBS RADIO’s classic hits WCBS-FM, New York.  Parker has held on-air and programming posts in markets including: San Francisco, Houston, Dallas, Phoenix and Tallahassee.   WLS program director Brian Thomas comments, “Ron is one of the premier talents of the classic hits format and has always achieved ratings success.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  It’s all Chicago now for WEBG “BIG 95” morning personalities Mason & Remy.  The duo had been doing mornings at iHeartMedia’s Windy City country outlet and at the company’s KSD, St. Louis “93.7 The Bull.”  Now, they are exiting the KSD gig.  Program director and midday host Dusty assumes afternoons and Billy Greenwood is handling middays for now…..Also from iHeartMedia, JB Webb is named senior vice president of programming for the company’s western Ohio station group that includes country WIMT, Lima; CHR WBKS, Columbus Grove; hot AC WMLX, St. Marys; rock WZRX, Fort Shawnee; and news/talk WIMA-AM, Lima…..A series of talent moves take place at Guaranty Broadcasting’s WDGL, Baton Rouge “98.1 The Eagle.”  Richard Condon and Anna Betts move to the morning drive “Condon Uncensored” show.  They are joined by former “Eagle” personality Scott RobbMike Benson is the new midday personality and Scotty Drake moves to afternoons to host “The Drive with the Drake.”

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Third Anniversary for ‘NASH Nights Live.’  Celebrating the third anniversary of the “NASH Nights Live” country radio program at the NASH Campus in Nashville are (from l-r): producer Ryan Kershner; NASH Network director of programming John Shomby, co-host Elaina Smith, co-host Shawn Parr, and producer Brian Egan.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

| March 22, 2016

moorerichKJR-AM, Seattle’s Rich Moore Upped to SVP of Programming for iHeartMedia Seattle.  Programmer Rich Moore is promoted to senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Seattle station group.  A 23-year iHeartMedia Seattle staffer, Moore has recently been serving as PD for sports talk KJR-AM “Seattle’s Sports Radio,” a position in which he will continue.  He’ll also oversee signals including CHR sisters KBKS “Kiss FM” and KPWK “POWER-FM,” hip hop KUBE, alternative KFOO “ALT-FM,” classic hits KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet,” and sports talk KHHO “FOX Sports Radio.”  Market president Kent Haehl says, “Rich has had a long and successful tenure at iHeartMedia Seattle.  He is a brilliant, creative and innovative leader who understands how to create deep relationships with listeners and we look forward to tapping into those skills across all our Seattle brands.”  At the same time, the company announces that Kevin Shockey is named to the assistant program director position for KJR-AM.

sliwarosenbergballbat2Mayhem at WABC, New York!?!  In the still photo you see here, WABC, New York air personality Curtis Sliwa (right) threatens fellow host Sid Rosenberg (left) with a baseball bat in the news/talk station’s studio.  In the video which you can see in full here, Sliwa is threatening Rosenberg for “stealing” producer Flipper, a.k.a. Jill Vitale, for his show and for subbing for him on what was supposed to be a “mental health” day off the air for Sliwa.  Sliwa co-hosts the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show with Ron Kuby and Rosenberg co-hosts the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show with “Imus in the Morning” cast member Bernard McGuirk.  Sources inside WABC tell TALKERS that the video is not contrived and that Sliwa was very upset about losing Flipper to the other show.  TALKERS editors, however, remain suspicious about the spontaneity of the video given WABC’s presenting it (proudly, it seems) on its website.  What, if anything, happens after this is unclear, however most employers discourage threatening fellow employees with baseball bats.  Stay tuned…

The Presidential Race, Obama’s Cuba Trip, Battle Against ISIS, Syria Conflict-Russian Involvement, and Hulk Hogan Sex Tape Suit Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/21).  The activities of the candidates for president; coverage of President Obama’s trip to Cuba and his meeting with Raul Castro; the ongoing battle against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria; the Syrian civil conflict and Russia’s military involvement; and the jury awards for Hulk Hogan in his suit against Gawker for releasing portions of his sex tape were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Gets ‘Up Close and Far Out’ with Kurt Hanson.  In this week’s installment of the PodcastOne international hit “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” the TALKERS magazine publisher conducts a candid and informative conversation with online radio pioneer Kurt Hanson from the convention floor of the recently concluded Radiodays Europe in Paris, France.  Hanson wears two feathers in his cap.  He is the founder and CEO of the tremendously successful online radio music service, AccuRadio,harrisonHansen16 that provides hundreds of thousands of music fans with a wide spectrum of music genres both old and new.  He also is publisher and founding editor of RAIN Enterprises.  RAIN provides the industry with two major services, the Radio and Internet Newsletter and its annual RAIN conference on the relationship between radio and the internet held in conjunction with the NAB Radio Show.  According to Harrison, “Kurt Hanson is a visionary in the merging fields of radio and digital broadcasting as well as being a heck of an entrepreneur.  He’s also a ‘Star Trek’ fanatic and I’m delighted to present our fascinating Paris conversation to the world’s ‘media freaks’ this week.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

cbsradioWBBM-AM, Chicago’s Felicia Middlebrooks and Lola Vanderpuye Among Gracie Award Winners at CBS RADIO.  Winners of 2016 Gracie Awards include WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago “Newsradio 780 & 105.9 FM” morning drive co-anchor Felicia Middlebrooks and WBBM coordinating producer Lola Vanderpuye.  The Gracie Awards — from the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation — honor exemplary programming for, by and about women in all facets of media and entertainment, as well as individuals who have made contributions to the industry.  Middlebrooks is being honored for anchor of a local news or news magazine program, and Vanderpuye is being recognized for local imaging for the Chicago Cubs.  Other CBS RADIO staffers being honored include: Marla Diamond, WCBS, New York “Newsradio 880” for Local Reporter/Correspondent; Nina Hajian, WNEW-FM, New York “92.3 AMP Radio” for Local Host of Entertainment/Information; Jane Tillman Irving, WCBS, New York “Newsradio 880” for Local Hard News Feature; Amy Lawrence, CBS Sports Radio for National Host of a Sports Program; Loren Raye, WODS, Boston “103.3 AMP Radio”; Suzyn Waldman, WFAN, New York for Local Sports Program; and Shila Nathan for Afternoon Drive Personality-Local (while at WUSN, Chicago).

cumulus logoCumulus Media Staffers Honored with Gracies.  Here’s a rundown of the Cumulus Media employees who will be recognized for their work by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation with a 2016 Gracie Award:  “NASH Nights Live” personality Elaina D. Smith for National Radio Special; Rita Cosby, WABC, New York for Talk Show, News-Local Radio, and Host, Non-News/Non-Fiction-Local Radio; and Joan Hamburg, WABC, New York for Soft News Feature-Local Radio.

Odds & Sods.  The annual live political event “Charlie Sykes Insight 2016” – presented by E.W. Scrippssykescharlie WTMJ, Milwaukee and Sykes’ RightWisconsin.com – will include an appearance by GOP presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz tomorrow (3/23).  During the program at Country Springs Hotel in Pewaukee, Sykes and Senator Cruz will have an exclusive, one-on-one discussion…..Chicago news pro darlasandreaAndrea Darlas is being honored with the Diogenes Award for Excellence in Media from the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois at the organization’s 90th Anniversary Dinner Meeting on Thursday, March 24 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.  BBB president and CEO Steve Bernas explains, “The Diogenes Award is presented to a media person who exemplifies the goals and principles of the Better Business Bureau to support and foster an ethical marketplace benefiting both consumers and businesses.”  Darlas is currently the morning news anchor on Tribunes’s WGN Radio, a reporter on its WGN-TV and CLTV as well as a contributor to the nationally syndicated TV show, “House Smarts.”…..In Canada, Bell Media news/talk stations are now carrying the NPR-syndicated “TED Radio Hour.” The show, hosted by Guy Raz, currently airs in the U.S. on public radio outlets and is available as a podcast.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

| March 9, 2016

mccreddenryanCBS RADIO Inks Sports Talk Programmer Ryan McCredden to Extension.  KILT-AM “SportsRadio 610” and KIKK “CBS Sports Radio 650” Houston program director Ryan McCredden signs a contract renewal with CBS RADIO to continue leading the programming at the two stations.  The company notes that “under his leadership, McCredden has increased the ratings for both stationskilt-am logo and been influential in securing the market’s partnership with the Houston Dynamo.”  CBS Houston VP of programming Charese Fruge says, “Ryan is a smart programmer, brilliant negotiator and an absolute joy to work with.  He is adored by his team from the top down.  We are very lucky to have him and proud to have strengthened our kikkcommitment to the continued success of 610 and 650.”  McCredden comments, “I’m thrilled to continue working with my team at ‘SportsRadio 610’ and ‘CBS Sports Radio 650.’  We strive to be difference-makers in the world of sports.  The station accomplished impactful things on air, on-site and online during my time here.  Our team works tirelessly to create unique and experience-driven events for our passionate listeners, all the while helping to support our community.  Houston has been a great city to me and my family, and I look forward to sticking around!”

salemmediagroup logoSalem Media Group Releases Q4 and 2015 Financials; Broadcast Net Revenue Up 1.6% for Full Year.  As a whole, Salem Media Group’s 2015 fourth quarter total revenue was up 4.9%.  The broadcast segment’s net revenue was up 5.2% in Q4 with the digital media segment up 3.8%.  For the whole year of 2015, total revenue was down 0.3%.  The broadcast segment was up 1.6% for the year and the digital segment was down 2.1%.

Super Tuesday 2/GOP Moves to Stop Trump, Iran Missile Test, N. Korea Nuclear Threats, Battle Against Islamic State, Illegal Immigration, and European Migrant Issue Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/8).  The presidential primary race, the Super Tuesday 2 elections, and reports of the GOP’s plans to stop Donald Trump from winning the nomination; Iran’s testing of long-range missiles in violation of the recent nuclear deal; North Korea’s announcement it has put small nuclear warheads on ICBMs; U.S. strikes on Islamic State leadership; illegal immigration policy in the U.S.; and the deal between Turkey and the EU to stop the flow of Syrian migrants into Europe were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

curtiskubyroast15b‘Curtis and Kuby Roast’ Happens Monday Night in NYC.  WABC, New York is presenting the second “Curtis and Kuby Roast” on Monday, March 14 at New York night spot The Cutting Room.  77 WABC personalities Curtis Sliwa and Ron Kuby – heard in middays on the station – will be roasted by WABC radio personalities and friends including: Warner Wolf, Sid Rosenberg, Mike Gunzelman (Imus in the Morning, Fox News contributor), Mike Coscarelli (producer, The Bernie & Sid Show and former board op for Curtis and Kuby), Gene Getman (WABC board op; co-host, Social Villains Podcast) and Roast Master Jamie Roberts, plus stand-up comedians including: Corinne Fisher, Ben Kissel, and Frank Morano (Morano in the Morning on WNYM). Pictured here at last year’s roast are (from l-r): roast master and comic Rich Vos, Sliwa, and Kuby.

leykiswine16Tom Leykis Wine Sale Underway.  Wine aficionado and radio pro Tom Leykis tells TALKERS magazine that the sale of his first wine is taking place and, since March 4, he’s sold $35,000 worth of the Pedal to the Metal Syrah (pictured here).  Leykis partnered with California Central Coast winemaker Joshua Klapper using grapes from the Brave & Maiden vineyard in Santa Ynez, California.  Leykis says the sale is being done with no outside promotion or publicity.  “All sold to a waiting list made up exclusively of our listeners who’ve been waiting, and now being made available to all of our fans for the first time.”  There are 125 cases of the wine available at $75 per bottle.

Odds & Sods.  Former all-news and sports talk KFWB, Los Angeles staffers are gathering this Saturday (3/12) for a reunion to reminisce over “more than 40 years of memories.”  The event will take place at 5:00 pm at the Golden Dragon restaurant in Chinatown.  Any former KFWB staffers are welcome.  See more at event’s Facebook page here…..…..Outdoor Sportsman Group – Networks, which includes Outdoor Channel, Sportsman Channel and World Fishing Network, expands its multi-platform partnership with the nationally syndicated radio show “Thetherevolution Revolution with Jim & Trav.”  The program has been dubbed “The Official Radio Program of Outdoor Channel” since 2013 and now adds Sportsman Channel and World Fishing Network as title sponsors.  The radio show is co-hosted by father-and-son team Jim and Travis Ferguson and airs on more than 440 stations plus the American Forces Radio Network on satellite radio.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

| January 5, 2016

wabc logoCurtis Sliwa to Host WABC, New York’s ‘The Drive at Five.’  The “Drive at Five” program takes the place of “Right Now with Doug McIntyre” and debuts this afternoon (1/5) from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York.  The station callssliwacurtis the show a “fast-paced, comprehensive look at the stories and people that have New York talking.”  Curtis Sliwa will continue his role as co-host of “The Curtis and Kuby Show” with Ron Kuby airing from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm.  In September of 2014 the station aired “The Ride Home” with Pat Kiernan and Rita Cosby at 5:00 pm.  Kiernan exited and Cosby did the show solo until moving to weekends with Doug McIntyre (also heard at the company’s KABC, Los Angeles in morning drive) taking over the one-hour show in March of last year.  Sliwa states, “My job will be to take people from their suites to the streets and re-connect them with everything that has transpired while they’ve been working their 9-to-5 jobs.”

eskinspikeSpike Eskin Relinquishes On-Air Duties at WIP-FM, Philadelphia.  According to a report at Philly.com, WIP, Philadelphia program director Spike Eskin is leaving his on-air role on the Joshwiplogo Innes program as he absorbs some of the responsibilities of ousted operations manager Andy Bloom.  In a budget-related move, Bloom’s OM position was eliminated by CBS RADIO.  Eskin and former Philadelphia Eagle Hollis Thomas worked on air with Innes.  Thomas remains on the show and the station moves Marc Farzetta from Angelo Cataldi’s AM drive show to afternoons to handle news updates and other duties on the program.

bubbaSettlement in Nielsen vs Bubba Case ‘Unlikely.’  According to the most recent court filings that detail the schedule for the discovery process and pre-trial hearings in the civil fraud case being brought against Bubba the Love Sponge by Nielsen Audio, the two sides seem to agree on one thing: a settlement in the $1 million lawsuit is “unlikely.”  Nielsen is suing Bubba on civil charges of fraud, conspiracy to defraud, interfering with business and contractual relations and violation of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Practices Act as the result of his tampering with the PPM ratings process in the Tampa market.  Although Bubba admitted to the tampering he says Nielsen is unable to prove damages and the $1 million figure was pulled out of thin air.  Nielsen wishes to depose Bubba for up to 14 hours over two days and Bubba says he’s not willing to do that so the court will have to rule on the deposition schedule.  If this does go to trial as it’s expected to do, it’ll be in January of 2017.

bannonstephenkWhat do Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Stephen K. Bannon Have in Common?  Answer: They are the only three radio talk show hosts to make the prestigious Mediaite “25 Mostlimbaughrush15 Influential in Political News Media” list.  The list includes leading names from the world of news-gathering and news-delivering organizations including internet, television and radio.  Rush Limbaugh came in at #8; Sean Hannity showed strongly at #15; and Stephen K. Bannon appears at #19.  Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News LLC (parent company of hannitythe Breitbart News Network), is the host of the weekday morning show “Breitbart News Daily” presented on the SiriusXM Satellite Radio Patriot Channel.  The 6:00 am – 9:00 am ET show covers the hottest topics of the day featuring Bannon moderating contributions and features from Breitbart correspondents around the nation and world.  To see the entire Mediaite list, please click here.

brownrobCumulus Names Rob Brown AM Host at WFTW, Fort Walton Beach.  Fort Walton Beach news/talk WFTW “NewsTalk 1260” will launch a new morning drive program next Monday (1/11) featuring longtime local broadcast personality Rob Brown.  His eponymous show will air from 6:00 am to 10:00 am.  Brown has been serving as a field reporter for local station WEAR-TV.  He’s worked in radio in the Florida Panhandle doing news and sports at sports talk WTKE “The Ticket.”  WFTW operations manager Hayden Green says, “Rob Brown is a native of the area.  He knows the players, he knows the people and he knows great radio.  We’re excited to have him on the team and excited about the future of NewsTalk 1260 WFTW.”

entercomEntercom Promotes Three Programmers to Vice Presidents.  Three Entercom Communications programmers are awarded vice president stripes today: Jim Fox in Sacramento, Mike Moore in Portland and Bob Barnett in Rochester, New York are promoted to VP of programming for their respective markets.  Jim Fox joined Entercom in Sacramento as station manager of active rock KRXQ in 2003 and began overseeing all Entercom Sacramento brands as OM in 2013.  Mike Moore joined Entercom to program country KWJJ in Portland and was upped to operations manager for the cluster in January 2013.  He also serves as Entercom’s director of country programming.  Bob Barnett is a 33-year programmer who oversees all programming for Entercom Rochester.  Entercom president of programming Pat Paxton comments, “Jim, Mike and Bob are outstanding leaders with impressive track records of success in their markets.  They have each earned this recognition.  I could not be happier for them and look forward to many more years of working together.”

cookehollandCES 2016: Radio vs Robots.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke reports from Las Vegas and the annual Consumer Electronic Show.  As Cooke says, driverless cars are one of the big “oh wow” items at the show.  How the car of the future will affect our hunger for the information and entertainment radio provides while driving isn’t certain yet, but the possibilities they suggest should cause radio people to think about their product.  Read Cooke’s report here.

Obama Gun Control Policy, 2016 Presidential Election, Battle Against Islamic State, Oregon Wildlife Refuge Standoff, Iran-Saudi Diplomatic Break, World Financial Markets Activity, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/4).  President Obama’s plans to use executive orders to amend gun laws; the activities of the candidates for president this year; the ongoing battle against Islamic State and debate over terror attack prevention; the standoff between armed protestors occupying an Oregon wildlife sanctuary; the break of diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia and the growing Shiite-Sunni rift in the Middle East; turbulent world financial markets open the New Year; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

RadiodaysEurope16Michael Harrison set to Address Radiodays Europe Conference.  TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison has been named one of the key solo speakers at the forthcoming Radiodays Europe conference set for Paris, France March 13-15 at Le Palais des Congrès de Paris.  Billed as “The World’s Greatest International Radio Conference,” Radiodays Europe is an annual gathering for radio professionals with 1,300 participants from 60 countries.  It is the meetingharrisonmichael2015 point for the European radio industry, both private and public, and a destination for radio people from around the world.  Harrison’s presentation, titled “Lessons Learned by American Radio at the Dawn of the Digital Era,” will cover both the successes and failures experienced by US radio during its transition into the digital era.  Harrison will offer insight into the radio industry’s challenge of successfully integrating its assets and services into an internet-based culture while preserving and enhancing its iconic role as the primary audio medium.  Can it be done?  Harrison states, “Of course, it can!  I intend to lay out the big picture of radio’s path forward with realistic and cautious optimism.  I look forward to this opportunity to speak with broadcasters from around the world.”  For registration and other information about Radiodays Europe, please click here.

leykisbillboard16America’s First Internet Radio Billboard?  It is according to The New Normal principal Tom Leykis who says the electronic billboard (shown at left) that overlooks the northbound 405 Freeway in Carson, California is the first in America to promote an Internet radio show.  The billboard, which just went up on Monday evening (1/4), promotes Leykis’ daily afternoon program.

Friday, November 13, 2015

| November 13, 2015

talkersten logoMizzou Protests and Race Relations Tie for Top News/Talk Stories of the Week.  The protests taking place at the University of Missouri, the ouster of the school’s president and chancellor and the related topic of race relations in the U.S. tied atop the Talkers TenTM for the week of November 9-13 as the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio.  At #2 was the 2016 presidential race and Tuesday’s GOP debate.  Coming in at #3 was U.S. immigration policy and the striking of President Obama’s immigration order, followed by the Syria-ISIS violence at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It’s published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

curtiskubyremote15Dinner with Curtis & Kuby.  WABC, New York midday team Curtis Sliwa and Ron Kuby entertained listeners during an intimate dinner and political conversation event at Delmonico’s Kitchen on West 36th Street in New York.  Forty of the duo’s strongest supporters reserved their spots for “Dinner with Curtis & Kuby: A Night of Political Entertainment and Fun,” kicking off Election Central.  The two answered questions from the attendees and discussed the current political race, social issues, and much more.  Pictured here at the event are (from l-r): Curtis Sliwa, Cumulus New York VP/market manager Chad Lopez, 77WABC program director Craig Schwalb, and Ron Kuby.

mcintyrecleese15Doug McIntyre and John Cleese Take the State Together.  KABC, Los Angeles and WABC, New York personality Doug McIntyre (left) spent four nights last week performing with Monty Python legend John Cleese (right). The show played before packed houses in Beverly Hills, Redondo  Beach, Thousand Oaks and Pasadena, California.

Odds & Sods.  Detroit general manager Chris MacCourtney is promoted within Salem Media Group to operational vice president for the company’smaccourtneychris radio division, effective January 1.  MacCourtney is currently overseeing Salem’s Detroit duo – conservative news/talk WDTK “The Patriot” and Christian teaching WLQV “Faith Talk 1500.”  When he begins his new duties, he’ll also be in charge of the operations of the company’s stations in Columbus, Ohio and Louisville, Kentucky…..Entercom Kansas City extends its deal with the World Series champion Kansas City Royals for sports talk KCSP “610 Sports Radio” to continue serving as the flagship station for Royals play-by-play.  The new four-year contract runs through 2020 and includes all 163 regular season games plus the team’s off-season “Hot Stove Show.”

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallWorld Famous Comic Strip Artist/Writer Guy Gilchrist Joins Michael Harrison on ‘Up Close and Far Out.’ The writer and artist responsible for producing the iconic “Nancy” syndicated newspaper comic strip for the past 20 years and was hand-picked back in the 1980s by Jim Henson to produce the newspaper version of “The Muppets,” Guy Gilchrist, joins Michael Harrison for an in-depth conversation about media and popular culture in the new installment of Podcast One’s international hit, “Up Close and Far Out,” posted today (11/10).gilchristguy Harrison sets the stage looking back at the impact cartoons, comics and puppets had on his development as a “media freak” growing up in New York in the 1950s and 1960s. Then, he and Gilchrist discuss a variety of related issues including the critical “controversy” over the new weekly Muppets show launched this season on ABC-TV, the evolution of the beloved characters Nancy and Sluggo, as well as the state of political cartoons, cartoonists and Freedom of the Press in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo murders in Paris earlier this year. In addition, they talk about the impact digital media is having upon the newspaper comic strip industry. To hear this fascinating conversation in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” players located in the right-hand columns of every page on Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

kilmeadebookFox Radio and TV Host Brian Kilmeade Writes Historical Book About Thomas Jefferson’s Early American War Against Muslim High Seas ‘Terrorists.’ It is described as “the forgotten war that changed American history” and now it is the subject of a major new bookkilmeadebrian about the fledgling American nation’s naval battles against Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers and Morocco – the Barbary Wars. The book is the fourth by Fox News Channel co-host (“Fox & Friends”) and Fox News Radio host (“Kilmeade & Friends”) Brian Kilmeade and co-writer Don Yaeger titled, Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates (Sentinel, 2015). According to Kilmeade, “The challenges we face today are not so different than Jefferson’s, and we’ve much to learn from his boldness and from the courage of the Marines and sailors who died to protect their country.” To listen to an in-depth conversation between Brian Kilmeade and TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison about the book and the history it addresses, plus a lot more, please click

      here
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Friday, October 23, 2015

| October 23, 2015

tritondigitalTriton’s Webcast Metrics Local to Provide Data for iHeartMedia.  This new deal between Triton Digital and iHeartMedia will give the latter a picture of the reach of its digital product at the local level.  iHeartMedia has been subscribing to Triton’s Monthly Top 20 ranker – which reports national presence – but the Webcast Metrics Local is a “market-specific version of Triton’s national Webcast Metrics audience measurement platform.”  iHeartMediaiheartmedia logo small president of research and insights Radha Subramanyam comments, “Webcast Metrics is the trusted standard for streaming audio advertising transactions.  This new reporting will showcase iHeartMedia’s digital scale at both the national and local market levels, and we believe it will have a positive impact on our ability to more fully monetize our streams.”  In describing its service, Triton says, “Webcast Metrics uses a proprietary platform to track audience behavior and convert it to metrics that can be easily understood by stations, publishers and advertisers.  It is census-based and does not rely on samples, surveys or panels, measuring actual listening without estimates. Webcast Metrics Local provides market-specific information that enables agencies and advertisers to evaluate audiences within specific markets.”

ivankovichdangtr15CNN ‘Hero of the Year Candidate’ Makes Killer Radio Interview.  Not only is Dr. Daniel Ivankovich one of the top 10 finalists for CNN’s “Hero of the Year” award, but he’s also an orthopedic surgeon and an accomplished blues musician.  The Yugoslavian-born Ivankovich also goes by the nicknames of “Dr. Dan” or “Chicago Slim” and besides operating three clinics that serve some of the poorest residents of Chicago, he also does his best to aid blues musicians and help them get proper coverage from the health system to suit their needs.  He co-founded the Chicago Blues All-Stars (in which he sings and plays guitar) and it was through this that he discovered blues veterans who are in need of better health care.  He often helps provide free care for them through his non-profit One Patient Global Health Initiative.  On top of that, he’s one heckuva blues musician and an authority on the blues.  He’s articulate and passionate and makes a great radio guest.  Voting for the CNN “Hero of the Year” ends on November 15 with all 10 finalists being honored on Sunday, December 6.  To book Dr. Daniel Ivankovich for your show, contact Chip Ruggieri at: chip@chipsterpr.com or 561-543-8807.

campbellpatCarsonbus15KFAQ, Tulsa’s Pat Campbell Scores Dr. Ben Carson Interview.  Presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson was in the Tulsa market on a book tour and KFAQ, Tulsa morning host Pat Campbell (left) and his co-host Eddie Huff (right) scored a market exclusive interview with Carson on Wednesday (10/21).  Campbell tells TALKERS that Carson’s appearance on the KFAQ morning show helped bring more than 1,000 people to the local Barnes & Noble for the book signing, illustrating the power of his station to connect listeners and conservative authors.  In the photo here, Campbell and Huff pose for a shot in front of Carson’s tour bus.

Odds & Sods.  There’s a new face in the iHeartMedia political ad sales division with the addition of Adam Weiss as its vice president, political strategy, reporting to SVP Kenny Day.  The company says Weiss will manage its “high-level relationships with progressive candidates, parties, Independent Expenditures, Super PACs and other political organizations.”…..SiriusXM is offering select subscribers nationwide comprehensive coverage of the 2015-16 NBA season, with live play-by-play of every game from Opening Night through the NBA Finals, plus daily in-depth talk and analysis on SiriusXM NBA Radio.  The NBA begins its 70th season on Tuesday, October 27 with a triple header.

sliwaMets15WABC’s Curtis Sliwa Serenaded by Mets Fans.  Midday talk radio personality Curtis Sliwa (center) is serenaded by a gang of producers at the Cumulus Media New York City studios who took the opportunity to chant “Let’s Go Mets!” to the dyed-in-the-wool Yankees fan during a commercial break.

Clinton Benghazi Testimony Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of October 19-23.  The congressional testimony of former Secretary of State and current Democratic candidate for president Hillary Clinton regarding the deadly Benghazi attacks was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio yesterday.  At #2 this week was the activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and Vice President Joe Biden’s decision not to run for the office.  Coming in at #3 was the Russia-Syria relationship followed by the ISIS captives rescue mission at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

| October 6, 2015

plaschkeZelasko15L.A. Times’ Plaschke Joins Sports Talk KFWB, Los Angeles for Mornings.  The KFWB Asset Trust-owned sports talker operated by CBS RADIO announces Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke (left) is being partnered up with sports journalist Jeanne Zelasko (right) to co-host the station’s new morning drive show titled, “Plaschke and Zelasko.”  The morning show has been anchored by Zelasko since the station flipped to sports talk last year as “The Beast 980.”  KFWB program director Tom Lee states, “‘Plaschke and Zelasko’ will be one of the most dynamic and freshest morning shows not only on sports radio but on L.A. radio in general.  Bill is the ultimate fit for the one sports station truly devoted to Los Angeles fans and it will be exciting to get three hours of him every day.”  Plaschke has written for the L.A. Times since 1987 and has been the Associated Press National Sports Columnist of the Year five times.  He is a regular panelist on ESPN‘s “Around the Horn” talk show and has written five books.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Gets “Up Close and Far Out” with 1970s Media Icon Jo Ann Pflug.  She was one of the most beautiful and versatile media stars of the 1970s – a motion picture and TV actress, prolific game show panelist, and former LA television talk show pioneer at KHJ-TV (in the late 1960s).  During the height of her popularity, she had roles in some of the most iconic films of the day (she burned up the screen as Lt. “Dish” in the originalPhlugJoannMASH motion picture version of “MASH” as seen at right) and worked with a seemingly endless  parade of cinema legends such as Yul Brynner, Peter Sellers and many more.  Today Jo Ann Pflug is still going strong.  Based in Palm Beach County, Florida, the 70-something, still-gorgeous, dynamo occasionally appears on local radio interviewing the many stars (past and present) that live in or pass through the Palm Beaches, teaches commercial acting, provides politicians and public speakers with media training, lectures pflugjoannabout her immensely colorful career, and is putting the final touches on a soon-to-be published book of personality profiles and anecdotes.  Michael Harrison states, “The fabulous Ms. Pflug was one of the most fun interviews I’ve conducted thus far for this podcast series [Podcast One’s international hit “Up Close and Far Out”]. I tied it into my take on the wonders of YouTube where, of course, endless archives of historic videos of classic film, TV, commercials, and news events continue to grow and where the work of such iconic media figures as this amazingly cool woman will live forever.”  To listen to this podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

wrhu logoHofstra University’s WRHU, Hempstead Part of Islanders Radio Network.  For the sixth season, Hofstra University radio station WRHU will serve as a play-by-play outlet for New York Islanders hockey.  Concurrent with the team’s move to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn as its new home, the Barclays Center announces the formation of the New York Islanders Radio Network that also includes NYC Media-owned WNYE and JVC Media’s news/talk WRCN, Riverhead.  Chris King continues his role as play-by-play announcer and Greg Picker becomes color analyst.

Odds & Sods.  Satcaster SiriusXM is presenting MLB post-season play-by-play.  Additionally, ChristophersliwaMcVay15 “Mad Dog” Russo is hosting his daily show, “Mad Dog Unleashed,” live from the ballpark before each World Series game – 4:00 pm ET.  Russo’s MLB Network show, “High Heat with Christopher Russo,” which simulcasts daily on MLB Network Radio, is also being broadcast live on location at 3:00 pm ET before every World Series game…..Cumulus interim EVP/programming Mike McVay (right) is pictured here during a visit to news/talk WABC, New York where he was greeted by midday program co-host Curtis Sliwa (left) of the Curtis and [Ron] Kuby show…..KXL, Portland and Compass Media syndicated talk host Lars Larson is hosting the USO Northwest 5 Star Gala on Saturday, larsonlarsOctober 10 in Seattle.  The event supports the men and women of our armed forces through an evening dinner and auction.  Larson states, “My mother and father both served in the Navy.  In fact, I was born on a military base in Taiwan.  That’s the kind of sacrifice a lot of military families make to serve their country.  I’m delighted to be able to help out in any way, an organization that services 600-thousand service members and their families in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska.”

kkobballon15KKOB’s Presence at the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival.  The KKOB hot air balloon is seen here landing in a local neighborhood during the ongoing Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.  The event began on October 2 and runs through October 11.  This world-famous festival was created by KKOB in 1972 as the station celebrated its 50th anniversary.  KKOB is the official radio station of Balloon Fiesta.

Oregon College Massacre Aftermath/Gun Control, 2016 Presidential Race, Russia’s Military Campaign in Syria, GOP House Leadership Battle, South Carolina Floods, U.S. Bombs Afghan Hospital, Obama Trade Deal, Violent Air France Employee Protest, and NFL and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/5).  The aftermath of last week’s deadly shooting at an Oregon community college and the greater topic of gun control; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; Russia’s military actions in Syria; the contentious battle for Speaker of the House among GOP Representatives; the bombing of an Afghanistan hospital by U.S. forces; criticism of the Obama Pacific trade deal; the violent assault on Air France executives by workers; and the weekend’s NFL and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

alphamedia logoAlpha Media Airs Public Service Campaign for South Carolina.  Radio’s Alpha Media has engaged a public service campaign to assist the American Red Cross in its work helping those affected by the flooding in South Carolina.  The company is airing PSAs, promos and social media posts in all 35 Alpha markets.  Alpha Media EVP of programming Scott Mahalick comments, “All of us here at Alpha Media are in shock and devastated by the loss our fellow Alpha family members are experiencing.  Words cannot begin to describe what they are going through, it’s unbelievable.  We are appreciative of the Red Cross and what they are doing and want to continue to ask everyone to help out any way they can; by texting REDCROSS to 90999 or by helping run PSAs to support the efforts of the Red Cross.”

wheatstoneWheatstone Brings VoxPro into Family with Audion Labs Acquisition.  Digital audio editor VoxPro is now part of the Wheatstone family of radio products as the company acquires VoxPro producer Audion Labs.  Audion will remain a separate brand under the Wheatstone banner.  Wheatstone CEO Gary Snow states, “This is a terrific little company that, with one product, has made a big difference in the day-to-day operations of most radio stations.”

bmi scholarshipBMI Foundation Announces Scholarship Competition.  A new scholarship competition is now open to radio broadcasting students nationwide as the BMI Foundation announces the establishment of the BMI Founders Award.  Broadcast Music, Inc. is funding the scholarship “for the purpose of cultivating future innovators of broadcast radio.”  A $5,000 scholarship will be awarded for the best original essay response entry.  Aspiring radio newscasters, announcers, sales executives, program directors, etc. are encouraged to apply.   BMI Foundation president Deirdre Chadwick says, “Broadcast Music, Inc. was founded by a group of radio industry leaders in 1939 as the only American performing rights organization to welcome and represent creators of all genres of music.  The BMI Founders Award honors the architects of this groundbreaking mission, while identifying and supporting future trailblazers of radio broadcasting.”  Competition entrants must be current students at accredited U.S. colleges or universities, between the ages of 17 and 24, and degree candidates in Broadcast Communications or related majors.  Applicants will be evaluated based on their essay response, letter of recommendation, and academic record. Online applications open October 1, 2015 and must be completed no later than February 15, 2016. For more information, please visit www.bmifoundation.org/broadcast.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

| April 7, 2015

costarebeccaposedProfile: ‘The Costa Report’ Host Rebecca Costa.  TALKERS magazine managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian profiles the host of the weekly talk radio program “The Costa Report” in a piece published today (4/7) in TALKERS magazine.  The life and work of Rebecca Costa is almost as amazing as the information she pulls out of her guests and the news and data she relates during her two-hour weekly broadcast.  A glimpse into Costa’s head shows why she is different than many people who host talk radio programs.  She tells Kinosian that her childhood as the daughter of two scientists meant daily discussions about science and public policy.  “That was how we ate dinner,” matter-of-factly points out Costa, who lived with her family in Laos during the Vietnam War.  “We entertained ourselves with science and policy. Even though I veered out of the engineering field into biology, I believe physics is easy because there are rules that govern the physical universe.  Once you learn the rules, everything works that way.  What we know about biology though is very limited.  It is much more complex than physics will ever be; I like things that are difficult and multi-faceted.”  Costa’s show formula involves a deep discussion with a guest – a sort of Charlie Rose-type approach.  “Hour one of ‘The Costa Report’ has an in-depth interview, while the second hour features a commentary, roundtable, and technology/legal update.  I use the same formula every single time because repetition equals perfection.  You cannot perfect anything unless you have repeatability.  That is a primary tenet in science, but apparently, people in radio do not know about it.  Even with the best show in the world and if you [integrate] systems where you can increase quality, it still does not matter if you cannot make money.”  Read more of Mike Kinosian’s profile of Rebecca Costa here.

curtiskubyBestDayEverCumulus Partners with Chevy for Food Giveaway.  Dubbed #BestDayEver, Chevy partnered with Cumulus Media to promote a series of free food giveaways in markets across the country on April 1.  Numerous food trucks in markets including New York, Chicago, Nashville, Kansas City, and Minneapolis provided free food to the first to line up for the meal.  Pictured here are WABC, New York midday duo Curtis Sliwa (left) and Ron Kuby (right) enjoying a slice of pizza from NY Pizza in Midtown Manhattan while promoting the Chevy #BestDayEver event on their show.  Cumulus says that the surprises continued for local firemen and policemen in all five markets, when the food trucks pull into their stations with surprise food drops.  Delighted breakfast and lunch-goers were encouraged to share their thanks using #BestDayEver, which generated almost 874,000 social impressions by Cumulus fans alone.  Radio fueled the promotion with on-air live mentions and social pushes letting fans know when and where surprise food trucks were going to pop up.  Onsite video crews captured the action in real time and sent edited content to Chevy’s LIVE YouTube video stream.  Chevy’s channel generated 3 million viewers during an eight-hour live stream on Chevrolet’s YouTube channel and received 600 comments a minute.

Odds & Sods.  Sports media personality Rich Eisen is now being heard in Central Florida as his DirecTV-produced and Fox Sports Radio Network-distributed TV/radio simulcast is being cleared on “SportsTalkFlorida” – a format being aired on Genesis Communications’ WHBO, Tampa and WHOO, Orlando…..In Los Angeles, all-news KNX is presenting its monthly “Ask the Mayor” program this Thursday (4/9) as Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti sits in the “hot seat” to take listener calls and Tweets.  KNX anchor Tom Haule and chief investigative reporter Charles Feldman host the show…..Chicago radio icon Milt Rosenberg returns to the Windy City airwaves on suburban WCGO (Evanston) to host a daily 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm program.  The 90-year-old Rosenberg hosted “Extension 720” for nearly 40 years on Tribune’s WGN, Chicago prior to exiting the station in 2012.

Rolling Stone UVA Rape Story Case, Religious Freedom Act/Indiana Pizza Joint Story, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Iran Nukes Talks, Militant Islamic Violence, and Wisconsin-Duke Championship Game Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/6).  The report by the Columbia School of Journalism on the Rolling Stone UVA Rape Story and the admission of failings by the magazine; the various religious freedom acts and the case of the small-town Indiana pizza joint that’s been the target of activists for supporting the act; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the controversy over the Obama Administration’s negotiations with Iran over its future nuclear policy; the cases of violence being perpetrated by militant Islamic organizations; and the NCAA Men’s Championship game between Duke and Wisconsin were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, March 27, 2015

| March 27, 2015

leetomTom Lee Tapped to Lead LA’s ‘The Beast 980.’  Radio and sports talk pro Tom Lee is being given the programming reigns to KFWB, Los Angeles “The Beast 980” – the recently flipped sports talker owned by the KFWB Asset Trust.  Lee says in a press statement that “Los Angeles sports fans are the greatest and perhaps the most underrated in America.”  Lee will have the opportunity to help bring substantivekfwb sports ratings to a radio format that has historically never really achieved – from a pure ratings standpoint – much in the Los Angeles market.  Lee continues, “Their passion, the distinct LA attitude and our great sports teams will all be represented by ‘The Beast 980.’”  Lee certainly understands successful sports talk as his resume includes some of the industry’s most visible sports talk ventures.  He launched FOX Sports Radio in 2000, leading the programming team that created and developed the 24/7 national sports network.  Lee has also programmed KESN-FM, Dallas ESPN Radio, as well as sports radio stations WIP, Philadelphia and KJR, Seattle.  KFWB Asset Trust Trustee Diane Sutter comments, “Tom has achieved some of the highest ratings of all-sports stations across the country.  Our listeners will benefit from Tom’s invaluable skills in producing relevant content, top-notch talent and his experience in working with sports teams.”  Lee begins his new gig on March 30.

goldsteinsteveSteve Goldstein Exits Exec Role at Saga Communications; Launches Podcast Venture.  After a career with Saga Communications that spanned almost 30 years, Steven Goldstein leaves his executive vice president position and announces that he is forming a company called Amplifi Media, LLC which will specialize in “the development of digital audio-on-demand (podcast) content.”  Goldstein adds, “As connected cars, Bluetooth and smartphones converge, time-shifted audio will grow exponentially.amplifi logo  People will listen to content at a time and place of their choosing, just as is occurring rapidly in the television industry with Netflix, DVRs and on-demand video.”  A press statement from Amplifi says the company will “concentrate on great storytelling, compelling content and fresh voices on a variety of popular subjects, and will adapt, craft and focus the product for the unique needs of the digital audio business.”  Goldstein concludes, “The top of the iTunes podcast chart is dominated by NPR and affiliates.  They have done a tremendous job but there is a world of mainstream topics yet to be explored for on-demand-audio.  That’s where Amplifi will live.”  Goldstein can be reached at 203-221-1400 or via email at sjgoldstein@amplifimedia.com.

colmesalan“Healed Planet” Hosted by Alan Colmes Exploring New Worlds of Radio and Listenership.  One of the new program/projects launched on TALKERS magazine’s experimental radio platform TalkersRadio has been gaining notable traction in terms of expanded programming topicality and new listenership.  “Healed Planet with Alan Colmes” is an experimental talk show conceived and hosted by syndicated Fox News Radio personality Alan Colmes and it serves as a prime example of TalkersRadio carrying out one of its primary missions as a “laboratory/workout gym” for proven talk show hosts to test new concepts and as a showcase for promising newcomers to present their work to the industry.  A new “Healed Planet” program is produced at least once per month and is available to TalkersRadio listeners (primarily members of the radio industry) on demand.  The program features the multi-platform, news/talk figure that gained international notoriety as the liberal co-host on the iconic left-right political discussion show “Hannity & Colmes” during itstalkersradio logo successful 12-year run on Fox News Channel in a role quite different than his regular followers might expect.  (In addition to being heard nightly on his syndicated radio show, Colmes is also still seen on Fox News Channel as a contributing commentator.)  “Healed Planet with Alan Colmes” is an eclectic mix of science, metaphysics, unexplained mysteries, cosmic consciousness and everything else rolling around the fertile mind of Alan Colmes.  He describes it as “presenting stimulating conversations with thought-leaders in the human consciousness movement.”  At present, three episodes of “Healed Planet” are up and running featuring Colmes in conversation with authors Gabe Berman and George A. Hart, plus a discussion with TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison.  On having this new vehicle of expression, Colmes tells TALKERS,” I love having a nightly forum where I can give my political views and takes on the issues of the day, and I love having a forum where politics doesn’t matter and we can all talk as human beings without any ideological prism.”  According to Colmes, he is basically doing this for fun, stating, “Sometimes it is simply cool to do a media presentation just for the heck of it and explore subjects and styles that don’t necessarily fit into the understandably more-rigid confines of our day jobs, even though my daily radio show is on at night.”  TalkersRadio general manager David Bernstein states, “It is fun, fascinating, stimulating and informative for talk listeners and people in the industry to hear all the dimensions that make up the personality, creativity and interests one of the nicest and smartest guys in the business – beyond the paradigm of general news/talk radio and TV where – let’s face it – Alan is quite famous.  And THAT is what TalkersRadio is all about!”  To listen to “Healed Planet with Alan Colmes,” please click here.

spiegelmattWSCR, Chicago Host Apologizes for ‘Childish’ and ‘Crass’ Tweet.  From the “haven’t they been paying attention” department comes this story, chronicled by Chicago media writer Robert Feder here.  In a nutshell, WSCR veteran talk hosts Matt Spiegel and Dan Bernstein were Tweeting critically about the television presence of Comcast SportsNet Chicago anchor Aiyana Cristal when the two veered into the now-all-too-familiar territory visited by many media personalities these days: they commented on her breasts.  To Spiegel’s (and to some degree Bernstein’s) credit, he seems to have realized his error and has apologized profusely via Twitter, admitting that he made a stupid, childish mistake.  Feder reports that sources say Spiegel and Bernstein will not be disciplined for the incident.

wgnhofplaqueWGN, Chicago to Induct 10 into Station WoF.  When Tribune Media’s WGN, Chicago inducts its 2015 Walk of Fame class during the Steve Cochran show on Friday, May 29, 10 broadcasters will be honored.  The ceremony and live broadcast will air from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm at the Tribune Tower.  Those to be inducted include: Steve Bertrand, Lyle Dean, Dave Eanet, Steve King, Franklyn MacCormack, Lou Manfredini, Johnnie Putman, Ward Quaal, Ron Santo and Eddie Schwartz.  They will be commemorated in bronze plaques placed outside the Allstate Showcase Studio.

Odds & Sods.  Bringing a passion of hers to WABC, New York on Sunday nights at 7:00 is Laura Smith who tells TALKERS magazine she’s “psyched” to debut “Above and Beyond with Laura Smith” this weekend.  Smith says the program is a revival of the program she hosted on SiriusXM and on WFAS-FM, Westchester several years ago.  “It’ssmithlaura a passion of mine as it incorporates conversations with some of the world’s most popular thought leaders and then the biggest celebrity psychics, mediums and astrologers giving free readings live on the air.  This Sunday, I have global phenomenon, spiritual teacher and four-time NYT best-selling author, Marianne Williamson plus celebrity medium Thomas John.”…..There’s now an FM signal to complement Delmarva’s news/talk WDEL-AM, Wilmington.  The company announces it is using the newly acquired WJKS, Canton, New Jersey to create at trimulcast of the legendary news/talker.  In the market the station can be heard on WDEL at 1150 AM, on WJKS at 101.7 FM and via HD-3 on WSTW’s 93.7 FM.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  More stations are airing the Compass Media Networks-syndicated Lars Larson show.  New affiliate stations for the KXL, Portland-based talk personality include: WHBY, Green Bay; WLFJ, Greenville, South Carolina; WLEA, Elmira New York; WBRP, Baton Rouge; WNRP, Pensacola; KCRS,larsonlars Odessa; WDRC-AM, Hartford; and KTIP, Porterville, California.  Larson comments on his busy schedule, “I prep from 6:00 am to 12:00 noon on the Left Coast and talk from 12:00 noon to 6:00 pm.  I’ll leave the mic when they drag me away.  I’ll sleep when I get old.”…..Stephan MultiMedia’s “Good Day” with Doug stephandougStephan is also adding affiliate stations and announces it’s surpassed the 300-station mark with the following new outlets: KTFL, Gilbert, Arizona; KVNU, Logan, Utah; WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island; WDNY, Dansville, New York; WQXL, Columbia, South Carolina; KBIZ, Ottumwa, Iowa; WPBQ, Jackson, Mississippi; WEBY, Milton, Florida; KSCB, Liberal, Kansas; WFEA, Nashua, New Hampshire; and KQEW-FM, Fordyce, Arkansas…..“Free Talk Live” with Ian Freeman and Mark Edge joins the daily lineup at KWOR, Worland, Wyoming.

dickeycurtisKubyinfShow Prep with Lew Dickey.  When Cumulus Media president and CEO Lew Dickey is in New York, he’s more than ready to roll up his sleeves and get to work with the talent at legendary news/talk outlet WABC.  Dickey (seated right) is captured here in the office of WABC midday talk duo Curtis Sliwa (seated left) and Ron Kuby (seated floor) as the executive gives Kuby a therapeutic massage to make him more relaxed on the air.  Dickey did, however, draw the line when Sliwa demanded that his be a foot massage.

Germanwings Flight 9525 Tragedy Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 23-27.  The downing of Germanwings Flight 9525 was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of March 23-27, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program.  Following at #3 was the tense relationship between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and, at #4, was the potential candidates for president in 2016.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, March 12, 2014

| March 12, 2015

2015 small header_250TALKERS ‘Heavy Hundred’ for 2015 Coming Tuesday, March 24.  The editorial board of TALKERS magazine has set the date for the posting of the 2015 installment of the publication’s annual feature, “The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America.”  This will mark the 20th consecutive year that the talk media trade journal (that is about to mark its 25th anniversary) has been compiling and publishing the list – also known as “The Heavy Hundred.”  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “This year’s list will include a number of familiar faces (and voices) as well as new up-and-comers and several veterans who have unfortunately been overlooked in recent years.”  Casey continues, “Needless to say, compiling this list is extremely challenging – especially since it draws upon both objective and subjective factors – and is the source of heated debate every year among our editors for months leading up to its release.”

ramseyHouston15Dave Ramsey’s Smart Money Event Takes Houston.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey was in Houston on March 11 presenting his Smart Money event at Woodlands Church.  Ramsey discussed how to win with money, strengthen marriages and lead your children with confidence.  Financial expert and speaker Chris Hogan joined Ramsey on stage.  Ramsey combined forces with local affiliate KSEV to promote this event.  In addition to the Smart Money presentation, he also hosted his EntreLeadership 1 Day Event in Houston on Tuesday, March 10.  Ramsey, along with Hogan, spoke about how to run a business using the same common sense principles that Ramsey practices in his own company of more than 400 employees.  KSEV general manager Bonny English says, “KSEV loves having Dave to town!” These events are a great opportunity to re-connect in person with our KSEV audience.  And the event sponsors are always excited to be part of the Ramsey/KSEV family!”

podcastone logoPodcastOne Earns 19 Nominations for People’s Choice Podcast Awards.  When the 10th annual People’s Choice Podcast Awards take place at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino on Tuesday, April 14, PodcastOne will have 19 podcasts vying for honors.  The 10th Annual People’s Choice Podcast Awards will take place during NMX 2015 Las Vegas in conjunction with NAB Show.  The nominees are selected based on podcast-listener submissions directly to the Podcast Awards.  PodcastOne nominees include: The Adam Carolla Show, The Steve Austin Show – Unleashed!, The Dan Patrick Show, Talk is Jericho, The Dr. Drew Podcast, Sex with Emily, Brandi Glanville Unfiltered, Barstool Sports Mailtime, Loveline, Rob Has a Podcast, Eddie Trunk Podcast, Straight Talk with Ross Matthews, Schmoes Knows, Paula White’s Hope for Today, and The Skeptics Guide to the Universe.   Voting takes place at podcastawards.com through March 24. The Podcast Awards will be hosted by PodcastOne personalities Dennis Miller and Emily Morse.

Odds & Sods.  WABC, New York midday team Curtis Sliwa and Ron Kuby spent a good portion of their Wednesday (3/11) program in the studio with just newsman Ken Duffy after a bomb scare forced all other staffers – including their board op and producer Flirty Flipper – to exit the 17th floor of Madison Square Garden.  Sliwa andsliwakuby Kuby refused to leave and did much of the show without callers or commercials in the absence of a board operator…..Westwood One is presenting exclusive coverage of the 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship beginning on Tuesday, March 17.  Full play-by-play action from all 67 men’s basketball games includes the First Four, games from all eight second-round and third-round sites, plus the regional semifinals and finals.  In addition, Westwood One will broadcast the NCAA Men’s Final Four on Saturday, April 4, and the National Championship Game on Monday, April 6, live from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

wkzoAwardWKZO, Kalamazoo Grabs Michigan Station of the Year Title.  Pictured here with the Station of the Year Award for WKZO, Kalamazoo is station brand manager Jeremy Lawrence.  The Midwest Communications news/talk station received the honor from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters during the annual Broadcast Excellence Awards that took place on Wednesday, March 11 in Lansing.  This marks the fifth time that the station has received this award since 2008.  The station also picked up six awards for broadcast excellence in the areas of news and agriculture coverage, promotional materials, commercial production and special programming.  Lawrence comments, “It is a great privilege to lead this team of talented broadcasters.  The Michigan Association of Broadcasters are only making official what we’ve known every single day here at the station, that this is a fantastic group that pour themselves into producing great content every time they come to work.  I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of it.”

Iran Letter/Kerry Response, Hillary Clinton Email Probe, OU Racist Song Case, Latest ISIS Violence, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Immigration/Amnesty Issues, and ‘Blurred Lines’ Ruling Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/11).  The controversy over the Republican-authored letter to Iran over the proposed nuclear deal and Secretary of State John Kerry’s response to Congress; the continuing probe of Hillary Clinton’s use of personal email for State Department business; the case of University of Oklahoma fraternity brothers’ racist song and the school’s response; the reported execution of a captured Mossad agent by a teenage ISIS member; the potential candidates for president in 2016; President Obama’s amnesty order and its effect on immigration; and the legal case of the “Blurred Lines” song were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

| November 19, 2014

franklinchipChip Franklin Named Midday Host at KGO, San Francisco.  The next step in returning KGO to its talk roots from the newsy experiment that began a few years ago comes as Chip Franklin takes over the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot beginning December 8.  Franklin has had long talk radio stints – most recently with KOGO, San Diego from 2007 to 2013 and with WBAL, Baltimore from 1999 to 2007 – and is also working writing position pieces and prep for guests on “Real Time with Bill Maher,” “Good Morning kgo logo newAmerica” and “Face the Nation.”  He also regularly appears at comedy clubs across the U.S.  On his new gig, Franklin comments, “The current narrative is that San Francisco is all liberals, progressives and Democrats mixed in with the occasional 4.9.  Maybe, but I see it more as a city that simply embraces freedom and more to the point, the free expression of ideas regardless of ideology.  Whether it’s politics, art, music or comedy, it all starts with a passion for discovery – discovery of life here in the Bay area, the wider world, and our inner lives.”  Cumulus Media EVP of content and programming John Dickey says, “KGO strives to inform and entertain the Bay Area with relevant news and compelling talk hosted by big personalities.  Chip Franklin’s point of view, intelligence and wit are going to drive some amazing conversations on KGO.”

Odds & Sods.  WABC, New York and CBS “Inside Edition” special correspondent Rita Cosby celebrated her 50th birthday hosting a special benefit for the Wounded Warriors Project at the Hotel Edison in New York City recently. crosbybednareksmall Among the 1,000-plus guests and celebs attending the fundraiser were fellow WABC personalities Curtis Sliwa and Geraldo Rivera.  Cosby is pictured here in this photo, (courtesy of Nicole Vranjican), with Broadway’s Tomaczek Bednarek at the event.  Read more about the party here…..WPGG, Atlantic City talk show host Harry Hurley is named to the PolitickerNJ’s “2014  Power List.”  This is the eighth time Hurley – morning personality on the Townsquare Media news/talk station – has been named to the list…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Tribune’s WGN, Chicago adds former Sun-Times columnist and critic Dave Hoekstra who will host his weekly “Evening Journal” radio program on the station beginning in December.  The program will air Saturday evenings.

sportsfixWTEM‘Sports Fix’ Celebrates Five Years on WTEM, Washington.  Washington, DC midday sports talk show “The Sports Fix” with Kevin Sheehan and Thom Loverro is celebrating its fifth anniversary on Red Zebra Broadcasting’s WTEM “ESPN 980.”  The station says the program “has been a ratings leader, achieving #1-ratings in its time slot throughout the five-year run.”  Vice president of programming Chuck Sapienza adds, “‘The Sports Fix’ has been a constant performer.  Kevin, Thom and producer Marc Sterne perform at a high level every day and it shows in their consistency and ratings success.”

ccsatClear Channel Satellite Services to Serve iHeartMedia Only.  In a story by Leslie Stimson at Radio World, iHeartMedia, the parent company of Clear Channel Satellite Services, is informing clients that it will no longer provide satellite services to non-iHeartMedia operators.  Contracts currently existing will be honored until they expire and the company will not accept new ones.  A memo from CCSS reads, in part: “In the coming weeks, our team will be working with the existing customers to discuss the best way for a smooth transition to a new provider.  Customers with soon-expiring contracts will have the option to continue their service on a month-to-month basis until we’ve found a suitable assignee for the business.”

scba logoOctober Revenue Gains Reported in Los Angeles, San Diego. According to Miller Kaplan Arase‘s October summary report, Los Angeles posted increases of 3% for local spot and nearly double that (5.7%) for national spot.  Meanwhile, San Diego was +1.3% local spot and a substantially higher +18% for national spot.  Southern California Broadcasters Association president Thom Callahan comments, “Our entire region produced a very robust October as the critical fourth quarter began.  The sluggish third quarter performance we had is a distant memory, as advertisers once againcallahanthom looked to Southern California radio for increased market share and real revenue results.  Our combined market growth in October should set the stage for a dramatic and positive finish for [fourth quarter] and 2014.  Our members’ efforts to provide proactive solutions to client challenges really came together in October.  We see enormous positive energy in our markets and our continued regional focus on radio’s ROI is making a difference for all of our member sales teams.”  Revenue in the “NTR/Network/Other” category improved last month by a whopping (approximately) 63% in Los Angeles and 26.3% in San Diego.  October’s total market revenue for Los Angeles was 7.1%, while San Diego’s was 8.8%. Year-to-date total market revenue though is -2.2% (Los Angeles) and 2.9% (San Diego).

Ferguson Grand Jury Tensions, Jerusalem Terror Attacks, Keystone Bill Vote, Early Cold and Snow, ObamaCare/Gruber Controversy, and Bill Cosby Rape Allegations Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/18).  The simmering tensions in Ferguson as the public awaits the grand jury’s decision whether to indict Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown; Tuesday’s slayings in a Jerusalem temple; the failed vote in the U.S. Senate to move ahead with the Keystone Pipeline project; the six feet of snow that blanketed Buffalo and the cold affecting the rest of the country; the ObamaCare controversy surrounding plan architect Jonathan Gruber; and the new allegations of rape against Bill Cosby were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, February 17, 2014

| February 17, 2014

wgwg logoWGN-Programmed FM Debuts Today as Sports Talk ‘The Game 87.7.’  Chicago media writer Robert Feder has the scoop following Friday’s announcement that Tribune’s WGN, Chicago will LMA WKQX-LP at 87.7 beginning today.  Last week Feder tipped us that Jonathon Brandmeier would do mornings when Tribune begins programming the station, but now he informs us the station will be thewgnlogo market’s first FM sports talk station branded “The Game 87.7.”  In addition to Brandmeier in mornings, the rest of the lineup will be: current WGN evening sports host David Kaplan and Chicago Tribune sports columnist David Haugh in middays, followed by WGN’s Alex Quigley and Big Ten Network’s Howard Griffith hosting an early afternoon show.  Former WMVP personality Harry Teinowitz and Spike Manton will host late afternoons with WGN’s Mark Carman hosting the evening show.  Overnights will feature programming from NBC Sports Radio Network.  WGN’s Jordan Bernfield will serve as full-time sports reporter.  Making the move over to the FM from WGN, Kaplan is giving up his “Sports Central” show on WGN and late night host Pete McMurray is bumped into the 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm slot.  Read Feder’s entire column here.

vitalejill‘Flirty Flipper’ Returns to WABC to Produce ‘Curtis & Kuby.’  It’s a return to the studios at Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York for Jill Vitale (a.k.a. Flirty Flipper) who served as Sean Hannity’s producer beginning in 1999 when he was a local NYC-only show.  During her time there she also produced John Gambling’s program before leaving in 2011.  Now, she returns to produce the midday show featuring Curtis Sliwa and Ron Kuby.

kevt logoTucson Talk Personality Jim Parisi to LMA KEVT.  Market talk radio pro Jim Parisi is taking over the operation of One Mart Corp.-owned KEVT under an LMA and is re-branding the former Spanish music station as news/talk radio outlet “Power Talk 1210.”  Tucson Weekly reports Parisi will serve as general manager in addition to hosting the 7:00 am to 10:00 am program.  Other personalities will include Providence, Rhode Island-based Steve Kass for 5:00 am to 7:00 am and John C. Scott for the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm program.  Fox Sports Radio Network programming will air in evenings and on weekends.  Parisi tells the paper, “I’ve come to a point that the only way to be happy is doing what I believe in.  I’m not doing anything that doesn’t reflect how I truly feel, so it will be the most genuine station I can be a part of.  We should have more local programming than most anyone in town.  We want to be as local, but as budget conscious, as we can so that we don’t go away.”

knbrlogoKNBR, San Francisco Takes Beating Over Olympics Coverage.  When Cumulus Media-owned sports talk outlet KNBR, San Francisco cut away from its coverage of the U.S.A.-Russia men’s hockey game during the shoot-out (which the U.S.A won!) to air “Hooked on Golf,” critics took to the internet to blast the station for the move.  The sports media critique site AwfulAnnouncing called the station out and posted a series of Tweets from fellow critics.  One Tweet came in from a Ryan Covay, who appears to be a KNBR staffer, saying, “I’m @ryancovay at home, not at station.  I imagine it’s because there are specific shows that need to air.  Apologies.”  It’s not been confirmed by KNBR but it appears the “Hooked on Golf” show is a brokered show that broadcasts live from a golf course in San Mateo.  That could explain the decision to cut away.

johnsondaniXtreMEDIA Expands Dani Johnson Show to Daily Format.  More than two years ago, the Dani Johnson show debuted on weekends on premier affiliate WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer.”  Now, the program moves to a daily format beginning today (2/17) and Johnson’s program will be available seven days per week.  XtreMEDIA states that “Johnson’s brand of ‘No Excuses, Just Results’ is now heard/seen in more than 66 million television householdsXtreMedialogo nationally, heard in more than 112 terrestrial radio markets, cleared on SiriusXM, and streamed/accessed by hundreds of thousands of social media users on her wesbite, social media pages, and her proprietary smartphone app.  And now she is accessed seven days a week.”  Johnson adds, “I can’t believe how much fun I’m having doing a daily show.  My true desire is to continue to help push people to achieve results in all areas of their lives, so that they can take back control, build financial resources, build stable marriages and families, and ultimately feed orphans and help those who need it most.”  XtreMEDIA CEO Kevin McCullough comments, “Dani connects with people — especially in this hyper-partisan environment — in ways that few people can.  The beauty of her show is that it doesn’t matter where you are on the spectrum of success, if you apply exactly what she shows you, you achieve better results.”

nrb logoMichael Harrison to Speak in Keynote Session at National Religious Broadcasters Convention.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison will serve as a keynote speaker next week at the NRB International Christian Media Convention 2014 in Nashville.  The event, which runs February 22-25 and is preceded by a one-day Digital Media Summit on February 21, is billed as an event that networks thousands of Christian communicators, from program producers to authors, pastors to engineers, directors to vendors presenting outstanding internationally known speakers and musicians and giving attendees the opportunity to attend numerous educational sessions on radio, TV, film, church media, internet and leadership, and receive helpful industry training.  Harrison, whose two-hour session will take place on Monday, February 24 at 2:00 pm, states, “I am really looking forward to participating in this event and spending time getting to better know people from the faith-based sector of the radio and media industries.  It will certainly give me the opportunity to embellish one of the key points of my own personal view of what radio needs to do to be a viable and productive entity in the digital era – and that is to never miss any opportunity to be a hero…to literally serve the community… to spread hope and inspiration…to talk about the many crisis and challenges facing people in everyday life and help them cope.  I recommend this course of action to all broadcasters – but this is a community where it is already proven to be a winning strategy.  I am honored to be a part of this event.”  The conference will take place at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville.  For more information please click here.

rothmanloriOdds & Sods.  On the Fox Business News cable TV simulcast of Cumulus Media NetworksDon Imus show, Lori Rothman is the new business news update reporter.  TVNewser reports that Rothman is moving into the morning role after serving as part of the early-afternoon “Markets Now” crew.  She’s joining FBN’s Connell McShane and Dagen McDowell…..Clear Channel names Brent Henslee operations manager for the company’s six-station Macon, Georgia cluster that includes sports talk WPLA “Fox Sports 1670” and all-comedy WIBB…..KCRW, Santa Monica personality Matt Miller announces he will run as a Democrat for the seat in Congress being vacated by the retiring Henry Waxman.  Miller is co-host of “Left, Right & Center” on the public radio station.  He’s also a columnist for the Washington Post.  Several Democrats are competing in the primary for the party’s nomination to run in the general election.

hendersonangeloDetroit Media Personality Angelo Henderson Dead at 51.  WCHB, Detroit talk show host Angelo Henderson passed away on Saturday (2/15) at age 51 after an illness.  The Radio One Detroit cluster issued the following statement on the WCHB website: “We at Radio One Detroit are devastated by unexpected news today.  We regretfully must confirm the passing of one of our on-air icons Angelo B. Henderson.  Henderson has been with Radio One Detroit for 15 years and was the host of the popular talk show “Your Voice with Angelo Henderson” on Newstalk AM1200/99.9FM WCHB for the past 6 years.”  Vice president and general manager Kathy Stinehour adds, “Angelo was a strong pillar in the community, I am saddened by his untimely passing and he will be greatly missed by the entire Detroit community and his Radio One Detroit family.”  In addition to his broadcasting work Henderson was a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

| January 30, 2014

beasley logoBeasley Broadcasting Reports Q4 Revenue Down Slightly; 2013 Up 4.7%.  Political advertising – or the lack thereof in the fourth quarter of Beasley’s Q4 – led to a mildly down quarter as net revenue dropped a half of a percent compared to the same period in 2012.  Station operating income was down 5.2% quarter over quarter.  However, for the year, Beasley reports net revenue was up 4.7% and net income per diluted share was up 6.3%.  Further, the company states that “lower net revenue in the 2013 fourth quarter and a $0.4 million, or 2.5%, increase in station operating expenses related to operating KVGS-FM in Las Vegas which was acquired in September 2013, as well as a rise in sales and programming expenses, caused fourth quarter 2013 station operating income (SOI), a non-GAAPbeasleygeorge financial measure, to decrease by $0.6 million, or 5.2%, to $10.2 million, as compared to the 2012 fourth quarter.”  Chairman and CEO George Beasley comments, “Beasley Broadcast Group’s fourth quarter net revenue decline primarily reflects a reduction in political spending as in the fourth quarter of 2012 we recorded approximately $1.2 million in political advertising revenue.  While we were not able to fully offset the cyclical impact of political revenue, the fourth quarter radio advertising environment in our markets remains healthy and on an actual basis we reported just a slight decline in net revenue compared with last year.  Excluding the benefit of political advertising in the year-ago quarter, Beasley Broadcast Group’s 2013 fourth quarter same station net revenue rose approximately 2% and, reflecting our success throughout 2013, actual full year net revenue rose 4.7% while same station net revenue for 2013 was up 1.9% versus full year 2012.  Overall, for our five markets that report to Miller Kaplan – which represent approximately 76% of total fourth quarter revenue – Beasley station cluster revenue declined by 2.6%, which again was primarily attributable to the cyclical nature of political advertising, while the total revenue for all reporting radio stations in these markets decreased by 4.1% for the quarter.  Beasley Broadcast Group’s out-performance relative to our markets again highlights the benefit of our organization-wide focus on strong core programming and targeted localism.  Our planned investments in sales and programming and the expansion of our digital offerings, combined with the revenue decline, led to fourth quarter 2013 SOI which was 5.2% below year-ago levels.”

sliwacurtisSliwa Child Support Case Creating ‘Tabloid’ Sensation in NYC.  The child support case currently in the courts in New York involving WABC, New York talk show host Curtis Sliwa has been fodder for the city’s tabloid newspapers.  Recently it was the New York Post.  Now it’s the New York Daily News.  The most recent court filings by Sliwa’s ex-wife Mary charge Curtis Sliwa was having an affair with now-Queens Borough president Melinda Katz prior to his marriage to Mary – and that he even spent the night before his wedding to Mary with Katz.  Sliwa was in court late last year contending he can’t afford the $13,000 per month he had agreed to pay Mary Sliwa for their now-10-year-old son because his salary had been slashed to $200,000 from its high of almost $700,000.  (That was when he worked for Salem, he now works for Cumulus and his current salary has not been published.)  Sliwa now lives with Katz and their two children and he pays $10,000 to Katz for child care even though they co-habitate.  Court documents allege that – via voice mails – Mary Sliwa can show Curtis Sliwa was having an affair with Katz for a long period of time although the two deny it started before 2011.  Mary Sliwa is also contesting the claim by Katz that her children were the product of frozen sperm donated by Sliwa.  Whereas this ordeal is no doubt causing financial and personal pain for the parties involved, the buzz factor generated by a scandal of this nature cannot help but draw priceless and timely publicity to Sliwa’s radio presence in the competitive New York market as he reunites with his former longtime co-host Ron Kuby on WABC.  Read the most recent New York Daily News story here.

haehlkentTV News Net Exec Joins Clear Channel Seattle as Market President.  The new market president at Clear Channel’s Seattle cluster is Kent Haehl.  The former Channel One Network chief executive officer will report to executive vice president of operations Hartley Atkins, who comments, “We are fortunate to bring someone onto our team who has such an expansive leadership and experience base.  Kent’s extensive knowledge of television, media, and the industry as a whole will immediately bring additional value to our advertisers and listeners as we continue to provide a greater reach than any other media outlet in Seattle.”  Haehl, who replaces Lisa Decker in the role, remarks that he is “extremely grateful” to begin working with “such a talented team of professionals.”  He adds, “I am looking forward to leading the market to continued success and to unlocking the full potential of our brands in one of America’s greatest cities.”  Prior to his tenure at Channel One, a daily global television news network, Haehl held senior sales and marketing positions at In-Store Broadcasting Network and Meredith Broadcasting Group.

bartleydavidBartley Joins WICC, Bridgeport, Connecticut.  Air personality and programmer David Bartley is named assistant program director and producer at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WICC, Bridgeport, Connecticut.  Bartley – who serves with the cluster as weekend and fill-in personality on the company’s sister AC WEBE – will produce the “Talk of the Town” program hosted by Jim Buchanan.  He will continue his role with WEBE.  In a statement, Bartley says, “I am very thankful to Danny Lyons and Ann McManus for giving me this awesome opportunity to help program ‘Fairfield County’s News and Information Leader’ WICC 600 AM, and I am also looking forward to working daily with Jim Buchanan.”

kxtg logoPortland’s KXTG to Air AFL Thunder Games.  As a result of a multi-year partnership agreement, Alpha Broadcasting, Portland’s sports-formatted KXTG “The Game” will be the flagship station for the Portland Thunder, the city’s Arena Football League team.  Senior vice president and market manager Milt McConnell notes, “We are excited to be a part of bringing the high-scoring Arena Football League’s Portland Thunder to our community.  This is an entertaining brand that extends Alpha’s ‘live and local’ focus.”  Portland Thunder owner Terry Emmert adds, “Sports fans in Oregon know that ‘The Game’ is the premiere sports radio station in the State.  We are thrilled to have partnered with the station and Alpha Broadcasting in airing the inaugural season of Portland Thunder Arena Football.  The AFL franchise will play 18 games, including nine at home at the Moda Center.  KXTG is also the flagship of the Oregon Ducks and Major League Soccer‘s Portland Timbers.

dukedrLong-Running Syndicated Health Show ‘Duke & The Doctor’ Ends.  One of the nation’s longest-running syndicated health talk shows is ending after tomorrow’s broadcast.  The “Duke & The Doctor” program – co-hosted by Dr. Jan McBarron (right) and her husband Duke Liberatore (left) – has been in national syndication for more than 15 years.  The couple is putting the wrap on the show at the same time they are selling their chain of six health food stores in North Georgia to Utah-based Nutraceutical.  Long-time readers of TALKERS magazine and industry pros who attended TALKERS’ New Media Seminar in New York City in the late 1990s and early 2000s are familiar with the colorful couple who were regular attendees at the event during those years.  With the show ending and the health food store chain being sold, Dr. McBarron is focusing on her medical practice and Liberatore will become more involved with the Columbus Lions Indoor Football team of which he and McBarron are part owners.

broomheadvetVeteran Recognized at SOTU Featured in KFYI, Phoenix Program.  When President Obama recognized US Army Ranger Sergeant First Class Cory Remsburg at the end of Tuesday’s State of the Union Address, Americans were applauding a man who was also recognized as part of news/talk KFYI, Phoenix’s “My Military Hero” promotion.  Remsburg (pictured here at left with KFYI’s Mike Broomhead), was the August 2013 military hero of the month who was featured on a local billboard in the Phoenix metro and received a $500 Visa gift card courtesy of sponsor Rio Salado College.  As part of the program, Mike Broomhead (heard on KFYI weekdays 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm) meets with each hero (or their family) each month to personally thank them for their service and presents them with their winnings including a mini digital billboard.

wallacechrisRTDNF Names Wallace Host of First Amendment Awards.  This year’s host of the Radio Television Digital News Foundation (RTDNF) First Amendment Awards is Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace.  The event will be held at Washington, DC’s Grand Hyatt Hotel on March 12.  Honorees include CBS News Bill Plante (RTDNF “Lifetime Achievement Award”); NBC NewsLester Holt (Leonard Zeidenberg “First Amendment Award”); Gannett Broadcasting‘s David Lougee (“First Amendment Leadership Award”); ABC NewsRobin Sproul (“First Amendment Service Award”); and The Associated Press (“First Amendment Award”). RTDNF chair Vincent Dully states, “We are delighted to have Chris Wallace as our master of ceremonies.  We invite everyone to join us in Washington to honor our award recipients and support the Foundation’s work for the First Amendment.”  Wallace received the organization’s Paul White Award in 2013, the group’s highest honor for a lifetime of achievement and service.

gauthiergaryFormer Tampa-Area Talk Host Arrested on Racketeering and Fraud Charges.  Using the religious station as a backdrop for his program “It’s God’s Money,” Gary L. Gauthier convinced 38 people in the Tampa area to invest in his Ponzi scheme and, according to the St. Petersburg Tribune, bilked them out of about $6 million.  During 2005, Gauthier’s program aired on Salem Communications-owned stations WTBN and WGUL, though it’s not clear if Salem owned the stations at the time Gauthier’s program aired.  According to the charges, Gauthier worked with local accountant David George Dreslin on the ploy.  Dreslin has also been arrested and charged.  The paper’s report indicates that many of the victims said they trusted Gauthier because he was broadcasting on a Christian radio station.

delaneykateOdds & Sods.  The “weigh-in” for WIP-FM, Philadelphia’s “Wing Bowl 22” takes place this afternoon at Chickie’s & Pete’s as Al Morganti and Rhea Hughes broadcast live from the restaurant in a prelude to the actual sold-out “Wing Bowl” that happens Friday morning at the Wells Fargo Center…..Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington adds popular Washington Post columnist Clinton Yates to its lineup as a contributor with a daily commentary called, “My Take.”  It’ll air at 5:35 and 8:35 each morning, Monday through Friday.  Yates says, “Radio is the original journalism media that I fell in love with as a kid.  The opportunity to work with a powerhouse station like WTOP is tremendous.”…..Multi-talented broadcaster Kate Delaney – host of the syndicated “America Tonight” show – sharpens her sports talk skills as she sits in for Newy Scruggs on the NBC Sports Radio Network’s midday show on Tuesday, February 4.

State of the Union Address, ObamaCare Criticism, Immigration Legislation, U.S.-Afghan Relations, Snow Paralyzes South and Financial Markets Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/29).  Analysis of President Obama’s State of the Union Address; scrutiny of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act; criticism of House Speaker John Boehner and plans for immigration legislation that includes amnesty; the worsening of relations between the U.S. and Afghanistan’s Hamid Karzai; the winter weather that hit the South and the activity on the world’s financial markets were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

| January 2, 2014

grantbobIconic Talk Show Host Bob Grant Dead at 84.  Just months after retiring from his weekend talk show at WABC, New York, Bob Grant passed away on New Year’s Eve after what’s being described as a brief illness.  Grant began his talk radio career at KABC in Los Angeles in the mid-1960s but rose to fame when he came to New York and began a regular talk show at WMCA in 1970.  Grant’s career saw him move around the New York radio dial; he worked at WABC and WOR and – for a time – WWDB-FM, Philadelphia.  He is regularly cited by today’s conservative talk radio practitioners as the man who pioneered the opinionated, call-it-as-you-see-it style of issues-oriented talk radio upon which the modern era of the format was built.  Read more about his legendary career here.

sliwakubyCurtis & Kuby Return to WABC, New York.  Cumulus Media names Curtis Sliwa and Ron Kuby midday talk hosts at WABC, New York – returning one of the most popular local talk teams to the station where they first worked together more than 13 years ago.  The Curtis & Kuby show aired on WABC from 2000 to 2007 pairing the conservative Sliwa with the ultra-liberal Kuby for a show that was very successful.  Cumulus COO John Dickey says in a statement, “We’re delivering on our pledge to invest in localized content that will entertain, inform and engage listeners while also providing advertisers unique opportunities to reach their customers on a sustained basis.  Sliwa adds, “Ever since I left 77 WABC, everywhere I go people have asked me if and when I would ever reunite with Ron Kuby, because that was a great show!  At a time when New Yorkers are starved for information and entertainment, I’m thrilled that we’ll be able to offer it to them on the greatest news/talk station this country has ever seen.”  And Kuby comments, “I am thrilled to be back at legendary 77 WABC radio with the Curtis & Kuby show — it is a new day for New York City and a new afternoon for Newkiernanpat York radio!”  Sliwa has most recently been hosting both morning and afternoon shows at Salem’s crosstown WNYM “AM 970 The Answer.”  In addition to the Curtis & Kuby show, Cumulus is adding a local hour from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm hosted by NY1 TV anchor Pat Kiernan.  Kiernan states, “My first broadcasting job was in radio so this is a natural way for me to extend my connection with New Yorkers.  I see this as a great way for listeners to reconnect after the workday.  We’re going to hit the big local stories, but we also want to plug into the conversation of the day.  That can include anything from pop culture to sports to the hot topic on Twitter.”  These moves come as the station transitions the late morning Geraldo Rivera show to local content and adds the Cumulus Media Networks nationally syndicated Michael Savage for the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm slot.

wabcWABC, New York Names Craig Schwalb PD; Tony Mascaro Takes WPRO, Providence Programming Post.   Along with the programming changes announced above, Cumulus Media announces Craig Schwalb is being promoted to program director of WABC, New York from the company’s WPRO, Providence.  At the same time, Tony Mascaro moves from his operations manager post at WABC to program director of WPRO and sister business news outlet WPRV.  The company states that Schwalb has nearly two decades of news, talk and sports programming experience with roles held in markets including New York City, Detroit, St. Louis and Raleigh.  Prior to joining Cumulus, Schwalb was thewpro logo senior director of talk programming for SiriusXM.  Schwalb says, “WABC has inspired countless broadcasters over the years and to now lead WABC into its next phase will be an absolute pleasure.  Without a doubt, working alongside Cumulus NYC market manager Kim Bryant, COO John Dickey, SVP programming Mike McVay and corporate program director Randall Bloomquist, will be an honor.”  Speaking about his return to Providence, Mascaro comments, “I am thrilled to be returning to Providence where it all started for me.  WPRO-AM is a legendary radio station with an amazing line-up of talent.  I wish everyone at WABC continued success for the future.  Thanks to John Dickey, Mike McVay, Randall Bloomquist and Providence market manager Barbara Haynes for this opportunity to program a heritage radio station in a great radio market.”

hannityseanSean Hannity to Air Live on KVI, Seattle.  Premiere Networks nationally syndicated superstar Sean Hannity returns to Seattle’s “Talk Radio 570” KVI today airing live in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot.  This marks a reunion with the station on which his show debuted in 2001.  Program director Paul Duckworth states, “We’re thrilled to bring Sean back to KVI.  Listeners deserve to hear Sean’s program live and get the most up-to-the-minute news, information and analysis.”  Hannity adds, “From the very first day I went on the air and that red light went on, I have been in love with radio.  I’m thrilled, excited, ecstatic, exuberant to be back on America’s original conservative talk station, ‘Talk Radio 570 KVI.’”  In addition, “The Hannity Encore” will air on the station Sundays from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

wind logo

WIND, Chicago Expands Morning Show; Adds Sean Hannity.  Salem Communications-owned news/talk WIND, Chicago announces the expansion of the morning drive show co-hosted by Big John Howell and Amy Jacobson plus the addition of Premiere’s Sean Hannity show to the lineup.  Beginning Monday, January 6, Bill Bennett‘s “Morning in America” returns live to the station for the 5:00 am to 6:00 am hour.  Howell and Jacobson will air in the expanded 6:00 am to 11:00 am slot.  Westwood One’s Dennis Miller remains in the 11:00 am to 2:00 pm slot but now airs live.  Sean Hannity also airs live from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  WIND general manager Jeff Reisman comments, “Sean Hannity is an ideal fit on ‘AM 560 The Answer.’  Sean is one of the premier news/talk personalities and his style will fit nicely with our outstanding lineup of local and national hosts.”

kaplandavidWGN, Chicago Gives David Kaplan New Contract.  Talk host and reporter David Kaplan inks a new, multi-year contract with Tribune’s WGN, Chicago.  Kaplan hosts the eponymous nightly sports talk show that airs from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm and serves as afternoon drive sports reporter as well as host of the Cubs and Blackhawks Confidential programs.  Kaplan comments, “It’s a thrill to continue my career at WGN Radio where I have spent the last 18-plus years.  I’m thankful to work for the best mind in radio, Jimmy de Castro, and I’m blessed to be able to talk sports in my hometown of Chicago on the best radio station in America.”  De Castro adds, “We are driven to deliver live and local programming to our listeners.  Kap has his finger on the pulse of Chicago sports and we’re excited for him to be a part of our multi-dimensional future.”

jamesmarcMarc James Goes Solo at “The Fan” in Charlotte.  CBS RADIO announces WFNZ, Charlotte “Sports Radio 610 The Fan” afternoon drive personality Marc James begins hosting the afternoon drive slot on the station solo as former co-host Taylor Zarzour leaves the show to host “Bleacher Report Radio” on SiriusXM‘s sports zone channel.  James and Zarzour had been co-hosting “The Drive” since they were paired up in 2011.  The station says Zarzour will continue to remain a part of the WFNZ family by calling into the show with Marc weekly.  Zarzour says, “I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunity that OM DJ Stout and market manager Bill Schoening gave me at WFNZ.  I am extremely proud of the success that we had in my three years on the show and have no doubt Marc and the crew will continue to grow the audience.  I am excited about my next opportunity but will continue to be a part of the WFNZ family.”  The show’s other cast members include The Q.C.B., Hitman, and Jayweezie.  Stout says, “Although it is bittersweet to see Taylor go, he has done a great job for us and we will miss his talent and professionalism.  We’re excited for Marc to take on this opportunity.  He is a top notch talent and we look forward to him taking The Drive to the next level.”  James comments, “Taylor Zarzour is probably the hardest working person in sports talk radio.  He made me a better host, but more importantly a better man.  I look forward to taking ‘Sports Radio 610 WFNZ the Fan’ to unparalleled heights in the future. Charlotte is hands down one of the best sports towns in America and we will continue to make Charlotte proud to call WFNZ THE best sports talk station in the city.”

xmas story albumThe Miracle of “A Christmas Story.”  Ever the radio historian, noted media consultant Walter Sabo reminds us about the power of story-telling as an audience-building device.  In a new column posted today (1/2) Sabo discusses the movie “A Christmas Story” which was based on the synthesis of dozens of radio monologues created and delivered by the late and legendary talker Jean Shepherd.  Shepherd broadcast on WOR, New York from 1958-1975.  His nightly monologues were not bedtime stories.  According to Sabo, they were subversive proclamations, challenging authority wrapped in imagery of American traditions.  Shepherd worked without a script, but with massive prep.  Some of his shows took months to come to fruition in his imagination.  He recorded every show.  The importance of Shepherd’s work is that it was not on NPR or an obscure station.  WOR was the number one station in audience and revenue in America through most of his reign.  It was a talk station that appealed primarily to women—about 70% of the cume was female.  About 70% of the hosts were women.  There were many other dominant talk stations at the time that appealed primarily to women such as KMOX, WCCO, WGN and WBZ.  Shepherd’s audience was young, more male.  His show often presented a youngster’s perspective on the idiocy of authority, success, day-people and capitalism.  He bashed advertising, radio, television and anything that was mainstream or plastic. In other words he trashed, on every level, the success of his employer: The number one radio station in America owned by General Tire and Rubber.  He did that every night.  There is much contemporary talk broadcasters can learn from this slice of radio history.  To read Sabo’s entire piece, please click here.

nielsen logoNieslen Audio December PPM Data Released.  The December 2013 PPM ratings data has been released by Nielsen Audio.  Numbers for all 48 PPM-rated markets have been made public and that information can be found at the site of TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo.  Check out the main page for managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian’s “Takeaways” here or go straight to the full ratings data here.

ces2014Coming Next Week: The 2014 International CES.  Media consultant and TALKERS columnist Holland Cooke will report from next week’s 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.  He teases the event asking, “How dizzying is the-pace-of-change?”  Media are now asked NOT to refer to this massive, mind-boggling event as “The Consumer Electronics Show,” because whassup here has transcendedcookeholland hardware.

Sure, there’ll be gadgets aplenty in an exhibit hall bigger than 30 football fields, many of ‘em obsoleting whatever seemed so-cutting-edge last year.  But many of the ways technology is changing our everyday lives are…invisible, “The Internet of Things.”

Yes, the Amazon drone story was a publicity stunt.

But 62% of Internet traffic is now robots.

Maybe your refrigerator isn’t (yet) auto-ordering milk; and none of us are riding driver-less cars.

Yet already, patients can enable doctors to monitor real-time vital signs.

Soon, your alarm clock could wake you earlier if the route you commute has a traffic tangle.  And your thermostat will auto-adjust, based on the changing weather forecast.  Traditional radio information hooks are no longer franchises.  If you think I’m exaggerating, look at your iPhone.

Come along, virtually…

Look for my coverage here next week in TALKERS and RadioInfo; and follow my real-time Tweets @HollandCooke.  I’ll also be reporting for the Jim Bohannon show and “America in the Morning,” and on my client stations.

And it’ll be a ‘Vegas convention two-fer.  Again this year, I’ll also be covering NMX, the New Media Expo, formerly “Blogworld,” before-that “The Podcast & New Media Expo,” which, a decade ago, already drew twice-as-many attendees as radio conventions.

With media consumers now in on-demand pick-N-choose mode — and with advertising and marketing money flowing to the digital platform — these internet content creators’ work is now instructive to what TALKERS and RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison has termed broadcast stations’ “survival and ‘thrival.’”

pattiznormNorm Pattiz to Keynote NMX 2014.  Speaking of the New Media Expo, Courtside Entertainment Group CEO Norm Pattiz will be among the three media execs keynoting the conference when it gets underway this weekend in Las Vegas.  Speaking alongside tech expert Leo Laporte and Stitcher CEO Noah Shanok, Pattiz – Westwood One founder and CEO of Podcast One – will address the former Blogworld conference at 9:00 am on Monday, January 6.  The title of the keynote address is “The Future of Podcasting.”

wmyt logoWMYT, Wilmington Adds Programming.  Talk Media TV-owned news/talk WMYT, Wilmington, North Carolina announces program additions to is schedule beginning with its “Super Saturdays” lineup.  The station says the new addition to its “Super Saturdays,” which consists of eight local shows, is “The Car Doctor with Val Boudreau.”  Also, the station announces it is bringing the new “The Blaze News” regular news updates to listeners airing every 15 minutes, saying “’The Blaze News’ spots, in addition to our Fox Business News spots, will expand our national news content and coverage!”  WMYT is also adding Premiere NetworksAndy Dean to the daily schedule airing weeknights from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm.

ktxx logoAustin Sports Talker KTXX-FM Purchased By Local Group.  The Austin American-Statesman reports that longtime market media personality Bob Cole heads up an ownership group that is purchasing sports talk KTXX-FM “The Horn” and its sister AM signal KWNX from Total Austin Sports Radio for an undisclosed sum.  Cole – who serves as the Texas Longhorns stadium announcer and is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Texas Radio Hall of Fame – tells the paper the station will remain sports but that “We’re going to do something a little different, that fills a hole that no one else in the market is filling.”  Earlier this year the group purchased country outlet KOKE where Cole hosts the morning show.

keib logoOdds & Sods.  Clear Channel changes the call letters of KTLK, Los Angeles to KEIB – a nod to its new centerpiece, Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh, whose Excellence in Broadcasting network moniker is often shortened to EIB.  The station flipped from progressive talk to conservative talk as of today (1/2) and the station’s brand is “The Patriot.”  Limbaugh moved over from sister news/talk KFI…..CBS RADIO’s WIP-FM, Philadelphia “SportsRadio 94 WIP” is giving away a pair of tickets to Saturday night’s Eagles-Saints NFC Wild Card game at Lincoln Financial Field to the person “who needs them the most.”  The station iswiplogo telling listeners to make a banner that says “94WIP I Need Eagles Playoff Tickets,” make it big, creative and hang it where WIP can see – as long as it’s legal.  On Friday afternoon, the station will send its spotters out to select the best banner and will award the tickets accordingly…..ESPN Radio returns to the Columbia, South Carolina market after a 17-month absence on L&L Broadcasting’s WOIC “ESPN Columbia 1230 AM.”  WOIC flipped from news/talk on January 1 and is carrying much of the ESPN Radio lineup.  It will also air local programs “The Zone” hosted by Duane “The Shot Doctor” Everett from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm and “Sports Hotline” with Bobby Gist and Ernest Robinson from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm…..The “Positive Business with Patricia Raskin” show announces the addition of new co-host Lynda Adams.  “Positive Business” airs every Friday from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm on business talk WPRV, Providence where it’s been heard for the past four years.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

| August 27, 2013

callahanthomSouthern California Broadcasters Association Touts Big July for Radio Sales.  According to the July 2013 X-Ray revenue report from Miller Kaplan Arase, radio advertising revenue in Southern California was up 3.8% over the same period a year ago.  SCBA president Thom Callahan says that eight of the top 10 advertiser categories  grew over the same period.  “On a YTD basis, impressive category growth was recorded in education up 41.5%, transportation up 32.6%, department stores/shopping centers up 40.7% and appliances/electronics up 82.8%.  The depth and breadth of July’s results cannot be showcased enough.  The critical auto category alone was up 9.6% over last July with beverages, financial services, concerts, grocers, casinos, and professional services all showing double digit growth.”  Callahan states the new business acquired over the past year tells the real story with “an astounding 485 new clients who invested a record $30,550,000 through July 2013.”  Callahan adds, “Month after month, these documented revenue growth reports starkly conflict with all the ‘radio is dead’ noise we continue to read about in the press.  The facts are obvious: Southern California Radio is a potent advertising partner and 485 new advertisers found that out in the first seven months of 2013.”

cbsradio logoStill More Rumors of CBS Radio Selling.  These rumors about CBS selling its radio stations seem to pop up once or twice a year and they, obviously, have yet to amount to anything.  The latest has Cumulus Media supposedly considering making an offer for the CBS Radio stations.  So far, Cumulus is not commenting on the speculation but that doesn’t mean anything, either.  Although it’s true that if the price is right, everything is for sale.  But Les Moonves has stated during numerous investor conference calls that the company likes the radio business because it’s a cash business.  Remember, at the Deutsche Bank DbAccess 21st Annual Media and Telecom Conference in March of this year he said, “We like radio.  Once again, low-single digit growth, revenue, OIBDA.  It’s still a very great cash business with great margins.  We still like running it.  We have no intent to sell it as many people are watching terrestrial radio today as watching 10 years ago, even with all these things going on with satellite and everything else.  It is what it is.  We like the business, it produces cash every year.  We like having the amount of cash we have, where our balance sheet is certainly in great shape, partially because of radio.”  Yes, companies do change their minds, but industry watchers tell RadioInfo any deal for CBS’ stations would have to include off-the-charts money.

starksatcontrolsCreating a Worldwide Radio Network One “Hobby” Station at a Time.  When you think of syndicators, you think of giants like Premiere or Talk Radio Network.  When you think of radio stations that carry syndicated programs, heritage stations like New York City’s WABC and KABC in Los Angeles come to mind.  What you don’t think is a syndicator setting up their operation, or their entire radio station’s operation, in a bedroom in their home located in rural Oklahoma.  You also don’t think anyone working out of a room about the size of a one-car garage distributing 24-hour programming, seven-days-a-week on three continents.  What you also don’t think is that anyone can do all of this with an operating budget that equals the pay before taxes of a young adult working full time at a fast-food restaurant.  Welcome to the world of radio iconoclast Jan Starks (pictured here in the studio).mckayjeff  If you have not heard of Jan Starks, it may be because you’re not one of the 155 people who live in Cowlington, Oklahoma, a tiny town with about 55 households nestled near the Arkansas border.  This is the town that Starks calls home, and is also the home of Star Com Media, LLC.  Cowlington is also the home of KKRP-AM (1610), a low-power radio station broadcasting with 100mw of power, the same milliwattage that can power a small laser pointer, and just enough to reach the rural population of Cowlington.  However, thanks to modern technology, the internet, a few computers, an unusually strong passion for radio and an equally unusual business plan, KKRP-AM is now a part of a legion of stations across the nation just like it, and he hasn’t stopped there.  Welcome to the micro-level of today’s broadcasting scene – a provocative mix of over-the-air broadcasting on the smallest, most local of levels boosted to international reach by the power of the internet and human ingenuity.  To learn more about Jan Starks, Star Com Media, LLC and micro-broadcasting, read TALKERS special features correspondent Jeff McKay‘s entire article posted today (8/27) by clicking here.

beasleyasuBeasley Broadcasting CEO George Beasley Cuts Ribbon on Appalachian State University Media Complex.  Named the George G. Beasley Media Complex, the state-of-the-art broadcasting complex on the campus of Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, was officially opened during a ceremony held last Thursday, August 22.  Beasley chairman and CEO George G. Beasley (pictured here at the ceremony) received an undergrad degree in 1958 and completed his Master of Arts in educational administration in 1960 at the school.  He stated, “I not only envision Appalachian being one of the top schools in communications in North Carolina, I think that over the next few years it will become the premier school of broadcast communications in the Southeast and maybe one of the top 5 in America…This building isn’t about George Beasley and his family, it’s about the many hundreds of students we expect to come through this building.”  The complex is an 18,000 square-foot media facility that houses the Department of Communication’s radio and television studios, classrooms, labs and faculty offices.  The department’s 24-hour, student-managed radio station is 90.5 WASU-FM.

matthewskenKen Matthews New Afternoon Host at WHP, Harrisburg.  The search for a replacement for the recently retired Bob Durgin is over at Clear Channel news/talk outlet WHP, Harrisburg.  Ken Matthews, a frequent fill-in host for Durgin, is named the permanent afternoon drive personality.  Matthews says, “I’m thrilled to be joining the WHP580 family.  The WHP team is an outstanding group of broadcasters and part of a wonderful Pennsylvania community.  I’m looking forward to many great conversations with local listeners on and off the radio.”  Matthews was morning drive host at Clear Channel’s CHR WAEB, Allentown “B104” from the early 1990s through 2006.  CC regional program manager Jeff Hurley states, “Ken is poised and talented – I’m confident he will become one of Pennsylvania’s great newsmakers during the afternoon slot on WHP 580.  He’s the perfect host to drive political discussion in Central Pennsylvania.  He brings energy and excitement that’s infectious to everyone around him.”

spitzerwnymEliot Spitzer Appears with David Paterson and Curtis Sliwa on WNYM’s ‘Political Roundtable.’  Two of New York’s former governors – David Paterson (l) and Eliot Spitzer (c) – are pictured here at the Statler Grill in Manhattan with Curtis Sliwa (r) on last Friday’s edition of “Political Roundtable” on Salem Communications-owned WNYM, New York “AM970 The Answer.”  Paterson and Sliwa host “Curtis & the Gov.” and Spitzer appeared to talk about his run for comptroller of New York.  The station says “the format all NYC mayoral and comptroller candidates an unfettered hour of prime airtime to articulate and explain their positions and policies, without the constraints of conforming to a 30-second sound bite.  Candidates take questions from Sliwa and Governor Paterson and share their vision for the city as patrons chow down on juicy steaks and fresh seafood.”  Curtis Sliwa adds, “This is live and local at its best.  No media outlet in New York is covering these important races the way AM970 is.”  Others that have participated in the round table have included John Catsimatidis, Joe Lhota, George McDonald, John Liu, Sal Albanese, Bill Thompson, John Burnett, Scott Stringer and Kristin Davis.

bergmansandiMEDIA BROKER SPOTLIGHT: Dave Garland of Dave Garland Media Brokers.  In this week’s installment of Media Broker Spotlight, Sandi Bergman of RadioTVDeals.com interviews media broker Dave Garland of Dave Garland Media Brokers located in Woodville, Texas.  Dave Garland has an extensive background in radio saying, “I spent many years in radio grunt work… on air, sales, etc.  My first paid non-college broadcast job was as a photographer for a TV network affiliate and I really got bit hard by the radio bug by hanging out with the folks on the radio side.  I now say I have done every job at a station from sweep the floors to being an owner.”  Dave says that the buying of a radio station in today’s tight banking environment is a “tough business” but he is available to talk to first-time buyers and see if the right deal can be located for them.”  There are lots of stations that are not officially ‘for sale’ but can be acquired if the right buyer comes along.”  Per the custom of this feature, Sandi Bergman offers several opportunities for displaced station managers and first-time entrants looking to roll up their sleeves and take on an ownership project.  To read the entire installment of Media Broker Spotlight, please click here.

wtop tech logoWTOP Expands Website with Technology Section.  Hubbard Radio-owned all-news WTOP, Washington launches a new technology section added to wtop.com with director of digital media John Meyer stating, “Technology touches everything we do today.  We are going to tell the stories of how it is affecting lives in our area at work, home, school, and in government.”  WTOP veteran award-winning reporter Neal Augenstein is the technology editor and will produce multimedia coverage of the tech category – on-air, online, and via social content.  WTOP notes Augenstein is a pioneer when it comes to journalism and technology; he was the first major market radio reporter to do most of his field production on an iPhone, and has written about and hosted multiple seminars on using the latest technology for audio, video, photography and writing.  WTOP Tech is the latest expansion of WTOP’s digital footprint following the launch of its Living section earlier this year.

cummingannmarieNAB Ups Cumming and Ingram.  National Association of Broadcasters promotes Ann Marie Cumming from vice president to senior vice president of communications, reporting to Dennis Wharton.  Cumming joined the NAB full time three years ago and her duties have included supporting the department’s public policy outreach and managing media-related activities at the NAB show.  The promotion includes new duties but she will continue to oversee the newsrooms at the Radio Show and the NAB Show.  Also, Shermaze Ingram is promoted to senior vice president, marketing and creative services.  She continues to report to NAB marketing executive vice president Michelle Lehman.  Ingraham handles much of the marketing for the Radio Show.

jimmyfund logoWEEI, Boston Teams with NESN for 12th Annual Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon.  Today begins the 12th annual Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon to benefit the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.  The annual two-day event is being broadcast live from Fenway Park on Entercom’s sports talk WEEI-FM, Boston and simulcast on regional cable network New England Sports Network.  Last year’s broadcast raised $3.4 million bringing the 12-year total to more than $31 million.

U.S. Syria Policy, Miley Cyrus MTV Appearance, Race Relations in the U.S., Financial Markets Activity, and California Wildfire Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/26).  The United States’ policy regarding Syria; Miley Cyrus’ controversial performance at the MTV VMAs; the increasing discussion about race relations in America; financial markets activity; and the threat to Yosemite National Park and San Francisco’s water supply as the result of the wildfire in California.

Friday, July 19, 2103

| July 19, 2013

wrightcurtis show logoCurtis Wright and George Bell to Launch Wilmington, NC Talk Station Monday.  After splitting from Cumulus Media in late 2012 and partnering with area businessman and local Republican activist George Bell, Curtis Wright began producing his “On the Beat” internet talk program from the duo’s Talk Media TV studios in February of this year.  Now, Wright and Bell are launching news/talk outlet “My Talker” on class A FM WMYT, Wilmington, North Carolina at 106.7 on Monday July 22.  The station will feature Wright’s program in morning drive followed by Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck, Courtside Entertainment’s Laura Ingraham, and Premiere’s Sean Hannity.  Other network shows to be carried include: TRN’s Andrea Tantaros, Premiere’s “Coast to Coast AM,” “Handel on the Law,” Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo, Gary Sullivan, Leo Laporte and more.

wnymlogoFormer Governor David Paterson Officially Joins ‘AM 970 The Answer’ in New York.  The former governor of New York has been co-hosting the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm show alongside Curtis Sliwa – dubbed “Curtis and the Gov” – for about a month now but Salem Communications announces David Paterson officially joins the WNYM in a permanent capacity.  Sliwa, who’s been pulling double duty at the station forpatersondavid some time, will continue to host the morning show solo from 6:00 am to 9:00 am.  After leaving the governor’s office, Paterson joined WOR, New York but exited that station when Clear Channel bought it from Buckley Broadcasting.  He says of returning to the air, “I am ecstatic at the prospect of returning to talk radio at ‘AM 970 The Answer’ and co-hosting with one of the living legends in the business, Curtis Sliwa.  Working with Curtis, as opposed to being a solo host, gives me a wider berth to air my opinions and strike up an interesting back-and-forth with an outspoken and articulate critic on everything.”  WNYM VP/GM Jerry Crowley, who hired Paterson while working at WOR, states, “There was no more beloved or recognizable figure in talk radio than the Gov.  It’s amazing how fast he became skilled behind the microphone.  He created quite a buzz when he first started reading commercials and our clients simply loved it.  He was a big part of our success.”

wfanfantasy4WFAN, New York Prepares to Launch 4th Annual Fantasy Phenom Challenge.  CBS Radio sports talk WFAN, New York is kicking off its 4th annual Fantasy Phenom Challenge next week at Modell’s Sporting Goods on Columbus Avenue in New York City.  This promotion is a contest for local listeners to show the station their sports talk chops and win a chance to host a program on WFAN.  The contest begins Thursday at 12:00 noon at the Columbus Ave. Modell’s location, then moves to the Edgewater, New Jersey location on Saturday, July 27 and to the Plainview, New York location on Tuesday, July 30.  At each location the station will audition up to 100 contestants who must deliver a 2-minute rant in front of the judges. Winners move on with the final five competing for the ultimate prize at Mike Francesa’s “End of Summer” bash and radio show broadcast live on-air and online at www.wfan.com from Bar A in Lake Como, New Jersey on Friday, August 23.  WFAN operations manager and CBS Radio New York VP of programming Mark Chernoff says, “Once again it’s ‘Fantasy Phenom’ time on ‘The Fan.’  This year we’re partnering with Modell’s Sporting Goods to hold first round auditions at three of their area stores as we look for another grand prize winner who will receive a weekly air shift for a year on WFAN and this year as an added bonus, the winner will receive a two year lease of a brand new Lester Glenn Hyundai.  Let the fun begin!”

saboconclaveWalter Sabo Interviewed by Bob Shannon at The Conclave.  In a riveting one-on-one presentation, Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo was interviewed by The Conclave executive director Bob Shannon yesterday (7/18) during the conclusion of the second day of the three-day industry gathering in Minneapolis.  Sabo discussed a number of the highlights of his colorful career in radio and explained his view of the evolving relationship between popular culture and video on the internet.  The consultant also discussed radio’s need to take more chances on new concepts and stop the practice of playing follow the leader.  The Conclave concludes today (7/19) with “Game Day” sessions geared to sports radio and a trip this evening to a Minnesota Twins baseball game.

bahenickNRG Media’s ‘1620 The Zone’ in Omaha to Launch Nick Bahe Show.  Sports talker KOZN, Omaha “1620 The Zone” announces former Creighton University hoops star Nick Bahe becomes part of the lineup with a daily 11:00 am to 2:00 pm eponymous program.  The station says Bahe’s program joins the “entirely live and local” lineup.  Bahe’s show follows lead-in “Sharp & Benning” and is followed by “Unsportsmanlike Conduct” with hosts John Bishop and Mike’l Severe in afternoon drive.

katzpresspartyJeff Katz Takes Part in Boston Herald Online Program.  Boston-based talk media personality Jeff Katz (most recently with Clear Channel’s former news/talk WXKS-AM, Boston) is pictured here on the set of the Boston Herald’s “Press Party” program that is part of the paper’s online initiative.  Seen here (from l-r) are: Joe Battenfeld (formerly of FOX 25/Boston), Jaclyn Cashman (formerly of WWLP-TV/Springfield), Tito Jackson (Boston City Councilor), Katz, and Dr. Bob Rosenthal (Chairman of Suffolk University Communications Department).

Odds & Sods.  ESPN Radio – which will broadcast 17 NFL games this season – announces it’ll kick off the season with Tennessee at Pittsburgh on Sunday, September 8…..Cumulus Media’s WWLS, Oklahoma City renews its deal with the NBA’s Thunder to continue serving as flagship station for the team.  The two sides recently signed a multi-year agreement that provides for Spanish-language play-by-play on sister WKY.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Update.  Pilot Media’s WRPW, Bloomington, Illinois adds “America Tonight” with host Kate Delaney to the program schedule….. WestStar MultiMedia Entertainment’s Kim Komando program adds new affiliates: WWIQ, Philadelphia; KSRO, Santa Rosa, California; KYKN, Kaiser, Oregon and KXLY, Spokane…..Sports talk show “From the Press Box to Press Row” with Donal Ware adds new affiliates KKNO, New Orleans and WVWI, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.

Zimmerman Verdict Aftermath Top News/Talk Story for Week of July 15-19.  The aftermath of the George Zimmerman verdict landed atop the Talkers TenTM as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week.  Coming in at #2 was the implementation of the Affordable Care Act – ObamaCare.  At #3 was the IRS’ scrutiny of conservative groups and individuals and following at #4 was immigration reform and amnesty.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

| April 30, 2013

nms2013logoEntercom Boston VP of Programming Jason Wolfe to Present Closing Keynote at Talkers New York 2013.  In what promises to be a timely, pertinent and compelling conclusion to one of the most important industry conferences in modern memory, Entercom Boston VP of programming Jason Wolfe will deliver the closing keynote address.  The address is titled “Reflections on a Tragedy and the Fundamental Role of Radio.”  It will provide insight and first-hand recollections of the Boston Marathonwolfejason bombings from the local perspective of a Boston radio group that found itself in the thick of the national crisis.  In accepting the assignment, Wolfe tells TALKERS, “It was such a remarkable, emotional and dramatic situation that it is taking me weeks to sort out my thoughts and feelings on the experience.  Our group was just one of a number of fine Boston-area radio stations that did an excellent job of being there for the people of the region with news and information about the unfolding drama.  It was a remarkable time of sharing, of pooling resources among competitors, for the good of the  community.”  Wolfe, whose Entercom Boston outlets include news/talk WRKO and sports talk WEEI, continues, “…but it isn’t just about the presentation of news and information – talk radio provides a more complex and deeper service during times like this.  And this includes many music stations that stopped playing songs and became, for all intents and purposes, talk stations themselves during the crisis.  Talk radio provides the opportunity for people to vent and share feelings…to plug in directly to the human condition.  It provides the opportunity for people to become connected into a community of fellow human beings linked together by common fears, pain, and confusion during a tragedy.  Talk radio provides hope.  Or at least, it should.”  Wolfe sums it up: “I believe that we as broadcasters share a deeper more fundamental responsibility to the public than just being entertainers.  We must use this precious opportunity we have to actually serve the public good on every level within our power.”  Wolfe is one of more than 50 outstanding industry leaders who will be speaking at Talkers New York 2013 on Thursday, June 6.  The event will be sold out by the close of business on Wednesday of this week.  Registrations ($199) are only open to members of the working media and can be booked by phone with credit card at 413-565-5413.  For the complete agenda and more details, click here.

kaminskybrianClear Channel Names Brian Kaminsky EVP of Operations for Digital.  Coming over to Clear Channel from his most recent position as COO and general manager of The Huffington Post, Brian Kaminsky will join the company’s digital division as executive vice president of operations, effective immediately.  Kaminsky will report to CC president of digital Brian Lakamp and will be based out of New York City.  Kaminsky’s charge will be to oversee digital advertising operations, customer support, product analytics and partner operations across the suite of Clear Channel’s digital products including iHeartRadio, Clear Channel’s industry leading digital radio service, and its vast network of station websites.  His responsibilities will also include setting best practices for the management and modernization of digital ad inventory, and working with sales and product teams to define and develop new ad products.  Lakamp states, “Having Brian on board as the EVP of operations illustrates Clear Channel’s commitment to hiring exceptional, innovative talent that will continue to strengthen our position as a market leader.  His business management skills and experience in optimizing the use of digital advertising inventory within technology-driven organizations will be a great asset to both our advertisers and the Clear Channel digital team.”  Prior to his work at The Huffington Post, Kaminsky was vice president of global revenue operations at Reuters Media, where he supervised yield management systems for desktop, video, mobile and digital out-of-home advertising products.

meyerjimSiriusXM Names James Meyer CEO.  James Meyer has been serving as interim chief executive officer for SiriusXM Satellite Radio since Mel Karmazin resigned from the position last fall.  Now, the company gives him the job officially.  SiriusXM chairman Gregory Maffei states, “After a thorough search of excellent candidates, we are delighted to name Jim as the CEO of SiriusXM, where he will continue to lead a very strong executive team.  Jim is a highly qualified leader and operator and we look forward to working with him to build on SiriusXM’s position as the innovator in audio entertainment.  He has been a vital part of SiriusXM for close to a decade, and his extensive knowledge of SiriusXM’s business and significant industry experience will be invaluable assets in the highly competitive market within which SiriusXM is thriving.  Jim’s leadership, strategic vision and operating focus are exactly what SiriusXM needs today and in the future.”

car radioDebate of Future of Dashboard Front and Center in Detroit.  In a piece published in the Detroit News on April 29, the topic of the future of the AM/FM radio in the automobile dashboard was addressed and Gartner Inc. vice president Thilo Koslowski says he believes that by the year 2020 “I feel very confident that many consumers will consume radio content through avenues other than terrestrial broadcast.”  Right now, the big three are still providing AM/FM radios in new cars and plan to do so for the foreseeable future but, obviously, they are also adding the digital technology that people want.  Ford’s Jim Buczkowski says, “We’re trying to give them lots of different options.”  As the piece points out, it costs money to listen to internet audio – it comes from the users’ data plans.  Though Koslowski says he believes that it just makes more sense to listen via Wi-Fi or data plan and that carriers will “get more creative with their data plans”  allowing people to listen more cheaply.  When Detroit Electric unveils its first model in August of this year, it will not have an AM/FM radio.  Users will plug in their smartphones.  Still, other analysts say the free and simple nature of AM/FM radio is something that carmakers will be conscious of before they take the drastic step of eliminating it from the dash and risk alienating customers.   Read the Detroit News piece here.

sliwalichtmanWNYM, New York’s Curtis Sliwa and Jeffrey Lichtman Debut Remote Mayoral Candidate Roundtable.  Tonight is the first in a series of mayoral candidate roundtable broadcasts produced by Salem Communications’ WNYM, New York “970 The Answer” and hosted by the station’s Curtis Sliwa (right) and Jeffrey Lichtman (left).  This evening’s program will emanate from the Statler Grill on 33rd and 7th from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Sliwa states, “This is the first mayoral election in over a decade that has a wide open primary contest on both sides of the aisle, along with a viable independent candidate.  Folks need to know what’s going on and it’s our duty as broadcasters and New Yorkers to bring it to them.  All the viable mayoral candidates are invited.”  WNYM vice president and general manager Jerry Crowley states, “It is this kind of live and local broadcasting that sets AM970 apart in the market.  Curtis Sliwa is the quintessential New York broadcaster on New York’s radio home for live and local broadcasting.”

Odds & Sods.  Hubbard Broadcasting’s WTOP, Washington teams up with Allbritton Communications’ WJLA-TV, Washington “ABC7” on a joint traffic reporting partnership.  Under the arrangement, WTOP will become the exclusive morning traffic home to ABC7.  ABC7 reporter Amanda Meadows will be reporting live for ABC7 from the WTOP “Glass-enclosed nerve center” duringbaldwinadam ABC7’s “Good Morning Washington.”  The reports will air six times an hour from 5:00 am to 7:00 am and two times an hour from 7:00 am to 9:00 am weekday mornings.  Meadows’ reports will be produced by veteran traffic reporter/producer Rob Woodfork…..KYW, Philadelphia account executive Adam Baldwin is promoted to local sales manager for the CBS Radio all-news outlet.  Vice president and director of sales Jim Loftus states, “Adam has excelled as an account executive at KYW, and in his pointing key clients across the CBS platform.  He brings a fresh perspective to our management team.  We look forward to his insight and talent in growing our family of advertisers, and further developing our sales team.”

miller7bestKIDO, Boise’s Kevin Miller Gets Local Accolades.  Morning drive talk host Kevin Miller – heard daily on Peak Broadcasting’s KIDO, Boise – was named best radio host by local television station KTVB as part of its “7’s Best” awards.  Miller tells TALKERS magazine his program topped all of the other radio stations and their morning shows in the market.  Miller (right) is pictured here in a piece that aired during KTVB’s news.  KTVB’s Larry Gebert interviewed Miller and the two spoke at length about the community work Miller’s program has done including assisting local non-profits that aid the homeless as well as keeping the community aware of the plight of local Army soldier Bowe Bergdahl – the only American still held captive from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

Boston Marathon Bombing Aftermath, Middle East Turmoil, Cold Spring Weather, and NBA Player Comes Out Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/29).  The ongoing investigation into the Boston Marathon bombing; military activity in Syria and Israel; the cold spring weather affecting much of the U.S.; and the coming out of NBA player Jason Collins were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, February 22, 2013

| February 22, 2013

pagliarulojoeHow Do You Know It’s a Good Topic and That It Will Work Where You’re Broadcasting?  That’s a great question with an increasing number of radio talk show hosts working “locally” by remote on more than one station or simply being syndicated across a region or the entire nation. So, TALKERS magazine went to a broadcaster who is eminently qualified to answer the question – Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo, a member of the TALKERS Heavy hundred — who hosts mornings on KPRC, Houston; late afternoons on WOAI, San Antonio; weekends locally on KOA, Denver and weekends nationally on “The Weekend” show.  He is also a major “go to” fill-in host for such hosts as Glenn Beck, Todd Schnitt and many others. Pags writes, “Many years ago, I thought it was easy to gauge.  Whatever gets the phone ringing, right?  Not so much.  I take a lot of phone calls.  I’d say more than you might hear on other shows.  But, I insist they be of substance and advance the conversation or be really funny and entertaining.  Making the phones ring, it turns out, is easy.  ‘Abortion, for or against?  Here’s the number.’  That’s sure to melt the lines down and guaranteed to be a horrible show.  Those blinking lights are addictive and the interaction intoxicating, but I once heard a stat that showed 2% of all listeners will ever call into a radio show.  How do you make sure you’re engaging the other 98% as well?”  Read Pags’ entire article here.

grumdahldaraWCCO, Minneapolis Adds Weekend Food Show.  The CBS Radio news/talk station announces Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl brings her food writing talents to the WCCO lineup, hosting a one-hour show called “Off The Menu” beginning March 2.  Grumdahl, is a senior editor at Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine, she’s been the top voice in Twin Cities food since her work as City Pages restaurant critic (1997 to 2008,) launched her to national prominence with a string of James Beard Awards, the highest award of the food world.  WCCO program director Bob Shomper says, “WCCO has a long and rich history of food and nutrition, from the recipe shows and farm reports of the past to the latest dining trends and nutritional information of today.  Dara is the Twin Cities’ premier expert on food.  She will bring WCCO’s tradition of nutritional information to new heights, on all platforms, on-air, online and on mobile devices.  We are thrilled to have her on the WCCO team.”

baileyralphTalk Host Ralph Bailey Exits KNZR, Bakersfield.  Afternoon drive talk host Ralph Bailey resigns suddenly from his position with the Buckley Broadcasting station and although he gives no hint of where he may surface, The Bakersfield Californian speculates he may be headed for American General Media’s crosstown KERN.  Bailey wrote on his Facebook page, in part, “It was with a heavy heart that I tendered my resignation to Buckley Radio today.  However, future opportunities and challenges make it virtually impossible not to seek out new adventures.  I would like to thank Steve Darnell, Kathy Baker and, posthumously, Rick Buckley.  To my colleagues, I hope I was a team player who made the station and the client top priority and someone who grasped the concept of pulling on one side of the rope.  To my sponsors, I hope I played a small role in your success and thank you for your support!”

picarddannyBoston Sports Talk Host Gets Terrestrial Outlet.  Boston native Danny Picard – whose “I’m Just Sayin’” sports talk show appeared on recent editions of TALKERS magazine’s Frontier Fifty feature spotlighting internet-only talk radio hosts – gets his daily program added to the schedule at Blackstrap Broadcasting’s WUFC, Boston “NBC Sports Radio.”  The show is a simulcast of his 9:00 am to 10:00 am internet program but Picard tells TALKERS it is “essentially the same show I do now, only I’ll no longer be broadcasting from my South Boston living room apartment. I’ll be broadcasting from the 1510 NBC Sports Radio Boston studios on Marina Bay.”  Picard says he’s excited about the development.  “I’ve been hosting this show for a while now, and it’s a thrill to finally be heard on an AM signal in Boston every weekday.  I’m extremely passionate about what I do, and I look forward to expressing my passion to an expanding audience.”  Picard began doing his program from his University of Massachusetts-Amherst apartment in 2006.  He’s been covering all the major pro sports teams at Comcast SportsNet New England for the CSNNE.com site since it launched in 2009.  Picard continues his role with Comcast SportsNet.  Photo by Jennifer Bodnar.

whitmanshapiroThe Tom Joyner Syndrome – without the Expensive Planes!  Pictured here are two coast-to-coast broadcasting adventures.  First, at left are KRLA, Los Angeles “Morning Answer” co-hosts Brian Whitman (left) and Ben Shapiro (right) from their studios at Salem Los Angeles (Heidi Harris also co-hosts the morning show on KRLA).  On Thursday, February 21 the two pulled double duty by filling in on Salem’s New York news/talker WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” for Curtis Sliwa’s mcculloughhomestudioand Jeffrey Lichtman’s PM drive show as both were on vacation.  At the same time, New York City-based Kevin McCullough (at right), whose nationally syndicated broadcast airs mornings on his longtime flagship AM 570 WMCA in New York, has been pulling double duty in Los Angeles on Salem’s Christian talk station 99.5 KKLA-FM in afternoon drive (4:00 pm to 7:00 pm PT).  Kevin McCullough began doing the afternoon show in Los Angeles after the tragic Thanksgiving week motorcycle accident that eventually claimed the life of Salem personality Frank Pastore.  McCullough is pictured here Thursday evening doing the KKLA-FM show from the studios of New York-based XtreMEDIA.

larsonlarsTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Compass Media NetworksLars Larson is added to the lineup at KQV, Pittsburgh…..Michael Patrick Shiels adds country outlet WQTX, Lansing, Michigan to his affiliate list for his statewide AM drive show.  The add marks Shiels’ return to Lansing after exiting Cumulus Media’s WJIM a year ago and sitting out a non-compete…..Fox Sports Radio Network announces KGGS, Garden City, Kansas adds the network’s entire daily lineup as the station re-brands as “Big Dog Sports 1340”…..Dial Global and NBC’s NBC Sports Radio sign an agreement for Alpha Broadcasting’s KXTG-AM, Portland to carry their content…..Gow Broadcasting-operated Yahoo! Sports Radio adds affiliate KMZQ, Las Vegas for its sports talk programming…..“Right Turn Radio” – a program about addiction and mental health hosted by Woody Geissman and Abby Dean – now airs on WRKO, Boston Sundays at 7:00 pm.  The show is a production of Right Turn, a local non-profit that provides innovative outpatient treatment and supporting housing for addicts…..“Armed American Radio” with Mark Walters adds new affiliate KRDO-AM/FM, Colorado Springs.

Sequestration and Deficit Reduction Top Talk Radio Topics for Week of February 18-22.  The battle in Washington over the looming sequestration and the related calls for deficit reduction were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Coming in at #2 was immigration reform.  At #3 was soaring gasoline prices followed by the costs of ObamaCare at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio each week based on ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Monday, February 4, 2013

| February 4, 2013

kochedEd Koch the Broadcaster Remembered.  The passing of former New York City Mayor Ed Koch early Friday morning elicited some remembrances from two people who worked closely with him – John Mainelli, the program director of WABC who hired him, and Curtis Sliwa, one of his fellow talk hosts at WABC, New York.  Mainelli tells TALKERS magazine, “I hired him right after he left office.  It wasn’t long before he was #1 in his time slot (11:00 am to 12:00 noon).  There was asliwacurtis time when both he, Limbaugh and Bob Grant were #1 in their slots.  Ed wanted to know who was the leader of the three, asking me, “How #1 am I?”  He was A-No.1.  A great guy.  A nice guy.  A champ.  I really, really liked him.”  Curtis Sliwa says of Koch’s death, “The passing of Mayor Koch was not only a tremendous loss for our city, but a tremendous loss for the radio dial. Ed Koch was no fan of mine, nor were the Guardian Angels while he was Mayor.  While we were colleagues at 77WABC, and I was his lead-in with Lisa, our relationship improved but you wouldn’t call us friends.  When I got shot in June of 1992, the first image that I saw hovering over my hospital bed in ICU was that of Ed Koch.  Immediately, my first thought was that I’d died and gone straight to Hell without an asbestos suit.  I didn’t die though (I think Ed was almost as disappointed as the Gottis about that) and our relationship continued to improve over the years and for a long time, I’ve been proud to call him a friend.  He was a regular guest on my radio show on WABC and at ‘AM 970 The Answer.’  He was my colleague at NY1 and he was the only person I’d ever met who loved this city more than I did.”  SiriusXM broadcast the special program “Ed Koch: The Voice of Reason,” a two-hour tribute devoted to the life and career of Mayor Koch on its Bloomberg Radio channel on Friday, February 1 at 7:00 pm ET.

kinosianmikeComing to TALKERS This Week: The Talk Radio Watchdog.  There was a time in the early days of the modern talk radio era when most markets could lay claim to at least one talk show host considered to be the local “watchdog.”  He or she was feared by the power brokers in city hall and had a reputation for having the backs of the regular folks.  They are not as prevalent in the format as they once were but they are still out there.  Does the industry still value this breed of talk host?  Does the public still want to listen to them?  Do their station managers support them?  TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian speaks with some of today’s “watchdogs” to get answers to these and other questions about their craft.  His story comes to Talkers.com this week.

zach and rammerWXOS, St. Louis Adds Bob “Rammer” Ramsey to Mid-Morning Show.  Hubbard Broadcasting’s sports talk WXOS, St. Louis “101 ESPN” moves Bob “Rammer” Ramsey to the mid-morning slot alongside Zach McCrite for the “Zach and Rammer” show.  McCrite has been on the air in the slot with “The Coach” Rick Venturi who exits the station to be closer to family in Indiana.  Ramsey moves to the slot from the evening show he co-hosted with Brian Stull.  Ramsey is also the “Voice of the Billikens” – a position he has held for the past 26 years – handling the play-by-play duties for Saint Louis University’s Men’s Basketball games, along with co-host and analyst Earl Austin, Jr.

grahammichaelMichael Graham Debuts Massachusetts-Wide Talk Show Today.  Former WTKK, Boston talk radio star Michael Graham begins a new, daily midday talk show today that will air on four stations across Massachusetts.  Graham’s program – airing from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm – will be heard on Money Matters Radio’s WBNW, Concord; WPLM-AM, Plymouth; and WESO, Southbridge as well as Carter Broadcasting’s WCRN, Worcester.  Graham hosted the mid-morning program on Greater Media’s WTKK, Boston until the station flipped to a music format after the New Year.

cookehollandHow to Pump Up Your Weekend “How-To” Show.  Talk radio consultant Holland Cooke says, “Few marketing opportunities can generate more new business than local talk radio…if you use it properly.”  Cooke says that weekend how-to shows that are done well provide listeners with two things: information and the chance for interaction.  And, he says the programs have a two-fold purpose. “The well-executed show sets the table for what marketers call ‘conversion,’ moving prospects through the sales funnel.  And the how-to hosts I coach aren’t just producing new leads.  Making what comes out the speaker as engaging and informative and relatable as possible also racks up more Average Quarter Hours for the station.”  Read Holland Cooke’s suggestions for producing quality weekend “how-to” programs here.

walusekmeredithOdds & Sods.  At CBS Radio’s sports talk WHFS, Tampa “98.7 The Fan,” Meredith Walusek exits her role on the Kirk & Dinger morning drive show to join the cluster’s rhythmic CHR WLLD for its Orlando & the Freakshow morning program…..Ryan Giles joins Hubbard Broadcasting’s sports talk KSTP, Minneapolis as director of marketing and promotions.  Giles previously served as promotions director and webmaster at Shamrock Communications’ alternative KMYZ “Z-104.5 The Edge” and classic hits KTSO “94.1 The Sound” in Tulsa…..Hubbard Broadcasting’s WTOP, Washington, DC is honoring the local Easter Seals chapter in its Charity of the Month program.  The Easter Seals serving DC, Maryland and Virginia will receive more than $30,000 in free air-time and in-kind contributions, including on-air promotions and content on WTOP.com.  The WTOP Charity of the Month program highlights one local charity every month in order to raise community awareness, support events and help with fundraising efforts…..WEEI, Boston’s play-by-play of Boston Celtics basketball games is being made available via free streaming on WEEI.com, the WEEI Live mobile app and the new Boston Celtics Mobile App.  WEEI’s Celtics broadcast will also be available via the TuneIn app.

haleyjeffA Conversation with Marketron President and CEO, Jeff  Haley.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison speaks with Jeff Haley, the president and CEO of media industry software solutions and service giant Marketron.  The conversation, which serves as the basis of today’s (2/4) posted TALKERS interview, covers a variety of subjects of importance to radio sales and administrative executives including re-energizing the advertising end of radio and guiding the medium’s evolution into creating integrated cross-platform buys in this new digital era. He talks about the cloud, as well as the new relationship between radio’s front and back offices, the need to reassess FCC regulations moving forward and the balance between local and national programming on the individual station level.   On the subject of dealing with the advertising industry’s reaction to controversy on news/talk radio, Haley tells TALKERS, ” Depends what you mean by controversy – and what your appetite is for it.  Benign controversy can pull listeners in. That said, controversy that reflects poorly on the station can be a turn off and cause advertisers to abandon.  Best to talk to your partners along the way, prepare them, and include them in your decision-making process.”  To read the entire TALKERS interview with Jeff Haley, click here.

bearmanethan“Nerd” Talk Show Host Shares Tips on Pulling Off an Expedient International Remote Broadcast.  One of the brightest young news/talk hosts on the rise today, Ethan Bearman of KSCO, Santa Cruz and Genesis Communications Network shares the story of his recent adventure in simple-yet-effective remote broadcasting in which he conveniently packed a bag of all the gear necessary to capture an interview with a Times of London reporter under the tightest of security restrictions at the Houses of Parliament in London to get an international perspective on the American presidential election.   Check it out by clicking here.

sexyliberalStephanie Miller Returns to Chicago with Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour.  Along with comedy (and radio) partners John Fugelsang and Hal Sparks, WYD Media nationally syndicated talk radio star Stephanie Miller brings her successful “Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour” back to the Windy City for a date at the historic Chicago Theatre on April 13.  The ongoing comedy tour has benefitted from cross-promotion on Miller’s radio program as well as her digital platforms.

Monday, December 17, 2012

| December 17, 2012

High-Profile Tragedy Puts Talk Radio and News Radio in Unique Position.  Friday’s horrific crime at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut is putting radio – mostly talk radio and all-news radio – in a unique position, once again.  Although some music stations, especially those geographically close to Newtown, covered the breaking news event on Friday, the aftermath of the killings was over the weekend and will continue to be the primary topic of discussion on talk radio and the focus of all-news outlets through the early portion of this week.  TALKERS managing editor/West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian analyzes the recent important news events that have driven talk radio to increased audiences in November and what the Newtown massacre and other major news events may mean for the format into the December “Holiday” ratings period.  Read Mike Kinosian’s analysis here.  With regard to the formatics of handling a breaking news event such as this, earlier this fall, TALKERS spoke with programmers and hosts about their handling of the shootings at the Aurora, Colorado movie theater and many of their thoughts are relevant to coverage of this event as well.  For programmers, hosts and managers who may have missed that piece, read it here.

Consultant Chris Miller Advises Radio Stations to Use Their Websites and Digital Tools to Their Full Potential in Serving Communities During Horrific Tragedies.   Radio digital consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller writes that radio has two worthy purposes on days like Friday: Keeping our listeners informed and offering a place for stress-reduction.  Most importantly he says, “Do no harm.”  To read Miller’s timely and important piece, click here.

Connecticut School Massacre Sets Media into High Gear; Radio Faces Challenge of How to Cover.  The horrific massacre at an elementary school in Connecticut on Friday is another in a line of catastrophic events that put the radio industry into “emergency” mode.  How to cover this news story is a challenge that programmers of all formats are facing.  TALKERS magazine’s instant monitor scan of stations around the nation indicates a marked effort to discuss or at least acknowledge the horrific event that broke the peace Friday in Connecticut and is serving, perhaps, as a straw that breaks the camel’s back in our society’s collective nervous system regarding the seemingly endless string of mind-numbing violent events.  This includes everything from music stations to sports talkers.  Radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Holland Cooke offers advice for action going forward and analysis of some of what’s been aired so far.  He also points to the print media as a tutor in this instance based on some of the front pages of newspapers around the world.  (The accompanying photo is from a Berlin daily.)  Read Holland Cooke’s piece here.

WVKO, Columbus Drops Progressive Talk for Gospel.  Gary Richards has been leasing the class B AM station from Bernard Ohio Radio since the beginning of 2012 but announces he’ll return control of the station and it flips to gospel immediately.  In a post at the station’s website, Richards spreads the blame around to everyone from the Obama campaign to local advertisers.  He writes, “Once again, we had a good run with the station and we were happy to in some small way contribute to the success that the Democrats enjoyed in November.  Unfortunately, it was not a two-way street and lack of advertising support from the Obama campaign all the way down to local races ensured that we will be unable to continue into the New Year.  I put my time, money, heart and soul into doing what I believed to be important for the country, but those who benefited most from our efforts chose to spend their campaign dollars elsewhere.  Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice….Well, we can’t get fooled again.  Also, a number of advertisers who supported the station in the past chose to turn their backs on us this time.  I can’t say why, since they would not return our calls.  I want to thank our advertisers, supporters and you the listeners for everything, and I hope that progressive talk can somehow return to Columbus in the future.”

Future of News/Talk WTKK, Boston Still in the News with More Domain Registrations.  Questions about the future of Greater Media’s Boston news/talk outlet WTKK have been circulating over the past few weeks after the company had begun registering domain names that have hinted at a flip to an urban format – lots of domains with “beat” and “power” in them.  More have been registered and, as is often the case, it appears Greater Media is toying with its competitors as new domain names using words such as “bone,” “groove” and “sportsradio” become public.  Greater Media has publicly told the local media it’s always considering options for its stations but would say nothing more concrete.  Let the speculation continue!

Cumulus Media to Air CBS Sports Radio Network on KC Translator.  Cumulus Media – which is in partnership with CBS Radio on its soon-to-debut national sports talk radio format – announces it will air the format on Kansas City translator K272BZ-FM at 102.5 in January.  Currently the 250-watt translator is airing Cumulus’ classic hits KCMO-FM.

Former New Jersey 101.5 Co-Owner Bob McAllan Wins Landmark Legal Battle to Bring New Jersey its Own TV Station.  On Friday morning (12/14), the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the FCC to grant two new VHF television licenses to former co-owner and creator of the mega-successful talk/music hybrid WKXW, Trenton (New Jersey 101.5), Bob McAllan.  His company is  PMCM-TV.  It appears McAllan, a former chairman of the New Jersey Broadcasters Association (NJBA) is finally realizing his dream of “bringing local TV service to residents of New Jersey.”  The Court ruling hinged on the interpretation of one word: “Reallocation” and the ruling grants a TV spectrum allotment to Bob’s enterprise for Channel 3 in Middletown (Monmouth County) an area of the Jersey shore that was ravaged by Sandy.  McAllan’s shore-based radio stations at Press Communications stayed on the air for two weeks following the storm from remote locations.  NJBA President Paul Rotella, who learned about the ruling while in Washington, tells TALKERS: “I was very happy for Bob and his colleagues since the NJBA supported Bob’s efforts to bring more full power broadcast TV coverage to the Garden State for decades.  This long-awaited decision is good for all New Jersey residents and we congratulate Bob on his hard fought Court victory.”

News Anchor Joe Donovan Retires from WWJ, Detroit.  The 37-year news staffer at CBS Radio’s WWoit retired from the all-news station on Friday, December 14 with a brief announcement in which he stated, “Good-bye Detroit. Thank you for listening all these years.”  Donovan joined WWJ in 1976.  He has been co-hosting the morning drive news program with Roberta Jasina.  The Detroit Free Press reports CBS Radio will make an announcement about the station’s morning program in the near future.

WABC, New York Alumni Christmas Party.  This photo is from the annual WABC, New York alumni Christmas party organized by former Sean Hannity producer Jill Vitale a.k.a. Flirty Flipper.  The bash took place on Thursday, December 13 in NYC.  Pictured here are former WABC morning men alongside former WABC program director Phil Boyce.  From left to right: Boyce, Jay Diamond, Barry Farber and Curtis Sliwa.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

| December 11, 2012

Holland Cooke: Start Your Own Media Station.  Noted radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Holland Cooke says getting laid off during this year’s pre-Christmas industry bloodbath, though painful and scary, might not be the worst thing that can happen to enterprising broadcasters.  In a boldly worded opinion piece, the forward-thinking programming advisor connects numerous dots and cites fascinating examples painting a positive picture of just how much opportunity now exists in the digital world for radio people daring enough to go “stickless.”  He points to a number of telling signs in the changes in our culture – such as Larry King’s new online show being listed in a larger font on the USA Today television listings page than his former home, CNN.   Cooke writes, “Anyone who uses Twitter online can click-to-listen.  Those who Tweet on smartphones or iPad simply touch-to-listen.  Voila!  You’re in-the-pocket, where AM/FM radio used to be.” Read his piece here.

Rumors of Format Change at WTKK, Boston Rampant.  The Boston media is all over the rumors that Greater Media will flip the news/talk station to a different, music-based format in the near future.  The local media picked up on domain name registrations such as 969BostonsBeat.com, 969TheBeat.com, and Power969.com.  The Boston Herald speculates the change is coming because “’toxic’ all-talk formats aren’t attracting enough younger listeners.”  Greater Media spokesperson Heidi Raphael states, “We deal in a business of attitudes and being responsive to the preferences of our audiences and the needs of our advertisers and communities.  We are continually exploring our options, looking for ways to improve our product and brands.  No decisions have been made on any changes to the format.”  Radio operators register domain names that go unused frequently so the actions by Greater Media don’t necessarily mean a change is coming but it certainly means the company is considering it.

Dave Ramsey Changes Affiliates in Home Town of Nashville; Jumps from WWTN to Sports WPRT.  The nationally syndicated Dave Ramsey show will move to Cromwell Radio Group’s sports talk WPRT “102.5 FM The Game” beginning January 1.  Ramsey’s program has aired on Cumulus Media’s WWTN, Nashville since the program debuted in the early 1990s.  Ramsey states, “After 20 years on WWTN it is very difficult to leave.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t come to terms with Cumulus on a simple renewal agreement.  There are a lot of great people at WWTN and we’ll miss them.  But we’re excited to have the opportunity to work with an independent radio station owner the caliber of Bud Walters.”  It appears as though the move is being precipitated by Cumulus’ desire to give its own talk programs more exposure – in this case, giving Mike Huckabee a full three hours on WWTN.  The new schedule at WWTN puts Huckabee on live from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm and allows Phil Valentine a 3:00 pm start to his PM drive show.  At the same time, Cumulus announces its newly acquired Michael Savage will air live from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am.  Cumulus Nashville market manager Mike Carpenter states, “We believe in the Mike Huckabee show and anticipate that this change will accelerate the governor’s popularity in Nashville.  Mike is a man of such character that we feel our clients will appreciate the opportunity to make him a key part of their marketing plans.  His on-air interest in music expands our talk repertoire and will play extremely well in a city where the music industry is the number three employer.  As for Savage, we assure you that a large number of our listeners will be happy to learn that their pleas have been heard and that Michael Savage is back on in Nashville.”

FCC Approves Transfer of WFAN-FM, New York to CBS Radio.  The $75 million deal that sends Merlin Media’s former WRXP, New York to CBS Radio as WFAN-FM, New York is approved by the Federal Communications Commission.  The station changed its call letters to WFAN-FM and CBS began operating it under an LMA on November 1 simulcasting sports talk WFAN-AM on the signal.

More on Changes at XEPRS, San Diego.  Yesterday, TALKERS reported sports talk XEPRS, San Diego “XX1090” let morning hosts Dave Palet and Jeff Dotseth go.  But now we’ve learned more as midday hosts Josh Rosenberg and Charod Williams have also been let go.  Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton is now on mornings and the San Diego Union-Tribune is reporting that former morning hosts Scott Kaplan and Billy Ray Smith will return to the station in AM drive soon and Darren Smith will move to the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot.  Kaplan and B.R. (Smith), who were fired after Kaplan made disparaging comments about a female sportscaster, have been hosting the San Diego Union-Tribune’s online TV morning show and, according to the report, would continue in that role.

Dave Wheaton Exits WOWO-AM/FM, Fort Wayne.  As tipped by Indiana Radio Watch’s Blaine Thompson, news director Dave Wheaton leaves his position at Federated Media’s WOWO-AM/FM, Fort Wayne to take the assignment editor post at Granite Broadcasting’s WPTA-TV, Fort Wayne (channel 21) and WISE-TV, Fort Wayne (channel 33).

Envision Radio Network Names Paul Harris “America Weekend” Host.  Talk radio pro Paul Harris is named the host of the new “America Weekend” program from Envision Radio Networks.  Executive producer Kipper KcGee says, “I’m thrilled to be working with Paul again.  We will be announcing the remainder of the ‘America Weekend’ lineup in coming weeks, and look forward to demonstrating that news/talk radio can enjoy weekend ratings and revenues!”  McGee worked with Harris in St. Louis and at WLS, Chicago.  Harris states, “I’m excited about launching ‘America Weekend’ to give both affiliates and listeners something more compelling, with great stories, interesting interviews, and my own perspective on what’s happening.”

Clear Channel Donates WDTW, Detroit to the Minority Media and Communications Council.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment is donating progressive talk outlet WDTW, Detroit – a 5,000-watt Class B signal – to the MMTC under the Clear Channel-MMTC Ownership Diversity Initiative.  Clear Channel CEO and chairman John Hogan states, “We applaud MMTC for creating a program that helps minority broadcasters develop the skills and experience necessary to become successful broadcasters.  We’re pleased that the donation of these resources will give the opportunity for enthusiastic new entrepreneurs to own and operate their own radio station.”

Main Street Radio Network Launches New Weekly Program.  “The RichLife Show” with host Beau Henderson is a weekly one-hour program that, according to syndicator Main Street Radio Network, is “a fast-paced hour with a BIG mission to help listeners live healthy, wealthy, fulfilled lives on purpose by combining a highly engaging mix of education, entertainment, inspiration, and motivation.  The format of the show is financial Q&A, discussion around listeners’ biggest questions and concerns, and relevant expert interviews.”  Henderson is a senior financial advisor, Master Certified Success Coach, and Certified Master Behavioral Analyst and author of the book, The RichLife – Ten Investments For True Wealth.  Main Street president Jane Silk says, “We know ‘The RichLife Show’ will be a great addition to our current shows and our rapidly growing radio network.  Beau Henderson is a caring, honest person who truly has the listener’s best interest in mind.  Beau will cover a variety of topics such as all aspects of living rich: money, health, meaningful relationships, and living a fulfilled life of purpose.  Beau and RichLife advisors have built an online community through a weekly newsletter and social media that now exceeds 35,000 committed to living their definition of a RichLife.”

KGO, San Francisco Partners with Good News in Oakland for News Feature.  Cumulus Media San Francisco news/talker KGO announces a partnership with internet media outlet Good News in Oakland to create a feature that “will highlight a person or organization in Oakland that has made a difference in creating a positive image for the East Bay’s largest city.”  Good News in Oakland is described as an “internet-based renewable psychological socially responsible environmentally focused media outlet.”  Stories will be produced by KGO reporter Tihanna McCleese and Good News in Oakland founder Sean Kennedy.  KGO program director Paul Hosley states, “We’re thrilled to enter into this partnership with Good News in Oakland. This collaboration will give KGO listeners an opportunity to hear about the positive side of the city…stories that have not been told before.”  Features will air at 6:46 am, 1:46 pm, and 5:46 pm on Mondays and Wednesdays.

WNYM, New York Begins Picture Caption Contest for Lunch with Sliwa & Lichtman.  Salem Communications-owned WNYM, New York’s PM drive team of Curtis Sliwa and Jeffrey Lichtman are enjoying their new street-level studio with the giant display window at the Hotel Pennsylvania on 7th Avenue.  The station and hotel management say they are getting such a buzz from New Yorkers about the setup that they’re beginning a photo caption contest to capitalize on the publicity.  WNYM is asking fans to take a picture of Sliwa and Lichtman broadcasting, give it a caption and post it via Twitter or Instagram or send it to the station via email.  First prize is lunch with Sliwa and Lichtman.  Other prizes include Broadway show tix, restaurant deals and more.  WNYM general manager Sean O’Neill states, “The iconic Hotel Pennsylvania with Curtis Sliwa and Jeffrey Lichtman broadcasting live in the hub of midtown Manhattan is an extraordinary opportunity to personalize the radio experience in the digital age.  Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers walk through this block daily and now have the opportunity to connect face to face with their favorite radio personalities.”

Quentin Tarantino Entertains Live Audience at SiriusXM.  As part of the “Town Hall Series” on SiriusXM, noted filmmaker Quentin Tarantino (l) was interviewed by Village Voice film critic Scott Foundas (r) before an intimate, live studio audience.  Tarantino, who also took questions from the crowd, discussed his new film “Django Unchained” and told stories about his career as a film director.  Photo Credit: Kevin Mazur / WireImage for SiriusXM.

ESPN Radio Broadcasts 24 College Bowl Games.  The college football bowl season will bring plenty of play-by-play to ESPN Radio affiliates as the sports media giant announces plans to broadcast 24 bowl games.  Beginning with the Gildan New Mexico Bowl on December 15 and wrapping up with the National Championship game between Notre Dame and Alabama in Miami on January 7, ESPN Radio’s coverage will span 16 days.  David Norrie and Bill Rosinski will call five of the games beginning with the S.D. County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl on December 20.  Additionally, both the “Mike & Mike in the Morning” and “SVP & Russillo” programs will originate from South Florida on Monday and Tuesday, January 7 and 8.

Lotus Communications’ ‘SuperGol’ Soccer Show Scores Affiliates.  The Spanish-language soccer show “SuperGol” recently snagged its 25th affiliate for the one-hour program targeted to younger Hispanic men.  The show airs live from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm PT and is hosted by Halim Zadat and Erika Garza.  The show is produced by Lotus’ KWKW, Los Angeles and station president James Kalmenson says, “The young US-born Latino is a growing segment of the sports audience that’s responding extremely well to the program.  Latinos of all generations are avid soccer fans, making the soccer-themed talk show an ideal platform for younger audiences while maintaining the traditional sports target of men 25-54.”

Gow Broadcasting Acquires Sports Flash Radio Network.  The service that specializes in sports updates is acquired by Gow Communications, the company that is operating Yahoo! Sports Radio.  Gow announces at the same time that its affiliate base has grown to more than 360 stations.  David Gow states, “We are really pleased with the ongoing expansion of our affiliate base.  The acquisition of the Sports Flash Radio Network extends our reach to both sports-format and non-sports-format stations.  And the additions of new shows we have introduced over the past year have enabled us to achieve industry-leading growth.”

‘Fiscal Cliff’ Battle, Looming ObamaCare Costs, Michigan Right-to-Work Bill Controversy, Hillary in 2016, and Aussie DJ Prank Fallout Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/10).  The GOP versus Obama fight in Washington over avoiding the “fiscal cliff”; the costs associated with ObamaCare that will begin to take effect in 2013; the battle in Michigan over the union-busting right-to-work bill; the proposition Hillary Clinton will run for president in 2016; and the fallout after the Australian DJ prank call to Kate Middleton’s hospital in London were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

| November 28, 2012

“The Answer” Gets Manhattan Street-Level Presence.  Salem Communications’ WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer” has Manhattan street-level presence as the PM drive show featuring Curtis Sliwa and Jeffrey Lichtman are now hosting their show from a studio in the department-store type window setting at the historic Hotel Pennsylvania in Midtown Manhattan.  Pictured here are  Sliwa (r) and Lichtman (l) hosting a recent edition of their program.  Salem Communications vice president director of spoken-word format Phil Boyce states, “This not only gives our hosts a bird’s-eye view of Midtown Manhattan, but allows literally thousands of daily passersby to see ‘Curtis & Jeffrey’ and ‘WNYM AM 970 THE ANSWER’ prominently displayed in the heart of our listening area.  This marquee location on 7th Ave and 33rd Street, is located across from the Long Island Railroad, Penn Station, a subway hub, Macy’s and is around the corner from the NJ PATH train.  The value of this degree of exposure and publicity for our station and two of our best known hosts is incalculable.  It’s also across from the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden, which on any given night might host the Knicks, the Rangers or innumerable other sporting and entertainment events.”

Russ Rollins and Dirty Jim Re-Up with WTKS, Orlando; Daniel Dennis Exits.  The Monsters in the Morning program at Clear Channel’s hot talk WTKS, Orlando is one talent fewer after co-host Daniel Dennis declines to sign a new three-year contract with the station.  Program founder and host Russ Rollins, along with co-host Dirty Jim, both signed new three-year deals to continue broadcasting the AM drive program on the station but Dennis tells the Orlando Sentinel he didn’t want the contract but would rather have continued as an at-will employee.  He hosts a weekly internet talk show called, “A Mediocre Time with Tom and Dan” that can be heard at tomanddan.com.

Alan Eisenson Exits Clear Channel Sacramento.  Talk radio programmer Alan Eisenson leaves his position as operations manager for Clear Channel’s Sacramento cluster where he served as operations manager for news/talk KFBK-AM/FM and talk KSTE.  Eisenson was also in charge of programming at CC’s San Francisco talk outlets KKSF and KNEW.

Odds & Sods.  SiriusXM brings iconic film star and polarizing historical figure Jane Fonda to its “Town Hall” series.  The actress will be part of the “SiriusXM Town Hall” on Thursday, December 6 at 10:00 am when she’ll sit down with journalist Perri Peltz and speak about her new yoga DVD and take questions from the audience…..On Thursday, November 29, radio pro Turi Ryder will sit in for John Williams on Tribune’s WGN, Chicago on the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm program…..ABC TV’s “Good Morning America” is preparing to do something it hasn’t done in 17 years: Win the coveted November sweeps.  Broadcasting & Cable reports the show is beating NBC’s “Today” in both total audience and viewers 25-54 as the end of the sweeps approaches.

CNN Has a New Chief: Jeff Zucker.  That’s not official but The New York Times and Deadline.com are reporting that Time Warner has agreed to terms with former NBCUniversal CEO and current executive producer of Katie Couric’s syndicated talk show, Jeff Zucker.  The official announcement is expected to be made very soon.  Zucker would replace Jim Walton at CNN.  Walton announced he would leave the cable news channel at the end of the year.  CNN has been roundly beaten up in the consumer press for its woes in the prime time ratings race but it should be noted that, ratings aside, CNN continues to be a profitable operation for Time Warner.  Still, Zucker’s charge would be to revitalize its prime time ratings that have fallen farther behind Fox News Channel and are regularly challenged by MSNBC.

ESPN Begins Jimmy V Week for Cancer Research; Announces $1 Million Donation to the Cause.  Yesterday began sports entertainment broadcaster ESPN’s Jimmy V Week for Cancer Research and the company announced it is committing $1 million to the fundraising effort for the endowment fund.  ESPN executive chairman George Bodenheimer made the announcement on Tuesday, November 27 and Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg made it public via their radio and TV program that day.  ESPN’s sixth annual Jimmy V Week for Cancer Research – a multiplatform initiative which drives awareness of and donations to The V Foundation for Cancer Research – tipped off yesterday at 7:00 pm ET with a simulcast of former NC State coach Jim Valvano’s 1993 ESPYs speech across ESPN domestic media networks, as well as on the ABC SuperSign in Times Square.  The week will conclude with the Jimmy V Women’s and Men’s Basketball Classics Presented by Corona Extra on Monday, December 3 and Tuesday, December 4.  For more information on Jimmy V Week for Cancer Research, visit ESPN Media Zone.

Broadcasters Foundation of America Launches Holiday Giving Campaign.  The organization that exists solely to assist broadcasters in need is announcing the start-up of its Holiday Giving Campaign.  The Broadcasters Foundation of America – which disbursed more than $675,000 in assistance last year – is urging broadcasters to become members and to spread the word about this campaign.  BFoA chairman Phil Lombardo says, “The Broadcasters Foundation exists solely to provide financial relief to broadcasters in need.  These are individuals who we have worked with over the years, and whose lives have been devastated by unthinkable circumstances.  Aid from the Broadcasters Foundation can be life-saving, in many cases.  I urge every broadcaster to consider making a donation or becoming a member.”  Over the past 60 years, the Broadcasters Foundation has distributed millions of dollars in aid to hundreds of broadcasters who lost their livelihood through a catastrophic event, debilitating disease, or unforeseen family tragedy.  In addition, one-time emergency grants are provided in the aftermath of a devastating circumstance or natural disaster, like the Joplin tornadoes and Hurricane Sandy.  Individual membership is only $150 a year and can make a difference in the life of a colleague who has fallen on desperate times.  To become a member, make a personal donation to the Guardian Fund, or a corporate contribution to the Angel Initiative, please contact the Broadcasters Foundation at 212-373-8250, info@thebfoa.org, or visit the website at www.broadcastersfoundation.org.

‘Fiscal Cliff’ Battle, OECD Global Economy Report, Black Friday/Cyber Monday Numbers, Benghazi Attack/Susan Rice-GOP Meeting, and Powerball Jackpot Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/27).  The battle in Washington over tax hikes and entitlement program changes; the OECD global economy report that predicts slow growth over the next two years; initial numbers from holiday season’s two big shopping days; the spat over U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice’s meeting with GOP leaders; and the $500 million Powerball jackpot in Wednesday’s drawing were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, September 17, 2012

| September 17, 2012

WEEI Goes to Bat for Battling Kids.  During the last week of August, Entercom’s New England sports brand WEEI completed its 11th annual Jimmy Fund radio-thon to benefit the Dana Farber Cancer Institute raising more than $3.4 million.  TALKERS managing editor/West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian recently had a long chat with WEEI vice president of programming Jason Wolfe about the history of the fundraiser and WEEI’s connection to the charity.  Read his piece here.

Atlanta Sports Talk Hosts “Two Live Stews” Off LFM’s WQXI “790/The Zone.”  Doug and Ryan Stewart have been taken off the midday show at Lincoln Financial Media’s sports talker WQXI, Atlanta “790/The Zone.”  According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho, the two are taking their ouster well with Doug Stewart telling him, “It’s incredible what we’ve done there over 11 years.  I want to thank the fans who supported us.  This isn’t the last you’ve heard from us.”  The Stewarts are under contract through the end of the year and, although Ho reports their agent is trying to get them an early release from their deal that would allow them to work in the market sooner, they have a non-compete that would probably keep them off Atlanta radio until July of 2013.  With that in mind, any speculation they could end up on CBS Radio’s new sports talk FM due to debut in October would be complicated by their contract situation.

Chicago Public Media Taps the Tribune’s and WGN’s Rick Kogan for Fill-In Gig.  While Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ searches for a full-time replacement for PM drive talk host Steve Edwards (who’s exiting the organization to become deputy director of the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago), Chicago Tribune columnist and WGN’s “The Sunday Papers” host Rick Kogan will host the program until a permanent replacement is found.  Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder reports Kogan will give up the WGN gig while sitting in at WBEZ, telling him, “I’m flattered by this fascinating creative challenge.  And I welcome the change in lifestyle. After all these years, it’ll be nice for a while not to have to get up at 4:30 in the morning every Sunday.”

Please Stop Copying.  That’s the plea from Sabo Media chairman Walter Sabo in his most recent column for TALKERS.  Sabo writes that too many talk show hosts are encouraged to take a page from some other very successful talk show host when what they should really be doing is using their own life experiences and feelings to express their own world view in an entertaining way.  Interestingly, Sabo notes that many of the country’s “heritage” radio stations will sound funny to a non-native.  “You’ve had the experience of listening to a legendary station for the first time and being shocked that it sounded horrible.  Yes, it sounded horrible to you because you didn’t grow up in that city with that station.  That’s not your station.  The truly great stations are endemic to their cities.  They copy no other station.  Instead, they have created a mirror of the interest needs and tastes of their listeners.”  Read Walter Sabo’s entire piece here.

Curtis Sliwa and Ron Kuby Reunited on Radio After Kuby Assaulted on the Streets.  No, the arch-conservative and leftist duo that ruled the airwaves on WABC, New York for 10 years is not back together for a new radio show.  But activist attorney Ron Kuby and conservative talk host Curtis Sliwa, who hosts the morning show on Salem Communications’ WNYM “970 The Answer,” did speak together on Sliwa’s program after Kuby was bloodied in an assault last week.  Kuby went on Sliwa’s program to explain how he got into a fight with two young people who were shouting anti-gay epithets.  The story made the New York Daily News and Sliwa even wove the incident into a live read for a Long Island dentist whom he said he would recommend to Kuby in case he needed any dental work after the beating.  He did not.

Social Media: Your Frequent Flier Program.  Radio programmer and digital entrepreneur Chris Miller says, when it comes to social media for radio stations, the people you reach are not your “friends,” they’re your “frequent fliers,” and you need to treat them as such to use social media more effectively.  Miller says research indicates there are three primary reasons people follow brands on social media: 1) to get the advantage of insider information; 2) to get special deals and offers; and 3) to learn more about things you do that they like or are interested in.  Learn what Miller says you can do to satisfy those interests.  Read his piece here.

On the Road in Oklahoma City.  Nationally syndicated talk superstar Dave Ramsey is on the road again visiting affiliate stations and producing live shows that draw thousands.  He’s pictured here at the Crossings Community Church in Oklahoma City.  With his brand new, intimate “Living a Legacy Live Event,” Ramsey speaks about how to win with money, strengthen marriages and lead your children with confidence.  For this appearance, author Jon Acuff joined Ramsey on stage.  Local affiliate KOKC realized the direct benefits of the live show for its audience and the station.  KOKC’s Rob Adair states, “Anytime Dave Ramsey comes to Oklahoma City for an event with our radio station, everyone wins — our clients, our listeners, our station.  Our ‘Living a Legacy’ was filled to the roof with listeners.  Dave delivers again…but over-delivering is just his style.”

Harvey Nagler and Walter Sabo Join Growing Lineup of Stellar Speakers at Forthcoming TALKERS Los Angeles Event.  Two more industry leaders have joined the roster of speakers at the forthcoming TALKERS New Media Seminar scheduled for Thursday, October 11 between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm in association with the Los Angeles Press Club at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood.  CBS Radio News VP Harvey Nagler will be joining the panel, “Spoken Word Radio: The Big Picture” along with  Phil Boyce, VP/director, spoken word format, Salem Communications; Ron Hartenbaum, CEO, WYD Media Management, LLC;   Kraig Kitchin, CEO, Sound Mind, LLC; and Mike McVay, senior VP programming, Cumulus Media.  The session will be moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison.  In addition, Sabo Media chairman Walter Sabo will be presenting a special address titled “Interactivity and Video: The Key to Your Business Future.”  Based upon registrations already booked, the event is projected to be sold out by the end of this week or very early the next.  Full up-to-the-minute agenda details will be posted here at Talkers.com tomorrow – but to assure registration, attendees are advised to sign up now.  Because it is open only to working media, there is no online registration — only by telephone.  For registration and sponsorship information call 413-565-5413.

Stephanie Miller’s Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour Continues; Featured in Special Documentary on Current TV.  The very successful “Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour” that comedienne and nationally syndicated talk show host Stephanie Miller has headed for the past 18 months or so was featured in a documentary on Friday, September 14 on Current TV.  The program featured an “(almost) uncensored inside look into how it all began with never before seen footage from behind the scenes and exclusive inside commentary from Stephanie and co-stars John Fugelsang, Hal Sparks, and Aisha Tyler.”   And the tour continues with stops at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre on September 29 and New York City’s Beacon Theatre on October 27.

The Adventures of Gas Can Man Hit Ft. Myers Market.  Sun Broadcasting’s WFSX, Estero, Florida (“92.5 Fox News”) used the traveling political character Gas Can Man to offer some of its listeners gas at the January, 2009 price of $1.84 per gallon last Thursday.  Gas Can Man is traveling the country in a gas can costume to associate high gas prices with the presidency of Barack Obama.  WFSX and morning drive host Drew Steele arranged a deal with a local gas station to offer gas at the low price to the first 150 lucky drivers to line up at 7:30 am that morning.  Steele stated prior to the promotion, “High gas prices have been one of the main topics of concern that our listeners have expressed in the last few months and we are going to do something about it for one morning for 150 of our neighbors.  While Washington argues about billions and trillions of dollars they need to remember that the $60 or so many people are now paying to fill up their tanks is about double what it was just a few years ago — and that extra $30 or more each week is REAL money that has a serious impact on our families and our economy.”

Cross-Promotion.  WJRW, Grand Rapids, Michigan talk show host and news director Dave Jaconette appears on this electronic billboard promoting the local appearance of “Blue Man Group” coming to the area this week as part of Broadway Grand Rapids’ Fall 2012 lineup.

Odds ‘n’ Sods.  SiriusXM sports talk host Dino Costa is profiled in the October edition of Men’s Journal in a piece called: Dino Costa: The Angriest Man on the Airwaves.  Costa (pictured below in a photo by Kareem Black) is part of the satcaster’s Mad Dog Radio channel and is quoted in the piece saying, “To do the kind of show I demand of myself is an all-consuming undertaking.  Every time I take to the air, what happened yesterday is old news.  There isn’t enough of that in radio today.  The worst thing you can be in radio is predictable, and 99% of radio is predictable.”…..LAF-ing CLIFF Media of Fort Wayne, Indiana, parent company of “Speed Talk” and RadioSpeedTalk.com, announces the departure of co-owner and “Speed Talk” co-host and executive producer Pete LaFaucia.  “Speed Talk” was a weekly one-hour racing show that at its height had 10 radio affiliates nationally.  The show’s creators have decided to split due to creative differences.  LAF-ing CLIFF Media will dissolve with Cliff Tanner retaining “Speed Talk,” RadioSpeedTalk.com, and its affiliates reforming under the name Cliff Dawg Media…..The Martone family is moving the studios of news/talk WOCA-AM/FM, Ocala, Florida to the Paddock Mall. The station will overlook the food court and have a 12-foot glass wall that will allow mall patrons to see the main studio.

Talk Radio: The Next Generation.  XtreMedia president and nationally syndicated talk host Kevin McCullough holds his newborn baby son Jonathan Stephen McCullough weighing in at 8 lbs, 5 oz.  McCullough reports that both Jonathan and mom are doing well!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

| August 2, 2012

Chick-fil-A Controversy Fires Up Conservative Talk Hosts; Sparks Movement to Support Fast Food Chain.  The issues of gay marriage and First Amendment rights have been front and center on news/talk radio this week in the wake of Chick-fil-A COO Dan Cathy’s comments in a Baptist publication about his support for the Biblical definition of marriage that’s grown into a major news story.  Some view his statement as bigoted and divisive while others see this as a free speech issue.  The case has spurred planned demonstrations by same-sex couples and their supporters as well as conservative media personalities who have encouraged their listeners and viewers to support the fast food chain.  Salem Radio Network talk host Mike Gallagher is pictured here (at left) in his studio preparing to enjoy his Chick-fil-A lunch and has been encouraging listeners to post pictures of themselves eating at the restaurant on Facebook.  Salem Communications O&O WNYM, New York – AM 970 The Answer – organized a call for support at the Paramus, New Jersey Mall where the station reports some 200 listeners had lined up by lunchtime to support the store.  At right is talk show host Kevin McCullough (l)  – whose weekend talk show is heard on WNYM – with Salem VP/director of spoken word format Phil Boyce (r) as they prepare to enjoy a sandwich.  In the panoramic photo below.  The Answer morning drive host Curtis Sliwa can be seen at the far right speaking with a listener while the line of customers spreads across the photo to the left.

Bill Handel’s “Cash Mob” Supports SoCal Toy Store.  A “cash mob” organized by KFI, Los Angeles morning drive host Bill Handel put some $9,000 in the register of struggling Corona del Mar toy store Toy Boat, Toy Boat, Toy Boat.  Handel appeared at the store from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm but Handel’s listeners patronized the store all day long after hearing Handel speak on the air about the state of the struggling local business.  Handel show executive producer Michelle Kube reports many of the people who bought toys donated them to Children’s Hospital of Orange County.  Kube states, “This was just the first.  We plan to do more of these across all day parts on KFI over the next few months all over the Southland as our amazing listeners have responded with so many requests to help local small business owners!”

Clear Channel Reports Radio Revenue Up 3%.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment – of course, now a private company but one that still publicly reports financials – gives its 2012 Q2 financial report and states revenue was up from $771.8 million in the second quarter of 2011 to $793 million in the second quarter of this year.  CFO Tom Casey reports much of that increase was due to national and in categories including automotive, telecommunications, financial services, political and entertainment.  Casey noted that national business rose at roughly double the rate of local business.

Comedian and Stephanie Miller Show Cast Member John Fugelsang Gets Current TV Show.  Regular Stephanie Miller radio show cast member – and one third of Miller’s “Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour” – John Fugelsang will have his own Current TV program beginning in the fall.  Talk radio host Stephanie Miller’s show is simulcast on the Al Gore-founded cable TV network in which Fugelsang gets some face time, but now he’ll have a solo gig there.  In a statement, Al Gore says, “We at Current are eager to bring John’s unique perspective on politics and the world around him to primetime.  He’s been a part of the Current family for a while now and we see just how much his voice resonates with our audience.  His new show will nicely complement our growing lineup.”  Fugelsang has guest-hosted prime time shows on the network including Eliot Spitzer’s and Jennifer Granholm’s programs.  The network has not announced what time the show will air.

WQSC, Charleston, South Carolina Flips to Talk.  The Kirkman Broadcasting station drops oldies for news/talk and airs largely syndicated programming with the exception of local PM drive host Rocky D.  Programming consists of: Cumulus Media NetworksImus in the Morning; Salem Radio Network’s Mike Gallagher; Talk Radio Network’s Laura Ingraham; Dial Global’s Dennis Miller and Jim Bohannon; and CBS Radio’s “Overnight America” with Jon Grayson.

California Couple Sentenced in Real Estate Ponzi Scheme; Infomercials Aired on KVTA, Port Hueneme.  It’s almost a mystery how stations keep selling infomercials to “investment gurus” who go on to swindle people out of their life savings…but they do.  The latest case in this oft-repeating story is that of Kenneth Powell and Kathryn Rose who pleaded guilty to numerous counts of felony fraud related to a real estate investment Ponzi scheme that scammed some $3 million out of 15 people in Southern California.  The two broadcast shows called “Academy of Real Estate,” “Money Intelligence” and “The Ken & Katie Show” on KVTA.  Investors were asked to put money into real estate development or loans secured by real estate but all investment cash went to pay off previous investors until the scheme went bust.  59-year-old Powell rec